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If Not Now, When?

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Jane was at a loss for what to think. Over 300,000 dead. Johnny had tried to save them, but it had been too late. Sure she was useful in the prison, getting him in and the prisoner out. But after coming across the Reaper artifact, Jane felt like more of a hindrance. Her mind filling with similar horrible visions from the artifact. Visions that Johnny had refused to go into detail about when telling her about the hunt for Saren. And she was ashamed that even with a stim she was barely able stay coherent enough to help with the escape, at least she was able to hack the damn droid that got the door open. It must have been Johnny’s implants that cancelled out the sedation, though that hadn’t helped her.

Jane vaguely remembered being held by Garrus, but then woke up in the med bay with Johnny and Admiral Hackett. The officer was upset that Jane had gone along, but she had called him out on sending Johnny alone. That because of the lack of extra support they had been captured and lost valuable evacuation time. The Alliance officer commended them for the actions, even understood the severity of the decision to try to get a warning to the colony but he still had to take them in for a trial. All for his mistake in not being more forth coming or letting Johnny do things his way and this is how they were repaid.

And Garrus was gone, probably furious with her. Most of the crew had left taking the chance to escape the Alliance authority. The engineers stayed on, they were the only ones who knew how to handle the engine. Joker stayed on because EDI, pretending to be a VI, convinced the soldiers she would only answer to him. That was all that was left of the crew. Currently Jane was being watched by Johnny’s old team mate Alenko in the cargo hold of ship, restrained with omni cuffs on that she was pretty sure she could hack in a moment. If she cared enough to muster the energy to do so.

Alenko was leaning against the crates watching her. “You were with Shepard on Horizon, with the head wound right?”

Looking at him through the hair that had fallen out of her braid, Jane only nodded. Up till now she had been ignoring Alenko and his early suggestions of sitting in a chair he found and preferring the floor. She was scared and there was no comforting rumble from her mate near. Old training took over and she found a small corner and was taking a perverse comfort from the low hard surface. It was something familiar about being captive again.

“Must say, you lived up to your alias, Red Fury. You were quite a sight covered in all that blood.” Tilting his head Alenko studied her, and seemed determined to get her to speak. “Shepard never mentioned a sister.”

“Probably got tired of people telling him I was dead or soon would be as a slave.” She finally spoke, her voice was hard and cold sounding.

That made the soldier flinch, not much of stomach this one apparently, Jane thought to herself.

“Sorry, you must have been trapped for a long time.”

“Fourteen years. Don’t apologise,” she said, tired of pity. “Shit happens and Johnny already feels guilty that it was Garrus who eventually found me while he was dead. For the last few years I was treated well and the training I got from that engineer saved many lives.”

“So - Shepard was really dead?” Alenko asked as he uncrossed his arms, letting them hang at his sides.

“Yes, he has implants and scars to prove he was rebuilt. Just like it’s true that he only joined Cerberus to save the colonies, making sure to destroy the Collector base and the monstrosity they were creating instead of handing it over to the Illusive Man. He even managed to win the loyalty of the entire crew, did a better job with them than you I guess.” Jane was being rough on the dark haired man. He was being more civil now than when she first met him on Horizon. But she was scared and angry and he already hurt her brother so he was as good a target as any. Ken and Gabby were much better than him, they could have gone with the rest but they wanted to make sure the Normandy got to earth safely, not caring if they were arrested. They were loyal to Johnny, not Cerberus.

The rest of trip was silent as she pulled her knees to her chest and tried to bite back the tears, ignoring the honey colored looks from Alenko, and trying not to think of the bright blue eyes that were missing.

-

Earth was beautiful, it was Jane’s first time ever seeing it in person. Vancouver was much different than a small farm town or a hazy space station. Not that she was here for tourism. Surprisingly, Jane’s ‘Cell’ was more of a small apartment with a decent view of the large city. For the most part captivity was boring, after hacking the first data pad, all tech had been removed from the room. Now she was left with a couple of hard copy books and deck of cards that Vega was nice enough to bring by.

She liked him better than Alenko, Vega had a sense of humor and was successful in lightening the mood with jokes and little flirty comments. After working at the bar, she knew his type. Vega loved flirting but would easily get nervous if anyone flirted back. He spent more time working out his muscles than dating, his true love was his work as a soldier and it wasn’t uncommon for those like him to avoid most serious relationships. Thinking of Garrus, maybe there was a point to the no fraternization rule on human ships.

Unfortunately, Jane still wasn’t able to see her brother or send word to him or anyone for that matter. She couldn’t even get Vega to do it, he seemed to have a soft spot for her but had to refuse anytime she asked about Johnny. Jane even resorted to playfully threatening Vega, but he had a hard time believing she was a vigilante on Omega. Even decided Lola was a better nickname than Fury, but he never saw her on the battlefield. Jane knew she could be damn scary if someone pissed her off enough, fortunately Vega always managed to distract her before she could put the effort into it.

Jane did see Alenko a couple more times, he had been put in charge of her interview. By the end she would be pacing and occasionally hitting her head on the one way mirror not caring how silly it probably looked to others who were undoubtedly on the other side. Jane knew Alenko was making sure she didn’t leave anything out or try to change the story but god he was annoying. He even attempted small talk like Vega but ultimately failed at saying anything to make her loosen up. Of course sharing a bit of a sob story didn’t work on everyone to get them to open up. Alenko’s time at BAAT sounded horrible, but it was nothing like Jane’s time in batarian space. Not that Jane should be comparing, but it was hard to feel sympathy after living through worse.

Alenko asked about Cerberus and the Normandy, and Jane refused to give specific names of the crew, not wanting them to get in trouble. He asked about the Collector base, and she gave the exact details no matter how crazy they sounded, knowing Johnny was used to telling the fantastical, maybe if they heard it from multiple sources they would finally listen. He even tried ask about her time on Omega, more personal questions which she explained had no importance to the charges and refused to give him more than necessary.

Jane saw the look in his eyes, the way someone would look at a victim. She hoped it wouldn’t brought up but somehow the conversation would swing that way. Alenko felt sorry for her. That is why she loved her turian. Garrus didn’t feel sorry for Jane, he felt angry for her, protected her long enough until he gave her the tools to protect herself. She was never a victim with him, she just had more experience and quarks than most.

God she missed Garrus, Vega already got a black eye when he tried to wake her from a nightmare. Jane didn’t even bother to try and sleep in the bed, and instead pulled the sheets onto the floor. The whole idea of confinement was too difficult for her to handle without falling into some habits. And Garrus was the only one who successfully pulled her out of those episodes. He was probably upset she left without him, she knew he would be but she didn’t expect him to just leave without a word. And now there was no way to contact him.

-

The next day Alenko collected Jane to take her to a special tribunal. Seemed the authorities had no idea what to do with her. Jane technically helped in genocide but was thought to have been dead for well over a decade. The batarians wanted her shot or returned as their property, but the humans could never do that. Jane wasn’t military either and would not get the same treatment as her brother.

Entering the hall Jane found that while full, there were no reporters, instead seemed to be packed full of high ranking soldiers and politicians. Surrounding the table on the platform was Hackett with a couple other Alliance types, a couple more in just suits, and large projection of Anderson and Udina.

Calling the room to order a female officer started the meeting. “We are here today to discuss the unique situation of Jane Shepard, more specifically what charges would be appropriate and how she will be tried…”

Before the woman could continue the large doors opened again to reveal a turian in a dark suit and hood over his fringe, he strode purposefully into the room ignoring the guards and assistants following trying to speak with him quietly. But he continued forward, not bothering to reply.

The speaker stopped and those on the council watched as he came to stop level with Jane. She was stunned, the turian had similar coloring to Garrus, but slightly lighter and more worn plates, his eyes were a pale silver, and he was noticeably shorter and yet still managed to still tower over her. He even wore the slightly more elegant blue colony marks similar to Garrus’.

He stood straight at attention and announced to the room, “Is this the tribunal for Jane Shepard?”

Hackett raised an eyebrow, “We are still discussing what this meeting is exactly, but yes. And you sir?”

“I am her Advocate, Castis Vakarian.”

Over the halo image’s speakers they could hear Udina call out, “What is this nonsense?!”

The Anderson threw him a dirty look, “I am sorry Advocate, but how is it Miss Shepard has a turian representation?”

“She is a citizen of the Hierarchy.” He simply stated in a cool voice as the room went up in a roar.

Hackett appeared to have enough of the commotion and used his booming command voice to call the room to some form of order. Turning his hard blue gaze to the turian, he asked “Silence!... Mr. Varkarian, how is it a human is a citizen of your people?”

Jane’s eyes were so wide, it felt like they were bugging out. She was half expecting to be shot today, only to find herself standing next to her mate’s father, who never spared her glance since entering while he claimed she was part of the Hierarchy. She was going to love this explanation.

“As of three weeks ago she was married to Garrus Vakarian. I believe her new name is actually Jane Vakarian according to your tradition.”

Udina scoffed, “That is ridiculous, we have no records on her for decades.”

Taking it in his stride, the senior Vakarian continued, “I have the forms from my government showing the bonding and the citizenship to the planet Palaven and the city Cipritine, she has been given a client race tier equivalent to her mate.” He pulled out the documents and gave them to a guard to relay them to the table.

Hackett looked them over, “These look in order, but how do we know this marriage was legal?”

Vakarian’s, voice gave no opinion away one way or another about the series of questions as he explained, “I believe earth has an old set of customs regarding the law while at sea?” Hackett nodded and waved for the advocate to continue, “Then it is legal for the captain of a ship to perform a marriage ceremony in international waters. Three weeks ago Commander Shepard was captain of a human vessel in the terminus system, which could be considered international waters or space, and he performed such a ceremony between Garrus Vakarian and Jane Shepard. We have witness and vids showing such.”

While Hackett’s hand covered his mouth, Jane could still see the wrinkles of smile around his eyes as he hid the reaction. Anderson spoke up in a relaxed tone, “I do believe he is right. Steven.”

Senior Vakarian nodded like it was nothing, “And as a citizen of the Hierarchy it is up to us to deal with her involvement of the Alpha relay and her involvement in the events prior.”

Udina started to get upset again and before he could get too loud Anderson yelled over him, “I think he is correct, I’ll leave it up to your review board Steven, Anderson out.” And the halo turned off.

Collecting up the documents Hackett looked down at Jane with a look of relief, “Thank you Advocate for making this board’s job easy. We will of course turn over Miss Shep -- sorry, Mrs. Varkarian over into your care. We will need her on the planet to be witness for her brother’s trial, so I recommend you take her somewhere safe. A guard will bring her belongings shortly.”

The turnian nodded to Hackett, “Of course Sir, please contact me with the details and I’ll make sure my client is present.”

Finally the advocate turned to the flabbergasted Jane, she had a hard time understanding what just happened, “Jane I believe? Not exactly how I imagined meeting my daughter-in-law, I believe is the term. But I think we should go,” he took her elbow leading her out. “There is a very upset turian out there who may well try to kill the guard carrying items with your scent.”

“Um, yes sir. Thanks.” Was all she managed to get out.

Outside the hall, he turned Jane toward a private alcove where she saw Garrus pacing. Without thinking she broke out into a run at him. Garrus must of recognized her steps because he turned and caught her, pulling her up close, breathing in her hair deeply before nipping at her lips.

“I’m so sorry Jane, I should have stayed, found out what happened.” His voice was higher pitched, broken sounding.

Jane smiled, her joy pushing aside the anger and hurt momentarily, “You got me out of here now. We’re together, we can deal with it.” And after saying it, she knew they could.

They turned when they heard a quiet curse, and saw Vega standing with a couple of bags, “Damn Lola, didn’t know you had thing for turians.”

Garrus pulled her closer and started growling at the large marine. Jane slapped him on the chest and he let her go reluctantly. “He’s was nice, so you be nice,” She whispered to him before turning to the bulky man. “Lieutenant, what can I do for you?”

“Sorry, miss, I was told to bring down your belongings. Managed to get your armor but they wouldn’t allow me to get your weapons.” He handed her the large case sounding sad, he knew Jane had a lovely black widow, oh how she loved that gun. “And here is your clothing and jewelry you came with.”

Jane snapped up that small bag finding her locket, taking a moment to place it back on. She had not explained to anyone the healing bite her shoulder was, the only thing she had been able to keep of Garrus. But she had missed her locket, just another reminder of the turian behind her, their team, and her brother. “Thanks Vega, you’re not half bad for a babysitter.” She stuck out a hand, “Look after Johnny for me?”

He shook her hand with a firm grip, “Sure thing Lola, Loco won’t get into any trouble on my watch.”

Jane flashed him a smile and turned back to her husband and father-in-law. “So where now?”

-

It turned out the Vakarians took Jane’s safety seriously, and where Jane found out, was the turian embassy. Garrus wrapped an arm around her in the skycab but his father warned them to save all discussion until they were sure there were no bugs or other surveillance listening.

The embassy was a large well protected human style building not far from where Jane had spent the past couple weeks. Most of the furniture was for turians, large with lots of cushions, but they seem to embrace the more human extravagant architecture for the structure itself. It made for an interesting combination. She was led to a room that already held Garrus’ armor and gear, even though he hadn’t been allowed to wear it in the government building, he had still kept it with him.

Closing the door the lighter turian turned to the pair. “That went as well as could be expected. We are lucky that your brother was so clever.”

“What do you mean, sir?” Jane asked puzzled, sure Johnny was a brilliant tactician on field, but she had never seen him pick up a law book as a child and for the most part he seemed to defer to guns to solve everything.

“Please, call me Castis, we are family.” Castis corrected, before he turned and sat at the desk, while Garrus let Jane go in order to put her meager items away. “The Commander wasn’t just eccentric insisting on a human wedding on the ship. He guessed that something may go wrong and you would have to deal with human authorities. Up until working for Cerberus you were thought dead, it would look bad in any court.”

Garrus came back and pulled Jane to sit down with him on a small couch and explained. “Once I figured out what had happened I contacted my father and we found the loophole that the Commander made so we could push through paper work on Palaven.”

Jane couldn’t help but relax into her mate’s touch, for the first time she was not vibrating with nervous energy. Looking between the two, she asked, “So what now, after I give my testimony I’ll be tried on your planet?”

Castis nodded, “Yes, but our views in this case are very different. In turian law the superior officer is expected to take the punishment for a bad mission and decisions made. It is not considered the fault of the subordinate. I am sure whatever the Alliance decides for Commander Shepard, the Hierarchy will find it acceptable and leave you be.”

“So I’m off? Just like that? While Johnny is put in front of a firing squad?” Jane asked, feeling bile raise in her throat.

Garrus gripped her shoulder in support as Castis shook his head continuing, “No, chances are that Admiral already has a plan on how to appease the Batarians while only giving the Commander a slap on the wrist so to speak. You sneaking onto the mission is what really put a wrench in the legal works. But your brother planned well.”

Jane dropped her head in her hands and let out a breath, so much in one day. So many fears smoothed. Not being able to stand the situation she slipped out of Garrus’ hold to sit on the floor, the hard surface and felt more grounded. She heard Castis excuse himself and Garrus sat with her and pulled her into his lap, long arms wrapping around her securely.

“I am so sorry Jane. I should have never left.” He spoke softly into her hair.

She nuzzled into his cowl against his neck. “I should have just told you, if we had one more we may have held them off. Saved that colony.”

“You had no way of knowing how the mission was going to turn. I would have preferred to be there, but.. I understand. Just, don’t do it again? I don’t like not being able to watch your six.” his arms tightened around her, warming her up for the first time in weeks.

Jane nodded, “I promise, it felt terrible for me too, almost as if I was sick. I thought non turian couples didn’t get the same feelings as turian couples did?”

Garrus shrugged, “It can vary I guess. I’m just glad you’re here.” After a few moments, “We are going to have to fill Dad in on all the details. I think he is starting to believe me. He can put us in contact with someone in the Hierarchy that will listen and hopefully do something. While Shepard is tied up in this we’ll need to try to prepare. Alpha relay was too close.”

Jane sat up and looked into Garrus’ blue eyes, “I help where I can. Think anyone will take a human Cipritinian seriously?”

He chuckled, “If you get angry and yell enough, yes.”

-

Garrus was having a hard time concentrating on anything when he and his father headed to Earth. It was his first time there but all he could think of was getting to Jane. Waiting the single night before the trial had been nerve wracking. He’d spent most of it staring at the building Jane was being held trying to remind himself why he couldn’t just go and break her out.

With Shepard, Garrus had learned there were times you needed to break the rules. He had been shocked at his father’s discovery of the Commander’s clever loophole, and gave him a new appreciation for following the rules. This way Garrus could save his mate, and not have to be on the run for the rest of their lives.

Feeling her shiver, Garrus had an idea. During their honeymoon, Jane had introduced him to the joys of a bath. Not being able to swim, no turian in their right mind would have gotten in one, but where Jane was involved… Well Garrus had very little self control.

Luckily this was a human designed building, and the interior designers had included the tubs without thinking of who would be occupying the room. He raised his omnitool and the sound of water came from the tub as it began to fill.

The sound drew Jane’s attention and she cocked her head at him in question. Spirits, she had even started picking up turian mannerisms. “I thought you would like to get freshened up. Try to relax a little.”

Carrying Jane with him, Garrus moved them to the tub only setting her down to remove their clothing. Slipping in the warm water he pulled her to sit in between his legs. There was plenty of room for her to sit by herself, but there was no way he was going to allow that. It wasn’t only for her comfort he suggested the bath, but part of him was upset that her scent was so different, likely do to different soaps and environment. But the sooner he removed the unknown scents, the happier he’d be.

At first Jane hissed at the heat, it was a touch warmer than she liked, but she adjusted quickly. For now Garrus focused on running his hands lightly over her skin. Garrus wasn’t going to push for more, he wasn’t sure exactly where they stood after he had left her. But he wasn’t able to stop from enjoying the closeness his body had been craving for since the start of the Alpha Relay incident.

Garrus tried to leave it at that, but Jane had thrown her head back on his shoulder and was making small sounds of enjoyment that were thoroughly distracting. Groaning he shifted his hips a little to relieve some of the pressure of her soft ass on his plates. As his hand ghosted over Jane’s nipples and her waist, and traveled lower as her legs fell open in invitation. He told himself he would wouldn't push but her needy sounds quickly changed his mind.

Garrus found himself purposefully avoiding her center and Jane became even more demanding with the short thrusts of her hips. When Jane growled in frustration she lowered her own hand to take care of it herself, and a more dominate side of Garrus took over.

He growled darkly in return and took the wrists of both her hands in one of his and held them away from their bodies and continued his teasing. Part of Garrus wanted to see how far he could take her, how long it would be before Jane was begging for release. For he needed her permission before going any farther, to know he could be forgiven.

Garrus’ free hand kept up its almost lazy, but carefully controlled stroking, always avoiding where Jane wanted most. At one point, he drifted back up to pinch her nipples and was rewarded with a choked sob.

“Please,” Jane hissed.

Garrus let out a rumble of pleasure and ran his tongue over the edge of her ear. “Yes Jane?”

“God, I need… I need more,” she gasped.

The thought of her begging Garrus for something only he could give was a huge turn on. But he need to know for sure. “What do you need?” Garrus kept his voice calm, ignoring his twitching member, now out and caught between their bodies.

Jane was so frustrated, she almost screamed and cried out, “I need you to fuck me. Turn me over and take me like a turian!”

That was all he needed. Using speed he normally reserved for the mats flipped their positions and half lifted Jane out of the tub, keeping hold of her hands above her and bent her over the edge. Now she was stretched out below him, the muscles in her back rippling as she squirmed to get any touch that could help.

Garrus’ free hand clamped on Jane’s hip to keep her still as his lined himself up. Quickly he thrust into her dripping core, the first time she felt any touch there and she came instantly. Garrus hissed as he rode it out, determined not to fall over the edge with her this time. As Jane quieted down, he started to move again. Garrus could never tire of Jane, someone as small as her should never be able to fit him, yet she always did as if she were made for him.

He must of said it out loud, because Jane began to laugh which constricted muscles that did interesting things to him. Speeding up Garrus now sought his release, now he was pounding into her and she stopped laughing and was crying out in pleasure. As she lost it again and he came with roar. Garrus fell across her back and tried to catch his breath. He could only thank the Spirits he did knot again. He didn’t want to have to wait it out, but that didn’t mean Garrus hadn’t thoroughly enjoyed himself this time, and judging from the sounds coming from the soft body below him so did Jane.

Sighing the pair got out of the tub and gently dried each other off before laying down. They spent the rest of the night holding each other and sharing their stories.