“Oh Kaidan… it’s beautiful!” Mrs. Alenko stepped out of the elevator onto the Presidium and covered her mouth with her hands.
“I’m really sorry, mom.” Kaidan stepped out behind her, hands stuffed in his pockets. “I promise we’re going to leave for Surkesh as soon as I’m done with my work on the Citadel. But… the press conferences and the special appearances. And Shepard’s got that surgery, I just can’t afford to get away–”
“Oh stop Kaidan!” She waved her hand in his face and hurried off to look at the Krogan monument.
The Citadel was still a bit of a mess even after so much reconstruction. Kaidan had meant to take his mother someplace once the galaxy was back together, but it seemed more and more like that wasn’t going to happen. Also… these days it seemed more and more like there was no time like the present to do anything your heart was set on.
“C’mon, mom, they’re really more like big puddles…” Kaidan rubbed the back of his neck. “Anyway, there used to be a row of shops, but it’s gone now. Sorry, this place really isn’t up to caliber…”
“I certainly hope you’re not this ornery with Shepard!” She scoffed, watching a hanar street preacher hover back and forth while he spoke across the water. “He’ll never heal with that kind of attitude.”
“Hey!” Kaidan laughed, “I… I’m a very encouraging partner!”
“So,” she turned to face him, only momentarily distracted by the shining Citadel Tower under reconstruction. “Do I finally get to meet my future son-in-law on this trip?”
Kaidan rolled his eyes, “You’ll be staying at his house while I finish up all the appearances I’m scheduled for, so you’ll see loads of him.”
“Oh good,” she nudged him, “Was starting to think you were making up this whirl-wind love-affair. And I thought your father and I met under interesting circumstances.”
At that, Kaidan hugged around her shoulders.
“Yeah…” he squeezed tight and she rolled her eyes, but softly rubbed his back.
“I’m okay. I wish he were here,” she said softly. “But I know he’d be so proud of everything you’ve become. You remind me so much of him, Kaidan.”
“So,” she cleared her throat, “You did promise to take me shopping…”