The Vakarian Chronicles Part 4: Surin Island

Chapter 2

Surin Island.

I never thought it would be this warm and peaceful. I guess… I really am retired now.

And considering there's so much stuff still in boxes and sheets, we're going to have a lot of stuff to do.

Or rather, it's just me… Shepard… Jane… she's still…

I step outside, to a part of the house called a "porch" as Jane said. She was still on a chair by the beach, watching the waves lap at the sand, her short red hair billowing against the wind. I placed her there on that beach chair with that umbrella over her head to keep the heat away from her.

We had just moved here in Surin Island, and as Hackett had said, he gave us a house. And it's a damn great house… 10,000 Square feet, two storeys, back garden, beach front view and porch, white sandy beaches, comfortable living for both human and turians, several guest bedrooms, a basement, an attic, a library and music room (for Jane) and a skycar garage with a big storage shed (for me, I guess).

But Jane doesn't seem so excited.

I walked down to the beach to her chair. Luckily, I had removed my boots. Turian shoes are not very good in sandy beaches. The sand was hot, but tolerable in my case. Palaven is a much warmer planet than Earth.

I reach out to her shoulder, "Jane."

She slowly looks up at me, her eyes slightly glazed, but she blinked and smiled up at me. "Yes, honey?"

It's strange how the sadness in her eyes that I first saw it faded into this happy little smile she's giving me. I know that she had a hard time. In our life as soldiers, nothing is ever easy. I sacrificed my people and the krogans to make sure that the people of Palaven are safe. And she… she sacrificed the Geth and EDI to destroy the Reapers.

Despite of what people think, we're more alike than they thought we were.

"Come on, Jane. Let's get you inside." I said, my mandibles flaring a bit… my race's version of a smile. "It's getting too warm out here for you."

She nodded, smiling up at me, and raised her arms to my cowl. I picked her up in my arms and carried her into the house. She's much lighter nowadays… her legs were slightly thinner than I remembered, but that was because of her leg injuries when she fell along with the Crucible to Earth. Dr. Chakwas said that it was Dr. Michel and a woman named Andreia Sanchez who patched her up.

I need to send Dr. Michel some chocolates.

I sat brought her upstairs to our bedroom, and sat her down the bed, where a pile of our clothes were stacked up. She looked at it, "I think I can manage those. Why don't you get started with some of the unpacking downstairs? I'll call you if I need anything."

I bent down and kissed her forehead. Even if her legs were weak, she was still doing her best to function… to "pull her weight" as she once said. I don't mind it. I've always known that she wouldn't just give up. I could see her getting impatient to get to her feet that I had to slow her down. Doing something with her arms and hands would somehow make her feel better. She's been using crutches to move around sometimes, but she'd grow pale from using them.

"Alright." I said, "I'll just be setting up some of the furniture downstairs…"

Suddenly, our doorbell rang, and we looked at each other. She smiled up at me, "Why don't you get that, Garrus? It's probably just James, he did volunteer to help with moving the furniture."

I nodded and kissed her forehead again as I headed downstairs to the front door. Sure enough, the heavily muscled human named James Vega stood by our door, looking out at the ocean before him. He was wearing a sleeveless black shirt and what humans called "cargo shorts" and a pair of rubber shoes.

"Hey, Scars!" He greeted, and we shook hands. "Quite a view you got here, man."

I nodded, "Yeah. We owe Admiral Hackett a lot." I stood aside and let him in, "Come on in. Jane's just upstairs resting."

"How's the Commander?" James said, as I led the way to the kitchen. It was actually the first areas in the house I made sure I fixed first. Many of the Normandy crew would visit sometimes, and the kitchen is where would chat up most of the time. I took out a bottle of beer for James, and a small bottle of Dextro-Juice for me.

I sighed as I sat down at the dining table, "She's upstairs, but she didn't feel like walking."

"Broken legs, huh?" James said as he took a drink of his beer, "That would normally take just… what… eight weeks? She's been under therapy before we got her right?"

"Dr. Michel said she still had a hard time walking. There's still a little pain, a little muscle issue, but she should be able to walk." I said, "Frankly, I'm getting worried. I'm pretty sure her legs should have healed already. But she… she doesn't seem like herself lately."

James nodded, "After everything she did, it's never going to be easy. You should know that, Scars. You and me and Lola… the things we did… it takes a toll. Especially for her, being the Savior of the Galaxy and all."

I sighed, "Yeah, I know."

"Give her time, man. She didn't have a lot of time to grieve before… she was too busy being a hard-ass." He scoffed, "It's going to come down hard on her, I'm sure. And it's a good thing you'd be here to be there for her." He took a drink of his beer and tapped the table, "But for now, let's clean up this place."

We stood up, taking our drinks with us, as we headed for the living room, where several furniture were still wrapped up in sheets. James whistled, "Damn, man. If I had a house like this, there'd be a fiesta every day."

I laughed, "When this place is done, I'll make sure to invite everyone."

He tipped his beer at me before kneeling to lift a box, "I'll hold you to that, Scars."

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