I haven't finished this story yet but this is what I have so far, I'll run with it for now and see where it goes. It's less Mass Effect and more the story of Shepard, and hence Liara. Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for feedback (if I get any).

I'm going to start off on Mars, just because I didn't like the start of the game. There may be some lines from the game, maybe not.

Shepard staggered to her feet, the explosion still ringing in her ears as the Normandy shuttle landed.

"Normandy is on route Commander" Vega stepped out, shaking himself off and surveying the wreckage. He nodded once, as if pleased with his efforts and put his hands on his hips. Shepard grunted at him and turned around. Ash was helping Liara to her feet, supporting most of the Asari's weight as they moved toward the shuttle. Shepard frowned at that, unsure of when Liara had been injured. She went to speak, but was interrupted as the door to the crashed shuttle went flying past them in a hail of shrapnel and flames.

"What the fuck?" Vega yelled as doctor Eva climbed out of the wreckage, her burnt, prosthetic body moving with ease through the flames. A blue visor swiped across the mechanical eyes, making its face shimmer in an eerie blue glow that bought images of husks flashing into Shepard's mind. She pulled her pistol and ran forward, a strangled cry pulling from her throat as she watched Ashley shove Liara to the floor and step into the line of fire. The doctor looked on impassive as Ash pulled her own pistol and fired several rounds into her chest.

"Ash!" Shepard yelled, jumping over debris "Move!"

Doctor Eva dashed forward, her heavy metallic footsteps a macabre testament to her invulnerability. She swung her arm up and grasped Ashley by the helmet, lifting her from the ground with ease.

"Put her down!" Shepard walked forward, approaching the android, her steps measured but unwavering. The Doctor spoke something into her comm. piece but through the ringing in her head, Shepard couldn't make it out "I said put her down" threats were useless, but she hoped to buy some time, hoped that Eva would move so she could get a clear shot. She thought about going for a single headshot on the doctor, but that would have meant going through Ashley, and from where the lieutenant was suspended, Shepard didn't think it would have been a survivable wound "Now" Shepard roared, her voice loud even to her own dulled senses.

With a twitch of artificial lips the doctor swung ash round and drove her head straight into the bulkhead of the shuttle. Shepard didn't wait for an invitation and fired as soon as the doctor had begun to turn. The shots hit home, each round leaving a dull black burn ringed by burning plasma on the androids body, but she didn't relent.

Shepard grit her teeth and increased her rate of fire, her anger burning as a powerless sensation washed over her. Finally, the doctor let Ashley go, her body falling to the floor with a hollow thud.

"Fuck you" Shepard ground out as a blue, mechanical gaze focused on her and the doctor ran forwards. Shepard didn't flinch; instead she wrapped both hands around the grip of her pistol and aimed directly for the face of the android. Seven rounds later and the body stopped moving, its forward momentum stopped as a round bent her head back and a shock of electricity ripped across its surface. Doctor Eva's body collapsed into a twitching heap, her arms and legs jerking in violent spasms. Shepard stood there for a moment as a single bead of sweat trickled between her shoulder blades, her weapon focussed on the body, her breathing ragged.

"Ash" Shepard looked up at Liara's cry. The Asari was knelt next to the prone woman, her face creased in worry.

"Grab that heap of shit Vega" Shepard nodded to the doctor's body as she holstered her weapon and sprinted over to where Ash and Liara were.

"She's not moving" Liara looked at Shepard, her eyes pleading, laced with worry.

"We'll get her on the Normandy" Shepard grabbed Ash's arm and hoisted her dead weight up, positioning her across her shoulders and standing up with a grunt. Her knees protested at the weight but she waved Liara's help off, indicating for her to go ahead onto the Normandy. "Joker" Shepard pushed her finger to the transmitter on her helmet "Get anybody with some medical experience into the med bay now, Ash is down" There was a thick pregnant pause as static rippled through her helmet.

"Roger that Commander, will do" Joker's voice was terse.

Shepard mounted the gangway, each tormented footstep sending a pulse of pain through her head as she went over and over the event in her mind. Should she have just shot Ash? Would she be in a better condition if she had? The doors closed behind them and the decontamination and compression sequence started. Vega threw the body of the doctor onto the floor of the shuttle bay with an exaggerated movement, throwing in a solid kick in an expression of his anger. Shepard didn't say anything as she made her way to lift, she simply looked up and followed Liara's lead.

Shepard, still dressed in full hard suit and weaponry, stood leaning over the galaxy map. A data pad swung loosely in her fingertips as she cast her gaze along the flashing red spheres that marked Reaper hot spots. She had expected things to be bad, but not quite so rapid.
"Commander" Specialist Traynor appeared next to her "The galaxy map is currently updating, this information may not be one hundred percent accurate"

Shepard glanced across at the young woman and shifted slightly, resting her forearms on the bar "I'm not holding my breath that any of these hotspots are going to improve"

"I'm afraid you might be correct in that assumption" Traynor shifted as well, mimicking Shepard's position and allowing her hands to dangle freely. Shepard wasn't what Traynor had been expecting. She was shorter for one, and strangely more pensive. Everything she had read and seen about the famous Commander Shepard pointed towards a fiery, headstrong solider who took no nonsense and brokered no arguments. Yet in person Shepard was thoughtful, calm and ferociously intelligent. But there was strength there, under the surface, a solid core, like velvet over steel and despite the mission and everything that was happening on Earth, Traynor felt that the Normandy was the safest place in the galaxy.

"Shit" Shepard wiped her face and her hand came away bloody. They had just returned from Mars and the Commander hadn't stopped issuing orders and prepping the crew as they made their way to the Citadel. She hadn't even taken off her hard suit, or more importantly, treated her wounds.

"Are you alright Commander?" Traynor looked at Shepard, wincing at the livid slice that ran across the ridge of her eyebrow that was currently seeping a slow trail of crimson down her face.

"I'm fine" Shepard shrugged "How long until we reach Citadel space?"
"About three hours" Traynor murmured, looking away. Shepard's face was blood streaked and dirty but she was still stunning. Beneath the layer of grime Traynor could make out the hint of freckles that covered her cheeks and nose, and the piercing green eyes that revealed every emotion were disarmingly attractive.

"How about you Traynor?" Shepard asked, her voice quiet "Are you alright?"

"I'm fine Commander" Traynor tried to sound positive "So far anyway" she paused "I'm not entirely sure I'm ready for this though"

"Of course you are" Shepard replied "I have faith in you" the commanders roguish smile made Traynor blush and she looked away, embarrassed.
When the lift behind them pinged open, they both turned. Doctor T'soni strode out into the CIC, her face instantly creased with worry when she took in the blood streak on Shepard's face, but shifted into something unreadable as she glanced between the two of them.
Shepard turned and made her way toward the Asari, stopping when she was an arm's reach away.

"Doctor?" Her voice was solid but weary.

"I need you to sign off on this Shepard" Liara held out a data pad and waited for Shepard to read it.

"What is it?"

"Supplies, medical mostly, some weapons, food stuffs" Liara watched as Shepard pushed her thumb onto the authorisation panel. She looked tired and uneasy.

"Done, anything else?"

Liara took in the shadows beneath Shepard's expressive eyes and instinctively reached up, her fingertips wiping away some of the blood from the commanders cheek and lingering a little too long.


"Don't" Shepard held up her hands as a muscle bunched along the edge of her jaw "You're going to tell me we need to talk aren't you?"

"Maybe" Liara mused, letting her hand fall away.

Liara hadn't been surprise to see Shepard on Mars, somehow she had known that Hackett would send her, but she hadn't been prepared for how distant Shepard seemed. Her time on earth, incarcerated and out of all contact had been harder on her than Liara could have imagined. She'd managed to occupy herself with work and received updates on Shepard's trial and condition through Ashley, but she'd found the separation hard, and was finding Shepard's aloofness even more difficult to deal with.
"You should get that treated" Liara indicated the cut "It looks painful" Shepard was staring at her, her gaze so distant and hollow that it made Liara's heart ache. She'd lost weight since the last time they had seen each other, Liara could tell by the prominence of her cheek bones, and she looked wiser, aged by what she'd witnessed on Earth. But standing here, so close to the woman she loved, who she had lost once before, she found it hard to keep her composure. She wanted to touch Shepard, hold her and kiss her more than she could ever remember wanting anything. The urge, the need was scarifying and as intense as she had remembered it from the first time she had met her; it burned in her, infested her, ran brilliant and urgent in her blood.

"You're right" Shepard nodded slowly, watching a myriad of emotions cloud beautiful blue eyes "and we do need to talk" she set her mouth in a line, an expression that Liara knew was not neutral, but which she still couldn't fully interpret. It might have been annoyance, or merely acceptance. Still something in her chest seemed to release like a spring maybe she thought.

Liara nodded and gave Shepard a small smile before retreating back to the elevator. Shepard didn't take her eyes off the Asari until the elevator doors had closed.

"I take it you and Doctor T'soni are close?" Traynor pulled up alongside the Commander and smiled.

"We were once" Shepard nodded.

"Not anymore?"

"I'm not sure" Shepard sighed "I had convinced myself that it would be better for her if I kept my distance, that I could only cause her pain in this" she gave Traynor a self depreciating smile "but I don't know anymore"

"Commander" Traynor lay her hand on Shepard's shoulder "I think Doctor T'soni is a very lucky woman" she paused "And who knows what path this war is going to take"

"Thanks Traynor" Shepard looked at her "You'll fit in great, don't worry about it" she walked away "Oh and Traynor"


"When we get to the Citadel, get some down time, might be the last we get for a while"

"Will do Commander"