Lilly pulled her sleeves down as she sat at her desk. The class was rowdy as
usual and Evie was making a conscious point of staying quiet, Lilly had
remarked how this was weird but the yellow Ranger just stayed quiet and said
she'd explain all later. If the truth be known, she was still thinking over
her own personal dilemmas and whilst she desperately wanted to talk to Lilly
about it and get the level-headed girl's advice, she also didn't want to
make her 'piggy in the middle' between her and Jake and besides, they'd
kind of got it sorted… Sort of. The look on said blonde girl's face was
also a deterrent - it looked like she had concerns of her own, though what
about Evie didn't know, though she could take a wild guess, but at the
moment she was to preoccupied to enquire.

The French class was always noisy, but usually settled upon the arrival of
their teacher, however today was not a usual day as a substitute teacher walked
through the door. Now, as you can probably expect, this piqued the curiosity
of some (namely more sensible students like Lilly and Evie, though the latter
was far from caring today) and encouraged the raucous behavior of the rest of
the group. However, Mr. Ashcroft was no ordinary substitute teacher and one foul
glare sent the entire class into silence, even Marcus and Dean.

"Keep your conversations for outside the classroom; when you are here, your
time and attention is mine and mine alone." Whilst this caught the attention
of the majority of the class, Evie was still too busy thinking and daydreaming
to care about this new development in the school's staff structure and
luckily for her, her obliviousness went unnoticed by Mr. Ashcroft. Unluckily
for Lilly, Mr. Ashcroft seemed to notice her shy nervousness and honed in on
it, picking her as the pupil to make an example of to the rest of the class.

"You there, what's your name?" Lilly froze as he pointed at her and she
sat up in her seat as if cold water had been poured down her back.

"Me sir?"

"Yes you, don't play games with me girl."

"I'm Lilly, Lilly Phoenix, sir." Lilly stuttered, already feeling
terribly self-conscious.

"Recite the alphabet in French."

"Now, sir?" Lilly asked, her voice quivering with reluctance.

"When else am I likely to ask you to do it? Of course now." Lilly gulped
and began quietly, though thanks to the silence of the room, her mouse-volume
voice could be heard. Mr. Ashcroft was not impressed. "Not in your seat girl,
get to the front of the class, now."

This seemed to grab Evie's attention as she looked to her friend who had
gone a terrified tone of white.

"But sir,"

"Now, Miss Phoenix!" Lilly nodded meekly and rose to her feet, pulling
down her sleeves once more and timidly walking to the front of the class. Evie
felt physical pain for her friend. She knew how shy she was and the very
thought of speaking in front of the class was sure to terrify her. She saw the
panic-stricken look on Lilly's face and felt vehement hatred for the
specimen of substitute educational authority in front of her.

Lilly took a deep breath as she closed her eyes in an attempt to control her
nerves. As she opened them slowly she began the recital, looking at the class
and seeing the faces of Connor and Evie, fixing on the face of the latter as a
source of reassurance, though the expression on Evie's face was far from
helpful. She used a shaking hand to sweep back her fringe and glanced at her
wrist before pulling her sleeve down once more. She could feel her heart
pounding like a rampaging rhino in her chest and thought she would burst.
Another deep breath seemed to help, but her throat felt like it was closing up
in panic.

Evie could see the pleading look in Lilly's eyes, the expression there was
so tormenting that she wanted to beg Mr .Ashcroft to cease his punishment, but
she couldn't find her voice until it was too late.

Lilly collapsed at the front of the class.

"Lilly?" Evie asked, getting up in her chair immediately. Connor looked
on with slight concern.

"Return to your seat girl."

"But sir-!"

"NOW!" Evie stared with contempt at the substitue teacher and reluctantly
returned to her seat.

"This is not helping anyone, Miss Phoenix." Lilly didn't stir and Evie
could not take it any longer.

"Can't you see that she's passed out?!" The yellow Ranger got out of
her seat with a start as the class started to whisper between themselves. She
crouched beside Lilly and touched her forehead; Connor silently joined her at
her side.

"Return to your seats, both of you."

"But she's burning up!" Evie replied incredulously, dropping the
'sir' as she felt the man did not deserve such respect.

"I said return to your seats."

"I will NOT." Evie replied, staring as intensely as she could. "She
needs to be seen by the nurse, sir." She added the latter begrudgingly,
hoping the small act would ease the teacher's no doubt wounded ego.

"Fine, you boy, take her to the nurse." Evie saw the surprise in
Connor's face for a moment before he nodded and scooped Lilly up in his
arms. Evie was outraged, but bit her tongue to prevent her from saying
something she would later regret.

"Sir," She said, speaking as calmly as she could, "May I please go with
her, she'll want me there when she wakes up." Mr. Ashcroft glared at her,
looking at Connor who was as stony faced as usual, though with an added
intensity to his glare and Lilly, who still showed no signs of life apart from
the very faint rise and fall of her chest as she breathed, before he

"Fine." Evie didn't need telling twice and neither did Connor

"Where are we going, I thought we were going to the nurse's office?"
Evie asked as Connor took an earlier turning into a corridor away from said

"We were, until I spotted that." He nodded towards Lilly's left wrist.
Her sleeve had wrinkled up as he'd picked her up and there was an oddly
shaped symbol glowing upon her skin. "Somehow, I don't think the nurse
will be able to explain that." Evie would've laughed if it wasn't for
his dead-pan expression and the look in his eyes.

"No prizes for guessing where we're going then." Connor nodded and Evie
knocked on the door when they reached Mr. Park's classroom, which, thankfully
for them, only contained the teacher himself.

"What on Earth? Lilly?"

"She collapsed Mr. Park," Evie explained as Connor placed the pink ranger on
one of the desks as best as he could.

"So why aren't you in the nurse's office?"

"Because of that." Connor replied monotonously, pointing to the symbol.
Adam looked at it curiously, as Evie folded her arms.

"What does it mean, sir?" Adam looked perplexed.

"To be honest, I have no idea."

"Great." Connor muttered sarcastically, receiving a scowl from Evie for
his trouble.

"So what do we do now?"

"You two will get back to class, I'll take Lilly to Zeus, they're bound
to know what's going on."

"But sir, I want to be there when she wakes up!"

"Lilly needs you to keep your cover, Evie. It won't help anyone if the
entire school finds out what's going on."

"But Mr. Park-"

"Come on Evie."

"Like you care, Connor." Connor gave her a look that made her feel like
her bone marrow froze over.

"Just do as he says." Evie nodded without a fuss, though the look in her
eyes was clearly questioning and begging to argue back. She turned to her best
friend and pushed her blonde fringe out of her face,

"Hang in there Lils, we're counting on you." Connor cleared his throat
from the doorway, his hand resting on the doorknob. "Please Lils, you
can't leave me to handle the guys on my own, now can you?" Evie smiled
weakly and followed Connor out, glancing back at Lilly briefly.

Adam sighed before pressing the transport button on Lilly's morpher.

The day passed quietly, though Evie was still as anxious as hell and when she
relayed what had happened in the French class to Jake and Kameron at lunch,
the boys were vehement in their hatred for the substitute teacher.

"He made her do what?" Kameron asked, almost dropping his can of soda.
Evie nodded.

"You should've seen her face, it was awful."

"She'll be ok though, right?" Jake asked. Evie looked around to make
sure no one was listening and said in a hushed voice,

"No idea, Connor carried her to Mr. Park's room, he's taken her to

"We'll just have to wait and see then." Kameron said, slurping his soda
once more and Evie nodded.

"Gotta keep up the cover too." The boys nodded and the bell rang for

"What is the meaning of this?" Zeus' booming voice called, startling
Adam slightly if he weren't expecting it.

"One of the ranger's is unwell and I think you may know what is

"Place her before me." Adam lay Lilly down on the small plateau that had
risen from the palace floor. "This symbol?" Adam nodded. "This is a most
grave matter indeed."

"How so?" Adam asked, looking to the unconscious teen before him.

"She is under a sleeping spell. She must have come into contact with an
agent of Hades. Only his sorcery is capable of such a fiendish spell."


"Yes, she has been attacked in her sleep. I am afraid, our pink ranger will
not awaken unless her team mates enter her dreams, find and destroy the agent
before this symbol grows up her neck and turns wholly black." Adam looked at
the symbol. The shape had begun to grow and spread, weaving a vine like
pattern up Lilly's arm, the beginning points of which were beginning to turn
a dark magenta whilst the newer curls were still glowing a bright pink.

"How do we get into her dreams?"

"Someone close to her will have to enter. Must pacify her troubled mind and
slay the agent."

"How much time does she have?"

"One can not be too sure. She is in an enchanted sleep, if she is strong of
mind it shall take longer."

"But you have an idea? You said it was grave." Adam pushed, his
impatience was increasing.

"I would approximate one lunar cycle, possibly two rises of the sun."

"So what? Less than two days?" Zeus nodded and Adam was left with only
one urgent thought; 'Oh crap.'

Upon Adam's instruction the rangers, somehow even a thoroughly reluctant
Connor, had made their way to Lilly's house after school.

"Why're we here again?" Connor asked, his face sulky and his voice

"Because we need to know what's troubling Lilly, what the agent's
feeding off, then we can beat it." Evie replied, thoroughly sick of the red
ranger's attitude. Evie opened the door using the key that Lilly's parents
had given her during their last holiday in case of emergencies.

The house was tidy and well kept. Everything seemed to be in order and, well
normal. They peeked into the living room and saw pictures of a young Lilly all
over the mantle piece, a few of her with her hair in braids, one of her
obviously at some sort of junior dance recital, another of her holding an
award for English in her old school's uniform. Evie smiled, before seeing a
note by the phone in the hall way. She read it aloud, forgetting herself in
the moment and about trying to see if it were private first;

Lilly, sweetheart, I've been called into work again for the late shift.
Dad's rung to say he won't be home until the weekend, so only worry about
dinner for yourself, ok? There's plenty in the fridge and there's money in
the jar if you want pizza. Take care and I'll see you in the morning, love

Evie looked at the note with an expression that the three boys
couldn't rationalize. "Come on, lets check her room." She said quietly
and the three boys traipsed upstairs after her.

Lilly's room was unordinary tidy. All her books were neatly on their
shelves, her computer was switched off, though a few notes were tacked to it
here and there. There was a notice board on the wall, one side was completely
covered in photos and the other in neatly scrawled handwriting.

What was out of place was a photo album, lying open on the bed.

"What's this?" Evie went for it, but noticing the three boys outside
the room, she rolled her eyes. "There's nothing in here that's going to
bite you."

"Isn't it a bit rude to go into a girl's room without their permission
though?" Kameron asked. Connor looked as though he silently agreed through
his nonchalance.

"Well I've come in."

"Yeah but you're a girl." Jake added.

"Oh shut up and get in here." So they did and looked at the book Evie was

"It's full of notes."

"Well done Captain Obvious." Evie muttered as Jake scowled. All the notes
were obviously from Lilly's parents and they were all similar to the one
Evie had read before.

"She kept them all? She keeps them all?" Kameron asked. Evie nodded.

"Her parents aren't home much, they work like crazy and Lilly pretty much
lives here on her own most of the time."

"Doesn't that get lonely?" Evie nodded sadly.

"Damn, how long's this been going on?" Kameron asked, looking at the
volume of notes.

"Pretty much since they got here I think." Evie replied.

"So she's had to adjust to a new country on her own?" Evie nodded.
Connor felt a small twinge of guilt for giving her such a hard time when she
first convince him to join the team. Hell, his dad was always there despite
him not wanting to be, Lilly was constantly alone, despite knowing her family
loved her. Perhaps that's what made it worse, the fact that she was denied
something so important that she at least knew existed. He never truly missed
the love of his family because he was pretty sure it have never been there in
the first place.

"Look there's a letter too." Jake said, pointing to the piece of paper
on the bed which Evie picked up and read aloud once more,

Dear Lilly,

Just wanted to say sorry I missed you when you left. I'm really sorry, but
Chantelle said I couldn't meet you, she thinks we're too close and that I
like you more than her. I told her you're just my best friend, that
there's nothing going on, but she wouldn't listen. Besides, I know you
know how much I like her, I couldn't risk her dumping me. I hope you

Hope everything's going ok over there, your new friends sound cool, wish I
could meet them. What happened to your last letter? I don't seem to have
gotten one in a while, are you sure you're ok?

Sorry, but I've gotta keep it short, I'm meeting Chantelle now and you
know I can't keep her waiting.

Write back soon, ok?

Michael." Evie's face fell. "Oh God."

"What?" Jake asked,

"Duh, dude. Best friend pushed out for the girlfriend." Kameron replied.
Evie shook her head.

"It's not just that, they've been friends for years and they were so
close. I reckon Lilly really liked him."

"As in, really, really liked?" Evie nodded. Connor rolled his eyes.

"Great, so we have a heart break on our hands?" Evie scowled.

"Possibly. If not we've at least got a spurned best friend." She shook
her head. "Men."

"Hey!" Jake and Kameron muttered. Evie glared.

"Come on, we have to go sort this." She felt guilty for reading Lilly's
private thing aloud, she'd have to apologize later.

"You reckon you can sort this then?" Adam asked as Evie nodded.

"I think so sir, I'll go in and help Lilly. Everyone else should be ready
in case the agent escapes from her. Adam nodded as the teens approached Lilly.
She was still unconscious an the symbol had grown up to her shoulder and was
beginning to creep up her neck visibly, so that it was visible above the slashed
collar of her jumper that ran across her shoulders. The color was deepening
too and most of the symbol was now either black or a dark blood red.

"You haven't got much time." Evie nodded.

"How do I enter her dreams?"

"Zeus gave me this." He handed her a necklace with a circular pendant. It
was shaped like an overly curved crescent moon and inside the gap, sat a
silver arrow. "Wear this and touch the markings on her arm. When you want to
come back, put this around your neck and the, well the dream Lilly's. It
should bring you back, but you haven't got long, remember that." Evie
nodded and looked the boys.

"Wish me luck." The boys did so, even Connor nodded, before she slipped
the necklace over her head and disappeared from sight.

Well if you're still reading this then you're all probably thinking a few different thoughts:

a) The Queen of the hiatuses finally decided to post!

b) Two chapters in one day? Nice

c) How long until the next chapter?

So I'll address all of these now.

a) I took forever to update and I'm REALLY sorry. My muse decided to ditch me and I was clueless as to what to write for the last chapter, but I finally managed to get it up.

b) The reason you all get a little two-for-one special is all thanks to Toffy. She wrote this chapter and did an awesome job (big round of applause for her XD) There will clearly be a second part to this but I get the priviledge of writing it.

c) You're all gonna hate me but I'm forced to take another hiatus. I leave for camp on Sunday and won't be back until August. I will definetly be writing while I'm there but the chapter won't be up until I get home.

Anyways what you can expect coming up is the second part of Tell-Tale Signs and an Adam-centric chapter where you'll finally learn of his tumultous past (at least the past between him being a ranger and the present day in the story)

I hope you all enjoyed the chapters and again a HUGE thanks to Toffy for this one!