The following morning, Syd shifted slightly as she awoke, the sun beating into their room. Blinking, a smile pulled across her face as she felt David's arm tighten around her naked midsection as he pulled her closer to his naked body.

"Mornin." He murmured huskily into her ear.

"Good morning," she replied, snuggling deeper into his embrace.

"Indeed it is." He chuckled, the vibrations moving through her back. Syd giggled and shifted in his arms to turn around and face him.

"What time is it?" She murmured as he pressed a kiss against her lips. David kissed her for a moment before turning his head to look at his bedside clock.

"8:30," he replied.

"Too early to get up then." Syd giggled as she snuggled closer to him. "Especially for a Saturday." David chuckled and tightened his arms around her.

"I agree." He stated. "But if you don't want to get up, whatever shall we do?" Syd gave him a wide grin and ran a hand down his stomach.

"Oh, I'm sure we can think of something," she murmured.

"Well then." Came his response as he rolled her under his body. "I think we can definitely think of something." Syd giggled and wrapped her arms around his shoulders. Slowly, David's hands moved down her back and around her rear, before settling on the back of her thighs, gently pulling them apart before shifting slightly, and pushing inside her. Syd moaned and arched her back slightly as her legs wrapped around his hips. The couple moved in tandem with each other until reaching their climaxes and sagging back onto the bed.

"Oh god." Syd moaned as David stroked her sweat covered sides. David chuckled and placed a light kiss on the side of her neck.

"Better than sleeping." He agreed. Syd giggled and snuggled close to his side.

"My thoughts exactly," she commented.

"But I do think a little more sleep might be alright." He commented around a yawn, pulling her closer. Syd laid her head on his chest as she yawned as well.

"I think you're right," she replied.

"Of course I am." Came the chuckled response. "I love you." Syd gave a small content sigh as she shifted closer to him.

"I love you too," she replied. David smiled and ducked his head down to place a soft kiss on the top of her head. Within moments, the couple drifted back to sleep.

It was just after 8:30am on Monday morning when Oliver's name was paged over the loudspeaker within the Academy, asking for him to go to the command centre. Oliver had just barely woken up when he was summoned, and hurriedly dressed himself in somewhat presentable attire and his badge, before heading over to the top floor, where the command center and David's office was located. Once he had reached the command centre, one of the Major's aid's ushered him over to where Garrett was waiting patiently at a round table. Once Oliver had joined him at the table, the aid respectfully left them alone.

"You wanted to see me, sir?" Oliver spoke after a moment.

"Good morning to you too Lieutenant." David commented, a smile tugging at his lips. "I was hoping we could discuss your selections." Oliver nodded solemnly. He had figured that perhaps that would be the subject they'd need to discuss. "Have you selected your team?" David asked. Oliver cleared his throat and scratched the back of his neck.

"Most of it," he sheepishly replied. He had spent the entire weekend trying to select the remaining two members for his team, on his own since Jordan had washed his hands of the selecting process and hadn't exactly talked to him over the weekend, but he couldn't find two people he felt would be the right fit.

"What do you mean 'most of it'?" David asked. Oliver heaved a heavy sigh.

"Well, there's four cadets that I have immense confidence in, and think they'll be excellent rangers…it's just the last two spots that I'm having trouble with," he admitted.

"Well, let's talk about the four first then." The Major suggested. "Perhaps that'll make the final two choices easier."

"Yes, sir," Oliver nodded. "My first selection was Jordan Mitchellson. I feel he is a perfect candidate for my second in command on the team, and would like to recommend him for promotion to 2nd Lieutenant….with your permission, of course," he stated.

"Mitchellson is a good cadet, and I have no doubt that he would be an amazing ranger. I will gladly promote him as well." David agreed.

"Thank you sir," Oliver smiled. He hoped delivering this good news to his friend would dissolve some of the tension that had been in their room since Friday evening.

"Who else did you pick for the team?" David asked.

"Jordan suggested Alana Drake," Oliver replied.

"Interesting choice." The older man nodded.

"What do you mean by that, sir?" Oliver curiously asked.

"To be honest I never really would have thought of her." David replied with a shrug. "But looking at her profile, I believe she would be a good candidate." Oliver simply nodded, deciding against asking him to elaborate further. "Who else?" David asked.

"Derek Stefano," Oliver replied. It took David a moment to response before he nodded slowly.

"Interesting dynamic you're going for on this team. Who's next?"

"Adrian Johnson," Oliver replied.

"Excellent choice." The Major grinned. "Always necessary to have a mechanic on your team." Oliver nodded along with this sentiment.

"I agree sir," he replied. He sighed and shrugged. "And that's it," he replied. "The remaining two spots are still open."

"Now obviously you discussed this with Lieutenant Mitchellson, did he have any suggestions?" Oliver pursed his lips, debating how to answer that question. Yes, Jordan had made a suggestion, but it wasn't a suggestion Oliver agreed with. The temptation to lie and say Jordan hadn't made a suggestion was great, but Oliver had some misgivings about blatantly lying to his superior. "Lieutenant Torres?" David spoke, his voice cutting into Oliver's thoughts. Oliver sighed and slowly nodded, figuring it'd be best to be honest.

"Yes, Jordan did make a suggestion but…."

"But, what?" David asked.

"It….wasn't one I agreed with, so….it's not worth mentioning," Oliver evasively replied.

"I'd still like to hear it." Came the response. Oliver sighed and ran a hand through his hair.

"He recommended Cadets Elle and Willa Torres, sir," Oliver reluctantly stated, "my sisters." There was a silence for a moment before David nodded slowly.

"Both are very good candidates." Oliver stared at him for a long moment before shaking his head.

"With all due respect, sir, you can't be serious. They're….they're not ready for this kind of responsibility."

"Are you suggesting that they didn't deserve the scores they received on their SPD exams?" David lightly countered. "Are they not good enough fighters? Are their skills lacking?" Oliver sighed and shook his head.

"No, of course not, sir," Oliver replied in a defeated tone.

"Well, then what's the problem?" He questioned. "Is it just because they're your sisters?" Oliver chewed on his bottom lip for a moment before nodding begrudgingly.

"I refuse to put them in danger," he stated.

"How old are your sisters?" David inquired as he glanced down at their profiles.

"Elle is 22, Willa is 21," Oliver replied, "but what does that have to do with anything?" Oliver asked.

"Well… Do you not think they're old enough to make their own decisions?" He questioned lightly. "I understand your reservations about them being on your team, however sometimes we have to make tough decisions in the best interest of the whole."

"Sir," Oliver insisted, "I….I don't know how effective of a leader I'll be with them on the team," he admitted.

"Are you implying they won't respect your authority, or be willful because you're their brother?" David asked.

"No…of course not," Oliver stated, "but….they're my sisters, my instinct is to look out for them. It's not something I can shut off. How can I best lead the team, or best protect the public, if I'm busy worrying about my sisters?"

"Perhaps it's something you learn along the way." David shrugged in response. "I'm not saying that it'll ever go away, but you're their older brother and it's in your nature to protect them." There was a beat before Oliver glanced at him.

"So what are you suggesting sir?" He questioned timidly.

"I'm saying, with respect, that I hear your problems with having your sisters as rangers. However, I do need to enforce what would be best for this ranger team, and the future of the world." He paused for a moment and took a deep breath. "I'm overriding you as the leader of this team and appointing your sisters, as rangers." Oliver's mouth fell open as he stared at David in shock for a few long moments.

"B-But sir…" He sputtered.

"I'm sorry Oliver." David replied sincerely. "I do understand, however your sisters are two of the candidates I had hoped you would pick, as they're perfectly suited for the job." Oliver frowned.

"Why didn't you tell me that on Friday?" He asked.

"I had hoped you would've picked them of your own volition," David admitted, "either out of knowing them so well and seeing for yourself how beneficial they would be to the team, or out of sheer nepotism."

"But because I didn't, you decided to?" The younger man questioned, anger filling his voice. David sighed.

"Oliver," he gently spoke, hoping to diffuse the younger man's anger, "maybe as their brother, you're too close to see the potential your sisters possess and how they are perfect candidates for the ranger team. I would be doing you, the team, and those you are to protect, a disservice if I let that stand in the way," he reasoned.

"I guess I can't say anything to get you to change your mind then." Came the gloomy response from Oliver, whose head had dropped slightly in defeat.

"This is for the best, you'll see," David sagely commented.

"Alright." Oliver slowly replied a few moments later with a sigh. David smiled and nodded.

"Perfect," he said, "Well, Lieutenant Torres, assuming all of your selections accept their positions, it looks like you have yourself a full team," he stated.

"Great… Is that all sir?" He questioned, pushing his chair back slowly.

"For now," David nodded. "Perhaps you might want to speak to the members of your new team; just to be sure they're up for this task. I'll speak to Mitchellson about making his promotion official, and then we'll all discuss the next step," David replied. Standing, he collected the files back from Oliver. "I want to see all of you at 1500 sharp this afternoon, and I'll return these to archives for you."

"Yes, sir," Oliver nodded as he stood up from his chair.

"Dismissed." David commented as Oliver saluted him and departed from the room. Oliver silently left the main office and soon found himself alone in the corridor again. He took a few steps away from the area before leaning against the wall and letting out a heavy sigh, his chest still tight with the anger and annoyance of David going over his head and deciding Elle and Willa would be on the team. After a few moments, Oliver sighed again and stood up from the wall, continuing on his way.

Oliver entered the room he shared with Jordan to find his friend and roommate quietly reading to again. Unlike the other day, Jordan didn't even bother looking up at the sound of the door opening and closing.

"Hey," Oliver spoke. Slowly, Jordan's eyes lifted away from his book long enough to fix Oliver with a glare before settling back on his book.

"Hi." Came the cold response. Oliver sighed and moved across the room to sit on his bed.

"I talked to Major Garrett," Oliver stated, "you're getting the promotion to 2nd Lieutenant."

"Cool." Jordan replied with a shrug. "Did you guys talk about the other members of our motley crew?" Oliver was quiet a moment, not thrilled that Jordan's reaction to the news of the promotion had been so underwhelming.

"Yeah, we did," he replied.

"And?" It took Jordan a moment to find a place to stop reading before he set his book down, swung his legs over the side of the bed and glanced at his best friend. Oliver sighed and ran his hand through his hair.

"Willa and Elle are on the team, there, happy?" He grumbled dejectedly. Blinking slowly, Jordan felt bad for his friend.

"I'm surprised that you relented." He murmured after a moment, scratching the back of his head nervously. Oliver gave a sardonic snort and flopped back on his bed, staring up at the ceiling for a few moments.

"I didn't. Garrett overruled and made the decision for me," he ruefully admitted.

"Really?" Came the response. To say that Jordan was shocked would be an understatement. "I didn't realize he could, or even would do that."

"Makes two of us," Oliver grumbled.

"I'm sorry dude." Jordan replied sincerely.

"Why? You wanted them on the team, so you must be overjoyed that Garrett feels the same," Oliver bitterly stated.

"Yes, I wanted them on the team." Jordan nodded, acknowledging that what Oliver had stated was true. "However, I never wanted it to be forced on you." Oliver simply grunted to himself and continued starring up at the ceiling. "Look, it sucks." Jordan sympathized. "At least they'll be safer with the team if something were to happen to the academy, like what happened to SPD."

"How do you figure?" Oliver asked. "If something were to happen, don't you think the rangers would be the first on the chopping block?"

"Not necessarily." His best friend mused. "It's entirely possible that we could be lured away by a bad guy or criminal, and they could attack at that point… In fact, it'd be an ideal time for them to do so, given that there would be minimal protection." Oliver was quiet for a moment as he took in Jordan's words.

"I still don't like it," he finally said, relenting slightly. "I don't know if I can focus on being a good leader…if my first instinct is to worry about them every time we go out there in battle."

"Hey, that's why we've got four other people too." Jordan reminded softly. "We're going to look out for them too."

"I guess you're right…" Oliver murmured.

"It'll be good man, don't worry so much." He grinned, reaching over and clapping him on the shoulder. Oliver sighed and closed his eyes for a moment.

"I have to find the others, tell 'em the news….make sure they all actually want to be on the team, and then all of us are supposed to meet with Garrett later today," Oliver commented, moving off the subject of his sisters.

"Hey," Jordan commented as Oliver rolled off his bed and stood up. "Do you want me to tell your sisters?" Oliver thought about it for a moment before nodding.

"Yeah, that would help me out a lot, thanks," he replied.

"Anytime man, you know that." He nodded in reply. Oliver gave him a small grateful smile and took a deep breath.

"Alright, guess I'm off to find Derek, Alana and Adrian," Oliver stated.

"You have fun with that." Jordan grinned as he stood. Oliver sighed and chuckled slightly.

"Good luck dealing with my sisters," he replied.

"Oh, you enjoy dealing with everyone else." Jordan laughed in reply. Oliver laughed as well.

"Hey man, how about later tonight we head to the bar and get a couple of drinks?" Jordan commented as they exited the room, the doors hissing shut behind them.

"Sounds good to me," Oliver nodded.

"Awesome, see you later." Giving his best friend a parting nod, Jordan disappeared down the hallway towards the cadet wing where he knew he'd find Willa and Elle. He walked down a few corridors; giving passing pleasantries to the few fellow cadets he passed on his way to the room the two Torres sisters shared. Stopping outside their door, he paused momentarily before ringing the small door bell attached to their room. He waited a few moments before he heard footsteps on the other side of the door as someone looked out the display screen on the inside to see who was at the door. A short moment later the door quickly hissed opened to reveal Willa smiling shyly at him.

"Jordan, hey," she happily greeted.

"Hey Wills, sup?" He grinned, looping his arm around her shoulders in a half hug. Willa sighed happily as she felt Jordan hug her and wrapped her arms around his waist to return the hug.

"Nothing much," she said, doing her best not to swoon.

"Where's Elle?" He questioned, glancing around their shared room.

"Um," Willa began, forcing herself to think straight, which wasn't an easy task with the man of her dreams standing in her room. She shook her head and took a quiet deep breath. "She went out for a jog about….forty minutes ago, I think," she finally answered. "Why?" She asked, worried as to why Jordan was asking for Elle.

"I need to talk to both of you." He replied with a shrug.

"Oh?" Willa asked, curious. "About what?"

"I'd rather not say right now." Jordan replied. "Sorry, but it'd be better for me to tell you both at the same time." Willa frowned, her worry returning.

"Is everything okay?" She asked. "Did something happen to Ollie?"

"What?" Jordan asked before his eyebrows rose and he quickly shook his head. "No, no, it's nothing like that," he hurriedly assured her.

"Well what is it then?" She demanded, slipping his arm off her shoulder to turn and look at him. Jordan opened his mouth to once again tell her he wanted to wait until Elle returned, when the door hissed open and Elle walked in wearing pink gym shorts that stopped at the middle of her thigh, and a white undershirt, patting some sweat off her face with a small towel.

"Um… Hi?" Elle commented, stopping dead in her tracks, suddenly feeling self conscious about her appearance. Jordan looked over at the newly arrived Torres sister and smiled.

"Hey," he replied.

"Not that I'm not happy to see you Jordy… But what the hell are you doing here?" She questioned, slowly and carefully crossing her arms over her chest. Jordan frowned, hating the idea he had somehow upset Elle.

"I needed to talk to you guys about something…..but I can come back later…if you want," he replied, not wanting to make Elle uncomfortable. Elle sighed and shrugged and walked further into the room, letting the door hiss shut behind her.

"Its fine," she stated as she sat on her bed, "what's up?" She asked.

"You might wanna sit down too Wills." Jordan commented, nodding towards her bed. Willa regarded him with a frown.

"Um….okay…." She slowly said as she sat down on her bed, moving the motorized pallet and the small easel she had been working on before Jordan stopped by, aside. He shifted from foot to foot slightly before leaning against the wall.

"This is going to sound really weird, but a lot has changed in the past few days… Ollie and I have both been promoted to Lieutenant." Jordan took a deep breath and ran his hand over his face. "But it's more than that. We've also found out that SPD has been destroyed."

"What?" Elle gasped, shocked.

"Oh my god," Willa murmured.

"Yeah…" He trailed off. "I guess there's a new big bad in town that was responsible for that, and now there's rumblings that he's headed here next..." There was a brief paused before he continued.

"Garrett called your brother into his office a few days ago, firstly about that promotion… But secondly to appoint him as the leader of a new ranger team… And Ollie asked me to be his second in command."

"Whoa," Elle breathed out.

"Who else is on the team?" Willa asked. Jordan looked up at the two girls and gave them a small half smile.

"Well, now we come to why I'm here talking to the two of you…." He replied. As the words sunk in, both Elle's and Willa's mouths fell open in surprise.

"Wh…What?" Elle breathed out softly.

"Ollie wants us…..to be rangers?" Willa asked, stunned. Jordan pursed his lips to stop himself from pointing out it wasn't quite like that. He figured, however sincere and noble Oliver's intentions were, hearing their own brother fought hard for them not to be on the team would not be beneficial.

"Uh huh," he nodded.

"That's… amazing." Elle replied, a smile breaking out across her face. Jordan smiled.

"So, I can take it that you two will take on the role of rangers?" He asked.

"Of course!" The girls replied in tandem. Jordan laughed and nodded.

"Fantastic," he grinned. "Anyway, we're all meeting in the command centre at 3, so I'll see you guys then okay?"

"Absolutely," Willa enthusiastically nodded.

"See ya." Elle smiled softly as Jordan waved and exited the room. As soon as Jordan had left, and the door hissed shut behind him, Willa gave a small excited squeal as she collapsed back on her bed.

"Oh my god, can you believe it?" She exclaimed.

"I honestly never thought something like this would happen to us." Elle replied as she leaned back against the wall.

"I know," Willa sighed, turning her head to look at he sister, "I mean, I know my score on the SPD exam was pretty good…..but I never thought it'd actually come to anything like this. Just figured it'd be a way to keep options open. And now…now we're going to be rangers? How crazy is that?"

"Insane." Elle giggled as she sat up again. "Anyway, I need to shower."

"Okay," Willa nodded as she sat up and pulled her easel back onto her lap to resume her painting. Elle stood up from her bed and gathered up her small bag of toiletries, bathrobe and towel before toeing off her sneakers and socks and slipping on the sandals she used in the communal bathroom on their floor.

"See ya," she called to her sister over her shoulder as she left the room.

"See ya," Willa distractedly replied as she dipped her brush into one of the compartments on her pallet. Once she was alone, Willa bit her lip as the conversation with Jordan replayed in her mind. Her heart skipped a beat as she thought of the hug he gave her when he came in. She couldn't believe they would both be rangers. She just knew that working together, fighting side by side against this new enemy, would bring them closer. Willa giggled slightly to herself as her head began to fill up with all the possibilities.

Elsewhere, Oliver was walking around the academy searching for the remaining three candidates. He had had little luck finding Alana and Derek, and figured he'd go see if Adrian was in his usual hideaway—the academy garage. As he neared the steps leading down to the underground garage, he could hear voices and loud laughter. He descended the stairs to find Adrian and a few of the other mechanics joking around with one another. Slowly, Oliver moved into the room, stopping near the group.

"Hey Ollie." The sole female mechanic grinned. "How's it goin'?" Vikki Bering winked at him, her blond hair pulled into two loose pigtails, draping down her shoulders. Oliver bit back a groan at her wink. She had been trying, unsuccessfully for nearly two years to get him out of a date with her.

"Hi Vikki…I'm alright, you?" He replied, making it clear in his tone he was just being polite.

"I'd be better if you'd ask me on a date, Lieutenant." She giggled, tossing him another wink. Oliver resisted the urge to roll his eyes and cleared his throat.

"Huh, well then," he awkwardly muttered, before turning his attention to Adrian, "you busy?" He asked, changing the subject.

"Naw, what's up?" Adrian replied.

"I need to talk to you, in private," he replied, casting a glance at the other mechanics.

"Ooo, you know, Lieutenant Torres," Vikki purred, moving up beside Oliver and placing a hand on his shoulder, "you know its not polite to keep secrets from people," she lightly teased, giving him one more wink. Oliver sighed and gave Vikki a stern look as he shrugged her hand off his shoulder.

"You got something in your eye, Cadet Bering?" He coolly asked, realizing politeness wasn't helping him one bit.

"Nope." She replied, popping her lips with a smile. "But I wouldn't mind having something in-"

"We can go to the lounge," Adrian cut in, his head tilting towards the small lounge off the corner of the garage that the mechanics sometimes took their breaks in; saving Oliver from the embarrassment of whatever Vikki's sentence was heading to. Oliver shot him a grateful look and nodded.

"Come back soon!" The female cadet cooed as they moved away.

"Not if I can help it," Oliver muttered as he and Adrian entered the lounge. Biting back a chuckle, the mechanic closed the door behind them, throwing the lock as well.

"There! No psycho's allowed." Oliver laughed and nodded.

"You're a lifesaver, man," he commented. Adrian grinned and moved over to the soda machine in the corner of the room.

"So, what's up?" He asked as he fished some change out of the pocket of his green coveralls.

"I've got something to ask you, and it's kind of important." Oliver replied as he sank into the couch. Adrian dropped his change into the machine and pressed the button for his beverage before looking over at Oliver.

"I figured it was important, what with the secrecy," he nodded, "what is it?" He asked, bending down to pick his can of soda out of the slot once it was dispensed.

"Well… You scored really well on your SPD entrance exams a while back." He commented. Adrian popped the can open and took a small sip before sheepishly shrugging.

"I did alright," he modestly replied before coming to sit on the arm chair by the couch Oliver sat on. He looked away for a moment, embarrassment creeping in as he thought about why it was he had taken the exam in the first place. He had originally had no plans of aiming for such heights as Space Patrol Delta, being content to stay at the academy until some line of duty called out to him. What had ultimately been the driving force to take the exam, as, of all things, Oliver's little sister, Willa. He had once overheard her talking to a fellow cadet about how she thought SPD was so heroic and she couldn't wait to take the exam herself. So, Adrian took the exam with the hopes of impressing her. Unfortunately, that part of his plan had yet to kick in, as Willa didn't seem to care or notice he had not only taken the exam, but scored rather well on it.

"Actually, from what I saw, you score was the third highest out of all the cadets who took it." Oliver replied, giving the younger man a compliment. "Don't be so modest."

"Thanks," Adrian awkwardly replied. "So…what, you're here to tell me a spot's opened up in SPD?" He asked. "Because…well, I'm sure whoever scored first and second should get a chance at it first," he commented.

"Actually no, it's not an offer for SPD… It's an offer to be on the ranger team here." Came the reply. Adrian sat back in his chair as his eyebrows rose.

"What?" He asked, stunned.

"Yeah." Oliver scratched the back of his head. "SPD was destroyed and through a huge, long complicated process, Garrett has asked me to lead a new ranger team."

"Whoa," Adrian breathed. He blinked a few times before looking directly at Oliver. "Why me?" He asked, still stunned.

"You'd be a great fit on the team, your scores are fantastic, and it never hurts to have a mechanic kicking around." Came the response. Adrian nodded and sipped his drink, processing what Oliver had said.

"Who else is on the team?" He asked.

"Me, Jordan, Alana Drake, Derek Stefano… And my sisters." Oliver replied after a brief pause. Adrian stared at him for a long moment, unsure if he should be outraged Oliver would put Willa—and Elle, of course—in such a risky position, or thanking his lucky stars at having a reason to be close to Willa.

"I see," was all Adrian could think to say after a while.

"So, you in?" Oliver asked after giving Adrian a moment to take everything in.

"Um… Sure." Adrian replied after a few moments.

"Are you positive?" Oliver asked, sensing a hesitation in his words. "If you don't want to do this, I'll understand," Oliver stated. "I'd be bummed as hell, sure, but I'd understand," he added.

"It's just… Kinda huge." He murmured in reply. "But yeah, I'm in." Oliver gave an understanding nod.

"Yeah, it definitely is huge," he agreed. "But, I think if we all work together, we'll be fine," Oliver stated, trying to convince himself just as much as he was trying to convince Adrian.

"Yeah, for sure." Adrian agreed. Oliver smiled.

"Great," he said, glad to see Adrian hadn't refused to be a part of the team. "We're all meeting with Garrett at the command center at three," he informed Adrian.

"Alright, I'll see you then." Came the response as he stood and chucked his empty can in the recycling. Oliver nodded and stood up from his seat. Adrian exited the room first, heading back to his group before Oliver exited the room and ascended the stairs, away from the area. He checked his watch to be sure he had enough time to resume looking for the final two candidates for the team before it was too close to three, and was relieved to see it was just barely noon. He wandered around for a short while before entering the main lounge, only to find Derek stretched out on the couch, playing a video game.

"Uh hey." Oliver commented. Derek paused his game as he glanced up at Oliver.

"Hey," he replied.

"Where's Alana at?" Oliver questioned as he dropped into the chair beside the couch. "I figured she'd be here with you." Derek snorted.

"Just because we're together doesn't mean we're permanently fused at the hip," he commented. "Anyway, why do you ask?"

"I've got something to ask both of you, and figured it'd be easier to kill two birds with one stone… Guess I was wrong." Oliver replied easily. Derek sat up on the couch, curious as to what Oliver had to ask.

"What's up?" He questioned.

"This is probably going to sound really weird, so give me a chance to explain." Came the request. When Derek nodded, Oliver continued. "You and Alana scored fairly high on the SPD entrance exams when you took them, and I recently found out that SPD was destroyed… Under the advisement of Garrett, we're putting together a ranger team and I'm here to ask if you'd be interested in being apart of it." Derek stared at him, his jaw hanging open for a moment in shock.

"Are you serious?" He finally sputtered out.

"Very." Oliver replied with a nod. Derek blinked a few times to get over the shock before his features set into a deep frown.

"Why the hell do you need Alana on the team?" He asked, not liking the idea of his girlfriend being put in harms way. Oliver was taken aback at Derek's outburst regarding Alana.

"She scored higher than you did on the entrance exams, and would be a fantastic addition to the team." He replied slowly.

"So?" Derek argued, still not happy about Alana being on the team. "She could get hurt!" Oliver sighed and rubbed his eyes with his thumb and forefinger for a moment.

"Look, I get that you're concerned, but-"

"Oh, do you?" Derek cut in with a snort. Oliver fixed him with a mild glare and tightened his jaw.

"Yes, I do. My sisters are on the team too. And believe me, I fought hard to keep them out of this, but the decision was taken out of my hands. So, yes, I understand not wanting to have someone you care about in a possibly dangerous position," he snapped. "But it's for the good of the team." The two lapsed into silence for a few moments before Derek nodded slowly. Carefully, Oliver climbed to his feet. "Where can I find your better half?" He questioned. Derek sighed and picked up his game controller.

"I think she's either in her room, or in the fitness center," Derek replied.

"Thanks." Giving him a curt nod, Oliver departed the room. Once he was out of the lounge, Oliver made his way to the fitness center, figuring since that was closer, he'd try his luck their first. His guess paid off when he entered the fitness area and spotted Alana diving into the pool. He watched as Alana began to swim across the length of the Olympic sized pool and began to walk to the other end, careful not to slip on the wet tile floor, to catch her once she finished her lap. Just as he reached the end of the pool, Alana's head popped up from under the water, followed quickly by her arms as she stopped for a rest. Alana blinked behind the grey framed goggles she was wearing and looked up, surprised to see Oliver standing above her.

"Um, hi," she spoke, her brows furrowing as her face slipped into a puzzled expression.

"Hey… Mind stepping out for a few minutes so we can talk?" Oliver asked quietly, as he shifted from foot to foot. One of his last encounters with Alana had been when she and Jordan were fooling around and he'd walked in on them.

"Uh…sure," Alana said after a moment. "Give me a sec," she added before pushing off the side of the pool and swimming the short distance to the nearest ladder. She hopped out of the pool and moved to the wall to grab one of the towels off of the cart leaning against it. She wrapped the towel around herself before the cool air in the fitness center made her shiver too much, and held it closed around her bathing suit with one hand while she slid her goggles off with the other. "What's up?" She curiously asked as she moved over to where Oliver was standing.

"Here." He commented, handing her a second towel, one that he'd grabbed when he entered the room. "You look cold."

"Thanks," Alana commented as she took the towel.

"No problem." He replied.

"Wanna sit?" She asked, her head tilting to the row of bleachers at the side of the room as she wrapped the second towel around herself.

"Sure." Oliver commented as he moved towards the bench. Alana followed him.

"So, again I ask," Alana commented once she and Oliver were seated, "what's up?" He was quiet for a moment as he thought of the best way to broach the topic.

"Have you ever wanted to be a power ranger?" Oliver asked. Alana stared at him, her right eyebrow quirking upwards slightly at how random his question seemed to her.

"What, are you taking a survey or something?" She snorted.

"Well… yes and no." He shrugged in response.

"Uh…okay, that makes sense….not," Alana muttered. She sighed and shrugged. "Yeah, I guess," she finally answered, "I mean, I took the SPD exam and all that, so, sure, yeah the idea of being a power ranger is kind of cool."

"Just curious… Do you remember your score on the entrance exam?" Oliver questioned. Alana frowned slightly as she scratched the top of her wet hair thoughtfully.

"It's been a while, so I don't remember the score exactly…..but I did pretty well," she shrugged.

"You scored an 1839 out of 1900….I'd say that's a lot better than just 'pretty well' Alana." Oliver stated.

"Oh," Alana said sheepishly. "Well, okay, so I did really well on the exam, what's your point?" She asked.

"Garrett put me in charge of selecting a new ranger team, and I want you on it… You in?" He replied.

"Wait….what?" Alana asked, shocked.

"I want you… To be a Power Ranger." Oliver repeated at a slower pace.

"Seriously?" Alana asked.

"Yes, seriously," Oliver replied, rolling his eyes at how similar hers and Derek's responses were.

"Wow…" She breathed, slightly in awe. "I'm… honored."

"So, is that a yes?" Oliver asked.

"Um… Alright." Alana agreed, a blush appearing on her cheeks. "Thanks Ollie." Oliver nodded.

"Yeah, no problem," he replied, "be at the command center at three, we all need to meet up with Major Garrett," he stated.

"Sure." She nodded softly. "See you later."

"Yup," Oliver nodded as he stood up from the bench.

When Oliver returned to his room a few hours after he left, he was surprised to find Jordan face down on his bed. "You awake man?" He questioned as the door hissed closed behind him. He was met with no response from his friend and roommate. "Jord?" He spoke again. Jordan flinched slightly as he was woken up.

"Huh?" He mumbled, turning to his side.

"Oh shit you were sleeping." Oliver replied, feeling bad that he'd woken his friend.

"I'm awake now," Jordan sighed as he rolled onto his back and sat up. "How'd it go?" He questioned around a yawn.

"It was alright," Oliver replied as he sat on the edge of his bed. "How did it go with my sisters?" He asked.

"Good." Jordan nodded. "They're both pretty stoked." Oliver sighed, frowning slightly.

"I was afraid they would be," he murmured, still having trouble with the idea of his little sisters being on the team, "I was kind of hoping they'd be too freaked out or something, and say no."

"You give your sisters too little credit," Jordon commented.

"So you keep telling me." Oliver grumbled.

"Hopefully one of these times you'll listen," Jordon chuckled.

"Doubtful." Oliver grinned.

"Well, I'll keep telling you until I at least wear you down," Jordon laughed.

"Anyway dude, what time is it?" He questioned around another yawn.

"Just after one," Oliver replied, looking at his watch.

"Hmm… If you don't mind, I think I'm gonna go back to my nap." Jordan commented as he flopped back down on the bed.

"Alright," Oliver commented.

"Wake me up when it's time to go, okay?" Jordan requested as he shut his eyes.

"Yeah, sure," Oliver nodded as he grabbed a book from his bedside table to pass the time with.

There was a loud knock at Derek's door just before 1pm. "It's open!" He called as the doors hissed open and Alana walked in, her hair still slightly damp from her swim. "Hey," he said, smiling at the sight of his girlfriend.

"Hey," Alana replied, glad to see Derek's roommate wasn't around as she moved over to where Derek was lounging on his bed and curled up next to him.

"What's wrong?" He asked as she slipped her arms around his waist and sighed softly.

"Tired." She replied softly. She traced her finger along his chest softly. "Ollie came to find me earlier." Alana mumbled.

"Yeah," Derek nodded, indicating he knew. Alana tilted her head up to look at him.

"He told you he was looking for me?" She asked.

"Well, he came looking for me too….for the same reason he went looking for you," he commented.

"Oh…" She breathed. "So… what was your answer?"

"I don't think I actually gave him a definite answer," Derek recollected, remembering he was too busy being upset about Alana's potential involvement to think about his own. "But, I guess my answer's yes. What about you?" He asked, his stomach churning slightly as he wondered what she might've said to Oliver. Alana giggled softly.

"I'd be stupid to turn the opportunity of a lifetime down." She replied. "I said yes too."

"Oh," Derek commented.

"Oh?" Alana questioned with a frown as she sat up and tilted her head to look at him. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"Nothing," Derek quickly replied. "Just saying…oh," he said.

"What aren't you telling me Derek?" She questioned as she moved into a sitting position, crossing her legs and leaning back against the wall. Derek sighed and shut his eyes, his hand rubbing his forehead slightly.

"It's nothing," he insisted. "I just…..I might not have been a hundred percent on board…..when Oliver said he was going to talk to you about being a ranger," he reluctantly admitted. There was a brief pause.

"Why?" Alana asked with a sigh. Derek put his hand down and opened his eyes to look up at her.

"Because, something huge took out SPD, in its entirety. Obviously the reason a ranger team is being put together is to fight whatever that something is. The idea of someone I just so happen to care for deeply being on the front line of something that dangerous isn't exactly on my list of favorite things in the world."

"Derek…" She murmured with a sigh, dropping her head back with a thud against the wall.

"Look… I understand that you're afraid that I'm going to get hurt, but it comes with the job." She sighed.

"Hence why I wasn't necessarily leaping for joy over you being up for the job," Derek lightly quipped.

"But why?" Alana asked as she turned to face him. "Do you know how high I scored on the exam? 1836 out of 1900… That's practically unheard of when you think of it, and I want to be a ranger." Derek simply sighed and said nothing. Alana pursed her lips, deciding to try a different tactic. She slowly slid back down beside him on the bed and lightly kissed his neck. "And besides, would you really be happy if one of us was on the team and the other wasn't?" She lightly cajoled. "All the times you'd have to run out on me when we're together if something unexpected comes up, leaving me all alone and most likely rather pissed?" She asked. "At least this way neither one of us will be in the position of ditching the other, and we'll be together, having each other's backs."

"Still…" Derek sighed in response.

"Look Derek, I get that you're not happy about it… But come on, think about what I want." Alana replied with a defeated sigh.

"I can't help it if I'm worried about your safety," Derek justified.

"I'm not saying you can't worry….I'm worried about your safety too. But I'm not going to stand in the way of a huge opportunity like this, just because I'm afraid you might get hurt."

"Can we just agree to disagree babe?" He questioned wearily. Alana rolled her eyes and shifted on the bed before climbing over him to get up. "Where are you going?" Derek asked.

"No offense, babe, but I'd rather not be around someone who can't support me right now," Alana replied.

"Ally, don't be like that." He commented as he pushed himself off the bed. "It's not like that."

"Yes, yes it is," Alana argued. "And what's even more infuriating is that you can't manage to support me, and be happy for me getting such a huge opportunity, when I'm more than willing to be happy for you," she accused.

"Ally…." Derek trailed off, reaching for her.

"What?" Alana snapped, brushing his hand away. His head dropped slightly and he sighed.

"I'm sorry." He mumbled softly before shrugging and moving back towards his bed. Alana said nothing and simply stared at him, her anger still bubbling inside of her. There was silence for a moment before Derek sighed. "You're right… I should be happy for you." He admitted. "But Ally… The though of you getting hurt, or god forbid something worse…" He trailed off again.

"You don't think I'm dreading that, too?" She demanded. "I couldn't stand it if something happened to you. But at least I'm trying to be positive, and tell myself that we'll be fighting side by side, as well as the rest of the team. We'll help each other out."

"Yeah." Derek nodded in reply. Alana sighed and crossed her arms over her chest. "Do you forgive me?" Derek hopefully asked.

"That depends," Alana replied.

"On?"

"On whether you're done being a colossal unsupportive jerk," Alana stated. Carefully, Derek pushed himself off his bed and moved back towards where Alana was standing.

"Ally…" He murmured softly. "I'll always support you… I'm sorry that I didn't, and you are right with everything you said… Guess I should listen more and stop making such a big deal out of it." He gently cupped her cheek and gave her a soft smile. Alana stared at him for a long moment before lightly punching his stomach.

"Now that's more like it," she teased, a grin forming on her lips. Derek flinched slightly before groaning.

"I guess I deserved that." He grinned.

"Damn skippy you did," Alana giggled. Smiling, Derek stepped closer to her.

"I am sorry." He murmured against her lips. Alana smiled and slipped her arms around his waist as they kissed. Breaking away a moment later, Derek rested his forehead against hers. "We've got some time to kill before the meeting… How about you, and me congregate on that bed for some cuddling and maybe a nap." He asked softly. Alana giggled.

"You're such a dork," she teased. Derek grinned.

"But I'm your dork," he teased right back.

"True," Alana grinned, giving him a quick peck on the lips. "And to answer your question, I'd love to take a nap with you," she softly commented.

"Perfect." Derek whispered as he kissed her tenderly again. He dropped his hands from her face and took hold of her hands as he led her back over to his bed. Kneeling slightly on one knee, he pushed the covers back and slipped under them. "Come here." He beckoned softly. Alana smiled and kicked off her shoes before climbing into bed next to him. Holding his arms open, she snuggled up against his chest, one arm looping behind his neck, and the other rest against his shoulder. Sighing contently, she smiled as his arms closed firmly around her. "Sleep well Ally." He murmured against her forehead.

"You too, Der," she contently murmured. Smiling, he pressed a gentle kiss to the crown of her head as her breathing evened out. Once she was asleep, he brushed one more kiss against her skin before resting his head on his pillow and drifting off to sleep.

David Garrett stood in the command centre shortly before 3pm, waiting for the recruits to arrive. He could feel nerves building at the thought of sending this group into battle. 'So young.' He thought as the doors hissed open, forcing him to turn around.

"Hey babe." He smiled as Syd walked through the door, carrying an armload of files with her.

"Hey," she replied as she approached him. David gave her a tender smile as she set the files down.

"How you doing?"

"I'm okay," Syd replied with a small nod.

"Are you sticking around to see the new team in its entirety?" David questioned after a few moments. Syd seemed to ponder that for a moment. She wasn't sure if she could handle being close to the new ranger team. The five year old wounds were too deep and hurt too much.

"I don't know," she finally honestly replied.

"Alright…" He nodded. "Actually, I have something I want to run by you later, maybe over dinner?"

"Sure," Syd replied, "what's it about?" She curiously asked.

"A possible promotion of sorts." Came his response. "You'll see." Leaning over, he pressed a soft kiss to her lips. Syd returned the kiss, her brows furrowing slightly in confusion.

"A promotion for you?" She asked.

"You'll see." He grinned. "I don't want to ruin the surprise." Syd frowned but decided not to push the issue.

"Okay," she finally relented.

"It's a good surprise, promise." David smiled gently. "I love you." Syd smiled back at him and gave him a light kiss on the cheek.

"I love you too," she replied. Just as she stepped away, the doors hissed open and Jordan and Oliver walked into the room.

"Welcome gentlemen." David grinned as Syd slowly stepped away. Jordan and Oliver both saluted their superior officer. "I trust there were no problems recruiting your teammates?" David questioned. "No one turned you down?"

"No, sir," Oliver replied.

"Excellent." He replied. "Have a seat." Oliver and Jordan nodded and took their seats at the table in the center of the room. Syd gave David a small wave before quietly departing. Just as the doors hissed open to let Syd leave, Derek and Alana strode into the room, hands intertwined with each other.

"Oh hi Ms. Andrews." Alana smiled.

"Hi," Syd said, giving Alana a small polite smile.

"Come in." David commented, beckoning the latest additions into the room. "Please, have a seat." Alana and Derek nodded and carefully moved past Syd to enter the room. "We're just waiting on the Torres sisters and Adrian to arrive and then we can start." He commented as the couple sat down, hands still intertwined. As if on cue, the door hissed open as Adrian walked in. "Ah Mr. Johnson, right on time." David smiled. Adrian nodded and, seeing that was what the others had done, moved to the table and took his seat. "Now we just need our last two, and we can get started," David commented. Their wait wasn't a long one. A moment later, the doors hissed open for a final time, revealing Willa and Elle. "Welcome," David smiled as the girls walked in.

"Thanks." Elle replied with a soft smile, taking the last two seats. Once all the intended rangers were seated before him, David prepared to begin.

"Welcome… To all of you." He started before pausing. "I'm assuming that Oliver told each of you why you were chosen, and what happened to SPD." The rangers nodded solemnly and waited for him to continue. "There's not much left to do, other then assign you your morphers, which will designate your color and call sign." He continued.

"This is so cool," Elle quietly murmured by Willa's ear. Willa discretely nodded, forcing herself to keep from giggling in excitement.

"As I'm sure you all managed to figure out, Mr. Torres is going to be your leader, and as such will be the Red Ranger." David commented, picking up a morpher. Oliver looked up at hearing his name and sat up a little straighter, realizing he was being assigned his morpher.

"Congratulations." The major commented quietly before handing Oliver his morpher.

"Thank you, sir," Oliver respectfully replied as he accepted the morpher.

"Having to choose what colors each of you would get, other than Lieutenant Torres, was an extremely difficult choice. Having given it a lot of consideration, the blue ranger is going to be Mr. Mitchellson." David commented as he removed the second morpher and handed it to Jordan.

"Thank you, Major Garrett," Jordan replied as he took the morpher.

"You're welcome." He nodded before selecting the next morpher. "Ms. Drake… I have selected you to be the silver ranger." David stated as he presented the morpher to her. Alana smiled and accepted the morpher.

"Thank you sir," she replied before shooting Derek a quick grin and pocketing her morpher. Sending her a sideways glance, Derek squeezed her thigh gently as Major Garrett turned around to grab another morpher.

"Mr. Johnson… You will have the responsibility of being the green ranger." Adrian nodded and accepted the morpher.

"Thank you, sir," he replied as David picked up the next morpher.

"Mr. Stefano," he began, looking over at Derek, "I've selected you to be the black ranger," he stated as he held the morpher out to him.

"Thank you." Derek grinned as he accepted the morpher. Elle and Willa eyed the remaining two morphers in anticipation and curiosity as to which would go to either of them.

"And now, the Torres sisters." David replied, lifting the last remaining morphers out of the case. The sisters excitedly clutched each other's hand under the table while Oliver looked on with a churning feeling in the pit of his stomach as he realized despite his best efforts, his sisters will become rangers that very moment.

"Elle." David commented as he stepped towards her. "You will be the pink ranger." Elle stood up to accept the morpher, doing her best to suppress an excited squeal as she took it.

"Thank you, sir," she said with a wide grin on her face. David nodded and picked up the last remaining morpher.

"And last but not least," he began, turning towards Willa, "Willa, you will be the yellow ranger," he stated as he held the morpher out to her.

"Thank you." Willa replied softly as she took the morpher from him, a blush creeping up her neck. Oliver let loose a small breath he had been holding as he watched his sisters take their morphers.

"Congratulations and thank you, all of you." David smiled as he took a step back.

"Sir?" Alana questioned, sliding forward in her seat. "How do we active our morphers to change?" David was silent for a moment.

"You'll say 'Active Ranger Color' and insert your color." He replied. "So in your case Cadet Drake, you would call 'Active Ranger Silver' in order to change."

"Awesome," Alana grinned.

"Now," David continued. "These morphers are also your communication devices. That being said, I am also issuing ear pieces of each of you that will be required to wear while patrolling the city." He moved back to the table where the case was. "Should a problem arise, these ear pieces, which are connected directly to your morphers, will automatically switch over so that you will hear all communications with the command centre, and your teammates in your ear, as opposed to out of your morpher. A fine protection tool." He paused briefly, looking at his team. "If and when the attacks begin, you will know. If you're within the academy grounds, a loud siren, followed by a page to the command centre will be your alert. Should you be on patrol, your com devices will flash twice, and tell you the location of the attack." David chanced a glance at Oliver, whose hands were clenched tightly in his lap, his lips pressed firmly together. "You are all trained to do this, and I know that you will not let me down… Be safe rangers. Dismissed!" The rangers rose from their seats and saluted their commanding officer before departing.

"Hey, hold up." Jordan commented as everyone began to split off once they'd exited the command centre. "Ollie and I are going off site tonight to celebrate… Maybe it could be our first official team outing together… Who's in?"

"Sounds like fun, count me in," Alana nodded.

"Wish I could." Derek replied with a frown. "I'm scheduled for city patrol from 4 till 12… Can't even leave the base." He sighed.

"Wish I could." Derek replied with a frown. "I'm scheduled for city patrol from 4 till 12… I can only leave the base for that reason."

"Same here," Adrian commented.

"Willa and I have patrol rounds here… We officially can't leave the grounds." Elle replied. "Rain check?"

"Aw, man that sucks," Jordan commented with a frown.

"The three of us can still have fun though." Oliver replied with a grin. "We'll pick you up at 9 at your room Alana?"

"Yeah, sure," Alana hesitantly replied, somewhat unsure if she was still up for going out with just Jordan and Oliver.

"See you then." Jordan grinned as he and Oliver turned and departed, heading back towards their room.

"Yup, see ya," Alana replied as she slipped her hand in Derek's.

"Wanna come over for a bit while I get ready for patrol?" He asked quietly as Elle and Willa slipped away quietly.

"Sure," Alana smiled, leaning into his side slightly.

"Great."

A few hours later, Alana stood in front of her closet, attempting to choose an outfit for the evening. She pulled out a pair of tight jeans and held it up as she pondered whether she would wear it. Sighing, she tossed them on the bed and reached for a skirt, before leaving it to the same fate as the jeans. She pulled out a silver sequin dress and scrutinized it at length. It took her a moment to decide on the dress, and unzip the side before stepping into it. She stopped pulling the dress up when it hit her waist, and quickly pulled the straps of her bra off, making it strapless to match the dress. One she was satisfied with where it sat, she pulled out her curling iron and makeup. It took her just over twenty minutes to curl her hair and pin part of it back, away from her face, and another ten to put on a light coat of makeup.

Once she was done, she grabbed a small black shrug from her closet and slipped it on. Reaching back into her closet to grab a black pair of stilettos, the 'doorbell' to her room rang. "Open!" She called to the automated system, allowing the doors to hiss open. The door hissed open to reveal Oliver and Jordan on the other side.

"You ready Ally?" Jordan called as he moved into her room. "Wow…" He breathed as she slipped both shoes on and stood up.

"Don't start," Alana warned as she picked up her small black purse from her bed.

"Why not?" He grinned.

"Um, because I have a boyfriend," Alana replied, stepping closer to him and poking him in the chest. "And besides, been there done that," she breezily added as she moved past him to leave the room.

"Come on Ally." Jordan chuckled as he followed her. "I just speak the truth."

"Whatever," Alana sighed with a roll of her eyes. As they moved outside the room, they noticed Oliver talking with a cadet. Jordan caught her arm for a moment.

"But in all honest, you do look beautiful tonight." Jordan murmured sincerely. "Derek's a lucky guy." Alana stared at him for a moment, to see if he was still teasing her. Once she was certain he was sincere, she smiled.

"Thanks," she replied.

"Anytime." Jordan replied. He released her arm and the two made their way over to Oliver.

"See you later Tim." Oliver commented as his friend departed. He turned and glanced at Alana. "You look great." He smiled.

"Thanks," Alana replied with a smile. "So, are we ready to go?" She asked.

"You bet." Oliver replied as Jordan held out his arm for Alana to take. Alana rolled her eyes and took hold of his arm as the three made their way down the corridor.

"So where exactly are we going?" She questioned as they turned slightly and came to the escalator bay heading towards the garage.

"Jordan and I thought we might check out that new club in the city," Oliver commented.

"Escapade?" She questioned as they stepped onto the escalator. "I've heard it's supposed to be pretty awesome."

"Yeah, I heard some cadets talking about it the other day," Jordan commented, "been wanting to check it out but hadn't gotten around to it until now."

"Sucks having responsibility sometimes." Alana replied in a teasing tone. Oliver and Jordan laughed.

"Yeah…too bad we just signed up for even more responsibility," Jordan joked, figuring being rangers would give them even less free time than they all had now.

"Oh please." She rolled her eyes. "I'm sure you'll find a way to use your new found status to try and hit on some poor unsuspecting girl, and attempt to charm her into bed." She shot back.

"Hey," Jordan replied, in mock defense, "I would never sully the ranger title by using it just to pick up girls," he added.

"Oh well, more for me then," Oliver joked with a chuckle. "Oh," He added as an after thought. "You won't sully the ranger title to pick up girls, but if my memory serves correctly, you had no problem doing it as a cadet." Oliver grinned.

"I have no idea what you're talking about," Jordan innocently replied as they reached the bottom of the escalator and stepped off.

"Uh huh, sure Jordy." Oliver laughed.

"Oh shut up," Jordan laughed, rolling his eyes as he shoved Oliver's shoulder.

"You two are special." Alana replied, rolling her eyes.

"Maybe, but you adore us anyway." Jordan replied with a grin.

"What in the world gave you the idea I adore you two?" Alana teased as they walked through the garage to Jordan's car.

"It's our good looks." Oliver supplied as he pulled open the backseat door and climbed in. Jordan grinned as he opened the passenger side door and let Alana slide in.

"Don't forget our charm as well." He added.

"Eh," Alana teased as she slid into the passenger seat.

"She doesn't believe us." Oliver commented from the backseat, his tone sad. "She doesn't think we're attractive.. Or charming!" He continued, pretending to cry.

"You wound us, woman!" Jordan dramatically stated as he shut the door for Alana.

"I'm sure you'll both get over it soon enough." She replied, rolling her eyes as a smile pulled across her lips. "Just have a drink and make sure the other party has had a few too." Jordan laughed as he walked around the front of his car to the driver's side.

"You're implying that we can't pick up sober women?" He questioned, as he slid into the driver's seat.

"I'm implying a woman needs a few drinks in her to fall for your 'looks' or 'charms'," Alana giggled.

"Well, I'm curious to know how Jordan managed to land you once upon a time then." Oliver commented cheekily. "I mean, you were only 18 then Alana." Alana instantly stopped giggling as a deep blush formed on her cheeks.

"Lines man… You crossed one…" Jordan commented, shooting Alana a sympathic glance. Alana cleared her throat and looked out her window, willing her face to return to a normal shade.

"Sorry Alana." Oliver replied softly, squeezing her shoulder gently.

"It's okay," Alana sighed after a moment, "I guess I did kind of walk into that one," she commented.

"Just slightly." Oliver grinned. Alana rolled her eyes and reached up to smack Oliver's hand. "Ow!" He whined in response. "Jordy! She hit me!"

"…And you're supposed to be our leader?" Alana teased.

"Children, play nice," Jordan jokingly commanded as he started the engine of his car.

"He started it." Alana replied with a grin. "Besides, I'm the pretty one, you have to side with me."

"I'm his roommate and best friend," Oliver playfully shot back, "he has to side with me."

"And I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place." Jordan commented with a sigh.

"I have the boobs, I win all fights." Alana replied triumphantly, ignoring Jordan's comment.

"That hardly seems fair," Oliver replied.

"Ollie," She commented, turning slightly to face him. "When and if you ever get into a serious relationship, the only correct words your significant other will want to hear you say, is 'yes dear.'" She grinned.

"Well, the only 'yes, dear,' you'll be getting from me is, 'yes, dear….you're being an idiot," he replied with a cheeky grin.

"And you'll be single forever." Jordan chimed in.

"You're one to talk," Oliver commented, lightly hitting his friend's shoulder.

"Oh?" Jordan replied as he pulled up to a stop light. "Do share my friend."

"Well, I'm not seeing you swimming in female affections these days," Oliver chuckled.

"I'm trying to be respectful of our space." Jordan replied. "That and just because you don't see it, doesn't mean it doesn't happen." Oliver snorted at his response.

"Yeah, right," Oliver chortled.

"I'd have to agree with him Jordy." Alana replied with a shrug. "I haven't heard any rumors about you lately."

"Well, I guess I'm just being that sneaky," Jordan grinned.

"I doubt it." She replied with a smile.

"Hey, doubt it all you want, doesn't mean you're right," Jordan replied as he turned the corner towards the club.

"Whatever you want to think Jordy." Alana giggled as she patted his thigh gently. Jordan simply rolled his eyes as he pulled up behind the club to the parking area.

"Looks busy." Oliver commented as the car rolled to a stop and they climbed out.

"Yeah," Alana agreed as she caught sight of the line outside the door.

"It won't be long." Jordan replied as he moved around the front of the car and fell into step beside Alana, Oliver flanking her other side. The three rangers walked up to the curb outside the club and headed to the back of the line. They chatted as the line quickly moved towards the door. "Wasn't that long of a wait." Jordan stated as he handed his ID to the bouncer. Alana and Oliver nodded as they fished their IDs out and handed them over to the bouncer. As the bouncer handed their ID's back, his eyes lingered on Alana just a little too long, causing Jordan to slip his arm around her waist and pull her into the club, followed closely by Oliver.

"Why don't you guys grab a table, and I'll grab drinks for us?" Oliver asked once they were inside.

"Sounds good," Jordan yelled back to be heard over the music in the club. Alana just nodded as Jordan led her towards the staircase leading up to the second level. Once they reached the second floor, there were able to find a table near the back. Jordan removed his hand from Alana's waist as he pulled a chair out for her.

"Thank you." She murmured softly as she sat down.

"You're welcome," he replied as he took one of the remaining empty seats at the table.

"I'm sorry if what Ollie said earlier bothered you… Regarding us…" Jordan commented.

"It's okay," Alana replied.

"You sure?" He asked. "I just want to make sure that you're not uncomfortable… I think we'd make really good friends." Alana looked over at him and quirked an eyebrow at him skeptically.

"Really? With our history?" She asked. "Don't you think we're bound to have awkward moments?" Jordan shrugged.

"Have you been feeling awkward tonight?" He asked. "I mean, other than Oliver's comment." Alana thought about his question for a moment before shaking her head.

"No, I guess not," she honestly replied.

"I think it could work." Jordan shrugged. "No, scratch that. It would and will work… As long as you're willing to give it a try." Alana considered his words for a moment before nodding.

"All right," she agreed. "I guess I'm willing to try."

"Great." He grinned as Oliver returned with six bottles of beer tucked in his hands. "Need some help with those?" Jordan chuckled as he stood up to help Oliver.

"Sure." Oliver grinned. "You okay with beer Ms. Fancy?" He teased Alana as he sat down.

"Of course," Alana said, poking her tongue out at him before grabbing one of the bottles.

"Dude, she watches sports, and hangs out with the guys… Of course she drinks beer." Jordan replied, rolling his eyes as he took a sip of his beer.

"My apologies," Oliver laughed as he grabbed a bottle for himself.

"I should hope so!" Alana giggled before taking a sip of her beer.

"Well, guys," Oliver said, holding his bottle up, "shall we toast to the new team?" He asked.

"Or toast the fact that we're not stuck working tonight like the rest of our team?" Alana giggled.

"Here's to the poor suckers working tonight… And to the defeat of evil." Jordan suggested.

"Here, here," Oliver nodded as the three clinked their bottles together.

"Agreed!" Alana smiled. The three chuckled and sipped their drinks. The group spent the next hour chatting and enjoying their beverages before Oliver glanced at Alana.

"Wanna dance?" He asked and she snorted.

"Ollie, sweetie… When you dance, you look like you're having a seizure… I'd rather dance with two-left feet Mitchellson over there." She giggled.

"Ouch," Jordan laughed as he took a sip of his beer.

"I resent that." Oliver huffed as he took a sip of his beer.

"I only speak the truth," Alana sweetly replied.

"Well," Jordan jumped in. "If you won't dance with the king of seizure dancing, I'd love to take you for a spin on the floor if you're interested." Alana chuckled and set her half empty drink down.

"Alright then," she replied.

"Like that's fair." Oliver grumbled. "I call favoritism."

"You'll get over it." Alana giggled as she slipped out of her chair and stood beside Jordan.

"See ya," Jordan grinned as he placed a hand on Alana's back and guided her away from the table. Oliver rolled his eyes and sipped his beer as the two walked down the stairs and headed to the dance floor. Jordan and Alana danced together for over an hour before he leaned in towards her.

"I'm gonna grab a drink, do you want anything?" He questioned.

"Nah, I'm good, thanks," Alana replied.

"Alright." He nodded. Just as Jordan began to step away, Alana spotted a group of her friends near the edge of the dance floor.

"Hey, if you wanna go chill with Ollie, I see a couple of girls from the academy over there." She commented. Jordan looked over to where she was gesturing and recognized a few fellow cadets.

"Alright, I see you're done with me, huh?" Jordan teased.

"You'll get over it." She giggled, patting his arm. "You know where to find me." Jordan laughed and shook his head as he continued on his way to the bar. Alana quickly made her way through the crowd to merge with her other group of friends. The group danced for nearly another hour before a few other people, specifically men, began to slip into their circle. Alana didn't pay them any mind and simply danced with one of her friends.

"Hey beautiful." One of the guys stated as two approached her and her friend. "How you doin?"

"Fine," Alana disinterestedly replied.

"Only fine?" He asked as he moved behind Alana, and his friend slipped behind her friend. "You're too gorgeous to be just fine." He murmured.

"Not interested," Alana firmly stated as she shifted away from him.

"It's just one dance." He stated as he followed her.

"I said, not interested," Alana stated again, louder, as she tried to move towards the stairs to go back to Oliver and Jordan.

"Why the hell not?" He stated, angrily as he grabbed her wrist. Alana glared at him and tried to pull out of his grasp.

"Gosh, with such a charming personality, who knows," Alana snapped.

From upstairs, Jordan glanced over the railing. "Alana's been gone a long time." He stated to Oliver. "Wonder where she is."

"No idea man." Oliver replied, tearing himself away from a conversation with a girl who'd come up to them nearly an hour before. "She's probably still on the dance floor, why don't you go find her?" Jordan nodded, figuring he'd leave Oliver alone to chat up the girl.

"Alright, I'll be right back," he commented as he stood up from his chair. It didn't take long for him to reach the bottom of the stairs. He took a glance around, before spotting the group Alana had previously pointed out to him before he'd left her. As he approached the group to see if they knew where she'd gone to, the crowd parted slightly and he caught a glimpse of Alana's face, and a guy behind her. Just as Jordan went to call out for her, the guy caught her arm and spun her back around. Jordan frowned, not liking the way the guy had grabbed his friend and moved through the crowd to get to Alana. He could see her arms moving, pulling against his grip. Just as he went to step in, someone tripped into the guy, knocking him off balance, forcing him to let go of Alana. Alana, who had been pulling against his grip, stumbled backwards, slipped on some water and went crashing to the floor. Jordan rushed forward as he heard her yelp in pain over the music in the club.

"Ally!" He commented as he dropped to his knees beside her. "Are you okay?" Alana looked up at him; a flash of relief crossed her expression before Jordan noticed she was cradling her left hand to her chest.

"I cut my hand," she replied, her gaze shifting to the piece of broken glass on the floor she had hit when she fell.

"Shit." He breathed as he saw the blood. "Lets get you off the floor so I can take a better look okay?" Jordan stated as he slipped his arm around her shoulders.

"Okay," Alana replied as she let Jordan help her up to her feet. Carefully, Jordan pushed through the crowd before leading her back up the stairs. "Thanks," she murmured as Jordan ushered her up the stairs.

"Anytime Ally." Came the reply as he squeezed her shoulder gently. Alana smiled at him just as the two reached the top of the stairs.

"Hey, you found her." Oliver commented as they approached them. "What's wrong?" he asked as he saw Alana's pale skin and Jordan holding her shoulders tightly. Jordan settled Alana back into her chair and sighed.

"Some asshole down there made her fall and hurt her hand on some broken glass," Jordan replied.

"Shit really?" Oliver asked as he stepped towards her. "How bad?"

"Pretty bad," Alana commented around a wince.

"Let me see." Jordan replied as he grabbed a chair and sat in front of her. Wordlessly he took her hand and stretched her fingers out gently. He winced sympathetically as he saw the gash in the center of her palm.

"Ow." She whimpered as he helped to flex her hand.

"Sorry," Jordan replied.

"Oh wow, that looks bad," the girl Oliver had been talking to commented as she caught a glance of Alana's hand. "I think the bartender has a first aid kit downstairs, I can go ask for it, if you want," she offered.

"That'd be awesome." Oliver smiled softly at her. The girl nodded and set her drink down on the table before walking away and heading down the stairs. She returned a few moments later with the kit.

"Here we go." She commented, setting it down beside Jordan.

"Thanks," Jordan replied as he opened up the box. He carefully pulled out the tweezers, rubbing alcohol, cotton balls, antiseptic and gauze. Alana cringed, not looking forward to the stinging she was about to experience.

"I'm gonna clean it with water first." He told her as he grabbed the cup of water he'd left sitting on the table earlier. "Then I need to take the glass out."

"Alright," Alana said. He dumped a fair portion of the water over her hand, effectively washing a good amount of blood away. He could see three medium sized pieces of glass embedded in her small hand.

"This might hurt a bit," he warned as he picked up the tweezers.

"Oh god." Alana replied as she closed her eyes. Hoping to help, Oliver slipped his hand into her uninjured one and squeezed it gently. Jordan carefully grasped one of the pieces of glass with the tweezers and gently pulled it out of her wound, trying to cause the least amount of pain as possible. Alana squeezed her eyes closed tightly as she gripped Oliver's hand tightly, but remained silent otherwise. Once the first piece of glass was out, Jordan let it drop on the table before going in to grasp the next piece. They repeated the process again, however, Jordan's hand slipped at the last moment, accidentally scraping her hand further. "Ow." She whimpered, squeezing Oliver hand tighter than before as tears sprung to her eyes.

"Fuck, I'm sorry," Jordan quickly stated.

"It's okay." She nodded after a moment, taking a deep breath. "It's not your fault. Oliver reached over with his free hand and gently rubbed her back.

"Hey, I know what'll help." The random girl commented as the waitress reappeared with a tray of drinks. "A shot of tequila will help you." Alana stared at her with a quirked eyebrow.

"What?" She asked.

"It'll help calm your nerves." The girl replied as she paid and tipped the waitress. She slid the shot glass close to Alana, who continued to stare at her.

"It couldn't hurt," Oliver shrugged as he released her hand.

"I doubt that." She muttered under her breath as she took the glass and tipped it to her mouth. She downed the drink in one gulp, shuddering slightly at the taste. "I'm going to regret that later." She mumbled only loud enough for Jordan to hear as she set the shot glass down. Jordan bit the inside of his lip as he gripped the tweezers again.

"Ready Ally?" he asked, holding her fingers gently.

"As I'll ever be," Alana replied after taking a deep breath. Carefully, he lowered the tweezers to the piece of glass and squeezed it tightly.

"One, two, three." He counted before pulling the glass upwards. Alana winced as the glass slid out of her wound.

"Fuck." She breathed out as he tossed the glass on the table and a pool of blood appeared in her palm.

"Almost done," Jordan assured her as he gripped the last piece of glass with the tweezers.

"Make it quick." She ground out, squeezing Oliver's hand for the final time. Oliver gently patted her hand with his free hand as she gripped his other hand tightly. Jordan quickly yanked the remaining piece of glass from her palm and set it and the tweezers on the table.

"Done with that." He stated as he glanced up at Alana, whose eyes were squeezed shut.

"Great." She commented, her voice breaking as a tear slipped down her cheek.

"I'm going to clean your hand with the alcohol, it might sting," Jordan warned as he unscrewed the top off the bottle of alcohol.

"That I know." Alana shot back as he poured a fair sized amount over a cotton ball. Jordan gently pressed the cotton ball to her hand and cleaned her wound. Groaning loudly in response, Alana squeezed Oliver's hand tighter as pain shot through her hand.

"Ouch." She muttered after a moment, taking a deep breath.

"Almost done," Jordan commented as he swiped away the last of the blood.

"Thank god." Came her response as he tossed the bloodied piece of cotton onto the table. Once he was done with the alcohol, Jordan opened up the tube of antiseptic cream and squeezed some out on her hand. He used another cotton ball to spread it out carefully before reaching for the gauze and gently wrapping her hand. Once he had looped the material around her hand a few times, he grabbed some tape and secured it.

"All done Ally." Jordan grinned at her, patting the back of her hand gently.

"Thank god," Alana sighed.

"You okay?" Oliver asked as her grip loosened on his arm.

"Yeah, I guess," Alana replied.

"Wanna go home?" Jordan asked as he moved to sit beside her. Alana nodded.

"Yeah, that'd be great," she replied.

"You're leaving?" The random girl questioned Oliver as Jordan slipped his arm around Alana's shoulders. Oliver nodded in response.

"Yeah, I'll call you though." He commented as he fell into step beside Alana. The girl pouted slightly as she watched the three moved towards the stairs.

"Please tell me you're not going to call her." Jordan stated once they were outside and moving towards his car.

"What's wrong with her?" Oliver asked as they reached Jordan's car and he opened the passenger side door for Alana.

"For starters, she fed me shots." Alana quipped as Jordan helped her into the car. "And she was dressed like a hooker too."

"She was trying to help," Oliver replied, "and hey, she was nice enough to go fetch the first aid kit," he pointed out.

"Even still." Jordan replied as he shut the passenger side door and moved around the back of the car. "You can do so much better." Oliver simply sighed and rolled his eyes as he climbed into the back seat of the car. The ride back to the academy was fairly quiet, leaving the group to mull over their thoughts. Once Jordan had parked his car, they climbed out and headed upstairs. "Y'know.." He stated as they reached the main floor and started up the next escalator towards the dorms. "I've got an idea."

"Should we be worried?" Oliver chuckled.

"You live with him, you should automatically know better." Alana replied with a grin.

"You two are a riot," Jordan dryly replied.

"You love us." She commented, poking him in the stomach. "Now this idea?"

"I was thinking… That since you had such a crap night, maybe to cheer you up… We could sneak you into Derek's room." Jordan replied with a shrug. Alana stared at him, a smile forming on her lips.

"Really?" She asked.

"Sure, why not." He replied with a shrug. Oliver cast a glance over at Jordan, his eyebrows raised.

"Thank you." Came her response as she leaned against him in a half-hug.

"No problem," Jordan replied as he returned the embrace. It wasn't long before they arrived at Derek's door. Reaching over, Oliver pressed the small buzzer to alert him that he had company. After a few minutes the door slid open to reveal Derek in a pair of boxers and a t-shirt, sleepily rubbing his eye.

"Hey…what's' going on?" He asked.

"Hey Der." Alana commented softly before slipping into his room. "I'm gonna change." Derek frowned as she brushed past him, noting that her face was pale and there were tear marks down her cheeks. As she helped herself to his dresser drawers, he noticed the gauze wrapped around her hand. He waited a moment for her to take what she wanted and move into the washroom before he turned and looked at Oliver and Jordan.

"What the fuck did you do to her?" He spat at Jordan, stepping forward and out of his room so that the doors hissed shut behind him. Jordan raised his eyebrows, surprised by Derek's reaction.

"I didn't do anything to her," he replied.

"Bullshit." Derek snarled as he stepped forward. "She's been crying and her hand is bandaged up. I swear to god if you hurt her, I will break your legs."

"And you automatically assume I hurt her?" Jordan hissed.

"Stop it." Oliver interjected. "Jordan didn't hurt Alana." He commented, defending his best friend. "If anything, he saved her. She was on the dance floor with some of the other cadets she knew, and this guy wouldn't leave her alone. Long story short, he grabbed her, she tripped, fell and sliced her hand open something fierce." He took a momentary pause. "Jordan was the one who helped her back upstairs and pulled the glass out and cleaned her wound. So don't even try and blame this on him, because he's the one who helped her out… You owe him a huge thank you." Derek stared at Oliver and Jordan for a long moment, unsure how to respond.

"You did?" Derek questioned after a moment, his tone quiet. Jordan rolled his eyes.

"So sorry to not live up to your assumption of being some asshole that hurt your girlfriend," he replied.

"Sorry." Came the response a few moments later. "I shouldn't have jumped to conclusions."

"No, you shouldn't have," Oliver commented. Derek shifted from foot to foot nervously for a moment.

"Thanks for being there for her." He stated, looking Jordan in the eyes. "I hate to think of what would have happened if you weren't there."

"Don't mention it," Jordan replied.

"Anyway, we'll leave you alone." Oliver stated, nudging Jordan with his arm. "Have a good night and tell Ally to feel better."

"I will, thanks," Derek replied. He watched as they headed away from his room, before turning slightly and entering his private code to gain access back into his room. After a pause, the doors hissed open and Derek walked back into the room to see Alana sitting on his bed, legs tucked under her. "Hey," he murmured, moving over to the bed and sitting beside her.

"Hi." She replied softly as he slipped his arms around her and rested his forehead against hers.

"How are you feeling?" He asked as he gently rubbed her back.

"Tired." Alana replied as she let her head slip down to his shoulder and she moved closer to him. "Maybe a little drunk too." She giggled softly. Derek chuckled quietly and gently squeezed her to him.

"Well then, shall we go to bed?" He asked, lightly kissing her cheek.

"Not yet." Came the response. There was a momentary silence before Alana spoke again. "I wish you'd been there." She commented quietly. Derek kissed her cheek again.

"Me too," he replied.

"How's your hand?" Carefully, he lifted her injured hand and looked at it.

"A little sore," she murmured, wincing slightly. Frowning, Derek glanced down at her.

"Do you want me to get you some pain meds?" He asked, wanting to make sure she'd be comfortable enough to sleep. Alana shook her head in response.

"No, the tequila that floozy gave me should take charge soon enough." She replied, rolling her eyes. Pulling away from her slightly, Derek glanced at his girlfriend.

"Tequila?" He stated. "I thought you hated tequila… Something about it making you sick."

"I didn't choose it," Alana replied, "the floozy thought it'd help when Jordan was taking the pieces of glass out of my hand."

"Well… I hope that it does kick in soon and it doesn't make you sick." Derek commented softly as he pressed a kiss to her lips.

"You and me both," she sighed as she snuggled in his embrace.

"Why don't we lie down?" He suggested as he rubbed her back softly. "You'll be more comfortable."

"Okay," Alana agreed as she began to shift beside him to lie down. Once she had situated herself in a comfortable position, Derek moved down beside her and wrapped his arms around her.

"Night babe." He smiled.

"Night," she murmured, moving closer to him. The couple drifted to sleep a short while later.