A/N: why, why do i do this to myself XD

alright, so in grandiose celebration of beating ME3 for the second time just to watch the extended ending, i give you this i'm-not-sure-quite-crack... my jab at the ME3 original/extended endings while poking fun at the people that hated them, still do, and for some reason i'm like the only person that willingly picks Synthesis... i'll explain that later :P

So for hilarity ensued, using my Shep from 'Locks' so if you haven't read that i suggest doing so, not required but i love shameless self-endorsement :3

Also this is meant to be a one-shot... i honestly don't know if i 'could' continue this XD i wouldn't know what to do...

Dis: Bioware all the way :D

i'd also like to thank two authors i think are awesome and actually help me get things done... you know who you are :3

ENJOY!


Star Child

Shepard barely stood in front of the strange holographic child. It had just told her the 'options' the catalyst could do to activate the crucible. Destruction. Control. Synthesis. 'What a bunch of bullshit' was all that was running through her mind. She'd come this far for this. Killed Reapers, killed heretical geth, killed men and women of all species for this reason or that and this was the final conclusion…

"Bullshit…" slipped from her mouth as she nearly stumbled over, the weight of the gun in her hand seeming too heavy.

The glowing ghost child just stared at her, as if not sure she meant to say it and should comment or not.

She shook her head, inadvertently answering the ghost machine's question.

"I see," it spoke in the three-toned voice that kept changing.

She took a deep breath, had to stay focused. –Alright Shepard… you get to decide the future of all of existence… no pressure…- the gun tugged towards the ground and she looked at it over puffy black eyes, "So kid," for once Shepard liked to imagine the crazy super-being would be pissed at her calling it that, sadly reality showed nothing of the emotion, "Can't I just shoot you or something and be over with this?"

It seemed to blink, "Are you serious?"

"Heh," for some reason the question brought a smirk to the dying woman, "No, not really… it's just, hehe, all the other 'big bads' I had to deal with I just shot them and everything turned out right… sorta."

"Big Bads?" again that questioning tone from a synthetic consciousness, "I'm not your enemy Shepard…"

The gun clanked from her hand, finally too heavy to carry anymore, "I know that, heh…" Shepard stared at the gun, wondering what to do, pick it up and shoot the kid or stop being a pansy and make a choice, "It's tough isn't it?"

"What is?" she liked to think it was starting to sound irritated, if just to amuse her ego…

"Eternity, controlling them?" Shepard looked at the star child seriously, despite the loopiness the blood-loss was causing, "Destroying species just to save a few?" there was that bitter empty laugh again as she turned towards the central beam, "I guess that's why you want Synthesis…"

"I want to find the solution," it corrected, with what she imagined was a pout, "Nothing more…"

She gave a loopy nod, turning in a hobble towards the light, "Synthesis it is then, heh…"

"Wait-" Shepard turned towards the star child, eyes to fucked up to properly see the expression on its holographic face, "Why?"

Now this really brought a grin to her face, "Just like you said, you want to understand too, huh?" the star child just stood there staring at her, wanting its answer. She chuckled through a bloody nose and could feel that much more of her life slipping, "I just want everyone to live…"

And with that she gave the wannabe god a grin before turning and running towards the light that initiate 'Synthesis'. Shepard had no idea what it meant, what it would do for the future, all she knew and hoped for was that it would let everyone live in peace. Be the 'final solution' the catalyst had been looking for, an 'end' to the cycle.

Her muscles burned, ached and protested every movement, more than once she nearly tripped and wanted to curse herself. It was a flat straight shot, how many hills, bridges, ledges, rubble-roads, etc. had she ran across and long-jumped her way to safety?

Now that brought about memories.

From that first fight on Eden Prime…

Running around the Citadel lower levels with a pretty Garrus and young-er Wrex trying to find this crazy little Quarian who knew too much…

Visiting Shi'era's…

Punching Harkin in the face…

To busting into a mine shaft with a super lazer with Tali and Ashley to save some Asari scientist who'd got herself trapped in a bubble…

To that first mind-meld or whatever the Asari called it with Liara…

Trying to eat pizza with two dextros claiming it looked like a giant scab while Liara and Kaiden fought over who got to sit next to her and Wrex ended up eating the whole thing…

Watching so many people kill themselves just trying to break free and save the world…

That feeling of waking up in a strange place after being dead…

Dealing with Cerby operatives and everyone hating them…

Playing strip poker with Aria… And losing…

Watching Grunt get all hyper watching Jack blow up that prison while Zaeed just shook his head…

Playing dress-up for Katsumi's thief's ball…

Making hot cocoa with Mordin…

Playing strip poker against Samara… And losing…

Teaching Legion slang that he used when his 'consensus' said it was 'okay' to talk to Creator-Tali…

Meditating with Thane…

Bitching to Liara when she visited…

Playing strip poker against a thief, convict, merc and a mech… Legion won…

Flipping the Illusive Man the bird when he said 'no, save the collector base', and listening to Tali snicker…

Being grounded wasn't fun but it sure was exhilarating to finally be out and shooting things, especially crazy Cerby troop threatening Liara…

Getting back the old crew and meeting new faces…

Playing strip poker with Liara… And winning!

Beating Reapers and generally kicking ass…

But throughout it all Shepard knew it was all about living, having that choice and understanding to just keep going. Legion had sought that and he was a synthetic that transcended his code-dependence. They all just wanted to live, even the Reapers.

In some twisted way Shepard even cared about what they wanted. The Illusive Man had wanted to control them, Anderson had wanted to blow them up, most people actually did, but at the end she had become so tired of hearing control or destroy when all she wanted was to live, didn't everything, even mass-murdering super-robots deserve that?

Then she thought about EDI and Joker, and how if this all worked out right, they'd better name their first kid after her…

With those final thoughts, of a future forbidden and thoughts of a life she'd never live, knowing she'd die even if she shot to stupid little star child, she jumped into the vibrant beam. At first the feel of free-fall, then slowly she could feel parts of her disintegrating, it was like being transported by the Reaper Beam but this felt different, felt permanent…

Dissolving into nothingness was a strange feeling, one that can't be properly described unless actually felt, but it was burning and liberating and crumbling to dust as consciousness faded to nothingness in an instant and as Shepard closed her eyes a smile forged on her lips knowing the future was going to be okay…

And there were going to be a hell of a lot of kids named 'Shepard' in the future.

Xxx

Xx

X

Or so she thought…?

With a unbelievable gasp green eyes shot open as she saw the bright light above blinding her, "Araaggh!" instinctively her hands came up and tried to block out the light, "What the hell!" hand over eyes Shepard sat up, feeling a cloth slipping down her form and wondering why it was strangely chilly, "Hey, Chakwas, gimme a blanket or sunglasses or something," a hand reached out in a grabbing motion expecting something to enter it.

Nothing.

Confused Shepard made the grabby motion again.

Still nothing.

"Oookay?" spreading her fingers she cracked open on eye and looked around the blurry off-white-blue room, "What the hell?"

"Aiods smos mm dkkne…?"

"Hk oddo euth.."

"ZKE!"

"Uhh, hello?" standing at the end of the room, now that her eyes adjusted enough and she wasn't seeing blobs, Shepard noticed what looked like two Asari arguing in a corner, "Little help?"

Both Asari seemed to stiffen when they realized she was talking to them, one she didn't recognize was standing staring while the other had her back turned. The one facing Shepard spoke more in what she assumed was native Asari while the other nodded and waved her hand eliciting the other, probably junior, one to leave.

"Umm..?" Shepard scratched the back of her head, looking around once she realized she was topless, or really just generally naked. She turned around and noticed a pillow, or what she thought was a pillow, and quickly brought the squishy bag to her front to cover what little modesty she had, "Got any clothes?" she turned back to the Asari that had remained, only this time she definitely recognized her, "Liara!"

The Asari opened her mouth as if to say something, the shock on her face was obvious that there was something she wanted to scream at the human woman, but instead she closed it, her painted brows furrowing together as if trying to figure out 'how' to say what she wanted.

"Oh c'mon Liara," Shepard couldn't help but grin, excited to see her lover again, hell she totally forgot about the pillow-thing, opening her arms wide as if expecting the alien woman to jump at her any moment, "Come here, give me a kiss or something, I'm alive!"

Instead 'Liara' just gave that skeptical smile and nervously scratched the side of her face, again that thinking look crossing her eyes like an important decision was being made. Finally the Asari nodded to herself, taking several steps towards Shepard.

That sixth sense that had kept Shepard alive throughout her myriad journeys was ringing, telling her something was wrong, that 'Liara' wasn't who she thought she was. With this last thought the human woman's arms fell, a hole she didn't realize was there started opening in her heart as she looked down at the floor, "No…" she shook her brunette head, "No, no you are Liara," her head turned up to find the Asari looking down at her with solemn eyes a hand reaching out to touch Shepard's head in that familiar way preparing for an Asari bond, "She's the only Asari I've seen with fake eyebrows," in a probably desperate act to confirm her own mind Shepard reached up to touch the woman.

The blue woman flinched slightly probably expecting some strange attack, but when all Shepard did was place her hand on the side of her head and run a thumb along those painted on brows. The Asari noticeably calmed, her shoulders slumping as if in resignation. A kind of sadness came about her person as those blue eyes of her refused to meet Shepard's dark green ones.

"Please," Shepard's voice was soft, desperate, even trembling as she leaned towards the Asari, "You are Liara right?" the human woman's hands lowered to cup around the Asari's face, gently, asking in a desperate way as she raised the woman's eyes to her own and stroked her thumb along those painted freckles, "C'mon, what other Asari has freckles?" the fake laughter in her voice failed to cover up the sad plea in her eyes.

The Asari bit her bottom lip and furrowed her fake brows, so much like what Liara would do, like she wanted to say 'yes' but knew it was wrong. Instead she closed her eyes and sighed deeply, bringing both hands up to touch both sides of Shepard's head. Without even having to be asked Shepard closed her eyes and waited for the woman to initiate the bond, so she completely missed when the woman opened her pitch black eyes and seemed almost sad to do so…

In the moment that transpired between them Shepard saw memories that were her own but weren't of the 'her' she knew. The brunette woman wasn't an Alliance Commander, in fact the 'Alliance' didn't even exist, instead she was a colonist pilot hoping to make it to some other job. An ordinary woman with an ordinary job. No aliens. No geth. No Reapers. No great catastrophe. Nothing…

So shocked by the revelation Shepard's physical body bolted away from the Asari, breaking the link as the human woman stared at blue woman holding her head with a panic. She was breathing hard, as far away on the bed as possible and trying to make sense of what the hell she just saw.

"S-Shepard," the Asari reached her hand out to the human, "P-Please… stay calm," she still had one hand on her head, the forced severing of the bond causing something of a migraine for the psychic species, "It's alright, we-we're here to help you!"

Shepard was still gasping for air, eyes wide and not understanding, "What the fuck just happened?"

The Asari winced against the pain the woman's strong emotions and loud voice were causing to her head, "It's a bond, my species is… 'psychic' I believe is the term your kind uses-"

"That's not what I'm talking about Liara!" now the human woman was angry, fire in her eyes and her fist clinched in front of her, "I mean with the Crucible, the catalyst, all that bullshit about making a choice, what the fuck was all that?" she leaned forward, clutching her head as a wave of pain and nausea hit, "I'm-I mean-I… I'm," she managed to open her eyes through the pain and caught the sad look on the Asari's face, "Who the hell am I?"

The edges of the alien woman's blue eyes pinched, the sadness and regret in them increasing times fold, "You're Shepard, just…" her eyes lowered as she stood up straight, "Just not the one you think you are…"

"That's bullshit!" Shepard just glared, unable to think of anything better to say.

"P-Please, just listen first," the Asari said, raising her hands in a pleading manner, only mildly coaxing the human woman down from all out rage, "I-I know this is hard to take in, but you've been in a coma for the past 5 years…"

"Wha…" Shepard blinked, that completely derailed any thought. Too shocked to maintain her anger her wide eyes drifted to the floor. Five years? Coma? What?

"Y-you've been in the care of the Asari science institute of xenobiology," She was rambling, that she knew, too often when nervous she tended to ramble on about this or that, and even if this woman was just a civilian of her species she was very threatening… of course that may have also been because of her 'dreams', "your species is 'new' so we wanted to keep you alive after what happened and-"

"New?" the human woman looked at her queerly, "How are humans 'new', you guys have been bitching at us for being childish for the past hundred, two-hundred some odd years?"

"U-um, well," she was fiddling with her hands, similar to what Tali did, "T-that's not true…"

Again that queer look, "how is it 'not true' the Asari, especially that one on the council, don't like humans much since we're advancing too fast, we're 'too young' and all that bullshit…" her head tilted, "Liara, tell me what the hell is going on?"

She bit her lower lip, fingers fidgeting again, "While, yes, my name is Liara T'soni," blue eyes rose to look at Shepard directly, "I'm not the one you think you know…" the pained look of regret entered her eyes again, "That was all just a simulation… a dream."

Shepard just stared at her flatly, so flatly Liara wondered if she'd somehow broke her with the attempt to share information via the bond.

"Um…" the blue woman tapped her fingers together wondering why the 'human' wasn't reacting.

Then suddenly…

"BY HARBINGER'S SCALEY ASS WHAT IN THE ABYSS ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!"

Liara may or may not have squeaked, hopping away from the deranged alien a few feet.

Unfortunately this 'alien' was currently inhabited by the memories of its dream self and was on her in less than three strides and had both hands on her shoulders holding her in place. The woman was surprisingly demanding up close despite being naked, "Liara, you will explain this to me, now!"

"Uh," avoiding that she had been trying to explain to the intimidating, slightly taller, fleshy woman. The Asari swallowed hard and tapped her fingers together nervously, "You've been unconscious for 5 years after your craft suddenly exited a Mass Relay thought to be offline into Geth space and was subsequently attacked by their auto-drones until one of them figured out you were alive and non-threatening, they completely apologized…"

Shepard just stared, "Wha-"

She took a deep breath, ignoring the 'wtf' look on Shepard's face, continuing, "luckily they sent your remains to a Quarian rescue vessel, I believe it was the Rayya," the human made some squeak at the ship's name but the Asari ignored her, "and they stabilized your remains but despite their extreme medical proficiency they failed to maintain your psychological state, so they sent you to a STG vessel of the Salarians run by a Dr. Solus I believe…"

"Mordin?" Shepard managed to slip in, though the Asari that looked and sounded like Liara seemed to completely ignore her.

"Well they managed to develop a device, Goddess knows how, that restarted your mental faculties," she scratched the side of her face looking uncomfortable, "Unfortunately there was some issue still since you didn't wake up… then the Turians got involved trying to figure out if your species was invading, but the Rachni said your song was sweet and silent meaning you had no intention towards violence, of course the Krogan didn't believe that when they looked you over, being surprisingly interested and wanted you for their scientific experimentation…"

"Krogan… science?" the oxymoron didn't quiet keep in Shepard's brain long as she let the rambling Asari go so she could start pacing. At least that was still normal.

Somehow that registered to the Asari doctor, "Of course, Krogan are known for their Art and Science," she coughed into her hand realizing by the look on the woman's face she'd said something weird, "Although from your dreams it did seem you only accepted the battle part of them, I wonder if that's because your primary contact was with Urdnot Wrex and his son Urdnot Grunt, both hailed generals of the Krogan species…"

"Grunt's Wrex's son?" left eye twitching.

"Yes," this time it was Liara's turn to look at her questionably, as if it was common knowledge the great Military leader of Tuchanka's first son was the mighty Grunt. Then she remembered who she was talking to, "Oh, right, in your dream Grunt was a test-tube born Krogan, though he does have superior battle ability but that's probably from successful military breeding and…" the vacant look she was receiving from the human told her it was probably better to stop rambling on this line of thought, "Right, where was I?"

"Blowing up my mind," Shepard shook her head, rubbing it as all this information was both disturbing and painful to take in. Then her mind picked up on something rather important, "Wait, what do you mean 'in my dream' and 'primary contact', if I was unconscious how could I have 'contact' with anyone?"

"Oh, uh, well," she was tapping her fingers again and started pacing, "You see, the geth weren't the only ones to find you," she bit her lower lip before facing Shepard, "I was, maybe, sort of, kind of, there in the retrieval… and may have, sort of, kind of performed a bond-link to try and stabilize your brain, only not knowing your mental physiology completely at the time so…"

"You knocked me out and screwed up my brain!" Shepard was pointing openly at Liara now, only instead of being 'angry' like the Asari assumed she would be, she was just accusing, with her left eye twitching.

"I didn't mean too!" she finally yelled back at the human woman, a vehemence in her eyes as her brow furrowed, "You were dying and the geth had no idea how to properly treat an 'unknown' organic, especially with the head trauma you received, I saved your life!" it was Liara's turn to point accusingly at the human woman, damn under-appreciative sub-species…

Then she saw the woman smile. It was small and fragile but with the mix of emotion in her eyes it was entirely grateful.

Liara blushed at the look; she'd seen it more than once while monitoring the human's dreams, and more often than not aimed at her 'character'… it was very strange seeing it in real life.

"Liara," the so-fierce woman's voice was soft as she approached the Asari with open arms. Liara recognized this as an action that often lead to other actions in her dreams and decided it was best to dissuade her by taking a step back. Shepard paused, tilting her head in confusion a moment before realization hit and she dropped her arms, "Right, other Liara…"

"I'm sorry," and she meant it. Liara had felt awkward as the 'relationship' in the dream the woman had with herself escalated, even more so when her mother had reviewed the data before she could censor it. She honestly didn't know what to do now that the woman was 'awake', they'd never covered that possibility, assuming that aside from the interesting dreams she was overall brain-dead, Matriarch Samara had said as much!

The human woman sighed, running a hand over her hair, "Forget it, just something I have to get used to I guess…" it was quiet between them a moment as Shepard stared at the floor and Liara had no idea how to continue. Then Shepard coughed while crossing her arms, "Soooo… about that 'contact' thing?"

"Contact?" Liara's head shot up, surprised to hear the woman's voice so soon, "Right, well your body was something of a 'point of interest' to a lot of species, and while we're not this great galactic community your dreams presented, we do have contact with one another," her fingers were tapping as she stared at them, "Several of the people displayed in your 'dreams' are real and most of great importance, Urdnot Wrex and his son for example…"

Shepard piqued a brow at that, "Garrus?"

"Primarch Garrus Vakarian currently runs the Turian trade and commerce enclave," at the further raised brow Liara elaborated, "The Turian race, while once bent on war, are now an economic power in trade, they view it the same as your Turians saw war, a constant and ever changing battle field, though they are known for intelligence gathering and Primarch Vakarian is known for seeking out possible threats long before anyone else, thus his interest in you and subsequent visit to the Rayya while we were in transit…"

Shepard tried to imagine Garrus as some uber-business dealer; he had a funny hat and cane for whipping people instead of his sniper rifle. She rightfully shuttered, "Tali?"

"Tali'Zorah vas Rayya is currently the captain of the Rayya, she was the first to oversee your medical diagnosis along with her companion Legion-"

"Wait, what?" Shepard held out her hand halting the pacing Asari, "Legion is Tali's companion?"

The Asari blinked, not finding what was strange about the statement, "Yes, a number of Quarians are known to take a Geth as a 'companion'," she used air-quotes since the Asari were confused by this strange symbiosis between Quarians and Geth, "not all mind you, since some are still skeptical of them from the Morning War 300 years ago where a number of them rebelled and left only to have a large number return once the 'sympathizers' won the Quarian Civil War and welcomed them back, but as I said not all Quarians have a companion and in fact the practice has become stale as most Geth would rather just live on their own like their creators, but Legion, the first truly sentient machine seems quite happy being Tali's companion…" when Liara stopped explaining and stood still to look at Shepard and was quite surprised by her.

Shepard was just staring, head tilted at a large angle and mouth hanging open. After a few seconds she finally managed words but of course they were only, "Mind… blown…"

"A-anyway," Liara swallowed hard, turning away from the silly look on the human woman, "they were the ones that truly stabilized you physically-"

"Wait, Tali's a doctor?" the tilt angle remained but overall Shepard looked more conscious then a second ago.

"Yeesss," Liara nodded slowly, "due to their unique physiology and Quarians' symbiotic nature they make excellent doctors and engineers having an affinity for just 'getting along' with anything, both synthetic and organic so most tend to specialize in both, especially if they're of Captain rank…"

Immediately a hand went to the human woman's head, "This is all hurting my head…"

Liara bit her lower lip, not sure what to do for the woman, "Should I continue?"

"Yes," Shepard took a deep breath, lowering her hand and looked at the Asari, "On to the next person, you said the Salarians were next right, so that's Mordin Solus…"

Again the blue woman nodded slowly, "He was the head of the Science and Technology Group ship that we were transferred to once we entered Salarian space, they prefer to not have the Quarians interfering with any of their research…"

"At least that sounds relatively 'normal'," Shepard quipped.

"Well he is one of the consorts to the Dalatrass and considered a high priority male even if he tends to slip away more often the not when some new 'research interest' comes by," the Asari tapped her chin in thought, "I believe you would consider him a 'playboy' seeing as he was more interested in the fact you were a female of some new species…"

"Brain… hurting…" Shepard shuttered. Mordin and playboy shouldn't be in the same sentence. She vehemently shook her head, "Okay, forgetting Mordin and never looking at him the same way again, Thane?"

"Krios?" Liara questioned, the human woman only nodded, "He's one of the highest ranking religious figures to his people," that didn't sound so bad especially since he was the most religious next to Samara, "And he's also the greatest and most ruthless assassin in the entire galaxy…"

Shepard just stared at her flatly, "despite how that should seem 'okay' to me, I'm more disturbed that he's an open religious figure AND an assassin…"

"The Drell are a strange and xenophobic race," she shrugged, "After nearly being enslaved then almost wiped out by some strange amoeba race they tend to stick to themselves unless something like this occurs…"

"Wait, amoeba race? The Hanar?" Shepard had moved to sit on the bed again, having had enough of just standing and looking stupid.

Again Liara just cocked her fake eyebrow, " 'Hanar'? I suppose, they didn't really speak and tried to flood the Drell homeworld since it was 'too dry' for their liking…"

The human just shook her head, "I knew those jellyfish were insane," a deep sigh escaped her throat, "But I guess that's what happens when they aren't 'brought up' by the Protheans… how weird?"

"Oh there are Protheans," this time it was Shepard that cocked a brow, "about 50,000 years ago all the enslaved races of the Prothean empire rebelled and nearly wiped them out, those that survived are under the protection of the Asari, since we're the only ones that live longer than them and have the biotic powers to keep them in check…"

The human woman snorted, "Javik must be pleased with this arrangement, heh."

"Javik?" she remembered seeing him in Shepard's dream but as of yet had not met a Prothean with that name.

Shepard scratched the back of her neck, "Yea, guy you-we found locked in a stasis coffin, overall irritable guy," she chuckled with an awkward grin, "Good guy in the end though."

"Hmm," she put her chin in her hand, "Perhaps he's still in stasis?"

The human woman's brunette brow piqued, "You mean if there's any validity to my 'dreams' right?"

The Asari shrugged, "It's possible," she waved her hand nonchalant as she leaned against a cabinet, "After what we all saw in them I wouldn't be surprised…"

"What you all saw?" Shepard questioned, fixing the blue woman with a direct stare, "You said that before, how can you 'see' a person's dreams?"

"Uh," nervous Liara returned as she scratched the side of her fringe, "Well, by the time we finally got you here you'd been seen by so many specialists, both medical and spiritual, and quite a few Asari biotics that we had devised a device that could show what your brain was displaying, since it was still oddly active despite… what I… did…" by the end of it she was once again tapping her fingers, "It became my job to monitor you for any changes and record all of your 'dreams'…" blue eyes flashed to Shepards questioning dark green ones a moment before they lowered to the floor and a dark blue blush spread across her face, "Even the more… 'intimate' ones…"

Shepard stared at her flatly, "Consort Shi'era?"

"Member of the Matriarch counsel and in no way a 'consort'…" fingers tapped.

"Aria T'lok," still staring…

"My boss and head of the xenoresearch department on new and unusual species…" she coughed in her throat, "Not a underworld crimelord…"

"Samara…" eyes narrowed more.

Now it was Liara's turn to glare, "You didn't do anything with her, she rejected you when you tried kissing her!" then she noticed the evil smirk on Shepard's face and realized it was a trick question. She growled something under her breath in Asari before looking away and continuing, "Matriarch of the Ardat'Yakshi and on more than one occasion stated you were completely brain-dead…"

"No wonder she didn't want to kiss me," Shepard was tapping her chin with one finger before looking back at Liara, "but what do you mean 'Matriarch of the Ardat'Yakshi'? I thought she was a Justicar that hunted them?"

Still fidgeting and feeling overly uncomfortable with the subject, Liara continued, "Matriarch Samara IS an Ardat'Yakshi, though the only one in existence known to actually not be sterile since she's managed to have three daughters with another Ardat'Yakshi… though they too are sterile as most of them are," she fidgeted again, "Its uncomfortable that someone not Asari is so intimate with this subject, I hope you realize…"

The human woman held up her hands defensively, "I know, trust me, Samara was 'ashamed' enough about it that she barely revealed it to me…" her hands lowered as she glanced at the floor feeling solemn, "It's just strange to hear this," dark green eyes looked towards the Asari, "Are there no Justicar?"

Liara deflated, sighing deeply, "Yes there are, and Matriarch Samara was a Justicar early on from her Maiden years but once it was revealed she was an Ardat'Yakshi she turned herself into the temple, surprising everyone when she was pregnant and has become something of the 'mother' to all of them, which is why she is allowed the title Matriarch..." Liara bit her lower lip, staring at the floor as she fidgeted, "She's become quite the spiritual leader for them, being an unusually strong biotic and having her three daughters, but without her I doubt many of them would be as stable as they are now…"

"Heh," Shepard smirked, "I think I may actually like your Samara more than mine," Liara blinked in surprise and looked up to see the human woman grinning, "She sounds happy…"

There was a light smile on the Asari's face, "As far as any of us know she is…"

Shepard looked down with that sad smile on her face, it was really starting to sink in that her world, the one she thought she'd saved and changed really didn't exist, "So what about…"

"I'm right here," she said nervously, looking to the side and tapping her fingers.

There was a snort-giggle from the human, "Well I was going to ask about Kaiden," she grinned wide while Liara blushed even more, "But I suppose he's off somewhere living it up…"

"A-actually…" the blue woman started, garnering the human's attention, "T-there was another body accompanying you, a male of your species, he… he didn't make it…"

The flat line that became of Shepard's lips was disheartening; "Of course he didn't…" after that she just sighed, closing her eyes and scratching her head, "Even in this 'new' world I manage to get him killed…"

"I-It's not your fault," the Asari said quickly, jumping away from the cabinet to stand in front of the human, worry written all over her face, "It was the gate, trip, whatever brought you here, it was nothing you did, it-"

"It doesn't matter!" Shepard shouted startling the Asari. The human woman released a growl as she covered her eyes with her hand, "He's still dead and in some way I caused it, I just know it…"

Liara clinched her jaw, not sure how to feel about this situation. Thanks to the dream-machine she had watched as the Dream-Shepard had watched that man die in order to save the galaxy, to hear the real woman say something similar, as if the dreams were real and she was reliving it was extremely heart breaking, even if she wasn't really involved with the woman.

"Fuck," Shepard sniffled, wiping her eyes, "Damn, five years and I still can't get over it, heh," she looked up at the Asari with slightly red eyes, "How pathetic huh?"

Liara's brows lowered and her eyes looked sympathetic, "I'm sorry, believe me when I say it wasn't your fault, I-we tried everything we could on both of you," her blue eyes lowered to the space between them, "He was already gone by the time we managed to get you out…"

Shepard absently nodded, "That's fine, I'm over it already," the flat way she said it made Liara convinced she was anything but. This was twice she had to deal with the death of the man, who knew about the rest of the humans.

"So what about all the other humans?" speak of the devil...

The Asari just sighed, "We don't know, presumably they are all people you knew on your planet of origin," she didn't feel like mentioning that the ship the woman was found in was covered in plasma burns from weapons fire so the chances that any of those 'humans' were still alive was slim to none.

Shepard only frowned, seeming to come to her own conclusion about the chances of any of them being alive, "Right…"

Doing something that was probably just as stupid as attempting the bond, Liara crossed the space between them and reached for the woman's hand. Part of her had expected the human to flinch or immediately reject her sincerity, but the other part of her was pleased when all the woman did was grip her hand in a vice and give it a desperate squeeze. To her the world wasn't right and the young Asari could feel it in just her presence. The human was… strange.

Despite her best efforts at being consoling Liara ended up slightly chuckling at the absurdity of this situation.

At the sound of the young Asari 'giggling' Shepard's head shot up and her eyes narrowed on the alien woman, "What the hell's so funny?" sadly this caused the blue woman to giggle more, a brunette brow piqued as dark green eyes narrowed even more, "I fail to find the humor in this situation," Shepard's free hand went to her hip in a chiding stance, even if it was derailed by her sitting and being naked on an Asari hospital bed, "I just woke up from an apparent coma which to me was sacrificing my life for the greater good of the ENTIRE universe only to wake up and be told that was all just a dream…"

The giggling escalated to full on laughter as the alien woman had to let go of Shepard's hand to hold her stomach.

If there was one thing Shepard had learned through her journeys it was that laughter was rare, and because of its rarity it was horribly, horribly contagious. She was fighting hard to keep the stern look about her features and suppress the urge to snicker with the woman, "Its… not f-funny…" snort, "Seriously…" she held her breath for a second to suppress the laughter and remain mad at the Liara-look-alike, only for the woman to put a hand over her mouth and her eyes giggle more at the look of Shepard holding her breathe, "Shut up!" was not the proper response.

Especially when it caused giggling Asari doctors to just keep giggling…

The sudden woosh! Of air told Shepard that the door opened, and quite frankly she didn't care that she was standing in her birthday suit in front of a laughing Asari. The human woman turned on the open door pointing threatening at whoever was coming in, "Whoever the hell you are, make her stop!" shifting pointing hand towards Liara who was bracing herself on the bed, "Seriously I think she needs to breathe at some point…"

"Oh, you're awake," lo and behold the bored expression of a highly unimpressed Aria T'lok.

Shepard blinked once it registered in her mind who was walking in, in lab clothes no less, "Aria?"

The business like scientist completely ignored her, snapping behind her and the skittish Asari from earlier handed the scary woman a data pad which she proceeded to type away on, "It seems your cognitive functions are working… if sub-par-"

"Wait, you can speak English?" again Shepard was pointing at Aria, only this time completely confused, "I thought the reason Liara did the bond-thingy was so she could learn to speak my language…"

Those deathly bored eyes just mildly glared as if the human's words were wasting her time before traveling to the coming down Asari, "As if she hadn't fucked up your mind enough already," the elder blue woman shook her head adding more to the data pad, "I'll have to add this to my report, seems whatever she did upon waking you lets you understand us," her eyes raised enough to just narrow on the human, "Not the other way around…"

Crime boss, scientist, didn't matter, Aria was still fucking scary.

Shepard gulped while Liara had both hands over her mouth, either to stop her giggling or commenting was anyone's guess.

Those threatening eyes stared at Shepard a moment, before going up and down and turning to Liara, "I'm going to have to report to Matriarch Benezia that it has awakened-"

"M-mother," that just killed whatever 'fun' atmosphere there was as Liara became a decidedly paler shade of blue.

"Yes," Aria sounded bored as she was already turning to leave, "I'll have to inform her her daughter's pet is awake and apparently functional," another glance over her shoulder to look the human up and down again, "At least its not completely disappointing…" and with those final words the door wooshed! Closed and the scary woman and her assistant were gone.

Liara took a deep breath and sighed heavily…

Shepard on the other hand…

"I'M NO BODY'S PET!" was shaking her fist and about to rush through the door to throttle the insulting blue woman. She wasn't a crime boss with Omega behind her anymore, no Patriarch, no cronies, no gangs to back her up!

… Then she just gave up and growled while crossing her arms, "And what the hell's she looking me up and down disapprovingly…"

Liara sighed again, getting another headache, "Remember about what I said with the dream machine and how she's my boss," the human was just staring flatly causing the Asari to roll her eyes, "As in she saw everything I did…"

Shepard blinked.

Hand met face as Liara mumbled something under her breathe before saying flatly, "Strip poker…"

"Pfft," the human woman snorted, "Don't see what her deal is, bitch won…"

Liara just shook her head, not bothering to correct the information nor explain it further. With a slight smirk on her lips, seeing as dealing with her boss was already out of the way, she looked the human woman, who was still naked and walking around the lab like nothing was out of place, "So what do you plan to do, Commander Shepard?"

This caused the human woman to pause in her pacing of the room and look the young Asari over, "I thought I wasn't a Commander here?" she seemed to move her jaw in a defiant way as she looked towards the walls, "I'm just a normal human who happened to get lost in space or something…" before Liara could say anything in protest she felt the human woman grin, then when she turned towards her saw the mischief in her eyes as the smirk spread on her lips, "Guess I got my wish after all in a weird kind of way…"

"Wish?" one of the Asari's fake brows rose.

There was a mild chuckle, "Live a 'normal' life," Shepard had her hands on her hips and grinning at the wall, "No Reapers and no war, least for now, but I guess I can't even get that right since I'm apparently making first contact or something."

Liara smiled, "Well, if your species is anything like you and have your strong desire to live and let others live too I don't think the rest of humanity can be all that bad?" as she stepped closer to the naked woman.

"Hrm," Shepard grunted, "I remember something Samara told me, the one thing she liked about humanity," She turned to face Liara, who was so like the one she knew but in other ways she knew wasn't, " 'Ask three humans a question and you'll get six different opinions', kind of funny now that I know she didn't say it, but it describes us humans pretty well." There was another chuckle, "Mordin told me we had too much variation, made excellent control group." Her brows furrowed, "I think that was a compliment…"

Liara put her hand on the woman's shoulder, "Whatever you decide to do, know I'll always be by your side…"

Shepard reached up and held the hand on her shoulder, it felt so familiar but she knew it wasn't, "Always?" she asked with a high tone, turning to smirk at the Asari…

The blue blush was completely worth it, "N-not like that!" quickly the embarrassed woman's hand was retracted as she looked away from the naked woman.

Shepard chuckled; putting her hands on her hips, "Maybe not now, but…" she looked away scratching the side of her face with a light heat on her face, "Thanks… for being here for me…"

Liara smiled, daring to turn back, only to shake her head and wonder why she was so scared. Of anyone alive she knew this woman better than anyone else, seen her dreams and seen her personality form from them to the point that the 'dream' was her reality, so if anything she knew exactly what the woman was going through and what she was thinking. She was Shepard, courageous, threatening, hopelessly romantic Shepard, and she realized there was nothing wrong with that. So when she turned back to face the woman, with the remnants of her blush and an honest smile she was happy to see that sparkle in the alien woman's eyes, "Good, because I'm not going anywhere, Shepard."

And the human woman smiled, "So we ready to go see your mom and make this all official?"

Blue eyes rolled as the Asari walked past the human towards something on the wall, hitting a button and pulling out something in a ball before throwing it at her, smirking as it hit the human woman right in the face, "As soon as you put some clothes on."

Shepard managed to pull the thing off and glared. Everything was fucked up, the people she knew didn't know here and the entire world was upside down and hell only knew what else was messed up once she stepped out that door…

But for some reason, seeing that familiar 'I'm always right' smile on Liara's face as she leaned against the wall waiting for her to get dressed made her feel that maybe, just maybe, Shepard had truly gotten what she'd wanted. A world where everyone was alive and nothing threatened the galaxy and for once she was just a normal person, sure the only human apparently on this side of the Mass Relays but that could be corrected with time.

In the mean time she had this finagled Asari garb to figure out while one odd Asari Scientist giggled as she failed miserably…


A/N: with all this F!Shep/Liara things i'm writing i'm afraid i may be threatening my 'straight' status... my husband would have a field day -.-;; but i dunno, i like it, and the Asari, they're hot (d-mn you androgynous genes!)

yea well, i've made about fifty references, either to ME things or other SciFi, but here's the basic premise i 'was' thinking but this decided to take a left turn at albacurcie (i swear if no one gets that i give up on the human race):

basically all that had happened in ME was really all a dream Shepard was having that the Asari initiated on her when they found her semi-unconcious body that had been blipped out of a Mass Relay and they were trying to determine off of her if her people (humans) were a threat to the galaxy or not... by her choosing 'life' (synthesis ending) which no one else does they decided that Humans were 'okay' and would later contact them... maybe...

Not-Liara taking this on a ride of shenanigans and 'what everyone else is doing' was so flippin' random i didn't have the heart to toss it... plus the mind crushing i was putting my Shep through was making me laugh too hard XD

so yea, the mysterious fifth ending, alien experimentation... somebody shoot me XD

and kinky potential Yuri still in the house... Aria you with me! 8D -nods with sunglasses-

so, comments, questions, opposing view, good reviews! :D

Till next -salute-waves- Sayounara, Mina!

-Ikasury