Thoughts

Disclaimer: I don't own anything from Power Rangers, Ninja Storm, and I'm not making any money from this fic

Summary: Hunter thinks about what happened after Return of Thunder

Author's Note: I've suddenly got a number of ideas for one-shots and possibly other series for different shows. I apologise to anyone who's waiting on my other series - I've kind of developed writer's block with them. Please be patient. I will start writing again as soon as I can

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I'm sorry.

I could say it a thousand times, and it probably wouldn't be enough. For me, anyway. I can't believe I was so stupid! To be taken in by Lothor and his minions three times... And the third time, I tried to kill my own brother.

How could I have been taken in so easily? I should have been strong. I should have resisted. Should have resisted, or died trying.

Blake and I have always been close. We've always been there for each other. It doesn't matter that we're not related by blood. We're true brothers in every other sense.

And I betrayed him.

Oh, sure, I know that Blake doesn't blame me. But it doesn't stop how I feel. Nothing will make up for what I did. Or tried to do.

I remember him trying to bring me back. He tried to get me to remember the truth. He almost succeeded... But then, I fell into that smoke, and my aggression grew. I remember that I hated Blake at that point. I have never hated my brother before. Sure, I've found him a complete pain on occasion... But that's normal. I'm sure he's felt the same about me. Siblings never agree on everything, or so I assume.

That hatred scared me. What if it happened again? What if Lothor tried it again?

I felt sick when we came back. The Wind Rangers were all right with what had happened... Well, not quite all right. But at least they understood that it hadn't been our fault.

That doesn't matter to me, though. Because I still attacked Blake... And there is no excuse for that. Ever since we were children, he's always looked up to me. He's always looked to me to protect him. And I've failed so many times.

I keep on thinking back to when Blake and I thought that the Wind Rangers' Sensei had destroyed our parents. I failed Blake then, too. I hurt him. It doesn't matter that he told me to just take my shot anyway... The blast ended up catching him in the shoulder, and, even with our accelerated healing, it had to have hurt like hell.

It hurt to watch the others once we escaped the island. They all seemed so happy after what had happened. Even Blake seemed fine - he was busy flirting with Tori.

I eventually ended up leaving NinjaOps, and the last person I expected came out after me - Dustin.

"You know, you don't have to keep feeling bad about what happened on the island," Dustin told me when he eventually found me. "We all know that it wasn't really you."

I just shook my head. "I don't see how you can all excuse my actions. It wasn't just this time, after all."

"Hey, what about me?" Dustin joked. "I was the one who trusted you and Blake when I first met you. I ended up making a whole load of mistakes."

I looked at him evenly. "That isn't really making me feel better," I replied, though I knew that Dustin was just trying to make me feel better. It clearly wasn't working, though.

"Sorry." Dustin shrugged, and then said, "If it's any consolation to you, I'm sure that Blake doesn't blame you for what happened. At all."

I shrugged, turning away, and tried to force a lighter note in my voice. "Wow. Since when did you become so thoughtful and philosophic?"

"Don't tell anyone," Dustin grinned. "I have a reputation to uphold." Serious again, he continued, "You should talk to him, Hunter. Keeping silent isn't going to do you or him any good. It'll just eat up at you inside until you become full of guilt and sorrow."

I looked over the water. "Maybe you're right," I admitted in a low voice. But how could I tell Blake that?

"You want me to go get him?" Dustin asked.

I shrugged. "Do what you want." There was a moment's pause, and then I heard Dustin leave. Sighing, I glanced down at my morpher. How could I continue being a Power Ranger after all of this?

I don't know how long I stood staring at my morpher for, but it couldn't have been that long, because I then heard the sound of someone approaching, and Blake's voice said, "Dustin said you were feeling bad?"

I glanced at my brother. "Blake, about what happened on the island..."

Blake frowned. "Listen, bro," he said. "I know that it wasn't your fault... And I also know that it wasn't mine. We were both under that mind control, Hunter. It wasn't you."

I looked down. "You didn't attack me," I said.

Blake took a step forward, and reached out to clasp my arm. "It wasn't you," he repeated. "But, Hunter, if it makes you feel any better... I forgive you."

Forgiveness. The most precious thing in the whole world. At that moment, I felt like a great weight was lifted from my shoulders. I smiled at Blake, and squeezed his hand. "Thank you," I said sincerely. "That does make me feel better."

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Ok, I know that this fic probably isn't really great... But it wouldn't leave me alone until I wrote it. Please review!