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Acquired Tastes

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Garrus stopped.

Shepard stopped behind him, his hand hovering over his pistol. Garrus had good eyes – if he stopped, it generally meant something was worth stopping for.

“Hey, what’s going on?”

Garrus looked at him and squinted – which, over the years, he’d learned was a turian expression of annoyance.

Garrus held his comically-long middle finger up to his lips. It looked ridiculous for several reasons, the least of which was the fact that Shepard was fairly sure he had taught it to him last night.

“Hey, c’mon, Garrus. I - “

“Shut up!” Garrus waved a hand in the direction of the Alliance News Network television. “I’m trying to listen to this.”

Shepard tensed. If the Alliance was reporting news that Garrus wanted to listen to, the news was probably from Palaven, and the news was probably bad.

He touched Garrus’ shoulder in a rare public display of affection, and listened.

“— Reversal, a new gastrointestinal immunosuppressant treatment that allows dextro/levo species to safely sample each other’s cuisine — “

“What the hell?” His friendly pat turned into a shove. Garrus gave him a dirty look.

- - process is expensive, lasts less than 24 [Earth Standard] hours, and the food provides no nutrition - - “

“I thought they were going to say you lost Palaven!”

“You’re an idiot.” Garrus rolled his eyes before leaning forward, voice low. “You don’t think there might be certain …benefits… to being able to …stomach one another’s food?”

“Oh.”

“Yeah. Oh.”

Shepard grinned. “Well, your place or mine?”

“It’s not that easy. It’s expensive.” Garrus narrowed his eyes. “Even you couldn’t afford that.”

“Ha, you underestimate me.”

Shepard did a quick omni-search and dialed up the first store listed on the Citadel.

“Hello?” A twanging voice answered the phone.

Garrus put his head in his hands.

Shepard smiled.

“Hello! This is Commander Shepard – ha, yes, that Commander Shepard! - and me and my dextro buddy, turian war hero Garrus Vakarian - “

“You wouldn’t cash in on my reputation… ” Garrus muttered.

An excited screech echoed out of Shepard’s earpiece, loud enough that even Garrus grimaced.

Shepard dialed down his comm volume.

“Yes, yes, that Garrus Vakarian.” He grinned. “He’ll be very excited to know he has a fan on the Citadel. I’ll make sure he sends you an autograph.”

“I hate you.” Garrus sighed.

“See, we heard about your new product, Reversal, and – Oh? A free sample?” Shepard grinned. “We’d love one! Can you send it to docking bay D24? Normandy. Great.”

He clicked off the call.

“You were saying?”

“Hmph.” Garrus folded his arms. “Alright. I suppose I’ll have to go out and get you some turian food, then.”

“Wait, what?” Shepard frowned. “That wasn’t the kind of meal I was planning.”

Garrus flared out his mandibles in a triumphant smirk. “Don’t worry, I’ll make sure you get your favorite turian dessert. But how many chances am I going to have to give you glis?”

“Well, it’s about time I introduced you to the glory that is pizza, anyway.” He raised an eyebrow. “My quarters, 17:00 Zulu?”

“You’re on.”

- - -

Garrus showed up at his door at 16:55 Zulu time, a nervous smile on his face and a large bag of …something in his hands.

“Jesus, Garrus, thought you said this was just an appetizer.”

“I promised Tali the left-overs.” He chuckled. “Trust me, this’ll all be gone by the end of tomorrow.”

Shepard stared as Garrus pulled out a large box and placed it on the table. “Tomorrow?”

“If you were eating nothing but ration bars for months at a time, your… “Garrus eyed the pizza on the table warily. “…Whatever that is…would be gone by tomorrow, too.”

Shepard made a note to order better dextro food.

Garrus flapped his mandibles in a proud grin. “Let’s start with mine.”

A few seconds later, Shepard was stuffing his face with the sweetest meat he’d ever had. “Oh god,” He moaned. “Where has glis been all my life?”

“Palaven.” Garrus’ mandibles fluttered. “Being eaten by generals and primarchs. Quite hard to get, these days.” 

“Oh.” Shepard moaned. Each bite was so juicy and tangy. “God, it’s like an orgasm in my mouth.”

“Don’t ruin your appetite for dinner now.” Garrus eyes sparkled. “That’s just the appetizer.”

“Mmm. You’re right, Garrus.” Shepard licked his fingers clean – an act that induced a peculiar noise in Garrus – and picked up a slice of pizza, putting it on Garrus’ plate. “I think it’s time you got introduced to the human delicacy.”

Garrus stared skeptically at the triangle on his plate. “It looks…weird.”

“Hey, give it a shot.” Shepard tore off a corner and handed it to him. “No different than bread. You’ve had bread, right?”

Garrus tilted his head. “We’ve never been big on the whole ‘grains’ thing.” He flared his mandibles all the way out, exposing his teeth. “Don’t really have the hardware for it.”

“Just…try.” Shepard turned on his most potent puppy eyes. “Please?” His fingers danced at the edge of Garrus’ mouth.

Garrus sighed, opened his mouth, and slipped his long tongue over Shepard’s outstretched hand, taking the piece of pizza with it.

Shepard didn’t bother to hide the lustful expression on his face. He’d had dreams about that damn tongue.

Garrus chewed carefully and swallowed. “Hmm. Not bad. Needs more of…” he gestured down to the pepperoni. “Whatever the red stuff is.”

“Pepperoni?” Shepard snorted. “You are such a meat lover.”

“Well, that’s a recently acquired taste.” Garrus eyes lit up as he pushed the plate away and, with surprising grace, flipped Shepard onto the bed. “But…I’m coming around..”

Shepard laughed.

“You know, suddenly, I’m in the mood for dessert,” Garrus said, his voice growing deeper.

“I should warn you. Don’t know what you’ve heard,” Shepard moaned, as Garrus unzipped his fly. “But it’s not sweet.”

Garrus’ long tongue snaked out.

“Shepard, I think I’ll learn to appreciate the taste.”

Shepard made a note to order several boxes of Reversal.