The Vakarian Chronicles Part 4: Surin Island

Chapter 3

"Garrus!"

"Tali?!"

The quarian in front of the door burst through and hugged me, her helmet making contact with my plates, but luckily not doing any damage. I hugged her back, only to see that someone else was standing behind her.

"Kaidan."

Tali let go of me, and stood aside as Kaidan came forward and shook my hand, "Nice to see you settled in, Garrus."

"Yeah, moving in was good… for both of us." I said, my mandibles flaring a bit in my way of smiling, "You guys should've called. I would've gotten Jane prepared."

"Where is the Commander, Garrus?" Tali said, and I led them into the living room, where James and I had set up several couches, "I hope she's doing well."

"She's… alright. I guess." I said as sat down in front of them, "She's… not herself lately, but at least I can communicate with her."

Kaidan's brows furrowed with worry, and I'm guessing from the squint behind Tali's helmet that her glowing eyes would be doing the same. "Is there something wrong, Garrus?"

"Jane's… not what she used to be." I said, putting my hands together and leaning on my knees. I normally didn't sit like this, I think I must've picked it up from Thane, back when we would talk together on the Normandy during our siege to the Collector base. That drell had the patience and calmness of a monk even though he was an assassin. He would lean like this when we would talk… about missions, about our methods… and about my doubts about my relationship with Shepard. He respected her, and I even got the feeling that he loved her, but he knew that she loved me, and I loved her, so he stepped back and decided to help me.

I wish he was still alive. I need that drell's patience to help me with this.

"Jane has been getting nightmares… almost every night." I said, "It started subtle, before. She would wake up in the middle of the night, gasping. And now it's something else. She would scream sometimes, and cry… she'd claw through the air like something was attacking her… all I could do is just wake her up and calm her down."

Kaidan's look got even more worried, and I understand how he must've felt. Back in our days chasing Saren in the SR-1, he loved her… he really did. But after what had happened to them on Horizon, things got broken off between them. After the Reaper Wars, he had moved on, and married a doctor from the Citadel. But still, he still had some love for Jane.

They all did.

"That… would be expected." Tali said, "Garrus, all of us knew what she's been through. Keelah, even I still get nightmares from during the Collector Base and the Reaper Wars."

Kaidan nodded, "Shepard has been through a lot, and has seen a lot. Do you remember when she said saw the destruction of the Protheans, and when she died in Alchera? That must still be haunting her."

"So you think… what's happening to her is some kind of… trauma?" I asked, and Kaidan nodded.

"Has she opened up to you? Talked to you about anything about her last run to the Crucible?"

"No. She hadn't." I said, "It's like she's bottling it up, keeping it from me. Like she doesn't want anyone to find out."

Tali looked thoughtful, "Maybe you should contact Liara? Maybe she can meld with her, and see what's going on."

That seemed like a good idea. "Yeah, maybe I can do that…"

"Tali? Kaidan?"

I looked up to see Jane, using her crutches to come down the stairs, wearing shorts and a t-shirt. A smile quickly stole her lips, and I marveled at her beauty again, scars and all.

"I didn't realize you were awake, Jane." I said as I stood up, and she hobbled down the stairs and to another chair beside me. I could see Kaidan look down her legs, at the scarring that her operation had left on her. He looked up at me, and I nod.

"How are you guys?" Jane said, and Kaidan pasted a smile on his face.

"Nothing much, but…" His smile turned into a tentative little grin. "I'm… I'm Commander of the Normandy now, Shepard."

She laughed, "Well, congratulations, Kaidan. I'm glad Hackett listened to me."

The male human blinked, "You… you recommended me…?"

Jane nodded, "Of course, I recommended you. I'm retired now, Kaidan. There's nobody else on Earth, or in the galaxy, who I would want to run the Normandy. You deserve it."

Kaidan's brown eyes crinkled as he smiled, "Thanks."

"How about you, Tali?" Jane looked at our quarian friend now, "How is everything with the quarian fleet?"

"The fleets are doing well." She said, "We're moving back to Rannoch now. It's been ages since we had a home world, but we're really excited to get there and rebuild."

Something in Jane's face changed, "But… what about the Geth?"

"The Geth… well, they would've helped us to rebuild. But when the Crucible activated, well… they stopped moving." Tali said, but she shook her head, "We're trying to get them activated again, but there are still many quarians that are wary about them. The Admiralty Board is discussing whether they should be re-activated or not. But we'll be fine, Shepard. The salarians and the System Alliance are helping us. They're sending whatever immunization medicine and boosters to have to help us adapt back to Rannoch."

Jane smiled, a little sadly, and her eyes closed again. I reach out and touched her hand, and she looked at me. I nod, wishing she would understand me. It's not your fault.

She nods back, and smiles at our friends again, "Would you guys like something to drink? We have levo and dextro food stocked in our fridge." She started to get up, but I pull her down.

"Don't worry, I'll get it." I said, and I stood up to get some juices at our refrigerator.

I watched Jane as she spoke with Kaidan and Tali. There's still some sadness in her eyes, but I don't know if they could see it. She won't tell me her problems, but I could see it. The shadows under her eyes got darker, but there's something else. There used to be this light in her eyes, a light that I saw that first time in the Citadel, when she was investigating what happened in Eden Prime. It was that light that convinced me that I should go with her. The light that made me follow her to hell in back so many times.

Maybe I should call Liara, for her sake.

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