Were she an average person, her fingers would have been strumming onto the desktop. But Miranda wasn't average. Oh, she didn't think she was perfect. She was a highly intelligent woman, after all, and knew that 'designed for perfection' and 'perfect' were not the same thing. Still. She was a whole lot better than most people. Which was why she was bored now. Shepard was groundside, dealing with other people's petty personal issues instead of focusing on the mission, and there was nothing for her to do until she returned. No more reports to write. No upgrades to manage. There was no slack to pick up. There was never any slack. She was very efficient.

She didn't believe in socialising with the crew the way Shepard did. They should all be professionals, after all. Some, of course, more so than others. She let her thoughts drift for a moment. She was sure she could always get Jacob into bed with her again. He had been good at that. A little too eager, though, and awfully clingy after. No, it wouldn't do. He'd have feelings again and that was the last thing she needed. And the last thing he needed, too.

She was still contemplating, when the door to her office slid open and Jack stomped in. To her surprise, Miranda felt a spark of exitement. A good fight was almost as good as a fuck. And the feelings involved were usually much easier to deal with.

"What do you want?" she asked sharply.

"Shepard promised me access to all the files, cheerleader. All of them."

"And I said she didn't have the authorisation for that." She leant back, looked up at the freak. "I don't have the authorisation for that. You'll have to make do with what you've been given so far."

Jack glared at her.

"Now get out of my office."
"And what if I don't?"

They stared at one another with unadulterated hostility. Then Miranda pushed herself up.

"Then I will make you."

Jack sneered.

"Oh, I'd love for you to try."

Miranda's barriers were good, but they couldn't do much against the force slamming her desktop against her, as Jack almost casually aimed a shockwave at her.

"Come on, cheerleader, you don't want me to really hurt you, do you? Because I will."
She watched as Miranda struggled to her feet again. For what is was worth, the cheerleader hadn't yet lost her poise entirely.

"I'll admit I can't compete with your biotics. Without them, you couldn't possibly beat me."

Jack snorted.

"Why would I want to do that, anyway?"

"That's what I thought."

Miranda watched her and almost smiled when Jack rose to the bait. So easy to manipulate.

"Fine. I won't use them. Come on, throw me out."

Jack was, admittedly, stronger than she looked. And it was hard to find purchase on her almost entirely naked upper body. Miranda tried to grab her by the shoulders and haul her around, to shove her out the door, but Jack wound out of her grasp with a mercurial grace Miranda hadn't expected, before tackling her.

"Oh, cheerleader. You really thought you could do better, didn't you?"
She had Miranda pressed face-first against the hull with all her weight, arms pinned down at her sides.

"Actually, I'd thought you'd last longer, too. But little Miss Perfect didn't want to get her hands dirty on the icky convict's body, did she? You're too prissy for a good fight, princess. Figures. Keep struggling, it's a glorious feeling."
She was so close, Miranda could feel Jack's breath against her neck as she taunted her. She tried to free herself with all of her might, but there was just no space for her to try and throw Jack off.

"You'll regret this," she hissed.

"Going to complain to Saint Shepard?"

"That's enough!"

Miranda felt Jack's hold around her wrists slackening, then she was free.

"Why do you care, Vakarian? You hate Cerberus just as much as any reasonable person," Jack complained.

Miranda turned around, huffing, and looked at the turian standing in the door.

"It is impossible to concentrate on my calibrations with the racket you were making. Besides, the Commander wouldn't be too happy if I'd let you kill each other while she's away."

"Come on, if I'd wanted to kill her, she'd be dead."

"Well, have your pissing contest somewhere else, then."

Jack shrugged.

"I'm done here, anyway," she said, then walked past him casually.

"You are the XO here, you should know better," Garrus said after a moment.

"Easy for you to say, Vakarian, she doesn't come barging into the main battery, looking for a fight."

His mandibles clicked.

"But thanks," she muttered after a moment.

"You're welcome."

He went back to his work and Miranda locked the door behind him, then walked over to her bed, feeling high strung and irritated. She examined her wrists, traced her fingers over the reddened skin. She didn't bruise easily and wondered for a moment if it would show later. Bit her lip at the memory of being so out of control. The entirely unbidden jolt between her legs as she'd struggled against Jack's hold on her, realising she was trapped. Glorious. There had been something in Jack's voice that moment. Almost a purr. It had made her struggle harder, even as she'd felt inexplicably aroused.

She frowned.

Well, it had been ages since...


She needed a cold shower.

She jumped off the bed, then unlocked the door again and walked over to the ladies' bathroom. Just before she could enter, though, the elevator opened. Miranda almost cringed at the sight of Yeoman Chambers, looking at her with big eyes and an oddly worried smile.

"Miss Lawson, is everything alright? I heard there was a commotion."

For a moment, Miranda found it hard to keep her contempt at bay, then she forced her voice to take on a neutral tone.

"It was nothing, Kelly. Do you understand? Nothing at all. Nothing to report. Nothing to tell the Commander about."

Kelly blinked, then nodded quickly.

"Of course, Miss Lawson." Kelly licked her lips nervously. For an absolutely insane moment, Miranda wondered if she could just order Kelly to take that shower with her. The woman would probably be glad to assist, considering her devoted, uncompromising promiscuity. Then the reality of what she was thinking hit her and she turned away, disgusted with both of them.

"Dismissed," she said tersely and Kelly got the hint, making her way back to the CIC.