"Sex appeal, mostly. Most species will only listen to you if they want to have sex with you." Aethyta's eyes grew slightly distant, oblivious to the color rising in her daughter's cheeks. Liara was no stranger to sex, but Aethyta could probably make a hanar blush if she'd wanted. She'd already listened as her father went on about her mother's breasts, stopping her when Aethyta mentioned that Liara must have gotten those genes. But didn't the matriarch have anything else to speak of? Ignoring the distress in Liara's eyes, Aethyta continued.

"So you have to be available…mysterious—

"What?" Liara said finally, shaking her head softly as her father's eyes refocused on her. "That's not true. Shepard listens to me."

Both asari turned to Shepard, sitting at a table downstairs, nursing a drink and flipping through information on a data pad. Aethyta smirked a bit at the human. Sure, she'd threatened her just a few minutes ago if she ever hurt Liara, but that was part of the job. Truthfully, Aethyta couldn't have asked for a better bondmate for her daughter. Shepard was smart, powerful, and the biggest threat to the Reapers they had. But she looked a little stressed. Not just from the Reapers, but from lack of something else. And judging by her daughter's innocence on sexual matters, Aethyta could guess at what it was. She turned back to Liara, raising her brow.

"And how many times have you thrown her on the bed and peeled her out of her uniform?"

Liara's blush was turning her entire face purple now and Aethyta held back a chuckle at the sight. It took Liara a few moments before she picked her jaw up from the bar and cleared her head. She'd never heard such indecencies, much less from her own father. Benezia never spoke this way. When they talked about sex, it was purely the science of it, the necessity. Ever the scientist, Liara preferred it this way. And the cocky look in Aethyta's eyes was growing all the more prevalent for her tastes.

"Do you have to make it sound so…tawdry?" she asked finally, placing a hand to her forehead as she often did when she got overwhelmed.

Aethyta's smirk fell then, and Liara could see disappointment filling her eyes. The matriarch turned to Shepard again and looked at her…piteously. Liara followed her eyes and could see nothing of pity in Shepard. Did she think she wasn't worthy of a bondmate such as Shepard? Was her own father disapproving of her lover? She didn't have to dwell on it for too long, however, as Aethyta spoke again.

"If it's all civilized, you're not doing it right." She leaned forward on the counter, beckoning Liara closer.

It took a few seconds but Liara finally leaned in over the counter, eyeing her father suspiciously. Aethyta could see the hurt in her eyes. Liara's eyes had always been so expressive, so beautiful. They reminded her almost too much of Benezia.

"Look, you're not gonna like this question, but it needs to be answered," the matriarch whispered. "When's the last time you and Shepard bonded?"

Liara shot back so quickly that it made her a bit dizzy. Aethyta sighed and closed her eyes for a bit, waiting for Liara to calm down. Her face went through a multitude of expressions before it finally settled on aghast. Then she shook her head and looked at her father with hard eyes. "I don't see how that's any of your business at all."

"Honestly, kid, the fate of the galaxy might depend on it. Come on, I don't need the details. Just give me a timeline. A week? A month?"

Liara licked her lips, tugging on the collar of her outfit. All of her blushing had made her entirely too hot to be having this conversation. But Aethyta was half Krogan, and stubbornness was strong in her genes. Knowing she wouldn't be able to drop this subject, Liara sighed and thought back. She was allowed no contact with Shepard while she was undergoing her trial for Aratoht. Before that, they had spent time together before Shepard went off to the Omega 4 relay and—

"Goddess, if it's taking you this long I don't need an answer," Aethyta said rather loudly, breaking Liara from her thoughts.

Liara scowled at her but she ignored it, shaking her head in a surprisingly parental manner. Liara felt herself growing a bit ashamed, though she had no idea why. Benezia could instill the same emotions in her. She didn't like it then and she certainly didn't like it now, but there was nothing that could be done about it. Aethyta pursed her lips in thought for a moment before she sighed and looked back to her daughter.

"You two need to have more sex," she said quickly, preparing for the shitstorm that she was about to receive.

Much to her surprise, Liara's reaction was minimal. Liara had assumed this was where the conversation was going and thus had more time to brace herself for it. But that didn't make Aethyta's advice any easier to swallow. Liara glared again and placed both of her hands on the counter.

"Some of us have more important things to worry about than getting off," Liara retorted, immensely proud of the shocked expression she received from her father on her use of slang. However it was short lived as Aethyta shook her head and looked at Liara seriously.

"That's exactly my point. Look at Shepard."

They both turned again. Shepard was still at the table, but the drink was untouched. She set the data pad on the table and leaned back, stretching her legs out under the table and rubbing her eyes.

"She's exhausted, kid. And she's probably got more stress than anyone has ever known. Hell, the only reason she's standing is because she's part robot. You're her bondmate. You've got to be there for her. I know your…information is vital to this mission, too, but Shepard needs you. You're the one person in this world that can make her stop and relax. And the only way to do that is use what your mother gave you. Literally."

Aethyta's eyes travelled to Liara's chest and she waved a hand in front of them. "I am so proud we were able to recreate those. Could you imagine tits like those going out of existence?"

Liara turned to leave then, having quite enough, but was stopped by a hand gently placed on her wrist. Aethyta's eyes had softened, and looked rather pleading.

"Remember what I said. If it's all civilized, you're doing it wrong."

Finding that she had no words, Liara merely nodded and walked away. Aethyta watched her go and sighed when she finally was out of view. She was so engrossed in her own thoughts that she didn't notice the Commander sneaking up behind her.

"You okay?" she asked, breaking the silence and watching as Aethyta jumped and straightened herself from the counter.

"Athame's ass! Don't sneak up on a matriarch like that. We're too old for that shit," Aethyta growled, taking Shepard's untouched drink and downing it.

"Sorry," Shepard responded with a smile, "I was just making sure you were alright. You looked a little distant."

Aethyta chuckled at that. "Always checking up on others, aren't you, Shepard?"

The Commander shrugged tiredly. "It's all part of the job."

Before Aethyta could say anymore Shepard turned and headed up the stairs towards the elevator. The matriarch watched her go and poured herself another drink.

Shepard hadn't seen any of the crew when she boarded the Normandy. It wasn't all that surprising given that they'd just arrived at the Citadel an hour or so ago. There was so much to do, but Shepard couldn't deny her crew shore leave. It was one of the only things keeping them going: the ability to slow down. She only wished it was that simple for her.

The door to her cabin opened smoothly and she glanced at the blue haze that was emitting from her aquarium. She sauntered over to it lazily and pressed her face against the cool glass. The hum from the ship reverberated through her forehead and she smirked at the touch. And just like that, the moment was gone, as the genophage entered her thoughts.

Mordin had died curing it, and Wrex and Bakara were the future of the Krogan, but was it worth it? What if they reproduced too quickly? What if—

Shepard's thoughts were cut short at the sound of her door opening. The Commander turned just in time to see Liara locking the door before making her way over. Shepard smiled at the asari, though she couldn't help but notice the strange gleam in her eyes.

"Liara, what brings—

Liara grabbed Shepard's shoulders and pushed her forcefully back against the fish tank. Shepard grunted at the force but was soon quieted by Liara's lips, which pushed deeply against her mouth. The Commander returned the kiss as best as she could, feeling herself growing weak in the knees. Liara was pushing into her chest, her hips swaying against Shepard's pelvis as she ran her hands up and down the Commander's body.

Shepard groaned as she felt Liara's hands running up and down the length of her body, making her shiver. She held Liara tightly to her and gasped as the asari bit sharply on her bottom lip before soothing it with her tongue. Liara was never this forceful, this…unrestrained in bed. For a moment Shepard wondered if she was alright but it was really hard to focus on that when said asari was literally in the process of ripping your shirt in half.

Liara had taken the time to unzip the hoodie but the shirt was done for, hanging around Shepard's sides like a vest, threads dangling from the freshly ripped material. Placing a knee between Shepard's legs, Liara lifted her just a bit off the ground and dug into the flesh on Shepard's neck, sucking and licking and biting as hard as she pleased. She knew from their melds that the Commander sometimes liked it rough. But she had never asked Liara to do so, fearing it was out of her comfort level. And for a while, Liara thought it was out of her comfort zone. That was until now, as she felt Shepard groan and writhe beneath her teeth, sweat starting to glisten on her pale skin.

It made her feel powerful to have such an effect on the Commander. It also aroused her to no end and she felt the arousal collecting between her legs. But this wasn't about her. This was about Shepard. Moving back up to kiss the Commander, Liara unhooked her black bra and pushed all of her clothes off of her shoulders, where they pooled at their feet.

Shepard shivered as her bare back collided with the cool fish tank but she didn't care. For Liara's lips had delved lower, taking a nipple in between them and kneading it roughly. Occasionally Liara's tongue would reach out and circle it, flicking it a few times before her lips returned to work. Shepard was certain she was going to pass out from the experience. Liara had always turned her on but now she literally was aching between her legs and Liara's thigh wasn't enough.

Liara had moved onto her other breast and Shepard shuddered, running her hands along Liara's crest as she tried to keep her balance. Her entire body was sweating with desire and she felt her back sometimes slip against the aquarium. But Liara held her firmly, her fingers clawing hungrily down Shepard's sides. The Commander pressed as hard as she could Liara's thigh, her body begging for release, begging to be touched. When she could take it no more she pulled Liara's lips back to hers and kissed her as hard as she could muster.

"Fuck me," she begged breathlessly as Liara pulled away.

Liara's eyes darkened Shepard's word choice, as well as the desire she could feel coming from her lover. Giving a smug smile, she quickly undid the snap of Shepard's jeans and the zipper. The need was too great to get her out of her boots and pants so Liara moved them down as far as she needed before removing her thigh and replacing it with her fingers. Both women moaned at the contact. Shepard from the great pleasure it brought and Liara from just how wet Shepard was for her. When she began searching for the bundle of nerves, Shepard shook her head.

"No, no I need…harder," she said between ragged breaths.

Liara smiled and bit Shepard's bottom lip again as she slid two of her fingers inside the Commander. The mix of pain and pleasure caused Shepard to cry out and she began to rock desperately against the asari's fingers. The both of them found rhythm, Liara thrusting into Shepard as she slammed down onto her hand. Liara continued make work of Shepard's neck, biting and sucking on her most sensitive spots while her other hand teased Shepard's nipples, pinching and caressing them.

Shepard could only cling to Liara, her nails digging deeply into the asari's back. She had never wanted this more. No, not wanted. Needed. Shepard needed this. And Liara was so damn good at it. Her brain began to lose sense of everything but the pleasure. Liara hadn't even melded with her but it felt just as good, if not better. Melding with Liara was fantastic but this, this purely physical, purely human act was sending her nervous system into overload.

In all of Shepard's hysterical thrusting Liara had somehow found the spot she wanted and Shepard moaned her approval loudly as she began grinding even harder against the asari's hand. Shepard's cries were growing louder and louder, her pleas for more growing ever more desperate as she clung to Liara, scratching her back and biting her shoulder. Liara felt her breathing growing heavier, her sweat mixing with Shepard's. She was just as intense as Shepard in her movements, wanting nothing more than to give the Commander exactly what she needed and more. And Shepard was getting so close.

In an instinctual decision, Liara added a third finger to her thrusting, grabbing Shepard's ear with her teeth and pulling it closer. "Come for me, Commander," she said, her voice husky and rich with desire. Shepard cried at the fullness of her body and the pure sex that was radiating from Liara. It was then that the asari felt Shepard's hips starting to twitch and shudder of their own again.

Liara then felt Shepard's walls contract sharply around her fingers as Shepard stopped in mid motion, her body shaking and writhing as the orgasm swept over her body. Liara held her there, not daring to move until Shepard relaxed, which was a good minute or so after she initially came. When she finally did relax, the Commander was far too exhausted to keep standing and she fell into Liara, who held her tightly, slowly lowering the both of them to the floor.

The metal floor was cold against Shepard's skin but also felt good as it chilled her sweat. She closed her eyes and relaxed, basking in the aftermath of one of the greatest orgasms she'd ever had. Liara let her be, though she did not leave her side, and wiped her fingers on the ruined shirt, giving herself a smug smile. After a few more minutes she leaned down and gently kissed Shepard on her swollen lips.

Shepard sighed happily at the contact and wrapped her arms around Liara's neck, keeping her close. The asari shifted a bit so that she was on her side, looking down at Shepard as she rested her head on her elbow. The Commander looked up and traced Liara's jaw absently. "God, you're so beautiful," she whispered, watching as Liara smiled and closed her eyes.

"You always say it with such awe."

"It's because I am in awe."

"Every time?"

"Every time. It's not something I think I'll ever get used to."

Liara blushed a bit and kissed Shepard again, who hummed against her lips. "Now, what in the hell did I do to deserve that?" she asked once they parted.

The asari gave her a warm smile and attempted to straighten Shepard's hair. "You seemed stressed. I thought I'd try to relieve you of some of it."

"Remind me to be stressed more often."

Liara gave a short laugh and Shepard smiled at her as she sat up and kissed her. It was much sweeter this time, the both of them moving slowly and tenderly. It was the way they normally kissed when they were making love: patient and loving and all consuming. When they pulled apart, Shepard immediately recognized the look in Liara's eyes and awaited the question that was soon to follow.

"Shepard…would you like…more of that?" Liara asked almost nervously as she eyed the Commander. "It's clear you enjoyed it very much, as did I. Do you wish to make it more routine?"

To the asari's surprise, Shepard let out a soft chuckle and shook her head. "No, baby. This was fantastic, but it should only be used once in a blue moon."

Liara's brow furrowed at that. "But, you enjoyed it? Don't you want more?"

"I did enjoy it. But that kind of rough sex, I think, should be limited. I don't want to get into the habit of getting completely caught up in the moment and losing something."

"What do you mean?"

"I just mean that we shouldn't get too technical. Just let our instincts take over. You seem to know what I want pretty well," Shepard answered, kissing her lover again.

Liara returned the kiss and nodded before her eyes darkened again. "So, Commander, are you planning on returning the favor?" she asked in a low voice that always made Shepard tingle.

In that instant, Shepard was standing, scooping Liara in her arms and carrying her over to the bed.

Down at the Citadel, Aethyta closed the video feed of Shepard's room and smiled to herself. Okay, so it probably wasn't right to have Shepard's office bugged, but she had to make sure that Liara did as she was told. She never could tell with that daughter of hers. But now the matriarch was pleasantly surprised that Liara was more than capable of handling herself in the bedroom. Chuckling to herself, Aethyta poured herself a drink and gave herself a pat on the back. She certainly deserved it, saving the galaxy and all.