Beta: A huge thank you to cariel for beta reading this for me! You rock my world as always! m(_ _)m

Author's note: Thank you thessilian for letting me know if the portrayal of these characters were accurate to the game.


"Alenko, Jack, and Miranda are in the middle of a…disagreement. Can you head it off before they tear out a bulkhead?"

Kaidan paused in mid-step as Joker's voice echoed from the ship's audio systems. He had duties of his own without having to get involved in matters that did not pertain to him.

"Isn't that the commander's job?" he replied.

"Sorry Kaidan but the commander's off ship, so is Garrus, which leaves you in charge," Joker answered in amusement.

Kaidan gave a curse in reply. It would seem he had just been volunteered to break things up. "Fine. I'll deal with it."

"Take pictures!"

The biotic rolled his eyes and shook his head. Two days aboard the ship and already he was acting as the negotiator. Kaidan already knew of Miranda Lawson or better known as the Ice Queen, a nickname given by Joker. He had yet to meet the young woman everyone simply knew as Subject Zero or Jack.

Kaidan approached the door to Lawson's office and was greeted by the muffled sound of shouts and curses. It would seem Joker had not been exaggerating after all.

"Touch me and I will smear the walls with you, bitch!"

He arrived just in time to catch a tattooed woman-presumably Jack-send a chair flying past Miranda with the use of biotics.

"What the hell is going on here?" he demanded.

"The cheerleader won't admit what Cerberus did to me was wrong!" Jack snapped before Miranda cut in.

"It wasn't Cerberus, not really. Clearly, you were a mistake."

"Screw you! You've got no idea what they put me through! Maybe it's time I showed you!"

"Really, what do you hope to accomplish by doing that? Outside of making a mess and pissing off the commander."

Whirling around to face him, Jack's expression mirrored her next statement. "Who the fuck are you?"

Behind the biotic, Miranda watched on, her own features a mixture of smug confidence and curiosity.

"The only adult in this room it would seem," Kaidan replied as he folded his arms.

"Now can you two at least keep it together 'til Shepard returns? The last thing we need is the two of you tearing this place to pieces because of a disagreement."

"Fuck you, asshole. No one asked your opinion."

Kaidan scowled, having had about enough of this grown child's temper tantrum. Turning his attentions to the Cerberus agent he sighed. "Look, we got bigger problems to deal with than playing the blame game. In case you haven't noticed, we are at war."

Miranda's expression remained stoic though she stiffened slightly.

Kaidan took it as a good sign; Shepard had once commented that Miranda for all of her flaws could still be reasoned with.

"Fine. I can put aside my differences…until this mission is over."

Folding his arms, he withheld a sigh of relief as he watched on while the two women paced one another like predators on the verge of a fight. He hoped to whatever powers were out there that somehow Jack would take the bait. The last thing he needed was for the biotic to go rogue and place the rest of the crew in danger while the commander was out.

"Sure. I'll do my part. I'd hate to see her die before I have a chance to filet her myself."

Jack did not leave room for a response as she stormed past Kaidan making it clear that their discussion was over.

"Is she always like that?" The question held no judgment, only confusion and the weight of one who understood all too well what it meant to be cornered.

Miranda sniffed in reply as she moved to the seat of her desk. "You have no idea."

"Clearly not.

"Seeing as that's settled-at least for now anyway-" he motioned to the door with a nod of his head marking his exit.

The former operative gave a hint of a smile as she glanced up from the computer screen. "As long as she does her job, everything will be fine. Thank you."

The assurance was hardly a comfort, but Kaidan knew better than to argue the matter further. So long as they behaved 'til Shepard made his return, the biotic could not care less what they did.

He had duties of his own to tend to as well and each one was more demanding than the last. As he approached the hanger bay where the Mako awaited his attention, Kaidan could hear the all too familiar sound of explosions and curses. There was no question in his mind who was responsible.

With a groan and a heavy sigh, he pinched the bridge of his nose and cursed his luck. So much for a peaceful afternoon of upgrading the Mako and an early end to a normally long work day.

His troubles with Subject Zero had only begun.