I go by fourthage. The URL has a dash because someone beat me to the unhyphenated version.

I'm a bit of a magpie. I love the natural world (satisfies both the "ooh shiny!" and "color!" impulses). I also like being ridiculously fannish about made-up people and worlds. It's mostly Mass Effect right now, but I'm also into Dragon Age, Tolkien, Miyazaki movies, and other miscellaneous Japanese comics and games.

Shepard was a horrible dancer. It was no secret. She never knew what to do with her hands and moving with the beat was something that happened to other people. Her protests when Garrus dragged her out on the floor were sincere, and if it had been anyone but Garrus, they would have found themselves flat on their back in the middle of the bar. But it was bad form to lay out your boyfriend, even if he did seem dead set on making you embarrass yourself in front of a bunch of strangers.

And then he pulled her into a formal dancing position that he had no business knowing, one hand holding hers and the other spread flat in the small of her back.  Shepard reconsidered.  This had so much more potential for ridicule.

She glared at him.  He stared right back with the same focused intensity he brought to the battlefield.  Or their sparring sessions.  Both kinds.  His eyes flickered to the right and he moved further into her space.  She retreated instinctively to keep the same distance between them, forced into a quick one-two back.  He did it again in a different direction, and then again, and Shepard realized that they’d not only completed a full turn around the floor, but by the approving murmur of the other patrons, they’d looked impressive doing it.

And Garrus was still giving her that challenging look.  All right then.

She waited until he stepped into her space again, and instead of moving back, hooked her leg up around his thigh, drawing her hips up against his.  The move teetered on the edge between decency and obscenity, waiting for him to tip it one way or the other.  She felt rather than heard the hitch in his breath, and the hand on her back tensed like he meant to pull her into him completely.  The intensity in his gaze sharpened.  He wanted to, even in front of all these people.

She licked her lips and he exhaled.  The leg hers was wrapped around slid back, turning her advance into part of the dance.  It looked perfectly respectable, but the move opened her up even more, and it let her feel that his plates were loose.  The urge to roll her hips, to press her warmth up into him until he emerged hard and ready was almost overwhelming.  She wondered just how much of a scandal it would cause.

He straightened before she could decide, and turned them around the floor again.  Shepard was glad he was leading, because she couldn’t hear the music over the blood roaring in her ears.  She said something to him; a threat, to keep up appearances, and he answered with a low chuckle that said he knew exactly was he was doing to her.  His hand kept moving on her back, subtle enough for their audience not to notice, but deliberate in meaning and intent.  

And then, right when she was about to yank him down, audience be damned, he spun her away.  The rush of club air was cool after the heat of his body, the lights a blur, and she stopped just on the edge of the crowd and found herself face to face with one James Vega.  She was flushed and turned on as hell, and from the appreciative hum James made, he could tell.  She didn’t bother to hide the heat in her gaze as she smiled back, and his cocky stance faltered the way it always did when she called him on his bluff.  James tried to recover, but Garrus’s hand was on her arm, pulling her back to him with an edge of possessiveness.  It was just for show, but her breath quickened as he brought them flush together again.

The music winded to its end, and Garrus slowed their steps in time with it, the last turn less a dance than a sensual embrace.  His leg nudged its way between hers, pressed up against one inner thigh, and she raised it until her knee was level with his hip.  He leaned her back as the strings drew out the last note and she let herself go pliant, trusting him to hold her weight, well aware that her display of throat was almost pornographic by turian standards.

“Well?” he asked, the word sending hot breath over her exposed skin.  

“Yes,” she agreed.  She couldn’t remember what she was agreeing to – some earlier part of their conversation, before he pulled an old earth dance out of his hat – but it wasn’t as important as finding the nearest flat surface as soon as possible.  There was a smattering of applause, and she amended that to the nearest private flat surface.

His voice dipped beneath the clapping, “It’s even better in bed.”  Her chest rose and fell, and she was vertical again, close enough that his breath stirred her hair.  She heard the club music return to its usual techno beat, and sensed the attention of the other patrons drift away.  Her hand fisted in his shirt.

“Prove it,” she whispered.

He went completely still for a split second, then he was dragging her off the floor even faster than he’d dragged her on.  His thumb rubbed along the back of her hand as they almost ran down the stairs, and that small touch was the center of her world.  She bumped into an asari and hardly noticed her sharp rebuke.  Garrus threw an apology over his shoulder, and then they were out of the club.

“Your apartment -” he started.

“Is all the way at the end of the strip,” she finished.  But the warehouses where Javik had made his movie debut were just next door.  Shepard took her turn at dragging.  Plenty of isolated hallways and rooms with doors.  They dodged the bored guard and ducked into a storage room half-filled with crates at the end of a hall.  Garrus let go of her hand to engage the door lock, and that outfit looked just as good on him from the back.

The lock went red and she was on him.  He gave a surprised grunt as his back hit the door and she pressed her advantage, leaning in to drag her teeth down the side of his neck.  She nibbled her way back up the softer skin in front, sucking just under his jaw.  He exhaled a harsh breath and remembered his hands.  The zipper of her dress went down and his hand, large and wonderfully hot, was on her back, over her spine, talons just barely curved into her skin.  She cursed as he hitched one of her legs up in imitation of their dance and rocked into her.  The friction was amazing, but it wasn’t what she really wanted.  She tried to pull away enough to get to his pants, but he dug in his talons in warning and kissed her when she opened her mouth to protest.  

He pushed his tongue in as he kept up the steady, too-slow rhythm between their bodies.  She grasped at his carapace, the cloth of his shirt making it difficult to hook her fingers over the edge like she usually did, and moved back against him in an attempt to quicken the pace.  His tongue teased her, filling her mouth exactly the way he wasn’t below.  She wrenched her head back.

“That all you’ve got, Vakarian?”

Her heart flipped over at the look he gave her.  The awkwardness that marked the beginning of their relationship had been endearing, but this emerging assuredness that he could give her exactly what she wanted – and more importantly, what she sometimes didn’t, but needed – shredded her self-control.

“I’m just getting warmed up.”  Garrus pushed away from the door, and her limbs tightened around him in a hopeless attempt to keep her balance.  Her shoes got lost somewhere between the door and the opposite wall as they stumbled backwards.  He trapped her against one of the stacks of crates and pushed her dress up over her hips.  She reached for his shirt, but he took her wrists and held them up and away.

“Damn it, Garrus.”  She strained against him.  “Don’t tease me.”

“Never.” He bent his head and ran his tongue along her collarbone.  She pulled at her arms, the need to touch him like a physical ache.  His hands loosened and she grabbed his fringe and forced his head up for a kiss.  He growled into her mouth and fumbled at his waist.   A heartbeat, and she felt him slide against the sensitive skin of her inner thigh.  He didn’t bother taking off her underwear, just yanked it to one side before entering her.

She gasped, so wound up she almost came right there.  He started moving, hard and deep, and she clutched at his shoulder and fringe as she went over the edge.  The intensity of it took her by surprise.  She tried to bow back and couldn’t, the crates a solid wall behind her and Garrus steady between her legs.

When she came back down, Garrus had his face buried in the side of her neck, one arm braced above her head.  He exhaled.  “I love the way you sound when you do that.”  The tips of his teeth rested on the underside of her jaw and her pulse jumped as she clenched around him, still sensitive.  

“Fuck.”  He pressed harder into her jaw, tense from the effort of holding back.  “Tell me you’re ready to keep going.”  

She wasn’t quite, really, but she wanted to see him come undone.  “Oh, I’m ready.”  She got her own arm braced behind her and used the leverage to take him even deeper.  “Think you can keep up?”

He laughed breathlessly, and pulled at the leg he was holding to spread her open even more before starting again.  The arm by her head dropped until he could thread his fingers through her hair and pull her head back to keep her throat exposed.  His breathing sped up at the sight and his thrusts grew more desperate.  “Just – just like that,” he panted.  Her grip slipped as she tried to cant her hips, and the crates shifted as he drove her into them, too far gone to care.  Her fingers twisted in the fabric over his chest, and she urged him closer with the leg wrapped around his, toes curled over the tip of his clothed spur, feeling another orgasm build with each thrust.  

She scrambled with the hem of his shirt, wanting – needing – to touch more of him.  His hips stuttered out of rhythm when she slipped underneath, and his grip on her hair grew stronger as she rested her hands on his waist, feeling the flex of muscles as he moved in her.    

“Oh,” she gasped, as she felt him tense in the way that meant he was about to come.  “Don’t stop.  Please, please, don’t stop.”  He cursed, and dropped his head to the crook of her neck, trying to hold out.  She was almost there when he came, pinning her in place with his hips, fingers tight on her thigh and in her hair.  She bucked against him, needing just a little more stimulation to finish.  He groaned, and let go of her hair.  His fingers found her clit, and a few seconds later she was shuddering through her own release.

Garrus gentled his grip on her as she stopped trembling, lowering her leg so she could stand again.  They stayed like that, chest to chest, listening to each other breathe, for a long moment.  Then Garrus said, “I think that was a successful first date.”

Shepard laughed and adjusted her dress so it was decent again.  “Don’t get too cocky, Vakarian.  You know what this means?”

“I get a second date?”

She hummed. “It means,” she said, “that you just set yourself one hell of a bar to raise next time.”

Garrus fixed his pants and rearranged his shirt.  “I was thinking us, naked in your apartment, breaking in the new furniture.”

Shepard paused in the middle of strapping her shoes back on and looked at him.

He grinned.  “Like the sound of that?”

She pulled him down for a kiss.  “Throw in another dance lesson and I just might keep you.”

He made a pleased sort of rumble and turned her so he could zip up her dress.  When he was done, he nipped at the back of her neck and said, “Promises, promises.”

  1. arllakh reblogged this from fourth-age
  2. kitsipawn reblogged this from viqueen
  3. poisonedwords reblogged this from fuckyeahshakarian
  4. blackacres reblogged this from fourth-age
  5. viqueen reblogged this from fourth-age
  6. zicoscock reblogged this from fuckyeahshakarian
  7. queenofthelionhearted reblogged this from ridethebull2014
  8. ridethebull2014 reblogged this from fourth-age
  9. keeperofdreams reblogged this from fourth-age and added:
    Easily one of the BEST Garrus and fem!Shep fics I’ve read.
  10. silhouettevalentine reblogged this from fuckyeahshakarian