Fae sighed heavily as the elevator began its descent, "Thane…"

"He does not belong here."

"Maybe not, but he does deserve a chance."

"No."

"Thane, he's not a little boy anymore. No matter how much you want it to be otherwise…"

"But Shepard-"

"But nothing. I'm giving him a chance; he made some very valid points. I can also trust him to look out for you."

Thane stiffened, "Pardon?"

"You know what I'm talking about. You honestly think I'm gonna allow the lies to continue? No. You're going to start taking better care of yourself. If not for me, then for Kolyat.

"Fae!"

"It doesn't matter! We're arguing over nothing." She snapped as the elevator doors opened to the Cargo Bay, "Kolyat's not gonna take me down. A few slams against the wall and he'll see he's in way over his head."

. . .

"So, uh…how's this going to go down?" Kolyat asked hesitantly. He was pretty confident he could take her down, but she was still the savior of the galaxy…

Fae smirked, "Just try your best to take me down, there's no time limit. We'll fight until you don't wanna fight any more or until I break you."

"That's not funny." Kolyat snapped, crossing his arms.

"That's because she isn't joking Kolyat." Thane murmured from the sidelines. His voice was strained, the older drell viewing them with tortured eyes.

Fae stood in the center of the mats, eyes locked on Thane as if waiting for a final sign of his acceptance.

He gave it, nodding curtly before moving to the outskirts of the fighting area. The squad used this room in the cargo hold to spar, making sure to switch partners regularly so as to adapt to different combat styles.

Kolyat saw Fae stretch, the woman swinging her arms and shrugging her shoulders before stepping closer.

"See junior, this is a high risk mission; an all out assault on an alien base in an unknown region of space. To have even a chance at success I've had to recruit nothing but the best in every field so if you wish to join us you've got some pretty high standards to deal with."

"I think I can handle it." The drell answered cockily, his confidence causing Fae to raise an eyebrow skeptically, "So, uh, just what are you the best at?"

Fae's entire form flashed blue, "I'm a vanguard, baby."

Kolyat barely had time to think, shitbefore he was flung across the room.

The world twisted into a kaleidoscope of pain, Kolyat unable to stop a groan from escaping his throat.

Fae approached his slumped form, "Well, now that that's settled, you've got five minutes to clean up if you want to catch that shuttle on time."

Kolyat coughed, wheezing slightly as he tried to stand, "…No"

Fae paused, "Say what?"

He smirked, a trickle of blood running from his nose down to his chin, "You said we could fight until I didn't want to anymore…I still want to." To push the point further he stood, straightening his clothes before sliding into an attack position.

Fae's lips curved into a wolfish grin, "Bring it blue boy."

She neared, stepping back as Kolyat swung for her. She dodged quickly, flitting around him almost too fast for him to focus.

He narrowly avoided her fist, dropping to the ground to sweep her legs out from under her. Fae leapt over his leg, tumbling to the side before charging him once more.

He flew to the side, feeling his scales tingle as she passed.

The minutes ticked by, Kolyat ignoring the world around him as he focused completely on Fae. The Commander had a similar experience. There were no whistles or cheers, no encouraging calls from their audience; everything had faded until there was nothing but her and Kolyat.

The kid was good. Every time it seemed she had the upper hand he slipped from her grasp, coming up a split second later with a punch or a kick to her side.

He leapt and spun, delivering blow after blow though she blocked the majority of them.

Taking the offensive she felt her amp's power zing down her spine, the itch in her veins making her grit her teeth.

She charged, Kolyat rolling once more to the side and spinning around to watch her come to a halt at the very edge of the mats.

Kolyat knew very little about vanguards, but what he'd just noticed was they lacked control. Every time Fae charged she was committed to the path she'd set herself on.

And so armed with that knowledge he set himself up for it, giving her the perfect opportunity and praying to Amonkira that she would take it.

Apparently he was listening.

She charged, Kolyat holding his ground until the very last minute where he ducked and lunged, clothes-lining the commander.

She grunted in pain, slamming into the mat with a satisfying thud.

Kolyat enjoyed the sight of her stunned; it was delicious payback for his previous beating in Tallid's apartment.

Fae's lungs pumped viciously for air, a hacking cough escaping her as she felt her throat, knowing full well the bruise that would soon appear. Drell muscle was much denser than human and taking a hit at that speed from Kolyat was like running into a wall.

She heard footsteps, soft and almost unnoticeable on the flimsy mat before Thane's voice drifted over her, "Commander? Fae, are you alright?"

"Never better!" She coughed out, sitting up slowly. Her baby blue eyes sought out Kolyat's ebony ones, taking in his smug expression.

"Well done." She called, nodding appreciatively at Thane's son. Sending a quick apologetic look at Thane she returned her attention to Kolyat, "Welcome to the crew."

AN: Please forgive the horrible fight scene, I'm trying to improve my combat writing but I don't think I'm succeeding. ^^;