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One Final Shot

By KathyCross

Replies: 423 / 57 days ago

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Allowed Users

  1. [Allowed] NorthernWolves

Story takes place after Mass Effect 3. Conduit and mass relay are destroyed. Shepard is paired with Garrus. Kaiden is alive, Ashley is not. Everyone from 2 except Mordin survived.

The galaxy is saved, but now they need to rebuild. But what do you do when society as you know it has changed, what do you do when your only purpose is gone? How do you pick up the threads of an old life? Much time has passed for Shepard as she laid under the rubble of the Conduit. She has no idea how long it has been, she has no idea if anyone even thinks she is alive. But that's not important to her right now. She just hoped Garrus was okay, that he had survived and that he didn't give up on her. After all, there is no Shepard without Vakarian.

1. Post when you can, I have work so my posts may be delayed by a few days.
2. This a mature roleplay no one under the age of 18.
3. No sex scenes per rules of the site.
4. Have fun

☆This a work of fanfiction. Mass Effect and all its characters belong to BioWare, no copyright infringement is intended☆


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[pic https://pic8.co/sh/s2BQrn.png]

After asking his question, Garrus stayed completely silent. He listened to Shepard, taking in the news of Anderson's will in the form of a box. Anderson had never been, nor entertained, being a polician. Anderson hated the way bureaucracy was handled. He'd first been a soldier and was always a soldier first since that time. Garrus wasn't as familar with Anderson as he was with Hackett. He'd met Anderson a few times, but never worked with him to the same degree as with Hackett.

The fact that Shepard only wanted him to judge her was quite touching.

A datapad with Anderson's voice was next after Shepard's further explanation of her past. Anderson's story matched Shepard's story. Not that Garrus doubted Shepard would lie about such things, but he enjoyed when stories corroborated with each other.

Garrus noticed Shepard's reaction at hearing Anderson's voice. If Anderson had been the father figure of Shepard's life, Garrus could understand, but not feel, how it was to hear family speak to you.

He had never known Shepard's nickname. But now that he did now knew, he wouldn't use it. It had been nickname used between Anderson and Shepard. He didn't want to get in the way and bring up bad memories.

Even though he'd never directly expressed interest in Shepard, Garrus knew that someone as close to Shepard like Anderson could put two and two together. If the rest of the Normandy crew had figured that he and Shepard were together, Anderson would see it the first moment.

As soon as Shepard choked out her promise, Garrus started to shift. He'd been sitting on the side of the bed with legs on the floor. Now he was closer to the backrest, legs ready to swing up on the bed, arms reaching out to Shepard as soon as the voice recording ended. His arms enveloped a sobbing, shaking Shepard, pulling her against his chest while swinging his legs up to lay on the bed. At first her tears soaked into his shirt, more and more of the fabric turning a darker shade. When the fabric couldn't absorb anymore, Shepard's tears began pooling on the shirt and rolling downwards, one by one, creating dark lines down the shirt.

He didn't know how much time had passed. Garrus only kept Shepard tight against his chest, her sobs and other noises associated with sadness muffled against his body.

The moment Shepard apologized, Garrus pulled her forehead up to his and touched. He looked into her eyes, giving her that expressing understanding and not to worry. Garrus slowly matched his breath rate and heart rate to Shepard, trying to feel more like one with Shepard. He kept Shepard pressed like this against his forehead for a couple of minutes before slwoly sliding her back down into his lap. [+blue "Never got to know him too well. He seemed like a good type of guy. Probably would have been my type of guy if I'd known him better."]
She waits until they are mostly alone and heading to rapid transport that she speaks. [+green "They gave me the things that were willed to me by Admiral Anderson. As much as I want to be with everyone right now, this...this is private. I don't know how I'm going to react to what's in here, and if I go to pieces I'd rather be somewhere private where the only one who can judge me is you."] She says in a soft tone.

Returning to their hotel room she sits on the bed for a moment before opening the box. Nestled in Alliance blue tissue paper is a pair of dog tags with the Alliance symbol on them. Gently taking them out she uses the pad of her index finger to trace the name engraved there. Taking a breath she puts them back in and takes out the pistol. It was clearly well cared for, even after being in a box for two years. She remembered that pistol. Not looking at Garrus she slowly explains. [+green "Anderson was the reason I got into the Alliance. I had tried to pick pocket him one day, got caught. Instead of turning me in, he gave me the money he had and said "there are better ways to earn money, you know. If you want to do something worthwhile, follow me." I was curious and not at all eager to go back to the Reds, so I followed him. Next thing I know I'm signed up for the Alliance, set to join once I hit eighteen. He was there for me every step of the way, first as my mentor, then my commanding officer. I remember I those two years before basic training. He decided to give me a crash course. He taught me to fight better, and he taught me how to shoot. He used this very pistol."]

Putting it back in the box she takes a small flat piece of equipment, a data pad. Steeling herself she turns it on and plays the only thing on it. David Anderson's voice begins to speak, sounding as if he were right next to them. [+darkgoldenrod "Hey, Shepard, if you're getting this well....I'm sorry but it means I didn't make it. Hopefully this won't be necessary, but you know me. I always plan for everything I can."] She silently nods, tears shining in her verdant gaze. Just hearing his voice was enough for her, she missed him so much. [+darkgoldenrod "Well, now where to begin? I guess at the end. Others will probably be confused why I'm leaving you my dog tags and that pistol, but they can wonder all they want. I've known you a long time. I watched you go from this scared, angry teenager, to an amazing soldier."] Anderson's voice lets out a soft sigh. [+darkgoldenrod "While anyone would be proud of the soldier you became, I'm proud of the person you became, Firebrand."] Shepard nearly drops the data pad when he says that nickname, he used to call her that all the time before she joined the Alliance, after it was always Shepard, even in private.

[+darkgoldenrod "I'm proud to have met you all those years ago. I don't know what made me decided to give you a chance, but I'm glad I did. Firebrand, don't blame yourself for my death. If you were there when I died, then you better not have any guilt, if I died protecting you, or giving you one last shot, then don't you dare blame yourself. It's a parent's job to protect their kids."] Anderson pauses for a moment and when he speaks again his voice is rough, like he himself had struggled not to cry. [+darkgoldenrod "You may not see me that way, but I have always seen you as my daughter. I saw so much of me in you as you grew up. And if I died to keep you safe, then I'm glad for it. There is no greater honor for me that to give my life for yours. I love you very much, kiddo. I'm sorry I won't be there to see you get married, but if I'm right about something."] Here his voice gets stern, [+darkgoldenrod "Garrus Vakarian, if I'm right, and I usually am, you better treat my girl right or I'll find someway to come back and haunt you. I'm counting on you now."] A soft chuckle sounds before a sigh can be heard. [+darkgoldenrod "I don't have much more time on here, so I'll say this. Don't blame yourself anymore, you did everything you could. Start living for yourself. Promise me that?"] The audio pauses as if waiting, and Shepard chokes out the promise. The audio picks up again, [+darkgoldenrod "That's my girl. I love you, Firebrand, I'll be watching over you."]

The audio ends and the data pad shuts off. Shepard puts a hand to mouth, trying to stop or stifle the cries beginning to leave her. She wanted desperately to put her mask back on but it was so far out if her reach. Giving in she lets out a heartbreaking wail and clutches the data pad to her chest, her slender frame shaking as she sobs. Distantly she feels arms envelop her and she buries her face in Garrus' chest, her tears eventually soaking his shirt. For nearly an hour she cries, her arms tightly wrapped around Garrus' waist. When her crying quiets her eyes were red and it was obvious Garrus would need to get a new shirt to wear. Sitting up she quickly wipes her eyes, her breathing a bit shaky. [+green "Sorry, I think I ruined your shirt."] She says, her tone slightly raspy.
[pic https://pic8.co/sh/s2BQrn.png]

Garrus would concede this point. Not all lovers who lost loved ones attempted to erase all memories of their partner. More often than not, the one left alive would enter a small state of denial that their loved one had died. Some kept the denial in a healthy balance while others would lose their mental hold and careen downhill as the world seemed to go out of control. Garrus didn't know, and didn't want to know, which path Shepard would take if he had died. He wanted to believe Shepard wouldn't mentally spiral out of control. But some other part of him thought otherwise based on serving with Shepard through these many years.

He sat quietly while Shepard excused herself to talk to the Alliance officer. The Alliance officer could've been here for news concerning the retirement gala, but then why hand over a box? Was there some information in there that could not be communicated verbally?

Even though Shepard arrived calmly, Garrus noticed there was some underlying sadness. It couldn't have been news about the retirement gala. That news for that could not have dragged Shepard into sadness this quickly. Maybe the Alliance officer had brought news of someone's death? Garrus did not know. Shepard not explaining in more detail began to concern him.

After Shepard had left, giving him that 'talk in private look', [+blue "I'll go see what's up. Don't worry about it too much."] He stood up slowly, [+blue "That's my job"], before proceeding to catch up to Shepard with a medium paced walk.

Arriving at Shepard's side and seeing her holding a white box, [+blue "What did they tell you?"]
[+green "Hm. Well if I was really close with Arcangel, and he for some reason was no longer alive, the ship would still be named after him, to keep his memory alive."] Shepard says with a slightly sad smile. She goes to say more when she notices an Alliance officer outside the restaurant looking in their direction. Sighing quietly she excuses herself and goes out to meet him lest he disrupt any of the other patrons.

Upon seeing her the officer gives her a salute that she returns, her gaze wary. [+darkcyan "Commander Shepard?"] He asks in a gentle voice. Her hackles rise slightly at the tone but she doesn't let it show on her face. [+green "Yes?"]

[+darkcyan Major General Carson, I apologize for interrupting your meal, ma'am. I just have something that was supposed to be given to you two years ago, concerning Admiral David Anderson."]

The breath in her body seems to freeze for a moment before she manages to nod. Carson looks at her with sympathy and hands her a small white box. [+darkcyan "Inside you will find a device that holds a message he left for you in the event of his death, as well as his dog tags and a pistol he wished for you to have. His will stated that he could think of no one else to pass them on to."]

Shepard slowly takes the box and holds it against her chest for a moment before quietly thanking Carson. [+green "Though a word of advice, next time you have to deliver something like this, send message first to the person. Not everyone likes to deal with something like this in a public setting."] She says in a slightly shaky tone. Carson nods. [+darkcyan "My apologies ma'am. Will you be alright?"]
[+green "I'll be fine."] She says in a slightly harsh tone. Carson nods and salutes again before walking away. Going back into the restaurant she stops by the waitress asks her to apologize for her impromptu leave and asks her to charge the meals of those here, including her tabel to credit chit, which she hands the waitress before walking back to her table. The waitress' eyes were kind as she nods. Getting back to her table Shepard takes her seat and manages a smile. [+green "Sorry about that. They had to make an urgent delivery."] She says as calmly as she could.

Vega had recognized the officer and his gaze was filled with sympathy but he does not voice it, knowing that Shepard never handled that well, she always preferred a fight to get through stuff like that, he was the same way. [+orange "If you need to spar, let me know. I'll be glad to help you fight through it."] She nods gratefully and simply reaches under the table to tightly grip Garrus' hand. Liara looked slightly confused as to what had happened but remains silent when the waitress hands Shepard back her credit chit. [+orange "Hey Liara, after this why don't you and I see if we can scare up the others for drinks later at Purgatory. I'm sure quite a few of them will need it."] Still confused she nods but remains silent. Slowly beginning to feel anxious she lets go of Garrus' hand and grabs the box before standing. [+green "The meal is paid for, I am going to for a bit of a walk. Send me a message when we're going to Purgatory and I'll meet you there."] Her gaze lands on Garrus and one of their silent conversations goes on where she says she needs his support with something difficult, before she simply leaves the restaurant.
[pic https://pic8.co/sh/s2BQrn.png]

Garrus still thought that he had been dragged of by Shepard in hunting after Saren. For that particular case, he had been seeking some reason or excuse to be dragged away from the Citadel and actually hunt after the rogue spectre; Shepard had been that excuse, and Garrus let her drag him of willingly. But what he thought he said was not what Shepard heard. And that was if one was taking her seriously with what she currently affronted him with. It had to be some form of playful joking. Garrus knew how Vega covered himself up when attempting to hide amusement, and Vega was doing the same exact motions now.

He at first sat in silence, letting Shepard's words stew over their party as he further leaned backwards in the chair, cracking his neck towards the right. [+blue "Archangel did seem to disappear after a certain incident on Omega."] That had been when every merc company had been attempting to wipe him to blot out the stain of how many he'd killed. And they nearly succeeded with a rocket to the face; Garrus still had those scars on his face. [+blue "Although, I wouldn't say this Archangel ever truly disappeared."] Garrus shifted forwards, a slight lean in Shepard's direction. [+blue "I think he still is around, protecting those who needed the time to become strong again."] A wink directed specifically at Shepard before making a smooth chuckle. [+blue "Besides, I don't think Shepard would name her own ship Archangel if he wasn't around anymore."]
Shepard turns to face Garrus and her eyebrows rise in a fake affronted manner. [+green "Excuse me? I didn't drag you anywhere. If I seem to recall I had to help you save a nurse that from a hostage situation. If was that a different sexy Turian that was chomping at the but to get away from C-Sec?"] Vega covers his mouth with his hand to his amusement while Liara shakes her head. [+green "I couldn't be wrong, after all there are so many Turians in C-Sec. I suppose it was some other Turian named Arcangel that I fell for. He was after all very sexy with all his cloak and dagger, and his voice could make a girl melt."] She says with a wink toward Liara.

Liara smile and joins in on the fun. [+purple "Yes I do seem to recall many people regaling us with stories of this Arcangel. A hero to the downtrodden. I seem to recall Shepard not being able to stop talking about him."]
[pic https://pic8.co/sh/s2BQrn.png]

Despite Shepard's words, Garrus still felt concern. Shepard was fine for now. But he had no idea whether there would be any reaction farther down the road. Last thing anyone of them wanted was Shepard suddenly collapsing, and either nearly dying or actually dying in front of them. Dying because of incompatibility with dextro would be a bad way to go for someone with Shepard's history.

Shepard's comment about the back of Liara's head triggered confusion for Liara. This in turn prompted Vega to explain, via omnitool, Shepard's comment, which was all part of another round of joking at each other.

Garrus first wiped his mouth with a napkin, finishing his plate first, before leaning back in his chair. [+blue "I would probably just follow Shepard and let her lead me to an Asari cuisine adventure. My first adventure with the Normandy did start off with Shepard dragging me along after all."]
[+green "Hm, I'm fine. Its bitter certainly but nothing like the previous stuff I tried. Too chewy though, reminds me of calamari and I cannot stand that stuff. It's like I'm eating Liara's head."] She says, gesturing towards the curled parts of Liara's head. Liara looks appropriately confused. [+purple "They make food that resembles my head?"]

Vega bursts out laughing and quickly pulls up his omnitool. He has it show an image of what calamari was and what it looks like when it's served. [+purple "I see. I do not however see the resemblance unless Shepard is saying I resemble a squid."]

[+orange "I would just take as you being safe from Shepard biting you. If you introduce her to Asari food she may just follow you home instead of Garrus."]

[+purple "While the idea has merits I doubt Garrus would allow it."]
[pic https://pic8.co/sh/s2BQrn.png]

Garrus stayed silent after noticing Shepard's sad look, not knowing what he'd said that caused that reaction; he let Vega do the cheering up. What Vega said made sense. It did play on Shepard's on past, but Garrus did not find anything wrong with that callback. The Reaper War had made orphans on a larger scale than even the Citadel Council knew how to deal with properly. The only species not to be hit that badly would be the Krogan and Quarians. Those two species had lived so close with their own kind, the Krogan stuck on Tuchanka and the Quarians with their Migrant Fleet, that there was always someone that could be called family. All the other races with their sprawling colonies, worlds wasted by the Reapers meant that there wasn't any structure for some time.

Once the food arrived it was time to dig in. Garrus naturally enjoyed the dish, his more hardened teeth not having too much difficulty tearing through the chewiness that naturally came with this dish. Over the years he had also mastered not moving his mandibles Just like chewing with your mouth open was a societal no-no, same was with mandible movement. Now some movements were inescapable. But the less number and lesser magnitude of movements was considered more polite within Turian society.

Garrus kept a close eye on Shepard after she'd managed to take a peace of what he was eating. She had eaten the low dextro foods without any reaction, but this had magnitutes more dextro than those. [+blue "Are you still feeling alright Shepard?"]
Vega notices the sad look flash in Shepard's gaze and stops the smart-ass retort he was going to make. [+orange "Any kid will be lucky to have you two for parents. They'd grow up with good morals and would always be safe. And they would have a whole lot of aunts and uncles. Plus,"] Here his tone gentlest as he knew a but about Shepard's past. [+orange "You'll be taking a kid who may believe they aren't loved and have no future and showing them that they are wrong."] His gaze meets Shepard's and he smiles a true smile. Shepard returns his smiles before glancing up as the waitress brings their meals. She quietly thanks her and eats a bit of her steak, her usual hum of happiness missing. After a few bites she moves onto the two Turian side dishes, she had no idea what they were but assumed they were a type of vegetable. She goes to ask Garrus to identify them when she sees what he is eating.

[+orange "Uh Garrus....you may want to guard your um food. Shepard has eyes on it."] He says with a chuckle. Shepard blushes and puts her eyes back on her own meal, and tries a bluish pink bit of some rice looking thing. She blinks at the sweet taste and happily eats it, a very faint hum leaving sounding from her as she does.

Liara fights back a chuckle as she watches Shepard eat. [+purple "Its amazing how many of the Turian traits she somehow manages to replicate."] She says quietly to Vega. Vega glances at her and nods. [+orange "Yeah, she very rarely got along with anyone from Alliance, even after everything with Akuze. I think the only people she's gotten close to, human wise, was anyone that served with her on the Normandy, past and present. Even then, I can count the number of those humans she holds close on one hand, and one them isn't around anymore. Admiral Anderson was something special to her."]

Liara nods and glances back to Sheaprd and Garrus and smiles and Shepard stealing of piece of the Xiolia. She laughs at Shepard's triumphant look and goes back to her own meal. Eating the piece she snagged Shepard closes her eyes to try and identify the taste, it was certainly bitter, but she didn't mind it this time, the chewy texture was a bit odd though, almost like calamari.
[pic https://pic8.co/sh/s2BQrn.png]

A restaurant, diner, buffet, whatever you wanted to call it, did not necessarily require a fancy atmosphere for the food to be good. Sometimes the fancy for-the-rich places had worse food than some of the more chummy places. Usually one could tell how well a place did by how it was run by its owner.

Garrus already understood that anyone seeing the matching patterns on his and Shepard's face would cause looks. He wasn't bothered by it too much, especially since no one had caused problems over it. After sitting down at a table and being handed a menu by the waitress, Garrus, by one glance, knew what he'd order. Of course the look of the food would throw off Vega and Shepard, seeing as they'd probably hadn't seen any food items looking like a combination of squid and bird with an off putting color. But it was a Turian mainstay, and he quite enjoyed it.

[+blue "I do not think we will ever be done for good. The bonds we formed with each other while fighting, they aren't easily broken. It's just everyone else went their separate ways. Tali became an admiral, Wrex is either the leader or an advisor, Zaeed I think retired somewhere quiet, Kasumi is doing her usual, and so on. "] Garrus turned to gaze at Shepard. [+blue "And it's not like me and Shepard are going to shut off from the rest of the galaxy after the honeymoon. Well, maybe from most of it. But never to any of you. Even though me and Shepard are biologically incompatible when it comes to having kids, but we can always adopt. And Vega would definitely not want to miss the opportunity of seeing that."]
Shepard smiles and returns the hand squeeze, her tired gaze warming as it meets his for a brief moment. [+green "It'll be an adventure unlike any we've ever had."] She says before following behind Vega as he leads them to Citadel Galaxy. They eventually reach a simple looking restaurant, and she and Garrus recieve a few odd looks. Taking their seats she sits next to Garrus and lets their legs touch, her gaze perusing the menu. Her eyes light up when she sees they have a steak meal. When the waitress takes their orders she asks for a well done steak and some turian side dishes that were low on the dextro meter. She waitress looks confused before her gaze falls on Garrus. A warm smile graces her lips and happily goes to fill their orders.

Vega watches how Shepard and Garrus interact and a sad smile graces his lips. [+orange "So what's after the honeymoon? We just got the awesome trio back together, plus Liara, is the team gonna be done for good?"]
[pic https://pic8.co/sh/s2BQrn.png]

It sometimes looked and felt odd to hold Shepard's hands. Human hands had five fingers, which meant that there were four spaces in between the five fingers. Turians with their three fingers had two spaces in between. It was impossible to make a uniform fist out of Turian and human hands holding each other.

[+blue "This whole husband thing, that's going to be another adventure isn't it."] Garrus smiled at this thought, a gentle squeeze of Shepard's hand, knowing he'd be unsure of what to do but understanding that that was how marriage worked. [+blue "But to make sure it continues, let us finally get some food."]
Shepard shakes her head and holds his hand, her gaze showing how tired she truly felt. While she liked hanging with Liara and James her body had literally nearly been crushed and then all the drama with Kaiden, she was ready for their honeymoon and to be able to relax. [+green "What do you expect, humans have been around each other so much, for some it becomes boring. In my case I just didn't have the inclination to form a permanent attachment among my own kind. So yeah, I'm lucky to have met everyone that I have, I'm even luckier to have Garrus as a husband."] She says quietly.