They've come through the Citadel at least a dozen times since, but never back to this exact spot. Garrus isn't sure if he's led them here by accident or on purpose, after agreeing to drop in on Anderson with Shepard. But here they stand, now, where Sidonis once stood, and he can see the dark, shadowed alcove above where he almost pulled the trigger.
"You all right?" Shepard says. She's near enough to touch, if he wants, and though he can sense she wants to reach for him, she has her arms crossed as she follows his line of sight.
"Yeah," he says, and he's half-surprised to realize he means it. "You know, sometimes I still have dreams about it. Being up there. Sidonis in my sights. And the back of your head in the way."
Her mouth tugs to one side. "And?"
"Do you pull the trigger?"
He's startled, because of the calm, knowing way she asks, because of the way she seems to know that sometimes, he does. Those nights he wakes up sweaty and sick. He can almost sympathize with Sidonis, when those nightmares come.
She says: "They meant a lot to you. And you wanted to give them everything you could. Honor them the best way you knew how."
He nods, and then snorts. "Not surprising that the best way I knew how wasn't exactly the best way."
She chucks him in the arm. "Don't give me that self-pitying crap, Vakarian."
He shakes his head. "I mean it. Shepard, I--." He pauses, the words escaping him briefly, as slippery and elusive as fish in the Citadel reservoirs. "I spent a long time trying to figure out just what the hell I was doing. Trying to be like my father--" He can't help the tinge of disdain there. Less at his father, than at himself, blindly, desperately trying to do right by his family. "Trying to be some kind of hero. When I lost my men--." He clears his throat to cover up the unsteadiness in his voice. "I was just so angry. Justice, righting wrongs--all of that got muddled up. I got turned around. I wanted to kill everyone responsible or get killed doing it. It didn't really matter which. But then you found me."
"And then I dragged you to hell and back. Not sure I did you any favors."
"You found me," he repeats.
Shepard just nods. She seems like she wants to say something, and he waits, but she doesn't say it. She looks up into the spot where he'd set up for his shot, and she's silent.
"I'm glad I didn't kill him," he says, softly. "More pointless bloodshed, more death--that's what my men and I were fighting on Omega. Sure, we caused a little more of it trying to fight it, but, well--I'd like to think we prevented more than we caused. "
"I know you did," she says, as confidently as he wishes he could feel about anything.
He says, quietly: "Hell, you've almost got me liking grey, Shepard."
She turns towards him, tilting her head. "Almost? Guess I need to keep working on you." But her tone is amused, friendly.
"I'm trying to say-- Thank you, Shepard, for stopping me that day. For making me see there are other things in this galaxy I'd rather be fighting for."
She smiles, her eyes crinkling in that way he loves. "Not that I don't appreciate all the kudos, Garrus, but I just helped you sort out what you already know. You learn to trust yourself--not that angry, reactionary part of you but this--" she taps his head, and then his chest, roughly where his heart is, "--and you are going to be unstoppable. More than you already are, of course." Something turns a little sad in the edges of her smile. "Hell, I expect to be competing with you for most admired commander in the galaxy sooner or later, so don't let me down."
He straightens a little at her unexpected, unusual praise. He can't imagine it, of course; he thinks he will follow her to the end of his days, or hers, or both, ideally, in some kind of all-out blaze of glory. Maybe that day will come, when he's learned all he can from her, but he even then he doesn't intend to leave her side.
"I don't know about that," he says. "I think we make a pretty unbeatable team, don't we, commander?"
Turians don't hold hands, but he's seen humans and quarians do it, and even the odd asari. Even Shepard, he's discovered, will sometimes, in those too-rare, quiet moments when she's truly happy, lace her fingers with his. Usually they're in bed, lying next to each other in silence, taking comfort in each other. He reaches one hand towards her, palm up. She doesn't notice at first, and then her eyebrows raise. Her mouth slowly curls, and she uncrosses her arms. Puts her hand in his, and squeezes.
"I think so," she answers.