He looked up at the asari. Her eyes were boring into him, like drills into soft earth. She pointed.
"Give that to me."
He glanced down at his hands. He had with him his only toy – a turian cruiser model. His father had bought it for him.
He shook his head.
The asari stomped her foot angrily onto the plush carpet. "Give it to me now!"
He stood. He didn't want to feel afraid, but he did. This was the scariest thing to ever happen to him since that time he got lost in that construction site back home.
He gulped and shook his head again.
The asari's face flared in anger. "I can hurt you," she boasted, turning her upturned palm into a fist. "I know biotics. All asari do." Her fist slowly came closer to his face. "I'll give you one last chance."
He tried to concentrate. Remember what Father taught him... about what? Justice?
"Give that to me now or I'll push you down."
He remembered his father had taught him of resilience. Getting back up when someone pushed you down. Is this what he meant?
His eyes flashed once in a gleam of determination as he shook his head for the last time that day.
"Leena... Shepard... there we go!"
Her gentle hand clasped the smaller one as Hannah guided her daughter's pen along the paper. The writing was scrawled and barely legible. Hannah laughed.
Because she did, Leena laughed too.
The caretaker strode up to them with a slight air of unease. "Excuse me, ma'am, but you know that's not necessary." She lifted a datapad. "Everything is electronic now."
"Of course I know that," Hannah snapped. She instantly regretted it. "Oh dear... I'm sorry, I have so much to do." She turned to her daughter and smiled. "You be good for Miss Varis, all right, sweetie?"
"She's very quiet," she muttered to the asari caretaker. "You might have to coax her into even interacting with the other ki–"
"Hannah!" the man at the entrance called. "We're going to be late!"
"Right." She gave her daughter a kiss on the head. "I'll see you later, honey."
Leena nodded. "Okay, mommy."
Hannah gave her another quick hug before leaving.
Leena looked around. There was nothing to do.
She picked up her drawing and stood up.
"Oh, hello, Leena," the asari caretaker said. "I'm Miss Varis, remember?"
"Errr... yes. Anyway, that is a very lovely drawing of a... a..."
"A cat," said Leena, holding up the scribbles of purple and red crayon on the paper.
"Right, a... cat!" Miss Varis giggled uncomfortably. "Why don't you... go show that nice boy over there?"
She looked in the direction she was pointing. A turian boy sat there playing with a cruiser model.
She looked back at Miss Varis and frowned.
"Oh, it's all right, sweetheart," said Miss Varis. "He won't hurt you."
The console at the desk beeped. She rushed off to get it.
Leena looked at the drawing in her hand and then at the turian boy playing with the starship. It was a very cool-looking starship.
She walked to him and was about to speak when someone else pushed her out of the way.
The turian, thinking it was the mean-looking asari who had just shoved her out of the way, looked up.
"Give that to me," the asari girl demanded.
Leena narrowed her eyes. That wasn't the right way to ask to share.
The asari kept asking more forcefully. The turian, who was looking gradually more and more frightened, continued to shake his head. Leena wondered what his voice sounded like. She'd only ever heard a turian speak maybe once.
The girl was threatening him now. "Give that to me now or I'll push you down!"
She shook herself into action just as the turian shook his head again. The asari's face burned with anger. She shoved her arms out and swiftly sent him down onto the carpet.
"Hey!" Leena shouted suddenly. "Stop that!"
"Or what?" the asari sneered. "You'll push me back? Like you have a chance. Asari are so much better than humans."
"My daddy and mommy are in the Alliance! I can get you in jail!" she threatened.
The girl laughed. "Tattletale! The Alliance doesn't mean any – AAHHH!"
A forceful shove knocked the asari into the synthetic table in the corner. She sat there looking shocked for a moment, and then she charged.
"A good turian does what he's told."
He wondered if that was what he should have done. If he'd just given her the cruiser then wouldn't everything be peachy?
Maybe. But then she would have his favorite ship for who knows how long. Was it better this way?
It really didn't seem like it.
After the human girl tackled the asari, he couldn't resist helping out a little. That human, something about her – it inspired him to fight for what was right. Justice, that's what Father called it. "Doing good in the face of evil," he'd said.
So when he held out his leg, he felt a surge of vengeance. When he made that mean asari trip and fall as hard as he had, he felt good, not evil. As he stood triumphantly next to the human girl, he didn't expect the asari to start crying.
"Miss Varis!" she'd screamed. "Miss Varis, there are two bullies here!"
Miss Varis had put them in the corner.
He glanced at her. She seemed sad. He cleared his throat.
"What's your name?" he asked hesitantly.
She looked up at him with bright eyes. "What's yours?"
He wanted to say something really nice, but her eyes were so deep and distracting that he ended up actually saying something that sounded like "G-g-v-karian."
"Karian?" He didn't bother correcting her, so she smiled a little. "I'm Leena."
"Leena?" The name was so special, so unique. He'd never heard any human named that in his life.
"Umm..." He stroked his fringes absently. "I'm sorry."
"For what?" Leena asked, frowning.
"For, uh..." It must have been a good question, because he had no answer. "I don't know," he admitted.
"Me neither." That made him laugh.
It was quiet for a while as Miss Varis continued to pass by, busily helping other kids while shooting them dirty looks. Leena giggled.
"What?" he asked
"We were trying to stop a bully," she said, "but now everyone thinks we're bullies."
"Yeah." Suddenly he remembered why he was sorry. "I got you in trouble," he told her.
"That's okay," she answered, to his surprise. "I get in trouble a lot."
"Uh-huh. It can get reeeeaaaally boring on ships sometimes." She grinned. "I like drawing on stuff. Like walls. But it's still boring."
He looked down at his model ship, remembering all the times he had been nearly bored to death on Palaven. The ship had saved him then, but not now. This time it had almost caused his own downfall. Maybe it was time to let it go.
He handed her the model. "Here."
"I w-want you t-to have it," he stammered.
"Because it's fun. And... you helped me." He swallowed. "My father always says–" here he imitated a low, booming voice "–'justice is its own reward.'" He cleared his throat. "But you should have this, too. You got in trouble and that's my fault."
She took it into her hands and admired it silently, brushing her thumb along the rough and smooth edges. Finally she smiled at him. "Okay."
"Uh... uh-huh. Okay."
She unfolded her drawing and gave it to him. "You can have this," she offered.
He looked at it. "Is this a space cow?" he asked.
"It's a cat."
"Is this what they look like?" He said "this" with a tone of mild disgust.
"Kinda." She giggled. "When I grow up, I wanna be a drawer."
"I don't know what I wanna be," he said quietly.
"You can be a superhero."
"A superhero!" She began making wide arm movements. "They have super powers and they fight bad guys!"
"Oh, right." He really liked an old human superhero who was named after a flying mammal. But like he was going to say that out loud.
He was about to say something else when a voice called from the nursery entrance. "Leena!"
"Uh oh, that's my mom." Leena stood timidly. "She sounds real angry."
"You can explain, right?" he asked. "You can explain we were the good guys."
She gazed at him with a certain expression. He was never any good with reading human faces. After what seemed like forever, she finally replied, "Yeah. We were the good guys."
Then she turned and left.
i gave my Turian sTarsHip modle to a girl. Her name is leina. SHe is a Human. SHe was real nice Too me even when sHe Helped me be a good gai like sHe sed. SHe kind of got rid of a buly. So i THink sHe will be real nice Too THe Toy Too.
also i am sorry i goT in Trouble. BuT we were being THe good gais.
wen i grow up i wanT To be juTs like you sed and fiTe for jusTice. i can remeber ThaT
A/N: So, this is a two-shot. Meaning that there will be a second chapter released sometime when I can get to it.
I'm really not expecting a whole lot of feedback from this. This was one of those "hey it's bouncing around in my head so you know what I'm just gonna roll with it" type of things. Plus I barely proofread it. But if you do happen to like it, thanks! :)
See you in Part 2 :)