The Normandy school was throwing a Valentine's dance for its students tonight. Most were excited, and preparing to win the affection of their true love: Shepard. Some were uninterested.
In the playground, Wrex and Grunt were content to play freeze tag with cryo rounds, much to teacher Anderson's dismay. His thumb was frozen by a stray shot, and the two krogan ran off to continue their battle.
Miranda and Jack were practicing biotics on the blacktop, in hopes to impress Shepard. A rogue throw field hit Kaiden, who was quietly playing under a tree, and it knocked him into the side of the building.
"I'm telling!" he whined, rubbing his head. Jacob laughed at him, while bouncing a big, red ball, "Man up. Crying is no way to win Shepard's heart." He bounced the ball off the wall a few times, and said, "Winning dodgeball is!"
"You think one of you will go to the dance with Shepard?" Miranda sounded sharp and condescending.
Jacob chortled, "And you think you will?" He served the ball with full-force toward Miranda, who squealed, and covered her head. Jack deftly stopped the ball, bounced it a few times, and had an evil grin on her face, "Ball's in our court now, boys."
Jack and Miranda shared a look, and attacked with full force. Jack unleashed a shockwave on Kaiden, that knocked him into the wall (again), and Miranda lifted Jacob up in the air and slammed him on the ground.
"What's going on here?" Anderson's tone was commanding but gentle. He saw the two boys crying and the two girls looking innocent. "Just a friendly game of dodgeball," Jack stuck her tongue out and ran off, Miranda copied the gesture, and skipped behind her.
Anderson helped the boys up. Jacob wiped the tears from his eyes with his arm, "Stupid Miranda. I was gonna ask her to the dance, but she cheats!" Anderson held in a chuckle, and tried to raise morale, "Come on, boys, you can help me finish my valentine." He took them inside the classroom, and on his desk was a valentine in the works, the name Kahlee in giant, golden letters.
Kelly handed Jacob and Kaiden each a valentine with a smile and a laugh. Jacob looked shocked, and Kaiden blushed. She promptly went back to working on more for the rest of the class. Her station was covered in red, pink and white construction paper, markers, glue, and various colored glitter that would take weeks to get out of her hair.
Ashley was facing the corner, and it looked like she was on time out. But she was actually reciting a poem she wrote in order to ask Shepard to the dance. "Roses are red, violets are blue, I'd really like to go to the dance with you. No, that's not right," she sighed, and tried again, rewriting the last line.
The chairs were set against a wall, and the floor was occupied by two identical blue asari sitting cross legged and glowing blue. Samara was teaching Morinth how to meditate, but Morinth kept sneaking open an eye to look for a prospective valentine. She found meditation boring and uneventful, and thought ahead to the dance, where she was certain Shepard would make a splash.
They were interrupted by Joker, whose chair was flying toward them recklessly. The two girls squealed as he barely nicked Samara. "Sorry," he stated once his chair stopped short of hitting the wall, "It was all EDI's fault! She wasn't paying attention to where she was steering."
"I was steering where you told me to go, Jeff." EDI's voice came from a console on his motorized chair.
Joker tried to shush the blue orb, but Samara was staring at him as if heartbroken, and Morinth held back her laughter. "EDI, we need to work together if we're going to win that dance contest. Let's go!" And his chair went spinning toward the other side of the classroom where Mordin was using the chemistry set.
"Please use caution, Joker," Mordin stated without looking away from his work, "If you crash into me, the consequences will be dire. It may cause an explosion, injuring anyone within an eight foot radius."
"Will do!" Joker saluted Mordin as his chair rolled back toward the craft station. Next to Kelly, Tali was creating a replica of the Citadel with toothpicks and gumdrops. She turned to look at Joker, who despite not being able to see through her mask, knew she did not want him to disturb her.
"Must he practice in here?" Tali asked Kelly rhetorically.
Kelly smiled, "I don't mind. They're just trying to have some fun. Go Joker!" She shouted, and waved at Joker and EDI as they spun quietly around in a circle. Anderson sighed, and looked out the window.
Outside, Liara was digging in the sandbox, looking for a rare treasure with which to impress Shepard. She was very distracted by Thane and Garrus, who were playing a version of hide and seek that involved running across her dig site repeatedly.
"Knock it out!" she yelled as Thane kicked sand she had just dug up.
"My apologies," the drell bowed, "But how am I to be an effective dance partner if I cannot run swiftly across sand?" Thane had barely asked his question before he was hit in the back of the head by a rock.
"Scoped and dropped!" Garrus looked smug with himself, but his precision shot did not matter to the angry drell and asari. Thane grabbed the rock, and flipped it in his hand, while Liara held her shovel menacingly. Garrus ran, and the two were quickly upon him.
Anderson sighed, and decided to call for an early lunch time. Everyone stopped what they were doing and rushed inside. The kids were eager to impress Shepard with their various gifts: Ashley with her poem, Liara with the rock she stole from Thane, Jacob with his dodgeball skills, Kelly with her biggest, most glittery valentine, Morinth with her charm, Kaiden with his quiet intensity, Miranda and Jack with their biotic prowess, Thane with his stealthy movement, Garrus with his newly acquired scars, and Tali with her gumdrop replica. They all were crushed when Shepard entered, arm in arm with Legion.
"I can't wait to see your dance moves," Shepard said to Legion.
"We are building a consensus," Legion replied, "Dancing is acceptable."
All the kids looked shocked. Even Tali's replica seemed to droop. Anderson sighed and handed Tali her lunch, "Just eat your gray paste."