A/N: This is a sequel to A Chance Encounter. That story does stand alone, but I couldn't resist more Victus/FemShep fun. If you haven't read A Chance Encounter, this won't make a ton of sense, so scoot on over there first. Enjoy!
General Victus had been on the Citadel for six months now, overseeing the turian members of the fleet that protected the Citadel. It was, supposedly, an honor; in reality it was frustrating in the extreme, with much more time spent around the Council than he would have preferred.
He had been very disappointed to find out that the garden with it's conveniently situated and concealed grotto had been turned into a lake. He had often walked aimlessly over the bridge that arched gracefully over the lake, wishing for that quiet garden back.
If he were to be honest with himself though, he was driven less by his frustration with politics (though this had never abated) and more by a vague hope that the human woman he knew only as "Kel" would come here again to yell at the Council in peace. He knew this was ridiculous; a brief encounter two years ago should not hold such a prominent place in his memory, let alone in his actions, but he couldn't help it.
She had been fascinating, and he had spent the remainder of his time during that trip hoping to run into her again. He never had, though, and when he returned home, he had (mostly) succeeded in putting her out of his head.
When he was given this posting at the Citadel, though, that hope had returned, and was recalled each time he crossed the bridge, stopping at the highest point to lean against the railing. Victus sighed, and shoved himself upright. This really had to stop. He was determined to give up and forget about the whole thing. Nodding to himself, he headed purposefully back to the Presidium.
He was walking quickly, so familiar with his path that he didn't really watch where he was going, when he slammed into someone. Staggering back a step, he growled angrily, his eyes narrowing as they fixed on the person who had gotten in his way.
The human woman he had run into had fallen, landing on her backside with enough force to rattle her teeth. She looked up at the brick wall that had come barreling around the corner of the bridge into her, prepared to deliver a scathing lecture on Politeness and Watching Where You're Going Especially While Wearing Heavy Armour. When her eyes reached his face though, she blinked in surprise and scrambled to her feet.
Her eyes scanned the armoured form growling at her, settling on his face, flickering over his clan markings as a wide smile spread across her face.
"I suppose I deserved that, but isn't two years a rather long time to hold a grudge, Adrien?"
His growl cut off abruptly. He wasn't normally good at distinguishing individual humans, but this was a face - and more importantly, a voice - which had played through his memory more times than he cared to admit. He blinked at her, hardly believing his eyes. He knew that if he wasn't careful he would disgrace himself by being too excited to see her, so he carefully adopted a nonchalant tone.
"Yes, it is, but if you'd been here sooner, I wouldn't have needed to hold onto it so long, would I? It's nice to see you again, Kel."
He was pleased with himself when she laughed. "If I'd known you were planning on charging me, I would have stayed away longer. Is that the best apology I'm going to get for being at the mercy of your brick wall impersonation?"
Her laughter was intoxicating, with the same ring he remembered from the last time he had heard it. He spread his mandibles in a grin. "Probably. Or you could let me take you to lunch to make it up to you."
He was surprised at himself; hadn't he just made up his mind to forget about her? He almost took the invitation back, but she was already nodding and falling into step beside him as they headed back to the Presidium.
It was only the mystery surrounding the whole experience last time that had captivated him, he told himself. Spending an hour with her would dispel the mystery and therefore he would be free of the memories of her. Victus nodded. That was a sound strategy. She was human, after all, how interesting could she be?
Three hours later, Victus was willing to admit his strategy had failed. She was more interesting with every moment he spent with her. Whether it was her stories of missions in the Terminus systems, or of various exploits growing up on Alliance ships, she held his attention completely. She had a sense of humor he appreciated; a delicate way of describing missions in enough detail to make the stories interesting, while still leaving her stories vague enough that it didn't sound like "talking shop." She was an excellent listener, seeming to know exactly which details to press for and which to ignore.
Lunch had come and gone while they sat at a table in an open air cafe. They'd ordered appetizers to keep the waitress off their backs and, sometime later, dinner.
By unspoken agreement, they'd steered clear of serious topics; speaking of past missions, but nothing current. She knew he was a general, and although she was wearing civvies now, he remembered that last time she'd worn an Alliance uniform, though he never had spotted her rank insignia.
He watched her as she spoke, wondering if he would ruin their time together by asking the question on his mind. He was so focused on that concern, that he didn't notice when she fell silent until he felt her hand on his arm. His eyes flew to hers, and he found her looking at him with concern.
"Is everything alright, Adrien?"
He nodded and, greatly daring, placed his hand on top of hers. "Everything is fine. I was just thinking about how unfortunate it is that this is the first time I've run into you in six months. I've thought about you often - I wish we could have done this before."
Her answering smile held a trace of sadness that hadn't been there before, and she looked uncomfortable. "I wish we could have too. Aside from two very brief stops for business, though, I haven't been back to the Citadel in almost three years. I have thought about you since then, though." She grinned suddenly, and added a dramatic tone to her words. "The mysterious turian general I ran into - literally. Someone I only know by his first name; someone who only knows my first name, and you have no idea how rare that is. The only person who has heard me lose my temper and lived to tell the tale."
Victus chuckled. "Well, if this is your first day of leisure in nearly three years, I'm honored that you chose to spend it with me." He was studying her face, which was the only reason he saw the sadness that washed over her before she pushed it aside. He wasn't sure what had caused it, but suddenly he knew he wanted to bring the smile back to her face. Taking a deep breath, he asked if he might see her again.
He wasn't prepared for the disappointment that flashed across her features.
"I wish I could. I ship out tomorrow for a mission." She looked genuinely distressed to be turning him down.
Keeping his voice casual was a struggle. "What time do you leave?"
"Report time is 1400 hours."
He stared at her, his mind awhirl with arguments and rationalizations. In the end, he went with the first thought to enter his head. "Would you like to have breakfast with me, then?"
He was surprised, and slightly offended, when she flashed him a shocked look and then broke into giggles. She met his eyes, and tried to settle down. Gasping, she offered, "Either that was a really bad application of a pretty cheesy pickup line, or I owe you an apology."
Victus just blinked at her, confused. Waving a hand in front of her face, she took a deep breath, and explained.
"Sorry, sorry. If I'd just been on an amazing, half-day date with a human male, and he asked me to have breakfast the next day, he'd be implying that we would be having breakfast after spending the night together. It's a pretty obvious line, and I don't know anyone it has ever actually worked on." She grinned. "I can see that isn't what you meant, so I do apologize."
By now, Adrien was chuckling as well. "Humans. What a peculiar way to go about things." He watched her for a minute, his gaze going predatory, before adding, "You're correct, that isn't at all what I meant. However, since you brought it up..."
She arched an eyebrow at him, her green eyes locked on his golden ones, her gaze challenging. "Since I brought it up... what?"
Victus smiled appreciatively, answering her challenge by spreading his mandibles wide in what he hoped was a fair imitation of a human leer. "Would you like to join me for breakfast, Kel?" And as her eyes widened and she started to smile, he repeated the request in a more turian fashion. PIcking up her hand from where it still rested on his arm, he raised it to his mouth, turning it over to nip lightly at the inside of her wrist. "Will you spend the night with me?"
Her breath caught when he nipped her wrist, her fingers tightening around his. "Yes."
That single word sent a thrill of victory through him. Grateful that he'd already paid, he stood up; keeping hold of her hand he helped her to her feet, pleased when she wove her smaller fingers together with his. He smiled down at her, then led the way back to his apartment.