Gideon Shepard wasn't afraid of Reapers, Collectors, Rachni, vorcha, batarians, or even thresher maws. He'd handled the geth and he'd stamped down Cerberus.

But right now, deep in the embrace of his ship, Gideon Shepard's stomach was doing flip-flops. His palms oozed sweat. He could detect the faintest breeze by the instant relief under his arms.

He put his hand against the lock and leaned fully against the door, letting his eyes flutter shut as he pressed his cheek to the metal. He licked dry lips. Inside, he could hear faint clunking and metallic noises—the calibrations that never ceased.

Okay, he thought, okay. You're Commander Shepard. You really can do this.

He engaged the lock. It clicked and hissed in what should have been a reassuring way—EDI had just run an audit of the Normandy's security, after all—but instead made him jump a step backwards.

It was a very mild, amused look the turian bent over the workbench gave him.

"Glad to see you finally decided it was safe to come in," Garrus said, lifting a small metal ring away from the disassembled sniper rifle and examining it in the light. "Really, I know the Indra hurts when she hits you, but on the operating table, she's a harmless little thing."

Shepard rubbed the back of his neck. "You could see me out there?"

Garrus rolled around on his heels and grinned. "You think I got to where I am fully intact by sleeping with both eyes closed? Please, Storm. I'm a turian mercenary running wild with a handful of rogue humans. Security isn't a luxury, it's a necessity."

The sound of his nickname rolling off Garrus's tongue made Shepard sweat. He arranged his face into a scowl. "I don't recall giving you permission to install anything on my ship."

Garrus's eyebrows rose. "What would be the point of that?"

"Respect for your commander?" Shepard folded his arms and tried to lean nonchalantly against the door.

The turian just smiled and turned back to his work. "Now, now. Don't go spoilingall my fun."

"I, uh…" Shepard's throat felt heavy and dry. "I was actually thinking… Fun. The Citadel's fun. We should go. There. Together."

Garru's shoulders shook with silent laughter. "Are you asking me out, Storm?"

The door chose that moment to attempt to reengage, bumping forward like an elevator door. It withdrew immediately, sensing the presence of a warm body, but it was just enough pressure to throw Shepard off-balance. He pitched forward, hands shooting out by instinct, and was expecting a face full of grimy Normandy floor.

Instead, strong turian arms caught him before he could hit the ground, one three-fingered hand on either shoulder. He gripped Garrus's wrists, pulling himself back to his feet quickly. "I'm good," he said, voice warbling the last syllable into two.

Garrus didn't let go, turning to close and lock the door but not releasing his hold. Shepard felt his hearbeat quicken, though he was trying with as much focus as he could muster to regulate his breathing. He felt his control slip as the blood rushed to his erection, which pushed painfully against the confines of his bodysuit.

The turian's breath tickled his ear: "Damn Federation armor. It's like an asari peep show: just enough of a preview to get you excited, but you're never quite satisfied with what you get to see."

Shepard drew in a shuddering breath. "Did you want to take care of that for me, Vakarian?"

At this, Garrus spun him around and pushed him up against the workbench. "For you, Shepard, I'd strip the teeth off a krogan. Personally, I'd rather strip you down."

Pressed between the turian and the bench, Shepard struggled for a deep breath. He grinned. "Subtle."

"I know." Garrus's hands sought the releases in the armor; every piece that fell away heightened Shepard's sense of urgency.

He, too, began to fumble with the latches. Goddamnit, why didn't I wear my casuals today?

Finally, his armor was off. He stood shivering a little in his bodysuit while Garrus took a step back and nodded, hands on hips. "Huh. Well. This is one peep show that didn't disappoint at the finale."

Shepard clawed at the back of his neck frantically—the itch there was terrible. "I, uh, think this would go a little easier if you—y'know."

"Undressed?" Garrus moved in to rest his hand on Shepard's shoulder, and even with his armor between them the gesture was intimate. "Come on. We've been brothers in arms for how long now? You can be frank with me."

"It's—"

"I need it," Garrus said, and pulled Shepard in for a kiss.

Turian lips are coarse but pliable. Shepard felt like his face was being caressed by a varren, but the electricity behind it overshadowed the strangeness that threatened to pull him out of the blissful clouds he was floating through. Finally, they broke away for breath, and Shepard gripped the rim of Garrus's torso armor. "Get out of this."

"Yes sir, commander sir." Garrus stepped back, a twinkle in his eyes. "Anything else while we're being frank?"

Courage, for Shepard, always felt like a hot wind rushing up through his stomach. He grinned. "Fuck me like you mean it."

"Atta boy," the turian said, pulling his torso piece over his head.

Shepard discreetly pushed the Indra rifle away, taking nuts and screws and metal bits with it. He could just sit in the cleared space and did, gripping the edge of the bench so tightly his knuckles went white.

"Awwww. Nervous?"

He looked up and bit his lip. Garrus hadn't stopped at the bodysuit; he was fully naked, standing in such a way that Shepard had to laugh. "Not when you're posing like a horny batarian."

Garrus tilted his head and brought his hand to his mouth. "Gasp," he said. "Your words, they sting."

"Lock the door." Shepard injected as much commander's force into the words as he could and appreciated the way Garrus snapped to attention and jumped to obey. When the lock was engaged—inside release only—the turian leaned back on the door.

"So who's in charge of this? Because I'm good at the games, and I'm good either way, but I have to know." He stroked the underside of his chin with one finger. "Wishy-washy doesn't keep me hard."

Finally. Shepard had been waiting for a cue, something that would really make this real and final, and now he let himself drop his gaze to the turian's sinuous blue cock. He couldn't hide his smirk. "Looks like it's working pretty well right now."

"Give me a break," Garrus said, throwing his hands up and advancing towards the workbench. "I've wanted you for a long time."

Shepard shrugged out of the jumpsuit as the turian made his slow way across the room. Their bare chests were just inches apart when he reached up and took Garrus's face between both hands. He had to wet his lips to get the words out.

"You're in charge, Vakarian. Make it count."

"Yes sir," the turian hissed. His hands went firmly on the top of Shepard's head and he pushed the human down, down, off the bench.

Shepard stifled a gasp as the cock brushed his face. It felt like it looked: sinuous, powerful, with tiny grooves along its entirety. He put his lips to it and closed his eyes. Garrus tasted like metal and sweat and some kind of spice he couldn't place. Slowly, he rasped his tongue up and down the length, which, he realized with a start, was considerable.

He pulled away and peered up at the turian, who was letting his breath hiss between his mandibles in a very satisfying way.

"How's this gonna—"

"We'll figure it out. Get back to work."

Shepard couldn't hide a doofy grin as he returned to his task. Grinning like a fool, he berated himself, but half-heartedly. He really had been waiting a long time to make a move.

He pressed down hard on Garrus's full length, gagging as the tip squirmed at the back of his throat. Pulling away, he licked the excess spit towards the top, then nibbled gently along the line of the ridges. Garrus growled softly. "Harder."

A thrill ran up Shepard's spine and he obeyed, pressing his teeth harder against the scales. He fell back to running his tongue along the length, swallowing the whole cock with a moan of his own. Faster and faster he pumped, reaching up to grasp the turian's ass to hold him closer.

Finally, with a whimper, Garrus pushed him away. "Enough," he said. "Or this'll be a lot shorter than you deserve."

He offered Shepard a hand. Shepard took it, his eyes locked on Garrus's as he slowly got to his feet. "Fuck," Shepard finally breathed, "I didn't realize what I was missing."

The turian ran an open-palmed hand down his torso and grinned. "Oh, I did."

A strange rush of desperation and desire swept over Shepard. He clamped a fist around the turian's cock. "Make it up to me?"

"Mmm, only because you ask so nice." With one finger, Garrus made it very clear what he wanted his commander to do.

Shepard shivered and turned as instructed, leaning over the table. "Get comfortable," Garrus said. "You might be there a while."

Gingerly, Shepard reached back and opened himself up to Garrus. The faint breeze from the electronics tickled, but it was easy to keep a straight face with the prospect of a turian about to enter him.

"Let's make this easy on you the first go-round."

Then there was a snaky, meandering tongue flicking at his asshole. Shepard gasped and threw his head back; he could barely get enough breath, it felt so good. In time with his motion, Garrus thrust his tongue harder against the hole, probing the sensitive skin, making lances of light and color shoot up in Shepard's vision. He clung to the workbench with both hands until there were flecks of wood or metal or something under his nails.

Then Garrus planted a slap on each cheek. "Right. Turn around so I can pound you."

Shepard rolled over, his eyes blurred so there seemed to be two of Garrus. "Turians don't play around, it seems."

"Not when we're serious about getting something we—want." On the last word, Garrus grabbed Shepard's ankles and heaved them into the air. "Now. Stay still. I'll be gentle."

Shepard bit his lip and closed his eyes. The three fingers brushed his face and he opened them again to see Garrus shaking his head. "Careful. Biting's a bad idea."

Shepard nodded wordlessly. The turian grinned. "Good boy."

He pressed. Just the tip, but enough that Shepard clenched up and moaned. Garrus stroked the inside of his thigh until he was able to focus on the turian's face again. "Shhhhh. Relax. It's much better if you relax."

"How would—you know?" Shepard said through gritted teeth.

Garrus just chuckled and licked one finger, rubbing the spit around the hole. He popped up on tiptoe and leaned over to plant a sloppy kiss on Shepard's forehead. "Like I said—turians are serious about getting what they want."

"I appreciate this trait." Shepard gripped Garrus's face in both hands again. "Make me cum, Archangel."

"Oooooh." Garrus's mandibles twitched with pleasure. "I could get used to that."

He licked his finger again and this time pushed a little further inside Shepard. He moved rhythmically, never so quickly that Shepard got close, but fast enough that the human was moaning and squirming.

"Let me in," the turian said, low and intense, and Shepard lifted his hips so Garrus could push himself in.

The ridges were gentle, leaving a tingling sensation that ran from Shepard's ass to his teeth every time Garrus withdrew slightly. They moved together without words, battle-hardened against battle-scarred, saying what they couldn't say about all those close calls, all those near-deaths, all those losses.

Shepard buried his face in Garrus's chest as they swayed, and after a while the turian wrapped him in both arms and held him close. He quickened his pace, deepening the creases in Shepard's forehead. Shepard fumbled for his own hard cock, but Garrus swatted his hand away.

"Allow me," he said, and dipped and twisted so that his tongue could caress Shepard's cock while he still moved inside the human.

Shepard cried out, shifting so the angle was easier on Garrus, and threw his head back. "C'mon, Vakarian!"

Garrus grunted his acknowledgment and pulled away from Shepard's cock with a satisfying pop. He took over with one hand, steadying himself on the table with the other while he thrust harder and harder. Shepard's moan became stilted by the motion; his hands could not find anywhere to be satisfied and groped at the rough skin he could reach.

Then, nothing: blinding, roaring nothing; and he could feel Garrus hitting nothing too. Garrus was a warm presence hovered over him; Garrus was the only solid, safe thing; Garrus was here and his.

They took their time recovering. Garrus eased himself out and then lay lightly across Shepard's chest. "Well, Storm, I'd say we did okay, first go-round," he said after a while, his thumb toying with the whorls of hair near Shepard's nipples.

For his part, Shepard was content to catch his breath and enjoy the tingling sensation in his legs. "Mmmm."

The lock started to engage.

The sound jolted them back into action, their battle-honed reflexes allowing them to be fully dressed, if a bit disheveled, by the time the voice on the other side of the door began her demands.

"Open up in there! Garrus, I know you have been avoiding calibrating my suit, but I have the sniffles and if I get sicker I will march up to the Shepard's quarters and I will—"

Garrus hit the release on the door and Shepard struck what he hoped was a casual pose. "Tali! Come down for some calibrations?"

"Shepard was down here—well, he was asking about some of the special features of my personal weapon—collection—" The turian suddenly found an itch to scratch that turned him away from the little quarian.

She folded her arms across her chest, looking much larger than she was. "Ohreally."

They exchanged a look. "Yup," Garrus said. Shepard cleared his throat.

"Just because I grew up surrounded by geth-obsessed scientists does not mean I am incapable of recognizing the mating sounds of organics." Tali managed to convey a deep frown; both males looked over her head at something far more interesting. "I suppose I should not be surprised."

"Surprised by what?" Garrus had rearranged his expression to one of mild amusement.

She stared them down for a beat longer, then threw up her arms. "Bah! Males. Why do I bother." Turning on her heel, she flounced out of the room.

Shepard opened his mouth, but Garrus reached over and pushed it shut. "She'll remember."

The touch calmed him, and Shepard gripped the three fingers with his five. "Thanks."

The turian inclined his head. "Any time."

They continued to gaze at each other until finally Garrus gently nudged Shepard off the desk. "I'll be here if you need me." He winked. "Can it wait for a bit? I'm in the middle of some calibrations."

"I'll calibrate your…" Shepard snapped his mouth shut. "You know what, I'll just…I'll just stop."

"Good boy," Garrus said with a faint smile, and the way he turned his shoulders to the workbench, Shepard knew it was time to leave.