Title: The Long and Stormy Road
Author: Hieiko
Fandom: Power Rangers Ninja Storm
Pairing: Blake/Tori
Disclaimer: I don't own PRNS, or any of the characters.
Notes: Written for the livejournal community 1sentence's Theme set Epsilon.
Summary: Couples usually start out by going on dates, not getting themselves trapped in other dimensions or turned into evil Rangers.

Blake groaned as a bunch of Kelzaks appeared, interrupting his almost-date with Tori; he ducked and rolled out of the way just as Tori gave vent to her own annoyance by using one of her water attacks. Unfortunately, the spray of water she unleashed was stronger than expected, and Blake ended up with a cold shower.

Tori laughed at him, so he decided to retaliate by giving her a hug and getting her wet in the process; she yelped and told him he was acting like a kid, right before splashing him with more water.

However, their good humor didn't last long; they shifted into fighting stances when Lothor's newest alien recruit appeared.

Everything had gone wrong in the blink of an eye; one moment they were fighting alongside their teammates, then the next moment they were running for their lives in a dark forest with unfamiliar and hostile creatures.

When they stopped to rest in a relatively safe area, Blake reached for Tori's hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. She smiled at him in return, and he was glad that neither of them had to be alone in whatever dimension this was.

Eventually, they came to the edge of the forest where a magnificent castle was in view, surrounded by thousands of demonic-looking soldiers; being ninjas, they should have realized that there would be others patrolling nearby. Their mistake had them captured and brought before the King, a tall creature with the head of a bull, whose gaze lingered on Tori far longer than Blake would have liked.

But the King's intimidating appearance belied his generous nature; after hearing their story, he provided Blake and Tori safe passage back to their own dimension, and the couple learned once more not to judge by looks alone.

Dimensional travel was a blur of lines and colors; Blake made sure to keep his arms wrapped around Tori, and he could feel her holding on tight as well. When they finally had their feet on the ground, in their own dimension, they waited a moment before pulling away from the embrace.

Seeing that the other Rangers were still fighting a group of Kelzaks and Lothor's latest monster, Tori glanced at Blake; he nodded, and they morphed.

The Blue Wind Ranger leaped into the fray and drop-kicked a Kelzak before using her Sonic Fin and ordering the Kelzaks to fight each other. Meanwhile, the Navy Thunder Ranger blasted dark blue lightning at the monster, then struck it multiple times with his Thunder staff.

But the enemy didn't go down that easily, prompting the need for a stronger attack; the Blue and Navy Rangers combined their weapons with their teammates' to finish off the monster.

Upon returning to Ninja Ops after the battle, the blue-clad Rangers related everything they had seen during their time in the other dimension, and they were surprised to learn that they had actually been gone for only a few seconds.

Everyone's attention was suddenly diverted by the sound of Blake's growling stomach; Tori dragged him off to the kitchen amidst their friends' laughter.

The day after their dimensional misadventure, Blake and Tori spent the entire morning at a secluded area on the beach, and listened to the soul-soothing sound of the waves.

It was Shane who discovered them asleep on a shared blanket, and the Red Ranger didn't waste the opportunity; the next day he was waving around several pictures of the "sweet" couple in Ninja Ops. He then realized what a foolish move that was, as Tori proceeded to embarrass him by recalling certain incidents from their junior high years, while Blake stood by and snickered.

Of course, Tori wasn't really mad, though she still wouldn't let her friend get away with making fun of her and Blake like that. But since it had been started anyway, Hunter revealed some particularly funny childhood memories regarding Blake, and then Dustin took off running after blurting out that Tori had made a classmate cry on the first day of kindergarten.

Within the year they had known one another, Blake and Tori had first been enemies, then later friends and teammates; now that their time as Rangers had ended, they knew that they finally had the chance to pursue something more. But Blake's decision to join Factory Blue had cast a shadow over their relationship, and they didn't speak to each other again until the day of his departure.

Their first kiss had been while they were in another dimension, and mostly meant "I'm so glad you're still alive", but the second one wasn't really much better, because it meant goodbye.

Each time Blake raced, it took him farther away from Blue Bay Harbor; Tori had to hide her fear that he would never come back. Fortunately, he always found a way to contact her wherever he was; it wasn't nearly often enough, but she didn't want to say so.

"Be careful," she would tell him; "I will," he would reply, but Tori still found herself worrying because Blake's definition of "careful" wasn't quite the same as hers.

Being an evil Ranger was one of the ghosts of his past; Blake didn't expect it to haunt him in the form of the girl he loved.

No book or scroll could provide an easy way to turn Tori and the others back to normal, so he reluctantly joined Hunter and Cam in retrieving their powers from the Abyss of Evil.

When Blake finally faced the evil Tori, he noticed that her eyes were narrowed at him in suspicion. But he never faltered when he stood in front of her and told the Dino Rangers, "We're not here to help you guys out. We stick with our own kind."

Tori heard Kira singing softly at the front of the group as they made their way to the Dino Rangers' lair; she felt guilt creep into her stomach for having thrashed the yellow-clad girl earlier, but the feeling eased a little when Blake wrapped his arm around her shoulders.

Suddenly, Tori realized how much she had missed him.

At the doorway of the house that led to the Dino Rangers' lair, she stopped when Blake's fingers closed around her arm; turning to face him, she realized that they were the only ones left outside. And even though she thought the timing was all wrong, Tori didn't object when he leaned in and kissed her.

Tori was doing the dishes when she heard the roar of Blake's motorcycle coming to a stop in the parking lot in front of her apartment. She knew that he wanted her to go out with him because he was only in town for one night, but with a final exam the next day, she would have to turn him down.

"Tor, I know, you've got a history exam," Blake said, "so I just brought Chinese takeout."

When he flashed her the same smile that made her blush the first time they met, she didn't have the strength to say no.

Hunter Bradley woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of his cellphone ringing; he practically growled when he answered it, only to hear his brother's ecstatic voice, "Tori said yes!"

He prayed for patience before replying, "I'm happy for you, bro. Now let me go back to sleep!"

The walls of the church came into view, and Tori felt her nervousness wash away; Blake was waiting for her.

She walked down the aisle, saw Blake beaming at her with unrepressed happiness, and thought everything was perfect.

His wife's mood swings were driving Blake crazy, but Tori was pregnant, so all he could do was say "Yes" to whatever she asked, and hope she didn't throw him out of the house again.

Tori clutched Blake's hand tightly, almost breaking his fingers, as labor pains wracked her body.

All the pain was worth it, though, when she finally held their newborn son in her arms, and Blake held their baby daughter; they had known they were having twins, but the reality of it was overwhelming. When their family and friends pooled into the room, Tori and Blake traded amused glances, knowing that their children would never hunger for attention.

Outside, lightning flashed, followed by a clap of thunder, causing the new parents to turn to the hospital room's window; they watched the pouring rain, and murmured their gratitude for the blessing from their ninja elements.