New fic alert: fans of Dragon Age (and House of Cards) check out The Grey Prince by yours truly.


From: MSolus

To: KDonnelly

Subject: Just to be safe

Hope supplies of emergency contraceptive prove satisfactory. Should point out: routine Element Zero exposure creates chance of biotic ability in progeny should Engineer Daniels become pregnant. Pregnancy inadvisable, however; not well-suited to missions with low survivability rate. Upcoming Derelict Reaper venture also brings high chance of physical trauma for people in Engine Room not strapped to anything.

Recommend removal of cyanide capsules from hollowed out molars before each session. Intense kissing/fetishistic biting in fit of passion could prove catastrophic.

Also, suggest reinforcement of bed/s. Cerberus standard-issue single beds not suited for frequent human coital activity. Reinforcement required. Option to ask the Commander in private for permission to remove dividing wall and install double bed also a possibility. Would make things awkward in the event of breakup, however.

Am aware of extended "dry spell" leading up to present relationship; overenthusiastic compensating increases risk of injury; restraint required. Can supply oils or ointments to reduce discomfort. Gave EDI electronic relationship aid demonstration vids to use if necessary.

P.S. am flattered you chose me over Doctor Chakwas for discreet provision of contraceptive. Will keep up doctor/patient confidentiality without fail.

[VIEWING: KDonnelly – Outbox]


(Draft 1)

Select recipient: CShepard

Create subject: A request

So Commander, I just got back from a standard checkup with Mordin and it turns out Gabby and I aren't getting adequate spinal support from the beds down here. Do you think maybe you could spare some materials or place a requisition order from



(Draft 2)

Select recipient: CShepard

Create subject: Urgent alteration to Engineering Quarters required


I've just realised that the wall separating our rooms could pose a severe fire safety hazard and would make evacuation difficult. We also aren't properly prepared for a power failure: Engineers need to be in a position where they can communicate without interruption at all times. It wouldn't be difficult or damaging to the ship: just a quick power tool to the wire mesh and it's done.

Gabby's on board with separating the walls too: it'd be no different that the situation in the Crew Quarters up there on Deck 3.

No need to consult Tali, she already knows why it has to be done.

Also, we might need a double bed to replace our current ones. Recent studies have shown that productivity in human brains (particularly those involved in STEM work) increases after sleeping in the same bed as another human. Something about shared pheromones or



(Draft 3)

Select recipient: CShepard

Create subject: Just a suggestion

Hey Commander,

So it turns out Cerberus spared no expense on rebuilding the Normandy, except that FBA couplings oversight, and a small problem I've just noticed with the wall. And our beds.



(Draft 4)

Select recipient: CShepard

Create subject: Small housekeeping issue

Hey Commander,

So, you know that thin wall separating my room from Gabby's?



(Draft 9)

Select recipient: CShepard

Create subject: I suck at writing these.

Titty sprinkles.



(Draft 21)

Select recipient: CShepard

Create subject: From one horny man to another

Howdy there Shepard! Mind if I ask for some money out of the budget for this monumentally important suicide mission so that I can have a wall taken down and a double bed installed?

Why, you ask? To make wild, animalistic sex with my new girlfriend easier of course!

Oh what's that? You can't spare the funds? You need that money and those resources to fight a technologically-advanced superspecies who threaten every human in the galaxy, and carry out the orders of cosmic monstrosities?

I'll just go die of embarrassment in this corner. Thanks for your time!



[Draft 37]

Select recipient: CShepard

Create subject: Fuck. This. In. The. Cloaca.

I'll do it later.

That rhymes!


From: EDI

To: KDonnelly

Subject: Re: those private things Mordin sent you

As per your request, I have forwarded the instructional vids to your omni-tool and private terminal in the Engineer's Quarters.

I have also made several copies and sent them to the crew, with relevant information informing them of your new relationship. According to my databases, ideas flourish when shared among sapient communities, sex tips being no exception.

…that was a joke.


From: KellyGrrl

To: KasumiG, GoldaG

Subject: Wonderful news! :D

Looks like we won't have to go against Gabby's wishes or lose any of our hard-earned money on this bet. Time to call a stalemate. No one loses.

Because everything worked itself out!

That fight between Zaeed and Grunt was over the love birds using Zaeed's room. You know how krogan get around mating. To answer your questions, yes Goldstien I learned this by looking at the Commander terminal, and no Kasumi, I did not do it because I have trust issues, I just wanted to know why those boys were fighting.


From: KasumiG

To: KellyGrrl, GoldaG

Subject: Re:Wonderful news! (EDIT: Enough with the emoticons Kelly)

Awww I'm so happy for them. And a little sad I won't be getting your money through an excessively elaborate scheme.

Learning to trust Shepard's fidelity and predict my questions word-for-word? Proud of ya Kelly, there may be hope for you yet kid!

The prize money is still pooled together, you know…

The only loose end is how we're gonna spend all of it. Let's not go all cliché and give it to Gabby and Ken to make their first date a memorable one (you may be improving Kelly, but I can still predict your every move.) If they can get together and risk Zaeed's wrath over getting laid without our help, they don't need our money.


From: GoldaG

To: KasumiG, KellyGrrl

Subject: Wonderful news! (EDIT: Kasumi's right, your emoticon overuse sucks)

That is great news. Those guys deserve some happiness, stubborn and slow as they've been on the way to it.

Agreed on the money thing too. We can still be recklessly competitive though, right girls? If we aren't gonna spend it we might as well blow it on something fun! Kasumi's got half an amusement park in that room of hers, so…poker? Could even invite Grunt, I think he might be ready at last.

Normandy SR-2, Engineering Deck, Engine Room

Tali decided she still had a lot to learn about humans. Things never quite went the way common sense dictated they would with humans involved. According to Shepard, Gabby and Ken would be undergoing a casual psych evaluation on the job today. She came into the Engine Room (after the Cerberus teams departed) expecting more of the same: frostiness, tension, subpar work and cutting remarks muttered back and forth whenever they assumed she couldn't hear them. Instead her Engineers had proven pictures of professionalism, arriving together on time, freshly showered, still not back to their usual chatty selves yet showing no disrespect or pettiness when work needed discussing. If anything, they were overcompensating with an excess of politeness and a dearth of eye contact. The hours went by with a speed and proficiency not seen since their engagement with the Collector Ship weeks ago. Tali supposed they were embarrassed about their behaviour (rightly so) and had come to some private truce. Maybe they were venting with vicious arguments in the unusual amount of mutual breaks taken.

Trusting there was enough air cleared to ensure their quality of work wouldn't suffer, Tali left. She needed to discuss the implications of installing a Reaper IFF with Shepard, EDI and Joker personally.

"Aaaaand she's gone," Gabby murmured.

Kenneth checked the left side of the room, Gabby the right. Neither of them did anything else until assured Jack was out of earshot and there would be no sudden guests coming in. Then they were in each other's arms, lips locked, hands eagerly wandering, caressing everything they found.

Kenneth broke the kiss far sooner than either of them would have liked. Gabby held on as tightly as she could.

"You okay?" she whispered.

"I'm fine. Just a little jittery. Can't be too careful," he said apologetically.

He wasn't wrong: between Tali, Jack, that window in the Crew Quarters, Kelly and Kasumi's nosiness, Zaeed (who was surely plotting revenge for what happened earlier) and Grunt (who handled nothing with care) hiding their new relationship seemed an impossible task on a par with the overall mission. Still, they refused to be beaten so easily. The secrecy would be fun while it lasted; a nice middle finger to all the prying interference and its crazy consequences these past few weeks.

"You're right," she breathed. "But we're still all alone, and I don't hear any-"

That was all the encouragement Kenneth needed. Their lips didn't separate again until a mutual need for air became overpowering.

"I love you," Kenneth gasped as they broke apart.

Gabby winked. "I know."

Kenneth went on as if he hadn't heard her. It sounded like he'd been rehearsing this little speech for a while. "Just thought I'd say it now, while I can. Out loud. So good to be able to actually tell you. I know I don't deserve this and I know I'm not good at a lot of things, and I screw up more than-"

Gabby gently put a finger to his lips. "I love you too Kenneth. I love you so much I'm going to forgive the fact that you missed my most obvious reference to that old vid you're obsessed with."

"Oh I noticed it alright," Kenneth said, trademark cockiness returning to his demeanour. "But I was far too proud of myself for finding yet another way to one-up you."

"Is that right, Casanova?"

"Gabby I adore you, but let's face it; we're never going to stop being competitive." He puffed himself up, pride on full display. "I got to say 'I love you' first."

"I beg your pardon!" She pulled away, pointing at their terminals like a prosecutor pointing out evidence in a courtroom. "And just what does my message earlier count as?"

Kenneth remained as puffed up as ever. "I was the first to say 'I love you.' As in say it out loud, not type it."

"The man who's always messaging me during work hours suddenly doesn't count messages as conversation?"

He gave her a patronising pat on the head. "Give it up Gab, I beat you to that milestone."

There was more than one way to be competitive. Time to take you down a peg Ken. Engage Womanly Charm Mode!

Gabby leaned forward, whispering into his ear. "Well maybe I'm not feeling too verbal right now. Maybe I'm more interested in you…showing me how much you love me. Let's sneak off somewhere again, during our next break."

"Interested in more than just making out and then reducing the size of our suspiciously swollen lips with ice packs, huh?"

"Yes," she said with feigned innocence.

An awed look filled Kenneth's eyes. Gabby couldn't tell if this was a genuine brainwave or another joke.

"Wow!" he croaked. "I should start my own religion, because today I might become a prophet!"

"What? What are you talking about Kenneth?"

Kenneth lowered his voice. "Didn't I say all this female energy would be the death of me? We've shagged four times today; thrice in Zaeed's room and once in the showers! Dammit woman, I may be in Cerberus but I'm not upgraded like Shepard!"

"Oh come on! Pleeeease? Just one more?"

Gabby could feel a blush coming on; she wasn't used to being seductive, or being considered sexy. There was an element of ridiculousness about the whole situation; that awful too-good-to-be-true suspicion lingered. She still feared waking up on the Citadel and finding out it was all a dream.

Kenneth sighed with hyperbolic fervour, though inside he was thrilled. "Alright, one more."

Gabby was looking at him in a way that usually suggested the arrival of a brilliant new idea for engineering, leavened this time with a hint of lust.

"So, I just remembered that ladder in Jack's hidey-hole leads to the AI Core," she said suggestively. "You know, that soundproofed room no one uses."

"And? Gabby, you aren't seriously suggesting we-"

"We'll wait until Jack's out of her room first, obviously. Then we'll sneak up, 'investigate the core,' then sneak down and no one will be any the wiser."

Kenneth could scarcely believe his luck. I called it a long time ago: Maneater.

"And if we get caught by her? Or Tali, wondering where we are? Or Kasumi or Kelly or the hordes of other psychotic busybodies on this ship?"

"Tell them we're 'checking the thermal ducts' or something."

"But why would we be in the AI Core? Gotta have your alibi figured out, Gab."

Kenneth started to wonder why he was making excuses for not doing this. Especially with a woman he'd loved for years. Maybe he was too used to arguing.

"We'll Shepard the usual BS," Gabby said. "Tell him we think we've neglected the AI Core as a component of the ship's functionality and want to learn more about it in order to improve our duties."

Kenneth considered the idea. "That's…plausible," he said after a moment. "Never too old to learn something new."

"Humbleness from Kenneth Donnelly? I thought you knew everything!" she teased.

"I can still learn things." He grabbed Gabby's hand, pulling her back into his embrace. "I learned how filthy your language is at about three o'clock this morning. I mean, I was already aware you knew your way around a curse word but good god woman, you could pass for Scottish!"

"Thank you!" said Gabby, beaming. "Can't wait to give you plenty more examples."

Not willing to tempt fate with Tali back at any potential moment, they reluctantly returned to their terminals.

"Gab. Hot as all this sneaking around is, it can't last forever. When do we tell the others?"

"We'll tell them when we're damn well ready. It'd be nice for this to go on our own terms for once."

"True enough, but how are we gonna keep Zaeed and Grunt quiet?"

There was a sparkle of mischief in Gabby's eyes. "I'll tell Grunt human couples need to be the first to reveal their mating rituals to others, on their own terms, in order maximise the odds of conception."

"I…see. Interesting choice of lie there…"

"Don't worry, I'm not trying to steal sperm off you Ken."

"I'm glad to hear it. Anyway, you sure Grunt would buy that?"

"He's from an almost sterile, dying species, he won't argue. It's not like he has the attention span to do the proper research anyway."

"And Zaeed?"

"I'll threaten to tell everyone he got his ass kicked by a baby."

"That's my girl! Should cover us just fine, long as Zaeed agrees with you on Grunt's exact 'birth' day."

"You disagree?"

"Well…there was a large expulsion of fluid with a massive reptile falling into the world, followed by a naming, followed by gunshots. I'd say that's a standard krogan birth down to a T, minus the vagina and a fuckload of other eggs."

Gabby laughed. "We should celebrate the first anniversary of that day, if he's still with us in a year."

"Any excuse to drink, my dear. A happy tank-opening day to us all!"

But Gabby's smile had already vanished. "If any of us are still here in a year," she mumbled.

"Don't talk like that Gab," Kenneth urged. "We're making it."

"Kenneth how can you be so su-"

He reached over and took her hand. "I may not know everything, but I know this much: we are surviving this Gabby. I'm certain."


"Because we've got a hell of a lot more motivation to come back now."

Tune in next chapter for some Legion!