The disclaimer telling all of you that I don't own Galaxy Rangers has been frozen on a distant asteroid somewhere. Here is another deranged fic from my deranged mind. Emphasis on deranged people! You'll see what I mean.
"One of these days Gooseman," Doc said through chattering teeth. "One of these days you are going to learn how to fly a ship without crashing it!"
"I did not crash it," Shane snapped, trying not to let the cold affect him (and being rather unsuccessful at it.) "We were shot at. If someone shoots you and hits you it does not count!"
"It does count if you crash on a frozen snowball of an asteroid!" Doc challenged back. "We're lucky we have life support. I only wish the heater wasn't busted."
"Fine the next time somebody tries to kill us I'll ask them not to shoot at certain parts of the ship," Shane remarked as he went searching for supplies in the back of the star ship. "Stop nagging!"
"I'll nag if I want to! Nag! Nag! Nag!" Doc snapped at him.
"You certainly are!" Shane snapped back.
"We wouldn't be out here in the first place if it wasn't for that crazy General wasn't after you again!" Doc snapped as he shivered.
"Oh so it's my fault that some lunatic wants to experiment on my DNA?" Shane shouted.
"No, it's just your fault that we crashed!" Doc snapped.
"What is your problem today?" Shane snapped. "You've been acting like a jerk since we left on this mission!"
"What? You got some kind of patent on growling and having a bad day?" Doc asked. "All I wanted was a few hours off for the afternoon. That's all. Then this false alarm comes up. Of course we didn't know it was a false alarm. We thought it was some actual computer emergency on Space Station Nine Seven. But the emergency was actually the crazy General setting a trap for us! No, wait for you!"
"What the hell do you want me to do about it?" Shane snapped as he found some thermal blankets in the back. "Call the General up and ask him nicely to go after someone else's DNA?"
"Like I said I'm having a bad day!" Doc snapped. "You know how you usually snap at me? Well this time it's your turn! So deal with it Mister!"
"Fine," Shane was not in the mood to argue. He placed the blankets on the floor.
"Yeah fine! I'm mad, I'm bad and I'm cranky as hell and I don't want to take it any more," Doc went on. "See Supertroopers aren't the only ones who growl. GRRRRR! Yeah, that feels good! I like it! GRRRRR! GRRR!"
"Doc when we crashed did you hit your head or something?"
"Probably! But no more than usual!" Doc stamped around trying to keep warm. "If I angry up my blood enough maybe I'll get warm! GRRR!"
"There's only one way we're going to keep warm enough if we want to survive," Shane sighed as he got under the covers. "Come on."
Doc gave him a look. "Gooseman," Doc said. "You'd better not be suggesting what I think you're suggesting!"
"We have to use body heat to keep warm," Shane snapped. "Unless you can use your CDU to start a fire in here this is the only way."
"You think I'm just going to jump in there with you without at least a night of dinner and dancing you are sadly mistaken!" Doc snapped. "And even then…"
"Doc, don't make me say this again…" Shane ground his teeth. "Get in here."
"Fine! But don't think you can take advantage of me because it's our first date," Doc quipped as he did so. Soon both men were facing each other under the blankets, giving each other harsh looks.
"Doc I am this close to letting myself freeze to death," Shane's teeth chattered. "Don't push me!"
"Goose," Doc gave him a dark look. "Supertrooper or not, if you tell anyone about this I swear to God I will kill you."
"This isn't exactly something I'd want to brag about!" Shane snapped back at him. "If I didn't hate the cold so much…"
"Unfortunately we don't have any members of your harem to comfort us," Doc snipped.
"Look who's talking," Shane glared at him. "You have more women's numbers than the phone book! Fifteen dates a month is a slow month for you and yet you make jokes about my private life!"
"Well I'd be on a date now if you didn't crash the ship!" Doc snapped.
"WE WERE SHOT AT!" Shane shouted. "How many times do I have to explain the difference?"
"Oh forget it!" Doc grumbled as he shivered, but started to warm up slightly. "How long do we have to stay like this?"
"Until help arrives or until I've had enough of you and set you on fire!" Shane snapped.
"Well then how about a campfire story?" Doc said in an evil, yet cheerful tone. "I'll tell you about the first time I saw snow!"
"Where's a match when you need one?" Shane groaned.
"I was just a cute little bundle of joy when I first experienced snow," Doc went on, ignoring him. "I was seven years old and my parents had decided to take a vacation from our home in Jamaica to the Swiss Alps where they bought a lovely chateau. Ah yes, I remember I spent many a happy winter break there. Making snowmen, snow angels, chasing the cute snow bunnies when I learned how to ski…"
"You just love to hear yourself talk don't you?" Shane gave him a look.
"That first day was full of wonder," Doc ignored him. "I remember as me and my little brother Theodore toddled out into the snow."
"Brother? I didn't know you had a brother," Shane did a double take.
"Well you know now," Doc sniffed. "Anyway my dear little brother of four years old always insisted on following me wherever I went. And being the sweet adorable loving brother that I was I took my older brother duties in stride."
"STOP FOLLOWING ME!" A seven year old Walter screamed at his younger brother, barely visible under his red snowsuit and heavy scarf.
"MMFFF!" Theodore could not even talk because he was so wrapped up.
"I don't care what Mother said!" Walter snapped. "Stop following me or I'll clobber you!"
"MMMFFF!" Theodore wailed. Then he fell down into the snow. He tried to get up but couldn't.
"You look like a turtle," Walter rolled his eyes. "You know you might as well come with me. I could use a sled." Walter then dragged his younger brother by his feet off into the woods.
"MFFFFFF!" Theodore tried to scream as he was dragged away.
"So I took my sweet little brother for his first sled ride," Doc went on, conveniently ignoring the facts. "We wandered in the woods, however things took an ominous turn for the worse!"
"WE'RE LOST!" Young Walter screamed running around in the woods. "WE'RE LOST!"
"MMMFFFF!" Theodore flailed wildly on his back.
"Don't worry little baby brother," Walter sniffed as he gave his younger brother a bear hug. "Don't cry! I'll protect you!"
"I am not crying!" Theodore finally managed to free himself from the scarf. "You're the one who cries all the time!"
"I do not!"
"NOT!" Walter shouted as he pulled back a tree branch covered in snow. The snow fell all over Theodore.
"AAHHH!" Theodore screamed as the snow fell on him. "I'M TELLING!"
"Go ahead and tell," Walter stumbled about dramatically. "We're lost! Lost! We're doomed! Doomed!"
"Walter! Theodore! Come inside!" They heard their mother call them. "I have hot cocoa!"
"We're only behind the cabin jerk face!" Theodore snapped. "Why did I have to have a nut for an older brother?"
"Oh look your scarf slipped," Walter tied it back on. He dragged Theodore behind him. "Mother! Theodore was wandering in the woods by himself and I saved him!"
"MFFFFFFF!" Theodore screamed in fury.
"And that is the true story of how I saved my little brother from an avalanche," Doc finished.
"That story was full of lies wasn't it?" Shane gave him a look.
"What makes you say that?" Doc asked.
"Your mouth was moving."
"Ha ha," Doc said dryly. "You are so amusing. Okay Mister Smart Alec it's time for your turn!"
"Turn for what?" Shane blinked.
"I told you a story now you have to tell me one!" Doc snapped.
"Why?" Shane asked.
"Because I need something to distract me from the harsh reality of your body being a bit too close to my personal space," Doc told him. "Now think of something. There has to be one halfway decent memory from your past!"
"Well…" Shane sighed. "There is one thing that comes to mind. You know I was the youngest of the Supertroopers? Three years younger than the rest to be exact. For the first three years of my life I was pretty much held in isolation. Only Max, Dr. Nagata and Commander Walsh interacted with me during that time."
"Sounds pretty lonely," Doc frowned.
"It was," Shane sighed. "Not long after I turned three Walsh finally decided it was time to close the nursery down and to put me in with the big boys."
The memory came back to Shane. He remembered holding Max's hand as he argued with Walsh.
"Joseph he's too young to be with the others!" Max pleaded.
"He's the exact same age as the other Supertroopers were when they left the nursery," Walsh said in a stern voice.
"Yes, but they were in groups of five to ten," Max reminded him. "Shane's all by himself. You know how aggressive some of the boys are. He doesn't stand a chance."
"Sawyer, it's time," Walsh didn't yield. "He'll be fine. I'll order the boys not to harm him."
"Course it didn't work," Shane sighed. "As soon as the adults turned their backs the others would pick on me. There were too many of them and I was too little to fight back much then. During the day Darkstar would watch out for me but at night it was another story. Max often had to check up on me in the middle of the night to make sure I wasn't killed. I soon decided to find somewhere else to sleep at night so I'd be safe. I'd crawl into a ventilation shaft or an empty room and sleep there. And every night Max would look all over the base to find me. Most of the time he did. But one time he couldn't. But Commander Walsh found me. I'd snuck into his office and he found me asleep in his chair."
"Sounds kind of cute," Doc smirked, amused by the mental image.
"Commander Walsh didn't find it so amusing," Shane groaned. "Finally he had no choice but to select one of the older boys to be my bodyguard at night. That really made me a popular target."
"It wasn't Kilbane was it?"
"No, but Kilbane certainly didn't mind trying to get the both of us in trouble," Shane told him. The memory came back as clear as it was then.
"This is all your fault!" An older boy about nine years old with sky blue hair snapped at young Shane. He had several bruises on his face. "Because of you everyone's ganging up on me! I can't even get a decent night's sleep any more! Why did I have to get stuck with a pipsqueak like you anyway?"
"I'm sorry," Three year old Shane looked down at the ground in shame. "I'll try harder to fight back."
"Forget it! You're pathetic at it!" The older boy snapped. He let out a breath. "Then again I guess it's not your fault you're such a runt. But you would think that the Commander would be smart enough not to let you out of the nursery until you could take care of yourself."
"I didn't ask you to take care of me," Shane told him.
"No, you didn't! The Commander did and that's the only reason I'm doing this! Got it? Orders are orders! And until you can stand on your own two feet and fight back I'm stuck with you! So there's no use complaining about it."
"Then…I'll work hard and learn how to fight," Shane said. "I'll do anything you say! Just teach me how to fight!"
"Teach you? Get real!" The boy groaned.
"You're stuck with me until I can take care of myself, right?" Shane asked. "Well if you teach me I can do it that much sooner. Then you wouldn't have to take care of me. I can do it if you show me how! I know I can!"
"Oh really?" The older boy gave him a look. Without warning he savagely hit Shane hard on the face and shoved him down. "Can you?"
Shane didn't cry or show any emotion. He got to his feet as fast as he could. He glared at the older boy. "I can!" Shane shouted. "I will!"
"At least you're not a crybaby," The older boy grunted. "I'll give you that."
The older boy sighed. "Fine I'll do what I can!" Young Shane grinned. "Wipe that smile off your face kid! We got a lot of work ahead of us and I'm not gonna let you slack off because you're a little kid! Got it?"
"Yes Sir!" Shane saluted cheerfully.
"Ugh! You can't even salute right!" The older boy groaned. He corrected Shane's posture. "That's how you do it."
"Well, well look what we have here," A young Kilbane and a few other Supertrooper boys snaked over to them. "The Runt and the Babysitter? Having fun playing with Walsh's pet?"
"Shove it Ryker!" The blue haired boy snapped. "I'm just following orders and you know it! So do us both a favor and get out of here, unless of course you want to get in trouble with the Commander and Max!"
"Like we care what they think!" Kilbane snapped.
"We don't?" One Supertrooper boy asked nervously. Most of the others looked nervous as well. They didn't want to cross the adults.
"Get a backbone!" Kilbane snapped at his follower. He glared at the blue haired boy. "We all know the real reason you're doing this. You just want to suck up to the Commander in order to be put in charge of us! Well it ain't gonna work! You can't even take care of a worthless weakling much less…"
Without warning Little Shane growled and savagely bit Kilbane on the arm. "WHY YOU LITTLE…" Kilbane snarled as he tried to yank him off. "GET OFF ME!"
Instantly the other boys attacked Shane. But at the same time the blue haired boy attacked them as well. "GET OUT OF HERE!" He shouted as he thumped the other boys.
Finally Kilbane shook Shane off and knocked him down with a vicious backhand. He charged towards Shane as he lay on the ground but the blue haired boy managed to get between the two and punched Kilbane down. "STAY AWAY!"
Kilbane snarled, holding his arm. "You can't protect that runt forever."
"Try it and I'll bite your arm off," Shane's protector snarled.
The other boys backed away and left. Kilbane was the last to leave. Shane sat up and blinked at the older boy. "Did I do good?" Shane asked hesitantly.
"You know you're not so bad, for a little twerp that is," The older boy grinned. "Are you hurt?" Shane shook his head. "Yes, you are. You have a bloody nose. Come here."
Shane reluctantly stood up and let the older boy look him over. "We'd better have Max check you out just to be safe," The older boy sighed. "All right, let's go."
"Since then he watched out for me. He protected me and I felt safe," Shane said, his voice almost a whisper. "He took care of me every night until I was seven."
"That's when you were able to fight back?" Doc asked.
"No," Shane fought the emotions inside of him. "That's when he was…There was a sickness going around the barracks. We were supposed to be inoculated against all diseases but there was this new strain…something went wrong. More than a quarter of the kids died. I nearly died…But I didn't."
"And he did?" Doc asked. Shane nodded. "What was his name?"
"Triton," Shane said softly. "His name was Triton."
Doc's eyes widened but he didn't say anything. Shane closed his eyes, fighting those long forgotten emotions inside of him. He took in Doc's scent and relaxed in the warmth of his body against his. He calmed himself down by listening to his friend's steady heartbeat.
Shane then realized that the reason he was hearing Doc's heartbeat was that his head had fallen down to his friend's chest. Somehow during the story he had drifted into a comforting embrace with Doc gently petting his head.
"Doc," Shane blinked. "What are you doing?"
"Stroking your hair," Doc said matter of factly as if it was the most casual thing in the world.
"Uhhh…" Shane was a bit stunned. Doc then realized exactly what he was doing and stopped mid stroke. The two men gave each other stunned and surprised looks.
"This is Captain Foxx calling Ranger One…" They heard Zach's voice on the communicator. "Come in Ranger One."
The two men could not leap out of the blankets fast enough. "It's about time you got here!" Doc shouted. "The Goose was trying to cook me by setting me on fire!"
"Anything to shut him up!" Shane shouted back. "He kept going on and on and on! Driving me crazy!"
"Crazy? You want to talk crazy?" Doc snapped. "The man nearly kills me by crashing the space ship…"
"We were shot at! It doesn't count if we were shot down!" Shane shouted.
"You crashed the ship!" Doc snapped.
"Did not!" Shane retorted.
"Did too!" Doc shouted.
"The kids are at it again Captain," Niko made an amused sound off screen.
"Can the comedy you two," Zach groaned. "We'll be there in a minute."
"Not soon enough!" Shane shut off the communicator.
"Goose one thing…" Doc gave him a look.
"This never happened," Shane added giving him a look. Both men nodded in agreement.
"Doc we were supposed to be at BETA an hour ago," Shane groaned as the Ranger One landed in a rural area. "Why are we here? Wherever this is?"
"I just have to make my apology to my date and we'll be back home in no time," Doc told him.
"And we're letting him do this why?" Shane gave Zach a look.
"Would you believe me if I said it was the only way to shut him up?" Zach gave Shane a look.
"Nothing shuts Doc up," Shane grumbled.
"Okay we're here," Doc clapped his hands as they landed. "Come on Gooseman there's someone I want you to meet!"
"Do I have to go?" Shane groaned.
"Just humor him, Goose," Niko made a slight grin.
Shane rolled his eyes, groaned and followed Doc out of the ship. Then he realized that they were right outside a graveyard. "Doc? What is this?" He looked around.
"This is a graveyard, Gooseman," Doc made a wry grin as they went in. "Not everybody gets frozen when it's their time to go."
"I know it's a graveyard," Shane gave him a look. "What I don't know is why we are in a graveyard instead of being back at BETA!"
"I told you, I had an important date," Doc said.
"But why here?" Shane blinked. "This is an odd place for a date."
"I never told you who my date was did I?" Doc let out a breath as he stopped at a tombstone.
Shane was puzzled until he saw the name on the tombstone. "Your brother?"
"He had some kind of genetic heart thing," Doc sighed. "Died when he was only six."
"Oh…" Shane blinked.
"You see I do know what it's like to lose someone you care for," Doc said softly. "Sure we used to bug the hell out of each other but I still miss him."
Doc knelt down. "Hey there Little Bro. Happy Birthday. Guess what? I brought a friend to meet you. This is Goose. You remember I told you about him? Say hi to Theodore, Gooseman. Theodore says hi back!"
"Uh Doc, you do know he's dead right?" Shane blinked.
"So? Just because he's dead that doesn't mean he can't hear us," Doc shrugged. He looked at the tombstone. "Ignore him. He doesn't have a clue about this sort of stuff."
"Okay…" Shane backed away. He muttered to himself as he walked off. "Just when I think the guy can't get any weirder…"
Doc snickered for a moment. "He's a bit clueless isn't he? But that's part of his charm. I miss you Theodore. I know I bugged you but you bugged me back. But that's a brother's job right? To drive you crazy and make your life nuts so you'd forget your problems."
He gave a glancing look at Shane in the back. "Now I have a new little brother to watch out for," Doc smiled to himself. "He's just as annoying as you were. In his own way of course."
Doc stood up. "Sorry I can't stay long. You know how it is. So many things to do. So little time. Next time I'll tell you how I saved the Goose's life today. It's a funny story. See ya around, Theodore."
Doc turned back and walked towards Shane. "You okay?" Shane asked.
"I'm fine," Doc shrugged. "By the way Goose what do you use in your hair? I couldn't help noticing how soft and shiny it was."
"Doc I thought we agreed we wouldn't talk about that," Shane hissed through his teeth.
"Talk about what?" Doc feigned innocence. "I'm just saying how nice your hair is. Let me see it again."
"Don't touch me Doc if you want to keep your hands," Shane backed off as Doc attempted to pet his hair.
"Awww you're so cute when you get all grumpy," Doc cheerfully mocked him.
"Doc, I mean this in the most sincere way possible," Shane said. "You're nuts. Get away from me."
"Come on my Gooseman, you know you love me!" Doc grinned as he followed Shane.
"STOP FOLLOWING ME!" Shane roared.