Liara looked at Shepard and Garrus, "Neither of you remember anything from that night? Drinking Ryncol trying to keep up with a Krogan is not a smart plan commander."
"Look Liara we don't remember, just continue please." Shepard implored as he wanted the whole situation to end.
Liara smirked and touched her omni-tool again. The image came to life and the story began.
It was security camera footage in the Galactic Elite Company store on the Citadel. Three younger Asari were on the screen. One was behind the counter with a much older Asari, possibly a Matriarch. She had a cane and seemed to be in charge. The other two were in the store closing drawers and locking items up. Then, one of the floor Asari's omni-tool beeped and her eyes widened.
"We have a new customer. It says it is THE Commander Shepard! He is with 2 others."
The other on the floor looked at her, "How did he get in? He's only a Spectre."
"It says he has 10 million worth of credit chits on him, that'll get anyone in."
The older Asari spoke up, "Okay young ones, he's probably here to buy something for a certain Asari if the rumors are correct. I know it's almost closing, but a sale is a sale."
The younger Asari all seemed excited and rushed to get the draws open, and lights on again. After a minute or so they seemed satisfied and waited for the commander and his friends to show up. One went to the door to look down the hallway. She came back in to view excited and stated, "They're coming!"
The camera shook a little, and the Asari's face changed as someone came near. She opened the door, "Welcome Commander Shepard.", then she looked questionably at the Matriarch.
In to the screen Shepard and Garrus stumbled in to the store, hanging on to each other. Then with a grunt and holding a bottle Wrex appeared, he seemed to sway as he slowly plodded in.
Garrus was laughing, "I can't believe you're here. You…you… going to go through with it. No way." His speech was slow and slightly slurred.
Shepard replied, "Hells ya. I'm going to do this. Wrex! Courage please."
Wrex came up and shakily poured increasing amounts of Ryncol into two glasses, he produced another bottle for Garrus. Shepard got the smallest then Garrus and Wrex drank the largest. "Get on with it Shepard, we have real drinking to do elsewhere." His speech was slow, even for Wrex.
They all drank, and Shepard shook his head as the drink hit him. "Right, m'ladies, I need something for my girlfriend!" His support, Garrus, snickered, "Shepard has a girlfriend. HA! More ladies for me!"
The Matriarch leaned over from behind the counter, "Commander, surely you may want to come back and represent your kind in a better state?"
"I'm the commander here; I NEED a present for my girlfriend." As he drew some credit chits from his jacket, "I got money, let's see something. I was told you had gifts for her kind."
The Asari all looked at each other. "Fine, Maldi, please show the Commander something from the far counter." The Asari beckoned the Commander over and he and Garrus followed. Wrex stood his ground swaying in a small circle. "What's this shit? She's MY girlfriend, she needs something big. This is a million credit chit and I'm ready to spend it." The Matriarch signaled the young one to stop.
"Gild'ran, go get the clutch and purse collection, top tier."
"Yeah, top tier, that that that….top tier!" Shepard stuttered out.
Garrus stopped laughing and looked at Shepard, "Hey what do we get? We.. we are helping here."
"Wrex, Garrus, I got a ton of money from all the weapons and contraband we got, and can't hold any more omni-gel, think and ask." Shepard turned to one of the Asari, "Hey you, I'm here to get a present for my girlfriend, I was told your store could help."
The young Asari looked at the Matriarch and cautiously eyed the krogan. "Sir, you are responsible for any damage your friends cause as they came with you."
Wrex grunted, Garrus glared, but the Commander was having none of it. "My….My friends are staying. Hey I heard you got gifts my girlfriend might like. Well, do you?"
One of the young Asari returned with two purses. A white one like Liara had, and a blue one that was slightly smaller. "Here Commander, what do you think of these?"
"What the hell? She can't use this? Is this a joke? I thought you had stuff for her, damn."
The asari looked at Shepard in disbelief, "Sir, any women would love this."
"She has pockets all over, she doesn't need a purse, she can't take it with her. Service!"
The young woman holding the purses presented the white one to Shepard, "I think this will do."
"Yeah Shepard, she'll love it."
"Not you to Garrus, I thought you had gotten over their past."
"Ummmmm…what? What past?"
"Oh, we're here, hey, I heard you have items for my girlfriend's kind, true?"
"Shepard take this for Liara, and let's go", Wrex finally gumbled.
"Fine, I'll take it, but I still need something for my girlfriend."
Everyone looked at Shepard.
Garrus spoke up, "Umm I'm pretty sure she is, you sneak around with her, you know. Who else is it?"
Shepard put his hand on Garrus, pointed at him and seemed to freeze. Wrex snorted, "Can't hold your liquor huh?"
Then Shepard started up again, "Don't you two give me shit, you pine over some girl from a former ship, and YOU pine over some Asari who almost killed you. I know what I'm doing." Then he looked around, "Hey, we're here, do you have things for my girlfriend's kind?"
"Yes, you brought this purse sir."
"She can't use that, I was told you could help."
Finally the Matriarch took down a photo of the victorious saviors of the Citadels and put it in front of Shepard, "Can you point her out?" Shepard's eyes blinked as he tried to focus on the image in front of him. His hands going over the image, slowly in a seemingly random order. Then, he smiled and stopped. He pointed at the picture and said "Her, right there."
"That's your Krogan friend behind you. Can you point to the person in the picture who is your girlfriend?"
Shepard put an index finger on the photo. The Asari all raised their eyebrows and looked at each other. "Are you sure Commander?"
"Hells ya! Let's go!"
Garrus stumble over, "Who, who did he point too?"
One of the younger ones answered, "The quarian in the picture. Is this correct?"
Garrus jump in front of Shepard, "I KNEW it, ever since I was under the Mako those weeks ago, I knew you had a thing for her! Shepard and the Quarian, this'll be good."
"Well duh. Some Turian detective you are, no wonder C-Sec gave you up. Hahaha."
"Good enough for a SPECTRE though, huh?"
"Touche' my friend."
Wrex, moved and the Asari jumped back, "Hmpt, about time you admitted it. Now, can we get back to drinking somewhere proper?" He drank from the container again and gave small vials to his friends who quickly downed them.
The senior asari spoke "Well Commander, you are correct, we have several items she might desire, how about a nice Bul'Tak for when she completes her pilgrimage?"
"Wait, I know that one, head gear stuff right?"
"Yes, head gear; you have come to right place."
"All right let's see um."
The eldest signaled to the younger ones to get the dressings. Garrus turned to Shepard, "Shepard I know what I want."
"Hair? No, really, shoot."
"They have a new sniper rifle that shoots 3 shots at a time; it's going to be awesome! It's coming out soon; maybe with your SPECTRE status you can get me one?"
Shepard keyed his omni-tool, "Quartermaster?"
"Yes SPECTRE Shepard."
"I need a sniper rifle that shoots 3", he glanced at Garrus.
"Yeah 3." Garrus nodded.
"3 shots at once, got one?"
"Sir, that rifle is classified and not out yet. Maybe you can come here when you are more…..together and talk about it securely?"
"Don't give me your condescending shit! How much and when?"
"Sir! 820K and it can be delivered in a few months when ready."
"Very well, I'm transferring the credits, send it directly to Officer Garrus Vakarian, sign it, Thanks Bro."
"Received, it shall be done sir, out."
Shepard gave Garrus a chit, "Here is the rest, 180K for ammo."
Garrus's mandibles flared, "Thanks Shepard, I'm stunned, since I'm not your girlfriend and all."
Shepard grabbed Garrus by the arm, pulled him in and have him a quick hug and pat on the back, and stepped back. "That's your bro hug for the year. Thanks for being there. You too lummox."
He went to Wrex and did the same.
Garrus, blinked and looked shocked, "ummmm…..okay."
"Sir, please take a look if you're done with the hugs."
She laid out several pieces of fabric on the counter.
"Just the best, that can resisted blood and stuff."
"This one is military grade for our more cautious customers."
"Wrap it up!"
"A Color sir?"
"I know that one too, purple."
"And a pattern?"
"Bul'Tak's have a pattern, please look through this book and pick one."
Shepard tried turning the pages, but only succeeded in dropping it on the floor. As he fell down trying to retrieve it he pointed ahead of him. "Look, a little Japanese elf."
Everyone looked around then at Shepard on the floor. Garrus squinted into the store, "A what?"
"Hi little elf." Shepard waved from the floor.
As the young Asari looked around for anyone, the Matriarch, hit a button under the counter, locks could be heard clicking shut, "Ms. Goto, I know you must be here….again. You will not escape this time."
"Hey, were did she go?" Shepard called as he used the counter to stand back up. Then pointed to the book, "This one!"
The older asari looked, "Are you sure?" She had a pained look on her face. "I don't know that any young women would want that."
"Well, my girlfriend kicks ass and explosions and such. So, explosions."
As the manager looked away in to the store, Shepard's finger moved in an awkward way, "Thank you elf, yes this is the one!"
The Asari snapped back and reached out, but only grabbed air. Then she looked down at the book and saw the new design. "Yes, much better, swirls number 5 in purple, top fabric. What size?"
Shepard reach his hands out and in front of the Matriarch, put his hands out and squeezed the air with a smile on his face, "This size."
"Yes, commander, most quarians are the about the same size nowadays, we'll get it in medium. Name please."
"Commander John Q. Shepard!"
"No, her name." She sighed as she continued to survey her store, looking for the thief she knew had to be there.
"Ohh.. Tali'Zorah vas..var… Neema."
"Oh yes, the Zorah clan, I remember them. Gild'ran, make it with a little more room around the bottom half."
"Hey, what's that supposed to mean! Anyways, I'm here to get something for my girlfriend I was told this store could help me."
"Yes commander, how about a Bul'Tak in purple with this swirl design?"
"You guys are awesome, now that's service."
"Yes, we try sir. Standard buying due to the high end fabric is four, you will get 2 light and 2 dark Bul'Taks, it will take a few months."
"Fine, fine, wrap it up and deliver it to the Migrant fleet."
"And a back up sir."
"My main man Garrus here." He looked around and saw his friend on the floor and pointed to him.
"Of course sir."
Agitated by the Asari still looking around for someone, Wrex bellowed, "Okay, now that you've gone and showed how you'll piss off all of the women on the ship, can we go Shepard?"
"Jeez, Wrex, coming from the guy too scared to help his own home world you give me shit. I'll give you two full chits if you actually follow through." Then Shepard staggered over and pressed a finger in the towering Krogan. "Well?"
Wrex took another swig of Ryncol, bleched, roared and stormed off camera, presumably in to and through a wall as debris and chucks of wall came back from the direction he left.
"NO, she can get away now. We could have gotten her." The Matriarch lamented.
Shepard turned back around to the counter, "Hey, do you guys have stuff here for my girlfriend?"
"Yes, how would you like them signed?"
"I'll always love you, THE Shepard, in English and Quarian. Let some quarian guy try and beat that for the rest of her life! HA!"
Then Shepard stumbled back, tripped over Garrus's foot and fell down. Then he spoke "I'm THE Shepard and this is my favorite Citadel story." Rolled over, threw up on the floor, and passed out on top of Garrus.
The Matriarch, unfazed, spoke to the younger ones "Please take one of the chits off of the commander, 50K for the purse, 400K for the Bul'Taks, and an even 550K for the damage to the store, displays, and a tip. Thank you, Commander. Ladies, call the guards to take them away."
Then the camera started shaking again. As the Asari looked up, two chits could be seen leaving the commander and disappearing in to thin air. Wrex came back and looked around, a wild look on his face, "My Friends! You're right Shepard, I'll go back!" The chits dropped back in to sight.
The Matriach approached, took the two chits from Shepard and gave them to Wrex, "With his blessings, please take your friends out." Then she took another one and put it in Garrus's pocket. Wrex picked up his friends, slung them over his shoulders and stormed out. Then, a rack shook and a chit fell to the floor.
Gild'Ran still in shock looked at the mess of one of the most elite stores on the Citadel. She noticed a chit on the floor. "Mother, he forgot a chit, and it's full."
"Well, looks like the good Commander has a tab at our lovely store for which ever young lady he winds up with. It's the least we can do with such a ringing endorsement." She drooled out.
"What about his free ring for spending 1 million credits? Even if it is due to fixing the walls?"
Their mother smiled, "Yes, we honor our promotions, one very large ring for the quarian. 3 digit species have thick digits. This should prove interesting. If Ms. Goto, took anything, add it to the Commander's tab too."
Then, the holo shifted to a security camera on "Alley No. 341". The time was a few hours later. Wrex was seen getting up and looking at the chits in his hands. "Thanks Shepard, you're a credit to humans and you've got quads of stone. I'm heading back to Tuchucka, and with this will bring the Krogan back, under my rule, and ready to fight the Reapers. Good-bye my friend." He patted Shepard on the head, and then left the screen.
Then, a familiar young lady with a male escort came in from the right. "See Kenji, I told you, THE Commander Shepard."
"Think we should tell him about the Alliance info we've found?"
"Naw, he's still sleeping it off. Besides, He still owes me a chit." She bent down and took two chits from Shepard's pocket. "Oh wait." She bent down next to Shepard face and kissed him on the cheek as Kenji snapped a holo. "I'm a fan now commander, can't wait to see who Tali and Liara are, and who wins. Which tabloid do you think will carry it Kenji?"
"I don't know what you're talking about, but stealing 2 million creds from him doesn't seem like a good idea."
"Don't worry; with what I have recorded from Elite, he won't come looking for it, if he even remembers. They were drinking Ryncol last night, a lot."
"Are you still messing with them? You don't pick on one place, it gets you caught, they can plan for you."
"They almost did until that Krogan made an escape route for me. Besides, I got you something."
"You're incorrigible. Looks like they're waking up, let's go." The couple left the screen.
A few moments later, Shepard groaned, rolled over, and propped himself against the wall. He kicked Garrus in the leg as he stood.
"What the hell happened Garrus?" He looked in his jacket, "Didn't I had 10 maxed out chits last night? I only see 2 now. Where's Wrex?"
"Don't know, but with headaches like this, we must have had fun, let's get the ship, man I gotta pee." As Garrus finished, he noticed the Commander already reliving himself on the wall. Then the holo ended. The crew was waiting for the reaction, it all seemed surreal.
Shepard raced to speak first, "EDI, can you verify this, I don't remember any of this! Garrus?"
"Ummmm…I don't remember either, but I didn't wear those clothes again for months, until I left for Omega. The gun came, and then I found 1 million in my pocket to get started. Just thought things were falling in to place. Who knew it was you? And you got Wrex started, Shepard you caused trouble even in death. Guess the package got sent to me since the Migrant Fleet wasn't specific enough and I sent it off, like I said before I left for Omega. Man we had a lot of Ryncol that night."
Shepard turned to Kasumi, "You stole 2 million credits from me? Is all of this true?"
"Yep Shep, but if it makes you feel any better, it went to good causes. Like Kenji and me. Besides, I got you off the awful explosion pattern you picked; Tali should be thanking me every day for intervening."
"This can't be right, Aunty Raan, gave this to me. It does say I'll always love you, but that's it. There's no the Shepard on any of them."
Samara spoke, "Tali, you would have only looked at the part in Quarian. Did you ever look for anything in human?"
Over the intercom EDI delivered her news, "Commander, all indications are the holo is authentic."
Tali turned over a piece of fabric near her helmet on her left side. "Here in the inside so I could see it, I'll always love you. Nothing else."
Kasumi came up in front of Tali and reach for the other side of the helmet. "Yes, but they only get so much space to insert a message, let's look on the other side, and there it is!"
As Kasumi turned the fabric over there in English was THE Shepard. "Well?" someone in the back asked. Kasumi smiled and turned, "It's there, in English, THE Shepard. Tali would never have understood the language. Wow Shep, you had it bad, and couldn't even remember."
The crew snickered and several whipping sounds followed by cat meows were heard on top of the conversations.
"But, my aunt wouldn't lie to me like that, it doesn't make any sense."
"Think of your state during this time, would a gift from the dead have made things better?" Samara inquired.
"I don't know, but I have to know now. She'll tell me now that I know."
Liara stood up, "Well, as the human's say. I am a women scorned and now I have to go. One last item for you Tali."
"Are you ready to be the hated and scorned women in the Galaxy? Once this gets out, you will be on the galactic stage, and the spotlight will be intense."
Tali, already felt ostracized from some of her own people, and the rest of the galaxy looked down on Quarians anyways, this couldn't be any worse, besides, Shepard would be there with her.
"I'm ready, thanks for the information Liara, I appreciate it."
"I hope so. Anyways for proof, just go back to the store and ask for the ring."
Shepard stood up, "Okay everyone I think we're done, can we get the picture taken now?"
Miranda chimed in "Everyone stay, Commander can you come back when you're done?"
The crew groaned and the remaining SR-1 crew members left.
EDI took a holo and after some hugs and cheerful good-byes Liara headed out wishing Shepard and Tali the best of luck and promised to send them any pertinent information. She had Shepard's top list of things to start looking in too. Joker muttered and limped back to the mess hall. Dr. Chakwas, turned and smiled at the ousted couple, "I'm glad Shepard finally came to his senses and manned up as it were. A moping, pouting commander is no fun. You two are cute couple."
"Wait Doctor, was it really that obvious?"
"Tali, even Engineer Adams knew why Shepard always came down, and it wasn't to learn about the drive core." She walked out with a sly smile on her face.