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I do not own BioWare, Mass Effect, nor any of its affiliated characters and settings. Any original characters, original settings, and the plot are the property of myself.

Author's Chapter Notes:

So, I’ve been sitting on this story for a while now for a couple reasons. First, it’s because I never finished Mass Effect 3. I’m aware of the ending, but I’m not sure what EXACTLY happens to everyone in the end. Also, this is my first entry into the Mass Effect fandom and my first time writing with these characters, so I’m afraid I won’t be able to capture their personalities in the correct way. But, not posting this won’t get me any feedback, so here goes nothing, I guess. Please be gentle. I’m fragile. :x

Chapter 1: The Dangling Conversation

The distinct, monotonous beep of the vitals monitor by your bedside reverberated in your left ear as you stared out the wall length window that allowed you to see all of the Presidium. You vaguely heard the bustle and mumbles of medical personnel outside your room, and you closed your eyes to try to hone in on what they were saying. After a few moments, you failed to pick up on anything important, so you continued to observe the Citadel citizens meandering around the different shops in the Commons below you.

Your entire body throbbed, especially your abdomen. Hours ago, you had been the victim of a C-Sec officer’s psychotic rampage. While running your morning errands before your shift at Purgatory started, the inebriated C-Sec officer, whose name you did not know, had stolen a shuttle from Citadel Security Headquarters. After realizing that he was being chased, he had panicked and lost control of the shuttle, crashing it into one of the walkways between two of the Presidium shops. He had narrowly missed you and a couple of others by a mere few inches, but part of the shuttle had ended up snapping off and slamming into your body. When the C-Sec officer had climbed out of the battered shuttle and realized the damage he had done, he seemingly lost the rest of his sanity. He had pulled out his gun and started shooting everyone in his line of sight, including you. A burning sensation had spread throughout your abdomen, and you had lost consciousness just as you watched a turian kneel by your side.

While there were sedatives running through your body to help dull the pain, you were still relatively aware of your surroundings. As you continued to gaze out the window, your eyelids gradually began to feel heavier. Just as you were about to drift into slumber, the doors to your room slid open and jerked you out of your drowsy state. You turned your head to look at the salarian doctor, who was staring down at the clipboard in his hand, and the asari nurse that entered your room.

“Hello,” said the salarian doctor as he glanced up at you for a moment. “Feeling any better?”

“A little,” you replied weakly. “My stomach still hurts.”

“That is to be expected. Your abdominal area took quite the hit.” He set down the clipboard on the table next to your bed. “Mind if I examine your wound?”

You pushed off the sheet covering your body in compliance as the nurse guided the gown you were wearing off your shoulders and down your torso. Normally, you would be shy and hesitant about showing so much of your body to strangers, but you were in too much pain to care and knew that the medical staff was there to help you.

As the doctor unwrapped the bandage from around your torso, you struggled to keep from writhing in pain. The nurse held your hand comfortingly as the doctor ran his hand over the skin around your stitches.

“Hmm… Incendiary ammo wound, it appears. You’re very fortunate your innards were not completely singed.” The salarian turned to the nurse. “Schedule complete scans first thing tomorrow morning to ensure there are no new injuries or complications that have developed.”

“Yes, sir,” replied the asari.

“Also…” The salaran glanced down at you as he rewrapped your wound. “You have someone here to see you. He is wondering if you’re accepting visitors.”

You furrowed your eyebrows and frowned. Your entire family and network of friends were back on Earth, and you hadn’t the time to make any new acquaintances on the Citadel yet, save for your few regulars at Purgatory. You had no idea whom your visitor could be.

“I… guess so,” you replied. “I don’t know who would be coming to see me, though.”

“He is a turian and the most recent Spectre if that joggles your memory at all. He is also the one that brought you to the hospital.”

You vaguely remembered the face of the turian that had knelt beside you before you passed out, and you wondered if he was the same turian that wanted to see you. The doctor finished dressing your stomach then grabbed his clipboard from the table. He dipped his head toward you in acknowledgement and left the room, with the nurse following him after she helped slip back on your gown.

As patiently as you could, you stared at the entrance and waited for your mystery visitor to walk in. Five minutes later, the doors slid open, and a turian donned in black, blue, and silver armor with blue markings on his face walked in, and you instantly recognized his face.

“You… You’re the one that saved me,” you said.

His mandibles flapped, signaling that he was honored by your recognition. “Surprised you remember me. You took quite the hit and passed out on me.”

You looked down at your lap. “Yeah… The doctors said I have a concussion, abdominal trauma, and two broken ribs. I should make a full recovery, though.” Smiling, you glanced up at him. “Thank you for saving me.”

“Not a problem,” he said as he took a seat in a chair next to your bed. “Just wanted to check in and make sure you were doing alright. They told me you didn’t have any emergency contacts here on the Citadel, so I told them to put me down as one while you’re in here. I, uhh, hope you don’t mind.”

You shook your head. “I don’t mind at all. Thank you. It really means a lot to me.”

“Glad to hear it. Have you heard when they’re releasing you yet?”

“Not yet. They’re running more tests tomorrow to make sure nothing new develops, so I’m thinking they’ll give me a release date then… Oh!” You stuck out your hand and gave him your name. “I’m sorry I didn’t introduce myself sooner.”

His lips curled just slightly. “No need to apologize,” he said as he grasped your hand. “Garrus Vakarian.”

It was your first time experiencing physical contact with a turian, so it took you a moment to adjust to the different structure of his hand. After letting go, you sat back and rested your hands in your lap.

“My doctor mentioned you’re a Spectre. That’s really neat. I’ve never met one before.”

Garrus’s chest appeared to puff out just slightly. “Yeah, recently appointed. I tend to take care of things in a not so… Well, let’s just say the Council doesn’t approve of some of my methods, but they know I mean well and I get the job done. They were short on Spectres, so they offered me the position.”

“I’m surprised you were on the Citadel this morning. I thought a Spectre like you would be off doing some kind of… important… mission.”

“I was in between missions, actually. My ship’s pilot was due for a physical exam, so we headed back here for the day.”

“Oh… But it’s almost evening. Shouldn’t you be getting ready to head out again?”

Garrus shifted in his seat nervously and looked anywhere in the room but at you. He finally glanced at you for a split second, and you raised your eyebrow at him expectantly.

“I… passed off my mission to a fellow Spectre so I could stay here on the Citadel for the rest of the week,” he replied.

“Oh… Because of me?”

He looked around anxiously as he scratched his mandible with one of his talons. “... Somewhat, just… didn’t want something happening while I was away for another few days… Y’know, because I’m…” Garrus glanced at your wide-eyed expression and panicked. “Hey, don’t look at me like I’m some kind of lunatic.”

“N-No! I didn’t mean to look at you like that. It’s just… You don’t even know me, but you’re doing so much for me. I’m really grateful.” You glanced out the window then down to your lap. “Honestly, I’m kind of glad. I don’t know anyone here on the Citadel. It’s nice to be able to rely on someone that’s not systems away.”

A chirping noise echoed through your hospital room, and both you and Garrus stared at his omni-tool. As he stood up, he pressed a few buttons, which silenced the noise.

“... Is everything okay?” you asked hesitantly.

“Yeah, I’m just being summoned, is all. A few other Spectres and myself are due for a meeting with the Council on what occurred today,” replied Garrus.

“Are you talking about the drunk C-Sec guy? Why would such an important meeting need to take place?”

Garrus glanced at the floor then stared out the window for a few moments, seemingly contemplating. “... Listen, I’m going to tell you something I probably shouldn’t be mentioning to you, but you were a victim, and it’s for your own safety.” He looked at you. “The guy that nearly killed you wasn’t intoxicated and had no drugs in his system. He was in perfect health. They’ve performed multiple different biopsies on him already and can’t figure out why he snapped. And… he’s not the only person that’s gone off the deep end for no apparent reason in recent days.”

You tried to steady your increasing heartbeat as you stared at Garrus like a deer caught in the headlights of a car. “W-What?”

“I can’t tell you any more than that. The Council will have my head if they find out how much I’ve already told you, so please keep this to yourself.” Garrus shifted his weight onto a different leg. “I’ll most likely be busy the rest of the day, but I’ll try to stop by tomorrow to see how you’re doing. If something major comes up, let one of the doctors know and they can get a hold of me.”

“Okay,” you said quietly, unsure of what to make of all of the new information. “Thank you for everything, Garrus. It really does mean a lot to me.”

“Of course,” he replied with a curl of his lips. “My pleasure.”

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