Disclaimer: I do not own Power Rangers; although Nicole is mine.
A/N: Lucky ducks, I'm just going through a mega-creative phase, no? Another note about Nicole at the bottom.
Nicole stalked into the Rock Porium, "Vida, Xander," she said in an overly calm tone of voice, "I need to talk to you." She couldn't help looking at the other people in the room, that is, the other Rangers. Madison she knew, and had always liked, it was fitting that she be Lady Blue. The other was Nick, a Lord Red. While Vida and Xander processed her command, she amused herself by giving him a long, judging stare, Lady to Lord.
"Hi Nicole," Vida said, "what can we do for you?" Nicole studied them as they came closer and fought to keep her protective instincts in control.
"This would be better in private," Nicole replied, flicking a glance at the customer looking at the comic books.
"Back room," Xander said as he exchanged a look with Vida.
Once the door shut, Nicole took a deep breath and let some of her frustration and anger leak out. "You two need to stop," she told them.
"Stop what?" Vida asked.
"Stop getting almost killed," Nicole replied, "stop turning into weird and unusual things. Stop playing games with Chip's heart." She took a deep breath and stepped back, mentally and physically. Chip might not have been her teammate, but he was her family and these two had been pushing her buttons for at least a year.
"What are you talking about?" Xander asked, his voice breaking as he tried to disassemble.
"I know Chip's the Yellow Mystic, and I know you two are Pink and Green," Nicole said, crossing her arms. This wasn't the time to play games with them, she was going to come clean. "I'm not as stupid as you like to pretend, Xander, and I know that when Chip has a problem, he talks to Uncle John. Most of the time, Chip goes on a job with Uncle John, but when he can't, they talk in the barn."
"And you are the inveterate eavesdropper," Vida said.
"Chip needs someone to look out for him," Nicole replied, "he gives his heart too easily." She looked at the two of them, "You two have the lion's share of it and every time you do something stupid, you hurt him."
"How do you know we're Rangers," Xander asked, clearly not able to keep up as much as Vida was.
Nicole sighed, "Because I'm a Ranger kid." She uncrossed her arms, "My mom was a Ranger off planet, so was my birth dad. Mom came here to escape SPD when I was little, when she first got sick, she decided to get marries. Ian was sweet and solicitous and came off as a good father who couldn't have children of his own. Then she died and that despardo became an abusive asshole. Mom was a Blue, and even though I'm not, she taught me the value of paying attention. You're more subtle than some of the off world Rangers, but anyone who knows how and what to look for can tell." She looked at them, "But this isn't about me, this is about Chip and the fact that you two are idiots. Whatever it is you two feel, I don't know, and I don't care, but Chip loves you."
Vida's morpher went off, followed by Xander, "Hold on," Vida said, she flipped open her phone, "Vida here."
Nicole smiled dryly as Vida turned the speakerphone on, "Vida, something has happened to Chip," a shaky voice announced, sounding both young and afraid. "Phineas found him in the forest, Udonna says that you and Xander need to come now."
Nicole blinked twice, "Go," she told them, "I'll tell Maddie and Nick." She pushed at them, "Take care of Chip for me."
"For you," Vida said dryly.
Nicole tilted her head, "If I had a morpher, I'd be a Red like my dad, ok? Chip isn't my Ranger, but he's my brother. Go save him."
"We're gone," Xander said, opening the door with Vida on his heels.
Nicole followed them, catching Madison's eye, she jerked her head towards Nick at the register and approached as the customer left. "What's going on?" Madison asked.
"Something happened to Chip," Nicole told them, "Someone named Phineas found him and someone named Udonna told Vida and Xander she needed them. I have to go, mom's waiting for me." She hesitated for a moment, "Lady Blue, Lord Red," she nodded to them and walked out of the story, slipping her headphones over her ears.
… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …
Chip had been in the forest seeking ingredients to a spell he wanted to try when something had hit him from behind and he blacked out.
That much he was certain of.
Now he stood in his high school science class, and from the number of people who walked through him, he was a ghost of some sort. He looked around, seeing familiar faces, until a shriek of laughter led him to where Xander was flirting. Belinda Carmichael, he thought, actress. Beyond them, Chip saw himself, doing the science experiment Xander had been assigned to help him with alone. He'd done it because he needed his science grades to stay up, and Xander would flirt with the nearest girl if the teacher didn't keep an eye on things.
Vida and Madison were at the station on the other side of Chip, whispering together as they worked. As his gaze settled on the sisters, he found he could hear them. "It's so obvious," Madison murmured.
"He's like a puppy," Vida replied. Suddenly she turned a looked right at Chip, and she looked older, with the pink streak in her hair she favored now. "You have to choose Chip," she said.
"Choose what?" Chip asked.
"You already know," Vida replied before vanishing in a cloud of pink smoke. The room wavered and became unclear.
Chip closed his eyes to fight the vertigo.
A/N: Concerning Nicole: In Year of the Trio, I borrowed some from my 'Song' plot for the time travel. In Get in Gear, I have found a need for certain things to be considered plot in the Brotherhood. Because (as I've said before) up until the year 2008, they share the timeline. Nicole is human, and she was in the range of three to four years old when her mother moved to Earth. Before her mom died, Nicole had visited with her birth father off planet on occasion, usually once or twice a year even though the paperwork put together by Lightspeed lists her mother as a single mom and she was adopted by her stepfather. She was ten when her mom died, eleven when she was fostered at Winter Light and twelve when they adopted her. A few more facts about Nicole will come out in future chapters, and she'll probably have something to do in the SPD timeline, but this is mostly to give her a good background for Get in Gear and to set up a few things for Vida, Xander and Chip.