Chapter 11

Long-ass A/N: Hey guys: I know it's been a LONG time since I updated this, so I'm sorry to those that have followed this little journey so far, I just haven't had the inspiration to do anything more with it in quite some time.

I'm going to try to pop out a chapter here and there to keep you guys happy though, cause I know you want more.

My future chapters may have a slightly different feel to them, as I've developed as a writer since I published those last ten chapters, and my style has changed a bit. I hope it's not too drastic of an alteration. Let me know.

Also, if it seems like they've fallen in love way too fast, it's because you didn't pay enough attention to what happened aside from the smut in the last chapter. Their minds melded together in the throws of passion and before, discovering that they are the last remnants of a race long dead. Javik is clinging to her as the last bastion of hope for his people to survive, and realizes that she is much more than just a primitive to him. She realizes that she was meant to be with him all along, that her very genetics have been programmed to welcome his embrace since her ancestors were able to walk upright. If you can't accept that they were destined to be together, and have finally found peace in each others' arms after having nothing but tragedy and death in their lives, then you've got some living to do. Go live, instead of critiquing this work and saying I've moved too fast, because I haven't. That's right, I grew a quad. Deal with it. :D

Love you guys, and thank you for reading.

Sean awoke to the sound of gentle breathing behind her, and she turned her head just enough to look at her sleeping mate, his face more peaceful than she'd ever seen it. She smiled sleepily at the sight, watching his eyes move beneath thick lids as he slept, obviously dreaming. She idly wondered what his dream was, and reached her hand behind her to lightly touch his face, seeking the answer.

Her eyes began to glow softly as her vision became unfocused, the reality before her shifting into a dream world.

A desert world comes into view slowly, though a haze of darkness lines the edges of her vision, milky wisps of blackness curling in and out of sight, and she slowly recognizes it as the indication of watching a dream.

She looks around, and spots Javik, standing on a cliff a bit ahead of her, gazing out over the sandy landscape. She reaches out to him, placing her hand on his shoulder, and he turns, surprise, then happiness registering on his face as he sees her. He smiles, the first time she has ever seen him do so, and she is overwhelmed by how beautiful he is in that single moment. He opens his mouth to speak, and his native language pours from his tongue like the rumbling of a waterfall. "Hello, my heart. I am pleasantly surprised to see you here. I have been alone in my dreams for a very long time. I am glad that is not the case anymore."

She smiles and moves her hand from his shoulder to his cheek, caressing it softly. She closes the distance between them and presses her lips to his gently, kissing him lovingly as she brings her other hand up to caress the other side of his face. She breaks the kiss to look at him, a small smile gracing her lips as she traces his face with her fingers, memorizing every line and valley with her touch. He closes his eyes as she explores his features, his hands coming up to rest on her hips.

She wraps her arms around his waist, letting her head rest on his chest, and she speaks in a whisper, "I have also been alone in my dreams for a long time, my heart. But fate has brought us together, and I won't let anything tear us apart. We'll never be alone again."

He opens his eyes as her voice quiets once more, and he looks out at the landscape with peace in his heart, and rests his chin on her head, heaving a great sigh as he finally lets his heart be free. He's waited so long for this moment, wishing it would come, but never daring to hope that it could actually be reality. He tilts his head down and kisses her hair, resting his cheek where his lips had been and wrapping his arms around her, pulling her to him tightly.

She smiles as she feels his lips press to her hair, and closes her eyes as she nuzzles under his chin, letting off her own happy sigh. They stand there for a few long moments in each others' arms, a peace they have never known enveloping them in its arms. They pull away from each other enough to look into each others' eyes, and they match forehead to crest gently, as the dream world slowly fades from view.

Her eyes focused once more in reality, she smiled at her mate as he began to stir into consciousness. His eyes slowly opened one by one, and he turned his face into her hand, kissing her palm, then leaned forward and nuzzled her cheek, leaving another tender kiss there. He tightened his arm around her waist, holding her to himself greedily, and she grinned as she let the feeling of being loved overwhelm her.

Many had wanted her, a few had even proclaimed their love to her, but none had ever made her feel as loved as this one prothean, lost in a time not his own, yet willing to share the time he had with her. Her, of all people; a broken woman with a past so full of death and destruction and loss that it was impossible to comprehend how lucky she felt that she had finally found someone that made her whole, who she could also make whole, and help them both to gain some measure of peace and happiness in each others' arms. Who was she to deserve such amazingly good fortune?

She could only believe that the Gods had finally answered her prayers, and given her what she needed the most: peace. The feeling made her want to weep with happiness and unadulterated joy, as she felt the shackles of her heart fall away, once and for all.

She turned over to face her mate and pressed her forehead to his crest, her hand cupping his face as she softly trailed her thumb over his cheek. She smiled and spoke to him gently in their shared language, "I love you, Javik; my mate, my heart, my all. You are the one thing in my life that has ever felt right, and I will never let you go."

He lifted his hand to her hair, stroking it calmly, comfortingly, and moved his head back to kiss her forehead, then her nose, then her lips; pouring all of his feelings into that kiss, a loving, patient, sweet kiss that left her feeling fulfilled and satisfied.

They held each other for a few moments longer, knowing that the day must begin soon, that as much as they wanted to simply lay here in each others' arms, they had to get up and face the day.

Sean reluctantly sat up, swinging her legs over the side of the cot and resting her elbows on her knees for a moment. She feet a single finger tracing the line of her spine gently, and she shuddered pleasantly as the touch sent a shiver down her spine. She smiled and twisted her torso to lean back and plant a chaste kiss on his lips.

He smiled at her, his eyes drinking her in like the sweetest of nectars, and he lifted a finger to her cheek before he spoke, this time in Common. "I love you." He said simply.

A grin spread across her face and she grasped his hand in hers, turning her face to kiss each of his three fingers in turn before resting his palm against her cheek. "I love you too." She replied softly, before giving him a reluctant smile and turning to stand and dress herself.

She quickly gathered her clothing from the floor and donned it, smoothing her hair back as best she could and heading towards the door. She paused before it, noticing the trigger was still red from when he'd locked it the previous night. She partially turned to him, raising an eyebrow at him, and he smirked at her, before bringing up his omni-tool and aiming it at the door, hitting a few buttons as he did so, and the trigger swiftly flashed from red to green as it unlocked.

She blew him a kiss as she palmed the trigger, and the door slid open for her. She walked brusquely towards the elevator, intending to go up to her cabin and take a much deserved hot shower, and grab a fresh change of clothes to start her day with. What she hadn't counted on was being interrupted in her trek by a presence that quickly stepped out of the shadows at her approach, blocking her path.

She looked up to see the face of her best friend, looking down at her with a mix of anger, confusion, concern, and betrayal on his face. As she got over her surprise at seeing him, then seeing him in such an agitated state, she looked closer and noticed he wasn't looking at her face, he was staring at the bite mark on her shoulder, laid unfortunately bare by the scant clothing she wore.

For a few moments, he didn't seem able to speak, and she saw him begin to tremble with what she believed to be anger. She then realized it wasn't the anger that made him shake, but the exertion he was putting forth to control the anger. When he finally managed to say something, his voice was as tight as his mandibles, clamped to his face severely with effort. "You tease me, lead me on, you try to mark me as yours, then throw it in my face, and immediately run off to the arms of the prothean, Sean? Why don't you just tell me how much you really hate me, because from where I'm standing, it sure looks like you've never hated anyone more than me right now."

Her face lit up with shock and indignation at his accusation. "Garrus, I have never thought of you as anything but a friend and a brother. You were the one that insisted on trying to be something more. My behavior yesterday was inexcusable, and I already apologized for it, if I'd known what I was actually doing I would've never done it." Her gaze flickered from his eyes to the bandage that was still on his shoulder.

"But for you to come flying in my face because I've finally found something that makes me happy just proves how bad of an idea it is for you to pursue me, because you obviously don't know me at all if you think I did it to spite you. I never once intentionally hurt you, nor would I, but right now you're hurting us both with your inane assumptions. I've never once hated you, and I never will, but so help me if you do not stand down right now, I will kick your ass until you do. I don't deserve this shit, and you know it!"

His breathing had become shallow and rapid as she'd spoken, the fire of anger building in his eyes to a fever pitch, and he had finally reached the end of his patience. "NO!" He roared, "I will not lose you again! I can't!" Sadness and desperation suddenly replaced his anger, and he fell to his knees in front of her, looking up at her like a drowning man that only she could rescue. He took her hands in his taloned fingers and began pleading with her, begging for a life raft.

"Please Sean, don't make me lose you all over again. I've loved you from the moment I saw you, I just never had the quads to admit it. I always hoped that one day you would just notice and happily fall into my arms if I was just patient and a good enough friend to you. I did everything I could think of to get you to notice me, I embarrassed the hell out of myself so many times just to get you to smile a little bit, because your smile made everything worth it. Please, Sean, don't just walk away from me. I love you."

She listened silently to his desperate cry, tears rolling down her face at the pure gravity of his love for her. She'd known for a long time that he loved her, but she'd never given into it, because she knew it would've been unfair to him, that she hadn't been a whole woman, and if she couldn't give herself to him like he truly deserved, she would be cheating him out of the one thing he wanted the most: her love. It had frustrated her to no end that she couldn't be for him what he wanted so desperately, but she just couldn't abuse his love like that. It would've made her more of a monster than she already was for refusing him.

"I-" She started, but faltered, not knowing what to say to him, wishing it could be any other person kneeling on the floor before her, begging for mercy like it was the last thread of life that they could hang onto. Anyone else but him, she could've easily brushed off, but he had been too good to her over the years, too faithful and true.

She decided the only way to solve this impossible situation was to tell him the truth.

"Garrus, I've always loved you, and yes, as more than a brother. But... All those years that you've stood by me and been amazing and stylish and wonderful... I was broken, and a monster. I couldn't give myself to you, because I wouldn't be able to live with the guilt of only giving you the broken mess that I was. I cannot tell you how truly sorry I am that I wasn't able to give you what you deserved more than anything in the galaxy, but I just couldn't cheat you like that. I wasn't a whole person, and it wouldn't have been right. You deserved far more than what I was." She knelt down and threw her arms around his neck, hugging him tightly.

"I'm so, so sorry that I couldn't be what you wanted me to be. I wish I could've. More than you know." She released him and stood slowly, placing her hand on his cheek in comfort and what little love she could offer him. "I love you, Garrus Vakarian. But I can't love you in the way you want me to. I can't tell you how much it hurts to admit that, but it's true. I only hope that in time, you can forgive me, and that I can forgive myself." She offered him a pained smile through her tears, and let her hand fall from his cheek, never to return.

She turned towards the elevator, and noticed out of the corner of her eye that Javik had come out of the cargo bay at some point during the whole episode, and was watching while leaning against the wall. She entered the elevator and pressed the button for her cabin. Just before the doors slid closed, he stepped into the car with her. As the doors slid closed behind him, he gently took her in his arms and tucked her head under his chin, stroking her hair comfortingly. She cried softly into his chest, amazed that he simply held her, didn't question, wasn't angry or jealous, he just held her.

As the elevator reached her cabin, he slowly took her hand and led her down the stairs, past the fish tank, to the couch next to her bed, and pulled her into his lap, cradling her there, until she cried herself out. He didn't say a word, just offered comfort and solace.

When she finally lifted her head from his shoulder, she couldn't cry any more tears. She'd tried. When the finally spoke, her voice was hoarse and shallow. "I'm sorry you had to see that. He's been entirely too good to me for the past five years, and I couldn't be what we both wanted me to be for him. It wasn't fair. It still isn't. I finally found someone I can be whole with, and he's still left out in the cold. It isn't right. He's been the most loyal person I've ever known, stuck with me through hell and back, even through me dying, for fuck's sake. How can you get more loyal than that? He never gave up on me, and I feel absolutely fucking awful for not being able to return the favor."

Javik sighed heavily as he finally spoke. "He will recover himself in time, my heart. He has been dealt a strong blow, but I have seen lesser souls recover from worse. He is too strong to let this beat him. Weep no more for him, added sorrow will not help him now."

She rested against his shoulder and dared to hope he was right for Garrus' sake. She wished she could have been more for him, but she knew such thoughts were fruitless, and would only harbor more pain and guilt in her heart. She draped her arms around Javik's shoulders and quietly held him as she nuzzled into his neck. "Thank you for putting up with me, I know it couldn't have been easy to be my harbor in this storm." She sighed. "I love you."

He held her snugly and kissed her cheek. "I love you too."

A/N: So wow. I didn't think I'd be able to get through writing that, but there it is. For all the Garrus fans out there: I'm sorry. I know it hurts like hell to see him hurt like this. As a Garrus fangirl myself, it hurts me too. ):

For this entire chapter, I listened to the ME3 soundtrack, the songs "I'm Proud of You", and "An End". They fit the mood of the chapter perfectly. A bit loving, a bit sad, hurtful, and comforting all at once.

I don't know when I'll be able to get the next chapter out, but I will say a tentative "soon".

I love you all. Thank you for reading.