Okay so I took a bunch of stuff from the games, and some from Revelation, shook it in a hat and this stuff came out. Nah I just stole with arms and legs from the different timelines when I thought it suited my purpose. And other stuff I just plain made up.
This is written for neilsaggy, who prompted Tumblr and I was the idiot who couldn't resist. Nah seriously, thank you for getting my writing mojo back. I hope you like it even if it's not exactly what you asked for.
Betaed by E.J. - Thank you for helping me out with the plot Mausi. Love ya
"You are not at all like my rose," he said. "As yet you are nothing. No one has tamed you, and you have tamed no one. You are like my fox when I first knew him. He was only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But I have made him my friend, and now he is unique in all the world."
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Kaidan had been on Omega for two days now, and he already felt constricted, maybe it was the fact that there was no illusion of a sky. He had met with his contact, a man who had proved impressively unhelpful. All the goddamn Salarian had given him was the same of a club that Saren was known to frequent when he was on Omega. Kaidan thought it made perfect sense after all, why would Saren sit on Aria's lap? Maybe the world would come to a grinding halt if those two egos were within yards of each other.
He had always loved what he did for a living, it came naturally to him. He had always been good at tracking people down, so why not track down scum and get paid? It was a perfect solution really. But after hunting for Saren for the better part of six months, Kaidan really just wanted to throw in the towel; it was not like he was the only one looking for Saren, because honestly the bounty on that fucker was through the roof. The thing was Kaidan wanted all those credits so badly he could taste it, and he had definitely lucked out when he had gotten the information about Omega. He would never in a million years have thought this would be Saren's kind of place. Not like Omega wasn't one of the better places to hunt for wanted criminals, but Saren was different, he used to work for the council, and as far as Kaidan knew, Saren had not used his skills or knowledge to sell the information he had, he had raised his own little army, gunning for a throne.
Tonight he would go check out the lead he had, it might be crummy, but it was all he had right now. Kaidan looked up at the neon sign on the building, and down at the address on his datapad, yeah this was the place. He shook his head, "Plastique? Really now?" He shrugged and willed himself to believe that Saren would frequent a shady dance club, because the alternative, that the information was bad, was just too much to bear.
Inside the club was just about everything he had thought it would be. Obnoxious and loud. Kaidan made his way to the bar and quickly snatched a stool; he ordered a beer and turned around to watch the dance floor. The Turian behind the bar poked his arm and when Kaidan looked up he pushed the drink across the bar, "Your credit went through." He said with a deep voice. "I should inform you that you paid for three more drinks upfront, is that a mistake?"
"No." Kaidan said smiling. "It's easier that way."
"Whatever rocks your boat." The Turian said with a shrug, "Enjoy the show."
"First time here?" The Turian asked, looking Kaidan up and down, "Should have known, you don't look like you're from around here."
"So what's the show?" Kaidan asked ignoring the insult.
"The dancers." The Turian said nodding towards the pedestals with poles, "You thought those were there for the decoration value?"
"Great, figures." Kaidan sighed. "A goddamn strip joint."
The music changed, and four dancers was lifted to the pole-islands by what Kaidan could only assume were bouncers. To Kaidan's surprise the dancers just danced, that was somehow a nice change of pace. So the show was a bunch of party-fluffers? He reached back over the bar to grab the bartender and get his second drink. "Hey I have a question." He yelled over the music as he received his drink, "I'm looking for someone called Shepard."
The Turian chuckled, "You're looking at him." He pointed at one of the dancers, "Word has it he was raised by Vorcha, so good luck with it, mister."
Kaidan looked over at the man who was apparently the Shepard that his intel had talked about. So this guy would know where Saren was? It just didn't really make sense to Kaidan. He sipped his drink and looked at Shepard; he wasn't all that bad really, even if he looked like someone who belonged more in an Alliance boot camp, if Alliance soldiers wore low cut shorts and glitter. After the third drink Kaidan admitted that he was actually pretty fucking hot, dancing and grinding, lost in the music. As Kaidan turned around for his fourth drink, he grabbed the bartender again, "These dancers, do they do anything besides dancing, if you know what I mean."
The Turian handed Kaidan his fourth drink, "You would have to be pretty V.I.P, stranger." Kaidan could feel the 'and you are nobody' in the Turian's glare. "He is quite a sight ain't he? Quite the popular dancer, Shepard."
Kaidan nodded before he could stop himself, damn booze! "So, how does one get around to talking to this Shepard?"
The Turian laughed, "You'd have to catch him off duty, ask the bouncers, maybe they know something. Now excuse me, I have other customers."
Kaidan had his drink and looked at Shepard dance, at least some of the puzzle made better sense now. He had just never figured Saren for someone who'd want a lap dance from a human man. But on the other hand, he had never really thought about Saren and lap dances in the same sentence before either. He got up and strode through the club, stopping in front of the bouncers. "Hey!" He said, getting the attention of the human bouncer, the Krogan ignoring him.
"Can I help you?" The bouncer said.
"I need to talk to that guy, Shepard." Kaidan said, "And the Turian at the bar told me you'd know when I can catch him."
The bouncer frowned, "The Turian lied."
Kaidan sighed, "How much."
"Are you bribing me?" The bouncer asked with an arched brow, arms crossed over his chest.
"Only if you want me to." Kaidan stepped closer to the bouncer and said, "I am P.I. Alenko, and I am here to talk to Shepard, I am not a money collector or anything, I just need to talk to him. You have my word."
The bouncer sighed, "200 creds, and if you as much as breathe on him wrong, you're dead."
"Deal." Kaidan, "Your name, I'll transfer it once I'm out, it doesn't look as suspicious."
"James," The bouncer said, "Vega."
"Alright Mr. Vega, so when?" He nodded towards the dance floor. "Can I talk to Shepard I mean."
"Tomorrow, come here four in the afternoon, sharp. And I will let you through the backdoor." James said.
"You got it."
"Hey Shepard." James said, leaning against the door to the small dressing room. "There was this guy asking for you earlier. Something you need to tell me?"
"Like what?" Shepard huffed stepping out of the closet sized shower.
"I don't know, like run ins with the law or maybe debt?" James said, watching stoically as Shepard pulled on a pair of pants.
"No." Shepard sighed reaching for a boot.
"He just looked like a law man, that's all." James shrugged, "But if you don't wanna tell me, fine."
"There is nothing to tell." Shepard shot back, reaching for his other boot.
"Guess we'll find out tomorrow." James said, "He just wired me 200 creds for opening the back door."
"James, Really?" Shepard sighed and pulled a sweater over his head, "Nice to know you'll sell me out for 200. Besides 100 of those should be mine."
James laughed a low rumbling laugh, "You wish."
"Is that all?" Shepard said, standing and pulling on his jacket. When James didn't move from the doorframe, Shepard stuck his hands in his pockets, and just stared at the bouncer. "James, I'm tired, I want to go home. Move."
"Care for some company?"
"No." Shepard gruffed, giving up and just pushing James out of the way, "Good night."
"Your loss Shepard."
"Whatever." Shepard stepped through the backdoor and zipped his jacket, walking home.
The next afternoon Kaidan drove around the club and parked his bike, walking up to the backdoor waiting. And as promised the Bouncer whom Kaidan knew was James, opened the door. "He's in the dressing room, third door on your left."
"Thanks." Kaidan mumbled, hurrying inside and down the corridor. He stopped by the door, and knocked politely. "Shepard?" He called. The door opened, and Kaidan had to blink twice, before he realized that this man was the same one he had seen dancing last night. He looked like any other man on Omega with the layers of glamour off.
Shepard looked Kaidan up and down and asked, "Who the fuck are you?"
"I'm P.I. Alenko, and I have been trying to find you." He smiled politely. "Can I come in?"
Shepard eyed him, "Why are you trying to find me? There ain't nobody looking for me, buddy." And just as Shepard tried to close the door in Kaidan's face, Kaidan stopped it with a foot. "No, not you, but I was told you could help find the person I am looking for."
Thinking about it for a minute, Shepard shrugged and stepped away from the door, Kaidan tumbling into the room. "Alright. I have to get ready, so be quick about it." He leaned up against a cracked mirror with a horrible light on top of it.
"You see, I was hired by this person from Horizon in the Lera system, she asked me to track down a family member of hers." Kaidan licked his lips, hoping that Shepard wouldn't detect his lie. "And I was told that you'd know where Spike Marlowe would be."
All color drained from Shepard's face for a second, but otherwise there was no indication that he had even heard Kaidan. "Your information was wrong." Shepard said with a strained smile, "I don't know anything." He shrugged.
"Are you sure?" Kaidan asked, he punched Marlowe in on his data pad, and showed it to Shepard, "This guy, you never seen him?"
Shepard hardly looked at the picture, but shook his head, "No," he sighed, "Look Mister, there is a lot of people coming to this club -"
Kaidan took his data pad back, his mind frantically working overtime, trying to come up with something that would make Shepard talk. He had thought he was smart when he made up the story about being a P.I. looking for some poor woman's lost brother. Truth was that Marlowe was Saren's right hand, and where Saren was, Marlowe was sure to be. "Alright, well what about I leave my number just in case you see him, or remember something? His sister would really want to talk to him, and I would hate to return to Horizon with no news for her and her family." He took a pen and wrote his number on what looked like a napkin, or what had used to be a napkin.
Shepard didn't answer; he just let Kaidan write the number, and then moved over to open the door.
Kaidan panicked a little, he knew he had to come up with something, something that would make Shepard call, or at least not just toss his number. "Hey Shepard," He said with a soft smile, "I saw you dance yesterday, you're good."
Raising an amused brow, Shepard smiled, "Why thank you. Now please leave so I can get ready." He gestured through the open door.
"I was thinking I'd come see you dance again, while I am still on Omega." Kaidan said, slowly walking, stalling, towards the door.
"You do that." Shepard said, placing a hand on the small of Kaidan's back and none too gently ushered him out in the hall. "Have a nice stay on Omega."
"Thanks." Kaidan sighed, "shit..." He mumbled to himself as he walked out the same way he had come in.