A/N: This is a totally AU, non-canon, alternate timeline version of events, requested by the very special Nicky Sykes (who I also beta for sometimes) for a birthday prompt. Femshep/Kolyat. Bioware owns all, don't sue me, etc etc. I make no money from this, just the pleasure of making one very special reader happy. :)
Also, the wonderful, amazing, and awesome beta for this story is Mordinette. Love ya girly! :D
Grace Shepard turned her crystal blue eyes, alight with excitement, to look out the shuttle's small window that afforded her her first view of Kahje, and a chill of anticipation spread through her body, making her shudder in delight and causing her long black tresses to fall across her face, obstructing her view. She brushed her hair behind her ears as the passenger next to her, a batarian female, gave her an odd look, but she ignored it as she nearly hopped in her seat with excitement.
Grace would finally get to see the home planet of the illusive drell and hanar races, both of which she had only caught glimpses of on the Citadel on her way here. The drell especially had fascinated her ever since she met her friend Daela by chance on a mission to help the drell rescue her father's ship from a pirate attack.
They'd managed to rescue most of the crew, her father included, and wipe out the merc gang that had attacked them. Ever since then, her and Daela had kept in contact via video calls. Daela had shown an interest in learning about humans and their culture, and Grace had paid rapt attention to Daela's descriptions of her own culture and planet, finally deciding to visit her as soon as she had the credits saved up.
Grace had thoroughly researched their customs, languages, and practices over the six months it had taken her to finally make the money to book passage to this cloudy planet that now sat below her, almost seeming to glow with a dull gray as the clouds reflected the planet's sun's light back at her.
She knew it was very rare for it not to be raining on Kahje, and it was something she'd never experienced before, having lived in ships or the deserts of Earth her whole life, then joining the Alliance as soon as she was able. She was already twenty-two years old, and she felt it was high time she finally got to experience the rain on her face. She'd read poems and books that mentioned the phenomena, and her lack of personal experience had always made her a little sad when reading these passages.
As they descended into the atmosphere, the slight rumble of he shuttle jostled everyone around a bit, but her eyes were glued to her little window as she strained to get her first glimpse of Kahje beneath the cloudy surface. As they breached the last puff of a cumulus cloud, she gasped at the sight that met her.
Most of the landscape was ocean, but islands, both large and small, dotted the landscape, the largest one she could see containing a great glass dome on the surface that contained the city of Karlah. She knew from her studies that this was one of the cities the hanar had made on the planet to house the drell, who were so sensitive to humidity, and needed protection from the rain that was so potentially hazardous to their health.
The vids Daela sent her hadn't done justice to this beautiful planet, describing it in such a depressing manner, which she supposed was due to the gray cloud cover that darkened the land. But she didn't mind it, in fact she found it a wonderful sight to behold, so new and alien to her senses.
She watched as they flew closer to the dome below them, taking in as much of the view as she could through her tiny window, wishing she was already on the ground, experiencing the rain for the first time.
She wrenched her eyes away from the window, forcing herself to wait until she felt the shuttle land, and heard the doors open, before she would look outside again. She wanted her first ground view of Kahje to be experienced in person as she stepped off the shuttle, not seen through her limited porthole.
Still itching with anticipation, she turned to her omni-tool, de-activating her translator. She wanted to test out her drell and hanar language skills without its assistance, hoping to only turn it back on if she got in the awkward situation of forgetting something she'd learned.
She closed her eyes as she felt the shuttle touch down, and held her breath until she felt the humid air of Kahje sweep into her hair, feeling the caress of wind and moisture flurry around her and settle on her skin. She slowly let the breath out and opened her eyes, grabbing her bag from under her seat and turning to depart, keeping her eyes to the floor until her feet touched the solid, rain soaked ground of the docking port.
She walked a few steps forward to allow some space between her and the shuttle, then dropped her bag next to her, and looked up, letting the rain drip and pool on her face, feeling the warm water stream down like so many tears that she'd never shed. As she felt the sensation for the first time, warmth found its way into her heart, and her eyes produced tears of joy, mixing seamlessly with the rain droplets on her face as she smiled in pure happiness.
For the first time in her life, she felt like she was home.
She grinned broadly at the feeling, and laughed, reveling in her ecstasy. She leaned down to pick up her bag, her wet jumpsuit touching her back and making a cold chill run up her spine. She suddenly felt self-conscious, as if someone was watching her, and she looked around, blushing at the silliness of the thought, only to find a male drell with blue and black scales staring at her, seemingly mesmerized.