DISCLAIMER- Bioware owns Mass Effect. I just kinda sorta borrowed these characters for my own uses... Nothing for sale here! This is my original work so don't copy it either.

"Humans are a new race to me, Shepard. You are so different from me. And my race."

Liara TSoni spoke softly with the small lilt in her voice that I had grown to love. She always over-accented her head movement when ever she spoke, a little fact that always drove me crazy. I always noticed whenever everyone wouldn't. It was adorable in a way, and it gave the young Asari an air of innocence. I smiled a bit at her before replying.

"And that makes this all the more important. Liara, I don't want to your commanding officer anymore. I—"

"And why not Shepard?! Am I not good enough for your Spectre team? Am I too alien for your human ship and crew? I thought of all people that you, Elysia Shepard, would be able to see me for who I am."

The aggressiveness of her outburst stunned me. I had never before seen an anger from her like this before. It was not even anger anymore. This was rage. And I had only ever seen it once before from anyone. That person though was Matriarch Benezzia, Liara's own mother. Benezzia had been under the influence of Saren then; under Sovereign.

'Like mother, like daughter.' The thought silently echoed through my head as I opened my mouth to speak.


"No, Shepard. It is my time to speak. I know you. Better than any other person. My mind has touched yours; or did you forget about that? The Asari mind meld is a powerful thing. Besides reading the Cipher in your head, I have lived your life in the span of a few minutes. Everything you have known, everything you have felt, I have felt it too. Your childhood, growing up in the harsh streets of the slums on Earth, your enlistment into the Alliance military and the swell of pride you felt then, and the hopelessness and despair of your loss on Akuze. I have seen it all. But still, hidden away, there is a part of your mind that you have blocked off, and even I was not able to see into it. Yet, I know exactly what lies inside."

Her tone had gradually fallen from the rage and instead now a tone of hurt and sorrow replaced it. I was still reeling from the shock of her revelation. Never before had I let anyone know of my past. It held too many nightmares for me to face. And now, this alien was pushing me into those nightmares, to a place that I dare not venture. I picked a spot on her shoulder to stare at, trying to ignore her words, to leave the demons of my past chained in my head.

"Shepard. Look at me."

She raised her hand to my chin and pulled it so I would not be able anywhere but her eyes. I feared that she would try and meld her mind with mine and I slammed my eyes shut against the impending onslaught of memories but instead of her memories rushing past the darkness, I felt a small sensation upon my lips. It was like rose petals were being brushed upon them, softly caressing the taut line that my mouth had been pulled into. My eyes snapped open just at the instant that she pulled away from me. Her kiss still lingered on my lips as she let her hand fall from its grip on my chin. Unconsciously, my own hand came up to my lips, trying to mimic the light sensation of the Asari's lips. I looked up at Liara in front me, and she stared back at me, our eyes locking.


Her name escaped my mouth in a sigh and I reached out to caress the side of her face, taking her cheek in my palm. I was at a loss of words. There are no words for what I was trying to say. And yet as she spoke, I had a feeling that she was going to say it for me.

"Shepard… no, Elysia. You need not carry the burden of your past alone anymore. I have spent decades researching the Protheans alone on uncharted words. I know, though not as well as you, the feeling of being alone. You have been alone for so long, and have never had anyone to go back to. To go back to and fill the gaping crevice in your chest that was taken from you at birth. I am the same. My mother didn't care enough to associate herself with me so I was left by myself. All time spent on the Verge was glorious for my Prothean research, but I had one regret. That there was no one else with me." She sighed and relaxed herself into my hand lightly, closing her eyes and lowered her tone even more, now just shy of a whisper.

"And now, with the weight of the galaxy on your shoulders, you have shown me what humans are truly capable of. For a shattered soul as you to go through with a task of galactic importance; it is a task not easily solved."

She paused for a moment and stepped closer to me, shrugging my hand off her face. She stepped closer once more, our closeness intensifying the heat I felt pouring off of her body. She again, took another step closer, our bodies almost touching, and wrapped her arms around my waist; pulling us together for the last few centimeters. She leaned her head onto my shoulder and rested it there. Her breath embraced my neck with a warm sensation; her natural fragrance tickled my nose with a light smell of roses. She spoke again, this time barely audible.

"Elysia, I care too much about you to let you take this task with all the weight on your shoulders alone. I had previously thought that the feelings I harbored for you were simply curiosity, intrigue and comradeship. But now, I understand."

She exhaled softly, and relaxed into my form. I had wrapped my arms around her without noticing and now, I gave her body a slight squeeze and smiled as she pulled herself onto to me more. Finally I found my voice. I pulled away from her and noticed, with a small smirk, the flash of disappointment that passed over her face. She stared at the floor once more.

"Liara… Sometimes, I feel that everyone else just doesn't notice me. The whole galaxy passes me by, simply noting my achievements and taking them for granted. Nobody has actually come to me offering this kind if emotion and I'm glad for once that I don't have to do all the work."

I felt my mouth spread into a wide smile, as Liara's head snapped up to meet mine, jaw slightly hanging open.

"Liara, it's a bad habit to interrupt people. If you had let me finish, this could have been avoided. But even as I say that, I'm glad you did butt in. We wouldn't have shared this exact moment together." I paused for a second; taking in a deep, slow breath.

"I don't want to be your commanding officer. I want to be your mate."

She still stood in shock. I closed the distance between us, wrapping my arms around her once more. No longer in control of the conversation, Liara stood stiffly and clumsily embraced me once more. It was a vague reminder of the return to the Citadel when Joker had interrupted. This time, I knew that nothing was going to stop me this time, damn Joker or not if he was watching. I whispered softly into her ear.

"Relax. I don't bite, you know."
I cracked off a small smirk, and her face mirrored mine for a moment. I chuckled softly and though I didn't hear her, I felt her chest heave with the same laughter. We both stopped at the same time, and an awkward silence filled the air. I grasped the back of her neck firmly, and pulled her up to me. Our lips met fiercely, each of us seeking to out-pleasure the other. I won, and she sighed softly around my lips. I took my chance and gently parted her lips with my tongue, seeking to massage hers within the warm expanse of her mouth. We stepped apart after what seemed to be like forever, both panting and slightly out of breath. Being blue, I couldn't tell if she was blushing or not but I knew from the heat in my face, I must have looked like the side of the Normandy under full war cooling.

Smirking, as what we were doing finally hit me, I pushed Liara slowly towards my cabin door. She resisted for an only a moment and let herself be guided by my hand. I turned her around and walked her towards the door placing my hands on her hips. At the door, I gave her a shadow of a kiss on her neck that sent shivers down even my own spine. Her legs faltered for a moment, betraying her pleasure and I held her steady. I touched the command lock with my thumb to scan past the advanced biometrics system and guided Liara through the door.

Some time later, I awoke. I was in my cabin, on my own bed, but I knew something had to be missing. I opened my eyes to be staring into another pair framed by a blue face. Liara gave a start and took her eyes from mine. My face gradually broke into a small grin as I brought my hand from underneath the thin sheet covering us to stroke her cheek softly.

"Good morning, love." That brought her attention back to me. Her eyes locked with mine, widening slightly as what I had said was processed by her mind. Her mouth worked slowly over something she wanted to say, but the words didn't seem to want to come out of her mouth. I took the initiative to say them for her.

"I love you too."

Her jaw dropped. And I burst into laughter. I laughed, laughed so hard my sides felt like they were about to split open, laughed so hard I cried. She picked herself up and balanced on her forearm.

"Shepard! This is NOT funny!" She huffed at my renewed vigor in my laughing, and punched me on the side of my arm.

"SHEPARD! Stop this! I do not know what you humans do when you confess something of this magnitude but the Asari are much more ceremonial. I do wish you could be—" I had stopped laughing, barely, but enough to roll over on top of her. I pressed my lips to hers, silencing the words from her mouth. She returned the kiss after only a moment.

"I can't help it Liara. We humans all react differently to something like this. I just found it funny…"

I drew my fingers from where they had placed themselves on her cheek and trailed them down the side of her face, down her neck, down her collarbone, and in between her breasts, finally coming to a stop on her firm belly.

"Liara just because I found that moment of yours funny, I don't want you to ever think that you don't mean anything less to me." I kissed her slowly, and passionately once more. "I love you Liara. And I will always be here for you. I never want you to leave my side, and if you do, know that NOTHING in the 'verse will stop me from finding you again."

Sighing and then inhaling deeply, I relaxed myself into her form, nestling my head high on her chest. I nuzzled her neck, and she ran her fingers through my hair, saying nothing. I didn't have to say anything. We had said it all already.