Shepard Family Stories - Ash/Grunt (4th of July Special)
"Come on kids. We're almost there." Ashley Williams leads the merry group towards the hill overlooking the valley. Her long dark hair pulled back into a ponytail, she looks back at the other chaperone. Urdnot Grunt grumbles to himself as he trails behind the group. "You doing alright Grunt?"
"What am I doing here anyway? There's no fighting and I'm not good with….kids."
"Is that why you're letting Syren ride on your head?"
Grunt averts his eyes from hers, "She wouldn't stop asking me if she could ride with me."
"Uh-huh. I always knew you had a soft spot for the kids Grunt."
"I do not! You take that back!"
Syren giggles from on top his head. "Krogan charge!"
Grunt sighs to himself, "Maybe later, Blue."
Ayrene looks over her shoulder at her little sister, "Sy? Leave your uncle Grunt be for now. He was nice enough to let you hitch a ride. Don't push your luck, okay?"
Ayrene turns back to Ashley with a smile. "How much further Aunt Ash?"
"Just over this ridge girls. Then we're gonna set up for the show.
Meanwhile, Kaycee Shepard helps Urdnot Wrex carry the last few crates over to the platform. "Think you brought enough Wrex?"
The old battlemaster gives her a wide smile and a low chuckle. "You asked for a show to remember right?"
"Yeah but I didn't expect you to recruit….well….everyone."
Her eyes roam around at the gathered individuals: EDI, Miranda, Jack, Garrus, and Tali. Each working on his or her task getting the finishing touches ready for the fireworks show. "How's it going EDI? Is everything set?"
"Almost Shepard. Liara just gave word that the kids are in position. The optimal time to start will be in about ten minutes."
"Okay then, places everyone."
Ashley arrives at the top of the hill to find Liara sitting in a lawn chair, a large quilt spread out over the grass. Syren waves at her from atop Grunt. Liara gives her a warm, loving smile and returns the wave. Grunt picks Syren up and places her on the ground, turning to Liara, "Can I go now?"
Syren looks up at him with a puzzled expression, "Aren't you gonna stay and watch the fireworks?"
Grunt looks at Ash and Liara, "What's a firework?"
Ash puts a firm hand on his shoulder, "Have a seat, Grunt. I can guarantee that you'll enjoy what happens next."
Down below Tali finishes the final connections on the launching system. Standing up, she passes Kaycee a remote trigger, "Shepard, if you'd do the honors?"
Kaycee looks up at the hill where her family sits crowded around all eagerly anticipating the show. She pushes the button.
A barrage of rockets ignite and streak towards the night sky. Each explodes in a different shower of color and sparks. Jack activates her biotics, sending multiple biotic blasts into the sky that explode and swirl, absorbing the sparks from the other rockets.
Up on the hill the girls are beside themselves with excitement, cheers and squeals of delight echo as rocket after rocket explodes in the night sky. Ash looks over at Grunt, who stands there fascinated by the explosions.
More than thirty minutes later, Kaycee walks up the hill to greet her family. Three blue streaks collide with her, staggering her, almost knocking her back down the slope. Ayrene walks forward and scoops up Syren, "That was a pretty amazing show dad. You and Uncle Wrex sure went all out this year."
"It wasn't just your uncle and I that did all this. You all should go on down and thank your aunts and uncles. They would love to know what you all thought."
"Gotcha. Come on girls, race you to the bottom."
Kaycee watches as her daughters go running down the slope and into the arms of her closest friends. She turns to Grunt, "So Grunt, what did you think of the fireworks?"
"Battlemaster….that was one of the most spectacular displays of weaponry I have ever seen."
"Grunt that's……I'm glad you enjoyed yourself."
Liara gets up from her chair and strolls gracefully over to her. She gives Shepard a soft, sensual kiss on the cheek, before taking her arm, leaning her head on Kaycee's shoulder. "Happy Fourth, Kaycee."
"Thanks sweetie." She turns to Ash, "Didn't you say you had some news to tell me?"
Ash clears her throat, "Yeah, Skipper, I did. Hackett told me he was going to retire before the end of the year."
"I remember him mentioning that."
"Yeah, well. He's offered me a promotion."
"Oh? What rank?"
Liara puts a hand to her mouth, "Goddess! Ashley! I'm so happy for you!"
"Thanks Liara. What do you think Skipper? Should I accept the position?"
"I can't make that choice for you Ash. But I think the navy would be better for it if you did accept."
"You really think I should be the next admiral?"
"Yeah, I really do…..Admiral Williams."
Squeals of delight reach their ears as they look down to see Wrex and Syren running around together, with the others looking on, a smile on each of their faces. Kaycee pulls Liara closer to her, whispering in her ear, "I ever tell you how lucky I am to have you?"
"Almost every day, but why don't you show me again, I tend to forget."
Kaycee leans in and places a slow, passionate kiss on Liara's lips.