“Oh, come ON!” Shepard wants to throttle the asshole at the cafeteria. He knows. He has to KNOW. It’s a thing, and he’s doing it on fucking PURPOSE.
It’s the only thing Shepard looks forward to in his miserable existence of boring classes, thankless internships, endless days. But there’s that sandwich.
It’s God’s gift to food, really. There’s so little in the cafeteria that’s palatable after a grueling day. It’s not bad food, but it’s not the right food. The pasta bakes are just this side of overdone. The pizza is too stringy and the sauce too sweet. The Chinese food is limp and greasy, and the tacos never have enough fillings.
But that fucking sandwich. Shepard’s had it a total of one time. And… it was heaven. Thin sliced turkey, ham, and salami. Sharp Swiss cheese. Crisp lettuce. Juicy tomato. An insanely tangy basil vinegar dressing. All on fresh French bread. They only make a few of them at the cafeteria’s deli every day, and Shepard is thinking of dropping his major just to be able to get one.
He’s thirty seconds too far away for the lunch rush, and there’s this asshole who is thirty seconds closer, who gets the fucking last sandwich every day. For three weeks.
Shepard has never wanted to punch someone right to the back of the head as the dude with the perfect coiffed black hair happily paying for God’s sandwich right this second.
It’s final’s week. He’s going insane. He knows it. He’s got fifty dollars left in his wallet to last him meals for two weeks, and he’s digging it out of his pocket. Before he can stop himself, or even be polite, his hand is on the man’s shoulder, yanking him around.
They both end up completely startled.
Shepard thinks, this is the hottest asshole I’ve ever seen in my life.
The 30 second thief says, “excuse me?”
“Fifty bucks,” Shepard says.
Beautiful, thick eyebrows raise high into the guy’s hairline. “I haven’t got fifty dollars,” he answers, confused.
Shepard thinks, this is the sexiest voice I’ve ever heard. “You will if you let me have that sandwich. You’ll think I’m crazy, I get that, but I have to have it. It’s the only thing I look forward to, and I haven’t gotten to have one in a month. And it’s finals, and I’m stressed, and just… please.”
Understanding dawns. “Oh, wow. Uh,” the guy says, turning a bit red. “I mean, I guess I know that ‘cause I always get the last one. I’m sorry.”
“Fifty bucks,” Shepard repeats severely.
The guy smiles suddenly, like the sun breaking through the clouds. “How about this? If you wanna come keep me company so I don’t have to eat alone, I’ll share this sandwich for free. Good offer, isn’t it? It’s the best damn sandwich ever made.”
“I know, right?!” Shepard enthuses, feeling lighter than air as he trots after the guy to a free table. “I’ve never had anything like it. Name’s Shepard, by the way.” He holds out his hand.
The angel of mercy sets the tray down on the table and shakes hands. It feels like the calm before the storm. “Alenko. Kaidan Alenko. Nice to meet you.”