Actions

Work Header

Omega's Choice

Chapter Text

Liara's torment started with a soft, warm tingle at the back of her neck. The strange sensation was barely noticeable at first, so faint she thought she was imagining things. She only abandoned her terminal long enough to check the temperature gauge before returning to her research. Their encounters on Feros and Noveria had provided several clues concerning Saren's whereabouts, but the rogue SpecTRe was still at large.

You're just tired, she thought as she studied yet another ancient star chart, blinking blurriness from her eyes. You've barely slept since Benezia found peace in the Goddess's embrace. That's why you can't focus. But even though it was true that she had spent most of her nights working, the excuse sounded flimsy in her head.

Minutes later, the tingle became a searing flush, forcing her to unzip the collar of her green and white jumpsuit. Feeling air move across her overheated flesh helped, but only for a moment. She checked the gauge again, convinced it was broken. There was no other explanation for the burn crawling beneath her skin. The subtle twitching of her muscles. The curious fullness in her lower belly, slithering down to bloom between her legs. No explanation, except...

She shook her head and left her chair, refusing to entertain the thought. It's not possible, she told herself as she stood up from her chair. You're on a ship surrounded by humans. You aren't due for another three months. Your mother just died, for Athame's sake!

But no amount of protests could change her fate. She unzipped her jumpsuit another few inches, from her collarbone down to her sternum, and sat on the edge of her bunk. "It's going to be all right," she said to the empty room, staring up at the ceiling with pleading eyes. "I've been through this before. I can go through it again." Unfortunately, giving voice to her thoughts made the lies she was telling herself even less convincing. She crossed and re-crossed her legs, trying to get comfortable before giving up and flopping onto her back. She wasn't imagining things, and she wasn't simply sleep-deprived. The longer she suffered, the more certain she was. Her cycle was about to begin.

Liara remained flat on her back for several minutes, paralyzed with confusion and fear. Her previous heats had come at regular intervals, and she was always able to prepare. Locking herself away for a few days was inconvenient, but no more so than ending up in bed with the nearest available alpha and conceiving on accident. As an asari, she was even more likely to make a mistake than most other species. While humans, turians, krogan, and most other sentient races could only reproduce with their own kind, the meld gave her body the ability to process and understand alien DNA. With a sufficient sample and a strong mental connection, she could easily conceive in a moment of weakness.

"Maybe it won't be so horrible this time," she said, but the shaking statement sounded anything but certain. Another surge of warmth flashed through her, and she gave up trying to stay clothed, tearing open the diagonal line of her zipper and pushing the fabric down to her waist. "Maybe my scent won't affect humans as strongly as other asari. They might be able to ignore me." But somehow, she doubted she would be so lucky. There was a reason everyone else called asari the sirens of the galaxy. Since they were able to breed with anyone, their heats were powerful enough to call almost every species. And here she was, stranded on a human ship without any recourse. All she could do was ask Doctor Chakwas to provide her with sedatives, lock herself away, and suffer. Unless...

No, she thought, not even daring to speak that idea aloud. I couldn't ask her. It would be too awkward. Too embarrassing.

Her breath hitched anyway, and the coiling sensation in her abdomen twisted even tighter. A dark, warm stain began to soak through the fabric between her legs, and she kicked her jumpsuit the rest of the way off. It was already ruined anyway. Instinctively, she rolled onto her stomach and cupped a hand between her thighs, whimpering as wetness painted over her palm. She curled into a ball, trying to ignore the hollow ache.

"Shepard..."

The name pounding in her brain slipped out before she could bite it back. She tugged her lower lip between her teeth as soon as she spoke, but it was too late. Saying it aloud felt like an admission of guilt. Come to think of it, Shepard was probably the cause of her unscheduled predicament. Her body had likely reacted to the Commander's powerful presence and come into heat early. Although she was soft spoken and endearingly sweet in private, her dominant aura was unmistakeable. Anyone could tell she was an alpha from a hundred yards away. The way she stood, the way she spoke, the way she smelled...

A fresh spill of slickness coated Liara's fingers, and she buried her face in the mattress, sobbing with frustration. Touching herself wouldn't do anything to ease her pain, but she couldn't stop. Her fingertips began circling the ridge of her clit despite her better judgment. As unsatisfying as it was, masturbation was the best option. Her muscles quivered, and her hips picked up a slow rocking motion.

It was only the image of Shepard's face floating in her mind's eye that interrupted her rhythm. She pulled her glistening fingers away, ignoring the trails that slid down her thighs. Her own hand was useless, no matter how many orgasms it provided. There was only one solution to her problem - or, at least, one solution that wouldn't leave her vulnerable. She needed to clean up, get dressed, and see Doctor Chakwas as soon as possible so she could beg for help.

. . .

Shepard was leaning against the weapons bench, chatting casually with Ashley Williams when the scent hit her nose. The first trace made her body stiffen, and her sentence trailed off as she forgot what she was saying. She turned toward the elevator, closing her eyes and inhaling deep. There was no mistaking that thick, smooth, honey-sweet smell. No other scent she knew of could seep into your body and light a fire there. She swallowed, trying to get rid of the moisture rising in her mouth. Her eyes opened, and she turned back to Ashley Williams. "Is that...?"

She didn't need to finish her question. Ashley had a similarly entranced look on her face, and her tongue darted out to run over her lower lip. "Uh-huh. Damn it. Looks like we've got a problem, Skipper."

'Problem' is a bit of an understatement, Shepard thought. A shudder coursed through her, and her clit twitched as all the blood in her body rushed to fill the swollen bud. Despite her better judgment, she inhaled again. The scent was even sweeter the second time around, and a deep growl vibrated in her throat as it settled on her tongue.

"Who do you think it is?" she asked, trying to ignore the uncomfortable pressure in her pants. The throbbing grew worse by the second, and she gripped the weapons bench again for support. Despite her best efforts, the aching shaft of her clit began to extend. Her eyes darted around the cargo hold, searching for the source of her torment. "Not Alenko again, right? According to the roster, we don't have any other omegas assigned to the Normandy." But she already knew it wasn’t Alenko. She had definitely noticed his last heat, but it hadn’t affected her with even half as much intensity. He wasn’t her preferred gender, or even her preferred personality type.

It took a moment for Ashley to respond. When she finally did, her voice was low, throaty, and raw with tension. "No. Doesn't smell like him."

"It's not me," another voice said. Shepard whipped around to see the subject of their conversation approaching. "I had my turn two months ago, remember? It's not time yet." He paused, sniffing in the direction of the elevator. "Whoever it is, they've got it bad. They're broadcasting like crazy."

Shepard didn't need Kaidan to point out the obvious. Her length was already pointing far enough on its own. The shaft of her cock strained against the front of her fatigues, growing thicker with each breath she took. As impolite as it was, she had to reach down and adjust herself to ease the pressure. "This isn't fair. There aren't supposed to be any other omegas on board," she complained, almost pleadingly.

"You know some of them hide.” Shepard turned to see Garrus approaching from the other side of the cargo hold. The turian had abandoned his position by the Mako to join them, and from the quivering of his mandibles, she could tell he had scented the omega too. However, he was still faring much better than Ashley. The gunnery chief had followed her example and clutched the weapons bench to maintain her balance, and she almost looked ready to pass out. "With enough drugs in their system to disguise their hormones, they can pass as betas. Either this one concealed their status, or they didn’t need to register in the first place."

A dizzying thought struck Shepard all at once. There was only one possibility on the ship. One person who could easily have a strong effect on the entire crew, regardless of species. One person who had no reason to register with the Alliance brass. She let out a loud groan as the fullness pulsed even more painfully along her shaft. Without wasting another second, she rushed for the elevator, Ashley and Garrus right on her heels.

She nearly crashed into Tali on the way there. The quarian let out a yelp of surprise, darting out of her path just in time. "Keelah, what do you think you're doing? Are you crazy, or..." She paused, and the filters on her suit whirred. "Someone's in heat again? I thought Kaidan was the only omega on the ship?"

"Already been over that," Garrus said, a little testily. "Someone lied, or it's-"

Shepard ignored them, fumbling with the pressure pad. She had to get to the med bay. Had to get there before anyone else. Had to...

"No time," Ashley grunted. “Get out of the way, Tali.”

The doors to the elevator finally hissed open. Shepard edged in first, but Ashley's shoulder collided hard with her chest on the way. Garrus followed, and so did Tali, looking half-confused and half-entranced. Shepard snarled when she took a step too close. Although most betas would never turn down an omega in heat if they could find one, they didn't have the same primal drive to claim. Except for Kaidan, Tali was the least of her worries. Ashley and Garrus were far more obvious threats.

"Don't take it personally," Kaidan said as Tali edged toward the other side of the elevator. "They don't mean it."

"Stop apologizing for them," said yet another voice. Shepard's lips peeled back over her teeth when she saw Wrex's large hand come up to hold the doors open. He stepped inside as well, making the whole lift shake with his weight. "These young varren pups call themselves alphas, but they don't have any self-control. One fertile bitch has them humping the walls and climbing over each other to knot her."

"Oh, really, Wrex?" Kaidan gave the krogan warlord a sly look. "That isn't what I remember from last time."

Wrex snorted, shaking his giant plates. "Heh. True enough. But compared with these idiots, I'm the model of self-control."

The doors finally closed, and the elevator started to ascend. Shepard bristled, resisting the temptation to pace. She felt confined in the small space, and the delicious smell was growing stronger. Her mouth watered as she imagined tasting the salt of hot, naked flesh, and her length pulsed. Worse still, the heavy breathing beside her set her on edge. Ashley and Garrus were both quivering with want, and even Wrex seemed to grow a bit dazed the higher they climbed.

After what felt like an eternity, the lift ground to a halt. They ran from the elevator as soon as it opened, but stopped short soon after. There was hardly any room left to walk. Almost every member of the Normandy’s crew was crowded into the mess, gathered outside the medbay. They jostled one another, trying to reach the door and peer in through the tiny window. Others hovered along the glass wall, stealing glimpses since they didn’t stand a chance at getting to the front entrance.

Shepard didn’t have to join them to know who was inside. Liara.

The ache between her legs doubled, and her focus narrowed to one goal. She had to get through the others and into the medbay. She grunted, shoving her way past Ashley and Garrus and flaring her biotics. The crowd before her parted, but only reluctantly. Most of the betas who had been drawn to the window scattered, but the alphas near the door didn’t budge until she got in their faces. “Move,” she snapped, forcing Silas Crosby to retreat with the strength of her stare. Talitha Draven glared right back until she let out a warning rumble and showed her teeth. Even once they stepped back, they remained as near as they dared, unwilling to sacrifice even the slimmest chance of claiming the prize within.

“Keelah, this is worse than Kaidan’s last heat,” Tali said, weaving her way through the crowd to join them.

Ashley’s shoulders stretched broader at her appearance, and her eyes narrowed to slits, but Garrus gave her a warning shake of his head. “Don’t,” he forced out, the flange in his voice tighter than usual. “You’ll regret it later.”

“The turian’s talking sense,” Wrex boomed, stomping through the remnants of the crew. They had to move because of his sheer size, although none of them looked happy about it. Shepard had to suppress a growl of her own as she noticed that Wrex finally had the same problem as the rest of them. An uncomfortably large bulge was pushing against the front of his pants, and the mere sight of it made her bristle. There was no way she would let Wrex, Ashley, or any of the others near Liara. “Get a grip, Shepard,” Wrex said, clapping her on the shoulder. She gave him a disgusted look, but he only laughed. “No reason to be jealous. Yours is pretty impressive. For a human’s, I mean.”

“This isn’t a fucking joke, Wrex,” Shepard barked, whirling back to face the door. She slammed her fist against the pressure pad while Garrus and Ashley crowded in on either side. It blinked red. Locked, of course. Dr. Chakwas wouldn’t dare open it until the problem was under control. “Damn it,” she swore, even though what remained of her mind was relieved. Poor Liara was probably frightened. Normally, omegas prepared well in advance if they knew they would go into heat in such a confined space. To experience one on an alien ship without access to proper care had to be terrifying.

“Give it a minute, Commander. The doctor will solve this problem. She has to have something in her medicine cabinet to dull Liara’s signal.”

But the mere thought of losing the scent made Shepard hurt. Not just the heavy shaft between her legs, but all over. She needed Liara like she needed to breathe. Her eyes ached at the thought of not being able to see her. Her mouth throbbed to taste her. Memory-snatches of Liara’s lovely voice sang in her ears. Every inch of her skin burned to feel Liara’s flesh. With the door closed, she couldn’t have any of those things, and the thought of losing her smell too was unbearable.

“Liara…”

When she rested her forehead against the metal door and let out a strangled sob, even Ashley and Garrus weren’t foolish enough to disturb her.

Chapter Text

“Shepard!”

Liara bolted upright on the examination table, nearly knocking over the metal tray beside her. Doctor Chakwas steadied it at the last moment, making sure none of the supplies fell. “Please, Doctor T’Soni, I need you to lie back down. I know it’s uncomfortable to stay still, but I can’t let you leave until I give you your injection.”

Injection. Even with her translator, the word sounded foreign. Liara didn’t know what it meant, and she didn’t care. She could sense the waiting alphas outside the door, over a dozen at least, but one powerful presence outshone the others. The only word that did make sense came to her lips again. “Shepard…”

Either Doctor Chakwas didn't hear her, or she was polite enough to pretend she hadn't. "I’m sorry I don’t have any species-specific drugs on hand. I wasn’t expecting to have an asari omega on board. These will do for a little while, but I’ll ask Shepard if we can head for the Citadel sooner than planned. They’ll have access to an isolation chamber you can use until your cycle passes.” Liara hardly heard anything the doctor said. Her entire body was still focused on the heavy scent right outside the medbay door. It was the one alpha she had wanted over her and inside her even without the effects of her heat clouding her mind.

The sharp prick of a needle in her arm made her gasp, but the pain barely registered. It was nothing compared to the agony coursing through her with every awful heartbeat. She was more than just her hormones, but if the drugs Doctor Chakwas had given her didn’t kick in soon, she would be their slave until the end of her heat. Her eyes darted toward the door. So close. She was so close to having what she wanted. What she needed. There was only a thin sheet of metal in the way. Blue light gathered around her fists, adding to the warmth crawling along her skin.

“My dear, you can’t...”

But Liara wasn’t listening. She hopped down from the stretcher and ran for the door, shaking off the grip on her arm. She knew Doctor Chakwas was only trying to help, but the animalistic part of her had taken over. Sensing Shepard so close heightened her need, and she couldn’t have resisted if her life depended on it. She drew in a deep breath as she stopped in front of the locked door. There were at least a dozen alphas outside, and even a couple of betas, but she latched onto one of them like a lifeline. Shepard's scent was by far the strongest, probably because she was the most dominant alpha on the ship. It seeped into Liara’s pores, begging her to give in.

Ignoring the warning bells chiming in her head, Liara unlocked the door and stepped through. Firm hands dragged her off to the side, and she would have struggled if she hadn’t instantly recognized exactly who was touching her. Shepard. Thank the Goddess. Shepard was the one pinning her to the wall, caging her with steel-like arms and shielding her from the crowd. Liara knew she was trying to stake her claim, but the gesture was also protective. She didn’t think for one second that Shepard would hurt her.

Liara's world narrowed to just the two of them. She knew they weren’t really alone, but she didn’t care. The others would skulk away once Shepard had staked her claim, but until that irrevocable moment, she could choose who answered the call of her heat. It was false hope that kept the other alphas around, waiting for her to reject Shepard and pick someone else. She moaned, sliding her hands around Shepard’s body and making her choice clearer. The Commander's back was heavily muscled, a fact she could feel through the tight compression shirt her alpha wore. But as wonderful as it was to feel those muscles, Liara wanted to touch flesh as well. Her hands scrambled for the hem of Shepard’s shirt and dove desperately underneath, nails raking along her strong back.

The Commander let out a rumbling growl. Her hips pumped forward on instinct, and Liara gasped as Shepard's length rubbed against her. Liara could feel the thick shaft twitch even through two layers of clothing, and another wave of desire crashed over her. She was an omega, but she would never be a passive submissive who rolled over and spread her legs for just any alpha. Shepard was her choice, and there was no doubt in her mind that she was the right one.

The score marks seemed to spur Shepard into action. Instead of just pressing against her, she started to grind, letting Liara feel every inch of the impressive cock between her legs. Shepard began placing little nips and bites across her neck and chest, keeping them light enough that a mate bond wouldn’t be formed, but hard enough to remind Liara that she was a very dominant alpha.

Liara was so lost in the skillful attention that she didn’t realize something unusual had happened until Shepard growled against her neck. It wasn’t the playful, possessive sound she would expect in a situation like this, but an all too dangerous warning. She was confused until she pulled back enough to see that another alpha had encroached a little too closely on their embrace. Shepard was warning them off, lips peeled back over her teeth.

Unfortunately, the small amount of distance from Shepard was enough for Liara to realize that the drugs Doctor Chakwas had given her were finally starting to work. Even though she still wanted to mate with the Commander, she wasn’t nearly as desperate for it as she had been before she’d walked out of the medbay. In fact, she felt sane enough to pull away from their coupling. Still, she wasn’t entirely certain that she wanted to.

The intruder stepped back, and Shepard’s attention refocused on her again. But the Commander knew that something had changed. It almost broke Liara’s heart when Shepard whined softly and sniffed at her neck, searching for the pheromones that had been pouring off her not even moments before. Liara knew that they were still there, but in a more muted fashion. It was just a trick of chemistry, but somehow, it withdrew permission for Shepard to continue.

Shepard pushed back, carrying a sadness in her eyes that Liara had never seen before. She could sense the hope and excitement in the other alphas for a split second before they all scented what Shepard already had, that she wasn’t looking for someone to breed her anymore. They skulked away, the less dominant ones going first and the more dominant ones sticking around just long enough to make sure it wasn’t a trick before returning to their posts.

In the end, only Shepard remained. “I’m sorry,” she said, unable to meet Liara’s eyes. “I shouldn’t have jumped all over you like that.”

“No,” Liara said, catching Shepard’s arm as the Commander turned to walk away. She released her grip when a shiver coursed through the handsome human’s body. “You didn’t do anything wrong, Shepard. My heat came far earlier than scheduled, so I didn’t have time to prepare. I didn’t mean to upset the crew. Or you.” Shepard had to know that she hadn’t meant to tease her. What they had together could be so much more than a quick fuck, and Liara didn’t want to lose that to her stupid biological imperative.

“Are you going to be okay?” Shepard asked on a shuddering breath.

“Yes. Doctor Chakwas gave me some medicine. She says she wants to take me to the Citadel, but we’re so far away already, and the drugs are working now. We don’t have to go back.”

Shepard looked skeptical. “I think we should let the doctor decide that.”

“Please, don't make me leave the ship,” Liara pleaded. Her emotions were already crazy from her mother’s death, her heat, and the suppression drugs. She didn’t need this on top of everything else. “The Normandy finally feels like home, and I… I like it here. With you. Please don’t make me go.”

Shepard didn’t take long to make a decision. A determined expression came over her face, and Liara was afraid that the Commander had come to the conclusion that she was too much of a risk to have on the ship. But then Shepard said, “Of course you can stay,” before turning on her heel in a precise military about face and walking away. It wasn't exactly the warm answer Liara had been hoping for, but she knew she couldn't expect much more after their sexually charged encounter. She would take the brusque statement because it meant she wouldn’t have to leave.

* * *

The next day was a form of quiet torture. Although the drugs had dulled the sharp edge of Liara's scent, Shepard found herself searching for it anyway. It lingered in her nose, hovering just out of reach. Her muscles remained tense, bunched with unmet need. Simply standing still was difficult. She tried to see to her duties on the Normandy, but her concentration was shot. She couldn't focus on anything for more than a few minutes. Worst of all, the shaft of her cock rarely retracted. Walking around with a constant erection was uncomfortable, and she feared her body wouldn't return to normal until Liara's heat was over.

Luckily, or perhaps unluckily, she wasn't alone in her misery. The rest of the crew was also distracted. Garrus took more breaks than usual from his repairs on the Mako, shooting longing glances toward the elevator. Wrex disappeared to his bunk several times throughout the day, and once, Kaidan snuck away to join him. Shepard even caught Tali wandering around the mess without any reason for being there, although she stammered a flimsy excuse and left almost immediately.

Ashley was almost as bad off as she was. The gunnery chief kept disassembling and cleaning her weapons over and over, as if she was afraid she would tear the walls apart if she stopped using her hands. "I feel awful," she grumbled later that day, putting her shotgun back together for what had to be the tenth time. "Do asari always broadcast so much? I've never been around a non-human omega during their heat before."

Shepard shrugged. She wasn't sure she trusted herself to give an unbiased answer. Whatever hunger she felt had to be a thousand times worse thanks to her romantic feelings for Liara. "I don't know," she said, a little sharply. "I've never been with an asari during her heat before, either." The question had been innocent, but just being near Ashley grated on her nerves. The only reason she had remained by her side was to make sure she stayed away from the medbay. Of all her crewmembers, Ashley was the most dominant as well as the most impulsive. It was a dangerous combination.

"I don't get why they affect us at all," Ashley said, sliding her ammo clip back into place. She opened her locker and put the gun away, slamming the door a little too hard. "We're not even the same species. It's a little scary how good she smells."

The tone of Ashley's voice, somewhere between fear and longing, made her bristle. She leaned back against the wall and folded her arms, turning to stare at the elevator. Liara was only one floor above her. It would be easy to go up and talk her way past Chakwas. Technically, Liara wasn't on lockdown anymore. She was free to interact with the rest of the crew...

Shepard blinked, banishing a mental image of pinning Liara face-first against the nearest wall. Her cock twitched with disappointment. "Get Liara to explain it to you once her cycle's over. I'm sure she'll give you the scientific run-down. She mentioned once that it had something to do with Protheans guiding our evolution."

"Right." Ashley hesitated for a moment, unsure what to do with herself. "I'm going to grab a bite in the mess. See you later, Skipper."

Shepard didn't give her the chance to go alone. Despite her professed mistrust of aliens, she could read the intent in Ashley's eyes. There was no way she would let Williams anywhere near Liara unless she was also present. "Me too."

Disappointment flickered across Ashley's face, but she nodded her head and started toward the elevator. Several others joined them on the way. Garrus followed her to the lift as soon as he saw where she heading, and Tali popped her head around the corner. "Going up for dinner?" she asked, slipping between the doors before they closed. The only answer Shepard gave was an affirmative grunt. She didn't feel much like sharing friendly conversation.

When she entered the mess, Shepard wasn't surprised to see that most of her crew was already there. A few people were standing in line, waiting for the mess sergeant to serve them, but some hadn't even bothered to get any food. Everyone was both looking and not looking at the medbay. Shepard sighed, trying to ignore the red haze threatening the edges of her vision. If this became a regular state of affairs, the Normandy wouldn't be able to function.

"Anyone who isn't eating needs to get out of here," she snapped, aiming a glare at the assembled crewmembers. "We've got a ship to run, and Liara doesn't need a whole pack of you ready to jump on her. If she wants to mate with someone, I'm sure she'll let them know. In the meantime, stop crowding her."

The majority of the crowd dispersed, and a few had the decency to look guilty. Some lingered, but a warning growl from Garrus and a few flexes of Ashley's fists convinced them they would be better off elsewhere. At last, there were only a few people remaining in the mess, including Wrex and Kaidan. The krogan warlord looked more relaxed than the other alphas present, and Kaidan seemed positively bubbly.

"Cheater," Garrus said as he took a seat at their table.

Wrex gave a low chuckle. "I think you mean smart. I know better than to get involved in this mess."

"I have to admit, breeding the only other available omega on the ship was clever," Tali said. "I wish I'd thought of it first."

"You could have your pick of alphas if you wanted," Wrex said. He glanced around the table, and Shepard stiffened when his eyes fixed on her. "Most of them are already out of control. They wouldn't object to a little relief, no matter who it comes from."

Tali glanced briefly at Garrus, but before she could respond, a click set the group on edge. As one, they turned toward the door. Liara stepped out of the medbay, and the full force of the asari's scent washed over her. Even though she was just as guilty as the rest of them, Shepard was still perturbed that everyone else was staring at Liara like she was a piece of prime meat. Liara wasn’t her mate - yet - but Shepard felt protective of the usually shy maiden.

Liara stopped just outside the door, looking around as though surprised by the audience she had. She seemed to preen a little, a very uncharacteristic reaction, before shaking her head and returning to normal. The eyes of everyone in the room remained on her as she walked over to the chow line and picked up a tray. Everyone deferred to her immediately, and she was quickly moved to the front of the line.

A low growl formed in the base of Shepard’s throat as she watched, annoyed by the false displays. She had been interested in Liara long before her heat, and had made a sincere effort to show it. Many of her free moments were spent in Liara's office, talking with her and getting to know her. She had even offered Liara comfort and a strong shoulder after Matriarch Benezia's death. They hadn't progressed much past hand-holding, but there had been a definite understanding between them. Once their job was done, they would embark on a real relationship. Liara had given her something like a promise then, but Shepard was all too aware that during an omega's heat, promises meant nothing without a mating bite to back them up. An unclaimed omega could never be blamed for following their instincts.

The only person who kept his eyes averted as Liara approached the front of the line was the mess sergeant, who was a beta and had no interest in picking a fight. He looked at her tray as he served her food, carefully avoiding any eye contact that could be misconstrued as interest. Shepard couldn’t help but wonder for a second if that was hard on Liara. Everyone either tried their hardest to ignore her for fear of getting into a fight, or eyed her like a prize to be won. It couldn’t be a particularly good feeling to be treated as an object, but none of them could deny their nature - herself included.

As Liara finished going through the line, she looked between the mess table and the door back to the medbay, trying to decide if she wanted to sit and eat with everyone staring at her. Shepard watched as she squared her shoulders and walked directly toward their table. Her stomach fluttered as Liara came closer and her cock throbbed between her legs, but she refused to adjust it into a more comfortable position while Liara was watching.

Finally, Liara stopped and took a seat on the bench between her and Ashley. A shiver ran through Shepard’s body as Liara brushed against her. She leaned toward the maiden, drawing in a deep breath to search for Liara’s scent. On the other side of Liara, Ashley was a little more obvious about it. Her nose nearly came into contact with Liara’s neck as she moved closer. Shepard growled a warning, pushing back far enough to make eye contact with Ashley behind Liara’s head. It didn’t matter if Ashley was following her alpha instincts. She was taking too many liberties without permission.

The mess went silent as they ate. It was an uncomfortable situation, and Shepard began to wish that Liara had taken her meal to her room instead. She would happily fight every other alpha on the ship for the right to knot Liara, and she couldn’t stand how they were looking at her. Her skin prickled with energy as she caught a subtle movement from the corner of her eye. Ashley had reached out, brushing against Liara's back as she moved. A deep growl rumbled in Shepard's throat, and her hand shot forward, catching Ashley's wrist in a bruising grip. She bared her teeth, flaring her biotics in warning. Ashley was a great soldier, but the gunnery chief didn’t have the ability to melt someone’s face off like she did.

Her fingers tightened around Ashley’s wrist, but before she could twist and snap, Liara placed a hand on her shoulder, stroking down the length of her arm in a caress that left her shuddering with need. Shepard dropped Ashley’s hand immediately. She didn't want to resort to violence with Liara so close, particularly since the maiden was between her and her rival. She chose me, Shepard thought, smiling happily as she relaxed. Liara's touch made her cock strain further against the front of her pants, but it also filled her chest with the warm glow of affection. She even touched me...

But Shepard’s feeling of supremacy didn't last long. Liara removed her hand and turned toward Ashley, petting her arm with the same soothing gesture. Ashley whimpered in response, and a visible shudder coursed through her body. Shepard didn’t like it, but she kept her snarl in check, respecting that it was Liara’s choice. Luckily for her sanity, Liara’s touch didn’t linger long on Ashley’s arm before she left the table. Everyone watched as Liara brought her tray over to the sanitizer and returned to the medbay. Shepard wondered if it was just her, or if Liara really did have an extra sway in her hips as she went, but she tried to push the arousing thoughts out of her mind as the door whooshed shut. For the moment, at least, temptation was out of her grasp.

 

Chapter Text

Liara was surprised when Shepard summoned her to join the squad for a meeting up on the top deck. She was glad that Shepard had thought to include her, but couldn't help worrying. The drugs Doctor Chakwas had supplied her with were starting to wear off, and the incident in the mess hall was proof. She could still control herself, but the urge to let Shepard and Ashley fight over her had gripped her for a few seconds before she’d stopped them. Despite her feelings for Shepard, her biology wanted the strongest mate, and she was slightly horrified by her lack of control.

Since then, she had tried to stay in her little laboratory behind the medbay, keeping to herself and out of the way of any alphas. She had considered asking Doctor Chakwas to give her another shot, but the drugs hadn’t felt particularly good in her system the first time, so she’d decided against it. If her heat got much worse, she could lock herself away in her room until it was over. She would be climbing up the walls before it ended, but it was a better option than mating with someone she didn’t want or accidentally getting pregnant.

But Shepard had asked for her to be present at the meeting, so she steeled herself and ventured out. The scent of desire hit her as soon as she left the medbay. The entire ship smelled like sex, and the scent that continued to rise above all the others belonged to Shepard. She had thought it was because Shepard was the most dominant alpha on the ship, since the second strongest scent was Ashley’s, but Liara was beginning to believe that it had more to do with her own preferences. Some of the betas were easier to pick out than Garrus, and he was certainly a strong, capable alpha.

She made it to the upper deck without any serious incidents, although she passed far more people on the stairs than she ever had in all her time aboard the Normandy. Luckily, no one was bold enough to make a move, and she was controlled enough to not encourage any of them. There were some hanging heads as she walked by without offering any acknowledgment, but she knew it was better that way. She was definitely not available.

The meeting seemed rather uneventful, but Liara knew she was a poor judge. Despite her best efforts, her concentration was lacking. Her temperature had risen again, and her skin was clammy with sweat. Every breath that she drew in was almost painful, since it brought the delicious scents of all the interested alphas with it. Her azure pulsed in response, and Liara could only pray to the Goddess that she wouldn’t broadcast any stronger until she was safely back in her room. Apparently, her meds were wearing off faster than she had anticipated.

Liara let out a grateful sigh when the meeting wrapped up. She had been so focused on Shepard's lips that she couldn't remember a single word they had formed. All she could think about was how much she wanted to taste them. When everyone else stood, she rose as well, all too aware that she was being watched. But of all the burning gazes fixed on her, Shepard's was the most intense. It made her want to stop resisting and drag the Commander down onto the nearest flat surface.

Once she was certain her legs would support her, she headed for the door. She didn't want to leave the heavenly scents or the strangely pleasing attention, but she needed to be alone. Part of her feared that if she stayed around Shepard or even Ashley for another second, she would lose her resolve and bend over for whichever of the two could reach her first. Unfortunately, they weren't they only ones who had noticed her. As she passed through the doorway, an unfamiliar body rubbed against hers from behind. She shivered at the contact, unable to tell whether it was from pleasure, surprise, or disgust. She inhaled, but the smell wasn't Shepard's sweetness, Ashley's spice, or even Garrus's smoke. It didn't mix right with hers, and she pulled away.

Before she could escape, hands gripped her waist, holding her in place. The second shudder that rolled through her was definitely unpleasant, and she squirmed, trying to avoid the obvious bulge pressed against her backside. This wasn't the mate her body wanted, and she whimpered in protest, feeling her heart rate pick up speed. She tried to summon her biotics, but they sparked and fizzed, refusing to obey her commands.

A loud curse came from behind her, and the hold on her hips loosened. She turned around to see Shepard's tall, muscular frame inches away from hers. For a moment, she was too awestruck to process the rest of the picture, but she soon realized that the Commander's hand was wrapped around a young male soldier's throat. "Crosby!" she snapped, showing all her teeth. "What the fuck are you doing?"

Under normal circumstances, the lower-ranking crewmember would have backed down instantly, especially to a superior officer. But an asari omega's heat was not a normal circumstance. He snarled back instead, trying to tear Shepard's hand away. "The same thing you were doing to her yesterday by the medbay, Commander. Or are the rest of us not allowed to ask?"

"That isn't how you ask an omega to breed," Shepard barked, shoving him away. Her biotics flared, and her eyes blazed with such possessive fury that it made Liara's knees weak. For several heartbeats, she forgot how to breathe. Shepard's scent was back in her nose, making her head swim, pulling even more wetness from the aching pool between her legs.

She was so enamored with Shepard that she barely noticed or cared about the flash of fear in the young man's eyes. "I was going to let her go," he protested, but it was too late. Shepard scruffed the back of his shirt and started dragging him down the walkway, still enraged.

"Liara," Shepard growled, fixing her with an intense stare. "Go back to your office until I've dealt with this. The rest of you, leave. If I find any of you touching her without being invited, it'll be an instant court-martial."

The rest of the crowd dispersed, some fearfully, and others with longing glances. Liara began to calm down as they returned to their posts, although her heart gave a sad tug as she watched Shepard disappear. Seeing her go felt like a painful, physical loss. Once the Commander vanished around the corner, she shook herself and started down the walkway, preparing to return to her room. She needed to get more drugs in her system and lock herself up until she regained control.

"Hey, are you okay?"

Liara realized that someone else was standing behind her, although they made no move to touch her. She took in a long, slow breath. Ashley. I know that smell. The tight bands of fear around her heart relaxed while the rest of her trembled. She hadn't thought it was possible to blush any hotter, but every inch of her skin seared as she turned around. She smiled, struck breathless once again.

"Chief Williams," she said, relieved to hear none of the usual awkwardness leave her mouth. Her voice had dropped a good half-octave, and there was no nervous, uncertain stammer. At least her heat was good for something.

"Please." Ashley took another step closer, a movement that was half request, half demand. "You can use my first name, Liara."

"Ashley," she said, testing the name. She was oddly pleased to see Ashley shiver a little as she spoke. It made her feel proud in ways she couldn't completely describe. She had always thought of her heat as a source of vulnerability, but aside from the unpleasant encounter Shepard had averted, she was discovering that it was a source of power as well. "I wasn't aware that we were on such friendly terms."

"I'm confused about that myself." Ashley leaned in, and Liara found herself unable to resist doing the same. She glanced down, hoping that looking away from the alpha’s face would break the spell, but it didn't help. She admired Ashley's forearms instead, bare beneath her rolled-up sleeves. They were muscular and covered in fine wisps of hair, just like Shepard's. She was tempted to reach out and touch them, just as she had in the dining hall the night before. Ashley’s skin had been so soft and warm…

Liara surrendered to her urges, stroking the side of Ashley’s arm with her fingertips. “Why are you confused?” she asked, tracing a soft line all the way down to her wrist. Once she found Ashley’s hand, she brought it up for closer study, exploring the ticklish lines in the center of her palm.

Ashley didn’t answer right away. She let out a low groan, and her scent flared even stronger. Liara gasped as a large swell began to form at the front of the gunnery chief’s fatigues. Her tongue ran over her lower lip without her permission, and she couldn't tear her eyes away from the thick bulge. Her sudden desire to touch returned, and she bit the inside of her cheek to center herself.

"I - look, I don't have a lot of experience with aliens," Ashley said. She seemed a little reluctant, even embarrassed, but she made no move to conceal her erection either. Alphas were rarely shy about their desires, even when those desires were beyond their control. "I've never been drawn to one before. The effect you're having on me is outside my comfort zone. But..."

The end of the sentence made Liara look up again. Dark, burning eyes locked with hers, and she felt the undeniable urge to lose herself in them and submit. "But?"

“But every time I look at you…” Ashley’s other hand reached out, cupping the side of her face. The contact sent a jolt straight between Liara’s legs. Her inner muscles fluttered, making her forget her previous train of thought, and the ridge of her clit throbbed beneath its hood. “Every time I smell you…” Ashley dipped even closer, until their faces nearly brushed. The hot exhale of breath against her cheek as Ashley scented her coaxed a whimper from the back of her throat. “You drive me crazy. And I can’t figure out why.”

Liara’s mind was completely blank of everything except the need that rushed through her. The pounding in her head only got louder the closer Ashley’s face came to her own. It played out in slow motion, and Liara had plenty of time to push the chief away or step back, but she couldn’t. She didn’t want to. This was what she needed, what her biology dictated, and all of her pain would go away if she just gave in.

Ashley took another half step toward her, pulling their bodies into full contact. Her head dipped down, and a moan fell from Liara's lips as Ashley’s mouth finally descended on hers. The kiss was soft and somewhat tentative, but her scent broadcasted nothing but want. She smelled like an alpha through and through, and Liara surrendered to her instincts. She got lost in the kiss, opening her mouth to let Ashley’s tongue brush hers when it asked for entrance.

Liara shivered as Ashley pulled her closer. Firm hands ran along her back, trailing close to the curve of her ass. Hands so very like Shepard’s, strong and capable, adept at dispatching enemies. Liara had fantasized about those hands many times, wondering if they could also be gentle as they made love to her. Shepard, Liara thought, sighing as the name filled her mind. With a sudden jolt, she realized that the human kissing her wasn't the one she wanted.

She tore her mouth away from Ashley’s with a whimper, pushing against her shoulders to let her know that she meant it. Ashley let her go, but before Liara could apologize, she saw Shepard - the real Shepard - standing over Ashley’s shoulder. The fury in Shepard’s eyes was a sight to behold, both beautiful and frightening, but it was the glimpse of soul-deep pain beneath that cut her to the core.

“Williams!” The anger in Shepard's voice should have terrified her, but Liara found the commanding tone incredibly arousing. Pleasant shivers raced up and down her spine, and she distanced herself from Ashley so the chief wouldn’t draw the wrong conclusion.

As Shepard strode toward them, gaze locked on Ashley, Liara took the opportunity to slip away. She knew it was the cowardly way out, but she needed to find a safe place. There was no way she could calm the alphas this time, and remaining near them while they fought was far too dangerous. Her only choice was to run. She knew Shepard and Ashley would never attack her, but they could easily hurt each other. If she left, they might come to their senses before one of them was injured.

As she pressed her hand against the pressure pad at the top of the stairs to the middle deck, waiting for the door to open, Liara heard some of the fight that was going on behind her. Fortunately, it seemed to be verbal instead of physical. She knew she had made the right decision in leaving while she was still able. “Did I not make myself clear when I said the next person to touch her would be court martialed?”

“If they touched her without being invited,” Ashley snapped. “She kissed me back, Commander.” Liara cringed as Ashley threw the words at Shepard, knowing they were absolutely true, but wishing she could explain. Still, she resisted the urge to defend her actions for all their sakes. She slipped through the door when it finally opened, taking the steps down to the medbay as fast as possible. She didn’t need to draw any more attention to herself than her heat was already responsible for.

Liara ran through the medbay door in her anxiousness to get inside. She was relieved to find it empty of any alphas, but began fretting when she realized that Doctor Chakwas wasn’t there either. She was desperate enough to ask for another injection despite how unpleasant they made her feel, but since the doctor wasn’t here, she was out of luck. Seeing no other option, she headed for her room. Hopefully, shutting herself away would be enough. She sat on the side of her cot and buried her face in her hands. The only way today could have been any worse was if she had already been mating with Ashley when Shepard came back from thrashing Crosby.

Tears leaked from her eyes as she replayed what had happened in her mind. Ashley had been sweet and tentative. She’d smelled so good, so dominant, so capable of satisfying her heat. But that wasn’t enough. The accident that had almost happened between them only made Liara all the more certain that Shepard was the one she wanted. Her body and her heart both ached for her Commander, but she didn't want their budding relationship to be forced along just because of her heat.

As she wiped away her tears, Liara knew she had to do something about this. Her scent would only become more and more appealing to the alphas on the ship, inciting them to fight with each other if she didn’t pick one. The only thing she could think to do was masturbate. It would take the edge off until she could find Doctor Chakwas and convince her to give her another shot. Her mind made up, she stood and stripped off her suit. Every inch of skin that she exposed felt wonderful. The cool air lowered her raging temperature, even though it did nothing to help the ache between her legs. She sat on the side of the cot and took a deep breath before lying down on her back, her knees drawn up.

Eager as she was, Liara couldn’t bring herself to rush. It would only take a few seconds to tease herself to a fast orgasm, but she knew it wouldn't help. Her desire demanded so much more, and she had to satisfy as much of it as possible on her own. She brought her hands up to cradle her breasts, whimpering as she cupped them. They felt heavier and fuller than usual, another uncomfortable side-effect of her heat. Her nipples ached, and she trapped them between her fingers, rolling them in tight circles.

Shepard's face flickered through her mind, and this time, she surrendered to it. Away from the temptation of other alphas and the Commander's intoxicating scent, there was no harm in fantasizing. She closed her eyes, savoring the strong jaw, the broad shoulders, the familiar scar lines. Shepard's entire body was packed with muscle, and it showed in every movement.

Liara's hips lifted off the bed, pushing forward in search of more. She bit her lip, thrashing a little on the mattress, but gave in. Her left hand continued teasing her the stiff bud of her nipple while the right slid down along her stomach, dipping between her legs. She remembered the low rumble of Shepard's growl and the possessive fire in her eyes. Her fatigues had been straining at the front just like Ashley's, and picturing what was underneath made her inner walls clench. In that moment, she would have given anything to feel Shepard's cock inside her.

She brushed over her clit, hissing as the ridge throbbed beneath her fingers. The light touch only lasted for a few strokes before she started rubbing in earnest, grinding over the poor twitching bud until it hurt. She touched herself the way she wished Shepard would, rough and without mercy. Liara had spent an embarrassing amount of time studying Shepard's hands, and she could imagine exactly how they would feel cupping her breasts, sliding down her sides, lifting her hips and holding on for dear life.

That thought was too much. She let out a desperate whine and abandoned her sore clit, moving down to push a finger past her entrance. It only took one try. She was so wet that there was almost no resistance, although her azure fluttered and clutched wildly at the intrusion. After a few sloppy, uneven thrusts, she realized one wouldn't be enough. She added a second, then a third, amazed at how quickly she was able to accept the penetration. Even during previous heats, she had never wanted to be stretched so much.

Her fingers felt wonderful as they hooked against her front wall, but it wasn't enough. It wasn't what she wanted. No matter how deep she pushed,  she couldn't find release. She had never been so close to orgasm and so far away from it at the same time. Her traitorous body knew her own fingers were an insufficient substitute for Shepard's and refused to grant her any relief. She choked back a sob and abandoned her other breast. Her second hand shot down to rub furious circles over her clit, but it made things worse instead of better.

"Liara?"

The sound of her name would have been enough to startle her on its own, but the sudden rush of spice and sex that filled her nose made her gasp. Her eyes snapped open again, and she turned toward the door. Ashley. Ashley was just outside her office. There was no mistaking that scent. It clawed its way into her brain, making the images of Shepard ripple and falter. She tried to speak, to tell the gunnery chief to leave her alone, but she couldn't form words, or even pull away her hands. All she could do was cry out in agony as the door opened.

"I'm really sorry about before. I came to apologize. I know you and the Skipper..."

Ashley never finished her sentence. She froze in the doorway, dumbstruck with desire. Her jaw dropped, and the bulge at the front of her pants tented out all over again. Liara gave her a pleading look - but wasn't sure whether she was pleading for Ashley to leave immediately or join her on the bed. Her treacherous hormones wouldn't rest until she took a mate, and although the gunnery chief didn't have her heart, Ashley was exactly what her body craved.

They didn't speak. They couldn't. Ashley was across the room in seconds, clambering onto the bed and pinning her against the mattress. Their lips crashed together, swallowing twin cries. Lean, powerful hips fitted between hers, and Liara moved her hands out of the way, clutching Ashley's muscular back and grinding up against her cock instead. She could feel it through Ashley's fatigues, throbbing after only a few seconds of indirect contact.

"Liara," Ashley growled against her mouth, biting down on her lower lip. "I - I can't... oh shit, I've gotta be in you." She shuddered as a firm hand ran up along her thigh, seizing her hip and tugging it closer. Ashley began thrusting, almost seeming to forget that she still had her pants on.

Liara was too dazed to correct the problem. Her vision swam with red and she could barely remember her own name, let alone how to work a button and zipper. She gripped Ashley's backside instead, pulling her closer, yelping at the ceiling as the thick shaft between her legs caught against her clit. A small, guilty part of her mind was screaming at her to stop, but need rapidly eclipsed that voice. She needed to be fucked, and Ashley was so close, so hard against her.

She hooked her knee around Ashley's waist, bucking into her and whimpering at the lack of penetration. She wanted to be stretched, filled, and she knew she wouldn't be satisfied until she felt the thickness of a cock splitting her open and the hot splash of come flooding her azure. On instinct, she sank her teeth into Ashley's neck, not hard enough for the mating bite, but hard enough to say she needed more.

"Fuck," Ashley panted, "I'm..." But once again, her words fell apart. Her hips gave another jagged thrust, and Liara gasped as a warm patch of wetness soaked through the already damp material of Ashley's pants. The shaft fitted between her swollen lips started to pulse, and she knew the alpha was coming. She could sense every ripple, every spurt beneath the fabric. Her azure spasmed with jealousy, but she savored what she could, rocking her pelvis up to feel as much as possible.

It was over in a matter of seconds, but nothing had been resolved. Ashley's cock was still strained and full and ready for her, almost as if she hadn't come at all, and Liara hadn't been able to find her own release. It had been right within her grasp, so close she could taste it, but it had slipped away at the last possible moment.

Then, for the second time is as many hours, Liara looked over Ashley’s shoulder to find Shepard standing there. A pained groan escaped, and guilt replaced her desire. Once again, she found herself facing the woman she really wanted while making another stupid mistake. There were many frustrating things about her heat, but this was definitely the worst. It made her a slave to her baser instincts, and it had made her hurt the one person on this ship she hoped for a future with.

 

Chapter Text

After leaving the navigation deck, Shepard took a few minutes to pull herself together. Ashley was an excellent soldier, usually good at following orders, and arguing with her was a rare occurrence. Since they’d started serving together, their only real arguments had been about Liara. Ashley hadn't trusted her because of her parentage, and to a lesser extent her species, but Shepard had decided to keep Liara on board the Normandy anyway. It was ironic that they were fighting over her yet again, although this time for a very different reason.

Their shouting match up on the navigation deck had done little to dissolve the tension between them. All bets were off when an omega was in heat, and Liara’s pull was stronger than anything Shepard had ever felt. It was only natural that she and the next dominant alpha on the ship would be in contention for Liara’s favor.

Once Ashley stalked off, Shepard stalled for a few minutes, checking in with Joker to give herself a chance to calm down. She needed time to get herself under control before going to find Liara. She owed the omega an apology for being so possessive when it wasn’t really her right. Even if Liara didn’t pick her, it was her job as Commander to see that everyone respected Liara’s choices, including herself.

When she finally reached the medbay doors, a strange smell assaulted her senses. At first, she worried that something was wrong. Liara’s scent was overpowering, but there was something different about it, something that Shepard couldn’t quite put her finger on. She hurried through the medbay, barely registering that Doctor Chakwas wasn’t there in her usual spot, and into the back room.

The doors hissed open, and the sight before her sent her staggering backwards. Ashley was stretched out on top of Liara. A very naked, very eager Liara. Her mind struggled to process the picture, but her body didn't hesitate. Her biotics flared instinctively, their power rippling through her like a blazing fire. It would take so little effort to reach out with them and throw Ashley into a wall, perhaps even hard enough to cause permanent damage. Along with the anger, she felt a sickening clench in her gut, something almost like betrayal. She had no claim to Liara, but that didn't stop her heart from breaking.

What finally spurred her into action was the haunted look of regret in Liara’s eyes. There was pain beneath the desire, with a heavy dose of longing mixed in. Shepard couldn't help herself. If Liara wasn't satisfied with this coupling, she wouldn't let it happen. She lunged across the room, pulling Ashley off Liara and forcing her to stand. Relief washed through her when she saw that Ashley’s pants were still closed. If they had already started mating - or worse still, formed a knot - there wouldn't have been any way to tear them apart. It took a second glance for her to notice the large patch of wetness against the front of Ashley’s fatigues, and she couldn’t help feeling the slightest twitch of humor beneath her rage.

Ashley's dazed expression finally cleared as Shepard shoved her toward the door. She seemed to realize where she was, and a look of surprise and fear snapped into place as she processed what she had almost done. "Skipper, I..." Shepard crowded into her space, snarling in warning, and she backed through the door without offering any further challenge. Shepard closed and locked it, ensuring there would be no other interruptions.

At last, she turned back to Liara. The maiden was still laid out on her bed, and anything that Shepard was going to say died in her throat as she took in the beauty of her body. She had fantasized extensively about what Liara looked like naked, but nothing she could have imagined came close to reality. Liara had full, firm breasts topped with hard nipples just begging to be sucked, a flat abdomen that Shepard ached to touch, and long legs that she couldn’t help but imagine wrapped around her waist. But what drew her attention the most was the prize between Liara’s legs. Glistening trails of wetness already covered her inner thighs and the swollen lips of her azure. Shepard's cock throbbed as she caught a glimpse of Liara’s clit, fully erect and pleading for attention.

Her breath caught at the beauty of it all, but the sharp inhale also caused Liara’s scent to flood her senses. She trembled with need as her instincts became overwhelming. Her entire body shook against the need to leap across the room and take Ashley’s place between Liara’s thighs. All that kept her rooted in place was the regret she had glimpsed in Liara's face. The last thing she wanted was to cause the woman she had grown to love even more pain. Liara had to have a choice.

“Shepard,” Liara said softly. She pushed herself up, and this time, there was nothing but hunger in her black eyes. "Please..."

That was all it took. Hearing her name fall from those amazing lips snapped Shepard's control. She pounced on top of Liara, groaning as she settled over the woman who had been invading her dreams since that fateful day on Therum.

Liara welcomed her weight immediately, hooking a knee around her waist to keep her in place. Desperate hands clutched her shirt, pulling her close as their lips finally met. Somewhere through the fog, Shepard realized it was their first kiss. Liara's mouth burned, and it tasted even more intoxicating than her scent. Her heart soared, and she forgot about Ashley, about her doubts, about everything else. All she could process was Liara. Liara, kissing her. Clinging to her. Writhing against her. Because of her. At least, she hoped with every fiber of her being that it was because of her and not just their instincts.

Pulling away to breathe was painful. She wanted to lose herself in Liara's lips and tongue, but her lungs burned, and the soft, yielding body beneath hers was trembling so invitingly. Her hands roamed along Liara's naked skin, claiming as much flesh as they could. She cupped Liara's breasts, squeezing as the hard nipples pressed into the center of her palms. A sharp whimper cracked in Liara's throat, and she rocked her hips, trying to find purchase. Shepard groaned as the movement put pressure along the throbbing length of her cock. Even through her fatigues, she could feel the blazing heat of Liara's azure. Her shaft pulsed, and she realized why her competition had come so quickly. She already felt like she was about to burst. Poor Williams hadn't stood a chance.

Williams.

Shepard saw red as she remembered the way Ashley had looked on top of Liara. Her Liara. A growl vibrated in her chest, and she sank her teeth into the smooth line of Liara's shoulder. Temptation quivered through her, but she restricted herself to leaving a beautiful bruise instead of a mating mark. The slight pain made Liara buck harder. She tilted her head to the side, baring even more of her neck. Shepard took the wordless offer, leaving a string of bites along the slender column of her throat. Her hands moved down to Liara's hips, guiding them in an even faster grind.

"Shepard, please... Please, I need y-"

She didn't give Liara the chance to finish. Her mouth moved lower, scattering rough kisses and nips across the asari's chest. She needed to devour Liara completely, to leave her mark on every inch of flesh Ashley had touched and reclaim it for her own. She caught a bare patch of skin above Liara's breast, biting down until she earned a shout. When the sound shifted from pleasure to pain, she let go and tugged a violet nipple into her mouth instead.

It still wasn't enough. She needed to brand every inch of Liara's flesh, especially where Ashley had been. The memory of the dark stain on the front of Ashley's fatigues drove her down, down along the flat surface of Liara's stomach and between her thighs. They parted for her immediately, and she hauled them over her shoulders, not even pausing to look before she lowered her head. She inhaled, but only a faint trace of Ashley's scent remained. The rest was all Liara, warm and heavy and irresistible. Water rose in her mouth, and her cock ached with jealousy.

Liara's hands shot down to fist her hair, but she didn't need the encouragement. She latched onto Liara's clit, sucking harshly at the swollen ridge and grazing its root with her teeth. Another rush of honey ran down her chin, and she let her tongue dart down for a taste. The flavor alone was nearly enough to make her come, even without any stimulation. She had thought Liara's mouth was too delicious to give up, but the sweetness between her legs was overwhelming. She never wanted to leave.

Selfishness took over. Shepard abandoned Liara's clit, ignoring her cries of protest and covering her with flat, broad strokes. She gathered as much as she could, then searched for the source, burying her tongue in the clinging silk of Liara's azure. A fresh flood filled her mouth, and she clutched Liara's shifting hips, pinning them to the mattress so she could push as deep as possible.

The fingers in her hair tugged harder, and Shepard felt the warmth against her mouth pull even tighter. She gazed up along Liara's heaving stomach, and the beautiful face staring down at her almost stopped her heart. Liara's eyes were almost completely black, and ragged pants of air burst from between her puffy, well-kissed lips. A knife of desire pierced Shepard's abdomen as she realized that the omega was on the verge of a meld. It would be so easy to force her over the edge. To climb up over Liara, unzip her pants, and push inside. She knew it would be enough to join them completely.

But she had left it too long. Liara screamed, spilling over in a thick burst of warmth as her muscles clenched and released. Shepard caught as much as she could, too eager to taste Liara's orgasm to care that they hadn't joined. She let the rush of wetness fill her mouth and cover the lower half of her face, only pulling back so that she could suck greedily at Liara's clit and coax out more. She kept going until Liara was a shuddering mess beneath her, mewling with each aftershock that rippled through her.

Shepard immediately felt protective of her, but her own need was too powerful to ignore. Feeling Liara come in her mouth had snapped the final threads of her control. She surged up over Liara's body, caging her between her arms and diving in for another kiss. She promised herself that this was all she would allow herself, that this would sustain her until Liara’s heat was over. But it was impossible to resist when Liara sucked her tongue, stealing the last bit of her own sweet taste. She couldn’t help but imagine that wonderful mouth giving the same devoted attention to her cock, and the thought made it swell even more painfully against her already tight fatigues.

She shuddered when Liara’s hand slid down her back, slipping around to cup the bulge in her pants. Instinct drove her to push against the exquisite touch, and she bit back a groan. Blood pounded hard along her shaft, making it more and more difficult to resist her primal urges. They were driving her to rip away her clothes and fit herself back between Liara’s thighs, to ride the maiden until they were both satisfied and she’d claimed her mate, undisputedly and irrevocably.

Shepard barely had a grip on her inner animal, and that tether threatened to snap completely when Liara managed to open her pants, pushing them down far enough to draw her cock out from behind the soft fabric. The cool air of the room was like a soothing balm until Liara’s fingers closed around her naked flesh, bringing her back up to boiling in less than a second. This  was what she wanted more than anything, but it was also what she had promised to deny herself until Liara was ready.

Shepard froze, trying to draw enough breath to tell Liara to stop, but she never got the chance. Liara started pumping her, driving every other thought from her head. There was something about her touch, both tentative and eager at the same time, that drove Shepard absolutely crazy. Liara seemed to carefully measure her length, stroking from base to tip as she savored the feel of the shaft in her hand. Shepard tried to push her impatience down, but it was difficult. Every little touch forced all the breath from her body.

She growled when Liara’s thumb swirled over the sensitive tip of her cock, smoothing out the slick drop of fluid that had beaded there. “I can feel you pulsing,” Liara said in wonder, growing more confident.

“Because I want you,” Shepard said, not caring how desperate she sounded. She may have been an alpha, but she still had needs of her own, and they were making her feel helpless. “I... I need to come.”

“I want you to.” Liara looked up into her eyes instead, and the desire Shepard saw there was nearly enough to undo her. “Tell me how.”

Shepard was helpless to do anything other than comply. Her first thought was to pull Liara’s hand away and thrust into her waiting azure, but that wasn’t what her lover was asking for. And even though Shepard wanted to claim Liara, she also wanted to please her. She used the rest of her strength to push her torso away, allowing both of them a better view. “Faster. Stroke me faster.” Her muscles tensed in pleasure as Liara eagerly complied. “H-Harder,” she said after another minute of torture. More fluid spilled from the head, making it easier for Liara to move.

Shepard groaned as Liara held her tighter, grunting a little as she hit the perfect rhythm. “Fuck,” she hissed through gritted teeth, throwing her head back as an intense orgasm gripped her body. She felt the tiniest bit of relief as the first jet of come spurted from the head of her cock, but it was Liara’s surprised gasp of pleasure that made her pulse harder. Her head tilted back down, and she watched as she emptied herself over Liara’s abdomen, thick ribbons painting patterns over her sweat-sheened blue flesh. And through it all, Liara never stopped pumping her hand, apparently just as desperate to take everything from her as she was to give it. She even managed to coax out a few weak spurts that Shepard didn’t know she had left in her.

“Goddess,” Liara breathed, still watching as Shepard’s cock twitched in her hand. “You’re magnificent.”

Shepard reached down to pull Liara’s hand away, pinning it to the bed as she readjusted her position. Soon, her cock was poised right against Liara’s open and ready azure. She slid the head of her shaft through the abundant wetness, teasing Liara’s entrance before pulling away to slide over the hard ridge of her clit. Liara rocked forward, trying to take her in, but she held back for a second longer. The hot, clasping muscles teasing her tip were hard to resist, but she wanted to savor the anticipation. She and Liara had been building toward this moment for months. Soft conversations, shared smiles, an extra hand and a lingering touch when one of them fell during a mission. The two of them had shared an understanding - once they stopped Saren, they would explore the undeniable feelings between them. This wasn't how she had pictured making love to Liara for the first time, but it was long overdue.

That thought stopped her just before her hips slammed forward. The red fog in her brain receded, and her thoughts snapped back into focus with startling clarity. Liara. She doesn't deserve this. Not for her... our... first time. Tears of frustration welled in her eyes as she fought against her body's instincts, trembling with the effort. Liara was completely open to her, and it would be so easy to sink inside. Stretch her open. Fill her with the heavy release pounding inside her strained cock and knot her to make sure she didn't lose a drop. Then, at last, Liara would be hers.

But the haze in her mind had receded enough to make her feel guilty. She remembered the way Liara had been with Ashley, wild and unrestrained. How could she know this wasn't more of the same? An asari omega's heat was nearly impossible to control. The thought of stopping was painful, but the thought of doing something to hurt the woman she had slowly grown to love was unbearable. With the very last shred of her willpower, she shifted back on the bed, away from Liara's quivering body.

"Shepard!"

The pleading note in Liara's voice and the blackness swirling in her eyes almost made her stay, but she held firm. Her conscience wouldn't let her go through with this, however much their bodies needed it. Liara's scent flared even stronger in her nose, trying to call her back, so she scrambled off the bed and stumbled toward the door, pants still bunched around her knees. "After," she said, her voice trembling with sadness and unmet need. "After it's over, I promise. I'll do this right... I’ll - I want to..."

“No.” Fear flashed in Liara’s eyes, and she sat up, moving to chase after her. “Shepard, please don’t leave…”

But she knew another second in Liara's presence would be her undoing. “Lock the door,” she said, voice cracking with emotion. “I can’t say no to you a second time.” She rushed out into the medbay, hitching up her pants on the way. Her stubborn cock refused to let her do up the zipper, but it didn't matter. She had to put as much distance between herself and Liara as possible.

That distance proved to be a step beyond her self-control. She plopped down on the ground outside the medbay door and buried her face in her hands, howling with frustration, hurt, and loss. She wanted nothing more than to return to Liara's room and finish what she had started, but she couldn't trust herself. She had thought she was better than this, but something about Liara stripped away all her self-control. As the tears she had held back leaked from her eyes and dripped between her fingers, she hated her instincts and the animal they had almost made of her.

 

Chapter Text

Liara spent the next several days alone in her room, torn between frustrated need and intense regret. The sharp edge of her desire dulled a little once Shepard was gone, and the shift made room for other feelings to creep in. Guilt was the worst among them. She felt terrible for what she had done, and the look of betrayal on Shepard's face haunted her every time she closed her eyes. She knew Shepard wouldn't blame her. During an omega's heat, all promises were off unless you wore a mating mark. But she still felt responsible for causing the woman she cared about so much pain.

Sleep was impossible. Her dreams veered wildly between memories of how good Shepard's body had felt on top of hers and dark, ugly scenes of rejection. She knew why Shepard had left. She even appreciated it. The Commander had reached deep inside herself and fought to give them a chance, not just for something physical, but for an emotional bond. The thought made her heart glad even as frustrated sobs shuddered in her chest. She didn't feel worthy of such consideration, especially after what she had done.

It was her feelings for Shepard that gave her the strength to lock her door. The urge to leave it open and call Shepard back was strong, but her desire for something more was stronger. Shepard had fought so hard to give them a second try later, when both of their minds were clear and their hearts were as willing as their bodies. She didn't deserve it, but she couldn't bear to waste it. That would be an even worse sin than the ones she had already committed by breaking Shepard's heart and leading Chief Williams on.

And so she stayed in her room, pacing the small cage she had made for herself. Almost being bred twice hadn't been easy on her body, and she felt her sanity slip more than once. Sometimes, while she was flat on her back with her hands working frantically between her legs, she actually convinced herself Shepard was on top of her, preparing to sink inside of her and give her what she so badly needed.

When she wasn't pacing or failing to give herself relief, she rested her forehead against the door. The cool metal felt good on her flushed skin, but it was Shepard's scent that drew her there. She knew her Commander had taken up residence outside the medbay. Her scent was impossible to miss. So were the sharp snarls and growls she made whenever anyone else tried to check on her. Sometimes she even caught glimpses of Shepard's pale face pressed to the window, staring at her with burning eyes. The need there made her want to unlock the door, so she didn't look often.

Doctor Chakwas was the only one other than Liara allowed in the medbay, and at Shepard’s request, had keyed the locking mechanism to only work for Liara’s and her own biometrics. Shepard obviously didn’t trust herself to have access, even if there was an emergency situation. But the Commander’s plan didn’t prevent others from trying to gain entrance. There were an unusual amount of injuries on board the ship for the next couple of days, but Doctor Chakwas was good enough to patch up anyone who really needed it outside in the mess hall.

One afternoon, three days after she had sequestered herself, Liara sat on one of the medical benches as the doctor looked her over. “I’m sorry, but I can’t do anything else,” Doctor Chakwas said. “I’ve already given you more medication than I should, and certainly more than I would ever dare give a human. There’s nothing else I can try to take the edge off for you.”

Liara shrugged her shoulders, and the motion made her skin tingle. Even clothes had become difficult to wear in the past day or so. Anything touching her skin irritated her except for the beta medical officer’s touch. Even though she had no interest in Doctor Chakwas as a potential mate, her body craved physical contact. “You did what you could, doctor,” she said, trying to sound as upbeat as possible. Truthfully, the drugs hadn’t helped for several days. She had only continued taking them in the hopes that they might catch up with her body’s needs.

“I’m not really sure what we’re seeing here,” Doctor Chakwas said, shaking her head back and forth as she studied what Liara presumed were some test results on her terminal screen. “I’ve read that an asari’s heat is comparable to a human omega’s, but yours seems to be longer than I would have anticipated.”

Once again, Liara didn’t know what to say. It did seem to be lasting longer than usual. She’d never spent more than three days locked up in an isolation chamber for any of her other heats, but this one was going into its sixth day. The only explanation she could think of involved Shepard. Some part of her knew there was an alpha nearby that she wanted to mate with, so it was prolonging her suffering until she gave in. Having the Commander so close was only lengthening her fertile period.

Before Liara could decide whether or not to share her thoughts on the subject, there was another commotion outside the medbay. Fights had become a common occurrence over the past few days, but judging from the shouts, this one seemed more serious than usual. Instead of ignoring it, Liara climbed off the examination table and went to the window. Shepard had easily chased away any other alphas that came too close, but she hadn’t let down her guard for three whole days. If she didn’t get some proper sleep soon, Liara feared she would overexert herself.

As she peered out the window, she caught a glimpse of Shepard wrestling around on the ground in the mess hall with a large human male. It took Liara a moment to realize that it was Crosby once again. She sighed, wondering if he would ever learn his place. She had never indicated that she wanted anything to do with him, and she still didn’t find him the slightest bit attractive, even in the middle of the most intense heat she’d ever experienced.

As Liara watched, Shepard pinned the less dominant alpha to the ground after a short but brutal scuffle. She saw Shepard lean close to Crosby’s ear and say something, twisting his arm until he nodded his head vigorously and acknowledged whatever she’d told him. Then she released him, pushing him away from her as she rose. But when Shepard turned her back, perhaps thinking to make her way to her new post by the medbay doors, Crosby decided to play a dirty move and attack once again.

Liara pounded against the glass and opened her mouth to warn Shepard, but nothing came out before the Commander whipped around and pulled Crosby into a choke hold. The younger man tapped on Shepard’s arm, pleading with her to let up, but this time, she showed him no mercy. She didn’t stop until he was slumped in her arms. Once he went limp, she dumped him on the deck, kicking him over onto his back.

“Doctor Chakwas,” Liara said, “I think they might really need your assistance this time.”

Fortunately, the doctor was already gathering supplies and putting them in her medical bag. “I think you’re right. I wish they would just stop challenging her,” she muttered as she rushed by. “Everyone knows she’d defend you with her life.”

Liara stood in silence for a moment, thinking about Doctor Chakwas’s final words. She barely registered the scene outside the medbay as the doctor instructed a few of the spectators to pick Crosby up, probably intending to treat him in his bunk. The small crowd outside in the mess hall dispersed until only Shepard remained, shooting a pained look through the window before taking up her position outside the door once again.

There had never been a single moment when Liara doubted that Shepard would die for any one of her squad members, but the Commander’s devotion to her was different. Resisting the call to mate took an incredible toll, but Shepard had managed anyway while she had failed. Shepard had done it to spare both of them pain. Liara already deeply regretted her chaotic encounter with Ashley, but some part of her knew she would never feel the same about being with her Commander, heat or no heat.

Could it really be that simple? she thought. If I love her, and she loves me? The more she considered it, the more confident she grew. There was no wrong way to make the right choice. Shepard was who she wanted, and not just physically. Her love was even deeper than her desire, and it was love that drove her toward the medbay door.

Her mind clear for the first time in what seemed like years, Liara pressed her hand against the locking mechanism. She waited the second it took for the scanner to read her biometrics before the door slid open. Shepard’s strong, feral scent hit her full in the face, and it took all of Liara’s willpower not to fall down and present herself to the Commander right there. She needed to do this right for the both of them. She needed Shepard to know the strength and purity of her feelings.

Before Shepard could say a word, Liara fisted the collar of her shirt and dragged her into the medbay. The Commander tripped forward, stumbling all the way in her surprised state. Liara smacked her hand against the pressure pad, locking the doors once again before pushing Shepard up against the wall. She surged forward and feasted on her Commander’s mouth, moaning as Shepard kissed her back. The outline of Shepard’s hard cock pressed against her stomach, but Liara made no move to cup the bulge despite how much she wanted to. There was something she needed to do first.

She tore their lips apart and drew back far enough to look into Shepard’s stunned eyes. “This is not just because of my heat, Shepard,” she said, resisting the urge to grind her hips against the human’s, afraid that it would take the truth from her words. “You may be what my body wants, but you’re also what my heart needs. I’ve known for a long time, and I’m sorry it’s taken me until now to tell you. I love you.”

“Fuck, Liara,” Shepard panted, her voice trembling as much as her body. She seemed equal parts stunned and delighted by the declaration, and it made Liara’s protective instincts rise to the surface. She promised herself that she would never let her strong, selfless alpha doubt herself over anything they did together. This was her choice as much as it was Shepard’s.

“I love you,” she repeated, willing Shepard to believe her. “I want forever, and I won’t settle for anything less.”

Finally seeming to sense that everything she was saying was true, Shepard lowered her head for a long, deep kiss. It was desperate, but full of affection, and Liara shuddered. Desire flared back to the surface, but this time, the loss of control didn’t frighten her. She was with Shepard, the woman she loved. Everything about this was right.

When they couldn’t sustain the kiss anymore, Shepard dragged her toward the room at the back of the medbay. Before they could get there, Liara veered off course, steering them to a medical cot instead. “Too far. I need you now.”

That short sentence was enough to snap the tension. Shepard lunged, knocking over the rest of Doctor Chakwas's supplies and pinning her against the examination table. Fire burned through her, but for once, she didn't resist. She wanted to burn, and there wasn't a single doubt left in her mind. She belonged to Shepard, just as Shepard belonged to her, and she was eager to prove it. They kissed again and again, collapsing to the floor when they could no longer support one another. But falling didn't stop them. Their bodies melted together, and Liara groaned as Shepard's familiar weight settled on top of her.

"Liara..." Shepard's mouth travelled along her neck, refreshing the bruises she had left before. Liara throbbed at the graze of her teeth, tilting her head to offer better access. She wanted Shepard to bite down harder, to leave a more permanent mark and claim her completely, but she couldn't find the words to ask. She could barely remember how to breathe as Shepard began stripping her shirt over her head.

It didn't take them much time to tear out of their clothes. She couldn't stand the thought of having any more barriers between them. When Shepard took too long to undo her pants, Liara shredded them with glowing hands, desperate to get them off. Shepard didn't treat her jumpsuit any better. It was a ripped mess by the time they stripped it away, but the freedom came as a relief. It felt like she had waited centuries to feel her Commander's flesh against her own.

Once they were naked, they didn't waste time. The past week had been torturous, and neither of them wanted to suffer any longer. Liara raked her nails between Shepard's shoulder blades, urging her closer. An eager growl vibrated in Shepard's chest, and Liara gasped as strong hands seized her hips. The firm shaft of Shepard's cock pulsed against her lower belly, dripping with need onto her skin. Her inner walls fluttered, and she spread her thighs, searching for more direct contact.

She didn't need to ask aloud. Shepard moved down, settling between her legs. Both of them froze, quivering at the first contact, and tears pricked Liara's eyes. This was where they had stopped before, and she was struck with the irrational fear that it would happen again. She wasn't certain she could survive another failed attempt at mating. But then Shepard's rough fingers rubbed over the exposed ridge of her clit, and the wide, flared head of her cock began pressing inside.

Shepard moved slow to start, trying to be gentle, but her instincts soon got the better of her. She pumped forward, eager to bury herself as deep as possible. The stretch burned at first, but Liara savored the slight pain. She wanted Shepard to claim her, to possess her completely. After the first push, she blossomed open. Her muscles relaxed, and she accepted Shepard's entire length. She let out a choked sigh of relief, shivering around the thick shaft. She had been claimed at last by the woman she truly wanted.

Shepard began moving immediately, too far gone to wait. Her hips picked up a demanding rhythm, and Liara couldn't help but surrender to it. This was everything she needed. Shepard - filling her, taking her, driving into her with every ounce of strength. Her inner walls clutched at Shepard's cock, and her eyes swam with black. Even though they had only just started, she wasn't certain she could hold back. They had already waited far too long.

Thankfully, Shepard shared her desperation. The shaft inside of her swelled, growing harder and firmer with each thrust. She could feel Shepard's orgasm pounding just beneath the surface, threatening to explode from the tip. Suddenly, being taken wasn't enough. She wanted to feel the hot spill of Shepard's come flooding her azure. It was all she had craved since the start of her heat. Her hands shot down to Shepard's backside, gripping the firm muscles there and trapping her powerful body in place. Then, she took Shepard's lips in a fierce kiss and squeezed down.

Shepard jerked above her, gasping against her mouth in surprise, but she was powerless to resist. Her hips jogged forward, trying to drive even deeper, and Liara felt a powerful shudder race along her cock. The base swelled even further, and for a moment, Liara thought she would tear apart. But the thickness travelled up, straining until all the pressure finally burst. Liara whimpered as heavy spurts shot from the twitching head, splashing against her inner walls. Soon, she was overflowing, so full of Shepard's release that she couldn't hold it all. Wetness rushed out around the base, but Shepard kept coming, pumping jet after jet of fluid inside of her.

Feeling Shepard lay claim to her drove Liara over the edge. She came with a strangled cry, tight muscles fluttering as she released a flood of her own. It wasn't quite as impressive as Shepard's, but the waves of pleasure sent stars shooting behind her eyelids. The back of her head tingled, and each pulse urged her to reach out, to cling to the bright beacon of Shepard's mind. But with the last shred of her sanity, she managed to hold back. If she completed the meld, she was absolutely certain she wouldn't be able to resist conceiving. With Shepard's release filling her, she was all too eager to take the second half of what she needed from the powerful alpha above her.

It took a few minutes, but eventually the pounding in the back of her head receded. Liara could just enjoy feeling Shepard above her, inside her, everywhere. Her alpha’s solid weight pressed her against the cold floor, but felt wonderful, especially when she thought about how it was keeping Shepard’s shaft deep inside of her. She shuddered pleasantly at the mental image and couldn’t prevent her inner muscles from twitching. When Shepard groaned and started to stir at the involuntary attention, Liara smoothed her hands over her Commander’s sweat-slicked back. She traced along the sculpted muscles of her lover’s shoulders and torso, eventually making her way back to Shepard’s ass.

Shepard must have approved, because Liara felt the hard length inside of her begin to swell again. The Commander growled low in her throat, and another shiver raced through Liara’s body. If she’d thought that just one time with Shepard would be enough after everything they’d been through, she was seriously wrong. “Again,” Shepard rumbled, giving her another hard, possessive kiss before pulling out of her.

Liara whimpered at the sudden loss, feeling cold after Shepard’s withdrawal, but she didn’t have time to dwell on it. Shepard climbed to her feet and reached down to pull her up as well. She wasn’t entirely sure she could stand on her own after everything that had just happened, but she trusted Shepard to help her if her legs failed. Luckily, they didn’t travel too far. Shepard turned her to face the examination table and pushed her forward, bending her over the edge.

Another soft whimper fell from Liara’s lips as she visualized their new position from an outside perspective. She’d had many fantasies over her time on the Normandy of Shepard taking her just like this, in a way that befitted their nature best, and she was dripping wet at the prospect of finally getting to live out those dreams. There wasn’t the slightest tinge of fear in her body at being in such a vulnerable position. She trusted Shepard with everything that she was.

The cold metal of the examination table was cool against her breasts, a pleasant contrast to the raging heat of her skin. It made her already sensitive nipples tighten even more, and Liara ached for Shepard to touch them, to roll them between her strong, calloused fingers. Just thinking about it made Liara uncomfortable enough to spread her legs a little wider, seeking relief for her already throbbing clit.

“You can’t imagine the dreams I’ve had about taking you like this,” Shepard whispered against her crest. Liara felt her alpha’s hard cock pressed against her ass, and another flood dripped from her azure as Shepard slowly ground against her. It was so very different from when Crosby had done it the other day, arousing instead of revolting, and Liara found herself almost wishing Shepard were taking her in front of the crew so her claim would be even more indisputable.

She cried out softly as Shepard’s hand slid around to the front of her body and nimble fingers fondled her clit, just a little roughly. Every thought flew from her head but one, so she gave voice to it. “Please,” she said, hoping that Shepard knew what she was pleading for because she couldn’t articulate anything more. She needed Shepard over her, driving deep inside of her until there was nothing but the two of them, joined together so perfectly that they were one.

That seemed to be all Shepard was waiting for. The Commander kicked her legs further apart with an entitled growl, fitting the head of her cock against her entrance. It only took one strong thrust to bury herself, and Liara cried out, tilting her hips to take as much of Shepard as she possibly could. Her alpha’s cock felt even thicker in this position, but she couldn’t tell if it was a trick of her body, or if Shepard had indeed swelled to a larger size.

Shepard moved slowly at first, letting her get used to the new position, and she was grateful for the pace. It allowed Shepard to place little bites and kisses along the exposed flesh of her neck, although none were hard enough or deep enough to be considered a mating bite. Liara wondered if Shepard would ever take the initiative, because she wanted it desperately, but had no intention of begging for it. There were too many other things she was happy to beg for first.

“More,” Shepard said on a groan, apparently done with her slow pace. She pushed her upper body off of Liara’s and the maiden felt her alpha’s hands take control of her hips. Shepard’s thrusts became harder, more powerful, driving deeper into her dripping azure. Liara didn’t think it was possible, but she became even wetter when Shepard started to grunt with every thrust, softly at first, but rising in volume as more effort was put into the demanding strokes.

It wasn’t difficult to feel Shepard climbing towards that ultimate peak once again, but there was something holding Liara back. She was aroused as ever, but an orgasm seemed just out of her reach. It took her a minute to realize what it was she needed. “Shepard,” Liara panted, the pain evident in her tone. “Please. I need to see you.” She didn’t know if it was because their union was so new that she needed reassurance, but Liara was certain she wouldn’t be able to come unless she looked into Shepard’s eyes. She wanted to see the love and adoration in them.

A long groan tore from Shepard’s chest, but the alpha listened to her. She gave one last deep push before pulling out, flipping her around, and using her impressive strength to pick her up and seat her on the edge of the exam table. Moments later, Shepard was back inside of her, thrusting hard and fast, and Liara had everything that she wanted. Her arms went around her Commander’s shoulders, holding Shepard close, and she captured her lips, sliding her tongue into Shepard’s mouth and claiming her just as Shepard was claiming her body.

Shepard released a frustrated groan after a few minutes and tore her mouth away. “Not deep enough,” she growled, and the intense look in her eyes made Liara’s inner muscles twitch. Shepard pulled out again, climbing effortlessly onto the table and spinning her around so they were lying down the length of it. She pushed back in without any hesitation, hooking Liara’s knee around her waist so she could drive deeper.

The new angle sent Liara crashing over the edge all over again. She gazed up into Shepard's eyes, and the love she saw there was too much for her to bear. Her azure clutched tight around the shaft of Shepard's cock, and her mind reached out. She didn't even try to stop herself from forming the meld. It was the most natural thing in the world, just like surrendering to Shepard.

In a single instant, her thoughts were no longer her own. A wave of emotion crashed over her, and she latched on, clinging for dear life. The tangled mess of desire and love was almost strong enough to drown her. Everything that was Shepard was stripped bare before her. All her strength, all her insecurities, all her hopes and fears. Liara's heart melted as she realized that she was threaded through them all. She sobbed with joy, relieved that she wasn't alone in wanting forever.

As their minds linked, their bodies followed, desperate to be closer. When Liara came, she dragged Shepard along with her, coaxing a second flood from her strained cock. Another swell travelled along its length, and Shepard filled her again, shooting harsh spurts of come deep into her azure. The overflow spilled between their bodies, covering their thighs with slickness and sending her into a fresh round of spasms.

And then, just before she could draw back from the meld, she felt it. Shepard's teeth sank into her shoulder, piercing skin and laying claim. She shouted, only muffling the sound long enough to find Shepard's neck. Slick and salt spilled into her mouth, traces of sweat and blood, but she had never tasted anything sweeter. She surrendered to her instincts, strengthening the union and drawing from Shepard's mind with each shared pulse.

Before she could recover and break the connection, Shepard stiffened above her. The teeth embedded in her shoulder tightened further, and a low growl vibrated against her flesh. Something thick and firm began spreading her open, stretching her wider than anything she had ever felt. In any other circumstance, the unyielding pressure would have had her yelping in pain, but this was Shepard. Her mate. For her, she could take anything.

She lost the grip of her bite and howled as the large knot split her apart, blocking her entrance. Another powerful rush of come splashed from the head of Shepard's cock, but this time, there was nowhere else for the flood go. Instead of slipping back out, Shepard's release stayed trapped, pumping into her azure and forcing her to swell until she thought she would burst. The unbearable pressure had her ripping everything she could reach from Shepard's mind. She wanted all she could grasp, as much as she could hold, regardless of the consequences.

At last, the pressure was too much. She lost track of what was happening as one orgasm blended into another. The knot stretching her open and what felt like an endless stream pouring into her barely gave her any room to contract, but her inner muscles never stopped shivering. Her clit throbbed against Shepard's hard stomach, and she whimpered as the freckled face beside hers began to blur. As comforting blackness fell around her eyes, she registered that Shepard's teeth were still holding her shoulder. The alpha’s muscular body remained rigid despite her powerful orgasms.

Strange, Liara thought just before she slipped away, lapsing into unconsciousness. I thought she'd want to kiss me after...

Chapter Text

Shepard shivered as Liara’s mind reach out for hers, but she had no intention of denying the connection. She had wanted to take Liara as her mate even before her heat, and the love she felt in the joining only confirmed what she already knew. The meld was just another nonverbal indication that Liara wanted the ultimate claiming. Shepard lowered her head and sank her teeth into Liara’s shoulder, biting deep enough to draw blood and putting her full intentions behind the mark.

Beautiful pain pierced her own shoulder a second later, and she groaned as Liara gave her a matching mark. Shepard’s inner animal howled, but it was a sound of pure joy. She was Liara’s choice as much as Liara was hers, and no one would ever be able to challenge their claim on each other. The bite was made all the sweeter because she could feel Liara’s happiness at finally being joined to her through the meld.

Shepard would have been content to lay above her mate, floating through the bliss of Liara’s mind forever, but a sound at the medbay door had her body stiffening. The scents of multiple aggressive alphas, all of them well known to her, filled her nose right before the doors whooshed open and a small crowd rushed in, headed by Doctor Chakwas. Shepard instinctively dug her teeth in deeper and gave a deep warning growl as Ashley moved to the head of the pack, but her sharp eyes also picked up Wrex, Garrus, and even Tali lingering more toward the back of the group.

Her body responded on a primitive level to the threat. Liara was hers, and she refused to let anyone else have even the slightest chance with her. Fullness built at the base of her cock, pushing out against the tight, velvety walls wrapped around her. Liara began to whimper as the knot swelled, but her inner muscles clamped down, tying them together. Shepard gave another involuntary pump of her hips, grunting with possessive satisfaction. Now, she couldn’t be torn from Liara’s body no matter what any of the intruders tried.

The intense pressure squeezing down around her was too much. Her cock thickened and throbbed, emptying all over again. She pumped everything she had into her mate's clinging warmth, overtaken with the desire to claim. She spilled deep into Liara's azure, filling her completely, but not a single drop escaped. Her twitching knot blocked Liara's entrance, ensuring she had ample opportunity to conceive. Liara keened, clawing at her back and clenching even harder around her.

Shepard growled around her hold on Liara's shoulder, never once taking her eyes off the stunned group just inside the medbay door. She remained alert even as Liara’s mind searched frantically through hers, looking for that final piece of what she needed. She could only hope that Liara found what she was looking for before she passed out, because moments later, she went limp, splaying bonelessly beneath her.

Still not taking her eyes off of their audience, and Ashley in particular, Shepard pulled her teeth from Liara’s shoulder and gently licked the deep bruise. Her own mate bite still throbbed, but it was a pleasant feeling that pulsed right down her to her cock, keeping her hard. She didn’t know if it was their new bond or just the intrinsic connection they’d seemed to have since their first meeting, but Shepard knew without a doubt that Liara was fine, even though her beautiful omega still hadn’t shown any signs of stirring. A movement caught her eye and she snapped her head up, snarling as she held herself over Liara. She would defend her mate to the death, but she would also defend her claim in an equally violent fashion if anyone sought to challenge her.

“Jesus Christ, Shepard,” Ashley said, standing her ground but not taking another step forward when she realized just how serious the Commander really was. “If not me, then at least let Doctor Chakwas take a look at her. You fucked her into oblivion.”

“I know how to take care of my mate,” Shepard growled, baring her teeth at Ashley until the other alpha held up her hands and took a step back.

“Mmm, you certainly do,” a drowsy voice said from beneath her. Liara’s warm arms wrapped around her torso and soft hands trailed along her back. Shepard’s heart leapt as she finally looked down, seeing the love she had always dreamed about shining in her mate’s clear blue eyes. Completely unable to resist sharing her own happiness, Shepard leaned down and brought their lips together in a soft but heartfelt kiss.

“See?” a low voice rumbled from the doorway. Shepard pulled back from Liara's sweet lips and looked up to see Wrex eyeing them with considerable amusement. He wasn't at all embarrassed by their nakedness. In fact, his expression seemed almost approving. “Told you it was better not to get involved. I knew this would happen the second Liara went into heat. Nobody had a chance with her but Shepard. I'm just glad I wasn't the one standing in the way."

A flush spread across Ashley's face, but she was wise enough to keep her comments to herself. Shepard finally felt herself begin to relax. She didn't see the gunnery chief as much of a threat anymore. With her knot and her come filling Liara's azure, and the mating mark on both of their necks, there was nothing Ashley could do even if she wanted to.

"You don't have to act all high and mighty about it," Kaidan teased, giving Wrex a playful nudge on the arm. "You were the one who came to me begging for..."

Wrex coughed to cover up the rest of the comment. If Shepard hadn't been so concerned about how close everyone was standing to Liara, she might have been amused. It wasn't every day that she got to see what a krogan looked like when he was embarrassed.

Tali and Garrus laughed, but Ashley's brow remained furrowed. "Liara? Are you sure you're okay?" she asked, seeming genuinely concerned.

Liara tilted her head back, gazing up with sleepy, meld-darkened eyes. "I'm all right, Ashley. Thank you. Now, if you wouldn't mind..."

"Why don't we give the Commander and Doctor T'Soni some privacy?" Doctor Chakwas said, professional even in this awkward circumstance. "Neither of them seems to be injured, and I'm sure they don't want an audience."

Thankfully, they all followed her advice. Shepard continued staring them down until the last person had left the medbay and the doors were safely closed again. She breathed a sigh of relief, turning her attention to the beautiful woman beneath her. It would be several more minutes before they could part again, but she didn't mind. She would have been happy to spend the rest of her life wrapped up in Liara's arms. "Were you telling the truth earlier?" Shepard asked. "Are you really all right?"

Liara nodded. "I'm not just all right. I'm wonderful."

A big grin spread across Shepard's face. "Me too." A guilty flush colored her cheeks, and she shifted her hips a little, making Liara whimper at the movement. "Are you sure I’m not hurting you? I didn't mean to, uh... the rest of them just startled me, and..."

Soft fingers folded around the back of her neck, drawing her in for another soft kiss. "I don't mind, Shepard. It surprised me at first, but the fullness is actually rather pleasant, and the meld was breathtaking. I had no idea it could be like that."

"What about the mating bite?" Shepard asked, murmuring the question into Liara's lips. "Everything happened so fast."

"Oh, Shepard." Liara resumed stroking her back, rubbing soothing circles between her shoulderblades. She dipped down, placing a kiss on the mark she had left. "You were already mine long before now. This is merely visual proof."

Shepard laughed and placed a matching kiss on Liara's bite-mark, inhaling their mixed scents. "You're going to kill me if I got you pregnant, aren't you?" she asked, nuzzling her mate's warm throat. "I promise I wasn't trying to. You just felt so good..."

Liara let a long sigh escape. "I have to admit, now isn't the most convenient time." Shepard's chest tightened with worry until Liara pushed up to kiss the tip of her nose. "But I can think of far worse things than carrying your child. I'm more determined than ever to stop Saren now. I'll have a mate to build a life with and a daughter to save the galaxy for."

"As long as you let me help," Shepard said. "I don't want to be apart from you ever again. Okay?"

Liara smiled and closed her eyes, leaning back onto the table and settling into a more comfortable position. "Never again."

. . .

A smile spread over Liara’s face as she stretched and felt Shepard’s arm tighten around her waist. They’d spent the last three days locked up in her lab, doing things that Liara had only dreamed of, and quite a few that she’d never even thought about but were definitely now on the top of her list to do again. Once, Shepard had suggested that they relocate over to her quarters since she had a bigger, softer bed, but before they could, Liara had dragged her mate down on top of her again and they’d promptly forgotten all about more comfortable accomodations.

Liara drew Shepard’s hand away from her waist and brought it up to her mouth, placing a kiss in the center of her alpha’s calloused palm. “I’m hungry, Shepard. And we can’t keep sneaking out in the middle of the night to raid the galley like a couple of bandits. You have a ship to run, and I should really get back to looking over my data to see if I can pinpoint Saren’s location.”

Shepard made a displeased noise and tried to cuddle further into Liara’s warm back, releasing a huffing sigh when she sat up on the side of the cot to get away. “You really know how to kill the mood, mate.” The last word was said with a huge smile, and Liara couldn’t help twisting back around and placing a rewarding kiss on Shepard’s lips.

“We can’t do this forever, Shepard,” Liara said as she got up and found a clean jumpsuit, one that was actually intact instead of shredded from Shepard’s impatient hands. After the third one had fallen victim to Shepard’s insistence, Liara had stopped trying to put her clothes back on. She looked back over her shoulder at her lover, enjoying the view of her strong alpha’s muscular body stretched out on her cot, but looked away before she could get any of the ideas she was trying to talk Shepard out of. “My heat is over, and you’ve more than satisfied it.”

“More than satisfied, huh? Are you sure? Because if you still need me, I’m more than happy to offer my services.”

Liara  rolled her eyes as the smug look on Shepard’s face and turned away from her again. “Stop it. We should be able to control ourselves a little better now. It’s time to get up and integrate ourselves back into the crew.” She bent down to pick up the pile of Shepard’s clothes and tossed them at the Commander. “I’ll wait for you out in the mess hall.”

With that, she turned on her heels and walked out of the room, not giving Shepard any other opportunities to convince her to stay. It would be far too easy to fall into bed with her mate again, but they had taken enough time away from their other duties, and one of them had to be mature enough to realize that.

Liara was pleased to find that the rest of their squadmates were in the mess hall, eating a meal that passed as breakfast. She got into line behind Tali and Garrus, eyes widening when she overheard their conversation.

“What?” Tali said, bumping her shoulder into Garrus’s arm since she wasn’t quite tall enough to hit his shoulder. “You’re just a fling, Vakarian. I’m using you for your body.” Even though it wasn’t unusual for a beta and an alpha to hook up, Liara was still a little surprised by the revelation. And if they could find what she and Shepard had together, she would be very happy for them.

“You’re so mean.” There was a pause for a beat before what passed for a turian smile washed over Garrus’s face. “And I’m okay with that.”

They wandered off towards the table together, still joking back and forth and took seats right next to each other. Liara just shook her head at the camaraderie, enjoying how her world seemed to have righted itself. This place was back to feeling like her home once again, and she wouldn’t trade that feeling for the universe.

Once Liara had filled her tray with things that she knew both she and Shepard would like, she turned around to head for the mess hall table. On the way, she nearly ran straight into Ashley. The gunnery chief quickly helped right the tray that was in danger of falling, but pulled her hands back as soon as it was stable. “Hey,” Ashley said, an awkward smile tilting her lips as her right hand massaged the muscles at the back of her neck.

“Ashley,” Liara said back, unsure where this conversation was going. “I mean, Lieutenant Williams. I’m sorry for almost knocking you down.” She needed to apologize to Ashley for much more than that, but she wasn’t quite sure how to begin.

Luckily, Ashley took the initiative for her. “You can use my first name, Liara. I know we’ve had a rough couple of days, but I just wanted to say no hard feelings. I never meant to proposition you as forwardly as I did, especially since I knew how the Commander felt about you. And I know your heat made you susceptible to… acting very unlike your usual self. I hope you’ll forgive me, and maybe we can be friends.”

“Are you sure?” Liara asked, a wrinkle creasing her brow. “Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I thought your feelings might be less charitable, considering your opinion of aliens and what I almost made you do. I should be the one asking your forgiveness. Until now, you haven’t shown a great deal of trust toward me.”

“Come on, T’Soni,” Ashley said, shaking her head in amusement, “I knew that wasn’t really you talking the second you started flirting with me. I’ve seen you do it with Shepard enough times without your heat, and your usual style is way more awkward. No offense.”

Liara laughed at the playful insult, relieved that Ashley wasn’t angry with her. “None taken. Thank you, Ashley. I appreciate it.”

“Just make sure you don’t work any more weird alien sex magic on me,” Ashley teased, making it clear that she was joking with a smile. She raised her voice and aimed a sideways glance toward the table. “With all the hormones you were pumping out, even Wrex over there was starting to look less ugly.”

“I heard that,” Wrex grunted, and the crewmembers around him laughed.

A fully genuine smile finally came across Ashley’s face. “Don’t worry about it, Liara. Really. I like you now, but not enough to marry you. Any ass kicking that Shepard did, I am truly grateful for.”

“I wouldn’t say that I kicked your ass.” A strong arm curled around Liara’s waist, and she shivered as a warm, solid body pressed against her back. She tilted her head to the side as Shepard nuzzled against her neck, leaning down far enough to kiss the mate bite that everyone could see thanks to her open collar. “I just gave you some incentive to remember your place. And to keep your hands off my mate.” Shepard’s hand splayed possessively over her stomach, and Liara sighed happily. Her mind drifted, and she found herself wondering how long it would take for Shepard to figure out that their first mating had done the trick. Liara could have just told her, but part of her wanted to wait until Shepard sensed it herself.

“A lesson well learned, Commander,” Ashley said, clapping Shepard once on the shoulder before making her way back to the table. “You two coming? You’ve both gotta be starving. I haven’t seen you out of the medbay in days.”

“Some of us like to take our time and do it right, Williams,” Shepard said, her voice thick with smugness.

A flush spread across Ashley’s face as she sat down. “Come on, Skipper. That was a low blow.”

“Hey, I don’t blame you. My mate is pretty gorgeous.”

Liara let Shepard lead her to the two remaining seats at the table. Wrex and Kaidan sat across from them, chatting about something while Kaidan used teasing touches to keep the big krogan interested in something besides their conversation. Tali and Garrus were next to them, questioning a flustered Ashley over Shepard’s remarks. She let out a happy sigh. Here she was, cuddled close to her mate, taking it all in. As she looked around the table, she knew that this small band of unlikely people were her family. And, she thought, brushing her fingers across her flat belly, soon enough, they would have another addition.