There are two versions of this, i wasn't sure which one i liked better. Actually I'm not even sure if i like either of them :P

Routine

Carter swung his legs out of bed as he got ready for his usual routine. The clock by his bedside flashed the time in a bright red; it was 5 in the morning. Chad and Joel were still knocked out cold, oblivious to the wakening world. Pulling on track pants and a red t-shirt, Carter left his room, heading towards the rescue rover.

It couldn't have been anymore cliché, honestly, it couldn't have.

"Ouch" Dana muttered as she sat herself up and began picking up her reports that were now scattered around the floor.

"Sorry" Carter replied, handing her some of the papers that had landed around him. Dana muttered a quick 'thanks'.

"You're up early" Carter said. The blonde looked up at him in confusion, "Oh, it's just that you were doing your reports all night so I'd thought you'd at least sleep in"

"I'm not finished yet, so I decided to wake up early and finish them before my father got up"

"Need some help?" Her reaction of shock wasn't exactly what he expected.

"Um…yeah…sure" she replied, unsure. He smiled.

"Great" and the two headed off to the galley, to grab some coffee and finish up the rest of Dana's papers. It wasn't long before the others woke up too and joined the duo for breakfast. Carter almost jumped out of his seat when Chad sat down next to them.

"Whoa there!" Chad said, laughing. Carter's eyes snapped to his watch, instead of the 5:30 that should have been staring back at him, all he could see was an 8.

"Is something wrong Carter?" Dana's caring voice drifted in above Chad's jovial laughter. He managed a chaste glance at her.

"No" he said, playing off his problem with a chuckle, "of course not, are you done with your files?" he asked in an attempt to divert the attention away from him.

"Yeah, thanks for all the help" she replied. Dana got up and drained the last of her coffee before scooping up the pile of papers Carter and her were working on and bid the two men goodbye. Glancing once more at his watch, Carter could only sigh.

"You smell pretty good for someone who just came back from a 10 mile jog, trying to impress Dana?" Chad teased. Carter shot him a look.

"Shut up" the red ranger said.

Dana was probably the only person to ruin his routine and he didn't mind.

Routine

Wake up in the morning and we start off with a greeting…

"Morning Carter" "Morning Dana"

Pop some toast on the plate and we're all sitting around the breakfast table enjoying each others company…

"Okay, this is a good one…" He smiled despite how horrid her supposedly good joke turned out.

Then the sirens are set off and we're all dashing into danger…

"Go on Red Ranger…shoot me" Carter didn't pull the trigger despite that, or at least he thought he wouldn't have too.

And death…

"Carter…no he can't be…" Dana dropped to her knees; if her helmet wasn't on she might have retched.

But we lived against all odds…

"You scared us" Dana whispered, her arms clutched around him tightly. She didn't want to have that feeling of loss ever again.

Coming back to the base, time and time again.

"Night Dana" a quick hug, "Night Carter"

And it happens over and over again, because without this routine, we would have never realized what was before us.

"Dana!" and he was scrambling to get to her, because he never wants to lose her.