“Doc, I’m fine.” Shepard sighed, making a conscious effort to not continue shivering from the intense cold that wasn’t just surface, but soul deep. Having mental contact with a being that old had taken it’s toll on her, but she didn’t want her crew to know about that.
“Regardless. I’m putting you on quarters for the remainder of the evening.” Dr. Chakwas looked at her, expression serious. “Someone can bring you food when you get hungry, but you need rest.”
“I’ll handle that,” Garrus said, leaning against the wall as he had been since the beginning of this check-up that he’d instigated after they’d gotten back from 2181 Despoina. She gave him a mock glare that had no heat and sighed.
“Fine,” Shepard grumbled, getting to her feet and grinding her teeth against the prevailing weakness in her body.
Garrus came towards her, a three fingered hand coming up and squeezing her shoulder. “Come on. I’ll walk you up.”
She nodded in agreement, and put her concentration into keeping from falling on her face between here and the elevator. She might have been mistaking, but Garrus was keeping close, closer than normal and she felt a twinge of guilt.
She’d scared him.
She had known that as soon as he’d said in that resigned tone to not do something like she had again. She glanced back as he brought the elevator, and when his hand dropped to his side, she reached out, lacing her fingers through his. He looked towards her, startled by the affection in this setting, but he didn’t object. When the elevator arrived, he pulled her in, and she stumbled a little, resting against him.
His arms went around her waist and she was grateful for the support.
The elevator paused at the cic, and the door opened, revealing Kaidan, whose lips turned down into a faint frown. “You going up?”
She straightened up, and Garrus coughed faintly. “Yeah,” she said, unable to keep the faint challenge out of her eyes and voice.
His eyes clouded with something. Disappointment. Memories. Then he gave a faint smile and a shrug. “I’ll catch the next one.” He closed the door and she watched it slide closed between them.
She sagged back against Garrus, needing his warmth to combat the intense cold. His arms went around her as they continued up, and she knew he was chewing on something. When the elevator stopped, she forced herself upright and moved to step away from him.
She didn’t get a foot.
He lifted her off the ground and carried her into her room, one arm around her shoulders, the other beneath her knees and he set her on the end of the bed, setting to work removing her armor.
She gave a quiet chuckle. “If you wanted me out of the gear, you could have asked-”
He shot her a look that was mostly temper. His hand slipped back into her hair and he pulled her forehead down to his. “I’m trying to decide if I need to kick your ass for worrying me.”
Her heart stumbled and landed in a heap. A faint smile curved her lips and she lifted a hand, tracing her fingertips over the scarred side of his face. “Yeah, well. I owe you a few for all the times you’ve worried me.
His chuckle was mostly exasperation. “Out of the two of us, I owe you. You’re making a habit of this. Next time…”
He got quiet and went back to removing her armor. She saw something like fear in his eyes and after she was stripped down to her uniform, she reached towards his face. “Garrus?”
He met her gaze slowly. “The time you were down there. After the signal went out…I thought I…I thought you-”
She leaned towards him, kissing him softly on the mouth. “I’m here. I’m here.” She wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling his head to her shoulder, and closed her eyes tightly.
He didn’t resist. His arms lifted and went around her waist, one hand resting at the base of her neck, the other comfortable on her hip. “You were so cold when we got you on that shuttle. Just…Don’t do that again. No more sacrificing yourself. Promise me, Shepard.”
She closed her eyes and smiled, stroking the hardened plates on the back of his head. “I promise,” she whispered.
He gave a gruff sound, almost a chuckle. Then he whispered “liar” against the fabric of her uniform. She bit her lip and didn’t respond, letting him think she hadn’t heard him. When his hands started to drift, she didn’t stop him, she arched into him, lifted his face and kissed his mouth again, taking advantage of the time they still had together, knowing that tonight they were both too aware that the next mission might always be their last.