When You're Strange

Chapter 1

"I want Saren as badly as you do Shepard, let me join you."

It'd started out so simply. He was just another ex-military, now C-Sec Officer, yet another turian in the glut of turians that were always on the Citadel. He'd shown some skill with a gun, sure; but probably no more than any other turian in C-Sec armor that could be seen strutting around the Presidium -or any of the wards- like they owned the place. Which they pretty much did. Pick any turian out of that orderly throng, and they probably could've made the shots he'd just made.

But there was something special about this one. When she looked him in the eyes, she saw a roguish determination there that she hadn't seen in any of the other deadened eyes of the turians patrolling the Citadel. His eagerness and obvious lack of patience for the red tape that the rest of his race seemed to love was almost endearing, in a strange way.

She rocked back on her hip and regarded him, giving him a thorough once-over, sizing him up. From everything she knew of his race, he was a very attractive example of a turian, with simple, but elegant blue colony markings. He was tall, obviously no older than his mid-twenties, and he had a long fringe, broad shoulders, a narrow waist, sturdy hips, and strong legs with prominent spurs. His light C-Sec armor didn't leave much to the imagination, and as she looked at him, she noted with a light smirk that his chest puffed up in a very turian display of pride.

She made up her mind then. 'He'll do nicely.'

"Alright Vakarian, welcome to the team."

His mandibles flared and fluttered a bit in an excited turian grin. "You won't regret this, Shepard."

She raised an eyebrow at his apparent cockiness, and suppressed a snort. She turned to the female human behind her, Chief Ashley Williams, who was currently wearing a decidedly uneasy look on her face, and shifting her weight from one foot to the other in obvious discomfort. "Got somethin' to say, Chief?" Shepard scrutinized her Gunnery Chief as she spoke, wondering why the woman seemed to have suddenly lost her air of quiet confidence.

Ash's eyes rose up to meet Shepard's for only a moment before lowering them again to some point directly behind her. "If it's all the same ma'am, I'd like to go back to the Normandy. Give you a chance to test out our new team member." Her gaze flicked to the new turian recruit, at the sight of which she shuddered very slightly, then back to the obviously fascinating spot behind Shepard as she finished speaking.

Taren Shepard wasn't stupid. If the Chief thought she was going to slip her prejudice against aliens under her nose without being noticed, she had another thing coming. But it could wait for now. There were far more pressing matters to attend to than one closed-minded crewman. She affected a nonchalant shrug. "Fine with me, Chief. I'll see you on-board." She promised, giving The Chief a pointed look. Ash met her gaze long enough to nod slightly and salute, promptly disappearing through the doors of the clinic.

Shepard gave a cursory glance to Vakarian and the human male, Kaidan Alenko, and gestured towards the door. "Shall we, then?" She hit the door trigger and exited the clinic without waiting for an answer, with the two males trailing closely behind her.

As they walked, Vakarian mentioned a male krogan named Wrex was currently being questioned by C-Sec in regards to his threats to kill a local crime lord, named Fist. Shepard blinked. "Well that's beyond perfect, let's go get him. If I can get him to join us, even better. A krogan on the team would be phenomenal." She said, her voice elevating in excitement. Kaidan raised an eyebrow, but didn't comment.

They managed to arrive in C-Sec fairly quickly, despite the infuriatingly slow elevators of the Citadel. The scene playing out before them was almost too much for Shepard to hold back her grin as she watched it unfold. A human C-Sec officer was standing toe-to-toe with an overly red krogan, telling him to stay away from Fist. But she could tell he didn't have the quads to really stand up to this krogan if things got ugly. His stance was too weak, and he was barely able to meet the krogan's eyes with his own. She supposed she understood it; krogans aren't exactly known for being the peaceful type.

The krogan, who she had to assume was Wrex, got right in the human's face with a superior sneer on his lips as he spoke. "You should warn Fist, I will kill him." He walked past the officer and ignored him as he half-heartedly dismissed the huge krogan. Wrex turned to give a once-over to Shepard, and as she met his gaze evenly, without a hint of fear, he stopped, a smirk on his face. "Enjoy the show, human?" He inquired, though he didn't appear to care that much, barely sparing Shepard a fraction of his attention as he looked around him, keeping his surroundings in view.

Now Shepard couldn't help but snort a bit. "Yes, I did. So, you're lookin' for Fist? So are we. Maybe we could help each other. We help you knock out his hired help, we get the info we want out of him, then you get the pleasure of killing him. It's a mutually beneficial arrangement. What do you say?" She crossed her arms and settled back on her right hip, her usual negotiating stance.

Wrex eyed her suspiciously. "Who are you? And what info do you need from Fist?" He asked, skepticism heavy on his voice.

Shepard lets a smug grin play across her face. "I'm Commander Taren Shepard, Alliance Navy, and Fist has information on the location of a certain person that has incriminating evidence that can get Saren Arterius' Spectre status revoked, and have him declared a traitor to the Council and the galaxy in general. So, is that a good enough reason for you, or are we done here?" She leaned forward just enough to look Wrex right in the eyes, issuing a clear challenge.

Wrex reeled back a bit, clearly surprised by Shepard's reason. He maintained eye contact though, and smirked in Shepard's face as he responded. "Good enough for me." He extended his hand for her to shake in a very human gesture. As she shook it firmly, he spoke again. "If you're done talking, let's go. I'm tired of waiting around. He's in Chora's Den."

Shepard nodded and moved to a transit hub terminal to hail a cab for them.

A/N: Short chapter, I know. I'm kinda just putting feelers out here. This is my first attempt at a Shakarian ship fic, so I want to do it justice, while keeping it interesting. I ship Shakarian hardcore, so I'm pretty nervous about it. Let me know what you guys think while I work on the next chapter.