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Above: There’s no tool in this box that can fix my broken heart...
Preference: Males only
Personality: Dedicated, professional
Steve Cortez serves as Shepard’s insanely brave shuttle pilot. When he’s not piloting a glorified tin can between missiles salvos, he’s usually down in Normany’s shuttle dock joking around with James or mourning his dead husband. While the latter activity prevents Shepard from making early advances, you can eventually help Cortez overcome his loss and move on to someone better - like the savior of the entire freakin’ galaxy.
Cortez can always be found down in the armory/shuttle dock. Pay him a visit early in the game to get the introductions out of the way, then ask personal questions. After this first encounter, you can speak to him again as early as the Tuchanka missions to learn about the death of his husband. After a mission has passed, speak to him again. You must convince him to take a break from his work next time the Normandy docks at the Citadel.
Note that you do not have to do the above as quickly as we’ve laid out. You can let multiple missions pass between these conversations.
Should Cortez agree to take some time off, you can visit him any time after that at the Normandy dock on the Citadel. He’ll be leaning against the railing, looking out the window. Make sure to maintain agreeable responses.
Soon after the Geth Dreadnought mission, you can find Cortez at the Citadel’s loading docks, near the memorial wall. Support him here, and you’ll have nearly completed the romance arc.
Closing the Deal
If you’ve been following along up this point, Cortez should send you a private message near the end of the game inviting you to meet him at the Purgatory bar on the Citadel. It is here where you can confirm the relationship or back out.
The real reason you’re here:
Like the other romance options, Cortez will automatically come to your cabin the night before the game’s final missions.
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