Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Author's Note: This'll be a small Shakarian oneshot collection, for Mass Effect Relationships Week 2020 (#merweek2020), being run by cactuarkitty on tumblr. The prompt for day one is first impressions, I've set this in ME1. Would love to hear what you think, I hope you enjoy it!


The first time she meets him, she thinks of mercury.

Angry and composed, frustrated and enthralling. Quicksilver in plates and stature and tongue. His voice with a metallic tang that carries flexible strength even in the face of his superior officer. Determined to be useful, only to be seen as toxic.

A simmer threatening to bubble and steam and burn. Mercury.

Shepard tries to focus on the rage buried beneath his words to his superior, but his tone, the whole of him, enraptures her. The light from the fountain glinting off his plates and his armour. The snarl that she knows all too well, intimately like family: the one she would have across her face right now, if this turian hadn't disarmed her without knowing.

Her eyes drown into the deep blue markings, swallowing her like the tide as the world around her fall away. Her interest caged by the turian who pushed for more without relenting. Who stuck to his words and his instinct, and didn't falter in the face of his superior. Who demanded her attention without even realising it.

And then his head snaps to her; composure is hard to keep before those eyes.

The pause is brief. His voice washes over her like a wave, with hints of the liquid metal ebbing and flowing under the surface. Shepard struggles to remember how to breathe.

"Commander Shepard, Garrus Vakarian. I was the officer in charge of the C-Sec investigation into Saren."

He doesn't look away, and neither does she.

Blue on blue, sky on sea.

Garrus knows of Commander Shepard. Her story reaches most military circles, the growth of humanity, watching them stand on their own two feet. Red hair waving like a banner in the Elysium sky. A rallying cry, the formation of a resistance in the Skyllian Blitz. The birth of a Terran Star, deep in the Verge.

The unknowing origin of a legend, whose tapestry still weaves before her every step.

He regards her quietly as she speaks to him. Without chagrin at his youth; without the expected contempt for his specie; she sees him for him. She asks questions, she listens to him, even when her two human companions push for more urgency in their task.

The Council doesn't like being kept waiting.

The Commander nods at him briefly, passing by him like the streak of a comet. The Star of Terra on her front plate; Terra survives, Humanity thrives. And all he can think of is how free she seems. How endless and full of spirit she seems, like the galactic spirals that can be found in every corner of the known universe. Like the depths of space, the true untamed nature of the galaxy.

The first time he meets her, he believes the galaxy's stars are stitched into the skin across her face.