Disclaimer: I own nothing to do with Power Rangers, it's not my toy box and I'm merely playing.

Note: Uses two Timeforce chars, mentions a WF char, a DT concept and parts of Sky's back story from SPD.

Warning: This is slash so if the thought of two male chars being in love and comforting each other after a loss bothers you please read a different fic.

An Attempted Reprieve

The remote is sitting abandoned on the coffee table. The TV screen is a reflective black and Wes is sitting on the couch hands resting loosely on his legs with an unfocused look in his eyes. Eric stands in the doorway regarding him, he presses his lips together, unsure for just a moment before he enters. Carefully he sits down next to Wes, takes one of his hands in his own. Wes's fingers lock with his, a hint of desperation in the way they squeeze his hand.

Eric pulls him close, until Wes's head is resting on his shoulder. Wes's other hand comes up to hug him close. It's awkward, but neither moves.

"I just saw the news reports, did you know him?" The 'I rushed home' is left unsaid.

"No," Wes barely manages, voice breaking.

"Do you think Danny knew him?" he asks knowing that concern for a friend can redirect their focus.

Wes shakes his head, "He left the SPD after that lab accident. Maybe, I don't know. This is just…it's…"

Eric slides his arm around Wes, rubs his back and pulls him closer, "It's not your fault."

"I let them use to my morpher to make their's," Wes counters, eyes beginning to brim with tears, "It got that man killed."

"No," Eric tells him, experience with Wes and his reaction make him try to keep some of the force of his conviction from his tone, "The aliens he was fighting killed him."

Wes's grip tightens on his hand, more tears come, "They're saying he had a son."

Eric wets his lips, he hadn't known that. Eric pulls back his hands, cups Wes's face and rests their foreheads together as he points out, "We have a son and if those same aliens attacked here that would have been us going into battle."

"Don't," Wes tells him.

Eric kisses him then, desperately, as his own words reach him, sink into his heart and for one brief moment he's glad that the tragedy is in New Tech City and not their backyard. Wes's eyes are closed when he pulls back, lips slightly parted and fresh tears sliding down his face. Eric slides his hand down Wes's arm and takes hold of the hand he had before. He squeezes.

Wes's eyes open, meet his, "He saved all those people."

"Yes," Eric agrees.

Wes looks over at the blank TV screen then back to Eric.

"We can't say no," Eric points out. As much as a part of him wants to, a part of him is ready for action, anything other then this stifling sense of loss. They hadn't even known Tate, but his loss, his death weighs heavily on both of them. How many times in battle could that have been them? Was it just an error of location, of timing?

Eric sweeps his eyes over Wes, as if to assure himself that he's still there. That this tragedy hasn't happened to them, won't happen to them.

Wes nods, "They'll call. The rest of his team is too injured to go out and fight and the alien that killed him got away. They have the documentary of our pasts, they'll know who still has power, who they can contact to find him."

"Or protect their city until their rangers are ready for action," Eric agrees.

Wes glances at the TV again, "I gave them my morpher."

Eric threads his fingers through Wes's other hand, and then guides it to rest on the morpher attached to his wrist, "They gave it back, made their own. What happened wasn't you're fault."

Wes's jaw ticks slightly and he looks down at their hands intertwined on his morpher. He wets his lips, "Do you think it was a mistake. Do you think I changed the future somehow by letting the SPD…do you think that man's meant to be alive?"

Eric presses his lips together again. He disapproved of Wes letting Ms. Manx have his morpher. He too had wondered if they weren't somehow changing things.

"No," he manages, "if giving them that morpher was the wrong thing to do, we'd have old teammates coming back from the future to chew you out, right?"

His attempts at a wiry smile are met with a nod and then a kiss. He decides to try again, "It's not your fa…"

"I know," Wes tells him, "I…I keep telling myself, but it doesn't make it hurt any less and isn't going to make me feel any less responsible."

"I know."

"It's not your fault for not stopping me," Wes tries.

"I know," Eric nods as his eyes drift to their reflections in the TV. Wes is looking at him intently and not buying his lie. Eric meets his eyes, "I'll give you time, you give me time?"


Eric leans forward and kisses Wes's forehead, "Together works."

Wes smiles sadly for a moment before wrapping Eric's arms around himself and leaning against him. Eric leans back against the couch, comfortable as he can be while he's mourning the loss of a man he'd never met, but whose death had brought his own reality and choices to a sharp clarity.