Shepard Family Stories: Lineage
(25 years later)
Kaycee sits quietly at a table in the Apollo Cafe. The lights reflecting off the streaks of grey in her hair. Ah….I love the Presidium. A chipper voice jogs her back to reality. "Anything else I can get you Commander."
She looks up into the bright perky face of Kimberly Vega. She had inherited her mother's fiery orange hair as well as her personality. However, her eyes had her father's determination. "I could use another cup of coffee, Kim." As she pours Kaycee another hot cup, she notices the distracted look on the Commander's face. "Something on your mind?"
Kaycee shakes her head, "It's nothing, Kim. How's your mom doing?"
"Oh, she's doing fine. She loves her teaching job at the Grissom Academy. Though I do think she worries after Dad more than she lets on."
"That's Kelly for you. Always more worried about everyone else than herself." She thinks to herself, It would have gotten her killed.
Kim nods her head, "Yeah, that's what Dad always says."
"He still training recruits?"
"Yep. I didn't think he'd ever leave the front lines. I'm glad we finally got him to take a back seat to fighting."
An asari behind the counter of the cafe hollers out at Kimberly. "Vega! Tables three and five need their orders!"
"I'm coming." She turns back to Kaycee. "Sorry, duty calls. We'll have to talk again soon."
"I'd like that. Say hi to the folks for me."
"Will do Commander!" She turns on her heels and rushes over to the tables in question, a spring to her steps.
Taking a slow sip of the heavenly drink, she sighs to herself in contentment. She drifts off into a contented daze, until someone unceremoniously plops down into the chair next to her. Glancing at the newcomer, she smiles. Velair Shepard sits at the table, forehead planted firmly on the tabletop in aggravation. The dark purple armor of Citadel Security gleams from the lights of the Presidium. "Something wrong, honey?"
Velair looks up at her father with those piercing green eyes. "Captain Chellick is treating me like….well…a girl!"
Kaycee looks at her puzzled. "Elle….honey…in case you haven't noticed, you are a girl."
Velair's forehead wrinkles as she gives her father a frustrated look. Kaycee puts up her hands in mock surrender. "You're right, you're right. How dare that turian treat my daughter like a girl."
"Why are you making fun of me Dad?"
"Sweetie, Chellick is an old friend of your uncle Garrus. Odds are, he's just trying to not put you in harm's way."
"But, Dad. I don't want special treatment. I want to be treated like any other member of C-SEC. Otherwise how will I be able to show what I can do? Commander Bailey wouldn't have treated me like this."
Kaycee sighs, putting her hand over Velair's. "No, Bailey would have treated you like my daughter. We all knew that this would happen on some level. Look, I'll have a chat with the Captain later today. I'll tell him that I don't want to hear anything more about special treatment." She gives her hand a squeeze. "Okay, Elle?"
Velair's expression softens and she gives a small smile. "How do you do that dad?"
"Make everything seem like it's going to be okay."
"Years of practice sweetie. Now then, how are you settling in here? Any other problems I should know about."
"Everything's fine Dad. The apartment that Aunt Miri helped pick out is amazing. The view of the Presidium is breathtaking. You never told me how she knew about that particular apartment."
Kaycee gives a knowing smile. "You know your aunt. She is always so well informed about…well….everything. How's your roommate working out?"
"Artemis? She's so much fun to live with. She's definitely taken after Aunt Miri. We go clubbing in my off-hours most nights. Some nights we go to Flux. For special occasions we head over to Purgatory."
Kaycee purses her lips. "I want you to be careful in Purgatory. I know Aria left the club to the Citadel, or so she claims, but you never know what kind of people will be there."
"Dad, I'm a big girl. I can handle myself just fine. All those sparring matches with Grunt and Kolyat weren't for fun you know?"
Shepard sighs in defeat. "….You're right Elle. I just worry about my girls, that's all. You've all grown up so fast, I can scarcely believe it."
"How's mom doing?"
"Oh you know her, off on that minor expedition to the Prothean ruin Javik had told her about. She'll be back in about a week. Then I should be able to pry her away from her work to bring her to visit."
Suddenly, Velair's green omni-tool activates, telling her she has a call. "One second dad, I gotta take this." She puts her hand to her ear. "Go for Shepard……Yessir….but I……yes sir, I'll be right there." She rises from her seat, Kaycee doing the same. She gives her father a warm hug. "I gotta get going dad. Apparently there's a couple of Volus causing trouble down on the Zakera Wards. I'll see you later." She kisses Kaycee on the cheek. "Bye, dad."
Kaycee smiles at her, "Take care sweetie." She watches her daughter jog off towards the nearest shuttle pad.
Kimberly comes bounding back up to Kaycee. "That everything Commander?"
Kaycee looks down at her empty coffee cup. "Could I get one of these to go?
"Sure thing! Be right back."
Kaycee turns and leans on the railing, watching the shuttles pass by overhead. About a minute passes before Kim comes back with a travel cup full of hot, steaming coffee. "Here you go. Take care Commander."
"You too Kim. Give my best to your mom and dad."
With a cheerful wave to Kim, she heads up the stairs towards the elevators. While I'm here, I might as well stop in on a couple of people, say hello.
She takes the elevator up several floors to Huerta Memorial. A geth greets her as she exits the elevator. "Good morning, Shepard. How can I assist you today?"
"I'm just here to see Dr. Michel, is she in?"
The geth checks its omni-tool for a moment before responding. "Affirmative. I've alerted her to your presence. She's in the Chawkas Medical Wing. Down the hall in front of you and to the right."
Kaycee nods in appreciation, "Thanks very much."
As she passes through the heavy metal doors marked with the words, Chakwas Wing, she spies Dr. Chloe Michel glancing at a patient's file on her datapad. "Hi there Chloe."
Dr. Michel looks up from her work, her long, dark red hair pulled back into a ponytail. Her face brightens as she sees Kaycee. She rushes over to her and pulls her into a tight hug. "Kaycee, it's so good to see you. What are you doing here?"
"I was here to see my daughter, but she's working. So I figured I'd pay a visit to a few friends." She glances around the hallway. "I see you finally got them to pay their respects to Karin. I'd like to think she would have approved. By the way, what's this wing for anyways?"
"It's for medical research. We try to find ways of curing those with genetic abnormalities…like Jeff. Karin made me promise to make that a priority."
"She always did have a soft spot for Joker. So how's your husband doing?"
"You know Garrus. He can't ever sit still. He's been traveling back and forth between Palaven and here so much the past few weeks. I think he's trying to take his mind off of worrying about Gabriel."
Kaycee puts a comforting hand on her shoulder. "Gabe can take care of himself. You two raised him right. He'll be fine….trust me."
Chloe gives her a quizzical look. "Do you know something about where Gabriel is?" Shepard's gaze wavers, giving Chloe the chance to push harder. "If you know something about my son Kaycee, you need to tell me."
"….I can't. Not that I don't want to. But….."
"You're really not going to tell me are you?"
Shepard grasps both of Chloe's hands in hers, looking hard into her eyes. "I need you to trust me on this Chloe. Gabriel will be fine."
Chloe's eyes grow cold and hard. "It's been really nice seeing you again Shepard, but I've got a lot of work to do. Take care of yourself."
Kaycee sighs. "I'm really sorry Chloe. This wasn't my choice." But Dr. Michel is already walking away in a huff.
Damn it, Ayrene. You better have a good explanation for this when I see you.
As Shepard makes her way to the elevators, she notices people staring at her. "Look! Isn't that? Yeah! Commander Shepard, hero of the galaxy. I haven't seen her in the news in forever. I heard she moved to the country back on Earth to stay out of the public eye."
Kaycee sighs to herself. I really get tired of this. She punches the button for the spaceport a little harder than she intended, leaving a small dent in the keypad.