19June2012 update: This is an update to correct for the fact that there was no galley in ME1. I added a few extra tidbits for your enjoyment if you care to read it again.
This story is turning out a lot longer than I intended. Writing from Garrus' point of view is a struggle. Thanks to Lordess-Alicia for her Deviation "Goodnight Shepard" that inspired most of this story. You can see it here: [link]
Note the semi crazed look in Garrus' eye.
More Bed Time Stories, part 2
It was about oh-two hundred hours and I was crouched down, rummaging through the little beer cooler that Joker had tucked away under the mess hall table. I heard the doors of her quarters swish open and there she was. Her lithe form was seductively out of uniform, sheathed in silky black bed clothes with a spotted animal type print that showed the soft curves, yet left everything to the wild imagination.
And there I was
. wearing only my military shorts that barely covered my ass and a damp gray towel thrown over my shoulder.
"Commander?" I said, keeping my voice soft. "I didn't expect there would be anyone else up so late."
Her eyes widened, as she gazed down, raking over me with surprise and curiosity.
"Garrus," she said. "Late night shower?"
"Uh huh." I replied feeling an odd pang of over exposure. "I prefer to shower alone. I should have
uh, I left my robe on the flight deck."
"No problem big guy," she replied and sat down on top of the table. The black pajamas clung to her, flowed around her and contrasted sharply with the honey tone of her skin. "I'm not embarrassed and you have nothing to be embarrassed about. Would you hand me a ginger ale since you're down there?"
I reached far into the back of the cooler to retrieve the drink and held it out to her as I slowly rose, being very careful how I stood. I didn't want a surprise to pop out suddenly, protruding in my shorts in a provocative or awkward way. And just being near her made that prone to happen anyway.
"Sorry I didn't expect to meet anyone at this hour," I explained. "I just like to shower in the middle of the night. I've always been a night person."
"So am I. Early rising is the hardest part of military life for me. I always grabbed second shifts whenever I could."
Her sweet scent floated up to my nose; exotic soap, a slept in bed, her curiosity about me, her fear the attraction undermined her authority. I could smell it all. And I knew also, that she still had not chosen a mate. Why, I wondered, would my Turian nose be so attuned to and so aroused by, her alien scents.
"I would never have expected that we had that in common commander." I took a swig from my bottle and leaned against the wall facing her. I knew I certainly should have just gone downstairs, because this was asking to get myself classified "Alenko" style for flirting with my CO, but I didn't move. I couldn't.
And then there was her rather intense stare that roamed everywhere on my body without flinching.
"What is it commander?" I asked. She leaned towards me, examining my chest.
"Your exoskeleton..," she began as she looked at the plates that covered my upper arms and torso. "They're
iridescent. I can see rainbows on your skin."
"That's because I'm still a little wet," I explained with a nervous laugh. "The exoskeleton incorporates a number of organometallic complexes to deflect the effect's a Trebia's intense radiation. The surfaces of the plates are finely grooved like a diffraction grating. I'm a walking prism when wet."
"It's beautiful, all those colors." She looked like a child gazing at candy, or so I told myself. "I could stare at you forever; sorry
. But what happened to your tattoos?"
"Tattoos?" I asked. I had to scratch my head for a moment as I puzzled out what she referred to. "You mean the face paint? It washes off in the shower."
"Oh stupid me." she replied. "Sorry Garrus I thought they were tattoos. I wondered why the white on your
muzzle, your mouth
was always changing. Why face paint anyway?
"The blue design is my clan's markings. The Vakarian's mark, all the males of the clan wear it. The white, well that was just a C-sec thing I guess."
I shrugged my shoulders and she eyed me critically for a moment appraising me like an art work, or a cut of meat she planned to cook for dinner.
"I like your plain face, but without the blue markings and your visor you don't seem like you, exactly. The white paint doesn't do anything for me though."
"Then I may never wear white paint again, commander."
She gave a little chuckle and continued her investigation. I took another swig of beer and waited. I knew her well, and she wasn't finished with this.
"What about female Turians? Do they wear clan markings?'
Damn I thought, damn, damn with shit thrown in for good measure. Keep this simple Garrus, I told myself, very simple. My own nervous tell of scratching head was automatic and she saw it. I just hoped I could satisfy her curiosity quickly and get her to change the subject.
"Yes but they have more freedom of choice. Some wear a plain face, as do some male Turians who don't identify with the old clan style. Most combine their family marks with their mate's marks. Those combinations are often pretty colorful, lots of blues, whites and reds mixed together. Mated females can be very dazzling with their paint. A few choose wear their mate's marks only."
"Why not wear your mate's mark if it's a sign of your bond?" she asked, and folded her arms across her chest in a gesture I had come to recognize well; curiosity mixed with defensiveness. "A lot of human females still change their surnames when they marry."
"It's complicated Turian history and culture," I said. Why in the deep dark galaxy had I even mentioned that! I really wanted to change the subject now as we were venturing into a highly eroticized area of Turian culture and just thinking about it increased my arousal, speaking about it, with her especially would drive me crazy. I needed to leave before my body betrayed me and my shorts exposed me.
I downed more beer and tried to put the answer delicately. She already had her guard up and I could tell this would be one of those awkward interspecies conversations if I was not careful about how I explained a very sensual part of Turian relationships. I looked over my shoulder to be sure no one else was awake on the crew deck.
"Changing your marks is considered an act of compliance or
submission. A conquered clan had to change it marks to match those of the conqueror."
"So a female Turian would be submitting sexually to her mate if she only wore his marks?"
Yes, basically, damn it, yes, I thought. Great, now I had tasked myself to explain something that couldn't even be translated. Whatever I said was bound to sound sexist and arrogant or worse. It would be so much easier to just show her, but of course that was currently out of the question.
"Not just sexually, but spiritually, psychically, physically, emotionally, mentally
she offers her entire self to their mating," I explained. She squinted at me in a skeptical way and I knew she wasn't buying it. "Sorry it's impossible to translate this. It's not a one sided thing Shepard, it's a melding of souls. Wearing the same marks just signifies that the pair has achieved that level of intimacy. It doesn't
happen for everyone.
She was quiet for a moment as a steady swell of sexual pheromones began to exude from her skin. "That's
sexy. I think."
I never expected that kind of response from her, and another pang of lust shot through me, right down into my groin.
"I've never been that close to anyone, so I couldn't say." I walked to the other side of the table and pretended to study the human nutritional chart on the opposite wall. "Oh and the brandy was superb. Thank you again. I'm always happy to discover new alcoholic beverages that I can safely consume."
"I'm glad you enjoyed but don't try to change the subject Garrus. I'm not stupid. You mean there isn't a female crazy enough about you to change her face paint?"
My heart pounded in my chest, and my blood pressure went well over normal. Why was she asking this with arms folded across her chest locking me out of her life, her arms, and her bed? I felt my erection begin to peak out and kept my back to her. "No, female Turians are not that crazy."
"Come on Garrus there's got to be someone."
"As you may have heard, I have a reputation as a hothead." I reminded her. "And Joker asked me if I was in pain from the stick up my ass, soon after I first came aboard. When female Turians want to settle down, they don't want a male who constantly chaffing and butting heads with his boss. That's me I'm afraid. I've had my share of girlfriends but I'm not permanent mate material."
"You're the impulsive biker guy that moms are always warning their daughters to avoid."
The question about female Turians and the face paint had really gotten to me. For a male Turian, painting his female's face with his mark was about as erotic as one could think of. If she washed off her family marks first and it happened during sex, spirits! Most female Turians I knew would sooner scratch a male's eyeballs out with her six centimeter talons, than submit that way, but I did know a few happy couples that had achieved it.
It was the kind of erotica and emotional bonding of which great Turian poets sung, and just the thought of having Shepard that way made me sweat. She needed an alpha male. I could imagine her face covered in my blue ink, her body impaled by mine and her hips squirming underneath me. I tried to replace the image with a boring distraction like weightlifting or shooting Geth on Noveria in freezing conditions.
"I wish I had something to go with this beer," was all I could think to say as sweat trickled down my neck. "I ate all the Turian snack food I bought on the Citadel."
"I have something you might like," she offered. "I think its labeled safe for Turians, hold on a minute."
She rose and disappeared into her quarters. I wiped my face with the towel. What the hell was I doing? What the hell was I thinking? She smelled like she wanted me, she gave me presents and spirits know she spent a fortune on my battle armor and guns. But she never let me in, so was I potential mate or just her pseudo brother in a confused kind of way?
To be continued