One More Thing
Shepard smiled, an honest to god smile, as she surveyed the room. It was New Years Eve and though it was a (mostly) human vessel, even her non-human crewmates were milling about the cheery decorated room.
She'd spent the better part of her morning explaining to Grunt, Tali, Thane, Samara, and Garrus what New Years was and how humans celebrated. Turns out, she needn't have wasted her breath because most cultures had something similar. There was something that humans did, that apparently the other's didn't, was New Year resolutions.
Now, with a glass of wine that was nearly empty (those high-grade provisions were worth it) she walked to where she approximated the middle of the roonm to be.
Samara was over in the corner, chatting with Thane. Beside them was a table with food, a smaller table with a different colored table cloth was set for Garrus and Tali.
There were multi-colored streamers taped to the ceiling and balloons all the colors of the rainbow floating about. She spotted Kasumi, still hooded though it was a festively colored hood chatting up a slightly-flushed Jacob. Whether his face was flushed from alcohol or their conversation was the question.
Shepard smiled more broadly as she spotted Grunt and Jack talking with very enthusiastic hand gestures. From the look on grunt's face, it probably had something to do with explosions. Maybe Jack was recounting that space station she's wrecked.
Kelly was talking with Gabby and Ken, she was dressed beautifully in a simple sheathe dress. Shepard had spoken to her ealier, complimenting her on the lavish decorations, but she'd been modest. Her attitude was already perky normally, but now equipped with a few wine coolers she was a (gentle) force of nature.
Tali was in deep conversation with what looked to be one of the engineers, a man that, bless him, was attempting to keep up with the conversation. It wasn't his fault that Tali's envirosuit was so form-fitting and that Tali's voice was very...arousing to those unprepared for that cute little accent.
Joker was present, like he'd miss a good party, but he'd dressed casual and though he was mingling good naturedly with Zaeed, she didn't miss EDI's blue avatar popping up every few minutes.
Turning her head, she spotted Garrus making his way over to her. Ah, Garrus, she felt her grin hit critical sunshine levels. She hadn't worked up the courage yet to ask him if he was interested in her, which was a little sad considering all the other things she found a well of courage for.
He gave her his best equivalent of a smile and gave her the second glass he was carrying, "I know you didn't ask for it, but I couldn't help notice you were running a little dry."
She took the offered glass and she gave him a sly look, "Usually when a guy gives me a drink, that's not all he's looking to give me."
And whoops, three glasses in and goodbye tact, maybe that's why they called it liquid courage?
He gave an awkward cough, but his eyes warmed a little. She decided to give the Turian a break as she turned to the room, "Garrus, may I borrow a talon for a moment?"
Garrus gave her a strange look but lifted a finger to her, she flashed him a grin and used his finger to delicately tap the glass flute in her hand.
"Everyone! Your attention please!" She called out happily to her crew.
From his niche over in the more quiet corner, where Mordin had been in deep conversation with , she saw him still and look over at her curiously. He'd known about resolutions, but this was his first time at a party full of humans and he was interested in the practice.
It took only a few seconds for all the faces in the room to turn to her, after all, she was Commander Fucking Shepard and when she spoke, you listened.
Tonight, however, was not a night that the Commander was to be feared, well that wasn't entirely true but she was much more approachable in a dress without her weapons than in full battle armor with a heavy pistol in one hand and a flare of blue biotics in the other.
"It has been a long hard year," she began looking as many people as she could in the eyes, "for some it has been even more hard to bear than usual," her eyes lingered on Garrus before flickering to Jack. "I want to beging the tradition of New Years resolutions, by first saying that I appreciate each and every one of you working so hard to keep the Normandy in prestine shape," and she tipped her head at Joker who gave her a thumbs up.
"Also, I'd like to thank the good doctors and doctor's assistants for patching my ass up again and again, as well as thank Miranda," she saw the beautiful dark haired woman grin from where she had been slowly prowling toward Kasumi and Jacob, she straightend further and nodded to Shepard, "for helping to be a part of my even being here tonight. Now with those out of the way, I have three," she smirked as she held up three slim fingers, New Year resolutions. As it is 11 p.m, I hope that we can get through everyones and if you don't feel like sharing yours, you don't have to say anything. First resolution! I will not die this year!" Her laughter bubbled up as she watched several of her crew crack up at this.
"Not if you keep charging into the middle of our firefights you won't!" Kasumi called out.
Shepard waved at her dismissively, but maintained her smile, "second resolution, I will attempt to keep in contact with my parents a little more than I have," she felt a pang in her stomach as she thought about the message her mother had sent her and she heard murmurs of agreement from some people, including Garrus.
"And lastly, I will do one new exciting thing this year." She paused for a second, "One thing that does not involve saving the Galaxy," she ammended with a smile.
And with that she looked expectantly to Garrus, who looked surprised before he settled into what she called his "archangel" pose, "I guess for this year, I will attempt two things, I will try to calibrate less," he caught Shepard's eye as some of the crew jeered that it would never happen, "and I'll take a risk with someone I care about," this was followed by cat-calls and Garrus wouldn't meet Shepard's eyes but she felt a tense (but good tense) static between them.
"I will improve my relationship with my son," Thane spoke when the crowd had quieted again, and he was surprised by he amount of people that nodded in agreement.
"I will take responsibility for what I've done," Samara spoke after him, a strange glitter in her eyes, "and show my daughters that I still care."
Shepard gave her a empathetic look, but nodded a silent yes to that too.
Jack stepped forward, a chin raised as if to say enough of this mushy shit, "I have one spot left that hasn't been inked," she gave a sharky grin, "I've been saving it for something worth it and I think saving the fucking world ranks up there. So I'm going to get one more tattoo."
There was laughing and quite a few cheers for that, it was good to see Jack loosening up and not in a "now I can deck you through a wall" kind of way.
Grunt stepped forward, "I will bring honor to my new clan this year by tearing the collectors apart!"
That brought some of the loudest cheering yet, ah how he was growing up.
"Will visit favourite nephew. Visit homeworld." Mordin chimed in, "Visit sunny beach."
And the mental image of Mordin on a beach was strangely soothing as opposed to funny, she nodded again, when was the last time she'd visited Earth?
"I will re-kindle an old flame," Chakwas said, an almost sultry look on her face. And she laughed at some of the calls of, "you can kindle my flame!"
"I will leave the past behind, and enjoy the present." Jacob looked at the ground as he said it, but she could see the way he shifted toward Kasumi.
Shepard felt her heart go out to him, after finding what his father had done, all the old internal wounds had re-opened. It was good to hear him say it (again) that he was moving on.
"I will steal the best prize yet," Kasume grinned like a cat that got the canary (or Jacob if Shepard had been reading her right).
Tali stepped forward, for such a small woman she had a lot of presence, "I will help save the world, again," she smiled good-naturedly at Shepard, "and hopefully our fleet is one step closer to returning to our homeworld."
"Well, this will be the first time for me to help save the world," Miranda started, "but for my New Year resolution, I will make sure Shepard doesn't die. Maybe between all of us we'll succeed."
Shepard laughed, "Cheater, piggybacking off of mine like that."
Miranda just grinned back.
"I will try to go groundside more often," Joker said, "Well, maybe only the citidel."
"Baby steps, Jeff," EDI dead-panned and Joker chuckled. "Look at that, your jokes are improving."
Zaeed snorted when Shepard turned to him, "I'ma pass Shepard, think I've filled all my shit."
She flashed him a humuored smile.
She tuned out a bit as she heard calls of losing weight, and trying out new hobbies, the usual ones. Some of visiting home, some of retiring, more of meeting up with old friends.
Shepard just basked in the sensation that for one night, her crew was getting a bit of a break. There were rotations, so everyone could enjoy the party, but she'd tried to have everyone here for the final five minutes.
As the last few people were giving their resolutions, Shepard looked at the clock, "EDI, a countdown like I mentioned, if you'd be so kind."
"Yes, Commander Shepard."
And a thick palpable anticipation filled the air, as the clock started to count down, it was 11:59.
The humans of the crew eagerly began to count down, and Shepard heard Garrus join in at her side.
"10! 9! 8! 7! 6!"
Shepard tensed herself in anticipation, because there might have been something she'd left out, about New Year's traditions.
She gripped her glass tighter.
Maybe she could try that other New Year's tradition?
Shepard smiled at her companions and their roar of, "Happy New YEARS!"
And damn, maybe it was the four glasses of wine, but there was no time like the present as she watched those around her kiss their companions. One of the better human traditions if she did say so herself... and she did.
She laughed as she tugged Garrus to her, seeing not only his shocked expression, but a few of her other alien friends as well (including Thane that had been snuck up on by Kelly and Jack who'd planted one on Grunt).
Yeah, he didn't have lips per say, but he got the message and after a few seconds of just her pressing her lips on his plates, he flickered a tongue out and that was so much better.
After a minute dueling tongues, Shepard pulled away, "I might have forgotten to tell you about this tradition of New Years."
Garrus just laughed a little, "May have forgotten huh?" And tugged her closer again.
Well, one resolution down was a good start to the New Year!