A/N: Apparently I came home from karaoke last night and decided to write a thing. So uh, apologies for my shameless appropriation of six thousand cliches.
Garrus was in the cockpit, listening while Shepard went over the most recent batch of Normandy’s upgrades with EDI and Joker. Maybe not listening intently, but he was paying enough attention to nod like he knew what was going on. Mostly, he was waiting his turn to talk to Shepard.
“So, with the new stabilizers, we’re totally going to be able to make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs,” said Joker.
“As the parsec is a unit of distance, and not time, there is no way to make any run in less than twelve parsecs,” said EDI.
“Nice try, but you’re no Han Solo, Joker. With that beard, you’re more like —”
“Commander, if you say I’m the Wookiee here, it’s grounds for mutiny.”
Shepard folded her arms and smiled. “Doesn’t need to be said. We all know it’s true.”
“Know what’s true?” They all turned to Garrus. The part of him that had never quite left C-Sec wanted to shift under their gazes, but he stamped it down ruthlessly.
“See? Now he’s more of a Han than you are.”
Joker threw up his hands.
“He’s not a pilot! He just shoots things! Uh, really well,” Joker added when Garrus turned a blank stare on him. “Like, he’s awesome at the shooting things thing, but no. He’s not Han.”
“He is if I say so.”
“I hate to interrupt,” Garrus interrupted, “but I’d appreciate it if someone would explain what a Wookiee is. And a Han.”
Shepard’s grin disappeared so quickly it might never have existed, and the look she gave him was actual, genuine despair. “Oh, no,” she whispered. Joker echoed her.
“It appears your relationship with the Commander has encountered what humans call a snag,” EDI stage-whispered to Garrus, in that dry way of hers that made it hard to know if she was joking or not.
“Oh no what?” he asked, ignoring EDI. “What?” he said again, when Joker and Shepard just shared a look.
“I can’t believe you — of all people — are dating a dude who hasn’t seen Star Wars,” Joker looked crushed. “Well, it’s not like it’s required viewing in the Hierarchy.”
“What’s a Star War?”
“That’s it,” said Shepard, with the same tone that usually spelled pain and suffering for her enemies. “Garrus, go to my cabin. Now.”
“You’re lacking a critical understanding of human cultural currency,” she said. “I’m going to fix that. Now go.”
Twenty minutes later, Shepard arrived, arms full. Garrus was pacing.
“Shepard, I feel like I did something wrong here, please tell me —”
“Relax, Garrus. This is an easy fix.” She juggled a bowl and foil packets and hit the door lock with her elbow. “Could you take something?” He slid the two six-packs of beer off her fingers and carried them to the table. “Thanks. Now, let me do a quick check. Snacks? Check. Drinks? Check. Adorably clueless turian? Check.” She set her armload down on the table and brought up her omni-tool display. “Six hours of Star Wars? Check, check, check.”
Other than pacing, Garrus had used his time waiting to do a quick extranet search for Star Wars. He felt bolder now that he knew what he was getting himself into, which was why he risked a question as he pulled a beer out of the dextro-friendly case.
“Wait. Isn’t it more like twelve hours? Aren’t there six movies?”
“I’m going to pretend you didn’t just ask me that.” Shepard bent very close and took his face in her hands. “There are only three Star Wars movies, Garrus.”
“But on the extranet —”
“The extranet lied.”
He shut his mouth and applied himself to his beer. Shepard settled in next to him, the bowl of yellow kernels — popcorn, he reminded himself, she loves popcorn — in her lap. She nudged his hip with hers.
“Thanks for doing this,” she said.
“I’m still not sure what I’m doing, but you’re welcome.”
She laughed and nudged him again. “Consider it a crash course in understanding why your girlfriend is a huge nerd. This is where it all began for me.” With her free hand, she punched in a string of numbers on her omni-tool. The room went dark, and a display screen opened above the table.
Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away…
“So,” said Shepard. “What did you think?”
Garrus shook his head. “You grew up on ships. You work with aliens. How does this even compare?” He waved a hand at the screen. “It’s old. It doesn’t even look real. The Ewoks are the creepiest things I’ve ever seen. And I think EDI would be insulted if you compared her to that C-3PO.”
“It’s a good story.” She pushed the empty bowl to the table and flicked off the screen. “When I was a kid, it was a lot easier to understand Star Wars than it was to understand actual ships, with eezo cores and armories. You know, all the places kids aren’t supposed to go.”
“Places you inevitably went.”
“You know me too well.” She stretched, leaning into him with a contented sigh. “And it’s just a good story, too. Everything’s clearer than what I’m used to working with. The Empire is bad, the Jedi are good.”
“Except for Darth Vader.”
“Right. But it’s black and white, mostly. Good guys and bad guys. And the good guys get to win.”
“That’s not even subtext, that’s just text, Shepard.”
“Yeah, well. Even the great Commander Shepard is allowed a little escapism once in a while. Speaking of which…” Her hand slipped around his waist. “There’s more than one way to escape. How about one you’re more familiar with?”
He pulled her into his lap, laughing.
Later, when the sweat had cooled and they were tangled in bed, Shepard sighed and nestled closer.
“If I didn’t love you before, I’d have to after you sat through six hours of Star Wars for me.”
Garrus, on the edge of sleep, made an indistinct sound.
“Well, I do. Love you, that is.”
He grinned into the dark.
My favorite thing about this season of Game of Thrones is how devastated all the people who haven’t read the books are going to be.
My roommate is not amused by my impromptu raps about Mass Effect characters.