When everything else fails, booze is her last relief – if she downs a bottle real fast and drops to bed, she can relax enough to fall asleep before her metabolism gets rid of the alcohol.
She does that three or four times, though, and on her return from the boozemachine (“use restricted strictly to personnel”), she finds Sanders waiting in her quarters. “Is that wise?” she says softly.
Jack frowns: as far as she knows, she hasn’t crossed any line, and the intrusion pisses her off. “Are you spying on me or what?”
"I’m keeping an eye on all my staff," Sanders replies. "And if they need to sneak out at night for a bottle, it’s something I need to address."
"Like hell," Jack growls. "No-one said I can’t have booze in my free time, and the rest is no fucking business of yours. Plus, in case it escaped you, I’m a biotic, it would take more than this piss to get me drunk.”
A pointed look. “I know what you are and who you are.”
Jack draws breath through her nostrils, feeling a surge of adrenaline. “If you have issues with me, why bother taking me on board in the first place?”
"A friend asked me to." Sanders doesn’t flinch, she never does. "At first I thought he must have got hit in the head but as I’ve been watching your interaction with the students, I must admit he was right, after all. But if you’re having issues that you need a bottle to cope with, I cannot overlook it, both for your own sake and for theirs."
Theirs. The kids’.
Slowly, Jack relaxes her tense posture. She drops her eyes to the bottle in her hand. “I can’t sleep,” she admits, “and I don’t want no pills or doctors, ‘is all. Usually, working out helps, but not today.”
Sanders tilts her head. “Have you tried warm milk? Or tea? I’ve got a good blend in my quarters. Shall I fix you a cup? I even have a stash of honey.”
"Is this an overture to ‘let’s talk about your problems’?" Jack blurts. “‘Cause I’m not –"
"No. Not unless you want to." Sanders smoothly rises from the chair. "I’ll be right back."
In the morning, Jack finds a packet of tea and a small jar of honey on her desk. It catches her by surprise; she can’t recall being ever gifted anything so… harmless.
As she picks up the packet to smell its fragrance, she notices the PDA under it:
- Ten hours’ recording of hanar visual poetry. Either you will relax, or it will safely bore you to sleep. Win-win.
Wanna see how many potential friends are out there :)
* I’m not sorry