“Since wine didn’t seem to work last time, I brought some…stronger stuff this time. Turian vinum and this human drink called…vodka?” Garrus’s voice floated into Shepard’s cabin as he walked in from the elevator.
When Shepard didn’t answer, Garrus asked, “Is now a bad time? I can leave.”
“Got calibrations to do?” Shepard asked, amused. She was still intent on something on her desk.
“Actually, yeah,” Garrus nodded. He paused. “Wait, that was a joke.”
Shepard chuckled. Garrus went on, “Seriously, if now’s not a good time, I’ll go. You look busy.”
“Oh, I’ll be getting busy tonight,” Shepard finally turned around, holding a datapad with a shit-eating grin on her face. “You’re not going anywhere.”
Heat pooled in Garrus’s stomach, sending a rush of warmth surging through his veins. “Mmmm. That’s what I like to hear.”
Shepard smiled before coughing once and saying awkwardly, “…before we get to that. Um, something we need to talk about.”
“Yeah?” Garrus asked, suddenly worried.
“Mordin’s worried,” Shepard said.
The change of topic made Garrus’s head spin. “Um, what?”
“About us. Mordin’s…concerned,” Shepard repeated.
“What we do in our free time is none of his business,” Garrus replied, feeling more than slightly violated the twitchy salarian had so much as thought about Garrus’s sex life.
“…it kind of is, though. He and Karin are the ship’s doctors, and he just wants what’s best for us,” Shepard said.
“If you want to stop…whatever this is, that’s fine, no hard feelings. But if it’s just because Mordin said something creepy, I’m going to kill him,” Garrus growled.
Shepard laughed. “I’m not calling anything off, Garrus. I love you. I want to be with you. We just apparently need to take…precautions.”
“Precautions?” Garrus echoed.
Shepard held up the datapad she was holding. The title of a book or paper was legible in large, pristine, official-looking lettering.
On the Nature of Interspecies (Human-Turian) Sexual Relations, by Traeya, N. et. al.
“You’ve got to be shitting me,” was all Garrus could say.
“That’s what I told Mordin, but apparently not,” Shepard looked amused, but the blush in her cheeks indicated her embarrassment as well. “He gave me a booklet to read and gave EDI some vids if we needed them.”
“I thought Mordin was a doctor, not some kind of rogue porn dealer,” Garrus chuckled, Shepard’s discomfort reflected in his own. “I mean, fuck, I’m not going to say no to watching a couple vids with you, but I’d rather have found them myself.”
“That an offer?” Shepard raised an eyebrow, a sultry smirk on her face.
Garrus somehow resisted the urge to pounce right then and there, instead managing weakly, “So, uh…what does this booklet say?”
“I dunno. Haven’t read it yet. Figured we’d do it together,” Shepard shrugged.
Garrus pulled up Shepard’s spare desk chair. “First person to get squeamish gets to go down first.”
Shepard’s grin was positively wicked. “You’re on.”
She swiped to the second page, and they both instantly lost their bet.
“I…uh,” Shepard managed.
Garrus poured himself a shot and took it, in lieu of bleaching his eyes.
“I mean…Mordin mentioned chafing, but…Jesus Christ,” Shepard said, voice still thin and strained.
The heading of the page was entitled “DANGERS OF INTERSPECIES SEXUAL RELATIONS,” with the subheading, “INJURIES.”
“Great way to start out,” Garrus said wryly. “Really sets the mood.”
“If your alien dick does this to me, I’m cutting it off,” Shepard warned.
The pictures were gruesome at best, showing (in unpleasantly close-up detail) chafe marks on a human woman’s thighs. She had clearly bled quite a substantial amount, based on the data points shown beside the pictures.
“Moving on,” Garrus said quickly, swiping to the next page.
The next page held descriptions of how exactly the woman had come by the injuries, in excruciating scientific detail, complete with more pictures. Shepard cringed, crossing her legs subconsciously, although Garrus couldn’t help the loosening of his plates. There was something about the wording – “…turian males are typically aggressive in intercourse, vigorously thrusting into the female. Female turians’ plates prevent injury, but with humans’ softer skin, the male’s passion can cause extensive chafing…” – that made him want to screw the life out of Shepard.
Fuck, he was getting turned on by a weird salarian sex-textbook. A sextbook, as it were.
“So, uh…that’s…fun,” Shepard said. “Moving on, before this pamphlet makes me stay a interspecies virgin…”
The next heading read “ANAPHYLAXIS.”
“Holy fuck,” Garrus breathed.
This held a picture of a turian, its plates covered with what looked like hives, its thin neck membrane swollen beyond belief. Garrus swallowed uncomfortably.
Shepard read aloud, “…due to the incompatibility of human and turian amino acid bases, anaphylaxis is a distinct risk of unprotected human-turian sexual intercourse. If untreated, it can be fatal.”
“That’s the sexiest thing I’ve ever heard,” Garrus tried to joke. Shepard looked as uncomfortable as he did, so the joke fell flat. Shit, even his jokes weren’t working now.
“Right. Um…next page,” Shepard said, quickly swiping to the next topic. “Oh, here we go. Erogenous zones.”
Garrus sighed in delight and relief to be off the unpleasant topics. Shepard tilted her head, regarding the diagram of turian erogenous zones with laser focus. Garrus peered over her shoulder, rolling his eyes at the sterile scientific-ness of the diagram – he could just as easily tell her that his fringe, his neck, and his groin were the areas he desperately wanted her to touch.
Almost absentmindedly, still staring at the datapad, Shepard raised a hand and began to lightly rub the back of Garrus’s neck, under his fringe. He immediately began to hum with pleasure, sounding to Shepard like an overgrown cat.
“So maybe this isn’t full of just gross shit after all,” Shepard commented, smiling at Garrus’s reaction.
“Keep doing that and hand me the datapad. It’s my turn,” Garrus replied. Still smiling, Shepard obeyed.
He flipped to the next page, a diagram of a human male, and quickly skipped to the next – he had less than no interest in human males, and the last thing he wanted was to envision this damn book the next time he talked to Jacob or Joker.
The sheer number of points labeled on the diagram of a human female made Garrus’s head spin. It seemed like just about anywhere on the body was one of these magical zones – a concept that pleased Garrus immensely.
“Find anything interesting?” Shepard asked, tone light and teasing.
Garrus purred louder, pulled her closer, ran a hand down her side to cup her ass, and nibbled gently on the edge of her ear. Shepard giggled girlishly, but Garrus didn’t miss the way she pushed herself against him, how her giggle trailed off into the softest “oh!”
“You tell me,” he murmured in her ear.
“L-let’s see what else we ought to know,” Shepard said, barely able to maintain her usually steely self-control.
She flipped to the next page, and Garrus felt his plates shift more than a little.
“Wow, there’s even a Kama Sutra for alien sex,” Shepard commented, awed.
Garrus didn’t even think to ask what a Kama Sutra was, focused as he was on the diagrams.
They were as scientific as the rest of the booklet, little figure drawings of a human and a turian – helpful colored in red and blue, respectively – tangled up together in various positions. Each of the positions had a name written below it; some names were cutesy, and some just plain dirty.
“So, uh…what do we want to do first?” Shepard asked, suddenly bashful. Shit, she’d just read through the scientific equivalent of Fornax with her brand-new boyfriend, one she hadn’t so much as kissed yet. Now what?
“I say we have a round…or several…of drinks, pop on one of the vids Mordin so charitably gave us, and see what happens next,” Garrus proposed, seeing Shepard’s uncertainty.
…that was more than enough encouragement for her. She all but tackled him, pressing rough kisses against his surprisingly pliable mouth plates, and growled, “You. Me. Bed. Now.”
Ignored by both of them as they staggered to the bed fighting the other's clothing, was the next chapter of the book, entitled, "AVOIDING INJURY, ANAPHYLAXIS, AND DEATH."
“Doctor. Good to see you. Up late, I see,” Mordin said, seeing a bleary-eyed Chakwas walk into his lab.
“My clinic, please, professor. Now,” Chakwas replied instead.
“Interesting. Urgency unusual. Tone of voice indicates displeasure, not concern. Did Joker break leg attempting to tell joke again?” Mordin went on, following Chakwas to the elevator and down to the medbay.
“If only,” Chakwas grumbled, leading the way from the elevator once it reached her floor. “Professor, I was under the impression that you had had a sufficient talk with the Commander and Garrus to discourage them from ‘relieving stress’ together.”
“Yes. Conversation brief. Commander uncomfortable. Gave booklet and vids for perusal in private. Why?” Mordin said.
Chakwas opened the door to the medbay, revealing Shepard and Garrus. Shepard’s skin was covered in blotchy red spots and her hands, neck, and face were obviously swollen. Garrus was pale as a ghost, collapsed weakly on one of the medbay beds.
“Professor,” Shepard managed to wheeze.
Mordin sighed. “Perhaps booklet and vids too informational. Will reconsider distribution in the future. Regardless. Commander, I gave you one specific piece of advice.”
“Which she clearly chose to ignore,” Chakwas said, darkly amused.
“Clearly. For future reference, Commander, I will repeat,” Mordin went on.
“Do. Not. Ingest!”