Coke’s missing a real opportunity, cuz seeing a bottle that says “Share a Coke with Ashley” isn’t gonna change the fact that I’d rather drink something else, but I’d totally go out of my way to buy a bottle that said, for example, “Share a Coke with Gabriel Funkbone, the Horror that Crawled from the Sea”.
We live in a world where everyone wants to be someone, leave an impact on the world or try to change it. The only reason why Martin Luther King and Mandela changed the world wasn’t because they tried too hard to be someone they aren’t. They were themselves and stood up for what they believed in. No one was telling them what they were feeling or how to do something, it all came from them. But people tell me I’m reckless amd that I shouldn’t be doing what I’m doing, but I just say I’m doing me and being what I want to be. We live in a wild world where people are just trying to find themselves. I’m just trying to make myself into something. We all have dreams and I want to create mine, not wait for them.
Character(s): Patrick Sullivan and Ashley Wright (original female character) Summary: Ashley Wright is a new candidate assigned to a Firehouse where she meets a certain firefighter who gives her a hard time. Being a female firefighter and a new candidate, Ashley deals with the adversities with her new career. Word Count: 1,254 Author’s Note: I have been itching to write this. I know I said I wasn’t going to write this until I was done with my previous stories, but I couldn’t wait. I needed this idea to come to life. Also, thanks to @magikat409 for allowing me to use her name! I watch a lot of Chicago Fire, so you may see many references from that TV show. (ie. the firehouse and the truck number lol.) Enjoy!
Ashley had just been assigned to
a Firehouse in New York after passing the needed requirements to become a
firefighter. Her friends and family all told her that it was impossible for a
woman to get a job in this field of work, but she wanted to prove them wrong.
She had always wanted to help
and save people. She could have become a police officer, a doctor, but
something about running in a burning building interested her. She did like to
live life on the edge.
Ashley was at the top of her
class in the Fire Academy. She passed the written test with a perfect score and
the physical ability test was an easy pass. She had always been so athletic.
When she received the letter in
the mail for her placement at a Firehouse, she was beyond excited. She could
barely sleep the night before her first shift.
*Taylor and Jim walk toward Lucas* Taylor: Lucas! Step away from the portal. Lucas: I’d take it easy with those guns if I were you. Taylor: I’ll say it one more time: step away from the portal or I’ll shoot you. Lucas: No, you won’t. *touches the portal to light it up* One blast from those sonics could blow the whole fracture apart, and that would cut you off from the future for good. And you wouldn’t want that, would you? I can’t tell you how glad I am that you’re here. All those nights I spent out in the jungle, freezing, starving… The only thing that kept me alive was the thought of you being here to see this. Taylor: Son… Lucas: DON’T! Don’t call me that! *Taylor is taken aback, Lucas seems upset* Taylor: Listen to me. There are good people here, innocent people. Think what’ll happen to Terra Nova if you go through with this. Lucas: Oh, I know what’s going to happen. They’re going to come and take you off your throne and make you watch while they strip this place and take it for everything it’s worth. Taylor: Over my dead body. Lucas: Um, that’s the spirit. Go down fighting for, for a dream—some utopia and all that’s right and true! OPEN YOUR EYES, OLD MAN, IT’S OVER! I beat you! I won! Soon you’ll be on your knees, begging me for mercy! The next time we meet, I won’t be alone. *walks back into the portal* Taylor: LUCAS! *Taylor and Jim rush toward the portal but it closes right in front of them; Lucas is gone*
— The best scene from Withinaccording to this poll
It had been three days since Virmire. Since Shepard had found out who the real queen on this chess board was. It had been three days since her injuries and since her altercation with Saren. It had been three days since she chose to save Kaidan over Ashley. It had been three days… three days of feeling responsible and guilty. Three long days of waiting, not being able to do a damn thing. Three days without Chief Williams…
Garrus even found himself missing Ashley. He’d look over to his right expecting to see her, but she no longer stood there. She was no longer working on their weapons… The space was just empty. It was no secret that they weren’t the best of friends when initially meeting, but like most the crew they became closer than expected. Ashley had started out very suspicious of the aliens on board the Normandy, but after all those missions working alongside Wrex and Garrus, she had warmed up to them. He even considered them friends as crazy as that sounds. He could see that Ashley had changed for the better… Shepard had helped Ashley like she helped him. Like she had helped everyone.
Shepard was released after 24 hours as promised. During her short stint in the Med Bay Garrus had visited her about once an hour until Dr. Chakwas made him just stay. Shepard found it funny how Garrus mysteriously didn’t have any more calibrations to run all of a sudden. It was in moments like that where she could forget about Virmire. When she could forget what was coming. Although it was nice to have a taste of blissful ignorance, she could never stay distracted for long. Her mind always went back to that day. Back to what lie ahead.
The crew hadn’t taken Ashley’s death easy, but being part of the military you sort of had to expect this kind of thing from time to time. Preparing for something like that mentally versus actually being faced with that decision was very different. Even so, the crew and Shepard bounced back. Or at least they did on the outside. They had to be strong. She had to be strong. The fight wasn’t over. They could mourn the dead later when the galaxy had been saved.
Shepard lay in her quarters listening to music. Something old and slow that her mother would have liked. She tried focusing on getting better and not on all of the things she had to do once she was. The past few days Garrus had taken to visiting Shepard every night. He made a habit of staying until she had drifted off, knowing how hard it was for her to sleep and tonight was no different. A light knock at the door let her know that he has there, right on schedule.
“Shepard. How are you feeling? I’m not sure what this is, but Alan told me you’d like it.” Garrus walked to her eyeing it suspiciously handing over a plate full of food.
“Oh, you know. I’m still standing, right?” Her voice cracked often and was weak. Having a neck injury like she had, it was surprising she was even speaking at all.
She missed Ashley. A lot. She had learned all about Williams’ family, and her personal history. Shepard hated being alone, because anytime she was she’d imagine Ashley’s sisters finding out the news… That their oldest sister would never be coming home. She looked at her plate of mashed potatoes, chicken and broccoli. Food was the last thing she wanted
Being alone with Garrus had been the only time she was allowed to feel anything. When she spoke to the crew, she had to be the pillar of strength. A shining example. Their leader. But with Garrus, she could talk about how it really felt to chose between the lives of two close friends.
Sitting there staring at her food, she thought back to the night after they returned from Virmire. Just three days ago… but it seemed like another lifetime before. Shepard really hasn’t been doing well, she had lost a considerable amount of blood from the neck wounds Saren gave her. Luckily, there was no serious damage. That night… The night everything changed on Virmire, everyone had been clamoring to see Shepard when she came to a few hours later. Chakwas refused to let anyone in, and had sent anyone attempting away. Garrus had just about enough of this waiting. He saw what happened to her, how weak she was… How much blood she had lost. He needed to see her. He had to know she was okay. Before he could protest further they heard the mechanical buzzing behind Chakwas; revealing a very defeated and battered Shepard. She stood heaved over in her hospital gown. The deep red of her hair was a mess, strung all over the place and laced with blood and ash.
Garrus checked her vitals as he scanned her body inspecting the damage. The first thing he saw was the deep dark purple that laced her neck between the bandages on either side. He noted a few cuts and bandages on her arms from weaker areas in her armor… Bruise after bruise decorating her pale skin. She had a black eye and her lip was busted and swollen… He stared at her with his mouth hanging open, his mandibles loose to his face. Shepard looked into his eyes as if she was begging for him to hold her… Immediately he pushed past Dr. Chakwas, wrapping his arms around her. He held her head lightly in his hands pushing his face lightly into her neck. He could smell the blood, the tears… the smell of the water and sand from Virmire.
Shepard stood there eyes closed holding him back with all the strength she could muster. She couldn’t speak, but she didn’t need to. Garrus just held her tightly, she wouldn’t dare move. Not only that, but he couldn’t let her go.. No, if he did she would be vulnerable again. He had to protect her.
“Shepard… I must insist you get back into bed. You’ve lost a considerable amount of blood and you’re barely stable as it is.” Chakwas urged her after a moment touching her on the shoulder, she was still pressed into Garrus and Chakwas noticed the fury behind his eyes.
After another moment Garrus nodded seeing reason, leading Shepard back where she should be. He sat down on the bed, with his back to the wall. Shepard slowly inched closer to him, curling into his chest and neck. He ran his fingers through her hair, holding her tightly. There were so many things she wished she could say then, but even if she could find the words she didn’t have the voice. She didn’t have the courage.
That night now felt like years ago, but here she was only days later trying to pretend nothing happened. Shepard’s neck was still a deep purple, and she could barely speak. Garrus watched her eying the food and wondered what she had been thinking that night that night. They may have had a silent conversation then, but the words she wished to say still clung to the back of her throat. He watched as she tucked her hair behind her ear taking a bite of whatever mush was on her plate. After a moment of poking stuff around he watched her place the plate on the table giving up on eating.
“It’s been hard to eat, ever since…” Shepard started but he shook his head and she knew she didn’t have to finish.
He noticed this. She had hardly eaten since that day. He didn’t know how to help her though. He couldn’t exactly force feed her could he? Well, at least not yet.
“Shepard, listen.” Garrus moved to sit on the bed next to her.
“You can’t save everyone. I know thats not what you want to hear, but it’s the truth. You risk your life every day for the Council— for civilization. Doing the dirty work that they don’t want to deal with. You’ve saved more lives than anyone in this damn galaxy, Shepard… Ashley was a good soldier, and she died with honor. She died knowing that all of this was bigger than she was. You heard her. She doesn’t regret a damn thing. This isn’t your fault. If anyone is to blame, it’s that bastard Saren. But not you, never you.” Garrus’ voice reverberated in a raspy purr comforting her as he slid a taloned hand to her face lightly.
“I know. That doesn’t make it feel any better though. I still feel responsible. If I just could have done more…I should have done more.” Shepard shook her head sinking her face into her hands, immediately wishing she hadn’t pulled away from him.
“Damn it, Shepard. You are so damn stubborn, you know that don’t you?” He pulled her attention to him again. He knew there was no use in trying to make her admit that he was right, she didn’t need to admit it. He knew that ultimately she saw what the cost of war was. She knew she had a price to pay, and she would have to continue paying it.
Part of her did know he was right. She had been faced with an impossible decision. There had been no getting around this one. Shepard had no idea why she chose Kaidan over Ashley truthfully. Maybe it had been because he was with the nuke. Had their positions been reversed would she had saved Ashley instead? What if she had flat out said no when Kirrahe asked for one of them to accompany his team… There was no use in thinking like that though, and she knew it. What was the point in fixating on ‘what ifs’ or possibilities. The reality of the situation was that she could only save one, and whatever her reason had been; she chose to save Kaidan.
Garrus watched her carefully. She looked so sad… So broken. He had never seen her like this and he didn’t like it. Glancing at her food he could see it had grown cold, knowing she wouldn’t be eating it he decided not to push. Instead he slid his long arm around her, pulling her closely into his side. She looked up at him as he reach a taloned hand out towards her neck. Lightly he ran his thumb over the yellow and purple marks, over the crescent shaped scab held together with tiny stitching.
Those marks infuriated him. How hard Saren must have been squeezing her to have done this much damage… Humans were so fragile, and despite being full of strength, Shepard was human. He would make Saren pay for this… He felt that better man taking the back seat, allowing his old self full control. As if Shepard could hear his thoughts growing dark, she shook her head pulling him from his thoughts of vengeance.
“We can’t kill him, Garrus. Not unless he gives us no other choice… He knows too much.” Shepard looked up at him, trying to speak clear but her voice barely above a whisper.
“Shepard, come on. The Council protected him once, who’s to say they won’t do it again? If we have another chance at him, we can’t let playing nice get in the way of stopping him. We can’t give him a chance to escape. He can’t get away with this, Shepard. He can’t get away with hurting you. I won’t let him.” Garrus was speaking louder; a growl rumbling through him as each word escaped his lips.
He felt himself growing increasingly frustrated. He had been so focused on keeping the husks off the bomb that day, that he didn’t have her 6. She had been forced to face Saren alone and he had almost lost her because of it. He hadn’t been able to stop Saren from doing this to her… He hadn’t been able to protect her… Would he ever be able to?
“You couldn’t have stopped this, you know that.” She was shaking her head at him. “And even if you could have— you can’t let vengeance rule your life anymore, Garrus. You can’t be a slave to your impulses. You’re better than that.” Shepard sighed out as best and as clearly as possible.
She was weak, and there wasn’t much more that she hated more than feeling hopeless. It reminded her of Mindoir… of the attack on her colony. How she hid while her family was slaughtered around her. While the batarian slavers set fire to her home, as she watched her life melt away around her. Weak and cowardly.
He moved his hands to either side of her face, holding her gently. His face was only inches from her now. He lowered his brow and met hers, eyes closed. “I won’t let him hurt you again, Shepard…” Before he knew it he had kissed her.
The kiss was soft and long. He missed the way she felt so much, the taste of her. After a moment their mouths parted and they shared a look. They both knew that this didn’t mean they’d be together. No, it wasn’t time for that, if they ever were given a chance… This kiss had been given simply to remind each other why they were fighting.
That if they did this, if they made it… They would have each other.
*** FROM MY ME1 STUFF. Takes off after Before Virmire and it’s a little LONG SORRY // AM STILL SCRUB THANKS FOR READING ILY ***