Elena let out the breath she had been holding, staring at the DNA scanner's green screen, her face devoid of emotion. Alexander glanced at her worriedly, despite what she had said about family, he was still nervous about her response.
Elena stood from her seat, everyone's eyes in the room were on her, "Well, how about that drink, brother?" She looking down at Alexander expectantly.
Alex relaxed, "Yeah, I could go for a drink right about now." He answered, standing as well.
"How about we take everyone outside, you two can go in the kitchen and talk there." Her mother smiled at them, and without receiving an answer, she turned from everyone and lead the way outside, leaving no room for refusals.
Elissa jumped off of Thane's lap and grabbed him by the hand trying to pull him with her, "Come on Thane! My paints are outside, I can make a picture of you!" She shrieked happily. Thane had no choice, but to fallow the child, Elena gave him an apologetic look as they past. Kolyat, Feron and Garrus followed the group, Jose and her brother walked behind them. The two siblings were left alone in the room, both could hear Elissa telling Thane where to sit down and instructing the others to sit down next to him.
"I really feel bad for that man." She commented, looking out the sliding glass door, being able to see the back of Thane's head as the others sat around him.
"I actually think he is getting a kick out of her, she really is cute, makes up for the bossiness." He laughed, rubbing the back of his neck again.
She smirked at the nervous Commander, my brother. "Come on. I promised you a drink." She led him straight back into the kitchen again. "Have a seat." She pointed to the dining table as she continued to walk into the kitchen and to a small cooler with a number lock on it. She typed in the six digit number code and the door slid open allowing her to take out two beers and a bottle of tequila.
"Do you always keep your liquor in a digitally locked fridge?" He asked as she brought the beers and two shot glasses over to the table; she smiled at his question as she sat down.
"My uncle he . . . he drank a lot when he was younger, got into a lot of trouble with some bad people. Now those people are gone and my tio has been sober for five years, but the thing with alcoholics is, the temptation is always there. So I keep my alcohol in a place he can't get to, and Andres. That's my brother's name by the way." She explained to him, pouring the tequila in the shot glasses.
Shepard just nodded his head, not knowing what to say. She moved one of the glasses to him and picked up the other. "I guess we both need a shot after the news we just got huh?" He picked up the drink.
Her smile grew, showing off her straight white teeth, "No. This is to celebrate, I have a half-brother. That's something to be happy about, not something to become distraught over." She held her glass up to him.
Shepard stared at the women in front of him, my sister. He smiled and held his up as well.
"Salud." She announced, clinking their glasses together. They both downed them at the same time, shaking their heads at the taste.
"What's that mean? Sa - lud?" He asked.
She gave out a laugh at the way he said it. Apparently my brother grew up around gringos, he can't speak Spanish to save his life. I wonder what his nationality is?
"What?" He smiled, not knowing why she was laughing at him.
"Obviously, you have never spoken Spanish, you suck at it." She couldn't stop laughing; the look on his face was too funny.
"Oh thanks." He joked.
"Sorry, just that was horrible and the look on your face was priceless." She settled down and looked at him, "It means 'to your health'." She told him
"See was that so hard?" He took a drink of the beer in front of him.
She shook her head and leaned back in her chair, also taking a drink of her beer. I like my new brother, he makes me laugh.
Shepard grew a bit more serious, he still had more to tell her. "Elena. There is another reason why I came here tonight. My crew and I have been on this mission, this mission has caused me to become enemies with aliens that could make the lives of the people who have any sort of ties to me a living hell. I came here to not only find out if my friend's information was true, but to protect your family, and you." Alexander looked at her, unsure if she would believe him or how she would react.
Elena took a long drink from her beer before answering, "I'm assuming the mission you're referring to is the one about the reapers?"
Alex was taken aback by her knowledge of the reapers, from what he heard the Alliance and Council had done a good job of hushing it up, "Yeah, how did you know that?"
Elena gave him a sly smile, "I'm going to guess you read my files, so you know I was Special Forces, stealth and recon mostly. I still have many contacts in the Alliance, people on the Citadel, other varies individuals who are privy to secret information. I keep track with everything that is going on, even though I have quit the Alliance, I feel it's smart to . . . keep informed. So I also know about the attacks on human colonies, and the Collectors were the ones doing them."
Alexander was even more shocked. Who the hell has she been talking to? "Yeah, they were, before we blew their base. I'm sorry I have to ask, how the hell do you know all this. From what your records said, you have been here for the last four years, and most people aren't even aware that Collectors exists?"
Elena nodded her head, "Yes, most people think they're the galactic cucuy or something." She waved her hand in front of her dismissively, taking another drink of her beer. As she continued, she gave Alexander a cocky grin, "As for knowing that the Collectors were the ones taking the human colonies, I didn't, you just confirmed that for me right now." She held her smile over the rim of the shot glass, then threw it back for the second time. Alexander gave her a perplexed look, which Elena couldn't help laughing at, "I only guessed that the Collectors were taking them, I didn't actually know for sure." Her face grew more serious, "So I'm guessing they are tied with the Reapers you have been chasing, huh?"
Alexander's face was grim as he answered, "Yes, and there's no guarantee that we wiped out all the Collectors out their and they could come after your family and you for what I did."
Elena stared down at the table top, her brows drew together in thought. She knew what they were going to have to do in order to protect her family. She just didn't know where her new brother would take them, for how long and what would happen to them. She looked back at him, her expression never changing, "What is going on Alexander? The reapers, what are they trying to do?" She knew they were a threat but even her contacts didn't know how great a threat they were.
Alexander matched her gaze, apparently they had inherited the same stern looking expression, "They want to wipe out all galactic life, and they will probably be targeting Earth first. My team and I are going to stop them, or die trying. "
That was disturbing news, she knew the danger was going to be great, but an all-out galactic war was not what she expected. She knew one thing for certain, she wasn't going to sit there as a target for the Collectors, and this mission, from the little she knew about it, was a save the galaxy type thing. She was the best at what she did and what she did was fight and protect. Elena could be useful to the Commander and if there was going to be a war for survival she wanted to be in it.
Elena stood from her chair, taking one last shot before addressing her brother, "Well then, looks like you are going to need more soldiers, and if the whole galaxy is going to war, I want to be on your team."
The look on her face left no room for argument, and Shepard wasn't even going to try. His sister was a bad ass from what he had read and that was pretty much the perquisite to join his squad. Alexander stood from his chair as well, looking down at the small but strong woman, "Welcome aboard the Normandy." They shook hands, identical smiles on both their faces. As their hands came apart, Alex looked over to the glass window, at the group outside, Elissa's high pitched voice could be heard even from the kitchen, "Now, as for your family. I have a secret base that a friend of mine runs that she has opened up to the families of the crew and others that are helping us build our army. We know for a fact even a reaper can't detect where this place is so that is our base of operations, and where your family will be the safest."
Elena nodded in agreement, "Sounds good, when do we leave?"
Shepard was about to answer when a crash from outside startled them, Elena rushed forward, grabbing a pistol from a top drawer before running past the open sliding glass doors and looking around. "What the hell is going on?" She asked the group, they were all staring at a very thin women that seemed to enjoy dressing like Jack. She was standing over a motionless man who she had just thrown into some metal garbage cans, which were now piled on top of him. Shepard was about to draw his gun as well when his sister relaxed her stance and stuffed the gun into the back of her jeans.
Elena walked further out, noticing her mother's amused look and her brother's eager one, Andres loved to fight and probably hoped for some bloodshed. Her uncle just shook his head at the young girl, a neutral expression on his face. Their guests seemed confused and Elissa had her tiny hands on her hips glaring at the scene, angry that her art work was being disturbed. Elena stopped in the middle of the large balcony, an exasperated look on her face, "Lulu, what the hell are you doing?"
The girl look over at her, her angry expression now turned to a cool and confident one as she spoke to Elena, "This son-of-a-bitch was over by the office, trying to get inside. He was saying something about 'killing that cunt for shooting at him.'" The young woman's accent was far more thicker than Elena's and had a bite to it that was probably caused from her major attitude.
Elena's eyes narrowed at the girl, "Do you really have to say that word in front of Andres and Elissa? Who is that?" Elena walked over to the both of them, a booted foot flipping the guy over, revealing him to be the same idiot that she had shot at down stairs. Elena rolled her eyes, her head dramatically turning as well, "Chinga . . ." The irritated woman seemed to catch herself, her eyes landing on little Elissa. Elena's mouth closed, her jaw visibly tense. She looked back to the young girl named Lulu, "Sácalo de aqua." Elena hissed in a low tone.
"Déjame matarlo." The girl replied in the same tone.
"Lulu, do as I say." Elena gave her a stern look that the girl matched. "Ahora!" The woman ordered, causing the girl to finally relent and drag the man by his boots down the stairs and to the gates below.
Elena placed her hands on either side of her head, lacing her fingers through her hair. "Qué voy a hacer contigo?" She groaned.
"Your daughter?" A deep voice asked behind her. Elena turned to find that it was the green drell, Thane.
"Hell no!" The woman shook her head, her mouth turned in a scowl as she moved to sit in a chair in front of him, next to her mother. "She is my friend. A young friend who likes to fight me with anything I say. Her and Andres have pretty much killed any desire I might have had for children." Elena explained to Thane, her head leaning on the back of the chair, her eyes closing to try and block out the headache that was forming.
A small smile spread across Thane's lips as he watched the woman. He had never met a woman so forceful and so commanding, she would be a good addition to the team if Shepard chose to take her on.
"Aye! No decir que! You don't know what you will want later on in life, you are still young." Her mother slapped her on the leg from her seat. Elena just shooed her away. "Of course grandchildren would have been nice by now." her mother grumbled under her breath.
"Yeah well now it's up to Elissa and Andres. I'm too old" Elena responded.
"How old are you exactly?" Feron's question was random and caused her to lift her head to look at him with amusement.
"How old do you think I am?" She asked
One of Feron's brow ridges lifted as he inspected her, "I don't know, twenty seven, twenty nine?"
Elena's own brow rose as she nodded slowly to his answers. She noticed Thane's own stares from the side, "What about you Thane? How old do I look?" She asked without looking at him, not catching the assassin off guard in the slightest.
Thane had a guess, if he was right, he had a pretty good suspicion at who this woman was; which he had been trying to guess at since their intense hand shake back in the kitchen. The tattoo on her neck that he had surprisingly missed before she had let down her long curly hair back in the garage, was familiar to him. "Thirty five."
Elene's eyes switched to his, her small smile not leaving her face, "Either you have been in my files as well, or your just that good at judging people."
"Just that good." Thane answered, the realization of who she was now unarguable in his mind.
"That's not old at all, you could still have kids." Shepard's voice from in front of the open back door broke the small staring contest that Thane and his sister had been having.
"Thank you." Elena's mother gave the Commander a pleased smile.
Elena's mouth turned into a sneer, "Ok how about we all stop talk about my lack of child bearing please."
"Not like men don't try." The younger girl, Lulu, was now back and making her way to the group. She walked with a bounce in her step and confidence radiating off her.
"All new people, this is Lourdes Almira Rodriguez Rivera." The girl cringed at the name and gave Elena a dark glare. Elena gave her an antagonizing smirked, then turned her head to the group, "We call her Lulu, she hates her real name."
"Because I'm named after my bitch of a mother. Don't fucking call me Lourdes or I kill you." Lulu sat herself on the low brick wall behind Elena, pulling out a switch blade and proceeded to clean under her fingernails with it.
"She won't kill you, but I would advise against calling her by her given name." Elena gave the girl a warning look as she stood from her seat. "Now, Commander, I think we should tell the rest of my family what is going on."
Elena came to stand behind her mother's chair, her arms crossed over her chest and her face hardened into unreadable mask. Alexander nodded to her and stepped into the two rows of people, between her family and his men. "My team and I have been on a mission, to take down a race called the Collectors, who were abducting human colonies. These aliens were working for a worse evil called the reapers, a machine race who want to wipe out all galactic life." Alex's eyes wondered over to little Elissa, who's innocent round face was watching him with curious big brown eyes. He felt awkward, telling what the reapers have planned for the galaxy to a child so young.
"It is alright Commander, she needs to know." Elena's keen eyes bore into his as her strong voice reassured him. She did not help raise her siblings to be weak minded or ignorant, nor did her mother. Her brother and sister were young yes but strong and both should be aware of what was going on around them.
Alexander nodded his head and continued, "Fortunately, we successfully destroyed the Collector base and the human reaper they were creating, but I do not want to take the chance of there being a few more left or another slave race that the reapers send after your family. The reapers had sent the Collectors to a plant just because a former team mate of mine was there, I would not doubt that they would come after someone related to me, which not only endangers Elena but the rest of you." Alexander's head hung slightly at the end, "I am sorry."
"Young man, do not be sorry and do not stand there feeling that this is your fault. Raise your chin and act like a Commander." Elena's mothers voice ordered him, causing his head to snap up and his back to straighten. The older woman let her expression soften and gave him a smile, "Now, what exactly have my daughter and you planned to do."
"Alexander has a safe house of sorts. His crews family and friends are being sent there, and that is where you all will go." Elena placed her hands on her mother's shoulders lightly.
"We all. And where are you in all this?" Lulu jumped off the wall and crossed her arms over her chest defiantly.
"I'm going with the Commander Lulu." Elena turned narrowed eyes to the girl.
"Good, and I'm going with you." Lulu stated firmly.
"Por qué siempre hacen lo dificil?" Elena turned to her with gritted teeth, her eyes flashing with frustration.
" 'Juntos o no en todos los.' Eso es lo que dijo. This is no different!" Lulu stomped up to the older woman, her lips set in a scowl and her eyes burned with anger. "No se supone que nos dejan." Her voice chocke don her next words, "No se supone que me dejes."
Elena's face fell and her eyes searched the face of the young girl, her hardened expression never changing. Elena took a deep breath and took Lulu's clenched fists in hers, her head nodding. "Si. You will come with me. I will not leave you. Together alright."
Lulu's face finally relaxed and she hugged her closest and only friend to her tightly, "Gracias"
Obviously there was a deeper meaning to what the two women were saying and a past lay somewhere in all of it. The strangers were all curious, but would not voice their questions, it wasn't any of their business.
"Then it's settled, we will go to this safe house. How long do we have to pack?" Jose asked, before the awkwardness of the situation could settle in.
"I would prefer to move as fast as possible, but I do realize that I have sprung this up on you all and I should give you time to . . . " Alexander was cut off by his sister's words.
"We can be ready by tomorrow." She briefly looked around at her family, "There is not much we have that cannot be replaced."
"Your cars?" Lulu asked, quirking an eyebrow at Elena knowingly.
A look of pain came over Elena's face but she quickly shook it off, "A car can be replaced."
Alex could hear the loss in her voice, classic muscle cars like those down in the shop were hard to find and might not be able to be replaced. "Perhaps you can take two. It would be a shame to lose such a beautiful machine."
Elena's eyes lit up and her smile was that of a child being told Christmas had come early. "Thank you, mi hermono."
"No problem. So long as I get to drive one." Alexander gave her a boyish grin.
"You break my car, I break your head open, but yes I would let you drive one, least I can do." Elena answered.
"Well then, we should get started packing. Vamos niños." Ernestine clapped her hands together and both Andres and Elissa jumped from their seats and ran back into the house, their mother wheeling herself behind them.
Alexander watched the woman go and felt now was the best time to leave, he didn't want to over stay his welcome, though his sister's family had been very hospitable, he should give them time to adjust and pack. "Well, we should be going. We will come and get you in the morning if that is alright with all of you?"
"Yeah that should be . . . " Elena began to answer, only to turn at the sound of her brother shouting from inside the house.
"Mida! La tormenta!"
"Shit. Lulu, if Miguel is still down by the gate, drag him into the office and lock up the place. I'll take care of the windows and doors up here." Elena gave her orders, which Lulu obeyed immediately, snatching the keys from the air that Elena had tossed and ran off down the stairs. Elena motioned for the group of men to follow her into the house. As they came through the door and into the living room, Andres was watching a weather report on the T.V. The man in the report had a clock next to his head and the time was counting down; the current time being 12:27.
"What is that? What's going on?" Alexander asked, confusion written all over his face.
"Sand storm, deadly, if caught in it. You and your friends are going to have to stay here tonight, you will not make it back to your ship in ten minutes." Elena explained, slamming windows shut and sealing the sides with metal coverings that snapped into place. The woman waved her brother off, instructing him to check the other rooms.
Alexander turned to his companions, taking in their expressions. Garrus and Thane looked slightly uncomfortable with the idea of staying in a strangers home, Kolyat looked confused and Feron wore an almost excited look, his eyes following his sister around the room. Alex's eyes narrowed at that but did not have time nor was it the right place to slap the guy for obviously checking out his sister.
The sound of a loud siren coming to life outside caused all five men to turn their heads to the glass window, the motion of many doors shutting and people locking themselves inside could be seen in every direction.
The Commander turned back to the woman, who was apply the final covering to the last window. Her bright green eyes turned to the group from her crouched position by the window, "Sorry about this. We do have a spare room, but there are only two beds. Unless you four are into cuddling, we will have to find another place for two of you to sleep." Her lips quirked at the end and stood from her spot at the window, moving over to them and jerking her head to the hallway behind them, "Come. Follow me."
For those of you who read my other two stories, I am so sorry I have not updated, I have a sort of writer's block going on and I have been very busy with school. Also, thanks to Matyrfae, I have been sucked into the game of Dragon Age and can not stop playing! I can't tell you when my updates will be coming but I do promise that I have not and I will not give up on my stories. I hope you liked this chapter and this story, please review!