Author's Note: So, the Garrus/Shepard romance annoyed me slightly because it is a great set up but it wasn't as great as it could have been in ME2 (although, admittedly, it was pretty awesome in ME3). Pretty much since I played it the first time I've had a vague idea of how I thought it should have played out and when I wrote it down it evolved into this monster so enjoy!

EDIT FROM THE FUTURE: Man, I used to be the worst. I know I put this at the end of the sequel but I figured I'd put it here too. The Garrus/Shepard romance in ME2 is cringey and embarrassing but not bad. Just not how my headcanon Shep would have done things. But then, she's also autistic and socially anxious, so this is her story (and I have avoided using the 'a'-word up until now but, yeah, if you're re-reading and hadn't twigged on your first read, that's what's going on. This is all explained in the Chapter 1.5 comic on my Deviant Art page [I go by GohokeKitty], and, yes, I just actually typed those words... What am I doing with my time?).

Female Shepard: Paragon/Spacer/War Hero

Disclaimer: Bioware put in all of the hard work and created the awesome characters and the world, I'm just messing about with them.

Chapter 1

"Jane, are you okay?" Hannah Shepard asked as she approached her daughter.

"Yeah. Why wouldn't I be?" Jane didn't look up from the book she was reading. Hannah sighed silently as she read the cover: 'Advanced Mathematics Volume VII'.

"You haven't left the ship since we docked a week ago."

"Yes I did. I went shopping just after we arrived." She still didn't look up but, rather, took a pencil and jotted an equation down in her notebook.

"For two hours."

"I got everything I needed. There's no other reason for me to return." Jane left the textbook alone in favour of her notebook and omni-tool screen. At that, her mother put her foot down.

"Jane Shepard! Look at me when I talk to you. You're being rude." Jane shut down her omni-tool and looked at her mother a little sheepishly.


"Jane, I'm worried about you. It's not healthy for a fourteen year old to spend this much time cooped up on a starship. Why do you not want to go outside? You could be making friends right now instead of solving maths puzzles."

"I don't want to. Plus, it's not a 'math puzzle'." Hannah sighed as her daughter brought her knees up to her chest and pushed her glasses up her nose.

"Jane, whatever it is it isn't having fun and playing with friends. Are you really not going to tell me what's bothering you?" Jane shook her head before something clicked in her mind.

"You already know. You just wanted me to tell you."

"Yes, I had hoped that you would trust me. I saw footage that a local law enforcement officer was kind enough to send me. She wanted to know if I wanted to press charges."

"What did you tell her?"

"That I would talk to you. Now, would you kindly explain what happened?"

"She came up to me while I was reading and asked what book it was. I told her and she got angry."

"She got angry because you told her what book you were reading?"

"I think she was being sarcastic. She called me names."

"So what did you say?"

"Nothing. I got up to come back here and she pushed me. She knocked the book out of my hands and then punched me." Jane refused to cry as she retold the story. This was why she hadn't wanted to tell her mom, she would worry.

"Jane." Her mother groaned. "You could have blocked that punch easily. Why didn't you?"

"Most blocks would have hurt her and the ones that wouldn't, would only lead to an escalation. I let her hit me and she moved on. No harm done."

"Except to you." Jane shrugged as she fiddled with her ponytail. No matter how many times she explained it, no one understood her logic. "What am I going to do with you?" Her mother asked, shaking her head.

Jane didn't answer but instead returned to her notepad and the things that made sense.

Jane held her glasses in front of her as she leant on the railing of the balcony, overlooking the wards of the Citadel. The seventeen year old didn't really know what to do without them, they had been a part of her for as long as she could remember and now she didn't need them. She was half tempted to just remove the lenses and wear them anyway. She smiled; she had never been to the Citadel before. She was only here now because both of her parents had shore leave and it seemed as good a time as any to get her eyes fixed. And now here she was, unsure if she should cling to her old identity or use this as an excuse to create a new one. Her mother had talked about her getting a haircut, maybe she should.

She was still trying to decide what to do when she heard a scream coming from an alley behind her. Before she knew she what she was doing, she had ran towards the noise. Now she was facing a batarian and a human boy, both just a little older than her. Behind them was a young human girl who was maybe thirteen years old. She looked terrified and Jane worked hard to keep her own fear from her face.

"Hey!" She yelled, surprised at the strength of her voice. Every second she looked into the terrified eyes of the young girl, her anger flared brighter as it fuelled her need to protect her. That was when the batarian boy pulled a pistol from his side and her anger became soaked in fear. She hadn't thought that they might be armed. She could take two unarmed guys by herself but there was no way she could disarm the boy without getting shot.

"Back off!" Her translator converted the boy's words to Human Common but Jane's brain couldn't register them. Her thoughts were occupied by her need to save the young girl, no matter what. She ran through all of her options in her head and began to feel her stress level rise as one after the other resulted in a high probability of fatal injury to someone. Eventually her stress level peaked as her desperation grew and she found herself charging at the two boys, her body surrounded by blue flames. They were knocked out on impact, leaving Jane close to passing out but she couldn't. Not while the girl was still so afraid.

"Are you okay?" Jane somehow managed, trying to keep her voice calm and reassuring.

"Who are you? Are you an angel?" The girl asked and Jane just shook her head, smiling through her exhaustion.

"No. Just, thought I should help." With that she felt the remains of her strength leave her as a warm hand touched her shoulder and she passed out.

She awoke in what appeared to be a clinic, her head throbbing.

"Where am I? Where's the girl?" She groaned, trying to wake herself up faster.

"She's fine. You're in a clinic not far from where I found you." A flanging voice came from beside her. She turned to see a young looking turian (she had only talked to a few turians over the years and had never been any good at figuring out how old they were, but he seemed young) with silver plates and blue facial markings. He seemed... shy. So she tried to smile through her headache, hoping that the cultural difference wouldn't make her social awkwardness even worse.

"What happened?"

He looked a little nervous as he responded. "I don't really know that much. I heard a scream and, as I ran towards it, I saw you as you ran into the alley. I was still a while away so I got there just in time to see you biotic charge those two guys before talking to the young girl. Then you passed out and I carried you here and the nurse asked me to stick around."

Jane couldn't help but blush at the part about him carrying her as he looked away sheepishly. Her mind was spinning with everything that had happened so she said the first thing that came into her head and didn't sound stupid. "Thank you." She said in Turian Common. She didn't know much (most of it couldn't be pronounced without a second voice box) as she had never really been anywhere with a high number of turians. Her Asari was much better. He looked away awkwardly. "Shit, I said that wrong, didn't I? I haven't really had much practise-"

"No. It was perfect." He interrupted before she could ramble some more. She felt her blush deepen; she was really making an ass out of herself. "So, do you have a name?"

Jane frowned at that. If she told him her name, they would contact her parents and they would worry if they saw her like this. She would have to stall for time, at least until she looked less like death, she thought as she caught sight of herself on the reflective surface of the counter near her bed. "I'm not telling you my name."

"Why not?"

"You'll contact my parents. If they see me like this, they'll worry."

He gave what appeared to be the turian equivalent of a sigh as he folded his arms. "Fine. So, you're here with your parents? How old are you? I've never been good at human ages."

"Same. Well, I mean, turian ages, obviously. I'm seventeen. How old are you?" She babbled a bit, surprising herself. She was normally very articulate. She self consciously moved to push her glasses up her nose, only to remember that they were no longer there.

"Oh, I think these are yours." He passed her her old glasses, the lenses now cracked. Her five fingers brushed against his three as she took them from him and she felt a shiver down her spine as a faint blue light seemed to momentarily dance over her skin.

"Thanks. I guess I don't need them any more. That's why I was here, on the Citadel. To get my eyes fixed." She hated that word; 'fixed'. Too many people had applied it to her in too many harsh ways. "So, you didn't answer my question. How old are you?"


"So, you're in the military, then?" Jane spent a lot of her time on the extranet, trying to learn as much as she could. Other cultures always fascinated her, almost as much (if not more) than maths and tech did, so she knew that turians were sent off for military service at fifteen.

"Yeah. I'm on shore leave so I'm visiting my dad. He works at C-Sec. What about your parents?"

"They're both military. I'm gonna enlist myself in a few months."

"I guess being a biotic will help with that." She was caught off guard as she remembered how she ended up in the hospital.

"I... Was it really biotic energy?" She asked nervously as she fiddled with her ponytail.

"Yeah. I guess, I mean, it looks like you don't have an implant." He gestured to her neck and she brought her hand up to it.

"No. I didn't even know. I mean, I've lived on spaceships my whole life so it's not totally surprising that I might have had eezo exposure but..."

"I guess it would be weird to suddenly have new abilities out of nowhere and not know how to use them."

"Yeah, that about sums it up." She smiled and thought to herself that maybe this wouldn't be so bad. "Thanks for cheering me up. I guess since I won't tell you my name, you won't tell me yours?"

"Something like that." He smiled and she laughed a little, catching her reflection again. It didn't look so bad now so she figured it was time to tell her parents where she was. She stared at her reflection for a few moments before looking down at her glasses. Maybe she didn't need to completely reinvent herself. She figured anyone who'd risk herself for someone else didn't need reinventing. But, that didn't mean she couldn't leave some of herself behind. Hopefully, the more socially awkward parts of herself.

"Jane. My name's Jane." She said as the doctor walked into the room.

"Nice to meet you. I'm Garrus." They smiled at each other. "I guess I'd better get going. See you around Jane."

"Yeah, see you." Jane's smile remained as she used her omni-tool to send her parents a message telling them where she was.