A/N: YIKES it's been a while since I've written anything for this, but hopefully that changes! Here's the next installment and I don't own Mass Effect. Enjoy!


At least at this party, she didn't need to dress to impress anyone.

A pair of jeans and her favorite hoodie was all she was required to wear and she was just fine with it. Dresses and heels weren't something she normally kept as a part of her normal wardrobe, so she was looking forward to her wedding day, when she would wear the last dress of her life.

That brought a smile to her face. Their wedding was tomorrow and she found herself extremely excited instead of scared and trapped. Marriage hadn't ever been on the plate back when she was in basic. Her life plan was to work her way up the ranks to an Admiral. Alliance for life. She didn't leave gaps for a husband or children in there.

But then she met Garrus and his bony ass and the Reapers threw her world out of proportion. Now that the war was over, she craved to settle down and enjoy her surroundings. A beach at sunset wasn't something she ever considered taking in before the war ever started.

It was like she couldn't live without it now.

"Finally wearing those pants you've been fantasizing about?"

Shepard shot an amused glare over her shoulder at Liara, who was dressed down as much as she could be without looking odd. And it still looked fancy. Tali, at least, had the decency to wear her casual jumpsuit and hood.

Maybe…she couldn't tell with Quarian fashion.

"I just want to feel normal and do normal Shepard things tonight. The engagement party was nice but my feet were swollen for days after it. Garrus had to practically carry me everywhere."

"I'm sure he enjoyed it. My brother is such a romantic, it's sickening," Solana piped in, taking a seat next to Tali, who was busy doing something on her tool.

"Hey now, I happen to like it when he quotes human romance movies…it's cute."

"And corny."

Shepard turned her head at the sound of Ashley's voice, seeing the dark haired woman with a noticeable baby bump looking amused and carrying a bag.

"Stop ganging up on my poor boyfriend. It's bad enough we've both been subjected to these god awful wedding traditions."

"I agree. Enough about Garrus, this is a girl's night. We're supposed to drink and eat and watch movies," Liara commented, grabbing the bag from Ashley and wrapping her in a sideways hug.

"Fleet and Flotilla first!"

"We know, Tali," the entire room chimed in and the Quarian hesitated before grabbing her drink from the side table and sipping it with a straw, remaining quiet.

"Working on that six pack, Ash?"

"You know it," she smiled, running a hand over her belly as she sat down in the empty spot next to Shepard on the sofa. It was amazing to see just how much change she saw in the woman sitting beside her. Their rocky past and tumultuous combat relationship hadn't completely cemented a friendship between the two, but they were far closer than Shepard ever thought they could be.

"Is Miranda coming?"

"No," Liara confirmed and began mixing drinks at the small built in bar in the far corner of the suite, "She took a vacation with her sister and her new boyfriend to some beach on Earth."

"Boyfriend?"

Tali leaned closer, drink still clutched in her hand at the new tidbit of information, "Is this the millionaire that owns a couple of planets in the Voyager Cluster?"

"I thought it was the one who owned half of the new Silversun Strip," Solana added, playing with the edge of her tunic in feigned boredom. One of the many things Shepard has learned about her soon-to-be sister-in-law, is that she's a total gossiper.

Not to get it twisted, the female could hit a moving target from almost a mile away (like her brother), but she gulped down gossip columns like they were water. She was how both Shepard and Garrus found out they were being followed around town by a semi-professional paparazzi looking to make money, and made interplanetary news channels.

"He owns two planets in the Voyage Cluster and has his own resort ship that sails around an asteroid belt," Ashley jumped in, having grown quite fond of Miranda unlike the rest of the women other than Shepard. They got along well enough with their similar no-nonsense attitudes and respect.

"So are we gonna skip the movies and just talk about Miranda all night because Fleet and Flotilla and all 4 of its sequels is sounding way more interesting right now," Shepard said, batting her eyelashes at the looks of annoyance she received.

"Oh c'mon Shepard, let us have some fun," Tali pouted, obviously already feeling the effects of the liquor. The Quarian really needed to learn to hold her drinks.

"We are having fun! I'm comfortable, Liara made me a drink with a tiny umbrella…I'm solid."

"Well…I have a little surprise for you!"

Shepard stopped at that, the drink that was passed to her just moments ago halfway to her awaiting mouth at the mention of a surprise.

She didn't do surprises.

Everyone…EVERYONE knew that.

She eyed Tali who was practically bouncing in her seat, her pink drink sloshing around precariously in her cup, the straw having fallen out already. Solana, probably feeling the effects of the alcohol by then, giggled uncharacteristically and nudged the Quarian playfully.

"Tali…," Shepard started, "what did you do?"

There was a knock on the door to the suite and before Liara could stand to go answer, Tali had jumped up and practically ran to the door, tripping over her feet once on the way. She stopped at the door, a three-fingered hand on the door knob and turned to look at the woman of the hour.

"Happy Bachelorette Party!"

Tali opened the door in a grand sweeping gesture and in walked three tall, half-naked turian dancers, dressed in various uniforms: one in a C-Sec uniform, one as a fire chief and the last one as a medic, who carried small speaker playing corny club music.

"Oh…my…," was all Shepard could get out before the cop dancer pulled her up from the couch with surprising force. It was all she needed to gain some momentum and slam the glass she was holding against the fringe of the turian holding on to her.

The turian went down, knocked out cold. The two other turian men behind him stopped, cutting off the music and drowning the room in stunned silence. Tali, who had been wooing and dancing to the music, stopped as well.

It took only a few seconds before the medic and the fire chief to back up and race out of the room, clearly not wanting to mess with the angry woman who assaulted their partner. Shepard turned to look at Tali with a disapproving look before she flung her hands and wiped the spilled alcohol from her hands on a stray napkin.

"Surprise?"

Solana burst into a fit of giggles, closely followed by Liara and Ashley, the room growing with raucous laughter. Tali eventually began to laugh as well, glad she wasn't in as much trouble as she thought she was going to be.

"Alright…who wants to patch him up while I go change my clothes?"

Shepard shook her head and began to head back into the room where she left her overnight bag, Liara and Ashley tending to the poor turian she knocked when her omni-tool started to ring with a call.

She stopped and looked at the ID, confused when it came up as the Illium Police Precinct phone number. Shepard sighed, really wondering if she wanted to even answer it or not. Knowing her luck, they were calling in a favor.

Against her better judgement, she hit the accept button and stated her name as a greeting. The voice that came through on the other end of the line was no expected.

"Garrus?!"

"…hey, babe…"

Shepard rolled her eyes, wondering just what the hell her boyfriend could of gotten himself into this time.

"I don't know what I'm going to do with all of you."