HEY LOOK AN ACTUAL NICELY (ISH) SCANNED IMAGE OF THAT KALI PICTURE.
By the way, for reference: IRL, this picture is the size of my palm. Aaaand I’m noticing everything that’s wrong with it AUGH.
In other news, the amount of times I’ve spilled my Apple-Cinnamon soda all over myself is: INNUMERABLE.
AAAAAHHHHH *flails and runs into a wall*
“She’s all yours now, Shepard. Keep her safe.”
can somebody write me some tali/kal’reegar where he’s building her a house on the homeworld, preferably with a lot of cute flirting, cos that would be really wonderful
ajhdljkahsd that moment when I get Sam/Teacher Katherine from Holes feels.
The first day back on Rannoch is a quiet one. The Flotilla falling back into line, soldiers and civilians alike are coming home. “A monument,” Admiral Raan offers in comfort to the youngest of the board. “So the Commander will not be forgotten.”
The next week is spent scouting and searching their forgotten land as their former servants and current friends teach them the ways they had long since lost in favor of sterilizers and engines. Tali knows nothing of farming and fishing, feeling almost as useless as she did watching her friend and superior burn for the good of the galaxy.
Nine days after the Flotilla enters orbit and it’s finally time to begin building permanent settlements. Six Geth are assigned to Tali personally, most of the heavy lifting done and the sterilization units in place. The little touches need doing, the window’s filter sticks when the glass is opened and her living room couch should face the other wall, but the Admiral finds that she prefers the silence and cold comfort her memories provide.
Three days later and Kal drops in unannounced, she welcomes his company and chatters on about the settlement. “If there’s anything you need,” he offers as she opens the door for him and she’s glad when he’s gone; and dreams of her fallen friend again.
Kal comes back after two days, and begins stopping by regularly. He might have noticed that she only leaves her home for Admiralty Board meetings, but if he has, he doesn’t mention it. They talk about safe topics, the soldiers’ adjustments to planetary defense over warships, local agriculture centers, Xen sneaking out of Zaal’s settlement the previous morning, the progress of the Geth’s AI. Tali baffled that the Geth were now considered a “safe” topic, but it wasn’t personal and that was all that mattered.
Rannoch had been retaken officially for seventeen days before Tali took him up on his offer. “Kal?” She asked, testing the waters. “The filter on my window is crooked.”
His eyes brighten and his smile widens as if he’d been waiting for her to say it. “I can fix that, ma’am.”
She flusters, “Don’t call me ma’am, Kal,” but he just opens the windowpane.
He comes back again the day after and lets himself in, as per their routine. She’s waiting for him in the living room, as per their routine. She’s anxious; wringing her hands through the gloves she doesn’t need to wear but does so out of habit. “Kal?” A bob of her head indicates the piece of furniture next to her. “The Geth put this couch facing the wrong way.”
The soldier removes his helmet, safely situated in her home, and begins taking cushions off the offending item. “I can fix that, ma’am.”
On the nineteenth day her door chime won’t sound. The twentieth day the water purifier is giving an odd taste, the twenty-third day her extranet connection won’t open and the twenty-seventh her motion sensors need recalibrating. The thirty-second day and her heating unit is on the brink, he knows she could fix the programing better than he ever could but he doesn’t say a word and fixes the errors while they sit in silence, save his occasional frustrated swearing. He was a soldier dammit, not a technician. But he would be anything she needed him to be.
Forty days he had live here. Rannoch was his home planet. But this place, his designated settlement structure, it wasn’t his home. Vehicles were still only for emergency use and equipment transferring while they awaited a new fuel the Geth were synthesising so Kal walked the six kilometers to the Zorah residence.
Kal let himself in, as per their routine.
Tali was not in the living room.
The house was quiet and dark but her defense alarm had not been activated, he knew she must be here. Worried, he began searching the rooms. He paused as he reached her bedroom door. After mulling it over, he decided to knock. There was no answer. A defeated Kal prepared to leave until he heard a soft sob through the door.
Slowly he pressed the ‘door open’ command, waiting to hear an objection. When none came he allowed the door to retract completely.
His Admiral sat propped up by pillows and wrapped in a sheet, clutching a photograph to her chest. Wordlessly Kal sat at her feet, placing a comforting hand on her knee.
He sat there as she cried, still and silent, waiting for her.
“Kal,” she sniffed and tightened her hand on the frame. “My heart is broken.”
Kal rose and placed his hand on hers, using the other to wipe away a tear. “I can fix that, ma’am.”