A/N:

The Shadow Broker Dossiers gave me the idea for this story. What if Shepard and Hackett met on the iPartner Connections that Miranda used? This is not connected with my other Hackett/Shepard stories.

I'm starting this in ME2 sometime after Horizon and the missions on Illium. Though it might continue into ME3. It will be slightly AU-ish, aren't all my stories? There will be a few spoilers here and there..

No Beta: Anyone want to be my beta? Lol

I am rating this M for language mostly, though later on there might be other more steamy reasons for that.

The Shepard in this series was a Spacer, Paragon and Sole Survivor.

Bioware owns all. Sadly.

Read. Enjoy. Review. Favorite. Follow. I appreciate it all. I appreciate reviews, they keep me inspired to write more. =) It's always nice to know that I'm not the only Hackett lover out there LOL.

The message from Admiral Hackett was clearly mocking her. Not because it was about the Normandy crash site, but simply for who the sender was. Steven Hackett. She'd been in lust with the goddamn man since they'd met during her debriefing after the clusterfuck on Akuze. He was so sadly out of her reach that it was pathetic. Yet here she was, back from the dead, umpteen years later, still finding it impossible to not think about him.

Damn sexy.

The return to life had only made the lack of sex and romance in her life even more evident. She was lonely. More than lonely. While going through the files that the Shadow Broker had stored, she stumbled across the messages from iPartner Connection that Miranda had been using…unsuccessfully. It gave her an idea.

It hadn't been all that difficult to create a profile. Deciding to go as anonymously as possible, she picked a username that she'd be sure to remember, CJS_N7. Maybe it wasn't so anonymous. No images for the account or name, the last thing that she needed was to be recognized. She ignored the initially messages from a variety of losers and creeps. And then one message caught her attention.


From: ANFA_1

To: CJS_N7

Subj: Your Profile

I noticed the N7 designation in your username.

Are you former Alliance?

H.


It was probably that he was the first person to ask a question that wasn't related to her physical appearance or attributes. She checked his profile out carefully before responding.


Username: ANFA_1

Age range: 45 – 55

Hair: Grey

Eyes: Blue

Alliance Navy

Interests: Whiskey, Star gazing, Chess.

.


From: CJS_N7

To: ANFA_1

Subj: re: Your Profile

You could say that.

It's complicated.

So you're Alliance?

S.


Inter-Relay Text Chat

Location: Arcturus

To: CJS_N7

From: ANFA_1

18:17 H: Complicated?

18:21 S: I'm not sure where I stand with the Alliance at the moment.

18:22 H: How very intriguing.

18:23 S: That's one way to look at it. So, Arcturus eh?

18:25 H: It's where I'm currently stationed.

18:26 S: Intriguing.

18:28 H: So why the iPartner profile?

18:29 S: Honestly?

18:30 H: You could like, I'd never know. Make it creative if you do.

18:33 S: I was in…lust or love…with a man for years. He doesn't seem to see me.

18:34 S: I finally decided that I have to move on, to find someone who does realize that I exist as more than…just… more.

18:36 H: He's a fool.

18:38 S: Maybe.

18:39 S: So why are you on iPartner?

18:40 H: Friendship? Love? Sex?

18:41 S: There are no women on Arcturus?

18:42 H: The Alliance can be a tough mistress to compete with. And the only woman who I've ever found worth my time is out of reach. So this seemed like a good option to try.

18:44 S: Why is she out of reach?

18:45 H: Age. I'm not…young.

18:48 S: Youth is highly overrated.

18:50 H: That's good to know.

18:51 S: That's a lot of truth to shove into a first conversation.

18:53 H: Life's too short to waste time.

18:55 S: Fair point.

18:57 H: Can we talk again?

18:58 S: Definitely. Maybe a game of chess?

18:59 H: Until then.

19:00 User has disconnected.


It was Shepard. Hackett was convinced of it. He wondered briefly what idiot had been so blind to not see her interest. Maybe he should have come clean about his identity, but it was too damn tempting. If he could get her to see the man behind the uniform, he might have a chance when she found out who he was. Hell, she might not even contact him again. Several days past and he figured that she'd lost interest.


Invitation to chess match:

From: User: CJS_N7

To: User: ANFA_1

Match Started: 21:00

Match Finished: 23:10

Winner: ANFA_1

Two Days Later

Invitation to chess match:

From: User: CJS_N7

To: User: ANFA_1

Match Started: 20:27

Match Finished: 22:46

Winner: ANFA_1


Inter-Relay Text Chat

Location: Tuchanka

To: ANFA_1

From: CJS_N7

22:48 S: What the hell do you do on Arcturus?

22:49 S: Every damn time that I think I've got checkmate, you fucking kill me.

22:50 H: Let's just say that I'm well-versed in diversionary tactics.

22:51 S: Rematch?

22:52 H: Sure. When? Tomorrow same time?

22:53 S: Maybe. I'm going to be busy with a few things.

22:54 H: Are you active Alliance?

22:55 S: Not…exactly.

22:56 H: We could exchange names.

22:57 S: Where's the mystery in that? There are so many other questions that are more interesting.

22:58 H: For example?

22:59 S: There's the cliché questions about your favorite: color, sexual position, book,…

23:00 S: The more esoteric: Is there a god?

23:01 S: Or maybe something more philosophical? Do you believe in grey areas or is the law black and white?

23:03 H: Hmmm. Forest green, anything on a desk, The Iliad.

23:04 H: Yes. Maybe more than one.

23:05 H: Life is a grey area.

23:06 S: Desk?

23:07 H: What would your answers be?

23:08 S: Sorry, I'm momentarily distracted by the idea of a desk.

23:09 S: Color? Blue. Position? Up against a wall. Book? A book of poems by John Keats.

23:10 S: No god. I've had a close enough encounter with the afterlife. It was…empty. And I agree with your answer on grey areas.

23:11 H: Up against a wall, eh? That's not really a position.

23:12 S: Neither is a desk. And don't knock the wall until you've tried it.

23:13 H: That's a story for another day.

23:14 S: I do love a good story.

23:14 S: Good night anonymous man.

23:15 User has disconnected.