By The Senshi of Valis
Preread by Cylon One
A big thanks goes out to Cylon One who helped so much to correct so many mistakes in past chapters and other stories (which I'm still working to try and get caught up with them all) as well as preread this chapter. Thank you so much.
Ranko walked angrily out of the school after the final bell, angry beyond belief at the nerve of many of the students who ridiculed her when she first introduced herself. Now they were sucking up trying to get in her good graces! While she did want to be accepted and make friends she didn't want it to be like that, people who only liked her for her looks or who she was connected to. The only person who was nice to her was the blonde haired girl named Ashley whom she met when she first arrived at her new school. But now Ashley seemed to avoid her for the rest of the day, which hurt all the more. For some reason she kept seeing a raven-haired girl's image over imposing itself over Ashley's in her mind, retracting her friendship when she learned the truth.
"Hi, Ranko." A voice said nervously as it hurried to catch up to the red haired girl.
"Hi," Ranko sighed as she stopped, allowing Ashley to catch up though her inner voice was screaming to ignore the blonde haired girl.
"Ranko…I'm sorry…that I avoided you most of the day, I had a lot on my mind." Ashley sighed as she hung her head. "It's just…I want to be your friend. I don't have many here because a lot of people pick on me because I'm an orphan or suck up to me because I'm a Starlight Girl. It's just…we aren't supposed to be around the Misfits but…I don't care. I know Stormer isn't like the others and if you are her sister I doubt you are like them either."
At first Ranko was angry with Ashley for what seemed like insults to her friends but something about Starlight Girls caused her to pause. Weren't they the orphaned girls that Jem's band took care of? The snotty, stuck up girls who thought they were better than everyone else just because they were sponsored by little miss princess Jem?
"I don't want no problems and I sure don't need someone insulting my friends." Ranko said watching the other girl's face fall before continuing, smiling to herself as Ashley's face brightened by what Ranko said next. "So if anyone bugs my new friend they will have to answer to me."
"Thank you so much!" Ashley cried glomping Ranko causing them both to stumble and almost fall to the ground.
"It's okay, honest." Ranko said hugging her new friend back, "So do you want to hang out or something?"
"I'd love to but I have to stop off at home and check in first. If you want you can come with." Ashley said with a hopeful face.
"Sure, that would be great." Ranko said smiling.
"Great, come on, it isn't far." Ashley said leading the way to Starlight Mansion, a very short trip that was spent mostly in silence when Ranko told her about having amnesia. When they finally reached it Ranko couldn't help but feel a little awed and a little deja vu. The only other place that she ever saw this big was Pizzazz's home.
"Come on in," Ashley said opening the door and letting Ranko in. "The rec room is in there; I'll grab us something to drink."
"Okay." Ranko said as Ashley headed off and Ranko started walking to where Ashley indicated and stopping when she heard voices coming from behind the closed doors of the rec room itself. Peeking into the slight crack in the two large sliding doors she could see Jem and the Holograms setting down their instruments.
"I'm beat." Kimber sighed.
"Me too." Shana said, "The girls should be home soon, I say we break for the day."
"Good idea." Jem said touching one of her earrings, "Shows over Synergy." Ranko's jaw dropped when everyone glowed for a few seconds leaving them in different clothes except for Jem…Not only was she now wearing different clothes but she was an entirely different person, she was now Jerrica Benton.
"Hey, Ranko." Ashley said from behind her startling her into jumping a little and hitting the doors.
"Who's there?" Kimber asked as she opened the doors and saw Ashley and Ranko standing there, Ranko with a very pale face.
"H-How?" Ranko asked, not sure what to think about all of this.
"How what?" Ashley asked looking from Ranko to a nervous band standing worriedly glancing between the red head and blonde.
"Who's your friend, Ashley?" Jerrica asked coming forward before a look of recognition dawned on her face that was quickly taken over by fear.
"I'm Ranko Phillips." Ranko said softly looking into Jerrica's eyes. She wasn't too sure what to make of everything. She knew she should be completely freaking out but she wasn't, it was as if this was nothing compared to some memories that were trying to break through.
"Ranko…Can I please talk to you…in private." Jerrica said.
"She's my friend, Jerrica, I don't care if she is a Misfit. She isn't like Pizzazz and the others." Ashley said.
"Ashley…I really wish you wouldn't talk about them like that, they are my family." Ranko said.
"I'm sorry." Ashley said.
"It's okay." Ranko sighed, "I know they act bad sometimes but it's just their image. If you really got to know them and saw past all of that then you would see so much more."
"I-It's not exactly about that, Ashley." Jerrica sighed, "I just need to talk to her."
"Okay…I don't mind." Ranko said hoping to get some answers.