This little story came about after a discussion with a good friend of mine, a scientific editor, about how to say things without really saying them. This is my first T rated masskink piece, nothing untoward other than as many double entendres and euphemisms as I could possibly squeeze into such a short story.
I'd like to make special thanks to Sialater from Bioware Social for her excellent beta'ing skills, and help in tidying up the piece. Her skills are much appreciated for a newbie story writer such as myself. If you want to check out how a good writer does things - check out her stories here on fanfiction.
I must also mention MitisVenatrix and Widowspeak (LunaMax1214) both skilled writers and whose suggestions and encouragement make me happy to be part of this little corner of the ME universe.
Also - this is the first time I have attempted to write Thane, feedback on how I have interpreted his character is especially welcome.
Characters and settings are the property of Bioware, the story is my own.
"If you're going to use this thing, Shepard, you really need to know the mechanics of the piece intimately." Garrus' face was a mask of soberness. Thane looked on with a solemnity equalling that of the turian.
Shepard stood with her hands on her hips. It was taking her a great deal of effort to hide the smile that was about to break across her face.
"This is serious Shepard; are you going to take this seriously? Because if not, then I'm wasting my time…I've got other things I could be doing." He tilted his head questioningly.
"I am going to take this seriously, Garrus. When have you known me not to take things like this in anything but a stern and solemn manner? Besides, if you spend any more time calibrating, people are going to start asking questions…," she smirked.
"Asking questions about what, Shepard? I mean, if they are interested in calibrating the main weapons I would be more than happy to show them how I do it. Calibrating is something everyone on the ship should be familiar with. I know if I'm to make sure everything is in working order, I have to calibrate at least once every day."
"So that means you calibrate more than once a day? Maybe several times a day?" She gave him a wide eyed look, he seemed to have no idea she was insinuating something other than firing algorithms.
"That's right, Shepard. Sometimes I can calibrate for hours on end and it's extremely satisfying." Garrus's chest puffed out with a measure of pride at this statement.
"I bet it is," she said before biting her tongue to stop herself from laughing. "I like a crew member who takes pride in their work."
"Ah, well, thank you, Commander, yes, um…," he said self-consciously. "Anyhow, where were we? Oh yes, you being serious. I know you can be, in combat at least, and in diplomatic relations you are the epitome of sensitivity and political mastery. " Shepard had to put her fist to her mouth to put pressure on the urge to laugh.
"Don't forget that the Commander is very good at people management, Garrus. She's good with the subtleties needed for persuading those at her command. I think I heard Joker refer to her as a 'cunning linguist' when it came to the details of language barriers amongst her crew." Thane's voice resonated with unruffled serenity.
Shepard stifled her laugh with a forced pretend cough, patting her chest for emphasis. I'm not the only cunning linguist on board by the sounds of it, she thought. She was certain that when Joker said this to Thane, the Drell was as equally oblivious to the innuendo then, as he was now.
"As good as you are at those things, Shepard, you don't take instruction well…..and I've never seen you take any sort of training seriously, but just as with random errors in calibrations this might be the exception." The serious tone in Garrus'voice had not waned.
"Well, I have realised the error of my ways, Garrus. I will take tuition from you and Thane. And I promise to be very, very serious. Scout's honour." She held her right hand up as she spoke.
Garrus and Thane looked to each other, seemingly satisfied that their Commander was going to behave.
However, what the two alien crew members didn't see, was Shepard's left hand. It was currently concealed behind her back, her delicate fingers entwined. The universal human sign that nullified any promise being made. Oh goody, she thought, this is going to be fun.
Shepard adopted a parade rest position in front of the alien crew members, plastering a grave look on her face in order to appear sincere in her efforts.
Garrus stepped forward, the M-92 Mantis sniper rifle in hand. "Here, feel the weight, Shepard." She moved forward, cradling the rifle in her small hands. It was heavy compared to her assault rifle, but not unwieldy.
"See how she rests in your hands." Garrus' eyes had a glint in them when he spoke.
"She?" Shepard's eyebrow rose inquisitively.
"Yes, she." His voice had a slightly annoyed tone so she refrained from commenting further.
"In a skilled embrace, she'llrespond to the most delicate of touches." Garrus' taloned hand moved to stroke the body of the gun.
"Yes, the amount of effort you put into fondling her correctly the better she will respond." Thane's dulcet tones mimicked Garrus' elation at the weapons handling.
As Shepard bit her lip, she wondered if these two put as much effort into foreplay as the words they were using to describe this piece of metal. If they did, then the beneficiary of those attentions would be a very lucky woman indeed.
"This weapon is powerful," Garrus stated.
"How powerful?"she asked
"Very powerful. A single head-shot is all you need," Garrus replied, matter-of-factly. "However…there is a huge heat accumulation."
"How many can you get off?" Her face masked the obvious implications of her question. If the setting was other than here in the cargo bay, they would surely be on to her innuendo-laced remarks quicker than a hungry varren on a freeloading pyjack.
"Only one, but if you reload quickly enough and you aren't taking too long to shoot, it's easy to get another one off. But it's never as satisfying as the first." Garrus took the rifle from her hand, impervious to the grin on her face.
He replaced it with the M-97 Viper. "This weapon has sheer power and a rapid rate of fire, if you need to get more off, this is the weapon to choose."
"Get more off you say?" The grin turned into a smirk. "That sounds like you could possibly miss your target altogether Garrus, if you're too quick that is, and um… that might be less than fulfilling." Less than fulfilling for whoever the target is, she thought wickedly.
"It does less damage, and is less accurate, but the spare clip gives you larger ammo capacity," hereplied.
"A second round then?"
"You can get at least 3 loads off," Garrus said.
Thane interjected at this point, "So whether you want slower and more powerful, or faster and more repetitions, it's all a matter of what your personal preference is. For me, the slower and more vigorous surge means you'll likely hit your target. I find this a much more gratifying outcome."
"Well if you can feather your shots, Thane, the weapon can inflict more damage." Garrus turned to Thane and moved his arm in a sideways piston like motion, "I like to go in hard and get off as many and as quickly as I can."
"Yes, I agree, Garrus. Feathering does make for more opportunities to hit your target, but I still like to get off on the first shot."
Shepard looked from Thane to Garrus, then back again. Okay I've got a dirty mind but this is pure gold.
"If skilled enough, either way means the target is like a fish in barrel, as you humans like to say." Thane said.
"Or the target is a man in a boat?" she cheekily replied. They've got to know that one, but both of them stared at her blankly.
"No," Thane replied. "I think a man in a boat would be a hard target. What I'm implying is that the target is easy."
"Yes and over water it's difficult to judge the trajectory of the bullet. Moisture interacts with the firing of the mechanism," Garrus added.
Shepard's mouth was agape; she was amazed at how nonplussed these two looked. They appeared to have no idea on human euphemisms at all.
There is so much more fun to be had here, she thought...then she grinned; a crazy somewhat unhinged grin.