"Woah... woah. It's okay, kid. It's all right."
The young man groaned, shaking his head a little. Shepard gently put a hand on her shoulder, pushing him back onto the pillows. "Relax, kid. You're among friends. We're not going to hurt you. And you've been through some rough stuff lately."
Drowsily, he lifted a hand to his head, rubbing at his eyes before taking a deep breath and letting it out through his nose. He gulped solidly, blinking rapidly against the light.
"Let's start out simple. Take your time." The young man tried to sit up again, and Shepard kept her hand on his shoulder. "My name's Delia Shepard. And yours?"
He gave another deep breath, still struggling against the effect of the sedatives Chakwas had given him. "Luke Skywalker."
"Good to meet you, Luke." He struggled to sit up, and this time Shepard helped him up as he rubbed at his face, shaking off the sleepiness. "Can I get you something? A blanket, a pillow, something like that..."
"...Something to drink?" He slurred lightly.
"Sure! Sure." She hopped off of her cot, limping over to Chakwas' desk in the medbay. "I don't think there's much of the Serrice Ice brandy left, but I know where some whiskey is... vodka... this thing distilled by Vorcha in some distant planet -"
"...Water?" His tone was gentle and polite.
Shepard had been bracing herself for snappishness or at least sarcasm, given his father's temperament. Instead the young man was downright reasonable. "Yeah! ...Yeah, sure." She still picked up one of the nice glasses before filling it with cold water from the tap. "Listen, I should get this out of the way first-off. I served with your father for a short time, and I have some bad news -"
"It's fine. I heard you earlier," he said softly, taking the glass of water with a smile. He still looked rather dizzy, and she didn't blame him. "Bits and pieces, anyway."
She peered at him critically. "Pardon my asking, but you don't seem too torn up about it. ...I'm guessing you two weren't, uh, close."
Luke shook his head no even as he drank deeply from the water, giving a sigh of relief. "Not especially, no." He ran a hand through his hair, wincing when he hit his neck.
"Easy there. The Collectors - the ones that captured you - put a few implants in. We've removed them for you. If you need any pain medication, let me know, I'll call the Doctor. You're probably going to feel groggy for a little while. We didn't expect you to be up for another few hours." She smiled broadly at him. "You always an overachiever?"
This made him give a small laugh; Shepard reached out for his empty glass to refill it. "Thank you," he murmured, taking the glass and taking another deep gulp of water.
Shepard shook her head and gave a small laugh. "Are you always this calm, Skywalker?"
"I've been through worse," he answered downright cheerfully (though he still slurred ever-so-slightly, and Shepard was about to blame the calm solely on whatever medication he had been given).
"You've been through worse than waking up not knowing where you are, or who you're with, or what's happening, after having surgery, after you've been tortured for a couple of weeks, and after your dad's dead?"
He blinked blearily at her a few moments before giving a frown. No, Shepard corrected herself, not quite a frown, not when she was comparing it to Vader's glowering. More like a pout.
"...When you say it like that..."
"Look, I'm not trying to depress you, I promise," Shepard soothed. "I was just planning to call the ship's counselor down here if your answer had been yes. A person can only go through so much hell before they crack."
There was a warmth in his blue eyes as he gave another smile. "I understand. But I'm fine - thank you."
"Are you sure? It's going to be a couple of hours before the crew is up, including the doctor. I can call Chakwas earlier if you need anything..."
"No, I'm all right." He was still groggy, wiping at his eyes again. "Although..."
"Kid, you have been through hell, and I am commander of this ship. Your father and I may not have seen eye to eye, but you're on my Normandy, and that means you're my responsibility. Anything you need, I'll get." Shepard paused a moment. "Well, I mean, within reason. But I can get quite a lot. It might take me a little bit to get, like, a puppy or a prostitute if you need something to cuddle, but..."
"Some food?" He gave a somewhat nervous yet endearing smile.
Shepard blinked rapidly at him for a few moments before smiling broadly. "Yeah, Skywalker. I can absolutely do that. Leftover chicken alfredo okay? And you know what, I'm going to go ahead and pour you a double..."
When Chakwas saw the lights on in the medbay, she picked up the pace, nervously gritting her teeth. They were supposed to have two more hours - two hours to have security set up a perimeter...
"Heeey, Chakwas!" Shepard greeted the doctor with a wave. "Good morning! Doc, meet Luke Skywalker. Luke, Doctor Chakwas."
"Oh! Good - good morning." Chakwas blinked rapidly even as the young man waved in greeting. She immediately went to Shepard's side, her voice dropping to a low hiss. "Shepard - the security risk -"
"Yeah, yeah, he's fine. It's fine." Shepard turned her head to glance at the young man. "Yeah, we were going to treat you like a high-grade security risk. Nothing personal, I promise, it's just after meeting your dad and all - Vader's not what you'd call super friendly -"
" 'f fine," Luke said enthusiastically, nodding, mid-gulp.
Chakwas gave Shepard another odd look, and she shrugged. "Well, he ate all the leftover alfredo and we don't have any ice-cream cake, so I fixed him a fluffernutter."
"A fluffer..." Chakwas' eyebrows twitched as she held in a laugh. "You found thaton Omega? And you can produce Serrice Ice Brandy out of nowhere..."
"What can I say, I'm magical," Shepard gloated, grinning widely.
Chakwas laughed outright at this, shaking her head. "Skywalker, if you would, just a quick examination... look this way, please?"
"Of course." Luke smiled pleasantly.
"Thank you. Chin to your chest, please... any pain, dizziness, nausea?"
"A little bit of a headache."
"That's to be expected. Any hallucinations - hearing voices, seeing things that aren't there...?"
"No, nothing like that."
"He's about as indoctrinated as I am, Chakwas," Shepard said with a grin. "I've been talking to him for, what, the past four hours? Well, okay, it's mostly me talking athim, but he doesn't seem to mind. Do you, Luke? - See, he's a great sport. Especially when he's coming off of a whole cocktail of drugs and I feed him brandy and fluffernutter sandwiches."
Chakwas shook her head. "Well, Skywalker, you seem as healthy as can be possibly hoped for. It's quite remarkable, really. I've never seen anyone bounce back quite as fast. ...perhaps Shepard, but..."
He gave a sigh of relief, immediately swinging his legs around as if about to get up off the bed. "So I can leave the medical bay? I just need to stretch my legs and then I'm sure I'll be fine -"
The young man was down as quickly as he was up, standing and then immediately crumpling to a heap on the floor. Chakwas barely broke his fall, dragging him back up to the cot. "The injury to your leg was traumatic, Skywalker. The damaged flesh and tissue hasn't had time to re-form properly, not to mention that healing could only begin after the infection was clear - and the complications from malnourishment. You'll need to stay here, for the time being." From the way he was wincing, he didn't seem to object, seeming relieved to be back on the cot. "Additionally, given said malnourishment, I'm not sure fluffernutter sandwiches are the idealfood choice right now..."
Shepard responded to Chakwas' teasing glare with a grin. "Of course it is! All your daily requirements of marshmallow fluff, right in one sandwich. ...Omega marshmallow fluff nonetheless, which probably means someone got murdered over its fluffiness after it was smuggled in by a marshmallow cartel." She stretched with a grunt, swinging her legs over, having to struggle to move the cast. "Anyway, I probably need to check in since everyone's starting to wake up -"
"No, Shepard. You're staying right here. I'm sure that your leg has re-fractured in at least seven places given what you were doing with Garrus last night."
Chakwas raised an eyebrow.
"We didn't even -!"
Chakwas coupled the glare with putting her hands on her hips.
"But - I - um - fff... fine, fine, okay." Shepard sighed, flopping back, and Luke observed with interest as he worked on the second half of his sandwich. "Wait, wait. I just said we were going to have dinner! Why do you think -"
"Mordin sent out a very interesting memo about possible complications to me. He thought I should be aware of specifics, as ship's physician."
Shepard's hands went to cover her face as her ears blazed red while she blushed. "Oh dear God."
"I'm afraid it gets worse," Chakwas cautioned. "I may have... accidentally, I assure you! ...replied to the entire crew, with the body of the message from Mordin still intact."
"Chakwas, it's a good thing I know you so well..."
"It was an accident! Besides, now everyone is apparently going to be very prepared with epinephrine should you share a romantic kiss with Garrus in the heat of battle and have an adverse reaction."
"Oh Jesus tapdancing Christ. I was expecting EDI to be the ship's gossip, not you!" Shepard ran a hand through her hair before letting her arm flop comically off of the cot's edge. "Kid - Skywalker, I mean - word of advice. Never date dextro."
"...Never date what?" He blinked at her rapidly, looking politely confused.
"I haven't explained to you about dextro yet? Good thing Chakwas is here. Sorry the crash course in this universe is so shoddy, but it gives us something to talk about while we're stuck here, right?" She settled back against the cot, gesturing widely. "So. There's two types in this universe - generally speaking..."
((Okay, now everyone can take me off of author alert. :) Sorry for the inconvenience!
I hope you enjoy this story, even though by its nature it may be more of an 'interlude' that occurs between ME2 and ME3.
Thanks for reading!))