Sadly, this is quite short, but it damaged the writer's block, so I'm happy. This came to me after watching the Shane's Karma episodes. Dustin's comment on the battlizer mode is actually what I said when I watched the transformation. That, and I noticed the way Yellow Wind was inspecting him after the fight was over. This is actually the sequel to Forced Confessions, but takes place after Shane's Karma.

Enjoy! ^_~


"So what did you *really* think when you saw my battlizer mode?" Shane asked quietly. He laid on the soft grass not far from the portal to Ninja Ops, his head leaning close to Dustin's as they stared up at the night sky. It was one of the few times they were able to get just the two of them these days, and he enjoyed every minute of it.

Dustin was quiet for a minute. "Promise you won't freak?"

Shane sighed. Dustin was more insecure than most people realized; he and Tori were the only ones to know just how much his friends' opinions affected him. It was slow going to remind him that they were his friends no matter what, especially in the wake of Dustin's confession about his feelings for Shane. Shane did his best to try and keep things between them from being awkward, but the other boy's nervousness often made it hard. "You can tell me *anything* Dustin. You know that."

There was a soft sigh, followed by a muttered "I thought it made your ass look really good."

Shane blinked, using every ounce of willpower he had to keep from laughing. "That wasn't quite what I was expecting you to say." he admitted after a moment.

"You mad?"

He rolled his eyes. "Have I *ever* been mad at you? Seriously?"

Dustin stopped to think about it. "Not for more than like, a few minutes."

"There you go." He paused, then added with a grin, "And I'm flattered."

He could almost sense Dustin's blush in the darkness. "You've got a nice ass." the Yellow Ranger mumbled. "It'd be hard *not* to notice."

A grin crept across Shane's face. "I'll have to take your word for it, since you're the one who looks."

"Hey!" Dustin protested, giving his friend's shoulder a light shove.

"Well, you are."

"Yeah." Dustin groaned suddenly, rubbing a hand over his face. "Man, those Ranger uniforms are *torture*."

This time Shane did laugh. "And having four guys on your team probably doesn't help, right?"

"Tell me about it." Dustin grumbled. "Not to mention *two* Cams. If I didn't know any better, I'd say he made CyberCam just to get my attention."

Shane hesitated, knowing this was a sore subject. "You could tell him, you know." he said as casually as he could. "I really don't think the other guys are gonna be that broken up over it."

"More like I'll be the one broken up." It was quiet, but he just managed to catch it.

"Come on, bro." he protested, rolling over to look at his friend. "They're not that judgemental."

"You don't know that for sure." Dustin sighed, looking miserable. "The last thing I want is to like, hurt the team because it turns out one of them is homophobic. I don't want to ruin team relations, you know?"

"Tori and I don't care." he pointed out, resisting the urge to grab the other's shoulders and shake some sense into him.

"We've been friends since we were kids. Tor even said she saw it coming." Dustin shrugged uncomfortably. "The other guys haven't really known me that long."

He sat up a little, frowning. "She saw it coming? Why didn't she tell me?" he demanded.

Dustin shrugged. "She said it was my decision to come out, and she didn't want to force me." There was a pause, then a mumbled. "And she said you were so oblivious you should have to figure it out on your own."

"I am *not* oblivious!" Shane protested hotly. "Just because I didn't see you coming-"

"She said something about being more to it than that, but whatever." Dustin shrugged. "Just...not yet, okay bro?" he finished pleadingly.

Shane sighed, falling back against the grass again with his arms pillowed behind his head. No matter how hard he tried, Dustin had *always* been able to win him over in the end. "It's up to you, bro." he said at last. "But I still think they'll be cool. And if they're not, Tori and I'll beat some sense into 'em."

Dustin laughed softly, but it was a little too forced for his liking. "Thanks, bro."

He reached out to squeeze his friend's shoulder. "Anytime, man."