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When the elevator stalled halfway between the Presidium and C-Sec, Shepard wondered what she had done to deserve this. She regretted not bringing another team formation for a moment, waiting for the bickering to begin. Tali and Garrus did not disappoint for very long.
“Did the elevator really just stall?” Tali questioned, a bit.txtredulously. “I thought the Citadel had some of the best technology in the universe. Shouldn't C-Sec at least be upkeeping their elevators better?”
Shepard bit back a sigh because she knew that jibe on C-Sec would set off Garrus. “We don't upkeep the elevators ourselves, Tali,” Garrus replied tersely, his mandibles twitching for a moment. “The Keepers are the ones that are in charge of the upkeep of the technology here.”
“I still don't understand that,” Tali stated, crossing her arms and shifting on her feet. “How can none of you know how the Citadel works? There have been people living here for centuries, and no one understands the technology? The Flotilla would never-”
“Oh, yes, bring that up, Tali,” Garrus interrupted, his tone a bit snide, “I'm sure that conversation won't lead someone unpleasant.”
Tali scowled underneath her helmet. “Of course, this conversation was never going to be pleasant. I am talking to you and all, you bosh'tet,” she replied.
Shepard quickly stepped between. “All right, that's enough. I'm gonna stop this at the name calling that didn't translate,” she said shoving at both aliens. “Now, you each take a corner and just pretend the other isn't here, okay? It's like working with children.”
Tali made an embarrassed sound before turning around. “Fine,” she muttered, turning to look away from both Shepard and Garrus.
Garrus's face turned a little blue, and Shepard suspected he was flushing. “You too, Vakarian,” Shepard commanded, and he turned around, his posture stiff as if reprimanded by a high-ranking turian general. “Good, and now we wait and hope that scanning I've been doing isn't why the Keepers haven't fixed this already.”
Both Tali and Garrus turned around quickly to stare at Shepard.txtredulously. “It seemed harmless?” she said with a sheepish grin before the elevator jostled and started to move again. “Look at that! I was right!”
In unison, Garrus and Tali sighed, glanced at each other then looked away before the elevator door slid open.
At a certain point after a miraculous resurrection and recruiting some of her old friends as part of Cerberus suicide mission to save the universe from the collective threat of Reapers and Collectors, Shepard started to wonder if the universe well and truly hated her. Maybe she had done something in a past life or something. What could she have done to get stuck in an elevator with Garrus and Tali again?
“Well, this might take longer,” Shepard muttered as she flopped onto the elevator floor. “No Keepers on Illium.”
“But there is Liara,” Tali piped up as she slid down to the floor with her omni-tool open, quite close to Shepard. “I can contact her now.”
“Go for it,” Shepard said before looking up at Garrus, who had deciding standing would be the best option. “Garrus, get your bony butt down with us. We don't bite.”
Garrus looked at her skeptical before giving his version of a turian smirk. “Checking out my ass, Shepard?”
Shepard and Tali snorted at the same time which led them to looking to each other, and that only set off a round of giggles. Garrus huffed, sliding to the floor but keeping his distance, or as much as he could in an elevator.
“You can stop laughing now, thanks,” Garrus stated unhappily after a minute and the giggles not subsiding. “You two do wonders for my ego.”
Tali curbed her laughter first, barely. “Garrus, if we didn't, your ego would be too big to fit in the Normandy.”
Shepard had finally stopped laughing only for it to bubble up again. “Then he wouldn't fit through the airlock!” she announced before covering mouth to stop the giggles.
“You two are...” Garrus trailed off, looking over at the two, noticing that Tali's omni-tool was going into sleep mode before summoning his own. “You didn't even message Liara.”
“Oooh, you should tell her how boney Vakarian's ass is,” Tali supplied as Garrus scowled with a slight show of sharp teeth and twitching mandibles, though one side was a bit less twitchy because of the rocket to the face as he messaged Liara.
“Are you two drunk?” he questioned as he pressed send and closed his omni-tool. “Did you get into the red sand from earlier, Shepard?”
Shepard snorted, but at least she had stopped laughing. “I'm not a biotic, Garrus. That stuff wouldn't do shit,” she replied, running a hand through her blonde hair. “If you really think I'm drunk, let's have a sniping contest after we get out of here.”
“Oh, here we go again,” Tali muttered to herself as Garrus's eyes lit up.
“You're on, Shepard,” he replied with a show of teeth.
“She let you win that time,” Tali stated just before the Presidium elevator stalled.
“What?” Garrus questioned as Shepard did her best to look innocent when he turned her way. “Shepard.”
Shepard gave her patented 'who, me?' smile, but after knowing each other for so long, it had no effect on her teammates, especially not Garrus. “What do you want me to say, Garrus?”
“Why you let me win,” he replied as Tali .txted.
“I...” Shepard trailed off then shook her head. “Look, I just wanted you to be happy. It didn't matter if I won, and winning would make you happy. There's...not much time for that kind of thing nowadays...”
Garrus frowned. “Shepard...” he trailed off then pulled her in for a hug. “I would've been happy if you won too.”
“Aww, the turian can be sweet,” Tali teased before Shepard huffed and pulled her into the hug. “Hey-! Shepard, you don't-”
“Don't be stupid, Tali,” Garrus stated, wrapping an arm around her too.
“Who are you calling stupid? You didn't even notice Shepard missed the shot on purpose,” Tali stated, without much venom in her words.
Before Garrus or Shepard could reply to her, the elevator started again, and they moved away from each other awkwardly just before the elevator doors slid open to finally reveal they docking bay.
“Seriously?” Shepard questioned as the Normandy's elevator stalled to a complete stop. “Do elevators just sense when I don't want to be in them, and they stall to be a bitch?”
“I apologize for the delay, Commander,” EDI said over the elevator comm. “You will be moving again momentarily. EDI out.”
Shepard sighed, glancing over to her elevator companions who were shifting awkwardly. “It's always you two, isn't it?” she questioned quietly, almost fondly. “It's always been you two.”
Tali laced her fingers with Shepard's and squeezed. “I don't know if I'd say always, Shepard. I have wanted to fire my shotgun in Garrus's face ever so often, especially the first time around,” she teased as the turian scoffed.
“I'm charming, and I've always been charming,” he stated, only to get two identical stares of.txtredulity. “Oh, fine. Maybe I was a bit...immature back then, but I'm not now.”
Shepard chuckled as she ran a hand down Garrus's broad chest. “Definitely not,” she murmured as Tali leaned against her.
Garrus coughed, trying to cover up to blush on his face. “Right, we were working towards something before the elevators stalled,” he stated, glaring at the elevator panel that was blinking red.
“I've got my antibiotics, and I've been building my immune system up,” Tali said quietly.
Shepard grinned and kissed the visor of Tali's helmet. “Good, we don't want you getting sick,” she murmured as she pulled Garrus closer to them by entwining her fingers with his.
Garrus stumbled a bit before pulling the ladies closer to him. “And if you do get a little sick, we'll definitely be making it worth your while, Tali,” he said cheekily. Tali snorted, looking up at Garrus. “Oh, you better. I'm only in this with you for your body, Vakarian.”
“Oh, I like it when you're mean,” Garrus said with a grin.
Shepard chuckled, resting her head against Garrus's chest as her fingers stroked Tali's hand. “Hey, EDI, could you hurry it up a bit?” she asked, and the elevator's door slid open a moment later, making Shepard grin. “Thanks, EDI. Garrus, Tali, and I will be indisposed for the night. Interrupt only if there's an emergency, okay?”
“Of course, Commander. The crew wouldn't dream of interrupting you for anything less than facing down a Reaper...or the Council. EDI out.”
Shepard groaned, hiding her face in Garrus's chest for a moment. “If we get interrupted for the Council, I'm going to wish I let them die on the Destiny Ascension, so hard,” she muttered.
Garrus laughed as he tilted Shepard's head up. “That won't happen. Right, Tali?”
“Of course not,” Tali replied with a chuckle. “I made sure your comm blocks out the Council unless they're dying.”
Shepard turned around and wrapped her arms around Tali tightly. “Come on. I want to kiss you for this, and we need to get to my cabin to get rid of your helmet.”
Garrus walked pass them. “Last one to the bed has to watch the other two without touching.”
Tali and Shepard quickly ran past him, laughter filling the room as the cabin door slid closed behind them.