Title: Bonding because of a blanket
Date finished: 12/19/06
Post Mystic Fate. This does contain some spoilers. This is a one-shot for now. I might make it into more than that, I'm not really sure. It depends on the reviews that I get! grins so if you want more, you gotta review!
A/N- Thanks SO much to pink-green-white-4ever! Thanks for taking the time to edit this! You're awesome!
"I never knew how much I loved you until I couldn't see you every day. I missed everything about you: your smile, your face, your laugh, how you could cheer me up when it seemed like all was lost. Then you came back to me, and I was surrounded by you, and I knew then that I never wanted to let you go again."- Angel
It had been one month since he had left; thirty-one days. No matter which way you looked at it, he had still been gone for the same amount of time. Although Maddy had talked to him a lot in that month, she still missed him. He had called every so often, and each time, they had talked for hours on end. He told her about how his adoptive parents had taken to the idea that he had finally found his real parents, and how he and his real parents were doing, just spending time together. She told him how everyone was, at the Rock Porium, with Xander acting as manager and Chip's crazy antics (at which Nick usually laughed). Maddy wanted him to come home, but she respected him, both as the Rangers former leader and as her friend, so she would wait until he was ready to come back home; back to her. She remembered the conversation that they had had right before he had left.
"So you're not coming back," Maddy said.
"I didn't say that," he had replied.
She realized what he meant. "So you are coming back."
"Uhh, what I'm saying is, is that I'd like to come back, if there was something, or someone, to come back to."
"Oh," she said with a grin. "Well, there is. There's Xander, Vida, Chip, Toby, Phineas, Leelee. And ummm…" she paused. She wanted to say his name so badly, but was afraid of what he might say or do. He stopped what he was doing to look at her.
"Um… and me, I want you to come back for me." She felt relieved that she had finally told him that; that she had finally hinted that she wanted more than a friendship with him. He reached into his bag and pulled out the red baby blanket that he had kept. She looked confused as he held the blanket out to her.
"Will you hold onto this?" he asked with a small smile on his face, holding out the special blanket. Maddy knew that the blanket was important to him, and that by him offering it to her to hold onto, it not only meant that he was trusting her with it, but that he would come back. It was a silent vow. She only answered him with one word as she accepted the blanket.
He gave her his trademark grin, got on his motorcycle, and took off. She stood there, watching him ride away, knowing that he would come back home.
"He'll be back," she said, in a voice no louder than a whisper. She turned and headed back in towards the record shop.
Maddy had held onto his blanket, just as she had said she would. It reminded her of him in so many ways. For starters, it was red, which was his ranger color. It was a little coarse, yet soft- it reminded her of Nick's personality. Anyone who met him and talked with him might think him a little rough, but she knew better than that. Underneath, he actually had a soft demeanor, one that would never intentionally hurt her. The blanket was made of felt, so if you wrapped yourself up in it, you felt protected. That was how Maddy felt when she was around Nick: warm and protected, however unknowing that he might have been. He was always willing to protect her, at any cost. There was a yellow thread that went all the way around the edge of the blanket that intertwined with the red, and it stood out. That's how Nick had been at first. For the longest time, Nick had been somewhat of a loner, like a black spot on a white page, although he had been surrounded by herself and Vida, Chip and Xander.
She remembered when they had accused him of stealing the money from the Rock Porium. He had looked hurt and dejected, very sad, and somewhat… dare she say it… ashamed. She was ashamed of herself and her friends, that they would even think that he would do something like that.
Madison shook her head. She needed to stop reminiscing, and get to work at the Rock Porium. She grabbed her work shirt and keys, heading to her car.
It's been a while since I was in Briarwood. A month, actually. I miss it a lot. I miss my friends, Chip, Vida, Xander, and Toby. I miss working at the Rock Porium. But what I miss the most is Maddy. I miss everything about her- her shyness, her smile, and the way her eyes twinkle when she's happy. I can't wait until I can see her again. I've called her a lot, to tell her how things are going with me and my real parents, but it's not the same as being able to see her. I'll be able to soon though. My parents and I decided that we would head back to Briarwood in about another week. A part of me wants to tell Maddy, but a larger part of me wants to surprise her. The larger part has won over, and I'm going to call Maddy later.
A few days later-
Maddy threw herself into another day of work at the Rock Porium, trying not to think about Nick. No matter how much she tried, she couldn't stop her mind from drifting off to think of the man who had stolen her heart. They had talked on the phone the night before.
"Hello?" Maddy asked.
"Hey. It's me. How are you?" asked Nick.
Maddy smiled, having recognized the caller's voice and instantly knowing who 'me' was. She settled onto her bed, getting comfortable. They always talked for long periods of time, and past experience had taught her to be relaxed.
"Hey yourself," she said cheerfully. "I'm good, but exhausted. You?"
Nick smiled. "I'm not doing too badly. I'm having a good time with my parents, just getting to know them without having to worry about being interrupted to save the world all the time."
"Yeah, I know. That's good," she said. For awhile, there was a lull of silence, neither one saying a word, the only sound being the pitter-patter of rain on Nick's end of the phone.
"Nick--" "Maddy--" they both began at the same time, then both started laughing. Once their laughter had subsided, Madison spoke up.
"You go first," she said.
"Okay. I just wanted to tell you that I miss you, a lot. And that I wish you were here with me," Nick told her. He watched the rain pound into the earth as he sat quietly on a plastic chair that resided on his adopted parents porch.
Inside Maddy's head, a voice was saying 'awwwwww' over and over like a mantra. "Well, I miss you too, and I wish that I could be there with you also, if that helps."
They had continued to talk and laugh, trading stories as they always did. Madison always felt better after talking to Nick; she could have had the worst day ever, and somehow, he would make her feel better in few words by making her laugh.
I love hearing her voice, I can see the smile on her face in mind's eye, having seen it constant times. I pick up my cell phone and dial the well-known number that is for Maddy's phone. It rang once… twice…
Maddie reminisced about the phone call as she drove to work. She was so busy daydreaming that she almost didn't realize that her phone was ringing. She picked it up, and looked at the screen, seeing that Nick was calling her. She hit the send button, and with a smile, said "Chinese takeout, sorry, we're out of egg rolls."
Nick grinned when he heard Maddy's greeting. "Okay, this must be a wrong number then. I was under the impression that I was calling one of my best friends. Maybe I should go check the number that I tried to dial."
Maddy grinned, deciding to give up. "No, you got the right number, Nick. Don't worry, you're not crazy."
"I didn't think I was. How are you?" Nick teased.
"Not bad. Heading off for another great day of work," she said sarcastically.
Nick chuckled. "I have a surprise for you."
"Really?" inquired Madison. He had piqued her interest by saying that.
"Yeah. I'm coming home soon."
Madison almost dropped the phone. She wanted to scream, she was so happy. She felt like she was going to burst. 'Calm down, Maddy, it's fine. Quit acting like you're a silly little schoolgirl with a crush.' Maddy was so shocked, it took her several moments to form coherent words. "Y-you are?"
Nick knew that he was actually going back to Briarwood that day. But rather than tell her that, he had already decided what he was going to say. "Yeah, Dad said we should be coming home in another few days or so. I can't wait to come home and see everyone."
"Everyone misses you too. They all say hi and hope that you're coming back soon," said Maddy with a happy smile.
"Well, you can tell them what I just told you, then. I'll talk to you again soon Maddie. Have fun at work."
Maddy snorted. "Yeah right, okay," she said sarcastically. She hit the end button on her cell phone and realized that she was at the Rock Porium already. She parked her car and quickly went in to go to work.
I hung up my cell phone with a smile on my face. It was perfect. Maddy thought that it would be another few days before I came home. Would she be in for a surprise when I came back early! I couldn't wait. I quickly packed my things, eager to go home. For a second, I looked around for the blanket that my parents had given me before realizing that I had given it to Maddy as a promise that I would come back to her. I was also nervous about going back. Had she waited for me, or had she moved on without me? I quickly shook that thought from my head, knowing that she would have told me if she were dating someone. I checked my things, making sure that I had everything, ready to leave.
While I waited for my parents to finish getting their things packed, I thought about Madison. I can still remember my first impression of her when we first talked, just the two of us.
"So while we're out in the world fighting evil, what are you gonna do?' she asked.
"Well first, I'm gonna fix my bike. Then I'll head to my grandparents and see if I can live there instead of with my sister in Briarwood," I had told her.
"Mmm, no parents?"
"Uhhh, you are nosy! Yes, I have parents. They're working overseas for a few years. I was living with my cousins for awhile, then my uncle, and now my sister."
"It must be hard leaving friends all the time," she said sadly.
"I usually don't stay around long enough to have friends," I told her.
I thought that she was very nosy; she asked questions that didn't concern her. As we continued talking and as we got to know each other once I decided to be a Ranger and stay in Briarwood, my general idea of her changed. She was a very curious person, shy, caring, and she always stood up for her friends and what she believed was right. She was very stubborn; she was the one who convinced me to keep fighting the Master even when I wanted more than anything to give up and surrender. I had lost my dad, my mom, and Daggeron. I had been pushed past my limits, but with Maddy's encouragement, I found that I could do it. The realization that I cared for her as more than a friend hit me right in the face. But I had promised myself that I wouldn't do a thing about it until after we had defeated the Master. But even then, I didn't want to hurt her. I left her with the blanket that I have kept to hold onto for me. She knows that I'll come back; she just thinks it's going to be in a few more days.
At the Rock Porium, Maddy was only too happy to welcome the distraction of work. It kept her from counting down the minutes until he came back. She bustled about the shop, cleaning and rearranging and making sure that things were in order. Inside, she wanted to burst. 'He's finally coming home! I can't wait to see him! I wonder if he's changed at all, if he'll still like me. Maddy shook her head, forcing herself to not think like that. A crack of thunder scared the wits out of her, and she walked to the front door of the record shop to see that it was pouring rain outside. She groaned outwardly. 'Great, I didn't want it to rain. Rain means fewer customers. No one wants to walk around outside in the rain.' She looked at the clock on the wall that read 2:15 p.m. 'I only have to work for forty-five more minutes. I can do that,' thought Maddy.
Time seemed to fly by as Madison kept herself busy; soon enough, her shift was over and she was free to leave. She waved goodbye to Vida and the rest of her friends as she headed out the door. Unfortunately, it was still raining torrentially. Madison ran to her car as fast as her legs would carry her, opened the driver's side door, jumped in, and slammed it shut behind her. She took a minute to catch her breath and wipe off the water droplets that clung to her skin. She headed for home, thoughts of Nick swirling in her head, as much as she tried to not think about him.
Nick was driving his motorcycle, headed towards the Rock Porium. He had already seen his parents to Rootcore, and when he got to the Rock Porium to surprise Madison, it was to no avail. Her car wasn't there and it had started to rain. 'Okay, let's try her house. That's most likely the next place where she could be.'
He began to ride the familiar roads that led to Madison's and Vida's home as the rain pounded onto him. He was going to be soaked by the time he got there, but it would be worth it to see the look on Maddy's face. I can't wait to see her again. It's been too long. These thoughts only made Nick push himself to get to her house faster.
Before he knew it, he was pulling up to Maddy's house, and sure enough, there was her car, parked in the driveway. Nick turned off his motorcycle, got off of it, and wheeled it around to where it couldn't be seen by someone who was inside the house looking out. When he was finished putting his bike off to the side, he moved to the front of the house to knock on the door, but he stopped when he saw Madison's familiar figure on the porch swing. She had her back to him, and she was clutching the blanket that he had left with her to her chest. He smiled. I guess that she did wait for me. She hasn't moved on with anyone. He crept as quietly as he possibly could towards her, hoping that she wouldn't see or catch him until he was ready.
Maddy got home and changed into a pair of jeans and a blue and red shirt. She grabbed Nick's blanket and went out to the front porch to sit on the swing. She sat there, lost in her thoughts, the precious blanket clutched to her chest. 'I wish you were here, Nick. I miss you so much.' "I miss you, Nick," Maddy said aloud, her eyes closed, wishing that he was there with her; that it could be his arms around her and not the comfort of the red blanket.
Nick watched Madison for a few moments, then heard what she said out loud. "I miss you, Nick."
He walked up the front porch steps quietly and said, "I've missed you too, Maddy."
Her eyes flew open to see Nick, standing there on her porch, soaking wet. 'He must have driven through the rain to get here. That's so sweet.' She put the blanket down on the swing and jumped up, then ran forward and threw her arms around him. His arms slid around her in a tight hold, neither of them wanting to let the other go. "Is it really you? Are you really back?" she asked, her voice muffled in his jacket.
Nick nodded and laughed softly into her hair, the sound music to Madison's ears. "Yeah, it's me, and I'm really back."
"It feels too good to be true," murmured Madison. She pulled back as something clicked in her head. "I thought that you weren't coming back for a few more days?"
Nick grinned. She had missed seeing his trademark grin while he'd been gone. "I talked to my parents, and they were all right with coming home early, so I decided to surprise you. Did it work?"
Madison smiled. "Yes, it's one of the best surprises that I could ever get. Thank you," she said as she looked into his eyes, tears making their way unbidden down her face. Nick thumbed them away, his eyes darting from her lips back to her eyes. His eyes searched hers as he leaned in for a kiss, both of them tentative. Madison knew that Nick was going to kiss her, and she began leaning forward as well. Their lips met and Maddy felt a jolt of electricity and warmth spread through her body. His lips were soft, reminding her of silk. Their kiss quickly escalated, neither of them wanting to break the connection.
Nick could have kissed Madison all day, that's how much he cared…no, loved her, but he knew that they needed to breathe sometime. He slowed down their kisses, and eventually, they broke apart for air, their foreheads resting against each other.
Madison could only think of one word to say, "Wow."
Nick smiled. "Yeah, wow." He looked into her eyes, worried and scared of what he would see there, and all he found was love for him and hope. He led her over to the swing and helped her to sit down, before shrugging off his jacket and putting his arms around her.
"So, what now?" inquired Madison.
"I'm not sure, but I was hoping that you would go out to dinner and maybe a movie or something sometime with me. What do you say?" Nick inquired.
Maddy smiled, knowing what her answer was, but thought that she would let the anticipation grow.
"Well?" asked Nick.
"Of course I will, Nick. I'd love to go out with you," Madison happily replied. She felt his grin in her hair grow, knowing that he was pleased with her answer. She didn't know what would happen between them, but she did know that she was safe in the arms of the man that she loved.
A/n- thanks for reading it!