01.a. Purgatory

Venomous thoughts skittered through her mind like rachni pumped up on steroids. The grating tempo thudding through the clinically clean establishment did not help matters much. They called this music? This was nothing like her beloved Afterlife. It was a cheap imitation. Not quite a full on bar, not enough dance floor space to be a club. It wasn't like the rest of the Citadel, but it wasn't gloriously decadent enough to be much fun either (just one more thing that tried to be everything, and ended up being good for nothing), especially if the sofas were anything to go by. The plastic sheen grated on her nerves. Just like the squeaks it emitted when she shifted positions, the skin-tight leather protesting as it rubbed upon an unforgiving surface. So what if they were in the middle of a war? Wars were good for the economy. Though she knew this one was different.

Sheerk and the rest of her guard stood faithfully where they were strategically placed, like knights and bishops on a chessboard, easily deterring every minor nuisance that came her way (well, minus the dirty/petrified glances, but those were something else entirely), and affording her the peace she required to entertain images of the Illusive Man's inexorable and glorious and messy and supremely satisfying demise. She couldn't say she particularly missed Anto, useful as he was. There were always people who were willing to take up the mantle.

It had been a month now, a month of suspicious glances and surreptitious murmurs and utterly dreadful boredom. How she hated waiting. She was going crazy in this pisshole, with nothing to do. She had a little bit of fun last week, when C-Sec finally figured out that the Queen of Omega was lounging around in Purgatory and Shepard came by. A little bit. Ah shit, what was she turning in to? That incident wouldn't even have been a blip on her radar back on Omega. If anything it just reminded her of how much she lost. She was still somebody, damn it. Even if some ballsy piece of shit human took her asteroid away. (And what was Shepard doing? Charity work?) It had been a week and all she had reportedly done was talk to Oraka. The old son of a bitch was still alive too.

Though she had to admit, it was nice to have Tevos pick up her call personally last week. She had almost expected it to be routed to her secretary. Mildly surprised as she was, she even let slip a little thank you. She never thanked anybody. She was glad nobody pointed it out, or had the quad to bring it up. Shepard had a mischievous gleam in her eye though. That irritating woman. Almost like Tevos. Both so self-righteous all the time (and attractive, though she would never admit it). And there it was again. Tevos. It had been a long while. The way things had ended last time left much to be desired. A crazy thought came to mind, wedging itself permanently on the forefront of her consciousness. She tried to dislodge it. But it stayed stubbornly like the stink of varrenshit. Damn it. Was she reading into it too much? Tevos looked smug. More than usual. Then again, that was her face. Or maybe she was just fabricating things and falsifying her own memory because she clearly was going crazy due to being perpetually stuck in Purgatory.

But what did she have to lose? There was no end in sight. If she was going to be stuck here, she might as well try and make something out of it, right?

Mind made up, she snapped at Sheerk. "Get me the asari councillor. Yes, again. Make that face again and I'll warp it so bad you won't be able to emote anything for the rest of your short life!"

Um. First attempt at Mass Effect fanfiction. I realize it's going to take me a while before I can write anybody believably or comfortably. But until then, I hope you can still enjoy! Second chapter will follow up on this scene.