Disclaimer: Saban owns all the characters in here for once. Yes that's right I didn't invent any of my own this time. This takes place the night before the battle where Zhane is injured. Enough already...on with the fic.

Guiding Threads
By: Jacqui Beres

Andros stared up at the night sky. it looks so peaceful up there. Why can't I take a little shred of that peace and put in my soul? Stars twinkled down at him. It was hard to believe that out there among those twinkling jewels people were fighting and dying for their freedom. I was fighting too. Until I got my team killed off. A surge of guilt and pain crashed over him hard enough to cause his stomach to clench painfully and his eyes burned with unshed tears.

"I'm sorry. Why did you ever follow me? Why did you think that I would be a good leader?" He whispered to the stars above.

"Because you were, and you still are."

Andros whipped around to see his best friend standing just behind him. Slowly Zhane sat down and rested his chin on his knees. "How can you say that Zhane? I got the entire team killed." Andros pleaded.

Zhane gave his best friend his best lopsided grin. "Not quite the whole team. We're still here, Andros."

Andros growled and turned away from him. "You know what I meant." He stared out at the stars and whispered. "I might as well be dead for all the good I do."

Zhane stared over at his best friend. He knew his friend was going through a lot. He heard his tortured screams in the wee hours of the morning. He saw the way Andros was cutting himself off from the world, shutting down mentally and emotionally. He wasn't about to let his best friend slowly kill himself with guilt. "If you're going to die, then I might as well come with. There won't be anyone to keep me here." He said just as softly.

Andros stared at the stars not bothering to answer his best friend. For a while neither boy said anything, each was wrapped up in their own thoughts. "Do you ever have the urge to get as far away from civilization as possible, but at the same time you want someone to come and just sit and think with you?"

Zhane favored his best friend with a sympathetic smile. Life hadn't been easy on either of them. Karone had disappeared the summer before Zhane had come to live with Andros and his family. His own parents had died leaving a young seven year old boy alone. Thankfully, he wasn't alone for long. A friend of the family had come and found him a home with good people. Together he and Andros had healed each other. Often when he went looking for his adoptive brother he found him in the same park that Karone had disappeared in. He understood better than anyone else what Andros was doing. Just as he had done not five minutes ago, he simply sat down with his best friend and waited the mood out with him.

This time, however, was a little different. As much as he wanted to, he couldn't wait out the mood with his best friend. Andros was blaming himself for something that had been out of his hands. He couldn't function as the Red Ranger and that was going to get him killed right along with their teammates. "It wasn't your fault they died, Andros. We all knew the risks the minute that Dark Spectre was spotted in our galaxy. The only thing left is to kick Dark Spectre's butt back into the hole he crawled out of. We owe it to them...we owe it to ourselves, Andros." He finished quietly getting to his feet. He waited for Andros to process the information before he handed down more. "Kinwon told me that Dark Spectre is planning a major strike for tomorrow. This is our chance, Andros."

For a moment Andros continued to stare out at the inky blackness and Zhane began to worry. Andros had never been the most vocal of people, but this silence was down right spooky. "Andros?"

"I'm in. I'm going to teach that bastard not to mess with the Power Rangers." He said with a venom that Zhane had never heard in his voice before.

He nodded. "Let's do it then. Together forever." He said, helping his friend to his feet.

"Together forever." Andros repeated.



Date: Sun, 17 Jan 1999 01:36:29 -0600