lilyleia78: Adam grabbing Turbo powers, captioned embrace destiny (PR: Embrace destiny)
[personal profile] lilyleia78
Title: The First Duty
Fandom: MMPR
Pairing: Rocky/Adam
Rating: PG
Prompt: [livejournal.com profile] prsw22 prompt #4 - commitment and #6 - family
Summary This is a companion piece to Where Love is Great. Credit for this goes to [livejournal.com profile] tsukino_akume who suggested a sequel from Adam's POV.

The First Duty

Adam meant what he said about always being a ranger. He couldn’t have turned down this assignment even if he wanted to. The rangers were a large, extended (somewhat dysfunctional) family, and Adam believed in taking care of his own. If the loss of Operation Overdrive had lead to any of his family coming to harm, Adam would not have been able to live with himself. And Rocky was family in more ways than most.

“So what are the other rangers like?” Rocky asked him the first time he called home.

“Young,” Adam answered truthfully. “The oldest one, Tori, is Justin’s age.”

“Justin’s not that much younger than us. You need to stop thinking of him as a twelve year old.”

Adam thought he heard an edge of defensiveness in Rocky’s voice. Justin was his replacement after all. The black ranger clarified himself. “No, you’re right. It’s not so much about age as experience. With the exception of Bridge, who’s from the future, they all have only one year of service. Makes me feel ancient.”

Silence met him on the other end. He was afraid that he’d somehow made the situation worse but then, “There’s someone from the future? But not one of Wes’s teammates?”

Rocky swore he didn’t want the power back, but Adam wondered. He had seen the look in the former red ranger’s eyes when Tommy asked him to stay on Earth during the Serpentera Incident. There had been lots of good reasons for Rocky to stay – his bad back, Jason and Tommy were already there to represent their teams, they needed a leader to rally the rest of the rangers should the moon mission fail. But good reasons didn’t make Rocky feel less rejected. This time there were no reasons. Adam was called; Rocky wasn’t. Adam answered the call for both of them.

Adam grinned. “Yeah, Bridge. He’s from an organization called SPD. He isn’t supposed to risk the timeline with details, but…he slips sometimes. It sounds like a military/police organization that selects power rangers. Or commands them or something. I’m not too clear on that. Bridge says he’s been green, blue and now red ranger. Apparently, those were all promotions.”

Adam could practically hear Rocky thinking that over. “Does that mean I got demoted? You’re just messing with me, aren’t you?”

Adam couldn’t contain a chuckle before continuing, “Hey, I haven’t told you the best part. His mentor is a dog. And their commander is a bird.”

“Now I know you’re just screwing with me.”

“This from the man with a giant floating head as mentor.”

The last time he had been active without Rocky things had been very difficult for both of them. Rocky started having nightmares. Adam tried to compensate by not telling Rocky all the details of his latest ordeal. He didn’t know that this actually made it worse, and ranger life had a way of seeping into real life anyway. Rocky couldn’t even watch Adam coach soccer without also watching him dash away to danger. So Rocky started making excuses to avoid not just Adam but all his old friends. Adam let him; it was simpler.

Rocky laughed and conceded the point. Then, returning to his original question, “Are the other ranger’s any good?”

Adam heard the subtext. Can they keep you safe? He answered both questions. “Yes. These creatures we’re fighting haven’t been able to get good hits on any of us. We’ll all be fine.”

“Promise?”

Adam hesitated, “I won’t take any unnecessary risks. I promise to keep you, me and the world safe.”

Rocky sighed in resignation. “You should really learn to set smaller goals.”

It was easier once he’d passed on his own powers. When he’d told Rocky the news, he’d seen sympathy, sorrow, and relief in his lover’s eyes. The break from rangering gave him a better understanding of Rocky’s feelings. It was difficult to see the new team take a beating, impossible not to wonder if his team could have been better, smarter, or faster. The perspective it gave him into Rocky’s psyche was worth it. They began to talk again, and Adam discovered a distance between them he’d been too busy to notice before. He’d almost lost his family before it was fully formed. He was determined not to let it happen again.

Adam smiled. “As soon as I’ve found a way to repair the Overdrive Ranger’s connection to the morphing grid, I’ll be home. Then I’ll go back to my smaller goals of running a successful dojo and making a certain over-grown ape happy.”

“Speaking of, I’d better go. Someone has to keep the business running smoothly while you’re off playing superhero again. I love you, frog-boy.”

“Ribbit.”

Weeks later life was returning to normal. They had a robot staying in their dojo and new family on speed dial. Rocky’s nightmares had started again, but they would fade. Most importantly, there was no distance this time. Lesson learned.

The complete list of my Power Rangers fic can be found here.

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February 2015

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