Intrigued. That's how she would have described it.
She'd met many weird and wonderful 'people' on her journey across the galaxy-- Krogan, Salarian, Turian, Geth, Quarian, Elcor, Volus and Asari she was most familiar with, but then there were the aggressive Batarians, the ghastly Vorcha, and the humble Hanar. Not to mention Rachni, Varren and one ancient Thorian.
But the Drell assassin was… something different.
His body had slid like fluid from an overhead ventilation shaft, his hands had moved before his victims could even register his presence, and snapped their fragile necks. He took down his target with deadly efficiency, speed and even… grace. Shepard couldn't explain how killing could be described as beautiful, but there wasn't any other way to. Then he had offered a prayer, though whether for himself, or the fallen, she didn't quite understand.
He'd agreed to assist them on their quest to fight against the Collectors, and her shoulders had sagged in relief-- she'd anticipated heavier resistance against cooperation with Cerberus, though it seemed that many of her 'recruits' so far had agreed to help her, Commander Shepard of the SSV Normandy SR-2, not Cerberus. So their crew was complete, consisting of a scientist Salarian (not the song), an Asari Justicar, A tank-bred blood-thirsty Krogan, a few old friends, namely Garrus and Tali'Zorah vas Normandy, two Cerberus operatives, Miranda and Jacob, and a dangerous, but extremely powerful biotic, Jack.
And now a Drell Assassin, who was feared throughout the Galaxy. If Thane was sent to kill you, ready your funeral.
Shepard returned to the Normandy with the landing party plus her newest recruit, instructing Joker en route to the Comms room to take them to another nearby system, to avoid possible retaliation from the Blue Suns, aware of his quiet footfalls behind her-- caution was clearly a practice he had perfected. It transpired he was dying-- he had informed her of his illness upon their meeting, an illness he called Kepral's syndrome. Sat at her terminal in her quarters later, she had discovered it to be a degenerative, non-contagious disease of the upper respiratory tract, an unfortunate side-effect which had resulted from the necessary removal of the Drell from their homeworld. The change in humidity was a little too sudden to result in any significant evolutionary adaptations, and a considerable proportion of the Drell population suffered from it. A sad fate, for such an interesting race of people.
She spent a little time pouring over the files EDI had forwarded to her terminal, reading over his resume. Not much data, she thought to herself, though that wasn't surprising. After all, who could supply intel on a shadow? No one that lived, most likely.
She leaned back in her seat, stretching her arms above her head. If she wanted to know more about this man, she supposed she would have to ask him herself. So she headed for the elevator, punching the second floor button. Her journey down was halted briefly at the first level, as yeomen Kelly boarded the elevator, giving Shepard her customary warm smile as a greeting.
"I've been looking up on Thane, Commander. I'm surprised by his spiritual side. His psych profile mentioned little of it, and he carries himself with such cold confidence. I'm not sure if I find him scary or… sexy."
Shepard gave a chuckle as the doors slid shut with a hiss, the elevator humming its descent. "I guess some women like that kind of thing."
"Some women? What about you?" Kelly glanced up from her data files, warmth in her green eyes.
"I live a dangerous life. Dangerous men fit right in, I suppose."
"Well, that's very true." They left the elevator together, Kelly heading in the direction of the mess hall, though Shepard hesitated by the doors to the life support room. Should she bother him? He had expressed a desire to reside in a dry place, no doubt where he felt most at ease. She didn't want to intrude on his meditations. "Commander, Thane wished to speak to you." Kelly had backtracked, a sheepish smile on her face. "Sorry, it slipped my mind."
Shepard smirked a little, before striding purposefully into the room. His back was turned, though she could see his reflection in the adjacent window, face smooth and impassive, his jet-coloured eyes wide, and contemplative.
And that was how she had always found him-- she often went to seek his judgement on things, and after helping him reunite with his son in the Citadel, she felt that something had changed between them. Perhaps just a bridge of trust, though she felt that he held a certain regard for her beyond simply 'Commander'.
She would ask him questions about the Drell, about how they possessed an extraordinary ability to recall any memory with perfect clarity, how he was trained from the age of six to become a killing machine. She was ever surprised by his lack of hesitance in sharing his past with her; how he met his now -dead wife, how he had hunted her murderers, how he felt no sorrow for his actions. Thane was Thane, and he was at peace with that. She sometimes wishes she had that kind of peace with herself. At night she would relive her past, wondering constantly if she had made the right choices, chosen the right path.
He often spoke of his son, Kolyat, an she was pleased that despite their troubles and history, they seemed to be on the right track towards some sort of common ground. Kolyat was only the second Drell she had ever met, and his colouring differed greatly from his father's; he was the colour of the oceans, a strange but beautiful blue tint to his skin, though he had the same obsidian eyes, a similar deep voice.
There were times he would speak of his wife, Irikah, and how he had met her. How she had stopped him from taking down a target. So perhaps there was a way to break through his toughened exterior (not quite so literally), and she soon came to learn he was a sensitive, expressive being.
The smell of cut grass, the warmth of another's hand in yours, the taste of another's tongue in your mouth. Wouldn't you rather lose yourself in such a memory, than spend the night alone staring at walls of metal and plastic?
Admittedly, she'd been a little embarrassed at his sharing of such a… personal memory. Many of the alien species she had met didn't share the same attitudes towards sex as humans did, for example, the Salarians, and it intrigued her to think that Drell had a similar approach when it came to romance and sex. Not to mention Thane, the stone-faced, spiritual assassin.
She would forget how good it was to hear him speak-- such a deep, rumbling voice, a voice that managed to strike both fear and pleasure; shivers inched along her spinal column when she heard it. Such an animalistic reaction, and she was sure he would be able to sense the way the tiny hairs on her body stood on end, that was nothing to do with the cool air of life support.
"Shepard…" A little hesitation on his part, though she managed a gentle smile of encouragement. "I appreciate these chats we have."
So, she was no intrusion then? "You've spent a lot of your life alone Thane."
He'd half smiled, spoken of his lack of need for anything else other than his solitude. Then; "You're the only friend I've made in ten years."
And then, Shepard's reckless, decisive side had said, "''Friend'', hmm? It's a start," Whilst her reason slapped its hand to her forehead. Instead of the reaction she feared, he considered her carefully for a moment.
"'A start'? That's… intriguing."
And that was the main reason she had gone to her quarters smiling that night.
On missions, he was totally focussed, and of course, she rarely allowed her mind to stray from her work; it was important, no, critical. But when time was hers to kill on the Normandy, she would allow herself the luxury of thinking. He was ill, dying as she knew, but that didn't stop her from becoming more attracted to him as time went by.
Almost the same height; he only just outstretched her, with skin the colour of fresh morning grass she remembered from her childhood, deep, thoughtful eyes that although were so different from her own, made her feel warm from the inside. His gentility genuinely thrilled her; being a military woman, she hadn't expected to receive any extra courtesy or regard for her feminity, and she was expected to do a job, and be treat just like all of the others. It was rank that earned her respect, not her sex, or her beauty.
But she found it endearing that when she sought his company he would take her hands between his as they talked. She'd been interested to know what his skin would feel like, and she found herself far from being disappointed. Thane's hands were cool, smooth to the touch, and she allowed herself to study them closely, running her fingertips over the ridges of his knuckles, the tiny bumps she guessed were the Drell equivalent to hair follicles or something similar. His fingers were long, sensitive and strong between hers.
Things stayed the same between them, and she was quite content with the comfortable relationship or whatever it was, that they had somehow slipped into, and she felt no sudden need to pursue anything else.
Though it seemed somebody else had anticipated otherwise.
Seated at her terminal one evening in the ethereal light from her fish tank, a message flashed up on the screen. Mordin had sent her a few files, with only a comment of 'might find useful. Or interesting. Not assuming motives, but still, better to be prepared. Mordin.' She frowned, using her Omni-tool to upload the data. A pamphlet for interspecies relations, specifically Human and Drell. She was thankful Thane was not here, or she might have wished for the Normandy to explode suddenly, to save her the shame.
Though she was curious.
Skin to skin contact may result in rash, Mordin wrote, and oral contact can have possible side effect of hallucinations. She raised an eyebrow at that. Were they talking kissing or… She shook herself. She was reading this, because she was curious, if not a little amused at Mordin's apparent lack of… humility. Erogenous zones include (aside from the most obvious) along the throat to stimulate the hyoid bone beneath the red-pigment folds, as well as other ridged areas of Drell's outer skin. Hallucinations result from the ingestion of a venom (non-toxic to a certain extent to humans) secreted from the pores of Drell skin which is known to exert a hallucinogenic effect.
There were also some vids, though she cringed away from those; She didn't want to think about the sort of extranet sites that they came from. Mordin really was a curious character, though she found him endearing in a way; with his lop-sided smile and his strange ramblings. She'd have to be wary what she said around him in future, though it made her wonder if he had sent similar information to Thane. She giggled to herself at the thought of Thane watching vids of the calibre Mordin had sent. Breasts were going to be the tip of the iceberg; Drell women didn't possess them, according to the pamphlets. The pamphlet also said, to her fascination, that Male Drell appendages were… ribbed. And when stimulated, would expand slightly. Interesting, to say the least.
It was due to this information that her next meeting with Thane resulted in a blush to her cheeks, though with their impending departure onto a mission he remained indifferent, and collected. She resisted the urge to give Mordin a blistering glare.
The reaper IFF was in their possession, and with all the squad focused, and the Normandy in the best shape possible, she felt no need to hesitate in heading for the Omega 4 relay. Their crew were on that Collector ship-- Dr Chakwas, Kelly, the engineers… She couldn't let them down now, not after everything they had done, after the loyalty they had shown her. She couldn't let herself rest until she knew she'd done everything in her power to save them.
Several hours wasn't that long, though after showering more out of compulsion than necessity, and after feeding her fish a bit more than she should, she found herself idle. Her bed was made, her armour ready, her weapons already checked by Jacob. Nothing to do but think.
It was on a mission like this when Kaidan had come to her quarters. They'd disobeyed the Council's orders, and Alliance protocol; who cared about rank, when the stealing of a military war ship was only the start of their crimes? They'd slept together that night, and it'd felt so right, nestled against his chest, dozing slightly after lovemaking.
He may well have not forgotten about her, but he'd turned his back on her. On Horizon, he'd said he couldn't trust Cerberus. She'd wanted to scream, Neither do I!-- but she'd composed herself before her teammates. Now was not the time to get upset about past hang ups. She'd been technically, uncatagorically dead for two years by her books, and everyone else's. she couldn't expect people to accept it straight away. Kaidan was alliance through and through. He would never join Cerberus. And she figured he'd never forgive her for being a part of it, nor understand her reasons. Not that she'd had much of a choice in the first place…
Damn it! They were taking thousands, upon thousands of human colonists-- the existence of their race was at stake, and the Alliance was doing fuck all about it! How could you stay loyal to them? They were blinkered, stumbling into a future that almost certainly wouldn't be there, were it not for Cerberus's efforts.
She ran a hand through her hair, staring at her reflection in the fish tank as she faced it. Black hair, pale skin tinged blue by the light, pale blue eyes, her father's sculpted cheekbones… the same lips as her mother. Faces she wouldn't be able to remember so well, were it not for the uncanny resemblance to both of them that she carried.
"Commander," EDI's blue light bathed her quarters in white-blue luminance. "Thane wishes to see you. Should I allow him access to your quarters?"
"Let him in, EDI," She bit down on her lip. God she really could do with talking to him right now. "And lock the door."
"Signing you out, Shepard."
EDI was gone, and she turned to face her door as the Drell assassin entered into her room. The door hissed shut behind him, the entry panel turning red. She stopped herself from speaking upon taking in his demeanour. His shoulders were slumped, his eyes darker, more brooding that usual, his full lips pulled tight in what she assumed must be a frown.
"Thane?" It was almost a whisper, as he stopped before her.
"Siha, I…" His name for her. Easier on the tongue than Shepard, and something special-- made her feel like a person, aside from Commander Shepard. Thane's Shepard, was Siha. "I have known I will die for many years. I've tried to leave the galaxy better that I found it."
He was pacing. Thane didn't pace. He was never on edge, never angry. She'd seen him shed tears on being reunited with his son, though she'd tried not to look. It stirred something within her.
"You have helped me achieve more than I thought possible. We've righted many wrongs. I've spoken to my son." His voice was almost a breath. "I… should be at peace, on the eve of battle."
She moved away from her desk, brow creasing with worry, understanding. He wasn't the only one, unable to rest. "Stop… Don't give me a speech." He'd stopped pacing, and he took a deep breath, eyes darting around her face.
She reached out to him, but he took her wrist with firm fingers, moved her aside. She felt a wrench in her gut, sick at being so helpless to support him, when he needed her the most. His fist collided with the desk, and she glanced up, drawing in her bottom lip at the sight of tears glistening at his emerald cheeks.
"I have worked so hard. Meditated and prayed and done good deeds. Atoned for the evils I've done…" His eyes were on her, black pools of despair, and fear. "I consider my body's death and a chill settles in my gut. I am afraid, and it shames me." So even assassins, the harbingers of death, the executioners, feared death. She moved closer, pressed her body against his back, her cheek to his shoulder, and thread her fingers between his. He shifted his body around to face her, no longer resisting her.
"Siha…" the scent of his breath passed over her, and she felt her muscles relax into him. Cool hands caressed her cheek, slid to her neck, where they rested, where he waited. Shepard had waited long enough; screw her own personal protocol. She wanted him, now, or she might never know..
"Thane…Be alive with me tonight." His eyes were fully open, and she could see his irises in all their beauty- it was like looking into oblivion, endless black, though she could make out a warmer colour through the blackness, burning like fire.
She moved forward, her lips touching his softly, uncertainly. His lips were smooth, cool, and an experimental nip drew a ragged breath from within him, overwhelming her senses. The scent of his skin was unlike anything she had ever experienced before, and she pushed back her scientific curiosity to enjoy it for what it was; tangy, almost, with a hint of spices. She closed her eyes, parting her lips slightly to allow a breath to pass between them. His previously fallen tears slid slowly to his mouth, and she tasted it with the tip of her tongue; a familiar taste at least- saline, and bitter. She dragged her teeth across her bottom lip, moistening them, before moving closer.
His fingers worked their way into her hair, testing the texture; Drell didn't have hair, and she was sure it was a new experience for him-- probably one of many this evening. His tongue met hers, and a weight dropped from her chest to pit of her stomach, almost making her knees give way. He tasted sweet, like sugar, mixed with heady spice. Intoxicated, she wanted more.
Strong arms encircled her waist, tilting her backward, tilting her head to expose her throat, trailing gentle kisses along her neck, to her collar, where her shirt prevented further movement. His breathing was unsteady, fingers trembling beneath the shirt's hem at her waist, delicately, cautiously gripping her slender hips, testing his hold upon her skin. When she only sighed at the contact, he felt empowered to move on; running his hands up her body, lifting the fabric to expose her flesh, so warm beneath his cool, reptilian hands, allowing them to skirt over her breasts, up her slender arms raised above her head, to help him in his task.
Her delicate, almost too soft fingertips, trailed from his jaw, to the sensitive ridges at his throat drawing from him a low groan, almost a vibration, rumbling from within his chest. She eased the pressure, almost ghosting over the skin of his torso, where she was limited by his armoured suit. She pressed her lips to the recess in his chest, between his defined pectoral muscles, inhaling his scent like it wouldn't be there at any moment. He was addictive, he was wonderful…
"Siha…" Oh, if only she didn't have to respond to any other name… He'd claimed her mouth again, desperately trying to shrug away his leather-like suit, without breaking contact from her. She tasted so… human… salty, earthy, and she smelled clean, edged with something slightly floral he couldn't indentify. Her hair felt alien to him, though he enjoyed the sensation of running his fingers through it; it was akin to silken fabric, to flowing water, to…
Her body was so warm, against his chest as she slid her arms around his back and smiled up at him. "Am I supposed to hallucinate?"
"Apparently, Mordin seems to believe so." He responded inattentively, unable to draw his eyes away from the defined bone structure at her neck, shoulders, her ribs, drinking in the play of blue light on her ivory skin, travelling over the recesses of her belly button, the contours of her defined stomach, and her sharp hipbones.
"Hm. I'll thank him later." She drew him closer, firmly pushing the fabric of his form-fitting suit down his strong arms, until his upper body was exposed, like hers. His arm muscles were well defined, his skin patterned by tiny black markings, trailing from his wrists to his shoulders, and down his chest. His fingers dug at her thighs, as he bent slightly to lift her slender body from the floor. She felt her backside make contact with her desk, and she leant back, crown of her head pressed to the window as his warm mouth moved over her body, paying particular attention to her neck, her breasts, along her ribs, her hips, then back up to the sensitive area beneath her earlobe. She released a guttural groan, the muscles in her body spasming into inactivity, rendering her spineless.
He had definitely read up on Human erogenous zones.
"Don't give me a speech, Siha." He pressed a finger tip to her bottom lip, let it trail to the dimple in her chin, to the hollow where her collar bones met. Such a curious, though by no means unattractive anatomy.
Shepard only smiled, shifting forwards to slip her thighs around his waist, grinding their pelvises together. He grit his teeth at the contact, his fingertips a thrilling pain at the flesh of her waist. The scent of his breath, the taste of him under her lips was dizzying-- wait, was the hallucinogenic kicking in?-- and before she knew it, her back was pressing into something soft, the weight of another, Thane, hovering over her body. Spots started to appear before her eyes, and she started to experience the euphoria she associated with drinking a little too much Serrice ice brandy. The room swirled with brilliant colours that had nothing to do with a change in lighting, and even when she closed her eyes, she could feel them, surging around her body, brightest at the points of contact with Thane's body.
"Thane…" Her finger tips explored his back, trailed along his spine, back to his neck. Her lips at the ridges of his throat warmed him inside, and he moaned softly, lips tight with ecstasy. Nestling himself between her thighs, he realised how much he'd wanted her; just sitting at his desk in Life support, fingers interlaced, had been becoming increasingly difficult for him recently; he'd noticed the dash of pink across her cheeks, the day after Mordin had sent out the vids, though he'd pretended not to notice.
The position was not uncommon to both species apparently; it worked well to stimulate both. His member brushed the sensitive places, and with a little tensing of her muscles, she felt the afore mentioned expansion, and gripped the sheets tightly in fisted hands. He fit so well, and the texture of him inside her, worrying all the right spots, made her wonder if she'd ever felt this way with a human before. Never mind a Drell.
His cool lips were at her earlobe again, whispering her name softly, his name for her, nibbling, tasting her skin, maintaining a smooth, powerful rhythm that had her spine arching into him, her breasts flush against his textured chest, giving his shoulder an experimental suck, bite, until she knew it was good for him. Anything she did would be good for him.
He found himself losing his clarity, unable to withhold his vocal pleasure, the ridges at his throat humming, a deep vibration coming from within his chest cavity. She felt so right, so warm, and so moist around him. He wasn't going to be able to hold on for much longer… And if the pamphlet was accurate, she would surely not last much longer either…
She arched her back again, tightening her thighs around him, exposing her throat to his hungry lips. Her body was screaming at her, and she knew she was close… the colours were swirling faster, in beautiful hues of sunsets, and thunder… Her muscles started pulsing and her climax was welling up inside her chest, building up inside, until she couldn't hold on any longer, until she bit her lip almost to bleeding point, until she cried his name, her walls crashing around him until he couldn't think coherently any more. He too, growled his release, her tightening muscles almost too tight around him, drawing his climax from him.
"Siha, my love…" Her thighs shook around him, shaking fingers trailing affectionately across the recesses in his skin, eyes half lidded, pupils almost fully dilate. "Tell me what you are thinking." The aftershock of his orgasm died away, until every muscle of his body sighed in relief. All of his tension was gone, dissipated by her. His Siha.
She watched the colours pulse, fading in intensity. "The first step to eternal life, is you have to die. I read that somewhere, a while back. Always struck me a strange. But I guess… to you, it would make sense."
"Eternity is a long time, Siha. I shall await you there. Perhaps, we shall enjoy a little… freedom, once we get there."
"Sure sounds nice." She rested her cheek against his chest, listening to his steady heart beat.
"Are you alright? You are not hurting from… intercourse?"
She chuckled. "I am boneless. Whatever you drugged me with, it was something else."
"Siha, I did not wish to--"
"Shh," She pressed a limp finger to his lips. "I was kidding. There was no one else I would rather have spent my last night with, before heading into oblivion than you, Thane."
"I share the sentiment, Siha." He chuckled, a deep rumble reverberating from his chest. His fingers trailed lazy circles at her lower back. "It is strange that I should only awaken now, when there is so little time left."
"I'll find you a cure, Thane…" Relaxed muscles suddenly turned tense, his beautiful Siha, reverting back to Commander Shepard, taking the galaxy's troubles onto her barely adequate shoulders.
"Siha. My time will come, manifested in one form or another. Just know this: I have been dead for ten years, until this night. Tonight, I remember what it is to be alive."
"I am glad to have you by my side, Thane." She was propped up on her elbow, her tousled black hair tucked hastily behind her delicate ears, blue eyes wide and earnest. He saw the child in her. He pulled her small, hot body towards him, and let her cry gently into the hollow of his neck, brushing back her hair from her face. His Siha… She would always be Kara Shepard, yes, but to him, she was Siha Shepard. A fierce, proud, and passionate warrior, who protected those she loved.
"--and I am honoured to be there." He pressed a gentle kiss to her temple. "We should enjoy our time together. It may not be the last time, but to treat it as such is to make it treasured."
Earthy, salty taste on your tongue. Pale skin cast silver by starlight. Warm body beneath yours, moving, breathing in unison. Siha.
He wouldn't ever forget his moments with her. He would relive the feel of her supple lips moving against his, the sensation of her body beneath his hands for the rest of his days.
No matter how limited those may be.
Hope you liked this ME2 fans, this is my first deviation from my usual genre, though it isn't my first attempt at writing romance. Please review, it will be interesting to see how I appeal to others outside my usual audience.
Don't just add to favourites, I know who you are-- meanies!
I played as a femShep and naturally pursued a romance with Thane, because he is the coolest character in the games so far. I hope we can cure him in ME3. otherwise, major fangirl rage 3