Copyright Bioware and EA, ect-you know the drill.

People have a lot of weird rituals and unspoken agreements between themselves-Joker and Shepard had one not to talk about what happened in the final moments (and a few after those) of the SR1, the crew knew not to pester Grunt when he was showering-it was "One of the few moments I feel my mind truly relax Battlemaster," the young krogan had explained to a bemused Shepard after the first (and only) incident, Gardner always chewed his lower lip when he was thinking of a new recipe, the list goes on.

Shepard and Jack also had their own rituals and unspoken agreements. One of those was relating to a desire of Jack's. There is no gentle way to phrase this dear readers, so I apologise. You might even want to stop reading now.

Jack was, you see... a Cuddle-Monster.

In elevators alone. In rooms alone. Anywhere they weren't walking and they were alone, she'd step close in silent demand, even resorting to a sharp elbow until Shepard would hug her. He even sometimes got hugged back, with a proper 'arms around me' hug rather than the 'hugging my arms while I hug you' one he got every other time.

They'd never actually talked about this though. It was only after Jack had left to prepare... well actually, it was more after the post Flawless Victory giddiness had settled down amongst everyone who'd survived (which was everyone-take that shitty odds!) that Shepard remembered. When Jack had come to see him before they launched the mission proper she'd wrapped her arms around him and clung to him. Like a limpet. Not the most flattering analogy but Jack has been likened to worse before. Deprived of any form of affection for so many years, Shepard reflected, it was hardly surprising she'd latch onto (no pun intended) any genuine affection. When he'd gone down to 'The Pit' as people called Jack's bit of the ship and talked to her, he'd noticed her eyes flick to his arms, her own arms twitch slightly... slightly inwards.

It was at this point a stray thought of Shepard's crystallised into knowledge: once you knew what to look for, Jack was as easy to read as a picture book. Followed shortly by a pang of fear and even guilt, with the thought that she could be emotionally manipulated so very easily.

Still he was pretty sure, he hoped, that at the worst he'd just get punched for what he was going to try later, in the elevator. As the lift went up to the crew level to pick up Garrus, Shepard executed his plan. Or experiment. Depending on the outcome, Really Stupid Idea. He stepped close to Jack and wrapped his arms around the young biotic's waist, pulling her into a hug.

She froze, ramrod straight for a moment (he expected that) before she realised it could only be Shepard, and what he was doing. She relaxed (too slowly for Shepard's liking, they'd be hitting the crew deck any second) and leaned back into his arms, hugging his arms in response. He couldn't see her face but he thought he could almost hear the smile before the elevator pinged at reaching the crew deck, and she jumped out of his arms to the opposite corner of the lift. He didn't think he'd ever seen her move so fast. Or shoot him such a flustered 'Tell anyone and I swear there will be nothing left to bury' look as the door opened and Garrus stepped in, either uncaring or un-noticing.

And so, armed with this knowledge, Shepard endeavoured to make sure she got hugged; it wasn't as if he didn't enjoy giving them, or the heat of her body or the smell of her skin, mixed with the faint ozone smell all biotics seem to have. It was also why he was left fumbling with a reason for asking her up to his cabin-he could hardly ask her to come for what she really wanted (that would definitely get a punch -if not a biotically enhanced one).

Talk? Laaaame.

Hang out? Yeah right, sounds like something teenagers do...




...fuck it, he'd just show her. So, one elevator trip a short walk and two flights of stairs later Shepard was standing by Jack's cot, said woman sitting on it with a bemused look. She'd arched a delicate eyebrow at his suggestion that he invite her up to see him occasionally. Once he'd shown her what she'd get for coming though, she was much more agreeable to the idea. So much for occasionally too-the crew joked you could set your omitool's clock by the daily occurence, not that knew what was really happening up there.

And that dear readers is the origin and explanation behind the ritual of Jack coming up to Shepard's cabin. So she can sit against (even on) him, one of his arms around his waist, if not both (assuming he's not doing a report with the other) and enjoying a hug.


Because really, I can see why the others might want to go up there, but I just can't see Jack coming up without Shepard showing her what to expect. Then again, the idea of a Jack brave enough to go up there simply because Shepard asked her to is very sweet too. I was originally going to just forumpost this but the autoformatter hated me so I thought 'screw it' and posted it here. We need more Jack stuff anyway. I also decided to screw around with my writing style Yet Again and go for something chatty (I call it the 'Herodotus'. Thanks to the people who reviewed Want by the way, all, er, 4 of you. I'd like to think it was because everyone was 'busy' reading the final 400 words or so of the story but really, I know it's because most of you just couldn't be arsed.