Sort of a follow up to Rangers Never Quit which turned out to really fit the change in Mack's attitude that happened in Once a Ranger Part 2. Please Review
Don't own Power Rangers
She forced a smile as she booted up the laptop computer and logged in to her account on the university's wireless network. She waited impatiently as it loaded.
Day three away from being an Overdrive ranger, she could do this, no problem right? She wasn't a ranger before and had a perfectly fine life; she could not be one now and be perfectly happy as well… right?
She felt miserable as though she was university student in a forth grade class. Everything was too easy, she had no one to spar with, no one to talk to, even her best friend was out of town and she didn't know how to contact him. They were both kind of loners.
The computer loaded and she opened her carefully prepared PowerPoint presentation and frowned as the pink boarder reminded her of what she could be doing instead. She narrowed her eyes and clicked around, changing the boarder to a pale turquoise. She smiled at the work she'd done and moved to get her laser pointer out of her bag when she was stopped.
The deep voice startled the Pink (well… former) Ranger.
Rose looked up at the young man before her, his long brown hair pulled back into a ponytail. He wore a navy hoodie and black jeans a weak smile formed on his lips as she recognized him. Under his arm were a pile of textbooks and dangling from his index fingers was a set of car keys.
He was back already? But he was supposed to be out of town…
"What are you doing here? I thought you were visiting a friend in Reefside." She said hugging him and then releasing him, "Are you all right? Why are you here?"
The man let out a sigh and shook his head as he placed the stack of books on the nearby desk, "Rose, why are you here?"
"I'm giving a lecture in an hour-"
"Not what I meant."
Rose looked down shamefully, "What do you mean then?" she asked hoping to avoid the imminent conversation. He'd been the most excited when she'd gotten the hologram from Andrew Hartford, partially so he could take it apart and examine it and partially because he wanted Rose to be more adventurous. The invitation had seemed like a great chance.
When she'd gotten her morpher, he'd been the first one to look at it in awe and smile and congratulate her after the defeats. He'd been her driving force, one that looked awful disappointed in her.
The young man attempted to smooth out the wrinkles in his hoodie, "You were off being a Power Ranger last I heard."
"Yeah… well… it didn't work out so well."
"The new guys got you down?" he asked pulling himself onto the desk and perching there in a crouch, "I read it in the paper about the new team… that's got to hurt, being replaced like that, but they're backup, right? Formers?"
She nodded and turned to shield her tears that were forming in her eyes. She pretended to fiddle with the LCD projector to hide her face. The young man didn't appear convinced by the trick but he didn't force her to look back at him.
"We all quit…" she tried to use as an excuse but realised it didn't come out anywhere nearly as logical as it had sounded in her head "except Mack, I think he's still there."
"We lost out powers."
"And?" He probed.
The young man shook his head, "Rose, you're brilliant most of the time, but you're being pretty thick right now. First off, you're a ranger; you're always going to be a ranger. Setbacks like this don't normally persist for long," he held his hand up, "I lived in Angel Grove as a kid, trust me I know. The rangers always got back on their feet. Second of all, you're a celebrity; you chose to have your identity public. If the rangers can quit when things get tough, what kind of message is that sending people? Can you live with that? The Rose I know is tough; she needed to be to get through high school when she was ten years old."
Rose sniffed. He'd been her rock through most of this ordeal with being a ranger, she'd nearly quit numerous times but as soon as she'd talked to him he'd made everything make more sense than before, "I have a lecture to get set up for."
The young man looked down sadly, "You think you're the only ranger to have a crisis on if they should stay or go? I bet you you're not." His words surprised her "Rangers are people too; they cry and feel lonely, because you feel like that isn't a reason to give up, if anything it should fuel you not to. I came back because I think you need to go back and fight with or without powers."
Connecting the projector to the laptop she blinked away tears as the first slide of her PowerPoint appeared on the white material hanging down from the ceiling. "What do you know?" she snapped in desperation.
"Probably more than you think." With that he gathered up his things and hopped down from the desk he was on. He hugged her as he normally did when they parted and turned and left, car keys dangling on his index finger once more.
She watched him leave and let out a sigh. He didn't understand, maybe he was a fellow prodigy but he couldn't understand…
Out in the hall the young man smiled as he saw the curly haired Red Overdrive Ranger enter the university. He looked set on going to the library. The navy clad man tapped him on the shoulder.
"You're Mack Hartford, right?"
He nodded, "I'm in a bit of a rush though I-"
"Rose is in room 206." The young man said simply, "Do what you have to do."
The Red Ranger grinned, "Thanks."
He watched as the curly haired man bolted off. He let out a breath of air and shook his head.