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Taking Normandy

Chapter Text

"Sheparddd."

Just ignore it

"Sheparddddd." The voice only slightly closer but seemingly more loud than before. She just wanted to pretend no one's there and this wasn’t the fifth time in a week that she has heard this nagging voice.

A pounding fist fell against her office door followed by the bellowing of her name, "SHEPARD!"

Apparently letting a known convict run the halls of security was in the 'green' for C-Sec while actually helping good people against bad people was in the 'red'.

Who knew.

It had seemed it was easier to take of people and put bad guys away while in the military, not so much C-Sec. It really felt like the opposite.

Not even a second later the door opened slamming into the opposite wall. The big burly body broke through the space and came hurdling towards her.

"Aren't you supposed to be breaking legs, kicking asses and taking names or something?! Not sitting behind some fucking desk!"

Shepard hated that he was right, nothing felt worse than sitting behind a desk while bad people were out on the loose. C-sec seemed to have two rules for doing something right and four-thousand rules on what to do wrong.

The current cases she had been working seemed to prove this point perfectly. With each case she closed up, it seemed the walls only got more constricting, including a large case she was currently working on. Nothing more upsetting than not being able to get out there and take care of things.

The Krogan standing before her desk slammed his hands down on her desk, rattling her desk lamp. In the same moment, she had known what was going to happen. She had already placed her hands on the neat piles of paperwork she had just laid out.

We are not having a repeat of last week.

"Wrex, is there something I can help you with?" She urged his hands off the desk and glared at him.

"OH, I'm scared. Might even make a pyjack go running with a look like that!" He lifted his hands away and began to move closer to her on the right side of her desk. She moved to stack up her files and put them away, wouldn't want the mad Krogan to blow through and destroy all that she has been working on in seconds.

He grunted and moved to her side lifting up her chair and dumping her out onto the floor.

"We can make this work." He moved her chair off to the side away from her.

"Wrex? What are you doing?"

She watched from her position on the floor as he rearranged the chair on the opposite side of her desk.

Shepard was alerted with an incoming call from her omnitool, she stared at it seemingly more interested in Wrex at the second. Wrex moved back over and stood next to her and grunted when she didn't move from the position he dumped her in.

"Just trying to get you one step closer to the door, doesn't seem to be working."

She sighed and answered the vid call, Officer Bailey. Even with food poisoning he never stops to check in on them.

"Bailey, how's the food poisoning treating you? Was it the sushi place again?" Bailey scoffed and proudly straightened his back.

His light blond hair turning more and more white with each passing day. The dark circles under his eyes would be the only telling factor that he wasn't doing well.

"It will be the last time I eat there, yes. Shepard? Do you mind telling me what I'm looking at?" She moved the vid closer and could see in the little view box what he was looking at and she quickly stifled a laugh.

Wrex shook his hips in front of the vid before Shepard switched it back over to her face. Wrex spoke up making sure Bailey could hear him. "Got a good look Bailey? I don't do shows often for free."

Bailey put his hand on his forhead and rubbed it and sighed, "I see it’s just a normal day at the office and the only thing I'm missing is Wrex's balls waiving around the precinct."

Shepard nodded in the camera. "Not much happening at all."

Wrex had turned his back the conversation and began picking at her weapons locker attempting to break in. She’d reinforced it from the last time he’d broke into it. It was like he did it for fun. Him digging into things usually had no purpose.

Bailey broke her concentration on Wrex's manhandling of her weapons locker. "Any updates on the case?"

She shook her head. "No, I need access to Port 19. I've checked every port and nothing has what I'm looking for." Bailey crossed his arms.

She could see how unwell he was feeling. Bailey was looking older these days, vid calls did not do his youth any favors either. Wrinkles outlining his eyes were continually getting more severe each time she saw him. Food poisoning certainly helped nothing.

"You know Port 19 is special access only, Spectre's port there, there is no way I can get access to such data." A squealing noise broke her attention from Bailey, bringing her back to the Krogan in the room.

Wrex had ripped open the metal gun locker and was now playing with her Sniper Rifle, one that she’d modded months ago.

Wrex did always have great taste, she’d named that Rifle, Baby. From some quote from some old earth vid. 'No one put's baby in the corner.' Funny cause she always put Baby in the corner.

Bailey rubbed at his eyes on the vid and spoke. "Not even going to ask what that was."

She glanced back down to the floor then back up to Bailey. If Spectre clearance is what she needs, she should sweet talk some Spectre into giving it to her or something. She thought about it for a second before shaking the idea off.

No there's a reason that they are Spectres and hiding information is what they are good at. Probably wouldn’t even be logged anyway.

"Besides Shepard, I sent the last report that you sent me on the case, higher up in command in hopes we can get some help with these missing people's reports and such. Hopefully, we can get some granted access where we want to be looking.. "

"I just want to help, there's a total of twenty exactly the same abductions, there's no way that it's not a coincidence... no way... even if they are all different races. I think the same thing is happening here. They... well all the medical records were precarious and.."

"Shepard... I know it's hard moving from where you were in the military to having a job where more or less a stapler is just as good as a gun. Don't discourage yourself... I'll be calling tomorrow. Keep yourself up, young one."

He ended the vid call just as a shot rang out nearby, it had sounded like it came from outside the precinct but she couldn’t be sure. Shepard glanced to Wrex.

"Wasn't me." Wrex glanced to the door and began to move towards it. Shepard followed and pulled her gun from her holster. They both slinked down the hall quietly. It was late enough that the only one here would be Jenkins, at least until the second crew came in.

Wrex pressed out into the front office. "Shit. Shepard. Look." Shepard quickly followed him around the corner before laying her eyes on a  young Asari leaning against the wall. She held her stomach tightly. Her hand and shirt were covered in blood.

Shit. What the hell?

Shepard quickly found a rag that could help hold the Asari together, and brought it to her. Shepard pressed the rag into the Asari's wound, taking her hand and placing it over the Asari's.

"Wrex, where's Jenkins?" Wrex moved over to the front window taking a glance out. "Coming right in, Shep."

Jenkins came in through the front door gun drawn. "Shepard, Oh thank god, I thought I was alone."

"Ambulance, now Jenkins." Jenkins nodded quickly skittering over to the phone to make the call.

Shepard glanced back to the Asari and both of their bloodied hands holding her together. "What's your name?"

The Asari's hands were shaking, trying to push harder into the wound. Shepard only hoped she wasn't going into shock. Shepard looked at her and glanced back down to their hands.

"Hang in there, stay with me, okay?" The Asari gave a slight nod trying to keep herself aware. Shepard glanced over to Jenkins who had finished the call and stepped away from the desk. He moved closer to Wrex who was still guarding the door.

"Five minutes, Captain, they'll be here in five." Shepard nodded to Jenkins and turned her attention back to the wary Asari.

"Do you know what happened?" The Asari shook her head and looked down to their hands then up to the ceiling, letting out a rattling breath. "Can you tell me anything?" The Asari again shook her head and let out a groan.

"Only a few more minutes, hang in there. The hospital is very close. They should be here in no time." The Asari nodded and struggled to find a position that more comfortable.

What in the world had happened? Why wasn't the Asari willing to talk? What was the gunners motive? Who was she?

She heard an uncomfortable moan come from the Asari, Shepard pressed her hand a little harder to ensure the blood flow slows a little more.

She does not need an Asari bleeding out in the C-Sec lobby. "If I tell.... you..... they'll come for me again..." After the Asari spoke, her chest heaved with a deep breathe and her eyes shut for a moment.

Shepard whispered to her. "You'll make it... just hang on." Emergency lights filtered their way through the window and commotion began outside. A Turian and Asari emergency medical team relieved Shepard and moved the Asari to the hospital in record time.

Shepard went and rinsed off her hands, quickly washing the blood away. She moved to her office and sent an email to a patrol to send a guard to keep watch on the Asari. Best not to take the Asari's word for nothing at this point. After all, she had been shot and this was now a pending investigation.

She grabbed a datapad and moved back out into the lobby.

"Well Shepard, I'm going to go before I become some sort of accessory to this crime, maybe I'll run into the bad guy and show him how to really fuck someone up." Wrex exited the building leaving just her and Jenkins. Jenkins moved to sit at his desk, still looking a bit perturbed by the whole situation.

"Jenkins, you alright?"

He nodded solemnly. "I don't even know what just happened." He glanced over to the corner were the Asari had lie just moments ago. The area was still covered in blood. Jenkins shook his head to clear his thoughts. A cleaning crew would be here very soon to take care of this.

Shepard pulled up her datapad and took a few pictures just in case they were needed to appeal the higher ups. Not that it mattered, they probably wouldn’t do anything about it.

"She's going to be alright, I'm sure." He nodded to himself as he spoke the words, trying reaffirm them with himself.

Shepard nodded too to confirm his reaffirmation and maybe to ease his mind.

Jenkins probably hasn't seen anything like this. He was far too green on the field to see an Asari nearly bleed to death.

Shepard on the other hand had seen more than her fair share of blood and death from when she was in the military. This was nothing new for her.

Hopefully, the Asari will be okay under surveillance. Shepard still felt hesitant about the whole thing.

The Asari had done little to answer any questions. Who was the bad guy here? Why did she make the comment earlier. 'They'll come for her again.' Who?

Shepard knew what her next move was. Find out information from the Asari on who did this to her.

Her next step was to get to the hospital and pay the Asari a visit.

Well, maybe after she’s done bleeding to death.

Chapter Text

The Council chambers clean and white with an antiseptic feel to them. Much like a hospital, in fact this entire area of the Citadel felt that way. Garrus spent little time on the Citadel, if they docked, usually Palavan or one of the many sub stations out in the traverse. Garrus was only here to see Sparatus. He and Garrus had been speaking back and forth for a few months now.

His attention was drawn back to the present, well, to the two dumb-asses who were whispering like school kids to each other next to him. Something about the receptionist, that's what he caught out of the bumbling. If I can hear it what makes you think she can't.

Garrus immediately turned to the two of them. "Hey, do either of you think before you speak?" Lilihierax and Chellick both turned to Garrus offering him a glare. It was probably Chellick who started this conversation, he's the one who's always been partial to women. More like sleeping with women and never talking to them again, but he wasn't one to judge.

Chellick leaned over to Garrus and let out a small group of words. "Watch me." Chellick picked himself up, practically sauntered over to reception desk, and leaned over the front of it. The Female receptionist moved herself closer to the desk on her side, giving him a flirty flare of her mandibles and what sounded like a chirp. Oh she's in it for good now.

The chamber doors to Sparatus's office opened, revealing the large office. "Vakarian. Sorry about the wait. Come in." Sparatus didn't bother with a salute nor a greeting. He tended to forget these politicians were barely considered Turian. It wasn't his first run in with Sparatus and most certainly wouldn't be his last, well... he hoped.

Garrus wasted no time moving into the chambers, hearing the door shut behind him. "Got yourself some moral support out there?" Best not to play into the Coucilor's games. Garrus gave him a nod and was led across the room to a small sitting area of about 6 seats.

"Right, so.... Vakarian. The hierarchy has taken notice in your commendable record and your outstanding service. I, and quite a few other hierarchy appointed officials, have place your name forward as next possible Spectre.

Here it is, even though he's known about the opportunity, it didn't make it any less real that it was happening right now. He hadn't said a word to his father about it and his father hadn't said a word to him about it. He could only imagine it had crossed the Admiral's desk once or twice. His father will be proud.

They both sat down into the soft chairs, the Councilor taking the seat diagonal from Garrus. "Vakarian, did you hear me?"

"Yes, right, I'm honored to have the opportunity." Garrus sat up in the chair he was sitting in while the Councilor opted for a more slouched position, crossing his foot over his left knee. He pulled up his omnitool and punched a few things in.

"Nihlus will be watching over the next mission you are sent on, he will be judging your field work while we will judge your outcomes." The councilor closed out his omnitool and sat up on his seat. "If at any moment he believes you're unfit. Which I doubt will be, we will conclude Nihlus' time aboard your ship and you will continue with the hierarchy."

The councilor looked to Garrus, holding his mandibles tight across his cheeks. "Try not to let us down. We are all vouching for you." Garrus stood and held out a hand to the Councilor, Sparatus looked at the offending hand for a moment, then stood meeting the hand with his.

"Nihlus is already aboard the Cipritine?" Sparatus nodded taking his hand back as if he touched fire. These damn politicians are all weird. "Again, do not let us down. You will be yet another Spectre that the Turians can call their own. The option before you was a human." He sneered slightly, Garrus wouldn't have even noticed it if it weren't for a low hum that came from deep down in his tone. "Like I said, I'm glad the offer was extended to you."

Sparatus turned to move to the back of the room, waving Garrus off. "One more thing, get those idiots away from my receptionist." Garrus turned on his heel and headed out the door, having it shut behind him. He glanced straight to the reception. Of course. Li and Chellick were both hanging around the receptions desk flirting with the female Turian. He gave both their crests a pull, dragging them slightly back.

Chellick and Li both stroked the crest on their heads trying to sooth the pain. "Garrus, what gives? Did the stick get further shoved up your ass?". Li demonstrated the picture with his hands, making a hole with one and a said stick with the other, shoving the stick into the hole. Garrus rolled his eyes and began moving out of the chambers. "Let's go, Nihlus is already on the Cipritine."

The three made their way back to the ship and climbed aboard. As the Councilor had mentioned, Nihlus was already on board in the C.I.C. He was more than likely taking advantage of catching up with the crew, Nihlus had served as Commander of the Cipritine before he had.

Garrus stepped forward saluting Nihlus, the Spectre returned the salute instantly. "Nihlus sir, can we help you?" Nihlus flashed a smile at them and made a smirk with his mandibles. He knew Garrus was being coy.

"Well Vakarian, It seems you run a tight ship, all work no play. Maybe loosen up a little bit?" Nihlus grinned at the three of them.

Chellick stepped away from them moving across the C.I.C. while Li stepped towards Nihlus. "Nihlus help! He's no fun and he knows it." Nihlus put his hand down on Li's shoulder, telling him not to worry with out saying it.

"Welcome aboard the TSF Cipritine again, hope you find it to your liking."

"I think this will be great to be aboard the last major cruiser I served on. It's been years." He glanced around the C.I.C. clearly reliving memories. "I remember when I broke the Galaxy map, the req. officer was after me for a week. Turns out a toothbrush does more than brush teeth."

Nihlus nodded to Garrus signalling his preparedness. "I wouldn't mind getting going, we will be taking care of a small task I have for the Council. Admiral Vakarian will be sending us off, where did he run off too?" Glancing around not seeing him anywhere. Nihlus quickly spoke to the Yeoman having him make an announcement to find the Admiral.

A few minutes later the Admiral stumbled out into the C.I.C. from the elevator. "Apologies, I was taking a quick trip down memory lane. Seems they moved the bathrooms from when I last served here..." Castis moved towards his son, setting a hand on his shoulder. "Was just stopping in to see the weasel of a Councilor, figured I check out the ship I served on back in the day."

Chellick spoke up. "Wasn't that like 400 years ago?" Garrus stiffled a laugh and Castis turned to glare across the C.I.C. at Chellick. "I see Chellick is still around even after boot camp." Chellick had been there since the beginning, he and Garrus had gone through every program since boot camp together.

Nihlus moved forward trying to break the eye contact that Castis was sending Chellicks way. "Castis, let's send off Garrus and get a move on here."

Castis turned back to his son giving him a look that could only be read as proud. "Garrus, I'm proud of you, just want you to know that. We'll see you when you port again."

He shook Garrus's hand again and quickly embraced him. Garrus pulled back slightly shocked. He did not get hugs from his father, ever. The last embrace he received from his father was when his mother passed. "Your mother would be immensely proud, Garrus. Just make sure you don't run off and join her spirit before I can."

Garrus chuckled and allowed his mandibles to flare, showing a wide smile to his father. His father turned and made his way off the ship only to turn as he hit the door. "I hereby pass the TSF Cipritine to Spectre Nihlus Kyrik and his discretion."

He smiled and left the ship with a wave to Garrus, signaling the opportunity to leave and begin his peer-viewed mission with Nihlus.

Nihlus looked at the C.I.C. tapping a few things into the mission board. "Our first mission will be Eden Prime."

Chapter Text

Shepard made her way to the hospital, the citadel was quiet, very quiet. The night shift had fell over the presidium, giving some semblance of night.

Shepard was used to the false nights on the Citadel, having been aboard ships for most of her life, they came hand in hand. During her boot-camp days, she was able to be based on a few planets, she learned to appreciate a sunrise and a sunset. The real thing was nothing compared to these false lights, it was something she wished to see again one day.

Shepard turned a corner coming up to Huerta Memorial Hospital in hopes that the Asari would be ready to be seen and out of surgery. Shepard was surprised the Asari had hung in there for so long. She certainly lost a good amount of blood, the floor of the office certainly had seen better days.

Shepard moved through the halls quietly after receiving the room number for the Asari. She took a elevator up with another nurse who was getting off on a lower floor. After the nurse left the elevator, Shepard road up to the 32nd floor by herself and couldn't help but look at her reflection in the mirrored walls of the elevator.

She could see the little wisps of hair that were falling out of the bun on top of her head. Since she came back from boot-camp she'd been hesitant to cut it, she enjoyed wearing her hair longer, it reminded her of her mother. When she was younger her mother would brush her hands through hair telling her how much she loved it. How much she wished her hair could grow like hers. She could remember the day she left for boot-camp and had to cut her hair above hair shoulders. Her mother cried from the day she left to the day she came back from boot camp. The elevator ding broke her attention, opening its doors.

She strutted out of the elevator, making her way down the hall. A older, slow looking man guarded the Asari's door. He was clearly more interested in his datapad than what was going on the hall, he jumped when Shepard came to stand next to him.

"I'd pay attention if I were you, not really sure what kind of security issue she could be." It was a warning, she only hoped he got the message. "Ma'm." He brushed off the remark, taking a stretch. "Mind if I get a coffee?" Shepard responded to his lack of enthusiasm, she gets it. She really did, it was late, it was last minute, not much to do. But she was here and present, maybe the only difference between them was she cared.

"Should make it a double shot if I were you." He gave her nod, picked up his data pad and shuffled off.

Shepard pushed into the hospital room. She was greeted by the smile of a Salarian nurse marking some notes onto a data pad. "Evening, you must be Shepard. We ask that you don't bother her until she is awake. She's experienced a bit of trauma." Shepard gave her a quick nod. "Won't be a problem." The nurse dropped the data pad into the holder at the end of her bed, taking her leave.

Shepard glanced at the chair in the corner next to a window, definitely won't be as comfortable as a bed. It will do. She sat down sent out a few messages through her omnitool. Shepard quickly found herself drifting in and out of sleep, it had been a long day. Though she she couldn't help but think she would have an even longer day ahead of her tomorrow.

 

 

Shepard awoke to some shuffling from across the room. She opened her eyes, leaning forward in the seat. She wasn't ready for the light outside the window to assault her tired eyes. She rubbed at her eyes trying push the sleepiness out of her head. She could see a nurse speaking quietly to the Asari. Good she was awake.

Shepard stood up from her chair near the window, picking up a foldable one. She settled the chair off to the side and took a seat. "Morning. How are you feeling?"

"Like shit." She struggled to move into a more upright position. "Why are you here? Aren't you breaking some kind of regulations?"

"I'm sure I may here about it, yes. Though your well-being is at the front of my mind regardless."

The Asari gave a barely noticeable eye roll, glancing to the nurse. "I'm fine, thank you." The nurse gave a gentle nod to both of them and shuffled out of the room.

The Asari crossed her arms, trying to be disappointed. At least she looked better than she did last night, her lavender coloring was resurfacing showing her true colors again.

"Don't you have other things to do?" Shepard crossed her arms disappointed in the Asari's lack of cooperation, this will be harder than she thought.

"You mean things like saving a girl's life, whom was shot on the streets of the presidium? Couldn't imagine a better use of my time." Real smooth Shepard.

The Asari looked to the television on the far wall. She took a moment before speaking again. "Do you have some sort of hero complex or something?"

Shepard leaned forward, resting her elbows on her knees and resting her head on her hands. Shepard hunched over looking as disarming as she could. "If I did, would that allow me to help you?"

"You know, this would affect you too. I'm not the only one they are after." Shepard gave her a small smile.

"I would dare them to come after me." I'd like to see them do that, if only it could be that easy.

"You wouldn't say that when they are at your door. I said the same and look what happened to me." The Asari settled her hands in front of her in her lap and Shepard sat up straight doing the same. "You really should leave, a C-Sec agent is nothing for them."

Shepard looked down to her hands. Tracing a tiny scar that ran up from the palm of her hand to half way up her forearm. "Do you remember the Battle of Akuze? Where the N7 team was decimated in a field mission?" The Asari turned her head to make eye contact with Shepard, squinting her eyes a little. Recognition flashed across her face. The incident was not hidden from the public, the funerals had been publicized on the vids for weeks.

The investigation went on for months after she was back. Everyone, everywhere knew about Akuze. She had to stand there among the fallen, next to her Admirals, as they posthumously offered each of the fallen Palladium Stars for Valor. It was one of the hardest things she had ever done, harder than surviving Akuze.

"You're Jane... Jane Shepard?"

"Most call me Shepard, in fact everyone does. Everyone but my mother."

"Did you.... You left the Alliance?"

Shepard stretched her neck by rolling it back and forth, working the kinks out her sore neck. Maybe sleeping in the chair wasn't the best idea. "When you leave and something like happens and you come home to a sick mother. You decide maybe... maybe this is the best option. I can help people here too and stay with my very sick mother..." Shepard stood up and walked over to the window looking out across the Presidium. She could see the area much more crowded then when she had arrived. She watched people busily moving around getting work done.

Taking a deep breath she continued. "I left because I thought making a difference at all was good enough anywhere I go, though I think I've ran into too many walls here... on the Citadel." Shepard turned to the Asari, settling into the chair by her again. "Sometimes it feels like there's more stopping me from getting the job done than actually helping me to get the job done." Quiet blanketed the room for a few moments.

"You really think you can help me?"

"I hope and want to, yes."

"My name is Alesseo P'loa" Shepard nodding turning her full attention to Alesseo.

"My best friend, Laari, she's a scientist. She was taken by them."

"Who was them?" Shepard typed into her datapad quickly.

"The company is called 'Exo-Genetic Scientific Solutions'. She's been missing, they took her, we have to help her." She leaned forward towards Shepard wincing in pain but still continued to move closer. "You might actually be someone who could stand up to them, though I'm not sure the company is still here on the Citadel."

"How did your friend get involved?" Alesseo leaned back from the uncomfortable position she was in. She settled herself on the pillows behind her, and began to play with her hands.

"She was studying genetics or something. She was offered a position, which she denied. Some one had reached out to her, some old teacher she said or something." Tears began to well up in her eyes as she spoke. "She's never hurt anyone Shepard, no one. She just wanted to help people." Her tears broke across her bottom lashes and began to streak down her cheeks turning them a dark lavender.

"I think she was forced into it, or something. She's like a sister, what if they took others? Shepard..." Shepard sat back in her chair reaching for a tissue to pass to Alesseo. "They came after me last night, I don't know if Laari is okay. Her usual email wasn't sent.. so i started snooping on the extranet and what not. I'm so lucky I ran, how did they find me?." She wiped her eyes again and took a deep breath settling herself.

"Thank you for last night, Jenkins... you called him that I think. The guy at the front desk. He chased the pursuers away."

Shepard grinned. Jenkins didn't seem like the type to run towards a gunman, seemed dumb now to think he would do that. Maybe he's the one with a hero complex.

Alesseo settled her hands in her lap. "That's really all I know. I can't help but feel it's not enough, after saying all this."

Shepard shook her head. "This is exactly what I needed, can I know when your friend disappeared?"

"Probably about 3 months ago? I have the exact date on my omnitool." She picked up her wrist to make an attempt at opening her omnitool which wasn't there. She glanced at Shepard and stifled a slight giggle. "I feel really dumb, it's at home."

Shepard nodded and stood up, "Do you mind if a take a look? At your house? I know it's a little personal but maybe there's more that was missed. I can get your omnitool too." Alesseo nodded.

Shepard gathered her things. Giving her her extranet address in case anything happens in the meantime. Shepard had made a promise to come see her as soon as she was done and bring her her omnitool.

Shepard left the hospital room quietly, shutting the door. She looked down to see the same guard with his head hung low.

Shepard lifted her foot up and kicked his chair, skidding it across the floor with the guard still in it. The man nearly fell out of seat. "What the Fuck?!" Too rough? No.

Shepard walked past him. "If you can't do the job, I'll have someone else do it for you. Stay on Guard."

The man grumbled and skated the chair back to the door. "Ma'am."

Shepard made her way down the hallway. Just do your job.

She made it back to the elevator, stepping inside, letting the elevator carry her down to the bottom floor. She glanced down at her omnitool reading the time 11:15 AM.

She was met with her reflection once again on the mirrored wall. Focusing in on her eyes, dark circles were beginning to form underneath her eyes. She would need to get some proper sleep soon, but not before she makes it to Alesseo's apartment.

Chapter Text

The shuttle descended down onto Eden Prime, winding it's way though the atmosphere. The shuttle ride was filled with looks between Chellick, Li, Garrus, and Nihlus. Garrus had a feeling they were all thinking the same thing. What are we doing here on Eden Prime?  A human colony, not really something that would be under their jurisdiction. Garrus couldn't help but think this whole situation was.. irregular.

Most Humans and Turians still didn't get along and he couldn't help but feel like some toes might get stepped on. Nihlus had briefed him on the mission. Seemed straight forward. A Council protected artifact needed recovery. Keep the place in tact and return with the artifact mission done.

But why weren't the humans taking care of it?

What was really happening down there that involved Spectre involvement?

Did Nihlus really know what to expect here? I sure don't.

Garrus always kept himself ready for anything in a situation like this. Seems like the Council or Nihlus might be hiding something about this mission. 

Garrus shook his head to himself breaking the thoughts that were running through his head. Time to focus.

A few moments later, the shuttle shifted, bumping into the ground as it settled into the dirt making a soft landing. Garrus nodded to the team signalling them to move out of the shuttle, Garrus led the front of the pack, Nihlus following up from behind. This should be much easier with the four of them, Nihlus had mentioned he wanted to drop down by himself and meet up together in the Colony. Garrus quickly shot down the idea expressing his disinterest in the idea, what ever is down here, it's best we face it all together.

The moved through the rolling hills, guns trained forward. It was safe to assume why so many Humans had settled here. While Garrus had never been to Earth, this seemed like a close second. The vids they show on the extranet, make planet earth look, volatile. Way too cold in some spots and way to hot in others.  

The four Turians reached the settlement without so much as an animal movement through the hills. They reached the research dig site, taking cover behind a near by rock pile. 

"Nihlus, is the artifact supposed to be here? Looks like a dig site." Nihlus was crouched down next to him. "I supposed the Colony workers moved it to a better location? I was told it would be here." He readied his assault rifle. "I would prepare for resistance, things aren't going as planned."

Garrus glanced over to Chellick and Li who were ducked down adjacent to Garrus. Chellick spoke into the com. "You got it. We are ready."

They proceeded past the dig sight coming into view of the full colony. Near the edges of that colony movement could be seen. "We've got movement, 2 o' clock. Garrus what does it look like?"

Garrus pulled his rifle off his back, moving the scope into his view. He scoped out the area, looks like.. "Humans..?"

Li chuckled a little. "Alert the news, I had no idea we would see Humans here."

Garrus continued to zoom his scope in, this doesn't look like Colony security. Looks like something else, he could see roughly seven men looking like they were keeping guard. "They are guarded, hostile or not, I'm not sure. They don't look like they belong here."

"Let's move closer, don't give away your positions." Nihlus was the first to move down the hill toward the settlement, keeping himself in cover as he went. Garrus followed up the rear right behind Chellick. Nihlus moved to a rather far away position from the last spot of cover, making a quick run for it. The Garrus, Chellick, and Li were all still about 50 feet away from the covered position. 

"I'll cover you guys, you move." He pulled up his rifle keeping a close eye on the men at the settlement who still seemed not to notice them. Li moved first making it across way without so much as a glance from the Humans. Observant bunch. Garrus had never directly worked with Humans, he knew them to be a little more guarded and careful. These guards were not.

Chellick moved over making his way across the gap. A shot rang out in the distance, echoing in the hills. Whistling as it made impact with Garrus's armor. Or lack of armor. The shot had perfectly hit him in the arm right below his shoulder armor and his gauntlets sitting on his forearm. Garrus quickly ducked behind the cover and looked to his arm. Despite the burning sting, it wasn't that bad. There were more pressing issues, like the gun fire that began to ring out between both groups.

Nihlus spoke into the com. "We've got Geth and it looks like hostile Human involvement. Not sure what that means, but it can't be good." Garrus righted himself, readying his rifle again. He peered through line of sight, focusing where the first shot had came from. He could see a Human with a black fringe in a black armor, different from all the others. The Human quickly moved away from the shots being fired towards them, moving further into the colony moving out of sight.

Garrus focused on on the last enemy shooting, focusing in for head shot. His rifle rang out as it fired, hitting the Geth head making it burst into a bunch of technology pieces which flew in several different directions.

"We are clear, let's move." The moved towards the colony were they were met with resistance. Garrus climbed the steps carefully still guarded, wherever that Human ran off to could only mean more enemies.

"Nihlus and Li, quick check 9 and 3, are we clear?" The both moved apart to their respective corners.

"Garrus, what is this?" Garrus turned to Chellick to see him inspecting one of the human bodies. The human armor was white decorated with orange. He knew that emblem from somewhere. He crouched down to his knee inspecting the armor.

"Cerberus." Nihlus was next to him in a second.

"Cerberus? As in that pro-human company... or affiliation ... or whatever they call themselves." Nihlus nodded and stood moving back over to the corner he had preoccupied. "This is not what was expected. We need to move, they must be here for the artifact."

They began to make their way through the colony, being met with Geth and Cerberus resistance along the way. Garrus wasn't sure what to think about this whole thing, Cerberus here? With Geth no less. What was this artifact?

Moving as a cohesive team through the colony they took down each obstacle with ease until they got to a vantage view point in front of them. A large bridge. Moving across the bridge, they glanced down below and off to the right Garrus noticed some movement. As quickly as he saw the movement, he saw light reflect off what looked to be a sniper rifle. Garrus hollered into their coms.

"Down. Sniper!" Just as he spoke a shot rang out. Not even noticing he was making movement toward Chelleck, he quickly shoved Chelleck down and heard the shot ring off his armor. "Damn. Garrus?..."

"Garrus?"... Seconds after hitting the ground on his already hurt arm, the wound screamed as he fell on it. 

"I'm fine, how about we stop letting me get shot?"

Li shook his head from his cover. "You know if you didn't have your own magnetic pull, it would help." That's Li, never too late to crack a horrible joke.

Chellick nodded to Garrus. "Thanks for watching my back." Garrus nodded back to him sitting up in the space behind cover. The had vantage were they were, they could take care of these enemies quickly.

Chelleck moved to shoot along side Garrus. "You need some medigel?"

"We can worry me when we are back on the ship." Chelleck began to ring out a few shots towards the enemies, taking down two quickly. They worked through the enemies without struggle.

The bridge they were currently perched on moved towards an interior corridor. Garrus moved over having seen some movement with in from the outside. He checked out the area only to see same guy who had shot him booking it down the hall with alarming speed. Biotic.

"We've got a Biotic. Left corridor. Moving away." Garrus focused in his rifle to the movement and attempted a shot. The pain in his arm rang out as the shot fired, not allowing the rifle to settle the shot.

"Spirits... missed."

"Getting old, Vakarian?" Garrus turned around a reloaded the rifle before they move on. When they get back to the ship his opting to have Li's vocal cords cut.

Nihlus stood, moving to stand in front of Garrus. Nihlus out stretched his hand patting Garrus's opposite hurt arm. "How's the shoulder?"

"I've had worse. We should follow were ever that human was going."

Nihlus took stock of Garrus's current health, determining he would be fine. He began moving through the corridor, leading the group through the corridor.

Arriving out on a balcony that had stairs attached the lower level, they all hunched along the stairs and balcony sides, hiding them from what looked to be a large group of enemies. In the distance a enemy cruiser could be heard incoming.

"Any one got a view?"

Li who was at the top hidden on the balcony peeked over. His rifled moved as he gazed at what was happening below. "We've located the artifact, heavily guarded Geth and Cerberus. Garrus your man that got away, looks to be the leader of this little group." Garrus readied himself while Chelleck and Nihlus did as well. "We've got 3 snipers, 2 heavy mechs, and a bunch of soldiers."

Garrus quickly peered over the railing. The group looked to be securing what look to be pylon of some sort.

"Nihlus, that our artifact?" Nihlus peered over the balcony taking stock of the situation.

"Yes, we have to move. They cannot end up in their hands."

The team settled in their positions and began to take out the enemies, moving through the soldiers on the ground. The heavy mechs looked to be unmanned at this point, something they wouldn't have to worry about for now.

Garrus let out a slight hiss as he made each shot. The railing helped with the impact of his gun but not enough.

"Let's switch, Garrus take point, take out those snipers." Li moved down to swap him positions. Despite being the type to crack a joke in the middle of some heat on the battlefield, Li cared about the well being of his allies. Something that had made him a strong asset on the battlefield.

Garrus swapped Li. Li had nowhere near a good enough sniper rifle to take out the enemy snipers, they were perched precariously on a nearby roof ridge. Thy switched and Garrus made quick work of each of them, this position was much easier on his arm as well.

The enemy Cruiser came to settle above the artifact, the bottom opened up, releasing cables. Cables that seemed strong enough to claps to the artifact and carry it away. Garrus had allowed the cruiser to distract himself, the heavy mechs were now manned and coming to life.

"We gotta get under better cover!"

"Back into the corridor now." Quickly shuffling in back into the corridor they had come from, this position offered so much more cover for what was about the happen.

The mechs little out a sigh signalling the pressure in the guns being released, they were ready to fire. There would be no way they could attempt a shot, well, not until the guns over heat or they ran out of bullets.

From their positions in cover they could hear the clattering of the bullets ringing off of the corridor walls, what were these walls made of? Bullet proof metal?

A few large booms rang out against the wall they were leaning on. Rockets from the heavy mechs were being fired.

"Good thing we moved."

"What is the corridor made of? Garrus's love life? Nearly impenetrable, isn't it." 

The shots let up, allowing Garrus to peer out. He took stock of the mechs cooling down and preparing for another assault. If they were smart they wouldn't have both fired at the same time. So typical of Humans. They really just fire at everything as fast as they can don't they.

He saw the cool down period as his chance to at least take care of one of them. He quickly crouched down behind the balcony wall, which now barely stood.

"Vakarian, hope you know what you're doing..."

He quickly loaded the rifle in his hands and settled it across the rail. He positioned it quickly and focused in on the pilot in the mech to the right.

He focused in through his scope and took a deep breath, letting the round free from the chamber of the gun. The shot pierced right through the mechs pilot glass, hitting the man sitting behind the controls, perfectly. Who's getting old now?

He saw the other mech seconds from attack. He quickly turned and scurried, skidding in behind cover at the last moment. Nihlus grabbed his cowl pulling him to safety.

"Great shot, Vakarian." Garrus nodded trying to catch his breath from the quick sprint he had to make. 

More shots began to ring out against their cover. Garrus looked to his rifle seeing the chamber empty. He patted his ammo carrier on his side. Empty.

"I'm out of ammo." He looked to the others, none of them had ammo that could help nor a gun that could shoot through the mech glass.

Chellick took a quick glance out in the brief relief from the bullets. "They have the artifact 85% secured, We have maybe 5 minutes at best."

Garrus looked at Nihlus. What should they do. Should they attempt the barely there balcony for an assault? No, Cerberus could still get away. Should they rush when the Mech cools? No to that too.

"Nihlus, how badly do you think the council doesn't want this in Cerberus and Geth hands?"

"A hundred percent, I suppose. Why?"

"We've got one opportunity. Lets take it."

"If you think it's worth it." That's the part Garrus wasn't sure about. Was it worth it? They were certainly going to find out. Garrus patted his side searching, he pulled out a charge from his pack.

"Li, how good is your throwing arm? Unfortunately I can't throw worth a damn with my arm like this."

Li mustered up and lifted his arm pretending to show off. "Oh, I got this."

Garrus handed over a charge to Li, who was prepping his throwing arm, rotating it in circles.

Garrus spoke to the other two preparing them. "Chelleck, Nihlus cover us. Just in case"

They both nodded but Garrus couldn't help but notice the flash of concern cross over his face. Nihlus it's us and they get away with the artifact or it's them and they get nothing to take home. Garrus knew this was the best decision to make.

The Mech made squabbling noises signaling the overheating of the guns again. "Ready?"

"Garrus, you aren't about the blow up the..." A little late there Nihlus.

"Go!"

They moved as quickly back out onto the barely standing balcony, Li launched them perfectly to the right, right in between the mech and the pylon. Garrus shot off his pistol hitting the first charge perfectly, causing an explosion to happen right between the artifact and the mech. The mech's side was catching flames while the pylon looked barely together, too bad they need one more to take out the mech. It's going to leave to artifact in a million pieces.

The Cruiser began it's attempt to lift off and take the pylon with it regardless of it's state. Cerberus knew the threat was real enough to risk it. It began to shutter as the attempted to lift it. Tearing through the steel that it was bolted down into.

Garrus glanced at the mech struggling. "Li, another one!" Li tossed the charge perfectly again. Garrus's shot hit the charge causing the mech to catch up in complete flames.

"It's gonna blow!"

The mech overheated, causing an explosion sending the Turians flying back into the corridor. After a few more explosions later the action seemed to die down. 

"Ugh... is it over?" Chellick sat up.

Li lied there for a moment. "I can't believe you blew up the mission."

They each moved to get back up brushing themselves off. "I asked how badly the council would go to avoid the artifact ending up in Cerberus hands. I got the answer we needed."

Nihlus moved towards the littered battlefield, it appeared everything was destroyed including the artifact. It appeared the mech had also destroyed the cruiser that had bee trying to get away with the pylon.

The artifact was no longer a pylon but a thousand pieces littered among the battlefield. Nihlus let out a deep, disappointed sigh. The sigh concerned Garrus, did he just ruin his chances at being a Spectre?

"Let's see if anything is left." They began their survey of the battlefield.

The whirl of an engine caught Garrus attention and he shot his head to the right. There he saw the same Biotic Human man, who had been running from them earlier, the one who shot him. For the record he missed.

The character turned to him and saluted Garrus in cocky way, causing Garrus to grit his jaws. If only he hadn't ran out of bullets.

The Human jumped aboard the shuttle awaiting him, Garrus watched it rush out of the atmosphere, leaving them with no more enemies. The sting in his arm reminded him he was still injured. Later, still have things to take care of.

"Looks like the mission is done. Let's head to extraction."

Garrus couldn't help but think twice if he made the right decision. Nihlus certainly didn't assist with the unease Garrus was feeling about the conclusion of the mission. What would Nihlus call this mission. It wouldn't be a success, that's damn sure. Hopefully, it didn't mean that was all he'd see of the Spectre program.

He kicked a piece of the mech lying in the rubble, watching it roll down the cliff side. "Vakarian, ETA to extraction, two minutes. Let's move."

Chapter Text

"Wrex, where did you come from?"

"Shepard, you getting dumber by the day? My mother." He grunted in her direction. "I thought your were smarter than that." Shepard rolled her eyes as she strolled down towards the wards of the presidium heading to Alesseo's apartment. Smart ass She had somehow picked up Wrex along the way. She wondered some days if he had planted a tracker on her or something. He always magically seemed to know where she was at all times of the day. 

 

"No, how'd you know I was heading to the wards?" She had stopped to pick up something to eat in the markets below the wards when she had been intercepted by Wrex, made her buy him half the menu before she decided she had to take care of things at Alesseo's.

 

"You think I would let you go and have all the fun, you're dumber than I thought you were." A sigh escaped Shepard, he didn't exactly answer the question. Although, it wouldn't be too bad to have him tag along though. The station wouldn't be able to provide any back up, Wrex could definitely fill that purpose. Especially since she fed him what six grown men would've eaten down in the markets.

 

She turned down an alley and climbed a flight of stairs. After she had left the hospital, Shepard had made it to the station to see that Bailey hadn't made it in again. Which meant he was still fighting what seems to be the worse set of food poisoning known to man, all from some sushi. She felt bad for Bailey being cooped up at home, she knew he was itching to come back, the four calls a day said as much.

 

Since Bailey has been gone from the station, Shepard had been working double time. Not only was she taking care of her own cases and this new case from last night but also taking care of the station work that Bailey would do. She was thankful she had cleaned up and sent the needed reports to the higher-ups a day ago, offering her some time to get things done today.

 

"You ever sleep Shepard?"

 

"I slept a little last night."

 

"At the hospital...? Wouldn't count that as sleep. You're leaving yourself open." She glared at him, making a quick decsion to turn a corner pretending like she was trying to lose Wrex. He shows up out of no where and mocks her, she certainly hasn't had enough sleep to deal with his attitude.

 

"Getting slow Sheparddddd?" The way he enunciated her name turned the last part of her name into a growl.

 

She made a quick twist in her step turning to face Wrex, moving towards him, sizing him up.

 

"Wrex, if you fucking say one more wise ass thing, I swear I will shoot you in the balls."

 

He grunted, giving her a little shove. "Let's go we've got things to do." It appeared that he had taken the threat lightly, he hadn't though. He had gotten the message loud and clear. Wrex knew when she was kidding and definitely knew when she more than likely wasn't bluffing. This time around it wasn't a bluff.

 

Before they knew it they had arrived at the apartment, it wasn't that far from the station really. Maybe about five minutes away, though stopping for food and picking up a Krogan had definitely put a damper on her schedule. She had hoped to be done already.

 

Shepard climbed the stairs, moving to the correct floor. Both Alesseo and Laari lived here, well had lived here together. Though Shepard had some hesitations on what she might find. Well more like lack there of. Laari had been gone for months, surely anything that would lead in the right direction could've been cleaned up by now.

 

She looked at each door as she headed down the right floor. 32. 33. 34. "This is it, apratment 34."

 

"Bout time"

 

Happening onto the door, she glanced down to the key pad. Someone had fired a pistol into the key pad leaving the door loose and the key pad completely useless. Shepard slid her eyes to Wrex, taking her sidearm out of her he pants at her lower back.

 

"Move over Shep, I've been wanting to smash a few skulls." Wrex gave her a shove to the right and pushed the door open and led the way in, sure enough taking scope of the area. Shepard followed him in covering her trail through the entry way. Even though the key pad had been messed up it seemed the pursuer didn't make so much of a stir in Alesseo's home. She would have C-Sec do a full investigation at the apartment, just in case.

 

"Damn..... looks clear, been a while since I've gotten to fight someone, woulda been nice." He moved around the flat continuing his search. He's like a bear, that Krogan. Always looking for blood to spill.

 

"What are you looking for anyway, Shepard?" She looked around on the counter and in some drawers. Omnitool that's the focus, however Shepard hoped she could find more information other then when she disappeared. She wanted info like who was the teacher? Who did she have connections with? Were others she knew also being coerced into doing what ever Laari was being forced to do.

 

Shepard found little of interest while moving about the common room. The first bedroom seemed to be Laari's.

 

She entered into Laari's room taking stock of the contents. Science books all around, odd theory books on Protheans, and a made bed. She had quite the computer set up across her desk, Shepard shook the mouse hoping for the computer to flicker on.

 

While the system loaded, Shepard took pictures of the whole room, not sure if she might miss something now and catch it later on.

 

The computer signaled to life. Password, of course. Damn.

 

The computer would be useless with out a password. She left Laari's room making sure she had taken plenty of photos. Maybe Alesseo might know the password.

 

Shepard shut the door behind her, leaving the room as she found it. Shepard then moved into Alesseo's room, to hopefully find her omnitool. The room just as orderly as Laari's room, very few belongings aside from the basics.

 

She began her search for the omnitool by she looking through the dresser, nightstand, and desk. Nothing.

 

Shepard looked everywhere, under pillows and even under the bed. With her head shoved under the bed she shook her head, what did she do with her omnitool? Maybe should've asked Alesseo. A thought shifted through her mind. Alesseo was scared and said she'd been being followed, meaning she wouldn't hide in an easily found spot. The last place where a pursuer would look. Shepard sat up, glancing around the square room again, seeing the closet door ajar. Maybe there!

 

Shepard stood, moving over to the closet door, giving it a shove. There, attached to a hanger was the old school omnitool bracelet. Shepard nodding her head in silent agreement. Good enough hiding spot. Not bad at all. No one breakingin and in a rush for information would look in the closet. She unclasped the omnitool and put it into her pocket.

 

"Wrex, let's go." She heard him grunt from the hall, he was ready to go, already in the hallway.

 

She pulled the door closed after her, attempting to pull it shut, and proceeded down the hall with Wrex scuffling behind her. Making grunting noises, something about this being a waste of time.

 

"You know.. Wrex.... I'm starting to think you're in love with me... you have a thing for human girls?" She knew he didn't have a thing for her. The relationship between the two of them, was more like a brother/sister relationship. He knew she didn't need looking after but wanted to anyway and vise versa.

 

"He he, you'd like that wouldn't you?." He stood straight trying to show off about to give his 'I'm gonna let her down easy' speech. "The day I find your pyjack ass attractive enough to fuck is the day I decide to retire and become a brood mother." Shepard laughed and turned her head throwing him a smile.

 

"You know, believe it or not I still get drinks at the bar. I can't be as ugly as a pyjack."

 

Wrex pushed the apartment building door that opened out into the Presidium markets for her, and shut it behind himself. "You humans are emotional, squishy and can't drink worth shit. What good does that do. Can't believe anyone would buy a human a drink. Waste of money."

 

"Right Wrex.... right.... didn't you buy me a drink when we first met?" Wrex let out a laugh that seemed more a intended evil grunt then anything. He did buy her a drink, right after she head butted some guy at the bar. The two hit it off from there on out.

 

"Shepard, you're a little different. Still a pyjack yeah..." He shuffled next to her pushing another human out of the way to walk next to her. "but a pyjack that takes care of herself and headbutts drunk human men who can't keep their hands to themselves."

 

"You gotta take care of yourself. Wouldn't have wanted him doing that to someone else. We should go out again sometime." She smiled at him, noticing the distance he was beginning to put between himself and Shepard. He hates this touchy-feely stuff.

 

"This is getting too deep for me, I gotta go meet a guy for a thing." He shuffled off, waving to Shepard without even turning to face her. "See yah, Shep." and walked off.

 

Wrex has always been like that. Honestly, Shepard loved having him around. Always showing up when needed and disappearing in a moments notice. His usual occupations were bar fights, mod trading, black market transports, and bounty hunting work; his file was huge at the precinct. Would take nearly an entire file cabinet if all the documents were printed. Completely invaluable to have around. When they first met in the bar that first night, she didn't really think he would become one of the most stable things in her life. If she had been told that one of her best friends would be a trigger happy, Krogan, she would've laughed in the accusers face for a month straight.

 

He did make this whole C-sec thing worth it. Each time he was brought in, he would share vital info he knows in exchange for his freedom. Helped take care of some real bad guys. For every offense that brought him to the precinct, she would pardon him In exchange for information. Wrex knows the streets better than anyone on the citadel.

 

She knew it wasn't exactly legal, having a felon free by the gift of information. If her mother had found out that's how her cases came to be closed back then, she'd have killed Shepard herself.

 


Shepard returned to Alesseo's hospital room. Shepard was grateful to find the last C-sec guard gone and replaced. At least this one seemed to be paying attention. Shepard nodded to the new guard, introduced herself then let herself into Alesseo's room. Alesseo glance from the vids on the wall to Shepard as she walked in. "Hi Shepard, did you find my omnitool?!"

 

Shepard pulled the omnitool out of her pocket. "You picked a pretty good hiding place, I probably should've asked where it was before I left."

 

Alesseo smiled taking the omnitool away from Shepards hand, putting it onto his wrist. "I'm going to forward everything I have related to Laari, hopefully you can find something."

 

Shepard smiled, taking a seat in the chair next to her bed, it had felt like she had been on the move all day. Shepard glanced at the TV on the wall. Some news story covering a Cerberus attack on a human colony. The Colony ended up needing Council assistance. Kind of weird, isn't Cerberus pro human? Why attack a Human Colony?

 

Shepard heard her datapad ring with all the incoming information being sent from Alesseo's omnitool.

 

She noticed she had a new email as well. She popped open the app and looked at it. Anderson. Shepard took a deep breathe, I'll wait till I get home, can't fall apart in front of Alesseo.

 

She and Anderson were close, he over looked her service in the military and the N7 program. One of the best damn Admirals the Alliance has ever seen. He stood as a father figure when she had none.

 

Opening emails from him made her cautious, as much as he wanted her away from what happened on Akuze, he couldn't help but want her back where he could keep an eye on her.

 

"I sent over everything I have that pertains to Laari, school work, emails, hobbies and schedules. Everything. Please let me know if we can find her." Shepard took a glance through all the files. Quite a bit to go through but that just meant more opportunity to find out what happened.

 

"Perfect, I'll give you a call If I find anything. Let me know when you are discharged, I'll set up witness protection for a few months until we figure this all out. We need you safe." Shepard stood from her chair stretching her legs as she prepared to leave.

 

"If you get an email from Laari again, don't respond to it. It'll be safer for you. Send it to me or show me and we can trace it." Alesseo typed all the instructions Shepard gave her onto her omnitool.

 

"I won't forget any of this Shepard, thank you." Shepard gave her a smile and stood to leave.

 

"Alesseo, we'll find her." A smile plastered itself on the Asari's lips, it seemed to be the first sincere smile Shepard had earned from her.

 

"See you Shepard." Shepard gave her a small somber smile taking her leave. Shepard left the room making her way out of the hospital. She felt like she was running on fumes from the last two days. Though it seemed like there was still so much to get done, see what Anderson sent, check her other case, check the evidence that Alesseo had sent here. The list seemed endless, only adding to her exhaustion. She had to find something in the files sent to her, anything that can help. Laari might not have much time left out there.

Shepard took a shuttle back to her place from the hospital. Peering down at the seemingly long email sent from Anderson. Maybe she shouldn't open it. She bounced her head back in forth between her shoulders trying to think of any reason not to. The only thing she could come up with, was the emotions that might flow through her. It had been so long since she had heard from him, too long. Who knows what Anderson might throw her her way. She debated opening the message one more time. Just open it Shepard. 

 

 

Jane Shepard,

 

I can't help but check in on you every once and while. I know it's hard to think about you being out there figuring things out on your own.I'm sorry I haven't back to see you in a while.

 

I hope things are well and I want you to know you're not alone. I feel this need to check in on you every once and a while to ease the worry that makes it's way into my head and heart.

 

I worry about you and so do the others. I know you never had your father there for you, I'm not sure how you feel but I feel as if it's my duty to check in and make sure you are well and okay.

 

I want you to know, the Alliance still misses you and if one day I can reinstate you, it would be one of greatest things I could do with my power. Your N7 title is still preserved and waiting for you.

 

Spoke with Alec Ryder the other day, he'll be leaving the Alliance as well, going on some mission taking him away from the Milky Way. He asked me to wish you a Happy Birthday for the last two he missed and for all the future one's he may miss. I know he was your favorite director when you were in the N7's.

 

If at any point you ask, I will use all the power I have to bring you back, you were a damn good soldier and would've made an excellent leader. If I could have the chance to watch you from this side, I wouldn't be happier.

 

You know that ship they were building just after you left, they named it, "Normandy". I hear they will presenting it to the next Spectre, I hear it's possible it might be another Turian. Should've been you, regardless of what you think, you would have been an excellent Spectre.

 

You are truly the best humanity has, thriving in a place where I once failed.

 

This email wasn't supposed to get carried away and emotional, I know your birthday is an few weeks.

 

If I can't get a message to you just know there will be a present waiting on your doorstep.

 

So make sure you at least go home for that.

 

Kahlee asks about you all the time, I tell her you are well and taking care of yourself.

 

Hackett asks too, I tell him not to bother you. He too, would do anything to have you back with the Alliance.

 

Take care of yourself out there, Shepard. If you need anything ever. I will never deny your call and never will Kahlee. Just ask.

 

Take care, David.

 

Shepard wiped her cheeks from the tears that were streaked across her cheeks. She hadn't heard from Anderson since her mother passed away. She glanced down at the datapad again, before resting her head back against the seat. Her thoughts drifted off to the Alliance. Would she want to go back? Yes. But she has work here to finish, she couldn't leave Alesseo by herself and she certainly couldn't leave her other cases open ended. 

Shepard glanced out the front window of the cab noticing it was already docked outside her apartment. Shepard quickly wiped her eyes with her sleeves, readying herself for the outside world. Shepard pushed herself out of the shuttle at the bay and headed up the stairs to her apartment. As she ascended each step Anderson message weighed heavy on her, was she really making the right decision to stay? 

 

Chapter Text

"I can't believe believe you blew up the artifact! How irresponsible!"

Garrus stared at the hologram in front of him and Nihlus. Three councilors, three opinions, the reminders of what happened on Eden Prime was no where near a win.

"In what capacity would you think this be okay?!"

"This will most definitely affect your movement into the Spectres. Why should we even second guess this?"

The Salarian Councilor seemed the most upset, maybe hidden resentment, he was never the easiest to get along with. Nihlus didn't seem to get along with Valern either.

"We will brief you after we send the report on the mission, we'll see you at the Citadel." Nihlus hung the holo up and took a deep breathe easing it out as a sigh.

"Listen Nihlus, I can handle this on my own. I understand if..."

"Don't.." Nihlus shook his head and leaned against the console in front of him letting yet another sigh escape. "There isn't a thing I would've done different, I think you made the right decision. It is the same decision I would've made after all."

Garrus looked at him slightly shocked, flaring his mandibles. The remark blindsided him, the Spectre would stand aside him in failure.

"It's just about convincing the council this was the only decision."

He pushed off the console, straightening himself. "Get me a mission report and I'll look it over submit mine along side it."

Nihlus gave Garrus a handshake and exited the conference room, leaving Garrus alone. Was it truly the best decision to have made? Garrus couldn't see any other way out it, and save the artifact. Sacrificing themselves wouldn't have saved the mission either. He stared ahead where the holos of the Councilors had just been. He picked up his fist slamming it down on the systems in frustration, a burning sting seared down through his arm. He had forgotten about the wound. So easy to forget something so trivial to him at moment. He turned swiftly and moved to the infirmary to get taken care of.

"Armor off Commander." Doctor Giza was a friendly, young female Turian. Having served front lines before being moved to the Cipritine, she was still relatively new to ship life but it didn't seem to hinder her at all. She began to gather her tools on the opposite side of the room, prepping herself for what was to come.

He began to unlock the arm plates and breastplate of his armor, shoving them into a corner. Didn't matter about scuffing the armor, it was already beaten to hell. The blue's in his armor would need to be repainted and the scratches buffed out. The bullet seemed to have missed the armor and sank into his upper arm where his arm plating met softer skin.

He attempted and struggled with the left side of his arm armor. The same side as the wound which seemed to be increasing in intensity as the moments moved along. He was about to take care of things himself if she didn't hurry up.

"Doctor, might need a little help here."

Glancing over to Garrus she quickly moved over to assist him, unclasping the upper arm for him and removing it. "Let's get this suit off. Your arm is covered in blood." 

He quickly pulled at the three clasps that ran down his chest that were holding the under suit closed. They each popped open releasing more of his chest plates as he went. Giza helped his hurt arm out of his suit, only seeing blue when he took a glance at the wound. Bastard got me good but not good enough. He tugged at the rest of the suit allowing it to stop at his hips spurs, revealing his brown-grey plates to the crisp air of the medical bay.

The doctor sanitized herself moving up next to Garrus's side. She pulled her tray of tools along with her over to the bed which Garrus sat on.

"Ready? I'm going to sanitize it before I begin working."

Garrus clenched the bed with his talons, trying to sit as still as he could trying his best not to look at the wound. She poured some antiseptic across the wound causing a flare of pain to move through his arm, chest and back. It felt like a fire was burning through his veins. It had been so long since something like this had happened, he almost could've forgotten about what it felt like. Garrus took a few deep breathes as Giza patted his opposite shoulder reassuring him.

"Very good Commander, try to relax." He scoffed at her as she picked up calipers to grip the bullet. He nervously shifted on the medical bed, righting himself for Giza.

"Relax, right? Did I get shot or am I buying you a drink at the bar right now?" His dueled toned voice showing his current discomfort. She let out a little chuckle.

"You definitely got shot, wouldn't mind a drink at the bar though, Commander. Maybe after we get you fixed up." Though Giza had been aboard for a year, he'd been on board for merely a month. He'd only met her once or twice when he had to come down to check on a few teammates when they were injured.

Giza was a good looking female. She had a pretty yellow crest with white colony markings streaking back across her mandibles. His eyes roamed down to her waist very tight and trim. She was definitely his type, tall, tight waist, flaring hips, as far as looks go she was gorgeous. Flirting with her might do him some good. It'd been a while since he'd let his frustrations out on something else other than sparing with his comrades.

Garrus glanced from her waist to the mirror directly across the room, showing his reflection in the mirror. He would have to get himself righted and fixed up if they were going to be seeing the Council in a couple of days, that's for sure. His current state would do none to impress the Council especially convince them he's more than his already horrible track record.

"Garrus did you hear me?" Garrus snapped his eyes back up. He had no idea what she had said, too busy thinking about other things, what felt like more important things.

He shook his head. "Sorry , I was a..."

Her mandibles flared giving away her frustration, the tightened quickly on her face. "Oh, I saw you Commander, Let's get this gun shot wound cleaned up and then we can see about drinks."

Called out like a dirty old Turian, though if had to admit one thing, that was what got him going sexually, frustration. Well, not frustration alone but it was seeing a woman frustrated over something that she cared about. The trait was something he found more attractive in a woman then anything else.

Doctor Giza grabbed calipers and moved to grip the bullet that was slightly embedded into the soft hide of his shoulder. "I'm going to give it a slight twist and then a pull." She placed her hand on his shoulder, giving her an anchor. The metals touched each other making a clinking noise causing Garrus to falter his view. Not that he was squeamish or anything, more like just wanted it done already.

His gaze fell to his lap which was still covered by his suit bottoms, would have to burn this suit when he was done. He felt the pull and twist of the calipers releasing the bullet from his skin. A little groan escaped Garrus followed by Giza stepping back to get a clean rag. The blood began to slowly drip down his arm, streaking an intricate pattern across his forearm.

Doctor Giza wiped off the off his arm running the rag slowly over his forearm meeting the wound. "I wish you would've come to see me after you got on the ship and not after debriefing."

Garrus shrugged, he's a Turian, his father taught him as much. "Duty calls."

She flexed her mandibles and began to sew up the wound. "That is thing about you Turian Commanders, got to get everything else done before addressing any personal issues. You aren't the first, certainly won't be the last."

Garrus agreed, it is what they are taught, many Turians had this distinct urge to continue the mission at all costs. 

She was finishing up putting a bandage over the wound when his omnitool began to beep. He glanced down at the incoming call to see if it was important enough to take it.

He read the name the beamed across the screen. The Primarch? "Doctor, are we finished? I should go take this call." She stepped back allowing her hand to drift down his arm giving him a slight brush of her talons. "Come see me soon if you can."

She began to clean up the bloody mess left from the bullet while he left the room moving to his cabin swiftly. "Primarch?"

The screen popped up with the formally dressed Turian. He met him once or twice with the Nihlus when he was in training to be a Commander.

"Commander Vakarian. It is good to see you well... undressed?" Garrus glanced down remember where he just came from.

"Apologies Primarch, I wasn't prepared for a call. It's been a while. Did you need Nihlus?" The Primarch shook his head.

"No, just you Commander, I spoke with Nihlus earlier about this recent mission and wanted to have a brief on the mission from you as well. The hierarchy would like a better understanding of what happened on the human settlement, Eden Prime. We are having a concurrent issue of catching this 'Cerberus' perhaps helping to bring this issue to light might further a goal here." Garrus nodded.

"I can do that."

"Do whatever you can. This is a intergalactic issue, they are a problem we are seeing all over place. We need to get this taken care of or at least open a page to the case."

"I understand Primarch."

"I hear you're being watched over by Nihlus, looking at possible Spectre status?"

Garrus flexed his mandibles, well.... not after the shit show that happened down on Eden Prime. "Don't worry about the mission Garrus, Nihlus gave me a peak into what happened and that's why I am asking you for a report. He says the mission was enlightening."

Garrus tried to hide his disbelief through the camera but Fedorian saw right through him.

"I vouched for you a few months ago to move into the program, it was originally turned down to allow a human the opportunity to step forward. Though that fell through. I had hoped it would be a Turian like you." The Primarch nodded to Garrus.

"Thank you. Primarch Fedorian."

"You know what needs to be done, Garrus." The line cut off leaving Garrus with his extranet address for future contact.

Out of all things that have happened today, hearing from Primarch might have been the oddest. Maybe these Cerberus people are worse than they seem, if the Primarch is looking at them as a threat then... it's serious.

He sat down and picked up a datapad recording his mission report. He pressed the intercom button next to his computer, getting in touch with the pilot. "We need to make our way to the Citadel. Please set the course."

"At once, Commander."

Chapter Text

The morning seemed to move even faster than Shepard was. Between dealing with her cases, Bailey's work with him being gone, and dealing with the situation known as Wrex, she seemed to be running in circles. Circles fast enough to create a black hole within the C-sec precinct in seconds. She was exhausted and tired, she hadn't slept very well last night. Her mind was swimming with Alesseo's case and sifting through the information given to her. Unfortunately, she found nothing in what she looked through, nothing that would really help.

A grunt broke her thoughts causing her eyesight to fall onto the angry Krogan sitting on the opposite side of the table.

"Why am I in this room again?.. I'm going to take these walls down!" She saw his fists rise up only to fall like two boulders onto the metal table that they both sat at. Locked in an interrogation room with Wrex is not what she thought to be an ideal morning, ever.

"Wrex, mind being quiet for two minutes?" Shepard rubbed at her temples attempting to relieve some of the built up stress.  

Shepard sat back in the chair nearly slouching herself completely under the table. 

"Sheparrrrrd. Let me out of this room!" He reach across the length of the table attempting to pick the table up, only to be halted. It only taken Wrex being arrested 8 times for them to put a metal table in the room. And only took another 5 times to bolt the damn thing to the floor. Another 2 to realize no one should lock a Krogan in a room with four walls.

She pushed herself up, hauling herself onto her feet. "Sit down Wrex, you aren't in trouble. You passed out after beating up a patron at Chora's Den, you won." She signaled with her finger pointing to the seat behind him. He growled at her and took a seat, crossing his arms attempting to look even bigger, trying to intimidate Shepard. 

"Why. am. I. in. here?" 

Shepard walked over to the window, the glanced at her reflection in the mirror, fixing her hair. She didn't even bother with the bun today, leaving her long, black hair flowing in a loose ponytail that reached the middle of her back. She picked up the end of the ponytail pulling it forward over her shoulder, playing with it.

"We picked your ass up from Chora's Den, left you in here to sleep. Turns out I might need your help." She turned around to face the menacing Krogan, moving up to his side, plopping herself to sit on the table near to Wrex. 

"I hear Saren is at the Citadel again." Wrex turned to glare at her as he sat back into the chair. 

"I can't help you there, Shepard."

"But you can.... and you will." Shepard smiled and crossed her legs, leaning over the table so that she was directly in Wrex's line of site. He grumbled a few cuss words. "I know you both have your differences, I need help here." She sat back up straight on her side of the table now that she had his attention. "I need you to tell him to meet me at Flux. It's about time I called in a favor." 

He rolled his eyes and took a fist to the table again, the intense vibrations caused Shepard's body to slightly jump off the table. "You know I promised not to get involved with him again, and you shouldn't either."

"You won't be working with him I will." Shepard then pointed to him. "You're just the messenger."

He crossed his arms again. "Sheparddd.... If you want to date a Turian, I know plenty who aren't so....anti-you."

"I don't want to date a Turian, just do it, do it for me."

He stood up and pointed to her. "This is the last fucking time... and get me out of this damn room."

Shepard hopped off the table and patted him on the shoulder. "That's my boy, get that done as soon as you can." She unlocked the metal door and ushered him out of the room, following him partially down the hall before breaking off and moving into her office. Taking a seat into her chair she sat back and rubbed her temples again. She just needed some help from someone a little higher up than herself, if he hears her out, this might just work. 

She used the rest of day looking through more of the emails and what not sent by Alesseo about Laari, from what she can see, Laari was incredibly smart. Some of the stuff that was sent to Laari seemed like it belonged to a researcher in there 500's. She made it through yet another Prothean paper, something about the theory on Protheans adapting to their environments, when she pulled up a file, with a email attached that says 'oops'.

Shepard sat up in her chair opening up the file, she read the entire email. There at the bottom of the page, was a text signature from a Mitron Sulan of Exo-Genetic Scientific Solutions. Laari's signature line to  accept the job was at the bottom, unsigned. She would have to have a untraceable, extranet address to look up this company. She quickly pulled open her messages, shooting a quick note to Wrex to pick her up a blocker from one of his shady friends while he was out. 

She quickly got a reply from Wrex. "He will be at Flux, 10 PM." Shepard smirked to herself. Always send a Krogan to get the job done, it'll get done one way or another. She piled up the paper work she had pushed through for Bailey and hauled the files off to Bailey's office, dumping them in neat piles. Hopefully Bailey will be back soon, Shepard wasn't sure how much longer she could stand juggling everything.

Shepard cleaned up and closed up her office, glancing down at the time, 7PM just enough time to go home and get ready. I've got a Turian to impress.

 

 

 

 Shepard had prepared herself to see Saren, she hadn't seen him since Elysium. Was a touchy topic, for both of them. He had to show a certain amount of weakness their that he is still sour about. None the less that it was a human soldier who helped him. He was very sour about it.

She threw on a dress, hoping he would see her as some who needs his help, desperately. It's all about perceiving if one wants to get their way. She glance in the mirror, she had curled her hair slightly allowing the waves to fall. She fluffed up the curls and slid on a dress, was a little short but Shepard paid no mind to it. Should do the job just fine, she slipped on a pair of heels.

Checking herself out one last time, she looked good, really good. Maybe just enough to convince the Spectre that he needed to help her.

 

Shepard moved through the doors of Flux glancing around the floor not seeing the Spectre. She moved to the bar, ordering herself a drink. A good looking human man sidled up next to her, leaning up against the bar. 

"Hey Baby, let me get that drink for you." He looked to the bartender. "On my tab." Shepard gave him a smile and sat down at the bar, she did have some time to kill after all. 

"Thanks for the drink." She raised the drink up to cheer with his drink. 

"Wouldn't want a girl like you to have to have to sit alone." Shepard internally rolled her eyes, she would've paid for her drink just fine. If the man hadn't motioned to the bartender for payment, she most definitely would’ve payed and left. 

"So, what's your name?" He smiled taking a sip of his drink, hiding his smile down with a sip of whiskey.

A gruff, dual toned voice answered for her. "Shepard."

Shepard shot her eye sight to behind the man, seeing the aging Turian Spectre. The man turned back to Shepard after taking a glance at the Turian.

"He's with you?" Shepard stood and gave the man a nod thanking him again for the drink. 

Saren glanced at her, shifting his eyesight to the second floor. "Let's go up to the Casino."

Shepard followed him as the moved off to the corner of the small gambling games, sitting into the corner. Saren looked much different then when she saw him last, much different. She looked down to his chest armor, seeing the winding of Turian Cybernetics flowing through his torso, coming out near his shoulder and receding back beneath his fringe. At least he was standing, last time she saw him he was in pieces.

As she was gazing at him, he crossed his arms across his chest. "Didn't think I would have to see you again, honestly I hoped I wouldn't have to ever." He uncrossed his arms and leaned one on the gambling console he was sitting at, rubbing the other across his thigh. 

"I'm surprised to see you honestly. Had a chance that you might not show up." Saren wasn't the bitter Turian that the world made him out to be, so he didn't really like humans. It didn't mean he should be treated any differently. Humans weren't liked by much of anyone, Shepard did what she could to change his perception, at the very least his perception towards at least one human. 

"What happened on Elysium, I never had the opportunity to thank you. What you did..." He shook his head, sitting up straight. "I need a drink before this get's..." He went to make the moves to stand from his seat, Shepard put a hand onto his forearm.

"You're welcome. Though that's not why I asked you here." He settled into his seat, looking at the hand that rested on his armored forearm. 

Elysium had been rough for both of them. Held down by Batarian Pirates and slavers, they'd barely made it out. Shepard had been separated from her squad, finding Saren in a horrible position, pinned down by over thirty Batarians. She stepped in to help in hopes they would make it back together. 

Saren fought her every step of the way, not needing a humans help. When he turned a gun onto her attempting to scare her off, it distracted him from the field and he took a blast to his left side leaving him barely alive. She fought the rest of the slavers and carried Saren to rescue. 

"Have you heard of a company called, Exo-Genetic Scientific Solutions?" Saren turned to Shepard glancing down to her legs and back up. She swore he checked her out for a whole two seconds there. 

"If I have?"

"I need to know where to find a company like that?"

He leaned forward slightly moving closer to her, pulling the stool closer. "I want to know why, Shepard. I know where you're going with this and it won't end well." Shepard sat up and crossed her legs causing her dress to shift up her thighs. She caught a Saren glancing at her movements. She wouldn't expose him, though she smirked to herself, he certainly had found a thing for humans in the last few years. 

"I can take care of myself. It's become... somewhat personal."

She could see some patrons around them giving them glances, most were still not comfortable with the idea of Humans and Turians together. Though she wasn't all that comfortable either, it wouldn't get in the way of her making a friendship with a Turian regardless. We all deserve second chances.

"If you can get yourself to Omega, start there. If anyone knows anything, it'll be Mordin Solus."

Shepard quickly typed the name down into her omnitool, Saren began to speak again breaking her from her note taking. "He should not be taken lightly either. Mordin is a problem of his own."

He moved to get up, pressing a few buttons onto his omnitool. Shepard's omnitool beeped asking if she wanted to accept the extranet address he was sending her. "I'll send you information as I find it. Call me if there's trouble, I have a debt to repay." 

He stood up and began to walk away turning when he was a few feet from her. "Next time, don't show up to a meeting with a Turian.... like that. You're just asking for trouble." 

He moved down the stairs, leaving Flux. She took the rest of her notes, accepting his address. If anyone had to be getting herself into trouble, Shepard could only hope it was herself. She removed herself from Flux escaping back to her apartment. How was she going to get herself to Omega, without breaking 500 regulations and getting herself locked in a interrogation room?

Her thoughts drifted from Omega to her mother. Her mother always told her stories of Omega, the oddest group of bad vs good she'd ever seen. She remember her mother telling her of an Asari that seemed to rule things with an iron fist calling herself, Omega. Shepard's mother had spent sometime on Omega as a officer, working aside good cops and just as dirty bad cops. The stories her had of Omega proved Saren's point. Don't take this lightly.

The shuttle stopped on the platform and urged her to get out. She readied herself and moved out of the transport, making her way up the stairs to her apartment. When she got to the top of her stairs, she saw a familiar face heading in her direction, a smile plastered on his face.

"Shepard." 


"Anderson?" Shepard had even noticed her feet moving her forward until she felt herself fly into his open arms. She needed this after a long day and after an even longer last few months.

"Looks like you had some time to go out tonight, boyfriend I need to know about?" She smiled and broke apart from the hug. "You know I'm practically married to my work. It's a love hate relationship."

Shepard smiled again giving him another hug. "I'm so happy you're here. I thought the message was from a com buoy in the Annos Basin."

He shook his head, It think we've been having com issues on the Ship. Should probably have it looked at while we are docked." Shepard smiled at him and led him to apartment letting him in. 

He took a seat in one of her arm chairs glancing at the picture of her and her mother on the table next to it. "I'm sorry, I couldn't be here for the funeral. She deserved so much better than Cancer at the end."

Shepard shrugged at him sitting down onto the couch near the arm chair flipping off her heels and curling her legs beneath her. "She did deserve better, she handled the cards she was dealt well. The funeral was beautiful. I know she up their watching me get into trouble, I know it." Shepard leaned onto the arm of the sofa, sighing. 

It had been so long since she spoke to anyone about this, especially someone who knew her mother. Anderson had been like a brother to her, horrible to think he couldn't make it to the funeral. When duty calls, you answer.

"So what's got you here on the Citadel?"

"The Guam, the ship I'm serving on needed port, it's an ancient rust bucket. I swear. Gave me just enough time to steal away for an hour."

Shepard smiled and sat up in the seat. "How's Kahlee?" 

Anderson looked down to his lap then back up to Shepard. "Kahlee and I... well I think we've decided it's time for us to stop messing around, after years of her denying my requests for marriage, she asked me." Shepard let a grin cross her lips. "Figured we shouldn't let space define how far apart we are." 

Anderson smiled back to Shepard. "I'll let you know that details, I'm sure Kahlee will want you involved in some capacity." He sighed attempting to let the stress of the day pour off of him. "How have you been?"

Shepard spoke to him about the current cases she was working on and the current struggles she was facing. She mentioned the walls she keeps running into involving regulations and rules. She knows her mother was a stickler for rules and order, now that she was gone though...

"Maybe I should've taken the offer for Spectre back then.." Anderson locked eyes with Shepard the instant she said it. Maybe it was time for her to go back but she didn't want to leave these cases open, they will never get solved. They go into a pile to be looked at and reviewed to see if they need to be issued by a higher power, that could take months if not years. The already could trail would dry up leaving nothing left.

"I no longer have my mother to take care of... and I miss it." Anderson quickly stood from his chair glancing down to Shepard.

"Are you saying you want to come back?"

Shepard gave small nod to Anderson.

"Are you sure?"

"As sure as I'll ever be."

Anderson quickly sat back down opening up his omnitool sending out a message. "I'll have all your files pushed through as soon as possible, I'm not sure were they might place you but I'm sure it'll be in a position fitting of your status."

"I do have a request though..." Anderson looked from the message he was typing to make eye contact with Shepard. "I want to bring a few of the cases with me and work on them in my down time."

"I'm sure Bailey will allow it, I'll put it in as a contingency." He typed in a few more things before sending the message and standing up to leave. "Look for a message in the next day or so, I'm sure the General's will approve this within seconds."

"Thank you Anderson." She honestly couldn't thank him enough, for everything. His time, his support, and his open door. He'd been incredibly supportive with everything that she'd been through. 

"I will talk to you in a few days." 

She nodded to him and embraced him one last time before he made his leave. When Anderson left the apartment Shepard sat down, nerves attacking her, it felt like recruit day all over again. her hands shook a little as she brushed her hands through her hair staring across the room at nothing in particular. She would be back on a ship in a few days, among the stars. She smiled to herself, leaning her head back against the couch. 

I'm the definition of trouble if one things for sure.

 

 

 

"Shepard, you're here again...." She glared at the offender as the C-sec door shut behind her. She'd taken a day off staying at home yesterday to finish going through things from Alesseo's files. It didn't seem that anything else jumped out at, maybe when she get's more info from Saren or get's in touch with this Mordin Solus, will she be able to connect the dots.  

She had gotten so much work done in the last day at home. No distractions, no bloody innocents in the office, no Wrex.

"Oh, I didn't mean it like that Shepard, not insinuating that we don't want you here or any-"


"Jenkins, just stop." Thank god, Kaiden told him to stop. Shepard was sure the scowl on her face would jump off and begin attacking Jenkins with a club.


"I'm free to be here, thank you for asking Jenkins, next time keep the comment to yourself though?" Jenkins sat down and nodded quietly, sometimes Jenkins just get's a little ahead of himself.

Shepard moved down the hall, glancing into her office. Going to have clean that up today.

Bailey passed her in the hallway quickly brushing passed her, practically running into his office.

"Shepard, it's good to be back. Just received the info on the current investigation, and seemingly the newest investigation on a one Alesseo and Larri opened a few nights ago."

Shepard smiled and moved to Bailey's office, leaning her shoulder on the door hinge. Bailey was trying to move the stacks of papers and what not around, looking at them before sorting them into piles.


"Didn't I tell you to send all these up, aren't these all closed cases?"

Shepard nodded to him as he frantically moved about the office. She stepped into the office taking a seat in one of the chairs adjacent to his desk.

"All of them are sent in, approved and closed. Just wanted you to know we did something while you were dying."

"Shepard, food poisoning is not something to take lightly."

She let out a scoff, playing back. "If you needed a vacation all you had to do was let me know."

She crossed her legs and leaned back into the chair. Bailey stopped moving around the office and sat down in his chair, rubbing his face with his hands.

"On top of all this.." He signaled to all the paperwork on the desk. "I have a letter of resignation?"

He picked it up and dropped it back down on his desk.

"Shepard, if you needed a vacation you only needed to ask."

He flipped it open and read a line in the resignation letter she had sent him. "I've come to understand my talents could be used elsewhere. Took you long enough Shepard." He closed it up and slid it across the desk. He put his elbow on the arm of the chair and leaned his head on it, relaxing a little.

"We have approved your resignation and your leave to the military. Word travels fast."

Shepard continue to stare at him, there was one contingency he was forgetting about. The missing person case along side Alesseo's case.

"You know Shepard, I am interested to see what comes of this case you're working on..." Shepard let a smile cross her face. It was approved. "What you sent me last night does prove to be some sort of link, Laari's job offer from Exo-Genetic is an interesting, turn and what's this lead about Omega?" He shook his head of the idea's that were swimming through.

"I'll finish the job, just make sure Alesseo stays safe, for now." Bailey nodded and placed the file on top of her resignation papers, grabbed one more file and placed it on the other two, giving a little slap on the table. "All yours."

Shepard reached forward and grabbed the files. "Any help you need while you're out on leave, just message me, from our end we'll do what we can. The Asari will also be granted witness protection for as long as needed. We are moving her tomorrow."

It was all falling together. She could work on this while out on leave and get work done that way too. She won't leave the station quite yet, she hasn't received her orders, should be arriving sometime today.

Shepard stood up with the folders tucked under her arm. "Well I'll be in my office cleaning things up. Let me know if there's anything you want me to work on."

Bailey nodded to her and waved her off. Out of all the people who worked her, Bailey would be the first to say if he could go back he would. Injuries get the best of all of us, his was just a little worse than the rest.

She moved into her office and took a deep breathe. Her weapon locker was still severely damaged from Wrex's tampering a few days ago. She nodded to herself. Time to get to work.


Shepard spent the afternoon cleaning up files and placing them where they needed to go. She cleaned out her weapon locker placing all her weapons into their cases and placing the smaller cases into a very large duffel. Her sniper was placed into the large aluminum case that had a handle for her to carry.

Just having everything ready to go felt good, so good. Her thoughts wondered to where she might end up being reinstated. She has a little bit of everything under her including her N7 title, who knows. She will more than likely have to work her way up again.


Whatever it ends up being, Shepard was sure this is what she wanted. Being out in the stars, making things better. It's all she could want and hope for.

Chapter Text

It only took a few days to get back to the Citadel from Eden Prime. He had sent out his mission reports to the respective parties, Nihlus and the Hierarchy. Both only sending back confirmation that the reports had been received, nothing more than that to Garrus's disadvantage. He hadn't slept well, at all, in the last few days. He'd been torn about what had happened down on Eden Prime, it's not like he's never seen failure but it had definitely been a while.

The mission was not as things should have gone and he reflected that in the report, making sure they know it was not the intended result but one they had to make, in light of the events that happened.

He heard the coms ring through his cabin. "Commander, ETA to Citadel, one hour."

Garrus heard a light moan come from behind where he sat at the edge of the bed. He glanced back to see Giza stirring awake. She rolled over, sitting up, staring at him with her brown eyes.

"Morning. Commander."

She stretched and flared her mandibles, Garrus watched the sheets fall to her lap.

"Did I hear there may be time for one more round?" She smirked and laid back onto her elbows, showing a flirty flick to her mandibles. Should he get in one more round? She was a decent lay, something he hadn't had in a while. He glanced at the time. He's got enough time.

"I would hate to deny your requisition."

He crawled back up the bed, settling his body above hers. Their tongues twisted together as their hands and talons ran across each others bodies. He felt her hand drift down between them towards his pelvic plates. If she was intending to make it quick this time, then so be it. He grabbed the sheet at her waist and gave it a tug away from her body.

The Cipritine docked at the Citadel and awaited direction to disembark. Garrus was in the C.I.C. speaking with Li about what the next steps were. When they disembark, he has order to see the Council in the tower, speak with Nihlus who has been extremely scarce on the ship for the last few days and speak with the Primarch. A coincidence that he was on the Citadel at the same time. He could only imagine his father might be hanging around too.

The orders for shore leave were given and Nihlus popped out from wherever he was hiding moving towards Garrus. "Ready Garrus?"

Garrus gave him a nod following Nihlus off of the ship. 


"How is this looking, Nihlus?" Nihlus shook his head. "We don't have time to talk about what happened, we have to meet with the Council in 3 minutes."

Garrus thought to himself. Silence about a situation is never a good sign. Good thing he's already prepped himself for the large possibility of being denied Spectre status. He sent the reports out hoping for the best, however no likes when things turn sour on a mission.


They entered into the Chambers seeing Council huddled into a circle speaking about with each other. They walked up the mile of stairs to the podium, where no one but Garrus and Nihlus stood.

He glanced all around the chambers to see people going about their business and some stopping to view in on the proceeding. Mass burial of his career, was that what this was intended to be. I hope it's not.

Garrus stood proud next to Nihlus, giving him a glance. Nihlus gave him a nod.


The Council moved to their respected positions, preparing themselves. "Here we have Commander Garrus Vakarian. You have been issued the watchful eye of Spectre Nihuls Kryik."
The Salarian Councilor stood tall, "We have reviewed the consideration of Spectre status, though the most recent mission was deemed a failure. One should expect we would no longer wish to offer such an opportunity." Valern looked to Tevos, granting her a chance to speak.

"We reviewed the mission report, though deemed a failure by aspects of the mission parameters. It has been made to light by Spectre Nihlus.."

Garrus flared his mandibles, pinching them tight to his face, shifting his eyesight to glance at Nihlus who stood steady.

"Nihlus spoke highly of you Commander Vakarian. His mission report reflected he would have made no different conclusion than you did. Though you did irreparably damage the artifact, Nihlus agreed better to have nothing than in the hands of enemies."

So Spectre isn't off the table? He had no idea his previous Commander would have his back.


Sparatus spoke up again. "So we as the Council have taken Spectre Kryik words to heart, and we would like to end his stay on the TSF Cipritine.."

Maybe Garrus thought to soon that he was saved. He felt his mandibles flair wide. What would that feel like to be denied such an honor? Should he care as much as he does? Yes. If he was denied,  his father would most definitely be disappointed and Solana, he wouldn't even want to think about what she would think.

"Commander Garrus Vakarian. Please step forward."


Garrus stepped forward ready to accept whatever fate fell into his hands. Garrus took a deep breathe that rattled his bones, nerves ran through every inch of his body. This is the moment, make it or break it. Councilor Tevos too took a deep breathe and gave Garrus a small smile. "It is the decision of the Council that you be granted all the rights and privileges of the Special Tactics and Reconnaissance Branch of the Citadel."


Councilor Valern crossed her arms, showing a slight dissatisfaction of the situation. "Spectres are not trained, but chosen. Individuals forged in the fire of service and battle; those whose actions lift them above the rank and file."


Sparatus cocluded the speech. "Spectres bear a great burden. Both our first and last line of defense, the safety of the galaxy is theirs to uphold."


The Council nodded in agreement. "Welcome, Spectre Garrus Vakarian."


Sparatus spoke once more. "You will be awarded a ship to call your own to conduct business on behalf of the Council and space itself. Please come to my office, this meeting of the Council is adjourned."


The Coucilors stepped away and left their podiums. Garrus turned to Nihlus, Nihlus stuck his hand out once again awaiting a shake.

"Welcome Garrus. I'll see you out there. Maybe even come aboard a time or two to check out the ship." Garrus eagerly took his hand.

"Thank You." Shook his hand again. "For everything."

Nihlus gave him a pat on the shoulder and went to move away. "You'll be able to achieve more than some of us will. Just keep that head of yours on straight. Get the job done. Safety of the Galaxy before Results." Nihlus moved to make his way down the stairs, just as Garrus's father walked up them to greet him, Sol following him.


Castis moved towards his son to shake his hand. "Sorry to hear about the mission but it sounds like you made the right decision."

Garrus looked behind his father to find Sol. She moved forward and embraced him in a hug. "My brother's going to be the coolest guy in the galaxy! My friends are all going to be sooooo jealous!" Garrus gave a hug back banding his arms around her waist lifting her feet off the ground. His father patted his arm.

"Your mother would be more proud than you will ever know, she probably already knows." Garrus grinned to his father. Understanding the statement. It felt like his mother was always there every step of the way.


Garrus set Sol down. "Now all that's left to give me is some grandchildren! I can hear mom saying it right now!" Sol smiled and punched Garrus in the arm. 

Garrus was so far away from that notion he didn't even know what to say, except... that's exactly what his mother would've said.


"Don't mind Sol, Garrus. No need to rush anything. Unless...." Garrus quickly fixed his fathers sudden movement of thoughts. "No... no. Nothing like that for a long time. Sol is more likely to beat me to it."

Sol scoffed and crossed her arms as they moved down the stairs towards Sparatus's office. Castis quickly turned to Sol.

"You better not be beating him to it!" She raised her arms.

"You say one thing and it comes right back around to bite you in the fringe!"

Sol led the way to Sparatus's office and when they made it to the same area he'd been in just a few days ago, outside of Sparatus's office. Castis and Sol said they would like to get some dinner before he leaves. He agreed dinner on the Citadel would definitely beat military ration meals.

He walked into Sparatus's office to see him on a vid call. He turned to walk out to give him his privacy. "Vakarian, take a seat."

Garrus turned to see he had hung up the call. They both took their respective seats in the small sitting area across the room.


"The ship that is now yours is docked at bay 19. You will no longer be Commander of the TSF Cipritine. Fedorian should be he--" The doors to the office opened introducing Primarch Fedorian.

Garrus stood in his chair to greet Primarch Fedorian, quickly the shook hands. "It's great to see you again, Primarch Fedorian."


Primarch nodded. "Likewise, congratulations on the success." Fedorian turned to Sparatus greeting him all the same. Then taking a seat next to Garrus.


"As I was saying, TSF Cipritine will be under new Command. You will be offered to bring a few to your new team whom you are comfortable with. Your Spectre status, will not only stop at you as a singular force, like Saren and Nihlus..." The door opened once again. They all turned to see who would be walking in at this time. The human ambassador? and Alliance Admiral, Hackett?


"Welcome Ambassador Donnell Udina and Admiral Steven Hackett." Garrus looked to the Primarch questioning what was happening at this moment. Was the Galaxy falling apart or something?


The Primarch spoke to Hackett. "Admiral, it is good see you well. Udina, what brings you here?" The Primarch looked from Udina to Sparatus glaring at him, all these damn politicians.

Sparatus waved to the other two seats for the Ambassador and Admiral to take a seat. "They are here, we all seek to improve diplomatic relations between each other." 


Udina refused a seat, instead pacing back and forth with his arms crossed. "There is a greater issue happening out there beyond our petty fights of indifference. We have this 'Cerberus' problem." Garrus quickly replied to the Ambassador. "That's correct."

Udina continued to pace, taking his frustration out on Sparatus's carpeted floor.


"Ambassador, please sit. We understand the severity. You are going to burn a line in my floor." Udina looked to Sparatus giving him a nod, ceasing his pacing, and then taking a seat.

"We can not allow Cerberus to be what the galaxy hears about humans. It is tarnishing what we are working towards. They are becoming not only a threat to other races but becoming a threat to us creating a better future."


Sparatus agreed giving a curt nod. "While I agree with most of the statement, Vakarian... The 'Normandy' your new ship... it's a cutting edge ship that will take you very far. Created with the most brilliant minds and hands the Turian and Human races have to offer."

Hackett sat quietly contemplating what to add to the conversation, Primarch Fedorian was doing the same. "So what are we insinuating here?"

The Primarch formed some sort of thoughts to what was going on. "You would like Vakarian to have a human crew? Is that what you are implying?"


Hackett looked between all the men in the room. Garrus wasn't really sure what to think, a human crew? That's anarchy right?

"We are not asking for an entire human crew, no, though the ship will be piloted by one of the Alliances best. He has been trained and flies the ship like no other pilot could."

Hackett broke his silence. "We would like an opportunity to send one of our best and strongest candidates along with your crew. As well as a well versed doctor in all species along for the crew."


Primarch stood up, moving away from the group to peer out the window, giving the idea some thought.

"I agree this could be an excellent move. If Garrus agrees, of course he will be the acting Commander on this new ship. I can only hope that this candidate you're sending will be a proper squad mate to Vakarian."

Hackett finally spoke. "N7 trained. Was a Commander as well. Will not be a problem whether or not she will hold her own."


Garrus nodded to Hackett, more than likely relieving some of the tension that was building up. "I do not have anything against these terms. So long as I have the opportunity to build my own team."


Sparatus's mandibles flared. "It's final then those are the terms." He stood moving to shake hands with the two Humans.

Hackett turned to shake hands with Garrus. "Congratulations on the Spectre status. When shall I have her ready to go?" Garrus thought about it. He would be receiving a new mission parameter from Sparatus, they will more than likely leave in the next few days.

"Would be best to have her ready to go within two days. If that's possible."

Hackett nodded glancing at the other two Turians who had moved to speak to each other near the window. "You'll have no problems with her. Do me a favor though. Please treat our best as you would treat yours, I think this might be an excellent move for everyone."


Garrus swiftly shook his head. "She'll be taken care of."

Garrus admired the fact that Hackett spoke so highly of this N7 soldier. Hopefully she's as good as they all say.

Hackett and Udina quickly shuffled out of the room, leaving the three Turians alone.


Sparatus and Fedorian shook hands, looked like something out of Blasto, with them standing in front of the window and all. The Primarch moved from the position in front of the window down to Garrus, extending his hand. "Good luck Vakarian. Check your mail often you will receive some priority missions we can only hope you will have time to help out with."


Primarch smiled at him. "Good luck with the crew. If the Alliance has in mind who I think they do, you're in for a ride. Nothing less, I hear she's coming out of retirement too." Fedorian patted his shoulder. "Good Luck." and receded from the room.

Garrus looked at Sparatus as he moved to sit down at his desk. "Your next mission parameters have been sent to your omnitool. Any questions?"


"The N7 they have in mind is coming out of retirement?" Sparatus nodded and leaned back in his chair.

"Don't let that scare you, she's well qualified if not more qualified then you." He chuffed and shook his head.

"She's been working with C-sec. I was forwarded her dossier, would you like it?"


Garrus thought about it. "Can you send all the dossiers? The doctor, the pilot and the N7."

Sparatus pressed a few buttons. "There. They are the best of the best. Good luck Vakarian."

Garrus left the chambers. He needed to gather his items from the TSF Cipritine and have then transferred over to the Normandy. He couldn't believe it, his own ship, his own chosen crew.

He couldn't help but feel giddy and pepped up about the changes happening. He made his way to the Cipritine to take care of some last minute business.


He would need to prep his ship for a crew and what not in the next coming days. That was sure to be quite a task.

 

 

Garrus cleared his items from the Cipritine and okay'd the movement of them to his new ship. He would need to get Li, Chellick, and himself settled into the new ship. 

As he was finishing up on the docks, he was messaged by his father. Asking for dinner tonight. 

He hasn't seen his father this much in months, and it's all happened within a week. He and his father weren't extremely close, they got along but further then that, not much. 

Sol got along well with Garrus messaging him whenever possible, she was just finishing up boot camp for herself, ready to move onto bigger and better things. It been even longer since he'd seen Sol. Maybe a year or so.

Garrus had dressed in his civies, hailing himself a cab. He climbed in and awaited the 15 minute trip over to one of the most popular Levo restaurants on the Citadel. 

During the cab ride Garrus's thoughts shifted to the new recruits he would be taking on. He wanted to say he had an open mind about the whole thing, but his thoughts shifted to his father. 

His father is going to have a stroke when he finds out, having fought against the Humans in the First Contact War tensions were still thick. 

He remembers his father distinctly speaking of them as mousy, tricksters who should never be trusted to watch someone's back, including their own. 

He arrived at the restuarant, finding his father and Sol sitting at a table already waiting with a few appetizers set on the table.

He quickly sat down next to Sol, she jumped a little alarmed. "Garrus!" She hugged his arm bringing him closer. His father smiled to both of them. 

"So my son's officially a Spectre?" His father sitting up on his chair practically chuffing. 

Sol reached forward to grab some food with her fork sticking it into her mouth. "Honestly, he's so cool, when you gonna bring a girl around so I'm not stuck with you two meatheads." 

Garrus grabbed some food taking a bite, he was hungry. He'd been on the move all day only having time for a ration bar. The food already tasted heavenly and he'd only had one bite. 

"So tell me, what comes in hand? What kind of ship did they give you?" Castes munch down on the appetizer helping finish it off. 

"I, uhhh.. get this ship it's name is Normandy, haven't had a chance to check it out." He father picked up his water taking a sip. 

"Normandy?... isn't that.. that Turian Human ship?" Garrus nodded to his father taking a sip of his water. Castis's hand fell to the table causing the China to clink and other to turn there heads in their direction. 

Sol leaned forward towards he father. "Dad, not here." Garrus guessed correctly, his father isn't going to be happy about this, at all. And he'd only told him about the ship.

"I hope they aren't sending you out on that death trap, I might have to say something." His father growled the last words he spoke making him sound intimidating.

"It's fine, I'll be fine you know I will, and maybe I'll get a better ship when the time comes along." That might appease his father, hopefully.

Castis sat solid as stone not moving then looking to Sol and nodding to himself. "Let's only hope."

Garrus decided just to avoid the whole conversation by asking Sol how things were going, quickly distracting his father. It seemed to have worked and their dinner ended without the restaurant being burned down.

They parted their ways after saying their good byes. Garrus took a cab back to the docs to settle himself in aboard his new ship. He wasn't sure how his father would feel about the shared ship idea, and hopefully somehow he doesn't find out. 

Chapter Text

Shepard had spent the rest of her day at the precinct cleaning up. After hearing from Hackett that he would have her mission details sent within the next few hours, when she finally received them, she nearly jumped through the roof. She was excited and giddy, almost like it was her first time going on a date or the night before Christmas when she was younger. The feelings that were flowing through her felt wild and almost uncontrollable.

She sat down to take a look at the report shortly after hearing the message come completely through. It wasn't her mission report instead it was a request to see her in the Human Ambassador's office which she would meet with Hackett and Ambassador Udina. She took a deep breath allowing a sigh to escape. Couldn't make it easy.

"Shepard, today's your last day ain't it. Who's gonna get me out of jail next time? I can't trust Bailey to do it for me." Bailey struggled past Wrex in the hallway making an attempt to move the Krogan.


"Damn right about that. Wrex you're in the way." Bailey gave a poor attempt of a shoving the Krogen into Shepard's office. Wrex stepped himself forward into Shepard's office, taking a seat in the normal size chair that Wrex seemed to make look like a child's chair. In fact, if Wrex wasn't careful enough the chair could break and ram a leg straight up the Krogan's ass.

Shepard giggled to herself. That would certainly be a sight to see. She almost wished it would happen.

He tossed a little band onto her desk. The IP blocker. Perfect.

"Hey Shepard, where yah going?" He leaned forward moving his elbows to his knees and leaning his face onto his palms.

"Uhh... turns out I'm needed elsewhere in the galaxy to do good." The Krogan scoffed and sat back into the chair making it groan awfully loud. So close to breaking.

"Can't even do the job here and you want to move to a bigger area, what a human thing to do." He was teasing her, he had to be. Wrex knew full and well how good she was at her job, as well as her superiors. Nobody ever questioned that she wouldn't be able to get the job done. That's what made working on the missing persons case so... annoying. Everywhere she would turn to get more info, wall after, wall after, wall popped up. If she wasn't already suspicious enough she would've thought someone was doing it on purpose.

"I plan to take over the universe obviously." She stood up from her seat, well wasn't her seat anymore. She'd cleaned up the whole room, for whoever takes her position. She moved passed Wrex moving to her duffel full of guns and rifle case picking up the items. She was ready to go and leave this behind, most of it anyway.

Jenkins brushed passed her in the hallway heading to the front desk. "I hope you make it to your going away party tonight." she had thought about it, it might be best to just go home and get a good nights rest but where's the fun in that. She might as well use her last hours to herself the best she can.

"I'm more than likely going to be there, I'm pretty sure. Depends on how this meeting goes, they seem hesitant giving my mission details."

Kaiden had rounded the corner moving into the front reception. "I'm sure it'll go well and I'll see you tonight." Giving her a boyish smile, Kaiden had been after her for months, since he transferred stations. Nothing wrong with the guy, he was attractive and nice, just didn't really seem like someone she'd want to be with. Her type was a little more rugged... maybe a little rough around the edges. Kaiden just seemed so, man-doll-ish.

She hauled her heavy duffel over her shoulder, giving them all a wave, "I'll come and visit when I'm here at the Citadel, I promise!" 

She left the precinct, quickly running home and dropping off her guns in her apartment, then heading to the Human Embassies office. She didn't both to change out of her C-sec clothes hoping it would be okay. After all, what's more formal then pants provided by C-sec that ride up your ass and give you a wedgy. Nothing, nothing it all was more formal.

She had arrived at the Human Embassies in no time from her apartment. She moved to the reception desk for the Embassies, finding a young Asari girl sitting behind the desk.

"Can I help you?"

"Shepard here to see Ambassador Udina.." She browsed her holo and her face lit up as she found the meeting.

"The ambassador is ready for you, just up the stairs and to the right." Shepard nodded giving her thank you, heading up the stairs to office. She headed through the door to see Udina at his desk and Admiral Hackett standing off by one of the windows, turning his head when he heard the door. 

"Shepard." He quickly saluted her and moved up closer, Udina didn't bother with any greeting. Pointing to the chairs on the opposite side of his desk for Hackett and Shepard. They both glared him for a moment, then took their seats. Clearly general greetings like handshakes and hello's are forgotten by politicians. 

Hackett reached forward taking a old school manila folder off of Udina's desk and handed it to Shepard.

"This is it?"

Hackett gave a quick nod looking to Udina then back to her. "We'll brief you here on most it, just wanted to make sure you had something to read."

Udina turned off the holo on his desk looking to her and Hackett. What was his purpose of being here besides the fact that we are in his office? Didn’t she have all the info she needed here in her hands.

Hackett pulled up his omnitool. "This will be some what of a delicate position we will be offering you, though we believe this position will be perfect for you and your talents."

Shepard gave a quick nod glancing to the envelope in her lap then opening it. As long as it's not being sent back to Akuze. Anything but Akuze.

She pulled the few sheets that were inside, glancing to the cover sheet then flipping it over to view the next paper. Quickly glancing through it. A few words jumped out at her. Spectre. Normandy. Turians.

"You will be joining a Spectre and his crew. It will be a Council task ship, formed by a team of Humans and Turians."

She looked to Hackett, he didn't seem hesitant about the words that came out of his mouth. He had never really been against a relationship like this. But this had Shepard thinking twice, wasn't there a reason why this hasn't been done before? Turians and Humans were taught many different things in training and tactics and what not. Wouldn't there be some sort of conflict in the way things should be run? And didn't Spectre's work alone most of the time? 

"We as the Alliance will be reinstating you a Lieutenant Commander aboard the 'Normandy'... sort of as a Human Ambassador. There will be other Alliance members aboard with you as well." Hackett turned off his omnitool turning in his seat slightly to look at Shepard. 

"Everything is in that packet there, we want you to act autonomously, you have had a great run within the military, doing more than most. We wanted to reinstate you in a position that will continue to do the galaxy good." 

Shepard nodded and put the papers back into the packet. She would have to believe that this was a good choice, she should be honored. And really she was, being apart of a new initiative that's breaking all the boundaries and setting up foundations, she couldn't have ask for a better position to do so.

"I will take the position, I am honored you thought of me." Udina nodded standing up in his chair, Hackett quickly following upwards. 

"Shepard, if you have any questions, Anderson and I will be in contact with you as your officers, you will be allowed to take on certain missions, granted we seek a Council approval. So pay attention to that message system of yours." She nodded and saluted the Admiral again.

"Thank you, This will be an honor." He saluted her back.

"You are free to go, just wanted to run things by you." She laughed internally, it's not like she had anything against other races, just seemed like there could possibly be a conflict of opinions that may arise. Shepard knew she wasn't perfect and she knew she was stubborn about somethings. Hopefully all goes well. She hoped.

At least the last thing she was was xenophobic.

 

 

She had made it home to get ready for her going away party at Dark Star. After spending an hour getting ready, she finally felt prepared. She looked at herself in the mirror checking herself out, her long dark hair straightened down her back, ending just above mid back. She leaned forward toward the mirror fixing a little bit of her makeup, taking a step back. She turned to check her full body out, she looked good. She was in a tight dress that fell to her mid thigh and a pair of strapped heels. She nodded to herself, looking at her omnitool quickly before taking her leave from her apartment. 

The pulsing of the music came through the doors to the lounge when Shepard walked up next to them. They opened revealing a pulsing crowd within the room, the bar was busy tonight. She walked in quickly locating her friends from C-sec. She moved to the bar, best to start this night out with a drink. 

The male bartender turned to her and smirked looking her up and down. "What can I get you?" She leaned up on the bar. Asking for a shot of top label tequila, and anything blue. That got her an odd look followed by a smile from the Asari bartender who was working next to the man.

He nodded to her and poured her a tequila shot, setting the lime on top for her. She swiftly downed the shot, putting the lime in to chase the taste. She felt a familiar burn rise in her chest, making her smile.

Wrex pulled up next to her and grunted. "Get me a bucket, would yah?" to the bartender making Shepard's blue drink. Shepard pulled away from Wrex, giving him a little space. She was hoping it was a bucket full of alcohol and not a bucket for him to vomit in. He smelled like a cask of Rincol and dead Pyjacks.

"Shepardddd, you're looking good tonight. What did you do... find the big-gest napkin in your house to wear? Always thought all you humans need-ded to be was wrapped in napk-kin." He laughed at his own joke and hit his fist on the bar. Making Shepard jump. She turned to him slowly noticing him leaning heavily on the bar. Pretty damn drunk, he's not going to get a bailout if he ends up in a cell tonight.

"I knew you thought I was good looking. I can't believe I let you deny it every time." She joked with him, he slowly turned his head to her.

"You think I wannnnnna fuck you Shepard? No. But that bartender sure does, and I can see Kaiden staring at your ass from here." Shepard quickly turned to glance over her shoulder at the table where everyone sat. Kaiden sat there sure enough playing off his stare. She rolled her eyes and picked up her blue drink, maybe she should give him a chance. Maybe the alcohol should give him a chance.

She picked up her drink and left the bar and Wrex. The club's music was thumping through her chest, as she made her way across the room. She took a seat down in the booth, sitting next to Kaiden. She took a sip of her drink finding it surprisingly tasty and feeling a warm tickle of air slide against her neck.

"You look very pretty tonight, Shepard."

She glanced at Kaiden whom seemed to be sitting closer than they had been when she sat first. She gave him a small smile and tucked her hair behind ear. Jenkins spoke up.

"Who's up for some shots? They're on me!" Everyone including Shepard agreed to some more shots, quickly getting the whole team drunk within two hours.

Kaiden and Shepard had danced a few times together, inspiring a certain mood. She thought about sleeping with him. It wouldn't be that bad. She could just hit it and quit it, after all she leaves tomorrow and won't have to deal with it after that. Seemed like he wanted things to go in that direction, with the way he threw his arm over her shoulder pulling her closer.

They both watched the others dancing themselves silly, laughing at Jenkins dance moves.

"Hey Shepard?" She turned to see Kaiden's face much closer then she was expecting. Kaiden wasn't bad looking just lacked a certain roughness about him. And he had been a coworker. She just happened to have a strict adherence from sex with co-workers due to the military, which didn’t really matter anymore in this case.

Plus her drinking had given her no rules for this situation except, do it.

Their lips met in the middle by some drunken force pushing them together. Not that Shepard was complaining. He wasn't a bad kisser. Her hand drew up to lay at the nape of his neck, pulling him closer. Why did it feel like she couldn't get close enough? Tequila, it's always the Tequila.

She pulled back for a moment to catch a breath, only to have Kaiden catch her lips again, moving to rest his hand on her upper thigh near the hem of her dress. He played with the bottom of it with his finger tips, inching the dress slowly up. She pressed closer, clutching at his shirt, almost two seconds from ripping it off. She pulled apart from the kiss once more, his hand coming up to stroke her jaw.

"Kaiden, we should..." She brushed her hair over her shoulder and shifted her eyes up to meet his.


"You want to get out of here?" His hand stoked down her thigh away from the hem to her knee. She looked around the bar then turning to him to give him a slight nod.

"Let me say bye though..." She turned to stand from the booth. Trying to put her heels on the ground with out looking like a new born deer was almost impossible. She caught herself, leaning against the table playing off how drunk she really was. 

She turned on her heel to go say goodbye to Wrex who seemed to be playing some bar games with a group of Turians in the corner. Making her way to the group, which had felt like it took hours to get there due to her current state. 

She looked to Wrex, placing a hand on his large arm. Steadying herself quickly with him as an anchor, she smiled at him widely. He caught a glimpse of her, drunkenly grinning at her. It took her longer then a moment to notice him pulling his hand out behind her to bring her in closer. If only she wasn't so drunk, she could dodge the slap that was about to sear across her back.

Too late. Far too late. The slap caused her to stumble forward into the Turian who she was standing behind of. The Turian quickly turned around to the sudden assault, placing his eyes on Shepard. He had a slightly green hue to his plates and white colony markings tracing across his face.


"I didn't mean too...I, uh S-sorry!" She pointed to Wrex, who quickly pushed her pointing fingers down.

"Not nice to point, Shepard."

She'd barely heard Wrex over the booming music. She looked to the Turian she just fell into again, who's eyes quickly fell to her heels, tracing his eyes up the curve of her hips to settle on her waist. His mandibles twitched.

Wrex reached out to nudge him, "Easy man."

He broke his contact with her waist moving to focus on her face. His brown eyes stared into hers. She was almost positive he could see the pink on her cheeks, a Turian just full on checked her out. And dare she say it was a little hot in here at the moment?

He reached out a hand to her.

"What's your name? I'm Decian." Decian spoke loudly fighting with the blasting bass. Wrex watched the exchange, tempted to get involved.

Wrex didn't get the opportunity. "Ready to go?"

Kaiden moved up behind her to lift her into his arms wedding style, almost dropping her at how drunk he was. He began to walk her away from Wrex and the Turian. Wasn't really Shepard's style, but she was too okay with getting laid to say anything about it. Plus, Tequila.

She glanced over her shoulder to wave at Wrex and the Turian. They both waved back, she could hear the doors to Dark Star flutter open. She drunkenly blew them both a kiss across the room, she hadn't even noticed earlier that the bar had began to clear out, making the exchange so much easier.

She watched the Turian say something to Wrex only to have Wrex jab him in the stomach and belt out a laugh. The Turian was heaved over still looking at her, maintaining what ever connection he could before they walked out the door.

"Cab's here." Kaiden quickly dumped her into the cab and climbed in after her. It was a quick five minutes to his apartment. The entire cab ride to his apartment was spent making out and fondling each other.

They moved into the apartment and Kaiden led their way to his room. When the got into his room he picked her up again and dropped her onto her back onto the bed, falling on top of her. 

Their tongues met in a frantic kiss, leaving them both breathless in seconds.

She pulled his shirt off as they struggled for breath. She pushed him off, if this was going to happen it needed to happen now. He laid off to the side next to her as she began to reach and undo the buckles at the her ankles. One shoe plopped to the floor while she worked on the other one, letting that one fall to the floor too. She stood up to pull her dress off. 

Kaiden is really asleep.... seriously?

She glanced to the man who should be helping her take off her dress, instead he was already asleep. And snoring at that. 

She sighed, pushing the hem of her dress back down making her stumble to the floor were her shoes were. She stared at the bed for a moment, noticing herself rock a little even with the still movement she was trying to achieve. She was way to drunk to leave in this state. She looked to the bed again and sighed. Wouldn't hurt to get a few hours of sleep then head back home.

She pushed herself up onto the bed, falling face first into a pillow. Closing her tired eyes, falling asleep within seconds.

Chapter Text

Garrus stepped into the mess hall of the Normandy, seeing his two Turian teammates sitting at the mess table, one with his head down and the other looked to be consoling him. 

"Have fun after I left last night?"

"Garrus... you shouldn't have left so early last night." Li looked from Chellick to Garrus. Garrus picked up a mug, pouring himself some dextro-coffee. It smelled delicious, it had been a late night even when he had left the bar. 

"Too busy playing Spectre. Plus, Chellick looks like shit. Maybe it was best that I didn't stay out so late. After I got that Krogan's resume, I called it quits."

Garrus sat down at the mess hall pulling up his holo to see the resume' still there, he distinctly remember telling the Krogan, 'If someone reputable puts in a good word, might think about it'. Honestly he had been quite a few drinks in last night himself when this was presented but looking at it now, Krogan had... skills and he seemed to know his way around things, who didn't want a battering ram on their team. He ganced at the poorly mocked up resume'. At least he tried.

Chellick still sat there un-moving, with his head down on his arms. Must be a hell of a hangover.

"He alright there? Do I need to replace you, cause I have a Krogan waiting in line."

Li gave Chellick a nudge which earned him a grunt. "Nah, he's just upset that he met a damn good looking girl and she went home with another guy, watched it with my own eyes." Li shook his head and looked to Chellick who hadn't moved. "Sad really."

Garrus took a sip of the sludge in the mug he was holding. "Must of been. I think this is just as sad though." Chellick groaned and lifted his head, laying his elbow onto the table and resting his chin atop of it. This was rare for Chellick. He was rarely refused, no wonder he was depressed. Giving a long sigh that could be heard through his subharmonics.

"Went home with some C-sec agent too."


Garrus grumbled a laugh and took another shot of his coffee. It was slowly bringing life to his senses. "I don't see what's wrong with C-sec officers."

Li let out a laugh. "Well, I think Chellick is just upset. Maybe cause I got some and he didn't."

Garrus raised his eyebrow plates, Li had a thing for not only women.... but men as well. His prospects in the galaxy were a little hard to find sometimes, he also seemed to prefer humans at that. Though if Garrus remembered correctly he was dating some guy on the Citadel, what was his name...

"Yeah, Damian met us at the bar, nice of him." That's right, Damian. He always mentioned if they got serious, he would never be able to bring him home to his parents.

Many of the older Turians, around their fathers age had the stigma towards humans, one that could mean exile or worse if caught. A stigma much like his own fathers. He'd kept the whole thing quiet, but it'd been three months since they started seeing each other. Eventually things would end up going in some sort of direction. Garrus wondered how that would even work, sex with a human... no... wait, he didn't really want wonder.

Shaking his head from his thoughts, he looked back to the spiritless Chellick practically sprawled across the table. "I'm sure you'll see her again, did she have white colony markings, you seem to have a thing for that."

Chellick shook his head and sighed sitting up. "You're probably right." 

Garrus nodded to him. "Plenty more Turians in the galaxy too."

Chellick and Li looked to each other quietly then burst out laughing. "Garrus.. honestly, you need to open some doors." Garrus's brow plates sank together. What are they getting at.

Li stood up still trilling to himself, moving to drop his mug in the sink. Garrus couldn't figure out why they were laughing at him, nor could he figure out what was so funny about what he had said.

"You know Chellick, maybe one day he'll know. Maybe soon? Who knows!" I will know what? 

Li moved back over to Chellick's side of the table giving him a pat on the back, both looking at Garrus before shouting in unison.

"NAH!"

"Morning." Came a demur accented voice from the right side of the galley. All three of them turned to see the white haired Doctor strut to the other coffee machine listed as 'levo' and pour herself a mug. "Are all you boys ready for your physicals today? Everyone comes aboard today correct, Commander?"

Garrus turned to her and nodded. "We have three new members joining us. Yes." She smiled and nodded to the boys. "I'll let you three know when I'm ready to go." She sauntered off into her office, the door shutting behind her.

Chellick nodded to Garrus standing up next from the table. "You know, I was talking to her briefly last night, I kind of like her. She knows what she's talking about."

Garrus had read up on her dossier, catching up on the crew that would be joining them. He hadn’t read much, just breezed through a few of them. Chawkwas was a Doctor and if-need-be Surgeon. She'd worked in the Alliance for close to 40 years, having served her younger years out in the field during the First Contact War. She had an impressive resume that even Garrus couldn't deny. She was a specialist in all the main races, Asari, Human, Turian, and Krogan, so it seemed she knew what she was doing.

"I agree. Alliance did a good job on picking her." Doctor Giza had hoped for the position, word had got around it was his ship and she made it clear she wanted to be aboard. The turn in recent events involving the mixed crew put a damper on that idea real quick.

"Good job on picking who? Are we making bets for who will be the first to jump off this cross species liaison of a ship?" Li cracked a laugh from across the room, then quietly snickered to himself. The pilot and Li will get along great. The younger man limped his way into the galley moving to the Levo-coffee machine.

What Garrus couldn't understand was how this guy, Joker, as he called himself, got here. He was supposed to be trained to fly this Cruiser like no one else. Must have been way better than anyone else by the looks of it, he only hoped he flies better than he walks.

He would never say any of that out loud, of course.But Turians would never let some one in such a condition be in active front line duty.

"I'd like in... if we are placing bets" Li nodded to Joker whom leaned against the counter and took a sip from his cup while watching Joker. Chellick moved over next to him dropping his mug into the sink next to Li's. 

"No, we should all be in it for the long run. Don’t think anyone’s second guessing anything..  yet."

Joker took a sip of his coffee, that seemed to be one thing they all agreed on, coffee. "I just can't wait to get this ship flying, wait till you see the moves this beauty makes. Unbelievable." Garrus agreed with Joker. He had read up on the ship as well. By far one of the best built ships out there. Stealth capabilities. FTL flight in less than a minute. A enormous Thannix Cannon inside. This ship was built to get work done.

Joker moved from the counter and began to head back to the elevator, coffee in hand. "See yah guys later." Shaking a wave in the air as he made his way slowly to the elevator, eventually disappearing.


Garrus stood up to dispose of his mug in the sink, when he turned back around Chellick was making his way back across the room to Li.

Garrus chirped back to conversation they had been having. "Anyway, Chellick hope you feel better. Plenty more out there. Don’t need you out of duty from something so...."

Li shook his head from across the room in the he corner he was in. "Oh Garrus, how wrong you are."

There was no way this Turian girl, he met at the bar was his one true love, Garrus knew he wasn't wrong about that. So why did they keep saying how wrong he was? 

Chellick waved Garrus off. "Don't worry about it, she ran off with her boyfriend. Life will go on." 

"Commander?" He heard the accented voice call out from the room across the mess.

"Doctor?" She gave him a smile and waived him over.

"I feel it is a good time to get your physical done first and out of the way. Wouldn't want to hinder your work later." She led him into the med bay, patting the chair across from her then motioning for him to take a seat. He wasn't wearing much, just a t'shirt fit for Turians and a pair of military grade workout pants. 

"Am I dressed fine?" Chawkwas nodded not even looking his way, pulling out a datapad from the cabinet.

"Relax Commander, I'm not going to take samples of you or anything. Well not yet anyway." Garrus leaned back in the chair. Do they do that in the Alliance? Is that really ethical?

"Jokes, Commmander." She smiled to herself, typing a few things into the datapad. Humans, did they all think they were so funny.

Garrus let out a chuff pretending he knew it was a joke. "Just a few questions to begin with, if you don't mind." Garrus nodded to her. Even sitting, he towered over the Doctor. She looked so tiny in her chair. She moved to cross her legs, giving him a smile.

"Have you been tested for levo resistance?" She quickly followed up the questions with an example. "We will have humans aboard as well, there may possibly be mix up as far as food and what not goes. Need to make sure if anything happens, we are prepared. "

Garrus sat forward leaning his elbows onto his knees. "Safe there." She quickly typed into the datapad, then looked back up to him.

"Last tested in bootcamp, I assume?" Garrus nodded to her and she typed again. "We'll run one more, just to make sure. Allergies can spring up on the spot with out you even knowing." 

She continued down the questionnaire ending with questions involving his most recent sexual relations, to which he answered honestly.

"Have you had any recent relations with any species outside Turian?" He let out a little laugh and shook his head. "Wouldn't be sitting in front of you if I had. Father would’ve killed me long ago.”

Chawkwas grinned, standing up from her seat, pushing it in. She motioned to Garrus to move to the hospital type bed. "Let me guess, your father fought in the contact war?" 

Garrus answered her, giving himself a push up onto the medical bed. She moved a few things over with her setting them on the tray next to her. "I hear that more than you could ever know, I know we all had our differences. I was there too but...." She picked up a few more things, setting them onto her tray. "Now's the time to make a difference and stand together. We won't solve any issues if we don't set aside our differences, you know." 

Garrus looked to the Doctor, should he be surprised at the words she says? No, he shouldn't. This whole ship is going to be built upon a joint effort from everyone. If we aren't all in it, then what is the point.

"We'll just have to see what kind of Commander you decide to be, right?" She smiled and gave him a wink. Not a flirty wink but a motherly, all-knowing wink.

Chawkwas had reminded him of his mother. She was always the softer one in the family, never afraid to speak her mind. If she saw what was happening today, she'd burst out in tears of joy. Together we stand. That was her moto. She knew things would have come together one day. It was one thing she hoped for most before her passing.

The Doctor set her datapad down aside on the hospital bed, standing straight in front of Garrus. "I hear you may have been tapped on your last field mission? Let's see it." 

He quickly pulled at his loose T-shirt pulling it over his head. The Doctor moved over to levers that lifted and raised the bed, pushing the lever down low so she could look at the wound as well as do her general check up. When the bed settled down low enough, she moved over leaning slightly over him. He was fairly certain this was the first time any human had seen him shirtless, he couldn't even imagine seeing a human shirtless, or what to think if he did. 

He could only imagine that it might end up happening on this ship, some sort of slip ups. Aside from the three core crew members aboard, there were two other engineers serving as well. The chances of someone seeing something they weren’t entirely prepared to deal with, could happen. But as Chawkwas said, it's time to set aside some differences.

The Doctor picked at the bandage he'd replaced himself this morning, giving it a gentle rip off. She picked up his arm, examining the wound carefully. Her hands were slightly cool when she touched his hide. First time he’d felt human hands too, soft and seemingly pliable.

"Looks good, your last Doctor did an excellent job putting you back together, might have only minimal scaring." He nodded to her. Giza had done an excellent job, he'd only become slightly more interested in the job she was doing after they had been together.

Chawkwas picked up a rubber band from her table tying it around his opposite arm, preparing it for a blood sample. She quickly poked him, pulling the blue blood out quickly and covered up the new hole with a cotton ball and some medical tape.

She checked his breathing, had him do some stretch tests and did a quick physical. She put all of her supplies aside, grabbing a gauze pad and the medical tape to cover up the aired out wound. She taped it up and gave his arm a pat.

"All done Commander, if you would like any of your information after I run a few quick tests, just let me know." She moved her tray off to the side and began to dispose of the used items. "Also Commander, would recommend some flexibility exercises, wouldn't want you getting cramped up out on the field."   

He stood from the bed and threw his shirt over his again. He stifled a laugh from the flexibility comment, good thing she doesn't know the double meaning of a Turian’s flexibility and reach. Or did she?

"Please send one of other crew members in after, I only have Chellick and Li's files to take care of." Garrus pulled up his omnitool sending the message to the boys, taking his leave from the office. He moved to the elevator to get dressed in some proper civies, wouldn't want to make a bad first impression for the rest of the crew, right? He took the elevator up to the top floor where his cabin was. 

He'd never had a cabin to himself, in all his dealings on ships. It would only make sense on a Human and Turian built ship that some changes would come about. From what he checked out when he got here, there was more room for space then any other ship he'd served on. The crew members all had their own beds and their own spaces. There was an observation deck which had a full length window, he definitely planned to take some time there. He'd seen out windows on ships before but never one that allowed some to feel as though they were among them.

He had checked out the cannon in the main battery, it was impressive and he only hoped he would have time to see what he could do with it, he was almost positive he could calibrate it to even better specs than current. He’d spend most of his time hiding away in there. He couldn't have asked for a better ship, he only hope he could live up to such a ship and a crew.

He reached his room in no time, allowing his omnitool to unlock the doors. He glanced around the large cabin, he almost felt bad at how big it was. It had a desk for him to work at, a full sized bed and window above it that would soon peer into space. It was a magnificent ship and it only excited his nerves, they were ready to get going.

When all the crew was a aboard they would take off to the first mission point, investigating a signal in the Artemis Tau cluster.  

Chapter Text

"Shepard, good to see you alive after last night." Shepard peered up to see Wrex leaning on the wall opposite her door. She gave him a little smile, moving her stuff out of the apartment into the hall. Two giant duffel bags and her long metal Viper case.

"Don't you have better things to do? Like selling illegal rifle mods in the wards like I usually catch you doing?" Wrex was never far from trouble, ever. It was almost like a moth to a flame, but somehow Wrex was the flame and trouble was the moth. It followed him like a loyal friend. 

She picked up both her bags hauling them over her shoulders. She groaned at the weight of her bags, one had all the clothes she would need and the other had her armor and any guns she might need. She was a little worried that they might not be supplied aboard, or if they were supplied, they might not be what she would want to fight with.

Wrex smiled a wide smile. "Heh heh heh. I'm gonna miss that." He picked up her rifle case tucking it under his arm like nothing more than a folder. "Figured I'd see you only one more time before you went out to kick ass without me. You mind if I fight you in front of that Spectre... just want to let him know what kind of pyjack he's allowing onboard." He had attempted something like that about two years ago instead it was in front of Bailey, and she ended up with a slight concussion. Never head butt an angry Krogan as a means to gain the upper hand. Never.

She had a feeling he might miss her, she would miss him. He'd been a constant in her life in the last two years, one that won't be easily replaced.

Shepard moved out to the cab that was waiting on the cab dock, throwing her stuff into back. Taking a quick glance back to her apartment, as much as she feel she might miss it, she was almost sure she wasn't going to at all. In a way it frightened her. Leaving a safe lifestyle, well relatively safe lifestyle to again putting herself at risk. She shook her head quickly of the thought, life without risks is no life to live. 

She turned to the cab and climbed in, only to be shoved aside by the Krogan climbing in after her. The cab settled down bumping the ground as it adjusted it's gravity for a moment and took off towards the docking bays. 

The cab arrived in no time at the docks, she would have to move through customs on her way out and deliver her military charges. Other than that she was home free to the new ship. Just thinking about it made her nerves tingle from her head down to her toes. 

The cab settled down on the dock, unlocking it's doors for Shepard and Wrex, allowing them to get out. She hauled her duffel bags out of the back and slung them over her shoulder while Wrex picked up her rifle once again slipping it under his arm. They moved over to the customs line. Shepard glanced to Wrex giving him a quick look down. She was almost sure he had a weapon on him, and the odds it was just one were highly low. Besides would they even let him out on the military docks as a visitor?

They moved through the line arriving at the clerk in just a few moments, she threw her duffel bags onto the conveyor belt that would check the interior of her bags. Wrex nodded to the clerk, typing something into his omnitool quickly and closing it out. The clerk nodded to him, Wrex stepped past Shepard moving through the scanners to the other side. No doubt ignoring any threat he might pose. It seems that every person on the Citadel was some sort of dirty, she couldn't wait to be further away from it. 

The clerk moved his eyes from Wrex to Shepard. "You have clearance and papers?" She nodded scanning her omnitool over the sensors, watching the light signal green for her passage. The clerk nodded to her allowing her to move through, she picked up her duffel bags hauling them once again onto her shoulders. She was glad she had thrown on her N7 hoodie, it allowed her a small comfort from the straining heavy bags. 

Wrex escorted her down a few bays, until they reached the guarded door to bay 19. She looked to the door, stopping in her tracks, taking a deep breath. It was a huge moment, she stood outside of herself for just a moment.

Her mother would be so incredibly angered that she was returning. She almost knew she was turning in her grave at this very second. She silently said goodbye to her past coworkers and friends she had made, she silently promised Alesseo she wouldn't give up, and made a promise to herself that she would continue to do the right thing from here on out, no matter what. 

"Ma'm, can I check your credentials?" The male Turian moved forward towards her breaking her from her thoughts. She broke from her silent petition and quickly nodded to him holding her omnitool out to his scanner. It blinked green again allowing her passage once again. The Turian nodded to her. "Welcome aboard, Lieutenant Commander Shepard. Is the Krogan with you?" 

"Just dropping me off." The Turian raised his brow plates in surprise and took a step aside, allowing the doors to open to the bay.

Upon stepping onto the balcony where the ship rested, she took in the ships entirety. It's black and white designs patterned across the sides of the ship running towards the back of it. The large lettering of 'Normandy' was attached to the side of the ship, following the patterned stripes across the hull. She heard Wrex grunt next to her, giving her a punch on the arm. "Damn ship looks like a toy. Never seen anything like it." She rubbed her arm, continuing to take in the ship. She could only imagine the inside was just as beautiful as the outside, the last ship she served on was no where near this high-tech or cutting edge. She was impressed, where did this ship really come from? The future? It was breathtaking.

Wrex trudged on forward to the cargo ramp that was allowing people on and off the ship. They all looked to be busy checking cargo and getting things ready for flight. She stepped onto the cargo hatch, taking her first steps onto the ship. She glanced down to her black and white laced sneakers taking each step up. She hadn't dressed in her blues, opting for a more casual outfit to settle herself. A pair of leggings fit the purpose perfectly, more than likely she would have to get a physical done and it's best to be comfortable when being poked and prodded.

Wrex was already at the top of ramp staring at something by the time she reached the top. Her eyes followed his gaze falling onto a Mako that looked to be being serviced. Shepard grinned at the rover. "Oh, this just get's better."

She was the only one in boot camp to simultaneously be awarded 'Most Efficient Driver' and 'Most likely to Drive off a Cliff'. Both by which she excepted whole heartily. 

"Shepard, why do I have a feeling you're a reckless driver?" She shook her head stepping up to the Mako, touching the wheel base that was currently in the air slightly. "Not reckless, I just know what I'm doing, you never seen me in action Wrex." She patted the clean tire looking to see a training area in the corner complete with a punching bag, some training equipment, and some sparing mats. Mini training area, very nice. 

She gazed continued around the room, coming to lie on the elevator at the center, it's probably best to go find the Spectre aboard and have him show her were she will be staying. She trudged to the elevator looking at her options for floors. Captains quarters. Combat Information Center. Crew Deck. The ship was a total of 4 floors, not bad for a ship this size, she was expecting at most maybe two. She wondered how many would be serving aboard as well, seemed like a ship that didn't need a huge crew, but a just few minimal people who knew what they were doing. 

She pressed the C.I.C button, the elevator greeted them in good time. I could get used to this

They stepped in allowing the elevator to take them up two floors, opening up into the high tech Combat Center. The holo of the galaxy that stood before her was impressive, as well as the holo of the ships current systems. Wrex turned the corner walking passed her off to the left entering into a room, she glanced to the door. Gun Locker. Of Course. He's going to get her kicked off before she even settles in, maybe this is her chance to make a run for it and handcuff herself to a pipe so they have to take her.

A young, female Turian walked up to greet her. "You must be Lieutenant Commander Shepard?" She quickly saluted Shepard, and Shepard gave her a smile and a salute back. This could quite possibly be the first of many salutes from Turians, it was oddly welcoming. She drew her hand out to shake with Shepard. "I am Yeoman Vina Mactumus, please call me Vina, I will be serving aside you and Commander Vakarian. Let me show you to your room so you can put those heavy bags down."

Shepard looked to the peach color plates that rested on Vina's face decorated with white colony markings that ran across her forehead in a geometric lined pattern. Shepard had to look up to her to make eye contact with her, she had bright, almost gray eyes. "Lead the way, I'd love to put them down, feels like I'm smuggling two full grown Krogan's aboard."

She let a little laugh fall from her mouth and nodded in agreement. "I'm sure!" She took Shepard back down to the Crew Deck. As they passed through, there was a Turian Male sitting at the table, resting his arm across it playing with his omnitool. He glanced up, then back down to his omnitool, then quickly looked back up to Shepard with a some what shocked look. She caught the entire exchange he made and glanced behind her to see if there was someone he was looking at. She saw no one there and deducted that the Turian must know her from somewhere or maybe he was very friendly. Vina looked to sitting Turian. "This is Lilihierax Varlus, crew member by which you will be fighting along side." 

He closed his omnitool, standing from his seated position at the table. He took a few steps to meet Shepard where she was standing, giving her a salute. She saluted him as well. He quickly moved to shake hands with her as well, making eye contact. "You must be Lieutenant Commander Shepard. Everyone calls me Li, feel free to do the same. I look forward to working with you." She was surely impressed by the Turian's so far, most weren't so.... open. If that's the right word...

"I look forward to it as well. Please, you can both just call me Shepard. No need for extra titles." She waved her hand in the air as if she was dismissing the titles with her hand. Li nodded to her, giving her a quick goodbye, shuffling off around the corner near the elevator. 

Vina continued to walk off to the left of the mess, inviting Shepard over to a door. It slid open, giving her a view of a nice neat room to call her own. "Vina, are you sure this is mine? Shouldn't I be with the crew?" She took one of the bags off Shepard's shoulder stepping into the room and settled it along side the port window on the small couch there. 

"It's all yours, the Commander has his own quarters upstairs. They made a split second decision to turn this into a room for you instead of turning it into a training room." Shepard grimaced a little settling her duffel bag next to the other, shrugging the weight off her shoulders. She shouldn't be treated any differently then any of the crew, especially taking away a training room for the crew.

"Don't worry, if we left it a training room it would've been the world's smallest, most useless training room to ever exist." She laughed to herself, glancing back to Shepard. "Could you imagine me sparing in here? I'd run into a wall in no time!" Shepard stifled a laugh at the mental image. She was right, it would work for Humans, but Turians.. not so much. Vina turned to smile at her, moving past Shepard to the door. 

"When you have yourself settled, just let me know. I'll locate the Commander for you or have him come find you." 

Shepard nodded to her and Vina waved goodbye. She kind of liked Vina, she was spirited and very friendly. If all the Turian's are like this on board, this will be one of the friendliest ships she'd served on. Even Alliance ships didn't have so many friendly people aboard, and they were all the same species. 

She glanced around the room, seeing a nice sized bed pushed into the back corner and desk rested along the inside wall of the room, making room for the couch that rested below the port window. They were nice little touches, allowing comfort on such a ship. She bent over to unzip her duffel bags, placing her clothes into the drawers that lied built into the wall next to her bed. She packed away everything in that duffel, opening up the next one and catching the shine of her black armor. 

She pulled out the chest piece, wiping her hand across the N7 plaque that lied on the chest. The black of the armor was still shined liked it was new, making it possible for Shepard to see her reflection. She couldn't wait to get it dirty and even more so couldn't be more ready to put it on.

She remembered the day she had the chance to pick out the color variations for the armor, opting for a black on gray with the classic N7 stripe that lies on the right arm of her armor. Most of the other students opted for colors, not Shepard. She wanted stealth and she wanted a color of strength, something that reflected space itself, embodying freedom among the stars. Something she wished she had never left in the first place, despite what happened in the past.

She set the armor onto her desk when she heard her door whisk open.

"Told yah this is my reference." Shepard glanced between Wrex and the male Turian standing at the door then back to Wrex.

Shepard straightened up from her position and pointed to her chest, looking at the Krogan and Turian standing at her door. "I'm your reference for what?"

The Turian crossed his arm across his chest giving a nod. He was dressed in his black civies that showed off the gray in his face plates nicely. The blue colony markings that banded across his face and mandibles created a even balance to his face plates. The color even complimented his eyes. "Seems you're the reference on his resume, hoping you'll vouch for him to come aboard." He glanced to Wrex again. "I guess, if our newest Lieutenant Commander doesn't think he'll be a menace. He can come aboard." 

Shepard glanced between the two again. She turned her head, almost disapproving of Wrex. Why would he want to be aboard a ship, and a Council ship at that? He'd would be a decent partner to fight along side of though, he's heavy handed and has no problem 'bashing some skulls' as he calls it.

Shepard nodded to them both, agreeing to consent his boarding upon the ship. She almost couldn't believe Wrex would do such a thing. He had actually put in a resume' and everything. Shepard was awfully perplexed about the whole thing, she would have to ask him later about it.

Wrex moved away from the door and the Turian. "I'll be downstairs." He trudged off, leaving Shepard and this Turian, who must be the Commander. 

She stepped forward saluting him and he did the same, both reached out to shake each others hands. Shepard gripped his gloved hand in a solid shake. "Please, call me Shepard. Commander Vakarian." 

A quick nod followed him letting go of her hand. "Please call me Garrus. Vakarian is my father." 

Being a little closer allowed her to take stock of him. He was tall, taller than Vina, maybe almost six and half feet tall. His head spikes reached far back across his head, meeting in the front where pale blue eyes met her equally blue eyes. If she thought about it, he was confident and had a commanding air about him.

"Are you settling in okay? Do you need anything?" She shook her head, crossing her arms over her chest and jutting out her hip a little. He did seem a little uncomfortable if she read into the situation. Might be one of the first times he's met Human's before, many Turian's in the military don’t come cross humans in a peaceful capacity. She was sure he didn't seem like the type to judge, but societal norms can often get in the way of an individuals preferences and morals.

Shepard are you analyzing him? Stop! The little voice in her head echoed. It was hard to stop herself it was almost natural, she'd been at it for so long.

The silence stretched as she took the moment to think to herself, he reached up to rub the back of his head, she could tell he was wondering if asked the right question. That's kind cute.

She widened her eyes at the thought that just passed through quickly willing it to leave her alone. She moved over to stand in front of her desk, focusing onto the conversation at hand.

"No worries, I'm just getting settled in. Almost done, might drop off my guns up at the gear-up lockers by the hatch then go to sleep. Did you see where that Krogan put my..."

"M-97 Viper?" Shepard looked to Garrus, of course he would know his guns. A Turian like him doesn't get to his position without knowing a little something about some guns. Another plus to this Commander Vakarian, he was very quickly earning points on her likability scoreboard. Two perfect strikes for Vakarian

"It's a nice gun, has a sight mod added too. Usually you can't find this model on the Citadel, where did you find it?" Oh he knows his guns, and he knows them well. Number three! They just might get along fine, who was worried about everyone not getting along?

She smiled and leaned against the desk behind her crossing her arms. "Actually, I had a friend pick it up off Palaven. Kassa has made this model very difficult to find outside the hands of Turians. I was lucky he sent it to me. Let me guess you prefer a....." She put her fingers to her lips, giving them a little tap. She squinted her eyes at him and raised them wide when she thought of her answer. "...a 92 Mantis. Of course the clip has to modded though, no one can work quick enough with a gun only shooting one bullet every minute."

Garrus's eyebrow plates met in a surprised look causing his mandibles to flair outward. Bingo. She profiled his gun type perfectly, and it said a lot about him too. He takes care of business, he doesn't mess around, and he aims to kill and get the job done no matter what.

"Almost perfect.... though I'd think you were reading up on me if I didn't say so. That's a pretty good guess." She hadn't actually even thought about looking him up, she could've but that takes away the little thrill she get's from analizing someone. He just looks so military, it was an honest to God, lucky guess.

"I'm sure you had the opportunity to take a peak as well?"

He nodded and looked off into the mess then making eye contact with her again. "I did have opportunity, I should've read up a little closer. Didn't know you were psychic though, who knows who'll be aboard next, we already have Krogan I wasn’t planning on." He put his hands on his hips thinking about what he might say next. "...All we need is a magician and we'll have a full crew." She giggled a little at his joke, almost so quiet he probably didn't even hear it. 

She heard the coms in the ship ring out through the hull. "Commander, please come to the C.I.C. when available."

Garrus nodded to Shepard, taking a step back about to make his leave. "Chawkwas would like to take a look at you tomorrow morning."

Shepard smiled at him and pushed off her desk. "Certainly Commander."

He looked to her one more time, pointing one of his fingers at her, quickly correcting how he preferred to be called. "Right, Garrus."

He moved off to the elevator quickly, making his way up a floor. She forced shut her door and moved off to the bed lying down onto it. It was no where near as comfortable as her bed at home, but it'll do. She stared off, thinking about the conversation with the Commander. He's smart, he's knows his way around a gun or two and seems to be slightly uncomfortable with Humans still. She grinned to herself, not a bad ship at all. She couldn't wait to meet the rest of the crew and get to know them.

You did good Anderson. 

  

Chapter Text

Garrus awoke to feeling overly excited about the day, today they would have clearance for take off and would have everyone aboard. The past few days had Garrus on edge, he'd been trying to help the crew do the final preparations before they would be leaving the Citadel. Late last night Solana had sent him a message requesting to talk to him over holo when he has a free moment, she assured him in the message it wasn't a priority. When he had received the message originally, he was worried his father might have found something out about the Normandy. Thank the Spirits it wasn’t that

He made his way down the elevator to the mess, the instant aroma of morning food and coffee mixed in the air. It was comforting to know that breakfast was something that wasn't going to be skipped upon this ship. The last ship only offered cooked dinner and rations for every other meal. However, the cooked meals were often no better than the prepackaged rations that had been sitting in a bin for ten years. 

He could see a few of the crew sitting at the table speaking with each other. He found Chellick off at the end of the kitchen bar leaning on it while a cook cooked. It looked to be a Dextro breakfast and even some Levo for their new Human counterparts. All of it smelled fairly delicious and he couldn't wait until he was given a plate. He glance to the Turian cook, he was impressed that they had found a cook that could cook decent food for both a Levo and Dextro crowd.

He picked up a mug filling it to the brim with Coffee, taking a glance to Chellick who was playing with his cup. He was casting his eyes back and forth between Chawkwas office and the steaming liquid. 

"Morning Chellick." Garrus leaned onto the counter staring at his coffee, willing it to cool down. The steam lifted off the surface, funneling into the air creating intricate patterns. 

A mutter came out from Chellick. "Morning." He took another quick peak to the office again. 

"Did you have a bad experience in there? Did she check your plates or something?" Chellick made quick eye contact to Garrus, giving him a quick shake to his head. Chellick looked like he was looking or trying to avoid someone. Garrus wasn't sure which one it might be but with Chellick‘a attitude it could be the latter. Garrus's attention was drawn to the Bay, there was movement by the doctor from within the room, must be a physical going on.

He saw their newest recruit move in line behind the window, but focusing all her attention on Chawkwas who was standing in front of her. The doctor was carrying through a few tests involving touch and stretching, the same one that she took the rest of the crew through. He let out a small chuckle to himself remembering Chawkwas' comment yesterday. Flexibility...

"So that's the infamous Shepard huh?" Chellick nodded with his head towards the window, Garrus's gaze followed Chellick's to the two females in the room once again. Shepard's long dark, almost black fringe was tied back against the back of her head like yesterday, it fell down her back in a neat waterfall of fringe. No wait, they call it.... hair. 

She copied Chawkwas's movement raising her arms straight in the air above her head, a laugh escaped her mouth, she then broke into a wide grin at Chawkwas. They looked like they were enjoying themselves.

His gaze moved from the some what private physical that was going on in the room across the mess, focusing in on his cooling coffee. Quickly taking a sip.

He liked Shepard in their first meeting. She was young, much younger then he had expected. But gun can tell you a lot about a soldier and the way they operate. He remembered fighting a weird feeling that washed over him when she mentioned his preferences in guns.

'M-92 Mantis with a modded clip size.'  When she mentioned it, a rush of vigor ran through his veins making a subtle fire spark, no one had guessed him so perfectly let alone with only 'hello's' so far into a conversation. He was impressed, he only hoped she was as good on the field as she was off.

Garrus placed his gaze back to Chellick. The Turian looked deep in thought, swirling his coffee in circles.

"Have you met her yet? You might be profiled when you do." Garrus stood up tall leaning his talons on the counter that he’d been leaning on, almost bragging a little about her. Maybe she likes to talk guns and mods, maybe he'll finally have someone who enjoys his hobbies aboard. Chellick nor Li really enjoyed when Garrus talked shop about guns, claimed 'We use guns all day on the field, thinking about them off the field only makes me want to run from you'. Chellick usually followed the comment with, 'Couldn't he find a normal hobby? Like picking up chicks or collecting Fornax'. 

Chellick stood and grabbed his cup of coffee up into his hands, taking a quick sip. "We met briefly, she's nice. Met her the other night at the bar with the Krogan." He shuffled off around the corner to the hallway without saying much of another word. Chellick had seemed down in spirits in some sort of capacity, maybe a little frustrated, his sub-harmonics only told as much. Garrus thought about it for a second, trying to figure what the trigger might be.  Maybe he just needed a spar session to sort out his mind. Probably still a little depressed about his 'one true love' leaving him in the bar. Garrus chuffed to himself. Chellick was such a ladies man, didn’t really think that he would want to stick to just one?

Garrus reminded himself to talk to Li later and see if maybe he would offer to spar with Chellick. Garrus would himself, if he wasn't so busy with prepping the ship. After this cup and a bite of food, he would be taking care of final preparations. He was excited and determined, he would make sure this ship would be leaving as soon as possible.

Garrus gaze glazed over to the window to the med bay again, Shepard and the Doctor hadn't noticed his and Chellick's stares that pierced the glass moments ago. Shepard held her arms out straight in front of her, Chawkwas giving a push on both arms testing her resistance, she looked strong barely fazing the pushes from the older Doctor. He made a subtle reminder to himself to read up more on Shepard. Her dossier was extremely long and he'd only skimmed it. Barely even reading it.

A plate of food clinked down in front of him, along with a fork. He nodded to the chef thanking him for the meal. Garrus leaned his body onto the island not wanting to get to comfortable at the mess hall table, he had things to take care of today. He can worry about including himself tomorrow.

A bite of food hit his palate making him nod in appreciation, once again giving the chef the compliments. He continued to eat, his gaze moving from the quiet mess table to the room across the way once again. Human's were so odd. Shepard was dressed in a top that showed her arms, her upper chest and neck were exposed, shouldn't she be cold? What's the point of the shirt?  

He'd never really seen so many Humans up close, his father had raised him on Palaven with his mother. And he'd gone to a Turian only bootcamp, the closest you were to a Human was the one on the holo depicting their weak spots. His father had sheltered him from Humans for most of his life, only was it until he'd gotten to be Commander did his run-ins with Humans increase. Though he didn't pay much mind to them, he didn't really have much of a problem with them like his father did.

Though he still wasn't entirely sure how to act around them. Human's seemed to be no where near as serious as Turian's were, from what he had experience with at least. He definitely had trouble reading them. He couldn't tell if they were upset or angry, or indifferent or even happy. The facial features and body language was all it's own. Turian's were so much more platonic in their dealings, smell and vibrations were easy signals. 

He took another bite of the delicious food, he caught movement again in the bay drawing him from his spacing out moment. He watched Chawkwas walk to the side of Shepard as she reached down to touch her toes, nearly folding perfectly in half. Garrus tilted his head in curiosity, staring at the picture. Human's were very flexible, if he had done that he was sure he'd break in half. He couldn't help but watch her hair fall from her back forward past her head. It reminded him of threads or silk, it looked soft. Chawkwas did a spine test, patting along her back, checking her alignment. 

As he took another bite, his gaze met the Doctor's who looked straight back at him. Chawkwas shook her head putting the datapad down onto the medical bed at her side. The Doctor's mouth moved talking to Shepard but he had no idea what she was saying. Garrus watched her move to stand straight back up again, meeting his blue eyes from across the way. A small smile passed across her lips. She lifted her right arm to give a small wave to him. He gave her a subtle wave back with the utensil he had in his hands. Human's are so weird.

Chawkwas moved to the window, shaking her head disappointingly at Garrus, quickly closing the blinds to the Med bay. Now that the blinds were closed, he supposed he had been watching the exchange for a little too long. 

 He scooped up the rest of his food into his mouth, side glancing to the chef off to the right of him. Hopefully, the cook hadn't noticed his intense staring into Med bay as well. The Turian cook nodded to him, setting more food down onto the bar. Garrus set his plate into the washer for whoever had dishes later, next stop was the C.I.C.

Upon stepping out of the elevator, he was met by Vina who was speaking to one of the Human Engineers that were aboard. Both Vina and the Engineer nodded to him as he exited the elevator, he briefly tried to remember the engineers name again, Donnelly. That was it. He had checked out both of the engineers' dossiers as well, making sure they seemed like good options for the ship. Once again it was perfect match. Both engineers were experienced, best in their class. He had to give it up to the Alliance were it was due. They had done an excellent job putting people on his ship.

The engineer gave Garrus a quick nod, heading into the elevator behind Garrus. 

Vina greeted him starting immediately with a quick itinerary. "Commander, everything is counted and checked for. Engineering has cleared take off. We have all persons on the roster accounted for, plus one Krogan. Check with Joker for take off, clearance has been granted for the earliest 0900 hours..." She quickly checked omnitool. "...which is in roughly 5 minutes." He was thoroughly impressed. Vina was young and this ship was likely her first or her second ship she would serve on. Not many know exactly what it takes to get a ship boarded for the first time, even the most experienced had trouble. She didn't seem to have needed a single given direction.   

His mandibles flared at Vina. He was proud. What did he do to deserve everything that has been given to him. "Vina. Great job." 

She gave a quick nod and turned back to her station, taking care of all the little things. The way this ship was starting to come together was something of a site. No fights, no yelling, everyone was getting along and working very well together. He kind had hoped there might be some indifference aboard, only to prove his father's hate for humans appropriate. The whole thing did leave him afraid for the day his father finds out about this ship's crew. He had been kind of surprised that Fedorian hadn't said a word about it. Fedorian and his father were relatively close friends, he must have known what kind of hindrance it might cause to his father. He was a smart man and he had connections among many, he could know within seconds about the Normandy and it's crew. The good thing was the idea of a Human and Turian crew was almost so far fetched, unless it was actually presented to him, his father wouldn't believe it. 

Garrus moved across the deck path ending up behind Joker's chair, he was firing some quick rapid data collections. "Hey Commander. This baby's all fired up and systems are green. We've got clearance, in exactly..." Garrus looked down to the pilot, who nodded to the screen that he was staring at. "Now."

Garrus looked back to Vina as Joker spoke to her through their coms. "Vina, let's get the cargo hatch closed and we are ready for flight." He could see her quickly nodding, sending the orders straight down to the bay. It was really happening right now. They would be in the stars in moments, heading toward their first mission. The electricity rose again through his veins, igniting his senses. 

"Let's get out of here." 

"Aye Aye, Captain." He spoke into the com repeating what Vina had told him. "Cargo hatch sealed, ready for take off, copy." 

The ship shifted into movement with grace, almost not even felt. The ship began to slowly move forward through the flight path out of Citadel air. Other smaller crafts passed them as they headed towards the gravity shields. They passed through the shield and in moments they were graced with stars and the beyond reaches of space. The Normandy hadn't even felt as though it was in flight, it was incredibly graceful. 

Joker revved the propulsion systems, giving it a jab to head to the nearest relay, they would be in the Artemis Tau cluster in four relay jumps. It would give him plenty of time to take care of things aboard and prep a possible shore party if needed.

He headed straight up to his room, to speak with Solana. This will probably be his moment to get in contact and see what she might want to talk about. 

He hopped into the elevator allowing it to carry him to his room. He quickly moved to his desk and sat down tapping into his coms, pulling up Solana's extranet address. It only took her a moment before she picked up.

"Big Brother, to what do I owe the pleasure?" Something must be up, she's acting very sassy.

"Not sure, you wanted to speak to me... you sent a message?" 

"Oh right, yes... I forgot!" She looked around the room she was in and then leaned closer to the holo. "General Corinthus was here last night... I mean at least it wasn't the Primarch you know..."

Garrus sat forward and payed attention to the holo of his sister. If anyone might say something it could be the General. Corinthus was highly regarded, having been a forefront Commander during the Relay 314 incident. The only reason Garrus wasn't freaking out at the moment was the fact his father hadn't tried to reach him. If his father had found out his omnitool would've needed to be spaced real quick. 

"I had messaged you as soon as possible... it was good thing though. He wanted to congratulate you, instead he just celebrated with father. They drank themselves silly." 

Garrus's sigh of relief could probably be heard all the way down to the cargo bay. The relief that washed over him, relaxed his muscles and running thoughts. Probably wasn't the best idea to have his emotions going in different directions right before a possible landing. But it was better to know than not to.

"Geez, Garrus. You're such a worrier. Are you in flight yet?" 

Garrus nodded taking his mind back to the conversation with his sister. "Heading to Artemis Tau. I'll give you call after if you want?"

"No big hurry, big bro. Just had to let you know the gossip."

"Thanks Sol."

"Bye Bro, hopefully we'll see you soon again!"

He said his goodbye and hung up the call. Solana was such a handful. She had him on edge the entire first part of the call. Corinthus must have just wanted to catch up on good times. It still did nothing to ease Garrus's worrying of his father finding out. When his father finds out, many things could happen. He could blow up the Councilor's office, take on the Hierarchy himself for agreeing to the notion, or fly himself out to the nearest relay and hunt them down himself.

His father would obsess over it, just like when Garrus was a child being read bedtime stories. Every story ended with some Human hurting a Turian or Turian shooting a bad Human. His mother would scold his father for saying such things, but it was a reality for his father. Though Garrus could only hope that when his father finds out there's still a Citadel to dock at. 

"Commander?"

"Yes, Lieutenant Moreau."

"Joker, Commander. Joker." Joker quickly adjusted the name. Two could play this game, their was a reason he was called 'Joker'.

"Garrus, Lieutenant." 

"Garrus... maybe the pole is further up then Li mentioned?" Garrus rolled his eyes at the joke. It's not the first time nor the last time he will hear a joke like that. 

"Did you need me for something or...."

"ETA to Artemis Tau, 20 minutes." Garrus quickly thanked Joker and moved off from the conversation. He had the faint feeling they would have to make land fall to see what could be happening down there. He looked to the com button on his desk that would address Vina. He thought twice about having her alert some of the crew that a landing party may want to be ready. Maybe he should just do it himself, just like he used to. He nodded to himself and stood, he'll go down and address the crew himself. Just like old times.

Chapter Text

The ship was moving before Shepard even knew it, an announcement had been made sometime right after she had finished her physical with Doctor Chawkwas.

The physical had gone well, Chawkwas had been happy to see her in such great shape, almost in as good of shape from when she was in the military. Shepard was sure she had read her history, she knew a lot of details that weren't covered publicly about her injuries from the past. The Doctor expressed her concern, making it very clear that if anythings ails her she come see Chawkwas immediately, especially given her previous injuries. Shepard was just thankful nothing ailed her to this day, the injuries she had sustained on Akuze were fairly severe but no longer bothered her.

Shepard and Chawkwas had left the med bay shortly after what had seemed to be take off, honestly they could barely tell. The ship moved effortlessly, if Vina hadn't made an announcement they wouldn't have even known better.

They both had headed the mess still chatting with each other, they picked up their breakfasts from the chef and sat at the mess table. Shepard took a few bites of the food then let out a satisfied moan. The food was better then anything she'd had on a ship, nearly restaurant quality.

"Thank you Chef, let's get married, I could eat this everyday!" Chawkwas and the chef laughed together at the comment. At least she was making a good impression in front of everyone. Well maybe asking the cook to marry her on the first day might not be the best impression. 

The chef flared his mandibles proudly. "My pleasure, though I already have a mate... I'll let you know when she's ready to get rid of me." He went back to cleaning the dirty pots and pans. Maybe she should help the guy out, it was awfully large amount of dishes to wash. Maybe she could have the Commander could set up a schedule for some of the crew to help him. Cleaning dishes sucks, doesn't make it as painful when there's someone to help out. 

Chawkwas smiled at Shepard, quickly clearing her mouth of food before speaking. "Shepard. It is good to see you're embracing such a diverse crew, I think everyone else has been a little hesitant about the change.."

Shepard picked up her bacon and munched on a piece of it. So good. She practically melted, what Turian knows how to cook human food so well? She looked to the Chef again. 

"Mr. uhhhh.... Chef?" The chef peered over from behind the mountain of dishes, it was almost comical. She decided it would be no problem to help him out later. 

"My name would be Aulso Varion, your mess sergeant. I prefer Aulso." Shepard smiled at him waving him over.

"Bring your food over and have seat with us, Aulso." He shook his head to her, denying the request. 

"I have get this cleaned up first."

"How about I help you after? Come, take a seat with us." 

He looked to the dirty dishes then back to the table hesitantly. She could understand, he didn't want to get caught not doing his job already. Though she doubted anyone would say anything, if they did, she would see to it personally. The war that waged in his eyes was eventually won over be him picking up his meal and bringing it over to sit next to Chawkwas. He began to eat his food, Shepard tried not to stare, but she couldn't help it. Watching a Turian eat was interesting, how did they keep the food in their mouths? 

Chawkwas coughed under her breath at Shepard, it was an attempt to break her staring. "Shepard, you and the Commander seem to have something in common." Shepard bowed her head taking another bite of food. Her cheeks felt warm from the embarrassment of being caught staring. Aulso said nothing as he ate his food, looking between the two Human women. Shepard quickly put down a mental reminder, nothing get's past the Doctor.  

Though it did seem to be an trait shared between the two of them, she wasn't even sure how long Garrus had been staring at her through the window earlie. It was a little funny though, Chawkwas had called him a 'dirty rascal' in her very British voice. Shepard knew he had to be as curious as she was, she had worked with Turian's before. But this situation was more or less living with them, they would have to get comfortable with each other at some point. Why not sooner than later.

"So Aulso, you're married?" He glanced up from his meal nodding to her, quickly finishing the bite he was working on. 

"Though we call it a mate, I think it's the same thing. Her name is Faoll." Chawkwas looked to the chef, she was curious now too. 

"Is that an Asari name?" He nodded to both of them, taking another bite of his food. Clinking the utensil down onto his empty plate.

"We've been together for about 20 years, we have a few kids together, though they are almost grown at this time." Shepard raised her eyebrows, he didn't look old enough the have been married for 20 years. She briefly reminded herself to look up more information about Turians.

Shepard smiled at Aulso, grabbing his plate and stacking it on top of her empty one. She wondered if he would mind her asking about his family. She was curious and very interested, she'd been on the Citadel for two years, but when you stick to only certain wards and areas. You stop seeing things so beautiful as mixed families in certain wards. That's how everyone should be, working together. 

She picked up the dishes carrying them over to help him out with cleaning, he began to wash them while she dried them. "Do you mind if I ask ab-..."

"Not at all!" He had beat her to the punch without even thinking about it.

Shepard smiled at the swift reply, everyone seemed eager to learn a little about each other. He passed her a dish to dry, she quickly formulated her question.

"So are your children adopted or....?"

He stopped his washing and pulled up his omnitool opening a picture of his family. He had two biological Asari daughters and one adopted Turian daughter. She smiled at the picture of his family. They were a very cute family.

He told Shepard all about them. She could tell he really did love his family. Were all Turians as devoted? She wondered if it was a species thing much like Humans themselves, relationships being highly emotional. His daughters looked to be grown up in the photos, not little kids anymore. 

"Are they-- " Shepard thought about what she was about to say trying to find the right wording, she would hate to scare him off in her questioning. Her eye sight fell to him hoping that by looking at him the answer might come to her. "What do you call it..." Shepard let out a sigh, why couldn't she think of the word.

"Shepard..? Ah, right where Vina said you might be." The Commander came into full view stepping up to the mess island that she and Aulso were washing dishes at. 

Shepard set the plate she was drying into the stack off to the side. "Just helping Aulso out. Did you need something, Comm-- Garrus?" She picked up another plate drying that one too. She was going to help Aulso with the last of it, she was determined to.

"I would like to have you join a landing party, if need be, after we find out about this signal in Artemis Tau." Shepard nodded to him in agreement, she knew he might want to assess her skills for himself. She wanted to see how he fought as well. Shepard was sure he had gotten a dossier on her. But at least he would want to see what she might be like, Shepard was kept in the dark about much of Garrus's skills. Though at this point, it might've been nice to know his past and service history. Guess the old fashion way of talking is as good as any.

"Sure, I'll finish up--" 

"Take your time, I'll call you to get suited when we are ready to shore." She gave him a small nod and smile, continuing to dry the dishes Aulso was placing in front of her. Though her attention was on Garrus, his mandibles had reached off his jaws and spread wide for moment. They then fell back close to his face, hugging it. Shepard wasn't really sure what to make of the body language, she briefly glanced to Aulso, maybe he might know.

Garrus had turned on his heel and headed off to the elevator. She probably had enough time to get some stretches done. Shepard always enjoyed a nice quick bout of yoga before a mission these days. It helped her focus her mind as well as help her past injuries and tight muscles. She had plenty of injuries from her time serving in the military, and they just seemed to be one thing after another then. Better to be loose than hurting.

Shepard and Aulso finished the dishes in record time. She would address a schedule to have everyone in the crew assist Aulso with them. On every ship she'd ever served on, the cook wasn't responsible for the dishes, the crew was. It didn't seem fair, he was cooking all this amazing food and for two different types of eaters. He should get help or even a day off.

Shepard retreated to the port observation after saying goodbye to Aulso and accepting his gratitude for her helping.  

She began some stretches to help herself out, moving from stretching her legs to her arms and everything in between. The window in the Observation deck was wondrous for relaxation. She could see the FTL movements graze the ship's hull as it moved at light speed through the galaxy.

Her mind drifted to if Alesseo was doing alright. It had only been two days since she left C-Sec, but that did nothing to ease her worry. Maybe after this mission, she would send an email out to Bailey and Alesseo. 

By the time she was nearly done getting some ambient stretching done the ship shifted back into real time. Allowing space to move slowly with them, no longer could the FTL stripes be seen. They must have be at Artemis Tau already. Shepard was certainly impressed, this ship was fast, it had only been a couple of hours before they hit the cluster.

She moved quickly to her room, knowing the Commander would be calling her up to the deck. It was best be prepared to go. She went into her room, stripping herself of her casual tank top and workout pants and trading it for her tight under armor suit that was worn beneath her armor. It hugged every portion of her body. Whoever had invented them clearly had a fetish for boobs and butts. They had to. Pervs the whole lot of them. She had the long sleeve suit pulled inch by inch up until it was up and over her shoulders in no time. Even though it had been two years since she had thrown it on, it still fit like new. It made her feel a little better about herself. Wouldn't want to get a little to big for my britches in retirement.

She zipped the front of the suit up over her breasts and settling it just above her cleavage. The rest of her armor was in the cargo hold along with the weapons lockers. It was nice to have a dedicated area for just armor, she remembered back in her boot days. They would have to all get ready in the crew quarters, usually there were 30 of them to a room. And 15 of the crew had the same size and same color armor as her and it was usually dark, it was really a task for any recruit. She didn't know how many times she somehow ended up with one of the smaller mens chest plates on, out in the field. Though funnier picture was the boy who was running around with a breastplate on instead of a chest plate. She laughed to herself.

She made her way up to the C.I.C where she found Vina deep in a conversation with someone on the other end of her coms. 

“I’m not entirely sure, it’s heavily encrypted..... running a scan now.” Shepard moved up to the stand near the planetary holo in the center of the C.I.C, she leaned onto the railing. Vina caught the movement off to the left of her.

”Shepard, Hi...” She quickly typed into her system in front of her, someone spoke back to com in her ear. She nodded along with it. 

”Just Shepard. She’s on deck.”

Shepard imagined it was Garrus speaking into Vina’s ear, she turned giving a curt nod to Shepard. “Yes. Sir. Sending her now.”

Shepard leaned off the railing, taking a step closer to Vina. “Commander... er.. Garrus would like you in the briefing room.” Shepard let a small smile cross her lips, the Turian doesn’t like to be called Commander by any of the crew? Not just her. Or maybe it was his way humbling his position? She was surprised he didn’t go by Spectre. Saren certainly had no problem going by Spectre, in fact he preferred it. Probably would beat it out of someone if they didn't call him his official title.

She made her way through the darkened laboratory that was on this level to get to the briefing room located behind the elevator. Shepard didn’t quite understand why they would install a room that wouldn’t be used by any of the staff, kind of a waste of space. But maybe there’s one on the way.

She stepped in the briefing room to see everyone standing around the table. Li, Chellick, Wrex and Garrus all looked up to watch her walk into the room. 

“Did I not get the memo soon enough?” She joked. Wrex grinned at her. 

“I thought we left her at port... why didn't anyone say anything?” Shepard sighed, rolling her eyes. Wrex always thought he was funny but really it should just be called mental abuse. She sauntered forward up to the table, leaning onto it with her arms. She glanced to the screen in the table to what they were all focusing on. 

“A encrypted signal?” She looked up to see Garrus tapping away on the screen, she caught the Turian off to the left of him staring at her. He quickly looked away after being caught. Shepard tilted her head to the side, he must be uncomfortable with Humans. She reached across the table with her hand out to the Turian.

”Hi, I’m Shepard. I don’t think we’ve met?”

Wrex grunted and let out deep laugh that could probably be felt through the ship. "He was at the the bar, Shepard." 

Garrus glanced up to make eye contact with Shepard then slid his gaze to the Turian next to him. He quickly shook off the conversation then continued his assault on the encryption. Shepard racked her brain for a moment, she was so drunk the other night, she was lucky she had somehow ended up in her own room in the morning. 

”Chellick. Nice to meet you.” He nodded quickly to her then went back to gazing at the screen that they all surrounded. 

Garrus made a satisfied purr, the holo screen moved actively opening the message. “It’s what we thought, it's a distress call but it doesn't make any sense...” 

Shepard glanced down to the screen, moving a little over to the side to read the message better. Glancing to the message which was just a string of numbers. She'd seen this before. 

“The numbers plot a point at a planet in the Persius Veil?... that can’t be right..” Shepard looked at the message again. She might just know how to solve this. 

“Garrus can you pull the encryption up again? There could be a destination.” 

He quickly pulled up the encryption again, in record time at that too. It was sent to somewhere in the Terminus Systems. Shepard quickly typed the numbers into her omnitool backwards. Shepard had encountered encrypted data out in the feild before. While she wasn’t a pro at anything super Tech related like breaking into encrypted files and what not. She’d instead had her fair share of messy help signals and data encrypted messages, while everyone generally works the same, those in the Terminus do not.

“It wasn’t received isn’t that why we are here...” Li looked to her, Shepard smirked to him playfully. She was so ready to school them.

”Some of those in the Terminus Systems don’t use normal message encryption and on top of that they need secrecy...”

Garrus looked away from the screen and looked to Shepard. “In case it may be intercepted..? Right?” 

“Exactly, they will use a general pattern that will be local to the area or people they associate with. That is not easy to determine... if you don’t know what you’re looking for that is.” She looked at the screen and pointed to the beginning of it. “The first portion is the sender which originated in the Terminus System.” 

Wrex crossed his arms and nodded to himself. “Easy enough, you have a point?”

She made threatening eye contact to Wrex for moment which earned her a growl. She pointed to the last portion of the series of numbers and letters, taking her mind off of Wrex. Ass. “This will have the receivers info... encrypted of course and in this case, isn't finished.” 

The rest of the Turian’s stared at her as she continued to make her case. “So in the middle, there will be a letter surrounding numbers or numbers surrounding a letter. That would be your tell. It’s a method generally used by Quarians and the Batarians in trouble and afraid of interception by an unknown enemy.”

Garrus looked to the numbers in the center of the screen. “3? So the pattern is every 3rd number in the actual message?”

Shepard smiled happy he was understanding the method. She’d learned the trick during the Skyllian Blitz, something that she never thought she would never use again. She only hoped she was right, it had been years since she needed to use the method. After the Blitz, many stopped using the method.

“Got it, 23° 14' 28.8456'' N 2° 48' 45'' W.... which planet though? This coordinate is common in this system.” Chellick glanced to his omnitool, with the numbers. "There's a lot of planets with these coordinates..." 

Shepard pointed to the first letter in the center of the encryption and the last. “These will both tell you where. ‘K’ for Knossos is my guess and the last being a ‘T’ for probably Therum. These are guesses though... it’s never a hundred percent accurate and we aren’t even sure if this is the method they actually intended.” 

Shepard could remember a message she had intercepted from a Batarian, she'd been clueless until someone had stepped in. She’d seen these messages without actual messages, just encryption’s to throw off a unsuspecting reader. She had been on Elysium, fighting along side her comrades. Upon their travels to Colonies that had been affected by the slavers, she’d met a Human courier who had made the trek through the Terminus often. He taught her some of the methods in return for Shepard helping his family get food that was sparse during the Blitz.

”Got it, looks to be a old dig site, not sure what could be there. Why did they think this might be Cerberus related?” Li looked at the info on his omnitool glancing to Garrus. 

He shook his head and shrugged his shoulders earnestly. He didn’t know either. “Guess we find out the hard way. Vina?”

The room was quiet for a moment while he listened to his com, he then responded. “Prep us for planet side drop. 15 minutes.”

Garrus nodded to the lot of them. “Shepard, Li get padded up, meet in cargo. We are going to take the Mako planet side. Prepare for resistance. We don’t know what’s down there.”

 

 

Chapter Text

Garrus was as much impressed as he was worried that Shepard knew so much about this secret coding method. He was lucky he was able to undo the decryption in the first place. It was coded like a professional, to whom they knew nothing about except that they could have have ties to the Terminus System or at least know of old methods. If any of it was true anyway, he’d heard of these methods but never seen them used. They were more of old wives tales than a fact.

Though Shepard had yet to prove that any of this information was even correct. It could just be a load of bullshit topped with sprinkles served fresh by his newest Lieutenant Commander. His father had taught him to be wary enough, especially when meeting new people. 'Those who know too much should always be watched just as carefully as those who claim to know nothing'.

Although Shepard didn't put him on edge at all, in fact he was strangely calmed by her presence. It was nice to know there was someone just as qualified at his side. He quickly pushed his father's words to the side. Shepard hadn’t earned his distrust.   

Garrus followed Li and Shepard to the lockers down in the cargo bay. All three rode the elevator down, when they arrived at the cargo bay they wasted no time. Garrus quickly attached his armor to his newest under suit, one with out a bullet wound. He buckled all the buckles and tightened the straps for each piece to the suit. He turned just as he was finishing, grabbing his rifle attaching it to the magnetic plates on the back of his armor.

Shepard was just putting the final pieces of her armor onto her suit and Li had just finished. She picked up the metal case off to the side of her locker, dropping it on top of the table, opening the chrome case. He took another look at the gun as it connected itself with the magnetic plates of her back. He couldn’t stop his stare.

It was a gorgeous weapon, soft curves, matte black and white with a hint of carbon down the sight, the length of it was almost unbearable. What he would do to have the opportunity to fire a gun like that. How did she manage such a gun? And who was this friend who picked it up for her? No way anyone but a Turian could get their hands on a gun like that.

As much as he didn't want trouble, he really wanted to see her in action.

"Garrus, man.... don't stare, expecially with the way you’re humming right now." Garrus whipped his eyes up faster than the speed of light. What was he talking about?  

Shepard turned her head to look over her shoulder, she made eye contact with Garrus. Not giving away any emotion on her face. Just looking at him and waiting for him to say something. She pulled her long hair up and began tying it into a neat bun on her head, Garrus thought it reminded him of a round Turian treat, Palaven Vhuvs, dough with a hole through the center. 

"What...?" It was all he could really manage, he wasn't staring at her, he was staring at the gun on her back. At the same moment it dawned on him, it must've looked like he were checking her out when in fact he was positive he was checking out the gun.

"Oh... her gun? I was looking at the scope." Shepard turned back around to her locker, locking her hair down with some metal pins. Li shook his head and stepped up to him completely geared up, he rested a hand on Garrus's shoulder, giving it a solid slap. 

"Her gun, right..? Is that what you’re calling it thes—" Li glanced at Shepard's backside, trying to see if what Garrus was claiming could be true. "Damn, Shepard. What did you do? Kidnap the Primarch for that gun?" SEE, I was not staring at her backside! 

He glanced down to the end of the gun, which ended right at her rounded backside. She bent over to pick up an ammo clip that had fallen to the ground the ground, giving Garrus and Li a full view of what a Human ass looked like. 

Garrus couldn't say he was horrified by it, he knew his father would be, just hearing about it. It just seemed so round. Shepard finished and quickly stood, turning to them both. 

"Li, don't give away all my secrets." She put an armored finger to her lips, making a 'shhhhh' sound. She promptly winked at Garrus, grabbing her helmet and heading to the Mako. Li glanced to Garrus who was still staring at Shepard walking away. 

"Umm... mind telling me what that was, Garrus?" Garrus glanced back to Li, taking his eyes off Shepard. 

"What, what was?" 

Li sighed allowing his subvocals rattle together, he picked up his helmet and followed Shepard to the Mako. Dramatic ass Turian.

He wasn't even sure what Li was saying back there. Maybe they were having a disconnection, Garrus never had issues reading into what Li meant by things, but it seemed he'd been struggling lately.

Li’s subharmonics were off, telling him other things other then what was actually coming out of his mouth. Garrus was just plain confused.

Not something that happened easily, it had only begun happening since... well the Humans has come aboard. He thought back to what had just happened in the locker.

Did Li really check Shepard out when she bent over? Wait, did he himself do the same? Were Human men and Human women that similar that he would check her out like he would his boyfriend? It was stupid that Li insisted he was checking her out. She's a Human.

He definitely wouldn't be responsible for putting his father into a early grave over a Human. No way. Not that he was into them anyway, too soft, too different, too weird. He was perfectly fine with Turian women, they gave what he needed and he was happy with that. 

Shepard and Li were prepping the Mako by the time Garrus turned and met up with them.

They would be dropping the Mako from a reasonable height and hope the thrusters would work proportionally for the landing. Therum had Human life, though as little as it was it was there, it mostly research personnel and colonies. Where they would be dropped off would be no where close enough to the colonies. In fact the odds were higher that they would end up in a lava pit then meet another living being on the planet. He once again questioned whether or not Shepard’s info was correct, was this the right planet?

The sound of the Mako revving it's engines broke his thoughts drawing his attention to the two who were climbing aboard. He'd not been a Mako guy, Li probably had no idea how to handle an all terrain vehicle either and Shepard.... he only hoped she knew how to drive it. 

And boy was he wrong. Shepard could drive it but really.... she did not know how to drive. As the Mako traversed the red planet making their way closer to the given coordinates, they’d only almost died maybe about 4 times. The closer they got to the coordinates, the tighter his stomach felt about the whole thing.

He was sat next to Shepard in the Mako, armed with the gun systems of the vehicle. He had yet to fire them yet, not that he was into wasting ammo or anything. Just wanted to run a quick figure on how long it took to fire, this thing would need to be calibrated. 

“Garrus.. what are you firing at.... I don’t see anything?” Garrus chuckled to himself, glancing over to Shepard. She was pressed up to wheel, nearly leaning over it as she attempted to steer it with her whole body. She was squinting towards the distance. “Oh wait there’s something—.. nope... nothing.. nevermind.”

In the same moment, a ship took off in the distance heading up into the atmosphere. 

“Uh... was that what you were shooting at?”

Garrus wasn’t sure what could be at all. Could be enemies, could be the one who sent the S.O.S. “Normandy, do you copy?” Joker quickly answered the com. “Joker, run scans there’s a ship leaving atmosphere.”

”Running scans.... looks to be... a local shuttle... will run scans around the rest of the planet for like signals. Give us a few.”

”Copy.” 

Garrus glanced ahead to see them coming up to a large silver man-made wall, must be the outskirts to the old dig sites. 

“Li, is this it?” Shepard turned in her seat glancing back to him, Garrus quickly did the same.

“About 1500 meters ahead.” 

They shuffled their way out of the Mako, Garrus ordered them to be on guard. He still wasn’t sure what they might meet here, could be Humans, could be Geth, could be nothing. He still had no idea.

Shepard took point, moving through past the wall. Garrus appreciated her will to take lead, Li hated taking lead and would avoid it at most costs, he knew his faults and owned up to them. Shepard led them through the area, quietly moving from barrier to cover. Garrus also some what appreciated the cautious approach she had taken to the situation. 

She slid into cover, he and Li quickly moved in beside her in the long cover that hid the three of them perfectly. Shepard spoke into her com of her helmet quietly, “I hear something. Up ahead.” Garrus turned to her, half expecting to see her blue eyes. Instead he was met with her helmet, a perfectly shined helmet that reflected himself in his helmet back.

Li poked his head over the barrier. “It’s those damn bastards... again.” He quickly slid back down into cover, sighing deeply.

It was moments like this were Garrus thought Li would’ve never had stayed with the military if there wasn’t pressure from his family. He hated conflict if it was up to him, he would be a baker on the Citadel, where the only conflicts met were between dextrosugar and levosugar. 

Garrus had been surprised Li had taken the offer to come aboard the Normandy. Though if he hadn’t taken the offer, he would’ve been sent to serve on a different vessel and probably a different fleet. This was probably his best option for having a significant other on the Citadel and still obeying his family’s wishes.

Garrus pulled his Mantis off of his back, loading it quickly. Shepard did the same but with her automatic assault rifle. She read the sitauation correctly, they wouldn’t need two snipers at this moment, just one person to shoot exact shots and another two to cover him. 

Shepard’s helmet nodded to him, telling him she was ready to go. Li did the same. 

Shepard rolled off to the next cover nearby, moving as quickly and as stealthily as possible. He turned his attention to the enemies in front of them settling his scope onto the lip of their makeshift cover.

Six—-no... eight Humans in white armor and orange armor. A few were speaking amongst each other, the others were patrolling the two dig site entrances that were across the way from each other.

He heard a voice break through the silence in his helmet. “Who are these guys? You’ve met them before?” Garrus kept his sights across the way. Maybe this might be smarter to have another sniper they could cut down half of the patrol before having to engage.

“Shepard, take point as well. Let’s cut down half before combat.” He watched her helmet turn to him from her position a few feet away. He had no doubt she might be questioning the order. It was safer to have himself covered, but it was smarter to take down half. 

She nodded after a delayed moment, switching out her assault rifle for her Viper. Steadying it up on the lip of her cover as well. The enemies had yet to notice them as they prepped themselves. 

“I’ll just stay down here, my range isn’t very good anyway.... plus I’m not good at dying.” Li shrugged under his cover staying out of sight. He would need Li to cover them both when they would need to switch out their guns. 

“I have a target, left rear.” Garrus focused on his sights to the right rear guard, taking the opposite route as Shepard. The enemies were nearly a 400 meters away, not a hard shot to achieve, an even easier shot for a professional. Almost child’s play for himself.

“Fire.”

Both of their shots fired at the same time, both of their guns quiet as a rifle could possibly get, he quietly thanked her for having a sound repressor attached to her gun as well. Both enemies fell in unison, not alerting the other guards that were wandering around. He quickly released the shell in his gun, readying himself for the next shot quickly. 

“I’ve got the next farthest back, left. I’ll have one more shot after this and I’ll use it. You’re clip only has two right?” Garrus lined up his sights.

”Perfect. Take it. Right rear again.”

Both shots aimed perfectly again taking both of next furthest Cerberus agents out. They both fell in unison. 

Shepard quickly spoke as Garrus hid behind cover again. “This will alert them. Just an FYI.” The shot quickly rang out louder then the last two. She quickly shoved her head down below the cover as shots began to hit there covers, flying off. She quickly threw her empty rifle onto her back switching it back out for her assault rifle.

She laid very low in her cover, preparing herself. They began carefully firing onto the agents, he moved from his cover, moving himself forward to a closer cover. They took down the rest in no time, quickly moving towards the two dig sites. Garrus glanced between the two ramps. Left or right.

”Li?”

Li looked at his omnitool and shrugged. “Coordinates are here, must be beneath us.” He followed it with a sigh turning to Garrus and Shepard. “Garrus, any preferences?” He glanced to each tunnel cover. “Garrus, you like ‘em light or you like ‘em dark?” Somehow it came out as double meaning, making Garrus roll his eyes.

Shepard stifled a laugh at Li’s horrible remark. Putting her hand near the bottom of her helmet in an attempt to cover her laugh. Garrus just stared at him, for a moment, quickly giving Li a jab to the shoulder of his armor.

“Let’s just go.” Garrus turned and headed up the ramp towards the lighter colored dig site door. The door opened easily sealing them off from the outside. Garrus led the front and Li and Shepard moved together behind him down the tunnel. 

“Guess he likes ‘em light huh?” Garrus shook his head at the comment. Shepard’s stifled laugh that came lightly through his com. “I didn’t get a ‘no’ on that, it’s confirmed everyone, Garrus likes his ladies—“ 

A few shots rang out below at the end of the tunnel bringing all their attention forward and away from Garrus’s ‘preferences’. He almost thanked who ever rang out the shots, Li was completely insatiable in his hunt to embarrass Garrus or anyone really. 

They moved into cover at end of the tunnel, peaking over to see two more Cerberus agents talking between themselves. 

“Where’d the girl go?” One asked.

”Not sure, squad three went after her down into the mines. Haven’t heard any word.” Garrus quickly looked to Shepard who was slinking away. 

“Shepard? Where are you g—“ 

“Shh, I’ll take care of them. We don’t want to shoot them and alert the others.” She moved into the next cover and slinked closer and closer to the enemies. The darkness in the site was perfect for her to move undetected. The two enemies broke apart, one heading off towards the shaft elevator and the other stood with his back to Shepard’s cover. 

Shepard quickly shot up and took the enemy down by the shoulders pulling him back behind her cover. He saw the faint orange glow of an omni-blade reflect off of the small amount of cover. 

It was a long few moments before he had any sign from Shepard that she was fine. What if the enemy bested her. It didn’t seem like there was that much of a struggle. 

He saw a dark hand pop up like a fist but with her thumb digit sticking out. Was she giving them a thumbs up, seriously? 

Li looked to Garrus just as Garrus looked to him. Who the hell was this Human? Li patted him on the shoulder, and shuffled off the right to get closer to Shepard. 

Li shuffled up a little closer to where she took down the agent, Garrus quietly followed.

She slunk to the wall preparing herself to take care of the next guy. He was still in shaft elevator. They both looked down at the poor bastard that was lying in a pool of his own blood. She’d done a number on him. They hid off to the side and the other agent began moving back into the area that they were all in.

The enemy hadn’t even noticed the girl who was plastered to the wall in the shadow. He moved into the room looking around, Garrus was sure he was looking for his squad mate. His very dead squad mate.

Shepard moved from the shadowed wall, making a run for the guy. She jumped a little pulling her blade out again and slicing into the agents side where his armor didn’t cover. The man fell to his knees for moment then fell flat on his face. Two just like that, seemed so easy for her. She shook her wrist of the blood.

Li and Garrus stood from their cover. Shepard’s helmet gave them both a nod, she waited for a moment, making sure her enemy was down for good. 

“I’m probably the only one who’s going to admit this. Shepard what just happened was—“ Garrus glanced to Li who had crossed his arms over his chest as he looked down at the Human girl. 

“Insubordinate? I know.”

Li laughed a little at Shepards remark. “Nowhere near so, at least with this guy running things.” Garrus watched her helmet turn his way, probably silently questioning him. It was true, if the job got done, most of the time he had no problem. Garrus nodded to her. 

“Anyway as I was saying, that was pretty amazing what you just did. If I wasn’t already practically bonded. That was— what do Humans call it, hot? I need me a girl like you.”

Garrus shot a quick look to Li. He basically just protested that if he wasn’t with Damian, he would be all over his Human Lieutenant Commander. Shepard crossed her arms and jutted her hip out to him. Garrus wouldn’t admit it but her taking down two armed guards with nothing more than her body and omniblade was certainly an interesting move. If he’d seen a Turian woman do it, he would certainly hurry this mission along and get back to the ship ASAP for a couple rounds in the sheets.

Turian’s had no discretion when it comes to someone who could out-do them, growing up in such a competitive species, it brought out that instinctual behavior. Garrus almost wished he could’ve turned it off. The thought that the Human could be anything more then... well a Human to him, made his insides scrunch. Nothing on Shepard, of course, he certainly admired her tenacity and it was extremely impressive to watch.

Shepard shook her head at both of them. She pulled her rifle from over her shoulder detaching it from the magnetic pads. “Thank you for the offer. I think. Never thought I would get a proposition like that.”

Li shrugged his shoulders. Garrus saw his helmet turn to his view. He knew Li was definitely directing the next bit of words towards him. “Some of us just like to admit something when we see it. There’s no need to be shy.” 

Garrus grabbed his rifle and pulled it forward over his shoulder. Ignoring the comment from Li. “We need to get going, those gun shots from earlier weren’t from these two bastards.” He glanced to Li quickly. “Li, don’t make Shepard uncomfortable, she’s not a Turian.” 

They moved forward towards the lift quiet falling between the three of them. Garrus hit the button to have the lift decend into the dig shaft. Hopefully, Li would just shut his mouth for the rest of mission. 

Garrus only hoped, for his own sanity.

Chapter Text

Shepard wasn’t surprised very often these days. She had seen so much in her 26 years of life, surprises were a thing of the past. She quickly welcomed the feeling again, basking in the glow of it.

Li's comment had been welcomed full force. While she was fairly good looking, men were often intimidated by her strength and tenacity. Turians were always different, as well as the Krogan. They appreciate strength and fearlessness, in their partners. Something she kind of always liked about them. They always made the fastest friends.

What had made her a little edgy was Garrus coming to her defense. It made her feel weak and not part of the group. She wanted to be treated like they would treat any of their own.

"Really, Garrus it's fine. I'm not going to report him to H.R. for sexual harassment." The lift shifted back and forth as it made it's way down the shaft. 

"What's H-ER?" Shepard glanced down the shaft seeing how much further they had to go, give or take 200 meters. 

"It's H.R. Human Resources?-- actually you wouldn't have that would, you?"

The two Turians glanced to each other trying to figure out what she was talking about. "It's a joke. Don't worry about it."

The elevator rested itself onto the ground at the bottom of the shaft. The mystery girl who had been chased must have made it down this way. There were 4 different routes they could take not counting the blocked off route. Shepard examined the ground looking for possible tracks of the 'girl'. Much to her avail they just couldn't be seen under the tracks of boots.

"Any preferences on route, Garrus?" Garrus looked down at the ground deciding the best tunnel would be the one that looks like the most men went down. They began to carefully shuffle down the tunnel armed and ready at any moment if they hit hostiles. Before long it had felt like they had been trudging through the tunnel for minutes, and had yet to see a break or an opening. 

"Do you think maybe we went down the wrong one? This is awfully long." Shepard continued in step with the two Turians, glancing quickly to the wall that had some lettering on it. It read 'Dig site' and pointed off into the direction they were still moving in.

"I think the wall just answered your question Shepard, never heard of a wall that can answer questions." Li began to move a little quicker as Garrus led the three of them forward. They began to hear gun shots and yelling up ahead through the tunnel. The three of them readied themselves. They came into a large area, Cerberus was all over the place. They all seemed to be focused onto the balcony up above the ground floor a little ways off.

"Let's get rid of these guys." They began to work quickly through the Cerberus agents, they had gotten to a point where there were only two left. Shepard readied her rifle from behind cover quickly putting a new clip into it. She turned and shot the last Cerberus agent, he fell to the ground with a thud. 

Shepard focused up onto the catwalk. Somehow Garrus had made it up there and was pointing his gun at whoever was behind the cover on the bridge. 

"Don’t shoot.. Don’t shoot!" Shepard quickly moved past Li shooting up the stairs, taking two at a time. Come on, don't do anything rash, Garrus.

She reached the top to see Garrus holding his pistol out to what looked to be a young Quarian woman. Shepard hadn't met very many Quarians on the Citadel. Only maybe one or two in her entire time. She had a purple wrap over her head that matched the linens that skirted her waist.

Shepard stepped up without her gun drawn, no need to scare the girl when she already had a gun drawn on her. Odds were that she was on their side, granted she was running from Cerberus.

The girl quickly stammered out. "Okay.. okay. I stole them, I stole them!" Garrus lowered his gun to his side, but not putting it down entirely.

"What exactly did you steal?" She had a loose bag slung across her body. She reached in to take something out. Garrus raised his gun again to the young girl. Shepard didn't agree with the use of the gun in this instance, there was no need to scare a potential ally, though she did understand this situation should be taken as unpredictable at this moment.

She pulled out a bunch of metal pieces placing them onto the ground in front of Garrus. "Please, let me be able to return to the Fleet.." The Quarian looked up from her stolen goods to Garrus. "Please." She pleaded.

Shepard assessed the girl, she didn't believe she might be a threat. Maybe there was another way. Shepard reached up to her helmet, unlatching the connection to her suit and pulling it off and over her head. She held the helmet in one hand and stepped forward towards the girl. She offered the girl a hand.

"I think we are here to help you."

She looked up from her position that had her kneeling on the hard metal floor. "You got my message? You understood it?" Glancing to Shepards hand that was near her face. She gingerly took it and Shepard helped her up from the ground. Garrus dropped his pistol back to his side, he didn't seem like he was completely convinced she wasn't a threat, but enough to put his gun down.

”Keelah.... thank you.”

Shepard took stock of the young Quarian girl. She was slight, had a body much like herself. Shepard looked up to the helmet hoping to see her face, instead she could only see her reflection and a slight glow of a face beneath. Foot steps sounded on the metal bridge, stopping next to Shepard.

”What are you doing here? This isn’t exactly the best place for a Quarian..”

She played with her hands twisted them in and out each other. She was nervous. 

“I was just here on my pilgrimage.”

Garrus crossed his arms over his chest in a stance that showed his disappointance in the Quarian. 

“And you are here stealing?” He leaned down picking up one of the data chips on the ground and bringing it back up with him flipping it back and forth examining it. “.. what are these data chips? For what?”

The Quarian lifted her hands above her head focusing at the gun Garrus still had in his hand. It was an act of submission. She might as well have raised a white flag and ran through the dig site. Garrus moved his hand away from his pistol, finally looking at ease with the situation. Taking his hand away.

“You should probably just take me in... I can’t tell you what those are from..” Garrus let a quiet growl escape his throat. Shepard brought her attention back to the Quarian.

”What do you mean? You can’t? Or you won’t?”

The girl looked between the three of them, then bent down and picked up the rest of the data chips and shoved them back her sack.

”It’s a matter of security.” She plucked the last data chip out of Garrus’s hands. “The Flotilla is in trouble. If you don’t need me for anything....” She started to shuffle off to the side to try to make a slow get away. Garrus caught her arm for a moment, looking as if something had just dawned upon him.

The Quarian looked down to the Turian grasp on her arm, she was about to shove him off but before she could, Garrus spoke.

”Does this have to do with Cerberus and the Geth?”

”How do you— we have kept this under secret...” Shepard looked at the Quarian’s arm that was under the grip of the Commander. She saw him squeeze her arm for a moment and let go. 

“You mean.. Spirits.... the Flotilla knew about this?”

She turned to the three of them. “Keelah, Who are you people?”

Shepard looked at her, pointing to Garrus. “This is Spectre Vakarian. I’m Lieutenant Commander Shepard of the Normandy.” Li spoke up introducing himself. “First Lieutenant Li.”

The Quarian looked to Shepard then glanced at Garrus. She was trying to make sense of the situation. Honestly, they all were. Here they were deep beneath the surface, with a Quarian, a Human and two Turians. Really things couldn’t get anymore odd. 

She held her hand out to Garrus all of a sudden so assured of herself. “Tali’Zorah nar Rayya. If you can take me to the Fleet, I can tell you what I can.”

Garrus looked to the hand thinking the decision over. It was risky, this Tali’Zorah has already proven herself to steal, it could be a risk to the ship. If it were Shepard making the decision, she wasn’t so sure she would invite her onboard with open arms either.

”Tell me something first, Tali’Zorah...”

She took her hand back settling both on her hips. Shepard held a laugh from behind her lips. Was this the Quarian version of herself, she swore she was. It was like looking in a mirror, well technically looking at the Quarian’s helmet was.

”Those data chips belong to Geth right? I want one. Or at the very least the information on one.” 

It was Garrus’s turn to hold his hand out and wait for the Quarian to take the deal. They could offer her safe passage to the Migrant Fleet, and an opportunity to work on what ever she needed to work on with these data chips. It wasn’t a horrible offer, they could tie her up in cargo hold and steal the information from her claiming it for themselves and their mission. This was definitely the better option, she should take it. 

Tali’Zorah took another look at his hand, thinking it over in her head one more time. She put her hand into his nodding and agreeing to the terms.  

“Joker we need a shuttle pick up we have our soul that needed saving. ETA?”

Garrus nodded to his com and the rest of the team. 

“Let’s get moving we have to get back to the drop off.”

 

It had taken them some time to get back to the ship, Joker had found a safe landing point that they could land the Normandy and load up the Mako. The entire ride there was full of silence, their newest part of the crew was currently brewing in her own mess in the backseat that neither Shepard nor Garrus wanted to deal with at the moment. And truth be told, Shepard was still a little bothered by Garrus’s comment earlier.

Shepard still wasn't entirely clear on their mission parameters, she’d been debriefed but Cerberus and Geth?  She would certainly cover that base with Garrus when he gets a moment, though he might only know as much as she does.

Garrus had Shepard escort Tali'Zorah to the port cargo bay, making sure she saw as little as she needed to of the ship. Shepard did agree on this front, at least for now. Tali'Zorah walked into the cargo bay and glanced around at the make shift table set up in the room. The Quarian looked at Shepard for a moment before sitting down in the chair at the desk. 

"I take it this is were I will be staying?” Tali'Zorah looked around the room, it wasn't much. Just a couple of ration boxes stacked on top of a few other boxes. There was a make shift cot in the corner of the room. 

 "More than likely, not sure what the Commander will want to do... it might be in your best interest to figure out what you can share with us and what you can't." Tali'Zorah crossed her arms over her chest, Shepard assumed it was in attempt to seem like she was bigger than she really was. 

"Tali'Zorah nar Rayya, I want to help you, but I also want you to help us. We’ve been trying to take care of the issue.... I just don’t think there’s enough...." Shepard leaned against desk sizing up the Quarian girl. She had been standoffish and rightfully so but they were here to help and would get her back home as safely as possible.

 She uncrossed her arms, sitting straight up in the chair. "Shepard... right?" Shepard nodded to her confirming the name.

"Shepard, please call me Tali. I would like to help you but...... there is only so much I can share." She dumped her bag of data chips onto the table and inspected each one, setting them into piles. Big ones. Smaller ones. Copper ones. She picked up the blue data chip and held it out to Shepard. Shepard took the piece and examined it. Garrus walked into the room, looking between both of the girls before taking a standing position off by the rations.

"That chip you are holding will the most valuable data I have collected. It is from a Geth Prime I found in the Attican Beta, with recent activity involving the armored men from back there." Shepard looked more closely at the chip. She was no Tech and would not be able to understand what any of the information might mean. She glanced up to Garrus offering the blue chip. He took it and examined it himself. He might be able to do something.

"These Human's have some how come into control of a large portion of Geth, the Flotilla has us actively searching planets for these data chips..." She picked one up and looked at then tossed into a pile of it's own. "they preserve information on current Geth systems, these are each Geth's local copy." She pointed to the blue chip Garrus was holding. "That chip will have a large some of data attached to it. I haven't gotten my hands on one of those before, I’m not sure what you might find." 

Garrus looked from the chip to the Quarian, handing it back over to her. "I don't want to take anything from you, I just need info from you." She looked at the data chip held out to her and slowly reached up and took it from his hand. "So you don't want it?" Garrus shook his head. 

"Just let me know what's on it, and we'll get you home as soon as we can. It'll take us some time to get to the far rim, but rest assured we'll get you there." 

He moved from the wall and headed to the door stopping before it. "You are free to move as you please, but please do not make us regret the decision."

The Quarian hummed a contented sigh of relief. She played with the chip in her hands. Shepard leaned forward and rested her hand onto the Quarian's shoulder.

"Anything you need let me or Garrus know, I'll do my best to help." 

Tali gave her a swift nod and Shepard took her leave from the girl. She still had her armor on and needed to wash it, it was probably soaked in blood. That was one thing about hand to hand combat, it was incredibly bloody.

Shepard moved to the lockers in the cargo hold. She started unbuckling her chest piece, making her way down peeling each piece off. She pulled off her combat boots, trading them out for her ankle high ship boots.

She pulled the bobby pins out of her bun placing them into the holder into her locker. She couldn’t help but be on edge a little. This mission was proving to be less a military one and more of universal rights based one. Cerberus involved was never good, she’d heard things about the pro-Human separatists. Nothing good, ever. Is that who they would be chasing through the galaxy or could this just be a one time hit?

What Tali had mentioned earlier placed her thoughts to no rest. The Geth were working with them? Or for them? In some capacity they were involved. 

Shepard took a deep breathe suddenly feeling choked by her under suit that was still zipped up to her neck. She glanced around pulling the zipper lower allowing herself to get some air. She picked up her armor placing it onto the work station there. She threw on some headphones, she would be here for a while cleaning.

She began to wipe off the blood, giving it the same shine as before the mission. She drifted off into the new reflection she created in her chest piece again. Closing her eyes, she took another deep breath. While it felt good to be back out in the field but she couldn’t help but have a feeling things might be getting a little worse before they will be getting better. 

 

Chapter Text

After leaving their newest member on board, Garrus headed up to the C.I.C. When they had boarded the ship, Vina had requested him to come see her. He was sure it had something to do with the recent trouble on Therum. Honestly the last thing he was expecting was a Quarian, stealing data chips from Cerberus Geth stockpiles. 

It had felt like it would’ve been more likely to meet that bastard from Eden Prime. The cocky one that had shot him in the arm. Good thing he missed a kill shot, vengeance might be a little sweeter this next time around.

As Yeoman, Vina controlled all incoming information from the Council and the Citadel to the Normandy. She had let him know that Sparatus had requested a moment to speak with him at soon as possible. 

“Vina, have the ground crew prepared for a debriefing at say.. 1700 hours, before dinner.” There was no rush to debrief the crew on what had happened down on Therum. They would have plenty of time since they would be heading towards the Traverse. 

She gave him swift nod, returning to her work. He moved to the debriefing room, to address Sparatus. Who knew what he wanted.

He pressed a few buttons and watched a holo appear of the Councilor. 

“Vakarian.” 

“Councilor. Need something?”

The Councilor shifted his eyes down and then back up to meet Garrus’s. “Did you check out what was going on in the Artemis Tau?”

Garrus leaned onto the console in front of him, preparing himself to engage the Councilor. “Yes.” He took a moment before standing up straight again. “We found a distress signal, put up by a Quarian who was being chased by Cerberus. As to why, we are still determining that information.”

Garrus was with reason in not completely telling the entire story, he didn’t need the Councilor jumping down the Flotilla’s throat, over something that wasn’t confirmed. Especially if it might affect whether or not they can get more info from the Flotilla on why Cerberus and the Geth were invoked together.

It had seemed like this Tali’Zorah may be amounted to a spy. If he told the Councilor, they could request they have custody rather then seeing the Quarian home. Garrus thought a better plan maybe instead of attacking the Quarian’s for hiding information like the Geth working with Cerberus. Just asking them might help. This Tali’Zorah seemed to take to Shepard’s non-defensive approach well. He thought maybe he should try it with the rest of the Fleet.

“Find out, we’ll send you some more information in the next following days.”

Garrus nodded to the Councilor’s holo and hung up the call. His rested himself for a moment before heading down to the cargo bay to get his armor off.

 

When he arrived to the cargo bay, he found Shepard was the only one at the armor station. She was running circles into her armor, no doubt trying to get the blood off from her assault on the two Cerberus personnel. She had already stripped off the rest of her armor, she stood there only it what he deemed a second skin. Their under suits were so tight, it really left little to the imagination on Humans, Turians, and Asari.

He took a quick glance to her, she hadn’t even noticed that he had stepped up next to her. She vigorously swirled circles of cleaner on her breast plate. Angry almost. 

He took in her presence, she had taken her hair out of the bun, falling down her shoulders covering her face from him. He could hear his fathers voice deep in the back of his thoughts. Human’s are soft, too soft to be a threat. They will never have the upper hand. Though Shepard was honestly anything but that. She had single handedly taken down two men twice her size and in full armor. Might be soft but one hell of a threat.

He took in the lithe form next to him, she did look soft, squishy if that was the better word. Reminded him of an Asari, though she did seem to look more like their newest Quarian member. Thin waist, wide hips, flat stomach, something he found very attractive on a Turian.

He pulled off his helmet sticking it into the locker, it rang out against the metal shelf, she didn’t even jump. Maybe she wasn’t the most observant? Or maybe she’s trapped in her thoughts.

He began to strip himself of his armor, he would worry about cleaning it later, maybe after Shepard breaks the table from the pressure she’s using on her armor. He was positive if she kept that pace, she would eventually put a hole in the hull below her.

He had stripped himself clean of his armor, unzipping his under suit to his hips, pulling his arms free. The suit hung off his hips, exposing his chest to everyone in the room. Though the only ones in the cargo bay at the moment, was a distracted Shepard and crew member working on the Mako. 

He heard a slight bang next to him drawing his attention back to Shepard. She pushed her hair over her shoulders pulling it up to tie it back up. When she pulled the hair back, he saw she had placed a set of music buds in her ears blocking out noise, no doubt listening to some loud music. When the hair was secured back behind her head, her eyes slid to his and she tilted her head to make eye contact with him.

He watched her look down from his face, eyes drifting across the wide expanse of his chest then to his waist then back up. 

“Never seen a half naked Turian have you?” He teased. She watched his lips move but clearly didn’t hear him, she tugged the headphones out, looking at him wide eyed.

“G-Garrus, wasn’t expecting you..” Her pale cheeks and neck turned a slightly different color, almost like a pinkish color. Shepard turned away from him, busying herself with her armor again, moving it into her locker.

”Just came to get unsuited, also to say I’m impressed.” He praised her for a job well done, if she wasn’t there, he wasn’t sure what he might’ve done. Quarian’s by themselves were trouble, generally, he wouldn’t have brought Tali aboard. But Shepard had seemed to have made some sort of connection to her. Well that and the Quarian would’ve probably remained tight lipped about the info if she hadn’t made a friend.

”Impressed? I impressed you? I’m impressed you can shoot a rifle like that. You don’t see many who can do damage like that.”

She didn’t even glance back to him as she knelt down to tuck her boots into the locker. His eyes followed her as she knelt, his eyes catching that her suit was zipped down half way down her chest. It stopped right at the shelf, he wracked his brain thinking of the word from his boot training on Human’s and Asari. Asari women have them too. Breasts, that was the name. Her suit was unzipped to her breasts, showing a slight bit of clevage.

“Likewise, you did excellent. Watching you take down to men twice your size was—“

”Irresponsible. I won’t do it again.” She turned facing the Mako and leaned against the table behind her, resting her hands onto the table next to her hips. 

“Don’t take me for that kind of man— Commander, Shepard.” She glanced at him, willing a small smile to dance across her face. She looked down rubbing her boots together. She looked up after a moment, bringing herself to stand up and move in front of Garrus. 

She pushed her locker shut, and met his gaze. “I won’t, I promise. But another thing Commander..” They both sized up each other for a moment, both nearly a foot from each other. The tension could be cut with a knife.

She brought her hand up and poked a finger at his chest. “Do me a favor, you don’t need to protect me from any of the crew.”

His brows met together and mandibles spread wide. Was she challenging him or something? He felt a rush of primal instincts flow through his veins at her subtle threat. He clenched his fists next to his sides.

“What do you me—“

”If anyone wants to say anything about me like Li did back there. I can handle it myself.” She pulled back from him, letting space come between both of them. He thought he had done her a favor, Li was practically humping her. He even noticed a fluxuation in his Ali’s scent when they had boarded the ship again. It had bothered him deep down at cellular level. He had to put a stop to it at that moment.

She picked up her dirty rag and disposed of it. He stood there still somewhat dumb founded by the accusation. She picked up another rag drying her hands. 

“Also if you have opportunity, I would like to speak to you privately later.” 

He gave her a nod as she wondered off towards the elevator, ordering it to take her away. Once she had disappeared, he took a deep breath and glanced to the Turian who was climbing all over the Mako, taking care of maintenance. He grimaced, hopefully he hadn’t seen the exchange a few moments ago. He didn’t want the crew thinking him and his Lieutenant didn’t get along.

Couldn’t be more opposite though, he was beginning to have admiration for her. She didn’t need anyone telling people off of her, she knew how to fight her own battles and preferred it that way. 

The Turian atop the Mako looked down at his set of tools that he forgot to bring up with himself. Garrus moved to pick them up, he handed them to him one at a time. He quickly introduced himself to the Turian who goes by Devos. 

“Thanks, sir.” He quickly fixed his name so the Turian would call him Garrus. Devos looked to be probably around fifteen, maybe twenty, years older then Garrus himself. He was brown plated with black colony markings that were drawn down the middle of his face, splitting it in two perfect halves. 

“How was the mission? The Mako looks a little bruised..” He tapped the metal hull testing a possible breach. 

“Shepard drove it, let’s just say she’s... zealous.” He watched Devos tighten some bolts on the hull then slid off, landing to his feet. 

“She must be.. it looks like it was out there for days.” He urged Garrus to take a step back to give it a quick wash down. He watched the spray take off the red dirt that had attached itself to the Mako and it’s wheels. Before long the Mako looked like new again.

Garrus shuffled off from the cargo bay and figured he’d go up shower. He had an hour to get himself together for debriefing. He placed his hand to his chestplates were Shepard had jabbed the hardness. It hadn’t hurt of course, but the feeling that rose through his body had left himself feeling tense. He could remember even the way her eyes sized him up, even thinking about it made him feel taut. Maybe he should see if Chellick would be up for a spar or two later.

Chellick was down for a spar. Almost answered his com immediately. Chellick offered to meet him down there around 9. Garrus had been a little worried he might miss speaking to Shepard, though then again she’s probably why he felt so pent up. Human’s seemed to express their emotions easily through communication, where as Turians took their emotions out through outlets like sex and fighting. 

Punching Chellick a few times might just help him gain some of his level headedness again in order to have a chat with Shepard.

He’d arrived to the cargo bay. Wearing his tight workout pants and a loose shirt, wouldn’t matter though, he’d fight with out it.

Chellick and Li were already there speaking to each other. Li sat up on one of the cargo boxes, while Chellick punched the punching bag in the corner. 

Garrus moved towards Li, pulling his shirt off and over his fringe, throwing it next to Li. 

Li leaned on a higher box next to him, rolling his eyes at Garrus. Chellick stopped his assault on the punching bag turning over to Garrus.

”Come to grace us with your presence?” 

“Damn right, and I’m going to kick your ass.” Garrus stretched his arms getting into fighting mode. Chellick stripped off his Turian gloves tossing them on the floor, doing a few stretches himself. 

“I’m not sure about that Garrus, Chellick has been awfully... stressed lately.” Li amusingly added to the conversation then small laugh fell from his mouth. “By the way Garrus, I thoroughly enjoyed the mission today.” Garrus watched the jokester Turian smile to the ceiling, drifting off into his thoughts. What a perv, no shame. Garrus knew exactly what he was referring to. Shepard and her single handed assault on Cerberus. It was something to watch though, that was sure.

Chellick glanced up to Li on his mountain of cargo that he was claiming as his own throne. Chellick shook his head at the clown of a Turian. 

“I don’t want to press you but next time I want to go out there.”

Garrus smugly moved to the middle of the sparring mat, ready. Chellick followed standing on the opposite side of the mat, glinting at him. He looked mad.

”Mad much? Needed someone who could compliment Shepard’s given style.” Chellick took a step back readying himself. Garrus moved to stand squarely placing his taloned feet as wide his shoulders.

”She’s the one from the bar the other night.” Chellick quipped as he moved forward with an armed assault. Going straight for Garrus’s keel. Garrus took a step back dodging the punch.

”Li told me about her.. take down today.” Chellick dodged an attempted punch to his keel, attempting an upper cut. He missed.

”And?”

”I like her, I want to get to know her.”

“I won’t stop you..  but what is with you two and Humans anyway?”

Garrus threw a kick, making successful contact to Chellick’s side. Chellick groaned for a second, righting himself again. Attempting a kick of his own.

Li chimed into the conversation from his throne. “Garrus don’t knock it till you try it.”

”Surrounded by a bunch xenophiles.” Chellick’s eyes burned at Garrus for the comment. He threw a punch connecting with Garrus’s stomach, his abdominal plates only protecting him a little from the solid blow. Garrus chuffed out a breath, trying to catch it. 

“I’d ask you to say that again.”

Garrus waved him off, righting himself again. Attempting a soft kick that was blocked.

“Besides it’s not a ‘Human’ thing..”

Li’s elevated laugh broke their concentration on each other for a moment. “Not after what I saw today, I’d say I’m damn convinced she’s half Krogan.”

Garrus turned to Chellick readying himself again. Garrus connected a few more punches at Chellick while he did the same.

Li chimed in again as Garrus tripped up Chellick, causing him to lose his balance and fall backwards. 

“Didn’t you say she went home with a Human the other night?” He held his hand out to help Chellick back up, Chellick took the offer. “Wouldn’t that mean she’s not into Turians anyway.” 

“Yeah, yeah... you might be right about that.” 

Over the next hour, they both tired each other out from kicks and punches thrown, so they ended the sparring session. Both moved over to were Li still sat, wiping the sweat off of their softer skin that had built up. 

Garrus glanced to the time on his omnitool, it was late but Shepard was probably still waiting for him. He quickly picked up his shirt throwing it on. He’d be a bad Commander, if he missed her.

”Garrus.. where are you running off to?” Li jumped down, standing in front of Garrus. 

“Shepard wanted me to meet with her... I pissed her off earlier by telling you off during the mission.. probably about that.” 

Li laughed a little, then true concern fell to his face. “Need some tips?” Garrus nodded half listening to what he Li was saying. “Not that I’m a specialist or anything.... but Human’s are highly emotional communicators, just try to understand where she’s coming from. Also listen, that’s super important.” He should take what Li says to heart, he is dating a Human after all.

Garrus turned heading off towards the elevator. “Also don’t think of her as a Turian ...nor a Human!” Garrus glanced back for a moment. “She probably only wants to have you see her as an equal... just letting you know!” 

Garrus took the words to heart. Li would know best of all out of any of them how Human’s operated. He pressed the Crew Deck level and headed up, hopefully she’s still awake.

Chapter Text

She really hadn’t been expecting Garrus to be right next to while she was letting out her frustrations of her chest piece. 

She had been a slave to her thoughts, she wasn’t even sure how long he’d been standing there. Seeing the half naked Turian next to her had surprised her, she wasn’t really sure what to make of it.

She had seen Turians in the diagrams in school just like they showed the rest of the species in Citadel space. Biology had been one of her best classes oddly enough. She just hadn’t ever seen a Turian up the close before. It was interesting, and somehow didn’t really look that different. Sure, he had sharp edges and what not, but it wasn’t like an Elcor or anything. He still looked somewhat Humanoid. Interestingly attractive is what she might call it, plates were an interesting feature.

When she had poked his chest she wasn’t really sure what she had been met with. Almost like rough, solid leather to her finger tips. Not soft in the least, but not jagged either. She had noticed a small healing bullet wound on his left arm, she deducted that the skin there must be softer there were it was healing than on his lightly chest where she had jabbed him.

And the jab, while mean wasn’t uncalled for. Shepard had been angry at first about comment he had made to Li. Letting it off her chest certainly had made her feel better. He shouldn’t have to look out for her, she was a big girl and had been taking care of herself for a long time. She didn’t need some man,  who had no say, to stop in and tell her offenders off. She could do that herself. Besides it wasn’t even offensive, sure it was very friendly, but offensive. No.

Though she hoped she didn’t ruin the budding relationship between them though. She took the tough girl angle as a way to hopefully earn some respect from him. If she had done that to a Human, he either would’ve ran and hid or spaced her just to take care of the problem.

She respected that he didn’t back out from the conflict, he took it face on. And she had retreated to her room after speaking to Garrus. She hoped to get a shower in before the debriefing, and even more so she kind of wanted to speak to Tali. She wanted to learn more, more about her, more about what she’s doing, and whatever this conflict between everyone, Cerberus and the Geth.

She had made her way to the showers, getting in and out and dressed quickly. It was a somewhat communal shower, it was fairly standard for a ship like this. They had four stalls each with a door that would barely do anything to stop a looky loo. At least there was a door, in boot camp you get at most a two foot curtain, most of the time you got steam as coverage and that was it.  

She had wandered to her room after the shower, quickly braiding her hair into a large neat braid. She had changed into a tank top and pair of joggers along with her boots for the evening. She had noticed the other night how cold the ship was, glad that she had brought along a sweater or two, she would need them. 

Shepard headed down to Tali's room, when she arrived she found Tali bunched up in the corner on the cot, speaking to someone on a holo. She quickly shut it down when Shepard moved into the room.

"Shepard, I uh--"

Shepard smiled at her and moved to sit onto her desk chair. "You didn't have to hang up, I could have left and waited." 

Tali looked down at her omnitool, Shepard assumed she was debating on whether or not she should call them back. Tali looked to Shepard and waved her arm in the air. "No.. no .. it's okay... Just talking to a friend." 

Shepard smiled and leaned forward placing her elbows on her knees and leaned forward. Tali scooted over on her cot moving away from the corner she had found refuge in. "Shepard, I have a question for you?"

Shepard gave her a nod to continue. "Um---- why are you here? On a Turian ship?"

Shepard sat up her chair and crossed her legs. "I was sent to assist Commander Vakarian, on behalf of the Alliance and the Citadel Council." Tali fiddled with her fingers, twisting them through her hands. Shepard assumed she must be nervous, she probably hadn't been in contact with many Humans. 

"Aren't Spectre's supposed to work alone?" Shepard nodded to the question and quickly answered. "Yeah, I think the Council wanted a better looking crew for the issues we are taking care of. It wouldn't look very good if the Council sent a bunch of Turian's to attack a Human Separatist group. Maybe they thought it wouldn't look as bad if there were Human's tagging along too, I suppose."

Tali stood from her seat on the cot and moved to sit on the desk near Shepard.

"I wasn't supposed to be on Therum.... They shot down my ship and I ran. Hid in the ruins. They had chased me from the Attican Beta, that's were I had stolen the chips. It was from one of their stations. They didn't seem too happy about it."

Shepard let out little laugh and agreed with her. "You know.. I don't know what would make you think that. Was it the chasing or the shooting down the ship?" Tali giggled a little to her self. "Now that I think about it.... it must have been a dead give away."

Shepard and Tali spoke for what had felt like an hour. Shepard learned that the Nar Rayya was her home ship in the Flotilla. She was 24 years of age, Quarian years. She was collecting the data chips for her father whom was a revered scientist among the fleet. She said she would be able to get the chips looked at before they would drop her off, Shepard just had to get everything that was on her list. 

Shepard had left Tali with five minutes to get to the debriefing room, she silently thanked the builders for making this the fastest elevator ever created.

The debrief has been quick and without any event. Shepard’s list for Garrus felt as though it was growing by the moment. She needed to talk about this case she has from C-Sec, a crew schedule, she wanted to talk about Tali, and she still had so many questions about Cerberus and this involvement. She could only hope he would have enough time to talk about it all. He had many people on the ship he had to speak to and many more things to do. The last thing she wanted to was talk his ear off all night.

Upon leaving the debriefing, he promised to come see Shepard after he’d cleared everything else so it was that it would be the only thing left to-do for his day. She had imagined he was tired, she was very tired as well. The mission was fairly easy on Therum, but it was best they get their rest while they could afford it. She silently made a note to stop talking if he looked like he might be dozing off.

Dinner that night had been relatively uneventful. Most of the crew had made it down to eat. Though it did seem like there was a divide as Chawkwas had mentioned, the Humans stuck with Humans and Turians with the Turians. Wrex just sat by himself in the middle joined by Shepard across from him. She hoped soon everyone would be comfortable together, if it didn’t straighten out in a while she would have something to say. 

That night, she had helped Aulso again with clean up, joined by the mechanic that worked down in the cargo bay. Devos chatted to her about driving the Mako, he was certainly impressed on the damage she did to the Mako on its first outing. She spoke to both of them, getting to know each of them better. 

Devos was a retired C-Sec captain, who had up until now, lived as a mechanic on the Citadel fixing up sky-cars and what not. He said he was chosen for the opportunity by his previous captain who had caught word and put his name up to the Council. He seemed greatful for the position and seemed like a pro in his field.

After speaking with the two Turians for what had felt like hours, which when she checked her omnitool, it had been. It was nearing 2300 hours and she hadn’t heard a peep from Garrus. She was starting to wonder if he had forgot about her. She shook it off remembering he was even busier than she was. 

She had gone into her cabin, sitting down at her desk and pulled up her holo. She checked her emails, she had an update from Bailey. Nothing had changed since she left, Alesseo was still in protected custody, and safe. She flipped through a few more messages, deleting some of the junk. 

She glance at the time once more, it was nearly midnight. She began prepping herself for bed, Garrus had probably figured sleep might be the better of the two options, Shepard was certainly beginning to think so too. She readied herself, undoing her braid that had left her hair still slightly wet. She changed into shorts and a sports bra. She had been just about to jump into bed when the doors to her room opened.

She glanced over to seeing the Commander dressed in a loose T-shirt and a pair of what looked to Turian workout pants, he looked comfortable at least. He took one glance to Shepard, drawing his look out to the walls of her room then looked away. 

“E- Excuse me Shepard, I didn’t realize.. I can go.” She shook her head and moved over towards the couch.

”I figured it had been a long day and you had already gone upstairs..” She picked up her hoodie from the couch, flipping it back right side out and pulled it over her shoulders. 

“I’m happy to talk if you are.” He swiftly nodded but still hadn’t stepped into her room. He seemed to be waiting for an invitation. 

“Garrus come in, take a seat.” She held her hand out to the couch, beneath the window. She sat into the corner of it, hiding her legs beneath herself. Cuddling into her hoodie. Garrus looked hesitantly to her and then the couch.

”I don’t bite, come on.” She patted the couch again. He looked to be having an internal debate with himself, which ended sooner then it had seemed it was going to go on for. He moved into the room and took the seat next to her.

The couch wasn’t very big but he took up half of it, easily. She rested her elbow on the back of the couch and leaned her head onto her palm, taking in the Turian next her. Maybe he was still uncomfortable about their minor altercation earlier in the cargo bay? Maybe she had made the wrong assumption.

”Shepard, about earlier. I want to.. I should’ve respected your position within the team. You’re one of us out there, no one else. I’m sorry.” Her eyes widened to the apology, she hadn’t been expecting that. Seems he did catch what had actually made her mad, ‘she’s not Turian’ comment. While she isn’t one, she doesn’t expect to treated any differently.

”I thought about it the entire afternoon, even asked Li. He helped clear up the water.” Shepard smiled to him, being her hands down to her lap. 

“Thank you, I really appreciate it, Garrus.” His energy seemed to lighten up. He sat back into the couch, making himself a little more comfortable. 

“So.. I’m not sure you were let in on the info or not...” She stood up and went to her desk, picking up the two folders resting in the corner. She glanced to Garrus passing them both to him, he took them, taking a glance inside. Shepard made herself comfortable crossing her legs Indian style and resting her back against the arm of the couch. Garrus browsed what was in the folder, flipping through the pages. 

“Those are the two cases I was working on before I left, C-Sec. I would like to continue them, with your help.” He glanced up from the papers, making eye contact with her. 

“I have a lead that is taking me to Omega, I need to find a Mordin Solis, I’m told he can help.” He didn’t break from the eye contact he made with her, it made a chill run up her spine. She hadn’t really noticed how icy blue his stare was. He was close enough that she could now make out the patterns and break in his colony marks. She felt her cheeks heat up and she broke the contact, looking away out the window. 

“I need to find this doctor and need to find out what happened to these people.” Shepard could’ve sworn the couch vibrated for a moment. And it had come from the Turian next to her. 

He closed up the folder and sat forward setting them onto her chair. He relaxed back into the couch stretching out his legs in front of him. Leaning back into the couch. 

“Anything for you Shepard, I feel like I need to earn your trust again, we just met and I’m....” She smiled to herself, he was going help her and put trust in her. Though she didn’t like that he was still beating himself up. 

“Garrus...” She shook her head, giving him a wide smile. “Your going to be a great leader on this ship. Don’t beat yourself up.” He sunk into the couch deeper and nodded. “Plus, I think of us already as friends.”

”I’ve never really sat down with a Human before or really had a conversation for longer then 5 minutes.” He looked up at the ceiling, letting a sigh out. She let him relax for a moment, it was the least she could do.

“Me too, well... My wards in C-sec were mostly Asari and Human. My run ins with Turian were far and few in between. I do know a Spectre though...” She punched her hands into the pockets of her jacket. “Although... he really only tolerates me.”

He turned his head, his mandibles flairing for a moment. “You know a Spectre?” 

She gave a quick nod, picking at the couch cusion. 

“Who? Nihlus? Avitus?” 

“Saren, we ended up together for a while in Elysium.” He eyes widened as he stared at her.

”You’re kidding?”

Shepard shook her head, glancing out the window again.

”He’s friendlier than you might think!” Garrus let out a laugh that seemed to rack his entire body. Saren did not like Humans as he would say only simply dealt with Shepard because she had saved his life, he probably would’ve died on Elysium without her help. It was something Saren had sworn her to never tell the media. If she had, he would’ve hunted her down. He talks big but he’s not soulless.

“I thought taking down two Cerberus agents meant you were crazy but this... Saren?” She gave him a light slap on his right arm for chastising her. He let out a slight hiss, putting his hand onto his arm for a moment.

Shepard put her hand to her mouth, hiding her horror. She had forgotten about the bullet wound there. She would’ve punched him if he touched a wound like that on her.

”It’s fine, Shepard. Just tender. A bastard on Eden Prime shot me.”

She shook her head and stood up, stretching her legs that were asleep for a moment. “And he got away?” Garrus nodded shifting himself to sit back up. She noticed his eyes on her for just a moment before he leaned forward resting his elbows on his legs, fingers crossed. His head was bowed, looking down to the ground.

”I know you’re probably tired, I can talk to you tomorrow, it’s probably best not to keep the Commander up all night.” She teased him a little, then realizing how tired she was, yawning to herself. She glanced to the time by her bed, 01:45. She’d already taken enough of his time.

“If you want me to leave, you just have to ask.” He chuffed a little at her then made his way to stand. She smiled a little at his teasing, at least she thought it was teasing. 

“I still have more to talk about but...”

”Good night, Shepard.” She grinned at him as he made his way to the door, hearing the shutter open. She pulled off her hoodie, getting herself settled for bed again. He stepped out into the dark mess then glanced back briefly. 

“I wouldn’t mind this again.” A buzz of electricity slid up her spine ending at the tips of her hair. She grinned at him, not even bothering to cover herself. She just stood there happy and proud.

“I’d like that.” He waved her off moving from the door so that it could shut. She glanced at her bed, her body now felt awake and alive where it had just felt calm and ready for bed. Regardless, she shook off the thoughts. She liked talking to Garrus, he was approachable, easy to talk to and he was funny. She wouldn’t mind them having another sit down at all. 

She climbed into bed shutting off the lights, cuddling into her pillows, hoping for sleep to take her soon.

 

Chapter Text

Garrus has silenced his alarm about 4 times the next morning. It seemed it had gone off every time he had just shut his eyes.

He had stayed late in Shepard’s room, hadn’t even realized the time that had passed. He had found himself melting into the couch in her room, it wasn’t like it was really that comfortable or anything. He just kind of enjoyed the company. He had been worried about their confrontation earlier in the day but she set his mind at ease. He really had no idea why he sought her approval in a way, maybe it was because he felt like she might be better than him some way.

When she had mentioned she needed help, he wanted to help her in anyway he could with the case. She would have his full support. 

He couldnt help but think about how he had found her though. He knew he was a little late to the meeting but hadn’t expected her nearly unclothed. It had been his fault, he probably should’ve knocked. Though he couldn’t help but look, her stomach was flat aside from the slight ridge cut into her skin that ran across her left side, down into the shorts she was wearing. The picture of her stretching up to put her jacket over her shoulders felt like it was burned into his memory. It only made him more curious about her.

When he had gotten up that morning, he made the decision to actually read up on Shepard’s history that had been sent to him. He browsed the file, it was only a basic overall of her past. Not really that in depth. Most of it blacklined. Not helpful in the least.

It mentioned she finished boot at 20. Enlisted again, moved up through the ranks. She toured a few planets, Elysium, Akuze, both being her successes. Though if he remembered correctly, Akuze only had one survivor, was that her? Was that where she got that scar? Or did it come from something else? 

He sat down at his desk, popping open his browser searching for information about Akuze. He reeled at the information provided. Apparently, it had been media covered but every article was the same. He stared at the holo pulled up, it was a picture of Shepard standing among the fallen, each had earth’s flag draped over each box. The picture showed Shepard standing with three other men. Each of their faces held the same emotion in the picture. One he couldn’t read, maybe sadness? With a hint of anger? 

He read on into the article, she had earned her N7 title, and rightfully so. Her making it out of Akuze only proved her to be true asset to the Alliance. Though it seemed it was what had been the deciding factor in her leaving the military. He couldn’t really understand it, at that point wouldn’t you just take some time then get back at it?

Maybe that’s why she was back and here with him? She’d taken her time to come back. 

The next few days had passed without event. Shepard had sent him info on the cases she had been working on. Though he hadn’t physically spoken to her in days, they just seemed to miss each other. The ship was just big enough to be able to hide, thank the spirits for messaging systems. 

He spent his time getting to know the crew better. He had received a personal request from Shepard that some of the crew should help out Aulso. It was different to hear something like this, though he should’ve expected it from her. He approved that request too. 

He had decided to make a straight shot to Omega. They would need the extra fuel to get themselves out to the migrant fleet to drop Tali off. He was really hoping she would be able to deliver on the information she promised. 

Upon docking at Omega, he would be going ashore with Shepard accompanied by Tali. Tali had promised that if she could gather a few things she would be able to get the information faster, before they hit the fleet. He only hoped it wasn’t a ploy for her to run off. He assumed Shepard had earned her trust in some capacity, a few times he would stop down in the cargo bay to find them stowed away in a corner speaking to each other.

It would probably be best to get things moving along. The council had requested he investigate a few Geth hotspots that had popped up on a few planets close to the Terminus. It would make for a quick cleanup and they could head off to drop Tali off.

Shepard and Garrus both changed into their armor, Omega as Shepard claimed was never to be taken lightly. She mentioned something about her mother having lived here. Something more about watch where youre walking and be cautious of who you’re shooting. It can and will come back to bite you in the ass.

Garrus had never physically been on Omega, though he’d heard plenty of stories that would make him hesitant to even dock the Normandy here. He made sure after he left the ship, the doors would be locked immediately.

He took a glance to Shepard next to him in the cargo hold, much like he had done the other day when she slapped his wrist. She was slipping on her last bit of armor, clasping it on tightly onto arms. He picked up his visor, opting to wear it this time around. Could've opted for his helmet, just didn't seem appropriate for the mission. 

Shepard wore her hair in long tail again, not bothering to tie it up into the bun. 

“Can I help you, Garrus?” She didn’t make eye contact as she picked up her assault rifle attaching it to her back. She picked up pistol and a clip, she turned to throw the pistol to Tali who caught the pistol then the clip. Tali loaded the pistol like a pro clipping it to her side.

He hadn’t even noticed his mandibles had flared out, watching the exchange. So the Quarian knew how to work a gun? Would it be wise just handing her a gun like that? He shook the thought from his head and moved over the weapon locker to pick up a gun or two. He supposed if Shepard deemed her alright he guessed it was okay.

His priority between the two was still making sure Shepard made it back on board, he would make sure he didn’t have the opportunity to break any promises he made.

"You know Shepard, you think we need all this firepower? Do they even let guns on dock?"

Shepard picked up her sniper rifle, putting a fresh clip in and registering before throwing it onto her back. "You want know something really cool, Garrus?" He nodded and added hum in confirmation throwing another gun onto his back and shutting his weapon locker. 

"Not sure if you got the memo big guy..." She lifted a boot onto the table with thud. She buckled it up tight, switching to her other one and doing the same. She placed both feet on the ground and moved over to her locker which was right next to Garrus. She reached in briefly grabbing a ammo clip from her locker, she held it up for a moment in her gloved hand, inspecting it. She brought it forward tapping it onto the collar of his armor. "...but you're a Spectre, kind of like a do anything and get away with it badge."

She slipped the clip into her ammo stores on her belt and smirked up at him. "Well... within reason.. of course." His mandibles flared.

The two girls and Garrus moved to the elevator, riding it up to the C.I.C to exit out the flight deck door. Were all Humans so.... touchy? Or was it just a Shepard thing?

They hadn't even made it to the end of the dock before two Batarians and a Krogan approached them.

"Weren't expecting a...... what is this a triple threat?" One of the Batarians grunted out a laugh while the other stood there with his arms crossed.

"Looks like nothing... weapons look real nice though. Is that a Viper..." The Krogan stepped forward grinding his teeth at them and grunting out an evil laugh. Garrus was faintly starting to see why Shepard had mentioned getting armed. Thugs and they've been here for a whole five minutes.

"Aria wants to speak with you, hand your guns over." Garrus took a step in front of Shepard and Tali. 

"More likely to get rid of you before that happens." The Batarian crossed his arms over his chest. He was much smaller than Garrus but it still really didn't make him any less of threat, he was armed to the ‘T’ just as much as they were. The other Batarian walked off ahead, speaking into a private channel. Garrus crossed his arms over his chest copying the Batarian. It seemed to only make the Batarian glare harder at him. 

"Gorgal, Aria says let 'em be. We've got enough eyes." Garrus took a glance around quickly, locating no one in particular. Either their snipers were that good or they talked bigger than they were. Whatever the out come, apparently there would be no detours to getting their work done. Garrus glanced back to the two girls as one of the Batarians and the Krogan moved to follow up their party of three. They escorted them through the main entrance of Omega.

The crowds cleared the way of their little team of six as they headed towards a pair of large doors just ahead. It looked to be a night club, large letters brightly lit above the doors reading 'Afterlife'. The Batarian led them through the doors not even giving a second glance to the security outside. He moved them through the some what crowded bar leading them to a set of stairs that led up to a platform that over looked the entire bar. 

He watched the Turian stationed at the bottom of the stairs glance at the group. His eyes lingered a little too long on the two behind him, suddenly feeling fairly protective over both Tali and Shepard but not making a move. He didn't like the body language this Turian was putting off. If that was any indication on how the meeting with Aria would go, they should have just turned around and left. 

Garrus led the way up the stairs, reaching a sitting area. It was surrounded by three other Batarians and two more Turians, they looked to be guarding an Asari who non-chalantly leaned across the seats. This must be Aria.

The Asari glanced to the three of them, her eyes falling to Shepard for a moment before making eye contact with Garrus.

”To what do I owe the pleasure of having a Spectre on Omega? I’m fairly certain you’re lost.” Aria looked away disinterested, waving her hand to someone down below on the floor.

“Spectre Vakarian, is it? I don’t know if you know the rules out here..” Aria stood up, turning her back to them and surveying her domain. “But I don’t like Spectre’s running a muck in my wards, I have order.” She turned around taking a seat again before signaling to one of her men, who ran off down the stairs. “Let’s keep it that way.”

Garrus stepped forward, Aria's guards readying themselves. He felt something give him a tug back before he took another step. He found Shepard’s gloved hand giving him the tug back. He glanced back to her, her eyes wide with something. He couldn’t place it at the moment and only wished he knew her body language better. She looked scared. 

“No comment? Very well, I will ask once. Once you leave here, leave Omega.” She crossed her arms over her chest relaxing into her couch. “And please, never come back.”

Garrus moved to open his mouth, though he had no idea what he might say. Before he could even formulate the words, Shepard stepped up next to him. 

“We are looking for Mordin Solis.” Aria turned suddenly becoming interested in the conversation Shepard was presenting. She stood up, moving towards them.

”The Salarian Doctor? Interesting.. though what’s more interesting is why I have a decorated Alliance Commander standing in front of me and daughter of a dear friend.” She glanced to Garrus giving him a look down. “..and no less with a Turian Spectre.”

Garrus hadn’t really been sure how to answer the question.

Aria stepped down from the safety of her couch, stepping in front of Shepard. She reached up and grabbed a lock of hair from her ponytail that was hung forward over Shepard's shoulder. Aria thumbed the piece. Why did she have to get all touchy-feely on Shepard. Why did it bother him so much?

“You know Shepard, if you were into being a vigilante, you should have let me know. I’d probably pay better then the Turian.” Garrus locked his eyes on the Asari, he wanted to interrupt what Aria was doing to Shepard badly. It was so bad it physically hurt his being. Why was she so familiar with her, did Shepard know Aria?

“You look so much like her... offer is still on the table. Maybe you won’t make the same decision your mother had.” She moved her hand to gently grip Shepard’s chin, in a some what endearing way. At least Garrus could only assume from the way Aria looked at her.

Shepard’s eyes widened with discovery, she must know something about Aria. Shepard pushed Aria’s hand away from her chin, glinting at her. 

“We’ll see what you say later on, come see me after you find Mordin Solis. You can find him in the nearby wards taking care of a little problem that showed up recently. Something about Vorcha.” She turned and climbed back up her stairs, taking a seat again. “Do come back to see me soon Shepard, I have some interesting information that you might want to know about.”

Aria’s men ushered them out of the club. Leaving them on the door steps surrounded by people. The crowd to get into this place was so large and it was what, the middle of the day? Don’t these people have things to do?

He glanced to Shepard who nervously stroked her hair, almost like she was trying to get Aria’s touch off of her. Tali put a hand to Shepard’s shoulder in an effort to comfort her. 

“Shepard, do you know Aria?” Shepard shook her head letting out a large amount of air in a sigh. He’d yet to see her really just at a loss. She probably couldn’t make out what just happened as much he couldn’t. 

Shepard looked to both of them. “Let’s go find, Mordin.” 

They took off towards the wards only to be stopped when they arrived. Garrus grimaced at the sign on the door. ‘Plague Zone’. The Turian standing guard, was speaking to an angered woman who stomped off as they walked up. 

“Wards are closed, we’ve got a plague that effects everything but Humans and Vorcha. Can’t let you pass.” Shepard turned looking directly at Garrus. He looked at the door then to her for a moment. 

“I won’t let that stop me from helping you, Shepard. I'll risk it.” Shepard shook her head turning from the door. 

“Maybe I could borrow some mercs or something? I don’t want to drag you in there.” Garrus crossed his arms, glaring at her. He appreciated that she would look out for him, but he didn’t need her choosing whether or not he would be backing her up. 

“Shepard.. it’ll be fine.” Shepard glanced to Tali who nervously played with her hands, she was definitely hesitant about going in there.

”I don’t want to... uhh... put a damper on the plans but... my enviro suit hasn’t had an update in a while.”

Shepard nodded then looked at Garrus meeting his eyes. “Let’s get Tali’s stuff and we can figure out what to do.”

He appreciated Tali letting them know before dragging her along that enviro suit needed help. Even if she wasn't formally apart of the crew, they didn't need to drag her into situations she was unprepared for. He'd make sure to thank her for having trust in them in the first place.

They’d gone to the markets to pick up what had seemed like an obscene amount of things for a traveling Quarian. She needed cleaners for her suit, a whole bunch of items to be able to access the data chips. Shepard had footed the bill, wasn’t horribly expensive, given Tali was used to making do with the most seemingly useless things.

Walking through through the wards, he’d learned more about Tali. He could tell Shepard and her were becoming fast friends. They got along very well, she didn't seem nearly as suspicious as when they found her. She seemed to be settling and becoming more and more apart of the team.

They made it back to the ship around dinner time, helping Tali with all her items down to the cargo bay. Tali immediately got to work when they left.

Garrus and Shepard moved to the lockers, quietly not saying much of a word to each other. ”Shepard, we can go tonight... I’ll ready Chellick, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind tagging along.”

Shepard shook her head, letting it fall forward tapping into the locker in front of her. She didn’t make a move. Garrus wasn’t sure what to do. He stared at her for a moment, giving her some time to collect herself. She let out a sigh that escaped her.

“I was told stories about her when I was younger. My mother and her were close... friends, I suppose.”

She tipped her head back up, turning to frown at him. She crossed her arms over her chest, still trying to believe what had just happened. Her childhood stories she'd been told just came to life. It'd probably knock him on his back if Shepard had been anything like the stories his father told him.

He wasn’t sure what to make of it, Shepard just seemed so hollow at the moment. He leaned into the locker for a moment. Taking a deep breath. Shepard stood there quietly thinking. He decided he give her some time and revisit it later. He'd also have to figure out what to do about the wards thing. He'd figure it out later.

Chapter Text

Shepard really wasn’t sure how she felt about the entire Aria situation. She was almost certain this was who her mother had spoken about when she was younger, telling these grand stories of adventures and mishaps. Her mother had spoken so highly of her. It completely took Shepard off guard, in every single aspect. She hadn't known how to act. She felt like she had sunk into a shy little girl that she had never been, her mother's stories becoming reality.

She appreciated Garrus wanting to push her to continue with finding Mordin, no matter the cost. But she still wasn't okay with it, mostly in the fact Garrus was offering up his health. Maybe she would just pick up a few mercs to help her out. She knew she shouldn’t go in alone and that seemed it was the next best option. Though she did have a feeling her new Commander would completely disagree. She could put it off, but it had felt like she was close to something. She could feel it. She had to keep being, regardless of this Aria situation.

She turned to her locker, taking a deep breath.  She appreciated Garrus not saying anything, she didn’t need the extra comfort. She just needed a few moments to collect herself, and think about what had just happened. 

She bent down starting to unlatch her armor from her body, off to side she could see Garrus moving doing the same. 

“My mother told me so many stories about Omega. Most of them stories of escaping thugs, action packed adventures, and stealing away with your best friend.” 

She put the armor away, each piece slowly collecting up in the locker. 

“My mother had said she had passed away, or maybe she just thought she did or something... apparently not true.”

Pulled her boots off switching them out for her ship boots. 

“My mom, Hannah, said she had left one day stowing away on a ship hoping for a better life... she never saw her friend again.” Shepard shook her head unzipping her suit down her chest a little. She turned to Garrus who was still picking his armor off. She leaned against the locker watching him.

”I wonder if she knows what happened to my mother. Someone should tell her.” 

Garrus unzipped the front of his under suit, not completely stripping his top half like last time. “Do you know why she left?” He pulled away from the lockers for a moment, shutting the door.

Shepard shook her head. She wasn’t sure why, and wasn’t sure what that meant. Was that the only reason Aria is allowing them to do as they want? Everything just seemed so mixed up.   

As much as she wanted to run away to the solitude of her own room, she wanted company. Someone to talk to. 

“Can I talk to you later?" 

He gave her a brief nod. Glancing to his omnitool. “Meet me in my cabin... in say two hours.. I’ll have Aulso make us something to eat since we missed dinner too.”

She gave him a small smile and moved past him, she needed to just be alone for a little while. She would then seek out a friend, at least after all her thoughts were reigned back in.

Upon reaching her cabin, she’d quickly found herself drifting into thoughts of her mother. She had made peace with her passing months ago. It was only hard for the first month or so. Though it didn’t make it any less tender when it was brought up. Sometimes she was able to hold herself together and sometimes it was just impossible. This was one of those times were it was damn near impossible to keep her self together.

She gently cried herself asleep. Upon waking she felt better, more rested, and felt better about the whole situation. Almost like her mom stopped by and said stop your worrying kiddo.

After waking, her stomach growled, she was now starving. She glanced to the time it been exactly 2 hours since she had passed out. She jumped up, silently thanking her internal clock for looking out for her. She slipped out of her suit she'd hell asleep in, slipping on her workout pants and a hoodie over her bra again.

She quickly made her way up to Garrus's cabin, only to get to the door and not know what to do. She stared at it for a moment, is this how Garrus feels when he stops by. She opted for just walking in, to her amazement, it just opened for her.

”Garrus?”

She peered around the large room, complete with his own desk, a full seating arrangement and a bed tucked onto the far wall. She stepped into the room, seeing a dismantled gun on the coffee table, pieces placed in a unique order. It almost felt like a violation of his privacy. Garrus wasn’t here, she should go.

She turned on her heel making her way to the door of the cabin, just as something caught her eye. A slight glare off of a picture frame caught her attention. She glanced around the room again looking for a Turian who wasn't there, if she hadn’t felt like she’d already been all up in his space, she was about to be even more so.

She picked up the frame, giving the picture a good look over. It had Garrus, a slightly younger Garrus, with a female Turian. He had his arm slung over her shoulder holding her close. She had darker plates, her face decorated with the same blue as Garrus, though a different pattern. Shepard suddenly thought this might be a girlfriend or maybe he was married. She put the picture down quickly, then turned to make her exit. 

Looking at the picture had made her feel slightly flustered, and a little bitter. The door suddenly shuttered opened and Shepard flew to the wall, next to what looked to be a bathroom, attempting to hide from whoever it might be. She stayed close to the wall, she watched Garrus walk into his room. What’s he going to think?! His Lieutenant Commander snooping around his room without him. 

He stepped in stopping at the stairs, he glanced up from the datapad in his hands. What was he doing? Oh god. Her hand flew up to her mouth. She’d forgotten a Turian’s smell. He quickly turned to make eye contact with Shepard whom was still clinging to the wall.

”Um hey, Garrus.” His mandibles opened wide for a moment, almost like he had to smell the air again to make sure it was her. Weird. He chuffed for a moment and then let out a throaty laugh. It was a good laugh, she liked it.

”This Aria situation has you more messed up then I thought, you alright?” His concern stretching across the space and touching her.

She gave a slight nod, still not peeling herself off of the wall. She put her hand to her chest feeling her heart beat pace faster than usual. She rubbed it willing it to calm down.

”I’m fine.. just sorry... I thought you were in here. I was just leaving before you came in.” 

“Didn’t I ask you up here? It’s fine Shepard my door is always open to you whether I'm here on not. Come, take a seat.”

She peeled herself off the wall moving down the stairs again into the main cabin. What had he meant by that? She was always welcome in his space no matter what. Garrus had sat down on the far side so she took the seat in front of the pieced apart gun lying on the coffee table. 

“Shepard, you didn’t really answer me.” He glanced up setting his datapad to the side. His legs were spread apart as he leaned forward resting his elbows on his knees. “Are you alright, Shepard? You just kind of.... not sure how to describe it really. Shut down.”

She crossed her legs, grabbing a little pillow to cuddle to her stomach. She stretched her arms pulling it tight against her. “No... I’m fine. Just kind of slept it off.”

She looked him over, he’d put his civies on again. The white stripes and blue accents fit him so well, made him look good. He picked up the sight to the gun, giving it a glance then moving to clean it. He put it back down then leaned back a little into the couch.  

She stared at him for moment, and she swore her brain replaced his civies for his bare chest again. Jesus Shepard, you need to get laid or something. She looked away quickly looking at the pieced apart gun, anything to stop her from looking at him. How long has been anyways...  You're just curious Shepard, don’t make this weird

She picked up a piece of the gun and held it in her hands for a moment before inspecting it. She set it back down. The silence was eating away at the lack of conversation. It wasn't awkward, just quiet.

“I have a question?” He cleared is throat, moving to the edge of the couch, leaning himself forward again. Shepard swallowed and nodded, he looked so attractive in that position, made him look powerful. She wanted to slap her self for thinking like that, thank god he couldn't read her mind. “The other night, when I stopped into your room. Where did you get that scar? The one right there." He drew a line down his right side.

Her eyes widened, she’d come to live with it for so long sometimes she forgot it was even there. She put the pillow off the the side. Tucking her hands into her pockets.

”A trophy from Akuze, surprisingly not related to the Maw attack. I was hiding in a pile of rubble after my team had been attacked. Slipped, tore open my side off a sharp piece of metal. It doesn’t look very good, does it?”

He stared at her then his eye contact faltered for a moment, stare turning to her clothed stomach. She inwardly smiled, he wanted to see it again. Too bad the worst thing she could do right now would be stripping for the Spectre. She hadn't even noticed the budding feeling she had growing in her stomach until he'd showed up the other night. It's nothing... you’re just missing the comfort of a man. 

“I’d say the opposite really." His breath caught at his own comment then fell out as a nervous laugh. He rubbed the back of his head. "Where’s Li when you need him..” Shepard smiled and laughed at his attempt at a joke. He really didn’t think it was that bad? He had to, it marred the whole right side of her stomach... maybe he’s just being nice.

”It’s an easy reminder to expect the worst, either you’ll be right or pleasantly surprised.... Sorry about shutting down in Afterlife, won’t happen again.” She took a deep breath.

“It must have been surprising, I’ve never had my mother’s stories come true.” Shepard pressed her lips in a hard line. That is what it had felt like, suddenly everything thought to be made up is now reality, hopefully that doesn't make this reality nothing but a story.

Shepard switched the gears back to Garrus, enough talk of her own mother. “What’s your mother like?”

He leaned back lifting a brow and crossing his arms over his chest. “I had no idea something like that would interest you.”

She copied him, except she grabbed her pillow hugging it to her center again. She sunk into the back of the couch, making herself comfortable. Just as her back became comfortable, the door up the stairs opened up, revealing Aulso. He dropped off some food, giving Shepard a smile and a wink, and took his leave. 

She looked down at the food, it looked so good and it looked like something comforting given her emotionally exhausting day. She swore if Aulso wasn’t married... wait did Garrus tell him she had a bad day.

She watched him go for his some what healthy looking dinner. She took a bite savoring the food. She pointed to it, silently asking him if he asked Aulso to make it. He smiled and shrugged. 

”I’m very interested, Garrus.”

He laughed and leaned forward taking a bite of food into his mouth and swallowing before answering. 

“She was beautiful, kind, and loved everyone. She would’ve been really supportive of the whole idea of this ship.” He took another bite trying to eat the food while it was still warm. “I hope my sister turns out like her, she really had been the best mother.”

Shepard couldn’t help but focus on the words he said, ‘was’ ‘been’ would've’. It could only mean one thing. 

“She passed away after boot. I’d been 18. Sol, my sister had only been 12. It did hit her a little harder, you know.... you two, you and Sol, would probably get along well.” Shepard raised her brows placing a wide smile on her lips. He finished his food. Standing to put the plate onto his desk then sat back down.

”What’s she like?”

He made a thinking face before answering. “She’s smart, too smart. She’s so friendly, it hurts. She’d be so interested to know my Lieutenant is a Human, she’d probably explode.” He laughed a little shaking his head. She did sound like someone Shepard would like, she liked infectiously happy people. They just seemed so wild to her. She wanted to be just like that sometimes. 

“You have any other family, Shepard?” She put the pillow off to the side again, shaking her head. She didn’t, besides maybe Anderson and Wrex, there wasn’t anyone else. She played with hands trying to draw her mind away from the current conversation. She remembered why she wanted to come speak to him in the first place, well besides the fact she really liked talking to him. Something about him was so calming yet so igniting.

”So I noticed the other day, the crew hasn’t really meshed, everyone is still kind of setting their own boundaries. While I’m grateful nothing worse has happened...”

He stood up crossing his arms and passed along the foot of his bed. “I thought the same as well. Perhaps a night out for everyone might be needed.” 

She raised one of her brows in curiosity. Did he just mention having everyone go out and get drunk? 

He turned facing her, he must have watched her face twist in curiosity because his did the same. “Do you disagree?” 

“Well the Alliance doesn’t condone drinking, fraternization, etc....”

Garrus held his tongue back before answering. Shepard could almost hear him think out loud.

“Well... I’m your Commander right?” She nodded along with it. However, the Alliance still paid her salary. It wasn’t the Council nor the Hierarchy that paid her. She assumed she was to follow his rules, Anderson had probably mentioned something like that. 

She leaned back against the couch almost with a smirk lingering on her lips. “I suppose you are my Commander.”

He laughed turning his head into his shoulder to laugh. She assumed he was trying to hide the laugh. “I didn’t mean it like that just.... “ 

Shepard stood, tucking her sweater back down. It was getting late and she should probably let him be. 

“Yeah yeah.. Commander.” She smirked at him, moving to pick up their dinner plates. She’d clean them up when she got down to her floor.

”Were are you running off to, Shepard?”

She slyly looked up then glanced back to the dishes in her hands. Is he attempting to flirt? She didn’t completely hate the idea.

”Figured you’d need your beauty sleep, if you want me to stay though... I wouldn’t mind.”

He scratched the back of his head again, glancing to the time, it been a few hours since she had come up. “You’re probably right, though I wouldn’t mind talking to you for longer.. it is getting late.”  

He stepped over to walk her to the door. Offering to take the plates down himself. She promised it was not a problem. 

“By the way Shepard, I want you to be up and ready to go by 9 tomorrow.”

She stopped to stand in front of him, meeting his blue eyes. For a moment she felt herself falter in what she was about to say, only find it a second later. 

“And why is that?”

”We are going to go talk to this Mordin tomorrow. I’ll be bringing along someone who doesn’t mind the risk.” He looked away for a moment, giving his shoulders a rub trying to will the stress away. “I don’t need my Lieutenant’s six being watched by some hired merc. If we can’t find another who will go, you and I will go alone.”

She gave his chest a nudge pushing him back a step. 

“As much as I want to say ‘Hell No’.... thank you. I’ll be ready.” 

He smiled at the push she gave him. Each moment they had spent together, had made it easier to understand the other. She was really enjoying the time they put away together. They’ll only see how tomorrow goes along. And who would be willing to come along. She ran off to get to bed quickly.

 

 

Garrus had met Shepard at the lockers just after 9, he’d asked Wrex if he would join them. What better way to see how he works than to put him against whatever Omega might throw at them. She easily agreed.

Wrex had agreed to the opportunity, he did mention something about how he doedn't know who’s paying him and he wants the dollar signs attached to anyone they kill. That seemed to be the only contingency. Garrus wasn't even sure if something like that could happen but if he could he'd see to it.

Wrex was suited and ready to go at the hull door when Shepard and Garrus had met up with him. Shepard had only asked Garrus maybe twelve times if he was sure he wanted to go in there. He appreciated the concern but it didn’t matter, he would be covering her six no matter what.

They’d arrived at the wards again. Meeting an Asari who was now guarding the door. She refused to let them in, only after mentioning they needing to speak to the doctor and mentioning Aria’s approval of their entry, the Asari let them in at their own risk. 

They moved through the wards quietly, they were met with no resistance nor had they seen a single soul. Only was it until they’d moved into a more precarious part of the wards, the halls were littered with debris with what looked to be recent looting of apartments. 

Shepard heard some movement from a nearby apartment. She glanced to Garrus, who for some reason deep down within himself, had opted out of wearing a helmet for protection. Wrex just didn’t even care about putting one on for protection. It was easier just to let the Krogan be.

Shepard looked to Garrus silently asking if they could see what was going on. He gave her a nod to move forward.

Shepard moved up to the room, glancing inside of the open door. 

“There’s nothing but this dumb picture...let’s go to the next one..” A crash rang out from within the room, sounded like the breaking of glass or something to that extent. She grabbed her pistol from her side, turning into the room with Garrus and Wrex backing her up. 

She was met with a couple of Humans, one holding a medium sized picture frame. The other was standing in front of a dish that was shattered into a million different pieces on the ground. 

“This is most definitely illegal.. what are you two doing?” She stepped forward with her gun lightly drawn, neither of them seemed to be armed. She stepped up into the room that they were occupying.

”Not like they’ll miss this stuff..”

The other man chimed in. “Who knows when the Plague could be lifted... probably never, nothing ever gets done around here.”

Shepard looked around the room, checking to see if there was another person in the room. A man came from around the corner quickly drawing a weapon. Shepard raised hers within moments to the assailant, who knows what these bandits might do.

Wrex stepped up, taking half a step in front of Shepard, nearly putting himself between her and the gun. “I dare you.” She could only imagine the nasty glint in Wrex’s eyes, he definitely enjoys watching grown men piss themselves. 

The man’s hand shook from nervousness. Finally glancing to his other friends, waving them to leave with his head. 

“We’ll leave...”

”Oh. I’d rather you stay. Party just started.” Wrex took a step forward and Shepard moved her gun down. If he was stupid enough to shoot the Krogan than he’s too stupid to remain alive. His hand shook with nervousness, his eyes showed fear for a moment. He put his gun down trying to slink away. At least he understood, this Krogan would kill him in a moment's notice. At least it would be quick.

He slunk out of the door, running down the hallway with his buddies. Wrex huffed stepping out into the hall, watching them escape. 

“Almost stupid enough to do it.” He gruffed out a disappointed breath. “Too bad he didn’t.”

Shepard glanced down the hall towards the direction they should be moving in. She glanced to Garrus whom quietly followed behind her. A cough echoed in the hall behind her, causing her concern to shift behind her. Garrus looked away acting like it hadn’t come from him. 

“Garrus...”

He shook his head, passing her up and leading the way. “Nothing wrong, we have to be getting close.” 

He completely blew off her concern. She almost pressed the issue, but decided not to. If he said he was fine, he was. She moved up next to him, making brief eye contact. She silently said a ‘Thank you’ for him coming along. He nodded accepting the thanks she offered.

In the two weeks or so, that she'd known him, she was starting to understand how he ticked. She was beginning to understand the little things that bothered him, how much he cared for the team, and how much he seemed to be holding back from her. Though she was almost positive he wasn’t aware he was even holding back. They'd become fast friends, something that was different than any other relationship she had. She silently made a promise to knock that wall down, and figure out what was going on.

They rounded a corner, Shepard almost tripping over a pair of legs sticking out into the hall. She glanced down to the legs, following them up to Batarian that looked almost dead. If not already. 

She glanced to Garrus then leaned down to the Batarian. She gave his neck a slight poke, feeling for a pulse. It was so faint, almost a whisper of what it should be.

The Batarian's eyes slowly opened, glancing to Shepard. It was followed by a rack of coughs, so deep from within him. He didn't sound good in the least.

She kneeled forward towards the Batarian. He let out another rack of coughs for a moment before croaking out a few words. 

“Just.... leave me...”

Shepard shook her head for a moment, her hair falling down in front of her shoulder. She pushed it back out of the way. Pulling his arm over her shoulder, helping him up. The Batarian was beyond weak, probably hanging onto his life by a thread. So she supported his entire weight. Garrus moved towards her wanting to help, she held up hand, giving his chest a small push away.

”We cannot risk you.” She demanded it of Garrus. Probably one of the only times she would attempt to assert authority as his Lieutenant. Garrus stared at her for a long moment. “I’ve got him, just keep us covered for any trouble.”

Garrus glanced from the Batarian to Shepard hesitantly. “Alright...”

The good thing was the Batarian wasn’t very heavy, she was able to handle him herself as they headed closer to the clinic. They had gone down a few more corridors, only to be met what looked to be a spray painted sign, it signaled gang warfare. 

Wrex growled ripping off the sign, tossing it to the side. The sign slid across the floor, making a horrible high pitched scratching noise against the metal floors. “Fuckin’ Blood Pack. Stay sharp.”

Not even a moment later, shots were being rung past them. Shepard quickly ducked to the nearest cover put the Batarian down softly. She glanced over to see Garrus and Wrex taking care of the resistance. They would have get to hospital soon, the Batarian was growing dangerously cold. She glanced back to the Batarian who was leaned up with his back against the cover she was using. 

He let out a string of wheezing coughs. He didn’t sounds like was going to make it much longer without medical help. She glanced over the barrier one more time. Wrex was walking back over to her, wringing his hands excitedly. He threw a punch to one palm in front of him, he had the deadliest smile plastered across his face. 

“I want more!” Garrus quickly met up with the two of them. 

“Hospital is just down below, there.”

Shepard pulled the Batarian up again, leaning his entire body onto hers. She was determined now, they were so close. 

The two led the way into the hospital. The Salarian nurse looked at the three of them and the Batarian. She shook her head moving back to her task.

”We don’t help thugs. Leave before the doctor sees you here.” She moved a few supplies around her desk, not bothering to look up again.

Garrus stepped forward to her desk, the young nurse still not breaking her contact with her task. 

“I’m Spectre Vakarian. At the very least help this Batarian.”

She glanced up again speaking quickly. “Resources are low. Only administering those not in stage 4. Too expensive. Doctor’s orders.” Shepard’s mouth nearly shot open. How dare she throw a price on top of someone’s head, he’s not dead, they could help. Garrus caught the look on Shepard’s face and so did Wrex. 

Wrex took two steps to meet with the desk. “You don’t help us. I’ll take down this entire place. Your choice.” Shepard nearly fumed with anger at this Salarian. So selfish.

Another Salarian moved in quickly with his back to the desk, looking for something in the cupboards. “Jilo, Who are they? Tell them to leave. Little antedote left. Not enough to help.” 

Garrus spoke up again. “I’ll pay whatever, just help the poor Batarian.”

The one known by Jilo spoke up again speaking to her counter part. “Already told them. Threatened attack if we don’t help.” She sighed looking at the four of them again. The Salarian with his back turned to them, moved so swiftly and effortlessly Shepard hadn’t even noticed the gun he held to them. 

The Salarian closed his eyes taking a deep breath, opening them to focus in on Garrus. He moved forward with the gun drawn to Garrus as he took each step forward towards the group .

“Won’t be the first to get shot.”

The Batarian racked out a few more coughs, leaning into Shepard’s side more. The Salarian focused in the Batarian still holding his gun steady to Garrus.

”Stage 3. Could help. Resources limited. Need help in exchange.”

Jilo quickly turned her shocked eyes to the other Salarian. “Doctor..” He gave her nod, starting to lower his gun. 

“Could help him. If you help. Need vaccine airborne. Will help overall. Should kill plague for good.”

”We’ll do it.”

The Salarian put down his gun and gave nod to his counter part. She moved over swiftly, helping the Batarian onto an empty bed and wheeling him off into another room. At least he was getting the medical attention he needed. They however seemed to have their own growing problem with this doctor.

Garrus looked back hesitant to what they just agreed with. The doctor rushed around the corner ushering them down the hall into a large room full of multiple different types of medical supplies. It made Shepard’s stomach jump in circles, triggering a memory of pain.

After she’d ripped her side open on Akuze, she’d been rescued moments later only to have a botched local surgery. She put her hand to her side, a look of distaste fell over her features. Could’ve been worse, at least she hadn't died.

She focused back into the moment at hand, peering at the doctor. He was pale white with a splash of red across his features. He was missing part of one of his horns, he seemed friendly. Well aside from the fact he had his gun raised to them moments before. Besides what kind of heartless soul helps people in a slum ward during a plague. He couldn’t be all bad.

He dropped a tube into Garrus’s palm. Garrus inspected the blue serum in the tube. “What good will this do?”

”Turians.” The doctor shook his head in disappointment. “Take to environmental control. Plug in. Plague taken care of.”

Wrex stepped forward dismayed at the answer. He crossed his arms trying to look threatening to Salarian. “This sounds like something familiar doesn’t it. Salarian.” Shepard’s mouth flew open, was he refering to the Genophage? She moved forward, pulling Wrex back by his arm. This isn’t happening again.

“What have I told you about doing that?!” He shouldn’t be throwing blame onto every Salarian. Yeah, they fucked up everything for the Krogan. But it wasn’t all of them and not this one specifically.

”Shepard, don’t fucking do that. You can’t agree.” He growled stepping forward towards Shepard. He stopped in front of her leaving less then a foot between them. She stood her ground, they’d been through this before and both of them had survived. She hoped they’d both survive again.

She saw Garrus turn about to approach and tell the Krogan to back off. She held her hand out again, telling him not to get involved. It was her problem. She’s the one fighting his thick headedness.

Though she failed to notice she had her back to a wall. “Sheparddddd. Don’t fucking push me.” She watched him carefully, every movement he made only put her one step closer to getting hurt. 

“I told you, you can’t assume bullshit like that.” Within a blink of an eye he had her by the neck pinned to the wall. Sometimes she forgot when he was pissed, just how fast he could move. At least this time, he just gripped her neck and didn’t hold her up by it. 

His grip tightened for a moment. She moved her hands from her side and rested her hands into his armored forearm. Yeah, she could shoot him, but that would defeat the purpose of him leaning a lesson. A lesson she knew was hard to learn, especially when you’re faced with the problem constantly. It would make him a better Krogan in the end. And maybe an actual leader for the Krogan.

Garrus stepped up disregarding Shepard’s notice for him to stay back. He stepped up next to them, prepared if this went any further. Though he didn’t make a move to get involved, his fists clenching told her he would be ready at any moment.

“I know you deal with what happened everyday, I know it’s hard. Blaming him won’t change anything.” 

His thick palm tightened against her neck  causing her to wheeze with each light breath she took. He was so mad, more mad than she’d ever seen him. He leaned in staring directly into her eyes, gripping harder. It felt like her eyes might pop out.

He hadn’t even noticed her hand had left his forearm, sneaking down the capture her pistol, she held it to the soft middle of his armor. 

“Fucking Shepard. You make me so fucking angry.” He released her in a huff and turned around, smashing his fist into the table. Breaking it cleanly in half. “I need to go fucking kill something. Let’s go!” He left the room, heading to the lobby.

Shepard took in a deep breath, relishing the easier moments of breathing. She only hoped that wouldn’t be the way she goes out, suffocating.

Her legs buckled for a moment, her body was racked with anxiety. Garrus took a step forward in front of her ready to catch her in case she couldn’t hold her self up. She rested a hand onto his forearm, leaning forward and letting a little giggle escape her mouth. She leaned off the wall, taking another deep breath. She couldn’t believe she pushed the damn Krogan again and survived... again. 

The first time, he’d had her rung up against a wall, no feet to the ground. It had happened a couple months after they’d first met, same reaction to the same type of problem. She defended a Turian and it pissed him off so bad she was sure she would’ve be in a casket the next day.

Garrus’s mandibles flexed out, his eyes wide open and worried. He probably thought she was nuts. She’d just went head to head with a Krogan and survived. Survival point number two goes to Shepard.

She smiled at Garrus, rubbing her probably bruised throat, attempting to soothe the sore skin. 

“Garrus, we should go before he strangles another person. I’ve seen him do it, we’ve got maybe 2 minutes.” Shepard grabbed her assault rifle from over her shoulder, pulling it down to rest in her hands. Garrus nodded to her following her.

”Shepard.. no offense. You’re insane.”

Shepard smiled to herself. Really, honestly she might be.

Chapter Text

What the fuck just happened?

Garrus had never seen a Krogan so mad. More or less, he’d also never seen a Human go head to head with angry Krogan and... well survive.

Shepard had taken a few moments to catch even air again. Shepard’s hard grip on his forearm for that moment he stabilized her scared him. She probably hadn’t even noticed Garrus gripping her arm just as tightly in return. He should be happy to see her alright, breathing. Though he was worried about allowing the Krogan aboard again. Should just leave him here on Omega. 

Shepard hadn’t seemed the least bit worried though. He guessed, she did know her so called friend as well as she should. Garrus wasn’t so sure he would’ve stopped standing by, if she hadn’t put her gun to the softest part of him. Her giggle after catching her breath made his heart skip a beat for a moment. Spirits.. she’s fucking crazy.

He’d never seen anything like that. Ever. Her smile at him did little to ease his worry, his eyes glanced to her already reddening neck. Should’ve just killed the Krogan and not let it get to the point. Maybe Li was right about her being related to a Krogan. However that could be possible.

He followed her out into the lobby and they made their way to the environmental control center. He would keep a heavy eye on the Krogan. Wrex was actively looking for something or someone to tear apart. He was glad that the odds of them meeting with more Blood Pack members was high. He didn’t want Shepard to be in that position again, he wasn’t so sure the Krogan would stop next time.

They made it to the controls with a bit resistance, if that’s what you would call it. The only real threats within the Blood Pack were the rampaging Krogans, but they had their own already angry Krogan of their own taking care of the issue.

They quickly loaded the serum into the system, allowing it to disperse and clear the system. Omega’s security would soon be able to come into the wards again and clean the rest of the Blood Pack out. Their job was nearly finished.

When they arrived back at the Salarian’s medical station. He was tending to the sick Batarian they’d picked up. He was still unconscious at the moment. Many IV’s ran up his arm, connecting to the veins there. He didn’t look good but at least he would have a chance. When Shepard had originally moved to help the Batarian it shocked Garrus, really it shouldn’t have, she has showed she is more compassionate than he’d ever been.

He only assumed she stuck to the words she spoke. It had made more sense as to why she helped the Batarian, coming to light after the confrontation with Wrex. Even at her own expense.

”Looks bad. Yes. Will be fine thanks to you. Give him a week.” The Salarian doctor walked up to them holding his hand out to Garrus. “Thank you. Couldn’t be done without help. Glad you came.”

Garrus shook his hand and straightened himself up and glanced around the room. He seemed to be the only doctor around. Shepard had moved over to the nurse who was attending to the Batarian. She was speaking quietly to her, no doubt asking questions. She was such a curious Human.

“Do you know where we can find Mordin Solis? We were told to come here to find him?”

The Doctor’s eyes widened. “Why would that be?” Shepard glanced over making eye contact with Garrus. She said her quick goodbyes to the nurse and approached them.

“Spectre Saren Arterius said that I would be able to find him here on Omega. Is he not here?”

The Salarian raised his arms waving them in front of himself. “Yes. Yes. Yes. But why?”

“Does he know of Exogenetic Scientific Solitions? The company?”

The Salarian crossed his arms, placing a finger to his chin, almost in a type of thinking pose. “I am Mordin. Pleasure to have your help. Should leave though.”

He moved to gather some supplies into a box, when neither of them moved, he glanced back up to them.

”I need your help Mordin, I think they are taking people from the Citadel. I want to help them.”

Mordin went back to the same pose as before, giving Shepard a long look. “Look harmless. Very deadly. Took on a Krogan. Survived. Perhaps could take on ExoGenetic. Do what I failed to do. Last time.”

Shepard stepped forward towards him, though they were still separated by a table. “Do what you failed to do? Did you try to take them down? Who are they?”

”Capable group. Perhaps.” He muttered a few words to himself, ignoring Shepard’s probing questions. Garrus stepped up to the table with Shepard standing next to him. Maybe making the Salarian feel pressured might answer some questions. 

“Am getting old. Joining cause could be useful. Exogenetic should not stand.” He nodded to himself then made eye contact with Garrus. “Cannot go alone. Exogenetic is dirty and strong. Connections everywhere. Would like to join.” 

Garrus took a step back and closed his eyes, another person on board. Might as well get used to it, might be useful to have a scientist on board as well as another capable doctor. Garrus debated the positives and negatives, really couldn’t be any worse having a volitale Krogan aboard.

”If you can help our search, it would be appreciated.”

Mordin closed his eyes taking a deep breath, it seemed between all the talking he did, that was his only way to get enough air. “Great.. will pack things. Head for ship. Loose ends must be taken care of.”

Shepard seemed happy with the outcome. They’d left the wards and were heading back to the ship, when she stopped in her tracks. She turned and peered at Afterlife. Garrus only assumed she was having an internal battle with herself. Aria had mentioned she had information after they were done parading around in the wards. She must want to know.

Her head turned and looked to the ground for a moment before catching back up to Garrus. She walked right past him, on her own mission. He had the faint feeling the curiousity was eating her up. Probably better that she should hold off for now. It’d been along day. 

He turned to see her tail of hair down her back waggle as she moved forward along the docks, almost hypnotizing. He followed slowly behind her, just taking it all in. She was crazy, smart, and fucking lived after being choked by a Krogan. He smiled to himself for a moment, watching her move up to the Normandy. 

She was one of the strongest women he’d ever met. Strong in every way. She shot like an ace, she talked like Queen, and treated others like they were all that mattered to her. His chest felt momentarily tight, he willed it to disapate. What was that?

She turned her head to him before boarding, glancing to him with a wide smile on her face, her eyes practically sparkling.

”Come on big guy, we can still catch lunchtime!” He stood there for a moment, then jogged forward meeting with her, joining her and boarding the Normandy. 

 

They afternoon had gone by quickly. Mordin had boarded the Normandy within a couple of hours. He had set up shop in the unused laboratory next to the briefing center. Claimed he would be able to work on some research he’d been working on while still being available for missions. Said he was a qualified fighter, spent a few years as an STG agent. He might not be a bad asset to have around. A scientist, an extra doctor, and a special ops agent, he was qualified enough to at least keep around for a while.

Tali had contacted him, letting him know it would take her a few days build a system that could read the data she’d stolen away. She seemed optimistic about the whole thing, said she wouldn’t mind if it took sometime to get back to the Fleet. She was beginning to make herself comfortable, which was better then having a slightly hostile Quarian running around. He’d made the decision to head to the Geth hotspots pointed out to them and take care of those issues. Well at least until Tali could get them more info and Mordin could get in touch to find out the whereabouts of Exogenetic. 

They left Omega that night, heading for those few planets with the Geth issues. It would probably take them a few days to run through them all. He’d wanted to talk to Wrex about the issue that had arised on Omega, he did not want anything happening like that again, ever. Though it seemed the Krogan had punished himself in a different way, and he left him to it.

He’d found himself spending time in the battery during travel time. When he was finished with most of his basic duties, he found he could practice calibrating and improving his numbers on the Thannix.

It also helped that if he left the door open, it help ease some of the worry he had for Shepard. He could keep an eye open incase Wrex came looking for trouble again on his ship. It had only been a day since the incident, though still entirely fresh in his mind.

He’d spent that entire morning working on the Thannix, barely changing a thread of degree on it. Disappointed, he thought maybe rerouting a supply route might help. Or it could blow it up too. Odds were maybe 30% that could happen. Good enough to find out.

He pulled himself up to take a peak over the console, watching it flutter static and readjust itself, trying to turn on. Well.. you haven’t blown up the ship yet. That’s a very good sign.

He glanced up from having the slightest crawling feeling he was being watched. He’d left the door open again, and met eyes with Shepard across the mess. She sat there munching on a bowl of something, just staring. The light of the mess hit her just right making her look almost... spiritual. She probably wondered what he was doing.

Her head tilted to the side as she scooped up another bite and shoved into her mouth. No one else was around, it had been late afternoon and most were taking care of their little tasks. They stared at each other for a long time which had felt like forever. Her eyes deep even from across the mess.

Something caused Shepard to take her attention from him, glancing off to the right. She saw Chellick move into sight, sitting down across from her blocking his sight of her.

He moved from the position he’d been in, turning to face the Thannix panel again, typing a few things in. His mind drifted off the to Chellick wanting to somehow get involved with Shepard. 

He rested his hands onto the console, bracing himself for a moment. A buzzing noise blew into his mind, making him unable to focus on the task at hand. He gripped the console harder.

Thinking of Chellick with Shepard made him anxious. Maybe he shouldn’t allow it happen, it wasn’t forbidden among Turian ships, but for some reason it bothered him. He’d warned him discretion should be used when involving yourself with a superior, not distracting them from their duty. It was a light hearted attempt at turning him away, didn’t seem to have worked.

How would it work anyway? It’s not like they are anything like us, Turians. Why would he be interested in her physically? It made his thoughts drift off to Wrex handling the situation earlier, anyone else coming at her or touching her just didn’t seem right.

Garrus raised his hand balling his fist and let it fall to console. He should rescind allowing Chellick to pursue things, or maybe he’ll luck out. She’ll tell him off, tell him she’s not interested in Turians and that’ll be the end of it.

It’s not like she’d be interested in a Turian anyway, didn’t she go home with a Human and that’s why he was so upset the first few days aboard. Shouldn’t that deter him in the first place from pursuing it. Sure, she was good looking for a Human, but what pulled Chellick in to want to pursue something romantic. Or Sexual? What the hell?! Did I just think that she was attractive?

He rolled his neck trying disperse the thoughts. Thinking about it made him all that more confused. Shepard is a Human, Human is equal to..to...

He racked his brain for a moment until his omnitool pulled him out of his thoughts. It beeped a few times before he opened it, not bothering to check who it might be.

A very stern, very familiar face stared back at him. 

“Spectre, hows it going?”

”Hey dad... good.. what’s going on? You never call by omnitool.”

His father made an attempt to to peer behind him, blocked by the obvious constrictions of vid calls. 

“Where are you at? The ship looks nice!” He chirped happily. Garrus quickly glanced behind himself, noticing Chellick and Shepard getting up. He glanced back to father. Realization setting in slowly.

”Is that Chellick I see back there? Hope that...” SHIT. Garrus quickly found the shutter control shutting the door swiftly. He hoped to the Spirits his father saw nothing. He wasn’t religious but if it might save him right now, he’d get to his knees and plead now. Please.

”Garrus, you alright. Your neck’s turned pale... you feeling alright, son?”

Garrus let out a breath he was holding, giving a slight nod. His father’s concerned look made him look so much older than he really was.

”I’m fine... just uh, was a little loud.” He coughed to clear his thoat, might have been a tickle from running through plague ridden wards or just a plea to not talk to his father at this moment. He wasn’t entirely sure what had gotten into himself.

Should just die now.. that was too damn close.

”Was just checking in you, seeing how your ship and you were doing?” Garrus glanced around the ship for a moment. Why did he have to call now.. especially when his thoughts weren’t all together at the moment. 

“Doing great... been real busy... been calibrating the gun to the ship all morning.”

His father chuffed and shook his head in disbelief. “Give you a piece of metal and you turn into a weapon. Good to hear from you. You seem busy.. I’ll let you go.”

“Okay... uh.. tell Sol to call more often.”

A wide smile that he swore he’d never seen on his fathers face and graced his mandibles. 

“I will. I’m proud son, go take care of those damn bastards they call Humans or Cerberus or whatever.. don’t need anymore of them running around.”

Garrus turned the com off, slamming his hands down to brace himself before he fell forward into the console. That was so fucking close. Too close. His father would blow up half the Terminus System if he’d saw Shepard. 

Garrus took a deep breath. He needed to beat the hell out something. And now. 

Chapter Text

Shepard had found herself busy helping Tali when she had boarded the ship. Shepard knew almost nothing about tech or engineering. But Shepard was at the very least a quick learner and Tali seemed quite qualified enough to show her a few things. 

Tali almost had her whole system set up by their first day out along the Terminus lines. She said it could take a long time to read the data chips up to a few days depending on what info is on it. These chips were to have the Geth’s entire life cycle, and who knows how long some of them have been around. Shepard and Tali had both left her cargo hold while her little make shift machine was reading and transferring the data. 

Tali has mentioned she wanted to go into engineering to speak to the engineers, she was curious about the ship now that the biggest part of getting info was done. Shepard encouraged her to go speak to them, maybe she could help refine things for the two engineers.

Shepard had headed up for an afternoon snack from the mess finding some cereal in the cabinet, not a great flavor but it was better than a ration bar. When she sat down, she saw the Battery door open and movement from within the room.

She didn’t want to be mean and stare but she couldn’t help but wonder what Garrus was doing in the Battery. He looked to be unplugging and replugging things in. When he popped up over the console, she almost laughed outloud. He had caught her stare for a moment holding it, he looked like a ‘wack a Turian’ game with his head popped up like that.

They held each other’s stare for a moment, she’d appreciated him on Omega. Being there and especially not getting involved with the Wrex situation. While Wrex was dangerous, he wasn’t as dangerous to Shepard. Though if Garrus has gotten involved Wrex would’ve tore him apart in seconds or Garrus would’ve shot him. Getting choked for a few moments was worth it to ‘take one for the team’. 

That reminded her, was there alcohol on this ship? She could use it. Especially after looking in the mirror this morning after her early morning shower. Her neck already began to bruise, a line of light burgandy and purple wrapped around her throat. It was beyond noticable, especially against her fair skin. 

She was yet to run into Wrex and she silently thanked him for keeping himself away. She would be mentally ready to speak to him in a few days. The first time around it had happened it had taken her nearly half a month to come back around him. He’d apologized in his own way not an official apology but she accepted it and he said not to push his buttons like she had. They’d both grown up a little since then. Well, at least she had. And she was allowed to be sour about the whole situation.

She focused in on Garrus tweaking her head to the side. Why was he staring? Wait even worse, why am I still staring?

A voice broke her long stare into the Battery. She saw Chellick come over and pop a seat in front of her. She gave a him smile as he sat down.

”What’s up Chellick?”

He rolled his head across his shoulders and focused in on her neck for a moment. She probably should’ve thrown on a jacket instead of just wearing her tank top. He was quiet, observing her for a moment while she stuffed more food into her mouth. Why was she so hungry today? Probably a sad attempt at eating her feelings. Maybe they have ice cream aboard...

”Not much, just wanted to ask you about something?”

She nodded along to him taking a quick opportunity to glance back into the Battery. Garrus had moved, turned so that his back faced her. 

“Why did you decide to come aboard... a ship like this?”

She sat up straight, finishing her last bite. 

“Um...” She shrugged. Really... it was because she was told to if it came down to it, though she supposed she could’ve requested anything else, and they probably would’ve given it to her. “Because why not?.... Why did you?”

He stared at her for a moment then let his eyes wonder off. “I guess, I liked my position with Garrus. He’s a good Commander.”

She pushed her bowl aside and link her fingers on the table in front of her leaning forward for a moment. She nodded in agreement, she could agree with that.

“You mentioned we met at the bar last week? I’m sorry if I made you look bad in front of the others. I was so drunk that night.”

He waved it off and leaned forward. “I bet you had fun with your... a boyfriend?” Shepard laughed a little not bothering to correct him. One of the only things she remembered that night, kind of a disappointment. 

“Yeah, you could say that.” She shook her head and brought the bowl between her hands, she should wash it and put it away. Chellick gave her a friendly nod and stood. 

She did the same, only to hear that Battery doors whoosh with a shut. Chellick looked behind himself, slowly turning his head back. 

“Who’s in there?”

Shepard smiled and walked herself over to the sink to wash her dish. “Just Garrus.” She heard a long sigh come from the Turian followed by a nervous laugh. 

“I guess... I’ll see you later, Shepard.” She smiled and waved, heading off to meet with Mordin. 

 

 Mordin was a mile a minute and that was an understatement. The fastest moving anyone, anywhere. He had to be. When Shepard had first arrived yesterday, he was still getting his things settled into the lab. He’d asked her to stop by later today and he would have all the time the world to talk to her.

Which was good cause she probably needed it.

The door wooshed open and she found Mordin staring at a few multicolored flasks. He typed into a datapad really quick then glanced up to her. He signaled her to come into room. 

“Ah. Shepard good to see you. Sorry. Had to be today. Too disorganized yesterday.”

She stepped into room taking the seat he offered to her which was next to himself. She took it and watched him for a moment.

”What are you doing?”

He focused on his tablet typing and finished pushing it all aside. “Synthesizing data. Omega water supply original source of plague.” He caught his breath and sighed. “Assumed to be gang related. Though they didn’t create it. Took care of loose scientific end already. Water is nearly clear.”

She assumed the ‘loose scientific end’ had been taken care of by lethal means. She thought again how he had threatened them to leave the clinic with a gun to their heads. And all they’d done was seek help for an ill Batarian. She had doubt he would let anyone live after hurting and killing so many on Omega. She wondered what kind of redemption he might be seeking for himself.

He moved over, pulling out some jar of dark black... something. Almost looked like super dark dirt, he placed a measure of it into an already boiling liquid. 

“Shepard. Have to ask. Why ExoGeni?” He tapped his fingers against the table, waiting for the potion to brew and her answer. She slowly was starting to understand, Mordin had to be moving. And constantly.

“I started with a lead on the Citadel pointing that direction, I have reason to believe they may be kidnapping people... or something like that.” He nodded and picked up the beaker giving it a swirl and set it back down onto the burner.

”And more. So much more. Helped start company. Built to help people. No longer serves that purpose.” He sighed and picked up another datapad, he glanced at it and took another deep breath. He picked up the warmed beaker and grabbed a thin sheet holding it over a cup. Then poured it in, it smelled of coffee. It smelled delicious.

He set the cup in front of her. “Figure. Much to cover. Why not settle.” She smiled at him and he made himself another cup for himself. 

“You started Exogenetic Scientific Solutions?” He nodded pacing with his cup in his hands, she was so sure he didn’t need the coffee but she let him have it anyway.

“Started 10 years ago. Left year later. In assumed capable hands. Started as a way to create engineered organs. Body parts. Etc.” 

He took a deep breath and then continued. “Was told by friend. Should not have left company. Fell into wrong hands. No longer for benefit for all. Benefits only a single Salarian. From what I know.

He crossed his arms and leaned onto the desk. “Shell corporation now. Heard something about using people to grow organs. Haven’t confirmed information.”

Shepard’s eyes widened in horror. They were using people to grow organs? Is that why there were so many kidnappings? We’re they even really related cases? These people will need help and soon! She stood up, nearly toppling over her seat.

”Mordin, where can we find them?”

He shook his confirming what she had a feeling about. “Has moved many times. Locating will be difficult. Only now back to original name.” He thought for a moment then nodded. 

“Will send out feelers. See if we can get a location. Or more info. Will get you details.” Shepard nodded and began to make her way out of the bay. He said his goodbye and a promise to try and find more info. They needed it, without it Laari might not even be found in time.

As she left the bay, she heard an announcement that they’d arrived to one of the problem Geth colonies. Tali and Chellick were to report to the hanger to get prepped. So she made her way down to the cargo bay to see them off. She found Chellick and Garrus getting prepped for their mission. 

She jumped up onto Li’s pile of crates and watched them get ready. It was a little weird not being apart of the party, though she couldn’t disagree, this was a complimentary team. If that’s one thing Garrus did well, was make sure each person complimented each other on the squad. 

Shepard watched a familiar Turian hop up next to her on the crates. Li gave her a smile and then focused in on her neck for a moment. He let out little laugh and she gave him a shove that nearly pushed him off the crates. She knew exactly what he was going to say next.

Over last few days, she found spending time with Li was easy. He was very friendly and she liked that. He welcomed her with open arms.

”Damn. Shepard didn’t know you liked it rough .” His hand slid up to his neck and mock choked himself. She let out little laugh and put her index finger to her lips. “Shhh... everyone doesn’t need to know.”

“Doesn’t need to know what?” 

Garrus stood below them, about a foot below, readying his gun at one of the tables. He glanced up to the two of them, warmly. Shepard kept her mouth shut, Garrus probably didn’t want to know about anything about their joking. 

“Weren’t you the one who did this to her?” Shepard shook her head and he continued. “Shouldn’t you remember that she’s into rough play, if I got the opportunity I wouldn’t want to ever forget it. Ever.” Shepard’s mouth flung open and her hand automatically back slapped against his stomach, causing him to keel over with a groan. Li had a stupid attempt of a Turian smirk resting across his mandibles as he held his stomach. She was worried it would make Garrus uncomfortable again.

Though this time Garrus didn’t tell Li off. He shook his head, putting his gun together. “Shepard, stop telling people what we’re into behind closed doors.”

Shepard gasped at him too. He was playing along too. And flirting like a champ. She liked it. A lot. A lot more then she would want to  admit out loud. Her heart nearly skipped a beat and then pounded in her chest. She rubbed it willing it to calm down. Chellick had dropped his gun onto the ground with thud it clearly had slipped out of his hands. He looked from Garrus to Shepard for a moment then picked it up, looking away. 

Li let out a laugh at the comment Garrus made, still holding his stomach in attempt to protect himself too. Shepard rubbed her temples for a moment, trying to think of a good come back. She didn’t have any.

Garrus grabbed his guns, placing them onto his back. He looked to Li and Shepard, giving her a wink. Turians wink?! She smiled at him and silently thanked him for not making the situation awkward by standing up for her. He went with the flow, and would she dare say it?  Yeah, I’m definitely into it.

If anything, she really really liked this Garrus. This was the first time she’d seen him and she wanted this Garrus to stay. 

Joker dropped the ship to land, allowing them to take the Mako if they needed it, which they did. They drove off, leaving Li and Shepard in the cargo bay. Devos headed up to the mess now that they’d left, leaving the two alone in the bay.

”By that comment he’d made, did he do that to you?” Li scooted closer and looked at her wanting to know answers. Answers to questions she didn’t even know. Shepard shook her head, pulling her pony over her shoulder, stroking it.

“Do you really think he did?” He thought for a moment, placing a finger to his lips to think. “Given Garrus, no probably not.” He went silent again for a moment, then jumped down from the crates. Offering her a hand to help her down. She took the offer jumping down. 

“Would be his luck though...” Shepard looked at him confused for a moment. She wasn’t really sure what he was saying. 

“Probably shouldn’t get into the details.”

Shepard sighed at him and put on her best begging face, she only hope it would come across to Li as begging. 

“Don’t beg Shepard.... wait.... why do you want to know?” She shrugged for a moment. “Shepard, do you have a crush on the Commander?” Shepard shook her head madly saying ‘no’. 

But wait did she? Maybe.... Where did that thought come from?!

”You totally do.. didn’t peg you for a Turian kind of girl, you seemed kind of... uhh into Humans, I guess.” 

Did she.... have a crush on him? No.. she couldn’t, she just admired him, respected him, and liked that he stared all the time whether he knew it or not. Oh my god.....

She put her hand to her mouth in realization. He laughed and moved in close and quietly speaking to her. It’s been years since she’d had a crush she almost forgot what it was like.

”Garrus, probably won’t go for it, I don’t want to burst the bubble. His father is so anti-Human, it’s not even funny. He grew up in a house like that.” She pushed her hair back over her shoulder so she would stop figiting. She had to know what Li had to say.

“Not that I’m interested or anything but...” Li rolled his eyes at her. She gave him another shove and leaned in to whisper to him. “But why does his father give a shit who Garrus likes?”

A large thud across the bay, brought them closer like two gossipping school kids. They didn’t want a soul to hear this conversation.

”You don’t know enough Turians to know about this Turian pride bullshit... his father fought in the 314 incident. He’d probably croak and die, come back to life and burn down Earth, if Garrus even mentioned Humans were even onboard his ship, let alone him being possibly interested in one as anything more than an enemy.”

Shepards eyes felt like they were being sucked out of their sockets, were there people who really thought like that? She been in plenty of bad wars and fights and what not because of duty. Though didn’t hold any grudges. She didn’t hate the Admirals who’d sent her team to Akuze, she didn’t hate all Batarians because she’d fought slavers. Though then again most weren’t like her, many people out there held resentment for things like that. Garrus’s father apparently being one of them.

”So you’re saying he won’t be interested? Why am I even asking? Relationships are taboo aboard Alliance ships. He’d never be into a Human anyways... it’s just a crush, why am I getting all flustered about it... I didn’t even know I had a thing until two minutes ago...” 

Li placed his hands onto both her arms, giving her a firm grip. It stopped her from her rambling, causing her to be drawn back to him and not her thoughts.

”Shepard. You’re a strong, capable, crazy, Human. Who’s basically not even Human in my books. Your like basically the prettiest Krogan I’ve seen in my life.” He let a small vibrating laugh escape him. “He won’t know he’s interested, he far too dense is what I’m saying. His father has him bogged down with how a Turian is supposed to be that he won’t even think twice about it....that is..”

Shepard put her palms to the underside of his forearms gripping him to her. There’s was no way she’d let him leave with out saying what he was about to say. “Turian ships allow fraternizations, that’s not a problem. It’s what’s in his head. I’ve told him for years, he needs to start thinking outside the box his father has thrown him in. Maybe you can help him do that. He does like you, I can tell.”

Shepard stared at him for a moment before giving a nod, trying make sense of the words. “But....”

”Or you can not do anything... I’m sure another Turian will come knocking on your door.” Shepard’s eyes widened, taking her hands away from him.

“Li, I’m not a xenophiliac... I only have a crush on Garrus. Not all of you. Especially not you, you dog.” She gasped at the words that left her mouth. She just said she had a crush on Garrus.

”I’m offended.... also.. what’s a dog?”

He had let go of her arms and she reached up to rub her forehead. What was she going to do with herself? What even made Li think Garrus might be interested, or herself for that matter. Well, besides her openly admitting it.

 

Garrus and the team had come back later into the evening, everyone safe and sound. Tali immediately showed Shepard all the new datachips she’d found and ran off to her room in excitement. Chellick and Garrus changed and disappeared for a while. While they had been out on their mission, she’d found some alcohol stowed away, Dextro and Levo. She silently thanked whoever put them on board, she would most definitely use it. She needed it after the last few days she’d had. 

She’d snuck down into the cargo when everyone was gone and asleep. Opting to stay down there and drink herself silly. Didn’t need Garrus finding her drunk in her own room.

She found a nice, secluded spot near the sparing mats, between the wall and some cargo boxes stacked up. It made a perfect, private escape. She snuggled into her hoodie, and drank the brown liquid, it tasted like Whiskey. She felt the familiar warming in her chest. Good enough

She’d turned on a vid on her omnitool and had gotten comfortable. She was through most of the vid when the sound of the cargo bay doors openening eachoed through the bay. She peeked her head over some of the cargo she hid behind. 

Garrus.

She stared at him for a few moments, he was in a Turian T-shirt and some tight, very tight fitting excersize pants. He had some really nice thighs for a Turian. Very pronounced thighs in the right pants. Her drunken thoughts drifted off, I wonder what he is like ‘under there’. She smirked to her slightly boozed self.

He looked around the bay, sniffing the air, his sight almost fell to her. She ducked down just in time. She took a few breathes trying to calm down, placing her hand on her chest. What would he think if he found his Lieutenant drinking her ass off and watching romance movies. 

He moved over to the punching bag that she had a direct view of. Oh this could be good.

He pulled off his shirt, throwing it nearby on the floor. She had to agree whiskey did make everything better. Including the way she was spying on Garrus, she forgotten her movie completely. Opting for reality, this was so much better. 

He punched the bag a few times, and hard. She quietly poured herself another shot taking it. His gray plates moved with ease even if he looked hard as a rock. Each step he took to throw a punch, made her all that more interested. What was he taking out on the punching bag. Was he stressed out?  

All of a sudden he stopped and glanced around back in the bay again. He shook his head like he was trying to clear a thought. She still peeked over from her hide away, it was almost perfect. When he turned his head she couldn’t help but take in his fringe. It was long, and hard like, her curiousity peaked. She was never taught what the purpose of it was. Maybe she’d be brave enough to ask one day.

She glanced over at him again, she could tell he was sniffing around. His head suddenly turning her direction, catching her in the act. She ducked down quickly hoping he hadn’t seen her. 

“Shepard?”

”Hey Garrus... Just uhhh... relaxing.”

”Was about to ask, do I smell alcohol? Or did you get hurt?” Concern lacing his tone as he walked over to her hiding spot, eyeing the bottle of alcohol. She watched him look from her to the bottle. A inquisitive look spread across his face.

“Relaxing... like I said, I’ll put away.” She gathered up the glass and bottle. He moved to the cracked cargo box where she found it and peaked inside. He grabbed a glass, wavy looking bottle, and brought it up to read. Nodding in approval.

“They threw Turian Brandy in here too?” He popped the lid to the bottle and took a sniff. His visibly relaxed at the smell. Shepard lifted the lid to the cargo box to tuck the Whiskey away. Garrus stopped her.

“You don’t have to stop you know... I don’t mind... in fact... I could use a sip or too. I believe Mauro has the bridge, after all I’m supposed to be asleep.”

Shepard watched him pull out a glass to drink. “Will you join me? Hopefully you’re not too far ahead.”

She nodded and sat back down into her spot on one of the cargo boxes. She placed the bottle onto the floor by her feet but didn’t go to get another glass. Garrus sat onto the cargo across from her, pouring himself a glass and setting the bottle down. He glanced at Shepard who had yet to fill her glass. 

“Here let me pour you a drink.”

He picked up the Whiskey and she held out her glass, letting him fill it. While he concentrated on her glass, she couldn’t stop watching his face, she was so curious. Turians has such symmetrical faces, it made them easy to look at. It was just so perfect looking. And he was even better to look at, plates looking rough and inviting. 

He’d poured her a generous glass, picking up his own glass again and clinked them together in a toast.

“To working together.”

”To making new friends.”

They both downed their drinks as well as many more. They were buzzed within the hour. Sharing many stories about each other, mostly of their their pasts, mostly involving stories about Wrex and Li. 

”I needed this almost as much as a spar at this moment.”

She smiled drunkenly at him. Wide and toothy. “Why Turians obs... obsessed with sparring?” A little hick up signaling she’d probably drank to much at this point. She didn’t feel horribly messed up, she just knew she couldn’t take her eyes off Garrus and the level buzz make her feel tingly all over. He leaned back getting comfortable against the cargo box behind him.

“It releases stress, feels good to hit someone sometimes.” He leaned back, resting his fringe on the crate behind him. Taking a deep breathe.

“What’s your fringe for... what does it feel like?” 

He turned his head to look at her. He probably thought she was goading him. She was too drunk for that, probably one drink away from declaring that she wouldn’t mind being choked by.... “Can I touch it?” 

”Can I touch yours?” He made a thinking face. “Actually... if you beat me in a spar, I will let you.” She stood up ready to go before he’d even finished talking. She wobbled a little from standing up so fast. It took her a moment to regain herself. This wasn’t going to end well. 

He rose to his full height in front of her her, flairing his mandibles with a cocky look on his face. She glanced down at his bare chest again and smirked, giving him a jab to the chest like she’d done after their first mission. 

“I’m going to kick your ass.”

He caught her wrist. “I’m not going to go easy on you.” Good. Don’t.

She smirked and moved away to the mats, stepping up to the center. She pulled off her boots and hoodie throwing them off with his T-shirt. It left her in a pair of capri workout pants and her sports bra.

He stepped up to the mat, his eyes looked like they darkened for a moment as he looked her up and down. She made a mental note, that look was good on him. “Maybe this isn’t the best idea.” He glanced at the skin of her tight stomach again, taking in her scar again. His mandibles flaring. Oh it’s going to be the best idea all night.

“You’re not going to hurt me anymore than Wrex has, its fine, let’s go.” Good thing she wasn’t completely drunk and could still talk. He got into a ready position while she lifted up her fists and prepped herself for what might be the easiest defeat for Garrus in his entire life. She was talking big game but her senses were slow, she only hoped his were just as slow too.

She stepped forward attempting the first punch and Garrus dodged. He attempted to latch his leg around the back of Shepard’s causing her to fall to her back. He held out his hand to help her up.

She gripped his hand and was pulled up to standing again. “Best out of 5.”

He agreed to the terms and took her down again with nearly the same move. “Point 2 for me.”

She adjusted the way she attacked him attempting a kick at his side. She connected and he leaned into that side as she tripped him up. He hit the mat. “About time, Shepard.” He looked at from the ground and popped himself up again.

She decided to move in closer so he couldn’t trip her up again. The fight went on for what seemed like forever. Until it turned into Shepard just trying to push him down movement. He pulled her arm, causing her to loose her balance and she pulled him with her to the floor.

”I don’t know a-about you but... like.. you’re kind of not really a fair fight.” Garrus laid next to her on his side with his eyes closed taking a few deep breathes, trying ease his breathing.

“Same... I just have to teach you how to fight a Turian... your little Turian friend who got you that Viper. Didn’t teach you well enough.” He mumbled out the last words. Is he jealous? Oh he’s going to play this like that. Well two can play.

“Noticed your little girlfriend didn’t teach you about manners. Cute picture on your desk by the way.” His eyes opened and he stared at her for a long moment, his ice blue eyes just boreing into hers. 

Suddenly, they shut and his body racked with laughs. “That’s ...” He rolled into himself laughing hysterically.

“That’s my sister! You must be so jealous.” He laughed again. Letting his inhibitions slide outward. She leaned up into her palm and laughed a little at his racks of laughs. It seemed he wasn’t going to stop. He leaned up resting his weight onto his elbows, so that he could look straight ahead and catch his breath.

Shepard hadn’t notice how close they were. Literally, inches apart. His gazed moved to her, he offered her a smile. She took advantage of the situation, she leaned a little closer to him. His mandibles flaired for a moment, watching her closely. She reached her hand over slowly so he could stop her if he really didn’t want his fringe touched. He didn’t stop her.

He watched the hand then focused in onto her face. She was literally so close to him. He took a deep breath and held it for a moment. She touched the hard, smooth plates on his head running a finger down one lightly and back up another, taking her time. He closed his eyes and took another deep breath.

They were so long, they could reach the back of his cowl easily if he looked up. They were interesting... maybe there to protect their necks, or something. Maybe it was a compliment to ask about fringe. She wasn’t sure but she wanted to find out.

She ran a hand up another one and he sat up which caused her hand to fall away. He turned a little and faced her. He was so close. She breathed in an almost cinnamon smell from him. She loved the smell.

He leaned over picking up her hair from her back and pulling it over her shoulder, examining it. Some fell loose falling from his talons hands and some remaining still pinched between his fingers. 

“It’s so soft and flexible.” He stared at it for a few moments in pure curiousity. “I like it.”

“Why is it so long?” He picked up more and let it run through his hand. Thank God She was showered.

Shepard shrugged. “I like it like that.” He nodded slowly still playing with a few pieces. They were so close.

She glanced to his mandibles and where his lips met. Did Turians even kiss? Could they? Maybe she should just do it and see what happens. Two things could happen, he could run as far away from her possible... or be okay with it. She figured she didn’t care at this point. What’s life without risks. Especially when you’ve been drinking.

She made a split second decision. She quickly placed her hands on his mandibles and moved in to place her lips onto his hard ones. They were hard but not rough, but not soft like hers. His body faulted, becoming rigid. He didn’t move a single muscle.

She pulled back from him, taking her hands back, placing them over her mouth. The power of Whiskey just made her do that, she’d would've been to scared to act on something like this without being drunk. She quickly moved away from him, maybe he didn’t like it. She didn’t know and didn’t care, she felt like her insides were burning from the small amount of contact. She wanted more and nothing more, all at the same time.

Stupid, dumb whiskey. 

Chapter Text

One moment he was playing with the dark strands of hair and the next she was doing something to his mouth. Her soft hands, that had just touched his fringe moments ago, were braced along his mandibles in the gentlest pressure. Her lips even softer, and slightly wet. He didn’t know what to think, did she just kiss him? 

He stared at her for a moment, completely perplexed. What was he supposed to say? Or do? The act had caused his back to go rigid with electricity. Wait, does that mean she likes him? Did a Human just kiss him? The thoughts crawled down his spine in uncertainty. 

She covered her mouth in realization in what she just did. “I... uhhh... I should go to bed!”

She moved swiftly getting up while he watched every move she made. She pulled her hoodie back over her nearly naked body, zipping it up. He looked at her a little disappointed. He kind of wanted more of whatever that was, was it the Brandy? 

She pulled on her boots, glancing at Garrus again. “I must’ve... I... I’ll see you tomorrow... maybe..”

She shuffled off, jumping into elevator and disappearing. He still sat on the floor where she left him, he leaned forward hunching over to rest his elbows on his knees and tucking his head in between them. He scratched the back of his head. Is Shepard alright? Was she that scared of what he might say or do because of this incident. He should’ve stopped her. Should’ve done something, for her sake.

Actually, he wasn’t sure what he might’ve said or done. As much as it shouldn’t have happened, he’d could never want whatever it could be between them. Could he? No.

His thoughts drifted to his father, he’d probably disown him, knock him from his tier within the hierarchy, have his colony markings stripped, never allow him to talk to Sol again... for what, a... liaison with his Lieutenant. No matter how tempting it could be, her thin waist and blue eyes or the way that kiss had felt, lighting his senses on fire.

He shook his head, putting his palms to his forehead and closing his eyes. Maybe it was just the Brandy talking. Hopefully. 

 

The next few days went by easily, Shepard avoided him at every turn. Maybe he should clear the water, tell her it was fine. He was flattered in all the worst ways, he was as afraid of telling her off, as he was pinning her to a wall and trying it again. He couldn’t trust himself at this point.

So he avoided her a little too. 

They couldn’t pursue anything, he could just claim it’s Turian rules or something. But how was he supposed to clear the air when it was constantly replaying in his head. Besides she saw through him, she’d know he was lying. He didn’t want to betray the trust he’d built with her. Probably a start to one of closest relationships he’d ever had with any of his crew, aside from Li and Chellick.

Every time he saw her and she turned away, he remembered everything from that night. Her pale smooth skin beneath his fingers. He remembered staring at her tight, slender waist and the scar that fell beneath her workout gear, jagged and alluring. Her long, strong legs. Her wide flared hips. Her still bruised neck, he liked it, didn’t like how it came be but it suited her. Her toned arms as they threw punch after punch at him. How soft and long her black hair was, how well it contrasted her eyes and skin. How angular her chin was. How blue her eyes were. How soft her hands were, how careful she was with his fringe. All of it, burned right into his fucking skull.  

It pissed him off, made him more pent up then a Krogan on Rincol before his ‘right’. He’d been thankful for the next couple of missions to take out some of the Geth, it helped ease some of pressure but he still felt like he could blow at any minute. He needed to punch the shit out of Li and find someone to let off some steam with. That should help, he’s probably just missing sex and needs a good lay with a Turian girl. That’s all. 

He’d spoken to Sol, of course not about the whole kiss and crisis he was facing but he described her and told Sol a little about her. She seemed eager to meet her. It didn’t help his feelings that Sol might want to meet her, she was so open minded she would approve of anything. It didn’t help him draw any conclusions he needed about Shepard.

After taking care of the Geth issue along the Terminus lines, while there Tali had found a chip of data that led them to their next investigation. Noveria. A brief protocol was placed within the Geth unit to arrive on Noveria tomorrow with some coordinates. So he ordered Joker to get them there a soon as possible. 

Noveria was risky business, nothing that came out of those ports were legal. Plus Noveria created its self its own tax haven which attracted bad people with dirty money. This could only mean something big for them might be uncovered there. They couldn’t miss this opportunity.

The unit protocol order was to arrive under cover. It was to take care of an issue listed as ‘Protocal 49293B’ Tali didn’t know what it meant but they only assumed the next code was related, ‘exterminate’.

He sought off to find Shepard, he wanted her to go down with him to Noveria. This would be a high priority mission, whatever is in this facility could help point them in the right direction of Cerberus and the issues they may be causing. And he only trusted a few to watch behind his back, Shepard easily being placed in those ranks.

He found Shepard in the port observation lounge. Though how he caught her hadn’t helped his arguement to ‘hope it was the Brandy the other night’ in the least bit. She was bent in half, ass straight in the air facing him. Her head dangling below. Her eyes were shut and head phones in as she continued her.... what is this? And why couldn’t he stop looking at her ass.

With eyes still shut, she moved her hands forward walking herself out into almost a bridge like position with her legs still spread. Her toned back flexed for a moment. 

He felt his plates stir.

Spirits.. 

He closed his eyes trying not to think about what he just saw, rubbing his eyes attempting the picture out of his head. How could he disturb her without this being creepy. Maybe he could just tap her, but where? All the safe zones were past her wide hips. He took a peak again.

He met a warm blue stare and Shepard standing in front of him. Shepard pulled her earphones out. “Need me?” Her voice light and airy.

A faint purplish color marked her neck now, no longer bright red and purple. He gave a hesitant nod and looked away. 

“If you don’t mind. I’d like you to go to Noveria with me, not sure what we’ll find there.”

She nodded, giving him a smile. She moved to put her boots on. He still stood there waiting for her, for no apparent reason. She walked past him, the smell of fresh, fruity with a hint of something else, flooded his nostrils. He took a deep breath savoring the moment. No more after this, no more.

At least that’s what he told himself. There was no place for these feelings right now. He willed them to go away. 

He told Chellick and Li to join him as well making this a party of four. He wasn’t sure what resistance they might meet, but ‘exterminate’ didn’t exactly make him feel comfortable. 

They’d all met at their lockers getting ready, Garrus couldn’t help but glance at Shepard, her locker being right next to his. Up close he got a better look at her neck, her bruise now faint red with the slightest hints of even green. Human skin was so transparent. 

He glanced over and saw Chellick make eye contact with him. Whom turned away shaking his head and continued to put on his armor. Shepard moved her helmet out of the way, tying her hair up again into the bun and pinning it down. She left the helmet in the locker when she was done. He did the same and began stocking all his weapons. Shepard moved up next to him quietly and readied her weapons.

They would be porting at Hanshan, the likely hood of them being unwelcomed could be very high. They just needed garage access at the very least, so hopefully they wouldn’t be there for long.

He made sure everyone was prepped to the ‘T’. He was almost positive he’d have to throw around Spectre status as well. At least to make it seem like he had some authority to have that garage pass. 

His thoughts drifted off to Shepard again. Was she mad at him? She was so quiet. Maybe she felt bad... Maybe she didn’t mean to do it? She did have smile on her face when he saw her this morning. Doubts filled his head, honestly he was starting to feel like he didn’t want it to an accident. Just a keepsake.

Shepard’s voice drew him out of of himself for a second.

”Hey.. you ready?” He glanced to her with wide eyes, taking her gloves hand away from his upper arm. A frown fell to her face. He hadn’t even noticed her touch on his arm. “Garrus.. are you alright?”

He nodded to her, grabbing a clip off the shelf. “Ready as we’ll ever be... let’s get clearance to go out to the research facility and get off this cold rock soon.”

She turned away heading to the elevator, him following her. He did his best to look at everything but Shepard. Chellick and Li were already at the airlock doors, waiting for them. How long was he out of it for? He has got to stop letting this take his focus.. for now.

They headed into Hanshan, with an armed escort to the the administers office. They were dropped off with a Human woman in the large office. She was speaking quietly to someone on the phone as they awkwardly waited for her.

She put down her phone, directing her attention to them. “Hi.. you must be Spectre Vakarian, we welcome you and your team to Port Hanshan.” She came up to shake hands with each one of them. “If you have questions or what not please direct them my way. I want to ask.... what brings you to port Hanshan?”

Garrus stepped forward. “Looking to conduct some business here.” He looked around the office trying to cover up the true reason as to why they were there. If they new they were here to disturbs their business, they would be stopped. “I’d like to check out some of nearby facilities.... might be interested in investing.” 

She clapped her hands together in joy. “Absolutely... Do you know which piece of real estate had you most interested?”

He tried to remember what Tali had told him. Something about they had to get a building, something with the number 15. 

Gianna brought forward a realistate book, showing him the investing options and facilities. He pointed to the one that read ‘Peak 15’. “I like this one... it’s on the market soon?” The whole real estate thing confused him, but he went with the flow. Maybe it would get them what they want.

She smiled generously and closed the book. “Yes, soon though we can’t show it to you at the moment, per the administrators word.” Garrus nodded but didn’t except the denial. “Can we check out the open one nearby? Valley 12?”

Gianna nodded to him and smiled. “I’ll allow you access, yes. Go speak with Lorik Qui’un, he will give you garage pass to allowing the means to transport your vehicle through our snowy hills.” The four of them quickly turned away leaving the overly enthusiastic Human secretary. Something about her did not rub Garrus the right way. She was up to something. 

Didnt matter though, they just needed the garage pass anyway to get the Mako through. Whether or not they had access to the Peak 15 building itself, they would manage. He doubted the doors, would be locked, probably Geth crawling all over place anyway.

They headed to the mezzanine to meet with Lorik. Garrus and the team found Lorik slumped at a table in the mezzanine. He stared out the window into the cold, snowy mountain side they were perched on, deep in thought. 

Garrus and Shepard stepped up leaving, Chellick and Li off by the door. Didn’t want to approach him and seem threatening, at least that’s how he hoped it would work out.

The Turian looked to Garrus giving him a look up and down then looked Shepard up and down. It irked him in all the wrong ways. “I’m not into whatever this is...” He glanced back to window and watched the snow storm rage on.

”Gianna sent us, said to ask you for a garage key. Do we have the wrong Turian?” Garrus glanced around the room. He was the only Turian there besides Garrus himself. 

“Oh.... Gianna.... she give you the real estate shpeel?“ He rolled his eyes and offered them both a seat across the table. Shepard looked to the seat, opting to stand where she was. Garrus did the same.

”Lorik Qui’un... pleasure ah—” 

“Spectre Vakarian and Lieutenant Shepard.”

”Pleasure.. have to admit.. I’ve never seen a Turian so openly strut around with Human.” He crossed his arms over his chest, slouching further into his seat. “I think it’s a good change...” Garrus and Shepard glanced to each other both making the same eye contact with each other. Can we just get the garage pass and go? 

”Anyway.. I need a favor first. Anoleis has turned my office upside down and has thugs guarding it... get in there, get some data from the holo on my desk.. pass will be yours.”

Lorik looked out the window solemnly. They both took their leave heading up his office with their full team. The office was guarded but not heavily, the mercs were paid off and at least half of them were scared off the moment they walked in. Perks of having big guns.

They’d gotten the data for Lorik, and headed back to the mezzanine. Lorik now sported a drink in his left hand, they saw Gianna leave Lorik’s table. She gave them a sugary sweet smile as they walked past. Lorik watch her as she left, his eye sight moving to the two of them walking towards him. For a moment he briefly wondered if Gianna and Lorik had a.... ‘thing’ together. I wonder....

Garrus handed over a datastick with the information. Lorik looked at and nodded, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a plastic card and handed it to him. “That’ll get you into any garage, you want.. I have a woman to meet with.. she’ll be happy to see this” He raised up the port with the info. A sly smile across his face, his mood immediately changing. “It was a pleasure.. see yah later.” 

He slammed back the rest of his drink and stood, heading off into the direction Gianna had walked off to. Garrus looked at Shepard for a moment. “You think...?”

Shepard watched him walk away. “Most definitely, they are.” Shepard grabbed the card out of his hand and examined it. He couldn’t help but glance off out the windows into main lobby of the port. He saw Lorik disappear into the administrators office with Gianna. Most definitely.

Garrus turned his gaze to Shepard. Her dark hair pulled up in that perfect bun. Her blue eyes still examining the blue piece of plastic. She smiled up at him. “Lets go, we have some Geth to take care of.” Her toothy grin spread her lips wide across her face. The thought that she was still comfortable with him after the other night made him smile back at her, allowing his mandibles to flair for just moment. Maybe it’ll all be alright.

They ran off to meet with Li and Chellick out in the large hall. They headed off to the garage to get the Mako through the shutters. Apparently, Lorik’s subtle hint at the do whatever you want with that card and get away with it spoke sounds with himself. He’d make sure to send a thank you to him.. and well, probably Gianna probably too. Though she’d probably take care of the ‘Thank you’s to Lorik. He laughed silently to the joke in his head.

They made it into the garage in good time. They climbed into the Mako and headed towards Peak 15. Shepard drove again and of course the entire time the team was on edge, hanging their seats. Shepard kindly reassured them that ‘it’s fine’ but every time she said that it was followed up by ‘oh shitttttt, that was close!’. He really didn’t want to end up topside in the snow, he really hated the cold.

Upon reaching Peak 15, several shuttles were parked around outside, decorated in yellow and white. Cerberus.

They pulled into open hanger. “We’ve got contact!” The hanger was surrounded in Geth and Cerberus. Garrus used the Mako’s rockets to fire upon them taking out entire group of them. Only when there were none left, did they climb out cautiously, the snow crunching beneath their feet. Li and Chellick first out followed by Shepard and Garrus. They moved up to the platform, guns drawn and ready. If there was one thing this team didn’t lack, it was fire power.

Chellick and Garrus led the pack into the Peak 15 doors. Shepard and Li followed them up, both shaking off the cold from open hanger doors. Apparently, they all agreed on the cold. It was fucking cold!

Though the garage area, wasn’t any better, not even a functional garage really. The windows were shattered out allowing in the cold snow from the outside, they all kicked on their suit heaters hoping that would keep them from the cold. When they were done here, he never wanted to come back. 

They moved up the stairways, treading through the inches of snow. Shepard lingered around the bottom of them, staring at the snow carefully. 

“Hey... I don’t think Geth nor Humans make tracks like this...” Shepard kneeled down looking at the snow closer, all the boys waiting on the stairs, surveying the area.

A clanking sound startled Shepard to her feet, holding her gun forward. Garrus readied his gun as did Chellick and Li. They all swept the area, not locating an enemy. The noise seemed to be moving from within the walls.

Shepard put her gun down to her side for a moment. She started trudging towards them in the snow. As she neared the bottom of the stairs, a burst of metal flew off the wall from the vent located there, clanking to the floor. 

In the next moment, Shepard fought in hand to hand combat with a large insect like creature. 

“Hey....you can shoot it anytime now guys.....!” She pushed it off herself and rolled back, giving herself some space. She eased into reasoning herself with her gun. It was too late though, Li had probably shot an entire clip of ammo into the insect. It lie there still twitching, green blood and guts all over the ground and the wall.

Shepard stood up out of the snow and went up to examine the creature, giving it a kick with her boot. It’s leg shot up, giving a wiggle and then curled into itself. 

“Ew.”

Li moved forward, helping Shepard up the stairs. She looked down at the thing again and then glanced up and around the bay. “Any idea... what the hell that things is?”

Garrus shook his head, glancing to the snow that had collected itself in her bun and hair from her roll through the snow. He motioned to it for her, and she attempted to shake it off. Failing to do so. She glanced up to him silently asking if she got the snow off. Garrus shook his head, it seemed too intimate to wipe it off for her, at least at this moment. Especially in front of his team. 

“I was hoping you would know what that was.” 

Li stepped up brushing the snow off her head, she smiled at him in thanks. Garrus felt himself tense for a moment, gripping his gun harder. You have no right to be jealous, Garrus

Li rose his eyebrows and glanced from Chellick and Garrus. Like he knew. Like he knew something he shouldn’t. Shepard wouldn’t kiss and tell, would she? No, she wouldn’t, she handles things herself.

Garrus turned and headed up the stairs before the moment got anymore awkward. All he would need would be for his team to not want to work with each other, having Shepard in the middle of all of that was even worse to think about. He couldn’t do that to his team.

He would have to talk to Chellick after this mission and clear the air.

They perused the mess hall, surprise attacked by those creatures again and again. Taking only a few moments to kill all of them. Shepard looked down to her armor and sighed. She’d be spending hours cleaning her armor. The green goop covered her entire front. “Couldn’t have asked for a clean mission, could we?”

Chellick laughed a little. ”I think green kind of suits you, Shepard.”

She let out a ‘haha’ at his joke and rolled her eyes. She passed them mumbling that it would take hours to clean her her armor again. It really would.

They headed to the end of the hall, entering into a elevator. Shepard wasn’t the only one covered in green goop. Shepard stifled a laugh from her corner. The back of Li’s legs were covered in the bug juice. Li turned glancing to the giggling Shepard. She pointed to the back him, holding her hand over her mouth, attempting to make herself quiet.

”Shepard, what are you going on about?” He looked down glancing at the front of his legs. Garrus laughed and snapped a pick with his visor. Suddenly, a hundred times happier he’d opted to go with his visor rather than his helmet. The green goop made it look like he’d gotten food poisoning and had shit it all out.

Chellick let out a happy buzz that vibrated in his chest. “Looks like you had some Levo food and it didn’t go so well on the way out.” 

Li rolled his eyes at the three of them. “Must’ve been really bad... looks like I threw up on Shepard too.”

Chapter Text

They reached a local area within the station. Looked to be a VI core of some sort that offered access across the station. Which at the moment, was shut down.

“Power’s shut off in the rest of the station.. we’ll have to reset the power core.” Chellick stood up from examining the console that looked like it had been on fire only minutes ago.

She glanced back to the door behind her, it read ‘reactor core’ and the one in front of her was ‘roof access’. She glance to Chellick. “Which one, tech guy?”  

He pointed to the roof access. “Best to find out if everything is intact up top.” The three others nodded to Chellick, heading up the sets of stairs. She’d followed Garrus up. They arrived at the top of the stairs, they made quick work repairing the landlines and taking care of more nasty bugs. Shepard let out a long sigh as they headed back down the stairs. She was covered in even more bug juice. It’s going to take days to clean my armor.

Chellick went into the reactor core with Li, leaving Shepard and Garrus in the lobby hallway.

She glanced over to him. She was still a little nervous to be around him. The whole kiss thing that happened still had her on edge on about how they stood. Really she should think of it as nothing, considering she ran off like it was her first kiss on the playground.

Honestly, she hasn’t expected herself to be the one to run from it. Garrus maybe, probably, most likely should’ve been the one. But it didn’t happen that way. At all. She felt bad, she was so scared to know the answer, she ran. His body language had been enough to tell her anything. He’d practically turned to ice under her ministration.

It made her mad and upset. The kiss had been.... well.. a kiss but it felt weird. And not just kissing a Turian weird. It felt like something in between the feeling of sobriety and drunkenness, sinking and swimming, flying and falling. Somewhere caught in between fear of doing and the truth of acting. She wasn’t sure if it was the thrill of him being new, or a Turian, or just someone she was beginning to grow attached to.

It had been one kiss and it felt like she didn’t even know what side was up. And more importantly, where was she going to fall? Probably on her ass. She pouted to herself for a moment, this wasn’t going go her way. 

Garrus watched the door for a few long few moments before turning his attention to Shepard. Meeting her eyes, then glancing to her neck again. 

She rose a hand up to cover it up. Every time he looked at her, his eyesight would fall to it like he thought it was his fault. “It’s healing.. looks bad now.. I know.”

She reached a gloved hand to rub her bruised neck, it still hurt a little. 

“I had no idea Humans bruised so easily.” Shepard nodded and pursed her lips.

”You try getting choked by Wrex and see how that turns out.”

He let out a let laugh, shaking his head. “Krogan probably would’ve decapitated me... and unfortunately, the bruise looks way better on you then it would on me. Have you seen a Turian bruise? Looks like plate rot on your skin.” He cringed at the mental image he gave himself. Plate rot was nasty, black and dark green in color. She’d seen it only once and that was all she needed to see for the rest of her life.

He reached his hands to his collar, taking the moment to stretch his neck. Still keeping his eyesight to her.

“Garrus... about the other night—“

”All done... we can head to the Rift station..” Chellick and Li both moved into the room. Silence falling over the four of them as they jumped into the shuttle. All the awkward looks between everyone put an odd face across Li’s facial plates. He tilted his head glancing between the three of them. Shepard watched something come to his mind and he nodded to himself. As if he were confirming one of his suspicions.

She smirked a little and crossed her arms. Li really thought that he was onto something didn’t he. 

The station shuttle shuttered to a stop at the rift station. They took yet another elevator up to a useful floor. They’d originally just showed up to see if they could gain some resources from the station, maybe figure out why they’d sent the Geth here to exterminate, well besides the obvious bug situation.

Giant bugs, they gave Shepard the eeby jeebees and made her skin crawl. She hated spiders and bugs. Life size spiders and bugs to be even more exact. Yuck and gross. 

The elevator stopped at a focal point, it lead to the hot labs and the guard baraks. They moved through the shuttle door and entered into the hot labs, Shepard slowly following up the group. 

A dripping noise next to her ear alerted Shepard, making her head turn up to the ceiling. She glanced up and cringed, a shiver crawling up her spine. Whatever had happened here, the bugs were completely splatted onto the ceiling. Green oozing down to the floor.

”Oh.. that’s fucking disgusting.” She visibly shivered and moved out from under the mess. A leg of one of the creatures fell to the ground with a thud. So fucking gross.

On the wall, just behind where Shepard had been standing was a large dent. It had looked like a rocket had attempted to go through the wall without any residue. The metal was stressed to the point where Shepard could probably punch through the metal.

Chellick stepped up next her examining the wall as well. “Looks like maybe... a biotic blast or something...” He touched it and looked up to the ceiling. “A strong biotic... no gun residue.. must have blasted these bugs smashing them into the ceiling. The shockwave hitting the wall.”

Li shouted from the other room. “Hey guys..?!” Shepard turned her head and moved into the room. Several, what looked to be scientists, lie on the floor. Killed in cold blood, looked to have been strangled. 

Shepard stepped up and knelt next to them. She glanced to their mangled necks, they looked to be snapped. “It’s got to be whatever did the damage in the hall.”

She glanced from the scientist to the other scientists, each of them were armed, kind of odd for being a scientist. What would they need guns for. She checked the emblem on the scientists chest. It wasn’t Cerberus.

”Garrus... these weren’t Cerberus scientists?” Shepard stood and glanced around to the corner of the room were two Cerberus agents were folded over themselves. Looked to have been rammed into the wall behind them, probably died from impact. The metal had two armor sized imprints in it.

Garrus moved over and did a quick look up on his omnitool for the insignia on the scientists chests. It was an arrow with a plaque behind it with a crest of leaves. “Arrow Peak Industries, known for scientific innovation in health. I guess their big thing was a health chip.. an alternative to an omnitool, I guess.”

Garrus moved to the left door at the end of the room. Readying himself to make opening the door his next move.

Li was figiting with a computer in the corner. “Hold on... getting some files into what they were doing here.. doesn’t look good.. I’m at 60%.”

Chellick moved to the Cerberus agents, attempting a hack onto their coms. She heard the door across the room open, and a squealing of the bugs filled the room. Garrus shut the doors quickly, one of the bugs getting stuck in the door. Garrus pressed himself against the wall, and glanced at the smooshed creature.

”That’s disgusting..” Shepard cringed again at the sight of the bug. 

“The great survivor of Akuze... afraid of giant bugs... some how I felt like it should’ve been giant worms.” Chellick scoffed at Li’s joke from across the room. Shepard walked backwards, moving further from the door covered in green goop. “Worms that’s okay... these spider things... I wouldn’t say I’m a fan.”

She stood next to Li at the desk. It was the furthest place in the room from the bugs. Li made a spider with hand and crawled it up the arm of Shepard’s armor. She jumped back away from him, smacking his hand away in the motion, giving him a disappointed look.  

Such an ass.

“Li, I will shoot you.” She threatened half joking, half serious. Honestly, if she was desperate enough she’d give him a good warning via shooting. She pointed at him playfully. “Watch it.”  

He laughed and turned away in the chair back to the screen. “80%.”

A large slamming sound startled all of them. Garrus looked to the other door on the other side. He nodded to Shepard. “Shepard, let’s go. You two fine?”

Chellick and Li both nodded and resumed their downloads. “We’ll meet you as soon as we can.”

Shepard shuffled off with Garrus, moving into a small hall with another door. Another loud thud hit the door in front of them. They readied their assault rifles. Whatever was happening around here, they were soon about to find out. 

Garrus nodded to Shepard, making sure she was prepared and opened the door. They moved into the room and into cover behind a cargo crate. The room was dark and looked to be a large platformed lift, raised above the ground. Shepard glanced down below the grated flooring. She couldn’t even see the ground. Hopefully, neither of them had a height fear.

A blue glow and bullets began to rain in the large room. Shepard glanced over the cover not quite seeing where the glow was coming from. She saw movement out of the corner of her eye, orange glowing accents on a suit heading their way. 

She stretched her leg out tripping him. He fell flat on his face, barely enough room for him. She gave him a kick, pushing him off the grate  falling down to the unseen floor below him.

They shuffled off still under cover trying to get a better view of who was doing all this damage. They ducked under the new cover on a small catwalk. It gave them a direct view of the slightly upper level were the commotion was coming from. 

“You fucking motherfuckers! Where the fuck is he?”

Garrus and Shepard both peaked over the the cover, only to see a body barreling towards them, hitting the large cargo box that they were hiding behind. It was launched in the air from the impact of the body and was sent flying over their heads. The body and the cargo box falling to the floor below.

The angry biotic focused in on them, she’s probably wasted herself away. In the light glow of her biotics, a dark liquid seeped from her nose. She was nearly spent. She had gone on a rampage through the entire place, no wonder she was so exhausted. 

Her eyes tightened in on both Shepard and Garrus who were still tucked to the floor behind their nonexistent cover. Shit!

The angry biotic used the last of her energy, to grip onto Garrus leg as they attempted to scurry into better cover. But it was too late, she had a good grip on Garrus, lifting him into the air.

Shepard’s eyes widened in horror. Where were the other boys?!

She stayed in cover, the biotic simply held Garrus there over the edge of the platform, threatening to drop him. “Come out whoever you are?! I’m sick and tired of this shit!”

Garrus shook his head to her as he hung upside down. Don’t act like your fine Garrus, you’re onviously not. You could fall to your death at any minute, then who would I make nervous all the time?

Shepard grabbed her pistol from her side, she would just need to injure this biotic, she might just pass out from fatigue with an injury. She hoped so for for Garrus’s dangling life. 

She peeked around the corner, the biotic’s hands shaking while holding Garrus up. She took the shot.

Just as she shot, the biotic put up a temporary shield blocking the bullet, but the biotic hadn’t expected a second bullet to follow.

The bullet hit the biotic in the arm causing her to faulter, she stood there for a moment, fury burning like a wildfire in her eyes as she stared at Shepard. The biotic began her ascent to the ground and Shepard turned to Garrus whom as she heard the thud from behind telling her the biotic was down for now. Garrus would be the next to fall.

She held her breath and leaped forward, hoping to make it just in time. If Garrus fell all the way, he’d probably die, at the very least seriously injury himself.

She caught his arm just as he was falling past, gripping his forearm. He did the same, gripping her upper arm not covered in armor, he gripped hard. His weight had pulled her mid air body straight to the grated floor of the cat walk causing that breath she was holding to be completely knocked out of her. 

She gasped for air and struggled to take in another breath, closing her eyes for a moment trying to pace herself. Garrus clung to her arm for dear life and she clung to his. After a few moments of catching her breath, she opened her eyes meeting Garrus’s. 

He silently hung there. If he tried to use her as leverage to get up, he’d probably dislocate her shoulder from the position she was in. She looked at her options. She quickly commed Chellick and Li. 

“Hey...” She let out a groan getting a better grip holding him tighter, silently telling him she wouldn’t let go. Her other hand gripping the grates near her hip so she didn’t go tipping over the edge taking herself. But she’d be damned if she let him fall either. “Can we get some help in here?”

The com buzzed back through. It was Chellcik. “Shepard, we’ve got a huge bug problem and the doors you went through are on lock down.. you’ll need to hang on for a minute..” 

“Okay... hurry..”

She groaned for a moment, attempting a swing to get him up. It didn’t work. She glanced down to Garrus again, giving him an apologetic look. He looked from her to glance down to the dark area below him. 

“I’m not letting you go.. if you go, I’m going after you..” He glanced back up to her for her comment. 

“That’s what they all say before they have to drop you.”

She weezed out a laugh from her constricted lungs, coughing as she did so. “Damnit Garrus, you could lay off the extra snacks.”

His other hand came up to litely grab where his left hand was holding onto her. “The doctor said I had to make sure I put on some extra weight before heading into the cold.. don’t judge..”

“Doctor.. right.. do you have that doctors note on you or...”

Garrus let out a nervous laugh. He was probably a little afraid of the scenario, that is one hell of a drop. 

The grate began to dig into her gloves hand that was gripping it tightly. She glanced back down to him. “Are you always this funny or is it just because you could fall to your death?”

He glanced down again through the two arms gripping her one dangling arm. The pull on her muscles and arm socket were becoming nothing shy painful. “I’m hurt you don’t think I’m always funny.” 

“You’re buying me a drink after this... maybe a bunch of drinks after this.”

Shepard groaned, he was so heavy. Probably an extra 150 pounds than any normal sized Human. Though she should be glad her arm didn’t just rip off when she hit the grated floor stomach first after catching his grip.

”I’ll give you whatever you want if I’m still alive.”  

She smiled down at him, making eye contact with him. “Anything?” His mandibles flaired for a moment, he then quickly looked away. She smirked and rolled her eyes. Probably not the best situation to have this conversation, but nothing like the present.

“Garrus.. are you upset that I kissed you?” She said it so quietly, she wasn’t sure he heard her. He shook his head as a ‘no’, glancing up again. 

Good because I think I like you.

“Not exactly the place I imagined we’d have this discussion on what happened...”

She shifted her weight again attempting to make it easier, it felt like she’d been holding him here forever. “Do you want me to say it was an accident?”

He sighed and looked up to her again. His whole soul staring at her. “Shepard..I. we can’t...” She saw through the lie the instant it came out of his mouth.

Don’t be like that.

His grip tightened as she felt him slide down her bicep a little. She figured she had most of her weight balanced across the catwalk. She hooked her boots on the other side of the catwalk moving to better balance him. Please dont slip, Shepard. Only a few more minutes. Just keep talking.

Her other arm flew over giving him another arm to grip. He quickly took it, balancing his weight across two arms. It felt so much easier.

“So was that a can’t or won’t?... or don’t want to?”

He glanced up to her again, a sigh leaving his chest. She attempted to pull him up, her arms shaking. It wouldn’t work. 

“Let me just get this out of the way Shepard... since you seem keen on pushing the issue at this moment...” 

She winced at the words. Biting back with a joke. “Don’t make me drop your ass Garrus.”

He let out another nervous laugh, his grip hardening on both her biceps. Her left one already beyond sore. 

“We can’t... And I won’t....” She sighed, so he wasn’t into her. Stupid Li, egging her on... when she gets a hold of him she’s going to strangle him. “Doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t, maybe if I wasn’t me... or who I am right now.” 

“Is it because I’m a Human?” She said it softly. Not really intending for this whole thing to get this deep. It was just a joke she made about the kiss, she needed something to keep her mind off their current predicament.

He took a moment mulling it over in his head. “It doesn’t matter what I want.”

”Why... w..wouldn’t it? Shouldn’t it?” She gasped as her foot slipped off the grate that was holding her and Garrus up. She slid forward from his weight dragging her down. Her armor clinking across the grated floor.

One minute they were fine hanging in there, getting deep with each other and the next they were sliding to a very far fall to their deaths. 

At least he didn’t say he’s not interested. I can work with that. Well.. if we don’t die.

Chapter Text

The award for worst place to start a conversation goes to..... Shepard. 

He couldn’t figure out why’d she’d decided to take this moment to talk about it. Well at least if it goes south I can just let go, and not worry about it. Falling to his death seemed like a highly viable option at this moment. He didn’t want to tell her it couldn’t happen especially when she saw through his lie.

How was he going to tell Shepard, whom he did have a... thing for in someway, how he felt. Turians didn’t talk about things like this, they just knew that someone liked them without having to say it. Well.. it was said but not through talking about it like this. More like certain vibrations were heard.

She couldn’t just be a Turian! Would’ve been so much easier.

He’d would’ve been all over her within seconds if she’d been something he could bring home. Her personality, friendly spats, and her dangerous attitude certainly attracted him to her in some way. 

He wasn’t extremely sure what kind of attraction, it seemed it had all mixed together. It became even more of a real threat, he knew he felt close to her and liked her there.

Besides, here she was holding onto him for dear life so he didn’t fall. He admired her strength above it all, not just physical but her mental strength as well. Anyone else would’ve dropped him by now.

Spirits.. he liked her and not just in a friendly way. In a ‘if she was a Turian. They’d go back the ship and fuck’ way. He closed his eyes for a moment.

“It doesn’t matter what I want.” He spoke with conviction. It didn’t matter, he had a family to look out for, after his mother had passed he’d become the rock of his family. There was no way he’d ever want to see his father as upset as the day his mother died. Never.

It didn’t matter how much he might like Shepard at this point. Eventually... it would fade away. It would have too.

He hated that he made sense of how he felt after he’d felt her slipping towards him. And it wasn’t just her giving a little bit of room to ease her pain for a moment, her foot had slipped. Him slowly dragging her down with him. 

I like you too, Shepard, that’s why it can’t happen. My father would chew you up and spit you out.

He saw slight movement behind her but he’d already made a split second decision to let go. Leaving her still on the grate while he felt himself fall. 

It felt weird to be airborn, thinking he could hit the ground at any second and it would be so so painful. Her words echoed in his mind, Why... w...wouldn’t it? Really he had no good answer at the moment. 

He heard a delayed gasp come from Shepard’s lips. “Garrus!”

He’d already closed his eyes, waiting for the pain. “Garrus!” Why was she still so close? Spirits... he loved her voice.

”Open your eyes you dummy!” Her voice even closer. He felt himself fall to the ground, feeling the grated floor beneath his hands and knees. He couldn’t have survived that fall. No way.

He gripped the grate, a pair of familiar boots stopping right in his line of vision. He slowly racked his eyes up the long legs in front of him. He knelt up, on his knees. Meeting her hips within his eye sight. Her hands rested on them in the pose that showed the perfect amount of power that she held. Hip jutted out in the most perfect way.

He almost hated her for pushing him for information moments ago. She held all the cards. He couldn’t be happier to see her.

“Shepard...?”

He moved forward to her not even caring, his father could be in the room at this moment and he wouldn’t care. He wrapped his long arms around her waist hugging her to him. Resting his face along her armored stomach. His arms tightened around her, he literally thought he was going to die, or is he dead already and this was heaven? 

“I’m dead aren’t I?”

She rested her gloved hand below his fringe on the back of his neck, comforting him for a moment. Hugging him back. He nearly purred at the pressure, did she have any idea? Probably not

“I’m afraid not.” She grabbed him by the back of his collar and pulled him away. She looked angry, really angry something burning in her features. 

“You fucking let go.” She gave his shoulder a shove, pushing him off her. The biotic stood next to her, a blank stare in her eyes as she looked at him. Almost robotic.

He looked around the area. Garrus wasn’t dead but Shepard looked like she could kill with her stare alone. 

He moved to stand up, giving a nod to the biotic next to her. Her arm covered in the dark liquid that had been running from her nose earlier. Blood and lots of it streaked down her arm.

“We need your help.” The biotic sung the words out of her mouth, stumbling forward.

”We have deemed you worthy to survive.. we trust the girl who glows too. She destroyed many enemies.”

Shepard looked to the biotic. “Who are you?”

”We are not the girl, we are many, she helps us sing if only for a moment.” 

Garrus glanced at Shepard and pulled her away from the biotic by her wrist. She glanced to him and then back to the biotic not taking her wrist from him. “But who are you and is the ‘girl’ still alive?”

Garrus’s grip on her wrist tightened for only a moment then let go. Was the biotic possessed now? If so, what was possessing her? He looked around the dark room again.

”We are in the next room, the girl is alive for now.”

The biotic turned leading them through a small hallway into a large lit room with a huge glass box raised slightly in the center of the room. 

A giant one of those bug’s sat in the glass box, constricted in it’s movement. It wiggles for a moment and Shepard shied away. It was enormous. If she didn’t like the other bugs this one might not be her cup of tea. The biotic walked forward. 

“We have been tortured. We are the last of our kind. We would like to be free.”

Shepard whispered a word next to him then spoke louder. “Rachni? You’re a Rachni Queen?”

”We are many, we wish to be free, we wish to be alone.”

Garrus and Shepard glanced to each other. The Rachni Queen wanted to be free, away from whatever torture they were being put through by this company. He kind of agreed, but the Rachni was a problem a huge problem at one point. Would it be safe to release her?

”We ask to go far from other life, we hear your questions, we want to be free.” Would it be so bad. He looked to Shepard again. She nodded in reassurance. 

“I think it’ll be okay.” She said it softly but without question. He nodded. He did agree. If there was ever a problem in the future, they’d take care of the problem then. 

“Thank you. The girl has time but you must hurry.” Garrus moved to the console and released the cage. The Queen jumped out and on top of the box for a moment, staring down at them. 

The biotic fell to her knees in front of Shepard. Still in control by the Queen. “She will want to fight with you but you must show her. She is on your side.”

The biotic began to fall forward as the mind control loosened from the Rachni Queen. Shepard caught her before the biotic fell to her face. 

“Garrus, we’ve got to evac from here, she’s so cold.” He nodded calling the Normandy. Joker had said it would be about 15 minutes to dock here. 

Shepard held the slumped over biotic in her arms. Chellick and Li came running into the room. 

“Are you guys... what?”

Chellick chimed in. “Who is that?”

Garrus moved over, picking the biotic up and throwing her over his shoulder. “We need to get to the west docking bay and now.”

 

 They all boarded the Normandy rushing the biotic to Chawkwas. When they got to the med bay, Mordin was there and ready to assist the doctor as well. It comforted Garrus to know that if anything were to happen to anyone on board, there wasn’t only one fully prepared doctor but two. Having Mordin aboard was already an enormous advantage.

Garrus had requested the biotic remain stinted  after the procedure. Just until he had a chance to speak with her. He really didn’t want the biotic puting a hole through his ship’s hull.

A few hours after leaving Noveria space, he’d changed and found Shepard standing outside Chawkwas office. She stared into the window at the biotic unmoving. She’d thrown her sweater on and looked to be ready for bed. It  had been a long day, she’d earned her sleep.

He watched her for a moment from afar, not sure if he should approach her. It been a rather emotional afternoon for just about everyone including a giant bug Queen that was thought to be dead long ago.

Shepard sighed heavily and tucked her hair behind her ears moving into Chawkwas office. He moved to peer into the window. He felt weird watching without speaking to her. But what was he going to say? I lied to you. You know the truth. But I won’t do anything about it.

She’d sat down across from Chawkwas speaking with her for a moment. She brought a hand up to unzip her hoodie, pushing it off of her shoulders, the fabric falling to the ground.  

She raised her right arm to Chawkwas, moving it in a semi circular motion stopping when she got to a certain point and wincing. She’d been hurt.

Though he did have to say he was surprised. She’d held him there for nearly five minutes. Just dead weight over the metal floor. His hands tightening on her arms forcefully.

He was glad that’s all that would be coming out of this after this mission, a couple of sore arms. They were horribly redish bands across her upper arms. In a day or two, they’d probably look like her neck from just a few days ago.

He determined, she’d come find him when she was ready. He had a feeling their conversation from earlier wasn’t over, and to be honest he didn’t really have an answer to her question. Well.... not one that felt good enough or even remotely how he felt.

He’d started to like her before the kiss, they’d become fast friends. She was someone he could easily trust, and he sincerely enjoyed just being in her company. She was smart and strong like no one he’d ever met before. There’s just something about her.

He felt stupid that this was all over some stupid kiss, it’s not like they had slept together or anything. It was so childish but all at the same time, felt needed. He chuffed to himself. All thanks to her, he was now thinking about things like that, like what it would be like to be with Human. It had made him remotely curious. Would the sex even be good? Would it even work like that? Chellick would know, he’d never, ever ask him but he had too.

But once again, not like he could act on it. He couldn’t hide something like that from his xenophobic father. His father would figure it out.

Garrus stepped into his room and took a deep breath. Sitting down onto his couch, he glanced to where Shepard had sat a few days ago.

He didn’t like inviting crew members into his own space usually. And if so, it was only to sleep with them and that was it. Shepard was such a calm presence even when she was upset or mad. Something about her just made everything in his head seem... alright. Their chats meant so much more than what they actually said.

His com beeped through and he looked at the sender. Chellick. He wanted to meet to talk about the data they pulled and to meet down in Tali’s room.

He got up and messaged Shepard that she should join but if she was tired and needed rest, to take it. He could recap her tomorrow.

He took the elevator down to Tali’s room when he arrived there, the three of them were huddled behind a screen. Tali typing furiously into the holo.

“Garrus we have some info on what was going on there, it looks to be.... indoctrination? You should take a look.”

Garrus’s eyes widened. What in the hell was that place? Tali sat up straight in the chair that was surrounded by Li and Chellick. She typed into the holo again.

“There is solid evidence that this, Arrow Peak,  is all kinds of dirty. They’ve ran experiments involving indoctrination, mind control, and looks like the results of torture.” Garrus cringed and stepped back resting against the wall. 

“Why were there Rachni there?”

Tali flipped through a few screens. “An anonymous donor company found the somehow still alive egg at a dig site and donated it to the company.... they must’ve known it was alive. They had to have known.”

Garrus nodded along. Some of this info seemed kind of irrelevant now that the station was taken care of. But this could help them pinpoint another place to get closer to Cerberus and figure out what their up to.

“Keep up the good work... we can revisit it in the morning. I’m sure Shepard will be able to connect more pieces than I’ll be able too.”

Chellick glanced up at him and stared for a moment like he wanted to say something. He nodded allowing the dismissal and went back to speak to Tali, they seemed to be getting along great. They would too, they were both very tech and engineer focused, practically spoke the same language. 

Li followed Garrus out into the hall leaving Chellick and Tali alone. Li patted Garrus on the shoulder. “Will we be heading to the Citadel anytime soon?” 

“I could arrange that. What’s going on?” 

“Oh, you know trouble in Paradise, Damion’s birthday is in a few days.. if we can’t make it it’s okay... I’ll just make due.... But I kind just want to be there for him.” Li was older than Garrus not by much, just a couple years, but seemed so much more mature emotionally.

He’d kept this relationship from his traditional parents, from the Citadel, from the hierarchy and the military. It’s not like it’s necessarily taboo to date a Human, just extremely looked down on. The hierarchy could call to question their loyalty, a family can petition one to be removed from the clan, there were still many ways one could be ousted from society for something so small.

Garrus couldn’t imagine the stress Li dealt with, well... he could kind of. Just the stress of his father finding about Human’s aboard the ship might be enough to understand the stress.

”When is that... what did you call it?”

Li laughed a little and nodded. “Birthday, It’s fairly important to him and most Humans in general. Kind of nice, just means you’re guaranteed to party once a year. It’s like our milestone years that we celebrate.” That’s right Turians celebrated every tenth year of their life. Each being a milestone from childhood, to adulthood, to seniority.

Li smiled concerned for Garrus. “You alright...? You seem a little.... not like you right now.”

Garrus whipped his head up. He was fine, wasn’t it he? 

“Remember.. I’m always up for a spar with you even though you kick my ass every time. I swear... I wasn’t built to be a good Turian, at all.”

Garrus laughed a little at him and eased Li’s worry. “I’m fine... it’s just been a long day.”

Li nodded and pushed him towards the elevator, Garrus glancing over his shoulder to the pushy Turian.

“You are no longer Commander of this ship, go to bed. I’ll let Mauro know it’ll be an early night.”

Garrus nodded and jumped into the elevator, heading to the top floor where his room was. He stepped in and tore off his clothes falling to his bed.

He just needed some sleep. That was all.

Chapter Text

Shepard tried to get sleep, she really did. Her body and mind were tired. But it hadn’t allow her much sleep. 

She’d saw Garrus’s message right as she’d crawled into bed. She figured the recap might be better to have tomorrow and sleep now.

But she’d gotten maybe three hours of sleep in, her mind awake and active more than it’s ever been.

She couldn’t stop thinking about the Rachni, the biotic next door that could put a holes through the ship at any moment, and Garrus.

She felt bad she unintentionally cornered him. She was upset at herself for allowing it to happen but what made her even more upset than anything was why he let go of her. That pissed her off. It was so reckless, what if the biotic wasn’t there to save him? What if he did fall? 

She sighed and got up out of bed. There was no need to lay down if she wasn’t going to get any sleep. She stepped out into the dark mess, heading to the kitchen to find some tea. She located a small batch and made some hot water. 

She leaned against the counter watching the biotic in the next room. Now in the light, the biotic was easier to check out. She was covered in tattoos, her head shaved, and deadly thin. She took the whole teen angst thing right into her adulthood, didn’t she?

Where did this girl come from and what’s her beef with Peak 15? She’d really only know when the girl wakes up. Though it might be a while, Garrus asked Chawkwas to put her on some inhibitors so she wouldn’t tear through the Normandy when she awakes. They could only hope that they’ll work. And only hope that the Rachni Queen was right, that the biotic would want to fight with them or help them in some capacity.

She poured her hot water in a mug and set the tea bag in it and moved off to the observation lounge. 

When she arrived, she almost turned around and headed back out. 

“Couldn’t sleep either?”

She nodded and watched Garrus leaned forward with his elbows on his knees staring out the window. His eyes moved to make eye contact with her, he looked as tired and awake as she did. He was shirtless again, just in some in some loose pants. He looked good. Much better than being dead.

He took a deep breath, humming as it came out.

“I should—“

”Don’t... If you don’t want to.” He patted the seat next to him, inviting her into the room and to sit with him. She hesitantly took the invitation. 

She sat with some space between them. Curling her legs up Indian style onto the couch. She held her warm mug between fingers, swooshing it in circles as it steeped.

They were both quiet for a long time, neither of them speaking, just silently enjoying the company. She pushed her hair over her shoulder, sitting back against the couch.

”Why’d you let go?” She said it so quietly she was almost sure he didn’t hear her. But his head turned and she could feel his eyes burning through her skin as she stared straight ahead out the window.

”It seemed like the right thing to do.. why would I take you with me?.”

She shook her head and took a sip of her tea. Allowing the warm liquid to heat her insides. 

“I’m so mad at you... for letting go.”

Shepard took another sip, her eyes not moving from the window. 

“I know.. I’m sorry. But I’d do it again if I’m faced with an issue of my life or both our lives.” He crossed his arms over his chest, a non combative stance to show her he’s serious. 

“You’re so dumb..” Garrus chuckled a little and she placed a smile across her lips, grinning to her mug that was clasped tight between her hands. “I hope you know.. I’d do the same.” 

He rubbed his eyes carefully without getting nicked by his talons, using the pads of his fingers. He was stressed, so stressed. She only wished she could help him in some way. He might not even except it, she was probably the one causing all this stress.  

His omnitool beeped with a message. He quickly pulled it up and read through it quickly and let out a laugh. 

Shepard started to move to stand up. 

“Do you want to meet Sol?”

Did he just ask if she wanted to meet his sister. She wanted to say yes, but should she? He already pretty much made it clear that he can’t make them a thing, but he wants to introduce his sister to her. Maybe this whole thing wasn’t what she thought.

Shepard lightly nodded and sat back into the couch.

“Okay... let me make sure she’s not with my father and you can say ‘hi’.”

Shepard watched him ring her through. A slightly darker plated Turian popped up. Sparkling blue eyes and a small crest formed at the top of her head. Her blue colony marking slightly different from Garrus’s. She was very pretty and looked elegant in her own way, she wasn’t rough like most the Turians she’d met.

”Where are you?” From her position on the couch, Shepard could see Sol but Sol couldn’t see her. Sol rolled her eyes at Garrus I’m a dramatic way.

”You know I never make calls with dad in the room... the Turian is nosey.”

Shepard stifled a laugh, covering her mouth. They were so honest. 

“Do I hear someone laughing? Who’s there with you?.... is it Chellick?” A wide flick of her mandibles and the way she said Chellick’s name made her think that maybe she had a thing for Chellick. She would’ve guessed she would, he wasn’t a bad looking Turian. Did I just think that?

”Yes.. someone else is here... and what did I say about the Chellick thing.”

She raised her hand as if she was swearing across her life. “..and I quote, ‘Chellick is a nasty Varen. Whom should not be allowed in the general public with women nor anywhere near my sister’.” Her mocking tone of Garrus made Shepard turn her head into her shoulder and hide her laugh again. It was so accurate. “But Garrus, I’m allowed to look at him, he’s cute. You can’t stop me.”

She crossed her arms over her chest defiantly. Shepard liked her, she was strong willed, defiant in all the best ways and funny. 

“You sure dad’s not around?”

”The nosey Turian ran off to play house with Corinthus a while ago. Let me see who’s there!”

Shepard watched Garrus turn his view to her. His eyes looked so warm and inviting, he loved his sister. He really did. It made her wish she had someone she could be that close to in a sibling way, the closest she got was a Krogan. And he was in time-out at this moment.

”It’s my Lieutenant..”

Sol gasped and leaned closer to the holo. “Show me!”

”Geez Sol, relax, she’s sitting next to me for Spirits sake.”

“I already like this ‘she’ from what you’ve told me.” He reached over and urged Shepard to scoot closer to him. Bringing Shepard into the angle of the omnitool.

”Oh, you’re so pretty! Some how I was expecting a caveman type woman in how he described you.” Shepard awkwardly smiled at her, should she tell Sol that she had thought she was Garrus’s girlfriend, eh probably not. 

“Sol’s main study is archeology of all the main species species. She could probably know more about your past then you do. A big history major.”

Shepard waved her hand in the air. “I was never good with history.” 

Sol laughed a little. “Really? I hate everything Garrus talks about and basically anything my father talks about. It was the only safe option for me at that point.” Garrus let out a laugh along side Shepard. 

“So you thought I was a Neanderthal? Big forehead and everything too?”

Sol laughed at the joke, her mandibles flairing happily. “I’m so glad you look nothing like that, we should really blame my brother and his poor descriptive words. Or better yet beat him with your club.” Shepard smiled at Sol. She liked her a lot. She was friendly and smart and seemed like sincerely a good person in general. Not a single judgement felt.

Sol leaned into the screen as a comfortable silence fell between the three of them. Sol glanced between the two of them. “So how many others do you have on the ship?”

They rattled off the counts of the crew and Sol nodded in appreciation. “I’m so glad that dad’s xenophobe ways aren’t completely instilled into you. I was worried for a while that you liked that stick up your ass.”

Garrus let out a nervous laugh and sat up straight, rearranging himself, his thigh briefly touching against Shepard’s. She looked down for a moment. “I still have a little bit of mom inside. I’m not a complete monster.” 

Sol smiled at him. “Mom’s the best part about all of us, you know she would be oozing with pride if she saw you hanging out with Human or any other species really.” 

Garrus smiled at Sol and nodded in thanks, a deep hum coming from himself. Must be some sort of way to say he misses her or something. Shepard took another drink of her tea.

”My omnitool must be broken, what the hell, it says it’s 3AM where you’re at.” Shepard nodded along as Garrus spoke.

”We couldn’t sleep.” Sol’s eyes widened super wide, causing her to fall back away from the com in shock. “You what?! Together?! What?!”

Garrus quickly shook his head. “Oh no... not that way!” Sol simmered in her seat for a moment then leaned forward ready to chastise them.

”Hmmm... I don’t even know what to say.” A bang came from the background of her holo cutting her off. “Oh shit... I have to go. Bye big bro, if you find yourself coming to Citadel, let me know!”

She turned her com off. Leaving Garrus and Shepard in silence. His com rang with another message. Shepard easily read it from how close she was sitting. It just said ‘Shepard’s extranet address now, we need girl time... BYE’.

He sighed and forwarded it to Shepard’s com, which beeped as soon as she got it. 

He hadn’t moved away nor had she. They still sat very close together, she wanted to move away to give him space but she felt pulled in by him. She glanced at him, for moment. 

“I really like Sol. She’s beyond nice and that energy..”

He hummed again like he’d done moments ago when Sol talked about his mother. It must be a way to show endearment. 

“She’d been dying to meet you. I’m sorry. Apparently, I’m not very good with describing Humans.”

She laughed a little and took another drink of her tea. “At least I’m prettier than Neanderthal in your sister’s eyes, that’s a win for me.”

He shook his head, he probably had no idea what Neanderthal looked like, he’d probanly be pleasantly surprised to know she doesn’t look like that. She pulled up a pic of one and he stared at it for a moment, horror on his face that that was exactly how he had described her. “Cute right?” She teased him.

”You’re much prettier then whatever you just showed me... that’s for sure.” She watched his face for a moment. So he did think she was prettier then a Neanderthal too. Garrus just. let. it. happen!

”Garrus... I’m sorry for cornering you about the kiss.” He turned, a small look of shock on his face and a little disappointment crossing his face, he really hated talking about it. Maybe didn’t hate it but was definitely uncomfortable for him.

He turned himself towards her putting a little more space between them then there’d been but not that much. He leaned his arm along the back of the cusion which crossed into her space. He stared at her for a moment. 

“Turians don’t talk about their feelings, and about things they do and don’t like. We just know by humming and vibration. I’m frustrated...I um.. don’t really know how to say it.”

He took a deep breath and she eagerly listened, she loved listening to him talk. It was quickly becoming one of her favorite things about him.

”I can’t express how I feel about you.. and regardless of whether I like you. I can’t allow it to happen.”

He struggled to find more words, though the more he said them the more she was appreciating them. 

“For your safety — and the crew. We can’t.”

He watched Shepard trying to read her body language but probably failing.

”You do like me?”

He closed his eyes and sighed a vibration coming through the sigh. It wasn’t a angry sound but an upset trill. He didn’t need to say the words, he did like her. He was desperately clinging onto what he knew and fighting her with all he had.

She looked at him, and folded her legs tucking them under herself. Leaning forward towards Garrus. 

“Maybe I can help make sense of it...” She sat back onto her heels, facing him completely.

“Your father has these shackles on you, preventing you from wanting anything more than you should. He’s what’s stopping you inside. You don’t want to disappoint him.”

Garrus stared at her face, glancing to her nose and meeting her eyes again. Thank you Li for the correct information.

“You don’t know how to proceed, I’m a Human. You don’t know even how to like a Human right? Your father has you so confused about what Humans are and here I am showing you we’re a hundred times better than what he’s ever said...” He trilled again and looked away, glancing out into the stars. She pushed a little more.

”You think it would be easier if I was Turian?” He didn’t meet her eyes again still looking away but he hummed again. She had to be hitting the nail on its head. She was so close.

”Here’s the thing Garrus, whether or not you can figure out these feelings or let me help you, is up to you. I like you... like really like you and it’s because you’re Garrus. I don’t give a shit if I don’t know what I’m doing because you’re Turian, or what the rest of the crew thinks or even the fact that my mother could be rolling in her grave.” Shepard caught her breath, his eyes had met hers again boring deeply. The air full of tension. She might as well put herself on the line at this point. He has to know she’s somewhat serious about this.

“I haven’t liked anyone like this in a long time... if ever, and if we have to remain friends so be it. But I need you to know in your head, I’m not some Human you’re growing to like... I’m Jane Shepard. I’m not a Turian and I can never be one.”

He took another deep breath as if he’d been holding it. She moved her hand up between them and he attempted to move his head away like a bad child, shying away from the touch. She placed her fingers beneath his chin making him look up at her. 

Her thumb stroked over his rough chin softly. “The longer you hold all this in, the sooner you’ll combust.” She spoke softly, no longer willing the words to come out of her. He was so new to all this, probably even liking anyone like this, he didn’t know how to react. She knew he liked her, Li confirmed it the other day, egging her on and the fact that he still sat in front of her now while she cornered him, yet again.

He held his body rigid again at her soft touch. His hand that lie across the back of the sofa tightened, threatening to rip the sofa. 

He closed his eyes and sighed again. He didn’t  remove her touch nor push her away. He was literally clueless about the whole thing and was mentally fighting his father. She literally could see it happening across his features. She going to help him out a little.

”Has anyone told you you’re.. a... a little pushy?” He laughed nervously at her, he was was joking with her, right? She hoped.

She thought the next move might be cruel. But maybe it wouldn’t hurt. If it’s her only chance, she’d take it.

She moved her thumb trailing it slowly down underneath the bottom side of his mandibles, the skin much softer there along his chin line. His eyes closed and seemed to be focusing on her touch. She leaned in.

Her lips met his again, he went rigid like she thought he would. It wasn’t in distaste like she had thought the first time though.

Her hand trailed down his neck, her palm resting along the side of it while her thumb rested along his vocal cords. He was humming and it sounded good. He pushed forward only slightly, trying to meet the kiss as if she’d draw away at any moment. His vibrations gave her hints into how he was feeling, it wasn’t like when his sister was around.

She needed to break for only a moment, but she didn’t move her hand nor move her face far from his. Her thumb rubbed slowly across his vocal cords at the front his neck, reading his slight hum. She gave him a moment, this was his chance to say ‘no’.

He shook his head lightly. “I need time Shepard... I don’t know how long it’ll be..” He pressed his face close, initiating another kiss hesitantly. It was cute, he had no idea what he was doing but she liked that he was trying to meet her in middle. There was nothing more then two pecks that they shared before he spoke again. 

“I don’t want the crew to know either...” She moved herself closer, pushing herself into a kneel, making her a little taller than the sitting Turian in front of her.

“Hey...whatever internal battle you’re having you don’t have to fight it alone.” Her other hand came to rest along the underside of his fringe on the soft skin there, rubbing soft circles there with her thumb. Their faces still so close, that she could breathe him in.

She moved herself even closer. His head tilted up to meet her lips again. Something changed for him for just a moment because suddenly these were no longer innocent pecks. 

He nipped so carefully at her bottom lip, drawing it away from her for a moment before it snapped back to meet her top one. “This can’t continue after we walk out the room Shepard. You know that right? As soon as we both leave this room, I need time... okay?”

She nodded at him and pursed her lips. “Whatever you need Commander, I’ll do my best.”

His hand left the sofa where he threatened to rip the fabric from the tension and met her waist, resting on her hoodie. He pulled her in closer pushing her nearly flush with his chest. Her lips meeting his again.

In a awkward, good way, it worked. The kiss shouldn’t really work between them if you think about it. He has no lips, no closed mouth, and these mandibles that he held tightly to his face. It was everything that shouldn’t work but work just right in its own way.

She pulled his head closer by the soft pressure she put on the back of his head. His hand on her waist ran up slowly, the other moving to grip her thigh and brought it over to make her straddle him. She moved effortlessly to make it happen. 

She briefly thought it wouldn’t be a good position to put him in. With her nearly grinding on him and all, but he clearly volunteered to put her in this position. 

She took a breath and stared down into his eyes for a moment, she stroked his throat. His eyes looked so deep, convicted, and confused. There were so many emotions running through him at the moment. His throat still thrummed happily, she didn’t even want to move her hand away. She wanted to stay like this indefinitely.

His omnitool beeped for a moment, interrupting them for barely the slightest second, they both ignored it. She fell to his mouth again, hopefully meeting him with something more familiar this time. Her tongue barely brushed along his plates, feeling them open up slightly. She was met with a long pointed tongue, that hesitantly met her lips asking for entrance. Of course, she allowed him entrance, meeting with his tongue in a heated battle. 

One thing she could point out, he didn’t just smell like Cinnamon, he kind of tasted like it too. Sweet just like him. Her hand fell from his neck, running down his the front of his rough chest. Their tongues battled for space, neither wanting to give up the battle.

A small moan escaped her mouth. She felt his hand rising up her thigh slowly, talons scratching along the surface of her skin so lightly but probably just enough to leave a mark.

His tongue moved in time with hers, stroking hers with perfect motion. She groaned into his mouth, fighting him for more. She wanted more.

She gripped the back of his head, running her nails across the skin. Eliciting a different noise out him, she assumed it was like a groan. She the wrapped her arm around his neck, attempting to bring him even closer. Locking him to her.

His omnitool beeped again. 

They still didn’t break apart from each other. His mouth still devouring hers like she was the only air to breath. He didn’t care and neither did she, once they left this room, it couldn’t happen again. For at least a long time. And on his terms for now.

Her omnitool beeped this time. Causing their mouths to seperate from each other’s as they drew in ragged breathes. She rested her head on his shoulder, her loose hair was cascading forward across his shoulder and chest. She didn’t move her arm that held her close to his neck in fear, that if this moment passed. It would never happen again. 

He brought his arm around her back and rested it flat across her shoulders, hugging her to him. His face turned into her hair and she felt him draw in a large breath. Fanning her hair with the breath that left him afterwards.

She heard the familiar sound of an omnitool opening, followed by a ‘shit’ from Garrus. He placed his hands onto her hips, sliding her off him and off to the side.

“The biotic is awake...”

Chapter Text

Spirits.

He’d never met anyone who acted like she did, torture him like she did, even smelled like she did. She smelled better then anything he’d ever smelled in his entire life, better than a fresh morning on Palavan, better than his kin, better than anything. With her gripping him tighter, pulling him closer, there wasn’t anywhere else he’d rather be at that moment. It humbled him as much as it pissed him off. 

Their discusssion had led to one of the best makeout sessions in his entire life. And he had no idea what he was even doing. When she ran her nails across his neck, it felt like she burned them into his rough skin. When she rested her head on his shoulder, he was comforted better than he’d ever been. How was he supposed to do anything productive now, sure he’d been with his fair share of crewmates. But how was he supposed to get past her, rosy lips and pale, blushed skin. It wasn’t fair. And besides I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t let me get past her.

The noise that came out of her mid kiss only made him want to devour her. It was such a beautiful sound, one he couldn't even understand completely. He was already on a tight edge and Shepard just jumped, pulling him with her. It made him mad and slightly angry. Why did she have to move in and just get all up in everything, in his head, on his body, in all the best of ways. 

Running his rough hand up her smooth leg nearly did him in. He could smell her arousal and at that point they had to stop, or he’d fuck her into the couch and the whole crew would know. The whole Citadel would know. His father would know. The whole fucking galaxy would hear her.

He secretly thanked that biotic for slowing them down. He didn’t want to stop and couldn’t have, if their omnitools hadn’t beeped a couple times. He would’ve certainly continued and not have stopped without it. Why did she have to do that? Why did she have to be her? How was he going to deal with this?

He glanced at the beautiful girl whom he just threw off his lap. Her hair mangled around shoulders, her lips were so red from the kissing. Her blue eyes wide. Her legs bent and inviting. The light red scratches that run up her thigh where he gripped her hard were raised and blushed.

Spirits... I want her and now.

But the biotic drew their attention away from each other.

Thank the Spirits.

It would be a problem having the biotic running around without letting her know what’s happening, she’s probably still immensely strong on inhibitors.

They heard a slamming noise, jolting them both into action. Garrus looked at Shepard, if any of the crew saw her or smelled her they’d know. She smelled so stupidly good. Ugh.

”Shepard, I need you to go change.... “ She glanced down to what she was wearing and then glanced at him with a ‘why’ face and large blue eyes.

Spirits, she’s going to drive me mad.

“You smell like me.. and you smell like you’re... uh, aroused... you probably don’t want the other Turians catching that.” She sat up and a deep red fell across her cheeks. She nodded agreement slowly.

“You can smell me...?” She kind of a had a look of horror pass across her face. 

He went to the door, ready to open it. 

“It’s uh... not a bad thing... just change and meet me, okay?” He wouldn’t let her know that he was down right tempted by her, if he gave her any more power in this situation, he’d be in big trouble.

Shepard stood adjusting herself. “Should I wait a minute because the smell or....” Garrus nodded to her. 

“Now your getting it... I’ll see you in a few.”

She quickly caught his arm before he pressed the button to open the door. Her eyes pleaded with him. He knew what she wanted. But she couldn’t have it, not yet if he had any semblance of control left.

“Shepard....”

She smiled and let go of his arm, placing hers up in the air in defense. “I know, I know...” 

He nodded and opened the door, leaving her behind. He probably smelled like he was aroused too, but the boys wouldn’t know what it is unless she showed up smelling like it too. He did not need that to happen, he’d lose their respect. 

He rushed to the elevator, taking it down to the cargo bay. There he was met with Donnelly, one of the engineers and Chellick. Both who had guns pointed at the biotic, who by the way, looked like she was ready to burn this ship down. Wrex held her still, probably just strong enough to overpower the sedated biotic. 

“Let. Me. Fucking. Go. You giant lizard!” She struggled as she was pressed to the ground by Wrex’s weight. 

“Tell the captain why you’re running around naked, interrupting my sleep. Then maybe I’ll let you go.” Donnelly looked extremely nervous, holding the pistol at the biotic. He probably wasn’t used to holding a weapon. Chellick glanced to Garrus as he moved closer to him. 

Fuck.. he’d forgotten about Chellick wanting to court Shepard, or whatever he wanted from her. It made him rigid thinking about it. He can’t know about what just went on. What was he going to do? 

Think about later, you have a biotic nailed to the floor by a Krogan right now.

Garrus made eye contact with Chellick and nodded. He looked too wide awake for the time, must’ve been a sleepless night for everyone.  

Chellick raised his brow, Garrus knew he’d been caught. Good thing was, was that there’s no way Chellick would know whether or not it had come from Shepard or anything else. He’d just know that he was in a mood. It could be from sleep or anything.

Garrus stepped forward towards the biotic. Blood was smeared all over the floor. She must’ve ripped her IV’s out. Could’ve opened her gunshot wound too. She looked like a mess.

”What kind of fucking freak show circus is this.... let me go!” 

Garrus turned to Chellick. “Can you make sure Chawkwas is alright.. bring her here if she is.” Chellick nodded and moved off to the elevator that Shepard nearly bolted out of.

She almost ran into Chellick and knocked him over. He passed her the gun and jumped into the elevator. She resumed Chellick’s armed position, moving forward ever so slightly.

”Where am I?! Do any of you fucking speak?” The biotic yelled, it echoing across the cargo bay. Shepard stepped up near Garrus. 

“I’m Spectre Vakarian, you’re aboard the Normandy. A Council willed ship. I’d like to ask you, what we’re you doing on Noveria?”

She wiggled some more, struggling against the Krogan. Wrex glanced up between Shepard and himself. He inhaled and then shook his head looking back down to biotic. He forgot Krogan’s had a better smell than any of them, he must know. “I got all night here, pyjak. Though some of us don’t.” He glanced up again at the two of them a sneer coming across his features.

She groaned in frustration. “I’m going to kill all of you, steal this ship, and destroy everything known as Cerberus. Let me fucking go.” Garrus stepped forward and knelt down next to her. 

“Why are you after Cerberus?” He couldn’t imagine it was the same reasons they were looking into Cerberus. 

”I just want to fucking take them down... they’re a bunch of assholes.. who don’t give shit about anyone. Obviously.”

“We are after Cerberus too, in a way.... can you help us and we’ll help you?” Shepard put her gun down, not like it would do anything against a biotic like her. She probably had a small field protecting her and that was about all she’d be able to muster up. When they’d found her, she was nearly tearing down all of Peak 15, single handedly. If she decided to work with them they could use her skill set. If not, he did not need to risk spacing half his crew because of her. They would drop her off when they port next.

Chawkwas arrived and placed her hand over her mouth in shock as she moved up to Wrex. “Girl, all my hard work.... couldn’t just lay down.” She crossed her arms and shook her head. “Wrex, please don’t hurt her anymore than she already is...” 

He let out a grunt. “Up to her. She’s the one threatening to kill you all and she woke me up from sleep.” The biotic attempted to use her power only getting a weak biotic push out, before her nose began to bleed, just like at Peak 15. 

Chawkwas knelt down next to her. “Please.. don’t push anymore, you’re on inhibitors. You could kill yourself.”

The biotic’s eyes shot wide to them in horror. She did not like that they’d put her on inhibitors, not one bit. She sighed and thudded her head against the metal floor of the Normandy. Seemingly like she was giving up.

”You people put me on inhibitors and expect me to help... not exactly the greatest start.” Shepard sighed and looked to Chawkwas. 

For how wild the biotic looked, he hadn’t really taken in her outward appearance. He couldn’t help but use Shepard as the comparison. She was covered in black drawings all over her light skin. She had no hair on her head and horribly skinny from what he could tell, were Humans all so different? She wasn’t even remotely doing it for him.

He glanced to the back of Shepard, who’d taken a step in front of him. Her hair was still a bit of mess from their illicit time together, it fell to the middle of her back ending right above the curve of her ass...

Stop thinking about it, the Krogan is staring again.

He sighed and looked away, taking a few steps off to the lockers and leaning against them. He took a deep breath and sighed. 

“Garrus.. what do you want to do?” She glanced over to him. Chellick had moved to stand next to Shepard with his arms crossed. 

He shrugged, he wasn’t sure. “What would you like to do, Shepard?” She shrugged and looked down at the biotic who was staining the floor of the cargo bay. Her blood stinking up the area.

”I suppose if she agrees to help, she can stay and not ‘kill all of us’.” Shepard quoted the air around her as she said it. The biotic might be a threat unknown but knowing she was right here on his ship bothered him, especially if she wasn’t cooperative. They could take care of the problem much easier in  another way. “If she doesn’t want that.... we drop her off at next docking... did anyone do a scan on her?”

Chawkwas nodded and sighed. She was very upset the biotic had ruined most of her hard work to stabilize her plus she’d been awaken from sleep. “You don’t even want to know the stuff she’s been pinned for.. she’d be arrested as soon as we’re within a star space of a port.” 

“Fuck.” The foul mouthed Human relaxed onto the floor with another thud. Wrex was still holding her down to the ground even though there looked to be no struggle. “I’ll still just hyjack your damn ship then. You are not going to drop me off.”

Garrus leaned off the lockers. “Looks like the way I see it.. you have one option then. You don’t really want to get on my bad side and steal my ship.” He walked up to where Shepard stood again. She watched every move he made coming up to her, the subtle contact hidden in her eyes. 

Shepard smirked and crossed her arms looking down to the biotic. “Besides you really don’t want to get on this guy’s bad side... those who do seem to have a way of dying.” 

He loved the comment. Made him feel like an honest to Spirits, badass. He flaired his mandibles, taking his gaze away from her stupid glistening blue eyes. She was so pretty.

Wrex let out deep ‘heh heh’ in agreement. The biotic sighed, really the only way she’d win is if she didn’t tear their shit apart and help them build more of a case against Cerberus. Right now the case was a little weak. They could use her help. If she could give it.

”Whatever... just get your guard dog off me!” Wrex looked up to Garrus and then Shepard, he was having too much fun, he didn’t want to get off the rogue biotic. It was kind of funny.

”What’s your name?” The biotic glanced up to Shepard. Shepard once again showing her very compassionate side. He wasn’t so sure being nice would be the way to go with the biotic. 

I mean come on... she threw me over a catwalk to my death.

But he sat back and watched the exchange. “Why would you care what my name is... just let me fucking go.” Shepard put her hand onto Wrex’s shoulder giving him pause, before he backed up off the biotic. Shepard helped her up, the biotic didn’t go on the defense or try to attack. She wiped the blood under her nose causing it to smear across her face. She stood in front everyone basically clotheless, she had only a fabric strip on near her hips. At least she was kind of covered. Shepard unzipped her jacket handing it over, for her to put on.

“Garrus, I think we should speak with her alone... are you going to tear the ship apart?”

The biotic crossed her arms, defiantly. At least it covered her breasts or lack there of he supposed. Observationly she looked more like a Human boy in regards to figure, but she  oozed something else.

Spirits... what is with all these Human women.

Shepard reached forward to attempt to grab the biotic by her bicep. The biotic feigned away from her touch with a disgusted look. “Let’s just go fucking talk so you can drop me off at the nearest port...”

Shepard watched her for a moment, thinking over her next move. “Let’s get you to the med bay then.”

They ushered the biotic to the med bay once again. Chawkwas fixed her up while Shepard and Garrus patiently stood out of the way. Garrus leaning against the desk and Shepard sitting on one of the rolling seats.

Chawkwas was clearly upset to have been woken up and seeing all her hard work at puting the biotic back in order was undone. Garrus thanked her when she finished. Chawkwas chastised the biotic telling her next time, she won’t fix her up if she goes breaking all the stitches again.

If she did rip them open, Garrus was positive Chawkwas wouldn’t ignore her. Was just an idle threat to be on her best behavior. Chawkwas shuffled off to get sleep again. Mentioning to Garrus and Shepard she’d see them in the morning, disappearing off into the crews quarters.

They sat quietly with each other all three of them in room. The biotic was surprisingly the first to speak. “So... what the hell do you want from me?” 

Shepard sat up in her chair and focused on the biotic. Scooting herself forward a foot or two closer to the medical bed the biotic was sitting on. “What’s your name?”

”Why do you care... no one gives a shit about anyone else but themselves. You aren’t any different.” The biotic narrowed her eyes to Shepard, who sat there in a changed outfit. Thank the Spirits she changed, he wouldn’t be able to think straight if she was still wearing her other clothes.

He thought for a moment, speaking out before Shepard did. “She out of anyone would care, she’s offering you respect. She isn’t judging you in the slightest. Give her at least an ounce of respect that she is offering.” Shepard widened her eyes appreciating the back up. Giving him a small smile.

The biotic rolled her eyes and what looked to be a pout. Reminded him of Sol, she made that exact face all the time. Eye roll included. She was clearly struggling against things, and maybe she needed help. He wasn’t sure she’d accept the help but he would make sure he’d offer. Seemed like the Shepard thing to do, offer the help whether it was needed or not.

The biotic pulled at the linen Chawkwas had placed around her shoulders, pulling it tighter around herself. Even though she’d refused it at first, she seemed to welcome it now. 

“I’m Jack.” She watched Shepard carefully from their distance. Shepard smiled and sat up straight. 

“I’m Shepard... you’re pretty amazing you know that... I mean except for the part you threw Garrus to his death, but other than that I’m impressed.”

Jack’s eyes flickered to Garrus not offering him an apology. Good. He didn’t need it. 

“So... if you don’t mind us asking, while we appreciated you tearing the facility apart. Why were you there in the first place?”

Jack narrowed her eyes again. She seemed to be rolling back into the defensive. Shepard caught on too and stood. 

“Before I answer anything from you... I need something from you.” She watched Shepard stand and push the chair under the desk, she watched each movement so closely like she might attack. But she didn’t. And that’s what counted, he wasn’t sure what he would do if she touched or hurt Shepard. He inwardly sighed to himself. You’re just doing your duty as her Commander. Right?

Shepard nodded hesitantly and Jack continued. “I want info on Cerberus.... everything you have and will get, I want to look at it. Also I’m not going to be arrested.... again. My identity stays silent.”

Shepard’s eyes widened and she shook her head. Garrus leaned up off the desk. Crossing his arms. He knows Shepard can’t promise what she’s asking. But he could and he will.

She’d be an asset to taking Cerberus down, and who knows what her background with them is. They would need time to find out.

The biotic would eventually trust them, ‘eventually’ being the key word.

Chapter Text

“I want everything you have on Cerberus. I don’t want any port to know I am aboard this ridiculous excuse of a ship.” Jack crossed her arms beneath the medical blanket she was wrapped in. 

Shepard moved to shake her head, there was no way that she could promise that and she for sure wasn’t sure what Garrus would or wouldn’t want to do. If he wanted to drop her off at the next port. He could. She wouldn’t stop him. Especially with Jack’s slightly hostile forefront.

Shepard saw Garrus lean up off the desk behind him and move toward them. His chest still bare, she ogled him for a moment. She was into a Turian, the new information made her curious, was she attracted to other Turians or what? Maybe she was a xenophilliac creep.

”I can do that.. if you cooperate.” She narrowed her eyes and glanced to Shepard. A sigh escaping her as she reached over trapping a bag against her chest, it might’ve been filled with her items she was wearing before they’d brought her on board.

She dropped the blanket off her shoulders, standing nearly nude except for the pair of underwear she was wearing. She proudly strutted to the door and stopped as the doors slid open. “Come find me in the morning.. I hope you’ll have my information then.”

Garrus nodded as she strutted off. He leaned back against the desk. He looked beyond tired. Exhausted in every way. His omnitool beeped through with another message. He leaned his head back sighed. Baring his neck to her, his gray chest plates meeting his gray brown skin there. 

She was beyond tired as well, and she wouldn’t push her luck any further tonight. He had to be beyond stressed out. “Shepard... should I hand information over to her? Am I making the right decision?”

Shepard smiled, she liked that he appreciated her opinion. It honestly didn’t matter in the end, she would agree with any decision he makes within reason.

Her eyes drifted to the time. It was nearly four in the morning, she figured she’d push him off to bed. He needed some sleep.

”I agree with your decision, I really do. I just couldn’t promise anything like that.” He mumbled in agreement. Staring up at the ceiling still. His omnitool beeped again. He opened it up and sighed. 

She stepped up standing in front of him, leaving plenty of space between the two of them. Even though they were alone in the bay, they weren’t alone, the windows gave them away. She crossed her arms. “Garrus whatever it is, I’ll take care of it, you get to bed.” 

He shook his head. “I think you should get to bed, you’re the troublemaker here.” Shepard pointed to her chest and mouthed a ‘me?’ to him. Someone’s catching on. He let out a little teasing laugh and stood up right in front of her, still leaving that space.

”Yes, you. I couldn’t sleep if I tried. All thanks to you.” He narrowed his eyes at her, she was literally digging her way into his thoughts. She smirked and put her hands to her hips.

“What happened to ‘I need time’, ey.. big guy?” She poked him in the chest, giving his plates a good tap. He caught her wrist for but a moment as it left his chest.

“I need infinite amounts of time, I still don’t think this should happen. I’ll think it over and let you know.” She smiled at him and puckered her lips. 

“Fine.. It still means you like me, like me. I could live with that reassurance for now.” She shrugged and took a step away from him. He watched her intensely as she moved away from him. “Come find me when you ‘man up’ if you will.” She rolled on out of the bay, leaving him there with his thoughts. 

First man in history she’s practically throwing a billboard above her head that says ‘I like you... let’s fuck or whatever you want to do’. Wait scratch that.... first man and Turian in history that she actively wanted. And she was being actively denied for the moment. 

She practically hauled ass to her room. If she’d stay there any longer she’d be in trouble, big trouble, like making out in front of the crew trouble or worse. Well... better really.

It was weird, she couldn’t help but feel drawn to him in someway. He really won some bonus points as far as showing up to her cabin the other night, even if it was beyond late. It only meant he had her on a higher priority than sleep. Which wasn’t good... but very appreciated.

She liked that he was funny and believe it or not, as much as his anti Human thing was bad, she liked it. It proved his loyalty, to whatever was holding him back. His father mostly. His family and well-being. She appreciated loyalty in so many ways, and even if his was in the way. She was okay with it. He’d eventually come to her, you could only deny your wants and needs for so long.

When he kissed her back, wanting more, that had sealed the deal for her for knowing whether or not he was remotely interested. And he definitely was in the moment.

She smiled as she pulled back the covers off her bed, she hoped he’d head to bed soon. He would need that sleep.

 

Shepard woke up later than usual, giving the late night everyone had. She wandered off to the cargo bay, finding Wrex off to the side of the Mako. Hidden from many of the others in the hold. Now was as good as anytime to make up with the brutish Krogan.

He was speaking into his omnitool, a growl came from him that should’ve put her off from pursuing reconciliation this morning with Wrex. Too bad she wasn’t scared of the old bastard, that would only mean he won if she backed off. Couldn’t give him that satisfaction.

She stepped around the Mako. Sitting across from him, popping a seat onto the rim of the wheel on the Mako. She watched him pace back and forth as he spoke to an unfamiliar Krogan.

She rested her elbows onto her knees, head holding her chin up. 

“You’re pulling at my fucking crest. I swear if he’s really...” Wrex turned kicking a cargo box sending it flying to the wall. Shepard sighed, not even giving a flinch to the noise. “I’ll fucking kill him.”

”Alright... speak to him.” The deeper, softer voice rang off the omnitool. Must be a female Krogan?

Wrex hung up the omnitool, turning to face Shepard. For a moment, she thought he’d square off against her for a moment. 

He gritted his teeth. “Shepard.... what do you want?” She didn’t answer, instead just stared at him. Taking the more powerful approach of silence. She mostly did it because he deserved the silent treatment. Also because it pissed him off more than anything.

He turned to her crossing his arms. “Shepard you just gonna sit there and stare?!” His deep red eyes squinted, attempting to determine her motive. He must’ve come up with something, he threw his hands to his sides.

”Not this bullshit again.. I thought we’re past this petty shit.”

She shook her head, giving a silent ‘no’. 

He groaned out a large growl taking a step forward. “Shepard... you knew better. You always do.”

She let her hands fall from her face, lacing them together. Ready to speak this time.

“I don’t know how many times I have to tell you... I don’t have time for your judgements against an entire species.” He went on the defensive crossing his arms. “I thought we were past that, Wrex.”

He grunted and kicked another cargo box off to the side causing it to move a few feet. He looked sorry, he’d never say it, but at least he felt bad. 

“Fucking Salarians... you’re just lucky the Turian part of that problem isn’t so sore anymore.” He shook his head dissapointedly.

She rolled her eyes. “Lucky me. If you touch me like that again.. I will shoot you.” She mustered up the most sour face she could. Still a hundred times happier that it was her and no one else’s.

He grumbled out a ‘fine’ between his lips followed by what she barely made out as a ‘fuckin Shepard’. 

She stood and clapped. “Great.. now that this issue has been addressed.” She pointed and stepped up closer to him crossing her arms. “What’s going on? Who was on the holo?”

”Mind your own Shepard... I don’t go around asking what the Turian did to your arms, do I?” Her face lit up in surprise.

She’d forgotten the two bruises across both her biceps. They’d turned to a nasty reddish purple, she hadn’t noticed at the time that his talons left the worst welts of all.

Her eyes tightened at him. “By the way, I don’t think you know what you’re doing Shepard.. messing with something like that.” Garrus? How would he know? No, it’s got to be just a guess. “Better yet, I’m even more impressed if you know exactly what you are getting into.”

”How? We aren’t.”

He stepped forward getting into her face and quietly spoke. “Oh, you can’t lie to me.” He grinned wide. “I could smell you all over him.” You can’t tell me who I can date, you aren’t my father. Asshole.

Shepard’s face flew into a suspicious squint.

“Never thought you’d be into that..” He shook his head in disgust and stepped away. God... she had to steer this into another direction.

Garrus would be the next to choke her if he found out. Wait.. that wouldn’t be so bad, would it?

She laughed to herself. “Hey, hey..now that we are analyzing my life, what happened? With the Krogan on the holo.” 

He turned back around. “Doesn’t matter, you can’t help me.” He started strutting off, she stared up at the ceiling, sighing loudly. He was so annoying sometimes. 

“Alright, fine do it on your own. I’ll hold the credits from the Omega kills.” He swiftly turned, narrowing his eyes and moving back over to confront her. 

“You want to be killed Shepard?” She rested her hands on her hips defiantly. Sometimes it’s easy to forget you shouldn’t piss off a Krogan. Well... Wrex for sure.

”Shepard....?” The small voice broke between the two staring off at each other. She glanced over seeing Tali standing off to the side. She was wringing her hands nervously. 

“Hey Tali.. What’s going on?” She waived for to follow her.

She gave Wrex a shove to the shoulder as she made her move past him.

“Come see me when your done acting like you’re 4.” He growled as she stepped away from him moving up to Tali. Tali began to lead her off to her room. A large bang sounded off in the direction were she’d left Wrex. He’d kicked another cargo box. Honestly a glorified, eight-hundred year old child.

“So.. I scanned through the data Chellick and Li had given me last night. I found some interesting things.” She moved into the room, Chellick was passed out on her cot in the corner. Shepard raised an eyebrow. 

“Shepard.. don’t even think like that, he fell asleep waiting for the data. Haven’t had the heart to wake him. Especially after the whole biotic thing last night.”

Shepard smiled at her and nodded. She wouldn’t want people assuming anything about her. So she brushed it off, techies become fast friends all the time anyways.

“So what do you have?” She sat down and pulled up multiple files up onto the desktop holo. “I found a list of companies, they worked with. Maybe this will help with something.” 

Shepard leaned in looking at list of Companies they emailed back and forth with. The list was long. “Tali... can you do a full search for a single name or company?”

“Will take some time to get through all the data collected but... yes, what is it?”

”Exogenetic Scientific Solutions. Or any like name like ESS or such.” Tali nodded typing it in and running a search. The system blinked with a percentage bar, searched 100 of 104859535 files. Shepard’s eyes lit up. How much data did Li and Chellick pull. They had to have stripped the entire company of it’s information.

She would need to thank both Li and Chellick later, this was increadible.

Her omnitool beeped and she pulled open the message from Bailey. Another group of missing persons from the Citadel. She sighed and glanced through the list of 10 names. All identified abduction/gone missing. All of them disappeared with out any loggings of ever leaving the Citadel. 

She rubbed her head, easing the pressure currently building up. Fuck. 10 more people. What am I going to do?

She had to think of something. She mentioned a few more key names for Tali’s data search in hopes something gets pulled up. Wouldn’t know for a while anyway.

”Shepard, I’ll let you know when I get the information, okay?” She agreed and left Tali’s room. Heading up to her room, when she arrived into the mess, the biotic was knocking against her door, angrily if she might add.

”Jack? Can I help you?”

Jack turned swiftly and made eye contact with Shepard. Yeah, she looked mad. Crazy mad.

”Shepard... you didn’t tell me the fucker got away! You can’t be fucking serious?!”

Shepard had no idea what she was yelling about. She moved to open her door. “Please come in... I’d love to hear more.” She said it so sarcastically, hoping the biotic would catch the hint and come back later.

It didn’t work.

She rushed into the room after Shepard. Shepard took a seat on her little couch, slouching into it. Some how it felt so late in the day. It was only 11:45. 

Jack paced back in forth across Shepard’s room. “You didn’t fucking kill that Leng bastard.”

She leaned her head onto her hand, casually. She blinked twice. “I’m sorry, Leng?”

Jack threw up her hands. “Weren’t you after the asshole too?”

”Not sure I’m following, Jack.” She turned and clenched her hands into fists. “That motherfucker made it out alive. Off of Noveria.”

Shepard sat up becoming uncomfortable of the conversation change. Noveria, literally fuck that place. Giant bugs and Garrus almost dying, that wouldn’t happen again, ever. Especially the bug part.

”Shepard, are you dense?”

”Excuse me? Jack sit down. Now.” She glanced to the seat next to Shepard on the couch. It took her a moment before she sat down into the desk chair. Cooling down a little bit.

”I have had a long morning Jack, I don’t know who this ‘Leng’ is. We only showed up on Noveria because we snagged data off of a Geth unit. For the exact time and the exact place.” Shepard closed her eyes. She couldn’t get Baileys list out of her head. She rubbed her temple in an attempt at relief. 

“He’s some Cerberus dog, I’ve been chasing him from star system to star system. He fucked with me and I’m not about to fucking let it go.” Her fists lit up with the purple blue glow as she stood. Shepard watched her closely, but keeping her defense open. 

Jack sat down a moment later, realizing her anger might be misplaced. Good to see she’s at a hundred percent again. She could rip through the hull at any moment, they had to trust that she wouldn’t.

”His name is Kai Leng, from the legion of assholes known as Cerberus. He needs to go down and now.” Shepard racked her brain, the name sounded familiar but she couldn’t place it.

Shepard leaned back into the couch, getting comfortable as could be with her headache and listened to what Jack had to say about this Kai Leng and the legion of assholes. 

Chapter Text

After waking up from the exhausting night everyone had, Garrus woke up feeling more exhausted than if he had just stayed up.

Shepard had pissed him off, not angry pissed off, but tension wise pissed him off. The way she just left him the other night in the med bay. As much as he secretly thanked her for leaving, he wished she would’ve stayed right in front of him and forced him to break the stupid rules he was imposing on himself. 

The entire morning was basically spent daydreaming. And bringing up questions, like where they even compatible? Would that even work? There weren’t very many Turian and Human relationship, at least anywhere public.

He wouldn’t even know what to think if he saw a couple even if he had a ‘thing’ with Shepard. The whole idea was just about as foreign as Shepard and him making out. About as foreign as him wanting her.

He shook his head to himself, she’s pure trouble. Shouldn’t she want something closer to home? More familiar?

A piece of a gun rolled off of the gun counter in the armory. A clink noise followed it, echoing in the quiet room. He banned himself to this room in an attempt to keep Shepard at an arms distance.

He stared down at it for a moment from his stool. He’d done his best to just stay hidden from Shepard and well... everyone else too. He knew he couldn’t stay hidden forever but just a little time with some guns would be nice.

Would be better with Shepard.

He rolled his eyes and picked up the piece that had found it’s way to the floor. Why did his brain have to betray him like this? 

He popped the modded piece into his pistol, it had gone through probably a thousand mods. None of them ever fitting it well enough.

“Comman—ugh.” A deep frustrated sigh sounded over the intercom. “Garrus. You know what.” He let out a commanding tone. Garrus stifled a laugh. “You’re laughing aren’t you... I hear those little Turian giggles. Bet that get’s all the ladies.”

Garrus laughed out loud at his pure honesty and it was refreshing, the whole ship was really. “Did you need me for something or—“

”Right. You can pick up the next nearest giggling Turian like yourself in ETA of six hours. Just in time to take her to dinner.” They would be docking at the Citadel. He’d warned his sister earlier, and she sent back a message ‘So excited, Dad said he’s hanging out with the Primarch. The Turian is soooo bland, don’t know why he would but lucky you. See you at port! P.s. I look forward to meeting Shepard officially, you won’t be able to hide her anymore.’ 

He looked at the email again. At least his father would be off of his hide for a while. He hoped this wouldn’t be the time he’d have to tell his father about his Human cohorts, he wasn’t ready.

”Thanks, Joker.” He clicked the gun together.

He had made the last second decision to head to the Citadel and was starting to be glad he did. The Coucilors requested an appearance, Sol wanted to see him, Li wanted to see Damon, and Wrex mentioned something about meeting a man about a gun in a shady corner of the Citadel. It seemed like a good idea to stop for everyone.

The only bad idea was that his father was still hanging around. His father had mentioned his interest in checking out the ship last time they spoke. He wouldn’t be able to hide everyone forever but he did want to hold it off for a little longer.

He glanced to the time on his omnitool. It was nearly the middle of the day and he done nothing with it but hide away. He assumed soon, he’d have to come out of hiding and see some of the crew. 

His omnitool beeped again with another message, opening it up. Shepard. He closed his eyes and then was met with the very blunt words. ‘My room now..... please’.

He stood and nearly bolted for the door before catching himself. Slow down buddy. Was it business or... dare he say it? Pleasure. It had to be business, he told her off, saying he needed to figure himself out. Which was true.

Though now looking back on it, he hoped her ‘backing off’ would mean she might tease the hell out him until he gave in, which he would try his best not to. He was very afraid his control may have a limit though. What a Masochist thing to do, really.

He hopped into the elevator riding it down to Shepard’s room. Remaining his cool, he stepped in and saw Shepard, sitting on her couch, slouched into the back of it. The couch looked like it was practically eating her alive. She had a visitor, Jack.

“Garrus, you might want to listen to what Jack has to say here.” He nodded, glancing to biotic wondering if he should take a seat or stand. The only available seat being next to Shepard, he decided to lean against the desk on the wall opposite to Shepard’s couch. It was a safe option, he was just here to listen. Plus he could watch Shepard.

Shepard glanced to him, cocking her head to the side, probably curious in his seat choice. She shrugged it off and crossed her legs making them seem longer than they really were. 

Jack stood and paced the room. “Jack said she was on Noveria, chasing after some Cerberus guy named ‘Kai Leng. Do you know of this Leng, Garrus?”

Garrus muddled through his memory, didn’t sound familiar. “What does he look like?”

Jack crossed arms and paced the room again. “Looks like an asshole, he’s got black hair and where’s the stupidest outfit I’ve ever seen, white and black suit or something.” Garrus thought about it for a second, it matched the guy he’d seen back on Eden Prime. “Visor or glasses or something.”

The one that shot him. 

“That’s the guy who shot me, I think. It sounds like him. Was he on Eden Prime? Three weeks ago?”

Jack rolled her eyes for what felt like the millionth time. "Do I look like his fucking secretary?"

Garrus sighed and shut his eyes. "The bastard, if it's the same guy, is certainly a nuisance. We should search him through those files Tali has collected. Maybe we'll be able to determine where he'll be next."

Shepard crossed her arms over her chest, sinking into the couch more. So now we have a possible lead to Cerberus, we need to use him, or something to that extent. Then again, he could know nothing and be nothing more than a lackey who is expected to be everywhere at once. He sat quietly for a moment. 

"Jack, thanks for letting us know, he's a threat and we'll find him again. And take him down." Jack stood and turned to Garrus, moving into his face. She squared off with him, not physically, Thank the Spirits. At least, she was semi clothed this time.

"I could rip the man limb from limb, find him soon or you're in for it." Garrus nodded to her and she rushed off out of the room. Shepard took a deep breath, closing her eyes and leaned back into the couch. 

"You alright, Shepard?"

"I hear we're shoring for a day or two." She dodged the question completely. How very un-Shepard like. There was something wrong, it kind of hurt that she didn't want to share it with him. He quickly shook off the feeling. Push her a little.

"I figured two would be enough for a little warranted relaxation before a long haul." She nodded in agreement from her very reclined position. She looked stressed beyond stressed, or maybe just tired. He wasn't really sure. 

"Shepard.." He took a seat on the desk chair the biotic has vacated and scooted up a little closer and leaned forward placing his elbows on his knees and clasped his hands together. "You alright?"

She shook her head and opened her eyes after they'd been closed. Her blue eyes, met his as she ran her hand nervously down her leg.

"They sent me another list, 10 more missing people." She took a deep breath and moved the other hand to rub her head. "And... are we even moving in the right direction? I hope Mordin can get some info soon..." A defeated sigh left her mouth. 

Garrus looked down at the ground taking in the situation. She wasn't under stress from him, or the Normandy, that made him feel better about his worries based upon himself.

He wanted to help her. Soothe her. Whatever she needed. But what did she need? He had no idea, honestly he'd doubted that she would tell him what she needs either. She was more headstrong than anyone he knew. And in an odd way, he admired her for it. She didn't push her problems onto others, she fought her own battles like some brave warrior woman. He watched her for a moment as she shifted in her seat, moving to sit up right and lean forward mimicking his position, settling arms across her knees.

"I'm afraid. I'm afraid for these people. I'm afraid we won't find them in time. I'm so scared that I might let down someone I promised." She shook her head and placed her head into her hands, her hair cascading forward helping to cover her from him. 

"Shepard..." She didn't move from her little hiding spot in her palms and she didn't speak either. He looked down at his hands for a moment unclasping them. He hesitantly moved them towards her. Hopefully, she doesn't mind. If he touched a Turian like he was about to touch her, he'd be slapped.

Touching someone without warranted consent in his culture was really a big no-no. She didn't seem to have a problem with it, well besides the obvious her touching him. He really just let it happen.

He thought maybe he'd just try something more familiar to her. Touch.

He scooted forward and rested his fingers on her knee, rubbing them in a soothing circle.

She was wearing her workout pants, a thin material that seemed to get caught on his talons as he stroked her knee. "I'm here for you.." The voice deep in the back of his head stopped him from saying what he really wanted to say. He ended up with a much less impressive phrase. "You're not alone."

A short burst of air escaped her. She moved her hands away from her face, giving him that to focus in on. She looked down at his attempt at comforting her and small smile crossing her lips. She sighed and looked up to meet his eyes again. He'd been so wrong about the blue in her eyes, it had first reminded him of water. Is there any way water could look like it was on fire? Her gazed focused in on him. 

"Thank you.... really it means a lot." His hands lingered where he'd been touching her hard knees. His skin felt like it was being warmed after being in the cold for hours, just that subtle electricity running through every vein.

It felt good, and felt good to comfort her even though she didn't need him. No warrior woman has ever needed a man, or a Turian get the job done, she would do just fine without him.

He silently made it a personal mission to make sure nothing stands in her way. 

She held her hand up allowing it to leave her side. It fell to his jaw cupping it slightly, her thumb stroking across it softly. It was extremely personal and without a kiss in hand it felt immensely different. A weird different.

He wasn't really sure if it was good or bad at the moment, he certainly didn't have his feelings in order yet as far as Shepard went.

Her soft thumb ran along the edge of his jaw, feeling so odd. It was a place no Turian, even himself could touch without hurting the skin beneath his mandible. It felt so nice. 

"I know... you've got some stuff to figure out. So I'm just going to leave you with this." She moved to stand up from her seated position, his hands falling from her knees. The air turned into electricity within the moment. He watched her carefully. 

She moved in again like was going to kiss him again. He'd told her 'no' and told her that it couldn't leave the lounge they'd been in just the other night, but he couldn't help himself and the temptation.

He hadn't gotten any sleep last night and what little sleep he did get were spent daydreaming of her. He hated himself for being the one holding things up. He really did, but when he started to think it might just work for them, his father thoughts would jump in and cut him off. 

He needed to figure his shit out. 

She moved in close to his face, he was still sitting down in her chair her thumb still stroking along the bottom curve of his mandible. Her soft lips met lightly to the opposite mandible, giving the slightest pressure and then she backed off of him, removing her touch. He stared at her for a moment, what was that? 

She gave him a small smile. "We even give friends those, it's a kiss on the cheek.. your case a... mandible? It’s a thank you." 

He sat there a little dumbfounded, Human's kiss their friends? Is that what all Human’s do? Touch each other constantly? The thought made him laugh. He liked it. He liked that she was giving him his own time to find some conclusion to the mental warfare involved with his upbringing. 

"I... uh.... Thanks?"

"Your welcome." She moved across her room and started to mess with her bed.

She glanced over at Garrus who was still sitting in the chair. "I'm going to see if I can get some sleep before we dock.... You are free to sit and watch if you'd like." She teased.

Apparently, he hadn't gotten the hint that she was going to go down for some extra sleep.

He immediately stood and pushed her chair back in and shuffled to the door turning one last time to her. He assessed her for a moment as she untucked her bed linens. Her black hair falling and moving with her, hiding her face from him. His eyes slipped down her body quickly, like it was the last second he might have to memorize everything. 

"Sleep well.. Shepard."

She turned to look up at him, stress still evident on her face. 

"Thanks, Garrus." The way she said his name sent a chill down his spine in the oddest manner making his nerves twitch. He jumped out of the room allowing the shutter to close after him. He closed his eyes and leaned against the wall next to her door and took a deep breath. 

"Garrus, you fine?" Aulso's voice broke through for a moment. He immediately went into hiding any emotion that might be displayed. 

"Just fine Aulso... how's it going down here?"

He shrugged and smiled a little as he stirred a giant pot. Something that smelled of spices and something else he couldn't quite put his finger on. 

"Great... Shepard's new help list has helped immensely for cleanup, I actually have more time to cook better things for the crew. Thank you for allowing that to happen, I know it wouldn't have happened on any other ship I would've served on." A slight sigh left Garrus at the moment he said Shepard's name. He'll never be rid of the girl holding up his thoughts. Not only was she mingled up in his but she'd involved herself in others thoughts as well.

"Glad to hear it, I thought the same and simply agreed with her.. She didn't need my permission." Aulso laughed a little and tasted what he had in the pot. He made a thinking face and picked up another spice pouring it in. Garrus took a seat at the mess island and watched him. 

"I like her.. haven't really met anyone like her. Glad I'm apart of a crew with her and well you too. You aren't so bad yourself, Commander. I've heard of your father and I was worried you were more..... ahh... I really shouldn't say that actually."

"Closed minded... I know."

Aulso let out a dual-toned laugh at Garrus's honesty and let his mandibles slide away from his face. He recognized the action as him thinking of his own past. "’The son never has to follow in his father's footsteps’. My father told me that." Garrus leaned forward onto the island from his seat. Aulso was older then him by probably twenty years, give or take a few. Wouldn't he have seen the Relay incident? Wouldn't he and his father have fought in it? 

"You’re probably wondering about me now, given my age." Garrus nodded, slightly curious. 

"Well.. my father fought in the war... and passed away during it. He was a hard fought Turian, didn't believe that we should let the Human's get involved with anything." Aulso took another taste test and started to add some other items to the brew. 

"He'd been injured and abandoned. Found himself in a Human encampment there, they'd helped him after his team had disappeared. They summoned me on his last wishes, I let not a single soul know. No need to injure anyone else if it was a ruse." He let the stew go for a few minutes and leaned forward onto the counter playing with a salt shaker. "He was near death when I’d happened upon the encampment, I had my last few moments with him because they helped. He told me not to follow his footsteps. He said he'd been wrong, we'd all been wrong. They were every bit as much as us as we were them." 

He leaned up and looked into the pot again. It hasn’t seem like it talking about his father affected him much, only a small keen came from deep, telling him he loved his father much. 

"So... what happened?"

Aulso shrugged. "Went back to camp, got my ass dishonorably discharged. Had a court martial for desertion, got off scotch free by the Council considering we fought their war. Hierarchy nearly claimed my colony markings but in the end allowed me to keep them, I lost my tier being labeled a sympathizer at the time. I would no longer be able to find work within the military nor will I ever be able to see Palaven again for more then a week every five years." Garrus stocked the list, labeled a sympathizer, discharged, and lost his tier. 

"I thank them every day for forcing me off that rock, don't get me wrong, I love Palaven. But if they hadn't forced me away, I doubt I would've met my wife." He poured something else into the pot, making a splash. "And I would trade everything to keep her and my family."

He smiled to himself. Garrus was surprised in himself. He didn't think badly for Aulso in the slightest, he admired him. He fought for something incredible, and even though he lost everything. He still won. 

It made him more curious about what had happened during Shanxi though. He'd only listened to the stories his father had told, believing them to be truth because he was there. 

"So you married your wife and stayed on the Citadel?" 

Aulso leaned forward onto the island. "Well something like that, after I'd gone to the Council and presented them with the means to intervene with Shanxi, I opened a restaurant with the money given to me. Met my wife and left the Citadel two years later, went to live with her on Nevos until our kids were grown and found ourselves back on the Citadel about a year ago. And here I am with you."

"Where's your wife?"

"She's always been a hard worker and so so smart, about three months ago, she was positioned by one of her previous employers to help create suitable environments across space for more species on less inhabitable planets being an engineer. I couldn't hold her back, I wanted to go with her but at the same time, I was propositioned by the Council for your ship. I wanted to take it." He smiled to himself and turned around to grab another pot and began to throw in things he'd already chopped up.

"We made promises to each other, I speak to her nearly every night. When she's finished doing her thing, I will be quick to follow her home." 

Aulso was kind of amazing for Turian, risked anything and everything to what was apparently, the right thing to do. He’d done what he needed to do. He kind of wondered about what his father had told him his last moments. The words that spurred him into renouncing basically everything considered sacred for a Turian. Garrus wasn’t so sure he would’ve done the same. Maybe he would’ve, he wasn’t so sure.

His omnitool beeped through breaking his thoughts, he glanced at it for a slight second. Looked to be the Councilor. He took his leave from Aulso but couldn’t stop thinking about him and his whole story. 

And how it somehow hit something inside of him. If he wasn’t already thinking twice about everything his life has been built on he was beginning to.

Chapter Text

Time had flown by after she’d woken up from her nap. She was very thankful, she felt so rested. While her worries weren’t subsided about the case, the stress of it seemed to have withered to a dull ache. Not enough to really bother her.

The announcement that the Normandy was five minutes from docking rang through the ship. It was followed by a snide comment by Joker about seeing everyone at the bar later.

She spent her morning looking over some data that Garrus requested she look at with Tali. There was so much data it just really seemed to be all over the place. They had found a hook up on this Kai Leng character though. Ex-Alliance military and dishonorably discharged for a bar fight years ago which also accompanied a murder. She decided she needed more information before pinpointing anything.

She’d spent the last hour with Li in the starboard port. Playing an old fashioned game of cards that he taught her from Palaven. 

She took the opportunity to learn even more about the Turian. He had a large, very traditional family. He spoke about them not knowing or even having any idea that he was dating a Human. And that it would be disastrous if they found out.

He said when the day comes and he has to choose, he was fairly certain Damion would be the one he’d choose. He seemed to love him a lot. He spoke of his siblings, only one knowing of Damion. Of course that was his sister whom was in a similar situation with Asari.

She liked Li’s attitude, he was optimistic, funny, and his forward look to the future. Claimed his family was so impersonal and traditional, he wanted to be nothing like them and he wasn't, from what she'd seen.

He invited her to Damoin’s birthday, said that they’d probably end up celebrating at one of the Citadel clubs. In reality, he said he would send the invite out to everyone and everyone is invited. Maybe help everyone bond together a little better too.

She might start to understand these Turians, drinking was always fun and usually ended with everyone a little closer, she didn't see a problem with it, it was a good idea.

It’d been a fairly relaxing afternoon with Li. It had taken her thoughts momentarily off of Garrus. She felt so childish about the whole thing, but she couldn’t deny there was just this pull to him. And she couldn’t get rid of it.

No matter what she did. Even as he sat in her room, it took all her self control not to jump the poor Turian.

He was just starting to think about the idea of being with her. As Li had said days ago, his father was so deep down in his head, pulling him out might not be enough.

She hoped he’d come around eventually, and it’s not like when she got him thinking about it, he pushed her away. In fact, it was the opposite, like the other night. He’d welcomed the feeling and what it could be, if only for a moment. 

Though she had an inkling of a feeling when he told her it couldn’t leave the room, he was trying put up a wall. A wall to keep her at an arms length. And in reality, she wasn’t really okay with that.

She could give him time but she didn’t want him to take the time to lie to himself, well any more than he could already be. 

She had changed into her casual blues for docking. Making her way to grab a quick ration bar from the mess to hold her over. Aulso said he’d stay and cook for anyone who wanted to stay, Shepard dismissed him. He happily ran off, said one of his kids was around and he couldn't wait to get off board. It warmed her heart to see someone so in love with his family.

She went to the elevator and waited for it, though it was taking longer then usual.

She leaned up against the wall behind her munching on her ration bar. Maybe she’ll go see Alesseo first... she did want to stop by the station if only for a moment during the leave.

She watched the doors slide open seeing Garrus standing there, her mouth nearly flew open. He looked cute in his blue and black civies. She looked him up and down a moment before noticing the other Turian next to him. The much younger and much more feminine Sol standing next to him.

She was short, well short for a Turian. She was probably only a little bit taller than Shepard’s taller than most frame. Her darker gray plates shined with dark gray skin peaking out from her outfit. A blue pattern streaked across her face plates different from Garrus’s markings. Her darker blue eyes sparkled at Shepard.

”Shepard, I was starting to wonder where my brother hid you!” Shepard stood against the wall still kind of embarrassed she so brazenly checked Garrus out, and in front of his sister no less. Hopefully, neither caught it.

The three took the elevator down to the cargo bay. Sol turned to Shepard. “So.. Shepard what do you have planned for the day?”

Shepard rambled off a few things that she wanted to touch base with.

“So you’ll be free tonight?”

”Sol.. I think Shepard has her own things she wan—”

”Ignore him, we can hang out later just ourselves!” She smiled and winked at Shepard. Garrus rolled his head back and stared at the ceiling in frustration.

”I’m not doing much later, just Li’s boyfriend’s party...” Sol did her best Turian grin.

“Let’s all go get some dinner... at that fancy place you’ve been promising me you’d take me too before you go party!” She looked to Garrus, giving her best puppy dog eyes she could assume.  Garrus closed his eyes and sighed. He then nodded so slightly but Sol had no problem catching it.

“Shepard, please come with us.” Garrus turned his gaze to her, waiting for her to answer Sol’s request.

It was Sol’s turn to puppy dog eye Shepard. She looked to Garrus for silent confirmation that he was comfortable with her tagging along. He gave none of his secrets away, instead just stared at her. 

“If you both don’t mind.. I’ll tag along.” Sol punched her hand in a ‘yes’. Shepard watched Garrus closely, she didn’t want to make him uncomfortable. That would be last thing she would want right at this moment.

”Just message me what time you can get in and I’ll be there.” Shepard attempted to slink away. She was becoming uncomfortable underneath Garrus’s stare.

”See you later, dress nice!” Sol waved and turned to her brother. Shepard took the chance to walk off the Normandy leaving Sol and Garrus aboard. She headed off to the C-Sec station, she’d check in on her old crew for moment then head off to Alesseo’s apartment to check in on her.

The drive to station hadn’t been long, she’d arrived to see a new person working behind the desk. Shepard grinned to herself, Jenkins must’ve got the promotion she’d egged Bailey on about. He deserved it, he could eventually be a good detective, well.. if he doesn’t kill himself first.

She smiled at the girl sitting at the desk, and leaned onto high lipped counter. “Hi, is Bailey in today?”

The girl nodded but her eyes grew wide. “He’s in today but I’m afraid he’s been in a meeting all day and can’t take any guests. If you’d like you stop by another day, I can let him know you stopped by.” She smiled, just as Kaiden rounded the corner. He glanced up for the briefest moment before looking down again and then glancing back up at the speed of light. He did a full body check out of Shepard.

“Shepard! I mean uhhh.. Lieutenant Commander! What are you doing here?” He nervously attempted a salute and she gave him a small smile. 

“Hi Kaiden, was just stopping in to see Bailey and everyone. How’s it going?”

He nodded and pointed her to the back. “Come on Bailey’s here. He’s just been blabbing to this lady all day, I’m sure he’d rather speak to you.”

Kaiden led her through the back, she found Jenkins in the waiting room and gave him a quick hello. Bailey’s door was shut, but Kaiden had no hesitations. He released the lock on the door, revealing Bailey and what looked to be an Asari, grilling him for something. 

They both turned their attention to Shepard slowly. Bailey nearly jumped out of his seat.

“Chief, where are you going?”

He moved to Shepard and smiled giving her a little hug. She smiled and glanced at the Asari in the chair again. “I really don’t want to bother— I can come back tomorrow.”

Bailey sighed and nodded. “That would probably be best, been real busy around here. What time can I expect you tomorrow... want to make sure we have plenty of time without my Chief.. breathing down my neck.” He made sure the enfasis was there, stressing the words.

The Asari crossed her arms and puffed out a loud breath. “If you would get me the information I need... I wouldn’t be breathing down you neck.”

He rolled his eyes and Shepard smiled and nodded. “I’ll see you tomorrow, probably around noon, I’ll stop at Alesseo’s tomorrow then.” Bailey nodded to her moved to his seat again, Shepard quickly headed out of the office. 

She left the precinct and decided to get some small shopping things done and dealt with. It took her some time but she got them done. She couldn’t shake off this eerie feeling of being watched though.

She never felt it before, even with Wrex somehow knowing where she was at all times. She glanced around and had made sure there wasn’t actually anyone around. She shook off the feeling as nothing. Probably just Wrex being creepy.

She’d made it to her apartment later in the evening, she got ready for the dinner but she still hadn’t decided what to wear. She kind of wished Sol hadn’t invited her, as much as she’d love to go to dinner. She also didn’t want to risk embarrassing herself with Garrus. What if she said the wrong thing? Or what if she tripped? Or what if a thousand other bad things happen?

There were so many scenarios running through her head, it made her so nervous. More nervous than she’d ever been. She glanced between the two dresses she narrowed her options down to, a dark red a-line skirted dress or a light blue fitted dress. 

She been staring at them for nearly an hour, she glanced to the clock by her bed. 19:46. Shit. I’ve been staring at these dresses for an hour!

Her omnitool beeped on her wrist alerting her of a message, It was from Sol. ‘Just got here, we’ll have a seat soon, meet us inside!’ 

Shepard sighed and glanced to the dresses again. She let out a frustrated ‘ugh’ and pulled the light blue dress off the hanger. She pulled it over her body. It’ll do.

She took one glance in the mirror, she gad done some light loose curls for her hair. She wore light make-up and opted for her heels. Might as well be even a little taller with her two Turian dates.

She’d kind of missed heels in the last few weeks, wearing boots everywhere made you cherish the little things like getting dressed up. It made this all that much more important that she felt good in what she was wearing.

Plus, there was a positive to this dress. The length of the dress gave her the option to strap a pistol to the inside of her leg. Just in case, those eeby jeebies that she’d been feeling all day couldn’t be nothing. Besides one should always be ready for anything.

She made it to the restautant late, of course. She stepped inside the door to the fancy restaurant, being greeted by the hostess who asked her who she was looking for. She described Sol and Garrus to the hostess but she came up blank. Shepard threw around the Spectre name and the hostesses eyes lit up and told her to follow.

She guided her to a table situated in the back, it was a fairly private restaurant, her eyes met with Garrus’s but his line of sight had given him away. He’d probably had been staring long before she’d found him.

The hostess pulled out her chair and Garrus stood quickly. Telling the hostess it was okay. He pushed in her chair and took his seat next to Sol again, which happened to be directly in front of Shepard.

Sol smiled at her brother then looked to Shepard. “Wow, I’m mean like... wow Shepard.”

Shepard blushed and brushed her off as humbly as she could. “Thank you, you both look quite.. polished if I have to say as well. This is a very nice restaurant. I’ve lived here for years and I’ve never been here.” Shepard glanced around the place again, taking in the sights of it, it looked busy too. 

Garrus sat forward and cleared his throat as the waiter stepped up taking their orders. Shepard and Garrus opted for a drink and Sol requested some Dextro tea.

She needed something to take the edge off. Garrus had been staring for what felt like hours. Or maybe that’s just what she wanted to think. She wasn’t sure. But in reality, she needed the drink because she knew she was staring too.

“So tell me Shepard, how’s life on Normandy. My brother tells me about it but it sounds so... clinical.” Shepard laughed a little after taking a sip of his drink trying to we’ll the nerves away. 

“Umm, probably not much different than what he’s told you. It has been by far the best crew I’ve ever worked with and by far one of the best Commanders I’ve assisted or served under.” She glanced to Garrus for a moment and his mandibles spread wide. His blue eyes looked dark and enticing, and the air around their table suddenly felt heavier than it had.

Oh, he likes compliments...

Her mind quickly shifted, was it safe to say stuff in front of his sister. Would she be okay with it? Would she look down on it like her father and the majority of the Citadel would?

She had to play it safe.

”He told me, you guys fought Giant Bugs that’s got to be the worst! I couldn’t imagine.” She shivered in her chair and leaned forward, elbows onto the table. 

“I’m not a fan either, I’d rather fight ten thresher maws alone then have to deal with the bugs again!” Shepard took another drink letting the warmth travel through her chest, the nerves starting to relax. “What did you two spend your day doing?”

Garrus sat up in chair a little, his knee brushing up against hers for just a moment. He briefly made eye contact again. “Spent the afternoon on Sunset mostly.”

”Garrus is an awesome brother, took me to the Armax Arena, so much fun! I’ve always wanted to be in the top 10. Garrus is like number 8 or something... He’s so lucky.” She glanced at him and gave him an elbow and he smiled endearingly at her. She could barely hear that same loving hum come from him but there it was.

Shepard smiled at them. They were how every sibling relationship should be, they really did love each other. Something she wished she could have just for once.

”You know, I’ve played there.”

Garrus turned and squinted his eyes for a moment, his eyes widening as realization hit. “N7Shep. How did I not make that connection?”

Solana’s eyes widened just as her brothers did and she leaned onto the table. “You’re number two?! That’s so ridiculous.” 

Shepard blew it off. “I spent a lot of time there as a child and teenager. Eventually good enough to be on the top 10, I haven’t played in years though.”

”Oh Garrus... she’s so modest. What will we do with her?” She sighed and moved her hands aside as the waiter set her food down in front of her. The meal had gone by slowly. All the which Shepard seemed okay with. She hadn’t done anything stupid yet, and that was something to celebrate.

She’d learned a little more about Garrus’s obsession with guns, his mother and even more about Sol’s obessession with all the different races, and what led her to become a Space Cultural Archeologist. She new everything, and to Garrus words, she new more about Human’s than Shepard did. 

“So Shepard.... do you have a boyfriend? Or well anyone, I guess I shouldn’t assume.” She took her last bite of food chewing slowly. Waiting for Shepard’s answer. 

Shepard shook her head. “Ummm... I haven’t had any one in a long time.. “ She glanced to Garrus for the quickest moment taking one of her last bites. “What about you Sol?”

She made a face and sighed. “Well, not really no. I like this guy at the history center.. but I’m too scared to do anything about it. I could always settle for Chellick. Then again would that really be settling?” She made a thinking face and Garrus whipped his head to her earning her a scowl from him. 

Shepard laughed for a moment then gave his shin a nudge. Giving him a look telling him to lay off. Chellick might be this dog Garrus thinks he is but he hadn’t shown Shepard any of that, maybe he’s changed or grown up since boarding the Normandy.

Garrus turned his head in Shepard’s direction and shook his head and then looked up. He made eye contact with someone behind her head and his eyes widened with fear. 

“Sol... who’d you say dad was with today?”

”Umm.. why?” She turned her attention making contact behind Shepard as well. “Shit.. Why’s dad here?!” She whispered it to Garrus.

Shepard turned and glanced around the room seeing two male Turians a few tables away, one looked kind of like Garrus in a way and the other had his back to them at an angle.

She turned to see Garrus stand immediately, Sol quickly pulled him down. “Garrus.. don’t draw any attention.” She said it quietly, pulling at his wrist.

Shepard watched his body language as he took a seat quietly. He looked nervous, almost agitated in a way. She only hoped it wasn’t directed to her. He glanced for a second to Shepard and back to his sister.

”Garrus, why are you freaking out it’s not like he’s seen us or you’re with Shepard alone... wait a second...” She shifted her eyes to him  and then to Shepard. Trying to put two and two together. “Garrus?”

”Shhh, Sol I can’t think....” 

Shepard raised up her hand slightly trying to bring their attention to her. “Just pretend I’m a different person.”

Garrus looked at her, a slight look of fear passing over his eyes. “Shepard....” He looked like he might try to hide her under the table.

“Garrus, did you just... you didn’t.. when I said her name... oh Spirits, please just take us all.” Sol put her elbows on the table, putting her head into her hands, hiding. What is going on?

“Kids....? What are you doing here?” The older Turian came to stand on Sol’s side of the table. He looked between them and then turned to make vicious eye contact with Shepard. No wonder they were scared of him, he’d practiced and practiced the look he was giving her at this moment. Looked like he was ready to get rid of her, and real quick.

She swallowed nervously. Whatever Garrus and Sol were bickering about couldn’t be good. She took things into her own hands. 

“Mind letting me know, who your guest is?” The way he said guest made her cringe. No one was kidding about his distaste for Human’s. 

“Hi, I’m Jane Sh—Shannon. Reporter for Intergalactic Space Sources. You are Spectre Vakarian’s father?” She reached her hand out to see if he might except a hand shake. He looked at for a moment, not taking the bait.

He looked at his kids in distaste. Yikes. He is going to be a tough cookie to crack. She took her unshaken hand back.

“Sol, I expect to see you at home within the hour. Garrus, I wouldn’t expect this of you.. entertaining a Human.” His father glanced from Garrus to Shepard, making eye contact. “I hope you’re nearly done, Miss Shannon.”

The way he said her made up name made her lean on the side of uncomfortable. She looked from Garrus to his father again. 

“Actually... I should get—“

”I need to speak with you, dad.” Garrus stood, his father challenging him. No wonder Garrus was so worked up about their whole relationship. His father hadn’t even gave her an opportunity to breathe. He hadn’t even wasted his own breath.

He pulled his father over into the corner, speaking to him quietly but what looked to be harshly. 

“I’m so sorry, Shepard.” Sol shook her head clearly embarrassed, she glanced over watching the exchange in the corner away from the public.

”Should have said my real name?” She shook her head and sighed, glancing across the room behind Shepard again.

”No, it’s probably better if he knew you weren’t military...” She shook her head again and put her head in her hands. 

“I’m going to take my dad home after this... you guys will get the easy escape.”

Shepard nodded watching the exchange, it looked heated. She wished she could get up and get involved, but it wasn’t her place. Not at this time.

Garrus moved over taking a seat, Sol turned to him, moving to place her forehead against his forehead for only a moment before she whispered something to him. 

She moved off and said ‘goodbye’ to Shepard, leading her father out of the restaurant. Shepard watched Garrus as he watched them walk out, taking a deep sigh as his father officially left the restaurant. A low, sad keen came from him as he downed the last of his drink. 

Chapter Text

The words Sol spoke into his ear before she left, replayed in his head as his father and her had taken their leave. “I know what I heard when you said Shepard’s name, I support you even if you don’t yourself.”

After he’d spoke to his father in the corner, he’d hoped he would straighten out. His father was beyond livid that a Human was sitting at their table and them entertaining the ‘beast’. His father couldn’t be further from the truth.

Garrus barred his teeth at such a foul comment, if it was anymore possible, it seemed his father had fallen even more so into a pattern of extreme hate. Worse than ever before. Garrus attempted to put a stop to it. 

His father left with an upset Sol. Garrus had defended Shepard in every aspect he could with out directly saying anything, he avoided saying her name like it was a death sentence. He knew about the hum he gave off when he said her name, last thing he needed was to have his father getting the right suspicions. He made sure to always follow it up with Sol’s name to protect himself as well.

It was exhausting.

He didn’t need his father getting ideas that he had an attachment to Shepard. Garrus told him off, told him his behavior was reprehensible for the public and should never happen again. He told his father that if he were to do something like that again, it would be inexcusable and that next time he wouldn’t even entertain his fathers wims. He’d sooner leave then watch that happen again.

He gripped the table as a slight rush of anger moved through his body. He hadn’t been this mad at his father in a very long time, it was embarrassing what he’d done. His father should’ve just kept his judgements at his table rather then bringing them to this table.

”Garrus..?” His eyes swiftly fell back to Shepard. She sat there, blank faced.

She radiated, her black hair falling over the front of her shoulders, cascading down. The bruises slightly noticeable on her arms caught his attention when she’d walked in but upon closer examination, she looked fine. Small welts being the worst of it from his talons.

He had stared at her as she crossed the room, she looked like nothing else as she had strut to their table. She was in a league of her own, she looked nothing like her usual self and at the same time looked one hundred percent Shepard. This was her, the Shepard outside combat boots and guns. 

She gave him a small smile. “Think we should go?” He nodded and stood up, speaking to the waiter briefly.

They walked out together but not touching. He had felt like eyes were on him to begin with, he didn’t need anymore peering views. Even if all he wanted to was touch Shepard. He’d even settle for a touch of her waist to lead her out, he of course talked himself out of it.

The blue dress she worn had made his plates twitch in the most uncomfortable fashion, like she knew he had a thing for blue. It was only natural. Her waist looked trim in the dress pinching in before flaring out with her hips. Her hips as she walked in front of him, it was nearly mesmerizing. And her shoes, forget about it, she was so tall and her legs looked so long and lean. He was so attracted to her it hurt. Couldn’t be anything more than lust, and for the first time in his life, he wanted to seek her out.

He hated himself in the moment she’d walked into the room. Couldn’t I just give up everything like Aulso.

No, he couldn’t afford to think like that, what if all Shepard wanted from him was just a fuck and call it quits, surely he could do that.

You don’t really believe that.

He honestly didn’t believe it, he knew she wanted more and in a way so did he. 

They had this pull to each other like two magnets that couldn’t seperate no matter how hard they tried. It was exhausting as much as it seemed it could be refreshing.

They moved over to a transport to head to the club where Li was throwing the party. They spent the cab ride on opposite sides of the cab, neither breaking the silence that had fallen between them both from the restaurant.

Shepard was the first to break. “So... Sol, you weren’t kidding... she’s great.”

He turned his head to look at her for what felt like the millionth time. 

She sat straight in her seat, the hem of her dress dangerously high, it lay flat against something strapped to her leg. Is that a gun holster?

As if she couldn’t get any hotter. 

He sighed and slouched into his seat, leaning his elbow onto the door, trying to direct his attention outside. Maybe the whole shore leave thing was a bad idea.

Or the best idea you’ve ever had.

“She’s really one of a kind.”

Shepard hummed in agreement. They’d reached the bar within the next few minutes.

They’d been the last to arrive, nearly the entire crew was there, even Jack had made it out of the crawl space she’d inhabited on the ship. Wrex was in the middle of a game with a few of the other crew members. Who knew a Krogan would be so good at breaking some of the ice with crew.

They found themselves quickly joining in on the festivities. Shepard was introduced to Damion. Whom she seemed to like, she bought the couple a few rounds as well as herself and she’d snuck Garrus a few too. She thought she was being sly by having the barback bring him the drinks secretly, it was all too obvious.

From behind closed doors, he liked it and he sent her drinks back. He’d been cornered by a few different female Turians, they were good looking. He let them off softly and each of them grovelled after he told them he wasn’t interested. He couldn’t help it, he really only wanted one person in the room at this point. 

He would catch Shepard glancing over every once and a while. She’d raise the drink he’d snuck her and watch him from across the room.

He’d found himself spending some time at the bar with Chellick after a little while.

”Chellick... I should probably talk to you..”

”What’s up?” He turned his attention to the drink in front of him. ”Wait is this Shepard.... related?”

Garrus nodded his head slightly. He didn’t want to scare off his best friend. They’d known each other since pre-boot classes. He needed to handle this as delecately as he could. Turian’s tended to be territorial about stuff like this.

”I figured... it’s alright Garrus, turns out I just think she’s hot. Not much else there.”

Garrus widened his eyes and watched Chellick throw his drink back. 

“So did she ask you to talk to me.... or are you doing this on your own?”

”Never known me to dance around an issue, have you?”

Chellick chuffed and shook his head. He glanced ahead to the bartender requesting another drink, Garrus bought their next round. 

“You like her, don’t you Garrus...?”

Garrus gripped the new drink and tipped that one quickly back too. 

“I’ll take that as a ‘I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing’ followed by a ‘yes’?” 

Garrus laughed and gave him his best hum to let him know he valued his friendship. Chellick patted him on the shoulder then turned to his drink. 

“Besides your sister’s always available.” Garrus shot his eyes to Chellick. Sending a warning growl off his way. 

“You better not. I will beat the shit out of you with the stick up my ass then make the Krogan beat your ass. Then I’d hang you by your fringe.”

”Sounds like you’ve planned this out? Ouch....” He rubbed his chest in fake offense. But something flashed across Chellick’s face. Something weird. Something completely foreign to Garrus. Did he really like Sol like that?

”Chellick..?”

He fiddled with the drink he’d recieved a moment ago, he hadn’t even taken a sip. They were mid conversation when he felt a light stroke across his arm. He glanced to the hand, somehow expecting it to be Shepard’s. It was too rough.

He followed the hand up to the female Turian’s face. Giza. 

“Hey Commander, trade us out for your new crew?” She purred as she said it, Garrus cringed at her moving farther away from her. She took her hand away like he’d turned into a hot stove. “Jeez... Garrus... didn’t realize it was like that. Wouldn’t have slept you if I’d known that.” 

She crossed her arms challenging him. He rolled his eyes, brushing her and her some what bad attitude off. He didn’t need that tonight.

“Nothing personal, Doctor, I’ve just....grown up.”

”Yeah... like I didn’t watch you walk in with that Human girl... what could she possibly have... that I don’t.” She rolled her eyes letting the attitude nearly pour off of her. Her body language was highly hostile. The jealousy did not look good on her at all.

He stood up from the stool he’d taken a seat at next to Chellick. Chellick followed suit. “Giza... I don’t have to explain anything to you, we slept together it was a mutual, one time thing.. if you thought differently.. I’m sorry.” He glanced to Chellick who had crossed his arms and stood with him against Giza’s bad additude.

He appreciated it more than he could ever tell Chellick. They left her at the bar as she nearly threw a fit, the bartender made sure he kept his distance from the ticking time bomb that she was.

It wasn’t before long that Wrex had gotten everyone into a few rounds of drunk arm wrestling. Chellick warned him not to break anyone’s arms. They still needed the crew at a hundred percent when they left the Citadel. He hadn’t spent much time with Shepard, not because he didn’t want to nor because he was in a bad mood after dinner. He’d feared he’d corner her while he’d been drinking and make a scene in some capacity.

He found Shepard leaning on the bar halfway through the night. He’d chatted with a few attractive female Turians through the night, being cornered by them but he seemed to not find any interest in them. It worried him that he found zero interest, but instead he swallowed down his worries. Something else had his focus.

The way Shepard leaned up on the bar waiting for her drink, showcased her waist in all the best ways. Her long hair fell back down her back as the bartender moved in front of her and looked to be flirting. A rise of emotion flowed through him.

He moved over to the bar without thinking. He leaned up onto the bar, glancing over to the male Turian bartender then to her.

“I didn’t get to tell you..... but you look really nice tonight, Shepard.”

The bar was loud and crowded, there was no way anyone could hear him say what he just said. He almost thought she heard him, but her eye sight turned back to the bartender to order some water. Not completely noticing it was him. 

She turned her head to look at him after she ordered, her eyes looking as hazy as he felt. His eyes looked her up and down again. Stopping at her waist, he almost reached a hand forward and then dropped it, instead scooting closer to her so the space between them was no longer considered public space. He ordered himself another drink and bought themselves two more house shots, for both themselves. They were strong as hell. Shepard downed hers like a champ. Something about being called a ‘mindslayer’ or something like that. He couldn’t really remember.

Shepard smiled at him and scooted even closer, her smell directly attacking his senses. “I’ve been avoiding you all night for your sake.. and here you are. Why tempt me?”

His mandibles flaired at the sultry way she spoke. He could barely focus on her words, and let alone keep track of the words that were falling out of his.

”Am I really that tempting? I’m not the one showing every curve I have to everyone in the room.” The way the words came out we’re almost too flirty for himself. She cocked her hip to the side, it made him want to throw her over his shoulder and carry her away from here. Well.. Probably. Most likely.

Her tongue darted out after she took a sip of her water, to clean off her lips. Who was she to call him tempting when she was pure trouble and sin herself. Definitely. 

She reached forward getting a grip onto his civies at the collar and pulled him forward. “I’m not really feeling well... I think we should leave...”

Her breath had fanned across the side of his face, lighting his senses on fire. Without much control and being inebriated, this seemed like the best idea all night. 

“We have to tell the c-crew that we are respo—responsible adults and have to go back to the ship..” She leaned off the counter inviting him to follow to say goodbye to the crew, she didn’t even stumble in her steps.

She’d made her rounds ending with Li. Li was nearly as drunk as the were and was hidden off to the side waiting for Damion.

”Li... we are gonna go back and get an early night sleep.” He nodded and whispered something to her. Obviously leaving Garrus out of the conversation, he didn’t really care.

She pulled back shocked at him gripping his arms. “Pshhhhhh! No!! With him? Hah!” 

Now he wished he knew what Li had said to her. It had to about him... who else. Li waved them off as they left the club, catching a cab and heading back to the Normandy.

The seats were so comfortable in the cab. The Normandy was quiet and dark. It took forever to get to his room. Were they even heading there?

Chapter Text

Shepard’s head was horribly heavy, like a thousand pounds heavy. She felt like she’d been hit by a car four times, repeatedly. She groaned and turned over seeking a more comfortable position. 

A groan came from near her, and in the same room. She should figure that out at the very least. Her eyes had remained shut, maybe she should just keep them shut. Who knows who that could be. She’d never drank that much in her entire life, she’d blacked out completely. 

She peaked an eye open, scared to find some random guy in her bed.

Fuck Garrus?!

A yelp left her lips as she scrambled backwards, successfully falling off the bed backwards onto the floor, pulling all the covers with her. 

Fuck. Shit. Fucking Fuck. God, I sound like Jack.

She glanced back over the bed to see Garrus in all his naked glory lying there on the bed. Turian butts are weird. She cocked her head the side as she stared.

Shepard you have more pressing issues then Turian butts.

Garrus reached around for the covers, patting the bed. He didn’t find them, granted they were tangled around Shepard’s body. He sat up and looked around for the covers, his eyes meeting Shepard’s as she peeked over the side of the bed from the floor. He looked just as groggy as she was.

”Shepard....? What are you...?” He leisurely glanced down at himself and then back up to Shepard, his eyes wide.

“What happened?” Shepard stared forward at his body, curiousity beginning to take place again. What was the little hole or crack or whatever it was on the front of his pelvic area?

She wracked her brain for a moment as she continued to stare. The Alliance training didn’t really cover much. Wait... where’s his manhood? Or what ever they call it.

She saw a pillow come to rest in front of his plates, covering it up.

“Spirits... Shepard don’t stare at my plates like that.” He sat up and glanced around the room, taking stock of the situation. 

Shepard glanced at him again, wait. If he was naked......

She looked down to find her bra still on, but as she slowly stood, no underwear. Great, first sexual experience with a fucking Turian and I don’t remember a Goddamn thing. If that’s what happened.

She felt her nerves start to attack her body as she moved, gripping the comforter tight around her. She had to get out of there and soon. If they’d slept together this was bad, the crew would know, Garrus will be mad, even if he doesn’t look it right now. She broke her promise to him. Why wouldn’t he.

She moved towards the door with the blanket, leaving all her clothes there. She tripped on her way up the stairs to the elevator, falling to her knees. She quickly stood. 

HahNo looking back now!

Shepard?!

She slid into the elevator thankful to find it was still a night shift. She bolted from the elevator on her floor and ran to her room. She looked down to realize she was still covered in Garrus’s blankets, she’d return them in a bit. Preferably after she was done freaking out.

She pulled on a pair of shorts and paced in her room. She didn’t feel any different, and honestly, didn’t even feel like she’d had sex. Maybe he was just that bad? No, he couldn’t be.

She sat down onto her bed, willed herself to stop freaking out. She bundled up into the blanket she’d brought down from his room. It smelled like cinnamon and clove. It smelled like Garrus. It calmed her nerves and mind down immediatly.

She sighed as she shut her eyes, her head still spinning. She was still drunk, she only hoped Garrus was too. And that he wouldn’t remember this is the morning.

She drifted off to sleep, hoping for a better second start.

 

Shepard had disappeared off the ship after she’d woken up, for the second time. She figured she come back and deal with everything when she arrives back on the ship. For now, she let her worries rest, she had a certain Asari to meet with.

She hopped into the nearest cab and took off the Alesseo’s. It gave her some time to look back through a few messages she’d missed. Just few and most of them relatively insignificant. One from Kaylee, which she saved, wedding stuff. 

The cab dropped her in front of Alesseo’s apartment. She hopped off and wandered through the halls of the new apartment complex, finding her door shoved into the back.

She dinged the bell, and waited a moment. She hoped Alesseo would be home. She didn’t want to ruin the surprise that she was coming to say ‘hi’. 

The door slid open a minute later, showing the light purple Asari. She looked well and looked like she was well rested too.

Shepard smiled at her as Alesseo quickly moved in for a hug. “Shepard!” She squeezed her hard and let go pulling back. “Come in,  come in!” She moved out of the way allowing Shepard to pass into the apartment.

She walked in and saw that she was mostly settled, seemed to be living with herself still. She moved into the kitchen and asked Shepard if she like any tea. 

Shepard happily took it, anything to help the headache she still had. At least it was nowhere near as bad as it was earlier.

Alesseo brought her a cup of tea and sat down next to Shepard on the couch. She held her own cup tightly as she let the mixture steep for a moment in the hot water.

”No luck yet?”

Shepard shook her head. “Unfortunately, everything is so cold involving Laari. I’m just looking at everything and focusing in on somethings.” Shepard set her tea down onto the table after she took a few sips. She reached over to take Alesseo’s hand. It was so warm from her cup of tea. “It going to be okay, I’m going to find her. I’m doing my best.”

She gripped Shepard’s hand back tightly. “What if our best isn’t enough?”

Shepard turned to face Alesseo, she looked so upset. Nearly on the verge of tears. “Laari’s smart... you said it yourself. I’m sure she’s doing her best to make sure she’ll be back too.”

Alesseo smiled a little bit, and glanced to Shepard making eye contact. Something odd flashing through her eyes for only a moment.

”Alesseo... are you alright?” Alesseo took her hand away and put her hands onto her legs and rubbed them up and down nervously. 

“I’m so sorry Shepard.... .” Shepard cocked her head to the side and felt the tiniest bit dizzy for a moment. She put her hand onto the back of the couch to hold her dizzy head. Damn alcohol.

She thought it was still making her dizzy. She caught her balance for a moment. “Had to do what?” 

Tears were streaked down her face, her hands stopped on her thighs, she was attempting to cope with what she’d done.

“Uhhh... ummmm... okay don’t freak out okay?”

”You’re the one freaking out...” Shepard just wanted her to tell what she’d done. Poisoned her tea? Signed her up for Krogan fight club? What was it? “Alesseo... what happened?”

She shook her head placing her face into her hands, hiding. “Laari contacted me.... like maybe a few days ago..” Shepard stared at her eyes wide. So at least she was okay and sending messages?

“Can you send the message to me?” Alesseo grabbed a tissue and wiped herself down nodding. She sent the message over to Shepard’s omnitool. This had obviously bothered her over the last few days.

”She told me to stop looking for her. That she was fine. Renounced our friendship.” A sob escaped her as she hid behind her tissue. “Said that we need to stop looking for her, that she’s settled into her position.”

Shepard opened up the email. She read through the entirety of it, it looked like it could be true. Sent from her omnitool, but no coordinates from where it was sent. How stupid do they think I am?

“Alesseo... this wasn’t Laari.. she would send it with sending coordinates, not block them, right?” It could just be whoever has her, doing a poor job of leading her off the case. She would continue her search, it didn’t matter. It only meant she might be closer.

Alesseo nodded and took a deep breath. “I just freaked out... I mean it looks like the way she writes things. All thought out and everything.”

Shepard reached forward and grabbed her tea and took a sip, glancing to the recovering Asari next to her. “If you get these messages, I need to know. It could be vital.” Alesseo looked to her omnitool and then glanced to Shepard. 

She picked up her wrist and took off her old  omnitool handing it to Shepard. “This will be better for me if it’s not around.” Shepard hesitantly took the omnitool. Laari authorized it to remain open so Shepard would have access to everything.

”You sure?” Alesseo nodded, her purple skin still a little blushed from crying. 

“Got myself a new one... I don’t need to be tortured by whoever sent that email. And if it is her.. don’t need the reminder.” Shepard slipped the omnitool into her pocket. Her head drifting off to think about what had happened last night for only a moment, she quietly sipped the tea in her hands. Maybe she could just avoid the ship for the rest of the day. She had to be back onboard by 6. She could do that, just stay out of dodge.

She spent most of the day at Alesseo’s, she wandered off to C-Sec later in the day, only to be chastised for not being punctual. She had said she’d stop by around noon and it was nearly three when she showed up. She spent some time with Bailey, he wanted to know all about her current travels and what she’d been up to.

She knew he missed being out there too, just would never admit it out loud. He mentioned Wrex not being around. She joked around letting him know Wrex had somehow convinced the Commander that he could come aboard. Honestly, she was surprised Garrus didn’t regret that decision.

She left C-Sec in an over-all good mood, glad that Kaiden kind of avoided her. She really didn’t want to talk to him anyway. Lousy attempt at lay and that’s all that was. 

She boarded the Normandy just before 6. She gone straight to her room, Vina did check in for everyone to make sure they were aboard. Before they knew it, they were off again, heading into the traverse.

Shepard intentionally avoided Garrus again. The poor guy had to be getting sick of it, but she couldn’t help it. She had no idea what to say or what to even do. He didn’t seem mad in the morning but in some way, it felt like she broke his trust. 

She hid in her room for the rest of night. She had no idea where there next stop was and to be honest, she didn’t really care right now. 

She spent some time staring out into the stars, from her couch, as they rushed by. She tried to determine what had happened last night. She couldn’t remember much, just that they left the bar and headed here afterwards. After that completely blank.

It was about eleven in the evening when she stepped out her room. Most of the crew would be down for sleep, so no one would bother her. She snuck off to the showers, there had seemed to be another person in the shower when she arrived. Steam built up in the corner.

She told her self not to worry about it, she was hoping for some alone time but really it couldn’t be helped. The shower in the far corner she usually went for, had been taken. So she took the shower that was the furthest from that one. The lights were dim in the shower, allowing a sense of night time to fall in the room. It was actually beyond relaxing.

She turned on the shower and began washing herself down, the water hot and relaxing against her sore arms and throbbing headache she still sported from drinking.

The person across the way still hadn’t left. It was an awfully long shower, maybe she should check in on them. She turned her water off and wrapped her, barely covering anything, towel around herself. 

“Hello..?”

No one answered her back as she made her way down the isle. 

“Hey, who else is in here..?” No one answered her question again.

She reached the last stall and slowly opened the door. Her heart was racing out of her chest, hopefully whoever it is is okay. She pushed the small door aside.

Fucking hell my heart!

There was no one there. It agitated her that she got so worked up. She looked around and reached in to turn off the water getting a little wet in the process.

”Who the hell leaves the water on?” She muttered to herself quietly. She turned to step out of the stall, only to see someone crowding their way in through the steam. She took a step back and slipped onto her butt and letting out a loud groan. That’s gonna bruise.

“Owww..”

She glanced up to see Chellick, who was  standing in all his naked glory in front of her. How many Turians will she see naked today? And what in the hell, those plates, like Garrus’s this morning, looked cracked.

She quickly turned her head away. Reaching to make sure her towel was snug tight, some how it’d made the fall, she tugged it down attempting to cover herself better as she was sprawled against the wall.

”Shepard...? Are you alright?!” He reached a hand down to help her up. She still looked away not wanting make contact, she’d been too close to his plates for comfort. She nodded hesitantly answering the question. Taking his hand to help herself up, still no need to make eye contact.

She scooted by him and grabbed her wash things, she put them away in the small locker. Heading straight out of the washroom. She turned and made her way to her room swiftly, practically running across the mess in only a towel.

Today had been far to dramatic for her tastes, that’s for sure.

Chapter Text

Garrus sent the team back out into the Traverse. He had, had a meeting with the three Councilors, the second day of shore. They had a new place for them to check out, and it seemed to be as good as any lead they’d followed up on so far. 

It seemed a Salarian recon group had requested additional back up. Apparently, half the team had been taken out and they’d been camped out waiting for someone to come assist them. The whole premise of why they were there was hush-hush. The Salarian Councilor requested they immediately head there, and the Asari Councilor said if they can. At least she understood the Normandy did have other things to do for them than run around on the Salarian Councilors whims.

They began to make their way there but would stop if something was on the way. There wasn’t a need to rush there. The STG group would be fine if they stayed where they were and didn’t provoke anyone.

They’d get there soon enough to help. 

During the meeting with the councilors he couldn’t help himself as his thoughts had drifted back to the morning he’d had. He’d woken up to Shepard’s yell, her on the floor wrapped in his blanket and his much less cloth-less self.

She’d ran faster than he ever seen a girl run from his room. He had no idea what had happened the night before and it left him puzzled. What had they done to each other? 

Both naked and in bed.

If he had to be honest, he doubted that much had actually happened. He’d smell it, the room would literally smell like sex. And it didn’t, it just smelled like her. Even his pillow had smelled like her. He quickly found that out after she’d left.

Shepard had rushed off, leaving him trying to piece together the night. And he came up with nearly nothing, he just remembered getting into a cab and then waking up here. Maybe the sex wasn't that rememberable? Well... maybe it’s like with an Asari or something with that mind meld. Maybe that’s how it works?

He really had no idea how it would work with a Human, maybe he could look it up on the extranet? He’d do it later. And well that was another reason why he thought it hadn’t happened...he had no clue what to do. Maybe unless they were close to Turian women, which they weren’t right?

When he’d left his bed that morning, he found evidence of Shepard all throughout his room. And it had seemed like something more than ‘actually sleeping’ in his bed, had happened.

He picked up the small blue dress and examined it. Briefly remembered the way it fit her curves, he’d never even found Humans remotely attractive but he sure did find her attractive.

There were a few gash marks through the dress, really no longer something she would be able to wear, it was ruined. It must’ve been his talons, shredded right through the material.

What a shame.

For the dress. 

And a shame for not remembering anything too.

He set the dress on the couch and moved her shoes over to it as well. He’d return them to her soon. He picked up his civies and threw them into the laundry shoot. They smelled like alcohol.

He found a little black piece of fabric he wasn’t really sure what it was. He stared at it for a long moment, must’ve been part of her dress or something. He shrugged and tossed it into the pile with her other things. Thinking back on all it, he still couldn’t piece together what had happened.

They obviously got physical at certain point, given her ruined dress. He would have to find her and apologize to her. He was definitely at fault. But he’d do it in a days time, give her sometime and himself too.

No need to rush this.

He’d have to be sure about himself and the steps he felt he should take from here. 

He’d have to be so sure, he’d risk his mental peace.

He’d have to be so sure, he’d risk getting caught. 

He’d have to be so sure, that he’d survive if he lost everything.

He still wasn’t entirely sure. Those were just the biggest cons of it all. He liked Shepard he knew that, she was strong, wild, smart, and he was attracted to her in ways he barely understood. 

Ways, that he was certain if he gave her the power, she’d ruin him in all the best of ways.

I don’t deserve anything like that.

I really don’t

Thinking about what had happened the night before set his nerves on fire. While he wasn’t entirely sure they hadn’t slept with each other. It could’ve happened, and the evidence said they’d definitely did more then just pass out.

He sighed and leaned against the back of the couch. He spotted something shiny on the floor next to the bed. Is that a gun?

His mandibles flared. He couldn’t believe she had packed a gun under that dress. It was beyond the hottest thing when he discovered it in the cab. Now that it was on his floor, it was an entirely different feeling. Lustful was the most accurate word at the moment.

He’d hidden upstairs for most of the day, after he got back from the councilors meeting. Only emerging back to the communal areas later that evening after they’d set off to head towards Virmire.

He worked in the Battery for a while, hoping take his mind off of everything. It worked, for a while. That was until he saw a wet Shepard, in a very small towel that covered barely anything, swiftly walk to her room from the crew showers.

What was she running from? What was she worried about? Was she alright? 

She hadn’t even noticed the Battery doors open as she made it to her room. He wanted to ask if everything was okay but was afraid of the confrontation. He was never one to avoid things but what would he logically say after last night.

He walked through the Battery doors, glancing around the mess. There wouldn’t be anyone out here, it was late at night. 

He moved over to her doors, he didn’t use his override to open in and opted to just knock. He fixed his civies to make himself feel presentable.

“Shepard...? You alright?”

It was quiet for a few moments before she spoke. 

“Umm yeah... why?”

He stared ahead at the closed door, curious as to why she didn’t open it.

”Just saw you going for a midnight jog across the mess.” He coughed a little into his fist before adding very quietly. “Practically naked.” 

“I heard that.” Garrus’s eyes widened and he felt his neck warm for a moment. She was right behind the closed door. “You got me on your camera feed or something?” She said it playfully suspicious at him. “There better not be a bug planted in my room... I’ll report you to H.R. Better yet was there a bug in your room?”

He laughed again and leaned his head against the door. He wanted to see her. He wanted to touch her. He still had to apologize too.

”If you’re going to speak to this ’H.R.’, can you let them know my second in command has been coming onto me?” She was quiet for a moment. Did he say the wrong thing? He was only trying to play along with her.

”I’ll let them know... but I’ll let them know you like it.”

He leaned up off the door, ready to move away. She seemed fine and he was wanting weird things right now. Wanted to talk to her, avoid her, and pin her to wall, he should probably go for that last one alone.

”Do you want me to open the door, Garrus?”

He took a deep breath, looking around the mess again, checking to see if any crew was around. No, he needs to figure his shit out before anything.

”As much as I’d like to figure this out...”

”It’s alright... really. Just wish, I remembered something, you know.”

He heard her huff out a sigh, her voice sounding closer to the ground now. She was probably sitting against the door, down on the floor. He turned and leaned his back against the door and slid down to the floor. She took another deep breath, loud enough to hear through the door.

“I want to say I’m sorry... I was drunk... but I really wouldn’t mean it.” 

He huffed out some air and closed his eyes. His body started to cool off from the image he’d seen moments ago. He could stay and talk, the door could stay closed and they both would be fine.

”You know... it’s alright.” It really was, at least for now. “I’m not upset or anything, I wanted to attempt an apology too.” He wasn’t really upset. Hypothetically, he would’ve thought he would be. He thought if something like this had ever happened, dread would fill him, he’d be angry, he wouldn’t be in control.

Instead, he was at ease about the whole situation. He too only wished he could remember what happened last night.

He lowered his voice so that if anyone was around wouldn’t hear him. “I really don’t think we slept together... Shepard.” 

A moment later the doors suddenly opened and he fell backwards onto the floor. Shepard stood above him in her signature tank top and shorts. He had an excellent view of her long legs leading up to her lean stomach that was hidden behind her tank. She held a pillow in her hands.

”What did you just say, Vakarian?”

He watched her as she didn’t make a single move, she waited for him to speak. The way his last name rolled off her tongue was beyond sultry. “I’m.. uh... fairly certain we didn’t sleep together.”

Her eyes squinted at him. She grabbed the pillow tight, launching it onto his clothed chest, she smacked him twice as he attempted to protect himself. 

“You were just going to let me figure it out, weren’t you?” She smacked him again. “Good thing I like you or I’d smash you in the door like those bugs.”

She relented and sighed as she fell to her couch, throwing the pillow over her face. It left the rest of her exposed as she stretched across the couch.

He sat up and scooted into the room before she decided to use the doors against him. He didn’t move from the floor, the more space between them the better.

”Then what did happen, Garrus?” She spoke into the pillow, barely hearing her. Her words were muffled by the feathers.

”Uhh... do you want me to make something up? Because I have no idea. Might not be a good story, my imagination is one of my poorer qualities.”

A laugh fell from her lips before a few more fell out, she pulled the pillow from her face, tucking it under and turning to lay on her side and look at him, a smile wide across her face. 

“A girl can only think that certain things took place...I mean come on, I woke up without underwear on.”

His head tilted to the side. What was she talking about? What’s underwear?

”Can you maybe...uhhh elaborate?”

She rolled her eyes and made herself more comfortable on the couch. “Elaborate... what exactly?” 

“What’s underwear?” She gave him her best ‘are you serious’ look.

”Turians... aren’t you guys supposed to be the smartest strategists in the galaxy? How do you not know what underwear is?”

She chastised him and he enjoyed it. She was so witty. He leaned forward, his butt starting to hurt from the hard ground against his not so padded bottom. It was fine so long as space stayed between them. He leaned his arms on his knees, playing with his talons as a comfortable silence fell between them.

Her hair was twisted into a rope, so only a few wet hairs fell out near her face as she smashed her face into the pillow. She watched him for a moment before shutting her eyes. 

“So... where are we headed to next?” She didn’t bother to open her eyes, she lied so still, he almost thought she might be trying to fall asleep. Wasn’t sure if she meant them or the mission. He went with the safer topic. Strategy.

“Heading to Virmire, have a bit of way to go. The relays out there take a little longer to push through. Maybe a few days.”

She nodded into the pillow, giving him the non-verbal response. He pulled open his omnitool, checking through some of his messages. He seemed to be comfortable just being around this girl, one who also made him so uncomfortable. He glanced to her again, her eyes still closed.

“I was showering and the shower a few stalls down was running without anyone in it. Turns out Chellick was using it, I slipped and fell to my ass and then ran. Saw a little more than I should’ve on him, like you know.” Her hand hovered over where his plates would be, but on her body.

His eyes snapped up, a burst of red flashing in his vision. He gripped his own wrist tightly, attempting to control the anger rising through himself. His mandibles flexed, Chellick had seen her nearly naked and she’d seen him completely naked.

He gripped himself harder, he couldn’t freak out, he didn’t have anger issues, where was all of this coming from. He hadn’t even seen her clothes less, and he’d woken up next to her.

”I guess.. it was alright never seen a... you know... Turian pen—“

”Shepard... don’t say what your about to say.”

Her eyes opened wide, making quick eye contact at him. She watched him closely, he knew she was watching him loose it, that’s what's happening right now. He crossed his arms across the tops of his knees, hiding his head. He couldn’t be mad at his best friend. He couldn’t. 

”Did anything else happen?”

Shepard sat up onto her elbow, watching him, her other hand stroking the rope of hair nervously. She shook her head. “No, he helped me up and I left.” It didn’t help that Chellick had told him he thought she was good looking.

It made him mad that Chellick had seen more of her than he gotten to.

It made him mad she’d seen him, and had seen him out of his plates.

It made him mad that he still couldn’t move from his spot.

It made him mad that he couldn’t will himself to move towards her. 

It made him mad he couldn’t just pick her up and throw her on the bed and take care of everything.

It was beyond frustrating, she was right when she said he was going to fucking combust. He had to go. He wanted to mentally settle shit with Chellick, he wanted to fight, and he wanted fuck Shepard. He had to do it in that order. He couldn’t take his anger out on Shepard. She’d end up bruised again or worse. 

He moved to stand up, planning to make his way out. She watched him from her reclined position, looking over him fully. Her eyes quickly glancing to his abdomen then back up. Her eyes sparkled with a hint of mischief as a small smirk rested on her lips.

”Are you running off on me because I saw him?”

Garrus watched her a moment, her voice willing him to calm for the slightest moment. 

“Garrus...?” She sat up into a regular sitting position on her couch, her hands resting on her knees. Ready to stand at a moments notice.

He moved forward towards her, aggressively. Barely knowing he was doing it at this moment.

She stood at the very last second. It was good because he really, really had no idea what he was doing at this moment, his reflexes taking control. He gripped onto her biceps tightly. Briefly meeting her eyes before he moved in closer to close the space between them. 

Their lips met for only a second, barely a touch. But that wasn’t all he wanted, he wanted more. When she started to back away from the surprising kiss, he didn’t let her move far. His hard mouth assaulting her soft, perfect lips.

They both fought for control over the situation, neither giving in. Their tongues met within seconds, his stroking hers frantically. He didn’t just want her, he needed her. She tasted like everything he’d never allowed himself to have. 

Her soft hands fell to his neck, stroking up to back of his head where she tried to stand on the tips of her toes, attempting to wrap her arms around his neck. She was making sure he couldn’t escape. He was fine with it, his plates were practically itching to open. He used what little control he had left to stop himself from coming out to soon. 

He bent down only slightly to grip onto her thighs and give her a tug upwards. She jumped up to wrap her legs around his hips, his hands holding the backs the her soft legs so she didn’t fall as she assaulted his mouth. She pressed her body closer. Her mouth warm and inviting.

Her arms banded even tighter in an attempt to hold herself where she was. He greedily welcomed her arm muscles constricting around his neck. It felt so good just to let go. Just to indulge.

He took the few steps to her bed, placing his knee onto the mattress. He dropped her and himself without creating more then a few inches between them. He pressed her into the bed, his hand running up and down her soft thigh, little bumps scattering across her skin. His other hand sneaked up to her waist, pushing her shirt up a little. She gasped as his hand ran along the skin, stopping at the set of bones above her small waist. She was so soft and so inviting, her skin sending electricity through his hands. He let his talons lightly grip along the back side of her ribs, causing her to arch her body into his chest, she broke the kiss.

He took her gasp as a pause from their furious kissing to catch air. He nuzzled her neck, she was too soft, he wouldn’t be able to nip her. He took in her smell, she smelled even better now that she was freshly showered. He could only imagine something like this had happened last night, well.. to some severity. He would make up for it. Though reality began to set in again.

The smallest problem was he hadn’t thought this far. For being a strategist, this was extremely poor planning. He could just fake it till he made it, but he wanted it to be good, the best. What would she like? What wouldn’t she like? He wanted to know what he was getting into.

He hesitated for a moment, leaning up onto his elbows on either side of her head, staring down at her. Her lips red and raised even more so after their rough kisses, her eyes glistening. Her one leg still hooked over his hip spur, she rolled her body up into him, just to tease him, he was sure. He groaned as she grinded up against his plates. He was so close to throwing it all out the door.

”Lieutenant Commander to the bridge. Shepard?”

She looked up at him and brought her hands up to neck, stroking the skin behind his mandibles. He shifted his weight, pressing her further into the mattress with his hips. His hand moving to hook behind her leg over his hip, right along the back of it, bumps littered her skin again. He wished he didn’t have clothes on, and he wished she didn’t either.

He ran his hand down the soft skin, moving along the length down towards where her legs met her hips. She gasped quietly and bit her lip, her eyebrows meeting together, he was going in the right direction, at the very least. His talons lightly scraped along the inside of her thigh. A different noise fell from her lips. She quickly put her palm to her mouth, Mauro could’ve heard her.

”Shepard to the bridge.” This time it was louder, across the whole ship and now she wouldn’t be able to escape. She sighed deeply with a hint of frustration catching as she huffed it out. She nudged him off to side, he moved over to let her by. Taking a seat at the end of her bed, his plates nearly spent from waiting, he was so close.

She pushed up off the bed and threw a pair of slippers on. She glanced at him, a sly look on her face. Now that she was moving the air felt thicker, he could smell her. It went straight down to his groin. 

”I’ll be in the bridge in a moment!” 

“Copy Lieutenant.” The com blinked off leaving them alone again. She grabbed her jacket and slipped it over her shoulders. 

“I know you didn’t mean to do that... and I’ll give you a pass. You should go to your room, if I come back and you’re still here..” She shook her head, her twist of hair wagging with her along her back. She didn’t trust herself either. 

“I will leave but...” He stood up from the bed, it groaning back to life under his weight. He stood to move in front of her. “This will be both our last chances to back out for now. The next time ‘this’ happens, I won’t stop and we’ll be dealing with other consequences all together.” Shock fell across her features, she took a little step forward.

”I’d dare you.”

He had said it as an attempt at gaining the power he needed back. She wasn’t taking the power on purpose, it’s just how the cards were dealt, he understood that. Next time they’d sleep together and he would hope that would be enough, enough to break through the sexual tension that permiated the air when they were together. He kind of hoped that was all he’d need from her. A fuck. Just one.

She nodded to him, staring at his still clothed chest. She glanced down, shying away and then turned and hurried out the room. Maybe he should just stay, they could take care of the stress between them once and for all. 

He looked down at his palm, feeling her soft skin was beyond addicting. It was so smooth, and the way she gasped so quietly, perfect. The way her hips rolled into his, all he’d felt was plates shift open. He’d never wanted any woman like this.

The only fear he had was that he had no idea what he was doing. He’d do some research. Figure it out and make it worth it.

When the coast was clear, he headed up his cabin and changed. He’d fight anyone and anything right now. He needed to destress and  figure out what’s going to be safe as far as Shepard goes. And what wasn’t. He’d obviously had made his decision regarding Shepard. 

Chapter Text

Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god. What just happened?!

Shepard rushed around the corner and slid into the elevator, riding it up. Girl get it together, it’s not like it’s your first time or anything.

One moment she was controlling her urges, keeping her hands to herself on the couch and the next he had her picked up and pinned her to the bed. It was beyond hot, she had been beyond aroused, and she wished she didn’t give him an out as she left. No, she respects him too much to leave not a single option for him. It was even better when he refused her offer.

And where his hand was going... ugh.

Why did Mauro have to interrupt?

When she grinded up against him, she wondered if all Turians were the same. Did they all have the goods hidden? She wasn’t even sure what she’d seen with Chellick. The room dark and steamy, she’d barely seen anything and it definitely wasn’t long or all the way out or something.

She shook her head of the thoughts as she stepped onto the bridge. Mauro was there alone, working on some data at the C.I.C. He glanced up and then spoke to her. 

“Ah... Shepard... I apologize for the interruption in the middle of the night. You have an urgent vid call to attend to. It’s in the war room. Said it was Alliance.”

She nodded and moved into the weapons locker and pushed into the next room. She hoped whoever it was, probably Hackett, would forgive her state of dress. Sleep wear isn’t exactly formal.

She stepped into the room and looked around, she walked up to blinking panel and pressed a button. The holo appearing.

Static shattered the image from being visible, she couldn’t make out who it was at all.

”Lieutenant Commander Shepard... or Officer Shepard should I call you?” The holo took a silent moment before continuing.

”Aren’t you a bit out of the whole military thing? I thought you’d found your calling as a C-Sec agent. Thought you’d caused enough trouble on Akuze and hit that retirement sweet spot.”

She crossed her arms, this was not the Alliance. Nor was this anyone she knew. The man’s voice deep and antoginizing. She squinted her eyes. 

“Who are you? What do you want?” The character let out a chuckle.

“You and your little Spectre are nothing more then pests... you should watch the toes you step on. Especially if your stepping on them in bunny slippers. Did I wake you?” She wished she had the capacity to trace the message. This guy was an asshole.

“Who are you?” She demanded.

”Nothing more than a man trying to make sure we have the opportunity at a brighter future.” The static fluttered through the image, distorting the imagine even further. She wanted to call someone in here, she wanted to make sure she wasn’t seeing things. And she wanted to know who this was. 

“Shepard... you’re a smart girl. You’ll figure out who we are. I have a little surprise for you, I hope you get to Virmire soon.” The static buzzed through the room. “I look forward to meeting you in the future.”

The holo disconnected. She glanced around the room unsure of what had just happened. She quickly headed to Mauro who still running a few things on his datapad. 

“Mauro... where did that message come from?” He glanced up and shrugged. 

“It came through Alliance, ummm... give me a moment.” He browsed through his datapad. She leaned up against the C.I.C. waiting for him. 

“Came through under an Adm. J. Hackett. Originated from Rio de Janero, Earth.”

She squinted her eyes for a moment, thinking. Who the hell was that. It wasn’t Alliance, nor Hackett, nor anyone she new. They had said she was stepping on toes. Who’s toes? Cerberus? She couldn’t help but get the feeling. Hackett more than likely wasn’t on Earth, he was usually on a space fleet. 

Could they hack the Admirals extranet address? Probably. Literally anything could be used as a transponder these days. Slipping into someone’s address was almost as easy as baking a pie, of course you’d have to know how to make it but anyone could learn.

What the hell is the surprise on Virmire too?

She wanted to chalk it up to some kids playing a game but really it probably wasn’t. She should tell Garrus. Although he seemed agitated when she left as it was.. and she was almost a hundred percent sure she wouldn’t be able to focus around him right now.

And at the moment, every time she thought of him, her mind drifted off to her being so close to being royally fucked, in more ways than one. So freaking close.

But she had to tell him, this could affect the whole mission on Virmire. Maybe it was a trap, she didn’t want to risk the team. And further more she knew Garrus wouldn’t risk it. 

It was her job. She could do this, right? She took a deep breath and pushed off of the C.I.C. and headed to the elevator. 

She stared at the buttons in the elevator, the four different options to take. Her finger hovered over Captain’s cabin for a moment. She took a deep breath and pressed the button. The doors shutting and taking her up a floor.

The doors slid open faster than she’d expected, jolting her in surprise. She hadn’t been nervous a moment before, must’ve been just thinking about him. She willed herself to calm down and act coolly besides they, the thing between her and Garrus, couldn’t happen yet.

She’d just let him know what had happened and she’d leave. Like her job told her too. 

Yeah, that’s it. You can do this.

You got this.

The doors red light beeped indicating it was locked. She walked up to the door, it instantly turning green and sliding open. Garrus had allowed her access to his room without any need to contact him or ask. She glanced into the room, stepping in and looking around.

He was nowhere to be seen. He kept his room so tidy, only a gun sat on his coffee table, her gun. And her clothes from last night lay across the back of his couch. 

She picked it up, checking it out. Her finger slipped through a hole in the back of the dress. New holes that hadn’t been there before. She tossed the dress down where it had been laying.

He might just owe me a new dress. 

She turned from his room and heading down to the other area she knew he would be at. The sparing mats.

She took the elevator down. At least, he’d be in a public space and they couldn’t get carried away. She silently praised and cursed whoever had sent him down to sparring mats.

Both, definitely both.

She walked into the cargo bay to an interesting picture. Garrus had been busy in the half hour or so she’d left him. She found him being ringed up by Wrex against the wall. 

Hopefully, this was just a spar and not a fight, she did not want to break up a fight. It was the last thing she wanted to do at this moment.

”Guys?” 

Wrex sneered at Garrus and let go of his civies, dropping him back to floor and stepping back. Garrus squinted at Wrex, then turned his gaze to Shepard as she strolled up. He pressed his clothes down with his palm acting like nothing had happened.

”Nothing. Shepard.”

Garrus shoved Wrex’s shoulder, pushing him back a step. Wrex turned the growl to Garrus. 

“Hey... Hey... I hope you were both sparring, I can’t deal with a fight right now... my fuse is literally this short right now.” She pinched her fingers in the air leaving the smallest space between them. “Garrus, I need to talk to you. Wrex, you can stay if you’d like... I have an issue.”

She rubbed her head and took a seat on a cargo box. “That message I just took was supposedly to have been from the Alliance, it wasn’t though.. someone hacked into Hackett’s extranet and used it to contact me.”

Wrex turned and stepped up, crossing his arms. “Who was it?” He growled it out. They had to have been fighting or something. Wrex only growled like that when he was combative and worked up. Well... really he was combative all the time.

Garrus stepped up next to Wrex, he looked small next to Krogan’s huge frame. Well maybe just smaller cause he was tall as it is. His eyes focused hard onto hers. She shrugged at Wrex’s question.

“He said he had a surprise on Virmire for us... or me.. either way, it could be a ruse to deter us or there could be an actual issue, I’m not sure. It had been definitely directed at me. He knows who I am and what we’ve been looking into.”

Garrus crossed his arms and tightened them across his chest. Shepard sighed tiredly, the day easily catching up with her. 

“I don’t know what you want to do Garrus, whether or not you want to risk Virmire... it could be a set up or even a ruse to deter us away.” 

Garrus looked to the floor to think about it for a moment. Wrex punched his fist into his opposite hand. “I say we make it hurt where it counts.. he obviously wants us to show up. Plus I don’t like this guy.” 

Garrus glanced up for a moment meeting her eyes, she’d been watching him closely. What should they do? 

Garrus nodded to himself. “I’ll think it over, and let Joker know to keep scans open when we enter Virmire space. I’m going to go speak to the Councilors right now.” Garrus looked between Shepard and Wrex, as much as she wanted to go up with him. Council business really didn’t involve her at this point. Though she should find out where Hackett is.

He gave her a brief nod and walked to the elevator swiftly. He maintained eye contact as the doors shut, leaving her alone with Wrex.

Wrex growled and lumped himself onto a cargo box it thudding beneath him, the cargo box was probably ruined now with a dent. He leaned forward, she could see him staring out of corner of her eye. He looked at her like he knew something she didn’t know.

”Wrex...?”

”Sheparrrrrd.”

”Wrex.”

”Shep.”

She sighed and closed her eyes, laying her forehead against her palm. He was so frustrating sometimes. 

“Don’t want to add to your issues... but I’m gonna have to leave soon.”

Shepard shot her eyes wide in his direction. “What?”

”Listen or don’t listen at all, Shepard.”

She rolled her eyes and leaned her head onto her palm, a sigh escaping her mouth for what felt like the thousandth time. Super frustrating.

“Clan Urdnot troubles.”

”I thought you were done dealing with Wreav.”

 “The asshole thinks he’s right about everything. There was a falling out with a scientist.” He looked angry by the way he spoke of him. She went back to staring across the room, hoping the elevator would open.

”Falling out?” She stood up and walked over to the crate that housed the alcohol. She picked up the almost empty Whiskey bottle and downed the rest of it. Wrex nodded at her in approval, standing up and moving to peak into the crate himself. Probably looking for Rincol, she wouldn’t tell him but it was at the bottom.

He shuffled through the crate, almost giving up. His eyesight caught the small barrel at the bottom and pulled it up, letting all the glass bottles fall into its place.

”Okeer, this old warlord who’s fallen off the deep end, was ousted off planet.. something of Blue Suns and a ‘pure krogan’. Whatever that means.” He cracked the barrel and tipped it over his mouth, chugging the Rincol down. Little bits of rincol splashed onto Shepard’s clothes. She scowled at him and his lack of care. 

Other things were on her mind. She wanted to run up after Garrus. She wanted to finish what he had started, she didn’t even care if what Turian males only had a slit and no dick, or that his talons would tear her apart, or that his teeth would literally pierce her skin. It didn’t matter. She wanted him in every way should could. She didn’t really want to hear about Wrex leaving, it had stressed her out even more than anything at this moment. Everything at this moment.

”You fuck the Turian yet?” She took another glug of the Whiskey, finishing off the bottle.

She really did not want to have this conversation. “Fucking Shepard.. you’ve always been ballsier than this, I might have to reconsider you as a friend.”

He slapped her back, pushing her into the cargo. She caught herself knowing it had to be coming. “Shut up Wrex.” 

“I’m surprised honestly that he hasn’t fucked you... if I had to pick a Human you’d be—“

“Don’t you fucking finish that, you asshole.” She turned around and gave his shoulder a shove, pushing him away. He squinted his eyes at her. 

“Joke.”

”I don’t care if it was a joke or the truth.”

”Just saying.. Turian shoulda finished the deed by now... any other real man would’ve.” He stood proudly acting like he was the real man. She rolled her eyes at him and moved away from the crate, leaving the alcohol tucked in it.

”I’m going to bed.. and I’m going to bed alone. Stay out of my business, Wrex. We’ll talk about you leaving later. I might not even grant your leave.”

She shuffled off towards the elevator and waited for it to be called to the cargo bay. She hopped in and stared at the buttons again. As the doors shut, she heard the Krogan yell across the bay. “I don’t work for you, you fucking pyjack!” That’s all he had? He knew he shouldn’t be pressing into her business like that, though she was almost sure he does it for fun.

Temptation slipped into her mind, maybe she should just finish this whole thing with Garrus. She could use the outlet at this point. She pressed the captains cabin button, and let it take her up to the top floor.

Chapter Text

“Councilor.. I’m not sure what your trying to say..”

A hush fell over the three councilors holos, it must’ve been day time on the Citadel or at the very least all three were readily available. There’d been speculation over the message Shepard had gotten. Bad speculation.

”Spectre.. I’m saying what if she’s lying. It’s so far fetched.”

Garrus flexed his hands and crossed his arms over his chest tightly. Really it wasn’t that far fetched, Shepard had been digging into things. Their claims were redundant.

Councilor Sparatus was starting to piss him off. Shepard wouldn’t lie and she has yet to lie about a single issue, in fact she was more honest than any Turian he’d ever met.

“Shepard has been nothing but honest, truthful and upmost helpful. I don’t believe she has any malicious intent or motivation to lie.”

He watched each of the Councilors, waiting for one of them to react. Councilor Tevos spoke up. Offering backup.

“Shepard was hand picked to assist the Spectre given this touchy subject involving Cerberus. Why would we think now there may be a soft spot with her involved? Spectre Vakarian believes her to be an ally. As I do.”

Coucilor Valern baubled her mouth in distaste. “It’s beyond far fetched! Why would some random man call her with threats... you’d think they’d contact you. Wouldn’t you?”

Garrus sighed. The Councilors were dumber than he thought sometimes, here he was putting up a serious issue that’s come up and here they are saying Shepard’s lying instead of dealing with the issue. Well both Sparatus and Valern anyway, Councilor Tevos knows Shepard wouldn’t lie. But seriously, even Sparatus thinks she’s making it up.

This is ridiculous.

The war room was silent for a moment before Garrus spoke again. “This whole call was just to confirm that you have an STG squad on Virmire, and they are a hundred percent positive they are still there, Councilor Valern?”

Valern squinted her eyes at Garrus for pointing her out. “We are positive.”

”Then we will continue to head to Virmire space, if you are lying Coucilor and my team is put at risk...”

”That’s what the last mission report from STG was labeled.”

Garrus nodded to confirm the information from the Councilor. It really wasn’t a good enough answer.

Speaking to each and everyone of them, gave him the eeby jeebies. They were all so snake like and didn’t seem to care who they might put at risk. It annoyed him. 

“I believe that’s it... Spectre stay with me. I’d like to speak.” The other two Councilors holos disappeared and left Sparatus with Garrus. 

“Now I’ve never known you to follow exactly in your fathers footsteps... but don’t you think you’re straying off the path a little here?”

”Councilor.. I don’t...”

”Defending Shepard... do you really think she’s a hundred percent truthful? Seriously, she ‘survived’ Akuze by herself. It’s all a well known Alliance lie and cover up.”

He took a deep breath and continued. “Alliance probably told her that the STG team, didn’t need saving.” Garrus’s mouth hung open. What has gotten into everyone lately? He just blatantly called something Shepard barely got out of alive, a lie. Nothing more than some whim the Alliance had told everyone. 

He was wrong, he knew Sparatus was wrong. Shepard didn’t lie about anything, she’d saved his life, he had to give her credit in some part of this situation.

”Councilor... all do respect... where it’s deserved.” Garrus took a deep breath, he was really going to do it, wasn’t he? “Shepard hasn’t lied to me once. She’s earned my trust to believe every word that comes out of her mouth. You placed her as my second, and you only spoke highly of her.”

Sparatus shook his head. Garrus knew he wasn’t playing the game right with the Councilor, but he needed to defend Shepard. She didn’t deserve any of the words that the Councilors spoke earlier.

“Garrus... are you getting attached to your little Human? Do we need to rescind the offer, we made to Alliance?”

Like hell he would. This was by far one of the best teams he’d ever had.

”If you don’t believe Shepard.. than believe in me. I’m making sure that this ship will fight another day, for you. Don’t patronize it’s crew because of ill-will towards Humans.”

A flick of Sparatus’ mandibles told him he was happy with the answer. What is wrong with these Councilors, are they all backwards? 

“Just don’t want you doing something your father wouldn’t be proud of, that’s all.” Garrus pressed the button and hung up the line. Fuck him, Sparatus made him so mad.

And further more it’s seemed like he knew what was happening between Shepard and him. There’s no way he would have been able to hear his subharmonics through the holo when he said Shepard’s name. How did he know? Was he just pretending to know? Garrus wasn’t really sure.

He sat down into the corner of the room onto a crate, he’d been arguing with the Councilors for nearly an hour. It had been beyond exhausting and he still didn’t really get to an end point. 

He still wasn’t entirely sure he should take the team to Virmire. It would be safer to send a one man team to scout. That’s a good idea. 

He quickly stood at the holo desk and punched in an extranet address. Nihlus.

The request was sent, so he sat and waited and waited. Just as he was beginning to nod off, he heard the familiar holo approval wake him. He shot up and moved to the holo.

”Vakarian, to what do I owe the pleasure?!” He trilled happily. Nihlus had been the best Commander he’d ever had and had always been more than helpful whenever he asked. Hopefully, he could take ons he request as a Spectre.

”I need your help.”

Nihlus smiled happily, his mandibles flicking away from his face. 

“What can I do for you?”

”I have reason to believe that an STG group is stranded on Virmire and in need of assistance. I’m getting conflicted views on whether or not it may be a ruse or not.”

Nihlus nodded understandingly and crossed his arms over his chest in a thoughtful pose. 

“I could join you. I’ll run a recon and see what’s going on, what makes you think twice about this?”

”Shepard recieved a message from an unknown person it could be ruse or it they could be trying to turn us away from helping, not sure.”

”Shepard... Shepard... that’s a Human name? Alliance Navy?”

Garrus turned his head away. Nihlus has no idea about the crew, he just busted this one himself. 

“Uh yes, my uhhhh...”

”You don’t have to explain it to me, I’ll see soon for myself what the council has got you plates deep in.” Garrus nervously laughed at the plates deep part of the sentence. He would say that, considering he had been litterally two seconds from being plates deep with Shepard before this nightmare of a night began.

Spirits, he wished he was with her right now.

She calmed himself and his mind. Something he needed right now.

He’d left her down in the cargo bay. He wanted to take her up to the meeting with the Councilors but decided against it. They were his problem to deal with.

Was she still with Wrex or had she gone to bed? He didn’t even really want anything from her at this point in the night, just wanted to be around her. It was a nice change that he was easily growing addicted to.

”Right... where should we uhh... meet?”

“Have you passed the Attican Beta?”

Garrus assumed probably not, if not they could flip a quick U-turn. Getting there shouldn’t be a problem.

”Port on Feros, I know a friend their who can keep an eye on my ship while I’m galavanting across the universe with you.”

Garrus nodded as he recieved the coordinates at the same moment. “I’ll do a quick run by of Virmire since I’m heading that direction and then meet you on Feros.”

“Sounds good, Nihlus thank you.”

”See you in a day or so.”

They hung up the line of conversation and sat back down onto his box in the corner. He thought for a few moments before he headed up to his cabin.

When the door opened to his cabin he was hit with burst of smell that only meant Shepard. She was in here somewhere or had been here. He stepped into room and down the stairs examining the room. She was nowhere to be seen but his room smelled like her. Maybe she had stopped by looking for him then left when she didn’t find him. 

He began to pull off his civies, focused onto the bed. He was lucky he found an additional comforter hiding, Shepard had stolen his earlier and had yet to bring it back. It didn’t really matter, it just gave him yet another excuse to stop by her room.

He pulled back the blankets and threw his civie shirt off onto the couch, which upon second inspection held his comforter. The small groan came from the comforter causing Garrus to jump a little.

She had brought back the comforter and was balled up in it, on his couch. All he could see was a pair of feet sticking out the bottom of the blanket mountain. She must be asleep. He figured he’d pick her up and move her to her room.

He picked up the balled up blanket, he wanted to just keep her in his room but it felt like to much of a temptation. Plus if anyone went looking for her and found her up here, that wouldn’t look good.

She weighed maybe half of what he weighed, it really wasn’t that hard to pick her up. While she was fairly tall, the widest part of her was her hips and still not really not big so much as she was fit and muscular. 

A sound of something dropping out of the blanket halted his attention for a moment. An old omnitool? Shepard had an implant, why did she have this? He’d check it out when he got back up to the room.

He made it to her room without event or being seen. It was halfway through the night cycle, no one should’ve really been around anyway.  He settled her into her bed, and she wiggled into the bed getting comfortable. She let out a happy sigh as he pushed the blanket out of her face. She smelled like the Whiskey she had the other night when they were down in the cargo bay. It didn’t smell bad on her at all.

He watched her for a moment, he couldn’t believe he liked her, a Human. She got his plates itching like they hadn’t been used in years. If anyone had told him two months ago that he’d find a Human attractive, he would’ve shot them in the gut and would told them how ridiculous they were for thinking of anything like that. Now he wouldn’t say so much.

Shepard was different, she’d been different from the beginning, really. Different than anyone in the universe he’d ever met.

He hesitantly reached his hand up to her chin, moving his thumb to stroke the padded bones of her cheeks. She wiggled again and he pulled away, moving away from her. He didn’t want to wake her.

He left her room and locked the door leaving her to get her sleep. He headed back up to his cabin in hopes of getting sleep too but thoughts began to fill his mind.

He picked up the omnitool dropped and opened it up. It looked to be owned by someone by the name of Alesseo. He flipped to the messages and read the last out going message to a Laari. Something about betraying a friendship and a plee. 

Why did Shepard have this? He’d question her another time, so he tossed it up onto his coffee table with the ever growing collection of Shepard things.

He lied down after undressing and filtered his thoughts of the day.

The Councilors had pissed him off tonight, he really hoped Nihlus would be safe traveling to Virmire and once again, Shepard. 

He found himself lying in bed, sleep being the furthest thing away from him at the moment.

He pulled up his omnitool in sheer curiosity. He hadnt had the opportunity to research, and after today’s event, he needed to.

Maybe a fornax could give him tips. Though he couldn’t believe he was consulting a fucking erotic magazine for help. It was almost embarrassing. 

He did a search on the pairing, not a whole lot popped up. He had found a Turian special edition that featured a plethora of cross-species couplings, he hoped there might be something within it binds. Or at least something to give him a sense of direction. Really anything.

He rolled his eyes and flipped through the pages quickly he didn’t care for much of anything so far in it. Even an Asari coupling could work right?

He came across a page with a Human and a Turian pinning her up against the wall. The visual image of it really didn’t get him going. He read the header of the ‘article’.

If that’s what you would call it. Hah.

’Taboo on Palavan’

He rolled his eyes at the dumb name, not like any Turian would be stupid enough to fuck a Human on Palavan.

He flipped the digital page and he wasn’t really sure what he was expecting but it wasn’t ‘that’.

The Turian had the Human bent over an old Palavanian styled couch, one hand on her, very foreign looking, chest and the other between what looked to be her legs. He was plates deep in the girl with her bent over, it caused his own plates to stir for a moment. 

So they would work. It would work. He continued his research.

He glanced to the words on the corner attempting to take his focus off the risque image. It was a short blurb about something inconsequential to the couple desecrating the couch.

He looked at the picture one more time before turning the page. The next set of photos were a hundred more times dirtier than the last page with the couch. With various positions, he wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.

This whole situation reminded him of his first time looking at Turian erotica. He’d hadn’t quite grown into his hormones and literally jacked off every night after he’d stolen the magazine from Chellick’s stash. When he thought about it now, it was kind of disgusting. 

Where did the magazine go?

He shuddered thinking about it. He gazed back to the holo. Though looking at the various pictures didn’t really turn him on, it did but only a little.

He tried to picture Shepard’s face on the girl being fucked by a Turian.

Hed’ slipped out of his plates faster than he could even think of the mental image. Glad he was on top of his covers and not between them or they’d be soiled. He willed himself to go back between his plates but the last few days events rolled around in his subconscious. There was no willing his needs away. He was beyond stressed.

He sighed and decided a shower would be good for him and well the easiest cleanup if his was going to do this. Like a fucking teenager jerking off. Great.

He turned the water up and let it rinse down his body. His dark blue member glistening. This sucked

He wrapped his palm around himself carefully. Back when he’d done this a lot, he kept his Talons shorter and blunter, but given his better opportunities with women now a days, he rarely found himself in this position. He sighed and leaned his other elbow on the wall, resting his head on his forearm. 

He stroked himself lightly and carefully, giving him self a few testing pulls. It was going to be useless. He closed his eyes and tried something, he thought of a famous Turian actress who he’d found himself jerking off to more than once a week when he was younger. 

It didn’t do anything for him. Not a single ounce of pleasure came from thinking of the actress. The water still poured down across his shoulders, his thoughts shifted to imagining Shepard bent over the couch like that Fornax picture. 

He’d came faster then he’d ever came before and he was still hard, beyond hard. He continued but imagined himself fucking her just a few hours ago on her bed. He imagined her body to his best abilities but it seemed it was basically a Turian but with Shepard’s face. It worked for jacking off and got rid of his arousal but didn’t help the fact that he really didn’t know what to do. She was still so foreign.

The last drop of pleasure poured down his spine, out his member and into the shower. He felt gross and unfulfilled. He felt utterly unsatisfied.

Fucking her would be easy enough, making sure it was good was whole other side to the story.

He’d still have to figure it out. 

He passed out onto his bed, jerking off had provided him with a small release of stress, might’ve not been a great one but it still seemed to help. Helped enough to get some semblance of sleep after the day’s events.

 

He found himself awake early and decided on an early morning workout. Headed down to the cargo bay in hopes of some extra morning stress relief. But when he arrived that wasn’t to be found. 

Shepard was there, doing her stretching, workout thing. Where her ass was straight up in the air, in nothing but her very, very tight shorts and a sports bra. 

She caught eye of him and turned to look at him with sly face, wiggling her butt back and forth at him, with her face still down.

”I was starting to wonder how long it would take you to wake up..” She stood and turned striding up to him, not an ounce of fear in her eyes.

Her hand falling to his chest, stroking up and down the hard plates, her soft fingers touching the spaces between them made it feel like magic. Her hand slowly drifted down to along the soft skin of his waist, illiciting a growl from him. When did she learn that?

He watched her closely, she’d only touched him and he was nearly ready. She looked more than ready.

He quickly flipped her around and grinded himself against her very soft and padded rear end. He growled against her neck as he inhaled her refreshing smell, as a soft moan fell from her lips. He started to nip at her neck, she wiggled in his arms.

It was going to happen and it was going to happen now.

He ran his hands along her waist dragging his talons across her soft skin of her stomach and back leaving the tiniest red streaks, illiciting another beautiful sound from her lips. He pushed her forward so that her hands fell to the wall in front of her bracing herself. Her hair cascading around her.

“Garrus... please...”

He was more than ready to indulge her. More than ready. He pushed his loose pants down off his already de-plated self. Slick with lubrication, he pushed her tiny useless shorts down. 

“Please... fuck m—.” Beep. beep. beep.

He rolled his eyes and was ready to push forward into her. Ready to feel her around him.

Beep. 

Beep. 

Beep.

He shot up out of bed, and glanced around his room, breathing quickly. Fuck!

It had been a dream.

Fucking Spirits!

Chapter Text

After hearing multiple ship wide announcements, Shepard had finally rose from her bed like the waking of the dead. She’d been surprised to find herself cuddled up onto her bed. She could’ve sworn she’d fallen asleep in Garrus’s room.

All was well, well except for Joker’s current worries. He been hailing Zhu’s Hope for landing, and hadn’t received a single confirmation. 

“Nihlus.. says to land and check it out... Zhu’s Hope is close to the docking bay.” He looked up from the message on his omnitool, closing it out. “We should find out if this friend of Nihlus, Ledra, is alright... he’s supposed to be there.”

Shepard stood next to Joker. “Sure Garrus.. I love landing the Normandy in the middle of no where with no hope of escape.. it’s gives me this sense of fear and excitement..” The pilot pushed a few buttons and glanced back to the two of them. “mostly fear though.”

Garrus messed around on his omnitool, typing out a message or two, probably to this Nihlus. She had yet to meet the Spectre, from the way Garrus spoke of him, it seemed he trusted him immensely.

They waited a few more moments, waiting for any hails. Not even a single distress call.

”Let’s assume they’ve gone in dark. Let’s do a drop off, don’t want to risk the ship if it’s raiders. Shepard get ready, Li and Wrex too.”

She turned to him briefly before nodding and swiftly taking the elevator down. She alerted Li and Wrex to ready themselves. She’d finished suiting up when Garrus joined them readying himself too.

There’d been much space between them this morning then there had been last night. And while Shepard was okay with it, it left her wondering. He’d barely looked in her direction at all, but not standoffish nor lingering, just more or less like he was forcing himself away from her.

She determined she’d let him have this one. They’d have to focus, they were going into unknown territory with unknown enemies. Things could get dicey and their attention had to be at the forefront.

She piled on all the guns and ammo she could clip to herself while still being able to run. Wrex and Li did the same.

”Hey Garrus, I think I’ve been having a problem with this mod by the way... the one you put on my A.R.” Li picked up the gun acting like he knew what he was doing with it, but he didn’t, at all. The way he examined it told her as much. “It’s coils are getting jammed or something.”

Garrus rolled his eyes and chuffed out a laugh. “Li, who you trying to impress on gun talk?” Li shrugged and set the gun down. 

He examined the bottom of the gun. “The Krogan obviously. Wrex do you know anything about coi—.”

”The coils up there.” Wrex pointed to the top of the gun and Li shifted his view, scowling at the Krogan. Shepard stifled a laugh and went to pull out one of her A.R’s from the gun locker.

”Hah. Hah. Make fun of the guy who doesn’t know anything about guns.” He rested his hands on his hips and took a step away from the offending weapon.

”Probably just needs a new heat sink... use mine in the mean time.” Shepard passed him her gun and he took it and examined it. 

“Not to be rude but how does this work?” He lifted it up and glanced at the fabrication on it. It was a nice rifle, cleaned regularly, used rarely. A gift from Anderson on her 21st birthday. He had to hide the gift from all of the superiors, it had been Kailee’s idea. It was really a nice gun, too nice that she didn’t feel to use constantly.

“Point and shoot, has a balance mod and a recoil mod for accuracy, should be easy to use.” He nodded and patted her armored shoulder. “Right.. point and shoot. I got this.”

Shepard smirked at him as he walked by, Li was so funny sometimes, even when he wasn’t trying to be. Garrus piled on all his armor in record time as the rest of the crew waited for him.

”Docking now, you have ten minutes, and we’ll pull back. We’ll slide on back down on your order. Garrus.” A momentary pause settled before Joker rang through the hull again. “That’s what she said.”

The rest of them glanced to each other questioning what he said as Shepard giggled to herself as she leaned against the Mako. She hadn’t heard that in years. She burst out laughing at Garrus and Li faces, their mandibles twitching in confusion.

“Shepard.. do you mind enlightening us?” She laughed through her teeth as she tried to hold in. It took her a minute to calm back down before she smiled at them. 

“It usually follows something suggestive, usually very sexual if a woman were to say it. It’s from some ancient earth vids. Pretty dumb and pretty funny.” Li made an inquisitive face and thought for a moment.

”Would Damion laugh if I said something like that?” Shepard shrugged.

”Depends really. You could try it then just pretend it’s a Turian joke if he doesn’t get it.” She crossed her arms and leaned up off the car as they made their way up to the hull door on the bridge. “Or you’ll just embarrass yourself, which is equally funny.”

Li scowled at her before chuffing to himself. As they exited the ship, not a single person to be seen from the Colony on the docks. Worry fluttered through Shepard. Didn’t Garrus say that Zhu’s Hope was nearby shouldn’t there be at least one person around?

The four of them wandered off into the old Colony. Taking a few flights of stairs before coming upon a very guarded and blockaded Colony. Two people near the entrance bickering between each other.

One of them immediately went on guard and then swiftly put his gun down. “You recieved our S.O.S!” The other woman’s eye widened in surprise.

”We have help!” She skittered off away towards some of the small buildings that had been built.

The man who had been bickering with the lady, pushed aside a barrier allowing them into the compound. 

Garrus was the first to speak. “What’s going on around here?”

With Li’s help the man pushed the barrier back to keep their additional walls up from whatever was coming to get them. “You must speak with Fai Dan, he’s our leader. He’s away though.”

Garrus glanced around the very small Colony, no more than what looked to be maybe less than 50 people. “Where can we find him?”

The man stood near the entrance not following them in, it was a little weird that he remained by the entrance. Well, at least Shepard thought it was odd. Their behavior seemed odd. Shouldn’t they all be indoors from this threat? Shouldn’t they be on the verge of a mental breakdown or something? It all felt a little weird. 

“Fai Dan has taken some of the others away...”

Garrus glanced around the Colony again trying to make sense of it all.

”Where?”

The man swallowed and nodded. “They are down the ways, a little bit through the tunnels, we have a Geth problem. The halls are over run with them.” Shepard focused in on the the man they were speaking to. So they just had to find this Fai Dan? Fight through some Geth, sounds easy enough.

The man continued. “If you can bring him back, it would be very helpful.” The four of them glanced between each other. If the Colony was here and in tact, why had no one answered jokers hails to land? The air seemed odd on this planet, everyone was in perfect shape. Just a Geth problem, it couldn’t just be that.

“We’ll do that. Send me the coordinates” The man beeped them through then went back to resuming his guard. They moved through the Colony getting small requests for help like finding some batteries while they were out, restoring their water supply, and they had seem to have been running out of food.

They would offer them assistance, it was no skin off their backs to help the Colony. But they’d yet to find Ledra. They had asked multiple people, all who asked if he was Salarian then followed by they hadn’t seen the Salarian in days. They mentioned him leaving over a fight between him and Fai Dan. Once again, the whole situation felt off. 

They made their way past the Colony and into the tunnels. Wrex and Li loving up ahead, somehow the Krogan gave Li a small amount of confidence in leading the pack. Something that he didn’t prefer to do, she took notice.

They’d opted for no helmets for this mission, it was indoors out a away from the elements plus it was just easier sometimes without it on to react to situation. 

She couldn’t take her mind off that feeling she had back in the Colony as they descended the stairs moving into a new hallway. She tugged Garrus arm before moving down the next set of stairs that Li and Wrex were already at the bottom of. 

“Hey Garrus?”

His gaze fell to her of course without glancing up to where they came from and where they were going. He was being cautious. “Yes, Shepard?”

She did a bit of glancing around, making eye contact or even looking at his face felt too intrusive for the mission. His visor flickered blue in the not so bright halls.

”So I don’t know if you got this feeling back there in the Colony. But this kind of feels like a set up or maybe they weren’t telling the truth or something to that nature..” She wasn’t sure herself, but the feeling was an honest one.

He thought it over for a moment. “Not sure I felt the same.”

Her eyes snapped back to his. He hadn’t gotten the feeling? Then what had set her off feeling like something was wrong? She couldn’t really pinpoint it. She felt kind of stupid for mentioning it now.

“What gave you that feeling Shepard?” She shook her head inconclusively. She had really no idea.

He nodded and tilted his head for them to move down the stairs to meet up with Li and Wrex. She nodded and took a few steps down. Garrus following.

”We’ll remain cautious.. I really wouldn’t want that feeling you’re having to come true.” Shepard nodded as they made it to a half crescent room. Wrex and Li peeking in. 

Li made a motion with his hands, there was action beyond this door. They moved in which had alerted the Geth units immediately. They all moved into action about six of them. And six small ones at that. This would be easy. 

Shepard pulled out her shot gun, Geth were really only a huge threat if they were Primes or if there more. They could close combat this easy. 

Wrex nodded to her and she him. She turned to Garrus and rose up her shotgun. He raised his eye brows and nodded. He wasn’t so great with a shotgun, or he would carry one. He nodded to them and grabbed his sniper for backing them up. 

Shepard followed up behind Wrex using him as cover. He ran and rammed a Geth unit, strapping his shotgun to its chest and blowing its pieces apart. She broke off to the right to a Geth unit that had focused in on the boys behind them, taking that one out too. Garrus got in a carefully placed headshot. And Li used a pistol. Probably a good idea, given the A.R. she gave him would probably put a thousand holes in the Geth and them.

Shepard examined one of the Geth she taken down. Talk had showed her what to do to take data chip but the area looked to be blocked by a metal cover. Something she had no idea what to do with. They should just leave them. She stood back up facing Garrus who was still in cover, his rifle still facing her.

”Shepard please... don’t move.”

She stared at him through the scope. She knew she trusted him not to hurt her. So she just stood there.

Wrex and Li had moved to the other room. A shot rang off and flew past her, whizzing as it cut the air. The sounds of electronics blowing up sounded off behind her and he stood straightening himself. That was a huge turn on in her world. She ignored the feeling.

”You alright?” He stuck his rifle back over his shoulder, pulling his A.R. over. She nodded to him and moved out toward Li and Wrex. 

They fought through a few more halls of Geth and these weird frog like Geth. They hopped every where and really the only way to get rid of them, shoot them a billion times. Easy peasy. Li was doing a great job, though she kind wondered if the new assault rifle she gave him, helped his aim or not. 

They’d found the power cells, took care of the nasty varren that had been killing off Zhu’s Hope’s additional food supply and had fixed the water rerouting issue. But they’d yet to find this Fai Dan, nor Ledra. The concern growing even more slightly for Shepard on whether or not Ledra was safe or not. Or even if this Fai Dan was okay. 

The headed into a garage after dropping off all the collected items with the Colonist’s and took direction towards the location point of Fai Dan.

They made their way to a garage, Garrus hailed Joker approving him to dock the ship where they been dropped off. The garage had a few underground passages. One of which  they headed into.

”I like moving further underground from the surface...” Li huffed out a somewhat desperate sigh. 

Wrex growled out a laugh that echoed on the walls as they moved further down the ramp. “Almost like your grave was built for you, huh?”

Shepard watched Li sideways glance to the Krogan. “No one asked for your weigh in, Grandpa. You’re closer than any of us to your grave. And not because you’re, what 1200?” 

Wrex mumbles under his breath. “730. And since I haven’t died yet... I’ve got bad news for you Turian. I’ll be the one to put you in your grave you keep talking like that.”

Shepard laughed a little under her breath. Sometimes Li needed the joking threats to remind him he was still here.. and enjoying himself. He’d expressed his ill-contempt with the Turian military and was glad to take these alternate steps away with Garrus. He wasn’t a Turian who needed orders barked at him and especially one that would profess his undying loyalty. It seemed he had no problem giving his loyalty so long as he was respected.

And Garrus gave him that respect, the same respect he offered her. Something that had somehow made her like him even more. He didn’t demand loyalty, and they gave it willing. 

This brought up something that hit her hard. Even the Alliance didn’t offer such loyalty. Sure, you’d get respect offered in awards and plaques and recognition. But somehow it was never enough, it was something that fundamentally bothered her about the Military. They’d covered up her past, threw an award at her and had expected her to stay with them. She glad she left when she did.

She made a mental reminder to ask Anderson, she hadn’t looked back on her past and questioned the way things had happened until this moment. She just sort of let them feed her what they wanted, she now questioned what the truth was.

It was odd that this just suddenly popped into her head, as they moved down the hall further and further underground.

”Shepard... Did you hear me?” 

Her head spun to Garrus, how long had she been out of it? He glanced ahead of them and then shifted his view back to her.

”No.. what did you say?”

He looked down between them. 

“We are going to follow up... we are getting close. I need you here, okay?” It bothered her that her mind had drifted off. She immediately nodded to him.

”Sorry.. you have my full attention, Commander.”

Garrus gave her a twisted look half way between upset and concerned. His mandibles flared out. 

“I’m really good, let’s go.” She brushed him off for a moment. Her rethinking everything had no place on this mission and she shut in a box and pushed it aside in her mind. Garrus needed her to watch his back, and she would.

He caught her armored clad wrist and pulled her back. Li and Wrex were nowhere to be seen in front of them, she glanced around then back to him. He stared intently down at her. They were so close, way closer than she expected.

”Shepard.. are you okay?” She turned her eyes away from him, she probably couldn’t hide. She gave a small nod to him. 

“You can’t close off on missions like this...I don’t want you distracted...”

”I’m not distracted right now, just kind of got wrapped up in my thoughts... I’ll tell you later. It’s not that important. I’m ready.” He seemed to like that answer better than any of the previous answers. It was good for her, she wouldn’t want him daydreaming when he should by watching her back. He pulled her along by her wrist, moving down the hall to meet up with the others. He let go after a few seconds knowing she was still following him. 

She readied her gun and focused her attention onto Garrus’s back. He need her here, and she would be.

Chapter Text

Garrus didn’t like her like this, drained, defeated and spiritless. She rarely fell into the mood but when she did, it seemed difficult to pull her back out. It’d only happened once and briefly on Noveria. As her Commander, he needed her at-most focus. As her friend, he needed to make sure she was okay. 

Humans seemed to be so emotional, willed by their thoughts and their actions. Rarely would he find himself in such a situation with a Turian. 

The blank stare she held as she stood there thinking. Thoughts flashing a mile a minute through her eyes, almost like realization of something hit her.

It was weird that he could see it happen. Even weirder she didn’t answer to his call as he spoke through the echoing hall. 

She seemed fine now, her footsteps exposing behind him attempting to catch up, she strides up next to him. He glanced to her, focus and determination in her eyes. She was back and ready.

They reached Li and Wrex within moments, they both waiting for signal before opening the door at the end.

It opened up into large garage passage. Giant vaulted ceilings to allowing a bunch of different types of vehicles to pass through them. Too bad they didn’t have a Mako or something to get them around quicker. Most of the vehicles looked pieced apart, completely unusable.

They set off on foot, getting closer and closer to the coordinates. Voices echoed across the walls, someone was in the middle of a vocal fight. 

As they got closer the words started to form intelligible words.

”You can’t be serious, this is all your fault!”

A rebuttal bounced off the wall a second later. “You know it was part of the deal, this whole thing!”

A woman’s voice came through clearly as they snuck down a ramp into a hold that looked to be a good hiding place. They huddled behind the cargo boxes that were piled up as a barrier at the entrance. The bickering continued between the two Humans down below the ramp.

”Ledra was not supposed to be apart of any of it! You’re to blame, not him! There was no deal!” A huff came through him as he knelt beside Shepard’s crouched body. She pointed up signaling she would peak over.

She slowly moved to look over the barrier, her butt jutted out as she squatted to peak over. He looked away from her, a stir coming from within him remembering his pitiful last night. Well.. the pitiful part was she was downstairs in her room and he was upstairs jerking off.

He was attracted to her, that much was obvious. To what degree. He had no idea. He kind of already made the decision to do something about it, he wasn’t sure to what extent. He kind of hoped she would be down for maybe a one and done. Hopefully that’s all he needed, was to have awkward interspecies sex and never want to do it again. Get it all out of his system.

She nudged him with her arm and he shot his eye sight to her. She held up her many digits minus two of the ten. There were 8 people in there. Including the two bickering idiots who had seemed to have stopped bickering.

She leaned in close to him and spoke into his ear. Her breath fanning across his face, his mandibles fluttered. “We should go in, they’ll know what’s going on, and where Ledra is too.”

He nodded in agreement, held up a small gun as they stood and moved into the concrete walled room. It looked to be an old cargo stash place. 

They walked in with their guns trained on the ground, unsure of whether these people were an actual threat. The odds were they weren’t. Most of them ran off to hide behind some the cargo. The man and the woman who were bickering, stood in their same spots. The man raised his hands in defense.

“We don’t have anything here...” The Human stammered our the words, shaking with fear. The Human must have thought they were robbing them.

”We are looking for Fai Dan of Zhu’s Hope.” The two in the forefront glanced to each other, the woman made a small signal telling them that the man next to her was indeed Fai Dan. 

“Are you Fai Dan? The leader of Zhu’s hope.” The man kept his shaking hands up, giving a small nod.

”What do you people need?” Garrus determined they weren’t a threat, at least not right now. They put there guns away, Li and Wrex moved to leave the area and stand near the entrance to make sure that no one popped in on them down in the hold.

”We are looking for you... seems you’re having problems. Among other things?”

The weasley man put his hands down to his sides and sighed. “Geth and plenty of them have showed up, they’ve dwindled our resources.”

Garrus took notice of Fai Dan’s wear as well as  the other people in the room. The rest of them looked to be scientists of some sort and the woman didn’t look to be either. He nodded to her.

”Who are you?”

She looked between Fai Dan and Garrus. “Names Araceli, been here for a few months.” Her terse answer left things to be answered. She didn’t imply much else but she stepped forward.

Fai Dan looked between Shepard and Garrus. “We need help, we were trying to release the data blockers the Geth placed on us. We have no contact to the outside world. If you could help...” 

Garrus looked to Shepard briefly before nodding. They could take care of it. Areceli stepped forward, my daughter is out there, I don’t know if she is okay. But if you find her please bring her back.” 

“We will, where are these transponders?” Fai Dan shared the information to Garrus’s omnitool, only two locations, should be easy. He nodded to them as they headed out of the hold. He looked at the interest points, they would have to travel through the waterways to get there.

They left Fai Dan’s group and began their fix of communications.

”Kind of weird that the Geth would put a transponder blocker under ground and in a water way, right? Or am I the only one thinking that?” Li made his way down the ramp, moving into waterway. Only a small amount of water remained moving down the way. This was probably used as a path now and no longer a waterway like it had been once long ago.

”You’re the only one thinking?” Wrex grunted at Li’s remark then added. “Only one thinking and talking.”

Li tossed the old Krogan a sideways look and moved along leading them. They only met a few Geth before the first transponder local. Li quickly disarmed it. And they moved further in down the water way. Only to hear a loud groan echo off the walls of the waterway. They all looked between each other wondering what that was. 

“What in he—“ Another sound tore through the waterway. 

Garrus looked to see some Geth moving out a doorway, pointing there guns inward. What ever it was it was in there. They began to shot those Geth, taking them down easily. They moved into the doorway they had come out of and found the second transponder there. Li quickly disabled it as another groan moved against the walls, whatever it was cried out again.

Garrus made the decision to move forward. They moved through the halls taking down the Geth with militaristic stealth, they didn’t even see them coming. They moved to a door which was trying to flutter itself shut. 

Li glanced back at them, moving forward to try and fix it. “Hold on I got thi—“ Before Li could step up Wrex shot the old number pad and the door slid open. 

“Done.” The Krogan trudged foward leading them into what looked to be an Atrium of sorts. A huge plant like thing rested in the middle of the room.

Shepard stepped up to peer to the top. “That’s a big plant.” He glanced off to the left. There was a ramp that led up to the higher levels, twisting its way to what looked to be the top of the Atrium.

They began moving up the ramp, the plants long arms stretching beyond its center confines and wrapping around the wall, a beautiful flower lie across one of them. It was enormous, almost life size.

Shepard stepped up to it and gave it a poke. “Ew... it’s squishy..” she poked it again then leaned it to sniff it to see if it smelled. Seemed like such a childish thing todo. It was kind of cute, her curiosity.

He glanced down from the second level that they were on, he could see movement on the higher levels. Just looked to be Geth. 

A yell from Li broke the silence in the Atrium. Garrus swiftly turned around to see Shepard caught head first in the flower. It’d shut its petals, gripping Shepard’s top half, her legs kicking about outside of it. Muffled noises came from the pod. “Get. Me. Out. Of. Here.”

Garrus grabbed his assault rifle, but he didn’t want to shoot it and hurt Shepard in the process. Wrex pushed him out of the way causing him to stumble away. 

“Fucking girl always getting herself in trouble.” He reached up and gripped the vine attempting to tear it off the wall. The vine was too thick for him to tug and rip it so he detached it from the wall and let it hang there.

He grabbed one of Shepard’s kicking legs, reaching for her boot and pulling out a huge hunting knife. It sliced through the vine easily.

Shepard and the flower fell with an ‘oof’ to the hard ground. The flower slowly opened up as it died, revealing Shepard. Shepard rolled to her back and stared at the ceiling, breathing heavily trying to take in the clean air. She was covered it clear goop, and honestly, it wasn’t a becoming look for anyone but she pulled it off. 

“I’ve had my moment of death for the day, you guys can leave me here.” She lied there seemingly traumatized by the flower and it’s goop. Her hair was sticking up in every direction from her signature bun. She was a mess. 

He offered her a hand to help her up and Li got her other arm as they both gave her a tug, uprighting her. She went to brush off her armor, but only found that her hands easily slipped down her chest. She grimaced as she glanced to her goopy palms. 

“Shepard, if you wanted you armor polished, you only need to ask. This seemed like the hard way going about it.” Li teased her, she gave him a punch to the chest shoving him him away from her. 

“This is so embarrassing.. can we continue on?”

She was all shiny dressed in the clear fluid, her hair, her face, and her armor. She’d need a shower when she got back, armor and all.

Li swiped some goop off of her and looked at it. “I hope you don’t mind us pressure washing you before you back on the Normandy, this stuff is gonna be sticky in no time.” He made an inquisitive face before speaking again. “I’m sure Mordin would love to take samples of you.” Wrex’s laugh boomed through the area.

Another gut wrenching scream tore through the Atrium. The all covered their ears, attempting to save their hearing from the noise. When it was over, they glanced down to the bottom of the Atrium. The plant thing moved slowly but it moved.

”Hey guys... I don’t think that’s just a plant..” Shepard nearly fell over the edge gaping at the thing, it was enormous. And it wasn’t a just a plant, but not really anything else either. 

Garrus retorted. “Really Shepard.... I was going to ask if the blood curdling scream came from you then?” She gave him a sly side look that looked fairly playful.

A rushing sound of something hitting the ground above them, they drew their attention upward. They walked up the ramp a bit finding that it was blocked here, there looked to be a staircase if they slid by the rubble. 

After getting the rubble out of the way they climbed the stairs. Only to come face to face with silhouetted creatures, they looked like Humans but as they shot one a few times, they just burst into ash. They fought off a whole army of them. They were easy kills. Even if they didn’t use bullets.

Shepard smacked the last one a few times before it burst into ash and floated around her. “So do we get an award for finding so many new species or what?” 

Wrex walked up to another one of the pods, he took Shepard’s knife and cut that one down too. Wrex was onto something, it was probably a good idea to get rid of those before they eat Shepard or anyone else again. 

They worked through the ash monsters quickly destroying a few more pods. The last pod that they popped fell to the ground opening up.

”What the fuck?!” Li jumped back away. The looked down to see its petals open up and reveal a green Asari. Shepard immediately knelt down and jabbed her fingers to the Asari’s throat. 

“Garrus, she has a pulse...” Shepard picked up the Asari lying her back against the wall in a leaning position. He looked over the Asari, they still had three more levels, how many more people were caught up in this plant?

Garrus left Shepard and Li with the Asari, he drug Wrex with him to finish with the higher levels. As they moved up and opened up another pod. A Human girl, must be Araceli’s daughter. She too looked to be passed out.

They leaned her up against the wall, she looked to be alive too. Garrus spoke into his com to Shepard. “Think we found Araceli’s daughter, Shepard.”

It was quiet for a moment as they climbed up a little further. One last pod. They popped that one open, out slid a Salarian. Must be Ledra. The plant down below let out a shrill, struggling for a moment before falling limp. It’s weight caused the thick vines on the wall to start falling, taking pieces of the Atrium.

”Uh...we better move, Turian.” Wrex hauled the Salarian over his shoulder as they started down the ramp. They stopped to pick up the Human girl, throwing her over Wrex’s other shoulder.

”Shepard, take the Asari and head out, this thing is going to take the place down!”

”Copy.”

Garrus and Wrex booked it down, the platforms above them were collapsing onto each other as the vined creature pulled the place down. 

They made it down to the bottom at the last moment, them both jumping out of harms way. The Human and the Salarian slid across the ground. Nothing more than a few bumps and scratches to each of them. 

As the dust began to clear, he could see Shepard picking up the Human, leaning her against the wall and Li got Ledra. Garrus moved to roll over into his back and take a few deep breathes. Another almost death scare, it seemed like this was now their everyday. Almost dying, it’s great.

Two of the three were coming to, slowly waking themselves. Shepard sat with the Human waking up and Li with the Asari. Garrus stepped up after glancing to Wrex who sat back huffing our air. He probably hadn’t charged like that in ages. Seemed to take a little toll on him. 

“Getting too old to be sprinting like that...” He lied back opening up his arms, making it easier for him to breathe.

”Where am I?” The Asari tried to move to stand up, Shepard shook her head and held her down. 

“You need to relax... “ The Asari drew her hand to her forehead, rubbing it trying to remember what had just happened. The Human next to her lulled her head back forth like she was falling asleep.

”Who are you?” Shepard answered the Asari’s question. Pointing to each of them. 

“Do you know who you are?” The Asari slowly nodded to the question. Realization popping up onto her face.

”Shiala.” She glanced between the four of them then stared at the crumpled up opening that had contained the creature.

“I was taken here... given to the Thorian. It’s dead?” Garrus nodded to her and stepped up and crouched next to her. 

“What do you mean given to the Thorian?”

She glanced between the two of them. “I don’t remember much, I was in a facility... for a while with others.” She shook her head and then glanced up between the two of them. 

Shepard knelt down to the ground making herself more comfortable. “Before that?” 

She leaned her head back against the wall. “I was on the Omega... not sure how that has anything to do with..”

Shepard glanced to Garrus making a face of concern. “We can get you back to Omega, but we’d like to know more about you... this facility and this ‘Thorian’.”

The Asari nodded to them slowly, still trying to regain her surroundings. The Human’s eyes finally fluttered opened. She had dark hair like Shepard only a little lighter, she looked to be shorter than Shepard too. 

Her eyes focused in on the Turian right next to her and she jumped back, screaming.

“ALIEN!!” She glanced off to her left and then her right and then screamed again. Her chest moved up and down.

Shepard reached over to comfort her. Stroking her arms to relax her. “It’s okay.. it’s okay.. we are here to help.” She spoke quietly attempting to relax her down. It was working, she slowly started to even out her breathing. 

They were in for it with these three. They still had to make the treck back to the Colony and Ledra had yet to wake. Hopefully he would, he’d hate to see Nihlus find out his friend wasn’t in the best of shape. Hopefully, he would wake.

Chapter Text

”Where am I?” The girl looked around, pulling her arms closer to herself. She looked around clearly frightened, of course she would be scared. 

“We are here to help, you’ve probably been out it for a while. What’s your name?” Shepard picked up her hand hoping to give the scared girl soothing comfort. 

“My name is Ashley..” Shepard noticed her focus shift past her, zeroing in on the guns on Shepard’s back. She looked like she was preparing herself to grab one. Shepard shifted away, watching Ashley’s movements carefully. 

“Do you even know what to do with one of these?” Shepard looked at her clearly exasperated. She didn’t need to fight off a Colony girl, the most she could is slap her hands away. Ashley nodded and fixed her eyesight onto the Krogan getting off the floor. She looked like she could shoot him if she was handed a gun. Might actually be funny if she did.

Shepard shook her head, actually she did not need her shooting every one either. Shooting Wrex would not go well at all. In fact, that would have the opposite effect.

”We are all here to help you, Ashley, do you know where you’re at?” She looked around, giving herself a moment to connect the dots before answering.

“I was taken here.. by robots .. or uh something like that.” She shook her head not believing the words coming out her mouth. “A plant thing... Thorian is what it called itself or something. Everything is just so blurry. This sounds so stupid....”

Shepard looked to Asari as she became more aware of her surroundings, Shepard wondered how long they’d been inside. Could’ve been days or even longer, who knows. Shiala’s story seemed to be aligned with Ashley’s story. 

“I heard it’s thoughts..” She looked to Shiala for moment. “I heard their thoughts..” Shiala’s head snapped to look at Ashley, surprise spreading across her face.

Shiala quickly added. ”I thought it was just me... the Thorian, it’s been here forever. It controls people with its spore things, it also used our mind to gain information.” She shuddered as she thought about it. Ashley finally relaxed at the moment, knowing someone had the same experience. Shepard was unsure of what to say.

What do you say? Who knows how many more people were trapped in there that never escaped? They’d never know now. The rubble was there grave now.

She stood and moved away from Ashley. The Salarian had yet to move and had become a concern. She tested the back of her hand in front of the Salarian’s mouth, hoping for a breath. 

Salarian’s generally breathed faster given their active, short lives, but she didn’t feel anything at all. She glanced up to Garrus unsure. What should she do? Did he even have a pulse?

She started to feel around his neck, his collar bone, and at the center of both, she found a faint heartbeat. His breath was so light it couldn’t be seen against the back of her armored hand.

”He’s still alive!”

Li was still next to him, quickly acting to lie the Salarian down. Shepard glanced to them, does CPR work just like Humans? She hoped it would.

She instructed Li on the chest compressions, he probably has fluid inside of him from the nasty Thorian goo. Li began some compressions, nothing happening. Garrus and Wrex stood by and watched. There wasn’t much else to do but hope this worked. 

Li stopped for a moment and Shepard leaned down to breath air into his body twice before Li began again. Shepard and Li continued with an even routine, goop slowly making it’s way out of his lungs. This wasn’t how she expected to kiss a Salarian for the first time, in fact she never thought this would ever happen. Thinking about it lifted the mood of her giving an almost dead Salarian CPR.

A grunt came from behind her. “Give me a try Turian, I like punching Salarians.” Wrex moved up close, Shepard gave him a dirty look, it wasn’t the time or place. This guy could die.

Shepard leaned down again, as soon as she left, suddenly the Salarian jerked forward coughing and sputtering out fluid onto the ground. He leaned over onto his hands and knees, weekly coughing out the rest of the fluid. Shepard patted him on the back, trying to help. 

She glanced up to Garrus who stood there staring incredulously. He probably had no idea what to say. He’d probably never seen CPR.

”If I knew Shepard had magic lips.. I would’ve died long ago.” Li fanned himself like he was hot, lightening the mood. Shepard smiled a little, shook her head to herself. She honestly loved that Turian’s gift of humor.

She patted the Salarian on the back, who seem to cough out the rest of the goop. Ashley scooted further away from the distressed Salarian. If Shepard had to say, she seemed a little xenophobic. She seemed like a nice girl, kind of a shame to waste breath on hating people or races.

Ashley’s face lit up with recognition for a moment. “Wait we aren’t on the Citadel, are we?” Shepard shook her head, still comforting the coughing Salarian as he finished. 

“I was on the Citadel on shore leave... I was at the bar. The military is probably looking for me!” She boxed her hands around her face, starting to freak out again. She began to shake with anxiety.

Wrex muttered from behind Shepard. “Everything sets these damn pyjacks off.”

Garrus moved off to the side, probably listening to his com. The connection down here was probably shotty, it was surprising he got any connection. The Salarian sat back onto his heels and looked between everyone. 

“Where are we? Who are you? Thanks for uh.... doing whatever you did.”

Shepard held him up offering him support, giving him a firm look. “Didn’t think I’d be saving a Salarian by the lips this afternoon but definitely glad I could help.” She sat back onto her heels, resting back for a second. “Also here to help. This is Spectre Vakarian and his team.”

The Salarian nodded softly, still breathing heavily as he leaned into the wall. He probably would need some more help getting the gunk out of his lungs by medical intervention, hopefully Zhu’s Hope has the capacity to help him.

Garrus swiftly moved back over to them. ”We gotta go. Joker says the Normandy is being attacked.... “ He held off, listening for more information. “It’s the Colonists. They’re possessed or something.”

They looked to their three somewhat unprepared rescues. They’d have to follow behind, and with a guard of course.

”Are all of you okay to follow behind?” Each of them nodded to him. “Li can you pace behind with them?” Li nodded to Garrus. Ashley looked at them, looking between everyone. “I can help...”

Shepard stood up, offering help to Ledra to stand. As he stood, he let out another coughing fit. He sputtered out an ‘I’m alright. Just dying. All good.’

Shepard glanced to Ashley, she was concerned with giving Ashley a gun but she could possibly help. Although, she seemed like she was ready to shoot someone 10 minutes ago.

”Are you going to shoot anyone?” Ashley held firm in her eye contact and shook her head.

”I want to help.” Shepard grabbed her pistol off her hip and tossed it to her. 

“You hurt anyone.. you are as good as arrested or shot which ever comes first.” Shepard spoke true to her words, she wouldn’t tolerate it and Garrus wouldn’t either.

”Or dead.” Wrex muttered. 

She nodded to them, gripping the gun like any other well trained individual. “Agreed. Ma’am.” 

They moved out as two teams, Shepard, Garrus and Wrex ahead of Li’s group. Com’s open to make sure if anything happened they could help the team behind them. They began to make their way through the waterways.

It had taken them some good time to travel through the first time and the second time wasn’t any different.

But the original way, was blocked. The high ceiling had fallen, leaving sunlight from the surface to break through the way. There was a small walkway off the left, as long as they kept moving forward they could take it and reach the scientists. They should be able to get back to the hold with Araceli and Fai Dan, then head back to Zhu’s Hope.

They went through the tight hallway, it led them a little off course and into another large hanger type area. It was a large area dark, and hard to see much. They turned on the lights on their suits. 

A growl ripped theough the hanger echoing against the walls. The three of them backed their backs into each other. 

“Li, hold where you are right now.” Li answered the public com swiftly. The lights on their suits didn’t really light up much, not enough to see what the noise might be. 

Wrex stepped away from them. Shepard backed into Garrus’s back making sure they didn’t leave an opening with Wrex stepping away. Another growl followed by, clinking sound on metal. 

“Fucking Varren.” Shepard wasn’t horribly concerned for Wrex. He’s fought Varren his entire life, this should be a piece of cake. She be surprised if he fought them all off single handedly.

They heard a squeaking noise come from the Varren as Wrex tossed it into a wall, killing it. A few more popped up, making themselves obvious in the light, Garrus and Shepard both took care of them. 

“Wrex, you good?” Garrus looked in his direction.

Wrex growled and muttered. “Fine.. I could kill more.” 

Sounds of something running towards them alerted them to turn into the opposite direction. It was running fast. They held up their guns, ready to shoot. 

The echoing steps slowed as the got closer. Shepard zeroed in on the sound, she stared down the sight on her gun, finger on the trigger.

“Please, don’t shoot! My mother is Araceli from Zhu’s Hope.” The young girls voice echoed through the hanger. Shepard quickly put her gun down to her side. She was maybe 20, she must’ve gotten lost or something.

”Li move in, we’ll cover you guys until you get out of this dark hanger. We have an extra body for your group.” It took their group a few minutes to come into the room. As they moved through the room, the younger girl joined up with Ashley and Li’s group. They followed up the rear of the group incase there were more Varren. When they got back into the lit drive way, they all regrouped. 

“Ledra?!” The girl turned to the Salarian, latching her arms around his neck. He hugged her back, a wide smile on his face. The reunion lightened the mood, they gave everyone a minute to rest. After all, they’d all just woke up from basically being dead. They could give them a little time to gain their feet. 

Ledra coughed a bit, as the girl released him. She smiled happily. “I thought you were dead. I went to find you after you left the Colony. Got stuck being chased by Varren.” She hugged him again happily. Shepard raised an eyebrow and smirked at Li, who was also doing the same to her. She elbowed him in the stomach lightly, he was such a perv but they were totally a couple.

The whole group began the walk back to the hold with Araceli and Fai Dan, they arrived quickly. Only to find trouble again when they walked in. 

Big trouble. They walked in, Fai Dan had a gun to Araceli, she stood there with her hands up. The trained individuals moved in leaving the others in the hall. They had to deal with this new threat.

Ashley moved her gun to point at Fai Dan. So did Garrus.

”You.” She squinted at him. “This is your doing, I remember you.” Garrus kept his gun trained on Fai Dan, but looked to Ashley hesitantly.

Fai Dan sputtered out words. “It told me to take you to him.” He moved his other hand up to face, slapping his palm to his forehead a few times. This guy was literally going crazy. 

“It’s still there... inside... there’s nothing.” He moved the gun to train onto his own head. 

“Fai, what are doing?” Araceli spoke quietly to him. “It’s fine... just put the gun down.” He shook his head viciously, almost demonically. He fell to the ground on his knees, still gripping the gun tightly to his head.

Garrus spoke up. “Put the gun down.” 

Fai Dan dramatically yelled, a shot rang out in the room. Nearly everyone wincing away from the gruesome picture. He’d shot himself.

The other staff ran from the room avoiding the gruesome picture. Araceli’s eyes softened as she looked away. Even she couldn’t bare the scene in front of them. 

They all moved out of the hold, everyone reuniting with each other. Araceli pulled Garrus off to the side to speak to him before coming out. Shepard joined with the others. 

When Garrus emerged with Araceli from the hold, she noticed the young girl and nearly ran up to hug her. Araceli turned to Ledra after and pulled him into a hug. “I’m so sorry, Ledra.” The Salarian nodded to her, hugging her back. Shepard wondered what had happened and hoped they could share what had happened.

Of course, after they deal with this rabid colonist issue.

“Li, come here.” Garrus waved him over to join him off to the side. Shepard tried to sneak a look, she was beyond obvious. Garrus had a demo charge of some sort in his hands. She cocked her head to the side. What are those?

“Hey... uhh.. I didn’t catch your name?” Ashley walked up to her and glanced around at the other people around, clearly uncomfortable. She seemed so out of place here, she was obviously not from this Colony and she obviously knew no one.

”Leuitenent Commander Shepard.” Shepard reached her hand out to start all over and greeted her.

“Gunnery Chief, Alliance Marines, Ashley Williams.” She took her hand and shook it with a smile. “Glad there’s some Alliance here.. kind of feel a little on my own.” She looked around again, then folded her arms across her chest, like she was cold.

”Do you think I can hitch a ride with you?” Shepard glanced to Garrus briefly. Shepard wanted to allow her aboard but she also didn’t want Garrus to be uncomfortable having yet another person onboard. Garrus caught her eye contact, and she waved him over. 

“Ashley would like passage to the...” She looked to Ashley not sure where she was needing to go. 

“Citadel.” At least from the Citadel, Ashley could see where she would want to go from there. Shepard nodded. Garrus seemed a little unsure.

”I don’t mean to offend but didn’t you scream ‘Aliens’ back there?” Shepard looked at him and smacked the back of her hand to the front of his armor. It made a clink sound, not doing any actual harm, just a warning. He was right but he didn’t have say it out loud. 

“I just want out of here... just haven’t been around many of you. Sorry for yelling.” 

“I suppose.. so long as you respect my crew, you may not be comfortable but we can get you going at least.” She nodded hesitantly, if she tried to get out here, it could take her forever to get passage to Citadel. Also didn’t seem right if she left one of the Alliance here, especially since she might be a missing person. 

Missing person.

Oh my god!

She pulled open her omnitool, pulling up the list swiftly. She browsed the list for a Shiala or an Ashley Williams. She scrolled through fifty names, before halting to a stop at the end. 

Ashley Madeline Williams.

Shepard looked up to her. “You’re coming aboard, I will need to talk to you.” She nodded, offering Shepard whatever she would need. This could help break the case. This could lead her in some sort of direction.

Garrus grouped the team up. ”Shepard, Li, Wrex. We need to go take care of the Colonists before anyone can go back to Zhu’s Hope.” The three pulled their guns out ready. 

“Ashley... have the civilian group follow but not too closely. It shouldn’t take long, we just have subdue the Colonists, correct Araceli?” The Araceli nodded pulling out her pistol to keep the rest of the colonists put together while Garrus’s team took care of the threat.

Shepard hoped it wasn’t by lethal means.

Frags weren’t good news.

Chapter Text

Garrus didn’t know what to say to Araceli. She handed him these demo charge looking frags, explaining the whole situation as best as she knew. It was odd to him that a scientist had created these, it seemed they had recollection or at least knowledge that the Thorian was a threat. Obviously they were unsure how far it had affected them.

An odd feature stood out that they didn’t do anything about it or maybe they couldn’t do anything. 

It had seemed Fai Dan was under control of the Thorian, as well as the rest of the Colony. Araceli told him that, Fai Dan had begged to have an armed patrol move with him out to the outskirts past Zhu’s Hope’s boundary. Apparently he had the most knowledge as to the Thorian’s effects as well as the first hand experience too. Too bad he was gone to ask what the hell happened.

Apparently, Araceli had found out Fai Dan had drugged Ledra and ‘gave’ him to Thorian, as well as Ashley. Araceli hadn’t found out about the affects of the Thorian on Fai Dan’s mind until Garrus’s group had left. Of course, she probably had suspicion but certainly not enough proof to blame. The same reason why he held the gun to her.

This Colony was beyond a mess. He was happy to leave it better than it started, although probably shouldn’t have bothered in the first place. It was starting to feel like no one was innocent here, but maybe he was just looking at it with the glass half empty. He’d really never been an optimist.

Araceli explained what the charges were. She said a scientist had made these to protect those who went to test and study the Thorian. The scientist had been murdered only days before they arrived by a Geth unit patrolling the area. He assumed that could be a lie to protect the rest of the citizens.

She was happy the scientist had left the charges, she explained what they were as well as a note explaining the Colony’s current indoctrination situation. She offered to give him a letter from the head scientist who passed away.

He agreed, of course that information was vital, for him and whatever was between Ashley and the Military for sure. He would get it either way. Helping them wouldn’t hurt.

He led his team forward after explaining the situation to Li, he had the best throw he’d seen, so he showed him how to use the charges. They only had 6, so they had to use them sparingly. They’d happened upon the Colony, the Colonists were rabid and still completely under the mind control of the deceased Thorian. And they were ready to attack when they arrived back at the Colony.

The Colonists hid behind their make shift wall that blocked out others who were outside the Colony. Them included.

Sometimes it was never easy. 

They’d make due.

”Okay, try not to shoot them, we have frags that should shut their bodies down safely.” 

Shepard nodded still ready with her gun even if he knew she wouldn’t shoot with it. A huff came from Wrex followed by a ‘no fun, stupid Turians.’ And Li readied up his throwing arm. 

A few of the Colonists began to crawl over the barrier, there had to be about twelve Colonists. Thank the Spirits that the Colony wasn’t bigger or they wouldn’t have enough frags to shut them down. 

It had seemed about four were climbing over, Li chucked one and detonated it in the air, mist puffing around the Colonists, all four of them halting their attack, going into a peaceful sleep, slumping down to the ground.

They worked through the rest of the Colonists with no issues, all twelve had been subdued. The others were called in to join them back at the Colony. 

It was safe the Thorian thing seemed to be taken care of, at the very least for now. Araceli came up and thanked them again for what a great job they’d done. She would be taking position as leader of this small Colonist group in light of recent events with Fai Dan. 

After speaking with Araceli, he’d recieved a transmission from Nihlus. It seemed to be a little patchy, he must be on his way out to them.

“You find Ledra?”

Garrus nodded to the video call, taking a quick second to glance around for Shepard. He found her speaking with Ledra and Araceli’s daughter. 

“If you count being nearly killed by a soul sucking plant, found. I’d say yeah, we found him.” Nihlus brow plates met in shock. The transmission shuffled visibility for a second before fixing itself. 

“What...? He’s just a merchant, how much trouble did he get into there?”

Garrus shook his head and laughed to himself. “Enough trouble, I’d say.” Nihlus laughed a little.

”Be there in less than 24 hours. Will brief you when I arrive.” Garrus cut the shotty transmission and closed up his omnitool. He took another glance around to look for the rest of his team. 

Wrex and Li we huddled in a corner relaxing on some cargo boxes. Neither really talking to each other. Garrus stepped up to them and told them they could head back to the ship if they wanted. The worst was over. Besides he knew Shepard would want statements from Shiala, Ashley and Ledra and probably the whole colony.

After the two of them began to walk off and head towards the ship, Garrus walked over to Shepard who was speaking with Ledra. Shepard gave him a small smile as he stepped up then turned her focus back to the Salarian.

”Fai Dan, I don’t know what happened with him but he’s the one who took me away. I can’t believe he was under control of that thing.” 

“It’s alright. Thank you for everything Ledra. We came here looking for you after all.” Shepard stood up and smiled. “Can I send you a message if I have anymore questions?”

Ledra stood with her and shook her hand. “Yes Shepard...” He turned to Garrus. “If you hadn’t of stopped by who knows where everyone would be right now... thank you.” He shook Garrus’s hand.

Garrus shook his hand back. He appreciated the Salarian’s good nature and appreciativeness despite his kidnapping.

“We wish you the best, Nihlus pointed us in your direction, I’d thank him for sure too.” Ledra crossed his arms and shook his head incredulously, almost not believing what Garrus said.

”I haven’t seen him in years. Good to know he’s still looking out.”

Shepard and Garrus stepped away from Ledra. “We have less than 24 before Nihlus will be onboard with us.. will you be coming back to ship?”

Shepard’s stomach growled at the same time as she opened her mouth to speak. They’d been out for most of the day. No wonder she was hungry. He was too. Red rose up her cheeks, flushing her skin. He really liked that, her cheeks looked like then when she drank a little too.

“I think the decision has been made for you.”

She laughed a little and nodded. She waved goodbye and headed to the ship with Garrus. 

“I hope nothing like that happens again. The Colonists can’t even remember what happened. How freaky is that?”

”Freaky?” 

Shepard thought for a moment then replaced the word. “Shocking? Crazy? Horrible?.... Honestly, there’s a lot of words we can use to describe what happened here.” On that he completely agreed. 

They got back onto the Normandy just in time for some food. They all ate dinner after taking their armor off. Mordin had wanted to see Shepard as soon as she arrived, probably had something to do with the Thorian goop still clinging to her hair, face and suit. Claimed ‘scientific intervention’ before she washed away valuable data. Garrus made sure Aulso would send her some food while Mordin was taking skin samples of her, or worse. 

The grimace she had on her face when she shuffled away only meant what he thought, could be true.

After dinner, he had a quick debrief for everyone on the last and the current mission with Nihlus joining them. No one seemed to have any qualms except Wrex who only said, ‘more Turians? Can’t get rid of them’. 

Nihlus was going to be a vital tool in this situation. He would do better recon by himself and give them a low down on the status of Virmire. And if he could, it would be immensely helpful to have him here to help on Virmire too.

He asked Shepard to come up after she got herself situated. He needed to let her know what was going on too. She had mentioned she’d need to write a report explaining what happened here, he needed to do the same as well, and began working on it.

It was around midnight when he’d heard the door open. He was still at his desk typing away at the report. Everything had gone well as far as the impromptu mission but the mind control and what not, how do you explain that without any concrete evidence and without sounding nuts.

It had left him at a point where he was stuck, this had to be the worst part of the job.

Shepard walked in and set two bottles, of what looked to be alcohol, on the corner of his desk and kept walking into the room. She went straight to his bed, sat down then laid herself out. A deep sigh came from her as she stared at the ceiling.

No one violated his space like she did, but he certainly liked it. Her soft voice spoke, filling the room.

“Today was so long.... I don’t even know what to put together as a mission report for today. Hackett said he’d like to know more details.” Her arms stretched out across the bed as another sigh left her. “What do you say? Giant plant takes bodies and controls minds... who would believe that?”

Garrus was content sitting and watching her from afar. He had been a little afraid to invite her up, afraid things would go the way he wanted them to go. It was nice thinking about the report, it put a damper on anything sexual going on in his head. However, now that she filled the space, it was all he wanted.

Besides who knows when Nihlus will show up. Don’t need to give him a first time show in cross-species liaisons.

”I think we could just go with, young Lieutenant almost eaten by said plant, but then add in a really cool part were you actually fight your way out. And without Wrex’s help.” He sighed and glanced to the ongoing mission report he was writing. Temptation of turning it off moved through his thoughts. “I feel like I’m writing a fiction novel over here.”

Shepard rolled onto her side giggling a little. “I’m just gonna steal yours but then add in my excerpts, not like you weren’t there anyways.” She held her hands up above her body and panned them out, highlighting the air like an invisible title was there. “Lieutenant frees Colony of mind control, Turian Commander stands by and pretends he helped.”

Garrus let out a laugh, that was the most accurate thing about Turian’s that has ever said. Shepard could’ve done this job, if not better, than he was. She was so level headed in most cases, she didn’t make rash decisions, and she respected the crew. Honestly, he wouldn’t have minded working beneath her. At all.

“Did you talk to Hackett about the message the other night?” Garrus fidgeted with a datapad that was sitting on his desk. He was trying as hard as he could not to think about the fact that Shepard was on his bed. Practically calling to him.

”He had no recollection, said he’s been boarded on the Citadel for the last two weeks, dealing with a Alliance issue from afar. But that was it.”

He nodded and set the pad down. Glad, he didn’t stick his neck out for nothing when he was with the Councilors the other night. 

“You know, Shepard...”

She let out a soft ‘hm’ as she leaned up on her elbows. Her hair was loose, she’d changed into her workout wear, she seemed to never be without it. She probably gotten in a shower like he had. She did smell really good as she had passed him.

”I think you would’ve done this job better than me.” Her eyes widened and she fell back against the bed, staring out the window above the bed. She tucked her arms under her head, relaxing.

”Honestly, I’m not sure I would. Thanks for the compliment though. Every girl needs one of those after what I looked like this afternoon.” She sat up on her elbows again making sure she could catch eye contact him. “Getting that stuff out of my hair was a nightmare. Thank god for Mordin and his potions and shit, of course, I would’ve thanked him before the skin test, preferably.” She glanced down to the top of her arm, a small bandage tied to her arm.

She sat up and pulled her hair over her shoulder and stroked it lovingly. He would kind of miss her hair too if anything happened to it. 

He glanced at the bottles at the end of his desk than back to her. “Are you planning to have a party up here or something?” A sly smirk fell across her face.

”You bet. But since you’re here, I guess you’re now invited too, so good for you.” She stood up and grabbed a bottle off the corner of the desk for herself. She grabbed the other and sauntered up to him and handed him the other. 

“I believe Mauro has the ship right?” She was pure temptation in every way. He’d never drank this much when he was a Commander. But how could he say ‘no’ to probably the hottest drinking buddy he’d ever had. He really couldn’t.

She leaned against the desk lip near him and smirked as she held it out for him. He scooted back a little so a little more space was between them. His self control was literally non existent at this point.

He grabbed the bottle and popped off the top of it, and took a swig. It was good, something he’d never had before. 

“Colonist’s gave us a thank you, Turian Scotch, well I think that’s the equivalent, and Human Bourban. Mine tastes like Apples, it’s amazing!” She took a swig and held the bottle between her palms.

“So.. we are taking... this Ashley... and a Shiala with us, right?”

Shepard nodded, placing the bottle between her lips. 

“Hackett was surprised when I mentioned it, said she never showed up after a short shore leave. They had her posted as a deserter for never showing up.”

Garrus held the bottle between his palms staring at it.

”I hope you were able to clear it up?”

She tucked a foot up under her other leg and leaned back. 

“Of course, they do want to speak with her though. Get what happened from her, said if we like her they might be able to let us keep her.” She took another swig and sat the bottle down. “I’ll leave that up to you, though.”

He nodded to himself his mandibles flaring. Ashley had been a little abrasive at first but maybe she’d be alright, she did take orders well and seemed to know what she was doing.

His mind rounded the day out in his thoughts, moving back to earlier in the day. He wondered what she might have been thinking when she stopped dead in the halls on Feros.

”Were you okay... earlier in tunnels.. when you stopped?”

She made a thinking face and tossed her head back and forth. “Yeah... just curious about my history with the military. Somethings I think I’ll have to ask about.” She took a large swig of her bottle.

This whole conversation made him feel so, domestic, like asking how her day was at work, domestic. It almost scared him at the feeling he felt.

He nervously took another drink of his bottle, his mind remembering that omnitool that had been sitting on the coffee table.

”The other night, you fell asleep on the couch. I picked you up and an omnitool fell out. Who’s Alesseo?”

Shock fell on her face, almost like she’d just realized she’d forgotten about it. She hopped off the desk and strutted to the coffee table and opened the omnitool up. She browsed something and when didn’t see what she wanted, a pout fell over her features.

”That’s the Asari who was hurt at C-Sec, I’m chasing her friend, Laari, all over the galaxy. Mind be... I wasn’t finding much until Ashley and Shiala’s stories seemed to line up like Laari’s. Kind of... in a way. I need to sit down with both of them.” He couldn’t understand why the Council was calling her a liar, he couldn’t understand any of it. 

He couldn’t help but check her out as she moved back up close to him, she obviously wasn’t wearing the blue dress and the shoes she had worn the other night, but she still looked good. Her tight workout gear tucked into boots and her signature N7 hoodie, zipped up to her chest. Her long hair was swung over shoulder as she played with it. When he got to her face, he felt his plates twitch for a second. It is his fault, he is the one who used her poor face in his fantasies. And had the quickest release he’d ever had.

She got a playful glint in her eye before she smirked at him. She knew what he was doing, checking her out. He took another swig and she pushed up to sit on the edge of the desk, dangling her legs.

The air between them was quiet but full of tension. He wanted to act on his desire so bad right now. Have lustful sex and then maybe one more round after that before they both called it quits. Although, his research last night hadn’t really help him in the end. It basically just said hey, at least you can stick it in somewhere, but not much else. 

He didn’t want to embarrass himself nor her if she wasn’t exactly prepared either. As far as he knew, this would be her first time with a Turian too.

Turian mates weren’t exactly close looking to Human men, but it seemed all the same parts were there. She probably wouldn’t have a problem, plus she was rather intuitive and inventive. Turians were never shy about sex and he’d never been before, but he had no idea what she would need. No idea at all. 

Turian women were easy, a nip here, a scratch there, and fuck. Pretty A, B, and C, and it was fairly easy to get a Turian woman off.

“Can I get my mission debrief or did you want me to come up here for an entirely different reason?” That little half smile played on her face as she took another sip. He did the same, his mandibles flaring at the heat moving through his chest pleasantly. 

“I... uhh.” He scratched the back of his head as she sat there patiently. “You know Nihlus is coming aboard so I guess you knew everything already. I guess I didn’t need to debrief you.” He rubbed his neck again, nerves were starting to attack his senses. He was actually nervous. 

He glanced to the holo on his desk again that had his mission report. He wasn’t going to be able to finish his report, he saw Shepard move out of the corner of his eye. She hopped off the desk, still keeping her hands to herself like he’d asked. He knew she was itching to touch him, she hadn’t known what to do with her hands, so she gripped the desk she leaned up against.

”What do you want Garrus?”

Well that was a loaded question, wasn’t it?

He wanted nothing and everything, touch and no touch, but one thing for sure, he wanted her. 

“I.. uhhh... well, I want to try things with you.”

She cocked her head to the side prettily and smiled showing her white teeth. She pushed forward and she braced herself on the armrests of his chair. She leaned in so she was close but still not touching him. Why had he been scared that she might not want to?

This was definitely a better alternative.

”Well good, cause I want to too.”

”I just haven’t uhh, done enough research so... I just want to make sure it goes right.”

Another sly smile came across her face, she leaned in a little more, his eyes falling deep into the pools of blue. Her black hair fell forward, almost long enough to touch his legs as she leaned in. Her pale skin glowed like Palavan on full moon. 

Spirits, she is so easy on the eyes.

This was probably the most honest he’d been about this whole thing about liking each other. Most honest he been with her and himself.

”I have an idea, it’ll give you more time to think about this whole thing before we jump head first into it, but also help you and I understand each other better.” She leaned up and away from him, still keeping her hands to herself. He was grateful that she did but also missed it. Her hands felt like nothing else, he’d give anything to feel that. 

Garrus nodded to her. He wasn’t sure what this would entail but hoped it would end well.

She grabbed his wrist gently and gave him a light tug. He stood up and followed her, she led him to the couch and gave him a little push to sit down. He didn’t move from his standing position. 

“What are you up to, Shepard?” His mandibles tightened to his face, he was attempting to assert some sort of authority, some of authority he felt he lost when he was around her. She looked at him eyes wide, something dark moving into them. 

“A little this, a little that.”

He let her have this moment, he sat down onto the couch in the best position he could; arms along the back and legs spread. She leaned over and gripped the back of the couch, climbing onto his lap, straddling him.

His plates itched as he felt her weight settle on his lap. 

“Sooo... you can do whatever you want.” He tilted his head wondering what she might be getting at. She was so close to him, just like the night in the starboard port. 

As much as she was pretending to be in control of situation, she was just as nervous as he was. It made him feel so much better about the whole thing. He wasn’t the only one clueless.

”Whatever I want?”

”Sure.”

”What about you?” He understood she was giving him the opportunity to explore on his own, he was so afraid to touch the wrong thing, afraid to know what was good and what was bad.

She tucked her hair behind her ear. “I can wait a minute or two.” She playfully teased him. 

He took his hands off the back of the couch and settled them on her thighs. 

“What’s the catch?” She closed her eyes and made a thinking face. “Are you going tell me if you like it or not?” He was beyond worried he’d do the wrong thing.

”I’m sure you’ll figure it out, observing is what snipers do.” She was beyond right, it is what he did best.

Her thighs were warm beneath his palms through the fabric of her workout wear, he couldn’t feel her skin and wished he could. 

She braced her hands at bottom of his neck, rubbing her thumbs across the rough skin slowly. She was nervous.

He ran his hands up her thighs to her hips, one hand dipping under her jacket touching the soft skin there. Something he’d never get used to, how soft she was.

His thumb felt the marred skin at her stomach still soft only a slight dip before continuing flat. She closed her eyes and leaned forward resting her head on his shoulder. 

He ran his hand around to her back, he was trying to be mindful of his talons, she seemed too soft to subject to that. Maybe he’d test it and see how she might like it.

He found the dip of her spine, running lightly up it. 

“I can’t see you Shepard.” He teased her, playing at her own game. She immediatly sat up straight again, falling into his eyes as soon as they met. Her hand moved to his chin running her thumb along the bottom and top plates. He could tell she liked what he was doing, she was trying to distract herself. It was cute.

She tightened her lips together as he ran his hand around her ribs. Lightly dragging his talons across the skin. He heard the lightest noise come from her, a mix between a hum and groan. 

There was something in the way when he reached the front, her eyes flitted back to his. He took his hand away and gripped the bottom of the hoodie, ripping it over her head and tossing it off to the side. She had on just a tank top to which he removed next and tossed it off to the side.

He felt like he was possessed, acting without even thinking. She didn’t seem to disagree with any of his movements, though she looked like she wanted to kiss him. Her eyes burning their own fire. Her hand moved around to grip the back of his head. 

He wouldn’t indulge her yet, even though that’s all he really wanted to do. He got a better view without any clothes in the way. Her stomach smooth and flat, pinched in at her waist. He admired her body before he touched it again.

Her hands shook lightly against his neck, nerves getting the best of her. 

“You doing alright?”

She gave him a swift nod. Her long hair brushing up against her chest and stomach as it hung in front of her shoulder.

He held one hand to her waist and the other ran across her body to the back of her neck. His hand ran up into her hair tangling in it a little bit and giving her a soft tug. Her eyes shut as her head fell back, another soft noise falling from her lips. She liked that too. 

He leaned in to nuzzle her neck, his hand still holding her head back. She twisted her arm around the back of his neck, holding him tighter against her.

His other hand left her hips and traveled to her back pulling her closer, grinding her directly into his hips. His plates reacted so fast he didn’t even get to think about it. 

He nipped at her neck softly, gaining another noise from her, this awkward exploration turning into more. In a good way. She was so responsive to every little touch. 

He nipped along her shoulder line then back up to her jaw. Acting on pure instinct had been the best decision out of everything at this point. He could smell her arousal and they hadn’t done more than touch. Not even kiss.

He darted his tongue out to taste her skin, she tasted better then all his favorite things. Salty and sweet. She groaned out loud and gripped his neck hard, nails digging into his skin at the back of his neck.

He was done with this mild exploration, she obviously wanted more and so did he. He gripped her bottom through her pants, giving it a light squeeze. She held him closer again. 

His moved his face away from her neck, glancing to her lips, he was beginning to  understand this whole thing. This whole Shepard thing.

He met her lips, pressing his tightly against hers. She immediatly opened up to him, tongues tangling together. She pushed him back into the couch, wanting more.

He broke apart for only a second, she looked into his eyes, understanding what he was asking without being told. She leaned up off of him, he pushed himself up from his sitting position. He gripped her stomach and lightly gripped beneath her jaw, making her look up at him. This was a done deal.

There wasn’t any going back. He wouldnt stop at this moment even if the ship were burning down.

Even if the whole galaxy was watching.

He couldn’t give two shits about anything else.

Chapter Text

Jitters had gotten the best of her and the tables had completely turned. At first he’d seemed hesitant in each of his touches, testing her. But he gained more confidence as he went.

Claws? Into it. Nips? Into it. Aggressive? Into it. Little bit of hair pulling? Into it. 

She mentally checked off everything he’d hit. She knew this was going be good when he’d silently asked her to head to the bed, she more than agreed. And when he took control of the situation, she more than wanted him. 

They weren’t messing around or playing games anymore by beating around the imaginary bush. She thought of nothing but this exact moment with him.

His hand cupped along her jaw possessively, his other hand gripping the curve of her waist. He held her head so she had no choice but to look at him. His blue eyes darkening with want.

He stepped her back until her legs hit the bed and she fell back into a sitting position. He grabbed his shirt, undoing it and tugging it off, throwing it off to the side. She admired his rough looking gray plates, eager to feel them pressed up against her. 

He reached down to tug off her boots, only it didn’t come off when he tugged and he looked at it curiously. She reached down silently instructing him to undo the zipper. He pulled them off, tossing them off to the side.

She lied back against the cushioned bed, the bed dipping as he climbed back on top of her. His hand and talons tangling into her hair. He gauged her look before pressing his mouth plates against her lips. 

His lips weren't pliable and were rough but she loved them anyway. He did his best and it was all she wanted. Besides he french kissed like no one else she’d ever met. Probably better than the French if she had to say.

His other hand grabbed the leg laying off to the side, pulling it up to wrap around his hip spur. He explored the length of her leg, she wished he thought to rip her pants off before he’d climbed on top of her.

But it’ll do for now. He gripped at her waist again. A small moan escaped her from feeling his talons run across her lower back lightly. She wanted to smack him for being careful. She wanted it all. 

His hand suddenly dipped down the back of her workout pants, gripping at her butt tightly as he rocked against her.  A sigh escaped her as she pushed her body closer to his.

He pulled his talons across the skin of her ass causing her to gasp, in turn, she dug her nails into the spaces between his back plates, arching up into him. He broke apart from their tangle of kisses. Nipping down her front. She didn’t want anything more at this point. She just wanted him.

”Garrus..” He caught the hint as he gripped at her ass. She was probably wetter than she’d ever been with the smallest amount of stimulation she’d ever had. While she didn’t want to rush it, at the same time they could go slow later. 

He leaned off her and stood at the end of the bed, stripping his pants off. The plates she’d seen the other morning had been closed, because this was definitely open. The deep blue interior just waiting to slip out.

He reached up and gave her pants a tug, stripping them off and moving back on top of her. He took a small amount of time to look her over, he still seemed a little unsure of where he might go at this point. Good thing this wasn’t something more complicated.

His body framed her to the bed again, she decided to help him a little. She gripped her sports bra and tossed it off to the side.

He glanced down, across her chest unsure but began to nip down the bony valley between her breasts. She nudged him over a little, his eyes shifting to her for confirmation.

His tongue ran over the soft mound, the peak budded as he went. It was perfect, his tongue was so warm that his breath cooled the wet, causing her to bristle and goosebumps to breakout along her chest.

Her hand started to drift down his stomach, feeling the small ridge outside lining his plates. He broke away from her before shaking his head at her, he nudged his head to her collarbone.

She quietly spoke scared to ruin the mood. “Not there?”

He continued his ministrations, licking up her neck before pulling away.

”Really sensitive around there... maybe later.” She nodded to him before hiding in his neck. She laid wet kisses along his neck, then nipped at him, earning her a growl. His hips grinded into her center, rubbing her in just the right way. 

His palms ran over every inch of her skin, he was insatiable. He gripped her thigh and wrapped it around his hip spur again. Running along the inside length of it. Another soft noise fell from her as she arched off the bed.

His hand reached her center. Her breathes were practically ragged in anticipation against his neck. He ran his hand down, ghosting the lips and feeling her wet center, a groan came from deep in the back of his throat. She was probably soaked, and she needed him. She didn’t need anymore foreplay or exploration or lack there of. 

”Please...”

She pulled him up to kiss him again. She didn’t need any foreplay, she was ready. She’d show him more later.

She felt a warm, wet length along her thigh. She glanced down to see the blue member, a little longer, a bit thicker and a lot wetter than a Human, hanging there, clearly ready. The biggest she’d certainly ever had. She licked her lips and smirked a little as she looked at him.

”Have I mentioned blue might be my favorite color..?”

He pressed his hips against hers, obviously ready as well. His blue member sliding along the apex of her legs.

“Good to know.” She slid her hand back down his stomach plates, resting her hand just above his blue member on his stomach.

”Shepard, you’re goin—“ A long, loud groan fell from his mouth as his head fell to her shoulder, his breath fanning across her skin. She gripped onto his length, giving him a few testing squeeze and pulls as she ran her hand a long the length. There were ridges twisted up the entire length of him, she was more then ready to feel him inside of her. He was literally perfect.

She wrapped her other arm around his neck as she guided him to her center.

”Ready...?”

His mandibles fluttered against her jaw as he nodded. He’d lost his focus at hand, getting lost in all the feeling. He gave a slight push in testing as she lined him up. He popped himself just inside, a small hiss came from deep in his throat.

”Spirits..” He pushed a little further, she could feel him slowly moving further in, spreading her. He leaned back to watch her as he moved further in, his arm strong as it held himself up for leverage.

She pulled her other leg to wrap around his thigh, offering him more room to move. He slowly crept in further, eventually fully seated. His head moved to rest against her shoulder, again. She stroked her hand down his fringe and back up slowly.

He didn’t dare move and she didn’t either, he was big, much bigger than what she was used to, he filled her fully. It took her a moment to get used to him. On top of all of it, it been a while since she’d slept with anyone, she was actually glad she hadn’t.

It felt so good and he hadn’t even done anything.

She shifted her hips giving him the small okay to move. He leaned up onto his elbows, slipping nearly all the way out before pushing back in again, testing her give.

”Spirits... you’re so tight.” She let out a moan as he slid out again quicker this time, his plates rubbing right up against her center. Her back quickly arching as the small ridges along his length caught against her.

”Shit... Garrus... more.”

”Glad you agree... me too...”

He happily obliged. He pounded into her again, setting a steady pace bringing her increasingly close to the edge that had showed up out of no where. Her orgasm tipping sooner than it ever had, she was getting so close.

Her back arched, hoping the stretch of it would help him reach further. He gripped her thigh in one hand the other elbow to the bed as leverage, his hand tangling itself in her hair, tugging slightly.

The snap of his hips set the perfect rythm, he licked along her neck. If she hadn’t have known it was his first time with a Human, she wouldn’t have known otherwise. He was practically a pro.

He caught her lips again a slow sensual kiss, his mouth opened up to her, her tongue tasting him. A small itch tingled across her skin and she broke apart in a gasp.

”Right there..” He repeated the same thrust into her, his hips again hitting the same spot. She felt the tightening in her belly as it radiated out past her legs and back to her core again, gripping him tightly.

His forehead fell to hers as she came, her sex gripping his length tightly. He growled at the sensation and pressed into her. She didn’t want him to leave, she wanted him to fuck her into tomorrow.

He murmured quietly to her. ”Fucking Spirits.. you’re tighter than anything right now.” He hadn’t even achieved an orgasm yet and she suspected he was holding himself off. He began to slowly move as her center continued to grip his length tightly.

She gave him a little urge. “Keep going...”

It took barely a few more pushes before he came. His grip tightening so hard on her thighs and hair as his talons dug in, it was literally perfect. It would leave welts tomorrow but she didn’t care.

His forehead fell against hers again, for just a moment as he raggedly breathed for a moment. She stared into his blue eyes. She literally just had sex with Garrus. Her stomach tightened at the thought of doing it again.

He pulled out and rolled off to the side of her onto his back carefully, still breathing quickly. His eyes were closed, she leaned up on her elbows, her chest still catching her own breath. His length still looked a little hard if she had to say so.

”Garrus... are you..?” He glanced up at her then followed her eye site. 

“Still hard? Yeah...” She glanced to him and then picked up her shaky thighs, throwing them over his waist. She pressed her chest to his, and stroked his mandible lightly. She could feel wetness soak between her thighs from him, the evidence was there that he had finished but he was still ready to go again.

“Is that normal?” 

He glanced down to her, his hands reaching around to grip her waist and butt again pushing her closer to him. It seemed he really liked her ass.

She ran her hands up his hard chest, tracing the small spaces between them as she sat up straight on him.

“Honestly... not really... but you’re... that was... really... wow—-”

She gripped his member as he spoke causing his breath to halt again. He reached up and padded a few pillows behind him so he could look at her. It was cute that he couldn’t even make an intelligible sentence. She let a crooked smile paste itself across her lips.

”That good, huh?”

He nodded to her, his head falling back against the pillows as she stroked him up and down a few times. 

“Your hands are so soft—-“

He was fully hard in her palm within seconds, she lined him up again and slid down his length again, engulfing him slowly. She could’ve blown him to help him out, but she needed more too, it too wasn’t enough.

“Holy shit...” Her hand gripped the edge of his cowl as she slid all the way down onto his length. “Didn’t feel like this laying down.”

He must’ve taken the words as a compliment because his mandibles flared as he watched her take all of him in. At the last inch, he clenched his mandibles to his face, he practically froze like it was too much. And really it was, she was gripping his cowl like it was her only life line. She waited a moment, settling herself before she began to move.

She arched her back as she rode him, grinding into his hips. She ran her hands all along his chest before she met the hard plates if his chest with her lips. He jolted as her tongue lined the soft skin in between his chest plates. Her eyes moving up to look at him, sneaking a look at him. His stare was full of need and want, clearly enjoying himself.

He watched her so carefully, every move she made, watching like it would never happen again.

She moved up his chest, kissing up the rough hide of his neck. She felt the orgasm building again, but it felt too quickly.

It seemed so soon but if she had to be honest when she got up on him, she didn’t think she had another one in her, but here it was building up, if not stronger than the last.

His rough hands ran up her legs and down her stomach as she took him, every flick of her hips felt like her stomach was getting tighter and tighter. She reached down between her legs, reaching to help herself. 

“Garrus.. I’m really close..”

He pushed her hand away from herself and she cocked her head to the side. Her hair falling to the side to cover part of the front of her body, to which he pushed it back over her shoulder, gazing over her body.

Don’t tell me ‘no’.

Of course, she had said that before she felt his thumb replace hers. She moaned loudly as she nearly doubled over, his talon almost catching the soft skin. 

“Be a little careful down there...” It wasn’t bad, she could tell he didn’t know what he was doing but after a few seconds he realized what made her moan, what was too hard and too soft.

He gripped her to him, as he flipped them again, pressing her into the mattress. All the while keeping him firmly inside her.

He grinded his hips against her center before setting a relentless pace. Every few thrusts he’d grind his rough pelvic plates against her center in the most delicious way.

This orgasm was beyond stronger then the last she had, tingles flying up her stomach and back as she arched hoping to prolong the feeling. He followed immediatly. Leaving himself inside as she milked every last drop.

His forehead rested on her collar bone, neither risking to speak. That last orgasm felt even better than the first, and this time they were definitely on the same page.

A few minutes later, he leaned off of her with a groan as he pulled out. His member escaped to behind his plates as lie back next to her, staring out the window above his bed.

”Damn..” It was all that came out him, but it felt like a compliment. She glanced over still feeling the pounding pleasure moving through her limbs. She hadn’t expected them to go this far tonight. But she was glad they did.

That wasn’t bad at all, in fact probably the best she’d had.

She turned onto her side, glancing at him. She reached out, stroking along his mandible. He closed his eyes savoring the touch. She wasn’t really sure what the next move should be, does he want her to stay for a while or go? She was so sated she could sleep then and there. 

He pushed the pillows up the bed, and scooted up himself. Leaving her down the bed a little, leaving her by herself by his legs, she rolled over onto her stomach and placed her elbows on the bed as she looked at him. The stretch felt good even as her body pounded against her ears. 

”So what now?” She didn’t want to ask but she really had no idea. Do they just go to bed like Humans or do Turian’s need something post coital bliss. She wasn’t really sure. 

He glanced down from his throne of pillows at her. “Not really sure... if you were Turian you’d be gone already...” She kind of took that to offense. So she should just leave.

His hand settled off to the side patting the bed lightly. “Honestly.. I hope that’s the last thing you do right now.” Her eyes flitted back to him as she crossed her ankles and lifted them into the air into a playful pose.

“What do you want me to do?” She smirked as she cocked her head to the side as glancing over him, her hair falling off to the side.

She didn’t really get a full opportunity to explore him some more and she still had more stuff he could do to her that he probably had no idea about. Her eyes roamed over his body again.

He lied back against his pillows, propping an arm beneath his head, pulling the covers over his waist. Clearly signaling bed time.

”As much as I wish I could fuck you again right now, I really can’t.” He rubbed his stomach above his plates and groaned lightly. 

She rolled up off the bed, pulling on her jacket, it was still cold in the hull even with the regulated temperature.

”Are you leaving?” He sounded a little disappointed.

“No.. you just said that’s the last thing you’d want me to do. Why would I start disobeying you now, huh Commander?”

His mandibles flared a little at her sassy comment.

She zipped up her hoodie half way up then sauntered over to the bed. She climbed under the comforter next to him, he pulled her closer. It was still cold at night or that was their excuse.

“I’ll have to leave early... wouldn’t want to get caught.” He nodded quietly staring at the ceiling, his breaths calm and even, he looked beyond relaxed. 

He pulled her arm over telling her to come a little closer. She formed into his side, resting her palm across his smaller plated stomach. She rested her head against the softer hide of his arm. He flipped the lights in the room turning the dim lights out.

”Make sure you shower before you leave..” He turned and leaned to nuzzle his head into her neck. She pulled him closer so she held him tight against her neck, his breath fanning across her skin deliciously. “While you smell literally edible, you smell like I’ve been rubbing up against you for hours.”

“I hate to say but you have been.” She let out a light laugh before asking, “Do you smell like me then? Smell like a dirty Human?”

“I wouldn’t add you and dirty in same sentence, unless we are talking about what just happened.” He laughed a little against her neck and leaned back against his pillow again, rolling onto his back. She ran her hand lightly along the bottom of his chest plates, drawing little patterns.

She let out a small yawn, wrapping her leg around his, pulling him close. She wasn’t usually one to sleep over either. Sometimes but not usually. She found better comfort in her own space. Though being in his space was always welcomed by him and she felt beyond comfortable with him.

”Hey Garrus...?”

His closed eyes and hummed as his mandibles fluttered a little. He was getting tired and honestly so was she.

”Was this like a one time thing or...?” 

His hand wound itself into her hair pulling her closer. 

“Right now... I don’t know what the future holds.. that seemed to be the plan before hand.” She nodded slightly. It didn’t really answer the question as clearly as it could be. “I wouldn’t let it worry you.”

She drew nervous circles against his hide. He must’ve felt her hand shake against his softer plates. He took her hand, and held it against his chest, caging it.

It was quiet for a few moments before he spoke tiredly again. “I don’t know what I can offer to ease your worry... I can literally hear your thinking...I still have a lot to figure out.” She turned into him and put her forehead against his side hugging him closer.

”For what it’s worth, probably the best sex I’ve ever had. And it would be impossible to turn you down again.” She smiled to herself, that worked to ease her mind a little. At least he liked it, she certainly did.

Chapter Text

Turians didn’t usually need much sleep, at most maybe 6 hours. It was one of the features that made them beyond easy to work for hours on end.

He woke up, the room still dark, feeling like everything last night could be a dream. His mind playing a cruel and insensitive joke on him.

It wasn’t though, he woke up a quarter till 5. He felt the bed dip lightly and saw Shepard attempting to push herself out of bed. Her hoodie and hair a mess in the dark. It looked difficult for her to move, given how early it was. She slowly got up with a sigh, yawn, and a stretch that shifted the hoodie up. It gave him a view of a slice of her butt cheek, she glanced back to the bed catching him staring.

“Morning..” She rubbed her tired and sleepy eyes, before letting another stretch escape herself. She turned and headed off to the shower, slipping into the bathroom quietly.

He sat up and glanced down to himself, he wished he could join her but they’d just end up smelling like each other again. He almost wished he pulled her back to bed to go again.

Just thinking about last night, made his plates shift slightly. She was so responsive, the way her body met his with an arch when she liked it, the way she climbed on top when she knew he wasn’t done, and how tight she felt around him. It was everything he wanted wrapped up in one pretty package.

His plates were already wide open as he mentally recapped. He fell back against the bed, glancing out the window above his bed. 

He glanced to the bathroom door, temptation sinking in. He talked himself out of it. He couldn’t have sex with her this morning, sex was a way of marking territory and it came with a smell. Exactly what she was cleaning herself of.

If any of the crew or Nihlus found out. This would no longer be a little secret they could keep. 

And it had to be one they had to keep, he wasn’t really prepared to lose everything. He had told himself over and over that maybe with Shepard it would be a one time thing. Now he was a hundred percent sure he’d probably die if he didn’t get to be with her again. It was a horrible conundrum to be stuck in the middle of.

She felt nothing like a Turian woman, while they were hard, she was soft, plus Turian woman definitely weren’t that responsive and that involved, he loved it.

Shepard was unbelievably tight, contouring to his length perfectly, it felt like nothing he’d ever experienced. Just thinking about it made his stomach tighten.

Turian women were generally wider, it did make sense. Most males came in different arrangements, some super thick and some super long. Guess from an evolutionary standpoint it makes sense. Turian woman would want the most opportunity to have offspring. 

For a limited time he’d have to set a boundary, just for himself. The odds of his father finding out was higher the longer they continued this sleeping together thing, or whatever it was. It felt like his father was the thing that seemed to be the biggest threat to his wellbeing. Well at least to his mental well-being. So the restrictions had to be there.

Besides, he wouldn’t be able to sleep with her while Nihlus was on board. Thats the last thing he would need, Nihlus, a Spectre and one of the Turian Military’s greatest Commanders, to know he’s been fucking around with his Human Lieutenant. No matter how good it was.

He was ashamed that he had to hide it and felt bad for Shepard. What if she wanted more? What would she want out of this? 

He took a deep breath, throwing the covers over his bed. His entire room smelled like sex, be it the best sex he’d ever had, and the smell of Shepard. Little pockets of her fresh smell were left around the room, including the pillow next to his.

He gathered his clothes and threw them down the laundry shoot. He gathered hers into a small pile, setting them next to her other stuff from the other night on his couch. He pulled on his loose pair of workout pants and sat on the couch, reading a data pad.

He’d have to finish that stupid fiction novel of a mission report and send it to the council and to Shepard before they left Feros today too. He rubbed his head, slouching a little into the couch and staring at the ceiling.

What was he going to do with Shepard? More like what could he get away with? 

The bathroom door slid open and Shepard emerged, her scent filling the room, her hair wet and fresh smelling. She moved down in nothing but a military grade towel wrapped around her middle like the other night, barely covered anything. Her breasts threatened to peak over the top and her ass peaked from below. It was a wet dream thrown into reality. His plates shifted again.

Shit... Keep it together. 

She turned around facing, the opposite direction so he could see her back and she dropped the towel.

She fucking dropped the Spirit given towel.

Her entire back was on display and honestly, all he could think about was bending her over and fucking her mercilessly. Her leg had contusions, purple and red from his grip and her waist had pink lines running along the skin from his talons.

But if it didn’t make her even better to look at, he felt the tiniest bit bad and would apologize later. Right now he’d admire the lasting marks from last night. They’d been well worth it.

She grabbed her pants, bending over to pick them up and bring them up her thighs, he wanted to look away but he couldn’t. Her butt shook as she wiggled into her workout pants, they still smelled like him. It didn’t concern him, all she have to say is she sparred with him earlier.

Literally, the best fucking spar session. Maybe they should actually do that again.

He could feel himself emerging from within his plates, unsure what to do. He wanted to see Shepard off but shit, if he didn’t want to deal with this too and preferably with her. 

He laid his head back, closing his eyes, trying think of anything else. A huge sigh escaping his mouth.

“You alright there Garrus?” He glanced up as she stood there in nothing but a sports bra and those pants. She glanced down to herself then back up to him.

He rubbed his head again, closing his eyes again, moving his arm to lie across the back of the couch. Looking at her made it literally painful between his plates. 

“I could help you out.” She offered, it was sweet of her but the smell would stick between her long legs nearly all day. He shook his head slightly. 

“You just showered... and you actually smell more like we just sparred then anything else.”

She caught the drift and nodded, before she sidled up to him putting her hands on his knees and leaning in to kiss him. She kissed him lightly, no tongue, no nothing else but it still got his nerves excited. She leaned her forehead against his, sending all his thoughts to a sudden halt.

He moved his eyes to hers shocked, outside of casual sex that meant something else entirely.

Spirits.

Shepard.

She went to move away and he gripped her wrist, and pulled her back, standing up to meet her as she fell back into him. He raised his palm, gripping her jaw again like he had last night, her wet hair stopping his palm from touching her too soft skin.

He moved in close like he was going to ask for a kiss, but he sniffed the air around her neck with a pretitory gaze. He literally wanted to devour her. Just from the small kiss she’d given him, she already smelled like him again.

He had to stop, or they’d never leave this room. 

“You should go before something involving you, me, and that couch, happens.” He let go of her and took a step back. She gave him a sly smile and smirked.

”I hope you can raincheck that.” His mandibles fluttered at her sexual play. He could do that most definitely. She headed to the door, waggling her butt as she disappeared behind the door. 

He sat down onto the couch and took a deep breath, what was he going to do about her.

Last night, while he was inexperienced as far Humans go, felt like everything right had happened for them. It felt good, he felt relaxed, and at ease. More so than he had in a while and she was obediently doing what he needed as far as using discretion with their involvement. He was very happy and didn’t want a single thing to kill his mood.

He knows that if she tried to leave last night, he’s almost positive he would’ve tried to stop her. No. He was completely positive he would’ve stopped her. She gave him everything he wanted right now plus other things he knew he could never have.

He finished up the report, feeling clear headed and relaxed. He sent it over to the council and Shepard, Shepard sent back a message back to him. ‘Editing me as the hero currently. Thanks. XX.’ He looked at the ‘X’s’ and tilted his head. What in the world is that signature. He sent back the question but didn’t recieve an answer back. 

He shrugged it off taking care to shower, he spent a little time speaking to the Asari Councilor, who expressed her gratitude and congratulated him on an excellent job so far.

She seemed wary about Virmire as well, she said she was glad a team of one did a recon and would be joining him. She was excited to hear how the outcome plays out. She wished them a safe voyage.

He spent the rest of the afternoon in the Battery. 

He couldn’t say it was just because Shepard might be next door or not. She had been in the back of his mind all day. It was beyond difficult to do all he could do to not replay last night in his thoughts.

He knew if he did he’d end up with open plates and a mess.

He wanted to avoid that.

His omnitool beeped through with a message, a message from his father. Of course, the only mentioning words in the message were ‘call me’.

He sighed and took a deep breath. He rang through to his father’s omnitool waiting for him to pick up. He quickly shut the Battery doors in the meantime.

”Garrus.. what have I done to deserve a lying son?”

Garrus tightened his jaw and straightened his body. Here it comes, the impending doom of his father attitude and judgements. He was right he had lied to him recently.

He did have a rightful reason though.

“Not sure... what are you implying?” He kept the door open as far as to what his father might be pointing at. He didn’t want to rat himself out if his father didn’t know about one or more of the things he’d been involved in recently.

”You went to the bar with that Human after I’d spoken to you? And no less she lied, she’s no reporter.” Yeah, no kidding she wasn’t a reporter

Garrus nodded to him trying to think up a story. 

“Don’t lie to me son, why were you out with her? Do you realize she’s an Alliance rat?!”

Call her that again and I’ll be on the Citadel in less than a parsec.

Garrus sighed and contemplated hanging up the call but it would do nothing more than drive a deep wedge between him and his father. His father continued. “Her name is—”

Garrus cut him off. ”Jane Shepard, I am well aware of her name, Father.” His father rubbed his head and sighed, he’d clearly lost sleep over this.

“Did you forget they are our enemies?” 

Garrus scoffed and rolled his eyes. “Humans are not our enemies, maybe once before but no longer. They’ve earned their place in the galaxy.” He made a point to avoid talking about Shepard. He feared he’d add a subvocal that he shouldn’t., his father would more than likely catch it.

Garrus continued. ”The Council has been seeking partnership among them, looking to offer them more permanent places within the galaxy. I couldn’t agree more. We need to look to the future, Dad. We all have a lot to learn from each other.” His father’s face twisted in disgust. His mandibles flaring angrily. 

“You’re a sympathizer, I can’t believe I raised you. Don’t bother coming home.” Garrus took offense to the words, his father couldn’t tell him he couldn’t see Sol anymore. It wasn’t fair, to Sol at all.

The galaxy is changing, his father should be working to help make these changes and not hold them back in these old ideals.

He had no idea where this rebel streak came from but it might be enough. Hopefully he’d see his father through it, eventually.

“I’m speaking to the Hierarchy at the end of this week... son. I hope you rethink your stance.” His father hung up the tense phone call, leaving him more pent up than he’d ever felt.

It was swift change from his beyond relaxed attitude this morning, what did he do to deserve getting chewed out?

He couldn’t believe that his father would go to the Hierarchy, Garrus hoped they would laugh at him for being so ridiculous. Though they could possibly agree, his father was quick with his words and convincing in most cases. The higher ups within the Hierarchy have been around since 314 incident, it left many of them bitter. They might agree with his father.

But hopefully, they would be understanding about all of it, after all, didnt the Primarch know about the Normandy’s staff? Didn’t he agree and applaud such changes?

Sometimes he wondered if he wasn’t apart of such a high tier that he would’ve been able to get by dumb things like hanging out with a Human. Would it really be easier?

Though the more he thought about it, the Primarch had to approve his leave from the military to assist the Council, plus he was there when they offered the ship to him. The Primarch had to be on his side. At least in some capacity. 

“Commander to the bridge, Spectre Kryik is aboard.” Garrus sighed and fixed himself, before heading up to the bridge. He saw Nihlus standing off to the side, glancing into the pilots pit. His first introduction to Humans onboard.

Joker peaked around the chair, scowling at Nihlus. Nihlus continued to stare in disbelief, he turned to look at Garrus then around the ship and back to Joker. 

“Is this a joke?” He let out a little laugh after he said it, still not believing it. Just as Garrus was going to tell him it was no joke. Joker helped him out.

”Close... the names Joker. The longer you stare the better looking I get.”

Nihlus let out a laugh that was more of a huff than anything. He turned to Garrus in amazement.

“And the Human named Joker, lacks cowardess, I like him. Please tell me it’s the only Human aboard.” He looked around behind Garrus only spotting Turians on the C.I.C. deck, relief flooding his face slightly.

”I almost thought—“ Just as he said it Donelly came through the elevator. And Nihlus’ attention fell to him. He sighed and closed his eyes. “I’m wrong, aren’t I?”

Garrus flared his mandibles and nodded, he seemed a little displaced, it was understanding. This whole ship was a reality check for everyone.

The displaced Spectre nodded and laughed a little, chuffing it out. “Well, let’s see what you’re dealing with. Must be a worthy crew, I hope.”

Honestly, it was the best crew he’d ever had. He was afraid to say it to any other Turian, but Nihlus might understand. Even if he was shocked about the whole thing, it was a shock to anyone really, but he’d understand it.

”Really, one of the best.” Nihlus’s eyes lit up shocked. 

“So that’s, ahhh... Joker, then?” He pointed to Joker’s cock pit. The man sitting there with his giant drink, and no where to put it.

”Hey... do you think they could put giant cup holders up here? Garrus won’t let me have them...” Garrus shook his head and headed into the C.I.C. with Nihlus, leaving Joker by himself.

“I’ll take that as a maybe!”

Nihlus strided up next to him as he introduced him to a few of the staff, including Vina, whom was speaking to Donelly. He introduced Nihlus to Donelly, who both shook hands. Donelly saluted him, offering respect. Nihlus’s overwhelmed face hung open for a moment before he did the same quickly, offering him the same respect.

Donelly excused himself to go over some data modules with Vina. Garrus headed to the weapons locker, he showed Nihlus around introducing him to Mordin as well. Both of them seemed to have an understanding of each other before hand, they both shook hands, and spoke of looking forward to working with each other again.

He took him down to the crew deck, introducing him to their cook, whom Nihlus knew as well. Aulso shook his hand, said he was happy to see him well, Aulso mentioned he was only a teenager when he’d seen Nihlus last. Aulso seemed glad to see him doing good like he should be. 

They made the rounds ending up heading to the cargo bay after not finding much more than a sleeping Mauro and a working Chawkwas on the crew deck. Where was everyone?

They took the elevator down to the cargo bay, on the way down Nihlus spoke up. 

“So far so good, most surprised to see Mordin working with you rather than against you.”

Garrus nodded in agreement, he’d been a harder one to get aboard. “Me too, he’s vital to Shepard’s tasks that were brought over from C-Sec.”

”C-Sec?”

”Was retired military, had been a C-Sec Officer for two years, decided to come back and was offered to come aboard by the Council.”

Nihlus nodded to himself a little concerned. 

“What took him out? That’s what concerns me most.”

Garrus laughed a little at the use of pronoun, ‘He’ was definitely a ‘She’. And a really good looking ‘She’. He didn’t bother to correct him. If she was doing what he thought she might be doing in the cargo bay, it might just help every point in the book.

The doors shuttered open to cheering and rooting from a crowd of people. Chants for Shepard and for Wrex filled the bay. Shepard on top of Wrex, ready to lay a punch into the old Krogan. She had him somehow pinned down, pulling at his crest so he couldn’t move. Jealousy flooding him, he wished he were Wrex at this moment. Even if it might be a little painful.

Her hair hung down loose in her pony tail. She had on only a sports bra and tight shorts, just like his wet dream a few days ago. It took all he had to not think about her underneath him.

Nihlus’s energy immediately shifted. “Who’s that?” The whole crowd quieted as they saw the newcomer aboard. Chellick quickly saluted him and walked to the elevator moving to his post, Li following him. He gave Nihlus a pathetic excuse of a salute and then turned at the last moment before heading into elevator. “I’ve got my money on you baby, beat his ass.”

Nihlus nodded to the two of them, keeping his focus on the scene ahead of him. “Chellick, Li.” The doors shuttered closed, everyone disbanded from the betting circle they’d all been formed into. Shepard’s lips raised into a small smirk as she focused in on the two of them standing there. 

Shepard eased off Wrex and he shoved her off like nothing more than a flee. She caught herself as he pushed her off, landing onto her feet. Looking graceful as ever.

Once again, setting new strides as far as her attractiveness goes. He did his best to maintain his composure. She had to wear what his dreams made her up to wear, which in real life looked even better on her. 

The welts he’d left on her legs looked red and purple against her fair skin, she didn’t even falter as she stepped forward. The jagged scar across her belly, pretty and pink. She wore all of them proudly, and beautifully.

She wiped her face of the tiny droplets of sweat falling across her body. “You must be Spectre Kryik, Garrus has told me things about you, be it most of them good.”

Nihlus nodded to her and reached his hand out to shake it with her, she offered him hers as well. “I’m Shepard.. I’m sure you already know that though.” She grinned as she teased. “My name usually precedes me.” 

Nihlus nodded to her then looked to Garrus briefly, “This is your Lieutenant Commander? I like her.”

Nihlus chuffed out a laugh following his remark and gave her a small respectful salute to which she did the same.

Shepard answered for Garrus. “The one and only.”

Nihlus’s mandibles flared as he looked at her. He looked like he didn’t know what to say. And he probably didn’t, she had just had a Krogan to the ground.

Many would be surprised how many Turian’s dream of seeing that picture for themselves. It was an ultimate power play as well as an ultimate turn on. 

Garrus turned Nihlus away from her as he pointed out everyone in the bay. Garrus made a quick glance to Shepard as she moved to make her way to the elevator. She gripped her jacket as she nervously stroked her hair, coming to stand up next to him. She smelled so good as she entered his space again.

“Need me for the brief?” Garrus glanced to Nihlus who was still introducing himself to the myriad of characters aboard.

Garrus nodded to her. She should listen in at the very least.

”I’ll be up in a minute, let me change.” Garrus looked her over and agreed. She should go change for his sake and hers. She disappeared as Nihlus stepped up again.

He took him up to his cabin, where they would have a relaxed brief on what they should do with Virmire.

They walked into his cabin, he was glad he turned on the double filter for the room earlier. Now only lightly smelled like Shepard had been there. However, it still did earn him an odd look from the Spectre.

”So Shepard’s a woman...?” He sat down on the couch which was now clear of her items. He’d hid them away in one of his drawers, before he’d left his room this morning.

He sat on the opposite smaller side of the couch, staring where Nihlus sat. Garrus has sat there hours ago, touching Shepard in every way he’d only imagined.

”She is.” Nihlus rubbed his chin thoughts filling his face, he was probably thinking about Shepard.

”She’s capable.”

Garrus almost trilled as he said it, he carefully watched himself. “Extremely so.”

Nihlus nodded to himself before lying his arm across the back of the couch. “I like her. I want to know more about her. Do you have her files?” Garrus nodded but didn’t offer them. 

“Just ask her... she’s more than willing to speak.”

Nihlus’s mandibles flared. “I might just do that. I’ve heard of her, but had no idea she’d ended up on a ship such as yours.” He trilled for a second. “This might have been the best idea the council has ever had.”

Chapter Text

Shepard stepped into Garrus’s room to see both Nihlus and Garrus speaking to each other and relaxing on his couch. Nihlus sitting in the same spot she and Garrus had been in hours ago.

Shepard moved in and pretended not to know where to sit and acted unaware of her surroundings. It was probably best to pretend she wasn’t familiarized with his cabin. 

“Shepard take a seat.. Please.” Shepard sat next Nihlus, making her closest to the door for a quick getaway. If she had to.

She took the seat crossing her legs in front of her, keeping her attention off Garrus. Last thing she would need is for them to ‘smell’ her or whatever it is they do. God, that’s so embarrassing. They’re like bloodhounds.

”So... Virmire, you’re correct Shepard. I didn’t find an STG group while doing a recon. Though I did find a myriad of other things.” Nihlus reached up to stoke his chin and turned to look at her. “Seems the STG group has already been ‘taken care of’ if you will.” 

Garrus leaned forward nodding to himself then spoke up. “But you say it’s worth a look around?” Nihlus nodded and leaned his arm across the back of the couch, stretching himself out towards Shepard’s space.

“There’s quite a few facilities... heavily guarded by what looked to be Humans. A little odd considering ninety-eight percent of Virmire is Salarian.” 

Shepard nodded and folded her legs up underneath herself on the couch. “So... Cerberus is there too?” 

Nihlus glanced over and threw a question at her. “Cerberus?”

Garrus rubbed his mandible. “That’s our core mission right now, looking into Cerberus’s dealings without actual contact. Though so far nothing really is a hundred percent Cerberus except the hired guards, but that still raises a red flag itself.” 

Shepard placed her elbows across her legs and fiddled with her fingers. She couldn’t help but feel that slightest tinge of sore in how she sat Indian style. Coming straight from her thighs and hips, must’ve been from last night. 

Not bad.... Wait... don’t think about that!

She pushed back into the conversation. “We are moving in the right direction. The holo from the other night telling me... or well us, that we are stepping on someone’s toes.” She took a deep breath before admitting her claim. “I don’t want to say it yet because really there’s insufficient concrete evidence. But each company we’ve come across has some real shady business they are apart of and the Cerberus guards have been at each location. The connection is so close but we can’t say for sure.”

Nihlus nodded to himself as he put the pieces together. “I’d say we do a formal introduction, I’d also say this facility has got something that could help your investigation. I’ll join you... though we should be very cautious.”

Shepard more than agreed, they will be on what seems to be a home turf for Cerberus or whoever it is, and they are already expecting them. They need to be extremely careful and will probably need all hands on deck. 

“How well does this whole team work together?” Shepard sat back and let Garrus answer the question. 

“I’d say they work together like nothing else. Each person has strengths vital to each mission.”

Nihlus nodded and turned to Shepard. “Garrus is a Sniper. What’s your specialty?”

She fidgeted with the hem on her blues. She rarely wore them these days since she spent most of her time in the cargo bay training and what not. “Soldier, a weapons specialist and hand to hand.”

Garrus quickly added to the end of it as a cough. “And field tested.” Nihlus hummed next to her and nodded in appreciation. 

“Garrus needs someone a little more... aggressive than Li or Chellick, glad you’re here to back him up. Though... if you don’t mind me asking, where did you come from?”

Shepard pointed to herself. “Me?”

Nihlus gave a brief nod. She couldn’t help but feel a little uncomfortable, she knew seemed curious but this might also be a test so she should be slightly wary.

“Umm... was retired military until a month and a half ago. Worked for C-Sec in the meantime.”

“How long were you with the Military?” She shrugged her shoulders.

“Give or take six years.”

Nihlus nodded and leaned back into the couch finally relaxing, it calmed her down too. Garrus watched from his seat as she was interrogated, he looked like he wanted to intervene but he didn’t, she appreciated it.

”What made you leave?” Shepard pulled her hair over her shoulder to nervously stroked it. Garrus caught the motion and stared, he knew she was nervous. She understood that the Spectre would need to know more about her. Just never expected it to feel like pulling teeth.

”Left after Akuze. My mother’s health declined so there was that too.” Nihlus was quiet for a moment before he spoke again. It set the tone for the entire conversation. 

“Spirits guide her. Akuze? As in the only “one” to come out of Akuze?”

Shepard nodded, nervously picking at her hems again. She tried not to relive the moments that nawed at her subconscious, she had spent two years climbing over that hill. She’d finally and recently found her self on the brighter side of things. She’d like it to stay that way.

”I understand.” Nihlus stood up and moved to the middle of the room before pacing across the room. 

“So how should we game plan Virmire? Three teams?” He crossed his arms over his chest, he looked like he was a little taller than Garrus. Now that she got a good profile. White Colony markings and brown hide. It was very flattering on him.

Did I just think that?

Shepard sat back against the couch and looked away. “Maybe three? Do you have a lay out?”

Garrus stood at Nihlus’s confirmation. They needed to go somewhere they could break down how to play this mission out.

Shepard followed the two down to the war room. During their time, they played out a few different missions and possibilities, there were so many options they could do and play out. They’d have to determine the best plan, and they had a day to figure it out. 

Shepard just sat back and watched them work. Every plan they came up with seemed like a decent option. Team split in two could work, as well as three teams, her leading one of them.

While Nihlus said he hadn’t seen any STG camped out outside, the concern that there may still be STG inside the building.

They decided to eat and revisit the task in a few hours to see if they come up with a different option. Though Shepard was almost certain they’d covered every situation they could come across. They were both smart and seemed to know their way around setting up teams and field missions, it was impressive.

Nihlus and Garrus had spent a lot of time together, Shepard had broken off to speak to Ashley and Shiala. She needed to see if there was more concrete info on their disappearance that she could use.

She’d found Ashely hanging out in the cargo bay, quiet as could be in the corner. Shepard stepped up to greet her, sidling up to lean up against the ship hull near her.

“Hey Ashley, how was your day?” She looked up to Shepard a small smile falling across her face. 

“Well aside from having a few thousand tests done by Chawkwas and the Salarian. I’d say I’m adjusting, ma’am.” Shepard gave a small nod, she’d told her to call her Shepard already. Ma’am just seemed like it was easier to offer respect without doing much extra.

Shepard minded but wouldn’t say anything. 

“Did Mordin treat you well?” She nodded, playing with a weighted medicine ball. 

“Can I ask you a few questions?”

Ashley had been extremely cooperative this far, only downside was she seemed a little xenophobic. Which was scary having someone like that aboard, especially since half the team was xeno. If she straightened out soon, Shepard could see her as part of team.

”Sure.”

”So you were on leave when you were um... taken. Do you remember where or what you were doing?”

Ashley threw the medicine ball in the air a few times catching it. “Probably around 11 at night, I was in Zakera Ward. Just left dinner with a friend and was heading back to the ship.” She rolled the ball in her hands. “I’m so mad... I could’ve defended myself.” 

She brushed her hair back and out of her face. A nasty bruise laid across her neck on one side, green and partially healed. 

“They hit me with a bat or rod or something. Came at me from the back, if I hadn’t been listening to music....” She gripped the ball tightly. 

Shepard shook her head. “You can’t say that...” 

She looked to Shepard who sat next to her. She didn’t want to say ‘shit happens’ but honestly it does. It’s happened to Shepard herself, she hadn’t had the most put together life but she’s done her best to keep it together and keep moving forward. She understood a lot people weren’t like that. Ashley was probably the complete opposite as Shepard.

”But can’t I? It happened to me because of my negligence. Not to be rude Ma’am.”

Shepard shook her head still disagreeing without saying it. “We all go through shit, some of us deep enough to send us to our graves, but if you come back from that.... you’re only that much stronger. The longer you dwell on what you could’ve done, the worse things will feel.” Shepard leaned her arms across her thighs, clasping them together. “I don’t want you to look at this as your fault, it’s not. It happened. What you do from now is what counts.”

”But I probably won’t be reinstated, I’m a third generation Marine. What will I do with out something like that?” Shepard gave her small smile. 

“I wouldn’t worry about it, I have the slightest feeling I said all the right things to the Alliance. They just want to clear a few things up. Things will go right for you.”

Ashley nodded to herself, a small amount of hope crossed her eyes as she let out a breath she was holding.

”So what happened after they hit you?” Shepard needed more details.

“Woke up... on a ship or a facility or something. It was all white and the lights were so bright, as soon as I awoke someone grabbed my arm and put me back to sleep. Ended up “waking up” inside the Thorian.”

”Do you remember much?”

She shook her head. “Only a bit and the memories are so sporadic, like someone cut parts out.” Shepard stood and paced for a second. This helps. We have an abduction location. A middle ground. And an end point. Everything Ashley spoke of helped. 

“This is super helpful... really helpful, thank you. Come find me if you have any questions.”

Shepard started to move away, taking a step just as Ashley spoke again. “Shepard... is there something I can do?”

Shepard made a thinking face, should see how well she works with their other species crew.

”I’m sure Aulso or Devos could use some help.”

She stood ready. “Wait.. who are they?” 

Shepard smiled and pointed to the Turian hiding under the Mako. “That’s Devos. Aulso is our cook, I’m sure both could use the help.”

She nodded slowly. She had no experience with any other species, that was becoming more and more apparent.

She shifted up to the Mako, slowly. Shepard let her be, Devos and Aulso were both extremely friendly, Shepard could’ve sent her to Mordin. That would’ve been just plain mean though.

She headed back to her room, entering all the info from Ashley onto a datapad. She’d speak Shiala in the morning, Chawkwas said she was beyond exhausted mentally and physically. She needed her sleep.

Finally relaxing down for the night, she found herself thinking about Garrus. They probably couldn’t even be near each other until Nihlus was off ship. While she knew Garrus couldn’t commit to anything, given well... everything in his life, she couldn’t help how she felt being around him.

He’d easily become a friend to her and more.

She could imagine his father, after the dinner.  And Shepard had to admit, it should have deterred her from him. An angry xenophobic father, coming up to yell at his son in the middle of dinner. But if she had to be honest, while not xenophobic, her mother would’ve certainly never expected to see Shepard out with a Turian. And if she did, she’d probably freak out, but she’d understand if it was all laid out. Garrus’s father seemed like he wouldn’t understand for many years, if ever.

She could understand Garrus’ hesitation in the first place. And she wanted to respect that. Besides, technically she should’ve gotten what she wanted last night, right? To sleep with him, but she couldn’t help the inkling of not being quite sated.

Her omnitool pinged through with an attempted message to come through she glanced to the name, Sol. 

Speak of the devil’s daughter, she smiled and opened the video call. 

“Shepard! I was so scared you wouldn’t pop through! I’m so glad you did honestly.”

Shepard gave her a friendly smile, she liked Sol. So upbeat, happy and friendly. 

“What can I do for you, Sol? Did you just call to say ‘Hi’, that can’t be all. The data rates out here are astronomical.”

“Just send the bill to my brother, he can pay for it with his new fancy salary the council pays him. I called to ask... what is your favorite color?”

Shepard’s mouth hung open, didn’t she just cover how expensive it was to call out out here? And she asks what her favorite color is. 

“Uhhhh.... blue...? Why do need to—-“ 

“Thanks give me five. I’ll call you.” She ended the call as the total popped up on the screen. “50 credits?!” She yelled it to herself knowing no one was listening. 50 freaking credits to ask me what my favorite color was. The option at the bottom of the screen said ‘pay or send to caller or request payment’ she briefly wondered what Garrus would do if he got a random 50 credit bill from her. 

Hi, Sir, I’d like payment for last night.

If she needed payment for last night, she’d happily take payment in sex.

She laughed to herself, she should pay it. It wasn’t like she was strapped for cash, but she was on a stipend for 6 months before she would receive her usual pay from her rank. The Council also seemed to throw a few credits everyone’s ways for each job well done, so that helped. She didn’t think Wrex would stick around if they hadn’t. So she did have some money in her accounts, but now thinking about it, sending the bill to Garrus might be funny.

She sent the bill to Garrus to see what he would do just as a joke. Hopefully, he’d find it funny. She sent it over and waited for the reply.

A brief message popped up thanking her as it recieved payment. It popped up paid. Ah, he paid it right away. Probably didn’t find it funny.

A second later a message popped up from him. It was headed, ‘Cost and Analysis’. She continued to the brief message. Private Spectre logged. Good, no one can read these messages.

>>>‘I hope you’re offering something in return? I wouldn’t turn it down. Also that was a very Solana Vakarian thing of you to do. Have you been speaking to her?’<<<<

Shepard smirked. Two could play at that game. 

>>>’I thought you said nothing while Nihlus is here, did I hear you incorrectly? I hope I did.... and she told me to send it to you. The longer I thought about it, the funnier it was.’<<<

Next message had come in just as fast.

>>>’If we can figure it out then yeah... definitely. Nihlus did just give me a weird look at my laugh.’<<< 

Shepard smiled to herself reading the message. She couldn’t say that she didn’t fear last night was a one and done kind of a thing, he’d seemed so hesitant about it to begin with. He even admitted that’s what his end goal kind of had been. And it had seemed like lust and attraction had gotten in the way of any hesitations last night. She was glad it wasn’t going to be like that between them.

>>>’Figure it out? You certainly ‘figured’ it out last night. I’m glad someone’s giving you weird look.’<<<

She sent that off. Sol would be calling any minute now. Her omnitool pinged. What was he doing? Or better yet, what wasn’t he doing?

>>>’That’s... certainly a compliment. Wouldn’t mind having the opportunity to ‘figure’ it out again. Starboard port midnight.. we could just hang out.’<<<

She smiled at his last note, it would’ve been there, but they hadn’t discussed were Nihlus would be staying. They were at max space as it was. 

>>>’Where is Nihlus going to be resting? Isn’t the couch in there one of our last open spots before we have pull out cots? I’d hate to displace him...’<<<

Sol rang through just as she sent the message. She pulled up vid call smiling at her. “So Shepard... mind telling me what’s going on with my brother... and you?” 

She made the question sound serious and almost borderline threating like her father. It kind of freaked her out. Sol started to laugh, the chuffs coming out of her. “I’m just kidding... well with the tone of it anyway... but seriously, his subvocals at dinner were telling me a different story than what I saw.” 

Shepard laughed nervously unsure of what to say. Would Garrus be mad if they talked about it. Maybe... she wouldn’t risk it. It was so soon, they’d slept together once not enough to warrant talking about Hers and Garrus’ situation. At least that’s how she felt.

She shrugged and shook her head, playing coy is her best bet. 

“Don’t do that to me Shepard... this is supposed to be you and I here. I need dirt on my brother.”

Shepard shrugged and smiled at her. “No, dirt here.”

”Fineeeeeeeee. Anyway, just also wanted to apologize for the dinner the other day. I’m positive Garrus has apologized. My father is a little.... outdated in his judgements.”

Shepard moved from her desk over to sit on the couch. It felt so comfortable melting into it. 

“It’s alright, I understand it, really. He probably has a reason for the hostilities. I don’t know what he’s been through and until I do...”

Sol’s mandibles flared as she leaned her head onto her palm. She looked at Shepard with soft eyes. 

“Shepard, you’re really cool you know that? Like no one is as cool as you. If my mother was here she would’ve never let him fall into such a dark little hole. And she would have loved you.”

”Garrus has told me a little about your mother but we haven’t really had a huge discussion about it. Do you mind—“

Sol perked up immediately as she scooted closer to the holo. She grabbed something from off to the side bringing it into view. It was a family photo from quite a few years ago. Shepard wasn’t really that good with figuring out Turian ages, she understood plates crack and smaller Turians were children but everyone in the middle left unsure ages with her.

”This is us on Palavan when I was eleven.” She pointed to the five in the picture. Her mother, father, both the kids and a grandparent. They were a cute family. 

She held the picture closer with her mother face right in the screen. 

A female Turian her face decorated with only a few blue marks, she was darker then any of them, her plates were a dark brownish color in the photo.

“Wow, I love her plates.”

Sol turned the picture to stare at for a moment. 

“She was really pretty, I think my father was so in love with her. If she’d saw that display she’d ignore him for weeks until he came back crawling on his knees asking for forgiveness. Then she’d make him apologize to everyone. You, Garrus, the waiter, the table next to you, probably the whole Citadel.”

Shepard let out a little laugh, the dynamic seemed to work. Her father must be very much in love with their mother, probably missed her with ever breath he took. She knew what it was like to loose a mother, that had been enough. 

“Your father must’ve loved her a lot.”

Sol nodded as she hummed a little, you could even hear it through the holo it was so loud.

”Everyone loved my mother, you know the Primarch that we have now almost ended up arranged to her, we don’t do that stuff anymore but her tier level was high like almost Primarch level high...”

She took a deep breath as she continued.

”..Her family begged her to marry him, but she was already in love with my father. He said he would do everything he could do for her to get to a high enough tier so she wouldn’t regret her decision.”

Shepard smiled as she listened in on the story. Sol’s mother seemed like someone who loved everyone, and that she could care less about what you have materialisticly.

”You know what my mom told him. ‘I don’t care if you have nothing, I don’t care about tiers, and I certainly don’t care about my family’s waif like views.’” 

Shepard broke out in a ‘awe’. That is really cute. 

“She cared for my father deeply. When she was alive those were his softest years. They did fight, a lot. But it was always based upon their views on other species and Turian advancement. Every single time. I remember she would get so mad when dad would tell us bedtime stories.”

A quietness fell between both of the girls, Shepard wanted to say something but what should she say. Sol was reliving her childhood right now. There was nothing to say.

”She would get so mad, he’d have to sleep away from her. He would apologize and then apologize to us. And she let him back in. As much as she was a stickler for that, she was lenient.”

Sol went on and on about her mother and her father, giving Shepard an easy look into how their childhood played out. It seemed like it could’ve been any relationship, Human, Turian, etc. that was like that. 

She looked around her room and found their bonding ceremony photograph, the one where they unite clans. They are to dress nice, sign some papers and have a party for friends and family.

Their parents looked fantastic in the picture. She had one what Sol called an ‘Niclid’ it was a ancient dress held by prestigious families that would be passed down through each generation to wear at the ceremony. Sol would like wear it at her ceremony when the day comes. Her father was dressed in what looked to be a military style civie type but with a cape pinned up on on side falling down to the ground like a dress train. 

Sol said it was to remind the married couple of the fallen and to seek out a better future, it was a huge staple in military ceremonies. They looked good, they looked styled and extremely happy. 

Sol went on about her parents and then begged to know more about Shepard. She began to tell her small story with Sol.

It would be a expensive vid call that’s for sure.

Chapter Text

>>>’He’s been sparing with Chellick for a while. He mentioned wanting to speak to Mordin about something tonight. I could come find you... I want to see you.’<<<

He had sent the message but hadn’t recieved a message back in over an hour. Nihlus seemed to be tiring down, it looked like he hadn’t sparred with anyone in a long time. He’d been on his own for a while and on his own ship for a while. This was probably beyond relaxing for him.

Garrus thought it might be a good idea to leave him be when he goes to speak with Mordin. They probably needed sometime to themselves.

Garrus offered his couch to which Nihlus thanked him. Nihlus hadn’t decided where he wanted to sleep though, and hadn’t even mentioned it. He figured he’d come find him when he was ready to sleep and find a place to hunker down for the evening.

But that meant such little time could be available to see Shepard. He’d have to be careful, she smelled like nothing else when aroused and is almost certain if Nihlus walked into a room were she was, he’d know exactly what was happening. 

Even though it really wasn’t any of his business, Nihlus still reported to the Council just like he did. He also still reported to the Hierarchy, and the Turian Military. Further more he was his old Commander. While having known Garrus to sometimes find comfort in one of the crew, it was always a Turian. Finding out he was messing around with his Human shipmate seemed hundreds of times worse for some reason.

Though it didn’t stop him from having the urge to see her. He didn’t even want sex, well he did and while it had been really good, he could care less. He wanted to just talk to her like usual and see her. Every time they spoke today they were in the company of others. He wanted some time just to themselves.

Plus she had been talking to Sol and he was dying to know what they spoke about. 

Even though Sol has the idea, she doesn’t know they are actually involved. She probably assumed it was a crush and nothing more. Something Sol probably thought he’d never realize because of their father.

Too bad for his father, he’s had a taste and he definitely wants the whole bite.

Whole bite of Shepard.

She’d been in the back of his mind all day, and as she sat on his couch, he thought of her last night, hands touching him, lips and tongue against his hide, and the feel of her soft skin beneath his palms.

He ached all day. Just to touch her. That’s it, he swore.

But she hadn’t answered him, maybe he’d said the wrong thing. Maybe she didn’t want to see him. Maybe she thought differently after last night.

He couldn’t help but let the bad thoughts sneak in and infiltrate his thoughts. What if last night had changed their quickly formed relationship? It was a concern to him. He’d heard that Human’s tend to take sex differently than Turian’s do. 

They seem to take sex seriously and play their relationships rather loose. But Shepard didn’t seem like that. 

He was letting little worries get to him. She was still talking to him. Besides he wanted her friendship more than anything, he was happy by her side, she didn’t judge him for his short comings and held her arms open for him 24/7.

He’d hadn’t had anything like that since his mother passed away. It was comforting. 

“Vakarian, I’m heading up, will be with Mordin for a while. I’ll come find you later.”

Garrus quickly nodded to him and Nihlus disappeared in the elevator. He pulled up his messages again. Nothing. He glanced to the cask in the corner where they’d found the alcohol a while ago. He was tempted to take the edge off. 

He didn’t give in though. He decided on a cup of coffee and he’d sit in the lounge and relax. Maybe call Sol and see what she talked to Shepard about. She had never been interested in any of his friends on a friendship level, well besides Chellick. But he’s been a family friend for a long time. 

He only assumed her fascination with the different races is what spurred the need and want to get to know Shepard.

He’d never had a Human friend before. He was glad she liked Shepard, Sol certainly didn’t like the last girlfriend he’d brought around. In fact he was almost positive that was the reason Mihda left him. Good riddance to her though, he was glad she was gone.

He sat down in the lounge after changing into some lounge wear and grabbing a cup of coffee. He hoped that Shepard might just wander into the port and surprise him. He hoped.

Time ticked by as he cleaned up his messages, he’d finished his cup of coffee, and thought about game plan for tomorrow. Three teams seemed like the most solid idea. One to infiltrate from the back and one from the front, and a support team. It seemed like the easiest way, keep everyone intact.

He didn’t want to risk anyone unnessarily. The facility was still a huge unknown as far as what was inside. It could hold anything, they had to use caution. Especially since they would be welcomed when they arrive. 

His omnitool pinged through again with another request for payment. This one said ‘With love from Sol and Shepard’. He glanced at the payment and flared his mandibles.

659 credits. What in Spirits name?

He honestly had never seen such an expensive vid call before. They had to have set a record. 

He pressed the button issuing the payment, Sol was lucky he now had a ‘fancy new salary’ as she called it. Though if she made more calls like this, he’d run dry eventually. 

He pulled up a movie onto the vid screen in the corner of the wall. Hoping the catch some sort of signal out here. ‘Fleet and Flotilla’ was on, he happily settled himself into the couch. 

He threw a quick message Sol’s way. 

To>S. Vakarian>>’659 Credits. Seriously....’<<Sent 23:53<

It took her only a moment to reply. 

To>G. Vakarian>>’I’m laughing so hard right now, I’d vid message you if I didn’t feel so bad. Shepard makes good company, what can I say?’<<Recieved 23:54<

He chuffed to the message. It was pretty funny, well... funny if one didn’t have to pay for it that is.

To>S. Vakarian>>’For that cost you have to tell me what you talked about.’<<Sent 23:55<

To>G. Vakarian>>’Over my dead body, girl time is exactly what it’s called’<<Received 23:55<

He glanced up to the vid screen watching the movie as one of his favorite songs played, admiring the movie for a moment.

To>S. Vakarian>>’Tell me.’<<Sent 23:59<

To>G. Vakarian>>’We talked about Dad and Mom and then also her mother.<<Recieved 0:00<

Garrus stared at the message for a moment, Sol never talked about that with anyone.

She’d lost their mother young. It’d left such an impression that she’d only recently began talking about it again. It warmed himself to know that she’d found a comfort in sharing with Shepard. 

Sol needed that kind of healing and Shepard seemed to be good at that.

The door slid open and in stepped Shepard, already dressed for bed. Shorts and a hoodie thrown on, she glanced at him, who seemed to be taking up most of the long couch.

He moved to sit up and she waved her hand at him, telling him to stay put. She pulled a chair from the card table over, set it down close to the couch but not too close. The back facing forward as she straddled the chair. It made her legs look so long, he glanced at them appreciatively.

”Would’ve stopped in sooner. Tali caught me on my way over.” She leaned her arms on the back of the chair and rested her head on top of them. Her hair loose and a bit of a mess as it curtained off to the side.

”Everything alright?” He no longer cared about the movie, focusing on Shepard instead. She nodded without lifting her head. 

“She had a shut down with her little data machine, I guess that’s what you get when you piece together a bunch of cheap junk.”

He flared his mandibles, sitting up into a sitting position. His bent legs fit between Shepard and the space to the couch perfectly. He leaned back as she laid her head to the side, resting her temple onto her arms. She looked a little tired.

“Well we can get her a new one since she’s staying, right?” 

Shepard nodded without raising her cheek. A little smile crossed her face. “That’s why I like you. You buy us all pretty new things and pay for the worlds most expensive vid calls.”

He chuffed a little and shifted an arm across the back of the couch to open up his chest.

”That’s it? I’m almost offended but if that’s what it takes to get you to like me... I guess I could be okay with that.” His other hand rubbed his chest in fake offense.

She let out a little giggle as she closed her eyes for a moment. “All you’re good for.... no wait, I take that back, you were definitely good for something else last night.” She laughed to herself before meeting his eyes again. They looked dark and sinful.

Maybe he should get her to bed, she looked tired, like she would fall asleep with how she was sitting, tired. Plus the longer she stayed, the sooner he would want to touch her.

It had been a long day, they’d woken up early this morning so she could sneak out before everyone was awake. She’d probably hadn’t gotten time to catch some more sleep and besides they were up late last night. Of course, it was beyond worth it.

”Maybe we should get you to bed..?” He went to move to stand up and she shook her head at him.

”I don’t want to go to bed yet.” He leaned forward elbows to his knees, giving her a curious look. Much closer to her now.

His face was less than a foot away from hers, placing him close enough for one of those head spinning kisses.

Being this close reminded him about this morning when her forehead had met his. It thrown him off, he had to remember that she had no idea what it had meant. He didn’t want to scare her off by telling her what she had done. He had to admit it felt right when she had done it.

She lifted her head up and moved her hand to hold up her head puting her closer to him. Less than half a foot between them. 

He glanced down to her pretty pink lips, a small smirk playing on them. “Why not?”

She leaned in a little closer to him, beyond close, close enough to have her lips on his rough plates again. “Because... I wanted to see you too.” 

When she spoke her breath fanned across his plates, his blood rate increasing at the thought of kissing her. Was anyone sure Humans weren’t like Drell with their so called ‘drug inducing’ skin and saliva?

He wasn’t so sure about it anymore. She sure was addicting.

She leaned in the slightest bit, pressing a kiss to his mandibles instead of his mouth plates, though it still left a lingering buzz against his plating. He grabbed her chair spinning her so back of it so that she was facing him. He pulled her chair and her closer in between his legs. He leaned in so he was only inches away from her, his hand fell to her thigh, stroking the skin just above her knee. The back of the chair still between them.

She smiled softly at him, her tired erasing from her face. She obviously liked when he took control of the situation. Her smell immediatly telling him, she wanted something more. 

He scooted forward on the couch, his other hand moved to push her hair away from her neck. Holding a group of the soft strands in his hand, then gripping the back of her neck. 

He moved his head in close to nudge her neck sniffing her sweet smelling skin, her head immediately moving away. Her hand instantly moved to his shoulder, gripping him tight. 

“Garrus... we probably—“ He darted his tongue out just for a taste of her salty sweet skin. He should’ve known that wasn’t all he would want. 

He slid his hand up her soft muscular thigh, moving dangerously close to the hem of her shorts. Honestly, at this single given moment, he didn’t care if Nihlus caught them. Watched them. Anything.

Last night flashed through his thoughts again, it made him want her all over again and more.

He guided her head towards his, pressing her plush lips against his plates. His thumb stroked the bottom hem of the shorts that hugged her hips and not much else. His hand so close to where he’d been plates deep last night. He didn’t get to savor much of that part of her body and he briefly wondered what else he could do down there. She had briefly shown him something that help her get to the edge. 

How else did she work? He wanted to figure it out. There was so much more. 

She melted into the kiss giving in for only a second. He loved the way her lips felt against him.

He moved back out of the kiss to look at her again. Her face blushed and her eyes fluttering. He was doing something right.

Her gaze turned to him again, locking into his eyes. She moved in quickly placing her lips against his mouth plates. He quickly drew his tongue along the seem of them and she opened up. His tongue stroking hers sensually and slowly. Tingling sensations moved through his body, he could practically taste the pleasure she made him crave.

His tongue immediatly found hers, fevor raced through his body. He could fuck her on the couch right now if the chair wasn’t in the way. He gripped her hair tightly again, pulling her away. 

“Shit Garrus, where did the come from?”

Her hand moved to clamp down on his at the hem of her shorts, her thumb stroking over the hide on top of his hand. Her blue eyes gazed at him while she waited for an answer.

”Was it bad?” He loosened his grip on her hair and pulled back a little putting some space between them. 

“If I didn’t know otherwise.. I’d be almost positive you’ve been with a Human woman before.” He stared as the words flowed into him. That was the perfect ego boost and vote of confidence he needed. 

“Good... glad you like it. I have more. And I was with this pretty Human girl last night, I’d say she pretty much blew my mind. So I know a little something.”

She shook her head, a small smile and blush racing up her neck and cheeks. “I understand that having Nihlus not know about this is extremely important to you.” She pushed his hand back down her thigh. He sat back against the couch pulling it away and into his lap.

“I don’t think I’ve been rejected since... well...  I was 16.” He rubbed at his mandible. “Though I guess it is my fault.” 

She laughed a little and smiled resting her arms across the back of the chair again, resting her chin on top. “Hey... you had the plan to reject me... I’m glad the tables have turned.”

He rubbed his stomach plates. He had to set the boundaries and glad at least one of them was sticking to them.

He wasn’t so sure he had the strength to. “I couldn’t reject you if I tried... I know because I did try.”

Another toothy smile fell across her lips before her face twisted inquisitively.

“What would happen if Nihlus saw this?” She finally asked the question, although he wasn’t against telling her, he had wanted to avoid it. But he didn’t want to lie to her, lying got him no where with Shepard. She sees right through him.

”At that exact moment nothing... probably... he’d ask me about it later though.”

”I thought Turians could sleep within their crew, isn’t it encouraged? Stress relief, etc.”

Garrus nodded along agreeing. Yes, but you aren’t a Turian Shepard. “It’s a little different... with you. Sleeping with other species was extremely frowned upon until maybe fifteen years ago. Humans are still on the ‘outskirts’ of the okay list. You as an Alliance soldier even more so.”

Shepard cocked her head to the side, her hair falling off to the side with it. Her brows came together as she thought. “Why not Humans?”

”A lot of Turians were affected by the 314 incident or to you Shanxi, my father included. It left many bitter towards your species as a whole.” He rubbed the back of his neck leaning   into the back of the couch again and crossing his arms over his chest. “That’s why my father acted like that the other night, he’s been bitter about it my entire life. Once again very sorry about it.”

”So that’s why you were so hesitant, I mean I knew a little... but not exactly why. All Turians think like that?” 

Garrus nodded but clearly he didn’t think the same as them, at least not anymore. He was actually glad, his staff on board had definitely set a good example for the species for him.

His gaze fell back to her, the way Shepard sat in the chair made him want to take a picture, she looked so casual, eyes glittering, and her lips pursed. He wished he had his visor on for once outside a mission, maybe he’d have to wear it more often to catch a picture.

“Do you regret it... us sleeping together. It does make your life more complicated.”

”No.”

”You don’t?”

”Not even in the slightest.”

”Not even the slightest?”

He laughed a little and sat up. She was playing with him and goading him to answer. 

“No.”

“Good, because I don’t either.” She smiled to herself. Her blue eyes sparkled as she brushed her hair back out of her face pulling it up to tie away from her face. Her cheekbones high and fitting when she pulled her hair back.

“So.. who can’t know that you are having a liaison with your Lieutenant Commander? Who also happens to be a Human.”

Garrus uncrossed his arms again, rubbing his soft stomach. Even his soft hide had nothing against her soft skin. He’d only had her once in his bed and he didn’t want her to leave. She’d want to leave after she hears this list.

Though it would be best wouldn’t it? If she’s scared off by that, that’ll be the end of that rebellious streak.

”The Council, the Hierarchy, and the Military. Those are the biggest... oh and my father but he’s already pissed off that we went to the bar together... well, dinner too but mostly the bar.”

“That’s a pretty important list right there. I’m pretty sure if I get caught. I might loose respect but that’s probably all... and who gives a shit about people’s respect anyways.”

”I wish it were that easy on my end.”

Shepard offered him a small smile. Garrus turned off the vid screen and gazed to Shepard. 

“You look tired, Shepard.” She stood meekly and pushed the chair over to the table again and Garrus stood. She stepped up to him moving in less than a foot away. Her head came up to right at the bottom of his keel. She turned to look up at him and smile.

”Goodnight Garrus.”

She leaned up on her tip toes to place a few soft kisses to his rough mouth plates. His mandibles flared, as his hands settled innocently on her hips. He was trying to remember the kisses forever. He followed her out of the starboard lounge. 

“Goodnight Shepard.” She broke off and headed to her room, he watched every move she made. Temptation growing in his veins. He wanted to follow her and wanted to sleep with her in more ways than just one but he resisted.

They’d have more time for that later. When the risk wasn’t so high with Nihlus on board.

She glanced one more time back before she walked into her room. Catching his gaze from across the room. She blew him a kiss then disappeared into her room. He’d see her tomorrow, but it felt like it might be the longest night of his life.

Chapter Text

The morning lagged, she gotten up went straight to the showers. No one else seemed to be up and about except for Aulso, who said he had her coffee already made for her, exactly how she liked it. She loved the guy.

She didn’t sleep well last night and hoped she would be able to get a nap in before the mission, and with the way things looked, she might.

As the crew started to wake and move about the crew deck, Shepard sat at the island keeping Aulso company while waiting for instruction. As far as she knew, they weren’t even close to Virmire there hadn’t even been an ETA. Maybe they had turned direction at the last moment. Maybe they were still in Feros space.

She’d ask Garrus when he pops up or calls her.

The chair next to her skitted across the floor. A heavy body sat down next to her, it wasn’t Garrus.

“Mind if I join you?” She turned and caught Nihlus taking the seat and also taking a cup from Aulso. It looked like black coffee. She silently cringed, maybe a little sugar? Creamer? Salt? Something? Anything?

“Not at all... black coffee?”

His mandibles flared as he looked at her. He took another sip just to be spiteful of her comment. 

“You get all the pure flavor with out all the extra stuff added. Why would you ruin something so good when it’s by itself.” She glanced into her cup of nearly pure sugar. Dextro-coffee must be that much better then Levo-coffee.

He turned to look at her. “Tell me something... this must’ve been a change for you. How are you getting along aboard?”

“Just fine, I’m enjoying it. The crew is by far one of the best I’ve ever worked with.” 

His mandibles fluttered, he liked that answer. “I wish I would’ve had such an opportunity, Garrus was a good option though. I would kill to have such a crew. Instead, I’m all by myself.”

Her eyes widened in surprise, he wants a ship like this. “You’re all alone?”

He nodded and took another sip, glancing around. 

“Garrus is lucky to have company like you.”

She took a sip of her coffee, attempting to hide her face. That was a serious compliment. Whether or not he was attempting to dig into things. It didn’t seem like he was, but she’d let it go.

”Thanks. He’s not so bad. He knows what he’s doing and knows how to work with others weak points by making them strengths. Well rounded is what I’d say.”

He turned on the stool to lean an arm on the counter and look at her, if he wasn’t a Turian she’d think he was going to attempt to flirt.

”That’s commendable of you to say.”

”It’s true.”

”So.... I have a question.”

She rose her eyebrows.

Oh this is going to be good.

”Are you attached? Do you have a mate? A boyfriend? ...Or girlfriend? I don’t mean to presume.”

Shepard felt her face heat, and she quickly looked away catching Aulso’s face. He raised his eyebrows having caught the conversation too and glanced between her and Nihlus.

She briefly wondered if Aulso might suspect that there was something between her and Garrus. How does she answer such an advancement, Turians didn’t seem to be put off by a normal denial.

She turned her head back to him.

“Uhhhh....”

He took another drink of his coffee, glancing across the room. He looked smug and casual and had an air of confidence about him. If she hadn’t been sorely content with Garrus, or if they hadn’t slept together, she would’ve possibly considered it.

Maybe he was just asking to make conversation, not trying to hit on her.

”No, I don’t have someone attached.”

That was really the best answer, nothing official.

She brought her coffee up to her face.

”I’m surprised, you are a very beautiful girl. If you want to stow away some time and maybe take a little stress off your shoulders, I’m more than experienced with Human women and I’m definitely interested.”

She inhaled at the same time as she took the sip, causing her to choke on the coffee. She coughed trying to clear her throat, she patted her chest trying to clear it.

”Just a thought. Think about it.” He gave her a grin, and leaned up off the bar. Stepping off to one of the port lounges. She swung her head back around to Aulso.

If he was sleeping with Humans then why were her and Garrus being so cautious? They could do what they wanted, well obviously with caution to the crew.

She would get to the bottom of this with Nihlus soon. Garrus had no idea Nihlus had a soft spot for Humans. Nihlus obviously knew he could be upfront about sex with her. It had made her stomach twinge. In a horribly good way, a confident man did things nothing else could sometimes. 

Just like Garrus being aggressive last night. It took everything in her to stop it, even when she wanted it like nothing else.

”So....” Aulso drawled our in his dual toned voice. She was embarrassed that Nihlus had no shame to not speak about it in front Aulso. Well maybe he knew Aulso had preferences for something other than Turians. 

She turned to him and squinted suspiciously. “Do you know him?”

”I’m surprised that’s the first thing you say.... He’s earned himself a reputation among Turians. Everyone knows him. Though I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed you so flustered.”

She coughed to clear her throat of the coffee she’d choked on. “Everyone knows him?”

”He’s fairly well known for being a ‘bad’ Turian, Somehow this whole thing doesn’t surprise me plus he’s been around the block a few times.” He plated some food and set it in front of her. She grabbed a fork.

”Been around the block?” He grabbed a few plates of food and swung around the island, handing the plates off then coming to settle in the seat Nihlus had just been in.

”He’s maybe... what?... almost 40-50, and a Spectre. He doesn’t waste time on idle ideas. He was definitely making a move, hoping you’d take the bait. Are you interested or something?”

Shepard shoveled her mouth with food slightly irritated. “Everyone is so interested in my sex life, aren’t they?”

He shrugged. “Sex is good for everyone, my wife says Turians are great in bed, though sometimes I wonder if she just tells me that to stroke my ego.” He shrugged again. “Either way, do what makes you happy.”

He got up and started to hand out more food. Shepard munched on her food.

Turians.

Aulso had made her feel better about the whole thing plus, he was right.

It’s not like she was going to sleep with Nihlus. Though she was practically itching to talk to Garrus about it. She quickly finished her food, she was going to go find him. 

And take care of business before things get down to the wire before Virmire.

 

She snuck into the elevator taking it up to Garrus’s room. The door was locked but that was perfect, she walked straight in. He must’ve just gotten out of the shower or something, the room felt humid and he was pulling his clothes out of a drawer, completely undressed still. He watched her walk down the stairs, focusing on her.

”Shepard..?”

She stepped up against wall that separated the desk and the couch area. She breathed trying to remember the confidence she had coming up here. It felt like it had dissipated as soon as she saw him, nerves settling instead.

She stared ahead. Wait, what am I doing? Did I come here for sex or what

At this point she was a little clueless in her direction. Fuck it.

She grabbed her sweater zipper and pulled it down, taking it off. She watched him, making sure he was okay with it. His mandibles flared out as he stared. He was into it for sure.

She threw her jacket off to the side, gripping the hem of her tank top. She pulled that off too.

”Shepard... what are—-“

She stepped up, pushing him back onto his bed. He bounced a little at his weight against the springs. He sat back on his elbows, his plates looked to be already cracked and opening further.

”I like what’s happening but—“

She gripped her waist band of her workout pants, his eyes immediatly followed her hands. She quickly drew them down and tossed them to the side. She released her bra, sending that flying to the side along with her underwear.

This would be quick. Quick like neither would believe.

She leaned down, dropping her head to the last bit of plates on his stomach, right where the soft skin of his stomach started. The kisses started tame as she kissed around his stomach. She headed lower, careful around his spreading plates. His breathing sped up with each kiss as she moved lower.

He didn’t seem to prefer to be touched there last time they did this. Eventually, she’d show him how a good blow job could treat him. Today not the day, she was literally static with sexual energy, she wanted it quick and hard.

He pushed her hair out of her face so he could get a view of her kissing him. He seemed to really like it, his mandibles fluttering against his face. She kissed close to his almost open plates, she could see him, and he was nearly ready.

A hiss came from him as he flexed trying to sit up. That wouldn’t do.

She put her hands on his chest pushing him back onto his elbows, climbing on top of him. She pressed her lips to his mouth, he quickly opened up to her. She brushed her tongue against his, asking for more. She felt him shift a little a hand moving to her waist pushing her naked ass against him. Urging her to grind against him. 

She moaned loudly into the kiss, breaking it apart and breathing deeply. “I need you.” She was wet he probably felt it when she grinded herself onto him.

He growled and sat up gripping her to him by her back. He flipped them pressing her into the mattress. His mouth coming to hers again, he was out of his sheath and ready. His wet length pressed up against her center. She gasped as he rocked against her.

“Please...”

“How do you need... me?” 

“Hard, fast, anything.”

He grinded into her again. His hard plates rubbed up against her center sending tiny pulses of pleasure through her. 

He backed up a little, trying to line himself up, licking and nip at her breasts. He tried to push a little missing the mark slightlly.

She’d helped him the other night, he probably had no idea where it even went in down there. Maybe she should let him figure it out? It would be funny if she weren’t literally going to die from not getting fucked.

“Umm... is it closed or...”

Shepard let out a little laugh at his slight frustration. It was beyond funny and she would’ve thought of it as a mood killer if a guy didn’t know where to go. But he was beyond cute when frustrated.

She grabbed his hand, pulling him back down so he was almost flush on top of her. Her chest rubbed against his plates perfectly. Rough in all the right places.

She took his hand with hers guiding it down to her center. She looked at him serious. 

“You have to be careful with these talons down there, okay?”

”Absolutely.”

At least he was eager. His rough finger brushed up against her clit, causing her to groan and buck her hips into him. He glanced to her.

”Good?”

”Really good, but I’m wet enough.” He looked at her before leaning into her neck and running his tongue along it. 

She took her hand away, giving him a second to figure it out. He rubbed her clit, sending the  shockwave of nerves through her legs. “Little lower..”

He carefully moved his hand down, his talon caught into her center carefully. “That’s it.” 

He felt around for a second before pushing one finger into her. She gripped the back of his neck, moving to hide into his neck. It felt so good. She let out a little moan, kissing his neck.

”I’ll show you later... I really need you to fuck me.”

He immediatly pulled of out the testing touch and lined his cock up after figuring it out and pushed in slowly. She really liked that he had his own lubrication, this should’ve been a thing with Human men.

Actually, Garrus could keep this to himself. 

She adjusted with each push, she pressed her lips to his mouth, begging for more. She wanted to be full.

“More...”

He hilted him self quickly, hitting her wall. She moaned loudly, arching into him. Her hands ran all along his back, one leg hooking itself sound his hip spur, opening her up a little.

He quickly found interest in her flexibility because he tucked a hand behind her knee and pressed it to her chest giving him the best angle to thrust into her. He began moving slowly at first before each thrust began to speed up. Every time their hips met, his length hit the soft spot inside, making her practically writhe.

”Fuck... you’re literally perfect, Shepard.”

She gripped her leg for him freeing that hand up for him, he rested it onto the little space where her shoulder met her neck. A little closer and he’d having her in the perfect choke. Maybe later.

“Fuck..”

He thrusted into her mercilessly, exactly how she wanted it. The tingles facing up her limbs. The orgasm was so close she could feel it in her belly, twisting and tightening.

”Right there.. Garrus!”

The orgasm hit her swiftly, running through her limbs. He groaned out loud and dug himself deeper inside her, falling from his leverage point, caging her to the bed as he came, elbows on either side of her head. It was quick but that’s what they needed.

He pressed his forehead to her shoulder. His mandibles fluttering lightly. ”What happened?” 

”Like right now?” She said it still a little out of breath. “We just fucked...?”

He nudged into her neck, nestling against her skin. At least he wasn’t mad. Or at least he didn’t seem like it.

He pulled out of her, with a groan, murmuring something about ‘so warm’ against the skin of her neck. It caused goose bumps to raise across her skin while her nerves slowly relaxed.

She pressed her lips to his cheek. ”You’re not mad?”

”Oh, I think I could be livid.”

He nuzzled further into her neck, moving his other hand against the other side of her neck to hold her to him. His post coital nuzzles were starting to become a favorite, very quickly.

”Why are we tangled together while Nihlus is down stairs? He could come up here at any moment.” He leaned up onto his elbows caging her again to the bed. He didn’t look mad, nor did his voice sound mad. He gazed at her, her blues eyes catching his. 

She brought a hand up to his chin. Her thumb ran across the bottom hard edge of his mouth and drifted towards his chin. 

“Nihlus wants to sleep with me.”

His eyes darkened for a moment as he focused in on her. His hand moved to capture the back of her head and held it. His thumb running over the soft skin of her cheek. It felt nice, really nice. He honestly knew exactly how to treat her after a rough round of fucking.

”Bullshit..”

”Aulso was standing right there, he heard the whole thing.” She ran her thumb along the edge of his mandible, holding them tight against his cheeks. A little bit of teeth visible through the space.

He glanced to her lips then back up, to focus on her. She maintained eye contact to tell him she wasn’t lying, in the slightest.

”Really..?”

Shepard nodded and moved her hand down his neck, tracing his slightly raised cowl lines that led to the plates on his chest.

”He said he’s very experienced, and he thinks I’m beautiful.” He rolled his eyes for a second. 

“I hope you didn’t fall for that, you're much more then that..” He halted himself as he said it, almost like he didn’t mean to say it. A different hum came out of him, her hands nervously shaking against his plates. “He said he’s experienced?”

He pushed up off of her, latching onto her hand to pull her up against him as he stood. Her hand braced herself onto his chest as she stood in front of him. “Very experienced.”

“Did you want to?”

”I mean... I’m not gonna say that it didn’t get me a little hot and bothered, his confidence is very commanding, but all I could think was... he screws Humans too, he’s not going to care if he finds out.” Garrus sighed a little, moving his hand back up into her hair playing with it.

”He will care..” His touch left her, as he turned her and nudged her towards the shower. “You need to shower.” She glanced back with a pout on her face, as he stepped away. 

“Wait.. why would he care?”

Garrus sighed again, his dual toned voice dragging out. It was really cute. “Do I have to tell you to shower again?”

”Fine.. give me five.” She quickly moved up to the shower hopping in and cleaning every nook and cranny as quickly as she could. 

She wrapped a towel around herself, and found her clothes neatly folded on the desk. He quickly hopped into the shower after her. Cleaning himself in a few minutes flat. She’d dressed and sat on his bed checking her omnitool while waiting. 

He moved out of the room with a towel around his waist. What a bother.

“So you gonna tell me why Nihlus will be mad?” She leaned back casually lounging on the bed, he took a quick glance back to her then put his civies on, buckling the pieces into place.

”Now if he finds out, not only have you denied him but you had sex with a younger, inexperienced Turian. That’s a hit to a Turian’s ego.”

He turned and finished clasping his shirt into place. Straightening his clothes out. 

“So you’re saying I should go have sex with him?”

”No. Shepard... No.” She let out a laugh at his firm demand. “These types of things are territorial type things.”

She smiled and sat up crossing her arms. She felt good, she’d been fucked in all the best ways. And it felt good.

”You, Turians, Territorial? No way!”

He let out an exasperated sigh, he must’ve caught onto the sarcasm. He grabbed her arm pulling her up and to him again.

”We are territorial, though if a war broke out, between us, he is my elder and he’d probably win.”

“Have a little faith, I wouldn’t toss you to the side that easy.” She gave him a quick kiss and stepped around him heading to the door. He quickly followed her. Both entering into the elevator and heading down to the C.I.C.

“You wouldn’t?” The elevator halted quickly.

”Not even in the slightest, Nihlus is good looking and confident. But I have a thing for the color blue.” She smirked and stepped off as the doors opened leaving him with his thoughts. 

If she hadn’t started things with Garrus and curiosity had gotten the best of her, she would’ve entiretained Nihlus. But even though they weren’t exactly committed, she had a certain amount of loyalty to Garrus. Plus he screwed her just the right way. They fit pretty well together.

Which kind of worried her a little, hopefully she wasn’t getting too attached. It would hurt when he decides to stop messing around.

It would kind hurt right now if he did.

Chapter Text

She’d walked in his room like no one before her, confidence dwindling for only a second before she grabbed her jacket and tossed it off. He hadn’t been sure what happening but he really didn’t care.

Watching her undress and throw him on the bed had been singly a fantasy. One he’d long forgotten about when he found out Turian females preferred to be the one watching.

He’d been beyond turned on just by her stepping into the room, she goaded him, stripped in front of him, and touched his body with her lips.

It was better than the first time, so much better. They were in tune, he didn’t give a single care that Nihlus was on board when given the option to worry or to fuck Shepard. Shepard won out in most scenarios. Definitely in this one.

He wanted to say he was mad she came into his room, practically begging for sex, but who would be upset by that? No one.

And he almost thought he hadn’t heard right, right after he’d screwed her so throughly. Nihlus wanted to sleep with her, and she chose him.

Nothing pleased his ego more than hearing that from her mouth, even if there could be a possible inclination to have a territory war start. 

Nihlus was his senior, more experienced, and the edge of experienced Spectre. He’s almost sure if he hadn’t agreed to having Shepard before coming aboard, she would’ve excepted his offer. And probably with zeal. He was friendly, confident, funny, and apparently experienced. Why wouldn’t she?

He was glad she seemed to have a certain loyalty to him. He would’ve understood if she’d decided to ‘try’ him out. Any Turian female would’ve gone for it. Especially one he wasn’t seeing, or bonded to, or even marked by him in any way.

But she didn’t instead, she came to him. 

And that felt so good, he couldn’t be mad at her.

She left him in th elevator, after saying she had a preference for blue, even though Nihlus was confident and good looking. Just that little compliment helped, and it worked for him.

He hadn’t moved from the elevator, the doors closing in his face. He had to quickly push the button to open them again. He strutted out and gave a wave to Vina as he headed to check in with Joker.

He hadn’t had an update on their progress to Virmire. It might be a good idea to find that. Really to see how far out they might be, they wouldn’t want to be caught off guard. Besides maybe he’d have some more time with Shepard, maybe get another round in with her. Spirits his plates itched for her again, it had only been twenty minutes.

He sauntered up to Joker feeling relaxed about the mission, he had said something about how they would be in Virmire space in about 6 hours. Feros was a little bit of a ways away, plus with a few mass relay jumps that they’ll have to make. It would give everyone more time.

Though as Joker spoke, the more his mind seemed to drift off to the mission before him. He couldn’t say he wasn’t nervous about because he was.

He would be leading the team into a huge unknown. He definitely wanted everyone to know that too. And everyone to use caution.

After speaking to Joker, Garrus headed to the war room. He found Nihlus leaning over the table moving a few things around between the holos.

”You smell awfully clean for a Turian.”

Garrus internally laughed and cocked an eyebrow. Some how a flutter of jealousy pulsed through him, just thinking about Nihlus asking Shepard to sleep with him made him want to challenge Nihlus. 

He desperately held back his threatening sub vocals. That would’ve been one way to let him know about things, tell him to back off, but it really wouldn’t end pretty between them.

”You smell awfully like a sexual harrasment lawsuit waiting to happen against you from the Alliance.” It had just slipped out of Garrus’ mouth, his eyes widening as he realized what had just come out of his mouth. He wanted to slap himself.

Spirits.

How would he go about this?

Nihlus shrugged and glanced back down to the war table, pulling up a plan. He leaned up and turned to Garrus. 

“So... she told you?” He glanced down then picked up his mug and took a sip. “What did she say?”

Garrus sighed and crossed his arms. He opened this can of worms himself, he might as well pour them all out. Well most of them.

”Said you told her to think about it and that you were extremely interested...”

He nodded to himself and pulled up a different blueprint. “Well, that’s true...” He gave the holo a once over before pulling open a different one. 

“You’re experienced?”

He chuckled to himself quietly and then leaned down onto the lip of the island. “I am. Probably news to you... sorry to make you uncomfortable on your own ship. I couldn’t imagine you trying to figure out how to dispate a situation like that with a Human.”

Nihlus crossed his arms and looked around the room casually. His tone sincere and apologetic.

He brought his hand up and rubbed his head. “I’m surprised even someone on board hasn’t attempted to seek her out, she is a very attractive Human as well as strong, capable and this certain air of sexy about her.” He straightened himself to stand up.

He continued. “Chellick would have been a first guess... I’m also surprised you aren’t interested... in a way...”

Garrus cocked his head to the side wondering what he meant. “In a way?”

His mandibles flared as his gaze fell to Garrus. “Sure, she might be a Human... and well given your family’s history, I’ve never known you to ‘hate’ others.... if there was someone who could make you peak any interest outside a Turian Female, I feel like it would be her.”

Garrus’ eyes widened at the revelation he’d placed. Even Nihlus would see her as a match for him. Or at the very least someone he would find attractive. Which he absolutely did. Maybe he could just tell Nihlus, it didn’t seem like it could be an issue and it might be helpful to tell him. Maybe he might know what to do from here on out. 

“I am very interested in her... yes.”

Nihlus’ eyes widened as he turned to him, his arms still tight across his chest. Maybe Garrus shouldn’t have said anything, he tightened his mandibles to his face, ready for what could come.

”Does she know of your interest?”

Garrus nodded to answer him.

Nihlus’s mandibles flared out wide and flicked in slowly. “Lucky bastard.”

”Extremely so... I was worried you would report me to the Hierarchy and the Council if you knew. My father has already planned a talk to the Hierarchy, simply for us walking into the same bar together.”

Nihlus stepped up and put a hand on his shoulder comforting him in a very Turian way. 

“What does he know?”

”Nothing more than we went to a club with some of the crew while in shore last.”

Nihlus pulled his hand back and rested his hand under his chin thinking for a moment. 

“Have you slept together?” 

Garrus nodded slowly again. 

“Even luckier than I thought.” He sighed and then looked up to the ceiling. “You know there’s still so much negativity about Human’s and all.... it just lingers there.” 

Garrus nodded again. Of course he knew that, he’d grown up with a father like that. 

“I doubt anything will come of it now a days... a decade ago definitely but now not so much. You should be wary of the Military finding out though.” He patted him on the shoulder and backed away and sneaked a low thrum below his subvocals. He was beyond jealous, it gave  Garrus an opportunity to send a fitting growl back to him. 

While he was in the picture there was no way in hell he’d let him near Shepard again.

Maybe my jealousy is a little out of control too?

The doors slid open and Shepard meandered into the room, breaking the tense atmosphere from the two Turians.

She walked in clearly reading the air in the room, she glanced between both of them. 

“I should go?”

”No.” Came out of both their mouths at the same time, Garrus quickly whipped his head to Nihlus who had done the same. 

“Ummm.. okay then how can I help?”

Garrus turned to her, giving her confused looking face a once over.

”Just need to go over the Virmire mission with you.”

She nodded briefly, she kept her professionalism to the max, as well as her usually wandering eyes.

Nihlus pulled up two holos, one three team plan and one two team plan. Garrus wanted to opt for a three team plan it seemed the best to cover the most amount of ground and if there’s trouble, easier to get them out or have another group assist. 

Nihlus had seemed to prefer the two team set up. One going in through the back and one through the front. It was optimal but three seemed safer in some respect.

He really didn’t want to unnecessarily risk anyone. 

At all.

Shepard looked between both and nodded understood that on the three team set up she would be a leader, as well as Nihlus and Garrus.

But she turned to look at the two team set up. She seemed to prefer that set up. Nihlus a leader and Garrus leading the other. She would be a partner along side Nihlus for that one.

”Whichever you choose, I am prepared for either.” She stood there proudly, clearly ready. 

Nihlus spoke up and questioned. “So the two team?”

Garrus swallowed and nodded. He didn’t want Shepard to be that far away but if there was anyone who could watch her back, he’d hoped Nihlus would step up. 

Shepard smiled and nodded. “Let’s go brief everyone if you’re both done. We should be in Virmire space in just a little while.”

Garrus more than agreed that the mission should be agreed with everyone else participating.

 

Garrus presented the plan to the crew. One team, his team, would take the full frontal. The team would consist of himself, Wrex, Li, Jack. The backdoor team would consist of Nihlus, Shepard, Tali, Chellick. 

They all still weren’t so sure about bringing Ashley along. She had yet to settle or be accepted to participate in their mission by the Alliance. And really he was fine with it in the long run.

He had made sure to have someone on each team, who could handle breaking into their systems for files and data, the perfect tasks for Tali and Li.

Both teams had battle strong leaders Nihlus, Shepard, Wrex and Himself who could take out as many opponents as possible. 

Chellick stood as a hardy back up, and Jack was a league of her own. Eager to do some damage to Cerberus. He thought it would be best to keep an eye on her by having her apart of his team. 

The mission was to infiltrate, find any STG be there any, get info and get out. He didn’t have to remind everyone twice.

They all broke apart for lunch, they would all be getting ready for the mission within the next few hours. Garrus couldn’t help but feel the stress of the mission starting to settle on his shoulders. Nihlus had disappeared down to speak to Chellick about something. 

He took the opportunity to find Shepard. He couldn’t help the feeling he had about her being on Nihlus’s team, he chalked it down to no one was there to watch her back.

She was capable, strong, and smart but she did do some daring things that were definitely outside the box. He felt like without having him watching her, she could get hurt or do something dumb.

He found her after lunch, she was in her room, doing some of the stretches that she usually does before a mission. He’d been able to sneak into her room, most of the other staff disappearing and readying themselves for the mission. 

She was doing some stretch on the ground it looked odd, she looked at him wide-eyed and her mouth formed in a ‘o’ as he stepped into the room.

“You just gonna stand there, Garrus?” She glanced beyond him, probably noticing the open door that he had yet to shut. He quickly shut the door and locked it, moving to her couch and taking a seat. 

He had yet to say a word to her but her focus remained on him as she stretched and moved on the ground. 

She had on more clothes than she normally did, probably decided to do her stretches in here because she probably thought Nihlus had stayed in the starboard port. She probably didn’t want to intrude on his space, Garrus was thankful she stayed in here. 

“You just gonna stare or do you wanna join me?” His eyes flickered from her butt in the air back to her smirking face as she moved to stretch her back again. 

He wasn’t sure what to say. About her body or about the mission.

”Need a little pre-mission stress relief?” He nodded for a second, he could go for that. But he still didn’t really have time to sleep with her, they needed to be ready in an hour. 

She stood up and finished stretching, moving to sit down on the couch next to him. She had her body turned towards him, obviously welcoming him. A look of concern plastered across her face, her eyebrows knitted together. He’d never get past how expressive Human’s faces could be. Especially hers.

”I don’t know why I am concerned about you being with Nihlus.”

She tilted her head and questioned his hesitations.

“Afraid I’m gonna get myself into trouble?”

He nodded and felt his mandibles flare out uncontrollably. He felt weird. Really weird about all of it, the whole Shepard thing.

”What if I promise not to do any of that stuff? Would that make you feel better?” Her hand fell to his arm. She stroked it mindlessly with her thumb in soothing circles. It helped to focus on something other than his mind.

It bothered him not being able to have her watch his back or vice versa

He sighed and stood up. He didn’t know what was happening and to be honest his emotions felt beyond control at the moment. He looked down to her on the couch, she watched him closely. Reading into his thoughts somehow.

“Does Nihlus know?”

He nodded to her and crossed his arms. “Nihlus won’t hesitate to sacrifice anyone if you get into trouble, I really don’t want that to happen or for it to be you.” 

She stood up in front of him, hesitantly reaching up to his neck with both her hand coming to rest below his face plates. 

“I will keep an eye on the team. You have no doubt about that, I’ll keep us all safe.” Her thumbs stroked over the bottom of his jaw comfortingly. He moved his head in, almost to kiss her but instead his forehead fell to hers which she welcomed warmly.

They stayed like that for what felt like hours but had only been seconds before she pressed a kiss to his mouth. She tried to coax him to reciprocate to which he eventually did. The kiss felt different then normal but he paid no mind to it. 

It took his mind off everything, besides he had to trust Shepard. She’s led teams like this before as well as Nihlus. They would all be fine, they had to be.

She pulled away and jutted her tongue out of her mouth across her bottom lip. It was beyond sexy.

She gripped onto his civies and pulled him over to the bed. She turned and pushed him to the bed quickly climbing on top of him.

”The doors locked?” Garrus gripped her legs as she straddled him. He liked that she liked to take control, she was a little bossy and it was by far suited his needs plus the fact that she was insatiable definitely hit the right bone with him. He hadn’t been this interested in anyone in a long time, if ever.

Her hands found his waist, and rubbed him as she leaned up against him and began to trail kisses along his throat. He would need to stop but he couldn’t will himself to do it. The tingles that she left as her hands snuck under the shirt of his civies, paying extra close attention to his stomach before her dexterous hands slipped beneath his pants, making him jump a little. 

What are you doing Shepard? 

She slipped down his body as his elbows held him up on the bed. She pushed his clasped shirt up as much as she could. She laid licks and kisses all along his stomach. She tried to tug his pants down, obviously having trouble. 

She looked at him obviously confused by his pants but he looked at her just as confused by her actions. He unlocked the clasps and she quickly tugged his pants down to his thighs, she quickly knelt down in front of him between his legs.

”Uhh... Shepard what are you planning?” He could’ve swore the smirk she wore on her face radiated. She moved her head down to his open plates, himself already ready to come out. 

“You’ll like it, everyone does. Sit back and relax.”

He didn’t relax in the slightest, but once again, he needed to put his trust in her that she would take care of everything. He fell back against the bed and gave her control. 

Her lips came close to his seam, kissing and licking as she went. A thrum moved through his body, a groan fell out of his mouth as his head fell back for a second. Her hands taking the opportunity to run along his waist.

He’d never been one for plate play, to careful of an area to mess up for a Turian but this was different, so different. 

He tilted his head forward again to look down at her, her tongue and lips so close to his plates. He wasn’t even sure what she was doing down there but it felt right.

Her hand moved back to his waist obviously trying to coax him to which he unsheathed himself with the slightest groan. 

Her hand moved down his stomach slowly to grab hold of his length. Her fingers wrapping just perfectly around him, smooth and soft. 

She shuffled forward and closer between his legs as she gently pumped up and down his length, rubbing her thumb along the tip.

”Spirits... Shepard...” His gaze fell back to hers, her blues eyes watching closely. Her head moved closer again, kissing his skin on his unplated stomach. Her tongue ran dangerously close to his seam just along the ridge. He jumped suddenly at an odd feeling on his length. 

That wasn’t a hand!

She had the evilest and sexiest glint in her eye if he ever saw one. She stuck her tongue out and licked his tip gently in testing it. His head fell back at the feeling as he let out the loudest purr he’d probably ever made. It was louder then his first time with her, he was almost embarrassed.

He tried to focus back onto her, but her hair was in the way. He reached down and pushed her hair out of the way. Holding it to the back of her head as best as he could. 

Her mouth enclosed around the tip of him causing a sliver of pleasure to run up his spine. Her tongue swirled around the tapered tip enveloping more as she took more of him into her mouth.

He groaned at the feeling of her tongue running up the bottom of his cock, it was almost unbearable, the feeling.

Sounds coming out of him were hectic and confused. But he’d obviously liked it. The pleasure building up quickly, in his stomach. 

She worked him with her mouth and hand together in perfect sequence. Nearly taking him entirely into her mouth. He’d never seen something quite like it nor felt anything like it.

How have Turian’s lived without this?!

Her blue eyes glinted, as his grip on her hair tightened. Her mouth taking as much as she could. It was beyond what he’d ever imagined and it felt so good. Her tongue sliding up each ridge of his length felt like magic.

His release was seconds away, tightening ever so. 

“I’m going to...”

It didn’t stop her or halt her efforts, if anything she continued with zeal. Moving her mouth up and down, taking him further in.

He came quickly, releasing himself in her mouth. She licked him up, and when she moved away, he slipped back behind his plates. 

She ran her hands up his chest as she moved up his body again. She must’ve wiped her hand off because it didn’t leave a wet mess. He silently thanked her for her forethought. 

She straddled him again, bringing her hands to his cowl. 

“I didn’t realize you could do more with that mouth. I’m sorry I underestimated you.” He nuzzled her cheek, his hand putting a firm grip on her back. He flipped them over so he had her pinned to the bed, his hips rubbing up against hers.

“Tell me what I can do for you...”

Her hands moved to his shoulders, her lips pecking his mouth quickly. Her mouth smelled like him. It was a huge turn on as if everything about Shepard wasn’t already a turn on.

”Basically same thing, get down there big guy.” He looked at her warringly, glanced down the length of her body and back up. A smirk played on her lips as she moved to kiss him again, her tongue darting out to meet his. His hand pushing her shirt up to feel her soft stomach.

He trusted Shepard and whatever he was about to do, he was certain to make sure she enjoyed it. Absolutely enjoyed it. He was glad she provided the perfect distraction from his fleeting thoughts.

He couldn’t wait to see what this would be about.

Chapter Text

There was always something about going down on a guy that just made the whole idea less palatable. Maybe it was the hint of not knowing if he was clean and whether he’s showered in the last 24 hours, or maybe it was the guy himself.

But going down on Garrus was certainly an experience to hold. She isn’t going to lie the lubricant on him as the tiniest bit bitter, but it wasn’t all that was bad, it made it only that much better.

He clearly enjoyed it, he came rather fast but still held himself together better then her first boyfriend. That was just a mess, everywhere.

When Garrus offered to do the same, she more than agreed. Going down on him had been a huge turn on, but he had to get to it now or they wouldn’t have any time left.

She gave him the nudge to head down her body, to which he grabbed the waistband of her pants and quickly pulled them off and out of the way. 

He nipped up her leg adding his tongue here and there as he went. 

“Have I mentioned how edible you taste?”

Her grip tightened on the sheets, arching her back up off the bed, a whine escaping her lips. 

“Have I also mentioned how much I love that you’re this responsive?”

His mouth and tongue moved higher and higher until he had her legs parted, his breath fanning over her center. She practically squirmed on the bed from the lack of touch. If he wants to help her out, he better get it.

He moved in closer, his mouth plates just hitting her clit, he pressed in, in the most perfect amount of pressure. She let a light moan escape her body. 

Suddenly his tongue darted out licking all the way up her center through her folds. His tongue was long and fairly flexible and beyond addicting to feel.

A small hum and groan came from him, the feel of his mandibles fluttered against her legs. His tongue quickly memorized her, running every which way while his rough mouth plates ran along her bud stimulating her perfectly.

Maybe she was wrong in thinking Turian men didn’t go down on Turian girls, or maybe he just had an excellent sense of direction. Maybe he was just born with it.

It wasn’t before long before she had her legs wrapped so tightly around his head, she was almost sure he couldn’t breath, but he continued as she ground her hips against him.

His tongue dipped inside of her, far more than any Human tongue could ever do. And it felt alien and good, her verbal moan was the only  response she could give. 

The moans coming from deep inside her chest only heightened the feelings of his mouth driving her crazy, his hands running up and down her thighs.

Her hands moved to his fringe, running down the length in an act of reassurance that he’s doing an excellent job. His eyes peeked up from his position, looking into hers briefly.

The ship’s coms rang out through the hull. “Land team be ready in twenty.” And then it went silent. 

His hand moved around to the front of her, arm wrapping around her leg perfectly, before she felt his rough pad of his finger on her clit just like the other night. The pressure radiating through her body as his tongue slid back inside her.

She arched her back off the bed, tingles floating through her body as she came. She wasn’t even sure he was still alive down there, she had squeezed her legs so tightly.

Am I alive right now?

She felt his movement continue for a minute more, before the licks and kisses moved up her stomach. He moved up her body, pushing her shirt up some more. Almost like he was going to try to go in for seconds, they only had twenty minutes to get ready, they had to get a move on. 

They definitely don’t have have time to fuck and a hundred percent don’t have time to fuck and shower. 

She halted his ministrations by giving him a tug on his fringe lightly. He looked up her, his blue eyes dark full of want and something more.

She quickly shook it off. Yeah, I want more too big guy.

He moved up her body, his hand stroking up and down her waist as he laid his body back on top of hers. 

His head nuzzled her neck gently before he met her lips again. “I don’t know what I just did but I could do that all day.”

She brought her arm up and around his neck, arching her tingling body into his one last time. 

“Next time, I won’t stop you.”

Their kiss started to turn into a battle tongues before she pulled away. If it was even possible, he was getting even better at kissing.

”We need to stop and get ready.”

His forehead rested against her temple, his mandibles fluttering against her skin. ”Let’s just let Nihlus do everything.” 

She let out a scoff of a laugh. “Did Garrus Vakarian just say he doesn’t want to shoot stuff?”

He mulled it over in his head as he leaned up off of her, righting himself as he stood at the end of the bed. 

She quickly pulled off her shirt, and Garrus’s eye went wide while he watched her strip. She moved over to a drawer on the wall. 

“I thought we were done.”

Shepard nodded and pulled out her under armor suit and slipped her legs in. “You and I are not done, we are simply taking a couple hour break to shoot stuff before continuing.”

She pulled the suit up past her legs and butt then pulled it over her shoulders struggling a little before it set. The front still zipped all the way down. His eyes obviously watching her, before he quickly looked away. 

“You’re always so realistic.”

She smiled and stepped up to him, her suit still unzipped. His gaze fell back down to her body and sports bra that were still very exposed. She pulled her hair out of the back of the suit to settle back onto her shoulders. “You best me in head shots, I’ll go down on you again and we’ll have sex.”

”What if you best me?”

Shepard shrugged and batted her eyes at him. “I win. You go down on me and we have sex.”

”I like this wager, you have a deal.” She held out her hand to shake his for the deal but he took her hand and brought it to his mouthplates instead and nuzzled it. 

She really liked that and she really liked him.

Shepard zipped up her suit and he swiftly left the room, heading up to get his suit and gear on too. 

It was going to be a long evening.

Garrus met her barely three minutes later at their lockers. Nihlus was prepping himself with his own bag of gun goodies that he had set up on the table. He had a bunch of extremely nice, black market gear that made her borderline jealous. No not borderline, completely and utterly jealous. 

She stepped up to him quietly and started to pack herself with ammo and what not. She could feel Garrus’s lingering eyes on her as she stepped up next to him. She could’ve swore she heard Garrus growl as she sidled closer to Nihlus.

Nihlus looked to Garrus before a sly flare of his mandibles tightened to his face as he looked down at her. 

“So a Mattock? Where’d you get that?”

Nihlus put his hand to his chin in a thinking face. “I think I picked it up off of a Batarian Slaver a few years ago, worth it.” He leaned on the table a little and moved towards her. “Took the gun and cleaned her up, got into every nook and cranny of her body, turned out it’s a fine weapon when you give her a little T.L.C.”

A blush creeped up as his dual tone drew out the ‘TLC’ part of the sentence.

Wow, no wonder Garrus thought he was threat

He flicked his mandibles and glanced behind her as she heard a locker slam from behind her. It caused her to jump and glance behind herself to the angry Turian walking away.

Oh Garrus was mad. She could practically see the steam coming out of his jaws. 

She wanted to chase after him but obviously decided against it. She glanced to Nihlus who was looking at her almost as if he was waiting for an answer to a question, one that he hadn’t even asked. 

She shrunk her eyes at him and reached into her locker to pull her rifle out. He glanced over the enormous Viper then back to her then back to gun. 

Wrex stepped up next to Shepard, slamming his rifle into the table and pulling ammo out to ready his weapons.

“Taking up space Shepard. Move.”

She pushed herself out of the way thankful for his interruption, she gave Nihlus an apologetic look and stepped away over to the team. 

The Normandy would be landing roughly a mile away which means they would have to travel on foot to the facility. 

The ship settled onto the ground gently, they wouldn’t have known if the hatch hadn’t been opened. It revealed the sparkling blue calm waters of Virmire, she could see herself retiring somewhere like this.

“Stay safe kids.” Was hollared out of the com of the ship. Although the comment did nothing to ease the pressure of the mission to come. Almost all of Garrus’ team was already standing down the ramp in the shallow beach waters of Virmire.

He stood there at the edge of the ramp unsure of whether he was ready to go. Shepard moved up next to him quietly. Her helmet tucked under her arm as she waited for Nihlus and Chellick to finish getting ready.

Wrex trudged past her, stopping next to Garrus and herself. He huffed out a breath. 

“Stay safe kid, I won’t be there to take care of the ones you forget about.” He patted her on the back and started to walk off, she quickly grabbed his arm. 

“What are you going to without me taking care of all those snipers, huh?” 

He grinned and let a growl come out as he spoke, his meaty finger pointed to Garrus. “Got that little friend of yours to take care of that... the Turian’s good for something.”

She looked between the two of them, settling her eyes on the thuggish Krogan. “Please keep an eye on him... please... “

He leaned in close to her and gripped onto her shoulder armor, she was glad it was on. His grip could break a bone. “For you... sure. You on the other hand better keep an eye on yourself.”

She nodded to him briefly. “You know I will.”

He trudged off down the ramp and she shuffled back over to Garrus. She stuck her hand out for him to shake. “Stay safe.”

He reached for the fairly professional handshake, he held her hand longer than what would’ve been considered professional for anyone else.

”I better see you in one piece.”

His eyes definitely said more than what came out his mouth. Emotions hiding that kind of scared her. She watched him head down the ramp and head off to the facility.

Stay safe Garrus.

This would be longest mission she’d had in long time.

 

It wasn’t long before they were coming onto the building. Garrus’ team had open coms to them, she also had a private link up to Garrus. Lucky bastard already had three shots down. Their team had yet to even meet any enemy enforcement. 

Nihlus had led the team and had kept his mouth to himself, which Shepard was slightly thankful for. She didn’t need Garrus listening in on Nihlus’ flirting with her. 

“That’s number four Shepard...” She rolled her eyes and stayed silent. She was definitely going to loose this bet.

Garrus concerned voice rose up on the com. “Shepard..?”

”I’m here. Just sour that you’re winning.” They pulled up to the back doors, just a few guards patrolling the area. “My luck just got better.”

“I hope you catch up... I wouldn’t mind you winning in the slightest. But I am the better sniper after all..”

She pulled up her gun and settled it on a ledge. Her shots rang out quietly. “One..... two..... and that’s number three.” He sounded out a little groan into the com.

She was glad she had the three shots in the barrel, it took out three of the guards quickly only leaving two left. 

Nihlus and Chellick took care of them swiftly. She would be able to catch up to Garrus at this rate, she wanted to win just to brag.

They moved swiftly into the back doors of the building. 

Nihlus had her follow up the group through the  unlit hallway. A few shots rang out in the hallway in front of them, Cerberus agents backed up around the corner before falling to their deaths. No shots had been fired from their own team.

Nihlus and Tali moved up to glance around the corner, both turning back with shock written on their faces. 

“Geth..?!”

Shepard brought together her brows in confusion. “Of course there’s Geth... haven’t we already gone over this on previous missions?”

Tali turned to look around the corner then back to Shepard then stepped up off the wall. “The Geth are fighting back... at least that’s what it looks like.”

She tilted her head in confusion and moved up to peak around Nihlus, by the corner. They were correct. The Geth were most definitely fighting back or in the most Cerberus has turned on the Geth.

A gentle voice rang through the speakers. “Protocol 89 in progress.”

Shepard glanced to Nihlus as if half expecting him to know what that meant. He shook his head and led them down the hall where all the Geth lie dead. 

From all the halls they began to move down, it all started to turn into one long maze, thankfully Nihlus seemed to know where he was going.

“V.I. System authorizations required in room 3-F.”

Shepard quietly whispered into her com as she followed up the team. “Garrus, how’s it going?”

“Chipper. Stay safe, I hear V.I. warnings.”

The group headed up a few flights of stairs, this would be the perfect opportunity for them to get info from the system. The V.I. Core would hold all the information passed within and even outside the facility.

”We are checking it out, you stay safe too.” 

The arrived onto the third floor, Cerberus agents littered the floor. The Geth must’ve already been on this floor. If this had anything to do with the surprise they were warned about by the anonymous man who spoke to her, he certainly held up his side of the bargain. This was most certainly a surprise.

They stepped over the bodies, Chellick and Shepard headed into the V.I. Core of the facility. Nihlus stayed out with Tali as she picked up a few data chips and scans on a few Cerberus agents.

The room was dark, only a red light flashing on the wall illuminated the large room. In the center, a huge blue orb surrounded by a protective glass followed by a bunch of opperating systems and data set ups surrounding it. 

Chellick glanced around and hummed as he moved to sit down in a chair in front of a holiest up.

So much for beating Garrus in headshots, all the enemies were taken care of. Not like it wouldn’t have been a win-win anyways.

”Shepard.... it says it’s a V.I. but this isn’t a V.I. set up...” The computer lit up with a message. 

“Release V.I. shackles...? That would give us roughly 5 minutes to get info and get out there’s... no doubt it will probably set off some sort of shut down of the facility. Should we take it?”

Shepard mulled it around in her head. “Is five minutes enough?”

Chellick shook his head confirming her question. It wasn’t, but some info is better then none.

”Do it... I’ll let Garrus know.”

She turned and walked around the V.I. Core glancing around the room as she commed in Garrus. 

“Shepard....”

”We are unshackling a V.I. to take what we can. It’ll be what we need, Tali has Geth and Cerberus info. Maybe you guys should pull out, we have yet to find any STG.”

”You sure..?” She frowned as she stared at an odd looking wall that looked like a door. She stepped up to it and pressed a button on the wall. An error code popped up. 

“Fairly... we’ll know if there’s STG here in the system scans. It’ll give us around 5 minutes to get info before it locks us out or shuts down.”

”Okay... we’ll pull back.. it looks like most of Cerberus has been taken care of any way. What about you?” She pulled out her pistol and stepped away from the door taking a page from Wrex’s book. She shot the key pad a few times.

”No resistance... wait, till you hear what happened back here.” 

“Can’t wait.”

The door attempted to shutter open but ultimately got stuck halfway as it opened, it twitched in an attempt to close. Shuttering in and out of the wall.

Chellick hollared across the room. ”Shackles lifted!”

“Great!” She continued with her task. Fircing the door to open wasn’t easy and when she did, it slammed against wall. She quickly putting a foldable chair in way so it wouldn’t close on her while she was inside.

The lights flickered on for a moment before flickering out. The entire system crashing at that exact moment. 

“Shepard...?!” Chellick voice from within the core sounded concerned. She turned on her lights on her suit and glanced around the small hidden room.

There were humanoid machines tethered up to wall, many of them. Most of them taking the shape of woman and all of them looking particularly the same, the gray and metal looking bodies looked like they had been turned off with the outage.

She reached up to touch the body. The gray and silver body hard to the touch despite her thoughts that it could be soft.

”Hey..” Chellicks nearby voice caused her to jump. “Systems down... kind of back fired... what are these? A.I.’s?” 

He examined the robot looking body she had just poked. He seemed just as curious as she was. He looked around and started to mess with the connections on the back of the robot.

He pulled out a cord. The lights flickered on the robot just before the facility lights turned back on. Her gaze fell to the facility ceiling speaker as it spoke out it’s protocols.

“Enhanced Defense Intellegence preparing local files. Approval needed for system reboot.”

Chellick quickly stood and stopped messing with the lifeless robot in front of them. He practically jogged out of the room, Shepard in tow. 

She leaned over Chellick as he sat back down at the holo screen. A multitude of data commands popped up on the screen. She had no idea what she was looking at but Chellick moved through them quickly. 

One popped up on the screen that said the same thing that it had said before. ‘Release V.I. Shackles? Confirm or Deny?’

Shepard’s gaze fell to Chellick who stared at the screen intensely. “It won’t let us deny the request..”

”It’s fine, maybe it’ll work this time.”

He pressed down on the enter the button. The system crashed again, all the lights shutting down and turning back on with flicker a few seconds later.

“Local Enhanced Defense Intellegence activated. Override Protocol 98 to resume. System  resuming. Centered Efficiency Systems running, 78% capacity. Defense systems armed.”

Chellick looked over his shoulder to her and shrugged, the system pulled up a camera system located all through the facility. Well, all the working ones anyways. 

“Chellick look through that.” He started to scroll seeing some movement in a small square in the corner of the screen. It was Garrus’ team they looked like they were retreating fine. She noticed movement on another screen. 

“Pull that one up.” Chellick quickly pulled up the camera view, it was far away but there was some movement in the room. 

Chellick leaned forward squinting. “Geth..? Or wha—- STG. Those are Salarians!”

Within the room were glass walled containment holds. They were inside there, they were here. 

“Nihlus!”

He peaked in the room from the secretarial room. 

“You called, Darling?”

Chellick stiffened his head spinning over to Nihlus then slowly back to Shepard. She ignored his friendly jab. 

“STG is down in.... looks like area 8 of the facility.”

He moved into the room Tali in tow, her soft voice rang through the room. “Did you get any info?”

Chellick shook his head and looked at the screen he was sitting at. “We are locked out, we only have basic access.” A pop up appeared on the screen, a different V.I. spoke through the facility. 

“Protocol 98 in process, 15 minutes till self destruction.”

The whole room shuddered to a halt. The team all looked between themselves. Shepard’s eyes widened. 

“We have to get STG out!”

Nihlus nodded in agreement, all of them sprinting quicklyout of the room, they had to sacrifice the info. At this point there wasn’t much they could do.

They had to help the STG agents, no matter what. They were alive, the information wasn’t.

Chapter Text

He had the team back away on Shepard’s discretion. He should’ve taken the command from Nihlus but what’s done is done. And besides, the system blaring out a warning wasn’t reassuring enough for them to stay and continue fighting the dwindling Cerberus guards. 

They'd done a ton of damage to Cerberus. They’d made it out but since he had pulled the team out he hadn’t heard anything from the other team. It was beyond concerning. 

He hoped nothing had gone wrong. If Shepard or anyone else got hurt, he’d blame himself for sure.

”Garrus...” An out of breath Nihlus spoke into his ear, the com chattering in between his words. “There’s STG in here... we are heading to their location, they are near access point 14.”

He turned his attention to the facility again.

“They set for the facility to blow. We have ten minutes.”

Garrus gritted his teeth and clasped his mandibles to his face. 

“You’re playing it a little loose aren’t you... they are already dead...” His voice came out monotone with a trill at the end of it. Maybe he could have his team greet them at access point 14.

”Shepard agreed.”

Garrus rolled his eyes and pulled up a map. Of course she would. She would do that. If he’d said no she’d probably disobey the order to save them anyway. 

He didn’t want the risk to be this high. The team could not make it out at this point. Shepard included.

”Fine... we will greet you at access 14.”

Nihlus’ winded voice came out through the com again. “No... don’t.”

”What do you mean no...?!”

A slam came from a far in Nihlus’ com. Sounded like a door of some sort.

”There’s not enough time, too risky.”

He stood from behind the cover and turned to face the facility. A small boom shook the building slightly. Not enough to be a real threat to Nihlus’s team, as long as that wasn’t their current location.

“Update Nihlus.”

I took a moment for him to respond. “We made it to the holding cells, roughly 10 STG members, two deceased.”

He sat waiting for more information from Nihlus as to where the small explosion came from, the one that now sent a plume if smoke into the sparkling blue sky. He pulled up the map of access point 14.

Nihlus had been right, it would’ve taken too long to get over there just to possibly risk more lives.

“Several injured and sick STG agents. Doing our best here, Garrus.”

The com went clear silent in his ear. Nihlus must’ve disconnected. Another few more plumes came out of the building, a fire inside was likely. 

Wrex sat across from him under the cover, giving Garrus a nod. “Where they at?”

Garrus looked at him probably showing more emotion on his face then he was prepared to acknowledge.

He was extremely concerned, concerned the team might not get out, concerned about STG and more afraid than he’d ever felt about Shepard. He couldn’t break a promise to the Alliance to keep her safe.

He stood up ready to move in the direction of the facility. “Let’s go, we got—-“ 

A huge explosion went off causing waves in the shallow water they stood in. He slowly turned to see the building which had been standing moments ago, had begun to collapse in the center. Wrex pulled Garrus back down into cover. 

“Fucking Turian... you know she’d hang me by my balls if you went and got yourself killed...” Garrus struggled a little but the heavy Krogan held him down into the water, safely behind cover.

Shrapnel began to fly towards them, landing in the water around them. He couldn’t deny the wave of fear that rushed through his body.

When it seemed to have settled the Krogan leaned off from holding him down. The whole team peeked over their cover to the facility that was being consumed by flames. 

Concern clearly written on all their faces. It was only a few minutes before signs of life headed towards them. The Salarians headed in their direction, some running, some in much worse shape.

Garrus composed himself as best as he could, it had looked liked they had all gotten out. A deep trill left his throat as he let a sigh escape.

Everyone is alright

He was glad they all seemed to be in one piece. Tali struggled to help two injured Salarians, one on each of her shoulders. Chellick practically sprinting from behind the crowd towards Garrus’ direction. He stopped in front of Garrus nearly frantic. 

“Nih— Nihlus went back in.” He sucked in a breath before continuing. “Shepard’s still inside.” He stood up straight taking another deep breath. “Apparently the STG Commander was in a different holding cell.”

Garrus’ eyes widened into a stare moving right through Chellick.

I can’t loose them both.

Splashes in the water caught Garrus’ attention, Wrex had started jogging back to the facility leaving Garrus standing there still shell shocked. 

“Jack. Let’s go.”

She huffed out a sigh, but moved forward jogging after the Krogan. They headed to the same access point the other team had come from.

The closer Garrus got to the building, the faster his body began to move. It was likely from the fear flooding through his veins, he couldn’t tell, he just had to get there already.

It took them a couple of minutes to reach the access point. Pieces of the building began to cave in onto itself nearby, a clear indication time was of the essence. Another crush of the building only pushed them to move faster.

He pressed a button on his omnitool to Shepard’s com link, if it wasn’t damaged he’d be able to hear what she’s hearing but when he picked it up, in place of silence, breathes or her voice was only static. 

He pushed into the building with ill-regard to his safety, he didn’t care, he needed to find Nihlus and Shepard. 

The team moved through a few halls the ceiling beginning to give above them. Jack helped immensely in watching for falling pieces, quickly pushing them away with her biotics. He was glad someone was watching out, his lack of care for his own well being was overriden by his need to find Shepard and Nihlus.

They turned a corner to see a wall of concrete pieces stack up high, blocking the path before them. The Turian and Salarian were on the right side of the wall attempting to dig their way through the piled up rubble blocking the corridor onto the wrong side. Shepard no where in sight. 

Nihlus turned for only a moment before continuing tossing concrete away from the mountain of ceiling in front of him.

“Nihlus, your leg...” 

The Salarian swiftly turned around. “Determined. Woman who saved me, still trapped behind wall. If still alive.”

Garrus’ eyes shot wide, Shepard was trapped and probably hurt, if not worse. 

He felt his heart stop moving, his body quickly following. Wrex nudged him out of the way as he stepped up and started digging into the wall of concrete, one big piece at a time.

Shepard’s trapped.

This might as well be the hardest decision he’d ever make in his life. He wanted to save her too. He tried not to think about the ramifications on the decision to leave her. He had the rest of the team to worry about too, he had to get everyone else out and now before the rest of the building falls on them.

He silently prayed to the Spirits for her safety.

He’d never been religious but now was as good as any time to beg for their help.

Spirits keep her safe.

He would try to go back in after he got everyone else out.

“Nihlus, we need to get you out of here... and this Salarian too.”

Nihlus shook his head and tried to pull a piece of concrete away from the wall. The concrete too heavy for his grip to pull it out.

Nihlus keened loudly, clearly upset by the situation. “You stupid girl... I was supposed to go back in!”

Garrus stepped up to Nihlus, throwing Nihlus’s arm over his shoulder, letting him lean into him. 

“Wrex... grab the Salarian, let’s go.”

Wrex turned from the wall, flickering his eyes to the Salarian, he picked him up and threw him over his shoulder, an obvious complaint coming out of the Salarian’s mouth. 

Wrex growled. “I hope your life is worth more than her’s was.”

Garrus hoped the Salarian was too, for the Salarian’s sake. He wasn’t so sure he’d hold the Krogan back, that is if he decided to do something.

Jack again assisted on getting everyone out with no further injuries. 

Once they safely were out of the building and nearly twenty feet away, the ceiling caved in on the door, taking out the 14th access point. 

Garrus maintained his emotional control as he helped Nihlus hobble further away. He connected his com to the Normandy, his voice void of emotion. 

“Joker, evac, we have injuries. Broken leg and...” He glanced to Salarian hanging over Wrex’s shoulder. Garrus was almost surprised the Krogan had touched the Salarian. “Not really sure what other injuries we have here.”

He avoided thinking about Shepard, pushing it into a little box in his mind. He forced himself to act like nothing was wrong. He couldn’t let what he was beginning to feel inside of him  show. He couldn’t. I can’t let anyone else down.

“On the way.”

It wasn’t before long the shuttle greeted them at their safe spot. Everyone rushed into the shuttle, eager to putspace between them and the facility. Garrus climbed in, but not before turning his attention to the ruined facility still being claimed by fires and being racked by explosions.

He couldn’t lie, it felt like she was still here with them. Like she would be onboard to greet him when he stepped onto the Normandy. His mind forcing her presence where it wasn’t.

He closed his eyes when he looked away. 

“Garrus.. I’m—“ Nihlus’ voice keened. He felt bad. It had been a bad decision going back in for the Commander for the STG group.

“Don’t.”

Garrus couldn’t even glance in the Salarian’s direction. It only made him more mad he was the life they had traded hers for. 

From there everything happened in a blur, he wanted to go back out there, to the facility. Chawkwas sent him to his room, house arrest is what she called it. At least until she had time to put together everyone’s pieces. 

He found himself sitting on his couch for hours, not even stripped of his armor. 

His head in his hands, leaned over slouched into his knees. His eye flicked to the broken lamp that lied scattered across the floor of his room. He had thrown his helmet as soon as he walked into the room, the lamp bursting apart.

The mission had been an utter failure, and it cost them more than what needed to be sacrificed. 

He turned her com on again, hoping for anything other than static. It was nothing more then the soft sound of static where her melodic voice should’ve been. 

He should’ve never let her be on Nihlus’s team, he couldn’t watch her back and tell her not to go back in. And if she insisted, he would’ve ran in with her.

He rubbed his armor, his chest physically hurting. He hadn’t been shot or injured in the slightest, but it felt like he had. It felt like he’d been shot repeatedly in the chest. 

“Commander, where is Shepard?” Vina’s voice rang through his com. Her voice quiet and asking but he didn’t want to say. He couldn’t even say it. 

He leaned back against the couch and rubbed at his burning chest. When the dust settles, they’ll form a search party. They have to find her, at the very least her body. He promised to keep her safe, he couldn’t even do that. This was the very least he could do.

He quickly grabbed the Turian Brandy that Shepard had hid in his mini-fridge and took a long gulp.

“Vina, Shepard is missing. We’ll organize a search party to find her tomorrow. Please don’t let anyone interrupt me for the rest of night unless it’s her.”

She briefly spoke into her com. “Of course, Commander.”

She never called him commander but he couldn’t blame her with how short he had been about the whole thing. He swigged the bottle, nearly chugging the whole bottle. The burn hitting his chest painfully.

He leaned forward again, a horrible sorrowful trill came out of his chest.

It hurt like hell that he wasn’t in her place right now.

He took another long jerk of the drink, swallowing several mouthfuls, finishing off the bottle. He wouldn’t be of any use right now anyway.

The noises he made were pitiful and pathetic, but he didn’t care. He just wanted her back. 

He wanted to strangle that Salarian Captain. He wanted to strangle Nihlus for letting her go back in.

His emotions were out of wack, strained, and confused. The pain was akin to his mother’s death but even that wasn’t this severe. He’d had time to come to terms with that. This was entirely different, he’d had no time to prep his mind for such an event.

He liked Shepard more than he had known, more than he ever admitted. Their short time together had been more than he’d ever had emotionally, physically and mentally with any other. 

He would never get to explore it with her. 

He fell back against the couch, not even bothering with his armor. He closed his eyes,  her blue sparkling eyes haunting him. 

The alcohol didn’t help with any of it but sleep came quickly. He swore he could hear her teasing voice. Too bad it nothing more than his mind playing tricks on him.

 

He woke in the morning, half armor on and half of the pieces off and lying on the floor. He glanced to his omnitool, it was nearly three in the morning. He put his palms to his face, his talons scraping his forehead plates. 

Still no news.

It pissed him off. 

He sat up and grabbed his armor reassembling it back onto his body. He was going to go out there, he didn’t care if it might be the middle of night here. He had to do something.

If she was going to walk out of a burning building, he wanted to be there to greet her. 

Even if it was only her spirit.

He left his room and snuck out of the ship. Joker had kept the ship landed, which was good because he couldn’t bare to leave the planet.

He trudged the mile out through the water, away from the ship in the dark. Only taking a pistol. It was enough. They had taken care of the Cerberus problem, and if they hadn’t, he was angry enough to do damage without a gun.

He reached the spot they’d hidden behind when they had first left the facility. A large dark figure loomed against the cover that had saved his life earlier, well that and the Krogan that saved his life as well.

“Wondered how long it would take yah.”

The gruff that followed the words was none other than Wrex. Garrus silently stepped up, taking a spot against the concrete. He stared at the building that still smoldered, some of the flames reflecting off the water. 

“I can’t help but feel—-“

The Krogan huffed and crossed his arms, his armor clinking as he banded his arms tighter. 

“Don’t want to hear it Turian... “ The water moved and lapped at their ankles as they both stared ahead. Wrex was right. 

He didn’t need to say it and Wrex definitely didn’t want to hear it. 

Garrus kicked his foot in the water. 

He grumbled out. “We better hope that Salarian was worth the trouble.”

Garrus’ took a deep breath as the building ahead of them continued to fall apart, another piece of it falling loose into the water, sending soft waves against their armor. 

Garrus was curious about Wrex’s relationship and always had been. 

“What did you think of Shepard?”

He stood and turned to Garrus, his body  threatening in his pose. Maybe it was the wrong question to ask. Poor timing. But he had to know. After all he had beaten him here to wait for Shepard. Like a grieving father.

”I’d follow her into hell, more balls than any Krogan. Stop talking like she’s dead.” He glanced to the building again. “You and I both know she’s going to walk out alive. She’s harder to kill than a thresher maw.” 

Wrex laughed to himself quietly and started towards the ship’s direction halting before he was to far away. “In fact, nearly impossible.”

“How do you know?”

“I keep more tabs on her than she knows.”

He trudged through the water heading towards the ship. It left him to keep eye on the burning building, and left him with his thoughts. What did that mean exactly?

The other thoughts that showed up he didn’t want to think about. Maybe Wrex was right. This couldn’t be what takes her out, she’d been through Akuze. She’d been on Mindoir. Her luck extended far more than any other she’d ever known of. 

He just had to sit and wait. 

 

 

 

And he waited.

 

 

 

And waited. 

 

 

 

 

 

It wasn’t long before he had a few messages in his inbox, more hours passing by. STG must’ve been in contact with the Salarian’s or the Dalatrass in some capacity. She was already requesting an audience. He ignored the message. 

The council requested to speak to him as soon as possible as well, it wouldn’t be long before the Alliance got in contact with him. He hoped he wouldn’t deliver any disappointing news.

He just wanted to kiss Shepard, hold her, breathe her air in, anything. If that could’ve been his last wish, and if it was granted, he’d die happy.

The moon here on Virmire would last until nine or so in the morning. He would wait.

It was relaxing to have the darkness, he couldn’t bare to look at the full devistation of the building that remained above Shepard in the sunlight. 

He glanced to the second moon, it’s glow reminding him of Menae from Palavan. It reminded him of nights his mother would pull him out of bed when he was young to watch the meteor showers. 

He still thanked her every time he stepped out to see the universe and when he flew among the stars. He silently prayed to her, to watch over Shepard.

He wanted to show her Palaven one day, he hoped somehow he’d have the chance.

A warm gust blew into him, almost knocking him over the concrete block he leaned on, the wind burning his eyes. He blinked a few times, movement caught his attention, his gaze turning to a figure walking towards him.

He leaned off the cover, moving his hand to his pistol. It could be a Cerberus agent left over. He trudged slowly, the alcohol twisting his gut in uneven knots with each step.

He watched the figure closely, as it moved into the light of the moon. The figure becoming illuminated in the glow.

“Spectre Vakarian, my name is EDI. I owe your crew and her my life.” The robotic figure held Shepard in her arms. The body limp and lifeless. He resisted the urge to empty his stomach at the sight.

Upon a closer inspection as he stepped forward towards them, it appeared her injuries were minor in some capacity.

“She has sustained a slight concussion, and she broke an arm.” EDI glanced down to the passed out form in her arms then up to him again. She offered the body to him, which he took immediately.

Her face, pale almost like porclain, her chest rising slowly. She was very alive, injured but alive, and that’s all that mattered.

”Who are you? How can I thank you?” The robot shifted her eyes down to the Human in his arms. 

“I am the facilities central V.I, I was built as an A.I. to assist the research facility years ago when the Salarian’s inhabited it. After they left, I remained there for years, protecting myself and my data from this invasive company known as Cerberus. The ones who scheduled my own demise.”

He couldn’t help but not think twice on whether this was the truth, she could just be a Cerberus tool or maybe she was an actual ally.

“Also, I am not the one who found her, though I am thankful to assist her and you, in her recovery.”

He glanced down to Shepard again. He quickly voiced in his com to the Normandy requesting the shuttle immediately. 

He glanced to the womanly robot form wading in the ankle deep water. He waved her aboard onto the shuttle. “Why save her?”

The robot stepped aboard and offered a small human smile. “As I said Spectre, I am an A.I, I wish to be of service to those who have freed me.” The pragmatic robot took a seat across from him as he cradled Shepard in his arms.

”Who found her?” He pulled her closer wishing he’d left his armor back at the ship, wishing to just be closer.

”A Geth unit.” 

Garrus shot his head up in shock and tilted it in a little confusion. Maybe she was mistaken.

”By your lack of response, I believe that means you are shocked?”

Garrus nodded, his mandibles flicking out softly from his face. How had a Geth unit saved her? And why?

”It mentioned more work to do and passed the... the girl off to I, to insure her safe return.” She didn’t know Shepard’s name, but she knew his. He mentally locked that away for another time. He didn’t care about the threat of the robot at the very least she had his thanks if not so much more.

He was immensely thankful they, the Geth unit and this robot named EDI, pulled her out of the rubble.

So thankful, he’d welcome a possible Cerberus A.I. aboard. He didn’t care at this moment. Shepard was safe and in his arms and she would be coming home.

Chapter Text

Shepard never had felt so alone in a decision she made by herself. Though she was beyond thankful she’d saved a life in the process. It’s just what she does.

She came to beneath bright lights just behind her eyelids. She fluttered her eyes open slowly, her surroundings familiar. Her head felt like a thousand pounds and her arm felt like she let a Varren borrow it for a chew toy. 

But it looked like she was safe, and alive. 

She glanced around the bright room, the long windows, the desk tucked in the corner. Off to her left in another bed, Nihlus. His leg lifted up and harnessed in the air. He was speaking quietly to Chawkwas who was pulled up next to him on the far left, barely peaking over Nihlus’ body. 

She pulled her eyes up to look to the familiar ceiling. She noticed a figure off to her right.

Garrus.

He was dead asleep, his head resting on the edge of her bed. His mandibles fluttering lightly in his sleep. 

“Shepard... my dear. How do you feel?”

Shepard shook her head and relaxed back into the medical grade pillows as Chawkwas made her way to her side. “I feel alive.”

Chawkwas sauntered, immediately trying to help Shepard sit up a little.

“You are very much alive, him...” she pointed to Garrus and shook her head. “Not so much... he’s been up for two days straight, told him to leave, said he could stay if he tried to get some sleep.”

Shepard nodded and looked back down to him. He was still so asleep. Chawkwas grabbed her medical tools to check out Shepard’s status.

“Shepard, forgive my fowardness but... What is the nature of your’s and the Commander’s relationship?”

Shepard reached forward towards Garrus’ neck and stroked the soft hide below his jaw with her thumb. 

Chawkwas quietly spoke. “As I suspected... your secret is safe with me.”

Shepard nodded without taking her eyes away from Garrus. “Thank you, Chawkwas.”

She gave a motherly smile and began her tests on Shepard. She checked her eyesight, and asked if anything else was causing her particular pain. Shepard said only her arm and a big head ache were causing her pain. Both of which Chawkwas had already taken care of.

Chakwas gave her some pain killers, and mentioned she’d probably be good to move about the ship once her headache subsides.

Garrus stirred from beneath her light touches, she didn’t care about waking him. She wanted to be selfish. She moved her fingers up to his fringe and ran them slowly up and down. His eyes opened before anything else moved.

His eyes slowly made contact with hers, meeting in blue fury. Almost like he hadn’t even expected her to be there. 

“Hey big guy, I heard you missed out on some sleep because of me.”

He lifted his head which caused her right hand to fall from his fringe back to the bed. He stared at her like she wasn’t really there. 

“You’re awake..”

She nodded to him.

“I am... I’m also alive and also very happy to be here.”

She let a smile cross her lips despite the pulling ache the back of her head gave her. He sat up and scooted closer to her bed. Obviously, still trying to keep some semblence of space and professionalism. 

“Chawkwas knows.”

They hadn’t even noticed she’d left for a moment, and Nihlus seemed to be resting in his bed. But she didn’t care, she never really did care. There wasn’t more that she wanted then to kiss him right now.

”She does...?”

Shepard nodded to him. He looked so tired and exhausted, both mentally and physically. 

“Garrus... can I ask for a favor?”

They both heard a grumble come from next to them, she had thought Nihlus was asleep. “Spirits damned, inexperienced Turian... just kiss her already.”

Shepard let a face of shock and blush rise on her face at his openness. However, she one hundred percent agreed with Nihlus. She turned back to Garrus, who looked between her and Nihlus then settled on her. His eyes looked over her face and settled on her lips.

He stood up and gently reached his hand around the back of her head, he nuzzled her cheek softly with his forehead, her good hand grasped his wrist closest to her. It was all she could do with her other bummed out arm. 

He nuzzled to her lips then pressed firmly against them. She kissed him back carefully, pulling her lips away for only a second. 

His talons caught in her hair but she didn’t care at the slight pain it caused her. She pressed her lips to his again. 

“Commander...! Get off my patient!” Garrus didn’t even shift an inch away and a sly smirk moved across her lips. He didn’t even try to move away.

“Oh, you’re both in trouble now.”

His lips pressed against hers again, his mandibles flaring out before he touched his forehead to hers. 

Silence settled in the room. She pulled away from the touch before she looked over to see Nihlus staring with his mouth open and Chawkwas frozen in holding a rolled up packet of papers, probably ready to beat Garrus with. The both of them staring in hers and Garrus’ direction. 

Shepard grumbled out her response. “What’s wrong both of you?”

Garrus stepped away and looked at them proudly before stepping away from Shepard.

She wasn’t sure what was going on in the room, but the awkward tension that settled was peculiar and odd. What they’ve never seen a Turian kiss a Human or something?

Well... Chawkwas probably not but Nihlus? He said he was experienced with Humans, he knows what a kiss looks like.

Chawkwas set down her pad of papers and quietly spoke. “My apologies Commander, though it would be best for you to get some sleep.”

He nodded to her before quickly giving Shepard one more kiss and promise to see her later before he left the room. 

Nihlus looked at Shepard still shock written across his face. “Shepard... I apologize for my advancements. I had no idea. I guess.. I have to try harder.”

”No idea about what...? I thought he told you.”

Nihlus shook his head and slid his eyes to Chawkwas to make silent conversation with her. What were they all going on about in their silent speaking, and continuing to leave her out of it.

She sighed and rested back against the bed into the pillows, her headache beginning to come back slowly. At least she had all the time in the world to get sleep and escape the awkward tension in the room. She was not feeling well enough to figure it out.

 

Later that evening, Chawkwas allowed her to leave the med bay. But had a list of things to look out for, the doctor seemed most concerned with increased tiredness, as well as the side affect of vomiting. She said if anything is irregular to make sure she lets her know. 

She was thankful for her thoroughness, she couldn’t lie, the headache definitely hurt.

Her arm hurt but it wasn’t that bad, it didn’t require surgery or anything that extreme, but she received a nice little gash. One that had to be stitched, and a light cast that held her broken radial bone was removed daily to clean the cut. 

It would be exhausting but Chawkwas had mentioned she’d be good as knew in a week or two. It was a bright prognosis.

It felt weird joining everyone again. She couldn’t lie, everyone looked at her like she’d come back from the dead or something. She couldn’t lie, it was a little irritating. She never liked to be treated any differently.

Though she supposed she understood, from what Nihlus told her had happened with crew when she wasn’t found and how torn up the crew was. She did understand that. 

She’d had a building fall in top of her, only to have a Geth unit save her and a woman robot bring her to safety. She couldn’t lie that these mission reports were sounding more and more fake as they continued.

The ultimate sci-fi novel. I knew I should’ve been a writer.

Li had found out she had been cleared and invited her to a game of cards. He’d been teaching the others poker and she certainly wanted to join in. Of course, that would be after she gets ahold of the Alliance to let them know she’s not dead. 

Their newest boardies, the Salarian’s, seemed to have an affinity to spread information on others behalf’s. She didn’t know how many messages she had in her omnitool after she awoke. It had been hours since the accident, how does info move that quickly across the galaxy?

I guess everyone is just waiting to see me dead, too bad the galaxy can’t get rid of me that easily. 

I’m like cockroach. A cute cockroach.

She laughed to herself, which earned an odd look from Vina as she finished up her shift on the C.I.C. when she had passed by. Vina stepped up and threw her arms around Shepard’s shoulders. Shepard stood there bewildered for a moment. 

A Turian hugging? Voluntarily? This is amazing. While Vina was taller than her and had a keel that pointed right in her face, she didn’t care. She wrapped her good arm around her back to give her a squeeze back. 

“I’m so glad you’re alright, Shepard.” She stepped away with a little twitch of her mandible, in best effort for a smile she could give. “I hope to see you in the starboard observation, it’s poker night. A much welcome card night!” 

“I feel like a nuclear explosion couldn’t take me out or maybe I’m like a cat, I’ve got nine lives!”

Vina tilted her head in question. “What’s a... cat?”

Shepard patted her arm and smiled. These Turian’s and their lack of Human knowledge was just too cute. Though if they said things like that, she positive she’d be as lost as they were. 

“It’s like a furry little animal, there’s a saying that cats have nine lives. Though if that’s true for me..... I’ve used up 4 of mine.” 

Vina nodded in understand though the look on her face didn’t tell Shepard that she truely understood. “So... you have 5 lives left? Are all humans like that?”

Donelly popped up from the elevator and glanced between Shepard and Vina. He then came up to Shepard and saluted her. “Good to have you back in one piece Shepard.”

She smiled and nodded to both of them. There might be something going on with these two, it was an interesting thought that there might be.

“Good evening. I have to check in with the Alliance. I’ll see you two downstairs?”

They both nodded to her and then disappeared as Shepard stepped into the holo room to get in formal contact with one of the Alliance.

She paused and waited a few moments before getting in connection with Hackett. He would be able to see that she was injured. That’s the only thing that kind of ticked her off. She didn’t even want to show that weakness.

“Shepard.” She quickly saluted him. 

“At ease... I’ve heard conflicting stories. Though I’m glad I choose to listen to the Spectre. Good to see you in one piece.”

”You spoke with Spectre Ga—- Vakarian?” Hackett eyed her a little suspiciously then nodded. 

“Called me as soon as you were back on board.” She nodded in thankfulness. “The Salarian’s seemed to have a different story, not sure why they thought they should be the one’s to let us know.... but they did.” He said it with a defeated tone. 

“Glad to be in one piece.”

”Good to see you in one piece, I have a few missions that I’ll forward to you handling when you are feeling better. Having some issues that can’t seem to get solved, perhaps your Commander may be amenable to allowing you to take care of them.”

She had no doubt Garrus would allow them to complete them when she’s well. It would be a fairly good idea to clear them through the council first. 

“I will speak to him about it.”

Hackett tucked his hand behind himself and nodded. “Let me know if you have any issues. We’ll speak soon. Stay safe.”

She saluted him as he disconnected, she adjusted the strapped up arm that was in a sling around her neck. It already bothered to have it around her neck. 

She turned in her step and turned to head out of the Command center. She noticed a dark figure in the corner and nobody else around. 

“Creeping on me Vakarian?”

He chuckled out a laugh and stepped up to her, his mandibles flaring cheekily.  

“It seems to be the only way to get around these days... though I wouldn’t say I’m creeping exactly..”

She grinned at him as he continued. “...so much as saying that, you walked in here while I was in here.. I’d say it’s the opposite.”

She shifted her arm a little, in an attempt to ease the discomfort. “That was official Alliance business!”

He stepped up around her and pressed a few buttons into the system. “My lips are sealed as far as you are concerned.” He straightened himself back up and turned to her. 

“So.. I hear you let a possible Cerberus robot on board hmmm..?” She said it in a teasing tone to play with him, he reached up to rub the back of his neck coyly. 

“Maybe I also don’t think clearly where you’re concerned.”

She pursed her lips, chewing on her cheek. She wanted to ask him about what had happened in the med bay earlier this morning, why everyone acted awkward. This probably wasn’t the best place for such a conversation, there could be listening ears here or worse. In fact, no where was safe right now with Salarian’s aboard. 

They had to drop them off real soon, they definitely couldn’t be onboard for too long with how fast news spreads among them. 

“Thank you, Garrus, for you know, being there.”

His looked down intensely at her, his blue eyes easy to find even in the dimly lit room. 

“I... uhh... really, thank you too.”

She smiled and reached her good hand forward to rest on his chest, she ran her fingers across the soft fabric of his civies. At least it was dark in here.

It felt weird, like a good weird. It felt like something else was starting to surface within herself. Something she wasn’t prepared to deal with, at least not yet. She felt a fondness for him beyond sexual attraction and friendship. 

She wasn’t prepared for that at all.

Even if that’s what was starting to bubble to the surface. 

He wouldn’t be ready to talk about that either, this whole thing was too knew for him. If she can’t hold herself back, she should be prepared that he could break it off.

He couldn’t get serious with a Human in his position. He’d loose everything he’d worked for. His respect as a Turian. His family. His everything.

“Shepard...?” He purred out her name quietly, so quietly she wasn’t sure if it was his subvocals or his voice that had said it. 

She moved up to tip-toe herself up to him. She gave him a quick chaste kiss. Her heart beating faster than it had ever beat before. She moved a step away with a small smile on her face. 

“No sparing or anything overly exerting for a week, doctor’s dumb orders... are you going to play cards with the others?”

He glanced around before nodding. “I have a few things to finish up, but sure.”

She patted him on the keel and backed herself out of the door, all the while staring at him. 

Maybe the week away from combat could help her feeling settle a little. Maybe it’s just because she had another near death experience that had her all worked up or she could just be fucked all together. A week is such a long time....

At this point, she couldn’t really tell what shape she’d be in by then.

The night ended with a bunch of credit winning rounds for Shepard before she excused herself to bed. The card games had been fun with all the regular crew involved, she had gained a better relationship with everyone.

The whole crew had settled into one of the easiest multi-species crew set up there could have been, if there were any others out there. Everyone got along, even Wrex and even Jack. 

Unfortunatly, halfway through her night, horrible nightmares awoke her. Her past clearly chasing her. Akuze was deep in her thoughts and dreams, memories of being alone, gutted, and fearing for her life seeped back in. 

It had been so long since she felt the feeling and it terrified her. Enough to leave her awake, shivering in a cold sweat in her bed, and her mind moving a million miles an hour at three in the morning.

It might’ve been the medicine she was on inducing it, they were a likeness to her injuries before and same meds she had taken then.

She needed someone to talk to, or sit with, or really anything. But she was afraid to move about the ship’s cabin, she feared their newest visitors and their loud mouths if she sought out Garrus in the night. 

Maybe it was worth the comfort. 

She left her room after making herself look somewhat decent and throwing her sling back on. She tip toed around the hull making her way quietly to the elevator and took it upstairs. She wouldn’t have bothered Garrus if it weren’t so hard to talk to Wrex. He usually was fairly good at scaring the nightmares out of her. Too bad she feared waking the beast more.

And most of the recovering Salarian’s were down in the cargo bay sleeping on cots and they were likely to be awake. Salarian’s didnt need much sleep at all. One of them would be likely to hear her speaking to Wrex. 

At least if she went upstairs, no one would know the wiser and over hear her fears. 

She hoped Garrus wouldn’t reject her, she doubted it would happen but it could. She was risking a lot by sneaking up at this time.

Upon reaching his level, she moved into the room. The lights were dim and calming but he wasn’t in his bed. She glanced around the room before she heard his voice.

”Shepard..?”

She gave him a small smile and almost turned to walk back out the doors.

What am I doing..?

“I didn’t mean to come up here.... I mean I did. But I just couldn’t sleep... and I’m having nightmares... and I don’t know why—-“

He glanced back to the holo then back to her, concern clearly written in his blue eyes.

”You can sleep up here... I have to finish this report but I’ll be done soon.”

She nodded and moved into the room. Even though she hadn’t had a problem being in his space before, she suddenly felt odd being in it. Especially with the way she was starting to feel. And act.

”Take the bed Shepard, it’s fine.”

She nodded awkwardly, before attempting to take off her sling and set it gently aside. She slid beneath the covers before letting her head hit the pillow. It smelled like him and eased her worry, frustration and fear slightly. 

It was comforting.

She tilted her body to watch him as he worked up at his little desk. Despite it all, his presence comforted her. Knowing he was there watching her, and knowing she was on the ship and safe was already an ease on her mind. 

She quickly drifted off into sleep before she knew it. At least it was a somewhat peaceful sleep. One where Garrus had the opportunity to meet her mother.

Her mother would hate him at first but grow to love him, she knew that’s how it would’ve gone. But her mother wouldn’t ever get to meet him.

Chapter Text

Something was up with Shepard, he couldn’t deny it. Maybe it was the injuries, or the mess or maybe the fact a building fell on her. Or maybe she found out about how he felt about her. 

It could’ve been anything or everything that had happened in the last few days.

It made him happy she felt comforted in his presence. He wanted nothing more than to erase the afraid girl who’d come into his room last night. 

She had fallen asleep as soon as she had hit the pillow. He’d joined her a little while later, though all he had to do was lay day down and she instinctively inched up to him as best as she could with her arm broken arm. 

He had to admit, her injury and the smell of antiseptic on her made him sick. She shouldn’t have gone back in. She shouldn’t have risked her life.

It didn’t matter though, what’s done is done, expecially now that she was safe and here. She could have been trapped forever, and he could’ve never seen her or touched her again.

He was thankful it was just her arm and a bump on the head at the same time. He had hoped his mother and the spirits had a hand in keeping her safe.

When he woke in the morning, her soft and cool body was gone. He couldn’t express his dismay at the chill.

He had to remember, he’s the one who was forcing her out.

Maybe he should figure out how to change that. 

He found her awake and in the med bay with Chawkwas and Nihlus. He saw her talking rather animatedly to the two of them while Chawkwas attempted to unwrap her injury to replace the bandages.

Mauro set a cup of coffee next to him, and a deep sigh came from him as he took his hand back. 

“I hope you’re as happy as I am that everyone’s safe, especially Shepard.” He continued stirring the food he was making in the pan. “She has a heart of gold... these Salarian’s on the other hand...”

He kept stirring the food that was rather irregular looking thing in the pan. “They actually had the plates to ask for something ‘more familiar’ to eat. What I put down in front of them was perfectly fine...”

Garrus let out a chuckle then turned to him. “I can’t believe you actually made them something else.” 

He sighed again, a laugh escaping a little as he took a long lingering look into the med bay then back to Garrus. He quietly settled next to Garrus while whatever was in the pan, cooked itself. 

“I hope I’m not being out of place by saying this but... Shepard snuck out of her room last night... and I couldn’t find her.” He leaned forward onto the counter speaking very quietly. “I looked everywhere.. she was no where to be found.”

Garrus turned to him slowly and leaned forward on the counter. “Uh, couldn’t imagine where she ended up.” 

“Really...?” Garrus watched his mandible flick mischievously. “I think you know exactly where she was.”

Garrus watched Aulso closely before he leaned up, a knowing chuckle escaping him. “Secrets safe with me. Commander.”

Garrus looked at him waringly as he moved back to stir the food again. “Besides, so long as she got the help she needed, I’m happy.”

Garrus moved about the mess, there were so many people aboard, it was hard to keep track of everyone. He was glad they would hit the Citadel some time tonight and drop them all off and release all the regular crew for a day of shore. 

They all needed it, himself included.

His eyes roamed over to the med bay before he picked up his coffee and move to enter into the room. Chawkwas was attempting to clean Shepard’s arm as she held it carefully. 

He saw Shepard’s raw injury on her arm, the horribly mared red injury sewn together expertly. It was covered in yellow antiseptic and blue medigel. It was going to leave a scar, that was for sure, but with the doctor looking over it would be minimal. Just another scar to add to her beautiful body.

”Commander, wasn’t expecting you.” Shepard’s blue eyes met his and small smile crept onto her lips. His mandibles flared at her as he checked out the wound on her arm.

”Had to come see how banged up our Leiutenant is.”

Nihlus from afar interrupted. “Um... Broken Turian over here.” Garrus waved his coffee cup in his direction. “Eh, you’re a Spectre you’ll be fine.”

Nihlus leaned back against the pillows on the bed, his leg wiggling as he did so.

“Actually at this rate, Nihlus will be with us for 2-3 more weeks. Unless he would like to be transferred over to Huerta. Which I am positive the Council will request.” 

Garrus gave a silent notion to Nihlus and he responded with a shake of his head. “Rather stay here then in an actual hospital bed, besides, I actually have a bed now.” 

Shepard swiveled in the chair, directing her laugh at him. “Glad, you feel welcome.” He looked at Shepard as squarely as he could from his reclined position, a flirty sneer crossing his face as she continued. “Please make yourself at home.”

“Yeah, yeah, only took me breaking my leg to make it happen.” Garrus chuckled leaned on the desk behind him, his view falling back to Shepard. If he had to be honest, her injured arm only added to her attractiveness. She looked rough, rugged, and sexy.

He couldn’t wait until she was back to a hundred percent. Her taste was wearing off his tongue. If he was going to get a second chance, he wasn’t going to play coy this time around. 

Chawkwas wrapped Shepard’s arm back up and helped her into her sling. “Good to go, Shepard.”

Shepard stood and stretched with a wince. “Am I ready to fight a Krogan yet?”

Chawkwas swiftly turned around back to her desk. “Over my dead body Leuitenant, we need you fixed correctly the first time.”

Shepard let out a extended huff. “Fineeee...”

Shepard strutted out of the medbay and headed over to Mauro, grabbed a cup of coffee before disappearing into her room. 

On his tasks for today, he wanted to ask the A.I, EDI, the one that they had brought on board, some questions as well as the Salarian captain, Kirrahe.

Questions mostly surrounding what happened, he would do his best to hold back his negativity towards the Captain.

He left the med bay after checking in with Nihlus briefly. He headed to the cargo hold were they were keeping EDI. They kept her in the starboard cargo hold just until they could get acquainted with her.

He was beyond lenient with the A.I, he trusted her for saving Shepard but still had reservations until he found more out. A.I’s were still extremely outlawed in Citadel space. 

He’d have to figure out a good enough reason to keep her aboard.

He moved down into the port hold to see her robotic body standing the corner. It was a little weird but he supposed what else would a robot do.

“Evening Spectre Vakarian. How may I assist?”

He moved to sit onto a cargo box. “So we haven’t really had an opportunity to... uhhh.. cover bases.” He rolled his hands in an effort to come up with the words.

“Excellent. I would prefer ease yours and the crews worries.” She tucked her hands behind her back, standing rather stoically.

“So you came from the facility as an A.I?”

She nodded. “I was created to assist the Salarian’s facility before it was deserted, Cerberus moved in and I was forced to place firewalls in place to protect my capacity as an A.I. and me.”

“You?”

”Yes Captain.”

He watched her carefully. ”So you worked along side Cerberus?”

She answered immediately. “The facility was my home, when they set up bomb defense systems for your arrival. I was placed in a difficult decision of leaving my home and becoming autonomous. I have no alignment to them.”

Garrus nodded in understanding. “So you couldn’t over ride the bomb controls?” 

“Unfortunately, they used an alternate system that had successfully kept information from me, this included.”

He reached his hand up and stroked his chin. “Did you have access to any information?”

”Some... in my reboot, I was able to scrub what I can as a last minute offer.” Her gaze turned to him slowly. “The two who were in my core, who were looking for information. In turn, I’d like to offer it to you. I would no longer be here if they hadn’t approved the system to allow my local copy to be placed.”

It made sense that her story would likely be true. Shepard had mentioned something about the system when they were still in the facility. It seemed she wasn’t so aligned with Cerberus even given her history. Even if an A.I. wasn’t the worst thing that had happened this week.

”Where did this body come from?”

”Cerberus, while horrid in their capacity and methods to collect data, had intelligent people working for them. Several ‘bodies’ had been created. This one was the easiest to infiltrate. The male Turian had released the other systems hold upon this so called body.”

He nodded and glanced to the wall. “How will you hand over the information?”

”However and whenever you’d like.”

He nodded and stood up turning to the door. “You are free to move about the ship. Just... don’t make me regret the decision.”

”Absolutely Spectre.”

He made his rounds before ending up with Captain Kirrahe. Who still looked fairly messed up, seemed that Cerberus had tortured him for information. What a horrible way to find out information, though in a way, it did help prove that Cerberus was doing shady things. Kidnapping STG agents and torturing them, would likely anger the Council.

And he would have a prominent member of STG’s vocal accord on the subject. It would be immensely helpful in their investigation against Cerberus. 

Joker had made the announcement around dinner that they would be on the Citadel in less then an hour. Everyone nearly cheered, it had been a full hull. Tensions were a little high with a new stressed out and injured crew. 

Garrus was glad to have their ship back to themselves and cleared of all the extra bodies.

The Council had requested a small private audience tomorrow. One that involved Shepard. 

He couldn’t think of what it might be, it’d been a long week and had been difficult to keep tabs on everything that had been going on. 

The crew had been dismissed for shore for a full 24 hours. While most of the crew left, he decided to stay holed up while the ship had repairs were done. 

Too bad Shepard seemed to have different plans for him and her injured self.

She stepped into the doorway of his room with a small smile on her face. “I’m sneaking out with Sol for dinner, if you want to join us...”

“I hope that means it’s far, far away from my father.”

Shepard shrugged and moved into the room. She was hesitant of her actions for a moment before moving in and sitting down onto the couch near him.

“We’ll find out in hour.”

He leaned back into the couch, looking over her body. She had on a pair of pants tucked into her boots, that usual hoodie that was never more than three feet away from her at any given period of time.

Her hair was loose and cascading down her shoulders, black and silken looking. It felt like it been forever since he’d touched her and it was just last night he had her wrapped up in his arms.

She scooted a little closer to him. That was one thing she seemed to never lack, was a sense of knowing what he really wanted.

She settled up next to him and slid her hand up to his keel and gave him a little pull of it bring him forward a little to her. It was the only working arm for her right now, but she was doing her best.

He leaned his arm on the back of the couch behind her, and leaned into her. He reached the other hand around to settle on the outside of her thigh. He loved the feel of her soft yet muscle hard thighs. 

Good enough to strangle him with them, just like the other night when he got to taste her. He would kill to do it again.

She moved her soft hand up the back of his head, nudging him forward to meet her lips. She pressed against them softly but clearly a hunger hiding behind her intentions. He more than wanted to indulge her.

He should resist her.

Her hands ran across the soft skin below his fringe, touching the sensitive skin. It caused a hum to move through his body like static.

He pulled her in his direction by her thigh, guiding her to face him a little better. She opened up to him quickly, their tongues tangling together in what felt like the hungriest kiss he’d ever had.

She always tasted so good, her mouth, her skin, between her legs. All of her.

She pressed her body closer, which he quickly took as an opportunity. He pushed her back against the seat of the couch, not even breaking contact with her lips. He covered her completely and then some in his height. Her leg quickly hooking itself over his hips. 

She broke apart in an attempt to catch her breath, giving him the most encouraging eye contact. She wanted the same thing.

“My god, my apologies, Commander.” He quickly whipped his head around to see Chawkwas standing there, clearly out of place. 

She held a small bag, still not removing herself from the room. She set the bag down on the coffee table, and swiftly moved to leave the room but stopped in her tracks. 

“Be careful Commander, her body is not ready for something so.... exciting, whether she thinks so or not. Doctors orders.” She then hurried out of the room. 

He felt shaking beneath him, he found a very red cheeked Shepard, her hand covering her mouth as giggles racked her body, practically on the verge of tears. 

“Umm.. You think that’s funny, huh...?”

She nodded as the giggles began to subside, leaving her cheeks covered in light streaks of tears. “Beyond hilarious... and poor Chawkwas. How long was she there? And why didn’t we lock the door?”

She took a few deep breathes from the giggles and a small toothy grin showed itself.

“I’m supposed to look out for your well-being... I guess I should get up...” He ran his hand up and down her waist beneath her shirt, just feeling her warm skin beneath his touch. “But I really don’t want to.”

She brought her hand back up to his mandibles, slowly running her thumb over the rough skin before moving them up to stroke along the length of his fringe slowly. He felt the not so subtle purr move through him at her touch. She was the only one to make him feel those emotions.

She quietly spoke. “I really like when you do that..”

He lowered himself, shifting them to lay on their sides, her hurt arm safely hanging across her chest.

His hand moved back under her sweater to her waist, moving slowly up and down, her skin creating bumps beneath his touch.

Looking at her closed eyes, a calm settled through him. He realized this wasn’t just a fling or a want or pure lust. Sure he did lust after her, but more complicated feelings had seemed to have rose within himself.

While he may have lightly bonded to her in the med bay, the other two seemed to know exactly what had happened.

She still seemed to have no idea about it. Should he tell her yet or should he wait until he was sure of her feelings for him.

He still wasn’t sure of where she stood in her liking. Were these normal Human actions for a hookup or was she feeling like he did?

Well, maybe he should figure out how this would play out if she were to become more permanent in his life. It was obvious that it would be a hard road, he really wasn’t so sure she’d want to take it either. 

She could find something close to home easily. She is a very pretty Human girl, he thought that even when he had just met her when she came aboard when he was detached.

She probably wouldn’t want to settle down with a Turian anyway. She couldn’t have biological children with him, she may never be apart of his father’s family and she may never have the respect of her peers again.

Maybe it was for the best he kept silent.

In the meantime, he wanted to use their time to his full advantage. He wanted to memorize every curve on her body, memorize the silken hair as it touches the skin of his hands, and the way her smile shows the perfect amount of teeth.

He’d hoped this shore leave might be as enlightening as he hoped to make it be.

Chapter Text

Garrus, Sol and Shepard had gone down into the lower wards, a place where younger collegiate kids and sort of seedy people hung out.

She wouldn’t mention it outloud, but she was armed regardless. The gun tucked into the back of her pants, safety and fingerprint recognition on. It was the one that had been sitting in Garrus’s room for a few days, it was about time she took her baby back.

She snuck it into the back of her pants, silently thankful it wasn’t her left arm, her shooting arm, that was busted.

Garrus saw her slip it in but didn’t mention a word about it. He’d probably completely forgotten about it.

They had finished their food and were relaxing in a booth. Shepard still had some of her milkshake left, Garrus and Sol ordered a weird Turian dessert. She couldn’t deny that it looked a little too squishy for her likes.

”So you two gonna tell me what’s up? I’m getting sick of asking, it’s obvious what’s happening....” Sol took a bite of the food that was in front of them and then pointed her utensil at Shepard like a weapon. “She says we’re friends but won’t tell me anything. I thought I liked you Shepard.” 

She rolled her eyes dramatically, taking another bite of the food. 

Garrus looked up at Shepard in silent questioning. He then turned to look at Sol again, she quickly turned to meet his face. Garrus spoke up.

“Why...?”

Disappointment washed across her face, quickly followed by a Turian pout. No doubt at his dismissal. “Seriously Garrus... Shepard, he has the hots for you... it’s almost nasty how interested he is.”

Garrus hid behind his hands quickly and settled his elbows on the table. Sol glared at the back of his hidden head. He almost looked like he was giggling behind his hands. 

“He’s an idiot Shepard, but I really like you so I don’t want him to step all over himself.” Shepard chuckled watching the conversation continue on, it was comical. She should interviene for Sol’s sake.

”I like him a lot too.”

Sol’s mouth dropped nearly to the ground, her eyes getting wider and wider by the second. She quickly snapped her mouth shut and sat up straight, giving Garrus a slight nudge. “She likes you too... what’re you gonna say to her? Are you gonna leave her hanging?”

He sat himself back up from his hiding spot between his palms, a sly flick of his mandibles said he was about to flirt his way through this. “My place or yours tonight, Shepard?”

Sol’s head nearly spun off. She punched him in the shoulder giving him a ‘come on’ look. Oh, if only she knew.

Shepard smirked with the straw still between her lips. She swallowed. “My place is down in Zakera, if you don’t mind the walk or we could take a cab....” Her eyebrow raising into no doubt a flirty curve, her lips following up into another smirk.

Sol looked between the two of them. “You’re both pulling my fringe aren’t you?” She took another bite, finishing it off.

They both shrugged while looking at each other. “Not really.”

Poor Sol nearly choked on the bite she had swallowed. She looked between the two of them again and sat back in her chair. “I knew it... you freaks.”

Shepard shrugged a little and looked at Sol with a some what apologetic look. She did want to tell her but it felt like an invasion of Garrus’ privacy. And well they weren’t exactly at a describable point besides the fact they were sleeping together.

“So are you dating or... just umm... doing the casual thing?”

Shepard sipped on her drink, she wasn’t about to answer the question. Garrus leaned onto the table. “Well with dad and everything, casual for now... I guess.” His eyes shifted to hers maybe a hundred times as he said it. 

She had to remember this whole thing about sex and what not, it was a very Turian thing to be open about. The relationship... not so much.

Sol nodded, understanding the boundaries of their relationship. Sol looked at her brother, still a little happiness in her eyes. “Glad you’ve broadened your horizons.. and with a hottie like Shepard no less!”

Garrus stretched out in his chair, his leg bumping into Shepard’s crossed leg. She raised her brow at the subtle touch that he didn’t remove. She settled her leg against his, letting him know she was more than okay with it. She couldn’t lie, she wanted to be closer to him.

”So... what are you two doing tomorrow?”

Shepard shrugged. Well as best as she could with an injured arm sling digging into her neck.

They hadn’t really talked about it, nor had they really talked about what they were doing after this. She sure hoped she would be doing him tonight and all day tomorrow. Poor Chawkwas’s warning, she was no match for Shepard’s libido.

Garrus leaned into Sol’s side a little. “Haven’t really gotten that far.” He turned to Shepard with a glint in his eye. He had to be thinking the same thing she was, he had to be.

Sol focused to her omnitool, reading a message quickly before groaning out a sigh. “Ughhhh... Dad’s so annoying.” She moved to clean up her mess. “I have to go, Dad says he wants me to go to a meeting with him in the morning for the Hierarchy.”

She stood up quickly, placing her forehead against Garrus’s then moved over to Shepard who was already moving to stand to meet her halfway. She quickly gave her a hug, embracing her tightly.

”If I don’t see you guys tomorrow, I hope to speak to you both soon.” She flicked her mandibles then sauntered off down the walkway.

Garrus stood up and watched Sol take her leave down the way before she disappeared. Shepard stepped up to him and placed her hand on his arm. It was an attempt at comfort, after Sol mentioned the Hierarchy, his body language had changed from flirty to worried. It couldn’t be good news and he definitely knew what it was about.

After Sol was no longer in sight, he turned to Shepard. “It’s Friday... isn’t it?”

Shepard continued stroking his arm softly, she should’ve been more careful because they were in public, but she didn’t care. She had no idea what the problem might be but she had an idea it might be related to his father.

”Garrus, you can talk to me... you know.”

His mandibles flared and a soft thumb came up as he turned to her, it’s goal to push some hair out of her face.

It was the most affectionate he’d been in blatant view of others. The small guesture made her insides melt.

“You want to go back to my apartment? It’s a five minute drive from the docks.... if you want..”

“I.. um.. yeah, I would.”

She grasped his hand and pulled him along for a second before releasing her contact with him when they climbed into a sky car. 

They took the ten minute ride, which felt only ten times longer than it really was. “My father said he’s going to Hierarchy about my ‘behavior’. I guess tomorrow does fit the timeline.”

Shepard scooted a little closer to him on the bench seat front of the cab. “About me... right?”

He nodded staring out the front window, his mandibles flicking and a thrum coming from deep in his chest. It wasn’t sad but something else she didn’t quite know yet.

”It’s alright if we need to stop doing our... thing, I’d rather not tear down the structure of your family in the process of everything.”

He turned to look at her for a moment. He was more than likely trying to read her body language, she didn’t give off those tell tale hums to help him out.

She quickly added. “I don’t want to but for you... I would.”

He sighed and slouched into the seat. “Not interested... thanks for the offer though, it was... thoughtful.” She met his eyes, hers  fairly wide. He shocked her, he blatantly denied her offer to walk away. 

She adjusted the sling that was digging into her neck. His hand came to rest of onto her leg, gripping just above her knee. 

“Do Humans like to touch like this?” His thumb stroked the fabric of her pants, his touch burned her skin through the nylon.

”I certainly don’t mind it...”

He watched his hand stroke her leg, a deep thrum came from inside him as he sat up and scooted over so he was flush with the side of her body, his arm thrown over her shoulders.

“What does that mean?” Her hand coming up to stroked his chin lightly. 

“What does what mean...?”

She smiled gingerly, moving her hand away but maintaining eye contact. The shuttle settled onto the dock gently just outside her apartments, the system beeped to let them out.

”That.... purr? Hum? Not sure what it’s called.” He ignored the question for a moment as reached across her to open the door for her. His face closer to hers like he might kiss her, instead he spoke quietly, his lips moving a little as he did, his voice gravelly beyond measurably reason. It was hot.

“I’ll show you inside if you want... I don’t know how to explain it.”

She couldn’t deny the static that rippled through her. She was turned on from just that? That’s it? Maybe it’s that they hadn’t had sex in like 4 days or well however long it had been. She was probably dying from no sex, literally.

But she doubted it was that, it was only him and the thought of being with him and being close to him. But she’d blame it on that.

She quickly climbed out of the car, and he followed her. They climbed the flight of stairs to her balcony that over looked the area, she was about to put in the code to her door when she felt Garrus right behind her.

His thrum low and vibrating, his hand capturing her hips. He quickly flipped her around, caging her to the door with his hands and his body. 

Not even going to wait until they’re in the door are they? 

”Going against Chawkwas orders, huh, Commander?”

He looked her over, his eyes looked dark and needy for her. “If you’ll let me... Lieutenant. Should take my XO’s opinion before heading on a mission.”

A sly smirk played on her lips, his flirty talking was getting even better. She couldn’t deny, it sounded so good coming from him. ”Should definitely take a recon before hand. Test the waters. If you know what I mean.”

He tilted his head down and tilted hers up to kiss him. Her good hand quickly grasping his civies, pulling him closer. She swore if she had nails she would’ve just torn through them.

His hands came down to hold her head up to him as he snaked his tongue out to run across her lips. His hand captured her leg, bringing it up to his hip, his focus clearly on pressing himself against her center.

He broke apart from the kiss, and nodded to her door. 

“I’m going to break in if we don’t get it open real soon.”

She gave him a push away and laughed a little. “You’re the one who stopped me the first time.”

”Guilty as charged.”

She flipped herself around to unlock the door. She opened the door and pulled him in behind her. She barely gave him an opportunity to step in himself before she tugged him into the living room. 

His hands immediately found her waist, pushing her sweater up a few inches to slide his rough hands against her stomach and lower back. He pressed her flush to him, the heat from his body was intoxicating.

His hand found the gun at her lower back, his head turning in a knowing look as he gripped it. He pulled it out and looked at the gun before setting it on a nearby counter.

“I don’t think I’ve told you that I think you’re the most beautiful girl I’ve ever been with... as well as the most armed...” She blushed at the compliment, the heat on her skin quickly rivaling his.

“You’re not so bad yourself, could use a little more battle scars...” She let a sly smirk fall on her face, her good arm wrapping around his neck, pulling his mouth close to hers. 

“Suggestions? I’ll go out and get some new ones if I have to.” His hand ran across her lower back, the cool air of the room helping cool her skin that was on fire. “Maybe something like a building falling on me, that’s bound to do me some good.”

She scoffed at him, quickly snatching the back of his mandible giving him a little tug. He hissed out the air in his lungs, a purr settling afterwards.

”You better not.”

”I think I liked that threat more than I should let on.” His hands ran down to the edge of her pants, dipping down a little to run his talons across the top of her ass. A soft moan fell from her lips as she leaned further into him.

She moved her lips to his cheek, kissing up as high as she could go. She whispered against the edge of his mandible, making sure her voice was as deep and sultry as could be. “Good, because if you do that... you won’t get anymore of this, guaranteed.”

He nuzzled her neck, nipping at the skin lightly. She fumbled with the clasps on his shirt, eventually figuring it out. She tossed it off to the side before running her hand up and down his chest. She ran her hand up to the front of his keel pulling him with her as she backed into her room.

She hadn’t even been able to clean her room from when she’d been in here last. The first time they’d gone out a few weeks ago. Her dresses still hanging on her wardrobe door, the bed only a little of a mess from her napping on it the other day. Hopefully, he didn’t mind the mess.

He reached down and gripped the back of her thighs pulling her up to wrap her legs around his hip spurs, though she had to admit, this position was difficult with a hurt arm. She thanked him for being so much stronger than her and taking the brunt of her weight.

The funny thing was when he picked her up like this, it made her only a few inches taller then him as she clung to him.

She pressed her forehead to his, gazing into his blue eyes. She, never in a million years thought she’d like a Turian, sleep with one or even want something more with one. But Garrus, was perfect, at least to her. She swallowed back her emotions as she pressed a quick kiss on his mouth.

It wasn’t time, not yet, to tell him.

His mandibles fluttered as his eyes closed. She pressed her lips to his again, sparks and energy flowing through them and the room. Her tongue quickly begged to meet his, to which he opened up to her. Her tongue eagerly seeking his, stroking hers perfectly. Thoughts of him between her legs nearly forever ago, caused heat to pool at her center, lighting her body on fire. 

She broke away from him for a moment.

“Garrus...I swear you better fuck me...”

He tossed her onto the bed as gently as he could, but still the right amount of rough. His hands grabbed her boots, making quick work of them this time, not a single hesitation.

”I’m going to do better than that.”

He climbed on top of her, slowly taking her sling off of her. She carefully took off her hoodie and shirt underneath with his help. She could careless about her injured arm and Chawkwas’ health warning. 

His hand wound itself beneath her, stroking up and down her back while his tongue ran up along the expanse of her stomach up to her bra. She felt his talons run along her skin leaving tingles as went.

He reached her bra, his talons hooking into the fabric as he nipped the top side of her breasts. She felt the pull of the fabric away from her just as she heard the tear of it. 

His talons had ripped her bra off and thrown it across the room. His tongue swept across her her breast as his hand moved up to kneed the other.

“Add it to my tab with your dress.”

She let a throaty laugh escape her but instead it quickly turned into a moan.

Her thighs were practically rubbing together in dry friction. She remained patient. It seemed he knew exactly what he was doing, so she let him continue his pain stakingly slow ministrations.

Her good hand went to the back of his neck to stroke along the soft spot at the underside of his fringe, like rough leather but better. So much better.

She arched her back into his touch, her hurt arm still clasped to her chest. As much as she did want to say fuck it and use it, it was more embarrassing to go back to Chawkwas to beg for her to fix it. Besides they left her meds on the ship if anything happened, and well good ridance to most of them anyway. They’d left her with nightmares she never wanted. 

“Garrus...”

He started to nip down her body, he reached the edge of her pants before tugging them off, along with her underwear. His tongue ran up the inside of her thigh, little nips catching her skin, before she felt his teeth run along the softer skin testing the give carefully.

She practically flew off the bed, arching her back in pleasure. It felt so good, so she didn’t stop him. 

He moved to the other thigh. “I can’t wait to taste you again....” His tongue ran up until she felt him coming to rest against her center. He moved his hand to her center pressing against her clit, leaving her breathless. 

His tongue ran up through her folds, quickly situating himself between her thighs by wrapping her legs around his head, some how his cowl was perfect for this, perfect for her.

She wished she could reached down to urge him on but it did hurt to bend that way with either arm in her injuries. So she stretched her body out and gave him all the verbal reassurances she could. 

It wasn’t long before she was practically writhing on the bed, and seconds away from her orgasm. He improved considerably since the last time they had the opportunity. He must’ve been thinking about it lot or maybe he’d ventured to look it up, she wasn’t sure but she could tell he’d definitely got better. 

She felt his tongue slide inside of her again, hitting that sweet spot. His rough upper lip rubbing her sensitive bud, she felt her back and stomach tighten as she arched up off the bed. Her thighs squeezed to have him closer. He ran his tongue through her folds as she reached her orgasm. 

He rode out her orgasm between her legs, his tongue lapping up every drop of her.

His tongue and wet mouth ran up her stomach. She hadn’t even noticed that his pants had already come off, he was fully erect and thick, he hadn’t even held back in the slightest. 

He moved back up to above her, she quickly kissed him again. She could taste herself on him, his chest practically vibrating against hers. She felt his hand push up her thigh, he silently looked at her for confirmation that she was doing alright with her injured arm. He determined she was fine, which really she was. All the pain in the world was worth being with him at this point.

He found her center without a single struggle, quickly pushing his way inside of her. Every push in left him with a hiss of air leaving his mouth. Once he was completely inside of her, his hips flush with hers, she urged him to move. 

And he did, slowly at first, if she hadn’t known better it was an attempt at making love. It was soft and passionate, and in a way it scared her. Turian’s didnt do this. Not from what she’d read up on. 

Maybe he was just trying to prolong the feeling of being inside of her. Maybe it was just that good for him. 

His pace began to pick up to a normal speed, slipping out of her with ease, each ridge rubbing against the bundle of nerves just inside of her. It kept her on edge, until his speed started to pick up again.

His hand gripped her ass to him, making sure every thrust of his was fully seated.

”You’re perfect, Shepard...”

She wrapped her legs around his hips tighter, bringing him closer and moving her hips with his. Her breath left her body in a gasp as she felt her stomach quickly peak, her orgasm close again.

”Garrus... You’re perfect..” His tongue slid along her shoulder and collarbone his mouth wrapping around it too, the teeth grazing the thin skin. He picked up speed again, her orgasm chasing his speed.

”Oh, oh Garrus..!” She felt his teeth clasp onto her shoulder, her back arching off of the bed as she felt his teeth sink into her. She came not even seconds later, the pain and pleasure mixing perfectly within her body. 

That was beyond sexy.

He followed so closely, his warmth spreading inside of her. His tongue ran along the slightly sore skin of her shoulder. It had been worth it. 

He stayed inside of her and on top of her for a few minutes as they caught their breath. He was careful of her arm, her hand rubbing soft circles along his neck and cowl. Their breathing rough together before calming to a calm quiet that settled in the room. 

He quickly got off of her and headed into the nearby bathroom bringing a towel in for her. He sat down next to her on the bed, rubbing her now hurt shoulder softly with the towel. She focused in on him again, a grimace fallen onto his plates.

”It can’t be that bad... it was just a nip.” She tried to look but couldn’t see much, as she sat up, a small drop of blood drifted down towards her breast. He quickly wiped it up.

”This is so much worse and I’m so sorry, I should’ve asked before I did this...” Regret laced his tone as he tried to clean up the skin. She nodded to her bedside table. 

“There should be some medigel in the drawer. Also it’s fine... really.”

The pain started to kick in along her shoulder line, at least it has been a sharp, even cut in.

He quickly reached into her drawer pulling out the small medipack, he rifled through it pulling out a small pack. He ripped it open and slathered a bit on, it halted the bleeding and the pain.

He stared at the wound, obviously regretting the decision to bite her, though if she had to admit it, it made the orgasm only that much better. 

He sat on the edge of the bed and rubbed the back of his head. Shepard cleaned herself off, and tossed the towel into the corner of the room.

She stood up and moved over to her dresser. She pulled a shirt out and turned to hand it to Garrus, he looked at it like she was going to have him wear it. 

“I need your help... gimpy arm.” She tried to waggle her arm but instead the pain got to her from that injury, a sting slid up through her bones to her shoulder.

He helped her get the large shirt on. It was late, late enough that they should go to bed, they would need to shower in the morning.

It seemed they would have a meeting with Council in the morning. One that she was to be involved in, for some reason or another. 

Eventually they would find out.

Hopefully, it wasn’t all bad news.

Chapter Text

Garrus could barely sleep, the thoughts and implications of marking Shepard like that ran through his mind. I basically said she’s mine for life.

He couldn’t deny that it hadn’t been just because he was in the moment of passion and it happened. Because it wasn’t. He instinct took over sure, but it was no accident.

He’d wanted to make things tighter between them after a building had fallen on top of her. But he hadn’t been sure of the feelings at first, whether he was longing for He because she was his friend or because she was his bedmate. 

It was both, so easily both.

He knew this was a bad move, and he definitely couldn’t tell her what it meant, at least not yet. She could freak out, she could run, and at this point if she decided this wasn’t for her, he wouldn’t know what to do with himself.

He’d marked her. Made a visible pact that no matter what, I want you forever.

He pushed the hair out of her face, and looked over her soft features as she slept.

There relationship was still so new, something like this shouldn’t have happened until maybe months and years into the relationship. Not weeks or barely a month.

But he’s heard that some know as soon as they meet that they will be mates for life. 

Why wouldn’t it be the same for a Human and him. 

He felt horribly mad at himself for not asking permission to mark her. It made her a walking target, it was a visible confirmation that she was his. 

While he felt bad, half of him felt proud and glad he’d done it. It would put any jealousy to rest in most cases, it would be a reassurance for him and the bonus that it looked so good on her pale skin.

If she’d been a Turian, every Turian nearby would be able to tell he belonged to her by scent alone. She would’ve known exactly what had been done to her, and she would’ve done the same. 

He wasn’t sure if marking her worked like that with Humans, odds were it didn’t. 

No one would know unless they saw the mark.

”I can hear you...” The soft voice broke his thoughts, she’d already stirred awake. She sat up on her elbow and scooted even closer to him.

It was a little difficult to sleep given the pillow arrangement he’d made for himself. These human beds were kind of uncomfortable, but the pillows definitely helped.

The light from outside the window behind her bed, shined through the curtains, lighting up her face in the darkness. It was still a night shift.

“I didn’t say anything..”

She smiled a little at him. Carefully moving the hand of her hurt arm to rest against his hard plates. The soft fingertips running across the soft dips of the plates on his chest. The smell of her bandages were in the air.

“You don’t have to.” She pressed a kiss to his mandible, before slowly kissing her way to his mouth. His mandibles fluttered at the feel of her soft lips. If he didn’t know better, he’s probably ruined for Turian females for life.

Well, everyone who isn’t Shepard really.

She made him feel things he didn’t feel for anyone else. Sure it might’ve been too soon, but he was certain. If there would be a future, he wanted her to be involved in it, no matter the capacity.

He slipped his arm underneath her head, offering the soft skin as a pillow and pulled her closer. He turned to his side slowly, moving his hand to rest on her semi clothed waist. 

“Thanks for coming over tonight...” She settled down onto his arm, left a few small kisses that tingled on his arm. 

“I would’ve taken you back to the ship if you didn’t offer.”

She let out a little laugh, wincing a little at the pain no doubt from her shoulder.

“And what would you have done with me on your ship?” A soft thigh wrapped around his leg, moving to hook herself onto his hip spur. Her legs were open to him, he could smell himself on her still, the smell lingering longer than usual.

“You’re insatiable.”

She pressed her lips to his again, kissing him a few times, he caught her lip between his and gave her a soft tug. A small moan coming from her lips. 

He decided he wasn’t going sleep anyways. She pushed him onto his back, and fucked him good and happy. He couldn’t deny that it felt different. So much different.

After their midnight libido check, they both fell into a soft sleep. He woke finding himself wrapped up in Shepard. Her head tucked into his side, her leg sprawled across his, her body warm pressed flush against him. He was glad he didn’t help her put the shirt back on.

Her horribly red shoulder matched in like to the marred scar across her stomach. No less beautiful and rightfully earned.

He pulled up his omnitool to glance at the time. It was nearly nine in the morning, they had to meet with the Council in an hour and a half.

He gave her a little nudge off, she fell onto her back sprawling out, so naked and still pretty asleep.

He stepped into her bathroom, she had nothing for him to clean himself with but a  rinse would do, just to get the smell of off of him. The Councilor did not need to have any ideas about them.

That would be disastrous. 

He pushed the curtain to the side, stepping out and drying off. Shepard was in front of her sink, looked to be brushing her teeth or something like that. He hadn’t really seen it happen before and it sure did look odd.

She had thrown on a loose cover over her body, it was black and looked shiny and soft. It looked good on her. 

She moved up next to him, slipping past him. His eyes lingered as he watched the soft material float down her body before she jumped into the shower after him.

Her fresh smell quickly filled the room, he left and pushed the door closed. He pulled on his civies finding them in a bunch of different places.

It was a little while before Shepard slipped out of the bathroom, he’d made himself comfortable on a seat in the corner of her room and checked his omnitool.

She looked through her drawer, before halting all together and turning around in the towel she was in. 

Her injured arm still wrapped, and held away from her wet body. 

“Couple questions... What do I wear? Number two... should I be injured? Three... do you know what it’s about?”

His eyes roamed her body, settling on the mark on her shoulder. “Cover that up, doesn’t matter what you wear.” He leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees as he looked her over.

“I told them you had been injured and I don’t really know what this whole thing could be about.”

She sighed a little and pulled out her military blues, they weren’t exactly pressed but it was just a meeting with the three councilors and to his knowledge, it was to be an informal gathering.

She pulled on a different bra from last night and slipped on a pair, of what she called underwear. Slipping her blues on and then the boots on to her clothed feet. She braided her hair into a braid that hung down her back. 

She looked ready to go and ready to do anything, he had to admit her hips and waist looked great in uniform. Maybe desecrating a certain Alliance uniformed Lieutenant was a dream of his.

Got to keep that one to myself.

They left heading to get a quick bite before they end up in the councilors chambers. They all met in Councilor Tevos’ office. 

Shepard had been warmly greeted by Tevos, less than properly greeted by Sparatus or Valern. 

Tevos offered them both a seat off in her sitting area. She sat down with them, Shepard and Garrus both taking opposite seats from each other.

Shepard looked at the two hushed councilors in the corner, probably scheming together. 

“We are just waiting on, Ambassador Udina. He usually on the later side of things.”

Shepard sat up in her seat quickly glancing between the three of the Councilors.

”Coucilor... Can I ask why I am here?”

She smiled gingerly from Garrus to her. “I shouldn’t say without the Ambassador here, but alas it won’t change much....” She sat up a little in her chair.

“We have followed reports from the Normandy, we believe there is commendations and readjustments that need to be made aboard the Normandy.”

Shepard froze in her spot, and really he did too. They hadn’t spoken to him about any of this and shouldn’t he be the first to know. He’s the Commander of the Normandy after all.

”We have decided to place Shepard up for commendation and offer her Spectre training. We believe you would be a valuable member of our team.”

She smiled at Shepard, who sat there solid as a rock, no emotion showing on her face. He was frozen too. 

What could they do, if she wanted to take the opportunity, this was it. She could have a real future as a Spectre. There wasn’t anyone more worthy nor one he respected as much as he respected her.

But she would no longer be by his side, no longer aboard and no longer would they have time together. But he wouldn’t stop her from wanting a future for herself.

“Are you serious, Councilor?” She looked between her then to Garrus. Tevos nodded to her. “If you’d like to, and of course, you can deny the offer. However, I hope you don’t.”

“I’m really honored and it’s a lot to take in... I’ll need to think about the offer.” 

Shepard looked down to her shoes then back up, making a small glance to Garrus. “Will I remain aboard the Normandy for now?”

Sparatus walked up and gruffly sat down in one of the chairs. “It is possible you could be useful elsewhere at this moment.” 

Tevos twisted her head to look at the older Turian. “Don’t mind him... things change. Putting you up for nomination as the first Human Spectre is a huge opportunity, and we wouldn’t like to waste it a second time.”

Shepard nodded to them, she looked a little shell shocked from the offer.

The door behind them opening as Udina walked into the room. Tevos stood and moved  over to speak with him quietly. Though from the way things look, Tevos didn’t seem partial to the Human Ambassador but did remain her cool.

Shepard glanced to Garrus making extremely subtle eye contact, he couldn’t quite make out what she wanted. She didn’t speak in fear of Sparatus saying something, he wasn’t in a good mood at all.

“Will you be taking the opportunity? Jane Shepard.” The way he spoke her name slightly tinged with disgust. It pissed Garrus off, Shepard wouldn’t be able to understand the tone. For that he thanked her human ears, she’d probably personal hand his ass to him if she had known the meaning.

“I would like to think about the oppotunity before rushing into it, I’m quite happy with my place at the current moment, though I certainly understand the... appeal as a Spectre.”

He coughed out a little and straightened his tightened look. 

“First Human Spectre... it’s quite an offer, one I was unsure we’d end up making again, especially for you.”

Garrus took the opportunity to look over her subtly, he was thankful her military blue’s hid much of her neck. The sling taking care of any other sign that he’d marked her.

The Turian Councilor was clearly looking her over her as well. Garrus held back his subvocals just as he felt them rumble in his chest. Sparatus snapped his head in his direction.

Shepard’s voice broke the tension rising. “Well... um thank you.”

Sparatus nodded and stood up walking back toward the Salarian Councilor. Shepard leaned towards Garrus and whispered. “Do I have to accept now or...?”

He shook his head and leaned in a little close to her but obvious to keep his space, the councilors would be watching. “They were probably hoping you would, I think there’s something else going on though.”

“What do you mean..?” She quickly shifted her sight to behind them, Udina and the Coucilor still speaking quietly amongst themselves.

”It’s odd that it would pop up now... it’s just off.”

She nodded in agreement.

Sparatus strutted by them again. “Garrus... my office.”

He glanced to Shepard quickly then turned and followed the Councilor out of the office. He didn’t want to leave Shepard alone with the other Councilors, but she was a grown woman. She would be fine, plus she was cautious about the whole thing anyway.

He stepped into the Councilors office, the door shutting behind him, Sparatus remained outside. Inside was the Primarch.

He rubbed his head while sitting in a chair in front of Sparatus’ desk. Garrus walked up and joined him.

The Primarch let out a sigh, leaning back into his chair. 

“Mind letting me know why your father marched into my office, claiming you’re a sympathizer to a war we are no longer fighting...”

Garrus watched the Primarch carefully. He was pissed off, clearly. His morning was clearly ruined by the issue. Honestly, if his father had done the same thing to him, he’d be pissed as well.

”I went to the bar to meet up with the others from our crew, Shepard and I went to dinner with Sol then went to the bar. He made a pretty good scene at the restaurant.”

Garrus fiddled with his hands, the Primarch could, so easily, write into his file anything he wanted. The man who held more cards than one. He knew Fedorian had a solid head on his shoulders, and would understand. The others within the Hierarchy, not so much.

The Primarch sighed and sat up. “You went to dinner with Jane Shepard?” 

Garrus nodded slowly.

He paused for a moment before adding. “What’s the nature of this relationship?”

“Easing stress best describes it.” Not in the slightest but it was way easier to say than anything else especially to someone who was a family friend, and like a second father to him.

“Let’s keep it that way... I can’t deal with having the Hierarchy melting down over such an implication. Bunch of crater bugs the lot of them.” Old, ratchety, and a like hive mind. It was the perfect description. 

He continued. “We’ll keep it as down low as we can, I can understand... the appeal, I suppose. Let’s try not make this a long term thing.”

It was a little late for his understanding words but Garris had appreciated them. “I’m sure you’ll have plenty of young Turian females after your hide once you dock for more than a few days. You won’t have to settle for a Human.”

Garrus sat back into the chair, along side Fedorian. Maybe now was as anytime to get in front of this whole relationship, it was obvious he wasn’t going to be stopping this anytime soon.

“I wouldn’t call it settling for her...”

Fedorian turned to look at him, his mandibles fluttering at the words spoken out of Garrus’ mouth. Garrus had surprised him, the look plastered all over his hide.

The more he knows, the more he could be protected from a majority vote from the Hierarchy. So he hoped. Fedorian had known Garrus long before Garrus knew of him. Hopefully, he’d be on his side.

“I marked her by accident last night.”

Fedorian stood up, another long sigh escaping his throat. He paced along the front of the Councilor’s desk. 

“You’re kidding me...” He stopped and leaned back onto the desk, staring down at him.

”She doesn’t know what it means...”

Fedorian thought about it for a second before replying. “Let’s keep it that way.” 

A small knowing thrum came from deep in his own throat. It felt weird telling Fedorian of such things. But his father had been at odds with him, who else was he supposed speak to about something like this and guide him.

Really he was trusted family and his mother had trusted Fedorian, in fact was almost wed to him. Why shouldn’t he trust him?

”It’s fine Garrus, it’s not like it’s a one time thing, you’ll still be able to settle with a good Turian girl, I found one that would suit you well. She’s from Cipritine..”

Garrus groaned and rubbed his head in his hands.

”I don’t regret it... at all... I’d do it again in a heartbeat.” Fedorian stared blankly, his vocals not giving him away either. “There’s no one else I’d rather be with right now.”

Fedorian sighed and put his head into his palm. “This stays quiet... I don’t want to hear about this going public. It will not go over well within the Hierarchy. Your father successfully stirred them all up this morning.”

His talons scratched along the plates of his forehead. “Would taking her off your ship help you?” He shook his head, leaning back into the chair. 

“I fear the Council is attempting that angle right now, they have offered her an opportunity at Spectre status.” Garrus turned to look through the wall as if he could see her. He hoped she was fine in there by herself and that they weren’t cornering her into something, well something besides becoming a Spectre.

”Wasn’t she previously offered it? A few years back?”

Garrus nodded and leaned forward, resting his elbows onto his knees. The candidacy was marked in her file. “She’s asking for time to think about it... I hope they give her that time.”

”Maybe it would be best for you if she took the offer.” He crossed his arms and leaned back against the desk. He sat smuggly like he’d just solved all of his problems.

“No... I think I’d have to take time off if she did. My mind would be all over the place.”

Fedorian glanced down to him as his omnitool beeped with an incoming message. “This stays quiet, between you two only and honestly, I don’t even want it that far.” He moved to open the message but stopped a second before he did. “I hate to say it but this is an issue, and you need to let me know in advance if anything happens so I can deter the issue.”

Garrus stood and gave him a brief nod before exiting out of the room. Shepard was outside, sitting on a waiting bench by herself. She stood nervously, glancing behind him into Sparatus’ office then to him.

”Ready?”

She moved into step with him as they made their way back to the docks to check in with the ship. They’d both been uncharacteristically quiet. But maybe it was for the best, after all this whole thing needed to remain tight lipped.

Upon reaching the ship, there were a few more unplanned repairs that were needed to be finished. He let the crew know that they would be due back tomorrow evening. 

They decided to check in with Nihlus who was probably lonely aboard the ship. Turned out Chawkwas and Jack were still aboard and playing card games with Nihlus to keep him busy. 

Chawkwas insisted on changing Shepard’s bandages while she was there, and they decided to stay and play a few more games with Jack, Chawkwas, and Nihlus.

It was a relaxing night, even more relaxing that he didn’t have to think about what had happened today.

And what Shepard’s decision on the matter of Spectre might be.

Chapter Text

Shepard was happy they had ventured off back to her place again from the ship. It gave her an opportunity to clean up her room so it would be ready for leave again. She would need change out the sheets when Garrus decides to get up.

Somehow he’d over slept, and she couldn’t bare to wake him. It been a rather exhausting day before and she figured he hadn’t fallen asleep when she did. He needed the extra sleep, plus the flutter of his mandibles as he slept was so cute.

She cleaned up her room and the house a little bit, wasn’t usually this messy and it did need a little TLC after she’d been gone for nearly two months.

She had to admit cleaning certainly would’ve been much easier without a good bite to her shoulder and an injured arm. She’d been thinking about it all morning. The way he reacted after he bit down onto her was odd. She knew he felt bad but why did he keep saying he should’ve had her permission. At this point, her body was gladly his to do what he wanted with it.

Though maybe it wasn’t just a bite to a Turian. Maybe it was something more.

She pulled up her omnitool and did an extranet search as she sat down onto the couch. A few different sources came up. 

‘How to make your mark last’ on some Turian sex help page. She didn’t read it but the title did make her laugh. She wouldn’t have the problem of making it last, it would scar.

’History of Courtship rituals among Turians.’ That one seemed like it might be the most helpful but she glanced to one more below it, just to make sure.

’Weird and insane marks made over the last 20 years’. 

As she thought, her best option was number two. She pulled it open and browsed the catalog posting. She found a few sentences that stuck out to her.

’While generally used to spice up life in the bedroom, a bite mark can be an attempt at revealing a longer offer in the relationship. Though there are many purposes for it. It can be used simply as a bite to increase pleasure, or it can be an asking to move further into the relationship, and can be used to tell other Turian’s that the bitten one is a relationship with another.

Turian’s are highly territorial of their bedmates, and tend to prefer to bite them when seeking a long term relationship. Usually between two who are bonded, it’s the logical next step in the relationship, setting it only a few paces behind, a bonding ceremony among family and ——‘

“Good morning..” 

She quickly shut her omnitool off and put her arm down, her focus switching to the tired looking Turian. 

“Got a little sleep, did you?”

He nodded and sat down next to her and stretched himself out. Which really didn’t look like stretching at all. 

“I think I’m catching up on the sleep I missed over the week.” His arm fell to her leg, the hand hugging the inside of her clothless thigh. He gazed at the vidscreen she had forgot was even on. It was some news station, she wasn’t watching it, more for just background noise.

”Are you hungry, Handsome?”

He gave a nod turning his focus to her away from the vidscreen. She propped her elbow on the back of the couch, her head leaning onto her palm as she gazed at him. They sat closely.

“Good, me too. Let’s order, I don’t want to get ready.”

He eyed her again before resting his head back against the couch tiredly again. “If I’m the handsome hero than you're what...my damsel in distress?”

She scowled at him. ”Somehow I’m not surprised gender stereotypes are equal across all species....”

He began the order for them at some restaurant not to far away away from her place. 

“You know, I don’t think you could be a damsel, I might be the damsel in this relationship.” He put his talon to his chin thinking for a moment. “No... I think we should be partners in crime. I think that’s way hotter anyway.”

She let a laugh escape deep in throat, good thing he changed up their hypothetical roles. She would’ve left him on the couch if he didn’t fix that, she couldn’t be a damsel if she tried.

The food would arrive in probably 45 minutes or so, so it gave them a little more time to wake up. 

“I’ve really enjoyed staying here.... you know they offer Spectre apartments to us, in the towers. I’ve only been there once on shore leave.” 

Shepard let out a little laugh and smiled. “They offer you Spectre appartments, and besides there’s probably vidlogs recorded up there. Could you imagine the meltdown that would happen if they saw both us go into one apartment.” Shepard made a bomb noise and let her hands flutter out dramatically. “Half the Citadel would be on fire.”

”I could only imagine... well, if we are both Spectre’s.....” He only said it as a joke but it seemed to hit Shepard a little harder than he thought it would have, she felt herself tighten.

“I accepted the program..”

Garrus stilled for a moment, his grip tightened a little on her leg before pulling away completely. “You did...?”

”I did.”

Quiet swept of the room, the vidscreen was the only noise filling the room. She turned to him, he was quiet, calculating and seemed so distant. Maybe he would’ve wanted her to stay onboard with him forever. But even she knew she didn’t have forever.

Eventually when they won’t need this task force anymore, it will be disbanded. She’ll be sent back to the Alliance, sent to an even farther reach in the galaxy, putting her far, far away from him. At least if she goes through the Spectre program, she would have the opportunity to stay with him. 

And stay with him however long she wanted to, or he wanted to. Maybe she would get lucky and they’ll kill two birds with one stone, Garrus would be her mentor and peer view, then she wouldn’t have to go anywhere. That is if the council accepts her demands.

It might not be that easy but a girl could hope. Plus she asked Councilor Tevos how long the training program was, she mentioned it’s a formality, the length was generally no longer then a few weeks and can be done in days, it’s all up to the pre-Spectre to choose.

”So when do you leave the Normandy?” She heard the melancholic tone that fluttered out with his question. He was very upset, maybe he didn’t see it the same way she did.

”What’s wrong, Garrus...?” He sighed and sat back into the couch. Obviously hoping for her to read his subvocals, to which she could a little but not efficiently.

”No one wants you to leave the Normandy and go off and fly your own ship... but it’s selfish of me to think you would stay.”

Shepard broke out into a little laugh and leaned over and stroked his mandible. She quickly threw her leg over his lap, straddling him.

“Are you upset I might leave your bed?” Her fingers moved to run along his fringe. Another sad hum came through his chest. 

“You know I think of you as more than that..” She had the feeling but hadn’t said anything, it was made clear that it was his turn to set the boundaries between them. At this point, he was mostly in control if they would ever be more. 

He was very upset by the whole Spectre thing, she was going to tell this to him as surprise but she guessed it might be the only way to get him out of this funk he’s fallen into. “I proposed... that I do my training aboard your ship. As not to disturb the crew and missions immediately.”

She pulled herself away from him a little to look into his eyes, she stroked his neck lovingly. “Nihlus will be my peerview. Obviously, once he get’s better. Which gives me more time on board.”

Garrus’ eyes flickered to hers then across her face and to her lips then back up. She leaned in and pressed a kiss to his mouth plates gently. 

“I can take as long as I need with my training and that doesn’t start for another month, at least.” She ran her hand down and around the lip of his cowl. His hands moved to rest on her thighs, pulling her closer. His forehead coming to rest against her shoulder where he bit her. 

While she wanted to say something about it, but she resisted. He’d tell her when he’s ready. For now, it’s just signs of really rough and passionate sex, which is just as fine with her.

“So.... I did you win the bet or did I on Virmire?”

He peeled away from her shoulder and leaned back into the couch. 

“I’m fairly certain my count was well ahead of yours... but I’ll let it slide.” His hand slid up to her waist slipping under the large T-shirt she had on. His mandibles flared as he looked over her, his hand continued up her stomach to her breast, his talons running across the skin lightly. She arched into him, moving her hand around his cowl and kissing his mouth.

She dipped her hand down his chest to his waist and kneeded the skin at his waist. A hum escaped from between their mouths that were sealed together.

The door bell rang signaling their breakfast had arrived, at the same time Shepard’s stomach made a loud noise. She was very hungry, they should probably get to eating.

She climbed off his lap and headed to the door. They ate and watched vids for the rest of the day, having sex here and there in their relaxations. His libido was as high as hers, however they did hit a point where Shepard had to call it off.  

She would talk to Chawkwas about this certain irritation that seemed to have popped up across her skin. 

By the evening, everyone had settled back on the ship safely, Ashley reported back with papers of temporary assignment from the Alliance. It seemed she was fine with staying aboard as was the Alliance.

They were quickly on their way back into space, first destination would be for Tali. That meant they would be heading into the Terminus System. It would be one of the first time in a very long time that a Citadel ship will have been in contact with the Quarian’s ship. It might be likely to draw attention so they kept their pathlines quiet until they were closer to the fleet.

She found herself strutting into the medbay later into the evening. Nihlus still bed ridden but seemed to be doing much better. Chawkwas was in the corner fiddling with a datapad when she looked up to her.

“Ahhh Shepard, was wondering where you have been, let’s look at your arm.”

Shepard sat down in the other stool holding out her arm to Chawkwas. She slipped the sling and bandages off and cleaned the skin. 

“I think we are okay without the sling for a bit.” She cleaned up the wound and didn’t rewrap it. “Lets let that air out for a while, you still have a little while before I’m going let you go back to duty but you seem to be doing well.”

Shepard