“Commander, I know your recovery is difficult, especially compared to how quickly you rebounded after Cerberus rebuilt you, but you can’t just give up. The alliance and council still need you.”
“Go away Liara, you don’t understand. I can’t walk more than 30 feet without needing Garrus to support me. I can’t lift my shotgun and my biotics are offline for who knows how long. I’m useless so I may as well stay in bed.” Commander Jane Shepard snapped at her friend before burying her head under her pillow.
“Shepard, that's just the depression talking, you don’t really believe that…”
“I said go away!”
Sighing Liara nodded and walked from the dark room, pulling the door closed softly behind her. Taking a deep breath she walked to the living room where the rest of the commander’s friends and mother waited. Liara’s was the latest attempt to get Shepard to leave her room and work on her physical therapy.
“She won’t come out. Her depression is getting worse, she won’t listen.” Liara reported when the crew’s heads turned in her direction. “Dr. Chakwas is there anything we can give her or do for her that could help her get through this?”
“I’ve already suggested antidepressants but, well you heard how vehemently she rejected them. She could try a therapy pet maybe?” Dr. Chakwas turned to Garrus and Hannah to see what they thought of the idea. They shared the house with the commander so they would have to be alright with an animal in the house as well. “And not her hamster, it would need to be one that could curl up with her when an episode gets bad, but also not be too much work to take care of while she’s recovering.Something like a small dog or a cat.”
“Her grandparents had a cat and Jane loved him. She loves dogs too but with how bad she is doing I think getting a cat that looks similar to Sgt Cuddles would be best.” Hannah spoke up when she noticed what appeared to be a blank look cross Garrus’ eyes. “We can go to the animal shelter and see if we can’t find a sweet cat to help her. What do you think Garrus?”
“If it helps Jane I’ll do whatever needs to be done.”
“Then let’s get going.”
Jane registered the front door of the house open and close but didn’t bother to get out of bed to greet her family. She laid there staring at the ceiling as she listened to Garrus and her mother moving around their home until there was a knock on the bedroom door.
“Jane, honey come out front. Garrus and I have a surprise for you.” Hannah’s voice drifted through the door gently so as not to startle Jane.
“What is it? Wrex didn’t bring his brood again did he?” God please don’t let it be Wrex and his children, she doesn’t have the energy to deal with five headbutting mini Krogan.
“It’s not Wrex dear but if I tell you what it is it won't be a surprise now will it? Come on, Garrus is really excited.”
Groaning Jane swung her legs over the side of the bed and began standing slowly so as not to aggravate the nerves in her lower back. “Fine, but this better be good.”
“Don’t worry dear, I’m sure you’ll love it,” Hannah said with a smile as Jane opened the door and began walking to the living room.
“Hey, Hey stop that. What are you doing?” Garrus’ voice drifted down the hall as Jane and Hannah got closer to the front of the house.
“I thought you said it wasn’t Wrex’s children.” Jane stopped and turned to glare at her mother as they reached the entrance to the sitting room, preventing her from seeing what was going on.
“ “It’s not them Jane, turn around and you’ll see who Garrus is talking to and why,” Hannah laughed when Jane turned and her eyes went wide.
In front of them Garrus sat on the sofa with a ball of black and white fur scratching at his scars.
Catching sight of Jane, Garrus stood and gathered the ball of fur and started walking over. “Common little fella, your mom finally woke up.”
“What is going on?” Jane demanded when Garrus placed the ball that Jane now saw was a kitten, in her arms. Immediately the kitten began pressing his face against her neck and purring, calming Jane and starting to melt her cold facade.
“Well, we know you’re going through a tough time and thought that you could use a little comfort that can be with you at all times. Jane meet your new little friend. You need to name him” Hannah explained.
“Anderson, his name is going to be Anderson. After the man who trained and never gave up on me.” Jane’s voice cracked as she spoke. She had most of her team and those close to her but Anderson was gone. Now he could always be with her too.
“That’s a wonderful idea Jane.” Garrus moved to hug her gently around her shoulders when Anderson jumped from her arms and onto his head.
“I think he likes you Garrus.”
“More like he likes to scratch me…” Garrus tried unsuccessfully to pull the kitten off him but gave up quickly, worried his talons may hurt the little fluff ball.
“Well your skin is tougher than ours, don’t worry I’m sure the first time Grunt or Wrex visit he’ll prefer to scratch their plates.” Jane laughed as she watched Anderson bunker down in Garrus’ carapace and continue to scratch at the scarred side of his face. She hadn’t felt this light since she woke up from her coma six months ago. Maybe Anderson was the solution to get her moving again this whole time.