I've bounced from angst to the other extreme. It's the night before the suicide mission and Shepard is undecided. Canon tweaked slightly to allow story flow. Romance/humour FemShep-Thane and FemShep-Garrus.

Expect The Unexpected

Right then. Night before suicide mission, high probability of (second) death during said mission. Decision time.

Shepard padded around her quarters. Thane or Garrus. Garrus or Thane. Briefly she thought of Jacob but the little voices in her head immediately piped "Shaft!" and she shook it to try and erase the image of him with massive sideburns. Nope, it really came down to those two. Intense, romantic fling vs. friendly but potentially awkward stress buster. In her head the decision didn't seem too difficult but in the interests of fairness...

Sitting down at her desk she took out a piece of paper and a pen and carefully divided the sheet into 4 sections, with the header 'Pre Suicide Mission Decision - Potential Fling Partner' before scribbling it out.

"Right." Let's start with Thane.

Pros – Tragic past, noble quest for redemption etc. etc. very Byronic. Romantic, articulate, mysterious (note to self, find black lipstick). Leather (+10 points) Physiologically similar (+5 points).

Cons – Dying (however see above re: suicide mission). May hallucinate. Moderate snake phobia (Freudian?)

Shepard moved her tongue to the other corner of her mouth. Now Garrus.

Pros – Friends. Tall. Nice, actually lovely voice (+5 points). Loyal. Good at following instructions (could come in handy)

Cons – Friends. Graceful but liable to trip over tongue during any intimate conversation (although nervousness appealing to maternal demographic). Physiologically dissimilar in fact high probability of personal injury. Friends. Awkwardness may ensue.

Shepard considered the list and sighed. Thane had refused to have anything to do with her until he was sure she was not interested in anyone else – that had taken her a few hours to work out as originally she had assumed that 'having someone's eyes' was some grim Drell custom. A little possessive but flattering nonetheless.

How old was he anyway? She knew he had a son but it was impossible to tell and equally impossible to ask. What if she was considering sleeping with someone roughly the same age as Anderson? A Sugar Drell. She pursed her lips, considering. He was attractively masculine, intense and intriguingly self contained - the type who would most likely sweep her off her feet to the sound of crashing hormones. Mmm. I'm always wondering what he's thinking behind those large, liquid eyes. It's sexy not knowing.

Garrus, as always when it came to personal matters, had been completely oblivious to said drell's interest. He was content to let her lead, revealing an unexpected ability to stick his foot in his mouth at every opportunity and displaying an unflattering amount of surprise at her offer. He was awfully easy to read. She frowned slightly then grinned. Poor Garrus. At least he was approximately her age...

Perhaps she should make a spreadsheet. Moving to the table she was reaching for her data pad when the door to her quarters beeped and then slid open to reveal a troubled looking Thane.


She watched him pace her room and tried to edge around him to her desk to hide the incriminating list, jumping as he thumped his fist down in frustration. Thankfully he didn't seem to have noticed it.

Wait. Was he crying? She felt she should be more swept up in the moment but his display of emotion was unexpected and she instead was vaguely uncomfortable, as if she'd caught him doing something unsavoury in the restroom. Thane was looking at her soulfully.

Hell, he really is upset. Currently not boding well for passionate encounter involving sweeping off feet. Angry sex = generally good, hiccupping, soggy faced sex = not so much. Distraction needed, could always try making him angry if said distraction doesn't work. Moving towards him she mumbled something placatory and firmly pressed her lips to his which seemed to calm him. After a few moments he responded. Gently at first, then more enthusiastically.

Mmm better. MUCH better. Sweeping initiated. Ooh, feel a little spinny. Must not stare at fish for hours or gabble like madwoman.

Abruptly, he pulled away, and, bowing slightly, swept out his arm, gesturing her towards the bed. "Oh. Uh. Right."

Trying to sway seductively and really wishing he'd simply picked her up she staggered in the general direction of her bed and collapsed onto the edge, holding onto the sheets for dear life.

"Siha, are you well?"

"I'm fine, Thane." She tried for a smile but from the look on his face it was likely more frightening than reassuring so she settled for nodding her head vigorously, trying to clear it. He sat down carefully next to her, stroking her face. When she had relaxed slightly he said in a deep, caressing voice "I would like to see you, Siha."

"Yes!" Look! Sparkly stars..."Great..." Pull it together Shepard. "And I you!" He kissed her again quickly. She felt him gently loosen and then remove items of her clothing. She eyed his coat indecisively. Maybe zip first. No, buckles. Wait, were those snap fastenings? She became aware her tongue was sticking out in concentration again and quickly put it back in.


"I'm sorry, my Siha. There are a few...implements...concealed in my clothing which may harm you. Perhaps I should assist in their removal." She watched in amazement as he unsnapped, unzipped, unbuckled and, finally, unvelcro-ed it, dropping his leathers onto the floor where they landed with a comedy squeak. In the future, if we decide on a spontaneous quickie, that damn coat is staying on.

They looked at each other.

"Thane, you're very...pretty." She drew a finger down his chest. Snake. Snaaaaaake. She suppressed a giggle and a shiver.

"And you are very...different, my Siha. Huh."

Huh? What does *huh* mean? *Huh* you're weird and unnatural with your hair and extra bits or *huh* would you look at that Citadel vista. Actually I'm not sure which is worse. Feeling slightly hysterical she composed her expression into what she hoped was one of serene patience and understanding.

"Your warrior spirit is beautiful to me, Siha. Your body I can become accustomed to."

Not awfully reassuring. She suddenly felt very exposed but, not knowing what to say, decided to brazen things out, take matters into her own hands as it were.


"Does that feel good, Thane? Ohh- ee! Eee-heee! Your hands are tickly!" She jumped, her grip tightening involuntarily.

"Wait, Siha, I – stop! "

There was a pause.

"I'm –"

"It's ok, Thane. It has been ten years after all...let's...let's just get comfortable and rest for a bit."

They burrowed together under her sheets and lay in silence for a few moments watching the stars move overhead.

"We can always try again in a little whi- aarrgh!"

"Merely my hand, Siha."

More silence.

"Perhaps you would like me to go, Siha? It is late and – "

"Yes! Yes! That would be fine! It is late and–" She snapped her mouth shut quickly on catching his surprised, slightly hurt expression. "...it gets really humid in here..." she finished lamely.

She watched him dress, bow and graze her knuckles with his lips before slipping out quietly. Here's hoping for sudden death tomorrow. Anything but a repeat performance of whatever THAT was. Realising she was thumping the back of her head softly and repeatedly against the wall, she blew out a frustrated breath and went to take a shower.

Exiting her bathroom towelling her hair she almost went through the ceiling until she realised the hulking figure standing in her room was Garrus. With wine.

God, I thought I'd put him off. I'm not sure I can go through all this twice in one night. Perhaps I can let him down gently - a body can only take so much disappointment.

But instead she found herself letting him stammer through a rambling overture with affection and vague amusement before putting him out of his misery, resting her forehead against his comfortingly. "Relax, Garrus. I know you want things to go right, you always do. And for God's sake stop twitching."

"I...er...was dancing invitingly. You know. To the mood music." He waved the bottle half-heartedly then set it down.

She snorted. "Did Mordin tell you that that awful porno vid soundtrack was mood music?" There was a short pause during which Garrus appeared to be struggling with himself.

"I. Will. Kill. Him. I'll bite off his other horn. I will stick his omnitool where the sun don't- ." He became aware Shepard was grinning broadly and subsided with a growl.

"C'mon, let's get comfortable at least." She plonked herself gracelessly onto the bed. Actually I'm always comfortable around him, even in a situation like this. Oh, what the hell. Can't possiby be worse than before. She took a deep breath. "We going to try this?"

Garrus sat down next to her. "I'd like to, Shepard. Very much. There's no-one I'd rather be closer to than you. I didn't expect you to allow me to even get this far, I know that Thane was showing an interest and you seemed to be returning it. I thought that was why you blew me off."

She looked at him, surprised. So much for him being oblivious. "You didn't say anything..."

"I know. I wanted you to be happy with your own decision, I wasn't going to interfere. Then I figured, hey, we may all die tomorrow anyway, no harm in me asking again. Although I was a little concerned he'd be in here with you when I arrived." Shepard flushed slightly.

"But he isn't, so...here we are. You'll tell me what pleases you, right?" He gently stroked her knee with the back of his hand, careful to keep his talons away.

"Guess we'll find out what pleases both of us. Clothes off then, Officer Vakarian!"

"Commander." She found she was grinning excitedly at him and he at her, much like they usually did before storming into battle. She laughed slightly breathlessly, undressing quickly. Ooh he's shiny.

They looked at each other.

"Huh." Oh God, not again.

"What? What? What's with the 'huh'? Why does everyone throw around the huhs and never ever explain what exactly it is they mean by them?" She fisted her hands into her hair in frustration, staring around the room wildly.

She suddenly realised Garrus had scooted to the other side of the bed with his talons half raised in terror and took a deep breath, willing herself to relax.

"Sorry, Garrus. I'm feeling a little exposed here. We're very different, I know that. You're my friend and you tell me the truth. Even if it stings. So what are you thinking?"

"I was worried you'd decided to kill me on impulse there, Shepard. Just to avoid embarrassment." Garrus lowered his talons and considered her. "You needn't be uncomfortable about your body. Not with me. We've known each other a long time, been through a lot together." He crept back towards her, eyes roaming, bright with interest. "Ooh, soft. I'm thinking I'm looking forward to some exploration and discovery." He grinned and cocked his head then lunged forward, picking her up bodily and depositing her in the centre of the bed. She resisted the sudden urge to squeal embarrassingly at the unexpected manoeuvre. Swept off my feet by Garrus. Who knew?

"Quick question. Where's your..?" She waved her hands expressively.

"Oh. Hidden. See here?"

"Those folds look a bit...should I...?"

"In good time, Shepard. So these here...?"

"Ooh. Hmm. Mmm"

"And if I do this...?"

"Ah hah. Uh huh. Yes. Do that. Do that again."

"What about..?"

"Oh God, yes. Definitely that."

Through the haze permeating her brain Shepard realised that adaptability was definitely a pro she'd forgotten to put on Garrus' list, his hands moving over her gently with growing confidence, watching her responses. Sneaking a look down she nearly bit the end of her tongue off. Well he does have big feet.

She gasped suddenly as he blew across her folds and bucked as he swept an exploratory tongue over her clit, body temperature sky-rocketing. He hummed in amused pleasure and settled between her legs, slowly laving her.

"Oh God, Garrus!"

"I'm here, Shepard. I've got you."

Later, much later, they both lay twisted in her sheets, breathing heavily. Stamina she thought hazily add stamina to the pros as well.

Garrus turned to face her, talons propping up his face. "You know Shepard, perhaps I should start calling you by your first name now. You were screaming mine repeatedly earlier, it's only fair to return the favour."

"Smug turian." She grinned up at him. "Weirdly, you manage to convey more affection using my last name than nearly everyone does using my first."

"Shepard it is, then. Maybe we should get some sleep. Although I can't promise not to wake you in an hour or so for...you know..."

"Fine by me."

They lay together in silence for a few moments, Shepard moving a gentle hand over his face before Garrus opened one eye again.

"And I should get 20 points for being awesome, by the way."