Not Your Average Call
Just a little bit of humor that demanded to be written set after the Presidium date in ME3. I sort of feel bad about joking around something that was such a beautiful moment, but given the humor the game slipped in too... not too bad ^^; It's rare for me to be able to do cute well and I need cute after finishing the series, so I'm pretty pleased with this.
Her cruiser landed smoothly on the other side of the slender strut and she was on her feet in an easy slide. Routine shit, just another trespassing call, though most people didn't have the balls to do it so blatantly- this one had a red skycar parked up plain as day on one of the support struts visible from the traffic lanes to anyone who bothered to look up. Someone calls it in as suspicious, C-sec sends a cop out to check. You couldn't be too careful after everything that had happened in the last few weeks, they still had crews in the Keeper tunnels removing Cerberus drones and spying equipment.
She kept her pace intentionally steady and unconcerned, pistol already in hand as she approached the vehicle in case she was going to be dealing with some ass who didn't think the small asari could handle herself. She had been a Commando in her youth damn it, and there were still idiots who didn't realize the uniform meant she was perfectly capable of breaking their face six ways from Sunday. Not that she was sure what 'Sunday' was exactly, but it was a phrase her husband used and she liked the sound of it.
A quick sit check before landing had told her a few things the call hadn't: no exterior damage to the vehicle or the strut, no other suspicious vehicles hovering in the vicinity, a handful of bottles, seemingly sans alcohol that had been placed upright by a box at the edge. It was the other three things she spotted when she parked that made her suspicious- One, the ejected heat sinks at her feet, still warm. Two, someone had activated the tinting on the skycar and opaqued the windows. And three was the muffled voice- flanging, turian- coming from inside the vehicle. So she still had a suspect on location... this could be fun. Turian meant it wasn't Cerberus, but the sinks spoke of guns and weapons were limited as hell out here now so her pistol stayed up.
The asari raised her voice into a proper cop bark that would cut through the glass- "C-Sec, you're trespassing on out of bounds Presidium territory and under suspicion of possession of illegal weaponry, come out with your hands up!"
That stopped the voice in the car, as she thought it would. But it took a few moments before there was the whir of the front window rolling down and the occupant leaned out it slightly, long grey arms folding over the edge utterly casual. "I don't think you really want me to do that, M'am."
She blinked and lowered her gun . "Vakarian?"
He smiled faintly in return, the familiar dry note of humor hanging in his tone "On the job again already Linaria? You were pretty banged up when I dragged your ass out of that office during the coup."
After holstering her gun she stood straight again with a grin- "The doctors patched me up well enough. Sitting on my ass in bed was making me crazy and the supes had few enough people available so I got back on duty. Thanks for the evac Garrus."
"Glad to hear it. It was self interest really, your husband would have killed me if I hadn't found you."
Linaria ignored the tease, stretching out her still-sore back. "Not that it isn't good to see you when I'm not bleeding out, but shouldn't you be back in space with that human ship? The Citadel isn't much of a destination right now."
"Shore leave, the Commander still had some business to attend to. "
"No matter what the species military just won't be deterred from shore leave by anything will they?" She barked out a laugh, shaking her head. "I remember the shit I got up to as a kid on leave, the booze and the beds I would wake up in..." The train of thought was what it took for something... off to finally register in her brain, the skin above her eyes furrowing as they came back to focus firmly on him "Vakarian, why aren't you wearing a shirt? And what the hell are you doing up here anyway?"
Her reward for the sudden return to business was the sight of Garrus stalling from his easy demeanor and looking abruptly embarrassed- Turians didn't blush but it was obvious in his face, the sudden flare and fluttering of his mandibles and the way his eyes darted to the back of the skycar. She only grinned wider, slapping her hip. "Somebody's got company, doesn't he? Hah! You're a regular scoundrel since leaving the force aren't you?" Quick feet took her to the door before he could protest, still grinning as she peered in the shaded back of the car. "I didn't even think two turians could fuck comfortably in a skycar the way you're shaped-"
And she forgot how to talk, just like that. Linaria could tell humans apart pretty damn well, but even if she couldn't she would have recognized the woman trying to lay out of sight in the back seat. She was half naked and rumpled with a downright sheepish look on her face, but she was unmistakable.
"... Commander Shepard?" She finally managed to stutter out.
Shepard gave up the pretense of hiding and sat up, gaze shifting quickly to amused annoyance at the man in the front seat who was trying to pretend he wasn't there. That's when the cop realized her former colleague was completely naked and she decided to go back to standing a few feet away from the car again. That... wasn't what she was expecting when she'd showed up here, to put it mildly.
It really was a marvel, she thought, how human hair could stick up in sixteen different directions like that. Shepard had come up to the front seat to lean against his back and the short red strands were... wildly disarrayed. She even spotted a few stuck behind some of Garrus' plates. How did it even... the older woman just pressed the thick pads of her fingers into her eyelids, willing the mental images away.
There was the uncomfortable sound of a flanged cough as Garrus finally spoke again "Shepard, this is Linaria Ridgefield. We worked together for a few months before she left for maternity leave." That famous face screwed up faintly in a very asari look of bemusement as she looked over to her.
"Ridgefield? That's not an asari name I remember hearing before."
Having been asked the same question a thousand times before helped her drag an answer out of her brain despite its stunned state. "My human husband's name, I was never attached to my own... Goddess, you're really Commander Shepard."
"I told you this was a terrible idea" Vakarian muttered to the two time savior of the Citadel, broker of impossible peace, rallying voice of the Reaper War, breaking the awkward silence that had dropped over them.
"Didn't catch you disagreeing with me very long Garrus" She replied with a bright grin, more comfortable in this situation than anyone else present. Poise under pressure, like when she'd seen the younger woman move systematically through the corridors of C-sec wiping out Cerberus hostiles and guarding the retreat of surviving personnel with Vakarian and the marine flanking her. "And you're the one who decided to start chatting with the officer."
"What else was I suppose to do, have her search the car and dig up you and my rifles? We were trying to keep this quiet for now."
"You're the tactician here, I count on you to have a plan. I just charge in with an assault rifle and nova people's asses."
Blue eyes glanced over his shoulder again, mandibles shifting into a hint of a turian grin. "You're not helping, Shepard, and you know that. Now I'm just thinking about how you look fresh from a firefight."
Pale human arms built like a commando's wrapped around his shoulders as she draped herself more against him, a wicked grin splitting her face "Mmmhmn, did I ever tell you how much I like watching you with your Black Widow when you take her apart to-"
"Goddess, I don't need to hear this" Linaria groaned into a palm. "Alright, alright, just... stop flirting and you can stay up here. I'll come up with some excuse for my supervisors, I'll gladly take getting flayed over this to get out of here."
Abruptly Shepard sat up straight, authority turning on like a switch to make her look as serious as she ever did in the vids.
"Spectre business." she said, folding her arms under her bra.
When the two aliens just turned to stare blankly at her she said it again, the serious look slightly marred by a gleam in her eyes- "Tell them it's Spectre business and they can't argue with you."
One, two, three seconds, and a choked guffaw of flanged laughter ruined all of Shepard's attempts to look serious so she punched him in the back. "What, I'm right! I'm trying to keep your friend from getting in trouble here!"
"With Spectre authority?" he snorted, just shaking his head in disbelief at the reach.
"You don't think this is important enough to warrant it, then? I guess I'll just go put my pants back on." she said as she pushed up and started to move to the back seat.
"I didn't say-"
"Looks like someone's back to sleeping in the Main Battery." came the reply out of sight in the back again.
Garrus turned away from the window completely looking alarmed as he reached for her shoulder "Shepard, I don't sleep down there and you can't be-"
There was.. giggling, from the back. Giggling. From Commander Shepard. And then a purred reply. "I wasn't. Now get your ass back here before I loose interest."
When he glanced back out to apologize to Ridgefield she was already halfway into her cruiser, more than happy to leave the whole thing behind her. Spirits, that actually worked. A pair of dexterous little hands tugged on his arm to shake him out of his reverie, sending those piercing blue eyes sliding back over her. Well, why the hell not? The window closed on him retreating into the back again and fluttering human laughter that disappeared in the sound of the cruiser shooting off into the open air again.
7/8/2012 6:18 PM