Leo trusted Mike intrinsically. After all had been said and done, after Mike had received the power of the Magna Defender, and he finally had a second to study the two, he realized it.
It wasn't a conscious thought on his part. It was in the way they walked. It was in the way they talked. After the run-in with the Skelekron monster, as they left the scene, he remembered being shocked that Leo, who had shied away from their advances of comfort- a hug, a handshake, a friendly pat on the back- easily accepted Mike's protective arm around his shoulder.
It went beyond respecting his brother's words on the matter. When Leo and Mike walked somewhere, Leo always stood at his shoulder. Kai had noticed this. He noticed the way Mike-five years older than the youngest Corbett- would motion to his brother across the table to finish his food. The teen would scowl and do it, no questions asked.
Leo liked to push himself during the training sessions, but it was only Mike whom Leo listened to, when the others would ask him to slow down.
Kai knew the brothers were close. Kai had an older sister, but they had never been particularly close, but he never imagined that siblings could be friends.
For all his affirmations though that Leo and Mike were close and that they trusted each other infinitely, Kai had never seen it more than today.
Later on that day
Leo knew that surrendering his morpher and quasar saber to Villamax and Deviot was not a smart move. Despite the other ranger's loud protestations, Leo knew that he had to do it.
It hadn't been easy. Trakeena had made sure to make him suffer for two straight days before outlining her final plans for him. He had told himself he wouldn't scream, but the electric fire and whip had quickly changed his mind. He knew that the only reason he was alive now was because of the adrenaline still running through his system.
The red shirt, he was suddenly thankful for, it kept him slightly stronger and better off than he would have been otherwise.
Even that couldn't keep him going on for long. As he finally managed to escape the terror of being locked up in that cell in the Scorpio Stinger, Leo could feel the blood stop pounding. With the blood of his wounds on his back and down his sides, Leo could literally feel the power bleeding out with his wounds. He didn't feel the fear leave him though. He knew that if he had not managed to escape, than he truly would have been the next Corbett dead. Mike would not have been able to forgive that.
After Trakeena's last dire warning, Leo knew she was not someone to underestimate again. That was in fact his last thought as he finally succumbed to his wounds and collapsed to the ground, pained and unconscious, unmorphed.
Mike had never been as scared as he was that moment. Seeing the rangers pull their cycles into the Jammer Bay, seeing Leo lying motionless-lifeless- on the front of Kai's cycle demorphed and covered in his own blood, he ran forward pushing past Maya and Damon without apology. In the background, he could barely hear Damon asking Deca and Alpha to prepare the infirmary.
If it wasn't for the small puffs of air, Leo kept taking in, as if he didn't have the strength to keep the air in, Mike would have thought he was dead.
Gently, shakily he picked up his brother. The younger, slighter Corbett didn't so much as breathe differently. He tried not to shake his brother too much as they made their way up to Mega Deck 2. In hindsight, Mike knew picking up Leo wasn't a good idea, if the wrong bones were broken, but he had needed to, in that second, to feel his brother alive.
That need fulfilled, Mike waited for Deca to begin a thorough scan of Leo for injuries they couldn't see as well as the necessary prescriptions. She had warned Mike, ever so slightly, as he begin to check Leo for injuries that it was she who was educated to conduct a medical scan, not he.
Mike had wanted to retort, that it was him who knew his brother, not her. But he didn't, the whip marks on Leo's back had made him stop.
Sitting down on the edge of the bed, Mike threaded his hand through Leo's as he waited for the results. He had bandaged Leo up as he could, cleaning and disinfecting the wounds as much as possible before laying Leo down on his side.
His hands, Mike noted, were bigger than Leo. And maybe this should not have so surprised him so much, what with him being the eldest living Corbett, but it did. Despite his fun-loving personality and his carelessness at times, Mike had been struck lately at how much of a kid his brother was not. Leo's hands reminded him that his brother was still a teen and dependent on him to be the dad.
Dec's voice cut through his thoughts. "The list of injuries Leo has sustained has been recorded at such: three broken ribs, wounds that seem particular to whip marks, severe burns on his neck and chest area, a sprained ankle, severe exhaustion. These need to all be treated immediately."
Following her strict instructions, Mike slowly wrapped his brother's ribs in the think white gauze, taking care not to bother the wounds on his back. It had been more difficult to wrap his ankle, but he had managed it.
Despite all that and the gashes on his back he had already treated, it had been the burn marks on his neck that would be most difficult. Deca had warned him that it was bad, let him know the burns went below the skin and went into the muscle. She had also let him know that Leo would be unable to talk for some time and would probably require some sort of therapy to gain full control of his speech again. That had scared him, but Mike shook his head and finished the job.
Several hours later
"How's he doing?" Maya asked quietly coming to stand by Leo's side, across from Mike.
Keeping his voice down, Mike answered, "He's okay. He woke up for a couple of seconds earlier today, but he's been pretty much out since he got here. He's hurt pretty bad."
Maya nodded. The others wanted me to check on you. And Leo. Kendrix was needed at the Lab and Kai and Damon had to work as well.
Mike smiled softly, "I'm okay. Leo's…well...he' okay. He's getting there. He's hurt pretty bad, but with some rest and some downtime, he'll be as good as new."
"That's good to hear. Can I get you anything before I go?"
He shook his head, "Thanks for asking though."
"I'll see you later Mike. Please let us know if anything changes!" Maya whispered from the doorway.
"I will," Mike pulled up Leo's blanket farther up his stomach, gently pushing some loose hairs out of his closed eyes.
He thought back to the launch day of Terra Venture. He would never know how much it hurt his brother when he told him not to come, even more so he would never understand why he left without Leo. He had argued that it was for their grandmother in the first few years of his work on the space colony, but when she had died, Mike had run out of excuses. He had finally just told Leo, it was dangerous and expected that to stop the teen. It hadn't.
Being on Terra Venture, for Mike, meant escaping a shitty past. The boy's parents had died young and their sickly grandmother had raised them. Mike had gotten to college on scholarship; Leo had dropped out halfway through senior year.
They couldn't be anymore different, he knew. But they were the only thing they each had.
So Mike made a promise to himself, right then, as he intertwined his brother's hands in his own, sinking down into the chair that Alpha had carried in for him a few hours ago. His brother was going to relearn that he was there. Always.
Kai walked into the Infirmary in the middle of the night. Mike was fast asleep, his head near Leo's stomach, his hands holding Leo's right hand. Leo's eyes were half-closed in the dim light of Deca's camera.
"Hey buddy," Kai whispered from the door.
When Leo didn't answer, didn't turn his head, Kai became more worried.
"Leo," he called a little earlier.
Leo turned towards Lai this time, but didn't say anything. Weakly, he tried to motion for him to come in and it seemed to work as Kai made his way to the bedside, an unknown fear in his eyes.
"You look exhausted,"
Leo didn't answer.
"Leo?" Kai questioned, worried.
"Shh, man." Mike whispered, "You could wake the dead," he said. "Just don't wake up my baby bro."
"Actually man he's already awake…" Kai countered.
Mike caught Leo's eyes, "Hey kiddo," he whispered. "How you feeling?"
Leo shrugged his shoulders weakly, his throat too sore to answer
Maybe that's where Kai noticed it. At Mike's words of comfort, at Leo's hands, whatever it was. As Mike talked, Leo calmed down, a little less fearful.
The youngest Corbett had listened in rapt attention, albeit tiredly, as Mike had explained in vague detail the extent of his brother's injuries and the healing process.
Broke college student. Don't own anything, not even the computer I'm working on. Please don't sue. I just think that the Corbett men are hot. End of Story.
Also, please please read and review. If you like it, I may have a few more of these hidden somewhere. If not, while I still might. And I do accept flames, I'm that desperate for reader comments, questions, concerns.