She's high on booze, and crack, and pinkies, and whatever she can get her hands on fast enough to flood even her superfast biotic metabolism.

She's high on adrenaline and blood, as well, beating and blasting her way through Omega's bars – bars and their denizens both.

Somewhere along the way, she notices a familiar face – or rather, its presence somehow soaks in, through the red haze.

The scarred fucker. Massani.

One-eye as good as anyone else.

When she makes her move, though, he just snorts and says he doesn't give pity fucks.

She sends him flying across the bar, or so she wants, but somehow, it doesn't quite go that way, and then everything gets rather chaotic, and painful, and black.

She comes to in a cabin, on a ship, no clothes on but with a mother of headaches as the bastard knocked her out. There is medigel, though, and packs of ice, and some stimulants to make her feel better, and even a change of fresh clothes. She can't be bothered with those; when Massani comes, she lies on the bed as she had been. He'd seen it all and perhaps more, anyway.

"Done with stupid shit?" he asks, folding his arms.

"Where's my stuff?" Jack can't even be bothered to look at him. Her throat is oddly sore, as if swollen.

"Which stuff? The one you left five bars behind?"

Five bars? That prick stings; she must have been more stoned than she thought, to have forgotten all about her gear.

The merc pointedly clears his throat. "Why, you're welcome, Jack."

"Well, I guess you've taken your payment already."

"Not much fond of piss and vomit on a cunt, thank you."

That breaks through. "Nobody asked you to!" she glares at him.

"Because you can take care of yourself, right?"

Right. That stings even more. It stings so much that her eyes burn, and well over.

The merc hands her tissues, and ice for the lump on her head, as she sobs inconsolably.

A/N: So, we're picking off after Jack's breakup with Shepard. The story will cover the time between ME2 and ME3, focusing mainly on Jack in the beginning as Shepard's incarceration doesn't offer much here. The rest of the story will touch loosely on the ME3 storyline and exploit every single opportunity for Jack and Shepard to meet and develop their relationship in between the missions.