CHAPTER 6: FAMILY
On a whim she decided to stop in and see Liara before going to the CIC. She felt that she owed her friend an apology for bolting earlier. Forming the apology in her head as she walked toward the door, she pressed key combination that unlocked it. She opened her mouth to speak as her eyes scanned the room for her friend, growing wide as they locked in on the Turian standing by the window.
The carefully thought out apology left her head blindsided by the sight of her 2 closest friends apparently in the middle of something she definitely didn't want to know anything about. She turned on her heel and walked away unsteadily from the doorway to the nearest table and held onto the edge bracing her body against it. She couldn't breathe, couldn't feel her legs; ragged gasps escaped her lips as she desperately tried to pull herself together.
Ok, Shepard. You got this. Crap! You gotta rein this shit in before it gets out of control. How am I going to do that?!??? Fuck! Slow. Down. Breathe.
She forced herself to take a deep breath and blow it out. Feeling better, she straightened up and walked back to the elevator determined to get through the next few hours without losing it. There would be time for that later. Right now, there were more important things to do.
She stepped out of the elevator into the CIC. She paused, closing her eyes, letting the familiar sounds seep in and calm her. Feeling more in control, she opened her eyes and walked over to her message terminal.
Perusing the messages, she absently called over to the Specialist, "Anything new Traynor?"
"Yes Commander. Your mother's ship will arrive in about an hour. Admiral Anderson called and is very anxious to meet with you. The Salarian dalatrass is also anxious to meet with you and will also be waiting with Anderson in his office. The crew wants to know when you want them to report back to the ship."
"Okay, I'll head over to Anderson's office immediately. Tell my mother that I'll meet her at the café at 2000. That should give her enough time to settle in. I'll send the crew a message after I meet with Anderson about when they need to report back."
"Yes Commander. Will there be anything else?"
She thought for a moment, "Yes, have Gardner send me the list of things he needs. We might as well pick them up while we're here. Also, send me the location of the best florist on the Citadel. After that, you can go. Enjoy your night off Traynor."
"Thank you, Commander."
Shepard walked toward the cockpit heading for the airlock. Joker let out a low whistle when he saw her approaching.
"You look hot, Commander," he said leering a bit.
"Thanks, Joker. Now get the hell off my ship," she retorted with a grin.
"Don't need to tell me twice. I'm outta here. Come on EDI! Hey, are you coming tonight Commander?"
"No, I'm sorry, Joker. I can't. My mother is arriving in a bit and I want to spend time with her. Never know when I'll get another chance for that."
"Understood, Commander. You're gonna miss a hell of a party though"
"Sure. I'm gonna hold you to that, Commander."
He left Liara's office in a somber mood; the vision of Shepard still fresh in his mind.
Spirits she's more beautiful than I remember and her scent
He felt his plates shift slightly not now. He closed his eyes forced himself to focus. Liara had promised him that she would find a way to talk to Shepard with a warning that she may not be able to tell him everything she learned. She was holding fast to being a true friend to both him and to Shepard. He reluctantly accepted that what other choice did he have? After collecting a few items from the Battery, he headed for the airlock. His omni-tool blinked with a message from his sister unexpected.
Hey just wanted to check on you well someone has to you know. I'm passing through the Citadel tomorrow morning. Have to pick up some things for mom and finalize the paperwork for the facility where she's trying a new treatment. If you're not too busy running after Reapers or whatever it is you do, want to meet up somewhere?
Typing his response quickly,
Hey yourself yeah that sounds good. Will that be before or after you meet up with your boyfriend at C-Sec? Seriously though, we need to talk. A lot of things are happening. Want to meet at the usual place?
Her response came back even quicker and he chuckled. He knew he'd called her out she never missed an opportunity to hook up with that smooth talking, paper pushing desk jockey at C-Sec.
Yeah the usual place is fine
. Jackass! 0900 ok?
He couldn't resist
Won't that be a bit early for you?
He knew damn well she wasn't passing through in the morning. She'd be arriving sometime tonight, taking full advantage of her opportunity. He barked out a laugh as he read her quick reply, knowing his implication was not lost on her.
Shut the fuck up, asshole. See you at 1000.
Chuckling, he walked out of the airlock and into the docking bay of the Citadel. Noting the time, he decided to grab a quick dinner and see what new weapons and ammo the shops had to offer. Then he would head to Purgatory and hope like hell that Shepard would be there.