GekiRanger/Go-onger: Unexpected Development
[A/N: Greetings everyone and happy V-day! While this fic has one pairing a lot of fans can really see (me included), it's not the main one. There are a few other minor pairings and they plus the major one are probably not ones fans think of, but I still hope are believable. I found it enjoyable to write for them at least. This fic is a present to my dear MysticFireBlood and is dedicated to her.]
[Disclaimer: I don't own Super Sentai, the wonderful people of Toei do, so props go to them!]
It was sunset at the GekiJyuKen dojo in Hong Kong, China. However, the next day was special and after dismissing his students for a week's vacation, Kandou Jan packed his own bags with a bright grin on his face. Tomorrow marked the fifth anniversary of the defeat of Long…the second time. Ever since that day, every year, his friends the GekiRangers and the Go-Ongers would reunite to have a party. The bonds they all forged in that incredible battle grew on them and though they don't see each other often, that didn't stop everyone from being happy when they did get to spend time together on this occasion. "I wonder how everyone's changed," he said to himself smiling. A lot can happen in a year and he noticed every year had a surprise or two waiting for him. The biggest so far was that Gou had stopped his travels the year before and returned home, but not for his brother. It was in fact Miki who convinced him to stay. To Jan's surprise, they were apparently together years ago, while they were students, and they wanted to give it another try. They also had another secret that they revealed in a letter to him, "Miki's child was also Gou's child," he laughed at his own joke as he finished packing, "Time to go!" he said cheerfully. He managed to put everything he needed in a large backpack, and though it looked too heavy for the average person, the GekiJyuKen master had no trouble putting the pack on and, after locking up his dojo, running towards the airport full throttle.
Once Jan had boarded his plane, his backpack safely stored away, he slept the entire flight to Tokyo. When the announcement came that they reached their destination, Jan immediately woke up, looking out the window like a big kid, "It's great to be back!" he declared to the surprise of his fellow passengers. He disembarked and grabbed his backpack, wanting to make a run for his old training grounds, now ran by Ran and Retsu. However he was surprised when a car pulled up, and when the window rolled down a cute girl with a cheerful face greeted him.
"Hi Jan! I'm here to pick you up!" she grinned.
"EH?" Jan lowered himself to the level of the car window to get a look at the driver.
"Don't tell me you've forgotten me, it's only been a year," she pouted. She had long black hair and brown eyes, but was also wearing lipstick and eye shadow. She was also wearing a red blouse that was slightly low cut but still modest. Jan blushed, thinking she looked pretty, and seemingly familiar but couldn't put his finger on it.
"You're not Miki-san are you? You kind of look like her, but different," Jan observed, "but it has been a year after all. I guess you could've gotten prettier, but that's hard to imagine too."
"You're close, but I'll never forgive you if you don't get it right," she replied with a more familiar pout.
"EH! Miki's child!" It finally hit Jan, "You're Miki's child aren't you!"
"Please don't call me that anymore. I have a name and you know it. And I'm not a child anymore! I'm driving now and I just turned 18 today," Natsume pointed out, "Just get in here so I can take you to the others." Jan walked to the other side of the car and climbed in the passenger side and buckled up.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to hurt you feelings…but seeing you again is waki waki!"
Natsume giggled slightly, "You still talk like that. I guess that's one of the things that will never change about you," she observed, "Just call me by my name from now on and all will be forgiven," she smiled.
"Okay Natsume-chan," Jan said slowly, trying it out as she started the drive back to SCRTC, "You're a good driver by the way."
"Thanks," she smiled back at him, "This is the first time I've driven on my own without Kaa-san or one of the others with me, but I insisted that I wanted to be the one to pick you up."
"Thanks, Natsume-chan. To be honest I don't know how to drive. I've always been fine walking or running to where I need to get to, but I think I can get to like riding with a friend."
"Thanks Jan," Natsume blushed slightly as she turned a corner, "There's something I want to show you."
"What's that?" Jan asked. Natsume pointed to a billboard as they were driving by. It was a large scale picture of Natsume, in her training outfit, but it also seemed to bring out her figure as well.
"What the?" Jan gasped, "Is that you?"
"Yes it is. I've decided to try out a modeling career and Kaa-san approved as long as I started off using my talent to advertise for SCRTC so we can get more students. Don't I look great," she grinned.
"Very waki waki" Jan agreed, looking out the window at the advertisement but also feeling slightly guilty.
"I'm really glad you like it Jan," Natsume replied, "Maybe I can give you a smaller poster of me for your dojo in Hong Kong," she suggested.
"Maybe," Jan agreed. He mentally shook his own head, "What is this new weird sensation I'm feeling…"
"We're home!" Natsume announced as they pulled in.
"Great! It's not everyone who can say they truly have two," Jan said. When Natsume stopped the car they both got out and immediately she rushed to him and gave him a big hug.
"Surprise!" she said, "I didn't get to do that at the airport, so I did it now," she smiled letting him go. Jan was indeed surprised. Natsume was also definitely taller than when he last saw her and he could've sworn he smelled perfume. Before Jan could reply though, the doors opened and a small flood of people emerged.
"Welcome home, my former student, now a master," Sha-Fu nodded in his own affectionate greeting, bowing respectfully.
"Neko-chan! Jan grinned at his former master, not prepared for the onslaught that followed.
"OSU!" Jan heard before he was grabbed in a crushing bear hug, "You should visit more often," Ken scolded, "It's more fun when you're here."
"Give the poor guy some breathing room," Retsu chided. When Ken released Jan, Retsu offered his hand, "Great to see you again."
"You too," Jan replied smiling, clasping his friend's hand and shaking it vigorously, "So how are your students this year?"
"Very promising," Retsu replied, "Ran and I have been taking good care of them."
"Isn't it great being a master and teaching our geki geki to others?" Jan smiled.
"Yes it is," Ran replied walking up to Jan and giving him a much gentler hug than the one he got from Ken.
"So how was the ride? You had the honor of being Natsume-chan's first passenger," Miki walked over to them next, also giving Jan a hug
"Her driving was very waki waki!" Jan replied happily, "Very safe and fun."
"Told you I could do it," Natsume smiled, "Of all the GekiJyuKen users, none were brave enough except Jan to ride with me," she joked.
"I'll admit that he's a braver man than I when it comes to that," Gou grinned putting an arm around Jan's shoulder, "Welcome back."
"It's great to be here! So when are the others coming?" Jan asked.
"They actually beat you here!" Jan looked up and saw Sosuke standing at the door waving, "And we had to cross worlds to do it too."
"Sosuke! Great to see you!" Jan cheered. He led the other GekiRangers back inside where it looked like the Go-ongers were setting up a table for a feast.
"You didn't have to do that, you're our guests," Sha-Fu said.
"We don't mind, honestly," Ren replied. As he did, Ran sneaked up to where Gunpei was and hugged him from behind, making him blush
"Gotcha!" she grinned, letting him go slowly, but Gunpei held on to her hand.
"Now I got you," he kissed the top of her hand, making her blush softly before letting it go.
"It's so sweet seeing you two like that every year," Saki beamed.
"Like what?" Gunpei blushed.
"That. Even though you don't see each other that often, the way you flirt together like that is fun," Miu grinned.
"At least they're not as bad as you and Sosuke," Hiroto replied.
"Hey I thought you gave them your blessing," Hanto pointed out.
"Doesn't mean I like their PDAs," Hiroto huffed.
"PDA?" Jan blinked and tilted his head in confusion.
"I'll explain later," Retsu promised.
"Ren-san, can you help me in the kitchen?" Natsume asked, "I like cooking for the others but I can't do it all on my own."
"Sure thing," Ren replied.
Jan stared at Natsume and paid close attention to the way she walked as she and Ren disappeared into the kitchen. He then turned to Retsu, "Can I talk to you for a minute?"
"Sure," Retsu replied. Jan led his friend outside and turned to him, "What's on your mind?"
"Natsume-chan…have you noticed how much she has changed recently?" he asked.
"Changed how? She's still a kind and wonderful girl," Retsu pointed out.
"I know that, but…I don't think she's a girl anymore," Jan said forebodingly, causing Retsu to laugh.
"What on earth are you talking about?" Retsu chuckled.
"I mean…I didn't recognize her at first when she picked me up," Jan replied, "She looked more like her mother."
"That's a good thing, Miki-san's a lovely woman too, as my Nii-san can attest to," Retsu said.
"But Natsume-chan never wore make-up or perfume before, and she never drove me around before, and…and she never posed for a big big big picture before!" Jan replied, "And she looked, well, bigger!" Retsu laughed even more at Jan's strange explanation, especially since Jan gestured with his hands exactly where he noticed Natsume had grown.
"Are you starting to feel old, seeing her grow up like that?" Retsu joked, "I guess she has changed a lot, but being here and seeing it gradually over time is different than it would be for you. It must be a shock; though I'll admit a lot of her 'changes' happened over the last year. And I've seen her billboard, she did a great job and it did bring a few more students. Also you stopped calling her 'Miki's child' I noticed."
"Well…she insisted…and I look at her, I don't see a child anymore," Jan replied, "She's the same as before, but also different, in a good way. She makes me feel…super waki waki just looking at her and it only just started today when I met her again."
"Wait. What? Are you saying you think you're attracted to Natsume-chan?" Retsu said in astonishment.
"Huh?" Jan said.
"Like the way Nii-san and Miki-san feel, or Sosuke and Miu, or even Ran and Gunpei when they act goofy every year?" Retsu explained.
"I don't know…maybe?" Jan said confused, shaking his head, "What should I do? Is it wrong to feel like this?"
"Well you and Natsume-chan have always had a strong friendship, even when she was younger," Retsu pointed out, "I don't want to see you ruin that, but now that I think about it, she really lights up when she gets a letter from you or when you get to visit. You should've seen her face when Miki-san agreed to let her pick you up from the airport. I know you make her very happy…she's also never mentioned any boyfriends to us, but that could also be because she wanted to keep them secret. I don't want to jump to conclusions, but I think Natsume-chan's always felt affection for you."
"That doesn't help me much," Jan replied, "Is it bad for me to have feelings for her when she is so much younger than me?"
"Hmm…well look at Nii-san and Miki-san. Nii-san is much younger than Miki-san and they seem to be doing okay," Retsu pointed out.
"Well…that's different. It was complicated with them. They used to be close to the same age before Gou was cursed and cured," Jan countered.
"But still that difference was something that really worried them at first, but now it doesn't matter to them anymore," Retsu replied, "I'm sure if you just talk to Natsume-chan you can figure out what to do."
"I just don't want to make her feel weird about me or think I'm a bad person," Jan replied.
"One thing about Natsume-chan, she's always been more mature and understanding than her age would make you think. That was true years ago and it's true now," Retsu said, "I think that will make the age difference meaningless in the long run. So just talk to her."
"Well she is busy cooking…"
"Jan, it'll be easier getting her alone in there than at the dinner party with everyone around you," Retsu reminded him.
"Okay okay, I'll go," Jan replied. Retsu put an arm around his friend before they headed back inside. Jan smiled and waved at his other friends, but declined to join in the multiple conversations going on and heeded Retsu's advice. He knocked on the kitchen before entering and he saw Natsume working the stove with Ren assisting her.
"Hey guys, how goes the food?" Jan asked.
"It's going great," Natsume replied, "Ren's a big help," she smiled.
"Just! Following your recipes," Ren replied, "You have a real talent Natsume-chan."
"Thank you, Ren-san," Natsume smiled.
"Uma…can I talk to you in private?" Jan asked Natsume nervously.
"Sure Jan. You think you can keep going on your own a few minutes?" she asked Ren.
"Not a problem," Ren nodded. Natsume took Jan's hand in hers and smiled softly as she led him to a safe distance where Ren couldn't overhear.
"What's on your mind?" Natsume asked.
"Well…you actually," Jan replied, blushing softly, "I'm sorry I didn't recognize you at first in the airport."
"Oh that's what's bothering you? I told you I forgive you already so don't worry," Natsume replied, "Besides you compared me to Kaa-san and I take that as a compliment, not many girls would, but she's beautiful and kind and I really look up to her…just don't tell her," she winked.
"Okay I won't," Jan promised, "Can I ask why did you insist on picking me up?"
"Isn't it obvious? I really missed you Jan and I wanted to be the first one to see you," Natsume blushed slightly, "I always miss you when you're not here…"
"I missed you to Natsume-chan," Jan replied softly, "Even though you're much younger than the others, you've always been one of my best friends…and now…you don't seem so young anymore."
"I see…Jan…do you…like the way I've grown?" Natsume asked shyly, "I mean…you were so used to me being a kid, can we still be good friends now that I'm…a woman?" Now it was Jan's turn to blush.
"Of course we're still friends," Jan replied, "Nothing will change that," He put his hands gently on her shoulders, "And I really do like the way you've grown. You're very pretty and I'm sure there a lot of your classmates think the same."
"Thank you Jan," Natsume replied, "And there have been a lot of guys who wanted to ask me out, but I've turned them all down. They're all so immature!" Nastsume laughed a little and Jan joined her but was surprised when she wrapped her arms around him and hugged him close.
"Natsume-chan…" Jan's heartbeat increased and after he recovered from the shock, he hugged her back and they held on to each other while still talking.
"The truth is…I've been patiently waiting for this day…so I can have a moment like this with you," she said softly, "I know it may seem silly or confusing to you, but I've always liked you Jan. I've just been unable to express that like I wanted."
"Huh?" Jan said. She was right, he was confused and he let her go for a moment, "You just said you didn't like immature boys, but I don't think I'm too mature to be honest, not like our other friends. Do you not like me anymore?"
"You're different though. They're immature in a stupid way, but Jan you are immature…in a sweet and kind way. It's what makes you who you are. I don't mind that at all. In fact I love the fact you have such a big heart. So don't ever think I don't like you because I do, with all that I am," Natsume replied, quickly hugging him once again
Jan's smile widened and he hugged her closer to him, "I'm glad. Really glad, Natsume, I feel super waki waki now!" This made the beautiful young woman giggle.
"Is that your way of saying you like me too?" she asked with a grin.
"I've always liked you Natsume-chan, but now I think I like like you," Jan replied.
"That's the Jan I love. So cute," she replied, then caught herself as she looked at his blushing face
"You said 'love' didn't you?" Jan said, "Like Gou and your Kaa-san and Sosuke and Miu feel for each other?" he asked.
Natsume blushed until her face seemed as red as Jan's jacket, "I…I guess I did. I'm sorry I guess that was a bit much."
"Don't apologize," Jan replied, "You should always be honest with your feelings."
"Well then, please be honest with me," Natsume replied, "How do you feel about me?"
"I know I've always liked you," Jan said, "And I like you more now than ever before. I think even though you've grown up into a very pretty woman, you're also still the Natsume-chan I've always known…but with more."
"Does all this mean you love me?" Natsume looked up at him and he could see the hope and affection in her brown eyes.
"I don't really know, I've never felt love like that before," Jan replied honestly, hoping not to hurt her. Natsume looked down in disappointment though, "But that doesn't mean I'm not willing to find out," he said cheerfully.
"Really?" she looked back up at him, her hope slightly rejuvenated.
"Really," Jan smiled, "If you want to that is. I'd like to see what it's like to have a relationship. It seems to make people very happy."
"Well I'd like that too Jan," Natsume smiled and hugged him once more, "and do you know what else I would like?" she blushed leaning up slightly, "I've always wanted you to be my first kiss…" She closed her eyes and moved her hands up to Jan's head, gently moving it closer to her. Jan blushed but didn't do anything to stop her, just eagerly anticipating this new sensation. When their lips made contact, Jan's eyes widened in surprise as it felt like electricity surged through his body from this simple yet complex gesture. He held on to her, finally closing his own eyes and returning her kiss gently while stroking her hair. When they pulled apart, they were both smiling and laughing softly.
"Super waki waki," Natsume said, "Now I know what that means," she giggled.
"My heart is going thumpa thumpa too," Jan replied with a new word, causing them both to smile, "Do you think Miki-san will approve though?" he asked.
"There's only one way to find out…we'll have to ask her," Natsume replied, "But if she doesn't it's almost hypocritical since she's dating Gou now…still Kaa-san can be scary when she's mad."
"Well I guess after facing Long all those years ago, this is probably not as scary," Jan replied, though he still felt very nervous.
"We can ask her after dinner," Natsume replied, "Speaking of, I better get back to helping Ren-san…and Jan…thank you for being honest with me. I hope that if this works out, that you'll feel for me what I feel for you." They walked hand-in-hand towards where Ren was still working. He was oblivious to their entire exchange.
"Everything okay you guys?" he asked, when he saw Jan squeeze her hand before he left the kitchen.
"We'll know for sure later tonight, but we're hoping so," Natsume said, "but it looks like you're doing a great job."
"Thanks" Ren said, "but I could still use your help."
"Alright," Natsume said smiling, "Let's get back to work."
Jan returned to where the others were all talking and laughing together. When he came back Retsu gave him a questioning look and Jan simply smiled and gave him a thumbs-up. He sat with his friends and they all talked about what has been going on lately. Jan talked about his experiences in Hong Kong, while the other GekiRangers told him of their own classes and how they enjoyed teaching. The Go-ongers and their Engines told stories about traveling to various worlds, chasing down and defeating the few Gaiark that were left. They all expressed their desire to return home permanently but would miss each other at the same time when it was finally over. Retsu nagged his older brother about how close he was to Miki and that he should propose to her which prompted Sosuke and Miu to blush. When Ran noticed, Miu held up her hand and showed a sparkling diamond ring on her finger that Sosuke gave her recently to the pleasant surprise of the GekiRangers. Finally Ren and Natsume came out announcing the food was ready. Everyone helped bring it out and enjoyed a wonderful dinner together.
"I hope everyone's saved room," Miki said when everyone had their fill, "It's time for the cake."
"Kaa-san?" Natsume looked at her questioningly.
"I know you're grown now, but you're never too old for birthday cake," Miki smiled at her daughter, "I am so proud of you and I love you."
"I love you too, Kaa-san," Natsume replied with a smile on her face. Miki and Gou disappeared for a few minutes and came out with a large enough cake for everyone to have a piece. Natsume smiled and put her hands over her heart as her friends and family sang "Happy Birthday" to her.
"Time for your wish," Miki smiled.
"Actually, I have a very special wish," Natsume blushed, closing her eyes and blowing out her candles, "I know normally you aren't supposed to tell…but I have to in this case."
"What is it Natsume-chan?" Miki asked and everyone leaned in closer, also curious.
"Well Kaa-san…I was wishing that you would approve of me…dating…"
"Dating? Well this is a nice surprise," Miki smiled, "That depends though. Who is it that you wish to date?" Natsume exchanged a brief look with Jan and for once, he got the hint.
"She wants to date me, Miki-san," Jan announced softly.
"NANI!" everyone at the table with the exception of Jan, Natsume, Miki, and Sha-Fu all fell out of their chairs in surprise, but Miki herself also had a surprised look on her face.
"Natsume-chan is this true?" she asked sternly.
"Y…yes…Kaa-san…" Natsume replied nervously.
"And Jan, how do you feel about this?" Miki turned her "protective mother" gaze towards him.
"Well…I've always liked Natsume-chan a lot, and I like her even more now, so I hoped you would approve," Jan replied nervously, though not quite as nervously as Natsume.
"Don't tell me you came all the way from Hong Kong and just declared feelings for each other out of the blue," Miki said.
"Kaa-san, please don't be mad," Natsume said, "I've always had feelings for him. I just couldn't do anything about it until now!"
"You didn't answer my question Jan," Miki persisted.
"I know how Natsume-chan feels for me, I just don't know how I feel about her, other than I really like her a lot, but I can't know my real feelings unless I have the chance to experience them with her. So…I'm asking permission too," Jan said, bowing very formally, "Please Miki-san, give us your blessing."
"You two know there's a big age difference to consider," Miki pointed out, "And before you say anything, yes I know that Gou and I had the same issue. Honestly it wasn't easy. It takes work to make a relationship and even more so with complications like this."
"Does this mean no?" Natsume asked with worry.
"I'm just telling you what you may be in for," Miki replied, then she turned to Jan, "If it was anyone other than you Jan, I wouldn't even consider my daughter dating someone this much older than her. But I know you and the kind of man you are and I know I can trust you. I've also known how my daughter felt about you for years. I thought at first it was just a simple crush but if it lasted this long, I believe she has real feelings for you. Thank you for being honest with your own feelings too. I hope that you'll be able to truly return her affections soon."
"Does this mean?" Natsume brightened.
"Yes. You have my blessing. Be happy together," Miki smiled.
"HORRAY!" Natsume and Jan cheered and hugged each other close as everyone returned to their seats.
"Aww…so cute," Saki smiled.
"I agree," Ran smiled and nodded.
"They do make an interesting pair," Miu agreed.
"Does this seem weird to anyone?" Hiroto asked.
"Not to me," Ken grinned, "Love knows no age limits."
"Ah so that's what they were worried about," Ren grinned, "Glad it wasn't too bad."
"Guess my advice really worked," Retsu returned Ren's grin.
"You knew about this?" Gou looked at his younger brother in shock.
"Are you playing the overprotective father?" Hanto asked.
"Well…yeah…" Gou shook his head.
"Ah! I knew it!" Gunpei exclaimed.
"Well if you think about how old Natsume-chan is and the time Gou disappeared…" Sha-fu teased. As much fun as this scene was, it was lost on Jan and Natsume who were still just holding each other, enjoying the warmth physically and emotionally of being with someone they could really care about.