Alright, so this is the first Fan-Fiction i've ever attempted, so try to bear with me lol. Any advice or whatnot is very appreciated. Ive been a mass effect fan since the first game was released, its a wonderful game universe that allows many stories by fans to be written on this site. Personally, Tali and Shepard are my favourite characters, ive read alot of the stories of them here, so i thought id try my hand at writing a bit. Ive been using the Very helpful mass effect wiki and Youtube, in addition to my own knowledge, to be as accurate as i can. im wondering if i should make this a one story thing, or add some more chapters after this one, ill need your opinions. Alright, here goes nothing! just some info on my idea of this Shepard first:

Commander Jesse Shepard, Council Spectre

Colonist

Sole Survivor

Soldier

Overall, mainly Paragon but partly Renegade

Appearance: Pale Caucasian, short brown hair, Some facial scarring, dark brown eyes, clean shaven.

Info: Slightly detached from socializing, focuses on his work mainly, but does make conversations sometimes. Didn't pursue a romantic Relationship in ME 1.

Setting: Mass Effect 2, Normandy (of course)


Unexpected

Commander Jesse Shepard sat at his desk deep in thought, staring at the data file that Garrus had brought up, about the new upgrades to the Normandy's main guns, but not really reading.

Things were going well aboard the Normandy... well, as good as things could get hunting the Collectors across the galaxy, picking up the best Professionals there were and trying to stop the reapers.

Shepard had just recently got back from the Migrant Fleet after taking back the Alarei and having successfully defended Tali at her trial with the conclave. Shepard had deep respect for the Quarian people, but couldn't understand the board for calling a sham trial against the woman who was obviously the most important person in their whole flotilla. Without her, Shepard wouldn't have been able to stop Saren and Sovereign.

Shepard lay the data file aside, stood up and paced across his room, walked over to the fish tank. Shepard had talked with all the crew members at least once, but perhaps it was time to socialize a bit more... he had already read all the data files and reports, found and destroyed all Miranda's listening devices in his room.

There may not have been much for Cerberus to overhear in his room, but he trusted them about as far as he could throw Wrex. He also didn't really want to just sit up in his cabin alone in between all his missions.

Shepard walked across the room, over to the intercom and keyed it:

"Joker here Commander", came the response.

"Joker, how long until we reach the Citadel?" Shepard inquired.

"ETA to the Citadel, Two hours commander. It would have been one and a half hours, but that damn EDI wont stop playing with my Chair! i swear, if she doesn't stop, I'm turning this ship right around!" Joker complained.

In the background, Shepard could hear EDI retort in an amused voice:

"You did insist on Manual control Mr. Moreau".

Shepard shook his head, "Oh, suck it up brittle bones, or you'll be restricted to decaf from now on".

Joker groaned, "Greaaat. Why don't you just serve it in the airlock, hard-ass." He switched off the intercom.

Shepard snickered to himself. Two hours.. more than enough time. He had gone to see Tali after her trial, he had wanted to make sure she was alright, after everything she had gone through.. losing her father. Shepard knew exactly what it was like to lose family. Shepard would and could never forget Mindoir.

Rael Zorah hadn't cared much about Tali from what he had seen.. but he did do what he did to try and give her a better life. A home on the home world.

Shepard had a bit of respect for the man. Shepard had withheld the evidence, and rallied the crowd into supporting Tali.. he doubted he could have done it without the help of Kal Reegar and Veetor.

Afterwords, he had insisted they abandon their plans of war with the Geth, it would be a useless fight. The galaxy needed to stand together, not fight amongst each other. If the galaxy was going to survive, they had to work together.. luckily, Shepard was a survivor, had been all his life. He could help show the galaxy what it took to live.

Shepard changed out of his shirt and into his Green SR-2 casual outfit and headed towards the elevator. He wanted to visit Tali, see how she was fitting in aboard the Normandy. He keyed the control panel in the elevator and selected Deck 4, Engineering. The elevator responded to his request, and slowly descended. Shepard stood casually, stretching his arms.

This elevator is almost as slow as the first Normandy's elevator, he thought to himself.

Perhaps ill see if i can get some of that elevator music from the Citadel, install it in the elevator's intercom... it'd make the ride worth taking, even if there were no chatting squadmates... or maybe even that interesting music Flux had.. maybe Garrus has a copy? He wondered.

The elevator passed the Third deck and came to a stop at engineering, abruptly ending his thoughts. The door opened and Shepard walked out. He turned and walked towards the door to his immediate right, moving over the metal walkway to engineering. He nodded to Zaeed through the windows between them, Zaeed nodded back. Before Shepard was able to get to engineering, a voice called up from under the stairs:

"Shepard, that you up there?" shouted Jack.

Shepard leaned over the rail.

"It's me Jack, what do you need?" Shepard called down.

"I thought i told you to keep your people off me! you tell that dude in engineering that if he comes down here again to try chatting me up, i'm going to hit his ass with a Shockwave!"

Shepard sighed to himself and muttered

"Kenneth you idiot..

Alright than Jack, ill let him know!" Shepard called.

Shepard continued on to Engineering, the door beeped, the green sign dispersed and the door opened.

Tali'Zorah vas Normandy was standing at her console typing away busily and didn't notice Shepard walk in. Shepard paused for a second, than walked by her, over to Kenneth and Gabby on the far side of the deck.

I may as well get this stuff out of the way before talking to her, Shepard thought.

Engineers Kenneth Donnelly and Gabriella "Gabby" Daniels turned towards Shepard, Gabby saluted.

"What can we do for you commander? we weren't expecting you down here ya Devil!", Kenneth said.

"Your speaking to our Commander Kenneth!", hissed Gabby, still saluting. "Don't be so casual!"

"At ease Gabby, it's no problem" Shepard told her, returning her salute.

"So, what are you here for Commander?" Kenneth inquired.

Shepard crossed his arms. "I think you already know Kenneth. Jack told me you've been trying to chat her up".

Kenneth shifted nervously, Gabby smirked to herself.

"Err yes commander, that'd be me.. you see, i was... *Ahem* just welcoming her aboard... you know." Ken stated nervously.

Gabby shook her head. "I warned you Kenneth, she's a crazy woman"

"Yea, but later on i thought what the hell, eh? you know what i mean there commander?" Kenneth said with a smile.

"Fully. So i thought id give you a message from her she asked me to deliver to you." Shepard said returning his smile.

"Oh! a message from her? what is it? she wants me to run down and see her again?"

Shepard shook his head. "Not quite, she told me if you go down there again, she will 'Hit your ass with a Shockwave'. Shepard shrugged, "that's all."

Kenneth's eyes bulged in fright

"Errr, i've suddenly decided i don't think i'm going down there again Commander."

Gabby laughed. "Whats the matter Kenneth, you frightened?"

"No i'm not!, i guess your right though, going down there woulden't be good for my life expectancy."

Shepard laughed, "Good call Kenneth, we need your engineering skills".

"Yes we do, but without me, he'd have fallen apart by now!, next thing you know he'll complain about the upgrades Garrus put in the main guns" Gabby teased.

"Aw leave me alone Mum!, But, you do raise a good point, those upgrades threw off the balance grid! More work for me to set them right again", Kenneth complained.

Shepard decided to leave them to it. "I should go" he said, and started walking over to Tali's station.

As he walked away their bickering continued.

Shepard stepped up behind Tali, took a deep breath and than cleared his throat. Tali turned from her station in surprise.

"Shepard! What can i do for you?" she asked.

Shepard smiled at her.

"Have you got time to talk?" He inquired.

"Sure!" she said happily, "Let me just.." She reached to her Omni tool and started pressing buttons. "Come ON you little Bosh'tet!" She shouted in frustration. "Oh," she said, looking up embarrassed. "Sorry. i've got a small fever, and I'm taking it out on the poor drive core, Don't worry, she said, holding her arms up, It's nothing serious, got sloppy while doing some suit repair."

"Your sick? do you need help? or time to rest?" Shepard asked, concerned.

"Really, it's not that bad. If a stray bit of bacteria could really kill us, we'd have all died by now. The fever should go away in a day or two. Don't worry, it wont effect my performance on the mission. It's not even an illness really. What we experience is an acute allergic reaction". she replied.

"How exactly does the sickness work? It's an allergic reaction?" Shepard wondered.

"Right. Say i get exposed to a human disease. Like, what did Navigator Pressly have that time? chicken pox?"

Shepard nodded "Yea, that was it".

"You see, i wouldn't Get Chicken pox, but i'd run a fever as my system reacted to the foreign presence. Depending on where it hits me, i could get other symptoms. Nausea, vomiting, everything you expect from being sick". she finished.

"I see.. how did you get sick this time?" Shepard asked.

"I took some fire back on the Alarei". she said, rubbing her arm. "Nothing serious, but i needed to open my suit to check the wound".

Shepard unconsciously crossed his arms as he listened, a lifelong casual habit of his.

"I disinfected properly", she continued. "But one of the section seals had taken some damage, and foreign matter got out of the disinfected zone."

"It was a stupid mistake", she sighed. "You always check your seals before doing local treatment, unless you forget. Than you get a damn fever", she finished with a shake of her head.

"You can seal off a part of your suit?" Shepard inquired.

"Right, like dropping emergency doors on a ship during a hull breach. It wont stop an infection that gets into my bloodstream, but it prevents a surface infection from spreading". she answered.

Shepard thought to himself for a second,

Well.. perhaps i'm not such a bad conversationalist, its fun talking to her.

It had taken Shepard some effort to talk with his crew back on the old Normandy when off duty. It seemed to be easier now.. when Shepard was given another chance at life.. he had decided it was too much of a wake up call to ignore. He wouldn't let opportunities pass him by anymore. He cared a lot about Tali, she was one of few who had stood by his side when so many others turned their back to him. People he thought were his friends showed their true colors. He was glad she was here.

Kelly's words came back to Shepard.

"My female intuition tells me she want to be more than just good friends"

"What do you mean?" Shepard had asked

"It's in her body language, the way she turns to you when you enter a room, how she watches your every move".

Shepard had brushed Kelly's thought off as ridiculous, thus, Shepard didn't expect what happened next.

"I don't know if i could live inside a suit my whole life". He said, keeping the conversation going.

"We are in our suits even among family. The most intimate thing we can do with another Quarian, is link our suit environments. We get sick at first, and then we adapt. It's our most important gesture of trust.. of acceptance. I haven't trusted anyone enough for that though. Except... well, no Quarian's. Um. you know what i mean". she finished shyly.

Shepard smiled, it meant a lot to hear how much she trusted him.

"I appreciate the thought, Tali, and i feel the same way. But you don't have to prove anything to me." he said warmly.

"I know". She said softly, "well, not that i know, but i didn't mean it like that. It's.. um.. Wow, it's really hot in here. It's just that the tradition also signifies a willingness for, um, intimacy. I.. i wasn't trying to.. its not always like that, it's more... how did we even end up talking about this?" she asked, Raising her three fingered hand and touching her visor in a nervous gesture.

Shepard's eyes widened slightly.

...What the... Is she actually making a pass at me or something? My god! that's.... awesome.. i.. why would she want me though? I mean, what's so appealing about me? Hm.. Maybe Kelly was right.. lets see.. need to make the right response..

Shepard smiled warmly at her.

"Wait a minute, It sounds like your suggesting something Tali". He said Curiously.

She crossed her arms over her chest and leaned back against the console.

"What could i possibly be suggesting?" She asked, attempting to sound casual and calm, but on the inside her heart was pounding rapidly.

"I mean, a young woman gets rescued by a dashing commander who lets her join his crew, and than goes off to save the galaxy?" She uncrossed her arms and stopped leaning. "How could she possibly develop any kind of interest in him? she asked in a quiet,calm voice.

Shepard stood for a second, mulling over her words.

I trust her, he thought to himself. I care about her more than i can say.. i think i have for quite some time, just hadn't let myself realize that before.

His thoughts drifted back to the Alarei. He remembered himself hugging her.. not really wanting to let go, but military discipline had always come first in Shepard's life, ever since he joined the Alliance after Mindoir, before all else.

I think... It's time to actually start thinking about what i want sometimes.. what i care about.

Shepard smiled kindly at her.

"You have nothing to be embarrassed about Tali", he said. "I feel the same way about you."

"Really?" Tali's arms suddenly shot up to her sides, she did a slight bounce on her feet in her sudden surprise.

"I didn't... you never....well, good. Uh.. anyways, i should get back to work. But... thanks. For coming by. And talking."

She stared into Shepard's eyes for a few seconds, nodded her head at him and turned back to her work.

Shepard's heart felt like it was going through the recoil of a shotgun. He smiled again, and walked out the door. He walked past the stairwell, over Jacks room turned to the left and walked into the elevator. As the doors closed he leaned against the wall, closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

I wasn't expecting it to go like that... but i'm glad. I think that's the first time i've actually liked a surprise.

Shepard pressed the console, and the lift began its ascension to his room. When he arrived, he walked across the room and sat down on his bed. It was about an hour until they would reach the Citadel.

Thane had asked him for help with his son, Kolyat had gotten involved in the wrong crowd. Not only was Shepard inclined to help him because Thane was a friend and member of the crew, but Shepard wanted to make sure Thanes family situation was taken care of.

Too many broken family's in this damn galaxy,Shepard thought bitterly.

Shepard moved to his armor changing station. As he changed into his N7 armor, he thought of Tali.

He remembered some of the things she had said over the mission.. he hadn't considered the meaning behind the words at the time, but now that he carefully remembered them.. her attraction to him had actually been somewhat obvious, but he had been clueless.

"So much empty space.. walls of stone. I wish my friends could see it... i wish Shepard were here."

"It means a lot to hear your voice."

"I'm here for you. Not them."

"I cant believe you pulled that off.. what you said. I've never had anyone speak like that on my behalf. Thank you for being there for my father and me, even when... thank you."

"Thanks.. but i'm fine with things like this. It's fun watching you shout."

"I got better Shepard... i got You."

I think ill bring her and Garrus along to help me and Thane on this one.. when that mission is done, ill go see her again, we can continue our.. discussion.

When Shepard had changed, He paced over to the console to activate EDI in his room. Her computerized form sprung up.

"Yes Shepard?" Her voice asked calmly

"EDI, contact Thane, Garrus and Tali. Tell them to meet me in the armory in 5 minutes, we have business on the Citadel". Shepard told her.

"Acknowledged Commander". She stated, her form dispersed.


Meanwhile

Tali stood at her station, pretending to work, not really looking at the console. She couldn't take her mind off the conversation that had just taken place.

Keelah! She thought, smiling happily. I didn't expect him to feel the same way.. thank goodness he couldn't see my face.. i don't think that i've ever blushed that much.

As she carefully thought it all over, a revelation appeared to her.. she became worried:

That was actually really unprofessional of me... why was i being so selfish? I don't.. i don't want what i desire to get in the way of the mission.. what if i cause him to get distracted? I cant just think of myself..

What if i get him hurt or killed? Keelah.. why didn't i think about this ahead of time.. instead i let it all slip out. His eyes.. they.. there's something to them i cant even describe.. why would he want to be with me? He could be with any woman on the ship, any woman in the galaxy probably! any of them would be better for him than me.. he deserves to be happy with somebody.. how can i make him happy?.

Tali shook her head sadly.

I really want this.. more than anything.. but the next time we can talk in private, i'll let him know all this.

With that in mind, she stared monitor, and forced herself to get back to work.

Suddenly, EDI's monitor in Engineering activated.

"Tali, Shepard has requested you assemble in the armory in 5 minutes. Citadel business." EDI told her.

Tali wasn't very comfortable with the AI around, but she trusted Shepard knew what was best.

"Alright" she replied calmly, "ill make my way there".

"Acknowledged". EDI's hologram dispersed.

Tali stretched her arms and walked away from the console.

Well, looks like we have a mission. She thought.

I better get to it.

She walked out the engineering doors. They closed behind her, and she was gone.


Ok, Phew, got that chapter done. i have some ideas forming for what happens next, id just like some opinions, thoughts of the story etc. Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy.