Disclaimer: I do not own ghost in the shell, no matter how much I want to

Motoko Kusanagi is sitting at her desk. Recently they have not had any cases, so the past few days have been fairly boring for the members of Section 9. She didn't have any idea how long she has been isolated in her office nor what time it was. She figured it was past nine o' clock which meant she has been working for longer than eighteen hours without a break. She sighed; she can't remember the last time she has been on vacation. Every time she was supposed to have a day off something important always came up.

A knock on the door broke her out of her thoughts. She looked up to see Batou open her office door. He looked right into her eyes and saw that she has been working herself too much, for she looked exhausted. He lingered in the doorway for a few seconds before walking up to her. She watched him as he approached her and hesitated before putting his hand on her shoulder and said

"Come on Major. Let's go home for the night. Its 10:17 and you need a break, you look exhausted"

"No thanks Batou, I'm not in the mood to go home right now"

"Damn it Motoko, you can't keep doing this to yourself. You have to take a break now and then"

He expected her to give him an argument, or grouse him about using her first name but he got nothing. She just looked deep into his eyes. She is the only one that ever looked at him like that. He thought of how tired she must really be. She seemed to recede back into her own mind after a few minutes.

"Fine if you don't want to go home how do you feel about getting a drink with me?"

She pondered over the thought for a minute or so and then replied by turning off her computer monitor and standing up. She walked out of the office and down the dark hall do the parking garage while Batou switched off the lights of her office and closed the door.

Batou drove in silence. Motoko sat in the passenger seat silently and watched the rain roll off of the window. It's strange he thought, just this morning it was sunny and now its pouring. Recently she has been way to quiet Batou noted, indulging herself in her work and going home as little as possible. It started to worry him. Maybe tonight he will get to know what's bugging her.

They sit at the bar and order their liquor. They sit in silence until Batou decides to break it

"Are you ok, Motoko?"

He uses her real name instead of her nickname. Something he gets to do only when she is upset. This is the second time tonight he uses it without a reaction from her.

"Why wouldn't I be?"

"You've been acting weird lately. I just want to make sure you're alright"

"I'm fine, Batou"

He let the conversation drop after that. He didn't want to pry but he did want her to open up to her so that he can help her. She may be strong but she needs to loosen up every once and a wile and she only seems to do that with Batou.

About eight drinks later Batou decides to head home. Motoko attempts to get up but her legs wouldn't hold her after all that she drank. Batou caught her before she hit the ground and pulls her back up. She clings to his arm and looks up into his eyes.

"Thank you"

"No problem"

Batou walks her back to his car and gets her situated back into the passenger seat. He gets behind the wheel and pulls out into the busy street.

"So, you feel like going home now?"

"No"

"Well I'm not taking you back to Section 9. You can come back to my place if you want"

Motoko didn't reply she just looked back out the window so he took it as a yes.

When they arrive at his house Batou gets out of the car and goes around to the other side to help Motoko out. He walked her over to the front of the house where he unlocks the door with one hand and balances a drunken woman with the other.

He walks her over to the couch where he helped her sit down. He sat down next to her and to his surprise she snuggles up to him. He freezes at first, not expecting this action from her. He then relaxes and leaned back to allow her to become more comfortable. She is quietly saying his name. He looks down upon her and smiles.

"Batou … you asked earlier if I was alright. And you were probably wondering why I didn't want to go home earlier. I … it's because I … I'm lonely Batou"

After that she fell asleep in his arms. Batou watches her as she sleeps. He brushes a stray piece of hair from her face and smiles.

"I'm here for you. Always have been, always will"

Her eyes were closed giving her the impression that she was asleep, but she heard every word that Batou said.

The next morning Motoko awoke in Batou's arms. She rose and felt him stir next to her. She looked at him and asked

"What happened last night? I can't remember"

Has she really forgotten or is she just pretending she did? I just Love the pairing of Motoko and Batou. She is always so serious and I thought she needed some time to unwind with a certain someone.