Shepard waved good-bye as the last of those on her shift drifted out the door. Most of those on the next shift had already left to begin their patrols. She spun around on her chair for a moment, trying not to think about the fact that Garrus and his partner were still out on a call. She sighed as she turned her attention back to finishing the last of her paperwork. Thirty minutes later, she finally completed the last form and shut the console down. She pushed up and out of her chair and headed for the dispatch desk. Maybe they could give her an idea of how much longer until they would be back. A few steps from the desk, however, her omni-tool pinged.
"Finally," she said under her breath.
Heading to the main hospital in Zakera Ward - nothing major. - G.
Swearing under her breath, she quickly typed a reply.
What in hell does that mean? What happened? - L.
His reply wasn't reassuring.
I'll explain when you get here. - G.
She rushed back to her desk and grabbed her things before leaving. Although they usually walked or took the mass transit around the Citadel, this time, Lily splurged and hired a taxi instead to take her to the hospital. The car had barely landed before she dove out of it and rushed inside the building. A quick glance around and she spotted the front desk. The asari that sat serenely behind it looked up at her approach.
"Excuse me, where can I find Officer Vakarian? He was brought in after being injured."
"And you are?"
"I'm Lily Shepard, his girlfriend."
"I'm sorry, Miss Shepard, but only immediate family are allowed in the recovery area."
"Well, can you tell me how badly he was hurt?"
"That information can't be released to non-family members either."
"We live together, dammit; it's not like I met him a week ago."
"You aren't immediate family, so I'm sorry, but you'll have to wait out here."
"Miss Shepard," a dual toned voice said from behind her.
Lily swiveled around and the elder Vakarian nodded towards her.
"My son is just like his mother. He fails to see that a little information does more harm than good."
"I totally agree, sir. Do you know what happened to him?"
He shook his head and stepped towards the receptionist. "I'm Titus Vakarian, Garrus Vakarian's father. What was he brought in for?"
The asari looked over at Lily and then back at Titus and at his reassuring nod, she opened up a file.
"He was brought in for a badly broken leg. He's expected to make a full recovery, but is in the recovery room until a doctor clears him."
"Where might I find him?"
"Go to the third floor. The receptionist there can direct you to his room, but only immediate family is allowed in there."
He turned towards Lily. "I'm sorry; you will have to wait here, but I'll make sure he finds you."
"Thank you, sir."
She watched him head to the elevator before she stalked over to a seat that faced the elevators and quickly sent a message to Garrus.
They won't let me up there to see you. Your dad is on his way up. - L.
Meanwhile in a room a few floors above where Lily sat, Garrus struggled to explain his injuries without it sounding worse than it really was. The pain medication that coursed through his veins weren't help with clear thinking either. As he blearily looked around the room, the only face he recognized was that of his partner, who was busy typing away on his omni-tool.
"I have to go," Garrus said hoarsely.
"A doctor hasn't cleared you yet," Marinis said without glancing up from his device.
Garrus attempted to roll out of the bed. The cast on his leg thunked on the frame of the bed, calling the nurse's attention in the hallway to his attempt at escape. She hurried to his side and she gently pushed him back down onto the mattress.
"Sir, you shouldn't be up yet. I'll get the doctor now that you are awake."
"I need to go. My girlfriend is waiting for me," Garrus growled back, once more attempting to swing his legs free of the bed.
The nurse looked at Marinis for support, and he nodded and moved to push Garrus back down.
"Listen, just let the doc clear you and then you can go join her and we can all go home."
Garrus grumbled a bit, but stayed put. "When will he be here?"
"The doctor will be in shortly," the elder Vakarian said before he entered the room. "I can now report to your mother that I personally saw you and that you will be fine. You might have wanted to let Miss Shepard know exactly what happened, as I found her downstairs, frustrated by the lack of information she was permitted to know."
"Sir!" Marinis saluted. "Uh, I'll see you next week, Vakarian."
Garrus gave him a nod before a sigh escaped him. "I didn't want to worry her."
"Remember when your mother was hit? I know you blamed me for not returning to Palaven to be with her."
Titus held up a hand when Garrus would have interrupted.
"I believe you are now ready to hear my side of why I didn't return home. Your mother called me and told me she only had a few cuts and bruises and would be out of the hospital as soon as they had finished checking her over."
"She had broken bones!"
"I know that now and now I know why she only placed a voice call only. She said it was to maintain the privacy of others around her, but it was to hide the extent of her injuries because she didn't want to worry me."
Their discussion was interrupted by the arrival of the doctor. The salarian barely looked up from his datapad before beginning to speak.
"Officer Vakarian? You are ready to go home. Here is a list of complications to watch for; come back immediately if any of them appear. You'll need to set up a follow-up appointment with your own doctor to get the cast removed. And here are the prescriptions you will need filled. Have you any questions for me?"
Garrus gruffly replied, "No, I'm good."
Titus took the datapad and handed the crutches that rested just out of Garrus's reach over to his son. His father's steps were slow and measured beside him as he slowly made his way out of the room. Titus pointed towards where the elevators were and Garrus moved carefully towards them. They rode down in silence. Garrus glanced over at his father, but as usual, his features revealed little of what he might be thinking. The door slid open and it only took a second for him to spot Lily. She must have seen him as well, because she practically leaped from her seat in order to meet him just a few short steps outside the elevator.
Titus held the datapad out to Lily. "Here is everything you need to know. Do not hesitate to call me should you have problems of any sort."
Garrus winced a little at the way his father implied he would be the one to give her trouble.
"Of course, sir. Thank you."
Titus Vakarian caught Garrus's eye before he nodded to the pair. "You're welcome."
They watched him leave before they, too, headed outside at a much slower speed. Shortly after she had settled him into another cab, her hand smacked the top of his head with a thunk.
"Next time, just tell me!"
His shoulders dropped a little. "I know. I'm sorry. I just didn't want you to worry. I figured you would get upset when I said hospital and didn't want to add to that."
"I'll get you settled at home and then go get your meds and some supper." She leaned over and gave him a kiss on the side of his face. "I'm glad you are alright."
He wrapped an arm around her. "Me, too. I was nearly buried under half a ton of krogan. I managed to mostly get out of his way as he fell, but my leg got caught by one of his flailing arms."
"What were you - he doing?"
"We were breaking up a bar fight. He had just started to run to charge out of the bar when Marinis tripped him. Unfortunately, he fell towards me."
"Need to jump faster than that next time, Vakarian."
He laughed. "Trust me, I'll be practicing once this cast comes off."
The rest of the trip back home was uneventful, that is until they found a figure leaned against the wall by their front door.
"Crap," Garrus muttered before he said much louder, "Sol, what are you doing here?"
The figure turned to face them and Lily saw the same cobalt blue markings as those that graced Garrus's face.
"On shore leave. Dad told me you were living out here on your own. What the hell happened to you?"
His tone had her mandibles fluttering for a moment before she shook her head. "Sounds like a story."
"Yeah, but you'll have to wait a bit for me to spill it."
Lily moved up, unlocked the door, and waited for the other two to enter. Sol strode through the door and looked around. Lily followed and took a few steps closer to Garrus.
"Uh, Sol, I live here with Lily, my girlfriend," he said as he wrapped an arm around her shoulders.
"Yes, Shepard, wasn't it? I heard about her from Dad as well. I'm in need of a stiff drink. I don't suppose you have something suitable here for me? I was going to take you to this great bar down the way where we could have a nice little family chat. You don't mind if I borrow my brother for a bit, do you, Shepard?"
Garrus flinched at the inflection in her voice. Lily caught his eye and he gave a small nod.
"Sure; I need to go get his prescriptions and I was going to pick up some supper for us -"
"Great, I pretty much like the same things he does; you don't mind picking something up for me as well?"
Lily's eyes flattened but at Garrus's pleading look, she held her tongue. Giving Garrus a small nod, she strode back out the door.
Garrus eased himself down onto the sofa before he turned to glare at his sister. "Damn it, Sol! I'm staying right here. I've had a crappy enough of a day already. What exactly is going on?"
"Spirits, Garrus! What are you thinking living with -"
"Don't say it, Sol," he growled out.
Her mandibles were tight against her face and she leaned her face close to him. "Mom and Dad might be willing to let you make your own mistakes, but someone needs to talk some sense into you!"
"Right, we are done here." Garrus pointed towards the door. "You can show yourself out."
"Oh no, little brother, I'm not leaving yet."
He flicked on the television and turned up the volume. Seeing that her current approach wasn't going to work, she sat down heavily next to him. "Please. I just don't understand."
He grumbled a bit, but turned the set off. She left the sofa, began rummaging through their little cooling unit, and pulled out a bottle of his beer. She opened it and returned to the sofa. She swirled it a moment before she took a long gulp of it. She stared into the amber liquid while she spoke.
"Why her? I mean, I get trying new things, and by all means fuck her all you want, but I can hear you are getting attached to her."
"Solana, that's awfully fucking cold. You met her, for what, thirty seconds at the most, yet somehow you have figured out she's not right for me!"
"Because you are my brother! What happens when you get older and are ready to settle down, exactly what kind of life can the two of you have together?"
Garrus leaned towards her, and everything in how he held his body screamed that he was very serious. "A good one, so back off or we are done here."
She grumbled a bit and instead of saying something that would be sure to set him off, she turned her gaze to the rest of the little apartment for a moment.
"So, what, there were no turians you found attractive in the service or out of it?"
He laughed, the sound bitter to her ears. "Sure, there is a really good looking one in C-Sec. She operates the call line during the day and she is one of the worst gossips I have ever met."
"Oh. Okay, maybe not her."
"What, she isn't better simply because of her species?"
"At least I'm sure she wouldn't need to use a relationship with you in order to further her career!"
Garrus leaned back in his chair while his mandibles fluttered for a second. "What! Lily only joined C-Sec because I asked her to."
"And I'm sure you asked Dad to help her out!"
Garrus chuckled and shook his head. "Actually, a Spectre fast tracked her application, not Dad."
"Right," Sol said with a snort.
"The only thing I asked Dad about was if he knew where to find the damn forms she needed to fill out. Do you remember the attack on Mindoir that Spectre Kryik thwarted? Remember the reports only said that a Hierarchy soldier had helped him? That was her."
"No! That -"
"Yes! She wanted to remain anonymous, but she has the commendation given to her hanging up in our bedroom," Garrus said while his hand gestured towards the room.
The bottle hit the table beside the sofa with a loud clink before Sol was up and walking into their bedroom. She returned a few minutes later and paced around the small space before snagging her beer and downing the rest of it in a few gulps. Garrus sighed as she grabbed another from his stash. At this rate there would be none left before he could get her out the door.
"I know what you would say if she was turian; you'd tell me that she was too good for me and that I better not fuck this up."
Sol turned at the sound of his voice, her eyes comically wide.
"Every day I wake up next to her, I say to myself, 'Garrus, don't screw this up."
"I do mean it, every word. If you can't keep your racist crap out of our home, then I'll have to ask you to leave."
"What? You'd pick her over family!"
"As far as I'm concerned, she is family and Mom likes her."
"She does not!"
"Ask her," Garrus said, a hint of smugness in his voice.
A bang on the front door announced the return of Lily.
"Sol, open the door for her. It sounds like she has her hands full."
Her eyes narrowed at her brother before she did as he asked. Lily entered and glanced around and, well, nothing was broken at least. She handed him a carton of food and his medications with a brush of her lips against his face. He shot a grin over to where his sister stood.
"So, are you staying or leaving, Sol?"
Lily glanced between the two of them and with a sigh, Sol dropped into a chair.
"I'd like to stay for dinner, if that is okay?"
Lily handed her the other container before taking the spot next to Garrus on the couch.
"So, Garrus," Sol asked in between bites, "how did a krogan break your leg?"
He groaned, which only drew a laugh from his sister.
"He apparently didn't jump fast enough to avoid one falling," Lily said with a grin.
Solana laughed. "Really?"
"If we are going to tell embarrassing stories, Sol, you should ask Lily what Kryik's nickname for her is and why."
The words were barely out of his mouth when Lily's hand connected with his shoulder.
"Of course, Lily needs to ask you about your first boyfriend."
That drew a groan from Sol. "Ugh, please, I'm trying to eat here."
Several hours later and they were finally alone. Garrus rested his head on top of Lily's as they half-heartedly watched a vid. He wasn't even sure what was playing; he hadn't been paying that much attention to what she had selected. Sol's arrival hadn't turned into the disaster it could have become. She had made an effort to get to know Lily and that was all he could hope for. Well, that and keeping her opinions to herself.
At least they had a few days off before they had to return to work, since it was the end of the workweek for both of them. Besides, they had big plans for tomorrow. Seeing some of the sights of the station, and then in the evening they were supposed to meet some fellow officers for drinks and dancing... Okay, maybe not the dancing. He rubbed his face in her hair, mussing it up and drawing a sigh from her. Spirits, but it was fun to do that. He loved the feeling of her hair against his face, not to mention the scent of her, which always made his chest hum with pleasure. Of course, then there was the added bonus that it always drew exasperated sighs from her. However, she already knew what was coming next in his routine. He brushed his mouth against her ear.
"Hmm, it's been a long day; are you ready to go to bed?"
She laughed. "Why do you bother asking? I know when you ruffle my hair that you're ready to go."
She untangled herself from him and grabbed his crutches that were leaned against the back of the sofa. He took them, although he didn't get off the sofa right away. He looked up at her with a smile.
"Thanks for giving my sister a chance even though she was an ass to begin with."
Lily shrugged. "Well, if you ever met my Mom, you'll likely get the same treatment. What did you say to her to get her to change her tune?"
"I told her that her racist opinions weren't welcome in our home."
"Thank you. It means a lot to me that you stood up to her for us. Come on, let's get you to bed."
He waggled his eyebrow plates. "I know you can't keep your hands off of me, but really, I don't think I'm up to that sort of thing tonight."
She rolled her eyes at him and he laughed. He levered himself out of the sofa and followed her into the bedroom. He'd barely got settled on his pillows before the pain medication pulled him asleep. Lily smiled at him even as his soft snores began to echo in the room. He flung his arm over her as soon as she curled into his side.
Knowing he was nearly asleep, she mumbled, "You know, your sister threatened to hunt me down and hurt me if I ever hurt you."
His breathing never changed. She'd have to ask him tomorrow if she really was in Blackwatch.
~Thanks once more to Mordinette for her help as my beta, thank you! And another to the readers, sorry it was such a long wait!~