Bioware owns Shep and Liara-I made up Elena and the girls!
Eden Prime, 17 years after the destruction of the Reapers:
Ambassador Liara T'Soni-Shepard returned home and started preparing some after-school snacks for her children without even changing out of the traditional pure white with gold trim dress she wore to official functions.
Liara was happy and occasionally caught herself staring out the sliding kitchen doors that opened to the huge porch that over looked the big back yard which ended at the shores of the crystal clear glacial lake. A lake named Lake Shepard, much to her husband's chagrin. On the other side of the lake snow-capped mountains towered over everything, reaching into the clear, azure sky. It was breath-taking.
Her lithe figure moved gracefully around the kitchen as she gathered items and mentally ticked off nutritional values. She loved it when she got home in time to do this, but her duties usually held her over in the new Galactic Senate complex that sprawled across one thousand acres on the outskirts of New Pacem City.
She smiled again as she thought of how this site, this planet was selected to be the titular home of the new galactic government. Commander Sarah Shepard lobbied long and hard to do away with the old Citadel Council after the Reaper War, calling it too easily corrupted, exclusionary and even racist. So when all the races finally agreed to try and write a constitution, they called Captain Shepard to ask where to put it.
At that time the Shepards were living on Earth high in the rocky mountains and Liara was being wooed and seduced by Sarah in a candle-lit room that smelled of rose-blossoms, and passion. Soft music lilted in the air as Sarah held her in her arms and they danced slowly while gazing into each other's eyes. Liara felt her pulse quicken, her breathing deepen as she felt pulled into those incredibly intense storm grey eyes. Liara rarely missed the brilliant emerald that Sarah used to have, it was the fire that was fueled by the inner being of the woman behind those eyes, green or grey, that made them stunning, captivating and so very perfect.
Suddenly glyph popped into existence beside them and, after avoiding a swat from Shepard, stated simply, "An emergency message from the transitory galactic council for Captain Shepard, priority One-Alpha."
Liara smiled innocently at Sarah, bit her lower lip provocatively and stepped back a bit, know the sweet anticipation her husband was feeling. "It is an emergency, Sarah." She reminded teasingly.
Sarah's face flushed a bit, but she told Glyph to put the call through. The info-drone projected a small holo-screen in front of them and the image of the Volus Ambassador, Parl Derng stared back at them. Sarah sighed and visibly controlled herself, "Yes Ambassador, what is the emergency?"
"Captain Shepard we desperately need your input on where to place the galactic senate." He breathed.
Sarah squared herself, clenched her fists, and glowered at the image. "That is your emergency? That is why you used the One-Alpha priority code?" She growled.
The Volus actually managed to look abashed in his enviro-suit. "Well, I
yes. It is important to get it right, after all."
Shepard nearly exploded. "I don't care where you put it. I don't give two shakes of a Krogan's qua
" A soft touch on the elbow from Liara calmed her immediately and she blurted out the first non-home world planet that entered her mind. "Eden Prime. Put it on Eden Prime."
The Volus nearly bounced in pleasure. "Thank you, Captain you have
" Shepard cut the transmission as Liara giggled at her from behind her hand.
Sarah turned and glowered at her laughing wife. "That's enough from you. Get your ass in that bedroom right now, T'Soni!"
Liara smiled and sighed as she remembered the rest of that evening. The wooing and seduction was always amazing, but sometimes it was better when Sarah just took charge and got right to business. That was a very good night.
She was chopping some veggies when the door opened and she heard her eldest stomp upstairs to her room and close her door. At fifteen, Elena had become somewhat unreadable for Liara and very temperamental. She was increasingly unresponsive to Sarah and, Liara thought, more than a little resentful. It's not easy being the daughter of the galaxy's hero after all. Living up to a legend was no easy task.
Liara was coming out of the kitchen to check on her when the door opened again and her eight year old twins came in. Though identical in image, Mara and Mira were like night and day to each other in personality. Mara was slightly detached and cerebral. Even at her young age, she analyzed everything to its finest detail and then questioned those answers. Mira was a free spirit and so very loving. She was a very happy girl that gravitated toward music and art. Liara had found the young girl tearing up at the sound of a well-played violin or when reading a well written verse that touched her.
As different as they were though, they could out-play any one at any team event in school or other-wise. They shared a special link and instinctively complimented each other perfectly. They were the perfect team.
Now though, both were crying and upset. Liara rushed to them and gathered her babies in her arms trying to comfort them as much as possible. As she showered them with kisses and comforting words, she took them to the kitchen and gave them drinks and treats and wiped away their tears. Mara had a nasty little cut and bruise on her knee that Liara treated and kissed to make better. She wished Sarah were here, but she had been called away to Tuchanka for a military summit.
When they finally settled, she asked, "Girls, what is wrong? What happened?"
Mira burst out crying again and wailed, "They said Papa isn't our Papa!"
Mara took her sister by the shoulder and pulled her close to help settle her down.
Liara was astounded. "What? Who said that?" She felt a little ball of rage blossom in her breast as she thought of the audacity and cruelty it took to say something like that. "That is absurd!"
Mara was patting her sister's head as she replied. "Mommy, the stupid Salarian kids say we should have the same color eyes as Daddy. But 'Lena, Mira and me have green eyes and Daddy's are grey
" The brave little girl bit her trembling lip to calm herself and convince herself that the science was wrong before continuing.
Mira jumped in, "They said its our beans."
"Genes." Said Mara.
Mara, "Genes, Mira."
Mara went on, "Some kids kept teasing us on the way home. They called us fatherless Varren!" The little girl's outrage was clear on her flushed face even as a few tears escaped her eyes and ran down her little cheeks. "Stupid Turians." She muttered under her breath.
Liara felt the rage blossom into a full boil at the thought of this happening to her children, and her heart broke when Mira wrapped her arms around Liara's legs, looked up at her and cried, "Don't let anyone else be our Papa, Mommy. Please!"
Liara bent down and picked up Mira and Mara and took them into the living room. She calmed herself at once. Anger would not help, she had to explain a lot to her babies and had to stay calm to do it right.
She was suddenly glad that Sarah wasn't here. This would not have ended well for some if she were. Liara got them settled on the couch and knelt down in front of them to make sure they could see the truth in her eyes when she spoke to them.
"Now please listen to me, girls." Mira looked at her earnestly, with her big trusting eyes. "Mara
?" Mara finally shook herself away from her thoughts and gazed at her mother with an impassiveness only slightly tinged with desperation. The two girls adored their father and this was hurting them more than anything in their short lives ever had.
"Good," Liara continued. "There is no possible way for Sarah not to be your father. You know it deep in your hearts, don't you?" They both nodded a little. Liara felt a little better, but proof was always better she knew. "I have something for you to look at." She opened a file on her omni-tool and brought up a close up picture of Sarah on the day she was made the first human SPECTRE.
"Papa!" Mira exclaimed.
Liara smiled, "Yes, but look at her eyes." They did and both saw the brilliant emerald green shining back at them. The same hue of the eyes they saw every day when looking in the mirror.
Mara looked perplexed. "But Papa's eyes are grey now. Is this common in humans? Are our eyes going to change? What triggers the transformation? Can we choose a different color?"
Liara smiled. Mara's inquisitive nature helped things a little. "Hold on," She said patiently as she scrolled through a few more pictures of Sarah. Some were of just her, others with team-mates from the Normandy. Each one showed those intense, powerful green eyes. The girls loved it. "Now, some time ago, long before you were born, Papa got hurt doing her job. And she needed new eyes so that when you came along, she could see how pretty you are and play with you."
Mira's eyes filled with tears again. "Was Papa hurt bad?"
The painful memory flashed through Liara's mind, the smell of charred flesh, the terrible moaning and screams as they pulled the melted armor away from seared skin, and Liara's smile slipped a bit, but she put her palm to Mira's cheek and reassured her. "Did she look ok yesterday when she left to see Uncle Wrex?" The little girl smiled and nodded.
Liara gave her a big smile. "Papa is fine and she can't wait to get back and play with you again." That seemed to satisfy the girls so Liara quickly changed subjects. "So, Mara, how did you skin your knee?"
Mira spoke up, "A Turian pushed me a little." She took her sisters hand in hers. "Mara pushed him back and then another one pushed her hard and she fell."
Liara was outraged. "Who are these children?"
Mara looked down and said. "It's ok, Mommy. 'Lena already made them sorry. They were her age," A look of pride settled on her little features as she looked back up. "So, she beat them all up til they ran away."
Mira was looking a bit wide eyed. "But I think she got in trouble. Teacher talked to 'Lena and made her cry."
Liara glanced at the stairs her eldest had disappeared up and saw her eldest daughter's shadow disappear back up around the landing again. She looked back to her twins. "I'll take care of Elena, girls. Are you ok?" They both nodded. "Homework?" Mara nodded faster, Mira grimaced. "OK, off you go. Homework first, then play." The girls jumped off the couch and ran down the hall to the library.
Liara tried to think of what to say as she climbed the stairs and then walked down the hall to her daughter's room. Things had been tense enough between Elena and Sarah. She remembered when the girl revered her father and Sarah could do no wrong in the little girl's eyes.
She spoke of this to her love once and Sarah laughed. "It's a phase, Liara. All kids go through it. Kinda like rebelling against your mother's wishes and studying archaeology." Liara frowned a bit. Goddess, it was infuriating and heartwarmingly sweet that the woman remembered every conversation they ever had
She knocked on the door and Elena opened it before gliding away back to stare out her window. It also looked out across the lake. Elena was wearing those big headphones Sarah gave her for her birthday last year and swaying subtly back and forth to the music. The girl was very graceful. She had taken ballet and modern dance since she was seven. Now, she wore earth jeans, as always, with old earth sneakers and a tight t-shirt that Liara did not approve of.
Liara waited, but eventually rolled her eyes, and tapped her on the shoulder. Elena turned and grimaced, but removed her headphones and stood with her head held high, awaiting her punishment. 'Not unlike her father after the Alpha Relay Incident.' Liara thought.
"Elena," Liara began in a soft, neutral voice, "care to tell me what happened today?" She saw the flash of anger in her daughter's bright green eyes before they looked away. "Please, just tell me what happened."
Elena finally looked back to her mother and started to wring her hands in frustration. "Mom, there were three Turians and a Salarian pushing M&M around. They were MY age!" Anger raged in her eyes and Liara couldn't help but think of how like her father she was. "I saw one push Mara down and, well
I just lost it." She ended in a whisper.
Liara's heart went out to the girl. She was only protecting her sisters. "So what did you do? Was anyone hurt?"
Elena's head snapped up and she looked stunned. "Hurt? No! No, of course not
" She stammered. "You know Dad taught me some things and you taught me more." A look of shame crossed her young features. "It was too easy, really. I put one Turian in stasis, knocked back another with a throw, the Salarian ran away and I grabbed the last Turian by the mandible and kept twisting it so he couldn't get aw
I may have called one a
son of a vorcha's ass."
Liara raised an eyebrow, and hoped it looked authoritative and not impressed. She really was impressed with her daughter's abilities. "And the teacher said..?"
Elena deflated, "Miss Chambers said I could have hurt someone
and she did not approve of my language at all
and I'm suspended for three days!" She suddenly couldn't hold still any longer. The girl started pacing back and forth and her brows knit together in worry. "Awe, Dad's gonna KILL me!" She said.
Elena suddenly stopped pacing when she heard her mother laughing. A bright, wide smile could be easily seen behind her mother's hand as she tried to hide it from Elena. "What's so funny, Mom? You want to see Dad kill me?"
Liara sat on the bed and tried to catch her breath. Finally she turned back to her daughter. "Elena, dear Elena, what do you think your father would have done if she saw someone bullying Mara and Mira?"
Elena looked to the ceiling in typical teen exasperation. "I don't know, Mom
something that ends with the galaxy hugging, having a party and singing songs around a camp fire
Liara laughed so hard she almost fell off the bed. After several minutes, she wiped her eyes and held her cheeks because they hurt from smiling so hard. Liara took a few breaths and concentrated on being calm, finally she looked up at a seething Elena
and burst out laughing again.
"It's NOT FUNNY!" The girl exclaimed. Liara only laughed harder.
Finally she calmed enough to say, "Goddess, Elena, you absolutely slay me sometimes." Liara gained total control again with effort and continued, "Okay, okay
I'm good. Seriously, your father would have done the exact same thing in those circumstances as you did, probably worse! Goddess, you are so like your father
Elena spun around on her angrily, "You take that back!"
Liara doubled over laughing again. After a few minutes she wiped the tears from her eyes and relaxed. Liara stood and hugged her daughter. "Thank you for watching after the twins, Elena."
The girl was shocked. "You're not mad? You're not going to tell Dad?"
Liara smiled, "No, I'm not mad because I know you could have easily hurt those kids if you wanted to, but you restrained yourself and only did what was needed. As for your father, I'll leave that to you. It's your call, either way. I'll talk to Miss Chambers tomorrow about this. I doubt your suspension will be longer than a day."
Elena looked so relieved Liara almost laughed again. "Thanks, Mom," she said with a small smile. "for believing in me."
Liara grinned back. "Your father and I always do." She turned and started out.
" came the small voice.
Liara turned back and looked back with a smile.
"How bad was Dad hurt at the end of the Reaper war? I've read the books and seen some vids. They say she was scuffed up a little and got back to work after a short vacation." She moved closer to Liara. "Needing new eyes isn't something small, Mom."
Again the scene flashed through her thoughts. The med team stopping work, the look of anguish on Karin Chakwas' face, the devastating feeling of Sarah slipping away again. Just like Alchera.
She drew a deep breath and met her daughter's gaze, she could see the apprehension, the love and concern in those brilliant emerald eyes. So like her father's. She said what she always did. "Sarah is fine now, dear. Please don't worry about it."
After a second that lasted near eternity, Elena said, "Ok, Mom
whatever you say." But in her heart, she knew she couldn't let this go.
That night Elena did something she never thought she would ever do. She betrayed her mother's trust.
She snuck into her Mom's home office and sat at her Mom's desk bathed only in the glow of the terminal. Then she used a code cracking algorithm she got from Kasumi last year on her mother's private files. She took care not to touch official files because she was sure those would have official Asari government protection. And maybe alarms.
She paged back fifteen years and found what she was looking for. Chronological Data of the treatment and recovery of Commander Sarah A. Shepard, Alliance, SSV Normandy:
Elena opened the file and started reading. In seconds her blood turned cold and she started shivering uncontrollably. Tears flowed down her cheeks as she struggled to read through the watery haze file after file that detailed the extent of her father's injuries on the day. There were horrendous burns, shattered bones, internal bleeding, organ failure, missing limbs and even her eyes destroyed by the intense flames of the explosion. She had even inhaled the fire which scorched her throat and lungs making the simple act of breathing a study in agony and endurance. All of this happened to her father. The woman she resented for being right so often.
The young woman sat at the desk and cried uncontrollably for her father. "Goddess, how could she survive
why would she
that!?!" She whispered to herself.
A final file, a vid, opened and she saw a medical room with a dozen doctors and nurses moving around a large, clear vat filled with some kind of gel. Elena zoomed in and recognized her own mother standing next to it with her arms down in the gel, cradling the scorched remains of the person within. As Elena heard the moans and screams of torment from her father, she saw also the tears and anguish on her mother's face. She could see her mother mouthing something lost in all the hustle of the medical staff.
She zoomed in further on her mother's tortured, angelic face and filtered out all sound but her voice. "Please, Sarah. Stay with us. I need you. I love you. Our baby needs you!"
Elena's heart broke for her mother, but when she panned the view down to her father's scorched, eyeless, devestated face she shot to her feet and screamed. Elena pushed the terminal away with her biotics and it flew across the room and bounced off a wall. The display still showed the hateful scene and her father's screams echoed throughout the small office. She howled in grief and sorrow for her parents, and in abject fury at herself. She stood, stumbled and eventually fell into a dark corner as she curled up in a ball and cried for her father and mother.
"Goddess, how could I be so cruel to her? How can I ever doubt her? They have been through so much!" She moaned as she held herself tight and shivered on the floor.
Strong, comforting arms suddenly embraced her. Holding her tight, drying her tears, whispering comfort in the dark. She looked up into the deep blue eyes of her mother and cried so hard the wracking sobs hurt her slim shoulders. "I
" she wailed, and felt her mother just hold her and tell her it was alright and love her.
Two days later Admiral Sarah Shepard, still resplendent in her dress blue uniform, finally came home. She let herself in through the front door and was immediately assailed by two little girls that wrapped themselves around her legs and refused to let go, all the while yelling, "Papa-monster! Papa-monster!" Smiling, Sarah took exaggerated steps and roared like a monster as the twins giggled and held on for dear life.
Shepard suddenly stopped when Elena came down the stairs into the room and stopped a few feet away. The look on her face was not one Sarah had ever seen before and she glanced past her eldest daughter to Liara who was standing at the kitchen door, nervously biting her lip.
Shepard tilted her head slightly, "Elena
Suddenly the teenager rushed forward and wrapped her father in a crushing embrace. Shepard was at a loss and gave Liara a questioning glance. Her bond-mate only smiled in return.
Finally Elena pulled back and green eyes met grey. And the girl said simply, "I love you, Dad."