Apologies for the multiple posts! FanFic just wasn't being friendly! Enjoy!


Keya's eyes widened as the tall human woman strode straight for Shepard, those long legs closing the distance quickly, dark energy swirled around her like a beacon. It was though she was just asking to get her arse kicked by Shepard! "Lady you have no idea what you're messing with, get out!" she hissed, glancing warily at Shepard who was somehow not only still standing after the heavy sedative but seemed to be in a trance, eyes only for the sexy dark haired brunette and lips parted in an expression of shock.

Miranda ignored the marine, her every sense was focused right now on Stephanie Shepard. To anyone else the immensity, chaos and animalistic mind before her would have been terrifying to feel at the intimate level she could. To anyone else the right response would be to indeed flee. Miranda, however, knew differently. There was something in her that knew Shepard would never hurt her, no matter what state she was in, no matter how wild or feral her mind had gone and that right now Shepard desperately needed her.

Stopping in front of Shepard she gave a sultry smirk and reached up to her shoulder, unclasping the black sleeve but saying nothing. She didn't take her eyes away from Shepards, holding those biotic fires captive with her own. Slowly pulling off her right sleeve she took her time to make sense of the complex being before her.

Shepard was a mess. Minagen had caked to her face from the tears and blood. The cybernetics were being so overworked they'd damaged her skin which caused further widening of the already present cracks. Heat radiated off her as though she was literally on fire but for some reason she wasn't sweating like the normal response of the body should be for overheating. Biotically Shepard was incredibly unstable and there was a painful undertone that permeated them which Miranda couldn't help but wince at internally.

All of that was simply the immediate surface level observation.

Far more important right now was the effect the Minagen combined with the beast had on Shepards mind.

So many raw and jumbled emotions that were overlaid with instinct, it was impossible to make sense of. The whole melding of minds thing was just still too new, unexplored and foreign for Miranda to rely on or even attempt to use to dive into that mess just yet. The first thing she needed to do was to calm down that overwhelming storm so that she could begin making sense of it.

Sleeve removed she stepped closer, entering Shepards space purposefully as she reached over and unclipped Shepards flask, her movements slow and steady.

Shepards hand shakily reached up for her face and Miranda subtly shook her head, "Armor off," the order was firm but quietly spoken. The armor was tainted with Minagen and the last thing Miranda wanted was to be compromised herself. Shepard blurred into motion, going for the seals of her armor, shaking it off as though it was on fire and letting the pieces just fall to the ground with a loud clatter.

While she did that Miranda poured the water from the flask over the sleeve she'd removed.

Down to the Minagen free armor underlay Shepard reached up for Miranda's face again and this time Miranda didn't stop her.

Shepard actually bit her lip and whimpered as her fingers brushed those pale, soft cheeks, trailing that perfect jaw and reverently and oh so gently exploring, "Your light went out," she whispered, her voice husky and still confused.

Now it was Miranda's turn to reach up and she began to wipe the dust and grime and blood from Shepards face starting from her forehead and working down, "I'm here now," she murmured gently and smiled tenderly.

Carefully and with the steady hands of a surgeon Miranda washed away the worst of the caked on drug and blood, she was being especially careful around the cracks which were more like open wounds right now. As she did Shepards hands never left her own face and the shock and despair that had surged and fought within Shepard turned to wonder as the touch, the sensation of feeling Miranda physically, mentally and biotically was a balm to whatever it was Shepard had seen in her mind that had pushed her to this state.

The damp material was like a gentle caress compared to the ache Shepards body had been experiencing. With her face as clean as a damp sleeve could make it Shepard closed her eyes and gently touched her forehead to Miranda's, Miranda lowering her face a little to meet Shepard halfway.

Miranda purposefully left those full lips till last and slowly wiped a clean patch of the sleeve across Shepards top lip. She heard the sharp intake of breath, felt the beat change and the temperature starting to rise for a very different reason in Shepard.

Reaching up with her still gloved hand she gently cupped the side of Shepard's face as she drew the sleeve across Shepards trembling bottom lip. When she was done she closed the short distance between them, pressing her hips to Shepard, dropping the ruined sleeve aside and quickly sliding her hand to the bare skin of Shepards neck.

The breath hitched in Shepards throat and she growled, tilting her head back and completely under Miranda's spell as she could see in her aura exactly what she was wanting to do.

XXX

Keya jumped slightly as someone cleared his throat nearby and turned to see a tall Turian with heavily scarred face looking down at her.

"Let's get your friend out of here, Miranda will look after Shepard," he gestured to the slumped form of the unconscious brunette.

Keya frowned, "Who the hell are you?" she snapped, he wore no uniform just merc armour.

"Garrus Vakarian, Shepard's wingman," he winked at her and confidently strode over to where Miranda was gently guiding Shepard away from the unconscious human.

"Lieutenant Nastaran, the Normandy is prepared to receive Chasen Satria for medical attention. I have contacted your shuttle pilot Ensign Chekov with the quickest route to our location," EDI's voice chimed in quickly and calmly.

Keya hesitated for only a moment longer, yes Chasen needed medical attention quickly, there was no telling how much damage had been done and not just physically. Giving only a short, curt nod she quickly followed the Turian and helped move her friend. Risking a quick glance at the woman who had been her inspiration for so long she felt her heart break a little at how Shepard was sobbing into the mysterious Miranda's shoulder and clutching her as if her world would fall apart without her. What had happened to Shepard? How long had she been one of the test subjects? Why the hell hadn't they told her about Shepard?

Carefully she checked over Chasen to make sure there was nothing immediately life threatening, she internally winced at the state her arm was in. Shepard sure had done a number on that and would definitely need some intricate work done on the bone. Not to mention all the other injuries, she was damn certain broken ribs and clavicle were on the list and internal bleeding was more than likely.

Without another word the Turian gently picked up Chasen at the nod of approval from Keya and he glanced over to Shepard's fallen gear in silent question.

Keya warily looked over to make sure Miranda had moved Shepard far enough away and quietly gathered up the pieces. Biting her lip as she dropped one of the gauntlets she looked up quickly to see Miranda reaching up and turning Shepards face back to her and thoroughly distracting her with a passionate kiss. Keya exhaled slowly then beat feet out of there, hot on the Turian's heels then leading him to where Chekov was waiting with the shuttle.

XXX

Miranda soothed Stephanie tenderly. She was very relieved that just like last time Shepard had become gentle at her passionate kiss and the beast withdrew back into the depths of that vast and magnificent mind. Words weren't necessary right now. All Shepard wanted was to be held and that wish she was very willing to fulfill.

She had purposefully backed Shepard away from the injured woman and her fallen gear and had felt Shepards attention waiver at the clatter behind them. A heated thought and caress had all other concerns melt away and Shepard relaxed into her.

Surprisingly the most prevalent sensation coursing through Shepard right now was not lust or passion but rather relief. Following that to its source through the blur of colours, emotions and chaos of the drug altered memories Miranda realized why. In that awful hallucination Shepard had thought she'd been killed, lost forever and in that moment something had snapped which is why she was in this broken state.

Miranda gently broke from those soft, warm lips and lightly kissed her way along Shepards jaw and up to her ear. With a smile she gave it a teasing little pull with her teeth and felt the rumble in Shepards chest in response, then whispered both in a seductively soft voice and thought, "I'm here, Stephanie."

It resounded in Shepards psyche and the tears that had threatened broke through the last shred of resolve as she clung to those words and to Miranda. They stood there in tight embrace for several minutes before Miranda felt Shepard physically start to cool which was a very good sign but the Minagen was still causing problems in her system.

"Come on Stephanie, let's get back to the Normandy," Miranda murmured softly, pulling back just enough for Shepard to realize they needed to move.

Shepard nodded and wiped her eyes with the back of her hand, sniffling a little as she did she felt a strong pang of loss and uncertainty as she released Miranda.

Miranda simply moved beside her and slipped her arm around Shepard's waist thinking very clearly to her 'I'm right here.'

Shepard relaxed and leant into her. With her vision still heavily overwhelmed by the biotics she relied on Miranda to guide her but this time felt very different. This time there was a fierce independence and sense of self coming from Miranda that had been missing before. Her mind was still too fractured and all over the place for her to make sense of anything right now though.

XXX

"We're seriously going to the Normandy?" Chekov murmured, glancing over her shoulder at the Turian who had carried Satria on board.

"EDI did update you with the coordinates right?" Garrus asked, a little confused for a moment.

"Oh she did, just still can't believe it," Chekov exhaled and got them in the air. She couldn't help the excited grin at the thought of meeting Commander Shepard and seeing the Normandy in person

Garrus chuckled, "Well Dr Chakwas and Professor Mordin will get your friend all patched up."

Keya looked to Satria who was going to be out cold for awhile yet given the heavy sedative she'd been administered, not to mention all of her injuries, "Shepard certainly packs a punch."

"Ha wait till you see her go hand to hand with a Krogan. Your friend here must be something special to not have been plastered all over the walls," Garrus nodded in approval.

"That she is," Keya nodded in agreement, Garrus had no idea how special. Looking up at the Turian with a thoughtful expression she cocked her head slightly, "How did you come to be Shepards wingman of all things?" she asked very curious about that choice of word.

Garrus chuckled, "Now that is a long story. She's one of those people that picks you up, dusts you off and sweeps you along with her from one death defying mission to another."

"She's certainly one of a kind and from what I've seen of her can pull off just about anything," Keya agreed, thinking back to that fateful day on Elysium that had changed her life forever, Shepard had changed her life forever.

"Yeah, well don't trust everything the vids tell you. She's certainly not crazy… at least not in the way they portray it, won't say she's not completely insane with the way she baits then charges at Krogans in blood rage," Garrus chuckled and shook his head slightly.

Keya huffed with a smirk, "Yeah, sounds like her. Did the same to the Batarians on Elysium."

Garrus looked at her sharply and with keen interest, "You were there?"

Keya nodded, "She saved my life, found out I was a med student and put me to work. She's the reason why I joined the Alliance, N4 combat med."

Garrus grinned, his blue eyes sparkling with anticipation at the thought of finding out more about Shepard from someone who'd known her from back then, "You may want to keep that under wraps for a bit when we get to the Normandy or a few of the crew may just tie you down and interrogate you."

Keya stiffened.

Garrus laughed, "Relax not like that." He assured her and put a talon to her shoulder, becoming serious, "Shepard's lost a lot of friends, I'm sure she'll want to have a good long talk with you when she's up for it."

Keya nodded, she had lots of things she wanted to talk to Shepard about as well, "Yeah, she's been through all kinds of hell, I thought she was dead to be honest."

"Long story that one, best she tells you," Garrus wasn't sure it would be wise to mention Cerberus just yet.

Keya simply nodded, her mind was reeling with everything that was going on right now. Discovering not only that Shepard was alive but was one of the subjects of the Hunter Project was incredibly disturbing.

Chakwas wasn't one to simply wait in her medbay for patients to be brought into her realm. Waiting in the shuttle bay her brow rose slightly at the Alliance shuttle that had been repainted and had all the Alliance badges removed but to the trained eye it couldn't be anything else. Patient stretcher hovering by her side she nodded to Garrus as he approached carrying a stranger in his strong arms.

"Dr Chakwas," he nodded to her, carefully placing the human female down.

"This is Chasen?" She was already running scans on her.

Another voice responded, "Yes, she has some medical anomalies you should be aware of."

Chakwas had already spotted them in the quick brain scan as her omni tool was already primed with Shepards medical history, "Ah, yes, I see. Will she need to be restrained?"

Keya frowned slightly at the quick response and understanding, "As long as I'm there when she wakes she should be fine."

"She went toe to toe with Shepard?" Chakwas nodded for Garrus to get moving with the stretcher.

"Yeah, stupid idiot," Keya scoffed, she wasn't overly concerned about her friend, Chasen had been pretty beat up before and healed damn fast.

Chakwas actually chuckled, "Well she did better than the krogans, come, let's get her put back together shall we."

"You're not going to wait for the Commander?" Keya looked to the other shuttle that came in behind them.

"Miranda will look after the Commander, doubt I could do anything without sedating her first," Chakwas smiled, there was a touch of wryness in her tone but no malice. She was very aware of how those two felt about each other and Miranda knew Shepard's physiology better than anyone really had a right to know.

Up in the small medbay Keya made sure to stay right out of the way of the doctors. Doctor Chakwas and a salarian doctor called Mordin were working calmly but efficiently on Chasen, knitting her bones back together and restoring the heavy damage that had been inflicted on her. It took her a few minutes to realize that Miranda had not brought Shepard here to the medbay and she glanced out the windows wondering where they were.

xxx

Miranda helped Shepard out of the armor underlay then sought her eyes for permission to help her out of her underwear. The shower was running cool water behind them in readiness to wash out the Minagen that was in Shepards hair and to keep her core temperature down.

Shepard smirked, "Nothing you haven't seen before Miss Lawson," she whispered in her damn sexy husky voice.

Miranda smiled and stepped up to Shepard, pressing against her gently as she reached around to unclasp her bra.

Shepard just stood there smiling, even with her eyes closed she could see Miranda's aura with perfect clarity and she was breathtaking to behold.

Miranda stopped millimeters short of touching those lips with her own, lips that until very recently she'd never imagined even wanting to kiss. Lips she could feel curling in that irritating and sexy lopsided smirk, could just about taste and yet they were holding there, not closing the distance between them but not pulling back.

With a smirk of her own Miranda slid the straps from Shepards shoulders, her fingertips lightly brushing that feverish skin that sparked with biotic energy at her touch.

Shepard let the black no frills bra drop to the ground, her breath catching in her throat and biting her bottom lip as Miranda set her heart racing and her temperature rising so quickly she almost forgot to breathe.

Miranda reached down, sliding her hands slowly over Shepard's sides, drinking in the feel of soft skin, firm muscle and swirling biotic energy. Still not closing the distance between her lips and Shepards she closed her eyes and teased the incredible woman in her arms, her warm breath leaving a hot trail along Shepards jaw, down to the sensitive spot on her neck just above her pulse point.

Shepard bit her lip and while she managed to keep herself from shoving Miranda against the wall the best she could hold herself to, that let Miranda keep teasing and keep in control, was to grip Miranda's hips and shudder at the heat that was most definitely not drug induced coursing through her.

The strength of Shepard's grip wasn't lost on Miranda, she could feel the huge amount of self control Shepard was exerting and that was exactly what she needed Shepard to be doing to get the rest of her mind pulled back into line. It was also very, very gratifying that she was enjoying this just as much as Shepard was.

Stepping out of her underwear as they dropped to the ground Shepard found herself being guided by Miranda under the cool water. She hissed as it stung, the water washing the Minagen through the cracks on her face, but it was only momentary.

Miranda felt Shepard pulling away a little at the intrusion of pain on her mind. Not caring about getting wet herself she captured Shepard's lips with her own and drew Shepard back to her. As she did she felt that incredible mind not only open to her but inviting her in, not overpowering her, not swallowing her whole but with all its sheer power and foreignness it was tentative and hopeful and letting her in at her own pace. With a moan she entered that waiting embrace and the world around them changed.

Flashes. Memories. Conflicting emotions. Anger. Heartache. Frustration.

An underpinning of love that was so powerful Miranda was left reeling.

The memories were a mingling of Shepards and her own and it was so hard to tell what belonged to whom in this state and they seemed so inconsequential compared to the emotions and sensations that were running through them.

For the first time in so long Miranda found herself wanting more of someone. Shepard was powerful, mysterious, strong, emotional, gifted, chaotic and needed her. Not just her intelligence, not just her appearance, not just what she could offer to be used but herself. It was something only one other person had ever wanted and she'd lost that once. Never again would she let go so easily. She'd never fought for Persephone, until she was gone and it was too late, she hadn't known how.

They both felt something almost physically click into place for Miranda and felt the rush as memories returned.

Shepard pulled back to give Miranda some space and waited with baited breath.

Miranda took a moment to make sense of it then gasped. Eyes wide she looked to Shepard, "I remember waking you up on Lazarus."

Shepard smiled as she could feel it and took a deep breath, relief flooding through her but also a sense of dismay as she'd hoped for a moment that perhaps she'd be able to remember more, "It's a start. Now where were we Miri?"

Miranda huffed as Shepard leaned back in and purposefully stopped, they could both feel she was being cheeky and that she knew Miranda wasn't going to keep kissing her right now, "We're getting that Minagen out of your system before it fries even more of your brain. I put a lot of work getting that back up to scratch."

Shepard chuckled, her biotic lit eyes twinkling a little.

XXX

In the medbay Keya noticed instantly that Shepard had clearly showered as all the Minagen and blood had been properly washed away. She was also a lot calmer, more in control and even though she was still flaring biotically there was a peace about her that had been missing before. It probably had to do with the also damp woman leading her in by the hand.

Keya caught the slight frown from Miranda but the woman didn't address her at all, instead just continued past her to the other free bed and began the process of scrubbing Shepards bloodstream of the dangerous drug. Upon closer inspection of Miranda, Keya noticed that she was also shimmering biotically and wondered once again what the connection between them was. It made her very, very curious about this exotically accented woman who had calmed the raging beast within Shepard with a kiss of all things. She was drop dead gorgeous and held herself with confidence and grace but there was an aura about her that screamed dangerous. Her biotics showed she had military training of some kind not to mention she carried a weapon with comfortable ease and was also very clearly a doctor as well as she expertly worked on Shepard.

With Shepard cleaned up, asleep and healing Miranda visibly relaxed. Leaning down she tenderly kissed Shepard's lips, lightly touching her face.

Keya's eyes narrowed a little as her mind flashbacked to Elysium.

"Hey Doc, got another one for you," the softness in Shepards voice actually had her shuddering, she'd come to know very well what that tone meant. Taking a fortifying breath and turning she put on a friendly smile.

"Hey there, what's your name sweetie?" Keya quickly took in the terrified and battered girl, the way she clung to the soldier beside her.

"A-Anna," came the whispered response from a throat hoarse from screaming.

"Anna, such a lovely name, I'm Keya, come sit down over here, you're safe now." Keya had held out her hand and nodded encouragingly.

Shepard had gently guided the girl towards her, "Doc's the best, she'll take care of you ok Anna. I've got some more of those bastards to introduce to my bullets."

The girl had looked up at Shepard, "Kill them all?"

A darkness had washed over Shepard and her eyes actually glowed, "That's the plan gorgeous, every last fucking Batarian I see."

Anna had relaxed and nodded, "Good." With that she'd turned back to the Doc and willingly parted with her hero. She knew Shepard would wreak vengeance on the batarian pirates like the biotic goddess she'd been when out of nowhere she'd appeared and ripped off the terrifying batarian who'd been raping her.

Keya had watched Shepard a moment longer. The marine had led a bunch of civilians and turned them into a fighting force. A force that had grown block by block as they'd pushed back the batarians, freed captured civilians and met up with other soldiers who were either garrisoned in the city or like herself were on shore leave. The pirates had targeted communications and had hit the garrison command center hard so leadership on the ground was practically out of commission. But Shepard had stepped up with fire in her eyes, purpose in her steps and authority in her voice. Keya had no idea what rank she even was but she had to be in her early twenties.

There was something about Stephanie Shepard that inspired people. She gave them hope when it seemed hopeless. She wasn't one for flowery speeches but action and her actions had been brutal against the batarians and so gentle when it had come to their victims.

Shepard had returned several hours later bloodied and with a few nasty wounds of her own. Keya had turned at the commotion as several kids ran up to her with wide eyes gushing about Shepard being hurt. The woman she had been treating gently put her hand over Keya's and had simply murmured, 'Go.'

Finding Shepard limping into the makeshift med center Keya had been astounded that she'd made it this far. Multiple knife wounds and bullet holes that had been slathered with medi-gel, some with the fragments still embedded, had left her covered in blood and dangerously pale. It had taken her an hour in the difficult circumstances and with a growing audience to treat all of the injuries as she'd discovered more with the removing of the tattered uniform.

Of course Shepard had insisted on being treated in front of everyone, she wasn't going to go hide in a corner. The whole time she was grinning of all things and telling everyone exactly how she'd gotten each wound with pride as Keya treated it.

The people listened utterly riveted and their panic at the thought of losing their beacon of hope ebbed away in the face of her courage, optimism and energy.

Once she was done Keya sat back and simply looked at Shepards face for a long moment.

"What is it Doc?"

"How do you do it? Keep fighting and smiling no matter how hurt you are?"

Shepard had grinned and closed her eyes, relaxing back and taking a deep breath, "I picture her, the girl I love, her gorgeous blue eyes, the way she smiled... We were separated a few years ago and I promised that I'd find her. I'm going to keep that promise," she'd opened her eyes and the smile had gone to be replaced by fury, "and no fucking Batarian is going to stop me."

Blinking rapidly Keya was a little disoriented but quickly got her bearings again. Looking back to where Miranda was straightening she couldn't help but notice that little smile and those blue eyes and it made sense. Was this the same woman Shepard had been fighting for all those years ago? Or was she simply someone who resembled her first love? Either way she was going to pester Shepard about it when she was up and about again.

With Shepard now stabilizing Miranda left, she didn't interrupt the others while they worked on Chasen and barely cast a glance at Keya herself who was quick to move back out of the way. Keya's gaze followed her for a few moments, the woman clearly had a lot on her mind right now and politeness wasn't one of them.

Looking back to the unconscious Chasen Satria she continued to monitor from afar, she had become a combat med after she'd nearly completed her final rotation and what they were doing at the moment was something she was perfectly capable of. However, what was of more interest to her right now was finding out just how much these people knew of the genetic modifications and neural anomalies in Shepard and Satria.

"Doctor Chakwas, you recognized the anomaly in Chasen's neural structure rather quickly," Keya began softly, waiting to see if she'd be told to wait outside.

"I have encountered it before yes," she nodded, her manner was calm and she continued working on the broken young woman before. Mordin was a pleasure to work with, his constant mutterings and musings like a hamster on coffee were both enlightening and entertaining and they seemed to flow together well considering they hadn't known each other long.

Keya nodded slowly, "Are you aware of any of its functions?"

Doctor Chakwas didn't reply for a moment as she collected her thoughts, "I know it is something not to be trifled with, I also know it's something very powerful people have gone to extreme lengths to protect."

Keya moved over to stand at the end of the bed, her voice soft, "Indeed. How long has Shepard been having episodes like today?"

Doctor Chakwas looked to her with slightly narrowed eyes, "That's not something I can discuss with you Lieutenant, doctor/patient confidentiality."

Keya nodded almost absently, focused on Chasen's peaceful face, "They have triggers, it's different for each subject and they have to identify it and learn to control it or innocent people will die. Once they've been triggered and their hunter instinct's released it takes a very powerful connection to pull them back or they need to tire of their rampage."

Chakwas listened, watching the Lieutenant out of the corner of her eye as she pieced together the bone fragments in Satria's arm.

There was a long moment of silence as Keya thought through what had happened between Shepard and Satria. "Shepard had lost control and was pulling herself back when that idiot charged her. It was brutal, but something I've never seen before happened. We've been studying Chasen for several years now so I know most of her triggers and generally how to calm her but not reliably. It depends what's triggered her if she'll listen to me. During their fight they just stopped and... stared at each other."

Chakwas showed no hint of surprise at that revelation in fact she nodded slightly as she took in that information, "You said they. I'm assuming there's more than just Stephanie and Chasen who've been altered like this."

"The few we've found have been… highly unstable," Keya actually winced, "Chasen's been the only one to survive. The others either killed themselves or the only way to stop them was to kill them," her voice was soft, saddened. "They were just kids or teenagers and we haven't been able to identify what about them is so unique that they're chosen by these bastards. They're always one damn step ahead of us, when we get close…" she shook her head, her knuckles turning white as she clenched her fists.

Chakwas now stopped what she was doing and looked to Keya, "Lieutenant, I'd be very interested in discussing more with you. However, for the time being you should be aware that this is a Cerberus vessel and everything you say is recorded."

Keya's eyes widened, she paled and took a step back, "Cerberus?"

"A temporary measure I can assure you, Shepard can explain more. Most on this ship are loyal to Shepard, many are ex-alliance who were drummed out of the service for supporting her while the brass turned on her. However, I advise caution." Chakwas wasn't about to give the Illusive Man more ammunition against Shepard by talking freely about this, no matter how much she wanted to learn more herself so she could help Shepard.

Keya took a deep breath, "Thank you, Doctor Chakwas. I had no idea… that Cerberus was allowing aliens in their ranks," she glanced from the Salarian professor out to the Turian, Krogan and Asari milling around the lunch room.

"Oh they don't, that's Shepard's influence in putting together her own crew. I'm fully expecting to add a Quarian to the list soon, Shepard prefers a great deal of diversity amongst the people she works with," Chakwas couldn't hide the touch of pride in her voice. Shepard was every bit the Spectre in how much she embraced the other cultures from galactic society, she was exactly the kind of representative Humanity needed… if only the Alliance could realize that.

"No Batarians though," Keya smirked a little darkly.

Chakwas chuckled, "Oh not on your life. The fact she hasn't declared war on them is a miracle and testament to her self control."

"Very understandable given Shepards history," Mordin nodded, "will be very interesting if Shepard can convince the Justicar to join," there was a touch of humor in his voice at the thought.

"A Justicar?" Keya's brow rose, "On a Cerberus ship?"

Chakwas chuckled, "Interesting times indeed."

"Could definitely aid in mission. Or make mission a short one," Mordin began to hum under his breath as he finished up what he was doing.

"What could be so important that Shepard would be willing to do a mission for Cerberus? Especially consider what they did to her…" Keya just couldn't put it together in her mind.

Chakwas sobered quickly, "The Collectors are abducting entire human colonies, hundreds of thousands of people have been taken and neither the Alliance nor the Council have been willing to do anything other than blame it on slavers. Cerberus is giving Shepard the resources to find out more about and put a stop to the abductions."

Keya was silent as she processed that. She'd heard rumors about colonies being attacked by slavers but this was news to her. When had she fallen so far out of the loop?

"So Shepard is doing what she does best, putting together a team of the brightest and hunting down the Collectors like she did Saren," Chakwas finished with a confident nod of approval.

Keya scoffed, "They're as good as dead."

"My thoughts exactly," the gleam in the green eyes of the doctor was one of unmistakable pride and anticipation.

Keya looked over at the sleeping woman. Seeing her so peaceful it was almost hard to imagine that beneath that façade was one of the most dangerous beings in the galaxies. She didn't know how Shepard had managed to keep herself under control but right now seemed to be a turning point. Whatever controls Shepard had been using on herself until now were clearly failing, especially if she'd lost that control twice in one day.

While whatever happened from now was going to be far from easy, Keya took a moment in the quietness to let a sense of relief wash over her. Anything was possible with Shepard and even with the Cerberus issue maybe, just maybe they'd be able to figure out what had been done to her and Chasen… and more importantly, why.

Hope everyone's had a lovely Christmas or whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year!

oh and *GASP* less than a month between chapters! \o/

Thanks for all the wonderful reviews! I've missed you awesome peoples!