Chapter 5: back to school
Ashley sighed, after her little adventure in space with the other Rangers, she was back in school with them. She couldn't help but wonder what Andros was doing at that very moment. Blush came to her cheeks as she thought about Andros. She pushed her hair out of her face as she opened her locker and a note fell out. When she picked it up and opened it, her eyes widened in horror at what she saw written inside. In big, red letters 'SLUT' was written inside the note. Tears pressed against her eyes as she dropped the note and she backed into someone. "Whoa! You okay?" TJ asked. Ashley didn't answer, she just dropped the paper and she ran out of the school.
"ASHLEY!" Cassie called.
Ashley ran out of the schoolyard and she ran to her car. She got in and she went to start it up, but she stopped. She hit the steering wheel and tears fell down her face. She jumped when there was a knock on the window. "You okay?" Andros called through the window. Ashley wiped her tears away and she got out of the car again. "Ash...what happened?" He asked. Ashley let out a small sob.
"Nothing, I'm fine," she replied.
"Right and you just sit in your car and cry all the time."
"Just someone said a hurtful thing to me...that's all."
Andros wiped a stray tear from her face. "Besides, what are you doing here?" She asked. Andros shrugged.
"I wanted to see the difference between your schools and our schools on KO-35," he replied.
Andros saw the pain in her face. "What exactly did this person say to you?" He asked. Ashley shook her head.
"It's nothing," she replied.
Andros stood next to her. "If it's nothing then why did you run out of that school crying?" He asked. Ashley wiped the rest of her tears away.
"It's just that. I used to have a pretty good reputation here you know..." she started.
Andros stood there listening to her. "I was head cheerleader, on my way to fashion school, and I was dating the captain of the soccer team," she explained. She pushed her hair out of her face. "Something happened and now I'm the biggest laugh at school," she added.
"What happened?" He asked.
"Something I'm not willing to get into right now," she replied.
"Now, I lost everything. I'm no longer the head cheerleader, my boyfriend dumped me, and my future as a fashion designer looks pretty grim."
Andros placed a hand on her shoulder. "I think if you really put your mind to it, Ash. I think you can rebuild your life and be able to achieve what you really want," he commented. Ashley smiled and she kissed Andros's cheek.
"Thanks," she answered.
She grabbed her books and she went back inside. Andros watched her go inside and he left the school grounds.
Diane came down with a crying Rosalyn. "Ashley," she called. Ashley sighed as she put her history book down.
"Mom..." she started.
Ashley sighed when her mother set Rosalyn in her arms. Ashley sighed as she went upstairs with Rosalyn.
She sat in the rocking chair in her room and she undid her blouse. She fed Rosalyn and Ashley let out a sigh. "No one said motherhood was going to be easy," Diane commented. Ashley looked up when Diane came in.
"Mom, I did have bottles in the fridge," she commented.
"We use those for when you're at school."
Ashley rolled her eyes slightly and she stroked Rosalyn's soft cheek.
That night, Ashley woke up to find Rosalyn still asleep. She got up and she teleported to the Megaship.
Andros was working out on the simudeck. "Ashley has boarded the ship," DECA informed. Andros wiped the sweat from his forehead.
"What time is it, DECA?" He asked.
"3:15 in the morning, Earth time," DECA replied.
"I wonder why she's up this early."
He took off his workout jacket, revealing the red muscle shirt he was wearing underneath it. He pulled his hair back in a ponytail and he went to the bridge.
Ashley was looking over a few things. "Ashley? What are you doing here?" He asked. Ashley turned around when she saw Andros wearing sweat pants and a red, muscle shirt. She saw that he had been working out. Her face went beat red.
"Oh...I see you were busy," she murmured.
"Not it's okay. DECA was going to kick me out of the simudeck any minute anyways. Everything okay?" He asked.
"Yeah, everything's fine."
"Why are you up so early?"
Ashley pushed her hair out of her face. "I couldn't sleep," she replied. She leaned against the console. "Kept dreaming about you," she thought.
"Oh...so you decided to wander up to the Megaship?" He asked.
"Um...yeah I guess so."
Andros set his jacket over the side of the chair that would usually be Cassie's and sat down. "Was just getting ready to start a search too after I was finished with my workout," he added.
"Searching for what?" She asked.
"Personal business," he replied.
She saw that he was getting that soldier look on his face again. "Sorry, I'll just go," she murmured. Andros sighed.
"I'm searching for my sister," he admitted.
Ashley played with her bracelet. "Oh...Carlos told us about what he saw..." she trailed off. Andros nodded his head slowly.
"She was kidnapped ten years ago. The last time I saw her someone or something was dragging her through the trees," he answered.
She sat next to him and she placed her hand on his shoulder. "I'll help you find her," she murmured.
"Thanks," he answered.
She leaned forward to kiss his cheek but he turned to look at her and she kissed him on the lips instead. Ashley pulled back with a small gasp. Andros cleared is throat and he rubbed the back of his neck. "Sorry," she murmured.
"It's okay...um...I should get to my search..." he answered.
Ashley stood up. "Um...I should...go back..." she stated. Andros didn't answer and Ashley left.
Ashley got back to her house and she sat down on her bed. She placed her fingers against her lips. A small smile came across her face. She bit her lip and she lied back on her bed, a smile on her face.
Andros was continuing his search when he found himself touching his lips where Ashley had kissed him. A small smile came across his face. "Should I search the next quadrant?" DECA asked, snapping him out of his daydream.
"Yeah," he replied.