Disclaimer: This is me still not owning Mass Effect. Shucks.
Notes: Holy delay of gratification, Batman! Has it really been eight months since I last updated this story? PROFUSE APOLOGIES! Kind of lost any and all desire to write for a long stretch there, and that lack of inspiration coupled with my anxiety over having the perfect ending to this story was enough to make me very late with this update. Hopefully you can all forgive me after reading this chapter.
And yes, this is the end of our tale. I'm sure I'll write more Garrus/Shepard in the future though, so take heart!
As always, please let me know what you think, even just a sentence or two verifying that you did in fact read this and that no, it was not trash would really make my day!
By the way, why didn't anyone tell me I was spelling Kaidan's name wrong? Oh well, I'll go back and edit previous chapters to fix it. Oops.
Without further ado…
"Can he stand?"
"Give him some room to breathe!"
"Jesus Shepard, you guys seriously couldn't keep in it your pants long enough to lock the door?"
"…Shut the fuck up, Joker."
Several people were crowded around a semi-unconscious Kaidan Alenko, including a hastily-dressed Shepard and Garrus. Dr. Chakwas knelt at the side of the fallen biotic, patting his cheek firmly. Kaidan was groggily starting to come to, when he let out an inarticulate bellow of sheer horror and began to flail around spastically.
"Alenko!" Dr. Chakwas said, raising her voice over his sniveling. "Alenko, calm down!"
He slowly went still, then looked up, blinking rapidly.
He saw Shepard and Garrus standing side by side, looking down at him with concerned and amused expressions, and his face promptly started to turn purple.
"You! And-and… naked-!"
"Easy now," Dr. Chakwas soothed, doing her best to stifle a smirk, "you've had a bit of a shock-"
"-and then squealed and fainted like a little girl-" Joker interjected, resulting in Shepard's elbow in his ribs,
"-but you're fine." Dr. Chakwas finished, shooting Joker a dirty look.
"Bit of a shock?" Kaidan demanded, sitting up quickly and struggling to his feet, "I just saw Shepard and Garrus Vakarian all-all naked and sex-like!"
Shepard snorted as Garrus whispered in her ear something about "raging hard-ons, lack of blood to the brain and losing consciousness, and Kaidan seethed.
"How is no one else bothered by this?" he demanded, and Jack rolled her eyes.
"Seriously, we've all caught them fucking at some point – get over it."
Several people nodded solemnly, recalling their own "holy shit interspecies sexings!" moment, facing paling or flushing depending on their enjoyment (or lack thereof) of the surprise.
EDI's voice, which Shepard had to remind herself was unable to sound reproachful, came over the intercom.
"All crew must take their places for docking procedures with the Citadel at this time."
Everyone shuffled off, having a job to do, and Kaidan sighed, rethinking his previous reluctance to leave the new Normandy – if catching his nymphomaniac ex-girlfriend having very vigorous sex with her alien lover was a regular occurrence around here, well… maybe it was best he not be around.
Once was so enough.
"So, I guess this is goodbye, then."
Shepard, Garrus and Kaidan stood outside the Normandy, looking everywhere but at each other.
Kaidan looked up at Shepard as she spoke, and nodded.
"I guess so." He replied, hands deep in his pockets.
They shared a rueful smile, and Kaidan dipped his head toward Shepard, inviting her to go first.
"I just… I wanted to say that I'm glad we got to see each other again… get things, I don't know, cleared up a bit? Despite the big ass pile of trouble you caused me." She smirked, and Kaidan chuckled.
"I'm glad too. Look, on Aite… you made the right call, Shepard. I didn't want to admit it at the time, but it's true. And I'm… sorry for doubting you. Not just then, but before, on Horizon… I had no right to accuse you of being a traitor, no right to treat you that way…" he turned to Garrus,
"And I'm not going to pretend that I'm not jealous, or… bothered… or anything like that, but it's obvious that you care about her, so just… take care of her, alright?"
Garrus nodded, than held out his hand. "Alenko… well, I guess… I guess you aren't a total fuck up." He allowed, and Shepard allowed a single bark of laughter to escape before slapping her hands over her mouth.
Kaidan snorted, and shook Garrus's hand, smirking as he replied
"Thanks Garrus. I suppose you aren't a completely arrogant prick, now that I think about it."
In that moment, their eyes met, and an agreement of mutual respect passed through their gazes. For all their differences, their mutual love for Shepard was enough to forge a truce between them. As quickly as it occurred, the moment passed, and the two men dropped hands, both studiously avoiding further eye contact.
"Give my best to Anderson." Shepard said, and Kaidan nodded.
"Keep in touch?" he looked at her hopefully, and Shepard thought about it for a moment, and then smiled.
"You bet Kaidan. You bet."
Garrus's hand found Shepard's as they watched Kaidan Alenko walk away, and they both knew that, for good or ill, their lives would never be the same. Somehow, this strange journey they had all taken together had fostered not only forgiveness, but hope. Hope for a day when the galaxy would be free from threat, and a complicated universe could resolve itself to the more important things; friendship, happiness, and love.