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Bundles of Joy? Panic, without the benefit of being at a disco!

Chapter Text

It was when everyone but Garrus and Shepard came to brunch that everyone realized something was wrong. How did they get so domestic, they asked themselves. Well, they asked that, then deadpanned as they caught sight of Grunt's eating habits.
"Well..." Liara started, "this is pleasant."
"Yeah, it's almost like we never even had to save the galaxy, cause the Reapers never existed." Jack mocked the atmosphere.
"There goes the pleasantness." James leaned on his hand.
"I'm sorry, but this is fucking weird. We are literally the most lethal crews in the galaxy, military or not. And here we are having brunch." Jack continued.
"Look at it like this, young mammal," Javik took an odd comforting tone, "we killed a lot of beings in order to have this odd mid-day breakfast."
Jack looked like she was about to respond, when the sound of Miranda's omni-tool interrupted the next statement. She saw the caller-id, quickly reading Garrus's name aloud. As soon as she did, she was met with the rare, never-before-seen sight of The Archangel panicking.
"Guys, thank the spirits you're all there, I messed up, and I have no idea what to do, and I would really appreciate help, because I have no idea what I'm doing, so if you could please say something before I pass out from lack of air that would be fantastic --".
"Ok ok, calm down. What did you do, and why does it cause so much panic?" Kaiden asked, cutting off the former C-SEC's ranting.
"Shepard's pregnant with my eggs." That sentence rang in air, leaving the brunch group in shock and silence. Then all Hell broke loose. Tali went on about hair and fringe needing different products, Kaiden started screeching about getting to be an uncle, Grunt started listing his plans for his little battle-siblings, and the rest were,on one topic or another.
"Enough!" A rough and growly voice rang out above the rest. "Alright, Kaiden you get cribs, at least three. Jack, you need to get blankets, the softest ever. Liara, get chocolate, Shepard will need those later in the pregnancy. Miranda, ten baby-name books, just in case they haven't already decided on names. Joker, I'm expecting you to pick all of us up. I'm picking up child-appropriate toys, Vakarian probably wouldn't be very appreciative if I gave their new-hatchlings a sniper."
"...Wrex, since when did you become an expert on this stuff?" Miranda asked, not stunned into silence like the others.
"That doesn't matter. Garrus, what is your mated doing now?"
"They went back to sleep. Why?"
"We need to put as little stress on them as possible. So when we get there, we need to be as quiet as possible." Liara explained quickly.
"Guys, this can be our new mission!" Jack suddenly jumped up.
"What?" Kaiden asked smartly.
"If we can't kill people with gusto, we can help raise these kids with gusto."
"Jack, that was the sweetest thing you've ever said that involved murder." Garrus looked touched. "Thank you."
"No problem."
"Ok, now that we have that out of the way, everyone who has something to do, go do it. Everyone else, head to the Shepard-Vakarian love nest." Wrex interrupted.

Chapter Text

All of Wrex's demands were met within the next half an hour, and the group joined back up together in one of the Normandy's shuttles, EDI and Joker meeting up with them at the news of Shepard's pregnancy.
"I will take it upon myself to be the Vakarian-Shepard family's nursemaid." EDI announced, surprising Joker more than the rest of the crew.
"I'm sure that Chakwas..." Joker tried.
"Chakwas cannot stay on-site. I can, and I will not use any of their resources, as I do not need any. Along with that, I can provide security if any of the Commander's various enemies try to make an appearance during the next few months."
"Of any of 'the Commander's various enemies' try to show up, EDI, I can guarantee that you and Garrus will not be the only security." Kaiden said, already protective at the prospect of Shepard needing security while pregnant.
"I did not mean to assert that, just that I can be there instantly." EDI amended.
"I know, don't worry about it."
"Worry about what?" Garrus opened the door, still in his pajamas, "Because if you hadn't noticed, I'm worrying a lot."
"Not to fear, young father of small Shepards, EDI has offered to be your on-site nursemaid. Your mated's pregnancy will go smoothly, and you have our complete support." Javik let himself inside, the rest following after him, new supplies in hand.
"Thanks...also, what do I do with this stuff?" Garrus was handed one of the unconstructed cribs.
"What room will the children go in?" Liara asked, already looking inside the box for instructions.
"Uh, the room next to ours I think, but what..."
"Alright, we start there, get the cribs set up," Miranda took charge, "we also need to figure out what color is calming to turians and humans, because we cannot have a nursery be that ugly egg-shell white color, no way in fuck."
"We should also get used to not using strong language like that, we don't want any small children repeating that." Liara quickly added. Garrus quickly agreed.
The group grabbed the boxes and hefted them up the stairs, passing the room Shepard was in as quickly as they could, considering two krogan were with them. They made it to the other room, quickly getting to work on the first crib. By the second crib, however, they didn't notice a tired but definitely awake Ari Vakarian-Shepard in the doorway.
"You guys do realize that none of you are as quiet as you're trying to be, right?" they said, not trying to sound as tired as they did.
"Hey Commander," Grunt practically crooned, "how are you feeling?"
"Hungry." They said bluntly.
"Then let's go make you breakfast." Joker began hobbling out of the room. Suddenly, Javik lifted the Commander into his arms, carrying them down the stairs. Jack, Wrex, and Grunt followed the three. Garrus tried to follow them, but was prevented by doing so by Kaiden, Miranda, EDI, and Liara.
"Garrus, I think we need to talk." Liara stated firmly, leading him back to sitting on the floor.
"Ok...? Look, I think it's a little too late for the shovel-talk if this is what this is." Garrus stated, more than a little confused about the change in atmosphere.
Tali chuckled, "Oh it's not that, just listen."
"The next few months are going to be really weird, not just because your life-partner's pregnant." Kaiden tried easing into the topic.
"Their going to be hormonal as fuck. Like fucking puberty that ends with little fuckers that will go through their own puberties someday." Miranda cut right to the topic.
"Which means several things. First being, Ari is not going to as emotionally-in-control as usual." Liara cut in.
"There are going to be moments where they feel fat or that they're not good enough to raise the children." Tali continued.
"But that's ludicrous!" Garrus seemed aghast at the prospect.
"We know that. They know that. But the hormones will mess with their emotions so that they don't think that." Miranda explained.
"It'll be your job to treat them like a goddamn monarch they deserve to be." Kaiden patted Garrus's shoulder. "They'll also feel normal, which might be more dangerous."
"How do you mean?" Garrus slowly, cautiously asked.
"Well, your own instincts will kick in, and you'll want nothing more than to pamper and protect them, which isn't a bad thing necessarily." Liara explained. "It's when you over-do it that it gets to be a problem."
"Whatever happens, you got to remember: no matter how pregnant your partner is, that is still Commander Shepard, first human spectre and the savior of the entire galaxy, maybe even universe. If they want to get up by themselves while in the third trimester to make themselves a chocolate smoothie, well let them make that smoothie without worrying about how much pressure they're putting on their swollen feet, or what if they cut their finger on the blender-blade or anything. They are still capable." Kaiden ranted.
"At the same time, however, you've still got to be more hands-on than now." Liara started.
"Him being hands-on is why we are having this talk right now." Miranda interjected.
Liara deadpanned. "I'm going to ignore that. What I mean is that you need to pay attention, as while Ari is capable, their capability will steadily decrease, as their body will be more focused on keeping the children and themself healthy than making sure Shepard can continue diving for cover with multiple eggs inside of them."
"So...more protective, but not too protective and hands-on while also being hands-off. That isn't confusing at all." Garrus sweatdropped.
"You'll get it when you see it." EDI comforted.

Meanwhile, Joker was making Shepard breakfast while they were surrounded by Jack, Grunt, Javik, and Wrex.
"Is there a specific reason you all look like you want to have the same exact thing to say, or am I really just still that tired?" Ari started.
"Ok, we know that you will probably know everything about your pregnancy by the end if the week, but..." Jack trailed off.
"But?"
"That doesn't address Garuus's issue." Grunt nodded as sagely as he could.
"His issue?"
"Let me take you through being a father, Shepard." Wrex wrapped his arm around them, keeping them close to his side. "You found out you're going to be a dad, and you are feeling great. But it won't happen for several months, so in the meantime, what do you do? Well, you've got to make sure your mate and unborn are safe. Except, you get carried away, and your mates feels useless and sad, and that was not what was supposed to happen, so now you feel bad."
"And when you, as a new father, feel,bad, it's way more impactful. You feel like a failure. That's bad, cause when that happens, you feel incapable of being a good parent down the road." Joker said.
"But it's Garrus, there is literally no one else alive or dead I would trust with my children." Shepard argued.
"And he knows that, but he won't think that." Jack explained.
"So what do I do to prevent that?"
"Well, first you've got to let him be protective." Grunt stated.
"And if you can't, if he is too over-whelmingly protective, you can do one of two things: first would be to gently remind him that you're fine and capable, but thanks babe, or two, to have him help alongside you." Joker advised.
"I can do that." Shepard seemed to understand.
"The tricky part would be to do all that when you're snippy on pregnancy hormones. Just keep chocolate nearby, just in case." Wrex continued with his advice.
"Wow, thanks for the vote of confidence." Shepard deadpanned. "Look, it seems we weren't expecting as much as you guys apperantly were, but I'm pretty sure that between the two of us, we can handle my hormones."
"We didn't say you couldn't, Shepard." Jack smirked. "Just that you don't have to be caught off-guard. Now eat your food before I eat it. And you're eating for more than just yourself now, don't forget that."
"Again, thanks so much." Shepard deadpanned, but ate either way.
"Ok, all food aside," Joker started, "would you consider naming one of your children after me?"

Chapter Text

Shepard now in their second month of pregnancy, and all the supplies needed for the nursery was bought, collected, and made, except for the paint scheme. Miranda wanted to decide that, but would always talk herself out of a color. "Maybe go with pinks and blues. But that's too traditional, I should go with purple or something. No, wait, purple is a bad infant color..."
Shepard's usually washboard abs were now slightly -- ever so slightly -- dissented, a small curve gracing their torso.
It was a morning in their 9th week when, at 0200 hours, they raced out of their and Garrus's shared bed and into the bathroom. Despite his sleepiness and utmost confusion, Garrus followed them.
What he walked into was the infamous Commander hunched over the toilet, nausea finally taking its toll.
"Hey, babe, is it ok if I rub your back?" Garrus asked, approaching, but stopping just short of Ari's person. He stepped closer after seeing a nod of conformation. "Is there anything I can get you? Is there a medicine we have for this?"
"No, no medicine." They responded, head still in the toilet bowl. "Can you grab a ginger ale?" With a lingering touch, Garrus went to grab the referenced drink.
Handing it to Shepard and watching them take ginger sips, Garrus asked, "How long have you been nauseous? Do you think it's something to be concerned about?"
"The nausea just sorta came and went the past day, maybe day and a half, considering it's 2 in the morning." Shepard sat up and turned to lean up against the wall. "And a lot of humans get nauseous when they're pregnant, so it's fine. Sorry for waking you up."
Garrus gawked. "My amazing partner, you don't need to apologize for that. You adorable honeypie, you are too good for this galaxy. You're the one who got sick and you're worried about my sleep schedule? You amazing--" he hugged his partner, tickling at their sides.
"Alright, alright, stop tickling me, I get it, I'm amazing."
"Damn right. Now come on, I'll massage you until you fall asleep."
"How in the ever-living hell did I manage to score you?"
"Well initially, when I first met you, I was attracted to you in a 'strong commanding officer sort of way. Then I saw you be badass up close and personal. I guess I'm attracted to violence and people who can shoot almost as well as I do." Garrus admitted, walking them both, and the soda can, to their shared room.
"Babe, we both know I let you win that one." Shepard snickered.
"Well obviously I know that, I've seen you in action. But not a whole lot of other people have and they just know that I hit the target and you didn't." Garrus smirked.
"I love you, you know that?" Ari looked at him with sincerity.
"I know, pumpkin. I'm partial to you, too."
"Garrus."
"I love you, too, my badass."

Chapter Text

The next week, Garrus decided to pick up more money on Omega, taking a job that would normally be for mercenaries, though being the former Archangel had its advantages. In his place, not only had EDI stayed, but Javik stayed as well, telling Garrus, "In my cycle, friends and family would visit pregnant clansmembers in order to bond with the children even before they were born. It was only a matter of time before they were under your command, fighting alongside you."
An hour or so after Garrus left, the three remaining crew members each doing their own thing. EDI was discussing consciousness with Glyph, Ari was reading promotional reports, and Javik was sticking to the Commander's side, murmuring in the general direction of the eggs in their womb.
Suddenly, Shepard stopped in their pacing, shakily bringing a hand to their temple. Javik grabbed them and sat them down, yelling for EDI to grab some water. Well, more like "liquid human sustainance."
"Here," EDI handed the Commander the water glass, her voice going from its normal monotone to a more concerned and careful air. "Drink it slowly, let yourself digest it at a steady pace."
"What happened, Commander? You do not usually have such weakness." Javik put bluntly.
Shepard finished the glass, wipping away the excess liquid from the corner of their mouth. "I was just light-headed is all. It's normal for humans when they get pregnant. At least, at this point in pregnancy. EDI, please remind me to do more research into the second and third trimesters."
"Of course, Commander. Shall I also inform Garrus Vakarian-Shepard that he should watch out for bits of light-headedness when he returns?" EDI dutifully asked.
They shrugged, "Why the hell not?"
"Truely, such bouts of failure of strength are normal in this cycle's pregnancies?" Javik asked, seemingly stunned.
"Uh, yeah?" Shepard answered truthfully, not sure where Javik's line of questioning was going.
"That would mean you require more security. More upkeep on health and I will make sure that those children are born with healthy parents, and they will grow to be even more destructive than you, if a thing were ever possible." Javik's eyes shined with a fire different from the fires in his eyes when he was killing something.
"Uh, Javik, I appreciate the sentiment, but the health stuff is why EDI is here, and I don't need any more upkeep than any other pregnant person on the Citadel."
"But the children--"
"How about this: when they're old enough, you can help train them, ok?" Javik seemed to consider this.
"Fine. I will help build those children into beings worthy of your legacy."
"Commander," EDI started again, "Garrus has messaged me back concerning your episode of light-headedness."
"Fucking already?" The Commander seemed shocked. "It's barely been a minute."
"He instructed me to not let you pace longer than necessary. He also instructed me to tell you that he will be back as soon as he can, within the next 24 hours, that he wants you to remember to eat lunch, and that he loves you, and I quote, 'the way Joker loves being a gossip'." EDI recited.
"So a lot, then." Ari smirked.
"I will bring you to your room." Javik suddenly announced, again lifting the Commander off their feet and carrying them to the other room. EDI followed behind, grabbing the reports Ari left behind.
Once they were laid down in the bed, Javik and EDI left the room and posted themselves outside.
"Javik," EDI addressed, "I was concerned about bringing this up with the Commander in their state, but Garrus's was not the only message I recieved from Omega."
"And why is that important, machine?" Javik was curious as to why EDI wouldn't tell Shepard.
"It was from Pegasus, an off-shoot of Cerberus. It was a thinly-veiled threat. They said, 'You were a shining example of humanity. Now you lay with beasts. It is punishable by death.'." EDI admitted.
Javik considered the news. "We have already seen what the added stress can do to our Commander. When their mated comes back, we will tell him and he will decide the best course of action. For now, we will remain armed guards."
"Understood."

Chapter Text

True to his word, Garrus had arrived back at the huge house within the next 24 hours -- two hours, to be exact. He entered the door and began marching towards the room he knew Shepard was in. Upon reaching the door, however, he was stopped by EDI putting her hand on his shoulder.
"I believe that we should speak before you go in there." EDI firmly stated, guiding him back down the stairs.
As they reached the kitchen table, Garrus's curiosity peaked. "Alright, EDI, what is this about? Did something else happen to them aside from the dizzy spill?"
"Nothing happened to Ari, per say." EDI sat down. "During our currespondence, I recieved a threat from what's left of Cerberus, now calling themselves 'Pegasus'. They seem to know that Shepard is pregnant, and that it is by you. They also deemed such an event as being punishable by death. Javik is staying guard at the moment. We haven't told the Commander, as we were unsure about how to approach the subject with them, especially after an episode like that. They are currently sleeping, if that helps."
Garrus blinked, once, twice. His eyes narrowed with a dangerous fire, dark and angry.
"Notify the crew of the threat. I'm going to tell Ari." with that he stood up and again made his march up to the bedroom. He opened the door and his eyes immediately softened. Laying in the bed with their hair made a mess in every direction, with the blanket half on their legs and half on the floor was a sleeping Ari Vakarian-Shepard. Garrus couldn't help but momentarily quell his anger.
He quietly, so carefully, approached the bed, kneeling close to his life-partner's face.
"Hey, honey dearest," he began whispering, "light of my life. My great Commander darling." Ari stirred, mouth twitching from its tightly-clamped position, mumbling about the length of which they had been sleeping. "Darling of darlings, my star of stars, I'm home. Can't I at least get a hug?"
By this point Ari was awake, shifting their legs back onto the bed, but stubbornly refusing to open their eyes.
"Mi amor --" Garrus began.
"I'm up, I'm up. But don't make me get off the bed. I'm up but comfortable." They mumbled, face still half-covered by the pillow they used.
"You don't have to move." Garrus responded, trying to hide his devious smirk from his partner. He opted to lay himself across their legs, hooking his arms under their knees. Ari tried to mumble something, but only seemed to groan, causing Garrus to chuckle.
Unfortunately, the cause of his waking them was not forgotten. "Hey, I just learned something, and I think we need to talk." Garrus's tone turned serious and dark.
Ari recognized the tone and sat up as best they could, and took on a 'Commander Vakarian-Shepard' tone of voice, if only more rough and sleep-filled than normal. "Of course. What's wrong?"
Garrus took a deep breath, preparing himself with the crew's advice regarding the protectiveness and stress (back in chapter 1!). "While I was out, EDI got a threat from some Cerberus wannabes." He saw their brows furrow, being practiced enough at reading human emotions to know that the small movement meant a large shift closer to negative emotions. "But don't worry, they have no power, they are definitely not a threat, and I already had the crew notified, and we are going to kick their asses to Thessia around Helios before we let anyone anywhere near you. Javik is already standing guard." He motioned to the closed door.
"I know you will. We kicked Cerberus, there is no way they can be any harder to beat into the ground," Ari smiled. "And speaking of Javik, he wanted to bunk with us after my spill, totally convinced that if he didn't, the apocolypse would rain down on the family. I managed to convince him that stuff like that's actually a common symptom, and that he could help train the kids when they get old enough."
Garrus barked out a laugh, knowing that he should've expected such a thing from the Prothean. "Well, I'm glad to know your day was eventful. Aside from that dizzy-spill of course. The one day Commander Vakarian-Shepard is unsteady on their feet, I'm not around to see it."
Ari barked out a laugh to match Garrus's earlier entertainment. "Also, babe, I was looking at those baby-name books."
"Have some you like?"
"Yeah, so, how do you feel about Milagros?"
"That sounds like a Turian name."
"Nope. From Earth. I tried to look for names that sounded like they could be from Earth and Palaven." Ari looked at Garrus questioningly. "Do you like it?"
"I would love to call a child Milagros." He looked at them lovingly. "Do you have a name for the other two eggs?"
"Not yet. You jave no idea how hard it is to find a name that could potentially belong to two planets."
"Well I'll take your word for it." Garrus chuckled. "Alright, I'll go see if the crew's made any progress. You go back to sleep."
"Oh no." Ari pursed their lips. "You woke me up, now I won't be able to go back to sleep. Besides, I fell asleep reading reports, and I should finish those up."
"Alright." Garrus responded with a fond smile. "But you have to remember to drink water."
"Alright, alright. Now go kick ass." Ari gave him a nod of finality. Garrus walked out of the room to the sight of a faintly-smiling Ari Vakarian-Shepard.
As soon as he left the room, however, their smile dropped, quickly replaced with a scowl of concern. They turned to their bed-side table.
"Glyph." They whispered to the VI port on tip of the table.
A blue orb found itself about the table. "Yes, Commander?"
"I want you to monitor the Normandy's transmitions concerning Cerberus, threats made to myself or my children, and any and all known Cerberus affiliates and outreaches." They Commanded, still whispering as to not let Javik know of their suspicions.
"Of course, Commander. But I must warn you, some of these actions might put stress on you. Why would you wish to engage in this?"
Their face turned into a down-right snarl. "Someone threatened me. Someone threatened my family. Someone made Garrus worry so much that he warned me instead of putting a bullet in their eyes first thing. That is unacceptable. I will help them, in any way I can." They growled.
"Of course, Commander. I've found that the threat we already received is from a group known as Pegasus. Would you like me to gather all recorded Alliance information on them?" Glyph supplied helpfully.
"Yes, thank you Glyph."
"I might also remind you that the reports sent by the Council take precedent, and that they are due by the end of the week." Glyph reminded.
"Alright," Shepard said, losing a bit of their whisper, "just remember, the Council doesn't exactly expect anyone other than me to know the purpose of these reports."
"Understood. Project Helhiem will remain confidential."

Chapter Text

The next day, Ari and Garrus awoke together, preparing breakfast. Ari themself made a chocolate-banana smoothie, thanking the crew already for their foresight in buying chocolate. During their meal, of which EDI had made sure was fully-cooked, Kaiden dropped by in his military blues.
"Hey, Shepard, how are you doing?" He asked politely, putting a hand on their shoulder.
"I've got my chocolate. I'm good." They replied, taking another sip of their smoothie.
Kaiden barked out a laugh. "I'll bet. Garrus, when your free, can we talk?" At an inquisitive glance from Ari, he amended. "Nothing serious, just some upkeep on the Normandy while you're on maternity leave." With that, the Commander's curiosity seemed satisfied.
Garrus and Kaiden walked towards the other room, allowing Shepard to instruct Glyph to record their conversation.
In the other room, Garrus's anxiety grew. "Do you have anything on Pegasus?"
"Sort of." Kaiden answered. "We have the general 'on Omega', and 'off-shoot of Cerberus' things, but any other information is a bit...hard to find. Or at least harder to find than we expected." Kaiden quickly went to his omni-tool, pulling up what information the crew did find. "Traynor found some bombing plans, but those are for a completely different planet, and the people due to execute them were already arrested. Aside from that, there hasn't been anything other than idle chatter."
Garrus seemed to consider, even placing his hand on his mandables. "I think we should give our caged terrorists a visit, see what they know."
"Right. So should I grab someone...?"
"I'm going. I'll have you and Wrex back me up, and I'll have Grunt and Javik stay here. Everyone else can continue on the investigation and monitoring from the Normandy." Garrus commanded, Kaiden noting how similar his voice now was to the Commander's.
"No problem. I'll get geared up, call Wrex, and notify the others. Don't worry, Garrus, we will get these guys."
"I know we will." Garrus responded gravely. "Whether,we get them before or after they do something is what concerns me."
"Hey, we will get them, and Ari is going to be safe. No one will lay a finger on them." Kaiden patted Garrus's shoulder, trying as much as he could to comfort the turian.
"Right. Thanks, Kaiden. I'll grab the armor and weapons I have on the ship, just give me a second." Garrus nodded, mostly to himself. He walked into the other room with Shepard, hugging them from behind. "Hey babe, I've got some stuff to take care of with the ship. I'll be back in a couple hours, ok?"
"It'll only be ok if you grab some more chocolate on your way back home." They smirked, taking another sip of the smoothie.
Garrus chuckled, "Consider it done." With that, he gave them a kiss on the cheek, making sure to do it in the way that always guaranteed to tickle them. "Grunt and Javik are going to come by to help you out while I'm out."
"Can you have Liara come by too? I want to brainstorm names with her." They gave him their puppy-dog eyes.
"I'll ask her, ok?"
"Ok." With that, they went back to their drink and Garrus and Kaiden went outside.
Ari waited until EDI was out of the room before they called for Glyph.
"Yes, Commander?"
"Liara's coming here later. When she arrives, you'll have better access to her Shadow Broker files on her omni-tool."
"Of course, Commander."
They went back to their smoothie, drinking it and considering the Council's most recent request of them. Project: Helhiem was risky, as was asking Shepard to oversee it, if it ever got off the ground. That was a big if. The restrictions were low and the potential dangers were high.
Before they could consider the matter any longer, there was a knock at the door. EDI let in Grunt, Javik, and an uncomfortable-looking Liara.
"What's with the face, Liara?" Shepard asked, equal parts curious and amused.
"They tried to convince me that naming one of your children after the Normandy was a good idea." Liara squinted towards the two, her glare not very intimidating.
"The quarians are named after their ships, so why not?" Grunt chuckled and smirked, enjoying this way too much.
"Their first names aren't their ships!"
"Well, it's a good thing I asked Liara to help me with names instead of you two. Now into the living room, I have absolutely no intention of standing here all day."

Chapter Text

Ari and Liara were starring each other down, EDI and Grunt going deathly silent, and Javik continuing in his mumbling towards the Commander's womb.
"I'm not naming any of my children after Joker, Liara."
"But he is your oldest friend!" Liara pleaded once again, as she had been for an hour.
Shepard signed, "On Earth, if you name someone after someone who isn't their parent, it usually means that the person is dead. Joker isn't dead, and there is no way in hell that I'm calling my child Jeff."
Liara again glared across the couch at her Commander, trying to convey her ideas through her eyes. "Fine. But he will be so disappointed."
"That's fine with me, he doesn't have to shove three eggs through his --".
"Commander, I would like to remind you that Grunt is only about a year and a half old, and you have deemed it necessary to watch your language around anyone younger than the salarian age of maturity." EDI interrupted, making sure that Shepard got their point across while also making sure to stay true to their word.
"Fine. But the point still stands, I am not naming anyone or anything Jeff. Just no." They folded their arms over their stomach, emphasizing their stubborn stance on the matter.
"Alright, fine," Liara conceded, "let's just look at those books then, the ones that Miranda got you."
"I already looked at half of them, and only found one name." Ari revealed, hopelessly disappointed with the books they read.
"You found a name?" Javik interrupted his own mumbling to ask.
"You didn't tell us." Grunt looked betrayed.
Shepard sighed, "We weren't going to tell anyone until the baby shower."
"What's a baby shower?" Grunt asked, not very trusting of the term.
"It's a big party where the parents reveal the sex of the children and the guests give gifts that the parents will need for the kids, like nappies and one-pieces and children's toys." They explained patiently.
Grunt paused for a second, "That is not at all what a baby shower sounds like it would be for."
"I'm not going to ask what you were thinking." Shepard stated, already having a pretty good idea what Grunt was thinking. "Either way, no one is learning the names until later. EDI, do we have any snacks?"
"Yes, we do. I'll be right back." EDI went into the kitchen.
...........
Meanwhile, Garrus, Kaiden, and Wrex all arrived at C-Sec's holding facility and were debriefed on the subject of interrogation.
The officer handed them a file. "This guy, Michael St. Michelle, we all thought he was this huge threat, what with the bomb and all, and he turns out all talk. He can't protect himself for his life -- literally. He almost got shanked just the other day. He definitely doesn't pose any sort of threat to you, but boy does he have a mouth. Have fun."
With that they were at the interrogation room, staring at the human's piercing blue eyes. The man, Michael, was glaring vehimately at Garrus, as if he were the devil himself.
"So what's with the bomb threat, dude? Are you a sad angry virgin or something?" Wrex broke the ice, leaning slightly onto the wall next to him.
"At least I can have children." The human responded.
"Not with a face like yours."
"Did you want to ask me something, or waste my time?" The human snapped.
Kaiden smirked, a humorless chuckle on his lips. "Well, you being a dick isn't exactly out of the blue. But a bomb threat from you, the kid of a couple of colonists, well, that is. What the fuck is that about?"
Michael was about to bite back a response, then suddenly looked over the group again, realization painting his face.
"You're Shepard's boys, aren't you?" Garrus, Kaiden, and Wrex looked at each other, not knowing who would answer, or how. But of course, that was enough of an answer for Michael. “Of course you are. I should’ve known the bitch was too much of a coward to show her face.”
They have better things to do than to waste time around people like you.” Garrus growled, not hiding his disdain.
Michael growled right back. “How did a woman like her end up sleeping with a beast like you? Commander Shepard was supposed to be a shining example of humanity, for all the galaxy to see!”
Garrus slammed his hands on the table, startling everyone else in the room. Kaiden and Wrex were worried he’d try to kill the prisoner until he delicately, though passionately whispered, “They. That person, who goes by they, ended up with the beast that is me because this beast actually respects them as someone other than the Commander. Though I do believe a congratulations are in order.”
At the room’s confused reaction, Garrus straightened up, and revealed his codex and its recorded audio file, and smiled. “Congratulations on being the most stupid person I’ve ever met. You don’t know how, but you were able to give me all the information I needed.”
Vakarian led himself and his squadmates out, ignoring Michael’s stammering and threatening.
They were about halfway through the hall when Kaiden finally asked, “So, uh, what did you get out of that ‘conversation’ that I didn’t?”
“ He said, ‘a shining example of humanity, for all the galaxy to see,’. That sounded either scripted or repeated. Knowing Cerberus, or Pegasus in this case, it probably is exactly that. What’s the most shining place in the galaxy? The center of it: Sagittarius A.” Garrus answered, victory in his voice.
Wrex let out an impressed grunt. “Smart-ass.”
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