Ashley woke up in the medical bay of the Isandlwana. She sat up slowly and looked around the room feeling confused. There wasn't anyone inside except for a lone doctor. The last thing she remembered was being on the Madison about to be devoured by the queen. All of her pain seemed to be gone. Maybe this was just a dream.

"Good to see you finally awake," said Dr Verris. He was an older man with balding grey hair. He walked over to the side of her bed asking, "How are you feeling?"

The question fell on deaf ears. Ashley stared back at him as if he wasn't real. For all she knew she might wake up and still be attached to the wall of the Madison's hangar. The only person who would know would be Alenia. "Where's Alenia? The asari?"

"She's around here somewhere," said Dr Verris. "You seem disoriented."

The door to the medical bay opened revealing Alenia. She walked in carrying a tray of food. Smiling wide she sat the tray in Ashley's lap saying, "I brought you breakfast in bed."

"Thank you," said Ashley with a weak smile. Eyeing the rice and beans on the tray; she realized how hungry she was and began to devour the meal.

"I can probably get you a second tray if you want," giggled Alenia watching the chief eat.

"That won't, be, neccessary," said Ashley with a full mouth. "I must look like a mess."

"No, you're cute as always," said Alenia brushing some of the chief's unkempt hair from her forehead.

Dr Verris took note of Alenia's flirtacious behavior and became uncomfortble. Ashley didn't seem to mind or notice and only continued to chow down. He pulled back a portion of the blanket covering the chief's injured leg. Clearing his throat he explained, "We managed to repair the muscles in your thigh as best as we could. Whatever hit you went deep enough to chip your femur bone."

"Explains why it was so hard to walk on," said Ashley setting the tray aside. The wound was now a thick mess of dried blood and stitches. The whole thigh had a sickly purplish bruish from the tearing of muscle.

"We also treated the burns on your abdomen with a stem-cell jelly. It'll keep your skin from becoming pink and contorted," Verris clarified.

Ashley lifted her shirt seeing a new more neatly wrapped bandage around her stomach. "Thanks doc."

"I gave you some sedatives for the leg. If it starts bothering you again, come let me know. Otherwise, you should be able to walk on it gently," said Verris.

"Where's my uniform? I should go report to the captain and fill him in on what went on," said Ashley.

"Already done," stated Alenia. "I told him everything yesterday but I'm sure he'll want to talk it over with you."

"Yesterday? How long have I been out?"

"Two days," answered Verris. "You were in pretty bad shape. Hell, you almost bled out before we would close up your thigh."

"Just how did we get out of that ship? What happened to the aliens?" Ashley turned to Alenia.

"You're certainly full of questions," Alenia smirked. "You passed out while I was fighting off the big one. The 'mother' alien. Anyway, I ended up having to carry you back to the escape pods. The ship exploded seconds after we got away. The blast damaged our thrusters and the Isandlwana had to pick us up."

Ashley sat there silent for a moment. Laying back down she asked one last question, "How long before we reach the Citadel?"

"We're half a day away," answered Alenia. "Do you want to sleep some more?"

"Not yet, I'd like to go back to the crew's quarters at least," said Ashley moving over to the side of the bed preparing to walk. "I might need some help."

"No problem." Alenia took Ashley by the arm and helped her limp back to their room.

/

Ashley tossed and turned in her bunk. Several hours had passed since waking up in the medical bay. Before laying down she had reported in with Capt Briggs. He hadn't been too happy with the results of the mission. Both of the marines on her team were dead. A cruiser had been destroyed along with the specimens. Briggs approved the detonation of the Madison but blamed Ashley for letting it come to that. What bothered her most was the pain in her leg. The meds had started to wear off.

Getting up, Ashley noted that Alenia was sound asleep in the bunk next to her. Carefully sliding on her blue uniform she started to hobble down to the med-bay. With a slight laugh she said under her breath, "I'm starting to turn into Joker."

Moments later after recieving the sedative, she returned to the crew deck. Sleep was still out of the question. There was too much on her mind. Instead, she went to the port observation room. It was the only designated room for relaxation on the military vessel. The room was a small cramped space with a couch facing a rectangular window. The lights were off which was fine with her. No one was inside which didn't surprise Ashley considering Capt Brigg's all work and no play leadership.

Easing down on the couch Ashley stared out into space. Everytime she gazed upon the stars she thought of Shepard's death. Was he watching over her now? Perhaps awkwardly explaining to Kaiden why he got left behind. Shepard had told her he was agnostic but she believed that he was with God.

"Can't sleep?" asked Alenia walking into the room.

"Not really. My leg is bothering me," said Ashley sitting up. "What are you doing here?"

"I rolled over and saw you weren't there. So I went looking for you." Alenia sat down on the couch then scooted over so they were hip to hip.

"You don't have to look after me," grumbled Ashley.

"I know, I want to," grinned Alenia. Placing a hand on Ashley's shoulder she began to massage the area gently.

This action made Ashley apprehensive at first until her shoulders turned to butter. "You're pretty good at this."

"Fifty years ago I used to be an acolyte for the Consort," said Alenia with some pride.

"How old are you again?" asked Ashley leaning forward to give the asari more access to her back.

"Two hundred and thirty-two. It was just something I did for the experience." Alenia started using both hands and put all of her tricks to good use in loosening up the chief.

"I wish I could live that long," sighed Ashley. For a moment she thought about the way she had treated the asari in the beginning. Raised in a human military family she had always thought of aliens as something to guard against. Working with Liara on the Normandy helped to tone down some of those feelings. Except when Liara made a move for Shepard. "I'm sorry for how I acted. Before the mission started I mean."

"It's okay." A wide smile came to Alenia's face. She continued to kneed the pockets of tension in the chief's back.

"I never thanked you for saving my life. So thank you." Ashley grimaced. Making apologies and showing gratitude was never easy for her. "I doubt I'll ever get a chance to return the favor."

"How about a kiss then?" asked Alenia half jokingly.

Ashley laughed. "I'll give you credit for persistance..."

There was a long awkward moment of silence. Ashley could feel herself blushing as she thought about it. 'She did save my life after all.' Affection was the one thing she had been missing most since Shepard's passing. A kiss from an asari wouldn't kill her. She looked over her shoulder at Alenia who was still lovingly rubbing her back.

Alenia stopped and met her eyes. She leaned forward taking Ashley's chin in her hand. Humans could be so cute when kissing an alien for the first time. Their lips met for a brief moment before parting.

"Not bad," whispered Ashley. She thought it didn't feel any different than kissing a human. If you ignore the whole 'tentacle head' part.

"I'm glad you liked it," said Alenia with a smile, but she wasn't satisfied. She moved in kissing her again, then again and again.

Ashley felt herself relaxing in the arms of the asari. The soft noises of their lips moving together filled the otherwise silent room. The pain and suffering of the nightmare they had just lived through seemed to fade. Hell, maybe it was just the meds but it felt good.

As the kiss intensified their tongues lightly brushed one another. Alenia pressed herself against Ashley gently nudging her to lay down on the couch. Staying on top, Alenia deployed all of the knowledge she learned from her time with Sha'ira. She knew all of the pressure points, sensitive spots, and just how to exploit them. There wasn't a human alive that she couldn't seduce.

Clothes were slowly discarded. Ashley gave into Alenia completely, letting her guide their actions. Her blue skin felt so warm and soft on her own. Arms and legs entagled as they explored each other. Alenia put her forehead to Ashley's and smiled knowingly as they locked eyes.

"Does it hurt?" asked Ashley with a nervous grin.

"Not at all. Just try to relax," whispered Alenia. Mentally, she prepared herself for the joining. Human minds can be difficult sometimes. Soon their thoughts and feelings would meld...

A/N: That's it. I've got another story planned which will make a reference to this one but this is the final chapter of this story. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much I did writing it. Leave a review if you want, if not, no big deal but I like reading them. Nyuk nyuk nyuk.