Works fine as a standalone, but also goes well with Three Words, Coffee, Her Words, and From The Flames.

If you're sensitive about language (and very drunk femSheps), you may not want to read on too far. Or you may want to cover your eyes. Whatever works for you...

{Note to those who have read the others: After wrapping up the Shep/Tali series I've been writing, I really wanted to finish the Shoker, too (that was always the idea). Unlike the others (one-shots), this is a two-parter. Also: a drunk Eva is a rather angrier Eva.}

Enjoy.


Wrong Time, Wrong Place

01 / 02

Wrong Time

Shore leave for everyone.

Seriously? What is Shepard thinking? (He's still not used to calling her Eva, even with... how he feels. It just sounds weird when he says it.)

He tries to block out the noise of the crew filing out of the airlock - he's just relieved they've found a place to dock; the shuttle's cramped enough with... Eva and her squad.

Shouldn't she have got back to him by now, anyway? He thought she'd be getting out of the ship, enjoying the day off she's given, but he hasn't seen her once. There's been nothing from the Loft, either.

He finally works it out when he looks at the date on the controls, and the words are out of his mouth in a half-disbelieving murmur before he can stop them. "Aww, fuck no..."


Kelly isn't here, otherwise he'd have her stupid "swear box" overflowing; hell, it's only to the elevator, but with his pace compared to the rest of the crew's, it feels like a marathon; at least this time, it's without a bunch of Collectors after him. He imagines what... Eva (still weird) might be doing, what state she might be in, and re-doubles his efforts. Damn that woman. He only ever does stupid shit like this when she's involved.


She's drunk. Really drunk. So drunk, in fact, that she nearly doesn't hear the door to her quarters slide open; she does see Joker hobble in and carefully sit next to her on the bed. He holds a hand out without a word, and she passes him the brandy; he takes a mouthful, grimacing. "From Chakwas?"

She nods.

"Three years, huh?"

Three years since the Normandy - since she - went down in flames. Three years since she told him... She shakes her head. Can't think like that. She made a fool of herself; it was totally inappropriate - but then, so is getting so drunk you can hardly stand. On your own ship.

"You ever gonna talk? You think it's easy getting up here?"

A twinge of regret goes through her as she realises, somewhere in a part of her mind that's still sober, how painful the walk here must have been. She shrugs to herself; might as well say it. She looks at him, hearing the slur in her voice. "This... this ain't the Normany. 'S jus' pretending."

"The old crew, though..."

"Tali's busy. Garrus... 'calibrating'. That piece o' shit Kaidan's with the Alliance."

"C'mon, I know Alenko could be an asshole at times, but - "

Her pilot puts a careful arm round her shoulder, wincing, and she ignores the fact that her pulse has ratcheted up several notches. Not going to happen, she reminds herself. She's acted like she only wants him as a friend, and it's worked.

"Ash died fo' him. And he turns 'is back on the whole crew..." She sighs, turning to him. "The on - only one who ever stuck with me... is you."

Something changes in his posture then; she swears he shifts closer, and his voice is concerned, losing all of its usual snarkiness. "Eva?"

"An' then I screw'd it up. Screwed it all up, 'cos I had to go 'n' tell you... Tell you..." She stops suddenly, looking suspiciously at him. "Yeah, this is all your fault." All his fault for trying to go down with the ship; all his fault for making her feel like... this.

He's wearing an expression she's never seen before, and suddenly the brandy bottle is taken from her, on her bedside table, and he's staring at her. "Tell me what?" When she doesn't reply, desperation creeps into his voice. "Tell me what?"

She looks up at him - were his eyes always that green, or is it the brandy? - and mumbles something vague. She knows perfectly well what she's saying, but...

She looks at him, and something in her finally snaps. She's come out of a suicide mission. Like a man - or a broken heart - is going to kill her. She's drunk, and she's tired, and she doesn't want to play this game anymore. "Tell you I loved you."

He looks at her in silence for a moment, the air electric with things unsaid, then says softly, "Guess it wasn't my imagination." His eyes dart to her lips, and he swallows; she's leaning in without knowing why, her eyes beginning to shut. His breath is on her lips, and it's so easy to close the distance...

He stops her with a hand on her shoulder; he's smirking, but his eyes are sad, and he can't look at her. "Nuh uh," he says, jokingly wagging a finger. "Maybe when you can stand."

She frowns, leaning back and looking at him as he gets up, leaning on the wall and letting out a grunt of pain; a coil of hurt is still knotted in her stomach at the rejection, her heart still aching. "OK, maybe when I can stand," he adds, walking painfully slowly to the door. She sees his expression, sees the way he's looking at her even less now, and realises that he thinks seeing him doing this will... What? Put her off? She shakes her head. She's known him for five years, been hoping for this for four, and it seems she's managed to screw it up. Again.

He looks back at her once, still leaning on the wall. "Eva?"

"Whu?"

"Tomorrow, 'kay?"

All she can do is nod, and watch her only chance make its way out of the door with him; that night, for the first time in months, the great Commander Shepard wakes up screaming from a nightmare about crumbling to ash in the void.