Just cross posting from AO3.
"Garrus." He glanced over his shoulder just as Shepard stepped through the doors of the Battery, arms folded behind her back. He saved the schematics he'd been working on and turned around, leaning back against the console, arms folded.
"Can I help you, Commander?" She looked at him, smiling in a way that he had come to understand meant trouble. Spirits preserve him. "Is there a problem?"
"No? Why would you think that?" She frowned a bit, brows knitting together. If he didn't know better, he would say she almost seemed offended.
"That smile you had… it's, uh, never a good sign."
"No, no!" Shepard shook her head. "I was just thinking–"
"That's never a good sign either."
"Ha, ha." She rolled her eyes. "I was just thinking after everything that's happened… you know, with my waking up to find I've missed out on the last two years because I was dead. You pissing off three major merc outfits and taking a missile to the face. Maybe we could use some downtime?"
He nodded, "That doesn't sound too bad, go on."
She grinned again and withdrew her hands, producing two bottles of liquor and two small glasses. "What do you say to a drinking game, big guy?"
Garrus squinted at one of the bottles in her hand. "Turian whisky?" he gave a low, appreciative hum, "and the good stuff, too."
"Yeah, I hear it's about on par with human tequila." She nodded toward the second bottle. "Want to keep things fair, after all."
"Could just drink Ryncol."
"Rather not end up dead again, thanks."
Garrus snorted and pushed away from the console, taking the whisky and one of the glasses from her. The battery suited him fine, but it wasn't exactly made for visitors. Though that didn't seem to deter Shepard.
She walked to one side of the room, pressed her back against the wall and slid down to the floor. Jerking her head, she motioned for Garrus to do the same. He followed suit, a little more awkwardly with his damaged armor, but finally settled down beside her.
"So you mentioned a game?" he asked, already pouring himself a drink.
"Yeah, so, it's a take on a human drinking game. But I was thinking between the pair of us there are plenty of rumors to be had."
"Okay," he said slowly, not sure where the hell she was going with this.
"So, I was thinking. State a rumor you've heard about the other person, if it's true, they drink, if it's not, you do. Sound good?"
"Sounds like a quick way to get falling down drunk."
"Kinda the point, Garrus."
"Fine. Ladies first." He nodded toward her.
"When did you become such a gentleman?"
"Always was, you just never noticed between hunting down Saren, fighting geth, and dying."
She snorted loudly, then leveled him with a challenging look and held up her glass. "Alright, Archangel."
He clinked his glass against hers, in a human toast. "Alright, Savior of the Citadel."
"Your title sounds better."
"That's because I am better."
She pulled a face at him, and he realized just how upbeat she was. It was a nice change. Or perhaps….
"You haven't been hitting the bottle already, have you, Shepard?"
"What? No, I'm just… in a good mood." She grinned widely. "So, Archangel, word on Omega is that you took down three mercs with one shot."
Garrus hummed. "That's half true." He waggled his hand in a movement he'd picked up from Joker.
"How in the hell is it half true?" she asked incredulously. Before he explained they both drank half their shot in unison.
"Shot one merc, his gun went off, which shot another, and that one tripped into the third sending him over a ledge."
Shepard gaped at him. "You're shitting me."
"Oh, hell, I need to finish my drink after that." She downed the rest of hers, and he did the same. Refilling their glasses, Garrus eyed her a moment.
"So, Shepard, word around the galaxy is that you came back from the dead."
"Cheater," she groused before slinging back her shot, making a sour face. They carried on like that for a while, matching one another shot for shot; switching from mundane things to the most ridiculous shit they could come up with.
"Uh…" Garrus trailed off, his thoughts hazy, the room blurry. He glanced down at the bottle by his leg and marveled at how much was gone. Shepard's wasn't much better. "Is it your turn or mine?"
"I don't know?" She scrunched up her face in thought. After a moment she leaned forward excitedly, slapping his arm. "I got one, I got one!"
"Rumor was you had a thing for Doctor Michel!" Shepard looked so smug that she had come up with that one.
"Ooooooh," he breathed. "False. Where did you hear that anyway?" he asked, watching as she begrudgingly downed her shot.
"Eh, places." She waved a hand, refilling her glass with the other – only spilling a small amount in the process. "Your turn."
"You and Alenko?"
"Me and Kaidan what?"
"Had a thing?"
"You were around, you know the answer to that." She frowned at him. "Why are you making this personal?"
"You started it. Now answer, because there are varying opinions on the matter."
She fixed him with a steady glare, eyes narrowed. "According to whom?"
Garrus couldn't help shifting uncomfortably under her scrutiny. "Uh… Joker."
"Of course!" She rolled her eyes. "False, there wasn't anything between us. We were only friends."
"Fair enough." He slugged back his shot, unsure why that news pleased him.
"Hey, Garrus?" Her voice was light, but forced, and he wasn't sure what that meant. Most likely nothing good. "Do you like humans? I mean, like." She emphasized the word with a waggle of her eyebrows.
Now it was his turn to spill a little of the liquor while refilling his glass. "Wh-what does that matter?"
"Well, I was just curious. I mean with a rumor like having a thing for Michel. You know, I just wondered…" she trailed off, blew out a puff of air. "Forget I said anything."
"I don't know, I guess I never thought about it."
"We are awfully squishy, in comparison."
"That's not necessarily bad." He paused, trying to collect his thoughts.
Shepard spoke first, "We do have a lot of similarities to the Asari though, and everyone is attracted to them."
"True. I've been around a fair amount of humans, working with C-Sec. I wasn't sure about it at first, but I slowly learned what's meant to be attractive for your species."
"Oh, well, you know... like... things."
Shepard leaned forward a bit, head quirked. "What kind of things?"
"Like... uh... lips.. mouths. You're obsessed with kissing."
"Turians don't kiss?"
"Not like you do." His mandibles twitched as proof. "But you humans like softness... and full lips. Like yours."
"So I have attractive lips?"
"Er, hm, uh..."
"Relax, Garrus, we're just friends... having a drink." She stopped and frowned at her bottle. "Or twelve."
"More than that, I'd say."
"Whatever." She settled back and stretched out her legs, rolling her neck. "Whose turn was it?"
Garrus looked down at their glasses, his thoughts fuzzy. He couldn't seem to remember. But he'd asked about Alenko, and she'd said there was nothing and that made him happy. "Yours," he finally said.
"Right," she nodded firmly, eyes extremely glassy. "Rumor mill says..." she paused, hiccuped, and turned toward him looking a little lost. "Shit, I think I've run out."
"Too bad, there are still plenty of rumors about the amazing Commander Shepard."
"Tell ya what," she said and scooted down the wall a little bit, hands folded across her stomach. "We'll keep playing, but no more drinks."
"Sounds good." Garrus made himself more comfortable, thinking for a moment. "There was a rumor I heard that said you'd been married before, that's why you left earth and enlisted with the Alliance... to escape the husband."
Shepard dissolved into laughter, clutching at her stomach. "Now you're just yanking my chain, Vakarian."
"No, no. I swear it's true!"
"That's rich." She wiped the corner of her eye. "No, I have never been married."
"Would you get married? You know, assuming there wasn't the threat of Collectors or Reapers or whatever the hell comes next. If life was.. settled."
"I don't know, never really thought about it." Shepard took a breath, letting it out slowly while she thought. "I think I would, if I found the right person... as cliché as it sounds."
"Who would be the right person for the great Commander Shepard? I mean, in general." Garrus was suddenly very nervous and he had no idea why. Or why he'd asked that question.
"Someone loyal, someone I could trust," she answered without missing a beat. "I think they'd have to be military.. maybe? I'd need someone who understood my job: the duty, the risks... everything. I'd also want someone I could laugh with, serious is good and something that's required a lot of the time, but I'd want someone who could lighten up a little. Most importantly I want someone who is a friend, first and foremost. So when we grow old and the passion is gone, we still like each other."
"So... Joker?" Garrus asked with a snicker. Shepard laughed.
"No, not Joker. He's like a little brother. An annoying, smartass little brother." She shook her head. "Besides, I do like a bit of a bad boy..." she trailed off and glanced toward him.
Garrus met her gaze, her eyes light with amusement. Against his better judgment, he played along. "Scars?"
"Oh yeah, definitely scars."
"What about a vigilante streak?"
She tapped her chin as she pondered that for a moment, finally nodding. "Yeah, that could work."
He was laughing in earnest now. Why it was so funny, he wasn't really sure. Probably had to do with the booze, and the absurdity of the situation. "Do you realize you basically described me?"
"Did I?" She sounded so innocent, and that wasn't a good sign. Neither was the flutter of her eyelashes. "Imagine that."
"Shep–" He started, but he wasn't sure what he should say, so he cut himself short when she stood up, stretching her arms overhead.
"I think I better call it a night, Garrus."
"You're leaving?" he asked, feeling a bit numb. At his words she paused by the doors and looked back at him, and suddenly her eyes seemed a whole lot clearer than they had a short while ago. Almost aglow.
"We should talk about this later, when we both have clearer heads. Tomorrow?" Now she seemed shy, almost timid. Did she want to talk about this? Did she mean what she'd said?
"I'll be here," he said. He was confused and worried but also hopeful.
"Good, so will I." She offered him up a smile, one he hadn't ever seen on her face before. It was wide, stretching from ear to ear, and lit up her entire face. It was beautiful. She was beautiful.
Then she was gone in a whoosh of the automatic doors and Garrus found tomorrow couldn't come soon enough.