I love Shepley so much. :') ME3 gave them a perfect, although sad, ending. Expect a whole lot of Shepley fanfiction being thrown your way, guys(:

This is just after Mars. Shep and Ash are the subject of the matter, but it focuses on James and Liara discussing the relationship between Ashley and her Skipper. Enjoy!


"Doc, he hasn't moved at all," James observed, mild concern rising in his voice.

Liara glanced at the commander sitting anxiously at Ashley's bedside, shoulders haunched and tense, body grimly stiff. "Of coursee he hasn't," she said resignedly, sighing a little. "He's determined not to move until she does, I'm afraid."

James raised his eyebrows, surprised. "They that close?"

Liara allowed a small smile to cross her features. "What, you couldn't tell on Mars?"

"Hell, was the arguing s'posed to give it away?" He sounded skeptical.

The asari shook her head with a chuckle. "They're always bickering about something, big or small. Doesn't matter what it's about. I remember once they had a massive fight simply over who was going to drive the Mako, back when we were chasing Saren.

James grinned, amusement lighting his dark eyes. "Nah, you serious? Sounds like a story, I gotta hear this."


"Williams, suit up," Shepard tossed the gunnery-chief her pink and white helmet as he passed her. "You're coming with me. Liara, you too."

"Where are we going?" Ashley asked as she rummaged through her disorganized locker for the rest of her armor.

"There's a biotic compound down there that Alliance brass wants us to secure. We'll take the Mako down."

"Right, and I'm driving?"

"Ash, I need you in the turret. Let me worry about the driving."

Ashley folded her arms, and gave an unamused, dry laugh. "Letting you worry about the driving is letting the rest of us to worry about whether we're gonna end up back on the Normandy or in pieces at the bottom of a cliff."

"Come on, I'm not that bad." Shepard's tone, athough meant to come out cool and collected, ended up being very defensive, aggravating Ashley further.

"Yes you are, Skipper," the chief stonewalled. "Just let me drive."

"I... no!" Shepard frowned and crossed his arms, fully in defense of his driving, and by extent, his man-card. "We've survived my driving in past missions, we can do it again."

"Barely," Ashley muttered. "You can't drive, but you can shoot. Take the turret."

Shepard looked around for Liara in search of support, but she had suddenly and conveniently found her way to the opposite side of the Mako. Sighing, he reluctantly assumed his role as commander, looking sternly at Ashley. "Turret, Williams. Now."

Ashley glared at him, snapping a hand up to salute smartly and climbing into the Mako's turret seat.


"Damn, that couldn't have ended well," James laughed.

Liara giggled at the memory. "Oh, Ashley was livid. She refused to talk to the commander for days unless duty required her to."

"Can't say I blame her. He kinda pulled rank in a personal situation. How'd he calm her down?"

"Poetry," the asari replied simply. "He bought a Tennyson volume the second we reached a planet with a store, and read an apologetic poem to her. She ridiculed him for being cheesy, and things were back to normal."

"Poetry?" James repeated, dumbfounded. "Didn't know he was the type."

"He enjoys it because she enjoys it," she replied, glancing again at Shepard as he brushed loose strands of hair form Ahsley's face.

"He's a lot more affectionate now than he was on Mars," James noted.

"In physical terms, yes," Liara corrected. "But you must also factor in the exchanged glances, the way they complete each other's sentences and latch onto one another's ideas, how they gravitate towards each other during travel and protect one another in battle. The affection is there, Lieutenant."

"What about the mistrust? That's not much for affection."

"Ashley's been through a lot," the asari noted. "She felt betrayed by Shepard back on Horizon, confused about where things stood between them after two years, and afraid to become vulnerable to someone again. Add to all of that an already heightened mistrust problem she's carried with here her whole life and a hatred of Cerberus and it's no wonder she feels the way she does. The feelings are still there, however. You can see it in her eyes when she looks at him. She's trying to see if he's still indeed the man she loves."

"Love?" James' eyebrows rose. "Doc, you really think it's that serious?"

"Oh, absolutely," Liara said confidently. "I've known both of them just shy of three years, long enough to get a good read on each. I've watched this relationship blowwom into what it has become, and it couldn't be anything but just that. He loves her, she loves him, and they're both too damn prideful to admit it completely to each other." The asari smiled sadly at the two again. Shepard had his hand clasped tightly around Ashley's, the words 'stay with me' forming on his lips over and over.

Liara sighed "It's be a shame to see all of that end like this."

"Come on, Doc, you really think I don't see through all that?" James asked incredulously. "You read this guy like an open book, would lay down your life for him in an instant, and obviously care for him beyond the friendship level... You support this relationship thing they got?"

"I do care for Shepard," Liara said slowly. "I don't deny that, not do I try to hide it. But he is happy with Ashley, as she is with him. And, for me, his happiness is first and foremost." She gestured at the couple in the medbay again. "Besides, what they have is something completely special and unique, something no relationship, including mine, could replace. If we lose Ashley, we lose Shepard."

"Don't worry, Doc," the lieutenant assured her. "She'll be ok, and they'll be back to fighting over stupid shit again."

Liara laughed. "I certainly hope so. It really is one of the greatest sources of entertainment the Normandy has to offer."

"I'll bet," James said. "And now I can say I've heard the great Commander Shepard recite poetry." He nodded at the two.

Just barely audible beneath his breath, Shepard recited the words of Alfred Tennyson, to give him hope, if not at least keep him sane.

"The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world."


Last four lines credited to Alfred Lord Tennyson