Author's Notes: This was written back during Lent during a Jacob Taylor Appreciation Fic Writing Project I imposed on myself when I got sick and tired of all the Jacob-bashing I saw in the fandom. Follows a Jacob/femShep romance with a Jacob and Garrus friendship. These are two separate ficlets but I decided it would be better if they were posted together as one here. Enjoy!

Her desk had been ridiculed into an embarrassing mess of strewn about OSDs and books and magazines, and since they had some downtime for the first time in a long time, Shepard decided it was time to do something about it.

As she shelved the books and collected the OSDs in a pile to sort through later (how did she accumulate so many?) the door to her cabin slid open. Two dark arms snaked around her waist and a deep voice breathed into her ear, "When there's nothing to do you still manage to find something to occupy your time, don't you?"

Shepard smirked and she leaned back into his chest. "I was just passing the time waiting for you, Mr. Taylor," she said. A lie, but the mess could wait.

"I'm sure you were," he said. She turned around and wrapped her arms around his neck. Before she could lean in to kiss him, though, his eyes snapped to something behind her, and his eyebrow lifted suspiciously. "Shepard, what's this?"

He let her go and grabbed something from the desk, glanced over it, and turned around and showed her what had caught his attention: a magazine, where a hanar had its tentacles twisted around an asari provocatively. Shepard bit her lip and felt her cheeks burn.

"Garrus dared me to buy it," she said quickly.

The corner of his lips tugged up in a leering smirk. "Mm-hmm."

"He did." But Jacob didn't back down, and Shepard felt ready to die. Instead, she narrowed her eyes and snarled, "I hate you."

He just laughed.

"Hey, Garrus, can I ask you something real quick?"

Garrus looked over his shoulder and saw Jacob standing in the open entryway of the main battery, his face unreadable and his stance almost confrontational. Garrus frowned and turned back to the console.

"I'm a bit busy here, Jacob. Can it wait?"

Jacob didn't say anything for a moment. "It could," he said, "but I'd rather not."

Garrus sighed, and he found a good place to take a quick break without the system going haywire on him. He turned to face the human, leaning against the console carefully as to not accidentally press or bump into any offending buttons or controls. Jacob rarely persisted unless it was something particularly important, and though Jacob said the matter could wait, Garrus figured he could give the man a quick few minutes. These calibrations were less important now, anyway, with the Collectors gone.

"Okay," Garrus said, "what is it?"

Jacob hesitated briefly before showing Garrus something he held in his hands. "Is it true you dared the commander to buy this?"

It was a magazine, Garrus saw, with the word "Fornax" printed flamboyantly across the top and had a picture of a hanar on top of a nearly naked asari. Garrus reached back into his memory for a moment, and then he remembered that night on Omega between missions.

"Er, yeah. A drunken dare, to be fair. We--Tali and I--thought it'd be funny, getting Shepard to buy something she'd be too proud to even consider sober."

"Huh," said Jacob, nodding slowly and turning the magazine over to study the cover. Neither turian nor human budged for a few agonizing seconds. And then, "Man, have you seen some of the things in here?"

Garrus was taken aback. "I, uh, flipped through it once. Briefly." A beat. "There's some freaky images in there."

"Did you catch the one right after the centerfold?"

"With the elcor?"

Jacob cringed. "Never going to look at them the same way again. Centerfold was, uh, pleasant to look at, at least."

"For you humans, maybe. Here," said Garrus as reached over and grabbed the magazine, "let me show you what really got me..."

He flipped to the page in question and showed Jacob. "Oh, man," said Jacob, either in awe or disgust, Garrus couldn't tell which.


"How is that even possible?"

Garrus chuckled. "Reach and flexibility."

Jacob stared. "Personal experience?" When all Garrus did was shrug, Jacob shook his head. "Never mind. I don't want to know."