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See Me

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The house on Rannoch that faces the afternoon sun is small, has two decontamination walkthroughs before the front door, and has pink wallpaper in the forward sitting room. Shepard remembers it getting in the way of the picture window she helped install. Tali's house was more clutter than actual house then. But it's finished now, warmed tile floors and lush furnature. A few Asari art pieces are staged around, and one statuette that is made from industrial metal and loosely resembles a child's sand castle. It says 'To Creator Tali'Zorah, from Legion'. A sealed jar of familiar dirt sits on a shelf.

Shepard - cleansed and disinfected - is given the entire tour, from kitchen to bathroom to liquor closet. With the Geth and Quarians working together, things are easily coming together. More homes being built, tests being processed, work is getting done. Rannoch is rebuilding on a base of peace and Shepard raises her glass with Tali to how well the planet is doing.

"You really did well with this place, Tali." Shepard says, leaning back against the headboard of Tali's very soft bed.

"Thank you. But I had a lot of help, you included." Tali replies, sipping her drink through a straw that connects to her helmet.

"How's your health? I mean, you said Legion's been bringing in pods with medicine that'll help your system." Shepard watches her disconnect the straw.

"Well, it's been going great. Actually... Shepard, do you remember when I said I trusted you the most?" She fiddles with her glass, stomach flipping nervously.

"Which time?" Shepard teases, and Tali huffs, but it's followed by a small laugh.

"I'm being serious," she settles her glass on the bedside table, sitting in front of Shepard on the bed. They're creating a deep divot, "I said I trusted you the most, and if... you know, if you were Quarian..."

"You'd link suits with me. I do remember," Shepard smiles softly, "What, did you get me a suit? I'll try it, for you."

"Keelah," Tali mumbles, face going hot behind her mask. For you. It means so much. She smiles and shakes her head, "No, but I've got something similar. You won't have to get into something... It'll be me getting out."

Shepard's brows draw together, "What do you mean?"

"I'm stable, the best I've ever been. It took a bunch of sick days to get there, but the treatment is good," Tali gestures to her mask, "You've seen my face, just the once. But I can do more now."

Shepard sits up, bed trying to suck her in, "You can come out of your suit?"

Tali stands and nods, pacing a bit "I haven't tried it yet... I wanted to wait for you. I trust you, and it'll be the first time it's me actually being seen in so long... Would you like to do this with me, Shepard?"

Shepard grabs her hand and squeezes, "I'd be honored."

Tali just about shakes with excitement, "Okay! I'll do it in the bathroom, you find me something to wear."

Shepard sets down her glass and swings her legs off the bed, chuckling softly at Tali scurrying off to the room adjacent to the bedroom. Once the door is closed, Shepard gets up and looks through Tali's barely-there closet. It's mostly variations for her suit, but there's some new things, human and asari clothes. Quarian clothes aren't really up in the works yet, seeing as everyone is still working on their immune systems. Shepard goes through pairs of pants, a sparkling black dress, and some blouses. Everything is so soft, Tali making sure she bought things that would leave irritating her skin at a minimum. A slight depressurizing hiss can be heard behind the door, and Tali's surprised noise.

"What do you want me to pick?" Shepard calls across the room.

"Something that I can feel in!" Tali's reply is muffled slightly by the door.

Shepard nods to herself and looks through the pants again. They've all been made wider to accommodate Quarian hips and legs. She finds a pair of blue shorts hiding between two microfiber leggings, and a baby soft tank top as an undershirt to one of the blouses. She takes them across the room and raps her knuckles twice on the door. It cracks open and pale skin with a purple tint comes into view, hand sneaking out to grab the garments before hiding again.

"These seem soft enough," Tali says as she checks them over. Shepard moves back to the bed and waits patiently. It's quiet for a long moment, and then a sigh, "Do not judge my hair."

Shepard grins, "Wouldn't dream of it. Come on."

"Keelah, this is different... Okay! I'm coming out!" She says, and it's nice to hear her voice not processed by her mask.

The door opens slowly and Tali steps out, bare feet testing the feel of the floor. She walks in slowly, feeling the swish of the clothes and the air as she moves. Her skin is a pale purple, indents where parts of her suit connected to her. Holding her mask to obstruct her face, she tilts her head at Shepard before taking it away, "Well, aren't you going to say anything?"

Tali smiles, and Shepard commits it to memory. Her face is slightly round, features soft except for a sharp nose. Her eyes are elongated and the outter edges tilt up slightly. On the outside rim of the irises, there's a distinct ring of light. It stretches across the pearl of her irises and almost hides her pupil, giving a reflective glow over the area. Her eyebrows are dark, but scarce, lines with slight curve. There's some discoloration over her cheeks, indents from wiring and components. There's still a few wires attached, one just under her ear that runs to the back of her head and disappeares into the dark mess of short hair. It's cropped close, but pieces hang haphazardly over her forehead and rounded ears. A wild, mask matted pixie.

Shepard smiles, standing up slowly, "Welcome to the new age."

Tali smiles widely and tosses her mask on the bed, hugging herself to feel over her arms, "It's so different, Shepard. I don't have to rush, I don't have to worry. Well, not as much," she stands there a moment, then reaches out timidly, skinny wrist and wide fingers, "Could I...?"

Shepard holds out her hands, stepping closer. Tali slides her hands over Shepard's, first skin to skin contact and it's so odd. No matter how tuned the sensors are in her suit, she knew it was muffled. She can feel the wrinkles over Shepard's palm and the bump of bone as she goes to her wrists, then the tendons. The hair on her arms a light scratch under the pads of her fingers, a scar here and there, then the curve of the elbow.

Shepard watches amused as Tali touches her, and feels along the soft skin of Tali's arms in tandem. She's very soft, almost too much. Her skin has more give before the feeling of bone, and Shepard is careful not to press too hard. There are indents from sensor ports that are a little discolored and not much hair. The only prominent hair seems to be on her head, and even that is short.

Tali takes a breath, not moving anymore. Shepard looks at her, really looks at her, and moves for her. She gently takes her arms up and circles them around Tali's middle, careful of the sensor port by her heart as she leans closer. Tali gasps but melts into the hug, eyes closing at Shepard's face tucking into her shoulder. She hangs on Shepard, arms slinging around her shoulders and body swaying like it can't hold its own weight. She can feel everything, so aware of Shepard's hands through the fabric of her shirt, Shepard's human warmth bleeding into her skin the longer she holds on.

"There we go," Shepard says, barely there but even her voice is felt, the vibration of it, "You're good."

Tali lays her head against Shepard's, voice coming out more emotional than she thought, "Thank you."

Shepard pats her back and pulls away slowly, then gestures around, "You should experience your home like this."

Tali looks around, considering everything for a moment, before climbing onto her bed, "This is the only thing I want to experience at the moment."

Shepard snorts, watching her spread out onto her too soft bed with her soft microweave sheets. She rubs her arms back and forth over the fabric like she's making a snow angel, then rolls and hugs one of the pillows. Shepard feels fondness tug at her heart, "Is it right?"

"Perfect. Liara was right," Tali looks up at her, then wiggles back a bit, "Are you going to sit?"

Shepard eases onto the bed, and the dip of both of them tilts Shepard towards her. In an easy motion, she cuddles to Shepard's side and relaxes. A fond smile comes over Shepard's lips and she scoots down to get comfortable. She reaches out and gently runs her fingers through Tali's hair, causing a full body shiver and surprised noise. Tali laughs softly and closes her eyes. Shepard soothingly rubs Tali's forehead, glides her fingers down to her cheek. Tali leans into it, uncurling just a little so her knees don't jab Shepard's stomach.

"This okay?" Shepard asks, fingers moving up and down the side of her face.

"Anything is okay." Tali replies, voice relaxed and quiet.

Shepard chuckles and lays with her, moving close. Tali comes into the circle of her arms and sighs, just letting every feeling happen. Shepard rubs slow circles on her back, feeling her hold onto a piece of Shepard's shirt to assess the fabric, to keep her close.

"I'm not going anywhere." Shepard tells her in a whisper.

Tali hides her smile in Shepard's neck, "I know."

"But if you wanted to keep me here," Shepard says casually, taking Tali's hand and slipping it across her body, around to her back, "This would probably be the best way to hold on."

Tali tests the position, moving her hand up to slowly run up and down Shepard's side. She decides it's good and relaxes, "Good tactical advice, Commander."

Shepard lays a kiss to Tali's hair, "That's my job."