Call me Sarge.
The others do.


The barrage of questions he expected, really. And though he wasn’t in the mood for an argument—too tired, too hungry, too spent—he should’ve known better than to egg the man on.

Just couldn’t help it, maybe.


One thing at a time.
Easier said than done.

"They were private bids on contracts: fluff feathers, kiss shebse, discreetly wreck the competition. No one else boasted a man on the Normandy, and Alliance paperwork prevents direct access to you. I wouldn’t put you in a position to deal with potential clients directly. Not unless you requested, since you do cut an… intimidating shadow.”


"Nerfs are foam weapons made for children, co-opted for bored adults waging cubicle wars. But the two percent jab was a joke. I meant to ask sooner, but I needed to take care of this osik first.” A huff. “And Ugly agrees with mine just fine. She probably just wants a treat.”

Boss remains silent as Mereel speaks, wanting to know how his likeness was used to secure a contract. He already knew that working with the great Commander Shepard—much less on the Normandy, period—gained him a great deal of respect and, along with that, power. What he didn’t realize was that people could practically bend over backward because of that.

And he wasn’t even involved.

"Well, I must say that it would be fun to prove my worth to one of these clients, especially those who are skeptical of what they’re paying for. I can make the Alliance bend a little, I’m sure. You’d be surprised what a few requests from Shepard can do.." He pauses. "Just as long as you said you didn’t put me on the Normandy. Because that’s just wrong."

Ugly? No wonder she doesn’t like you.” The broad hand goes over the cat’s ears as if to keep such words out, chuckling as he lets go and scratches under her chin. “She’ll get her treat in time. As will I, I have no doubt. You’re welcome to use my likeness but just notify me next time. Even a ping will suffice.”

tags → #tapcaftogo 

I see why you used my likeness during negotiations. Because they couldn’t get past the fake weapons.

tags → #tapcaftogo 

(Source: natiabenashvili)




"I am getting soft, aren’t I?" That wasn’t always necessarily a bad thing. "I’m blame the late nights, the endless networking, and the caf.”


As they walked down the hall, he kept shoulder to shoulder with his brother, all at once relaxed. ”You know how it is … no live ammunition inside the compound, but we can’t very well keep arms out.” He rubs the back of his head. “Kar thought nerf wars were a good idea. Good for morale. Turns out she was right.” He angled his amusement towards the arched ceiling. “Even if that means departments are constantly … relocating territory.”

Wow. That sounded absurd when he said that out loud.

He nudges Boss in turn, just as careful. “I want to say winning contracts were the hardest part, but when potential clients learned we had a, uh, …man working with the renowned Commander Shepard, bids turned up in our favor when it checked out.” He grinned. “So maybe you get two percent of the credit.”

If only it could stay this way. Shoulder to shoulder with Mereel, no fighting in sight. Well, aside from the nerf-war. Wait.

He looks at Mereel, confusion clear on his face and not having any idea what Mereel was talking about anymore. “Hold on. I don’t see any nerfs inside the complex and it’s difficult to bring them when they’re in another galaxy. Are they stun guns? And you’re having your departments relocate?” Doesn’t seem very efficient, he wants to say. 

Then the other boot drops. “So, you indirectly name drop me, secure a contract and I only get two percent of the credit and, hopefully, royalties? Seems rather rude to not even include me in negotiations at that point. What if that group found me and asked me about it when I had no idea?”

The furball in his arms snaps him out of his slightly irritable state as she shifts in his arm, making him scratch behind her ears. “Ever Furball here doesn’t agree with your tactics.”

tags → #tapcaftogo 
Kiss me, quick!


19. A wound

It was true, James had his bouts of stupidity out on the field. Heroics gone bad as he tried to take the shot rather than someone else like Shepard or Tali or Liara or even Garrus. This kind of mentality made him a usual in the medbay and a common worry upon the Commandos mind. So many times was he on the receiving end of Boss’ lectures and scoldings.

But this — this was odd and slightly worrying to James when he caught word that Boss was wounded on a mission. They said it wasn’t bad, and it didn’t look bad, so that should’ve set James at ease. However, it didn’t.

He ran his rough hand over the skin of the others back, feeling the small bumps and abnormalities there, but his eyes were constantly on the burns that were healing upon Boss’ shoulders. Like Chakwas said, it wasn’t bad. He’d heal after a day or two and ready for the fray once again.

" I can feel you frowning. "

James didn’t say anything in response. Just had his hand stop along the top of his back. As quiet as he could, he let out a heavy sigh and wrapped his arms around the others waist. He leaned in his head to press a chaste kiss against the gauss over the wound then pressed his forehead against the back of his neck. James didn’t wanna touch it too much.

" And you said I make you worry… “


"She’s not a burden, really. Keeps me company. Even if she does—" remind me of her owner "—jump in my lap and knock things over from time to time."


The frown remains, albeit softened at the similar swat to his brother’s hand. He squints into the direct sunlight coming from the room’s west window, a sigh on his breath. Cats.

"Feel free to bring Ruugam with us.” He sets past Boss, plucking his comm from the wall by the door the man came in through. “Seems to like it right there in your big, strong arms.”

A soft chuckle and he was almost back to his steady humor as he stepped out into the hall. “The offices should be calm around now, but we might stumble into another nerf-turf war. Keep your eyes open.”

"You’re getting soft, vod.” A tease, of course. They could both afford some guilty pleasures.

Boss hesitates for a second about bringing the cat nestled in his arms along. But then he realizes exactly that. She’s nestled. Comfortable. He got this far with the animal, he wasn’t about to stop because of some minor insecurities.

"Nerf-turf war? What, you don’t have everything settled here yet?" He nudges Mereel’s shoulder, being mindful of Ruugam. “You have a great place, y’know. I’m surprised at how much you got accomplished in such a short amount of time.”

tags → #tapcaftogo 


“‘S not mine.” It’s out in an instant, and he didn’t mean to phrase it like that. Damn it. “… I’m just watching ‘er for a friend.”


That doesn’t sound much better.

Mereel frowns at the cat, reaching forward to scratch under her chin. The resulting mrow and soft swat to his hand deepens his frown.

"Boss … why does she love you more than me already?"

"Sounds like it…she is a burden to you, huh?” He smirks for a second but didn’t mean anything by it, clearly.

The swat makes him laugh, bringing up his other hand after Mereel’s. He gains the same response—a swat—but Boss swats back at the hand with two fingers, forcing his way to scratch under the chin to her pleasing if the purring was anything to be judged by.

"Just have to assert your authority, I guess. And not act like it’s a burden. Animals pick up on that, y’know."

tags → #tapcaftogo 


One hand still at Boss’ elbow, the other drops to his side. He watches his face for a beat, thinking—and visibly comes to a decision, the moment clear across the easing of his brow and the set in his mouth.


"Done. The kandosii kind you like.”

He nods his head to the door. “C’mon. We’ll start from the top, and work our way down.” A soft chuckle rumbles his chest at his own joke. Classic. “Might even see Kom’rk in Logistics—”

And out trotted the scruffy cat from behind a different set of crates, meowing in demand. “—oi, Ruugam. Hush.”

He nods in thanks for the soon-to-arrive shipment of supplies before perking up slightly at Mereel’s gestures. A soft chuckle follows after Mereel’s and he goes to speak before he’s interrupted by the Lieutenant and a distant meowing that quickly approached.

He looks down, watching the ball of fur scuttle across again whose attention is focused squarely on the commando. Boss gives Mereel a brief look before slowly kneeling down, putting a hand in front—not unlike what he’d do with a dog—and soon enough picking it up.

"You have an interesting taste in cats."

tags → #tapcaftogo