Nothing ever seems to go "according to plan." Eren Shepard was pondering this as she lay in her cot in the Captain's quarters of the Normandy. A few hours ago, her and her team had managed to destroy Saren's base of operations back on Virmire, but at what price? She lost a good crew member, Williams, a wonderful Salarian Captain called Kirrahe, and Wrex...he lost the cure to the genophage--a disease created by the Turians that has nearly wiped his entire species from existance.
She sighed, shaking her head as she sat up on the cot. She turned and placed her feet on the floor, staring at the space between her feet for quite some time. If it were up to her, she would have saved Williams, Captain Kirrahe, and the cure. But she was only one person; one human. Life was hard enough with that status alone. She was the first human Spectre, and so much pressure was on her now to capture Saren. She was representing the entire human race; proving their worth among the galaxy.
She rose to her feet and paced over to her closet where she reached inside for a brown jacket. She threw it on over her snug black shirt and adjusted the collar. Her bright auburn hair was cut short--military status--so it did not interfere with the back of her collar, but it was long enough to touch it. After stuffing one hand into her jacket pocket, she walked over to the doors and pressed a key on the holographic display on the wall. The doors opened with a hissing sound and closed directly after she stepped through.
She walked down the hallway solemnly. The Council was satisfied that the job on Virmire got done, but she was hardly satisfied with the outcome herself. She felt terrible, and responsible. She had no way to atone for what happened, that much was obvious, but the least she felt she could do was make sure everyone was okay. She passed the showers, the lounge, and the offices before making it to the elevator. She was grateful everyone was either too busy or too tired to be out and about. She didn't feel like forcing a smile any time soon. Once again she activated the elevator via a holographic screen and waited for it to open. Once it did she stepped inside, the large door closing like a garage door would before it slowly began its decent in the ship down in the the bunker. She leaned forward and tapped the tip of her left toe on the ground as she waited.
Soon the doors opened, and she stepped out onto the floor of the bunker. To her right was a man from the Alliance who bought and sold goods for her and the crew. She never talked to him much; only to sell unnecessary equipment her team always happened to find everywhere they went. A ways up from him was a tall and lean turian. That was Garrus Vakarian. He was a tech specialist, a great sniper and always had bad elevator conversation. He and Wrex always seemed to pick bad jokes at one another, but despite their species' past, they got along pretty well. He was standing next to the Mako, an all-terrain vehicle they rode in often when they needed to trek long distances on other planets. Garrus was always standing nearby, calibrating the vehicle's defenses and weaponry for hours on end. Eren liked Garrus. He was a good officer.
Across the room was a selection of lockers. All of the team's armor was stored there in their respected places. Usually, Williams was standing there. She cleaned her armor regularly, and was always switching it out for something different, just to see how effective it was. Seeing her no longer there put a pang in the Commander's heart. Williams was brave, and she respected Eren greatly.
Garrus had heard the door of the elevator open and this caught his attention. He turned his head to see who was coming, and smiled to himself (the best way possible for a turian) when he noticed it was Commander Shepard. He held special values for the Commander; values he wasn't sure he would ever voice, but values all the same. But he knew she was not here to talk to him, as she usually was. She hardly glanced in his direction. His small eyes darted across the room to the farthest, darkest wall. Leaning against it was a large, red-armored krogan. Garrus knew Eren was feeling responsible for what happened on Virmire. She was here to talk to Wrex, and he believed he should give them a little privacy. He decided to leave his calibrating station and walk past the elevator to one of the curved hallways that lead to the ship's engineering room. Inside was the Normandy's massive accelerator core, and Tali the quarian was always ogling over it. He figured he could talk to her for a while until Eren was finished with Wrex.
Eren, with both hands now resting in the pockets of her brown jacket, slowly and cautiously walked up to Wrex. She kept a safe distance between herself and he. She never knew what the krogan would do. He was very unpredictable, but he was also very wise. She stopped, looking awkwardly to the side for a moment with her emerald colored eyes. For a while she wasn't quite sure what to say to him. She thought she had at least something worthy of conversation on the way down, but now she was at a loss for words.
That was her cue. He always addressed her first. She had forgotten that. She quickly looked away from whatever she had averted her eyes too and gazed up into the crimson orbs of the tall and burly krogan. If one didn't know anything about Wrex, or the events on Virmire, they would say that he was hiding his feelings rather well. Eren, however, could see the desperation and anger that lined the outside of his eyes. "How are you holding up, Wrex?" she asked in her calm, collected voice.
The krogan shrugged his large shoulders and shook his head. "I just hopped off a planet that had the cure to the genophage within the snap of my teeth. How do you think I feel, Shepard?" he asked in his deep, reverberating voice. It was a voice that commanded respect; it commanded to be heard.
Eren shook her head slowly, closing her eyes for a moment. "I know you're upset Wrex... I know that was a hard thing to do."
"Hard?" the krogan spat then, raising his finger to point at her. "You don't know what 'hard' feels like, Shepard. I know what happened to you on Akuze. Yeah, you had to watch your whole team get slain by a Thresher Maw while you crawled for your life back to the ship, but at least you had somewhere to go."
Eren leaned back a little and raised her hands. "Wrex, I understand your anger. I know it had to have been one of the most difficult decisions to make back there but you have to believe me when I say it was the right choice."
"I don't know," he said, lowering his arm. "I'm still wondering if it was a mistake to let you walk away and destroy that base. I feel like I should have shot you dead, right then..." His voice was holding back a growl, and Eren could see the snarl that was forming on his lips.
She lowered her hands a little then and tried to speak with as much sincerity in her voice as she could muster. "I've been doing a lot of thinking since we left Virmire. There are a lot of things I wish I could have done differently, but I can't go back and change it now. You let me walk away because you knew all Saren was doing was breeding those krogan to turn them into slaves. They were mindless, heartless, not like you, Wrex..."
"Not like me," he said, a laugh in his voice. "I am heartless. All krogan are heartless bastards, Shepard. We only look out for number one... After the genophage, that's all krogan knew. If I could have gotten my hands on that cure, I could have rebuilt the foundation for my species. Now all is lost. It won't be long before the last krogan dies the same way they all die: a bullet."
Shepard looked down, her hands falling to her sides before she slipped them into her pockets once again. "A lot of people fear krogans like you, Wrex..." she began. "I can't say that I do not feel the same. You are powerful, intimidating; you carry yourself like the tank you know you are. Still, despite all of that armor and thick skin, you will always carry the same feelings everyone else has." She gazed back up at him through her bangs. She knew he would never admit to feeling, but she knew without a shadow of a doubt that he definately was feeling.
Wrex snorted and looked away, a glare forming on his face followed by a deep frown. "Beneath this armor and thick skin is just another dead body. For a while I thought we krogan had a decent amount of morals, at least among ourselves, but after what my father did I cannot say I believe that anymore."
"Your father was a foolish man," Eren said quickly, rubbing her fingers together in her pockets. "I never thought I would tell someone that I am glad they killed their father, lest their father kill them first. It's been an honor having you on my team, Wrex. And of all of us, I trust in you the most."
"You're foolish! Damn woman!" he growled, turning back sharply to glare at her. He leaned forward, nearly face-to-face with her. "If anyone you should trust the turian. He's the one who's been a part of C-Sec most of his life. He's the one who was raised with morals and a sense of justice. You're staring into the face of an alien who would shoot one of his own kind without hesitation..."
Eren didn't move, or lean back when he lunged at her. She closed her eyes and listened to him intently before opening them again. "If you were like any other krogan Wrex, you would have been just like your father. You'd of wanted to continue fighting. But it was you," she said, pulling her hand from her pocket to point at him then. "who stood against him and was thinking more about your species than your status among the galaxy. You wanted to rebuild your colonies. You wanted to focus on getting your numbers back. Your father was the foolish one. He deserved what you gave him." She spoke with a firm voice, confidence swelling in her chest but at the same time her heart was racing with anxiety.
Wrex heard her, and despite her words all he wanted to do was growl. He did so, loud and viciously before his arm lurched forward and wrapped around her narrow neck. He turned about and slammed her back into the wall, holding her there. She grimaced and grasped his wrist with her hands. "Wrex...!"
"You don't have to tell me how stupid my father was. I know how stupid he was!" he snarled deeply. "If I could have chosen a different life to live I would have! You cannot hope to give a krogan who had to stab his own father in the chest with a dagger a pep talk. I have seen things, Shepard..." His voice grew dangerously low, almost to a bone-chilling whisper. "I've seen more than anyone should ever have to see... I feel like I am already dead, Shepard. What the hell can I say?"
Eren was surprised she did not have to struggle for breath. His hand was not choking her, and her feet had not been lifted from the ground. He was simply holding her there, doing all he knew how to do to get his point across. She waited for a while, recollecting herself before she chose to speak again. "This is why I trust you, Wrex..." She spoke quietly, and gazed up into his eyes with the look of someone who would willingly give their life to save them. She did not show fear, or pain. She showed him perseverance, and determination.
Wrex frowned, but slowly his glare seemed to fade. His eyes looked down to his hand, and even he was surprised that he was not choking her. He was almost surprised that he had made an offensive move at her at all. Slowly, he let go and pulled his hand away. He could still feel her hands on his wrist even after they were gone, so he brought it up and rubbed it with his other hand. His face was thoughtful. "You don't know what you are talking about, Shepard..." he grumbled.
Eren continued to gaze up at him, and after a while she lifted her hand to place it on the side of his face. His instant reaction was like that of a startled horse. His eyes grew wide and he threw his head back, however he could not throw it back far enough to get out of reach of her hand. He quickly stepped backwards, out of her reach, and glared at her. Eren did not look as hurt as he thought she would. In her eyes there was a bit of pain, yes, but in her face displayed a different emotion. It was something like angry determination, Wrex figured. She approached him again, which lead him to growl once more but he did not back away from her. He turned his head. She took the side of his face in her small hand once again and pulled it over so that he was looking at her, her own eyes forming into a small glare. "I know you are hurting Wrex. You don't have to hide that from me. I am not afraid to stand here and tell you, right now, that I will do whatever I can to help your people. But you must promise me..."
Wrex gazed at her, his eyes open, his body listening intently to her. He did not know what to think. No one had ever approached him in such way. No one had ever even touched him like that. No one's tried to help before, or try to understand. They all just thought they understood and kept going about their lives. No one knew what it was like. That's what Wrex had believed for so long now. And even now, he knew Eren did not fully understand. She never would. He could never explain it, either. But here she was, trying more than anyone else ever had before. Putting herself in harm's way to prove to him that she would be there for him when he needed her. Telling him, from the bottom of her heart, that she was going to do all she could within her power to aid his cause. He knew how the Commander was with promises. He knew the only way she would break it was if she had to die.
"...promise me that you will be the one to lead them." Eren rested her other hand in the crook of his arm. Her fingers pressed into the side of his head firmly, knowing such a feeling was probably barely more than the feeling of a fly landing on his face. She didn't want to make that sort of impact. She wanted him to know that she was serious, and that she meant every word.
For the first time in probably decades, the krogan's face softened, and all of the fear and pain that he had been feeling gushed out of his eyes. If a krogan was to cry, this had to have been the face they made just before the dam broke. With the arm that was not occupied by the commander's hand, he raised it and laid his hand over the armor on his chest. He was feeling his heart beat for the first time in so long. He could feel it and the power, the force it was using to keep him alive. He didn't know how to react. A part of him wanted so badly to kill her, right then, just to make her be quiet. However, another part of him was dumbfounded, stricken with such a force he had no clue what to do with. "Shepard..."
He was at a loss for words. Eren could see this, and her eyes turned up in silent relief. She could release her held breath, her shoulders could relax; she felt as though she had finally accomplished something good. The last thing she was expecting was for him to close in on her so quickly. His body came forward, which struck her by surprise, so she gasped when her back hit the wall again. He was looming over her like a dark shadow. He held one of her arms firmly in the grasp of his large hand, and the forearm of his other was up against the wall above her head, supporting his weight. Nearly chest-to-chest with the commander, he stood there calmly and silently. His eyes were closed, and he seemed to be just focusing on breathing. For a while he was. He was refraining from taking deep breaths through his nose. He was refraining from baring his sharp teeth at her. He felt as though he were in chains, bound to a wall across the room and could only reach within an inch of tearing the small woman in front of him apart. It was as though he were pulling, as hard as he could, against his bonds but eventually he ran out of breath and energy, gasping through his mouth. He bent his head down slowly and touched the thick plate of his forehead to her's. Gently, because he knew how fragile humans were. He kept his eyes closed, and calmed his breathing. He had no words. As he clenched his teeth together tightly behind his lips, his eyes began to burn. All of the turmoil he had endured throughout his life was slowly coming to surface. He tried to stop it, but his efforts were fruitless. The smell of her skin and the sound of her voice was more than he could bare any longer. A salty pool of liquid formed along the slit of his left eye until it was so large it collapsed and streamed down his cheek until it reached his pointy chin before plummeting down onto the side of Eren's brown jacket.
Eren closed her eyes and kept her head still, though the hand that was on the side of his face moved so that she could brush her thumb under his eye. It was quiet for a long time, but then she heard him speak again.
"Shepard... My people are dying...There will never be enough of us who are willing to try to rebuild our population... I made peace with that a long time ago..." His voice was very soft and low, unlike Eren had ever heard from him before. "I trust you, Shepard. But when you fail, do not blame yourself... My kind is destined to disappear."
"Then I hope you never die."
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Based off of the game Mass Effect by BioWare, Krogan heartbreak features a conversation the Commander and Wrex could have while on the Normandy.
Panda has finished her second playthrough for the game, and actually wouldn't mind doing it again.
Wrex is one of her favorite characters. He has had a rough life, and she felt he deserved some lovin'.
Urdnox Wrex x Eren Shepard
Urdnox Wrex x Commander Eren Shepard
Listening to sad/relaxing music while reading makes this more effective.
3.2k words. Please Ejoy.
Chapter end notes:
Hope you enjoyed reading. Damn, that almost made me cry. But I have reason to. I played the game.