Disclaimer: I own nothing and no one :P

A/N: Another ME kink meme fill...I need to really start getting my inspiration from other places...

A Starved Dog's Logic About Bones


The word had been reverberating between her ears for hours. Frustrated, Miranda tightened her jaw and narrowed her eyes at the file in front of her.




The feeling of being in the wrong was foreign to the Cerberus operative. She was never wrong. She was perfect.

But, the cloying feeling persisted. It was bothersome and distracting. Blue eyes swiveled to the closed door of her office without her permission. Forcing her gaze back to the words on the screen, Miranda shifted in her chair. Her efficiency was suffering. Unacceptable.

Standing abruptly, Miranda shut down her consule and hesitated only a moment before purposely walking out of her office. Eerie silence greeted her as she strode through the mess hall. The elevator ride to Engineering was loud in the quiet of a sleeping ship.

She ignored the quiet. She ignored the unusual loudness of her footsteps. And, she ignored the leaden ball of apprehension that had suddenly appeared in her stomach as she stepped off the last step of the stairs to the storage portion of the Engineering deck.

Miranda stopped at the threshold where she was mostly hidden in shadow. She crossed her arms and leaned against the exposed metal bulwark of the lower space. Blue eyes evenly regarded the tattooed woman who seemed to be the singular cause of the unease residing in her chest.

Clearly you were a mistake.

The moment the words escaped her mouth she wanted to bite them back. The flash of hurt that crossed Jack's deep brown eyes lashed at her conscience; the untouchable woman felt the weight of that blow physically. But, she had not apologized and she had not taken the words back. Perhaps if Shepard had not been there Miranda would have considered admitting she was wrong. Swallowing thickly, the XO doubted her pride would have allowed her to utter those tiny words that said something so enormous.

Looking at the small, lanky woman laying on what had to be an uncomfortable cot, Miranda felt something strongly resembling culpability begin to engulf her. Shaking her head at the ridiculous notion that she was responsible for what had become of the woman laying only a few feet from her, the Cerberus operative pushed the thought away.

"I'm the biggest fucking mistake Cerberus is going to regret ever making," Jack's low, bitter rasp almost made Miranda jump.

Moving to sit on the desk opposite Jack's cot, Miranda kept her eyes on the low grade pulse of biotics coming off the convict. She was crazy to attempt to fix the rift she had caused. The venture was akin to poking a wounded animal. The consequences would surely be disastrous. But, Miranda sat on the edge of the desk and stared into cold, hard, brown eyes because she felt compelled to remedy the situation. It was almost an unconscious but necessary action, like breathing; the fact unsettled her.

Miranda's gaze gently took stock of the now upright woman across from her. Her eyes traveled the sharp planes of Jack's face; down the thin neck; across the prominent collarbones and bony shoulders; down the brazenly displayed chest and small breasts; across the protruding ribs and well muscled stomach; down the baggy pants and combat boots covering skinny legs that were bent at the knee and splayed open in Jack's normal, unmannered way. Blue eyes mapped the canvas of the convict's skin, before rising back to lock with an angry brown gaze. Gone was any trace of hurt Miranda had seen in her office, replaced by anger. The Cerberus operative could see the tense set of the convict's entire frame. Jack was coiled to strike, waiting only for provocation.

"I shouldn't have said that," Miranda's voice was a tight whisper as she choked the words out. As apologies went, it left much to be desired but it was the best she could do. More than she had ever given anybody else. It was an acknowledgement that she was fallible. Miranda Lawson was admitting that she had made a mistake.

Jack's intense stare held the woman immobile after the words were long gone and all that remained was the low hum of the engine. The convict's full lips moved to form words several times but each time Jack stayed her comment.

"Whatever," came Jack's exasperated rejoinder as she twisted and flopped back onto the mattress and closed her eyes clearly dismissing Shepard's second in command. The word was basically a 'fuck off' but it was akin to the convict accepting the operative's apology.

Miranda sat for a long moment after the word had bounced away to nothing. She watched to steady rise and fall of Jack's chest as the small woman breathed. The operative felt a strange emotion spread through her at the simple fact that Jack was alive.

Miranda stood feeling oddly lighter after the stilted exchange. She turned to look at Jack one final time expecting to catch only a partial profile of the convict's face but she was caught by intense brown eyes. Anger was present in those luminous eyes but a deeper fire burned in them. Something tumultuous and volcanic in its fierceness but lighter and softer than anything she had ever seen in the convict before. It made the operative pause; it made a shiver of heat slither down her spine.

A heaviness settled around them. Miranda wondered at it even as she sat in the space between Jack's thigh and the edge of the cot. The convict's eyes followed her every move. The heat from the small body buffeted Miranda. The curve of her hip touched the lean thigh closest to her and the press (even through clothes) was electrifying.

The heat in the small space was increasing.

Miranda peeled off her gloves and let them fall to the floor. Blue eyes asked brown if touch was allowed before bare hands touched Jack anywhere. The operative was demanding, overbearing, and liked to micromanage every task she assigned. The convict was impetuous, rebellious, and liked things her own way. But in intimate situations, neither felt any inflated sort of entitlement. No action or touch was ever unwanted or unasked for.

Delicate fingers traced the planes of Jack's face. Miranda again questioned her sanity. In all her sexual encounters with the convict, the operative had never been gentle or tender. She was not looking for that in the small, violent woman. All she wanted was stress relief. And, their explosive encounters provided her that. Jack was always ramped and readily available for a quick, hard fuck, especially after they got back from a mission. That was all the XO wanted from her. Until that very moment. So, Miranda's finger continued softly tracing the lines of Jack's face even though she had no idea what she was doing. It felt right.

Miranda cupped Jack's face with both hands before leaning down and capturing the convict's full lips. The kiss was soft, barely a touching of lips. The operative could see the confusion in brown eyes as she pulled back.

The convict's jaw tensed. Miranda became aware of Jack's hands on her shoulders when the small woman gripped them with bruising force. "What game are we playing now, cheerleader?" The question was low and dangerous. Jack never liked being at a disadvantage.

"I'm not sure yet." Miranda closed the space between them and kissed the small woman again. She kissed Jack with intent and intensity. Like she meant it. Like it mattered. The operative opened her mouth, slipped her tongue inside the convict's mouth, seamlessly deepening the kiss. Though the kiss was hot and passionate, it was neither hard nor rough; there was no wrestling for dominance, no competition. Miranda mapped the contours of Jack's mouth as if it were the first time she was exploring the tattooed woman's mouth. She drank in the convict's taste and texture like she sipped the expensive wines she delighted in: appreciatively and slowly.

Miranda felt Jack's hands ease from her shoulders and slide up to curl tightly in her hair. The convict pulled her close and anchored herself amidst the sensations the operative was creating from a single kiss. Miranda swallowed the low moan that rumbled from Jack's chest before she released the small woman's lips to take a lungful of air.

The sound of ragged breathing filled the space between them as each woman took careful stock of the other. Blue eyes locked with brown eyes. Miranda furrowed her brow at what she saw in Jack's face and eyes. The operative saw the ever present wariness, and she saw desire, but painted most prominently across the convict's face and eyes was surprise. It took the brilliant woman several moments to figure out the cause.

An incomprehensible ache filled her chest as realization dawned on her: the kiss aroused Jack. Miranda's mind flashed back to the mission on Pragia and the casual manner Jack explained that she was pumped with drugs every time she attacked. The convict had been conditioned to feel pleasure when she fought. Jack became aroused when she was violent. She got wet when she killed. It was a Pavlovian response. That's why shock registered across Jack's face at the excitement warming her blood after the kiss. There was no fight, no violence to precipitate the response. The convict was aroused from simple pleasure.

It was a new experience, or at the very least a very uncommon one for Jack. Images of each half-crazed after mission coupling flitted through Miranda's mind. They were hard, rough, bordering on painful and always, always directly after a particularly bloody mission. Miranda realized they had never, in all that time, even seen each other fully naked. The moments too brief for either of them to bother baring all of themselves completely.

Clearly you were a mistake.

Guilt rushed through Miranda, unsettling her. She closed her eyes to hide any trace of sympathy. Cradling Jack's face as if she was something precious, the operative leaned back down and retook full lips. Miranda was determined to apologize with mouth and hands since she could not with words. She would show the other woman that pleasure was achievable without violence, without fight, without pain. Something inside of her shook at why that was suddenly so important. The operative pushed any thoughts as to why away for the moment, she would analyze later.

She eased herself off of Jack and stood, blue eyes telegraphing to brown that she was not going far. The convict unconsciously reached for Miranda before snapping her hand down and regarding the brunette through narrowed eyes before dismissing the operative off hand and turning her eyes to the metal ceiling. Miranda let a smirk play across her lips as her hands slowly unzipped her boots and she discarded them one at a time.

Jack's eyes immediately snapped back to the operative at the sound and they followed every move of Miranda's fingers. So, the operative deliberately slowed down as she peeled off her skin tight suit. Miranda's smile widened as Jack's eyes dilated and the convict's breathing picked up considerably as more and more of her skin became visible. Delicately stepping out of the leather cat-suit, the operative lazily trailed her hands across her abdomen luxuriating in the convict's rapt, undivided attention. Moving her hands up to the flimsy material hiding her breasts Miranda noted that Jack stopped breathing. Licking her lips, the operative flicked the clasp of her bra and shrugged out of the fabric.

Taking a shuddering mouthful of air, Jack sat up. Miranda sucked in a quiet breath as the convict's boots thudded on each side of her feet. Hooking her fingers through top of the last piece of black lace covering her body, she kept blue eyes fastened on the small woman's face.

"I can smell you," the disdainful tone was ruined by Jack's breathy deliverance.

Miranda almost blushed. She was wet, embarrassingly so. But, so was Jack. She could tell by tense set of her shoulders, the short, quick breaths, and the way her fingers tapped unevenly against her knees. So, the operative stayed any comment and proceeded to lower and step out of the black lace panties. She stood and momentarily reveled in the raw hunger present in brown eyes. Jack's gaze felt like a physical caress; it made her tremble.

Reaching out, Miranda made short work of removing the strap of leather that barely covered Jack's nipples. Lowering her hands to the convict's pants, the operative's movements were stopped by a firm grip to each wrist.

"What are you doing, Cerberus?" Jack's voice was low and dangerous.

"Miranda," the operative's voice was quiet but firm. The correction caught the convict by surprise. "I'm standing in front of you naked in this little hellhole you call a room, Jack. The least you can do is call me by my name."

"Just because the accoutrements," she spat the word out like a curse; her tone condescending, the convict released one wrist to trail a finger across an ivory collar bone, "are off, princess, doesn't make you any less what you are."

"Let's pretend, then," Miranda's tone was almost pleading as she unbuttoned Jack's pants, "for tonight, you're just Jack and I'm just Miranda." The operative could not explain why she needed the convict to accept. She did not understand her own motivations. "Just let me…just…" trust me the words went unspoken, because what they did was not based on trust. That was completely new territory that neither had much experience with.

"That would clearly be a mistake," Jack's words felt like a slap across Miranda's face. The small woman accepted apologies about as well as the brunette gave them. The operative clenched her jaw, her blue eyes turning to ice as they pierced a smug brown gaze. But, contrary to her words, the convict released the operative's wrist and leaned back casually on the cot. "Fuck it. I like making mistakes."

The two women regarded each other evenly; measuring one another. Miranda swallowed any lingering anger (and guilt) at Jack's imperceptible nod of acquiescence. Nodding back, blue eyes dropped to her fingers as they quickly undid the buttons that held the baggy pants to Jack's waist. Slipping her fingers into the cotton waistband of the convict's underwear, Miranda pulled everything down in one swift motion, divesting Jack boots and all. Kneeling between naked, tattooed legs, the operative let her eyes roam over the small woman, "I can smell you, too."

Jack was not perfect. She had scars. Surgical scars from a time when she could not defend herself. And, war scars that she wore proudly because they were earned and meant she was stronger than an opponent. But, as blue eyes looked over the painted canvas of the convict's skin, Miranda could not deny she was beautiful. More so, because of the small woman's brokenness and her utter rebellion against being broken.

Carefully placing her hands on Jack's knees, the brunette slid them up the convict's thighs stopping just short of a tattooed waist. Her thumbs gently rubbed the inside of Jack's thighs as she processed the feel of electricity racing up her arms from her fingertips. Blue eyes took all of the convict in. Miranda swallowed. She was suddenly famished. She stared at Jack with open hunger. A blue gaze traced the colorful tattoos delineating all of the small woman's history. If only she could decipher what each symbol meant and how it related to the powerhouse of a woman under her hands. Miranda had never wanted to know a cipher more intimately than she did at that moment. She was hungry for so much more Jack's body, but her body would have to do.

The operative stood, placing a knee on either side of the sitting convict, and gently lowered herself onto Jack's lap. At the first contact of skin on skin, each woman pulled in a shocked breath. The connection felt like two live wires touching; the spark igniting their blood and jump starting their hearts. Miranda took full advantage of Jack's momentary hesitation, wrapping her arms around thin shoulders, and dipping her head to kiss the convict.

A pleased sound rumbled through the operative as lanky arms snaked around her waist and pulled her closer to the seated body. Bodies flush, the kiss deepened and intensified. Miranda's hands slipped over the fine hairs on Jack's scalp, just holding the convict as an anchor. Ragged breathing filled the little space when the operative finally released full lips.

"Fuck," Jack's hands twitched against Miranda's back. Brown eyes, blown almost black in excitement, looked at the brunette like she was something new. The smell of arousal with faint hints of ozone permeated the room.

The convict did not protest as the operative gently laid her face down on the cot. Miranda's own pupils dilated to engulf most of her irises. She licked her lips in anticipation. She wanted to taste and explore all of the small woman, but she was not sure she could hold out that long. Moving her hands slowly up lanky arms, Miranda dropped several kisses to Jack's neck. Her mouth lavished special attention to the incision running the length of the base of the convict's skull to the meeting of her shoulders. Without words, she apologized for the pain and torture. A fierce anger at the brutality the tattooed woman had faced filled the operative.

Pushing the emotion aside, Miranda moved across bony shoulders and down a strong back. She mapped Jack like cartographers of old would do with the new terrain. Her hands moved over every inch of the convict she could reach, paying close attention to the spots that would make Jack's breath hitch and speed up. The operative recalled reading about blind people (before the advent of modern medicine and implants) being able to read things with their fingers. They would feel the indentations of Braille with their fingertips and translate that into something they understood. That's what my hands are doing with you, Jack, I'm reading you through touch, Miranda thought as she descended down the convict's back to a small, rounded bottom. Her hands pressed and kneaded the muscles and her mouth kissed. She noted the shudders running through the small body and the groan being muffled by the pillow Jack was pressed against.

Unable to resist, Miranda swiped her tongue through the crease of the Jack's ass. She was rewarded by a long moan. She repeated the action to a stronger result. Moving down lean, well muscled legs, the brunette urged the tattooed woman to turn around.

Jack's breathing was ragged and uneven, her legs splayed open one leg on either side of the operative, hands bunched into the thin sheets of the cot, her bottom lip between her teeth as if stopping herself from asking for what she wanted, she refused to beg. The sight made Miranda's blood molten and her center flood with wetness. The operative just stopped herself from utter some inane thing that would certainly ruin whatever moment they were having.

Instead, Miranda kissed her way up one tattooed leg loving the small sounds Jack was making, before repeating the process on the other leg. Each time she reached the convict's sex, the operative bypassed it, smirking internally at the frustrated growls coming from the woman beneath her. Kissing her way up prominent abs, Miranda aimed her mouth toward one of Jack's breasts, but stopped just short of enveloping it.

Placing an arm on each side of a small torso to keep herself off the convict, knees close together between tattooed thighs, Miranda looked down. Jack was practically vibrating with need. The operative could smell the heavy scent of her arousal and the unmistakable odor of ozone; the convict was so wired she was likely to lose control of her biotics. The possibility sent a thrill of excitement down the brunette's spine.

Moving her hand to trace a prominent collar bone and down a heaving sternum, Miranda's eyes zeroed in on tight, pebbled nipples. Beside Jack's face, the puckered nipples were the only part of the convict not tattooed. At that moment, they stood out starkly against the painted skin surrounding them. They were flushed dark and tightened to a hardened point. The operative's mouth watered. She lowered her head and pressed a soft kiss to the tip of each nipple before opening her mouth and taking one into her mouth.

Jack hissed at the feel of Miranda's tongue lapping at the sensitive point. The brunette felt the convict arch into her. One of the convict's hands pressed the operative flush against her. Miranda groaned into the breast she was sucking at the feel of Jack's wetness coating her stomach as the convict locked her legs around the operative's hips. Moving her mouth to the unattended breast, Miranda snaked a hand between their bodies and slid her fingers through Jack's copious wetness. She gently explored the smooth contours of the tattooed woman's slit; ghosting over a very erect clit.

The convict's breathing became shorter and shallower. And, when the brunette easily inserted two fingers into her, Jack whimpered. The sound broke something within Miranda, and she poured herself into the moment. She poured herself into pleasing the complicated, beautiful creature beneath her. The brunette was gentle but thorough. Her fingers touched Jack expertly; her fingertips mapped every smooth ridge and crevice inside the convict like they had mapped her skin. She changed the tempo of her thrusts to keep the small woman off balance and ghosted her thumb across Jack's clit intermittently to keep her on edge. And, Miranda's mouth stayed glued to aching nipples.

They moved together. Faster and deeper like the tide pulling into the shore. The operative felt the static electricity shimmer off the convict's body as the motion of her hips became erratic. She saw a blue haze at the edge of her vision. And, she smelled ozone invade the room like a forewarning to a coming storm.

"Miranda…" the name was elongated into a breathless plea as Jack's hands moved to tightly grasp the flimsy mattress. Her name kept unconsciously falling from the convict's lips; the operative knew she was close.

Moving swiftly down Jack's torso, Miranda closed her lips around the convict's clit suckling at it with her tongue as she pushed her fingers deeply into the woman beneath her. Jack's legs locked around her shoulders and her body bowed up. Carefully grazing her teeth against the sensitive bundle of nerves in her mouth, Miranda felt the small woman's inner muscles clamp down around her fingers and blue light erupt around them. I hope she doesn't blow a hole in the hull, the brunette though idly as Jack bucked against her quietly keening her release.

The legs locked around her finally relaxed. Slowly extricating her fingers from Jack, Miranda placed a final, soft kiss on the tattooed woman's center and moved back up her body. Seeing the convict's eyes closed, chest heaving as she took deep breaths and biotic energy spastically coming off her did something to the operative's heart. Looking at her made Miranda's chest tighten and ache with something not entirely unpleasant.

Before she could fully process what any of it meant, the brunette found herself on her back with a wild and feral Jack pressed flush against her. She swallowed and was suddenly reminded that she was right at the edge of release. Just a little push and she would be there.

"Jack…," I'm close…the words were swallowed up by an ardent mouth. Miranda trembled and held on as Jack kissed her like she meant it. Kissed her like it mattered. The small woman kissed her with all of herself, everything she was. And, Miranda was undone. She was coming before the convict slipped her fingers inside of her and reciprocated her gentleness. The operative was flying before a tattooed palm elongated her pleasure as it pressed and circled her clit. She was unaware she had released a blast of her own biotics until the heavy scent of ozone filled her nostrils.

"Shit," the convict collapsed on top of the operative, energy finally spent. The profanity carried so many questions. How could such a relatively gentle encounter been so taxing? How had it been so good? What exactly had they done? But neither of them asked those questions. They instead let their breathing settle still pressed skin to skin.

"Your eloquence," Miranda pulled in a deep breath, "leaves me speechless." The amusement was clearly evident in her voice.

The operative could feel Jack's smile against her neck, "Shut up, you broke my brain."

Easy banter. Intimacy. The thought made Miranda's blood run cold and her heart stop. She had made love to Jack. Jack had reciprocated. And, the convict was lying atop her, still naked, falling asleep. Terror swept through the operative. She wanted to push the small woman off her and run back to the safety of her office. She wanted to get away from the possible implications of the moment (and all the moments leading up to it).

But, a tentative hand on her hip made her stay still. Fingertips traced inconsequential patterns on her skin and Miranda realized if she left, the hurt and betrayal that would instantly light Jack's eyes would put more than an uncomfortable ache in her chest. So, selfishly wanting to keep her conscience clear, she swallowed her fear and pulled up the thin sheet from the bottom of the cot.

Jack did not protest. She just moved with the operative and settled more comfortably on top of her like a well satiated and contented cat.

"Next time, we're doing this in my room," Miranda unconsciously placed a kiss on Jack's head as she pulled the tattooed woman closer, "your bed is uncomfortable."