The most eloquently written part of Mass Effect 2
Taking her time to learn part of her heritage, Abby was fluent in Spanish, and often, given that she spoke it for months at a time when she was away from home, it slipped into her daily speech.
"Yeah, Mom gave her hell one time she came home on leave, all banged up and it wasn’t even that bad, but Mom hovered over her…"
A sigh fell from Abby’s lips, glancing back towards the general direction of the hospital before her attention was brought back to the commander.
"That’s what Mom mentioned." She paused, a huff of a laugh following. "After all this, it’d be nice." For a brief moment there was a bright smile that soon faded and was hidden behind glossed lips.
"I’m just glad she’s gonna be okay, I mean… not paralysed or anything like that. I… I don’t think Ash could live happily without being able to do what she does."
There was a moment. A split second moment, where she almost wanted to mention that even if Ash had been paralyzed, medicine had come a long way. And that Shane had pushed through losing her biotics, even though she had been adept class when she had met the lieutenant commander. But she felt the words would have been empty. Saying what was already known. Instead she nodded.
”Luckily we don’t have to find out how Ash would feel about that,” she said. She rocked back and forth on her heels a moment, hands occupying themselves in whatever way they could. She did her little ‘touch test’ Chakwas was always getting onto her about— touching thumb to the other four fingers in quick succession back and forth.
“Verd ori’shya beskar’gam. We always find ways to help no matter our physical situation,” she murmured quietly, mostly to herself. She cast a glance around the immediate area. A precaution she always made. Even before Sovereign had ever come into the picture.
"Your mum sounds like a hell o’ a person, by the way. Heard a lot o’ stories from Ash since Eden Prime."
Even though she hates wearing them, she does look very good in them.
Shane isn’t graceful like Kasumi. Or provocative like Jack. Or as intelligent as Miranda. Or a tech like Tali. But Shane is what she is. She is fire and blood and rage. She is that overwhelming presence that you notice as soon as she walks into a room. She commands the room even if she isn’t talking or doing anything of note.
But she can also hide in a crowd. She had to learn to do so growing up on the hard streets of Dayton, Ohio and Edmonton, Canada. Sometimes, she does just that on the Citadel. When the stress is high but she has no immediate obligations.
She’ll ditch the N7 hoodie. The cargos she always wears off the battlefield are also left behind.
She chooses a grey tattered hoodie instead and a pair of loose-fitting jeans. She slouches more than she usually does to hide her actual six foot one inch in boots height. And then she just blends in.
Hell, sometimes C-Sec has mistaken her for an exceptionally old duct rat. Only later do they realize it’s Commander fucking Shepard.
When she’s fighting, she has a grace specific to her. The charging bull is exceptionally light-footed. She has to be in order to survive. She doesn’t barrel into fighting like a ‘soldier class’ might but she’s still always getting separated from her squadmates because she has biotically charged ahead.
Her skills with biotics and various weaponry is unmatched in the galaxy. Participating in many illegal fighting ‘clubs’ on the Citadel, she is undefeated. She uses a fake name of course and never shows her face. Because people might not recognize her at first, they will eventually if she shows up enough.
At the end of the day, no matter the face Shane wears, she is still a predator. She is a fighter through and through. Fighting is what she does best. According to her, it’s all she’s good for. “The dog you sic on the bad guy so that you have a higher chance of survival.”
Shane Shepard embodies the image she has carved for herself. Shane Shepard is a wolf, and nothing anyone says can change that. Oh, she might be docile around friends and family— her pack— but that means nothing if you make the mistake of pissing her off or threatening her pack. And if you do? She will hunt you to the ends of the galaxy. Saren Arterius and Kai Leng and the Reapers and Cerberus learned that the hard way. She doesn’t tire. She doesn’t stop. She keeps going until she reaches her goal— your death at her hands. Or until her last breath leaves her lungs.
Since being resurrected by Cerberus during the Collector Crisis, it’s even been said that she would will herself back to life in order to finish the mission she set out to do.
If you’re (un)lucky, you may hear her pray to Cernunnos as she gets ready to destroy you. “Dance with me, Death, and allow me to kill in your name.”
Even if you cut off her head, she can still bite you. And she will.
It wasn’t that Ashley didn’t know how to cook for herself; she did, and she could handle doing it for an entire group since sometimes she offered to do so at home for her sisters so her mother could sleep in a bit more when she needed it. Stuff like this came easy for Ash since she was used to it at home.
”Right.” Following the commander’s order, she made Shane’s coffee, and then her own, only with one cream and one sugar. She usually had another of both but being hungover she needed it to be stronger.
She glanced to Shane again, and nodded. “Either way’s good with me.” She answered with a smile. She liked this sense of calmness and of domesticity. Maybe not now, and maybe not for a while but someday she could imagine them elsewhere, not having to deal with a war, and just…
She was almost day dreaming, bringing her mug off coffee to her lips as she leant back against the counter.
Shane’s focus was mostly on the food so it didn’t stick and get burnt to the pan. She gave a nod before flipping the bacon over. Soon enough she had finished and was stacking everything on a couple of plates.
Most of the time Shane would be found grabbing an MRE instead of bothering with cooking actual hot food. But today seemed like a good time to cook. It was relaxing and she had the time to spend on it since her schedule had flipped over to where she was taking the graveyard shift. She’d probably be going to sleep around noon, Normandy time.
She handed one plate to Ash while grabbing the other coffee mug. She hopped up on the counter with her own plate and balancing her mug on a knee with the help of some biotics.
Over the years, Ashley had always corresponded when she could, and Abby, Lynn, and Sarah had always kept up with everything going on out in space. After Virmire, they had comforted Ash in her time of grieving, and after the commander had died they’d been there too. While they had their differences, they were family, and they stuck together no matter what.
Seeing Ash like this and watching reapers invade had kept them worried, one their toes, and for once, Abby wanted to just breatheand have space for herself.
"Yeah, we did. Mom, Lynn, and Sarah are looking to see where we can stay. I just.. needed time to breathe, you know? She’s in rough shape though, mi dios.”
The Spanish had a corner of Shane’s mouth curling up. Just a little. She didn’t know a lot of Spanish, but had picked up a few key phrases from James. Her head dropped down a moment, then she was nodding in agreement.
"I… I’ve seen her pretty roughed up but… not like this," she admitted, voice low. She hadn’t allowed herself to think a lot on Ash and what she would have done if Eva Core had managed to kill Ash, or even paralyze her. Thank Cernunnos neither had happened.
"They, uh. Well. They have places set up for refugees. And the Alliance has apartments they rent out to service members and their families. I’m… sure they have something available for you guys," she said.
Her gaze rose. “And with Ash a Lieutenant Commander an’ all, should get some pretty nice digs, ja?” she asked, almost as an attempt at humor.