Delicate

I don't know where this came from. Seriously, I've got nothing.

Summary: Eric wonders about the things he really needs to survive. Eventually it leads to Wes.

Not what you're expecting, I don't think. It's mostly just Eric being angsty.

Disclaimer: I don't own Power Rangers, or the song.


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What do we need? As humans, what do we really need to survive?

Eric knew the basics, had been undeniably aware of them throughout his early childhood in a mad struggle to attain them. Food. People needed food to eat because your body could only go so long without its ever important fuel before it decided it didn't feel like working anymore. But you couldn't have just any food. You couldn't just pick the cheapest, most attainable option and stick to it. No, your body needed a variety, it needed different things or else the balance would be wrong and that machine of meat and bones would weaken and decay into a pathetic pile of nothing. Without food you were weak. Without the right food, you were weaker.

So it was inarguable that food was pretty damn important in the long run.

And shelter, that was a given. You need some kind of protection from the elements or else you'd die from exposure. Some place safe, some place fortified. Some place you could build a home. Not that homes were necessarily essential to one's survival, they were more like the icing on the cake, a perk, a nice bonus. There was a distinct difference between a home and a shelter. A home had things in it, had a sense of constancy, of pride. You could build a home. Homes were yours, singular, others could come in it, but it would never be theirs.

But you didn't really need a home. A home, a real one with people, others who gladly called that same humble abode "home", it was more of a long range goal. Something to strive for.

But it wasn't necessary.

Shelter was necessary. And you could pretty much get a shelter by huddling under an abandoned bridge. Easy as that. A cardboard box could be a shelter, and abandoned building could do the job of covering your head just as fine as anything else. Sure, it wouldn't be the most glorious of set ups, but it would fulfill the need.

The easiest way to accomplish filling those needs was with money, so Eric supposed that in modern society he could add that to the list as well. If you had enough money you could buy the right food, get a real shelter with running water and heat and neighbors. You could buy education which would improve your odds for getting more money and improving the quality of the food and shelter and so on.

And that's really all the physical body needs right? To keep fueled up and in good health, to be protected, to stay strong. Yet, Eric knew that you couldn't simply fulfill just those physical needs and call it a day. There were other things, mental things, emotional needs that had to be satisfied. Humans wasted so much time just waiting. Waiting to get from point A to point B before they could continue and in those lulls he couldn't help but think and stew. And because his mind didn't have an off switch and was continual just…going, it needed to be happy too.

Stupid phrasing, a happy brain, but it was just so easy to get angry at…life. He guessed would be the way for it.

But anger killed time. At least if he was thinking he was doing something right? He hated wasting time.

So eventually he came to the conclusion that to avoid the creation of these useless and unnecessary emotions that maybe he needed a few more things.

Like Respect. He acknowledged the fact that respect needed to be earned, that it was not a privilege but a gift. But there just didn't ever seem to be enough of it. Not for him. He had struggled all his life, just trying to get a few scraps of respect for his work, for his dedication, and for the most part he had ended up with nothing. It got to the point where he stopped waiting to earn someone's respect and started demanding it. He deserved it. Maybe not a lot, maybe not as much as he wanted, but he deserved something. If they weren't going to give it to him he was just going to take it.

Maybe human beings as a whole didn't need respect, but Eric did. Just a little. For his privacy, for his work.

For what he wanted.

The last need…the most foreign, the one he debated over the longest, was the need for others. For friends, for a family. A support system. Was it really necessary? Eric had been convinced for a long time that people sought out friendship out of a desperate attempt not to feel alone in the world. To convince themselves that if they tangled their lives with someone else they had some kind of meaning. If they affected and changed this other person's life they had a purpose. People had friends because they couldn't handle isolation. Because what was there in isolation? In isolation you weren't affecting anyone, you weren't changing anything. When isolated people had to acknowledge the fact that in the grand scheme of things they were nothing, that they were not special. That there was no higher purpose.

And as a response to this people surrounded and submersed themselves with all these connections, so desperate. Needy. Disgusting. Weak.

At least, that's what Eric had thought.

He had to watch the other rangers for a long time before he managed to figure out the upside to this dependency. He was still right; everything he had thought before it was just…there was another side to it. They weren't burdening each other with the simple need of avoiding loneliness. They liked each other. Things they did seemed better with others. Like they enhanced the experience, or something. Basic things like cleaning windows and washing cars and raking leaves, stupid things, unimpressive things, they did gladly with smiles simply because they had each other. There was company.

They lived in a crappy abandoned clock tower with basically nothing, but Eric had never once seen a time where they seemed unhappy with these circumstances.

They had each other.

Relationships…company, Eric eventually acknowledged the fact that these were needs. People needed other people, not as a pleasant gift or a temporary indulgence, but long term, they needed them.

Eric tried to warm up to them. Or, now, have them warm up to him, but it was hard. Old habits didn't die easily. He was out of practice (had there ever been any), but he didn't give up. That was the one thing he refused to do. He might have butted heads with Wes over whatever the monster of the day was until the battle was over, and even a little after that, but Eric didn't stop trying. Even though it didn't get him far. Looking back on it, he's pretty sure it hurt more than it helped. The other rangers slowly started growing on him, until there was this (he couldn't call it fondness, he just couldn't)…well, they weren't that bad. But the feeling wasn't mutual. It seemed that the closer he held them the farther they pushed him away because they didn't believe him, or because they didn't want him, until he was becoming some kind of pathetic pre-teen sob story. And that brought back the anger. Not that it was ever really gone.

But who was he to turn away an old friend?

It was easy to take shelter in the anger. It was easy to be in the right (because he was so sick of being rejected and wrong). He was Eric Meyers, all he needed was respect. He didn't need other people. He didn't need relationships. He didn't need someone to share his triumphs and failures with (though the former were bound to be extraordinary and the latter few and far between). He didn't need Lucas and his stupid cars or Katie's cheer or Trip's optimism. He didn't need Jen to be his leader, and he didn't need Wes. He had never needed that punk.

Eric hadn't needed him then and he didn't need him now. He didn't need his friendship, or his joint pride in beating a monster, or his stupid smiles when something goes right or someone says something funny or just because. Eric didn't need Wes' stubbornness, his stupid need to keep going when a battle was already lost, and he certainly didn't need Wes'-

He didn't need Wes' anything.

So it didn't hurt to watch him and the pink one being all googly-eyed at each other, because it wasn't like Eric cared. Eric was free from all attachments, especially certain blue-eyed, blond-haired numbskulls that took everything they had for granted and never had to fight for anything.

Eric had been fighting all his life. Mostly for the basic things. Food, shelter, money. Respect. And he barely got any of it.

Not without him having to give everything he had.

He had nothing left to fight with for these extra things that other people needed. The friends. The relationships. A family.

So he didn't need Wes. He didn't need any of them.

Which, he supposed, was fortunate.

Because he couldn't get them.


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Endnotes:

Inspired by Damien Rice's song "Delicate" for whatever reasons. I seriously don't know where this came from, I just ran with it.

I don't know if you got what you were expecting but I hope you enjoyed it.

EDIT: Alright, I'm a failure. I've had this story up for months and just noticed I had written Kelsey instead of Katie. Which…yeah, bad Paisley.

Bad, bad Paisley.

Until next time.