*Birthday today so I thought I'd do somet special and get this chapter out quicker than normal. Plus to any Ash lovers reading I do not think of Ash in this way its just I believe this is a good story and I do not see Liara doing this so I picked her- Don't kill me*
Ash began to cough and splutter as the colour drained from her face. Tali suspected this wasn't from Shepard's grip - which could have already crushed her throat thanks to Cerberus implants- but from the shock at how quickly the situation had turned from her triumphant over Tali to being throttled by the man she loved.
''Shepard what are you doing?'' stammered Ashley in disbelief her once sound notions of the Quarian using guile and tricks to earn Shepard's love began to crumble as she saw the determination in his eyes to protect the beaten women.
''Protecting Tali!'' Shepard raged ''What the hell Williams are you doing? I knew you were angry at this but I never would have thought how far you've gone!''
''How far have I gone? Says the one who is F**king a Quarian! You're a galactic hero you could have had anyone!'' She then added in a dejected whisper. '' you could have had me..''
Although hearing this argument a dozen times and hearing Shepard's heart warming response too, it still stung Tali whenever that topic was brought up
''Ash I don't want some Asari who only wants my status, I don't want you!'' Then a fierce pride crept into his eyes. ''All I want, all I've ever wanted and all I'll ever need is inside the beautiful, sweet women who stands here everyday at Engineering without asking so much as a 'thank you' let alone payment!''
As Shepard defended and complimented her Tali seemed to evolve from the battered meek women who had picked herself up off the floor and became the women that Shepard saw every night in their cabin. A goddess who radiated beauty and caring and all the others things that this strife ridden galaxy sorely needed.
''But what do you see in her? You can't kiss her, let alone touch her? You deserve to be happy with someone who can please you! I could do that - anytime you wanted-'' Add hastily said as desperation over came her as she clung to her last vestige's of hope which too started to disintegrate as Shepard's word finally began to sink in.
''Yes your right Ash I do want to be happy, with someone who pleases me.'' The comment brought a brief flash of hope but as Shepard continued that too came crashing down. ''Which is why I'm with Tali, she makes me happy. Hell this sounds corny but she completes me.'' Shepard said as he began to relax his grip on her neck, she slowly slid down the wall until her feet touched the decking.
Once her full weight rested on her Ash suddenly felt very weak and had to lean heavily against the wall. The impact of Shepard's hold and his words had caused her to become more tired than she could ever remember being.
''But.. But , she's a bucket, What if we - What if we share-'' She began to mumble as much to her self as the other occupants of the corridor. ''Shepard I loved you, I DO LOVE YOU.'' Williams spoke pleading Shepard though she already knew the inevitable answer.
''Ash I did love you… as a friend. You always seemed so sound and strong willed even at the times when I wasn't, but I can see know that these 2 years have changed you. I can barely even recognize the women I met on Eden Prime.''
''But.. But.. I Thought..''
Ash stuttered out as she saw Tali slowly creep behind Shepard and placed a hand on his waist with caused Shepard to wrap his broad arm around her, holding him tight as he remembered the fear at seeing Tali being beaten on the floor wondering if he was to late.
''Ash I'm sorry but past friendship or no, you need to leave the Normandy I already asked Joker to take us to the Citadel when I was told about the fig- about this'' Stated Shepard sternly as he tried to avoid thinking of the woman's encounter.
Slumping is resignation and defeat Ashley turned around and began to walk toward the elevator towards her short lived quarters on deck 3, during her passing the crew unnoticed gave her dagger eye's all clearly hearing by now the women who had nearly killed the Commanders lover ,silently whispering words such as ' crazy b*itch' or 'psychopath'.
As Thane gave a respectful bow and silently turned round the corner, Tali immediately let out a grunt of pain and slumped heavily on Shepard who still kept a tight grip on her. Waking himself up from his turmoil'd mind he began to worry about Tali and the exact extent of her injuries. ''Tali, Tali honey, how badly are you hurt?''
''Nothing major Shepard.'' Tali tried to wave him away which immediately sent a lance of pain shooting up her side - yeah defiantly a cracked rib- causing her to double over and take a sharp intake of breath.
Seeing her in pain Shepard suddenly picked her up and cradled her and he slowly walked towards to elevator he activated his comm. '' Mordin can you meet us in the Medical bay ,Tali is hurt and I want to make sure its nothing serious.''
Hearing a series of spills and crashed and mumbling about almost finding 'the cause of the scale itch' an irritated fast-paced Salarian voice answered ''Shepard how is Tali'Zorah injured, Oh yes Donnelly mentioned Williams , could see instability ,stress fractures were a likely thing-''
''Mordin!'' Shepard growled
''Oh yes sorry, I am on my way now.''
The strained voice of the women in his arms suddenly said '' Shepard if your ex didn't attack me and I wasn't in pain , I'd be finding this quite alluring'' Tali joked attempting to lift the grim mood that had settled.
Shepard released a slow chuckle ''Heh, I suppose you right Miss Zorah. And I'm sure once the Docs patch you up there will be plenty of carrying to my Cabin. And for the record she is not my ex''
Tali's face looked up to see the smiling face of her Captain. '' mmmh I could get used to the Shepard taxi surface, very comfy.'' as she began to squirm in his grasp but suddenly regretting it as another sharp stab of pain jabbed into her.
The elevator arrived and as they passed the mess hall they were met with the respected look of many of the crew members and Gardner mumbled out a '' Sorry to see what she did to you Tali.''
They entered the Med bay and Doctor Chakwas suddenly began to fuss over Tali scolding Shepard and his poor technique of holding her which apparently according to Chakwas: caused the young women a lot of pain. Mordin patiently sat back against one of the sick beds giving an appraising eye over Tali already knowing were there was bruising and fractures by her body language, the stiffness when certain area's were touched and as she leaned her weight to one side. Doing a one hour medical examination that most Doctors would require at least 2 scanning machine's to judge ,Mordin had analysed and already thought of treatment and the estimated recovery time of 34 minutes all within a few scant seconds.
Shepard pulled up a chair and set by the bedside stroking Tali's hand and waiting for the Doctors to work their magic.
*5 hours later after Ash had silently left the Normandy - Shepard's Cabin*
Shepard and Tali held each other on their bed with Tali's suit resting on the desk nearby as the Doctors has prescribed her some anti-biotic just in case. Shepard and her wanted to take the presented opportunity to actually touch each other.
Shepard let out a low sigh which prompted the Quarian to look up and stop her constant rubbing of his chest. ''Something wrong John?''
''I just.. I can't believe Williams, its truly sad to see how far she had fallen. I just wish we hadn't departed on such terms.''
Although Tali couldn't honestly confess to missing Ashley she felt a pang of sadness and memories of the joyous time they had shared on the Normandy. She also regretted that a majority of those memories have now been taken over by the vivid recollections of her hateful comments and her beating.
''Well Shepard she changed just as we all did while you were.. Gone, sadly her's was a more extreme change for the worse which surprised me as Garrus has roughly remained the same even after Omega. But anyway enough about them? Its just me and you for now.'' Said Tali in a playful tone and her finger began to circle around Shepard chest.
''Miss Zorah I thought I had already told you about flirting with your Captain.'' Said Shepard even as he to ran his had up and down her back.
''And again I still don't see you complaining.'' as her slowly slipped his shirt off his head
Shepard gave her a full smile before saying '' Have I ever told you how much I love you?''
Tali slowly slid up Shepard's body ''Only every day.'' as she took a deep predatory breath and huskily whispered '' Now.. Cry mercy.''
* This is the final Chapter and I find a good place to wrap up the story. Thanks again for comments and reviews. And I will begin with a new Fanfic similar to this except it will be someone from Tali's past , Check my profile every so often.*