[Laughs] Oh, I just have to share this! I took a 'What Kind of Queer are You?' quiz at Quizilla. My result was gay as a Power Ranger. [Sniggers] Now I wanna know which Ranger I am.

Disclaimer: Do you see Shane and Dustin flirting and making out in the T.V. series? No? Then I don't own them. [Sighs]

[Scowls] I do not like this new QuickEdit thing. The horizontal divider thing is cool, but I can't add in any astricts! This sucks! [Pouts] And I can't put in smiley faces, either. I am seriously not happy with fanfiction.net right now. The system was fine the way it was. It didn't need changing, especially not for the worst.

This is for Prinzessin and Angel Spirit (And Weesta, when she finally comes out of her closet) for joining my dark little corner of fandom. And because there still aren't nearly enough Shane/Dustin fics out there. And 'cause I wanted to write something absolutely fluffy. Not quite sure why I picked this title, other than that I have the theme song to Family Matters stuck in my head. This was meant to be a one-shot. It probably won't be, because I'm enjoying the tangent this plays in. It does not exist in the Forced Confessions universe, but after the series ends when they've lost their powers and become teachers at the Academy. Oh, and any similarities to Starhawk's Year of Thunder series are unintentional.

Enjoy, my cohorts!

Days Go By

"That's good, Lyn." Dustin encouraged. "Just keep working on those visuals and sensing the energy around you, okay? Don't force anything."

"Yes, Sensei."

His head shot up as a bell chimed, and he visibly had to restrain himself from bouncing in place. "Class dismissed!" he announced quickly.

Muffled laughter circulated the group as they dispersed. At last Angel, one of the braver students, called "Tell Sensei Clarke hello for us!"

"Have a good time!" Eileen giggled, hurrying away before he could scold them.

He smiled ruefully. The joys of teaching almost all female students. The girls liked to gossip about his relationship with Shane, which annoyed the other to no end. He didn't mind so much. It just proved they were more than open to the idea of their male teachers as a couple.

Speaking of Shane...

He hurried towards the portal. Shane was returning from his latest field trip today. He and Tori often took their students away from the Academy to train. Even Hunter with his students visited on occasion for storms, though the fact that Cam sat in on his classes when he was there didn't go unnoticed. Cam didn't leave for training all that often himself, but it wasn't unheard of.

Dustin didn't really need to leave the Academy for his classes. The earth energies were at their strongest in the natural environment. He liked to take his beginners on an overnight camping trip to prove that point, but otherwise stayed where there was a steady supply of bandages and disinfectant for the unlucky student that was still learning how to phase through rocky ground. He often took over the others' responsibilities while they were away, which generally kept him busy enough to keep from missing them too terribly.

Shane was a different story. He wasn't quite sure how it had come about. They'd always been friends of course, and were really close. It wasn't as if he'd never tried finding anyone. He'd tried again with Marah, and several other people, but never seemed to click.

Then somehow he and Shane found themselves spending more and more time together as Tori dated Blake between his tours and Cam continued his unofficial relationship with Hunter, or hung out with each other in the absence of the Thunder Brothers. Inevitably, there had been a comment from one of his more curious new students, asking if he and Sensei Clarke were lovers. He'd denied it immediately, but had started to wonder. When he'd met Shane for dinner later that night, the other had asked what was wrong. After some coaxing, he'd confessed what the girl had said. Shane had dropped the subject immediately, and had seemed to avoid him for days. Then one night he appeared out of nowhere, pulling him off into the trees and kissing him. They'd been together ever since.

He reached the portal at last, stopping beside Tori and Cam to slow his breathing. "Hey, guys."

Tori laughed, reaching over to tussle his hair. "Hey, Dustin. Running late again?"

"Girls didn't want to leave." he panted.

"Ever the popular teacher." Cam deadpanned.

"Don't let Shane hear that." Tori teased.

"Don't let Shane hear what?"

They all looked up as the red sparkle dimmed from the portal, Shane grinning at them all. His eyes seemed to soften when they met Dustin's, then looked away. He glanced back to the group, doing a quick survey. "Everyone here?"

"Yes, Sensei!" they chorused.

"Everybody in one piece?"

"Yes, Sensei!"

"Speak for yourself." someone whispered. "Those tree jumps were brutal!"

A few muted giggles.

Shane rolled his eyes. "Hah, hah. Very funny, Rick. Get cleaned up and unpacked, then grab something to eat. We'll start classes again tomorrow. Get out of here!" He waved a hand dismissively.

"Later Sensei!"

"Food!"

"Can't we take like a week off?"

"A shower! A real shower!"

"No more mountain streams for me!"

"Forget showers! We don't have to sleep on the ground tonight!"

"Yeah!"

Shane shook his head with an exasperated groan.

Tori and Cam exchanged amused glances. "Air Ninjas." they sighed in unison.

.Shane scowled at them. "Funny, guys."

"It's a proven fact that Air Ninjas are more hot headed and loud mouthed than any other ninjas." Cam informed him.

"Just like Water Ninjas are temperamental and impatient, and Samurai can't learn when to keep their mouths shut?" Shane shot back. None of them meant it, of course. Stereotyping Elements was an old joke among them all.

"Good thing I get all the calm and easy going Earth Ninjas." Dustin couldn't resist putting in.

The other three looked at him. "Then why are your students always giggling?" Tori countered.

"And half of them end up in the infirmary after each class?" Cam added.

He frowned. "Dude, I'm the one with mostly girls. It's not my fault they think about...other stuff when they're trying to phase through the ground."

Compression dawned in Tori's eyes as she smirked. "Oh, so that's where all the debate started."

"Debate?" Shane echoed.

"On what's harder, the rocks, or Sensei Brooks' butt." she answered, winking.

"Hey, that's privileged information." Shane protested. "And 'm the only one who's privileged enough to know."

Dustin turned bright red.

"I think that's our cute to leave the lovebirds alone." Cam said dryly.

"Don't have too much fun." Tori called as they walked away. "At least not until you make it to your room!"

Shane glared after her. He was tackled abruptly, knocked back a few steps with a fierce hug. He laughed, even as he hugged back just as tight. "Missed me?"

"You have no idea." Dustin murmured.

Shane brushed his curls from his face, kissing his forehead. Dustin lifted his chin immediately, and they kissed softly. Neither moved for a while, simply holding each other. Shane's hand had become tangled in Dustin's hair, his favorite thing to do, as he alternated between resting his head against the other man's and titling his head a bit for another kiss.

"You should probably take your own advice, you know." Dustin said at last, his voice quiet. "Shower, food?"

A mischievous glint sparkled in Shane's eyes. "Only if you promise to join me."

Dustin grinned at him. "Why'd you think I said something?"

There was a pause.

"Last one there buys group dinner next get together!" Shane cried as he bolted.

"Hey! No fair!"
Dustin returned to consciousness slowly. The first thing he was aware of was the dim lighting of the outside lanterns. It wasn't quite dawn yet, but he'd need to get up soon if he wanted breakfast before classes began.

Then the feeling of smooth skin beneath his cheek sunk in, and strong arms around him. He was sprawled across the bed, blankets tangled around them. His eyes drifted upward to take in the peaceful expression on Shane's face as he slept. Not for the first time, he wished there were more mornings to wake up just like this.

Unfortunately, he did need breakfast soon. With the ease of practice, he slowly slid out of Shane's arms and out of bed without managing to wake him. The other deserved his sleep after spending a week in the mountains with ten rowdy teenagers. He decided to bring breakfast to him today, giving him more of a chance to sleep in.

He slipped on a training uniform, heading for the door in his bare feet. It was a bad habit he'd picked up after joining the Academy staff. It was easier for beginners to feel the earth's energy through their feet, and demonstrating it so often had made him forget shoes more often than not. Eventually he'd just given up on them all together, preferring the more natural feeling of dirt between his toes. The comfort was worth the others' teasing.

He blinked in surprise when he opened the door to find a note taped to it.

Dustin-

We're returning the favor today, so make the best of it. Enjoy your day off together. And no details Shane!

Love, Tori

"Yes!" he whooped aloud, then clapped a hand over his mouth.

There was a quiet chuckle behind him, and he turned sheepishly to see Shane braced up on his elbows, watching him with an amused smile. "Good news?" he asked softly.

"The others are covering for us today." he answered. The corner of his mouth quirked. "And Tori says no details."

"Damn." Shane muttered in mock disappointment.

Dustin grinned wider. "I was gonna grab some breakfast. What d'you want?"

Shane smirked, his gaze turning somewhat predatory. "You."

Dustin flushed. "That's not what I meant and you know it." he complained.

Shane's smirk widened as he sat up, allowing the sheet that was covering him to slip down into his lap. "I know. But you asked what I wanted."

"To eat! What do you want to eat!" he groaned, letting his head fall back against the doorframe.

"Exactly what I said."

He started as arms wrapped around him, pulling him back into the room and firmly shutting and locking the door before he had a chance to protest.
"This is great!" Dustin sighed happily, stretching his arms out. "No classes, no students, no freaky old dudes glaring at us because we're not as strict as they are..." At the Academy, Dustin tended to speak more formally, rather than in the familiar surfer/valley talk from when he was younger. Off grounds in downtown Blue Bay Harbor, the accent appeared to be returning.

"No shoes." Shane teased.

Dustin pouted at him. "I'm comfortable." he protested. "Isn't that what counts?"

Shane smiled, grabbing Dustin and pulling him close. "Nah. What counts is that we finally have a whole day for just us."

A light scowl marred Dustin's features. "You mean half a day."

Shane smirked. "You complaining?" he asked softly, leaning down to nuzzle his boyfriend's neck.

"No." Dustin managed, struggling to hold in a moan. His neck was incredibly sensitive. "'C-Course not."

"Good." Shane turned his head, kissing Dustin's cheek, then abruptly broke away and jogged ahead. "Let's check in on Kelly!"

"Dude!" Dustin hollered after a moment to recover himself. "How many times do I have to tell you not to do that?!"

"A whole lot more!" Shane shot back.

Dustin glowered and ran after him.

The inside of Storm Chargers hadn't changed that much since they'd last been here, nearly three years ago now. The real surprise was the boy working behind the counter, and the girl showing some of the clothing to a customer. "Too weird." Dustin murmured.

Shane nodded as the boy looked up, blinking, and startled. "Uh...Se-Sir!" he stammered. "What are you doing here?"

"Just visiting some old haunts." Shane answered smoothly. "What are you doing here, Marshall?"

"Making some extra cash." he admitted, hastily adding "S-Sir."

Marshall was one of Dustin's students, one of the first arrivals. He was most often seen as part of a trio, a Water Ninja named Rebecca, and Isaac, an Air Ninja. They were far from being the best students, but they tried hard. Cam often complained about how much they reminded him of another certain trio he'd known once.

Dustin waved a hand. "It's okay. Don't worry about it off grounds."

Marshall looked considerably relieved. "Rebecca, Isaac, and me have been working for Kelly for awhile now. She's been really cool about, you know, stuff."

Dustin grinned as he spotted a familiar head of red hair through the doorway to the office. "That's 'cause Kelly's like, the most awesome boss ever." he said loudly, making sure to stress the accent.

"Lucky for you!" she returned, coming out to greet them with a smile. "What are you two doing here?"

Dustin gave her a hug, grinning wildly. "Just enjoying a day off, visiting old places."

"Still employing the local punks?" Shane put in, laughing as Dustin glared and socked him in the shoulder.

"What can I say? I'm a softie for the strays." Kelly answered dryly. "So what are you two doing now?"

"We're martial arts teachers." Shane replied.

She raised an eyebrow. "I don't even remember either of you taking classes."

Dustin gave her a bright smile, blindingly clueless and innocent. "You never asked."

She rolled her eyes, pausing at the sight of Dustin's bare feet. "I know you know the store policy, Dustin." she informed him pointedly.

"No shirt, no shoes, no service." he recited dutifully, then fixed her with puppy dog eyes. "But I'm not looking for service. I just wanted to see you." he wheedled.

She rolled her eyes. "If something falls on your foot, it's your own fault."

"Dude, nothing's gonna happen!" he scoffed, walking backwards to hop up on the counter so he'd be out of the way.

Shane's eyes widened. "Dustin, watch out!"

His warning came a moment too late, as Dustin and the large pile of boxes collided. Dustin was sent sprawling, while boxes went everywhere. They revealed a startled Isaac, who's expression turned horrified when he saw what had happened, and to who. Dustin lay groaning, holding his head where he'd hit the counter.

Shane was at his side in an instant. "How many fingers?" he demanded, titling Dustin's chin up carefully to check his eyes.

"Six." Dustin muttered, rolling his eyes as he batted Shane's hands away. "Dude, I'm fine. My head just hurts a little. You okay, Isaac?"

"I am so, so, so sorry." Isaac stammered, eyes wide. He was still sitting where he'd fallen, amidst the pile of boxes. Marshall and Rebecca rushed over to pull him to his feet, making sure he was okay.

Dustin smiled reassuringly, running a hand through his hair to move the curls from his face. He paused to push Shane away again. "It's okay. You're not in trouble. At least with me, anyway." he added, glancing at Kelly. His former boss did not look happy. "I don't think Kelly's changed store policy about how many boxes you can carry at a time."

"Nothing taller than you can see over." she affirmed, glaring at her employee.

"But there's so much new inventory today!" Isaac protested. "And I've got classes at 4:00. I'd never get it done in time that way!"

"Then you could have asked someone to help you." she shot back. The beginning of her rant was cut off by Dustin's yelp when he tried to push himself to his feet, and her gaze snapped to him. "You hurt your foot, didn't you?"

"My feet are fine." Dustin answered, scowling in irritation as he made it to his feet. He hesitated as everyone continued to stare at him. "It's my shoulder." he confessed at last.

Shane tried unsuccessfully to smother a laugh. "You sure you got over that klutzy stage?"

Dustin glared and socked him in the shoulder again. "Not funny."

"Um, S-uh..." Marshall paused, looking perplexed for a moment, then shrugged. "Didn't you hurt your shoulder in class a couple of days ago?"

Dustin tried not to squirm under Shane's sharp glance. "I don't remember."

Marshall looked startled as Dustin's discomfort went completely over his head. "How could you not remember that? That was the coolest thing! I've never seen anybody get that much air before they went under! Too bad about the rocks, though." he added in after thought. He yelped as Rebecca smacked him upside the head. "What was that for?"

"You are so clueless." she sighed.

"Air? Rocks?" Shane repeated slowly, staring at Dustin.

Dustin bit his lip. {Don't take it out on the students. Don't take it out on the students.} he chanted mentally. It wasn't Marshall's fault he was oblivious. It seemed to be a requirement of Earth Ninjas to be a little air headed, not that he'd ever admit that on pain of death. "I was trying to demonstrate a Flip n' Fall." he said at last. A Flip n' Fall, as he preferred to call it-he could never remember the official name-was a flashy move that involved a high back flip before phasing into the ground. It took a lot of concentration to do correctly, and he'd been distracted by a yell from one of the girls. He'd immediately discovered that the patch of ground he'd chosen wasn't as much loose dirt as he thought it had been farther down. It was lucky that he'd only lost part of his focus, managing to just badly bruise his shoulder. If he'd lost it completely he could have ripped it open.

He found out later that the yell had actually been from Marah, nearby in Cam's class. She'd been practicing her stances and nearly backed up over a skunk. In the end, the only damage done was to him. He hadn't wanted to hurt her feelings, so he'd never mentioned it to anyone. His students knew of course, mainly because they'd seen him wincing when he resurfaced, and he was forced to explain the reasons why he'd told them Flip n' Fall was an advanced move they wouldn't be learning for quite a while.

Not that any of that would interest Shane. As strange as it seemed, Shane's possessiveness had increased drastically after they'd gotten together. All that he would see was that Dustin had been hurt demonstrating something his students didn't really need to know yet. The Dustin being hurt part would be the one that stuck most in his mind.

"We should head back and have Cam take a look at you." Shane said at last, his tone offering no room for argument. Isaac flinched instinctively at it, recognizing the 'Because Sensei said so' voice.

"I'm fine!" Dustin protected holding his arms out and spinning around for inspection. "See? No wobbling or anything!"

"Uh-huh." Shane answered shortly, taking his arm and pulling him toward the door. "It was nice seeing you again, Kelly."

"I hope you feel better Dustin!" she answered, watch as he struggled to make Shane let go.

"I'm fine!" Dustin insisted, his voice beginning to sound like more of a whine.

The last thing he heard as the door shut behind them was Isaac's whimper of "I am so dead when I show up for class today."
"He'll live." Cam declared at last. Ironically, even without their Ranger Powers, they still came to him with their injuries. Strangely enough, he'd never complained about keeping his team medic status.

Dustin quickly tugged his shirt back down. "See?" he demanded of Shane. "You freaked over nothing. I'm fine."

"I didn't say that." Cam corrected dryly, ignoring the look of betrayal he received. "I said you'll live."

"What's the diagnosis?" Shane asked, frowning at Dustin.

"Just badly bruised, but enough to make it tender." He lightly poked said shoulder to demonstrate, producing a yelp. "Nothing fancy for a few days. Try rubbing some oil or cream into it to loosen up the muscles." He shrugged. "Other than that, wait until it goes away."

"Thanks, Cam."

"Yeah, thanks a lot." Dustin muttered bitterly as he got up. "See if I ever help you sneak off to see Hunter again."

Cam rolled his eyes. It was an empty threat and they all knew it. "I'll be sure and tell Tori what happened, then."

Dustin paled. "You wouldn't! Dude, even you're not that cruel!"

"But I am." Shane commented as he headed down the hall.

Dustin's eyes went wide as he bolted after him.
"You hate me, don't you?"

"I don't hate you."

"Then why did you tell Tori? That was cruel! She'll never leave me alone again!"

"If I didn't tell her, she would have found out anyway, and then we'd both be in trouble."

"So it was just to save yourself."

"It's not just that. I worry about you." A hand stroked Dustin's curls.

He groaned. "This is more Heart Ninja stuff, isn't it?"

"Well, you are our Heart. You can't tell us not to worry about you."

He pouted, burying his head in his arms. "I can try."

Shane sighed in frustration, and he pictured the way he'd be clenching and unclenching his fists in an effort to stay calm.

He was startled out of his thoughts by something cool pouring on his back. His shirt had been taken earlier by Tori during the struggle to see his shoulder, and he had yet to get it back. Then thoughts of the shirt quickly fled as warm hands began to gently massage whatever it was into his shoulder.

He moaned softly, nearly purring in ecstasy. "That feels so good, dude..."

Shane didn't answer, and he immersed himself in the soothing sensation. He was falling asleep when he felt a kiss on his cheek. "I love you." Shane murmured. "You know that, right?"

"Love you, too." he answered sleepily. "Even if you are a traitor."

Shane just sighed, chuckling softly.

Dustin felt a warm body laid down beside him, and an arm slung around his waist. He snuggled into the warmth, burying his face in Shane's neck. A hand quickly found its way into his curls, and he smiled. "You are so obsessed with my hair." he mumbled.

"Nah. Just you."

A light kiss on the top of his head, and allowed himself to be lured into darkness by the scent of pine and mountain air.