A/N: Good grief this chapter quickly spiraled out of control! Biggest chapter I've written EVER. I wonder if its become too long... Tell me what you think!

I hate clubs!

I hovered close to Lryod in the back room of the Tech store as he worked on a customer's Omni-tool, watching him install a...

'Damnit, what was it called again?' I scowled at myself, since Lryod told me twice now. 'Something board, like a mother-board, but for communication. OH!'

"So why would a customer need a more advanced com-board?" I asked, pleased that I finally remembered what the damn thing was called.

"Usually when someone comes to us for a better com-board it's because they are either running a business, or starting one." He sounded quite pleased that I asked, and gestured me to move closer. He then showed me how he uninstalled the old board, and then install the new one. I struggled to remember what wires and connection went where, but damn it was complex. "They use it for sending multiply communications or invoices at once, either to business partners or customers. Usually that would be done on a personal or business terminal, but for people on the go, this is what they do."

"This looks... extremely complex." I mumbled as he went on to put the Omni-tool back together again. He then reached for a data-pad, added to the file before placing the Omni-tool and data-pad in a box, for the customer to pick up.

"It may be at first, but you'll get the hang of it after a few tries. Come on, there is another order just like the one I worked on, and I want you to give it a shot."

With that I was sat down beside Lryod and he and I worked together on the next Omni-tool. With his careful instruction and watchful eye I slowly took apart the Omni-tool, removed the old com-board and put a new one in. Taking the old one out was easy. Putting the new one in was hard. And putting the Omni-tool back together again was even harder.

"Because of the new com-board, does the customer need to worry about heating issues?" I asked, struggling to click a connection to the proper place. In frustration I finally took off my gloves and used my bare fingers. I took to wearing gloves to cover up my scarred hands, but it got in the way. A lot.

'Maybe I need to look into fingerless gloves once I get my next paycheck?' I mused to myself, finally getting the damn wire in place.

"No, not at all. Oh, no, not there, you want it here-" With a gesture from him I put the next wire in its proper place. "The new com-board comes with a better cooling fan, to keep it from getting too hot."

"Oh. Neat!" With a pleased grin I finally finished putting the Omni-tool back together, presenting it for Lryod to inspect. With a nod from him he made a mark on the data-pad and placed the customer's order in another box.

"There we are, not bad for the first time. In time you'll become even quicker with the orders." He gently patted my arm before reaching for the next order. "Alright, this one is extremely complex. This customer wants his personal terminal built from scratch. He ordered all the parts from us, but now we need to build it. We don't have a base to start off with, so here's what we need to do-"

When he meant building it from scratch, he quite literally meant from scratch. I built my own computers, but the physical box I always bought whole. We actually had to do measurements and build the frame itself. Which meant lots of sharp edges.

Worriedly I watched Lryod, concerned he might cut into his suit by accident. If his suit got damaged in some way, he very well may get sick.

"Uh, Rachel, watch what you're-" He then flinched when I suddenly drew my hand away from the frame. I stared at him, confused until he gestured to my hand. With a glance to my hand I found it covered in blood, making me curse aloud.

"Oh god damnit." I reached for the first aid kit, but Lryod intercepted me and grabbed it.

"You didn't feel that?" He asked, worried as he cleaned my wound with a disinfectant.

"No," I sighed. "It's a side-effect from the new medicine I was put on."

After a few more weeks with struggling in managing my pain, and failing, Eil insisted on me going back to the doctor. If it wasn't for Luia coming to get me though I wouldn't have gone. I was being a little too stubborn. I didn't want to see the doctor that first treated me.

Thankfully we went to another doctor, and I had a various amount of tests run on me to determine why the medicine wasn't working.

Turns out I had NPD. Neuropathic Pain Disorder.

It deals with the nervous system, and my nervous system is very hyper sensitive. It sends signals erratically, like pain signals, making me feel incredible amounts of pain. Something simple, like a papercut, or bumping into a table, something that causes most people to say 'Ow' and brush off, well... Made me nearly cry. Several times in fact.

So I'm now on a new medicine that calms my nerves and the signals that are sent. I take it every morning and every evening with a cup of tea, and nearly overnight it worked wonders. Before I hobbled around, but now I was able to stand up straight and getting around like I used to. Bad thing was, the medicine did its job too well. So when I get hurt, like now, I don't even realize it most of the time.

"Is this the only medicine you can be put on? Surely there has to be something else." Lryod finished patching me and returned the first aid kit back to its station while I started to carefully clean the blood off of the terminal frame.

"It's the only type of medicine that is available to treat NPD. Something else might come out eventually, but for now I have to take this." After cleaning the frame I threw the dirty rag away, and Lryod and I got back to work. This time I watched where my own hands went instead of watching his. I just had to keep reminding myself that he could take care of himself.

By the end of my shift we managed to get it almost half finished. My shifts only last about five hours as Elil has refused putting me on the standard eight hour work shifts yet. She felt it would be too much for me. The store closed at eleven, which was only three hours from now. Why wouldn't she let me stay until close?

"Alright Lryod, I guess I'm out of here." I sighed, stuffing my gloves in my pocket. I couldn't wear them right now with my bandaged hand. "Who's on shift with me tomorrow?"

"The twins." He growled. He still hasn't quite forgiven the twins for their prank. Then again, he hasn't quite gotten all the pink off of the walls of his room, but still.

I barely managed to stifle my giggle as I headed for the door. "Why don't you prank the twins back? Get it out of your system and make things even? You can't keep grouching at them forever." I left him in the back room to ponder my suggestion and waved goodbye to the cashier as I walked out of the shop.

I started my walk home, deciding to forgo the quicker means of transport. Yes, I could have called a taxi and been home in fifteen minutes, but since I've been able to get around better I don't take walking normally for granted.

Seeing one of my favorite little sandwich stops on my way home I stopped long enough to grab a bite to eat. Elil wouldn't be home to make dinner tonight, so I figured what the hell.

"Damn these sandwiches are addicting." I grinned at the young man who made my sandwich, making sure to tip him before resuming my walk home. I proceeded to stuff my face during my walk, the slightly tangy-spicy flavor of the sandwich rolling over my tongue.

'What should I do when I get home?' I mused to myself. 'Read? Work on upgrading my drone? Practice hacking doors?'

I needed to keep myself busy, otherwise I would just fret about what will happen soon. In roughly a few weeks, Shepard would be resurrected.

'Stop thinking about it!' I mentally yelled at myself while physically smacking my forehead and getting a few odd looks from people. I ignored them, finished off my sandwich and threw the wrapper away. 'It's not like it's going to affect you in anyway. The citadel doesn't get attacked in the ME2 game by the reapers, so you're safe…'

I startled violently when my Omni-tool suddenly started beeping, letting me know of an incoming call. I patted my chest, struggling to calm my racing heart.

"Ok Rachel, breath. You're fine." A quick glance to my Omni-tool however made my heart plummet again. The name 'Elda' was blinking on my screen.

'Why is she calling me?' I grouched, glaring at the screen. She and I were still at odds with each other. I didn't like her and she didn't like me. We had an unspoken agreement that we would avoid each other as best as we could.

With a sigh I decided to answer the call. "What?" I snapped, my good mood pretty much gone.

"Please help me!" Elda's sobbed into my ear-piece, making my heart nearly stop in my chest.

"Elda, wha-"

"I think someone d-drugged me!" Her voice was slurred, like she was drunk. "Only had one drink, I can't see straight, feel sick, please-!"

"Elda, calm down! Where are you at? Are you someplace safe? I'll come get you." I frantically rushed for the landing area for public transportation, my heart pounding hard in my chest and ears.

"A-At the club called The Dream! I'm in the bathroom-!" She began crying and babbling on the other end, the sound tearing at my heart. She and I may not be on the best of terms, but even she doesn't deserve this.

I waved down a cab, damn near launching myself inside and slamming the door behind me. "To the club called 'The Dream'" I snapped at the driver, causing him to glare at me. "I'll pay you double the fair if you get me there under ten minutes!"

I nearly yelped when I was suddenly slammed back into my seat as the driver took off, speeding across the citadel. The speed made me nervous, but I'll be damned if I don't get there soon.

"Ok Elda, I'm on my way right now. Stay in the bathroom and lock yourself in the stall. Don't let anyone in, understand?" I barely managed to keep my fear from my voice, trying to talk soothingly to her. "I'll be there soon, I promise. Just hang in there, ok? Keep the line open and don't hang up!"

"Alright." She whimpered, and all I could do was keep talking to her to keep her calm while the cab drove me to the destination.

ooOoo

When we finally pulled up to the club I quickly slid my credit chip through the reader and gave the cab driver the amount promised.

"Stay here and wait for me and I'll give you triple the amount I just gave you." This caused the greedy, slimy driver to grin widely and nod as I bolted out of the cab and headed for the front door of the club.

It definitely was nothing like the clubs I have seen at home. Then again, I only went to one once and found the club atmosphere not to my liking.

It was big, the building was a dark grey, and it had a large neon of a woman and a man dancing/grinding against each other, making me shudder. I flashed my ID at the Krogan stationed at the door and slipped inside as soon as he admitted me.

The moment I stepped in the sound exploded all around me, and the base thumped loudly in my chest. There was flashing strobe lights being shone all around the floor, making my eyes immediately begin hurting.

The dance floor as packed, the tables along the sides were packed, the bar was packed. There was barely room to move, let alone breath. I shoved my way towards the bar, making a beeline to the Batarian bartender.

"Restroom?" I shouted over the music. I couldn't hear Elda from my earpiece anymore, making me worry.

He snorted at me and gestured vaguely towards the far corner of the club. I scowled at him, but instead of waiting around I started to push my way through the crowd. I yelped in surprise when somebody grabbed my ass, but I forced myself to keep moving.

"Aw, come on babe! How about a dance?"

"How about fuck no!" I yelled back, finally getting frustrated enough to start elbowing people as hard as I could just to get through. I almost cried with relief when I finally got into the ladies restroom.

"Elda?"

"In here!" I heard a sniffle from the furthest stall in the bathroom, the door sliding open to admit Elda. I reached out for her as she stumbled and fell against me. I looked her over, cursing silently at her glassy-eyed and frightened expression.

"It's ok Elda, I got a cab waiting for us outside. Alright, just lean against me-" I grabbed her arm and drapped it over my shoulder and wrapped my free arm aound her waist to steady her. "Ok, here we go." I brushed my elbow against the pad and the door slid back open, letting us and enter the fray again.

Getting through was more daunting this time. If possible, the place was even more crowded before. 'I hate clubs!' I screamed in my head, tightening my grip on Elda. She whimpered in protest, but I didn't relenqush my hold. I was afraid if I let her go for a moment she'd be lost in the crowd.

"Hey! Where do you think you're going with our Asari?" I yelped when a clawed hand grabbed my arm and yanked me, making me lose my hold on Elda. I whirled my head around to the Turian that grabbed me. There were two of them, one tall and one short, both of them were grey colored and without any facial marks.

"She's not yours!" I growled, struggling to yank my arm away as I looked around for Elda. I didn't find her far away, she had collapsed on the floor, her head lulled back and her eyes closed. Another quick glanced around showed that the people that were crowded around us had moved FAR away, clearing the floor in the immediate area. "Hey! How about someone help me or call C-Sec?"

I was suddenly yanked off my feet and the Turian's face was in mine, his teeth bared. "She's ours. Lucky for you we aint into humans." He spat before he threw me.

I screamed in surprise as I crashed into a nearby table, the entire table collapsing underneath me. I gasped for breath, the wind knocked out of me.

"WOAH! Hey lady, you ok?" A human helped me to my feet while I struggled to draw in a full breath as I wildly scanned the club. My blood began to boil when I saw Elda in the arms of one of the Turian's. Everyone was giving them a wide berth, not stopping them, making me even more pissed off.

With a snarl I grabbed a beer bottle from a salarian's grasp, his outraged cry barely heard to my ears as I slammed it on the edge of a table, breaking it in half, leaving jagged edges and spilling the alcoholic contents within it. I blindly charged after them while wielding the broken beer bottle like a weapon.

"R'anscor!" I screamed, causing them to turn around at the insult.

"Wha-ARGH!" The turian holding onto Elda screamed in pain as I stabbed him in the arm with the broken bottle, throwing all my weight into the stab. With a vicious snarl I swipped it across his face, making him yowl in pain as I split his face open. Elda dropped to the floor, making me cringe when her head hit the ground pretty hard. I couldn't do anything for her, though. Not yet.

I stood over her, slightly crouched to try to protect her. "You will not touch her again!"

"I changed my mind!" The turian growled, pressing a clawed hand against his face to stifle the bleeding. "This time I'll make an exception with YOU!" He roared as he dove for me, his friend joining in the fight.

I use the term 'fight' rather loosely. It wasn't a fight. It wasn't even a brawl. I've never fought before in my life, so it was all I could do to defend myself and Elda. I clumsly dodged out of the way, trying despretly to avoid their claws while I continued to wield my beer bottle, slashing at them whenever they got too close to me.

My blood was roaring in my ears, so loud I couldn't even hear the music anymore. Underneath the strob lights I caught a glimpse of red and blue spatters on the floor. 'Blood.' I realized. 'The turian's and mine.'

I faltered at that realization, and that was my mistake.

The beer bottle was swipped out of my hand, a startled yelp escaping me when I lost my weapon. 'FUCK!' I was grabbed from behind and hauled off my feet, clawed hands on my arms and preventing me from fighting back.

The shorter turian approached me with a snarl and grabbed one of my legs.

"PISS OFF!" I screamed, kicking him viciously in the face with my free leg, making him let me go for a moment and grab his face in pain. I struggled to get out of the other Turian's grasp, wriggling and and writhing in his arms. The shorter turian recovered with a growl and punched me across the face.

For a brief moment I was very glad I couldn't feel any pain right now. However, I could taste the coppery tang of blood that filled my mouth. I quickly turned my head and spat my blood in the other turian's face, making him release me with a howl.

I stumbled away from them in an attempt to put some distance between us, but as soon as the Turian recovered the two of them charged at me again.

A red blur suddenly shot past me and slammed into the turian's, the two of them shouting as they flew several feet and hit the floor. I just stood there, gaping at the back of the Krogan that came to my aid. 'What…' I jerked away when the krogan suddenly turned, a wicked grin on his face.

"Well? What are you waiting for? Take your friend and go!" He rumbled at me before sneering at the cursing Turian's struggling to get up.

"But why-"

"I'm hardly ever impressed, human. But you've managed to impress me. Now get outta here!"

I didn't need to be told twice by him. I bolted for Elda who was still lying in an unconscious heap on the floor and hauled her up. The adrenaline was still pumping through my body, so her weight didn't seem as much as a burden to me right now.

Everyone cleared a path for me as I ran for the doors. I was extremely thankful when we finally got outside, and even more thankful to see the cab still there. Though by his expression he wasn't looking very happy.

"I'm not taking you, you're covered in bloo-"

"Five times the amount promised!" I snarled at him. "Plenty enough to cover any cleaning needed! Now take us to the hospital!"

That shut his greasy trap up as I loaded Elda and I onto his cab. I quickly called Luia up, my stomach twisting and churning when I suddenly realized just how much blood was on me.

"Rachel?" Luia's surprised voice answered me. "Why are you calling again? What-"

"Luia, are you on shift at the hosp-" I suddenly choked on something in midsentence, something hard lodging itself in my throat. After coughing several times I spat it out into my hand, a bloody tooth sitting there in my palm. "Damnit."

"Rachel, are you alright? Yes, I'm at the hospital, what's going on?"

"Luia, Elda was drugged at a club, she needs to be looked at! I'm heading to the hospital now, and I'm pretty banged up. A couple of Turian's tried to take Elda." I pocketed my tooth and wiped my hand on my pants. That didn't do me much good though, I only smeared more blood on my hand.

A string of curses greeted my ears from her end, making my eyes widen in surprise and my mouth drop open. Luia? Swearing?

"Alright Rachel, I have a team on standby for you at the entrance. Is Elda responsive? How bad are your injuries?"

I gently shook Elda, even pinched her arm a few times to try to get her to wake up. When I got no response from her, not even a twitch I instantly wanted to cry. "S-She's not responding, Luia. She's breathing, but I can't wake her up." I forced myself to take a deep breath to try to calm myself. "Luia, I'm not sure how bad I am, but I'm covered in a lot of blood."

ooOoo

A few hours later I found myself in a hospital bed, glaring at the ceiling. "God damn it." I groused, irritated that I was here. Again.

After we landed at the hospital Luia and a few others took Elda away while the others left behind took me to the emergency room. There I was forced to strip and be examined. Apparently I was lucky, and while the claws from the turian's dug into me, they didn't go in too far and hit any vital veins.

I was also immediately injected with some sort of medicine to prevent me from having an allergic reaction to the Turian's blood.

But despite the fact that my injuries weren't too bad, I was forced to stay in bed. I was bandaged and cleaned up, but thankfully I wasn't dressed like a mummy like the first time I was here.

But now I was lying here, grumping and worrying about Elda. There was no word back yet on Elda's condition, and that was driving me batshit insane. The door to my room suddenly slid open, making me sit up immediately. I was expecting a nurse, but instead, there were two Turian C-Sec officers and… Bailey?

'Fuck.' Of all of the people I would end up meeting, it was Bailey. Figures. I did get into a fight at a club though, so I guess it was to be expected…

"Miss. Keiper, I'm C-Sec Officer Bailey. How are you feeling?" Bailey approached my bed, pulling up a nearby chair and sitting beside me. I sighed heavily, rubbing my bruising jaw.

"I'm fine, sir. I'm worried about Elda. Has there been any word yet? Did anyone say anything to you?" I watched Bailey enter something in his Omni-tool before he looked up and smiled at me.

That smile instantly put me at ease.

"She's fine, Miss. They've successfully flushed her system, so she'll be fine in the morning." However his smile faded away. "They've taken a few blood samples and found Cyfil, an illegal sedative."

I immediately felt slightly ill, my earlier suspisions confirmed. The turian's wanted to rape Elda.

"Please tell me you caught them." I begged, the thought of them getting away to possiby rape someone else a horrifying thought.

"Yeah, they were caught and were questioned. You and that Krogan did quite the number on them. They claim you started the fight-"

"Bullshit!" I snarled. "They were the ones that drugged her and attempted to kidnap her! I did what any decent person would do, and there weren't many decent people in that godforsaken club!"

"Relax Miss. Keiper! The security vid from the club confirmed they were indeed the ones that started it. The Krogan also gave us a statement that what you did was soley in defense for your sister."

A disbeliving snort came from the deep ruby-red C-Sec office, and it was the first time I noticed that his stare wasn't exactly... friendly.

"Oh, so we're taking the word of a Krogan, now?" He sneered, his nasally voice alone immediatly putting me on edge. As if his attitude alone wasn't enough.

His turian partner growled and smacked him upside the head, causing him to snarl in aggrivation. "Quiet, Derexs! You can't question the footage, it clearly showed the two suspects kidnapping the Asari, starting the whole damn thing."

"And how do we know the footage wasn't altered? How do we know she's innocent?" Ok, this guy, his voice, his attitude was ticking me off.

"Hey! Elda and I are the goddamn victims here. What's your issue with me?"

Before he could voice a reply the doors suddenly slid open, two blurrs shooting past the startled officers. I was engulfed in a hug before I could react, a startled yelp escaping me. "Hey! What the-?" A quick glance upwards confirmed the identies of the ones holding me. "Twins!"

"Little sis, what were you thinking?" Sorudi shouted, petting my hair gently.

"Why didn't you call someone? Call us? You could have gotten killed!" Rorudi scolded me, hugging me tighter.

"There wasn't any time." Despite the scolding I was getting I was really glad to see them, and I let them know that by hugging them. "I didn't plan any of this to happen. It just did."

"Or so you claim." Derexs snapped, making the twins and I bristle.

"That's enough, Derexs! Be quiet or you'll be removed from the case." Bailey shot the Turian a glare before turning back to me.

"Now Miss. Keiper-"

"No, I want to hear what Derexs here wants to say." I pushed the twins away slightly so I could get a clear view of Derexs. "What's. Your. Issue."

"My issue with you is that you don't know your place, human." He snarled. "You shouldn't have interfered with the Turian's business!"

I vaguely heard the door open again, admiting Han's and Lryod inside just in time to hear Derexs statement. The two of them focused their attention on him, Han's growling loudly at the officer and Lryod grabbing onto Han's to keep him from doing something stupid.

"So let me see if I understand you correctly." I began, my anger slowly building. "What you're saying is that I should have let them take Elda. That I should have let them do whatever they pleased with her?" I abruptly got out of bed and pushed the twins fully away from me, baring my teeth at Derexs. Bailey stood as well, placing a hand on my shoulder. I shrugged his hand away and stepped out of arms length.

"Hmph, I'm saying that you should have let them do whatever they pleased with you. You humans never learned your place." He sneered, stepping closer and taunting me. "Perhaps they should have taught you yours."

That did it. Oh, that did it.

"You son of a bitch!" I screamed as I launched myself towards him. Lryod snagged me before I got to close, pining my arms to my sides. "Lryod, let me go-!"

"How dare you!" Han's roared as he tackled Derexs. As soon as he did that chaos erupted in my hospital room, Han's and Derexs beating each other to a fucking pulp.

When the other officer joined in I thought for sure he was going to attack Han's. But and slammed him to the ground. "Derexs, enough!"

The twins in turn managed to restrain Han's, but only barely. He kept struggling in the twins grasp, snarling and growling at Derexs, straining against them.

"Damn it, Derexs! Rayv, get him out of here!" Bailey barked. "He's caused enough trouble today!"

"Pleasure!" Rayv snarled, bodily tossing him out of the room like a sack of potatoes before following him out.

Once Derexs was out of sight Lryod let me go, and once he did I started to pace… well, storm around the room. I was fucking pissed.

"I want a restraining order against his racist ass, Bailey! I never want to see him near me or my family ever again!"

"Easy, Miss. Damn, I'm sorry. I hadn't expected this to happen." I watched Bailey wearily rub his face, looking like he suddenly aged ten years in that instant. "My superiors had hoped that if Derexs would spend some time around some humans his outlook of them would change."

"Doesn't look like it did much good, did it?" I snapped. Realizing that I was being a bitch I closed my eyes and took a deep breath in an attempt to calm myself. "I'm sorry; I shouldn't take it on you. Just… tell me he is going to be punished."

"He will be, don't worry. He went too far this time. You alright there, son?" Bailey's question caused me to pause, and then release a loud curse when I remembered Han took a beating.

"Shit, Hans, you ok?" I felt like a complete ass not checking on him first thing, but before I could rush over to him Lryod intercepted me again.

"It wouldn't be a good idea to touch him, Rachel." I frowned, but seeing Han wiping blue blood away from his nose made me realize Lryod is right.

"I'm alright, don't worry about me." Hans assured me, accepting a tissue from Sorudi to wipe his face clean. "So am I under arrest?"

My heart stopped for a moment, but Bailey shoke his head.

"No son, he deserved that." He assured us, making me breath so much easier. He then sighed. "I'll let you folks go for this evening. Miss. Keiper, is it alright if I speak to you tomorrow?"

"Of course." I sat back down on my bed. 'God, what a cluster-fuck of a day.' I groaned aloud and buried my face in my hands. I've never wanted to kill so many people, er, turian's, in a single day. I felt someone sit down beside me and wrap their arms around me and I gratefully sank into their embrace. "Can this day end now? Please?"

"Don't worry, we won't anyone else bother you the rest if the night, Rachel." I smiled slightly as Lryod hugged me tighter, assuring me that everything will be alright.

"Thanks guys." I hugged Lryod back, burying my face against his chest.

I closed my eyes for what only seemed like just a moment, but when I opened them again, my room was dark, I was tucked into bed, and no one was around. I blinked at my ceiling a few times before I reached up to rub my eyes.

"The hell…? Did I doze off?" I slowly sat up, but my back almost immediately began to protest at the moment, making me cringe and gasp in pain. The rest of my body didn't feel too good either. "Oh fuck. I missed my dose of medicine tonight." With a pained wheeze I managed to get to my feet. I had someone to visit after all.

A levi-chair was left in my room, which I gladly took advantage of. I hauled my ass into it, and after a few minutes of fumbling with the controls, I managed to open the door and direct the chair out into the hallway.

"And where do you think you're going, little miss?" A familiar, stern voice made me stop dead.

"Uh…" I slowly turned to see Luia standing by my door, glaring at me. She must have been about to check on me. "To… visit Elda…? Please?"

Her expression softened at my plea. She finally sighed and grabbed my chair, directing it down the hallway. "Alright little miss. But you need to be quiet, Mrs. Keiper is in there with her, sleeping. She's stayed with you a few hours before she went to stay with Elda for the night."

I immediately felt guilty. Elil must have been worried sick, and the fact that she had been forced to split her time between me and Elda made me feel worse.

"Elda will be ok, right?"

"Of course she will." Luia was quick to assure me. She stopped the chair long enough so she can lean over and hug me. "You got her here in time. You did everything right."

My mind flashed at a scene in my head, of Miranda, facing out in space, saying that Shepard did everything right.

'But was it enough?' I wondered as I hugged Luia back. "I guess… Can I see her now?"

"Of course, hun." She released me and pushed me towards a closed door and opened it for me. The room was dark as she pushed me inside, but there was a lamp on next to the bed where Elda laid. Elil was slouched over on the other side of her, her head buried in her arms as she slept.

As we approached I noticed how pale Elda was. Her purple skin was almost too light to be considered purple anymore, almost a pink like color. I felt Luia pat my shoulder, barely heard her whisper that she'd check on me in a little while. I turned my head slightly to watch her leave, but as soon as the doors slid closed I turned back to Elda.

"Christ, Elda, you don't look so hot." I reached out to gently grab her hand, rubbing my thumbs across her knuckles. "Then again, with everything that happened…"

I barely managed to choke back a sob, closing my eyes tightly against the tears threatening to spill. "I was so scared. I was scared I wouldn't be able to protect you, scared that I would fail, scared you and I would die.

"I don't know how I even managed to fight with them as long as I did… Pure dumb luck I guess." I angrily scrubbed my face with my free hand. "Luck has been what's kept me alive since I've been here… Luck that we survived that club. How much longer before that luck runs out?"

"Rachel?" An exhausted voice tore through my teary musings, making me nearly jerk in surprise. A quick glance at Elda confirmed that it was her, her eyes barely even halfway open as she looked at me.

"Hey. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to wake you." I offered her a watery smile. "Just go back to sleep, ok? We're safe."

"Ok." She answered back, obviously a little dazed still. She squeezed me hand and offered me a sleepy smile. "Thank you." With that she closed her eyes and dozed off again, leaving me sitting there and staring at her.

'Maybe we'll get along better, now?" I wondered to myself, smiling slightly at her. 'I hope so, anyways… But tomorrow is another day. I guess I'll find out then.'

ooOoo

A/N: HOLY CRAAAAP. So. Long. Ugh. Not quite sure I am happy with this chapter. At a later date I think I'll be editing it. So much happened at once I'm worried I might have overwhelmed you guys. There wasn't a good spot to cut this chapter in half and split it. Blah. Anyway, tell me what you think!