The elevator doors were barely open but Emily squeezed her way out and raced down the hall, checking the room numbers on her way. Finally, she found the room and stopped in front of the door. Mike was quickly by her side and wrapped his arms around her.
"It's not going to be bad," he promised her. "Dekker would have taken care of her. He loves her."
"He said she was sick," Emily whispered, "on the phone… she's here… Mike…"
"Take my hand," Mike said and Emily did as she was told. She squeezed hard and Mike winced slightly. The other Rangers caught up and Mia reached for the door. She looked to Emily.
Emily shook her head but Mia knew what to do. She opened the door and guided Mike and Emily inside. Emily gasped when she saw her sister in bed with an oxygen mask covering her mouth and nose. The gasp was enough to wake Serena.
The elder Earth Samurai's vision was blurred slightly for a moment and it took her several seconds to recognise the faces before her but when she did she smiled and reached for her mask. She pulled it off.
"Serena… a-are you okay?" Emily asked. Serena nodded her head.
"Nothing too serious," she promised and then coughed. Emily jumped at the sound and Mike and Mia heard a small whimper. Serena smiled, "I'll be fine, Emily."
"But… you… you're… and here… it's…"
Serena waved her sister over. Emily walked nervously to the side of her sister's bed and took her hand. Mike grabbed a chair from the corner of the room and placed it by the bed so Emily could sit. Serena squeezed Emily's hand and smiled.
"The doctor's checked already. They said they found nothing."
"Nothing?" Jayden asked. "Serena, you don't come here for nothing."
"I will explain," Dekker said as he entered the room and Emily was immediately in defensive mode. Serena's hateful glare to Dekker told the Rangers everything they needed to know and they too were on high alert. Dekker looked at Serena apologetically. "It never crossed my mind just how much the portals would affect you, Serena."
"The portals?" Mia asked.
"Traveling through the Netherworld, even for only a few seconds, is enough to hurt a human."
"She's never gotten sick before," Jayden pointed out. He knew occasionally Dekker and Serena travelled from Japan to America via portal and Serena sometimes complained she was a little dizzy after travelling, but it was usually nothing to be worried about.
"Hiding from Dayu," Dekker turned away, "We travelled a lot. Too much. As long as she stays out of the Netherworld, she will be fine."
"Get out," Emily whispered to Dekker and he obeyed almost immediately. Before he left, though, he had to say one last thing to Serena.
"I love you."
"I don't care," Serena muttered.
Dekker sighed and turned away. He reached the door and paused, "I'm sorry. Until you are fit I will guard the Tengen…"
"Go anywhere near that Gate, Dekker, and I will hunt you down and kill you," Serena sat up straight in her bed and looked at the warrior angrily. Dekker's eyes widened slightly. He knew Serena was serious. The Tengen Gate had few intruders, but when there was a risk of danger she was always on her toes, ready to fight and do her best to live up to her responsibilities. He lowered his head in shame.
"Get out," Emily whispered to Dekker and finally he walked out. Serena reached for her sister and pulled her into her arms.
"I'll tell you everything later, I promise," she whispered.
It was then the doctor walked in and he was immediately overwhelmed by the number of people in the small room.
"Out," he gestured to the door. "She's not ready for visitors."
"Mike," Kevin grabbed Mike's arm and pulled him out of the room, "The doctors know what they're doing."
Emily looked at her sister. Serena again had to promise she was fine before Emily kissed her on the cheek and walked out with her friends. Once they were out of the room Mike immediately pulled Emily into a hug while Mia walked away.
"I told you," Mike said to Emily, "Everything's going to be fine."
"That just leaves us with Dayu," Kevin said. "We still should figure out what's bothering her. What her story is."
"She can have Dekker," Emily said bitterly. "They deserve each other."
"We don't know what he did," Antonio said gently to Emily, "Don't damn him yet."
"It's bad enough to bring Serena here," Emily muttered. "He had to protect her for a week and she got sick."
"It was the Netherworld…"
"Then why does she hate him, Jayden?" Emily asked. "I know my sister. I know she's mad at him. Dayu can have him. I don't care."
"We'll figure it out, Emily," Kevin promised. "Dekker, Dayu, Serena. We'll figure it all out."
"Really?" Emily asked skeptically.
"There's nothing in the books, but there's something to find and we're going to find it. Dayu can't hide forever."
Dekker stepped out of the hospital and felt completely crushed. He had lost everything. Dayu had won. Somehow, she was one step closer to getting what she wanted.
He was about to disappear when he heard a slow clapping. He turned around and saw Dayu appearing from behind hedge. She was hidden just enough so people couldn't see her, but Dekker spotted her quickly.
"Congratulations, Dekker," Dayu smirked, "I told you she would never understand. Now you're rid of her."
"You did this," Dekker lunged forward but Dayu stepped out of the way. He didn't fall, but he stumbled forward. Dayu reached out and caught his arm.
"It was inevitable," she said, "you were going to lose her eventually."
Dekker pulled his arm free from Dayu's grip, "if you think I'm going to fall into your arms you're sorely mistaken."
"You cost me everything!" Dekker shouted. "It's because of you I turned into a monster. It's because of you she won't see me…"
"Stay away from me," Dekker growled, "and stay away from her. She is not your problem anymore. We are no longer in a relationship."
Dayu glared at Dekker, "And yet she is still keeping me from you…"
"Leave her alone!" Dekker screamed and grabbed Dayu by the arms and rammed her into the wall of the building. "Leave her and the Rangers alone."
"Or else what, Dekker?" Dayu asked. Dekker growled and placed his hand on Dayu's throat but he didn't squeeze. He eyed her hatefully and then turned away. Dayu followed him. She didn't care if she was seen at this point. "You know there's only one way to stop this, Dekker. I know what's best for you! You and I…"
"Nothing will ever happen between us!" Dekker shouted. "And Serena didn't spoil it! You did! Everything! Everything is because of you, Dayu! Leave her alone and maybe someday I'll forget, just like I've forgotten everything else, but if you touch her… I'll never forget that."
Dekker disappeared into a portal and Dayu stomped her feet angrily. She turned to the hospital door and was surprised to see someone had witnessed her argument with Dekker.
Mia stepped outside and sighed, "What happened?"
"None of your concern, pink Ranger."
"You put my family in danger," Mia growled. "Serena's in the hospital, Emily's upset, my friends are all worried. You owe me answers."
"I owe you nothing," Dayu hissed and turned away.
"You're human," Mia called. "You're half-human. You have a story. Tell me…"
"No," Dayu shook her head and disappeared in a flash. Mia grumbled in frustration and headed back inside the hospital. She walked up the reception desk and asked the woman for a permanent marker. The receptionist gave her a skeptical look when she saw Mia had no paper but handed the pink Ranger a marker.
Mia lifted up her left arm and wrote on her cast: Don't get carried away.
She stuck the cap back on the marker and handed it back to the lady, "It's just a reminder. I get too focused and forget things."
"How long do you have it on for?"
"Another few weeks."
"How long do you have to remember?"
"Dunno," Mia shrugged. She saw the other Rangers stepping out of the elevator and smiled at them. Kevin walked up to Mia and wrapped his arms around her.
"Don't say a word."
"What?" Mia frowned. "Kevin…"
"We're going for ice-cream," Kevin grumbled.
"He offered," Antonio smirked happily and started bouncing his way to the cafeteria. Jayden rolled his eyes and followed his best friend. Mike and Emily weren't far behind.
Mia looked at Kevin, "You offered… this is Kevin, right?"
"It's just…" Kevin watched his team walk away, "Emily was bummed and they've been worried for days… it made them smile."
Mia chuckled and rolled her eyes, "I knew you secretly loved it."
"Let me guess," Kevin said, trying to change the topic, "Strawberry, right?"
Mia nodded her head, "Am I that predictable?"
"It's pink," Kevin shrugged. "You like your pink foods. Strawberry ice-cream, strawberry yogurt, strawberry flavoured candies."
"How do you know it's not strawberries that I like?"
"Because strawberries are red," Kevin laughed. He wrapped his arm around Mia's shoulder, "Consider yourself lucky, though. Blue ice-cream?"
"Bubble gum ice-cream," Mia suggested. Kevin shot her a serious look.
"I'm not five."
"I'm happy you're not," Mia nodded and laughed. "I live with a houseful of kids already. If it weren't for you and Jayden, my head might explode."
"Me and Jayden?" Kevin frowned and stopped in his tracks. Mia looked back at him, "I'm more mature than Jayden, though, right?"
Mia took this as her chance to tease Kevin. She shook her head, "Eh…"
"You know, sometimes…"
"I'm more mature!" Kevin pouted, stomped his foot, and crossed his arms. Mia laughed and shook her head.
"Okay, Kevin, you're more mature. Will ice-cream make you feel like a bigger kid than Jayden?"
"Anything but bubble gum ice-cream."