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Patch Me the Illusive Man

Shepard sighed as she went through her email. She couldn't have EDI go through it because last time they tried that, EDI hadn't done a very good job. And as kind as Kelly was, Shepard didn't want her going through her email; she had already seen what was in Kelly's email.

The Normandy commander wished she had a seat or something. She should have checked it up in her room, but Garrus wouldn't let her in right now. He was trying to surprise her with something, although EDI had already told Shepard that he was in her room to begin with. Whatever Garrus was planning, at least she knew he put his heart into it. The message just didn't always translate the culture difference perfectly. Shepard still had shakes about waking up to see Garrus presenting her with a prized hunt's head on Valentine's Day.

But back to the problem at hand. Shepard's email was, among other things, filled with requests to help assist against the Reapers. She had been getting a lot of those after 'accidentally' posting her suit's camera battle against the Human Reaper online. The biggest problem with accepting help though was that most of them were from those she couldn't trust or couldn't actually help.

It was times like this Shepard wished that she hadn't exactly been so rude to the Illusive Man after the Collector assault. Yes, he had been a jerk and he had been dumb, but a majority of men were. And unlike most men, he had assets and the will to help stop the Reapers. What was that old saying again? The enemy of an enemy is my friend? Shepard sighed and let her head drop onto her computer, sending the interface crazy trying to figure out what she was doing.

"Shepard, you are, I believe, driving the computer up the wall," EDI chimed in.

Shepard sighed and took her head off of the computer. "EDI, where's Miranda?" she asked.

"In her office, Shepard."

"Thanks, EDI."

"Logging you out, Shepard."

Shepard headed towards the elevator leaned against the wall. It was late, she was tired, and so help her she did wish Garrus's surprise would be done soon. At least she wasn't menstrating this time. Garrus fumbled enough without her attempting to put a something sharp in his cranium. Thank goodness he was still a hair faster in unarmed combat.

The elevator opened and Shepard stepped towards Miranda's office, green light indicating it was unlocked. Shepard walked in to find Miranda at her computer, a look of intense concentration on her face. A curse escaped her mouth as the door shut. Miranda became aware of Shepard's presence and stopped what she was doing.

"Commander, what can I do for you this late?" Miranda asked still a sign of frustration. It was small, but Shepard knew by now what to look for.

Shepard was a little curious herself as to what Miranda was up to. "What about you? I haven't seen you that agitated in a while," she mused.

Miranda sighed and ran a hand through her hair. "Well, it isn't the most savory activity. I, have a bet with my sister, Oriana. It's on which one of us can win at this silly little game," Miranda explained. Shepard came over and glanced at Miranda'a screen. It was a small extranet mini game. Shepard recognized this one; she'd caught Tali trying her hand at it a few days ago. If Tali's score was average, Miranda's was terrible.

"Having trouble?" Shepard smirked.

"Don't remind me," Miranda grumbled. "Why I ever agreed to that bet... but it's nothing for you to worry about, Shepard. Now back to the matter at hand."

"Right. I wanted to ask your opinion on something. Do you think the Illusive Man would be willing to fight under my banner this time?" Shepard asked.

She watched Miranda's face subtly shift into a thoughtful one. Jacob had been vocal in his quitting of Cerberus, but Miranda had been quieter about it. Her history with them had been longer, and doubtless it had been a little hard. She probably avoided thinking abou it.

"Honestly, Shepard, I'm not sure. The Illusive Man is difficult to read, especially once I was assigned to revive you. There's a possibility, but I couldn't tell you," Miranda admitted. "Are you thinking of asking him to join your forces?"

Shepard had read Oriana's email to her. She knew Miranda hadn't quite looking at her messages because frankly, Shepard wouldn't have stopped either. "I was. Come with me, Miranda. I want some backup on this one," she requested. "It's not that late; I'm sure he's up."

Miranda obliged her, and the two headed back up the elevator to the briefing room. It was a quiet ride, and Shepard had to admit she felt a little tension. When the briefing room doors were shut behind them, Shepard called up Joker on the com. "Joker, patch us through to the Illusive Man," she ordered.

There was a short pause. "You certain, Shepard?" he asked.

"Just do it Joker," Shepard assured.

"Fine. Patching through. I'm going to flip him off."

The special com scanner went up, and Shepard remembered how much she hated it. She didn't like anyone or anything having her measurements. In a world of virtual reality, it was a dangerous thing. She had made sure Kasumi had removed them after getting her the dress. But Shepard needed to stay focused; she was about to address the Illusive Man.

As it turns out, Shepard was right about the Illusive Man being up at this time.

But she hadn't expected why he would be up.

Shepard's voice failed her as she and Miranda had a full five seconds to take in the Illusive Man getting busy with Staci and Stephi Strong, the Terra Firma Twins, before the Illusive Man's eyes picked them out.

Neither was certain who was more embarassed in that moment.

The Illusive Man cleared his throat as the twins spotted Miranda and Shepard as well. "Shepard," he stated. It was shock. Shock and shame. Mostly shock; he had expected Shepard to ask for his help, but not during one of his escapades. Shepard was just plain mortified. At least the Illusive Man had the presence of mind to cover himself.

The Terra Firma Twins, still in her all showing birthday suits, smiled and walked towards Shepard and Miranda. "So this is Commander Shepard, is it? And a friend? You must be here for business."

"Granted, you're not actually here. Too bad," Stephi moaned. "I've always wanted to try a fivesome."

Shepard wasn't sure which she felt more: mortified or turned on by the twins' free spirits.

"I'll talk business later," Shepard asserted, and immediately terminated the program. Thankfully, the program faded, and Miranda and Shepard were left alone in the briefing room. The two women traded looks, uncertain how they should feel about catching the Illusive Man with his pants down. Literally. At least this had escaped the crew's eyes.

"Whoa."

Or not. By cruel fate, Joker had entered the room before the transmission was completely cut, intent on flipping off the Illusive Man. Which meant Joker had seen the twins.

Shepard and Miranda opened their mouths to tell him otherwise, but Joker beat them to it. "You two are so in for it," Joker told them, heading back towards the cockpit with all speed. "I'm so telling everyone you use this room to watch lesbian porn."

Joker left before they could stop him. Shepard and Miranda shared looks again, wondering how much of a hit their reputation would take on the ship. There was no way Shepard would be able to look Garrus in the eye for days now.

As Joker began broadcasting his announcement to everyone, the two women sighed. It was better in the long run that the ship thought they watched lesbian porn together than dropped in the Illusive Man getting busy. It would save a lot of questions.

The next morning, Shepard regretted thinking that, as Tali awkwardly asked why Shepard and Miranda watched it together.