Lips were fascinating to Garrus.
Well. Now they were…
Growing up on Palavan, they were not something he was familiar with. He was aware that other species had them; soft little pillows that accentuated their mouths rather than the mandibles of his own species. He'd seen them on Asari, Salarians, even humans when he began work on the citadel, but it was not something he really thought about. The other races had so many bigger, more dramatic differences to identify, that lips seemed a perfunctory feature.
Until he met her that is.
Commander Zeila Shepard’s lips were the most expressive part of her face. At first, Garrus thought he may simply be noticing it more because it was a feature his previous commanding officers did not share, but the other humans seemed to notice it too. Before long, he had a whole catalogue of Shepard’s facial expressions stored away in his mind.
She held her lips in a grim line when she was irritated, the little upturn at the corners flattening out when things got serious. When she was bent over some weapon or gadget, her lips would skew to the side and her tongue would poke out in concentration. She would draw the left corner of her bottom lip up between her teeth when she was focused or concerned, worrying at the skin the more on edge she was.
One corner of those lips would quirk up in a smirk when she was amused at things she wasn't supposed to be, and they pursed together in an exaggerated pout when she lost at a game. She has a whole host of smiles, from small subtle ones to thousand watt grins. It was like her lips told you exactly what was on her mind, no words required.
And his favourite was the shape her lips formed when she was in combat. Not just any combat, but when they were pinned down, the stakes were high and the whole mission seemed to balance on a knife edge. In those moments, without fail, Shepard would turn round to face her six and catch his gaze. And her lips would part in this wild slash of a smile, part giddy grin and part animal’s snarl. Her neat little teeth would flash in the light, and those lips, those damned lips, would part to release a delirious little cackle before she leapt out into the fray and saved all of their hides.
It was completely reasonable for Garrus to have memorised his commanding officers facial expressions. And Shepard was more than just his boss. She was his friend. He should know how to read his friend. That was what he told himself. And he kept right in telling himself that through Virmire and Ilos, through Saren and the Citadel and all that followed.
Even when he heard that Shepard had died. Even as the words processed, and this perfect image of her filled his mind; those lips coiled up in a smirk was the first thing he thought off. Even when he started seeing that stubborn scowl in his dreams and his own mouth started mirroring the movements as he chaffed on his C-Sec leash. Even when he told his boss to shove his protocol up his ass, fled the citadel and set up on Omega, he didn't admit he was fascinated with Commander Shepard's lips.
It was on Omega that he started to come to terms with his fascination with lips. The dancers at Afterlife would lick them slowly as they gyrated to syth-pop. Advertisements offering some … personal encounters, used laquered lips in their billboards. Even his team talked about them, ribbing each other on as they embellished their sexual encounters.
Garrus told himself it was only logical that all this talk of lips would seep into his subconscious. He didn't even think much of it when he started to dream of very Non-turian mouths skimming across his skin, or wrapping around his cock. And when he searched the extranet for vids to… ease his pent up nerves, it didn't seem that odd for him to search up vids where a woman pleasures a turian male with her plush lips. And it meant nothing that he gravitated towards the vids with humans in them.
But things were different now.
The lips were different now…
Shepard was different now, in a lot of ways. And not just because of the scars and the Cerberus cronies at her side. She wasn't tied down by Alliance regulations anymore, and she had taken advantage of it. Even on missions, she swiped a deep, dark paint across her lips. It was purple, the almost black purple of a ghost nebula, and in the shadows of Omega, or a rundown base, her lips almost looked Vakarian blue. She had taken to wearing other make up too, bold lines framing her eyes and the like, but it was the lips he noticed immediately.
And honestly, it was driving him crazy.
His fascination was rolling downhill into fixation. All those facial expressions he had memorised now drew his attention like neon lights. The purse of her lips as she thought, or when she licked her lips in the dry Tchunka air; they all frayed at his attention and control.
Once, when they were leaned over the battery together, he saw her draw that plump bottom lip but between her teeth, and he couldn't stop the quiet growl that rumbled out of his chest. Shepard's attention has whipped up to his, those damned lips parted in shock as he backpedaled, making some ridiculous excuse as he turned away. When he's turned back to her, her confusion was painted clearly across those lips.
That night, he dreamed about kissing soft, darkly painted lips, and Garrus could not deny that it was Shepard's lips he wanted. He woke with a start, his cock out and aching, to the image of her grinning up at his eyes, that wild smile on her face before wrapped her lips around him, leaving smudges of ghost nebula purple all over his hide. He'd fisted his cock and stuffed his free hand between his teeth to muffled his growls as he cursed those damn luscious lips, his gorgeous powerful commander and his own damn weakness.
It only got worse when she started to wear a ring.
She'd come back from a mission wearing it, this slim silver hoop threaded through the very centre of her lower lip. It curved around the plump shape of it, contrasting brightly with the deep colour of her lipstick as it disappeared into her mouth. He'd choked at the sight of it, Zaeed having to give him three sharp thumps on the back to clear his throat. When Shepard had sauntered over to join them in the mess, Garrus knew he was well and truly fucked.
She had said it was called a Labret piercing, and that she had had one as a teen on Earth. “One good thing about working with Cerberus, no bitchy Alliance prudes to complain about my body mods,” she had said, her smirk turning devious.
Apparently the piercings were not uncommon among the rougher humans, but the non-humans on board were as fascinated as Garrus was, though possibly for different reasons
He'd stumbled upon lip piercings in his forays in the net. And in the vids with Turians in them, a ring through the lips took on a much less casual meaning. The ring was a sign of ownership, where the turian could slip a razor sharp talon between the metal loop and his bedmate's lip and guide her anyway he liked. Human skin was so fragile, so the tantalising grip of steel and claw against skin was a tease for the human.
Garrus clearly remembered a vid he'd bookmarked, where a turian male had used a similar lip ring to gently pull back his human's head, exposing her throat to his tongue and teeth. The image of Shepard shuddering against him as he teased her in the same way was intoxicating.
And all those expressions he had memorised, all those little quirks he knew so well, he only grew more fixated with her new accessory involved.
She took to worrying the ring when she concentrated, the hoop gliding back and forth across the centre of her lip. Her snarl looked a little more savage with that glint of metal, and her smirk a little more crooked, a little more mischievous. And that smile; that wild, wicked grin she threw over her shoulder just for him, it damn near stopped his heart.
Because under the make up, the jewellery and the expressions, it was still Shepard behind those lips. The smiles, the taunts, the orders, they all showed she was still the same woman who has chewed him out for risking a hostage all those years ago. She was his commander. His friend. And if he was honest with himself, a whole lot more. And that was what made him memorise the expression of her face, made him want to nip and lip and suck on those lips.
And one day soon, he was going to tell her that. Eventually, his control would break, and he's admit he was hopelessly in love with her.
So yes, lips were fascinating to Garrus.
But only a certain woman's lips.