The Story of the Salarian Spectre and Master Thief Picture

So school is starting and my classes are Calculus, Physics, and Accounting.... I definitely do not have all the time that I want. Though wish me luck in getting into a good university!! Here's the story of Jondum Bau and Kasumi Goto. From their very first meeting to the end of the Reaper War. Obviously they had more adventures than the ones I wrote here, but these are like the 'Top Ten' of firsts and memorable moments. Enjoy!

Background: [link]

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First Impressions

Kasumi senses that something is wrong. It’s not the feeling of being unprepared. It’s just her feminine intuition that has been accurate for nearly every turn of her life: something is wrong with this heist. Kasumi doesn’t bother turning around when she hears the edge of armour brush against each other as the intruder walks, nor does she even regret coming uncloaked when the footsteps grow louder. Instead she smiles.

“Kasumi Goto.” The voice calls to her, the cocking of a gun follows immediately afterwards. “Jondum Bau, STG. I am arresting you for several counts of robbery across Citadel Space, including military weapons theft and information tampering.”

Kasumi raises her hands, the rose still in her grip. “You got me.” She turns around to see a stern Salarian face staring at her. He holds up a gun with one hand and his omni-tool is activated in the other.

“I am surprised. You are a woman, a human woman at that.” His face does not soften. “I had assumed that you would have been another Salarian or an Asari at least.”

“I cannot tell if you are complimenting me or insulting me.” she states.

“It’s neither. I am merely making an observation. You will calmly come with me,” he orders her, “Or you may find yourself with a hole in your chest.”

“I am beginning to suspect that there was no job in the first place. Was this your plan to trap me, Bau?”

They simultaneously come closer towards each other. His gun is still up; her hands come before her with her wrists bared to him. She doesn’t think about what she is going to do next, instead she acts.
There is nothing like adrenaline.
As soon as she can feel the metal of cuffs on her palm, she takes her chance. There are many ways to sweep a man off his feet; a good kick is one such example. She drops him on his back, the gun is flung away. Her rose falls onto his chest. Immediately, she backs away and activates her cloak. She runs.

“Get back here!” He calls; he pursues her, gaining on her tail.

Kasumi figures that to continue running is to run herself into a maze, a dead end. The only choice she sees is up. Over the roofs of buildings, down their walls, through any opening available… he follows her through virtually every path she takes.

’My, my. He’s persistent. Got to give him that.’
“Run, run, run! As fast as you can! You can’t catch me!” she yells over her shoulder.

He makes the jump after her and reaches a hand out to grab her crimson hood, except he claws only at air. Over the ledge, Kasumi jumps down. Jondum Bau stands, flabbergasted.

Kasumi waves goodbye as she escapes him, crouched on top of a moving hover-car.
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The Usual Game

The loud buzzing mechanism rings through his ear canals. Before he knows it, the tactical cloak is disabled. She turns around and shuts the mechanism off.

“Another trap, Bau-san?”

Bau tries to reactivate the cloak, but finds that he cannot. ’How ingenious.’, he thinks: she had come prepared with a jamming device. “And you fell for it, Miss Goto.” He raises his side-arm to her; she returns the sentiment with her own gun. Both keep their hands steady on the weapon, pointing at each other and waiting for the other to make the first move.

She smiles under her hood, “I knew it was your trap anyway.”

“And you still came? You could have rejected the offer.”

“A girl can’t miss her favourite Salarian?”

“Very funny, Miss Goto.”

She shrugs her shoulder, “You’re so serious, Bau-san. Have you ever thought of loosening up?”

“With a gun being pointed at me? I am afraid I must turn down the suggestion.” He narrows his eyes, carefully planning where his shots will go. He does not want to kill her, to his surprise. As much as her escapes and survival has bothered him, he feels it almost a crime to kill someone as intelligent as her. Instead, he rationalizes that the better alternative is to incapacitate her.

“We can always play a game; that helps me unwind.” She suggests.

“No, thank you.”

“Suit yourself.”

He fires. The gun is blown out of her hand. He aims next for her legs. She begins running, serpentine-style. He stays where he is and carefully aims.
To his surprise, her form begins to dissipate and disappear entirely. He aims for where she had been, however the sound of footsteps indicates to him tthat she had eluded him again.

He takes chase, carefully trying to separate the sound of their footsteps away from each other. He feels something slap his back all of a sudden. “Tag!” she shouts gleefully. “You’re it!”

Unlike their previous engagements of him chasing her and she sneaking away into the darkness of shadows, they talk.

“What are you going to do if you catch me?” she asks him.

He thinks the question is inane. “Put you in jail is the likely choice.” He answers, trying to listen for which direction the voice had come from.

“And then what?” she asks again.

He opens his mouth, but realizes that he has no proper answer. He has not thought that far ahead yet. All has been thinking about the last few months with her is where she could be and what would he do. The aftermath has hardly ever occurred to him. Honestly, he has imagined this chase to go on forever. Finally he answers the only logical path for after her capture. “Work. Complete whatever assignments come my way. The usual.” He sums it up for her.

“Must be boring.” She states.

“At times.” He admits.
He waits for her to add on. She doesn’t. He thinks about what she has asked him. What is he going to do once he catches her? So far, she is the only one to elude him, to make him run. No one else he has ever met has made him feel such loathing and yet he feels his days brighten at seeing her. A side of him enjoys the games that she makes him play with her. Another is tired and only wants to win.

Nevertheless, their encounters are far from dull. A little exhausting, but he always looks forward to them. He knows that he is anxious of going back to the boredom he had before meeting her.
Bau thinks of a way to coax her out of darkness. “Why leave behind the flowers?” he asks her.

“It seems appropriate to leave something in its place. I don’t like the sight of empty spots.”

He tries to be as quiet as possible, following her voice. “The red rose is an interesting choice. You rarely see flowers in space.”

He hears her laugh. “I know. They are actually pricey. But I like roses. Did you know that the red rose symbolizes true love? Perhaps one day, I might find my true love through these roses.”

Bau halts in his steps. He feels something strange come over him. Quickly, he pushes those thoughts out of his head and refocuses. She is a human and he is a Salarian.
He catches her, sitting on the ledge with her legs hanging over, her tactical cloak deactivated.

He lunges.

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The Masochism Tango

It is difficult to imagine that the two of them would ever work together. With him chasing after her to put her behind bars and she always hiding, the idea seems totally unlikely. However, they had done it. The fates, the Galaxy, the Universe, what have you… had thrown them together and had them work side by side.
Together, they had saved a Human colony, all while keeping bounty hunters off of their tail!

Although his feet are taking him back to his ship to leave port, his eyes scan for Kasumi. He finds her hooded head, bowed low to gaze at the infant in her arms. Children surround her and she seems comfortable in their presence. He has not heard her laugh that way before. He approaches her, carefully, as though she might run away if he is not careful (she actually might).

“Miss Goto.”

Kasumi looks up from the baby in her arms. She hands the baby over to the oldest of the children around her. “Here, take baby.”

The children, as though they know that something bad is going to happen, disperse to find their parents and guardians.

Kasumi stands up; both have never noticed the significant difference in height between them before. “This was fun, wasn’t it, Bau-san?”

He raises a non-existent brow at her, “Depends on your definition of fun.”

“Admit it, Bau-san! You had fun with me! Look, your face is trying to crack as you hold back your smile!” Her hand rises to her lips to conceal her smile and then it retreats to behind her back with its partner. “By the way, Bau-san, I want to congratulate you on your promotion to Spectre status. I was going to say it earlier, but –y’know – the bounty hunters and all. Anyway, you deserve it, especially when you risked your life for the colonies on Benning. Not a lot of people will do that for another species. You’re a good man, Bau-san.”

He is speechless for a few nano-seconds. “Well,” he clears his throat, “Thank you, Miss Goto. Thank you again for your assistance on this mission. I…” he hesitates and admits to her, “I am sure that it would not have gone so smoothly without your help.”

She grins at him, “Always happy to help, Bau-san.”

An awkward silence hangs between them.

“So….”

“Yes?”

“What now?”

He exhales, running the choices in his head. Finally, he comes to his decision. “You have a thirty-second head-start.”

Kasumi stands wide-eyed. “Excuse me?”

Bau finally cracks that smile and narrows his eyes on her. “Twenty-seven seconds left on the clock.”

Kasumi understands. She claps her hands together.

Bau already activates his omni-tool. “Time is running out, Miss Goto. You have less than fifteen seconds to run.”

Just before running away, Kasumi surprises him by kissing his cheek. Despite knowing each other for two years now, his blood boils at the too familiar action initiated on him.

And yet, the smile does not drop from his face.

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Green-eyed Ghost

Kasumi paces around in a daze. Keiji spooks her when he suddenly calls her name. She jumps in her spot.

A few months ago, an art collector had hired her to steal a painting. When she had arrived for the heist, someone had already stolen the painting. She had discovered another thief sneaking away with the painting. She tackled him down and it had been love at first sight for the both of them.
Keiji Okuda recognized her skills that could grow to be better than his own, but knew that she needed greater experience. For example, a calling card was not what a thief needed or wanted.

He asks her in Japanese, “What is the matter?”

“Oh, nothing. I’m just a little bored.”

He pats her back, “Well, there’s an art show on the port today. I think you may be interested in it. You know the artist.” He pulls up an ad from his omni-tool.

Kasumi squeals when she sees the face of the artist and does not need any more convincing.

Kasumi and Keiji dress to keep as much attention away from them, to look as generic as possible. To her surprise, she sees Bau at the show as well. He’s out of armour, but she sees that he is wearing a military uniform. Kasumi had wondered what he had been up to. They have not seen each other for months.

Keiji spots him too. “Is that the Spectre who’s been after you?”

She nods her head. “Yes, though I can’t imagine why he should be here.” A part of her wants to huddle into Keiji, hide away from Bau’s eyes. Another part of her wants to let him know she’s here. Kasumi is torn between herself.

The artist comes up onto the stage. She wants to present her newest piece. The artist begins with the story of a painful memory for her: when she and a few others had been kidnapped by slavers. The experience would be horrifying for anybody, let alone a twelve-year old girl. However, somebody was looking out for her that day. A guardian angel, she announces. This is the first portrait she has done. When she uncovers the canvas board, Kasumi wants to cry when she sees it.

The skies are painted crimson and orange and gold. The artist has painted herself in the portrait: dirty and crying and iridescent. The artist in the portrait is cradled by a hooded woman, angel wings sprout from her shoulders and rise to the top of the frame. The face is unrecognizable by shadows obscuring the upper half of her face, but to anyone with the right knowledge, it is undeniably Kasumi’s gentle smile and painted lips.

Kasumi and Keiji spend the rest of their time looking at the artwork, speaking their language to each other. Kasumi only wants to see the artist again.

Everybody is leaving, until it’s only her, Keiji, the artist, and Bau that remains. Bau speaks to the artist, Kasumi cannot hear their conversation. He nods his head throughout the conversation and finally he leaves. ’Look back, look back, look back…’ a little voice says inside Kasumi. He disappoints her.

Finally, Kasumi has the artist to herself. The reunion is a tearful one with much embracing and includes an introduction to her partner.
When all pleasantries are passed, Kasumi cannot help herself but ask, “What did Jondum Bau say to you?”

The artist blinks and recollects as best as she can. “Oh, just regular stuff. He was really interested in my portrait. He asked me about you and I told him the whole story about how you rescued me. Say, this wouldn’t be the same Salarian who’s been after a master thief for years, is he?” Kasumi’s silence speaks for itself. “Gosh! You really are the greatest thief! You’ve been able to outrun a Salarian Spectre! Anyway, he didn’t ask any more than that.”

Kasumi thanks her and she gives to her a new address, “In case you ever need my help.”

The ladies part and Keiji asks Kasumi, “Are you sure you’re okay?”

“Of course! Definitely!” Kasumi lies.

Jondum Bau’s coldness is stuck in her mind all through the evening.

The next night, Kasumi receives a request to steal a vase from the gallery. The vase does not belong to her artist friend, so she has no problems with it. There is a small print that requests only she performs the heist.
Keiji makes no qualms about it, even kisses her goodbye and tells her to go straight home when the heist is done. Kasumi thinks it odd that Keiji doesn’t want to come with her, he always wants to come with her on her heists. But she brushes it off, happy to have some work to do.

Into the heist, she bumps into her favourite Salarian. “Bau-san.” She greets.

“Miss Goto.” He responds.

“Long time no see.”

“My thoughts exactly.” His expression remains stern, the gun in his hand looks stern too.

“You don’t look happy to see me.” She points out.

He frowns the way a Salarian would frown. “When have I ever been happy to see you?” His eyes look down at her hands. “No roses this time?”

Kasumi keeps a hold of the vase. “Calling cards seem silly. I don’t need them anymore.”

“Hmph, found your true love then?” And at this point he looks even angrier.

A light switches on in her head. That time he saw her and Keiji together. How he stopped with the banter and conversation. How it seemed that work consumed all of his time that he could not spare any moment to chase her. She had had suspicions and now she pieces them together and it makes sense. “Bau-san, are you jealous?” she asks.

He seems taken aback. “Don’t flatter yourself, Miss Goto.”

“I don’t know, Bau-san…. You seem awfully angry for a guy who’s ‘not jealous.’”

“I’m overworked.”

“We should play a game. I think you’re overdue for a round of tag. But before that, let me ask you: how did you find me without my calling cards?” She puts the vase down and comes towards him.

He cocks his gun. She halts in her steps, her hands held up.

“I received a tip from one Abraham Rumoi that you would be here.”

She repeats the name and the ploy instantly makes sense. ’Keiji, you sly dog.’, she thinks. Instead of running away from him, she runs towards him. Her eyes catch the angle of his gun; she can see the bullet’s path. In their collision, he is knocked to the ground. She continues running ahead of him. Behind, she hears him gaining on her.

This is what she has been missing.

Shots come for her legs. She yelps as she dodges them, running in serpentine formation. He follows her through the city. She scales the first building she sees, with him on her tail. Through the crowds of people, they run.

An elevator door presents itself as a golden opportunity. She is on her way down when she sees that he’s taken another one to follow her. ’Not so fast, Bau-san.’, she says to herself. With lightning fast fingers, she hacks into the elevator’s system and jams it into a loop.

Bau stumbles in the clear elevator, its system frozen to halt in mid-air. He is trapped inside, helpless to do anything as she strolls out of the building.
From the floors below, she blows him a kiss. She sees him take a different stance and activate his omni-tool. Before the idea even registers with her, the alarms start ringing and Vis start swarming her.
She catches for a second his smug face looking down on her, smiling.

At home, Kasumi thanks Keiji in every possible way that she can. When they’re both exhausted and tired, he asks her, “Are you feeling better now?”

She kisses him, “Of course! Definitely!” And thanks the Gods for what a wonderful boyfriend he is.

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The Turn

“I’m sorry.” Bau says.

She keeps her head bowed low. “Thank you.”

They stand only a few yards apart, but the distance feels greater. He opens up his omni-tool and messages something to her. She opens it up and receives a glaring picture of a man.

“His name is Donovan Hock. An arms dealer.” Bau explains. “This is the man who killed your partner.”

Kasumi closes her omni-tool. “Why are you helping me?”

He doesn’t shrug his shoulders or anything, he remains motionless. “You were there for me when my uncle died some years ago. Do you recall?” And she does. “I’m just returning the favour. The man is despicable. It makes no difference to me whether he winds up dead. But, if you want to take revenge…”

“I will not kill him.” She tells him. Bau’s eyes widen in surprise. “The Buddha teaches us not to take revenge. Someone else will kill him, not me. What I want from him is Keiji’s greybox. He has no right to it.”

“Very well, if that is what you want, Miss Goto.”

She knows what his response is, but it would not hurt to ask him. “Will you help me get his memories back?”

Bau shakes his head, “I cannot.”

She understands. Why should he help her any more than he already has? He has his own work and so does she.

Without any warning, he is before her. His arms place themselves around her and he holds her. “Bau-san?” she questions. Instinctively, her hands wrap around him.

“I am trying to comfort you. I do not know what exactly to do around crying women.”

She laughs at his candour; very soon the laughter turns to crying. She bawls loudly. His arms constrict tighter around her and it’s not the same as Keiji’s hugs.

But she does not mind.

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Moods

“Aha! So you are jealous, Bau-san!” Kasumi accuses playfully.

“I am not jealous. I was only remarking upon your latest partner.“

“When has my choice of partners ever been your concern, Bau-san? Admit it! You are jealous!”

“I am not jealous! Honestly, Miss Goto. Must you always twist my words to your perverse pleasure?”

“Anyway, Bau-san. You have no reason to be jealous about anything. It’s only a little crush.” She tells him. “Besides, he likes someone else. I’m not going to steal someone who’s already taken.” She swears that he finally stopped holding in his breath.

“Did you get it back?” Bau asks her over the omni-tool.

“Get what back?” she questions honestly.

“…. Your partner’s greybox.” Is the terse reply.

Kasumi snaps her fingers, “Oh, yes! Would you believe who helped me? Humanity’s first Spectre, Commander Shepard!” Like a fan girl, Kasumi recounts the events of breaking into Donovan Hock’s home and escaping with the greybox intact.

The elevator door opens and Kasumi is about to step into it when she comes face to face with a dark blue Salarian face. “Oops, I guess this is already taken.”

She runs and he follows after. There is something special about their chases. She actually has fun and she is sure that he does too.

He finally corners her on the roofs. “I have a proposition for you, Miss Goto.”

She quickly tries to think up escapes. Down is a good option, but what about across… “Hm?”

“Your skills and talents are top quality, Miss Goto. It would be a waste to jail you. Perhaps you would consider another career choice?”

“You’re giving me job advice?” she questions.

“I am asking if you would like to join me.” She doesn’t say anything. He mistakes her silence for confusion, thus he explains, “I have Spectre status, Miss Goto. I can give you a full pardon. In exchange for that, I would like you to pursue a more legitimate career. That is, I am asking you to consider a partnership with me.”

Kasumi chews her lip. She goes to him. And his expression is hopeful and thankful and Kasumi is already regretting her decision. She smiles a sad little smile and his smile drops at her cue. “Thank you for the offer, Bau-san. But I must decline.”

With swift hands, she pulls out a stunner and shocks him. He falls to the ground.
“Sorry!” and she makes her escape as he struggles to regain control of his frazzled muscles.

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Regrets

’She gave her life to save the Hanar homeworld.’ Bau laughs to himself at Shepard’s words.

The mirth turns slightly bitter when he assumes that Commander Shepard must have thought he was an idiot to believe that Kasumi Goto was dead. ’It was a small explosion, her body seemed to disappear. She must be dead!!’ The joke is said to himself again and again and he chokes on the drink in his hand. He supposes that they both need the separation; their game has gone on long enough. There is a war coming and there is no more time for fun and games.

However, he regrets that this might have been their last meeting. Rather, he would have had it been a more pleasant parting instead of him almost getting killed by a crazy jellyfish. ’This might be the last time we see each other alive.’
For a second, Bau envies Commander Shepard for her public friendship with Kasumi. Bau cannot afford such a thing; reputation means a lot of things to his people.

He counts the years on his fingertips, he’s going to be seventeen soon. Eight years, he’s been chasing Kasumi. Bau recalls a conversation he and his brother had not too long ago. ”She must mean a lot to you, if you’ve spent so much time on her. You say that she doesn’t, but I can tell. Anybody can. The way I see it, what you have with her isn’t good or bad, it’s all in shades of grey. Question is now: How dark – or how light – do you want it to turn to?”

His chest hurts. His head hurts. His neck hurts. All he can think about is Kasumi like he has for years.

At first, it had been a rivalry with her. No one had ever humiliated him; he had never failed in capturing his target. Until her. Chasing after her, working with her occasionally, had soon led to him to view her in a different light. He finds it easy to admire her; her skills and intelligence are so like a Salarian’s. Despite her career choice, she has morals to not hurt another intentionally for profit.
Eight years means a lot to his people, their time is limited after all.
In the years he had pursued her, he found her to be strong, intelligent, kind, considerate, and with a plethora of skills. She infuriates him, she irks him, and she constantly teases him. Yet, she gives him the mental stimulation that no one else has been able to give to him. She has shown him genuine and reciprocated respect. She makes him happy whenever he sees her.

He admits to himself alone that there is a chance… that he may feel something more than admiration for her.

And Bau regrets that he did not tell her before she disappeared.

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Disappointment

Bau is just working. Sending out messages across the galaxy. Of course he is, he promised Shepard that he would help rally his squads and friends for the cause.

Kasumi only wishes that Bau would look… more sad. She had just died and he did not seem to care one bit!

Kasumi recalls the fear that she felt when she had heard Bau had gone MIA a few years ago. Yes, he had always been trying to arrest her, but they two of them had had history. Her fears had been put to rest then when further news came up that he had been found and taken to a hospital in a nearby port.
Cloaked, she had gone to visit him and her heart had stopped at the sight of him. Every inch of him was bruised and blackened. Green blood stained the wrappings and bandages around his head and arms. Dozens of tubes had been connected to him. Still at the sight of him, she had been so scared that he would not pull through.
He did not know she had visited and it was a secret that Kasumi keeps to herself.

He had once been a thorn at her side, an annoyance that got in the way of work. His tenacity soon had become something to admire. She grew fond of her favourite Salarian. They had been through mercenaries, terrorist attacks, kidnappings and rescues…. She had thought that she would have come to mean something to him as he did to her.

Kasumi grits her teeth at the sight of Bau working at his desk. After all the time they had known each other, she would have thought that he would show some emotion at her death. But he doesn’t and that is what grinds her gears.

Kasumi had expected him to be in a great state of mourning. She would have revealed herself to him then, maybe.

This separation is probably what she needs; she tries to convince herself to not be angry at Bau. A war is coming up; perhaps Kasumi Goto needed to die and Bau cannot spend his time chasing after a thief.

She cloaks herself and takes one last look before returning to the Normandy.
No change in expression. He is not even sad that she is gone from his life. Kasumi regrets not being able to say goodbye properly to him.

She whispers a prayer that they should both survive. Then she disappears without a trace.

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Against All Odds

She rises from Earth’s ashes. The tattered hood and dried blood would have any sentient race imagine the mythological phoenix reborn from flames.

Bau leaves the line; hopeful that it is who he thinks it is. Salarian soldiers call after him but he pays them no heed.

“Miss Goto! Miss Goto!”

She turns to look at him, a silent response. Her hand rises up as though to call back to him.

Just as he reaches her, she falls against him, her form limp. Bau supports her as best as he can. He cradles her form and carries her over his shoulder. Her weapon drops from her hands.
His eyes scan the horizons for medics. He calls for them. “There’s someone injured here! I need a medic! Help!” He summons up his omni-tool and puts out a distress signal.

He marvels at the way she looks and how she is built. She is so small in his arms, and yet sturdy in form. She is unbreakable and fragile all at once. He continuously sends out distress signals for her. He wants to shout for the world to hear when he feels her hand grip his arm.

“Bau.” She coughs out.

“Miss Goto.” He answers back.

Asari and Human medics come to him after what seems like an eon. They support her on the stretcher.

They tell him that she will be alright. He is needed in the field than in the hospital with her. As much as he wants to argue, he knows that they are right.

He nods his head in affirmation and tries to break out of Kasumi’s grip. But her hold is strong. “Miss Goto, you must let go.”

“No!” she half-shouts and half-cries.

He begs her to let go, he pleads with her to let go.

He promises her that he will come back. He repeats the promise until she finally capitulates and releases his hand. He watches her pass out of consciousness.

The Asari promises that she will receive care.

“Whatever you must do, do not look at her face. That is not a request, that is an order.”

The Asari is surprised, but swears that no one will look at her face.

Bau has no choice but to trust her. He returns to the line, determined to survive.

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The Time Left in the World

“There you are.” He says.

When the fighting was done and the Reapers ceased their destruction, when word that Shepard had sacrificed herself for the good of the Galaxy was confirmed; Bau had gone to see Kasumi.
However, the medics had informed him that they had only looked away for a few seconds before she had disappeared. At first, Bau had had some ideas about where she might have been, but thinking back he had realized where she would likely be. Kasumi had situated herself in the botanical gardens of the Citadel.

She sits on the bench provided, she dons civilian clothing. He wonders if they had given it to her or she had stolen it. Her hood remains on her head.

“Bau-san.” She greets. She gestures for him to take a seat. He sits beside her. “So, were you surprised to see me on Earth?” she asks with a smile, her head leaning against her propped shoulder.

He admits the truth to her, “I knew you were alive the whole time. I just thought that a separation was due in order for us both to focus on the War.”

She slaps his shoulder, “Dummy. You knew I was alive and you didn’t try to contact me or anything?”

“I thought that you wanted me to think you were dead!” he counters.

She thinks pensively, “Yes, you’re right.”

They sit in silence for some time, watching people pass in front of them. A war has just occurred and life continues on afterwards.

“So, what now?” she asks him.

“I don’t know.” He answers honestly.

“You know, I think.” She begins, “that this is the first time we have stopped to smell the flowers.” She breathes in the air.

He follows suit. Except that he does not only smell flowers. He detects a perfume, faint and sweet. The scent is natural and reminds him of incense. He quickly realizes that the smell is coming from her. Something about it makes his mouth water, makes him want to press his lips to her skin. He wonders if she is wearing any perfume.

They have just survived a war. Bau thinks that this is a good a time as any to ask her. He’s waited years to ask her this. He puts himself on the line. “You know, before the war, Blasto was still playing on the Citadel. It still might be. Perhaps you would not be adverse to-“

Her hand touching his renders him speechless. She smiles, “I’d like that. I’d like that a lot.”

He offers his hand to help her up. He supports her to her feet. Kasumi takes his offered arm.

As they exit the gardens, Bau notices a rose-bush. He halts to pick her a rose. He presents it to her. She accepts, their fingers touch when the rose passes from him to her.
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