Jack stands unsure in the doorway, watching both Shepard and Liara taking off in the dark blue car. She takes a deep breath, "Well, here goes nothing."
The sounds of shuffling footsteps reaches her ears. Turning she sees little Syren coming towards her, a dark brown teddy bear clutched tightly to her chest with both arms. She comes to stop right in front of Jack, looking up into her brown eyes with a mixture of apprehension and curiosity. Suddenly she holds out the bear to Jack. "Well now, who's this?"
Syren doesn't say anything for a few seconds, but then quietly says, "Athena."
Jack crouches down and takes the bear's paw. "Hi there Athena. Are you one of Syren's friends?"
Syren blushes slightly and nods, the makings of a smile beginning to play upon her lips. Her bright eyes fall on the various tattoos covering Jack's arms. She hesitantly reaches out and touches the intricate designs on Jack's forearm. "....So pretty...."
Jack chuckles to herself. "You like these?"
Syren nods. Jack puts her hand on Syren's head rubbing it, causing her to giggle. "You're a little young for a tattoo. Not to mention, your mom would have my head for it."
Ayrene's voice sounds around the corner. "Wait! Who's getting a tattoo? I want one!"
Jack sighs, "Aya, no one is getting a tattoo."
The eldest Shepard child comes speeding around the corner, skidding to a stop in front of Jack, the biggest, slyest grin on her face. Jack narrows her eyes. "What is going through that devious little mind of yours Aya?"
"That depends. You wanna see my mom completely freak?"
Jack mulls that thought over in her head. "It would be nice to see your mom lose it for once. She's always so calm and collected, needs to loosen up a little. Sure
Ayrene smiles and takes off for the living room. Jack looks down at little Syren. "How about you? You want to help?"
The little asari gives her a smile that makes her heart melt, arms outstretched to Jack. Smiling despite herself, Jack picks Syren up into her arms, making their way after Ayrene. Jack notices Ayrene placing various little pots of paint on the coffee table. Placing Syren down on the sofa, Jack sits next to her watching Ayrene move like a blur, collecting paints. Finally, she stops and beams at Jack. "Think these will work?"
"We're gonna get tattoos!"
Jack bursts out laughing at this. "God, you are definitely Shepard's kid. You really have her devious mind. Alright then, I take it you both want some?"
Syren nods, her teddy bear sitting on her lap. Jack turns back to Ayrene, "Who wants to do the designs? Aya?"
Ayrene shakes her head, "Why don't you do them?"
Jack smiles, "Okay, let's get started then. Syren, let's do you first."
For the next two hours, Jack paints intricate designs over both children's faces and arms. Finally, she puts the final brush strokes on Aya's lower arm. Jack takes a step back looking at Ayrene. "Oh my god, your mom is so gonna have a fit! Mission accomplished then. So what do you two want to do now?"
A pillow hits Jack in the lower leg. Jack turns to see Syren clutching another small pillow in her hand, a cute smile on her face. "Ah ha! Trying to take down the psychotic biotic are you?"
She reaches down, picking up the pillow, a faint blue glow covering her hand. Suddenly, another pillow strikes her upside the head. Jack whirls around to see Ayrene diving for cover behind a chair. Jack starts laughing and chucks her cushion in Aya's general direction. Next thing she knows, Syren's grabs hold of her leg, giggling. "I caught you."
Jack grins, "Yep, you got me. I surrender."
Suddenly a burst of blue light crashes into the pair sending them tumbling into the sofa. Aya's mischievous grin flashes and they all start giggling and laughing.
-A few hours later-
Shepard's car pulls up to the house and the two of them get out. Liara makes a quick surveying glance at the house. "Well
..the house is still standing, a good sign."
"See? I told you that you worry too much."
Unlocking the front door, they quietly make their way inside. Shepard hears a holo-vid playing in the living room and tiptoes in. The sight before her almost brings tears to her eyes. Jack lies on the couch, Syren curled up in her arms, both fast asleep. Ayrene sits propped up against the couch, head lolled back, also asleep. Shepard then notices
..the markings. She puts her hand over her mouth to stifle her laughter. Liara joins Kaycee, placing a hand on her shoulder. "What's so funny