Noveria was beautiful, but damn, it was cold.
And despite what her crew of big, whiny babies may have thought, that fact was not lost on Shepard. So here she was, sitting between Wrex and Garrus, while the rest of her crew saddled up the bar or danced to some of the most dubious music Shepard heard since walking into Flux. And she was fine buying them all the hot and cheery drinks they could ever want if that meant it would put an end to the incessant bitching about the weather.
Wrex took an unapologetic long swig from his flask in between bites of a buttery scone.
"Can I have some of that?" Shepard asked, holding out her cup.
"No, stupid human girl," said Wrex, taking another sip. "This is pure krogan hooch." His crimson eyes flickered with something like pride. "I distilled myself about three centuries ago."
"So stick to your espresso with foam," he answered gruffly. "This stuff will have blood comin' out both your sides."
"That's disgusting." Wrex and his charm had an acquired taste and one that Shepard didn't currently have the stomach for. "Don't be an ass."
She turned to Garrus, who was both friendlier and better to look at than Wrex's stupid hump. "How's your cocoa?"
He eyeballed his cup suspiciously. "It's sort of gritty," Garrus replied, after a moment of deliberation. "Turian chocolate doesn't melt that well. Liara lied to me when she said this would help warm me up."
Shepard rolled her eyes. "Turn up your suit's temperature regulators."
"Just looking at this planet from orbit makes me feel miserable," Garrus said, and he did seem to repress a shiver. "I've already told you turians don't like being cold."
"You sure have," she replied. Garrus had been the most outspoken about the cruel, cold conditions of Noveria. "Many times."
"Turians don't like freezing to death."
Shepard ignored him in favor of staring at the swirling blizzard through the windows. There would be no majestic view of the Skadi Mountains this evening. It wasn't so much as the whiteout bothered her, but the low roar accompanying it. Just listening to the ferocity of the storm choked her airways, took her breath away, and maybe Shepard just caught a chill herself.
Now, what had the resort adverts proclaimed in bright, flashing neon throughout the port?
Dramatic vistas! Tickling bubbles! Heavenly steam!
Shepard immediately perked up.
"Where are you going?" Garrus asked as she was leaving.
"This resort has a spa," Shepard replied. "If you're cold, you should try getting in the hot springs too."
Yes, Noveria was cold, but damn, at least there were the baths.
"Hello, lover," Shepard purred, gazing longingly at the steaming hot pool.
The thermal springs were entirely powered by geothermal energy, which piped mineral waters to jetted hot tubs with temperatures set to an exquisite forty-two degrees Celsius. The bathing room was a rustic design built into the mountain's black rock, perfectly punctuated with glossy blue-green water and steam billowing like clouds. It was the ideal contrast to the ice storm outside, and best of all, she was alone.
Shepard tested the temperature by dipping her toe into the water.
"Perfect," she declared, walking down the steps and immersing herself in the hot bubbling water. The deep pool embraced her, and she kicked off the bottom, floating on her back, then drifted to the far side of the tub before coming to rest on underwater seating.
She arched back against the ledge, nipples instantly hard as a shiver ran down her back. Her eyes fluttered shut of their own accord, and Shepard embraced the drowsy, pleasant sensation of tension unraveling throughout her nude body. She was on the cusp of dozing off when she heard the door open.
Please, not Kaiden. Please, not Liara.
Things were already awkward enough for Shepard trapped between Liara's sparkling doe eyes and Kaiden's smoldering gaze. They were good kids, but both were a little too soft, too shy, and too sweet for her tastes.
Footsteps paused momentarily before the water softly splashed. And now that Shepard thought of it, those footsteps were not the patter of any bare feet that she was familiar with. Waves gently rippled below her breasts with the additional weight added to the spring, and a pleasant masculine sigh cut through the gentle lapping of the pool.
Shepard opened her eyes just in time to see Garrus disappearing into the water. She tried not to gawk but failed. She'd never seen a nude turian before and had just been given an eye full.
"Eh. Hello," Shepard stiffly greeted, dropping below the pool's surface. "Garrus."
"Shepard." Garrus had settled on her last name ever since she helped him put a bullet in Dr. Saleon's head. The first time he uttered Shepard, it had caught her off guard. Her name sounded almost pretty through the melody of his harmonics.
"What are you doing?" she asked, watching him roll his board shoulders and then rest his elbows on the ledge.
"Well," he said. "I'm soaking." Garrus closed his eyes and tipped his head back, fringe almost grazing the floor. "Per your suggestion."
"Are you sure you're in the right bath?"
"They're co-ed." Garrus opened his eyes. "Plus, the spa attendant said that you rented a group room for the crew."
No, what she told that hard-hearing salarian was Only if a member of my crew needs me! before paying for a room with a hot bath, a cold bath, and a shower. She then forwarded him a generous sum of credits as a bribe.
"What's wrong?" Garrus asked, with a teasing glint in his eye. "Don't want to share the water with an alien?"
And despite the jovial tone of his voice, Shepard did feel a little on edge.
"I'm not bothered by that, and what I actually said to that attendant was—"
"Are humans bothered by casual nudity?"
Shepard knew that she was a fine example of the human species. And she was willing to bet that Garrus was an exemplary representation of the ideal turian male. So, she was not bothered by their casual nudity because why would Garrus care about her dull, human body when his own body was so... unique. But all she sputtered out was, "Are turians?"
"There are public bathhouses all over Palaven," he said, not really answering her question. "What are those?" he asked, glancing to her chest hidden just below the water's edge.
"Breasts," she stated, taken aback by the straightforwardness of his question.
"And what do they do?"
"Mostly get in the way," she answered. "Which they make up for in the sack." And why Shepard decided to volunteer that little factoid, she didn't know and couldn't say.
"Really?" Garrus asked. He stretched his back while massaging away a knot in his shoulder, "Why is that?"
And since he seemed so interested, she said, "It's because they bounce, which is nice to look at, and they're sensitive, so they're nice to touch and— You know what?" Shepard stopped, taking a moment to compose herself. "The asari have them. So do the quarians." She paused. "Maybe. I don't know with their suits." And then she glared at him. "What I'm saying is that you should know that."
"Well, I've never seen a pair so close before," Garrus replied. "On anyone."
"Well, I've never seen you without your make-up before," Shepard said tersely. Garrus had snatched her peace and quiet away with his three-fingered hands and would receive no quarter from her this day.
He raised his brow. "My colonial paint?" he guessed. "I washed it off in the showers."
"So, you reapply it every day?"
"That's just basic hygiene, Shepard," Garrus replied dryly. "It's nice that you recognized me without it."
"I know what you look like." His eyes were the most vivid shade of ocean blue she'd ever seen, turian or otherwise.
"Most humans think turians all look the same." The pool lapped just under his tip of keel. Garrus plunged down to his chin with an expression of ecstasy, only to bob up again. The water trickled down the ridge of his cowl, accentuating the texture of pale taupe scales against his pronounced silver-gray plates.
A drop of perspiration ran down the side of her face. "Do you think all humans look the same?"
"Sometimes." His mandibles flared out in a smile that showed his sharp teeth. "But, you tend to stand out to me." And as if to prove it, Garrus added, "You're very pink right now."
"It's the heat." Shepard sank a little deeper. "Can you retract them?" Because if he could question her anatomy, she could do the same.
"These?" Garrus lifted his hand out of the water and said, "No."
"They're not as sharp as I thought they'd be," she said, watching droplets roll down the tips of his talons, fingers, and wrist.
"I file them down." Garrus inspected his talons and slyly asked, "Do you spend a lot of time thinking about my hands?"
"Your talent for marksmanship always impresses me." Shepard would appreciate his talent even more after seeing the length of his bare fingers and round knuckles. "You pull a mean trigger."
"That I do," Garrus agreed, staring at her from across the pool. Without the obstruction of his targeting visor, his eyes were particularly intense right now. "Can I see yours?" he asked as if daring her to do something forbidden.
Never one to turn down a challenge, Shepard defiantly pulled her hand away from her inner thigh, opened her fist, and spread her five fingers wide apart for his appraisal.
Garrus leaned forward, but before she could surmise his expression, a voluminous puff of white rolled between them. Shepard watched as his tall, spiny silhouette rose, then stepped forward. The mist gently passed, revealing Garrus standing waist-deep in the water, all within an arm's length from her.
Eyes never leaving hers, Garrus slowly reached out and caressed her outstretched palm before threading his three digits with her five.
Her heart rate doubled as he dragged his fingers through hers until the valleys between their digits interlocked. Garrus carefully pushed her wrist back as if testing the limits of its flexibility. She pressed back against his large hand until his own wrist arched under hers, and he seemed to approve.
Garrus was inspecting her hands.
He was admiring them.
"I'm actually pretty pissed at you," he said, finally breaking the silence and awakening her from the strange stupor that taken hold and gripped her mind.
Garrus choked back laughter, "For dragging my ass out to the frigid tundra of Noveria."
"Isn't this what you signed up for?" she asked, swallowing back the venom that had been on the tip of her tongue lately because her heart was in her throat. A wet sheen glistened across Garrus' well-defined abdominal plates.
"I'm happy to accompany you wherever you want me. But, I'll be damned if I'm going act thrilled with leaving the climate-controlled Normandy for Port Hanshan," he told her, stroking his thumb along the inside of her wrist.
"They're small," Garrus commented. Shepard looked away from the cheerful little bead of water that was trickling down the thin line of scales between his plates. "How did you train them to be so dangerous?"
Shepard yanked her hand back and said, "Why are you asking me so many questions?" She was both mildly perturbed by his comment and by her growing fascination with whatever that rumbling sound was in his larynx.
"I'm just curious about you," Garrus said, peering down at her with an openly hungry expression. "And you've just been so high strung lately that I thought I could offer to relax you if the hot spring couldn't..."
And that's when Shepard realized that Garrus— terribly reckless, fiercely loyal, and absolutely perfect Garrus— was making a point-blank pass at her.
There had been times lately that he had thrown a few meaningful glances in her direction from across the hanger. But Shepard just assumed he was scowling. Garrus was forced to spend a lot of time under the Mako hood because she drove it into the ground.
So Garrus had been ogling and not glaring.
What a pleasant surprise.
His mandibles fanned out in a mischievous grin before he told her, "I already locked the door."
"You're a straight shooter in more than one way." And Shepard added that to the long list of things she liked about the turian. "I'm flattered. For the record, I do find you to be incredibly good looking..."
"For an alien?"
"As a man," she corrected. "But…" She glanced down to where the water pooled just below his waist.
Shepard knew what she saw when his lean and muscular body sank below the water. A whole lot of nothing where it counted in terms of what he was proposing, which was ashamed because her core was pulsing with hard expectations.
"It's just that…" And she made a mildly obscene gesture with her hand, which was universal enough to him to throw his head back and laugh.
"Oh, Shepard. You don't think I have a…" he trailed off, chuckling. "Let me show you." Garrus reached for her hand and placed it just beneath his keel. Her heart flip-flopped in her chest as he guided it down slowly past the water's edge, where it disappeared in a ripple.
"Yeah, not feeling anything—" there was a shift against her palm, and something blunt, slippery, huge, and hard sprang into the tunnel of her fingers.
"Oh my god!" she exclaimed, staring at a hand full of turian cock. Nothing about it was off-putting. It was familiar in shape, slightly curved, thicker at the base than the tip, and was a dark silvery blue.
She was instantly soaked and, without preamble, gave his entire length an appreciative stroke.
Garrus made another interesting sound in his throat—a purr, a trill—and murmured, "So, what do you think, Shepard?"
Don't do it. Don't have sex with the turian. Just stop. He is your subordinate. You are in charge of him. Just stop. Don't have sex with the turian. Don't do it.
"I think this is a great idea," said Shepard, looking up at him. "But.."
The frustration in his voice made her toes curl with the power she held over him right now. "You're pretty big, and…" She was only half teasing, fluxing her fingers around his cock.
"Don't worry, Shepard. I'll warm you up," Garrus said, leaning down to cage her between his arms. "Which is more than you've done for me since landing on this rock."
"As long as I can walk after this..." Their knees brushed, and Shepard opened her legs, beckoning him closer. "Then, sure," she said with a smirk.
It was an invitation that Garrus readily accepted by running his mouth curiously against her lips, washing over her like a wave of warmth.
Shepard's whole body tingled as Garrus leaned against her. His arms wrapped around her, and Shepard stood transfixed by the undulation of his tongue as it slide-pushed and parted her hot, full lips.
Neither trespassed into the confines of the mouth of the other, not yet. What they shared was less of a kiss and more of an enthusiastic meeting and mushing of their tongues until Garrus pulled her in and claimed her mouth, hungry and intense.
Shepard moved past his incisors and canines, tasting a trace of sweet chocolate mixed into his saliva. It was a potent and hypnotic aphrodisiac that unfurled her senses and her body beyond reason.
When they broke apart, a glistening line of spit linked them until Garrus suddenly spun her, pressing against her back and thighs.
Shepard chuckled, "On to the main event already?" And really, that was fine. Kissing his mouth and sucking his sinuous tongue was enough stimulation for Shepard to already be at ease, wet and ready for him.
"Not yet," Garrus purred, subvocals thrumming excitedly as he pushed his leg between her knees, then bent her over at the waist. He rested his large hands on hers against the wet ledge.
Shepard could admit that she had been a little judgmental about her assumption that Garrus wouldn't be able to satisfy her without a nice stiff erection. Between his long tongue and strong hands, he would have surely figured out a way to deliver on his generous offer.
Luckily, the evidence of Shepard's miscalculation was a hard, pulsing line running decently slow between her thighs. Garrus gently parted her delicate hidden lips with his thick shaft.
"This is nice, isn't it?" Garrus breathed into her ear, brushing away strands of damp hair that stuck to her cheek with his not-so-sharp talon.
"Mmhm." Shepard rolled her head against his arm. She flipped her hand, so they were palm to palm. He curled his fingers through hers and lightly squeezed.
There was something about sex in water that felt inherently liberating and undeniably dreamlike. Garrus rocked against her weightless body, causing her nipples to splash against the surface of the hot spring, only to kiss the cool air a second later.
With one hand, he gently pressed her back against his pelvis, tilting her ass up at the perfect angle for the head of his cock to grind against her sensitive clit. Shepard moaned, which Garrus took as encouragement because he did it again and again and again.
"Could be nicer if we get out of the water," Shepard panted. "So you could fuck me properly." She reared back against his rigid body, but for all the pleasures of water, buoyancy meant no traction.
Her feet slipped, body free-floating.
"But then we'd be cold," Garrus teased, running his hand over her round ass, up the curve of her back to the base of her neck. He dragged his fingers through her hair before burying his face into her nape. Garrus inhaled her scent so deeply that Shepard could his chest rising and falling with each steady breath he took.
"Not too cold," she murmured, starting to feel dizzy with desire, by the heat and Garrus himself, who was now drawing tight circles against her clit. Shepard tightened her thighs around his cock and gently rotating her hips. They both shuddered when his blunt tip slipped just past the threshold of her body.
Garrus turned her, leaning down to meet Shepard for a sloppy, open-mouthed kiss. She wrapped her arms around his neck, fingers digging into his hard muscles while his perfect hands gripped her ass, lifting her from the pool.
The chilly air shocked her, sending goosebumps dancing across her skin. Shepard only shivered for a second. Hot water poured off Garrus, raining down on her as he covered her prone body.
His arms hooked her knees, pushing them open and back. Garrus loomed over her gazing into her eyes. Shepard stared back, drowning in flawless cerulean depths.
Something unfamiliar swelled in her chest until her heart was caught in a rushing wave. Never before had Shepard been so keenly aware of her connection to another person. The flood of emotion and passion was almost frightening in its force, and Shepard felt caught in an undertow, unsure of which way was up.
And maybe Garrus felt it too because he closed the distance of their mouths with the sweetest, softest kiss that Shepard ever received and returned.
Hidden behind billowing steam, time seemed to slow down to a crawl.
Her questing fingertips broke the spell as they leisurely journeyed down the ridge of his fringe to the tip and back up again.
Her touch cued Garrus to slide his erection through her slick pussy once more before entering her in one swift motion. Her body offered no resistance. Shepard desperately clang to his shoulders as his cock pleasantly stretched her tight body in a way that she had never been filled before.
He released her legs in favor of encircling her waist, pulling her up to meet his thrusting. "They really do bounce, Shepard," Garrus gritted out. "Are they as sensitive as you say?" His tongue darting out to lick water and sweat from between her breasts.
She was too breathless to answer with words, but her body surged forward, seeking more contact from his mouth. Garrus smiled, mandibles flickering and grazing the tips of nipples.
Shepard tossed her head back, eyes shut and mouth gasping for air as she teetered closer and closer to orgasm. Garrus dipped his head, resting his mouth along the curve of her throat, hot and heavy breathing like a fever on her skin. His long, slow strokes dissolving into quick and short and frantic pounding.
Her head spun, listening to the way his voice hitched, dual tones pitched and vibrated. Shepard saw stars explode and cried out his name over and over again as her body milked him dry.
They basked in the gently flowing currents of the other until the overwhelming heat, which had been so pleasurable to start, gave way to disorientation. Garrus withdrew from her with a mournful sigh then pulled Shepard up from the floor.
They staggered to the cold dunking pool to lower their body temperatures. Garrus put his foot in, immediately yanking it out with a horrified expression, "No way in hell."
Shepard gave him her sweetest, most natural smile before grabbing his wrist, stepping off the ledge, and dragging Garrus down into the icy water with her.
When they came up for air, both were wholly refreshed.
1. Missing my old Adrien Victus pals like crazy, hit a girl up on tumblr sometime xoxoxoxo (Speaking of Daddy Victus, I just completed a massive revision of Foundations for REASONS winkwink)
2. **insert blowing off steam joke here**