Work Header

sharing the byline

Work Text:

It was near predictable that when there was a press conference Khalisah would find herself next to Emily. Case in point when Udina became a Councilman after Anderson stepped down, both of them were there, trying to get their voices heard over the din.


“Do you have anything to say about the fact that you were seen consorting with unknown soldiers in an alleyway last week?” Khalisah yelled out but she saw Udina’s gaze slide over her completely. “Our viewers demand answers!”


“Maybe if we jumped up and down he’d actually have to answer us.” She heard Emily mutter beside her. Udina hadn’t answered her either when Emily had asked him about the rumours he was hoarding supplies for humans only.


“That’s enough questions for now.” Udina announced and Khalisah made a face. She was happy to see that next to her Emily wasn’t bothering to hide how annoyed she was at being ignored.


“Come on.” Khalisah shut off her camera bot and sent it with a command to return to her central station. “I think I could use a drink.”


Emily shot her a confused look, “But you don’t drink.”


“No, but I could keep you company for one.” As she turned her knee twinged and she reached down to rub it lightly.


Emily saw the movement and frowned, “Who was it this time?”


“A volus.” Khalisah sighed, “He didn’t appreciate my questions any more than Udina here did.”


“They really shouldn’t do that. I know you have a reputation but that’s no excuse for violence on their part.” Emily crossed her arms and looked ready to fight anyone in her path for Khalisah’s sake.


It made her smile that at least someone appreciated what she did. She knew she wasn’t perfect in her methods but no matter how harsh the realities people needed the truth and deserved answers.


“Maybe I should write a report on that…” Emily began and Khalisah knew that when she set her mind on something there was nothing stopping Emily. Not C-Sec or even a Reaper. At the reminder of the incoming war Khalish stalled her shudder.


She’d seen what had happened to the planets at the outer reaches of the galaxy, it frightened her to think that force was coming to Earth.


“Hey,” Emily must have noticed she wasn’t listening and was waving a hand in front of Khalisah, “You okay?”


Khalisah forced herself to nod, trying not to think of the future for once and just enjoy the now while she could. She and Emily started walking towards Purgatory, where people were throwing themselves into the music in a desperate attempt not to think and Emily cheered as she dragged Khalisah out on to the dance floor.


Minutes turned into an hour and Khalisah found herself at the table with Emily, laughing over their shared stories on the worst lies they had heard.


“I mean,” Emily took a sip of her drink but nearly spilt it on her shirt because she kept laughing, “I was interviewing an Elcor.” She straightened her face, “Studious denial: I had nothing to do with those shipments. Have a nice day human.”


“I once interviewed a Hanar, he told me ‘this one needs to check on his home at the homeworld, he believes it to be on fire.’” Khalisah scoffed, “Guess that line is universal.”


“They could have picked it up from us.” Emily pointed out, “Maybe it’s all part of how we fit in to the galaxy, teaching aliens idioms.”


“I’d like to think humans have more of a place.” Khalisah said drily.


“I think we do.” Emily grinned, more optimistic than Khalisah. “I think we’re going to prove ourselves with this war. It may be horrible but we won’t back down.”


Khalisah paused at those words, they resonated with her, all she wanted was for her world to be okay. It’d be nice to have something to eventually retire to when she was done hunting for the truth and had passed that off to someone else.


“What if it gets too horrible before then?” Khalisah asked quietly, thinking of the horror that could go on, “What if we don’t make it?”


Emily reached across the table to rest her hand on Khalisah’s wrist, “Then we go down, but not without a fight and not without giving the future some hope. If we don’t stop them then someone else will.” Emily didn’t pull her hand a way but looked out on to the dance floor. “I’m going to Earth.”


“What?” Khalisha jerked in her seat, spiked with fear.


“I’m going. The Alliance News Network asked for volunteers and I applied.” Emily turned back to her, “The galaxy needs to know what’s going on so they can pay attention. Someone has to report that.”


Khalisah bit back the accusations that that someone could have been someone else. It broke her heart to think that she’d be on this station without Emily popping up during her investigations and brokering different stories with the positive spin to her cynical one.


“Just….just be careful.” Khalisah said and sighed, she felt like dropping her head in her hands or walking away to fall apart.


“I’ll do my best.” Emily promised and squeezed Khalisah’s wrist where her hand still lay. She leaned over the table. “But can I get a kiss for luck?”


This close she could see the mischief in Emily’s eyes, it was tempting to laugh it all off but she was caught up with the thought that this could in fact be the last time they ever saw each other. She closed the gap between them, kissing Emily lightly and pulling away. She weighed Emily’s reaction, watching her blink and then smile widely.


“Well that wasn’t much of a kiss.” Emily joked, “I want a better one.”


“Then come to my place tonight.” Khalisah shrugged, leaning back in her seat. “I’ll give you a proper send off.”


She wasn’t expecting Emily to stand up at that, tugging on her wrist to take her along with her. “Let’s go then!” Emily was grinning. “Give me something to come back to.”


Khalisah didn’t feel like hesitating any more or caring who saw them as she followed Emily out of Purgatory and back to the Zakera Ward where her apartment was.


If she only had that night, if she and Emily never got to see each other again, then she wasn’t going to wait around. She was going to give it her all and maybe, just maybe, try to see this more positive and really give Emily something to come back to indeed.