Title: Your Typical Navy Brat

Author: Bearit

Summary: Young Shepard gets braces.


Kranz Station: Friday, April 10, 2167 07:37 UT

She stood in front of the mirror in her mother's apartment, bared her teeth, pursed her lips, bared her teeth again, and nearly screamed.

Of all indignities she suffered, of all of them, this was surely the worst.

"Lila, honey, it's time for school," her mother called.

"I'm not going."

She heard her mother sigh just outside the bathroom door. "Come on, dear, they aren't that bad. When I was your age, they were far more conspicuous than just that little wire."

"What, you mean in the twentieth century?" she snapped, imagining her mother with her normal brown hair in pigtails and wearing a contraption of a head brace. She smirked at the thought. That helped her feel a little better at least, even if she could almost hear her mother roll her eyes from the other side of the door. "Doesn't the Alliance insurance cover for the invisible stuff?"

"For their employees and their public servants only, Lila. I told you this last week. Maybe if you had stopped throwing a fit for one second to listen you would have remembered this."

Lila licked her tongue over the intruding wire and glared at herself. No, not herself. At the normal brown hair of her mother, at the ears and chin and nose of her mother. She wished her father had been home instead of gallivanting around in the Skyllian Verge doing this or that. He may not have been able to stop this inevitability, but at least she wouldn't have a hideous silver wire declaring to the galaxy, Look at me! My teeth are defective! I look like a complete nerd!

She did not need that kind of blow to her reputation, not at all.

"I'm not going," she repeated firmly.

"Yes, you are. And you have one minute to finish your business in there, or you are grounded."

"That's a much better punishment than this!" she yelled, but from the retreating footsteps she knew her mother was not going to respond. That was final.

Lila Shepard sighed, stared at herself in the mirror, bared her teeth, scowled, and slammed the door on her way out of the bathroom.

She slammed the door so hard, she was grounded anyway.