Random Mass Effect headcanon -
(several decades after the Reaper War)
“We don’t see many asari in this part of Tuchanka.”
She didn’t reply to the remark. It was offhand yet deliberate. A means of sizing her up, which he also did with his eyes. Not in a lascivious manner - more like she was some livestock being judged for the proper ratio of fat to muscle.
“Huh.” He scratched idly at his neck. “So why me? Plenty of other crews to join up with if you’re feeling restless and looking for a job where you might get to put a bullet in someone’s gut.”
“I heard your team was the best.” She leveled her gaze at him. Not a challenge, not quite.
He crossed his arms and snorted. “Of course we are. But we work our tails off for that. We don’t just take on any welp or maiden looking to flex their muscles and play badass.” He turned back to the Tomkah he had been working on, a shift of interest, a dismissal. “You gotta have quads to join up though. And to last.”
“My father was krogan.” She said it low, half a whisper, almost a threat. He turned to look back at her and his eyes narrowed.
“Having a krogan daddy doesn’t give you any claim…”
She stepped closer, shoulders back and chin slightly raised. “So says the tank-born.” She rocked backwards then surged forward, slamming her forehead into his.
He reeled a fraction, and for a moment one hand wavered over the pistol at his side. She continued to face him with her feet planted firm but she was wincing. A thin line of blood had slid down into her left eye to make a bloom of purple shadow.
They stood in tense silence until he began to laugh. “Well shit. Maybe you do have the quads.” He tossed her a rag from his workbench and she caught it deftly, disregarding the smears of grease to dab at her wounded forehead.
“So give me a trial run.”
“You still haven’t given me the real reason for hunting me down, unless it was just to flatter me.”
She folded the rag and regarded it a moment before looking up, her jaw clenched. “A century ago, Aralakh Company went down to investigate a team missing on Utukku, a team that was killed by infected… modified rachni. Commander Shepard was there too, and found my father’s body. You managed to clear those tunnels for her, and to make it out. You were the only krogan to survive. And the Commander was able to bring my father’s last message to my mother.” She took a deep breath. “So if I was going to join up with anyone, why not with a crew led by someone who beat seemingly insurmountable odds, and who did so with some honor.”
She couldn’t decipher the look that he gave her, a look that seemed to stretch an eternity while she held her breath.
He made some noise, a growl or a grunt, and then held out his hand. “A trial run.” She nodded and met the pressure of his grip. “Pay’s not great. Not at first tier. And you’ll need to hold your own, krogan daddy or no. You’re going to be pushed, and pushed hard.”
“Wouldn’t expect any less.”
“And you’ll never get it.” He drew himself up and gave something of a crooked smile. “So what do they call you?”