This is a follow-up to my one-shot "Sides of Shane". I know it's been forever but I just rewatched the whole series for the first time since 2009 and felt inspired. I'm planning a few more one-shots possibly. I'm also probably gonna rewrite "Sides of Shane" because it is not my finest hour. I own nothing except for Zoe. I wish I owned Shane. If I did, he would've survived and been a hero. :) Enjoy.

Zoe Mance had been living on her brother's couch for about two weeks and a certain fisherman friend had been there every morning, right as she was making breakfast with a sly smile on his face and some sarcastic comment to help her start her day. If it wasn't for the fact that she'd known Shane since she was five, he probably would've been the biggest pest in her life. But she'd learned how to deal with his behavior, however immature it may be. So when she came into the kitchen to start cooking Saturday morning, she shouldn't have been surprised to see her big brother's best friend already there. Although he normally wasn't the one fixing the breakfast so perhaps she did have reason to be surprised. She'd just been finishing with the long braid her wet hair was in when she came into the kitchen and saw him standing at the stove, making omelets. He glanced her way when he heard her bare feet on the wooden floors and gave her an easy smile. He turned back to the food, flipping the omelet as he told her, "You might as well stop gaping over there, sweetheart. You'll just catch flies."

"Well, pardon me for being shocked at seeing you willingly cook for yourself," she shot back, wrapping the elastic around the ends of her hair. She moved into the kitchen, grabbing plates from her brother's cabinets, and setting them next to the stovetop. "Why exactly are you cooking breakfast? You've been here every morning for two weeks and not once have you actually done anything. You don't even usually pour your own coffee."

"Shut up," he told her with a soft nudge of the elbow, scowling at her playfully as he slid the omelet onto one of the plates. He held it out for her to take and practically laughed at the skeptical look she gave him. "Take it, will ya. Despite what you may think sweetheart, I do know how to cook. Been doing it all by myself for several years now. So eat it, okay?"

Zoe took the plate from him and went over to the kitchen table, setting it down before going back over to the coffee pot. She poured herself a mug, filling it with cream and sugar, before sitting down at the table. She didn't eat it immediately. Instead, she watched Shane standing at the stove, starting on his own omelet. It was such an odd sight for her to see Shane doing something in a kitchen that was more than drinking a beer and making random remarks. But here he was, standing at the stove and seeming positively domesticated. Not that she thought that was actually possible. Shane would be the last person she would expect to see settled down and doing things like making breakfast or cleaning up after himself. To be honest, she hadn't even known that Shane had really known how to work around the kitchen. She'd only ever seen him eat out at places like The Cannery or order stuff in. The home cooked meals he ever seemed to have were made by either his mother or one of the Mances. She took a small bite of the omelet and was honestly impressed. It was delicious. "Okay, mister, when did you learn how to cook and why haven't you done this sooner?" she asked once she'd swallowed, a playful glare directed at him.

"I've known how to cook for years now, Zo. I just prefer having someone else do it for me." He tossed a wink over his shoulder as flipped his own omelet and took a small sip from his mug of black coffee. "Jimmy was heading out when I got here and he said you were in the shower and god knows you always take forever. I was hungry so I figured I'd just get started on my own. Now, shut up and eat."

She laughed lightly, digging into the rest of her omelet. They were both quiet as he finished cooking his food and as she ate hers. He joined her at the table once his was finished and the pair of them ate in a comfortable silence. Shane had never been much of a talker and Zoe had always been okay with that. He was the one person she didn't mind sitting with and not talking. After about fifteen minutes of quiet, she paused and glanced over at him curiously. She hesitated for a second before saying, "I saw Adam the other day at the grocery store."

"Adam?" Shane questioned with a slight tilt of his head, even though she could see the faint smirk at the corners of his mouth.

"Yeah. Adam. My ex. The one whose ass you said you were going to kick a couple weeks ago."

"Oh, you mean the douche bag. Now, I know who you're talking about." The smirk came through this time as he shoveled a big bite of egg and bacon into his mouth.

"He looked like he'd been on the wrong end of a bar fight," she commented, pulling her legs up onto the chair. "Don't suppose you know anything about that?"

"Can't say that I do," he told her with a smirk and a wink that said it all.

She couldn't help but roll her eyes at the man sitting across from her. Sometimes she wondered who took the protective role more seriously, Jimmy or Shane. Because sometimes it felt like Shane thrived on being the one to make sure that if someone hurt, they'd get hurt just as bad. Several of the guys she'd dated had either suffered a decent beating after the break-up or been scared away early on all thanks to Shane. Sometimes it made her want to strangle him and other times she wanted to thank him for it. Not that she ever actually did. No need feeding his ego. "You know you didn't have to do that."

"Yeah I did," he said, simply. The ever present smirk was gone as his brown eyes met her green ones. It was the first time she'd seen him look serious without punching something. "It's my job. Me and Jimmy - we look after you. It's a tough job but somebody's got to do it."

"Shane, I'm not five years old. I'm not a little kid who needs protection from the big bad world. I don't need you to play the protector every time a relationship doesn't work out."

"Doesn't change anything. None of those little bastards you date on this island get to hurt you and get away with it, sweetheart. Those are the rules of the game."

"The game's stupid," she commented, earning a laugh from Shane. "I"m serious, Shane. I know you love a good bar fight as much as any other guy at The Cannery but I don't need you to fight for me. Besides, you keep this up and no guy in town will come near me. They'll all be too scared of you to do anything."

"Good. That's how it should be."

"You're ridiculous."

"But that's why you love me, sweetheart."


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