This story was originally inspired by a prompt on the kink meme which basically asked for Garrus to realise the true extent of his feelings for Shepard during a quieter moment on a mission. It's only a short thing compared to my usual stuff – my nightmare of a dissertation is sapping most of my energy right now (and I'm two weeks behind in it. Argh!) – but I thought I'd post the fill here anyway since I did have fun writing it and all.

Just in case there's any confusion, this fic has nothing to do with the three stories I've written featuring Garrus and my canon Shep, Teagan.

As always, reviews are welcome and very much appreciated :)

Shepard barrelled straight into a group of five cannibals, taking out three of them in quick succession. From his position twenty metres further back, Garrus sniped the remaining two, leaving her free to immediately sprint towards yet another enemy while he continued to guard her magnificent six. They were performing their battle dance together so well that the other Alliance soldier she'd bought with her to Menae – James Vega she'd called him -was barely getting the opportunity to fire his assault rifle. And, damn, Garrus was enjoying fighting by her side. It'd been six long months since they'd last shared the battlefield, since they'd last shared a bed , but now they'd been reunited and, to reuse one of his favourite phrases, it was just like old times.

Within no more than a couple of minutes the last of the enemies was dead, allowing Shepard to turn to face him. She was still some distance away from his position, bloody and panting, but she looked right at him, knowing he could see her through his scope, and smiled in a way that revealed most of her white teeth. Adrenaline was already sweeping through Garrus' veins, but that gesture made his heart hammer noticeably harder underneath his plates. And the fact that she then strode towards him, leaving Vega behind her, did nothing to steady his pulse.

"Nice work, Garrus," she said when she was almost level with him, speaking in the teasing tone she'd taken to using on him during their time together on the Normandy SR2, which he liked to think was still reserved primarily for him. "I would say I probably picked off two or three more than you, but, hey, you still did a good job."

"Well, someone has to watch your six, the way you throw yourself into everything."

"You're one to talk, Garrus."


"You hardly hold back. Hell, the first time I left you alone for a while, you ended up fighting every single mercenary group on Omega. Now this time I go away for only six months and find you wandering about on a moon infested with Reapers."

"What can I say? Both times I was just trying to keep fighting the good fight like you."

"Still, I may have to bring you back onto the Normandy and keep you very close to me from now on. To make sure you stay safe."

His heart began to hammer obnoxiously again. "You sound like you're planning to handcuff us together, Shepard."

"Hmmm. There's an interesting idea…"

"It wouldn't be very practical though."

"Maybe not, but I do like the thought of you having to follow me around all day and…night."

She winked at him and he found himself laughing more heartily than he had done in six months. Sure there'd been plenty of banter amongst the turian recruits, a lot of it pretty rowdy and pretty damn funny, but somehow nothing had amused him as much as her last comment.

It was just so unbelievably good to see her again like this. Not simply because he loved her stupid jokes and fighting alongside her though, but also because…

Well…because he loved her.

Major revelations were supposed to hit a man hard, but this one, despite its magnitude, came upon him softly. It just seemed so…obvious in a way. Like he actually should have realised sooner exactly how much he'd begun to care for her. Perhaps when she'd been hauled off by the Alliance and he'd been left alone, unable to shake the feeling that he was walking around with one of his limbs missing. Or even before then, during one of the hundreds of sleepless minutes he'd spent on their nights together just watching her lie dreaming beside him.

"Uh, Garrus?" she said, one eyebrow slightly raised, and he became aware of the fact that he'd been staring at her. Just staring at her, unmoving and no longer laughing, for who knew how long.

He cleared his throat, though he had no real physical need to. "Yeah, Shepard?"

"You okay? The handcuff thing was a joke. You don't need to worry about me slapping a pair on you when you're not looking."

"Ha, yeah, I know. I'm fine. Really," he said quickly. "It's just…It's good to see you again, Shepard."

That comment contained only the merest shadow of what he was feeling, but then expressing his emotions fully in words had never been a particular skill of his. And, anyway, saying more might not be the greatest idea since she hadn't yet outright confirmed that she wanted to continue their relationship. The signs were positive thus far of course, with her flirting and teasing, but Garrus had learnt the hard way that it was better to be cautious rather than letting his hopes soar high only to be shot down.

"Likewise, Garrus," she murmured. "I hoped I might find you here, but I didn't think it was very likely since I figured you'd probably be fighting somewhere on Palaven itself. And yet here you are. In the flesh."

"Breathing and everything," he added.

"And just three feet away from me…"

Eyes trained on his, she started to advance towards him, but then seemed to think better of it and abruptly stopped, glancing towards where Vega was still standing rather than continuing forward.

"It really is so damn good to see you," she said. "But I think we better finish catching up later. James seems to be getting a tad impatient and we still have a new Primarch to find. We can pick this conversation up again once the mission's done and I have you back on the Normandy where you belong. I can show you round the shiny new main battery and we can talk about everything. About us."

"I'd like that." Another major understatement on his part.

"Good. Right now though, let's move out."

She yelled the last three words in her best Commander-voice so Vega could hear them too. However, she took the time to send a soft smile Garrus' way before beginning to stride with her head held high towards the next battle.

Obediently, he followed behind her like so many times before, freshly fuelled by his desire to have that talk with her as well as his hope that he would get the chance to show her just how much he cared.