Shepard takes her face in her hands and kisses her lightly on the lips.

They both shift on the mattress, Jack moving her legs out from under her before the blood flow can get cut off. She can't remember how long they've been sitting there in silence before Shepard finally took the initiative.

"It's not very comfortable. I could send someone to get you a decent bed next time we dock."

Jack snarls and pulls her close, cutting off the words with lips and teeth. The other woman slides her arms around her waist and awkwardly pulls her close. She releases her lower lip and looks into her dark eyes, trying to hold the threat through the rising heat.

"Stop trying to be my friend, Shepard." Jack leans in to kiss her again, but she backs away, frowning.

"I'm not doing this." Shepard struggles loose with difficulty. Jack realises that she's holding onto her shoulder, keeping her on the bed.

"Don't screw around. We both know why we're here. Just stop pretending you're here for some deep romantic shit."

"Jack, I've got a grieving mother and a krogan going through puberty and, you know, the entire universe to save. I'm not going to start this if you're going to pretend this is all about sex." She's looking at her now, frustration in her eyes that has nothing to do with the faint blush in her cheeks

Jack releases her arm and stands up, looming above and enjoying how Shepard has to look up to keep eye contact. But she still does.

"What the hell, so I'm just a project to you, some poor little princess to be saved?" she spits, feeling the biotic light rising under her skin.

The dark eyes don't flinch. "You didn't care when you thought you were just a sex object."

That's a trap, she knows. She ignores it and attacks, "if you want your blushing princess then go leap into bed with the Cerberus bitch. It's softer," she sneers.

She blinks. "I wouldn't be doing this with her. I don't want her."

It comes out before she can stop it, "and you want me?" Stupid, stupid. Like a fucking teenager.

Smiles a little. "The answer isn't obvious?"

Hates that smile so much. "You just wanna save me. You're pathetic. I've never met anyone who actually gets off on doing good deeds." It flickers and dies. Good.

She stands up. "If you're going to be like this-"

"No." Jack pushes her back down, hands on her shoulders. "No." She leans in and breathes against her neck, "I wanna see you try."

Shepard stiffens, then swears under her breath and grabs her, knocking her off balance and pulling them both down into a heap on the bed. They're lying there, breathing heavily, and suddenly Shepard grins and reaches over to cup her cheek, rubbing circles in the fuzz over her scalp.

"I will save you."

Jack grabs her hand and stills it, gripping too hard. "You can't. Not me."

The woman twists her hand around until she's clasping it, then brings it to her lips. "I'm Commander Shepard. Haven't you noticed that I always win?"

Jack yanks her hand away and punches her in the shoulder. But not that hard. "Fuck you!"

"That's the idea." She slides across and throws an arm over her, tilting her face up and kissing her deep, flicking her tongue into her mouth.

Jack kisses her back, winding her fingers into her hair and tugging her closer until she whimpers just a little.

Calloused fingers skim over her stomach, up to her arms, brushing her throat as they struggle with leather straps.

"God... help me get this thing off..."

With a fierce grin, Jack shoves her off and nodded to her uniform.

"You first."

Shepard scowls and scrambles out of the heavy shirt. Jack keeps her eyes on her as clothes go tumbling, leaving only her underwear. She's vaguely surprised that those aren't branded with the Cerberus logo, too.

She catches her tongue in her teeth as Shepard arches back, struggling with her bra. Trying not too look away she strips herself of her own garments, until only her tattoos cover her.

They sit panting, for the first time in her memory Jack is unsure whether or how to act. She blinks and flinches back automatically as the Commander's hand reaches for her, pausing over her skin before tracing a pattern of ink on her thigh marking where seven men had died.

Jack hisses as her touch moves up her leg, disappointed when it clasps around her waist instead and pulls her over. The small weight unbalances the Spectre and drops her onto the bed. Jack pushes herself onto her palms, staring down at her eyes, hair, lips.

"I'll probably kill you, you know." Tracing a line across a cheekbone.

"I've killed a reaper. I like my chances."

She darts down and bites a breast hard enough to bruise. Shepard yells and makes a noise caught between a curse and her name. Jack runs her tongue over a nipple, feeling fingernails scratch her back.

Moving her arm to lift Shepard's head, she moves into kiss her gently on the forehead, like in children's stories.

Shepard licks her shoulder, covering a downed passenger carrier and a bar fight on Omega. One hand still presses into the sweat on her back, the other touching her chest in the small space between their bodies.

"Jack, you..."

She kisses her again, drawing blood. "Stop. Talking."

She looks like she might anyway, always determined to do what she wants. What she thinks is right. Not like Jack, not like Jack at all. Better.

Made her bleed, but never Jack already has blood on her hands, so that doesn't matter.

Pushes her hand past hers, down her stomach, down.

She does speak then, oh she does, but it's simple and broken. And it rises and wavers and crashes and falls, shaking.

Jack watches her, bringing her hand back up to regain her balance. Shepard shivers against her skin, even in the heat from the engines. She lies down and curls against her, but doesn't try to cover her from the cold. Her hair is tangled and damp.

"There. Are you happy now?" She puts as much spite into the words as she can.

"Huh?" Shepard rouses, eyes squinting at her, a small smile on her lips. "Hm... now that's cheating..." She moves just close enough to place a soft kiss against Jack's lips.

She wasn't really expecting her to leave. And if she had... she'd probably have had to kill her. Blow through the ship, watching their faces as they screamed. And then she'd probably have broken a window, and let herself drift away.

It's not the first time she's thought of that, she realises as Shepard kisses her neck. But she isn't dead yet, so she probably wont do that today either.

Wait, no, she wont do that because Shepard's still here, pressing hot lips to her stomach now.

No, she wont do that because if she did, Shepard would shoot her before she let her kill her crew, if she gave her no other choice. Lower. She would.

Jack moans and pushes her spine into the mattress. She can still taste her blood in her mouth, proof, but it wasn't enough, and she's still here, moving, heat.

"You, you, I'm not, uh, shit Shepard, shit shit-"

"Shh, hush..."

She arches up, tearing her lip and not quite holding back the cry anyway. Sweat falls down her back and the woman catches her before she falls back.

It's hard to breathe under her weight, and she needs to because her head is swimming. Jack pants and gasps weakly. She does get up then, keeping an arm around her. She smiles against her skin.

"Don't say anything. Just don't."

"Hm, but I want to," she whispers cold against her.

Jack pushes against her, but Shepard just laughs silently, shoulders shaking. She gives in, but she wants to remember that she laughed. For later, when she's not tired and can use her biotics.

It's quiet. The quarian said something about that once, when she still came down to talk to her. Shepard's fingers find a krogan warlord from three years ago, on some green planet she'd never learned the name of. Shepard must remember everyone she's killed, too.



"Just one thing." She kisses the tears before they can slip away. "Just one little thing."

She doesn't trust herself to speak. She nods.

Shepard smiles and tangles them together on the uncomfortable bed.

"I will save you."

Jack doesn't believe it, but Shepard never lies to her.

No matter how much she wishes she would.


(Blame Eternity Embracer. She dared me. Also, read Carol Ann Duffy's poetry. It's beautiful, and it gave me a lot of inspiration for this, including the (admittedly short) title. Lady ain't poet laureate for nothing.)