Despite having had sex a number of times, Thane had seen little of Shepard's body. She seemed resistant to showing him, choosing to keep lights time and her body close enough to his that he got little view.
While, at first, Thane had attributed it to nerves or perhaps eagerness, as time passed he had to admit it was more than that.
At no time was it more obvious than that moment, when Thane had walked into her quarters early to find her nude in front of her closet.
She didn't notice him right away, her gaze on the items in front of her. It allowed him to stare.
She was lovely.
So unlike anyone he had been with before, unlike anyone he'd have pictured himself with. Prior to Shepard, he'd stuck to other drell. It hadn't been easy since so few of his kind existed once leaving the Hanar homeworld, but some part of him had believed he needed to help continue his own race.
Still, from the first time he'd laid eyes on Shepard, when she'd torn through an army of mercenaries just to find him, he'd found himself interested.
At first, it hadn't been in her physical form. In many ways, they were more compatible than other pairings. Garrus and Tali came to mind, the way the two had so many biological difficulties to overcome. For Thane and Shepard, only the toxin on his skin and the potential for rashes or chafing from his scales were a problem. They forwent kissing most of the time to avoid the issue with his toxin.
Her skin had been so soft, her hair something he'd never dealt with before. How many times had he broken her skin with a bite before he learned how much more fragile her skin was than drell scales?
Still, over time, he'd come to enjoy those quirks, the little differences. He didn't fetishize them, but he'd come to like them, to associate them with her.
At his voice, she spun, eyes wide, pulling an item from the closet to cover herself. "I didn't hear you come in."
"I am sorry. I didn't mean to startle you. Are you not ready for dinner?"
They'd planned to go to a restaurant on the Citadel for a quiet meal together. A 'date night' she'd said.
"I will be. I'll be out in just a minute." She kept the clothing clutched in her hands.
"You want me to leave?"
"I'm not dressed."
"So, I'll be dressed in a minute." Her gaze left him, lingering on the floor.
He frowned before crossing the room. "Why are you uncomfortable with me seeing you without clothing? We are not strangers."
Her gaze remained down. Avoidance wasn't normally her style. "I'm not stupid, Thane. I've been through a lot, and my body isn't exactly a beacon of grace. It does what I need it to, and pretty damned well, but that's it. When Cerberus brought me back, they left me with more than just the scars on my face, not to mention what a life of war has bought me." Her foot shuffled against the floor. "It's not pretty, and I don't really need to see you realize it."
He let the words sink in. Irikah hadn't had this sort of self-doubt. Then again, few drell did. They viewed their bodies as vessels for their souls, as two separate things, and as such, put little stock in the attractiveness of the body.
Humans, on the other hand, appeared to assign great value to the physical form of their bodies, used them as a measure of their self-worth.
And for whatever reason Thane couldn't understand, Shepard found hers lacking.
"-Just forget I said anything, okay? Maybe tonight was a bad idea."
He set his fingers beneath her chin to lift her face. He said nothing until she met his gaze. "You are lovely, Siha."
"I know what I am. I'm stubborn, and difficult, and short-tempered, but I'm not lovely. I'm okay with it, though, I am. I just know my short-comings and don't want to put that shit out there. I’ve done that, haven’t cared before. Who the hell cares what some hook-up thinks about me. But you? You’re different, and what you think matters to me."
Thane wasn't a man to speak rashly. He preferred to take his time, to consider, to decide what he thought. Finally, he rested his forehead against hers. "You are lovely to me. I don't care what anyone else sees, what you think I see, I can only tell you how you look to me."
"Like a patchwork puzzle a kid tried to put together?"
He grasped the piece of clothing she still held but didn't take it from her. That had to be her choice. "Let me show you what I see?"
She pulled in a deep breath that shuddered from her.
Shepard nodded, her forehead brushing his. "No matter what, I trust you." She released the clothing, allowing Thane to pull it away and drop it on the floor beside them.
She tried to move forward, to capture his lips and press her body against his, but he was having none of that. No hiding, not that time.
He pressed his lips to the scarring on her cheek, first.
She went rigid beneath the gentle kiss, hands by her side. This was the same level of tension she had when facing enemies. It seemed the thoughts in her head had dug deeper than he’d realized.
He used his fingertips to trail over her ribs and trace the curve of her breast. "I like how soft you are, Siha. Drell females are much harder, but the give of your skin, your breasts, they fascinate me."
"-They are." He brought both hands up to cup her breasts, the weight in his hands, the nipples having tightened to points. He spoke against her ear as he nuzzled his cheek to hers. "They are soft, and they respond so well when I touch you. When you move, they sway like lures. When I take the points between my lips, you moan like notes of music. I remember everything, but I believe I would remember that sound no matter what."
As he spoke, her breath sped. She always melted with such sweetness, the hard edges she wore as a shield falling away.
He pressed his lips to her shoulder before moving his hands down her ribs. He offered a kiss to a scar on her chest, one with the same red glow that meant it had been a result of the Lazarus project, a remnant of her being brought back from death, rebuilt from a shell. They were the scars she hated most, so he lavished attention to the spot. "I like the dips in your skin from the scars. They are reminders of the things you have survived, the battles you have fought and won against. They are testaments to your strength."
"I call you Siha, a warrior angel of the goddess Arashu. They are fierce in wrath, a tenacious protector. The scars are proof of that in you. I cherish each one." He followed the line of the scar down, between her breasts, before pausing to move to the side and capture one nipple between his lips.
Shepard's calm exterior broke, her hands going to his shoulders with a gasp. Still, she regained her composure. "You're a fool if you think scars are sexy. I don't need lip service."
He dropped to his knees before pressing his lips to the divet in her stomach. Soft, like the rest of her. "Lip service is what I have planned, but if you mean I am lying to make you feel better, rest assured I do not lie." He drug his hands down to her hips, then curled them back to grab her ass. "I enjoy these curves as well. I like the way the skin gives when I squeeze, and the way you shake here when I take your body hard."
His tongue snaked out to follow the hip bone on her left side. It jutted out, one of the rare sharp points to her body made of curves. He raked his teeth over the spot.
"This isn't playing fair."
He lifted his gaze to hers as he licked along the other hip bone. "Of course not. I am an assassin, Siha. We do not play fair. We use whatever we must to achieve our objective." He grasped the front of her thighs, the muscles obvious beneath the skin, and slid his hands up until his thumbs rested at the apex of her thighs. "And my objective is for you to understand just how beautiful I find you."
She opened her mouth to respond, but he pressed that thumb higher to rest against her clit. It silenced her, causing her to moan instead. Better, he'd prefer her quiet and paying attention to his words rather than arguing.
He kept his hand there, even as she shifted her feet apart. His other hand stroked down through her dark pubic hair. "I find your hair fascinating, Siha. I have never been with a non-drell before, and drell have no hair. Neither do turians or asari. You human's are nearly unique in that. I think that is what I notice, what I like. To everyone else, you are Commander Shepard. War hero. Universal troublemaker. To them you are hard, but here? When I have you?" He pulled his hand away, then leaned down to draw a hard lick between her thighs. "When you are only mine, I find you incredibly soft."
Her hand went to the back of his head in a desperate grab. In that moment, she seemed to forget about how she looked, about the worries in her head. That was exactly what he’d wanted.
So he used his thumbs to spread her folds for him, to expose her clit more, then repeated the lick.
This time she shuddered, a whine on her lips. He mouthed at the swollen nub, and she jerked back, stumbling.
He had pity on her and twisted them, letting her rest her back against the closet. If she fell, that would ruin their fun. He planned to enjoy this and her before their date night. Spending that time with the doctor would not be nearly as pleasant.
He lifted her foot and set it on his shoulder, making her drop the knee out to spread her open for him. He didn't put his mouth back on her right away, choosing instead to run his fingers along her cunt, to take the rare chance to see her clearly. Normally he went by touch alone, but this time? This time he took advantage. "I have seen every part of you now, and I am not running. I like each part, but here?" He pressed his fused fingers into her, met with heat and wetness that clutched him. "Here I might like best. Like a treasure, something so unlike the you everyone else knows."
"Yeah, I don't go around showing people my-"
He curled his fingers inside of her, searching for the spot near the front he'd found before when discovering where each enjoyed touch. Her head fell back against the closet door when he found it. "No jokes. Stop trying to hide behind humor. I won't allow that between us." He leaned closer and blew air over her clit. "I think I prefer nothing between us. Now, I told you what I liked about you. I believe it may be time to show you."
She opened her mouth as if to answer, but Thane took that chance to latch his lips around her clit. He'd teased her already, choosing to toy with her, to touch her softly, more softly than she'd have wanted. He was quite finished teasing.
He used his fused fingers to take her, pressing in deep with that same curl. His tongue slid beneath that bit of skin that hooded her clit as he added suction.
Her hips lifted and withdrew, a mimic of how she would roll them when she was over him. It caused her stomach to contract, for the muscles beneath to tighten and release. He didn't close his eyes, choosing instead to look up and over her body, to enjoy the way her body shifted all spread out for him.
Her eyes had closed, her lip caught between her teeth. He thanked all of his Gods for his memory, for that fact he'd never lose this image, this moment.
He allowed her hips to move, but never let up on the attention to her clit nor the thrust of his fingers. Her moans turned to gasps, the hand around his head curling in so her nails scratched his scales.
Another deep thrust where he curled his fingers harder against that spot inside her, and she came.
He released the suction on her clit, blowing another stream of air over it before pressing one last kiss and withdrawing his fingers. He stood, wrapping an arm around her as she shivered.
He whispered into her ear. "And I like you like this, as well. Undone, no defenses, mine. Do you understand me, now? Are you done with this foolish self-doubt?"
Shepard slid her arms up and over his shoulders, using his strength, resting on him, and that he cherished most of all. He had little time left where he could be leaned upon, when he would have the strength and health to hold her up, so that she would use it mattered.
Then she turned that mischievous grin on him, the one that would cause the Citadel to call extra C-Sec when they saw it. "I'm a slow learner. It might take me a few more lessons like that to drive the point home."
He laughed before pressing his forehead against hers, their version of a kiss without risking the toxins on his skin. "I will gladly remind you of how lovely I find you for all the time I have left, Siha."