With a little ‘hiss‘, Commander Shepard removed the young Quarians facemask. The fact that he was the very first human to ever see how a Quarian looked like under the tinted facemask of a Quarian environmental suit wasn’t on his mind. Just seconds before, the young Quarian – Tali’Zorah – was babbling nervously, but the moment when their eyes both met no one said a single word. What he saw was so beautiful that he asked the gods how they could have cursed this Quarian to ever withhold her face from the rest of the world. ‘Oh my…‘ were the only thoughts he could muster. Looking into each other’s eyes for the first time without any obstructions felt like an eternity to both of them.
It could have been seconds, or minutes, even hours but when Tali saw that warming smile on her Commanders face, all of her fears, her nervousness and doubts vanished in a moment’s instant. It felt like a burden, as heavy as the universe fell from her shoulders. ‘Keelah…‘ were the only words the young Quarian could think of.
Now without hesitation, Tali finally found her strength as she pulled Shepard onto the bed where their lips met in a passionate kiss. With their lips locked, Shepard moved his hands gently towards Tali’s buttocks where he softly grabbed them. The pattern of her environment suit felt like snake skin and the cloth that was ritually wrapped all around her, soft as silk just like her skin. Moving his right hand towards the long neck of the Quarian he softly pushed her against him while gently caressing her back with his left hand.
Their long kisses, filled with passion and lust, felt like the world was about to end. They never wanted it to stop. The burden of the galaxy on their shoulders fell, as they both stopped caring about the rest of the world. For all they know, entire civilizations could get wiped out, they wouldn’t care at all. Just a mere handful of hours from now, their quest – again – sent them against the impossible odds of defeating an entire army of Collectors that lingered in a hidden base just besides the galactic core, most probably a suicide mission they would not return from. This might be their first and last moment together and they both wanted to enjoy it to the fullest.
Finally they had to grasp for air, their breathing heavy and their hearts beating like in a orchestra of drums as the adrenaline and endorphins rushed through their veins. Shepard looked into Tali’s eyes and let out a small chuckle which suddenly made her loose her smile as she blushed and replace her face with an expression of panic. “What is it?” the Quarian asked worried “Keelah, did I do something wrong?”
Shepard grinned and said in a calm and soothing voice “No, you didn’t do anything wrong at all, it’s just…” – he thought for a second – “…on Earth we often compliment girls, that their kisses taste sweet,” he elaborated, now slightly blushing too “but with your dextro-DNA, kissing you actually DOES taste very… very sweet” he finished his explanation, now again looking into Tali’s eyes and smiling. Giving out a sigh of relief the Quarian gave Shepard a nudge to his shoulder and said jokingly with a big grin on her face “Don’t you ever scare me like that again Shepard!”
They both laughed a little bit and soon returned to staring into each other’s eyes. “You are beautiful” Shepard said with a little pause between each of the words, smiling. Gently caressing the back of the environment suit he continued “You” and kissed her “are” another quick peck “perfect” he finished when they both sunk back into their impenetrable bubble of love while kissing passionately and with the inextinguishable fire in their hearts they both proceed to consummate their love for each other.
An eternity of love and lust and passion and a very happy young Quarian and Human later, both of them laid quietly in bed, sore from their exercise, unable to move just one more inch. Staring up unto the ceiling, Commander Shepard cushioned his head with his left hand while gently stroking Tali’Zorah’s back with his right, who rested comfortably on the Commanders chest with her eyes closed, silently listening to his steady heartbeat.
While Shepard looked aimlessly at the ceiling of his private quarters, he noticed for the first time that he could actually hear the quiet humming of the Normandy’s distant engines. He smiled as he remembered how Tali used to tell him that she couldn’t sleep on this ship, because the engines were too silent. Now the engines were the loudest noise in the room – apart from the occasional deep breath – and it only grew louder the more he tried not to concentrate on it.
Slowly shaking his head, he turned down to look at the majestic body of the young Quarian he had admired and loved for the last two and a half years. His heart skipped a beat when he thought back to the moment he finally realized that she had the same feelings for him, for almost the entire time as he did. ‘I am so lucky. So very, very lucky‘ he thought and smiled. Softly stroking along the side of Tali’s face with the back of his palm, he broke the eerie silence and said “Tali’Zorah vas Normandy nar Rayya…” The young Quarian slowly turned her face to him, letting out a soft groan and smiled.
Resting his right hand on her back he continued “Did you really never notice that I liked you all these years?” and put on a hint of a smirk. The young Quarian answered a tired and muffled “No” as she smiled, looking into Shepard’s eyes, “And that I took you with me on all my missions never seemed suspect to you?” the Commander asked again. Contemplating for a second she turned her head a little more so she could speak clearer, she answered “I guess, now that you mention it…” and after a second or two more, elaborated “…but at the time I thought you just wanted to show me the Universe, give me adventures that I could share with my people, once I returned from my Pilgrimage” ending the sentence with a soft kiss to his chest, before shyly adding “But I’d be lying if I say it never crossed my mind”.
She turned up to look into her Commanders eyes again, taking a deep breath and smiling at him. Shepard laughed a little before returning the smile and looking back at her. He gently caressed along her spine for a few moments before staring back at the ceiling, the smile still on his face.
‘Keelah, how could I have never noticed?‘ Tali thought while she savoured every second she could feel her skin against Shepard’s, memorizing every ounce of his scent and carefully studying every single hair on his body. Every moment filling her with so much joy, she just wanted to jump in the air and scream at the top of her lungs. But at the same time, she also felt great sadness thinking about their upcoming mission. The thought of certain death, just so shortly after she finally found the missing piece in her life, made her heart clench. Taking a deep breath she looked up to Shepard, his gaze locked to some point millions of miles beyond the ceiling, the wrinkles in his forehead as he undoubtedly also thought about the coming fight she finally said “Shepard?” He slowly turned his head to Tali, a hint of fear in his eyes she looked at him for a moment. She never saw Shepard frightened, he had fought armies of Geth, stood tall in battles entire legions would have thought lost and won them singlehandedly, rained down on every enemy in his way like a force of nature without even so much as flinching an eye. She was scared, millions of questions passing her mind, but she held on to one in particular.
“What if I die?” she asked.
The smile on the Commanders face dropped like a stone. The one question he didn’t want to ask himself, but there it was: Hanging in the air like a bullet in slow motion, moving unstoppably towards his head. “I faced the Geth, the Reapers and soon the Collectors, and I didn’t ever feel lost or frightened. But the thought of losing you…” he said slowly, with agony in his heart “… the thought of losing you scares the life out of me.” He put his hand on the side of the Quarians face and added “So, you promise me. You promise me, that you will make it out of there alive”. The seriousness and fear in his voice sent chills down the Quarians face, and with a single tear from her eye she nodded, moved up and kissed him passionately when a familiar voice over the intercom suddenly interrupted the peace of their intimacy.
“T-minus 5 minutes until we reach the Omega relay, you better get ready Commander.”