Title: Impossibilities - Chapter 2 - Isolated Mother
Game: Mass Effect
Characters/Pairing: Commander Reblicah Shepard (femShep) and Garrus Vakarian
Chapter 2 – Isolated Mother
Typically Commander Shepard had no difficulty in being brave. She fought every kind of enemy on the battlefield and stood victoriously after each round. Yet today she found herself standing hesitantly in front of the doors to the main battery. She had a different battle to overcome… the overwhelming strain of being separated from her bondmate.
It had been six months since she last saw Garrus. Six months… held in captivity at the Detention Center at Alliance headquarters and spending every day and night aching for the warmth of his hand. Being taken away from him so shortly after the news of her pregnancy intensified the isolation and created a gapping chasm within her heart. Claiming the bulge from her stomach was from her lack of military lifestyle. For the most part, the soldiers dismissed her growing abdomen… but Anderson knew right away, figuring it out within moments of her surrender. He took one look into Reblicah's eyes and immediately realized her current predicament. Concerned about the uproar it would create, he went around and added validity to her lie by commenting how she was "getting soft around the edges."
When the Reapers attacked Earth, she knew she would finally get her chance to reunite with her turian partner. One event after another, the toil weighed heavy on her tired body but she kept trudging forward… knowing he was out there. Deep down in her heart, she knew where to find him, all she needed was the opportunity. When the turian counselor approached her to retrieve the new Primarch, she immediately set course for Palaven.
Feeling her heart pounding with anticipation the closer they fought towards the turian base on Menae, she repeatedly pleaded with the spirits that he would be waiting for her there. Wave after wave of husks, nothing could stop the Commander… she was determined to fill the black hole burning inside. Once the team carved their path to the base, Shepard searched and searched but the turian she longed for was not there. The hope of their reunion was slowly beginning to diminish.
As Shepard continued her mission, she received word about the new Primarch's location. Without another thought, she prepared to embark on the retrieval mission… but then a familiar voice chimed in. Garrus strutted into the operations center and swiftly approached the battle-worn Commander, welcoming her hands into his as he volunteered to lead her towards the new Primarch. The glow in her eyes revealed the rekindling of hope. After exerting herself so valiantly for this moment, he was finally within her grasp. The empty void caused from their separation was finally able begin mending.
With Primarch Victus safely aboard the Normandy, Reblicah Shepard knew the battle for Palaven was far from over. The first step was to gain the krogans support to aid the turians. Her next destination was Sur'Kesh to retrieve the female krogans from the salarians… but the negotiations would have to wait. She had an urgent matter to attend to first.
As the door to the main battery slid open, she stumbled upon a humbling sight – Garrus was doing what he did best… calibrating. Her lips curled at the busy turian, chuckling, "Didn't waste any time getting to work, I see."
Garrus quickly directed his attention towards his visitor, "After what I've been through lately, calibrating a giant gun is a vacation. Gives me something to focus on."
"We're going to need you for more than your aim."
"Oh, I'm ready for it, but I'm pretty sure we'll still need giant guns - and lots of them."
"I can't argue with that."
"Yeah, so..." the timid turian hesitantly inched closer to his bondmate, "is this the part where we... shake hands? Wasn't sure about the protocol on reunions, or if you even still felt the same way about me."
Reby took his hand and brought it to the scar on her neck, the mark of their bonding, and reassured, "I could never forget about our joining. I can't promise how things will work out - not with this war - but I missed you, Garrus. I thought about you a lot. The only thing that made being kept in isolation tolerable was the thought that you were out there, somewhere, waiting for me."
The ache from her deep brown gaze exposed the bitter pain of their separation. In an attempt to quell her wounded spirit, she wrapped her arms around her companion's neck and extended an invitation to come closer. The tall turian warmly accepted her offer, pressing their foreheads together and lightly nuzzling his nose against hers. The rough angles of his mouth playfully caressed hers and reawakened the pleasing memories of their last encounter, encouraging her to embark on this welcomed reunion.
Unable to further restrain her desires, her lips softly pressed upon his. Their bond summoned all the physical and emotional stimulation she patiently waited for. The way his tongue teased hers, the sensation of his hand cupping her jaw, the comforting embrace of his arm latching around her lower back… it was everything she missed. The months of agony contained within her heart quickly perished. No longer would she have to suffer another lonely night without her bondmate. She was whole again.
"I missed this so much," Shepard whimpered under her breath, her lips still tingling from their joining.
"Glad to know my romantic, uh... skills made an impression. Because it's going to take more than Reapers to come between this cross-species liaison. Which reminds me," Garrus placed his talon on the bulge hiding under Reby's hooded sweatshirt, "How is our little one doing?"
"Good, I think. I haven't exactly been able to check. The only one at Alliance Command who knew was Anderson. He tried whenever he could but there was no way in reaching Mordin. Even if we did, having a salarian scientist visit someone in the Detention Center would have caused a lot of suspicions," she commented, carefully sitting down on the stairs in the main battery.
Garrus rushed to take a seat by her side, "How are you feeling?"
"I'm still having nightmares, almost on a nightly basis since we left Earth. Then there's being constantly hungry and having horrendous cravings, especially since I am limited to whatever is onboard. I'm tired… and sore all over… I can't tell if it's from fighting or from this little one. Not to mention, the lingering thought that all this stress and running around is going to do something… I just don't know what."
"Are you having any difficulties?" he asked, gently rubbing her back.
"Only when it comes to getting strapped into my armor," she cringed, "I constantly have to adjust the damn thing. Apparently, the Alliance wasn't expecting women to get pregnant while serving. And I can't exactly go around announcing this to anyone, especially since I don't want the Illusive Man to get hold of this information."
"At least we have the Shadow Broker on our side. Did you tell Liara yet?"
"I don't think I need too… she probably knew the same time we found out."
"You have a point."
"I think I'll stop by her office after this and talk to her about it. I was actually thinking of making her the patroness of our child. She's been there with us since the beginning and her current role could prove beneficial in making people think twice before interfering with our new family," she grinned.
"Sounds like a great idea," he agreed, his mandibles twitching excitably at the thought of raising their child under the protection of the Shadow Broker. "What else did I miss?"
"Well… Kaidan's back… I guess that is to say, he was… he got severely injured by a Cerberus android on Mars and is currently at the Huerta Memorial Hospital on the Citadel. And just now, when EDI was analyzing the data she collected, she accidentally triggered it to power back up. So you'll be seeing EDI walking around in her new body… I'm fairly certain Joker is going to be all over her," the Commander giggled at the thought, "What about you?"
"The scars are starting to fade. I remember they drove you wild... but I can go out and get all new ones if it'll help."
"I'm sure we'll both get scars from this war. Speaking of which, you said you're the 'Expert Advisor' on Reapers now?"
"It's not as impressive as it sounds. I ruffled some feathers, so they gave me a token title along with a token task force so I'd shut up."
"How'd you manage that?"
"Just followed your example, Shepard. Yell loud enough and someone will eventually come over to see what all the fuss is about. Not that they'll actually do anything about it."
"Until hell shows up at their door. Then they put you in charge."
"Not like the old days, is it? Rogue Spectre and C-Sec agents running and gunning outside the lines, making it up as we went along. We're actually respectable now."
"Yeah, I have a feeling that respect comes with a lot of sleepless nights. I can't even count how many lives are depending on us, Garrus. This little one is one more life for me to worry about."
"Well, when things are looking grim - and I'm pretty sure they will - just remember…" he reassured with his hands on her shoulders, "we're in this together. And if it ends with both of us dying in a giant explosion taking out a Reaper - remember I took the killshot."
She shook her head with a grin, "I'll see you later, Garrus."
Reby carefully stood up with some help from her turian companion. He held onto hand one last time and gazed deeply into her brown eyes. As she stepped back, their fingers clung together for the last bit of comfort. The glowing smile from being reunited with her bondmate lingered on her lips. Even with the war raging across the galaxies, she had a reason to be happy… a reason to hold onto every shred of hope… she had him.
Before she could turn away, Garrus called out, "Shepard… I forgot to give you something."
"You got me a gift?" she asked with surprise, watching as he grabbed something he stowed under his console.
"It's not much but it's something…" he cleared his throat before giving her the balled up piece of cloth, "meaningful."
Shepard began unraveling the cloth and quickly discovered it was a shirt made for expecting mothers. Noticing some text written over the belly, she held up the shirt to read what it said. It was only one word but it was enough to cause the Commander to burst into laughter. That one word was: "Calibrating..."
"I was hoping you would like it," Garrus was unsure of how to handle Shepard's reaction.
"I love it!" she exclaimed, wrapping her arms around his neck and giving him a quick thank you kiss.