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.