Miss Chavali Baker.
[here have some fond cracky mostly esoteric merp memories dragged out from my scrap folder]
((Popping out of inactivity to remind everyone that last year, this happened:
Below the cut: Lengthy chatlong and nsfwish content))
From his experience, the Alliance military was not entirely reliable. He respected humanity’s resilience and tenacity, and how its military bred soldiers as extraordinary as Shepard, though they were few and far between, and there was no one who quite compared to Shepard in his opinion anyway. Now that she was gone, he had even less incentive to trust their competence. Especially during peacetime, fresh out of a war that had destroyed their military and population quite possibly by half. Easy pickings.
“Hmmng,” Grunt growled, mouth pursed. It was peculiar that the fact that she was the daughter of his old battlemaster was not what he had in mind when he had said it, but he didn’t linger on the thought, or bothered to correct her. He huffed, shaking his head. If he conceded he would certainly not admit it. “Don’t just rely on a few escorts. All I’m saying.”
Chavali wasn’t about to say that she trusted soldiers as far as she could toss them. Mrs Baker’s abhorrence for violence and organized military men was part of the problem. Mostly it had to do with the completely useless behavior of those few she met back on Earth. They weren’t Alliance soldiers but Chavali was still bitter. Grunt didn’t need to know that, not right now anyway.
“I’m not completely helpless you know.” Chavali waved a chastising finger at him. “It wasn’t just dumb luck that I survived the entire war on Earth. I have some talents outside of my stunning intellect and dashing fashion sense.”
Every so often he would glance at the datapads in her hands and wonder what was on them. The question had been perched on the tip of his tongue since he arrived. The trouble with aliens is that they lacked the body language that separated an open secret and a hidden one. Instead he looked, as if hoping to pry the data out with his eyes.
“Ha.” His lower eyelid drew up with amusement, matching the grin on his lips. “The military’s a strange place. Learn how to take orders well enough and one day you’ll be the one giving them. It may be like that everywhere, I wouldn’t know.” Kirrahe smoothed the fabric of his pants, sighing wistfully. “It’s not so bad, but only if you want it.”
“Most jobs are like that, but military insubordination has greater consequence than office work.” She shrugged. Chavali didn’t do well with anybody being the boss of her. It had caused some trouble in school as well. And in group projects. Pretty much any time someone thought to out boss her. She had always been a problematic child.
She traced his line of sight and quietly set the datapads down. “Most of these are files from my mother. I was reading a bit about salarians and krogan after reading her entry about Virmire.”
……That narrows it down to on—………Holy fucking shit. Really?
Well, that explains a lot. Well uh. Nice to meet ya’ kid.
Mmhmm. Her legacy is pretty big even among other Shepards. Did you know her well? Most everyone I talk to seems to.
Grunt’s frost-blue eyes followed the quick sway of her hair with a tiny hint of disdain, and perhaps something else he himself could not put a feeling to. Naturally, he chalked it up to annoyance. It was a predominant disposition of his, anyway.
“Need doesn’t always equal want,” he shot back, the familiarity of the situation was almost second nature, arguments becoming less and less hostile and more and more like a routine. Even Grunt knew that in some twisted way, this complacency was a good thing. Companionable, if unorthodox. “You are far from normal.” He exhaled threw his nostrils, a gesture that might have seemed angry, intimidating, like a bull preparing to charge. “Ruder parts?”
Chavali snorted. Always such a big baby about the ordeal. What could possibly be so bad about learning to use a few more words? He always did that though. Shuffled his intelligence under brute savagery. She wasn’t sure what the facade was really for, perhaps it was a krogan thing. She’d have time to deconstruct that.
“Only because of Shepard.” She rolled her eyes. The display was probably more impressive to someone who wasn’t “Earth has colonies in some less than reputable places. It’s my job to visit them and I have military escorts so…”
Grunt stared back with an idle look of his own. Now there was something he was used to. He had been on the receiving end of that look enough times to be impervious to it.
Grunt humphed, rolled his shoulders in a shrug. “Never needed to.” He glanced down at her, brow-ridges furrowing. His mouth curled. “I’m not worried. You’re just not careful enough. Don’t have to go looking for fights, Baker. Sometimes they just come to you.”
“Tch!” Chavali tossed her hair back with some very mild annoyance. A very large part of it was feigned. Grunt made too many comments that would usually ruffle her feathers. Staying angry was getting…hard. Which at least meant her behavior was slightly more in the realm her parents would be less ashamed of.
“Well I keep telling you to so maybe the need has arisen.” Chavali remarked with her holier-than-thou tone. “Honestly though, fights usually don’t find normal human civilians. I guess I have been traveling the ruder parts of the galaxy but…”
The outburst was not something he had ever witnessed from her before now, bristling and red-faced and loud. It was perhaps that reason why he let out a short bark of laughter. Grunt had only ever seen her maintain some semblance of composure, even when she was upset.
“Hah!” He shook his head. “People ought to listen, then.” He grimaced, rolled his eyes, “Yeah, yeah. Still think it’ll get in the way.”
Chavali shot him a withering look. It was hard to acknowledge she was wrong but his laughing wasn’t particularly helpful. Had it been anyone else she would have ripped into them. She liked Grunt though, lucky for him.
“Or maybe you should expand your vocabulary.” She huffed before reassuming her usual composure. “I don’t usually get into fights or anything of that sort. Why are you so worried?”