"Nicola, NICOLA SHEPARD! Are you even paying attention?" The teenager slammed the front legs of her chair down onto the floor in frustration, tearing her gaze away from the window and back onto the miserable old bat at the front of the classroom.

It was a beautiful sunny day outside and she would much rather be out swimming or hiking or even helping her father work in the fields... Anything but be stuck inside this stuffy building!

"As I was saying," Mrs Lewis continued pointedly, "the first mass relay was discovered in 2149 and was activated by a group of explorers led by Jon Grissom-"

"That's why we fought the turians wasn't in?" Some smarmy punk interrupted from the middle of the room.

"Not quite Bobby, you're thinking of the Relay 314 Incident in '57. This was much earlier and..."

History! Pfft, who even gives a frig about history? Shepard thought as she let the voice fade into a constant drone in the background. Whoop-de-doo people did stuff. It was all in the past, she'd much rather focus on the present. How about they let her do something interesting for a change, rather than having to waste away her life with school.

Checking the teacher was suitably distracted, she leant back in her chair once more, overriding the mag locks so she could tilt far enough to look out the window again. The ONLY redeeming feature about history was that it coincided with the year above's P.E class, and her seat had a perfect view of the netball courts.


"Looks like you've got another admirer Nikki." Her father's voice tore her attention away from her work in the field as they focused on bringing in the harvest, sun beating down mercilessly on their backs, neck protected by her shoulder length black hair. She gave a groan.

"How many times do I have to punch these pricks before they get the hint I'm not interested?"

"I don't know kiddo, you never know you might be interested in this one." She shot him a glare but he simply smiled and nodded his head in the relevant direction. Knowing from past experience that he wouldn't shut up until she at least looked, she turned her head, dismissal already on the tip of her tongue. It died in her throat as she saw the two girls sat a short way away from the rest of the group.

While most of the girls in the crowd were drooling over the muscly, and in some cases not so muscly boys, these two had their attention on her. They weren't from her class but she realised with a start that she recognised them: Wing Attack and Goal Defense. She turned back to her work with a blush.


"Well what?" She didn't look at him. Didn't need to in order to know there would be a grin spreading across his face. A look in his eye that said: 'you know what'. She sighed. "They were giggling Dad. They're probably just sat there making jokes about me."

"If you're not interested that's fine honey, but I'm telling you from experience, she is definitely interested in you. So don't let fear hold you back."

"I'm not scared!" The response was instant as he knew it would be.

"No? Then why don't you go over there and talk, don't have to do anything else, just go say hi."

"I'm working."

"The field will still be here when you get back."

"If she's worth anything I'm sure she can hold on until the fields are finished." Thomas laughed to hear his own words, spoken so often to his eldest son when he tried skipping work, quoted back by his daughter.

"So, we're agreed? If they're still there when we finish this field you'll go talk." She scowled at his trap but snuck another quick peek over her shoulder.

"Fine. I'll say hi. That's all."

In retrospect he should have seen it coming Thomas thought, struggling not to facepalm as his daughter nodded at the two girls, said 'hi' and then kept on walking. He sighed, Nikki was a good kid, a much better worker than her brothers and he really was proud of her, but sometimes... She was just absolutely hopeless!