“Commander the Normandy’s been hit!” came Joker’s voice over the comms in her room.
Shepard had been about to change out of the tight and sticky dress she had worn to Donovan Hock’s party, underwear on the floor, zipper half undone. Quickly zipping it back up she ran to the interminably slow elevator. It seemed her underclothes would have to wait.
“What do you mean the Normandy’s been hit? What happened to our shields?” she asked, impatiently fidgeting in the elevator.
“We were doing routine updates to the Normandy’s defence algorithms,” EDI answered. “After scans revealed that this system was empty of traffic, we deemed it was safe to reboot the system.”
“Batarian raiders were outside scanner ranges when they were behind a moon,” Joker continued.
“So they just fired on us?” Shepard asked, a little incredulous, as she walked out of the elevator.
“They also sent a message,” EDI elaborated. “‘Now you die Cerberus scum’.”
Shepard sighed. Of course it would be suicidal batarians.
“Are they still out there?”
“Negative, we took out their engines,” EDI answered.
“Yeah, those bastards were falling down to the surface three planets ago,” Joker finished.
“Okay, status report,” she asked, coming to a stop behind Joker’s seat.
“Lost rear left thrusters,” EDI began. “Engineering reports a few shorts, but no compromise to the drive core. Guns are intact. Shields minimum safe capacity for atmosphere entry and FTL travel.”
“Can we make it back to Council space?”
“I recommend drifting while we raise shield strength, Commander. Then landing for thruster repairs. We have very little navigation control for—”
The ship lurched violently to the left. Shepard next felt her stomach summersault as the ship dropped in the vacuum of space.
“Report?” she called out, finding balance on one of the chairs.
“We’re caught in the planet’s gravitational pull, Commander.”
Shepard’s breath hitched and all she could do was concentrate on continuing to breath for a moment.
“What in the spirits is going on?” Garrus asked coming up alongside her.
She looked at him, still fighting for breath. It was Alchera and the Collectors all over again. Could he see the fear in her eyes? No, she could see that he was focused on the window and the planet below them.
“I recommend damage mitigating manoeuvres. We have enough forward thrust power for a safe landing,” EDI’s words slowly sunk through the fog in Shepard’s brain.
“Do it, Joker,” she said, forcing her fear and memories down. This wasn’t Alchera. She wasn’t going to lose this crew too.
“On it, Commander.”
Not with Garrus standing beside her. He was giving her a look that amounted to the turian equivalent of concern. She imagined what it would be like to lean into him, hide away from the memories and bury her face in his solid chest, take comfort from him. What would he think of this new behaviour, she wondered. She knew without the slightest doubt that he would offer comfort and security for as long as she needed it, but would he give her more?
“Shepard?” he asked, a curious look of concern and something else in his gaze when he looked down at her dress and did a double take.
“I didn’t have time to change,” she explained.
She gave him a small smile and bumped her shoulder against his gently, before turning back. She watched as Joker, now with the ship under his control and EDI’s help, lowered the Normandy as gently as possible toward the ground. There were still jarring lurches when it hit the planet’s atmosphere and hurtled down to the ground.
“How’s the environment?” she asked.
“Analyzing,” EDI answered.
She felt a light touch on her arm. It would be so easy to turn around and tell him that she wanted more than circling each other these past few weeks. The banter that always bordered on flirting was driving her crazy, like the looks exchanged between him and the crew members that were inclined to alien romps. What would he say if she told him she had seriously contemplated, on more than one occasion, purposefully walking up to him in the mess hall and sit down right on his lap? She wanted to confess to glaring at her screen when the language toward Garrus in Doctor Michel’s email was distinctly unprofessional.
Shepard barely pushed back into his touch, keeping her eyes trained on the image outside the ship.
She wasn’t one to run from things, to ask meekly. She knew her strength, her confidence after years of leadership positions and honing her command instincts. Being a spectre had taught her a lot about getting her way simply by expecting it and projecting that into her dealings with people. This was different though. She couldn’t bully her way into pushing flirting into action and if it didn’t work out, she couldn’t just cajole or intimidate her way out of the lingering unbalance that would left in the wake of a failed excursion into alien sex.
Garrus hadn’t moved his hand off her forearm yet.
Images of Alchera once again swam through her head. Fear had gripped her when she was falling through space, that she had failed to get him into a life pod before she remembered that he hadn’t been on board. Now here, again, that same fear had gripped her with an extra layer that she would never get a chance to see if they could be something together.
She took a step back, pushed closer toward him. She felt him hesitate a moment, about to step back, leave her her personal space, before shifting slightly and placing the back of his hand on her back and stroking her spine. Moments before she was going to lift her hand and grasp his, EDI called out.
“Atmosphere is breathable, climate temperate, Commander,” EDI reported. “It appears we have arrived during this hemisphere’s early summer. There is a small human colony a ten day shuttle journey to the east.”
“I’d rather not lose ten days,” Shepard said, sighing and stepping away from Garrus. “Let’s try to get the repairs done ourselves before we start sending out scouting parties. Most people in this region aren’t very welcoming to the Alliance or Cerberus.”
“We’re coming in for landing, Commander,” Joker cut in.
“All crew brace for impact,” EDI announced throughout the ship. To Shepard she said, “Commander, I recommend you and Garrus strap in to the vacant copilot seats.”
The Normandy came in fast, too fast, anyone who had been served on ships could tell. There wasn’t the telltale slowdown that gradually created a pocket of air for the ship to rest on. The usual quiet hum of the engines was loud and strained, the normal grind of the metal body louder than usual.
The shields had held though. The ship didn’t break apart and the lurch during the final touchdown had been unpleasant but not deadly. She could feel the welt from where the strap had cut into her shoulder and the force of the landing had been enough to slam her teeth together painfully. But that was it, there was no fire, no disintegration, no flailing around in space while precious oxygen escaped.
Shepard breathed a sigh of relief and a squeeze to her hand brought her back to the present. She looked over at Garrus and squeezed back. When had he grabbed her hand? He flared his mandibles slightly, almost shyly she felt, before he turned to the front of the ship.
“I think I owe you ten cases of beer after this,” he said to Joker.
“And a shore leave,” Shepard added. “EDI, tell the crew to finish repairs and then relax, but be ready to move at any point. We could all use some rest for a day, but let’s not get caught with our pants down.”
Shepard hadn’t gone back to her quarters to change before she’d thrown on her armour and sent her team out to secure a perimeter and make sure there was nothing within striking and maiming distance of the ship and the crew making repairs.
She regretted it now that she had explored away from the ship and was covered in a light sheen of sweat and the leather of her dress was sitting uncomfortably against her skin, while her armour brushed deep places between her legs once in a while.
Shepard had decided that scouting out and exploring larger and larger areas around the Normandy’s landing–crash site was a better way to spend her time after Tali had very sternly told her to stop nagging the engineers and let them do the repairs. We’ve got everything under control, half a day tops, she had said. It was then that she realized that she wasn’t as calm as she would have liked after the near disaster of a second Normandy. She had taken off exploring before Tali could tell her explicitly that she was getting in the way.
Shepard had made sure that her crew was organized with specific tasks before she had left and now she felt like she could finally relax, leaning against a fallen tree far enough from the ship. She had removed her armour, lulled into a sense of security through her wanderings that had turned up no hostiles of any kind, save some grumpy rodent–like creatures who had eyed her while they scurried away from her path.
The time away from the ship, firmly rooted on solid ground, had given her security and she felt her mind wandering back to lazy summer days of her youth, when survival wasn’t the main concern and she could lose herself amongst the tall trees.
Leaning back, she closed her eyes and tipped her head up to the sunlight that filtered through the trees as she rested her bare thighs on the soft, slightly foreign shade of green, grass of this world. She hiked up the uncomfortable sticky leather from her thighs and breathed in the warm air. The gentle breeze swirled around her skin, tickling between her legs with delightful, soft teasing.
Her thoughts wandered back to Garrus who had disappeared, shortly after offering Joker beer, to set up a sniper nest with Thane atop the Normandy. Part of her was miffed that she hadn’t had the chance to invite him up to her quarters and figure things out with him then and there, but duties always came first. Though what that said about her now, as she slowly trailed her hand up her thigh, she wasn’t in the mood to think about. She took what she wanted, she didn’t second guess, and sometimes commanders needed a bit of slack in their routine to keep from running their crew into the ground. She was done feeling uncertain about Garrus and vulnerable about past lives and ship crashes. Shepard was going to take her pleasure and relaxation while there was nothing in the immediate vicinity that was trying to kill her or her crew.
She trailed her fingers around the core of her, lightly brushing along the seams to feel the deceptive dryness the teasing breeze had created. Shepard pushed her hand, palm flat, down and relished the increase in pressure. Her thumb found its way to her clitoris and pushed lightly, dipping it further into her folds and finding her moist warm centre. She relaxed, spread her legs further and began to circle the back of her thumb over her clitoris lightly—
A twig on the ground snapped. Shepard’s eyes flew open.
“Oh,” Garrus said.
Shepard stared at him, frozen with her hand still between her parted legs. He stared back to her, clearly trying to keep his eyes from wandering. This was it, she was finished with uncertainty.
Slowly, Shepard moved her thumb in a slow circle, pressing down again. She felt her inner walls flutter. Garrus looked down at the movement, and then quickly back up to lock eyes with her. She looked right back and moved her hand again.
A faint growl reached her ears and Garrus bared his teeth slightly. Well that was interesting. She bit her lip, closed her eyes, and leaned her head back exposing her neck.
“You better be prepared to make good on this invitation, Shepard,” Garrus told her, voice low, gaze intense, hands clenching and unclenching at his sides.
She was definitely prepared. She spread her legs wider still, watched him as she trailed a finger along her opening, dipping in slightly. Garrus watched her, mouth open and breathing deep. She realized with increasing arousal that he was scenting the air around them. Of course the turians would have the most arousing behaviours. Dirty and a little bit too civilized in public, is how she had always found them.
“You better be prepared to walk over here and accept it, Vakarian,” she threw back at him when he had still made no move toward her.
He began to advance on her, stepping into the clearing and walking toward her without looking away. In Shepard’s peripheral vision she could see he held his assault rifle in one hand with a strong sure grip and she was willing to bet he could lift her with that hand just as easily. Like she had ever pretended strength wasn’t a turn on for her.
“You know, I was worried that something had happened to you, that you had been attacked,” he said, coming to kneel in front of her between her parted legs.
She huffed a laugh and took his hand in hers, taking off the armoured gloves, assault rifle forgotten on the ground.
“I decided to relax after twenty minutes of nothing trying to kill me,” she answered.
Shepard pulled Garrus’ hand down to her, turning it palm up, and pressing it to her folds. His thumb brushed against her clitoris and she let out a shuddering breath. He did it again, more deliberately this time.
“Quick learner,” Shepard commented.
“But you knew that already,” he answered and stood up to take his armour off. When he was nearly done, she followed to wrap her arms around his neck, finally pressing herself against the hard, unyielding length of him.
He growled again and picked her up, turning around and slamming her into a wide, tall tree. Garrus pressed against her, trapping and squeezing her between the tree and his strong, warm body. She let out a grunt as the rough bark pressed against the leather of the dress she was still wearing. Shepard wrapped her legs more securely around Garrus’ waist and pulled him to her, his hands releasing her ass to grip her waist.
“I should have known you like it rougher than most,” he breathed into her ear, lifting her up a bit for a more secure, comfortable position. The casual strength, without even needing to put his back and legs into it, had her grabbing onto his neck and pulling him even closer.
Shepard pressed her forehead to his tenderly and his gaze stuttered a bit, expression taking on some uncertainty.
“It was never going to be a quick fuck in the trees with you, Garrus,” she said. “Too much history.”
Shepard gave a quick smile before ducking her gaze and fidgeting, her hands running along his torso. Collectors and enemies on the battlefield never had the power to squeeze her heart in worry the way a rejection from Garrus could. In the intervening moments she realized that on some level this had never been the same as other crushes and interests. Her feelings ran far deeper than she had initially realized. It scared her and thrilled her at the possibility of her offer being accepted.
“Like you’re the kind of woman someone just gets over after a quick and dirty fuck,” he answered, pressing his cheek against hers. “I can’t stop thinking about you.”
Shepard closed her eyes, smiled.
“Good,” she said.
She lifted herself into a less relaxed position, bringing Garrus closer to her and rocking her hips against him. The rougher texture of his skin against her bundle of nerves stuttered the movement of her hips, her inner walls slightly clenching around the lack of anything within her.
Garrus let out a breath and continued to press against her, head bowed and his warm breath washing against her lips. Shepard angled her head up, pressing her mouth to his and feeling the limited movement allowed by his sturdier skin. She licked at the opening of his mouth and pressed her tongue in when he opened it. His far longer and far stronger tongue was definitely a pleasant discovery in her mind. She hummed and broke the kiss to breath for a moment, leaning her head back and smiling up at the sky. They should crash land more often.
He took the opportunity to lick a the welt on her shoulder, up her throat and gently nip at her jugular. She shuddered slightly and he applied more pressure, gripping her waist tighter so that she could feel the gentle press of his talons to her side. Shepard was helpless but to squeeze her legs and rock her hips.
Garrus let out a breathy laugh.
“Commander Shepard, always flirting with death,” he said and pressed a talon in hard enough to puncture the skin.
“Ah,” was all she could answer as she felt herself flush further, all the way down to her inner pulsing centre.
Garrus gently rubbed his thumb over the small puncture wound, breathing on Shepard’s neck as she caught her breath. This was so much better than what they had been doing the past few weeks.
Shepard quickly repositioned herself and made sure Garrus was looking down when she dipped her thumb into her wet, wet folds and brought it out again. He made a curious sound, doing that thing where he opened his mouth and scented the air. She let out a soft moan, ready to bathe him in her scent and scream to anyone around that he was hers.
Shepard dipped her thumb in again, slicked it and rubbed it against his groin platest. He gave a full body shudder, shaking against her, and let out a trilling sound she didn’t think she had ever heard from him.
“Shepard,” he gasped for breath.
She smirked and did it again, and again, and again until she could practically feel the arousal thrumming through him and his blood speeding through his veins. She didn’t stop when the plates opened further, just rubbed a finger against herself and soaked it before sliding it again the opening seam.
Garrus had his head pressed against the side of hers, breath coming in ragged whines and growls in her ear and along her neck. She shivered and tipped her head until he moved his forehead to press against hers and they were both looking down between them.
Shepard pressed the slick finger further along the fold and felt the head of his cock brush against it, silky and warm with alien bumps. God! She had thought ridged turian cocks was a myth overly talkative squad mates had made up. All at once Garrus’ cock slid out from its protective casing and thrust up, sliding along her palm and fully erect. Garrus shuddered and let out a strangled gasp–whine.
Shepard groaned and angled her hips to that she could brush her pulsing folds along its base. Garrus whined and trilled and sucked in ragged breaths as his grip around her waist tightened almost painfully.
“Tease,” he struggled out.
There was a part of Shepard that rejoiced that she could bring him to utter ruin with a few angled brushes and tilts of her hips. The other part of her was firmly focused on the swollen, silvery blue and ridged (for her pleasure) turian cock that practically stared up at her from between her legs.
“Shepard?” Garrus asked uncertainly, after she hadn’t said anything for couple of moments.
Glancing up, she saw what she had come to interpret as an insecure look on his face, slight worry made his mandibles flutter. He was no longer pressing her so desperately against the tree. She smiled up at him, smirked, and gripped his neck to pull him closer again. He let out a happy hum when she scraped around and massaged at the base of his fringe and moved back down to the base of his neck.
“How are you legs? Not tired or achy?” She asked him.
“My legs—what do my legs have to do with anything? They’re fine.”
“Good,” she answered, once again admiring the strength and endurance of turians, for entirely different reasons than the last time she had during combat with a particularly skilled Blue Suns merc.
Garrus looked as though he was about to say something else, but was cut off when Shepard lifted herself up, angled her hips again. She sank right down on him, fully moist and opened after waiting so long. He let out a kind of bark–yell hybrid and Shepard cried out as she slammed down on him. Garrus stood there for a moment, holding her for all he was worth, arms tight around her, and forehead pressing against hers.
Desperately, he said, “Please don’t let me wake up tomorrow and find out this was all a dream.”
“It’s real, Garrus,” Shepard answered, weakened by the forlorn and pleading in his voice and the way his talons tightened against her.
To make sure her point stuck, she bit down and sank her teeth into junction where his neck met his shoulder, making sure to leave a mark behind. Shepard was under no illusion that she would ever be able to break the skin, but bruised and abused flesh would be enough to remind Garrus that this was reality and give her the satisfaction of some kind of primal marking ritual. Were those rumours about turians true too? She certainly hoped so.
It was certainly enough to make Garrus growl, deep and guttural, and begin to thrust into her. He slipped one hand behind her back for her support and held the other against the tree’s sturdy trunk for his support. When she let go, her teeth hurt but it had been worth it for Garrus to set his quick thrusting pace.
When she could feel the buildup of her climax, starting deep within her where no humans had ever reached, and her inner walls began to clench erratically, Garrus slowed down his frantic thrusts. He locked their eyes together, bringing his hands to cup her back and buttocks, controlling their every movement. Slow, steady, sure sweeps in and out of her. Shepard thought that she would die, had never realized that his strong and capable presence would translate to something like this.
She moaned as he refused to look away, continuing his intimate thrusts in such a way that she could feel every alien bump, ridge, and shape as it moved along her inner walls. When she thought she wasn’t going to take it anymore, she clenched down hard on his thrust in and out of her. Garrus growled, pushing her against the tree and moving his hand to stroke along her clitoris, still pushing in to impossibly sensitive areas within her.
Clenching down around him forcefully, she felt the toe-curling pleasure burst out from the centre of her and felt it in every nerve ending near her pelvis. Her inner walls continued their spasming clenching. Garrus growled and bit down on her shoulder as he thrust deeply into her one last time before she felt his warm and slick release inside her. He buried his face in her neck and breathed ragged breaths, while she looked up at the sky and smiled.
“Definitely real,” she said.
He looked up at her, eyes slightly unfocused and expression bordering on worry again. She saw a trickle of red drip down his chin before she looked over at her left shoulder and saw small punctures wounds. She huffed a tired laugh, lethargic and indulgent.
“So I guess turians do have interesting mating rituals,” she commented.
“What? No, we don’t do that. You bit me,” he said, almost chagrined.
“Huh,” she answered. “So the biting is just a human fantasy then.”
“Well I don’t know if other species do it too, but not turians,” he seemed to catch himself. “Are you okay? I’m really sorry, I thought it was the right thing to do and I got caught up.”
“I’m fine,” she answered, kissing his cheek. “It was definitely the right thing to do.”
He gave her a small unsure smile.
“So uh, are we—we should probably, ah—,” he tried to say.
Shepard gave him a smile and said, “Garrus.”
“Let’s have dinner the next time we stop by an actual city port,” he said, finally, pushing into her with his softening cock and a smirk.
“Yes!” She answered, surprised that he was still inside her. Her inner walls trembled. “God I could stay here like this forever.”
“Mmm,” he replied, nuzzling her neck. “But maybe we should get back before they send out a search party for you.”
“It’s like my crew thinks I can’t even take care of myself,” she said, feeling emptier once he had finally pulled out of her.
“You can’t deny that you have a reputation of getting into trouble,” he pointed out, dressing himself in his armour.
Before he could put on his chest plate, she wrapped her arms around him and buried her face in his neck. So this is what it felt like to steal moments of comfort from him. Much better than friends, of that she was certain. He wrapped his arms around her torso and and rubbed one hand along her spine.
“Do you want to talk about Alchera?” he asked softly.
She shook her head and buried herself further into his warmth and stability. Garrus tucked his nose into her hair and breathed deeply, tightening his arms as well. It seemed she wasn’t the only one reluctant to think of past deaths. Reality was less cruel when there was only the possibility of death in their near future. She breathed in his particular scent, slightly metallic from his environment and musky from their activities, with something warm and homey underneath. Reluctantly she pulled again and gave him a kiss on the cheek before she went to dress in her armour.
“I wonder if I’ll get radiation poisoning after this,” she joked, as they walked through the trees back to the Normandy, feeling better and more relaxed than she had even before the near death of hurtling through a planet’s atmosphere.
“Shepard if you got radiation poisoning from the amount of Thulium in my skin, then you’d be sick every time you were in space,” he answered, pulling her closer to him as they walked.
“I dunno, when was the last time someone walk by you with a geiger counter?”
“Then again bananas set off geiger counters too so it’s not the most accurate I guess,” she continued. “I guess I’ll just have to replace the bananas in my diet with turian cock to be on the safe side.”
She laughed as Garrus seemed to swallow his own tongue. So much better than circling each other uncertainly and borderline flirting, she thought as she grabbed his hand.