The ship was silent. The steady hum that Andros had become accustomed to had dimmed. It was the sound of a ship that only one was living on. It was the sound of a ship with all secondary systems temporarily shut down.
He remembered the silence that had existed before he'd met TJ, Ashley, Carlos and Cassie.
Andros stayed morphed. He dropped the small black box he'd returned with to his locker and activated the nearest control panel to see if there was anyone on board.
Where had his sister gone? Where were his teammates? What if DECA had been compromised?
What if he'd lost DECA?
There was one life sign and he wasn't going to take any chances, his assumption ran toward enemy.
As Andros began to move towards the bridge he pulled out his Astro Blaster. He used a side panel to open the door, peaked around the corner and only saw the back…that was Jason. Andros stepped into full view as Jason turned around.
He took a step away from Jason and then another. Enter or leave, why couldn't he decide?
"Are you going to blast me or run away from me?" Jason asked.
Andros lowered his weapon, put it away.
Jason took a step towards him and Andros took another step back.
"My team, where are they?"
"Earth," Jason answered.
"DECA," Andros asked, "What did you do?"
"It became necessary to reveal your condition to Fren," DECA explained.
Andros nodded, "And the others?"
"They were present when he demanded answers," DECA responded.
Jason crossed his arms and teased, "I could've stayed at home and let Kim decide that pink is a must when it comes to room design."
Andros tilted his head.
Jason quirked a smile, "You're still morphed."
"You're on my ship," Andros pointed out, "and my team is gone."
Jason shrugged, "They decided it was best to clear out and give us some time alone."
"Did they say why?"
"They weren't too clear on that one," Jason told him, "but they decided we get a week before they come to see if you've killed me yet. I think they're taking bets."
Andros powered down and asked, "A week?"
"Yes," Jason confirmed, "a week."
Andros frowned, "An Earth week? That's an assumption. Did they mean the week to start when you left or when I had returned to the ship?"
"I'm not really sure," Jason said as he closed the distance between them.
Andros glanced up at Jason's face, then averted his eyes, "How long have you been on board?"
Jason frowned and shrugged, "Not really sure. A day, maybe?"
"DECA?" Andros asked, "How long has Jason been aboard?"
"Approximately 23 hours and seven minutes," DECA answered.
Andros nodded, glancing up at Jason again. He wanted to pull the other man close, kiss him again, but they had shared only two brief kisses and that was over a month ago. Andros wanted Jason to be here because the other man wanted to be, not because circumstances demanded it.
"We should return you to your home," Andros managed.
Jason frowned as he stepped closer, "I'm not going anywhere."
How many times had he heard that in his life? How many times had he been disappointed? Andros wanted to back away, wanted to flee or push Jason away, and a part of him wanted to trust. Andros sighed, "I don't have time to take you home at the moment. I have another place I have to be. I had hoped to see my sister before I left again. I suppose it will have to wait."
"She wants to see you too," Jason offered.
Andros nodded, then turned and mused, "Perhaps I could drop you off on Aquitar. You could see your friends."
"Friends?" Jason questioned as he stepped still closer.
Andros turned to face him, taking a step back, "You are friends with Billy and Rocky, aren't you?"
"Rocky's on Aquitar?" Jason questioned.
"He's been on Aquitar," Andros revealed, "you should go visit, you can congratulate them."
"Congratulate?" Jason asked as he took another step forward.
"On their marriage," Andros explained, stepping back and running into a consol, "It was the reason your former teammate didn't attend the mission on Earth's moon."
Jason placed both hands on the consol, leaning into Andros as he asked, "So you're saying Rocky couldn't come to the red mission because he was on Aquitar marrying Billy?"
"Aquitarian weddings are three days long," Andros said, knowing he wasn't really trapped and wanting Jason to move in closer. His eyes darted over Jason's face, taking in his eyes and those lips that were quirking into a small smirk.
"I'll let them know how annoyed I am that they went and got married without telling most of us later. I'll even make Tommy squirm for not telling me cause somehow I'm sure he knew, but it's not going to work Andros."
"What's not going to work?" Andros asked. Jason was just that bit too close, it would be so easy to pull him in and kiss him. No, Andros told himself, that would really be a bad idea. If he kissed Jason he might not stop there.
"Distracting me," Jason told him, "You and I need to figure some things out, especially if we're having children together."
Andros closed his eyes. How did he talk about this?
"What did they tell you?" Andros asked.
"Enough that I have the gist of what's going on," Jason told him, before he reached up and brushed Andros' cheek, "What were you…When were you going to tell me?"
Andros tried not to lean into that touch. He pressed his lips together a moment and told Jason, "I hadn't figure that out yet."
"I can accept that," Jason nodded, "though I still find it kind of a jip that all we did was kiss and now we're having kids."
Andros closed his eyes and took a small breath to steady himself. Now he knew how to push Jason away. He opened his eyes and said as steadily as he could, "You're attraction to me is a product of the Parryth."
Jason leaned into him just a bit more. That was distracting, too distracting Andros decided as he breathed the other man in. How could he smell so good? This isn't real, Andros told himself.
"I was attracted to you the first time I saw you," Jason said, "I hardly think that has anything to do with your being pregnant, besides Zhane and I talked and he said this wouldn't have happened if we couldn't be brought together by it."
"You believe everything they say about Ranger happy endings?" Andros challenged.
"Happy endings, maybe not," Jason conceded, "but I am at least going to stick around to help raise our kids."
"I don't need your help," Andros told him.
Jason frowned, "I think you do, raising a kid isn't easy. Raising two of them is going to be harder."
"This is why I wasn't going to tell you," Andros pushed, "I didn't want you to drop everything in your life to come out here."
Jason's face clouded over in anger briefly and for a moment Andros thought he would push away. Instead Jason's face cleared and he told Andros, "What were you going to do, wait till they were eighteen and then have them come find me?"
"Eighteen?" Andros questioned confused. How had that not worked? Why hadn't Jason gotten angry with him? Anger he could work with, he could use to push Jason away, but this understanding…what did he do with that?
"When they're adults," Jason explained.
Andros pushed against Jason's chest and was relieved when Jason stepped back, giving him his personal space back.
"On KO-35 one is considered an adult at fourteen."
"Fourteen?" Jason questioned.
"I don't want to talk about this right now," Andros said as he stepped around Jason and began to key in the destination he wanted to reach.
"What do you want to talk about then?" Jason asked.
Andros glared at him as he began to stalk off the bridge, "I don't want to talk."
"Where are you going?" Jason asked.
"To get something to eat," Andros told him, "You're not coming with me."
Jason frowned and wet his lips.
Andros had almost reached the door when he paused and turned around, "And you're wrong about one thing."
"What is that?" Jason asked looking slightly amused.
Andros frowned. He was acting like a child he knew, but he wanted to push Jason away, he didn't want to trust this attraction. He opened his mouth, but the lie that he wasn't attracted to Jason would come out. With a frustrated growl Andros turned and left.