Across the Universe


It didn't take long for Garrus and Ashley to come over to help me out. They were also quite willing to help me, although the turian was a bit apprehensive about having a human direct him in cooking dextro food…

"Garrus, you can adjust my recipe to fix it if it's bad!" I declared. Garrus towered over me and smiled a toothy turian smile.

"I'm sure it'll be… fine," he decided, pulling the ground blue meat out from its plastic bag and separating the canned dextro ingredients from the levo ingredients. "An interesting combination of ingredients, but we can make this work."

I pouted. "Well, I don't really know much about cooking for turians and quarians… so if it sucks then I'm sorry."

Garrus chuckled, looking over his shoulder to smile at me. His blue eyes shone with amusement. "It's not going to be bad, it's just going to be… unique."

Ashley laughed. "Don't worry about it Kim, it's going to be fine."

"Okay!" I cheered. "Well, the first thing you gotta do is cook the meat in the pot."

"Obviously Kim is a living cookbook," Ash noted, Garrus chuckling again. "So, Garrus, tell me how Kim managed to get both legs injured?"

"Not even going to ask me about it Ash? I see how it is," I grumbled. She ruffled my hair and beamed down at me. It was bad enough that I was short, but now that I was confined to a wheelchair it just made the height difference even worse.

"Aw, feeling a little down Kim?" the soldier teased. I stuck my tongue out at her.

"She walked into a room before Shepard did," Garrus shrugged. "There were Geth."

I felt the colour drain from my face at the reminder of the Geth. Watching me, calculating, aiming. If I hadn't aimed… Ash shook my shoulder. "You feeling okay there? You kind of zoned out on us."

"I'm fine, fine!" I forced out, forcing a grin onto my face and staring up at them. "Ok, now you just add all the canned shit. But drain the beans first! And Ash, chop up the celery, mushrooms, garlic, peppers, um…" I looked up in thought, Garrus watching me with his cool blue eyes. "Oh and an onion. And Garrus! I didn't know much about dextro vegetables, so I just took the stuff that looked the most colourful."

"Luckily, you managed to get some pretty ripe ones. I'll wash them first, to be safe," Garrus told me with a shrug. Ashley took her vegetables and waited for Garrus to finish so she could wash hers.

"You know Kim, I never took you for a chef," Ashley commented. "Well, then again, you do have a bit of an old soul vibe."

"I've never heard that term before," Garrus stated. "What does it mean Gunnery Chief?"

I looked up thoughtfully as the two of them chatted. I supposed I did have an old soul. Damian used to mention the same thing about me, especially since Sabs and I used to sit around listening to old music.

But really, could anyone blame me for that? Old music sounded so much better than the club crap we had today.

"It means that she likes old things and is kind of old fashioned," Ashley shrugged. "I mean, when was the last time you cooked Garrus?"

Garrus mandibles flickered sheepishly. "Not since I was younger to be honest."

"Same, the only time I cook is when I'm home with my family," Ashley nodded. "So Kim, do you think you have an old soul?"

I scoffed. "By your definition of course I do. Have you seen my music playlist? My oldest songs are from the 1900's darling."

Ashley's jaw dropped and she grabbed my arm to activate my omni-tool. "This I have to see. Oh my god, you're not lying! Play us something!"

I rolled my eyes but complied with the request. "This song, Ash, is what I think your soul sounds like."

"When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be…"

The song kept playing in the background while we continued to chat and cook.

"If that's what my soul sounds like I don't mind, send me the song," Ash smiled. "Give Vakarian one next."

I looked up thoughtfully. "Garrus might be a bit more difficult to song soul, and sure! I guess I'm converting you to old music huh Ash?" I teased. Ash stuck her tongue out at me. "Copycat."

"I learned from the best," Ashley replied with a wink.

"Oh Ash! Add the chilli powder and the cayenne pepper… don't be too shy with the spices! Add salt and pepper too," I looked at Garrus, who was now adding the dextro veggies to his pot. "And you… add spicy dextro spices! I asked the guy at the front which ones were spicy and stuff."

"It looks… weird," Ash scrunched up her nose when she peeked at Garrus's. I did not have the luxury of being able to see. "Smells okay I guess."

"It smells… normal, I suppose," Garrus replied uncertainly.

"Hey Garrus, how sick would I get if I tried dextro food?" I inquired. The turian sharpshooter dropped the spoon he'd been using to mix the dextro chilli and spun around to stare at me with a…

I think it was a flabbergasted expression?

I giggled. Cooking Garrus was almost as funny as Wrex holding a shopping bag.

"You're not allowed to try it," Garrus told me firmly, picking the spoon off the ground and going to wash it in the sink. "You'd get sick. You're already confined to a wheelchair, don't make it worse."

"I was only wondering," I sighed. "Tell me if it suites your tastes though Gare! I wanna know."

Garrus sniffed it before getting himself a spoonful and eating it. He chewed for a moment before swallowing, Ash and I watching him like hawks to take in his reaction. The turian looked up thoughtfully before nodding.

"It tastes okay."

I groaned loudly, balling my hands into fists and throwing them into the air. "But Garrus! It needs to taste good! I want Tali to love it as much as I love her!" I whined.

"How's Tali even going to eat it?" Ash pondered. I shrugged.

"I figure that her suit has a food decontamination thing. Or something."

Garrus shook his head at my weirdness and added a bit more of the dextro spices. "I'll make it better, don't worry."

"Have I ever told you guys how awesome you guys are? Because you're awesome," I beamed.

Ash smirked, eyes twinkling with mischief. "Is it just me or does she act like even more of a kid when she's injured?"

"As long as we can keep her out of the dextro food," Garrus drawled nonchalantly.

"I'm not a child," I huffed, crossing my arms. My two companions laughed at that, and the three of us spent the next half hour chatting, listening to music, and cooking. Once the chilli was done, we labelled the pots accordingly and stuck them in the fridge.

"This was fun," Garrus told Ash and I as he went to return to his post. "I'm going to head down and maintain my equipment. Since we won't get a new Mako till we get back to the Citadel I don't exactly have a lot to do."

I sat up straighter. "Wait, I totally forgot about the Mako! It's burning on Therum, isn't it?"

Garrus placed his talons on the top of my head, mimicking Ashley's earlier gesture. "You were right when you said nothing I'd do would be enough. Shepard just wanted to leave it behind."

Ashley snickered. "Well I'm going to head out too Kiddo. Promised my family that I'd give them a call today. You'll be okay up here?"

I waved them off. "Yeah no problem. Chakwas said she was going to check on me soon anyways." It was only when the two of them began walking away that I realized what Ash had called me. "And I'm not even younger than you Ash! You're like two months younger than me!"

"Whatever you say Flight Officer!" she called back, grinning from ear to ear.

Was it really so bad to be childish? I was a childish person with an old soul. It was the perfect combination! As I pondered it, Chakwas came out of her office to check up on me.

"Ah Kim, I assume you're feeling okay?"

I nodded. "Yeah, Ash and Garrus came to spend some time with me… I'm going to ask Tali if she wants to spend some time with me too."

"Well, I just thought I'd let you know that Jeff's coming down to visit you right now," Karen told me with a gentle smile. I attempted to do a wheelie with the wheelchair.

"Oh really? Awesome," I replied cheerfully. "I guess Sabrina's going to be taking a lot of time on Noveria?"

"When I called the Commander she was on her way to Peak 15, so I assume she'll be on the planet for at least a few more hours," the doctor answered. "Anyways, the medi-gel should be done setting by tomorrow, but we won't be able to start rehabilitation for a few more days. Hopefully that won't be too much trouble."

"Doesn't sound like it'll take too long," I shrugged. "I mean, how long would it take without medi-gel? That stuff should be renamed miracle-gel."

"You're not wrong Officer Kogan," Karen replied, kneeling by me and checking my legs. "Knee is swelling up, but that's to be expected. I'll apply another layer of medi-gel so the pain doesn't return while you're with Jeff."

"Thanks Karen," I grinned as the doctor used her omni-tool to administer the gel. Joker came limping down the stairs with his crutches as the doctor finished, looking a bit unsettled. I lifted a hand to wave to him. "Hey Moreau! Coming to hang out with me?"

"Just making sure you're okay," he admitted grumpily. I grinned cheekily, Karen heading back to her office to give us some space.

"I knew you liked me, I'll bet you were incredibly worried," I joked.

Joker rolled his eyes and frowned, sitting down on one of the mess hall chairs near me. "I wasn't worried," he grumbled.

I smirked, feeling mischievous. "I don't know Moreau, you looked kind of extremely concerned when you were coming down here."

"I was concerned about what would happen if I fell down those stairs," the pilot snapped.

I sighed, rolling my eyes in slight annoyance. "Yeah, okay."

If he wasn't going to admit it then there wasn't anything I could really do about it.

The two of us sat (well, I didn't really have a choice) in silence for a few minutes before Joker spoke up. "…CP?" he started. I looked up to see him watching me almost timidly. "You are okay, right? You're not in pain?"

"Luckily medi-gel numbs the pain caused by the holes in my legs," I mused. Joker smirked at my comment, reaching forward and placing a hand on my shoulder.

"I guess was worried, at least a little," he confessed, green eyes looking into mine.

"Is it because we're best friends?" I questioned teasingly.

Joker let out a long sigh, but still looked amused. "I suppose so," He admitted.

I cheered. "Yes! It's been admitted. We're the best of best friends."

"Well, we're not best friends. But I guess we can be friends," Moreau decided. I stuck out my tongue at him.

"Fine, I'll take it… for now!" I declared. "But we'll be best friends one day Moreau!"

"Sure, sure," he laughed. "But really, why'd a Geth shoot you anyways? You're practically harmless."

"Right?" I exclaimed. "Seriously! I was the only one that walked into the room without armor, why'd it target me? Like I'd be a threat!" I paused, looking up thoughtfully. "Well, actually, I did fill one of them up with bullets, so I was kind of a threat. But that was after I got crippled!"

Moreau raised an eyebrow. "Okay, now I'm really questioning my opinion of you being harmless."

"It was targeting Sabrina!" I countered. "What was I supposed to do? Let it shoot her?"

"Well, she did let it shoot you," Joker jabbed. "So, you're feeling okay?"

"Are you kidding?" I gestured to my legs. "This is going to be fine in a week. I'm going to be fine Moreau. And I just had a very fun time with Ash and Garrus before you came up! They helped me make chilli, wanna eat?"

"Really? The turian with the stick up his ass helped you cook?" Joker questioned in disbelief, grabbing his crutches and standing up to begin the short trek to the kitchen. I rolled along beside him. "You're lying. I can't imagine that."

"Ash helped too, we made a small batch of dextro chilli for him and Tali, and I'm not lying! It was a ton of fun, we even listened to old music and junk like that," I beamed. Joker shook his head, smiling.

"Fine, fine, I believe you," he chuckled. "How does Tali even eat? Does she have some sort of food decontamination thing in her suit?"

"That's what I think! But yeah, we had a good time," I nodded.

Joker opened the fridge and took out the levo labelled chilli. "You know what's going to be a fun time? When Shepard takes us out for karaoke."

"You really want to hear me sing that badly huh?"

"Well, you were embarrassed about it. It's going to be hilarious."

I smirked. "You do realize that she's going to make you sing too right?"

Joker froze. "Shit."

I snickered at his expression. He looked absolutely horrified by the idea that Shepard would actually make him participate in karaoke. "Okay, if you really don't want to sing, we can do group mode. You can take the least song-like lines and I'll make it so you don't suck."

He seemed relieved. "Thanks CP. You know, the whole 'how does Tali eat' thing is really bugging me."

"Wanna ask her?" I questioned. He nodded.

"Yeah, let's ask her," Moreau agreed, grabbing some bowls for us while I pulled up her contact info on my omni-tool.

Tali's sweet, accented voice came out from my omni-tool's speaker. "What is is Kim?" the quarian questioned. "Are you alright? Ash mentioned that you'd been hurt… I can come up in a bit to hang out with you if you're bored."

My eyes sparkled at her kindness, a wide smile spreading across my face. Moreau glanced at my expression and snickered.

"You're such a weirdo," the pilot teased. I glared at him.

"Moreau shut it! I'm happy that my love wants to spend time with me!" I growled before turning my attention back to the omni-tool. "Anyways Tali, that'd be great! And we were just wondering if we could ask you a question-"

"A quarian related question," Joker piped in, handing me a bowl of the chilli.


"How do you guys even eat?" I inquired. Tali's adorable giggle rang through the speaker and I inwardly gushed at her cuteness.

God I loved Tali.

"Why don't you two just search it on the extranet?"

Moreau groaned. "Aw come on Tali, you know you can't trust everything you read on the extranet."

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