James' Omni-tool buzzed on the workbench, he checked the time: two a.m. a sinking feeling lodged in his gut, something had to be wrong. When he saw the commanders tag on the screen, his heart sank lower than he ever though possible; ever since Major Cunt-face had come aboard, he had felt this sensation of looming disaster, he prayed to God almighty that this was a mistake. He answered the call,

"Ey." He tried to sound cheerful, happy. The smile dropped from his face so fast it might have smashed on the floor when he heard her voice: vulnerable, not just close to tears but actually cracking, Dios Mio,"James?" She sounded teary, even to his untrained ear,

"Commander?" His voice was quiet, tentative,

"Did I wake you?"

"No…I was up late, working on the shotgun for Grunt…Is…everything ok, Lola?" At the small term of endearment a stifled sob echoed out of his Omni-tool, making his chest constrict,

"No…It's not. Everything's…" A sniff, "It's all gone wrong. I just… I really need…I want…"

"Si, cariño?" His heart was fluttering, say it, por favour, te lo ruego, say that you want me, need me, anyone but him, her voice broke, she sobbed,

"You're the only person I can trust and…" She sobbed, "Please, James." the racking sobs that ricocheted through his skull made him want to kill Kaiden,

"I'm on my way, querido."

"Thank you." The call cut off mid sob, he dropped everything, literally, not even stopping to turn off his lamp or put on his shirt. Cortez looked at him strangely,

"Were you just talking to the-" James swept past, barely acknowledging the other man, who simply frowned after his broad back.

The room was a state, that much could be said straight away, two whisky glasses sat on the table, but the bottle lay on its side on the ground. The bed was thoroughly tossed, the surface of her work station swept clean, as if by…James felt a pang of jealousy: as if by an impassioned lover. A sudden image plagued him, of Lola, mi amor, mi amante, pressed against the wall as Major Pendejo swept the table clean, nibbling her earlobe…that puto bastard.


"I'm in here." From the bathroom. She was sitting in the shower, in her underwear, eyes red and puffy, body shaking. It was like a switch had been flicked on inside James, he crossed the distance between them like a flash, kneeling in the shower to wrap his arms around her, suddenly fearing the worst,

"Lola…Did…" He squeezed his eyes shut, trying to block out the state of the room, trying not to see the new images: her pinned to the bed, the wall, begging for mercy, her trying to get away. A particularly poignant on of her trying to reach her Omni-tool, being dragged away from it, flipped onto her back, "Did he…hurt you?" The rage was boiling over in him, like a volcano ready to blow,

"Hurt me?" She seemed bewildered by the question at first, until the realisation dawned, "No! No! God no. That's not…" She laughed, and looked at him helplessly, "I wasn't forced to do anything. Things just went…wrong…"

"How so, cariño?"

"At first it was like old times…we danced and drank and…kissed. And then-"

"Yeah." He cut her off, jaw solid as stone,

"But after, I fell asleep and when I woke up, he was gone."

"Gone?" Did that estúpido maricón actually walk out on this diosa?

"He was in the bathroom," She frowned, "But I immediately thought he was gone, thought he'd used me, was laughing at me or sullying my reputation. I… don't trust him anymore." She looked at him as if that was devastating,

"Well, considering horizon…"

"Yeah." She laughed bitterly, "I told him that, told him we couldn't…we couldn't do this again because I didn't trust him and he demanded to know how many times I intended to throw Horizon in his face…" James slung an arm around her shoulder,

"What did you say, cariño?"

"As many times as he's broken my heart." Her face was hidden behind a curtain of dark curls, "And he said…" She shuddered, crying again, "…that I would get over it quickly, because I have no heart."

Boomboom…boomboom… The dull sound of his heart was distracting him from his rage,

"And he was right… is right." She sniffled, water trickling down her face, "I recall the faces of everyone I killed and none of them cause regret apart from…." Shepards eyes were full to the brim, tears trickling down her face, dripping off her chin, she choked back a sob, "Why do all the people I love leave me, even y-" She stopped, eyes wide, hand clapped to her mouth, the shock wrenched his grasp of English from him, he cupped her face in his big, rough hands

"Incluso a mí, mí amor?" She looked at him, the whites of her eyes stark against the dark, blackish blue, she nodded,

"Even you." He felt like the wind had been knocked from him, all the months of watching her in captivity, undressing her in his mind after hours. Watching her spar with Vakarian, watching her ass move in combat, listening to her beautiful singing voice while she maintained her guns. Lying awake at night, burning up in a cold bed, thinking about the texture of her skin, the taste of her sweat.



"I don't understand half of what you've said to me." She smiled weakly, he returned it,

"You'll find out when you're older." The grin he gave her was brimming with mischievousness, "But I'm not going anywhere."

"You kissed me…"

A loaded silence stretched out between them, he weighed up his options, his approaches, he settled for cheeky, but not inflammatory,

"Is that a bad thing?" He grinned at her, feeling self-conscious, "You did say that you needed me here…" He leaned in, lips inches from hers,

"No I didn't."

"You may as well have." He licked his lips nervously, eyes on the prize, Pendejo, "I want you to need me Lola…" He dropped his voice, letting his need show through, feeling bad, like he might be manipulating her.

"I do need you James…but I don't know if I'm ready to need you the way…the way I do." She looked up at him lips wet, eyes soft, "You must think I'm so weak." her head snapped away,

"Why would you think that?"

"Because of Kaiden, because I gave into him even though I…you…" She looked down, "I just never thought you'd…" she looked down, "…me."

"Diosa… you are the strongest woman I know…" he clutched her hands in his, marvelling at how tiny she was,

"I'm not…not anymore." She bit that full underlip of hers, sending a shiver down James' spine, wouldn't mind a nibble on that myself… "I thought I was so sensible, so strong. First Kaiden found a mark, a chink in my armor… I couldn't block him out, even now. And you…you made a weakness in my armor, a spot all your own." Those big, dark eyes rose to meet his, something snapped and their lips crashed together. The kisses were frenzied, hungry, it was as if they had both been starved of affection, of love, they devoured each other, hands roaming all the while their lips locked. Breaking apart in order to gasp for air was a wrench, James growled low in his throat feeling the warm water cascade down his body, feeling the weight of one of her breasts in his palm: she was on her knees now, they both were, holding to each other like their lives depended on it. Even kneeling, James had to stoop to kiss her properly, his arms capable of fully encircling the tiny engineer, her small hands resting on his biceps, driving him mad. She had a way of making him feel powerful, masculine, masterful and yet small, weak, like a little, dry mouthed sixteen year old, stepping up for the first time and fearing his own inadequacy. He throbbed against her thigh, gasped into her mouth, pulled at her hips,

"-commander-" Jokers voice cut into the cabin, "Major Alenko wants to see you in the debriefing room."

"Don't go see that maricón, Lola," His voice was hoarse, he licked his lips nervously, eyes flicking to and from her lips "Stay with me…" He massaged her thigh, she moaned softly, making the hairs on his neck stand up,

"I'd love to, but this will be about business…I have to go." Disentangling herself from his eager limbs, throwing on a clean uniform,

"Ill wait for you?" He stood in the doorway, dripping wet, sounding pathetically hopeful, even to his own ears, she gave him a look that froze him with desire,

"Don't move a fucking inch." She gave him a vicious grin, "I'll be back for you,"

Mi amante- my lover

Mi amor- My love

Incluso a mí, mí amor- Including me, My love?

cariño- Darling

estúpido maricón- stupid faggot

Diosa- Goddess

Dios mio- dear god, my lord, my Goodness

Puto bastard- fucking bastard

por favour- please

te lo ruego- I beg you