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1. In Which Vega Does Not Get It

“I’m on it, Shepard. We’ll get you the Primarch.”

James Vega must have stepped sideways into some other universe, because Shepard -- Lola -- didn’t blush.

And yet.

She shook hands with the turian, business as usual, but then he covered her hand with both of his.

Shepard blushed. And the turian just stared at her, mandibles flaring in a smirk, and Shepard flashed a grin at him before disengaging her hand.

“James, this is Garrus Vakarian. He helped me beat the Collectors. He’s a hell of a soldier.”

He knew about Vakarian. The Alliance’s rumor mill was only about ten percent accurate when it came to Shepard and her crew, but judging from the salutes Vakarian was getting and the turian’s easy swagger, this was one case where there hadn’t been much exaggeration. Vakarian nodded, sizing him up in a heartbeat, and James found himself straightening. Just a little. It wasn’t like this guy was his CO. But it never hurt to make a good first impression.

They shook hands briefly and then Vakarian stepped right back into Shepard’s personal space. James waited for her to move away -- anyone who got that close to the Commander generally ended up missing body parts -- but she stayed where she was, even letting her armor clack on his.

Well, they had fought the Collectors together, and Saren. Vakarian was an old friend. It made sense she’d want to keep someone like that close.

Later, after Shepard nearly got her ass blown to hell when the gunship crashed in front of her, Vega tried to get Vakarian talking.

“So. You’ve fought with the Commander?”

Vakarian nodded. “Always will. I’ll always have her six.” Shepard tossed him a grin over her shoulder, eyes gleaming.

It wasn’t exactly drawing boundaries, but Vega couldn’t resist pushing. Just a little.

“Yeah? You weren’t on Mars. It was me covering Lola’s ass then. Had us a good dance later, too.”

Vakarian gave him a flat look.

“Aw, don’t be like that. I’m sure she saved one for you. Like a, welcome back to the Normandy surprise.

“Oh, I'm sure she has one of those planned,” Vakarian said, and laughed.

Vega was just about to ask what the hell that was supposed to mean, but Shepard let out a yell ahead of them. Her biotics spiked in a blue halo.

Vega had never seen a turian move quite so fast.


2. In Which Shepard Nearly Needs To Find A New Primarch (Again)

Turians weren’t demonstrative creatures. Garrus’ handshake with Shepard was almost intimate, at least for a public gesture, and it filled in the gaps left by Garrus’ concise but sincere praise of the woman. Victus had wondered why Vakarian hadn’t had more to say about her -- apparently he couldn’t say more, not without revealing just how carefully he’d watched the Commander’s six.

Being Primarch meant he would have even fewer opportunities than usual for fun, so Victus was damned if he wasn’t going to take his chances when he could.

When they loaded themselves into the shuttle, Victus quickly edged past Garrus and took the seat next to Shepard. When Garrus froze, eyes sharpening in annoyance, Victus gave him a wide, innocent look.

“Garrus, would you excuse us for a moment?”

There was a brief moment when he could see Garrus fighting with himself: the urge to follow his Primarch’s orders, versus the need to stay by Shepard’s side. Loyalty to the state won out and Garrus sank into the seat next to the other member of Shepard’s squad. The human male was already snoring, leaving Garrus to glare at Victus without his commentary.

Too bad the fledgling can’t stand a bit of teasing, Victus thought, barely hiding his smirk. If he’s waited six months, he can wait a little longer.

“Something on your mind, Primarch?”

“It appears we will know each other quite well by the end of this war, Commander,” he said. Shepard nodded, distracted by her omni-tool display. “Are you comfortable in close quarters with turians?”

Garrus’ hand twitched on his rifle, but he managed to stop himself before he got out of his seat. Victus kept his face serious when Shepard gave him a considering look.

“If you’re worried about our species’ past conflicts, I don’t hold grudges, Primarch,” she said slowly. “Especially not when there’s a war to fight.”

“Of course, Commander. I’m merely curious about how closely you’ve worked with us in the past.”

A smile quirked her mouth and was gone almost before Victus was sure it had been there.

“You could say I’ve worked intimately with turians before, Primarch,” she said, carefully not looking at Garrus, whose hands were starting to look a little unsteady. “I found it deeply satisfying.”

“That’s good to hear, Commander. However, you can’t say you’ve had extensive experience with turians -- in fact, it seems rather limited.” He leaned back in his seat. Garrus was trying to set him on fire with his eyes. “Should you ever consider other collaborations, I would be happy to assist.”

“Shepard --”

“One minute, Garrus.” Shepard was doing an admirable job of keeping her composure. “I’m very interested in what the Primarch has to say.” She crossed her legs -- no mean feat in armor. Garrus’ eyes followed the movement, hot and hungry. Shepard cocked her head at Victus and scratched the skin on her throat. Red lines followed her fingers. “And what’s your experience collaborating with humans?”

Garrus stood up and stalked into the back of the shuttle, into the armory. Shepard’s grin turned sly before she kicked out her legs and followed him.

Victus counted to twenty before he heard the distinct sound of a well-armored body being shoved up against the wall.


3. In Which There Is Almost A Reunion

Garrus’ head hurt, but he felt a knot loosen under his ribs.

Shameful, he told himself. Shameful to be happy to see her again, while Palaven burns.

He let himself fall back against the wall of the shuttle just as Shepard came around the corner. Her half-smile slipped off her face and she made a small movement with one hand, like she wanted to take his, but she kept her distance.

“You look like shit,” she said. He snorted.

“And you look half-dead.”

There was a long pause before Shepard laughed. It was a quiet, exhausted sound.

“When I heard about Palaven, I --” she murmured, just as Garrus said “I thought about sending a message to Earth, but --”

They stared at each other.

“It’s damn good to see you,” Shepard said into the silence. Garrus watched her for a heartbeat, but when she opened her mouth to say something else, he let out a growl he hadn’t known he was holding in. It only took him two strides to cross to where she was standing. Lifting her, even in full armor, was the easiest thing he’d done in weeks.

When he shoved her against the wall, her head smacked into the bulkhead.

“Sorry, sorry --”

Her only response was to dig her nails into his neck as she tried to hold on.

After that, it was a battle. He pressed his face into the warm hollow under her ear as she tried to curve her neck around to sigh against his face.

Too much armor, too much clothing, too much light. He wanted to be somewhere dim and quiet, where he could strip her bare and --

Was she fighting to get closer, or was she fighting to get away? He hadn’t even bothered to ask if she still wanted this.

He managed to stay in control of his muscles long enough to not drop her as he lowered her to the floor.

“Garrus --” Shepard began, and he turned away.

“Sorry, Shepard. I’m not sure what that was.”

“Garrus, look at me, please.” He tried to harden himself against what might be coming. He was so focused on not telegraphing his need that he missed the way she reached out for him as soon as he let her go, like a compulsion. “I don’t want you to --”

“Hey Commander!” Vega peered around the corner, eyes widening when he saw how there wasn’t space for thought between Garrus and Shepard. “Hey, uh, wow. Things are -- things are happening back here, huh?”

“Wow, Vega,” drawled Shepard. “Nothing escapes you.” She gave Garrus a quick look that warmed him almost as much as holding her had. “We’ll catch up later, Garrus.” She shoved past Vega and went back to her seat.

Vega blinked up at the ceiling. “You guys good?” he asked. Garrus showed his teeth.

“Fine,” he answered.

“Look, man,” said Vega. “I know it’s all shit right now, but you gotta believe. We’re gonna stop them. The Commander’s gonna stop them.”

The day Garrus needed to be reassured about Shepard’s abilities would be the day he cut off his right hand. But there was no reason to be cruel, not when Vega had seen Earth smashed beneath the Reapers.

“Yeah,” he said. “We are.”

From the corner of his eye, he saw Shepard watching him. When he looked up, she tipped him a slow, rich smile.

He was beginning to regret not keeping her against the wall a little longer.


4. In Which Laughter Is Not The Best Medicine

The Reapers had come. The end of life as Shepard knew it had arrived. There was a greater than average chance (even for her) that she would be dead within a week.

And Garrus was still calibrating.

The fact that I find his calibrating soothing means I must love the obsessed bastard.

She went over her mental checklist one more time.

Conversation with Victus: completed.
Reassuring Traynor: completed.
Check-in with Liara: completed.
Dealing with EDI’s new body: completed.
Dealing with Joker’s reaction to EDI’s new body: ongoing.

Destroying the Reapers: in progress.

She rolled her shoulders. There was one other item on the checklist.

Reunion with Garrus: to be resumed immediately, if not sooner.

She just had to get past Medbay without being seen.

“Commander Shepard!”


“Would you step into Medbay for a moment?”


Forget Gardner. The only true sadist the Normandy had ever known was Doctor Chakwas. Shepard barely managed to keep herself from looking at the door of the Main Battery as she went into Medbay.

“Something on your mind, Doctor?”

“No reason to worry. It’s simply time for another diagnostic of your implants.” Chakwas herded her onto an exam table before she could protest. “I’ve contented myself with passive scans thus far, but you’ve been under considerable stress lately and I want to make sure you’re not at risk for implant rejection.”

Shepard bit her tongue. “How long is this supposed to take, Doctor? I had a...meeting.” A six-month delayed meeting, so for the love of God let me go.

“Not more than an hour, Commander.” Chakwas brought up her omni-tool display and started typing. “Oh, one moment. I need to restart the diagnostic program.” She kept typing, oblivious to the way Shepard had started to fidget.

“I see Officer Vakarian has returned to us,” said Chakwas a moment later, without looking up.

“Yes,” Shepard said carefully. “It was hard for him to leave Menae.”

“I think he’s glad to be aboard regardless.” Chakwas hummed under her breath and closed the display. “Just a moment more, Commander.”

“Doctor, can this wait?”

“We need you in fighting shape, and I, for one, am not risking your health for the sake of a meeting. Perhaps you could reschedule?”

“Not a chan --” Shepard caught herself. “It’s important,” she finished lamely. Chakwas gave her an incredulous look.

“More important than your well-being?”

I went six months without talons on the back of my thighs so yeah, I’d say so. I’d say it’s crucial to my well-being.

She couldn’t say that. She could only send a pained, longing look in the direction of the Main Battery and hope that Chakwas understood.

“Ah, it’s up. Now, lie down, Commander, and stay still.”

Shepard debated resisting -- she was the Commander of this ship, she didn’t have to be here, she could leave any time she wanted -- but laid down on her back. Chakwas hovered over her, the orange light of her omni-tool flaring against the white fixtures.

It was soothing to not be able to move. She’d spent so much time running lately that it seemed like she’d forgotten how to be still. Her eyes closed, almost on their own, and she only heard Chakwas’ indistinct little hums.

It was only then she didn’t hear the buzz of the diagnostic.

Chakwas is going to pay for this. She opened her eyes and sat up. Chakwas backed away, obviously trying not to laugh.

“Doctor,” Shepard said, very slowly. “Please tell me you didn’t call me in here just to delay my -- my meeting.”

Chakwas affected to look innocent but only succeeded in looking smug. “I’m a medical professional, Commander,” she said. “I wouldn’t dream of it. Now if you would just lie back down --”

“I’m going to blow up Medbay,” Shepard snarled. “I’m going to throw you out the airlock, I’m going to feed you to a --”

“Oh Commander, you can go,” said Chakwas. She wasn’t even bothering to hide her laughter anymore. “And just be glad it was I who waylaid you and not Doctor T’Soni. Her plans were much more devious and time-consuming.”

Shepard almost paused to ask just what, exactly, Liara had planned. But Garrus was in the Main Battery, warm and alive and presumably just as anxious as she...

Shepard took off at a run.

Killing Liara could wait for another day.


5. In Which James Vega Experiences A Paradigm Shift

Moving only slightly slower than the speed of light, Shepard shot through the mess hall, completely not hearing Vega’s greeting.

“Hey Shep -- huh?” Without even a glance in his direction, she flew down to the door of the Main Battery and bounced on the balls of her feet, waiting for the door to open.

Shepard...bouncing? This was even weirder than Shepard blushing.

Vega watched as the door to the Main Battery slid open and Shepard slipped inside. He caught a glimpse of Vakarian’s back before the door closed.

“Huh,” he said again. “Must be important.”

On the other side of the table, Cortez laughed.

“What?” When Cortez didn’t answer, Vega flicked a forkful of reconstituted hamburger at him. “What?

“Nothing,” said Cortez. “You’re right, though. It’s very important.”

“Well, Vakarian’s some big shot in the turian Hierarchy now, right? Reaper advisor and all that. He probably knows more about what the turian military is doing than that new Primarch.” Vega leaned back in his chair. “And he was with Shepard when she went up against Saren and the Collectors. They’re probably catchin’ up.”

Cortez made an indistinct little noise and reapplied himself to his reconstituted salad. It looked like mulch. More importantly, it smelled like mulch.

“Esteban, I don’t know how you eat that shit. It looks like something that came out of the business end of a varren.”

“Do you spend a lot of time looking at the business end of varren?” asked Cortez. Vega spluttered, then laughed.

“Well, at least I eat real food.” He looked down at his plate. Hamburger still looked like hamburger, no matter what you did to it, but what he really wanted was scrambled eggs, smothered in cheese and peppers. And fish tacos, cold beer, fresh coffee with just a splash of milk, onion rings, ballpark hot dogs --

He pushed the rest of his food away. Cortez glanced up.

“Jealousy giving you a stomachache, Mr. Vega?”

“Jealousy?” Cortez might as well have been speaking in code. “Dude, I got no idea what you mean. I’m just bummed about the food.”

Cortez nodded. “Of course you are,” he said, with a bizarre note of sympathy. “I understand, James. But you had to know that as soon as she knew he was alive, there was no chance --”

“Wait, what the hell you talking about? As soon as who knew who was alive?”

Cortez blinked, his mouth hanging open, and then he howled with laughter. Absolutely howled, and came within a centimeter of smacking his head on the table as he bent forward.

“Oh my God,” he gasped. “Oh my God, this is amazing. You have no idea. The worst-kept secret in the entire galaxy and you have no idea.

It was a testament to Vega’s good nature that he didn’t snap Cortez in half and use the splintered bones to pick his teeth. Instead, he summoned all his self-control and said, “So help me, Esteban, you better tell me what’s up or...”

He paused to let the threat sink in, but Cortez kept laughing. Eventually the laugh turned into giggles, then the giggles finally turned into Cortez trying to catch his breath. He wiped his eyes and grinned.

“Give me a moment, I want to savor this.” He took a deep breath.

“Shepard and Vakarian are...together.”

Everything went a little sideways for a moment. Vega couldn’t dredge up a verbal response, but the inside of his brain was a mess.

They might be naked right now

Oh shit do not think about Shepard naked

Do not think about Vakarian naked either

How do they work

Are they doing it on top of the guns

What goes where

Stop thinking about all of this

Vega came back to himself with a bump. Shepard...and Vakarian. Possibly right now, Shepard and Vakarian.

Cortez smirked at him, but after what felt like a forced reboot of his nervous system, Vega found he didn’t really care.

“Eh,” he said. “I’m not mad. Flirtin’s just my way of being friendly. And if they’re happy, I’m happy. Vakarian’s a good soldier. I’m proud to fight with him.”

Cortez’s smile turned genuine. “Good man,” he said, and went back to his shitty-smelling salad.

Vega couldn’t stop himself from thinking of one last question.

I wonder if he leaves the visor on?

He had the feeling that whether he wanted to or not, he'd be wondering about that for a while.


6. In Which There Is (Finally) A Reunion

Garrus wasn't just calibrating when Shepard finally made it into the Main Battery. He was talking to the Primarch. Shepard almost about-faced and left.

After a second of indecision, she stayed. Garrus would end the conversation if he thought there might be something she shouldn’t hear, but he kept talking. Not only did he keep talking, but he talked about faith -- faith in her, her abilities, her work. It was enough to make her eyes sting and her cheeks flush.

The conversation ended. He turned around slowly, and she made some joke about the guns. Garrus took it in good humor, then hunched almost imperceptibly, some shroud of confidence falling away.

“So...yeah. Is this the part where we...shake hands? Wasn’t sure what the protocol was on reunions. Or if you even still felt the same way about me. The scars are starting to fade, I remember they drove you wild.”

“I can still see them well enough,” she replied, and he relaxed a little. “Besides, it seems like you already knew the protocol for reunions. At least for ours.” Garrus took a step closer.

“Is that so? I thought I’d crossed some line.” He was close enough for her to feel the slight electric texture of the air as it passed over his armor.

“Well, if we’d kept up with the way that reunion was going, we would’ve scandalized the new Primarch.”

“Turians aren’t quite so high-minded as humans are, when it comes to -- reunions. Or many other things.”

Shepard gripped the edge of his collar and pulled him down, almost till their mouths were touching. “That information would have been pertinent, Vakarian,” she breathed from bare inches away.

He shuddered.

“Six months,” she said, and slid her other hand down the front of his armor to where his waist narrowed. He could only feel the pressure of her hand, not the warmth, but his shudder grew. “All I had to keep me company was a handful of memories.”

“Shepard --”

“Don’t interrupt when I’m reminiscing, Garrus.” She let her hand drift a little lower, stopping just before her hand met the curved metal between his legs. “Just a -- well, maybe a little more than a handful.”

His eyes were fixed on her mouth, and oh, the ideas that gave her. Not that she was lacking for those -- six months of forced isolation had made her very creative. When she leaned in to sigh along the line of his neck, she smiled at the shiver that ran through him.

“I got really good at getting myself off with just my fingers,” she whispered into the corner of his mouth. “Five minute long showers, and toward the end I could get myself off twice.” Garrus groaned and leaned into her. She rested her shoulders against the wall behind her to support his weight.

“I pitied you, Garrus. At least I had privacy, but wherever you were, I thought you’d be surrounded by other turians. Now I know they wouldn’t care if you got off in your bunk. So I guess my question is, what did you think about?”

“Shepard --” He sounded like he was begging.

“Oh come on, Garrus, you have to remember something. Was it how I jerked you off in the shower?” His breath came in hot pants against her neck. “Or maybe it was when you took me from behind on the couch.”

“Or maybe -- maybe it was that last night, when I made you stay completely still while I sucked your cock?” The noise that came out of Garrus was inhuman in the best way, a long roll of need that sent prickles all over Shepard’s skin. “You came with your cock halfway down my throat. Do you remember that?” She tilted her head back to see his eyes. “I do. I got off thinking about it. What you tasted like, how you felt in my mouth.” Her nipples were hard, and even the soft shells of her bra were too much. She wanted the velvet pads of his hands.

“Garrus,” she whispered. She didn’t even need to try to sound breathless anymore. “Garrus, tell me what you remember.”

He groaned again, a note that hit her right between the legs. And then he moved, like liquid, and pulled her pants off her hips, down to her knees.

“I remember,” he growled. “I remember --”

Instead of finishing the sentence, Garrus spun her by the waist and pinned her to the wall. With one hand he held her wrists above her head, and with the other, he made a short, jerky movement near his waist.

Shepard heard the distinctive sound of armor hitting the floor, and then the wet, heavy length of his cock slid up the inside of her thigh.

“Oh god, Garrus --” He’s going to fuck me against the wall, she thought, and the image spun giddy heat in her belly. Memories collided in her head -- laughing in bed as his spurs brushed her bare legs, the feel of his teeth on her thighs, the noise he made just before he came -- and she pressed back against him, silently begging for more.

He rolled his hips, his cock passing over the cleft of her ass and down to slide over her slick cunt.

“What I remember is how wet you get,” he said. She tried not to scream when he teased her, barely entering her before pulling back. “That’s what I got off to. Every night.”

She moaned as he kept up the slow motion of his hips. Just a little farther, and he’d be buried inside her. It took more self-control than she wanted to admit to stop herself from pushing back onto his cock.

“And the more I teased you, the wetter you’d get.” He paused, and gave her his version of a smile before he leaned in. His cock was heavy and hot against her, so close, so goddamn close. His free hand slipped around her and in between her legs. Somehow, he’d managed to take his glove off without her noticing. His fingers were hot as they parted the folds of her cunt, spreading her open before sliding back to press against her clitoris.

“But I’m not going to take you here.” He pressed into her, right against her ass, and the familiar pulse throbbed deep in her cunt. “I’m going to wait until you beg, and then --”

“Then what?” she gasped.

She felt Garrus’ smile as he bent down to bite her neck.

Before Shepard had turned herself in, she and Garrus had only a few weeks to learn each other, and their study was by no means exhaustive. As hard as it was to imagine, there were still undiscovered places on her body -- and on his -- where a touch would bring a sigh or shiver.

Of course, the old favorites weren’t going to be neglected, and the neck-biting had always been at the top of her list. Garrus never broke the skin -- he barely left marks -- but she felt each tooth like a point of ice against her skin. It never failed -- five minutes with Garrus’ hands on her, and she was a sweaty, flushed mess. And, being a turian, he loved the extra heat. Not to mention the way he could trace her arousal as her flush spread from her face, down over her neck to cover her breasts and shoulderblades.

He let go of her wrists to trace her spine with a still-gloved talon. Shepard kept her hands in place, and by the pleased sigh he made when he reached the small of her back, that had been what he hoped she’d do. His other hand still teased her, making light circles over her clitoris that didn’t give her any relief but left her feeling swollen and breathless.

“My task force always wondered why I never took advantage of the hospitality we encountered,” he said into her ear. “They were never shy about it.”

“What? You’re telling me you were never tempted?” It was hard to keep her voice light and challenging when his other hand came around to spread her wide again.

“Tempted? Of course I was. Briefly,” he amended quickly, and she laughed. “In the end, it always came back to you. So whenever I was tempted, I thought of something else I wanted to try with you. The list,” he slipped a finger into her, so quickly she didn’t have time to gasp, “is very long.”

“Oh -- oh -- lots of temptation then?” She wanted to grind down onto his hand, especially after he brought his thumb up to play at her clitoris. “Your self-control amazes me, Garrus.”

He bit at her neck again, harder this time. “Quiet, you. I just said I was tempted, not that I strayed.”

“I’m not doubting you, Garrus.” She wasn’t. They hadn’t said goodbye with any promises of fidelity, but she’d planned to stay faithful, and had an idea he meant to do the same.

“Good.” He licked a stripe up from the curve of her shoulder to just under her ear. “Are you ready to move this someplace else?”

Oh God yes please,” Shepard breathed, relieved beyond words that they were finally getting beyond teasing. His cot wasn’t ideal, but it would do. They could have round two in her cabin.

She was completely stunned when his hands left her, and he stepped away.

“Wait -- what? What are you doing?” She turned around, almost tripping when her pants tangled around her ankles, and saw him fitting his armor back into place. “Garrus, you’re -- you’re actually scaring me.”

He laughed. “Shepard. I’m making sure this will last.”

He was doing what?

“I have killed countless hundreds, Garrus,” she said carefully, so there was no chance he would misunderstand. “Some of them with my bare hands. And if this is some joke, I have no problem adding you to the body count. What are you doing?”

Garrus had her pinned back against the wall a heartbeat later, his face filling her vision. “Get dressed,” he growled, low enough for the words to be barely above a rumble. “We’re going to your cabin, because otherwise I’d go maybe three seconds inside you, and I want this to last.”

She blinked at him before nodding. He stepped away and watched, all hungry eyes, while she pulled up her pants with shaking hands. The ache in her cunt had been replaced by an almost painful buzz of thwarted desire. She had no doubt that she still looked flushed, and that her hair was a mess, but Garrus was all quiet composure as he took her hand and led her out into the mess hall.

Vega and Cortez were still at the table, but neither of them looked up when she and Garrus passed. She had a warped idea about sitting down and making Garrus wait while she had a long discussion about upgrades to the armory, but judging by the way Garrus’ hand tightened on hers, he’d anticipated that kind of retaliation.

It wasn’t like she could honestly expect to survive that without going crazy, either.

The walk to the elevator gave her enough time to come up with another idea. She got on first, and edged behind Garrus as the door closed. Her hands -- nimble human hands -- moved too fast to catch, and she knew the clasps of his armor by heart now. With her right hand, she hit the privacy mode on the elevator, and with her left, she undid the clasps at his groin.

“You’re a bastard, Garrus,” she said as she pressed up tight against his back. “A genius, but a bastard, and if I don’t kill you for being the biggest tease in the galaxy, I’m going to keep you locked in my cabin forever.”

“That -- that I could deal with,” he panted as her hand closed around his cock, and gave it one long stroke from base to tip. “Just don’t -- aah -- don’t stop, please.”

“Now who’s begging?” She hid her smirk against his back. It was tricky to get a good rhythm going from her position, but when she added a twist at the end of her stroke, just a wicked turn of her wrist, Garrus almost sobbed.

“Shepard, you hit the privacy mode, didn’t you?” When she didn’t reply, he shuddered.

“Please tell me you did. If anyone opens that door --” His voice was almost panicked, but he was getting even harder in her hand.

Note to self: Garrus has an exhibitionist streak.

“What’s wrong, Garrus? Afraid of a little exposure?” She started stroking him faster, hoping she could still read the signs in his body and wouldn’t push him over the edge by accident.

“Shepard, please, please just tell me --”

“Oh fine, you’re no fun. Of course I did.” He relaxed obviously enough for her to feel it through his armor, and she slowed her strokes to match her heartbeat. “I don’t want any interruptions, as funny as it would be for Traynor to catch us.”


“The new Kelly. Sort of.”

“Oh no...”

“Relax, she’s not half bad. She --” Whatever Shepard was going to say was lost when the elevator came to a stop and the door slid open. She’d never been so happy to see her cabin in her life. Her cunt still ached.

She let go of Garrus’ cock and tried to slip out ahead of him, but he caught her wrist and shoved her back up against the wall. He shoved a hand under her shirt, cupping her breast through her bra.

“Never understood the appeal of breasts before I learned what you sound like when I do this.” He caught and rolled her nipple through the shell of her bra, exquisitely slowly, with enough pressure to make every nerve come alive and singing. She whimpered, arching into his hand, and Garrus flicked his mandibles in a wide grin.

“Yes, that noise. I’ve missed it. Almost as much as I missed what you sound like when I use my tongue on you.”

“Garrus -- bed -- now --” She pushed at his carapace with her free hand. “Please, I’m going to lose my mind.”

“If you say so,” he said, so damn smug she could have punched him. He lifted her easily, kicking the loose pieces of his armor ahead of him into the hallway, and carried her into her cabin.


Shepard didn’t care if they never made it to the bed. Good thing, because they didn’t.

Garrus bypassed the shower for the table in front of the couch. He laid her down gently as his need allowed and knelt between her legs.


“Hold still,” he said as his eyes traced her body.

“Something wrong?” she asked, when he was silent long enough to make her squirm.

“You’re curvier than I remember,” he said. Part of her didn’t want to be reminded of sitting on her ass for six months, but she pushed it down and smiled.

“Only a little,” she said, pitching her voice down a few notes. “You should take a closer look.” She reached down to pull off her shirt, taking her time with it when she felt his hands on her waist. Garrus caught her hands and held them down before she could strip the shirt off.

“Hey!” she hissed, but shut her mouth with a snap when he breathed close against her breastbone.

Garrus looked up. “You were saying?”

She shook her head. “Nothing. Carry on.”

A chuckle rumbled in his chest and over her skin to where her nipples puckered in the cool air. Garrus slid his hand up from her waist to pull away her bra and cup her breast, squeezing gently. And then, with the kind of deliberate slowness he only reserved for these moments, he bent his head and touched the tip of his tongue to her nipple.

Shepard arched off the desk, a whine building in her throat, pushing against his hand, his mouth. He laughed again, but he swirled his tongue over her nipple and left a wet line behind to cool on her skin.

Garrus toyed with her breasts until she was breathless and straining, with nips and bites against the fullest curves before teasing her nipples with the barest touch of his rough tongue. When she pulled against the hand holding her down, he growled and scraped his teeth over one nipple to make her shriek.

The skin between her breasts was slick with sweat by the time Garrus finally pulled up to give her his best approximation of a kiss. He was careful not to let the hard points of his armor catch her skin, but Shepard was beyond caring. She pushed into the kiss, moaning when his mouth opened against hers and his tongue traced the line of her lower lip.

“You taste --”

“Like you, and you love it,” he answered. “Don’t try denying it.” He let go of her hands, but stopped her when she tried to finished taking off her shirt.

“No, no. Let me. I missed this.” His hands pulled the shirt over her head, and with a smug flare of his mandibles, he reached under her and flicked her bra clasp open.

She laughed. “Oh, please. Show-off.”

“It’s not showing off when you’re an expert,” he replied, and tugged open her pants. “Lift your hips.”

As soon as she obeyed, Garrus hooked his fingers through both her pants and panties and pulled them off -- no mean feat, since her boots were still on. A moment later, those were gone too. His hands shook as he undid the clasps of his armor, then stripped away the soft undersuit.

What happened next was unexpected.

Instead of teasing her more, or kissing her, or making some smart-ass comment, Garrus stood up. Instead of telling her to move, he stared down at her, his face unreadable. Not for the first time, she was struck by how alien he was, in the purest sense. He came from a different world, with a different sun and sky, the end product of an evolution completely separate from hers. And yet.

She imagined herself from his perspective. Everything familiar to her -- her red hair, her scarred and freckled skin, her crooked toes and calloused hands -- was still new to him.

She lifted her arms above her head and stretched. “If you need a refresher, I’d be happy to point you in the right direction,” she told him in her best imitation of a purr.

“I know what I want to do. I just want to look at you.”

“Then look away,” she said. She lifted one leg to bend at the knee while she rested her heel on the table, and ran a hand over the shallow ridge of her hip to part the lips of her cunt. Her hips jerked as she circled her clitoris once, the nerve endings flaring. Garrus’ eyes followed the movement helplessly.

“Do it,” he told her. “Get yourself --”

She raised an eyebrow.

When he spoke again, his voice was bedrock-solid.

“I want to watch you get yourself off,” he said. “Now.”

What? Too lazy to do it yourself? was the first thing Shepard wanted to say, but the look on Garrus’ face was completely serious. Under that kind of scrutiny, any teasing died away. She let her legs fall open.

Garrus’ breath caught in his throat.

She wanted to watch his face, but she’d been on edge too long. Seconds after she started, she had to close her eyes. Her clitoris was swollen and almost too sensitive to touch, but she pushed her hips against her hand, chasing the relief.

It wasn’t going to take long, not after all the teasing, but she wanted to make sure Garrus got a good show. She slipped two fingers into her cunt, thrusting slowly. When she heard Garrus start to pant, she added a third finger.

The stretch was more than she was used to, but when she crooked her fingers and clenched around them, the muscles in her thighs tightened on reflex.

The pleasure rippled out of her cunt in thick waves. She tried to keep a steady rhythm, rocking her fingers up, seeking the slightly rough patch of flesh -- and there.

“Oh god, oh god, Garrus --” He groaned. She forced her eyes open as she kept up her slow, relentless rhythm.

Garrus wasn’t touching himself. His hands were fisted at his sides, his eyes focused unblinkingly where her fingers disappeared into her slick cunt.

The thought that Garrus wanted to watch her so badly he wouldn’t distract himself by getting off destroyed her control. She thrust hard into her cunt, grinding the heel of her hand into her clitoris, and held her breath when she felt the first spasm squeeze her fingers.

She cried out once when she couldn’t stay quiet any longer. Her fingers curled over the smooth muscles of her cunt, pulling out every last pleasure-burst until she was weak and gasping on the table. Her inner thighs were flushed and wet.

Garrus stared at her. He looked stricken.

She reached out to him with her free hand. “Come on, Garrus.” Her voice wasn’t louder than a whisper. “Come on, please. I want you inside me.”

He made a broken noise and fell to his knees, one low note scraping out of his throat as he pulled her down. His cock pressed against her. When he paused to watch her face, she lifted her hips and slipped down onto his cock with a sigh.

Garrus bared his teeth as she slid over him. His hands pinned her thighs to the table. The position was uncomfortable, guaranteed to be painful in a few minutes, but for the moment all of that was lost in the sensation of being filled. She lifted her hands over her head and gripped the edge of the table to brace herself.

Maddeningly, Garrus didn’t move. He held still, until she started to writhe and squirm, grinding her hips down to get closer, take more of him in. Only then did he start to thrust -- shallow at first, with spare movements of his hips that made her breath hitch and come in gasps.

Any other time, she’d be furious that he was forcing these noises out of her, helpless little mewls and whines as she tried to hook her ankles around his waist to pull him into her.

“Just enjoy it,” he scolded gently, and she hissed up at him. He laughed, and she retaliated by clenching down hard around his cock until his laughter turned into a moan.

“Shepard --” Garrus warned. “Do that again, and I’m not responsible for what happens.”

She bit her lip and pretended to consider the warning. Then she clenched again, relishing the way his cock twitched deep inside her.

A growl broke out of him. She tightened her grip on the table.

“Come on, Garrus,” she challenged. “You haven’t forgotten how to fuck me, have you? Too busy playing advisor to remember what your cock does?”

His rhythm stuttered, but Garrus was almost as stubborn as she was, and after an obvious attempt to steady himself, he kept rocking into her, even slower than before.

He could fuck her speechless if he wanted, and he had, but it looked like she would have to talk him into it.

“Looks like you forgot everything I like.” Garrus closed his eyes. Shepard felt his hands shake where they gripped her thighs. She let her voice drop as low and husky as it could. “I like it when you fuck me so hard I can hear how wet I am --”

Garrus shoved her legs flush against her belly and moved into a half-crouch. “I haven’t forgotten anything,” he said, and punctuated the sentence by pulling her hips down in a sharp jerk. “Not how you smell, not how you sound --” he thrust, until the wide base of his cock spread her open and she squealed, rocking back against him, “not how you beg. So tell me again how I’ve forgotten how to fuck you.”

Shepard shuddered. Garrus didn’t swear as a rule, and that word, in his voice --

“Tell me,” he said. In this position, she couldn’t last long -- he was so deep it was painful, but the burn was worth it to feel the rough surface of his plates rub against her skin.

“Please,” she gasped. “More.”

“Gladly,” answered Garrus, and Shepard screamed. His rhythm was harsh, unforgiving. She had to scrabble for a hold when he slammed into her. She could feel her breasts bouncing with every thrust, and knew he had to be watching too when he smoothed his palms over them, soothing her hot skin.

She was on the edge of asking him to stop and let her find a better position when his thumb came down on her clitoris, his other hand toying with her nipple. It was too much -- the tight knot of heat in her cunt, the too-sensitive skin on her breasts -- she was overloading, god, she had missed him so much -- but what ruined her was the gentle way he nudged his mouth against her neck to lick away her sweat.

Shepard came apart with a sob, clenching and driving down onto Garrus’ cock as each spasm washed through her. He kept thrusting, stringing out his pleasure until she was limp and panting on the table. When she opened her eyes, he was watching her face.

She nodded and lifted her legs to wrap around his waist. Later, when they weren’t so desperate, she would take her time and re-explore the subtler ways to make him shiver, but she wanted to feel him come, and she wanted to feel it now.

It took her two tries to sit up, but when she did she looped her arms around his neck and pulled herself close. He slid his hands under her ass, careful with his talons, and muffled his groans against her hair.

“Please,” she said again. “Come on, Garrus.”

He hummed at her. She could feel the vibration like it was in her own muscles. The change in position meant her hips didn’t ache warningly, but now there was nothing between the thin skin of her breasts and his carapace. She'd had marks for days.

Oh well, she thought hazily. Worth it.

“She-- Shepard --” he panted. She tightened her legs around his waist, ignoring the ache in her hips, and licked a trail up the edge of one mandible.

He came quietly, his hands squeezing her almost painfully the only outward sign, but she knew by the way his thrusts stopped that he’d fallen over the edge. She clenched down again and again, working his cock through its spasms until he gasped and jerked away.

Garrus let his head fall back, breathing in great greedy inhales. Shepard leaned forward and ran her tongue over the warm hide at his neck. He huffed a laugh and ran his talons over her back, humming when she shivered.

They separated slowly. She’d have to shower, and soon, or there would be an awkward conversation with Chakwas in the morning.

Garrus wavered when he stood up. She put a hand on his arm to steady him, just in case. He gave her a half-hearted noise of protest before he bent down to help her up.

“Well,” they said simultaneously. She snorted. Garrus tried and failed to look dignified.

“Bed?” he asked. She nodded, then shook her head.

“Not yet. Need a shower first.”

“Mmm, a shower,” he purred. “Sounds perfect.”

“Nuh-uh, Garrus. This is a strictly PG-rated shower. I couldn’t handle another reunion quite so soon.”

“Such a disappointment,” he sighed. “Fine. And because I’m so kind, I’ll even wash your back.”

“I knew there was a reason I got you off that moon.”

“The Primarch was just an added bonus,” he said agreeably, and tucked her hand into both of his. Her throat squeezed shut.

“Welcome back, Garrus.” She swallowed hard. He waited, patient as ever, for what she had to say. “I couldn’t do this without you.”

“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.” He rested his forehead on hers before dipping his head to touch his mouth to her lips. “Shepard and Vakarian, together again. The Reapers don’t know what’s coming.”

She grinned. “No, they really don’t.”