As usual, all the stuff that matters is copyright Bioware. Thanks to Liz for beta-reading!
Marcus Shepard intimidates Kelly Chambers.
Kelly hears his arrival before she sees it. She looks up from her terminal to steal a glimpse; her eyes widen slightly before returning to her workstation. It's in vain however; her gaze constantly flickers back up the man boarding the SR2 for the first time. Operative Taylor is well built; somehow Shepard makes him look scrawny. And his body language. God his body language! He oozes confidence as if he owns everyone and everything on board. He walks slowly, smoothly, gaze slides across everyone in the room with a calculating look. He makes the Yeoman think of a panther eyeing it's next potential meal. It doesn't register at first, but suddenly she realises her eyes are trapped in his steel gaze. Looking away, breaking eye contact: it never occurs to her.
Mouth suddenly dry, heart racing, she can't break free of his gaze and it is only when EDI's hologram appears next to him that he unwillingly releases her, momentarily distracted by the new arrival. Green eyes locking themselves to the screen in front of her, she desperately fights (and vanquishes) the flush trying to appear on her body and the familiar tingling heat lower down. She doesn't quite realise it yet but already the Yeoman knows from this moment on he owns her.
Double checking the inbox (no spam, just like thirty seconds ago) she feels his presence behind her, shivers along her spine, and his gaze on her behind. The image of herself bent over the terminal flashes for an instant and it is scorched into her mind. The Yeoman quickly composes herself, turns, stands to attention, explains her duties, ignores the returned, building tingle and his gaze, eyes sweeping over her, openly lingering first there and then upwards to there for several seconds longer than appropriate.
She knows she should mind.
She pushes her shoulders further back.
Her Commander probes her for her real reason for being assigned the ship with that soothing, commanding voice, clearly knows she's not just a secretary. She wonders what is wrong with herself as she surrenders the truth of her presence (and herself) so readily. No-one has made her feel like this. He leaves her to introduce himself to the rest of the crew, already on a first name basis with her. She turns back to her terminal, the pulsing heat now maddening, refusing to die. It stays with her for the rest of the day. It is only later that night when she is showering, surrendering to her desire and the heat, her body stiff as she rides the wave of bliss, remembering the image, that her eyes widen.
Now Kelly knows.
Marcus Shepard thrills Kelly Chambers.
It has become an almost daily event that the female (and some male) crew look forward to. On the Engineering deck, in the cargo hold, Shepard, Taylor and Massani pump iron, ignoring the audience above. Since Kelly officially monitors the Commander's emails her free time has a bit more leeway, and since becoming aware of this event she has her terminal forward new messages to her omni-tool. So Kelly attends regularly, chats (gossips) with Gabbi and her friends; studies the three specimens.
Massani may be approaching (if he isn't already in) his twilight years, but there's nothing but muscle on his torso, dozens of white lines testament to the many battles he's been in. He handles the weights like the exercise is second nature, an economy in his motion that betrays the man's experience. Even a non-combatant like her realises he can't match the strength or bulk the younger men have; he compensates by knowing exactly when and where to apply it for maximum effect.
Taylor is polished ebony, his toned muscles ripple under flawless chocolate skin. Kelly understands Kasumi's (and most of the female crew's) fascination with the de facto quartermaster. Understands but does not share; the Yeoman does not see Taylor but Shepard. Just the thought of the sight she (and the others) have makes her mouth dry and the tingling heat grow. For such a great man, he has surprisingly few fans at first; most are here for Jacob. She understands. Shepard's body is a mess, his skin a patchwork held together by angry red glowing scars. Weeks will pass, Jacob's 'harem' will shrink with the Commander's scars, leaving nothing but a rugged face and bulging muscles. Kelly wonders if this is what Herakles would have looked like in ancient mythology, before she gossips with the women she is among. It drifts to the commander's love life. Some of them women (Gabbi and Kasumi) say even Lawson eyes Shepard when she thinks no-one is looking. The Yeoman's heart freezes; she has no delusions of her (or Lawson's) beauty. But Kelly also remembers that first meeting; he's not done that with anyone else; scuttlebutt already spreads rumours like wildfire. That would cause sensation if it was known.
Her musings are interrupted by a low, insistent beep. The Yeoman checks the message, her eyes widen and she slips away from the small crowd, takes the lift to the cargo bay. She pauses to prepare (hesitate) before walking through the door. Massani's gaze flicks to her momentarily, exercises uninterrupted. Taylor stops to see who it is, nods in acknowledgement and returns to his situps. Shepard, his back to the door as he lifts weights, refuses to acknowledge her entrance. The redhead doesn't believe for a second he hasn't heard her. She walks closer, he makes her jump.
Just him saying her name makes Kelly feel indescribable. She ignores her wonder at how he knew it was her, ignores the weak feeling of her knees, the butterflies in her stomach and the heady heat just below it to inform him the Illusive Man wishes to speak with him. Shepard stands, the action doing things to the muscles across his back that make her audibly swallow before he turns and walks over to her, that predatory walk that makes her eyes widen slightly, her rational side scream 'run'. She will not. She locks her gaze with his, refuses to be made his prey again. When he stops in front of her she has to bend her neck upwards as it sinks in he could rest his chin on her head. Kelly salutes, has to fight her urge to push her shoulders back again, fight her instincts as she breaths, the intoxicated smell of sweat and him filling her. She tells him the Illusive Man wishes to speak with him, and wonders if he'd take her right there in front of everyone, including the gallery behind him. Part of her realises she probably wouldn't care. Part of her hopes he does.
"Timmy can wait," he almost growls at her. He breaks eye contact, gaze brazenly moves to below her neck, knowing she is the only one can see him do so. She knows she should slap him, but she also knows that this is something Lawson, Kasumi, Gabbi; no-one else experiences. She's still not sure that's a good thing.
"Commander, the message is urgent," is the action she settles for doing, ignoring his leering as she gazes at his eyes, wondering if he can see her nipples (she's sure he can.) Her tone is professional, neither pleading nor insistent, and it brings his eyes back to meet hers. Making eye contact again, she notes a small smile on her Commander's face. Kelly realises that she's passed a test. He gives her a genuine smile, she forces the blush down, face carefully neutral.
"Okay Kelly." You win.
His Yeoman smiles back, turns and leaves. She is followed and when the door closes, they are alone; she feels a hand squeeze her arse as he walks by. It lingers... before it brushes up her hip, across her fingers, reluctant to let go. Alone and blushing in the hallway Kelly brings a hand up; No. He couldn't see them.
She showers a long time that night.
Marcus Shepard frightens Kelly Chambers.
When Shepard and the team are on the ground there is very little for Kelly to do, so she takes to joining Joker and EDI in the cockpit. Joker doesn't seem to mind; he even says the previous week he enjoys the human company, shooting EDI a dirty look. She watches the readouts from the squad (vitals, shields, even ammunition). She hears their radio chatter. She appreciates the team they-Shepard-is building. People who were hostile to each other (Jack and Miranda) progress to bickering to operating like a machine under Shepard's leadership. He has that effect on people. On her. Not for the first time, Kelly's mind wanders to The Look he gave her in the makeshift gym, and wonders-
-why EDI is gone and a giant bug-face is in her place. Considering she's standing right by it Kelly feels it was well within her rights to squeal in shock, fall over as she tries to jump away. Lights flicker before the ship is back to normal and Marcus is asking Joker what's happening. Joker responds and the tension the derelict ship causes to fill the ship finally snaps and she feels the quiet panic fill the ship from the cargo bay to the cockpit as the Collector vessel slowly comes online. It feels like hours, but she looks down the ship, sees Shepard rampage towards them, armour badly damaged, blood (his and Collectors) dripping as he yells at Joker "Why the fuck are we still here!"
Kelly stands outside the conference room, waiting for Marcus to emerge. As soon as he is sure they have escaped, he storms through to have a 'chat' with the Illusive man, face murderous. That has been over fifteen minutes ago. The Yeoman wonders about going in but she doesn't have the courage and she hates herself for it: she leans against the wall opposite the door, brooding, it suddenly opens. Marcus emerges murder his face that vanishes the second he sees her. Without thinking she walks forward and hugs him; an embrace he returns. Marcus breaks the silence after he rests his chin on her head, arms around her waist. (She expects at least one on her rear. She feels puzzled and slightly disappointed.) Even though it is uncomfortable being pressed into his hard unyielding armour, and the smell of blood and smoke makes her feel slightly ill, she enjoys being in his arms.
His Yeoman gives a small grunt of affirmation. "I... I didn't think you would make it out. That any of us would." That she had lost him. Lawson's face flashes in her mind, and she wonders if she has anyway. Unaware he chuckles, rubs her back. "Ye of little faith." It is all she can do to tighten the embrace, murmurs "Go to the medbay," breaking the hug. Four minutes later she realises she could have asked him about Miranda.
It's very late (or very early) and she's having a coffee in the mess when she hears the elevator doors open. Marcus emerges from around the corner, dressed in the only non-Cerberus set of clothing he owns (The only clothes he wears). He gets a glass of water, an apple and sits on the opposite side of the table, gazes at some point in the middle of it unseeing, uneating. He looks a mess, despite the absence of scars. Kelly realises with a thrill that she is gazing at Marcus, not Shepard; something only Garrus and Tali have possibly seen.
They talk to each other.
They talk about each other.
He tells her of his nightmares. Of Mindoir, Akuze. Saren. Of his fears.
She tells him of her own fears. Her own past. Her family. Her admiration.
She needs to know, she blurts it out. "Scuttlebutt said you turned Miranda down when she..." she trails off, unable to finish, tries to hide the anxiety (and hope) in her voice. Marcus gazes blankly through her for several seconds before That Look is upon her once more. Kelly's glad she's sitting down for a change, before the look in his eye makes her think of sitting on the edge of Rupert's counter instead, or maybe on the table in front of Marcus, thighs parted as his mouth-
Her fantasy is derailed by the calm in his voice. She doesn't bother hiding the surprise in her voice.
"Really? She's very intelligent, and..." and she's got a better ass than mine. Better breasts than mine. A better face, better hair, better everything. "...she's the perfect woman," she settles for lamely, tries to keep jealousy in check.
"Not to me," Marcus mutters, standing as he walks (not stalks) over to Kelly. "Not to me." He looks down at her, as she looks up and sees a debate in his eyes. He reaches a decision; slowly, hesitantly he reaches out and gently plays with an errant lock of Kelly's hair, watches her face for her reaction. She shows no disapproval (too surprised at the tenderness) and his eyes become unfocused and lost in the sensation of touch. Kelly wonders what (if) he's thinking; wishes he'd run his fingers through it all, across her body. He stops after a minute, and continues back to the elevator, pausing at the corner. Even in the gloom she sees That Look in his eyes, feels her insides melt again and knows her next few showers are going to be very long indeed. Especially after she hears his departing words.
"For a start: she's not a redhead."
Kelly is taken. They all are, except Joker. She screams (as do some of the others) and struggles (as do everyone) but it is futile (as all their efforts are). They take them. She drifts in and out of conciousness, until she's in some kind of pod. Sometimes she wakes up to see a colonist processed. Their confused expressions become one of pain before they see and feel the flesh melting off their bodies, bloody smears across the clear seals as they claw in terror with their bones before they too melt. She weeps, powerless to help, as a child no older than six screams for their mother (until their vocal chords or lungs dissolve). She can't stand seeing such suffering, wishes it would just hurry up and end. Then while the hours (days?) pass and more colonists die before her eyes the redhead comes to a realisation that makes her feel sick-the pods are 'working' towards her. When she feels sleep approach again, achingly aware how few there are before it is her turn, she whispers his name through her tears.
She wakes. Kelly is still half asleep, though she feels something is different, senses movement outside her coffin. The sound of the cover to her tomb shattering starts her. Her eyes see an armoured fist by her stomach and when she follows it up her eyes meet steel. When she is free she weeps in relief. She does not want to let go. Neither does he.
Kelly is back on the Normandy. She is back home. They all are; Marcus' quiet confidence is proven true, and beyond some injuries medigel easily heals everyone is unharmed. Kelly is nauseous remembering the child.
Marcus Shepard owns Kelly Chambers
Marcus returns to his quarters. Kelly follows him into the elevator, careless of who sees, ignores the looks from several female crew members, including Lawson. The second the door closes, she is lifted and slammed against the wall, trapped by his massive strength, uncaring he is bruising hers. She kisses him as she's fantasised and dreamed for so many months, tastes his tears of relief as he kisses her back. They stumble into his room, she finds herself pinned against the unused fish tank, opposite the model cabinet and desk bereft of decorations or frames, before they separate for air. She takes his hand in hers, she leads him to the bed.
Hours later Kelly rises. Satisfied, lethargic, makes to dress to return to her bunk. The redhead reaches to fasten the clasp of her bra (panties ripped beyond use, destroyed) when he calls to her, asks her to stay. His eyes have that look that makes her so wet, but there is also need and vulnerability in them.
She does not hesitate. The bra falls back to the floor.
Kelly dances. It has become one of their rituals. It's slow, sensual, against the wall. Against his armour and weapons locker. The location is no accident; Kelly knows he will see her every time he dons his armour. So she dances, in an outfit like those asari wear, dances to his tune. She doesn't mind; this is her idea. After the teasing she's received from him with those looks, turnabout is fair.
She pushes herself against the wall, pushes her backside out, material riding up, disappearing between taut flesh. A satisfied smile as she hears the intake of breath. Pivoting on a heel she stands, leans against the wall and slides down again, spreading her legs like a cheap whore. The material covering her folds for sake of modesty is transparent with her desire, shining in the light. Through lidded eyes she sees her lover, still naked from their earlier shower, slowly stroking his erection, eyes burning with unconcealed lust. The look thrills her; only she sees it, only she receives what it promises. His Yeoman wants to walk over, continue the dance on his lap like last time.
Instead she runs a finger across the wet material, continues to dance against the wall, tastes herself on her finger with lidded eyes meeting his own. She revels in this power she has: sooner or later he will lose to his desire; Kelly hopes sooner. When he does, he crosses the room and takes her right there against the weapons locker. Then he moves her to the bed, fucks her until she sobs with every thrust, draws blood from his body with her nails, leaving angry red stripes over those iron muscles, over hands that hold her body in an unrelenting, iron grip, feeling herself come for what seems like the dozenth time.
Kelly wakes. She is in his arms, safe, tired. Her movement wakes him enough for him to sleepily pull her into him, mutter "Love you," before falling asleep again. Kelly smiles, kisses him as she whispers the words back to him; rests her head on his chest.
She sleeps. They sleep.
She doesn't mind. After all, Marcus Shepard is owned by Kelly Chambers
And lo, he did write the promised fic of the Yeoman that is Kelly, and it was good. He hopes.
This did not turn how I intended it to, but I decided I liked experimenting with the prose, and I wanted to try and do a more adult interpretation of attraction than is usually seen. Most writing I see focuses on the emotional aspect of attraction, ignoring very definitely physical wants and fantasies too. So I tried focusing on the 'want' aspect-not just the want of exchanging love but also exchanging control of their bodies too. Essentailly to pay more due to the physical side of attraction, being sexy and smutty without outright pornography.
Then I wrote the last 400 words. Whoops.
Strangely despite not really wanted such a smutty ending, the fic's style and storyline originates from that final section. The mental image of Kelly writhing on the bed after dancing popped into my head while writing the next instalment of the LelianaxTabris series of stories (Yes, that is actually still being worked on, it's just in dev. Hell at the moment) and when it came to the final scene, I didn't see how else to do it. There'd been all the build-up between them anyway, seemed a shame not to. The tense style is because third person didn't seem to convey the urgency.
I doubt it will surprise anyone who knows the lyrics to Nine Inch Nail's song 'Closer' that I was listening to it while writing chunks of this. Closer was going to be the title at one point. I put my music library on shuffle and listen while I work and depending on what music I might get influenced by the music or the lyrics. For example, while touching up I 'Frozen' by Madonna came on and 'Sadness Vol. 2' by Enigma. Frozen has the lyrics 'You're broken/when your heart is not open' and Enigma's piece is... sad. It conjured a Shepard that was very emotionally isolated, even with Garrus and Tali that compensated by focusing on work to an unhealthy degree. I toyed with fleshing the story around that type of Shepard more, but I decided to stick with a largely tabula rasa Shepard. I'm already doing that sort of protagonist with The LelianaxTabris series anyway. Heck, mentioning Mindoir and Akuze is something I was iffy about, but felt it helped give a sense of connection between Kelly and Shepard. I was originally going to make Shepard as ambiguous as possible, including gender, but felt that there was enough of the lesbian romances with Kelly, and I really don't want to be pigeon-holed as 'That guy who writes lesbian stuff because lesbians are hawt'. If you're wondering about the 'test' Shepard was doing: maybe he was, or maybe Kelly misread and he just likes ogling her. I originally added it as a 'Does she get easily flustered/Is she confident?' test I think-Shepard doesn't strike me as the sort of person (male or female) who would really like a 'weak' person.