Summary: After a mission ends badly, Carter must deal with the after effects.

Pairings: Dana/Carter (of course)

Disclaimer: I own absolutely NOTHING!! But Dr. Stevenson, she's mine Wuahaha!!!!

A/N: This is my first PR fanfic, reviews are welcomed and so is constructive criticism.


Learning to Cope

"Damn it Carter! Breathe!" yelled Dana Mitchell as she continued chest compressions on the soaking wet and unconscious red ranger. Her arms were beginning to tire and her brother and titanium ranger, Ryan Mitchell took over as she breathed for her close friend and leader.

The fire at the warehouse was under control and the rest of the soot covered team stood by watching in anticipation as the two siblings tried to revive the red ranger. Joel snapped out of his stare after a few seconds. "I'll go get an ambulance." he said and ran off to the paramedics close by.

Dana didn't hear the paramedics approach and she didn't stop. She could hear brother quietly say "Come on, Carter." as he continued the compressions. The paramedics tried to take over, but the two siblings were so focused on reviving their friend they continued.

Dana could feel tears stinging her eyes…and it wasn't from the smoke. He has to pull through this, she thought. They've been through so much and to lose him now would not just be devastating for her, but the rest of the rangers as well. "Please wake up." she whispered. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Ryan sweating from exertion and Dana swore she heard something snap in Carter's chest. The doctor in her knew it was a rib.

After another few minutes of resuscitating, Dana's hope was beginning to die. She allowed the tears to fall as she looked at Carter's pale soot covered face. She wanted to tell him her true feelings she's felt for him which she's kept buried for so long, but now it was too late. That angered her. The tears flowing down her face changed from sorrow to rage. "I hate you Carter Grayson." she said in a low voice.

The others looked shocked at the quiet words that slipped from her mouth. She grabbed his slack face with her hands and turned it to face her. "You hear me, Carter? I hate you for being selfless and courageous. I hate you for having the biggest heart. I hate you for letting me believe I was falling in love with you! So you better survive this so I can say it while staring into your gorgeous blue eyes that I can't stand looking at without feeling weak at the knees!"

It was as if Carter heard her confession. His head suddenly snapped back and his body convulsed as he tried to breathe. Startled, Dana let go of his face and grabbed his shoulders, rolling him on his side as he coughed up water while struggling to breathe. She was then pulled away by her brother as the paramedics pushed in to stabilize the red ranger. As soon as the paramedics were confident Carter was stable, he was placed on a gurney with an IV line taped to the back of his hand and an oxygen mask on his face. He was led to an awaiting ambulance with Dana never leaving his side and holding his hand. Before he was put into the ambulance, he lifted his heavy lidded eyes to stare into Dana's bright cerulean eyes. She stared right back and Carter felt like she was staring into his very soul. "Dana?" he croaked.

She leaned in closer to hear him. "Yes?"

"I hate you too." he said, giving her a weak smile.

She smiled back and kissed him on the forehead. "We'll meet you at the hospital, you big jerk."

His smile broadened minutely and everyone gathered by Dana as he was lifted into the ambulance. The last thing he saw before he lost the fight to keep his eyes open was her bright smile.

(TBC)