Elena didn't understand why she was still on edge. The Citadel hadn't sent any ships after them; much to Joker's disappointment. They were pretty much in the clear. Now they were headed to Ilos to stop Saren. She then realized that's the reason why she was still feeling uptight. If they failed to stop Saren...scenarios from all ends of the spectrum filled her head, giving her a headache.

She sighed as she got up from her desk chair and slouched against a wall near her bed. It had been a very long and tiring journey. The whole time she had always been busy with something. Just thinking about all the assignments Admiral Hackett had requested her to complete made her eyes heavy and her bones ache. She ran her hands over her face before covering it with them. For a moment, things were quiet. The only sound she heard was the low hum of the Normandy's engines.

The soft sound was like a lullaby to her. She closed her eyes when her door hissed open. She was lost in her own thoughts that she didn't hear Garrus come in until he spoke.

"Are you all right, Shepard?" he asked.

She jerked up. "Oh, Garrus, I didn't expect to see you."

He saw her face turn a bright, warm red color. He chuckled. "Sorry. I didn't mean to scary you."

Calm down, Elena, she thought as she felt her heart beat against her chest. Calm down. She leveled her posture while taking a deep breath. She shook her head before looking at him. She opened her mouth to speak when she saw what Garrus was wearing. He was not in his armor, instead he wore a dark blue tunic and pants. The tunic had white outlines on the sides while the pants were plain dark blue.

She smiled mischievously. Leaning against the wall once more, she crossed her arms.

"What's your intention, Mr. Vakarian?" she said while keeping her eyes on his outfit.

Garrus followed her gaze before looking at his outfit. He was unsure whether his voice caught in his throat or he simply didn't know what to say. He could feel the air thickening and getting heavier as the silence between them prolonged. He finally said the first thing that came into his head.

"You like?"

She laughed as she walked over to him. "I do." She reached up and stroked the rim of his tunic. Slithering her hands down to his chest, she felt his fast heart rate.

When she looked at him, Garrus saw her blue eyes shimmer with emotion. He slowly placed his talons on her shoulders. Then he glided them down to her hips. He had felt her shiver under his gentle, soothing touch. He wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her close.

Resting his forehead on hers, he breathed, "You're so beautiful, Shepard." He hugged her tightly, never wanting to let go. Her sweet scent filled his nose. He began to gently stroke her back, hearing a content sigh from her. He had waited for this moment since he laid eyes on her. They were both alone and no one would interrupt his time with her. And yet...something was holding him back, preventing him from giving himself fully to her.

Elena's blood rushed to her face again, coloring her skin. The warmth of his body gave her a comforting and secure feeling. She felt his warm breath touch her skin. The unique aroma of his metallic skin tickled her senses when they entered her nose. In his presence, all of Elena's worries had melted away. He made her feel like she could take on the whole galaxy. But now...all she wanted to do was be with him.

When they released each other and looked into one another's eyes, Elena closed her eyes and reached up to kiss him. Garrus simply stared at her. Up close, he gazed at the traits of her face. Despite the signs of stress and fatigue, she was still beautiful. Elena opened her eyes, wondering why her lips hadn't felt his.

"What's wrong?"

He sighed. "Shepard..." He stroked her cheek. "Shepard...I...don't know if we can do this."

Her eyebrows furrowed in confusion. "What do you mean?"

He rubbed the back of his neck. "There are certain...risks of having a relationship with me." He took both of her hands. "I just don't want to hurt you."

"Hurt me?"

"It wouldn't be intentional. I just..." He looked away as if ashamed to face her. "I care about you too much to risk hurting you."

Elena considered his words. She looked down at their joined hands before guiding his head toward her. "We may never get this chance again, Garrus."

He clenched her hand that was on the side of his face while closing his eyes. His eyes immediately opened when he felt her lips to his.

Even though Elena only felt the pressure of his mouth against her own, she was happy. She was even happier when he did not pull away. She opened her eyes to stare at his handsome face.

While they kissed, they stared into each other's eyes. Garrus noted the sparkle he adored so much was in her gaze. When they parted, Elena took Garrus' talon with one of her hands and guided him to the bed. Once they were both on, Garrus moved on top of her. Her body tingled. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes, letting her be simply swept away. Garrus leaned in and pressed his mouth against hers.

Elena's heart bounced a little when she felt Garrus' tongue slip into in her mouth.

Oh! she thought as their tongues began to dance.

Garrus couldn't hardly believe how sweet she tasted. He was about to get engrossed in her sweet flavor when his instincts kicked in. He didn't want to ruin this moment with her. To prevent himself from accidently hurting her, he worked his way from her lips down to her neck. She inhaled and exhaled deeply as she felt his touch on her neck. With her eyes still closed, her hands moved to the bottom of his tunic and began to lift it up.

She giggled when she felt his talon grab her wrists. He stopped kissing her in order to look at her in the eye.

"Shepard..." he said with a serious, yet quiet voice.

Smiling, she shrugged. "What?"

"Not yet."

She exasperated playfully. "Oh fine. Have it your way."

Garrus had to smile and laugh at her playful personality. He pinned her hands down on the bed and continued to kiss her neck. Elena giggled when she heard a deep rumble from Garrus' chest. While kissing her neck, he felt something hard against her skin. He stopped. Freeing one of his talons, he reached down her shirt, but Shepard stopped him. Her free hand had wrapped around his wrist this time. He looked to see a blank expression on her face. He backed up when she sat up. He saw her reach down her shirt and lift out a piece of metal linked to a metal chain.

Elena took off her sister's dog tag and placed it on a night stand near her bed. Garrus looked at the object curiously. It seemed familiar to him. He had seen some human C-sec officers put them on and wear them. He couldn't remember what they were called and why humans wore them.

"What's that?" he asked.

She glanced at the dog tag before answering him. "That's my sister's dog tag."

"Why do humans wear them?"

"To commemorate loved ones who have died."

Garrus' heart dropped. He felt like an idiot by bring up such a personal matter. "I'm sorry, Shepard. I didn't mean to-"

"It's okay. You were simply curious." Elena saw Garrus lower his head. "My sister died on Mindoir while protecting the colonists from batarian slavers."

He remained silent.

"We were really close. That's why my parents entrusted me with it. She was not only my sister...but my only friend." She saw Garrus simply staring at the dog tag. She took his head with her hands and moved it so that he was looking at her. "So you better be good." She smiled. "Because she'll be watching you." Then she kissed him as she dragged him down.

Once both were lying down, she ceased kissing him.

He smiled. "She has nothing to worry about. I could never, ever hurt you, Shepard." He cupped her head with his talons once more and kissed her lips.

A few tears of joy and sadness ran down her cheeks as she melted into his kiss.

"Five minutes ETA to the Mu Relay," Joker's voice rang over the speakers.

"Thanks, Joker," she said without opening her eyes. Instead of getting up, she cuddled up against Garrus who had cradled her to sleep.

He chuckled. "Come on, Shepard. Duty calls."

She sat up and stretched before looking at Garrus. "Joker said five minutes, right?"

He nodded.

She wrapped her arms around his neck. "That's enough time for another round."

"Sounds tempting, but how about we stop Saren from destroying the galaxy first?"

"Sounds good to me. Then you will be all mine," she said, gently rubbing her nose against his.

"Never a dull moment with you, Shepard." Elena thought, remembering what Wrex had said to her during one of their conversations. He was dead on.

The start of the final assault to stop Saren was exciting. Not only did she get a chance to spend time with Garrus before the mission started; she and her team-Garrus and Wrex- skydived out of the Normandy in the Mako in order to land close enough to Saren. Unfortunately, they weren't fast enough to get to him before two large doors blocked their way.

Of course...there is always something, Elena sighed. Shocker.

"We have to get inside this bunker before Saren finds the Conduit," Garrus said with urgency. "There is no way we are getting pass this door with brute force."

"Saren found a way to open it," Wrex said. "There has got to some kind of security override somewhere in this complex."

"We'll have to find some way to get it up and running again."

"Agreed," Shepard said. She turned around to examine her team.

Wrex. The krogan mercenary and one of the last krogan battlemasters. He had been hired by the Shadow Broker to kill Fist-the owner of Chora's Den. That is how she met him. She had to laugh at how a C-sec officer tired to intimidate the krogan with a threat of arrest. He was a tough fighter and a loyal friend. Despite the confrontation on Virmire, she trusted him. When they were talking one time, he had told her that he was no hero, but deep down, Elena believed he was. He cared deeply for his people, whether he admitted it or not. She wished him the best.

Now Garrus. She blushed. He was an amazing turian, stubborn and hot-headed at times, but nonetheless amazing. When they first met in the Citadel Tower, she would have never dreamed they would become so close. Doubt never crossed her mind when she brought him along missions. He was skilled with a rifle. Plus, he was polite to all the members of the crew even an extent. Words could never truly describe the way she felt about him. She would walk through hell and back for him. She was glad he was by her side to finish this fight.

She nodded and got her assault rifle out. "Let's kick some geth ass."

Garrus got out his assault rifle as well. "Right behind you, Shepard."

Wrex took out his shotgun. "Let's go."

Elena, Garrus, and Wrex fought hard while keeping an eye out for some kind of control room that might open the bunker Saren escaped in.

They took an elevator down. When the doors opened, they entered a hallway that was coated in dried vines and vegetation. Gazing ahead, Elena spotted an elevated room with windowpanes going across the front.

"Looks like a control room, doesn't it?" she thought out loud.

Both Garrus and Wrex looked up at the room she indicted.

"Sure does," Garrus said.

"Watch it!" Wrex shouted, lifting his shotgun. "We need to demolish some geth first."

Elena aimed her assault rifle and charged with Wrex by her side. Garrus stood back to give them covering fire with his sniper.

"Take out the Prime and Destroyer first and then go for the smaller bastards," she ordered. She didn't need to hear their response because she saw Wrex instantly firing at the Prime while Garrus fired at the Destroyer. When Garrus had taken the Destroyer's shields, Shepard threw a grenade. It evaded it only to have its flashlight head filled with plasma from her rifle.

A geth trooper snuck up behind her. It lifted its weapon up to her head. As she turned around, it began to pull back the trigger.

"Shepard!" Garrus yelled, seeing the event unfold through his sniper scope.

The geth trooper was about to take her out when Wrex pushed it away using his biotics. He lifted it into the air when it hit the wall. To finish it off, Garrus shot it through its chest. Once the coast was clear, Garrus ran up to Elena.

"Are you all right?" he asked worry clear in his voice.

"Calm down, Vakarian," Wrex said. "Shepard's fine."

Garrus scowled at Wrex before looking at Shepard who smiled at him.

"Thanks for your concern, Garrus," she said. "I'm fine."

Garrus smiled and nodded.

"Come on," she said gesturing her head toward the elevated room.

Elena walked up the holographic panel and typed in a few keys. Hopefully this will open the bunker's doors for us.

"Let's go!" Wrex said eagerly. "I want that crooked turian's head."

"Now, you need to calm down, Wrex," Garrus said. "I bet we still need to get through lots more geth in order to get to him."

"I don't mind. Killing those synthetic puppets of his is fun anyway."

"I understand how you feel, Wrex," Elena said turning to them. "But we need to be careful. There is a chance Saren might've placed traps inside the bunker."

"We'll take our chances," Wrex said.

Elena laughed as she shook her head. She walked forward when Garrus lifted his hand to stop her.

"Wait. Something's happening," he said.

Shepard raised her eyebrow and turned around. The panel she had been working on not too long ago suddenly had a bizarre shaped hologram floating above it. The voice that came over the hologram talked about "invading fleets" and "no escape." She assumed it was a warning about the Reapers.

"It must be some kind message...but I don't recognize the language," Wrex said.

He can't understand it, she thought. Strange that I can.

"It must be in Prothean," Garrus said possibly clarifying why the message was incomprehensible. "This message must be 50,000 years old or more."

"The message is a bit unclear, but I can understand some bits and pieces. I think it's the Protheans warning about the invasion of the Reapers."

"Amazing! The Cipher must've have given you the ability to understand the Prothean language."

"It's possible." She turned her attention back to the hologram to see if you could get anything out of it. Sadly, she was unable to.

"Can you get anything else from it?" Wrex asked.

"Nothing useful. We should go. We need to keep our minds focused on Saren."

"We're right behind you, Commander," Garrus said winking.

Elena saw this and smiled.