The first time we met I was returning from breaking up a fight between a couple of baratarians. It was over something stupid. Their society was in ruins and they were just taking their anger out on each other. A lot of people were, but a surprising amount of them weren't. I suppose that's why I chose to stay even after the docs managed to patch up my leg; I liked seeing the better natures that came out in times of conflict. You don't get to see that a lot stopping brawls down in Purgatory.

The docks were chaotic with fleeing refugees, mostly from Palaven and Earth. You could hardly turn in some parts without an asari thinking you were brushing up against her on purpose. Even so, I liked it down there.

The girl stood in front of my desk, probably too young to be off on her own, looking lost, but oddly optimistic. I suppose that's what caught my attention most, amongst the sea of sad and lonely people drifting about without any spirit among them. All humans looked vulnerable and squishy to me, especially the females, yet seeing her waiting in front of my desk like that... I wondered if she was alright.

She didn't even seem to notice it when I slipped back behind my desk, caught up in her own thoughts as she was. "What are you doing here?" I asked.

Somehow she didn't seem shocked upon waking from her own little dreamworld, and said, "I'm waiting."

"Waiting? Waiting for who?"

"For my parents. They put me on a rescue transport and told me to wait for them here," she answered cheerfully, "They'll come find me as soon as they can."

Pacified by the certainty in her voice I said, "Well, I guess this is a safe enough place. Look, if anyone bothers you, let me know. I'll take care of them, okay?"

She smiled, "Sure thing, sir. Thanks."

My omnitool blinked with an incoming message. It said urgent, but they were all urgent lately. I prepared to answer it, but paused, turning towards her. "You have a name, kid?"

"Alicia Baker, sir. But everyone calls me Ally," she said, extending her hand towards me.

Familiar with this human gesture I awkwardly took her small, five fingered hand in my larger talons and shook, "Dellix Torrakas."

We released each others hands and I left, off to greet a tired band of asari commandos looking for a place to treat their wounded. I forgot all about Ally Baker soon enough, caught up in all the little emergencies constantly erupting around the makeshift camps.

I saw her again two days later, looking as cheerful as ever, if a little restless, pacing past my desk. Her gold colored, stringy fringe looked darker and limp, as if it was wet or something, and her tan, denim clothes were looking a little rumpled. She still looked healthier than most of the other refugees, though, so that was something.

"Hey there," I called, my mandibles rising in a grin.

She paused, looking around to see if someone was talking to her. I leaned forward onto my desk, and she seemed to notice me. "Oh. It's you! Hi!"

"You're parents get here yet?" I asked.

"Nope; it's okay. I mean, they'll get here. They always keep their promises. They... Next shuttle was probably just late or something, that's all."

"I'm sure you're right," I forced my mandibles to stay up in a comforting smile. Any turian would have seen through it in an instant, but if she saw anything amiss she didn't say so, "I look forward to meeting them." If they come, I amended silently, uncomfortable with the false assurances, even if they were what she probably needed to hear.

"I'm sure they look forward to meeting you too. Well, they will once they get here, Officer Torrakas."

"Call me Dellix, kid. And I meant it before, when I said to come to me if anyone was causing you trouble."

"I know. Thank you, s... Dellix."

Okay, author notes time: Yes, this is short, but they will be getting longer as I get more into the story. Also, it's not a romance, at least not between Ally and Dellix. The story will go beyond the interactions Shepard can overhear, and will include *ME3 SPOILERS* the part where the Reapers take the Citadel. *ME3 SPOILERS OVER* When the time comes, the reasoning behind the M rating will make sense.

I am gladly looking for a beta, if anyone's interested. This isn't my first fanfic, but it is the first that wasn't written anonymously, so if you're reading please give feedback on things you like and things I need to improve on.