Tesla Shepard's first thought when waking up in Life Support had nothing to do the fact that she was in Life Support.

Her first thought had nothing to do with the headache that felt like someone was driving a five inch blade into her cerebellum and twisting. It had nothing to do with the fact that she was sticky and smelled like something between artificial strawberries and salt. It had nothing to do with finding her legs tangled between the beautifully muscled thighs of Thane Krios. It also had nothing to do the fact that she was wearing Jack's nipple harness.

No, out of every thought that could have possibly passed through her mind at that moment, the only one that reached the forefront was, "Whoa."

She didn't realize she'd actually said it aloud until she saw the drell's eyes open mere inches away from hers. Blinking a few times, her own brown ones crossing slightly at their closeness, she mustered a lopsided smile, back arching in an attempt to put some distance between their faces. This only shifted her on his cot, bringing her hips forward until they met his.

Okay, not only was she in Life Support, sticky and smelly, with a hangover and an assassin lying mere inches away from her. The nipple harness was also the only thing she was wearing. In fact, she'd venture to guess that it was the only thing either of them were wearing.

"Well, good morning."

Thane's lips twisted in a hint of a smile. His eyebrow ridges cinched together as he took a sharp intake of breath, his hand (which had been suspiciously hidden beneath the sheet that only sort of covered them) lifting to massage the skin there. Shepard winced in empathy, her own head giving a hearty pound to remind her that she was in pain if she'd forgotten.

"You, too?" she asked, voice much quieter this time. He nodded, deciding that doing such was a horrible idea only a moment later. Her eyes drifted downward, lingering over the thick black stripes on his shoulders and chest for a moment before reaching her own, much less impressive top half. While she wasn't stacked like Lawson, she was definitely too big for this thing, as she was nearly popping out of it. Still, the sight itself wasn't that bad. Her knitted brows only came at the realization that she had utterly no idea how she'd ended up pulling this thing on. "Jesus H., what the hell happened last night?"

"I'm... not entirely sure." His confusion was punctuated with a chuckle, which was then followed by something that sounded like a strangled grunt. Even amusement hurt. Temporarily dejected, he let his head drift down again, eyes closing the moment he felt the pillow give way beneath him.

Everything hurt, she realized after a moment. It wasn't just her head. There were muscles she hadn't stretched in years crying out for attention. The ones in her inner thighs, no matter how often they were... exercised, were aching just as badly as the rest. She had no idea what had happened. She knew why, but she didn't know how. Or what. Or when or exactly where. "Shit," she murmured, turning over onto her back and nearly falling off of the cot in the process. Her hand flung outwards, impacting the chair Thane normally sat in, effectively overturning what lay upon it.

A pair of sunglasses clattered to the floor, followed by his jacket and what appeared to be a large... orange... elcor?

"The hell..." Rubbing her palm against her forehead, she gathered herself up and stood, legs buckling for a moment beneath her weight. She caught herself at the last second before regaining her composure. Bending at the waist, she picked up the stuffed elcor and examined it closely, taking an unconscious step forward. Her utter bafflement came to a halt when she realized she was standing on something.

Moving her foot, she stared unblinkingly down at the floor. A credit chit. But whose? She didn't really see Thane as the sort of man to leave his chits hanging around the room willy nilly. Picking up the credit chit, she tossed the toy backwards and brought the unknown quantity up to eye level. It wasn't just a credit chit. It was a very specific chit used to access a tab from the Nu Vegas club on the Citadel. A few clumsy finger strokes later, and she found herself gaping at it.

Three thousand credits.

She was just about to let out a string of curses when she heard the door to Life Support hiss open. Whirling around, she found herself face to face with Jacob Taylor. A very distressed looking Jacob Taylor. Or, at least, he looked distressed until his eyes traveled downwards.

Reaching out, Tesla grabbed for the sheet still covering Thane and yanked it in her direction, desperate to cover the fact that she was very, very naked. A hand came down to grasp the sheet out of instinct, holding it in a stalemate between the two of them, their nakedness only enhanced by the barely there coverage. She barely managed a glare in his direction before she turned her attention back to Jacob, who appeared to be suffering from a similar ailment if the distant look in his eyes and the smudge of violet on his bottom lip had anything to do with it.

"What is it, Taylor?" she asked, credit chit still clasped in herhand.

"Garrus isn't on board."

Suppressing the urge to roll her eyes, she merely narrowed them. It still hurt. She had to see Chakwas. Immediately. "Are you sure?" He nodded. "Has EDI checked the entire ship?" Again, he nodded, though he wasn't happy at all with this constant movement. "What about everyone else? Is everyone else okay?" Really, it would be her luck to get everyone back safe from the Relay only to misplace someone once she was on the Citadel.

Jacob's expression altered, brows knitting together, as he ran over the crew list in his head. Everyone was accounted for. Well, everyone except Garrus. "No one remembers a thing, but they're all alive, if that's what you're asking."

"I have somewhere we can start looking," she said not long after, her eyes falling to the chit in her hand.

Oh, this was going to be fun.


A/N: And so part one of a planned seven is finished! The installments won't be very long, but this'll be updated frequently, if I have my way. This is what happens when I get a random plot bunny in the lovely NSAS. So, yes, extra special kudos to lyssalu for her general amazingness and lovin'. ;)