“Agh!” Nihlus snarled when he knocked over the bottle of detergent for the third time. Good thing the lid managed to stay on. He’d almost slipped in a puddle of the stuff just minutes before, and had bruised his wrist on the edge of the counter trying to catch his balance. His uninjured wrist, too.

He checked the bandage. Yep, still good and tight. At least something was going right.

He checked the soaking, soap-covered shirt. The stain hadn’t come out yet. Dammit, weren’t ruined gloves enough? Stupid batarians. Stupid civvies.

The first time he’d had to open fire without the protection of armour or shields, he’d been nervous. A little bit afraid. One bullet in the right place could seriously fuck you up, yessir. Even with armour, exit wounds weren’t something to scoff at. And this wasn’t like barrier-room duelling. The guy on the other end didn’t give two shits about fairness. Guys. There had been more than one. Much more.

He remembered Saren, rinsing red blood from waterproof gloves in a public restroom. Without a care in the world.

Heartless bastard, he’d thought. Enviously.

Clever, too. He’d spent a good twenty minutes on this thing, and the stains were still there. Bollocks to that. He left it soaking in a sink full of suds and pale-blue water.

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