Chapter 8: Head over Heels
Another month went by and Andros was slowly starting to come out of his depression, with Ashley there helping him every step of the way.
One day, Ashley was working on a few things when Andros came in. "Hey," he greeted. Ashley looked over her shoulder.
"Hey," she answered.
She stood up. "How are you feeling?" She asked. Andros leaned against the wall.
"Better," he replied.
Ashley nodded her head slowly and she placed her hand on his shoulder. "It'll get better," she assured him.
"It can't get any worse," he muttered.
Ashley leaned forward and she kissed his cheek. "It's still hard for me to believe that she's really gone. I mean she died right there in my arms but..." he trailed off. Ashley held his hand.
"Death is something that's always hard to cope with," she murmured.
"The last thing she said to me was to remember my promise to her."
"What was that?"
Andros sighed and he let her hand go. "Nothing," he muttered. He turned and left the bridge. Ashley bit her lip and she went after him.
"Andros!" She called.
Andros stopped and looked over his shoulder. "Listen...I was wondering...and if you don't want to it's cool...but tomorrow's my birthday and I was hoping you would come," she informed. The Red Ranger gave her a quizzical look.
"A what?" He asked.
"My birthday, it's when you celebrate the day you were born you get cake and presents and other stuff," she replied.
"Oh...maybe I will...we'll see..."
He turned and walked away after that. Ashley bit her lip and she fidgeted with her hands.
Ashley went home and she went up to the nursery. Rosalyn was whimpering when Ashley came in. "Oh! Mommy's here Rosie," she assured the baby. She walked over and she picked the baby up from the crib. She sighed in relief when that Rosalyn only needed changing and that she wasn't hungry. "I think you should get a bath," she commented. After she changed Rosalyn's diaper, she went to give her daughter a bath.
Later on, Ashley went downstairs and she snuck one of the bottles that was in the fridge. "Screw it, she can survive on a bottle tonight," she commented. She warmed the bottle up before taking it upstairs.
She sat in the rocking chair and she fed Rosalyn. Rosalyn placed her hands on the bottle and she kicked her legs a little bit. "You know sweetheart, I'm now sort of glad that your dad doesn't want to be part of this," she murmured. She let out a sigh before taking the empty bottle from her and walked around the room, patting her back to burp her. "Because, I think there's someone even better," she added. She smiled in satisfaction when the baby finally burped. "There we go," she cooed. She lifted the baby up and she kissed her tiny nose. "But it's time to get you to sleep," she added. She set the baby back down into her crib and placed the pale yellow blanket around her. She looked up when she heard someone knocking on the front door. She quickly turned the mobile on and went downstairs.
Ashley hurried downstairs and she went over to the front door and opened it. "Hey Ash," Andros greeted.
"Andros...is everything okay?" She asked.
"Yeah...um...can I talk to you?"
"Yeah, sure, come in."
Andros walked in and he sat down. Ashley saw one of Rosalyn's baby shirts on the floor and she grabbed it before he could see it. "So...um...what did you want to talk to me about?" She asked. Andros gave her a quizzical look when he saw that she was hiding something behind her back.
"Um...are you okay?" He asked.
"You're acting a little funny."
"Oh it's nothing."
Ashley bit her lip. "It's nothing, I'm just trying to clean up a bit," she commented.
"Oh...I should come back some other time then," he answered.
Ashley threw the shirt in the laundry basket and grabbed his arm before he could get far. "Andros..." she started. She closed her eyes when Rosalyn's cries could be heard over the baby monitor that was sitting on the kitchen counter.
"What..." Andros trailed off.
Ashley let out a sigh. "You shared your deepest, darkest secrets with me, Andros. I think it'd be fair if I returned the favor," she answered. Andros gave her a quizzical look. "Come on, I want to show you something," she added. She held Andros's hand as she walked up the stairs towards the nursery.
Andros froze when the door opened and the cries were louder. Ashley glanced at Andros before walking over to the crib. She hushed Rosalyn before picking her up. Andros was stunned when she turned the light on, revealing the baby in her arms. "Andros...this is my daughter...Rosalyn Loraine Hammond," she informed. He just stared and Ashley shifted slightly. "If you want to leave I'd understand," she commented. Andros took a step forward.
"Can I...um..." he trailed off.
Ashley was a little stunned with what he was asking. "Oh...sure..." she replied. She bit her lip as she carefully set Rosalyn in his arms. "Hold her tight but not too tight," she commented.
"Right," he answered.
Ashley smiled and she had Andros sit down. "She's beautiful," he commented. He held her with a smile.
"Wow, a smile, didn't think that was possible for you," she teased.
Andros chuckled slightly and he looked at Rosalyn. "Who's her father?" He asked. Ashley's smile faded slightly. She walked over and she stood in front of her window. "Ashley?" He asked. She let out a sigh.
"Carlos is her father," she replied.
Andros felt his heart sink to the pit of his stomach. "Oh...so you two are together?" He asked.
"No, Carlos broke up with me when I refused to give her up for adoption. He won't even see her," she replied.
She pushed her hair out of her face. Andros stood up and he set the baby back down in the crib. He walked over to Ashley and he kissed her cheek. "By the way, I was going to say I'm going to your party tomorrow," he murmured. He saw a smile form on her lips and he kissed her cheek again. "Things will get better," he added. Then he turned and left.
Andros stormed down the hall and he went to the bridge. The doors to the bridge opened and Andros saw Carlos there. "Carlos!" He snapped. Before the Black Ranger could react, Andros had him thrown up against the wall.
"ANDROS!" TJ shouted.
"How dare you do that to Ashley!?" Andros snapped without answering TJ.
Carlos was stunned for a minute, but then it hit him. "Oh great she's pulled you on her side too," he commented.
"So it's true? You broke up with her just because she wanted to keep Rosalyn?" He asked.
"This is none of your business! That brat is not my responsibility!"
"SHE'S YOUR DAUGHTER! I WOULD GIVE ANYTHING TO HAVE WHAT YOU HAVE!"
"THEN TAKE ASHLEY AND THE BRAT! I DON'T WANT THEM!"
Andros glared at Carlos and he punched him. Carlos glared right back at Andros and punched him back and soon both teenagers were rolling on the floor beating the crap out of each other. "CARLOS! ANDROS!" TJ shouted. Cassie ran in after hearing all the shouting and she was stunned at what she saw.
"STOP IT!" A voice shouted.
Andros finally kicked Carlos off him and stood up to see Ashley standing there. "I don't want you fighting my fights for me," she told him. She looked at Carlos before she helped Andros to the infirmary.
Andros hissed when she cleaned the cut on his forehead. "Oh! Sorry," she murmured. She sighed as she fixed up the rest of the cuts on his face and saw the bruises starting to form. "Andros, I want to tell you something, Carlos didn't want to be part of Rosalyn's life from the beginning. We've been trying to convince him to for months. Just because you beat the shit out of him, it won't make him change his mind," she explained. Andros sighed and he held her hand without thinking about it.
"I like you Ash, I just don't like the fact that he's hurting you over something that he helped with," he answered.
Ashley gave him a half-smile. "I wouldn't want him to be part of her life anymore, because he doesn't want to be a dad, he just wants to be Carlos," she murmured. She kissed him briefly with a smile. Andros smiled back before he stroked her face and he kissed her gently.