“Sure you don’t want me to nab a Spectre-grade one? Okay… Nah, you go ahead. Garrus and I will guard this plant from any Geth attacks.”
Brown eyes twinkled with laughter as Kaidan nodded and headed off toward the shop. Shepard shot an amused, crooked smile to his back before turning to grin at Garrus.
“We should set up a perimeter. Don’t want anything happening to this defenseless, uh…what is it?” She poked the green and purple plant.
Garrus leaned against the railing. “Hell if I know, Shepard. It’s a plant.”
She laughed and leaned backwards against the same railing, mystery plant between them. Quiet, companionable silence drifted on the air. A few moments later, she couldn’t help but tilt her head to try and peer through the store window. While Kaidan could certainly take care of himself, she still couldn’t be too careful: they had angered a lot of powerful people going after Saren. The Citadel should be safe and public enough, but until the mission was totally completed, keeping their guard up was only wise.
At least, that’s what she told herself as she watched her lieutenant through the glass. Surrounded by dozens of biotic amps, he looked like a kid in a candy store.
“I don’t understand you at all.” Garrus’s deep, alien voice cut through her thoughts.
Shepard twisted and rested her hip on the decorative half-wall as her bright green eyes swiveled to rest on the turian. What was he talking about? “Few people do, Garrus.”
He shook his head. “I’m pretty good at reading humans, Shepard; it comes with C-Sec training. Hell, your species is probably the most expressive out of the lot of us. It’ll take me years to get you figured out, though.”
“What brought this on?” While it was true that she was exceptional at hiding her motivations and feelings, the commentary was pretty out of left field.
The turian gently jerked his head toward the amp shop. “I can tell, you know.”
She wasn’t very good at reading turians yet, but her friend certainly looked like he was amused. Shepard sighed and gave Garrus a steady stare. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“He’s worse about it than you are, to be fair. I knew the second we met: the quiet, preemptive glances around, protectively hovering around your six…being constantly tense until you’re safe after a mission.”
Her gaze quickly shot back to the window and the man behind it. It looked like he might have found one that worked for him, and the asari disappeared into the back room. Kaidan turned to look out the window and their eyes accidentally locked. Her stomach quickly filled with those annoying butterflies again. She spoke to Garrus without breaking the stare.
“It’s not that simple, Garrus.” A few moments later, she managed to rip her eyes away and focused instead on the plant in front of her. “Far from that simple.”
Garrus shrugged and pushed to stand straight. “Well, it should be. You’re both too smart to let something like that affect your work. Just…don’t bottle it up too much. That won’t end well for anyone.”
She couldn’t help a wide smirk as she looked back up to her friend. “Now you’re giving me lectures? Don’t worry; I know what I’m doing. Not my first rodeo.”
“…Rodeo?” Mandibles twitched in confusion.
Kaidan walked to stand next to her, bag in hand. “What about rodeos?”
Shepard quickly pushed down the feeling in her chest that bloomed when she realized they were standing close enough that she could feel his skin’s heat. “Oh, I just used an expression with it and now the turian is confused.” She bit her tongue to fight the blush erupting because of the look Garrus was shooting her. She did know that one already: smug, knowing. “…Let’s go, I need a new gun.”
Garrus burst into flanging laughter as she stormed off toward the C-Sec office. Kaidan just looked confused, following closely.
That was her motto: new guns fixed everything. Even embarrassing feelings about a subordinate.
Cross-posted to fanfic.net as usual!