Even though it was the day after, Kendrix Morgan was still worn out from the big battle with Curio and the sting wingers. The power she had gotten from her Quasar saber helped protect her even when she wasn’t morphed, but she still took a few lumps.
She was walking past a bar on the main shopping area of Terra Venture, when she had an overwhelming urge to go in. She didn’t know what it was. She didn’t drink or anything. But she went in, nonetheless.
There, she was almost overwhelmed by the smell of the place. It took her a few minutes to get used to it, and she started for the bar. “What’ll you have?” the bartender asked politely.
“Um, just some water,” Kendrix said.
“Coming right up,” the bartender said, “You’re that famous biologist on board, aren’t you? Kendrix, I believe?” Kendrix nodded her head as he handed her a glass of water. “What brings you to my establishment?”
“I’m not sure, really,” Kendrix said, “While I am at the legal drinking age, I don’t usually consume alcohol. I just wanted to check the place out, I guess.”
“Oh, well, hope you like the place,” the bartender said, “I’ve been working hard getting it set up. I had to pull some strings to be able to do that before Terra Venture was open to the general public.”
Kendrix nodded. “I’d imagine so,” she said, “I work here, and I wasn’t even allowed on the station until about a week before we were set to launch. It was a little hard on my studies, but I adapted well.”
“That’s good,” the bartender said. Just then, someone called for a waiter on the other side of the bar. “If you’ll excuse me.” He then bowed his head politely, as he headed to take the order.
Kendrix took a drink of her water, and tried to get her mind off of one thing, or person actually; Leo Corbett. Ever since she first saw the young man, when he had literally ran into her the day before, and then went on the adventure with him and the others, she couldn’t get him out of her head. She couldn’t quite figure out how she felt towards him.
Then, she took a look around and nearly dropped her glass. Leo was sitting at a table in a corner near the entrance of the bar. He looked to be drunk and out of it. Kendrix’s heart went out to him. He had lost his brother, Mike, when he gained his Quasar Saber. Curio had caused the ground on Mirinoi to open up, and Mike fell in, but not before passing the Red Ranger Quasar Saber to Leo.
Before she could really think about what she was doing, Kendrix was standing up and crossing the room to her teammate. “Leo?” she queried, gently shaking him. He sat up groggily.
“Kendrix? What are you doing here?” Kendrix almost giggled at his slurred speech. He was definitely drunk.
“I was thirsty, and stopped by here to get some water,” Kendrix said, “Mind if I sit?”
“It’s a free universe,” Leo said, gesturing to the others seats at his table.
“Do you want to talk about it?” Kendrix asked, as she took a seat.
“What’s there to talk about? Mike’s dead, and it’s my fault,” Leo said, “If only I hadn’t dodged out of the way, if only I could’ve gotten there sooner, he might not have died.”
“Leo, there wasn’t anything any of us could do,” Kendrix said, “You know what Maya thinks? She says that while he had originally pulled the sword from the stone, he was destined to pass it on to you, one way or another.”
“I don’t care what Maya thinks,” Leo said, “She’s not even human.”
“Maybe not, but she knows how you feel,” Kendrix said, “She lost her family on Mirinoi, remember?”
“Well, I lost mine too,” Leo snapped, “I guess that makes me and her even.”
“Leo, listen to yourself,” Kendrix said, “I know that you’re mad at the universe for taking Mike away from you, but does snapping at me angrily make you feel any better or worse?”
“I’m sorry, Kendrix,” Leo said, “I guess it’s the booze talking. I didn’t mean to snap at you.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Kendrix said, smiling. They both caught each others gazes for a long moment, then both looked away.
“Has anybody told you that you’re even prettier when you smile?” Leo asked.
Kendrix blushed. “No, and thank you,” she said, “If you weren’t drunk, I’d swear that you were flirting with me.”
“Actually, I’m not drunk,” Leo said, “I’m just good at acting like I am. I’ve never touched a drop of alcohol in my life.”
His admission surprised Kendrix. “I’ll say that you’re an excellent actor,” she said, “You sure fooled me.” When she looked at Leo, he was staring at her. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” Leo said, shaking his head. “I still haven’t my own gotten quarters yet. I’ve been bunking with Damon in Kai’s quarters.”
“Yeah, and Maya’s been in mine,” Kendrix said.
“Yeah, I know,” Leo said, “Well, I guess I’d better go. Damon and Kai will be wondering where I am. Can I walk you to your quarters? If I’m not mistaken, yours are on my way.”
“Sure,” Kendrix said. They both stood up and linked arms. “Let’s go.” They left the bar and headed for the living area of Terra Venture. There, the two stopped outside of Kendrix’s quarters.
“Well, I guess I’ll see you tomorrow,” Leo said.
“Yeah, I guess so,” Kendrix replied. Leo looked like he was trying to make his mind up about something. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing really,” Leo said, “Except...” All of a sudden, he gently cupped her face in his hands. Kendrix’s heart felt like it was beating a hundred or so miles an hour, as he gave her a gentle, sweet kiss.
When he broke away, Kendrix opened her eyes. “I’m sorry, Kendrix,” he said, “I shouldn’t have... I think I’d better go. I’ll see you tomorrow, I guess.” He started walking down the corridor, and Kendrix let out the breath she didn’t realize she had been holding
Kendrix stepped into her quarters. Maya was there on the couch, watching television. “Your ‘TV shows’ are very interesting,” Maya said, “We don’t have anything like this on my planet.” When Kendrix didn’t answer her, Maya turned towards her. “Kendrix?”
That snapped Kendrix out of her reverie. “Huh? Oh, I’m sorry, Maya,” she said, “What did you say?”
“I was saying that my people don’t have anything like this ‘television,’” Maya said, “You look, um, distracted. What happened?”
“Nothing, Maya,” Kendrix said, “I’m heading to bed. Good night.”
“Good night? It’s not even 10 o’clock your time,” Maya said.
“I know,” Kendrix said, distractedly. She went into her room, where she flopped down on the bed. She couldn’t get the kiss Leo had given her out of her mind. ‘Makes me wonder where we stand,’ she mused, ‘Are we an item, or are we just friends?’ She decided to talk it over with Leo the next day, and was quick to fall asleep.
The next day, they were scheduled to go on an exploration trip. On the way down to the planet they were going to set down on, Kendrix looked over at Leo. He seemed to sense her watching him, and looked up, catching her gaze. He smiled at her. That one simple act had Kendrix’s heart racing as she smiled back.
When they touched down, they broke into parties. The Rangers were lucky to be all in the same group. Kendrix and Leo avoided looking at each other, trying to avoid each others eyes.
Kai was the first to notice that something was up. “Hey guys,” he said, “What’s wrong? You two are acting like strangers.”
“Well, technically, we are,” Leo said, “We only met the other day.”
“That’s not what he meant,” Damon said, “We’re supposed to be a team, remember? How are we supposed to be one, when the two of you are aloof from each other?” Both Leo and Kendrix knew he was right.
Before either of them could answer Damon, a bunch of sting wingers came flying in out of nowhere. They were quickly joined by Curio, who came teleporting in. The Rangers went into fighting stances.
“Let’s do it, guys,” Leo said. The Rangers called upon their morphers. “Go galactic.” They twisted the dial appropriately and hit the button with their respective color and morphed into their Ranger suits.
“You will not win this time, Rangers,” Curio growled, as him and the sting wingers started circling.
“Yeah? We’ll see about that, Curio,” Leo said. With that, he jumped at Curio, leaving the rest of the Rangers to deal with the sting wingers. “You’re going to pay for killing my brother.”
“As humans are so fond of saying,” Curio said, “Cash or credit?”
With a growl, Leo pulled out his Quasar saber. Curio was just barely able to block his lunge. The swords met with a terrific clang. Curio was knocked back an inch or two, and Leo took advantage of it.
“Quasar saber, power up,” he cried. His saber glowed with energy. He slashed at Curio, who flipped over him to dodge it.
“Can’t beat me the same way twice, Ranger,” Curio said. He started swinging his sword at Leo.
“NOO!!!” Kendrix threw herself between the blade and Leo, and was nearly skewered by Curio. She was obviously hurt badly, despite the Ranger suits fantastic durability.
Leo caught her as she collapsed. “Kendrix!!!” Leo cried, helping her slowly to the ground.
“Another day, Ranger,” Curio said, as he teleported away. The wing stingers caused a rip to appear and flew through it.
“Kendrix, don’t you dare die on me,” Leo said, as he popped the seals on his helmet and pulled it off. He pulled Kendrix’s helmet off, too.
“I won’t,” Kendrix said weakly before losing consciousness.
Leo looked up at the others as they crowded around. “We have to get her up to Terra Venture,” he said.
“Come on, Leo,” Damon said, “We’ll help you carry her.”
Kai and Damon helped him gently pick her up and they all headed for the exploration shuttle back to Terra Venture.
When Kendrix regained consciousness, she found herself in the sickbay onboard Terra Venture. A doctor was hovering over her. “What happened?” she asked.
“Apparently, you and your exploration team had been attacked,” the doctor said, “What was the last thing you remember?”
“I remember saving one of them, and nearly got killed in the process,” Kendrix said, “But that’s it.”
“I’ve got to inform the others that you’re awake,” the doctor said, “They’ve been asking nonstop about you.”
Kendrix couldn’t help but smile at the other Rangers’ concern. The doctor left, and a few minutes later, everybody but Leo walked in.
“Hey there,” Kai said, “You sure gave us a scare.”
“Yeah, we thought that we had lost you,” Maya said.
“I’m sorry, guys,” Kendrix said, “But Curio might have killed Leo instead of injuring me. Speaking of which, where is Leo?”
“Back in the waiting room, I think,” Damon said, “He’s feeling real bad about what happened to you.”
“He shouldn’t,” Kendrix said, “I’m the one who stupidly threw myself in front of Curio’s blade, without drawing my Quasar saber.”
“Well, I’m glad that you’re all right,” Damon said, “I’ve got to go. Since I’m an official part of the crew on Terra Venture, the mechanics crew recruited me. My shift there is about to start.”
“That goes double for me,” Kai said, “I’ve got to go to debriefing and tell Commander Stanton about what happened to you.”
Kendrix made a face. “I don’t envy you then,” she said.
“I have to go, too,” Maya said, “The archivists onboard want me to tell all I can about my people, now that they’re apparently all dead, thanks to Curio.”
“Well, thanks for coming by then, guys,” Kendrix said.
“You’re welcome,” Kai said,” If you need anything, just call.”
“I will,” Kendrix promised. Kai, Damon, and Maya then left. A little while later, Leo came wandering in. “Hey there.”
“Hey yourself,” Leo said, grinning. “Are you all right?”
“Yeah, I think so,” Kendrix said, “I don’t think Curio caused any really bad damage.”
“That’s good to hear,” Leo said, “I am so sorry about what happened, Kendrix. I didn’t mean for you to get hurt.”
“I know you didn’t, Leo,” Kendrix said, “Hey, while I’ve got you here and I’ve got your attention, I want to talk about that kiss last night.”
“Yeah, I’ve been wanting to talk about it, too,” Leo said, “I’m sorry that I gave you the kiss. I shouldn’t have...”
“Leo, listen,” Kendrix said, “I think I wanted you to kiss me.”
“Because I think I fell for you the first time I saw you,” Kendrix said, “Literally and figuratively.” That last part was half joking, about when they, rather unofficially, met. Leo had been running from security guards, not watching where he was going, when he ran smack dab into Kendrix.
That took Leo by surprise. “Really?” he asked softly.
“Really,” Kendrix said. She then painstakingly sat up. Leo crossed the room and helped her. “In fact, I wouldn’t mind terribly if you kissed me again.”
“No time better than the present,” Kendrix said, before wrapping her arms around his neck and giving him a kiss. Leo kissed her back, and the two finally realized their feelings for each other.