Disclaimer: I don't own Bioware.


Chapter One: New Wounds

Leave it to Shepard to try talking her way out of med bay.

Just an hour before, the Collector base had been destroyed, the Normandy had darted back through the Omega-4 relay, and Shepard had confidently told the Illusive man where to shove his scheming. Yet, for all the sticky situations she'd been able to wiggle her way out of, Chakwas had no intention of letting her sneak out of the med bay.

Despite the intensity of the mission, overall injuries were fairly minor, giving the good doctor ample time to inspect the commander. Shepard had dutifully arrived to medbay to check on the injuries of her crew, but clearly had no intention of getting poked and prodded herself. As she slowly backed away towards the exit, Chakwas snatched her arm, giving a rather matronly speech about how Shepard really had to take better care of herself. Garrus ignored Mordin as he scanned him over, and instead watched with hidden amusement as Shepard used all of her wiles to try and persuade Chakwas that she was fine, as well as pointing out that the Normandy was in dire need of repairs and that reports would need to be filed ASAP to the Alliance and the council. Finally, when Shepard realized she was getting nowhere, she called out to Mordin in a final plea.

"No no no," the salarian rambled. "Suit indicates burns from collector weapons as well as blunt trauma. Post mission physical a must." The doctor narrowed his bulged eyes with amusement. "Sorry, Shepard."

"Fine," groaned Shepard at last, her normally sturdy frame going limp in defeat. "Have your way with me, doctor." Chakwas wasted no time in dragging Shepard into the back room, closing the door abruptly behind them.

Mordin returned to his scans on Garrus, putting the device a little too close to Garrus' scarred face for comfort. "No serious injuries detected," the salarian proudly announced. "Still, would like to see what I can do about facial scars. Received more grafting equipment before mission. Want to give it a try."

The turian let out an exaggerated sigh. He and Tali had been by the commander's side throughout the mission, and the quarian had even received a small suit breach from a husk, yet despite the delicate nature of the quarian immune system she was just handed a few antibiotics and sent on her merry way.

"My scars stopped bothering me a while ago," the turian insisted, crossing his thin arms and doing his best to sound annoyed. "You must have more important things to do at a time like this."

Mordin shrugged casually. "Not really. Surprisingly few injuries. Grunt escorted crew back to Normandy without incident, Tali took medication before mission, second team received light resistance, Samara only fatigued from biotic barrier, Legion heat tolerant from vent hacking- "

Garrus lifted his taloned hand up in defeat. "Alright. I get the point."

Before laying against the cold white surgical table, Garrus glanced his blue eyes warily over at the back room where Shepard had been taken. It was surprisingly quiet back there. He could feel adrenaline trickle into his blue veins. "Hope Shepard is alright," he muttered.


The grafting procedure was relatively short, yet the constant jabbing at his charred skin caused more than a few grunts from the belligerent turian. After what seemed like days to Garrus, Mordin clapped his hands together, announcing in an unusually curt manner, "Done!"

Just as Garrus hoisted his sore, armored clad body up, the door to the back room finally opened. Chakwas strode out defiantly, a heavily bandaged Shepard plodding after. The commander's heavy armor had been removed, leaving nothing on but her black latex undersuit and bandages. "Now I am restricting you to you quarters for the next twenty four hours, commander," Chakwas chided. "Medigel can only do so much, and your wounds won't heal properly if you go running around the galaxy."

Shepard gave a sheepish look, waving her arms in tired defeat. "Yes mother. Just do me one favor and tell Miranda to plot a course to the Citadel for repairs and shore leave."

The doctor gave a devilish smirk. "Fine, I'll pass along the message. But I mean it, Shepard, you have to relax. Doctor's orders." She beckoned Garrus over with a wave of her gloved hand. "Garrus, would you please make sure Shepard gets back to her quarters without incident?"

In return, Garrus nodded. "Yeah, I can do that."

Shepard hobbled towards the exit. Had she been limping before? The commander was apparently adept at shrugging off her injuries, or at least pretending like she could.

Warily, Garrus asked, "Need a hand?" He didn't like the large grin forming on Mordin's red face.

"I'm okay," Shepard replied, though the pure fatigue in her voice indicated otherwise. As she slowly exited the medbay, she abruptly stopped and exhaled in pain, hunching over slightly. "Wouldn't hurt so bad if Chakwas hadn't kept jabbing me," she groaned.

Hesitantly, Garrus wrapped his arm around her for support. The human wasted no time leaning on him. "Thanks," she replied quietly.


Garrus could feel his heart pound as they entered Shepard's quarters. Strange, he thought, that he should still feel so nervous even though they'd already… 'blown off steam.' He slowly released his grip on Shepard's small, soft body, allowing her to take a few steps into her room. Their time together went surprisingly well in his opinion, so why did he suddenly feel so hesitant?

To Garrus' embarrassed surprise, the commander took a step or to forward before nonchalantly unzipping her undersuit. "I should probably go…" he murmured, shyly glancing away. He had no idea if their time together was a one night thing, and he certainly did not wish to overstep his bounds. Perhaps the commander was too drugged to even to be thinking clearly.

Shepard quickly whirled around to face him. "Where are you going in such a rush?" she cooed, approaching him slowly. "I could use some help…getting undressed."

"Commander," coughed Garrus, uneasy. "Shepard, you need to rest."

The woman smirked, amused. Gently, she touched him, running her hand to one of the buckles on the side of his armor. "I'd sleep better if you were around." She quickly unclasped the buckle, causing the chestpiece of his armor to loosen slightly.

"Shepard..." Part of him was thrilled that Shepard wanted to continue their time together. He'd always respected her, even cared for her, and they had a unique chemistry whenever they interacted. But there would be…issues. Even though Shepard was not one to show her affections in public, it was going to be dreadfully obvious if Garrus started popping out of her room every morning at 0600. The crew would talk, the media would speculate. His father (and possibly the commander's mother?) would disapprove. And despite his reaction on Horizon, Garrus knew that Shepard's former lover, Alenko, would eventually seek her out. Things were going to get complicated.

Something in his deep blue eyes must have given something away, for Shepard's features softened. She beamed at him, giving a pure, genuine smile, unrestrained by her usual military composure. "Stay with me. Please." She spoke softly yet urgently, gliding her hand against the back of his neck. It hadn't taken her long to figure out it was a particularly sensitive spot, and sure enough the turian groaned slightly in response.

At that moment, Garrus knew he could not refuse her. Even when he disagreed with her, about Saleon, about Sidonis, he knew he could not defy her wishes. And, as he slowly removed his armor, he knew he never would.