Disclaimer:I in no way shape or form own the characters, I mearly just play with them. Don't sue!
Author's Note: This story is being written in Role Play format with fellow author Rivulet027. It will eventually contain het and slash pairings.
Adam surveyed his living room with despair. In every available space there was either a body, or a bag belonging to a body. Sprawled out on each end of the couch were Tori and Kira. On the floor in front of the couch was Dustin. Xander and Bridge, in an act of 'green solidarity', were asleep under a large green blanket next to Dustin. And last but not least, Alpha 6 was standing in the corner, 'recharging' for the night.
"I cannot deal with this," he said to the sleeping visitors before turning around and running for the sanctuary of his bedroom. He quickly locked the door and surveyed his space, not a single thing in this room belonged to anyone else.
"I'm not cut out for this," he said shakily, steadily working himself up into full on panic mode. "It was only supposed to be temporary, now I'm stuck with them, and I'm their leader!" he exclaimed to himself.
He grabbed his cell phone off the dresser.
"Dial Kat," he told it firmly, and took a deep breath. She would know what to do; Kat always knew what to do.
Kat set down the scone she was spreading jam on and picked up her phone, "Adam? Are you alright?" She asked immediately, it was unusual for Adam to call so early her time.
"Kat," Adam nearly whined, "I'm in trouble," he said and then began to explain to her about the team-up, his leading of the team, and how their mission has been extended because of a new set of villains showing up. "I can't do this," he finished as he collapsed onto his bed.
"Of course you can, you're a natural leader Adam, all of your doubts aside," she said firmly and without hesitation.
"I am not," Adam protested weakly.
"Don't argue," she said with a laugh. "Now, explain what's going on in detail and tell me about your new team," she ordered as she shouldered her phone, and picked up her scone once again.
After getting off the phone with Kat, he was decidedly calmer. He headed out into the hallway to survey his living room again, and shook his head. He may have been calmer, but he still didn't think he was cut out for this leadership thing. Slipping his phone out of his pocket he called Aisha, maybe she would have an idea how to handle this lot.
Aisha groaned when the phone began to ring. She blinked awake. She'd promised herself she wasn't going to fall asleep on the couch in front of the T.V. again, but her she'd gone and done it. Some days she had to wonder when she'd gotten so boring. She snatched up the phone, but before she could even get out a greeting Adam was telling her, "Aisha, you're not going to believe this,"
"Well hello to you too," she greeted, "What am I not going to believe? That the Overdrive Rangers got their powers back…it's all over that stupid idiot box. What was with your team anyway, starting off with five and then adding another yellow. Who needs two yellows? So you're home right? Is that why you went and called me in the middle of the night?"
"First of all, it's not MY fault Dustin felt the need to jump into the middle of a battle sans powers and try to block an energy blast with his morpher, which absorbed the energy and recharged itself. I didn't ask for two yellows on my team…God my team, I never wanted this. It was supposed to be a one time deal… subbing for the newbies until they got their powers back, but no… we're not done yet, now there's a villain couple styling themselves after Rita and Zedd who've decided that since they got to the party late, and Thrax is already gone, they're just gonna try to pick up where Rita and Zedd left off, conquering the world. And since the newbies are busy with their gang of villains, guess whose job it is to fend off the newcomers. Mine! Well, mine and my teams…MY TEAM! They're practically children!" he exclaimed, heading back into his room and shutting the door. "Children who are currently camped on my living room floor, with Alpha 6, who is taller than I remember…" he trailed off and shook his head to keep himself on track.
"Did you know in reality…Bridge is three. THREE!" He paused to take a deep breath since he'd been attempting to talk without the need to pause for the last few minutes. The calmness he'd felt after talking to Kat had gone completely out the window now that he was talking to Aisha. Maybe he shouldn't have called her.
Aisha listened to Adam. Obviously this Dustin was an idiot. Well, she had to admit to herself, she couldn't blame him for jumping into a battle to help his friends sans powers, she'd probably do the same thing. But what kind of an idiot wore his morpher if it didn't work? Oh no, what if he was a bad guy and had just used that opportunity to get onto the team…it wouldn't be the first time a ranger was evil.
And why was Adam leading? Yeah, she could tell from the news footage and her conversations with him that he was, but he had a red. Why wasn't the red leading? Yeah, okay, red didn't always mean leader, but…
Wait, a Rita and Zedd type duo? No, no, no! His living room floor…theses new baddies were starting in Angel Grove? Aisha groaned, she knew she shouldn't have had that movie marathon after the news announced the Overdrive Rangers got their powers back. The monster alarms hadn't gone off…wait did they still even work? Did Adam's team even have...wait Alpha wasn't quite Alpha. Wouldn't that be a good thing? She'd heard nothing but complaints about Alpha 6 when he'd first showed up.
And then he said the worst possible thing.
"Adam!" she shrieked, "What the hell do you mean you're sending a three year old into battle? Of all the stupid lame ass things, and here I thought only Rocky was the only one dense enough to hand his morpher over to a child. Obviously I was wrong. Who'd have thought Rocky a bad influence! I thought you said Bridge was from the future, you never said he was only three! Was this guy that recruited you a complete idiot? At least Justin knew how to fight; did any of your team even know how to before they became rangers?"
"Whoa! Back up, I said in reality… Bridge is from the future, remember," Adam replied running a hand through his hair and tugging on it a bit in frustration. "In 2007 Bridge is three. Future Bridge is somewhere around twenty-three, and not only is he a newbie red, he's a former blue… who was a former green."
He collapsed onto his bed with a groan. "I'm not that stupid 'Sha." He felt the need to add. How could she think he'd send a three year old into battle!
"I know," she admitted, "but you said he was three and with that stupid grow up thing how was I supposed to know? Things just started getting wacky after I left."
"Tori and Dustin can fight; they trained at that ninja school, and while they aren't up to our level quite yet, that comes with experience. Xander, well… he's a, and I quote, 'a lover, not a fighter mate'. But he's at least picked up something from the powers, not to mention he's got magic… Kira, well she had some training with Tommy, so she can at least hold her own… Bridge is alright, he's better than Kira and Xander but not as good as Tori and Dustin." He looked out the window, staring at the night sky and sighed.
She listened to his explanation of their fighting ability as she mulled over Bridges color changes…great his team either had a Tommy-syndrome or a ranking system and since she'd seen the number on the uniform in the news footage she was willing to bet it was a ranking system.
"They make me feel old," he added quietly. Sure they may not have been that much younger than him, but he took up the mantel of being a ranger at fifteen. For almost four years he fought monsters on a daily basis, with nothing but his martial arts skills and the power given to him by Zordon, and now here he was ten years later, picking up that mantel once more, only this time as the leader of a 'veteran', ha, he snorted internally, team of rangers, all of who were barely old enough to drink. Wait a minute, "I don't even think Xander is old enough to drink."
"Well we sure as hell weren't old enough to drink," she snorted, "You're not old, though if I was fighting with a three year old I'd probably feel the same way." She was never going to let him live that down. Bridge was in some ways only technically three…oh she was going to have so much fun with that one. "Hang on, let me get Rocky on the line…if anyone can convince you that you're not old it'll be Rocky."
She called him, setting up the three way call. She wasn't going to able to get her in need of a confidence boost friend back to normal on her own. She was the one who found flaws in the plan, she was confident yes, but she had a healthy dose of being able to see reality to go with it. If anyone could bring in the optimism they needed it would be Rocky.
An unintelligible groan was her answer when Rocky picked up the phone.
"Wake up you big lug!" she told him, "Adam's needs you to convince him he's not old!"
Before Rocky could respond another thought hit her, "Adam do you even have a tech? Do you even have Zords?"
"Why would Adam need Zords?" Rocky asked sleepily.
"Because I'm the de-facto commander of a 'veteran' squad of rangers," Adam replied with a sigh. "And no, I don't have a tech, and I don't have zords. We were using Overdrive's zords, even though Xander didn't need too because he is a zord."
"One of your teammates is a zord? What?" Rocky yawned.
"No! Rocky wake up man!" Adam exclaimed into the phone. "Xander is from the Mystics, they could turn into their zords… remember?"
"Whatever it's early… and I'm hungry," Rocky retorted. "So wait, you're the leader of a ranger team now, you have no tech guy, and no zords…How the hell long have I been asleep?"
"Aisha!" Adam groaned. Why did she have to call Rocky? She knew he made no sense at three in the morning.
"Several days Rocky, you slept through the whole takeover of the Earth. Actually, not any longer then I was when Adam called me. If you wake up long enough to convince him he's not old and can handle this I'll take you out to eat the next time you're in town," Aisha told Rocky before she got back to Adam, "Bet you're not thinking about being old now, are you? You've got way bigger concerns. So one Zord? What the hell is that suppose to do when the monsters start growing big? Is there anyone on your team smart enough to be a tech?"
"Well Xander's zord is about the size of a megazord," Adam replied, remembering being amazed at the sight of the Minotaur Titan. He groaned, "I don't think anyone on the team can do tech work, the Ninja's had Cam, Kira's team had Hayley, we had Billy, and well Xander's team didn't need a techie. I have no clue what Bridge is capable of, except he's got some sort of aura reading ability."
He stared up at the ceiling, "I wonder what Billy's up to. I haven't heard from him in awhile, I hope that means he's not hiding himself away doing some experiments again. Remember last time…"
"Focus Adam!" Rocky interrupted his ramblings, which was ironic coming from him.
"If that isn't the goose complaining the swan has a long neck," Adam grumbled. "Anyway… great… I need Zords. I need to work on getting Bridge accustomed to 2007 electronics. I need to get these guys into a bigger space before I kill them, or they kill each other. Guys… I'm so not cut out for this, I'm not Tommy or Jason," he said doubtfully.
"Oh knock it off, you were practically leading the Turbo team because Tommy was MIA due to his racing. This is just like that," Rocky said dismissively. "And you're not old; you aren't even thirty yet man… and just remember, no matter how old you are Jason and Tommy are older than you," he added with a laugh.
"Thanks," Adam deadpanned. That wasn't exactly what he wanted to hear.
Aisha suppressed her laughter; this was exactly why she'd called Rocky. She was just glad that offering him food in the future had worked into getting him focused.
"Okay, so Xander has a Zord. You need to find out if any of the others have working Zords. Obviously not Bridge, but maybe the others aren't trashed and they can work together somehow? Just speaking out loud here," she reminded. She'd be the first to admit she wasn't a tech.
"And you listed about three techs," Rocky reminded, "Add Justin to that list. Someone has to be available."
"Justin is at MIT and up to his ears in research and papers, he's a last resort, because I know he'd help in a heartbeat and I am not going to be the reason that boy doesn't become the next Billy or Hayley," Adam said firmly. He was starting to feel a lot better about this, he still didn't think he was cut out for it, but it didn't seem as daunting as before.
"Didn't Lightspeed have like a whole group of techs under some woman?" Aisha added, "If none of our friends are available I'm sure you could contact Tommy, get more tech numbers and find someone."
"Nah," Rocky said, "I'm sure Billy'll do it and if not Tommy'll drag Hayley into it."
"And if that doesn't work you do have two Ninja's. Guilt this Cam into it, is he any good at Zords?" Aisha added.
"Well Billy is right there in town right?" Rocky replied, "So go bug him… and if he won't answer for you, sick Trini on him, he's completely wrapped around her finger."
"I'll call Billy tomorrow. I don't want to bother Hayley, because Tommy is still sulking about missing out on the team up the first time. I don't want to hear him whine about the unfairness of it all, being left out of the team again. Of course," he chuckled, "it would be amusing to see Hayley kick his ass."
"That is always amusing man," Rocky chimed in.
Aisha laughed, "You tell that man that the only color options left to him are blue, yellow and pink and I'm sure if he's that desperate Hayley can find a way to make him pink."
"Anyways," Adam laughed, "So yeah, Hayley's obviously the choice above Justin… Cam, I really hate to bother, because even though he's a genius with the tech, he's really busy with the Ninja academy… so Billy's my first choice, then Cam, then Hayley and finally Justin."
"Sounds like a plan man," Rocky replied in turn.
"Hmm… I wonder if it's possible to reconstruct the Mastodon or the Lion zord, I never got to use the Mastodon," Adam said thoughtfully. "Man I wish you were both here," he said a bit wistfully. It felt completely wrong that he was taking up the reins again without his teammates, and his best friends. Aisha was only a short drive away, but Rocky was states away from Angel Grove.
"I'm only in Stone Canyon," she reminded, "We even have monster alarms here. I hope they still work. Well if they don't I'm sure they will soon. But he's right, Rocky you need to get your butt back here and hang out with us soon!"
"I'm busy," Rocky laughed, "maybe when I get some free time."
"I still can't believe that technically one of your team is thr…oh crap," Aisha paused when she actually let that thought sink in, "That means Bridge has a three year old version of himself running around. If he does anything, even try to get his driver's license it's going to look like he's trying to steal his own identity."
"What?" Rocky asked. Aisha quickly explained the future bit.
"Sorry Adam," she sighed frustrated, "Here I am supposed to be helping you solve your problems not think of other ones."
"Oh lord. So I have to get Hayley involved, man this is borderline shady though…I mean he can't steal his own identity but I don't want anyone asking questions, so we have to get him some papers," he sighed. "Man, this villain couple better be worth all this trouble," he grumbled, already going through a list in his head of the papers he needed Hayley to doctor. "Social Security number, an alias to get papers like his license… public records, man… not to mention he has some 'issues'," he said putting his hand to his forehead. "Man…"
"It's only a little bit illegal," Rocky temporized, "Besides it's for the greater good man! A little bit of hacky, hacky, saves the world from being blown uppy!"
Adam chuckled, "Well when you put it that way. Seriously though… we need to take care of this sooner rather than later, and we really need a bigger space, my apartment will not survive."
"Don't worry man, it will all work out. It's a ranger thing, things always work out in the end," Rocky said encouragingly, then yawned.
"Man… I hate to do this you guys, but I have to work in… well," he looked at his watch. "TWO HOURS!" he whined. "Man, I gotta start getting ready for work. I love you guys… and I'll call ya later, kisses for ya Aisha," he said making kissing noses into the phone. "And a 'manly' hug for ya Adam," he said with a laugh.
What did he mean he was getting off the phone? Aisha looked at the time and swore, "Me too Adam, sorry. If I get off now I can squeeze in maybe an hour more sleep."
She yawned, "I'll call you when I get off work. You'll work this out. Bye!"
"Sorry to keep you guys up… g'nite," he said hanging up the phone.
Andrew Hartford finished looking over the prospective houses he'd found for the new Angel Grove team. How had he gotten them into this mess? Some days it was bad enough that he'd pulled the Overdrive Rangers from their lives, other days it was the best thing to ever happen to him. This, with what had happened to Adam and the rest of the veteran rangers, left him feeling that it was all his fault. They all had lives that had already been interrupted by being rangers and had worked hard at getting back to them. They'd been kind enough to step in and keep everything running smoothly, even fixed the morphing grid, but they hadn't signed up for the long term. He only hoped that offering them a fully furnished place to live would help make up for having to put their lives on hold a lot longer than any of them had planned. He had the choices narrowed down to three and sent them to Adam in an e-mail. Then he picked up the phone.
Adam's phone rang as soon as he shut it. "What the hell," he flipped it open. "Hello?"
"Hi Adam, this is Andrew Hartford. How are things going?"
"Andrew?" Oh no, now what's happened, he thought immediately. "Is everything alright back in San Angeles?" It had better be, he thought, we're not prepared to go back into battle immediately.
Andrew could hear the tension in Adam's tone. He hadn't meant to upset the younger man, "Everything's fine here Adam, thanks to all of you. I sent you an e-mail. I know what's happened has disrupted your lives and I can't imagine what it looks like trying to fit six other people into your home, so I thought maybe you'd let me help you set up a new base of operations. I was hoping you'd let me buy the team a house. I've found three rather nice ones that look like they might work out. Why don't you check your e-mail and tell me what you think?"
"I can't let you buy us a house man, that's too much," Adam protested as he walked out of his bedroom and into the living room and paused in the hallway. It was damn near impossible to get to his computer desk. He had to cross over bags, and bodies, and blankets. Maybe it's not too much, he thought to himself as he started to pass through the treacherous terrain.
After nearly killing himself when Xander turned over in his sleep and almost took out his leg, he collapsed onto his computer chair.
"It's not…"Andrew started to argue back, but then he heard the unmistakable sounds of Adam trying to make his way across his apartment and decided to shut up hoping that the experience would change his mind. Seven people cramped into a one bedroom apartment, he didn't even want to think about it.
"Sooo…about this house," Adam said, his mind changed completely.
"It's got to be big enough for all of us to stay in," Adam replied as he opened up his email account and the email that Andrew sent.
"Holy crap," he said a little breathlessly as he viewed the houses Andrew picked out.
"No more protesting," Andrew told Adam in hopes that that would work, even though it sounded like his mind was already change, "You're right you need a place that's big enough for all of you with room to spare. You need some place where you can learn to work together, but not be falling all over each other when you need some time alone, not to mention the equipment you need and have I convinced you yet?"
"No more protesting, but holy crap these are huge!" he exclaimed as he scrolled through the choices. They all had seven or more bedrooms, and while they weren't exactly Hartford sized mansions…they were definitely beyond big.
"These are all out on the edge of town," he said thoughtfully. It would make things a hell of a lot easier. They were all log cabin-esque style houses, all with views of the mountains, which made Adam a bit nostalgic, since that was where the original command center was. He finally settled on one, a gorgeous house with two above ground levels and one sub-level, which would be perfect for a 'command center'.
"The center one, it's perfect," he said firmly.
"Good," Andrew said as Adam made a decision, "I'll get right on that, well baring monster attacks. I'll call you when everything's arranged and Adam, thank you again."
Andrew said his goodbyes and hung up intent on buying a house.
AN2: Love it? Hate it? Leave us a review and let us know your thoughts.