"In my imagination you're lying waiting on your side, with your hands between your thighs." - 505/Arctic Monkeys

She saw Thane rarely over the next few weeks. The time was a ceaseless procession of solving others problems, of falling into an exhausted sleep next to him on her sofa. It was both disappointing and expected; they were on a timeline. Each day that they delayed, there was the possibility of another colony being targeted. It was hard to make the argument that her sex life was more important. The sense of urgency was compounded when the Normandy crew was taken, and when every moment could possibly mean a friend's death.

They spent the hours before the Omega 4 Relay in each other's arms, stretched out on her bed and looking through the skylight at the galaxy outside. He told her stories of his childhood before the Compact, of his time with Irikah, of his battle sleep. She told him about Earth, about Mindoir, her family and friends, her time in the Alliance and former lovers. If only one of them returned from this trip, the other would remember for them, would keep a piece of them alive.

"If I don't make it, I want them to erect a monument to me on Mindoir." Her head was resting on his chest, and she could hear his heart thumping. It sounded strong, not the sound of a man slowly dying from a bastard of a disease. Maybe the nanites were working. "It should be big, twice as tall as me at least." She considered for a moment, tracing the patterns of the striping on his chest. "Maybe I should be holding a puppy, or something. Or several baby animals… maybe actual babies. Just a crowd of them in my arms and at my feet." Tilting her head up, she smiled at him. "They should all be looking at me adoringly. Like you are right now, but possibly with less smolder."

His fingers threaded through her hair, and he laughed at her. When he laughed she heard that noise in his lungs, the faint squeaking that made her worry that anything that she did might not be enough. "I hope that you never lose your humor, siha." Propping himself up on an arm, he kissed the top of her head. "I promise that if anything should happen to you, you'll have statues on every inhabited planet."

"Make sure my hair looks good." She propped herself up so that she could look at him. "Like it did at Kasumi's party, maybe. Not like it does when I wake up in the morning."

She felt him lifting a curl up to examine it. "Does it look good now? I'm certainly not an expert on human hair."

"Miranda can help you with that. Or Kasumi. Hopefully Kelly." She considered for a moment. "Probably not Jack. A lot of people are going to have to make it out of this so that I can have my perfect statue."

With his fused fingers, he tilted her chin towards him, kissing her solemnly. "Promise me that you'll live through this." He kissed her again, more deeply.

"Only if you promise me the same, Thane." She was a little bit breathless when they parted, and she hoped that she'd be done with the hallucinations before they passed through the relay. "Maybe I can wrangle you a place next to me on that monument."

Joker interrupted them then. "Commander. ETA fifteen minutes."

"Tell everyone to gear up and meet me in the briefing room, Joker."

Fun time was over, and she was Commander Fucking Shepard again, ready to pull the Normandy crew out of that hellhole and get her team back at any cost. It was like flipping a switch; she was often somewhat ineffectual in her personal relationships, and sometimes too flippant when it came to missions, but when the risk was high she turned tactician without a second thought. Jack referred to it as Shepard's multiple personality disorder, and she was probably the closest thing they had to an expert on crazy.


Everything beyond the relay was death, a floating graveyard of debris and lost lives. She had steeled herself for the worst and had gotten it double-fold. No sentient creature could live in this place full of endless, floating horrors. She looked at her team, crowded around her in the small cockpit. They were an odd assortment, but she didn't regret recruiting any of them. With a wave of her arm, she turned towards the airlock. "Let's do this."

The inside of the base was controlled chaos. They broke off into two equal teams, taking two different avenues to the same central location. Jack was a marvel of focused rage, sending shivering balls of biotics in seemingly every direction at once. Thane picked them off as they flew, headshot after headshot calmly delivered from the barrel of his rifle. Shepard's Zeus joined Tali's Chiktikka, bobbing and weaving through the waves of enemies, distracting them and buying them time to open the pressure valves for Legion as he crawled through the vents.

Battle helped to divert her attention from the hulking, hive-like structure of the base, the husks of human corpses, the slurry of remains. The collector ship had given her expectations, but nothing could have prepared her for the tubes, the place where she found the Normandy crew. She was helpless to save the dark haired woman, reduced to nothing more than human juice as she screamed, but she could save the others. They came together again in that moment, her team, her people; she'd never had anything like them before, and she'd be profoundly lucky to have anything approaching it again.

Then they were moving again, shooting, ducking, destroying everything that they came across. The rage inside her was a living thing, she was destruction personified, laying waste to everything that stood in her path. She was deadly calm in her mind, like the eye of a storm, watching the creatures fall in her path, even the abomination that they were building from the remains of the thousands of humans captured. Her voice was cold and steady when she told The Illusive Man to fuck off and set the charges to blow up the base.

When she came back to herself, she was on the Normandy and Jacob was bumping her on the arm with his heavy fist. "Goddammit, you did it, Shepard! We did it!" He hugged her roughly, and she was caught up in his boisterous affection, clapping him on the back as hard as she could. "I owe you a drink, as soon as we get back to the Citadel." He was grinning at her, and she couldn't help but grin back. The adrenaline was still pumping through her, and she was finally feeling it.

"I'm gonna hold you to that, Jacob." She scanned the crowded mess, looking for Thane.

Jacob flipped her a wink. "He's over there somewhere." His hand pointed to the other side of the mess, near the hall. "Go enjoy yourself, Shepard. You've earned that shit."

Reaching Thane had turned into an imperative. The need to touch him, to feel the reality of him under her hands was overwhelming. If that led to some further reality confirmation, then all the better for both of them.

The mood was the same nearly everywhere in the room. Discussions were animated, voices were raised, people were happy to be alive. She stopped beside Jack, who was sitting across from Garrus at the long table, her feet propped up in front of her. They were regaling each other with tales of spectacular kills; Jack looked damned near happy.

Shepard rubbed the top of Jack's head, something that probably would have gotten her a black eye at any other point in time, and beamed down at her. "You did a fucking fantastic job with the bubble, Jack. Seriously."

Garrus nodded in agreement. "That was damned impressive. I've never seen a biotic erect something that for big... no, that ginormous, for so long."

"You've never gotten me in the sack, Dino." The turian looked like he might blush, if he was capable of it. "Fuck that though, we all kicked ass. Especially you." She poked Shepard hard in her armored chest. "You were like the goddamned elements out there, fire and ice everywhere I looked." Jack took a swig from the small bottle in front of her, and laughed. "Go get laid, Shepard. Vakarian and I are going to sit here and drink until he passes out."

The turian made an indignant sound, but Shepard had moved on already, weaving through the crowded room, patting arms, smiling at everyone. She glanced through the window of the medbay, where Chakwas was hovering over a few poor souls who'd gotten the worst of the tube treatment. Kelly was sitting on a table, her legs drawn up against her chest, looking shell-shocked. She considered detouring into the medbay to check on her yeoman, but Gabby Daniels appeared at her side as she approached the door.

Turning, she caught sight of Thane to her right, in front of the hallway that led to his quarters. He was talking quietly with Samara, head inclined, but he caught her gaze immediately. His black eyes were inscrutable, but he nodded when she pointed in the direction of Life Support. It took her moments to get to the door, but it seemed like forever. Her limbs were tingling and she was jittery with energy, and she needed to touch Thane, to reassure herself that he was still with her.

The doors opened and she stepped into the dimly lit room. Thane was not immediately apparently, but she could hear him keying the door locked behind her a moment after. "You look uncomfortable in that armor." She could feel his hands working at the clasps on her back, and she hastened to help him by attending to her front. He stacked the plating neatly in the corner, then turned to her. Without a word, he kissed her, pressing her back against the wall, sliding his hands into her sweat dampened hair.

His soft lips were insistent on hers, and she parted her own with a small moan, meeting his tongue with hers. He tasted like clean air, like victory, like righteousness. Fumbling along the front of his suit, she felt for the hidden clips under the lining. He had made a point of demonstrating how the top of the suit was removed one evening, but her hormone addled brain was having difficulty remembering.

Frustrated, she slid her hands under his outer coat, pushing it over his shoulders. Thane helped her, moving his hands from her hair, but never breaking the kiss. When the coat fell to the floor, they both came up for air.

She ran her fingers over his face, over the ridges on the top of his head and the frills on the sides of his neck. "I think that I'm going to have to spend the next few days touching you to convince myself that you're really here." She murmured, nipping at his chin and running her tongue along the ridges lining its bottom.

His hands slid under her arms, reaching up behind her neck to catch the zipper there. Pulling it all of the way down, he exposed her back to the cold metal wall behind them. "I'm not sure that I have the stamina to last several days, siha." She pulled back, allowing him to tug the undersuit over her shoulders and down to her waist. "But I'll do my best to keep up."

Through much searching, she'd finally found the line of clasps holding the front of his suit together, and she slid through them quickly, baring his chest to the palms of her hands. He was cool at the moment, but she could feel his skin warming to her touch. Thane pushed the material down to his waist, then leaned in to kiss the side of her jaw, sliding his own hands over her hips and pulling them flush with his.

She dragged her nails over his shoulders, feeling the small scales that comprised the surface ripple under them. The vids had informed her that drell skin was less sensitive than human skin, and required more direct pressure to stimulate. When she dragged her nails up and over the red ridges on his throat, she could feel the rumbling response, like a soft trill in his throat. It was deep and reverberant, and she found it incredibly sexy.

Thane pushed at the undersuit that clung stubbornly to her hips, pushing it down enough to slide under the hem of her panties. He parted her, stroking her lips, kneading them gently with his fingers, all the while worrying her earlobe with his teeth. She gripped his shoulders in response, moving against his fused fingers as they slid over her, just grazing the sensitive bud at her peak. The adrenaline response in her body had already triggered her endorphins, and the feeling of his rough skin against her clit was driving her close to the edge.

Grasping his chin in both hands, she brought his lips back to hers, maneuvering them backwards as she dipped her tongue into his now warm mouth, running it over the blunt edges of his molars. He murmured a small protest as back of his knee hit the chair where he normally meditated, but she was insistent, slipping her hands to his hips to pull on the tight portion of the bottom half of his suit. His hand slipped from her panties, and she made a small noise of protest.

"Siha," he took one of her hands gently in his, moving it to the middle of his suit, directly below the spot where a belly button would be on a human. "The clasp is here." He placed her hand on it, but allowed her to unfasten it. She could feel the rigid length of him beneath the shiny material, and he groaned when the fabric finally parted, and she pushed it down past his hips.

"Sit." She commanded, pushing him down with one hand, and he complied, his lips grazing her breast on the way down. Kneeling in front of him, she pulled the suit down past his calves, letting him kick it off the ends of his feet. His hands tugged the fabric of her undersuit down while she hastily removed her panties, kicking the pile of clothing to the side and positioning herself on his lap.

He captured a nipple in his mouth, sucking on it through the fabric of her bra as she lowered herself onto him slowly, giving them both a moment to adjust. He was so lovely, so alien, and his penis felt like nothing that she'd ever experienced before. She'd seen the vids, with the wildly orgasmic human women writhing under lovely drell men, and now she knew why. The ridges that lined his member hit every sensitive spot, from outer to inner vaginal wall.

When he moved his hips tentatively, she gasped loudly, her hand fastening to his arm in a claw like grip. "Siha... did I hurt you?" His voice was gentle, and he was completely still, dark eyes focused on hers.

She shook her head, unable to formulate her thoughts for moment. "I..." Shaking her head, she tried to concentrate through the sheer amount of feelings coursing through her at the moment. "I'm fine. Not hurt. I didn't expect it to feel this incredibly... good..." It was the lamest word possible, considering the depth of sensation, but it was all that she could come up with.

His hips moved again under hers, and she sucked in a breath, but he didn't stop this time. She planted her feet on either side of him and moved with him, rolling her hips into his, marveling at the ever growing warmth that was spreading from where they joined to the tips of her limbs. The green of his skin turned into rolling green hills under her, undulating softly. Underneath it all, she could feel her muscles clenching around him, feel the wonderfully pleasant ache building and building in that spot just inside of her, that spot that he kept stroking with the firm ridges of his skin.

Suddenly he was the sea, verdant and flowing beneath her, crashing into the sand that was her shore. Or maybe she was the sea, and he was the waves, rolling over her, faster and faster, like a storm building. It was hard to tell who was what, where he began and she ended, and she leaned into his waves and she was saying things, things about the sea and movement, she had no idea anymore. It was his name that came crashing from her lips when she climaxed, and it was like being struck by lightning, a storm at sea. She tensed against him, felt him twitch inside of her, then she was still, slumping forward to rest her dampened curls on his shoulder.


She awoke an indeterminable amount of time later, sprawled on her back in her own bed, the covers crumpled under her like a badly used tissue. Glancing down, she saw that she was wearing a t-shirt and shorts. The last thing that she could remember was stumbling over to Thane's small cot, completely naked, so it was quite obvious that many things had happened since then.

Pushing herself up on her elbows, she maneuvered herself to a sitting position. "EDI, can I get the date and time." The headache started as soon as she opened her mouth, a dull pounding right behind her eyes. When EDI calmly rattled off a date and time some twenty-three hours after her last cognizant thought, she groaned. As if picking up the cue, her stomach grumbled along with her. The time explained why she felt like crap, as she hadn't remembered to eat or properly hydrate after coming back on board.

The door to her cabin swished open just as she was standing, and Thane came in with a huge tray of something that smelled so wonderful that she practically started crying. He set that tray down on the glass table, and gently grabbed her hand when she lunged for a piece of bread. "Drink first." He commanded, handing a glass of pale yellow liquid. "Mordin infused it with electrolytes to combat dehydration." His eyes remained fixed on her until she tentatively started drinking.

The liquid tasted pretty damned good, vaguely like lemonade, and she had to pace herself to keep from guzzling it. Alliance combat training had drilled into her head that all food and drink should be consumed steadily, especially in cases of moderate dehydration or illness. She couldn't afford to lose any more fluids to the nausea that quick drinking would induce. Sitting back, she alternated slowly between the bread and the glass. "I'm sure that Mordin had more to say than just that."

Thane scooted closer to her, leaning back and resting his outstretched arms on the leather backing. "He also scolded me for not bringing you down to the lab immediately after our... tryst." The way that word rolled languorously over his tongue sent a shudder up her spine.

She pointed at him with her piece of bread. "Don't think that your voice thing is going to work on me right now, Thane. You're not getting into these panties again until I've eaten something and taken a damned shower." Stuffing the remainder of the bread in her mouth, she reached for a piece of chicken. "I am actually wearing panties, right?"

He chuckled and leaned forward, picking up an apple. "Miranda and I made sure to dress you in your normal bed clothes."

"Miranda... dressed me?" She nearly choked on the piece of chicken that she was attempting to ingest.

"She aided me in dressing you, yes." Thane shook his head and gestured towards her dresser. "I'm unfamiliar with human underwear, siha, and drell females don't even have breasts." His expression turned thoughtful. "I did quite enjoy watching."

"What..." She sputtered, and his lips spread into a wide grin. "Cute, Thane Krios, very cute." It was difficult not to smile when he was in such a good mood. "I guess I'll have to live with the indignity of being dressed by my second in command. At least Miranda is discreet."

Thirty minutes later, Shepard was having the best shower of her entire life. Thane had graciously agreed to take the leavings of their dinner back to the mess, and she suspected that he was spending extra time on the crew deck to give her much needed personal hygiene time. It really was a shame that he didn't care for humidity, else she would have pulled him in along with her. There were a few things to attend to before they traveled back to the Citadel and gave the crew some much needed shore leave, but she fully intended to spend as much of her spare time as she could getting to know her drell a little more intimately.

After prying herself away from the blissful heat of the water, she spent five minutes brushing, flossing and gargling. Her mouth had probably smelled like the inside of a varren den after that much time, and she hated the feeling of fuzzy teeth. She smoothed some gel into her damp hair, and headed to the comm terminal.

Miranda picked up at the first signal, appearing on her screen looking as flawlessly put together as ever. "Shepard, you're looking well." To her credit, Lawson didn't even smirk when she said this.

"Yeah... I think that I owe you some thanks for that." Shepard tapped the desk with her finger and looked studiously at the keyboard of her terminal.

"You were exhausted Shepard." This time Miranda did give her a grin. "Understandably so." She paused appropriately, then folded her hands in front of her, all business again. " While you were resting, I directed Joker to put us on a course towards the Citadel, after a small stop near Hagalaz, of course."

They had discussed as much right after the Collector mission, and Shepard nodded in approval. "Do you need anything from me, Miranda? It seems like you're holding everything together really well..."

"Grace," Miranda interrupted, "I have everything under control. Spend some time with Thane. You deserve it."

She gave Miranda a half salute "Aye-aye." With a nod, Miranda terminated the connection.

Shepard made a few more calls; to Chakwas to check on the wounded crew, to Tali to check on the engineering deck status, to Joker and EDI to check on the status of the Normandy herself. Her final call was to Mordin, who after several minutes of chastisement informed her that he was sending a few things up to her cabin in Thane's care. "Gels for rash, though Cerberus enhancements appear to handle that well." He squinted at her through the vid screen. "More liquid for re-hydration. Very important, that." The salarian paused for a moment, scrolling through notes on his datapad. "Oh. And pills. For hallucination. Seems to be particularly strong with absorption of drell semen." Her face was burning by the time that she managed to cut him off and make her excuses to end the comm session.

Propping her feet up on the desk, she waited for Thane to come back with the pills. The salarian's "talk" had at least given her some ideas on how to spend the next several hours before reaching Liara. She stood as Thane entered the room, taking his hand in hers. "So," she purred, pulling him towards the sofa, "I think I'm going to need one or two of those pills."

A/N: Gahhhhh... it's been a long time, I know. Bioware's lack of concern for Thane has kind of renewed my interest in him as a character, so hopefully I'll be able to get some more of this done at some point. Many, many thanks to Katerina Kintari for putting up with reading and re-reading stuff, and being a sounding board, and making me write smut. She has so many wonderful Thane stories, so if you need a fix, look no further. Also thanks to lyssalu (another good Thane writer), Hanar05, IccaRa and LT (or PirateRose here... you should check out her stuff too), and anyone else I can't remember from NSAS. You guys are inspirational, and hella amusing.

Many, many apologies to anyone who has reviewed in the past however long who I have not responded to. Some of you brought up some very good points about my language use (esp the Cajun), and I'll be going back to correct it at some point. I will try to get back around to responding to people, as I do appreciate anyone taking the time to tell me what they think.

Any errors are mine... yadda, yadda, yadda :).