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Losing Touch

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It said something about him that he finally really wanted to get to know Trent. Now that the whole thing with Trent and Kira was out of the way, he could live with getting to know the other Ranger better. He knew that some of it was straight out jealousy that wasn't Trent's fault, but part of it was that Kira had been his teammate and he was protective of her like a teammate should be, especially with an outsider. Trent was part of the team, but not in a way that he, Kira, and Ethan had been. They'd been the original trio, and maybe he'd shut Trent and Doctor O out in ways he should have.

Not that he was going to say anything about that, because the past was the past, and everything was okay now.

"Probably a tough guy," Kira teased, and Trent seemed to blush a little. They might have drifted apart, but it was apparent that the two of them were still friends.

"I don't think so," Trent said, but he was still blushing.

Conner wondered if asking Kira out was a wise idea. It would probably hurt Trent's feelings, though, and he wanted to avoid that, and he didn't want to be Kira's rebound, either.

"So, what's it like being a philosophy major?" Ethan asked, and Conner felt a wave of guilt crash through him. Sure, he couldn't explain the whole thing to himself sometimes, but Ethan and Kira and the others deserved better.

"I'm not one yet, but it's a lot of explaining and thinking," Conner said, at a loss to say what it meant to someone other than Kira. "You kind of get a better idea of the universe. And if you get a better idea of the universe, maybe you can make things better." Like the soccer camps he wanted to open someday. Probably not what his parents had sent him to Stanford for, but he figured he'd get there eventually.

Ethan nodded. "That sounds cool, actually. Reminds me a bit of computer programming."

Conner wondered what computer programming had to do with philosophy, but maybe that was something to think about. "Maybe." It was the best answer he could give. "You? What are you up to?"

"Hayley didn't get me into CalTech for nothing," Ethan said. "And I really like Pasadena. Even if I feel like I can't throw a stone without hitting a college downtown there."

Oh, yeah. He remembered when Ethan and Hayley had been talking about the place. CalTech was only a few blocks down from the local city college, and a few miles from some religious university that he should remember the name of.

But this was him, absentminded as always. But not stupid, no matter how dumb a jock he'd sounded like back in high school. Dumb jocks didn't go to Stanford, even on soccer scholarships. He felt absurdly pleased at what he'd accomplished, something that he definitely never would have thought he'd accomplish.

Maybe getting older changed your mind on some things, or at least growing up did. Going to college. Living kind of on your own. He hadn't made that many friends in college, though that possibly had to do with being on a team with other people; kind of made things less important than they should be.

"Ethan's dating some college grad that's working over in computer support at the next college over," Trent contributed, with a grin.

It was hard to tell when Ethan blushed, but Conner was sure he was. He made a note to actually bother to keep up with those kinds of things. Couldn't have Trent get all the scoops on everyone's love lives when he was perfectly capable of doing so himself.

Okay, so asking about peoples' relationships was kind of never his thing, but other than that....

He definitely had to keep in touch. Well, of course he'd probably assumed that the others would keep in touch with him, but maybe he should have said something. Like not to forget him.

The group continued on, and he joked and asked questions and made promises to keep in touch instead of forgetting like he tended to, and finally the rest were gone and it was just him and Kira.

He gazed at her. "So… um." Yeah, he might have been a philosophy major, or at least supposed to be, but that didn't make him suave. "I guess I really should keep in touch."

"It's my fault, too," Kira admitted. "I bugged Ethan, and of course I was in touch with Haley, and I live with Trent."
"And I seriously need a way to keep in touch," Conner said. "I mean, I can't forget where I parked my zord, but...." He couldn't remember what was most important to him, apparently.

"Don't worry," Kira said with a smile. "I'm serious. Come over and stay in New York with me and Trent. I promise we don't bite." Her look was gently, but he couldn't help but hang his head. "I'm happy that you like school, Conner. And I'm sorry I thought you were so caught up in school...."

"Yeah. Well." He looked at her. "I shouldn't be that caught up. You and Ethan... we're a team." And Doctor O, and Trent, of course, but the core group had never lost importance to him.

Kira had never lost importance to him, and he wished that his philosophy classes covered things like how to ask a kickass teammate for a date. Because he was sure that he was turning red himself, trying to think of something useful and witty to say.

"Thinking of something philosophical?" Kira asked, a twinkle in her eye, and Conner had to wonder if she knew he'd always harbored something for her.

"Thinking of something foolish," he admitted. "Though that's relative in philosophy. And a matter of great debate."

She laughed, and he hoped that it was a good laugh. He had to admit that it was pleasant. "Nothing could be foolish with you."

He grinned, and that, if nothing else, had to be entirely silly. "So... um. I know you and Trent aren't together, I was wondering if I'd... I could...." If he could date her without it being a problem.

"I'm not sure," she admitted. "But Trent and I broke up a while ago. And you've always been there for me. I'm willing to give it a try."

Conner hoped she wasn't doing this just to make sure he didn't fall out of touch with her and the others. "Thanks."

"To be honest," Kira said. "It's... kind of what I came here to see if I wanted to ask. But you looked so lonely, and then... well, it's good to see you smile."

He grinned widely at that. "Then I'll try with you." He shouldn't have fallen out of touch, but he had, and even if she meant to just feel him out, it wasn't too bad. They'd saved the world together; how much more cool of a partnership could you get than that?

"Sounds good to me, Mr. Philosophy Major," Kira said, smiling, teasing him a bit.

"I'll keep that in mind, Your Headsetness," he said, teasing her right back.

And even the rain, starting to fall, couldn't dampen his smile.

-end