Disclaimer – I don't own them, if I did I'd be able to think up better things to do with them.

Author's Notes – God I hate this story. Well not so much the story as the fact I can't write it in a way that I'm satisfied with. I've tried over and over to edit this thing into something that sounds right to me, but it's just not happening. Anyone else ever have that problem where you just want to delete the entire blasted thing and forget it ever existed. I'm pretty close to that point.

I did however figure out who's going to be paired with whom. Jason/Kat, Tommy/Adam, Rocky/Tanya. Yes that's right Tommy/Adam, I unintentionally headed in that direction years ago, and now I'm going with it. Besides Jason's living with Kat, come on now, like they're not shackin' up.

Thanks – Big thanks to xrachx for her fabulous editing job. Chylea3784 for pretty much giving me all the ideas I needed to continue this thing. And PernDragonrider for giving me the idea to make it Adam/Tommy which is going be very interesting.

Summary – Tommy was captured and tormented by the Evil Alliance for nearly two years before finally being saved. The Rangers did graduate high school in that time period and are in college now, despite still being Zeo Rangers.

-o-

Friends Care

Katherine

-o-

"Tom I know it hurts, but I have to get these wounds cleaned out. It'll be worse if they get infected."

Hand shaking, I cringe as I press down too firmly on the gash marring his right thigh, earning a loud howl of pain from my patient. "Shit, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry." Rushing to stop the fresh blood now trickling down his leg I don't know why I thought I could do this. I'm not a doctor, I barely know first aid. Why did I think I could take care for someone in such a serious condition?

-ooooooooo-

(2 weeks ago….)

Looking at the thankfully sedated and unconscious form on the medical table, Rocky heaves a weary sigh. "Kat I know you're upset, but there's nothing we can do for him. He's too far gone."

Continuing to wash the dried blood off of my patient, I should have let Jason do this. He said he would, but I just couldn't. I needed to touch him, make sure he was real and actually here. "He's hurt, that doesn't mean he's gone."

Looking up from her arm, which Jason is currently bandaging, Tanya seems less then satisfied with my view. "He bit me."

Shaking his head, Jason answers rather calmly, "You scared him. Who knows how long he was locked in that cell, or what was done to him. It had obviously become instinct for him to try to defend himself by any means possible." And with how he was chained really all he could manage was to bite. It's just lucky we got him back to the Power Chamber and sedated before he could do worse.

Rubbing her now bandaged arm, Tanya fixes the Gold Ranger with a knowing look. "What do we do when he goes with that instinct where other people are concerned? He could really hurt someone."

"He can barely stand, he's hardly a threat." Or is he? We found him in heavy chains and didn't manage to get them off until we got back here. What if I'm wrong and he can still lash out? True he can't use his powers right now as we have his Zeonizers, but still…

Apparently having enough of the debate that has been raging on for the past twenty minutes, Rocky brings up our best option once again. "Kat, we care about him, you know we do, but we can't help him like a hospital can. Especially one on Eltar where they understand what the Evil Alliance is capable of." We don't even know what such a place is like though. True Zordon was the first to mention it, but he hasn't been there in years, and we've never been there. How do we know they'll take care of him and give him what he needs?

"THIS DECISION IS NOT TO BE TAKEN LIGHTLY RANGERS. IF INDEED YOU DO DECIDE TO SEND HIM TO ELTAR I CANNOT PROMISE HIS RETURN TO YOU." Clearly upset about sending his favorite Ranger away, Zordon nevertheless seems to think it's the best option. I wish I could feel the same.

"He's not going." Done with Tanya, Jason quickly retrieves a second washcloth before moving to help me with his best friend.

Rubbing his eyes, Rocky shakes his head. "Jason-"

Cutting the Blue Ranger off before another argument breaks out, I can't handle the two males fighting for dominance again. I had my fill of that during Tommy's absence. "Alpha scanned him, there's no brain damage, very little nerve damage; the rest of his physical injuries will heal over time. He needs his friends, his family to help heal the emotional and mental ones, not strangers in a hospital."

"I think she's right." All of us turning to look at the since now quiet Green Ranger, Adam continues to stare at his injured friend. "We're his family; I think it'll hurt him if he wakes up in a hospital instead of here. I'm not saying we know how to take care of him better then actual doctors, but I think he'll respond better to us."

Seeming to surrender, Tanya asks the next question that's on everyone's mind. "Where's he going to stay?"

"We'll figure something out."

-oooooooooo-

Shaking off the memory I throw the now stained washcloth into the hamper. "All done." For tonight at least. It really would be so much easier if he'd just let us give him a bath, but for whatever reason he won't go near the bathtub. Though come to think of it he won't do a lot of things anymore.

Body stiff and no doubt itching from the bandages, he gives me a tired look. "Hurts."

"I know." Pulling the covers back over him, I'll be so happy when these wounds heal. He's not getting any better being stuck in bed all day and these daily cleaning and re-bandaging sessions are taking their toll on everyone involved.

"Stay?"

"Sure. Just let me go bush my teeth okay? I'll be right back." Getting a nod, I head for the bathroom down the hall, smirking as I hear Jason's off key singing from behind the door. I'm not sure what exactly prompted me to ask him to move in. I know we told Tommy that it was because of him. Said that this way we could make sure one of us was here at all times in case something happened and he needed us. We lied.

Now don't get me wrong, that is in fact a good reason for him being here. It's just not the original one he moved in for. Tommy had been gone for nearly a year and somewhere along the way Jason and I had gotten closer, much closer.

Looking at the promise ring on my finger, I know we should tell him. I just don't know how he'd take it really, not now, not after all of this. It's not as if we'd ever gotten together beyond that one date to the movies, but somehow I can't help feeling guilty. I had had a crush on him for so long and I think he was just starting to reciprocate when they took him. How badly would it hurt to know that while he was gone I'd fallen for his best friend? Whilst he was being tortured I was… happy. I just can't do that to him. Even if he hasn't asked about were we stand with each other, no doubt figuring I'd moved on, I can't do this to him, his love life his hardly his biggest priority right now. I know mentioning my involvement with someone else will hurt. I don't want to hurt him anymore.

Opening the door and catching the look of distress on my face, Jason is quick to take me in his arms. "Hey now, what's the matter? Didn't go well?"

It takes a moment for his questions to reach me as I'm still mulling over when and how to tell Tommy of my relationship with his friend, but eventually I catch up with the program giving a fairly weak answer. "No it went alright. The burns are healing faster than the cuts." None are healing fast enough though.

"That's to be expected." Eyeing me critically, he continues, tone full of concern. "That's not all that's bothering you. What's wrong?"

Shaking my head, I pull away, only getting the slightest resistance from him. "Nothing, just tired. He asked me stay with him. So I'm going to sleep in his room tonight." It's not an odd request really, over the past few days one if not both of us end up in there. I think he's just afraid be alone. I know I would be, after being alone for so long it's hardly unexpected.

"Okay." Running his fingers through my hair, he offers up a rather chaste kiss. "Don't worry yourself so much alright? He's going to be okay. I know him, he's a fighter, he'll get through this."

"I hope so."

To be continued…….