"You know me. I'm always up for hitting things..."
Oriana shrugged. "In that case, since we're already sitting on this comfortable couch..." She grinned. "You know, I didn't come all the way here just to watch movies and eat ice cream with you..."
Miranda bit her lower lip and turned back to the terminal. "Did her lover just crash their wedding ceremony?" she croaked weakly, shooting a hopeful glance at her sister and grimacing when she noticed Oriana's serious expression. That strategy wasn't going to work this time...
"I just want to have a trivial conversation with my sister..." Oriana sighed, the sad tone in her voice causing Miranda to fully turn her head back to her sister. "You're not working for Cerberus anymore, you don't have to guard your feelings the way you had to before. No one's listening in on us right now, everything you say stays between the two of us and for god's sake, Miranda, I'm your sister!"
Miranda opened her mouth but Oriana silenced her with a raised hand. "I'm not done yet! Don't think I don't know exactly what you'd like to say right now. We share the same genes, remember? And before you start denying everything I said, just listen: I know you had to keep your feelings in check to be the excellent operative you certainly were and I understand your caution, because frankly, at that time, you couldn't trust anyone around you, but things have changed... You don't have to pretend you don't care anymore." She snorted. "You're doing a really crappy job of it anyway... I've seen the way you look at her..." Oriana smiled down at Emily before she added, "And you have a child together, there's gotta be a lot more stories to tell..."
There was silence for a minute while Miranda contemplated her sister's words. God, how much she hated it when people were right about her! She took a deep breath and turned on the couch to face Oriana, trying to ignore the spark in her sister's eyes at her victory...
"Very well... You're right. I guess it won't hurt if I told you something... more personal..." she started and smiled down at her daughter.
. . .
"Shepard, I believe you are aware of the fact that we are not on a deserted planet anymore." Turning her head, Miranda added, "They have speed limits here..."
Shepard turned her head away from the skycar's windshield and waved her off, temporarily steering the vehicle with only one hand as she sped through the traffic. "Contrary to popular belief, I've never caused a crash with any of my vehicles during my times as the savior of the galaxy... All my companions returned to the Normandy safe and sound after every mission, didn't they?"
The harsh sound of a passing truck's horn made Miranda grab Shepard's free hand and force it back on the steering controls. "Keep both your hands there, woman!" With a heavy sigh, she sank back into her seat only to squeeze her eyes shut at the horrible noise shrilling out of the skycar's sound system at that moment, accompanying the booming bass that had increased her headache with every passing second ever since Shepard had started the car. "And what about this awful music?" With a groan, she slammed against the controls in frustration until the music stopped, hoping the ringing in her ears would vanish after a few more minutes...
Shepard smiled in amusement as she passed a skycab. "Ah, all those nights at Flux..." She sighed before turning to Miranda after she pulled ahead of a honking skyvan. "That was before your time," she added and Miranda rolled her eyes.
"You don't say..."
Nodding, Shepard sped into an alley to their right, almost colliding with one of the surrounding building walls in the process. "Tali gave it to me. She always liked the music at Flux, said she'd see if she could get a copy..."
"I see your taste in music hasn't changed much..." Miranda shuddered, remembering all the awful sounds she'd been greeted with whenever entering the former commander's cabin...
Shepard simply shrugged and evaded an oncoming skycar by mere inches. Miranda groaned, resting her head on the passenger seat's headrest. "Thank god we're on our way to the hospital anyway..."
Karin Chakwas clasped her hands and placed them on the desk in front of her as she eyed the two women sitting at the opposite side of the table.
Miranda had crossed her legs and, ever the punctilious operative she once was, had her hands clasped in her lap, calmly returning Dr. Chakwas' look. Shepard, on the other hand, was casually leaning back in her chair and let her eyes wander over the room, her eyes narrowing from time to time to get a better look at the many pictures hanging on the wall behind the doctor, most of them showing her with former Normandy crew-members...
A smile started tugging at the corner of Dr. Chakwas' mouth as she leaned forward and started, "Well, Ms. Lawson, as you know, I have been giving a lot of thought to our... discussion about your infertility..." Miranda's jaw tightened for a split second at the mention of the term, but she still managed to nod, signaling the doctor to go on. "I've looked over the documents from your father's research and I still think we might have a chance of success at a later point... But for now, as your doctor, I would dissuade you from any rash decisions until we've done some more testing..."
Miranda nodded again. She hadn't been fooling herself about her chances to carry a child and she had expected Dr. Chakwas' caution. After all, Miranda Lawson wasn't known for her rash decisions anyway... She turned her head slightly as she felt Shepard's hand on hers, lacing their fingers and squeezing lightly.
"However..." Dr. Chakwas' voice made Miranda turn back to the doctor while Shepard continued inspecting the room's decoration. "The progress we've made so far is very promising. I'm surprised you didn't contact me earlier and instead went to that Medical Center on Illium..." Dr. Chakwas gave a short laugh. "Last time I heard, Dr. Grenway was dismissed from employment after they found his liquor stash..." She lovingly patted a locked drawer on her desk. "You just have to be careful where you hide it, that's what I always say..." she added, winking at them. "But back to our task at hand... I'm sure we will be able to find a way for you to have a child, it just might take some time... However..." Miranda's eyebrow rose questioningly. "There's still another option..." The doctor pointedly looked at Shepard who'd leaned forward and grabbed a framed picture from Dr. Chakwas' desk, smiling as she recognized the entire Normandy crew, oblivious to the both women now looking at her.
Miranda nodded, deep in thought. She'd certainly thought about that option, but so far, they hadn't had the chance to talk about it...
She shrugged. Oh well, they'd have to talk about it sooner or later anyway... She fully turned in her chair, an expectant smile on her face. Shepard finally noticed the movement next to her and raised her head, putting the picture back on the desk.
"Hm?" Her eyes narrowed as she looked back and forth between Miranda and Dr. Chakwas. She paused before her expression changed, realizing what those gleaming eyes meant. "O-ho no..." She shook her head vehemently. "No, definitely not! Out of the question!"
Miranda's smile widened and she grabbed Shepard's arm, purring, "Oh, baby... Please?"
Shepard immediately withdrew her arm. "No!" she declared once more, trying to bring as much distance between her and her former XO as possible. But seeing that Miranda's expression didn't change, she changed her tactic...
"Please don't make me do this!" she whined, but Miranda still seemed unimpressed, her smile telling Shepard that there was absolutely no way out for her this time... She sighed and pointed an accusing finger at Miranda, her eyes narrowing. "You're gonna regret this, Ms. Lawson..."
Dr. Chakwas nodded in satisfaction, smiling amusedly at her future patient's struggle. She immediately started rummaging through her drawers, piling up datapads on her desk. After all, she'd considered this option for a while now and had done a little research, just in case...
Clearing her throat to get her visitor's attention again, she placed a liquor bottle next to the datapads, followed by three glasses. It was time to celebrate!
"Serrice Ice Brandy, anyone?"
. . .
"Just like that? She just agreed to it and that was it?" Oriana reached for the almost empty cookie box, her eyes never leaving Miranda. Her sister's eyebrow rose and Oriana chuckled. "Thought so..."
"I should have known it wouldn't be that easy..." Miranda sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose.
Oriana leaned closer, biting into the last cookie. "And what happened?"
"I received a call a couple of days later..."
. . .
"Did she behave?" Miranda's forehead creased in worry as she sat down at the free chair in front of the large desk.
Armando Bailey shut down his terminal and turned towards her. He shrugged. "Sure. As soon as we pulled her off the officer and put her in the cell. She's lucky it happened in my district. There won't be any charges." He gave a short laugh. "Hell, after I told him who'd battered him, he even wanted an autograph!"
Miranda's eyebrow rose and she crossed her arms in front of her chest. "I hope she gave it to him without any more complaints..."
Bailey nodded eagerly. "Yup. Even added one of her famous bumper stickers and a VI."
Miranda rolled her eyes, remembering how Shepard had tried to install one of those VIs in their house, startling her when she'd unsuspectingly opened their fridge one day...
'You sure you wanna eat any more of that, soldier? The Alliance sure has no use for chubbies...'
Needless to say, the VI's core had been yanked out and thrown at its real-life model as soon as she'd yawningly entered the kitchen not soon after...
"So, you ready to take her home?"
"Can I leave her to rot in her cell some more?"
Bailey gave a short laugh and got up from his chair. If he'd get a nickel every time he's heard that sentence... "You understand that, in her state, I can't let her drive a skycar, right?"
Miranda sighed and nodded, following Bailey to the holding cells, ignoring the inmates' responses to her presence... They stopped in front of a rather empty holding cell (a favor from Bailey for Shepard's accomplishments, no doubt...) and Shepard raised her head as she noticed her visitors, smiling at them as she got up from the floor. She turned to the salarian still sitting on the ground, who was busy collecting the cards scattered all around him, and waved her hand.
"Well, it's been a pleasure as always, Ish. I hope you'll get out soon, too... Just transfer the credits when you get the chance, no hurry."
Miranda's eyes narrowed, but she smartly decided against asking why Ish had landed in this cell. He deserved it, no doubt...
Bailey opened the door and Shepard stepped next to Miranda who quickly evaded her outstretched arms. "Shower. First," she stated, rolling her eyes at the whistles and cheers from inmates all around them, shooting an angry glare as she noticed Shepard's grin.
This wasn't over just yet...
"I told you, they have speed limits here..." Miranda started their skycar's engine and took off.
Shepard leaned back in her seat and sighed. "I know..."
That answer didn't satisfy Miranda in the slightest. She kept her eyes on the traffic but shook her head. "Driving a skycar, drunk... What were you thinking?"
"Nothing," mumbled the woman next to her.
"And starting a fight with an officer when he pulls you aside..." Miranda went on, still shaking her head in disbelief.
"I saved the whole damn galaxy," Shepard pouted. "They should cut me some slack every now and then..."
"Shepard, you almost crashed into the roof garden of a retirement home while they were having their annual cricket tournament!"
Shepard groaned and threw her hands up. "Yes, I know, all right?"
"So, are you going to act like a grown-up now or do I have to search for another woman to carry our child?"
"That's easy for you to say. You're not forced to stop drinking for nine months while your body bloats and turns you into a whiny, emotional pulp of... pain..."
Miranda sighed. "There aren't even words to express my compassion..." she stated dryly. And with a mischievous smile, she added, "And it pains me to no end having to see you go through all the trouble of a normal, and with Dr. Chakwas' help professionally supervised, pregnancy just to have a daughter I'm sure you've already secretly come up with a name for..."
"I'm so relieved you understand... Also, I was thinking about calling her 'Normandy'..."
. . .
"That sounds more like her..." Oriana laughed, shaking her head in disbelief. "So she wanted to celebrate her last days of freedom..." she mused and Miranda nodded, sighing heavily.
"Something like that, I suppose, yes."
"But there was no way out for her, was there?"
"Not a chance."
A/N: So that's it for now, there are more chapters in preparation, but I guess these should do...
I hope it wasn't too confusing with the little break in the middle of the story... If it was, just let me know and I'll change it in future chapters...
Anyway, I hope you liked it and let me know if you're missing anything/anyone...