Shepard sighed softly and shifted in her chair. The med bay on the Citadel had become much more insane ever since the reapers had begun attacking every civilized planet in the galaxy. She grimaced. There was so much death… and it was resting on her shoulders to stop it.
Right now, though, her eyes weren't fixated on death. They were staring at life. In the room in front of her was a turian family smiling and crying as they swooned over their newborn child. She saw as its' little three-fingered hand reached up for its' mother's mandible. How the father had his chest out, exuding pride from head to toe. Shepard smiled. It reminded her of how Garrus would carry himself after a mission where his headcount was higher than hers. She also felt her chest tighten, and a lump form in her throat. This she tried to ignore, and she got up to check on Kaidan and Thane before having to make her way back to the Normandy.
The crew was unusually lively that night. Joker was placing some sort of bet with Traynor, though what about she had missed. Garrus was sitting next to her, comparing war stories with Vega as they tried to one-up each other. It all sounded like white noise as Shepard stared absently-mindedly at her plate of food, picking at it more than actually eating anything. Occasionally she would feel Garrus' elbow nudge her in the side when someone (usually Liara or Tali) would be talking to her without her realizing it. She could see him staring at her with concern, but while she would meet his gaze, she wouldn't acknowledge those thoughts she knew he had.
When things started to die down, Shepard stood, nodded to everyone, and went straight to the elevator and up to her cabin. She knew she'd hear all about it once Garrus made his way up there but she didn't really care. She'd been in a bad mood since the hospital earlier that day. She knew why, and felt pretty stupid about it. But instead of dwelling, it made more sense to try and be productive. So she sat down at her desk and poured over the datapads strewn across it. Mission summaries, codexes… things to focus on.
She didn't realize anyone had come up until she felt that familiar chin nuzzle up on the top of her head. She jumped slightly, but smiled as she turned in her chair and looked up at the love of her life.
"Hey," she greeted. He ran a hand through her hair, letting his blunt talons scrape against her scalp lightly. She hummed in approval. She loved it when he did that.
"Hey Shepard. What's wrong?"
Well…he got right to it. She slumped in her seat a bit and turned back towards her desk, reaching for a datapad.
"Nothing," she replied, her voice going soft. Garrus moved to lean against the desk, taking the datapad away from her and crossing his arms.
"Don't give me that, Shepard. You were light years away from everyone during dinner." He reached forward and rubbed her knee affectionately. "What happened today?"
"I feel dumb, Garrus. Don't worry about it, seriously. I'll be okay."
But he was to stubborn to accept that as an answer. She knew that. It was one of the many things she found frustrating, but loved at the same time. He got her to talk about things, to open up, one way or another.
"I don't doubt that you'll be okay, but I think you'll feel better, quicker, if you talk to me. No matter how dumb you may think it is, I can guarantee you I won't think so."
For not being very open with his feelings himself, he sure could listen, and he was too insightful for his own good. That was not a trait she would ever see him having, but sure enough, when it came to her he was. He took her hands inside his own and squeezed them reassuringly. His eyes said so much as he watched her patiently. Sincerity, concern, admiration, and no-holds-barred affection were all there. That look made her heart skip a beat. She tried collecting her thoughts before beginning to speak.
"I went to the hospital to check on Thane and Kaidan, who's finally awake now. They apparently offered him Spectre status." She was stalling. They both knew it, but neither mentioned it. That lump in her throat had returned. "While I was there, I saw something…amazing. With everything going on, this couple just had a baby. I'm so used to seeing all this death and destruction, and today I saw life in its' purest form. I saw the most perfect example of why we're doing all this."
Garrus said nothing. He just continued to listen, giving her his undivided attention. She shifted, trying not to fidget. The lump felt like it was growing larger and she could feel her cheeks getting hot.
"They were turian. That little baby… Spirits, it was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen. And it was reaching for its' mother's mandibles…" She shut her eyes tight and took in a deep, shaky breath. Garrus squeezed her hands again.
"The father was so excited, so proud. It was amazing and heartbreaking at the same time."
She took one of her hands out of his and covered her mouth. Her eyes glistened with tears that threatened to spill. She hated this. She didn't cry. She was Commander Fucking Shepard, she couldn't cry.
"Shepard…" his voice was quiet, uneven, and his sub-harmonics said something her translator couldn't pick up.
"It was heartbreaking because I saw him and I knew I could never give you that. That will never be us in that room. And even if it could be, we might never get the chance to find out-"
"This is where I'm going to stop you," Garrus interrupted. "You need to stop talking with such a finite attitude about all this. You have no idea what's going to happen. Sure, the odds are stacked against us really high, but this certainly isn't the first time. You don't know that it'll be the last."
He leaned forward and pressed a gentle kiss to her forehead. She closed her eyes again, a few tears sliding down her cheeks.
"Now, about this family business. There is absolutely no reason you should be worried about that."
"Garrus, you'll probably want kids some day. I can't give you that. I can never…"
"Hey." She looked at him. "You need to listen to me. I know. I've known that since I fell for you. But I also know that there are ways around that. You humans DO have adoption, right?"
She nodded, laughing softly at the fact that she had never even had that thought cross her mind. She had been so focused on the negative. Garrus saw the slight change of expression and grinned, tugging her out of her chair and pulling her down onto the bed. He laid down, pulling her with him and bringing her close. She closed her eyes, enjoying the feeling of the way their bodies fit together. It used to be so foreign, but as it turned out, they fit together so well that it seemed like fate. He began gently scratching her head again, massaging it as he spoke.
"See. There's a solution. When we get out of this, we have options. Hell, if we cure the genophage like Wrex is hoping, we can adopt a bunch of little krogan babies if you want."
"Oh lord," Shepard laughed. "I think a turian baby would be more than enough to handle. I have a hard enough time around human children, we should at least stick to a species we're familiar with."
"True. We should. And we will. Turian or human, I want to have a family with you, Jane. You will be an amazing mother, and I guarantee you I'll be boasting with loads more pride than the turian you saw earlier today."
Smiling, she lifted her head and kissed Garrus passionately. He parted his mouth slightly, enough to tickle her lips with his slender tongue, and pulled her even closer. When she pulled away, there were a different kind of tears in her eyes. Her emerald green eyes gazed into his blue, and they exchanged silent words to each other, before she curled back up against him again, wrapping her arms around his slender waist.
Before long, she started to drift to sleep. She was glad they had talked. Garrus had a way of always helping her feel better. He really was her foundation. She felt reinvigorated, because now they had something new and even more powerful to fight for.