Set after galaxy stranger.
At this time of day, the cafeteria was quite full with the various employees of BETA. Nevertheless, Shane had no trouble spotting Niko as she came through the door. She waved to him before joining the queue for food. Reluctantly, Shane shifted his gaze from her and onto the mass of unfamilier and vaguely familiar faces, trying to pick out his two other team mates, Zach and Doc. By the time he turned back to his dinner, Niko was sliding into the seat opposite.
"Doesn't look like Doc and Zach are here." He commented casually.
"Zach's not on duty today, he'll be eating with his children. As for Doc, I last saw him working in Q-ball's lab, he'll have forgotten to eat again." Goose let out a small chuckle and went back to pushing his half eaten meal absently around his plate. Niko watched him do this for a few seconds before putting her hand over his, bringing the fork to a halt. She stared into his eyes and Shane got the feeling that she was reading him like a book. Niko blinked and pulled her hand away. He'd been acting strangly, almost nervously since he came back from his last mission. "You did what you had to do Shane." She said evenly, Shane blinked and broke eye contact.
"Don't you need your badge for that kind of stunt?" he grunted belligerantly in reply. Niko looked offended for a moment. "I don't need my abilities to tell me what is obvious. You doubt your actions and your worth." Her voice had lowered almost to a whisper by the end of the sentence. Shane stared at her with an illegible emotion in his eyes and fought the desire to open up.
"It's..I'm..I have to go." He closed his eyes and turned his head away. Placing a cool hand on his cheek, Niko gently moved his face so he was looking into her eyes again.
"Why don't you trust me?" Her voice was almost pleading, "Why won't you tell me what's going on?"
"You don't understand." he said simply, pulling back, half coming to his feet, pushing away his plate. He turned to leave but Niko caught his hand, stopping him in his tracks
"The help me to understand."
Sadly, Shane shook his head,
"You wouldn't want to."
"Goose. We all have fears and anxieties. You seem to have more than most..." He snorted,
"With my background it's hardly surprising." Niko ignored him.
"But you also have three good friends who would help you through anything. If you have a problem, then we would like to help." Shane eyed her thoughtfully.
"Did Zach suggest that you do this? Well, it's no-ones business except my own."
"No, Zach doesn't have anything to do with this. Shane please, let me in."
He gazed at her for a few seconds before he pulled his hand from her grip and walked off, shaking his head.