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Kaidan wasn't entirely truthful when he told Allie he needed to report back to the Citadel. He did need to let Councilor Anderson know what happened, but first, he needed to recon the area, look for survivors, check on the condition of the colony. There was a lot of information Anderson would be looking for and Kaidan wanted to have all his ducks in a row before finally making his report. He knew Delan survived – the sneaky bastard had probably hidden in a tool shed or something – but he wondered how many others made it to safety. The colony was awfully quiet...

When he rounded a corner, he spied Allie in the middle of a large group of people – several humans, a salarian, a krogan, and Garrus. He frowned when he spied a woman who looked suspiciously like Dr. Chakwas and remembered when Allie called the Normandy, she mentioned Joker.

So, somehow Allie had convinced Chakwas, Garrus, and Joker to join Cerberus with her to do whatever it was they were doing. How could they all be so blind? How could they all have forgotten the horrible things Cerberus did? And just how bad were things if Cerberus was working with aliens now?

He pressed his lips together and debated whether or not to offer his help – the group dispersed and the salarian and Chakwas scanned the abandoned pods before letting anyone else open them. They took samples from the pods as well as the people inside, who were effectively paralyzed from the bugs that had swarmed through the colony. Kaidan remembered all too well the terrifying feeling of not being able to move but still being aware of everything happening around him. Fortunately, his biotic metabolism burned off the paralytic quickly and he was able to get himself to safety, hoping help would arrive before it was too late.

He decided it might be better if he stayed away – he was still angry at Allie for siding with Cerberus and was afraid he might say something and hurt her more than he already had. Garrus defended her, though, and he didn't want to further alienate his former best friend. Dr. Chakwas might accept his help, but he didn't want to put her on the spot. So, he lingered in the background, watching and making mental notes to include in his report.

Garrus eventually found him sitting on some crates, typing things into his omnitool. “We could have used your biotics, you know,” he said.

“You seemed to have it well in hand,” Kaidan replied, shutting his 'tool off and leveling an even gaze at his friend. “I also had a feeling I might not be too welcome among your new friends there.”

Garrus's mandibles twitched when he replied, “Some of them are your friends, too, Kaidan.”

Kaidan shook his head and let out a sarcastic noise before hopping down from his perch. “You were one of those friends, Garrus. Did Cerberus brainwash you or something? They're a human group and you're not exactly the type they'd turn to for help.”

“Cerberus didn't turn to me. Shepard did. She found me on Omega, saved my life. I'm here for her, not them.” There was no mistaking the challenge in Garrus's tone.

Kaidan raised an eyebrow and considered his response. “So you're with her because you think you owe her?”

“Yes, I owe her, but that isn't why I'm helping. She's with Cerberus, Kaidan, and you're right when you said they can't be trusted. She can be, though, and she needs to have people around her she knows she can trust. So far, she's got me, Joker, and Chakwas. I'm still getting a feel for some of the other people on the team, Miranda is all about Cerberus and she's the reason Shepard is even alive. Jacob is former Alliance and is only with Cerberus because he claims they actually do some good, but he doesn't trust them, either.”

Garrus gripped the cowl of his armor and rolled his neck, sighing when some vertebrae audibly popped back into place. He leaned a hip against a crate and continued letting Kaidan know who Allie was working with. “Grunt, the krogan, just wants stuff to shoot, smash, or kill. Zaeed goes where the money is and I guess the Illusive Man is paying him pretty well. We've also got a thief on the team – Kasumi is better at hacking terminals and breaking locks than Tali and me combined. And Jack, that's the tattooed human there,” Garrus nodded in the direction of a human woman who looked like she could have ripped the Collectors in half with just a look, “is one of the most powerful biotics I've ever met. She'd even give you a run for your money. Also, she positively hates Cerberus and is only here because Allie promised her access to their files. Apparently, they did some pretty awful things to her when she was a kid.”

“And? Is all of that supposed to make me feel better?” Kaidan asked, looking at Allie's team milling about before finally settling his gaze on her.

“Honestly, I don't care how it makes you feel. But I will tell you she hasn't changed. She went to the Alliance and Hackett told her there was nothing they could do, that their fleets were still rebuilding after Sovereign. The Council thinks she's a delusional nut job and almost didn't reinstate her Spectre status. Anderson was her only saving grace there.”

Garrus sighed and shook his head. “She's scared, Kaidan. And she told me before I came on board that even though Chakwas and Joker are there, she doesn't know who to trust. She hasn't forgotten what Cerberus did the last time we worked together, but no one else is helping your colonies. The Illusive Man knew you were here and Shepard was positively terrified. She was borderline reckless going through this colony, trying to find you.”

“Well, I'm here and I'm just fine,” Kaidan said, still looking at Allie. He watched her put a finger to her ear and listen for a moment, then she nodded and started directing her people back to the shuttle. She took her headcount, making sure her people were all accounted for, then called Garrus's name.

“Well, that's my cue,” the turian said, pushing himself off the crate. “The Alliance is probably almost here and they'd love to get Shepard into a pair of omni-cuffs.”

He started walking toward Allie and the movement drew her attention that way and she froze when she saw Kaidan. Garrus noticed and said over his shoulder, “Look, I know you're angry, but look at it from her point of view. She was literally dead. Cerberus brought her back. She doesn't trust them, but she's got no other choice if she wants to save your colonies. You might want to consider going a little easy on her, hm?”

Kaidan held Allie's gaze until Garrus wrapped an arm around her shoulders and guided her toward a waiting shuttle. Go easy on her? Not today, not with how angry and betrayed he felt. Maybe he'd change his mind after he calmed down.