|Change on the Wind
Author: lilyleia78 PM
Complete! Set after finale of PRNS. Hunter and Tori are roommates, a surprise visit leads to some revelations. Will be HunterTori, but Blake friendly. Rating just to be safeRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Humor - Hunter B. & Tori H. - Chapters: 12 - Words: 22,359 - Reviews: 53 - Favs: 53 - Follows: 13 - Updated: 08-11-06 - Published: 07-07-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3031337
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer-I don't own anything. The Power Rangers belong to Saban among others and the songs belong to the writers or whoever bought the rights to them. The lyrics I borrowed from them will be in bold.
Author's note-Here it is. Finished at last. Enjoy!
By Monday it was clear to everyone that Hunter was not going to come to his senses anytime in the near future-or possibly ever. Cam tried to talk to his despondent friend, but Hunter refused to admit that anything was wrong. Neither Cam nor Leann could think of a way to force the issue without betraying Blake's brief stint as a peeping tom.
The crimson ranger was even worse with the rest of his friends. He actually would talk to his brother on the phone, but kept making excuses to avoid seeing him in person. Any attempt to bring up the subject of Tori conveniently led Hunter to remember something important he had to be doing. He refused to answer the phone if the caller ID flagged it as Shane or Dustin, just in case it was really Tori.
As for seeing or speaking to the water ninja, that was totally out of the question. Hunter called into work at Storm Chargers and managed to slip out of a window the one time Tori tried to corner him at Cam's house. The blond surfer felt as if she were on an emotional roller coaster. She kept swinging from despair at ever speaking to her roommate again to complete frustration at the man's pigheadedness. She was beginning to hope that Blake's plan included banging Hunter's head repeatedly against the wall until he listened to reason.
On Tuesday afternoon, Blake sat in the kitchen having lunch with Tori and told her it was time.
"Time to beat your brother within an inch of his life?" Tori asked hopefully.
Blake grinned and asked, "How about scaring him within an inch of his life instead?"
Now the wind sensei looked hesitant, "What are you going to do?"
"Oh no. I'm not telling you. You might go all soft and try to ruin the plan."
"How? It's not like I'd be able to talk to him to warn him."
"That's a good point," Blake mused. "But I think we'll just keep this need-to-know. I promise not to hurt him. Anything he suffers will be his own fault for not speaking to anyone."
When they finished eating, Blake ducked down the hall and returned carrying his suitcase. He set it by the door and took something out of a side pocket before turning to the bewildered blue ranger.
"Are you leaving?" she asked with a note of concern in her voice.
"Yeah, you guys are going to need some privacy."
Tori bit her lower lip and sighed, "Blake are really going to cut your first visit home in months short because of Hunter and me?"
"No, of course not. Well, I have to admit I'm not quite ready to see you two being all couplely. But, ummm, do you remember my friend Tracy? From tour?" Blake paused while Tori recalled some earlier conversations and nodded. "It's funny actually. Whenever your behavior with my brother was making me nervous, I kept reminding myself that I'm like that with Tracy. It was my way of comforting myself that there was nothing going on there, because there was nothing between Tracy and I. But given how things are working out with Hunter...I think Tracy and I need to have a serious conversation. So I'm going to fly up to her place tonight and surprise her."
Tori gave him a sad little smile. She felt of a small pang of jealousy. She didn't want him like that anymore, but he could have pined for her for a little bit before moving on. Jeez Hansen, ego much. You haven't exactly wasted anytime moving on to his brother!
"Tor? Are you listening?" Blake asked.
"No, just thinking. I hope you have better luck than I do."
"I think we'll both be just fine. I'll get Hunter here no later than six. Be ready for him." Blake handed her a homemade DVD. "Play this when he gets here."
Tori nodded and took the silver disc from him. "Have a safe trip. Come home more often, OK? We really do miss you."
Blake embraced his old crush. "That's a promise. Good luck." The navy ranger walked out the door, and headed for his last stop in Blue Bay Harbor.
To say Hunter never saw his adversaries coming would be an extreme understatement. He had been sitting alone in Cam's kitchen, moping around when he heard a noise in the living room. Naturally, this didn't set off any warning bells in the crimson rangers head. There were, after all, two other people living in the house, and Hunter had taken to avoiding the living room because of the chair. Any and all progress he felt he had made with accepting the loss of Tori went right out the window when he saw 'their' chair.
So when two pairs of strong arms suddenly trapped him against the back of the chair, he was caught totally off guard. He was too shocked to fight while Dustin and Shane held onto him, and Leann and Cam tied him up. Their job complete, the four ninjas retreated back to the living room.
"Guys? What the hell?" he yelled after them. His felt a rush of relief when his brother stepped into the room. "Blake get me out of here. Our friends have lost their minds.
"Sorry bro, no can do. This was all my idea. I've been trying to see you for awhile now, and this is what you get for avoiding me."
Hunter, angry now, began to struggle against his bindings. "You could have just asked dude"
"I could have tried that, but I didn't think you'd cooperate. Besides, this is so much more fun." Blake sat down facing his brother and decided to give the older man one chance to free himself. "So, why have you been avoiding me?"
The blond man averted his eyes. "I haven't. I've just been busy."
Alright, I tried. Blake thought to himself. "Well, you're not busy now. Which is good, because I came to tell you two things. One-I'm leaving today."
Hunter met his younger brother's eyes in surprise. "Today? Why?"
"Glad you asked. That's leads to number two. I've discovered that I may be falling for my friend Tracy, so I had to break it off with Tori." Blake stopped here. He was hoping that that would be all it took. Maybe Hunter would realize that he and Tori could be together, and they wouldn't have to trick the thunder ninja any further.
It took a moment for Hunter to absorb this news. At first, he was elated. There was no reason for him to be apart from the woman he loved now. Then he remembered that Tori loved Blake. She was probably heartbroken. Now he'd have to comfort her, and listening to her tears would kill him.
Blake sighed when he read the direction of his brothers thoughts on the other man's face. Oh well, stage two.
"Naturally, she was pretty broken up. I tried to comfort her, but she said she just wanted to be alone and get drunk. I hope she doesn't do anything stupid." Blake saw that his words were having the desired effect. Hunter looked worried, and he began unconsciously searching for a weakness in his bindings. He was obviously anxious to talk to his roommate and be sure she was alright.
"You know, bro. I don't think Tori really even has feelings for me anymore. I think she might be upset about something else entirely. Any ideas?" Hunter didn't answer, so Blake went on. "I hope whatever it is works out. I want her to be happy and find love. She's really like a sister to me."
Hunter looked suspiciously at the younger Bradley's emphasis on the word sister, but Blake ignored him and pushed on, "She deserves someone who'll really understand her life as a ninja sensei, as a former ranger. Maybe someone who enjoys surfing too." Hunter finally seemed to sense where Blake was going. In fact Blake almost didn't complete the plan, but he wanted to guarantee that his brother would rush right home.
Blake's cell phone rang. The navy ranger frowned at his caller ID. "It's Tori," he told his brother before turning away to answer. Hunter listened intently to the end of the conversation he could hear.
"Tor? What's wrong?" Blake sounded worried. "Is there any blood?...No! No! Don't you dare drive..someone will come get you." When Blake turned around, his brother was already gone.
Dustin hung up his own cell phone as he came into the kitchen. "Does that mean he bought it?"
"Oh yeah, he bought it all right." Blake said with a smile.
Shane joined them. "It's a little harsh to make him think Tori's hurt, don't you think?"
"Nah, he deserves it," he saw his friends disapproving looks. "Hey, this way he'll act with his emotions and not his deranged brain. At any rate it's out of our hands now."
Sensei Hansen was rehearsing her speech when the front door opened with the force of a minor explosion. Hunter stood in the doorway, breathing heavily, a look of pure terror in his eyes.
"What..." was all Tori had time to say before the taller man was across the room. He pulled her into his arms and kissed her with a fierceness born of both panic and love. The blue ranger had no idea what was going on, but she kissed him back with abandon.
Hunter pulled back just slightly to run his hands over the beloved face before him. She was here and whole, and he could breath again. Tori looked dazed but happy.
Hunter pulled her tightly against him and she lay her head against his chest. Now that he was sure she was alright, Hunter took a moment to look around.
The living room was softly lit with dozens of candles. There were purple flowers everywhere, and when he looked down he noticed that Tori was wearing her red dress from that night on the beach. Now he was really confused.
"What's going on here?" Hunter asked without releasing the woman in his arms.
"I was going to ask you that," Tori responded. She kissed her love's jaw. "Not that I'm complaining."
"I thought you were hurt."
"Is that what Blake told you?" Tori asked, slightly shocked by the tactic.
At the mention of his brother's name Hunter tried to back away from Tori, but she held him tight. He stilled, but didn't relax.
"I'm sorry Tor. Blake told me that you were upset because he broke up with you."
Tori began laughing. "That lying fink! I broke it off with him."
"What? Why would you do that?" Hunter looked down in confusion at the laughing woman.
"Because I'm in love with you stupid!" Tori took advantage of his stunned silence to kiss her crimson clad friend again. Then she grew more serious. "That's what I've been trying to tell you for the past few days. I love you."
Hunter stared down at her in joy and amazement. He wanted to close his eyes and savor this moment. However, Tori looked worried and unsure, and he couldn't have that. He kissed her again and whispered against her mouth, "I love you too."
"Excuse me, is this a bad time?"
"Yeah dudes, because this thing is heavy."
The sound of two new voices caused the rangers to turn toward their still open door. Shane and Dustin stood there carrying a over-sized chair like the one at Cam's. It was purple.
"It's a gift from Blake," Shane explained. "We'll just leave it here." He and Dustin plopped it down next to the couch and left in a hurry.
"That reminds me." Tori disentangled herself from Hunter and went over to the TV. "Blake asked me to play this." She put the DVD in, and the ninjas settled together on their new chair.
Blake was on the screen. He simply said, "Gotcha." His image was replaced with a picture of Tori and Hunter taken at the track about a year ago. More pictures of the couple appeared as music started.
I can't fight this feeling any longer
And yet I'm still afraid to let it flow
What started out as friendship,
Has grown stronger
I only wish I had the strength to let it show
The blond pair grinned at the cheesy music selection, but they had to admit it was appropriate. The REO Speedwagon song was followed by several more selections with a common theme of friendship becoming love. After What if I Said by Anita Cochran and Steve Wariner, Blake reappeared.
"Just so you know," he told his friends. "I didn't do this alone. Cam and Leann helped me make the DVD, Dustin thought of the chair, and Shane picked the music. He has a surprisingly large knowledge of sappy romance songs. He claims it's to pick up girls, but I'm not so sure."
Blake looked intently out of the television. "Seriously guys. I love you both. Be good to each other, and be happy. Oh, and here's one last song for you."
Lady in Red started. Hunter frowned. "How did he know about that?"
"Does it matter?" Tori said as she stood up and put a hand out to him.
"I guess not," Hunter stood up to dance with his new love.
I never will forget the way you look tonight...
The lady in red, the lady in red,
The lady in red, my lady in red,
Tori and Hunter were kissing again before the music faded, and were startled to hear Blake's voice one last time.
"Hey guys. Do you think I can have my room back next time I'm in town?" the navy ranger grinned mischievously and the screen faded to black.
Hunter looked at Tori and wiggled his eyebrows suggestively. "What do you think?"
Tori blushed. She took Hunter's hand and began to lead him down the hall. "I think that can be arranged."
Thanks to all my readers and reviewers. Your support has been invaluable. I hope you've enjoyed reading as much as I've enjoyed writing.