It’s home, in a deranged sort of way. At a workbench in the armory, Kaidan helping her wire a new shield emitter into her hardsuit after the old one overheated. A small audience of off-duty crew have gathered to watch Westmoreland and Vega’s friendly sparring match in the empty hangar pod, and even Garrus has taken a break from cleaning his rifle to cheer Bethany on (complete with anatomically questionable advice).
It’s not exactly one of those 20th-century Norman Rockwell paintings, but it feels right.
Vega’s starting to tire and it shows in his stance, but he isn’t done with the bravado just yet. “Damn, chica. You remind me of the girl who used to beat me up in the first grade. Does that mean you’re a little sweet on me too?"
"Like hell, you ox.” Bethany’s retort is accompanied by the sound of fists on flesh and a faint grunt from James.
“That’s it, go for the gizzard!” Garrus urges.
“Are you gonna be jealous if he gives her a nickname too, Lola?” Kaidan’s voice is pitched low enough for only her to hear, but the way he enunciates the Lieutenant’s nickname is as good as an elbow in the ribs. She can hear the grin in his voice without looking up from the task at hand.
“No.” She knows better than to think he’s jealous, so she can’t resist adding, a little wistfully, “I mean, don’t get me wrong. If I was 22 I’d climb that like a tree.”
“Hmm.” Kaidan glances over, his head tilted thoughtfully. “Same here.”