Disclaimer: Saban owns the Rangers, I don't. "I Am a Rock" is property of Simon and Garfunkle, and is used without permission. This vignette is rated G by the Motion Picture Association of America. It takes place sometime after "Save Our Ship."

A Rock Feels No Pain
by : Ellen Brand

Andros looked out the window of the Megaship, not really seeing the stars outside. In fact, he wasn't seeing anything but his own thoughts. He was still getting over his shock at his own actions. He'd taken on a team, after everything that had happened. What, was he crazy?

Behind him, he could hear music drifting through the corridors, from one or another of his new teammates. Probably Cassie- she seemed to be the one who loved music the most. Whatever she was listening too had a mournful tune that suited his frame of mind perfectly. And as he listened to the lyrics, he found them uncomfortably accurate.

A winter's day,
In a deep and dark December.
I am alone.
Gazing from my window,
To the streets below,
A freshly fallen silent shroud of snow.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

He had been alone for so long. An island would be a fairly good way to describe him. His general self-image, though, was of a rogue comet, a ball of pure ice wandering aimlessly through space, searching for something it never seemed to find.

Within walls,
A fortress deep and mighty,
That none may penetrate.
I have no need for friendship,
Friendship causes pain.
It's laughter and it's loving I disdain.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

Like the comet, he was cold. After losing Karone, it had been hard for him to open up, to share his warmth with the world. All that had changed, though, when he'd met Zhane. His first- and only- friend.

On the surface of things, they couldn't have been more different. Zhane was the quintessential ladies' man, a charmer who seemed at home in any situation. Outgoing and open, he seemed the polar opposite of the quieter, reserved Andros. Deep down, though, they had shared a deep sense of duty, a love of life, and even similar senses of humor. It was one of the reason that their mentor had chosen them to become the Rangers of KO-35.

Zhane's personality hadn't been right for any of the colors, though, and so he had been endowed with the Silver armor, the prototype for the entire set-up. Their mentor had taken her time about choosing other Rangers- after all, there had been no real rush. Then Dark Specter had come, and there was no more time.

I have my books
And my poetry to protect me.
I am shielded in my armor.
Hiding in my room,
Safe within my tomb,
I touch no one and no one touches me.
I am a rock,
I am an island.
After the loss of his friend, Andros had retreated into procedure, tactics, and strategy, trying to become the best Ranger he could become. A Ranger with no team, and four empty morphers sitting in his cargo bay. He'd immersed himself in the memoirs of the greatest leaders in the galaxy, finding something to fill the emptiness of deep space. The cold that had seeped into him the day he'd put his best friend into cryogenic sleep.
Don't talk of love.
Well I've heard the word before.
It is sleeping in my memory.
I would not disturb the slumber
Of feelings that have died.
If I never loved, I never would have cried.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

That day, Andros had vowed that he would NEVER leave himself that open again. He would fulfill his duties as a Ranger, but he would never again open heart and soul to someone. It was just too great of a risk.

But now. now he had these four humans on board. Despite their lighthearted attitudes, he knew that the four of them had lost a great deal, and very recently. He'd heard them discussing someone named "Justin," who was no longer with them, although he'd never asked what had happened. But despite the pain they must have faced, they were warm and caring, ready to open their lives to him, someone they'd barely even known. And Andros was surprised to find that a tiny cold, lonely corner of his soul wanted to accept what they offered. No matter how many times he stomped it down, it always seemed to pop up again, especially when he found himself meeting Ashley's gaze.

Could it be? Could the gain be worth the risk? He didn't know.

And he was too scared to try and find out.

And a rock feels no pain.
And an island never cries.