Roarkshop Here: Okay. Final Chapter for the year. Going on Hiatus until the first Monday of January (possibly). Real life has happened. For the Why's and How Longs visit the link on my profile and watch my latest video (if the link isn't working just go to my blog page it'll be the first page on roarkshop dot net. IT'll explain everything. If not, I'll see you guys in January!

Happy Halloween, guys! I hope you had a fun and safe holiday, and if you live somewhere that doesn't celebrate it, I hope you had fun regardless. Have a wonderful Holiday season, and hopefully we can get back to Monday updates when I come back and we can jump into the Omega 4!




EDIT! IMPORTANT! SandF is complete and finished and instead of making a 100-chapter long story, I will be continuing Garrus and Shepard's journey in a second, more appropriately titled, story. For the full story please visit my blog. Love you guys!

Shepard blinked her eyes awake and was met with the glow of the fish tank in the darkness. She realized she was still smiling as she put her arms over her head in a listless stretch before lazily reaching her arm out for Garrus on the other side of her.

She was met with the all-too-familiar sensation of emptiness.

Shepard shot into a sitting position, unconsciously holding the sheet against her chest as she looked around the empty room. Per usual, the lights all came on once she sat up, which gave her a clear visual of her quarters. He was gone. There was no two ways about it. She tried to fight the onset of panic rising in her chest. She saw her underclothes abandoned on the floor next to her and reached down to hurriedly pull them on before taking a moment to wish that she was dreaming.

She took a deep breath and tried to be logical. Maybe he went down for breakfast. Maybe someone had needed his help. Maybe he had done something other than run screaming from the room to get away from her.

Don't be melodramatic; she scolded herself, which was exactly when she saw the majority of his clothes still strewed about the other side of the room.

"Uh… Garrus?" she said, a glimmer of hope flickering through her.

"Of course," he scoffed from the bathroom.

Relief crashed through her so hard she thought she might burst into laughter.

Garrus came back into the room, wearing only the pants he'd had on the night before. "The only five minutes I haven't been in that bed is the five minutes you decide to wake up."

She laughed a lot harder than she meant to.

"It wouldn't be us if anything went smoothly," she said, letting her hands fall into her lap on the bed.

"Truer words were probably never spoken," he said with a laugh. He reached the foot of the bed and climbed up on top of her, tucking his face into the crook of her neck and fluttering his mandibles against her skin, simultaneously pushing her back down as he advanced. She laughed, a gleeful, joyous sound as she fell back onto the bed, wrapping her arms around his neck. "Good morning," he rumbled, kissing her throat.

"It certainly is," she said with a pleased sigh.

"You're warm," he crooned, running his free hand up her side.

"And you're cold," she said, smacking his hand away. "Jesus, your hands are like ice."

"Of course they are," he said, leaning back so she could see his puzzled expression. "I'm cold blooded."

"Yeah, doofus, I know that. But you're usually so warm."

"I'm also usually clothed."

She smiled and tilted her head to the side, deciding to play dumb. "And clothes, for some reason, make you warm blooded?"

"What? No. Turian armor and clothes are designed to insulate, so once I get warm, I stay warm. But since I've spent the better part of ten hours…indisposed, I'm cold again."

"So what," said, idly tracing her hands up his chest. "You have to sun bathe like a gecko?"

He quirked a brow. "Uuhhh, I don't know what that is but yeah, sun bathing works. But showering is faster and vastly more convenient."

"So you are a space lizard," she said with a silly grin.

"I don't care what you call it," he said, tucking his face into the crook of her neck again. "But if it makes you smile like that then I'm happy to be it."

There was a melody in her laughter Garrus had never heard before. It made him rather proud of himself.

He rolled onto his back next to her and stretched his legs out, resting his head on one of his arms as she cuddled up against his side. His other arm wrapped around her shoulders and he nuzzled the top of her head with his face.

"What's this?" he said, tracing an idle finger along her shoulder.

"My shoulder blade?"

"Obviously," he scoffed. "You look like you have… I don't know… specs of black dirt on your back."

"What?" she sat up and reached a hand to where her shoulder was and felt only the scar from where her shirt had been coagulated into her skin from the Collector Ship. "My scar?"

"No. Around it."

She tried to look back over her shoulder at it, then realized what he had to be talking about.

"Well I'll be damned," she said, trying to crane her neck around. "Can you see my tattoo?"

There was a few moments off baffled silence before he spoke. "Wait… you have a tattoo? Like the markings Jack has?"

"Well I did. I had the N7 program logo on my shoulder; A present from Z once I got the position on his squad. I didn't think it would still be there after Cerberus put me back together."

"How have I never seen it before?"

She shrugged. "Well, the only time you've ever really seen me shirtless was when my shirt was melted onto my shoulder, right?"

"Huh. I guess so." He traced a talon down the cracked and faded mark. "Yeah, now that I know what it is, I can kind of see the shape of it."

"I'm surprised it survived all the chaos."

"I'm not," he said, leaning back down and bringing her with him via his hand on her shoulder. "I'm tired of being surprised when you survive the unexpected."

She laughed and nestled her head on his shoulder, tracing her fingers along the edges of the plates on his chest. Her thoughts wondered as she sat in blissful silence, feeling his powerful heartbeat, listening to his steady breath. It was like a dream; A dream, she reminded herself, that had to end eventually. Like it or not, it was only a matter of time before the Omega 4 filled her mind, followed by the shit storm awaiting them all.

She didn't know how Garrus noticed, but he did.

"Don't do that," he said.

"Do what?"

"Dwell. Forget about it. Just be here now, with me. Eight hours is a long time."

"Not long enough."

He laughed. "That's certainly not what you said last night."

She scoffed. "Oh good. Your ego is still intact."

"In-tact may be putting it mildly. I don't know much about human deities, but from the sheer number of 'oh my god's you were throwing out I'm starting to think I might be one."

"Lord," she said, covering her face with her hands, slightly muffling her words. "There will be no living with you after this."

"You mean living with all six-foot-four of solidified handsome?"

"Can't you go back to being insecure about your torn up face?"

He stretched his arms above his head with a smile. "Nope," he said while he stretched. "Much too late for that."

She rolled onto her stomach, holding herself up on her elbows so she could look at him. He put his hands behind his head and looked down at her, her messy flame colored hair fell around her shoulders and her bright eyes were full of the laughter she was keeping down.

"Hey," she said, tilting her head to the side.

"Hey," he said back.

"No regrets?"

"You mean besides the fact that I can't seem to dig the pieces of your wall out of my nails?" He held up his left hand and wiggled his fingers, showing her the white pieces of drywall down in his talons. She laughed and rested her cheek against his chest and he gently ran his hand over the top of her head. "No Jane. No regrets."

She sighed against his chest and smiled, that same old smile of hers. He reached down and ran his fingers through her curls. Lord, she was a sight.

"What?" she asked, bringing him out of his thoughts.


"You're staring at me."

"I was just thinking," he admitted, tilting his head to the side. "You look better right now, still covered in sweat and just waking up, than most women do after three hours of prep work."

"Oh shut up," she said, sitting up and brushing him off. He saw how it embarrassed her and he liked it. He watched as she scooted away and tried to find something to busy herself and he sat up against the wall and reached out to take her shoulder and pull her backwards. She looked up at him from his lap and her cocked eyebrow told him she was not amused.

"Crew's still asleep," he rumbled. "Don't act like you suddenly have a pressing appointment."

"What, you suddenly get to boss me around now?"

"Whatever blows your skirt up."

"God damn it, I hate you."

"Mmm hmm, I'm sure."

She smiled as he started to twist his fingers through her hair again. The whole concept of it still fascinated him. It was like she had a million pieces of string embedded into her scalp. Spirits, humans were weird.

"So what happens now?" she asked.

"Now we go get our people back."

"Not that," she said, shifting uncomfortably. "With us."

"I don't follow. Do you want to tell the crew or something?"

"Oh god, no," she said putting her hands over her face. "That's just what I need."

"Well then we just go on as normal then, which is what I'd assumed."

"So we act just like we always do around each other?"

"Sure. Except now I get to punch people who flirt with you."

"Oh stop," she demanded, though she was putting in significant effort not to show how that pleased her. "You can't punch everyone that flirts with me."

"That sounds an awful lot like a challenge."

"I assure you that it's not," she said with a grin. "Though I never pegged you for the jealous type."

"Mmmmm I wouldn't call it jealousy… Possessiveness, maybe."

"I don't see the difference."

"Jealousy is… suspicion or fear of a rival. And that's not my problem so much as I don't like people touching what's mine."

Her smile made him smile.

"Yours hmm?" she sat up casually and stretched her arms over her head before standing. "Then why did you never punch Kaidan?"

She was just wearing her bra and underwear as she made her way toward the bathroom, and Garrus watched her back and shoulder muscles move as he spoke.

"Yes, well," he said clearing his throat. "You weren't mine back then."

She laughed and turned to look at him over her shoulder from the doorway of the bathroom.

"I beg to differ," she said, giving him a smile that would have made a corpse breath hard. She reached back and unclasped her bra, and Garrus just managed to see it hit the floor before the door slid shut behind her. The sound of the shower turning on whistled in the distance, but he barely noticed.

He sat there in stunned silence for a few more minutes as he let the sight bounce through his memory. It was unusual to him, alien almost. The human form was never particularly attractive to him, and in fact he still wasn't particularly fond of it. But something about Shepard, the lines of her sides, the muscles in her legs and shoulders, just the sight of it made his blood hot under his skin. This probably wasn't the mindset he should be in hours before a potentially deadly mission, but he certainly wasn't complaining.

"Hey, Ugly," her voice echoed from inside the bathroom. It snapped him out of his thoughts. He shook his head like it would help him snap out of it.

"Yeah, Bug," he called back.

"Didn't you say you were cold?"

Well… that was all the invitation he needed.

"Thirty minute warning, Commander," Joker said over the speakers.

Garrus was sitting on the edge of Shepard's bed, facing the fish tanks, as he pulled on his boots. He sighed and turned over his shoulder to look at her coming out of the bathroom. Her casuals were completely buttoned and perfect, her hair was pulled back into a tight knot, and a dark halo hung around her head like a cloud. He stood and went to her. The weight this had on her had to be heavier than anything Garrus was familiar with. He reached a hand onto her shoulder, hoping it was comforting.

"This is all your fault," she said, looking up at him.

Well that wasn't what he'd expected to hear.

"Beg pardon?"

"This fear," she snapped.

"We're all afraid," he started.

"I'm not supposed to be. Not for myself, anyway."

He narrowed his eyes in confusion and drawled out his words. "I…don't follow you."

"Sure I was afraid we were going to fail, that none of us were coming back. But I've never been afraid for me. I've never been afraid of dying." She exhaled and rubbed her forehead. "Self-preservation is usually so far down my list of shit I need to worry about in a critical mission it never comes up. I was fully prepared to die saving our people." She looked back up at him, and the fear in her eyes was apparent. "Then here you are… very rudely giving me something to live for."

He smiled and ran his fingers down the length of her jaw.

"I can't shake the feeling that you want me to apologize, but I won't do it. I've been trying to get you to show some self-preservation since the beginning."

She gave him a humorless laugh and let her head fall onto his chest. Instinctively his hands went to her shoulders, like they always did.

"It's not right," she said softly. "I have no right to put my life in front of theirs."

"I disagree. And that's not just my personal bias talking, the mission doesn't continue without you."

"Sure it would," she said with a shrug. "You could lead them."

He moved his hand to her face and lifted it so she would look up at him, a severity flashing across his features with a flutter of his mandibles.

"I won't need to," he said coldly. "Nothing is going to happen to you."

"And what if it does?"

"Then you'd best be prepared for company."

She smiled, sadly, and nudged his face with hers.

Garrus pulled her by her neck and kissed her like he was never going to get another chance. It was hard; it was possessive; and he felt the hairs on the back of her neck prickle under the sensation. He would make sure that she came back, the fate of the galaxy may well have depended on it. But, like he always did, Garrus knew the score. And if he was going to die making sure she lived, he wanted her to remember him; he wanted her to remember them.

They exhaled against each other and Garrus rested his brow against hers.

"You've taken on the impossible before," he said, pulling away. "It's time to do it again."

She laughed as they headed toward the door and loaded onto the elevator.

"Just like old times?" She said, nudging him with her elbow.

He entwined his fingers in hers and raised them to his face to put a small kiss on the back of her hand.

"Maybe not exactly like old times."

The End