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Fanfic / Weightless (Mass Effect)

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A wise Krogan once said that the only stories worth telling are those of love, sex, and war. This has all three. A story of provocateurs, confidants, and unhealthy attraction.

A noir Mass Effect fanfic covering pre to post ME1-ME3 by Alex_Scrye. With a touch of AU, the story exploring Commander Jane Shepard and Garrus Vakarian relationship while unveiling her past and her connections with other characters. After nearly ten years, back and being rewritten on Archive of Our Own.

You can find it here.

Also, go here to find related goodies.

If you want to find the Glee fanfic with the same name, go here .

Tropes in this series include:

  • All Just a Dream: The interrogation scene in chapter 8 was just Shepard‘s nightmare. Some readers didn’t realize this so they lashed out on the author for writing Garrus so OOC.
  • Almost Kiss: Chapter 7
  • Battle Couple:
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Shepard loved Nihlus because he was the first person who showed her kindness.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Being ‘cured’ with electricity makes you have no qualms of burning your ‘doctor’ to death.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: Shepard does this to Garrus right before they fight Saren.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The paper containing Shepard’s old name helped her convince Garrus that she is real.
  • Childhood Friend: Kaidan and Ghost/Kai Leng were this to Shepard.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Sidonis. Shepard first leads him to believe that he was going to escape safely before letting Garrus beat him to a pulp with his bare hands while reminding him how it feels to trust someone only to get betrayed. His life finally ends with a throat slash from the inside out.
    • Before that, Shepard killed the volus who acted as Fade for Harkin by severing his intake atmospheric pressure compressor. He imploded before the oxygen had time to poison his blood.
    • Jack kills Warden Kuril (she probably had tortured him first) by ripping his body in two with her biotics .
    • Ghost/ Kai Leng strapped young Shepard's doctor to the chair where she had taken her treatment and let her burn him alive.
    • Mierin's femoral artery was severed when her leg was crushed beneath a crate. Melanis has to amputate it on the spot before the fire reaches them . Melanis' omniblade cauterizes the wound, but the vein had already retracted up into her thigh so she loses all of her blood without spilling a drop.
  • Daydream Surprise: Chapter 35.
  • Electric Torture: What the doctor had used to cure Seraph’s condition (which was actually her biotics). It was ironic that thanks to it Shepard could survive after she touched the Prothean beacon.
  • Erotic Eating: Shepard accidently does this in chapter 7. One thing led to another to an Almost Kiss.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Melanis
  • Face Death with Dignity: Nihlus planned to do this, but thank to an unconscious Seraph and Samara’s own code, he was spared.
  • Femme Fatale: Mierin, Garrus used this exact word to describe her.
    • Shepard can also counted as one. Just look at how she acted to lure Sidonis. Thane's teaching and Cerberus's updates that made her even more beautiful and deadly than before also help a lot.
  • First Love: Nihlus.
  • Foreshadowing: In one of the first chapters, Shepard goes on a rampage on the Citadel after talking to Saren. Later, Liara mentions that in Shepard's memories, there was a starved figure who looked a lot like Garrus. Sometimes, Shepard would think about a person who was the first one that showed her kindness. They seems irrelevant and random at first, but after the author reveals about Shepard's connection with Nihlus, everything makes perfect sense.
    • Subverted with another other clue: When Shepard talked with Sidonis, she mention that she once had a lover, who was dead now. After the reader knew about Nihlus, they would think that she was talking about him. She was actually referred to Garrus, since to her, he died (at least in spiritual sense) once.
  • "Get Out of Jail Free" Card: Shepard accidentally became this for Nihlus when Samara came to kill him.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Despite being thankful for Thane, Garrus can't help but feel jealous when he knows Shepard trained with him the whole time he stayed in the battery.
    • Before that, Mierin envied Sidonis for being Garrus's favorite.
  • Greed: Not actually written in the story, but according to Word of God, Sidonis joined Archangel's team largely for wealth. But once he realized that Archangel wasn't interested in keeping whatever credits they salvaged from their escapades, he decided to sell them out. Knowing that he couldn't get anywhere with Mierin (who was in love with Garrus) plus his jealousy of Garrus also made his decision easier.
  • Held Gaze: Shepard and Garrus do this a lot.
  • Heroic BSoD: Garrus has one when he hears about Shepard’s death. He almost assassinates Councilor Udina but Shepard’s recorded video speech gives him a wake up call and catalyzes his transformation into Archangel. He has another when his team is killed and he believes that he has died as well, thinking that Shepard is a ghost.
  • Hidden Depths: A lot of characters get this treatment, like Chakwas and Kelly.
  • Homage: The conversation between Sidonis and Mierin is a direct allusion to a scene in David Lynch's Lost Highway.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Shepard certainly thought so. There are reasons for her to prefer turians to humans.
  • I Didn't Mean to Turn You On:
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy:
  • It Doesn't Mean Anything: When Garrus asks Shepard about their Almost Kiss, she just writes it off as a mistake but both of them know otherwise.
  • Insatiable Newlyweds: Not newly-wed but close, and in the author's own words, they were in their honeymoon bone-like-rabbits stage.
  • The Insomniac: Garrus, as a result of Shepard’s death and memories.
  • King Incognito: Aria usually disguises herself as a dancer in her free time since it helps her relax while still being able to keep an eye on things. Too bad, Garrus sees right through it.
  • Leave No Witnesses: This Shepard is a renegade, and she shows this at its fullest during their search for Sidonis.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Garrus and Shepard are this to each other.
  • Love at First Sight: And it goes both ways, too.
  • Love Hurts: Enough said.
  • Loving a Shadow: Shepard claimed this is her case with Nihlus.
  • The Mentor: As in-game, Shepard to Garrus. In this fic, we also have Thane acting as one to Shepard and Mierin to Garrus. We also have Nihlus to Seraph/Shepard (at one point, he even calls himself her teacher).
  • The Mourning After: Garrus
  • New Old Flame: Mierin and Melanis.
  • No Body Left Behind: The fate of Sidonis’s body, thanks to the Keepers.
  • Right Through the Wall: Apparently, Garrus's neighbors did this often enough that he could tell whether they were right on time with their business or not. Later, he paid them them back with Shepard.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Mierin got one for Garrus to showed him that he was not that good. Thane got another for him for keep ignore Shepard while she needed him.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Garrus subtly tries to use Mierin as a substitute for Shepard. It doesn't end well.
  • Red Herring: At first you would thought Ghost was the one who Shepard referred as "the one who showed her kindness" and her first love. No, he wasn't.
  • Rule of Symbolism:
  • Papa Wolf: Nihlus may have just met Seraph, but he will do anything to protect her.
  • Playful Hacker: Vortash, he used to work for The Shadow Broker.
  • Posthumous Character: Nihlus died before Chapter 1, but his influence on Shepard can be seen throughout the story while we get to see more about him via her flashback.
  • Pyromaniac: Ripper, Mordin’s cousin.
  • Official Couple: Duh, who do you think this is?
  • One Degree of Separation: Shepard used to live in an orphanage where the nephew of one of the caretakers was Kaidan, then she was bailed out from there by Ghost / Kai Leng. Later, after her rape, she was rescued by Nihlus, who then was spared by Samara because without him Shepard would die. And now, apparently, Jack looked familiar to her, too.
  • Orphanage of Fear: The place Shepard used to live. The caretakers actually cared about the children. It just that the method they used to cure her "condition" made her view them as this.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Shepard acts like she is on drugs after returning from Alchera. This was actually a result of being under too much pressure from many things.
  • Sexual Karma: Almost any mention of sex outside the Official Couple is usually either rape (Shepard was lured into a statutory-rape situation with Ghost/ Kai Leng and later was flat-out raped by a rival gang when she was young), sex based mainly on lust (Garrus with all of his previous girlfriends), or to take advantages of something (Aria's favorite method to gain control and information). But all love-making scenes of Garrus and Shepard are always written in an incredible loving fashion to describe their love and passion for each other whether they are playing rough or gentle.
  • Shout-Out: Joker called Zaeed ""Crocodile" Dundee." That joke was lost on the crowd.
    • Considering that Zaeed is English, not Australian this is probably.
    • Chapter 35: Cthulhu Mythos.
      In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.
    • The author also has the habit of referring to songs, movies and poems in the story or using them as inspirations.
    • Literary Allusion Title:
    • Titled After the Song:
      • Chapter 10 "Mad World," Gary Jules.
      • Chapter 18 "The Fragile," Nine Inch Nails.
  • Shower of Love: Come on, they were going to put that in the game and wouldn't let Shep use it? (Traynor doesn't count.)
  • Significant Anagram: When he first came to Omega, Garrus used many aliases; one of those was "Han Jaedsper," which is an anagram of "Jane Shepard." Mierin was able to trace back to him using this clue.
  • Snow Means Death: Almost happen to Seraph as she was left to die in the snow after being raped and beaten. Good thing Nihlus showed up just in time.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Garrus pulled one on Aria. She doesn't like it.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Chapter 4, apparently, Garrus's awkwardness is contagious:
    Garrus: Turians like it hot.
    Shepard: I ride my soldiers hard and put them away wet, I can at least make sure they don't go to bed hungry.
  • Title Drop:
  • Together in Death: Melanis and Mierin.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Garrus doen't burn the paper Shepard gave him. Instead, he keeps it for the next two years.
  • Transferable Memory: Liara had Shepard’s memory after she melds with her, later, she melds with Garrus to give him information he needed. Garrus spent the next two years plagued by Shepard’s memories.
  • Unbroken Vigil: Without eating or resting, Shepard spent 7 days watching over Garrus after his rocket incident on the Normandy SR-2, leaving only after Chakwas convinced her. She left to gather her thoughts on Alchera.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Garrus and Shepard had this bad before she was spaced. Even at the first time they met, just a couple of exchanged words between Shepard and Garrus are enough for Kaidan to know there was a flame there. And after her resurrection, they continued to do this for a good couple of chapters before eventually geting on with it.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Shepard in canon can have some sighs of this trope, but in this story, it turned up to eleven.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": Shepard named her fish after her crew, with 'Jacob' for a puffer fish, 'Joker' for one with a busted fin, ‘Thane’ for a depressed looking water-gecko, and an extremely vicious eel ‘Miranda’.
  • Wham Line: "Kai. Kai Leng. But you can call me Ghost."
    • "Garrus…did you ever know someone named Nihlus?"
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Garrus chews Shepard out for rejecting him after he had abandoned everything for her while she had led him to believe that she did feel something for him (she did, but didn't want to admit it to him). They snapped, ended up fighting and she decides to kick him out after they're done with Saren.
    • Later, Thane called Garrus out for keep shutting himself off to wallow in the past and ignored Shepard after he(Garrus) had promised to never leave her side again.