Disclaimer: Saban owns Power Rangers, I don't. La de da...

Author's Note: Ok, the song "The Hardest Thing" is by 98 Degrees. I left out a few lines here and there, but it's still the same song :) I thought it would go perfectly with this episode cause well..... you'll see :) This isn't a very long story, but it's sort of essential to the series.

The Hardest Thing
By Crystal Maiden

"Zhane? What's the matter?" Karone asked him sweetly.

Zhane closed his eyes. *How am I going to do this? I love her and I wouldn't do anything in the world to hurt her. She so sweet and innocent...* his thoughts told him.

He opened his eyes and looked deep into hers.

We both know that I shouldn't be here,
This is wrong.
And Baby it's killin' me, it's killin' you
Both of us tryin' to be strong
I've got somewhere else to be
Promises to keep
Someone else who loves me
And trusts me fast asleep

"Karone, there's something I gotta tell you." Zhane said hesitantly, but forcing himself to say the words he never wanted to say to her.

I've made up my mind There is no turning back

"Zhane what is it? You can tell me anything," she said and touched his cheek with her hand, "I trust you."

Zhane closed his eyes painfully, holding back all his emotions that were fighting him to forget Andros and being a ranger, and just holding the person that held his heart.

Zhane picks up her hands in his again, "I regret it."

Karone smiled at him, "Regret what?"

*No! No! Don't say it!* Zhane's mind told him.

"The kiss." Zhane told her in a calm voice.

She stood there shocked for a moment, then slipped her hands out of his and put them to her sides.

Zhane looked at her, fighting the urge to hold her and tell her he didn't mean it.

She saw tears come to her eyes, and that broke Zhane's heart.

It's the hardest thing
I'll ever have to do
To look you in the eye
And tell you I don't love you
It's the hardest thing
I'll ever have to lie
To show no emotion
when you start to cry

"Please, Karone. Please don't cry." Zhane pleaded with her trying to fight back his own tears, he reached his hand up to stroke her cheek but she knocked it away.

I can't let you see
What you mean to me
When my hands are tied
And my hearts not free
We're not meant to be......

"Don't touch me." Karone said sternly.

Zhane turned around slowly and started walking off of the bridge.

It's the hardest thing
I'll ever have to do
To turn around and walk away
Pretending I don't love you

It seemed like his feet weighed a thousand tons as he walked out of the room, fighting will all his might not to cry.

He walked through the door and saw Andros standing there looking at him.

"You can go in, and act like the supportive big brother now." Zhane told him sarcastically and walked to his quarters.

Andros saw Karone run crying into her quarters, which were right by Zhane's.

*What have I done?* Andros asked himself, with a hint of regret. _______________________________________________________________

As soon as Karone's door closed she started sobbing.

But she wasn't crying about what Zhane had said. She knew Andros had forced him to do that, and it must've hurt Zhane pretty bad to say those things. She was crying because her brother, her own flesh and blood that she had just re-united with, didn't consider her feelings in this situation at all. And that hurt worse than anything in the world.

*God, he is so selfish!* Karone thought to herself, *It never occurred to him that he had nothing to do with what happens between me and Zhane.*

But she had to face the facts. If she had learned one thing about Andros from the small amount she had been on the ship, it was that he was extremely stubborn. And he did not let things go easily.

*He's not even going to let me and Zhane talk.* she thought sadly, *He's going to make our lives miserable.*

She laid down on her bed, and fell into a deep, sad, dreamless sleep. ___________________________________________________________________

Zhane paced the floor in his quarters, and ran his hand through his hair.

"God, how could I do that?!" he asked himself angrily.

"How could I hurt her like that?" he asked himself again.

But he new exactly why he had. Andros. His best friend. Well, used to be best friend anyway. Andros had always been there for him. If he saw Zhane unhappy, he always knew how to cheer him up.

*But this time,* Zhane thought, *He want's to hurt us. And he doesn't even care.*

Zhane shook his head at that thought, *No. Andros would never hurt anyone intentionally. Especially Karone. There must be something bugging him, and I'm gonna find out what.* ______________________________________________________________

"DECA, call everyone onto the bridge." Andros commanded.

"Affirmative." DECA responded.

"Thank you." Andros commented and sorted through a bunch of papers.

A few minutes later Cassie, TJ, Ashley, Carlos, and finally Zhane walked into the room.

"What's the problem?" TJ asked.

"Yeah, we were in the middle of a Hawaiian cruise on the simu-deck so this better be an intergalactic emergency." Cassie joked.

"Well I was-" he started, then looked around the room, "Where's Karone?"

Everyone looked around, then Zhane said, "Well you know. Maybe she didn't feel like it. You know, she said she wasn't feeling very well awhile ago."

Zhane glared at him and Andros swallowed hard.

"Is she okay? Maybe we should go check on her." Ashley offered.

"That's okay Ash, I'm fine." A voice from behind them said.

They all turned around and saw Karone standing in the doorway of the bridge....with luggage.

"What's all that for Karone? You missed the cruise, we just took it." Cassie said and smiled.

Karone laughed and walked towards them, trying to look away from Zhane's gaze, "No it's not for the cruise. Actually, I'm leaving for awhile."

"What??!!" Andros asked unbelievingly.

"Yeah, I just got a transmission from Rytan and they need my help." She explained.

"We'll go with you." Andros offered.

"No, Andros. You guys have to stay here and look out for Astronema and Vixrothia. I'm going alone." She said and sighed.

Ashley looked sad, but forced a smile, "Ok but... take care of yourself, ok?"

"You betcha." Karone responded and gave Ashley a hug.

"Well girl," Cassie said and smiled, "We didn't get to talk very much, but we will when you get back."

"You got it." Karone laughed.

She hugged TJ and Carlos, then stood in front of Andros.

"Are you sure I can't take your place?" Andros asked her.

"I'm their weapons specialist Andros, not you." Karone said coolly and walked away from him.

She turned around, and saw Zhane standing there. Right in to the doorway.

I know that we'll meet again
Fate has a place and time
So you can get on with your life
I've got to be cruel to be kind
Like Dr.Zhivago
All my love I'll be sending
And you will never know
Cause there will be no happy ending...

She walked over to him, her eyes never leaving his.

It's the hardest thing
I'll ever have to do
To look you in the eye
And tell you I don't love you
It's the hardest thing
I'll ever have to lie
To show now emotion
When you start to cry

A tear escaped from her eye.

I can't let you see
What you mean to me
When my hands are tied
And my hearts not free
It's the hardest thing
I'll ever have to do
To turn around and walk away
Pretending I don't love you

"Guys, I'm gonna follow her out." Zhane said, then he and Karone left, not giving Andros enough time to protest.

They reached the glider bay, and it was time for her to leave.

"Look, I know the Rytan's don't need your help." Zhane told her.

"Am I that transparent?" she smiled meekly.

Zhane took his hand and tucked a strand of hair her hair behind her ear, "Completely."

She looked up at him, "I just think it would be better if I left, so Andros could cool down, and we wouldn't be miserable."

"You don't have to leave. I can go back and stay with the rebels. Even if they don't need me right now." Zhane offered, stroking her hair.

"No, you need to stay here, and find out what the heck is wrong with Andros." Karone declared.

"I just get back and your leaving." He said sadly, "I'll miss you."

"I'll miss you too Zhane." She said then looked over his shoulder and saw Andros standing there.

"I better go." She said and straightened up.

Zhane cleared his throat and answered, "Yeah cause you know there's a lot of traffic in outer space."

Karone burst into laughter, and she saw Andros crack a smile.

"Bye." She said and walked over to her Glider shoot and yelled, "Let's Rocket!" then she disappeared onto her glider.

Maybe another time, Maybe another day
As much as I want to, I can't stay
I've made up my mind
There is no turning back..........

The End