Commander Eliza Shepard

for; against (mass effect, shakarian)

Because if I have to hurt, so do you. 

**********

Finding any time alone with Shepard was a challenge, but on the Normandy, only a limited number of people could intrude on the few minutes they managed to scrape together. Out of that select group, Garrus knew most of them were too intimidated to think about using Shepard’s open-door policy for anything less than the ship is on fire and also in acid or the Reapers sent someone to take the rest of your smoked gouda, Commander — and he was pretty sure he had Liara and Miranda to thank for that.

He could usually get an hour with Shepard at the end of their shift, without anything more pressing than reminding Shepard that coffee wasn’t the only form of nutrition in the galaxy. They almost had a routine going: he would unbraid her hair, they would take turns undressing each other, and then talk over the day with the only light in the room coming from the skylight above them. Every night, he felt the temptation to give up half his sleep shift for a little more time — for a little more of everything else — and every night, he saw the same temptation flicker through Shepard’s eyes. And every night, they fell asleep mid-sentence, and slept like the righteous dead until EDI woke them.

They were making the right decision, he told himself, whenever he watched Shepard pulling on her uniform like every movement hurt. The levels they were playing at, they couldn’t afford to indulge themselves too often. Too easy to say I can lose a few hours’ sleep if you can night after night, until it turned into a habit, and then there was just the countdown to one or both of them making a decision while they were just a sliver too exhausted, or too distracted, and after that —

The galaxy could make all the jokes it wanted about turians being war nerds and being born with the sticks in their asses already inserted, but that dedication to always making the right damn decision for everyone, not just for the moment, was half of what kept them fighting. So when he had the chance to sleep, he did, and so did Shepard.

But the other side of fighting to save the galaxy was fighting for something. Solana and his father were safe as anyone else in the galaxy, but Palaven still burned, and Shepard hadn’t heard from her mother in two weeks. She hadn’t said a word about it, and Garrus knew she wouldn’t, but he kept waking up to the alarm to find her already up, staring at the skylight with her mouth thinned to nothing.

If someone only had something to fight against, they’d fall apart, even if they were Commander Shepard. Fighting for something wasn’t any easier, but it was a hell of a lot more fun to figure out a way to remind people of that than the other way around.

That was what Garrus told himself when he sent the message to Shepard, when he heard they were heading back to the Citadel.

***

Skycars buzzed overhead, flashing in the artificial sunlight as they sped past. No way to know if any of the passengers noticed the two figures standing on a support beam below them, but Garrus took the lack of a visit from C-Sec as a good sign.

Shepard stood with the toes of her boots six inches from the edge of the beam. The wind plucked loose strands from her braid and sent them fanning around her face. “It’s beautiful,” she said, rolling her shoulders back. “Worth breaking all those regs for.”

“Glad you approve,” he said, taking the opportunity to stand at her side. It was beautiful, especially if he didn’t think about what was going on in a hundred other systems. From where they stood, they could see the long chilly curve of the Presidium pond disappearing into a line of clouds, and garden plots full of plants so green they were almost black. “I was hoping it would…set the mood.”

“Mood for what?” Shepard didn’t turn her head, but Garrus saw the corner of her mouth quirking up in the familiar half-smile.

“Oh, you know,” Garrus said, winding his arm around her waist. He had a moment to regret wearing his armor when Shepard tried to rest her head on his shoulder, and couldn’t, but then she slung an arm around his waist, and sighed. A good, deep sigh, and even through his armor he felt a little tension melt out of her body.

“I guess I do,” she said, still smiling.

Garrus would’ve been content to stand and watch the traffic till C-Sec finally showed up — seeing their faces when they realized the trespassers they got called about were Commander Shepard, Savior of the Citadel, and the Reaper Advisor-slash-liaison for the turian Primarch would make his entire month — but Shepard shifted after a few minutes, and turned so they faced each other, chest to chest. She looped her arms around his neck, and tugged his head down under his forehead rested against hers.

“How long do we have before the cops get here?” she asked, and the unexpected rough edge of her voice sent a shiver up Garrus’ spine. “You know, how much…privacy?”

“Well, there is the skycar,” he replied, his mouth a little dry. “If it’s privacy you’re after —”

She burst out laughing, eyes crinkling. “Okay, yeah, I should have been a little more clear — not that kind of privacy. Not yet,” she added, biting her lower lip as a faint red flush brightened her cheeks. “Something else to cross off the never have I ever list, right?”

“Right,” Garrus agreed. “Then, what kind of…”

“I just don’t want to get interrupted while I say this,” she said. “You do so much, Garrus. For everyone, but especially me.” The line of her jaw glowed in the cool light. She was so close he could see every eyelash, every fluctuation in her irises. “I’m just so glad you’re here whenever I come up for air.”

He knew better than to try to reply to that. Better to let the moment carry itself, and focus on leaning Shepard back for a kiss. But before he could do that, she inhaled, sharp and quick, and said, “I love you, Garrus Vakarian.”

This is the second time she’s said it, he thought, as she took his face in both her hands and kissed him. He could have said it back so easily, but something kept him silent — a whisper in the back of his head, telling him to wait.

Wait till what?

Till she needs to hear it. She knows.

When will she need to hear it?

No answer came, and by then, Shepard had pulled back from the kiss, brows drawn together.

“You okay?” she asked.

Garrus nodded, and kissed her again, nipping at her lower lip to make her laugh and gasp at the same time. She wriggled away, still laughing, still pink-cheeked, and unworried.

“We should do this more often,” she said. “Breaking C-Sec regs suits you.”

“Good thing we’re not finished yet,” Garrus said. He’d set up this part ahead of time, and got to savor Shepard’s brief, bewildered look when he pulled the sniper rifle from its case.

“Do I want to know?” she asked.

“Let’s just say there’s someone on the Normandy —”

“It’s Vega, isn’t it?”

“— someone who wanted to get a little headshot contest going on our next ground mission.”

“One of these days,” says Shepard, rolling her eyes up toward the false sky, but grinning now, wide and fond, “Vega’s going to open his mouth too wide and fall in.”

“And that reminded me — you never joined in the old contests with Ash and me.” Garrus tossed the rifle to her, smirking when Shepard groaned. “Better late than never.”

“There’s an excellent reason why I never joined in. And only you would set up a shooting contest in traffic.” Shepard checked the thermal clip. “All right, let’s get this humiliation over with.”

Garrus tossed a bottle into the air, caught it easily. He opened his mouth to say Don’t worry, it’s loaded with practice rounds, but when he faced Shepard again, the words caught in his throat.

She beamed at him, loose hair whipping around her face, lips still reddened from their kisses. “You backing out, Vakarian?” she asked, cocking her hip. “Afraid I might surprise you?”

“Oh, anything but,” he managed, still staring. One more moment to memorize, and to bring out when he forgot the for. “You ready, Shepard?”

“Always.”

He threw the bottle in a high, glittering arc, and wondered, while Shepard muttered about the wind and missed her shot, about when.

***

“No matter what happens here, you know I love you. I always will.”

Garrus barely heard her, had to watch her mouth form the words to be sure. But he heard now, clear as a rifle shot, in the back of his head.

“Shepard, I —”

youtube

So, tell me. Think a girl would fall for that? 

Just as long as it’s the one standing in front of you. 

spinninglenny  asked:

Under the sea - Octopus for Garrus / Eliza? (And a thousand internets to you if you can make it fluffy/smutty, because they deserve some happiness)

Octopus - Getting into, or out of, a tight space.

If @spinninglenny asks for fluff, she gets fluff. <3<3

********** 

Garrus liked Hannah Shepard, Garrus respected Hannah Shepard, and a small part of Garrus might even have loved Hannah Shepard, just for loving Shepard as much as she so clearly did. 

Garrus was also terrified of Hannah Shepard, in more ways than he could count, and so when Hannah insisted on taking her girl to lunch – alone – he didn’t put up a single protest, and waved goodbye with a silent sigh of relief as Hannah led Shepard out onto the Presidium. 

Shepard ignored the stares as calmly as she always did, head carried high and her gaze always fixed just beyond the reporters and minor officials trying to step in her way, but Hannah waved and grinned at everyone they passed. Somehow, Garrus thought, that was even more terrifying. Shepard blanking someone was humiliating enough, but Hannah saw everything, and forgot nothing. 

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Small Mercies (Mass Effect, Shakarian)

How about an itty bitty Shakarian ficlet to celebrate Shepard’s birthday? 

The Shepard in question is my beloved Eliza Shepard, who most definitely deserves good things on her birthday. Especially when they come from her favorite person in the galaxy. 

Ghost Masterpost

***********

Shepard’s stomach rumbled plaintively as she stepped into the elevator, though the noise was nicely covered by the ongoing debate between the assembled dignitaries. Small mercy — the only kind she could count on these days, it seemed. Sometimes, she couldn’t even count on that.

The door slid shut on the blurred voices in the conference room. She propped her shoulders against the wall, groaning as Wrex shouted. She couldn’t make out his exact words, but judging by the way the dalatrass’s voice rose, sharp and imperative, it could only have been about one thing: the genophage, and its cure.

Well, she can argue all she wants, Shepard thought, tugging the pins out of her hair one by one and stuffing them in the pocket of her dress trousers. The genophage is non-negotiable. At least Victus is on board.

The voices faded as the elevator rose, still slow as hell — and she let her eyes slide shut and her hair fall in a heavy curtain around her face. A few moments of quiet, to herself, and maybe a shower, and then she’d be ready to read through her overflowing inbox.

As ready as she could be, with millions crying out for help, and millions more who would never get the chance.

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Ghost: Chapter 32/? (Mass Effect)

Summary: For Shepard, death is just another technicality. 

Rating: Explicit (specifically, Chapters 11, 14, and 18). If that doesn’t appeal to you, I’d be happy to send you a PG-13 version.

Current Update Schedule: Fridays, between 7pm and 9pm EST. 

Note: All updates for this story can be found under the “GGIKYLWM” tag. All NSFW updates will be tagged as such. 

Ao3 | ff.net

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The survivors had gathered in a small clearing between a knot of prefabs. They huddled in groups, sharing blankets arms slung around each other’s shoulders, heads close together. Few spoke, and those only whispered. A handful of people moved between the groups, the set of their shoulders setting them apart as Alliance, even in their work clothes. Kaidan looked up from a half-dismantled comm terminal when Vega yelled, but didn’t rise as the squad approached.

Kaidan’s flat, glassy gaze gave Shepard a nervy chill — not just because shock sat so poorly on Kaidan’s face, but because she’d seen it too many times before. Not just on Kaidan: on everyone after Virmire and Ilos, on her own face in the mirror as she scrubbed off layers of dirt and blood. And on Akuze –  

Shepard turned her inward gaze away from the memory before she felt fire along her back again, but still too slowly to avoid seeing Phillips’ face, his features slack, like a ruined house collapsing from the foundation up. 

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freeholds  asked:

kingcup, something mass effect?

Kingcup- youth, innocence, dawn

*********** 

Even for ICT, Vega’s class is a small one. Forty people got invited to Vila Militar, and thirty-seven showed up – but that was almost four years ago now, and half of those people are gone. 

Fine with Vega. ICT didn’t work for them, no shame there. But ICT works just fine for James Vega, and there’s no doubt in his mind – even when he’s facedown in the freezing mud in the middle of night, trying to find the catch for his parachute with numb fingers, or trying to cram vorcha physiology (and seriously, what the fuck is going on inside them? Vega’s crossing Heshtok off his vacation list for good) into his head for the tenth straight hour – that he’s going all the way. He’s James Vega. What he wants, he gets, because he puts his head down and gets the job done. 

He still flirts his way through every class, every mission, because that’s just his way, like he told Scars, back in another life. But when it counts, when the air smells like spent thermal clips and sweat and someone’s screaming at him over the comms to move his ass, he’s on. Present and accounted for. 

To tell the truth, the screaming makes him feel at home. As much as he likes his cohort, and as much as he loves the work, even when he’s so goddamn tired he’s walking into walls, they all look so young, compared to the face he wakes up to every morning. 

It’s not just that he feels about a hundred years older than everyone around him. It’s the way the look at him, too. 

Vega’s not dumb. It’s not really him they’re looking at. They’re watching for an echo, waiting for him to let something slip. So far, they’ve been too polite to ask – or too chickenshit, though either one suits Vega just fine – but everyone wants to know: what was she like? 

Vega had nine months and change of up-close-and-personal experience with her, and he’s still got nothing for the day someone finally sacks up and asks him. He’s got stories, sure, and maybe that would satisfy most people, but this is ICT. They’re N4 and rising, they’re made of steel and they’re going all the way. 

They’re following in her footsteps. No one forgets that before she was Commander Shepard, she was N7, and she knows what they’ll have to do, what they’ll have to become. 

Nobody – not Vega, not Hackett, hell, not even Scars, knows what she had to walk through to come out the other side. For years, they said she died in the blast, no last-second Hail Mary to haul herself out of the fires one last time. But that was a lie, and even if the non-believers still bitch and whisper about it all being a trick, Vega knows better. 

Shepard’s alive. Shepard won’t – can’t – stop. 

She’s always going to be the peak he can’t quite reach. And that’s fine with Vega, too. So he doesn’t have an answer for what she was like, if someone ever asks. He doesn’t have to. Shepard came back, crawling inch by inch back to the galaxy she helped save, and she’ll show them who she is. She’ll show them all. 

Till then, Vega’s got work to do. There’s a whole new galaxy out there to protect, and Shepard won’t be the only one to do it. 

ferociousqueak  asked:

Octopus with Garrus/Eliza for the meme, please! :D

Octopus - Getting into, or out of, a tight space.

How about some ME1 adventures? :D 

**********

Garrus knew a time and a place existed for being pissed off and dismissive, but he was sure it wasn’t at the bottom of a mine shaft, and he was damn sure it wasn’t with an armed nuclear device at their feet.

Not that he’d tell Shepard that. 

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The Eve Of (for Shakarian Sunday)

Garrus and Shepard talk the night before Ilos. 

This fits into my Ghost universe, but has no spoilers for Ghost itself. 

**********

Garrus found Shepard in the mess, her shotgun in pieces and spread across the table. She didn’t look up as he approached, didn’t even pause. He guessed she had recognized his footsteps coming out of the elevator and that, not any sort of distraction on her part, had kept her guard down. 

Outwardly, at least. The day Commander Shepard let her guard down completely would be the day after she died. Even then, Garrus had his doubts. 

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Heroes and Principalities (Ghost 'verse)

Summary: The first time you died went like this: your heart stopped, and your brain stopped, and your breathing stopped, and you were glad, because you finally understood what it means to have failed.

Eliza Shepard’s N7 mission.

Rating: Mature. Warnings for severe PTSD, depression, and survivor’s guilt, as well as some semi-graphic violence.

Notes: Many thanks to bloodbright for making me say “huh, second person POV”, and to servantofclio for saying yes do it and holding my hand as I wrote this.

No spoilers for Ghost or its fellow fics.

 Ao3 | ff.net

Ghost ‘verse Masterpost

**********

You’ve been marked for great things. 

You know this; it’s hard to miss the way heads turn when you walk into a room, how just the mention of your name or the sound of your voice is enough to quiet any number of conversations. They don’t call you singular, not yet, because your greatest accomplishments lie on the other side of two graves, but they call you special. They call you hero

You wish they wouldn’t. You were barely a survivor, and how can you be a hero when you didn’t save a single one of them? 

Not one. 

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Jaw, meet floor. 

I commissioned an illustration from the lovely and talented weissidian of my Eliza Shepard, and oh, what a treasure. I love her weariness, her clenched fist – and her absolute, quiet determination.  

Thank you, weissidian! It’s amazing <3 What a great way to celebrate hitting ten (not nine, like I thought!) months of writing Ghost! 

Light of the World: A Christmas Mass Effect Fic (for swaps55)

Summary: Light begets light. 

A/N: The wonderful swaps55 won a fic in my giveaway, and asked for more Hannah Shepard. I knew that I wanted to write a Christmas-type fic, and while the Hannah/Eliza Shepard bits have been in place for a while, the framework is new. 

Thank you, swaps, for giving me the chance to write this. I needed a little brightness in this universe. 

If you haven’t read Ghost, there are a few spoiler-ish things in here.

Merry Christmas, everyone. Thank you for a wonderful year, and I hope you all know how much I love you. 

**********

Garrus tried not to pry into the squad’s lives too much. 

Easy enough, in theory: most of the squad seemed content to reveal themselves in stages, a sentence here or there in the middle of conversation that he hoarded and added together when he was alone, with Shepard. He listened when they wanted to talk, and never pressed for more information. Not once, no matter how badly he wanted to understand. The squad would fill in the blanks when they were ready. 

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