Disclaimer: I own nothing! Except for maybe my computer...but my sister may disagree. Please enjoy
Rating: PG-13? I dunno, just to be safe I suppose
Briarwood was calm, or at least it was considered calm when compared to the chaotic days the city had seen in the past. Humans and magic-folk alike walked the sidewalks going about their daily business as the sun burned brightly at one hundred degrees overhead.
Madison fanned herself with a hand and flipped half-heartedly through a magazine behind the counter of Rock Porium. The store was usually slow on Sundays, but this was ridiculous. The dead were more lively than this place and the heat wasn't helping the stuffy mood that hung thickly in the air either.
"This is ridiculous," Vida growled voicing Madison's previous thoughts.
Maddie looked up from the magazine, her right hand still lightly fanning her cheeks. "What is?"
"The weather, the store, the—I'm going to kill Xander!" She vowed. Balling the rag she'd been using to dust, she chucked it over the back counter. "It was supposed to be our day off for crying out loud!"
"I think he said something about a lunch date when he left."
"It's not our job to cover his shifts, it's his job to make sure ours are." Vida leaned forward on the counter opposite her sister. "I mean, I know he's the manager and all, but honestly." A moment of silence passed between the two. "Wait, did you say lunch date?"
Madison nodded. "Mm hmm."
"He ditched us for a lunch date?! When did the girls start liking that idiot?"
"It's a mystery all right," Maddie nodded, "but you know how Xander is—,"
"He's nothing but a flirt," Vida interrupted.
"—but someone was going to like him back eventually," Maddie finished with a smile.
"Yeah, yeah," V spoke in a tone that said she'd rather be talking about anything but what they were talking about. "Since business is slow, I'm calling it a day, you in?"
"Should we? I mean we're the only ones here after all."
"No one's gonna come in anytime soon. We were supposed to meet Chip for pizza today so we're just honoring a previous engagement."
"Well when you put it that way," Madison said, already locking up the cash register. Vida pushed away from the counter and shrugged out of her purple Rock Porium uniform. "But if there are any marshmallows on that pizza, I'm out of there," she added.
"That makes two of us," Vida agreed. Holding the door open, she switched the store sign so it read 'closed' and followed Madison out, locking the door behind them. "Ready?"
"Yeah, let's go."
Together they headed down the sidewalk. They'd gone no more than ten steps when Madison stopped in her tracks. The hairs on the back of her neck were standing on edge and a tingling sensation was crawling down her spine.
Realizing that her sister was no longer walking with her, Vida stopped and turned around. "What is it Sis?"
"Don't you sense that?" Madison glanced uneasily over her shoulder.
"Sense what?" Vida asked running out of patience.
"It's like the air is crackling or something." She turned to face the short-haired girl. "You mean you really don't sense it?"
Closing her eyes for a second, Vida absorbed her surroundings. A second later her eyes blinked open and she frowned. "Now that you mention it...the air does kind of feel different."
Before Madison could reply, a girl shot out of the tree directly across from the store and landed heavily on her back. Vida and Maddie exchanged a quick look before both girls dashed across the street to tower over the girl.
"Are you okay?" Madison asked.
The girl pushed herself up onto her elbows. "I think so." Tilting her head back she grinned up at the siblings. "Man that first step's a doozie."
"No doubt," Vida said with a smirk, offering her hand to the girl and hoisting her to her feet. "Was that your first time?" Tree-traveling, as Chip had nicknamed it, had become a normal part of Briarwood life. It was the quickest way for magic-users to travel.
"You could say that," the girl brushed off the grass bits from her jeans and jacket.
"You've got a little grass here too," Madison pointed to just above her own temple to demonstrate.
"Oh, thanks." The girl picked the blade from her black hair and flicked it onto the ground.
"Hey Maddie, we'd better go," V said glancing at her watch. Catching her sister's elbow, she started to lead her away. "Sorry we can't talk more, but we're running late."
"That's okay," the girl assured, "I don't want to keep you."
"Maybe we'll see you around!" Madison called over her shoulder.
"Maybe!" The girl waved them off and only let her arm drop when the sisters were out of sight. Sighing she looked around. "Now where's my backpack?" Suddenly, the tree portal opened again and a tan backpack shot out of it. Catching it in her arms, the force of the item knocked her off balance and she stumbled back over her own feet. Sitting up with a scowl, she tossed the bag to the side. "That was uncalled for!" She shouted to no one in particular.
Pedestrians gave her strange looks as they passed, but she ignored them. Sighing again she fell back onto her back, her arms outstretched on either side of her and she watched the sky overhead.
Across the street at Rock Porium, a motorcycle pulled to a stop. The rider balanced the bike with his foot and he removed his helmet.
Nick focused on the 'closed' sign that hung in the window of the door. Smoothing his hair back from his forehead he cursed his timing. He looked around, hoping to catch sight of one of his friends, but no one was around.
Beneath the shade of the tree across the street, he spotted a girl laying in the grass. She looked like she'd been there for awhile, but it was doubtful if she knew where his friends were. Weighing his options, he concluded he wouldn't lose anything by asking her a question or two. Swinging his leg over the bike, he left his helmet on the seat and made his way over to her.
Her eyes were closed when he reached her, but when his shadow fell across her form, her eyes snapped open and she shot up into a sitting position with a startled squeal.
"Hey, hey." He said in a somewhat soothing tone, guilty he had surprised her, "I'm sorry I scared you."
"That's all right," she murmured. Scrambling to her feet, she slid her arms into her backpack and pulled her long hair free after the bag had pinned it to her shoulderblades.
"I'm Nick," he said, offering her his hand, "Nick Russell."
She stared at his hand for a moment, her posture stiff, her eyes guarded, but she excepted his hand and shook it. "Melanie."
"Your parents stop at Melanie?" He said in a playful tone, aiming to break the tension and make her feel a little more comfortable.
She smiled a little. "Melanie Rose."
Smiling back he nodded. "I was wondering if you could help me."
"Depends on what you need help with, but I'll do what I can."
"I'm looking for a friend...well four actually. Two girls, two boys. Have you seen anyone?"
"Well I did see two girls just a little while ago," she confessed, almost reluctantly, but Nick figured he was reading too much into her tone.
"Really?" He asked, his hope rising.
She nodded. "They were both about the same height, one girl had short dark hair and the other had shoulder length hair the same color and they both had dark brown eyes. Um—,"
"That's them," Nick confirmed, "which way did they go?"
"That way," Melanie pointed in the direction Vida and Madison had left.
Nick followed her finger in the way she pointed. "Downtown huh? Hey, thanks for your—," but she was gone, "—help." He made a full circle, trying to find her, but she was gone. He frowned in confusion.
"Okaaaaay." He gave the area another quick once over before retreating back to his bike. Putting the helmet back on, he started the engine and then was off headed for downtown. He had a pretty good hunch as to where Vida and Madison had gone.
Nick parked the motorcycle a ways away from the pizza place and again left his helmet behind. No one was going to steal it in a place like Briarwood. He swung his keys around on his finger by the key-ring before stuffing them into his jacket pocket as he walked the rest of the way to the restaurant. It didn't take him long and soon he was looking at the familiar building.
The tables outside were all occupied, but it was easy to locate the party he was looking for. It wasn't hard to miss a red-headed guy wearing bright yellow with two girls wearing blue and pink. Nick looked down at his own red t-shirt complete with a black dragon emblem on the front. Apparently their fashion sense hadn't changed much. He smirked and made to move toward them but the moment he took a step forward there was a loud whistle-like screech.
Standing on the roof of the pizza parlor was a fish-like monster. It had the legs and arms of a frog, a tail that ended with a fin, and scales all over its blue-green colored body. It let out another of its whistle-screeches and with a wave of its arms, rain came down on the people in sheets. Civilians screamed and tripped over one another in their haste to get away.
Nick didn't realize he'd started running until he was pushing his way through the fear-stricken people. When they didn't move out of his way fast enough he pushed them non-to-gently out of his way. Not surprisingly, Chip, Vida, and Madison had stayed behind and had their eyes glued to the water monster above.
It laughed gleefully and with another wave of its arms, a jet of water shot towards the rangers. Acting before he could thing Nick ran towards them, but had forgotten that their reflexes were as sharp as his own. While he ran toward them all three of his friends leapt to safety while he continued to run toward the water attack.
And before he knew what was happening he felt someone tackling him from the side and both of them landed heavily on the pavement. The blast of water crashed into the ground where Nick had been seconds prior and water rained down on them once more.
"Thanks," Nick grunted, pushing himself up into a sitting position, "I owe you one."
"Whatever," a very feminine voice answered irritably, "pay attention next time so I don't have to save your sorry butt."
"What the hell is your problem?" Nick growled, "I said thank you. No need to bite...my..." he trailed off when he finally laid eyes on the person who had saved him. Standing over him and glaring down, or at least he thought was glaring down at him, was a mystic force power ranger.
A/N: The end! No not really, unless no one is reading or enjoying...though I'll probably write it anyway just for myself so there!