Pairing: Aria/Tevos + (FemShep/Liara)

Rating: MA+

Spoilers: Omega DLC. This takes place in between The Best Entertainment and Match Made In Purgatory.

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. . .

"Of course you saved the couch. Why am I even surprised?" Tevos said, running her hand along the plush leather. When Aria had offered to host her for two days at the newly reclaimed Omega station, she hadn't been able to resist. Under normal circumstances, a Councilor wouldn't be caught dead in the Terminus System, the only part of the galaxy that didn't recognize their authority. But the war against the Reapers made allies out of enemies. After Commander Shepard's report on the resources she had obtained from Omega, it hadn't been difficult to convince Sparatus and Valern that checking up on their tentative allies was a prudent decision instead of a reckless one. She had still deemed it necessary to bring a large force of security agents, but they were currently waiting outside of Afterlife, along with her attaché. Aria had arranged for a private viewing of the nightclub before it reopened.

Aria lounged against the comfortable cushions and crossed one leg over the other, her arm draped seductively over the top of the couch. She seemed content at first glance, but Tevos could see the energy roiling beneath the surface, the joy of a hard-won victory mixed with frustration. "Actually, that was Shepard's doing. Found it at the bottom of the water in pieces. I'm starting to think there's nothing that woman can't do. An elcor merchant repaired the damage for me."

"I see. And exactly how much did that cost you?"

"Not a damn credit. But I suppose I owe him a favor, and now that I've reclaimed my rightful place as ruler of Omega, favors from me are pretty valuable." Aria sank deeper into her beloved couch and closed her eyes even as her muscles tensed, aching to move, to strain against something. She needed a distraction – an outlet. She could remember the pounding bass of the club when it was filled with people, her people. Aria missed Afterlife's noise and the way it allowed her to drown out her thoughts. Hopefully, Tevos would help her celebrate her success and forget everything else that had happened along the way.

"So, why did you really ask me to come here, Aria? You could have sent a report to Commander Shepard documenting the resources you're contributing to the war. Sparatus and Valern think this is more of a diplomatic visit. They aren't aware that we have done business together before."

"You mean slept together before? Yeah. And since you're asking, that's why I invited you. Fucking is a lot more fun than diplomacy. And I've always wanted to have sex with a gorgeous woman on my couch. I thought you'd do."

Aria's eyes opened again, and Tevos nearly gasped at the desperation she read there. Perhaps she hadn't had time to savor her triumphs and release her frustrations with someone else while piecing Omega back together. Strangely, she was flattered that Aria had asked her. "I'm pleased to hear that you think I'm gorgeous, but I sincerely doubt I'm the first woman to indulge your... affection for this couch, Aria."

"The first one that's not a stripper, yeah. And besides, it's just been repaired. I need to break it back in."

"You mean I came all the way to Omega because you wanted to act out your juvenile fantasy on this couch? You must be on some kind of power trip."

Aria shrugged. "And?"

"And I suppose I knew this was coming all along," Tevos said, sliding towards Aria on the couch and closing the distance between them. She rested both of her hands above Aria's knee, leaning close and tilting her chin ever so slightly upwards, as if waiting for a kiss. "So?" she asked breathlessly, "what are you waiting for?"

Suddenly, Tevos found herself falling into Aria's lap, tugged by a sharp biotic pull. She barely managed to situate one knee over Aria's legs before her dress was being tugged up past her hips. "No underwear? That's a risk," Aria teased, running her hands up and down Tevos's thighs.

"But you approve."

"Definitely." Aria dipped her head and brought their mouths together in a firm kiss, gently swiping over Tevos's lips with the soft tip of her tongue, but moved to her chin before they parted to allow her access. She paused for a moment to nip the white stripe that bisected Tevos's lower lip, and then pressed another close-mouthed kiss to point of her chin. Tevos shivered and tilted her head slightly, allowing Aria to continue along the underside of her jaw and down her neck until she reached the hollow just above her collarbone. They had only been together three times before, if the entire fifteen hour period after their first encounter on Tevos's desk counted as one session, but Aria had already memorized her weak spots and seemed eager to exploit them.

Tevos gasped for breath, and her hips shifted against Aria's lap as the warm lips that had been tormenting her began working their way back up the column of her throat. Aria had been right. This was definitely more fun than whatever Sparatus and Valern had expected her to be doing on her visit. Soon, she forgot about them completely. Aria's bare shoulder was near her mouth, and she leaned forward and bit down to keep from whimpering.

"My little fantasy doesn't seem so juvenile now, does it?" Aria murmured, using one hand to grip Tevos's waist as the other slid between her legs. "Goddess, you're wet..."

"Your fault," Tevos panted as she began rocking against Aria's fingers. Even without the meld, Aria didn't need any guidance, but she couldn't seem to help herself.

Aria's mouth wandered back up along Tevos's jaw before finding her lips again, and this time, she remained there until she felt insistent hands plucking at her jacket. "Please, take it off?" Tevos murmured into the mostly-broken kiss.

Aria was more than happy to oblige her. She allowed Tevos to help her out of her jacket and begin unbuckling the straps of her corset with quick, eager hands. Meanwhile, she used her biotics to tear through the front of Tevos's dress with a satisfying rip.

"Really? Again? Do you have some kind of fetish for destroying my clothes?"

"I'll pay for it. This is your fault for wearing dresses." Casually, Aria slid her fingers past her lips to taste them, deciding that she should make the interruption to remove her jacket worthwhile.

"Can't you think of anything better to do with that hand?" Tevos asked, braceleting Aria's wrist with her fingers and trying to tug it back between her legs. Before she knew what was happening, Tevos felt her back hit the leather couch cushions, ignoring how it clung to her bare skin when she felt Aria's weight settle on top of her.

"Sure. How about this?" A purple flare of biotics forced Tevos's arms to stretch above her head, but it was Aria's hands that pinned them to the couch. Tevos struggled for a moment, just to test Aria's resolve, and found that she couldn't move. She wouldn't be able to get free without using her own biotics. Aria's fingers were still slightly warm and damp against her skin, but her grip was unyielding.


But Aria was beyond 'please'. She stared down at her captive with a hunger that was a little bit frightening, and Tevos felt her heart rate spike. Obviously, Aria was going to use her to work through a few issues. Tevos just hoped that she would be able to hang on for the ride.

Aria's hips fitted perfectly against hers, and Tevos hooked her knees around Aria's legs, running the bare soles of her feet along her calves. She shifted Tevos's wrists to a one-handed grip and dragged the other hand between their overheated bodies. Without any pause for adjustment, Aria slid two fingers past the tight ring of muscle at Tevos's entrance, biting down on a vulnerable shoulder as she felt her lover's inner walls clutch and clasp at her. She started moving right away, curling and then thrusting in order to make the soft, high-pitched cries she was coaxing out even louder.

When her thumb settled into place, Tevos's entire body jerked beneath her. The intensity of everything she was experiencing was almost too much, but she couldn't bring herself to ask Aria to slow down. She wasn't even sure if Aria would be able to slow down. Part of her was somewhere else, purging whichever unpleasant memories threatened to suffocate her. But Tevos had expected that in advance, and she was willing to be the outlet Aria needed, even if it was only for selfish reasons. Watching Aria lose her battle for control was intoxicating.

Tevos ached to wrap her arms around Aria's neck, to tease the smooth muscles of her back with the edges of her nails, but couldn't break Aria's grip. The reminder of her helplessness was too much. She needed the Meld. Afraid that Aria would deny her if she asked, Tevos reached out in silence. She brushed against Aria's mind, waiting for some sign of acceptance before pressing any deeper. Aria gave it by deepening the bite against Tevos's shoulder and lowering her mind's outer barriers. Words became unnecessary.

The outer layers of Aria's thoughts were all sex and pleasure. It was familiar territory. But beneath that was something, an unrelenting pressure, burning and throbbing below like some kind of infection. Tevos almost tasted bitterness in her mouth as she probed that piece of Aria's consciousness and –

A flood of emotions that were not her own. Triumph, frustration, sadness. Squeezing someone's throat, tightening her grip as she felt life beat and begin to die beneath her hands – then Shepard was there and...

Revenge. She hadn't gotten revenge. And until that moment, she had actually thought about kissing her. Partially to piss off Liara, who would surely find out about it, but still.

The crack-crack-crack of a turret, whistles and then loud, deep vibrations. The hum of biotics. Plumes of smoke.

A voice with many smooth layers. 'Actually, Aria, I'm target Alpha.'

Red walls. Red walls everywhere. She had torn one open with her bare hands.

That spark, that electric thrill of enthralling thousands. The pulse of the crowd, the shouts and cheers. 'People of Omega, I have returned! Cerberus believes they have beaten you. They believe they have you under control. They are gravely mistaken.'

A slender, almost ghostly face, turian, red-daubed with clan markings. 'I guess I wasn't the only one that didn't like your little speech, Aria.' The voice was the same.

Monsters. A room full of them. Blue or purple or dead, slick gray. The sounds they made were low and creaking.

And then a giant glowing dome, flickering with threads of biotic energy. Explosions, ashes. Death. She had been too late. Death didn't bother her, but failure was unacceptable.

Tevos gasped as though she had just broken past the water's surface. With great effort, she blocked the battering flood of images until they were a narrow trickle, muted feelings instead of pictures.

'I didn't mean for that to happen.' Aria's version of an apology.

'It's all right.'

When she felt Aria begin to retreat from her mind and close herself off, Tevos reached out again, reluctant to let her go. 'No. Try again.' Tevos searched the landscape of Aria's mind, sorting through the confusing swirl of her thoughts and replacing them with a memory of her own.

On the edge of a desk, not caring about the uncomfortable way it dug into the backs of her thighs. Sobbing her release against a naked, slick purple shoulder, her knees hooked around the most enticing pair of hips she had ever seen.

Aria latched onto the memory like a lifeline, losing herself in it.

A crash as the centerpiece in the kitchen table was swept aside by a pulse of purple.

'Are you really going to destroy my kitchen? I have a perfectly serviceable bed.'

'Can't wait that long. I need a flat surface. Unless you want to use the wall...' And they had used the wall, so the centerpiece was broken for nothing.

At some point, their bodies had picked up the abandoned rhythm. Tevos realized that her wrists weren't pinned anymore, and she gladly clutched at Aria's back, pulling her closer.

A soft, warm tongue working between her legs – probably the best she had ever experienced, although she would take pains to keep that a secret. Without conscious thought, her hands wandered down to grip the back of a smooth crest, and surprisingly, there were no objections.

It was enough. Both of them stiffened, somehow finding each other's lips as they shuddered together.

The aftershocks took over a minute to fade, and the meld took even longer. Both of their minds were pleasantly empty, and Tevos could tell that this was the first time Aria's thoughts had slowed down in several days.

Aria relaxed, letting out a content sigh. She didn't even care that the leather of the couch was sticking to her skin. Vaguely, she wondered if she should thank Tevos for what she had done. Her presence within the Meld had been reassuring. But like Nyreen often said, she wasn't big on thank you's...

The peaceful moment ended.

Tevos seemed to sense the shift in her mood. "Aria?" she asked, turning her name into an open-ended question. Her expression of concern was so sincere that Aria had to turn away. Aria's stomach dropped as she realized with brutal clarity that, if Tevos died, she would grieve.

Aria didn't go out of her way to kill people unless they crossed her, but she usually didn't care if they died, either. Death and loss had been a part of her life for so long that their effect was muted now. But there were a few exceptions, and sometimes Aria hated them. Liselle had been an exception. That was why Aria had gone to such great lengths to keep their connection a secret. Nyreen had been an exception. Her former lover's death had made her careless, and she had fallen right into Petrovsky's trap. Shepard was becoming something of an exception, much to Aria's annoyance. And Tevos...

Never again.

That was what she had promised herself centuries ago. Before Omega, before Liselle, before Petrovsky, before Nyreen, before Shepard and her seemingly impossible war against the Reapers. Everything she had ever cared about seemed to die or disappear. It would be so much easier not to care about anything. And she didn't. Usually.

And yet here she was, breaking her own rule again. Caring about something meant it could be used against you. Aria knew that from painful experience, but the lesson never seemed to stick properly.

So when Tevos asked the question in a soft voice, as if resigned to a refusal or a dismissal before the words were even out of her mouth, Aria paused. "Who was she? The turian I saw in the Meld?"

"Does it matter?" Ignoring her nakedness, Aria climbed off of the couch and stretched, deliberately turning her back. "She's dead now."

"It matters to you. That means it matters to me."

"Just because we're fucking doesn't give you the right to pry into my personal life." The words were an obvious dismissal, but the force behind them was weak, and Aria knew it. Tevos would keep pushing, and she would eventually give in, but she had to keep up appearances.

A few moments later, Aria felt the heat of naked flesh pressed against her back. She didn't pull away, but she didn't relax, either. "Aria..."

For a moment, Aria felt a twinge of guilt. At first, she had been exhilarated and energized. She had recaptured Omega and reclaimed her throne, literally. But then that energy had become poisoned with anger. Petrovsky was still alive, although in Alliance custody. Nyreen was dead. This was a far cry from the perfect victory that she had imagined. Now, she just felt empty.

"We were together, once, in our own strange way. But she couldn't handle how I lived my life." Aria hadn't meant to start talking about Nyreen at all. She had thought those wounds were long scarred over until the turian's reappearance a few days ago. Tevos's arms tightened briefly around her midsection, and she could feel warm breath against her shoulders. "My lovers – the ones that aren't just one night stands – never stay for long. The ones with a code of ethics leave. One day, you'll do the same. The others usually get themselves killed."

Tevos pulled away, refusing to encourage Aria's dark mood. "We never said this arrangement would last forever. Situations change. But I know what you do, Aria. I'm not going to run screaming into the night because of your illegal activities."

Aria felt her anger resurface, her biotics pulsing once around her fists before flickering out as she turned back to face Tevos. "What are you going to do when you see me murder someone? It's bound to happen sooner or later. Or when I sacrifice civilian lives for something I value more? If you can't handle that, leave now." She gestured at the large, empty club with a wave of her hand.

"Leaving Afterlife naked hardly seems appropriate."

"Damn it," Aria muttered, scanning the ground for her clothes. A hand circling her wrist prevented her from reaching for them.

"Don't. Stay."

And even though she knew it was a mistake, even though she knew she was falling into yet another mess that would only end in disappointment and regret, Aria allowed herself to be led back to the couch.

The End