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Commander Shepard wasn't afraid of anything but failure.

Failure and, apparently, needles.

It was a fact that Doctor Chakwas had omitted, consistently, from any of Shepard's medical reports. It was neither impressive, nor necessary to inform other about, so it had resided in the grey area of Doctor-Patient confidentiality. This was a fact, an understanding so old that Shepard hadn't even been faced with a needle in years. (Her time on the Cerberus operating table notwithstanding.)

Ultimately, when you consider these variables, the events in the Tech Lab were, at least, understandable.

"Modifications stable; exterior plastics bonding to organic fiber. Scars should be completely vanished within hours. Fortunately internal reaction mild. Sedative will briefly immune-compromise, sufficient to avoid rejection."

"Good," Shepard agreed generally. "Administer what you have to, I'd rather not glow out my face for the rest of my life."

"Very well. Remain seated," Mordin ordered lightly.

Shepard rolled her head, stretched the muscles in her neck and shoulders as Mordin pulled back and typed furiously into his Omnitool. Mordin moved to the far wall, where he kept supplies and equipment, and Shepard hardly noticed as she stretched out her back. It was a testament to how much she trusted the Salarian, that he managed to get within inches before she noticed the needle.

The item flicked past the bare edge of her peripheral vision and she reacted. In the time it would have taken most people to even identify the item as a needle, she'd already braced the edges of the metal counter, twisted, and landed a harsh, full-on kick across Mordin's gut.

The Salarian was fast but ultimately unprepared.

The force of the kick shoved Mordin back against the wall, knocked him hard against the closed door and knocked the covered needle from his hand. It clattered to the ground with a pretty tinkle of glass and metal. For a few moments, that was the only sound in the room. Mordin's eyes were wide, an emotion between confusion and betrayal hovered in them, and Shepard stared right back, almost as startled by her own actions as he was.

"Shep-ard?" Mordin prompted, his voice gravely and harsh as he sucked in a breath, reclaimed what she'd knocked clean out of him. The word shuffled the human out of her frozen reverie and she immediately jumped off the table. She fixated on Mordin, on the wall behind him, kept her back away from him and her eyes away from the floor.

"On second thought," Shepard started slowly, an edge of panic creeping into her voice. It was a violently unfamiliar sound and it put Mordin on edge instantly. In retrospect, he'd be amazed by this--a pack of rampaging Krogan would not have triggered his adrenaline reflex as effectively as the sound of a panicked Shepard had.

"Retake seat. Sedative required." Mordin's eyes narrowed slightly as he stood up. He kept his posture unassuming, but he was not be unprepared this time. Shepard's eyes watched him with predatory intensity. Her jaw flexed and her eyes flicked, so quickly it could only be subconcious, toward the door to the CIC.

She moved like a whip, but this time he was ready.

She was fast for a human, but he was Salarian Special Forces. He was faster. Her fingers almost glanced the door control before Mordin's hand caught her just below the ribs and knocked her aside. Another blow, quicker than she could raise a guard, knocked the air out of her and sent her back onto the table.

There was a most remorseful shattering of lab equipment as Shepard's torso sent most of his beakers and tubes to the floor.

She was terrified, he could see it in the wideness of her eyes. When his eyes narrowed further, became thin black bands across his amphibian face, Shepard lashed out with a harsh kick. She was sloppy, impulsive, and wasteful with her motions. On a good day, Mordin would have been shocked to come to a draw in nearly any physical competition with the Commander.

Today he was besting her.

"Let me leave," Shepard demanded as Mordin knocked her leg back down--he resisted the impulse to follow the motion through and snap her tibia. "That's an order." Silence followed her statement and Mordin watched her tense, coil her strength. The longer he delayed, the more dangerous she would be.

"Doctor's prerogative. Override command structure for benefit of crew. Commander part of crew," Mordin explained at about half his normal speed. Shepard's face lit, her anger was palpable and fierce. Mordin didn't waver. "Submit to injection."

"Fuck you," Shepard snarled and her abdominals contracted sharply as she all but launched herself at him. The punch she'd aimed at his head would have likely shattered his ocular cavity. It was fortunate she missed. His palm caught her under the ribs this time, struck her diaphragm without mercy and Shepard gaped like a fish.

Her weight dropped down across his shoulder instantly. Mordin moved quickly, threw her back down on the table she'd inadvertently cleared and grasped her hands. Her eyes rolled back slightly as she sputtered for air. He only had seconds. His eyes darted and he spotted the spare gravity tethers.

"For adhering furnishings to deck. Crude, effective." He worked doubletime, had one looped and locked down to the table before she regained enough cohesion to react. The second was harder, her biceps were more powerful than his forearm, the angle of leverage was bad. He tricked her, released and she went for the first tether. It was a simple matter to lash her hands together, even at the strange angle.

"Mordin, I'm going to fucking kill you for this!" Shepard seethed and arched up off the table sharply. Her boots scraped against the smooth metal surface, but she was too tall to gain proper purchase. Had she been Yeoman Chamber's height, she could have freed herself.

"Have your best interests in mind, don't worry. Take no offense at threats." Mordin's assurances fell on deaf, snarling ears. Her boots scrambled violently against the table as she twisted and banged and fought to free herself.

"Do not dislocate shoulder. Freedom cannot be won." Mordin moved, very carefully, around the table and across the Tech Lab. The syringe was completely undamaged by the fall and Mordin retrieved it cleanly. Shepard's struggles ceased instantly as he rose with it.

The look on her face was terrifying in its absolute, perfect honesty. It brought a well of honest concern up in Mordin's chest. He had never seen the Commander afraid for her...was this her life? Perhaps, though she'd never seemed this concerned before. She was frozen as he approached, when he was within arm's reach of the tabletop, she actually began to tremble.

For a short moment, Mordin was paralyzed with guilt and self loathing.

Unfortunately, that was all it took.

The long legs that prevented her escape had gone completely unnoticed in the wake of her absolute terror. Mordin had all but moved alongside the table between her legs. As he paused, Shepard's instincts caught his weakness and exploited it. Her legs were strong and she arched off the table, wrapped her thighs around his torso just beneath the bar of his jacket. She twisted, arched hard, and like a predator snapping some herbavore's neck, all but flipped Mordin down onto the table.

The Salarain's head contacted the metal and the sedative flew out of his fingers again, clattering to the floor amid the various piles of broken equipment. Mordin's hands braced as Shepard squeezed him between her thighs. Whether she was trying to crush him or knock him out, he wasn't sure. He didn't take the time to dwell on it, he didn't have that much oxygen.

Mordin braced a knee on the table and pushed up, violently. Shepard's arms wrenched and her grip on him slipped. He was nearly free, but as her legs fell, she regained the angle that let her crush him. Her legs tightened around his hips, a vice grip and nearly as painful as a metal alternative might have been.

Mordin let out a short sound that was more akin to a growl than a word, and tried to twist free. Shepard was almost able to lace her legs at the knee behind his back and didn't show any intention of releasing him. Now, however, Mordin could breathe.

The situation was beyond words. Mordin needed to be free and he needed to force her legs off him to do it. It would be impossible to force her thighs to part with his arms. The difference in musculature was too significant. His brain ran a hundred theories at once and, within half a second, he'd decided. He had to remove her advantage.

Mordin shifted his arms to grip the sides of the table, to stabilize himself as Shepard tried to wrench him against the metal. Without warning, Mordin pushed forward and down, pressed all his weight onto his pelvis and, in turn, Shepard's and crashed her back against the table. Her torso was toned, but the muscles of her neck and upper back were simply not equipped to handle the forceful weight of another being.

Her head jarred against the table and Shepard hissed before uttering a string of vulgarities that would make a Krogan blush. Mordin pushed down with his torso and pinned her to the metal surface, the bar of his jacket crushing straight across her sternum. Once again, Shepard gaped and wheezed for breath. Her mouth moved, twisted with the outline of a word Mordin couldn't quite make out.

"Surrender?" Mordin prompted, a foot from her face. Shepard repeated the word like a mantra, silent and voiceless, and Mordin leaned forward to hear the slow rush of air leaving her. His eyes watched hers when they, very clearly, should have been watching her jaw. When Shepard snapped her head up, it was a simple matter for her to catch the Salarian's lips between her teeth.

Mordin reeled and his grip faltered just enough for her to push him up, to shake his torso as she bit his lip hard, pulled down like she was ready to rend it from his face. For all his patience and higher focus, Mordin reacted instinctively. His hips ground down against her, pressed her against the table with all the force he could manage (At least, with her legs locked around his pelvis,) and he growled low.

The sound Shepard released was...different.

Her teeth pulled free from his lip as she gasped, a guttural sound caught on the edge of her inhalation. Her legs around his pelvis had shifted, loosened slightly, and Mordin was suddenly very aware of the heat he could feel through their clothing, of the proximity and the physicality of their current predicament.

In the back of his mind, he was appalled that he had permitted the situation to progress so severely. That part of his mind, however, was having a very hard time syncing up with the visceral male reaction that had quickly dominated his conscious. Shepard's hips shifted and Mordin's reaction was so quick, even he barely registered it.

With a quick kick against the edge of the table, he broke the loosened hold of Shepard's legs. Without thinking, Mordin took hold of one ankle and pulled it down the table toward the floor. It was an easy reach for another tether. After that, her other leg was simple work.

"Fuck you, you fucking fuck!" Shepard seethed, repeated the word with vehemence born of frustration, fear, and absolute, boiling, vicious anger. She thrashed against the table fruitlessly, making noise like it would injure him. He watched her for nearly a full minute, the roll of her abdominals, the pull of her pectorals against her clavicle, the straining muscles of her arms and thighs through the fabric of her Cerberus casual wear. It was like watching mathematics in motion and Mordin had the overwhelming need to touch.

Mordin let out a low, nonverbal sound as he leaned over her again. She was shouting at him, cursing his name in every fashion she knew possible. He could almost see her pulse in her neck, could feel the heat of her, flashing and sharp. He was not one for minced words, even when coherent. Mordin's hand pressed flat, pressed hard against the apex of Shepard's thighs and the woman let out a strangled half shout, her horrible vulgarities lost in the sound. Her hips jerked, simultaneously toward and away from his hand, and made Mordin's decision for him.

It was fortunate that Human clothing parted down the front, permitted quick and easy access. He nearly tore the zipper as he parted it, as he shoved her pants down her thighs with a sharp tug. There would be no way to get them off, not without risking something sharp near an artery. She was practically frothing as she shouted at him, called him all manner of terrible things--murderer, torturer, rapist, psychopath--and he found the fastest way to silence her was the quick and obvious.

She shuddered and twisted, her hips arched as he pressed his fingers against the searing, bare flesh of her genitalia. Her clitoris was easy to locate, he bore down upon it roughly, pushed her pelvis back against the table as his thumb worked haphazard circles against the nerves.

She moaned, throaty and harsh. It tore out of her with a life of it's own; it was a sound that would have embarrassed the most jaded prostitute. He answered her by shifting his hand, inserting a thick finger into her vaginal opening. She was dripping, the sound of her thighs and buttocks against the metal carried a light squeak. She choked and her head rolled against the metal of the table as she tried to force his motions in the direction of her liking.

Mordin knew enough about human anatomy for this situation, more than enough, in fact. His second finger followed the first, stretched her mercilessly and slipped inside. She was panting, her breath harsh and irregular around her hammering pulse. He could feel it as clearly as if he'd had a readout of her. He stroked hard against the roof of her vaginal walls, pressed the soft flesh against her pubic bone, and Shepard lost all cohesion.

Her legs were shaking, muscles jumping in short, uncoordinated spasms as he stroked her, as his thumb ground against her clitoris, pinned her to her pubic bone on both sides. Her hips jerked, forward, laterally, in quivering jolts, but never backward. The scent of her was everywhere, it chased the harsh echoes of her throaty, wordless cries. Mordin took a deep breath and watched as her chest jerked upward, arched toward him tensely.

She was spiraling, wracked and shaking, tense everywhere, twisted with fear, anger, battle, and the need for sexual release. Mordin obliged her and shifted his hand so that the heel of it rested directly atop her clitoris. His fingers curled inside her, formed a rude parody of a fist around her most sensitive flesh. He tugged upward once and she ground against his palm, keening. A second time had her panting, and the third arched her body and released the harsh scream that had twisted up in her throat.

Shepard sagged against the table with a heavy, resounding impact tremor. Her eyes fluttered behind softly closed lids, her limbs completely slack and pliant. Suddenly, she very much resembled a puppet freed of its strings. Her chest rose and fell in long gulps of air, unconscious of the rest of her, and Mordin watched it briefly.

The sudden dichotomy was shocking, enough so that it pulled him out of the strange, daresay hormonal, recesses of his mind. Gently, he peeled his hand away from Shepard's pelvis--her hips jerked and shivered independently of the rest of her as he did so--and stepped away from the table. She showed no signs of activity and very little likelihood of suddenly changing that.

He, however, had been more than careless enough today.

Mordin located the syringe and, before the Commander regained any semblance of thought, delivered the injection to the side of her neck. Shepard didn't even flinch as he completed his task, she was completely blind to external stimulus. Well, for the moment.

His conscience set in as quickly as his higher thinking and Mordin frowned as he stared at her. It was a simple matter to discard the tethers and the way her limbs hung, completely and utterly without control, simultaneously encouraged him and instilled a dark sense of foreboding into his chest. He moved her to the metal counter she'd been seated on earlier. Laid her out as easily as a piece of clothing, and stepped back to assess the damage to the laboratory.

It was...extensive.

He frowned. He could feel the bruising from their altercation already, it would be impressive. The throbbing of his lip was insistent.

"Mordin." The sense of foreboding that had settled in his chest blossomed, abruptly, as he heard Shepard's slow, almost inebriated voice.

"Commander?" Mordin prompted and stepped up beside the table. Her eyes were bleary, and her expression was fundamentally relaxed.

"You get to give my shots from now on."