Love, Blood & Tears
*Note: Chapter 1 and 2 are more like an extended prologue than anything. I cover a lot of ground in the first two chapters. The story slows down after that. The first two chapters basically cover little aspects that you need to know as the story progesses. Please don't let the first two chapter deter you from reading on. Thank you!
"I'm proud of you kid," said Anderson.
"Just remember you were a human before you were a Spectre, you represent all of humanity with your actions," said Udina.
"I won't let you down," said Shepard confidently.
Anderson stepping down and giving Shepard the Normandy? It didn't feel right to her. Pushing papers wasn't his thing but he wanted to give her every chance to succeed in this mission. She knew how much this meant to him and she wasn't going to let him down. They had to stop Saren, a rogue turian Spectre, from bringing the Reapers back. The Reapers were a threat to all life in the galaxy. Last time they appeared, they wiped out an entire species known as the Protheans. The crew was behind Commander Shepard 100% and failure wasn't an option for them.
It was now her ship to control and she already added three alien species to the Alliance crew; a quarian named Tali, a krogan named Wrex and a turian named Garrus. This did not sit well with Ashley Williams, an Alliance crew member that Shepard had picked up on a previous mission. Shepard ignored it – if Ashley didn't like it – she could transfer to a different crew. Once abroad, Garrus got to work on the Mako, he wasn't considered social by any means. He felt much more comfortable keeping to himself and doing calibrations.
Shepard herself was not social by nature but she knew how important it was to get to know her crew and keep the morale up. Garrus would be no exception.
"Thanks for bringing me on board Commander. I knew working with a Spectre would be better than life at C-Sec," said Garrus. They continued to talk about his work at C-Sec, among other things, and somehow his father was brought up.
"My father was C-Sec, one of the best. He's taken my resignation pretty hard. Do things right or don't do them at all. He talked me out of becoming a Spectre when I was younger. The unlimited power, no accountability, he wouldn't like you Commander – no offense."
"None taken," smiled Shepard. Garrus took notice of her eyes. They were big and green. He remembered once before when looking at her eyes though that they were brown.
"Shepard, your eyes."
"They're green right now but I swore that they were brown."
She chuckled. "My eyes are hazel. They are a mixture of colors. Sometimes they are more green than anything, other times more brown. Depends on my mood I guess." She smiled.
"What's your mood right now?" he asked intrigued.
"Happy," she said as she laughed a little. Her cheeks were turning red.
"I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable. I was just curious."
"It's fine, you don't make me uncomfortable Garrus, not at all. I've got to go check on the rest of the crew. Talk to you later?"
"You know where to find me."
She had felt drawn to him since he came aboard. Her conversation with him only furthered her draw to him. She found herself eager to talk to him any chance she had. Garrus was also puzzled. Why does Shepard show so much interest in me? In a turian? Not that he minded. He actually enjoyed his conversations with Shepard. What is wrong with me? He never conversed this much with anyone and never thought that the first person he would open up to would be her of all people, his commanding officer, a Spectre. Well, back to calibrations…
Wrex was not so eager to open up to the commander but that didn't stop her from asking him questions, trying to get to know him better. Although he did not deny giving her answers, his responses were short – to the point.
Tali was sweet and so excited to be part of the Normandy crew. She was happy to answer any question Shepard threw at her. As Tali talked, Shepard found her mind drifting to thoughts of how calibrations on the Mako were going….
Therum was their first mission together. They had to retrieve an asari doctor named Liara. Seeing Garrus in action, his sniping abilities, he was impressive. Shepard was glad to have Garrus watch her back – he would be going on all missions with her from now on. Shepard herself was impressive in battle. Garrus watched her combat skills, her deadly aim, her lack of fear…she was amazing. Her movements from cover to cover almost graceful. Her long rich chocolate hair had red strands that shined in the sunlight. She did her best to keep her hair back in a ponytail when on missions but it was slowly coming undone. "Garrus!" He snapped out of it. "Sniper in that tower! Get him!" Garrus was focused again on the battle at hand, taking the sniper out with ease. What was that all about? Keep your head focused. He continued to do what he was best at. "Scoped and dropped!"
They finally found Liara trapped in a force field down in a mining cave. They freed her and just in time too – the cave was collapsing! "Go! Go! Go!" yelled Shepard. They barely made it out of the cave in time.
"Great, another alien onboard," Ashley said under her breath.
"Do you have something to say Williams?" Shepard asked snidely.
The crew finished their debriefing from the mission and were dismissed.
Shepard had enough of Ashley's remarks and attitude towards the alien crew members she had brought on board and she was determined to put an end it to. She headed down a level to where Ashley was. Garrus was under the Mako and Wrex was working on his armor – she figured both were distracted enough not to take notice of the lashing Shepard planned to unleash on Ashley.
"Do you have something you need to say to me Williams?"
"You haven't exactly been trying to hide how you feel about the crew members I've brought on board. Speak your mind and let's be done with this!"
"I just don't think they should be able to have full access to the ship like they do. We don't know if we can trust them."
"Why? Because they're not human? Is that why we can't trust them?"
"No…but, we don't know them and until we know more about them I just don't think it's a safe move."
"Oh I see….just like I brought you on board without knowing anything about you."
Garrus couldn't help but listen in on the conversation. With his superior turian hearing – it wasn't really hard. What he was hearing from Shepard, made him like her even more.
"Listen Williams, bottom line – this is my ship and I will run it how I see fit. If you don't like it – then leave. If you want to stay then I suggest you keep your mouth shut and don't ever question me again. Understood?"
With each passing mission, each conversation they had, Shepard found herself drawing closer to Garrus. They had become the best of friends. It came naturally and she felt so comfortable with him. Shepard didn't deny the fact that she was attracted to him. His eyes, his voice, his personality, his bad-ass sniping skills….she was very interested in him. Problem was, Garrus showed no such interest in her. She was flirty when she talked to him, could he not tell? She didn't want to outright be bold about it because if he rejected her, she didn't want things to get awkward. He had become her best friend; she didn't want to mess that up. So instead, she had hoped that he would pick up on her subtle hints and return with a few subtle hints of his own. That did not happen though. Or maybe he did pick up on my hints and he doesn't feel that way and that's why he's not returning the favor. She wasn't going to push it. She was just glad to have a friend in him. Someone with who she could just be herself, Commander act aside.
Kaidan on the other hand, showed much interest in her. She would flirt with him but she didn't really mean it. It was harmless in her mind. Why am I flirting at all? Is this an attempt to get a reaction out of Garrus? She felt bad knowing how much Kaiden liked her and knowing she could not return the favor. She continued her playful banter with him anyways. It was something to do to keep her mind of Garrus. Kaidan was a nice enough guy. Who knows, maybe if I try hard enough, I'll grow to like him instead of pining after a turian I can't have. A turian and a human being best friends? That was amazing in itself. Her thoughts of having more were foolish and unrealistic. She did her best to let it go.
Garrus respected Shepard very much. He looked up to her, she made him better. He loved being around her. Her new founded relationship with Kaidan he was not so found of. Kaidan was an alright soldier but he in no way held up to what he considered a worthy match for Shepard. Although, he honestly couldn't think of anyone he considered worthy. Maybe I'm just being an over-protective friend; I don't want to see Shepard get hurt. In any case, he'd be watching Kaidan very closely…
Virmire had been a terrible mission. Shepard had a painfully hard choice to make – save Ashley or save Kaidan. She chose Kaidan. Shepard took it hard, having to decide who to leave behind; she didn't like having to make those types of calls. Alone in her quarters she broke down. She had always been tough on Ashley. It was tough love and she hoped that Ashley had understood that. Her thoughts were interrupted by a knock on her door. She wiped the tears away and gained her composure and opened the door.
"Garrus!" she said with a sigh of relief. She was happy it was him at her door.
"Shepard," he replied as he walked into her quarters. "How are you holding up?" He looked her in the eyes and could see the tears swelling up. He instinctively reached out to her, quickly pulling her into his embrace. Not a word was spoken. He just held her as she broke down .
"Garrus, I'm so glad you're here. I don't know what I would do without you."
"I'm here Jane, I'm not going anywhere."
She snuggled into his chest. He called me Jane. She quickly realized that this was the most tender intimate moment they had ever had. She didn't want it to end. She wanted it to be more but knew that it couldn't. Garrus has shown no interest and why would he? He's a turian, I'm a human. Besides, I'm his superior, it wouldn't be right.
Garrus held her close, her hair felt silky against his face. Her scent was pleasurable, unique to her. He had never been this close to her skin, never noticed her scent, but now that he had it – he would never forget it. Her skin was so soft under his touch, her skin which looked like it was lightly kissed by the sun. He didn't want to let her go. Spirits! What is happening to me?
*knock knock knock*
"Shepard? It's Kaidan, can I come in?"
Garrus let go of her. "Well, I guess I better leave you two alone," he said reluctantly. He didn't want to leave her. He especially did not want to leave her alone with Kaidan. "I hope you feel better."
"Thank you Garrus." she wondered if maybe he felt more for her. Could he really? She thought hopefully. No! I'm letting my feelings trick me.
Garrus walked to the door and looked back at Shepard. "If you need to talk, you know where to find me. Have a good night." He opened the door to see a very surprised Kaidan. "Kaidan," was all Garrus said as he walked to the elevator. "Hey Garrus," Kaidan replied with a confused and somewhat panicked look on his face. As the elevator doors closed, Garrus had to admit he was amused by Kaidan's reaction.
Shepard was in need of comfort. Comfort she'd been receiving from her best friend before Kaiden interrupted. Now instead of comfort, she was being interrogated.
"What was Garrus doing up here?" Kaidan asked anxiously.
"He was just checking on me, making sure I was alright."
"Oh. I know you guys are close but I just thought that with our relationship…or whatever this is….I don't know, I should be the first to comfort you."
"Kaidan, I'm sorry you feel that way. I don't know what else to say. I'm tired; Ashley's death is reeling in my head. I need time to process everything and get my head right so I can be the commander my crew needs."
"Okay Shepard, I understand. Sorry for adding to your burden instead of relieving it." He put his arms around her – her arms still folded.
"Kaidan, I could really just use some time alone. You understand, right?"
"Sure," he said with a half smile, but she could tell he was hurt.
She felt bad for even pulling him down this path as far as she had. It was wrong when her feelings were not in it. She honestly did try but it just was not happening. She just wanted to be alone if she couldn't be with the one she really wanted.
When this mission is over, I'll talk to Kaidan, let him down gently.
This was it. They were headed to Ilos to stop Saren. It was considered a suicide mission. It would be a couple of hours before they got to their destination. To avoid any last ditch romance effort from Kaidan, Shepard spent time playing cards with Garrus and Tali. "Keelah, not that much longer until we arrive at Ilos. I better go check on some things – make sure I'm prepared," said Tali and she excused herself. Now they were alone…
Jane tried to remain calm but her heart started to pound harder in her chest. They were alone and this was her last chance before this mission to come out with how she felt for Garrus.
"Something on your mind?" he asked her, seeing that she was heavy in thought about something.
"Oh, just headed for a suicide mission, odds against us, with you by my side."
He chuckled. "Wouldn't have it any other way."
"Garrus, I was uh….I don't know how to start this off." She stared into his eyes, at a loss for what to say.
"Jane, what's wrong? You can talk to me about anything – you know that." He looked into her eyes and took notice that they were brown right now. If green is happy, then was does brown mean?
"I'm afraid this time," she said as she looked away.
"Afraid?" he said surprised. Brown means afraid. Interesting.
You can do this! She thought to herself. Tell him how you feel!
"Afraid about how this mission is going to go. I don't want to lose any more of my crew." Coward! She just couldn't do it, not right now.
"Jane, everything is going to be okay. We can do this," he said, gripping her arms. "You've got this covered and I'll be with you every step of the way."
"Thanks Garrus," she said, as she pulled herself into him for a hug.
He held her close and they stayed like that for a few moments without saying a word.
After this mission, I'll tell him. I swear I will.
"We're gonna make it!" yelled Shepard as they drove the Mako full blast towards the Conduit. Saren had already gone through, leaving the Geth behind to stand guard. The Conduit was closing fast. Shepard evaded the geth as best she could and drove the Mako through, just before the relay closed.
They crashed on the Presidium of the Citadel, which was burning and heavily damaged by Saren's attack. Shepard, Garrus and Tali made their way out of the wreckage. They made their way to Saren. Shepard did her best to talk down Saren; to stop him from opening the Citadel up as a mass relay to bring back the Reapers. He was indoctrinated, he had to break free from it. She believed there was still good in him. A trait that Garrus admired about her, even now. Saren started to agree with her and thanked her for freeing him before shooting himself in the head. The fleet engaged the geth drop ships around the Citadel. Shepard made sure the fleet defended the Destiny Ascension that the Intergalactic council members were on. While giving commands to Joker for how to operate the fleet, she sent Tali and Garrus down to make sure Saren was dead.
Suddenly, Saren's body begins to twitch and he turns into what looks like a husk, completely possessed by Sovereign! Shepard used the last of her energy to kill it and collapsed to her knees. Feeling exhausted when the weight was lifted off her shoulders. Mission complete.
"Commander!" yelled Tali. Shepard looked up to see a huge piece of debris heading straight for the Tower. "Take cover!" yelled Shepard, just as it hit.
Minutes later, rescuers entered the Tower looking for survivors. They helped recover Garrus and Tali who were wounded but alive. Captain Anderson was leading the rescuers. He asked Garrus where Commander Shepard was. Tali looked sadly across the Chambers; over to the debris….it would have crushed anyone standing under it. A piece of the debris moved….Garrus ran over to it. "Shepard?" yelled Garrus, frantically hoping to find her. Jane emerged with an injured arm and climbed out of the debris, limping towards Garrus, smiling. Garrus pulled her into his arms, looking into her eyes. They were green.