I’m always a little bit restless nowadays. That’s a problem. Some days I spend hours pacing circles into the carpet, some days I knock rhythms into desks, some days I can’t think calmly unless I’m running full tilt, tears from cold air drying on my face.
I think I bargained away my stillness at some point but my mind is whirling, spinning, jumping from idea to idea, thought to thought to thought, whiplashing from memory to prophecy so fast I can’t tell what’s real. Can’t remember what I got in exchange.
People call me Blue. They call me Ink. I write with the speed of a plague and it’s fury but I don’t think that’s new. I can’t remember a time I didn’t fall asleep without words spinning into creation under my tongue. Can’t stay still enough to remember much at all, really.
There’s an old black cat on campus with one blind eye bit two others that work well enough. He likes fish, and chicken as long as it’s raw. He sniffs at my iron chain around my neck disdainfully every time I talk to him. I can’t find it’s clasp anymore. I don’t think there ever was one.
What does matter are all the poems tacked up on my dorm walls. What matters is the level of cream in the mug outside and the amount of blue pens I still have. What matters is salt on the windowsill and doorway threshold. What matters is that even through the endless momentum I experience, I can still remember my true name. What matters is that They can’t seem to touch my writing at all.
Chapters: 82/? Fandom: Mass Effect Rating: Mature Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply Relationships: Female Shepard/James Vega Characters: Female Shepard (Mass Effect), James Vega, Jeff “Joker” Moreau, Kaidan Alenko, Garrus Vakarian, David Anderson, Steven Hackett Additional Tags: Romance, Sexual Tension, Science Fiction, War Summary:
He’d worshiped her from afar, always wanted the chance to say hello, maybe to serve under her. Then his mission had gone horribly wrong and he blamed her, resented her for it. Or did he. James Vega finds himself in a position he never expected and has to come to terms with his own pain and doubt. Bioware owns all thing Mass Effect, I’m just playing in their sandbox.
Have a snippet -
The enemy numbers dwindled until only the clone and Brooks remained.
Time stopped and so did his heart as Shepard charged at the clone and
they both rolled over the edge of the cargo ramp.
‘Shepard.’ He and Kaidan yelled at the same time, both running to where she’d disappeared.
A fall from this height would kill her and James expected the worst
as they reached the opening. His eyes stung at the thought of losing
her, the idea of following her over the edge at the top of his options
because he didn’t want to live without her. He almost sobbed aloud when
he saw her hanging on, arguing with the clone.
Dropping flat he slid down the ramp while Kaidan hung on to his feet.
Hooking his fingers under her armour he heaved and pulled her to
safety. The Normandy stabilised and he guessed that EDI had taken
control. He watched through wide eyes as Shepard literally kicked the
clone off her ship. Some part of him had expected her to save her
doppelganger but, like she said, they made this personal. And yet as
they turned to walk back into the ship he saw the way she squeezed her
eyes shut, how her hands dropped to her sides and her shoulders slumped.
He wanted to hold her, to comfort her because watching yourself die
had to be the most bizarre and confusing experience he could ever
imagine. Having something you were afraid of appear before you would
send you reeling. But she walked ahead of them, distancing herself from
her actions and them. Kaidan glanced at him and he saw the worry in his
eyes. Trotting to catch up he moved beside her.
'You okay, Lola?’
'Really, because - .’
'Not now, James.’ Her voice cracked and she pursed her lips.
'Okay, but we will talk about this.’
She stopped and glared at him and for a moment he thought she would
take her anger, grief, regret or whatever she felt out on him. He could
handle it, and he would for her. But she gave a slight nod of her head
and turned to meet Joker, all signs of her distress pushed into a hole
for later as she became the strong, dependable woman everyone expected
her to be.
James hated that she did that, that she couldn’t let anyone see she
suffered. He knew the crew wouldn’t see it as weakness but she did.
Joker reported on the results of their fight, making special mention of
how Steve did some awesome flying and it reminded him that they weren’t
the only ones who could have been killed today. The ship, the crew and
the future had been under threat. Another responsibility Shepard would
carry on her shoulders.
'What about the mercs? Any of them left?’ Shepard walked with Joker as they spoke.
Joker stopped. 'Just her.’
The rest of Joker’s sentence disappeared beneath the pounding in
James’ ears. His skin burned and his fingers curled as he rolled his
neck and bared his teeth. Palming his pistol he watched as Shepard spoke
to Brooks, wanting nothing more than to put a bullet in her head.
'Admit it Shepard, you’ll miss me.’
Brooks broke free, turned and ran. A single shot rang out and she dropped to the ground.
'I don’t think so.’ James lowered his gun.
'Ah, maintenance to the shuttle bay.’ Joker spoke into his com but James didn’t miss the grin on his face.
'Nice.’ Kaidan said softly.
'Guess there’s no getting through to some people.’ Shepard sighed.
They walked off the Normandy, meeting the rest of the team on the
dock. Conversation went on around him but James only half listened. His
concern for Shepard outweighed everything else. As Bailey approached
Shepard sucked in a breath and visibly tensed.
'Maybe now we can have some actual shore leave,’ Kaidan said as he walked beside James.
'That would be nice.’ Shepard scoffed.
'Shepard,’ Bailey stood in her path, 'want to explain why you and your crew are shooting up my docks and the archives.’
James put his hand on her shoulder as she went to speak. 'I’ve got
this Commander. I can give C-Sec a report.’ He met her eyes and waited
for her to argue with him, silently pleading that that she would hear
his unspoken message. Go home, take a shower, relax. Don’t fight me, Andy, let me take care of you.
I have a theory that Enjolras and Montparnasse bond over their extremely sugary and fancy coffee orders.
say mister Loud and Blonde was coming too,” Montparnasse complains.
Jehan smiles. “You like this coffee shop.”
it better without people being loud and blonde at me,” he grumbles, holding the
door open for Jehan.
here already!” Jehan chirps happily and they wave towards the table where
Grantaire and Enjolras are sitting. Well, Enjolras is sitting at the table.
Grantaire is sitting on the floor on his knees, trying to coax a tabby cat out
from underneath a bench.
order for me?” Jehan asks, eyes immediately focussed on the cat. “I’d like a
a kissy mouth at him and skips off, giving Enjolras a hasty hug from behind
before dropping to their knees besides Grantaire.
walks up to the bar and nods at the barista. He does like this place, the guy
knows his way around a coffee machine. “A fresh mint tea and a caffé mocha,
please,” he says.
amount of whipped cream?” the barista grins.
go,” he says, sliding a tall glass with a sprig of mint soaking in boiling water
towards Montparnasse. “I’ll bring yours over in a minute.”
Montparnasse nods and he joins the others, which means sitting down opposite Enjolras,
while Grantaire and Jehan make purring sounds at the cat.
Enjolras says stiffly.
returns in kind as he places the cup of tea next to a cup of nondescript black
liquid that he supposes is what Grantaire considers coffee.
a content squealing sound from behind a chair and Grantaire gets to his feet
with the cat in his arms. He sits down and Jehan follows, scooting their chair
closer to Montparnasse’s and pulling the tea glass towards them. “Thank you,
love,” they hum.
leans his head towards theirs for a moment and looks at Grantaire. The cat is
now sprawled out across his lap, letting him pet her tummy. “You’re creepy, you
know that,” he says. He’s seen people try to cuddle the shy tabby before and it
to talk,” Enjolras says. “And R is just good with cats.”
good with cats,” Jehan grins, stretching out their hand to scratch the cat
under her chin. She purrs in approval.
new with you guys,” Grantaire says, taking big gulp of black coffee.
you drink that as is,” Enjolras horrors and Montparnasse has to admit that’s
basically what went through his mind.
all be cleansed souls like Jehan,” Grantaire says, unconcerned.
their tea and bats their eyes wholesomely.
is several things I won’t talk about,” Montparnasse says, sitting back. “Because
I don’t feel like listening to a lecture about my ‘lifestyle’.”
promised not to do that though,” Grantaire grins. “Can’t guarantee he’ll make
it of course,” he says with a wink.
Montparnasse an expressive smile. So he’s not the only one that has to be
bribed and instructed into these hangouts. The idea of Enjolras having to agree
to behave is kind of funny though.
are,” the barista announces his presence, walking up to the table with two
cups. “Two caffé mocha’s with extra chocolate syrup and whipped cream.”
He puts the
cups down and Jehan thanks him. Montparnasse and Enjolras don’t, instead they
are staring at each other with a very uncomfortable realisation on their face.
Montparnasse huffs. “At least you have better taste in coffee than your- Than
that,” Grantaire says with a face completely free of resentment.
for once,” Enjolras snarks. He gives a small shrug with his shoulders. “And…we’ve
decided to actually go by boyfriends now.”
Jehan beams. “That’s awesome! Aw, but I also really liked your ‘we’re together,
fuck your labels’.”
applies,” Enjolras says.
I can also tell literally everyone I meet that the blonde tornado of justice is
my boyfriend,” Grantaire says triumphantly.
nicknaming me after natural disasters,” Enjolras says, hiding a grin. “Drink
your disgusting bitter insomnia juice.”
“I think it’s
cute,” Jehan says, eyes twinkling. “What would you be, Parnasse. One of those
forest fires that you don’t see coming?”
gives him a sideways glance. “Drink your boiled weed, Jehan.”
laughs and they and Grantaire wonder out loud whether Bahorel could be
classified as a hurricane or a tsunami, while Montparnasse picks up his cup. He
glances at Enjolras across the brim of it and smiles ever so slightly. Enjolras
pulls a face in return and they both take a sip. At least this is getting your money’s worth.
This article gets it right, this itinerary looks like a blast, and I very much agree that the UP is awesome, but… I don’t know what to say. If the readership of the New York Times decides to come here, it’s going to be transformed, and not in a good way.
Put us on maps, but please, please don’t all come here at once.