“Shepard, have you got a minute?”
The first time he asks me, we talk about where our lives have taken us and what we had planned to be – who we planned to be.
We learn about how we like to cool off when we’re not in the midst of battle… and I offer to help him cool off.
I’d never heard a Turian go so quiet.
The next time he asks me, we’re facing certain doom, like we always have been and he wants to make sure what we have is real… that I want to be in a relationship with him.
I assure him that I love him, but I don’t think he quite believes it.
“Shepard, have you got a minute?”
We’re alive. We’ve made it, and our job is done. I’m worn out, my heart is racing and my body is trembling… but hearing his voice makes it all worth while.
He enters the room and we make love that night, both of us begging for more – both of us wanting to reassure each other that we’ll be safe in each others arms.
“Don’t ever let go of me, Garrus.” I whisper in his ear, letting myself surrender my heart, body and soul to the Turian I loved.
“I don’t plan to, Shepard.” He growls seductively, as he moves with me.
We spend as much time as we can together, before we have to report back to the Alliance.
We take the time to take it slow on the next round, to savour every minute of the precious time we have left together.
It feels so good, it feels so right….we are one, there is no Shepard without Vakarian.
We’re interrupted by an urgent call; Garrus has been called back to Palaven.
He doesn’t want to leave, and I don’t want him to. I’m out of breath, what feels like forever has only been a few minutes In the bedroom...a few minutes that lead to a half-hour talk of when we’ll be able to meet again.
Both of us don’t realise what is coming our way.
The next time I see him, I’ve come to add him to my team to fight against the Reapers, and kill them for good.
There is so much I want to say to him – I want to run and hug him, but I can’t. People are staring, and we’re on business hours.
The looks he gives me, I think he knows what I’ve been through. He’s heard what happened, how I was charged for working with Cerberus.
The minute we get a chance on the ship, he asks if he can come to my cabin, and I let him.
We kiss and embrace like things haven’t changed a bit. He wants to know if I still love him, he tells me what he’s heard and asks If I’ve been with anybody else – I tell him no. I tell him he is the only one for me.
My heart is beating so fast in my chest, I fear it may explode.
“They haven’t been good to you, have they Athena?”
It’s the first time he’s called me by my first name, and I like the way my name sounds as it leaves his lips.
We have so much to talk about, and he tells me he will stand by me no matter what happens.
“No, they haven’t, Garrus. They just don’t understand.” I sigh.
“They just don’t want to listen to you. But I know the truth.” Garrus tells me.
We’re on the Citadel, when he suggests we do something different for a change. He takes me out of bounds, above all the traffic...above the Presidium... it’s beautiful, it really is. We shouldn’t be up here, but who cares?
Garrus starts talking about how he’s doing this all for fun, but he wants to help me figure us out… our relationship.
“Are you ready to be a one-Turian kind of woman?” he asks me.
I don’t know if he’s proposing to me, but I tell him what my heart has been trying to tell him.
“The only thing that made leaving Earth bearable, was knowing that you were out there somewhere.”
I’m exactly where I want to be. The minutes we spend apart are unbearable and I just live for the moments when I can be in his arms again.
We talk about the future, and we talk about marriage. We talk about children and retirement and how it finally feels good to have something worth fighting for.
We wake up in the same bed that night, both of us consumed by each other to even think about the threat that was on our doorstep.
He doesn’t ask me the next time we have a serious question. He can see I’m truly terrified and nobody knows how to calm me down like he does.
I’m trying to stay strong but on the inside I am screaming. I want to cry, I want to curse… but I want to be professional.
“Shepard…” he whispers.
He’s restraining himself from pulling me into a hug. I can hear the fear in his voice; this is do or die – if we win, the Reapers are gone and the galaxy has been saved… If we lose, we’re all dead.
We talk for a bit, and then it’s time to head for London.
I don’t remember much of what happens next – there are explosions and Garrus gets hurt, so I order that he gets taken to the Med Bay on the Normandy.
“You gotta get out of here, Garrus.” I tell him.
“And you’ve got to be kidding me.” he says in response. “We’re in this, to the end.”
“No matter what happens here...you know I love you, I always will. “
“Shepard… I… love you too.”
Everything goes black after that, then I wake up under some rubble, and help finally finds me. I am transferred to a London hospital, before they finally get the relays working again and I am transferred to the Citadel.
And I find out I am pregnant. I wait for the day that Garrus will find me in the Citadel. I sit with the refugees, I tell stories of what we’d done… and in the end, those minutes that have turned to hours to turn into days and those days turn into a few months of torture… and then finally I hear his voice.
I see him, he’s here in the flesh and he doesn’t believe I’m real.
“Shepard, do you, uh, have a minute?” He asks softly.
He has questions, and I tell him the baby is his. I tell him the Doctors said the Genophage Cure has helped us out, where we feared biology wouldn’t work. It didn’t just help the Krogans, it helped us.
“Do you know if-”
“I didn’t want to find out the gender without you by my side, Garrus. I love you.”
God, I mean it. We have everything we ever wanted and we have won, where others have lost.
I start crying and we go back to the Normandy to talk things over, and we promise to never leave each other’s side again.
“Have you got a minute?” Garrus asks me, over the sounds of our wailing son
For him? I’ve got all the time in the world.
“Alright big guy, what’s he crying about now?” I grin and get up from my seat in the living room, of our apartment. The apartment Anderson gave us.
This is what having a life is like. This is what love feels like, and it’s beautiful. And we have all the time in the world to do whatever we want. We are free.