Disclaimer: Leo Corbett and Maya of Mirinoi, plus anyone else in this fanfic, are the registered property of Saban Enterprises; no copyright infringement is meant by this, and I am not, nor do I desire to, making any profit at all on this.

Author's Note: This isn't part of the 'Rangers in Romance' timeline. It takes place in the PR:LG timeline, after 'Destined for Greatness' and is rated PG for slightly suggestive scenes. I might write a companion fic for the other couple introduced in this series.

Crimson Gold
by: Niobe Craft

You couldn't precisely say that the sun rose, since Terra Venture didn't have one. However, as the light began to rise, it spilled into the Mountain Dome and splattered across two figures sleeping in one another's arms.

Leo Corbett yawned, stretching and blinking. His back ached; had he been sleeping wrong on it again? Well, at least there hadn't been any nightmares, like there had been every night since Mike had vanished into the crevice.

Oh, yes, that's right...Mike's back now...his sleep-fuzzed mind provided. The old Magna Defender died, and Mike came back...he rubbed his eyes, sensing more than feeling a warm presence at his side, but dismissing it. Mike's the Magna Defender now...we were having a party to celebrate it...Maya went out for a walk...I followed her...we..we...

With the suddenness of a lighting bolt, his mind cleared, and he remembered what had happened after that in crystal clarity. Slowly, not sure if he wanted to deny it or confirm it, he looked down beside him.

Curled up, her eyes shut and looking as innocent as if she had just been born, clad just in the morning light that was also the only wrapping he himself had...was his teammate, friend, and now lover . . . Maya of Mirinoi, the Yellow Galaxy Ranger.

W..what in the world...Leo gulped, wondering just what was going on. He had never really thought about Maya like that, but the previous night she had just been so beautiful in the pale light, and he had perhaps had just a little too much alcohol than was really good for him. No, I didn't, he was honest enough to admit that to himself. He had drunk just a little, but he hadn't went overboard. Scorpius' attacks could come at any time, and he wasn't going to get himself into a condition where he wouldn't be ready to fight.

She stirred a little as he looked at her, raising her eyes and smiling as she saw who it was with his arm still around her. "Good morning," Maya murmured as she sat up. Her eyes were slightly sleep-shrouded, and Leo bit his lip, wondering what was going to happen when she remembered. I hope she doesn't skewer me with her Quasar Sabre.

Maya looked around, noticing the small pile of red and yellow clothing a short distance away. Her eyes widened, and she turned back to look at him. "Leo...did we...do what I think we did?"

"I think we did," he said softly. "You came out here for a walk, and I followed to be certain you were all right, and..." he stopped, as she blushed just the faintest hint of red. In all the months he had known her, this was the first time he had ever seen that happen. "Maya...d..do you regret it? Is there something against it for you? I mean...do your people usually...wait?"

The Yellow Ranger flushed even deeper. "Not really. But Kendrix told me about how your people ...deal with things like this. She said that normally this is...reserved for marriage."

"Usually," Leo admitted. "But sometimes things happen. I guess this is one of them."

Silence fell around the two of them as they sat together, their arms still around one another. Maya spoke first. "What happens now?"

"I...I guess we should go get some breakfast," Leo tried to think about commonplace things, not feeling quite ready to really face what they had done just yet. He wanted some time to think, some distance to organize his thoughts. "Do you think we should tell the others?"

Maya bit her lip just the briefest moment. "They might want to know why we didn't come back last night."

"I don't think I could lie to Mike if I tried," Leo admitted. "Especially not now that he's back."

She nodded. "Kendrix and I are too close for me to hide this...and..." she paled briefly, putting a hand on her stomach. "What if there are..results? I know we didn't do anything to ...interfere."

Leo paled as well, quailing at the thought of an unborn child, his unborn child in the middle of a battle where anything could happen. And if Scorpius and Trakeena found out, the multitude of evil plans that could be hatched made him sick to his stomach. "Let's just hope nothing will come of it...and we can't do it again. We don't exactly have a lot of back up Rangers, you know. The Power might protect us, but we don't need to push it."

"You're right." Maya squirmed out of his arms and headed to the pile of clothing. He couldn't help but admire her lithe jungle-born beauty. He wasn't quite certain if he loved her, not in the sense of wanting to marry her and be with her forever. He did care a great deal about her as a friend, however.

Moving quickly, the two of them dressed and headed back to the City Dome where the rest of the colony was starting to rise up. Those how had been on night duties were heading home, and those who had early morning calls were heading out to them, so the corridors were starting to fill up. This was all to the good for the Mirinoian and the erstwhile stowaway, since it meant they could blend into the crowds.

"Maya," Leo said softly as they came near to the door of the girls' quarters. They hadn't spoken since they had left the clearing where they had awakened, but the occasional look had been exchanged. Leo had done some serious thinking, something he wasn't accustomed to, and he had come to a conclusion. As she turned her eyes on him, he found himself catching his breath at just how beautiful she really was. "Maya, are you busy tonight?"

She lifted one eyebrow. "I don't think so. I didn't really have anything planned, unless there's a fight or something." All of them usually tended to relax after a battle, and they had been having some serious ones in the recent past. "Why do you ask?"

"I...was hoping you'd like to go out with me tonight?" the Red Ranger spoke quickly. "I mean, I know last night was kind of sudden, but maybe we could try for something..more lasting?"

Maya bent her head briefly, then smiled at him. "I'd love to." She looked at him for a moment, then slowly reached over to touch her lips briefly to his. "I think I want to spend a lot more time with you, Leo." As he stood there in shock, Maya smiled softly, then triggered the door mechanism. His last sight of her that morning was of her looking at him as the door slid shut.

* * *
Maya leaned against the back of the door, a curious and intensely personal smile on her lips. She had never felt this good since Mirinoi had been turned to stone. Though she and Leo hadn't really slept as much as they were used to the night before, she didn't regret it, and indeed it felt as if every muscle, bone, and nerve in her body was highly charged and made of purest light.

Do I love him? she found herself wondering as she headed over to the cooking area. Though neither she nor Kendrix came anywhere close to Kai's level of skill when it came to preparing culinary delights, she had learned how not to ruin cereal that badly.

Sipping at some orange juice, she decided that what she needed was a nice long talk with her best friend. Feeling, as always, the slight twinge of regret in her heart that it was not Shondra she would be talking to, but Kendrix, she turned to the sleeping Pink Ranger, opening her mouth to call out her name.

And the word stopped before it was even fully formed. Unable to decide between laughing and just staring in shock, Maya finally just turned away, giving Kendrix and Mike a decent amount of privacy as she finished her breakfast.

* * *
Leo thumbed open the door to the quarters he shared with Damon, Kai, and Mike just in time to catch the scent of one of the Blue Ranger's magnificent breakfasts wafting out. One major advantage to being a guy...I get to eat Kai's cooking every day, first thing in the morning! He grinned to himself at the thought. Kai's strictness might be a pain at times, but it came in handy when he was cooking.

"Well, look who's back!" Damon grinned up at him from his seat by the table. Normally the girls would be eating with them, but Leo wasn't exactly counting on them doing that today. Maya needed more rest, and he figured that his ...girlfriend? lover? beloved? friend? needed some time to talk with her anyway. "Did you have a good time?"

The Red Ranger tried to look calm and unconcerned. "Yeah, we had a nice walk. Fell asleep talking, though."

Kai and Damon glanced at one another, then both of them grinned. "Do you really expect us to believe that?" Kai said with a chuckle, serving up another plate of bacon and eggs in front of him. "Everyone has been seeing how Maya's been giving you looks since the first time you guys met."

Leo paused right as he was reaching for his fork. "What?" he said the word calmly. No hints of anything. Whatever they had done was their business, no one else's.

Damon grinned. "Leo, Maya loves you! Trust me, I've seen it before," he threw a glance over towards their blue-clad friend, who said nothing at all. "And you love her. So stop telling me that you two just "walked"."

His leader wanted to give him a stern glance. Instead, all the two Rangers saw was the top of Leo's head as he looked down at the food. Quietly Leo ate, and his friends were both perceptive and intelligent enough not to bother him with questions: just yet.

Once his initial hunger had been satisfied, Leo glanced up and around. Mike had moved his things out of storage and into their room almost as soon as the celebration of his return was over with. Considering everything that had happened the previous day, the younger Corbett wasn't overly surprised that his brother was sleeping late, but really, he should've been up by then.

His bunk is empty. Leo frowned briefly. "Where's Mike?" he asked, hoping there hadn't been some sort of fight or that his brother hadn't went out looking for him. So new-returned was Mike, Leo was more than willing to go out of his way to keep him safe.

Damon and Kai exchanged yet another glance. "With Kendrix," Damon uttered the words, and Leo's fork clattered on the ground in shock.

"Say what?"

"Mike and Kendrix stayed together last night," Kai said quietly. There was the faintest of shadows in his eyes, and Leo sensed without knowing how that Kai had loved the Pink Ranger too at one point. "That's why Damon and I came back here. They wanted to be alone, and you and Maya were already alone, so we didn't really have much else to do."

Leo took a long breath. This was not turning out to be one of those days where everything turned out just as you expected it to.

* * *
It was nearing unto noon when Kendrix finally sat up and realized that Maya was in her hammock, casually swinging back and forth and rather pointedly not looking in the direction of the bunks. Mike was still asleep, and Kendrix smiled at the memory of the previous night. It had more than definitely been worth the wait.

"Have a good night?" she asked finally, looking at her friend as she headed for the shower area. "I know I did."

Maya chuckled. "I did too. And I've got a date with Leo tonight." She turned around to get a good look at the Pink Ranger. "Kendrix...what happens on a date?"

* * *
During the two female Rangers' discussion of dates and what happened in them, Mike awoke and left; it was plain he wanted to discuss more things with Kendrix, but he gave them privacy to talk. He had to be getting back to work at any rate, and there would be time enough for them later.

As the hours of the day ticked away, Maya and Kendrix spent the time within their chambers, preparing the Yellow Ranger for her date that night. Maya's hair was washed, dried, and combed out, and she was able to use the synthetic clothes-makers to prepare a new outfit to wear.

"Do you love Mike?" she asked as Kendrix helped her with the finishing touches. It was only an hour left until Leo would be arriving, and both girls were unimaginably thankful that there had been no attacks that day. The last thing they wanted was something getting in the way of the two romances that were just starting to weave their webs.

Kendrix smiled quietly. "I think I always have. That's why I was so startled to see Leo. They don't look all that much alike, but their eyes...they're almost exactly alike. Just so full of life and caring."

"I know," Maya sighed with joy, remembering how Leo had looked in the pale light of the artificial moon the previous night. "So loving, so tender..."

The Pink Ranger felt herself coloring a little as Maya launched into a much more detailed description of the previous night she had spent with Leo. For several minutes she listened as she learned of a side of her red comrade she'd never dreamed existed. Wow....I'm impressed. If I didn't have Mike, I'd...no, I don't think I would be tempted. But I would be much more jealous. A smile tweaked her lips, and she glanced up at the timepiece. "Maya, Leo's going to be here at any minute. You're all ready."

Her friend glanced down at herself, and went more shades of white than Kendrix had ever thought possible. "D..do I look all right? What do I do? What do I say?"

The babble continued until Kendrix finally put a hand across the Yellow Ranger's mouth, firmly shutting off the flow. "You look fantastic, and just relax. Everything is going to be all right. You asked me if I love Mike. Now I'm asking you: do you love Leo?"

Love had not really been something Maya had considered in her life. She had assumed at one point that she would fall in love, but every time she had thought about it, she had assumed it would be with one of her own people, someone from her world once it had been restored to life. But now that she thought about it, she realized that simply wasn't something that would ever happen. Maya of Mirinoi had been too far, seen too much, done too many things to ever again take on the simple life of the village girl she had been before Furio's attack and drawing the Yellow Quasar Sabre. Never again would she be happy with the simple love and life that had satisfied her before then.

Now only one person could ever make her happy. Only one person could be her match, her mate, and the one who she loved with all her heart and soul. It just took me a while to recognize the fact. She remembered something else now: just how last night had happened. Leo had followed her out, and she had seen him, so tall and handsome in the thin light. Her heart filled with light and joy from their recent victories, she had kissed him. It had been meant to be just a simple, innocent kiss, something between friends.

But within seconds, the kiss had turned from friendship to love to romance to passion. And within moments, they had been together, in all senses of the word.

A tap on the door ceased her musings for the moment, and she looked to Kendrix. "Yes. I love Leo." Maya spoke the words simply, then went to the door.

Outside it was the Red Ranger, looking rather nervous himself in a slightly more formal outfit than she was used to seeing him in, and with a hand behind his back. "Uh, hi, Maya." He smiled. "This is for you." Quickly he pulled the hand out, revealing a single sparkling blood-red rose.

Maya's eyes widened and she blushed until her cheeks resembled Leo's uniform. "T..thank you," her hand trembled as she took it, then let her fingers brush across Leo's hand. He smiled at her softly, then closed his hand around hers.

"Let's go," he said simply. Hand in hand the two of them headed out. In a very real sense of the word, they were never separated again.

The End