I feel like there aren't enough Lawterius (Saren Arterius/Miranda Lawson) fanfics, so Dr. Compass and I came up with a one-shot to contribute to the pairing.
I don't own Mass Effect. Bioware does.
With Saren busy in his study, Miranda took this time to scrutinize each coffee bag on the shelf, reading the label to identify which bag held Saren's kava and which bag held her Colombian coffee beans. With such a sense of achievement, Miranda started off by making her own coffee using a French press. Once she finished, she poured her coffee into her mug before she examined the bag of kava, contemplating whether she should make some for Saren.
Saren was madly typing away at his monitor, barely having gotten out of his pajamas yet. His eyes were glued to the screen, vigorously working away. He had a serious priority with working on his report for the Council on his previous mission, and he was determined to finish it as soon as he can. Still, his body was still taking its time to gain momentum again and it was showing. He slightly jumped when he felt a hand on his back while another put a hot, porcelain cup on his desk. Snapping out of his thoughts, Saren turned his head towards Miranda while she held her mug in one hand.
"L-Lawson?!" Saren grumbled in irritation.
"Sending a sloppily written report will do you no good. You may as well take your time," she calmly hummed.
After giving her a blank stare for a moment, Saren took his mug into his hand and sipped his kava. He took a moment to feel the hot, bitter liquid pour down his throat.
"Thanks, I…I actually needed that."
Miranda's scowl soon changed to a smile.
"You're welcome," she replied.
He swung around in his chair to face her for a moment.
"So, what'd you have planned for today?" Saren asked.
Miranda took a moment to think over the question while she took a sip from her mug.
"Was thinking of going out for coffee," Miranda mumbled, "yesterday was a bit rough, and I thought of taking this morning a bit slow."
Saren let out an amused chuckle.
"And yet I see you with a cup of coffee in your hands," Saren pointed out.
"This is only my first cup. I'm only halfway through it," she acknowledged.
Saren let out an enthusiastic hum before he took another sip of his kava.
"How many cups do you go through before you can start your day?" Saren asked.
Miranda gave a playful scoff.
Once Saren finished his cup of kava, he finished his report in a matter of minutes and he reviewed it before he sent it to the Council.
"That's out of the way," Saren advised, "just wait for me to get dressed first, okay?"
Miranda nodded at Saren before she stepped out of his study. She quickly returned to their room to change out of her night gown and into a t-shirt and jeans. Once the former Cerberus operative finished, she took a few minutes to brush her hair. Stepping back out, she saw Saren emerge from the shower, steam still pouring out of the bathroom. He even had a towel wrapped around his hips while he dried his chest with another.
"You look nice," he complimented, "I'll be along shortly."
Saren stepped into their bedroom and closed the door behind him. She quickly checked over her omni-tool, quickly looking back over news reports and finances as she walked to the front door. Miranda swiped a pair of shoes from the rack and slipped them on. Saren followed quickly behind, worming his arms into his sleeves while still stumbling blindly towards the front hall. Once he reached the front door, he slipped on his boots and pushed the door open, allowing Miranda to step outside first. The Spectre pulled out his omni-tool and brought it closer to Miranda.
"Here, I've found a few places that would be interesting," Saren explained.
Miranda took a moment to read the names of nearby coffee shops on the map.
"I suppose we can check each one out," Miranda nodded.
The two went down to the apartment garage and entered Saren's hovercar to travel to the first shop. It was a small place owned surprisingly enough by a quarian. His suit was mostly a dark gray with black undertones and a chrome visor.
"Ah, welcome to my shop! Anything I can get you two right away?" he greeted.
"Do you have a menu available?" Miranda asked.
"Sure, one moment."
The quarian reached behind the counter and pulled two menus for the two of them. The two shortly afterwards found a table to sit down at. The Spectre and the former Cerberus operative took a moment to read through the menus in their hands. Her eyes strolled over the asari teas while Saren considered another cup of kava. Miranda did seem to do much better in the mornings with a second cup. He made his decision before beckoning the shop owner to come over and take their orders.
"So, have you decided what you'd like?" he asked.
"I had my eyes on the Athame Lotus tea," she answered.
The quarian nodded at Miranda while he jotted it down in his notepad.
"I'll take the borderworld kava," Saren added.
"Thank you," the quarian replied, "I'll be right out with your orders soon."
They took their time looking around the place. It had a rustic feel to it, with decoration and lighting that was built from cleaned and recycled scrap and parts. Other guests that were dining here could be seen sitting at tables scattered across the room with their beverages.
"A rather charming place, wouldn't you say?" Saren mused.
"You could say it's…decent," Miranda replied.
Saren raised a brow plate.
Miranda shook her head.
"It's nothing," she blurted.
His eyes giving off a soft expression, Saren took Miranda's hand into his own.
"I get the last few days have been rough," Saren said, "I did put in a request for a temporary break in my report to the Council, so we've got a few days off."
Miranda gave Saren a soft smile.
"Maybe we can check out other coffee shops and after that," Miranda suggested, "we could surprise Commander Shepard and her squad with their favorite beverages."
"I like the sound of that. I heard she was coming into port tomorrow morning. Do you want to invite her along then?" Saren hummed with interest.
Miranda nodded in approval.
"They've been after Cerberus for over a month now. I think they'd be rather relieved."
Minutes later, the quarian shop owner returned with their beverage orders.
"Here you two go. An Athame Lotus tea and borderworlds kava as ordered," he informed them, handing the two glasses from a tray.
"Thank you," Saren replied.
Both Saren and Miranda plucked the beverages from the tray and started sipping from their glasses.
"Mmm, it never gets old. How's yours?" he asked after his first sip.
Miranda took a few seconds to savor the flavor of her tea. It had a taste like the autumn breeze back on Earth; a warm, dry, slightly bitter feel.
"Well," Miranda answered, "this cafe makes a good candidate."
"I agree. It's nice and big enough to fit her squad," Saren nodded.
With their beverages in their hands, Saren and Miranda continued to enjoy the atmosphere the cafe brought. Reaching the bottom of his cup, Saren got up and walked to the front counter, pulling out his omni-tool to pay for their drinks.
"So, Lawson," Saren asked, "are you now refreshed for the day?"
"Maybe we can check the menus of other cafes while we're at it," Miranda suggested, "I still have the search list."
She got up and joined his side as he led her out of the cafe and back to his hovercar. Once the hovercar lifted into the air, Saren directed it to its next destination. The next cafe was in a less seedy part of the station in one of the shopping districts. Still, both the Spectre and the former Cerberus operative stepped inside and examined the menu it had available. Miranda instantly recognized and explained at least half of the menu, having composed of Earth-sourced options. Once they finished reading the menu, Saren and Miranda continued forth through the street in search of another cafe. A couple of blocks down in the sector, there was another one with a primarily dextro focus. The turian Spectre took his time to read the cafe's menu.
"Not a whole lot of levo options," he hummed, letting out a series of tsks.
Miranda placed her hand on Saren's shoulder, softness in her expression.
"I'm sure we'll have better luck," Miranda reassured.
Returning to the hovercar, they traveled to the other side of the station to look at a few options in another ward. The next cafe they arrived at had some asari baristas preparing beverages behind the counter.
"Hello. Anything I can get you two?" the asari asked.
Freezing in their tracks, Miranda and Saren exchanged glances before they returned their focus to the asari barista.
"You don't mind if we have a look at your menu, do you?" Miranda requested.
"Whatever. Take your time," the barista dismissed.
Miranda and Saren located the menu and read it, browsing through the beverage options it had. Saren noticed a small section at the back of the menu dedicated to light liquors with minimal alcohol content. The turian Spectre recalled one particular squad member who would be happy to try one of the liquors.
"Perhaps this would be good for a late-night scenario," he started.
Having finished browsing the menu, Miranda and Saren continued with their little journey through the Citadel.
By the time the Normandy returned the next morning, Commander Shepard led her squad out onto the docks. Saren got up early and wasted no time pulling out his omni-tool to send Shepard a message. He sent her an invitation shortly after her return and wanted to check if she was still up for a drink at a cafe. Now that he and Miranda have confirmed a cafe for the occasion, they stepped out of their apartment and made their way through the wards towards their destination. They returned to the coffee shop run by the quarian and met the crew just outside.
"Commander! I hope you're still well," Saren greeted.
Shepard made a brief glance at the sign before she turned her gaze towards Saren.
"I'm guessing it's your favorite cafe, now?" Shepard asked, "both you and Miranda?"
"It's a nice place," Miranda shrugged, "it's just got a small, warm feeling to it."
Shepard gave both Saren and Miranda a soft smile before she led them and her crew inside.
"I hope what I've been providing has still been useful?" Miranda inquired, gesturing the group to a table.
Garrus sat down next to Shepard while Miranda and Saren sat across from both of them.
"Yeah," Garrus nodded, "it's nice to shoot those bastards."
Saren and Miranda hastily ordered what they had the last time while Shepard and the others took their time to explore the options. At the same time, Joker took a moment to browse through the pastry section. A few minutes later, as the owner approached them with Saren and Miranda's beverages, Garrus was the first to order. Shepard placed her order second, followed by Liara, Tali, Wrex, Zaeed, Jack, Kasumi, Samara, Grunt, Jacob, Ashley, James and Kaidan.
"I'd like to thank you two again for the invite. The Alliance and Council have been riding my ass on our case with Cerberus," Shepard reiterated with a sigh.
"Anytime, Shepard," Miranda nodded.
Once the rest of her squad and her crew placed their orders, they all waited until their beverages and delicacies arrived several minutes later.
"So," Shepard offered, "should we name this the Normandy's favorite cafe on the Citadel?"
Garrus couldn't help but chuckle, his mandibles flexing into a grin.
"I like that," he answered.
"I thought we already sold out to a bunch of places," Wrex interrupted.
Saren and Miranda couldn't help but chuckle at Wrex's remark.
"What?" Wrex blurted.
Kaidan gave a distinct roll of his eyes.
"I thought we were already over this, Wrex," Kaidan reminded.
"Come on," the krogan nudged, "'favorite shop on the Citadel'? Not ringing any bells?"
Joker took a sip of his coffee.
"Well, we did have an excuse for that. The Alliance has been rather stingy with what funds we get and the Council has been the same," he excused before shoving part of his pastry in his mouth.
"On the bright side," Liara pointed out, "Lawson and Arterius were fortunate they picked a cafe within our budget."
"You see, Shepard, this is why I recommend we go over the bodies after combat. Y'know, get a few extra credits," Wrex added.
With a few days to spare, Saren, Miranda, Shepard and her entire crew can savor this tranquil moment before leaping back into the fray again, starting with a place to get coffee.