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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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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“Sure,“ Bishop conceded. “That’s a lot of caps–”   

The man in corroded power armor put down the knife and leveled his eyes on the man in the brown hat. “–but it’s not that many.“   

A tense silence fell between them, and the man in the brown hat found that now that he finally had the knight-errant’s full attention, he was no longer sure that he wanted it.  

"Listen,” he went on, the first notes of impatience rising through the slow drawl of his voice. “You go around telling people here you want them to find your machine? Yeah, alright. You’ll get five, six people. Sounds like good money. Sure, they’ll do it.”     

The tension dissolved, and the man in the corroded power armor leaned over the bar, picked up his plate, and went back to shoveling up potato flakes with the side of the knife. “Now,” he continued, scraping his teeth over his lower lip, “when you start talking about how you want somebody to find your special machine that you can’t say nothing about, but it looks just like a man, sounds just like a man, bleeds just like a man, and in fact, you can’t tell the difference between it and a man –- well.”  gestured emptily with the flat, round knife. “You see what this starts to sound like. Like this whole thing is in fact a bunch of bull shit, and all you’re looking for is a murderer.”  

Desperation made the man in the brown hat bold. He sat up a little straighter, his hands splayed out over his knees. “Then perhaps you could tell me,” he smiled insincerely, “if I’ve found one.”

  • 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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bishop I

He whistled under his breath. “Son of a bitch.”

The concrete and scrapmetal lean-to disguised a twenty foot crater, clean and dry, walled with shelves of gutted appliances and crates of ammunition. Dried out ropes of food hung from the ceiling, and a half-dozen rifles stood propped against an overturned ladder.

Below him, the tracker sifted through the contents of stack of salvaged shelves, picking caps out of the bottom of an empty crate.

Above him, the paladin frowned. It was more than either of them could hope to carry. This wasn’t a two or three man outfit: this had taken a long time. From where he stood in the gap in the wall, he could make out a stack of computer consoles, a pile of moleskins, a box of forks. A radio – and all jut far enough out of sight that someone looking for it could find it. Like scraps in a rat trap.

The thought made his gut cold. “Come on,” he said, suddenly, shortly.

(old piece, moving tumblrs. what’s under this cut i have no fucking idea ~*~*~it’s a god damn mystery~*~*~)

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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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