Author's Note: Originally posted on the masseffectkink community on livejournal.

Original Prompt: "I was just watching these birds from my window grooming their feathered coats and this came to me. I would like to see a Turian of your choice (Though I wouldn't mind if it was Garrus) grooming Femshep. I have no idea how this would work but if you manage and are able to make it sexy you would really make my day."

He's spent a few nights in her bed after their reunion on Menae, fucking until her thighs are rubbed nearly raw. This night's different though, because Shepard doesn't just curl into his side and try to find sleep. Instead she pulls herself from her sheets and crosses the room, skin still tacky with perspiration, hair a mess from his talons in it. Her hips sway, a subtle movement Turian females aren't quite as capable of, and though he'd never admit it in the company of his own species, Garrus has grown to appreciate Shepard's traits far more than the competition.

She twists around at the top of the raised landing of her office, just enough so he can catch the swell of her breast's profile, the cut of hard nipple peaked from the cool air and recent stimulation. Shepard raises her hand and then there's the come hither motion of her fingers urging him near as she resumes her path towards the bathroom.

Garrus takes a minute to follow her silent orders, a moment's worth of quiet contemplation on the universal hand gesture, but he does as she asks, quick on his feet to make up for lost time. By time he opens the bathroom door, her hair and body are soaked, steam billowing on outward. He steps in, seals them back inside, and Shepard reaches both her hands to one of his, tugging him close and up against her.

"Didn't think you'd come," she murmurs just loud enough to be heard over the spray of water. There's the familiar few inches of height increase as she rocks up on her tip-toes, draping an arm over his shoulder and lets her digits caress the back of his skull.

He nuzzles his forehead against her cheek, drags his mouth and mandibles along her jaw until he feels her force something into his hand. It's a bar of soap, human-minded in its scent, and though Shepard lingers against him, she pulls back and turns around, brushing her hair forward over her shoulder to keep the expanse of skin to him free and clear. Garrus, much like before, understands her meaning, and digging his talons into the bar to keep it from slipping away, draws the soap along her skin. He moves down her spine, the notches visible for only flickers of time as she bends and flexes. Then he drags it over her sharp shoulderblades, blunted only by the thick, strong muscle under her skin.

They've gotten to know one another's bodies in the throes of passion and heat of battle, but this is the first time, he notes, that she welcomes him to her in a calmer, easier, more open manner. Her arms stretch to the ceiling and Garrus runs the soap over her underarms, down her sides, and over each cheek of her rear. He grows a little braver and slips his hands around her front, lathers her breasts and abdomen, and Shepard lays her hands over the backs of his wrists and directs him a little further south, getting every inch of her clean. She takes the bar from him when he's done and replaces it on the shelf, reaching for the kind he uses, which though similar, is just different enough in chemistry for his skin. She repeats the process on him, and Garrus obliges in guiding her nimble digits into all the sharp cuts of his skin, even the dips in his collar.

When all's said and done, Shepard moves for her shampoo—a hair product, Garrus knows, after all the time he's spent in her shower over the last few days on his own, reading the labels to clear his mind and pass the time—but he beats her there, takes a fair amount of the gel in his hand and works it through her hair. Shepard is surprised by his initiative, and just smiles as she looks up to him, even shuts her eyes as his talons and fingers rub and scratch at her scalp. Her expression is heavenly. She hands him the conditioner bottle afterward, and he catches on to the idea and has a second go at working through her locks before she lets him tip her head back under the direct spray of water, careful to keep the soapy residue from rinsing into her eyes.

She shuts the water off, and Garrus immediately reaches towards the shelf on the other side of the bathroom, wrapping her body in a towel to protect her from the cold air that awaits them outside. Shepard smiles appreciatively and is the first to leave again. He follows her back into the room a few breaths later.

On the edge of her bed, she sits, already rubbing some liquid from a bottle onto the skin of her legs, starting at her feet. Garrus raises a brow plate as he watches her.

"Medi-gel?" It doesn't look like any kind of it he's ever seen, but it's the only logical thought.

Her head shakes as she works her hands in tandem along her foot and ankle, beginning to head up her calf. "Lotion. You guys really don't have that? Well—I guess maybe you wouldn't need it. It helps human skin not to dry out." She raises her eyes to him, "I know how much you like how soft I am." She winks.

Garrus hums in agreement but ends up on his knees in front of where she sits, and takes the bottle from her. Shepard simply rests her feet on either of his upper thighs, bunching the towel up around her waist. She's giving him permission.

It's a similar process to the shower, except he works harder at her sore muscles, dragging palms from her ankles on up past her knees and to where here thigh meets her backside, or at least the parts of her that he can reach while she's sitting down. When he catches sight of the pink and irritated skin of her inner thighs, he lowers his head in apology, laves the tender flesh with his rough tongue. "Sorry," he says, and sits up straighter to look at her. "I got a little overzealous."

Shepard just laughs, strokes his cheek. "I believe I was the person doing the begging for you to go harder and faster. I won't even feel it come morning." Though Garrus knows why she does it, she immediately drops the towel tucked under her arms, letting it pool at her hips and exposing her breasts. A distraction, a perfect distraction. "I've got a few more places you can lotion up." And he does, completing her front and then her back as she turns around on he bed for him.

He pulls on some Turian-friendly sleepwear over his lower body just as she covers herself in briefs and a tanktop before settling back down on her bed. In one hand she has a datapad that she lays across her rumpled bedspread, the other holding a hairbrush. She raises it to push through her hair when she gets distracted by whatever's on the datapad, the brush poised just above the crown of her head but frozen in time as her brain is otherwise occupied. Garrus plucks it from her hand and then rubs her discarded towel over her soaking hair, removing the excess moisture for her like he's seen her do to herself a few times before.

She responds with quiet laughter. "Jesus, you're really laying on the pampering tonight, aren't you?"

"I could always stop," he suggests, but if the tone of his voice is any indication, it's the last thing he wants to do.

"No, by all means," she replies, and sets the datapad on the end table.

The towel falls away and Garrus begins by brushing her hair, starting at the scalp, gentle strokes given as he works through the tangles. It's like he's an old pro.

"Is this a Turian thing?" She asks, "or is it a Garrus thing?"


"I feel like… like you're grooming me. No—that doesn't sound right. I just mean, I wasn't sure if this was something all Turians did for their mates, or just something you did."

Mate. He audibly purrs at the sound of her referring to them as that. For the months she'd been locked up, he'd been left to ponder whether she'd want him waiting for her when she was set free, her name cleared. He'd wanted to broach the topic with her, but somehow in the middle of all the destruction and death they'd seen since being reunited, asking for her to affirm what they were only felt selfish. He's lost for a minute in his thoughts before he remembers her question.

"Taking care of your mate is a pretty universal thing for us. I mean… not everyone does it, and not for every person you're with. It means more," he says, and feels comfortable acknowledging it with her mention of the word 'mate' out in the open, "for Turians who are together." Her hair has long since been brushed free of knots, but he keeps going anyway, not yet ready to stop. "But that's not why I do it, not because of some… biological urge."

"I know," Shepard shallowly nods, then pauses before going on. "It's easy to forget like this, that things have gone so far to shit when you're sitting in my bed with me, brushing my hair, of all things."

"It really is."

She finally pulls away, but not to go far, rather just to turn to him, kneeling. "And what can I do for you?" Her eyes are hopeful, curious.

He's a little taken aback by her question, only because he never expected it, not under any circumstances. His body warms at the notion, the skin of his neck flushing a muted blue color with the extra blood flow. "You don't have to."

Shepard shakes her head and smiles, runs her finger tip along the edge of his mandible. "Tell me," she insists.

"You know," his words are stunted and he looks away, almost ashamed, embarrassed for what he is. "File my talons, I guess?"

She laughs to herself, lips pursed tight to hold it back as much as she can. "I can do that. What else?" She urges him on.

He feels her fingers moving over the plates of his face, and it gives him an idea, a suggestion. "You could paint my colony markings for me, if you wanted to."

There are a couple rapid blinks and a stunned expression as she considers his words. "Is a human even allowed to do that? I feel like Saren would be rolling over in his grave just at the idea."

He shakes with laughter. "I've never let anyone else do it, but I trust you've got a steady enough hand for it." Garrus can't see where her fingers are, but he can feel them still, and knows his face well enough to know she's tracing them along the chipping paint marks.

"Mmhmm," she sounds on an exhale, and slips her arm around to his back, dragging her short fingernails along his carapace. "And I can get all those itches you can't get to."

Garrus mimics her action, and slipping his hand into her shirt, he trails talons along her skin. Goosebumps prick her skin and her body lets out a quick shiver, a uniquely human action, and one that he loves.

"I bet I can think of a few more things for you to do," Shepard whispers, leaning in, her mouth an inch from the passageway that makes up his ear.

"I'm sure you could," he says while brushing the hair from her face, "you're far too high-maintenance of a species."