Jack eyed the soft flush of Shepard’s cheeks, feeling her own insides warm at the sight. The Commander was always so put together during their time on the Normandy. Her level-head and calm demeanor in the face of Jack’s interrogations infuriated her. She tried to get under Shepard’s skin every chance she had, but more often than not, she found herself being bared open and picked apart by gentle words and soft looks.
Now, Jack’s hands twitched with the urge to reach out towards Shepard, to uncover what lies beneath her carefully crafted persona. She thought it only fair, after exposing herself so completely. Instead, she leaned forward and poured her another drink, “Don’t slack, Shepard. We’ve got a lot of missed drinks to make up for in the face of the fucking apocalypse.”
Jack’s eyebrow quirked as something akin to a giggle tumbled from the Commander’s lips, “Yes ma’am. I wouldn’t want to fall behind.” She said, tipping her head back to take a long swig. With heavy lidded eyes, Jack focused in on the pale expanse of Shepard’s throat. Her own mouth felt dry with the urge to taste. She almost felt guilty turning such affections on Shepard, her only true friend. The one person she could trust to have her back, but she couldn’t help it. Shepard was unlike anyone she’d ever met before. She’d never admit it out loud but the Commander was certainly more of a badass than her.
She charged into Hell, unafraid of what she’d find on the other side. It was a testament to her nature that she had a loyal crew at her back, never second guessing her orders. Jack remembered being chosen to hold the barrier and it made her heart swell, even in the midst of battle. It had suddenly hit her that as much as she trusted Shepard, the Commander put just as much trust back into her. It was intoxicating to be the one to protect someone who had eluded death more times than a mortal human had a right to.
It seemed though, that she wasn’t the only one attracted to the power rolling off of the first human Spectre. Jack was almost certain she’d caught at least a few squad members giving the Commander moon eyes. It made rage boil up inside her, a sick, possessive emotion that she had no right to feel. Beyond a few teasing words and lingering looks, Shepard had never shown interest in any of them. She’d forced down her biting words, knowing that it wasn’t their fault. She was just as hopelessly lost in Shepard’s aura of dominance.
“What’s on your mind?” Shepard’s voice floated over, soft and full of an emotion Jack couldn’t place. It snapped her out of her daydreams and she looked back to the Commander.
“Just reliving the good old days on the Normandy, when we weren’t facing our inevitable death. Oh wait.” She said dryly, finishing off the last of her drink. She was almost startled when Shepard moved closer, pinning her down with those bright green eyes.
“I see you, Jack.” She said lowly, “Tell me what’s really bothering you.” Jack felt fear curl around her chest, was she really so transparent? She met the Commander’s calculating gaze, her features slipping back into her usual glare.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Shep. Just getting my mind off of the war with a few drinks.” She said evenly, leaning back against the couch. She laid out her arm over the back of it with an air of nonchalance. Shepard let out a small laugh, resting her head on Jack’s outstretched arm.
“Still avoiding my questions after all this time. Some things never change.” Jack laughed humorlessly, knowing that if Shepard pried hard enough, she could coax whatever she wanted out of the Biotic. The Commander could haul her around on a leash and collar and she’d thank her for the opportunity to bask in her light.
Jack breathed a small sigh of relief as Shepard spared her and delved into a story about her early Spectre days. She tried desperately to cling to each word the Commander said, to make sense of it, but the warmth drifting off of her was distracting and Jack’s mind kept wandering back to her desires. Her favorite fantasy involved an impressive show of biotics and the aquarium in Shepard’s cabin.
After a few minutes, she realized Shepard was looking at her expectantly and she scrambled to remember anything the Commander said. She panicked when she came up short, looking like a deer caught in headlights. Shepard’s expression shifted in that moment, her unaffected front dropping as Jack caught a small glimpse of her underneath all that power. She looked... hurt, Jack’s brain supplied unhelpfully.
“Are you even listening to anything I’m saying?” Shepard asked, too softly for someone of her stature, “I don’t understand why you invited me here. You’ve been acting weird all night. Did I do something to piss you off?” The words seemed to spill from the Commander’s lips, and for the first time, Jack saw how truly vulnerable she’d let herself become in front of the Biotic. Her heart clenched in her chest, the guilt almost overwhelming.
Jack couldn’t help the searching hand that found Shepard’s, lacing their fingers, “Fuck, I’m sorry I’m being an asshole. There’s just… a lot going on.” She finished lamely, hoping Shepard could feel her sincerity, “There’s nowhere else I’d rather be, though.” She added quietly. Shepard seemed surprised by the physical contact but merely squeezed Jack’s hand in a show of forgiveness.
“Please just talk to me, Jack. You know you can trust me with anything.” Jack did know. She knew she could lay down all of her darkest secrets in front of Shepard. Knew the Commander would take them with her to the grave. It still didn’t stop her from fidgeting nervously, sweat starting to pool on her temples from one too many drinks and Shepard’s unwavering gaze.
“I’m scared, Shep. Really, truly fucking scared of everything going on.” She said, her voice cracking under the effort of keeping her words level and unaffected. It was a half truth. She knew she owed Shepard an explanation for her behavior but coming out with I really just want to kiss you because we might both be dead soon seemed inappropriate for the mood of the conversation. She didn’t let herself think about how afraid of being rejected she was either.
The stoic, understanding look Shepard gave her set Jack’s heart beating faster, “I’m scared too, but I know we’re gonna pull through this. Just like we always do.” She said confidently, slipping back into the role of Commander so easily. Jack narrowed her eyes at Shepard.
“Don’t pull your commander voice on me, I don’t buy it, remember?” She retorted, cocking a challenging eyebrow. She watched Shepard melt back into the couch with a vibrant laugh. She couldn’t stop a smile from unfolding across her lips.
“My bad, it’s hard to turn off.” Shepard said, shrugging a bit before turning back to Jack, “But hey, you’re not alone. It seems like everyone in the galaxy is looking to us to make it right, and it’s fucking terrifying.” She gave Jack’s hand another light squeeze. Jack’s heart stuttered in it’s beat.
She knew the pressure to succeed must weigh heavily on the Commander but suddenly she could feel it. The expectations of millions of people bearing down on one human. It was hard to remember that Shepard wasn’t a paragon of virtue sent from the heavens, “How do you do it?” She murmured, eyes drifting down to their locked hands.
She could hear the weariness in Shepard’s sigh, “If I don’t, who will?” She said simply, leveling Jack with an inscrutable look. Jack’s chest ached with the need to comfort Shepard. She wanted to strip away her responsibilities, the strain of war and the guilt of bad calls.
“Hey, you’re not alone.” She echoed Shepard’s earlier words, “I’m here if you need someone to lean on.” Jack almost laughed at herself, Commander’s little pet, eager to please .
But then, Shepard was leaning on her, face nuzzling into her shoulder as she pressed up against the Biotic’s side. Jack froze, unfamiliar with such physical intimacy from Shepard, before relaxing under her weight, “I didn’t mean literally but this is nice.” She managed to tease after a few moments of silence, her voice low and soft. She was afraid to disturb the fragile state of repose.
Shepard hummed softly below her, “Sorry,” She mumbled, but seemed to only relax further against Jack. Is Shepard really this much of a lightweight? Vulnerable and cuddly after just a few drinks? Jack thought to herself, almost rolling her eyes at the wave of affection she felt wash over her. She let her arm settle over Shepard’s shoulders, fingers grazing her arm. How sickeningly sweet part of her brain supplied sarcastically.
She could swear she’s never been so fucking whipped before now but her hands crave to explore further. To strip her of those horrible military fatigues and trace each hidden scar with her tongue. She wants the Commander to beg, then praise her mercy when she finally gives Shepard what she wants. What Jack knows she needs. She didn’t realize her nails were digging into Shepard’s arm until a questioning hmm was thrown her way. Shepard looked up at her with those big, green eyes, quiet concern emanating from her.
Jack could do nothing but stare, eyes traveling from the scar etched into her left cheek to the smattering of freckles across the bridge of her nose. It wasn’t long before she dropped her gaze to Shepard’s lips, so full and glossy and tempting. Her tongue darted out over her bottom lip unconsciously, feeling heat simmer in her belly.
“Jack?” Shepard murmured, the small furrow between her eyebrows growing. Jack let her fingers curl gently in her fiery red hair, easily drawing her closer.
“Just… just shut up, Shepard.” Jack said lowly, struggling to find words. Her other hand came up to cup Shepard’s flushed cheek and she let her thumb ghost over the cupid’s bow of her lips. Shepard let out a soft, impatient sigh before leaning up to press her lips against Jack’s in a languid kiss. Their lips slid together, velvety and hot and so much more gentle than she was used to. Jack felt arousal stab at her gut and she couldn’t help the way her fingers tightened their grip in Shepard’s hair. She nipped at her bottom lip before flicking her tongue across it.
Holy shit, oh fuckfuckfuck, I’m kissing Shepard raced through her mind but she was quickly distracted by a wicked little tongue curling against her own. She felt a smooth hand drifting up her waist, teasing her with blunt nails and she let out an almost inaudible moan. Her own hands found their way to Shepard’s hips, coaxing her up into her lap. Shepard straddled Jack easily, laving a few more hot kisses over Jack’s mouth before trailing her attention to her neck. She sucked lightly at the supple skin and Jack shivered under the feeling, hands clutching at the Commander’s hips. Her fingers slipped under Shepard’s shirt, teasingly light. Shepard moaned softly against her ear before tracing the curve of her neck with her tongue. Jack’s hands moved to pull Shepard’s shirt off, itching to uncover her but she was interrupted by the ping of the Commander’s omnitool.
Shepard pulled away and glanced at the display lit up on her arm. She looked almost as pained as Jack felt when she accepted the call.
“Commander, we need you back on the Normandy ASAP. We have orders to ship out to the Perseus Veil immediately.” Joker’s voice rang through the quiet room.
Shepard groaned, “Copy that, Shepard out.” She ended the call and cast a guilty look at Jack, “I have to go.” She mumbled and slipped off of the Biotic’s lap. Jack stood with her and pulled her close, suddenly too afraid to let go. What if this is the last time I get to touch her? Hear her voice?
“Am I gonna see you again?” She asked, uncomfortable with all of the unspoken questions growing between them. Shepard’s hands were soft on her cheeks, her lips even softer against Jack’s own. When she pulled away, the furrow between her eyebrows returned, and Jack felt her insides turn uneasily, “Is that a no?” She pressed, Shepard’s silence driving her mad.
“I can’t promise anything.” Shepard refused to meet her eyes. “Be careful out there, okay? We need you.” She said, pressing one last kiss to her cheek before slipping from her arms. Jack felt a sick sense of vertigo, like time was moving too fast and she was powerless to stop it. She couldn’t make herself move, couldn’t bring herself to say anything as she watched Shepard leave.
She still searched for the words to make her stay after she was long gone.