He scratched at his face where the skin broke around a lattice of ugly red scars and failing dermal implants. He had looked better. “Look,” he prompted. “You, uh. You ought to stay. There’s got to be some doctor that—”

 ”And dwell on what cannot be fixed? No. I will go while I am able.”

 Shepard’s narrow-eyed expression eroded away. It wasn’t even the words: it was something in the tone, or the voice, or the calm, or the abrupt culmination of eight weeks of events he had never quite stopped long enough to sit down and process. Right. Thane is still dying. 

Defeat like that took you by the ribcage; even his lungs hurt. He flexed his fingers. “Yeah,” he answered, but it fell flat. Go while I am able. When he spoke again his throat was tight with an awkward sincerity that he hated.

 ”Look, this, uh. Might work out. Yeah? I mean, I’m not so bad.” I’m not so bad. He hated that sentence as soon as he said it. He’d tried that line before, once. The thought made him bristle all over again. Cerberus? You’ve changed, Shepard.

 ”Look,” he went on, correcting himself, “I just mean — maybe if the whole fucking world doesn’t end, you and me.” He thumped the side of his fist against the railing for emphasis because it drowned the note of desperation in his voice.  

“You and me,” the assassin quoted, his gaze rising to meet the commander’s failing, red-flecked eyes. Arashu, help this man; I lose my strength by the day. “Yes, siha,” he finally said, and his smile was brief. “Perhaps, ‘you and me.’”

    Ysen hit him first.

    And hit him hard – hit him with the manic energy of someone who had never been a fighter but was furious all the same, so furious they had forgotten who they were. One moment he had been rattling away in his mile-a-minute clip and the next he had gone silent and still, and in the next after that, he hit him. 

    Even years later, recalling it with the clarity of a sort of calm, wistful disappointment in himself, Galen Alshain never remembered the moment the rattataki’s fist hit his face. One second he was staring Ysen down, and the next his nose was numb and his mouth was wet and his face was flushed and his vision was hot with stars. And Sen, somewhere, was yelling: don’t call me that don’t call me that again don’t ever call me that again

    He felt his knuckles hit the rattataki’s face before his brain ever even sparked up the command, and the moment it did he knew in the core of him that something had gone wrong. He felt bone grind under his fist and blankly knew: that’s Ysen’s face. That’s a Part of My Friend Ysen’s Face. But once he started, he couldn’t stop, and he hit him again and again and again and again.

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It was fantasy. An idle thought he contemplated when certain moods took hold and still hadn’t let go hours later. It was about as likely to occur as rain on Tatooine and for as much as he told himself so – and he knew in his heart that it was foolish –  it did not stop him.

All of this lead to Tuhor sitting outside a small cafe on Nar Shaddaa, flipping through page after page on his datapad, looking at wedding rings.

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tuhor: sunlight

“For the common soldier, at least, war has the feel– the spiritual texture– of a great ghostly fog, thick and permanent. There is no clarity. Everything swirls. The old rules are no longer binding, the old truths no longer true. Right spills over into wrong. Order blends into chaos, love into hate, ugliness into beauty, law into anarchy, civility into savagery." 

     - Tim O'Brien The Things They Carried  

That day he had been burning corpses. The bodies were mutilated and some still half-alive; he watched his soldiers stack the pile higher and sweep the battlefield clean as he leaned on his sword, stoic and spattered with ash and blood. The smell of burning bodies, he discovered, was not an entirely unpleasant one. Similar to the scent of burning venison over a hearth fire. He was detached enough that is was almost pleasant, but the look in the faces of his soldiers was prominently disgust. A  soldier peeled away from the pack of his unit near the bonfire; Tuhor recognized Luke as he approached, still young and pale. He would be something yet – the old man could see it. Probably end up a better soldier than he ever was.

"Sir,” the youth rasped, barely audible. 

The mercenary captain looked away from the flames and black smoke to observe the boy-gone-man. “Is that all of them, Luke?" 

He swallowed, nodded, said nothing; there was a distant look in his eyes that Tuhor recognized; he turned toward the flames. "Tell the men they are dismissed to the ship. Find Pasche. Tell her to take The Red Wake along the coastline – should be a second unit of these bastards further north that need the same treatment." 

"Yes, sir. –sir?" 


“Why did we burn them?”

He had been waiting for the question, but it didn’t make it any easier: what could he say? Because it’s safer. Because the mother will never be able to tell which burnt bones were her son’s. Because none of them will ever rest. Because I want them to lose hope. Because I don’t care. 

Because I don’t care. Tuhor rolled his shoulders back, jerking his sword tip from the ground as he straightened from his lean. “Go report to Pasche,” he repeated, and not without an edge of heat. “Not going to miss another unit of them while we waste time with this shit.”

Luke didn’t ask again. He straightened his spine, saluted his captain, and turned on his heel to depart.

Tuhor watched the soldier until he was well out of sight, but his eyes inevitably drew back toward the fire. A few of them were still moving; a slow death, a painful death. Some of the more fortunate ones at the bottom would die from the flames or be crushed under the weight of his fellows, but most would choke on ash and smoke until there time came. It made something in Tuhor’s gut itch that he did not like and had not been there before.

The commander nudged the upended chair out of his way with the side of one of his boots. He picked a path through the wreckage, delicate as a cat, his gloved hands clasped behind his back and his red eyes hidden under the slant of his pressed black cap. 

The little cabin had been a luxury, once – but the earthquakes had shaken the paintings off the walls and the furniture across the floor, settling over it all a layer of thick grey dust. It was dark save for the light of two glowing orange flares that had been cracked open and jammed into an empty planter and propped up in the corner of an open desk-drawer.

“Hello,” he said, and when there was no answer, he leaned forward until his face was nearly sideways, level with the pilot’s. Jack Cody sat in a chair propped back on two of its legs, his boots kicked up on the edge of the desk. His pistol was in his lap. His eyes were closed.

Something about it made the commander pause – but only for a moment. He leaned in so close his breath was cold on the human’s filthy skin: his scarred lips nearly touched it. “Hello,” he repeated, more deliberately this time, “Jack Cody.”

 (TW: violence, sexual overtones. nsfw.)

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The snake came and went as it suited him, and Jack Cody was none the worse for it.

The clever fucking thing was a hunter. It had startled him, at first – drell didn’t usually make it as far out as the defunct Omega relay, and when they made it out at all, they were servants-in-waiting or adjutants or priests, and they minded their masters and minded their own.

But the little grey one was a hunter, and he knew it. He saw it – him – sometimes. He saw it flash a split-lipped smile from across the promenade or picked out its silhouette in Afterlife, where its wide black-or-red eyes caught his over the shoulder of a spacer that would never make it back to his dock. He never saw it following him, even when he knew in his gut that it was there. It smelled like mint. It made the whole goddamn world around it go tense with expected violence. When it was there, he knew.

(mass effect au: jack cody/yzahi l'ar. sfw.)

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  • k2:why do i do this to myself every time
  • k2:i'm just going to sit here and stare at corgis for awhile
  • y2:sad old man tuhor surprising himself with his own feels
  • y2:hgjghk
  • k2:god damnit i gave myself the feels
  • y2:throws everything off desk onto floor
  • k2:uuhjkdfjk
the mad dog: legacy

Yzahi knew something was wrong as soon as he stepped onto the ship. It made his spine go tense and some small animal part of him become wary even as he walked in the shadow of the broken Mandalorian. He did not realize what was wrong until he walked Alshain into Jack’s quarters and fell still in the doorway. There was Jack’s armor, piled haphazardly on the floor; there was the empty spot against the wall where Jack’s rifle and old pistol once hung. The beaten leather hat, the small metal case –

“Shiha,” he breathed.

His dog was hunting.

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His skin still smelled like winter and cold sweat when he came from Alderaan again. Somewhere along the way, he abandoned armor for his beaten leather jacket, the collar turned high from the wind and a bent cigarette tucked between his lips. He felt distant.

He did not like the way Pasche looked at him or touched him or spoke to him, but at the same time he couldn’t walk away from her. And worse than any of that was the way looking at her made his heart ache in a strange way, and he wasn’t sure if she caused it or if it was Ysen.

Ysen. He could hear the holo droning something mindless from the bedroom. The smell of the old man’s smoke came before him as he came to the doorway, tossing down the bag with his gear. Tuhor was quiet; he waited.

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biasanduntrue asked:

how about some grimfeelings occurring in the years between season 1 and season 2

He made the decision without saying a word. His chest hurt. 

“You lie so much,” he laughed, in a defeated sort of way. “I mean, every day. And I think about it, you know? I think about it." 

And he really did – he thought about it so hard you could have filed nails on his nerves. Years, he thought, and the cat dozing over his legs puffed out a little sigh of pity and exasperation, utterly uninvolved with either of them. Where did they even go?

d'losair, I: thief

you can’t lose it if you never had it
disappear, man, do some magic

 "I have absolutely nothing left,“ he announced, nearly cheerful. "That is why I am living off my charm.”

At first, Tuhor was silent. “Nothing?”

 "Nothing. Anything in the IRUS was frozen. There wasn’t much. My renewal was put back in temp. The house. The hotel. Relonor, Shura. The office. Nothing left. No money, no place, no plan.“ He smiled, briefly. "That was why I needed the loan.”

 "You stole that from me.“

 "I gave it back. This was a start-up,” D'Losair explained. He had taken ten golden crowns from the ship-captain’s coat, and now twenty-one lay stacked on the floor at his feet. “It was the quickest way. It was a matter of life or death. I could have died. I could have starved. You would have been horrified.”

Tuhor did not look horrified. “And what,” he said, pushing forward out of his slouch to lean down with one forearm on his knee, “about this?” His gaze fell on D'Losair’s hands. He noticed, of course. 

“It isn’t real,” the other man answered, too quickly – and what a strange thing to say. “It’s still there, now. I don’t know if I like it. I do what I can to, you know, not-think-about it.” He flexed his black and grey fingers. “Now it can be my turn. Were you trying to die?”