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After Horizon

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-1-

Her hair is still wet from the shower as she paces the elevator. It was times like this she missed the stairs in the old Normandy, walking the stairs was better for her mood. A hot shower usually calms her down, but not tonight. The dual confrontations with Kaidan then The Illusive Man have sent her emotions for a loop. The joy at seeing Kaidan again was short lived as he accused her of being a traitor. Why didn't he believe her? Finding out that TIM had used him as bait. How dare he!  Just as she was getting to trust him. Pounding the wall with her balled up fist, she could feel her L5n implant tingling at the base of her neck. "EDI, why is this damn elevator so slow?!" Her frustration obvious in her voice.

The calm voice of the Normandy's AI responded, "The elevator is functioning normally, Commander." Before Ivanova could retort the doors opened onto the crew deck. Pausing just long enough to glare into the camera before heading toward the Port Observation lunge. There were a few ratings in the lounge but the look on her face made it clear she wanted to be alone.

Walking up to the bar and picking up the first bottle she finds, some green liquid, verifying it's Levo based before pouring a drink. It's a nasty tasting swill but she shakes off the aftertaste. Staring unfocused at the counter top waiting for the liquor to numb the pain, the music player in the corner begins to play a love song. She can feel her blood pressure rising again, she had the urge to shoot the jukebox, lucky for the device she wasn't armed. Instead she walked over and opened the playlist menu, paging into the "Sad & Breakup songs" listing she selects a play list named, "Classic breakup music (Men are scum)".

A few seconds later, music beings to play. 'It's a heartache, nothing but a heartache...' Satisfied, she returns to the bar for a second glass of that green swill. '..Hits you when it's too late. Hits you when you're down...' The liquor tastes worse the second time. Walking around the back of the bar, deciding there must be something better to drink. She pours a glass of ginger ale and mixes in a double shot of Disaronno. ...Love him til your arms break. Then he lets you down... Kaidan's angry face is there every time she blinks. After everything we've been trough, he wouldn't even listen to anything she said. Fighting back tears, even alone she doesn't want to break down.

...It's a fool's game. Nothing but a fools game... Then there was Anderson, he wouldn't even tell Kaidan that she was alive. Even after she asked him! Finishing her drink in one large gulp, thoughts of storming into his office to demand answers is appealing. She's still sober enough to know it's not a viable option while pouring a new drink. Her omnitool alerts her of a new email, checking the message it's from that Kasumi thief that TIM paid to be on the crew, they didn't go pick her up yet from the Citadel but if it'd cost TIM money it's an appealing thought. ...It ain't right with love to share. When you find he doesn't care for you.. Maybe while there she could go ask Anderson what the fuck he was thinking.  No, bad idea, she'd likely do something she'd regret.


 -2-

"Jeff, I'm concerned about Commander Shepard." EDI interrupts his dinner. It's a good dinner too, Mess Sergeant Gardner had made Lasagna tonight. Garrus and Joker were the last two at the table, the Turian was eating his own dinner.

"What do you expect me to do about it? She needs alone time." The last thing Joker wants to do is to be the focus of Shepard's anger.

EDI's hologram appears in the center of the table, "She's been consuming copious amounts of liquor for the last two hours."

While adjusting his SR2 cap, an idea forms, "Hey Garrus, why don't you go talk to Shepard? She likes you better anyway." Passing the job off the Turian was more than just avoiding, he could see that Shepard was forming a very tight relationship with Garrus. She needed more than a friend and Garrus was the only one on board who fit the profile.

"I see how it is, you want me to take the bullet for you." Garrus chides Joker with his, at least Joker hopes, a Turian equivalent of a smile

"I don't look good with blackeyes. While you on the other hand, no one would know." Making a shooing motion with his hands, "I'll warn Dr Chakwas for you." Garrus laughs as he heads toward the lounge.

-3-

The music is so loud that Garrus can hear it before he opens the door. '..Standing in the cold rain, feeling like a clown...' What he knows of clowns doesn't fit the context, but it probably wasn't a good time to ask Shepard to explain. The observation window was like a mirror, he could see that Ivanova was curled on the couch her eyes red and swollen a datapad in her hand. Instead of in the usual tight bun, her dark reddish brown hair was down around her shoulders. He had never seen her look so defeated, even after Virmire. Taking a few steps into the room, EDI slowly lowered the music volume, "Shepard, I'm..."

Shaking her head to cut him off, "Garrus." Wiping her nose with the back of her hand. Getting off the couch, headed back toward the bar, "Can I get you something? Now's your chance to drink me under the table you know." Stumbling a bit as she went around the back of the bar in search of a new bottle, knocking off one of the empty bottles. The Turian's quick reflexes caught the bottle as she sat down on one of the stools, "Here this one is dextro." Pouring a glass for Garrus before making a new drink for herself, "To fucking men. Who needs, em?" Remembering, "Well, present company excepted." 

Chuckling, "Well, thanks. I think." 

Ivanova's speech slurrs, "Everyone else abandoned me Garrus. How am I supposed to fight the Collectors when The Illusive Man hides information from me and Anderson suppresses it?  And Kaidan," Face contorting looking hurtful, "I thought we had something special, you know?" Memories of her time with Kaidan on the first Normandy replaying in her mind. The night before Illos, "He really hurt me Garrus." Draining her glass and pouring another, "I was stupid to think we could reconnect."

Shepard nearly fell off her stool, "Hey, why don't we go sit on the couch?" Keeping his arm around her as she stumbled over to the couch. She pulled him down with her, his arm still wrapped around her, "You're drunk Ivanova." 

Nodding her head in agreement, "Yeah. It's great, isn't it?" Resting her head on his shoulder, "I want to thank you for sticking with me Garrus, you're the only one you did." 

"What about Joker?" After she didn't respond he notices she's passed out. "There, there." Gently rubbing her shoulder as she slept.