"The cosmos is also within us. We're made of star-stuff." - C. Sagan

Author's Note

This is a selection of out-takes from my longer fic, A Star to Steer Her By. Since I've been posting episodically and I don't naturally write in chronological order, some scenes I like never found their home in Star (usually because of pacing or chapter length issues). I'm planning on an a giant edit/rewrite at the end, and maybe I'll find the right place for them, but until then, anything here is absolutely a part of my Star canon - it just happened off-screen.

I won't post anything that will spoil my own story, of course, so anything that appears here happened chapters and chapters ago.

Shepard receives a bit of head-trauma while on a mission...

Worried, Joker called Mercer to the helm and went to the medbay.

Chakwas was bent over Shepard, who was conscious enough to be actively interfering in her own treatment. The doctor pinned one arm with her off hand and leaned in to check the commander's eyes, only to find them tightly squeezed shut.

"Damn it, Shepard, open up."

The patient shook her head and tried to bury her face in the examining table.

Chakwas looked up at him, frustrated. "Head injuries. She's not all there, yet. It's like arguing with a child. I'd ask you to hold her but that wouldn't be wise. Could you grab someone to help? Tali'd be best."

"Sure, but," he looked at Shepard's scrunched up eyes, "I think it's just the glare." He whipped off his hat and held it between her face and the bright lights of the med bay, and she immediately settled down.

Chakwas heaved a sigh of relief. "You're very observant, Jeff. Thank you."

The commander's head lolled toward him and she blinked stupidly. "You have hair."

Right, concussion. "It's a mammal thing." He raked his fingers through it unconsciously and turned to Chakwas. "Will it be okay, doc?"

Chakwas looked at him with concern. "It's hard to tell, now. Take a comb and call me in the morning."

"I meant her head."

"Oh, that'll be fine."