A/N — this is the end of the ride for the P&P adaptation. I hope you enjoyed! Please, don't forget to tip your waitress! I'm toying with another couple of chapters to finish off, but effectively this story is ended. Thank you to everyone who posted reviews and feedback, I sincerely appreciated it and I know it made me write better!
Lizzie stood awkwardly at the front entrance to the Vakarian apartments. Solana Vakarian's face filled the vid screen after Lizzie indicated her presence.
"Hi, Solana. Sorry to disturb you…"
"Lizzie?" she sounded surprised, "Wait!"
Solana bent her head, typing rapidly, "Okay, you should be able to come in."
Lizzie touched her palm to the sensor and the door slid open. She warily stepped into the hallway, uncertainty in every line.
"Lizzie," Solana hurried toward her, "Is everything alright? I saw you leave the wedding early last night, and Garrus didn't make it home until dawn. I was so worried."
"I…I think so," Lizzie rubbed the back of her neck, "Is he home?"
"Oh, no, he came home, had a shower and went out again, I'm sorry," Solana reached out and grasped Lizzie's hands, "Lizzie, have you both…are you both…is there an understanding?"
"I don't know. I don't know what I'm doing," Lizzie shook her head.
Solana gave the turian version of a broad smile, "Oh, but that's why you want to talk to him, isn't it?" She bounded forward and embraced Lizzie. Lizzie awkwardly returned the gesture, "He is so in love with you, Lizzie. He has been for nearly a year. He's hopeless."
"What about Circe Alexis?"
Solana shook her head, "Once he fell for you, she wasn't even an option. Lady Alexis is fuming, but Garrus is relieved. Between you and I, Circe is a lot like her mother. Garrus would have been miserable."
"He might be miserable with me," Lizzie reddened, "I mean. I'm away a lot, I'm still an Alliance soldier."
Solana smiled, "He knows who you are, Lizzie. I don't think he wants you to change yourself."
Lizzie chewed on her lower lip and sighed, "Alright then. I had better find him."
"He might have gone to the Presidium. I think he was going to take care of some things for Kal'Reegar while he takes a few days off with Tali'zorah,"
"I will try there," Lizzie reached out to grasp Solana's hand, "Thank you."
Solana placed her forehead on Lizzie's, "He will make you happy, Lizzie."
Lizzie accessed the quarian Embassy with a pass of her ID. It was empty, everyone had been given a few days leave while Kal'Reegar was away. The only illumination was beside the couches, casting a golden light over the sprawled form of Garrus Vakarian. He slept, a datapad slipping from his grasp while his other hand resting on his belly and his long legs were stretched out before him, crossed at the ankles.
Lizzie approached hesitantly and leaned down to pick up the datapad before it crashed to the floor. She set it on the coffee table, and paused, uncertain now she was here. He looked so peaceful in repose, she didn't wish to disturb him, knowing his exhaustion stemmed from when he had sat watching over her while she had slept the previous evening after her meltdown. She rubbed her neck, staring at his chest. He looked so…solid. So safe. After a moment, she rose her eyes to his face and realised he was awake. Bright blue eyes looked at her with steady equanimity.
"Hey," he said softly.
"Hi," she couldn't think of anything more inventive.
"Are you alright?" he tilted his head in query, concern in his eyes.
"Yes. No…" she ran a hand through her hair, waves still in it from the evening before, "…I don't know."
"Indecisive," he curled his long legs back and levered himself up off the couch, "Lights. Twenty percent." The room lifted to a faint golden glow. He moved to stand before her, looking down thoughtfully.
"You left," Lizzie said the only thing that came into her head, her expression troubled.
Garrus lifted a brow, "I did not think you wished to wake up and see me there. I wasn't certain you wished the…complication."
Lizzie hesitated, and cursed herself for it, then held out her hand to him, palm up, her eyes on his own, "I discovered something curious."
Garrus took her hand and enfolded her fingers with his own, carefully, gently, "What was that?"
"I was disappointed,"
Garrus drew her hand to rest on his chest, she did not resist, "You were?"
"Yes," Lizzie nodded, "I am not good with words, not the way you are." She rubbed the back of her neck, nervous again, "But…I find myself thinking of you. Often."
She saw his mandibles flicker in a small smile, and the expression in his eyes changed to one of warmth.
"Elizabeth," Garrus reached up and with the back of a talon touched her cheek, "Nearly a year ago now, I expressed my feelings to you, and did it so badly. I was too proud, too foolish, not thinking that you could not feel the same. But if you have changed your mind, if you have reconsidered that maybe, just maybe, you could come to care for me, I can assure you that my feelings for you are unchanged."
Lizzie bit her lower lip and stared at his chest for a moment, she reached up and curved her fingers around the hand touching her face, and admitted softly, "I find that I have reconsidered."
With their clasped fingers he touched her chin and lifted her gaze to his own, "You care for me?"
"Deeply. Oh, so deeply," Lizzie murmured, her face reddening, but holding his searching look with a proud tilt of her head, "And I know it wont be an easy path we follow, but I'm willing to walk it with you."
Garrus dropped his forehead to hers, releasing her left hand to draw her into an embrace. Her eyes drifted closed, her hand lifting to lightly touch his mandibles for the first time. They stood like that for a long time before she opened her eyes, and tiptoed slightly to kiss him gently on his lips. It was not an unpleasant experience, she discovered, not unpleasant at all. He made a soft rumbling sound and gathered her closer; she lifted her arms to wrap around his neck, and deepened the kiss. He was careful of her, she discovered, conscious of sharp teeth and talons, and she felt safe, protected, loved. After a time, she broke the kiss, and pressed another against the hard plate of his brow, her hands cupping his face.
"Maybe we shouldn't be making out in the office of the quarian ambassador," Lizzie tried for levity, her eyes slumberous with desire.
Garrus did not release her, "I think he would approve." He ran taloned fingers through her hair, fascinated with the texture as it slipped and slid over his palm, "He has been calling me ten kinds of idiot these last months for not pursuing you."
Lizzie laughed softly.
"But I think in my heart, I knew I had to wait for you to decide," Garrus traced her jaw with a finger.
"I'm sorry I left it so long," she murmured, "My heart knew, but it took my head longer to decide."
"When did you know?"
"At first I thought it was when Lady Alexis came to see me. When she demanded my promise that I would never marry you. I realised then, that even if it could never be, I had no desire to make such a promise. But when I look back on it, it was when I read your letter, the one you wrote me after that awful day on Eden Prime. I realised I had woefully misjudged you. I was angry, so angry at first, but after a time, the anger found it's proper path, and it was replaced with the knowledge that I was starting to care what you thought of me. I had thought it too late then. When I saw you at the restaurant, I knew I couldn't deny it - I was falling for you. But then," Lizzie shook her head, "But then my head was still in my way. I convinced myself that you could not care for me. It was Lady Alexis who made me question that. I thought that if I were to go into the Verge, I would clear my head of you - but you were the one I thought about. I wanted to survive so badly to tell you that I cared," Lizzie traced his features with her fingertips and smiled then, and followed her finger with her lips again, "I care for you, Garrus Vakarian. Very much."
"You make me feel a worthier man," Garrus rumbled, his subharmonics vibrating with something low that swirled through her stomach, his hands slowly tracing the muscles of her back.
"I have to return to duty soon, and I want very much to make love with you before I go," Lizzie murmured against his lips, her fingers stroking the soft skin of his neck, "I sincerely hope you don't have an objection to that."
"I would be a fool if I did," with light pressure, as though they were dancing, he drew her backwards, lowering them to the couch, she astride his lap. And they indulged in a different kind of dance, one that left them both breathless and uncaring that there was probably a security recording.
Naked, Lizzie sprawled upon his chest, breathing hard. Garrus' fingers lightly ran up and down her spine, drawing shivers from her as she gained pleasure from the simple touch. Her head was pillowed on her hand, protecting her face from his hard plates, and she shifted slightly.
"I didn't hurt you?" Garrus queried, his voice rumbling with concern.
"Mmm mmm," Lizzie disagreed, not quite capable of speech yet, her eyes closing. She could feel his lips upon her head and actually sighed in contentment. She had to laugh at herself, really. She who had accused turians of being unpleasant to make love to. She had made a liar of herself. It was incredibly pleasant. She wriggled again and felt things shift beneath her. And satisfying.
Garrus rumbled a groan she had realised was one of pleasure, "Again?"
She tilted her head to kiss the skin of his throat. She found it to be curiously addictive, "Yes, please."
"A gentleman always endeavours to satisfy a lady's wishes," he murmured.
"You were brought up well," she kissed him and rocked her hips.
"I will have to remember to pass the compliment on to my parents," he splayed his hands on her back and assisted with her movements.
"Maybe not tell them about this," she gasped, resting her forehead on his.
"Maybe not," he agreed, with a soft chuckle.
And for the next many minutes they were rendered incapable of speech.
"Spirits, I love you, Elizabeth," Garrus murmured, as they lay wrapped in each other's arms in the half light of the office.
"I…." Lizzie cleared a suddenly very choked throat, "I…love you too."
Garrus made a rumbling sound of satisfaction.
Lizzie hummed softly as she poured herself coffee in Miranda's kitchen. She added milk and sugar and stared off into space, a small smile on her lips as she stirred the contents with a spoon. Miranda narrowed her eyes.
"You got laid!" she pointed a finger at Lizzie in an accusatory manner.
Lizzie took an innocent sip of her coffee, "Yes, yes I did."
"Garrus?" Miranda set her coffee down and moved to stand in front of Lizzie.
"How many other men do you know I am hopelessly in love with?"
Miranda let a slow wicked smile curve her lips, "How was it?"
"Best sex I have ever had," Lizzie drawled.
"Bitch," Miranda growled in mock annoyance.
"I know," Lizzie's returned smile was smugly satisfied.
"I'm so happy for you," Miranda caught Lizzie up in a fierce hug, "I have been so worried."
"I'm not…okay yet," Lizzie admitted, "But I will be. I need to return to duty, but…" she shrugged and smiled, "I'm hoping to be a little closer. I have requested a transfer to this sector so that I can work out of here more often and maybe see you, Tali and…" she blushed, "Garrus a little more often. It will mean dealing with mercs rather than batarian pirates, but I'm pretty sure they are much of a sameness."
"I can't tell you how happy I am to hear that," Miranda clutched Lizzie's hands.
"Yeah, me too. I'm…happy," Lizzie sounded surprised.
Miranda kissed her on the forehead, "You, my dear friend, deserve it."
Lizzie just smiled, thinking of a tall turian with intense blue eyes who had promised to wait for her.