Author's Note: Hey all! I know I've been gone for awhile, but there's a reason for that! Look for my note at the bottom for details, it's exciting news! Or.. I hope so, anyway.


This is my special gift to all my male fans out there. I know I write a lot of Shenko and Shoker, and you guys read it because you like the writing, but I've never particularly catered to you.. sigh So, here it is! Something I whipped especially for you fellas, with all my love, I hope you enjoy! Happy early Valentine's Day!

For all my male fans and one in particular, Nuanceish, who gave be the pairing challenge, and *more* than enough inspiration for it. :D

-With love, Zing-baby


Commander Shepard was alight with fire; every nerve bundle, every tiny fiber or receptor was pulsing intensely. He'd been so focused on the Reapers, and the Collectors, he hadn' thad the time to investigate the improvements the Lazarus Project had made, or even test to see if everything was working- if he'd still feel alive.

He understood now.

Tali'Zorah had been so concerned, so worried, though she'd fought hard to cover it. The more time he spent with her the more he picked up on these little things. As much as she cursed the mask over her face, it had become a part of her, and she had tried to hide behind it. She used it as a cover for all her fears, to try to make herself brave for him. She was trying so hard to be strong…

And it made him adore her even more. That awkward shyness wrestling with her own determination. Even as her synthesized voice prattled on and on about all the preparations she'd made, his heart was swelling in excitement. She was here, and she wanted this. And he would protect her, as he always did. The more she struggled with herself the more he wanted to hold her and tell her everything was going to be okay.

It wasn't until he finally had his arms around her that her voice started steadying, and her breath grew more regular, if still a little heavy.

So many times she'd tried to leave him a way out. Every step of the way she asked for confirmation that it was what he really wanted, if she was what he really wanted. He knew it was out of fear, and even insecurity.

But it's amazing what knowing the odds of your survival on the morrow will do for your taste of life for today.

When he finally, delicately, went to unlatch the purple glass that had separated their eyes from locking for years, it wasn't just because he wanted to see her. So many humans he knew would love to be in his shoes, just so they could see what a quarian looked like. The mystery allured them, but that's not what he was seeking.

She was shivering inside her suit, in nerves, or perhaps emotion. He could sense it, even if he couldn't see it, and he wanted, no needed, to comfort her. As soon as he could see her face, his fingers went to her cheek.

Shepard didn't want to gasp. He'd thought long about how to keep himself controlled, so she wouldn't feel like a specimen for study. He wanted her to feel comfortable around him… safe. It meant a lot to them both that she didn't feel… well, alien. This was new for her, and it was clear in her eyes once he could see them.

But she was so ethereal looking. So smooth, so innocent and pure, when his fingertips brushed over the pristine skin of her cheek they shared a rattled breath. Her eyes held a soft glow that had him entranced, and before he knew what he was doing he had leaned into a kiss.

They'd both paused in the last second, knowing their friendship was about to become something else, and silently accepting the responsibility upon themselves, they closed the distance.

She tasted of, well, everything he knew of her. A strange concept should he try to describe it but… the kiss was warm, and sweet, with a hint of something mysterious and addicting. He felt in that kiss the memory of the day he'd met her two years ago. She'd been upset with Ash for referring to her as quarian rather than by name. She'd been so defensive, about that, and her abilities. Like she had something to prove to the humans.

She was so much more mature now, he'd watched her grow and change until she became the woman he care for now.

And now humans had turned away from each other and friendship. Trust had dissolved, and of the few that had remained loyal to him, Tali was the only one that did so under so much controversy and self-compromise. She had wanted nothing to do with Cerberus, and she and him had disagreed on a solution to the geth war but… she had still always stayed by his side, unconditionally.

His appreciation for that was only escalated by his situation in the universe, not diminished by it.

And how he was sharing everything with her. This one woman would be the only one he'd let see him as a human, and a man. To everyone else he would have to be so much more than that, but to her, he would have feeling, and a soul.

And unlike all the others he'd dealt with for long before he'd even heard of the Reapers, she was the first to truly care that he even had one.

So much of this emotion was being poured through his kiss, and he could feel her becoming overwhelmed. Maybe she hadn't expected so much to come from him? Maybe he should…

With almost instant regret he backed away to give her room to breathe, just in case. He tried to smile, but her face, so lithe and sweet, followed his every move. Her eyes flared in a moment of loss when he pulled away, but upon seeing the slight upturn to his lips, her gaze lit again, and he felt himself being pushed back onto the bed.

She had set herself on top of him almost instantly, leaving him a little surprised. Kisses resumed shortly after, and for long moments, they didn't presume to go any further. He was so lost in their duel of lips he didn't want to rush, or hurry her. He was merely enjoying the feel of her weight on him.

It was her that initiated the tugging of his uniform, and he politely obliged to go first, out of chivalry. Whether or not she had seen a bare human before he wasn't sure, but as soon as his shirt was off, her fingers were at his chest, tracing the lines of skin and muscle she hadn't gotten to see before.

Her cheeks were changing color, perhaps a little rosier, in what he guessed meant she was blushing, but her eyes were calmly entranced while they explored with her fingers, her lips only slightly parted as he let her take her time.

Still gloved, her fingertips blazed little trails through the hair at the center of his chest, and he couldn't tell by her expression yet if she found it strange or disturbing. He was almost afraid to ask, but he reasoned she must be, again, only curious. When the feel of her fingertips detoured down his sides to follow the lines of his torso, he jumped a little, unable to help the reaction. She looked up at him confused, but before she could ask he was already apologizing.

"That… tickles," he coughed, feeling his own nerves kicking in a little.

That was strange, he surmised. When was the last time he'd felt nervous?

Bravely, he started pulling away at the neck seal and base of her helmet, gently trying to free her from it. She wasn't skittish, but she did stop moving when he could finally see all of her above the head, as if silently praying for approval.

It was clear the design of the suit and the seals didn't allow for long hair, but she had a short crop of it, little waves trailing down to where her helmet needed to lock in with the rest of her suit. He combed his fingers through it, finding it felt oddly warm to the touch, and his eyes fell back to hers when he gave a small smile.

"You are very beautiful, Tali Zorah vas Normandy," he kindly whispered through the air between them. An excited smile came back to her lips and she leaned up to kiss him again.

He kept his fingers combing and playing in the cute tangles of her hair, pulling her a little deeper into kisses. It was clear it was all new to her, and she was only able to reciprocate each of his actions after he showed her how… something as simple a tickling his tongue against her lower lip had her shivering, and then he would let her try to do the same.

He did his best to give her all the time she needed to adjust and learn, but with a little amusement he realized she didn't quite have the patience. Every slow and steady step he would take, she would attempt, and then all too soon, give up and throw herself a little deeper and closer to him, impatience and need eventually overwhelming any practice.

These little leaps she was making though were sending exciting messages through his body, though. And while he knew there may be some cause for pause when the time came that he wouldn't be able to hide what she was doing to him, he wasn't able to slow the blood flow to his groin.

He had hoped to keep it under control, so she wouldn't have to address it until she was ready, but the way she was moving, and the body language she was putting off was stampeding over the methodical scenarios he had ran through in his head as options.

He knew she could feel it now, there was no way around it. The build of her species made it all too easy for her hips to fit over his, a tight, and perfect form-to-form contact line. There was no free space for his erection to grow into, except directly against her.

There was an easily visual reaction, a heat that rose to her cheeks that he could feel so close to his. And the way she moved over it, told him she knew exactly what she was feeling.

He couldn't help the groan that she withdrew from his throat as she carefully dragged her body along the line of his hardened cock, forcing him to purposefully fight his eyes from rolling back into his head.

"Is... that good?" she prodded, tilting her head a little, almost as if she knew the answer and was only teasing him.

He lifted his head to look between their bodies at the way she was poised above him, and then glanced back to her face with a brow quirked. "I think you already know the answer, Tali'Zorah."

She chuckled, her voice sounding so much freer without the extra synthetic quality usually added by her suit. It still sounded like her, but there was a clearer, cleaner quality now that had him smiling fondly.

"I… tried to study. Mordin helped me find resources to…. Read, and learn what I can do to please you." She was sounding shy again, but she had scooted her body down a ways, kneeling over his legs so she could unhook his belt.

"Y- you didn't have to," he tried to focus. But the vision of her face hovering so close to groin was making him ache. Had she not studied what that mere position can do to a man? "There's nothing you could do to make this wrong."

She finished undressing him rather quickly, leaving him feel slightly impressed as she started trying to take some control. It wasn't until he was completely bare to her that she started unhooking her own suit and peeling away the layers.

So many latches, seals, and buckles, he hadn't noticed before. He crawled back to the end of the bed and sat on it, aiding her from where she stood on the floor in front of him.

Every fresh patch of skin was as smooth and unmarred as the rest. So many years of being confined in an envirosuit had even the smallest of skin particles pressed down into flat and soft submission. Even the outer lines of her form, the gentle sweeping of her waist, leading down into the curve of her hips, up into the soft swell of her breasts, it was stealing his breath and claiming each one in victory.

About halfway through, he stopped helping, and resigned to simply petting and stroking her body whenever she revealed a new piece to him. He felt something feral starting to growl and awaken in the pit of his stomach, but the wondrous part of him, the part that was intensely aware it was Tali that he was with, confined him to kindness and appreciation.

It wasn't until he felt her bare, warm fingers brushing over his scalp behind his head and massaging to bring his face closer to her that he was aware she'd finished completely. She tilted his head back and he looked up between her breasts to see her smiling and vulnerable face.

She was his, now. She'd shared and shown more to him than any other man. She was his to take care of, to protect… to have and to take.

Helpless to his own actions he lashed his arms around her waist and pulled her down with him onto the bed, eliciting a pleased sound from his quarian partner.

The giggles and happiness were filling them both until the silliness melted away.

He could see it behind her eyes- she was experiencing it now: the feel of skin on skin. He carefully untangled his arms around her so that he could tease the sway of her back with the softest of touches, watching her face as even that had her almost purring.

He knew that whatever he did from now on would be a first for her, and if that didn't intensify each sensation enough, the contrast of their skin types would heighten it further. Would his skin feel rough to her?

He reached down and guided the position of one of her thighs, the other mirrored the gesture easily, and she melted her form to his.

It was a position they would hold if he were already a part of her, but for now he just let her feel it. He kept his hands brushing up and down every limb and extremity.

He wanted so badly to take everything she would give him, but there was something so special about being the only one that could also give to her. He shifted himself beneath her, and placed his lips against her neck.

She mewled a little in surprise but the sound quickly relaxed to enjoy the sensation he was causing with his tongue and lips, playing and drawing along her skin to demonstrate all he wanted to provide her with.

His fingers followed the rounded surface of her rear, and with a few testing squeezes he was rewarded with surprised, but very pleasurable moans. It was making his groin twitch a little and throb when she made those sounds, knowing she'd never made them before and that they were genuine. Everything he was doing to her was providing her with new sensations and pleasures, and it was arrousing him almost as much as it was her.

He was a little relieved upon discovering her body was very similar to a human's. He didn't hit any dead ends he didn't expect to be on the roads he was traveling, and there were no unexpected surprises to make him pause awkwardly and ask a question that might ruin the mood.

He let a single fingertip press gently into the line between her cheeks, following low and deep towards her core until she inhaled sharply at the sensation.

"Is this…" she panted softly, almost whimpering as she tilted her head and pressed her forehead against his shoulder to anchor herself. "… kind of torture normal for your kind?"

"Only with someone we really care about…" he breathed back to her, his own whispers sounding ragged.

He lets his fingers continue though, he needed to let them explore and pry into secret, unmapped and untouched parts of her body.

He found it, a beautiful and pure core exuding heat and moisture and welcome, and just upon tickling the edges with two fingers, nails dug into his chest and shoulders and the woman above him whined desperately.

Perhaps she was trying to find words, but the fact that they weren't forming let him know she was enjoying it. Shepard continued the method a few more timed until he found a patterned rhythm she could get used to, breathing heavily but in well timed measures.

It was time to go the next step, but he knew it may hurt her and that's the last thing he wanted. He withdrew his hand and hugged her against him until she squeezed back in consent, and then he rolled their bodies, replacing her below him where he could take better control and care of her.

He adjusted the pillows beneath her head, and carefully dragged his fingers down her chest and stomach, back to her loins where he could see them in full view now, soft, smooth, and unclaimed. He made sure she was watching as he carefully prodded his finger tip inside, just one, closing his own eyes helplessly at the feel of her body. That one moment was so intensely intimate, hiding behind his lids was the only escape he could find.

"There's nothing to break.." she whispered hotly. "We are not completely the same in build as your human females but… it will still… be uncomfortable…" None of her sentences went uninterrupted by heavy breaths and thoughts. "My body is quite a bit smaller…" She let that part drift, blushing as if suddenly aware how exposed she really was to him.

Commander Shepard caressed her cheek in his free hand, directing her face back to his so she could see the honesty he wished to exude to her. "I'm going to take care of you, Tali."

"I know, Shepard, I trust you…" she nodded, gently gripping his forearm with her alien fingers.

Seeing that now was the time, he carefully pulled his hand back, and began massaging her inner thigh with it softly. With his other hand, still having been buried into her, he slowly and carefully withdrew it, causing her whimper again ever so softly.

Glistening with her body's reaction, he stroked his cock only once or twice, resisting the urge to again, submit to hunger, until he felt as prepared as he could be to become a part of her with as little pain as possible.

He leaned his body closer, brushed the head of his cock against her lips until they both gasped a little in agreed consent, and then, upon finding such a small and delicate entrance, he started applying pressure.

He was trying to watch her face, to gauge how she was doing with it, but eventually resorted only to what his ears could tell him. He couldn't tear his eyes from what he was happening between their bodies. For not having anything to break or tear, there was considerable resistance, even with how wet she had become in preparation. He had to move slow, sometimes even withdraw a little before he could try to go deeper.

She was right, she was considerably smaller than human women, and he was afraid of hurting her. All the foreplay had made him impossibly hard, and he was concerned for how it would feel inside such soft, virgin confines.

She panted and breathed through it, tiny moans escaping her body every time he made an effort to get further. As smooth as their skin together was, every tiny motion was dragging his flesh against hers, and he was having a hard time keeping control. But he didn't stop or change his path.

He pressed, and pressed, and pressed until he was completely hilted inside the beautiful body of his quarian lover, and in relief of finally being a complete part of her, he laid over her carefully, listening to her heartbeat as he stayed there, unmoving for a full minute.

He was throbbing inside her though, and he knew she could feel it by the way her panting was lining up with the pulse he was feeling deep inside his groin.

Her body was grasping and flexing around his, whether adjusting to him or merely in response to the new experience he wasn't sure, but the sensation was wonderful. Eventually it coaxed him into slow, long, steady rocks with his hips, giving in to the waves and rolling them over her to enjoy with him.

Tali'Zorah's fingers were grasping for his neck, then his shoulders and back, reveling in finally being free of her suit and sharing this kind of intimacy. With every passing second, Shepard recognized a growing sense of freedom and relish in every action they performed together.

They would not be able to do this often, and she was making it more and more clear to him that she intended to make the most of every risk they took.

A few breathy 'yes's floated up to him from her lips, and he shifted them, sitting up to give himself a better angle to start going a little harder. He gently pinned her down with a hand against her waist, and his other found the underside of her thigh, holding her in place as he slowly picked up the rhythm.

He was pleasantly rewarded with sound of approval as he started to move them a little rougher. The fit of their bodies together was so snug, but matched so well, each thrust was feeling like the first time she'd opened her body to anyone.

He teased them both with restraint, spending full minutes going slow and deep, enjoying the intense firing of nerve systems with every miniscule contact, the going faster, sharper, stealing her breath away and leaving her grasping desperately for something to hold on to.

He switched back and forth, never truly getting them used to either. He wanted her so badly his body ached even while he was inside of her. But every time he thought he would lose control he forced himself back to slow strokes, reigning in his reaction to the pleasure, even when that would've been enough to make him orgasm if he'd allowed.

"Shepard," Tali said his name in such a raw way he thought he'd never hear, and his eyes burned into hers. She was so ready to experience her first climax, she wanted it, he could see it.

In the way her body kept writhing with every motion, the way her lips kept parting even when she nothing to say.

He felt his first twinge of regret when he thought of just giving her what she wanted. If they both came now their night would be over too soon and she'd have to go back into her suit. He… they both, wanted to make this last for as long as possible.

And what if they died tomorrow? Wouldn't he have wished they'd just thrown all caution to the wind and done it over and over and over until finally having to march out the airlock?

He knew that was unfeasible in more ways than one, and just as he was about to feel the tiniest bit of sadness, pale fingers found his cheek and lifted his face in the direction of a serene and understanding expression.

"This will not be the last time, Shepard. Let me have all of you, as you have had me. Share with me. Make the risk worth it."

She was right… to make the most of the time they had meant behaving as though she didn't have to retreat back behind a mask afterwards, even if she did. It meant surrendering to what they wanted, regardless and even in spite of it.

In passion, he picked her up, and carried her around until he was sitting on the bed, with her in his lap, his swollen cock still buried within her body. He held her to his chest with one arm, and with the other, he pulled her hips down, and started guiding her with them until they were moving in synch. Not just him fucking her, or her him, but them together, naturally.

He nuzzled her bare cheeks and then kissed her, deeply, romantically as he started guiding them a little faster now that they had found their best mutual position.

He could feel how deep their actions were allowing him to get, and it was making him surrender to growls and grunts, and soon Tali's legs were squeezing and pulling at his hips for more, faster, harder, any pleas that her moans wouldn't allow her to place in words.

This was it, this was what was going to claim him and drag him over. He felt it like a creature clawing on the inside of his lower stomach, his thighs were starting shake a little, there was a deep squeeze in his balls and before he could warn her, he lashed his arms around her hips to keep her from escaping, and he started pounding as only an human-turned animal would.

There was nowhere for her body to escape into, she was his, and he was taking was rightfully belong to him, again, again, again, again, constantly like the barrage of an assault rifle.

She was crying out with every one in what he hoped was pleasure, because the sound tore up and down his spine like wildfire and gave him the last few bursts of energy to drive himself hard and deep into her body before finally releasing, powerfully, inside of his woman, gasping and growling so roughly he felt the echoing rumble of it in his chest and throat even before he'd finished.

By the time he could even think again he was aware he could feel the after-spasms of her own climax, which must have occurred when he had gone feral.

He congratulated himself on delivering her first simultaneous orgasm, breathing so heavily he lets his head fall against her chest where his hot breath swept over the planes of her body.

He was still pulsing and twitching inside of her, too scared to move either of them as every tiny bit of semen he had been holding for her was milked from his body.

Tali for her part was quivering, shaking and mewling through her own breaths, barely holding together at the seams.

He didn't know how long they stayed there like that, but when blood flow finally returned to his limbs, he started stroking up and down her back, soothing the quakes that she was feeling.

They were both a melted and weak mass by the time they fell back onto the bed, holding each other loosely like their bones had been replaced with jelly.

When his heart rate returned to normal, he pulled her closer, pressed his forehead to hers, and went about petting her cheek, searching for any way to soothe the profound relief and sadness that it was over.

She truly was beautiful, and she had stood by him through the hardest times of his life. She had managed to see him as man when everyone else preferred to see him as an icon, something they could hide behind when terrible things crawled from the darkness and made themselves known.

In all this darkness, she brought light and hope to him. Hope not only for the war, but also for himself. That he had a purpose and place in the universe even after the Reapers would be destroyed.

To her he wasn't a tool or a weapon and right now, she was the only one that thought that way.

When he'd discovered that she cared for him, and he'd told her that he had felt the same, she'd acted so surprised that he could see past her mask. He never had told her that he was just as surprised that she could behind his.

"Thank you, Shepard… I…" her voice permeated his thoughts and he opened his eyes, unaware he'd even closed them.

She was blushing again, but softer, less shy and simply more emotional. Still innocent in her own way, but unafraid now.

"Shh…" he whispered softly, drawing his thumb along her lower lip. "Me too."

That was all that was said between them. There were too many things to say and too many he hoped would go unspoken and still understood. The heaviness returned to their shoulders, and the stars outside his window started moving again, as did the galaxy, however brief that it did stop for something so beautiful.

No other words passed between them in the twenty more minutes they let go by without moving. Eventually, though, as they both knew would come to pass, Tali detangled herself, and started gathering the pieces of her suit.

Shepard watched sadly, as the precious skin and body he'd fallen in love with was caged from him again. What he did next he guessed was a mixture of needing to do something to keep the melancholy emotion from his heart, or maybe it was because he thought she would appreciate it. But he crossed to his armor suit, and with her, started suiting up.

They'd gone through hell and back together, been exiled, committed mutiny, been left to die. Now going through this pain together only seemed right.

He yanked his most obstructive helmet over his face, and when he turned to find her again, she was leaning on one side, arms crossed over her chest as she understood what he had done.

He'd allowed for her to not be the reason they couldn't lie in bed together. He shared the burden of having to wear armor with her, so that even inside purple and gray mesh, she would not feel alone.

He could sense the gentle, soft smile behind her lips, and he crossed to her, gloved fingers entwining.

Shepard pressed his helmet to hers and closed his eyes, accepting this fate indefinitely if it meant he could continue sharing nights like this with her.

She stayed there in his arms until she finally insisted she had things to do before they made the Omega 4 jump. But she squeezed herself into his hug before dismissing herself, and without another word she disappeared out the sliding door to the elevator.

There was a loss in his room when she was gone. An emptiness he hadn't known needed to be filled until she'd arrived.

He looked around, the sound of his own breath in his ears from behind his helmet. In his mind he revisited every touch, every second, until he found the phrase he needed to gather the strength to leave it all behind for the feel of a rifle in his hands and the threat of battle on the horizon.

"This will not be the last time, Shepard."

The End! Pleeeeeeease leave a review, you know how I love hearing from you!

Anyway, so the good news? I've been on hiatus because I've been writing original sci-fi novels! Yay! Go me! Unfortunately there is a downside.. :( No reviews! No feedback, I'm getting starved over here on FictionPress! I know the story is good, but it's so hard to draw people into original works!

So please, if you have the goodness in your hearts, or even.. morbid curiosity (lol), please, after making your review here, go to FictionPress(dot)com, type "Zing-baby" into the author search bank, and find Lankora's Legacy; a story about a lieutenant in Earth Force that has to try to keep the peace in the midst of a brewing civil war. There's a lot of action, even more aliens, and a deep adventure that is going to force her to listen to her own conscience over the orders of her superior officers- and that may cost her life! I *promise* you will enjoy it.

(FictionPress is the sister site to , it looks and operates the same, so no confusion there, I hope!)

I am desperate for the help, I've had no hits since posting the first few chapters, and I need the feedback to make it better! This is a free sci-fi novel by your favorite fanfic writer so please!

(Also I have no beta. If you do find you like the project, or if you are at all interested, please send me a PM!)

Peace and love for all. Whether or not you do read into the epicness of Lankora's Legacy, bottom line: I hope you enjoyed my tribute to Male Shepards and Tali fans everywhere. 3

Love you guys