She was pretty stunning, when he took notice of her. Though, in a more literal term, considering the sun shone off her metal body right into his eyes. He covered his eyes with the flat of his hand for all of a split second before relaxing his arms down to allow them to help shift himself to a standing position.
It did feel almost forever ago since he actually saw someone from the crew. And it seemed even longer that he had even been allowed onto a ship. Pretty unnatural for the elusive Joker to be grounded — out of his natural habitat in space. Yet there came a sort of amenity just being able to see EDI again.
He made his way to her; which was only a sort of minor task, since he had been (finally) taking his medications on a semi-regular basis for Chakwas and using strengthening exercises. He couldn’t help the slight limp that hung around his walk, but it had been reduced since he had to limp through the bowels of the Normandy to get away from the Collectors.
“EDI,” he could finally speak when close enough. And he was finally able to smile, something he found almost incapable since the Normandy’s crew got out of Cerberus’s base. Then he just hugged her. Just glad that she was still there. “It’s good seeing you.” He eases out of the embrace. “And a lot more reassuring to know the Alliance didn’t just turn you into cans to pack Tupari in.” He nods somewhat, stepping into the shuttle and holding his hand out for her. “Time to go ‘home’, then.”
For a moment, EDI stood flat-footed, unsure of how to appropriately respond to his embrace, but she tentatively returned it, being mindful of Jeff’s condition. She wondered at the pleasant rush that cascaded through her processes when he held her— it was markedly pronounced positive feedback.
“I have taken pains to keep this platform inert and be as non-obtrusive as possible,” she said, taking his offered hand and following him into the shuttle. They settled down on the bench, side-by-side. “The engineers were — the term I think you would use is clueless.” Her lips were quirked slightly in her variant of a smile. “I’ve sent communications out to everyone. No returns yet, though. Have any of the crew spoken to you? It’s likely that they’d respond well to an organic as opposed to … me.”
Not that she’d been monitoring the comms and message terminals like a lovesick human for days. Another interesting thing, that: her sudden preference for having people around. And not just any old Alliance servicemember, no: EDI missed her people. At the beginning of the repair cycle, she had thought she’d developed a preference for hearing inane chatter around her, or heavy-booted footsteps going from this place to that place. That it didn’t matter where it had come from.
And then Shepard’s pep talks disappeared. Javik stopped arguing with everybody. The weapons console stopped sending her alerts every damn time Vakarian would calibrate it just a little more. Most of all, the seat beside her had been vacated and suddenly she cared less about what was happening around her, and more about who was around her.
It was why she’d been waiting – it’s why she would have waited indefinitely. She’d have locked down the Normandy entirely if it had come to it; spirited away with the ship so that it would always be theirs.
The reverie lasted all of two-point-four seconds (she counted.) until she gave Jeff another half-smile. “But you’re correct. It will be nice to go … home.”
“They do tend not to know the difference between coolant shells and the batteries. I’ve gotten in contact with Garrus and the Commander so far. It was kind of nice knowing that after everything, they can still be pretty stiff sticks-in-the-mud. Though, I’m pretty sure Garrus sat on his stick.”
“I am assuming this means we’re going to have to get the band back together? Mission from God and all that? Let’s hope it’s easy, considering I’m not too agile enough to do all that running around that the Commander did to gather up the crew.”
He leaned a bit back in the bench seat; examining the inside of the shuttle. He wasn’t really used to being inside it. In something so… cramped and lacking better propulsion systems. Nor was he entirely comfortable with someone else piloting a vehicle he was in, rather than himself just taking it over and piloting. Probably a tad bit for the best, considering in the time he’s missed flying anything, he’d want to make for lost time via barrel rolls and navigating through asteroid fields.
Though, he figured he wasn’t too mortified over the ordeal, as he kept a short glance on EDI. A tad subconsciously, he laid a hand over EDI’s own. He had missed his co-pilot in his time away from the Normandy. Possibly more than he actually missed the Normandy itself, though this thought was more superfluous in nature, as they were basically the same thing to many at this point. And both were the only things he could really focus on when indisposed, apart from the occasional consideration of the rest of the crew. Just so they didn’t feel too neglected in his mind.
It didn’t matter too much. She was here, now, and soon he’d back on the Normandy in his favorite, leather chair — being notified how the airlock was ajar, and needing to reset the internal compensators before the ship can pull a 360.
… He didn’t specifically miss those parts of being back on the ship.