An: It got stuck in my head and would not LEAVE.
I own nothing, Rated M for later chapters.
Garrus did not like a lot of things about the Citadel. That much was obvious by the way his mandible narrowed, and his eyes twitched when he descended into the more disreputable parts on his patrol. However, he tried his best to be the good Turian her was supposed to be. He kept his head down, but his mind alert. He listened and thought before he acted. His service record had been impeccable upon joining the ranks of C-SEC, one or two possible blemishes had been corrected upon further evaluation by the Turian Hierarchy.
He wasn't even supposed to go out without a partner, but 'budget-cuts' according to the latest Asari projections needed to be implemented and because crime was so 'low' on the Citadel they could do with fewer officers on rotation. Garrus thought it was a load of crap. The only reason crime was 'low' was because there had been more of them to crack down on the dirty scum and bring them to justice. This cut back would only allow the cesspool parts of the Citadel to breed uncontrollably.
He rounded the corner, heading to the last warehouse on his route. He was ready just to call it a night, grab a little alcohol and unwind over some calibrations with his latest gun. There hadn't been a good spar in weeks, and he was feeling that itch under his plates. A tale-tell sign that he was getting stressed. His work wasn't exactly the easiest to deal with, and his mandibles tightened on his face at the thought of next week's rotation.
A muffled sound caught his attention. Garrus slowly drew his weapon, moving cautiously forward. His omni-tool provided the standard override all C-Sec were equipped with for vendor stores. The door opened silently, to the dimness of a back storeroom for one of the local booths. It was a few clicks away from his last checkpoint. Garrus clenched his sharp teeth, and moved slowly.
A short exchange of words, heated but too far away to understand. He adjusted his visor for slightly better night-vision in one eye. He caught sight of two males? One male, one female? It was hard to tell. He inched behind a closer crate, marked with dextro labels.
That reminded him; he needed to drop by the store on the way home. He was running low on a few things in his pantry.
A cry of pain, and a low growl drew his attention back to the two aggressors. It was then he noticed their armor and the markings on said armor.
It just had to be mercs. Garrus held an extreme dislike for the guns for hire that stooped to every level of seedy wickedness possible... for the right price of course. Damn bastards had no morals. He quelled a hiss of outrage that they were even on the Citadel.
They were trying to force a figure in the shadows into some sort of deal or position that wasn't wanted. He guessed that by the way the Merc's head snapped backward as if someone had dealt them a sudden blow. Garrus's talons flew over his omni-tool screen, signaling for back-up and cursing budget cuts that resulted in him being without his partner tonight. It was supposed to be a routine patrol night for Spirits' sake!
His translator dinged to convert their words, they froze momentarily and he nearly hissed at his lack of planning. Then after a few tense moments of silence they returned to threats and menacing calls. Leering that transcended a species barrier. Whoever the victim was, they were trying to terrify them, and Garrus was concerned it was working. He crept along the corridor and crouched behind some crates, watching as the Merc's gripped a figure he couldn't quite make out in the dimness.
He took aim at the head of the one holding the civilian. "C-Sec!" His dual harmonic voice snapped out like a whip of authority. "Drop your weapons and unhand the civilian now!"
The roar caused the Mercs to jump. The pair whirled, the one threw the shadowed figure to the ground quickly, while the other fired in rapid succession.
Garrus put a bullet through his head, right between his eyes, watching as the green blood splurted all over the wall. Salarian, he concluded quickly and ducked behind the crates once more.
"You'll pay for that you cuttlebone!"
Cuttlebone… that meant the last criminal was human. It was there standard insult for Turians. Garrus didn't personally understand how it was an insult, but it was the principal of the thing and he twitched his mandibles in irritation. A grenade landed at his feet.
"Oh… shit," he growled and sprung his body tightly before launching himself away. He landed on his side, sliding as the grenade exploded all around him. Ever the focused marksman, he fell with his gun already pointed toward the bastard that had just tried to blow him sky-high.
Three bullets lodged themselves in the Human's torso, neck, and finally his head. He fell like the dead weight he was, the last thing he ever saw was the viciously smug look of a 'cuttlebone'.
Carefully, he pulled himself from up off the floor checking to make sure he hadn't caught any shrapnel in an unprotected part of his body. Or if he had broken a bone with the concussive force of the blast, he was better off to find that out now, incase more mercs were hiding in the wings.
He cocked his head to the side and listened closely. Nothing was evident but silence. 'Well, that's good news' he thought somberly. His mandibles fluttered with relief that he was alright, and he checked on the ETA of his backup… somewhere in the Zakara ward still apparently.
Well, if that didn't just make a Turian feel all kinds of special.
He glanced around, and started to check the bodies for some evidence of what they were doing here. Unfortunately, there was nothing that would help him build a case for harsher security on the Citadel. Of course, because that would be a good thing and tonight was all about things going wrong.
With the exception of him living, he had to give that part a little credit he supposed.
He became aware slowly of eyes that watched him curiously. Garrus felt them on his plates, boring into him in a way that caused him to turn. He was used to stares from passersby and the occasional criminal hoping not to get caught, but this was different somehow.
His sharp gaze turned, and locked with a set of Human eyes. They were so very open, yet disillusioned to the life around them. Hardness was present but with a quality of lost vulnerability in them. Those haunting eyes were situated on a dirty face, smudge with dust and dried blood. If he wasn't mistaken, there were some sloppily done stitches over one eyebrow.
Garrus breathed in deeply, inhaling the scent of unwashed bodies of multiple species which was nauseating, and the tang of fresh blood filling every square inch of the area. He evaluated the… female human. Her gaze never wavered and her demeanor remained unchanged. She was simply watching him with honest curiosity.
Nothing more and nothing less.
The Turian repressed a shiver at the open frankness in which this young-or was if juvenile?- female displayed. Every line of her slightly rounded face, and thin body seemed to scream for an intense desire to know; to understand why he had bothered to save her.
She was a Duct Rat. As far as all species on the Citadel were concerned, she was worth nothing. A sad thought, when people felt they were being altruistic… a case to donate money to. More like her every day and all of them with stores that would cause even the most hardened of hearts to fall down and weep uncontrollably.
She tilted her head, without an expression on her alien face and he shivered. Were Turians capable of the act, he would have blushed.
The rattle of a grate, from behind the girl caught his avian eyes causing him to gaze down sharply. The female, turned away and kneeled down. Her hand was extended and she reached inside the vent, he watched her muscles contract as she grasped something.
The C-Sec officer stared in shock, sadness, and bemusement as she helped a small Hanar out followed closely by a two humans of varied age. Lastly the vent gave up a Turian boy, barely old enough to fill in his plates, and an Asari closer to the Female's age. They were all malnourished and dirty from what he could tell. He placed a taloned-hand to his head and rubbed lightly. Garrus suddenly felt overwhelmed at the sight of them.
He had only been trying to save one Duct Rat… not six. Spirits!
His mandibles fluttered, conveying his emotions. It was then he looked back at the Human female, her eyes locked onto his and there was a small smile there, barely visible.
"Thank you," her human flat voice stated with genuine gratitude he could read in her inflection, slightly Turian in the way it was given. His blue eyes flick to the small Turian in understanding. "For helping me save them."
He warbled low in his throat, a show of understanding and slight embarrassment. His mandibles clacked to acknowledge that he heard her.
"I…I can take you to a shelter," he inclined his head toward all of them, but the offer feels hollow even to him.
The human female held up a hand to stop him. "You're alright C-Sec, but we can take care of ourselves from here."
He raised a face plate to tell that he didn't believe a word of that. "And you're managing to get Dextro and Levo food?" His gaze landed on the only other Turian present.
Another genuine smile, but her eyes were tinged with a slightly insulted light. "I take care of what's mine."
As if to support her words, the Turian boy clung to her side, his harmonics rumbling a clear warning. Garrus understood. The child was too small to do damage, but it was in Turian blood to protect and defend. This human female had the child's loyalty. That was no easy feat to accomplish and he said a quick prayer to the Spirits that it remained that way.
He opened his mandibles to give a reassuring harmonic for the boy when his omni-tool signaled the arrival of back-up, and he looked down to type in his coordinates again. 'Always minutes away when dangers are seconds from happening,' he thought bitterly.
"You'd better get out of he-," his words trailed off as he looked up to see another grate sliding firmly into place, the room silent once again. They were already gone.
He debriefed his superiors and filled the appropriate paperwork for discharge of his firearm. Then even more paperwork for the use of deadly force, though it was clearly needed given the context of the situation coupled with the fact they had technically shot at him first.
As he sighed and muttered his way through form after form he couldn't help but replay the events over in his mind until everything blurred. Then all he was left with were the haunting eyes of a human female, and the mystified question of why they affected him so.