The pulse of Afterlife's music pounded through Shepard's head. It was throbbing from the hit she had taken when she'd fallen to the floor. The poison that was flushing through her system wasn't helping. She narrowed her eyes at the batarian bartender.

"You drink it."

The bartender's eyes widened in surprise and recognition as realization of who exactly was standing in front of him. He took a step back.

"What do you think these people would do if they knew you were poisoning their customers?" Her gaze was cool and unblinking as she tried to stare down the batarian. If looks could kill, the batarian would have been a smear across the wall of booze behind him.

"Want me to make him drink it, Battlemaster?" Grunt and Garrus both cocked their rifles. A body then shoved himself in front of Grunt

"Poisoning what, now?" A turian with no clan markings had heard their exchange and was staring pointedly at the batarian.

"This has nothing to do with you!" The bartender was panicking, His heart rate accelerating.

"What's next? Turians?" She gestured to the new comer, "You don't like them either, right?"

"Answer the damn question, Forvan!" The turian had backed himself next to Shepard standing firmly at her side. Forvan reached for his hip

"You want a piece of me? I'll leave your corpses for the vorcha!" He didn't complete the move as the turian shot him pointblank leaving nothing but an orange smear across the counter. Shepard fell into her hip and stared at the good Samaritan.

He smirked cockily and holstered his pistol, "Not about to take any chances,"

"And you are?" She crossed her arms and raised an eyebrow. Shepard was not impressed and she was hardly a damsel in distress.

"Ogrinn. You could say I keep things in order around here." He leaned against the counter.

"You work for Aria?" Garrus growled, rifle lowered, but he pointedly had not put it away.

"Who doesn't on this shithole? Haven't been here long, though. I had a mate and a ship once, but only one made it here with me."

Shepard grinned, "So you go around playing hero? That how you justify your existence these days?"

"Ouch! She wounds me!" He raised his arms dramatically. "Nah. I just saw you earlier and thought you looked thirsty."

"Only if your pockets run deep enough for all of us." She quipped.

"For you, lady, they're as deep as needed." She threw back her head and laughed as Ogrinn headed to the bar to order a round. It had been a while since she'd felt desirable. Years if you counted her death. So what if she took one evening to sit with a handsome man and her loyal friends and threw back something strong. Her head was still hurting anyway. Something that could be easily fixed. She motioned for her squad to follow her to a table. Garrus caught Grunt's eyes and a silent look was exchanged before they both took off after her.

Grunt quickly ordered a tall glass of ryncol from an asari waitress- the equivalent of a shooter to krogan- and proceeded to quickly work up a tab on Ogrinn's credit chit. What his battlemaster did was of no concern to him. Hell, he'd follow his indestructible commander to the ends of the world- especially if he could drink himself silly for free.

Garrus on the other hand was suspicious. Very suspicious. This turian had clearly been observing them for a while. Ogrinn. A bare-faced turian. He didn't like it. Not one bit.

"I don't think we should stay long, Shepard. The upgrades are almost done. We should head out soon." He nudged her pointedly in the ribs to emphasize his point. Shepard just glared.

"Be nice. You're getting free drinks." She whispered to him as Ogrinn came toward them with a tray.

"Yeah, but he thinks you're going to do the naked pretzel with him in later."

"So what if I do?"

"You wouldn't."

"I might."



He elbowed her again to make a point as Ogrinn slid in the booth.

"So what brings you lot to Omega? The beaches? The architecture? The superb wine and fine spirits?" he sniffed his dextro drink suspiciously and gagged slightly, then pushed a second shooter to Garrus without sparing him a glance.

"Business." The turian with azure clan-markings grunted in response. They all raised their glasses in unison and downed them.

"Oh? What kind?" Ogrinn was still staring at Shepard.

"The kind where you mind your own." Garrus was glaring now. Shepard leaned back enjoying her drink, letting her turian's testosterone run its course.

"Suit yourself, I'm not a prying peter anyhow. Say, that's Palaven paint, right?"

"Strange you need to ask to know that"

"Just wondering, I had a cousin that's bonded to a Palaven-born."

"She bare-faced too?" He asked. Shepard felt like gagging at the passive-aggressive display.

"Spacer kids. Yeah." Ogrinn looked down, embarrassed.

"I do not think paint is necessary. Be it on turians or human females. It means nothing of character." Grunt offered. His opinions came more loosely after the glass of ryncol.

"Paint makes human women feel more attractive, Grunt" Shepard defended her own. Though she never wore it for practicality's sake, she supported it.

"You never wear it, Battlemaster. You look fine. Paint makes a face messy. Your many scars are much more attractive. And they don't wash off at the end of the day." Grunt ordered another glass.

"Good to know, Grunt. You might have hurt Garrus's feelings though" She smiled sheepishly.

"I do not care. I wasn't planning on asking him for mating rights anytime soon." He finished his glass and ordered a third.

"I see I'm up against competition, then" Ogrinn spoke cheerily. "Two suitors? Really, you must be quite the catch" He sent a smoldering gaze her way and she felt her panties soak. It had been so long. So very long since she'd been looked at like that. He stood up quickly. "I'll be back with more booze. Liquor's quicker and whatever it is you humans say." He waved behind him carelessly as he walked away.

Garrus squawked in indignation. He'd smelled Shepard's arousal and chances were, Ogrinn could too.

"What the hell, Shepard! We should leave. Now."

"No. I'm having fun."

"We're not. Not at all." He grabbed her elbow

"I am, Battlemaster. Do not listen to the jealous turian."

Shepard slammed her hands down on the table.

"Garrus I need this. I haven't been flirted with in gods know how long. Years. So stop cock blocking me." Garrus let go of her, shocked.

"Cock-blocking you? You actually intend to sleep with the Bare-face?"

"It's been a while since I've had an offer! I don't think I even remember what it feels like, Garrus!" She was glaring lividly at him. He stared at her, wide-eyed. Then he narrowed his gaze.

"You don't have to pick up strangers at a bar, Shepard."

"Don't I? Who else would I ask?" Nobody said anything. Garrus's pulled his mandibles in to his face. Me, he thought. Me. I would. "I thought so. So go back to the Normandy if you're going to act this way. You're supposed to be my friend. So act like a wingman or get out of the way."

"I don't support this, Shepard. Not one bit. This is Omega, for crying out loud! He's hardly in your league."

"Shepard's in her own league" threw in Grunt. Garrus ignored the krogan and glared heatedly at his commander. He smelled her arousal increase and her eyes dilated, piercing his own. He raised an eyebrow.


Shepard blushed deeply knowing he knew why. She looked away sheepishly. Garrus flared his nostrils.

"You should've just said something. I'd do anything for you." Shepard's eyes widened and they both ignored Grunt's guffaws. "We're leaving. Now." He pulled her out of the booth. "You can't go around smelling like that in public." Shepard pulled her arm forcibly out of his and stood her ground, arms crossed.

"Excuse me? I can smell however I want."

Garrus narrowed his blue eyes. No. She couldn't. Not anymore. Not now that he knew that she returned his feelings. He stepped up to her, their faces inches apart. They stared each other down and Shepard, while shorter, was no less intimidating. There was silence for a moment. He raised a claw and ran it from her forehead to jaw and then down her neck. She made a slight moan and her lips parted, never breaking eye contact. He felt his plates shift in response.

"From now on you can only smell like that around me." Garrus rumbled, dropping his hand

"The salarian at the counter said you were a whiskey girl so I brought you some on the rocks." Ogrinn trailed off staring at the stand down taking place. "Did I miss something?"

"Our turian just grew a quad, finally" Grunt shared, nursing a fifth ryncol.

Ogrinn's grin faltered.

"Well, I'm not one to stand in the way of something that's clearly not meant to be. " He placed the tray on the table and sighed.

"But I'm a whiskey girl," Grumbled the krogan and he reached across the table and helped himself.

Garrus smirked and he grabbed Shepard and dragged her stubborn ass to the Normandy and showed her exactly how good a wingman he could be.