Disclaimer: I do not own Power Rangers. If I did, we’d get more maddick moments in mystic force.

A/N: Thank you so much for the reviews you guys! I really appreciate the feedback you all are giving me. Now this chapter takes place after “Long Ago” before “Inner Strength”. I’m sorry it took a while for this chapter to show up, but school has been hectic. I hope you guys enjoy it. Now enough notes….enjoy reading it.

On with the story!

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(Nick and Maddie: Both stories!)

As they walked back towards the others they held hands until the last possible second. In fact they only pulled away when the others looked towards them. They were still talking to Daggeron when Xander suggested that they head back to Rootcore. This new addition was bound to be something that Udonna would welcome. They all quickly agreed with Xander’s suggestion and began to head towards the nearest tree. Chip and Daggeron were in the lead followed closely by Xander and Vida while Nick and Maddie brought up the rear. Everyone seemed quite content as they passed through a tree portal and entered the magical realm. Daggeron and Chip were having a discussion about his time as a frog, Xander and Vida were arguing about something, and Nick and Maddie were just walking in silence, smiling each other. It was another comfortable silence between them and it helped that while they were walking they were close to one another; they even risked holding hands a few times. They had agreed earlier today that they would come clean about their relationship and they were going to do it soon, all they needed was the right moment. Maddie and Nick were sure that whenever they did tell the others it would cause them to ask many questions that they had to be prepared to answer.

Ten minutes later they were all still heading towards Rootcore. Normally it could take around 5 minutes to get there, but in all honesty none of the younger rangers were in any type of a hurry to get there. They had all just begun to feel the pain from the battle with Jester and were in absolutely no hurry to meet their destination. Daggeron was only to happy to go along with it, it had been one very long day and he needed to get used to the idea of being a human again. He just took in all the changes the forest had gone through in the years he had been away. Chip had fallen behind him to walk with his friends who were now getting into various discussions amongst themselves.

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(Xander and Vida: both stories!)

It would have been a peaceful walk for the pink and green rangers if it had continued in silence. Unfortunately when your walking with Xander its quite hard to have a silent anything. Their argument had started out as a friendly banter about who had sold the most and now it was one of their infamous arguments. Which meant that the others were steering clear of them. When Chip had come back to talk to them he immediately went back towards Daggeron because he heard their voices and was determined to not get involved with whatever they were arguing about. Nick and Maddie were far behind them and it seemed as though they weren’t in any rush to get dragged into the latest battle of the wits. Which at the present moment happened to be about the selling contest they had been having before the battle with Jester.

“Look V, before we left I was clearly in the lead. So we should call it at that, you owe me lunch.” Xander smiled smugly at that, knowing full well what V was going to do next, completely blow up at him. He smiled at that because, in his eyes, whenever she got angry with him, which was quite often, she got a gleam in her eye. It was as if she was enjoying their fights as much as he always did. He couldn’t explain it but something about their fights always left him happy. Maybe it was because of the way they fought everyday, it had become a necessary part of his daily life. Or maybe it was because whenever they fought she got this cute look on her face that he couldn’t resist, meaning that most of the time V won. Xander stopped his thoughts right there, he wasn’t, and no he couldn’t be thinking of V as cute. She was one of his closest friends and he just couldn’t be thinking like that. He shouldn’t be thinking like that, but there was something about his punk rock friend that always made him happy. She always had a way to make him smile, even when she was yelling at him. It was with that thought that Xander came to a realization, he liked Vida Rocca. Not just as a friend, not just as a teammate, no really truly liked her. Maybe even loved her, Xander shuddered at that thought. Sure, he’d dated loads of girls, but loved a girl? That had never happened before, and he was probably overreacting now. Yet, he couldn’t help but remember that sick feeling he’d gotten in battle when they’d all taken a major blow from Jester. The first thing on his mind was not himself, but Vida. He’d been so worried about her and her well being that he couldn’t even think about his other teammates. He then became lost in his own thoughts, before anything happened that he or Vida might regret he needed to sort through everything he was feeling. In fact he was so lost in thought that he barely heard V’s response to his answer. As he’d suspected she was furious when she turned to face him she had that gleam in her eye and he just couldn’t help but smile.

“Xander we were tied when we got called away to battle. Get it? T-I-E-D, so I do not have to buy you lunch in any way shape or form. If anything YOU should buy me lunch just because I have to put up with you all day!” Vida looked at Xanders face after her comment and saw him smiling at her. He had some nerve to smile up at her after his comments and he probably did it because he knew that she wouldn’t do anything about it; except yell some more. That was the thing about him, no matter how angry she got she couldn’t hurt him. After all he was one of her closest friends and even if he got on her nerves constantly she would never seriously physically injure him. As she glanced up at his face again she saw the same sparkle in his eye that she saw everytime they fought each other. It was really as if he enjoyed the fighting they did on a daily basis. In fact their daily fights had become a necessary part of her life. It seemed like it was the one thing that was normal in their chaos filled world. The odd thing was that she usually won their fights. It usually started with a some stupid comment made by him, and then it would escalate into a full-blown battle ending with her on the wining side. Afterwards Xander would always find a way to make it up to her. Actually, most of the time whatever he did was actually pretty sweet. Vida stopped herself at that thought, Xander sweet? When did she ever combine Xander and sweet into a sentence? Sure, he was one of her closest friends, and she would admit he was good looking, but sweet? Sweet is the type of word used to describe someone you care about as more than a friend. She certainly did not care about Xander as more than a friend, at least she didn’t think that she did. No she shouldn’t be thinking like this, Xander was her friend and nothing more. He looked at dating as if it were a game, and to her it wasn’t. She couldn’t like Xander, but she did. Today during the battle with Jester had made her really realize it. They had all almost gotten destroyed today and for some reason all she could worry about was Xander. Yes, she’d been worried about Maddie, but for some reason Xander had crept up into her mind along with her sister. Today when they’d all gotten knocked down by Jesters attack Xander had actually been the first person on her mind. She’d been worried about him of all people. Yes, it was now official, Vida Rocca liked Xander Bly. She had liked him for a while now but just wasn’t willing to give in to his charms. Yes, she liked him, but that didn’t mean a thing. She may be tough, but that didn’t mean she was willing to put her heart on the line for him. That was something she knew she would never do.

So, for the first time in the history of the rangers, Xander and Vida were quiet. They weren’t talking or fighting with each other. Each of them were to absorbed in their thoughts about the other. The walk became silent again as everyone walked on, each in their own little world of thought and questions. It continued on like that until Chip rejoined his teammates and started talking to them. Xander and Vida each jumped at the chance to talk to him and to stray away from the places their thoughts were taking them. They threw themselves into the conversation Chip had started about how Daggeron had been made into a human again.

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(Nick and Maddie: Both stories!)

With the others ahead of them and absorbed in their own conversations Nick and Maddie were enjoying each other’s company. They were walking as closely as they had before, and now the comfortable silence that had evaporated into comfortable conversation. As they walked past trees and plants their conversation went from their day at work, to Nick asking her out on a second date. When he’d asked her to go out with him again her answer had immediately been yes. She even giggled at the relieved expression his face got when that answer came from her.

“Nick, did you honestly think I was going to say no? I love you and nothing would make me happier than to go out with you again.” She sighed as he glanced around and then leaned in and quickly brushed his lips against hers. Yes, they were taking a risk with the others so close to them but what had almost happened today had changed them. Right now, Maddie could have cared less if the others saw she and Nick kissing, in fact if they others happened to see them it would make things a whole lot easier. Maddie sighed as Nick pulled away from her, ending the kiss as quickly as it had begun.

“I didn’t think you’d say no, but I like to make sure before I plan the whole thing.” She laughed at that and he smiled. Nick just loved to make Maddie laugh. It always made him happy that he could make her happy. Taking another glance at the others he took Maddies hand in his. She smiled at him and just walked along with him. They had fallen back into that comfortable silence that had existed between them before. He was secretly hoping that maybe Chip or Xander would look back and see them like this, because it would make telling everyone about their relationship a whole lot easier. He was hoping that when they did tell their friends, that they would be ok with it. Nick was secretly praying that V would be alright with it. She was Maddies sister and he had a sneaking suspicion that when she found out, he was going to get threatened. He glanced at Maddie again and saw that she was still smiling. He took his hand out of hers and quickly put it around her shoulders to draw her closer to him. If the others looked back he didn’t care, after almost losing Maddie today, he wasn’t about to let her go again.

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(Everyones stories: minus Daggeron)

Nick and Maddie walked on with his arm around her shoulders and she was leaning into him. They pulled apart suddenly as they saw the others coming towards them. Daggeron wasn’t with them having gone far ahead of all of them. In the blink of an eye their friends who were all looking quite smug surrounded them both, they each held that gleam in their eyes that said they were about to start something big. It was silent for a few moments before V spoke out.

“So Maddie, Chip just told Xander and I something very interesting.” V smiled as she saw her sister’s face turn bright red as Xander cut in to speak. “Yeah, you see he told us exactly HOW Daggeron is a frog no more.” Xander smiled at that and glanced at Maddie who had started to walk again. She was now ahead of them all with Nick following her. The three remaining rangers just looked at each other and smiled and then hurried to catch up to their other teammates. As they caught up to Nick, Chip decided to speak out.

“How did it feel to kiss a frog and have it turn into a knight?” Maddie stopped and turned around at his comment making Xander, V, and Chip crash into one another. Her face was bright red and from what Nick could tell, was getting even rosier by the second. This was clearly something that Maddie did not want brought up, and in all honesty Nick couldn’t blame her. He wanted to say something to them, but he didn’t think he could without outing himself as Maddies boyfriend. When they came forward with the truth it was something that he wanted Maddie to ok with first. He was so lost in thought that he almost didn’t hear Xanders next comment.

“So all three of us figured that since you kissed him you must have a crush on him.” Xander smiled down at Maddie as V spoke again, “Is my sister going to have a new boyfriend?” They were all smiling as V spoke, well everyone was smiling except for Nick and Maddie.

In fact, Maddie was getting more and more frustrated by the second. All of this could have been avoided if she and Nick had come clean about their relationship from the beginning. Her fists were clenched and only Nick saw how upset she was getting. Maddie looked over at him with a look in her eyes, it was as if she were communicating with him telepathically. She was saying, “I’m ready to tell them, are you?” Nick smiled at her words and silently nodded. The others smiles were quickly wiped off of their faces as Maddie spoke to them.

“Well, it would be hard to have a new boyfriend when I’m already currently involved with someone.” Maddie smiled as she said it and then waited for the next question, it was one that was spoken simultaneously between her sister, Xander, and Chip.

“Who?”

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A/N: Yes another chapter down! Did you guys like it? Or hate it? Let me know!

A/N: Thanks again for the reviews and again I’m sorry for the wait!

Next Chapter: What will happen now that Maddie’s come clean? Will the others be accepting of Nick and Maddies relationship? Stay Tuned!