Author's Note: Randomly inspired by the boards and people arguing over Jorgito Vargas, Jr. I own nothing, Power Rangers included, so no one sue.
Six bodies clustered around the screen of the super computer in Ninja Ops. Cam Watanabe sat triumphantly at his seat, with Dustin, Hunter, Shane, Tori and Blake forming a semi-circle behind him.
"Cam, that is so awesome," Tori chirped happily from the green ranger's right shoulder, throwing her arms around his neck in a quick hug of thanks.
"That is really, really, really, really sick, dude." Dustin commented, eyes locked on the images before him. Cam was pretty certain he was going to start drooling on the keyboard soon, and cautiously scooted the computer component away from him.
"It was no problem, really. I just wanted to show you guys before you went racing off and got the things destroyed. Again." The smirk accompanying Cam's words made the admonishment less harsh, but the sentiment was understood. Cam had outdone himself again, installing some updates and refashioning some aspects of the Tsunami Cycles that had given the Wind Rangers trouble, and then giving the Thunder Ninja's cycles a similar treatment. The rangers had gathered in Ninja Ops at the green ranger's request, just so Cam could force them to show his inventions a little respect before they trashed them again.
"That's still really cool man. Thanks. But I gotta go." Blake was still in his civilian clothes and reaching for the backpack he had tossed to the floor as he spoke. The teen caught his older brother's eye and smirked as he added, "I got some stuff I have to take care of. Might take a while."
Cam nodded a goodbye to the younger Bradley but didn't speak. Hunter had spared his brother a glance, but was leaning over Cam's shoulder much more than necessary, pretending to be interested in some of the specs flashing up on the screen. Blake knew better than to think his brother was fascinated by the programming, and not the programmer, and didn't take any offense to Cam's lack of attention. Hunter was either frustrating or fascinating. He had that effect on people.
"What kind of things?" Shane was asking, a devious smirk on his face.
Blake shrugged his backpack over his shoulders. "Things."
Shane's smirk grew even broader. "If it's things like getting your hands on some beer in order to fully celebrate Cinco de Mayo with your people, I want in."
The comment caught Blake totally off-guard, and the navy ranger could only frown at the other boy. "What?"
"You know," Shane prodded, jabbing playfully at Blake's chest. "Cinco de Mayo. Mexican Independence Day. You're gonna celebrate, aren't you?"
Blake froze as he suddenly found himself in an incredibly awkward position. He wanted to have been out the door and gone from Ninja Ops five minutes ago, but now he was the focus of five pairs of eyes. He shifted uncomfortably and decided now was a good time to stare at his shoes. "Um, not really."
"Dude, you got it all wrong!" Dustin smacked Shane's shoulder lightly as he corrected his friend. "First, Cinco de Mayo isn't even Mexican Independence Day. It's just the day of some battle and we use it as an excuse to drink. The real Mexican Independence Day is September 16."
All eyes shifted from Blake to the yellow ranger in abject horror, but Tori spoke the thought that had shot into everyone's mind. "Dustin, since when do you actually stay awake in History class, let alone pay attention?"
"Hey, I do know some things," the brunette defended, crossing his arms over his chest and straightening. "Besides," the earth ninja continued, completely obliviously to the stares he was earning himself. "Blake's not Mexican, dude. He's totally Filipino."
Shane's eyes narrowed as he glanced between Dustin and Blake. He was Polynesian himself, and searched for some similarity to his family in Blake's face. "No way man. Blake's totally Mexican, or at least something south of the border. He's not Filipino."
In a few seconds, Shane and Dustin were so embroiled in their argument that they had completely forgotten that they were in fact discussing a friend who was still in the room. And who was looking increasingly uncomfortable and edgy as he inched towards the exit.
Tori was painfully aware of Blake's movements and was furious at her two friends, but knew from experience that this sort of debate earned all of Shane and Hunter's attentions, and nothing would pry them apart except each other.
"Fine!" Shane shouted as Blake reached the stairwell. The dark-eyed boy turned to the silent pair still at the computer. "Hunter, which is it?"
The crimson ranger had been quietly eyeing his brother during the debate. This was one of those battles of which Hunter was to stay out, according to Blake's insistence that he could handle it himself. Truthfully, the only thing that had kept the older man from running over and beating some sense and consideration into the two boys was Cam's discreetly placed hand over his. "Neither," was all he could growl out.
"Neither?" Shane and Dustin answered in sync. The confusion in their voices and their faces was comical enough to merit a smirk from both Hunter and Cam.
"Yeah," Hunter answered, a small smile remaining on the corner of his mouth. "Both my natural parents were white."
"Ah, man, you know that's not what we mean!"
"Haha, very funny!"
Shane and Dustin had now focused their attention on ribbing Hunter for playing dumb, and both Hunter and Cam were ignoring the disappearance of two blue-shaded individuals.
"Blake, wait up!" Tori cried as she reached the end of the tunnel. The other ranger paused on the grass and waited for the girl to catch up. Tori sidled up beside him, blue eyes searching his face for anger or hurt, but finding neither. At his silence, she decided to start, gently placed a hand on his arm.
"I'm sorry about Shane and Dustin. I mean, you know how stupid they can be, but they're usually not that insensitive."
Blake shook his head and smiled softly. Of course Tori would be the one to care and take responsibility for something that wasn't her fault. "Don't worry about it," was the answer. "It's not the first time something like that has happened."
Tori frowned at Blake's cryptic response, but continued to stare at him, demanding elaboration in her silence. "I was a dumpster baby," Blake sighed. The water ninja winced slightly at the phrase, but Blake continued on. "I never knew my natural parents. I was brought to a police station and then bounced around foster families until I landed with the Bradleys and they decided to keep me. So I don't know for certain what my heritage is, and my looks confuse people a lot, so they love to guess for me." He smirked ruefully as he glanced back to the hidden entrance to Ninja Ops. "It's just something I've gotten used to."
"That must be awful," Tori responded. Blake raised a brow in question. "I mean, to not know what you are."
"I know what I am," Blake answered confidently. "I'm a Bradley. That's all I need."
Tori smiled, then remembered where her hand was. A slight blush falling over her face, she pulled her hand back and stuck it in the back pocket of her jeans. "So what were you going to do?" she queried innocently. "That is, if you're not really going to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with illegal alcohol."
Blake laughed. "Actually, I don't really have anything to do. Hunter asked to have the apartment to 'himself' for a couple of hours, so I was just going to bum around and find something to do on the way."
Blonde eyebrows rose in hope and Tori fixed Blake with her most endearing look. "Would you mind some company?" she asked with a sweet smile.
Blake smiled broadly and pulled gently at her arm. Tori gave in to the force and blushed brighter as Blake's fingers entwined with hers. "I'd love some."