Disclaimer: I don't own power rangers, or anything remotely resembling power rangers. Wait- no, I've got a shirt.
And it's really awesome.
Summary: In which Dustin and Shane have issues with noticing things. Also, Cam and Hunter have issues with not being morons. It's kind of a problem. Cam/Dustin, Shane/Hunter (eventually).
Welcome to Any Moment Reprise! It is a shortened down, cleaned up version of a story I have already posted. In musical terms, a reprise, to quote Wikipedia is "any repetition of an earlier song or theme, usually with changed lyrics to reflect the development of the story." It's like an encore, a short sweet taste of what we already had. The goal of the reprises was to streamline the story, work out some awkward wordings, and give the overall tale a tune up. Formatting, grammar, cliché's, all shall be nitpicked. I had wanted to cover both versions of the story in one week. Unfortunately I am full of fail, so I only managed to work out seven chapters of one version. The 'A' version, so decided as everyone gets a happy ending.
Heads up: This 'A' version has a lot trimmed off of it. Have no fear though; if there's a favorite chapter of yours missing odds are it will be in the 'B' version.
Regarding endnotes: As I have already discussed the chapters in the first posting of the story the endnotes of the reprise's will now be solely comprised of short snippets of conversations I have with my sister (the Tempestuous Muse) while we edit this piece. Our general method is to have her read through it and tell me what doesn't work. It's the most effective way to catch all (or as many of the) errors possible.
I'm pretty sure most of this will get lost in translation but it made this process a lot more fun and entertaining for us so hell, maybe you guys might like it too. Expect many wild references and utter nonsense. It's kind've what we do.
This chapter bounces between Dustin's and Cam's p.o.v.
Takes place during Thunder Strangers, Part 2-3
Though Dustin was not sure of many things in his life, he couldn't deny the fact that their zord battle against the Thunder punks had not gone well.
Actually that was an understatement - if the sparking wires that had so nicely not been sparking (or even visible) before the battle - were any indication. His cockpit looked like a tornado had hit it, and he felt like he had been caught in it. Having the biggest zord wasn't looking like such a good thing now. Biggest zord equaled majority of the damage. That hadn't been much of a problem until this point, but then again, they hadn't really gotten schooled until now.
No, that wasn't quite the right way to put it. They got owned. And not like kinda-owned, but completely-and-totally owned, which was something Dustin would've been more worried about if his back wasn't throbbing.
Slowly, the yellow ranger craned his head to see the cause of his discomfort, which appeared to be a giant piece of metal that used to be a support beam or…something, it was probably important, and was probably something else he should be entirely more worried about not being in its proper supporting place, but again, back in major pain.
So…Cam was gonna be mad. And not funny-Cam mad, like that one time Dustin had switched Ninja Ops screensaver to these sick motocross pictures (he was just trying to share, you know, boost team morale) and the tech ranted/lectured for a little bit but it was still kinda funny; but like, super, red, face-might-explode mad.
And that was not cool. It wasn't even entirely their fault either.
Well, the part where they had gotten beat up, that might have been their fault, but the power disk interception thing…not cool man. That had to be like a foul or something.
Dustin didn't think that would really stop Cam from ranting at them though. Or, it might, but only for a little bit. Cam did like his ranting. Sometimes Dustin thought the genius made up rules just so he could say they had broken them so he could yell at them some more.
Okay, Cam probably didn't, but…maybe Dustin should talk to him more, just in case.
That would be really sad if that was the highlight of his day.
Another wire sparking to life near Dustin's face drew him out of his mental side trip and back into the battle zone. How had nothing worked against those guys? The serpent sword hadn't worked and the megazord's lightning mode had done diddly against them and lighting mode was awesome. Didn't lightning trump thunder? Thunder was just noise. And there were only two of them. Granted, they were two super angry-dudes with a chip on their shoulder, but having one more person should've counted for something. They weren't that bad.
Dustin briefly wondered if they had seriously offended the Thunder Rangers by saving the world without inviting them, and maybe that was why they were mad, but if that had been the case wouldn't the other two rangers have stopped fighting them after the first round of butt-kicking? Had the repeat performance really been necessary?
Timidly, the brunette tried to shimmy his way out from under the beam to avoid being shocked by the mess that used to be his cockpit, but the thing wouldn't budge.
He could think of better ways to spend his evening.
Dustin started to bring his morpher to his mouth to call for the others but noticed that it, like his zord, was trashed so… waiting time? Yeah, waiting time.
How was he still morphed?
It wasn't long though (which was awesome because breathing was becoming a bit of an issue) before the yellow ranger heard the door open up behind him. He really hoped it was his team and not the other guys because right now he was a sitting duck - and really dumb looking - but the duck thing was the bigger issue, really. But seeing (or feeling, he supposed) as the person was attempting to pull the beam off instead of trying to incinerate him; they were probably from his team. Unless the Thunders liked to look you in the eye when they destroyed you, which given their track record, would be fitting.
But they'd probably be taunting him too; it was like, in the rules.
"How well did you wedge this thing?"
It was Shane. Well, that was a relief; he'd just do the taunting and not the killing…and Dustin was rather fond of the not-killing, or destroying.
Tori was kind of touchy about wording.
"I didn't do anything," the brunette grumbled, gesturing vaguely in the red ranger's direction. "It was the guys shooting at us; it's not like I enjoy not-breathing."
In fact Dustin hated it, but Shane got what he meant; he was good with these kinds of things. That was one of Dustin's favorite things about Shane; he didn't really have to explain himself because the other ranger could fill in the blanks, like he was supreme master of Dustin-ese.
"Your talking says you breathe just fine," the leader teased in return, and he heard Shane shift to get his shoulder underneath the beam. Pulling on it must not be effective. Maybe the skater would have more luck than Dustin. Sure, being oddly hunched over didn't really help with leverage but Dustin had really been trying.
"That's because I'm awesome…and…morphed."
Which was only possible because of a higher power, i.e., Cam. Dustin hoped they didn't power down soon, that would probably lower the chances of Shane getting the support off and, you know, breathing.
Shane seemed to get the message and tried jerking the beam to the side to give Dustin some more space. "If you're so awesome, why don't you get yourself out?"
The bar stubbornly stayed in place. It must be working for the Thunders.
Hah, Thunder beam.
"And miss spending quality time with you? No way, dude."
Also, awesome people had other people do things for them. Fact.
"Right," Shane grunted, and, right, they were still talking. "Perish the thought."
There was some shuffling outside the door and then a soft call, "Guys?"
Enter Tori; so did that mean the bad guys had left the building? Good riddance. Dustin had read about evil rangers in his comic books, but they were so much worse in real life.
There was some more shuffling; sounded like she was probably trying to avoid wires, something Dustin wished he could be doing right now. "Are you in there?"
"Yeah," Shane called back. "Dustin's trapped."
"And not by choice," the yellow ranger added, just so no one would be confused.
Because confusion was their greatest worry right now, and not beam-death. Most certainly not beam-death.
Death by way of beam.
"Help me get him out," The red ranger ordered, giving another push.
It was a good thing Shane was the red guy, because even though Tori was going to help anyway Shane telling her to was encouraging, because then there was a plan, and plans were awesome. If Dustin had said that it would've sounded ridiculous.
With Shane pushing and Tori pulling it wasn't long before there was a little give. The yellow ranger hurriedly pulled himself down to duck under it and…got his helmet stuck, which was not an improvement; it was worse.
At least now Dustin could see Shane, who was staring at him in disbelief.
"You're kidding me." The red ranger smacked the side of his helmet. "You've got to be kidding me."
"I wish dude," Dustin helpfully replied. His face was only turning red because of the added pressure of the beam…that was it; it had nothing to do with him not thinking things through.
Nothing at all.
He gently started tugging his head down as far down as he could go, which wasn't much, and together he and Shane started pushing up on the stupid hunk of metal. Powering down now would not equal happiness; in fact, it would probably equal unhappiness, for Dustin's head, and the team, and they'd have to get another ninja to replace him but since Lothor took them all that would be an issue. Unless Cam did it. Could Cam fight? Cam would probably be an awesome ranger.
Dustin shared this thought with his friends.
Clearly, Shane was not impressed with his observation. "Right. Great. Can we focus?"
Well, at least they cared.
So it was back to saving Dustin's head time. The brace finally shifted again and Dustin scrambled back, Tori pulling him along, over his discarded chair. It landed with a thud just as their morphers ran out of juice, powering them down.
Well…that was cutting it close. Dustin wondered if the morphers were broken if they still got enhanced healing (did that kinda thing stick with you?). He could feel the bruises pulsing from that stupid beam, and his head was really starting to hurt. It was ridiculous; he got his worst injury after the battle? That was so lame.
Curse you Thunder beam.
"Hey man, are you alright?" Shane asked, pulling the other two rangers up from the floor, and then making sure they stayed off the floor.
It was a process that took longer than it probably should have due to the small space and mess they had to avoid.
"If I say no, will you carry me?" Dustin replied.
That would be sweet; the effects of being thrown around like a ragdoll were really starting to get to him. Not-walking sounded excellent.
Tori smacked Dustin's arm as they exited the Lion Zord. "You almost got your head smashed in; take it seriously."
She looked upset but he doubted it was because of his comment. Or at least, entirely due to his comment.
It was probably a girl thing.
Shane quickly stepped in for Dustin's defense. "Take it easy Tori; it's been a long day for all of us."
Yeah, score point to the hawk dude. It was nice to always have someone have your back.
Shane looked at him pointedly, as though he could hear his thoughts. "And no, you're going to have to walk."
So, not entirely having your back. But the thought counted.
Dustin would live, but not-walking would've been really nice. Shane, despite his earlier complaint, helped him along anyway, pulling the yellow ranger's right arm over his shoulder as Tori led them away from their trashed zords.
"So," Shane started, readjusting his grip on Dustin's arm. "How mad do you think Cam's going to be?"
"Face explode," Dustin replied softly, ignoring the looks his two friends threw him as they made their way up the hill.
While the morphers were more than capable of repairing themselves, Cam felt that a helping hand might speed up the process. Whatever he was speeding it up for he remained uncertain, but he was sure that there would probably be another attack as soon as the repairs were finished. So his goal was "just in the knick of time".
That often seemed to be his goal.
For once he had Ninja Ops to himself, which gave him plenty of time to contemplate the happenings of the past few days.
The extensive damage the Thunder Rangers had inflicted upon the Wind's zords was an issue, but not the biggest one. Comparatively, the two sets of morphers (the Wind morphers and the Thunder morphers) were evenly matched, seeing as they had come from the same place; the difference then had to be how they were used. The Thunders had a motive, and whatever it was it was relentless. There was no other way they could so soundly defeat the Wind Rangers every time. It was almost frightening to imagine what could cause such outright fury towards another team of Power Rangers. The wearers themselves weren't naturally evil, they couldn't be, otherwise the power would never work for them. They were just choosing an evil course of action, and something detrimental to their state of being had to happen to make them so easily discard their morals.
Or perhaps Cam was completely wrong and they were just evil. He did only have one set of morphers to study after all. But he was confident in his assessment. He vaguely wondered if there would ever come a time when Lothor escalated his actions to such a degree that the Wind Rangers felt those same emotions. If they become just as unstoppable, Cam wondered what the cost would be.
It wasn't a pleasant train of thought.
Thankfully, he was interrupted from his musings by the sounds of someone descending the staircase; a glance up confirmed it to be Tori. Outwardly he didn't show it, but inside he couldn't help but smile because of the three of the chosen rangers Tori was the one he actually liked talking to. It was disappointing that she had been dragged down in training by her two teammates (before this mess began); he had always felt she had much more potential.
However this wasn't a social call, (they never were); apparently one of the new guys in town had injured himself attempting to rescue Tori, and seeing as it was a Lothor-related attack she decided to bring him here instead of a hospital.
Even if her actions were out of guilt it was probably for the best, it wasn't like the hospitals were equipped to deal with this sort of thing.
Grumbling, Cam followed her to the outskirts of the waterfall where her wounded companion lay.
It was one of the guys Cam had heard Dustin and Shane speaking about earlier, of that he was certain. It was irrelevant though, this guy obviously wasn't that bright. Tori had told the tech she was at the beach when the newest of Lothor's army had assaulted her and that Blake (that was his name) had rode up on his bike and "saved" her.
What had he been doing out there? According to what Cam had gleaned from Dustin's riding habits (a conversation that had more or less been thrust upon him) one usually rode at the track, or through forest trails, so what had this numbskull been doing at the beach?
Based on the doting looks Tori had been throwing the ever unconscious Blake while the tech removed the cybernetic leeches that had rendered him in that state, Cam would say the boy was sweet on her. That might explain it. Or he was a stalker. Either way Cam decided he was not one of Blake's fans. Tori was more than capable of handling the situation on her own and the teen had probably just gotten in the way. So really, his injury was well deserved.
He had just wanted to play hero for his pretty damsel.
Cam couldn't really argue with that. Tori was pretty. She was smart and not obnoxious, unlike others from her age group. And to her credit she was also persuasive, convincing Cam not to inform his father about this transgression, if his father didn't already know about it.
He got a kiss for his efforts though, so that was nice. Chaste, on the cheek, but still nice.
It was more contact than Cam was accustomed to.
The tech would never dare speak it aloud but he often felt lonely. Being the sensei's son had never helped his predicament and the whole never-leaving-the-school thing proved disobliging as well. Now the only people he had constant contact with were the rangers and they treated him like an outsider, depending on him only for things like…well, like this. To say it was frustrating would be an understatement. Cam couldn't say they were bad company; he really couldn't, because he had never been given the opportunity to spend time with them outside their "working" environment.
As he kept vigil over Blake's inert body, he briefly wondered how much of that was his fault.
There was nothing like a rush of adrenaline to take away all your worries. It was something about soaring through the air, dirt flying in all directions that made the day so much better. Whoever thought of combining high speeds with getting dirty was a genius, at least, in Dustin's humble opinion. Just about everyone else thought it was crazy, and that made it even more fun. This sport was made for him.
Shane was the one that had suggested it, and Dustin had to give it to his friend, when he was right, he was right. The brunette had been a little afraid that he might be too distracted for riding but once he got his bike beneath him all that other stuff just melted away. It was just him and the sky…and Shane, watching him be awesome with the sky. You would think his friend's presence might have added extra pressure for his tricks but for Dustin it was the exact opposite. He loved having an audience, especially when it was Shane because the red ranger could appreciate the distinct intricacies of what Dustin was doing, as where Tori just lectured him for taking too many risks. Hey, you had to "go hard, or go home", and Dustin wasn't going home.
It was lonely there.
But in order to get the applause he knew was coming (for which Shane was the Grand Master of doling out), Dustin would need to tear himself away from the world in the air he loved so much. It wasn't too terribly hard though; basking in praise was a pretty strong motivation.
As he pulled off the track, he spotted Tori with Blake by her van which…yeah, that actually made a lot of sense. Hunter had asked if Dustin and Shane knew where the younger Bradley was earlier, and it figured he'd be with Tori. Or like, Tori would be with him. There was something going on there, Dustin knew it, he just didn't know what it was. But he was willing to bet anything Shane did.
Normally Cam was the guy who knew it all, but when it came to stuff outside Ninja Ops it was all Shane. Good thing he was Dustin's best friend. Speaking of which…
"Dude you were sick out there!" The dark-skinned teen crowed, patting the curly-haired tenn on the shoulder as he pushed his bike off the track, off towards the equipment van. "Much faster than last time."
Inside Dustin cheered, reveling in the compliment. This was his favorite part of practice when he brought his friend along. He didn't usually fish for flattery, but it felt so…nice. Like, warm and fuzzy nice. Better than hot chocolate. And it wasn't like Dustin was going to get a big head about it, so no harm done.
"I know man, I was in the zone." Dustin's face broke out into a giant smile. It was good to be appreciated.
"And so humble." The other teen joked, jabbing him in the side lightly.
"Hey, when you got it, you got it right?" Dustin grinned, pulling off his helmet as they reached their destination. Further conversation was disturbed by a set of light footsteps coming up from behind them. Three guesses said it was Tori, finally done with Blake.
Shane grinned at her approach, settling against the van. "So, how's lover-boy?" he asked. "Do I need to beat him up? Defend your honor?"
"Didn't we already do this before?" Dustin asked, pausing before he chucked his helmet into the vehicle. "With the surfer guy? Moral of the story was to keep our mouths shut?"
They didn't even scare that guy off either; he and Shane just hadn't known he was interested in Tori. That led to them getting majorly chewed out by their friend and that was a day Dustin did not want to ever repeat again.
Dustin frowned. "Dude, are you guys dating?"
She would've said something.
It was Tori's turn to frown.
"No, we're not dating, and no," she continued, turning to Shane who had a rather impressive smirk on his face. "You may not beat him up. He actually saved me from one of Lothor's goons."
That got their attention; Dustin paused in his loading and Shane pushed off the van to lean closer.
"I'll tell you later. Look," she changed the subject. "Cam fixed our morphers."
She opened her bag to reveal them in there not-destroyed glory. Cam must have been working double time because those things had been thrashed. He was like, super tech.
We should totally get him a cape to like, thank him for being awesome.
Like she could read his mind (and it wouldn't surprise him if she could) Tori carried on, "And remember to tell him thank you next time you see him; I think he's feeling a little under appreciated."
Well… that was freaky.
Strapping his morpher back on made Dustin feel whole again, like a part of him had been missing, and thoughts of capes and missing pieces came to a halt as their morphers chimed. It was Cam saying something about…a frog by a river? Was that a monster, or was Cam suddenly interested in amphibians?
Following the other two usually worked when Dustin was confused, so why change a good thing? With a grin, he followed Tori and Shane to the mystery of the frog. Hopefully this fight wouldn't go as bad as the last one. Especially when it got to the zords.
I've got my eye on you thunder beam.
The tension inside the mobile command center was thick, with Cam monitoring their progress in the front and Shane quietly talking to Tori in the back, Dustin had taken to hovering behind Cam.
It had been Blake and Hunter the whole time. The brunette wondered how hard they must've laughed at his attempts to be friends with them. How far beneath them they must have thought he was. He felt so…used. Like there was this empty feeling inside that throbbed. It went away if he avoided thinking about it, but only for a little bit.
Tori probably felt worse than he did. It wasn't like one of them tried to woo him.
For what felt like the hundredth time that day Dustin sighed and continued pacing behind Cam. He wasn't good at the whole talking-thing but he could at least like, physically be there for the tech. Even if Cam didn't acknowledge him.
Dustin glanced back at Shane and Tori again. He wouldn't lie, when he started being friends with those two he was afraid they would do exactly what Blake and Hunter did and think of him as more of a joke than a friend, especially Shane. Girls didn't "scare" Dustin as much. For some reason he just wasn't good at the whole friendship thing, like, people Dustin had thought were his friends were really just using him for something, so when he found his fellow ninjas it felt too good to be true. Only time made him more sure of himself. But now the whole process had started over again.
They had taken Sensei. They, in their evil-ranger-ness had stolen Sensei for unknown purposes, but they were probably going to try and kill him because they were evil like that and that was just how they rolled.
Turning, Dustin decided to take his thoughts elsewhere.
"Are we almost there Cam? I'm freaking out over here," he blurted, leaning over Cam's shoulder to get a better view of the screen. He didn't really understand it, but it was a nice distraction.
"You're freaking out? It's my father they took." Cam hissed, frowning at the yellow ranger.
"I'm sorry, it's just…" Dustin trailed off, rocking back on his heels as he subconsciously adjusted his gauntlets. "Shouldn't I have noticed? I know I'm not that observant but-"
"Hey." The yellow ranger was cut off by Shane's shout from the back. "Enough of that. This isn't anyone's fault but Blake and Hunter's."
Briefly, Dustin held the leader's gaze as a wave of relief washed over him. He could tell himself that as much as he wanted but it never really made a difference until he heard it from someone else.
Out of the corner of him eye Dustin saw Cam relax, not much, but it still counted.
See, red guy power in action.
It had probably been an awful day for Cam. Work, work, work on the morphers, then get sneak attacked by the Thunder goons, and then have them kidnap his father.
Totally bad day. Dustin wished there was something more he could do.
The yellow ranger turned to face him as the others got in position on their bikes. "We'll get him back Cam." he promised, crossing his heart.
The action earned him a tight frown from the tech. Frowns were bad, so Dustin went with his next logical choice to making someone feel better and tackle hugged him, which was a little awkward because he was standing and the other teen was sitting, but a hug was a hug.
Cam pushed the brunette off and turned back to the console, but couldn't hide a small smile that was on his face. Mission partially accomplished, Dustin grinned and got on his bike, completely missing a look of surprise from Shane.
Alright, time to get the bad guys.
Note: We've decided to keep a track of all the "land's", "time's", and "thing's", so if you see any posted by themselves, that's why. Also, there's a running counter for how many times I have typed the phrase "the other".
Now on with the nonsense!
On using the term "the other"
Muse: "Every time we read the phrase "the other" without completing it (the other guy, the other person) we are taking shots."
*Eyes me evilly* "Then you will learn"
Me: "You're going to be very, very drunk by the end of this story. Just a heads up."
On destroying vs killing:
Muse: "That's right, because they don't ever say killing in the series do they?"
"Blake should say something like 'They straight up shanked his bitch-ass'."
On Cam's scene:
Muse: "The deal is Shane's brainy right?"
Me: "You mean Cam?"
Muse: "Yes, right, Cam. The Dude-guy with the Asian glasses."
*falls into fits of giggles*
More on using the term "the other":
Muse: "God damnit Paisley, you can't have run out of words that fast."
*Pauses for effect* "If you ran out of words that fast the rest of the chapter would be 'her-de-derp-de-derp-derp-derp'"
Things Muse misreads:
Muse: Dustin "We should totally tape a cape to him."
"The other" count (Chapter): 3
"The other" count (Cumulative): 3
Until next time.