Disclaimer: I do not own Mass Effect, nor the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

It took a couple of weeks, but the extract finally arrived, smuggled in among some medical supplies. The conspirators had a meeting in Kasumi's quarters and made careful plans for the night. Drawing straws determined that Tali would try her luck first.

"All right, here's the battle plan," Kasumi said. "Dr. Chakwas prepares the extract while Kelly makes some tea. We mix the two together, then Kelly takes the drink to Mordin and leaves it there. We wait 15 minutes for the stuff to take effect, then Tali goes in and... Well, we'll see what happens then."

"Hopefully some magic," Tali laughed, trying to hide her nervousness.

Mordin was in his lab, as usual, working on the Collector samples. He was making good progress, so when Kelly walked in with the tea he was glad to take a little break and enjoy the hot drink. Thankfully Kelly left, so he could sip the tea in silence, savoring every drop. He closed his eyes and felt happy and peaceful for a moment. Then something started to stir inside him. He saw her face, smiling at him. He could almost feel her touch and hear her laugh. Suddenly he realized that he longed to be with her, to hold her, to touch her, to make everything all right for her. His heart pounding, he started to pace in the spacious room, wondering what he should do. Then he made up his mind and hurried out of the lab.

Tali walked in a few minutes later to find no sign of Mordin.

"EDI?" she called out.

"Yes, Tali," came the answer.

"Where is Mordin?"

"Doctor Mordin Solus is in Commander Shepard's cabin".


Shepard was sitting on the couch in her tank top and shorts, her feet propped up on the table, a datapad in one hand and a glass of wine in the other. After a hard day of giving orders, kicking ass, and dealing with the constant problems that the crew never seemed to get tired of coming up with her time was finally her own to spend any way she pleased. And what she wanted most right now was to have a drink and read the steamy romance novel that she had downloaded from the extranet. Kasumi's books got her hooked but she had already exhausted her little library. Of course she would have preferred to have the real thing right there, but... beggars can't be choosers, as her mother used to say.

She was right at the part where "David put his strong arms around her, pulled her close, his lips brushing against her own, making her tremble and moan," when Mordin walked in.

"Mordin!" she gasped, almost dropping her drink at the sight of the good doctor charging in with some urgent purpose. "Is there something wrong?"

"Shepard. No, everything is right. In fact, everything is wonderful. You are wonderful."

"What? Are you okay?" She put the glass and datapad down and stood up then took a few steps towards him with a worried look on her face.

"Never been better. Wanted to be with you. Wanted to... touch you."

He reached out and stroked her bare arms, then his hands moved down to her waist, then her hips, and settled there. She stared at him in disbelief and what she saw in his eyes was not the usual sparkle of scientific curiosity or contemplation but affection and desire.

'Maybe there IS some kind of alien influence on board. Or some virus. Or whatever,' she thought.

For a moment she considered asking him if he was sure that the tests were all negative, but quickly discarded the idea. 'So what if that's the case? I don't care. We can worry about that later. I want this. I NEED this.'

She slowly reached out and touched his face to stroke his cheeks, then her fingers traveled up to his horns and gently caressed them. He made a rumbling sound in appreciation, pulled her close and pressed his mouth against hers. Her stomach trembled as she parted her lips and their tongues brushed against each other in a slow and gentle kiss. When his hands moved to her back and traveled up under her shirt, stroking the smooth skin over her hard muscles, she made her decision: she grabbed his arm and pulled him towards the bed. He offered no resistance.

"Did you see how happy and relaxed Shepard looked this morning? Damn, I want what she had. Next time we're docked somewhere I'm so getting myself a salarian," Jack said the next day when the group met to discuss the previous night's events.

"Yeah, but unfortunately not this salarian," sighed Kasumi. "Mordin only has eyes for Shepard."

"She wouldn't take too kindly to any attempts anyway. You should have seen her smirk when she saw me this morning," added Tali, shaking her head.

Operation Hot Stud canceled, the band sadly dispersed.

After another hard day Shepard was standing in the shower with her face turned up, letting the water cascade over her body and loosen up her tense muscles when she felt a pair of long arms circle around her waist from the back.

"Mordin," she sighed contentedly, closing her eyes, and leaned into his embrace.

He bent down and kissed her neck.

"Needed to be with you," he said, and all the stress and tension of the day melted away.

He turned off the water, picked up the thick towel and wrapped her in it, holding her tight.

"Can't imagine a night without you anymore," he murmured.

"Neither can I," she smiled and put her arms around him, burying her face in the crook of his neck as he picked her up and carried her to the bed.

There was one thing the conspirators were right about: all he had really needed was a little help to get over that bump.



~The End~