Disclaimer: The short of it if you have seen the person on TV then it's Master Haim Saban's. If you have not, then it's mine.

Author's note: Second fic in the "Let's Pick on Jason." part of the series. I really do like Jason. I messed with his mind in the Reunion Series though. But he is a fun character. It's just that I couldn't do this to Tommy! I like Tommy too don't worry. Read on and you will see what I mean.

Author's note 2: The songs in this fanfic is called "I want it That Way." By Backstreet Boys.

Suggested reading: The above 11! Don't and I repeat, DON'T try reading this fanfic before reading the other 11. That's why it's a series.

Time frame: Right after Stepping it Up.

Help is Never Far Away
By Dana

Looking for something
We can rely on
There's gotta be something better out there
Love and compassion
That day is coming
"We Don't Need Another Hero."-Tina Turner

Camille landed on to the Talorn and looked around. She hurried past a surprised young man in red down the hall into the infirmary. "Jimanya what's the matter? You sounded worried."

"It's Andros. Look at him." Jimanya said.

"Oh my goodness. He's fading..." Camille said stating the obvious.

"I know that Camille. I was wondering why."

"What happened to him?" Camille asked.

"I don't know yet. Zhane hasn't come up. Zhane saw what happened to Andros." Jimanya informed her. "Andros was mumbling something about Jason and Tommy being in a dark place and that they were in a lot of trouble. Something about Zarkoni would be back."

Camille gasped. "Did you say Zarkoni?"

"Yes I did. That's what Andros was mumbling before he started fading."

"Is there any way to contact Zhane? I need to know what happened. I think I know what's wrong but I need to make sure first." Camille said.

"I'm right here. What do you need?" Zhane asked from the doorway. He looked in at the fading Defender "Oh no! Andros! What's going on?"

"That's what we're trying to figure out. What happened during the fight?" Camille asked.

"I arrived and Andros was fighting Ecliptor and Darkonda was walking up behind him. Then Astronema fired a ball of energy at Andros. Andros ducked but it still hit him. That's about it." Zhane said.

"The blast might have been intended to send Andros where Tommy and Jason are." Camille suggested. "He was saying that they were in trouble and they were in a dark place. Since Andros isn't really a Lightning Ranger, he shouldn't have been able to see that. He's in-between here and there. We have to get him to stay here before he fades completely in which he will go over where they were trying to send him." Camille explained.

"How do we do that?" Zhane asked.

"Zhane the best you can do is keep the others out of here. Camille and I have to really concentrate in order to do this." Jimanya said.

"Sure thing Jimanya." Zhane said then left the room.

"It's not going to be easy Jimanya. Too bad Tommy's not here. Could always use another Lighting Ranger but we can do it." Camille said.

"We have to try." Jimanya said closing her eyes and concentrating. She felt her mind slipping to an unknown place. Jimanya was so startled that she almost cut off the connection. "Andros?" She mentally called.

"Andros?" She heard Camille's voice call. "Andros we are here to help you! Answer so we know where you are."

"Jimanya?" Jimanya heard Andros's voice call her. She started walking to where she heard it coming from.

"I'm right here Andros to your right. Camille's here also. We're here to save you. Just hold on alright?"

"Okay." Came Andros's reply.

Camille came up beside Jimanya. "Go over to his other side." Camille instructed. She watched Jimanya do so. "Okay Andros I need you to listen carefully. You are in some sort of limbo. We believe that whatever Astronema threw at you was supposed to send you to where Tommy and Jason are being held. So we've got to get you back before it's too late."

"So how do you do that?" Andros asked.

"That's the hard part." Jimanya informed him. "We are going to mentally pull you back."

"Okay." Andros said not completely sure about this. Andros felt himself mentally being pulled. This surprised him.

"Relax Andros." Jimanya whispered. "It'll all be over soon."

Andros saw light ahead of him and then things seemed to be spinning out of control. He opened his eyes and saw Jimanya and Camille smiling down at him. "Welcome back Andros." Jimanya greeted.

"But what about Tommy and Jason?" Andros asked.

"We'll find them. I'm worried though. That Zarkoni monster is not one to mess with. They are in great danger." Camille said.

"So you've heard of this Zarkoni guy?" Jimanya asked.

"Yes he works for Lord Zedd. I presume they got a new henchmen after Goldar was killed." Camille filled in.

"Well at least we know Zedd and Rita have them." Andros said. "Do you know where Rita and Zedd are currently located?"

"Not sure. They've been pretty quiet recently." Camille informed him. "They could be anywhere. Andros why don't you go let Zhane know you're all right. He was very concerned earlier."

Andros nodded and left.

"So how long are you planning to stay on the Talorn?" Camille asked.

"I don't know yet. I know Jorgan and my dad want me to come home, but this ship almost seems like home. Between Rangers falling in Coma's, Rangers getting injured, and a Ranger almost dying, and Andros getting stuck in limbo, it keeps me busy." Jimanya informed her.

"Almost dying? Who almost died?" Camille asked.

"I don't think you could call it almost dying since..." Jimanya paused looking out the door to make sure no one was there. "It's not easy for her to do so."

"Alexis..." Camille realized.

"Yeah. You knew?" Jimanya asked.

"I wasn't allowed to tell." Camille said. "Even when you became friends with Andros. I wasn't allowed to say."

"It was really spooky. I didn't want to inform Roland that his girlfriend was pretty much dead. I came into here and I saw them hugging. That's when I figured it out." Jimanya said.

"You can't tell anyone. If the wrong people find out..." Camille said.

"I know. Alexis told me she never told the others." Jimanya said.

"Quick question. Do the others know about Tommy and Andros leaving soon? Of course it will have to wait till we get Tommy and Jason back from Rita and Zedd." Camille said.

"I doubt it. Well Zhane knows because I had to double-check it with him. They just included a new Defender and an Astro Ranger to the bunch. That should help balance things out when Andros and Tommy leave. They didn't like the idea about leaving but I told them they needed to know how to operate as Lightning Rangers. I also said it would only be for a short while. I know how much they are needed back on the team. I never told Andros you found a Lightning morpher." Jimanya said. "I was hoping to surprise him."

"I figure it would be a good thing for backup to have two Lightning Rangers. Of course Andros will have to morph into Wind Ranger first or it would be confusing."

"So are you leaving again?"

"Yeah. I have more things to attend to. Bye Jimanya." She said and gave her protégé a hug.

"Bye Camille." She said watching Camille leave. She turned back around and surveyed the room. 'Well I think my job is done here. I should go home and inform my parents and Jorgan I have to train a couple of Lightning Rangers. Maybe Jorgan will come this time.' Jimanya thought hopefully. She walked out of the room in search of Andros.

She found him in the Rec Room talking to Ashley and Zhane. "Andros can I talk to you for a second?" She asked.

"What's up Jimanya?" Andros asked approaching her.

"I'm leaving now to get ready for yours and Tommy's training. You have to tell the others. Zhane knows because we had to inform him and check it. They'll be fine with Sora and Billy."

"I hate to tell them this. They'll probably think I'm deserting them." Andros said.

"Well you've got to tell them kiddo. Zhane already knows. Be ready to leave when Tommy gets back. Come on I've got to tell the others I'm leaving."

Andros nodded and followed her back into the room. "Well I've decided my assistance is no longer needed here. Of course if you do need me please don't hesitate to contact me on Edenoi." Jimanya said.

"Well miss you Jimanya!" Ashley said.

"It's been great having you on the ship." Zhane said.

"Tell the others for me okay?" She asked. She glanced at Andros. 'Don't forget you have to tell them.' She teleported out of the room back to Edenoi.

Andros knew he had to tell the others. "Um guys there's something we need to talk about. It concerns the whole team." Andros said. Zhane raised an eyebrow. "Zhane already knows what it's about. Could you guys get the others in here."

A few minutes later the others joined them in the Rec Room. Andros decided he should tell them point blank. "Some time ago Jimanya approached me and Tommy. Well it was back when we were both in the infirmary. Right after Tommy woke up. She told us we needed to be trained right away. I thought she really meant Tommy but no she meant both of us. She said it wouldn't be that long since she knew how important it was to the team. Zhane already knew and decided since we were leaving it would be best to find two people to take the Sound Morpher, and the Red Astro Morpher."

"So you're saying that you knew they were leaving Zhane and that's why Zhane readily agreed to finding another Ranger and Defender?" Dallas asked. Zhane nodded sheepishly.

"When are you leaving?" Ashley asked trying to hide the sadness in her voice.

"As soon as we get Tommy and Jason back." Andros answered.

The others exchanged looks. Even when they got Jason and Tommy back they would still be down two Rangers. Two they would need.

*** Jason and Tommy stopped running in order to catch their breath. Tommy looked around their surroundings for the fist time. "Uh Jase I think I know where we are."


"The Moon Palace." Tommy said.

"The Moon Palace? We've been running around for an hour and we just now notice?" Jason asked in amazement.

"Where in the Palace I'm not sure. Been here more times then I like to remember." Tommy said. "But this area I'm not so sure about." Tommy said.

"Then how do you know we're in the Moon Palace?" Jason asked.

Tommy pointed out the window. "You know of anywhere else that we'd get this good of a look at the Earth? Besides the Talorn?" He asked.

Jason looked out the window. "Dang." He said.

Tommy thought he heard some noises. "We've got to keep going." Tommy reminded him. They started running again. They ran into a dead end.

"Great just great." Jason was saying.

They leaned against a wall and watched Squatt and Baboo walking down the hall chatting about something. Tommy leaned in to hear.

"Rita's going to feed us to Zarkoni if we don't find those two Defenders Squatt." Baboo said. Tommy leaned back shaking his head. They watched them leave.

"Come on." Tommy whispered. They made a break for it and ran the way Squatt and Baboo came from.

Jason was in front and stopped very suddenly causing Tommy to run into him. Tommy caught himself before he went flying to the ground. "What is it?" Tommy whispered. But Jason wouldn't answer so Tommy looked behind them to make sure no one was coming. Unfortunately there was. "Jase we've got to go now! Someone's behind us." Tommy hissed. Finally Jason turned around and looked at him. The first thing Tommy saw was the eyes. 'No this is not happening.' The eyes were glowing with a ruby red. Tommy knew exactly what that meant. "You've got to snap out of this Bro." He heard someone cough. Tommy turned around and saw it was Rita that had been approaching. "What did you do to Jason?" He demanded.

"I'm sure you already figured that part out Tommy. I made him evil. I couldn't do it to you so I had to settle for just one of you. This will be ironic. You will be destroyed by your own best friend." Rita cackled. She handed Jason the Thunder Morpher.

"You're not going to get away with this Rita." Tommy swore under his breath.

"Looks like I already have." Rita said and raised her staff. Before Tommy could do anything he found himself in one of Rita and Zedd's dark dimensions. He turned around and he was standing face to face with Jason.

*** Andros sighed as he walked through the Talorn. Everyone was being quiet about the fact that even if they got Tommy and Jason back they'd still be down two Defenders. Ashley had almost been avoiding him. Or was it the other way around? Andros was no longer sure.

Zhane walked out of his room and almost knocked Andros over. "Oh. Sorry Andros." He said apologetically with a smile on his face.

"It's all right Zhane. I was just zoning. Thinking about things ya know?" Andros said.

Zhane knew what Andros was thinking about. He cocked his head towards Andros's room.

They walked in and saw Billy wasn't there. Zhane closed the door. "Andros just you, me, Dallas, Alexis, Roland, Tommy and Jason know about who your mother and stepfather are. And only you and I know who your half-sister is."

"I want to tell Ashley. But I'm scared. What if she hates me for it?" Andros said.

"Andros if that were going to be the case, and I doubt it will be, then maybe she's not the girl for you." Zhane reminded him.

"But I really like her." Andros said.

"Enough to share your family history with her? I can understand why you haven't told the Astro Rangers. But think of it this way. What if Astronema somehow used this information against you? Telling the others the truth. It's not your fault. But it's something you have to live with."

"I know. But I'm leaving soon anyway. And everyone's treating me like I have the plague. Imagine what they would do if I told them my secret?"

"Do you want me to talk to the others and see what's bugging them? It's not right for them to ignore you like this."

"Thanks Zhane." Andros said finally smiling.

"Hey that's what best friends are for." Zhane reminded him.

"I think I'm going to go find Ashley." Andros said and hurried out of the room.

*** Ashley sat next to a window staring out at the Earth. 'It all looks so far away sometimes.' She turned around when she heard someone entering the room. She sighed but didn't say anything.

"Ashley..." Andros started to say.

"Don't Andros. I'm used to having people keep secrets from me. It's been happening since I came on this ship. Now you are leaving so it shouldn't matter." She got up and hurried to her room. She turned on her stereo. She almost started crying when she heard the song.

You are my fire
The one desire
Believe when I say
I want it that way

But we are two worlds apart
Can't reach to your heart
When you say
That I want it that way

Tell me why
Ain't nothin' but a heartache
Tell me why
Ain't nothin' but a mistake
Tell me why
I never wanna hear you say
I want it that way

Am I your fire
Your one desire
Yes I know it's too late
But I want it that way

Tell me why
Ain't nothin' but a heartache
Tell me why
Ain't nothin' but a mistake
Tell me why
I never wanna hear you say
I want it that way

Now I can see that we've fallen apart
From the way that it used to be, yeah
No matter the distance
I want you to know that
Deep down inside of me

You are my fire
The one desire
You are, you are, you are, you are
Don't wanna hear you say...

Ain't nothin' but a heartache
Ain't nothin' but a mistake
I wanna hear you say
I never wanna hear you say
I want it that way

Wasn't that the way she felt? She thought she liked Andros. But he just dropped a bombshell today. He told her he was leaving. Then there was the fact that she knew he was hiding something. 'Andros why don't you trust me? I would never do anything to hurt you.' One part of her was saying that she just did. She closed her eyes and cried.

*** Andros sat at the window Ashley just abandoned and brought his knees up under his chin. Andros was going to tell Ashley but she ran. He knew had totally broken her heart. 'Ash I like you too much to tell you is the problem.' He could faintly hear the noises of music from the Rec. Room. Though Andros didn't know it, it was the same song Ashley was listening to. Andros decided then and there; he had to talk to Ashley and straighten things out. Even though they really didn't know each other he really liked Ashley. He walked to Ashley and Cassie's room and knocked.

Ashley came to the door. She didn't say a word. "Ashley we need to talk." Andros said simply. Ashley nodded and stepped aside.

"Ashley there is something you need to know. There's a part of me that I'm ashamed of. It's my family history."

Ashley listened in silence as Andros started talking about his past. She was shocked by the time he finished. "Oh Andros." She said.

"Ashley I will completely understand if you don't want to have anything to do with me now. Now that you know my mother, stepfather and half sister are evil." Andros said looking away.

"Andros no matter what happens I want you to know I will always be here for you. As for your family, you couldn't choose who your mother married. But remember this she only gave you half of your genetic code. You still have a father who risked everything to get you off of the Cyviens ship." Ashley said.

"Thanks Ashley." Andros said and smiled. Ashley smiled also.

*** Tommy ducked one of Jason's kicks. Jason had just started to attack. "Jase I'm not going to fight you!" Tommy said. 'Where have I heard that one before? Oh yes Jason said the same thing to me at Gasket's arena.'

"Then you will be destroyed. Come on Lightning Ranger. You're the one who's supposed to have the big power that no one can touch. That's all I ever heard while you were in the coma. 'We need Tommy he can take the monster.'"

Tommy blocked another fist. 'Is he speaking from the heart or is it just the spell speaking? That's silly of course it's the spell talking. Ah heck I don't know anymore.' "Jason you're my best friend! I won't fight you. Remember when Gasket had me brainwashed and he wanted me to fight you in his arena? You wouldn't fight me then. So I won't fight you now."

"I don't care anymore Tommy. It was always about you. When you joined the team everyone pressured me to be your friend." Tommy had to keep reminding himself it was the spell talking because what Jason was now saying hurt. "When the green candle was taking your powers everyone expected me to go and get it. Then when we had to call you back to get our Power Coins it was revealed your powers wouldn't stay. So then you became the issue of everyone's concerns. Especially when Lord Zedd came. You became so weak you were a burden to the team. I was glad when you left."

Tears were starting to prick Tommy's eyes. 'No he doesn't mean what he's saying. He doesn't know what he's saying.' Kept ringing through his mind.

"Then you became the White Ranger and leader of the Power Rangers. Did anyone ask me how I felt about this? No!" Jason shouted.

"Jason if there was a problem why didn't you say something to us..." Tommy started to say but Jason cut him off.

"They didn't care! They forgot all about me. You forgot about me too. When I was chosen for the Peace Conference I was glad! I was finally getting away from you! I was happy being there. I have no clue why I came back!"

"You told me you came back because you missed it here. Jase don't you remember that day?" Tommy asked trying to keep his voice calm. 'What was wrong here?' Tommy wondered.

"I remember that day well! You offered me to become a Ranger just because Billy couldn't take it. Heck I'm surprised you didn't give it to David. You after all gave your Zeo Powers to him. Even then I wasn't leader. The others just presumed since David took your powers that he was the leader. Those powers almost killed me. Did you know that Tommy?" Tommy shook his head. "Well they did. Then when we were both called in to become Defenders I was given the Thunder Powers and you were given the great Lightning Powers."

"Jase that was only because I had the lightning signature and you didn't. If I didn't I would have been made the Sound Ranger." Tommy said.

Jason ignored him. "When you went in a come everyone was still more concerned about you then they were Andros. Andros was the one who had the injuries. But did they care? No." Jason started walking towards Tommy. "I'm tired of talking." He said in a cold voice.

*** Rita watched the happenings in the Dark Dimension happily. "Zedd! Jason's finally going to get rid of Tommy."

"So I see. Rita what Jason is saying is that how he really feels? Or is that the spell talking."

"It's the spell of course. You honestly think Jason would hate Tommy this much? Maybe he does but that's not an issue." She said laughing.

*** Sora walked into the food area and up to the Synthetron. She pulled out a ham sandwich. She turned around and saw Ashley and Andros sitting very close to each other whispering.

Dallas and Alexis walk into the room and Dallas took out with a meat dish that Sora had forgotten about. She hadn't eaten it since she was little. Alexis took out some vegetable thing that Sora wasn't sure what it was.

"Hey Sora." Dallas greeted sitting at the long table next to her. Alexis sat next to Dallas.

"Hi guys." Sora said picking at her ham sandwich.

"Okay little sister spill it. Lex and I are your sisters." Dallas said with a grin. It didn't matter if it was only legally that Alexis was a part of their family. "You can share your thoughts with us."

"Wait I know what's bugging her." Alexis said. "It's Tommy right?" She asked.

"Yeah. I just can't help but worry about him." Sora said sadly. She looked up when she saw Billy enter the room. He walked over to Alexis and was whispering something in her ear.

"Excuse me." Alexis said and ran out of the room.

"What's up with that?" Sora asked.

"I don't know. Now is that all that's bugging you with Tommy?" Dallas asked.

"Well it's the fact that he's leaving as soon as he gets back. We barely have gotten to know each other." Sora said.

"He won't be gone long." Dallas said putting an arm around her sister.

*** Tommy ducked another intended blow from Jason. "Come on Jase! You've got to snap out of this!"

Jason ignored him and decided to destroy Tommy in a different way. "I forgot to tell you something Tommy. You know that letter from Kim that you got almost three years ago?"

"Yeah?" Tommy asked looking at him strangely.

"Well the guy she wrote about was me." Jason said with satisfaction. The look in Tommy's eyes told the story on what he was feeling. It was the pain in Tommy's eyes that sparked something in Jason. 'No wait what am I talking about? That's not true! I have no idea who Kim was talking about! Why am I saying this? What is going on?' He wondered. 'I don't hate Tommy.' Jason dropped his fighting stance as he tried to clear his mind. *** Rita watched this and was furious. "No! He's breaking out of the spell! Rito get down there and shoot Tommy or something during the confusion." Rita was so irate she forgot whom she just asked to do that.

"Okay Sis." Rito said teleporting down to the Dark Dimension. He watched Tommy walking slowly and hesitantly towards Jason. Rito took this distraction as a time to shoot the Lightning Ranger.

Jason was out of the spell. It wasn't very strong of a spell to begin with. Rita made it weak but strong enough for it to hold Jason long enough to kill his best friend. He didn't know how it was broken or why Rito was standing behind Tommy. He watched Rito point his sword at Tommy. "No Tommy!" He yelled and shoved Tommy to the ground. He felt a horrible burning go through him. Then everything went black.

Tommy was mad now. He could feel the Lightning Power running through him like hot lava. 'Not now! I've got to get Jason out of here. Lightning Morpher come forth.' He had no idea if it would work but he found it in his hand a moment later.

"It's Morphin Time! Lightning Power!" He yelled. Rito started to charge Tommy. But Tommy had a firm hold on Jason and was gone in a flash of silver light.

He landed on the floor of the Talorn. He was still morphed and didn't even notice when he put a hand on Jason's chest. Silver energy was running through him into Jason.

Alexis, Billy, and Roland, who were in the control room when they had a lock on Tommy and Jason, stared in awe.

Jason sat up a couple of minutes later in surprise. The last thing he remembered was the burning going through him. Now he was sitting on the floor of the control room on the Talorn. He felt no pain.

"How you feeling Bro?" Tommy asked. Everyone else was slowly gathering in the room.

"Great. I don't know how though." Jason said.

"I think I heeled you. I healed myself when I was in the Dream World. I guess that's part of the Lightning Powers I don't know."

"Speaking of which." Andros spoke up. "Jimanya wants us to go to the planet of Teriqan right away to begin our training."

"Training?" Jason asked in confusion.

"Yeah. Jimanya wants to train me and Andros on how to properly use the gifts the Lightning Powers give us." Tommy said.

Suddenly something struck Jason. "Where's Emily? Did she come also?"

"I'm sorry Jason. I got a lock on the Thunder Morpher then a lock on the Lightning Morpher and that was enough to teleport both of you. We didn't know Emily was on the ship." Billy said.

"We'll get her back Jase." Tommy said.

"I know." Jason said.

*** The next morning Tommy and Andros were getting ready to teleport to Teriqan. Andros and Ashley were saying their good-byes. "We finally got everything straight and it's time for you to go." Ashley said crying.

"I'll be back before you know it. I love you Ashley." Andros said.

"I love you too." Ashley said.

Sora and Tommy were making the same tearful goodbye. "You just got back and now your leaving. Almost doesn't seem real."

"I'll be back soon I promise. Then I'm taking you out to a big dinner at a fancy restaurant. Just the two of us." They hugged.

Tommy turned and looked at his best friend that was staring at him. "I'm sorry for the things I said on the Moon. I didn't mean any of them."

"I know you didn't." Tommy said.

"Take care of yourself man." Jason said and clasped hands with Tommy. Tommy went on to say goodbye to the others.

Andros was now talking to Zhane. "I hate leaving you guys two Rangers short." Andros said.

"We're used to it by now Andros." Zhane joked. "Make us proud Andros." He said and gave his best friend a quick goodbye.

Andros and Tommy stood close as Alexis prepared to teleport them. They waved and were gone in red and silver flashes of light.

That's the end of Protectors of Space #12. I hope you all liked it. #13 I believe will mostly take place on Teriqan. But I don't know yet. Email me at Willow@grrtech.com.