A/N:

I was never satisfied with the way the "dumping" of Shepard was handled in-game as far as Jacob was concerned. I've been meaning to write a one-shot about it. I'm not sure how Vega got involved but I've been thinking about my other Vega story this week so maybe that's how.

Rating is entirely based on language alone. I have a swearing problem.

This is a one-shot for now, though I might expand it to one more chapter. Maybe.

Bioware still owns all, sadly.

Read. Enjoy. Review. Please review. Lol.

"You ok, Lola?" Vega stepped over to Shepard who was pacing outside the lab where Jacob Taylor was being patched up by one of the Cerberus scientists. Garrus was checking out some of the data across the room.

"Distract me." Shepard followed his gaze to where he was watching the Turian.

"Distract you? From what?" Vega gave her a confused look.

"Taylor and I were…involved." She lowered her voice and he had to lean in to hear her. "He apparently couldn't be bothered to try to reach me while I was a jailbird. He was too busy lounging on the beach and fucking around with that scientist bitch."

"Pendejo."

"I need a distraction so I don't beat the shit out of him." Shepard glanced up at the Lieutenant.

"Do it," Vega encouraged. "That's my vote."

"You are not helping."

"Oh, I will definitely help hide the body." Vega gripped Shepard by the shoulders lightly to turn her towards the windows. "There's got to be a big enough snow drift somewhere out there."

He was relieved when Shepard started to laugh. The relief faded when her laughter faded and he noticed a few tears in her eyes. The idea of Commander Fucking Shepard of the Normandy being dumped by some Cerberus bastard was more than Vega could take. He moved Shepard gently and stormed into the room. He waited impatiently for the scientist to finish with Taylor.

"Is there something that I can do for you, Lieutenant?" Jacob looked up at him expectantly.

Vega slammed his fist into the man's face in response. The force of the punch sent Jacob flying across the room. He landed with a thud against the wall.

"What the fuck was that for? Jacob pulled himself up into a seated position and rubbed his jaw gingerly.

Vega knelt to whisper so no one else could hear. "What kind of punkass dumps Commander Shepard? She's a fucking legend. And what the hell are you? Nothing."

"I don't think it's any of your business." Jacob glared at him before getting to his feet.

Vega stood as well. "You stay the fuck away from her."

"Go pump some weights." Jacob threw a right hook that caught Vega in the side.

Vega used all his weight to shove Taylor across the room. "That's rich coming from you."

"What the fuck is your problem?"

"Oh shit." Vega barely managed to duck out-of-the-way when the former Cerberus officer sent a biotic blast his way.

"Meathead." Jacob sent another biotic throw.

"Bitch."

"Dickless wonder." Jacob took a moment to catch his breath before continuing. "You can never replace me if that's what you are thinking. You aren't man enough for a woman like Shepard."

It was one insult too many for Vega. He launched himself across the room and tackled Taylor to the floor. James slammed his fist into the other man's side several times. Taylor managed to flip him around and the fight completely devolved into a wrestling match. They struggled on the floor for several moments while an audience gathered. By the time that Garrus finally stepped in to separate the two, Vega had Taylor in a headlock and was slowly cutting off his air supply.

He dragged them both to their feet. Garrus kept one talon on Jacob to keep him still and used the other to propel Vega towards the door. Vega brushed the dust from his armor then walked from the room. He gave Shepard an innocent shrug when he passed her in the doorway. He heard Jacob call her name but the Commander completely ignored him. She followed Vega out towards the side exit. They did have scientists to save after all.

*Several Hours Later*

Vega walked into the armory to find Shepard sitting on his work bench. She had a bottle in one hand and two short glasses in the other. The bottle looked about half empty. Her feet were swinging back and forth while she waited for him. His foot hit a nearby crate and Shepard glanced up at him.

"Lola." Vega moved around the crate and over towards her. He plucked the bottle from her hand. "Ahh tequila, now you are speaking my language."

"It's a thank you." Shepard held up the glasses and motioned for Vega to pour the booze. "Who knew knights came in bulky packages?"

"Who are you calling bulky?" Vega eased himself up on the bench beside her.

"Have you looked in the mirror lately?" Shepard downed the tequila then held her glass out for a refill.

Vega gave her a look but filled the glass anyway. "You want to talk about it, Lola?"

Shepard stared at the glass before downing the contents. She grabbed the bottle from Vega and took a long sip. "He never even tried to contact me while I was in the brig. Not a single message, I know because I had Liara check to see if he even bothered to try."

"Pendejo."

"Yes." She took another swig from the bottle.

"Easy, Lola, that's strong shit." Vega tried unsuccessfully to get the bottle back.

Shepard held tightly to the bottle. "Love is a motherfucker."

"Were you in love with him?" Vega set his glass on the table behind them.

"Love?" She shrugged before taking another drink of tequila. "I don't know. Lust? Definitely. Like? Most of the time. Love is maybe too strong of a word."

"So why the tequila and tears?" Vega tapped the bottle with his knuckles.

"I'm lonely. And he is so clearly not alone." Shepard downed the rest of the bottle then threw it angrily across the room.

"You aren't alone, Lola." Vega placed his hand over hers.

"You just want my tequila." Shepard stood and stumbled away from him. "I might've had a little too much tequila. I never did find the damn worm."

"They don't do that anymore." Vega moved off the bench and reached out to keep her on her feet. "You are a light-weight. Maybe we should get you up to your quarters."

"I had another bottle but I drank it." She pointed to the empty bottle that was mostly hidden under the weapons table.

"Shit."

Vega shook his head then wrapped an arm around her shoulder to help guide her towards the elevator. In the short ride up to deck one, Shepard had slid to the floor and started cussing at the world in general and Cerberus specifically. When the doors opened, he lifted her up into his arms and carrier her the rest of the way.

"You have muscles." Shepard ran her hands over his shoulders.

The conversation part of his brain was clearly short-circuiting. No words came to him when her hands ran along his arms. It took more self-control than he thought he had to just carry her over to the bed and set her gently on it. Taking advantage of a drunken Shepard would definitely have serious consequences later; she'd probably have Garrus use him for target practice. It might be worth it though.

"James," Shepard spoke up when he started to move away.

When he turned back towards her, she grabbed his hand and pulled him down to the bed. For a drunk, she was surprisingly strong. He gave in to the inevitable and lay down beside her. Staying still was not a talent of his, but it was easy when Shepard was snuggling up next to him.

"Shepard?"

She didn't respond just draped herself half-across him and immediately fell asleep. Vega stared up at the ceiling trying to figure out what the hell to do. The drunken Commander might want him to stay, but she wouldn't be that way forever. At some point, she would wake up sober. He glanced over at the woman whose head was resting on his chest. Totally worth it. He let his arms tighten around her and pull her even closer. He eventually dozed off with Shepard asleep in his arms. It was a good eight or nine hours before they started to come out of the tequila coma.

"Commander Shepard? Commander? You missed your 0600 meeting with Admiral Hackett." Traynor stepped into the room with a stack of datapads. "I've been knocking but you didn't answer. I have the reports that….oh my god, I am so sorry."

Vega shot up in bed which caused Shepard to roll off the bed. She landed with a thud on the floor. She eased herself up on her elbows and exchanged a glance with James. They both turned to watch Traynor drop the datapads and back quickly out of the room.

"Well shit." Shepard collapsed back on the floor with one hand on her head. "Reputation ruined and I didn't even get laid."

Vega leaned over the bed to meet her gaze. He grinned down at her. "We can always fix that."