Disclaimer: Characters don't belong to us. They belong to BVE and VRP.
Authors' notes: Well, here it is. The last (or next-to-last, depending on how bad the teamup messes things up) BF story. Wow. It's been a while.Building Family: Wherein, Misunderstandings
by EstiRose and TpTigger
Cam double checked the address in his PDA. Yes, this was definitely Trini's flat, unlikely though it seemed. He took a deep breath, hoping this would work out for the best. After all, she was the one with... a new boyfriend. Named Billy. Or so he thought. He nervously rang the doorbell.
The door opened, revealing a figure that was not Trini, to say the least. "Yes?" asked a blond man wearing blue boxers and a blue t-shirt. His hair was mussed--it was 10 in the morning, and he hadn't been out of bed yet.
"I'm looking for Trini Kwan," Cam said, hoping this wasn't Trini's Billy. Of course, with his luck, it would be Trini's Billy.
"And you are?" The man asked.
"Cameron Watanabe," Cam said, drawing up and using his full name. It was full of syllables, and could sound very intimidating. If he used it properly.
The man gaped.
Cam nearly crowed at the man's expression. So this guy knew who he was. Oh, this should be interesting.
"Hey, Billy, who's at the... door," Trini bounced up, wearing yellow sweats, and stood behind Billy, staring at Cam in shock.
"Want me to get rid of him?" Billy offered, putting a protective arm around Trini and drawing her to his side.
"Want to try?" Cam asked calmly, crossing his arms and glaring at Billy.
"Billy, he's here," Trini pointed out, pushing Billy away. "Let him in for Pete's sake."
Cam wondered if the hopeful note in her voice was wishful thinking on his part.
Billy said nothing, but by taking a step to the side allowed Cam through the door.
"Thanks, Trini," Cam said gratefully as he came in. He wanted to scoop her into his arms and kiss her breathless, but he wasn't sure how she'd react to that.
Or if he was entitled to anymore.
Trini gave him a very small smile.
"Um... let's talk in the uh...." He managed.
"How about right here?" Billy suggested, crossing his arms. Obviously, he trusted Cam no father than he could throw him.
Cam gulped. The guy had muscles. And he was upset. He had the same look in his eyes that Cam's teammates did when they were being protective of Cam.
"Billy!" Trini exclaimed. She rolled her eyes and grabbed Cam's arm, starting to lead him away. "Come on, we'll talk in the bedroom."
Cam let his girlfriend - or he hoped, at least, still-girlfriend - to lead him to the bedroom without this ape following. He was also grateful to note that the futon in the living room was in bed form and had obviously been slept in. As had Trini's bed. Separately.
Trini crossed her arms. "Well, Cam, you don't call, you don't write, you're either never in IM or you have me blocked, then you show up at my door. What do you have to say to me?"
"I'm sorry, Trini. It's just been... been...."
Trini studied him with growing concern. "You didn't think Billy and I..." It sounded like she was trying very hard not to laugh at the concept.
Cam's cheeks grew hot. He had been pretty silly.
"He thought you and I...." Billy started.
Cam jumped, turning to find the man lurking in the doorway to Trini's bedroom.
Trini laughed out loud, shaking her head at something. "Obviously he doesn't know what he's looking at yet."
Cam looked from one to the other. Then focused on Billy. "When did you get here?"
"Cam, stop with the interrogation, Billy's an old friend." Trini sighed with frustration.
"I thought he was in the other room!" Cam said defensively. "Wasn't the point of coming in here to have some privacy?" He glared at Billy.
"Billy...." Trini looked at her friend with puppy-dog eyes.
"Right," Billy said, somewhat grudgingly, and withdrew.
"Sorry, he gets protective sometimes." Trini rolled her eyes and sat on the bed, patting the spot next to her.
"Like Tommy gets protective?" Cam mused, sitting next to his girlfriend.
"Yes," Trini said simply. "We're close friends. I met Tommy about a year after I met Billy, and we got to be really close in high school."
"Oh," Cam said sheepishly, wondering if he had overreacted.
"Cam, this whole communications black out wasn't because of Billy's visit, was it?" Trini asked, looking at him.
"Um... that and a... few other things." Things that, for secrecy's sake, he had to leave out.
Trini arched an eyebrow. "Like?"
"Things," Cam said, avoiding the question for the most part. "Dad. The Bradley Brothers. Other things."
Trini sighed. "You're being all secretive again. How is your Dad?"
"He's getting better," Cam said. "He's not as weak or feeling as small as he was." Thank goodness Trini never would know about his father's transformation into a speaking guinea pig.
"That's good." Trini leaned against his shoulder. "How long are you in England?"
Cam put an arm around her. "Depends on how long the PhD takes."
Trini raised her eyebrows, sitting up in shock. "You're coming here permanently?"
Cam nodded. "I finally get to join you."
Trini bowled him over in a tight hug. Cam fell back under her weight, but returned the hug enthusiastically, fighting the temptation to escalate things.
"It's so good to see you again," Cam murmured into her ear.
Trini buried her face in his shoulder, sighing contentedly. "I missed you so much."
"I missed you too," Cam said. "So, Billy's just an old friend?"
Trini nodded. "A close one, but still a friend. I'd die for him, but I'm not in love with him."
Cam nodded hesitantly, a lump forming in his throat. He doubted that Trini really had meant what she'd said, but it reminded him of the team he'd left behind at school.
"It's not unlike the relationship you have with Tori, I'd imagine," Trini said, looking over at him.
Cam blinked. She thought he had a relationship with Tori? He then realized she thought he and Tori were really close. Which was true in a way.
Trini flushed, biting her lip. Cam recognized it as her "How do I explain this?" look.
"Um...." She reached under her bed and got out a small, ornamented wooden box and started poking at it.
"What's in there?" Cam asked, leaning forward.
Trini opened it and showed him a small, gold colored coin with a saber toothed tiger on it. "This."
"A Power Morpher?" Cam blurted. The words were out of his mouth before he could even process them. Yet alone manage not to say anything.
Trini gave him a warm grin. "I thought you'd recognize it."
Cam blinked at his girlfriend in confusion. "How... Why.. Why would you think that? And how do I recognize it."
"You have one too, right?" Trini asked hopefully, looking at him with doe eyes.
Cam took off his glasses, rubbing the bridge of his nose. "How long have you known?"
"For sure? About a minute," Trini said, looking down. "But I've suspected ever since your birthday party."
"How?" Cam asked. Had he said something obvious that gave him away?
"When everyone's 'beepers' went off during your birthday party," Trini replied, taking his hand. "Add that in with the report on the Rangers on the evening news, the fact the green one was missing, and all the color coding at your birthday party..."
Cam blanched. If it was obvious... as Dustin would say, they were all so busted.
"What?" Trini asked, as if she noted his alarm.
"Were we that transparent?" he managed.
"Only if to someone else who spent part of their life with the same MO," Trini said in a soothing tone. "I bet you know which color Ranger I was."
Cam looked. "Yellow?" Trini wore little but. It was the same with him and green.
"Got it on the one!" Trini said, hugging him again.
Cam sighed. She had been a Ranger. His Trini had been a Ranger. And he'd lied to her so much. "I'm so sorry about how I've been acting." He paused. "Do any of your... teammates... know I'm a Ranger?"
Trini flushed a little. "I told Tommy I thought you were. And I plan on bouncing out there and telling Billy."
"Let me guess, Billy was Blue and Tommy was... either Red or Green?" Cam bit his lip. Tommy wore more colors than anyone who was a former Ranger would normally. Unless the attraction went away with time.
"Tommy... Tommy has been several colors," Trini said. "Two during my time as a Ranger, a third a little later."
"What was his other color?" Cam asked, curious.
"White," Trini answered.
"Interesting," Cam said, shifting to a more comfortable position. "Guess Dustin was right about that team in Angel Grove about 10 years ago, huh?"
Trini smiled. "That was us."
"Oh," Cam said, suddenly nervous. "Um...."
"Can I tell Billy now?" Trini asked, nearly bouncing with excitement.
"Yeah, sure, I guess," Cam managed. He was still totally overwhelmed. Not only was Trini not mad at him, but she used to be a Ranger? And a yellow one at that.
Trini smiled. "Hold on."
She bounced out of the room, as if the gravity had been turned off.
Cam blinked, suddenly nervous. He felt like he was meeting Mr. Kwan instead of his girlfriend's teammate. Of course, he knew how protective his teammates were of each other, and he imagined that other teams were pretty much the same.
"How 'bout Billy and I get dressed and we go for brunch?" Trini suggested, flouncing back into the room. "I think the Bird and Babe opens soon."
"Bird and Babe?" Cam echoed, mystified.
"Sorry, Eagle and Child," Trini replied. "It's a pub where JRR Tolkein and other famous writers of the era used to hang out."
"Okay," Cam agreed nervously.
"Great," Trini said, kissing his cheek happily. "Do me a favor and pop over to the kitchen so I can change?"
Cam nodded, not really hearing. He sat still.
"Cam," Trini prodded, grabbing his hands.
"Oh, right." Cam let Trini pull him to his feet, willed himself out of the bedroom, and set about finding the kitchen.
Billy, now clad in blue jeans and a Harvard t-shirt, was sipping a cup of tea at the kitchen table.
Cam sat down and quietly waited for his girlfriend to change.
"So you're a Green Ranger, huh?" Billy asked, smirking at him.
"I am," Cam agreed, looking the other up and down skeptically.
"I'm sorry about earlier," Billy said, taking another ship. "We were just convinced that you weren't going to come out. Especially when you stopped writing. Trini's been... pretty upset."
"It's OK," Cam said, suddenly embarrassed.. "I probably deserved it with the virtual disappearing act I pulled."
"Battles got intense?" Billy asked knowingly.
"That plus... oh, I'll explain it when Trini comes out," Cam said, remembering his girlfriend might want to be told his Dad was a guinea pig first.
Billy raised an eyebrow, clearly interested.
"There was a lot of aftermath from the final battle," Cam explained. "I was busy helping out at home--Dad was our mentor--and keeping an eye on my teammates."
"Oh," Billy said in a manner that implied he was convinced there was more to it.
Cam decided a change of subject was in order. "So there's you, Tommy, and, what, two other guys who have been after my head for the last year?"
"Guy and a girl," Billy said, looking at him strangely.
Lightening struck Cam. "Wait, don't tell me, the girl's Kim Hart?" Cam guessed.
"That explains the interrogation the time I picked up Trini's phone in college," Cam mused.
Billy chuckled. "Trini is our teammate."
Cam nearly laughed, thinking about the grilling poor Marah had received from Shane and Tori about her relationship with Dustin.
"I take it you've done your share of protecting your teammates." Billy smiled.
Cam nodded, thinking of how he'd been ready to take out Sensei Omino's throat if he'd reacted differently to Hunter and Blake's activities while he'd been a prisoner on Lothor's ship. "You could say that."
"It's part of the psychological effects of facing danger together so often," Billy said, as if they were having a discussion on Ranger psychology.
Cam nodded. It made sense. "You're so used to looking out for each other on the battlefield, you have to do it off the field too."
"It can get you into some interesting situations," Billy said, clearly remembering his own past as a Ranger.
"Like forcibly moving your teammates out of a seedy hotel?" Cam asked, remembering Blake and Hunter's situation.
Billy raised his eyebrows. "Among other things," he said, clearly interested.
"Short version is I had stubborn teenage teammates who didn't know how to ask for help," Cam told him.
Billy nodded. "Rangers are sometimes stubborn that way."
"I guess," Cam said. "Those two certainly are." He smiled slightly at that.
Billy gave him a small smile. His eyes were warm and welcoming, and for once, Cam didn't feel like he was being glared at.
"Geez, Billy, you couldn't offer Cam a cup of tea," Trini scolded as she flounced into the room, whacking Billy's shoulder and giving Cam a peck on the cheek.
"We got busy talking," Cam said, squeezing her hand and gazing appreciatively at her yellow blouse.
Billy just blushed, looking at the table.
Trini looked from one to the other, eyes growing wide. "Talking?"
"Making our peace," Cam said simply, getting up and placing an arm around Trini's shoulders.
Trini raised an eyebrow at that.
Billy gave her a smile, standing as well. "We were comparing stories about our teammates."
"Oh, dear," Trini said, blushing.
"So, are you ready to go?" Cam asked.
"Yup," Trini said happily. She was brimming with excitement, and Cam couldn't blame her.
Cam grinned, and offered her his arm. Trini took it. Billy joined them, and the three headed out to the pub.
"Any particular reason you wanted to go to this pub?" Cam asked his significant other idly. "Other than the historical significance, I mean."
"Non smoking section," Trini said, grinning.
"It's a rarity around here," Billy added, balancing on the curb as they walked.
Cam grinned, thinking of all the smoking going on in the train stations on the way up from Gatwick.
"Apparently you can take us out of California, but you'll never take California out of us," Trini said, leaning her head on Cam's shoulder for a moment.
Cam chuckled, squeezing her hand. "Remember when Hayley took us to that coffee house in Cambridge and we absolutely could not believe that they allowed smoking."
"Tommy didn't believe me afterwards, either," Trini said, shaking her head. "I had to drag him back there."
Billy was grinning. "That's Tommy for you."
"Have you told Billy the story of Tommy's first chem lab?" Cam asked.
The three walked in the direction of the pub, chatting away.