Jack, we need to talk, he'd said, and now she's looking at him, her eyes wide, uncomprehending. The eyes of the little girl who had only a table to hug; the girl who has been abused and betrayed each and every time when she came to trust, and now it's happening to her again, all over.

And it's him who is doing it to her, he who has made such a spectacle of being there for her and not wanting her hurt.

It's not like that, he tries to tell her, I do love you and I will be back, I promise, but she cannot hear him, lost in that dark, angry and lonely place where not even that table exists any more.

When he comes to, there is not a trace of her, and Chakwas is fussing over him with her 'tool and a tube of medigel. His nose is a swollen, bloody mess, and there is also a bloody lump at the back of his head as he has hit the locker.

Neither hurts half as much as he feels he deserves.

"Where is she?" he asks, his voice sounding weird because of the nose.

"Jack has left the Normandy, EDI informs him when Chakwas doesn't say a word.

"Where to? How long has it been?"

As he tries to get up, Chakwas holds him down, unexpectedly firmly. "Don't, Commander. Just don't. It's bad enough as it is."

You're wrong, doctor, he thinks. It's worse than that. She is out there, without protection, angry and hurt and alone. And it's all my fault.

A/N: So this is the end of the ME2 storyline. Thanks and hugs to everyone who has been along for the ride, the favs and alerts and reviews in my mailbox were a steady flow of encouragement for both writing and RL, and they are much appreciated.

The events after the ending of ME2 and the continuation into ME3 will be a separate story, starting off in a couple of weeks, under the title Moments In Time, Moments In Space, unless I figure out something shorter :-)