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Mass Effect Kink Meme: Mass Effect 3 PART II
aria
masseffectkink
MASS EFFECT KINK MEME
MASS EFFECT 3 PROMPTS PART II



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.

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

Rules:
  • All posts must be anonymous, be they prompts, fills, or comments.
  • Every new prompt should be a new post. Indexing’s impossible otherwise.
  • 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.
  • 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 ME3 Spoilers, Part One

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

A Family Occasion, 1/?

(Anonymous)

2012-04-08 01:05 am (UTC)

Sequel to "A Family Affair," found here: http://masseffectkink.livejournal.com/3710.html?thread=8556670#t8556670, since a few anons requested a continuation.

Shepard had never been particularly girly. Where some girls dreamed about elaborate weddings, with hundreds of guests and white dresses with long trains and diamonds and cake, she hadn’t thought about her hypothetical future wedding much at all. Since growing up and becoming a marine, she’d thought maybe she would never get married at all. Whenever she’d been drunk enough, or dating someone long enough, to think about it, she’d thought: casual, maybe on the beach, just a few friends.

So she wasn’t really prepared for her current circumstances. She had the diamond, and she’d ordered the cake. Her vague ideas of a wedding had never included the security precautions and political ramifications that were entailed in this particular wedding. Nor had she really thought about the fact that while she had no family to speak of, her prospective spouse might have a large extended family.

What almost broke her, though, was coming out of the dressing room and seeing herself in the mirror, swathed in yards of what she could only call silver lace.

“Oh God,” she said. “I don’t think I can do this.”

Liara frowned at her. “Yes, you can.”

“No, I can’t.”

“You have killed thresher maws and Reapers. You can do this.”

“I can hardly even move in this... frilly... thing, Liara.”

The asari sighed. “We can make the dress simpler, Shepard.”

“But it still has to be lace, right?”

“That’s what’s traditional.”

“Then I don’t think I can do this.”

Tali intervened. “Really, Shepard? Lace? You want me to call Garrus up right now and tell him you’re not going through with this, over lace?” Her finger hovered over the button on her omni-tool.

“No. Wait.” Shepard closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and called to mind the reason she was doing this. Garrus. Yes. Who’d supported her every step of the way, who hardly ever complained, who almost never asked for anything for himself, and who’d wanted this: a traditional wedding in which they not only joined themselves to each other, but she also formally joined the Vakarian clan. She still didn’t fully understand why a self-proclaimed “bad turian” was so invested in doing things the traditional way, but if this was what he wanted...

Then again, maybe Garrus had always been a better turian than he thought.

She opened her eyes and looked at her ring. His gift, the dark blue stone shining at her from the simple setting she’d chosen. She looked at her reflection again. “Okay,” she said. “Just how simple a dress can we get away with, here? And what’s the minimum amount of lace? Shall we call up Solana to consult?”

Re: A Family Occasion, 1/?

(Anonymous)

2012-04-08 02:11 am (UTC)

I adore how she freaks out over the dress and not the political controversy.
<3

Re: A Family Occasion, 1/?

(Anonymous)

2012-04-08 02:40 am (UTC)

Yaaaaaaay! A!Anon, I love you for continuing with this!

Re: A Family Occasion, 1/?

(Anonymous)

2012-04-08 06:52 am (UTC)

Eeee, you are continuing it! *delighted* Bookmarked!

Re: A Family Occasion, 1/?

(Anonymous)

2012-04-08 04:47 pm (UTC)

Hurray! I've been praying for this continuation!

Please update soon!

Re: A Family Occasion, 2/?

(Anonymous)

2012-04-08 09:28 pm (UTC)

Four months earlier

So maybe she’d said yes a little precipitously, because she’d been thinking of it ever since his father gravely welcomed her to the family, and because she’d been so damned glad to see Garrus again. After a languorous night spent getting re-acquainted, she and Garrus joined Solana and their father for a breakfast that had been... awkward, with the two men obviously hugely relieved to see each other and yet stiffly trying to avoid any subjects that might provoke an argument. Fortunately they’d had plenty of neutral subjects to talk about, getting Garrus up to speed on the events of the last few months.

She’d had one task she wanted to accomplish that day, and by some miracle, she managed to find a jeweler on the Citadel who could set the stone to her specifications and have it ready by the end of the day. Having done that, she fidgeted her way through another tedious day of Alliance debriefing, met up with Garrus to collect her ring (a perfect fit), and headed out to meet with the rest of the Normandy crew for drinks.

Shepard had probably never hugged so many people in one day before. Not just Tali and Liara, but practically the entire crew. Ashley had joined up with them, too, and they were enough to take over a back room of the bar. Once everyone had their first drink, Shepard stood up and caught their attention. “Yeah, I’m not going to make a big speech here,” she said. “I just wanted to say that I’m so glad you all made it back, and that I couldn’t be prouder of this crew.” She waited for the cheers to subside. “And I guess I just have a little announcement, because I thought you all should be among the first to know that, um, Garrus and I are getting married.”

The roar that ensued was so loud and enthusiastic it caught her completely off guard. Tali squealed and flung herself at Shepard, and James slapped Garrus on the shoulder hard enough to knock him off balance, saying something to him that Shepard couldn’t hear over the din. She accepted congratulations from every side, a little dazed. She’d known, on some level, that people knew about their relationships, even though they tried to be professional and discreet in public, but she hadn’t realized just how much her mostly-human crew approved.

Liara caught her in a hug, her soft cheek pressing briefly against Shepard’s. “Shepard, I am really so happy for both of you,” she said, smiling. “Well, happy to see you alive, too. It was hard, not having any news.”

“Thanks,” she said. She looked around the room, where everybody was talking and drinking, and Ken was actually dancing, a... jig, or something? “I hadn’t realized the crew cared that much.”

“Oh, Shepard. Does anyone have a more fanatically loyal crew? And Garrus kept us going, the last two months, and everyone knew he was worried sick about you, even though he never complained. Of course we care.” She looked at Shepard very seriously. “If there’s anything I can do to help, please tell me.”

“Bridesmaids,” Shepard blurted. “I mean, I don’t know the turian customs, but for a human wedding I’d have bridesmaids. It’s supposed to be your closest friends, and I thought you and Tali...”

“Of course,” said Liara. “Whatever that means. Wait, you’re doing this turian style? Of course I’ll help.”

Re: A Family Occasion, 3/?

(Anonymous)

2012-04-08 09:31 pm (UTC)

Samantha Traynor popped up at Shepard’s elbow then, to gush over the ring: “It is absolutely the most beautiful thing, and so perfect for you, Commander!” A few minutes later Dr. Chakwas appeared with a glass of Serrice Ice brandy for Shepard, and Liara pulled Sam off into the crowd.

“It’s nice to have something good to celebrate,” Chakwas said, lifting her own glass. “Congratulations. You both deserve all the happiness in the world.”

“Victory isn’t enough to celebrate? But thank you.” Their glasses clinked together.

“How are you doing?” Chakwas asked as they finished their drinks, looking Shepard over with a professional eye.

“All right. I think it’s the two months of inactivity that are bothering me, as much as anything else.”

Chakwas nodded. “It’s amazing how quickly it has an effect. I would like to give you an examination soon, Shepard.”

“Sure. The doctors took good care of me, and Miranda was a big help, but I’d be glad to have you take a look.” It was a relief, actually. Chakwas probably knew Shepard’s body better than she did herself.

Then Joker and Ken were loudly demanding a kiss, and Shepard found herself pushed in Garrus’s direction. His eyes met hers and he shrugged, with a slightly wry expression, and she found she was buzzed enough that she didn’t mind winding her arms around his neck and planting one on him in full view of a room full of rowdy crew members. “Hope you don’t mind,” she murmured into his ear. He wasn’t usually very demonstrative in public.

“Special occasion,” he replied, tipping his forehead against hers, and she smiled.

The only false note in the evening was when Ash pulled her aside. “Hey, Skipper,” she said. “I’m glad you’re back, and I’m glad they’re back, but... are you really sure about this?”

Shepard stared at her, and the smile she’d been wearing all evening faded. “Of course I am,” she said. “Why wouldn’t I be?” Her eyes narrowed. “Is this about the cross-species thing?”

Ashley flinched. “Look, Shepard, I like Garrus fine. I do. He’s a good soldier and a good guy. But being friends with an alien is not the same as...”

“I thought you knew we were together.”

“Yeah, Joker said something, but... marriage seems like such a big step, especially to a turian, and especially when you’re, you know, a famous hero.”

“Now you sound like a politican,” said Shepard.

Ash groaned. “Oh, that was a low blow.”

“Look, Ash. He’s my best friend and I love him. He’s always been there for me. If that doesn’t make it make sense to you, then I don’t know what to say.”

She hesitated and nodded. “Okay. I’m sorry I’m being a downer. I mean, as long as you’re happy, that’s what matters, so... congratulations and best wishes and all that.”

“Thanks,” said Shepard, and meant it, but she still felt a little twist of irritation at Ashley’s question. She was relieved when Tali came bouncing up to her a moment later, EDI trailing after her with a series of questions about the social behavior of organics, which kept Shepard occupied for a while. Tali was completely delighted with the idea of being a bridesmaid, too, so much that Shepard had to call Garrus over to ask him if she could even have bridesmaids. She was immensely relieved when he blinked at her and said he didn’t see why not.

By the end of the evening, half of the crew, including Shepard, was drunk and giggly, Ashley and James were engaged in a fierce pool competition, and Liara and Traynor were making out in a corner. Garrus dropped onto the bench beside Shepard and she curled herself into his warm shoulder. “We made it,” he said quietly.

“Yeah,” she said, and the memory of those who weren’t with them any more made her eyes burn. She slid her arm around him, fiercely glad that he, at least, was here.

a!a (Anonymous) Expand
(Anonymous) Expand

Re: A Family Occasion, 31/?

(Anonymous)

2012-06-12 03:07 am (UTC)

Wedding Day: Part 1: Promises

Liara and Tali wound up recruiting Ashley to help braid Shepard’s hair in the morning, since neither of them had that much experience with it. It wound up in a fairly elaborate knot, high on her head, with loose tendrils framing her face. Tali adjusted the last bit of trim on the gown. “There,” she pronounced. “You look perfect.”

Shepard glanced in the mirror and hardly recognized herself. She was wearing very little make-up, just a touch of color at her lips and eyes, and that suited her fine. But the hairstyle was like nothing she usually wore, and the dress had turned out... really quite nice. In the mirror, she looked like a tall silvery column, but the skirt had all sorts of hidden drapes and folds that made it easy to move in. The neckline showed off her neck and shoulders, and that lace, blue and silver, was used sparingly as trim.

“Good, because it’s time to start,” said Liara.

She walked out, reminding herself not to stride as if she were wearing combat armor. She wore dresses so seldom that she sometimes forgot how to walk in them. She shortened her step just a little, looked around... and there was Garrus, also in blue and silver, and minus his visor. She’d seen him without it by this point, but never in public. She broke into a grin and waved. “Hey, you. Looking good!”

He turned toward her, and his mandibles fluttered. He opened and shut his mouth a couple of times, but it took him multiple tries to get out, “You look... gorgeous. Not that you don’t always,” he added hastily.

She grinned, and felt herself blushing. “Thanks.”

Contrary to the traditions she was used to, they went side by side into the large room where the guests had gathered.

The wedding part, really, was simple. They stood facing each other, not touching, with a circle of witnesses around them. There was no presider or minister or judge who married them; they married each other, simply making promises in the sight of witnesses. Their friends. His family. Tali and Liara were behind her to her left and right, as if they were on a mission together.

The vows were traditional turian ones, because they both liked the wording. She listened to his voice, almost not hearing the words, and she made the same promises: fidelity and honor and caring and realized that these vows almost didn’t matter at all. Because they were essentially the same as the promises they’d already made to each other and fulfilled, in word and deed, over and over again. The only difference is that this time people witnessed their words and recorded the act, a frozen point of data: Jane Shepard and Garrus Vakarian belong together.

It wasn’t a human ceremony; there was no kiss. But at the end, they took each other’s hands, forming a circle with their arms. From the witnesses behind her she heard some whooping, and she stifled a grin. Among the side of the circle she could see, Pella was bouncing up and down, and Aspera was grinning, and even Callex had a faint smile, she thought. Any nervousness she once had had faded entirely, dispelled by the warm, dry, strong grip on her hands and the look in Garrus’s eyes.

“Ready for the next part?” he murmured, and just like that the timeless bubble she was standing in popped and the apprehension returned.

“As I’m going to be,” she said. He squeezed her hands and they stepped to the side. The next part, the clan-joining, was only for voting family members, so the other guests filed out, but not before forming an impromptu receiving line, a series of hand shakes and congratulations that passed in a blur. Damn it, she hadn’t meant to tear up over this. Liara kissed her on the cheek; Aspera clapped her on the shoulder and whispered, “Good luck,” while herding the younger Vakarian kids in front of her. The door shut behind them, and Shepard found herself the only human in a room full of turians in matching blue paint. She took a deep breath.

Re: A Family Occasion, 31/?

(Anonymous)

2012-06-13 02:42 am (UTC)

This is it!!!

Re: A Family Occasion, 31/?

(Anonymous)

2012-06-13 05:22 am (UTC)

Hell, I just got caught up in the story again. I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NEXT UPDATE!

Re: A Family Occasion, 31/?

(Anonymous)

2012-06-14 06:12 pm (UTC)

Argh. Sorry, folks, I hoped to get an update up by today, but some stuff has come up... nothing disastrous, but I don't think I'll have an update before Monday.

Re: A Family Occasion, 31/?

(Anonymous)

2012-06-16 05:54 am (UTC)

oh my god the voting. I'm kinda anxious for your Shepard.

Re: A Family Occasion, 32/?

(Anonymous)

2012-06-18 09:13 pm (UTC)

Wedding Day: Part 2: Family

As she looked around, most of the faces were serious, but Solana gave her a brief, encouraging nod. Shepard tried to hold on to all the reassurances they’d been giving her all along, as Garrus spoke.

“You know why you’re here,” he said, “but I’ll say it anyway. I come before you as a member of the Vakarian family. You just saw me exchange vows with this woman, Jane Shepard. I’m now requesting for her to join this clan, with all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities that accompany that status, and I ask for your assent.” He inhaled deeply, and Shepard squeezed his hand, hoping that would provide a little comfort. He squeezed back slightly and continued, “I’m aware this is... a little unconventional. So I’d like to state that Jane Shepard has a commitment to duty that most turians can only dream of having. As a commander, she is not only brilliant, but exhibits a caring and responsibility for her subordinates far beyond that of most turian officers. She has shown respect for every species she interacts with. And I am honored beyond words that she has agreed to join me, and to join this family. So.” Another deep breath. “As the petitioner, I cast my vote, and obviously I vote yes.” The VI console recording the votes chirped in acknowledgment.

The room seemed to be swimming now. Shepard blinked repeatedly, trying to control the tears filling her eyes. Garrus told stories; he didn’t make speeches, and she hadn’t expected this heartfelt little statement.

Solana cleared her throat and stepped forward. “I suppose I’m next. I don’t have much to say, really, except that I have gotten to know Jane Shepard over the last few months, and I’m proud to call her my sister. I assent.”

Garrus’s father took the floor. “I think it falls to me to speak next,” he said, in his usual level tone, and Shepard felt a moment of sheer panic, a completely irrational fear that he was about to revoke his support in the most public and painful manner possible. But he said, “Several of you have... questioned... me about my support for this. And I recognize that admitting someone not turian to the privileges and obligations of the clan is... less than traditional. And yet.” He looked down and took a breath. “Given her accomplishments and reputation, I think it is difficult to argue that Shepard is not worthy of joining this clan. I have every confidence that she will take the resulting commitment seriously.” He looked up again. “I have also heard some criticism of my son for even raising the issue. Those of you who have made these remarks to me would do well to consider that the person who brings his new spouse before you today is not the young person we chided for rashness some years ago, but an adult who rightfully has earned the respect of the Hierarchy, the Council, and the rest of the galaxy. I have made my share of mistakes, as a parent, and I have learned that I should trust my son. I assent.”

Shepard glanced sideways at Garrus, who was struggling to conceal an expression that she couldn’t quite read. She held his hand a little tighter.

The tapping of Livia’s cane on the floor drew her attention back to the gathering. “As the senior family member present, I claim the right to speak next,” she said. “It is all very touching, what we have heard today, but I feel it is my duty to remind the family members assembled here of other truths. That humans are yet newcomers to the galactic scene. That they have been unpredictable and aggressive. I am sure I am not the only one of us who remembers fighting against humans, not so many years ago. Commander Shepard, whatever her accomplishments, has a record clouded in secrecy and marred by incidents in which she took major decisions into her own hands. None of us, here, are strangers to combat. None of us are unfamiliar with the passions that can sometimes arise among comrades-in-arms. And all of us are well aware that such passions rarely stand the test of time. These are among the reasons I consider it my responsibility to deny this request.”

Re: A Family Occasion, 32/?

(Anonymous)

2012-06-18 09:25 pm (UTC)

!!! I may or may not have let out a little strangled scream at the end there.

Re: A Family Occasion, 32/?

(Anonymous)

2012-06-18 10:03 pm (UTC)

Dear Author, if I don't get more of this soon, I'm going to cry. I'm serious.

Re: A Family Occasion, 32/?

(Anonymous)

2012-06-18 11:26 pm (UTC)

Evil, evil cliffie...Please continue soon? *puppy-dog-eyed Garrus*

Re: A Family Occasion, 32/?

(Anonymous)

2012-06-19 12:37 am (UTC)

Welp, I don't think you'd ever approve, Livia. Even though, you know, Shepard acting out of turn was kind of necessary to beat a force like the reapers. JUS' SAYIN'.

Still an interesting lady though. It's difficult to leave the past in the past, and this decision will play a role in affecting the outcome of other potential humans joining their turian mate's clan.

Re: A Family Occasion, 32/?

(Anonymous)

2012-06-19 06:51 am (UTC)

Ooooh... Wrex needs to bust in and toss Livia out into the nearest lake.

Re: A Family Occasion, 33/?

(Anonymous)

2012-06-19 02:24 am (UTC)

She stepped back with a last firm rap of her cane. Shepard slowly exhaled. It wasn’t as if she hadn’t expected approximately this from Livia. Glancing around, it was hard to tell what impact her statement might have had.

Cassus Vakarian was the next to speak. “Aunt Livia, as usual, reminds us of traditions and practicality.” He spread his hands. “I would like to remind you, cousins, aunts, and uncles, that we are facing a new era. Every species in the galaxy has suffered greatly. There is a great deal of work to be done, on Palaven, on Earth, and throughout the galaxy. In times like this, it’s tempting to cling to the old and familiar. But I believe that our future lies in working together. I assent.”

After that, the voting went quickly. None of the other family members felt the need to make a speech, apparently, but simply stated their assent or denial. Shepard felt her anxiety climb as the console recorded each vote. She knew there were a lot of ‘yes’ votes, but there were a fair number of ‘no’ votes, as well, and she didn’t know the weighting system well enough to feel reassured. The only thing she had to go on was that Garrus seemed calm, but then again, he usually seemed calm. She did notice that what Solana and Garrus had told her before seemed right: the younger members of the family, like Tycus and Cephia, generally voted in favor. Those of the next generation older, Callex and Cassus’s cohort, were a bit more split, but also tended to assent. It was the oldest generation that was most likely to vote no. Even some of those aging aunts and uncles voted in support. Demetrus did, for one, with a nod in her direction.

After the last person had voted, the VI took only a moment to calculate. Shepard held her breath as it announced, in its bland, synthetic voice, “Votes are calculated. 56 points assenting to the proposed joining, and 39 denying. Jane Shepard is permitted to become a full member of the Vakarian family.”

All her breath left her in a whoosh, and she heard Garrus sigh next to her. Shepard looked around until she found Livia in the group. The old turian’s expression was stony. She caught Shepard’s eye before turning away and walking out, followed by a few of the other older relatives. Callex quickly stepped forward. “Then I am pleased to welcome you formally to the family, and to remind you of the privileges and obligations you hold as a member...”

Shepard was not entirely paying attention to the list of clauses that ensued, though she nodded and agreed to each of them. She had read them all before, but now her heart was racing. They’d actually done it, and it felt like a real victory, without the edge of desperation that had dogged every successful mission during the war.

She made an affirming noise in response to the last clause and turned to find Garrus with a brush and a jar of blue paint in his hands. The stuff turians used themselves wasn’t either tattoo ink or make-up as humans understood them, but rather a pigment that formed a bond with the surface of their plates. It couldn’t just be washed or sweated off, though it could be removed through use of a different chemical. If Shepard were turian, undergoing this rite, she would have removed her former markings to signify her willingness to join the clan. As a human, she’d just left her face clean. They were using a different, temporary paint, too, because turian paint would leave her with nasty caustic burns on her face.

She stood still while Garrus marked her face, feeling the cool sweep of the brush against her skin, under her eye, along her jaw. She watched his eyes, sharp and intent, until he finished; then his whole expression softened. He put the brush and paint aside and laid one hand on her shoulder to present her to the crowd; and for the second time that day, time turned into a blur of welcomes and congratulations. Cephia gave her a hug, to her surprise, and Solana whispered in her ear, “I told you not to worry.” She nearly lost Garrus entirely in the crowd, but found him back at her side in the end.

“Happy?” she murmured.

He slid an arm around her and reached for the door with the other. “You have no idea.”

They opened the door and went out into the party, and Shepard was nearly deafened by the cheer.

Re: A Family Occasion, 33/?

(Anonymous)

2012-06-19 02:26 am (UTC)

(next up: scenes from the party)
Thanks for your patience, everyone!

Re: A Family Occasion, 33/?

(Anonymous)

2012-06-19 11:22 am (UTC)

Yeah!!!! :D

Re: A Family Occasion, 33/?

(Anonymous)

2012-06-19 08:00 pm (UTC)

Yes!*happy dance*

Re: A Family Occasion, 34/35?

(Anonymous)

2012-06-22 04:07 am (UTC)

Wedding Day: Part 3: Party

This was the part Shepard had cared the most about and spent the most time on. There was food, plenty of it, all her favorite dishes. She had no idea how Liara had managed to have thousands of shrimp, plus everything else, shipped to Palaven, but somehow the Shadow Broker had managed. There was a sound system, too. Shepard hadn’t put much thought into musical selections, and Joker had simply commandeered the set-up and hooked it up to his own personal collection, until Tycus joined him, at which point the two of them got involved in an animated discussion of the relative merits of their own favorite bands. There was liquor, quite a lot of it. In fact, she was pretty sure she hadn’t actually ordered all of that. “Where did all these kegs come from?” she asked Tali quietly.

“I brought it,” Zaeed said from behind her. “Thought you were having a goddamn party, Shepard.”

“Zaeed, how did you get in here? You never even told us you were coming.”

He shrugged and swaggered off. Tali said, “I vouched for him, Shepard. I hope that’s all right.”

Shepard sighed, watching Zaeed and Wrex size each other up. “Yeah, that’s fine.”

#

Shepard got distracted from the baby pictures Bakara was showing her when a familiar slim form flitted past. “Hey, Shep. Congratulations.”

“Kasumi?” she said incredulously. “I didn’t know you were coming, either. How did you get in—wait, never mind.”

Kasumi grinned under her hood. “I wouldn’t miss it for anything.” She patted Shepard’s shoulder. “I left your wedding present in your room.”

“Kasumi, for the love of God, tell me you didn’t steal some priceless work of art.”

“Would I do that?”

“Kasumi—”

“Okay, I’ll tell you that, if you tell me who that very fine specimen of masculinity is.”

Shepard looked in the direction indicated and sighed. “That would be James Vega.”

“Mm. Thank you. I didn’t steal some priceless work of art for you.” Kasumi ghosted off through the crowd.

It wasn’t, technically, a piece of artwork. It was a pair of extremely expensive rifles. Prototypes, not available on the market yet. Shepard decided she really didn’t want to know.

#

Partway through the evening, Shepard found herself facing a mirror. She’d been so busy talking to everyone that she’d almost forgotten the paint, and her eyes widened as she took in the blue lines on her face. Familiar enough, but altered to fit the different proportions of her face; still, she knew the curve under the eye, the matching curve along the jaw. She turned her head from side to side, checking it out from different angles. She hadn’t made up her mind whether to wear the marks all the time—Garrus said he didn’t mind if she didn’t—and she still wasn’t quite sure. It looked odd, the dark blue a contrast with her skin, and the color didn’t bring out her eyes the way it did his. Something about it looked right, all the same. She touched her cheek, pondering, and grimaced as some of the blue smeared off on her fingers. A better grade of paint, maybe. Or maybe someday she’d get over her weird squeamishness and go for the full-blown tattoos.

#

“So, Scars. Your sister. Is she, uh, single?”

Garrus’s brow plates twitched upward. “As far as I know, yeah.”

“She have any interest in humans?”

“I have no idea. You know what, Jimmy, you take your best shot.”

James looked surprised. “You wouldn’t mind?”

Garrus shrugged. He’d given up on trying to understand the conventions of human courtship. “I’m pretty sure she can take you down if she needs to.”

Solana’s expression when James went up to her was priceless.

Re: A Family Occasion, 35/36

(Anonymous)

2012-06-22 11:57 pm (UTC)

She saw Cephia engaged in intense conversation with one of Garrus’s old friends from C-Sec, and wondered where Pella was. She found the girl listening to Steve Cortez with rapt attention. Steve caught her eye and smiled before turning his attention back to the child. He’d be a good dad, Shepard thought, and hoped he’d get the chance.

They all had chances now, to do whatever they chose. As she looked around the room, it was impossible not to imagine the friends she wished were there: David Anderson, Mordin Solus, Thane Krios, Kaidan Alenko, now three years gone. There was not a person in the room who had not lost someone in the last few months. That terrible night in London, she hadn’t truly expected she’d ever see a day like this one. Yet somehow, here they all were. Her friends, her family: the family she’d built on the Normandy the last few years, the family she’d just acquired, against all odds. They’d all been fortunate to survive. And survival brought with it possibilities, opportunities.

#

“You still owe me an answer,” Victus told them mildly, glass of wine in hand.

“Just taking our time thinking it over,” Garrus replied.

A couple of nights before, Shepard had said, “Okay. You’ve got these two positions offered. What do you want to do?”

He fidgeted. “It really does depend on what you want, Jane—”

She shook her head. “I don’t want to pressure you one way or the other, and have you regretting that or resenting me.”

“I wouldn’t resent you. But I don’t want to push you, either.”

“Okay. Here’s what we’ll do: you write down your preference, and I’ll write down mine. We’ll reveal them at the same time, and then we can talk about it.”

When they did the reveal, they both burst out laughing, because they’d both written Spectre large and clear. Garrus said, “Not that Victus’s offer wasn’t tempting, but I’d like to give this a go at least once.”

Shepard said, “Yeah, and I don’t think I’m ready to retire yet.”

She told Victus as much, and he sighed. “I can’t say I’m surprised. Don’t think you’re getting out of giving me advice, Vakarian.”

“Wouldn’t dream of it, Councilor.”

“You can have mine, too, if you promise to actually listen,” said Shepard.

“I would hardly dare to do anything else,” he replied, dryly.

#

Miranda drifted by with a drink in her hand. “You look well, Shepard,” she commented. “Have you been doing your physical therapy?”

“Yes, mom,” Shepard returned.

Miranda rolled her eyes. “Fine. Be more careful in the future, will you? I don’t want to have to put you back together again.”

“Noted,” said Shepard. “How are you doing, Miranda?”

“I’m... all right,” she said, looking off across the room. “It’s strange. With my father gone, and without Cerberus...” She shook her head. “It’s just strange.”

Shepard thought she got it. Miranda was a driven person, ordinarily, and now needed a new purpose. “Cerberus isn’t completely gone, I don’t think,” she said. “We could use your help to find the old bases and projects.”

“I’ll think about it.” She started to move away.

“Miranda,” said Shepard, in a rush. She hadn’t always gotten along with the woman, but she needed to say this. “Thank you. For everything.”

Miranda smiled. “It has genuinely been a pleasure, Shepard.”

Re: A Family Occasion, 36/36

(Anonymous)

2012-06-23 12:14 am (UTC)

At one point, most of the older generation had retreated, and the dancing got pretty frenetic. Shepard stayed out of it for the most part, herself, but Aspera and Ashley and Jack and James and Solana had gotten into some kind of competition, almost. Shepard couldn’t tell which one had ended up the winner.

By the end of the evening, most of the guests had stumbled off to their rooms. Or occasionally, not their own rooms, which was not one bit Shepard’s business. She had been glad, honestly, to see Ken and Gabby leave the party together, and beyond that she’d mostly tried to avoid noticing who was hooking up with whom. There were a couple of people left, here and there; Tali and Joker were quietly talking in a corner, and a few others seemed to have fallen asleep in their seats.

She recognized the footsteps coming up behind her, even without being able to see him, and she relaxed and leaned back into Garrus when his arms slipped around her waist. “It was a good party,” he said, voice rumbling low in her ear.

“No party like a Normandy party,” she said, quoting James’s shouted declaration, some hours earlier.

She felt as well as heard his chuckle. “What do you say we get out of here?” The day’s schedule had been so packed that they’d be spending the night at the estate and taking a shuttle out in the morning for a brief private getaway. In spite of the fact that every guest room at the estate was occupied, his voice had dropped into its lowest, most seductive registers.

Her lips curved into a smile. “I don’t know,” she said. “I’m told when you’re married, your sex life goes right down the tubes. Boring. Infrequent. No fun any more.”

“Hmm,” he said, right in her ear, warm breath and vibration against her neck. “I think that’s one human truism we need to test out.”

She shivered, reaching up and behind to slide one hand along the back of his neck. “You’re on.”

FIN

Okay, I owe a big THANK YOU to everyone who’s been following this story, and especially everyone who’s left comments. I didn’t expect it to get so long or to take this long, and every comment was a huge encouragement.

I expect to start posting this (well, first, its prequel) on AO3 and/or ff.net soon, and I’ll probably revise a little as I go, so if there are any errors or dropped plot elements or just characters you wanted to see more of, let me know.

I have an idea or two for a follow-up, but I need to let my brain work on that one for a bit before posting anything.

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