Author's Note: It's not required reading, but this piece might make a little more sense if you read the two short drabbles about Sarah and Kolyat in my drabble catch all "Shore Leave."
Sarah is at the Citadel attending medical school in this universe; hence, the references to rotations and stuff. None of these are in chronological order.
#01 – Air
Drell are adept at holding their breath for long periods of time, Sarah discovers when he wants to keep kissing and she needs to breathe.
#02 – Apples
The way Kolyat holds the red, round fruit, gently caressing it with his thumbs makes Sarah wonder for the first time what those hands would feel like on her skin.
#03 – Beginning
It wasn't a good way to introduce yourself, Kolyat decided, lapsing into a memory of your dead mother.
#04 – Bugs
Sarah is speechless for the first time in her life when Kolyat doesn't kill the roach scuttling across her apartment floor, but bites into it like a crunchy candy bar.
#05 – Coffee
Sarah says offhand that coffee is her savior during early classes and is surprised, but shouldn't be, when Kolyat buys her a bag of imported Earth Colombian ground.
#06 – Dark
Kolyat never gets tired of running his hands through her hair, feeling it part over his scaled fingers like a river of liquid obsidian.
#07 – Despair
Their first kiss was supposed to be at a happy time, but Sarah feels too much for him to deny Kolyat the basic comfort of another's touch when his father finally passes away.
#08 – Doors
"This will open all kinds of opportunities for you" says the dark-eyed Commander, but Sarah doesn't reply, wondering how long it would be until she saw Kolyat once she left.
#09 – Drink
Kolyat makes a mental note to listen to Sarah next time when she claims she has no stomach for liquor – maybe then he wouldn't have to listen to this screeching she calls singing.
#10 – Duty
She's Alliance now, but still has issues with the expectation that she'd do anything to complete a mission: all it reminds her of is her big sister's voice, disappearing on a sunny planet called Virmire.
#11 – Earth
He asked her once why she didn't look a little closer to home for a lifelong companion and her answer was simple, "You are my home."
#12 – End
"I can't believe I'm saying this," he says stroking the sweat-dampened strands of hair away from his new wife's face, "but I'm glad we waited."
#13 – Fall
For once it was her turn to be perplexed as Kolyat took a bite of what looked like a giant piece of seaweed and encouraged her to do the same; "this is how we celebrate autumn," he explains.
#14 – Fire
Sarah should have known better – after all, she was the medical professional – but this damned rash burned, erasing even the memory of Kolyat's hesitant touch.
#15 – Flexible
Kolyat freezes, but Sarah looks at the would-be mugger with disdain and when she moves around him like water, breaking his arm with little effort, he wonders just what other talents she has that he doesn't know about.
#16 – Flying
Sarah makes a precise note in her medical chart about Kolyat's reactions to a certain pain medication not ten minutes after said drell was convinced he had solved the Citadel's gravity problem.
#17 – Food
Their first date was accidental: she was working at the ramen stand, and he needed a cheap place to eat.
#18 – Foot
Kolyat tells her he's ready, he even thinks he's ready, but then her heel comes up out of nowhere and all he's ready for is the impact of the grappling mat.
#19 – Grave
Sarah realizes how important visiting the pier where his mother was delivered to the sea when the tears start rolling down his face and he doesn't bother to hide them from her.
#20 – Green
Sarah has never thought of herself as pretty, yet she can't help but enjoy the expression on Kolyat's face when she puts on the dress the color of Kahje's oceans.
#21 – Head
"Head butting only works if you're Commander Shepard and have a skull lined with titanium," she explains patiently as she staples the gash in his skull back together.
#22 – Hollow
The empty feeling in his stomach when she left for her new rotation made him realize just how much she'd come to mean to him.
#23 – Honor
When the older drell bows with elaborate civility and says "It is an honor to meet my son's future wife," Sarah is too surprised to laugh at Kolyat's embarrassed spluttering.
#24 – Hope
As Kolyat touched the soft scales of the baby drell's face, he knew that Sarah was right, they would name her not for her dark past on Rakhana's slums but for the future: "Nadezhda," hope.
#25 – Light
"I don't get it," Kolyat said after she read the first chapter of Genesis to him, "if God created light first, then why is Earth's sun created on the fourth day?"
#26 – Lost
"I still don't understand your addiction to this antique show," Kolyat grumbles, but Sarah shushes him as Sawyer walks onto the screen shirtless yet again.
#27 – Metal
The cool grip of the pistol feels uncomfortably familiar to Kolyat by now and he wishes he could forget the memory of a pale-plated turian kneeling in front of him, begging for his life.
#28 – New
One thing she loved about being with him was the way his face would light up as if he was meeting her for the very first time.
#29 – Old
"I don't get aliens sometimes," Kolyat says, exasperated as Sarah shows him the antique necklace she'll wear beneath her dress; all she has to do now is find something "blue."
#30 – Peace
Kolyat is nervous about visiting a human gravesite for the first time – burying the dead in earth seems blasphemous somehow – yet when he sees Sarah speaking softly to the holographic memorial to Ashley Williams, he doesn't feel distaste, only calm.
#31 – Poison
Her mouth had always gotten her into trouble, and when she saw the hurt in Kolyat's eyes from words carelessly spoken in anger, Sarah wondered if he would have been happier to have never met her.
#32 – Pretty
Sarah would never be beautiful according to drell terms – legs too long, that weird hair stuff, no frills or crests – yet when she smiles that way meant only for him, he can't deny her radiance.
#33 – Rain
Kahje's weather should have set an appropriate mood for the funeral, but Sarah's eyes are on the young drell huddled over his father's corpse and she knows that even if it had been sunny and bright, the anguish on his face wouldn't have been lessened.
#34 – Regret
Sarah held the sleeping form of her goddaughter - little Ashley Alenko - and felt for the first time a hollow ache that not even Kolyat's touch could heal.
#35 – Roses
When she told him about the traditional flowers given on Valentine's Day she didn't know that there was an alien variety, but she smiled anyway and told him she loved them – even if they looked like an elcor's backside.
#36 – Secret
When the female drell introduces herself to Kolyat and he in turn stammers in reply, Sarah knows she should keep her feelings for Kolyat to herself.
#37 – Snakes
Her first view of a drell is not in person but in a textbook, and as she stares at the cool obsidian eyes and the reptilian features, she wonders if they too entwine themselves around their lovers
#38 – Snow
The first thing Kolyat says when they touch down on winter-blasted Amaterasu is, "What's all this white stuff?"
#39 – Solid
When she sees Kolyat in his C-Sec uniform for the first time, the only thing that runs through her mind is the breadth of his shoulders.
#40 – Spring
Kahje has two seasons: wet and wetter, so when Sarah shows him the hills of Amaterasu covered in blankets of wildflowers, he realizes what he was missing on an ocean planet.
#41 – Stable
When she gets the vid call about her sister's accident, the world starts spinning, falling—then Kolyat's hands are on her shoulders, sitting her down on a chair and the room stops tilting.
#42 – Strange
Kolyat can't stop staring at her breasts, not because he likes them, but because they're weird - why can't aliens be more like drell?
#43 – Summer
Kolyat starts to molt as the weather turns hotter, but forgets his embarrassment in front of Sarah when she starts scratching that one spot on his back that he can't reach.
#44 – Taboo
The first time they hold hands in public, a drunk human throws a bottle at Kolyat.
#45 – Ugly
Kolyat sees the fear in her eyes and for the first time, understands the blackness of his own heart.
#46 – War
Her warship rotation was supposed to be easy, yet now Sarah's arms are stained to the elbows with blood and she wonders why she ever thought this was a good idea.
#47 – Water
When Sarah had agreed to swimming lessons with Kolyat, she didn't know his hands would be holding her in quite that way, or that he would look so good wet.
#48 – Welcome
When Kolyat steps into the Williams's house, the first thing he hears is "Well, damn, little sis, you did all right for yourself."
#49 – Winter
Kolyat hadn't expected a snowball to be so cold, but Sarah's fingers threading through his warmed him through to his core.
#50 – Wood
Kolyat looks at the tall bush thing called a tree on the summer-lit hills of Amaterasu and is not impressed, even for Sarah's sake.