The muses have been invading my life lately. Seemingly this means Leo-flavored fics get written. Review please? If you liek it, I have a few more of these hidden away in my back pocket. Also, this is not part of the last stand universe (but it can be).

"I hadn't realized you had decided to let Leo board," commander Stanton spoke up in the silence of command headquarters to Mike Corbett.

It was maybe one month after Mike had been saved by the Magna Defender and had returned to Terra Venture and his brother. And sometimes when the eldest Corbett and Commander Stanton worked late, they allowed them slip out of their roles as commander and second-in-command of the GSA into their more familiar roles as friend. This was one of those nights.

Mike shook his head, almost smirking, but not quite. "I didn't actually; he sort of is a stowaway," mumbling the last part of the sentence.

Commander Stanton chucked. "Anyone else's brother, I might have been angry. If I knew there was anything I could do now, I may have been angry. And if I didn't realize he was the red ranger who's been part of a team that has consistently saved our butts, I might have been mad. As it may be, I'm not. Obviously."

At that last part, Mike's head shot up.

"I thought so," Stanton went on. "Don't worry Mr. Corbett; your secret is safe with me. It was simple really, though, to figure it out, but only because I knew where to look."

"Commander, I can explain." Mike started.

"Explain what, Mr. Corbett; he's doing a good thing. You should be proud of him."

Mike shook his head, "I am proud of him, more than he knows I'm sure. But…it's complicated, he's so young, he barely knows what he's doing" he trailed off weakly.

"Mr. Corbett," the commander said walking forward, "sit down for a second with me. I have a story to tell you."

"A story?," Mike raised his eyebrow.

Stanton nodded, "I was born in Angel Grove and moved out of town promptly at graduation. I enlisted in the National Guard, went to school and came back in 1990 with my family to work for the Earth-to-Space taskforce, what you know as the Terra Venture Project. I had left my younger brother to take care of my ailing mother and left. One day mid-1994, I was in the park with my oldest son and brother. ..The power rangers had been protecting the city for some time now and we all cared greatly for the work they did, not so much for them it seems. Looking back on it though, it's safe to say in the city's defense, we never realized someone could be in the suit."

Mike nodded his head, though he had no idea where the commander was going.

"Maybe I'm the only person who knew this, but I saw the rangers' morph one time, hidden behind a tree though they were. They were kids, maybe just a year younger than your own brother, kids that my son 

went to school with. The red ranger, Jason, was on my son's football team, his older brother used to cut our grass…

"I'm not sure I understand commander."

"My brother was killed that day, one of the many unfortunate souls they couldn't save. And I was angry at me, at Rita Repulsa. Mostly though, Mr. Corbett, I was angry at them. But that anger faded to guilt four days later at the funeral when I saw the teen I now knew as the red ranger slip quietly into the funeral. He was crying. I never forgot that face. I never forgot his tears. And I never forgot that he saved my boy and me after that day. I never forgot he was just a kid doing work that I couldn't even fathom."

Mike shook his head.

"Don't you see Mr. Corbett, you don't have to explain yourself to me when it comes to the power rangers, I know that it's been chaotic on Terra Venture and they're tied to that. But I also know they and you-"he added pointedly, "are just kids. Kids who are doing amazing things and putting their life on the line for so many unknowing people. I'm so glad the power rangers are here. "

Mike smiled a proud smile. "Thanks Commander, they'll be honored to hear that."

"Mr. Corbett, I have one more story for you. I've been through every ranger team now, saw them do amazing things in-and-out of suit. Your brother is not just the red ranger-a special breed in of themselves-but also a teenage boy. But, you know what, I can't even say I know him too well, but I'm proud of him. Most people aren't genuinely good people. "

Mike's face clouded again.

"As I said I've been there for every ranger team and through some luck or another, I've known every red ranger. I've seen Jason, the first red; teach kids the martial arts so they could defend themselves. I've seen Tommy work at child services as a teen mentor. I've seen TJ coach a disabled kids' baseball team. And Andros, I don't know him well, being from KO-35 or whatnot, but I do know that we're standing here because of him. He was a mechanic on Terra Venture ya know. They didn't stop being good people when they got out of the suit. And they had school, work, family I'm sure."

"What's this have to do with Leo?" Mike asked. "Leo's just a kid. He hates authority, hates rules. He's a good boy, but he is just a kid."

"Mr. Corbett," the commander sounded frustrated, "they are all kids. Kids doing amazing things. Your brother survived when he thought you were dead. He was working at thy youth center as a daycare assistant and martial arts teacher. He survived and we're all alive because of him and the team he led."

"Thanks commander, I didn't know any of that."

"I expect that, it's the red ranger thing to do. Hold on to your brother, Mr. Corbett, take a few days off and go spend some time with your brother. He may be a hero, but you'll always be his hero. Go right now," he urged



Mike stood up shakily. "Thank you sir."

As Mike got to the door, he heard the commander say his name. Turning around, "Oh, and Mr. Corbett, tell your brother to let his team know, the color-coded clothes kind of give it away."

Back in the Corbett's shared quarters, Leo was sleeping peacefully. His face was turned towards the door as he lay on stomach, one of his hands draped over the bedside, his other hand draped over the pillow. His blanket lay low on his waist.

Walking over to Leo, Mike bent down to pull the blanket up to his shoulders waking up Leo.

"Hey Mike, " Leo mumbled rolling onto his back, "How are you?"

"I'm okay little brother. Go back to bed. It's late…or early actually."

Stifling a yawn, Leo was almost asleep instantly.

"Leo," Mike said quietly, "I love you little brother."

A few seconds of silence passed; Mike figured Leo was already asleep when out of the quiet came, "I love you too Mike. Thanks for coming back."

Don't own it. Don't own it. Don't own it. Broke. Broke. Broke. Review? Review? Review?