Note: I haven't actually played Mass Effect, and thus I didn't really have an explanation for why Jack is upset. I just like to experiment with writing characters that I don't know well. This piece was just a one-shot.

* * *

She hadn't been avoiding him, but what she was doing was so much worse. She had the ignoring game down to an art, except this time it wasn't a game. It wasn't what she said—it was what she didn't say that really got to him. Her silence cut him like a knife, and he didn't know how much he could take. He liked it better when she yelled and swore at him, at least then her emotions were clear.

At least then she actually talked to him.

His heart had already been broken once, with the death of his sister, and it still wasn't healed—perhaps it never would be—and he didn't want to endure that pain again.

Eventually they met in the hallway. There was no one around, nowhere to go; it was bound to happen, he thought. Her eyes, full of suppressed anger and hurt, stared into his. He tore his eyes away, unable to bear the intensity of her gaze.

More silence.

He couldn't take the silence anymore. It was slowly consuming him; each second passed was like a small part of him being ripped away. "Do you…" His voice cracked and he cut himself off. He squeezed his eyes shut, fighting the tears threatening to fall. She just kept staring, her jaw set with stubbornness so familiar to him. He started again. "Do you feel like talking?"

"No," she replied curtly.

He had expected as much, but her answer still made him flinch. "Jack… I'm—"

"—don't you dare say you're sorry."


"No!" she shouted. Then she added quietly, "No…"

She sighed deeply. "Look, I'm not sure if I'm ready to just forget and forgive. It's not that easy. Just leave me alone, will you? I'll talk when I feel like it." She gave him one last look, then pushed past him, her footsteps fading as she stalked off to her quarters. He ran his hands along Normandy's smooth walls. "At least I still have you, huh?" he said quietly. All he got in reply was the soft humming of her engines.