Original prompt was for Renegade male Shepard/paragon femShep, with Tali and Garrus commentary. It was inspired by a picture, but I can't link to it because ffnet's formatting options are garbage.
Tali groaned and leaned her head in her hands, palms covering her visor. "Keelah," she moaned, her voice steeped in the deepest anguish. "Make it end."
"I don't think they're listening." Garrus cocked his head to the side, feeling his mandibles twitch in a mixture of annoyance and amusement.
"No." The quarian shook her head, without raising it. "They're not. Trust me."
"Maybe we should give them some space."
Tali glanced up, giving him what seemed to be a rather pained look. "Anything is better than this."
"I think there's still some alcohol on board?"
It felt a little strange to navigate the ship like this. The ships. They overlapped in places. Well, they overlapped everywhere, but some places were more obvious than others. It wasn't much of a physical obstacle, but the sensation of looking not at a single thing but at two identical things just slightly out of sync with each other was unsettling at best.
They were lucky everything still worked. Technically, the Normandy should have been scrap metal. But even EDI - both of them - couldn't explain how a one-of-a-kind spaceship suddenly had an identical twin, or how the two managed to occupy the same location at the same time. Space-time anomalies had been blamed, but then again people always blamed space-time anomalies when strange things happened.
The second floor seemed intact, and the lounge was empty. Most of the crew were off in their quarters chatting with their alternate selves. There was still alcohol, however. That was good, Garrus thought. He certainly needed some.
He hadn't seen Tali'Zorah since... a long time ago. Commander Shepard - Commander John Shepard - had met her soon after his 'rebirth', but that was before Garrus joined his merry band, and they hadn't spoken much about it.
Now that she had suddenly appeared along with the other Commander Shepard, things had suddenly taken a turn for the awkward.
"I think the Commander misses Wrex more than he admits," he said as he handed Tali a sealed glass-and-metal tube.
"Yours, too?" She took the container and pushed it into a slot on the side of her helmet. The suit made a soft hissing, whirring noise as it sealed the connection and disinfected the tube before allowing the contents into the system.
Tali emptied it without stopping for breath, then sighed deeply.
"Keelah, I needed that."
Garrus grunted affirmation, without putting down his own bottle, and passed her another tube.
"So," she said as she took it, "you're Archangel?"
Garrus winced. "Please. Don't go spreading that around." He set down his emptied bottle and found another. "Joker taunted me for days. I don't want to remind him."
"I think Joker is too busy playing with himself to care," Tali said, and took a swig of her drink, considerably slower this time.
Some people would consider meeting a copy of themselves from an alternate universe a great opportunity to learn something new about themselves. Jeff Moreau considered it a great opportunity to finally see if he could kick his own ass at Galactic Conquest XIV. But at least it meant the sarcasm wouldn't be directed at innocent ears for a while. What was that human saying - 'thank heaven for small favours'?
That left only them. The only ones without a double - or anything remotely resembling one.
He wasn't sure if he should be disappointed, but he somehow didn't think he'd have much to discuss with himself. It would be like laughing at your own jokes. Literally.
Drinking with Tali was better. Still, while she didn't seem to mind just doing that without distractions, he had never been too comfortable with the combination of company and silence, and it was beginning to feel a bit heavy. He cleared his throat, trying to come up with a topic that would be suitably light-hearted. Nothing much sprang to mind. "You think they're still at it?" he asked instead, nodding back towards the elevator.
Without looking, Tali gestured towards a nearby monitor, fingers waving slightly as the familiar golden shape of her omnitool sprang to life. The monitor blinked, leaving standby mode and cutting to the closest security camera.
Garrus choked on his drink and spat a mouthful of cheap turian vodka across the table.
Tali turned her head, choked, sputtered, and coughed, followed by a long string of half-strangled expletives.
In a sense, Garrus figured, it was probably good that they had found something else to do.
On the other hand, he had no idea how many laws they were breaking with that particular activity.
John Shepard had pinned his counterpart to a wall, arms over her head. In the process, he had somehow lost his shirt, and the muscles in his arms and shoulders rippled impressively as he fought to retain a grip on his "captive's" wrists.
For her part, Jane Shepard appeared to be in two minds on the matter, as she seemed to be struggling to free her hands, but at the same time had both legs firmly wrapped around John's waist. Her black dress had bunched up around her hips, revealing long, smooth, strong legs. She seemed to be blushing, though that could easily just have been the glare from John's cybernetics on her skin. They might have been involved in that curious activity humans called "kissing", but the way John was tugging at Jane's lower lip with his teeth didn't seem to match the definition entirely.
"What," croaked Tali. Without taking his eyes off the display, Garrus reached out to thump her back, and she coughed, swore, coughed some more, and shook her head. "What," she repeated,
Garrus absently wiped his chin, then scratched his head. It was a human gesture he'd picked up somehow - didn't really do anything for him, talons sliding over the plates covering his forehead. "Do you suppose," he wondered, "they were just trying to find a way to get rid of us?"
Tali groaned, reached for another tube of alcohol, attached it, drained it, and repeated that with nary a pause for breath. Then gave the monitor another look, shook her head, and reached for a third tube.
"If you throw up inside that suit," he warned, "it will not be pretty."
Tali glared and threw one of the empty tubes at him. Her aim was off, and it bounced off the wall, then rolled in under the table. Neither of them cared enough to pick it up.
The quarian drained her latest drink slowly but with great determination, then shook her head, dislodging the spent tube, which fell on the floor and rolled in to join the previous one.
"Was your Commander always that good looking?" she asked, her voice a little slurred, but probably less so than he would have expected.
Garrus thought about it for a moment before concluding that he was not the right person to ask. "He didn't glow in the dark before," he said, eventually.
"That was not what I..." Tali slumped. "Keelah, I have the worst of luck."
"I don't know about that. She's certainly... very flexible." He peered at the screen in fascination. He didn't usually find humans attractive, but...
She was very flexible. Somehow, he didn't know how, she had managed to work her legs up and brace them against John's shoulders, effectively folding herself double - then used that leverage to ease herself up until she was riding his shoulders in what most people would probably consider a rather backwards manner.
Then again, most people were not named Shepard. The way her hands fisted in his hair, the way her back arched and she tilted her smiling face up at the ceiling, the way her bright blue eyes were wide but vacant and unseeing clearly told them that John was taking full advantage of the situation - his hands on her behind, underneath the skirt.
Garrus cleared his throat.
"That's not something you see every day."
"Keelah," muttered Tali, and reached for another shot of booze.
"I couldn't do that," he continued, paying her little heed as he squinted at the screen. "Could you do that?"
Tali muttered something he couldn't hear, drank deeply, and bent down to rest her chin on the table. "Do you think they would mind if we switched places when we go back?"
Garrus peered at the screen. Jane had lost her top as well, the black dress hanging loose around her waist. John still had her pinned against the wall, but this time his hands were higher, on the two soft, fleshy mounds on her chest. Breasts! Human anatomy was a curious thing.
Curiously fascinating. Tali's suggestion wasn't entirely without merit...
"We probably shouldn't," he said, somewhat regretfully. "It might cause an even bigger paradox."
"The worst of luck," Tali repeated, rather morosely. She started rocking her head from side to side, rolling the chin-piece on her helmet across the tabletop. "I need another drink."
Without being prompted, Garrus got up to fetch her one. He needed a refill as well, and he was less likely to drop it all and make a mess of it.
When he came back, the view on the screen had changed. The Shepards' orientation had gone from vertical to horizontal, and this time Jane was on top, and John's fingers were tangled in her hair.
Hair was another curious thing. There was still enough hanging down to obscure the view of what she was doing with her... mouth?
Okay, that was just unfair, Garrus thought as he set down a handful of multi-coloured tubes in front of Tali and proceeded to open his bottle. Kissing was one thing - he'd never seen the appeal. But that? It seemed he'd had no idea what he was missing out on.
Tali groaned. "That chest," she stated, and raised a slightly unsteady hand to point at the screen. "Argh."
It... probably was a nice chest, if you were into that, Garrus figured. (Still, a real man should have scales.) However, it was nowhere near as fascinating as the Lady Shepard's shapely posterior, raised invitingly in the air.
He coughed, shifting in his seat. The disadvantage of wearing armour was that once his pants started to feel tight, they instantly started to feel very tight. The advantage was that at least no one would see it.
Tali took another drink, without raising her head off the table.
"Want that," she mumbled. "Stupid suit. Stupid stupid suit."
Garrus wasn't so sure. What was happening up on the monitor seemed... well, personally, he would have been a lot gentler with someone who happened to have their teeth around one of the more sensitive parts of his anatomy, even if they were blunt, short, human teeth.
John chose that moment to change his grip and pull hard on Jane's hair, and she scrambled up to lock her lips against his.
He responded by rolling over, pinning her underneath him. Without breaking their kiss, he moved his hips until he found the right angle, then slammed forward with enough force to visibly shake the smaller body beneath him.
Jane arched her back, nails raking across his shoulders, her eyes and mouth going wide. Even on another floor, Garrus thought he could hear her cry out.
His armour was really beginning to chafe.
To his side, Tali groaned.
He reached for another drink. But apparently Tali had the same idea.
Two three-fingered hands closed around the same tube.
Their eyes met.
"Do you... think the forward battery is unoccupied?" Tali asked, as nonchalantly as she was able.
"We could investigate," Garrus offered, and tried to sound bored.
It took some time to get to their feet, and standing without support was a bigger challenge. They ended up leaning on each other as they staggered off. towards the bow.
In the medbay, the two doctors Chakwas watched them go and shared a knowing smile, then raised their glasses to make a toast.