Zaeed: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
The kitchen is a blue blur as Liara rushes to get things prepared. Kaycee strolls in and puts her arms around her wife. "Shepard, I don't have time. Things need to be ready."
"What's the big deal? It's just your father coming to dinner. She's a riot to be around."
"It's not just that, she's bringing a date along. Is Ayrene dressed and ready?"
"Sweetie, you need to relax, I think its great that Aethyta is still able to see people at her age."
"I am more worried of what kind of person she'd bring."
"That.......is a good point."
The doorbell rings. Ayrene rushes past "I'll get it dad!"
Shepard begins to protest, but smiles, ("so helpful"). She hears the door open and Ayrene's voice. "Grandma! Uncle Z!"
...wait...did she just say!!!!!!
Shepard quickly moves to the door to find lo and behold, Zaeed standing in the hallway, Ayrene in his arms. "Look daddy! Uncle Z is here!"
Zaeed gives Kaycee an apologetic look as if to say, this was not my idea. "Shepard", he says gruffly.
Shepard's mind goes blank at the scene before her: Aethyta in a slinky black dress, Zaeed in a white button-down with khakis, her arm wrapped around his.
Oh, this will not end well. "Liara, honey! Your dad and Zaeed are here!"
A loud crash is heard from the kitchen. Aethyta smiles, "Liara? Is everything alright?"
A long silence follows that seems like an eternity before Liara responds, "Fine dad. Just had one of the plates fall onto the floor."
"Do you want me to help?"
"No dad, I'm fine. I'll be out in a minute".
Shepard leads the party over to the dining room. "Uncle Z, why are you here?"
Zaeed put Ayrene down, "Well that's actually a funny story. Your grandmum here, we've been...seeing each other for the past few weeks."
He stops talking as Liara enters the room with a bowl of salad. "Hello Zaeed."
She turns to her father with a strained smile as she places the salad on the table. "So, how did you two meet?"
Zaeed clears his throat. "Well that's a story to be sure. I was tracking a Krogan Blood Pack leader to Purgatory. He rabbited and burst through the presidium. I wound up chasing him through the Apollo Cafe, and that's when she stepped in. Your grandma here, stepped in front of a charging krogan and headbutted him. She didn't stop there, she followed up with a biotic punch right in the face. The poor bugger never knew what hit him. What a woman."
Aethyta put her hand on his shoulder, "Zaeed, your stories always end up long winded. How about I shorten it? He stood there staring like he'd never seen a pair of....(at that point Shepard puts her hands over Ayrene's ears). Long story short, he's a real animal between the sheets."
"What? Like you don't feel the same about her."
"Not in front of my daughter please!"
"What's the problem, she'll learn about this sooner or later."
"She's 5 years old Dad!"
Zaeed and Shepard look at each other, he motions to the door. She nods in agreement, picking up Ayrene. They make their way outside. "Well, this is going about as well as I expected."
Shepard looks at him in surprise. "You mean she planned this?"
Zaeed sighs. "Yeah pretty much, she's not doing this to be spiteful or mean. She's doing this because she has no other way to interact with her own daughter."
Ayrene looks over at Zaeed. "You like her?"
"Of course I do, your grandma is a remarkable woman."
Shepard nudges Zaeed with her elbow to make sure he doesn't go into any more detail. Shepard listens intently, "Things have gotten quiet. This is either a good sign, or a remarkably bad one. Well Blue, shall we go make sure mommy hasn't done anything crazy?"
Ayrene grins and nods. Upon entering the dining room, they are met with an unexpected sight: Liara and Aethyta sitting together, Liara's head on her father's shoulder smiling with tears rolling down her cheeks. "Everyone alive sweetie?"
Liara looks up, her blue eyes glistening from the tears. "Yes, we've just been discussing a few things. Everything is fine now."
Ayrene rushes over to Aethyta and sits on her lap. "Uncle Z really likes you, you know?"
Zaeed chokes on his drink. Aethyta just sits there smiling. She bends down and whispers "I know" and kisses Ayrene on the forehead. Shepard finally sits down next to Liara and puts her arm around her waist. "Shall we?"
Liara wipes her tears away. "Yes, but I think we'll have to figure out something else, the food's probably cold by now."
Shepard smiles, "We'll think of something."