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Subject:Feel free to ignore.
Time:10:26 pm
Current Mood:blahblah
As the subject line says, feel free to ignore. These are the fics stored on my harddrive, due to a variety of reasons this is the best place for them. If you want to read half-finished, midway-through-editing, liable-to-be-deleted-or-added-to-at-any-moment fics, feel free. Otherwise...this is not the post you're looking for.

The strangest thing about the whole deal was that Bridge wasn’t even acting as ‘leader’. No. Adam was. Which he was fine with, given that he was the oldest and most experienced (probably most experienced of all Rangers but Tommy, to tell the truth) but it was still a weird position to be in. He’d never been in charge for any significant period of time before, not even in an unofficial capacity like this one.

Which is why when Tori and Kira attempted to murder Xander, he felt he had to be the one to intervene.

It ended badly. Xander lost three-quarters of a shirt. Adam just lost a pocket. Bridge, who had been smart enough to stay out of the entire mess, had gained half a shirt. And the Hartford’s dining room chandelier had gained a sleeve and a pocket and was jealously guarding them against anyone who attempted retrieval.

While it wasn’t the first time two of his teammates had tried to kill another (one specific time that sprang to mind involved Tanya and Rocky, six cans of spray paint and Tommy’s new haircut) it was the first time that he had actually feared his team not knowing each other’s limits. None of them had met before, with only the exception of the girls. And they were bonding together seemingly more for necessity than actually genuinely knowing each other.

So Adam decided something had to be done.

@--*------

“So does anyone know what this is about?” Tori asked that night, lounging on the Hartford’s couch. It was still a little weird to have this fantastic headquarters that they not only lived in but shared with mentor and (at least until they had moved out) replaced Rangers. Awkward.

Xander shrugged, having already bounced back from his near-death experience four and a half hours earlier. “Adam didn’t tell me anything more than what you guys got.”

Bridge walked into the room, followed by Kira. They both settled on the floor across from Tori, Kira grabbing a cushion from a nearby chair and lying down, placing it under her head. “So what’s Adam up to?” Kira asked.

“Adam requires some help in the kitchen,” the Black Ranger answered, backing in to the room, both hands cradling miscellaneous objects to his chest.

Bridge jumped up to assist, and pulled three bottles of soda from the haul in Adam’s arms. “Here.”

“Thanks, Bridge.” Adam unloaded the rest of his baggage and steered Bridge back into the kitchen.

Tori, Kira and Xander stared in silence at the masses of soda, juices, candy and (strangely enough) food coloring.

“Is this an initiation ritual or something?” Xander asked. “‘Cause I’m not sure what we Rangers do when we team up. Are we supposed to get sugar comas and cavities?” Tori slid down on to the carpet to join the others on equal footing, and to gauge whether the amount of food she’d seen from her higher position was correct. It was.

Bridge entered with four more bottles of different juices between his fingers and a packet of cookies between his teeth. Adam followed with a bucket of ice, a bottle of soda water and a stack of glasses.

“What’s going on?” Tori asked.

Adam dropped the ice on the floor and the carbonated water on the coffee table. “Bonding,” he said briefly, before setting out the glasses – one in front of every person in the room.

“Bonding like bondage like handcuffs and blindfolds, or bonding like superglue?” Bridge asked offhandedly, setting out the juices with a certain amount of care.

Adam blinked and paused, Tori’s glass hovering above the table. “Like the non-sexual kind. I hope.”

“You and me both,” Kira muttered, glancing at Xander.

Adam finished setting out the glasses and sat on the floor next to Xander. He waited until Bridge had finished arranging the bottles to his own satisfaction and neatly vaulted over Adam to sit almost primly in his chosen seat, between Adam and Kira.

“What kind of got to me this morning was that we’re not a team in the best sense of the word.” Adam held up a hand to stop any complaints that may have come at that point. “We’re doing pretty well at defeating Thrax’s army, at least so far, but it’s got a lot more to do with each of us being good as individuals rather than a team.” He took a breath, studying the carpet for a moment as he decided on the right words. “I know when I joined the Rangers it took a while to adjust. But we don’t have any kind of time; we need to be a team now.”

“…so we become a team over chocolate and Fritos,” Xander stated.

Adam shrugged. “Do you have a better idea?”

“Isn’t this traditionally done with alcohol?” Tori questioned warily.

Adam nearly laughed at that. “I don’t even know if you all are legal. Plus, you should not drink while you have the Power.” He touched a hand to his temple as if remembering some distant but not-forgotten pain. “Handy tip I learned at a teammates’ wedding. Coincided with a morph I did helping out a friend. Thought I was going to die for a week.”

“Soda will do nicely,” Kira confirmed, grabbing the bottle of lemon squash.

“As will juice,” Tori said, eyeing the small blueberry juice box.

Xander leaned forward and, after pouring himself a glass of lime cordial, passed Tori the box.

“Thanks.”

He toasted her with the glass. “To a good team.”

“And I’ll drink to that,” Adam agreed, grabbing the bottle of grape juice.

Everyone raised a glass or bottle in their hand to the toast, Bridge clinking his empty glass against Kira’s full bottle of soda. “Cheers.”

There was an almost comfortable silence as they all drank – or in Kira and Bridge’s cases, poured their drinks and then drank. Adam broke it by clearing his throat.

“So.”

There was an uncomfortable silence as they tried to think.

“Yeah. Not working too well, this whole ‘bonding’ thing,” Kira noted.

Adam laughed awkwardly. “You have a point.”

“Okay,” Xander announced. “Marital status of everyone.” He smiled hugely at his drink.

Tori shot Kira a look.

“Boyfriend,” Kira announced. “Trent. White Ranger on my old team.”

“Boyfriend,” Tori echoed. “Blake, Navy Thunder.”

“How’s his racing going?” Kira asked.

“Winning, as usual. He comes back to Blue Bay Harbor as much as he can, about a week every month.” Tori saw Adam’s questioning glance. “Big drama where three of us got turned evil and went crazy against the Dino Thunder Rangers.”

“Ah,” Adam nodded. “They have a habit of trying to do that.” He fidgeted for a second. “Boyfriend. Rocky, second red and first blue Zeo.”

Kira blinked a couple of times at that. “Huh.”

“What?” Adam asked reflexively.

“N-nothing.”

Adam sighed. “C’mon, Kira. Openness. Honesty.”

“I just…never heard anything about that from Dr. O. The way he spoke about you and some Tanya girl…I kinda got the feeling you were pretty serious.”

“I was a lot more serious about her than she was about me. We just…didn’t want the same things, and we went in different directions.” Adam scratched his leg absently. “Plus I haven’t talked to Tommy in…about six years.”

“Single!” Xander announced, nearly gleefully. “Now I know you two lovely ladies are off the market, I’ll look forward to Ronny and Rose coming back into the picture.”

“Sure,” Tori scoffed.

Xander affected a put-upon look. “She doesn’t believe me, Kira.”

“Neither do I.”

Bridge scratched his head. “Well, it’s complicated.”

“You’re gay too,” Tori stated. Adam glanced over and saw her hesitant grin directed towards him. He smiled back, suddenly identifying her resemblance to Aisha – teasing their friends within an inch, but with good humor behind it. Her smile brightened, and she looked back to Bridge, waiting for the rest of his answer.

“I’m not gay, but my boyfriends are. Or, half are.” Bridge cocked his head, staring into space.

“Plural?” Adam asked.

Bridge blinked. "Well, yeah. It’d be hard to have singular ‘boyfriends’, I think. And, you know, not just boyfriends, girlfriends too. I don't think you can be, you know, fully homosexual with two girlfriends. If I only said boyfriends then Syd and Z would have to beat me up. Being Red Ranger helps a lot of things but not when you’re being ganged up on by two angry female Rangers. And of course, I’d never get any help from Sky or Jack, they’d just laugh and-”

Bridge’s voice slowed as he took in the almost-vacant look in Adam’s eyes. “Are you okay?”

“Have things changed that much?” he asked quietly, toying with his glass.

“Kinda. Not really. Sort of. Um. Maybe?”

“You and…four others?” Kira asked, trying to place names with past experience. She vaguely remembered both a Z and a Sydney – though she couldn’t remember which was which.

“Yep!” Bridge said enthusiastically. “My old Ranger team. Though Jack left SPD, and Sky’s now the Commander, so it’s a little hard getting together.”

Xander noticed Adam’s expression hadn’t changed. He nudged the Black Ranger with his shoulder. Adam blinked, then shook himself out of it. “Are…” He swallowed, gaining everyone’s attention. “Are things…better? In the future? For gays?”

“Oh yeah,” Bridge smiled. He thought for a moment, then seemed to shrug at himself. “Wait for 2013. Everything kinda comes to a head then. And it ends up well, but don’t spread that around.”

Adam beamed. “Nothing like a human crystal ball to give you hope for the future.”

"So any more helpful hints for the rest of us?" Xander prodded. He grinned. "Do I end up dating a model?"

Kira leaned forward. "Do I ever do anything besides radio jingles?"

When Bridge faced Tori, expecting another question, she shrugged. "Will we remember this conversation if you tell us anything?"

"Yes, yes, and I'd imagine so." Bridge frowned. "I don't think I brought a mind-eraser with me."




------------------------------------------------

To: Adam Park (frog_prince_79@hotmail...)
From: Tommy Oliver (greenwhitered_black@yahoo...)
Date: 12 June 2004 17:34
Subject: Pick up your phone

Terrence is alive.

More details in your voicemail.


To: Tommy Oliver (greenwhitered_black@yahoo...)
From: Adam Park (frog_prince_79@hotmail...)
Date: 12 June 2004 22:56
Subject: Re: Pick up your phone

I'm coming to Reefside. I'll be there tomorrow.

==================================

"Hi…you've got Adam's voice mail. You know the drill."

"Adam, it's Tommy. You're not going to believe this, but Smitty is alive. I don't know how closely you follow the Reefside news, but shortest version is that he's now evil. Not evil like Kat was, or even like Rita and Zedd were - I mean fully evil. Willingly. Adam... please... look man, I know that you'll want to do something crazy, but this is the truth, and you can't help him anymore. I'm sorry.

That’s all."

==================================

To: Tommy Oliver (greenwhitered_black@yahoo...)
From: Adam Park (frog_prince_79@hotmail...)
Date: 12 June 2004 23:32
Subject: (none)

I'll be at Reefside by 8 tomorrow morning.

And if we got through to Kat, I'll get through to Smitty.


To: Adam Park (frog_prince_79@hotmail...)
From: Tommy Oliver (greenwhitered_black@yahoo...)
Date: 13 June 2004 06:10
Subject: Re: (none)

I know you loved him, but he's too far gone.


To: Tommy Oliver (greenwhitered_black@yahoo...)
From: Adam Park (frog_prince_79@hotmail...)
Date: 13 June 2004 06:29
Subject: Re: Re: (none)

They're never too far gone.

My plane gets in at Blue Bay Airport at eight. I'll be turning up at your school - I need some answers, Tommy.




Tommy was distracted.
Luckily enough, so was his first period science class.
Even luckier was the fact that his three Rangers were in this class. The senior class had less of a structure than any of his younger age group classes; not to mention that this was a designated study period for the test upcoming next week.
What was not lucky was what had happened yesterday. Tommy stared at an unmarked test paper, red pen in hand as he thought.
Smitty was alive.
And was Zeltrax.
This posed more than one problem.
One, the moral dilemma. How could he destroy Zeltrax knowing that there was some part of him that was, or used to be, human? It was the ‘evil Ranger’ predicament all over again.
And two…Adam.
It had been harder to have a thirty second conversation with Adam’s voicemail about the news that Smitty was alive than it had been to break up with Kat.
Adam had gone to Berkeley, studying Sociology and taking the side martial arts classes. Tommy had joined him in them, and had been introduced to Smitty through Adam. They’d shared Archaeology 103 but have never come into direct contact. Smitty had been in Adam’s LGBT Studies class and they’d hit it off. Quite well, Tommy reflected, remembering how he’d walked in on Smitty and Adam making out and walked straight back out again.
Despite their ties through Adam, Tommy and Smitty had never become best friends. They’d been partnered up a couple of times for study groups, but their personalities had never meshed as well as Smitty’s and Adam’s.
Then came the Mercer position, and it all went to hell.
Smitty had not been happy, to say the least, when Tommy was hired ahead of him. Adam and Tommy had quickly dropped from good friends to distant acquaintances. Then one day there had been a message from Rocky on his answering machine – Smitty had died in an explosion. And Adam was a disaster zone.
There was a knock on the classroom door.
Tommy glanced up from the paper, still without any traces of red pen.
Adam stood outside.
Tommy knew his jaw dropped open, no way that it wouldn’t have. He probably made some kind of noise as well; Conner and Ethan looked up from their own studies. Some tiny part of his mind which was less Tommy and more Black Ranger rejoiced at the fact that at least some of the lessons he’d taught the boys about watching and listening to teammates had sunk in.
He looked around the class – his Rangers were the only ones to notice his shock.
He stood gingerly, shaking his head slightly at Conner’s questioning frown. Tommy made his way over to the door and opened it.
Adam was leaning, almost casually, against the opposite wall of the corridor. The tension in his legs belayed his position, however, and even if there had been absolutely no outward sign of hostility Tommy would’ve known he was ready for a fight by the clench of his jaw.
“I suggest you come out here unless you want everyone to overhear,” Adam said.
Tommy looked back at Conner, who tilted his head slightly.
Tommy stepped outside, drawing the door to a close behind him.
Adam brushed a hand over his forehead, closing his eyes. “So last night I got a message saying the deceased love of my life is alive,” he said conversationally, still with his eyes closed. “I want to know what the hell is going on.”
“Zeltrax is…my version of Goldar.”
“Fuck you, Tommy; he’s your version of Scorpina. I never loved Goldar.”
“Look, I know-”
“You don’t know shit, Tommy.” Adam pushed himself off the wall. “You think that Terry actually wants to be evil-”
“He does! Mesagog saved his life. He rebuilt him a body!”
Adam stepped back. “You’re…” He shook his head. “No. Terry wouldn’t do anything to hurt anybody.”
“Wake up to yourself, Adam. He wasn’t a Ranger, he didn’t swear by our code.”
“But he was a good man! You didn’t know him like I did!”
“It doesn’t matter! He’s not the same!”
“Dr. O?”
“WHAT?” Tommy and Adam both turned to the door. Ethan shrank back only slightly.
“You’re yelling and freaking us all out.”
Adam looked him up and down, taking in the blue clothing. He glanced through the glass in the door at the two others watching, one in red and the girl in yellow.
“Fine,” Adam said abruptly. “Where are you living?”


“So what’s the theory on who that guy was who freaked Dr. O?” Kira asked for the fiftieth time that day.
Conner pulled into his teacher’s driveway. “Didn’t we decide on another teacher who wanted his class?”
Ethan hoisted his laptop case under his arm as they all exited Conner’s car. “I still say I’ve seen him before.”
They fell silent as they entered the house. Kira nudged the dinosaur bone, which clicked into place to reveal the Dino Cave.

---------------------------------------

It wasn’t like he’d ever planned to come back. He’d though about everyone a lot – like whether Blake and Tori had given birth to their first kid yet, or if Marah and Kapri had driven all the teachers mad yet. Maybe back when he was twenty, he may have entertained the thought of going back for a while – maybe even gotten so close as to inquire about prices of getting home. But he’d never kidded himself about really, seriously coming back.
So it wasn’t really expected when he’d found himself nestled in a tree overlooking the holographic portal and the surrounding area. He had watched as a few students – mostly school aged, a few probably into college – come down the clearly-beaten track he remembered so well, and walk on water to open the portal and go through. He’d even seen a few come out, go home, one of them faintly reminding him of Tori when three steps from shore she fell through the surface and splashed her comrades. He’d watched as various species of birds flew home as it slowly grew darker, and had startled a nearby hawk as it nearly landed on his hand.
But he was still watching.
And at nearly midnight, he saw it.
The portal flashed again, this time revealing three figures. One was the slim, neat figure of a woman, while the other two were stockier and a little taller. He watched by the faint light of the moon as they walked out, the woman nearly pushing one of the men off the surface tension and into the water. He recognised them immediately as the moon flared from behind the clouds.
Tori.
Shane.
Hunter.
He let out a breath as his eyes skimmed over the three, lingering a little longer on Hunter. Hunter looked almost the same – a little leaner, if possible, and with slightly longer hair, but there could be no mistaking him even in the moonlight.
He opened his hand slightly, and a few flakes of soil fell through his fingers, brushing through the branches and landing with a barely-audible whisper on the ground below.
Hunter inclined his head slightly, glancing to the left as he heard something. His Ninja instincts were ticking at him, saying something was over there.
“You okay, Hunter?” Tori questioned.
“Fine, Tor,” he replied distractedly.
Just as he was about to investigate, an owl fluttered from the leaves and swooped to the grass. A faint squeak from an already-dead mouse was all that remained a few seconds later. He dismissed the thought of anyone being over there. _I’ve been working too hard,_ he thought to himself. _Senses are too sensitive for my own good._
The man in the tree stared at his old friends for a moment longer before dropping the remaining handful of soil and dropping silently to the ground. Hunter turned, one last time, to see only the smallest of shadows disappear into the night. He frowned in the general direction of the owl’s tree before jogging to catch up to Tori and Shane.
Dustin crouched, touching the ground with the barest tips of his fingers, watching as the three figures made their way down the trail.
“Missed you, love.”


Cam yawned as he made his final run of the day, checking various locks and doors around the Academy to ensure they were secure. The school cat hissed at him when he tried to check on its kits. He guided Lindsey back to her dormitory when he found her sleepwalking in the main hall again. All in all, a pretty normal night.
As he made his way to Ninja Ops – ironically enough, where he still slept even nine and a half years after the rebuilding of the Wind Ninja Academy – he wondered sleepily if this routine would ever change. The closest he got to change was Lindsey’s sleepwalking patterns, and how hostile the cat was towards him. It was hard to choose what he would rather experience; between days of action, in his Ranger days and even before, and his now blisteringly-routine days as teacher at the Academy. He flicked the computer screen on for a final check of the grounds before he went to bed, and yawned again. To think he had to be up at six tomorrow – this morning, he corrected himself after a glance to his watch – for another check of the school. Cam supposed he should have been used to it by now; he’d been the only teacher living on-site since Shane moved out. That was what, three years now?
The computer beeped, signalling it had connected to the rest of the security system scattered around the grounds, and near the pool that was used as an entrance. He clicked on the topographic map of the school, wondering idly what exactly he should do about the outdoor lessons now it was getting colder. Back when he…no, he wasn’t the one training, but back in his teen years the outdoor classes were forced to remain training outside, whether in rain, sleet, hail or snow. But if he could convince his father that a lesson in distance streaking was applicable to the – wait a sec.
“That’s not supposed to be there,” Cam muttered under his breath as he squinted at the screen. After living a decent part of his life monitoring these cameras, he knew the shadows at just after one o’clock in the morning. These weren’t it.
“Heat sensors,” he murmured, typing furiously into the computer. The topographic map melted into a shifting mass of blue and reds and whites, and he swore silently as he took in what the readings told him.
Someone was out there.


As someone who had never actually been trained as a ninja, Cam was wary of himself as he padded past the trees he had noticed the disturbance near. Samurais didn’t like reconnaissance, or stalking around at midnight. Then again, he had never actually been trained as a samurai, either.
He stood silently under a low-hanging branch, letting his senses grow used to the quiet and dark night. There was an occasional brushing of leaves. A bat fluttered by overhead, a black darker than the midnight sky. A bird squawked indignantly above him.
That was what must have given him away.
There was only the smallest sound from above, as if a twig had fallen from the tree. Even that small sound made Cam react like his life depended on it – which it did.
A figure fell straight down, landing only a foot or so away. Cam didn’t hesitate. He struck out with two lightning-speed kicks, which to his amazement were avoided. It was then his turn to be on defence, but he didn’t fare as well, deflecting only the first blow before being swamped by a number more.
His senses whispered to him, the darkness meaning little to him after spending his life on these grounds and with centuries of experience behind him. Past samurais hissed at him; even as he was hit at hard in the ribs he was learning exactly how this…man, he supposed…fought.
He began to anticipate actions, managing to duck two kicks that would have probably come close to giving him a concussion. Cam started to get into a rhythm, duck, duck, kick, duck, kick. It lasted maybe two minutes.
The man then lunged out with an unexpected punch to the side of Cam’s head. Cam blinked away stars before realizing he’d been forced back to the very edge of the pool. He hesitated a moment before flipping himself back into the middle of the water. If this guy wasn’t a ninja, he’d pretty much just screwed himself over. If he was…Cam was in bigger trouble than he thought.
When the man followed him out onto the water, a beam of moonlight illuminating the water below him and eliminating all possible doubt about where he was, Cam was a little more worried than he had been.
He quite honestly had no idea what to do now.
So he ran.
Hand to the portal, he flipped himself through and landed on the edge of the greenery bordering the school. He glanced over his shoulder, and with green flickers of light he saw the figure had followed him.
“Shit,” Cam muttered.
comments: Promo time? Previous Entry Share Next Entry


kikos_ai
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-01 05:48 pm (UTC)
Hee. These are lovely. I can't wait to read the finished Once a Ranger fic anyways.

Although purely for conversational purposes..what's Bridge's justification for saying he doesn't consider himself gay if he's in a poly relationship with two guys? Unless you're suggesting that Jack and Sky sleep with each other and the girls but not Bridge and Bridge sleeps with the girls but not the boys. Which is entirely possible..Ive never seen anyone go that route before. I find that idea fascinating, although if the girls sleep with each other as well, then I wonder how Bridge would adjust to a possible scenario where everyone is busy with each other with nothing for him. He is a patient guy but then again also human. Therein lies a major problem with SWAT (besides the 'everyone is magically open/gay/freelove with each other' thing which is, yeah. fantasy) that even I havent figured out yet.

Still. My interest. You has it. :D
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[icon] Feel free to ignore. - Tired of bullshit dressed in gold.
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