Friday, April 22, 2011

Episode #4 – Date Night, Part 1

Entry 224

I'm restless.

Kelly said I should start each of these log entries by saying how I feel. She said that if I want to be in a better place emotionally, I needed to be honest with myself, which meant being honest with how I feel. So yeah, I'm feeling restless.

It's just that there's nothing going on right now. When I was in the Alliance, I was always on assignment. Even when I was with Cerberus, I had a million things to do beyond my main mission. I feel like I'm sitting on my hands, twiddling my thumbs here.

Wait, that sounds kind of weird. How would you do both?

Ok, it's not like I haven't done anything. Still, I'd hardly call clothes shopping with Kasumi a thrilling experience for either one of us. She didn't like having to pay for it, and I didn't like being escorted out for threatening to shoot that bitch who snaked the pants I wanted. It was just a leg.

Kelly also says I have a bit of an anger problem.

Right now, the only thing I have left to do is to convince the Alliance and the Council that the Reapers are real and they're coming. Doing both those things requires intelligence gathering skills that I don't have. That means it's up to Liara.

It's been nearly two weeks since I've seen her. She said she needed some time to get the Broker's base put back together and figure out what she's doing there before we talk out what we're doing together. Thankfully though, we've at least established that we're together.

I think Tali's taking it a little hard. I saw her in the mess yesterday, and when I asked her how she was and she said she was "happy for me." I'm starting to worry that she might decide to head back to the Migrant Fleet. I don't think I could bear to see her leave.

Anyway, that's my log entry for the day. Kelly said I have to make one each day so I guess I'll be doing another tomorrow. I hate it, but she's got me by the quad. She keeps threatening not to feed my fish if I don't.

Leanna leaned back in her chair, brought her hand up to her face, stroked the bridge of her nose, and sighed. She looked down at the silk pajamas she was wearing. They were a "gift" from Kasumi, though she didn't remember her buying it. She thought about getting dressed.

She tapped the comm. button. "Kelly, any calls?"


"Any messages?"


"Any missions?"

"No Commander Shepard."

"It's a good job, huh?"

There was a pause. "Is everything alright Commander? Do you need company?"

As it wasn't one of her counseling days, she knew exactly what Kelly meant by "company". "Uh, no thanks Kelly, I'm good. I'll be up in the loft if anyone needs anything."

She switched off the comm. Again, she contemplated getting dressed.

Instead, she switched on her omni-tool. She loaded up a game that Garrus had convinced her to buy. In it, she was trying to knock down buildings that varren had made by launching pyjaks at them. The concept made no sense, but damn if it wasn't addicting.

She was in the middle of a particularly challenging level when her stomach growled. There was no escaping it this time; she'd have to get dressed.

After saving her progress, she walked over to her armor locker, which doubled as her wardrobe. She looked through the much more substantial wardrobe she had now. Of course, she wasn't looking for anything too elaborate, just something she'd be comfortable wearing around her crew. In the end, she settled on a simple engineer's uniform that looked a bit like her old Alliance fatigues, only a lighter shade of blue.

Fifteen minutes later, she found herself in the mess hall. At her arrival, she saw Gardner make a mad dash to put on the gloves she'd bought him. Maybe I'll wait a few minutes before ordering anything.

"Would you like a seat Commander?"

She turned to see that Jacob was offering her the chair across from his. She looked at the chair, shrugged and said "Why not."

The chair she sat in was next to Garrus. Across from him was Kasumi, who was deliberately trying to look like she had not just been cuddling with Jacob. She looked at the food in front of Jacob.

"Lunch already? You mean I missed breakfast?"

Garrus smiled, or at least what she'd always assumed was the Turian equivalent of a smile. "Maybe if you got up in time you'd make it to breakfast."

"I was up in time. I've been up for," she checked the ship time on her omni-tool; it was 1130 hours, "four and a half hours."

Jacob chuckled. "You spent four and a half hours in your room?"

Kasumi elbowed him in the ribs, causing him to almost choke on his sandwich.

Leanna lightly smacked Garrus's arm with the back of her hand. "It's your fault anyway."

"How is it my fault?"

"That damn game you made me buy. Ever since I got it, I play it whenever I'm bored, and I'm bored all — the — time."

Jacob had finished his sandwich and was holding Kasumi's hand. "Yeah, I liked the quiet for a little bit, but now…"

Leanna made a gesture to Jacob indicating her agreement. "Right? You know what I'm talking about. In the Alliance, we hardly had downtime. Shore leave only ever lasted what, a week, if that? Most days you spent on a ship you at least had something to do."

Kasumi let go of Jacob's hand to grab Leanna's. "I've got a great idea. Why don't you call up Liara and set up a date."

Leanna regarded her quizzically. "A date?"

Kasumi's smile broadened. "In fact, why don't we make it a double date? You and Liara with me and Jacob."

"Wait, what?"

Jacob turned to her as well. "Yeah, what?"

Kasumi looked at him from under her hood. "Oh come on. This is our one chance to do a couples night. It's not like there's anyone else we can double with, unless of course Ken and Gabby realize what's between them."

"What about Garrus?"

"Garrus is single sweetie."

"Yeah, but maybe he and Tali should hook up. I mean, they've both got that dextro-DNA thing, so they're biologically compatible, and they've known each other for a while. I think they'd be a good fit."

Garrus looked between Jacob and Kasumi, his mandibles quivering expectantly. "You really think she'd go for me?"

Kasumi shared a look with Leanna before speaking. "I don't think now's a good time. She's… um…"

Shepard chimed in, "Still mourning for her father."

"Yeah, that," Kasumi nodded.

Garrus's expression fell. "Yeah, you're right. It's too soon. I guess I didn't think of that." He looked at his half-finished tube of protein paste. "You know, I'm not hungry anymore. I'm gonna go work on some calibrations." They all said goodbye to Garrus as he headed for weapon control.

When he was out of sight, Kasumi turned back to Leanna. "So, double date? Come on, you owe me." She cast her a look that said, because of what I just did for you.

Leanna gave an exasperated sigh. "Fine, I'll call her. I'm not promising anything though. If she doesn't want to, then we're not doing it."

Kasumi smiled. "Trust me, she'll want to."

Leanna sat at her private terminal. She was trying to psych herself up to make a call. She didn't know why she was so nervous, it was Liara. Asking her out should've been the most natural thing in the world. This was different though. She'd never asked Liara on a date before. Hell, she'd never asked anyone on a date before.

After sitting there for fifteen minutes, she finally pressed the call button on the comm. The screen on her terminal went black, with a large white line spanning across it that oscillated with the voice that spoke. "This is the Shadow Broker."

She hated this part. "It's Shepard."

There was a pause before, "Vocal ID recognized. Securing connection."

The line began to expand both upwards and downwards until it took up the whole screen. He now saw a drell, the Broker's base behind him.

"Hi Feron. Is Liara available?"

"Actually, she left strict instructions that she was not to be disturbed…" he paused for a moment, "unless of course, you were to call."

Leanna gave a light smile. "Can you go get her for me?"

"Yes Shepard. One moment."

The screen returned to the white line for a moment. Leanna amused herself by flicking a few pyjaks at some varren. The screen flickered on again.

There was the most beautiful blue face Leanna had seen in quite some time. She looked even better because she was smiling. "Shepard, it is good to see you!"

Leanna smiled back. Every trace of nervousness was forgotten. "Hey there Blue. Long time no see."

"I am truly sorry about not calling you lately. I have just been very busy being the new Shadow Broker."

"Too busy to take a night off, like maybe tomorrow?"

"I do not know Shepard. I am unsure if I can…"

Leanna began to pout. "Please Liara, for me?"

Liara smiled. "Oh, alright. I suppose I could let Feron handle things here for a single evening. You know I can never say no to that face."

Leanna gave a coy smile. "I have no idea what you're talking about. Tomorrow, 1600 hours Normandy time. I'm not sure what that is on your station's time, but I'll send you a timestamp so you can set your clock by it. Deal?"

"I'll see you then Shepard."

As the call ended, Leanna was feeling much better about herself.

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