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Mass Effect Kink Meme: PART VIII
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masseffectkink
MASS EFFECT KINK MEME
PART VIII


"We have no beginning. We have no end. We are infinite. Millions of years after your civilization has been eradicated and forgotten, the kink meme will endure."

THIS ENTRY IS NOW CLOSED TO NEW PROMPTS! HEAD ON OVER TO PART X!

Post your requests anonymously, and fill any prompts that catch your eye. We’re not picky around here; anything goes. Fanart or fanfic, het, femslash, slash, threesomes and moresomes, or just gen-fic; as long as it’s part of the Mass Effect universe, there’s a place for it here.

Rules:
  • All posts must be anonymous, be they prompts, fills, or comments.
  • Every new prompt should be a new post. Indexing’s impossible otherwise.
  • Pictures should be linked to, not inserted directly into the meme. Be nice to people with slow connections!
  • No flames! We like a friendly atmosphere. If something’s not to your taste, just ignore it. If you see someone else causing problems, message me – don’t feed the trolls!
  • No plagiarism. Didn’t think I’d have to point that out, but some people didn’t seem to get the message. If someone’s already written a story that fills a prompt, feel free to link to it, but don’t repost it and claim it as your own.
  • No underage content. Use some basic common sense for what applies here.
  • Give back to the community! Try and write something for every prompt you leave. If you don’t think you’re up to writing, at least leave feedback on stories you enjoyed. Nobody likes putting effort into a story and getting silence in return.
Hints:
  • The character limit per comment is 4300 – Break your story into 600-700 word chunks, and you shouldn’t have any problems.
  • When posting a story for an old prompt on this meme, please repost the original prompt here, then post the story as a reply to it - otherwise, everyone has to scroll past long stories to see the newest comments on a page!
  • Multiple fills are always welcome!
  • We run fill-a-thons every few weeks, during which new prompts aren’t allowed. If you post one by mistake, don’t worry – I repost them at the end of the week.
  • If your posts aren't showing up, try logging in and looking again for them - anonymous browsing sometimes causes problems for some reason.
  • It’s ‘Kaidan’, not ‘Kaiden’.

If there’s any problems or suggestions you wish to make, please PM me, and I will deal with the problem shortly. Or post them here:

Mass Effect Kink Meme: Questions and Suggestions Thread

OTHER LINKS:

MassKink, Part One / MassKink, Part Two / MassKink, Part Three / MassKink, Part Four / MassKink, Part Five / MassKink, Part Six / MassKink, Part Seven / MassKink, Part Eight / MassKink, Part Nine / MassKink, Part Ten

MassKink ME3, Part One / MassKink ME3, Part Two

Who Wrote What? Thread

Mass Effect Kink Meme: Off Topic Discussions
Mass Effect Kink Meme: Friending Meme
Mass Effect Kink Meme: Recommend a Fic
Mass Effect Kink Meme: People's Choice Awards / First Place Winners / Second Place Winners
Mass Effect Kink Meme: 2nd People's Choice Awards / First Place Winners / Second Place Winners

RESOURCES:

Mass Effect Livejournal Community
Mass Effect Challenge
Mass Effect Wiki

Mass Effect Livejournal Community
Mass Effect Challenge

AFFILIATES:

Old School Bioware Kink Meme
Dragon Age Kink Meme
Fallout Kink Meme
LA Noire Kink Meme
Deus Ex Kink Meme
Elder Scrolls/Skyrim Kink Meme
World of Warcraft Kink Meme

INDEX:

Mass Effect Kink Meme @ delicious

story archive / request archive

older stories archive / older request archive

diigo archive

Fill: FemShep & Garrus "New Game" (1/?)

(Anonymous)

2012-04-26 05:01 am (UTC)

may be a space bff fic, or possibly FemShep/Garrus, we will see!

Fill for this prompt, which I read ages ago, and out of nowhere it has grabbed ahold of my brain and will not let go.
http://masseffectkink.livejournal.com/2320.html?thread=4294160#t4294160

NEW GAME

Horizon

"It's focusing on me," Shepard shouted, jamming a fresh heat sink into her SMG. "I'm going to run. Keeping shooting and stay out of its range."

"Understood," came Garrus's clipped reply. Massani drawled something rude-sounding but the crackle of the Praetorian's lasers sliced his words out of the air. Shepard hit the ground and rolled as her crate disintegrated.

The creature hummed above her head, legs twitching weightlessly, eyes flickering with electrical discharge. "Sniper rifles. Open fire," she yelled, and took off running.

Her boys, bless them, did their duty. She ducked behind a shipping container, panting, but the penetrating hum and the smell of burning grass caught up to her almost instantly. She swore and pushed off towards another container, the lasers hissing at her heels.

"Get out of there, Shepard," Garrus growled over the comm. "It's right on top of you."

"Trying," she snapped, scrambling for new cover.

Massani's low, unconcerned chuckle in her ear. "C'mon, Shepard. Can't you move those pretty legs any faster?"

She didn’t bother dignifying him with a response, instead popped her head out to survey the field. Garrus's scope glinted from behind a crate off to her right. The crack of a high-caliber rifle echoed over the field, and a chip of plating fell away from the creature's armored forehead. It didn't seem to even notice; it just kept floating towards her, its blue-white lasers slicing fruitlessly over the empty earth, burning a path for it to follow.

She ducked back, peeked around the other side. She spotted a sliver of Massani's yellow armor sticking out from behind a crate on the far side of the field. Fragile cover, but as long as the monster kept targeting her, maybe it wouldn't matter.

Garrus’s scope flashed again in her peripheral vision. He’d picked himself a well-shielded spot in the corner of the field, not far ahead from her. He was tucked on top of a raised platform, in a gap between stacked shipping containers. Hard for bullets or lasers to get into, but even harder for him to get out of. If she kept running and weaving she'd just bring the monster right on top of him, and he'd be fried to death inside his sniper's nest.

She should have kept a better eye on them. Massani could handle a little fire, but Garrus--

The monster's hum grew louder, vibrating inside her clenched teeth.

Fuck. Well, maybe she could handle a little fire, too.

If her Cerberus upgrades actually got them all out of this alive, she’d buy Lawson a very expensive drink. She holstered her gun, drew a deep breath, and took off running back the way she had came. Directly into the path of the Praetorian.

"Shepard!" Garrus yelped into her comm, at the same time Zaeed shouted "The hell are you thinking, you daft bitch?"

Lightning crackled around the creature's glowing eyes. She counted down the seconds as it swelled up-- was it inhaling? Its mouth opened, a searing white. It was full of glowing husk skulls. She shook her head at the oddity. Fucking Collectors. The twin lasers touched down, fizzed against her shields. It felt odd, a little ticklish, like pulling off a staticky sweater.

Her feet pounded against the earth. Her shields flickered and collapsed just as she ran underneath the monster's hovering body, ducking in between its segmented legs.

It couldn't shoot her through its own body, but it hummed and thrashed all around her. She didn't want to stick around to see whether those knife-edged limbs were just for show. Dimly, she heard Garrus's voice hissing something vile and untranslatable in her ear. Another rifle crack, then another. The Praetorian ignored them. The massive body slowly spun in place, sniffing her out. Static fizzed in the air.

There was a decent-sized container a bit ahead and to her left. She sprinted towards it without a second thought.

Mistake. The Praetorian fired at her immediately.

Re: Fill: FemShep & Garrus "New Game" (1.5/?)

(Anonymous)

2012-04-26 05:05 am (UTC)

The smell of burning plastic drifted up through her helmet. Her back felt hot. Really, really hot.

She'd miscalculated. The container was right there-- but the thing was too close for her to stop, it was right behind her, she could feel it humming in her bones, the crackle of lightning as it charged up for another burst.

"Shepard!" Garrus's anguished voice.

"Idiot," barked Massani.

Her back seared. Massani was right, she was a daft bitch and an idiot, and now she was going to die an idiot's death. She felt her flesh bursting and bubbling, splitting open like rotten fruit.

Her breath stuttered out as her lungs depressurized. Horizon's grassy fields and purple skies fragmented into sparkling blackness. It was pretty. Like stars falling. She tried to lift up her hand to touch one, but her arm-- her arm wouldn't--

Re: Fill: FemShep & Garrus "New Game" (2/?)

(Anonymous)

2012-04-26 05:11 am (UTC)

RESUME

If I have to tear you apart, Shepard, I will.

"Just. Fuck. Off.” She hurled a vicious, desperate Warp into the collector's fiery eyes. Its flesh shredded and flaked into ash. Garrus chuckled behind her.

She shot him an annoyed look, which he ignored. He crouched, sighted, then popped a drone's skull open in one smooth movement.

Nice, she thought. "Something funny, Vakarian?" was what came out of her mouth instead.

"You're in rare form today," he said as he reloaded. "Usually you have to shoot them up a bit first."

"Yeah, well, I'm up to here with this stupid colony," Shepard growled, tracing an imaginary line just below her eyebrows. "And the glowy fucker who loves the sound of his own voice."

"Hmm," Garrus said, and executed another drone. She frowned and turned away, unloading a clip into some upstart who'd been sneaking up to plasma rifle Massani.

She was tense. It was weird. Even when she was in the shit, she never felt-- whatever she was feeling right now. Not nervous, but--

Massani splattered the last one with a quick burst of assault fire, then stood and stretched out the kinks in his back.

The sudden silence and empty battlefield settled over her like a great itchy blanket. Her teammates scanned the perimeter through their scopes, looking for stragglers.

Shepard fidgeted with her armor, poked around listlessly for fresh heat sinks.

"Don't get cocky and wander off, Shepard," Massani drawled. "Bet there's more coming."

"I bet you’re right," muttered Shepard, eyes trained overhead, her teeth clenched, just waiting for the thing to drop in on them.

She was already on the move by the time the two men saw the Praetorian. "Scatter! Stay out of range!"

"Fucking christ," said Massani, running for cover.

I'm getting you this time, you four-eyed motherfucker, she thought, glaring up at the glowing monstrosity.

"What the hell is that thing?" she heard Garrus say, in tones of horrified wonder, and felt her stomach do a sharp twist.

Wait-- how did he not know?

If he didn't know-- how did she know?

"Let's kill it first, then we can form a committee to investigate," she heard herself retort.

Garrus clicked his jaw at her in what she had come to recognize as a Turian noise of exasperation. (He clicked his jaw at her a lot.)

Had she said that to him last time? She couldn't remember.

Wait-- wait. What the hell, "last time"? They'd never fought any Collectors before coming to Horizon. Something was messed up. Her brain was screwing with her.

Shepard shook her head violently. Fixing her screwed-up brain was a Lawson problem. Killing monsters, on the other hand, was a Shepard problem. She reached back for her scavenged Collector rifle.

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Re: Fill: FemShep & Garrus "New Game" (8/?)

(Anonymous)

2012-05-03 06:02 am (UTC)

Alert: a fair amount of D: in this chapter

SQUAD

Minagen X-3 was a lot less fun on the comedown. Shepard felt like someone had taken a branding iron to the back of her skull. Her sinuses were sandblasted raw.

But she wasn't the savior of the galaxy for nothing. She pushed the pain aside, shook out her arms. Counted off a beat. Then she leaned out and detonated her own Throw in a tricky one-two biotic punch.

A satisfying number of merc heads exploded in unison.

"Nice one," murmured Miranda.

Shepard grinned. Coming from her characteristically reserved squadmate, that was the equivalent of roughly one million high fives.

She still didn't know how the hell she'd pulled it off with Miranda, but felt good to have this small win under her belt. For all her lack of interpersonal graces, the woman was a ruthless and formidably effective officer. Shepard actually kind of liked her, in a weird way. She had a weakness for stick-up-the-ass types. They were so wonderfully easy to annoy.

The crack of a rifle interrupted her thoughts. Krios's bullet punctured the skull of an Eclipse engineer lurking behind a crate.

"All have gone to the sea," he whispered, and slipped the spent heat sink out into his waiting palm. The jade green of his fingers flashed against the black metal.

God, it was a pleasure to watch him work. Shepard tried not to leer.

She needed to sit back and cool her heels for a while anyway, keep the daredevil madness on a tighter leash. Partly out of respect for Miranda-- she'd tortured her enough today already-- but mostly out of guilty awareness that her dramatic speech from before had been about eighty-five percent bullshit.

Fulfilling the mission, protecting civilians, keeping her teammates alive and unharmed. Those were all absolutely paramount. She had been utterly sincere about that.

But when she'd stood in the center of the swirling red dust, breathing in deep, it hadn't been part of some genius plan to keep her squad out of the line of fire. She'd just wanted to have some fun, and didn't give a fuck if it killed her.

It would have had absolutely no effect on the mission, after all. She had a free pass to screw around. All it cost her was her life.

Avoidant behavior? Yes. There was a lot to avoid. Cerberus. The Collectors. The Reapers. The Alliance.

Furious and defiant Staff Commander Kaidan Alenko. Icy and distant information broker Liara T'soni.

And now, she remembered with a sickening lurch in her heart, she had one more to add to the list. Garrus Vakarian. The confrontation with Miranda had distracted her so much she'd almost forgotten how it started. Goddamnit.

How dare he go behind her back to Cerberus?

Concerned about your behavior. You're jeopardizing the mission. Yes, okay, fine. It wasn't unreasonable if he thought she might be dangerously crazy. She felt crazy, and she wasn't doing a great job at keeping a lid on it. But he should have talked to her. Not snuck around her back to pour poison in the ear of Operative fucking Lawson, Cerberus loyalist.

Accusations of instability were very, very serious. Shepard could have been relieved of command. Confined to quarters. Forcibly medicated.

How could he do this to her?

When she lay wide awake at night in her too-big bed staring out into the blackness of space, surrounded by spy cameras, dependent on the good graces of a Cerberus A.I. to keep her room supplied with oxygen, it was him she thought about to keep the demons at bay. Her best and last friend. His warm, steady presence down in the battery radiated safety through the entire ship. And now--

Now--

Enemies everywhere.

She took a deep, rattling breath. She had to stay alive this time. She couldn't risk doing it over again and losing this fragile truce with Miranda. It was barely more than a whisper. It was the only meaningful alliance she had left.

She had to stay alive to protect her mind. She had to be absolutely certain she would remember his betrayal, and repay it a thousandfold.

Re: Fill: FemShep & Garrus "New Game" (8.25/?)

(Anonymous)

2012-05-03 06:10 am (UTC)

---

Absorbed in increasingly gruesome thoughts, Shepard stepped through a side door and nearly tripped over a young, frightened-looking Asari in Eclipse armor.

"Fucking christ," Shepard swore, yanking at her gun.

"I'm not one of them!" the Asari yelped.

"Really?" Miranda trained her pistol on the Asari's forehead. "Your armor says otherwise."

"I haven't even fired my gun yet, I'm not like them, I--"

Shepard put her hand to her head. For fuck's sake. She didn't have any spare brainpower to care about this. "Get out. Now."

"What? I mean-- yes, ma'am. Thank you!" She scrambled past them and out the door.

"You showed her mercy," Krios murmured, surprised.

Miranda radiated distaste. "She's Eclipse. She didn't deserve it."

"It wasn't mercy. I don't have time to sit around and figure out who deserves what," Shepard said flatly. "If people shoot at me, they die. If they're not shooting at me, then they're not my problem. Move out."

They continued their slow, methodical sweep through the Eclipse hideout. Krios watched her, his black eyes unreadable.

Shepard frowned at him. "What?"

"You're asleep," he said.

"What?" she said again. Had her translator glitched?

"Asleep. Disconnected." He made an abstract gesture with his hands. "Drell philosophers believe that the mind and body are independent entities. The mind is the judge that weighs evidence, decides the moral course of action, determines the innocent and guilty. The body acts."

"Acts how? According to what?"

"Instinct. Impulse."

She raised an eyebrow. This had better not be his elaborately polite way of calling her an idiot.

"If the mind and body are connected, they work together, each informing the other. If not..." He brushed his fingers over the top of his rifle. "If the mind is asleep, the body wakes and does what it knows best. A body trained in combat follows its training."

"Why do you think I'm disconnected?"

"…I couldn't speculate as to what caused it," he said, looking at her carefully. "But I know the signs very well. My mind has been disconnected for a long time."

Miranda made a skeptical noise, but refrained from further comment.

Shepard called a halt to hack into a bank terminal. Time to relieve Eclipse of some of their unwanted credits. Krios stood guard at her back.

"In many ways, it is easier to sleep," he murmured over his shoulder. "Your body becomes a weapon. A loaded gun to be aimed and fired."

Her fingers flickered over the haptic keyboard, nailing segments of code into place. "...I think I like that philosophy."

"It is relevant to my calling," he said. "And perhaps to yours."

"Aim and fire, huh?" She frowned down at her hands. "It'd be nice if that was all I had to think about."

"Undoubtedly true."

The terminal beeped. Six thousand credits for thirty seconds of work. Not bad.

She closed out the account, wiped all traces of her presence. "Do you suppose that’s why the Justicars have their code," she wondered absently. "So they don't have to think?"

"Hmm," he said, and he sounded so much like Garrus for an instant that she stiffened with rage.

Keep it together. She had to stay alive so she would remember what he'd done. So she could come back and find him and then rip him apart for leaving her.

Later, they found the voicelog. The little Asari gloated about popping the Volus open like a grape.

Miranda arched an I-told-you-so eyebrow. Shepard ignored her, and transferred a copy of the recording to her omnitool. The Asari hadn't shot at her. She had more important things to do.

She had to stay alive.

So then, of course, they walked right into a gunship.

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Re: Fill: FemShep & Garrus "New Game" (11/?)

(Anonymous)

2012-05-19 06:09 am (UTC)

dear fantastic Anons whom I love: thank you very, very much for reading! Here is another chapter. I hope that it is not overstuffed, and that you like it.

PAUSE

She slept like the living dead.

"Shepard," EDI's cool, synthetic voice murmured. "Shepard. Wake up."

"Wha--" She almost slapped herself in the face as she tried to simultaneously grab her sidearm and hurl herself out of bed. "Jesus. What is it?"

"There is a situation that requires your attention."

Shepard stilled. Cerberus betrayal. Collector attack. Alliance subpoena. Garrus. "...Specify."

Joker's voice crackled over the ship's intercom. "A sexy situation. Or terrifying, depending on your perspective. Jack and Miranda are having a little chat in the XO's office. You may want to get down there before they kill each other."

Shepard let out her breath. "Wonderful," she mumbled, and began yanking on her clothes.

"The perks of command," Joker said cheerfully. "...Hey, question. Could biotic powers actually do serious damage to the ship? 'Cause I like my Normandy the way she is. You know. Intact."

She wiggled her feet into her boots, ran a hand ineffectually through her wild hair. "I recommend you review some of the old footage from Solcrum and Virmire. Namely, the parts where Liara and I used our mind powers to crush a Geth Colossus into a tiny pile of scrap."

"Yikes. Um, Commander, in that case, can you hurry?"

"Yeah, yikes," she affirmed. "I'm hurrying. Consider this the next time you feel like sassing your undead commanding officer about her mental health: you'd be a lot easier to crush than a Colossus."

"You're in a delightful mood this morning," he muttered. "Don't gotta take it out on me."

"Perks of command." She punched the call button for the elevator.

---

"I expect better from both of you," Shepard said wearily, rubbing at her eyes. "Jack, is there anything Miranda could say that would actually make you feel any better about what they did to you? You were spoiling for a fight and you know it. If you need to beat something up, come to me. I'll point you in the right direction."

She turned to face the Cerberus officer. "And Miranda, what were you thinking, baiting her like that? You're the damn XO on this ship. So keep a cool head, and act like it."

Both women folded their arms, shifted their gaze away. Jack looked sullen. Miranda looked like an icicle.

"Listen. I don't expect you to shake hands and make friends. I do expect you to stay sharp, stay focused, and kick fucking ass. You're here because you're the best, and that's what it's going to take to win."

Shepard stood directly in front of them, her back straight, her legs locked, her expression fierce. Perfect drill sergeant.

"If you don't think you can go out there and stand side by side and kill the shit out of the Collectors, you need to get your heads on straight right fucking now, because those colonists are out there suffering while you waste everyone's time with this. We are a team. We have each others' backs. Put this aside. Are we clear?"

"Yes, Commander," said Miranda.

Shepard nodded at her. "Good."

Silence. She raised an eyebrow at Jack.

"...Crystal," muttered Jack.

"Then it's settled. This doesn't happen again. Miranda," she said with an acknowledging nod, and gestured Jack out the doors ahead of her.

In the hallway, the little biotic fidgeted, jammed her hands into her pockets. "Hey, uh."

"Yeah?" Shepard said warily. Were they going to have a problem?

"I never talked to you after the whole deal with Teltin." Jack glanced up at her. "So... thanks."

Shepard fought to keep the astonishment off her face. "You're welcome, Jack. Did it help?"

Jack pursed her lips. "You know, I thought after what I heard about Aeia and Illium that I'd get to see you pull some badass shit down there." She cocked her head to the side. "But all I got was a girl scout speech."

Shepard gave her a flat look. "It takes more than a few Krogan to get me excited. Next time, tell your friends to bring a gunship."

Jack snorted. "Yeah right." She rubbed a hand over her head, glanced away. "But... yeah, it helped. Girl scout speech and all. See you around, Shepard."

Re: Fill: FemShep & Garrus "New Game" (11.0625/?)

(Anonymous)

2012-05-19 06:24 am (UTC)

She slouched off to the elevator. Shepard watched her go, bemused.

The mess was deserted. Everyone on morning shift had long since cleared out, and Gardner was presumably off cleaning a toilet or fixing a busted pipe somewhere. She banged around in the cabinets, searching for caffeine. Found a box of expensive-looking tea, undoubtedly from a crew member's own personal supply. Sure. Why not.

"Joker," she called out at the ceiling. "How long until we reach the Citadel?"

"Three hours and change, Commander. Plenty of time to solve everyone else's problems."

Maybe. If she was really efficient about it. She made a second cup of tea, and went to go talk to Krios.

---

By the time they docked, the caffeine had worn off, but she was feeling pretty good about herself and her ragtag bunch of rebels, thugs and misfits.

Rebel and misfit number one met her in front of the airlock. "You dressed up," Garrus said, dry as dust.

"So did you," she replied. They were both wearing full armor, guns strapped to their backs. Of course.

They fell into step with each other as they pushed through the crowded docking bay. It was easy, instinctive, just like it had always been. He shortened his long, rangy stride for her benefit, and she sped hers up to meet him. He stuck to her left, knowing she tended to fire right. She walked slightly ahead, he slightly behind, so she could head off enemies at the front and buy him time to get into position.

It was so easy it swung all the way back around into really fucking uncomfortable. Being here, on the Citadel, with him, was turning her head inside out.

Everything had warped beyond recognition.

Everything was exactly the same.

"Shepard," he murmured, as they stood in line for security clearance. "What are we doing?"

"Hitting Rodam and everywhere else that's halfway decent for mods, armor and guns," she said. "Speak up if you see anything you like."

His jaw clicked. "I mean what are we doing."

She closed her eyes. Not yet. "...Not here. Let's just-- pretend to be normal, for a little bit."

He didn't respond for a long moment. The line shuffled forward.

Finally she braved a glance up at him. His brow was furrowed, his good mandible flexing angrily in and out as he stared ahead.

What the hell was he pissed off about now? Goddamnit. "Okay, this was a bad idea," she said, rubbing her forehead. "Forget it. You can do what you want. I'll go."

"Where, exactly?" Garrus made a sharp gesture at the line stretching ahead of them. "Unless you were planning on pulling the Spectre card, and leaving me here to rot."

"I wouldn't leave you. But if you hate being around me so much, I'm not going to make you stay." She glared up at him. "And I'm not pulling out the card. You know I feel like an asshole when I do that. I'm hanging on to the title by a thread as it is."

"Of course," he said blandly. "Wouldn't want to make you uncomfortable, Spectre."

She looked away, fuming, and didn't say anything. There was absolutely nothing she could say, not with EDI in her ear. Unless she used her fists to say it.

He stood bristling and silent at her side.

A pair of Salarians waiting behind them in line eyed him, then her, and slowly edged backwards.

He let out a long breath, and unfolded his arms. Tipped his head down to look at her. "...Shepard, I--"

"--Shepard?"

She turned to look. "Bailey," she said with relief.

The C-Sec captain was holding a bottle of Tupari, and something in a paper wrapper that looked vaguely like a hot dog. He nodded a greeting at Garrus. "Lucky I spotted you two. Always busy as hell this time of day."

"Haron! We're coming through," he barked up at the main gate. "We've got a goddamn Spectre paying us a visit."

---

They talked shop with Bailey for a few surprisingly pleasant minutes. Then they were spat out into the wards and she had to figure out all over again what to do with her hands, where to look.

Fuck all of this. Fuck the two years. She wished she could put a bullet through her skull and rewind back to fucking Horizon. That would be good enough. If only she'd been better at covering her ass in the beginning, everything now would be--

Well. Not okay. But at least tolerable.

Re: Fill: FemShep & Garrus "New Game" (1/?)

(Anonymous)

2012-06-12 03:01 pm (UTC)

A!A where are you? D: We miss you. I hope life is treating you okay.

A!A here

(Anonymous)

2012-06-13 03:07 am (UTC)

Dear delightful anons, I am very much alive, and very sorry for the delay! I am working hard on the next bit, it is just going super slow for some reason (the reason might be that I am skipping ahead a lot to write exciting future bits as they occur to me).

I apologize for the wait and I appreciate your patience! I hope that when the next installment arrives that it is satisfying. Rest assured that I love you and I will never leave you.

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Re: Fill: FemShep & Garrus "New Game" (1/?)

(Anonymous)

2012-06-19 08:48 pm (UTC)

Hungry for mooore a!a!!!

Re: Fill: FemShep & Garrus "New Game" (1/?)

(Anonymous)

2012-07-03 10:31 pm (UTC)

This is my favorite fill on the whole meme. I've been hanging out here like Fry's dog from Futurama.

A!A here (again)

(Anonymous)

2012-07-12 03:39 pm (UTC)

Dear lovely, staggeringly wonderful anons: this awkward middle child of a chapter is finally coming into coherent shape. If you are still watching this space, please watch it a little bit harder this weekend! I think we should be in business by Sunday.

You are all delightful and make me overjoyed to be part of this fandom. I very much regret the delay. I hope that when the chapter arrives that you enjoy it!

Re: A!A here (again)

(Anonymous)

2012-07-12 05:28 pm (UTC)

Yay! Looking forward to it!

Re: A!A here (again)

(Anonymous)

2012-07-12 07:07 pm (UTC)

Smiling so hard my face hurts

Re: A!A here (again)

(Anonymous)

2012-07-12 08:41 pm (UTC)

I am laying on my couch, dying of a fever, and have never been so happy.

Thank you, A!A. You have come back!

Re: A!A here (again)

(Anonymous)

2012-07-12 09:24 pm (UTC)

Thank you thank you thank you thank you!!!

And please take as much time as you need. I can be patient :D

Re: A!A here (again)

(Anonymous)

2012-07-12 09:27 pm (UTC)

<3!!!! THANK YOU FOR THE UPDATE! <3!!! Also, thank you for working hard through difficult chapters!

Re: A!A here (again)

(Anonymous)

2012-07-12 11:14 pm (UTC)

SUDDENLY THERE ARE RAINBOWS

AND BIRDS ARE CHIRPING

AND COOKIES ARE BELCHING ICECREAM

<3 you A!Anon!

Re: A!A here (again)

(Anonymous)

2012-07-13 05:02 am (UTC)

This has easily become one of my favorite ME stories ever. I love this. All of this. Take all my love/cookies/monies/babies. Anything you wish, oh wonderful anon!

Re: A!A here (again)

(Anonymous)

2012-07-13 03:16 pm (UTC)

And I am now doing a vigorous happy chair dance! So glad to hear from you again, A!A and can't wait till the weekend! Now I'll return to my regular lurking schedule.

Re: A!A here (again)

(Anonymous)

2012-07-13 04:02 pm (UTC)

THIS DAY IS THE BEST DAY

WORDS CANNOT DESCRIBE

wow my heart is actually pitter-pattering madly right now. i'd be embarrassed about it if i weren't so goddamn deliriously happy to hear from you, A!A, and to see that you haven't abandoned this incredible story. SO HAPPY.

Re: Fill: FemShep & Garrus "New Game" (13/?)

(Anonymous)

2012-07-16 07:59 am (UTC)

Wonderful anons, I am so deeply fond of all of you that it is a little overwhelming. I am so sorry that it was such a long wait, but I hope that you enjoy this behemoth of a chapter. Thank you very, very much for reading!

CODEX

For a race of bloodthirsty savages, Krogan were surprisingly strict about proper protocol and ceremony.

Good thing she'd always been a quick study. Shepard rubbed her forehead, and glared at the retreating figure of Gatagog Uvenk. Asshole.

The shaman chuckled. "...Not bad, human. Bring that fire with you to the rite, and Grunt will do well."

The Tomkah truck rattled over a vast, crumbling stretch of highway. Ruins drifted past the grimy windows.

Grunt sat on the bench in a cloud of hostile silence, arms folded over his chest, glaring out at nothing and everything. The cabin jolted over each pothole and crack and chunk of debris, bouncing Shepard half out of her seat. A nasty bump cracked Garrus's fringe against the wall. He hissed a curse that made her translator fizz in protest.

Grunt and the shaman stayed solidly in place, unperturbed.

They streaked past ruined skyscrapers, collapsed overpasses, the twisted and charred remains of communications towers.

The truck shuddered to a stop, depositing them in a cavernous underground tunnel. The thick iron walls were pitted with centuries of rust, scored and scraped high along the sides from the passage of traffic. Rivets the size of her forearm anchored the seams. The dark reaches of the ceiling disappeared in the gloom overhead.

Shepard stared up at it, feeling unexpectedly puny. New Tuchanka was a ramshackle mishmash of flimsy prefabs, bombed-out craters and cannibalized machinery. This was Old Tuchanka. Enormous, spare, and built to last.

And now all of it stood empty. Starved and useless. An entire planetary network of highways, but Grunt and his little entourage were the only passengers.

Shepard's forehead wrinkled. She knew Mordin had been careful with his math, had run simulation after simulation, but...

This couldn't be sustainable. You only had to look around to see that Tuchanka was a dying place.

Maybe she'd need to revisit Maelon's data sooner than she'd thought.

The shaman led them to a crater blasted into the curving walls. "Climb."

They climbed.

She found herself aboveground, blinking against the harsh sun, in the middle of low, wide platform overlooking a blasted concrete arena. Two distant staircases led up to wide, dark tunnels at either side. The ruins of an amphitheatre, maybe. Or a coliseum.

The shaman stood at the lip of the crater, breathing deeply from the dusty, sun-baked air. "This was the last surface city destroyed in the rebellions." He looked up. "...The keystone lay at its heart."

Shepard followed his gaze. They stood underneath an enormous steel and concrete spire, supported by wide, curving beams, that pierced up through a set of concentric rings. A signalling tower.

"That's the keystone?" Garrus said.

"...What is it?" Grunt asked, sounding interested for the first time.

"Who knows?" said the shaman dryly. "It is for you to contemplate. Act. Adapt. And thrive."

He turned and thumped back down the tunnel.

"So polite," Garrus said. "So helpful. ...Now what?"

Shepard squinted up at the spire. "No idea. It's your call, Grunt."

"I'm going to look." Grunt stomped up to the base of the tower. A minute later, his voice crackled in over the comm. "Shepard. There's a... thing here. It's glowing green."

"Green means working tech," Garrus said, scratching at his bandage. "Could be a switch for a mechanism somewhere. Or a communication device. Or, knowing our luck, a bomb."

Shepard smirked. "Knowing our luck? It'll turn out to be a Prothean beacon, and scramble our brains like an egg." She clambered up on top of a rock and peered in Grunt's direction. "...Huh. From here, it just looks like a button."

Grunt frowned, and poked it.

Something shot up the tower, too fast to see. A Krogan voice bellowed over the loudspeaker, and a deafening pulse of energy shot out from the keystone, knocking Shepard off her rock.

"Regroup, Grunt," she called out, eyes wide. "Whatever that was-- pretty sure that was it."

Re: Fill: FemShep & Garrus "New Game" (13.75/?)

(Anonymous)

2012-07-16 10:47 am (UTC)

"Unit cohesion," she ground out. Her throat was on fire. "Bonding rituals. Impressionable youth. I've got to get out of here before I throw up."

She tottered down the hill to a narrow, rubble-strewn path curving behind Wrex's dais. Garrus followed, hands outstretched.

He helped her over a broken column lying in the way. "I'm young," he tried. "I'm impressionable."

"Yeah, right." She thumped him on the chest as she slid past. "Any chance I had with you is long gone. You've already seen me at my worst."

She swayed. He grabbed her arm. "Steady. --I don't know, Shepard, I'm pretty sure vomiting would be a new low."

They followed the path into a rusted-out tunnel, sloping gently upward. Hazy pools of sunlight filtered down from gashes in the ceiling. Dust glittered in the air.

"I want to die," she muttered, her hands over her face.

"If you do, I'm telling them to put 'Unit Cohesion' on the gravestone." Garrus tapped his visor. "I don't think you have to worry about it, though. Bio-signs look pretty normal. Seems like Cerberus knew what they were doing."

"Oh good," she mumbled. "Good for them."

He steered her around a fragmented chunk of piping before she could trip over it. "When have I seen you at your worst?"

"Ffff. Pick one. Horizon. Getting schooled by Kaidan and not even having a comeback. Crying and moaning to you about every little thing. About my special hell. About Tali and Liara not wanting to be friends anymore. About Aku-- all that stupid garbage."

A mandible flared out in surprise. "What-- all of that?"

"It's your fault," she slurred. "All of it. You're so easy to be around. To talk to."

He hummed, low and warm. "You're a mean drunk, Shepard."

"Ha." She bumped him with her elbow. Well, she tried, but her depth perception seemed to be off.

Thank god he hadn't been there on Illium. Talk about rock-fucking-bottom.

...Wait. She frowned. He was the reason she'd hit rock-fucking-bottom in the first place.

But no. That wasn't true. You can't control what other people do. You only control how you respond.

Even if he'd acted like a self-righteous, overprotective ass. Even if he'd opted to follow his own incomprehensible Turian logic and not common fucking sense. Even though he'd snuck off to tell Cerberus all about her frayed wires the instant she wasn't looking--

It was still her own goddamn fault for freaking out. She was the one who'd decided to keep secrets. Tell lies. She had to own that.

If only she wasn't so crap at it. It was a miracle Wrex hadn't shot her.

"If that's you at your worst, I think you're being overly dramatic," Garrus said, amusement threading through his voice. "You're allowed to complain. You're only human."

"N'm not," she said.

"Well, mostly. But either way, you can't blame me for you and Alenko. That's just unfair."

Shepard groaned, tipping her head back. "I've got th' worst goddamn ideas."

"What, trying to out-drink a Krogan?" Garrus looked down at her. "Or did you mean Alenko?"

She hated this. She was so tired.

"...Or did you mean talking to me?" he said quietly.

"All of it," she mumbled. "--Huh? No. Wait. Not that." She glanced up at him unsteadily. "...Well. Kinda. But it's not like-- I like talking with you, I just don't wanna get-- I rely on you-- I'm tryin' not to--"

"I see," he said.

"No, I mean-- I want to-- you... you're my-- I'm just--" Her hands scrunched into fists. "Fuck! I'm doing this over." She gestured violently. "Supernova."

"...Shepard," he said, putting a hand to his face. "I don't know if 'loaded gun' even begins to cover this situation."

"Sorry. Sorry. Nevermind. It's okay. I'm fine." She patted his arm. "Let's just get outside."

A dark rumble rose up from his chest. "Strangely, I don't feel all that reassured."

---

The sun hung low in the sky, blurred with reddish smog. Pale silhouettes of broken buildings shimmered in the heat. The wind swept little swirls of sand over the ground. Tugged gently at her hair. She breathed. Slowly, deeply. In, out.

"Feeling any better?"

"...Yeah," she said. Surprisingly. She closed her eyes and rolled her head from side to side, testing.

A!A here

(Anonymous)

2012-11-09 07:21 pm (UTC)

Wonderful anons, I am still alive, and incredibly embarrassed at having left you alone for so long. I am so sorry! A lot of stuff has been happening IRL, but things are settling down now, and progress on the next two chapters is going well.

I'm not close enough to give a firm ETA yet, but I think it should be polished up and posted within the next two to three weeks.

Enormous, heartfelt thank yous to everyone reading and commenting. You are all absolutely wonderful and make me so happy to be part of this fandom. I am so sorry to have made you feel abandoned! I know in my head and heart how this sprawling mess of a story will end, and even if it is at a snail's pace, we will get to the finish line.

P.S. I LOVE YOU ALL, FOREVER.

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Re: Fill: FemShep & Garrus "New Game" (14/?)

(Anonymous)

2014-08-12 04:09 am (UTC)

Anons, it's been a long, strange two years. I don't know what to say except that I love you. A lot. I never stopped, even though the story did. This thing has metastasized from a gee-whiz what-if into a weird sprawling I-don't-know, and it has taken me a long time to figure out what I'm doing with it and with myself. I wish I could have done it earlier-- but I didn't. I am sorry. I hope very much that you like it anyway! Eternal love from me to you.

14. RELOAD

She woke up with a wretched taste in her mouth and the three bars of Garrus's shoulder guard indented in her cheek. His eyes were closed, his chin tucked down into his cowl. He breathed softly.

The sky was dark, swathed in gauzy grey layers of cloud and dust. Little blooms of orange light dotted the surface from underneath, fading out into the murky horizon. It was still and quiet.

The air had cooled, and the breeze carried the smells of gunpowder and wood smoke. A brushfire crept over the hills in the distance.

She extricated herself from Garrus's arm. He stirred and made a low, sleepy noise of protest. She held still until he relaxed again, then tiptoed a safe distance away, around piles of building materials, stacks of crates. She sat down cross-legged in the dirt behind a heap of corrugated steel and touched the comm button in her collar.

"Miranda," she whispered.

Silence.

"...Miranda. Miranda. Miranda. EDI."

"Yes, Shepard." EDI's voice hummed through the speaker, much too loud.

"Shh! Get me Miranda."

After a long moment, a tired-sounding voice came over the line. "Shepard, it's 0200 ship time. Something had better be bleeding or on fire. What is it?"

"Miranda, you're a really good XO," Shepard said. "Seriously. Really great."

"I know," Miranda said shortly. "Is that all? I'm going back to bed."

"I guess. No. I don't know." Shepard flopped down onto her back and looked up at the opaque, fathomless sky. "Can we talk for a bit?"

"I suppose." Rustling noises came over the line. A long pause. "Well? I'm listening."

"—Come work for me." The words spilled out of her mouth, surprising them both. "Uh. After all this Collector crap is over, I mean. I want you with me when I take the fight to the Reapers. God knows I could have used your help the first time around."

A sigh. "We can discuss that once we've completed the mission at hand, Shepard. We're still a long way from the Omega Four relay."

"I know."

"Do you? I can't help but notice that lately the mission log looks like a long list of personal favors." A pause. Miranda's voice quieted. "Not that I'm not grateful for what you did for me. Or Jacob. I just want to make sure you remember why we're here."

"Of course I remember!" Shepard sat up, fists clenched. "Every second of every day, I remember. Our people are still out there, enslaved, or dying, or worse. And we're the only hope they have, so we have to do this right. Our focus and teamwork has to be bulletproof." Her voice was rising. "If we cut any corners, the Collectors will kill us in a heartbeat. And then the Reapers will swarm in and fuck the whole galaxy right on top of our corpses."

A brief, appalled silence. "...You certainly have a way with words, Commander."

"Sorry. It's been a long day." Shepard let out her breath. Eased herself back down. "A really weird day. I'll tell you about it later."

"Of course you will. I debrief you after every mission."

There was a short pause. Miranda inhaled. "Well then, Shepard, if there's nothing else—"

"—How's Oriana?" Shepard said quickly.

Miranda sighed again.

"Really," Shepard said. "Is she doing okay? Settled in at the new digs?"

"She's doing fantastic," Miranda replied. "Barely even set foot in the house before she packed off to Nos Astra U."

"Does she like it?"

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