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At midnight, Shepard found herself in the mess hall of the Normandy. She flicked the kettle and let the water boil, pulling out her N7 mug. N7 didn't actually have souvenir mugs, but a few months ago Garrus had had one custom-made for her birthday. It was her favourite present, but she'd never admit that or Garrus would never stop gloating. Of course, she'd returned the favour with a custom made Codename: Archangel mug.

The kettle clicked off and Shepard made herself a cup of instant coffee. They'd recently switched to an asari brand, and Shepard didn't like it – even though she was the only one who drank it. She blew on her mug to cool down her drink and moved to sit at the table. She should really get to the war room and check her assets, they might have changed in the three hours of sleep Shepard had taken. They were always changing, and not always for the better. It kept her on her toes, at least.

There was always something to do in this war. Always too many jobs and not enough time. She hadn't had a proper nights sleep since... well, since leaving Earth. Nightmares plagued her. Usually though, she woke because she realised there was something else she needed to do. There was always a report that needed writing, a councillor that needed updating. Always something.

Shepard took her first sip of coffee, just as the doors to the main battery opened and Garrus walked out. He was in a tight fitting outfit that Shepard assumed were his pyjamas. It was a weird – though not terrible – look on him. She was so used to seeing him in clunky armour.

He walked down the catwalk towards the mess hall, and nodded at her. Shepard frowned back at him, annoyance prickling up her spine. She looked up at the camera on the ceiling.

“No, Joker,” Shepard said, forcing Garrus to stop his journey to the kitchen.

“Do you hear me? No! I'm not going back to bed! There's too much to do, and I can't sleep our time away,” Shepard glared up at the camera. When no response came, she continued, “I mean it! Ignore me all you want but I'm not going back to my cabin! You can send whoever you want out here but it's not worked so far, so why would it work now?”

“Uh... Shepard?” Garrus asked.

Shepard raised her hand to silence him, not taking her eyes off the camera, “Liara, Tali, Vega, and now Garrus, do you really think I'm that easily manipulated? Just give it up and get some rest yourself.”

Garrus put the kettle back on to boil and Shepard rose from her seat to face him. She took her coffee mug over the island counter and stared at him. He flared out his mandibles in a nervous smile.

“It's not going to work,” Shepard said.

“The kettle?” Garrus asked.

“The plan. I know what you're doing,” Shepard raised her voice, “What you're all doing!”

“Ah, is this sleepwalking? EDI told me about it, it sounded weirder than this,” Garrus mused.

Shepard shook her head and took a swig of coffee. It had gone like this almost every night, since Joker had caught her walking around the ship in the middle of the night last week. He claimed she was under too much stress and sleep deprivation was going to make it worse, but Shepard didn't need to be babied. She was a grown woman, she could survive on an average of four hours sleep each night. It wasn't an issue.

Joker hadn't been able to convince her so he'd recruited others to help. First it had been Liara, who had coincidentally come to make a coffee as soon as Shepard had. She had told a short story about her own sleepless nights before unsubtly trying to corral Shepard into the lift and back to her cabin. Shepard had waited a whole two minutes before leaving her cabin and heading down to the war room.

The next night, Tali had tried. She had stumbled out of the lift, still yawning, when Shepard sat down with her coffee. Shepard was immediately suspicious and began checking the kitchen for some kind of movement sensor that would notify various members of her crew if Shepard entered. Tali had put down her odd behaviour to sleep deprivation and recited some memorised speech about humans requiring seven to nine hours each night. By the end of her speech, Tali had fallen back to sleep at the mess table. Shepard had gone to the war room.

Vega had been the least subtle of all. He had walked up to Shepard in his pyjamas and ordered her back to bed. Shepard had ordered him back to bed and threatened to report him for insubordination if he refused. He had walked back to his bedroom, mumbling about her being loco. Shepard had, once again, gone to the war room.

Now it was apparently Garrus's turn, and Shepard was prepared to fend off his attempts.

“I didn't know you were such a good actor, Vakarian, maybe you can pursue that after the war,” Shepard said, wiping a hand over her forehead.

Garrus nodded and dropped a spoonful of something, that looked like coffee but didn't smell like it, into his mug. He poured the hot water in, “I should get EDI, she'll know what to do.”

"I'm not sleepwalking,” Shepard said.

“Oh?” Garrus asked, looking genuinely shocked. He was a good actor, but Shepard wasn't going to be fooled.

“What are you doing up?” Shepard asked, “Did something wake you, say, a crippled helmsman that's going to take a long trip out of the airlock tomorrow?”

“Joker didn't wake me,” Garrus said.

“Then what? A sensor in the kitchen? Are my pyjamas hooked up to a GPS tracker? Does everyone get notified when I boil the kettle? What?” Shepard asked, starting to get angry now. It was one thing to try to manoeuvrer her to bed and a whole other thing to lie to her.

Garrus leaned his elbows on the other side of the counter and brought his face level with Shepard's, “Shepard, I have no idea what you're talking about.”

Shepard stared into Garrus's eyes looking for any kind of sign he was lying. Not even his mandibles twitched, and she sighed. Maybe he was innocent, after all she didn't know how much sleep turians required. Maybe they had a different sleeping pattern to the rest of the crew. For all she knew, he was up at midnight every night like her.

“Fine,” Shepard conceded. She was willing to believe him, for now. “Why are you up?”

Garrus turned away from Shepard and stirred his drink a few times, “You're not the only one having trouble sleeping.”

“So you do know about my sleep issues?” Shepard asked, shooting a glare at the camera above her.

“Everyone does, Shepard. It's not a secret.” Garrus picked up his drink and sat at the dining table. When Shepard didn't join him, he turned in his seat to face her and patted the chair next to him.

Shepard allowed herself to relax. From the look of things, Garrus wasn't going to try to force her to bed. She joined him at the dining table, and took a long drink of her coffee. It was beginning to cool, she'd need another one before she even got to the War Room.

“I haven't had a full night's sleep since Palaven,” Garrus said. He turned to look at her, “And I'm guessing it's been the same for you since Earth.”

“I can't sleep while it burns,” Shepard admitted.

It was the first time she'd admitted it out loud. Until now, she'd told people she was too busy, had too many things to do, and didn't they know there was a war on? But the truth was, she felt too guilty to sleep. She had left Earth when it needed her most. She'd had to, but that didn't make her feel any better about it.

As though reading her mind, Garrus said, “How can we sleep while they fight without rest?”

“We can't,” Shepard said. After a pause, she corrected herself, “I can't, it's my job to make sure the rest of you can. I'm your Commander, and I can order to you sleep.”

“What's that old human saying? You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him swim.”

“Drink,” Shepard said.

“Right, that,” Garrus let out a breathy laugh.

Shepard smiled. He was right, she could tell him to sleep but she couldn't make him. She turned to stare at the medbay. Chakwas was probably fast asleep in there, probably thanks to some experimental sleep aide. Shepard would have to ask her for it and slip it into her crew's food one evening.

Garrus and Shepard sat in amicable silence, drinking their drinks and staring off into the distance. Shepard finished her coffee and pushed her mug away to lean her elbows on the table. She was tired, even though she'd never admit it. Her body was aching and her eyes were dry and itchy. She'd had a headache since last week, and it only got worse with every night lost in the War Room. She let her eyes drift shut and rested her head in her hands.

Garrus pressed his hand against her back tentatively, “Shepard?”

“Mhm?” Shepard hummed.

“Do you want me to help you to your cabin?”

Shepard opened her eyes. She stretched, hearing her joints pop loudly. Shaking her head, she leaned back in her chair. Garrus removed his hand before it was crushed and it left a warm space where it had been. After finishing his own drink, Garrus pushed his mug away so it was next to Shepard's. The two mugs sat side-by-side like Garrus and Shepard did, N7 and Archangel, first human spectre and Palaven's reaper expert, two soldiers fighting a war that was greater than themselves.

“Another coffee?” Garrus asked.

“Please,” Shepard said.

Garrus scooped up their mugs and went to the kitchen. Shepard stayed at the table, listening to the kettle boil, to Garrus rooting around in the cupboards for the coffee. It was nice to not be alone for once. When Joker and his minions had come to try to manipulate her into bed, they hadn't actually talked to her. They'd told her she was tired, told her she needed to sleep, but none of them had thought to actually talk to her.

It wasn't their fault, they were just worried about Shepard and unsure of how to show it. They had wanted her to be better, but didn't know how to make her be so. Shepard hadn't helped by brushing them off without a second thought.

Garrus returned to the table and placed her drink in front of her. Shepard wrapped her fingers around the cup, only realising how cold they were when they began to burn. It was always cold on the ship at this time of night. The only room that wasn't cold was Shepard's cabin, and she wasn't about to go back there.

“So, you don't want to go to your room, do you want to come to mine?” Garrus asked. Shepard smirked and Garrus's mandibles moved tight to his face in embarrassment, “Ah, that's not how that was supposed to come out.”

“Don't worry about it, I won't tell the Alliance you tried coming on to me,” Shepard teased.

“I didn't.”

Shepard gasped, “Garrus! Are you saying you don't want me to come to your room for a night of rampant-”

“Yes! That's exactly what I'm saying,” Garrus interrupted quickly, his neck turning a deeper shade of blue, “I was actually about to start Fleet and Flotilla season four.”

Shepard arched her eyebrow, and Garrus elaborated, “Tali got me into it.”

“Yeah, she got me too,” Shepard smiled, blowing on her coffee to cool it down, “But I'm only up to season three.”

“I'll watch it again, I can't for you to see episode seven, it's... I hate Tali,” Garrus shook his head, but Shepard knew he was only covering up his own interest in the show. On more than one occasion, Shepard had overheard him and Tali discussing the show over the intercom.

Garrus got up from the table and headed up the catwalk to the main battery. Shepard picked up her own drink and followed him. This didn't count as going to bed, because it wasn't her bed. Garrus opened the door to the main battery, glancing back to check Shepard was still with him. Inside the main battery, Garrus lead Shepard down the stairs and around the battery to a storage cupboard she'd never paid attention to before.

The cupboard was much larger than Shepard expected, it was big enough for a double bed and a bedside table with a few personal affects on them. Garrus settled onto the bed and Shepard went to his bedside table out of curiosity. She set down her mug and picked up a photo frame. She recognised Garrus stood with two other turians, one male and another female. They all wore the same clan markings.

“This your family?” Shepard asked.

“Dad and sister, yeah,” Garrus said, fiddling with his omnitool.

Shepard put the frame down, it was probably best to avoid that topic at this time of night. She picked up a small circular thing. She flipped it around in her hands and found a button on the side.

Garrus looked up, “Wait, don't press-”

Shepard had already pressed it. A holographic image sprang from the circular device and Shepard dropped it in shock. The holo began to grow until it was the same size as Shepard. Soon she was staring at herself in holo form. She frowned at Garrus.

“Good to meet you, I'm Commander Shepard, Alliance Navy,” The VI said.

“You have a Shepard VI?” Shepard demanded.

“Wait, she's about to say my favourite line,” Garrus said.

“Anyone ever tell you you're one hell of a looker, soldier?” The VI said.

Shepard shook her head and Garrus laughed. He leaned over the edge of his bed to shut the VI off, he chucked the circular device back onto his bedside table.

"Joker bought everyone one when they first came out.”

“I'm sure he did,” Shepard said, mentally adding another reason to her long list of reasons for killing Joker.

Garrus brought up a screen on his omnitool and gestured for Shepard to join him on his bed. She climbed up next to him, keeping a respectable distance between them. They were probably breaking about a hundred Alliance rules, but Shepard couldn't find it in herself to care. Garrus's bed was a lot comfier than she'd expected, but also a lot colder.

“I'm up to episode two,” Shepard said and Garrus queued up the episode.


* * *


By the time they reached episode four, Shepard was under the covers and curled up, facing Garrus and his omnitool. Garrus was under the covers too, his head propped up on two pillows and his arm resting in the space between him and Shepard. Yawning, Shepard let her eyes drift shut as the opening theme for Fleet and Flotilla played. She was asleep before the episode even started.


* * *


Almost five hours later, Shepard woke up, a chill creeping up her exposed arm. It took her a few seconds to realise where she was, and when she did, she didn't feel at all embarrassed for falling asleep. Next to her, lit by the glow of his omnitool, lay Garrus, fast asleep. Shepard reached over and shut off his omnitool. He sighed sleepily and rolled over towards her.

Even from across the bed, Shepard could feel how warm he was. Palaven was a few degrees hotter than where Shepard had been born, and Garrus always ran slightly hotter than she did. Even as the chill crept in through the walls, Garrus was probably toasty warm. Shepard resisted the almost overwhelming urge to shuffle closer to him and steal his heat.

Instead, she got out of bed. It was almost five in the morning, according to her omnitool, and she couldn't be seen leaving Garrus's room when her crew started making breakfast. So, as much as she didn't want to, she left Garrus's warmth and crept across the room. Her coffee mug was still on his bedside table and she decided to leave it, as a reminder to him and herself, that she'd fallen asleep here. Almost five hours was more than she'd gotten in a long time.

She left the main battery and went to the War Room.


* * *


Two nights passed, and Shepard didn't see Garrus again. She went to the kitchen at midnight, as usual, and made her coffee. She hung around for half an hour, and eventually went to the War Room. Joker didn't send anyone after her, and Shepard actually managed to get some work done.

On the third night, Garrus was already in the kitchen when she arrived. He greeted her and passed her a cup of freshly made coffee.

“How did you know I'd be here?” Shepard asked.

“Aren't you always?” Garrus picked up his own drink and headed towards his room. When Shepard didn't follow, he asked, “Are you coming?”

Shepard glanced back towards the elevator. She had so much work to do, she had to write a report about Tuchanka, had to message Eve and see how she was doing. She had to check her assets again and send a report to Admiral Anderson. She had too much to do.

Garrus saw her hesitation and walked back down to the kitchen. He placed a hand on her shoulder and she looked up at him. He met her eyes, “It'll still be there tomorrow, but you might not.”

“I can't sleep, Garrus,” Shepard said.

“You already have. Come on, I won't tell if you don't,” Garrus tugged her gently towards his room.

“You know, it's inappropriate to manipulate your Commander into your bed,” Shepard said, though she didn't resist when Garrus wrapped his hand around her upper arm and lead her away from the elevator.

“You can report me tomorrow.”

Back in Garrus's room, Shepard crawled straight under the covers determined to fight off the chill tonight. Her momentary hesitation in the kitchen was already forgotten. She settled in Garrus's bed while he queued up Fleet and Flotilla, already wondering what Raeha'Shemis was going to do about her secret pregnancy. Shepard hadn't touched her coffee, she left it on the bedside table.

She was asleep after two and a half episodes.


* * *


Shepard woke up shivering. Her teeth were actually chattering. How did Garrus sleep down here? He couldn't even handle a slightly cold planet while he was in full armour. Shepard pulled Garrus's duvet up to her chin. She knew she should get out of bed. It was almost 3am and her crew would be waking in three hours. She had plenty of time to make a fresh coffee and get to the War Room.

She didn't move. Instead, she rolled over so she was facing Garrus. He was on his back, his omnitool turned off, his mouth hanging open slightly. In the low light, Shepard could just make out his chest rising and falling softly as he slept. He looked so peaceful, like the weight of Palaven was off his shoulders. Whatever he was dreaming of, it was better than reality. Shepard was jealous, her dream had ended moments ago and now she was back in her war-torn real life.

The air ran icy fingers down her spine, Shepard really didn't want to leave the bed. The War Room would be even colder than Garrus's room. Her bare feet on the metal floor would freeze instantly. She shuddered and ducked her head under the covers.

Before she could chicken out, she shuffled closer to Garrus. He was as warm as she'd expected. Even just lying next to him warmed up Shepard's icy toes. She knew she was breaking a thousand rules, and even invading Garrus's privacy, but she shuffled ever closer. He wouldn't mind... she knew he wouldn't.

She wriggled until her body touched his, the side of his waist pressed against her stomach. She lifted her head and rested it in the crook of his shoulder. He was so warm, so comfortable, she could already feel the edges of sleep tugging her back down. She rested her arm on his chest, surprised to feel his heartbeat through his tough hide. It was slow and steady, the heartbeat of someone at total rest. She flattened her hand on his chest until she could feel his heartbeat in every finger.

Garrus moved and Shepard pulled her hand away quickly, folding her arms against her chest. Garrus let out a sleepy sigh, and rolled over. He slung an arm over her, enveloping her against him. She smiled a small smile, and wriggled into his chest, leaving just enough space to get air. Garrus's breathing was still even, he was still fast asleep. Unconsciously, he nuzzled his mandibles into her hair.

Shepard shut her eyes. She was warm in Garrus's arms, she felt safe. She had never been in danger in her bed before, but here, cradled against Garrus's chest, she felt like the world beyond him didn't exist. It was just her and him, and this bed, and sleep. That was all that mattered now. Shepard was already falling back to sleep.


* * *


When she woke up next, she was still wrapped in Garrus's arms. Shepard moved, and Garrus startled awake. He looked at Shepard in alarm, his arm still over her. She smiled up at him and his mandibles flared out into a smile.

“Morning,” He said.

“Morning,” Shepard replied.

Garrus moved his arm off her, and immediately the cold air rushed in to freeze Shepard. She stretched. She felt well-rested, better than she had the first time they'd slept together. Her headache was gone, her back didn't hurt, her eyes weren't itchy. She felt ready to take on the day, to take on the reapers.

“Did you sleep well?” Garrus asked.

“Really well, yeah,” Shepard whispered.

“Me too. I was dreaming about... I don't remember now, but it was good. It was really good,” Garrus looked thoughtful.

Shepard smiled, she had been dreaming of Garrus and herself, sleeping together. That's it. She'd dreamt of what they were already doing, it had all felt so peaceful. There were no reapers, no dying children, no refugees. Just them.

“I should go,” Shepard said, regretting the words as soon as they were out.

“Yeah,” Garrus said, sounding just as sad.

“Same time tonight?” Shepard asked, hopefully.



* * *


Every night for the next two weeks, Shepard and Garrus slept together. They'd meet in the kitchen at midnight, and share a short conversation, before heading for Garrus's room. Eventually, they stopped making drinks because they never actually drank them. They even stopped putting Fleet and Flotilla on because it never got watched. They just climbed into bed, wriggled into each other's arms and slept.

Sometimes they spooned, Shepard's back against Garrus's chest, his arms wrapped around her, and his breath on her ear. Other times they curled around each other, breathing the same air, foreheads touching and arms clinging like the other would fly away if they didn't. Some nights, Shepard would rest her head on Garrus's chest, listening to his heart beat, and he'd have one hand on her shoulders and the other entwined with hers.

They were always wrapped up together, like a human-turian braid. Garrus was comfortably warm and Shepard was comfortably soft. In the two weeks they slept like this, neither of them had a nightmare, neither woke with the sudden realisation they had a report to file or an ally to message. They just slept.

The crew never caught them, but if they ever did, Shepard would tell them the truth. She wasn't having sex with Garrus, they were just sleeping together. Literally, they were just sleeping. She doubted anyone would believe her, but that didn't matter. All that mattered was how awake she felt the next day, how empty her bed felt without Garrus, how she felt alive for the first time since Earth.


* * *


On the first day of the third week, Shepard waited in the kitchen for Garrus. They had stopped meeting at midnight, because they both knew it was useless. They could try to scrape a few hours of sleep together before they met up, but in reality, all they did was wait until the clock reached midnight and they could share a bed.

So, Shepard waited in the kitchen at 2200 hours. She watched the rest of her crew slowly filter out of the mess, and to their own bedrooms and still she waited. Garrus was usually in the mess hall by this time, waiting for everyone else to leave so he could take Shepard to his room. Only he wasn't there tonight, he hadn't been for most of the evening actually.

Shepard glanced towards the main battery. Maybe he'd had a change of heart. Maybe sleeping with his Commanding Officer was too much for him. They'd probably be in trouble if they got caught, maybe he didn't want to risk it.

Maybe he was feeling guilty – Shepard knew she was. As much as she loved sleeping, and sleeping with Garrus, there was still that niggling feeling of guilt. How could she cuddle Garrus while Earth and Palaven and half the galaxy burned?

He'd changed his mind, Shepard realised. She left the mess hall and headed for the elevator. Instead of going to the CIC and then the War Room, she went to her own cabin. She needed to have a few hours sleep before she got back to work. It was going to be tough, going from nine hours of sleep with Garrus to just three on her own, but this was how it was going to be.

Garrus had made it clear by not showing up.

In her cabin, Shepard climbed into her bed. It was just as soft as Garrus's bed and a whole lot warmer, but it wasn't nearly as comfortable. It was empty and lonely, and she'd trade the whole room for one more night in Garrus's cold room. She'd trade her cabin to lie against his chest and sleep again.

She pulled her covers over her head. She felt like a wreck, like a junkie gone cold turkey. It wasn't all about the sleep, she knew that now. It was all about Garrus, how safe she felt when she was around him. How she trusted him more than she trusted anyone else in the entire galaxy. How she wanted his talons on her skin, and his breath in her ear, and his mouth on hers.

She wanted him.

Not his bed, not her sleep. She wanted their night time conversations, and his interest in Fleet and Flotilla, and his warmth, his humour, his smile, his eyes, his calming presence.

Damn it! When had this happened?

And why was it over so quickly?

Shepard was so lost in her thoughts, she didn't hear the knock on her door until the third time. She sat up in her bed, red flags rising in her mind. Who was knocking on her cabin? Why hadn't they notified EDI to notify her? Something was wrong. Someone important had died. Cerberus had attempted another coup and Shepard hadn't been there this time. She'd failed because she was too interested in what her heart wanted.

“Come in,” Shepard called, climbing out of her bed.

The door opened and Garrus stepped in. Shepard froze on her way to her armour locker. Garrus ran a nervous hand over his crest. He stepped into Shepard's cabin like the floor would suddenly fall away beneath him. Shepard looked over at him, her heart fluttering embarrassingly.

“You weren't in the War Room,” Garrus said.

“I... what?” Shepard asked. She was usually very good at understanding what was happening, but right now she was lost. Her feelings were clouding her thoughts.

“Jimmy...” Garrus took a deep breath, Shepard realised he was out of breath, like he'd ran through the whole ship, “Jimmy wouldn't let me leave until he won, so I threw the game. I got to the kitchen and you weren't there, and then I checked my bedroom and the War Room and the CIC, and you're here.”

“What's this about Vega?”

“He asked me to play poker, and I'm an expert at poker, especially against him, he has too many tells,” Garrus said proudly. He continued, “He's a sore loser and he wouldn't let me leave until he won. I couldn't tell him where I was supposed to be, so I folded as soon as he dealt.”

“Don't tell him that, he's even more sore when he finds out you let him win,” Shepard laughed.

“Understood,” Garrus said. He was beginning to relax around Shepard now, “So, back to mine?”

“Or we could stay here?” Shepard offered.

“Ooh,” Garrus growled, “The Commander's Quarters, naughty.”

Garrus came down the steps towards Shepard, and she walked to meet him. They paused for a mere second, before Shepard stood on her tiptoes and Garrus bent down to meet her. They kissed for a long moment, and Shepard's heart felt both relaxed and ready to explode. Garrus pushed forward and Shepard stepped backwards until her knees hit the end of her bed and she fell.

She backed up until she was by her pillows, and wriggled under the covers. Garrus walked to the other side of the bed and joined her. Without a word, they rolled towards each other. Garrus enveloped Shepard in his arms and Shepard pressed gentle kisses along Garrus's neck.

“Goodnight, Shepard,” Garrus whispered.

“Night, Garrus,” Shepard said, softly. Already, her eyes were beginning to close, her earlier panic beginning to fade.

She didn't know what this meant for her and Garrus, but she knew whatever it was was good. It was an oasis in this war, and she was going to covet every moment of it for as long as she could. Everyone knew they deserved it.


* * *


EDI entered the flight deck and was unsurprised to find Joker still in his seat, staring at his screen. She approached his chair and leant down to look at him.

“Jeff, I think it is time for you to get some sleep. I can run the ship for the night cycle. If you go to sleep now, you'll have eight hours of sleep,” EDI informed him.

“In a second, I think she's sleeping,” Joker tapped a few buttons on his screen, bringing up Shepard's heart rate. He watched it slow, and leaned back in his chair, “I told you I could do it.”

“I don't think you did anything, Garrus did all the work,” EDI pointed out.

Joker frowned and spun his chair to face EDI, “I was the one who encouraged Garrus to go see her.”

“The first night, yes. You did not encourage him to keep seeing her though,” EDI said.

“You know, you could just congratulate me. I got the Commander to sleep. Not only that,” Joker gestured emphatically at the screen, “I got her to fall in love! Did you see them kiss, EDI? That was a long time coming. It's all about the long game when you're manipulati- uh... helping people.”

EDI stared at him with barely contained exasperation, “I don't think Shepard would appreciate being spied on.”

“That's why you're not going to tell her,” Joker said. He swiped away the screens and rose from his seat. With EDI's help, he walked down to his own bedroom.

“I cannot lie to the Commander,” EDI said.

“Sure you can, everyone does it. She lies to herself every day,” Joker put on a feminine voice to imitate Shepard, “I don't need to sleep. I don't love Garrus. I don't need Joker's help to function as a human being.

“That sounds nothing like Shepard,” EDI said.

“EDI, you're ruining this for me. Just tell me I'm the best.”

“You are the best, Jeff,” EDI said.

“Less sarcasm next time,” Joker sighed.

He thought about Shepard one floor above them, sleeping peacefully with Garrus next to her. He'd never get a thank you for what he'd done, but seeing the bags under Shepard's eyes disappear would be thank you enough. Hell, watching her finally confront her feelings for Garrus was thank you enough. He'd watched them dance around each other for three years, it was about time they stopped being cowards. Joker smiled, and let EDI lead him to his bed.