Previous chapters found here. Concrit is always appriciated.
The morning came, and Dustin and Hunter didn’t.
Cam had slept fitfully, or at least he thought he had. Wouldn’t have been once, maybe twice, he’d ‘woken up’ and a piano had fallen on his head, or he’d been back home and Blake had turned into a navy guinea pig and ran up and bit him on the toe.
He mentally added ‘extra stress’ under both ‘causes of weird dreams’ and ‘reasons to kill Dustin and Hunter upon finding them’. Not to mention the fact that it was now nine a.m., and they still were not at the hotel.
He’d gone over every possible scenario in his mind in the shower, still keeping an ear out for the door, or Dustin’s eerily perky banter, or a snarky comment from Hunter. Cam didn’t want to admit it to himself, but it was getting awfully quiet without Dustin’s babble and Hunter’s…well, Hunter’s quiet, but he brought such a presence with him it was impossible to ignore the bastard.
It wasn’t exactly as if he could call the police – “Yes sir, my friends are missing. But if you find them, it might not be them, it might be their present doubles…yes, present doubles, we’re from the future; we got sent back in time by a psycho alien…sir? Hello?’
He had way too many things to worry about to add to his troubles by looking like a good candidate for a psychiatric hospital. And hadn’t that been a TV show back home?
On one of Cam’s frequent paces around the rented room his gaze fell upon the cheap clock that hung on the wall. He blinked.
He had thirty minutes to get to work, and explain to Ernie why it was that two members of his staff were not going to be working for the foreseeable future.
“Oh my God. You’re in love with Rocky.”
Adam jumped. “Excuse me?!”
Aisha stared at him, her mouth agape. “You’re in love with Rocky,” she repeated, half-sitting and half-falling into the chair beside him.
“Buh,” was all Adam could manage, staring back at Aisha. Anyone walking past would have thought they were purposefully imitating fish.
The waiter took this opportunity to poke his head in. “Anything to drink here?” he asked, eyes flicking between them.
Aisha paid utterly no mind. “Have you told him yet?” she challenged.
Adam sent her what would equate to the universal ‘shut up before I kill you’ look. It had absolutely no effect on the determined Yellow Ranger. “Can we talk about this later?” he pleaded, sending the employee an apologetic look.
“You’re not squeaming out of this, frog boy,” she threatened. Finally noticing that they were in a public place, she lowered her voice to a hushed whisper. “You’re in love with Rocky! And damn I hope you noticed before I did.”
“Yes, I did,” Adam muttered back, acutely aware that the server next to him was listening in – though he was doing a good job of acting otherwise.
“So? Goss, boy!” Aisha demanded.
Adam looked over to where Rocky was spotting Tommy on bench-press. Then he realised that was the exact action that had tipped Aisha off, and looked back at the counter top sheepishly.
“Adam. Talk. Or you’ll force me to do something fairly bad,” Aisha threatened.
The waiter patted him on the shoulder in what seemed like a sympathetic manner. “I feel sorry for you.”
Adam grunted, now assured that his embarrassment was complete. He banged his head on the tabletop.
“As much as I support you, I don’t really want to clean up blood and brain fragments from that table, so I’d appreciate it if you continued that elsewhere,” their server continued.
Adam moaned. The entire world was against him.
Aisha said something to the guy in a low voice – Adam couldn’t hear her all that well, but when the other guy moved away he figured she’d either ordered or said something not so nice.
Then she scrutinised the top of Adam’s head for a few seconds. “You do know that I will hold you to your promise in third grade,” she said abruptly.
Dark eyes lifted to take in the picture she made. Adam’s voice was muffled against the table, but she could figure out what he said clearly enough. “What?”
“You and me being friends until…what did you say? ‘Until the sun explodes and all water on Earth evaporates. Then we can kill each other and shower in each other’s blood.’” Aisha paused a moment. “You really were a morbid child, weren’t you?”
The waiter returned with two shakes, then stood next to their table.
“Sorry boy. Soap opera’s over,” Aisha told him with a laugh.
“Darn. And after I hurried so much with you order…” He slouched away, overreacting for the time it took to return to his position at the bar. Aisha watched him with a smile as he returned to picking up drink orders.
Adam watched her for a moment. “Can you get up for a second?” Adam asked.
Mystified, Aisha looked at him through her eyelashes as she sipped from her straw. “Huh?”
Adam stood himself, and reached out a hand.
Aisha narrowed her eyebrows, but took the offered hand. She rose, adjusting her skirt as she did. “What…”
Adam enfolded her in a hug, one arm wrapped tight around her shoulders while another snaked to grasp a handful of hair.
Not one to give up a chance to hug her best friend, Aisha thought “What the hey,” and tightened her own grip on Adam, dropping her head to lean on Adam’s shoulder.
They stayed like that for a few seconds, Aisha simply enjoying the closeness as she waited for Adam to explain. It wasn’t normal – well, it wasn’t normal, but she didn’t like to put it that way – for Adam to initiate a hug or really any prolonged kind of contact.
“Thank you,” he mumbled into her hair. “For seeing it. And accepting me.”
Aisha squeezed him extra tight before letting him go.
Almost as if he were embarrassed, Adam let her go rather quickly before blushing and sitting down.
She returned to her own seat. “…don’t think that gets you out of spilling your guts, boy.”
Dustin was asleep again.
Hunter was sure that it wasn’t natural.
No one on Earth…or wherever they were…could sleep this much without even twitching.
Then his toes stated to curl, and the door slid open. Lord Zedd moved into view.
Hunter stood with slight difficulty. Dustin’s head had been resting on his thigh, and his leg was furiously protesting movement. The evil being had no expression, but Hunter got the feeling that he wasn’t happy.
“You will be sent to Earth in three minutes,” Zedd began. “Your friend will be asleep in this room until you return. You will draw out the Rangers. You will concentrate your attack on the Yellow Ranger. If your friend shows up, you will destroy him.
“And if these goals are not met, your lover will die.”
Hunter fell to his knees. He would like to have said that it was from his half-dead leg, but he would have been lying.
Everything he had been thinking about in the hours they must have been held was now crashing down on him like a tsunami. Cam. Dustin. His new ‘job’. This time’s Rangers. Dustin.
Numbly Hunter managed to return to his feet.
“Thunder Storm. Ranger form,” he said dully, lacking any of the passion he usually displayed when morphing.
Zedd studied the Ranger before him after the initial flash of crimson had left him poised and ready – physically, at least.
“Draw out Rangers. Centre on Yellow Ranger. Destroy Green if he shows up,” Hunter repeated. He wished desperately that he could touch Dustin again before he left…an extra shot of courage.
Zedd lifted his head. “Correct, Crimson Ranger.”
In another flash of crimson Hunter dematerialised.
He landed unceremoniously on a green hill.
Hunter scanned the area quickly.
Public was out in force today.
He ignored the tinge of conscience and lifted his Crimson Blaster to his eye, and fired.
Explosions of dark red rocked an empty barbecue area. With those shots, the general public exited the area fairly quickly.
Hunter smiled slightly under his helmet. No chance of civilian casualties.
Just to put this out there, this is possibly the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.
|comments: Promo time?|