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Coffee and Spectres

Chapter Text

Cantankerous - bad-tempered, argumentative, and uncooperative.

Her latest customer to enter the building, to put it politely, was a little on the scary side.

He was incredibly tall and silver plated with strange fin-like growths on his face. They looked oddly like handles, she couldn't help but think. Adding onto his bizarre appearance were his eyes which were bright glowing cybernetics. He was clad in incredibly expensive heavy armour of a grey tint with a clear undersuit that was attached to the cowl strapped around his fringe. Jane couldn't help but look warily at the two assault rifles mag-locked to his back and the two pistols at his hip. 

Was he preparing for war in a coffee shop?

All Jane could think to herself was no sudden movements. That thought reinforced itself when he refused to step out of the way for a human customer who was trying to walk past him. 

Disregarding his clear lack of manners, at least he's not a thresher maw, she mused to herself.

Jane always did her best to look on the bright side of life. 

She smiled brightly, giving herself an internal pat on the back at managing a genuine one, as he finally came to a stop in front of her workstation.

"How can I help you, sir?" Jane asked.

His mandibles flared with what she could only assume to be contempt. Was it with regards to her suspected competence or perhaps her humanity? Well, if it was her competence, he should prepare to be surprised. Nilia's Lounge wasn't renowned throughout the Citadel as having the best kava in Citadel space for no reason, and her magical hands could attest to that. One of her more frequent customers, a C-Sec turian called Garrus, had been teasing her a few weeks ago by flirting with her. That was weird in itself, but the worst part was that he'd made sure every single line had a reference to heat sinks or the omnipresent rifle on his back. It was a mix between hilarious, flattering and unbearably embarrassing, which was probably why he had done it. Nilia, her turian boss, had never let her live it down and had later told her that his sub-vocals had been full of suppressed laughter. 

"I love my rifle, but I'm willing to make an exception. What do you say?"

"Flirting with humans wasn't covered in my training manuals, but with a rifle and a couple of heat sinks... I think I can make do."

The worst one had to be the popping the heat sink one though. 

"I always like to savour the last shot before I pop the heat sink."

That one had been rewarded with a blank stare. 

Trela, her beautiful asari co-worker who mixed great cocktails, had been goading him on all the time, revelling in her pitiful attempts to ignore him. The embarrassment had rolled on and on until his lunch break had ended and he'd left with a smirk, said rifle almost taunting her from its place on his back.

But really, her kava had to be amazing to induce awkward turian flirting. Even if the flirting was done in jest.

"Large kava. One sugar," he said, crossing his arms as he stared her down.

Ignoring his coldness, she couldn't help but find the idea of a scary ass turian like him taking his kava with sugar adorable. Doubly so, considering that kava wasn't a particularly bitter beverage compared to coffee.

Jane would have at least smirked if she didn't have the feeling that the turian was looking for the slightest sign of ineptitude on her part so he could complain to her boss. Thankfully, and perhaps unfortunately for her, Nilia wasn't here. He was stuck with her as the barista to serve him, and she was stuck having to serve him.

No real winners here, unfortunately.

She should really stop calling him the turian. Maybe 'Handlebars' would be better? Even thinking of him as that made her uneasy, or maybe it was the fact he was staring at her like his glare would be able to make her disintegrate on the spot. Maybe 'Mr Turian Sir' would be better.

"Anything else tuh-... sir?"

That was a mistake. 

"Human," and the word sounded like the vilest insult she'd ever heard, "maybe I can assist you here," he said with in an incredibly snide tone. "This is the point where you begin to make my kava."

He sneered at her.

"Your kind seems to enjoy finding new ways every time I meet one of you to bring my opinion of you lower and lower," he said.

She couldn't help but blush in embarrassment, but as she turned around to make his kava she couldn't stop the small stab of vindictive pleasure that came with turning her back on him without responding. Cultural nuances were always useful.

Judging by the light grunting and what sounded like "Nihlus" being mumbled under his breath, he'd noticed the slight and was not pleased.

Tough.

Chapter Text

Abnormal - deviating from what is normal or usual, typically in a way that is undesirable or worrying.

The Citadel was a welcome diversion.

His last mission in the Traverse had been a nightmare. Say what you will about the elcor, but their capabilities in ground-based warfare were excellent and, more importantly, unprecedented. After all, elcor were rarely utilized in any form of mercenary activity and all of their space was protected by turian garrisons. Were he a weaker person, a human perhaps, he would have faltered at the endless monotonic shouts of "with unabated fury" and "with murderous rage" prefacing their commands in battle. Their skill at bunkering down and utilizing chokepoints was almost savant-like, but sadly for them, that proved to be insufficient in face of his skills. Why the Blue Suns had started recruiting them en masse was beyond his immediate understanding. They were woefully inflexible as his biotics and shotgun had demonstrated when he'd blitzed through their defenses.

The Council had proven to be interested in that tid-bit.

He'd debriefed only an hour ago on his ship, and immediately after he'd docked, he'd received a ping on his omni-tool from Nihlus. It seemed he was tracking his ship ID again. Ignoring the ping, Saren decided he'd have to correct that behaviour at a later point. He'd also need to change his docking ID for the fifth time. If the all-turian crew that maintained his ship had noticed his foul mood due to Nihlus' constant irritations, they hadn't commented. He paid them generously for their skills and their trust. Add on to the fact they were aware of his tendencies and didn't speak to him unless spoken to, he thought they were a worthwhile investment. He hoped he didn't discover another Shadow Broker agent amongst them attempting to sabotage his ship like the previous mixed-race crew he'd had. He was almost fond of their competence and would be somewhat disappointed to have to kill them all.

His omnitool received another ping.

Upper Presidium, Sector A, 2 Remembrance Passageway. It's near the embassies. Meet me there within an hour.

Saren disabled his omnitool with an inaudible snarl.

Damn Nihlus.

As he began to make his way to the Presidium, he realized he didn't know what the venue looked like. Not wanting to use an Avina like an idiotic civilian, he re-enabled his omnitool and looked up the address. He was greeted with the sight of a large lounge surrounding by the shrubbery and foliage endemic in the Presidium. For reasons unknown, Nihlus was asking to meet at a coffee lounge on the Presidium. Despite his tendency for being as cosmopolitan as an asari, Nihlus had great taste as much as it pained him to admit it.

The place, Nilia's (a proper turian name - he approved) Lounge, catered to all races but specialized in dextro beverages. It'd been decades since he'd had a decent cup of kava. Asari generally came the closest of non-turians to making a good cup, but it did not compare to the luxuries of a cup made in an inner turian colony. Kava in its ideal state was rich, nutty, and mildly sweet with a pleasant spreading warmth once drunk. With the promise hidden in the turian woman's name, Saren decided he'd accept Nihlus' request. 

Yes, a cup of kava now would be excellent.

Like usual, crowds parted before him, recognizing him and fearing him. Saren didn't even react, but deep down there was a glimmer of satisfaction; he didn't feel like being remotely civil if someone got in his way. 

Being a veteran of navigating the Citadel and having clearance to access many of the secret passages hidden within the vents, Saren reached the lounge with fifteen minutes to spare. The lounge was nicely decorated in the style of a turian simulation bar. The sims were currently occupied by a group of turian cadets, arguing with each other over who'd caused them to fail their latest attempt. Humans were littered around the place, oddly enough. A group of human males were on one of the couches.

He listened not out of interest, of course, but as a consequence of his acute hearing. They were talking about... a firecracker? Humans. Nonsensical and destructive.

He saw the barista that was stood at the counter and internally sighed. The only barista currently at the bar was a human. Wasn't this place owned by a turian? If her name was Nilia, Saren thought he'd just about lose it. Were humans hoping to get a seat on the Council by stealing turian names too?

Was it on fire? Its fur (Saren refused to prescribe to the ridiculous assertion that there was a difference between fur and hair) was... red? Most of the humans' fur he saw came in various shades of brown and black. The common colours of humans' fur only provided another piece of evidence in his mind that explained their special preoccupation with their own shit. He couldn't count the number of times he'd been told by a human to 'go and eat your own shit' before he killed them. Either that or 'go fuck yourself' whatever that meant. Was her red hair a genetic defect? And what were the brown dots on its face? Was it diseased?

He thought that he approached their exchange as a superior might do when faced with a lesser. It hadn't been a difficult task to do with the way her green eyes looked up at him with a suppressed laugh in them when he'd specified he wanted sugar. The fact that his behaviour and rationale behind it was like a Batarian's caste system didn't phase him. He was an agent of the Council after all, a Spectre. He was above such behaviour.

When she turned her back on him, it took a large amount of effort to not do anything rash. Turning your back was a way that commanding officers would dismiss their subordinates. Her insinuation of him being a subordinate boiled his blood, threatening his already short temper.

Did she not know who he was? He'd killed her kind for less. Far less.

Sometimes for no reason at all.

"Nihlus... where are you?" He muttered.

After a period of time with which he'd contented himself with imagining how tightly he'd wring Nihlus' neck for suggesting this place, he could smell the kava.

It... smelt good?

Saren could only rationalize that bizarre reality with the obvious conclusion that the human was reheating it. That logical assumption was shattered when he finally looked at what she was doing. Beside her was a dispenser full of fresh rovale nuts and her gloved hands were covered in a fine film of green mush. She had to have made a quick, authentic tisane blend. How was this possible? He was tempted to assume she kept those dirtied gloves to give off the impression she was skilled, but the smell of fresh, aromatic herbs and boiling water infused with mint confirmed his fears. A human female, a genetically defective one at that, was knowledgeable in the fine art of making authentic turian kava.

He scolded himself at his unwanted surprise. It was possible to teach a pyjak to follow instructions if you beat the instructions into it enough times. The human knowing how to make real kava is not a sign of real competence.

It was admittedly abnormal.

Chapter Text

Ambrosia: something very pleasing to taste or smell.

It was ready and he would be lying if he wasn't eagerly anticipating it.

He couldn't help the slight relaxation in his features, finding himself suddenly pleased to be here. The aromas wafting around his nasal plates were glorious.

The barista quirked her mouth again. A smile? It looked more like a sly human look of satisfaction to him. Expressing your victory, pyjak?

He didn't even know her name, and he hated her. But then, not knowing a human's name had never stopped him. Why would he ever need to know their names? They weren't worth the ground they stood on.

She passed the large cup to him.

"Here you are, sir. Enjoy!" She said, the twist of her mouth intensifying before relaxing into a neutral expression.

She took a credit chit which he'd placed on the counter, scanning it with her eyes before charging it and placing it back onto the counter. He took it back, idly wiping it against the leather of the seat he was stood beside. Whether she noticed, she gave no signs of it, instead choosing to watch him intently, anticipating his reaction as much as he was anticipating tasting her kava. If the beautiful scent was a lie, he'd enjoy tearing her down to size.

He'd originally been planning on drinking the cup in one of the recliners in the alcoves near the sims to wait for Nihlus, but he'd never been one to walk away from a challenge. He wasn't going to start now.

Kava is usually meant to be sipped due to its richness, but if it turned out the aroma was not indicative of its quality, he was fully prepared to gulp it down. If it was truly beyond hope, there was a disposal unit near the bar. He'd never been one to litter, so it could always be used. He'd enjoy watching her expression as he destroyed her handiwork. A cruel part of him wondered whether she would spill those pathetic droplets of salty water from her eyes when he returned to the counter to insult her livelihood.

He would have to find out.

He took a sip and almost choked.

SPIRITS!

What is this?!

It's like... what... ?!!

He could vividly recall the cup he'd had at Palaven all those years ago. It didn't even come anywhere near to this heavenly concoction. Nowhere near. It was like heaven in his mouth. And his throat. And his stomach. The warmth that was spreading through him... simply impeccable.

Then he remembered who had made it.

A human made this??!!

He couldn't help slowly sitting down at the counter, ignoring the giggle that came from the barista. In that moment, it was as if the fundamental laws of the galaxy had been violated and written in an incomprehensible language only known to this barista. This kava was just unnaturally good. He didn't even dare to look the barista in the eye. It was merely out of distaste of seeing her human features, he rationalised to himself. It certainly wasn't an expression of his disbelief, and he naturally didn't want to see her typical human smugness. Though... he thought he could accept her victory without feeling too disgusted with himself if she made him another kava. Two more. Maybe three?

No. Her victory wouldn't be that complete. Two more, max... with one to go.

It was so... perfect... it was no wonder that it was so expensive. He almost sighed but managed to stifle it and turn it into a groan.

Spirits, that wasn't any better.

"Are you alright, sir?" He looked up into her green eyed, red-fringed face with those bizarre small brown dots littering her nose. The smile was gone and her concern seemed to be genuine.

"I am fine... the kava.. it is... acceptable." With the delectable taste of her kava lingering on his tongue, speaking was a mammoth task. He took a large drain of her kava, not even bothering to suppress the slight flutter of his mandibles in decadent pleasure.

Her kava was sinfully good.

"Oh...?"

The smile was back and she looked positively smug at that. It wasn't particularly hard to hate her in that moment, but then he remembered the kava she had made for him.

He'd have to find out her name. Purely for research reasons of course. She was likely dangerous to have this level of competence in making turian beverages. Where would a human even learn how to make kava? Yes, it all made sense now. She had to have coerced and blackmailed respectable turians to achieve this level of mastery. He also couldn't eliminate the probability that she'd assassinated several good turians learning how to make it. 

He took another sip, not acknowledging the insidious feeling of addiction burgeoning inside of him.

"Executor Pallin comes here regularly and he says my kava is the best he's had outside of the turian systems. You would deem that as only acceptable?"

Her smile was wickedly sharp but his wit was sharper.

Naturally.

"I would say that it is less a compliment of your skill at making kava and more a highlight of the wide gap between turian made kava and the kava that others attempt to make. This is merely passable." He waved the cup at her as if to dismiss its importance, but immediately after the gesture, he was taking another sip. He just couldn't stop himself.

Halfway through the cup, his mandibles betrayed him once more, slackening against his jaw in an expression of contentment. He doubted she could read his expressions, but it was damning nonetheless.

She left him to his kava and disappeared in a backroom and returned with a thermal pad embellished with the words 'Nilia's Lounge' in a fancy script. She placed it on the counter beside him. He ignored it, too taken with her kava to even care for it.

Then the devil appeared. His knowledge of that entity only arose from humanity's ubiquitous presence on the Citadel and not out of any religious research into humans for better understanding of their psyches (it hadn't worked in the slightest). Definitely not.

This... this evil human entity approached clad in turian civvies with a pistol at his hip. He could recognize the mirth in Nihlus' features and his idle hand clenched into a fist. That smile was always preceded an action that made Saren want to strangle him. Saren was definitely not going to like what he was going to do next. One of these days he'd end up killing his mentee. Regardless of his renown and worth to the Council. The devil's mandibles quirked in imitation of the human's smile, and when he spoke, his voice dripped with humour. Humour that the human could probably pick up.

"Now, Saren. Do not lie. I can hear your subvocals rumbling with pleasure. This is the best kava you've ever had," he purred.

"Is that so?" The barista said in a convincing imitation of Nihlus' purr, her eyes, oddly similar in hue to Nihlus', watching him with an almost predatory focus.

Sometimes, Saren forgot the fact that Nihlus was an insufferable little shit. Not unlike a human, now that he thought about it.

Damn Nihlus.

Damn humans.

Chapter Text

Affinity: a natural liking for and understanding of someone or something.

Jane wasn't particularly surprised when the turian, who she now knew to be one of the most infamous Spectres alive, didn't even respond. 

She'd known he was lying. She'd served enough turians to have long associated the vibrations she could feel through the counter as being something akin to satisfaction. But pleasure?

She felt a little dirty.

She recognised the newcomer and she attempted to focus on him because thinking about the possible consequences of her disrespect towards Saren Arterius made her feel queasy. 

The newcomer came irregularly but generally ordered at least three cups of kava. He'd tried to have some delivered to his ship in bulk but Nilia had drew the line. She'd said if he wanted some more, he could come here like everyone else and buy it.

He seemed in appearance to be Saren's opposite. For one, he had elaborate white markings in an ominous pattern to Saren's bare face. He was red where he was silver, he had a long, symmetrical fringe to Saren's long, asymmetrical one. He was shorter by a considerable margin (and who wasn't?) and bulky to Saren's almost unnatural leanness. Judging by his opening salvo, possibly in personality too.

She already liked him based on that opening comment. 

"How would you like your kava?" She asked.

"Extra rovale nuts and a pinch more dakina in the tisane," he said. He took a seat next to Saren, giving the scowling Spectre a smirk. "I'm not really into sweetening my kava."

Saren turned towards him, a mean coldness quickly crossing on his face.

"Nihlus, do not give me reasons to make your life difficult," he murmured.

Jane gave Nihlus a sympathetic wince, mouthing an ouch at him. He gave her a very well executed eye-roll and shrugged.

Nihlus sipped his kava and hummed quietly to himself. Saren shot him another one of his disparaging glares, and Jane smiled. It was rather nice to have a fellow target.

"Nilia isn't here, right?" Nihlus asked after she'd made Saren another cup of kava after feeling his stare on her far too many times.

She could already feel like this was going somewhere silly but she'd humour him. He'd probably buy more kava that way. Her studies at Huerta Memorial didn't pay for themselves, no matter how much the Alliance had paid her upon her retirement following Akuze and how generously Nilia paid her.

"No, she's not. She's usually at C-Sec at these hours and likely arguing with Executor Pallin about changing, she calls it improving, patrol patterns on the Presidium. She's getting tired of C-Sec treating the Lounge like a guesthouse during their shifts," she explained.

He nodded in acknowledgement and gazed for a second at Saren. He still had a face of stone and the personality to match with all the attention he gave back. There were likely subvocalisations she couldn't hear that were giving the context to their eye contact.

Lovely.

Nihlus turned back to her with a slight smile.

"I'm not surprised. Your kava is legendary amongst the turian population on the Citadel. I imagine you're aware that the human C-Sec officers call you 'The Firecracker' after the way you turned down Officer Harkin's advances."

He'd included air quotes when naming the title. The image was only comical and she couldn't help laughing. His mandibles twitched slightly, and he outright laughed when Saren began tapping the counter with his talons. It was a transparent attempt to defuse the humour at the bar. It was still rather menacing, regardless, with how sharp they were. In fact, she was pretty sure he had been wearing gloves. Where did they go?

"I'm well aware, and I'd like to think that Harkin and I now have a purely business focussed relationship. One where I take his money, of course, and he gets his sissy drinks in exchange. After all, what 'real man' drinks appletinis?" She joked.

It only felt right to respond with air quotes. He laughed before leaning forward solicitously and mocking a secretive look at Saren.

Despite his attempt at tempering the situation, she and Nihlus had come this far so why stop now?

"I'm not sure what an appletini is, but I know that an apple is a human fruit," Nihlus said incredibly seriously as if he'd just revealed a grand revelation to her. He stroked a mandible in consideration, smiling when she laughed at his flat statement.

"You definitely can't have fruit flavoured liquor and call yourself a man. You drink your liquor straight or you don't drink at all," he explained with a suave nod.

"Yes, Nihlus. A bonafide alcoholic like yourself would know all about that," Saren snapped. 

Nihlus acted like he hadn't heard him.

"In fact..."

"Hmm?" 

He placed his credit chit back on the counter.

"Have you got a bottle of Spirit of Invictus?" He asked. "I'd like a double shot."

She rifled through the storage units, using her omnitool to decipher the labelling on the turian bottles, and found the bottle he'd asked for. Her omnitoool helpfully informed her that the drink was of a type that was analogous to Bourbon whisky.

"Neat, I imagine? Room temperature or slightly chilled? Ice? Do you want it accompanied with sprigs of fresh levant? Do you want it to be spiced and if so, what spice?" She asked, quickly going through the questions that Nilia had drilled into her when serving turian spirits. Levant was a type of herb that turians used as a palate cleanser after eating or drinking anything with a strong scent. She'd nibbled on some once and found it oddly pleasant. Taste-wise, It was like chewing on a bland cracker.

"This is why I come here, Saren. Great service. Great liquor. Great looking girls," he said, giving her a discreet wink. Saren made an audible sound of disgust and continued to sip his kava as if it were the only thing that made sense in the immediate vicinity. "In response to your questions, yes, slightly chilled, yes, yes, and I'd like maranti spice."

She followed his instructions and set his shot glass, filled with a shimmering green liquid, on the counter. Like all turian shot glasses, it had a curved rim, not unlike a funnel, to accommodate their mouths.

He drank it all in one, ignoring her expression of horror, and sighed.

"Now that was good," he said.

Saren was still tapping his talons in a discordant rhythm against the counter-top. His talons were starting to mark the metal of the counter. Were his talons blades in disguise? Jane, still worried about how she'd treated him earlier, did her best to continue to ignore it. Hopefully, Nilia would understand her cowardice when she saw the counter when they closed later.

"No-one seems to know your name. Would you be up to putting a turian out of their misery?" Nihlus asked.

He was everything a turian was not. Why would Saren spend his time with Nihlus? It made no sense.

"Well, I'm sure your friend would put me out of my misery if I were to do such a thing," she countered, attempting to make the conversation drop.

"She probably can't remember it," Saren muttered.

Nihlus chuckled and that was enough of an incentive to give her name.

"The name's Jane. Jane Shepard," she said.

They both froze and looked at her intensely. Surprisingly, Saren was the one who responded after fixing her with his severe glare.

"Any relation to Commander Shepard?... Human."

Again, Saren spat the word, 'human', like a curse. She'd have laughed if she didn't feel like her future health didn't depend on this answer.

"Yes, he's my brother. Adopted," she said after a brief pause to ensure she didn't sound amused.

Nihlus likely knew this was going somewhere bad very quickly as he practically jumped out of his seat and threw a small credit chit on the counter. Jane got the feeling that she'd have to wait a long time to return the uncharged portion of the chit to him.

"Thank you for the kava and the liquor. It was nice to meet you, Jane. Saren, let's go to C-Sec, I received a message about new requisitions."

Nihlus gave her a final smile before leaving. Saren didn't even acknowledge her existence.

They left with little fanfare, though the turians at the sims quieted upon their approach. She knew Saren was a Spectre, who didn't? It was likely Nihlus was one too.

This felt like the start of something terrible.

Chapter Text

Reconnaissance: preliminary surveying or research.

The Presidium was fairly quiet. Apart from a few gardeners scattered around and some C-Sec officers that were on patrol, the surrounding areas around Nilia's Lounge were quiet. It was deep into the night cycle.

Saren wasn't as angry as he thought he'd be, surprisingly enough. No, he was more annoyed that Nihlus was playing games. It was a rather human thing for him to be doing, and he didn't like games.

Nihlus was being unnaturally quiet on their walk to C-Sec. It was textbook odd behaviour from Nihlus, and odd when it came to Nihlus never boded well.

"You were aware all along who she was. Weren't you?" Saren eventually asked.

Nihlus shrugged minutely and looked at him with mild curiosity, gauging his reaction with his cunning eyes. There was a certain element of danger in this conversation because Saren was not at all sure what the purpose of Nihlus' behaviour was. Sometimes, he felt he never did. 

"Yes. I know more about Commander Shepard than most. His sister from what I have learnt, has an interesting history. Daughter of Admiral Hannah Shepard of the SSV Kilimanjaro and Dr William Shepard, a big name in human trauma surgery. She's the sole survivor of a black ops operation in Akuze, N6 designation, and an engineer with extensive medic training. She was honourably discharged and is currently studying applications of cybernetics in reconstructive surgery at Huerta Memorial. Her and her adopted brother have had a healthy relationship ever since his rescue on Mindoir by the platoon under Admiral, then Staff Commander, Shepard following the Batarian attack. They correspond regularly."

Despite having been in a mild kava daze for the last couple of hours, Saren had been able to identify the following about Jane Shepard: she was very tall for a human woman, likely at least 5'10. Still, compared to him, her height was inconsequential as he had well over a foot and a half on her. She was rather muscular for a civilian, and she moved very quietly and with great control. At the time he'd just guessed ex-military grunt or a merc, nothing worth being impressed by. He didn't expect this level, of well... competence from a human barista? Who would?

It made him feel slightly better though. The human responsible for the best kava in his life wasn't a typical example of her race. Slightly better.

Baby steps, Saren.

Nihlus laughed. He was more than likely predicting the thoughts that were running through Saren's mind. Sometimes, he thought that training Nihlus was a mistake. He'd never liked the idea of being considered... predictable. Especially by someone who was consummately unpredictable. Just another reason to destroy Nihlus on a sparring mat in C-Sec, he supposed. Nihlus was only adding to the stress he was feeling after all.

Also, he never did get that extra kava. Nihlus and his games.

Saren decided when they sparred, he'd aim for Nihlus' mandibles. 

"In another galaxy, I can see myself training her to be a Spectre rather than her brother if she had continued in the military. I can see that look on your face Saren. He is perfectly worthy of receiving Spectre status. Think what you will of humans, but his exploits in the Skyllian Blitz were incredible," Nihlus said.

"Your pet human is a topic that will likely take several hours to explore."

Saren gave Nihlus a dismissive grunt.

"No, what I am more interested in finding out is why you were so interested in her telling me her name," he murmured, an undercurrent of danger in his voice.

Nihlus's voice was full of amusement and hidden secrets. He hated Nihlus. Perhaps, this was a cue for him to go back to his previous social circle. When his life had been purely business partners, informants and useful acquaintances, he'd not had to deal with 'friends' like Nihlus that were far too much work.

Councillor Quentius gave Nihlus far too much leeway. It had been a sad day for Citadel space when Sparatus was passed over for Councillor for being too much of a traditionalist. Nowadays in turian politics, that was synonymous for being a human hater. It was almost strange how much the asari hated turian traditionalists, but then you could just see the number of asari-human couples and it would make completely sense. 

Despite his misgivings, he understood the logic behind Tevos and Valern aligning with the humans. It was likely a wise decision to appoint Quentius to more easily facilitate the integration of humans into the fold. They had their uses. Those uses being primarily as cannon fodder and infrequently throwing out cute technology like Medigel.

"Really? I was under the impression she was speaking solely to me. I mean it was pretty obvious that she couldn't stand you," Nihlus said.

Saren ignored the way his own mandibles clenched and the stab of unease that ran through his stomach. He'd drunk his kava too fast obviously. It couldn't possibly be anything else.

He didn't think of making any attempt to suppress his subvocals as the unease he'd voiced couldn't possibly mean what Nihlus thought it did. He refused to think about that.

Nihlus leaned forward towards him with glee in his eyes and a smirk lifting the right mandible of his face.

Maybe he'd break his mandibles at the root when they sparred as that would completely remove Nihlus' ability to smirk. It would be for the best as they weren't needed for his missions. Perhaps, he'd also break some teeth. Spectres worked alone after all and speech was secondary to the mission.

"Oh.. Saren... are you smitten with the human? Oh isn't this-"

"SPAR! NOW!"

Chapter Text

Contemplate: think deeply and at length.

Jane had just finished kicking out the last turian Blue Suns mercenary. They were like an infestation. Everywhere. They had ended up leaving together after asking for her specific hours but not before leaving with one final message from the leader of their squad.

"Nilia's kava is good and all, but yours human... May the Spirits forgive me for saying this, but it is easily the best I've ever had. Never thought a human would be the best at anything other than resembling a pyjak..."

In his defence, he was rather drunk.

She'd remember him though, Mr Palaven Distilled with a corae filter. She'd remember him and his drink.

Next time her hand will slip and she'll add a shotglass of maranti spice. 

It was closing time and she needed to be out of here before the cleaners came. The Lounge usually closed for about two and a half hours for cleaning and resupplying, and it would open again at the lunch hour. Thankfully, Trela and Nilia would handle the day shift.

Her hours were pretty odd for a student, the Earth equivalent of a graveyard shift, but then all her classes were from the early day cycle to the mid day cycle. Plenty of time for sleep and any required reading and placements before her shifts in the night cycle.

It was a shame Nilia wasn't here as she usually let her nap for a little and she'd watch the bar in her place for a couple of hours. She never did come back from C-Sec which was odd considering she was usually here before closing time.

Jane finished wiping down the counter and looked outside the windows. The artificial lighting was starting to increase in brightness in preparation for the day cycle. The Presidium looked rather magnificent at night, making it almost a shame to see the day cycle come. She gazed at the lakes in appreciation, and the reflection of the artificial lights on the lakes reminded her a little of shimmering silver.

Silver. Saren.

She couldn't help bursting into raucous laughter. It had been a long trying shift with Saren and Nihlus having been there for at least an hour.

Saren. Something in her gut told her he would be back and soon. Her instincts were good. They were why she had survived Akuze.

They never did find Major Toombs' body...

Splintered bone, dissolving flesh...

She thought not to fall back into the fugue of painful memories.

What would she do if Saren came back? Would she play it cool if he ever comes again? Ask for forgiveness? The latter had promise considering she had been rather disrespectful to him. Judging his reaction to her relation to John, it was likely there was some likely some anger within him towards John. It would likely be best to apologize and quickly.

She didn't know him that well. However, what she did know was that Nilia did not bow to anyone's wishes but her own. If he wanted kava, he'd have to come to the Lounge in person and order it.

There certainly were perks of being Primarch Fedorian's youngest daughter, she supposed. Jane had a feeling there was a story behind her presence on the Citadel. It probably was interesting and incredibly dramatic, but it wasn't her place to pry. Nilia had done enough for her by taking that chance on her with this job offer.

Her somewhat absent-minded musing whilst she reordered the seats the Blue Sun mercs had been sitting in was interrupted by the door opening. Ah, Nilia.

She was striking. Statuesque angles, light brown plates and simple white markings. Even she could see it, despite not being a turian. It was more than likely part of the popularity of this place. Female turians were extremely rare outside of turian space after all.

Then you add Trela, an asari matron who was a real stunner, and herself and you ended up with a predominantly male clientèle.

"Jane. You're still here?"

She sounded honestly surprised but still as forthright as ever.

Typical Nilia.

"Yeah, you never came back so I thought I'd hold the fort till you came back," she stretched her arm around to the orderly surroundings. "Pretty secure, huh?"

Nilia walked towards her with a slightly concerned expression but she was distracted. That was strange as she usually had a laser-like focus on whatever had her attention. She'd ask about C-Sec next shift when she didn't feel so tired.

"Right. You can go now. I'll reimburse you for your time so get some sleep. You look terrible," she said, already taking stock of inventory behind the bar.

Well, sorry. Not all of us have the luxury of having a face of plates, Jane thought to herself. Despite that, she threw out a lazy salute. 

"Whatever you say, Nilia," Jane murmured. She stretched and bid Nilia goodbye.

She had a class in less than an hour and she was exhausted. She'd stop at a café near the Hospital. A cup of tea would help. Preferably green. She was feeling a little stressed out. Akuze and Saren hadn't been particularly healthy topics for her to think about.

And she'd been looking forward to a cup of Earl Grey after work.

Chapter Text

Fantasy: the faculty or activity of imagining impossible or improbable things.

Saren had left Nihlus with a broken mandible as he'd promised himself. It was only fair with the filth he was spewing during their spar. Unfortunately, he retained his ability to speak. It was a great shame but spoke of how far Nihlus had come. In the first few months of training, Nihlus could barely last a minute in a spar against him. 

Pride aside in Nihlus' ability, he really should have tried harder and knocked out some teeth as he'd promised himself earlier. Something for next time especially with what had happened during the spar. Thinking about it was infuriating, and Saren could only thank the Spirits the room they had used was soundproofed and had no audience. It wouldn't be proper for him to be seen being insulted to the point of embarrassment.

No.

That wasn't right.

Incited into righteous fury, yes much better, by a fool. He might have to get those jaw implants added as his intimidation factor clearly wasn't up to his high standards if a human and Nihlus, for all their denseness, couldn't properly summon their survival instincts. It was deplorable the things he'd let them get away with. He wasn't the most decorated Spectre alive for no reason. He'd have to put serious consideration into having those jaw implants he'd been considering fitted. He had no care for his appearance on an aesthetic level, so he'd gladly have them fitted. They'd serve him well in close quarters combat as well.

Definitely something to consider.

His mind couldn't help drifting back to what Nihlus had been saying during their spar. Some of the things he had said were so ridiculous he didn't know where he was finding the energy to both think of them and keep up with him. 

"They are not unlike asari, you know? Softer in the places that matter too. Like silk," he'd rumbled, sexual desire ringing in his subvocals. Saren hadn't been entirely sure whether it was feigned or not.

"She's rather beautiful for a human, you know? The red in her hair is quite exotic, she's likely popular with the asari too as well as with humans. If you weren't so in to her, I would make a move. The kava would be a welcome bonus. In fact, I'd fuck her if I wasn't afraid you'd be jealous," he'd teased. "Spirits, I wouldn't be opposed to sharing her if you want."

"Aim for my throat again and I'll tell Jane that you're irrevocably in love with her," he'd promised.

All of that had been said with the most subtle smirk. It had made him furious. It wasn't much of a surprise that he'd cracked Nihlus's mandible shortly after that. Unfortunately, the satisfaction was fleeting at best.

Thinking objectively, he did have a bit of an unhealthy interest in that human. After all, thinking of humans in any context other than their death wasn't particularly healthy in his opinion.

Calling it attraction or any similar word was just severe delusion. Nihlus was probably just being Nihlus, riling a reaction out of him.

He was very good at that, he could admit. Nihlus knew him too well.

Regardless of what Nihlus thought, harbouring any form of thought about a human, female or not, was not something Saren was interested in keeping.

It was only logical that when he went to get kava the following evening he'd examine the human to see what was so interesting about her. From a purely objective stance of course, nothing to do with her fundamental similarity to an asari.

Damn Nihlus for planting that idea in his mind.

He never did get his extra kava after all, so he was perfectly justified in returning to the Lounge the following evening.

He had yet to receive an assignment from the Council. The councillors probably foolishly thought he required some form of reprieve after working non-stop for the last year.

He was Saren Arterius, longest serving Spectre in recent history, he required no rest.

... only kava in this present moment of time.

Chapter Text

Embarrass: cause (someone) to feel awkward, self-conscious, or ashamed.

Jane wanted to curl up and die at this point. Her lecturer for Advanced Electromagnetism in Organic Bodies, a young salarian by the name of Orus Inoste, had decided it was a good idea to go out of his way to embarrass her in front of her classmates. Regardless of his good intention, she'd like him to please stop talking.

"Ms Shepard. You seem exhausted. Incredibly inefficient for learning. Humans possess most variable memory retention rates of Citadel species. Worsened by lack of alertness. Rest and good hydration, key to success in all endeavours for humans. In fact for all sapient beings. Especially hanar. Die otherwise."

He paused at that point likely to take a breath. She didn't know. She was staring at the wall behind him hoping that through sheer force of will she'd somehow teleport to the other side of it.

"Alcohol?"

Nope. He'd stopped to analyse her scent and pheromones with his omnitool. Salarians...

"Your clothing has likely been in the presence of it for more than 12 Citadel hours. You do not seem to be hungover. Bar work? Ah, large amount of both alcohol vapour and blended rovale nuts on fingertips. Bartending, yes? Good to see students working hard outside of learning hours. Carry on."

And he walked off like he didn't just embarrass her in front of everyone. She could hear scattered laughter.

Ah, well. She was too tired to give a fuck. Sleep was more important.

It would be best if she checked her omnitool though. It had been quite a while since John had sent her a message.

He hadn't. Well, he'd better be ready for an interrogation next time she saw him. It had been a while.

She did have a message from Nilia though. It had been sent 15 minutes ago.

Jane,

I would really appreciate it if you would come to the Lounge as soon as you can. Executor Pallin is here and it seems my  kava isn't good enough for his tastes judging by the slight disappointment that seems to undertone everything he says. Such a  miserable male.

Anyway, if you're not up to it, you are more than welcome to come in and just sleep until your shift. I'll move one of the recliners next to the counter and kick out anyone who even dares to disturb you. Trela will likely have some cosmetics on her (she always does), and you can use those to freshen up if you need to.

You're a real asset, but then again, of course you know that.

Nilia

She had options. One of which was walking for thirty minutes to her apartment in the Zakera Ward, or walking for ten minutes and sleeping in an extremely comfortable chair under the protection of an extremely authoritative turian.

There wasn't any doubt as to which she'd choose.

She plodded on resolutely out of the lecture theatre and from there out into the Huerta Memorial Hospital Learning Area and from there to the Presidium. Bright lights hurt. Everything hurt in fact. The asari receptionist had looked like a blurry blue rectangle.

She hadn't slept in more than 2 days. She had to meet her Alliance sanctioned therapist for a yearly assessment prior to her last shift.

A waste of time if anything, the therapist. The only reason she had the therapist to begin with was because of her mother's insistence. It had been a good idea to begin with, but as far as the Alliance was concerned, she was alive and thus mentally sound. That was until she'd made it clear she was leaving and they couldn't stop her, then the therapist thought she was batshit crazy and needed extensive therapy to get over the loss of her squadmates.

It had been painful, but she'd gotten over the nightmares and anxiety years ago. She could only imagine how Major Toombs would feel if he was still alive, he had been the leader of the squad after all.

In her last meeting, they'd changed their tune back to her being the picture of mental health and she'd received several messages from various Alliance officials encouraging her to re-enlist. They'd left hints that they'd allow her to take the N7 exam provided she spend two years in service getting back up to scratch. As tempting as that offer had been, their IDs had been added to her rather elaborate spam filter.

She was done with the Alliance and by proxy the mainstream military. She'd see where medical engineering took her. There were less thresher maws involved.

Nilia's was only about fifty metres away. She could do it. Just a little further. She just.. had to keep on going.. The faster you get there, the faster you can make yourself a cup of Earl Grey and go to sleep.

The door opened automatically and she'd never been more thankful for the existence of automatic doors. If she could go back in time and kiss whomever made that innovation she'd do so.

With lots of tongue and maybe a little grinding thrown in. She was that thankful.

She just about fell through the door and collided with an extremely tall silver... thing that had been placed in the threshold. She'd scold Nilia for placing tall silver things in corridors later. She tried to walk past it and ended up walking into it again.

"Have you lost your mind?"

Large silver things didn't speak, and they didn't have voices that sounded like were that deep or that sensuous.

After standing there for a moment, she could only assume it was Saren Arterius. He was probably furious, and she attempted to make for it by mumbling an apology into the front of his armour.

Look on the bright side, Jane, she told herself. Her day couldn't possibly get any worse.

Chapter Text

Paragon: a person or thing viewed as a model of excellence.

John Shepard. Vanguard. Humanity's finest. Current Spectre-in-training. The light at the end of the tunnel.

Whoever had decided to call him that was a bit too poetic for his tastes. Though he really was flattered deep down.

He'd been doing missions on and off with Nihlus for the last year and a half and he still couldn't tell when Nihlus was being sarcastic or not at times. The turian was extremely impassive and any lowering of what he could only assume to be an elaborate mask was short-lived at best. He'd usually lighten up after reading his omni-tool messages. Possible lover or close friend likely. But then he could just be suffering from "chronic gigantic phallic object in backside" syndrome like all turians, as William would put it. He was his stepfather and all but the man had little to no filter. He called stab wounds to the abdomen a "New York Special with extra agony" for Christ's sake...

Though regardless, he supposed he could understand the need to snark when the Council had delayed the Normandy project for a year for fine-tuning. Even coming from a turian.

He was about to send a message to Jane from the terminal in his room aboard Nihlus's ship, The Velcus, when Nihlus had entered. She generally got worried if she didn't hear from him. It'd been nearly three months since they'd last spoke. He'd have to remember to send a message afterwards.

"Shepard. We need to speak, I have word from the Council regarding the status of the Normandy."

He nodded before standing up and giving Nihlus his attention. He seemed worried. That was never good for the both of them.

"You are aware that the Normandy is a turian-human project to better foster good will in our people to each other," there were traces of amusement in his voice there, he was pretty sure he could hear it, but then it was gone, "Well, the Council have decided otherwise, this will be a multiracial endeavour. The Normandy has gone through a great amount of expansion to facilitate this and a bigger stealth drive has been added. It is now a stealth frigate... Never thought I'd live to see one of those not being used by the Geth. The crew will mainly be human and turian but the asari and salarians will be sending variety of specialists to aid with missions and to provide more unorthodox skillsets. You will be acting as Commanding Officer. I will merely supervise and aid you where needed."

Shock. Disbelief. This sounded like dirty politics to him.

Surely, the turians, let alone the Council, wouldn't allow a human officer command of such a hi-tech vessel.

"You can not be serious... the Council are willing to entrust such an investment to humanity?

Nihlus if anything looked more serious than usual. This was generally a prefacer to potentially extremely bad news. Like a geth warship in orbit of a planet they were needed at.

Really really really bad.

"Yes. However, do not see this as an act of goodwill."

He hadn't been. All he could think of was how enormous the catch must be.

"Humanity has integrated well with the Citadel, but with the rest of the galaxy the results have been less positive. Relations between our two species in particular remain volatile. It would be good to improve them. Regardless of that, this is really a way for the Council to assess humanity through examination of their best. You. To the wider galaxy following the Skyllian Blitz, you ARE humanity. You are easily the most recognizable human in both Citadel space and outside of it to other species. A lot rides on your success; especially humanity's hopes of gaining further influence with the Council."

He started pacing and his mandibles pulled further in to his face. Looked like a really uncomfortable way to hold them. Stress?

Looks like he was in this deep as well.

"It would be in your best interests to treat anyone who is invited aboard by the salarians and asari as a spy as we will have little to no control over whom they are inviting. However, you will be given a vast number of dossiers for the human and turian crew that have been selected by a joint committee of human and turian intelligence. I will be willing to provide my assistance if you require it."

The ensuing silence was oppressive. He said the first thing that came to mind to break it.

".. We're a little fucked aren't we?"

William had rubbed off on him stronger than he'd thought. Who'd have thought?

To his surprise, Nihlus laughed. Maybe they would get along okay.

"A bit more than a little, Shepard."

Chapter Text

Contiguous: sharing a common border; touching.

Saren didn't know why he'd come so early to the Lounge. It was incredibly busy. Noisy. Adjectives that weren't particularly high in the pecking order in his mind.

And worse still, the human barista wasn't there. Staffing the bar were an attractive asari matron and a turian female. The turian female, clad in expensive asari fashion, was conversing with a male in C-Sec regalia. He could only assume that the female must be Nilia.

Wait.

Nilia, of course. That was the name of Primarch Fedorian's estranged daughter. Observing the simple white geometric markings of Altakiril on her face, he concluded that she was wearing her mother's colony markings. It seemed she'd disowned herself. How dramatic.

It would seem that Palaven's most powerful family were feuding like humans. Pathetic.

He looked closer at who she was talking to, wondering if they'd caught onto the disgrace that was standing before him. Executor Pallin. The idea of Pallin taking a break at a turian lounge was almost laughable, but then Saren was well aware of the silly things that kava made you.

"Where is the human barista? Her kava is exquisite," Pallin said, sounding incredibly irritated.

An irritation they both shared, it would seem. Where is she?

Then something hit him. Fearing his reaction if he turned around, he continued watching the bar only for whatever hit him to collide with him again. He turned and was ready to put the human in for a world of pain, already clenching his fists, when he recognised their head fur.

"Have you lost your mind?" He demanded.

She mumbled a sorry into the chestplate of his armour in her familiar cadence. He momentarily wondered how much trouble he'd get in for punching her, finding the prospect to be somewhat enticing, and then the human slumped against him?!

He wasn't a cushion for pyjaks.

Fighting the impulse to make her regret using him as a pillow, he took stock of the situation. Was she ill? Better yet, was she contagious?

He heard soft, delicate breathing.

She'd fallen asleep on him, and he couldn't help vocalising his disgust.

"Are you going to stand there looking silly or are you going to help her?" A cold female voice asked.

Nilia. The troublemaking Fedorian whelp. She was accompanied by Pallin who gave him a curt nod.

"Saren," he said in greeting.

Saren gave him a nod, looking down at the human in question. What did he do with her?

Did he push her off of him, potentially earning the lounge owner's ire and being banned? Turian females were vicious. There would be no more precious kava unless he did something like kidnap the barista. An absolutely ludicrous idea and Saren wondered why his mind had even considered it. It would seem he'd have to play nice.

Saren could only imagine the rewards he'd get for helping her. Free kava, impeccable service, and none of her attitude or attempts at humour. He'd enjoy having her at his beck and call whenever he came here. It was the correct state of affairs. Before he could consider his method accomplishing this, helping humans wasn't exactly something he regularly did, Pallin forced his hand.

"I will carry her," Pallin offered.

He reacted to that immediately, scooping her up and holding her close to his chest. She was heavier than he thought. He discreetly examined her whilst closing the windows he had open on his omnitool and adjusting the weapons on his hip. High cheekbones, shapely lips. His mind betrayed him with images of full, purple and blue coloured lips wrapped around his cock as he thought of the appreciation he had of those features in his asari lovers. There were dark bags under her eyes which he knew to be a sign of extreme exhaustion in humans.

Nihlus hadn't been lying. The red in her hair was exotic. It was a vibrant hue of red that cascaded to her shoulders and judging by the lack of smell of chemicals in her hair, natural too. It smelt sweet too. Floral.

He wished he had the sense of smell of a volus. That was to say he wished he didn't have a sense of smell to think of.

Wait, why was he examining her like this?

She was a human. Regardless of her great cup of kava, humans were to be systematically degraded, not compared to asari in any capacity apart from a negative one. Again, his eyes wandered to her lips. He snapped out of it, instead observing his watchers.

Pallin looked rather baffled at the sight of him with a human in his arms. Personally, he was baffled too. Nilia was carefully blank, likely recognizing him and not knowing what to say. In her subvocals, he thought he could hear carefully suppressed amusement.

She couldn't be stupid enough to be voicing that. He ignored her and Pallin, and even the human who was currently burrowing dangerously close to his neck, seeking the softer flesh hidden behind his undersuit.

She nuzzled his clothed neck and sighed. It was unbearable, but he was willing to do a lot for this kava. She was so close to him. Far too close to him for discernible comfort. With a subtle gritting of his teeth, he summoned every iota of discipline he had to continue glaring ahead of him and refrain from physically removing her.

Nilia's composure broke and she snorted. Pallin turned and went back to the bar, his subvocals wavering with barely contained laughter.

Jaw implants were beginning to look more and more enticing by the minute.

"Just follow me," Nilia said.

The place was completely packed. The human barista hadn't been joking about C-Sec using the place as a guesthouse. There were C-Sec uniforms everywhere.

Naturally, he drew attention. Nobody seemed stupid enough to laugh, thankfully. He just threw his most menacing expression that generally had humans evacuating their bowels prior to their deaths and ignored the human who was still nuzzling against his sensitive neck. Even with his neck hidden behind fabric, it was almost like she was rubbing directly against his hide.

Like a chant in his head, he had to repeat 'this is not pleasurable, Saren. Do not allow your plates to shift.'

It became his new mantra.

He was interrupted in his threatening of the surrounding idiots when Nilia brought horrible, horrible news upon their arrival at the bar.

"There are no seats left. She's clearly comfortable so if you would hold her whilst she sleeps I'll make it worth your while. Free kava and priority in queues for a year," she offered with a carefully neutral expression.

Saren momentarily measured the worth of the offer with respect to the huge blow his reputation of human-hater had likely just suffered. He ignored the warmth of the human's breath on his neck.  It was getting easier.

"Four years and only from the human," he demanded, giving her the most sinister look he could muster.

The damage was done regardless, but he deserved more. Far more.

Nilia was silent for a second, her eyes alight with amusement. 

"Deal," she said.

He could have sworn she sounded gleeful.

Chapter Text

Lounge: lie, sit, or stand in a relaxed or lazy way.

Saren surveyed the room after Nilia had left to confirm what she had claimed. She hadn't been lying.

Every seat was occupied. Both at the bar and in the lounge area. There were humans, turians and the occasional asari. Almost all of them were clad in C-Sec uniforms, and all of them were staring at him and his unwanted cargo.

He wasn't surprised to see the great amount of disbelief from the turians and humans. No, what surprised him was the large amount of jealousy he felt being emanated his way. Even from his fellow turians. Peculiar.

The human's physical attributes were acceptable but regardless, she was a human. In his mind, she was nothing worth feeling jealous about, and Saren came to the conclusion that they'd heard of his free kava for four years from the human. That had to be the reason for their jealousy as it was the only thing that made sense. The barista was a master at making kava as much as it pained him to admit it.

The few asari were torn between amusement and a weird soft expression. It looked like they found the situation adorable or some other nauseating descriptor. He didn't look at them again after that as it only reminded him of the unnaturalness of his current predicament, and that was the last thing he needed.

He walked with the human safely ensconced in his arms to a vacant patch of the wall and leaned against it and watched the C-Sec officers in the sims. They were running a simulation of a slaver ring break-up, working in a eight man squad. Far too many people, in his opinion, but they made it work. They were surprisingly competent.

Looking down at his human burden, his mind fell again to his experiences with such plush lips. A small part of his mind thought that perhaps Nihlus hadn't been entirely exaggerating about the barista as he continued to examine her. She was unique in colour where the rest of her kind were drab in comparison. Yes, she was different, he concluded. He would have dismissed that thought entirely if the human hadn't pressed her lips to his neck. They were soft, warm and slightly moist.

He froze, feeling a slight tingling across his skin where her lips were planted. He thanked the Spirits that his genital plates hadn't even twitched.

No one was looking at him now, and Saren exhaled a relieved sigh. The slight dip in the wall where he was stood had likely saved him from a humiliation beyond his understanding. However, just to be sure that her lips didn't make such.. unnecessary contact with his neck again, he pushed the human further up his shoulder and away from his neck. Her head lolled rather unnaturally on his shoulder. It looked.. painful. He felt somewhat uneasy at how much her discomfort seemed to bother him. He should find it amusing.

He frowned to himself as he remembered her concern when he'd groaned after tasting her kava. It had been genuine.

More importantly, he remembered the kava he would receive upon her being well rested.

It was obvious what he needed to do.

He marched purposefully towards the best recliner in the lounge. It was currently occupied by a human. No matter, he thought to himself, the male human would be easily disposed of. He'd enjoy it even. The human barista will rest well and will repay him with the finest kava she'd ever made.

"Human. Remove yourself from this chair," he snapped, idly fingering the pistol at his hip. 

"What? No way," the human said, placing his drink on the counter next to him. He looked at the barista with disgust. "I'm not going to get up so you and your whore can do freaky shit on it."

He found himself a little annoyed with her reference to the barista as being a whore. In response, he gave the human his best mimicry of a human smile with teeth. He'd been told it was rather accurate by Nihlus.

Judging by the new found pallor in the human's skin, Nihlus had lied. Well, this was one of the true times that Nihlus' deceit was useful. Terror was really what he wanted in the end anyway.

"It's your lucky day, human. I'll assist you," he promised with a sneer.

With a easy lunge forward after securing the barista to his chest with one arm, he yanked the human out of his seat by the shoulder and onto the floor. He landed rather hard on his left arm, but nothing should be broken. He wasn't that angry. Yet.

He took his seat, finding it entirely appropriate he had possession of the best seat in the lounge, and readjusted his human, thinking of her as that made her less well.. human. He ignored the stir of something deep within his chest.

She was still asleep and the lips that kept catching his attention were spread in a smile. Good. The kava grew ever closer.

Looking back at the idiot who'd wasted his time, the human male was staring at him in shock and with clenched fists. Fool. He would warn him this once and then he'd shoot.

"I'm feeling rather generous. Leave now and you will retain all your limbs. I'll even let you keep your drink, human."

He looked like he was about to argue, a red flush crossing his fleshy face and his eye fur arching downwards. Was everyone who frequented this lounge a masochist?

Luckily for the human, just as Saren was on the verge of drawing a pistol and shooting him in the leg, Nilia came to his rescue and shoved a drink into a hand that she forcefully unclenched.

"Here, a free drink and there's a seat on the bar. Trela will mix you some more drinks if you want. For free," Nilia said with a pleading expression on her face.

The human grumbled but turned and followed Nilia who gave Saren an exasperated look.

He returned her look with one equally as exasperated.

"You asked for me to ensure the human was well rested. Do not question my methods," he said to her as she walked away.

Speaking of his human, she was seated in his lap and it seemed she was burrowing again.

And she'd just found his neck again.

Well. He couldn't find the energy to care. The chair was far too comfortable, and it wasn't like her lips were pressed against his neck again. He activated his omnitool with a relaxed languor and began reading some information regarding the Hierarchy's Mass Effect Ballistics R&D progress. He field-tested a lot of their innovations, and it would be prudent to check when he'd need to make a rotation in his gear set.

He was aware of the spectacle he was making. The silence that had surrounded him since he sat down was almost tangible.

He didn't give a damn.

He was getting the best kava he'd ever tasted in unlimited supply for the next 4 years. Any blue-blooded turian would understand the liberties he was allowing his human to take.

Chapter Text

Accord: an official agreement or treaty.

The first thing Jane noticed upon waking was the fact that she was against someone's chest. Said chest was armoured and they weren't moving. The second was the slightly rough skin her face was pressed into.

Whomever this was needed to consider exfoliating because the level of roughness was not normal. A simpler answer to that, was that they were not human, and that complicated matters. If it was a human, she could likely talk her way out of it.

She went through her mind and thought of what species could possibly have such rough skin. Turian? Well, fuck, this was awkward. She could only assume they had a human fetish to be holding her like this. A drell? She'd never spoken to one before honestly. They weren't exactly common.

It looked like she didn't need to do any further rumination when she became cognizant of the hand curled around her shoulder and securing her to their chest. It was taloned and triadic. Turian.

Great. She could only imagine where they'd taken her. Did she even make it to Nilia's? She remembered being completely dead on her feet outside the Hospital and nothing after.

Through her closed eyes, she thought she could make out the orange haze of an omnitool UI. Her captor obviously didn't think she was awake (or a threat). She was in no position that would allow her to free herself without leaving herself susceptible to attack. She'd have to wait.

Then she felt a waft of hot breath over her face. It was dry but spicy. Working at a bar, she'd definitely smelt far worse.

"I know you're awake, human," a deep bi-tonal voice said.

She recognized the voice but could not pinpoint the owner. Maybe this wouldn't have to end in bloodshed. She could likely bribe the turian to silence with kava. She almost smiled to herself, but then she opened her eyes and everything went down the shitter.

She was in Nilia's in one of the alcoves. That was good.

She was being held in the lap of Saren Arterius. A noted human-hater who she'd disrespected on an earlier occasion. That was not so good.

It was horrific.

The only thing that stopped her from bolting was the rather tight grip he had on her. His expression was rather blank, mandibles in a neutral expression and blue cybernetic eyes boring down at her whilst he dismissed whatever he had open on his omnitool. He was likely savouring her discomfort. Bastard.

Then her mouth decided to act up. There was a reason why she didn't talk to anyone shortly after waking.

"You held me in your lap for what I can only imagine to be hours, and you still call me human? I'm feeling rather stilted here," she joked.

His mandibles contracted with almost certain disgust and she could feel his chest rumble. Sometimes she wished she understood sub-vocalisations, as it'd make her job easier. Also, the vibrations were nice.

She could have drifted back to sleep with those vibrations, but just as quickly as they'd started, they stopped. He likely knew this as he stopped and spoke. His baritone was just as soothing.

It was truly a shame that it was attached to a turian with the personality of sandpaper.

"You were under my protection. You should be thankful I even let you near my person, human," he said.

Very thankful. In fact, Jane was so thankful that she was compelled to run her mouth some more.

"Aren't I a little too close to your person? I'm sure it must be ruffling your delicate turian sensibilities."

She punctuated that statement by reclining back into the arm wrapped around her. She wrapped her arms around his neck with a sardonic smile, internally screaming at herself to stop.

What was she doing? Was she mad? It was a good thing the place was nearly empty and no one was looking this way.

His face echoed the questions she was asking herself but luckily she could only assume he'd come to the conclusion she was an idiot. He lightly pushed her out of his arms and onto her feet without even looking at her.

Better to be an alive, healthy idiot than a potentially maimed and dead one.

It was damn good to be alive.

Even if being alive meant being so unsteady on your feet that someone who kills your species out of hatred has to steady you.

She looked at him and he looked at her. Even with the fact he was sat down and she was stood up, she felt like he was towering over her. He fixed that a moment later as he rose out of the recliner. His expression again was blank. He was more than a foot taller then her. He had to be well over seven foot. He was enormous.

And she had been mocking him?

"You owe me 5 years worth of kava. I'd suggest you get started. Two large. One sugar," he ordered.

"I'm not sure how," she gazed quickly at her omnitool, "Eight hours of sleeping in your arms is equal in worth to five years worth of free kava."

"I will not repeat myself," he murmured, already dismissing her by re-opening his own omnitool and retaking his seat.

The menace in his voice was palpable. Shit.

"Sure, sir. Whatever you want," she shakily said.

She ran to the bar.

Chapter Text

Discreet: careful and prudent in one's speech or actions, especially in order to keep something confidential or to avoid embarrassment.

She had just woken up, good. He'd be happy to see her make him some kava.

Happy. Who would have thought he'd be happy to see a human do anything apart from die?

He couldn't help but contemplate the last few hours he'd spent with her in his arms.

He could say with full certainty that his plates had not completely shifted once whilst the human was asleep despite her unnatural fascination with his neck. There had been several close moments but turian discipline had beaten human clinginess.

There hadn't really been any doubt after all which was better.

The hours he'd spent with her in his arms were admittedly more pleasant than he was expecting. It had been a long time since he'd sat still for the purpose of relaxation outside of sleep. Even with the human it was relaxing.

C-Sec had left several minutes after he had sat down with Pallin leading the charge back to the Academy.

The stares had not annoyed him surprisingly. Between the warmth of the human pressed against him, the luxury of the chair and the paper on mass effect physics he was reading. He was quite content.

The implications of him having been in such a state with a human close to him, against him even, were bizarre.

Her face had been closely pressed to his neck, and he hadn't really been able to find the motivation to move her back to his shoulder. It had not been uncomfortable.

His omnitool had the capability of making highly detailed biometric scans, and he'd found out her height. She was the only human female he'd met that came up to where his upper chest met his cowl, and he'd been curious in its commonality amongst her kind.

It had been purely professional interest, of course.

5'11" and a half. 99.9th percentile female human height. 96th percentile asari height.

She was considered a giant amongst her species, and he was not unfamiliar with that feeling. He was 7'6" with the average turian male coming anywhere between 6'9" and 7'1" and females an inch or two smaller. 

In the process of taking the scan, his hand had brushed her hair. It had been an odd texture - absolutely alien. He'd looked carefully around him, not wanting anyone to see what he was about to do. The bar had been full, but they couldn't see him from where they were seated and the rest of the room was empty. He'd gazed at her hair, and it had been freely flowing to the nape of her neck in that garish hue it contained. It had almost seemed like it was taunting him. The need to touch it had suddenly become desperate, and he'd lightly ran his gloved fingers through it. It had been... interesting. It had been almost liquid in its solidity and so independent of each strand. Nothing at all like a fringe; turian or asari. It had been odd as he'd twined a strand around a finger, but he'd decided that he enjoyed the feel of it.

He'd cautiously stroked the main bulk of it, and she'd sighed and clutched closer to him. Judging by the lack of arousal he'd smelt, it had been purely out of contentment. He'd not wanted to have to throw his newly found kava slave onto the floor and run his armour through a quarian-grade decontamination chamber.

The thought of kava was all the encouragement he'd needed to continue stroking her hair. The better well rested she was, the higher the quality of his future kava.

It had been a weak excuse.

Thinking carefully now that she was slaving away to make his kava, it was clear he held some small amount of affection for the human. He wouldn't have stopped Pallin from holding her, and he wouldn't have been stroking her hair either if he didn't. It was not sexual, at least. Thank the Spirits. It was more like the affection one would have for a pet. Though... pets didn't threaten to make your plates shift or made exquisite kava. They also didn't have a sweet scent and an uncannily similar body to an asari. Saren, thinking of how his mind had latched onto the sight of her lips, decided that it was indeed somewhat sexual. Thankfully, he only seemed to be attracted to her and not all human females.

And why didn't the idea of being attracted to the human, no Jane, bother him as much as he thought it would? It was a truly repugnant idea.

Regardless of that admission, he had no plans of ever acting on it.

Chapter Text

Unanticipated: not expected or predicted.

Nilia was at the bar working her magic on a group of turian males as Jane approached.

Nilia gave her an evaluatory glance that held far too much amusement in it for her liking. Her amber eyes practically glinted.

"Good. You're awake. I must say," Nilia said, an undercurrent of humour in her voice, "you look much better, Jane."

Looking at the purple dress she was wearing that left the right side of her midriff exposed, Jane couldn't help but return the compliment. The eyes of her admirers kept drifting towards her exposed waist.

"Thanks Nilia. Looking pretty good yourself."

The group of turians turned as one to look at her before turning back to the counter. She could only assume that they hadn't seen her in Saren's arms by their lack of reaction. Good.

His discretion was one of his better qualities. She didn't think there were many, but one would have to suffice for now.

Yawning into her hand, she wondered why was she at the bar again. She was here to make kava for Saren.

She was taking the two cups to Saren when Nilia stopped her and dragged her over to the corner near the toilets.

This couldn't be good.

Nilia got right to the point in typical fashion. She could get behind such an approach to things.

"Jane, I kind of bartered with Saren for him to look after you," she admitted.

Well that explained the five years of kava comment.

"So... what's the damage, Nilia?" Jane asked, wanting to confirm the stakes.

In fact, it would probably be wise to be sure that she didn't have to sacrifice her first born child on an altar to whatever cult of human haters he was a part of. He would likely be the lead cultist.

Okay, that was really far-fetched by her standards.

Nilia looked rather relieved by her calmness. She'd never been one to panic outwardly, but in contrast, her thoughts were currently as ordered as Omega.

"It's nothing too bad I can assure you. You just have to make him kava for free and give him priority in queues," Nilia said.

That was only half the story. She was sure of it. Nilia's sudden interest in making eye contact with the wall behind her only reinforced that belief. Turians were generally terrible liars.

"Really? When I woke up he told me that I owed him five years worth," Jane said.

"Five years? Yes.. yeah, that's correct. Are you alright with that?"

She shrugged and smiled faintly. It seemed it was as much news to her as it was to Nilia.

"It could be worse. I could be making kava for the whole of C-Sec if someone like Pallin had looked after me."

Nilia chuckled, but it was weak. Oh God.

So it had come down to Pallin or Saren? Two of the most conservative turians on the Citadel. She still couldn't remember much of what happened following her leaving Huerta Memorial. Maybe it was for the best that she didn't remember.

Their conversation was halted by Saren's approach. Nilia quickly wrapped things up and made herself scarce with a slight quirk of her mandibles. It seemed almost taunting.

"Thanks, Jane. Check your bank account later tonight. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. You can go home now.. if you want, that is."

There was something suggestive in the go home part of her sentence and in Nilia's expression. She wasn't particularly sure what Nilia was trying to imply and thought that it was best not to even try. Nilia was a bit of a wildcard at times and she didn't want to put her foot in her mouth again.

She slowly turned to face Saren who'd snuck up on them during their conversation. His attention was solely focussed on the cups in her hands. More alert and definitely wiser, Jane carefully suppressed all hints of humour on her face. It was clear that she'd pushed him far enough. She carefully handed him his two cups, giving him a friendly smile.

"Enjoy!"

With not even a nod, he just turned and walked back to his seat. Rude.

What an asshole.

Wanting to attempt to make up for her prior behaviour, and to thank him for looking after her, she decided to provide him with a second thermal pad. Altruism aside, it was probably best to get it now before he started giving her death threats for serving him cold kava. His glare could probably prevent heat loss if he tried staring really hard at the other cup. 

His expression could only be described as purely content when she approached him, thermal pad in hand, mid-sip. He appeared almost open even, like if she were to speak he'd reply like a normal sentient being. She couldn't help the soft smile that crossed her lips. Who would have thought that Saren Arterius could be conquered by a cup of turian coffee?

"Here you are, sir. A thermal pad for the other cup," she said.

She had just turned around to leave when his voice rumbled behind her. It was faintly mocking but she'd take what she could get. Regardless of his delivery, it remained a shock.

"Thank you," he rumbled.

She turned to face him, he was as blank as usual but if she looked closely she thought she could see slight humour buried deep in his expression.

He probably thought that he'd caught her unawares with his gratitude.

Please. Jane Shepard was the queen of curveballs.

"No, thank you. I really appreciate you looking after me whilst I was sleeping. I slept quite well," she said.

He had no verbal reply to that but the slight relaxation she witnessed as he took a sip of his kava in response was more than enough.

You're welcome.

Chapter Text

Daredevil: a reckless person who enjoys doing dangerous things.

She'd submitted her graduate thesis several weeks ago to her thesis supervisor.

Dr Jane Shepard: specialist in reconstructive cybernetics. That had a great ring to it.

It'd be a shame to leave Nilia's really, she'd enjoyed working there, but that was something to think on later when she had her doctorate and job offers.

She'd submitted her thesis earlier than the deadline so there was still some waiting to do. It was probably for the best to remain focussed on the present, like the crowd gathered around her.Nilia's was pretty packed tonight. She had been making kava non-stop. There were a lot of turian Blue Suns mercenaries at the bar. Word of mouth was a powerful thing.

It had been two months since she'd last saw Saren. She wasn't counting of course. It was just something she'd observed.

You generally keep track of the person whom you're essentially an indentured servant to.

Thankfully, any comments that anyone made about her sleeping in his arms had fizzled after about a week. The turians were generally extremely jealous when they had heard what he got out of it.

She couldn't help but remember Garrus's reaction.

"Spirits! Five years worth? For free?.. Would you uhh.. consider fainting now? I can be chivalrous for kava too..."

Her stony face expression in response was more than an answer but he'd still joking asked, "No?"

Humans? Well. Some of the C-Sec officers, likely led by Harkin, had come to the conclusion that it was less the kava the turians appreciated her for, but rather acts of a more sexual nature.

It was news to her that she even had time to perform sexual acts. She hadn't had sex in months.

Still, the notion was hilarious to her. She'd never considered turians on a sexual level. They had nice builds admittedly; tiny waists and broad shoulders. She could appreciate those on any male. She'd also heard rather interesting things about their equipment downstairs from Trela. Long, thick and ridged. Their voices were nice also. Saren's baritone especially. It was almost sinful.

Too bad he never had anything nice to say.

But being able to recognise a species as being physically appealing didn't necessarily lead to attraction. Most of the turians she'd met had personalities so sedate and well, boring, that she'd never been attracted to them. She liked a little excitement. So it was quite a revelation to meet turians like Nilia, Garrus, Nihlus and Saren. They felt more like people to her than turians which, as a people, had become synonymous with duty-driven and dull in her mind. Kind of like the Alliance. And God wasn't that a horrible thing to be compared to?

By all measures, Saren was really not that much different from the average turian in temperament. Maybe it was the fact that it was so fun to poke fun at him or the surprising gentleness he'd held her with. She'd enjoyed waking up in his arms.

And wasn't that a shock?

One would think she were a romantic with how much that had meant to her. She'd admittedly never been held like that by a man. In the military there hadn't been time for gentle holds and reassuring presences. That was only emphasised during her time in the Interplanetary Combatives Training program. Add on to that her stature and most human men found her rather intimidating to treat in a gentle manner. She hadn't done much to encourage that form of treatment to be honest. Despite her pretty face, she wasn't much of a princess. It was part of the reason that she'd never been in a long-term relationship before. 

She may as well have been one of the boys with the fact her sex life all her life had been one night stands.

Judging by the fact that Saren had even held her all that time, he hadn't needed to as there were vacant seats by the time she'd woken, had to have meant something. His hatred of humans was as legendary as his exploits in both the Attican Traverse and Terminus Systems. He wouldn't have just held her if he didn't have some form of affection for her. Or her kava.

And that was more than enough for her to work with.

She had a feeling that this was a horrible idea, but she'd always loved a challenge. If she failed, she could always laugh at his reaction whilst she ran for her life. She could probably get a job at Noveria, as they always needed lab grunts, if the Citadel became off-limits.

For better or worse, she would commence Operation Seduce Saren Arterius... no, that was a bit of a mouthful.

For better or worse, she would commence Operation Daredevil next time she saw Saren at Nilia's.

Chapter Text

Flirtatious: behaving in such a way as to suggest a playful sexual attraction to someone.

It'd been three months since he'd last had kava or seen the barista, his traitorous mind reminded him as he gradually grew closer to the Lounge.

He'd long ago accepted his attraction to the human barista. Acceptance didn't necessarily mean action however. He still had no intention of acting upon it.

His last mission had been fairly routine, an investigation into sources of the current red sand problem on the Citadel. He'd destroyed roughly a dozen refineries and factories littered throughout the Terminus Systems. He'd have returned to the Citadel roughly a month earlier if his ship's navigational subroutines hadn't been completely fried by an improvised EMP by a Quarian tech that one of the facilities had hired.

It'd taken him a week to just restore the VI to just a usable condition. It was still quite buggy and had twice tried to change his route to enter the event horizon of neighbouring black holes on his journey back. He'd get that fixed on the Citadel.

He wasn't much of an engineer. He was a weapons expert first and foremost and an adept second.

He would have to fix that limitation at some point.

The Lounge was largely as he remembered, but there were now 2 vidscreens flanking the bar and a far more extensive collection of levo alcohol. The place would likely be as luxurious as a Palaven hunting resort in a few years with this current level of patronage from C-Sec.

Just as he'd hoped, the bar was empty as it was extremely late into the night cycle.

The barista was there; wiping down the counter and humming under her breath. And if the warmth he felt in his stomach was what he thought it was. He'd missed his kava and, by extension, her far more than he thought he would, and he would not be opposed to remedying that shortly.

She noticed him as he approached the counter and gave him a smile. Where before her smiles had been gentle barings of teeth and sardonic curves of her lips, they were now just a slight rise of the corner of the right side of her mouth.

Salacious even. He'd seen this look on asari before. It had been a while though.

He couldn't say this development was unwelcome, merely unexpected. He'd fully intended on just ignoring his attraction to the barista until it faded, but the possibility of her returning it raised intriguing possibilities. Most of those possibilities ending with her beneath him in the throes of pleasure with a cup of kava within easy reach of him.

A turian could dream.

Where her smile was subtle, her choice of words were anything but and the smirk in her green eyes told him it was all intentional.

"How can I serve you, sir?"

He ignored the part of his mind that rationally explained that it was her job to serve him and almost quipped on her knees preferably. He wanted her lips around him most of all. Those smart, rude lips wrapped tightly around his cock as he showed her the true use of them. His plates began to shift at the idea. If she wanted to play subtly like this, he would do so too. This could be amusing.

"You know how you may serve me," he purred.

It was a good thing that she couldn't hear his subvocals, as they were currently rumbling with a mix of lust and interest. The Lounge was empty, thankfully, and he didn't think his reputation could recover from a further blow. Somehow, Tevos had heard of what had happened and now regarded him as something.. cute.. Quentius was full of understanding, naturally. With one of his aides bringing him kava everyday, the only thing he could do was understand.

And be jealous of course.

Valern? He was a salarian, he had congratulated Saren on his negotiation skills; if his glare could be considered one.

Her smile was full of promise and her voice full of husk as she replied to him, leaning slightly over the counter. She smelt like rovale nuts, alcohol and mild arousal. His codpiece began to feel incredibly tight.

"I shall aim to please then."

He watched her almost unblinkingly as she prepared his kava. The curve of her waist, the swell of her cleavage, the knowing smirk partially obscured by her dark red hair as she brewed it. And when she methodically smoothed down her apron from her upper back to her waist his interest was piqued. When she slowly stroked her waist to smooth out the creases, it could only be called obsession. There was nothing innocent in the gesture.

The game was not so amusing anymore, the erection he was hiding under his armour was testament to that fact.

She placed the kava onto the counter with hooded eyes and slightly stroked the rim of the cup.

Yes, the game was definitely over.

"Enjoy... sir."

She'd put emphasis on the sir...

Spirits... the things he wanted to do to her.

But first, his kava.

Chapter Text

Rouse: make angry or excited.

Jane hadn't expected anywhere near the magnitude of response she'd gotten from him. She'd been fully prepared for a long slog encouraging him to the idea with a timescale more along the line of several visits, not several minutes. Him playing along with a voice that imparted more rumble than words had not been part of the plan. His voice seemed to go straight to her crotch.

He was slowly sipping his kava and staring at her with unflinching focus.

The liquid heat in his stare had her slightly wet. She had the feeling it was only the kava in his hand and common decency that was stopping him from jumping her.

She wouldn't be opposed to being jumped. Not at all.

She could tease him some more, but the little teasing she'd done had achieved far more than expected. But where to go from here? She'd not given much thought as to how to broach sex to him, and she didn't think that she was crazy enough to just flat out ask for it. She wasn't particularly sure how to proceed.

She frowned slightly with a sigh.

He looked vaguely disappointed strangely enough in response to her sigh and his usual dour expression returned. Did he think that their game was over? That this was over? Not by a long shot.

Time to turn the charm back on.

She leaned over the counter and placed one of her hands next to his arm. She was rather close to him now. She could have sworn his breath slightly hitched as her hair brushed his arm.

The heat was back. It was nice to feel so...

Wanted.

"Sir. Is there anything I can provide you with?"

Her voice was almost dark with lust. Why was this turning her on so much?

He'd likely tired of her teasing as he gently grasped her wrist. He then stroked it lightly, ghosting along it with gloved talon-tips, before pulling her slightly further into the counter.

"There are many things you can provide me with human, but first, tell me what you want to give me."

His breath was hot on her face and his gaze hotter.

Teasing was definitely coming close to an end but she didn't want to make it so easy for him.

"I think it would only be fair if you would call me Jane first."

She'd tested his patience.

He stood up, placed his kava on the counter and lifted her over the counter by her hips and into his lap as he sat back down. The motion was almost effortless and she couldn't help but find his clear strength to be attractive. She definitely didn't resist, not even when he gripped the back of her ponytail in his hand so she could look up at him, as this was finally going somewhere. She repositioned herself so she was straddling him with her legs around his hips, he quietly groaned at that, and her crotch against his. His right hand came down off of the counter to rest lightly on her waist.

He leaned closer to her and rumbled in her ear.

"Very well... Jane."

The heat that pooled in her groin in response to hearing her name leave his mouth was intense, he groaned again, likely smelling her arousal. It was a shame he was wearing armour. She'd never had sex on a barstool before.

Whatever else he was going to say was interrupted by the door opening.

Fucking Nilia. Worst timing. She momentarily looked like she'd just walked in on her parents or something equally embarrassing. Then it was gone and the humour appeared.

"Oh. Jane and.. OH! Right, I'm locking up the place, leave and fuck somewhere else," she barked.

Fucking Nilia. All sarcasm and bluntness. Neither her or Saren bothered to reply.

She turned to look back at Saren who'd been stroking her waist throughout Nilia's intrusion. It seemed he hadn't stopped looking at her face the whole time.

She felt like she probably had a damp spot on her jeans. They'd barely done anything and she was so hot.

"Now. Please. I'd like all the musk in the air to at least be gone before we reopen."

Saren grabbed his kava with a free hand and readjusted her into a bridal carry. Oh? She was expecting them to have to go their separate ways. Looked like she would be getting some.

He'd likely guessed where her thoughts had gone as he looked at her with a slight smirk in his mandibles. He leaned down once again and she felt the ghosting of teeth against the shell of her ear as he spoke directly into her ear.

"You thought I was done with you, Jane?"

Nilia actually looked scandalized.

"LEAVE. PLEASE! FOR SPIRIT'S SAKE!!"

Her voice seemed slightly hysterical. Nilia hysterical, she couldn't help snorting with laughter. Saren squeezed her ass in reprimand after standing up with her in his arms. She looked back up at him and fell silent at the heavy lust in his expression.

"Focus on me," he commanded.

She did, her eyes unable to leave him, and they left.

Chapter Text

Preliminary: preceding or done in preparation for something fuller or more important.

They'd arrived at a penthouse suite on the Presidium, likely owned by Saren. He'd thankfully had a tactical cloak so they were not seen by any of the gardeners. He'd been slowly groping her ass as they moved.

She was burning inside her clothes.

He'd lifted her up and held her against a wall as soon as they had entered the suite. It was a sign of the stark size difference between them that this was the only way they could be eye level. With a smouldering gaze, he slowly licked a trail of hot saliva from her collarbone to the back of her ear. His tongue, a hue of dark blue-black, was long and coarse. The thought of that tongue on her pussy made her shudder.

"Do you have any idea how much I want to fuck you?" He harshly whispered into her neck. 

The things his voice did to her...

Her reply was almost smothered by her husky chuckle.

"Why don't you show me?"

He stared at her lips in mild contemplation and nodded absently to himself. He removed himself from contact with her entirely, letting her slide onto the floor.

His gaze was piercing, and his voice could be considered almost neutral if she couldn't still hear the slight darkness of lust that seemed to ting his speech. It was a great source of arousal to see how affected he was by her.

So hot.

"I think it would only be fair that you repay me for your teasing," he said.

Oh? She almost called him out on his endless groping of her waist and her ass but that would involve stopping him from talking. It was definitely something for discussing later.

"I want you on your knees. I'd like you to help me remove my codpiece... I can guide you from there."

Definitely the right decision to not interrupt him.

She replied with a lustful smirk and slowly got down on her knees.

"Like this?"

She began to slowly crawl towards him. She'd always loved a good build-up, as it made the future acts even more intense.

Judging by the way he was staring at her and the rhythmic clenching and unclenching of his hands, he did too.

"Spirits.. yes."

She was very close to him now and she slowly stroked his codpiece with both hands whilst staring carefully into his eyes. If anything he looked close to ending their little game. Shame. She'd never intended on making this easy for him.

She'd just have to challenge his pride.

"Aren't you meant to guide me now? I can't do all the work you know."

He froze for a moment but he grabbed her wrists with both his hands, gloved talons lightly biting into them, and moved them to seals along the side of his waist. He rumbled slightly before guiding her hands to unlock the seals. Neither of them bothered to look as his codpiece slowly succumbed to the effects of gravity and landed loudly on the floor.

The bulge in his undersuit was obscene, and the huge wet streak around the bulge even moreso.

She couldn't help licking her lips.

"I hope you don't plan on leaving me unsatisfied, Jane."

He was still staring at her, but he'd began to guide her hands again to ease his erection through the slit at the centre of the waist of his undersuit.

It was massive, and it was monstrous, both in girth and length. She feared she wouldn't be able to get her hand around him. His cock was a dark blue hue and covered in thick ribbing. It appeared slick, seeming to drip with what she could only assume to be a natural lubricant. She almost felt intimidated before looking at the ridges and imagining how they would feel inside of her.

She was about to ask what he planned to do with that when he took advantage of her open mouth to push the tapered head into her mouth.

She couldn't find the motivation to stop him.

"I imagine whatever you had to say was not important. You asked how you could serve me, this is one of many ideas I have."

She could feel his rumbles through his cock, and that had her dripping in her panties. She moaned and suckled his tip, loving the sweet taste of him between her lips. His hands came to rest on the back of her head, talons tangling gently in her hair, and he began to lightly thrust into her mouth.

She teased him with her tongue as he thrust, applying suction when he least expected it. His ridges were pleasant against her tongue, more like bumps if anything. He was all rumbling compliments as to how good she looked with her lips wrapped around him and how good her mouth felt.

His voice progressively grew more and more ragged before he began to hold down harder onto her head and thrust deeper whilst maintaining his methodical pace. She was taking about half of him now and he was beginning to hit the entrance to her throat.

"I want you to take it all," he murmured to her, his voice full of impossible to deny command.

Did he think she was an asari deepthroat artist? She was willing to try though even with how thick the base of his dick was.

She moaned her assent around him and began to meet his thrusts. The sounds were filthy, and just as she thought she'd gotten used to the wet shlick of his cock moving in her mouth, a particularly obscene noise would disavow her of that notion. He definitely needed to fuck her after this.

The lubricant he seemed to be giving off in place of precum was making this a lot easier than she thought it would be. Several minutes in, he began to make shallow entrances into her throat.

And then her air supply cut off on one of his more enthusiastic thrusts, and she saw lights behind her eyes. Only his thick base, a veiny ball of flesh seemingly connected to his genital plates, was exposed. Her nose was almost against his undersuit, almost buried in the wet patch that reeked of metallic sweetness and turian masculinity. His moan was so surprisingly loud and unrestrained it spurred her on as she slowly eased him out of her throat. She was disappointed that she hadn't taken him all with how close he seemed to be. Her window of opportunity was closing.

She deepthroated him a few times more as he stood there more or less paralyzed. He was pulsating in her mouth at this point, thick cock at this point a dull throb in her throat. She wrapped her arms around his waist and pushed herself down him and he pushed back. Suddenly, she had taken it all. The feeling of his cock so tightly held in her throat, continually pulsing, was incredibly arousing. She couldn't help but massage his waist with her face buried in the wet patch of his undersuit. It was a little disgusting to be honest, but a small part of her couldn't help but be turned on with the scent of him so thick in her nose.

"Spirits... I'm going to cum," he grit out.

He tried to pull completely out of her mouth. She wanted to taste him, so she let him withdraw until just the tip was in before closing her mouth around him. The surprised lust in his face as his cock throbbed in her mouth had her cunt swollen with arousal and he unleashed.

He came silently, and there was a lot to swallow. The taste was sweet and hot. It was a lot like a slightly metal tasting cinnamon.

It was definitely worth it.

But not worth nearly as much as how he dragged her to the bedroom with a hand on her crotch after he saw that she'd swallowed.

Chapter Text

Concupiscence: strong sexual desire; lust

All Saren could think about was how much he wanted to be plates deep into Jane after she had swallowed. Preferably, as soon as possible.

But first, he wanted her to burn for him as much as he burned for her. He had no intention of making this a one time thing. He'd never had such an intense reaction to a blowjob before and he'd admittedly had better. She wasn't an asari who made a living sucking alien cock after all. But he'd never been vocal either, let alone murmuring compliments.

It was strange how one reacted sexually to one they cared for.

He could feel her dampness through the crotch of her clothing and smell himself on her breath.

Spirits.

They'd arrived in the bedroom. The bed was quite luxurious, and he wanted to fuck her on that first. Then maybe the counter.

He had plans for her.

"Strip," he growled.

He could barely understand himself. His voice was almost more growl than words at this point, and judging by how her eyes both darkened and dilated in response, she was definitely just as lost to her own lust.

He'd half expected her to draw it out and be playful about it, but she was incredibly efficient. Very military. He couldn't help but approve. It meant he could ease his need of her sooner.

He idly wondered to himself whether he should fuck her with his armour on first...

No. She deserved better, besides, he wanted to feel all of her.

Her arousal was a heady aroma that almost seemed stuck in his nasal plates as he slowly removed his armour, never once looking away from her. She was slowly stroking the seam of her sex.

She was so wet, but it was for the best as it would make things easier though. This would likely be an incredibly tight fit, and he was not going to be satisfied without being plates deep inside of her. He didn't care if it would hurt her, if her body couldn't take it, as he would have her hips pressed against his own by the end of this night. Judging by earlier, she'd likely be happy to accommodate him.

The idea of stretching her out of shape for any other human lovers she had filled him with an almost dark satisfaction. His erection visibly twitched and he heard her slight groan as he removed his undersuit.

He wondered how he looked to her after he'd removed his undersuit. She was pure temptation to his eyes; curvy waist, full perky breasts, and dark red hair. Even now, she was still licking her lips, a moan of satisfaction escaping her as she enjoyed the remnants of his seed. He growled low in his throat, fighting the urge to throw her on the bed under his body and shove himself inside of her. He shouldn't want her so badly, she was a human, but he did and that was all that mattered right now. Judging by the look in her eyes, his appreciation was returned.

She turned in response to his silent scrutiny.

Her back was littered with burns with the largest being one running from beneath the nape of her neck to just above the right side of her hip. The only thing he could think of was finding whomever had marred her skin and brutally murdering them. But she turned back and the questioning smile on her face voiced her self-consciousness at her scars. 

He would make her forget them.

They were nothing to be ashamed of. He would just have to move her mind to more important matters.

He closed the gap between them and pushed her backwards onto the bed and wrapped her legs around his waist. She lightly squeezed her thighs around him and it took all of his self-discipline to not just spear her on his length.

He gently rubbed the head of his damp cock on the lips of her sex, idly noting that his head, despite being the thinnest part of his cock, was easily larger than the small opening. In an attempt to make this a little easier, he made sure to make contact with that button at the hood which was another thing humans shared with asari, thankfully.

He hadn't done any research and didn't feel he needed to have done any to conquer Jane's body.

There was one more thing he wanted to do before he fucked her though. He leaned over her and spoke directly into her ear.

"Tell me what you want me to do to you, Jane."

He wished he could take a picture of her face as he thrust just the tip in. The sight of her head falling back, her hair falling onto the sheets, as she gave a throaty moan of pleasure was a sight he didn't want to forget. Perhaps in the future, if she proved irritating once more, he'd simply silence her with his cock. She was tight, so so wet and warm.

He slowly began to ease the rest of him inside. It was a struggle and every inch he gifted her required patience. She was too tight and he was far too thick for her.

"Please, Saren, I just want you to fuck me. No more teasing." She sounded delirious. He wasn't entirely sure whether it was from pain or from the pleasure. Did she think she had all of him inside of her?

Her breathing was shallow as she looked up at him, her green eyes desperate, and the sound of his name on her lips was incredibly pleasing. He'd gotten maybe half of him inside of her. He looked down at their joining, eyeing the impossibility before him. Her tiny pink pussy was stretched entirely taut around his blue girth, and it looked absolutely obscene. With any outward movement he made, the lining of her walls clung to his cock before being pushed back into place once he pushed back in. Asari just didn't stretch like that. It was an incredibly arousing sight despite the newness and strangeness of it. Thankfully, she was slowly loosening around him as he didn't think he could push any more inside of her without tearing her. As much as he had some measure of affection for her, he didn't think he would stop if she tore. He couldn't stop, and the soft moans she gave as he began to sink in a tiny bit further with each thrust told him she couldn't either. The elasticity of her genitalia was baffling as Asari didn't loosen anywhere near this quickly nor were so wet. To compensate, they were generally significantly more open.

He decided he couldn't hate that difference when her walls were massaging his ridges in a rhythmic pattern. Spirits, she was so good around him.

This was how addiction started.

She was starting to close her eyes, and her face was starting to pinch slightly. That wouldn't do. Even if she was possibly in a lot of pain, he wanted her to keep her eyes on him and feel the same pleasure he did.

He halted his progress and slowly stroked her clitoris with the pad of one of his fingers. She would soon be near his base, and she'd need a lot of preparation to be able to take that.

Plates deep after all.

Her breathing hitched, and she moaned, still keeping her eyes shut.

She had a weakness for his voice, so he would exploit that. He began to thrust in and out quickly, never more than half, and in time with his strokes of her clitoris. The sounds were noisy, wet from their mingled fluids and his lustful rumbling.

She was finally beginning to moan.

"Do I feel good inside of you?" He rumbled, enjoying her shaking when he spoke.

He felt her walls spasm slightly around his ridges and growled low in his throat in response. It was an interesting reaction, but not the response he wanted.

"Do you like it when I stretch you to fit only me?"

Her face was flush, but there was still no response but she had opened her eyes. If his cybernetics weren't in use, he imagined it'd be like looking in a mirror. Like a turian that was completely aroused, her pupils were dilated, leaving them with a uniquely human mix of white sclera and almost completely black with lust irises. It was a sight he had to see many more times. He started to thrust harder and with more of his length, ignoring her slight whimpers of pain as he fed more of his cock into her vice-like passage. He didn't dare to look at her likely over-stretched sex as it would spell the end, and he was close enough as it was. The things she did to his usual stamina were incomprehensible, but luckily, he could go several times. However, he would count this first attempt as a failure if he didn't cum with her crotch firmly pressed against his own. With that in mind, he returned his focus on fucking her deep and hard.

He moved his free hand off of her hip and began to pinch one of her nipples between the pads of his fingers. Her loud moan in response told him he'd found a hot spot for her. He took the tip between his talons and twisted it lightly, holding her still with the other as she trembled in response.

"Could a human male make you feel the way I do?"

"Fuck.. no," she whispered.

And then she began to contract around him, her powerful muscles fluttering and tightening around him without any discernible rhythm. Where before the spasms had felt like the result of her manipulating her muscles, this felt like her whole body was squeezing her cock. It was like she never wanted him to leave.

He could only assume she'd had an orgasm.

It was so intense, and he almost followed her as he reflexively shoved himself inside her to the hilt. The force with which he'd used to insert himself into her knocked the breath out of her. Taking pity when she closed her eyes and bit her trembling lip from the pain, he stayed as still as possible. Pausing to briefly scent the air, he couldn't smell any blood and contented himself with the fact he hadn't ruined her by ripping her. So deep inside of her body, he could feel the tip of his cock pressed firmly against the barrier to her womb. He briefly entertained the thought of defiling her there as well with his turian seed, and it was a rousing thought of how the galaxy would react to know that Commander Shepard's sister had taken his seed so deep in her pussy. Daring fate, he looked down at where their hips were connected and moaned desperately. He could see himself in her pubic mound. He could see the swell of his large base pressing against her skin, and for the slightest moment, he entertained the idea of tying with her. Although it was impossible with him currently on hormonal suppressants, like all turians in the military, the idea of how much he'd stretch her human pussy was a thrilling one. The idea of forcing her into taking his seed, keeping her body locked against his own was incredibly enticing. However, it was the sacrilegious thought of knotting with a human who couldn't even bear anything from such a coupling that made him lose all control.

He started to pound her, incredibly hard. Long, deep dives into her core ending with the lips of her cunt colliding with his sheath. The sounds of him repeatedly disappearing into her slit echoed through the room. The sound of wet flesh against plates consumed him. Her moans could almost be called screams at this point because she was so loud. It sounded rather like she was in pain, but all that realization made him do was to fuck her harder and harder until he had his talons gripping her hips, threatening to draw blood, to pull her into his thrusts. He was audibly snarling as he slammed into her again and again, feeling his ridges flare outwards as he got closer and closer.

"I want you to cum inside of me," she eventually managed to say when her screams had begun to die down. 

Her voice was all satiated pleasure and husk. It proved to be his undoing, causing him to release himself inside of her. The magnitude of his peak astounded him, and he could feel his seed beginning to seep around him and onto his plates.

He slowly withdrew to her moans, and she laid there, almost appearing unconscious if it weren't for the sight of her chest rising up and down. His eyes fell to her sex, and he rumbled loudly in satisfaction at the sight that met him. She was gaping wide, her folds red with irritation from contact with his plates, and she was leaking his pale cyan cum in a steady stream onto the bedsheets. He still couldn't smell any blood, thankfully. Her thighs were red with chafing, her hips had some scratches from his talons, and there were a few bruises on her ass from impact with his plates. He'd apply some medigel before their next round.

He wanted to believe that it was purely pragmatism to keep her unharmed, but he really just cared for her. It was an interesting paradox that he ultimately didn't want to harm her whilst fucking her, yet if he did, he wasn't entirely sure whether he'd be able to stop. It confused him, but he didn't dwell on it, instead choosing to ruminate on the fact that he had some form of affection for her. It didn't bother him to admit that he had affection for her, and judging by the softness in her gaze, his affection was returned to some degree.

He would have turned to leave for the medigel if she hadn't slowly trailed a finger through her fluid-covered sex. As if that wasn't enough of a taunt to his libido, she began to suckle on that finger with a sound of satisfaction. The sheer stab of want that ran through him left him slightly weak at the knees, and his slowly flagging erection began to harden once more.

It was only logical that he pounced on her.

Chapter Text

Fixation: an obsessive interest in or feeling about someone or something.

Saren had fucked her another three times after the stunt she had pulled.

The first was on the bed with her on her hands and knees with his talons digging into her waist. To make her submission to him complete, he'd pushed her face into the covers, leaving her prostrate before him as if in placation to an invisible deity. He'd been tempted to tell her that he was behind her, but he'd quickly lost himself to the warm squeeze of her delicate insides. Saren had taken it as a challenge to see how hard she could take it, and eventually, he'd been fucking her as hard as he possibly could. She'd taken it, surprisingly enough, her mouth open in a silent scream as he'd mercilessly took her. With her making no noise at all, the room had been dominated with his thrumming growls and the harsh slap of his hips against her rear. He'd licked his mouth-plates ravenously at the sights of his dark blue erection spreading her on every inward thrust and her walls clinging to him upon withdrawal. But the most powerful image, now that he thought back, was when the pale skin of her rear was pressed firmly against his white plating - when her small body had enveloped him in his entirety. In those moments, every fibre of his body was focussed on the tight walls clutching his large member. He'd thought she'd passed out at one point, her body just limply shaking in rhythm with his thrusts and her passage like a tight fist repeatedly closing around him, until he recollected that humans tightened repeatedly during orgasm. That had only spurred him on, causing him to accelerate his hips until he was moving as fast as he possibly could. She'd started moaning then and it had been exquisite. He'd came inside her with a roar, scaring not just her, but himself, as it had been years, maybe even decades, since he'd reacted like that at orgasm. 

She had been exquisite.

When he'd tried to pull out, already anticipating seeing her covered in his oily seed, she'd whimpered. Not knowing whether that was a request for him to stay or if his movement pained her, he'd stayed inside of her and applied the medigel he should have applied earlier, feeling somewhat angry with himself. In that moment, where the haze of lust was momentarily gone, he'd truly realized how ruthless he'd been with her. She'd accepted his ministrations without complaint and with an expression on her face that made his heart race, made his misgivings of how he'd treated her briefly fade away.

Second?

He'd carried her, nestled to his neck, and laid her on top of the island counter in the kitchen as he'd promised himself. She was spread eagle upon it, still exhausted, but she didn't refuse him when he pulled out and started to fuck her all over again. With her legs on his shoulders and his talons tightly holding her thighs, it gave him an incredible view of him fucking her. Watching her pussy eat up his cock, which really shouldn't even fit her in the first place, left him almost blind with lust. Whenever he inserted himself to the plates, that swell in her pubic mound taunted him with what could be. In an attempt to guide his thinking away from the prospect of tying with a human, he'd alternated between slow, moderately deep thrusts and fast, shallow ones at varying angles. He'd found a small number of places where she was incredibly sensitive to stimulation, and he'd been quite thorough in his exploitation of them. She had almost been sobbing from over-stimulation after the two orgasms she had had when he'd finally came.

But it was the third time that had almost scared him. He'd pinned her beneath him, face down, on a recliner in the bedroom before he had inserted himself inside her once more. He'd draped himself on top of her, enjoying the feeling of dwarfing her body. That time had been full of slow thrusts, grinding hips on both their parts, plates rubbing upon skin, his hands roughly mapping her skin whilst she carefully stroked the parts of his fringe she could reach upon receiving his instruction to touch it, and his tongue languidly exploring her neck. With this slow pace, Saren had found himself enjoying the movements she'd make when she'd meet his slow motions. He could tell this would be his last orgasm for a while, as his cock was starting to feel raw from friction. He'd wanted her to never forget this encounter. The things he'd said to her whilst he was incredibly deep inside her, his pelvic plates rubbing against her clit and his groin plates flush to her rear, only spoke of the great effect she had on his control.

"Do you understand your place is beneath me, Jane? Do you understand that this is your purpose?" He'd hissed in her ear, loving how she quaked and trembled beneath him at his voice.

He'd idly entertained the idea of tying her to the bed in his ship's personal quarters as he said that. His mind had swirled with the possibilities, obsession already burgeoning in his mind like a dirty flame. It wouldn't have been difficult to take her right then and there to his ship. All it would have taken was a quick, easy Stasis, and he could've taken her onto his ship and taken her whenever and however he wanted. He'd likely never let her leave until he grew tired of her, if he ever did. If he did it, it'd be a small matter of waiting out the months for his suppressants to end before he could tie with her, and truly see if she would be able to take him. Whether she could, he would happily discard her afterwards when he knew of all the pleasures her ever so soft flesh had to offer him.

"I would take you everywhere with me if I could so I could fuck you whenever I wanted," he'd murmured into her ear. 

When she came beneath him at that pronouncement, his mind had screamed to him that she'd wanted it. Her sex had been strangling him, wringing every coherent thought out of him, and it had taken every iota of his formidable willpower to not follow the dark part of his mind calling for him to act so heinously. Unknown to her, a shimmer of biotic blue had enveloped his form. He had almost did it, his hand reaching for her neck to ensure she couldn't fight it. But then she'd sighed beneath him, sounding happy and satisfied. His hand had fallen short, landing heavily onto her back and the flare of biotic energy had died away, waning like his dark desires. He'd realized that he wasn't so cruel as to kidnap her, to take her against her will, and he'd been incredibly disturbed with how close he'd come to doing it. She didn't deserve to be treated like that. No, if he were to take her with him on his ship, he'd ensure it was consensual. 

With a low groan at her silky passage's tight flexing dying down, he'd spoken to her once more in an attempt to mask the disgusting act he'd almost committed. 

"You used to be so tight but now you fit me so snugly. You were made for my cock, Jane."

He knew she could feel his subvocalizations through their close contact so it didn't surprise him when her moans took on an even higher pitch as he spoke. He thought of any human lovers she had had and how they would now be unable to satisfy her after he had finished with her. The idea of her possibly pursuing another turian, who wasn't him, had made him burn with a violent anger.

"Spirits... I could spend the rest of my days with you on my cock."

He'd came shortly after that pronouncement.

The silence was almost awkward after that, but he'd cut that short by gently guiding her to the shower. He just didn't know what to say to her after he'd almost done what he'd done. Whilst she'd showered, he had cleaned up any stains they'd left around the suite.

It was Nihlus' after all.

There had been a lot. It hadn't been particularly surprising since she'd been dripping with his seed for pretty much almost all of their time together. He couldn't suppress his satisfaction at the memory, a slight smile crossing his mandibles. It was a good one.

He'd finished about twenty minutes after she'd entered the shower. There had been a stain on the recliner that had proven particularly resistant to removal. He'd began to wonder, at the time, what was taking her so long when she had entered the bedroom with a cup of fresh kava in hand.

The stab of possessiveness he'd felt, when he thought about it calmly and after the sinister thoughts that had swirled in his mind, was unsurprising.

"I'd have come a long time ago, but you sort of left me unable to walk," she'd said, her voice a mere whisper of its usual strength.

She'd had a bashful smile on her green-eyed face, and it had been a good thing she couldn't understand sub-vocalizations. He'd been communicating a mix of pride and apology - mostly pride.

"Thank you," he'd murmured, dipping his head slightly in what he hoped she'd know as his most sincerest thanks.

He had taken the kava from her hand and after suppressing any further showings of his pride, guided her to the bed. She had rested her head on his chest with a sigh and a smile on her face as she watched him drink his kava.

It had been delicious as usual and his content sigh had been without restraint. He'd thought to himself that he could get used to this. Her laugh had been wrought with exhaustion and he'd suppressed his embarrassment incredibly admirably at the realization that he'd said that aloud. Her eyes began to droop as she snuggled closer to his chest. 

As he finished the kava, placing it on the beside table, she'd whispered, "I'm glad it's still passable, Saren."

He had suddenly found himself with the inexplicable urge to hold her whilst she slept. He mustered every bit of command he could in his voice.

"Go to sleep."

She'd later left him that night with a kiss, and after his momentary shock passed, he'd reciprocated as best as he could. He found himself oddly willing to learn. Just for her.

Remembering their time together had his erection leaving his sheath again. He considered finding out her omnitool ID to get her to come back when he received a ping on his own.

Fuck. He was rock hard and he'd just been summoned by the Council.

Chapter Text

Unity: the state of being united or joined as a whole.

Nihlus was slowly losing his mind.

The Council were insane. They were irrevocably and utterly insane. He couldn't envisage where this plan was supposed to lead to except for chaos.

He and Shepard had long ago finished dealing with the dossiers, and it turned out the skeleton crew had required none of their input as the Alliance and Hierarchy had decided that between them.

Potential political manoeuvring. Wonderful.

At least both species already had the schematics of the damn ship, so if any duplicates were designed he couldn't be blamed for lack of security.

Instead, he'd have to watch for saboteurs as well as spies now.

Have you ever tried mixing oil with water? And whenever they formed separate layers, have you ever tried to quickly mix them back together?

That was what trying to achieve synergy between a ground squad that was comprised of turians and humans.

The turians didn't like the humans because of the Relay 314 Incident and their rapid ascension in galactic standing in such a short time. Personally, he thought that that was what galactic civilization was all about. We are all stronger together than apart, and if one species is able to improve themselves, then it should galvanize the others to achieve as well.

Competition leads to innovation.

The humans didn't like the turians because of the way most turians received them in Citadel space and again, the Relay 314 Incident. It didn't help that one of the humans was Ashley Williams, granddaughter of General Williams. His decision to surrender, whilst being tactically sound, was polarizing amongst turians. They'd never surrendered a world before in recent history, so she was looked upon with particular disdain.

Both sides, however, had slowly began to thaw under his and Shepard's influence. Though Williams remained distant, her professionalism was more than acceptable. He couldn't force her to get over her xenophobia, as it wasn't entirely unfounded. No, forcing such a change in temperament would take time that they didn't have and possibly alienate her.

And countless training exercises. Countless.

Then the Council agents had joined them a week ago just as they'd managed to build a fragile rapport between the two ground squads and it had shattered quickly.     Thankfully, the skeleton crew had been largely friendly with each other from the onset so they were largely unaffected by their presence. They'd all worked together on a prior Alliance-Hierarchy project and wasn't that a relief?

He'd still be watching for saboteurs though.

Of the Council agents, Aethyta and Mordin were easily the worst when it came to threatening squad stability. Aethyta was more of a political soapbox than ex-commando, if there is such a thing as an ex-commando, from what he'd noticed. She was decent with a gun, but any turian was decent with a gun and her biotics were admittedly good. He couldn't exactly determine what her purpose would be on the ship. Where all the other agents the Council had sent were exceptional in combat, she was merely good.

He'd ask Saren if he knew anything about her.

Her opinions regarding human, turian and asari militarisation generally lead to arguments. Explosive ones. Judging by the slight smirk she had whenever this happened, she found it incredibly entertaining.

It had been funny the first time.

Now though, Nihlus wished he was deep in the Skyllian Verge investigating batarian and human expansion rather than trying to cultivate a healthy crew. Shepard was coping well but the stress was starting to get to him. They only had a month to go before the Normandy's first flight.

Mordin.

Nihlus wanted to pull out his fringe thinking about him. The salarian was a chronic sufferer of what humans called foot in mouth syndrome.

He'd caused a huge argument by insinuating that Vakarian's rather quick acquiescence of humans was due to their fundamental similarity to asari and it was only a matter of time before the rest of the turians realized too. It had ended with racist insults being traded on both sides and Vega and Velocis had almost ended up fighting.

Shepard had been furious. Himself? Exasperated.

They'd both ended up on latrine duty for the foreseeable future. 

Sometimes it felt like like he and Shepard were keepers of varren and pyjaks at times.

Even now, Mordin was talking whilst they did formation drills. What gem of wisdom did he have to share this time?

"Humans are pursuit predators. Prehistorically, would run down prey for food," he said, seeming to use the words to steady his aim as he sprayed down holographic targets with a machine pistol.

One smartass turian, it sounded like Caedus, decided to comment. Chaos was likely seconds away now.

"That explains their military tactics rather well. Quite apt," he said, a condescending sneer crossing his mandibles.

"Hey, be quiet and get that rifle out of your ass," Vega said

Oh that was Vega.

The surrounding members of each ground squad had stopped to observe the argument. The simulation was over, but they couldn't go on to the next one if people weren't alert and ready. Almost everyone was watching in impatience. Ashley looked particularly pissed off, and Vakarian had already started opened a module on his omni-tool to test if his rifle's scope was properly calibrated. Aethyta, on the other hand, had a smirk crossing her lips and looked like she was about to join in.

As Nihlus watched Aethyta sidle up to the furiously arguing duo, too drained to honestly care, he noticed Shepard storming into the room. Drills were definitely over. Again.

With the frequency Mordin would make these potentially volatile comments, Nihlus was quickly coming to the conclusion that Mordin was really the one screwing with them all.

Chapter Text

Dependence: the state of relying on or being controlled by someone or something else.

Jane had ordered a skycab to her apartment in the Zakera Ward. There had still been the possibility that she still smelt of Saren, regardless of her shower. She didn't exactly want to walk past any of her turian customers, or any turian, smelling like him.

That would be awkward, so a skycab had been her solution.

Whilst in the cab, she'd sent a message to Nilia explaining that she wouldn't be able to make it to her shift tonight. She'd received a rather interesting reply, alternatively asking for details regarding what had happened between her and Saren and chastising her for getting involved with such a dangerous turian.

She had always been a risk taker, but even by her standards, Saren had been one hell of a risk. She'd gotten lucky that he was actually attracted to her to begin with.

She still thought her kava had something to do with it.

Her apartment was as she'd left it, orderly and clean. She entered her bedroom in an attempt to lie down and ignore the incessant ache between her legs. Lying down in bed was hard but she managed it.

Jane honestly felt like she'd been hit by dreadnought between her legs.

A really dominant, sexy, dirty talking dreadnought. The whole control and dominance that he'd displayed over her was something she'd expected; she was still surprised at how much she'd ended up liking it. He'd been incredibly rough, and whilst it'd been painful at times, there'd been pleasure in it all.

On the other hand, she never would have expected Saren to be such a... gifted dirty talker. He wasn't particularly verbose in other areas of his life, from what she'd personally seen.

She'd started to have second thoughts when he'd started to penetrate her as it had been incredibly painful. Even if his dick had a tapered shape, it was still very thick, the base moreso. She'd looked at some turian-asari porn and she'd expected something bigger and thicker than the average human as a result. She hadn't been disappointed, but he was longer and a lot thicker than the turians in the porn vids she'd seen.

His cock, to be honest, was monstrous.

They were both lucky that his head wasn't mushroom shaped, but came to a tapered point, as he'd been pretty much hitting her cervix all the time. It could have become really painful, not that it hadn't been in the beginning. When he'd reached the half way point, the thickest part of his shaft before the base, she'd been worried that he was going to split her.

She still wasn't sure how she'd managed to take the base, his slamming it into her must have helped. A lot.

As a result of his obsession with fucking her incredibly deeply, not that she'd been complaining, she had the slight feeling that she'd be gaping downstairs for a while as a result. At times it had almost felt like he was in her damn stomach, especially when he'd held himself so that their hips were connected.

But it had all paid off. Really fucking well. She definitely wouldn't mind having another private rendezvous with Saren. He was certainly talented and his face when she kissed him had been priceless.

Yes. She'd be more than happy to see Saren again, and going by his expressions in particularly intimate moments, he would be happy to see her too.

Thinking about Saren wasn't helping the ache in her groin or the sudden flush covering her body.

She quickly removed her clothes before slowly sliding her panties down her legs.

Her pussy was inflamed, almost purple in colour and her lips were far apart. She looked like she'd had a baseball bat shoved inside of her and she couldn't help fantasizing about what had just been inside her.

She could almost see it. Saren between her legs thrusting away with that huge blue cock of his. His gaze would be electric and his words filthy. Only this time, he'd bind her hands overhead with a set of omni-cuffs and would hold her thighs in his iron grip.

If anything, the ache between her legs intensified. It was like her body was telling her to find the cause of it and stop it. Because Saren would make it stop...

It seemed like Saren had fucked her body into lying to itself. She was fairly sure she'd ended up in even more pain if she went back to him.

Still somewhat aroused, she didn't bother to finger herself, as it likely wouldn't come anywhere close to providing the same tactile experience his ridges and intense stretch had given her. Neither would her fingers have the added bonus of a rumbling turian baritone.

He'd actually ruined her for not just human men but for her own hands too.

Chapter Text

Incognito: (of a person) having one's true identity concealed.

"So, what you're trying to tell me is that I am essentially under arrest?" Saren snapped.

Saren was torn between anger and disbelief. He'd been expecting an assignment, not being told to remain on the Citadel for at least two months. He was reminded that this unwelcome confinement will comes with some added benefits like a human female who would certainly enjoy his... attentions.

He'd enjoy breaking her tight pussy in further, making it unable to take anything but turian endowments. She'd likely love being given further instruction in the vast utility of turian stamina. 

In addition, he still had many plans for her and most naturally involved further ruining her for humans.

"Not arrest. Vacation," Valern helpfully added whilst almost furiously opening more windows on his omnitool. He was surrounded by countless graphs and studies linking extensive periods of work in turians without sufficient downtime with atrophy in performance.

A couple of them Valern had even authored himself with the data modelled upon Saren's own performance. At least the few graphs where his performance was charted showed very minute decline compared to the others. One showed an instantaneous drop to a performance rating of 0. It was otherwise steady. He could only assume that the subject had just dropped dead.

He'd been working as a Spectre for almost twenty three years non-stop. He'd not taken a break longer than a month, and he couldn't even remember the last time he'd taken a break. So for them to suddenly want him to take one just didn't add up.

Quentius was looking vaguely chastising from Valern's right and Tevos, on his left, was maintaining her usual serene expression. He could see faint impressions of humour in her gaze.

Sometimes he felt like the only sane person left on the Citadel.

"Saren," Tevos addressed him, acting in her usual mediatory role; all an elaborate game between the councillors to manipulate and coerce, "look at it as a mission if you want. Except now your parameters are to get yourself back into your prime. We've been observing your biometric readings at the Docks and your musculature seems to be in decline. Also, going by some of the reports you have given us, you could also use this time to increase your already greatly potent skills to even greater heights."

He could hear the unsaid "you need to increase your tech capabilities." He was admittedly very well-aware of his capabilities, most would say arrogant, and he knew his tech was by far his weak point. Particularly repairs. He was fairly proficient with his tactical cloak.

It was more than a valid reason to temporarily suspend him, but they'd had more than twenty years to do so. Why now?

He didn't like this situation and his enforced detention on the Citadel, but he was nothing if not adaptable and he would ensure he didn't receive nothing out of it.

"I will require lodgings on the Citadel with access to a high-grade gym," Saren demanded, ignoring the amused curl on Tevos' lip.

"Done," Quentius' previous silence was explained by his subvocals. They were now resonant with his displeasure at the situation. "The Hierarchy will cover it. We have unused buildings on the Presidium that can be fitted for your usage. I will send you the details tomorrow."

Valern dismissed all the windows he had open with a single action.

"Dismissed."

He was the picture of turian stoicism as he'd nodded and walked calmly out. Inside, however, he was fuming.

How was he meant to stay on the Citadel for two months? He had no intention of hiding in the building they provided him for the full two months. There was kava to be had and Jane to be educated.

He was recognizable on sight by most, if not all, of its residents. He'd not been fond of using a helmet in his earlier years in the Council's service and that had backfired against him as he'd continually gained considerable renown.

It would seem he'd have to go incognito to a degree.

He'd have to deactivate his optical cybernetics, wear lighter armour instead of his customary heavy armour. He'd have to carry less weaponry, if any, and not cutting-edge like his current gear. Worst of all, he'd have to be fair to humans that weren't Jane. The prospect was revolting.

It'd be for the best for him to wear his colony markings again. His identity was almost synonymous with barefaced. The idea of wearing them again only provoked memories, both good and bad, of his elder brother Desolas.

He'd willingly forsworn his hold to his clan after he'd been forced to kill Desolas. He'd wear markings, but he'd wear those of another colony. Not those of his homeworld, Aephus. He didn't want to torture himself. He would have to wear the paint for at least a year before it would be removable without resorting to procedures that could ultimately thin his facial plates.

Nihlus had had the paint required in his bathroom. He'd use that.

Damn the Council and their horrific timing.

Nihlus was probably plotting something potentially irritating, so Saren decided he'd pre-emptively damn him too.

Damn Nihlus.

Chapter Text

Metamorphosis: a change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one.

Jane had been avoiding Nilia's prying for hours now. She'd came in earlier for her shift to make up for her absence the day before. She was starting to regret it. She easily preferred her graveyard shifts to the daytime shift as there were far less C-Sec officers about, and as a result, a much smaller chance of seeing Harkin and possibly making cup after cup of kava for the Executor. Nilia was honestly just adding to the problem.

She passed Pallin his fifth cup of kava with a smile, "Here's your kava, Executor."

He received it with a nod and a vague vocalization of thanks before drinking it.

She wondered whether an addiction to kava in turians carried similar effects as coffee in humans. Seeing the Executor sigh contently into his cup, Jane decided it likely did. She supposed she should be concerned. An addiction wasn't exactly a good thing for such a public figure to have, but the Executor could take care of himself.

Time passed quickly and eventually Trela and Nilia left but not before Nilia made an even more fervent effort to pry for details. Trela's knowing smile was becoming just as annoying. Jane had remained stalwart in her silence and her shift had officially began shortly after Nilia had given up for the day.

The usual platoon of Blue Sun mercs and an interesting assortment of nightwalkers made up the first of her customers. They'd ended up going to the sims after getting their drinks leaving the bar empty.

One of the nightwalkers that had just entered looked familiar.

Oddly enough, he looked very similar to Saren in colouring and build (he even had the same facial handlebars as him, she still didn't know what they were called) but everything else seemed... wrong.

Saren held himself with dangerous superiority and strict military rigour whilst this turian was very casual and almost loose in his movements. His movements still did betray an element of control, a little like that of someone who had been trained in hand to hand. He only had a pistol on him attached to the belt of his grey light armour. She'd seen that model of armour favoured by wealthy turian colonists; it was expensive but reliable. Whereas everything that Saren had used had been heavy armour, which was a little unusual for a turian who worked alone, and had looked like it was custom-made and the height of turian design.

The pistol was a Scorpion, and judging by the lone attachment to the muzzle, it only had a single mod on it. In all the times she'd seen Saren, the least amount of guns he'd had on his person had been three, and they'd all been modded so extensively they may as well be prototypes of a new gun.

His looks, again, were similar but still different. His eyes were an ordinary silvery blue for starters, not that it wasn't a nice colour, and he was wearing rather ornate markings. They were similar in design to Executor Pallin's. The main differences she could see were that they ended at his crest instead of running along his fringe, there were more detailed lines across his jaw and mouth, and they ran along his mandibles to their pointed end. Disregarding all these differences, most importantly, he had a calm expression on his face rather than Saren's almost simmering menace.

If Saren was the personification of intimidation, this turian was the epitome of regality, if a turian could be considered regal.

Maybe it was the fact that his markings were a brownish-gold colour that made her think that he had a regal quality to him. They reminded her of the crowns that old monarchs wore in the vids that she used to watch with her father of European royalty.

He reached the bar and took a seat with enviable grace and looked at her searchingly. She was fairly sure he was looking for a reaction from her. But what?

"Good evening," and she knew that voice, dark and resonant, of course it was Saren, "may I have a kava please?"

He was a very good actor, she could admit. She couldn't hear or feel any hint of ingenuity in his manners, and though he hadn't changed his appearance a large amount, his overall demeanour was completely different.

She couldn't help her smirk and wasn't it a surprise when he returned one in kind, though his was accompanied with a smothering gaze. It seemed he didn't need his optical cybernetics to get her libido running with a stare.

It'd only been a day since she'd been recipient of that gaze and she couldn't believe how much she'd missed the level of tension it created between them.

She slowly ran her hand through her hair with a slight smile.

"Welcome to Nilia's Lounge... one sugar, sir?"

Chapter Text

Shanghai: coerce or trick (someone) into a place or position or into doing something.

It was strange to be inconspicuous. So much of his life Saren had been subject to attention both wanted and unwanted (largely the latter), and he found it disconcerting to suddenly be invisible. Perhaps it spoke of a subconscious narcissism inside of him, but this newfound feeling of being one of many was a strange and undesirable state of affairs. His reputation and entire mindset as a Spectre had been founded and cemented on being an outsider, drawing attention due to his cultural distance from his kind.

It was particularly strange to wearing colony markings again, yet it felt oddly right. Even he, cold and socially disinclined, found the small feelings of belonging that his new markings invoked to be satisfying. He'd opted for a burnished gold colour after realizing that the hue of white favoured by Nihlus would have provided very little contrast with his plates. It hadn't been difficult to get the paint, even with how regulated it was outside of turian space and as he'd used the module on his omnitool to scan his face and project a template onto it, he had decided it would be wise to go all out in his deception. Between his new facial markings and his new demeanour, he called his identity: generic progressive turian born on the Citadel. In the eyes of the general public, he was fairly innocuous, safe even.

Despite his internal misgivings, his disguise had turned out quite well, and it was slightly easier to accept his new-found identity if he treated this whole farce as a long-term infiltration mission. He hadn't been on one since his time in the turian military, and it was a source of self-disgust to realize that he was really going through all of this just to fuck a human. Said human, stood across the counter from him, was serving an asari sat to his right a human drink. She was smiling as they spoke animatedly about Spirits knew what as he silently nursed a cup of kava. Looking at her body, a source of temptation even whilst clothed and wearing an apron, threatened to give his desires away with how much he wished to rip her clothing off of her. Despite her humanity, it was very much worth it, Saren decided.

Visibly relaxing in his seat, something he wasn't at all used to doing, he took another sip of his kava. It was delectable as usual. Jane was now serving a human Eclipse sister some asari alcohol. He wasn't surprised she had recognised him, as she likely knew his voice a lot better than most. He didn't speak unless necessary, and it just so happened that Jane, and only Jane, was very intimately familiar with his voice.

It was odd to be able to drink his kava without holding back his enjoyment of it. It did result in him being less aware of his surroundings though, almost failing to notice the Eclipse sister trying to recruit Jane.

"Sweetheart, the Sisterhood needs people like you," the Eclipse sister was incredibly drunk, but lucid, gesturing emphatically with a shot glass containing some asari liquor. It was rather impressive she hadn't spilt any. Jane was smiling, but it was empty of humour.

"You need bartenders? Doesn't sound like Eclipse has their priorities entirely in order." Jane's reply was caustic. Past experiences with Eclipse or mercenaries in general?

"Stop trying to be cute, sweetheart." He was starting to detest hearing that endearment on her mouth, and mostly because it was directed at Jane.

"I can tell you're ex-military. Don't you think your skills are wasted here? Tied to the Citadel? With Eclipse you'll be able to see the galaxy. Free from Alliance command!" The sister cackled, giving a loud whoop.

She had stood up at this point, wobbling to and fro, pointing almost accusingly at Jane. Jane didn't look happy at all, and she was looking at the counter with a frown on her face. Regardless of how drunk the Eclipse sister was, it seemed she had hit the mark with her recruiting pitch. With her backstory of leaving the Alliance, Saren was not surprised to hear that it was a source of internal contention. 

Jane was wasted on the Citadel. Images of her on his ship in his mind, making him kava and offering her body to him whenever he wanted it, only confirmed it. She belonged with him.

It was odd to see her without a smile or a generally happy expression, as he'd never seen her truly displeased. Watching her made his stomach sink, and it was a decidedly unpleasant sensation.

He wasn't sure at all why mercenaries were allowed on the Citadel, they were trouble. Filth. If the Blood Pack were banned, so should all the others. But that logic was leveraged on the fact that the Citadel wasn't corrupt and crime-infested, which it was.

"I think you've had enough." Jane's voice was arctic in delivery.

"You know what... I have had enough. Think hard on my offer, sweetheart. Ask for Penny at Chora's if you're interested," the sister had said, giving her a drunken smile.

He didn't think that Jane would go for it, as the Eclipse sister stumbled outside, but she'd definitely been knocked off balance by the offer.

What would Caellius, the progressive turian, do? He knew what he wanted to do, guide her to the bathroom and have his way with her, make her forget for a time. However, even he knew that that was selfish, not particularly discreet, and potentially unhelpful.

He thought of attempting to comfort her, but that would likely knock her more off balance. It just wasn't him to offer verbal comfort. There was an option though: he could encourage her to vent by talking about his own grievances.

He ordered another kava and waited for her to finish, his right foot tapping impatiently against the calf of his left leg. Her usual smile had yet to return.

She passed it to him without saying anything, passing a pad quickly after. She then took off her apron and draped it over the counter, took out a bottle of levo alcohol from a refrigeration unit, and vaulted over the bar into the seat next to him.

Her presence next to him wasn't unwelcome by any means. She opened the bottle, a salarian vintage wine, and took a swig.

He was momentarily reminded of Nihlus.

"Not bad. A little too sweet for my tastes though." She stopped to give him an up and down look that was more parody than interest. "So... what's your name, stranger?"

He couldn't help his disappointment and his consequent brusqueness.

"Caellius," he grunted.

She mumbled the name under her breath repeatedly, almost as if she were testing it on her lips. Judging by the slight smirk she gained it must have passed whatever test she had subjected it to.

"Well.. Caellius, what brings you to the Citadel?"

He wondered whether he should tell her of his minor fall from grace or provide a fabrication.

He would tell her the truth.

"My employers have found my skills to be in... slight decline. When you combine that with my lack of inclination to take breaks, they have seen it fit to temporarily shackle me to the Citadel for both rest and improvement."

He remembered what he'd read in her dossier all those months ago on his ship. She was a skilled engineer, and whilst he felt that her expertise would be useful, it wouldn't be of integral importance to his improvement in the field. It would prove to be a useful excuse for her continued company and maybe provide her with greater feelings of self-worth.

He'd hated seeing her meek and in low spirits at the hand of a foolish mercenary.

"In particular... there is a deficiency in my skillset that you could assist me with," he said, trailing off to provide what he hoped to be enticement.

She looked intrigued now, head quirked in question, and he was incredibly glad she hadn't assumed that he was flirting. He didn't think he could muster the bravado to ask her again.

He didn't like acknowledging any failing that he had, especially to a human. Even if it was Jane.

"Sure. I'd be happy to help you." She was, her smile was back and it was one that extended to her eyes, and that uncomfortable feeling in his stomach disappeared. "But maybe tomorrow? I don't think I know you well enough. Maybe we could fix that today?"

The lighting had begun to turn on outside and the customers had begun to leave of their own free will, no angry bouncers or flustered managers to usher them out. It was strange the level of reverence this place got from its patrons.

It'd be best if they left before Nilia came in, as he wasn't particularly eager to have his disguise compromised so quickly. Moreover, he wanted her on a bed. Quickly.

He wrapped an idle arm around her waist and stroked her hip. She leaned into his touch with a smile that warmed his cold heart.

"I hope you're ready for a thorough introduction," he purred, his talons, hidden in his gloves, caressing the inside of her thigh.

Chapter Text

Stasis: a period or state of inactivity or equilibrium.

They were in her apartment.

She was on the edge of the bed and Saren was between her legs on his knees, a sight for sore eyes, watching her with his strangely coloured eyes. She didn't think she'd get used to their natural colour; they were too... pretty. She liked them, liked that she could see where he was staring all the time, and she liked that she was always the subject. He'd lifted her thighs onto his cowl and had licked all over her inner thighs.

But now, his long, coarse tongue was laid straight along her damp slit, and it was sadly stationary. There was no doubt about it. He was such a tease, taunting her in his inaction. She would have said something, if he didn't take the opportunity to flick his tongue along her slit as she opened her mouth to speak.

"Ohh... do that again," she begged.

His response was a rumbling chuckle into her crotch that only made her pussy ache even more, and he gave her one long lap. The friction between his tongue and her sex forced a moan out of her. She was happy, anticipating the rhythm he was about to start, until the tip of his tongue lightly pushed on her clit, and again, it was stationary. She couldn't help the whine that left her mouth. She was so needy. She wanted him so badly.

"Don't make me beg.. please," she begged again.

His eyes were alight with prideful satisfaction, a dangerous smirk at his plated lips. It was strange being able to see emotion in his eyes where they had once been indecipherable. There were merits to his natural eyes.

"I suppose I can be generous this once," he rumbled into her slit, hot breath tingling against her skin, and with a strong swipe to her folds, he began licking in earnest. There was a deep, thrumming purr in his throat as he licked at her, transferring the deep vibrations in his chest into her. She was moaning without restraint as he traced his tongue along her entrance, and her clit, before briefly detouring to lick at her thighs again. There was a tiny stab of pain as he nibbled at the sensitive flesh where her thigh met her crotch before he soothed the irritation with his tongue.

After that, he went back to licking her. Between the sight of him feasting on her, his prior actions, and the sensations his tongue was creating, it was too much. His mandibles were dripping from her juices, a clear dampness against the white of his face.

Her orgasm wasn't a surprise to her. Saren immediately changed his tactics upon realizing, moving his tongue over her opening, and her fluids slowly pooled on his outstretched tongue as she came down from what had been an excellent climax.

It was unbearably lewd. She couldn't help her shudder as he pulled his tongue back into his mouth, staring with her mouth agape. His gaze upon her was like staring into a wildfire, and she wanted to be burned. It was like he'd discovered a new obsession. 

"You taste better than I expected," he muttered to himself, pulling her towards his mouth again in a jerky, impatient movement. "Maybe I'll take another taste."

Then he shoved his tongue deep inside of her, his massive hands crushing her thighs to his face. She whimpered, eyes fluttering open and shut without pattern at the feel of his tongue against her still tender walls. After his sudden entry, he took it slowly, gently snaking his tongue through her. The feeling of his rough tongue inside her brought pleasure that was almost sharp in its intensity, and were it not for not for the incredible strength he was holding her thighs with, she wouldn't be able to help the involuntary reflex to kick her legs out. He had a lot more control over his tongue than a human, able to make it bend and follow the contours of her walls. She was afraid she'd wake the neighbours.

His tongue eventually moved across her g-spot, and he returned to it, seeming to recognize the rough patch of flesh. He rubbed his tongue back and forth against it, an audible chuckle sounding, as her legs uncontrollably clenched and unclenched in his hold.

"Stop moving," he growled into her.

If anything, that made things worse. She could feel her cunt vibrating around his tongue from his voice. and at this rate, she'd be close within minutes.

His eyes met hers over her mound as she twitched once more, her body joining her legs in their reflexive twitching. With a slow, sensual lick as he withdrew, he stood up in front of her supine body. She now had full vision of his eyes, and they were almost black with lust. 

She definitely preferred him without the optical cybernetics.

"Will I have to restrain you?" He asked, and there was something wicked in his eyes as he asked the question.

She couldn't help her soft laugh, amused at her fantasy possibly coming true.

"I wouldn't be opposed," she murmured.

He looked at her with interest at this and moved to straddle her chest, his weight pressing her into the mattress. His cock was pressed against her lips, heavy and soaked with his arousal.  

She could feel his rumbling growls in her ribcage, liquefying her brain of any possible rational thought. Saren was just proving to be one walking turn on for her.

He cupped the back of her head with one hand and idly stroked her hair.

"Open your mouth," he demanded, a slight bare of sharp teeth betraying his impatience.

She did as asked, and he shoved himself in with his hand. At this angle his cock was far too thick for her. He began to thrust in and out rapidly, and all she could manage was suction and the occasional exploration of his with her tongue. She was just gagging as he thrust in and out rapidly, using her as he wanted, and the realization made her close her eyes. She shuddered, helpless to his desires, as she drowned in the rich smell of his arousal in her nose, at the feel of him slightly pressing into her throat, and at the snarls coming from the huge turian using her.

His breathing was heavy, and she panted for breath as he briefly removed his erection from her mouth, allowing her the opportunity to catch her breath. Without a word, he took a hold of both her wrists in one of his huge taloned hands. The other grabbed the back of her head and pulled her back onto his length, and his hips began thrusting anew.

She was confused as to what he was going to bind her wrists with until she felt the heavy weight of biotics descend upon them. It felt like a stasis field, and she tried to move her wrists in response. There was no response, but she could move the rest of her body.

It was inventive and rather skilful.

He removed himself from her mouth with a slick pop and gave her a lustful look. Her cunt felt like fire at this point, a source of heat that stifled her awareness of the other parts of her body. Hopefully, he'd put that fire out for her.

He then slid down her body, silver plates rubbing roughly against her skin, and took a hold of her right leg and lifted it over his shoulder. He wrapped the other around his waist, snarling at her when it pressed into the unplated hide there. It was a big stretch, even with how much he was trying to accommodate for that by leaning into her.

He slowly pushed himself into her, a soundless gasp escaping her as he began to spread her around his girth. It was nowhere near as painful as the first time, but the slow burn of the stretch he induced in her was still a source of discomfort. She didn't have to grit her teeth and bear it this time, instead finding immediate pleasure in his ridged member moving through her. 

"Spirits.. you're so tight and wet," he said, his face buried somewhere in her throat.

He continued to push himself in in one long, continuous push. His ridges, stroking gently against her g-spot with each new inch of his shaft, were making her so wet around him. It didn't take long and was relatively painless when he was in her to the hilt. As if to test the depth at which he was in her, he pressed harshly against her, making sure their hips couldn't be any closer. She moaned desperately at the sensation of him so deep inside her, finding the pleasure-pain of being impaled by him to be intoxicating.

A hand wrapped around her throat, stealing the breath from her as he lightly squeezed, and he proceeded to fuck her with long, almost lazy strokes. On some level, Jane was aware that she should be terrified. She should be terrified that a turian who outweighed her, was far stronger than her, was known for sheer hostility towards humanity, and had her hands bound in his biotics, had his hand wrapped tightly around her throat. He wasn't suffocating her, but the potential danger in his grasp wasn't to be ignored. When the sharp talon on his thumb began to trace her pulse, she realized she was insane when she reacted with only a shudder, finding only pleasure in the danger. His eyes were boring into her as he fucked her, a glimmer of something dark and all-consuming in them, as he removed himself completely before thrusting himself quickly back in, ridges stroking her walls as he moved. She was beyond words at this point, and each thrust just made her whimper and make soft, pathetic noises. Still, his eyes fixated on her face to watch her reactions, and his hand squeezed just a hair tighter, now threatening to choke her. She couldn't decide which was more arousing. 

His mandibles moved in an expression of satisfaction as she spasmed around him, clenching tightly to him with her orgasm. Thankfully, his hand went to her cheek, stroking it as he had done her pulse, as she climaxed. She was afraid she'd pass out if he had continued to choke her.

"You never did answer my question. How do I feel inside of you?"

His voice was calm, unbelievably. She was afraid to answer, as she didn't think she'd be able to speak in full sentences. She'd just came after all.

He gave her a vicious series of thrusts in response to her silence that made her wail, slamming himself against her as hard as he had the day before. She sobbed without tears, alternatively cursing and praising him in her mind, until he finally stopped. His face suddenly became all she could see as he buried her underneath his massive body, trapping her.

He began to soothe her with slow, almost loving strokes.

"To me you feel so tight, you suck on me, like you never want me to leave... do you want me to leave?"

And to her horror, he pulled out completely and removed her legs from him. All she could think when she saw his cock, dripping their combined fluids on her pussy. It was swaying gently from his sheath, bobbing indecently, and she knew that she needed it back inside of her. Immediately.

She babbled quickly.

"You fill me up like nobody ever has, pushing me to my limits." Her voice was incredibly raw in her throat but she continued on, "I could still feel you between my legs when I was at the bar earlier. Please... Sar--AHH!"

Interrupting her brief speech, he shoved himself back in and began to ruthlessly pound her. He muffled her choked scream by taking her mouth in his, gagging her with the intrusive sensation of his tongue descending into her throat. She could only make muffled noises against his plated lips as his body subsumed her own. Her legs were in the air, held in his talons, and had been forced onto either side of her head. She knew she was going to feel this in the morning, as he was somehow even deeper inside her now.

It only took a few minutes of this violent pace, and all the while Saren lapped at the insides of her throat with his incredibly long tongue.

"I'm going to fill you up now. Spirits," he murmured after he withdrew his tongue.

His seed was hot, almost searing, and he filled her until she was overflowing, a slow trickle down her rear as he held himself flush. She was out of breath and he was prone above her, panting into her shoulder. 

She was about to nod off to sleep when he slowly started thrusting into her again, 

He exhaled hot breath into her ear and licked her neck. She twitched at the texture of his tongue and twitched again, remembering all the places that night it had been. Her reaction was almost Pavlovian at this point.

"I'm not done," he said into her ear.

Chapter Text

Precarious: not securely held or in position; dangerously likely to fall or collapse.

Saren wasn't sure he'd ever be able to get enough of this human.. Jane. Her taste, her scent, her inviting channel, and the sounds she made as he plundered her for his own. She may not know it, but he wasn't certain he'd ever be able to relinquish the unspoken claim he'd made to her body.

He was obsessed, and there was no doubt about that in his mind.

His thrusts were gentle from his previous violent ones. Slow thrusts meant to ease rather than punish. It was her reward for allowing him to do what he wished with her. It was her reward for not reacting aversely when he'd taken her throat in his hand, tracing it with his sharpest talon. If she'd reacted negatively, he'd been prepared to call the whole thing off, but she'd reacted as he'd secretly wanted, revelling in his dominion over her. So he was rewarding her, treating her like a lover instead of a possession. He explored her in her entirety, wall to wall, with his length. Each moan was a gift that he was only happy to take from her.

Her arms came up to circle around his neck after he released her wrists from the hold of his biotics.

The expression on her face was a questioning one, even as she stroked the sensitive underside fringe, those green eyes focussed almost piercingly on his own. He felt bare without his cybernetics, like a fledgling before a Primarch. She was unfathomably larger than life beneath him, humbling him and making him nervous with her unflinching stare. His cybernetics had served as a shield for such a long period of his life, and to be without them, in a potentially fragile situation was both terrifying and exhilarating.

After all, you cannot read what you cannot see.

Being skin to skin like this was new. For once, he wasn't using his advantage in size over her to dominate her, but to cradle her as if she were precious.

They hadn't been face to face. At least, he wouldn't call him having his tongue down her throat, limiting her ability to breathe as face to face. It lacked the intimacy implied in the words. Part of him wanted to just turn her around, facing away from him, and just take what he wanted. She enjoyed when he did that, almost as much as he did. Taking her as he wished was incredibly arousing.

But his mind rebelled against the idea. The thought was almost bitter. Wrong.

Pale, soft skin damp with sweat against his mix of silver plates and rough patches of brown hide. Her face right beneath his as he breathed onto her and she breathed back.

That was his new credo.

She was somewhat cool in temperature beneath him whilst he felt like he had spent a week on Therum in full blast of its star. Boiling.

He couldn't help wrapping his arms around her in a futile attempt to warm her. The logical part of his brain derisively stated that humans ran colder than turians. Her skin had always felt slightly colder than him.

They weren't close enough, and it seemed like they never would be. His arms tightened their grip around her, as if to make them merge into one being. Maybe if they were close enough together, they would never separate and they'd finally be the same temperature. 

Even the loud almost squelching sounds of their sex, his growly moans and her throaty ones were muted to him. They were discordant background noise he couldn't fully comprehend, as all he could focus on was her face.

All he could see was her face.

He felt like he was losing himself, losing that edge that had hardened him against the galaxy, but then maybe that wasn't so bad. She was here and he was here. Maybe they could be lost together.

The fingers stroking his fringe paused and confusion and hesitance crossed her face. Her mouth was opening to speak, and he could predict the questions that would come from her that would likely destroy his very precarious sense of self. Who was he? Making love to humans, having sex with them at all, wasn't something he did. It was something he wouldn't ever consider.

Everything was so strange as it was, and the only thing he knew was her. He smothered her with a kiss, maintaining his slow, even pace with his hips.

Her taste was strange, a mix between the sweetness of his lubricant and her own tangy, almost salty, taste. Judging by her moan into his mouth, she could taste herself on him.

Her hands were now tightly gripping and squeezing his exposed hide wherever she could find it, and it was a simmering pleasure that spread throughout him and ended in his cock buried inside of her. His moans were little more than mere rumbles, more subvocalizations than voice at this point.

He wouldn't change his pace, no matter how much she provoked him.

It felt right.

When he came, it was less of a victory and expression of satisfaction like the others. It was quiet, synchronised with her own and more of an epiphany. 

He really did enjoy fucking her, in all manners of ways. He hoped he'd continue to be able to explore his unwaning want of her. Going by her eyes that questioned too much and the mouth that said too little, she was conflicted.

It had been far too intimate for two people who were really just using each other to sate taboo desires. 

He watched her until she succumbed to her exhaustion. She never looked back at him and a part of him felt like he'd just been charged by a krogan. He had enough sense of self to discard the brief feeling of hurt, but he still watched her unerringly. 

She had been tired when he'd began their second round. The new position he moved them in, following her falling asleep, found him beneath her with his arms wrapped around her. She was atop his torso, head under his chin with her crotch on his sheath. He was still buried deep within her, hard, and he felt a pang of possessiveness at keeping her filled with him as she slept. Though if he were asked by Jane, when she woke, why he hadn't removed himself it would be because he didn't think she'd appreciate his seed leaking onto her bedsheets.

Though it really was a nice place to keep his cock.

He was obsessed, that he was sure of, but he didn't know what he truly wanted from her, or even what she wanted from him. What he did know, was that he wanted to keep her with him. He wanted to keep her with him for a significant amount of time, and whether he wanted more from her than sex and kava, he wasn't sure.

Chapter Text

Rescue: keep from being lost or abandoned; retrieve.

Jane was laid on top of Saren and firmly held to his chest. His scent surrounded her, a mix of turian musk and his own scent: gunmetal, burnished leather and something sweet she couldn't name. It was nice.

She didn't move, as she wanted to think of how she wanted to approach this situation first. It was a surprise that he hadn't left whilst she was asleep, but then after what had happened in the early morning she wasn't so surprised.

He was reading something on his omnitool with one hand idling stroking her hair. His talons were scratching her scalp, soothing her and almost making her forget her misgivings. Was he doing this because he expected her to react with anger, or was it out of that unnameable emotion that he had been brimming with earlier? 

She was pretty sure he knew she was awake, yet he continued. Slow, gentle strokes through her hair. His chest vibrating in a rhythm known only to another turian. It was probably best she didn't know what it meant. 

Their arrangement only reminded her of more uncomplicated times, like when she woke up in his arms in Nilia's. But that hadn't really been simple either. Nothing with Saren seemed to be simple.

When he had begun to make love to her, she could deal with it. It was fine. It felt really good in fact, and it had been a nice change from his usual aggressiveness. But it had been the look in those beautiful silvery eyes, framed in those golden-brown markings that were quickly growing on her, that unsettled her.

They were so soft... so... tender. Like she was going to disappear if he looked away. It terrified her because she had almost returned that look and why would she have tender feelings for Saren Arterius? He was a great fuck and someone to pass the mornings with. Not someone to feel any semblance of affection for. It sounded like something out of a bad vid. A human barista and the most celebrated turian Spectre falling for each other. Just that itself was nonsense, and then you added their respective baggage to fully gauge the sheer amount of wrong it was.

Herself?

She was currently suffering from a severe lack of direction in life with her only recently recovering from mental trauma. That was without mentioning her stilted relationship with her mother. She'd wanted her to become a real doctor like her father, not a researcher. It would have likely been a better decision, but there was a reason why she had been listed in Alliance channels as an engineer, not a combat medic.

She loved her tech.

Saren?

His brutality and lack of consideration for life (though from the news vids she'd watched that had been improving in the last few years), his inability to have fun and his general demeanour was almost anathema to hers. He was far too serious for her, far too cold for her.

It was a real Romeo and Juliet epic in the making, and it came with its own unique brand of crazy. It was ridiculous, and if anyone found out, she feared that her brother's reputation may suffer by proxy.

They didn't even really know anything about the other. He likely knew more about her than she knew about him. She didn't have the luxury of having access to the highly detailed information network and near inexhaustible funds that being a Spectre entailed.

She'd thought that their relationship was one of mutual satisfaction, but she wasn't a fool. She'd known from the start of their little affair that they held a fair deal of affection for the other, but it was an affection that wasn't to be acknowledged. It was unspoken taboo. It wasn't necessary for the type of relationship they had with each other. She could satisfy her previously unknown danger kink, and he got to satisfy himself with her body. She was fairly sure he still hated humans.

Despite everything, he'd broken that unsaid rule.

But why?

She lifted herself up slightly to face him, and his arm moved with her. He still wouldn't break their body contact, choosing to keep her held against him as he sat up. The implications were more unsettling, if anything. He was clearly calmer than her, eyes calculating and mandibles still whilst she sat, unsettled more than she'd ever been in her life, in his lap. They were again, face to face, and she could feel his spicy breath wafting onto her face.

She spoke before she lost her nerve.

"We need to talk," she whispered.

He looked at her carefully, examining her every movement before nodding in acquiescence. 

"What do you want from me?"

His response was instant, assured, and his dark voice was filled with an emotion she was sure had to be possessiveness. Ordinarily, she'd likely be aroused by it, but really all she felt now was a profound sense of defeat. She hadn't realised he was in so deep.

"Everything."

A lesser woman would likely have freaked out but she was good at maintaining her cool. She liked Saren, maybe she even loved him a little, but 'everything' sounded a lot more than an offer for her to get to know him and explore this whole change in their dynamic. She was stupid, she was crazy, and she was willing to see where this would go. She felt oddly safe with him.

But there was the problem that everything was well... everything. She'd give him this chance to explain himself, as he hadn't really done anything to alienate her personally.

She could offer him that much.

"What is... everything?"

"I want you with me all the time." She couldn't help her frown in response to that, it was selfish.

"Not to fuck," he added with a slight smirk. "Not that I don't enjoy fucking your tight pussy. No, I want you with me so I can see you smile and give you the opportunity to see a galaxy that you clearly ache to see."

She was oddly touched, though not surprised that he'd picked that up during her interaction with the Eclipse sister, but he ruined the moment when he continued talking. He was still incredibly selfish, but she couldn't help finding it somewhat endearing. Nice for Saren was talking about all the things he wanted her to do for him. It was likely a compliment larger than she knew considering that he didn't seem like the type to rely on anyone for anything.

She supposed it was a big step for someone so used to depending on only themselves.

"And perhaps between you teaching me tech, making me kava, patching up my wounds and all the fucking we'll do, I'll get you combat ready enough to join me on my missions," he murmured, sounding increasingly enchanted with the idea with each task he listed for her.

She couldn't help her laughter. Had he lost his mind?

He looked oddly offended, and the hand that had been stroking her hair moved to her shoulder in question.

"I imagine that must be a great fantasy, Saren, but what makes you think I want to spend the rest of my life following you around on your ship? I didn't get a PhD so I could throw it away."

Oddly enough, it seemed that that hadn't occurred to him as he suddenly froze. Or perhaps he didn't consider that she would say no? Whilst she wasn't satisfied with her current choices in life, she'd chosen them and wanted to see them to their end.

She laughed again, even harder, when he started grumbling about "spineless humans".

"Maybe we can take this a little slower than that... a lot slower. Maybe we should get to know each other? I'm more familiar with your cock than with you as a person," she said.

She could swear that he was on the cusp of huffing as he glared at her. She met it dead on. If she were to even consider the insanity of pursuing some form of a relationship with him, she wouldn't back down on this.

Several minutes passed before he finally growled out his acceptance. If he had his cybernetics on, she'd likely have given up, but his eyes were too pretty to intimidate her. It was enjoyable to stare back.

"Fine," he snarled.

With a wide smirk at him, she hoped that she always won their disagreements.

Chapter Text

Desire: a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen.

He had her up against the wall of her shower, supporting her with a hand underneath her rear and another at her back. It was surprisingly spacious for one in an apartment, fitting both of them comfortably, and the feel of hot water cascading across his body was satisfying.

She had her legs wrapped around his waist, arms around his neck, and her sex pressed against his sheath. His tongue tangled around hers in her mouth, toying with it in twisting and tugging motions. His plates were starting to shift.

The original plan had been for them to have a chaste shower and digest their previous conversation. He wasn't sure he liked the current direction of whatever they had.

He'd been evasive.

Humour served as a good guise for the truth, and none of what he said had been a lie, but it was not the entirety of his desires. It was one of the things that he had learnt from Nihlus, surprisingly. He hadn't told her what he really wanted from her, it would frighten her.

I want to mark you with my teeth. Keep you. Possess you.

No. He didn't know if he loved her or not. He'd never been in love, didn't know what love truly was, and he'd never had any desire for such a permanent weakness, but he knew he wanted her a lot. Things were fragile enough, and he may be obsessed with her to the point where he wanted to take her as his mate, but she didn't love him, didn't want him in that manner. He knew that there was potential for her to love him, but that wasn't enough to make her his. She wasn't ready, and he wasn't prepared to settle with just potential.

He could be patient. He was capable of great patience when he wanted something, but he was unused to playing the role of suitor. It would be a learning experience.

Naturally, he was aware of the stigma of their union. The Council wouldn't care, as long as it didn't affect his missions, so his livelihood would remain safe. Humans and turians would spurn them both. He was well aware that the extent of turian-human couples in the public eye began and ended in the seedier parts of the extranet. It ended in bloodied talons and teeth, tiny human bodies restrained beneath much larger turian ones, and screaming. The one time he'd looked at turian-human porn whilst missing Jane, he'd been astonished and disgusted to know that that was what was selling. It was disturbing to know that the most popular type of porn amongst turians involving them and humans was little more than simulated rape. It was likely, however, that those who pursued humans weren't the type to necessarily like the species. It was ironic that he of all people could understand that sentiment, but not the brutality.

Whilst he'd known he would be rough with her, he was not going to draw blood from her with his talons or teeth. He wanted her to crave him, not fear him.

All in all, he cared little for what people thought of him courting a human. He'd lived and worked alone ever since he'd been recruited for the Spectres. He could deal with that. She was a social being though, and she enjoyed being around people. It had to be why she worked at Nilia's even though she was incredibly wealthy for a student. He'd checked her bank account after Nilia had mentioned it.

Admittedly, she'd done a good job at keeping a low profile. Very few people were aware that Commander Shepard had a sister, but if it came out that they were together, both she and the human commander would likely suffer.

He didn't particularly care for the Commander's suffering, but he was likely important to Jane, so it would only just result in her suffering being twofold. He didn't want her to suffer.

She made him weak. But it was a weakness that he would hold close to himself. He couldn't regret it when he was happy to be in her presence.

He exited his reverie, knowing he'd been still for quite some time, to find her watching him. She must have broken their kiss whilst he was deep in thought. He was hard against her thigh, yet her gaze was full of amusement. What was she amused about? 

He found that he didn't care, not finding her amusement to be important.

He positioned himself at her entrance and pulled her into him as he thrust upwards all the way to the hilt. Her soft walls rippling around his length in agitation and tightening around his girth was heaven, and he couldn't help his blissful sigh.

"Yess...."

She still couldn't take him so quickly, unfortunately, as she yelped in pain as he entered her. Maybe in the future he'd stretch her out with his fingers first, and knowing her, she'd probably find the danger of his talons to be part of the thrill. He didn't file them down, but he was very precise. He wouldn't harm her. A part of him wondered if she could take all three of his fingers. Together they were thicker than the girth of his cock. He was very thick for a turian.

He set up a rhythm of fast, gentle slaps into her slit whilst rumbling apologies in her ear with his sub-vocals. She was moaning lowly into his aural canal, and her sweet cool breath tickled his skin.

He could feel her walls slackening around him. They were no longer holding him in a stranglehold and were simply massaging him. His ridges harshly rubbed against the textures of her walls and coaxed moans from them both.

She kissed him once more, and it was bruising in force, even for him. She traced his teeth with her soft tongue. He could taste her blood in his mouth, a sharp rush of copper, as she nicked them. It shouldn't have turned him on, but it did. It drove him almost mad with need and her smirk in response to the dilation of his eyes cemented his decision. He wouldn't mind punishing her.

He pulled out and slammed into her, the sight of his blue disappearing in its entirety into her pink didn't help at all. He still burned. She screamed, a mixture of pain and pleasure, but she didn't make any movements that indicated she didn't want it.

"Harder... please, Saren."

He could do harder.

He abused her sex with vicious hammering strokes with his talons piercing her waist. He drew blood, as if in tribute to those disgusting videos, and she was panting in his face, not screaming, but breathing harshly at him and whispering in a rough voice for him to go faster. He obliged her, growling at her with dangerous possessiveness screaming from his sub-vocals. It was animalistic, and in that moment, he knew he'd never be able to let her go. Not now, at least.

Thoughts of how much he wanted her, how much he hated her humanity, and how much he needed her spiralled through his mind. Her pleasured screams served as a droning background noise to those thoughts.

She came around him whilst he maintained his cruel pace, and he idly wondered if he could fuck her into loving him.

She'd likely managed to do that to him.

Chapter Text

Casual: clothes or shoes suitable for everyday wear rather than formal occasions.

"Repairs? You want me to teach you how to repair things?"

Jane had just finished applying medigel to her waist. He'd left three deep claw marks on each side, and it'd likely scar.

She didn't feel too bothered about it, but Saren's unending gaze at the marks he'd left told her they meant something far more to him than to her. She wasn't sure whether it was a turian thing or a Saren thing. It was likely both. It seemed a natural conclusion to think that he was marking his territory.

Some things were universal between men, even if this particular method of possession was violent, so to speak.

"Indeed. It would be beneficial." He was leaning on the wall adjacent to her bed, fully clothed in comparison to her nakedness, watching her get dressed. She had to leave to cover Nilia's shift any moment now (she was apparently ill) and he was supposed to be leaving for urgent Hierarchy business.

He still had enough time to ogle her so it clearly wasn't urgent.

She slightly turned away from him, knowing it wouldn't be wise for him to get any ideas. Her ability to walk was dubious as it was, and Nilia would likely kill her for missing the shift.

"You more than likely know that I was a combat engineer in the Alliance, not a part of a ship's maintenance team, right?" He nodded in reply as she began to brush her hair into a semblance of order.

"I specialized in usage of both static and dynamic defenses; turrets and drones. Anti-synthetic measures, hacking and uses of omni-gel," she listed off absently.

She huffed a little, realizing that she was rambling.

"I mean.. I could teach you how to repair things, but that's a matter of being familiar with your equipment and instruction manuals are incredibly comprehensive these days. You could likely teach yourself provided you have the background knowledge.."

And it clicked. Of course he hadn't read the manuals. He likely considered them beneath him, not wanting to follow the instructions of one that wasn't himself.

She couldn't help the rolling of her eyes.

"You didn't read any of your instruction manuals. Did you?" She couldn't help her laugh at his sudden fixation at the wall above her, guilty alright. "What were you trying to repair Saren? a wire network?"

She didn't know what to wear, looking but not finding what she was looking for. Saren joined her in front of her wardrobe and was looking with disinterest at what she was rummaging through.

"My navigational VI. I managed to restore it to a... somewhat usable condition," he murmured, lifting an old pair of lingerie with a curious expression.

She fought off the urge to smile.

Repairing VIs without a manual was no easy feat because it required almost unnatural coding proficiency. Of course Saren would pretty much be a genius with tech unknowingly. There was no way in hell she was going to tell him, as his ego already had its own gravitational pull.

"That is impressive. Intelligence engineering is a bitch and most engineers struggle with that, myself included. If you could do that, why are you asking me to teach you how to do repairs? Clearly your ability isn't the problem, more your lack of interest in it... is this your way of wanting to spend time with me?" She asked, hoping it was the case.

His evasion was swift but his gaze had softened ever so slightly. 

"I would still like you to teach me what you know about tech. In particular, I feel that your knowledge of anti-synthetic measures would be useful," he said.

"You're meant to say yes," Jane said, a smile tugging at her lips when Saren gave her a clearly feigned blank look.

"... Yes?"

"It's not a question Saren," she said.

"I know. Wear this." He passed her a blue singlet dress that ended mid-thigh. She hadn't worn that in months - that dress, and a pair of stilettos buried somewhere in her wardrobe served, as her pick up attire. It had yet to fail.

Would she be getting lucky tonight? She put it on and gestured to herself.

"This isn't particularly appropriate for work. I'm not Nilia who can wear whatever she wants, whenever," she said, surprised that he'd have an opinion.

He walked over to her, pressing his body against hers, and leant down to take her lips with his own.

"You'll wear it," he murmured, his voice making it sound like a command.

"Since you asked so nicely," she said, sighing. She grabbed a thong and put it on. She'd wear it, but not without leggings. Working in a bar, she'd like to retain some sense of dignity. "This is not appropriate for work, at all."

His mandibles were quirked in a lecherous smirk, and she crossed her legs in self-defence. It wasn't easy to put leggings on like that, but the smirk that crossed his face usually ended up with her beneath him getting ravaged.

Later.

"But it will be appropriate for me to remove from you later," he said, and he placed his gloved hand at her back.

His voice was rich with promise, and the shiver that ran through her was sharp.

"Point taken."

Chapter Text

Surprise: an unexpected or astonishing event, fact, etc.

She was mid-conversation with Trela when she saw them.

"This is... unexpected."

It really was. She hadn't expected her brother, Nihlus, Garrus and what she could only describe as an entourage made of a mix of species; mainly turian and human to enter the lounge.

It was surprising enough that her brother was in Nihlus's company. Let alone Garrus's. 

She had an interrogation to do, he hadn't messaged her in a year after all. Likely up to something classified. It would make making him part with the information that much sweeter.

"Do you know them?" Trela looked at her in question between eyeing the large group and the available space inside.

"I know a few of them, the human with the buzzcut and blue eyes is my brother, John."

Trela gave her a smile that skirted the line between mocking and humour. 

"I'm pretty sure that's Commander Shepard, not your brother, Jane. You don't even look alike."

She'd find out for herself. She smiled as the group approached. One of the humans, burly with a mohawk, muttered a damn under his breath as he saw her and Trela.

She did look pretty good. Trela too she supposed.

"How can I help you?"

John had a soft smile on his face though he looked really haggard. Overworking himself likely. Nihlus looked as she last saw him, though very restrained and giving no indication that he knew her. It was odd. 

Garrus offered her a nod which she returned with a wink.

"Not going to say hello to me, Jane?"

One of the salarians in the group seemed to be taking notes, likely on their interaction, whilst they spoke with his omnitool. She couldn't help her flashbacks of Professor Inoste, that was the type of awkward thing he'd do. 

"Hello, John. What brings you here?"

".. nothing much really, just wanted to see my sister, maybe get a few drinks... Nihlus and Garrus had been waxing poetic about this place."

The group stirred somewhat at the mention of sister and Trela gave a slight gasp beside her. Only Nilia, Saren and Nihlus knew of her relationship to John. Most others just assumed, correctly at that, that Shepard and its permutations were common human last names. Add their vastly different looks and her low profile had been incredibly easy to maintain.

"Fascinating! Human diversity is constant source of surprise. Share very little common characteristics apart from propensity for great height. Yet still are siblings."

The rate at which he was taking notes seemed to explode as he spoke. She'd barely understood him, he spoke so quickly. There were scattered groans and chuckles from the group. 

She stared at John in disbelief.

Why did you bring this brand of special to my workplace?

John looked like he was counting to ten in his head to keep from losing his mind. The slant of his mouth was vaguely apologetic. She'd take it as an apology.

Garrus was smirking, mandibles quirked.

Nihlus? He'd raised a hand to his face before catching himself. He gave her a slight nod whilst everyone was distracted. She returned it.

"Thank you Mordin. Your input is always valued." Mordin nodded almost humbly in response to John's sarcastic drawl. Sarcasm was always a hit and miss type of thing with salarians. The asari stood next to him snorted.

"I'm Jane's adopted brother, we aren't biologically related. Jane, can you just get us some drinks? I'll do introductions before the onslaught of questions begins."

"Hold it in Mordin." The asari next to Mordin gave him a wry smile as he positively deflated. 

All she could feel was encroaching dread as he sent her a list of drinks on her omnitool that the group had compiled whilst her and John had been talking. There were more than 10 orders of kava. There were about 5 turians there. Garrus, Nihlus, 2 males and a female. She wondered how many of those were for Garrus and Nihlus. One of the males was giving her a faintly derisive look.

He'd learn the power of her kava. They all did in the end. 

Exhibit A: Saren Arterius

She couldn't help her sigh. Trela didn't know how to make kava as she specialized in asari, human and salarian beverages. Where was Nilia when you needed her?

"Sure... we'll get started. Trela, I'll handle the kava."

"As if we were going to do it any other way, Jane."

Chapter Text

Reveal: make (previously unknown or secret information) known to others.

Saren was feeling good as he walked towards Nilia's. It was around the time when Jane's shift ended. His muscles ached fiercely yet he was still looking forward to the more personal workout himself and Jane would have later.

His workout had been exceptional. Quentius had pulled through, above and beyond all expectations. Between the robust physiological monitoring and state of the art equipment he'd be back in his prime in no time. They'd even included a shooting range. Incredibly generous of the Hierarchy, though it was of no immediate use to him so he'd use that area to work with Jane on tech.

He'd definitely retrofit the gym on his ship, it could do with upgrades.

Usually at this time, the Lounge would be near empty, but it was still fairly busy. There were a large group of humans and turians at the sims, all holding drinks whilst loudly cheering on a black haired human female and a turian female who were infiltrating a Blue Sun base in the simulator. They were good.

The bar was occupied by..

Nihlus? That was unexpected. He was sipping his kava whilst watching the sims from the bar. There was also a salarian and what looked like the human commander, they were in deep conversation with each other whilst Jane was serving a bulky human male to the right.

Jane and the human seemed uncomfortably familiar with each other. Too... friendly.

This would be the first major test for his disguise. He began to approach and Jane met his eyes over the human's head. The slight smile she gave him as their eyes met unwittingly made his chest rumble with contentness. He shut that down as soon as possible, the salarian or Nihlus could have heard it.

He reached the furthest part of the bar from Nihlus and took a seat. Unfortunately that placed him next to the human.

Shit.

Thankfully, the salarian and the human commander were too engrossed in their conversation to pay attention as he had sat down. Whilst the bulky human was too engrossed in Jane. He didn't like that.

Nihlus on the other hand, had turned around and given him a confused once-over with questioning tones in his subvocals upon noticing him. 

Nihlus glanced quickly at Jane who was still giving him the smile that made him want to just hold her. He thought he heard jealousy enter Nihlus's subvocals. Odd.

"Jane. Is this who you're all dressed up for? He seems a little familiar."

Though the human had taken it to be a joke, he had thought he was safe. Nihlus's gaze was far too searching to not have a guess as to who he was. Also, what had Jane been saying whilst he hadn't been here?

"Perhaps," and she gave him a small lustful smirk. He ignored the slight shift of his plates. Wasn't she going to be discreet? 

"Lola! I thought we had something special." The human male, the giant pyjak, cried to Jane. It was said jokingly but he still couldn't help thinking to himself, who was Lola? Was that a nickname? And Jane had let him call her that?

Didn't she know she was his? She shouldn't be having anything special with anyone but him. 

"For all of 5 minutes, Vega. You have great taste in liquor though, I can appreciate a man who likes his Earthen classics. Maybe if I wasn't currently dating this turian right here."

Saren's evil glare at the human was reflexive and he ignored Jane's teasing smirk in his direction.

She was definitely going to get it later.

He'd forgotten that Nihlus had been watching him. He knew that glare all too well.

The realization that spread across Nihlus's face was filled with almost unholy glee. He was going to kill Nihlus. And that human. Maybe Jane too, at the rate that things were falling apart.

FUCK. FUCK. FUCK!

It hadn't even been 5 minutes and he was already compromised.

Then the commander chimed in, he looked vaguely astonished. He was tempted to just call this a huge mistake and run for the door.

... He'd faced down 4 Blood Pack krogan battlemasters at the same time and killed them all without taking a single hit. He could handle this.

"Wait what..? Jane?" The commander didn't look disgusted, surprisingly, just completely confused. 

"...Lola?" He didn't particularly care for his reaction.

"... I'm pretty sure I know this turian... Vega and Mordin go over and join the sims, please." Nihlus was fully capable of being serious when he wanted to and his voice was filled with authority. It was nice to see his influence in him.

He still wanted to kill him. 

The salarian lingered slightly whilst the human left immediately. It was good that he understood orders. He'd be less inclined to kill him if he saw him again.

"Ah. Want to allow Shepard the novelty of giving the "talk" to the turian in privacy. Particularly volatile interaction in human culture. Likely wise. Historically has involved shotguns to protect female's virtue. Good luck Spectre Arterius. Should have dyed plates red, would reduce likelihood of recognition."

His tone was chastising. Though he'd left at a swift walk after he had snarled at him. 

Add the salarian.. Mordin was his name, to the list. His use of quotation marks screamed Nihlus. That alone cemented his ire for him. The revealing of his identity?

Well.. his end wouldn't be pleasant.

It was just the four of them now; Nihlus, himself, Jane and the commander.

The commander was frozen, tightly gripping his drink and giving Jane a concerned look. Jane was laughing with Nihlus.

Then Nihlus completely ruined any chance of salvaging the situation. He quirked his head at him in almost mock surprise. Surprisingly, his subvocals were filled with disbelief, humour and a slight tinge of jealousy.

Oh? That was a surprise, he hadn't been entirely sure he'd heard it to begin with. He could understand the jealousy though. It made Jane all the more attractive to him to have another high-profile turian, such as Nihlus, want her.

He'd remind her who she belonged to though. With pleasure.

"Hello Saren. You've been up to a lot whilst I've been gone."

"Nihlus."

In full, reluctant credit to the commander, his voice was completely level and his features calm. He seemed more taken aback by Nihlus's uncharacteristic behaviour by the fact his eyebrows were slightly raised at him. Or maybe it was about Jane being with him. He didn't know at this point. Nihlus was generally extremely serious when it came to assignments, he could understand surprise at his sudden change in behaviour.

"Are you telling me that Jane is dating Saren Arterius?.. Human-hating Saren Arterius?"

He couldn't help snapping at him. He wanted to punch something, either Nihlus or the bulky human. After killing the salarian.

He had priority.

"Will we have to say everything multiple times in this conversation? That's exactly what he's saying you idiot."

The commander looked faintly scandalized at hearing him confirm it. It was almost satisfying if he didn't feel that within 24 hours the whole Citadel would know.

Jane's almost indulgent smile didn't help the situation. He couldn't help sighing at her reveal of his pseudonym. 

"This is Caellius actually. I don't think he thought of a last name."

Nihlus almost choked on his kava.

Chapter Text

Unrepentant: showing no regret for one's wrongdoings.

Nihlus was giving him a disbelieving look.

"What?"

"... You actually used an alias to get to know her? Really Saren?" The commander was still stuck at the revelation that they were dating. He was fixing Jane with a look that detailed his worry for her sanity.

Her lack of sanity, if it were to believed she was lacking in it, was really to his benefit. 

"Don't worry Nihlus, we'd already fucked before he decided to wear the disguise."

The intrigue that entered Nihlus's eye as he looked at Jane told him this conversation wouldn't be ending any time soon. Not if Nihlus had anything to say about it.

Thank the Spirits the human commander seemed to have the cognitive abilities of a vorcha.

"Okay okay okay... let's rewind a little. A lot actually. I'm still struggling to comprehend that you, a human, are dating Saren Arterius. Moreover, why Jane?"

Jane gave a small shrug before fixing him with a stare that boiled his blood. 

".. he makes me happy. Usually. The sex is.. exceptional. What can I say.. he has a gift."

Saren hadn't exactly been expecting her to be ashamed of what the two of them had, but her immodesty about it only made him want her more.

Nihlus was watching her with his mandibles almost agape. He wasn't even bothering to hide the jealousy in his subvocals. 

He could look but he could not touch. Only he held that privilege.

"Oh Saren, you lucky old bastard, I've been stuck on a human dreadnought for months without the chance of blowing some steam and I come back to this?"

Humans were torturous beings. Their fraternization rules were just another hallmark of their inclination towards unpredictable stupidity.

"Nihlus, you'll find luck had nothing to do with it."

"I don't know, Saren," Jane interjected with a slight husky chuckle, "I think we both got pretty lucky... maybe we'll be getting lucky later on too..."

"Definitely lucky, Saren."

The commander looked rather amused now, his features lifted into a smile. His small vorcha brain had likely managed, with the aid of his translator, to slowly process all the mouth movements they were making into simple sentences. What would he need to be repeated now?

"He makes you happy? That's a damn sight better than all of the one night stands you usually have."

That was news to him. He gave Jane a questioning glance.

"I've never been in a relationship before." That was a huge shock to him, and to Nihlus too it seemed by the expression of surprise on his face, but at least they could learn together. He hadn't been in one before either.

"I usually just picked men up at clubs if I wanted to get laid. Before you though, it'd been months since I had had sex." She gave him a sharp look and quickly mimed a tight seal with her hands around his cup of kava as she passed it to him. 

Ah, her tightness. He knew it was partially down to species differences, he was a lot larger both in stature and where it mattered compared to a human male. But regardless, he liked it. It made him feel like the only person who'd ever fucked her. Though there were other places that he could train her into taking him that likely had not seen action.

She had a nice ass. He'd enjoy seeing it wrapped around his cock.

It was more than deserving of his... loving attention. He'd broach the idea to her at some point.

The commander gave him a measuring look, and ended it with an almost dismissive glance before turning to face Jane. He couldn't help but feel like he'd been found wanting.

He hadn't been given such a look since boot camp. The amusement he felt was surprising, rather than the anger he expected. It was just such an incorrect look for him to be receiving, he was one of the deadliest beings alive.

Jane had already influenced him more than he expected.

"I don't necessarily understand why you like him, but if he makes you happy, I'll support you."

The smile vanished off of the commander's face as he turned to look back to him. The momentary surprise he felt at the human's acquiescence disappeared as he saw his cold expression. 

It was almost menacing.

"I'm not entirely familiar with Earthen culture, I was born on Mindoir after all, so I'm not entirely certain about the involvement of a shotgun in this talk. I suppose it has its merits so I'll put it like this. Hurt her, and I mean you hurt her physically, and I will kill you."

Jane and Nihlus were silent. Jane from worry as to his reaction and Nihlus from surprise.

No one had threatened him and lived after all. He took all threats personally and systematically eliminated them. His anger was natural but he supposed he could spare the human's life, he was important to Jane after all. He fixed his expression on the human and tried to think of Jane's smile, instead of snapping his neck.

His voice was carefully controlled fury.

"You need to learn your place, Shepard. It is not your decision as to whether Jane accepts my presence in her life, it is hers. She is not a child who does not understand risks."

Jane's quickly emerging smile told him he'd said the right thing and Nihlus gave him a brief nod with a murmur of solidarity in his subvocals. 

It was the commander's reaction that surprised him. 

He'd toasted him with his drink before downing it. Humans were still fully capable of surprising him it seemed.

"You were testing me."

"Yes," his reply was a sarcastic drawl in a mimicry of Jane earlier, "but I was never going to do anything. Jane is one of my closest friends and she's more than capable of looking after herself. I'd be insulting her capabilities by going all medieval on her. Maybe if we'd met earlier we would have a more sibling-like relationship, but I was 17 when Mindoir happened and she was 15."

Maybe he should add the commander to the list. His ability to surprise him might prove deadly later on.

Between Jane's beautiful smile and the kava he was drinking, he supposed he'd grant her her brother's continuing survival as a gift. 

The things one did for their loved ones.

"I'm a little disappointed you didn't try and ensure my mental and emotional health as well, John. What kind of brother are you?"

"A realistic one."

"What do you mean by that?"

Nihlus was the one who answered, but not before giving Jane a short laugh.

"Even I could answer that, Jane. Between your inability to be serious and Saren's inability to not be serious.. well, some mental and emotional pain are expected," Nihlus began to backtrack once he saw the fierce look he was giving him, "not that you won't be able to work through that."

"If that look you gave Nihlus was any indicator of how much you care for Jane, I think we'll get along just well Arterius."

Maybe he should reconsider not adding him to the list.

Chapter Text

Candid: truthful and straightforward; frank

Shepard had left to herd the rest of his crew to hotels scattered across the Citadel. Most of them were wasted, it must have been a trying few months together. Although, the turians and humans in the crew had gotten along fairly well by cursory inspection.

Saren had given the salarian a particularly vicious look as he left and had been given a faint smile. 

He could definitely see the salarian becoming a regular here. He was just as masochistic as the usual frequenter of the Lounge.

Mentally ill too. Persisting in challenging him of all people, he couldn't be entirely mentally capable.

He and Nihlus were in one of the alcoves. Nihlus apparently wanted to speak about something in private. Most probably wanting to interrogate him in privacy to his heart's content.

Jane was alone on her omnitool at the bar, occasionally smiling and laughing to herself. He wanted to find out why, but Nihlus's curiosity had to be satisfied for now. Better do that before he began asking Jane.

She likely wouldn't spare a detail. He didn't want Nihlus to find out how deeply he'd fallen from her. 

"A human, Saren? How did that happen? What ever happened to 'humans need to learn their place' and 'they are a blight on the galaxy'?"

Nihlus's use of air quotes was going to drive him insane. It was such a human habit.

"Where did you learn that gesture from?"

"General Sparatus. He was fond of using it when interacting with humans to anger or disorientate them. Now. Answer my question."

Now that was a shock and he really expected better from Sparatus. Even if he was using it as a psychological weapon against humans, it just wasn't proper.

He, Pallin and Sparatus had been the most high-profile turians in Citadel space who were against human expansion. That was until Sparatus had returned to turian space upon rejection of his candidacy for the turian councillor position.

It remained in his mind a great shame for all of Citadel space.

Now Councillor 'every human and turian should exchange colony markings and skip in flowers' Quentius was playing apologist with the eager backing of Tevos.

A travesty.

"Saren. The question."

He considered the question. It was reasonable and it'd likely be the first question any turian would ask him.

That didn't mean he had to give a reasonable response.

"Her kava is acceptable."

Nihlus gave him an amused look.

"This again? I thought we'd established it was incredible the first time. If Jane taught a krogan to make kava with the same level of skill as she does, would you fuck that too?"

He'd certainly kill the fuck out of the krogan. It was wasting Jane's time. Time that was better suited with him. But then, the Hierarchy had done a great job of that centuries ago with the genophage.

"Impossible."

Nihlus's sigh of exasperation at his bullheadedness was satisfying. It was a wonderful change from the barely suppressed glee he'd been filled with earlier. 

Thank the Spirits that humans couldn't understand or hear subvocalizations, Nihlus would likely be ruined.

"Please. As your student, and a friend I'd like to think, I'd like to know what has caused such a huge change in your viewpoint towards humans to even consider it."

He let the silence fester for a moment to consider how he'd respond to this rather sincere request from Nihlus. Just to raise his hopes a little.

"No."

Nihlus smiled, and it was a human one that looked almost strange on his face. With borderline malice in those green eyes, that were so similar to Jane's, he stood up.

Nihlus was second on the list after the salarian now.

It seemed his life recently had become a joke. One long, amazingly unfunny joke.

His newfound patience continued to flabbergast himself.

"I suppose I can just ask Jane then. We get along quite well and I can provide her with some insights to your -"

He ignored the stab of jealousy he felt. It was true. Jane and Nihlus did get along well. Surprisingly well. A traitorous part of his mind reminded him they were incredibly similar in personality and likely would suit each other better than himself and her.

It'd be best to minimize their contact. For safety reasons, of course. Nihlus might.. what would Nihlus do?..

Okay. He didn't want them to talk to each other. 

"Sit down."

Nihlus gave him a smile that was surprisingly empty of victory as he sat back down. It was instead filled with gentle question.

"So. Why Jane?"

He told him. He detailed their first encounter from his point of view. Her kava. The time she slept in his arms. The way his heart grew fonder of her as time past during one of his missions. Her surprising flirtation with him. He didn't make any mention of their tryst in Nihlus's suite or any consequent ones. Neither his love for her, but his subvocalizations gave him away. He hadn't made any attempt to suppress them.

He was not ashamed of it, not to anyone and definitely not to Nihlus. He was one of two people, the other being Benezia T'Soni, that he would freely admit his affection for Jane to.

Nihlus's expression was equally soft and equally surprised.

"You love her. Truly?"

"Yes."

"Good. You're a better turian with her in your life. You'd have likely killed at least 4 people today otherwise, and no you can't kill Mordin. Unfortunately, he's useful."

Damn.

Nihlus gave him a sly smile and nodded at Jane. She was still on her omnitool.

"So.. is she any good?"

Should he answer that? She was perfect. He looked forward to reminding himself of that perfectness when he tied her down to some of the exercise equipment in the building he was occupying. He currently had many frustrations that she could.. ease for him. Some she herself, had created.

He smirked.

"Better than silk, Nihlus. Much better. She always loves.. accommodating me."

Nihlus turned around and gave Jane an exaggerated slow up and down look. It was like he was undressing her.

He would grant Nihlus this one boon for behaving maturely. It was not unlike training a varren if he thought about it.

Then by some horrific luck, Nihlus caught Jane's eye and she returned his exaggerated perusal of her. 

"I've always been fond of the colour red, Nihlus. Looking good!"

Nihlus's response was a lascivious wink and the sound of... lust and humour in his subvocals? Time to shut this down.

By the time he finished with Jane, the only name she'd know would be his own.

He guaranteed it.

"If you value your vision, I'd recommend you stop."

Nihlus turned back towards him with a jerk. At least he still remembered when to draw the line.

Then he saw the slightly darkened eyes and heard the still lingering lust in his voice.

Nihlus needed to get laid and fast.

Turians weren't meant to cope for so long without stress release. He doubted that Shepard, for all his surprising insight for a human (he was incredibly knowledgeable about biotics; they'd had an almost pleasing conversation without Nihlus or Jane's assistance), allowed full contact sparring onboard the human vessel they used for unit cohesion.

It likely had made it even harder for the turians to get along with the humans.

It was easy to be angry at the species preventing you from relieving yourself of stress, after all.

"... Have you ever considered a threesome?"

Whilst the idea of Jane sandwiched between himself and Nihlus had its merits. The idea of the two of them fucking her at once, filling her with turian seed, was an especially good one. Sadly, for Nihlus, he wasn't interested in sharing.

At all.

"No."

".. Well I tried. I hope the Consort is ready for me... I wonder how much she charges these days for a day long appointment..."

Human fraternization rules were vicious.

Chapter Text

Sensual: of or arousing gratification of the senses and physical, especially sexual, pleasure.

"Be careful."

"You doubt me?"

Jane couldn't help her slight gasp as the tip of his talon carefully traced the sides of her inner wall. It was dangerous, and the slightest movement on her part, would increase the risk of him nicking her further...

It didn't stop her clit from being swollen or her nipples from being pebbled. 

She was sat in his lap, her back to his thrumming chest. Both of them were naked and he was hard against her lower back, slowly grinding between her ass cheeks leaving her ass damp with his fluids as he carefully explored her insides with one of his fingers. 

His voice was a dark groan accompanied by hot breath against the back of her neck. She could feel his teeth grazing against where her shoulder and her neck met. They felt sharp from what she could feel. She couldn't help her shiver and consequent returning of his grinding motions.

He was thrusting slowly with his finger now, alternately widening her with left and right motions and stroking her sweet spots with pronounced knuckles. Provoking moans from her with great ease.

He knew her body so well already.

"I cannot believe you can take my cock when you hold only one of my fingers so tightly within you." She couldn't help clamping down on his finger as he spoke.

His voice was just liquid sex.

"And like that, you get even tighter. You're so responsive to me," Saren chuckled into her neck, teeth still ever present, and it was mocking and lustful in equal measures as he slowly placed another finger outside her cunt and began to lightly circle her clit with it, "does the idea of getting fucked by big turian cock arouse you so greatly, Jane?"

Between her newfound hyperawareness of said cock, his voice that said such nasty things and that second finger, she wasn't sure how she managed to find the willpower to respond, but she did.

"Yess.. Please Saren." At the sound of her pleading whine he slowly stroked the column of her throat with his tongue. She still hadn't gotten over its ability to make her twitch.

His teeth had found their way into direct contact with the skin on her collarbone, and if he pressed down, they'd break through.

She should feel leery of that happening, but the idea of Saren losing himself to lust to the point of biting her acted like a rallying cry to her loins.

She needed him. Badly. She clamped down around him again in invitation.

His voice was slightly muffled around her skin.

"I like it when you beg. Maybe if you ask nicely, I can give you exactly what you want."

He used his two fingers on his free hand to hold her sex open and eased a second finger inside. She couldn't help her moan of frustration, this wasn't what she wanted.

No what she wanted was currently throbbing against her ass.

She felt stuffed. It wasn't as much of a stretch as his dick but it was still borderline uncomfortable. 

He resumed his slow rhythm, but now with his two fingers. This time adding corkscrewing motions to the rotation. At this point she was just a pile of need in his lap as she whimpered and moaned.

When she came close to orgasm, her walls almost contracting arrhythmically, he just pulled his fingers out.

He was evil.

"Jane. Beg for me."

At this point, that would be something she'd happily do. 

"I love it when you stretch me wide like no human could and fuck me like I belong to you. I love how you always leave me dripping with your turian cum. I love everything you do to me. So, please, Saren. I'm begging you to fuck me. Make me yours."

His voice was an almost dangerous rumble as he responded with his teeth slightly entering her flesh. It was a sharp stabbing pain that she ignored as he toyed with her nipples in an attempt to soothe her pain. She could feel his chest heaving against her back.

"You want me to fuck you like you belong to me? Make you mine?"

She had a feeling he was asking her something incredibly significant, but the ache in her pussy had full control of her ability to rationalise. She'd ask later.

"Whatever you want, Saren. Please..."

That was all the affirmation he needed as he then pushed himself in her to the hilt. His fingers had done a good job, as it hadn't hurt like it usually did. It was like returning home, in a really twisted, carnal way. She couldn't help her subsequent cry when he sunk his teeth in deeply. It wasn't as bad as she thought the pain would be, but it was a shock.

It'd likely be a lot more painful if he hadn't begun to play with her clit and continued his stimulation of her nipples. It was hard to feel anything apart from her rapidly approaching orgasm.

And when she peaked around him. It was amazing. She'd never came so hard before, and she covered Saren's deeply embedded cock with her fluids. He had removed his teeth from her but he remained still within her, continuing to ease her pain with his hands even with her walls strangling his girth without mercy. The burst of affection she felt for him at that moment brought a soft smile to her face. She wanted to see him.

"Saren. I want to face you."

He carefully rotated her around on his dick, without breaking the tight seal she had around him and she found herself face to face with him. His talons were placed on her waist and she couldn't help placing her hands on top of them and squeezing. He responded by lacing his talons with her fingers before placing them back on her hips. She'd never held his hand before.

It was nice.

He wasn't smiling, but his expression was significantly softer than she'd ever seen and her heart couldn't help its faint tightening.

Maybe she could learn to love him in time.

Just looking at the tenderness in his eyes made her ignore the fact his mandibles were still red with her blood and the throbbing pain her shoulder was in.

Something told her he wouldn't be letting her put medigel on this mark. This mark was significant by the way his eyes kept listing towards it.

They lifted her off his cock together and they brought her down together. As she rose up and down him, to the sound of his gravelly moans and her own breathy ones, he tenderly cleaned her wound with his tongue.

It wasn't surprising that he didn't speak to her. Nor she to him. The moment didn't call for talk, dirty or loving. Just winding hips and grinding plates as they moved her up and down him.

Together.

When he came inside of her, in gushes, she kissed him.

Blood and all. She didn't regret it as he responded with a toying clasp of her tongue.

She was surprised when he pulled out. He usually went multiple rounds with her,

He left her in the chair they'd been fucking in, and went to pick up her leggings that she'd left just in front of it. She couldn't find the motivation to question him as he tested the durability of them, she was well fucked after all, he could do whatever he liked.

That was until he began to bind her wrists behind her back with them in a tight knot.

She didn't fight against him, this had potential.

".. Saren?"

His expression was amused, the tenderness was still there and it seemed almost misplaced as his voice was almost dangerous as he straddled her in the chair, cock hard against her cunt. His forehead was against hers and she instantly knew what that bite mark meant. She'd seen enough turian couples exchanging this gesture to understand its significance.

Oh well. It could be worse. She could have married Harkin or something equally ridiculous.

It helped that she actually liked Saren. And his sex.

The sex was really good after all. 

"As much as I enjoyed claiming you," and she did too, "I'm still going to punish you for your flirtation with that human and Nihlus earlier."

She couldn't help her husky chuckle as she licked the tip of his mandible. It still tasted a bit like her blood.

"Oh really, Saren?"

"You'll call me sir, Jane."

She couldn't help laughing and returned some pressure to his forehead that he returned. His eyes were questioning.

"Sir? We're really going back to those days?" She mimicked her eager, almost bubbly barista persona, "one sugar, sir?"

To her surprise he laughed with her before kissing her deeply with his talons digging into her waist. 

He broke the kiss with a teasing smirk though his voice was filled with unquestionable command. 

"You can call me Master then, human."

His face was tilted in slight question as to her response. Asking for consent? She'd never roleplayed before. This could be fun.

"Yes Master."

The dangerous lust that entered his eyes was both foreboding and promising as he slowly disengaged his body with hers.

She could still feel his seed leaking from her as he gazed at her.

What had she gotten herself into?

Chapter Text

Domination: the exercise of power or influence over someone or something, or the state of being so controlled.

"On the floor and kneel before your Master, human." She did as told and with slow purposeful steps he closed the distance between them. Eye contact was something she didn't dare make with him. Knowing Saren that would likely lead to some form of corporal punishment.

She wasn't a masochist, at least she didn't think so.

The tip of his cock was just in front of her lips, tauntingly wet with their juices.

He began to circle her lips with it.

"This is the reason for your existence... the only reason for your existence."

Saren didn't play by any half measures now, did he?

Then he shoved himself in her mouth and pulled her head onto him until her lips were around his sheath. A huge taloned hand held her head tightly around him and another lightly traced the bulge in her throat with gentle scratches of talons.

"This is your rightful place in the galaxy. On your knees before me, solely catering to my pleasure and no others. When you wake up in the mornings, your thoughts should be consumed with how you may please me. Your Master. You should be honoured that I would bequeath such an honour to a human. Especially, to a human slave."

Lack of air was beginning to become an issue and she made an attempt to pull away. In response to her attempts to pull back, he held her even tighter to his sheath and began to squeeze lightly on her throat. The feeling of his cock almost straining against his hand was obscene.

"You were doing so well, human. I'll just have to keep you here longer until you realize your purpose is to worship my cock. It would be a shame for you to die, but dying on my cock would be a fate any human would be honoured to have."

Between his cold, menacing tone and the well, mercilessness. She was starting to think that Saren would make a great villain as evil monologues seemed to come naturally to him.

She would have chuckled if she didn't have a giant turian cock stuck in her throat.

Stars were beginning to light up behind her eyes though that didn't stop her from feeling a little aroused. Most of her was conflicted about this whole situation. Saren seemed a little too into it, but she supposed she'd have to trust him.

She began to make swallowing motions around him even though that would deplete her air faster. Loud groans began to echo around her and she was beginning to feel like she was underwater.

He needed to let go of her now.

She was going to pass out but thankfully, he pulled out with a harsh yank. Air was a welcome gift as she felt like she'd been strangled. By the pulsing his dick was doing and his harsh panting, he was close. 

Typical Saren. Turned on by the fact that he might just kill her with his cock.

"Good. You learn quickly, human. What do you say?"

... What did she say? Thank you?

"Thank you, Master."

Saren's voice was so full of condescension that it almost made her recoil. Was this how other humans felt around him? She could only imagine what his facial expression looked like. Expressions of scorn were just as natural as monologues for him.

He really would make an amazing villain.

"What are you thanking me for, slave?"

"For teaching me that my purpose is to worship your cock, Master."

"Indeed. By the end of this encounter, every single hole in your body will have paid homage to my cock, human. Leaking my seed." She feared for her ass. She'd never had any attention paid there before.

"I'll enjoy fucking you so wide open that you won't even be able to pleasure yourself. Your body will yearn for me when I am not inside of you."

Fuck. How did he know that?

Suddenly her throat was tightly held in his hand and he tilted her head so she could face him. Where his voice was cold, simmering menace, his eyes were just faint hazy silver rings to his lust.

Saren was REALLY into this. Hot breath entered her mouth as his mouthplates brushed her lips as she panted for breath.

"Every. Second... you will dream of my cock. You love your Master's big turian cock, don't you human?"

"Yes, I love it Master."

Then his cock was back in her mouth, thankfully not in her throat. Hands at his sides.

"Show me."

She showed him. Teasing tongue circling his shaft and teasing ridges, suckling suction to the tip and tight throat around his girth.

His big turian cock was greatly loved and worshipped she thought, before he pulled out of her mouth and held her hair in a tight grip. 

Taloned hands began to stroke the cock she wanted back in her mouth.

"Your Master is going to give you a gift now. What you don't swallow you wear."

She didn't bother to open her mouth. How would he react to her choosing to wear it?

He audibly snarled at her as his orgasm approached and pulled her face right against his cock in response to her closed mouth.

Blue translucent cum coated her face and dripped onto her chest. It was hot and runny against her skin as it trickled gradually down her body.

"You're such a whore, human. Since you do not wish to use your mouth, I'm sure you do not need it for any other reason. I'll savour your muffled screams when I fuck your ass."

He then walked to where his armour had been placed and returned to gag her with that weird cowl thing he usually wore on his head.

Fuck.

Chapter Text

Reflection: the throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it.

He'd taken her, slung over his shoulder, to an exercise room. It was full of equipment, some used, others brand new. One side of the room's wall was a mirror.

It was a surprise when he'd placed her on her feet in front of the mirror and stood with his abdominal plates against her back. His cock rubbing slowly between her legs against the bottom of her pussy lips.

The mirror just highlighted her current state of debauchery. She looked like she'd bathed in his cum. It was in her hair. Coated her face. Adorned her chest. The way he'd carried her hadn't helped as there were small streaks on her legs.

It was nasty but she was so turned on.

"Look at yourself, covered in my seed. Judging by the throbbing of your tiny human pussy against my cock, you like it. Don't you, human?"

She nodded hesitantly. It was true after all.

"Do you want your Master's seed in your pussy? It wouldn't be fair for you to miss out on my gift of superior turian cum in your human pussy. Wouldn't it?"

Again, she nodded though it was quite a bit more enthusiastic. She did want him to fuck her. A lot.

A dark chuckle rumbled in her ear as he replied.

"Of course you do, slave. After all, my cock is the focus of your life. Isn't it, human?"

Before she could nod again, he pulled her down onto her knees as he sat down behind her.

He arranged them so that her legs were spread wide around his waist spurs, his knees in the air before her and his cock pointing up towards her cunt like a lance. She'd never been on top before with him, she could only imagine how Saren intended to control this position.

"Ride me. You will watch yourself in the mirror as you fuck yourself on my cock. Look away... " and he accentuated the menace of the threat with a glancing bite against her throat, "and the consequences will be unpleasant."

Half of her expected him to pull her down onto him, but he made no such movement.

He wasn't joking about the riding... 

In advance of any further commands, she began to slide down his cock. His huge girth widening her and ridges popping through her entrance one by one. It felt so good.

In the mirror it looked like he was splitting her open, his cock was so big.

"Look at how your pussy barely holds me. So tight yet so willing to house me. I can feel you pulling me into you. Begging me to reach the places that no human could ever reach... you're such a whore for turian cock, human."

A muffled moan escaped her as she reached his base. This seemed to be another position where it felt like Saren was fucking her stomach. He was inside of her so deep.

He began to slowly rotate his hips as she slowly acclimatized to the usual stinging stretch that accompanied taking him to the base. Moans escaped her fervently now, she could feel the tip of his cock tracing those same circles deep inside of her.

"And somehow, you manage to take all of me. I wonder what Nihlus would think, human."

What did Nihlus have to do with anything?

"Move, slave."

She slowly began to rise up his shaft before descending back to the base. It wouldn't take long before she'd reach her peak.

He moved his face so that his breath was directly into her ear and began to absent-mindedly lick the shell of her ear.

"He wants to fuck you, you know?"

Motions ceased for a second. No. She didn't know that. She'd been under the assumption that almost jokingly seductive look he'd given her was a joke. 

A hard, sharp spank to the ass was all the message she needed to get back to moving up and down his cock. His voice was almost primal; growls and rumbling tones.

"He asked me if I would consider us having a threesome. What do you think of that, human? You, being filled to the brim with big turian cock. One of us in your mouth, one of us in your pussy. Or would you rather have us fuck you at the same time? I'm sure Nihlus would happily open your ass up for your Master when he's too busy seeding your tight cunt."

Between the mental images that his speech had provoked, the big turian cock within her and his voice that was really too good at dirty talk to be allowed. She came around him, seated on him to the hilt. 

Groans erupted from him at the constriction of her walls around him and he pushed up harshly into her.

Vlad the Impaler had nothing on Saren.

Fuck, he was inside her so deep.

"You love the idea, slave."

That was debatable. She could barely keep up with Saren, she didn't think she could handle two turians. Never mind the fact that Saren came with enough baggage as it was, she could only imagine what sorts of skeletons Nihlus had in his closet.

"It seems you love the idea of being used by other turians. It's a shame that I don't plan on sharing you. Ever. I trained you well to take my cock, I won't have another turian coming along and potentially ruining my property. I plan on keeping you well versed in the art of pleasing big turian cock. Mine exclusively. For the rest of your life."

Somehow, she managed to start her rhythm again even with her legs feeling like jelly and his words almost acting as a source of paralysis. Powerful hips began to meet her movements, somehow keeping him inside her at that almost unfathomable depth whenever she took him to the root.

Gradually the speed of the smacks of his pelvis against her ass increased. She was starting to cry out. It was just too much; too much cock, way too deep and too much stimulation.

"Yesss... you feel how deep I am inside of you? How your insides form a tight seal for my cock? You are nothing but a sleeve for my cock. Take it. Take it all, human."

And then he began to pound her, with one hand cupping her mound with a finger stroking her clit. Her muffled screams echoed throughout the room. She couldn't help but worry how loud she'd be screaming when he fucked her ass. 

Watching through the mirror, his hand began to gradually go up her mound to the skin above and stroke it. The motion abruptly stopped and he was suddenly still inside of her. His expression in the mirror was filled with slight shock. That was before he pushed down lightly and a loud growl escaped his mandibles as she felt him throb inside of her. His voice was a harsh whisper in her ear and the next thrust was incredibly violent.

She had no more air to scream with. The gag didn't help either.

"Spirits... I can feel myself moving underneath your skin."

He continued to rub and push down in that area whilst murmuring in her ear about the depravity of the sensation. How his cock was too big for her body, yet she took it anyway and what a good human slave to his big turian cock she was.

She couldn't exactly feel it, there was way too much going on in her pussy at the moment. He was pounding her harder and harder. Screams had ended a long time ago and she had been reduced to breathless gasps at this point.

Still, he continued to explore that same area of skin, constantly prodding and pushing as he abused her sex with long vicious strokes. She could see her lips being stretched taut around his base every single time he entered her to the root.

"I'm going to come inside of you, human. I'm going to leave you overflowing with turian cum. Fuck, you take me so well. You really were made for my cock."

With his head leaning back, he gave one last thrust deep inside of her and wrapped his arms tightly around her torso. His sheath was right against the lips of her cunt, not one bit of his cock could be seen in the mirror. Fluids entered her in sharp shots, hot against her walls and left his shaft coated in it. She'd never felt him come this much, it didn't seem to end. Then she suddenly came, and her orgasm was just as much as a surprise as the size of his own.

Rumbling chuckles erupted around her.

"You like it when I come in you this much, human? I love seeding your tight pussy too."

He was still deep inside of her and her orgasm had long ended when the flow diminished. His seed had begun seeping out from around their joining a while ago. 

Suddenly she could move her hands again, but the improvised mouth gag remained in place. He threw the leggings somewhere behind them.

Ass.

"I'm going to fuck your ass now, slave. If you thought that you were screaming earlier, you wait until I am finished with you."

He began to slowly slide out of her cunt as he pushed her forward so she landed on her hands and knees.

She felt unbearably empty when he finally slid out. His seed was leaking out of her incredibly quickly, there was so much of it. It was a shame she couldn't see her cunt in the mirror in this position. Though the sight of seed just dripping onto the floor, from both his incredibly damp cock and her leaking cunt, was incredibly hot.

"I'd suggest you begin to prepare yourself, I'll give you 5 minutes, then I'm going to fuck you regardless of whether you're ready or not."

Chapter Text

Trust: the state of being responsible for someone or something.

Saren was kneeling behind her watching her every movement with an almost impatient gaze. Faint dripping noises echoed throughout the otherwise silent room. Both her pussy and his dick just dripped with his jizz.

Fingers likely wouldn't come anywhere near to providing enough preparation for his size, but she still placed four of her fingers inside of her slit to coat them in Saren's cum. Lubricant was a must, she was an ass virgin and Saren was very big with a fondness for deep thrusts.

It would be painful no matter what she did.

She had no choice though, not unless she wanted to get her ass torn open. That didn't have much of an appeal.

As she angled her fingers towards her asshole, taloned hands pulled her ass cheeks far apart and the tip of one of his talons lightly stroked her hole. She couldn't help flexing out of fear.

Were those 5 minutes a joke?

"Your hole is so tight, human. I'll ensure it will never be that tight. Ever again."

As quickly as he'd stroked her, he stopped and moved backwards so she could begin her... 'preparation'.

Thank God.

She slowly pressed one finger in without daring to look in the mirror. It was slightly painful but it was manageable. The back of her head felt like it was under a sniper's bead; eye contact would likely end in his patience snapping and her begging for mercy.

Oh wait, she was still gagged. Mumbling for mercy.

"I think you'll need more than that, human. You're not about to take a puny human cock."

She felt his cock rub tauntingly against the back of her hand, smearing it damp with their fluids as she slowly fingered herself. It wasn't particularly pleasurable, all the mild hazy panic she was feeling made this feel like she was walking death row.

She was scared.

"You're about to take your Master's big turian cock in your tiny asshole. Three minutes."

She was so screwed.

Throwing all caution to the wind, she shoved another finger inside it, the burning sensation as it passed through her sphincter was sharp. She was starting to gain a little confidence as she pistoned them inside of her, the pain was ever present but she could handle it. Then she felt his cock begin rubbing against her hand again. 

"Still not enough. One minute and a half, human."

With her knees quaking she roughly tried to shove her two other fingers inside of her. Before she could even get them near her asshole, her hand was forcibly pulled away from her ass.

He was silent as he rolled her onto her back with a nudge of his foot and laid gently on top of her. He held her throat gently with one hand as his face hovered, almost uncomfortably close, above hers.

Mandibles tight against his face. Eyes completely sober with no hint of lust and focussed on her with... almost hurt?

"You really thought I planned on ruining you? Ripping you apart, just for one transient pleasure when you are mine until you die?"

He was upset. She really had misjudged him, big time. 

How could she even respond to that? She was gagged but she wouldn't lie to him, she had thought he was going to ruin her.

With a slow, cautious bob of her head she confirmed what he said.

In response, his features hardened and the distant coldness to his features that had marked their entire roleplay session were in full prominence.

"I generally like my toys intact. But maybe I should ruin you. You clearly do not trust your Master enough. Maybe I'll split you wide open and give you to some Batarian scum to fuck to death. I have no use for a slave who cannot trust their master."

Her head almost hurt from how frantically she shook her head at that idea. He looked completely unimpressed, eyes sharp with contempt, at her reply.

"Pathetic."

Teeth descended around her throat, slowly pressing in. Surprisingly, she managed to gather her wits enough not to panic and went slack in his grip. 

She didn't want to die after all, even if this was a game. She understood Saren a bit more now, this was all about trust in his eyes. Trust that she understood he wouldn't go too far with her, even with her unable to fully object to anything he did.

He soothed the very slight puncture marks he left with his tongue before giving a quick lick to where her lips would be under the gag.

A slight smirk met her as she looked up at him as he positioned his cock against her hole and placed his teeth back around her throat. She was dwarfed underneath him but her hands somehow managed to find the room to interlock around his cowl.

She could trust him. 

Jane didn't know how long she sat there underneath him as one finger, and then two slowly entered her ass, stretching and preparing her for what was to come. On occasion when it became painful he withdrew and pressed the fingers in her still dripping cunt to lubricate them.

She still feared it wouldn't be enough.

His voice was surprisingly clear around her skin when he finally withdrew his fingers from her body.

"Maybe there is hope for you after all, human. I will be gentle. Trust me."

He began to slowly press his cock inside of her. The tip and the first few inches went in fairly easily with a slight burn. He was so hot inside of her, and the textures of his ridges against the walls of her rectum was surprisingly arousing. She moaned into her gag as he let out a stuttering snarl into her throat.

Between the fingering she did, his natural lubricant and jizz coating what parts of her he'd entered, it wasn't so bad.

The base was still completely out of the question.

He was almost hissing against her throat as he thrust those few inches in and out of her with a slow, steady pace. His teeth were slightly dug into her throat. The great control he was exhibiting was starting to have her pussy wet.

".. So tight, human. It'll almost be a shame to stretch you open for me. I'm going to make sure you take me all the way to my plates before this is over."

She would have gasped if her throat hadn't been wrapped in his incredibly sharp teeth. He predicted her surprise anyway with a dark laugh into her throat. He was starting to thrust more of himself inside of her; quickly approaching the thickest part of his shaft. 

"I am going to make sure my seed is so deep inside of you that you'll carry it with you forever."

In her mind it was a threat, his base was too thick for her ass, she could barely take it in her pussy.

It still turned her on.

Thankfully though, he stopped at this new depth, with roughly just under half of his length inside of her, to roll his hips in circular motions to prepare her for the thicker parts of him. A talon tip somehow found her clit.

He removed his teeth from her throat to bite down just above where he'd left the bonding mark earlier. She couldn't help her muffled scream in response to his deeply embedded teeth and his increasingly hard thrusts into her ass. 

Maybe she was a bit of a masochist because a surge of liquid heat rushed to her groin in response to his teeth. She hadn't considered the possibility of having an orgasm from having her ass fucked but Saren continued to work miracles.

And discover kinks she never knew she had.

When he released his teeth from the base of her neck, it was with a fierce rumbling growl and a quick removal of the gag from her mouth. His tongue idly cleaned his mandibles of her blood before he spoke.

"I could smell the intensifying arousal in your pussy as I marked you, human. Sweet and musky. I'll make sure you spend a significant amount of time emitting that scent. I'd fuck your pussy full of more of my seed if I didn't have this tight, hot hole wrapped around my big turian cock. I'll ease the need in your tiny human cunt anyway, slave."

A finger in her pussy joined the rhythm of his fast thrusts into her ass. She was so close now and she would have gasped before he smothered her with a bruising kiss, holding her tongue hostage in her own mouth with his own..

He still faintly tasted of her blood as his mouthplates parted from her lips.

"Are you going to cum, human?"

Her answer was a wail as he pushed further into her, further than he'd been in before. Did his cock ever end?

"Yes Master."

To both her and Saren's surprise her orgasm resulted in his finger being pressed so tightly to the walls of her pussy she could feel his finger rubbing against his cock through the thin barrier of flesh.

"SPIRITS!"

Saren lost control of his thrust and speared her on his length. Her scream was quickly suppressed as his teeth quickly closed around her throat and his free hand covered her mouth.

"Scream for me all you want, human. Cry out as I fuck your tight little ass."

He added another finger and focussed on rubbing them against the wall that separated his large fingers from his cock. The feeling was so nasty and at times she could feel him pressing against one of his ridges. It was just... unnatural, but judging by the increasing harsh breaths against her throat, Saren was quickly losing control. The hot blend of pain and pleasure was quickly consuming her as well. 

Trust him, huh?

Though to his credit, his teeth remained on her skin, rather than in.

Her screams at this point were constant, C-Sec would likely have arrived some time ago if he hadn't covered her mouth.

The girth of what he had just added was pushing her ass cheeks wide apart alone. She had no idea how it had even fitted into her ass to begin with. Likely the benefits of magical natural turian lubricant.

His almost bulbous base collided with her hole with every thrust.

"I'm going to cum, any second now. I hope you're ready to take me to the plates."

If he ripped her asshole, she'd never make him kava again.

She couldn't exactly stop him. Between his large frame, his teeth at her throat and hand over her mouth, there were no real means of protest.

He gave a powerful thrust and began to push hard against her entrance. Her hole was starting to slowly stretch, the pain was intense but she focussed on the heat of his body against her sweaty one. 

Cum shot intensely into her, in strong pulses, as he gasped into her throat. He continued pushing and his base began to slowly enter her.

It didn't feel like she'd been torn but it felt like her ass was on fire. She imagined placing gratuitous amounts of poison in his kava. 

It didn't help.

She was beginning to squirm slightly when it finally entered her and he sighed into her throat like it had physically hurt him to put it in there. 

His hand came off her mouth slowly and moved to widen her legs more so he could move himself closer into her so that his sheath was tickling her asshole. The idea that all of him was inside of her ass made her tremble.

He continued to sigh and groan into her throat as his orgasm finally ended.

What the fuck was wrong with him?

Seriously? She couldn't help but snark at him. Even with his cock slowly starting to soften inside of her. A part of her wept at the pain his base leaving her would result in.

"The next time, I'm the Consort and you're the turian cadet enjoying their first time on the Citadel."

"Hush. I think I'll never be able to move again, Jane."

"... Not even for kava?"

He chuckled softly into her throat and gave her a playful nibble. Luckily enough for her whilst his base didn't soften like the rest of his cock, he'd stretched her wide enough that it exited without any major pain.

He was done, thank God. Another round was off of the table. She was used and abused, thank you very much.

She lazily gestured to the marks on her neck.

"Whatever happened to going slowly?"

His expression was dark satisfaction, silver-blue eyes intent on her own, as the last of his cock exited her before pulling her into his lap as he sat backwards.

Cum leaked into his lap, from both of her holes, but he didn't seem to care much. But then she saw the faint shift of his nasal plates that indicated he was taking deep inhales of her.

What a dirty turian.

"You suggested it, I merely acknowledged the idea. I knew what I wanted, so I took it. You certainly weren't complaining at the time."

"You... you.. you're impossible!"

His expression was faintly mocking as he kissed her softly before patting her on the head almost patronizingly. She couldn't help pouting in his arms.

"I'm a Spectre. If I wasn't a walking impossibility, I'd be dead."

Chapter Text

Attendant: an assistant to an important person; a servant or courtier.

Jane was limp with exhaustion in his arms. Her arms were laden with a plethora of antiseptics, antibiotics and medigel, as they made their way to the bathroom. He couldn't help but thank his own insight for making sure he had levo medical supplies available.

Though his reasoning for them had been that if she had accompanied him, he'd be able to further press his suit by showing them as a sign of his attentiveness towards her.

He hadn't intended their usage to be patching up his mistakes, his marking her on her neck without her consent. Twice, even.

What he had done was incredibly dishonourable, even if she was a human and not a turian. A part of him couldn't help but muse that his previous barefaced status truly matched his actions now. If he had done what he'd did to Jane to another turian, he'd likely find himself on a mining colony for the rest of his life doing hard labour. Regardless of his status.

A forced, unwelcome bond was a heavy crime in turian culture, nearly synonymous in magnitude with rape in other species' cultures. Irrespective of her humanity, in his heart he had wanted to bond her and he hadn't fully consulted her. It was a heinous act.

Selfish.

As he'd said, he'd known what he had wanted and he had taken it. Even if she had been exasperated instead of angry, she had not fully understood the magnitude of his misaction.

Yet, as he watched her as she yawned and cuddled his chest, he couldn't find the required regret for his actions. 

He'd been gentle with her to a degree until this encounter, minimizing contact with his talons and teeth to ensure he didn't leave any marks. He hadn't been too sure she'd appreciate it. But now?

She was wearing his mark. His. She hadn't even been angry when he had bitten her. if anything when he had done it, it had made her even more aroused. She liked him possessing her with his teeth. 

Wanted it even.

The amount of trust she'd shown in him when he'd held her by the throat between his jaws, had served as more of a turn on than her tight ass. He could have ripped her throat out at any moment, yet she had remained still and let him have her. If he had felt her make any true form of struggle, he would have immediately released her.

Speaking of her tight ass, that reminded him that he'd have to make some purchases to ensure that it remained open. As much as he enjoyed her accommodating him regardless of any pain she felt, he wanted her to crave him in her ass. Not just her pussy. To find the feeling of him filling her, taking him till his sheath was indistinguishable from her tight little hole, to be just as good for her as it was for him.

He wanted her to love it. Need it.

Just as he did.

It was one of his new favourite places in the galaxy now. Right behind her pussy and just ahead of her mouth.

The idea of going on missions again without being able to see Jane was almost insurmountable. She had spoiled him.

She was dozing in his arms now, as he turned on the water for the pool and sat on a stool that was fixed to the bottom. He carefully removed the supplies from her arms and placed them outside of the pool, near the rim.

Quentius had done an excellent job of outfitting the building so quickly.

He couldn't help gazing at her, soft devotion framing his features, as she slept. It was easy to show the full extent of his feelings when she was asleep.

Maybe he should make her marks symmetrical. Add another two on the other side of her neck. The ones on her waist already were. Let her walk around the Citadel covered in his mark, letting every turian know that she was his, and his alone.

Nihlus's reaction would be a great victory. 

He had to stop and think of Valern (his existence served as a great turn off for him), before he possibly gained a second wind. Jane deserved, no needed, rest. He would be her willing slave until he felt that he'd redeemed himself.

She had his heart after all. He'd never been one for self-harm.

His cum was caked on her skin in places. He'd take care of her first, both her marks and cleanliness, before he bothered to wash himself. 

She was smiling as she slept and he couldn't help returning it, even with her unaware. 

It was a shame that he'd have to remove it when he applied the antiseptic. He enjoyed her smile.

She surprisingly slept through his application of the antiseptic and the medigel, even though she had winced a little in her sleep. He'd give her the antibiotics later, unfortunately he'd bought a capsule variant.

Seeing the erasure of her smile made him feel a small amount of guilt that had previously eluded him. It still wasn't enough for the wrongness of his action, but it was enough. He'd tell her what he'd done.

He shook her lightly by the shoulder as he slowly cleaned her with a loofah.

"... Saren?"

Her voice was crackly and somewhat hoarse. Had he caused damage to her throat? Panic chilled his blood.

What hadn't he fucked up?

"Is your throat okay?"

She chuckled slightly. It sounded like she was dying. Then she cleared her throat and she had her usual voice.

Thank the Spirits.

"Yes. I'm fine. Just sore. Everywhere. What's wrong?.. You seem... troubled?"

Her eyes were inquisitive and her smile welcoming. He could do this. He focussed on her eyes, if she wanted nothing more to do with him after he revealed what he did. Well... at least he'd have fond memories of them.

"I shouldn't have marked you without asking for your permission. It was an abhorrent act."

She didn't even react to what he'd said. No anger, no visible recoil, no grimaces. Nothing. The smile remained, though it seemed a bit dazed.

She was incredibly tired though she managed to respond.

"Okay... Perhaps there is an equivalent act in human culture of what you've just done?"

Of course. How had he already forgotten? In his panic he'd forgotten she was human, she didn't understand.

"... In human culture, I imagine the closest thing in magnitude of seriousness would be rape."

For all her tiredness, she managed to look incredibly pensive despite her droopy features. She reached some form of decision before sighing against his chest and cuddling even closer.

What?

"Well.. I don't feel particularly raped. If you raped me... well you did a pretty bad job. You can't rape the willing after all."

"This is not something to joke about, Jane."

Green eyes met his own. She had an amused smile on her face.

Did any of her reactions plan on making sense?

"I suppose it's not. But here's the thing, Saren. I liked it when you marked me... I like what it means too."

He could feel her planting soft kisses against his chest plates. She was playing with fire now, her speech already had his blood heated.

"I'm yours."

His fringe felt almost aflame as she said it, she was in dangerous territory now. He could feel his plates beginning to shift.

Valern. Valern. Valern.

What a powerful turn off he was.

"Of course you are."

Eyes rolling she gave him a smile filled with exasperated amusement.

"Now that's the Saren I know. If it is really bothering you, I know several ways you can make it up to me."

He was almost eager in his response. Judging by the slight smirk on her lips, she'd caught it.

Fuck.

"Go on."

"You'll call Nilia and tell her I won't be coming in for a week. My ass feels like a dreadnought decided to take a vacation inside it and never left. I won't even begin to describe how the rest of my body feels... Stop the smug look, asshole."

He couldn't help but give her a soft swat to the ass as she called him that. The only correct context for that word was a sexual one, not as an insult. It was to be used when describing what his cock or her fingers were doing to it. He had enjoyed her show until she had completely panicked.

It was purely a corrective measure.

... which was completely ineffective, as she had giggled in response and what an odd noise that was. He'd enjoy hearing it more often.

"I don't care what story you spin for her. Whether I died, and I'm currently being resurrected in a hidden lab... I'm needed to help fight a race of near-omnipotent AIs... I had an allergic reaction to dextro cum?.. I don't even know." He couldn't help but snort at her ideas, they were ridiculous.

"As long as she doesn't call my omnitool, you're good."

"Is that all you want, Jane?"

And it was a sincere question, she had asked very little of him. If anything, she was rewarding him by not going to work. She could stay here with him.

"Of course not. You'll be my servant for the week I'm off. I'll enjoy teaching you how to make levo food. You'll be a master at making human teas when I'm through with you, won't you, slave?"

He playfully pulled her into the water with him and gave her a passionate kiss. 

He didn't want to hear anymore nonsense from her.

Even if some it was true.

Chapter Text

Voyeur: a person who gains sexual pleasure from watching others when they are naked or engaged in sexual activity.

Coming home to your apartment to find that your biometric scanner had been bypassed in your absence, was not a way to end what Nihlus had considered to have been a hilarious night. 

Saren falling in love with a human.

He would never let him live that one down.

Ever.

It was a relief to find that nothing had been taken after he'd finished surveying each room. 

Though he'd still check the cameras he had littered around the place to see who had entered. Saren's own recommendation. Whilst he was extremely paranoid, he generally gave good advice. It was still likely to be a thrill-seeker breaking into buildings on the Presidium for kicks.

He'd find them and politely dissuade them from future misbehaviour. Maybe at gunpoint.

He sat down on the side of his bed and opened the footage of the day his apartment was broken into on his omnitool.

... Oh? Saren and Jane? With Jane in his arms? Was Saren groping her ass?... Yes. He was.

Should he stop watching, delete the contents and never think about it again?

Spirits no!

This was potential blackmail material!

To be honest, he should have expected this. His apartment was incredibly close to Nilia's. He wondered if Jane even knew that it was his apartment.

It was a shame that there was no sound, he could only imagine what Saren was saying to her.

'Human, it is your great honour to be able to have sex with me. I will shoot you between the eyes later if I am left unsatisfied.'

'Service me or die.'

Typical Saren to make a human assume submissive behaviour. 

He lightly chuckled under his breath as he continued watching the feed through his omnitool.

Then he saw what Saren was packing as Jane knelt before him.

Did he have Krogan ancestry or something? That kind of thickness was ridiculous, especially on his build. With how lean Saren was, it was almost as thick as his damn forearm. Okay that was an exaggeration, but Spirits he was thick.

What did Jane plan on doing with that?

He was a little longer than Saren, but not as thick. All of the humans he'd been with had found it incredibly painful whenever he tried to thrust deeply. He idly wondered to himself if she'd be able to take him. If she could take Saren all the way, she could definitely take him.

...Good choice, Saren. Put her mouth to good use. She had a sharp tongue. Even for a human.

It was pretty damn hot, he could feel his plates beginning to shift.

He wasn't sure, but he thought Saren had said something? Then she visibly moaned and just held her mouth open.

Oh?

Going to try and make her take it all? Saren wasn't so bad for an old man. Knew what he wanted, definitely.

Pity it wasn't going to happen without breaking her jaw.

...

FUCK! SPIRITS!

She just nearly took it all!!

He had no choice but to take off his codpiece and get his quickly growing erection in hand. This was the perfect opportunity to get off.

Much better.

He began to stroke himself, slowly and in time with her bobs up and down Saren's cock. He'd have closed his eyes to imagine her going down on him but what was on the screen was just too hot to miss.

...

FUCK. Her lips were around his sheath! Saren must be in heaven.

She swallowed his cum? Fuuccckkk... all the humans he'd been with had acted like his fluids were poisonous. One had even asked him to wipe off his lubricant before they even started.

And she was surprised why his cock was so dry. Silly human.

Saren was so damn lucky. Why did he even put the idea in his head? 

He gave himself idle strokes as they began to leave the hallway.

Then they moved... to his bedroom?

He could get behind that. He might have the sheets delivered to Saren as an anonymous gift. Maybe the mattress too.

Then he'd high-tail it to Palaven. The weather was generally nice this time of year. 

Her body was pretty good. He'd seen better, though it did suit her. A mix of femininity and strength. Nice abdominal muscles. Her breasts weren't as big as an asari's but they were incredibly firm and pert. Her waist though... her waist was something out of seedy literature. You'd read about turian females with waists like hers. Judging by where Saren's eyes were, he'd noticed too. Her red hair served almost like a fiery halo. Very striking. The green eyes, almost the same shade as his own? Well.. green had always been his favourite colour. She was certainly one of the more unique humans he'd seen.

Beautiful too.

Saren was so fucking lucky that she was willing to put up with him.

Then he saw the burns from where her armour had been burned onto her skin from the thresher maw acid. He couldn't help but sigh, it was a shame that she had scarred so badly.

The fury in Saren's face was almost chilling.

Last time he'd seen Saren that angry, heads had started rolling.

Literally.

He didn't focus on that look. It reminded him that he was watching an incredibly intimate rendezvous between two people he considered his friends.

It was still fucking hot though.

Then Saren started to push that blue girder inside of her. She was squirming slightly, though her mouth remained closed. The pain must have been great because he could see her lips twist into a grimace.

Once a soldier, always a soldier, huh?

She was taking it pretty well now. Saren had gotten to the half way mark when she spoke. He couldn't help but imagine those plush lips wrapped around his long reddish-purple cock. Would she worship his cock as she had Saren's? Take him till he bulged within her throat?

He couldn't help closing his eyes and groaning, head tilted back.

Saren was thrusting now whilst playing with her clit. His knowledge of asari anatomy coming handy here. He couldn't imagine Saren researching human anatomy outside of on how to kill them most efficiently. 

The way the thick middle part of his cock split her open made it look like she was on the verge of tearing. She could definitely take him in her tight pussy, and it was tight, he'd seen how slowly even Saren's tapered tip had entered her.

She'd likely be taut around him too. Spirits...

Saren was talking and she was.. moaning?

Dirty talk was always good. Damn the lack of sound.

Then he saw Saren's base colliding with her cunt. She'd nearly taken all of him. He was so close at this point. Watching this video had served as a great finale to a great night.

He wasn't even mad (was he ever mad?) they used his apartment.

Then Saren shoved himself in her to the hilt and began to pound her. Spirits...

She could definitely take him if she could take that. She was screaming but by the lack of tautness in her body following her orgasm, they were mostly pleasured screams. He'd make her scream too. He might even fuck her like he'd fuck a turian female.

Every thrust took Saren in her till his sheath collided with her pussy. Fuck. He'd happily take Saren's place. Fill her with his cock, she could definitely take him.

Then Saren started pulling out. Watching her human pussy just gush blue turian cum onto his bedsheets, which thankfully were now clean, was too much. He ended up shooting his load all over his hands.

He'd been joking when he'd asked if Saren was up for a threesome. Now? He'd love to fuck Jane. Saren would be a fool to give her up.

... He wondered how she'd handle two turian cocks at once. 

He quickly scrolled through the video log of that day. They'd fucked in his bed again...

And then he saw them moving to his kitchen and set up on his counter. He paused at the sight of Jane spread on the table, mouth agape in a moan as Saren stood with almost all of his cock buried in her, his face stuck in a snarl.

He'd dispose of the counter later as he wouldn't be making food on that again. But first, he'd explore his newfound alternative to the Consort.

Chapter Text

Impressive: evoking admiration through size, quality, or skill; grand, imposing, or awesome.

Jane was watching Saren work out on a recliner. Turians seemed to be very fond of chairs with the ability to recline, likely because of their cowls.

He'd carried her here after declaring he wanted to work out. She'd been particularly happy in his bed, resting the aches away, but he'd ignored her objections. He didn't make a particular good slave.

Too autonomous and free-spirited. Though the way he'd hovered over her before beginning his workout, helped mitigate her annoyance. The tea he'd made, even moreso.

Grovelling Saren was best Saren, after all.

She wasn't particularly sure what was odder, what Saren was wearing or what he was doing.

He was wearing just a pair of tight black shorts that ended just above his knees. To be honest, there was nothing odd about it but she had always pictured him working out in a full set of armour. She had yet to even see him in casual clothing.

It was a nice view admittedly. He was incredibly lean, very similar to a human Olympic swimmer. Though where muscle was visible; his upper arms, his legs, chest and abdomen, it was quite dense. Maybe one of her many requests would be for him to walk around in just that pair of shorts. Oh yeah, the idea of a turian beach boy had some merits.

Saren looked pretty amazing for a 44 year old, all tight muscle and shining silver plates. He took better care of his body than she expected, nowhere near as utilitarian as she'd assumed. Though she should have expected it, he was a very prideful person. His plates still shone with some form of turian oil, analogous to lotion she supposed, that she'd watched him apply after waking up.

It certainly explained why the amount of chafing she experienced was quite low. Or maybe that was the reason for it to begin with.

Saren. You dirty old turian.

It was appreciated though.

It had taken quite some probing to get him to tell her his age. Only 15 years older than her. It was safe to say that he wasn't old enough to be her father. Well.. old enough to be her father and it be socially acceptable.

Thank God. 

She'd sighed and facepalmed when she saw him putting on his armour the morning after their roleplay. Though he did have the excuse of having to go out and make some purchases. Likely the tea he'd attempted to make without instruction. 

She took another sip of it. It was pretty good for a first try. She wondered how many extranet articles he'd read before trying.

No matter. She'd make sure his tea was as good as her kava before the week was out.

He was now doing a strange mix of lifting weights and jogging on a treadmill after doing what looked like a turian variant of resistance training. There was a cache of weights placed where the HUD would be on a human treadmill. His two-taloned feet moved in contrary motion to his arms lifting the weights. Left foot, right weight, right foot, left weight... It was very.. precise. The coordination required looked incredibly high.

She must have spaced out as he was watching her through the mirror now, putting the weights down. Those silver eyes aglow with amusement. She absently observed that he had a nice butt too. Small and muscular. Maybe she'd hold it next time he fucked her. Squeeze a little.

She could almost feel the weight of his gaze as he approached her.

"See something you like, Jane?"

How to respond? She was wearing a set of silver-blue (the colour had made her eyes roll, it was so predictable) asari lingerie that he'd bought her. She felt like a personalized Omega stripper. He had bought 4 others, one black one, another silver-blue one and two shades of red. It was nice to know that he liked the colour of her hair.

The other purchase was a butt-plug, that was currently still on his bed. It was styled in the form of a smaller version of his cock. Detailed to exact accuracy from the ridges, the hue and to his base that formed a part of the flared end of the plug. She couldn't imagine where he had bought it and how assured his anonymity had to be to send in what could only be a scan of his cock. It had to be custom made. Asari fetish shops must have excellent business to be able to fabricate something of such high quality so quickly.

She'd ask him to put it inside her tonight. It'd be as much a pleasure for her as it was for him. 

He'd written on the back of it, in incredibly legible English, 'Property of Saren Arterius'.

She had laughed before taking the buttplug from his hands and kissing the words, written in his hand. He'd ended up leaving the room in almost a jog. Which was good. The idea of sex at the moment was just no.

Still a no.

"I don't know, Saren. I have a feeling that telling the truth would lead to me gaining more aches. Sorry, but your ego will have to go unsated this time."

He gave her an almost rueful look that failed due to the satisfaction hidden in his eyes before swooping her up into his arms.

He nuzzled her neck with an almost purring rumble in her ear.

"Perhaps I could help ease your pains."

She couldn't help but scoff. It'd likely start off innocent and rapidly degenerate.

"Riiigghhtt... how do you plan on doing that?"

He gave a slight shrug and sat in her chair with a soft squeeze of her butt. She was in his lap, this was generally how those aches began. His body was incredibly warm, almost hot, against hers. It was nice.

"Massage? Or maybe you'd prefer to just talk. With all the talk Nihlus used to make after completing missions, I found it was easier to focus on his voice than any wounds I had."

It was a good idea. The idea of those big taloned hands rubbing her down and his silky baritone in her ear for an extended period of time had heat pooling in her groin.

"Both?"

A chuckle erupted into her neck before ending with a gentle bite against her bondmark. She couldn't help but shudder.

"I thought you might like the idea."

Chapter Text

Masseur: a person who provides massage professionally.

The stark contrast in texture between the softer pale skin of her back and the redder, almost rough scar tissue was interesting against his hands. Judging by the slight shudders she gave whenever his palms made contact with her body, she likely found the roughness of the hide on his palm pleasing.

A squeeze to her right shoulder blade had her groaning.

She was wriggling her ass back and forth. He wasn't quite sure whether it was a teasing motion or involuntary. That buttplug that he'd had modelled after his cock would look nice inside of it. Almost as nice as the real thing. It'd keep her nice and open for him... it'd be his first place to visit when she felt ready for him. So tight and hot around his girth. The ability to rub himself through her pussy was incredible. 

He had to close his eyes for a second.

Valern...

Valern...

And he was good once more.

Thank the Spirits she was facedown on the recliner, he'd likely looked ridiculous with his eyes closed and mandibles tightly held to his chin.

"Is there anything you're not good at?"

Not being selfish. Being a good turian. Having ethical conduct. Tolerating humans that aren't you.

"Nothing. Absolutely nothing."

His arrogance wasn't one of them, it was rightfully earned. He was just skilled in too many areas not to be.

"I'm starting to believe that... oh God, Saren. Right there."

Her movements now were positively hanar-like. Had her spine exited her body whilst he'd closed his eyes? He rubbed in circles along the length of her spine, not to verify its continued existence (it was indeed there), but to find that spot that she had spoken of.

Her speech was slurred. He was unaware that massages induced languor not unlike intoxication in humans.

Maybe when Jane tried to leave for work, when the week was over, he'd just offer her massages before she left.

She'd never leave that way. The idea had merit.

"There!"

It was right underneath the nape of her neck. He gave her a mix of rolling rubs and gentle presses with the pad of his thumb.

She sighed and murmured breathily.

"Oh Saren. You're so good to me."

He was. He did love her after all. What was she expecting? Him to be bad to her?

He continued massaging the areas around her neck and her shoulders.

"My own personal turian beach boy at my beck and call."

What did a beach have to do with anything? And he wasn't a boy. She had first hand evidence of that.

"What is a beach boy?"

She gave a faint laugh and got up into a kneeling position and leaned her head forward. The new position gave him better access to her neck and shoulders.

"It's your shorts. Common human male staple on beaches. Beach boys are generally there to look after people, stop them from drowning in the sea and such."

He wouldn't make a particularly good beach boy then. Turians didn't swim.

They sank.

One of very few advantages humans had over turians.

A husky chuckle reached his aural canal and she placed her head in her arms as he continued to be, at her 'beck and call' as she put it.

Great, he was mentally using air quotes as well. Fucking Nihlus and that salarian.

"You look damn good in those shorts. I could just eat you up. Lick your plates up and down like a lollipop."

He wasn't sure what a lollipop was but the picture she was painting was lewd. 

Plates shifting again.

Valern. Valern...

"In fact, another request. Wear them all the time. I want to just ogle you, no, fuck you with my eyes, whenever you work out." Even though he couldn't see her face he got the idea she had a contemplative look on her face.

"All the time actually."

He'd noticed her staring at him in the mirror. It'd been pleasing to know she found his body attractive. It was a shame that he rarely gave her an opportunity to explore it when they fucked. Maybe he'd let her worship his body at a later point. 

He could feel himself starting to leave his plates. He'd promised her he'd give her some space until she was ready.

"Massage over, Jane."

The look she gave him over her shoulder was equally confused and disappointed. Did she not recall what she had been saying?

"... Why?"

He'd show her rather than tell her.

"Look down."

She looked at the large bulge in his shorts in almost horror. His cock couldn't help slightly twitching at her attention.

"Keep that thing away from me!"

Damn.

Chapter Text

Mixologist: a person who is skilled at mixing cocktails and other drinks.

"Not bad. Could use a little less milk and more tea leaves. Don't stir so vigorously too. You've diluted the flavour quite a bit."

Saren couldn't help but glare as she poured the drink down the drain. He doubted she'd have noticed if she'd been looking at him, his body was magnificent after all and she was still exploring. 

He could have snapped at her, it was his third try, but she'd made him a cup of kava. And what a cup of kava it was.

He'd had incredibly expensive ingredients bought for it; greatly matured rovale nuts, fresh ctilse herbs from Palaven and others in preparation for her stay.

It was sublime. A revelation to the senses. And it was all his. Pallin couldn't have any of this. Neither could Nihlus. Or any other turian on the Citadel.

Glorious. 

It almost made his inability to make the most basic of teas, milk tea it was called, palatable. He did find it vaguely disconcerting that a lot of human food and drink required the mammary gland excretions of prey mammals.

Disturbing. He couldn't help but look at Jane's own breasts in apprehension.

He wouldn't put it past humans to drink their own. 

How did Jane even learn to make kava to begin with? Or mix turian drinks? He'd seen her mixing dextro liquor and that was not a typical skill for a human.

He'd ask.

No surprise met him as he encircled her in his arms from behind as she wiped down the counter-tops of any mess from his attempts.

Was he really that predictable? She wouldn't mind if he started slowly rubbing against her as he spoke to her then. His sheath was closed, it would be innocent enough.

Jane made him insatiable. He wanted to fuck her bad. Maybe he could work to making her more amenable to the idea. He'd keep it vaguely innocent though to begin with, her reaction to his erection earlier had been telling of how exhausted her body was.

He lowered his voice to that rumbling, growly timbre that always had her pliant beneath him and rubbed slow circles into her ass with his crotch.

"Where did you learn to make kava, Jane?"

She huffed and shimmied closer to the counter.

There would be no escape. He was frustrated and she was well... around. 

He just pressed against her with his entire body. Innocence be damned, his plates were already shifting.

"I'll ignore your pointless attempts to seduce me. Are you asking out of interest or as a part of some diabolical, nefarious plot you've made that will end up with you getting your happy ending?"

Both really. He liked the possibility of a happy ending. 

A lot.

He answered with a soft thrust against her ass. She just turned and gave him a long-suffering look. His plan was failing.

Time to regroup and establish new tactics.

"Can't it be both?"

He punctuated the question with soft licks and kisses to her neck. Shivers and trembles met his tongue.

Excellent. As she spoke he nibbled and stroked her sides. Her breath would occasionally hitch as she spoke.

"I was born on the SSV Kilimanjaro. The flagship of the Alliance's Second Fleet. At the time it was under the command of Admiral Kastanie Drescher and my mother was part of one of the marine squads stationed on the vessel. Not much for a kid to do. My father was a part of the medical personnel and he had a lot of free time, so he taught me how to mix drinks. I got my mixologist license when I was 17. Now can I go?"

No. He gave her a tender bite to her throat. 

A tremble met his bite.

"You didn't tell me how you learnt to make kava, Jane. I think you should satisfy my curiosity."

He could vaguely hear her mumble to herself about how he should go and satisfy himself.

He had no reason to masturbate. She was here.

He was hard now. She wasn't going anywhere. Idle amusement filled him with how she'd possibly react if he pushed his erection through the slit in his shorts (turian design was so... accommodating) and started rubbing against her again.

"It's a funny story actually. I met Nilia at Dark Star. I was talking with the bartender; a little meaningless flirting and trading mixing techniques when she overheard me. I thought she was coming on to me at first. It was really strange."

She stopped to laugh in memory. His plan was failing again. She was quickly becoming desensitized to his attention to her neck.

Fuck it.

...

"Did you just pull off your shorts, Saren?"

He hadn't. Turian clothing was very practical after all.

"No."

Her head slightly smacked against the counter. He assumed it was a sign of her exasperation, he didn't think he liked the idea of her randomly deciding to give herself a concussion to spite him.

That meant even more time without sex.

".. I think you did."

"No. I actually didn't."

"You're like a dog with a bone, you know?"

No, he didn't. Human idioms weren't exactly an area of expertise. What in the Spirits was a dog?

"No. I don't."

Realization dawned on her face. He couldn't believe they were having this conversation whilst his cock sat hard pressed against her panties covered ass.

His plan had really failed.

"A varren... with a bone?"

Not particularly obvious but he got the idea it had to do with persistence. Based on his actions, and the fact varren generally went crazy for meat.

"... Right."

"You know what? Never mind. Anyway, Nilia came up to me, completely sober, and the first thing she says is, 'I'm not particularly sure of human standards of beauty, but you're pretty pleasant to look at for a human and you have an amazing waist.'"

"She wasn't incorrect," he grasped her waist between his talons and pressed firmly against her, cock dampening her panties, "your waist is exquisite."

She was more amused if anything in response to his compliment. It was so tempting to just slice through her panties and just shove himself into her. He wouldn't do anything without her consent though.

He'd try again.

He placed a soft kiss against her cheek.

"You're more than pleasant to look at. You're beautiful."

Her cheeks reddened. A blush? He'd never seen her blush before except when her body was flushed from arousal. She was normally so.. confident.

Nonchalant even. It was not unwelcome to leave her off-kilter. She accomplished that with him more often than not.

"I never knew you were a romantic, Saren." She was giving him that same look that Tevos had given him upon hearing about what had happened at the Lounge.

Would he now be 'cute' in her eyes also?

Spirits no.

"Anyway, you wanted to know how I learned to make kava. I was extremely low on credits at the time, I'd just spent a lot of credits on a legitimate Prodigy x-13z model omnitool."

"The illegal, blacklisted in Citadel space, quarian model?"

A newfound respect rose for her. Pragmatism was a very welcome trait in Jane. Very welcome.

"The very same. Before we get derailed, I could talk about tech all day, let me finish. She ended up offering me a job and upon my accepting, introduced me to Trela, the asari bartender. She taught me how to mix asari drinks as for my certification I'd specialized in human and salarian drinks. Nilia taught me how to make kava and some more conventional turian liquors, I'm still learning though, and she hired me a few days later. Then you met me."

"Indeed."

He was tired of playing. He wouldn't fuck her, but maybe she wouldn't mind him grinding against her. And when she was sufficiently in the mood he'd just push himself in.

Excellent plan.

As he began to pull her panties down, a hand grasped his cock and twisted. He couldn't help jumping back with a guttural snarl. It wasn't painful, it had felt good if anything, but the possibility of her wanting to possibly fuck had surprised him.

"I need to go to my apartment and get some things. I'll be back in an hour max. Catch you later, Saren."

There went his hopes. He was too shocked to react as she almost ran past him. 

He could only assume she'd found her dress earlier. He'd went to great lengths to hide it before she woke up.

Damn.

Chapter Text

Reciprocal: given, felt, or done in return.

"Are you just going to stand there and stare?"

Jane finished her question with a slow gyration of her waist, face down on the bed, nude. 

With her ass in the air still revolving in those slow, tantalizing circles, Saren supposed he could. The sight was more than worth watching. He planned on surprising her though before he placed the butt plug inside of her.

He'd let his actions speak for himself. As he approached, she arched her back even more.

Such a tease.

Taloned hands gripped her cheeks and spread them slowly. Her hole flexed and it almost looked like a wink. He couldn't help but imagine that action around his cock.

He'd been hard for a while now. At this point he was close to just asking her to let him fuck her.

He brushed against her with a talon. Gasps were ignored as he rubbed against her hole with the pad of his finger.

It was tight. Not as unfathomably tight as it was the night before, but still tight enough to require preparation. He wondered how she'd react to what he had planned.

He lowered his face closer to her.

"Finally, you're going to -"

The lick of his tongue against her asshole stopped her mid-sentence. 

"Oh God, Saren. Do that again."

He couldn't help but chuckle between long licks that went from just above her pussy to her tight little hole. She was grinding against his faceplates with little gasps.

"I've never been considered a deity. It's not entirely unwelcome."

"So arrogant. You can think whatever you want, just don't stop."

Gladly.

His coarse, blue tongue circled her asshole, fluttered against it, pressed against it. But he never entered. 

No. She'd beg first. It was only fair after her constant refusal of his advances throughout the day.

And just as he was about to cave in and fuck her with his tongue, he could only imagine how her hot tight walls would feel against its coarse length, she caved.

Excellent.

"Please, Saren. I need more."

"You want all of this in your ass, Jane?"

She looked over her shoulder and gasped as she saw the length of tongue that slowly unfurled from his mouth. It was longer than his cock but considerably thinner. The brimming desire in her eyes had his cock dripping on the floor. 

He wanted her so bad.

He didn't even wait for her affirmative when he pushed her to her side and lifted her so she was sat above his mouth. He kept the butt plug next to him for when it was needed.

"I want you to pleasure yourself as my tongue explores your ass."

Silence met him, but she began to tease her clit with a finger and stroke her slit with her other hand. Skin flush and eyes closed. 

It was one of the sexiest sights he'd ever seen in his life. He placed his face underneath her ass and spread her cheeks again.

With his tongue firmly pressed against her asshole, he pushed inside.

It was hot inside and hugged his tongue. He couldn't help but roughly rub his tongue against her walls as he thrust in and out. 

A predatory rumbling growl escaped him as he heard her moans at his actions. She was quivering around him, walls squeezing his tongue even further.

He couldn't help pushing his tongue in till she was riding his faceplates. Hips grinding against him. She was taking it really well, shuddering moans and gasps escaping her. He followed the contours of her walls and paid attention to places that provoked louder moans from her. 

Then he felt her mouth descend around his cock. Wet suction, her tongue stroking his ridges and warm saliva bathed his cock.

He knew there was a reason why he kept her around.

His hips slowly began to meet her downward plunges as he continued to thrust in and out of her ass with his tongue. Her whimpering moans around his dick almost had him flooding her mouth at some points. Eventually, his cock had ended up in a stranglehold in her throat.

He didn't think she'd be able to take him all at this angle. She was incredibly gifted...

Fuck it. The butt plug was going in now.

She seemed to get the unspoken message as he began to remove his tongue from her.

She gave his cock a final lick alone its length before giving it a soft, loving kiss to the tip.

He needed to fuck her. Now.

Green eyes and red hair came into vision as she ascended his body, almost predatorily, and gave him a deep kiss. Her tongue searching for his and rubbing softly against his own.

The taste of himself on her didn't help his need at all.

He groaned into her mouth and her eyes positively glittered with amusement.

"Please Jane, let me fuck you."

The infuriatingly smug smile that met him as he asked made him wish he'd remained silent.

"Sure. I've been waiting for you to just ask all day."

What? 

Any retort he had was swallowed by his groan as she began to sink down his length. Still so fucking tight around him. Spirits.

She was sat on his sheath doing those same gyrations she had been doing earlier, around his cock. He could feel it following her in those circles, base and all.

There were certainly merits to letting her fuck herself on him.

Her voice was a breathy laugh into his mouth.

"Aren't you going to put the butt plug in now? I know how much you liked having both my holes filled at the same time last night."

He silenced her with a kiss and picked up the butt plug. It'd be like he was fucking both her holes at the same time. The butt plug was essentially a smaller version of his cock after all.

Spirits, she didn't understand how much he loved her.

Chapter Text

Valentine: a person to whom one sends a valentine card or with whom one is romantically involved.

They were enjoying the afterglow. Her head against his chest when she had lifted her head to gaze at him almost contemplatively.

He had elected not to go another round with her. Her aches were still present, and there had been something special about the way she had rode him. Slow and decisive as she stared into his eyes.

Her eyes had been lit with something he could only hope that he wasn't imagining.

It had been entirely arresting, he'd stopped thrusting the butt plug in time with her movements and just watched those emerald eyes boring into his own. 

"So, what it's like being in love with me? I imagine it's pretty amazing."

He wasn't surprised she knew, he'd pressed foreheads with her. A gesture in their circumstance that was nothing but intimate. 

Though, If another turian were to be in the same room as them during their more intimate times, they'd know instantly. His subvocals were constantly alight with desire, possessiveness and love just by looking at her.

He had very few personal possessions, but she was easily his most treasured. He loved her.

How would he answer? He wasn't going to make it that easy for him to say it.

Not without reciprocation, if what he had saw had been correct.

"Infuriating."

"It's funny you should say that with the way you behave."

A soft kiss met his mouthplates and caressing hands framed his face. As he moved to meet her tongue with his own, he felt her flex around his cock, still buried deep inside of her. He could feel the butt plug straining against that thin barrier that separated it from his cock.

Her willingness to let him do whatever he wanted to her, no, her trust in him, drove him near madness with lust at times. She was just so willing to please him.

Her eyes spoke her amusement as she wrapped her arms around his cowl and stroked his face. He was still fighting the urge to fuck her into the mattress so he preoccupied his hands with rubbing her back and stroking her hair.

Even Valern's assistance was proving ineffective.

"But I suppose it doesn't matter, I love you regardless."

He didn't really know what to say. It was easy to love her without saying it. He'd always been action orientated. 

Lips thinned at his silence.

"You're selfish, you know? You can't even say the words back to me... You really don't communicate with me nearly enough. You're obsessed with fucking me. You don't even let me have a part in any decision that you make that involves myself, and yet I still find myself upset when you're not around. Happy to see you, and I'm happy whenever you're pleased. All the time. What kind of healthy reaction is that? The expression that you made when I made you kava earlier? It just made me want to hug you and never let go. You were happy, delighted even. Do you have any idea how much it warmed me to see you actually smile for once? It felt like one of the biggest accomplishments I've ever made in my life."

She stopped to give a hysterical chuckle. She seemed to be almost on the verge of tears, her eyes red around her green irises. Telling him that she loved him had taken more out of her than he'd expected. He'd thought it would be easy after the way she had looked at him.

It made him feel sick to his stomach, but he didn't know how to fix any of what she said.

He wasn't talkative to begin with and he wasn't sure he wanted to change that. Of course he wanted to fuck her, he loved her. He couldn't see what was wrong with that. Also, he'd thought she liked the way he liked to control her, but maybe she had only been going along with it because she'd loved him but hadn't realized. Her expression had always been humouring whenever it had happened. 

Spirits, maybe he had fucked up.

"We're nothing alike, honestly, I should dislike you, hate you even, for everything you represent. But I don't."

He'd gotten over his misgivings about her humanity a while ago. It hurt to hear her still struggling with who he was. Whilst he was still brutal, through his time with her he had softened.

He'd let her finish. It sounded like this was a long time coming.

"I didn't even like you, even after you held me. It took a month or two before I even acknowledged what it had meant, and from that I decided I'd try and seduce you. For fun..."

He hadn't been unaware of that. She gave him a searching look likely trying to ascertain his reaction. He responded with a reassuring rumble, subvocals filled with apology and love which she didn't hear, and held her tightly to his chest. He'd long ago retracted into his sheath.

At least she could feel the vibrations as it seemed to give her some courage to continue as she spoke into the space next to his shoulder. The fact that she'd rather stare at the mattress than at him left him feeling raw.

She really had no idea how much he loved her. A part of him couldn't help but lament that if she were a turian, she'd know just how much by his subvocals.

"Nothing about what we have together is conventional. It shouldn't work. Part of me says it won't ever work. But I still want whatever we have. Whatever this is. Because I love you Saren."

She gazed at him almost floundering, lost, with no one to guide her. He was just as lost as her. They were both searching for some ideal that they'd likely never reach. He could only assume that she had been looking for some human-like progression in their, whatever they had, whilst he'd been happy being selfish.

He would have to be better, not for just her, but for himself.

He should be better than that.

He lifted her away from her little niche in the mattress and made her face him again. 

She'd been crying, that beautiful human face that he'd come to love was wet with her tears. Streaks on her cheeks, and a light dampness from hiding her face in the mattress. He hadn't noticed as there had been no indication of it in her voice. The scent of salty water in the air had been ignored; her words had struck him so very deeply.

His chest felt hollow, but he managed to summon enough feeling to at least make sure the licks he gave her to clean her face had some semblance of loving intention.

The slightly watery smile she gave him helped ease some of his unsettledness. 

He couldn't help but ask.

"Have I left you feeling unloved, Jane?"

"No... it's just we're two completely different people. Never mind the fact we're of two different species. I'm just finding it hard to reconcile that fact knowing what I know now. It didn't really hit me what the marks on my neck meant. Not until I realized how much I love you."

His body relaxed underneath hers. The sudden slackness in his muscles was a relief, they'd been tense since she'd started speaking.

"I don't necessarily want you to change, your selfishness can be funny at times, but I want you to well.. stop being so insufferable. If I don't want to have sex, I don't want to have sex. Don't get me wrong, I love having sex with you, I love how adventurous you make me feel. But herding me and not letting me leave if I refuse is just pathetic. Don't even get me started on how you hid my clothes before I woke up. I don't know what I expected of you, but it was for you to be better than that. I deserve better than that. I've been nothing but accommodating for your... obsession."

A finger suddenly appeared above his nasal plates, pointed at his temple. He couldn't help but almost go cross-eyed keeping track of it. With the way it held his attention, it may as well have been a gun.

"All I want, is for you to treat me less like a plaything, and more like someone you're in a relationship with. That's all. At times I get the feeling I'm just some depraved fetish for you to explore."

He had to draw the line there. She could criticize him all she wanted, everything she said had been true, but she wouldn't demean herself.

With a push of her finger out of the way he pulled her so her forehead was against his and her lips were millimeters above his own.

"Never. Never think that. Do you think I would bond with you if I thought you were a plaything? A depraved fetish? I love you, Jane Shepard. I will admit I'm not the easiest person to get along with. You made that clear enough."

A vaguely apologetic smile was his response, but he gave her a nod. Hopefully she'd understand that he had been listening and had accepted her criticism.

"Do you have any idea what this gesture means?"

"Specifically? No. I just understand it's an intimate gesture amongst turians."

She didn't know. Whilst it didn't excuse his behaviour, it would have made her less doubtful about the two of them together.

"It's a very flexible action. It doesn't always indicate intimacy. Among friends it could be a sign of comfort, amongst squad members it could even mean solidarity. Amongst bonded couples it means a mutual sense of belonging. Just as you belong to me, I belong to you Jane. We are bondmates, so unfortunately, you're stuck with me."

He could feel her smile against his mouthplates. 

"Fortunately, you're stuck with me."

"Indeed. I am very fortunate."

It was good to see her with her usual humour. All he could hope was that things would get better from here.

Then she started grinding against his sheath and any further thought evaporated.

"I want you to show me how much you love me, Saren."

When he felt the beginning of his tip beginning to emerge he held her down above his sheath.

The feeling of extending into her, his cock following the path her walls set before him, without meeting the air was like returning to his ship after a long mission. 

No better.

Home.

He couldn't help professing his love for her as she sat with the lips of her pussy stretched wide around him on his sheath. The butt plug served as a familiar companion inside of her.

"Spirits. I love you so much, Jane."

A chuckle met his mouth as she began to ride him, her hands holding his.

"I love you too... you do know we've got the whole order of things wrong, right?"

He thrust up into her as she rode him, holding her face close above his own. Gazing at her like a star due for supernova.

They were still together. With a barely suppressed jolt he remembered she'd asked him a question.

"I don't know, Jane... I think I like our way better."

Chapter Text

Memoir: a historical account or biography written from personal knowledge.

"Good. Your spread is a lot tighter than it was when we began. Try and aim more towards the centre of the head and less towards the forehead. Also, lean less on your back foot. You need a more even distribution of weight for an assault rifle."

Jane had expected him to be rather short with her and demanding when he'd offered to give her tips on shooting. He was a gifted teacher, for all his lack of social skills. Very concise, yet still perfectly explanatory. If he spoke more and with the same patience he had with her with others, he'd likely be a skilled orator.

He'd been rather surprised to hear that the last time she'd fired a gun had been on Arcturus years ago when she'd been doing her Masters. Between Nilia's and her PhD she'd had no time to go to a shooting range, or even the gym.

His touch as he readjusted her stance was chaste which was a welcome change, and reassuring. The main thing that had resulted from their talk was a sense of respect on his side that had been largely unpresent before.

He was still largely an asshole though. She didn't mind much though, for all his mullishness, he loved her and she loved him.

She had enough friendliness and social skills for the both of them anyway. He'd likely pick some up as they went along.

"You are quite proficient despite your lack of practice. Why did you leave the military Jane? You seem bored on the Citadel."

She couldn't help but sigh. Honestly, she'd hoped he'd just read her file and not ask. She'd asked him to communicate with her more so  she'd answer to the best of her ability.

"I was good. Damn good at what I did. There had always been an expectation of great things from me. 'Jane, you're the daughter of Major Shepard. The military is in your blood,' or worse, 'think of what your mother would think if that waif your mother took in was more successful than you.' And that was before I even entered the Alliance. John had enlisted two years before me and he was breaking every human biotic record ever recorded. My parents were so proud of him, my mother especially and she took it as a sign that I should be pushed harder. I suddenly had her squadmates drilling me in shooting, tactics, tech powers and my father teaching me first aid. I was only 16 and was more interested in spending time with my father. My mother was too busy, too important, to spend any significant amount of time with me. I didn't want to spend time with my father memorizing anatomy files."

An arm came over her shoulder, though she appreciated his support, it wasn't needed. She wasn't bitter anymore. She'd had years to be bitter.

"Fire as you speak."

She did as told and aimed down the range at the holographic targets.

Headshot; right between the eyes.

"Good. Continue speaking. I would like to hear the rest."

She clipped the eye of the target.

A human. Typical Saren. His arm shifted her grip and her next shot was on the bridge of the target's nose.

"I was a Corporal at the time. Pretty good for a 19 year old. Nepotism and John's flying through the ranks had likely played a part in my early promotion. For all my bravado and confidence I showed very little sign of leadership potential. Higher ups had decided that it was time for me to start seeing action and I found myself on an Alliance cruiser in a squad of infiltrators as a combat medic. It was meant to be an investigation of possible STG presence in Alliance space."

It had almost been an utter disaster.

"They'd indeed been present. Though they'd stopped having a physical presence months, maybe even years ago. We found several probes and an outpost in an asteroid belt. Our squad leader logically deduced that the outpost likely served as a receiver for the probes."

Her last burst had been centred around the target's nose bridge. Saren gave an approving nod beside her.

"The outpost had seemed to expect discovery as there'd been lots of contact based poisons on the terminals and fail-safes in the coding. We almost lost the squad leader and several others before I managed to identify and neutralize the poison. The whole situation seemed more like a test than a means to stop us from shutting down the probes as it had went smoothly from there."

"The squad turned out to be a group of N2-6 operatives who ended up recommending me for training based on my ability to remain cool under pressure and my tech abilities. At the time John was an N3 and sailing through the ranks. I accepted, I was excited even. Maybe my mother would be as proud of me as she was of him."

"It wasn't that bad, I pushed myself harder than I'd ever done in my life. The training was exhausting, brutal even, but I coped and I reached N3 by the time I was 21. I left Rio and joined Major Toombs, an N7 Alliance Marine and combat instructor, in his response team as a combat engineer. He assessed me from N4-N6."

She had fond memories of the team. Toombs, Yurlenko, Vivarez, Davis, Lee and herself. 

"I loved my time on his squad. We were sent on incredibly dangerous missions. It was considered a good one if we came out unscathed, but we were a real team. A family even. Travelling the galaxy together."

The arms that wrapped around her as she placed the gun down were more than welcome. He likely knew what was coming next.

Akuze.

"Then 6 years ago, we were told to lead a company of Alliance Marines on Akuze. It had gone dark and the Alliance wanted to know why... have you ever fought a Thresher Maw on foot, Saren?"

His arms were almost constricting around her. 

"Yes. It was during one of Nihlus's training missions. Entirely unplanned. I would have lost my arm if Nihlus hadn't been there."

That explained his tolerance of Nihlus's teasing to a degree. The idea of Saren relying on someone else, a student even, was almost incomprehensible.

"Well. There were 5. We had no heavy armour, no orbital superiority or tactical weaponry. All of our comms were jammed. Everything about it screamed a set-up. I was the only one left by the end of that planet's orbital cycle when the Alliance finally decided to pick us up. Me up."

Shudder.

"Everyone else had been consumed, disintegrated or crushed. I never found out what happened to Toombs. Everyone else's tags were accounted for. We never found his."

Deep breaths, Jane. A steady rumbling purr met her ears. 

"I was completely lost, still grieving, when I was picked up and flown to Arcturus. Shattered. They told me my mother had been granted leave to see me, and her and my father would be there to see me shortly. That had cheered me up slightly. It'd been years since we'd last met in person."

"Then I met Captain Anderson, my brother's then superior officer on the SSV Calais and Admiral Hackett a few days after writing my report of the mission."

She heard a faint growl when she had mentioned Anderson. She wasn't surprised, her brother had told her about Saren's involvement with Anderson's dismissal from Spectre training. It wasn't exactly common knowledge to the public but the Council had learnt of his sabotage and had removed Saren's presence from the Skyllian Verge to the Attican Traverse.

"They gave me a long speech about how they were sorry for my losses and how extensive investigations would commence to determine what had happened. I wasn't necessarily happy, but I was glad that my squad wouldn't be forgotten as they'd said a memorial was to be built on Akuze to both the colonists and the Marines."

"Anderson then told me that he had nominated me for testing for N7 status. Likely a misguided thought that I could possibly channel my grief into training. I refused. I couldn't handle the idea. I'd just lost some of the most important people in my life and they wanted to reward me for it? For daring to survive? I asked to be discharged, claiming mental health issues and buried myself in a Master's degree in an attempt to just stop feeling for a couple of years."

There. Done.

A hard, plated mouth met her own. Soft, and not at all insistent like usual. It was almost an apology.

"How did your mother take it?"

"Alternatively angry and relieved in equal measures. Angry at the alliance for their shitty intel. Angry at me for making a rash decision. Angry at my father and brother for supporting me. And so relieved that I was alive and still able to walk. I'd spent a week in surgery, just for my back. I'd been lucky not to lose my spine, the burning had been extremely severe from how my armour had seared into my flesh... just from a glancing touch of the thresher maw acid."

"I haven't really spoken to my mother since then. Things are just too strained between us, though she does send messages through my father whom I speak with regularly, almost daily. We've always been close. I'll likely see them at the Normandy's first flight as a lot of the Alliance and Hierarchy higher ups will be there."

He gave her a final squeeze before slightly slackening his arms. She didn't leave, the memories were less bitter in his arms.

"Would you like to meet them?"

He was ramrod with surprise and looked down at her with inquisition in his features; head tilted slightly to the side and eyes almost piercing.

"Whatever happened to being discreet? I have been invited though."

She couldn't help but smirk at him.

"Whatever happened to Caellius? I miss him. Caellius.. what's a good turian last name?..."

The smack he gave her ass as she tried to think of one made her yelp. His eyes almost shone with satisfaction.

"Decinus."

Once an asshole. Always an asshole.

Chapter Text

Spoon: (of two people) lie close together sideways and front to back, so as to fit together like spoons.

Saren at this point just wanted Jane to stop moving. She just wouldn't stop fidgeting next to him and shuffling against his body, it was irritating but he could deal with it. The motions were quite pleasant around his dick.

"Put your arm over my shoulder and come closer."

This sounded like it had potential. He did as told.

"Yes. Like that, now wrap your arms around me and pull me towards your chest."

Potential growing.

"Perfect."

It was definitely perfect as she sighed in his embrace.

The way she wanted him to hold her had his chest thrumming with satisfaction; his face buried in her neck, her back to his chest, legs intertwined with his and his length still buried deep inside of her sex.

And if she found it irritating if he slowly rotated his hips into hers or increased the volume of his subvocals (he knew how she reacted to both his voice and its harmonic vibrations), she didn't complain. She even returned his grinding at times and gasped when he hit her more sensitive spots.

He liked that the most. Any position that facilitated that, was more than acceptable.

It was nice having her hair filling his vision and its scent in full focus. Still powerfully sweet before him, even with the overwhelming smell of their musks and his seed in the air.

"Is there any significance about this position?"

In response to his question she pushed even closer to him so that she was on his sheath, taut around his base. A rumbling growl of desire escaped him as he explored her neck with his tongue and placed pressure with his mouth against her bonding marks.

He could imagine a smile on her face as she spoke during his ministrations. 

"It's called spooning. Just a way human couples enjoy the afterglow."

He was aware of what a spoon was, so he could deduce the meaning. Surprisingly, it was their eating utensils, forks in particular, that proved popular with the salarians of all things. They were seen as decadent and inefficient, due to their individual limited uses, yet they still remained incredibly popular amongst salarians for Spirits knows what reasons.

It probably helped that spearing insects, or whatever they ate, was easier with a human fork rather than the odd concave trident implement they usually favoured.

Though, it was more like a spoon and an extremely large spoon. With plates. Maybe they could think of something else to call it. Preferably not related to human culture. Or a humanism as he'd come to call them.

He was taken by surprise when she turned her head to meet his mouth with her own. Her sweet, tangy flavour meeting his tongue as he massaged her breasts with his hands.

Even with how tall she was for a human, his body dwarfed hers, especially in this position. He was wrapped around her and acting almost like a blanket, obscuring her from sight from behind. A very protective, intimate way to hold a partner. He could definitely see the appeal.

He'd happily lie down with her here till the end of his days; keeping her safe, loved and well fucked.

She broke their kiss with a smile. It held her growing arousal, though it was muted in comparison to the sudden inset of the potent smell of her pussy in his nasal plates.

Round two would definitely be happening. The slow rhythmic flexing of her cunt around him more than guaranteed that.

"You've always been good at that. Holding me after sex that is. But I get the feeling for you it's more about keeping yourself inside of me for as long as possible."

Guilty.

He gave a nibble to her neck in reprimand. As far as he was concerned it was a win-win, on both their parts. Not unlike shooting two targets with one bullet. He got to hold her, and his cock got to enjoy her silky, tight passage around him for a greater amount of time. She liked both as well.

And if they fucked again? Well. It would be more like shooting two targets and then firing an M-920 Cain round at an enemy fortification.

He slowly began to thrust into her, massaging her walls with his length. Talons lightly pinching nipples in their grasp and his mouth on hers once more, swallowing her moans and gasps.

Satisfying didn't even begin to describe it.

Chapter Text

Tease: make fun of or attempt to provoke (a person or animal) in a playful way.

"Well.. this is positively domestic."

The situation Nihlus had walked in on was not domestic by any measure, but maybe by turian standards it was. Saren and herself were in his office surrounded by holos containing various annotated tactical maps they'd been working on together. They'd been exploring the uses of a drone in combat with regards to tactics.

Jane had almost jumped in her seat next to Saren at the desk. He didn't even bother to look up at the intruder, though she did hear an almost inaudible sigh come from him.

It seemed he'd expected Nihlus to appear sooner rather than later. She continued to follow his silent illustration of a pincer attack using an combat drone and himself. The energy efficiency required to project a combat drone from an omnitool for the lengthy, long range manoeuvres he was detailing was immense, but he likely had enough credits to get an omnitool overclocked enough for it to work.

He'd wanted to evaluate the usefulness of drones for his missions before she began to teach him how to use one.

His skill with tactics was Machiavellian. She felt like a child in comparison at times. It really had been too long since she'd been in the military, though the patience he spoke with belied the enjoyment he gained in teaching her.

"Not going to say hello, Jane? I expected it from Saren, but you too?" His voice was filled with feigned hurt as he pulled a seat next to her.

"Hello Nihlus. What brings you here?"

"Shepard and I had decided to go to C-Sec to look at the requisitions. See if anything could still be useful when we're close to finally boarding the Normandy... Vega, Mordin and Caedus decided to tag along."

He stopped there like that explained it all, which it did. That sounded like a recipe for disaster. 

"And you left John alone to deal with that?"

"I pleaded Spectre business. Any interaction with Saren tends to be one."

His gaze upon her felt uncomfortable. Almost heavy. So she didn't reply and continued to watch Saren's ideas come into fruition. She wasn't even looking in his direction, and it felt like his eyes were boring into her own.

And then a gloved hand descended on her shoulder which was even more unsettling. All she could think of was the fact that Nihlus was attracted to her and she was sat there wearing just a nightie and panties. Saren was naked on the other hand, though he didn't seem to care by the way the gestures he made with the stylus continued to be loose and fluid. Nihlus didn't even react to his nakedness, but then again when she thought about it, all of their intimate areas were behind plates when not aroused.

Still. It was kind of odd.

She crossed her legs into her lap and pulled the hem of the nightie further down. 

At least she'd have some semblance of modesty.

Saren finally looked up and noticed the hand on her shoulder. It flexed in response, tauntingly. The expression Saren pulled was like it had slain his firstborn child. Mandibles tense, posture rigid and eyes darkly intent on it, murderous even. The stylus hit the desk with a loud thud as he placed it down.

That was kind of aggressive...

And hilarious. She could hear Nihlus chuckle beside her as she slowly began to drift in Saren's direction. If she moved a little closer she could slide into his seat and perhaps calm him down. Failing that she could claim innocence cuddled up to his side.

He had a giant soft spot for her. She could exploit it.

An arm pulled her so she was shoulder to shoulder with Nihlus. It wasn't that Nihlus hadn't gotten the hint she wanted him to let go. No, it was more he decided that getting Saren angry was a better course of action

At least he hadn't tried to pull her into his lap. Though to Saren, his continued handling of her was an equivalent crime.

The nonchalance in his features, aside from his eyes being lit with mischief, as he did it was admirable as Saren was now giving him his glare at full intensity. 

It was scary.

"Nihlus."

"I was starti-"

"Your arm, Nihlus."

Nihlus removed his arm like her skin had burned him and she sighed in relief. A slight expression of disbelief met her as she gave Nihlus a withering look. She hadn't exactly fought against him with any effort to be honest.

It had been too funny to see how mad Saren would get. 

Then Saren's arms wrapped around her and pulled her into his lap. He continued to use the stylus with his free arm holding her tight to his chest. 

"I see he's bonded with you. I'd expected it actually. Any particular reason why he isn't wearing your mark in return?"

She couldn't help but laugh. Saren had offered the day after her confession, but she'd refused. The idea of possibly cracking her teeth on the thinner hide on his neck hadn't exactly appealed to her. Also, she was well aware of how much he liked the power dynamic that arose from the fact that he had marked her and she hadn't marked him. It made him happy, as incredibly possessive as it was, so she could deal with it. She enjoyed his possessiveness to a degree.

It was nice to be so wanted. 

"He's a little possessive."

His flanging laughter was a welcome sound. Saren and herself had been in a mix of silence and sparse, quiet sentences for the last couple of hours as they'd worked together. It'd been nice though. She enjoyed spending time with him.

"A little? I could smell his musk all over you before I even entered the room. It's like you've been bathed in it."

She looked up into Saren's eyes to see his reaction. There was a slight smirk to his features as he continued to outline a new scenario. One using an attack drone as a scout (it must be nice to have so many credits that energy issues aren't a problem). His chest had been largely still beneath her but she felt a short vibration against her back as he spoke and his talons lightly stroked her stomach absently.

"Not for lack of trying."

Nihlus and Saren exchanged a smirk, and she got the feeling that Nihlus understood far better than he should. 

His eyes were again on her. Heavy and boring. Was there something she was missing?

"I'm not surprised. With what I found when I returned to my apartment a few days ago, I'd expected no less. I never knew you were so generous, Saren. All the gifts I've been missing out on all these years. Well... this one has more than made up for your past lack of generosity."

Saren had dropped the stylus again as he froze in the middle of an annotation. But this time it felt like the freeze of someone who'd just realized they'd really fucked up. 

What was she missing? Nihlus was almost roaring with laughter on the other side of the desk.

"Saren. Tell me what he means please."

If turians could cry with laughter, she got the feeling that Nihlus would be as he was leaning on the desk for support now, despite the fact he was still seated.

He managed to beat Saren to a reply, despite his laughter.

"Yes Saren. Tell her what I mean."

The hand that had been holding her to Saren's chest tightened. His voice was chilly as he spoke. A promise.

"Nihlus. I am going to kill you."

A hand wave was his response.

"No you won't. Jane wouldn't let you."

No she wouldn't. Not yet. Not without knowing what he was talking about.

"Saren," he looked down at her and gave her a nod that was almost hesitant. What had he done? "Can you please explain what he means?"

For all the hesitance in his nod, his delivery was perfectly calm and level. 

"Forgive me Jane, but the apartment that we first had sex in was Nihlus's. I can only assume it had cameras in it."

His arm had loosened around her as he spoke. Likely expecting her to want to be released?

Saren and Nihlus were both watching her. Waiting for an explosive reaction maybe? An expression of discomfort? 

She supposed she should feel mortified. Violated even. It certainly explained the looks that Nihlus had been giving her. But all she could feel was a vague sense of amusement that Nihlus had more than likely watched it, and this was after he'd asked Saren for a threesome.

How much had he enjoyed the video?

She turned in Saren's lap so she was facing him and gave him an entirely blank expression.

Saren looked almost afraid. She could almost feel Nihlus's excitement on the other side of the desk.

"Saren... sweetheart."

Nihlus was watching with barely restrained excitement. His attention firmly fixed on Saren, who was making weak eye contact with her as his arm slowly released her from his grasp.

"... yes, Jane?"

"You have my permission to kill him if it ends up on the extranet."

A turian smile crossed Saren's face, mandibles faintly flexing and she couldn't help smiling back at him despite the morbid cause of it. Nihlus on the other had almost drooped in his disappointment. Saren's eyes held triumph and barely suppressed surprise. He'd likely dodged a bullet in his mind.

Did he really think she'd lose her mind about it? Nihlus wasn't crazy enough to not have the video (videos?) heavily secured and if he spent time in his apartment jerking off to them?

Well...

The idea kind of turned her on.

Saren shifted idly beneath her, smelling her arousal. Nihlus was still sitting there with mandibles slack looking at her in almost betrayal. Though now, his nasal plates were faintly shifting. 

Okay. Now she was a little embarrassed. 

A thoughtful expression crossed Saren's face before he turned back to Nihlus.

"... Nihlus. Send me a copy."

Nihlus's eyes widened almost comically in his disbelief before he sighed.

"Okay. This really backfired on me. Why aren't either of you angry?"

"I was mad. The real question, Nihlus, is why Jane wasn't angry?"

Their gazes fell on her. She felt surrounded, and kind of like she was the one who'd messed up, when she was the only innocent party. 

She couldn't have exactly rejected Saren at the time. Not with the way he'd looked at her like he wanted to devour her. She'd been so wet for him at the time.

A weak coy shrug was her response and judging by Nihlus's snort it had failed. Saren was looking at her like he expected her to get down on one knee and propose to Nihlus.

Okay.

Time for damage control!

"Well... I know Nihlus wants me and I find it kind of hot that he'll be sitting in his apartment, likely masturbating to the video, whilst Saren here gets to have the real thing... I mean who wouldn't want some of this?"

She ended with a slight gesture towards her body and smirked. Saren chuckled and pulled her tight to his body and picked up the stylus again. She didn't know how his sheath was still closed. He usually reacted very quickly to her being sexual in any manner.

She had the feeling Nihlus's mandibles could positively scrape the ground with how slack they were. She turned and looked at him. Indeed they were. His eyes were fixed on her waist like it held the answer to a question that he'd been asking himself since he'd seen the video.

"Saren, how are you not aroused every time she speaks? She has no sense of shame and her waist..."

"All mine..." And his taloned hands encircled her waist, meeting at her lower back, "doesn't that infuriate you, Nihlus? She belongs to me."

A weak chuckle was his response. She had the feeling that his subvocals were rife with jealousy by the altogether smug smirk on Saren's face. Oh well, she was comfortable here. Saren was so warm. Even if he was a little pointy, she'd gotten very proficient to fitting her curves against him and he was very aware of his body.

They fit well together.

"She wasn't kidding about your possessiveness, but you didn't answer my question."

"I'm currently thinking of the last speech the salarian councillor gave me. You?"

She couldn't help but laugh. The idea that all those times when Saren would zone out, he'd been thinking of the salarian councillor. She had just thought he had some private angst he periodically needed to indulge in.

"I've taken to thinking of Mordin lately. He's been incredibly helpful in the last few minutes... Salarians are impressive turn offs, aren't they?"

"Indeed."

Chapter Text

Reminisce: indulge in enjoyable recollection of past events.

Nihlus sipped his kava with a groan. Saren supposed it was more than good enough to warrant a groan, but he was dignified enough to suppress any sounds of satisfaction.

He took a sip of his own.

Delicious.

"Saren. Do you remember the mission where we infiltrated that Eclipse base... and it turned out that it also served as an asari brothel?"

He did. It had been disgusting. He'd never been particularly familiar with elcor mating practices, happily unfamiliar too. Now he knew too much. 

Like the pungent aroma that elcor gave off when aroused that smelled like rotting Palaven sarin fruit and expended heat sinks. The monotonous chants of 'with escalating arousal' and 'with lustful victory' whenever they, and he was using this cautiously, 'dirty talked' with their partners. He'd have laughed at the time if he hadn't wanted to shove his combat knife up his nasal plates and had needed to remain silent under his cloak. There had been quite a lot of Eclipse mercenaries acting as madams for the workers and he was searching for a target. Discovery would have been.. troublesome.

The smell had been horrendous. It certainly explained why all the guards were human and asari. Salarians likely wouldn't have been able to focus with the smell of the elcor pheromones...

He knew way, way too much.

"Unfortunately. I'm not surprised it was a happy memory for you Nihlus."

Jane snorted in his lap as she used the stylus to draw a new scenario.

A stronghold in a valley. The elevation difference between the cliffs and the stronghold itself was not particularly high. Scouting would be possible from the cliffside with any common rifle scope, though any surveillance from the stronghold would easily see the scout.

All the scenarios so far had been contingent on him only using a rifle, his cloak and a single drone. This one might require a little thought. 

Teaching Jane about tactics was enjoyable. She wasn't anywhere as quick as Nihlus had been when he'd trained him. But for someone who hadn't been in the military for 6 years, she was catching on quickly.

Nihlus was unoffended of course by his comment. If anything he looked almost nostalgic.

"It was. I'd been entirely unaware of the appearance of a volus without their suit. It was almost cute. Like a fleshy purple faced ball. Well.. before it exploded anyway."

Jane sidled back into his lap and turned to look at Nihlus. A red eyebrow raised up, almost reaching her fringe.

He shared her disbelief.

"You mean.. a volus voluntarily took off their suit?"

Nihlus chuckled lightly to himself and shrugged to himself.

"Oh yeah. I think he was just too excited to actually get some action from an asari to remember the whole.. you know... pressure problem."

"And how did the asari react?"

"Well... I did hear some screams, though I wasn't watching after the volus exploded. I had taken opportunity to send Saren an estimate of the number of guards on the corridor I was waiting in. In the event that we were compromised. Whilst Saren was doing his whole cloak and dagger routine looking for the target, I was posing as a possible client waiting for my turn. He was assessing my ability to blend in. I passed admirably, I'll have you know."

He couldn't help but shake his head in amusement.

Nihlus had volunteered, enthusiastically at that, to 'scout' as he had put it. At the time he'd thought that Nihlus getting laid would help to keep him relaxed and focussed for future missions, so he'd agreed. There had been nothing about assessment, well at least any verbal assent of him assessing him.

Nihlus's sharpness continued to impress him. Even all these years later.

"You were extremely eager to blend in Nihlus."

"Of course I was. A mission that involved me having sex, whilst you did all the work. It was like you were rewarding me." 

He could only assume that the part of the brothel Nihlus had been in hadn't been filled with amorous elcor. It had felt more like a torture to him, even with the scantily clad asari littered around the place. Whilst they'd been a sight for sore eyes, the scent of elcor had been thick in his nasal plates. Stuck even.

He looked back down at Jane's illustration. She'd added several watchtowers and checkpoints at both entrances to the valley. The only way he could see this being done without alarming anyone before entering the base, was if he were allowed abseil equipment to circumvent the checkpoints entirely. On the other hand, he could likely brute-force the checkpoints, disable the comms before they messaged the stronghold as he neutralized any hostiles, but it'd still be risky.

Any further perusal was interrupted by Jane's question.

"So.. was the asari any good?"

Nihlus's subvocals were full of satisfaction and pride as he spoke. Saren could remember that he had returned to the ship several hours later than him, subvocals humming with great satisfaction and reeking of asari.

He'd been surprised to hear that Nihlus's part of the brothel had remained open whilst the base had investigated the cause of the target's death.

"Jane. The shapes she managed to pull herself into were unnatural. It was a great pleasure to try and match her eagerness... she was almost sad to see me go."

Jane's tone was challenging and almost flirty... it was almost like she enjoyed getting him jealous.

Wait. Maybe that was what she did it for. If she wanted him to... play with her later, he would happily do so, all she had to do was ask. Maybe she'd be his prisoner this time, rather than his slave. He'd order some restraints first. They'd do it properly this time.

"Oh really?"

Nihlus quirked his mandibles at her in a leer. His eyes focussed on her waist with predatory intent. He ignored it and continued his observation of the diagram.

He could feel Jane's inquisitive stare at his face. 

Definitely trying to provoke a reaction. Well, he wouldn't give her one.

Yet.

"Really. I left her with a great appreciation of turian stamina and other things that you're more than aware of. If you ever get tired of the old man, you know where to find me."

He couldn't help but sigh as he reflexively pulled Jane into his chest again. Nihlus, for all his playing, didn't seem to understand that she was his.

And Jane didn't take her obligation to him seriously enough. Regardless of if she was joking, playing with Nihlus was the start of a slippery slope. Nihlus wanted her more than she knew and she didn't seem to mind his attraction to her. It was almost like she was nurturing it.

He gave Nihlus his full attention. They'd stop right now.

"Nihlus."

A quirked head with a smile met his gaze. He hated it. Smug.

"Hmm?"

"Silence."

Nihlus turned to face Jane who was biting her lip, trying to hold back laughter, and smiled at her. His voice was a lustful rumble.

"Offer still stands, Jane. I'll show you what a younger tur-"

He threw the stylus and it hit Nihlus's mandibles, right on target, with a loud clunk. Nihlus looked almost hurt. Tough.

"Nihlus. I said shut up."

"I was just joking, Saren."

By the quickly growing lust in his subvocals and his... gazes, that was a lie. He couldn't help his disbelieving look as Jane laughed in his lap.

"Okay... I was just joking... a little."

Chapter Text

Preparation: the action or process of preparing or being prepared for use or consideration.

As soon as Jane was sure Nihlus had left, completely out of earshot, she turned to face Saren in his lap.

She had questions.

"Is there a particular reason why Nihlus was coming on so hard to me?"

The look that met her was accusatory. She couldn't help fidgeting in his lap a little.

Apparently it was her fault. Somehow.

"You have yet to reject his advances and if anything, you're receptive to them. He thinks that you could be persuaded to the idea of the three of us having a threesome..." he paused and frowned, mandibles pulled tight into his face before continuing, "it also has the added bonus, in his mind, of making me angry whenever he does it."

She was still confused. 

"But you said no. Surely he understands that."

"Of course he does."

A slight sneer crossed his face before quickly disappearing. 

"You underestimate Nihlus. He's incredibly aware of how much I... care for you, he can hear my subvocals. And he knows that if you gain any significant interest in the idea, I will likely explore it for your sake."

As flattering as that was, she didn't want to have a threesome. At all. Though if she were to have one, she wouldn't be opposed to Nihlus. She didn't know when she started finding turians attractive, but he was definitely attractive in her eyes. Red plates, green eyes, symmetrical fringe, extremely muscular build and those almost sinister looking markings he had?

He had bad turian pretty boy down to an art form.

Saren seemed irritated by the whole situation so she framed his face in her hands and pressed her forehead to his. A rumble met her, accompanied by his light press back.

"I'm still a little confused. Can you explain why he even thinks I'll go for the idea? I thought that we were bonded... you know, monogamous."

A dawning sense of realization crossed his face. More cultural differences?

"Sex is a lot more casual for turians. We're not as prudish as humans when it comes to relationships. It is however considered proper for your bonded partner to be there with you, or if not, to have their prior consent when having sex with an outside party. No marking also, obviously."

She couldn't help but ask.

"Are we.. monogamous?"

Idiot. Moron. Dumbass. That was all the response she got from the expression that Saren gave her. She had the vague impression that if he had an eyebrow he'd lift it, though the tightness in his facial plates did a more than adequate job.

"Of course we are... I suppose I'll have to remind you of that. Again..." This was exactly why she flirted back with Nihlus.

"Later though," he smirked at her as she visibly wilted in his lap, hands fisted at her sides, "I need to order some cuffs for you. Maybe even a collar. You seem rather forgetful of the fact that you're mine."

Oh.. that reminded her.

"Saren. Are you suggesting role-play again?"

He looked intrigued, eyes boring at her and she could feel his sheath warming up beneath her.

He spoke almost to himself, eyes unfocussed, far away.

"No, actually. I had just wanted to tie you down and have my way with you... Maybe you'll be my prisoner that I just captured on Shanxi. Alone, without a weapon, at my mercy... it certainly has potential."

She didn't even want to comment on the wrongness of the scenario. That would just be a minefield to navigate... and it did kind of interest her too.

They were both pretty fucked up she could admit.

"Listen."

Mouthplates came to a halt as his almost absent-minded musing ended. He focussed back on her, almost seeming offended by her interruption.

"This time we're going to do it properly. Safewords. If I say the word, 'liquor', I'm uncomfortable with what we're doing. If I say the word, 'kava', we stop. Immediately."

Now the offense was clear in his face. This wasn't a matter of trust, it was a matter of comfort and security. She trusted Saren to look after her when he took control, she just wanted to be able to trust that she would not panic when he did so.

He was already naturally intimidating and seemed to give his all to his role. At times she had actually been convinced that she was a slave and he was her master.

"You do not trust me?"

"Of course I trust you. Do you think I get on my knees for every male and allow them to call me a slave? Play along with it even? Regardless, it's not a case of trust. It's a matter of security. You're really intimidating when you get into a role and I don't want to panic again. I want us both to enjoy the experience completely."

Understanding dawned on his face though he still didn't seem very pleased. Typical.

"I suppose it makes sense. For turians we can easily tell the mood through subvocals. Is this a common thing in human relationships then. These... safety words?"

She couldn't help but laugh. What they did was far from typical! Most couples would explore this as a one-time thing. Not make it an integral part of their relationship.

"No. The type of sex we have would turn off most humans. Too rough, skewed power dynamics... I could go on and on really. What we do is part of a small niche of common sexual behaviours in humans called BDSM. It's a compound initialism. B and D, bondage and discipline, D and S, dominance and submission and, S and M, sadism and masochism."

If anything Saren looked incredibly interested now. She hoped he wasn't interested in sadism. The idea of a turian who was known for his dislike of humans exploring her pain tolerance didn't appeal at all. 

Even if said turian loved her.

"Discipline?"

"... Spanking... paddles... crops. Whips are a no. I already have enough scars. I'm not particularly masochistic so none of it will really get me off in isolation."

Saren gave an absent nod at her comment, still stuck on the idea of spanking her. A hand descended down and idly stroked the curve of her ass. The idea of his taloned hands leaving marks on her ass made her shiver. Talon-tips danced around her buttcheeks lightly scratching skin. It burnt a little.

His talons were so sharp. 

"Don't write off masochism yet. I have plans for you."

Chapter Text

Shackle: chain with shackles.

"So how long will I have to wait here for?"

She was stood against the wall of one of the spare rooms of the building. Nude. Brimming with nervous excitement. Saren was carefully binding one of her feet to a chained manacle connected to a hook he'd installed on the lower part of the wall. She'd be able to walk maybe a foot before the chain became too taut.

She really was a prisoner.

"For as long as it takes for the mood to be right."

He took her wrists in his grasp, with a brief stroke of his talons, and placed them far above her head. Cuffs now. They were bound in a leather-like material on the insides, comfortable, whilst they had a stark, grey metallic appearance on the outside to match that of the manacle. They were then connected to a hook above and behind her head.

She must have made a sight. Arms over her head; defenceless, her boobs prominently displayed and her bare sex glistening.

He finished his work with a satisfied nod to himself after giving her a once-over. A questioning look was then directed towards her, his head tilted and eyes almost hesitant.

"I'm fine. Don't worry."

Unknown tension in her body eased as he approached her, and grinded his body into hers. Stroking her cheek with a rough hand and claiming her mouth with his own. His tongue exploring every part of her mouth, even tickling the entrance of her throat. 

He separated from her with an uncharacteristic shuffle with his feet. His movements were always economical, not one ever wasted. It seemed almost like he was nervous. 

"I haven't forgotten your request. Will you oblige one of mine?"

Of course. She nodded in response, she hadn't quite recovered from the kiss. What could be bothering him about his request that made him feel nervous?

"I want you to act... struggle. Be resistant to me... at least in the beginning."

He wanted the illusion of taking her without consent? Whilst the idea didn't make her entirely uncomfortable it was a bit unsettling.

Rape role-play?...

They had safe words this time, so if the situation became too intense for her, she could get him to stop.

Liquor and kava. Liquor and kava. 

Okay. She was willing to try.

"I might not be as good as you at acting."

Saren wrapped his arms around her and held her tightly to his chest. The rumble of his subvocals against her were a welcome comfort. She hadn't realized that she'd been made so uneasy by his suggestion.

"As long as you try I will be pleased."

He opened a program on his omnitool over her shoulder. His chest maintaining that comforting rhythm.

"I'm going to dim the lights now. When I return Jane, we will start. Be ready."

Dimming had been an understatement. His arms left her and her back was once again against the wall. The manacle on her ankle tightened even further.

She couldn't move. Well she could move her free foot but that wouldn't exactly help her.

He was barely visible in the dark. It was only thanks to his plates she could see him.

She couldn't stop the brief burst of atavistic fear that ran through her. Turians were apex predators, and he could easily overpower her in the dark and take what he wanted. Whatever he wanted.

She felt a slight throb in her pussy. Maybe that was part of the appeal.

He left her in the darkness after giving her one final kiss, his footsteps making no sound at all, with the door sealing behind him automatically.

Before it had been a hazy inky darkness.

Now?

It was like a void.

Chapter Text

Subjugate: bring under domination or control, especially by conquest.

It was time. He was ready.

Black light infiltrator armour on so she wouldn't be able to see him in the dark at all now and a pistol at his hip. 

Well. Saren had been ready for more than 30 minutes. He just wanted her to fester a little. He was aware of the effects of confinement on humans, particularly in the dark. Human vision was incredibly poor in the dark compared to that of a turian and she'd likely be afraid when he entered. It'd help make the acting more convincing on her part.

The door unsealed as he approached and resealed behind him silently.

She was still. Just as he left her. Deep breathing with her eyes closed to keep herself calm. Good. 

He'd always been exceptionally light on his feet, even for a turian, she didn't make any sign of noticing him as he approached. 

A sudden tension rose through her muscles as he spoke. He had made sure his voice was cold. Detached. 

Menacing.

"I hadn't expected to find you alone, unarmed, as I scouted that apartment building. A gift some would say. Your kind have proven difficult to defeat... surprisingly."

A great gift. He hadn't expected her to accept so readily to roleplay this scenario.

Hysteria coloured her voice, but he could tell there was some genuine anger there. He'd make it up to her later. Leaving her in the dark for so long had been cruel, he could admit.

"What do you want from me, you sick fuck!? Leave me alo-"

Her voice died as the talons of his right hand encircled her throat and the muzzle of the gun landed on her temple. She flinched as the cold metal touched her warm skin. 

"I have few reasons to keep you alive, human. Every time you speak out of turn they dwindle."

The hand he had on her throat descended to envelop her right breast. A gasp met him as he squeezed until blood beaded on his talons. Puncture marks now adorned her breast, it wouldn't scar though. He enjoyed the uniformity of the skin on her front.

She jerked away from his grasp with a yelp and a harsh laugh escaped him. He could smell her arousal.

"No. I think I'd like you to live. At least until I'm finished with you, so I can indulge my curiosity. You think I didn't notice the marks on your neck before I restrained you? You've been used by turians before. Twice at least."

They drove him mad with lust every time he saw them. Even if he'd been the one to place them there. 

She was his.

Silence met him. She was shaking though. Out of fear he could tell. She was tense, but her arousal was slowly thickening in the air. 

"Answer me. Yes or no, and if I don't like the answer you get a bullet in your head."

The defeat in her voice was almost poignant. She had been underselling herself about not being able to act. 

"Yes..."

Her sex beckoned to him. The strong, almost salty musk that he'd grown to enjoy, almost stifling in his nasal plates. She gasped in surprise as he trailed a talon through it, parting her flesh and leaving his talon covered with glistening fluids.

It took a lot of willpower not to taste it. He supposed she could taste it in his stead.

"You're so bare. Open. It's as if your species' females are just walking around begging to be fucked..."

Any retort she had was foiled by his talon entering her open mouth. It was covered in her arousal, it was only fair she would clean it for him.

He prodded the gun against her temple once more. 

"Suck."

He could feel his sheath starting to open underneath the thin armour as she hesitantly drew her lips around his talon and suckled it almost lazily.

It wasn't good enough, he knew from personal experience that she could do a lot more. 

"If you're unwilling, I will more than happily let you service my gun instead. My finger might just slip on the trigger as well."

Before she could react to that, he removed his finger from her mouth and wiped it dry of her saliva on her cheek. 

He removed himself entirely from her vicinity and stood still. Watching her.

She was looking for him, head moving to-and-fro, eyes squinting and her free foot moving hesitantly around in a vain attempt to locate him. There was a hint of panic in her movements. Feigned or real he wasn't entirely sure. 

Likely both.

He stared at her sex with sheer want in his eyes. She was dripping slowly to the floor. He wouldn't give her any time to adjust this time. The sadistic part of him enjoyed the way she struggled to take his base in the beginning and how it felt like he was going to rip her lips open.

No one could fill her like he did.

He slowly pushed the length of his cock through the slit at his crotch. His cock was rigid, ridges flared and colourless lubricant from his sheath sticky upon it. Fuck, he was so hard for her.

He could tell she was able to feel the heat of his body as he drew near to her. Her body angling in his direction cautiously. He squatted slightly so he could angle himself to thrust up into her. The tip of his cock touched her entrance and she gasped.

Afraid. Aroused. 

His cock was starting to get soaked with lubricant. He needed in her fast.

"You can't do this!!!"

A scream left her as he yanked her head back by her hair so she was facing the ceiling. She was overacting a little now, so with a vicious growl he silenced her. He wanted resistance.. not disobedience.

... she was smirking. A squeeze to her throat stopped that.

"No one is here to stop me. You? I can smell your arousal. You call me a sick fuck when you want this, human. You look so tight, human..."

And she was as he pressed his tip into her. Her tightness always baffled him. It wasn't like they didn't have sex everyday, she should be wide open for him at this point.

"I'm going to enjoy ripping you open with my cock human."

He shoved himself into the hilt, her walls strangling him and a gasping scream leaving her throat. Body flailing, trying to escape his deeply buried length. Her arousal had spiked with his entrance so he didn't make any attempt to remove himself as he pressed against her so that his sheath was against her own.

"Spirits... maybe there is a use for your species."

He exited her quickly, his length exposed once again to the cold air, before shoving himself back inside of her. He couldn't help but snarl into her throat as he pulled her head back further to expose her marks. He'd tease them with tongue and teeth if he didn't have a role to play.

She was begging him to stop, words stammered as she cried out though there was no mention of their safe words. Good.

He didn't think he could stop.

He'd generally been gentle with her to a degree. Never using his full strength to fuck her. Maybe he'd find out how she fared.

He set up a fast, furious pounding of her sex. Long thrusts at times, short brutal jabs against the sides of her walls with others. Every muscle in his legs and waist adding to the motion as he grinded his body into hers. Whilst her pussy ate up his cock, almost hungrily, it never quite relaxed as it usually did. Never massaging his ridges like usual but rather strangling them.

He couldn't help bending her head back further.

She was squeezing his shaft as he entered. Adding to the effect of the unprepared entry.

Spirits... she was so good at this... and to him. 

With how far he'd bent her head by her hair, every scream or gasp had a slight wheezing noise. Like she was suffocating. He eased his grip slightly and her screams were clear again.

Better.

Loud slaps echoing through the room as he took her without her participation. It was far hotter than he thought it would be as she continued to try and move away from him.

If someone were to enter the room there'd be no question that it looked like he was raping her. Oddly enough, that turned him on a little.

Spirits they were both pretty fucked up.

His first orgasm surprised him, though it didn't stop him. He didn't want to fuck her ass or throat in this session, he didn't have it in him to be gentle. Not when she was playing along so well.

Her pussy leaked his seed as he continued to abuse, no violate her sex. Squelching sounds now added to the mix with the rhythmic dripping of his cum falling to the floor around his shaft.  

As his hand released her hair, letting her neck stretch out, she faced him.

Bored, though he could see a mix of lust and amusement in her eyes.

The bitch.

"Is this all? It seems turian military tactics match their sex. Soft."

He was shocked she could even find the breathe to speak, let alone taunt him into fucking her even harder.

And she said she wasn't a masochist...

"Be silent and do not move."

He released her feet from the manacles. Before she decided to do anything stupid, he pushed her up the wall so her sex was at a better angle that didn't involve him having to squat.

He moved his hands to her thighs and held them wide apart. She was suspended purely by her wrists and his hold now. He saw muscles in her pelvis flex and then more of his load escaped onto his now exposed cock.

Such a tease.

That was all the cue he needed as he speared her on him once more. Where he'd been brutal before, he was now merciless. He was going to ruin her with his cock. Rip her. Split her. Break her. He didn't even care, he was giving her what she wanted.

What they both wanted.

Her voice was one long scream as he felt her orgasm around him. Walls tightly clenching and he followed her into orgasm.

He couldn't believe how much she liked this...

She wouldn't be able to move for a week when he was finished. He guaranteed it.

He could feel blood starting to seep around his talons where they were buried in her thighs as he brutalized her. Her body shook with every impact of his hips into her own and wails continued to escape her as his length continued to violently piston into her.

"Is this what all the other turians did to you, human? Fuck you until you wailed? Made you scream for more?... Filthy. Human. Whore."

Each word he punctuated with a vicious slap to her ass. Her walls violently spasmed around him with every slap.

Definitely a masochist.

He could see his handprint, livid and purple-red, on her ass as she continued her silence. It was like she wanted to be punished even with how easily she bruised. Her gasps as he continued to spank her only made him smack her harder. 

He wanted words. He told her so.

"Answer me, human."

"Yes. Yes!!"

He pulled her hips back into his by her ass. He was so deep into her now, more than he'd ever been since he'd taken her in front of the mirror. He could feel himself pressing harshly against a barrier deep inside of her that he usually just pushed against gently.

The feeling of filling her to the limit with his dick was enough to take him near to the edge. He was pulsating harshly inside of her. This would likely be his last one. 

"Tell me what you want from me."

As she spoke he restarted his bruising pace, timing them with the pull of her hips into his.

"I want you to.. oh fuck... I want you to fuck me like you are now."

Not good enough. He dug his talons into her ass, not enough to draw blood, but to make her realize her error.

"A human could do that. Poorly, but they'd likely be able to try. Tell me what you want from me, especially, or I will stop."

She almost sobbed as she replied. It seemed she was as close as he was. One of his hands left her ass to rub her clit, with the pad of his finger, in time with his thrusts. 

"I want you to fuck me with your big turian cock and fill me with your hot blue turian cum."

He gasped as he intensified his thrusts to try and fulfil her desire. Their desire. Her sex flexing tightly around him in orgasm as her fluids coated his shaft proved to be his undoing.

Fuck...

He came in jerking motions. His cock was rubbed raw against her walls as he thrust into her during his orgasm. At this point his seed had nowhere to go and it ended up mostly seeping around his cock deeply buried in her. Both his waist, her thighs, ass and the floor beneath them were covered in his cum. With a quick gesture on his omnitool he unlocked the cuffs and caught her as she fell to the floor.

Her hair was damp with sweat. Face red with exertion as he cradled her to his chest. He could hear his cum and her blood dripping from her. As he walked to the bathroom to take care of her, he expected her to just fall asleep in his arms and if not, make one of those sarcastic quips (that with time grew more amusing to him) that she was so fond of.

Her silence was troubling.

"Jane. Was I too rough with you?"

She looked up at him with a slight smile, green eyes lidded with exhaustion.

"You were rough enough. I almost said liquor twice. The first time when you brought out the gun and the second when you starting pulling me back onto your dick. You were so deep it was painful," at his slight frown she backtracked, "a good pain. I loved it."

She gave a cursory, almost mournful, glance at her thighs. If they were quick and applied the medigel carefully the scarring would be minimal, near non-existent even. Though that didn't stop him from giving her an apologetic nuzzle to her neck.

Her thighs were still bleeding.

He would be more careful next time. Maintain his control better.

"You got my thighs good though. I expect almost reverent attention paid to them and my pussy when you apply medigel to them. I know your plan, Saren. Trying to fuck me out of commission before I start work tomorrow. Devious but predictable."

The chastising look she gave him made him frown. She wasn't meant to know that.

When did he become so predictable?

Chapter Text

Remix: mix (something) again.

Jane was not in a good mood.

At all. Her usual customers seemed to tell as they avoided ordering from her and instead went to Nilia or Trela. 

She felt like shit.

Her thighs still stung underneath the bandages, her scalp throbbed (Saren had pulled really hard at a point, it was a miracle that he hadn't pulled any of her hair out), her ass felt like she'd been paddled harshly and her vagina?...

Well. Walking for maybe 30 seconds to the Lounge after getting out of the sky cab had left her nearly in tears. Standing still behind the counter was a torture in itself.

And this was after applying antiseptics and medigel and a night's rest.

She was interrupted in her mental cataloguing of her aches and pains by someone clearing their throat.

Couldn't they see every part of her hurt? Couldn't they see she was in full bitch mode?

"So.. you're the kava human. I've heard a lot about you from Executor Pallin. Surprisingly good things... when you're not sleeping on the job."

The voice was turian, significantly lighter than Saren's with none of his dark, deep tones. A light sarcastic drawl. Almost caustic. 

It offended her. Greatly. She wasn't particularly sure as to why it annoyed her so much. A sarcastic turian would likely get on with her like wildfire.

She gave him a dismissive once-over. He seemed offended at her blatant dismissal of him and she could see his eyes narrow at her.

Red turian. High quality blue and red turian civvies with a white trim. Green eyes. He looked like an older version of Nihlus. Surprisingly unarmed for a turian. He likely thought that his wit was a weapon enough.

Probably a politician or some businessman.

She already hated him. Even though the rational part of her said that this was a potential friend to be made, or failing that a banter partner.

Banter was always fun.

Her features descended into a frown and the idle cleaning of a shot glass, her shot glass at that (alcohol had failed to dull the pain), halted.

Her voice was just as sarcastic as his, though there was an undercurrent of annoyance that his voice had not had.

"And I get up to surprisingly good things when I don't have potentially racist turians to serve."

He seemed a little taken aback, amused even, but she wasn't finished.

A smile crossed her face though it was likely more of a sneer. Green eyes boring into his own.

"How can I help you, sir?"

With arms folded across his chest he spoke.

"So this is the greatly celebrated human 'hospitality', I assume?"

The air-quotes made her head spin. What was it with aliens and that gesture? It almost proved sobering to her anger. She'd make his kava and hopefully he'd fuck off.

"Oh, don't worry, I'll be celebrating when I'm finished dealing with you."

A turian smile emerged from him at that, a brief flicker of his mandibles. Bet he didn't know she could read those as well as make kava. Was he enjoying pissing her off? Was he hoping to throw her game off so badly that she'd prove him right and make him an average cup of kava?

The devious son of a bitch.

What did she do in a past life to have to deal with so many devious turians. Saren... Nihlus.. and now this old shit.

She backtracked. Fast.

"You know what, I'd love to snark with you any other day, but not today... What can I get you?"

"I suppose you can attempt to make me a cup of kava."

She didn't even dignify that with a response.

With painstaking detail and loving care, she made his kava. 

"Here, sir. Enjoy."

He took the cup gingerly from her, endeavouring to make sure no part of his gloves made contact with her hand (what a little drama queen) and gave it a sniff.

"I will try to enjoy it. I wonder what the aroma attempts to conceal from me."

The stink of your attitude likely, and that was rich coming from her at that current moment.

He took a sip. His body froze for a moment, then he continued to drink.

She didn't bother to ask him what he thought.

She didn't care. 

At all.

Customers gradually drifted towards her, inspired by the turian's courage likely and she found herself in a considerably better mood as she served them.

They had proper respect. Some of them knew her name and joked a little with her. Cautiously though, her mood was noticeably fragile.

When the crowd dispersed, he spoke to her. Cup of empty kava in front of him with a contemplative look on his face.

"So your name is Jane Shepard. Commander Shepard's adoptive sister. Yes?"

She shrugged. Hands idly going through the motions of making him a second cup. He hadn't ordered it but it'd serve as an apology for her attitude. 

"Yes."

He took the cup from her with a nod.

"Thank you. We will likely meet again then at the Normandy's first flight."

Again, she shrugged. She wasn't particularly sure why he was attempting to make conversation with her. There was no real desire on her part to converse with him. 

"Yes."

He sighed and gave her an annoyed look, eyes narrowed at her as he continued to sip his kava. 

"Are you generally this impolite?"

She shrugged again. She could have sworn she saw the right side of his mandibles twitch in response.

"To those I dislike, yes."

"I'm General Sparatus of the Hierarchy 3rd Division, 2nd Fleet. Maybe you should show some respect, human."

She couldn't help but giggle. He practically flinched at the noise in surprise. After dealing with Saren, who was almost infinitely more imposing than him, he was adorable. Like a child trying to kick her shins.

"Oh my... next you'll be telling me that you're scarier than Saren Arterius and that I should do whatever you say..."

She tilted her head at him with a soft smile. One that she would give a precocious child. He'd even implied that he'd heard of how she'd slept in Saren's arms. What made him think she would be afraid of him?

She didn't give two shits about who he was. 

"... No. If you dislike the way I'm treating you, the door is right there."

She pointed behind him. He looked so offended, mandibles almost agape and eyes wide that she thought that maybe this was the first time he'd been told no in his life. 

Humans don't follow a hierarchy, asshole.

"If that doesn't appeal, Nilia or Trela can serve you instead. Nilia even says that my kava is better than hers. Prepared to settle...?" A disappointed sigh left her. He was still in a state of shock, frozen.

She'd hoped he'd choose to leave.

"But that would be admitting defeat I suppose. A turian general defeated by a lowly human barista, doesn't that just..." she leaned closer to him, elbows on the bar gazing at him in amusement, "get right underneath your plates?"

Her disrespect wasn't stopping him from staying and drinking his kava. Which he did so whilst glaring coldly at her over the cup. It was clearly the best he'd ever had, she could feel the tell-tale vibrations through the counter.

She continued smiling at him. Mockingly. Every drop he drank would likely be like poison to him.

When a turian was faced with her kava they had no chance.

Though... he wasn't offended anywhere as much as he wanted her to think as he finished his second cup very quickly. He cleared his throat once more.

An expectant look was what greeted her as she turned to face him. It was well camouflaged by the cool disdain ridden in his body language.

...

What a glutton for punishment. 

Chapter Text

Diplomatic: having or showing an ability to deal with people in a sensitive and tactful way.

Saren had thought that time would possibly ease Jane's volatile mood. She'd been incredibly... displeased, before she'd left for her shift. Though she continually assured him that he hadn't been too rough on her, he clearly had. He'd had to carry her everywhere as she could no longer move of her own volition.

He hadn't bothered to comment on that, the satisfaction would have been too difficult to hide.

But upon entering Nilia's and seeing the infamous blue formal turian attire at the bar he knew she would likely be even more displeased.

Sparatus.

Whilst Pallin generally showed a professional detachment towards humans and he himself had grown increasingly apathetic to their continued presence in Council space, Sparatus actively went out of his way to antagonize them.

He was... spiteful for a turian. Which was ironic in his mind. He'd always thought spite had always been a predominantly human virtue.

Judging by the blank look that Jane sent him as he made eye contact with her, he had been somewhat successful.

And there he'd been hoping that she'd be in a better mood when they left together.

He took a seat next to Sparatus who was sending some messages on his omnitool between sips of his kava. There was no indication of noticing him from Sparatus though Jane began to make him a cup of kava.

"Saren."

"Sparatus."

Sparatus spoke once more once Jane had passed him his kava without a word and left to the other side of the bar to speak with Nilia.

He'd have frowned if he was alone. She usually lingered to spend time with him and it took considerable willpower not to express his annoyance at Sparatus. As far as the galaxy was concerned he still hated humans, though he could slightly tone that down so that when his relationship with Jane was exposed, and it would be eventually, the backlash wouldn't be so harsh for her.

"I wouldn't imagine that a turian of your stature would accept kava from a human, let alone allow one to sleep in your arms."

If he was human, he'd likely have rolled his eyes in response.

Maybe he'd portray a more sympathetic picture of Jane that Sparatus had experienced to indicate a slight shift in his own opinions of humans.

"Her kava is quite good, even for a human and your sub-vocals are more than telling of your opinion of it." Sparatus's frown in response sent an almost tiny shot of glee through his veins. Was this what Nihlus had felt, but on a much larger scale, all those months ago?

"Her manager had offered me five years worth of free kava from the human barista in exchange for looking after her whilst she slept. As distasteful as it had been, it was more than a worthwhile exchange."

It wasn't particularly hard to lie. Though describing the time as distasteful left him with an almost bitter taste in his mouth. He'd enjoyed it even then.

Sparatus gave an impatient hand wave as if her kava was inconsequential. 

Deluded.

"Regardless of her skill in making kava, she was incredibly disrespectful to me."

He could definitely see that as being true. She had been disrespectful to him as well, though he had provoked her admittedly.

"She is as respectful to you as you are to her." Sparatus didn't miss the subtle jab but he didn't frown again. It was likely true. It was good to see that the turian sense of accountability for one's actions was still present in Sparatus, even when dealing with humans.

He wasn't completely lost to his hatred of them, like he used to be.

"In my initial interactions with her she gave me a certain amount of patience that I did not return. She even thanked me after looking after her. It was a surprise. Over time I have grown to.. accept her presence. She is generally pleasant, for a human."

"Spirits... not you too. Pallin has been panicking ever since he heard she was a medical engineering doctorate student. He's had his assistant watch her file, for Spirit's sake since he'd found out, in case she tries to find another job. He fears that she plans on leaving the Citadel as salarians dominate any form of medical research positions here. At times I fear that her kava has hallucinatory properties with the way he rambles and raves about it in our vid calls."

Saren was tempted to laugh. He had thought that his addiction to it was bad, well it was bad, likely worse... he'd ended up in a relationship with her partly because of it.

Sparatus was looking down at his cup like it was a bomb, mandibles tightly held against his face and eyes unnaturally focussed on it. Was it ticking in his mind? Showing unnatural readings of electrical activity on his omnitool?

It didn't stop him from taking another sip. Blissful oblivion.

"After drinking it I attempted to make conversation with her, and if she hadn't been resistant and so.. human, it likely would have been pleasant. A human who could make kava like this... I found myself thinking that she could possibly be an... exception."

She was definitely an exception in his opinion of humans. His only exception even. Though her brother was... surprisingly formidable. Whilst he didn't particularly like John Shepard, he certainly had his respect.

"She is an exception in my mind. Though that is not a unique opinion, most of her turian customers have a... soft spot for her in their own way. Look at Nilia for example, it is clear that Nilia is incredibly fond of her." 

There she was, stood besides Nilia talking intently to her wearing those tops she'd favoured lately that covered his marks completely. Nilia had been serving a turian male, but had completely stopped to listen to her which was incredibly rude but neither her or the male cared. The male was even chiming in on the conversation.

He hated the clothes she wore since he marked her, though he understood their necessity. Neither of them were ready for outside opinion, not with the Normandy ceremony so close at hand.

Sparatus's sigh was one of defeat. Exasperation even.

"Even you are lost to her... charms? Or her kava? Likely both. I thought you hated humans, Saren. I still recall what happened to that human captain, Anderson was it, you were training maybe two decades ago."

The memory of that angered him. His blood boiled at the humiliation he'd suffered as a consequence. Both at the recollection of being chosen to train a human for Spectre candidacy and being sloppy enough to be caught sabotaging one of his training missions. The Council had been incredibly cold to him for at least a decade afterwards. It had been incredibly hard to gain back their trust.

He was still generally given missions far from human territory.

"What did my defiance gain me, Sparatus? The Council's censure and widespread distrust from both asari and salarian Spectres. Even some of the turians were angered by my actions as they reflected so badly on the Council. It took a lot of bartering with Alliance personnel to keep it under wraps. I was barred from all missions in the Skyllian Verge and other human territories until the humans gain a Spectre. The only reason they didn't immediately have my position terminated was due to my skill... no. Humans are here to stay whether we like it or not, Sparatus. Quentius and Tevos have ensured that."

It had been easy to maintain his resentment for humanity after all of that. He'd stopped blaming humans for his brother's death a long time ago, his own hubris had condemned him to death. Being the one to have to give the order for the orbital bombardment of the Palavenian Temple had left scars.

They had been close.

"I see..." And it seemed he did by the sombre tones in his subvocals, almost apologetic even. He didn't want apologies. Just acceptance and for him to leave Jane alone.

"We are artefacts of a forgotten time, Sparatus. Opinions of humans continue to improve with time and ours prove increasingly unwelcome. Your rhetoric will likely polarize more than it will influence. I have grown to show restraint. As long as you remain in Citadel space you should do the same."

When Sparatus sighed he couldn't help but join him. If his 19 year old self, newly made Spectre, could see him now he'd likely be disgusted.

He couldn't exactly find the inclination to give a damn. He was just uninformed about kava and a certain human female.

Chapter Text

Survey: investigate the opinions or experience of (a group of people) by asking them questions.

Excellent. Jane Shepard at the counter. Many questions to ask regarding relationship with turian male. Human-turian relationships enigmatic. Mechanics unknown. Lots of research to be done. Dubious propaganda created by Alliance and Hierarchy regarding allergy risks.

Nonsense.

Identity of turian irrelevant currently. Not surprised regarding her pairing with Saren Arterius. Humans fond of saying "opposites attract".

He sat at the bar. Was empty.

Human smile. Gentle parabolic incline of lips. Friendly human gesture.

He returned it and her eyes joined the smile. Very intimate greeting. Couldn't help feeling well at ease. Caedus warned him before leaving that she was in a bad mood. Glad to see it has dissipated.

"Hello Dr Solus. What can I get you?

Honorific flattering but they were equals. He'd read her thesis paper, one of his many areas of expertise; cybernetics. Very well researched, very little derivative material. Good read. Would recommend to others in the field.

"Hello Dr Shepard, Mordin is fine. Didn't come for drinks. Have... questions to ask, if willing."

Her eyes rolled. A peculiar gesture. Human microexpressions so versatile! Could be expressing humour, exasperation, contempt... possibilities were endless. Varied from human to human.

Inefficient, yet utterly fascinating. His lecture series on humans had proved incredibly popular, surprisingly amongst turians the most, perhaps he'd ask her to star in the psychology section. Incredibly expressive for a human.

"Sure, Mordin. Go ahead. But you should call me Jane."

Perfect! No need to refer to omnitool to remember the questions, had memorized all 196 survey questions before arriving. Though would be needed to record answers to exact detail.

Paraphrasing was weak empirical evidence. Sign of poor scientist.

"Length of intimate relationship with turian male?"

Eyebrows rising towards fringe. Disbelief. No clear reason for disbelief. Perfectly reasonable question.

"You're really going to ask this here?"

"Purely medical research. I am a doctor, confidentiality guaranteed!"

Understanding crossed her face. Medical confidentiality was universal regardless of species. Feel mild sense of kinship with her. Dr Chakwas his fellow medic was meant to join the Normandy on Eden Prime. Shame. Would like to compare scalpel techniques.

"... Alright. Try and be quieter though."

Of course! Humans responded to intimate questions best when they are whispered. Provided sense of security and candidness. Even if no one within hearing range to listen.

He would whisper.

"... Length of intimate relationship with turian male?"

Eyebrows touching fringe now. Extreme disbelief? She answered anyway. Good.

"Coming up to two weeks now."

Information unremarkable without further data. Noted regardless.

"Severity of chaffing and bruising following intercourse?"

Her reactions were just as fascinating as her answers. Her lips twisted in a peculiar shape. Like a crushed hanar. Will research later.

"Chaffing was only really noticeable the first time. He applied an oil to his plates each time following that and there's very little chaffing now, if any.  Bruising can be bad at times. It depends on how rough he is with me."

Ah, use of lubricant. Spectre Arterius clearly cares for her to show such foresight! Noted. Interesting. Reduces likelihood of relationship based off of power fantasy.

"Use of teeth and talons in intercourse? If so, enjoyable?"

Skin a hue similar to her hair. Ah. Embarrassment! Nothing to be embarrassed about, marking and roughness typical of turian mating. 

"Yes. He uses both teeth and talons. It's awoken some masochistic tendencies in me... so.. yes, it is enjoyable."

Wouldn't ask where. Too personal. Arterius must be in a constant state of control not to tear her apart. Had the sharpest talons he'd ever seen on a turian. Human flesh regrettably... 

Fragile.

"Differences in turian phallus to human proven difficult to adjust to?"

Human phallus generally smooth, mushroom headed and cylindrical in shape. Turian on other hand came to a tapered point and thickened along the shaft, could prove too wide for even asari who can dull pain via melding. Generally longer too than humans. Ridges likely provide more tactile sensation alongst walls depending on level of arousal in male. Lubricant secreted tends to soften them otherwise human softness would be rubbed raw. Base will prove challenging depending on thickness of turian male. Lucky for her Arterius wouldn't tie with her. Likely taking suppressants from time in military. Most turians did until retirement or decision to have children. Knotting whilst on a military vessel... not tactically sound. Turian females release hormone that allows them to dilate as the male's base swells. Increased chance of pregnancy. A popular fetish for asari surprisingly.

"I can't believe I'm going to answer this..."

Said with a smile and cheeks a faint hue of red. Despite embarrassment, Jane proving very open to discussion. Had expected bribery to be needed.

"The ridges feel really good and his lubricant helps a lot as he's a lot thicker than what I'm used to. If he doesn't... prepare me, it can be really painful, especially the base. I've been wondering... what is the purpose of it?"

Excellent! Best part of surveys! Mutual exchange of information. Would happily answer!

With smile on face he answered.

"Swells during intercourse to form a seal to increase chance of pregnancy. Not unlike Earth canines."

She looked slightly confused, head taken aback. Definitely on suppressants. Lack of disgust expected, Jane seemed very laid-back. 

"Your partner likely taking suppressants to prevent from happening. Intercoital knotting forbidden on turian military vessels. Having personnel stuck together during emergency could prove fatal."

An absent nod met him. Likely had questions that she wanted to personally ask her partner. Hope she would try it. Would be interested in asking her how it fared. Humans generally stretchier than asari, could be possible. He would forward her to one of his old friends from the academy on Sur'Kesh if there was tearing. He specialized in asari gynaecological reconstructive surgery. Humans not so dissimilar.

"Is partner able to bring you to orgasm? If so, how many times?"

Ah. Sexual performance of partner proved exception to her patience. Brow twitching now. What an expressive muscle. Would like to see electrical activity of muscle synapses whenever it moved. 

"Okay. Woah. Woah. Woah...! How many of these questions do you have?"

He'd asked 5 questions now. 191 to go.

"Only 191 more."

"191!"

Response almost a shout. Manager noticed and approaching. Very attuned to Jane's mood to realize her exclamation was not conversational, but rather out of disbelief, or discomfort. Must be very close.

Manager's subvocals filled with annoyance and.. protectiveness. Close friends then. Fascinating. Human female and turian female friendships incredibly rare. Many notes to take later.

"What seems to be the problem? Are you giving Jane some trouble?"

Jane's lips were in that hanar shape like earlier. It seemed almost smug. Ah... he understood. Her exclamation was calculated. Intelligence wasted on bartending. Pity.

She wished to play it like this. Perfectly happy to resort to bribery. Manager was well known on Citadel for being the only turian on the Citadel with the business sense of a volus.

"Asking Ms Shepard questions for a survey. She agreed."

If anything, her subvocals grew with more annoyance. He'd lay the trap soon. 

"She has no obligation to answer your questions. It's her job to serve drinks, not to be a data point."

Trap time.

"More than willing to make it worth her while. Head of Salarian Medical Society in Citadel space and have family well acquainted with the Dalatrasses of Sur'Kesh. Can send friendly word about Lounge to both society and family. Word of mouth powerful amongst salarians."

Not as powerful as good data, but powerful enough.

Manager intrigued. Mandibles quirked in vague amusement. Jane seemed a little amused even. Clearly not too offended by questions. Just didn't want to answer anymore.

"I think you can offer a little more. After all, she is a valuable employee. Very valuable in fact."

Hype surrounding her kava only second to new weapons and adventure shop, Rodam Expeditions on Zakera Ward for turians. Surprising so few know of her connection to Commander Shepard. Both of them two of the most well known humans to turians on Citadel.

"Presenter of popular extranet lecture series on humans, Humans 101. Could use Ms Shepard on series about the effects of caffeine and alcohol on pre-space flight human society. Serve as.. product placement for the Lounge. Will be referred to as worker at Nilia's Lounge in lectures. A specialist on human drinks."

Sociological connections of tea and coffee to human bureaucracy always fascinating. A trope in their culture.

Manager nodding almost excitedly. Subvocals filled with excitement. Trap perfect.

"I like it.. maybe you should take a picture of her now and use it as a teaser. With the bar behind her, a cup of tea in her hand. Maybe have her inhaling the steam."

Interesting idea. Have alcoholic beverages fully displayed behind her. Cup of tea in hand, centerfold. Had potential.

Jane seemed almost excited too. A bright smile on her face. Excellent. Would have unsettled him to have unwilling participant.

She quickly brewed a cup of tea and posed with a slight lean down. Eyes closed, lips curved in a soft smile and nose above the cup.

Was a natural. Helped that she was considered beautiful by human standards. Would likely attract asari and human viewers to the lecture series. 

"Excellent. Taking picture now."

Always wanted to say this. Thought it was a nice joke.

"Coagulated mammary gland excretion!"

Manager confused. Subvocals rife with disgust.

"What?"

Jane chuckling slightly into the cup.

"Cheese."

Picture came out better than expected. Jane incredibly photogenic. Try and persuade her to become a regular on the show if she proves well suited. Hadn't been this excited since leaving the Krogan DMZ to join the Normandy. He'd planned on spending final years on Omega. Likely run a clinic before succumbing to old age.

Manager smiling as she looked at the picture.

"Excellent Jane. The picture came out really well. I'll leave you to it, customers are waiting for me. You owe him a survey in exchange now."

Jane shook her head at the manager as she left. Humouring gesture clearly by the remaining smile on her face.

She took a sip of her tea.

"Two times, at least. Three most of the time."

What?.. Ah, yes! The survey.

Chapter Text

Hierarchy: a system in which members of an organization or society are ranked according to relative status or authority.

"This vid is more than 2000 years old?" Saren chuckled slightly beside her. His arm wrapped around her shoulders holding her close to his frame at Jane's behest. Apparently it was a stereotypical way that the courting male in human culture would hold the female during vids.

The fact that there was a designated.. cuddling arrangement explained a lot about humans in his mind. Confusing.

"Disbelief? This vid came out shortly after the Unification Wars. Turians have been a space-faring society for more than 23 centuries Jane."

"Well... we humans were still enslaving each other and creating bloodthirsty empires back then. Top that."

She forgot to mention the raping and pillaging.

The vid was starting now with a brief monologue from a narrator detailing some of the major acts of bravery Palavenian war heroes had made to bring about the Hierarchy. Surprisingly, this was one of the few parts of the vid where it seemed to be truly respectful.

"This vid, The Fall of Karanis, is considered one of the most politically dangerous documentary vids ever produced in turian history. Careanix Fellius, the director who made it was commissioned by the newly formed Hierarchy to produce a vid to celebrate the victory of the homeworld over the rebelling peripheral colonies. Fellius was from Acranel Minor, a colony on the fringe of inner turian space, and a sympathizer. He took it as a personal challenge to hide as many subtle insults to the Hierarchy as he could in the vid."

"So this is a form of.. satire? I didn't even know turians did satire."

"I suppose in a way it is satire. Though at the time of its release it was streamed into every home with a vid-screen or the more primitive version of extranet so it proved extremely destabilizing to the fragile peace after the war. Some outer colonies took it as a rallying cry and the inner colonies took it as a sign that perhaps the middle colonies were in need of surveillance too, and failing that open investigation. The Hierarchy brutally crushed any further resistance afterwards."

The acting was gritty. Very real. Even Jane, who couldn't hear the subvocals as the turians keened over lost loved ones seemed to feel the sense of sadness that seemed to go through every Karanis colonist as their resistance was slaughtered. A comforting purring rumble unwittingly escaped his chest as he noticed Jane's unease and she hugged closer to him. The shelling was incredibly realistic; limbs flying everywhere and blood everywhere. Turian dedication to getting the job done being shown in the special effects.

"Is showing the deaths of the colonists in a sympathetic light a part of the satire?"

Good question, but no. 

"The Hierarchy in all of their rhetoric had always mentioned that the loss of fellow turians was a loss felt by all in their calls for the colonists to submit."

The Hierarchy's tendencies to total war tactics had really been forged by guerilla warfare employed by the insurrectionists in the Unification Wars. She was watching the premier of contemporary turian military tactics.

He hadn't watched the vid before. It was heavily restricted in turian space and he'd had to buy it from a salarian sociologist months ago. He'd never gotten around to watching it but he'd read a lot of essays on it by various turian political commentators at the time so he knew a lot of what was going to happen.

Travelling between relays could result in boredom, even for him.

"Is there a reason why the focus of the shot was on the occupying officer's talons? And then a quick arcing shot showing his markings before focussing back on the files he was working on?"

He couldn't help rumbling his delight. He'd hoped she'd catch that.

"Nowadays, blunted talons are a sign of utilitarianism. Civility... In those times, blunted talons on a male were seen as a sign of weakness; impotence even. The markings he was wearing are of the colony, Macale. The first colony to peacefully surrender to Palaven orders to submit to the newly established Hierarchy."

"So, Fellius is implying that those who submit to the Hierarchy are spineless?"

"Precisely, but the meaning is a bit deeper than that. I'm aware that humans have a saying, 'you are only as strong as your weakest link'," she nodded and he continued, "turians have a saying quite similar, 'those who fight beside you will channel your strength and honour, and you will channel theirs.' By indicating that those who submit to Palaven are weak, Fellius is also implying that Palaven itself is weak. Dishonourable even."

"What exactly happened to Fellius?"

"He disappeared shortly afterwards. Popular opinion was that he was assassinated by Hierarchy agents about two weeks following the debut of the vid. The rest of the film's crew were executed for treason."

She shuffled against his waist in an expression of discomfort. 

".. that seems a little 1984-ish."

"1984?"

"A dystopian human novel written almost 250 years ago. It's about a government worker who realizes that the regime he lived under was oppressively authoritarian. He tries to rebel but ends up brainwashed and his companion lobotomised. The government continually rewrote history. Kept the lower classes in a state of cultural stasis. Removed intimacy from sex. Simplified conversational language. Radicals disappeared as they appeared... and the infamous endless surveillance... 'Big Brother is watching you'. My father gave it to me when I was a teenager and had asked what salarians were like."

"I'm not surprised your father gave it to you. It seems similar in ways to both salarian governance and STG practices. Batarians too."

The main character was on screen now. A young turian teenager called Varius Troxes who was watching the occupying Hierarchy forces parading. She likely wouldn't recognise the insult here.

"Do you see where the commanding officer is standing?"

"The one in the middle of the formation with the golden sigil on his chestplate? A sign of the occupiers cowardice?"

"Exactly. It is indeed a sign of cowardice. In most turian formations, the commanding officer either takes point or takes the rear. Though the placement of the commander is correct for the formation they are using, it's an indication of fear or if the commanding officer is too important to lose. All the colonists still remaining are tired. Defeated. A sign of extreme paranoia and over caution when their victory is completely unopposed. You'll also notice that the commander has the blue geometric markings of Cipritine, the capital of Palaven. It is historically accurate as the turian who'd led the Hierarchy forces on Karanis had been from Cipritine but the formation used is still damning."

"I see... I thought markings were only for colonies?"

"Cipritine is the closest thing that turians have to a megapolis. They're generally considered too tactically unsound for large scale habitation. The culture in Cipritine is different enough from the rest of Palaven to warrant its own markings. Also it's a form of prestige as all the most highly ranked turians come from Cipritine. Like the Vakarian child on Nihlus's assignment."

"Garrus?

"Yes. Marcuriel's son. His father, Legate Vakarian, is maybe 8th in line for Primarch of the Palaven colony cluster. Vakarian is a big name in turian space. Historically distinguished for its civic duty."

"Legate?"

"His father is the governor of Cipritine. Responsible for its day-to-day management."

She seemed shocked. He supposed he could understand, in human society there seemed to be an expectation that the children of rich, important humans were essentially given jobs in their parents fields. If the Vakarian child wanted to follow in his father's footsteps he'd need to ascend at least 12 citizenship tiers before even being considered. 15 for it to be guaranteed.

He himself was at the 20th of the 27 tiers. Largely due to his work with Blackwatch in field testing and his periodic papers on mass effect ballistics. He was ruled out of any form of governmental or military position until he left the Spectres and made an effort to reintegrate himself into turian society. 

"What about your family. The Arterius name?"

He paused the vid.

He'd happily speak to her of his background. She'd told him quite a bit about her own. It was only fair.

"The Arterius name... we've always been a small clan. Isolated and distant from our fellow colonists on Aephus due to our biotics. I had a fairly typical upbringing for a turian fledgling... biotic and shooting training with my parents, collecting scrap metal in the forests surrounding the shipyards with my brother..."

She was giggling against his chest. What... did she think he popped out of the womb with a gun and his cybernetics already in?

Though... as a fledging he did have a toy gun and a toy visor. It wasn't entirely untrue, in a way.

She was slightly hysterical.

"You... you collected scrap metal?"

"I was a fledgling like all other turians. Of course I played. Are you telling me young humans do not?"

She slapped his chest in a playful manner and snuggled closer to him.

"Of course I did. If you'd listen to my father that is. As a toddler, the stage where a human child can first start attempting to walk, I was climbing and crawling over everything. Apparently at one point I followed my mother to the mess and climbed onto the table next to her plate and tried to steal her food."

He couldn't help but laugh. The idea of a red haired baby crawling behind an Alliance officer about a ship undetected was ludicrous. Jane was watching him with a form of indulgent disbelief, mouth slightly open. He shocked her out of it with a brief kiss to her lips.

"Stop gaping. It's unattractive."

With a small frown she slapped his chest again. It was tempting to chuckle again. 

"I mean... you're meant to say 'really?!'. Not laugh. It's obviously bullshit."

"... I don't know. Humans being unable to detect a baby infiltrator seems typical of human military capabilities."

She rolled her eyes and embraced him after climbing into his lap. Voice mumbled against his naked chest.

"You're such an asshole, Saren. Continue. I liked hearing about adorable, harmless, 'collects scrap metal in forests' Saren. A lot better than the current one."

He snorted but returned her embrace, his chin resting on the top of her head.

"My brother and I were close. He was really the only friend I had as a fledgling. The other turians were incredibly distant to me due to the long-standing stigma attached to turian biotics. My brother went for his military training at 15 and I went to a biotic academy on Menae, Palaven's lunar military base, for further training at 9. My parents took the opportunity to re-enlist and died shortly afterwards on Omega in a mission."

Her embrace tightened slightly but she didn't say anything, he returned the pressure with a slight smile that she couldn't see.

"My brother hardened incredibly as a result and fell out of contact with me as he began his command training. I buried myself in my training ignoring the other biotics. We were all poorly socialized due to our upbringings resulting in little contact with non-family members. It took a long time for any sense of comfort to be established between us. By then though, I'd been recognized as a prodigy and assigned to a cabal at 16."

He sighed. Recalling his brother's descent to madness never pleased him to recall. He began stroking Jane's back in an attempt to keep himself calm.

"Then the Relay 314 Incident happened and my brother... seemed to completely lose it. We'd had very little contact prior. Between my prepation for my bid for Spectre training and his position as a General we hadn't met face to face since I was 11. Where before he'd been a little cold, somewhat prickly. He was megalomaniacal, deluded even. Following the end of the brief conflict he planned on unleashing a bioweapon from the Temple of Palaven to bring all turians under his control and dominate the galaxy. I was the one to call the orbital bombardment on the Temple to destroy the weapon, himself and the thralls he'd converted with it... I shed my markings as a response. The Arterius clan in my eyes was finished and my colony markings just served as a reminder of it. My reputation over the course of the years has done little to engender any admiration for the Arterius name. Awe and fear in abundance, but very little admiration."

She'd shown no reaction to the reveal of his brother's plot though she'd been shocked by the fact he'd had to order his death with a quiet gasp into his chest. 

As he finished speaking she looked up at him with something significant in her eyes.

"... the Arterius name is important to me. Didn't you take me into your family by marking me?"

"Yes."

"Maybe I should tell you how my opinion of your name has changed over time. When I first met you. Arterius, to me, meant unease, human-hater, dislike and intimidating. Now though? It means security... human hater." He couldn't help but squeeze her in reprimand and she laughed against him.

"It's true! You need to work at it!... Love, intimidating... though intimidating in a 'shit, he's looking at me like he wants to devour me' kind of way now, comfort.. I could go on really but I'm going to tell you something. Something important."

Her smile was equally teasing and mystifying.

"Go on..."

"In turian bonded relationships I assume the lower tier turian takes the higher tier turian's last name and colony markings, correct?"

He nodded. It was true.

"I suppose that I'll just keep mentally referring to myself as Jane Shepard instead of Jane Arterius. After all the Arterius name is finished... right?"

He backtracked fast. Lifting her up so she was in direct vision of his eyes and could see the pure possessiveness that ran through them at the idea. She shivered.

"The name is more than alive. It lives on in both of us as you belong to me."

"Will you ever tire of reminding me that?"

He tilted his head at her in mock consideration. Of course not. 

"... No."

Chapter Text

Concert: a musical performance given in public, typically by several performers or of several compositions.

"I'm fairly certain that the usher recognised one of us, Jane."

Jane couldn't help but smirk. That was Martin, one of her old classmates at Huerta. He wouldn't say a word with the blackmail she had on him. Gross medical malpractice wasn't looked upon well anywhere. Least of all the Citadel.

"He won't say a word. Come on. I've hired a private balcony booth for us. Opaque screening on the outside. Catering. Everything really."

They took their seats in the booth, herself being mindful of the white gown she'd chosen to wear. Formal attire was sadly required at the Citadel Amphitheatre. Saren was looking particularly striking in a black turian equivalent of a suit he'd dug out from somewhere. Between his attire and his whole... ice queen persona, he pulled dignified elegance off quite well. Maybe they'd try more outings like this more often. Only Martin had seemed to recognize them.

"How many credits did you spend?"

A lot. She'd pretty much wiped her bank account clean for this but she wanted to do something with Saren that didn't involve that complex on the Presidium.

"Not much."

He sighed at her lie but gave her a small smile. He knew her tells really well. 

"What have you dragged me off to see Jane? 

Judging by the fact he didn't make any further comment she'd likely have to watch her bank account for any.. deposits. Saren had more credits than he knew what to do with and he'd likely try to reimburse her.

She couldn't help but feel a little uneasy and busied herself with a lock of hair that was tickling her shoulder. How would Saren find orchestral music from the 20th century?

"I enjoyed that vid I watched with you a couple of days ago. I learnt a lot about turian culture. You know I was born on an Alliance vessel so I can't say that I'll be able to show you human culture that isn't well.. human military culture and I imagine you know enough about that."

He seemed to sense her unease as he stretched his arm in invitation. He learned quickly. With a slight smile she cuddled into his side.

"So I'll show you something that was important to me, my father and to John as we grew up. Pre space-flight orchestral music... I hope you enjoy it."

...

"So, tell me what this is meant to represent. It is not... unpleasant to listen to. What is its importance to you?"

"This is the Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture written by Tchaikovsky in 1880, 303 years ago. It's based off of a tragic romance by a playwright called Shakespeare. It's about two teenagers, Romeo and Juliet, whose forbidden love for each other results in the both of them committing suicide and their feuding families reconciling."

A part of her froze for a second. It kind of reminded her of the situation between herself and Saren. With the romantic experience between them, they might as well be teenagers. There would be no suicide though.

A bit of a lame way to go.

"That explains the jumps from agitation to delicateness to a degree. I assume your family plays instruments then?"

"Yes. There was an orchestra and a military band on the SSV Kilimanjaro. I was first flautist, second chair in the orchestra... see where I'm pointing? The silver tube that the asari is playing transversely with her mouth against the aperture? That's a flute."

"Ah, the high-pitched bright one. What's the small, extremely high-pitched one next to it? It reminds me of a crying turian child. It's quite irritating during the more angry sections."

She couldn't help but laugh. No-one seemed to be particularly fond of the piccolo. It was just as piercing through the orchestral texture as an oboe but incredibly high-pitched in comparison.

Not the nicest of combinations.

"That's a piccolo, a smaller type of flute. It plays an octave, double the frequency, higher than the flute. Same method of playing, pads that are pressed down to create various harmonics. Higher notes are reached by forcing later into the harmonic series with varying embouchure and air speed."

Saren looked vaguely interested.

"That's an interesting application of acoustics. Instruments based on vibration of air molecules never really caught on for turians. Very niche. Our mouths aren't capable of the dexterity that human and asari ones are. We have a lot of varieties of percussive instruments and variations on string instruments. Are human wind instruments the origin of the general human oral fixation?"

She couldn't help snorting during a sip of her glass of wine. 

Classy.

"That's an interesting way of thinking about it... John plays the trombone. The golden ones with the sliding valves. Yeah. There. Similar to the flute in that it works off of air speed, but instead of blowing across the aperture you buzz your lips. The valve increases the length of tubing in which the air vibrates. Naturally the greater the valve displacement, the lower the frequency."

Saren nodded in acknowledgement.

"You both played in the orchestra?"

"Nah. John was in the military band, but on Mindoir he was a jazz trombonist. A style of music based off of improvisation. He's really good, he'd wanted to go to a conservatory on Earth before Mindoir... Anyway, there are vids on the extranet with him playing in both his old Mindoir band and some Alliance bands. They're extremely popular."

...

"I like this one."

"Finally. I was getting sick of you just tolerating everything. But it's rather typical for someone like you to like it."

Saren's look was challenging as he stroked her hair as she enjoyed his warmth.

"I liked the end of the last one. It wasn't... pathetic, like the rest of it. What's this one called?"

"Mars, the Bringer of War."

"The planet in the human home system?"

"Yes. It's the opening piece from Gustav Holst's suite, The Planets, first performed in 1916."

"What is the connection of Mars to war?"

"In human antiquity, the Roman Empire one of the most powerful empires of the time had a pantheistic religion with each god or goddess holding a unique dominion in something. They named the celestial bodies they could see with their primitive optical technology after their gods and goddesses. Mars is the Roman god of war and Holst decided to characterize each movement of the suite with regards to their astrological identity."

"Holst did a good job. I can definitely feel the war-like nature in the repeating rhythm in the strings. The lack of symmetry in the rhythm helps give it that sense of urgency. Human music is too.. uniform."

She was shocked he'd spotted that. Not many non-musicians could tell that it was in quintuple meter.

...

"I love Neptune, the Mystic. It's my second favourite after Venus, Bringer of Peace."

Saren snorted though he did seem to be focussing intently on the harp player. The harp was very prominent in this movement. Very pretty.

"It's certainly.. mystical, I suppose. Very ethereal. It reminds me of the music that plays in asari softcore erotica."

Mock surprise was her reaction. He kind of had a point.

"Saren! You need to be more precise than that. This type of stuff only plays when the asari first meet. Not when they engage in frottage and heavy petting. Otherwise it's a bit more energetic than this... and a little less.. minor."

"Noted. When we get home maybe this can serve as a soundtrack. I've always been... fond of frottage. Minus the clothes."

She shook her head in disbelief.

...

She couldn't help but sigh as the female choruses began to sing. Sublime.

"Oh.. look at everyone look around in confusion. I love the last few minutes!"

"Why is everyone panicking and acting all awestruck? The females singing are clearly outside in the foyer and one of the ushers is slowly closing the door as they sing."

"And there I was hoping you'd be stumped by that. Nothing seems to faze you does it, Saren?"

"No. Turian hearing has its benefits."

...

"I like this one too."

Such a villain...

"Do you like anything that sounds sinister, Saren?"

"Perhaps. By turian standards this is quite light. What's it called?"

"Sergei Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C# Sharp Minor for Piano. It's an orchestral arrangement written by Demutsky."

"I might put this on my omnitool for stake-outs. It's only fair that my targets get to die to a playlist of sinister human music for making me wait for them."

She couldn't help shaking her head. Again.

...

Her foot was tapping of its own volition to the rhythm. Saren was gazing in disgust at the humans in the lower levels who were dancing along.

"John would love this... Rhapsody in Blue."

"Jazz I'm assuming?"

"Yup. Swing jazz actually. John's second favourite after bebop."

"That odd pitch sliding thing at the beginning was.. weird... And there's that Spirits damned piccolo again. It's like I'm in a turian postnatal ward."

She was fairly sure if she had any drink in her mouth it'd be all over Saren's suit. Though she barely managed to not choke on her own saliva. Saren's commentary was hilarious.

"Ah. The glissando. I'm sure that poor clarinettist would be proud to hear that the smoothest woodwind glissando I've ever heard in my life was weird."

"He'd be proud that you'd be even speaking to him. He looks like a giant hairy volus. That tube of wood is likely the most attention he's ever going to get in his sad life."

It took a lot out of her not to shake her head. She wouldn't even respond to that. He spoke when the piano began playing.

"I like that instrument that plays by itself. The one with the... hammers I think? It has hammers hitting the strings. The piccolo doesn't dare to play then."

"The piano? That's what my father plays. Very versatile instrument. Used in pretty much all genres of human music."

"Your father isn't so bad then I suppose."

...

"Why is that salarian with the violin standing at the front?"

"He's a soloist. The Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams is written for a solo violin and orchestra. He'll be playing the whole thing from memory."

"Impressive. I notice he stands in front of the conductor. Keeping his own timing as well?"

"You'll notice when he plays that in any rubato sections, sections that require a degree of rhythmic freedom, he'll overly gesture with his bow to indicate the beat. Any accompaniment will follow him. Otherwise, in orchestral sections, he'll look over his shoulder at the conductor if he needs guidance. I doubt it though... he's a salarian. Technical perfection is something they do well."

"I like this one. It reminds me of my childhood. Very pastoral and reflective."

She couldn't help but bring up the lack of piccolo. 

"And there's no piccolo."

"No Spirits damned piccolo indeed."

Chapter Text

Envy: a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else's possessions, qualities, or luck.

They'd chosen to wait in the booth for a while to allow the corridors to be emptier when they left. It was only natural considering they'd came late and it would be best for them to leave late.

Saren had his arm wrapped around Jane's waist as he led them out of their booth. She was a little tipsy from all the wine she had drank and had her head leaning onto his shoulder. Smiling absently and mumbling about how she couldn't wait to get home.

He hoped that meant what he thought it meant.

He'd enjoyed the concert to a degree, not anywhere near as much as Jane, but he'd enjoyed the experience. He'd always heard that relationships were about mutual compromise and he'd done his best to give the concert his full attention. It felt good to see her happy because he had made an effort to try and enjoy himself, it made him feel like he was getting better at...

Being nice to his bondmate? He wasn't entirely sure. It felt good though, a steady warmth through his stomach and chest.

And the fact that they could spend time together. It felt good to have her by his side in public, especially in the dress that she was wearing that left her neck exposed. The looks of disbelief that had met them on their way to the Amphitheatre had been... satisfying.

The things that had been said about Jane, less so. Only his newfound patience had prevented him from physically assaulting those who had said particularly disgusting things about her. The degree of response had been surprising, even by his initial expectations. He'd known she was attractive, but not so attractive to have other males sounding so angry and jealous at their being together. Or maybe it was just further irrational behaviour from humans. He was still a relative novice in humans that weren't Jane.

He couldn't help remembering some of the filth he'd heard said about her as they walked towards their booth. He wasn't sure if she had heard it, if she did she didn't even flinch. Her nonchalance was a skill he'd like to acquire. It'd felt like they'd been insulting him with how easily she'd ignored their insults and how easily he'd been angered.

"What a freak... how could she let a turian maul her like that?"

"She could do so much better than a turian. It's not enough they fuck up Shanxi, but now they have to fuck up our women too."

"See what I mean Dwayne? All the beautiful women are nuts. Turian-fucking-nuts."

"Cuttlefish lover... What a fucking waste of perfectly good tits."

".. I have friends from Terra Firma and they'd never told me I'd see something like this on the Citadel. Stupid whore..."

That wasn't to say that the turians had better things to say but they generally expressed themselves through their subvocals. Disgust. Repulsion. Surprise. There were a few cases of envy so it was safe to say that some turians had recognized Jane. 

He wondered how she would deal with that when she went to work tomorrow.

It was deep into the night cycle as they left the amphitheatre. They'd chosen a good time to leave as the remaining stragglers were dispersing and he hoped that they wouldn't have to deal with any drunk humans.

He wasn't sure he'd be able to give them a modicum of mercy. There was still a low simmering anger deep within him at the magnitude of disrespect Jane had received. It was odd how little they'd insulted him in comparison, and when they had it had been as a means of insulting her.

They were being followed as they took the alleyways to avoid the crowds and Jane was half-dozing on his shoulder, she'd been drunker than he'd thought. It was tempting to lift her and just carry her but that would leave him at a disadvantage.

He could hear their footsteps and as a result, he could count 4 independent strides. They were outnumbered and he had no idea as to whether they were armed.

He'd known that this had been a bad idea, but he didn't regret it. In fact, they'd planned to go to another show before he left the Citadel, an exhibition of turian martial arts. She'd been excited when he'd suggested the idea and he'd found himself excited by her excitement. It was odd how easily her mood affected his, though he'd hidden his excitement entirely in his subvocals.

"Hey! Leave that lady alone."

He couldn't help sighing. Is this what awaited them, the harassment of comparatively well-intentioned humans? Jane was asleep against him. This wasn't good and he hadn't brought a gun with him. Just a blade on the inside sleeve of his coat arm.

It would likely be enough if he was alone, but Jane was here. He didn't want any chance of her getting hurt.

He stopped and turned around.

4 human males met him. The leader, a sandy-haired one, was armed. He could see the imprint of a gun in his jacket. The rest were not armed though and none of them were wearing formal attire so it was likely they'd followed them from one of the clubs surrounding the Amphitheatre.

One of the lackeys decided to speak up. His bravado seemed to come from their number advantage. He couldn't help sneering.

"What an ugly fucker. The guy looks like a shark!"

The leader smirked in response as the rest laughed like a horde of pyjaks. He was already cataloguing all of their faces for further retribution if needed. He didn't think Jane would appreciate it if he killed them in front of her. He'd come back for them later.

He was very good at being discreet, no one would find out until they were reported missing.

"Of course he does, Travis. He's a turian."

The speaker who'd called out to them spoke once more.

"Look plateface. You're outnumbered here so leave the lady alone."

Did he think it'd be that easy, or he'd actually take this disrespect? He didn't think they'd take the idea of Jane being his wife by human standards well. And it wasn't really any of their business, so he didn't mention it. He didn't want them to take out their anger, or misguided justice, on her.

"No."

The leader gave a conciliatory sigh, almost patient even. It was infuriating. 

"Look... I don't know what you did to her to have her unconscious against you, her neck covered in bite marks, but if you let her go... we won't have to report you for kidnapping."

Kidnapping? Spirits what?... He began flexing his forearm to ease the blade down. He'd likely be able to control his rapidly growing temper better if he had the security of a blade hidden in his palm.

"Are you as idiotic as you look? She is with me of her own free will."

With a very cold look, the leader took out a M-6 Carnifex and aimed down the sights at him. Judging by the way he distributed his weight and the fact he was aiming at his head, it wasn't for show.

Great. He wasn't afraid, not at all, just chillingly angry. If Jane wasn't there, they'd all already be dead. 

He wouldn't risk her.

"You have until the count of 5 to release her."

As much as he didn't want to risk her, there was no scenario he could envisage where he left her in the company of these males whilst drunk and vulnerable. One of them had spent the whole encounter just staring at her.

He had a vague idea as to what they wanted her for now. Disgusting...

"5."

He didn't even flinch. He was already planning his response for when he was about to say 1. Push Jane behind the vent to the right. Throw the blade at the human with the gun. Judging by the hushed, nervous silence the rest of them had acquired since the gun was drawn they likely wouldn't be able to use one. He'd still make an effort to secure it though.

"4."

He tapped his foot impatiently and the leader visibly snarled. Get to 1 already you stupid pyjak.

"3."

He couldn't help but smile, Jane's breathing had evened out. She was waking up.

"2."

Jane started to shuffle against him and the leader slowly put their gun down, a smile crossing his face. Satisfaction at rescuing her? Deluded human. It was good that she was waking up as he didn't want to have to wash human blood out of his suit later. With the way Jane looked at him in delight when he'd put it on, it would be worn next time... actually maybe he'd buy another in a hue of red similar to her hair. It would be garish, but he liked the colour of her hair.

But more importantly she'd like it. Her smiles, especially the ones he provoked from her, were his favourite things.

The leader's voice was distant, secondary to his perusal of Jane as he watched her slowly settle back into his shoulder and sigh.

"She's waking up now, we'll find out the story from her."

Then Jane yawned into his shoulder before pulling his head down to kiss her. He ignored the gasps of disgust and swears coming from the humans behind them and met it. Enjoying the caress of her fingers on his fringe and the taste of her tongue as he explored her mouth. 

As she parted from him with a lustful smile she turned to look at the group behind them and a frown crossed her face. Her dress left her arms completely exposed and he could see a thread of tension run through them. The muscles taut. She was uncomfortable though her voice showed no sign of it. The leader seemed to deflate, his lips a thin line, as she mentioned that she loved him.

"Caellius... as much as I love you, I don't particularly care for an audience. Who are they?"

Chapter Text

Quarter: pity or mercy shown towards an enemy or opponent who is in one's power.

Saren seemed to be seconds away from losing his temper with the way his gloved hand was holding her so tightly against him, it was starting to become painful. His voice was colder she'd ever heard it as he dropped something into his pocket from the other hand.

"This filth. Vermin... they thought I was kidnapping you. I can't say that you would have fared any better in their hands either if they'd gotten their way. The two at the back reek of arousal."

They both ignored the cries of denial that erupted from the two at the back. She didn't think that Saren had the whole story as the leader had looked incredibly surprised and gave the two at the back a disbelieving glance.

She noticed the gun the leader was holding. Surprise swept through her at the fact that Saren hadn't attempted to kill, or at least disarm, the gun carrier. 

"I... see. I suppose the gun was how they planned on getting you release me?"

With the dark growly timbre that had just entered Saren's speech, she couldn't find reason to fault all of the lackeys paling in response to his speech. Standing next to him, she could feel it in her bones. It seemed only the one with the gun had any semblance of confidence remaining though his grip on his gun was now slack.

... and Saren had noticed by the fact his eyes had listed towards it before looking back at her. 

"Indeed. We were just discussing the futility of the idea before you woke."

The leader snorted and began to gesture emphatically at Saren with the gun as he spoke.

"Really?!"

Tension began gathering in Saren's body as his hand slowly eased its grip on her waist before leaving entirely.

It seemed she was going to get a demonstration of the well known explosive turian acceleration. She felt almost sorry for the leader as he continued to speak, continuing to gesture with the gun.

Idiot. Didn't he know how fast turians could move?

"I had you with your back to the wall and -" 

Saren had moved so quickly that she'd almost not caught it. He was a blur of silver and black with an outstretched arm reaching for the gun.

And then he was standing in front of the leader, gun held in one hand aimed at the surrounding idiots and the other holding him tightly by the throat, lifting him high into the air as he struggled.

She couldn't help but sigh and begin smoothing out the creases in her dress. If Saren wanted to kill them he'd have just shot them immediately. It seemed that he wanted them to grovel and beg; want them to understand that their lives were in his hands.

Typical.

With a tightening of his talons, they completely enveloped the leader's neck, he stopped struggling. He looked terrified.

"The only reason all of you are still alive is because my bondmate wouldn't like to see me killing humans in front of her. Even if some of them seem to be raping filth."

He gave them all a dark look, audibly snarling before continuing.

"But you have tested my patience enough, I would have killed you all as soon the gun was drawn on me if she wasn't accompanying me. I suppose I can be merciful if you manage to convince me you are truly sorry for your actions. If not, you have up until the count of 5 before I snap his neck. I'll even draw out the time between the numbers for you, so your idiotic minds can fully comprehend them."

A cruel, cold turian smile crossed his face. It was kind of creepy.

"Humans go through such.. interesting colours as they slowly succumb to asphyxiation."

One of the followers was gaping in disbelief. Eyes wide. Whilst the others visibly trembled, still chalk white.

She was tempted to lean against the wall, but that would dirty her white gown. She shrugged to herself, this shouldn't take too long and began to slowly tap her heeled foot as she moved from the creases in her dress to her hair. Running her fingers through it to straighten it as she hummed Rhapsody in Blue under her breath.

It was so catchy.

"1."

"You've.. you've got to be joking."

Their leader was a bright red now, she didn't think he was going to kill him. The followers were too spineless to let him die and Saren wasn't really squeezing, just holding him tight. It was only the fact that he had a pencil neck that was making him suffocate.

"Let him down!"

"You can't do this!!"

Saren snorted and pointed the gun in turn at those who had spoken. They fell silent and exchanged desperate looks.

"And you can point a gun at me and get away with it? Humans.."

He shook his head in disbelief.

"3."

"But the who-.. your lady is a human."

"She is mine. My human. Not a whore or whatever insult you dare utter at her. You are not convincing me you are sorry, if anything you seem to be proud of your crimes. Anything you say now that isn't said whilst kneeling before me, I will treat as a threat and I will ensure you regret it."

One of them fell to their knees immediately and gave urging motions to his friends. It was good to know that at least one of them had sense. The leader was turning purple and Saren had yet to stop audibly growling.

He was overdoing it honestly but she'd let him ease whatever anger he had. Better them than her. Whilst he never really expressed his anger at her, he was distant with her when angry. They'd made a lot of progress in communicating with one another, she didn't want him to unwittingly take steps backwards.

"3."

She couldn't help sighing again. They were clearly defeated. All of them were now on their knees.

"Don't kill him Caellius, ease up a little."

Saren gave her a sharp look, nearly a glare, but grunted with acquiescence and eased his grip. Pencil neck was red again. She supposed it was better than purple.

"My bondmate requests mercy for your idiotic leader and you still remain silent? You care so little for your friend?... I will not mourn for him if he dies."

"2."

The one who had yet to speak and had fallen onto their knees first, spoke.

Babbled really.

"We're really sorry... extremely sorry that Dave pulled a gun on you. He didn't mean it.. really!!"

Saren gave him a considering look before looking back at her with a slight tilt of his head. Asking her if she thought it was acceptable? Well.. if she had it her way after taking the gun she would have herded them away from the alley and left.

Not.. this.

"Let him go, Caellius."

He dropped the leader, Dave, instantly in response and began to walk back towards her with an incredibly angry expression on his face. She knew it wasn't at her when his hands swept around her waist and pressed his forehead to hers. Inhaling her scent deeply by the barely audible inhales he was making.

She'd known he'd been angry, but not unsettled to this degree.

It seemed to calm him as he turned back to face them as their leader hacked for breath on the floor whilst surrounded by the others. His voice was now neutral. 

Good.

"Leave. Now. I'll be keeping the gun."

She was surprised at how fast Dave managed to run whilst wheezing for breath. It was impressive to watch as they scrambled out of the alleyway, colliding into vents in their rush to leave. Escape really.

Her vision of them was obscured by Saren as he held her tight to him once more. 

"Are you alright, Saren?"

He gave her a soft kiss, leaning his forehead against hers again. Eyes closed.

Had he been worried?

"Next time, we both leave armed. Don't get drunk again, Jane. Please."

She nodded and he gave her another kiss. Ravenous this time, tongue stroking hers and groaning into her mouth. She met it eagerly as he pushed her back against the wall and began rubbing his crotch into hers.

He gave a slight chuckle into her mouth between kisses. She could feel his erection against her with how tight his suit was.

"Frottage with clothes on isn't so bad."

They were so wrapped up in each other, deep kisses, winding hips and groping hands that they didn't realize they had an audience.

A flanging voice met them, surprisingly close. It sounded disgusted. Revolted even.

She couldn't help but thank his interruption, with the way they were going they'd likely have not left the alleyway. She'd like to reach Saren's complex before she got naked.

"C-Sec. Move along before I arrest you both for public indecency... SPIRITS! You actually bonded with a human?.. with your fringe and colouring I'm not -"

Whatever else he wanted to say would sadly remain unheard as Saren gave him a vicious right hook to the face as he leapt from her. So vicious he was knocked out, landing with a clanging noise from the ceramics of his armour.

He turned, mandibles fixed in a tight sneer, and gave her a "what?" expression as he wrapped his arm around her waist. She hadn't planned on rebuking him for acting. He was pent up and it was unlikely that the turian officer had made out any of their features. They had still been tightly pressed together even when he had approached them.

"I wasn't going to say anything."

He nodded before looking down at his crotch. The bulge was still incredibly prominent.

"We'll have to wait here a little as I don't plan on leaving the alley with an erection."

She nodded. They were already a walking scandal, no need to be a walking deviant scandal.

Actually, they were probably already considered deviants anyway.

"Jane.. could you move out of my line of vision."

With a laugh she did so. 

Chapter Text

Aesthetics: a set of principles concerned with the nature and appreciation of beauty.

"What did that C-Sec officer mean when he was talking about your fringe and colouring?"

Saren couldn't help the brief stab of annoyance that ran through him. He'd hoped she'd forgotten about that. She was standing in front of him slowly removing her dress, as he laid down on the bed. Waiting for her. 

He wasn't ashamed of his looks by any stretch of the imagination. She found him attractive and that was all that really mattered to him. Sex with turians had long ago stopped being appealing after he'd first been with an asari and now? Now he had Jane. 

She was all he needed. All he wanted.

"What do you know of turian standards of attractiveness?"

A slight shrug met him as her dress cascaded down her body, revealing creamy skin as it moved. It left her bare as it landed soundlessly on the ground.

She'd worn nothing underneath...

It was a good thing she hadn't let him know as he doubted he'd have concentrated on the concert if he had. Her waist and hips just drove him wild sometimes. For all his inability to be a good turian, he definitely could appreciate the contrast between her small waist and her wide hips. Her waist wasn't as small as a turian's, nor her hips as wide as the most attractive turian female, but the contrast was more than comparable.

"Not much. What's wrong with your fringe or your colouring? I like them."

She joined him on the bed, sitting upright beside him. He wasn't exactly ashamed of his looks, though they made him very distinctive. Exotic some would say, though that wasn't exactly a compliment.

"Turians generally like long fringes -"

She snorted and gave him a disbelieving look.

"Then what's the problem? You have one of the longest fringes I've ever seen."

"I hadn't finished, Jane. Turians like long fringes that arc. Symmetrical ones too. Mine however protrudes straight out, it's why I wear a cowl to strap it down lest I take someone's eyes out. Also, my fringe's spines don't have a discernible uniform length. Add to that the fact I have anterior fringes too. Most turians who are born with them generally have them removed as they're very rare and seen as... odd."

She sidled up to him so they were waist to waist and began gentle strokes of his fringe. He wrapped an arm around her waist and enjoyed the sensations, heat slowly beginning to gather in his stomach and groin.

"So, what's wrong with your colouring. I like the light silver colour of your plates and the light brown of your hide. Every other turian seems to be some hue of grey, brown or red. I think it makes you look striking. Distinctive."

It did make him look striking, he didn't disagree, but turians had rather fixed ideas of attractiveness. It was all about contrast and vibrant colours when it came to plate colouring.

"Turians like bright coloured plating, especially if it allows great contrast between markings and plate. Eye colour is important here too. My plates and my eyes are almost the same colour, so as a result I'm incredibly uniform in colour. Not very appealing by turian standards."

Jane just gave him a disbelieving look as she scanned his body with a slight smile.

"What is appealing then? Rainbow coloured plates? A fringe modelled off of a parabola? Eyes with the vibrancy and sharpness of a vidscreen?.. Aren't voices considered appealing? Because yours is just..." Her smile was a salacious smirk now, lips plush and inviting as he gently met them. She returned the pressure briefly with a brief stroke of his face as she backed off.

"Liquid sex... "

He was well aware of the effect his voice had on her. There was nothing more he liked to do with it than exploit her weakness to it. Her reactions were always worth watching.

"To a degree voices are appealing, though not anywhere near as appealing as plate colour. For example, red plated turians are considered to be one of the most visually appealing by most turians. Quite rare too."

"With the way you're painting things, I'm assuming Nihlus is some kind of turian sex god batting off the females."

He couldn't help but laugh, hard too. She was so far from the truth it was unbelievable.

She was smiling at him as he laughed. Enjoying his amusement, or maybe enjoying the fact that he lowered his guard down enough around her to allow her to see it.

"Nihlus gets about as much luck with turian females as I do. Which is to say very little, though I'll admit he can be incredibly silver-tongued when he wants to be. Probably luckier than myself taking that into account."

"Your species' idea of attractive qualities seems inconsistent. Nihlus fits every critera you've labelled for me."

"By turian standards he's probably one of the most attractive males you'll see in Citadel space. Thin waist. Wide hips. Extremely muscular. And then the previous things I mentioned."

"I prefer your body to the turian ideal. I think thin waists and wide hips on a male are weird... for humans that's generally attractive only on females. You have a thin waist and your hips aren't much bigger. Very sleek. You're just one tall, lean hunk of bad-ass, Saren."

She gave a light squeeze to the sensitive hide on his waist and he groaned. Whilst he wasn't insecure by any measure, her compliments were more than welcome, even if he already knew she liked his body.

"So what's wrong with too-attractive-to-be-considered-attractive Nihlus?"

He was tempted to lower his voice to a conspiratory whisper for the next part, but he managed to catch himself. Quickly.

That was Jane's modus operandi. Not his. 

"It's his markings. "

".. What's wrong with them?"

"They aren't colony markings. He has the markings of a turian born on a military outpost. Meaningless and as a result not worth the paint they were made with. Whilst it's frowned upon to have children whilst on garrison duty, it's not forbidden. The fact that he does not have colony markings indicates one of many situations regarding his parents; they both refused to give him markings, they were both barefaced, they both had their request to pass their colony's markings to him rejected.. these are only a few of the possibilities. I've never asked him and it wasn't on his file when I trained him 7 years ago. I've come to assume it was merely neglect on his parents' part."

Her eyebrows were reaching for her fringe in distaste. He couldn't blame her honestly.

"I... see. Why doesn't he just get new markings like you did?

"He doesn't care as much as you'd think. He's spent most of his life being spurned by other turians. He's rebellious if anything."

She snorted before shaking her head in disbelief.

"I can't believe your species spurns him based off of where he was born..."

He was tempted to point out the irony of that comment. He was aware of multiple incidents in human history where they did just that, but generally leading to genocide and other heinous crimes.

He didn't though. He supposed in a way for a pragmatic species like turians to spurn their own based on something arbitrary such as place of birth it was surprising.

No species was infallible. Turians too, regrettably. 

"Being a Spectre doesn't help either. We're respected by our fellow turians, but not exactly actively welcomed. Turians are a communal species; it shows in our military style, we thrive in groups. Black-op soldiers, infiltrators and other solo agents are generally given a wide berth because it takes a certain type of turian to live by themselves for an extended period of time and bend rules, which other turians cherish, for a living."

"A particular type? It sounds almost like you're all a bunch of outcasts to me."

"That is not incorrect. Other turians, good turians, would say that we're not particularly good at being turians. They might even call us salarian, which is a nice way of saying dishonourable."

Jane was contemplative as she gazed at him before she nodded in acceptance.

"I just want you to know, I don't particularly care for turian standards of beauty, you're beautiful as you are to me."

Then her lips met his again and he lifted her into his lap mid-kiss, enjoying her taste as she explored his mouth. 

The next look she gave him, as she parted from his mouth with one final chaste kiss, could only be described as devious as she began to prod at his anterior fringes. 

"So you're telling me these are an erogenous zone?"

He couldn't help but chuckle, he hadn't had feeling in them since he was 10. His biotic instructors had seen them as a vulnerability and he'd had surgery to have the nerves deadened. He hadn't wanted to remove them, his brother still had his. She might as well be prodding his chest plates for all the sensation he had there.

"I had the nerves deadened when I was younger."

"That's a shame. There were some interesting things I planned on doing to them."

And she slowly circled her lips with her tongue.

That was it.

He placed his hand on her thigh and began to move it up to her sex. Hopes of stroking it, possibly fingering it, were shattered when she pushed against his chest. He knew she was interested as he could smell her arousal in the air.

"What is it?"

She gave him a searching look before pushing again, and he acquiesced with a grunt. Moving his hands away. He could feel the tip of his cock exiting his sheath, he hoped she didn't plan on leaving him like this. 

"Let me take care of you. Just lay back and enjoy yourself."

Oh.

Chapter Text

Reversal: a change to an opposite direction, position, or course of action.

Jane had gotten the feeling that whilst her compliments had been welcome, they'd not really been taken on board. Saren was just too self-assured.

She'd have to show him.

He'd proven meticulous in his attempts to learn her body, constantly exploring with his hands. He'd likely mapped the entirety of it and she hadn't exactly had the opportunity to do the same. 

She climbed on top of his body and he watched her with reluctant patience. Waiting in silent anticipation with the muscles in his abdomen taut beneath her. 

The tight, corded muscle against the light brown hide of his neck called out to her.

She'd start there. 

As her fingers explored his neck, he jolted harshly and she could feel his torso tense even further beneath her. 

Was he uncomfortable? She couldn't help but sigh with sarcasm almost biting as she spoke.

"I'll do my best not to hurt you. You know, hurt the 7 foot of turian who can easily get me to stop if they're uncomfortable and -"

A taloned hand enveloped her mouth mid-speech and she couldn't help but lick it. The roughness of his hide met her tongue and it tasted like a mix of mild sweetness and gunmetal. Not unpleasant at all and she would have licked it again if he hadn't released her with a look torn between disbelief and lust. He'd ended up looking so conflicted, his heavy gaze contradictory to the strange quirk in his mandibles, she couldn't help but laugh.

"I get the point and I know you're not going to hurt me." He smirked slightly, and it was just as mocking as her voice had been. Bastard. "Besides, I doubt you could anyway. Continue."

He laid back and bared his throat to her completely. She'd repay his trust most generously, the sight of Saren ceding control to her meant a lot to her, it was likely she was one of the few people, if not the only person, who'd ever seen him in such a submissive position.

She began her exploration once more and began to massage the softer hide of his neck in swirling motions with her thumbs. He was still beneath her, gentle gasps escaping him as she continued her ministrations. She'd never heard him make sounds like the ones he was making before. They were free of subvocal influence and so soft.

So... not Saren.

It was nice.

Whilst his pulse wasn't visible in his neck as a human's was, she could feel it if she pressed down slightly along the right side of his neck. The rapid pulsing she could feel underneath his throat was typical of turians, their hearts beat faster than humans. He shuddered as she explored the length of his neck where his pulse was present, finishing with a slight kiss against it.

His voice was slightly breathless as he spoke, the depth of his voice almost completely gone. He sounded years younger, his voice now a quiet tenor. Relaxed.

"Planning how best to kill me in my sleep Jane?"

She smiled into his neck at that. Saren making a joke? Even with how morbid it had been, it was unexpected. She hoped he was joking anyway, he had a lot of progress to make if he hadn't.

"Perhaps. For all you know, I could have been planning this from the beginning. Maybe this was all an elaborate plot for me to get your defences low and then swoop in for the kill. A little like this."

And she licked up the column of his throat. He groaned. Twitching beneath her and she barely managed to see him moving his neck further back to give her more access. She could feel his erection against her lower back as she continued to lick along his throat, it was sticky with his arousal.

She hadn't expected him to enjoy this to this degree. When she'd started her exploration it had mostly been as a means of self-gratification in her mind. She wanted to enjoy his body, and if he didn't like it, tough. She had the right to be selfish for once.

Between his whimpering moans and throbbing erection against her, she had a feeling that he was getting more out of this than her. Which was good, as she liked seeing him whimpering beneath her. To see Saren Arterius so needy beneath her yet letting her continue to rile him up, did so much for her than she expected. It wasn't just arousing, it was in a way, everything. She hadn't minded the whole pseudo Dom/sub thing they had going on, she loved it even, but the fact that he let her return the favour warmed her more than she expected. It spoke of how much he trusted her that he'd take such a submissive position.

It was a nice change.

As she continued her licks and placed scattered kisses around his pulse he continued to whimper and his hands came up to lightly hold her head against him. She left his neck with a final kiss and gazed down at him. His eyes were almost dazed, the silver blue of his iris nearly consumed by the black surrounding it. Though his voice had managed to regain its depth, it still seemed almost thin. Transparent due to the lack of subvocals she could only assume.

"I should have known you'd do something like this. Reduce me to a pile of need beneath you after teasing me for so long. Do what you were doing again. Please."

"Are you too afraid to admit that you like having your neck played with? I'd read that turians were sensitive here, but not to this degree."

A tender look emerged from him, features relaxed and eyes intent on hers with affection. His voice was back to that baritone that she loved. Silky. Dark. 

Sexy.

"This is the first time I've let a partner explore my neck, I'd never expected to be so sensitive here."

He huffed in disgust as he shook his head. 

"You think I'd let others see me like this? Submitting with my throat bared in its entirety? This is all for you, Jane.. please continue."

So she did and she began to move her licks from the right side of his neck to the left. His hands continued to cradle her head against him as groans continued to escape him and at one point he cried out beneath her. There was a thick line that formed an indentation on the left side of his throat, a scar. It felt like a knife wound.

He seemed to sense her question.

"A batarian serrated blade on Omega."

She placed kisses along its length from the top of it, at the middle of the left side of his neck to the top of his cowl. His groan was a constant rumble in his ear and when he spoke he sounded like he was at the limits of all he could take.

"I can't take much more of this. Please, Jane, I'm so close."

Generosity was something she could do, she supposed as she moved so that she was in front of his throbbing cock. 

"What do you want me to do?"

He gave her an unimpressed look as he thrust his hips in her direction.

"Anything. A light touch at this point will bring me to completion."

She poked his shaft.

He audibly growled at her and it took everything in her not to laugh in his face. Needy Saren was becoming one of her favourites next to Grovelling Saren.

"More than that."

Okay. Enough teasing.

Her tongue licked the length of a protruding vein on his shaft and he melted, falling back onto the mattress with a loud sigh. His erection stood straight up and proud from his crotch and she continued to lick trailing patterns across its girth, its length and across the head. 

She expected him to get angered by her continued teasing, but he continued to loudly moan and lightly thrust his hips up towards her tongue.

When she moved down and began to lick the base of his cock, he visibly twitched and growled again.

"Spirits... lick the base again and I'll come."

She did with one circling lick, before quickly taking him into her mouth and beginning to suckle.

"Fuck. You're so good to me, I want you to drink it all. This is all for you."

Ah, there was the dirty talk. She'd missed it.

He came in gushes, hot spicy sweetness filling her mouth and down her throat as she swallowed. She slurped and sucked whilst her hand stroked the rest of his cock, trying to get every drop as he continued to come inside of her mouth. Eyes focussed with intent on hers as she watched him during his orgasm. 

She slowly took him out of her mouth as he finished and licked her lips in his direction. His eyes dilated in response and she could see his cock slowly regain its hardness. 

"Come here."

He didn't give her much of a chance to respond as he pulled her from where she had been kneeling and held her tightly to him.

"I'm going to repay the favour, if you'll let me."

His voice was a growling timbre that went straight to her groin. Oh hell yes. One thing first though.

"Say 'I'm going to eat out your pussy' first.'"

He was blank for a second, before a lecherous smirk crossed his mandibles. She was glad it'd translated well as she didn't think she'd be able to muster the patience to explain what she had meant.

His voice was sinful. Dark, growling tones that went straight to her crotch.

"I'm going to eat out your pussy. Devour it even."

As he pushed her back and took his place between her thighs, she couldn't help but tremble. His tongue was licking his mandibles in preparation.

Chapter Text

Crave: feel a powerful desire for (something).

"I should really make you beg, but you have no idea how hungry I am for you."

Jane likely had a vague idea of how much with the way her eyes were fixed on the sight of his tongue leisurely sweeping his mandibles.

He had enjoyed her exploration of his neck more than he really should have, and she had managed to tease him into delirium. Her scent throughout her ministrations had been thick in the air and he just wanted to bask in it. 

Her taste was just as he remembered as he took a swipe of her lips with his tongue. Sweet. Tangy. Perfect. He couldn't help a rumbling moan into her sex as she gasped and he continued his slow languid licks of her sex. His subvocals were a delighted, lustful mess into her sex.

"You taste so good, Jane."

Saren idly stroked her clit in between swipes of his tongue, outlining and teasing her entrance but never entering. Jane was a moaning mess before him as he held her thighs wide open and continued to enjoy her taste.

Saren didn't necessarily want her to beg, though he'd do as asked if she wanted him to do something else. He just wanted to enjoy the build up before he fucked her with his tongue.

"I should do this more often Jane."

Jane's legs were fighting his grip whilst he spoke into her sex between licks. 

"Please Saren, I need more. Your voice, your tongue.. just keep doing what you're doing."

He was only happy to oblige her, her taste would be even more potent inside of her and he could speak.

Oh, he would speak. He would speak as much as Jane needed.

He slowly pushed his tongue inside of her and she whimpered. Almost a sob really when he flicked the tip of his tongue against the rough patch of skin near her entrance. There would be no twitching this time as he held her thighs tightly in his grip, he wanted to taste her to completion.

Saren's voice was a rumbling growl as he spoke with his tongue still inside of her. He wasn't entirely sure whether she could understand what he was saying, but by the loud moans that accompanied his speech, the effect was more than enough.

"Tell me Jane, can you picture this? You sat on my face as I fuck you with my tongue. My nasal plates nudging your clit and the flush of your body as I drive you mad with pleasure."

She trembled as he flared his mandibles and pushed his tongue in as far as he could. The deeper parts of her channel tasted sweetly of her juices and that was all the incentive he needed to thrust in and out. 

Her speech was fragile, constantly breaking into moans.

"Yes. Yes... that sounds amazing."

When Saren felt her walls beginning to close in on his tongue, he removed himself from her. He wasn't ready for Jane to orgasm yet, there was still more to taste and more to be said.

He returned to lapping at her lips and she seemed to sigh in relief, likely thinking he was going to make her beg. 

He had a better idea.

"I'm glad you find the idea amazing as next time, that is exactly what will happen. You'll ride my tongue and maybe, if I'm lucky, you'll suck my cock at the same time. I'll cum down your tight throat and you'll cum into my mouth, filling it with your delicious taste."

He shoved his tongue inside her one more time before going back to lapping at her entrance.

"The possibilities are exciting aren't they not?"

Jane managed to let out a husky laugh as he paused in his ministrations to let her answer.

"Fuck yes, I'd definitely suck your cock. Take it down to the base and let you enjoy the feeling of my throat around your big cock. Enjoy the taste of your sweet cum as you fill my mouth with it."

He moved his tongue and began to circle her clit with it in reward for her delightful response, his cock had twitched at the idea, and she squealed. 

"Saren."

He looked up at her in response and the pure need in her face shocked him. 

"You have to fuck me. No, you NEED to fuck me. Now."

That was an order he'd happily follow. When he slid into her, laid prone on top of her with his arms wrapped around her, the familiar wet tightness was all he needed to groan and rumble into her ear. He loved fucking her almost as much as he loved her.

"You always feel so good. So wet. So tight. All mine."

Jane's legs came up to encircle his waist and she kissed him. He set up a slow, tender pace as he fucked her with the entire length of his cock. 

"This is definitely all yours. I love it when you fill me with you."

Her breath hitched as he grinded his sheath against her. Rubbing the ridges of his cock against her walls and his pelvic plates against her clit.

Saren could feel her walls slowly flexing around him and the flush on her body was growing. She was close. 

"Just like that. You're so fucking big Saren."

He licked the column of her throat as payback for earlier and she shuddered. He might enjoy fucking her, but he wanted to see how much stimulation it would take to bring her over the edge without thrusting. 

Grinding plates. Voice. Tongue. Talons.

Whatever it took.

He continued to grind against her and began to pinch her nipples with his talons. It was a good thing he'd decided to blunt the tips, he'd likely have torn through her nipples if he'd tried.

"And it's all yours." 

She'd been moaning audibly before he spoke. But with his voice added to the mix, the vibrations of his subvocals heavy against her chest, she was loud now. It was a good thing this building was fairly isolated on the Presidium.

"All of this cock belongs to you."

He accentuated that statement with a hard grind against her, her clit rubbing against the notches in his pelvic plates, and she whimpered. Revenge had always been one of his favourite pastimes.

"I'll do whatever you want me to do to you with my big turian cock. Would you have imagined that eventually I would fuck you however you wanted, whenever you wanted, when you first met me?"

Provided it didn't get in the way of his missions, of course. Jane shook her head in the negative, he couldn't help but chuckle, she was far too busy moaning to find the coordination to articulate an answer.

"That I would love you the way I do?"

Saren didn't wait for an answer as he took one of her hands in his and pulled himself up into a press-up position. He placed her hand above where he was stuffed plates deep into her sex.

"Press down here."

A rumbling moan into her face was all he could muster as he felt her hand push the top of her walls further against his cock. The feeling of her squeezing the part of his shaft near the head further against her walls was incredible. Jane gasped at the sensation, he'd had a feeling she hadn't been entirely aware of the fact that it was possible to feel him through her skin.

He flexed his cock inside of her and her breath hitched again, her fingers lightly poking in disbelief. His hand came down and pressed down on her now spread out hand and he groaned. He swore he could feel her hand through the wall now.

"I can feel you from here. I'll never understand how I can even take you if you stretch me this much."

Saren gave her a soft kiss to her lips with one more flex of his cock and she cried out into his mouth.

"If you want something bad enough, you'll do whatever it takes."

He moved her hand away and laid back down on top of her and began to nibble at her neck. She moved her neck back in mimicry of his actions earlier, and he upped the ante with soft, gentle bites to her flesh, leaving faint marks against her. Jane was quivering beneath him and he began to rotate his hips against her entrance. She was a pile of need underneath him as he teased her.

"Oh, Saren, I'm going to come."

Good. He wanted to feel her contract around the entirety of his cock. He was close too, it might pull him with her.

Jane's orgasm was harsh, her walls squeezed him tight and covered his cock in his fluids.

It was more than enough and he came with a growl against her throat, spurts of his seed entering her and mixing with her own fluids inside of her.

Chapter Text

Mentor: an experienced and trusted adviser.

"Again."

Liara was coming to the end of her stamina but she somehow managed to focus once more. Between the uncomfortable heat of Therum and the abrasiveness of her.. teacher? It was difficult, but slowly, a wreath of blue biotic energy surrounded her as she closed her eyes. 

She could do this. She could do this.

Maybe he'd let her return to her studies if she got it this time. Though she doubted it, Wrex seemed to see her studies as a frivolity. Needless. She was almost finished with her assessment of the dig-site and then she had maybe two galactic weeks to reach Eden Prime. They would be parting soon.

She wasn't entirely sure she'd really miss him.

Liara released the Warp as it coalesced in her hands. It was too early, too weak, and it fizzled with a faint whistling noise.

She gulped.

"That stopped being funny about the third time, asari. Again."

"By the Goddess... when are you going to call me by my name?"

He sighed.

"What have we said about saying 'by the Goddess'?"

Liara imitated his basso profundo as best as she could. Her imitation was laughable at best and she heard a small chuckle come from him as he remained perched on one of the terminals to her right, still sharpening his combat knife. It was more of a giant machete in his hands. It was huge.

She'd told him to get off of the terminal but Wrex had just laughed at her and told her to move him, to put her ability to use Lift and Throw to good use.

Liara had tried. Wrex hadn't even tried to actively resist in the beginning but it had been like trying to move a gunship. Krogans were heavy, and Wrex was bigger than most. His armour didn't help either. She'd managed to lift him a little before he'd flared his own biotics out and stopped her. Before she could stop herself she'd called him a giant pyjak, with the way he threw the word around she couldn't help herself, and he had laughed and laughed. 

"'I am not an Omega asari stripper just finishing a meld, so there is no reason for me to be saying by the Goddess. Also, unlike them I can use Throw.'"

"Exactly. Before we leave you'll be able to use Warp as well and if you stop showing the biotic ability of a pyjak, Singularity too."

It took a lot for her to not stare at him with her mouth slack, it had taken quite a while for him to teach her how to use Stasis to his standards. Well, she'd already known how to do it, but according to Wrex the way she'd been taught was pathetic. And it was, he'd shown her all of the biotic powers he knew and she was like a child still in the womb in comparison. His biotics were so fast and so strong. Wrex didn't even have to gesture with his hands to unleash them, though they were stronger when he did.

Liara had a lot to learn.

So she'd deal with his brute force method of teaching. Try. Try. Try. Try. Repetition was a good form of practice she supposed.

Wrex wasn't a bad teacher per say, it was just Liara had never really had confidence in her biotics. Biotic teaching amongst asari had always been an intimate thing and her mother had never had the time to do it. Too many engagements, too many business ventures... Having an instructor do it in her mother's place had hurt her, both emotionally with regards to her biotic progress, more than she felt her mother knew.

"You never answered my question, Wrex."

"I'll call you by your name when you earn it, asari. I've seen vorcha with better biotic ability than you. If the krogan had their fertility affected by the genophage, something must have been used on the vorcha for them to be that stupid. What does that say about you?"

This was her chance. Wrex had a tendency to go off onto tangents or get distracted if the genophage was mentioned.

"So who would have debilitated the vorcha then? The turians?"

Wrex snorted and she heard an audible ringing noise as whatever he'd been using to sharpen the blade was shoved against it harshly. 

"No, it would be the salarians. Those slimy sons of pyjaks are slippery enough to bring down a race before it begins. The turians would be too busy enslaving them to create another genophage. My people would have fought to the last to prevent that from happening, so here we are. Neutered. Gutted. Shells of our former glory."

A sneer crossed his craggy, scarred face as he threw the blade to the floor.

Liara slowly walked backwards towards the terminal she'd been working on before his impromptu biotics session, he was deep in introspection. 

"I know what you're trying to do, asari."

It seemed she was busted so she did her best to look nonchalant, in the face of his smirk, as she continued to move towards the terminal.

"To think that the little meek asari who flinched whenever I spoke, when we first met would prove to be this devious."

A smile crossed his face.

"Good, you're starting to develop a backbone. Now to get you to have the biotic ability of an asari toddler and we can join the Normandy on Eden Prime without the possibility of you tripping over a rock and dying. And no, it won't be one of your beloved Prothean rocks."

That was news to her. We?

And she tripped over an exposed wire on the floor landing with a thud.

"Huhh- We?"

His rumbling laughter, like stones rolling together, was all the incentive she needed to get back to her feet.

Fast.

If Liara hadn't met Wrex she'd probably have been incredibly embarrassed, but she'd developed a thick skin rather quickly. She thought she'd come a long way in the last three galactic months. Wrex had called her pathetic the first time he had met her, but then compared to her mother what asari maiden wasn't pathetic?

"You think that your biotics are anywhere up to scratch for the Normandy? No. Even if you're going as a scientist you're going to see combat. Commander Shepard has a little krogan in him, for a human, you should expect combat. I'll continue to instruct you on the ship, and if I can get some time on the ground team, all the better."

Wrex paused and stood up, stretching his armoured arms with a grunt as she slowly dusted herself off with her gloves.

"When your mother hired me to guard you during your little isolated Prothean rock exploring on Therum, it was with the understanding that I would keep you safe. That wasn't a problem, she was paying me extremely well and this planet is almost completely empty. Easy. But there's only so much hunting of the local wildlife I can take though. I'll be joining you on the Normandy. I need a good fight and it'll be good repayment for your biotic lessons."

Liara couldn't help but laugh, it was breathless and weak in her throat as she wondered if he knew that there was a turian Spectre onboard, in addition to all the other turian personnel. What did Wrex think would happen if an unknown heavily armoured krogan tried to board the ship?

"You do know that the turians onboard won't exactly be pleased if I vouch for you, right?"

He laughed before taking the shotgun off of his back and giving it a loving stroke.

"That's part of the reason why I'm going. It's been too long since I've gotten into a fight with a turian."

Liara shook her head in disbelief though she had the feeling she had a slight smile on her face. Wrex had grown on her unbelievably.

"And how long was it since your last one? A day before you met me?"

"You're not so bad asari, a galactic week actually."

Chapter Text

Gossip: casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details which are not confirmed as true.

Welcome to the Normandy Personnel Social!

Room Owner James Vega 08:06 GST: I don't know who was the room owner last time, but they closed it. We're back baby!

Aethyta 08:07 GST: I was and there was a very good reason why the last room was closed, Vega.

Kaidan Alenko 08:09 GST: Yeah, a good reason like the fact that someone constantly flooded the chat with adverts.

Garrus Vakarian 08:09 GST: And that someone always managed to get back into the room after being kicked. I still think that Shepard or Aethyta were inviting him back.

Mordin Solus 08:09 GST: Not adverts, promotional material. Only posted 6 times an hour. Run popular series on humans, Humans 101. Thought might provoke interest. Posting link now.

Mordin Solus 08:09 GST(link removed by room owner)

Room Owner James Vega 08:10 GST: The pictures of Loco's sister? How'd you manage to convince her to do that? 

Garrus Vakarian 08:10 GST: Yes and I have no idea. You'd have to ask her the next time you go to the Lounge. I've watched a couple of episodes and it was pretty good. Tell them more Mordin.

Mordin Solus 08:11 GST: Of course. Explore sociological changes in human culture by inclusion to Citadel. Art. Food. Military. Music. An introductory lecture series to human idiosyncrasies. Fascinating species. Very diverse.

Aethyta 08:11 GST: Here we go... 

Mordin Solus 08:12 GST: Next episode will explore the affects of alcohol and tea on early civilization up until pre-spaceflight. Dr Shepard will join me as specialist.

Room Owner James Vega 08:13 GST: Doctor?

John Shepard 08:13 GST: Yes, Jane got her PhD maybe 4 weeks ago. Huerta generally does very big, elaborate ceremonies but she opted out to instead receive her PhD in private. A good idea, to be honest. The way the press will descend upon her if the general public finds out about our relation will likely ruin her life. Though it did have it's downsides as she's having difficulty finding a job. A lot of recruiters for research groups, from what I've read on the extranet, attend the ceremony. There's also the after-party schmoozing to brown-nose with senior researchers at Huerta.

Garrus Vakarian 08:14 GST: On several occasions C-Sec have been called to those after-parties. There's nothing quite like a drunken, overworked salarian researcher. 

Mordin Solus 08:14 GST: No such thing as overworked salarian. Can never have too much work. Drunk salarian can prove neurotic. Emotional. Why most salarians drink moderately.

John Shepard 08:14 GST: I know what you're trying to do Garrus. Before we get derailed, I've read bits and pieces of her thesis. It's about the adaptation of asari cybernetics to human physiology. I had no idea there were so many differences at the biological level.

Mordin Solus 08:14 GST: Yes. Human and asari similarity is superficial. Biochemistry is quite different, yet still similar in ways. Fine differences in how an asari and a human is treated in a clinical environment. Fascinating topic. Very good read.

Room Owner James Vega 08:15 GST: I'll have to give her my congratulations the next time I see her.

Kaidan Alenko 08:15 GST: I'm surprised you didn't ask the Commander for her omnitool ID so you could do it yourself, Vega.

Room Owner James Vega 08:16 GST: She's off-limits. Anyway, how did you do it Mordin?

Garrus Vakarian 08:17 GST: Now that I think about it, it was likely the same way he managed to convince Alenko to demonstrate that ridiculous exercise. Jumping stars was it?

Kaidan Alenko 08:17 GST: Jacks actually. It seemed fairly innocent, he'd promised to have a look at my implant for me in return. I just didn't expect him to start attaching sensors to me and wheel in a physiological monitor to the gym.

Garrus Vakarian 08:18 GST: You never do, do you? 

Mordin Solus 08:20 GST: Am skilled negotiator, one of many talents. No coercion necessary. 

John Shepard 08:21 GST: So liberal usage of bribery and blackmail then?

Mordin Solus 08:21 GST: Am former STG. Not saint. 

John Shepard 08:23 GST: Never change Mordin.

Mordin Solus 08:25 GST: Have no time to change. Am 39 years old, will die soon.

08:45 GST John Shepard's title has been changed from - to Commander by the Room Owner

Room Owner James Vega 08:46 GST: .. Anyway, I've changed your title Loco. 

Commander John Shepard 08:50 GST: I suppose it's possible I might just forget I am, THE Commander.

Garrus Vakarian 08:52 GST: Your head seems to be swelling a little, Shepard. I can see it growing from here. Maybe you should get Mordin to check that out.

Mordin Solus 08:53 GST: Hmm, spontaneous head growth in humans? Possible macroprolactinoma or maybe sudden inset of brain tumour? Rapid increase in intracranial pressure also possible. All potentially fatal. Come to Dr Michel's clinic in the Upper Wards ASAP. Practicing there whilst waiting for ceremony, will give check up.

Varinia Troxes 08:53 GST: Vakarian, do you ever get tired of baiting Mordin?

Garrus Vakarian 08:53 GST: Not really.

Room Owner James Vega 08:54 GST: Have you considered a course in human sarcasm, Mordin? Garrus has it mastered.

Mordin Solus 08:55 GST: Slowly learning. Find it poor example of humour. 

Commander John Shepard 08:58 GST: If you spent maybe 10 minutes with Jane, you'd have it mastered as well.

Garrus Vakarian 08:59 GST: That's exactly how I learnt it.

Mordin Solus 09:00 GST: Unfortunately, have been banned from Lounge for 3 Citadel weeks by Nilia for sexual harassment. Have no sex drive, fail to see how questions could be seen as harassment.

09:01 GST Garrus Vakarian's title has been changed from - to Troll by the Room Owner

Commander John Shepard 09:02 GST: Oh this is going to be good, Jane already told me what happened.

Room Owner James Vega 09:03 GST: What?

Troll Garrus Vakarian 09:03 GST: I have got to hear this.

Kaidan Alenko 09:04 GST: ...

Varinia Troxes 09:04 GST: I don't. Troll?

Aethyta 09:05 GST: I agree with what Shepard said earlier. Never, ever change Mordin. Your social floundering is a constant source of joy.

Troll Garrus Vakarian 09:07 GST: According to the extranet a troll is 

noun
(in folklore) an ugly cave-dwelling creature depicted as either a giant or a dwarf.

 

Troll Garrus Vakarian 09:07 GST: Why is it a giant or a dwarf? Why can it not just be one height? Even your folklore and mythology makes no sense, for Spirits' sake.

Kaidan Alenko 09:08 GST: I don't know Garrus. Giant and dwarf are a bit of a misnomer actually, they're types of mythological creatures too. Their names might give you a hint to their appearance and isn't the point of mythology the fact that it DOESN'T make sense?

Troll Garrus Vakarian 09:08 GST: You have a point. But still, nothing you humans seem to do makes sense.

Varinia Troxes 09:09 GST: I notice you didn't contest the ugly part, Vakarian. Was Vega right all along?

Troll Garrus Vakarian 09:10 GST: Why would I bother to address such a claim? My popularity with the females is undisputed. Let's stop talking about what we all already know and talk about Mordin's sexual deviance.

Aethyta 09:10 GST:  

 

verb
make a deliberately offensive or provocative online posting with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them.

 

Aethyta 09:10 GST: Maybe you should consider scrolling down Garrus.

Troll Garrus Vakarian 09:11 GST: Shh. Mordin, we're waiting on you.

Mordin Solus 09:12 GST: Asked Jane if she was willing to provide vaginal tissue samples. Was unaware of taboo and Nilia overheard. Standard examination in salarian medicine, but with cloaca. Data would prove useful in writing paper on turian-human relations.

Troll Garrus Vakarian 09:12 GST: I'm sorry, did you write what I think you just wrote? 

Aethyta 09:13 GST: I had no idea your sister was so adventurous, Shepard. Me and her might need to sit down together at some point.

Kaidan Alenko 09:14 GST: I'm sorry, Aethyta, but from what I managed to gather from my brief chat with her, the combination of you two together would be an unholy alliance.

Aethyta 09:14 GST: Exactly why we need to sit down and talk.

Varinia Troxes 09:15 GST: Scheme, you mean.

Aethyta 09:15 GST: Is there a difference?

Mordin Solus 09:15 GST: Typed, and yes. Was asking Jane questions about relationship with turian male for research.

Troll Garrus Vakarian 09:15 GST: I'm going to come back to the turian-human relations part, but you asked her for vaginal tissue samples in public? Did it not cross your mind that that isn't.. well, socially acceptable?

Mordin Solus 09:15 GST: Was not in audible range of others, was asking her questions as part of survey. 

Varinia Troxes 09:16 GST: You are just unbelievable, Mordin. Absolutely unbelievable.

Galen Naxis 09:16 GST: It's hard to believe that together we are the collective representatives of our species. Our militaries' best. Spirits help the galaxy.

Commander John Shepard 09:17 GST: I'm surprised to see you here, Naxis. Didn't you end up leaving the last chat out of disgust at Joker's constant dirty jokes?

Galen Naxis 09:17 GST: Good morning, Commander. Yes, I did, doesn't it anger you to see such childish behaviour in the chat?

Commander John Shepard 09:18 GST: Good morning, Naxis. And no, I find it amusing at times. Besides, it's better everyone gets this out of their systems now when we're not on-board the Normandy.

Galen Naxis 09:18 GST: I suppose it is understandable. 

Troll Garrus Vakarian 09:19 GST: Does anyone know who the turian is? I wonder what attracted her to him in the first place.

Commander John Shepard 09:20 GST: Jealous, Garrus? Jane told me how you used to flirt with her.

Mordin Solus 09:21 GST: Interesting. Prior hypothesis that Vakarian's acceptance of humans was down to similarity to asari seems to have some precedence. 

Troll Garrus Vakarian 09:22 GST: I flirted with her as a joke. She was funny and her kava was amazing. I just wanted to break the ice, as you humans say.

09:23 GST Garrus Vakarian's title has been changed from Troll to Icebreaker Vakarian by the Room Owner

Icebreaker Vakarian Garrus Vakarian 09:23 GST: I suppose this is better than troll.

Kaidan Alenko 09:24 GST: I don't know, Garrus, I'm pretty sure I remember you saying whilst wasted, that she had a nice fringe for a human. Something about a supportive waist too?

Icebreaker Vakarian Garrus Vakarian 09:25 GST: Fairly sure you were hallucinating, Alenko. I wasn't drunk, just buzzed and I never said anything of the sort. I probably said that she made nice kava for a human, and what a supportive cup it came in.

Aethyta 09:25 GST: I doubt that. Anyway, you were so buzzed that you spent a good five minutes staring at a wall when it was your turn on the sims. 'Look everyone, the wall is floating!' Of course it's floating Garrus, it's a simulation! And you just kept poking it whilst people told you to help Shepard and Williams.

Varinia Troxes 09:26 GST: Oh, Garrus. You're such an... interesting drunk. I wasn't sure whether you were wasted or high at some points.

Room Owner James Vega 09:26 GST: Don't remind me, I was in tears watching that. He looked so honestly surprised and awestruck.

Galen Naxis 09:26 GST: I'll admit that that was funny.

Icebreaker Vakarian Garrus Vakarian 09:27 GST: Okay. I'll admit I spent maybe one minute staring at the wall, it was a good wall. Very sleek, good example of asari architecture. Stylish. But before we get all accusatory about my great tastes in architecture, let me remind you who got the highest accuracy score that night. Me. It's good to know that when we go into combat, I'll have all of your guns at my side, hitting every shot. Oh wait, some of you were sober and were beaten by a wasted turian sniper.

Kaidan Alenko 09:28 GST: I'll admit you're damn good with your rifle, Garrus. Even when you're treating floating walls like a hanar would treat a Prothean.

Icebreaker Vakarian Garrus Vakarian 09:29 GST: Don't make me blush, Alenko. 

Aethyta 09:31 GST: What happened to all the comments about Mordin and Jane?

Room Owner James Vega 09:31 GST: I deleted them all. It's disrespectful to be talking about her in that context.

Commander John Shepard 09:32 GST: Thank you. She likely wouldn't care to be honest, it's why I didn't say anything, but it's the right thing to do.

Room Owner James Vega 09:32 GST: I'm going to suppress all incoming messages for about 90 minutes. 


 

Room Owner James Vega 11:13 GST: And we're back.

Ashley Williams 11:16 GST: I don't know why I opened this, but I'm glad to see that Joker hasn't been posting any porn again.

Caedus Velocis 11:17 GST: There are many things it seems you don't know. Your own actions, one of them.

Ashley Williams 11:18 GST: I'm not even going to dignify that with a response.

Caedus Velocis 11:18 GST: Technically you did. Humans...

11:19 GST  Caedus Velocis has been removed from the chat by the Room Owner.

Ashley Williams 11:19 GST: Thank you, Vega. There's only so much more of his attitude I can take before I lose my temper.

Commander John Shepard 11:20 GST: He's staying with one of his old Cabal friends in Bachjret Ward. I'll pay him a visit and speak to him.

Ashley Williams 11:20 GST: Alright, Commander.

Room Owner James Vega 11:20 GST: ... that wasn't me.

Varinia Troxes 11:22 GST: That was me. I'll invite him back tonight, if I remember.

11:23 GST The chat has been reset and Varinia Troxes is now the Room Owner.

Room Owner Varinia Troxes 11:23 GST: That was also me. Welcome to the new chat, idiots, sexual deviants and the Commander. Unlike Vega, I will properly moderate this chat.

John Shepard 11:24 GST: With an iron fist?

11:24 GST John Shepard's title has been changed from - to Commander by the Room Owner.

Room Owner Varinia Troxes 11:25 GST: With an iron fist. You're not so bad, Commander.

Commander John Shepard 11:25 GST: I'm flattered you think so, Troxes.

Room Owner Varinia Troxes 11:26 GST: How many times do I have to tell you, Commander? Varinia is fine.

Garrus Vakarian 11:26 GST: Watch out Shepard, I think she might be interested in you. Varinia doesn't take no for an answer. I know this from experience, so be especially careful in the showers as she might just ambush you.

11:27 GST Garrus Vakarian's title has been changed from - to Rabid Varren by the Room Owner.

Rabid Varren Garrus Vakarian 11:27 GST: You wound me, Varinia. You weren't calling me a varren when you were flirting with me at Flux a couple of nights ago.

Rabid Varren Garrus Vakarian 11:27 GST(this message has been deleted by the Room Owner)

11:27 GST  Garrus Vakarian has been muted for 30 minutes.

Commander John Shepard 11:28 GST: Garrus, it doesn't pay to play with fire.

Room Owner Varinia Troxes 11:28 GST: No Garrus, it doesn't.

Aethyta 11:29 GST: It's a shame I didn't manage to see what Garrus wrote. Anyway, I wonder which one I am, an idiot, a sexual deviant or the Commander.

11:29 GST Aethyta's title has been changed from - to Oblivious by the Room Owner.

Oblivious Aethyta 11:30 GST: An idiot then. It's interesting to see that my 830 years of life can be condensed to obliviousness.

11:30 GST  Aethyta's title has been changed from Oblivious to Oblivious and Annoying by the Room Owner.

Oblivious and Annoying Aethyta 11:30 GST: There's no winning with you, is there, Varinia?

11:30 GST  Aethyta's title has been changed from Oblivious and Annoying to Oblivious, Annoying and Defeatist by the Room Owner.

Jeff "Joker" Moreau 11:32 GST: So... what'd I miss?

11:33 GST  Jeff "Joker" Moreau has been removed from the chat by the Room Owner.

James Vega 11:33 GST: Poor Joker. He didn't even do anything.

Room Owner Varinia Troxes 11:34 GST: Yet.

11:35 GST  James Vega's title has been changed from - to Overly Sympathetic by the Room Owner.

Commander John Shepard 11:35 GSTEnjoying yourself, Varinia?

Room Owner Varinia Troxes 11:36 GST: Quite, Commander.

Overly Sympathetic James Vega 11:36 GST: What happened to Mordin?

Room Owner Varinia Troxes 11:38 GST: I didn't add him to the chat. 

Mordin Solus 11:39 GST: Wasn't hard to regain access. Nice implementation of dynamic chat address, Troxes. Caused delay.

11:40 GST Mordin Solus has been removed from the chat by the Room Owner

Mordin Solus 11:40 GST: Interesting reaction. With fact that chat app doesn't announce entering of room, we can do this all day, Troxes. Have no patients today, just private research.

11:41 GST  Mordin Solus's title has been changed from - to Mordin Solus by the Room Owner.

Mordin Solus Mordin Solus 11:42 GST: My name as a title? Odd.

Room Owner Varinia Troxes 11:43 GST: There is no adjective that can describe your.. I hesitate to even call it a personality. Persona? It's quite terrifying to be honest.

Mordin Solus Mordin Solus 11:44 GST: Am eccentric.

Commander John Shepard 11:44 GST: Whatever you say, Mordin.

Chapter Text

Calendar: a chart or series of pages showing the days, weeks, and months of a particular year, or giving particular seasonal information.

Saren watched his drone circle Jane in figure eight motions as she entered what seemed to be an endless series of commands into his omnitool. He'd managed to summon a combat drone, without assistance, fairly easy from the private reading he'd done. He wasn't bad at tech, he'd just never seen a need for it and what he did know, was out of necessity. His cloak, his ability to hack and what coding he already knew. Between his biotics and his skill with weapons, he had been well equipped for most, if not all of his needs. Diversifying his skillset was not a bad thing by any means, and the fact it meant more time with Jane was just a bonus.

Jane had asked to make some adjustments to the behavioural protocols of the drone for him. He could have likely done it himself, the coding required likely wouldn't be anywhere as math based or as difficult as fixing his VI had been. But they'd discussed at great lengths the type of uses the drone would see, so he trusted that how she chose to program it would prove effective. 

He had faith in her ability. She'd shown him various programs she'd written during her time with the Alliance response team and one of them had been a multi-purpose sensor program. It was probably one of the most elaborate sensor programs he'd ever seen, and it seemed to be accurate too from the preliminary tests he'd done. It could detect heat sinks, life signs, medigel caches, comm chatter and various other things. Very useful.

Saren looked forward to testing it when he left the Citadel.

He ignored the sinking feeling and the unease he felt at the fact that after the ceremony, which was only two days away, he'd be leaving within a couple of days. A small part of him had even considered begging her (calling it asking her very nicely had helped to soothe his ego to a degree) to come with him, even if he knew it was for the best she stayed on the Citadel. His performance would likely suffer with her onboard his ship as whenever she was around, he proved almost single-minded. He just wanted, no needed, to keep her happy, to inhale her scent and to show her his love for her. He didn't think they'd leave his cabin if he took her on-board.

That and the fact she would likely grow bored over time. 

If only she wasn't so... social. She was constantly on her omnitool messaging old acquaintances she had, her brother, her father, friends from Huerta... and it seemed like Nilia was in constant contact with her.

And Solus. Mordin Solus... working on some educational series about humans with Jane. 

He'd hacked into her communications out of curiosity to find out what else that dead-salarian-walking wanted. She'd found out a little later (he still wasn't sure how she'd found out) and came into the gym where he'd been working out and told him with a rather eerie smile that the next time he wanted to find out who she was talking to or what she was talking to someone about, he could ask and not potentially provoke her into moving back to her apartment.

He'd been very apologetic at that. She'd seemed to gain a perverse sense of satisfaction at watching him grovel as she gave him the silent treatment for the rest of the day. If anyone looked closely enough, it was clear who had all the real power in their relationship for all of its apparent power related dysfunction. 

He gazed at her as she worked. Jane's eyebrows were drawn downwards and her lips were tightly fixed in place in concentration. She must have sensed his gaze upon her as she looked up at him, a question on her face, and he gave her a slight smile. Seeing her always pleased him, but as time passed it became increasingly difficult to hide the effects she had on him. He honestly didn't mind how little control he had over himself around her. The sight of her features relaxing and the slight curve to her lips as she went back to her work evoked happiness in his subvocals. 

It was more than worth it. In fact, it felt like one of his greatest accomplishments. Greater than the commendations he'd earned whilst in his cabal, greater than the renown he'd gained as a Spectre. The ability to relax her with just a smile, that was his magnum opus. Her lips still contained a smile as she worked on the omnitool on his outstretched arm. It almost made the distance between them bearable.

Almost.

Saren gently took her free hand in his and took her to a wall, as she continued her coding. He leant with his back against it as he positioned them so his arms were wrapped around her, the one holding his omnitool in her line of vision and the other lightly holding her to his chest by her waist. 

Much better. Having her work with his outstretched arm had began to prove tedious. 

He could feel the butt plug pressed against his crotch through the pair of his shorts she'd chosen to wear. The human custom of the female wearing their lover's clothing after sex was one that had grown on him. Fast. The sight of his shorts, long and loose on her, was almost enough to threaten his plates shifting. Especially with the feeling of the end of the butt plug pushing against his naked pelvic plates. It'd been a long time since she'd chosen to wear the butt plug as a result of her not liking anal as much as he'd like. It wasn't entirely surprising though, his girth made it difficult. They'd tried it a second time, but with proper lube and he'd opened her even further with his tongue and his gloved fingers after removing the butt plug. It had been a lot better that time compared to the first. 

He'd almost ripped her the first time. 

She chuckled lightly under her breath as she continued her work, slightly pushing back into him to maximise their contact, with the drone hovering in front of them in some form of stasis.

"Is space a commodity these days?"

"Yes, but you should be happy to know that yours is not."

"Oh really?"

Saren planted a soft kiss to her pulse and she shivered, pausing in her rapid-fire coding to regain her sense of equilibrium. He nuzzled her jaw with an unseen smirk.

"I claimed it as my own more than a month ago."

"Oh, I remember that event quite well. I know it as the beginning of the end, the end of my right to personal space."

Saren shook his head in disbelief, she enjoyed him holding her as much as he liked to hold her.

"Not your space, our space. My space is yours and yours is mine."

Jane snorted as she entered what looked, in his mind, like the final lines of what she had been programming.

"How convenient."

"What I would call convenient is the fact you're wearing the butt plug. Did you have plans for me, Jane?"

She looked over her shoulder with a light smirk and ground her hips into his crotch.

"I just thought you'd appreciate making some memories with how little time we have left before you leave."

It took a lot to stop his mandibles from going slack as she nodded at the still stationary drone in front of them. The surprise helped him to ignore the slight sinking feeling in his chest. She wanted to record them fucking? How long had she planned this for?

Jane seemed to take his silence as him needing further reassurance. Or maybe she just wanted to make his chest sink further as her follow-up ended up doing a good job of that.

"Between that video of our first time and the one we'll make now, I think we'll be well equipped for our separation. I'm going to miss you a lot, Saren."

Saren turned her in his arms and held her tight to his chest. He didn't want to see her face, it would remind him of how little time they had left. Living in their little bubble for these last weeks had ruined him for living in any other way. He needed her with him.

"Hush. We still have some time together."

"Ass. You're meant to say you'll miss me too."

More than you'll know. Understand even. The mention of their separation had almost drawn a keen from him, but he'd been fast to suppress it. 

"I love you and I will miss you, Jane, when we part."

He could feel her smile against his chest.

"Better."

Chapter Text

Reverence: deep respect for someone or something.

After taking off the pair of shorts she'd been wearing and her bra, Jane had expected Saren to jump her. But he walked towards her slowly, already naked, with affection in his eyes. With a wink and a smile she returned the look. Her heart brimming with warmth.

They met in front of the drone, recording them, with a slow entwine and a sweet kiss. His tongue playing with hers slowly and languidly.

Any inquiry she had was interrupted when he carefully began to place her on the floor on her back, the heat of his hands a welcome presence on her back. Slowly breaking their kiss as he did so.

A faint smile crossed his face, mandibles drawn upwards and silver eyes still focussed upon her own. 

"Let me take care of you."

Oh, okay. She would happily let him do that.

She gave him a haughty sniff and huffed. Head lifted in mock condescension as he slowly knelt before her.

"I suppose I can afford you that great honour."

Jane couldn't see his reaction as Saren had stopped above her sex and taken a deep inhale, eyes closing as he groaned in what she could only assume to be delight by the relaxation of his features.

His voice was a lustful rumble.

"It is more than an honour."

And then he moved up and began to lick upwards, tracing swirling patterns around her navel. His revenge was devious, all that anticipation that had built up and he'd left her needy pussy alone. Untended to. 

But this? His tongue beginning to slowly trail up towards her breasts, this was new. Not unwelcome either. The sensation of his rough tongue and hot saliva on her skin provoked goosebumps.

The hands that had been holding her back began to stroke up and down, talons grazing her skin. The slight scratching pain contrasting with the loving attention he was paying her with his tongue. A good contrast.

She shuddered as he began to kiss around her breasts. Hot breath brushing her skin as he laved her skin in saliva, soft moans escaping her as he proceeded to explore her torso with his tongue.

"Is there a part of you that doesn't taste good?"

The vibrations of his voice against her chest as he slowly began to tease her breasts with light flicks of his tongue made it too difficult to respond. Respond in words, that is, and not in breathy sighs or groans. Her breasts had always been sensitive and he'd never used his tongue on them before. At this stage she was getting to the point where she thought he knew her body better than she did.

Then that prehensile tongue of his wrapped around one of her nipples and tugged.

She gasped as she felt a rush of heat to her groin.

He applied the same tactic to the other nipple before giving her nipples a light kiss. Briefly cupping her breasts in his hands with a soft rolling massage as he kissed her nipples.

Then he ascended further up her body towards her marks, tongue laving and mouth kissing her skin as he went along. Mumbled compliments uttered into her skin as he worshipped her body.

Her body froze as she realized that he was worshipping her body. Whilst recorded. The thought that he wanted to be able to recall their time together not with a video of him fucking her, dominating her; their usual shtick, but with a video of him treating her with such... reverence. Like the most important thing he had.

It was almost too much. She felt almost light-headed at the realization, that Saren cared for her so much. Sometimes she thought she was hallucinating their relationship, the last six months even. At times she couldn't believe that they were together, that they'd ever met, to be honest.

That he would be able to make her so happy.

As she came back to herself, the dull roaring that had been in her ears silent, she noticed that he was staring at her. Confusion and a fair bit of amusement lining his mien.

Jane quickly nodded in hopes of communicating some form of 'please continue!'. She didn't trust her voice at that moment. It felt like it'd crack with emotion. Too much emotion. She didn't like crying, and she didn't want to cry now of all times.

Saren gave her one last searching look, his features slightly tense, before descending back to her neck. 

He left no part of it untouched by his tongue, or unloved by his kisses. Her pulse, her marks and her jawline received special attention. She held her eyes tightly shut as he seemed to commit every single square inch of her throat to memory. 

Then his mouth met hers briefly before pulling back. 

He was frowning, and then the pad of one of his fingers came up to wipe her eyes. The other hand coming up to stroke her cheek.

She had been crying.  

Long arms wrapped around her and pulled her tightly to him. The feeling of his plated chest and the hide of his abdomen against her body eased a tension in her that she hadn't been entirely aware of. The rumbling vibrations of his speech calmed her as he began to stroke her hair.

"Are you okay?"

"Yes. Please continue."

It was a marvel he was able to hear her with how whispery her voice had been. Turian hearing had its benefits.

He set her on her front this time, giving the butt plug a brief stroke, and then he began to do something that would ensure that her composure broke. There were no doubts in her mind that it was calculated.

He began the same methodical treatment he'd given to her throat to the burn scars along her back.

She was fighting to keep herself together as he lovingly licked and kissed every aberration on her skin, every change in texture. All receiving equal adoration. Jaw gritted and eyes closed in an attempt to hold back her tears. She'd never been with someone who had even given her scars any attention until him. She'd never felt like the centre of someone's universe until him.

It felt like she was on the cusp of coming apart at the seams. Drowning under the almost suffocating feel of his intense love for her.

He noticed, his intuition being a powerful thing, and his voice was soft and beseeching. 

"Let it out."

She did. Soft cries into her hands as he detailed her back, murmured reassurances into her skin and hot breath tingling against her.

"It's okay."

"Breathe, Jane."

"Never be ashamed with me as I love you."

If anything it had made her sob harder.

"So much."

He finished with a kiss to her lower back above where the butt plug was still inside of her. Forgotten.

Saren pulled her into his lap once more and cleaned her face with his tongue. Soft licks and kisses to her cheeks. Jane couldn't help her tremulous, raw laugh as it hadn't helped in the slightest, though it was preferable to have his saliva dampening her face in place of her tears. 

A slight smile crossing his face was all she saw before he brought his forehead to hers with a rumbling purr, hands stroking her cheeks. She enjoyed the sensation of his hands framing her face with closed eyes.

"Better?"

She managed a weak nod against him.

"Better."

Chapter Text

Reliable: consistently good in quality or performance; able to be trusted.

Jane wasn't better. Saren could see and feel that in the tightness of her limbs, the moisture still hiding in her eyes as he continued to hold her and vocalize comfort, safety and a myriad of other emotions in an attempt to calm her. Whilst he understood that she'd initially been crying about the emotion surrounding the whole encounter. He understood that perfectly well, but the reaction that she had had when he'd explored her back.

It had hurt him. He had understood on a rational level that it would prove cathartic for her if he continued, so he did.

How deep had she hidden that within her? He'd known that receiving those scars had been a traumatic experience for her but he thought she'd largely moved on. The first few nights they'd shared a bed he'd been prepared for nightmares, but there were none. She didn't even reach out for him in her sleep, she was a very still sleeper. She wasn't modest by any means, but she'd never shown any discomfort with having her scars touched or looked at before. Even that discomfort she'd shown on their first time when she'd shown them to him had been with a bashful smile. And then in that dress she'd worn for the concert, the top part of her scars had been visible and she hadn't even flinched walking in public with them on display. 

It proved a telling picture of how her previous partners had treated her scars if kissing and licking them had reduced her to sobs.

Their loss was his gain. Idiots.

If she were a turian he'd suggest fighting or sex to channel those emotions, but he didn't want to harm her. She'd claimed that whilst her hand to hand was passable, it was never something she'd particularly emphasised learning. It didn't surprise him, her skill set was very support orientated. Maybe at a future date he'd try and encourage her to improve it, it would be useful.

He'd also feel better knowing that she could better defend herself, formidable as she had already slowly proven to be. Her accuracy and reaction times with a pistol were almost frightening, near rivalling his own. He'd bought her a M-77 Paladin, a Spectre-only variant of her favourite gun, the M-6 Carnifex, that he had been modding over the last few days. He'd give it to her before he left. 

Jane was still holding onto him tightly, though her eyes were now dry and red. He wasn't entirely sure what to do. 

Sex? He'd originally wanted to slowly make love to her after exploring every inch of her body. Leave her trembling from sensation and with his admittedly, borderline obsessive love for her. Immortalize that love for her on vid. He didn't know how long his next mission would take him from the Citadel, but he wanted something to help ease the loneliness. Something he didn't expect he'd ever feel, yet he felt it when she occasionally went to Nilia's for day shifts and when she went to her apartment to pick up something.

Lonely. He'd been a solitary being for so long, almost all of his life. She'd shattered that so quickly. If he wanted to be solitary, he'd rather it be with her.

Saren didn't want her to cry again. It was still a possibility if he chose to make love to her like he desperately wanted. She was so fragile at the moment.

"I really fucked things up didn't I? I-"

He didn't think he'd able to properly articulate how wrong she was, so he smothered whatever other incorrect opinions she had with a kiss.

She buried her face in his neck with a sigh as he spoke.

"It's okay, I understand. We don't have to continue if-"

Jane was nibbling his neck, the scar that he'd had there for more than a decade. She knew how sensitive he was there, how much it turned him on to have her play with him there. It made him whine for Spirits' sake.

He pulled away with a snarl, his sheath opening and the tip of him escaping.

"Is this what you want?"

Her eyes were still red, but she seemed determined.

"Yes. But I don't think I can do it the way you want to. Not now."

He couldn't help but be disappointed.

She wanted it their usual way? Rough? With him dominating her? He supposed they could try again some time after the ceremony, though he'd be gentle to a degree.

His talons stroked along her hips, leaving red lines as they grazed against her, and he placed his teeth against her throat. She gulped but she didn't shy away as he began to rub against her, his shaft rubbing against her stomach.

"You want it like this?"

Jane moved against him until his teeth were against the lower set of marks she had. Her voice was a plead.

"Please."

He couldn't help sinking his teeth slightly into them, reopening them. She whimpered and he applied the same treatment to the other set, this time provoking a sharp cry from her. As he cleaned both of them of the beads of blood that had formed with his tongue, her low moans a rallying cry to his cock, he pushed her out of his lap. Gently.

"Whatever you want, Jane. Get on your hands and knees."

She quickly complied, her ass a welcome sight in front of him. No teasing from her this time, she really did want him to take control. 

He was spoilt for choice. He could fuck her mouth, her pussy or her ass. It would be a shame to not use all that preparation she'd done with the butt plug however.

Her ass it was.

As he slowly pulled the butt plug out of her she groaned and placed her head against the floor, cushioned in her hands. It was covered in lubricant and explained why she remained so open after removing it. The lubricant contained a powerful muscle relaxant and it had made things a lot easier the last time they'd done anal.

The first few inches went in easily, too easily, a rumbling groan escaping him and a shudder going through her body. She was so wet inside, well prepared for him. He pushed the rest of him inside in an extremely slow measured glide, her hole stretching wider as he slowly approached the end of his length. When she tried to meet his entry thrust, he held her hips still. 

She wasn't going to hurt herself in some misguided attempt to please him. 

Eventually he reached the base, bumping against her asshole as he ground his hips into her own, letting her adjust to all of him. He wouldn't make her take the base this time, not unless she made some overture that she wanted to. He could see one of her hands disappearing down her body to likely play with herself.

He'd allow it. It'd certainly help distract her from what he planned on doing next.

He slowly pulled out of her, a moan leaving her as he pressed his ridges against her walls upon exit. 

Then he thrust back in, slightly faster before shoving the last few inches in, colliding with her cheeks with a loud smack. A loud gasp escaping her as she went slack in his grip, her hole spasming around him as he waited for her to adjust to his intrusion once more. He ceased his bruising grip on her hips and let her relax.

Then she began to push back against him, hard.

He leant over her, there were advantages to their size difference like how he could coil over her, and spoke into her ear. His breath against it provoking a small tremor, his tongue a larger one.

"You want all of me inside of you, Jane?"

He slowly ground his hips into her, his cock tracing those motions deep inside of her as his base continued to rub against her hole.

"All of this? If you say yes, I won't be able to fuck you gently. You have no idea how much it turns me on to see you take all of me. I'll fuck you until I breed you. I'll leave you full of my cum, full of me."

As he spoke, the motions her hands were making against her sex intensified. It was a shame he couldn't see it, it'd likely prove a beautiful sight.

"Please Saren, I want all of you."

He couldn't deny her, not when she asked him so sweetly, so desperately. He took her hips in hand and pulled out a little, until his base was no longer between her cheeks and picked up the butt plug.

It was still drenched with lubricant and he rubbed it against his base, ensuring that he got every part of it. He didn't want to hurt her, even if he was meant to be rough and selfish in his pleasure.

He began to push against her and she met him, her hole slowly swallowing him until he was completely enveloped in her tight heat. Her throaty moans in harmony with his growling rumbles.

He took her breasts in his hands and used them to pull her up so she was against his body, her back against his torso as he softly squeezed them. His plates rubbing against her skin and her hair tickling his neck. His sheath between her cheeks and cock buried deep in her tight hole.

One hand went to her hip and the other to the back of her neck. Holding her still as she continued to pleasure herself.

His first thrusts were slow, with the intent of widening her to allow his base easy passage in and out of her. 

He set up a fast, harsh skin-slapping rhythm when he felt she was ready. Her ass quickly reddening from the impacts as he quickly fucked her. Loud moans and sharp cries escaping her as he hammered into her with his hips, his baritone growl providing steady company as he idly stroked the back of her neck in his grip.

At one point, after she had orgasmed, he descended upon her. Pinning her beneath him, his hands holding hers in his grasp far above her head, as he pushed himself into a push-up position and continued to hammer into her. In this position he hit an angle that she must have liked by the squeals that were escaping her. It was easier to rub the wall separating him from her pussy in this position with his ridges and her second orgasm coincided with his own as he filled her up. Continuing to rapidly thrust into her as he painted her bowels with his cum.

He continued. His seed providing even greater ease in fucking her, pooling around his shaft whenever he took his base out. Eventually she went slack beneath him, exhausted by his relentless pounding, and he wrapped his arms around her, holding her off of the floor and into his grip as he began to pull her into his thrusts. The slight increase in depth proving to be all he needed to cum into her again. His voice a raw mess. Hers wasn't much better, as she gave a weak groan as he came again.

He slowly pulled out as his hand reached for the butt plug somewhere behind him.

Some of his seed escaped, his blue trickling from her hole down her taint. The sight made his throat go dry as she laid there, near comatose before him, her asshole leaking his cum copiously.

He'd done a good job in making her forget her tears.

He placed the butt plug back inside of her, a slow easing glide, her light sigh a balm to his fears that he'd went too far.

He almost didn't hear her speak, a sardonic, exhausted drawl as she spoke into the floor. 

"You're really putting that back inside of me?"

Even though she wasn't looking at him, he found himself doing his best to look innocent as he pressed it in to the hilt. Nonchalant. Arms behind his back, cock dripping on the floor, his eyes alight with satisfaction.

He imagined he did a terrible job.

"We need to keep the floor clean."

Jane snorted.

Chapter Text

Spectre: something widely feared as a possible unpleasant or dangerous occurrence.

John had been escorted to the room he was currently stood in, disarmed, by the STG attaché to the Citadel Archives via an elevator in the Council Chambers.

He stood at ease though he had a thread of tension going through him that he did his best to keep hidden as cloaked figures surrounded him on elevated platforms, swathed in brown fabric.

Silent.

Watching.

He wished he had a gun, or back-up.

There were maybe 30 of them physically present. Their hoods containing some form of optical concealment to blur their features and their robes, shapeless enough that the only way to identify any of them was by gait or height. Most of them were being displayed by holos, their features entirely indistinct; both in shape and in looks. John would estimate that number, being displayed by holo, being close to 100. He could only assume those Spectres were unable to make it to this room in the Citadel Archives, to attend his induction into the Spectres in person.

It was more like the induction into a cult. The whole robed thing screamed ritual. He couldn't help but wonder what Jane would think of the whole thing.

The Councillors stood in front of him on the floor of the chamber. It was surprisingly bright where he was stood, artificial lights illuminating where he and the Councillors had met at the dais. They stood in front of a large depiction of the very first Spectre in holo form, a salarian named Retak Nanttur by the faintly glowing inscription ahead of him.

Quite predictably, the hooded figures remained partially obscured in shadow. Quite dramatic.

Quentius spoke first, his flanging voice echoing faintly in the room's strange acoustics, as he gazed at him searchingly. 

"You stand before the first Spectre ever inducted, Retak Nanttur, one of the most decorated STG members of his time. The origin of the Spectres can be traced back to the time of the Krogan Rebellions, a time where galactic stability was near non-existent. A dark time for Citadel space. All known space. As a Spectre you will serve as a safeguard for all in Citadel space, both as a bastion, and as a vanguard. There will be times when the galaxy will leave its peaceful equilibrium, the future uncertain, and you will serve as a balancing force to this instability. You will hold the lives of the many in your hands, and you will have to make exceptionally difficult decisions, potentially changing the course of future life for billions. You will need to be resolute in the face of this great burden."

Valern spoke next, his hood pulled further down than usual leaving his eyes completely invisible. John could only assume that he'd done that in honour of the event. 

"Spectres are not trained, but chosen. Individuals forged in the fire of service and battle; those whose actions life them above the rank and file. As a Spectre, and prominent member of your species, you will and must be autonomous. Independent of your military's bureaucracy and hierarchy, subject only to guidance from the Council. To be a Spectre is to relieve yourself of racial obligation, to sacrifice your own personal wants in order to commit yourself solely to the preservation of galactic stability. Many will wish to use your position as a means to further their own goals. You will need to be impartial in the face of others."

He couldn't help but remember what Admiral Hackett had said to him just before docking on the Citadel via the comms room on the dreadnought.

You're Alliance first Shepard, never forget that. Regardless of what the Council thinks, someone needs to look out for humanity.

He didn't entirely disagree.

Tevos spoke last, her voice its usual calm measured cadence. John was tempted to close his eyes and just indulge in its soothing melodiousness, but the heavy scrutiny he was under completely suppressed that urge.

"You will be unique in your role, Commander. Where others may work in small groups, alone, or with the occasional aid of non-affiliated personnel, you will be leading an interspecies crew. The challenges you face as a result will be unique. With the galaxy watching you and your crew's actions, scrutinizing, judging humanity as a result of the choices you make, mistakes will likely prove disastrous. For both you, and the Council, so do not expect discretion to be easy to maintain. Regardless, we are confident that you will rise to the challenge because as a Spectre, you will be one of the elite of the galaxy. Chosen as a result of far outstripping the norm. Spectres are an ideal, a symbol, the embodiment of courage, determination, and self-reliance. You will be one of the few who serve as the right hand of the Council, instruments of our will. You will need to be exceptional."

"John Walker-Shepard."

He couldn't help but laugh in his head, his outward neutral expression held firmly in place. It'd been years since someone had called him by his real surname, and it sounded just as ridiculous as it did the last time. The slight lift in Tevos's mouth indicated that his amusement wasn't unshared.

"You were nominated for Spectre candidacy by Spectre Kryik. We have been kept up to date with your ongoing assessment by him, and we found ourselves pleased with what was reported. In some regards you beat expectations. Originally, the Normandy was meant to be lead by two senior members of the Hierarchy and Alliance, both sharing leadership duties in hopes to further foster cooperation between your race and the turians. However, he cited your impressive logistical abilities, interpersonal skills, and charisma as a reason that you should lead the Normandy Project, in addition to your eventual Spectre status. It seemed there was never a doubt in his mind that you were ready for this. You are a credit to your race, Commander Shepard."

He was flattered. Both by Nihlus's reports and Tevos's words. Nihlus in particular, as he'd had no idea that Nihlus had thought so highly of him. 

"It is the decision of the Council that you be granted all the rights and privileges of the Special Tactics and Reconnaissance Branch of the Citadel. Do you accept?"

He nodded, tempted to salute, but kept his arms in their position behind his back.

"I accept."

Chapter Text

Approach: a way of dealing with a situation or problem.

Jane had just finished putting on her Alliance blues.

Saren was discreetly watching her from where he was stood by the weapon lockers, which he was meant to be looking through. Not ogling her from. It was a good thing that the ceremony started in less than an hour, as he'd likely have tried to convince her to have a quickie with the way he was looking at her. If he'd even asked now, she'd likely have difficulty denying him.

Jane had never met someone with so many guns in their home. She'd never met someone with so many biometric locks in their home either. All of the gun lockers were keyed only to him, and there were several that were hidden throughout the complex. 

Paranoid didn't even begin to describe him. 

"Is there a reason why the Alliance uniform is so... tight?"

It wasn't really tight, more snug. Her ass did look pretty damn good in it, from a quick glance over her shoulder. His staring was more than deserved.

"I don't know. Maybe the Alliance thinks that my bust and my ass are worth presenting as a forward offensive against all of you aliens. Though if it really is bothering you, I can always wear that burlap sack, sorry, I mean your Spectre ritual robe, if you want."

He sighed, his arms folded at his chest. This wasn't the first time she'd mocked it.

"Tradition is important, Jane."

He'd said that all the other times as well. At the sight of him when he'd revealed himself, his face near invisible and body almost amorphous, she'd entered hysterics. She couldn't help but wonder how John had managed to keep his cool when only one robed Spectre drove her to tears.

"You looked ridiculous."

He snorted, though his electric blue eyes continued to stare intently at her. Saren definitely liked what he could see.

"And you don't?"

"You mean you don't like the sight of my chest like this?" She cupped her chest. Maybe Saren had a point, they were almost straining against the fabric. "Or my ass like this?" She pinched her ass a little.

A little too hard, and ended up standing on her tip-toes leaving her chest thrust forward. Saren was looking at her like she was evil, mandibles slack and his eyes stuck on her chest.

Jane supposed she was and quickly dropped back into her normal stance.

"Fine, fetch me your robe. I've always wanted to be a cultist for a day."

Saren sighed again, it was long suffering and exasperated. He was mocking her.

"You're assuming I'll let you wear it."

Damn him.

"I suppose I can suffer through other males ogling what is rightfully mine. You can wear your Alliance uniform, Jane."

Saren gave her a magnanimous nod, as if he was allowing her a great honour to wear her required attire (and that had been a shock considering she was ex-Alliance), before returning to the weapon lockers.

She shook her head, chuckling under her breath. 

Her Alliance dress blues, she couldn't believe she was wearing them. Navy blue slacks and gold trimmed, navy blue tunic with the sigil of her rank on it.

Ensign Shepard.

It'd been years since she'd worn it, and it fit well enough as she patted herself down. She was a lot more curvy now than she was back then.

Thankfully it covered her marks, even with how low the collar was. She'd likely be under heavy scrutiny, with how incognito she'd been, upon the revelation of who she was. Thankfully the Alliance, likely under her mother's heckling, had removed her records from circulation. Her last name had been redacted, last she'd heard, from Alliance records. 

She was officially a Jane Doe, if one were to see her service record. 

For all intents and purposes, there was only one Shepard child. Ironic, considering John was adopted.

From what she knew from the brief skim of the itinerary she'd received via mail on her omnitool, there was designated seating that would be revealed at the ceremony. That sounded like interspecies mixing from what that implied to her. She hoped that she was sat near her father, she wanted to speak to him.

Pre-emptive damage control, for when she introduced him to Saren. Her mother was out of the question so she'd have to wait until her and her father separated. If they did when all the speeches and conference were complete.

Saren was faced away from her, rummaging through some lockers next to the bed. Fully armoured in his customary heavy armour, grey with a black trim this time, and a rifle at his back. 

"How are we going to do this? I leave by the cloaking program you sent me, and you leave half an hour later?"

Saren turned to face her, eyes inscrutable with his cybernetics active once more. His body language was slightly exaggerated though, with one of his feet placed closely towards her and his mandibles lax. Confidence. 

"I don't care what people think, but it's your decision. Bear in mind that I have many enemies that will likely want you dead as a result."

She could hear the unspoken in addition to all the racists that will potentially want to kill you for being in a relationship with Saren Arterius, you know, that turian infamous for being brutal and anti-human.

Maybe she was stupid, reckless, but she didn't care either.

She began taking off her dress uniform.

"What are you doing?"

Jane pointed to the undersuit she'd left on the bed, just in case she made this decision, as she stepped out of the slacks.

It was safe to say she was insane.

"If I'm going to potentially invite the attention of an angry mob, or an assassin worst case scenario. I'd like to have some form of armour."

Gloved hands covered hers and pulled them away from the undersuit to his lower back. His embrace was fierce, squeezing her tightly against his armour with his arms around her upper back.

"You don't have to do this, Jane."

"It doesn't really matter if I want to or not, as it's only a matter of time until we're discovered. I'd rather it be on our terms."

Saren rumbled an assent into her hair as she continued speaking.

"I'm fairly sure Pallin already knows, and by that, I mean he knows that I'm with you. He's been asking some rather probing questions lately."

It was a shame that she couldn't feel his subvocals through his armour as he spoke, it would make her feel slightly less uneasy by the sudden coldness in his voice. Even now, knowing that he wouldn't ever harm her, he still intimidated her at times.

"Probing questions?"

"I'll just tell you the last question he asked me when he got tired of me playing dumb, 'are you currently under duress?'"

Saren audibly growled, his grip growing even tighter.

"Relax, I said no of course and thanked him for his concern."

He stopped growling, instead choosing to bury his face in her hair. His grip remained tight.

"Also, some of the turians that saw us together when we went to the Amphitheatre were some of my regular customers. I'm getting tired of their constant questioning looks."

She hadn't mentioned it to him before and he hadn't seen it, so the hand tilting her chin to look up at him was expected. Jane had started taking day shifts so they could spent the night cycle together. He generally used the day cycle to make preparations for his departure and to train.

She'd admittedly proved to be a great distraction for him. Though it went both ways, honestly.

Those shorts... she could just stare at him all day. He'd visibly gotten more built over the course of their two months together, and she could now really understand how he could wear heavy armour.

His torso was magnificent.

His voice was calm again, though it still seemed to have an undercurrent of danger.

"Are they bothering you?"

"Not really, they're respectful otherwise. None of them have asked about it."

"I see. So you want us to enter together?"

She smirked up at him and his face slightly tilted in question.

"At the least. My idea was more along the lines of us arriving at the Docks just before it starts. Your arm wrapped around my waist, mine at your lower back. Leave no room for doubt that we're a couple. If we don't get seated next to each other, I'll leave you with a quick kiss and a sultry look."

"You play a dangerous game, Jane. I wouldn't be uninterested in playing along."

She wasn't finished.

"Oh. Oh! And maybe I might just have an accident with my collar, and one of your marks becomes visible. Is that -"

Whatever else she'd wanted to say, taunt him with, would have to go unsaid as his mouth met hers for a slow, passionate kiss. It was probably one of the sweetest he'd ever given her. They parted sometime later, her slightly trying to catch her breath and him fighting to not have his hands descend to her waist.

They'd likely never leave if his hands descended there. Saren loved her waist.

"One condition."

"Hmm?"

"We cloak on our way there, I don't particularly like the idea of having an entourage on the way there."

"Alright. How are we going to handle the press?"

"Spectre business. Classified."

She couldn't help but roll her eyes. It was such a.. a Saren answer.

"I was unaware that our little interspecies affair is Spectre business. Maybe it skipped your mind, Saren, but I'm not a Spectre. I'd give real meaning to the definition of human upstart by claiming to be a Spectre, even if we have one now."

He chuckled into her hair, his posture loose for the first time since he'd held her to him. She could actually move in his arms now and she took the advantage to move backwards and take off her tunic.

"Just talk them into confusion, you manage that enough times with me that you'll likely mentally cripple reporters." 

She pulled the undersuit on and her dress uniform on top of it as he stood waiting. His gaze heavy against her body. Yeah, she could certainly feel what Saren had meant once she was fully dressed. It felt like her ass and chest were fighting to stay inside her clothing now. Whilst she didn't have a small chest, it wasn't exactly huge either. 

"Spirits... You look like a Fornax pin-up."

She smiled as she stretched and Saren's jaw tightened. His fists tightly held at his side as he watched her. It was a shame she couldn't wear a hardsuit, she'd feel a lot more secure about her safety.

From him.

"And this Fornax pin-up is all yours. Let's head out."

With a quick brush of her forehead against his, his arm came around her waist and hers around his lower back.

With two individual commands on their omnitools, they cloaked and left.

Chapter Text

Scandal: an action or event regarded as morally or legally wrong and causing general public outrage.

Saren guided Jane to an alleyway adjacent to the C-Sec checkpoint to the Docks. Their revealing was imminent and he'd give her this last chance to back out. The rational side of him hoped she would, there were far less risky ways for them to reveal themselves. A small part of him mused that if anything their relationship would support the whole turian-human cooperation the Council had been pushing so hard for. Publicity was publicity.

He deactivated his cloak and she followed in suit with a slightly nervous smile on her face as she appeared beside him.

"I hope you do know that this is an incredibly idiotic idea... there are far more sensible methods of revealing our relationship."

If Jane were anyone else he'd ensure she knew how idiotic the idea was. However it was hard enough to be angry at her, which he wasn't. Let alone insult her.

And on a baser level of his psyche it did appeal to him; that within the next few minutes that everyone watching the ceremony, in person or via stream, would know that she belonged to him.

"It is, isn't it? I love you and I just want everyone to know. Is that so bad?" Her smile slowly faded as she finished speaking. She seemed somber, face downcast and eyes closed.

He couldn't help but sigh, he hadn't intended to upset her but he'd remind her of the dangers regardless.

"If you want to do this, I will do it. I'm not ashamed of the fact that I love you, but there will be repercussions. Mostly for you. You'll likely be unable to work or be seen in public until the furore dies down. And that's not even beginning to anticipate the dangers you'll likely face as a result of being with me. This will likely ruin your life for the immediate future, possibly the rest of your life. So are you still so sure you want to do this?"

Jane's response was almost instantaneous.

"Yes."

"I just want you to know Saren, that whatever happens..."

He stopped moving just before the mouth of the alley as she paused, intently gazing at him, her face lit with a faint smile. He wasn't entirely sure whether to be nervous or dismayed. Did she think that something bad was going to happen so soon? Why would she want to go through with this if that was what she thought?

"You have really pretty eyes when you're not wearing your cybernetics."

It was one of those moments where he wished he had the capacity to roll his eyes, but he contented himself with his deadpan delivery. His voice a monotone drawl.

"I suppose they are. It's likely a good thing you've reverted to your characteristic simple-mindedness, I was starting to think you were nervous."

She laughed, a beautiful sound alleviating their previous seriousness, as they exited the alleyway and came into sight of the checkpoint.

Six officers, he could smell two others, likely cloaked, at this particular entrance to the Docks. All of them were heavily armed and armoured; four turians, a human and an asari. The two others, stealthed, flanking himself and Jane smelt like humans.

"Simple-mindedness? Nervous? I'll have you know that I am as witty as they come and I have nerves of steel. I suppose it says a lot about you that my supposed 'simple-mindedness' tends to confuse you. Who's simple-minded now, huh, Saren?"

Saren shook his head, both at her insinuation and the almost shell-shocked expressions of the officers who'd heard what she'd said. They looked like they'd been hit with a brick. Multiple times.

One of the turians, green-eyed and greyish-white plated, recovered almost instantaneously after giving his face a searching glance, likely being confused by his markings as he referred to a datapad. The other turians were carefully blank upon recovery, their subvocals filled with disbelief, surprise and a fair amount of repulsion. Saren couldn't help his sneer as he let the possessiveness in his subvocals out of his carefully maintained control and one of them flinched in shock. The asari was facing the human, who looked remarkably angry, and collecting a credit chit in her hand.

There were bets going on about their relationship?

"Spectre Saren Arterius and Dr Jane Shepard I'm assuming?"

He nodded whilst Jane smiled in affirmation.

"It's good to see you Detective Chellick."

The detective nodded with a brief smile.

"Same to you Jane. We're going to have to do some search procedures, biometric analysis... the usual, before we let you through, I'm afraid. Security is tight."

The asari stepped forward, a slight swagger in her step at her newfound fortune, with a biometric scanner in hand and several probes at her waist. Her voice was calm with an undercurrent of pleasure.

"I'd just like to thank you, Dr Shepard. You just helped me win ten thousand credits off of Jason here," she stopped to nod at the dark-skinned human she'd left who was standing, still angry, to their right. She began to make sweeping motions over Jane's torso with one of the probes, a faint beeping noise escaping it as Jane replied, her arms now outstretched.

"You're welcome?"

"Oh, I am most definitely grateful. C-Sec has been running betting pools on whether you two would end up together, if you were with a turian or if you were someone important. It seems I've won all three, with you being Commander Shepard's adoptive sister and all. You've made me a very wealthy asari, I have maybe eight other people to collect from."

A smirk crossed the asari's face as she turned to face the human, still glaring at her, as she took out the last of the three probes. She spoke, her voice full of repressed laughter, as she began to scan Jane with the second probe.

"Stop the glaring Jason. If you think you had it bad, Pedro Martinez from Civil Disturbances owes me sixty thousand."

Chellick chuckled, his subvocals amused at Jane's shock at the size of the bets.

"It's true. Your little sleeping incident with Spectre Arterius is legendary at C-Sec. Both as one of the few times we've seen the Executor laugh and as the.." Chellick stopped upon realizing the severity of Saren's stare upon him. It was enough that they were making bets about it.

He would hold his tongue.

One of the other turians spoke, his voice ringing with cold disapproval.

"Gambling is against C-Sec regulations, Avara."

"There's a reason no one told you Traetunius. You or your boring, stuck up friends." She shook her head at him before she turned to finish her work with the third probe. As she finished Chellick made a note on the datapad as Avara smiled at Jane.

"Congratulations on your relationship and I hope it makes you as happy as it has made me wealthy. You're clean. Now, I just need to verify you are indeed Dr Shepard."

Saren couldn't help speaking, his coldness making the turian officer's seem warm in comparison. His patience having reached its limit.

Since when were C-Sec so unprofessional?

"I was unaware that the Executor Pallin paid you all to gossip and gamble. It may be prudent for me to speak to him regarding the lack of discipline and focus that C-Sec officers display at such a high profile event. Very... unbecoming of the Citadel's supposed finest."

His words served as a galvanizing force to the officers, the lack of decorum they'd been displaying disappearing.

Avara was silent as she finished the scan, chastised, and the human was wearing a neutral expression as he gazed far into the distance. He thought he could hear a quiet snicker coming from one of the cloaked humans, a part of him was tempted to ask Jane to sabotage them so he could scold them as well. Chellick, on the other hand, was giving Jane a brief inquisitive gaze as he spoke that screamed in his mind 'why are you with him? You're nothing alike.'

"You're free to go, Dr Shepard. Your seat is Epsilon-63." Good, it was nice to see professional barriers being re-established. Hearing the detective call her by her first name had displeased him.

She nodded as she stood where she was.

"Thank you, but I'd like to wait for my companion."

They were a lot quicker to deal with him, likely because he had given the asari's probes a very condescending glance as she had drew them. Chellick had shook his head at the asari with a tight expression to his mandibles, leading her to just scanning him with the biometric scanner. As a Spectre, he was under no obligation to submit himself to C-Sec authority, even the biometric scanner was really him doing a favour for them.

At least she hadn't been stupid enough to ask for him to remove his guns. Zero chance.

"Thank you, Spectre Arterius. Your seat is Omega-99."

That sounded a lot like a corner seat to him. Damn whoever had done the seating, he'd likely have no sight of Jane. The idea of leaving her alone after their reveal left him uneasy. He wanted assurance of her safety and that she wouldn't face any disapproval alone. He was fairly certain that the Normandy crew, her brother in particular, would have separate seating near the Council at the front. Unfortunately, he had no idea where Nihlus would be sat. The Council hadn't given him any information regarding the event surprisingly.

Saren stepped past the checkpoint to where Jane stood waiting. With a quick assessing glance at her, he wrapped his arm around her waist and she leaned her head against his shoulder with a sigh.

Eventually they approached the area of the Docks the ceremony was taking place, the faint roaring sound of a large crowd conversing reaching his ears with increasing intensity as they grew closer. Eventually she heard it too and gave him a worried glance which he'd responded to with what he hoped to be a reassuring nod. They'd had to pass through several other checkpoints.

Shock. Disgust. Disbelief.

The usual reactions from the C-Sec officers, though they seemed prepared for them with how quickly they disappeared. He'd saw two others; a turian male and a human female pocketing credits at one of the checkpoints.

Jane had snickered when he'd told her.

Then they turned around a corner and there it was, both the Normandy and the crowds. There had to be maybe nearly six thousand people in the allotted seating area, a hard light projection with visible sound dampeners on its corners. Every floor above the invitee floor was packed with people surrounding large vidscreens littered across the floors or watching over the balconies. The noise was deafening.

He could hear Jane gulp as he stepped back so they were out of sight.

"Last chance, Jane."

Her reply was just as quick as the last time though there was an undercurrent of nervousness.

"I can do this. Don't worry."

It was his right to worry since she didn't seem to have any semblance of a survival instinct. He looked at her carefully, cybernetics responding to neural impulses to zoom in on her face. He could see remaining tightness in her lips and brow.

"You'll sit with me."

She nodded her assent. Her voice regaining some confidence as she spoke.

"What if there's no room?"

"We'll make room. Failing that, my lap will suffice."

Before she could make any comment, he could see the disbelief on her face, he began to walk out of the little crevice they'd been hidden in.

There was initially no real reaction to them.

Then all hell broke loose.

Screaming voices from the upper levels.

"WHO'S THE HUMAN WITH THE TURIAN?"

"IS THAT SAREN ARTERIUS?!"

"WHAT CRAZY BROAD WOULD WANT HIM? LET ALONE A TURIAN? YOU ALL LOOK LIKE - HMPFF!"

"IT'S THE KAVA HUMAN FROM NILIA'S!"

Reporters and civilians alike, frantically taking pictures and recording drones circling high above them.

Jane's breathing was deep beside him. Trying desperately to remain calm and then they were in view of the seating area.

Gasps. One human male had been eating something but had missed their gaping mouth mid-bite.

He saw an asari reporter start a biotic charge in an attempt to reach them before another asari in the audience stood up and placed her under stasis. The asari turned to look at them, annoyance, disbelief and amusement warring in her face.

Benezia. Judging by her expression they'd be having words at a later point.

Then they were inside, the noise of the crowds outside muted and the crowd inside silent, some of the turians having heard clearly what was said outside looking at him in disbelief. He could see Sparatus near the front with his head in his hands. Then he heard a faint mumble come from one of the Normandy crew, a bearded male with a hat, sat at the front to the left of the Council and several humans and turians. It echoed well throughout the hard light enclosure.

"Isn't that Commander Shepard's sister?"

Pandemonium. Almost as one the entire seated crowd turned to face them, a rising murmur that escalated to almost rebellious shouting, and a recording drone appeared in Jane's face. A dusky skinned human female appeared in front of them, a vindictive smile on her face and eyes alight with the zealous glee of a reporter who had found the story of a lifetime. How she'd reached them without being stopped by any of the C-Sec officers and Spectres he could see littered around was beyond him.

"This is Khalisah al-Jilani of Westerlund News. Can you confirm that you are indeed Dr Jane Shepard?"

Jane's features were relaxed, calm. It was odd that she found herself calm now, when inside he was fighting the urge to pull out a gun and force silence upon their observers.

And possibly shoot the reporter.

"I am Dr Jane Shepard."

"I have a few questions. Knowing the poor relations that turians have with humans, what made you think that a relationship with Saren Arterius, one of the most anti-human turians in Citadel space, would be acceptable?"

Jane's features were cold, closed off as she rolled her eyes at the reporter.

"I was unaware that I was with him for approval, that would be idiotic. No, I'm with him not out of any political or sociological rebellion but because I love him. I hope you can handle that."

Saren turned to face her, hearing her say that with such a soft smile on her face and sincerity in her body language almost provoked him to repeat it back to her, but he compromised by pressing his forehead to hers.

The crowd erupted at her words. A cacophony of subvocals joining the mayhem when he'd pressed his forehead to hers. The asari reporter was visibly fighting the stasis to try and reach them which Benezia continued to hold whilst accepting an hors d'oeuvre from a passing human waiter. A bored expression on her regal face. Primarch Fedorian's jaw was slightly slackened from where he sat at the front to the right of the Council with Nilia smirking besides him, clad in the uniform of a Major. She stood up and gave Jane a salute which she returned.

He almost chuckled.

Al-Jilani openly glared at Jane when she turned back to her with an almost pondering expression on her face.

"Rather, I hope your xenophobic tendencies can handle that, al-Jilani. I'm well aware of the drivel that your network produces. Especially that piece you personally wrote that speculated that the asari plan to, and I quote this directly from you, breed humanity out of existence. It must be nice to be paid to wear a tin foil hat and whine about how hard humanity has it on the Citadel when we've so rapidly rose in standing. You've had your question." Jane's features hardened, her lips firmly pressed together and she gestured to the side.

"Leave."

Between her dispassionate assassination of al-Jilani's network, her affirmation of the Council's treatment of humanity and the laughs he could hear coming from some of the humans and asari she'd played the reporter masterfully. The Council would be in her good graces; particularly the asari and the salarians. The turians, let alone the humans were a different matter.

Nihlus appeared accompanied by Jondum Bau, who was wearing a C-Sec uniform, and he gave al-Jilani a remarkably cold look. His jade green eyes frosty.

"The Council would like you to allow Spectre Arterius and Dr Shepard to take their seats. Please sit."

With one final sneer at Jane she left, storming away with her drone trailing after her.

The crowd were loud as Nihlus walked with them to their seats as the salarian Spectre escorted all the press back to their places. Benezia releasing the asari reporter between a sip of her cordial.

Nihlus was shaking his head in disbelief as he led them to their seats. With Nihlus being sat in Omega-100 it was like the Council thought he needed supervision.

"Never a dull moment with you, is there Jane?"

Whilst they joked with each other he surveyed the room, noting Shepard's angry shouting at the bearded male (he'd be particularly interested in finding out who he was) whilst Solus took notes on a datapad in front of him. There were three exits at the front, likely for the Council's use, and...

Tevos was smirking at him, her eyes catching his as everyone continued to stare at himself and Jane.

He couldn't help but remember parts of the conversation that led to his confinement on the Citadel.

Quentius's worn face was laden with annoyance as he spoke.

"You are one of the best Spectres we have Arterius. It would be beneficial if you take some time for yourself. Recuperate. Relax."

...

Tevos's hands loose at her side and contradictory to the almost hard glint in her eyes as she gave their verdict.

It is the Council's decision that you are suspended from duty for at least 2 Citadel months. You will be restricted to the Citadel to ensure your compliance.

...

Valern's hands rapidly opening windows on his omnitool.

Not arrest. Vacation.

...

Had the Council planned this? Had they foreseen the depths of how far himself and Jane would come together? Had they known of their time together in Nihlus's suite?

How far did Tevos's scheming go?

Judging by the slight smile he could see crossing her lips all the way from here as realization crossed his face, far indeed.

Fuck it. If this was what the Council wanted, he'd give them what he wanted.

Scandal.

Saren pulled Jane to him, a quiet gasp escaping her as he bent down and pulled her mouth to his. Slowly easing his tongue into her mouth as he wrapped his arms around her. Hers coming around his waist.

The resulting noise made him think he'd possibly go deaf.

Chapter Text

Triumvirate: a group of three powerful or notable people or things.

Jane's lips felt swollen and she was still slightly out of breath, even after they'd sat down. Nihlus and herself were sat on either side of Saren who was sat there looking entirely too smug for his own good.

He was almost smiling, his mandibles lifted minutely and only their close proximity allowed her to see it. Looking at Nihlus, it seemed like he had lost conscious control over his jaw, with the way his mandibles were quivering back and forth.

If she didn't know him she'd assume he was terrified.

Nihlus's voice was an urgent whisper in an attempt to avoid causing any more scandal.

Too late.

She couldn't see her father, but her mother was clearly visible near the front sat a few seats down from Admiral Hackett. She couldn't read her expression with the fact her mother had her back to her, but at least she was one of the few not watching them.

Maybe that wasn't such a good thing, she'd have an idea if she should expect any angry messages from her mother on her omnitool if she could see her face.

Hackett looked livid, the side of his face a dull red colour, as he spoke intently to Captain Anderson sat next to him. She could only guess that that N7 offer would be disappearing soon.

"Saren, have you lost your mind?! Why are your subvocals filled with such satisfaction? This isn't even the Normandy ceremony anymore, this is the Saren and Jane show."

He stopped and briefly shook his head before gesturing in front of them. Despite the fact that there was a rather large gap between their row, which was occupied mostly by security personnel, and the rest, almost everyone was still watching them. Some of the people in the row in front of them were discreetly recording them with their omnitools. She activated her own with a sigh.

Their hacking defences were pathetic, none of them even attempting to suppress any activity on it making her job incredibly easy.

She could hear the satisfaction in Saren's voice as he responded. There was a discernible crooning quality in it, as hushed as it was.

"I still retain all my cognitive abilities if that is what you're asking." He shook his head dismissively and gave Nihlus a withering gaze. "You should know better, Nihlus."

The evasion must have been expected as it seemed to calm Nihlus down, his voice lowered from the harsh whisper it had been before.

"What the fuck was that?"

She felt mildly bashful as she owned up. She hadn't even expected Saren to do it.

"It was actually my idea, Nihlus."

He didn't even react as he continued to fix his focus intently on Saren.

"Of course it was your idea, Jane. Why Saren chose to go through with it is what I want to know. I couldn't even imagine Saren being affectionate, let alone publicly affectionate. I won't even begin to describe how out of character it was of him."

"Revenge, Nihlus."

Nihlus looked unsurprisingly unamused. She mirrored his unamusement.

Of course it wasn't a romantic gesture.

"Revenge... you've got to be joking Saren."

If Nihlus had hair she thought he'd be pulling it out, but he instead settled for hailing a nearby waiter holding dextro liquor.

Wise.

Nihlus browsed the nervous turian waiter's beverages, eventually settling with something that drew a mildly taken aback look from the waiter. Saren chose to take her hand in his gloved one and observe the crowds ahead of them as Nihlus took his drink. A fair amount of them turned back to face the front, now that his focus was on them.

Intimidating bastard.

Nihlus took a sip of the liquor. It smelt incredibly strong, even from where she was sat, and his spreading grimace confirmed its strength.

His mandibles stopped moving after a few sips and he proceeded to unleash as Saren continued to stare in front of him, intimidating those in the immediate vicinity with his icy glare.

She'd like to learn how to do that one day. It could be useful.

"Your idea of revenge is to overshadow, ruin even, the unveiling of one of the largest interspecies projects undertaken in recent history with scandal?" Nihlus paused for a second, a flicker of a smile appearing at his mandibles.

"Remarkably little bloodshed compared to your usual fare."

"Jane wouldn't like it I'm afraid." Saren released a disappointed sigh, still glaring in front of him, and she couldn't help but snicker.

"I had to content myself with scandal."

"I'll ask again Saren. Have you lost your damn mind? I can only imagine the level of censure you'll receive from not just the Council, but the Hierarchy as well. What will the human news networks come up with? 'Saren Arterius defiles Commander Shepard's sister' or maybe 'Scandal at Citadel Docks as Saren Arterius lays claim on human female."

She shook her head slightly.

"I know turian news networks don't tend towards sensationalism, but human ones do Nihlus. It'd be more like this: 'Shanxi first, human women next.' or 'Race traitor Jane Shepard causes galactic scandal with human killing Saren Arterius'... Hmm, that one is a little too long, maybe 'Commander Shepard and his sister's murderous turian lover.'

"Hmm. I prefer Nihlus's version, it's more satisfying. I wouldn't call it defilement though. Enlightenment would be a more correct term, I enlightened Jane."

That was news to her. It was definitely defilement in her mind, she'd been perfectly happy with her vanilla sex until he came around with his sinful voice, dominant streak and long, thick ridged cock. Okay, there was a slight element of enlightenment. Ever so slight.

No chance in hell that she'd confirm his opinion.

"You what?"

His hand tightened slightly around hers as he spoke.

"Would you be satisfied by a human male after your time with me? It was only a matter of time until the galaxy realised turian sexual superiority in addition to our widely accepted martial superiority. One would think that it's only fitting that a human acts as the conduit for this universal truth."

She squirmed slightly, torn between affirming what he said and not wanting to sate his ego. It was enormous.

Nihlus was chuckling under his breath as he nodded at the sexual superiority part.

She settled with just saying the first thing that came to mind.

"You're so full of shit, Saren."

He snorted, clear disbelief on his face.

"And you're not?"

She rolled her eyes. Of course she was, but confirming that would ruin the fact that well... she was full of shit.

"No, I'm as rational as a salarian."

"I was unaware we were having a competition to see who could tell the most ridiculous lie, but you win with both of your ridiculous statements."

Nihlus chimed in with a smile.

"Saren is as harmless as a hanar evangelist, and I'm as boring as an elcor drama vid."

It was so nice to have an accomplice. 

"I can't argue with that, Nihlus. It looks like we both have you beat, Saren. I also notice you didn't contest a hypothetical human news network calling you murderous. Should I be worried?"

"Why do I even put up with the both of you?"

Saren stopped to give them both the gimlet eye.

"I am not murderous. I am effective in everything I do, it just so happens that eliminating threats to galactic stability is one of them."

Nihlus's flanging drawl on Saren's other side emerged. 

"And here we were all thinking you were defective Saren. Well done, you certainly proved us wrong."

Saren turned to give Nihlus his full attention and just stared him down. When he was satisfied, or at least as satisfied as someone could be with Nihlus's clearly feigned chastisement, he turned back to her with a slight expression of disbelief on his face.

"The liberties I allow you two to take surprise even me. You should both be flattered you're still even capable of speech, I'd have likely removed that ability from you months ago if we'd met in the Traverse." He turned to face Nihlus, who was letting out a slight wheezing sound as he tried to hold in his laughter.

"You, years ago. With the Spirits as my witness, let me say this Nihlus. You're incredibly lucky you were so talented when I took you as my mentee. Your larynxes' continued existence owe your skill so much."

The sight of Nihlus bowing his head in thanks, with a burst of laughter escaping him, had her lip quivering as she spoke. Her voice was tremulous in an attempt to hold in the explosive laughter that was bubbling in her throat.

"I love you too, Saren. My larynx even moreso."

His hand squeezed hers slightly and she returned it as he visibly smirked at her.

"Of course it does. I find myself very generous lately so I suppose I can allow its continued existence."

Nihlus, not wanting to be left out, added his bit in between a sip of his drink, a devilish smile on his face.

"I love you too, Sa-"

"No, Nihlus."

Saren paused for extra emphasis. 

"No."

Nihlus sat back with a smirk, his eyes locking with hers as she continued to fight her laughter.

"Who said I was talking to you? I was talking to my drink." He held it up with an adoring look and took a swig of the remainder. "I love you too, sarcohol."

Saren's gaze was so distasteful that she was surprised that Nihlus didn't look for the nearest corner and hide behind it. The distaste in his voice was even more wilting.

"Sarcohol?" She tittered, the word sounding tentative in Saren's dark cadence. Could it even be considered a word? Saren looked at her like she was just as silly as Nihlus.

She was. They were really two peas in a pod in that respect. Or maybe they both just enjoyed irritating and provoking reactions out of Saren too much. Jane knew that Saren only chose to react because they enjoyed it and he was very good at maintaining his silence when he wanted to. 

It was clear he did enjoy their company. Even Nihlus's in his strange way that consisted of him cutting Nihlus down to size after Nihlus's constant provocations. It seemed almost brotherly. 

Their friendship was certainly... vitriolic.

"If I didn't know of your high alcohol tolerance and general stupidity, I'd think you were drunk Nihlus."

She lost the fight with her laughter, Saren's clear irritation and exasperation proving too much for her.

After she recovered, to two amused turians and the usual horde of spectators in front of her, she asked the question both herself and Nihlus wanted an answer to.

"Before Nihlus joins you in losing his mind, and possibly his life, who was that revenge kiss against? It was very good. They'll need to antagonise you more in the future."

Saren sneered.

"The Council. I don't appreciate being manipulated, even if the outcome of their manipulation was incredibly welcome. Angering humans is a bonus, a nice one."

She couldn't stop herself and neither Nihlus it seemed as they spoke in unison.

"Manipulated?"

"My detention on the Citadel was timed suspiciously in addition to its tenuous reasoning. It seemed that the Council, or rather Tevos, predicted that you and I would become a couple."

Whatever she wanted to say was interrupted by the salarian in the C-Sec uniform from earlier taking the empty seat next to her.

He inclined his head with a nod.

"Spectres."

Saren returned his nod, seeming respectful for once and Nihlus vocalized his reply.

"Spectre Bau what brings you here."

His piercing black gaze came to settle on her, spindly fingers lightly tapping against his knee.

"I am not currently needed as the ceremony is about to start. I can easily observe from here." Nihlus gave him a flat look, unimpressed, and Bau elaborated.

"I found myself intrigued in what is so special about Dr Shepard. Special enough to cause Spectre Arterius to violate the quintessential turian propensity for order and public reservedness. It is... odd.. Spectre Arterius is generally emotionally distant, even for a turian. I hope I am not overstepping my boundaries, but I can check for hallucinogens or other behaviour modifiers if you'd like."

Saren declined with a slow shake of his head.

"I am entirely lucid."

Nihlus answered as expected, his voice conspiratorial. 

"You'll have to get in line for that one, I'm still struggling to understand Saren's recent behaviour myself."

"You struggle to understand many things Nihlus. That is one of the few constancies in the galaxy, so hush, it's starting."

Chapter Text

Perspective: a particular attitude towards or way of regarding something; a point of view.

Nihlus wasn't entirely interested in the content of the speeches. Human-turian events tended to become an echo chamber filled with mutual assurances of empty platitudes and transparent talk of cooperation. There were far more important things for him to ruminate and pay his attention to.

Nihlus was worried. He wasn't surprised that neither Saren or Jane had picked on it as he was very talented at acting. Though he may not have Saren's skill at controlling and suppressing certain sub-harmonics (such a barefaced skill, though he really wasn't one to talk). Nihlus, on the other hand, was very good at controlling his emotions and by proxy, his sub-harmonic content. Saren had always called him sociopathic for that ability.

Ironic, really.

Whilst Saren would have had a better chance of catching his worry, he was rather preoccupied with his omnitool. He was using some form of short range sensor to monitor the audience. Nihlus couldn't help but wonder where he'd gotten that from as he'd never seen anything quite like it. It was quite sophisticated for a short range sensor. From here, he could see it could monitor for the presence of mass effect rounds. An easy way to find concealed weapons. There seemed to be almost twenty other filters.

Impressive.

Whilst Saren favoured long-range sensors on his ship he'd never been fond of short-range sensors, instead calling them human and salarian technological detritus.

However he may have chosen to act around Saren and Jane, he had been calm. His behaviour had been contradictory to that, ridiculous even, that he could admit. But he'd known that scrutiny on his part wouldn't have made them, Saren in particular, feel any more comfortable. The slight tension that had crept into Saren's frame when the reporter had asked such a leading question... it hadn't boded well. So it was for the best that Saren remained calm, zen-like, when he was doing something so... impulsive. Potentially disastrous. So he had chosen to act as Jane's turian doppelgänger to try and lighten the mood, not that it wasn't fun riling Saren up.

Nihlus had known Saren for nearly eight years and he'd never describe any action that he'd ever taken to be impulsive. He was a meticulous planner through and through.

It scared Nihlus that he was so willing to go through something that would ruin his reputation, and at the same time ruin Jane's life. Then you add to the fact it'd likely ruin her parents' reputations as well, her brother's, and it sullied the whole ceremony really...

It was selfish.

He didn't begrudge them the fact that as a couple it was only natural for them to want to have the ability to be publicly affectionate, especially when your mate was as sexy as Jane, but an event such as this required a certain amount of propriety. Their pairing could have only be more scandalous if it was Admiral Hackett and Saren, or worse...

Commander Shepard and Saren.

The idea made him slightly shudder. He liked John, his careful optimism was something that never ceased to be refreshing to him (especially with John's background), but Saren would eat him alive, or at least attempt to. Saren hated naivety, even in measured quantities like John's. When it came to biotics they were relatively even-matched. John's were stronger, but Saren had the advantage of precision and experience. Whilst Shepard wasn't bad at hand to hand, it was easily in Saren's quarter as he was probably one of the greatest turian hand to hand experts alive. They were both exceptionally skilled with their weapons of choice; Shepard with his Avalanche shotgun (it'd taken months for Shepard to volunteer how he'd acquired it, they weren't common amongst non-turians) and Saren with his heavily modded pistols, assault rifles and sniper rifles. Though Saren had the advantage there with his versatility in range, Shepard could easily close that distance with a simultaneous barrier and biotic charge, which he'd seen Shepard do on several occasions. Nihlus would be interested in seeing how they'd fare in a one on one sim. Maybe he'd suggest that the next time they were all on the Citadel, he'd even buy Nilia's for the day if it was necessary. Maybe even rent out Armax for the day.

As exciting as that could possibly be to watch, he was digressing from the main focus of his introspection. Saren and Jane.

As much as Nihlus had meant it when he'd said that their relationship made Saren a better turian, not that that was particularly worth anything in their line of work, it wasn't making him a better Spectre. It seemed to be making him...

Reckless. He hoped that when Saren returned to duty that he'd be proven wrong. Spirits he hoped.

He didn't doubt Saren's deadliness or tactical skills, but with love now being in his life, Nihlus found himself questioning Saren's dedication. Nihlus had had a clear motivation when he'd joined, to bring order to the galaxy without being impeded by his outsider status. He had no idea what Saren's was, but he'd seen the way he behaved around Jane in private. Saren was not just possessive, he was obsessive too. He'd fallen hard. How would he cope on his almost year long missions without Jane? Whilst he could visit the Citadel occasionally, Saren had never been one to skip duty for comfort. It was a rule that Spectres didn't fall in love. It had even been said to him in the psychological evaluation he'd had before his training under Saren in the salarian STG psychologist's clipped tones. Not with civilians especially, even if they were ex-special ops. It made him doubt that the Council would try and get them together by forcing Saren to essentially take leave of duty. Which he honestly deserved, Nihlus had never met anyone who worked as hard as Saren did. 

He'd never met anyone with Saren's attitude to sex either. No one that wasn't salarian. Like something that was... to be dealt with. He'd inferred through the two years he spent as Saren's student that he maintained what he could only describe as a harem of asari, all matrons or older, that he went to for sex. Nihlus wouldn't be surprised if they were paid for their silence. That was far too.. mechanical and impersonal for Nihlus's tastes. Not enough variety either. He preferred to just spend the night with someone and then they both part their separate ways, mutually satisfied.

Jane, in Nihlus's mind, was proving to be simultaneously be both the best thing to happen to Saren and the worst. It was disconcerting for Nihlus to have to play the unbiased observer as Saren didn't seem to really care, or at least be showing any sign of worry about the situation they'd thrown themselves in. Spectre Bau would likely do a much better job, but he and Jane were both entirely focussed on the ceremony.

He turned to look at Jane. She was incredibly attractive, that he could admit. But what was it about her that had Saren head over heels and quite frankly, stupid in love. Saren had been close friends, and he'd suspected occasional lovers, with Matriarch T'Soni for years. He'd have thought she'd be more appealing in Saren's eyes than Jane, a human. More similar in temperament as well. Matriarch T'Soni, to be quite frank, was on the intimidating side for an asari. Nowhere near as intimidating as Samara, that asari justicar he'd evaded, but more than intimidating enough.

The matriarch didn't have dead eyes for one. The only other asari he'd met who'd had eyes like that had just been released from batarian bondage.

Nihlus couldn't help but wonder, as he turned back to his omnitool, if Jane truly understood how much power she held over Saren? To make him do something so idiotic, so transparent.

So not Saren.

He would likely do anything for her.

And he also wondered if she knew how dangerous that made her in the eyes of the galaxy? In his eyes even. She was potentially dangerous to Saren as well. Saren had no shortage of enemies. Humans, turian separatist groups, mercs... they'd likely see this as a sign of Saren softening and would use Jane as a means to get back at him. Or even just take it as a chance to go after Saren himself.

If neither of them cared about the risks they were creating, he'd attempt to mitigate some of them. Nihlus didn't have many people he'd call his friends, his duties prevented him from having the time to maintain any friendships he created. Between his Spectre and outsider status not many turians were usually willing to even speak to him. He'd like to keep the few he had alive and well. 

The press would be the first place to start. Whilst the Council had observers on that front and had instituted a no reporting policy during the ceremony, he didn't imagine they had a vested interest in protecting Saren's reputation.

Not like he did.

He'd find out initial opinions from the reporters who'd been here when Saren and Jane had arrived so he'd know where to focus his attention (by that he'd be hacking into their servers and deleting or disrupting content where needed, likely with at least Saren's help). 

The asari networks were fairly typical. Diverse opinions as expected from the asari; some thinking the whole thing was a publicity stunt, others thinking it was incredibly romantic and one network, a predominantly fashion-orientated one, was commenting that sales on replica Alliance uniforms had gone up by 5200% in the last ten minutes. Nihlus wasn't surprised. Until he'd seen Jane wearing it he'd just seen it as an overly ostentatious dress uniform. Now it was almost to the point of being fetish gear. The positives of wearing an undersuit under it, he supposed, and having that waist.

Spirits... her waist was remarkable. 

Focus Nihlus.

Turian networks were.. he couldn't really describe their reaction. They were more preoccupied with the ceremony and the markings that Saren was now wearing. Digeris. Nihlus hadn't known that General Sparatus had petitioned for Saren to be welcome to wear his colony's markings all those years ago. That was oddly thoughtful of him. The only way he could describe the coverage was that turian press were attempting to avoid the whole issue completely. Which was unfathomable. Turians didn't retreat from their problems.

Though it was understandable.

To a degree..

A really small one.

Whilst they'd want to insult Jane, they couldn't without putting Saren in a precarious position through his association with her and they couldn't insult Saren either, not when he was the picture of turian martial excellence. It was a tricky angle to work with. Naturally there were networks that did so, but they were the minority.

Salarian networks. Most salarians generally used asari networks as a news source for non-domestic news and socially charged events. The few salarian networks that had turned up were focussed entirely on the biological compatibility of their pairing and the sociological implications. One network was postulating that their pairing would be the beginning of a human-turian partnership that would shape the future of the galaxy. That was interesting. Nihlus would be particularly interested in reading the basis behind that hypothesis at a later date as he personally disagreed.

It had always been implied amongst Spectres (likely human intelligence too) that Saren had been responsible for the calamity that struck Tyr in 2163 when a hydrogen fuel cell refinery exploded, causing nearly five thousand deaths and billions of credits of damage. There were other little accidents like that that had happened in human territories when Saren had ventured there, but it'd never been proven that it was him, though there were suspicions. Then there was the whole incident with Anderson on Camala with the oil refinery that resulted in Saren being forbidden from entering human territories and training any future Spectre candidates. It was a shame that Saren had lost that privilege, he had been exceptionally gifted at teaching. Apart from that, Camala had been swept under the rug, as Shepard was fond of saying.

No, Saren's name was literal dirt with the Alliance.

The human ones were... interesting. Even more divided than the asari, but the vast majority had a negative slant compared to the asari's neutral/positive opinions. Some were even concerned about Commander Shepard's romantic tastes by association, which was rather odd. It'd been widely reported after the Skyllian Blitz that Shepard had a preference for human females. An absolute preference if anything. Most of the networks had managed to unearth the fact that Jane's records had roughly six years of nothing before she resurfaced on Arcturus. The theories regarding that were alternatively hilarious and offensive. Some were saying that she'd been doing the asari maiden circuit (he'd never heard it referred to like that, creative) around the galaxy, sleeping with anything that moved. Others that she'd possibly been disowned by her mother. Apparently, amongst the Alliance forces, Admiral Hannah Shepard had a reputation for being a hard-ass. Emily Wong of the FCC News and Alliance News Networks, one of the more neutral networks, was the only one to have gotten it right by reporting that she was ex-special forces, an N6 operative, and had chosen to have her records of ever entering the military redacted. Creating a cover story would have been pointless, as non-human intelligence were currently watching the N-Program very carefully after Shepard's performance on Elysium. It probably helped that she had an Alliance security analyst as a co-presenter to help fill in any holes in her knowledge. 

What had that swarthy skinned human female said she was reporting for?.. Westerlund.. Westerlund.

Very negative. The reporter was calling Jane's integrity into question by asking her audience how she could be in a relationship with a turian who had served in Shanxi, and more importantly how she could be in a relationship with a turian that was vocally anti-human. He wondered too, but then Jane had never shared her opinion on human expansion with him. Part of him wondered whether she'd been truly honest about her feelings when playing that reporter so masterfully. She was incredibly complicated below her seemingly shallow exterior. Constantly flitting between simple-mindedness and sharp intelligence. Her background only served to enhance the intrigue surrounding her. 

Maybe that was part of the allure in Saren's mind? Saren was really fond, in his entirely restrained way, of mental puzzles and Jane in Nihlus's mind was quite puzzling to figure out. Nihlus wasn't sure. But then, how Jane managed to attract Saren's attention was irrelevant in the face of the current dangers that faced them in light of their foolish actions.

But what's done is done. 

When the conference started, he'd be doing his best to ensure that the fallout for this won't be as horrific as it had the potential to be. The reporters would be looking for blood, and he could only hope that Shepard did his best to deflect any questions about his sister.

And said sister was far, FAR away from any member of the press.

Chapter Text

Calculate: determine by reasoning, experience, or common sense; reckon or judge.

This Cassius Victor seemed incredibly familiar in Saren's mind. Where from though? His memory wasn't eidetic, but it was good. He just couldn't place him.

...

"No, ladies and gentlemen. Humanity are more likely to see a problem and wonder, has it been done? Rather than whether it is possible or not. And that is why we ended up spending the first six months of planning arguing with our turian partners over how large the Normandy's prototype Tantalus eezo core should be. Or the other popular argument, how many Thanix cannons can we mount on its surface? That second argument only lasted a week at best, so never let it be said that a turian's love for guns can overcome their sensibility."

The speaker shook his head to himself and scattered laughter erupted throughout the audience. The speaker seemed to take it as a challenge as a slight smile crossed his features.

"Surely, the bigger the eezo core, the better, right? That's one of the arguments that one of my colleagues from Nashan Stellar Dynamics made." Saren could see Jane's lips quirk besides him in amusement and he couldn't help but sneer as little chuckles emerged here and there. Thinly veiled innuendo at an event like this?

Then he remembered their own actions and his sneer faded, he couldn't blame the human. His own position of superiority was non-existent. Nothing the human could do would outdo the scandal they'd caused.

"Well, Chief Engineer Carvanius said something in return to that which is not at all appropriate for polite company. Any form of company really. I'd happily like to forget some of the things he mentioned in his rebuttal, and I'll likely never repeat them without complete plausible deniability. But one thing he did say, which I can repeat, was whether we humans have any distant relation to the krogan."

A ripple of laughter enveloped the crowd in the enclosure and he could hear an echo of it outside. Inappropriate or not, the human was working the crowd masterfully.

"I can confirm we're 32% more genetically similar to a banana, a human fruit, than to the krogan. You're likely wondering, why is this middle-aged human telling you all of this? The ability of the turian Chief Engineer of Elanus Risk Control to create admittedly masterful insults is irrelevant to the marvel in starship engineering to my left. His insults did prove to be a great impetus in making all of our planning methodical. And reasonable. Any dreams of having a Thanix cannon mounted on every single port window of the Normandy were quickly crushed. As you can see there are no port windows."

The speaker stopped to take a measured sip from a glass of water he'd brought up with him on the stage. Some of the turians even joined the laughter. 

Unbelievable.

"We got on surprisingly well in face of the unfortunate icy relations our races shared. We are not so different, past the amino acid separation and our appearances... We all have dreams, ambitions.. hopes." The audience grew silent as he gave them a cool assessing gaze. It almost seemed tense.

"Let me tell you something, ladies and gentlemen. When I received word from the Alliance inquiring as to whether my company, Jormangund Technology, would be interested in a partnership with the Turian Hierarchy I was sceptical. Even more so when I heard it was to make a prototype starship. It's no secret amongst my colleagues that I served on Shanxi, and as a result I admittedly held a fair amount of distrust on my part towards turians. Whilst I wouldn't trust the Chief Engineer to put in a good word for me if it came down to it, I'd say that we established a mutual understanding over our time together. An understanding formed on respect. Notice how I didn't say trust. Trust is something that will take time to truly be established and the involvement of the younger generations of our races to propagate."

He stopped for another sip from his glass and Saren watched interestedly as the Primarch himself, looked at the human with what looked like rising respect. He'd have felt the same way if something about the human hadn't rubbed Saren the wrong way. Even if what he did say was perfectly reasonable and had none of that human optimism nonsense.

"Humans and turians, as partners, have great potential. As you can see, when we combine our talents, humanity's drive and innovation with turian discipline and perfectionism, we get results. Record-breaking ones. The largest stealth vessel in Citadel space. But to maintain this cooperative spirit, the key will be in maintaining these lines of dialogue that have already been established and not letting them fall unused to mutual mistrust as has happened in past projects. We are stronger together than we apart. And that is a message that I feel that every denizen of the galaxy can appreciate, whether they be asari, salarian, volus or any other race."

Whatever he had next to say would have to wait as the humans began to applaud, even with some of those horrific whistling noises they were fond of. And then the asari joined in. Then the salarians. Then everyone was clapping, and Saren just couldn't help but feel that the words the speaker was sharing were mere ash. Lip service. Nihlus to his left was too busy on his omnitool to even acknowledge the applause.

Jane turned to face him and whispered in his auditory canal.

"His speech is good and all, but it was entirely neutral as to whether he personally liked turians or not. Anything that had to do with his personal relations with a turian involved a surprise or a joke. His current feelings about turians now are ambiguous. Being able to work with someone doesn't necessarily mean you like them. And then it's no secret that turians have hopes and all that jazz. He's playing off of mutual ignorance on both sides. Most humans never speak to turians in person outside of the military, and vice-versa. So in a way, by humanizing turians, giving them an understandable perception for a human, he's made it seem like he liked them. Clever." 

Saren simply nodded and Jane gave him a slightly questioning look, one red eyebrow raised before turning back to face the audience. He wasn't entirely sure how to have responded, he was pleased she'd noticed but he found himself feeling oddly angry with her. It was perplexing.

As the oddly familiar human businessman continued his speech, Saren began to gaze once more at the sensor he'd been watching prior to the unexpected familiarity of the speaker. He'd already sent screenshots to Bau to disseminate to the various plains-clothed C-Sec officers and Spectres hidden in the audience. It'd be best for them to be aware of all those who'd managed to dupe the scanners, there were maybe 50 people carrying using Jane's sensor.

It helped to center him, the calming shade of green the sensor program contained. It reminded him of Jane's eyes. For a human, he was a surprisingly engaging speaker. Continuing to draw occasional laughs from his numerous anecdotes as he spoke about being part of the conglomerate of human and turian businesses that had helped to fund and research the project. It helped offset the unnatural glow to his eyes. Prosthetics? He doubted they were military-grade biosynthetic eyes as humans seemed to find the idea of enhancing themselves synthetically disconcerting.

The near-silence after the speech finished made it easier to actually think. To finish collecting himself.

Saren felt like he'd been on autopilot for the last hour or two, uninvolved in any of the decisions he'd made. The shimmering green interface of the sensor program helped calm his quickly emerging runaway thoughts and the slowly growing anger that threatened to overcome him.

What had he been thinking? Was he even in his right mind? What would this mean for Jane? 

Saren idly remembered her saying that she hadn't gotten a PhD to throw it away all those weeks ago when he'd proposed that she joined him on his missions. It was still a possibility after extensive training and conditioning. 

Where did she plan on using her PhD now? Whilst joining a human research team wouldn't be a waste of time, humans were surprisingly adept at playing catch-up in technology, he didn't think any would accept her. Not now that they'd revealed their relationship to the galaxy at large. 

What could Jane do now? Nilia's was definitely no longer an option. Neither was re-enlisting. Any public position would likely end in an assassination attempt.

Never mind the press...

Part of him was tempted to get her brother to smuggle her onto the Normandy for a time. She could be useful there, acting alongside the salarian doctor as medical personnel. Or potentially becoming an active participant in missions over time.

But that would ruin the crew's cohesion. Saren was under no illusions that they would accept her aboard, but not without barely restrained animosity. Their timing had been...

Ruinous.

Saren turned to face Jane, who was watching the speaker with undisguised amusement. 

She was just as beautiful as usual. Pure temptation in her Alliance blues. The faint impressions of a smile still on her face as the human made his way back to his seat. 

A small part of him wanted to hate her. Hate her for making him feel so irrational whilst she seemed just as nonchalant as usual. Making him do something so stupid, so moronic. Making him compromise her safety for his own possessive needs to be filled, to fulfil her seeming need for whimsy.

No longer. He loved her, he was unashamed of that, unashamed of their actions, but never again will he let his love for her rule over his common sense. He was a Spectre, a turian.

Not a human teenager who'd discovered the opposite sex.

Civilian life had been far too kind to Jane. Saren had never met an ex-special ops operative who'd transitioned so well, not that that was a good thing. Civilians tended towards idiotic behaviour and it seemed that she had gained that tendency. Jane no longer had any form of survival instinct. Any killer instinct.

Or common sense.

It made the fact that she hadn't reacted to him essentially binding her to him, without consent in his culture, incredibly clear. At the time he'd seen it as luck, but now it seemed cheap. The hidden marks she carried on her lower neck and collarbone seemed to lack significance in his mind. The act of a brute rather than one of a lover, and she'd went along with it.

That honestly worried him. Whilst he understood that she was incredibly laidback about things, that should be an exception. The fact that such an intimate gesture, misguided and forced at the time, would be one to provoke a nonchalant reaction out of her made him feel sick. The guilt he should have felt all those weeks ago washed over him all at once, and he physically shuddered. Spirits... what would his brother think of him now, if he were alive? Not just mating with a human, but in love with one that he'd taken against their will? How had he fallen so low? Was his love for her this blinded? This deluded?

He didn't think Nihlus would ever speak to him again if he ever found out. One of the training missions he'd taken Nihlus on had involved a batarian smuggling ring, one that had been trafficking young human and asari females. Saren had noticed that Nihlus had aimed exclusively for the eyes of the batarians with his Avalanche. A flagrant insult in batarian culture to damage the eyes, and he'd seemed to taken vindictive pleasure out of applying the same treatment to every unmarred batarian corpse he'd found.. Nihlus abhorred rape, in all its forms, and in their culture that was what he had done to Jane.

In the past if he'd had such a great problem he'd have asked Desolas for guidance.

Desolas...

He'd even lied to her about his brother. They'd been extremely close, not distant as he'd alluded too. What she didn't know was that he'd been helping his brother with his plan, as foolish as it had been. He'd been an accomplice until he'd realized the true extent of Desolas's lunacy and the untimely intervention of those humans. Saren had been afraid she'd want nothing to do with him if he'd told her of the genocidal tendencies he'd previously had. She should want nothing to do with him as he'd been responsible for human deaths in the thousands over the years after Shanxi through deliberate negligence or sabotage. 

There was one thing that Saren was sure of, and that was that she loved him. Nowhere near as much as he did her, unfortunately. It seemed like she was just going along with it rather than feeling it and that just made him want to kill something. Maybe he was selfish, but he wanted more from her. He wanted her to feel a fraction of the intensity he felt for her.

And he'd been operating under the assumption that only his perceptions of intimacy were skewed. It was clear now that they were both largely useless at intimacy. Apart from sex, they were exceptionally well suited in that regard.

His love for her blinded him. His tendency to keep his thoughts to himself blinded her. He was even slowly beginning to mellow out under her influence whilst she remained entirely the same. It wasn't arrogant to think that over time she'd absorb some of his better traits and tendencies.

Wasn't it?

Saren couldn't help but sigh. He was even doubting himself now. Jane had actually driven him to indecisiveness.

Unbelievable.

Something would have to give.

Chapter Text

Reconcile: restore friendly relations between.

Jane was just using the loud, blurring noise of the audience talking to zone out during the intermission when her omnitool had quietly chimed. The only people it was set to make that sound for were her mother, father or John.

She was fucked.

Come to the left side of the Omicron Row. Now.

- H.S.

Jane looked up from her omnitool with a faint sigh. Mother.

There went any hopes of a quiet, peaceful intermission whilst the stage was set up for the conference. Saren already seemed to be pissed off for some reason or another. Sitting there with an incredibly dour expression on his face. To anyone else it likely seemed like his default expression, but to her it almost seemed like he was sulking, ridiculously enough. Jane was fairly sure she was the cause of it, but that was something to be investigated when they were in private. P

"Saren," she called. Even though he was sat next to her, with his demeanour it felt like they were separated by a large gulf.

He turned to face her. His ludicrous expression still at the fore but he gave her his full attention.

"I'm going to go and speak to my mother. I shouldn't be long."

He seemed to want to say something, but remained silent and nodded instead. His cybernetic eyes were boring into her own, looking for something. Maybe.

They definitely would need to talk later.

She could feel his gaze, almost oppressively fixated on her back, as she walked past the rows of seating. She ignored the whispers and stares her presence provoked. Some of the things said about her made her want to find a corner and crawl into it, never to leave, but she'd made her bed and she would lie in it. 

Jane Mauvieux Shepard wasn't a coward.

One asari, devoid of markings with handsome, patrician features, in a yellow and white dress with silver trim incredibly similar to the asari councillor's, stood up and toasted her as Jane passed her aisle. The two asari sat on either side of her followed her example. The surrounding humans and turians around her seemed cowed by her acceptance, and Jane couldn't help but wonder what she'd done to be able to do that without any backlash. Or who she was rather.

She managed a weak smile and nodded her appreciation as she made eye contact with the group. The first asari gracefully nodded before sitting back down and resuming her conversation with the asari who took their seats beside her.

Her mother, Admiral Hannah Shepard neé Mauvieux, was stood to the far left of the Omicron row, out of audible range of all the humans and asari who occupied the end of the row. Her mother had clearly planned this conversation well. The press were currently busy setting up around the stage, and John and his crew were stood to the far right of the front row waiting until they could take their seats for the conference. 

Her mother was what she imagined she'd look like when she reached her early fifties. They were both tall with the same strong Celtic features. Except Jane's hair was dark red where her mother's was auburn, and her eyes green to her mother's dark grey. The large Star of Terra adorning her uniform drowned out the rest of the commendations she wore. Jane couldn't help but feel severely inadequate. John had a Star of Terra as well, in addition to his plethora of commendations. She only had a handful of medals and sigils on her own uniform. 

She reached her mother moments later, and almost gawked at noticing that her hair was in a ponytail compared to her usual short, buzzcut. Had it been that long since they'd last seen each other?

"Hello, mother. Where's dad?" Jane couldn't help but ask as she'd hoped to see him as well. It'd be nice to see a friendly face.

She couldn't help but slightly relax as her mother began to speak. Her faint Brittany accent only serving to remind her how much she'd missed her and how guilty she'd felt at ruining their relationship.

"It's good to see you again, Jane. Your father is looking after our seats in the Beta row. The press have been a nightmare, as you can imagine." 

Jane could hear the subtext past the slight sardonic edge her mother's parting comment had held.

I didn't want him here to play evasion on your behalf. 

It was probably for the best, her and her mother couldn't avoid each other for the rest of their lives.

"How have your Rear Admiral duties been, mother?" Jane asked whilst fighting the urge to fidget. Her mother's flinty, steel grey gaze was just as humbling as it was when she had been a teenager. She could almost hear the severe chastisement in her gaze.

Jane! Stop faffing around on your omnitool and study those primers you've been given. 

It still did an excellent job of making her feel small and useless all these years later.

Hannah's responding smile was thin and devoid of humour. Small talk was definitely out.

"I've been the Admiral of the Second Fleet for the last six months, Jane." 

Oh. She was already a pretty terrible daughter. She felt horrible. Come to think of it, she remembered seeing it in the news so add useless memory to the list.

"Congratulations," Jane offered with a slight smile.

It wasn't returned.

"I'd just like to know where I screwed up when it came to raising you, Jane," she began after relaxing her rigid stance, "I may have not been the most present mother, or the kindest, but for all my failings I thought that your father and I had taught you to at least think critically."

"To use your head, because you're not unintelligent despite the fact you seem to enjoy pretending that you are. I never raised you to be a selfish idiot." 

Jane felt like she'd been slapped but she stopped and digested what was said. Their timing had been selfish and idiotic. Their relationship was probably idiotic in her mother's eyes.

But her mother was right. Her mother didn't suffer selfishness or idiocy.

"You didn't," she admitted.

Her mother's eyes seemed to soften slightly.

"It's been, what, five years since we've last spoken, hasn't it?" 

"Yes, mother."

"Your father told me you got your doctorate. Congratulations. Have you had any luck finding a job related to your doctorate?" Her mother asked almost kindly.

"Thank you, and no," she answered. Admitting that no was difficult. It was like an affirmation of all of her mother's misgivings towards her career choice. It wasn't like her job opportunities would grow as a result of her admittedly stupid idea to reveal their relationship. She was stupid.

And selfish.

Immature too. She was 29, and still acting like she was 16. Honestly, it seemed ever since she'd gotten over Akuze she'd reverted personality wise to how she was before she joined the military. Snarky, impulsive and a little scattered.

"I see," her mother said in a calm, understanding tone. 

Jane didn't know what to say to that. She'd expected her mother to admonish her lack of success with finding a job. So she said nothing.

"I'm angry with you, you know?" Her mother ended up asking after the silence grew awkward.

"About my relationship, right?" Jane offered.

"You think I'm mad, purely at the fact that the man you're having a fling with hates humans and has likely killed many?" Hannah asked, her brown eyebrows rising in disbelief.

"It's not a fling... and that part doesn't bother you?" 

She couldn't help her instantaneous response and her disbelieving question. Surely that was the crux of the problem.

"Okay, it's not a fling then and it does bother me. But seriously, Jane, you think my hands are clean? Your father's? John's? Yours even? When did you become so naive?" Hannah asked with an empty expression.

It was true, she supposed. She'd personally killed plenty of humans, turians, asari and batarians. Though she hadn't had any personal hatred of them, not even the batarians. They weren't worth the energy, or attention, to hate. Saren needed to learn how to compartmentalize his feelings when it came to humans.

Jane moved towards the wall her mother gestured towards. Her mother then stood next to her and spoke rapidly under her breath in a distant tone.

"I frequently read John's mission reports before he disappeared into Spectre training. He generally makes very clean kills. On Elysium, during the Skyllian Blitz, one of his squad mates described him as pulling some of the batarians, he saw attacking the colonists, apart limb from limb with his biotics. As well adjusted as John appeared to be at the time, he still had an insurmountable hatred for batarians. So it was covered up by the brass, and he got painted as the war hero that the Alliance needed. He's gotten better at controlling it, but he's still shoot first, ask questions later around them." Her mother stopped for a second to let her take that in, quickly looking up to survey their audience with a cold glance.

She continued.

"I'm personally responsible for almost twenty thousand batarian deaths on Torfan when I overruled the idea of sending a unit of Marines into that death trap for orbital bombardment. God knows how many human or asari slaves were there when that happened, and I hope everyday that they and their families can ever forgive me for making that call."

Jane found her mother's hand and gave it a squeeze. Her mother gave her a faint smile before returning the squeeze.

"I hope you get the point I'm trying to make, Jane. No one in our line of work is innocent," Hannah said with an intense focus on her, "even a glorified desk jockey like myself." She added.

"So, you're not mad at the fact that Saren has been responsible for so many human deaths?" Jane whispered in disbelief. 

"Of course I am. I think you could do so much better than him. You're a beautiful, intelligent woman and from where I'm standing he looks like someone who would stifle you," and she stopped to sigh in face of Jane's growing frown, "but what I'm more angry about is how you've refused to talk to me for the last few years. He is insignificant in my eyes. You've never seemed to understand that all I want is the best for you. Maybe you didn't like the fact that we would argue a lot, but that doesn't mean you cut me out of your life. Refuse to answer my messages. All I've ever wanted, is for you to excel. For you to make your mark on this galaxy, but you seem content with self-imposed mediocrity. I don't even know if I'll be able to see you again in person with the danger you've thrust yourself in now. Did that even cross your mind?" Her mother asked with a bitter edge to her voice, the grip around her hand almost crushing. 

She hadn't had any idea how upset her mother was. When had she become so oblivious to the effects of her actions on other people? What did John even think? This was really his opportunity to show how far humanity had progressed, and she'd ruined it.

"I'm sorry, mum," Jane whispered.

"I know, and I'm sorry as well," she replied with a final squeeze to her hand before releasing it.

"The only thing I can do now is look at the pros of this situation. You're in a position that can allow you to change Sa-, your lover's opinions of humans, or at least reduce the amount of collateral damage he has a tendency to create."

"Alright," Jane said. She had a point. It was easy to forget his opinion of humans when he treated her so well lately. 

"I was unaware of the nature of the gesture that he made towards you earlier, the headbutt thing."

Jane couldn't help but chuckle and her mum smiled at her amusement.

"But your father cleared that up for me. He.. seems to care for you. I suppose that's the most important thing, and you seem to be happy. I don't like it, at all, and think you should break this off before you get hurt. But I don't have the same authority to make decisions for you anymore," she acquiesced with a sad look.

"I miss those days," she added with a small laugh, "but I'll ask you to do one thing for me, Jane."

"Whatever you want, mum." Jane said earnestly. 

"Please, keep yourself safe." she asked with a hesitant nod.

"Of course." Jane replied with a smile.

Her mum embraced her in a brief, fierce hug. Jane was too shell-shocked to return it, even with how short it had been. Her mum had rarely ever hugged her.

Her mum laughed loudly at her confusion upon seeing her face. It was likely a picture, as she felt so off-kilter.

"I'm starting to get the feeling that you've been building me up in your head as some form of domineering, talking Mako from our lack of contact," her mum claimed with a hand on her own left cheek, gazing at Jane in wry amusement.

She would have responded by saying she was indeed a domineering, talking Mako if someone else hadn't interjected.

"Isn't this endearing?" a slightly mocking voice asked some distance from their right, "It'd please my viewers if you would answer some questions about your daughter, Admiral Shepard."

"Surely, you should know you are under an obligation to leave me and my daughter in peace," she coldly stated.

It'd been a long time since Jane had been with her mother in person, and she'd forgotten how much raw presence she had. It was almost frightening how intimidating she could be.

Khalisah smirked. It seemed she was back for more humiliation.

Jane would have said something appropriately snide and caustic if her mother hadn't suddenly gripped her shoulder in reprimand.

"Admiral Shepard, what are your thoughts on your daughter being labelled as a race traitor by Terra Firma?" she asked with a slight sneer.

Jane supposed it was true, in a way, but did Khalisah not know anything about her mother? How much her mother hated the press?

"Jane, disable the camera," her mother ordered before she turned and began to advance on the reporter.

She found herself scrambling to obey as she quickly activated her omnitool. Even if it was illegal, the command in her mother's voice was undeniable.

And to be honest she wanted revenge.

Unfortunately, tech powers were blocked on the Citadel unless you had a permit (and she didn't want to give away the fact that Saren had taught her how to bypass that restriction) so she'd have to do it the old-fashioned way instead of just using a Sabotage. 

"That is illegal, Admiral," Khalisah added with a wary look before regaining her confidence, "besides, it's my duty as a member of the press, to ask these questions."

The camera drone had surprisingly sophisticated encryptions, but she managed to crack it, the white strobe light dimming to nothing, just as her mother began to lose her temper.

"Oh really?" Her mother asked with mounting annoyance.

"Yes, really, Admiral. How does it feel as a mother to know that your only daughter is cavorting with a turian Spectre? As someone who served with distinction on Shanxi, how does that make you feel?" Khalisah asked in a rush.

"You'll find that my feelings are irrelevant," she said coolly, "You'll find, Jilani, that my daughter didn't almost end up paralysed on that forsaken rock, Akuze, to please moronic racists such as yourself!" Hannah exclaimed, now standing in Khalisah's face. Just like Jane had earlier, her mother stood a few inches taller than the reporter. Khalisah was attempting to back away, but her mother easily kept pace they walked towards the Nu row.

The people sat near by them were murmuring to themselves upon hearing Akuze being mentioned. Not that they hadn't been watching her and her mother earlier.

"Akuze? The movie, Admiral?" Khalisah asked in confusion.

Jane had never watched it. John had watched it and had said it was laughably inaccurate, which was a given considering that the general public assumed that none of the Marines survived. At the time it had come out, she was still on Arcturus struggling to get over the memories.

"Maladroit, salope ignorants!" Tactless, ignorant bitch. Ouch. It took a fraction of a second for that to register through Khalisah's translator, not being a speaker of French, before the outrage appeared on her face. Her mother was too pissed off, by both herself and the reporter to care.

"My daughter was the only survivor of the op that movie was based on! It was redacted from her record. But then, you or your pathetic network have never been interested in engaging in thorough investigation before spouting off your ridiculous nonsense. Jane spent most of military career, reaching N6 status at the end of it, rescuing humans from terrorists, pirate bands and the like and you have the audacity... the plain audacity to call her a race traitor based on who she loves?! She's done far more for humanity than you ever will in your insignificant life." Hannah snapped at her.

And then her mum slugged her across the face. It seemed her mother had kept up with her genetic enhancements as she heard the sick crack of the reporter's nose as she fell to the ground.

Her mum's sneer of triumph as the crowd around them erupted was worrying. Her mum wasn't ordinarily so easily angered, or easy to anger to begin with. The reporter was sobbing in pain on the ground, curses escaping her as she held her hand to attempt to stop the blood flow.

The reporter had really won that round. Though it was possible that her mother leaking her involvement in Akuze might make things look better for her.  

Her mother had sacrificed some of her reputation for hers, in a way.

This ceremony was proving to be a mess, it was like everything she seemed to touch, fell apart.

"Mum, aren't you worried about getting arrested for assault?" Jane asked cautiously.

Her mother snorted as C-Sec approached in a rush. Both her and her mum had noticed that some of the plainly clothed officers approaching had been watching as her mother herded the reporter. 

"You have no idea how angry I was, and still am, with you Jane," her mum said ignoring the question.

"I'm sorry," Jane said, properly contrite. She really was sorry.

"I know. But no one insults my daughter in front of me. No one. I'd warned this idiot that I would take action the next time she asked me such an inflammatory question when she was pestering me in the aisles," her mum calmly said as a C-Sec officer, a tall blonde human with an apologetic smile, stood next to her whilst his colleagues helped the reporter off of the floor.

"I'm sorry, Admiral, but I've been instructed to ensure you don't cause anymore disruption. I'll likely have to take you to the C-Sec Academy after the event is over for assault charges," he said sadly.

She could see her father, incredibly lean and red-haired, approaching with a serious look on his face.

"Very well. Remember what we talked about Jane and I want to meet him at some point," her mum said as she turned to follow the officer. With her expression you'd think she was on vacation with how relaxed she was about the situation.

"You will," Jane affirmed and her mum was led away.

Chapter Text

Advisory: having or consisting in the power to make recommendations but not to take action enforcing them.

"I find myself in need of your advice, Benezia," Saren admitted. The kava one of her attendants had made him was a comforting warmth in his hands. He could do this.

She didn't even blink instead choosing to take a sip of her herbal tea calmly. Her followers, or rather bodyguards with how protective they were of her, were standing guard in the next room, out of earshot, in Benezia's Presidium estate.

"I imagine this has to do with your human lover?" She asked.

He sighed.

"Yes," he answered. The typical, patient understanding on her face served to relax him. He sank further back into his seat, accepting its comfort.

"Tell me what troubles you, Saren, and I will do my best to provide what I hope to be suitable advice."

He took a small sip of his drink and lightly frowned.

It was passable at best, but then Jane had spoiled him on that front.

He began to speak.

"She makes me irrational. Foolish. Far, far too sentimental... I would never, ever, consider doing what I did this morning if she hadn't suggested it. I'd have shot anyone else who'd suggested it. It was just the fact that she wanted to do it that made it seem acceptable in my mind. She has far too much of a hold on me."

"That is natural when you love someone. You put their needs above your own, their wants above your own. So the problem is that you love her?" Benezia asked.

"In ways, yes. She isn't the most.. mature of people at the best of times, even for a human, and I just want to stop feeling like I must go along with her whims." 

"Are you afraid she'll leave you if you don't?" 

It took a lot of his pride to admit the truth.

"... Yes. Sometimes I marvel at the degree of cognitive dissonance she must have to want to be with me."

"I honestly doubt she'd leave you. She sacrificed quite a lot with that announcement she made. Has she expressed anything that leads you to have such a conclusion, or are you just assuming?"

"It's more about who I am, and who she is... I don't need to assume anything. I've killed many humans in my life. In the upper thousands I'd estimate. Maybe more, maybe less. There's a reason why I'm one of the few Spectres that has to report directly to the Council instead of being given relatively free reign. I can't remember the last time I did an operation that hadn't been directly sanctioned by a councillor. I'm hoping that I will be able to regain a sense of autonomy in my actions now that the humans have their own Spectre, all I can do is hope."

His gaze fell to the swirling dark blue liquid of his kava. Nothing like Jane's bright cyan. Far too many rovale nuts.

He took a sip anyway, it was calming nonetheless.

"I'm certain that Nihlus has been tasked by the Council to periodically check on my mental state. Whilst they appear to trust me to those who look on, they keep me on an incredibly tight leash. You'd think they assume I plan on beginning some sort of nefarious scheme for human extinction, or perhaps even galactic extinction, the minute their backs are turned."

He laughed, and it was bitter. Everything had all fallen apart when he'd met Anderson, he had become nothing more than a hired gun of the Council. He was too valuable to cut completely loose, but too much of a wildcard to allow the true freedom his status provided.

"I wouldn't be surprised if Tevos occasionally asks you about our interactions," he added.

"She does," Benezia admitted, "and I tell her what I feel would please her."

"Though, Saren. If I didn't know you as I do, I'd assume you regret what you've done."

He snorted, glaring at her. She knew him far too well with the way she'd backed him into a proverbial corner.

"Yes and no," he admitted and she smiled at him around her cup, "as if I hadn't been caught I'd never have met Jane. I still don't like humans, I still think that they're a bunch of upstarts who have yet to learn their place. They ask for too much, far to quickly and the asari bend over backwards to try and satisfy them... But I do love her. She is the only exception to my opinion of them."

Benezia was silent, seeming to not even be in the same room as him. Perhaps their talk was reminding her of Aethyta. He was fairly sure that Benezia still loved her, despite how she acted contrary.

"Her brother is quite admirable," she said after a period of silence.

"He handled the press almost flawlessly, very charmingly at times. You'd have noticed that if you hadn't left after her mother assaulted that idiotic reporter, to hide in my home for hours on end."

"I wasn't hiding," he insisted. He had been. How Jane could just ignore the stares was beyond him, he couldn't do it.

Benezia carried on speaking as if he had been silent, likely knowing the truth.

"You'll be interested to know that the incident involving her mother has surprisingly taken a backseat to the fact that she was the sole survivor of Akuze. A nice touch by the Admiral to mention it as her daughter will be legendary by the end of the night. Not just as the human that seduced Saren Arterius, but the human who had managed to evade and survive an onslaught of thresher maws after losing her entire squad. It takes a lot of mental fortitude to continue when all seems lost."

"But back to an earlier point. How is she immature?" Benezia asked.

"She's never serious, especially when I feel that she should be. She's constantly sarcastic, snide. She flirts with Nihlus to make me jealous. She's impulsive..." 

"Sounds a bit like Aethyta," Benezia commented dryly before he could continue, "and I'll remind you that Aethyta has nearly eight hundred years on her. Anyway, I don't see what the problem is. Clearly you fell in love with her despite those qualities or perhaps they were the reason. Do you want her to be serious with you? Never joke with you? It sounds more like you want a subordinate than a lover. It's the small things that make us fall in love, Saren. Never forget that. If part of her personality rubs you the wrong way, you tell her and maybe that talk will lead to a compromise or a deeper understanding of her."

"And about the fact that she makes you feel like you have to do things," Benezia said, "you're just as responsible for the scandal that ensued today. If you don't want to do something, then you say so. You have remarkable self-control, perhaps you should exercise it and if you feel that you can't, then you talk to her. You have that option available to you, and I feel you should use it. Talk to her."

He watched Jane from the doorway as she lay supine on the bed watching an exposé about herself. She looked shattered, drained and so unlike herself he almost hesitated.

They needed to do this regardless of how she felt so he stepped through the threshold.

"I was wondering if you were ever going to turn up," she said. Not even bothering to greet him, or even look in his direction. 

That didn't bode entirely well.

He stripped down to his undersuit and stowed his weapons away before sitting down on the bed beside her. Maintaining what he hoped to be a respectful distance, and still she ignored him.

"I'm sorry that I did not stay at the ceremony," he quietly said. It was a struggle to fight the urge to hold her close to him, and leave her with no choice but to look at him.

Still, she didn't reply. Part of him didn't expect her to as he wouldn't in her place, not without an explanation at least.

"I found myself overwhelmed by the situation and went to seek advise," he explained.

In face of silence from her again, he gently lifted her onto his lap. She didn't struggle but she didn't return his consequent embrace, instead holding her arms to her sides and staring at the wall behind him.

"Please Jane, please look at me," he begged. 

She spoke instead.

"I don't think this is going to work in its current state."

His heart had been about to stop until she had finished her sentence. There was room for them to fix this, to progress, to -

"I gave up everything for you, you know? Pretty much everything. All I wanted in return was for you to be there whilst I did it. To support me. Us. That is all," she stated calmly.

She continued.

"Whilst you were seeking pity, or whatever you want to call it, I was with my father who ended up pointing out a lot of home truths about myself. He somehow ended up seeing the marks you left and he.. he wasn't happy. At all. In fact, he was listing very creative ways in which he'd systematically remove your teeth when he wasn't telling me how stupid I was. Did you plan on telling me that they meant that I had essentially given my life to you? I understand that they imply a sense of possession, but you hadn't told me it meant my life... that's something I'd have liked to have known. It's funny that my father was the one who is livid about our relationship when my mother is the cold-blooded one, I'd assumed it'd be the other way around."

He'd have apologized for his foolish assumption. She wasn't a turian. Maybe even possibly begged for forgiveness if that had failed but she had shook her head, forestalling any attempts he could have made.

"Let me finish."

"Your failings aside, he made me realize that I've been acting quite childishly for a long time and he was sick of putting up with it. I'd initially went into academics to deal with the trauma, but I've mostly gotten over it so I'll go back to what I'm better suited at, which is active duty. I don't have a choice anyway, any conventional job that I'm willing to even consider is denied to me now. Tomorrow, I'll be heading to Noveria to help the Alliance establish contact with a scientist who hasn't been heard from in months. My cover will be that of a lab assistant for a researcher in Synthetic Insights who specializes in Informatics."

She crawled out of his lap and reassumed her previous position. He was too frozen over the fact she was leaving to stop her, his arms slowly falling to his side. 

"The footlocker to the left side of the bed has my old gear inside of it. Nihlus was kind enough to get it from my apartment for me after escorting me here. Another thing that slipped your mind I suppose, how I'd get back here safely when I was unarmed. My parents have apparently been planning this for months; the talk and the assignment."

"Where do we stand?" He couldn't help but ask. He didn't like where this was going. 

She responded by removing her Alliance tunic and bearing her shoulder to him. Where there her marks had been livid, purple half crescents they were now faintly silver. He could barely even see them.

She'd removed her marks?!

He was too flabbergasted to react as she hastily put her top back on.

"I'm a competent medic and my father gave me some good advice as to what type of medigel to use to reduce the scarring. It turns out as much as you like to paint turians as an honourable race, my father had to help women with marks like mine after First Contact."

Her matter-of-fact tone made him want to be ill. He reached for her hand and she gave it a light squeeze.

The smile that crossed her face as she turned to face him was gentle, intending to impart commiseration. It reminded him of the smile that Benezia gave him when she said talk to her. He wouldn't be taking her advice ever again. 

"But as to where we stand, we stand nowhere really. I love you, but I don't feel that we're good for each other. Not as we are. Which is why I think it's for the best that we spend some time apart and then we can ask ourselves that question."

It was like she'd stabbed him, honestly. It was hard to breathe, hard to even look at her but he couldn't accept that. Wouldn't.

He refused her logic. She was right, but doing what was right had never been the focus of his actions.

He was selfish.

"What if I don't care if we're not good for each other? Have you considered that possibility?" He demanded.

He could see a brief flicker of pain in her expression and it galvanized him. Jane wasn't as callous as she was trying to be, this did hurt her.

Saren pulled her back to her rightful place in his lap against the soft material of his undersuit. Where there was a sense of propriety the last time, he abandoned it choosing to lower his face to her ear and rumble his response. 

"We can be better. I'm begging you to please forgive me, Jane. We're both terrible at this, this... relationship nonsense.. but I want to learn with you."

She shivered, and he wrapped his arms tighter around her. Absently nipping along the side of her neck.

"You're really going to attempt to seduce me into changing my mind?" She asked incredulously, trying feebly to avoid his ministrations by getting out of his lap. He held fast.

It was surprising how quickly her cool, distant demeanour evaporated once his tongue stroked the column of her throat. She sighed quietly and he smiled against her throat.

This wasn't entirely lost.

"I'll do whatever is necessary. I don't think I'll be able to cope knowing that you wish for me to leave you alone. So I'll say this," he announced into the flesh of her throat.

"I'm incredibly sorry for marking you without your consent, and then not telling you it's meaning," he said with a brief nuzzle.

"I'm incredibly sorry for not standing by you after you announced to the galaxy that you loved me."

He kissed her and whilst she didn't open her mouth for him, she returned the pressure.

"I'm incredibly sorry for making you feel like we are bad for each other and I hope in the future that if either of us have a problem, we'll talk it out and not in my case run, or yours to attempt to cut ties."

As he pulled back from her to place his forehead against hers, he noted that she looked oddly guilty. Perhaps her mother had finally taken offence to that. Jane had a large tendency to run from her problems. When they both decided to act like adults, and not petulant teenagers, they'd discuss it.

Her arms slowly began to encircle him and he sagged into the mattress pulling her down with him.

"I actually agree with you removing your marks. They were starting to be signs of failure in my eyes. My failure to respect you and your wishes. I hope you'll forgive me, Jane."

She sighed in his grasp. 

"As long as you forgive me for jumping the gun. I'd not expected you to be.. so.. reasonable," she admitted.

"Because me attempting to seduce you was reasonable?" He asked pulling her further up his body so he could see her face once more.

"You need to stop tolerating me, and start pointing out where you have problems as I plan on doing the same. Selective blindness hasn't aided us. We're both flawed people, and we need to accept it and not avoid it," he said.

"Okay. I can do that," Jane agreed with a slight smile. Her lips beckoned to him but he wouldn't succumb until he left no illusions in her mind that they were not over. Perhaps they were going on a hiatus, but they were still together.

"No, you will do that," he corrected.

She nodded with a brief eye roll.

"I will," she affirmed.

"I'd like to take you to Noveria, if you would let me. And when you're finished there, it would please me if you would join me on my ship."

The cool touch of her forehead against his was more telling than her following words.

"I would like that," she said before her lips descended upon his.

Chapter Text

Mold: form (an object) out of malleable material.

"Not so fast," Saren mumbled against her lips, his arms gently pushed her off of him and she fell to his side with a small huff.

There went Jane's hopes of possibly moving away from serious matters on the eve of their departure.

"We still need to talk," he said, turning on his side to face her. She had to force herself to pay attention to the gravely serious expression on his face and not the tightly muscled body hidden in a grey undersuit inches away from her.  

His timing was absolute great... 

"Okay, on one condition," she offered, looking at his electric blue implants pointedly, "turn off your optical cybernetics. If you're going to potentially interrogate me, I want to be able to look at your eyes."

Saren chuckled, a low rolling laugh that was more arousing than insulting. 

She squirmed a little.

Not. Helping.

"I suppose if it makes you feel more comfortable I can," he said.

After a few minutes of tinkering with his omnitool, going through what looked like highly encrypted override protocols in what little she knew of turian digital architecture, his omnitool flared a bright orange for a brief moment. Then the blue in his pupils slowly receded. It was rather pretty to watch, like watching an incredibly simple kaleidoscope. The slow emergence of his black sclera in the wake of the retreating unnatural blue light and the bright silver irises she loved to look at finally appearing. 

She couldn't help but smile when those pretty eyes, with their slight blue glaze (which she suspected to be slight noise from the implants), gazed at her.

"Better?" Saren rumbled.

"Definitely..." Jane replied.

She sighed and settled herself in for what likely promised to be a lengthy conversation. The fact that Saren was making no physical overtures was more than telling of his seriousness.

This could be potentially problematic.

"Ask away I suppose."

Saren didn't even hesitate.

"Why are you so passive?" He demanded, his tone slightly pointed before he paused and his tone was once more calm. "I made you my mate without any prior consent, and you just went along with it. Are you afraid of me?"

Those were both pretty easy questions. The first answer would likely be pathetic by his standards, and the other one potentially insulting. 

Time to be diplomatic, Jane.

"I've never really been proactive, honestly. All of my life I've had my life carefully structured by my mother and her colleagues on the Kilimanjaro or regimented by my superior officers. So to come to the Citadel, free of all expectation, and free of my mother... well, I just flitted from day to day. No one comparing my achievements to my mother's, no one telling me about how John was the poster child of humanity whilst I was clearing the Alliance's messes in the backwater colonies."

Damn batarians...

"The freedom was.. it was liberating," she laughed a little in remembrance at how awestruck she'd been at the idea that she could do anything. The sheer euphoria she'd felt when she'd seen the sight of the spiral arms of the Citadel approaching through the window of the shuttle. It was a pivotal moment in her life.

"Even if civilian life was pretty boring, the fact that I could choose what I wanted to do was enough to overlook that fact. And you've learnt, rather quickly I'd imagine, that I'm not really good at making choices. It was stupid of me to have chosen to go for a researching position. I'm too much of an adrenaline junkie to spend the rest of my life in a laboratory or workshop. A PhD in reconstructive cybernetics... heh, it was like I wanted to always remind myself of the fact my spine is half cybernetic..."

She sighed into her hand, trying to not think about the cause of the burns littering her back.

"I don't regret my studies. My MEng in Medical Engineering from Arcturus or my PhD in Huerta, they're.. I don't know, mine? It's nice to have done something that my mother or John haven't done. Even if I'd initially started studying to try and ignore my grief," she concluded with a brief closing of her eyes.

"You have an inferiority complex?" Saren gently asked.

"A little as a result of quitting, nothing major. If I'd continued on in the Alliance I'd have likely been the youngest N7 ever, and I'd have likely stood with my two feet besides my mother and she'd say 'well done' instead of a curt nod like she does for all my other accomplishments. It would be -" She paused for a second, the still active vidscreen grabbing her attention.

They were talking about her mother.

"Wait a minute," she requested, turning to face the screen. 

"Alliance chatter is saying that Admiral Hannah Shepard is to be suspended from her duties immediately and put on probation after her assault on Westerlund News' Khalisah Al-Bint Jilani. After a two year review period it is likely she'll be reinstated as to any person with human military know-how, Admiral Shepard's service record is phenomenal. Serving with distinction on Shanxi... The rout of a large flotilla of pirates in the orbit of the colony Intai'sei with minimal civilian and military casualties awarded her a Star of Terra for her exceptional tactical command... Her command in the raid of Torfan with, again, minimal losses. A true human hero now out of action. Until the time she is reinstated, she is effectively on unpaid leave. Rear Admiral Kahoku, one of Admiral Shepard's subordinates in the Second Fleet will be assuming her duties until then. A harsh ruling, Commodore Peterssohn," the handsome blonde haired news presenter said.

"Yes, David. In addition, this is also a harsh blow for Alliance relations in Citadel space. What will the other inhabitants of the galaxy think if one of our best and brightest is so easily riled by an admittedly xenophobic reporter? I've met Admiral Shepard, she's an incredibly tough woman, but just like everyone else she will face the consequence of her actions," Commodore Peterssohn said with the air of someone reading an exceptionally grim epitaph.

They were both silent for a second, the presenter taking the time to sift through some of the messages being sent to the news channel from viewers on a small screen on the news table.

"It seems that the SSV Kilimanjaro will be personally escorting the Admiral and her husband to Earth in thanks for her service. Apparently Dr William Shepard, sharing his wife's distinction on Shanxi and a co-founder of the medical program all combat medics in the Alliance undertake, has resigned in protest. Initial hopes since word of his decision have been that he'll teach aspiring Alliance medics in Vancouver, but viewers who claim to know Dr Shepard say it is more likely he'll return to Earth to visit family with his wife. It seems this decision is only further harming humanity, Commodore," David claimed with a growing frown.

"The Alliance will stand by its decision, David," the Commodore gruffly said, his discipline shining through in his carefully neutral expression.

"Center and focus please," David calmly requested, looking off-stage to what was presumably the stage crew.

A plethora of messages from viewers emerged on the previously inactive holoscreen in the middle of the studio and David walked up to its side and zoomed in on one with a scrunching gesture.

This is a sad day for all Alliance officers who have served or worked alongside Admiral Hannah Shepard. As someone who has been friends with Hannah since we were both recruits in the Academy; bright-eyed and determined in the face of an unknown future, this is an especially dark day for me. The only reason I haven't personally resigned in protest is because I feel that the Admiral would want me to hold ship for her whilst she takes what I hope to be a well deserved break. 

- Rear Admiral Kahoku

David slowly turned on Commodore Peterssohn with an almost predator-like grace and asked an armour-piercing question, blue eyes probing, the magnitude of the silent anticipation in his face tantamount to the importance of the question.

"Even against the emerging outcry of the men and women of the Second Fleet? Admiral Shepard's successor even?" 

"Even then, David. She will be held accountable," the Commodore concluded, still carefully neutral.

David sighed, a true expression of sheer disappointment on his face, a fan of her mother's Jane could only assume, before collecting himself for a brief smile to the cameras.

"This is Earth Central Networks and thank you for your time Commodore Peterssohn," David said, with a slight incline of his head in the Commodore's direction.

"A pleasure," he replied, returning the nod.

"Next up, turian-human relationships and why they're not as uncommon as you'd think. After the break," David said with a dazzling smile.

Jane turned away from the vidscreen in utter shock, meeting Saren's calm gaze.

"My mother without the military... Wow. What will she even do with herself? Sometimes, when I was younger, I used to joke with my dad saying that mother was born giving commands to the midwife to cover her flank and for the doctor to prepare for a pincer attack. My father was convinced that she'd been born with a combat knife for an umbilical cord," Jane recalled with a slight undercurrent of laughter in her voice.

"My dad's humour has always been a little... morbid," she concluded, losing herself to the memories and laughing.

Saren was just looking at her, the beginnings of a smile on his face as he listened to her talk and laugh about happier times. It was moments like these that reminded her he really did love her, his occasional abrasiveness aside.

The white imprints of his teeth on her lower neck and shoulder tingled in memory.

"On to your other question. Why didn't I react to you marking me without my consent? At the time, I was kind of distracted by you know... your whole sexual presence. When I realized what it meant, I initially had some small misgivings as I'd never expected the turian equivalent of marriage. But.. but it made you happy so I decided I'd accept it, I meant what I said all those weeks ago. When you're happy, I'm happy... well happier anyway, and I've never been in love before so I didn't want to ruin anything, or potentially offend you by rejecting you," she explained.

His responding frown was enormous.

"And that's my problem, Jane. If I do something heinous like that, I'd like you to say something. I would never be angry at you for something that is clearly my fault, I don't even think I could honestly truly be angry with you anyway. We are equals in this relationship so I want you to behave like one. You're not my subordinate, you're my mate. You should never feel that you have to 'accept' any misaction I make towards you," he said, muscles taut in agitation. 

His gaze lowered to her covered shoulder in undisguised disgust.

"Even if you no longer wear my mark, and if you ever do it'll be after careful discussion and planning, you'll always be my mate," he explained, a slight dark possessive edge to his speech, eyes fixed intently on hers. 

Some things didn't change, Jane thought to herself as she shook her head in amusement.

"I understand and I'll call you out in the future if I disagree with your actions," Jane agreed.

She understood his reasoning, but she didn't really feel that it was a problem honestly. It likely spoke of her extremely skewed perceptions of intimacy that she'd went along with it, but then again her litmus test for boyfriend material had been someone who wasn't uncomfortable with her scars.

Back when she first came to the Citadel before she'd applied for that incredibly competitive program at Huerta, she'd lived in clubs and bars during the night cycle, sleeping with whatever man caught her fancy. 

Saren was the only one who had passed that litmus test, every human male she'd slept with uneasy in the sight of her scars, or even forcing her to always be on her back during sex. It was especially sad considering the fact that turians hated scars; signs of failure in their culture. It was a testament to Saren's skill, or the level of medical treatment he had access to, that he had so few. Whereas humans on a small level not comparable to that of krogan or batarian cultures, glorified scars as signs of bravery and strength.

She'd be more assertive then, be more of an active participant in their.. whatever they had, and try to put her loopy impulses on the backburner.

"I'm not afraid of you, but I have the feeling that myself, Nihlus and whomever you went to seek advice from are one of the few who see this side of you. I haven't seen the side that everyone else has so I don't know whether I'd be afraid of that however," Jane said, suppressing the beginnings of a shrug.

"I'll admit that I can be cruel but that side of me will never be directed towards you," Saren said, his hands reaching for her before deciding the better of it. It seemed like he was beseeching her to understand, "but even then, with the time I've spent with you, I feel that I've softened a little."

She took his hand in hers regardless, she was well aware of who she was with. They'd done a segment on Saren's misanthropy before he'd returned. It likely wasn't all of the story, it never was, but the sheer amount of vitriol he'd shown when speaking to human reporters or Alliance officials on camera was telling enough.

"Enough to stop indiscriminately killing humans?" She asked quietly.

"Enough to try at least. Doesn't that bother you? I've killed many of your kind, Jane," he admitted.

"Yes, it does. All I ask is that in the future you kill those who truly deserve to die," she said.

Jane wouldn't ask him the real reason for his hatred for humanity. His earlier explanation about his brother seemed far too.. limited for lack of a better word. It was likely she never truly would to be honest. It seemed like it had to be something incredibly emotional to reduce someone as logical and cool as Saren to mindless hate.

She really was far too passive for her own good. As her first goal for the future...

Note to self: Ask Saren about his hatred of humanity when you reunite.

"Very well. For you, I will try," he readily agreed, his other hand coming forth to cup the hand already in his grasp.

"Hug?" Jane asked, arms outstretched with a pout on her lips.

Saren snorted, and somehow it was endearing, before releasing her hand and pulled her against his body.

"Do you even need to ask, Jane? I always want you near me," Saren admonished her with a soft kiss to her lips.

"It would seem the Spirits have saddled me with a human woman-child as a lover," Saren mumbled in mock disgust, his eyes alight with amusement.

"I suppose I am a child in comparison to you. You're really old, you know?" Jane replied. She placed her forehead against his, wanting to feel at least some of the heat of his body against hers. The fibers comprising his undersuit insulated his body heat far too well.

Downsides to having your well muscled lover in an undersuit she supposed.

"I'm only fifteen years older than you, Jane."

"Ancient, absolutely ancient," she mocked, "you're like halfway into your gra - ahh!" The old bastard had suddenly dug his clothed hands into her waist. 

"By turian standards, I'm still in my prime. Besides, if I'm ancient, I'm your ancient turian."

"And I'm your kept girl," she said with grim mockery in her voice.

He was silent for a second, possibly digesting what she'd said, or perhaps the translation was awkward. A lot of human colloquialisms translated poorly into turian dialects.

"You're my whore? I know we're kinky, but I didn't think we'd gone on to humiliation, Jane," he rumbled in her ear, "I'm not sure I like it either."

"That's what some of the more seedy news networks think. I prefer the term sugar daddy. You certainly are sweet," she purred, licking her lips and briefly glancing at his crotch.

"I don't know whether to bemoan human slang or be afraid you have potential incestual desires for your father in addition to your failed relationship with your mother," Saren commented dryly, a glint growing in his eyes as she exploded.

"How the fuck can you say I have... incestual desires for my father!" Jane shouted, looking at him in utter disgust. She made a weak attempt to escape his hug but he held her tighter and kissed her pulse, a rough graze of his mouthplates against her tender flesh, a quick flick of his tongue and she melted.

Who would have thought that he'd turn that spot into such a sensitive area? Or maybe it was the danger that lurked in his mouth. Anywhere he routinely grazed his teeth over was a damn hot spot for her these days...

"Pretty much the same way you can say that I'm old. Through severe delusion. Though Jane, if you want to call me daddy, I suppose you can do that. It could be arousing in some contexts," he reasoned with a slight laugh at her dumbfounded expression.

"I think I'm going to be sick," Jane said, gagging slightly.

"Anyway, our minor digression aside, I don't give a flying fuck what anyone thinks that isn't you," Saren said, placing his forehead back against hers.

"Flying fuck?"

"I listen and I learn, Jane. I'm not entirely sure how a fuck can even fly, but I understand the context. What is a fuck anyway? Of all the loanwords we could have taken from the human languages, the common turian dialect takes fuck, the one word that seems to have no meaning but to mean everything." Saren lamented, shaking his head back and forth against hers.

She would have laughed if she wasn't interested in that little fact.

"It was that hard to translate?" Jane asked.

"That hard," he confirmed.

"Well... tough.." 

"Hmmph."

They were silent for a long time, her face buried in the slightly rough brown skin of his neck and his arms wrapped so tightly around her it was a marvel she could still comfortably breathe. 

Sometime later he spoke again.

"Jane?"

"Hm?"

"Do you want to be a Spectre?" He whispered into her hair.

She didn't know why he was whispering but she whispered back anyway.

"Not really. I just want to be with you."

"So a Spectre without the title then?" He whispered in her ear, the feeling of his hot, dry breath wafting against it proving to be quite relaxing.

"If that keeps me alive when I'm with you, sure." She mumbled into the heat of his neck. 

"I'll enjoy training you. I might even ask Nihlus to help as there are some areas he's incredibly skilled in, moreso than myself."

She could believe that. Saren seemed to have a working knowledge of... everything, but Nihlus seemed like the type to have an ace, or several, up his sleeve. And Saren seemed to have things he knew far too much about, like mass effect ballistics for one; the man could rattle off statistics, mod recommendations and detailed analyses on pretty much every gun she'd ever heard of, and others she hadn't.

"Such as?" 

"Seduction for one."

"Really? You want me to seduce people? And doesn't he only like women?" Jane asked, feeling slightly flustered.

"I want to give you another tool to survive. You never know what could happen. To be frank with you Jane, I'd rather have to kill someone for sleeping with you than torturing and killing them for hurting you. I won't say what I would do if you died," Saren grimly stated, a slight rumbling sensation crossing her chest from his.

"I won't die," she confirmed.

Hell fucking no. She was only twenty nine, far too much to see and do. 

"Nihlus is bisexual. You don't have any idea of how good he is at seducing people as he has always just playfully flirted with you. He's not crazy enough to try for real anyway. Spying is another thing he is skilled at and maybe he could help you in tech. He's very good with damping techniques," Saren explained.

"I know damping techniques," Jane countered, feeling a little insulted.

He stroked her back in an apologetic motion.

"I didn't mean to offend you Jane, but you've been exchanging code with Solus, haven't you? I recall you telling me about it. I'm fairly sure Nihlus has made some modifications to his own tech powers that will differ from ones you've made. It's just a thought, Jane, the other areas are still worth exploring," Saren said.

All this intense pragmatism was a little too much for her. It'd been far too long since she'd had these sorts of dubious lessons in the Villa at Rio and she'd never had to employ them in any missions she'd done.

"Besides, he could be a good influence on you if he feels that it is necessary," Saren concluded.

"What do you mean by that?" 

"He's a social chameleon, a high functioning sociopath," Saren said. "He adapts his behaviour to who he's with and where he is. It's surprisingly useful."

Okay. Enough revelations for today.

It was sadly typical of Saren to find sociopathy to be a boon...

Spectres... was some form of insanity a prerequisite?

Chapter Text

Passion: intense sexual love.

It was quite amusing for Saren to experience the aftermath of Jane coming to terms with the fact that Nihlus was a sociopath. He could feel the slight unease in the silence that had descended upon them following that revelation, the fact she'd let the conversation completely drop was more than telling. Did she doubt every interaction they'd had? The sincerity of anything he'd ever said? He'd be interested in seeing how Nihlus would deal with Jane being leery around him. Perhaps this would be the means to kill off Jane's humouring of his flirting.

He was a genius. Undoubtedly.

Now to maintain the understanding that Jane and himself have come to and -

The feeling of her tongue, her soft wet tongue, stroking against the column of his throat, moving slowly against his sensitive hide distracted him from whatever else he planned on thinking about.

"Lean back, Saren," she whispered, any air he had leaving him in a gasp as she nibbled on the flesh directly above his pulse, "I want to ride you into the morning."

"You think you have the stamina, Jane?" He asked, tilting his head to the left, offering her questing hands access to the clasp attaching his cowl to his undersuit. The fabric fell off without a sound, being placed somewhere outside of his vision.

"Does it matter?" She asked, rising up from his neck so that her bright green eyes were boring into his own, alight with something he'd never seen in her before.

Assertiveness.

And he didn't know why, but it turned him on beyond his understanding. A sudden rush of heat pooling in his groin that left his sheath feeling far too tight.

Jane pushed him down until his head was placed firmly on the pillows and she began to unbutton her Alliance tunic, slow, calm movements that weren't nearly fast enough. He wouldn't speak or try to hasten her though, he wanted to see where this was going.

Her hand came down to the hidden slit on his undersuit and stroked back and forth, steadily increasing the tight feeling of his slowly growing cock in its restricted confines.

"All the time you were talking earlier, being pure temptation in that damn undersuit, it was a struggle not to think about all the reasons I love having sex with you," she said, leaning down to speak directly into his aural canal, her bra covered chest pressing into his keel, "your tight muscles, the sweet musky smell when you're aroused, your voice and the filth that you make me tremble with, the feeling of your teeth against my skin, your large rough hands caressing my body and your big thick cock stretching me out of shape. I think I love that the most, and I never used to be a damn size queen until I met you. I don't know what you've done to me Saren, but when I look at you sometimes all I can think about is sex."

She exhaled harshly into his aural canal, her hand grinding roughly into the growing bulge in his undersuit.

"You've made an addict out of me," she said, sounding all too pleased at the fact.

He fought to suppress the urge to growl out his need, his need for her to do as she said.

To ride him until she was sore. To ride him until there was no more cum in the testicles hidden behind his plates.

"You think I don't know all of this, Jane? Especially how much you love my cock? How much you love how wide I spread your walls when I fuck you? How your pussy gapes and uncontrollably spills my seed whenever I finish fucking you?" He rumbled back at her, finding her attempts to drive him to madness with words to be a challenge.

Her eyes flickered closed and she moaned lowly, the hand stroking his groin freezing its motions. Saren expressed his minor victory with a slowly growing smirk.

"If you want, I'll cum inside of you so many times this night that tomorrow morning when we're walking to the docks, every species will be able to smell the seed still dripping from your cunt. All will know how addicted you are to the feeling of me inside you. That you are mine. Is that what you want? For me to fill you up so much that if you were a turian there'd be no doubt that you would bear my child?" He groaned, the idea of fucking her until there was a puddle of his seed surrounding her sex proving far too desirable for his wants.

Jane's fingers hastily pulled his damp, throbbing cock through the slit of his undersuit and pumped it up and down, his distended ridges bundling and unbundling with her motions. He wouldn't moan, not yet at least, even if her assertiveness was something new and something he definitely wanted to explore, he wouldn't give in so easily.

He wanted to win.

"Fuck... keep talking," she said, hurriedly pulling off her panties with her free hand, her hair moving with her frantic motions.

"Suck my cock and I'll talk all you want me to, Jane," he suggested, enjoying the sight and contrast between the white of her hand around his dark blue shaft.

"Show me how much you love my cock," he said, watching the flush on her chest emerge as the bra previously covering her breasts joined her panties on the foot of the bed.

She started by kissing his base, knelt in front of him with her ass in the air as he lay perfectly relaxed against the sheets of their bed. The sight of Jane, his mate, servicing him like this nearly provoking a full blown shudder out of him. Her insistent licks at his base... Spirits. When he retired, or when he found himself no longer fit for duty, he'd be interested in sharing its function with her.

"The feel of your lips and tongue against my cock... Spirits Jane, do you know how much it riles me to see you like this? So willing to please me?" He asked, suppressing any signs of arousal in his voice admirably.

She was slowly licking circles around the lowest ridge near the base, teasing and making him desperate for more. This unspoken competition they seemed to be having was going to drive him insane.

"I've been with many asari, and none of them have ever made me feel the way you do. The way you can make me mindless with need with a simple gesture, the way you can be aroused and the scent will make me single-minded. If an asari's arousal is seduction, yours is pure want. I smell it and I just need to fuck you... none of them compare to you."

The sensation of her lips kissing all over his shaft, even lingering on the sensitive spot just below the tip, was enough to threaten to violate his refusal to broadcast his enjoyment of her actions.

She spoke instead, her voice muffled around his cock whilst he mustered every ounce of discipline he contained not to moan, not to order her to suck his cock properly.

"Do you know what I love the most about sucking your cock? The taste of your cum. The heated cinnamon taste of it that just flows over my tongue and down my throat whenever you cum. I love how big your first load is and how it's a fight to not spill any, but I won't because it just tastes so good," she said, or rather moaned around licks of the tip of his cock.

"Suck me Jane, I want to feel your throat," he ordered, the ironically tight feeling in his own throat feeling unbearable.

She slowly trailed her tongue around the pointed tip of his cock, encircling it before finally wrapping her lips around him and sucked hard on the head of his cock.

He lost the rigid control he'd had on his voice and he moaned, watching her lips slowly descend upon him.

"Sometimes when I'm working in my office," Saren began with a rumbling groan, her tongue slowly bathing the upper portion in his cock between the suction, "I think of making you sit under the desk and service my cock whilst I deal with idiotic informants and irritating business partners. To just.. bury myself in your throat whenever I - fuck.."

The stifling, silky tightness of her throat surrounded his shaft, the wet warmth of her mouth around the base of his cock, cushioning it with her soft tongue. Thank the Spirits for her weak gag reflex...

Looking up produced one of the most arousing sights of his life, her lips stretched so wide around him, hugging his sheath. One of her hands beginning to caress his waist through the fabric of his undersuit, and the other burying three of her fingers in her moist sex. The damp, slightly squelching sounds of her vigorous motions making him grit his teeth in anguished want. His idle hands flexed in the thought of possibly helping her in that regard. He didn't know if her actions were to prepare herself, or an expression of how much she wanted him. He just didn't know, and it was perhaps that ignorance, where before he'd been able to read her so easily, which made him proceed to moan.

The series of moans that resulted from the sight were more whines if anything. With anyone else he would feel potentially emasculated, but with her it was just reflective of her ability to drive him into lunacy.

He loved how she made him feel.

It was moments like these that had him half considering tendering his resignation to the Council under claims of old age. To just spend the rest of his life with her enjoying each other's bodies, and each other's company. He could be her sugar daddy if she wanted, even if she said that jokingly, he would be whatever she wanted him to be for her. There was so much of the galaxy he wished to show her. So much that he felt she deserved.

Jane slowly rose off of him, the slow drag of the flesh of her throat against the tip of his cock a tease in itself. She briefly brushed her mouth with her right hand after letting the entirety of his glistening cock out of her mouth, bending over to give it a kiss.

"Perhaps I'll oblige you the next time. I'll even let you hold me down if they piss you off too much," she murmured, licking her lips of any remaining lubricant that she failed to wipe away. 

The undeniable arousal and sense of control in her gaze as she looked down at him almost made him fidget. She had to have long known how much power she held over him, and it was only now that she was exercising it. Saren couldn't help but wonder what this meant for their reunion all those months into the future. To see her wielding her own agency for once, it felt like he had finally been a good influence on her. He couldn't help but wonder how well the minor infiltration op she'd been assigned would affect her confidence.

Any further rumination was interrupted by the slow descent of his cock down her throat once more. The muscles within hugging his shaft, holding him tight within.  

"Spirits yes..." He mumbled under his breath. Slowly, he was driven mad by the constant, slow passage of his cock in and out of her tight throat. Unceasing wetness and warmth surrounding his shaft. He was certain at several points he had his tongue lolling out of his mouth, blissful and wonderstruck.

"If you want to taste me, I suggest you focus on the head," he said eventually, feeling the slight churning sensation in his testicles that accompanied the slow looming feeling of orgasm. It would be such a shame to cum down her throat, a waste even.

He lost his first load of the night to her mouth. Trickles of his light blue cum escaping the edges of her mouth as she struggled to keep up with the deluge he gifted her with. She swallowed around the tip of his cock with loud moans, coaxing even more seed out of him than he thought possible. Her eyes were closed as she swallowed everything he had to offer down, a hand pistoning up and down his shaft to get every single drop.

He couldn't help himself, thrusting his body upwards and pulling her mouth to his once his orgasm ended. The taste of himself on her tongue and her quiet groan into his mouth making his spent cock harden like steel against her lower lips. He wanted to feel her small cunt wrapped tightly around him so bad that he almost lost himself and bit her lips.

"As much as I'd love to feel your mouth around me once more, I remember being promised riding, Jane," he said, speaking directly into her lips after recomposing himself.

Noticing the still slowly trickling cum on her cheeks, he swiped it up with his finger and fed it to her, her tongue carefully swirling around his talon. 

With a low growl, he laid back down, resting his head on an outstretched arm and gazed intently at her, watching her watch him. The talon she had sucked on was used to widen the slit freeing his cock, the softer plates of his groin being exposed to her heavily lidded eyes.

He wanted to feel her skin against his, not the undersuit.

"Ride me," he commanded, his voice adopting a commanding sub-harmonic register that seemed to be on the periphery of his own hearing, a low, deep contrabass he'd not had the knowledge of possessing, but something he'd enjoy employing in the future. It was a shock that she shuddered in response, but then he remembered she could feel the vibrations through his body.

It would definitely be used in the future.

He watched her line his cock up with her sex, the broadening contours of his shaft against it only reminding him of how tight she would be around him. Then she rose and sunk on him with a groan, the feeling of her soft, wet flesh encasing him, strangling him as she sunk until she sat with her entrance taut around his base making him rumble in delight. She began to ride him. Sweet friction as flesh collided into plates, again and again. The feeling of his ridges rubbing against her walls and his tip steadily poking that barrier at the end of her channel threatened his ability to let her fuck herself on him.

And then there were her loud, gasping moans. The quiet gasps of his name, praising him and telling him how good he felt as her sex squeezed him tighter and tighter, and her nipples being toyed with by her fingers.

Spirits...

"Tell me how much you love this, Saren," Jane murmured, the very definition of sexual debauchery in his eyes. The wet sound of his cock leaving her body before plunging back in serving to punctuate her request.

How could he deny her? She'd conquered him so well.

Whatever filth he planned on saying didn't leave his mouth; a lengthy monologue detailing how much he loved the sight of the blue of his cock in her pretty pink cunt, her tightness, the moans... It was swallowed back behind something entirely different.

Completely different.

"I am yours," he stated, entranced by the sudden opening and consequent focussing of her eyes on his upon his declaration.

Jane beckoned him forth with a come-hither motion of her hand, continuing to ride his cock despite the slow rise of his body. Once upright, she calmly settled herself into a more comfortable position in his lap once he finished moving, holding him inside her to the hilt and gazed at him with affection, a slight smile at the edges of her mouth.

"Oh, Saren," she said, pushing her body close against his and proceeding to gently rock her hips into his own, "I'm yours as well, no matter what happens."

It was those words that triggered his silent orgasm. The ensuing sloppy feeling of his cock and her pussy being drenched in his seed provoked a quiet moan into her neck.

And still she rocked her hips into his, the steady feeling of his cock plumbing her depths never ending and the feeling of his cum pooling in his crotch growing. 

They continued like that, long into the night and early morning. At times, her resting against him whilst he gently bounced her on his crotch, others letting her ride him with her hands slung around his cowl and dirty words being muttered in his ear. Alternating between telling him how much she loved his cock and how much she loved him. When she was silent he was doing the opposite, telling her how much he loved her pussy and how much he loved her, words never feeling truer than until this moment. He started losing count of how many times he'd came, how many times she'd came, and eventually the loud squelching sounds of their sex became background noise. The dirty feeling of so much of his seed and her fluids along his undersuit became the norm. He couldn't remember a time when his undersuit hadn't had the sticky, wet feeling of their sex. It was nasty, depraved in the excess even.

But it was theirs.

Saren waited for Jane to come down from her orgasm, took her waist in his hands, and began to slowly bounce her again.

Theirs.

Chapter Text

Guile: sly or cunning intelligence.

Nihlus thought he could consider today to be a day of revelations. Scandals for one, and the incomprehensible sight of Saren acting like a coward.

Fleeing of all things; under his tactical cloak even.

Unbelievable. He'd been torn between laughter at the absurdity of Saren, of all people being reduced to retreat, and pity for Jane. She'd ended up looking so miserable that he eventually ended up suggesting leaving when she'd rejoined him in the last row.

After Nihlus had escorted Jane back to the complex her and Saren were occupying, he found himself considering what he'd discovered when he'd went inside the apartment to retrieve a footlocker for her. He doubted that Jane had picked up on it with how deeply introspective she had been and the limitations of human olfactory senses.

There had been a faint scent of asari in the room, and as far as he knew Jane had not had any visitors in the past few weeks. Working off of that assumption, he could only come to the conclusion that someone had taken her absence to begin sleuthing. It wouldn't surprise him if Jane's apartment was now laced to the ceiling with surveillance devices. He hadn't wanted to burden her with further inconvenience, so he'd held his tongue. It really didn't matter anyway because she didn't seem to live there anymore. At least that was dependent on Saren's ability to beg for forgiveness. If he even tried that is.

It could really have been anyone really, the Council even. He wasn't arrogant or stupid enough to assume that he knew all of its dealings. He planned on retiring some day, not disappearing for knowing too much and he was perfectly happy to be out of the loop.

So he was going to call in a card he'd held tightly to his chest for a long time. Originally he'd held this card out of fondness, but time had muted that feeling. Perhaps he wouldn't be able to find out who'd broke into Jane's apartment, but at least he'd be able to gauge the general level of interest in her from those who could possibly want her dead and how much they knew about her.

The sight of Tela walking towards him, a neutral expression on her face, helped set him slightly at ease as he sagged back into his seat. He'd not been entirely sure she'd come as it had been more than a year since they'd last met. As she came closer, the purple markings adorning her ever-calm face became clearer. How he'd enjoyed breaking her iron-clad control in the past. Memories of better, less stressful times. When he wasn't losing his mind over helping a human commander bring together a large interspecies crew, or covering for his mentor who seemed to have completely lost his mind. It seemed like those better, less stressful times wouldn't be coming back for a while with the actions he planned on undertaking.

Tela's precise gait was in perfect time with the mindless, repetitive thump of the music's bass. She'd always been very good with rhythm he couldn't help but muse fondly. Watching her gracefully weave through the patrons of the club almost made him forget the intrinsic danger that laid in the conversation they were about to have.
She sat across from him, her almost bland visage perfectly maintained.

"Nihlus, I hope you haven't invited me to this..." Tela momentarily broke her neutrality to look coldly at the sight of a couple human and turian males jeering at one of the asari dancers.

"Prestigious establishment to enjoy the sights," she said, the faintest impressions of a sneer on her lips.

It's a good thing he had chosen Chora's Den for the low likelihood of them being overheard then. The sights weren't exactly bad either. Nothing like a good bit of shapely azure to get the blood flowing.

"Purely business, Tela. When is it not?" Nihlus asked.

Tela snorted loudly in response.

"I can name several occasions when we've met that could not by any means be classified as business," she said, carefully placing her armoured gauntlets on top of the table in front of them. That was a good sign. He'd been afraid she'd not be open to lowering her guard, but it seemed like she was relaxing.

He remembered those meetings quite well. It really was a shame that they wouldn't be happening again in the future.

"And before you ask, Mylieth has been reassigned to raloi surveillance," she added, focussing her intent gaze on his reaction.

... Who?

Nihlus played it cool, no sign of shock leaving him at this random tidbit. This turian female had to be an agent of the Council, maybe even a Spectre, for Tela to bring her up.

Perhaps he'd slept with them?

It must have been average, maybe even mediocre, for him to have forgotten it.

"That's a shame to hear. I'm sure she was a useful asset to the Council," Nihlus said in commiseration.

Tela leaned back into her seat, finally relaxing, with a quiet laugh.
"You don't remember her, do you? Red markings, cream plating? Analyst in the Spectre office? It must have been a few weeks ago when you slept with her. I don't know what you said or did to her, but she seemed to think that you two had something special." Tela asked with a growing sardonic smile.

"I can think of two turian females I know who match that description. Information analyst for the Spectre office.. I don't know about that though," Nihlus answered, a slight smile crossing his mandibles.

"And you've slept with them as well?" She asked with a sly smile, idly flexing her hands. He wished he could do the same, but some species were uneasy with turian talons.

"I am under no obligation to answer that question," he drawled, finding himself suddenly fascinated with the fabric of his gloves.

"Sometimes I feel that you were born as the wrong species, Nihlus. You're as promiscuous as a young maiden," Tela admitted.

"Whilst I wouldn't mind the lifespan, I've grown rather attached to being a turian male," he said. Very attached in fact.

"Oh, you don't need to tell me that Nihlus. A significant proportion of the galaxy have long figured that out," she replied, her smile slowly fading.

Pleasantries were over then. He matched her calculated expression with one of his own, adopting an entirely neutral facade. Well, it was better he got this over with as soon as possible.

"Let's get to business then?" Tela asked coolly.

"Let's," Nihlus agreed, angling himself slightly into the right side of his seat. It'd be convenient to have easy access to his pistol if it all came to a head. He wished he had his Avalanche with him, but at least he was wearing his black Serrice set as they'd help mitigate the effect of her powerful biotics if it did end in a firefight.

And they did make him look rather badass.

Without any further preamble, he opened his omnitool to a preloaded video file.

"You hacked the terminal in my apartment..." Tela murmured, sitting up completely straight upon seeing the opening frames of the video.

"I did," he confirmed, deactivating his omnitool and relaxing in his seat, "you kept looking at it when I was in the room with you. I was curious." He ended with a light shrug. 

Tela shook her head at herself.

"How long?" Tela asked, the picture of perfect composure after he unveiled evidence of her treason against the Council. There were few who would dare to be so calm in such a situation as hers.

"Just before we last met on Illium, maybe a month before then," he answered, eyeing her carefully for any sudden motion.

Tela nodded slowly, her gaze promised violence. He would have to be careful.

"And what exactly stopped you from going forward to the Council with this information then?" She asked. "Surely, you are aware that if you were to submit this evidence now, the Council will wonder if you were involved in some way for holding onto it for so long?" She inquired, her voice adopting a subtle tone of condescension. 

She was looking at him as if he were a new brand of idiot that she had personally discovered.

"Councilor Quentius has had this file for almost as long as I have had it," Nihlus lied smoothly. He doubted that Tela knew of his capacity for deceit. Few knew that turians could truly lie (especially asari who tended to romanticize turian honour), and he planned on working with that. No one apart from him had access to the file. He'd considered sending it to the Councilors, but he feared that the Shadow Broker had influence in the Spectre office as that was where a vast amount of restricted data was stored. 

"You've shown no signs of outright treason, despite your conflict of interests, and your mission success in the past has been phenomenal. Councilor Quentius is pragmatic enough to be able to recognize that you are useful regardless of your affiliation with the Shadow Broker," he added calmly.

Tela seemed to relax slightly, and the faint floating, almost disembodied, sensation in the general area seemed to fade. He hadn't even been aware her biotics had slightly flared. 

The fact that Tela accepted that purely at face value was telling of the level of interaction that asari Spectres had with the other Councilors. He'd long suspected that Tevos gave them most of their assignments alone, it seemed his thinking had some merit to it.

Whilst Quentius was a very kind, forgiving turian, he wasn't a saint. He was a politician for Spirits' sake.

"If that is the case, why are you unveiling this like it is a means of leverage?" She asked coldly.

"Oh, this is everything about leverage, Tela," he said, the beginnings of a smile spreading across his mandibles, "I need your help, and you need mine otherwise this file might just end up in the hands of Valern, and you know how much he and his STG buddies like a mole."

He looked at her steadily.

"I'm very good with media manipulation, Tela," Nihlus said. This wasn't a lie. He'd managed to replace all of the network feeds that had somehow found footage of Saren escorting Jane to a concert with strategically placed adverts of the companies who'd funded the Normandy. His mandibles had been entirely slack when he had watched the footage. It was just.. just too normal.

"It would be child's play to make it seem like this was recorded a couple of days before the ceremony," he said. The floating sensation quickly resurged and Tela began to put on her gauntlets. He needed to be careful.

"What is stopping me from just killing you now?" Tela asked blandly, a faint blue glow around her gauntlets and then he found himself unable to move from the neck down. She really had just used a stasis field on him?

"The Council has evidence that I have gone rogue, and it seems like it's only a matter of time before Quentius ceases his amnesty."

"Nothing to the former," Nihlus said, fighting the urge to laugh. Did she think he'd make it that easy? That he'd simply just lay down and die? He broke her strong biotic grip with a fierce flex of his muscles and sheer will. Did she think that Saren hadn't taught him how to break biotic holds?

He relaxed further in his seat, feigning relaxation. Tela's lips were a thin line in her growing anger and it was hard not to laugh. She had underestimated him severely.

"But let's assume you do end up killing me," he said in contemplation.

"You're aware of who mentored me, right? Saren Arterius. He's the kind of turian who'd take it as a personal insult for killing someone who'd been taught by him. It would almost be like you were killing him, in a way. I'd rate dying to a pissed off, vengeful Saren to be a zero out of ten. Dying to a batarian is maybe a one? The point is your death would be very painful, very drawn out. You wouldn't want to go out that way," he concluded.

He was exaggerating quite badly. Batarians were savages and more like a minus four compared to Saren's zero.

He placed a hand on his heart and smiled at her. She attempted to sneer in return, and it looked more like a grimace. He wasn't sure how well Tela knew Saren, but she seemed to accept his reasoning easily enough.

"I wouldn't want you to go out that way," he said, telling the truth for once. 

"How kind of you," she snarled.

Nihlus ignored her and continued. He was having far too much fun with this.

"Besides, he knows that I'm here with you," he lied with a mocking smile on his face, "I don't think you'd be able to hide from him forever if you did kill me."

"As to your second point. Did you think that your Shadow Broker connection would remain hidden forever?" Nihlus chided her with a brief shake of his head.

"It's just a matter of time before you're forced into going rogue," he said. "I just want you to be useful before you do so, and in return I'll ensure that the Council has no idea that you plan on deserting."

"And what do you want?" Tela asked, looking like she was a few seconds away from attacking him anyway. He wouldn't be surprised if by the night's end she had disappeared from the Citadel. From Citadel space entirely.

"Everything the Shadow Broker has on Jane Shepard. Everything." He demanded.

"You'll have it all within a couple of hours," she reluctantly accepted and stood up with a frown.

Tela left in a rush, weaving through the crowd towards the entrance. Preparing for her escape, he imagined. 

It had been incredibly difficult to hack into her terminal. He'd spent the hours when they hadn't been wrapped around each other, or otherwise busy to slowly work his way through her security. It had taken the better part of four days.

Before he started work on doctoring the video to fit the narrative he'd present to the Council (wherein he didn't sit on the information for more than two years), he activated the holoscreen on the tabletop and ordered a couple of drinks. 

Tela just wasn't useful enough to him to warrant covering for her anymore. Nihlus wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if the Shadow Broker would send agents to try and kill him.

He'd give her a couple of hours before he exposed her as a traitor. He'd give her that much.

 

Chapter Text

Ethics: moral principles that govern a person's behaviour or the conducting of an activity.

“Cozy, Jane?”

A low multi-tonal voice jolted Jane out of her doze in the co-pilot chair. It wasn’t her fault. They’d left almost immediately after their marathon of debauchery, only cleaning themselves up before taking a hidden tunnel on the Presidium to the Docks. She’d been exhausted. Her legs had been like jelly, her throat raw, and her hips had been cramping. Saren had ended up having to carry her in front of the crew that had been servicing his ship.

She’d never seen turians… ogle and gossip before.

That was embarrassing.

Between the surprising comfort of the metallic chair and the tediousness of constructing a new identity, she was bound to eventually fall asleep.

“Hmmph.. ghh-whaa?”

She sounded like a dying animal.

“You certainly have a way with words,” Saren said. There was a certain lightness to his voice that immediately caught her attention. What had him in such a good mood?

Despite the lightness in his voice, he had a slight frown on his face when she turned to face him. Saren was manipulating a heavily annotated star chart that was projected from the VI interface directly ahead of him.

“I’m glad I don’t have to remind you,” she said. Her voice cracked with her speech slightly, serving to remind her that she had only just woken up.

“So.. what’d I miss?” She asked through a thick yawn.

“Whilst you were asleep, I received a call from the Council,” he said, continuing to swipe the chart and occasionally type on his omnitool. In response to his typing, the star chart gained more annotations in one of the glyphic turian scripts he favoured.

“What’d they say?”

“I’ve been given a general assignment to go to salarian space.”

Whilst his voice was its usual even baritone, his face seemed to have lit up with some form of triumph.

“Is that all?”

“If you’re enquiring as to the details, I’ll tell you them when I have more faith in your ability to defend yourself.”

She found it hard to be offended with that comment when she’d withhold details in his position too. In her current state she was little more than a fit civilian, not someone soon to be working with a Spectre. Rather than dwell on her current shortcomings, Jane decided that she would at least work on further improving her fitness at Noveria. It’s not as if there was anything else to do in the land of ice and snow.

“I was more asking about the whole.. you’re happy, right?”

He dipped his head in confirmation.

“More satisfied. I’ve been given a degree of free reign with this mission so I’ll be able to explore other leads I currently have.”

“Sounds good,” she said. “How far to Illium?”

“Maybe eight hours,” he said, “someone in my employ has went to purchase the hair dyes and contacts you will need. We’ll briefly dock for it to be delivered and then I’ll drop you in a system near Noveria so you can take a shuttle. Several shuttles will be wise to confuse any who choose to follow you. I imagine your N6 classification comes with training in evasion and trickery?”

She nodded. It wasn’t one of her strong suits, but she was decent at it.

“What would I do without you?”

His unoccupied hand enveloped one of her own and gave it a soft squeeze, his sharp talons, hidden within his gloves, biting into her wrist.

“Flounder and fail,” he said.

“And you’d be a cold, apathetic, scary bastard without me,” she bit back, giving his hand a squeeze back.

His mandibles slightly lifted in one of his subtle smiles.

“Only one of us is correct,” he said.

“Hmm… I wonder who?”

He gently let go of her hand and resumed his consultation of his omnitool.

“Before the call from the Council, I added your omnitool ID to the mainframe; I also added the two human languages you speak to the ship’s lexicon. You should be able to access the VIs without a crash course in the turian common language,” he said.

“Thank you,” she said.

He nodded and returned to the star chart, still periodically checking his omnitool.

Jane absentmindedly admired the spectral, flowing blue lines of the interface lace through the grayish-blue metalwork of the cockpit and outside into the main areas of the ship. She’d never seen anything like it, and she wasn’t entirely sure she was a fan of it. It just didn’t seem natural was the thought that continually rang in her mind. In spite of that, she couldn’t help dragging her fingers through the faint, hazy glow of the fluorescent lines in interest. Disregarding the intrusive incorporation of the interface into the ship, it was fair to say that Saren’s ship had shattered all of her expectations. She’d expected a tribute to turian ship designs, an ode to harsh lines, geometrical shapes, and whites and greys when they’d reached the docks in her sex-caused stupor. The exterior had certainly looked stereotypically turian. Instead, the interior design was distinctly asari with curved white and blue walls. There was also a significant amount of subtle ambient lighting incorporated into the physical design of the ship. It gave her a faint impression of an aquarium that she’d visited on Earth when she was a child, and that she liked - it was different and didn’t make her new environment as much of a constant reminder of her old crewmates. Whilst she’d mostly gotten over the trauma, or at least reached a point in her life where she could function with it, she’d never ever forget them and what she had experienced on Akuze.

“You’re like a child sometimes, Jane,” Saren said, somehow managing to make his tone conversational rather than disparaging.

“Someone has to have fun around here, Saren,” she said, returning to prodding the misty lines. “I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

“What is this?” She asked, pointing at the blue lines.

“It is cosmetic.”

Her jaw dropped. That was probably the response she’d least expected.

“This is my home,” he said simply.

She didn’t know what to say to that, so she simply nodded and changed the subject.

“What are you doing?”

“I have agents placed all over Council space and the Terminus systems. They keep me informed regarding power dynamics and anything I need to know about the surrounding locale. I keep track of their locations and activities via this chart."

“I imagine you have questions,” he said, lifting a mandible in subtle invitation, or at least she hoped it was one.

“Too many.”

“Ask,” he said, breaking eye contact with her to continue his work with the star chart.

“What’s with the asari designs?” She immediately asked.

“It’s a retrofit,” he said, leaning closer to the pilot’s interface so that his head was half veiled in the hazy glow of the holographic chart. “I was barefaced when I became a Spectre. For all my skill, the Hierarchy wasn’t in any rush to help equip me through shell companies or through other more shadowy means.”

At her blank face, he continued on.

“Spectres are not allowed to have any dependence on their race for funding. We are meant to be the Council’s weapons, not Council agents indebted to their own respective governments. Naturally, most Spectres, the asari particularly, get away with it. After all, the Council cannot exactly prohibit us from receiving gifts from neutral parties.”

An image of the asari councilor angrily snatching a glass of kava from a furious Saren entered her mind.

Her bottom lip almost wobbled before she caught it between her teeth.

“So how’d you get a hold of this?”

His mandibles turned up into a definite smirk.

“I stole the ship from an Eclipse base. I’d originally been there for a wetwork assignment to interrupt and kill the mediators of a ceasefire between Eclipse and the Blue Suns. The ship was a welcome convenience,” he said, sounding entirely too pleased with himself.

“The retrofits, as you can imagine, have been a constant process.”

“Hmm.. do you receive gifts?”

“Occasionally. Mostly from the labs and workshops associated with Blackwatch, a special ops division in the turian infantry. Experimental weaponry and tech. The vast majority of my wealth has come through business partnerships and wetwork.”

“Contrast that with Nihlus who managed to con an immensely wealthy asari matriarch into naming him as the sole benefactor in her will,” Saren said with sheer disbelief ringing prominently through his deep tones.

“You’re kidding,” Jane said. Saren’s ensuing cold stare quickly dissuaded her of that. “How?”

“Nihlus had been assigned to investigate an asari eezo conglomerate on Illium. According to the briefing there had been confirmation by another agent that the conglomerate was actually a front for Omega eezo sales. Nihlus was tasked with shutting the whole thing down. The matriarch in question, the COO of one of the companies involved, had a fondness for young turians, and this fondness extended to regularly.. the daily hiring of turian escorts. With Nihlus being involved, this was of course going to be his way in.”

“So.. they slept together many times, I guess. She fell in love with him, Nihlus falsified her will, and then sometime later he killed her?”

“A likely scenario,” Saren said with a nod. “Though it bears considering that legal proceedings, particularly those involving wills and the movement of large sums of money, are incredibly delicate on Illium. It is far more likely that she was coerced by Nihlus.”

Jane wasn’t sure what to be more disturbed about, this further revelation about Nihlus or the way that Saren was acting as if Nihlus' actions had been completely acceptable.

“Doesn’t that strike you as wrong?” Jane offered tentatively. She didn’t know what reaction she expected from Saren, but he’d wanted her to be more assertive with her opinions, so she would give him what he’d asked for.

Love shouldn’t ever be used as a weapon.

He came to an abrupt halt, and turned to give her his full attention.

“It is wrong,” Saren agreed. “But it is necessary.”

“How is it necessary?”

“He is a Spectre,” he said, “he is not bound by any laws and ethics but the parameters of our mission. As long as the mission is fulfilled, and there is no extreme collateral damage, the Council is pleased.”

At her involuntary cringe at the nonchalant mention of ‘collateral damage’, his face hardened and the subtle lightness his voice had had when the conversation had turned serious disappeared.

“Besides, I imagine Nihlus could have utilised her fortune far more effectively than she could have. What is one life compared to the potential saving of the many?”

It was so, so very turian. Her mother would fit right in with them.

“That doesn’t make it right though…” she murmured, trying to hold to her convictions. Toombs for all his stony silence and perceived coldness had been a bleeding heart, and his morality compass had become hers over their time together as a result of her time under his command. To not say anything would almost be to insult him.

Saren momentarily sneered before he caught himself and his face went carefully blank.

“That’s a very.. human way of seeing things,” he said, and he cut her off with a casual raise of his hand when she made an attempt to point out how turian his viewpoint was. “I’m not saying that your viewpoint is wrong, Jane. I’m trying to say that it is ineffective. At least for a Spectre. Our average life expectancy isn’t decades, Jane, it is one or two years. Nihlus, for instance, has served for six years. Of all the Spectres I know personally, he is the longest serving. We do not have room for error or to be kind. I wouldn’t be here, twenty four years into my service, still alive, if I stopped to ponder the ethical implications of my actions. I wouldn’t be alive if I tried to ensure all my actions fit a fairly arbitrary set of moral guidelines.”

“Have you ever tried to consider the ethical implications?... Maybe bothered would be a better word.”

Saren had no response to that.

Once the silence began to drag a little too much, he spoke.

“I’m not expecting you to completely understand the magnitude of my role, Jane, as few do. Coming from your background, and from what I can understand from what you’ve told me, you’ve led a life where enemies and allies are very cleanly defined. Pirates, raiders, slavers and other similar scum. It is not so simple as a Spectre. My targets can vary from those who vaunt around as philanthropists to mercenary commanders. What unifies all of them is that they are a threat to galactic stability and upholding that is my job. My only job.”

“Despite this, after your assignment at Noveria, I will be willing to consider your opinions and ethics for my future missions.”

His face finally softened.

“I am not going to lie to you, as it would be doing you a disservice. You will have to be ready to argue your case if you disagree with my actions.”

She shook her head, rolling her eyes at his bullheadedness.

“That’s one step forward. It will do for now,” she said.

“Come here,” he murmured.

Jane slid into his armored lap with a sigh. Should she even pretend that she was mad? She can’t say that she’d expected a different viewpoint than what he’d expressed. It hadn’t hurt her, but it was a huge blow, a huge disappointment to find that her suspicions about his approach had been correct. His arms wrapped themselves around her shoulders.

“Look at me,” he said.

Once she’d looked up to face him, she found herself stuck in the clearly conflicted expression on his face. It was difficult to understand the idea of Saren being indecisive.

“All I can ask, Jane, is for you to be patient with me. You have changed me more than you can imagine. Trust me,” he said.

That was two things. She’d risked and thrown away so much to be with him, so she would simply trust him. She was too kind for her own good.

She loved him too much.

“I’ll trust you,” she said.

She tried to ignore the part of her that insisted she’d regret it.

Jane was still trying to ignore her misgivings when his mouth finally parted from hers after he’d kissed her.

Chapter Text

Spar: make the motions of boxing without landing heavy blows, as a form of training.

Saren had been locked inside the comms room, finishing up a call from Sparatus, when he had smelled kava. It served to be a great distraction from the lengthy conversation they had had regarding his own foolish behaviour. He didn't need to be told that from an outside party, and he had made that very clear to Sparatus, leaving him spluttering in indignation as he ended the vid-call.

Following the aroma, he found a pot, sat ready made for him, on the counter of the kitchen unit, gracing the metal framework with the nutty, herbal fragrance it emitted throughout the living quarters of his ship. Saren almost spilt it in his haste to get it into a cup and into his stomach. He needed it now.

"Dear Spirits," he said, a low moan escaping him as the glorious beverage graced his taste buds with its presence.

He left the kitchen, quickly, with his cup intending to thank Jane. His quarters were empty. A quick check of the observation deck, her favourite haunt when he was busy, showed that she wasn't there, but she'd left several data pads stacked in a neat pile on the end of the long sofa facing the quasi-transparent wall showing the vast expanse of space ahead of them. A quick browse of the data pads showed she'd been reading up on turian forms of encryption - that he approved of and others showed study of bioinformatics. He knew that field was related to her cover so he was pleased that she was taking the initiative.

Their time so far on the ship had been completely surprising to him. He'd left her to her own devices; something that he had been leery to do initially, but it had been a good idea as she was very quick to find work to do. She'd mostly matched her routine to his. Spending her time working out with him in his gym, doing her own private research when he was dealing with classified information, or practicing her shooting with him. It was very professional. He really shouldn't have been surprised considering her military background - her parentage spoke for itself.

He found Jane in the gym clad in the tiny pair of black shorts and the cropped top she claimed was her work out gear. He was more certain that it was just another means to add to her exhaustive repertoire of ways to make his blood boil; it had been a struggle to keep his hands to himself during their sessions in the gym together. Even now, she was a temptation, her nipples being entirely visible through her tank top that was nearly transparent from sweat.

Her newly blonde head (he was still largely undecided as to whether he liked the colour or not) moved up and down as she repeatedly rose her sweaty torso so that she was upright, abdominal muscles quivering as she powered through the repetitions. He took a long drain of his kava and leaned against the wall, proceeding to watch her intently.

"One hundred and fifty six. One hundred and fifty seven…"

She continued, gradually growing slower and slower until she finished at two hundred, slowly rising from her position with a sigh to perform some stretches.

His talons bit through the fabric of his hands as he clenched his fists. They hadn't slept together since that night on the Citadel and he was starting to feel more than a little pent up.

When she gracefully fell into a position that could only be described as presenting, he simply fell into a crouch, quickly placing his remaining kava on the floor, and strode towards her.

At the sound of his heavy armoured footsteps approaching, she rose quickly from the floor, a deep red flush from exertion lighting up her face.

"Hey," she said, giving him a brief smile before briefly stretching her arms once more before turning towards the treadmill to his left.

"We are going to spar."

She stopped in her tracks.

"Alright. Have you got any gauze? Zinc oxide tape?"

He took a pause from removing his armour, he wouldn't want her to break her hands punching it, to throw her a roll of gauze from the cache of supplies in the top right corner of the room. A brief examination of that crate afterwards showed that the contracted workers he'd hired had supplied it sufficiently with levo medical supplies. Good. Whilst he wasn't clumsy enough (in any shape or form really) to risk causing serious harm to Jane, it always paid to be careful.

Once he'd finished removing his heavily reinforced white custom built armour, leaving him in just his full body undersuit and a pair of gloves, he strode towards the centre of the spacious room. She was already there, her features determined and her hands bound, as she used a bit of the tape to put her hair into a bun.

"Tell me. What do you know of turian CQC?"

"You're mostly mid ranged combatants, but in close quarters you can be very dangerous grapplers. In fact, the Alliance Marines CQC uses quite a few turian moves now. Let's see… you have explosive acceleration from the dense lean muscle in your legs and upper body. Your centre of gravity, with respect to proportionality, is higher than a human's, so your height and top heavy anatomy can work against you in regards to balance. That's probably why there's a low focus on kicks in most conventional turian martial arts. Turians thermoregulate pretty badly so sabotaging a turian's armour is a very quick way to inducing heat exhaustion if you're willing to outlast them. Open palm strikes and joint strikes are pretty common. I guess you could sum it up as full on assault with a focus on neutralizing a target before they can even respond."

Saren nodded in consideration. The biology and anatomy explanations were typical considering her background as a medical engineer so he disregarded them. Much of what she said regarding martial arts was true of generic boot camp CQC training, but it was still a largely undeveloped explanation. Saren could only assume that she was reciting what she'd learnt during her own training, as it felt more of a textbook response than one made from truly experiencing turian hand to hand in the field.

He certainly wouldn't be aiming for her joints. Broken bones weren't something he was entirely equipped to deal with it at the moment.

"Your explanation lacks nuance," he said, finding himself pleased when she simply nodded and waited for him to clarify. "There is a heavy priority in turian CQC on footwork. Freedom of movement, management of space and efficient movement are quintessential to being skilled at turian martial arts. We are not the most agile or flexible of races compared to salarians, asari, drell, and even humans, so we make up for that shortcoming by mastery of smaller movements to create small windows of opportunity to incapacitate our foes. That is why we excel in the mid-range; we want to keep you close, but not too close where you can potentially out-manoeuvre us. You will not know you've lost a fight with a turian until it is completely lost."

The room seemed to resound with silence after he finished speaking. Jane looked at him with the ghost of a smile in her eyes. He fought well to keep his gaze away from her chest or her waist, choosing instead to look her in her, thankfully still, green eyes.

"You seem very passionate about this," she said.

"I'm generally passionate about the things I am an expert in."

He assessed her easy demeanour with a cold gaze. Would she take this seriously?

"Attack me," he demanded.

She fell into a practiced stance.

Her first punch had some force behind it, which boded well as he didn't have the patience to deal with hesitance. It was easily dodged by a sidestep however. More punches came and they were just as easily handled. Some he caught in his hand before lightly twisting her wrist in reprimand for her carelessness, and others he dodged or simply parried with his forearm. She moved well, fluidly and without jerky acceleration, but there was little to no forethought or planning. It made her movements very predictable.

"Stop," he said after several minutes.

"You'd make one hell of a dancer, Saren," she said, smirking at the deadpan expression he gave her in reply.

"You're being too predictable. Stop thinking of your punches in isolation and think."

"Think?" She asked.

His response was just as dry, snide even. "You should try it sometimes. It's quite useful."

She began strafing and sent a left hook for his waist. Just as he moved to block it, she pulled back and circled him. He was about to ask what she was doing, as it hadn't made any sense, when she crouched down and her right leg swept outwards towards him like a blade. It ended up being far too close to hitting him than he would have liked, but he managed to catch her leg under his heel, just before it collided with his ankle, and he simply flicked his heel upwards.

She toppled over like a volus. He couldn't help himself, he lightly shook with inaudible laughter as she grumbled and cursed him from her spot on the grey metal floor.

"Saren Arterius, the fucking ballerina. You're.. you're really good."

"I know," he said, "and you are not as completely incompetent as I had expected."

"I almost got you before you -"

"Toppled you like a volus?"

She chuckled a little as she slowly rose off of the ground, her slightly sweaty face illuminated by the soft blue lighting of the room.

"I want you to fight back this time," she said. "I think I can learn better by watching what you do."

He nodded and charged towards her.

He mimed a right hook by minutely learning back with the left side of his body, and then he simply surged forward, watching the dawning realization on her face as she realized his ruse. She narrowly dodged the straight he'd thrown at her face with a dive and a hissed mumble of 'holy shit'. He smirked, unseen by her, as he watched her fall into a roll and quickly stand.

He prowled towards her.

"I never knew you were an acrobat, Jane," he drawled.

"Were you really going to punch me in the face?" She asked, the smile at odds with the underlying worry in her voice.

"Yes. You will learn better if there are tangible consequences for your mistakes."

"Just.. just don't break my face," she mumbled as she slowly backed away from him.

"It wasn't going to be that hard," he said, frowning and feeling incredibly offended by her lack of trust. Despite that, he continued to advance on her. She steeled herself and held her ground.

"Yeah, well, I'm quite fond of my looks. I'd like to keep them."

She managed to block the first punch he sent to her chest. The second she redirected into the wall behind her with clever usage of her hands, and pushed herself away from him. He dodged the backfist that came in response with a brief duck of his head as she used the momentum from her evasion to attempt to slam her knuckles into his jaw. He continued to hold back, moving slower and more predictably than he would on a mission, as they continued to exchange blows. On two occasions she made glancing blows to his chest, but she continued to dodge or block the punches with her forearms, grimacing all the while. Her ability to dodge was impressive.

He turned up the tempo somewhat and began to strafe as he punched, forcing her to respond at various angles. She did well, but the second punch of a jab-uppercut combination she hadn't prepared for. She took the uppercut to her chest with a breathless gasp and fell over, heaving somewhat desperately. He backed off to give her room to recover. In spite of her concerns, he'd been pulling his punches from the beginning. He wouldn't cause her severe harm, just bruising at most.

She got up slowly.

"Are you going to just give up?" He asked, incredibly disappointed, when she simply stood there, slightly wary of his hands by the way she was watching his gloves. They hadn't even begun.

She began to cough, a horribly dry sound, almost as if he'd somehow managed to collapse one of her lungs.

Just as he sighed and was preparing to apologise, scan her with his omnitool and make some scathing comments about her inability to take a punch, she shot forward like a missile and hit him just below his keel with a grunt. She went completely still afterwards, and for good reason. He found his hand moving towards her neck to snap her throat in reflex. He hadn't had a good experience in his life with surprise attacks. The old scar on his neck attested to that fact.

How devious, he thought, as he continued to force himself not to retaliate, placing his hand on her shoulder instead. Part of him approved of her underhanded tactics and the rest of him was just dumbfounded by the fact he had been caught unawares. He would never let her know of the former though.

"Of course you'd resort to dirty tactics."

"I don't care," she said with a giant smirk. "I bet any other human would do the same in my place, maybe any species unfortunate enough to have to fight you."

She threw her arms in the air.

"I got you!" She cried, sounding as if she'd won the galactic lottery with how jubilant she sounded. He allowed her this small victory, watching her dance up and down the room with a glare. It would be all the more satisfying to show her just how badly she matched up against him once she finished celebrating.

Once she calmed down, they sparred for maybe another hour. She never made a full hit on him again; that he guaranteed. Outside of their free-form sparring, he instructed her on using her body to deceive an opponent and how to counter several conventional turian grapples. She had promise. For a human anyway.

He threw a bottle of water to where she lay, exhausted, on the floor, her body glistening with sweat and her hair sticking to her face. She caught it and drained half of the bottle in one go before placing it on the floor next to her. She exhaled upwards, watching her hair flick upwards before sticking back to her forehead. She grimaced.

Before he drank his own bottle, he picked up the cup of kava near the doorway and finished the remaining dregs before placing it in the cache to be dealt with later. He slowly began to drink his own bottle of water. Looking absently into the cache, he saw the levo medigel he'd ordered in bulk. She was likely bruised.

His mandibles rose and clenched tightly to his cheeks in anger at himself for so easily forgotting about Jane. He gripped two lotion based medigel creams in his hands.

"Strip," he ordered, quickly advancing upon her prone form.

She rose a blonde eyebrow, but she did as asked, peeling off the cropped top and shorts. He ignored the fact she'd been naked underneath rather easily once he saw the splotches of blue and black scattered across her body. Humans were so soft.

He clamped down on his subvocals tightly and knelt down beside her. He could feel the mournful trill building in his larynxes as he applied the incredibly cool medigel, watching the bruises lighten slightly but still remaining vivid discolorations on her milky skin. Jane gasped with delight with every application; it must have been such a relief. He only felt guiltier.

"I'll forgive you if you give me a kiss," she murmured, arching into his hands despite the damage they'd caused her. It wasn't uncommon for he or Nihlus to draw blood from each other when they sparred, but the way he'd.. discoloured her body with, by his standards, gentle punches was alarming.

He gave everything he had into the kiss he gave her; anything to make her realize how sorry he was.

"Wow…" she gasped, relaxing back into his ministrations as he began to add another layer of medigel to each of the bruises. "And there I was thinking you'd gotten tired of me."

His gaze snapped onto her face.

"Explain," he said.

"It's just... I rarely see you during the day. We don't sleep together anymore; both in the clean and dirty sense."

"I thought you'd appreciate time to acclimatise to the changes in your life, Jane," he explained. He didn't think she'd appreciate him claiming that he had been incredibly busy, which he had been.

"I'm twenty nine, Saren. Not six. Besides, it's not like I've never lived on a starship before."

Once he'd finished, he placed the medigel to his right. She immediately slid into his lap and kissed him on his nasal plates with a slight smile.

"It was very sweet of you though."

He removed his gloves, placing them next to the medigel, and placed his hands on her ass, pulling her closer towards him. He dipped his forehead against hers with a low purring rumble.

"We can make up for lost time if you want," he suggested with a slight tilt to his head in question

She wasted no time in running her hands through the fabric of his undersuit looking for the slitted pouch that covered his groin. The slit opened with an impatient pull and she looked at his closed groin plates with a frown. Before she could speak, he took her hand in his and teased the slowly throbbing centre with a low hiss.

"Here. Rub along here. Fingers are good."

She did as he said, trailing her nails against his rapidly opening sheath. The pointed tip of his cock emerged into her hand and he almost bit his tongue when she rubbed her fingers along it. It was so, so sensitive when he first emerged. Her hands teased out more and more of his cock until it was fully unsheathed, the bulbous base finally out leaving his thick cock jutting straight outwards. It looked so right in her hands.

He wasted no further time and turned her around so she facing away from him and lined his cock up with her entrance.

He entered her slowly, bearing in mind the fact that he hadn't worked on loosening her with his tongue or his fingers. The first thrust was always one of his favourites, the feeling of her walls spreading further and further as the tapered head of his cock quickly broadened into his thick shaft and then flaring into the knot at its base. When he was nearly fully sheathed, with only a few inches remaining, he spoke into her ear.

"Stand up straight."

She rose, her motions slow and tempting, keeping herself pressed against him and enveloping his cock deeper within her silky folds.

Saren admired the gentle curve of her spine as he held her hips tightly to his own, ensuring that his cock remained sheathed deep inside of her as he rose behind her. Luckily for them both, turian males had their reproductive organs much lower down their crotches compared to humans as their position wouldn't have worked otherwise. He rumbled low in his chest at the feeling of her entrance constricting around his buried cock as he pulled her even more tightly into his hips. He stopped to wait for her to adjust to the slight increase in depth, silently enjoying the feeling of her spasming sex around him, when she cried out in discomfort.

"Let me adjust please, Saren," she said in a rush, her hair falling onto his cowl as the piece of tape came loose. She tilted her head back, showing the sight of her bottom lip being worried at by her teeth.

He simply gave her lips a slow lick and breathed in, inhaling the sweet and salty aroma that was Jane's scent, whilst he waited for her channel to relax. When he felt she was ready, he began to slowly move his hips back and forth, colliding softly against her pert rear and eliciting soft moans from her. In this position, with both of them stood up, he was once again reminded of their size difference; the fact that, despite being incredibly tall for a human female, she only came up to his cowl. As a result of this, he was keenly aware of how Jane had to rise onto the tip of her toes to make sure her crotch was close enough for him to stay within her, how he could see the room clearly over her golden head, how his hands were as large as one side of her abdomen... How he could feel the slight bulge of his thick cock against her lower belly moving back and forth underneath his hand as a result of the way she was leaning back into his body. All of this served to give Saren a sense of power over Jane, and to be slightly humbled by the level of trust she had in him. He was struck by the memory of the sharpness his talons used to have when he first slept with her, which by turian standards had been far past the point of being excessive, yet she hadn't ever flinched from his touch. He was broken from his reverie by the feeling of Jane's right hand lacing with the one he held on her abdomen, holding it against where his cock was moving, and the other slipping to squeeze at the narrower part of his waist. It was a large boost to his ego that she didn't even use her fingers to toy with her clit, or anything else that might help her reach her peak, but rather that she would rather focus on his needs, even without prompting. His thrusts slowed to a halt, and he found himself spiralling back to the feeling of power he had over her.

Saren loved power.

The power to destroy his enemies, and the power to protect those who were worthy of his protection. Knowing he had the power to cause immediate change for millions, even billions, of lives if he so chose it. He wanted that for Jane too. He wanted people to fear her capabilities, to fear even crossing her. He wanted her to be deadly. More importantly, when she became such an exacting force on the galaxy, he wanted, no, he would be there to remind her that the only person she was ever allowed to yield or submit to in this galaxy was him. He had made sure to tone down his outward displays of possessiveness after that debacle on the Citadel, but in his mind there was no question that Jane belonged to him.

"As much as I love the feeling of you inside me, Saren," she said, a pleading expression on her face as she rolled her hips against his groin. "My toes and legs are killing me."

Her legs tremored slightly against his own.

An idea struck him. It would not be at all comparable to her experiences in the military, but it would be telling to a small degree. How well could she deal with minor discomfort? Would she follow his orders? She must have extraordinary willpower to have survived Thresher Maws actively hunting her for hours on end. How much of that had she retained in her retirement?

He began to thrust again.

"Stay where you are, Jane," he said. His cybernetic eyes bored into her green ones as he slammed harshly against her ass when her lips thinned at him.

"Why?" She grit out.

"You are stronger than this."

When that failed to pacify her, he slammed into her again, moaning loudly when he finally bottomed out inside of her, her entrance vice-like against his base.

He ground their hips together, delighting in the whimpering moans coming out of her as he roughly rubbed against every inch of her pussy. He took particular pride in the groans that pressing against her back wall produced; a human wouldn't have reached there and stretched her like he did.

"Focus," he said after a particularly nice reaction from her, trailing his talons against her hips. "You are stronger than this small discomfort."

Her legs still shook in an arrhythmic manner, not unlike a malfunctioning mech now that he thought about it. Jerking to and fro erratically.

"Small discomfort? I don't have digitigrade legs if you haven't noticed. Nor -"

He silenced her angry, and quickly growing irritating, complaining with a hand over her mouth.

"Be silent. Focus."

Regardless of her human caused deficiencies, he still wanted to see how long she could last.

Perhaps out of a bid to ignore the growing muscle pains in her legs, her lips parted and she suckled on the black, curved tip of one of his talons, laving the smooth surface with the cool feeling of her saliva. He wanted more. Taking advantage of her ministrations, he slid two of his thick fingers into her mouth, growling loudly into her ear when her mouth sealed around them with a moan.

All the while her legs shook. If anything, her struggles only served to make him harder. This wasn't just a test for her, but an indulgence for him in the power he held over her as well. As if to reaffirm his current possessive frame of mind, he found his thumb slowly caressing the curve of her jaw as his fingers enjoyed the pleasures of her tongue.

"I found myself impressed during our spar, Jane," he said truthfully. He hadn't expected her to be exceptional, but he'd expected her to completely mediocre to merely serviceable at best. She'd given him a lot to think about for the future with the fact that she was quite acceptable for a human. She moved well and was very good at creating space - ideal for her combat style and pleasing the turian hand to hand expert in him. Now it was a matter of getting her to exploit that so she didn't always just default to a gun or her omnitool.

Her slow, methodical suckling of his fingers came to a sudden halt as if she were surprised by his praise. His other hand dropped down to her folds and searched for her clit. The feeling of her flat, dexterous tongue around his fingers resumed once he began to rub her engorged clit between the pads of his fingers.

"Much better than I'd expected with how you'd spoken about your hand-to-hand skills."

He held her in that position for several minutes longer, plates deep inside of her with her shaking and whimpering all the while, before finally taking mercy on her and descending to the floor with her attached to him. He took her from behind at a sedate pace for a few minutes longer before releasing inside of her. It took a minute or two of toying with her clit before she joined him.

He rolled over so that she was sprawled on top of his chest and sighed.

When she got her breath back, she popped his fingers out of his mouth.

"I'm not sure why you're sighing when you're not the one who feels like a damn paraplegic. I hope you've proved whatever point you were trying to make. I'm not going to give up so easily."

"You have potential," he mumbled, still rock hard inside of her. "You also need to shower."

She swatted his right cheek in reprimand.

"Carry me," she demanded.

After some careful rearranging, he held her to his chest and stood up, ignoring the urge to take her hard and fast against a wall. He frowned again at the sight of some of the bruises as he readjusted her before moving towards the shower in his quarters.

"If you put another layer of medigel on them I'll punch you," she said, looking up at him with a leery expression.

He snorted.

"You have no choice."

"Or a chance," he hastily added.

Chapter Text

Awkward: causing or feeling uneasy embarrassment or inconvenience.

They’d docked at a small mixed colony in the Exodus Cluster, roughly two weeks by shuttle from Noveria. She was excited to be leaving, surprisingly. Whilst her assignment was pretty low-key, it was nice to feel like she was going to be back in the thick of things.

Jane was happy to see that Saren wasn’t brooding, or at least brooding visibly, over her imminent departure. Though, if he was brooding, she wouldn’t really know as he spent a lot of time on private comms. From what he’d told her days ago, he hadn’t been able to maintain his information network for years due to the Council limiting his ability to move freely.

Saren’s entry onto the observation deck interrupted her thoughts. He silently took a seat besides her. They both watched the busy dock in silence, watching people disembark and embark on shuttles and small warships. Saren was the one to finally break the silence.

“I hope you do know that this part of the ship has the poorest structural integrity, Jane.”

Ignoring the randomness of that comment, Jane shook her head. Even coming from Saren, who could make the most ridiculous of statements seem deadly serious, it was a transparent attempt to ignore her looming departure.

“Hm. I know,” she said.

It was strange. Everything about this was odd. Deciding to try and get to the heart of the issue, Jane said what she hoped that Saren was unable to say.

“I’m going to miss you, you know?”

The only sound that was made in response was the sound of Saren’s talons digging into the sofa.

“It’s okay to miss me, Saren,” she said, sidling up to him and resting her head on his cowl. “I’m going to miss you a lot.”

He turned towards her and bent down, placing his forehead against her own. His mouth came towards hers, stopping just before his mouthplates touched her lips. Jane hadn’t known that he’d disabled his cybernetics, so it was a welcome sight to see the silver-blue of his eyes. He spoke in a heated whisper with his hands framing her face, making sure eye-contact was maintained.

“You will keep yourself safe.”

“You will not be idle and unproductive.”

“You will take the initiative and accomplish your objective.”

“More importantly,” he said, his voice growing louder and with a faint gleam in his eyes, “you won’t kill anyone without a good reason.”

She gave him a strange look.

“Who are you, and what have you done with the real Saren?”

He huffed, his fingers stroking her cheek like she was a young, precocious child.

“I hadn’t finished. Never kill anyone without a good reason," he repeated.

A definite smile crossed his face.

“But remember, you can always find a reason to kill someone," he said.

She found herself smiling. It was an admirable attempt at easing the tension, coming from him at least.

“Was that a joke?”

“No,” he said, looking far too amused for her liking.

Oh.

Saren, to her annoyance, had grown fond of subverting her expectations of him. It seemed, sometimes, like she was in a perpetual state of disappointment for his own amusement.

“Well, since you seem to have lost your mind, with you making jokes and all. Let me leave it like this... I’m going to miss you," she said.

He nodded, wrapping her in a tight embrace, letting her feel the vibrations of his subvocals through his undersuit. Even without being able to understand them, she knew what they would mean.

“You will wait for me at Nos Astra, Illium when you finish. I have a safehouse there,” he murmured. “I will send you the details when you finish.”

His hand unclipped a pistol from his hip, and he placed it in her hands. She explored the sleek metallic sheen of the gun, finding attachments placed in discreet places apart from the sizeable generator on the muzzle. Despite all these modifications, it was practically weightless.

“This is an M-77 Paladin, a varient of the Carnifex, your favourite pistol. It's strictly Spectre issue only. It’s been modded with the ability to release an electrical discharge when used as a melee weapon through the muzzle, higher shot penetration, ultra lightweight materials, and an internal power modifier. I personally modded and made these alterations so I think you will find it quite beneficial.”

She rummaged through her belongings. Once she found her holster, she placed it along her hip and attached the pistol to it.

“Thank you,” she said, stroking his cheek. Thinking of the internal power modifier, she asked a question.

“How much did it cost all together?”

“Perhaps just under one point five million credits. The ultralight materials were incredibly expensive.” He laughed at the widening of her eyes. “Money is immaterial, Jane. Everything I have is yours… if you ever asked for anything I would give it to you.”

She shrugged and moved to planting kisses all over the soft hide of his throat. His eyes closed, a low purr escaping him, as he enjoyed her affection.

“I don't know, I wouldn't want to give the news channels that think you're my sugar daddy any more ammo," she said with a laugh. "I’m a military girl anyway. We’re practical. Besides, the only thing I want from you, is all of you.”

He sighed.

“The things I am going to do to you when we are together again...”

She lifted herself back into eye contact, proceeding to shudder at the promise in his eyes.

“What will you do to me?”

He smirked.

“You’ll have to come back to me and find out,” he said, giving her a fierce kiss that was eagerly returned.

He stood up, walking forward towards the screen and looked down at the colony.

“Go,” he ordered, his hands held in tight fists. “Go before I change my mind and tie you down to my quarters.”

Before he turned back to stare at the window, she jumped up and hugged him as tightly as she could. He didn’t return it, but the smile he gave her was incredibly fond. The mood was strange: a mix of mutual impatience and something she couldn’t name.

“Go,” he murmured, handing her her luggage.

She walked to the doorway, turning back to say one last thing.

“Try not to become too miserable without me. It took a lot of time and effort to make you into a basic conversationalist. Don’t regress, okay?”

He shook his head at her.

“You are incorrigible!”

She left the room, walking towards the airlock with a breathless kind of excitement. It was like her first mission all over again.

“Just a little bit,” she murmured under her breath.

Chapter Text

Motivation: a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way.

Nihlus had been maintaining his weapons on his ship’s armory when the Council had finally gotten back to him, a week later. They surely didn’t need a week to review the footage he’d sent them.

We have reviewed the evidence you have provided us regarding Spectre Vasir’s loyalties. Whilst this information has proven valuable, myself and the other councilors have decided that you will not follow up on this lead. In the attached files in this message are the parameters for your next assignment.

-Councilor Tevos

Checking the attached files, Nihlus saw that his next assignment was to destroy a slaver base on Sharjila in the Artemis Cluster.

Nihlus returned back to maintaining his weaponry once he’d entered the coordinates of a position outside of sensor range of Sharjila.

Losing himself in the calming monotony of oiling and popping heat sinks, Nihlus found himself with the uncomfortable knowledge of knowing that he’d been outmanoeuvred. Had Tela feigned her outrage, knowing all along that the Council would take her side? Nihlus wasn’t entirely sure. There was always the possibility that the Council had known all along about Tela’s association with the Shadow Broker and considered having a double agent, or someone with those connections, as a useful tool.

Reviewing the message again, Nihlus’ mandibles quirked in a smirk. It was uncharacteristically blunt and to the point prose coming from Tevos; nothing like the usual flowery, genial tone of her messages. That was a particularly glaring point, and Nihlus could only come to the conclusion that he had clearly stepped on more toes than he’d expected.

Saren would likely chide him for how rash and arrogant he’d been to not assume that the Council didn’t have knowledge of a Spectre’s allegiances. It wasn’t a total loss though, as the several terabytes of documents, biometric data, audio and video logs on his omnitool could attest to. He wasn’t entirely sure what he wanted to do with the information, but he always liked having options. And options were really what the data represented.

He owed Saren. He owed him a lot. If Saren hadn’t decided to mentor him when he’d been on the cusp of being court martialled for chronic insubordination, he’d have likely ended up in prison. It had been invigorating to see how meek his superiors became when Saren had visited his unit. All Nihlus could think at the time was that he wanted that, that respect and freeness to do what he wanted, so he’d went out of his way to impress the visiting Spectre. He’d not done well under the rank-and-file of the Hierarchy, and he needed a way out before he ended up getting in serious trouble. He struggled to follow the orders of his superiors who had the tactics and skill of a kava nut.

Thinking of kava nuts brought him back to the information on Jane he had on his omnitool. He’d initially toyed with the motivation of seeking this information being to protect Jane, but that was honestly really low on his priorities. The reality was that if she fucked up, if Saren’s ability to do his job was heavily affected, then he wanted to be able to make her life very difficult. Killing her would be too much of a hassle. Never mind the fact that Saren would do even worse onto him; he’d likely wipe out what few family he had left after killing him in retribution - not that Nihlus cared about them. It would all just be a hassle, so no, he would be discreet if he were to act. He hoped that Jane was crazy enough to put up with Saren so he wouldn’t have to act.

Nihlus sighed, opening his omnitool and beginning the arduous task of decrypting and screening the data. If he was Tela, he’d place every damn virus known to the galaxy in the files.

He really hated owing someone.

Chapter Text

Gentleman: a man of good social position, especially one of wealth and leisure.

Jane wasn’t entirely sure when it had happened, but she had seemed to have developed a thing for older turians. That was the only reason she could come up with as to why she’d gotten lost in her potential employer’s eyes. They’d shaken her hands and she’d stared at him like a lost schoolgirl. Thankfully, he didn’t comment. Instead of leading her to his office, he’d given her a warm smile and offered to buy her a drink, insisting with the tone of someone who could not be denied when she’d declined. She’d taken tea.

She didn’t want to embarrass herself with alcohol.

Lorik Qui’in.

Lorik Qui’in was a handsome turian. Tall with ebony plating, and intelligent amber eyes that appeared almost indistinguishable from his sclera in the low lighting. She’d been guided to his usual haunt outside of office hours by a beautiful dusky-skinned Italian woman who had almost seemed to have been waiting for her in the atrium to the main office by the docks.

Call me Gianna, signora.

One day she’d alter the setting on her translator to translate human languages into English as well, but she’d grown far too fond of the little bits of Earth she could gather from hearing people lapse into their mother tongues. Having lived on a military vessel, hearing other human languages other than English or French was always a novelty.

Gianna had led her to the adjoining hotel, greeting people as she did so. She’d fortunately explained that Lorik had asked her to look out for her arrival. Whilst it had put a part of her at ease, Jane could only wonder what Gianna’s role was on this planet. What was her occupation to be able to have access to the border control? She didn’t appear to be security - not with the bright pink pantsuit she was wearing anyway.

“So tell me about yourself, Ms Durand,” he said after he’d placed his kava on the table they’d sat at

Jane looked at her tea and back at him, noting the patient pose he’d adopted against the back of his chair.

“Is this my interview?”

Lorik nodded.

“Think of it as an informal one. Whilst I won’t be conducting your formal interview, it’s always nice to get a feel for my employees. Having a potential employee being a good cultural fit is always nice,” he said.

He chuckled.

“And if you impress, I can always put in a good word with Palea who’ll be conducting your interview. Quite a brilliant mind, Palea Galadir. She’s one of the most prominent minds in the galaxy when it comes to data storage and interfacing. I’ve read bits and pieces of some of your published papers and look forward to seeing what your more medical oriented background can offer to Synthetic Insights.”

“I’d be happy to answer your questions, sir.”

“Excellent,” he said, crossing his arms with the easy air of someone who had far too much free time on their hands. Judging by the fact he’d been at the hotel bar when she’d first entered, that was likely the case. “Tell me about yourself.”

“That’s a rather open-ended question, sir.”

He waved his hand dismissively.

“I’m sure you can come up with something,” he said.

“Well, I can tell you that I’ve never worked for a company that’s broken so many Citadel laws. This will be a first,” she teased.

“So you’ve worked for companies that break Citadel laws in the past?” He asked, a bland look crossing his otherwise normally calm face. It was quite a stark contrast between his whole welcoming aura.

Jane bit her lip, wondering if she’d fucked up already.

“No,” she said awkwardly, hoping this was the right answer.

He shrugged and smiled.

“That’s a shame, Ms Durand. You’ll find the vast majority of my employees have dabbled in less… let’s say reputable enterprises in the past. That’s not to say that having a lawful past is a bad thing, but it takes a special kind of person to work in the field of synthetics. Centuries of anti-AI rhetoric has severely hurt our ability to advance our understanding of synthetics. Outside of the quarians, we are the trailblazers of this field in civilized space, as much as the Council detests it.”

“Why do you think you’re suited for this job? Why do you think you’re suited to working in the most forefront company in synthetics?”

Lorik clearly had a playful side, and she didn’t feel that she could pull off a passion filled speech to convince him that she really desperately wanted this job. All she wanted was to quickly find this Dr Kuli Oriqni and be with Saren again.

She settled with a brief, bland but truthful speech.

“I learn quickly, and I want to learn. Being a code monkey? Don’t mind. If that’s what the company needs, then it’s what I’ll do. I’m willing to take on whatever workload is deemed necessary for the betterment of the company. I feel that Synthetic Insights would offer the best opportunity for me to develop my skills.”

“I see,” he murmured, finishing his kava with a nod. He looked at her empty mug. “Would you like another drink?”

“No thank you, sir,” she said, straightening her slacks out of mild nerves. If this didn’t work out, then she would probably end up having to live in this hotel until she finished this assignment. Luckily, she had Saren to thank for leaving her all those credits enough. This place seemed expensive.

He got up, gave her a quick nod, and went to the bar to order his drink. Whilst he did that, Jane took a deep breath and wondered whether she’d fucked up this opportunity.

He returned back to their table with a steaming cup of kava, visibly inhaling the aromatic scent through his nasal plates.

“You don’t seem particularly passionate,” he said after a prolonged silence punctuated intermittently by the rise and fall of his cup from the table.

“I’ve seen what happens to overly passionate people. They end up slaves to their jobs and eventually burn out. I’d love to get this job, but at the same time I don’t want to end up losing myself for it.”

“You’re in the wrong career to be worrying about that,” he chuckled. “That comes with the territory. Luckily for you, we’re relatively lax for a company largely filled with computer scientists. We run off of a cyclical schedule so everyone gets to have a break at some point. Naturally, everyone is expected to have input during crunch times.”

“Although... “ he began, giving her an appraising look. “It is quite refreshing to have an interviewee not jumping all over themselves to impress me.

“Should I be pandering?”

Lorik smirked.

“It wouldn’t be amiss, Ms Durand,” he said, leaning in to give her a significant look with his warm eyes, and she couldn’t help returning it, sinking into his elegant features. “Don’t tell anyone else this, but it is a wonderful treat to interact with someone who clearly isn’t at all used to office politics. No offence.”

When she didn’t immediately respond, the eyes that she’d been staring into began looking at her with amused confusion.

“Ms Durand, are you alright?” He asked, his mandibles drooping in worry.

It took a moment for her to remember that name was her own - Marie Durand. She shuffled in her seat and attempted to hide her embarrassment by taking a quick sip of the tea. The turian security guard who’d been nearby, barefaced and armoured, snorted and gave her a withering glance with his icy blue eyes. He was a giant for his species, taller than Saren even, and he punctuated his distaste with a dismissive turn of his back and found a vantage point on the other side of the monolithic stone sculpture in the middle of the room. He knew.

“I’m fine, sir. Just a little dazed to be back on the ground after spending so long on shuttles,” she said.

The second shuttle she’d taken off of a human colony, Paradisum, was largely owned by a casino chain appropriately named Paradisum Casinos. As a result, the colony’s shuttles had all been equipped with slots and roulette machines. Saren would be proud to know that at the sound of a slots machine rewarding a jackpot, she instantly woke up without fail. What idiot wouldn’t at least adjust the sound so that it was silent during the shuttle’s skeleton shift? If it was an attempt at advertising, it was laughably inappriopriate. She could still hear that infernal chiming.

Ding-ding… Riiinngg!

She swirled the remaining dregs of her tea and drank the remnants, sighing contently. It had been a pretty good cup of tea.

He nodded gracefully, his calm, collected smile reappearing on his face. He settled back into his seat.

“You do look rather pale, Ms Durand,” he said, his deep voice sending tingling sensations throughout her heavily covered body. “Perhaps you should retire for the night. I’ll cover your accommodations for the night and depending on how your interview goes, we’ll find you more appropriate lodging more local to Synthetic Insights.”

He opened his omnitool almost instantaneously to arrange said lodging.

“That sounds great, sir.”

A few moments later, he closed his omnitool.

“Room 8. It’s an en-suite on the third floor. You can go straight there right now, and it’s keyed to open to your omnitool. I’d recommend you head to the reception and request a biometric lock - I’m willing to pay for that if you wish.”

Jane could decline, but she could already hear the insistence in his voice. Lorik Qui’in was a turian accustomed to getting his way, and it seemed he would continue to do so.

“I’d like that, sir.”

Jane stood up with a smile. Whilst she wasn’t tired, some privacy would be much appreciated.

“It was nice to meet you, sir” she said, meeting his hand for a firm shake.

“A pleasure, Ms Durand” he said, brushing his immaculate black suit with the back of a gloved hand. “I’ll have transport arranged for you tomorrow morning to reach Peak 6. I look forward to hearing how you fare in your interview.”


The room was nice. There were sleek, metallic designs with a large asari style bed sat centrefold. The room had a large window revealing the tumultuous blizzard below - a riotous flurry of ice and hail. There was also a vidscreen (which she turned on to a news channel to feel less alone) and a terminal to its right side. The bed was a little lower to the ground than she liked, like all asari beds, but it still seemed comfortable. The ensuite revealed a large shower with a ledge lining its rim. Reaching into the fur lining of the coat she’d been wearing, she retrieved a number of motion detectors and sensors that Saren had given her and placed them along every doorway in the hotel room. She’d activate them when she was in bed.

She fell onto the mattress with a groan after stripping down to her panties and bra, thinking to herself that it would be nice to have a proper shower after spending a week on the shuttle to Noveria using recycled, tepid water. What she wanted more, though, was to speak to Saren. He’d left her a message a week ago in which he’d detailed a secure means she could use to reach him.

After a quick doze, Jane stripped and entered the shower, praying that the salarian who’d sold her her illegal omnitool model hadn’t been lying when he’d said it was one hundred percent waterproof. As she turned the water on, she followed the instructions Saren had sent her.

It took several minutes for him to respond. When he immediately opened a video call, she rushed to accept, dropping the soap she’d been using to lather herself. His face appeared in various shades of orange before her, fading in and out of the steam from the hot water. She couldn’t help but smile.

She’d missed him so much.

There was a brief moment of lack of recognition before his face lightened from its previously forbidding expression. Jane loosened the chignon her now platinum blonde hair had been in, and she shook her head as it fell to her shoulders. He was watching her intently, cybernetics focussed unerringly on her face.

“Jane,” he breathed, his voice just as velvety and sonorous as if she were right next to him. “I was wondering if you were ever going to make contact.”

“I just arrived at Noveria,” she said, sitting down on the ledge. “It’s cold, miserable, and you’re not there.”

She paused, just savouring the fact she could talk to him.

“I miss you so much,” she said.

His mandibles pulled tightly towards his chin and he nodded.

“I cannot stay on this line for long, Jane. Are you safe?”

“I’m at Port Hanshan in the Plaza Hotel. My boss paid for a room for me.”

Saren’s brow plates narrowed slightly.

“I left you with enough funds to hold you over until we meet again,” he said.

He’d given her enough money that if she were to disappear, she’d be able to live comfortably for decades. “Hold over” was a huge understatement.

“He insisted,” she explained.

“He?”

“Lorik Qui’in, manager of Synthetic Insights,” she said. “He’s really nice.”

Saren sneered at that.

“Jealous?” She asked, smiling at his scowling face.

“Don’t be foolish, Jane,” he said. “I know you.”

“You know me?” She coyly asked.

Saren chuckled. The low rumbling sound made her eyelids flutter and her knees go weak, and her hands ended up drifting towards her thighs. As his laughter died down, Jane tried to rinse off the suds on her body, but opening her eyes left her only able to focus on the confident smirk on his face.

“You’ll likely flirt with him,” he began, continuing even through the clear denial in her face. “But what does it matter? You know who you belong to. You know who can tear you apart and make you whole again in a single touch. You know who you’ll submit to when the time comes.”

Her hands began to drift towards her slightly moist sex.

“No. Do not touch yourself. That is a luxury reserved for myself,” he ordered. “When we meet again, I will enjoy teaching you to take my cock again. I’m going to tear your tight cunt wide open when I fuck you. You are going to beg for me, and I am going to make you scream until you can scream no more.”

“You’re so romantic,” she hissed, holding her eyes so tightly shut it was painful. She was fairly sure if she opened her eyes to see his expression she’d just about lose her mind.

“I can almost scent your arousal,” he rumbled, “and I’ll enjoy basking in that scent when I bring you orgasm after orgasm with my tongue.”

Her fingers were biting half-crescents into her palm, almost drawing blood, as she fought the urge to just tease herself with her fingers. It was reaching the point that even with her eyes closed, the feeling of his voice rolling over her could likely bring her to an orgasm.

“Call me again around the same time whenever you are free. If I do not respond within five minutes, do not make another attempt. I’ll get in touch with you,” he said.

Jane finally opened her eyes, looking at Saren’s entirely smug expression.

“I can do that,” she managed to say after taking some time to catch her breath

“I look forward to it, Jane,” he purred, “and do not touch yourself. Save yourself for me.”

He cut the connection immediately, and Jane slumped against the shower wall.

Saren was evil.

Chapter Text

Reality: the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.

The smell of salarian blood was nothing new to his senses. It had a surprisingly inoffensive scent for blood, not like the dull bittersweet of a turian, the dry tart of an asari, or the acrid metal of a human. It was rich with the sharp sweetness of overripe fruit.

The sounds of someone scrambling to get away from him, pushing gurneys and other medical paraphernalia in his path, was nothing new either. It was a shame for the salarian that the operating theatre he’d guided him to for their talk was soundproofed.

Saren almost laughed when the salarian tripped over a stray piece of fabric they’d thrown on the floor. As the salarian thrashed in a desperate attempt to get himself back on his feet, Saren came to a stop in front of him.

His countenance may not show his victim anything, but being back on duty was invigorating for Saren. The rush of adrenaline through his body was intoxicating, and the sight of someone cowering before him, in fear of his capabilities, the threat he posed, was a sight that he’d missed.

“I told you... I don’t know where he is!” The portly brown-skinned salarian cried, cowering on the floor before Saren with blood dripping from his jaw. Saren had prefaced their interrogation with a punch to the face, finding himself far too bloodthirsty for what should have been just simple intimidation.

It had been too long.

“You do not?” Saren murmured, pulling his pistol out of its holster and pulling the trigger.

The salarian jolted in their spot on the floor at the sound of the safety clicking. When they tried to speak, tremulously grasping at words at what had likely been in a close call in his mind, Saren turned off the safety.

“Lie to me again, and I will not have the safety on next time,” he promised, keeping the gun pointed at the doctor on the floor. “Now, tell me where your brother is.”

“He was on the Citadel last I heard,” he said, almost sounding indistinguishable in their haste.

The salarian was the younger brother of Dr Saleon, his quarry, and was a resident general practitioner at the largest hospital on Senoquol. Somehow, his brother had managed to elude capture on the Citadel, and one of Saren’s contacts, a retired turian major with connections to the most elite and powerful of the Citadel, had lost a family member to the geneticist’s organ harvesting and wanted him dead. In return for Saren’s expertise, he’d offered what he claimed to be ‘intel worth more than anyone could afford’. Having had the major in his purview for so long, it had piqued his curiosity, admittedly, and he had decided to accept his request, making a brief detour from his passage to Sur’Kesh to begin his tracking.

Luckily for the salarian, Saren’s lover was a human who cared far too much about reasons. As he’d explained rather succinctly to her, you never needed a reason to kill someone, and he’d likely be doing the galaxy a favour removing all filth related to Dr Saleon. Remembering Jane’s opinions on what she considered needless killing, he decided he wouldn’t kill the pathetic doctor. Instead, he’d make him wish he was dead.

Saren advanced on him, continuing to aim his pistol at him without a change in expression or a sound, and the salarian began to sob desperately.

His snivelling noises crescendoed into a piercing shriek when Saren’s armoured foot descended on his right hand with a sickening crunch.

Saren stood motionless, uncaring, in the face of his pain.

He was pathetic.

“Please,” the salarian begged, cradling his shattered hand. “All I know… is that our aunt, head of the family.. recently helped him buy a ship from some human company.”

Of course humans were involved. Saren walked to the wretched salarian’s side, watching him rock back and forth in disinterest.

“And what is this company?” He asked.

“I.. I don’t know,” he said. “You have to believe me!”

His scream when Saren crushed his other hand rattled and vibrated in his aural canals for minutes on end.


After interrogating the geneticist’s brother to his satisfaction, he’d left him, still sobbing and clearly going into shock. Saren had sneered at his weakness as he left, feeling nauseous at the piteous behaviour he was witnessing. He’d only shot him once, and that one shot had been to the thigh.

Absolutely pathetic.

His next lead was ExSolar Shipping and finding the matriarch of this salarian family. More than enough for him to go on and deal with this lunatic scientist. The turian major had been very specific about how he wanted Dr Saleon to die, and he wanted the grisly work to be done with as soon as possible.

The staff and inhabitants of the hospital kept a wide berth from him at the smell of blood and fear dogging his every footstep. The few security officials in this land of herbivores and cowards had hesitated at the sight of him, and they’d fallen back from whatever foolish attempts at arresting him upon recognizing him. It was refreshing not having to say ‘Spectre business. Classified.’ in response to any unwanted questions. Still, the turian in him found their inability to commit to their duties absolutely heinous.

Truly, these craven vermin understood that here he was the apex predator, and he would have have it no other way.

He made his way to the dock with an air of satisfaction, pleased that he was one step closer to accomplishing his objective.


It was a day later when his omnitool pinged as he entered the shower, cooling down after a long workout during transit, and he opted not to check it until he was in the cockpit. Sitting down in his seat, he activated it. When he saw that it was Jane, finally following his instructions to make contact, he immediately opened a video chat.

She was different. Her eyes were definitely not green anymore, and her hair was not the blonde colour it had been when she’d left. Moreover, she had her hair tied up and was wearing make-up.

He didn’t like any of it, but still, she was beautiful.

He’d kept it short, wanting to make her all the more impatient for their reunion.

Disconnecting the line with a satisfied smirk, Saren imprinted the sight of Jane so desperate for him, even across an unfathomable distance, to memory. Their call had only confirmed what he’d already known.

Saren had asked Benezia about Lorik Qui’in almost immediately after Jane had left, wanting to know exactly who Jane was working for. Lorik Qui’in was a consummate businessman. He was a retired military information security analyst from Shastinasio, Invictus, who’d founded the company almost immediately after being discharged. The company had ballooned under his efforts and he’d moved operations from Invictus to Noveria shortly after a large expansion in manpower. He was slimy like all people on Noveria, Benezia had said with a laugh, but he was incredibly pleasant. When Benezia had said that he was a skilled dancer, and other unimportant tidbits that she knew would irritate him, he’d thanked her and terminated the comm link. Whilst he’d feel safest if Jane was under the guidance of an employee that both he and Benezia trusted, of their own company, he was slightly relieved that Qui’in was innocuous as far as Noveria went.

Saren had known of her minor infatuation with Qui’in before she’d even called him. Little did she know, he had co-ownership of Binary Helix, one of the most profitable companies on Noveria. With that kind of asset came power, and from there came influence. One of the Elanus Risk Control Security personnel working at the Plaza, a surly ex-mercenary commander by the name of Vyrnnus, was exceptionally loyal to him. Vyrnnus had kept him abreast of her meeting with Qui’in, managing to express clear disgust through his messages at how she’d acted towards him. One of the cleaners at the hotel, an asari who was one of Benezia’s fanatics, had checked her room remotely to verify that she’d indeed placed the devices he’d given her.

Surprisingly, upon being informed of her staring and blushing, he’d been amused. It was just a sign, in his mind (that had now been confirmed), of how much she missed him. The other option was that she’d suddenly found an attraction to male turians, and that was a great source of pride for him. She was wasted on human men or on any other species, so it was only natural for her to unconsciously seek that which could satisfy her.

Spirits, he would ensure that she was satisfied beyond her wildest dreams when she returned.

Truly, their time on his ship together had been for the best. There’d been a distance between them that was sorely needed and Saren had been pleased, surprisingly so, at the fact that their lives had finally moved away from beginning and ending at the contours of each other’s bodies. He’d discovered quiet silences sat side by side and rare, gentle smiles crossing his face as she’d attempted to learn how to cook simple turian dishes. It had seemed that cooking was another thing she was good at. He didn’t look forward to telling her that it would have to go largely unexplored, as she had enjoyed feeding him. When he took her along for his easier assignments, they’d both be eating MREs as they were just simply more convenient.

When she’d left, he’d feigned an expression of indignation at her teasing, and was all the while thinking that this strange new dynamic they’d evolved into having could work. He still missed her, he missed her incredibly in fact, but it didn’t consume his every thought as it would have done if she’d simply booked private transit to Noveria. Thinking back to how he’d acted during their first time together, he feared for how that version of him would have reacted. Saren stood up, earnest and determined. He was confident she’d return to him safely and successful.

Opening the star chart that contained the hundreds of contacts he had at his disposal, he began his search for the geneticist’s aunt. He would have asked the nephew for her location, but by the time he’d grown satisfied with the information he’d gained from the doctor, he’d been growing delirious and feverish with pain at that point. He’d barely been coherent, begging for his brother to help him.

He snorted in memory.

Somewhere on Noveria, Jane should be happy that he’d spared that waste of space’s life.