This logfile is imported from aitelogs2 and may contain errors or wrong timestamps.
#RedrockAgency – November 9, 2017
Jason has picked up where he left off before heading off after Vasquez. Seated at a table with enough spots for the others to join them with a plate of food and a drink in front of him. As he spots his old friends approaching, he shoves a mouthful of food into his mouth and lifts a hand in greeting.
Shane has abandoned his military jacket since dancing. It's slung over the back of his seat back at their table. But his dark slacks are immaculate. Pressed with a neat crease down each leg. He's sporting a big grin as he approaches Jason and Vasquez.
Gage is rebuttoning his jacket now that he has finished his dancing. His jacket is adorned with numerous medals. The all too recognizable purple heart underlines the rest. He looks up once finished, remaining standing as he reaches the table. He offers a small bow of his head in greeting to Vasquez. "Good to see you again. Hopefully this time is on better terms." he offers, casting a brief grin Jason's way before looking back to the
Sam has her jacket tossed over her shoulder and is still breathing a bit heavy from their time on the dancefloor. "Yo." she offers, lifting a hand to give Vasquez a small wave by wiggling her fingers.
Vasquez has reacquired her plate of varren kebab, as well as a glass of water, before joining Jason at the table. She gains a faint smile as the others join them, giving Gage a nod of acknowledgement. "Thank you." she says before responding with another nod to Sam's greeting.
Halisi has happily returned to dancing when the music shifted back to something calmer, doing her best guide Ilyna, but after Li finishes her burger its not long before the girl becomes restless and interrupts them by pouncing at the doctor with a fearsome "Rawr!". She chuckles in response, nearly losing her balance to the unexpected interruption. "I'm sorry, do you want your mommy back?" she asks with a grin, patting the girl's
Nathan arrives back downstairs, looking a little shook up but still managing to keep a smile on his face. He weaves his way across to where his sister and Tara sit, greeting them with a wave of his hand. His brow furrows, however, seeing Tara's current condition. "Alright, what did you do, Sofia?"
Sofia blinks and scowls heavily at her brother. "Nothing! I was just showing Tara how to dance. We were having fun, but she wasn't used to heels so she fell over, bless her." She smiles reassuringly at Tara, shrugging a shoulder. "It happens. Halisi said she'll be fine as long as she doesn't put pressure on it."
Tara is surprisingly quick to blurt out: "She didn't do anything. It was my fault." in an urgent, apologetic tone.
Sofia playfully rolls her eyes. "Oh, shush, it wasn't your fault. Accidents happen! Nothing to be ashamed about."
Sam tugs a chair out and drops heavily into it with a tired grunt. "First? Lovely ceremony." she agrees with a nod, repeating Gage's words quickly to get it out of the way as if she has more important things to talk about. "But I gotta know... How do you put up with this asshole?" she asks, a smile spreading across her face as she glances towards Jason.
Jason rolls his eyes, a single synthetic finger inching upwards as he flips her off. "Two sentences." he shoots back, "You couldn't even go two sentences without shitting on me!" He gives a shake of his head, muttering to himself.
Sam brings her hands to her chest defensively. "What?! I'm just saying I feel sorry for the woman." she continues to tease, "She's got a tough road ahead of her!" She puts a hand up as she looks Vasquez' way again, barely able to contain her laughter, "My condolences."
Shane chuckles at their back and forth, having missed their constant bickering. He drops into a seat beside Sam.
Gage takes a seat on the other side of Sam, putting him across from Vasquez. He gives a playful roll of his eyes as Sam and Jason continue on like no time has passed.
Priya just completely ignores Jason and Sam as she sits beside Gage. She instead leans forward a bit in an attempt at getting Vasquez' attention. "You look amazing." she offers politely through a smile. "Your dress is so beautiful."
Ilyna has gotten more comfortable with it after getting some direction from Halisi, for she had no alcohol or a sea of strangers to hide in this time; only familiar faces that could hold her accountable. She laughs at Li's attack, her big smile taking all the weight out of the admonishing "Li..." that follows.
Nathan smiles lightly at the two and shrugs, lowering himself into a free seat. "Ah. Well, as Sofia put it, accidents happen. As long as you were having fun before it happened." He looks across to the two of them, chuckling slightly. "And it certainly looked like you two were."
Vasquez raises an eyebrow slightly, an amused look crossing her face as Sam and Jason start, but her smile wavers as Sam continues to speak. There's a worry and unease in her eyes as her attention turns down to her food for just a moment before Priya gets her attention, and she forces her smile back into place. "I-... thank you." she says, seeming a little caught off-guard by the compliment as she glances down at her
dress. "I... suppose you already know my name from the invitation, but..." she says, studying Priya.
Li seems to have no intention of breaking character, continuing to growl and claw with her hands until Halisi crouches down - not without effort in her dress.
Halisi smiles at Li, extending a hand. "Maybe you want to dance to?" she asks, prompting the girl to gain a surprised expression, looking over at Ilyna.
Ehanis has inched closer over the course of the last few songs, responding in kind to Cynthia's fleeting touches. She hasn't said much, but her dancing has become more enthusiastic and fitting with the music playing; at the cost of repeating her earlier mistake of moving her injured shoulder wrongly. It'll heal again.
Tara lowers her gaze, offering a tiny, hesitant nod in response to Nathan. She seems a little uncomfortable with her position, leg on the chair, and towel-wrapped ice.
Priya is quick to lean forward, extending her hand across the table towards Vasquez. When it becomes clear that she's not going to be able to comfortably shake the woman's hand from her position, she gains an uncomfortable look and climbs out of her seat, awkwardly rounding the table so she can shake Vasquez' hand. "Priya." she finally says. "It is nice to finally meet you." she adds, implying Jason has done his share of talking about
Jason takes another bite of his food as he continues to bicker with Sam. "When are you getting married? Huh? Oh, what's that? Nobody willing to deal with your shit? Ya don't say!"
Sam seems to get a kick out of riling Jason up, big smile spread across her face. "Nah. You got it backwards. It's not about a lack of prospects. I've just got too much love to give right now to settle down."
Shane watches Priya with a big grin, her awkwardness never failing to amuse. He taps a hand against his chest as he looks Vasquez' way. "Shane." he offers before confirming Priya's implications, "Jason's told us a lot about you."
Cynthia slips away from Ehanis as the song comes to an end, and something far calmer starts to play. She spins in place to face the asari, nodding in the direction of the beverage table. "I'm beat. Drinks?" she says, shooting her a wicked smile and heading off for the booze before she has a chance to respond.
Sofia giggles and smiles across to Tara. "So, Tara, I have to ask. Do you play an instrument?" She folds her hands in her lap after putting the wine back on the table, raptly paying attention to the slightly injured girl.
Ilyna crouches down as well, with relative ease due to her preference for more loosely fitting dresses. "Hm?" she asks, her smille still there. "Don't you want to dance with us?"
Vasquez watches in silence as Priya rounds the table, shaking her hand without commenting. Her gaze turns to Shane as he introduces himself, nodding in response, but his comment causes an uncomfortable look to cross her face. "I-... I see." she says, her discomfort obvious for a moment before she manages to hide it. "Good things, I hope." she tosses out, but she doesn't quite manage to make it sound like the joking comment
Sofia perks an eyebrow. "Why are you sorry? That's nothing to be sorry about." She smile reassuringly at her. "So what do you enjoy doing in your spare time, then?"
Halisi reaches for Li's hands when the girl looks back to her, standing up but remaining at a slight crouch in order to be able lead her back and forth with tiny steps, trying to help her understand the rythm. She briefly glances over at Ilyna with a faint grin before looking down at Li again, giving her an encouraging nod.
Tara furrows her eyebrows. After a moment's silent thought she says: "Soaps..." recalling Leah using the word, but still not quite understanding why they were called such.
Sofia purses her lips in thought. "Soaps? Oh, you make soaps? Like, carve them? So you must be artistic!" Sofia nods firmly at her seemingly logical conclusion.
Tara 's frown only deepens, and she looks rather dismayed at the misunderstanding. Unsure how to correct her, she just shakes her head.
Sofia blinks and looks a little embarrassed, chuckling at her misunderstanding. "Oooooh. You watch vids. Right, I'm following now. Sorry, sorry. Heh." She clears her throat and pushes a stray lock of hair back behind her ear. "So, what kind of shows? I might have seen one or two of them."
Tara 's frown remains as she finds herself without an answer. "I... don't know." she says when pressed. The reality was she watched whatever Leah put on.
Ehanis grins and her dancing comes to a near-immediate halt., and she is quick to follow her. "That's what I was doing before, but people just can't leave me alone" she says with feigned frustration that's easily belied by her smirk.
Ilyna matches her smile as she watches the two of them dance, waiting a few moment before standing up. "Keep it up, Li," she says, "you're doing well."
Gage shoots a pointed glance Sam's way. His gaze then moves to Jason. "Children." he says. Much in the way a parent might.
Jason reacts similarly. Posture straightening as he shoots an apologetic glance Gage's way. Whatever respect Gage commanded seems to still be as strong as ever.
Priya remains standing beside Vasquez for a number of moments, seemingly unsure of what to do with her hands now that the handshake has ended. She clasps one hand over the other and, finally, backs up towards her seat once more.
Shane snorts at Vasquez' response. When it becomes clear that she's not joking, he gives a nod of his head, brow furrowed. "Yeah. Yeah, of course." he assures her, nodding once more. "Just nice to finally be able to put a face to the name, you know?"
Cynthia searches among the bottles until she finds it. Batarian ale. She grabs the bottle, showing it to Ehanis. "This is the good stuff!" she exclaims, pouring two glasses that she cuts with something weaker, not one to tempt fate right this moment. "What's someone like you doing in this outfit anyway?" she asks, gesturing around at the building and sliding the second glass over to Ehanis before grabbing her own and
Halisi shoots Ilyna another glance and a chuckle as she hears her encouragement to Li. She continues to do a very simplistic dance with the girl, basically just stepping left and right, but Li seems to be having fun.
Vasquez briefly gains a strange look as she realizes Shane picked up on her concern, but she's quick to nod. "Yeah, of course." she says, adding a moment later: "I've been waiting to meet the rest of you." she says, briefly glancing Gage's way.
Nathan opens his mouth to have a shot at guessing when his omni-tool starts to beep. He furrows his brow and looks down at it, checking who's messaging him. Seeing the sneder, his smile broadens and he looks across to Sofia, immediately standing up. "Hey, it's mother. Come on, let's see what she says. She'll want to see your dress in the reply." Sofia's eyes widen and she nods quickly, offering Tara an
apologetic look and a quick reassurance that she'll be back soon. Nathan offers the same smile. "Sorry, Tara. We won't be long. Our mother she's... not well, so we need to take this." He backpedals a few steps before he and his sister disappear to a quieter corner, the interface opening to show the sender, their mother. They both smile and listen aptly to the message.
Shane's grin returns soon enough as he settles into his seat, his posture quite relaxed. "Well it sounds like we'll be around for a minute, so I'm guessing we'll probably be seeing a lot of each other for the next few weeks."
Gage is quick to chime in once Shane finishes. "Still-..." he casts an uneasey glance Jason's way, "...uhh... waiting on paperwork to get pushed through. No telling how long that might take so we're in no rush to get back." he says to Vasquez, offering no context having assumed Jaosn probably already brought her up to speed.
Jason specifically hasn't told Vasquez. He clears his throat as he glances over to his wife. "...Gage and the others are working on moving into the private sector." he explains, his gaze moving back to Gage afterwards.
Sam gives a snicker as she leans forward a bit, "Figure if he can do it-..." she nods towards Jason, "...then it can't be too hard, right?"
Vasquez raises an eyebrow, gaze moving from Gage to Jason, and then out at the others again. "Really...? I didn't know. I'm surprised Jason hasn't recruited you. We're certainly looking capable people."
Ehanis grimaces at the sight of the batarian ale, very familiar with the green drink. She snorts at the question, "Someone like me?" She takes the glass and leans on the table, continuing before Cynthia can explain. "It's a gig that pays well, and it's got fucking benefits...." Ehanis shakes her head. "It's almost worth having my sister up the chain."
Jason's gaze remains fixed on Gage. "They're doing their own thing." he says simply. It's clear by his tone that there's some unresolved shit going on behind the scenes.
Gage gives a brief, uncomfortable chuckle, reaching up to rub at the back of his neck. "Yeah-..." he looks to Jason, his gaze lingering on him, a silent signal that they'll talk later before looking back to Vasquez, "... I appreciate the offer and all, but we're hoping to operate out of Council space. Just a small operation." He gives a glance around at the others, "Pretty much just what you see right here, for now. Unfortunately it
takes a bit of time to get all these permits pushed through. Well, hell, what am I saying? I'm sure you know all about that." he explains with a chuckle, trying to push the conversation back Vasquez' way in hope that it'll relieve a bit of the tension between himself and Jason.
Vasquez glances back to Jason briefly, furrowing her eyebrows as her attention returns to Gage. She nods a few times. "Yeah... I do." she says, deciding not to press the issue. "Took us a long time to get everything sorted. Honestly, it's a lot easier operating out here. But our permissions for Citadel space have come in handy."
Gage nods a few times, glancing about at the others at the table. "We discussed it... Talked about maybe packing things up and joining you guys out here in the Terminus Systems." he cracks a smile, implying he's mostly joking. "But home is home, you know? Feel like we've still got plenty of work left to do back there." He glances to Sam at his side.
Sam gives a nod as Gage's focus falls onto her. "Besides. We've been in this field a long time. Met a lot of people. Never hurts to be close to your contacts, right?" she chimes in.
Cynthia mirrors Ehanis' movement, leaning against the table and looking at her as she sips her drink again. "Ohhh... riiiight. Shiiit. Still don't know how the fuck you put up with that..."
Vasquez nods. "Makes sense. I know a place like Aite isn't for everyone. Hell, it's taken me a while to be sure it's right for us. But it's the kind of place that needs people like us. No shortage of work, and we can do a lot of good here." she says, looking from Gage to Sam. "I hope so, anyway." she adds, her gaze going over to Jason briefly.
Tara sits in silence after Nathan and Sofia leaves, her gaze falling to the towel on her ankle for a while, before she starts to look around in search of Leah, eyebrows furrowing when she doesn't see her.
Sofia seems to finish compiling a video message back to her mother, even doing a little twirl for her to show off the entirety of her dress. She skips back over to Tara, Nathan staying off to the side as he continues speaking into the omni-tool. "I'm back!" She smiles brightly at Tara.
Tara 's attention quickly turns to Sofia when she returns, blinking as she studies her. She hesitates before asking what she didn't have time for before. "Your... mother. She is... not well?" she asks quietly, repeating Nathan's words.
Gage nods along with Shane. "No argument there. Unfortunately with all of these colonies going dark-..." he lets out a deep breath as he glances around the table, lowering his voice before saying the name, almost as if they might materialize if they hear him calling, "...Collectors?" He gives a shake of his head, the idea of them being real still not having sunk in entirely, "...I think right now the best we can do is stay where the
Priya sighs at the mention of the Collectors, her gaze lowering, but not before passing an apologetic glance Sam's way.
Sofia 's persona flickers for a moment and there is a sudden surge of sadness in her eyes. She quickly masks it with a light smile that doesn't quite reach her eyes. "Um, yeah. She's sick... has been for a while now. But she'll get better! My mother is a tough woman, she won't let it get the best of her."
Vasquez drops her fork onto the plate with a clatter, a surprised look briefly crossing her face, before being replaced by a tense expression as she lowers her head, her now-empty hand balling into a fist. She looks Jason's way, searching for his gaze. No breath escapes her pursed lips.
Sofia grimaces, barely noticeable. She casts her own gaze to the ankle, quiet for a moment. Then, it seems like all traces of sadness just wash away as she brightly asks, "Hey, Tara, I was thinking about exploring Falls in a few days! You wanna come with? Oooh, we can go shopping together!"
Ilyna gives a contented sigh, casting an occasional glance down at Li. She does some unfocused (recently learned) dance moves to not look too out of place on the floor, but her focus is mostly on the pair before her.
Ehanis shrugs. "The last month's been easy," she says with a smirk. "I was given days off after the last gig, then..." she takes a tentative sip of her drink, her grimace briefly making a return. "I hurt my shoulder some ten-fifteen days ago, which means more sitting on my ass doing nothing." She takes another sip before adding, "I hate it."
Tara blinks. She furrows her eyebrows as she considers the question. "I... need to ask Leah." she concludes.
Halisi eventually lets go of Li, who runs over to Ilyna while the doctor looks on with a smile, seemingly all danced out.
Sofia claps her hands together. "She can come too! Girls day out." She absolutely brims with excitement, letting out a small squeal. "It'll be so cool. I'm not sure what kinda shops there are, but I bet I'll see things I never saw on Earth, that's for sure."
Jason bites down hard. Their behind-the-scenes look at what's actually going on causes the mention of the Collectors to carry a bit more weight for him than most of the people at the table, aside from perhaps Sam. His attention lowers to the table and he subtly brings his own hand up, curling it around Vasquez' clenched fist and pulling it off the table before meeting her gaze. Holding her hand in his, attention locked on her,
Gage looks between the pair, Vasquez' reaction causing him to fall silent for a moment. "Did-..." he begins, but is quick to put two-and-two together- albeit incorrectly- and his expression changes to one of sympathy. He gives a deep sigh, nodding to himself. "Apologies. I didn't-... Lots of good people are gone because of those bastards..." he says simply, casting a glance Sam's way as he clasps a hand on her shoulder to give it a
Sam looks up to Gage as she feels his touch, sucking in a deep breath. "But we're gonna make those sons-of-bitches pay." she says with conviction.
Cynthia raises her eyebrow. "Yeah? Know the feeling, being out of action sucks. Get all... antsy." she says, sipping her drink as she looks out across the hangar before returning her focus to Ehanis. "Shoulder, huh? So... what's the doc's orders? You cleared for more than just... sitting around?" she says, leaving little doubt as to what she's asking as her gaze travels down Ehanis' body, before going back to her
Ilyna smiles at Halisi before crouching down to Li's eye level, and places a hand on her shoulder. "What's on your mind, Li?"
Li stops tugging at Ilyna's dress once she crouches down, looking over her shoulder at one of the tables before asking. "Can I go talk to Mikey?"
Sofia looks at Tara and her mood immediately deflates a little by the lack of response. "Or we can wait for Leah. Sure...".
Leah finally reappears in the doorway, makeup all touched up to go along with the smile she's got propped up to cover the melt down she just had. Though it begins to fade as she spots Tara with her leg propped up. As she nears the table, she gives a glance between Sofia and Tara, the click-clack of her heels sounding out with each step. "What happened?" she asks, brimming with concern as she moves to take a closer look at Tara's
Mikey is seated at a table with his brother and his mother, arms folded across his chest and looking quite bored as Jennifer watches all of the other couples dance.
Tara seems to relax slightly when she spots Leah, but the question causes her to lower her gaze apologetically. "I fell. I'm sorry."
Ilyna glances over her shoulder. "Of course you can," she says with a reassuring smile. "Do you want me to come with you?"
Sofia smiles up at Leah, nodding along. "She wasn't used to dancing in heels. We tried to dance to a much faster song and she fell. It's my bad, I shouldn't have pushed her." Sofia offers an apologetic smile.
Li shakes her head, frowing slightly. She waits for just a moment before running off. She sneaks up to Mikey's chair and, after a moment's hesitation, tugs at his shirt to get his attention.
Leah furrows her brow, her smile returning once it's clear that it's nothing serious. She reaches out, gently patting Tara on the shoulder. "I saw you out there. You were doing so good, sweetie." she says as she moves to retake her seat. She glances in Sofia's direction, mouthing a quick 'Thank you so much' her way. "Did you have fun?" she asks, her gaze moving back to Tara.
Mikey swivels around a bit until he spots Li. A small frown crosses his lips. "You got me in trouble." he whispers.
Vasquez fights off the initial urge to yank her hand free, instead gripping it tightly as she meets Jason's gaze, drawing a long, uneven breath as she tries to calm herself. She closes her eyes and exhales before turning back to the others. "Ye-... yeah. A lot of good people." she says, her voice sounding strained and almost empty as she struggles to project some kind of normalcy in the face of the unexpected reminder of
Uvena approaches Nathan's table from his six, though the sound of her heels against the hangar floor should provide enough warning. She taps him on the shoulder. "Ready to head back out to the field?" she asks with a bob of her head towards the dance floor, completely oblivious to his phone call. She nods to the others around the table, but she witnessed Tara's accident and does not need to ask.
Tara keeps her gaze low, looking slightly uncomfortable with Leah's praise, but in response to the question she gives a small nod.
Nathan has just finished his message when Uvena taps him on the shoulder. He jolts and immediately jumps to his feet, spinning around. "Woah, Uvena... you made me jump, sheesh...". He breathes out a sigh and smiles at her, shrugging a shoulder. Seems her heels weren't ample warning to him. "Uh, yeah. Yeah, I'm looking forward to it. It'll be a nice change of pace from the usual Respite shift." He takes a
Mikey's frown remains for a number of moments before slowly slipping away. "...It's okay." he says reluctantly as he turns in his chair. "Why were you crying?" he asks, having no sense to leave well enough alone, "I thought we were having fun."
Li fidgets uncomfortably, shooting a brief glance toward Jennifer before looking back at the floor. "Something's wrong with me. It's not your fault."
Sofia gives Leah a sheepish smile, waving off her praise with a shrug of her shoulders. "I was wondering," she hedges, "If Tara would like to come out exploring with me. Go do some shopping around Falls, but she said she needed to ask you first."
Jason gives Vasquez' hand another squeeze. "Even better reason for us to be here." he says to Gage, though his attention is still quite clearly on his wife. "This far out? Now more than ever these people need us... The Alliance sure as hell aren't doing anything for them..." he says, and it almost seems like a barbed jab at Gage.
Gage stammers for a moment as he searches for the right words. "Jason you know-...." he begins but trails off. "...Sorry." he decides on, thinking better than to get into a political debate with a groom on his wedding day. "For what it's worth, I'm proud of you." he says after a pause, seemingly trying to shift the tension, "...What you're doing out here?" he gives a nod, glancing between the bride and the groom, "It's a good thing..."
Jason tries to remain frustrated with Gage, but the praise causes his expression to soften. "...Thanks. We're just-... just doing what we can."
Mikey's interest seems to increase upon hearing Li, causing him to cock his head to the side. "Is it because your mom is an alien?" he asks with sincerity.
Leah glances over to Tara, giving a small snicker. "You don't need my permission, Tara. Do you want to go shopping with Sofia?" she asks, unable to hide the smile. Sure, it undoubtedly makes Tara uncomfortable to be put on the spot like this, but these are the steps of progress. "Could be fuuuun~" she adds.
Vasquez goes quiet, quickly getting lost in her own thoughts. Her expression goes distant and dark as she stares down at an empty spot on the table, her grip on Jason's hand only tightening, to the point where if it was organic he'd likely be wincing in pain.
Tara blinks, obviously uncomfortable as she lowers her gaze, thinking. She eventually glances over at Sofia, and then a small nod follows as she looks to Leah.
Jason in an attempt at curbing the direction her mood is clearly going, reaches across himself with his other hand, setting it on her forearm. "Hey... Might be a good time to toss out the bouqet, right?" he offers, forcing a lopsided smirk as he silently hopes that reminding her of the current situation might snap her back.
Sofia claps her hands together and nods. "Awesome! Oooh, it'll be great! We can try out Terminus fashion, grab something to eat, go and find entertainment and eeee it'll be so much fun! Oh, oh, I could do your hair and make up as well!" She inhales, taking a breath.
Ehanis glances over at the doctor, then smirks. At least she doesn't seem to have complained so far, even if she's probably conspiring with Ilyna. "The doctor isn't paying me anyway," she says. She takes a long sip of her drink, less than subtly looking her over while doing so. "I know my limits...," she says, and bites her lip,
Ilyna smiles proudly as she watches Li run off on her own to talk to him. However, she's not above observing them from a distance in case she needs to intervene.
Uvena laughs at his reaction, and at his (apparent) misunderstanding of her question. "I'm sorry, Ten," she says with a tight-lipped smile. "You're not looking too bad yourself." Uvena casts a glance over her shoulder towards the dance floor. "I actually meant the dance floor by 'the field'," she says, "but I understand you – I would have hated it in my maiden years."
Leah gives a small chuckle at Sofia's enthusiasm. "Sounds like a fun day." she chips in. "Maybe the three of us could go dancing some time before you leave?" she offers with a glance to Sofia before her attention settles back on Tara. "Give you a chance to get some more practice in." she adds.
Vasquez seems to almost snap back as she feels the hand on her forearm, and hears Jason address her. It takes her a moment to register the question, during which she just stares at him. But a nod follows, and she loosens the grip on his hand. "The-... yeah. Yeah. Right. Of course." she says, nodding a few more times, an uncomfortable look crossing her face as her attention turns briefly towards the others. Perhaps
wondering whether they noticed. But she soon returns her attention to Jason, giving yet another nod, an unspoken thanks in her expression.
Nathan blinks once, twice, then his cheeks redden slightly. "Uh, yeah! I knew what you meant, I was just testing you. It was a test. Well done, you passed." He nods firmly, glancing over at the dance floor. He hums a moment before looking back at her with a big ol' grin. "Sure, I'm up for a few more dances. Shall we?"
Sam cracks her knuckles as she listens to the discussion between Jason and Vasquez. "Well, guess it's time to elbow some bitches." she decides with a sigh before casting a glance to her teammate. "Priya, you're running interference."
Tara seems almost a little put-off by Sofia's enthusiasm, unsure how to react. She opts for remaining silent.
Cynthia 's grin only grows, a quiet chuckle escaping under her breath. "Hmh... good to know. Good. To. Know." she muses, turning to lean her back against the table, looking out across the hangar as she takes a long sip of her drink, grimacing just slightly. "Think this thing will be wrapping up soon..." she comments.
Halisi walks up next to Ilyna, studying her briefly with a chuckle, before looking over at Li. "I'm not sure even your powers of eavesdropping reach quite so far..."
Mikey glances back at his mother before climbing off the chair. "You look normal." he offers with a shrug as he studies Li. "Is it about the-..." he glances to Jennifer one more time before lowering his voice and looking back to Li, "....Is it about the monsters?"
Uvena nods. "Of course, of course," she says, matching his grin as she reaches out to take his hand. "Let's go." She opens her mouth to say something, but she seems to decide against it. Uvena starts walking towards the dance floor.
Nathan is taken by the hand and is pulled towards the dance floor. The man grins from ear to ear. "Didn't know I was so highly sought after tonight," he muses, stopping and taking a moment to listen to the music. He reaches over to put a hand at her waist, the other still clasping her hand and, before he knows it, he's already trying to lead her in the dance.
Jason takes a deep breath, pleased at having cut that off at the pass. He snorts at Sam and Priya's back-and-forth before sliding his chair back and standing up. "Fergus." he says aloud, trusting the VI will be able to parse what he's saying over the music. He still hasn't broken the habit of glancing up towards the ceiling when speaking to the VI. "Make an announcement. Bouqet time!"
Mikey keeps his voice low, looking a bit confused at what to say. Finally, he shrugs his shoulders. "I'm not afraid of monsters, so you can tell me if you want."
Sofia just grins broadly, nodding. "Yes! Tara really was enjoying herself after you and my brother dis-" She pauses, slowly squints her eyes at Leah and leans forward a little. "Where did you two go?"
Ilyna looks at the two, concern washing over her face as she studies the broad strokes of Li's body language. "I don't think I need to," she says. She's fighting every urge to cross the room and help their apparant dispute.
Uvena is very much content to be lead into the dance. She's handling herself well on the dance floor, despite not wearing high heels very often. She sighs. "I know it sounds banal, but... I sometimes wonder what I saw in you back on the Snowball," Uvena says, then chuckles. "Now I remember."
Fergus ' voice soon sounds over the speakers in the hangar, interrupting the music with the proclamation of: "Dear guests, it is time for the tossing of the bouqet."
Leah's eyebrows raise as she considers the question, racking her brain for an excuse. 'To have a nervous breakdown' just doesn't seem appropriate wedding talk. She sucks a deep breath in through her nose, her green eyes briefly pulled towards Nathan on the dance floor. Her eyebrows fall back into place as she watches him, "He was helping me with-..." she says distantly before finally returning her gaze to Sofia, giving a shake
of her head. "Work stuff!" she finally decides, forcing a big bright smile into place. "Just, boring old-..." her shoulders rise and fall in a shrug, "...work stuff."
Vasquez winces slightly as she stands up, looking uncomfortable at the prospect of this rather peculiar tradition. Nonetheless, she heads towards the table where the bouquet has been stashed.
Nathan almost misses a step at her sudden admission and his cheeks redden a little. "Oh, hehe, right. Ahem, uh... what, exactly?" He grins stupidly, but any further answer is stolen by Fergus' announcement. "Oh! Now that's an important part of a wedding ceremony. You heard of it? Whoever catches the bouquet is to be married next. Typically."
Sofia studies Leah for a moment, her mismatched eyes flicking back and forth between each of Leah's. Eventually, she grins and does air quotations. "Work stuff. Suuuuure." She gasps sharply and looks up at the ceiling at the announcement. "Oooh, I love this part. I wonder who'll catch it?"
Li shakes her head slightly. She seems like she's going to say something, but the announcement catches her attention, and she looks up at the ceiling curiously.
Ehanis can't help but look amused as the two more or less plan the night ahead. She takes a long sip of the glass as Fergus' announcement rings out, and the absurdity of that sentence makes her laugh, spitting some alcohol on the floor. "The fuck does that mean?"
Cynthia lets out a surprised snort, luckily not mid-drink. "Oh, uh, yeah, it's... a wierd old Earth thing. Whoever catches the bouquet is supposed to be the next one that gets married." She furrows her eyebrows and adds: "Like I said, weird. She shows no inclination toward leaving her place leaning against the table.
Leah looks back and forth between Sofia and Tara. Her expression turns to one of discomfort at the looks she's getting, and her cheeks visibly redden upon hearing Sofia, but she plays it off with a roll of her eyes. "Oh! Right!" she cheers, happy for the interruption. Realizing this might all be new to Tara, she looks to the young girl. "See, we're all going to go and crowd around behind the Chief-..." she gives a nod Vasquez'
way, "And theeeeeen~ she's going to put her back to us and throw a bouqet of flowers over her shoulder. Whoever catches it is supposed to get married next."
Sam and Priya both vacate their seats, following close behind Vasquez as they prepare to get into position.
Tara blinks, seeming a little surprised by these instructions, but she nods, looking in the direction of Vasquez.
Halisi gently places a hand on Ilyna's shoulder. "She can handle herself. It's good for her to talk to someone her own age." she says softly. As the announcement sounds she looks about, a small chuckle escaping her. "I didn't realize they were doing this..." she comments, not considering Ilyna might know what's going on.
Jason follows silently a few steps behind Vasquez. As he reaches the head of the room, he takes a seat at the edge of the table to watch, big dumb smirk on his face.
Leah gives a snicker as she climbs to her feet once again. "Aaaaaand don't think you're getting out of it just because of a sprained ankle!" she teases as she waves Mendez over. "Sit back and hold on!"
Uvena smiles warmly, about to explain herself as the announcement sounds and Nathan changes the topic. She lets it rest for the moment. "I only looked into what I needed to knoiw what to wear," she says. "Is it a superstition? I would like to think you humans aren't planning your ceremonies on the whim of falling flowers." Her tone is light-hearted.
Nathan chuckles and shakes his head. "Yeah, it's mostly just tradition and superstition. A fun little thing to do. Plus, kinda funny to see people clamouring over who's going to get it. Come on, we'll dance after the throw. It'll be fun." He makes to tug her towards the others, smirking.
Vasquez grabs the bouquet, shooting Jason a look as if to say "this is ridiculous", but she can't help herself from cracking a smile when she notices his amusement. She shakes her head to herself, taking another deep breath as she waits with the bouquet in hand.
Li seems entirely sidetracked by this new development, rounding the table to curiously watch the guests assemble behind Vasquez.
Yan Sun looks up as she hears the announcement, furrowing her eyebrows and leaning slightly over the table to look at the assembling crowd. "Huh...?"
Mikey folds his arms across his chest and silently follows behind Li with a big ol' frown on his face.
Jessica cocks an eyebrow as the announcement is made. She looks to Yan Sun with a shrug. Conventional weddings aren't exactly in her wheelhouse. "This is where-.... where the guests-...." she begins, trying to feign knowledge, as per usual, as she studies the crowd. "They are all-.... You are supposed to go." she decides with a nod. "And then-...." she scoffs loudly, getting frustrated that Yan Sun hasn't left yet, forcing her to
Uvena nods, and follows beside him towards the crowd gathering in front of Vasquez. She stifles some laughter imagining hardened mercenaries fighting over a bouqet of flowers. "That does sound fun," she says.
Yan Sun raises an eyebrow. "Okay! Okay! Going!" she exclaims, holding up her hands as she slips out of her seats. Looking rather confused as to what the hell is going on she starts heading towards the rest of the guests, but she glances back at Jessica. "Aren't you going?!" she asks in a very loud whisper.
Jessica narrows her eye on Yan Sun. "I am-... Gah-...." it's quite clear she has no idea what to do. She slides out of her seat, looking about for any sort of confirmation that she's even supposed to be a part of this. "...Of course I am going!" she exclaims far more confidently than she looks. "This is very important to Earth weddings! How you are not knowing this?! Mmm?!" she asks.
Yan Sun shrugs. "I don't know! They never did this at any wedding I went to!" she says, sounding slightly annoyed, but mostly just puzzled as they head towards the crowd of guests.
Ilyna frowns as Halisi notices what's on her mind, and looks down, but Fergus speaks before she can make a case for herself. She looks around as people stops what they're doing and moves towards Vasquez. Halisi isn't, and she raises an eyebrow. "The others are gathering around her," she asks. "Should we?" Ilyna has put two and two together and has an idea about what's going on.
Nathan grins and stops near the others. She releases Uvena's hand and waits patiently. "Ah, typically it's just the women who catch it."
Emma remains at the edge of the dancefloor, sipping a glass of some unknown drink as she studies the other guests.
Gage and Shane both return the nod with one of their own. "Good to see you again, sir." Gage offers. "Enjoying the wedding?"
Ehanis doesn't seem all that interesting in moving, either. "Yeah, that does sound weird," she agrees. "Going to take a lot more than that to separate me from the booze."
Markus nods again, glancing towards his sister with a small smile. "I am. It's... good to see Linda happy."
Cynthia snickers and reaches over to clink her glass against Ehanis'. "Cheers to that!" she exclaims before taking a swig.
Shane's grin widens and he gives a nod as he looks to the bride and groom. "They make a good couple." he chimes in, happy to see such a genuine smile on his old friend's face.
Uvena jabs a finger towards Nathan. "Don't you sneak off on me," she taunts with a grin before joining the others.
It takes a few minutes for all of the guests to assemble. Mendez, on Leah's orders, assists in carrying Tara's chair to place her in the potential path of the bouqet. Supporting chair and all. Leah remains a few paces to her side.
Jennifer retains a polite smile as the guests assemble. But there's a bit of sadness behind her eyes. This relatively fresh wound of her husband's passing has somewhat soured the experience overall for her. As she spots her son following Li around, she mouths a stern 'Be nice!' to him.
Vasquez continues to take deep breaths to herself, well aware of all the people watching her. Once everyone has gathered she grips the slightly-mangled bouquet, and a moment later off it goes, flying in a long arc, dropping several petals and snapped stems as it goes.
Sofia watches with bated breath, stood besides Leah and Tara. She hops a little from foot to foot, quietly telling herself she won't overreact, she'll be calm and if it- HOLYSHITHEREITCOMES! She finds herself jumping up to grab it as it finds its way right into her reach and she laughs, clutching the bouquet. "Nailed it."
Tara watches in silence as the bouquet come soaring towards them, and Sofia catches it. She has a slightly puzzled frown on her face.
Nathan watches it sail through the air and, for the briefest of moments, his hand twitches to try and go for it. But he hides the urge well and instead laughs as his sister catches it. He lets out a small cheer and claps his hands, shaking his head.
Leah runs through a gamut of emotions as the bouqet sails through the air towards Sofia. First, happiness. Then, jealousy. Then, confusion over the jealousy. After a short inner battle, she decides against snatching the bouqet out of the air with her biotics. Instead, she brings her hands together, clapping for Sofia.
Jessica blinks a few times, looking utterly confused. "Mmm. Is very important tradition." she continues with a nod. "They are-... very valuable flowers." she informs Yan Sun. "Wedding flowers. Worth many credits." she decides.
Jessica scowls at Yan Sun. "Oh? Then what is it? Mmm? You are expert, yes?" she places a hand on her hip as she awaits a better explanation.
Halisi lets out a quiet chuckle as Sofia catches the bouquet, offering no comments, but she subtly glances Ilyna's way.
Sofia looks around with a blush and a big smile on her face. She grins at Tara and then looks to the bouquet. She hums and takes a flower from the bouquet and holds it out to Tara, smiling. "Here. This will go nicely with your dress."
Jessica's scowl deepens. "Wedding flowers." she says with renewed confidence. She suddenly seems to realize something and scrambles to get her omni-tool out to document the ordeal.
Leah takes a position behind Tara's chair, one hand on her shoulder. Her smile deepens as Sofia passes the flower along to her. She swipes a strand of hair back behind her ear as she glances about the crowd.
Va'ynna tracks it carefully as it soars through the air, but her attempt to get closer to its path makes her step on Sam's foot and stumble. She manages to retain balance, but her embarrassment is no lesser for that reason. "I..., um... I," she says. "I'm... so sorry."
Nathan looks to his sister and a proud smile spreads across his face. He looks up at Leah and passes her a wink, a gentle smile and a small nod before he glances to Uvena. "Seems my sister caught it. No clue who she'd marry though."
Sam winces as the asari steps on her foot. She passes an angry expression Va'ynna's way, but it quickly softens as she controls her anger. She's quick to glance around for the bouqet, but when she sees it in Sofia's hands, she groans loudly. "We could've had it, Pree!" she complains, shifting her frustration onto Priya, "You need to be a team player! This was a team building exercise!"
Sam simply speaks louder once Priya chimes in, "It was a team building exercise!" she insists, "And you failed!" She shakes her head, casting one more slightly frustrated glance to Va'ynna before stomping off back towards their table.
Priya knows when to stay quiet, and she exercises that right. She looks to the asari who just stumbles. "Are you alright?" she asks.
Leah's smile grows as she spots Nathan. She returns the nod, finding herself watching in silence for a few moments before turning her attention back to Sofia and Tara.
Ilyna looks over at Halisi, chuckling as well. "You were close," she says. The asari still doesn't know the context of it, however.
Uvena chuckles. She's oblivious to her daughter's current situation, since she's facing Nathan. "She better find out, then," she jokes. "The flowers demand it."
Va'ynna freezes as her apology is only met with repeated frustrated looks, a lump forming in her throat. "I'm... I'm sorry," she says. Va'ynna glances at the exit, considering leaving the room.
Sofia smiles a little and kneels besides Tara, shaking the bouquet a little. "Now, catching this means I'm due to get married next. What do you think? Fancy getting married?" The big grin on her face and the immediate laugh shows that she's joking.
Nathan chuckles softly, rolling his eyes as he turns back to look at his sister, just missing Leah's gaze. "She used to have all the boys chasing her back in school. Turned them all down though. Focused on her studies and dancing and singing and her music and so on." He shrugs a shoulder.
Priya shrugs her shoulders. "Don't worry about it. She-...." she glances Sam's direction before looking back to Va'ynna, "...takes things too seriously sometimes." She offers the asari a friendly smile.
Halisi smirks slightly, going silent. As she studies the seemingly quite excited Sofia with mild amusement, her hand brushes lightly against Ilyna's, her index finger subtly moving as if to start grasping her hand, but she doesn't actually do so, waiting instead to try and read the asari's reaction.
Va'ynna looks down, and closes her eyes. "I... keep saying,... doing the wrong things," she says, her eyes starting to water. "I'm... sorry," she says again, and makes her way out of the hangar.
Uvena casts a glance towards Sofia. "I can believe that," she says with a chuckle. "You're both talented artists, though. I really enjoyed your performance."
Ilyna follows Halisi's gaze, listening intently to what she can overhear. She soon realizes that she's not paying attention to where Li is, and she begins scanning the room, but she's snapped out of it by Halisi's hand brushing on hers. "I...," she begins, at a loss for words. Going down that path terrified her, her mind racing as it runs through the outcomes. At the end of the day, it would be dishonest; Halisi acts
on an incomplete picture of Ilyna. Conflict is written all over the asari's face as she neither retracts her hand, or takes hers.
Priya steps towards Va'ynna, but the asari takes off, leaving Priya to watch her leave. She takes a deep breath and casts a disapproving look Sam's way.
Leah remains behind Tara as she looks about the room, awaiting Mendez' return to take Tara back to the table. She gives a quick snicker as she hears Sofia's teasing.
Halisi silently pulls her hand back, propping up a smile after a brief look of resignation. "It's... been a nice evening." she says. "I... think it's time I said my goodbyes to the couple." she adds quietly, with a few small nods and another flash of her small smile.
Jason remains seated at the edge of the table, big smirk on his face as he watches Vasquez, barely having even paid attention to the hustle to catch the bouqet.
Vasquez watches the aftermath of the bouquet toss with slight amusement. She shakes her head slightly and heads over to Jason, joining him in sitting on the edge of the table. She remains silent at first, but as she looks out at the guests again she says: "Wedding went pretty well, huh...?"
Ilyna frowns as her inaction is taken as a choice, and she pulls her hand back in turn. "Hm, okay," she says distantly and looks up towards Jason and Vasquez. "I... should head home soon, too."
Nathan smiles brightly at Uvena, giving her a tilt of his head. "I appreciate that. Now, it seems like everybody might be heading home soon... so. How about that dance?" He holds a hand out to her. "Just a quick one."
Jason plays at considering the question, brow furrowed as he watches the guests. "We're married..." he says with a nod, "...So I'd say 'mission accomplished'. Seems like everyone enjoyed it, too." His familiar smirk returns as he silently returns to watching the others for a while. After a few moments, he glances back to her. "But there's only one opinion that matters. You have a good time?"
Sofia smiles at Tara. "Aw, chin up. Here, hold on a second." She reaches for Tara's flower and very gently makes to take it out of her hand. Then, she would try and tuck it over her ear, smiling softly to her. "There."
Halisi hesitates slightly as she notices the tone of Ilyna's 'okay', a faint frown crossing her face. She gives a slightly awkward nod. "I-... of course. Li must be getting tired." she comments, not quite able to bring herself to leave just yet. Her tone is a little stilted, but she does her best to hide the subtle hints of embarassment, confusion and disappointment that inevitably shine through here and there.
Tara blinks, feeling her ear and gaining a surprised look as she realizes what Sofia did. She lowers her gaze, not commenting.
Uvena takes his hand, and starts walking towards the dance floor. "Of course," she says. "I wasn't going to let you leave without it."
Sofia doesn't seem bothered by her silence, instead her smile brightens a little. She looks up at Leah and squints for a moment, as if scrutinising her. She then plucks one more flower from the bouquet and tries to slide it into her hair. Given they are close to the same height, it's not hard for her to reach.
Vasquez 's gaze is entirely focused on Jason as he looks out at the others, and when his attention returns to her she's smiling. She snorts quietly and leans against him, putting her head on his shoulder. She doesn't bother dignifying the question with a response.
Leah examines Sofia's handy work from behind Tara, smile still etched into her features. "That looks nice..." she says to Tara softly. As the flower is slid into her hair, she chuckles and bows her head to make it easier for Sofia. Once Sofia is finished, she pushes her hair about a bit to make sure the flower stays in place. "Why thank you." she says playfully. For all of the emotional exhaustion the day has brought, she can't
help but smile. Just seeing Tara interact with good people. Friends. People who care. It means so much to her. These are the people who are going to shape Tara and show her what happiness is. She gives Tara's shoulder a gentle squeeze.
Tara prods distractedly at the flower behind her ear as she looks around at the various guests, seeming quite keen on simple people-watching.
Ilyna looks over at Halisi, tears welling up under her eyes. "I... It's... I'm the problem," is all she can muster to say before she turns and walks off towards the hallway, her eyes set on her office door. Just a moment to gather herself, then she'll look for Li.
Uvena is quick to get back into the rhythm of it. "Have no fear," she says. "I just wanted to enjoy a dance with you, nothing more, nothing less."
Halisi is left standing alone as the crowd disperses. She looks utterly perplexed as Ilyna storms off, but concern slowly replaces the confusion as she lingers in place for a few moments. She looks around, seeming a little self-concious of what just happened, but she quickly gathers the resolve to follow, feeling quite responsible for Ilyna's shift in mood, even though she doesn't understand the cause. She heads off after the