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Reach and Flexibility

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Riding the elevator down to the third floor, Shepard shifted on his feet and tapped the metal grated floor, cursing at the slowness of it. He was nervous to say the least, he and his crew just got back from the citadel after helping his best friend Garrus deal with a problem from his past. Everything went according to plan but the Turian left the lockers before he could ask him how he was doing.

He cared deeply about his old friend, ever since he joined him on the first Normandy. Something between them just clicked and they instantly became friends, whenever they had some down time, they would join each other to either have a drink or just chat. Garrus was there for him when he needed it, especially after Virmire. Shepard was broken about the fact that he had to leave a squad mate behind, but he had Garrus to help him recover. Ever since then, the other male held a very special place in the human’s heart.

When he saw his friend again, after apparently two years, he was overjoyed, glad to know that Garrus was alive and safe, as safe as he could be with people trying to kill him anyway.

Shepard was brought out of his day dreaming by the elevator doors finally opening. Stepping though, he followed the route to the main battery, knowing it like the back of his hand, as he went down there so often to see Garrus.

The door opened with a few presses of a button, and, without Shepard’s control, his heart felt as though it skipped a beat at the site of the very familiar armour that his friend wore. He took a deep breath to calm himself.

Garrus, who heard the door, turned around and smiled, or what Shepard knew was him smiling as Turian’s had different facial structure, “Shepard. Need me for something?”

He smiled back at him, “Have you got a minute?”

“Sure. Just killing time, anyway. I wanted to thank you again for your help with Sidonis.” Garrus told him, making Shepard let him a silent sigh of relief, thankful that his friend seemed to be taking what happened alright. He continued, “Whatever happens with the Collectors or the Reapers or whoever else comes after us, I know you’ll get the job done.”

Shepard smiled more, “I couldn’t do this without you, Garrus.” He told him, as honestly as possible, because it was true.

“Sure, you could. Not as stylishly, of course.” He said, causing the two to laugh, Garrus continued speaking while Shepard walked over to a crate in the room to sit down, “It’s strange going into a suicide mission on a human ship. Your people don’t prepare for high-risk operations the way turians do.”

“And how do turian crews get ready for high-risk missions?” The Commander asked, placing his elbows on his knees, leaning on them, ready to hear more.

“With violence, usually.” He told his friend, who raised an eyebrow at him, “Turian ships have more operational discipline than you Alliance, but fewer personal restrictions. Our commander run us tight, and they know we need to blow off steam. Turian ships have training rooms for exercise, combat sims, even full-contact sparring. Whatever lets people work off stress.”

Shepard listened intently, not only because he always hung onto every single word Garrus speaks, but because he found it really interesting to see how species are different to his own. When Garrus finished, he asked, “You mean turian ships have crewmen fighting each other before a mission?”

“It’s supervised, of course. Nobody is going to risk an injury that interferes with the mission. And it’s a good way to settle grudges amicably.” The alien shrugged, before pacing slightly as he spoke, “I remember right before one mission, we were about to hit a batarian pirate squad. Very risky. This recon scout and I had been at each other’s throats. Nerves, mostly. They suggested we settle it in the ring.”

“I assume you took them down gently?” Shepard asked.

“Actually, we were the top-ranked hand-to-hand specialists on the ship. I had reach, but they had flexibility. It was brutal. After nine rounds, the judge called it a draw. There were a lot of unhappy betters in the training room.” He said, then he paused for a second, “We, ah, ended up holding the tiebreaker in their quarters.” Shepard’s head picked up at that, “I had reach, but he had flexibility. More than one way to work off stress, I guess.” He finished, turning to look at his friend.

Shepard couldn’t help but laugh slightly, but then he realised that Garrus used a male pronoun, confirming to him that his friend had spent the night with someone of the same sex. The use of that one word sparked hope in the human’s heart, hope that had once been almost non-existent, thinking that the other male wouldn’t be interested. But now, now there was a small possibility.

With new found confidence, that almost shocked him, Shepard stood up, “It sounds like you’re carrying some tension. Maybe I could help you get rid of it.”

He noticed the small stutter his friend gave when he replied, which fuelled his hope, “I, ah, didn’t think you’d feel like sparring, Commander.”

“What if we skipped right to the tiebreaker?” Shepard asked, in what he hoped to be a seductive voice, walking over to the panel that Garrus had been working on and leaned on it, “We could test your reach…and my flexibility.” He hoped that his friend didn’t noticed the small nervous shake in his voice.

“Oh! I didn’t…huh.” Garrus said, stuttering over himself, while looking over his commander and friend, “Never knew you had a weakness for men with scars.” Shepard sent him a small smile, while shrugging his shoulders. Garrus returned the smile, “Well, why the hell not? There’s nobody in this galaxy I respect more than you. And if we can figure out a way to make it work, then, yeah. Definitely.”

Shepard’s smile grew wider, his heart beating fast than it ever had before, faster than any time he was on a battle field. He slowly walked past Garrus, keeping his gaze on him as he went, until the door closed behind him.

Once out of sight, Shepard let out a breath he was holding in for what seems since he exited the elevator. He just couldn’t help the cheek splitting smile that was plastered on his face, and if his crew looked at him weirdly, he didn’t notice or care.

He just flirted with Garrus, a man he has had feelings for for years, and it worked.