AN: Mass kink fill. Based on the game LA Noire, but not really a crossover since none of those characters are really involved in this story. I used sort of a "the future is the past" premise, kind of like Fallout. Story is told in a series of vignettes taking place over the course of a year. Rating, as always, for everything you would expect in a kink meme fill.
Detective Shepard of the LAPD was at first not a huge fan of her new partner. Sure, his record was impeccable. He was professional in his newly pressed navy blue suit, and he got the job done. But that didn't really change the main problem she had with him.
Detective Garrus Vakarian was a turian.
Perhaps she should clarify. She'd been raised not to care about stuff like that. Hell, there'd been some asari in her neighborhood growing up. Her problem wasn't that she had negative feelings towards turians. Her problem was that ninety five percent of the people in LA did. Contact War wasn't far enough behind them to have diluted the bad blood. It's not exactly easy working with a partner who's as likely to terrify as infuriate potential witnesses.
But as he sauntered over with the Chief and extended a talon to her, his nervous smile particularly endearing, she shrugged off her apprehensions. Shaking his hand - noting it felt strange, too few fingers and harder skin - she couldn't help but think, Maybe this wouldn't be so bad.
Garrus was surprisingly useful in investigations. He had a damn good eye for finding clues. And god, she loved watching him intimidate suspects. Only took her two days to realize having a six foot, aggressive looking turian was enough to scare the crap out of all but the most hardened criminals.
Two weeks in they were in a turian neighborhood. Things got out of hand - apparently a human female asking questions, even if she was a cop, ruffled more feathers than she'd counted on - and again she was thankful her partner was a highly trained, full grown turian male.
"Nice work, Vakarian," she'd said to him, slapping his shoulder as he finished cuffing their latest suspect.
He made an odd sound that she'd come to learn meant amusement. "Were you expecting otherwise?"
The worst thing about any job, and that included being a cop.
If the cramp in her hand wasn't so bad, she might not have minded so much. While it was an annoyance, Shepard had learned early on that it was unavoidable. She knew that any mistake on her end was just the excuse Defense was looking for. And as many times as she had explained this to Garrus, she knew she'd have to explain it at least once more. She could be talking to a wall for all the good it did.
She looked up and shook out her hand. Garrus had promised - no small concession - to help her finish up the file from their latest case. But there he was, more interested in the detectives down the hall.
Normally she'd reprimand him, annoyed that he was once again shirking his responsibilities. But something was different... His suit looked as good as it usually did, not a wrinkle in sight. She thought it was adorable how much effort he must exert to keep it that way, something most of the other cops didn't bother to be so meticulous about. How a man who hated paperwork could stand to iron was beyond her. She was a little surprised to notice he'd loosened his tie. It hung in near disarray from his collar, giving her the urge to reach over and straighten it for him.
But what really struck her was that he'd taken off his hat. It was the first time she could remember seeing him without it. The first time she'd gotten a chance to see his fringe, to see his facial tattoos without shadows obstructing it. She traced the shapes with her eyes, greedily taking it all in.
My my my, who knew Detective Vakarian was such a looker? she thought and instantly blushed.
He happened to glance back at her and meet her eyes just then, and she furiously tried to keep from blushing more. "What?" he asked, tone neutral. Whether or not he noticed her embarrassment was hard to say.
"You gonna help me with this case, or what, Vakarian?"
His mandibles twitched. "Thought I already did," he muttered, but obediently went back to work. Shepard allowed herself a few more seconds to watch him before doing the same.
It's too damn early to be out chasing leads, she thought bitterly. She took a sip of her coffee and winced. Gotta remind Vakarian I take it with cream.
As they walk out of the precinct, they're greeted by the cursing of a disheveled looking woman, cuffed and being roughly escorted inside by two officers Shepard only vaguely recognizes.
"Vakarian," one of the men says, catching his eye. He looks over at her briefly, obviously at a loss for her name but at least having the good grace to look embarrassed about it, before turning back to Garrus. "Dumb broad kills her husband and doesn't even bother tryin' to get out of town. You believe it?" He doesn't give them a chance to reply, laughing as he runs up the steps after his partner.
The two of them stand there for a moment, all the signs of hero worship evident in Garrus' eyes. "I wanna make homicide. That's when you know you've made it."
It worried her to hear him say that. What was wrong with working Burglary with her?
They're heading back to the precinct. The day's been a bust – no new criminals, no new clues, just the two of them wasting their time. Which means he's in a bad mood. He joined the force with such a romanticized view of the law and catching bad guys that seemed more akin to the Westerns her dad loved than to the streets of modern L.A.
"I've been wondering, Vakarian," she asks, hoping to break his grumpy mood, "what brings a turian like you all the way to Earth?"
Garrus just continues to glare out the window. Just when she thinks he's not going to answer, he sighs and says, "Same thing that makes anyone want to leave home. To get away from family."
"Aw c'mon, that's not the only reason someone leaves."
"Why'd you leave home?"
She hesitates. "To annoy my family. There's a difference."
He laughs, a rumbling sound deep in his chest that makes her blood rush to her head. He should laugh more. "Fine, Shepard. Me? I guess I came here to do a little of both."
The bastard fled town, and of course it irks her. Annoys her that they couldn't get the warrant in time, but of course by now she's learned to let it go.
But then she sees the way it changes Garrus, makes him pace and hiss and he's so goddamned tense, and realizes she's never been this effected by a case. It's times like these that she worries he'll go rogue. Quit the force, stock up on ammo and go out to wreak his own special brand of justice on the streets of LA.
And as she watches his agitated and sullen mood deepen, she idly wonders if she'd join him or not.
"I got 'em!" she screams over her shoulder, chasing after the suspect. Thank god she had decided to wear pants today. She didn't think how hard it would be to run down a suspect on foot in a goddamn skirt.
"Shepard!" He says more, but it's lost as she rounds a corner.
Her legs burn as she sprints over another fence, through traffic, down an alley. Fucker's faster than he looks.
Four years of varsity track, don't fail me now, she pleads as he dashes around another corner. The last corner, if she has a say about it.
Fuck, is all she can think as she comes to an abrupt spot. Apparently things just escalated from run of the mill burglary case to hostage situation. Her gun comes up automatically. She does her best to drown out the kid's panicked cries for help. He's probably no more than 15.
Fuck. Where the hell is Vakarian?
"Put down your weapon." Her voice is steady, hands steady. She's no stranger to staring down the barrel of a gun.
"Just… just let me go or… or the kid gets it!" Empty threat. She can see it in his eyes.
"You don't want to do this. Let the kid go."
He sneers at her. "And let you take me in? Fuck you, you bitch! I ain't doing time 'cuz of your turian-lovin' ass!" His gun turns from the kid to her. While she'd have bet good money he wouldn't shoot the kid, she knows he doesn't have such qualms about her.
"Last warning. Put down your weapon." She'd have already shot him if she could be sure she wouldn't hit the kid…
"Or what!" he yells in challenge, stepping forward and she hears him cock his gun. The kid manages to twist so he's out of the way. The perp doesn't even notice.
"Or this," she says, pulling the trigger and putting a bullet in between the bastard's eyes.
To her surprise, she hears two shots go off. Feels the tell-tale burning in her left arm.
She's managed to calm the kid down by the time Garrus gets there with back-up.
"Shepard!" he calls in relief. She can see the tension go out of his body when he sees she's okay, and she blushes slightly. "You're alright!"
"Course I am. C'mon, Vakarian, you don't think some street thug's enough to take me down, do ya?"
But then he notices the blood on her shirt. "What happened?" he demands, no, almost snarls and points at the wound accusingly.
She shrugs. "Asshole managed to get in a shot. Just grazed my arm, though. Nothing serious." He continues to stare, and she has the feeling he very much wants to hurt someone. Maybe the poor bastard was lucky she shot him before Garrus got a hold of him. "Seriously, Vakarian, you need to lighten up. I've taken worse hits. It's already stopped bleeding and everything."
"I should've gotten here sooner. I shouldn't have let you go off on your own."
Shepard doesn't need him feeling guilty. Doesn't want to deal with that. "Hey, don't start with that shit. It's part of the job."
"But it's my job to protect you-"
"What the fuck is this about?" she snaps. She knows she sounds harsh but right now doesn't give a shit. "You think you got some sort of duty to look after me because I'm a woman on the force? I get enough of bullshit like this from the rest of the guys, I don't need it from you too."
"Shepard, that's not what I meant-"
But she's already heading to the car.
Garrus doesn't talk much the rest of the day. She lets him stew on their way back to the precinct, still too annoyed with him to let him off the hook just yet. The Chief greets them personally when they get back, never one to miss the chance to commend officers who get people off the street. Even if it's permanent. He still doesn't say much, just enough to get by.
She isn't worried until he's doing the damn paperwork without complaint.
Finally she gives in. "Something bothering you, Vakarian?"
He looks at her and she can see that there is, she just has no idea what, but all she gets out of him is a "No, Detective."
Shepard tries not to be ruffled by his newfound professionalism.
She offers to drive him home. He usually takes the bus but the image of him so dejected and alone on a goddamn bus just about breaks her heart.
She knows he's about to refuse and give some excuse. "Get in the damn car, Vakarian."
They don't talk on the drive. Not that they talk a lot anyway unless it's about a case, but the silence weighs heavy on her. He mutters his thanks before getting out and walking into his place. A pathetic little duplex that was probably built a hundred years ago. Probably the best he can afford.
It's probably five minutes she sits in the car. She hates being indecisive and eventually just goes with her gut and follows him.
The door's unlocked. Surprisingly stupid move. Even for a cop, even for a turian, this is a dangerous area.
She follows the light to the bedroom. Sees him there, his back to her, going through his mail. His jacket's gone, and she can see the outlines of his alien body more clearly than usual. But instead of his usual confident self, his shoulders are slumped in defeat.
She aches to comfort him, and moves up behind him. She doesn't think he's noticed her yet, but when her hand reaches to touch his back he turns around and she grazes his chest instead.
Before she can say anything, his talons are on her arms, pulling him into her. Those hands… she's seen him smash people's faces in with those hands, but they're so gentle that she doesn't see how to reconcile the two ideas of him.
She leans in, rests her head against his shoulder and can feel him nuzzling her hair. They stand like that for a while, both just happy to be with the other. Eventually she steps back and looks up at him. Understanding passes between them. Everything that happened that day, everything he meant to say but just couldn't get out.
Before she can think otherwise, she's on her toes, kissing him.
The species thing doesn't seem to matter. He kisses her back as best he can. He nips every now and then, brushes his mandibles against her cheek, and finally presses his forehead to hers.
She doesn't remember their clothes coming off, but his warm skin is against hers and his smell is so intoxicating she doesn't care. Can't care about anything beyond the turian in front of her.
He backs her onto the bed and she falls back, hair fanning around her. Her legs wrap around his neck and she gasps as he pushes inside of her.
Her head is swimming as he sets his pace. Always a good partner, he knows just what she needs without saying it. He's fast and methodical and she almost laughs because that's just so him. But her laughter dies and becomes barely stifled moans.
When she's close, she bites her lips to keep from screaming, but he catches her.
"Say it," he urges.
"Garrus…" she gasps again and again. She's painfully aware it's the first time she's ever said his first name out loud.
She writhes on his bed, clutching desperately at his sheets as she reaches the end. Feels his talons dig in slightly as he finishes, whispering her name in a half curse half prayer.
They find their way under the blankets. Their arms find their way around each other. Their breathing falls into sync. And as she dozes off, Shepard marvels at how comfortable a turian body can be, hard and armored as it is.
Neither of them say anything about it. They just go about their business like nothing's happened. It doesn't seem to change how they work together, so she's not sure if that's such a bad thing.
They tracked down another suspect, this time by car, and cornered him in an alley. No gun on him, they're sure of it, but it doesn't mean the asshole can't throw a punch. Shepard's trained for this sort of shit, the type of asshole that thinks he can take her just because she's a slender dame in a blouse and heels.
Luckily, there's no need to get her hands dirty.
Before the guy can get close enough to take a punch, out of nowhere comes Garrus' fist, knocking the bastard out cold.
A smile creeps onto her face as she recalls all too well other ways he can put that reach of his to good use. "Hell of a punch, Vakarian."
He looks at her, a mischievous look on his usually serious face, "You should know by now, Shepard. I'll be here if you need me."
Whatever more he might have been implying would keep her up that night.
A few days later, she gets a call from back home. She hates taking these calls at the precinct, but fuck it all she doesn't want to deal with it later either.
"I'll take it in the back," she mutters and heads to the phone by the evidence locker.
To her surprise, it's Kaidan, a guy she flattered herself to think she might marry once upon a time. They chat good-naturedly, better than she'd thought they'd be able to when she just up and left town for the big city and a new life.
She's aware that she's flirting a little. Can't help it, really. They've known each other for years, and he just happens to bring out that side of her. And what does it matter, really? She's never going back to that shithole she grew up in. So she lets herself giggle like a teenager and twirl the cord around her finger, gets a little lost in the moment.
Her mood is surprisingly light by the time she hangs up the phone.
When she turns around, she's not expecting to see him there. Only a few feet away, it's ridiculous to think she hadn't noticed this huge mass of turian. She wonders how much he heard, but one look tells her he's fuming and he heard more than he would have cared to.
She's not sure what to say, not sure how to deflect his anger. She usually only sees him this way when they can't pin a suspect.
Garrus saves her the trouble as he roughly grabs her arm and pulls her into the evidence locker. She's against a wall with her skirt hiked up and her leggings by her knees before she can stop him. But then she's whispering to him not to stop.
She drives him home most nights now. Her own apartment is feeling the neglect, but as she falls asleep snuggly cradled in Garrus' arms, she doesn't care.
Shepard's not a little girl. She's not so naïve that she thinks she's in love. She's just… comfortable with the arrangement they silently make. And really, isn't that enough?
"As much as it pains me to lose my two finest Detectives in Burglary, the time has come for both of you to go on your merry way."
Garrus catches her eye as the Chief paces in front of them and his mandibles twitch in amusement.
"Shepard," the Chief shouts in that way of his, and Shepard can't help but snap to attention. "Congratulations, missy. You're working with Biggs in Arson."
"Vakarian. You're on Homicide. Congratulations, my boy." He shakes the turian's hand before heading out of his office.
"So, I guess you've finally made it." She has to speak quickly before an awkward silence can grow.
He snorts. "It's political. They need another turian in Homicide. They probably just drew my name out of a hat."
She allows a chuckle. "Even so, they're lucky to have a detective like you." She extends her hand. "Congratulations."
He reluctantly takes it, a mix of emotions evident on his face. She's reminded of when they first met. She tries not to see these handshakes as bookending their relationship. "Thanks for everything, Shepard. I couldn't have done it without you."
"Sure you could," she says, not quite willing to release his hand just yet. "Not as stylishly, of course."
Their laughs don't quite convince either of them. "Well, I gotta go find my new partner. Hope he's not as much of a pain in the ass as you are," she says brightly, forcing herself back into 'Detective' mode.
"Of course. See you around, Shepard."
Neither is really surprised when they don't.
She's not sure how long she can stand doing Arson. Her days always end with her coughing up ash and cursing her pain in the ass new partner. Nostalgia makes her wish she was back on Burglary, back with her old partner. At least she tells herself it's nostalgia.
By the time she makes Vice, she hasn't heard much from him. It doesn't really annoy her. These things run their course.
She's mildly concerned when she hears he's undercover investigating some murder conspiracy. She knows what happens to cops that are caught undercover. She doesn't want to find out what happens to undercover turians who are caught.
"You alright, Shepard?"
Her mind flashes back to a similar case. This time it's not some petty cat burglar using a kid as a shield. This time it's some scumball pimp using one of his girls. Too bad for him she's still a heck of a shot.
"I'm fine, Lawson. Get a statement from the asari, would ya?"
Her partner's brow furls in concern, but she goes over to the hooker. Shepard nods her thanks as she walks off and leans against a wall, trying to stop the wave of memories. When she's collected herself, she heads to the car and calls dispatch to send someone to get the body.
He grabs her shoulder as they head back into the precinct. "Shepard, my office."
"Yes, Chief." Lawson raises an eyebrow but continues to their desks. Shepard mouths, "I'll fill you in," before following him in.
"Take a seat, Detective." As she does, he takes two glasses out of the top drawer and fills them with something from a beaten up flask.
She's immediately uncomfortable. All her instincts tell her this is bad news. Really fucking bad news. But what can she do but take a seat and sip the cheap brandy morosely?
"You and Lawson have been doing some fine work."
"Thank you, sir."
"Such high caliber police work is being wasted in Vice. I want you on Homicide immediately."
Her heart swells at the news. The possibilities are enough to make her dizzy. But before she gets too carried away, the Chief continues. "I need you on a new case."
She nods, eager for the details, eager to hear that one name…
"Detective Vakarian was found dead this morning by the tracks. I want you out there in twenty to start your investigation."
Her only reply is to immediately down the brandy as fast as she can.
It's a cool day in late October. Every part of the drive is branded permanently in her mind. She lets herself take a full minute before getting out of the car.
Maybe she's been doing this job too long. Because all she can think as she looks at the blue-stained ground and the broken body of her one time partner, friend and lover is that the MO looks familiar. The coroner confirms her suspicions and she shields her feelings behind a wall of clinical curiosity.
She's proud of herself that she's able to keep the tears at bay, but she still can't get the hell away from there fast enough. It's not right to stay when she can't even hold him.
It's not until late at night, halfway between asleep and alive that the image actually starts to torment her and the tears won't stop.
And so now she knows. As she sits in this shithole of a bar in this shithole of a neighborhood in this shithole of a city, she finally knows. Knows what drives those veteran cops to spend their nights drinking away their coherence. She knows why they mock the rookies, fresh out of training, for being so goddamned idealistic.
Worst of all she knows why she refuses to ever work with a partner again.