Disclaimer: Still don't own PR. Wish I did though.
AN: Thank you so much for the reviews last chapter. I really appreciate them. Here's the next installment. Hope you enjoy. Again many thanks to Kim, Shawn, and Angel for listening to this and of course to Shawn for the title.
Music: Syndicate- The Fray
"Maddie? Earth to Madison Rocca?"
She jumped as she heard her name being called, and her eyes immediately went to meet the concerned face of Toby. She'd been in the office for a little over fifteen minutes to check on a shipment that was supposed to be coming in later tonight but after she'd confirmed everything, Maddie had set herself to thinking. She welcomed the quiet the office provided away from the now always crowded store. It offered her a little time to think over what had transpired on the phone with Nick, to smile about it, to miss him. But she had apparently taken up a little too much time because Toby had come to look for her.
"Sorry Toby," she said immediately as she forced a smile onto her face. "The shipment's coming in I guess I just let myself get distracted for a few minutes. It won't happen again."
She moved to get up from his chair but was stopped by a hand coming to rest on her shoulder, gently pushing her down again. She looked up at her boss, confused as ever as he simply leaned against the desk he barely used.
"Maddie it's alright. I'm not going to get angry about you taking a few minutes back here. God knows it's crazy out there," he snorted as she just laughed. Ever since the magical and human realms had started to become one community in Briarwood, every business in the town had been booming. None more so than the Rockporium where the Mystic Rangers worked; it meant that every day was always hectic around here. It was even crazier on days like today; when one or more of the actual Rangers had to be in the magical realm to help with something and wouldn't be coming in until the issue there was resolved.
"Do you need my help out there?"
"I think we're good for a few minutes. Chip, Leelee, and Phineas have it handled," he commented with a smile. "And Nikki's out there to help too. So why don't we talk about what you has so spacey today."
"I am not…" she paused at the raised eyebrow coming from him and she chuckled. "Ok so maybe I am."
"You are, have been since you got her a few hours ago and I'm willing to bet that it's because a certain friend of ours with a penchant for wearing Red called you before you came in," he tells her with a look and she feels herself blushing.
"He called," she confirmed. "He's doing really well. As are
Udonna and Lienbow. They're leaving
"And are they coming home?" he asks and she shakes her head sadly.
"No, they're going to travel for a little while. Get to know one another without the fate of the world resting on their shoulders."
"And why do you sound so sad about that?" he asked and she just gives him a sad smile.
"I'm not sad about it Toby. They all deserve the chance to be together. I'm just sad that they won't be home for awhile. That he won't be here," she tells him and he nods thoughtfully.
"So does this mean that you two finally admitted how you feel about each other? Because man the vibes between you two when he was here…"
Maddie laughed then, she couldn't help it, and nodded to the question. Of all the people in the world to tell this to she never would have imagined Toby. But then again, he was always the one to give advice when they least expected it as Rangers.
"Yes. There's something there," she affirmed. "But we can't really do anything about it except talk right now. I don't him coming back to me until he's ready."
"Well if he's not ready to come back to you," Toby says after a few moments of silence. "Then why don't you think about going to him? I mean what he's doing right now can't be easy on him and he could probably use someone who knows him like you do on his side right about now."
"What?" she asked him, feeling her eyebrows raise at the statement even as her heart fluttered at the thought of doing what was being proposed. Could she really just leave Briarwood for god knew how long and go be with Nick? A very large part of her was saying that yes she could do that because it means getting to be with the man she loved. But leaving everything else she loved behind? That was a big thing to her.
"Maddie you heard me," Toby responded softly. "I think it's something you should consider. I can see how much you miss him and you deserve the chance to be with him without having to save the world on a daily basis. This could be your shot at that because I know Nick; he'd jump at the chance to have you with him."
"But what about Briarwood? The forest? My parents, work?"
"Briarwood is more than capable of managing without a few of its Rangers for a little while," Toby told her honestly. "The evil has been pretty much wiped out and I think that whatever's left can be handled by everyone else. And the forest will be fine too. They have a host of people to come to if they need help," he explained as she let herself think this idea over. It wasn't as though the thought hadn't crossed her mind before, but now it was all seeming like it could actually happen.
"And as for your parents, you're an adult now and I think if you explained it to them...they'd be alright. I mean you were a Power Ranger. If you can save the world, you can make smart decisions with the rest of your life," he continued on. "And as for work, you can take a leave of absence. We have the help to cover it. You'll have a job waiting for when you come home. The same goes for Nick too."
"Spend a lot of time thinking about my relationship with Nick have you?" Maddie asked with a smirk as she watched her boss simply blush and run a hand through his hair.
"Not a lot know but I will admit to observing. I always had a feeling that this could happen, and Maddie you and the others, you're family to me. I just want you all to be happy."
She was up and out of the chair in a heartbeat after that and engulfing Toby in one monster of a hug, something that he eagerly returned after getting over the initial shock. When Maddie pulled away she simply gave him a smile that he mirrored on his own face.
"You're family too. In fact I think you should be an honorary Power Ranger for all the help and understanding you've given us over the past year. Nikki is lucky to have you."
"I'm lucky to have her," he counters. "She's been good for me. Just like I think Nick's been good for you. So how about I let you have the rest of the day off so you can think about what I've just said? You can come by later and let me know what you've decided."
"I think I already have," she answered with a tentative smile. She'd need to go and have a conversation with her parents and then get the team together at Rootcore but Maddie wanted to leave. It wouldn't be for forever but Toby made a point; Nick needed someone on his side and she wanted to be with Nick. He wanted to be with her. So why couldn't they be together right now? If she thought this through like she was doing now, it could prove to be something amazing.
Toby opened his mouth to respond to her but was stopped when a loud crash could be heard coming from the front of the store. That crash was followed by the dulcet tones of one Xander Bly who was then being yelled at by Vida. Maddie laughed as Toby cursed under his breath and both made their way to the door.
"Maddie just slip out the back, stop by later and tell me what's going to happen," he commented. "I'll tell Vida that I have you running errands or something outside the store and what have I told them about bringing fairy dust into the store? It makes people fly and run amuck and XANDER I swear you'd better have your wand out and fixing this right about NOW."
Maddie chuckled to herself as she watched Toby head into the front all the while still yelling for Xander and now Vida to bring people down from the ceiling of the store. She quietly decided to take Toby's suggestion and slipped out of the backdoor and leave everyone else to the clean-up. When she was safely out the door and in the back alleyway, she got her wand out. She thought that just this once, she could afford to use a little magic to get her home. Normally she would just walk or have Vida drive her but right now she needed speed. She needed to have a conversation with her parents before she somehow convinced herself that what she wanted was a bad idea.
After she was done having what she was sure would be an interesting conversation with her parents, she was going to need to make a call to Udonna to see if it would be alright if she actually did join her family on their expedition. After she squared away those two things would come the toughest conversation of them all; telling her friends about the plans falling into place within her head.
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