Chapter 11: Waking the Sleeping Ranger
A/N: Revised Chapter
After finishing breakfast, Ji ordered the rangers to head back home. They were cleaning the mess they had made before prepping the car to take Mike home as well. He was still unconscious but Ji would take care of him, as he had more medical equipment than Aaron. Tashiko watched the rangers sadly, knowing the house was going to be lonely without them. Aaron placed a hand on her shoulder. "Are you okay?" he asked the teen. "Just sad that the rangers are leaving," Tashiko answered. Aaron let out a chuckle.
"Who said, you were going to miss them? You're going with them."
"What?" Tashiko gasped, turning around to glance at Aaron. Aaron lowered himself towards her eye level and said, "Mentor Ji and I spoke to each other, saying you would be probably be safe in the Shiba house than in here." "Why? I want to stay here," Tashiko began. "I take it back that I'm going to miss the rangers!"
"Tashiko, you'll be safe there," Aaron replied. "The Nighloks already attacked here. We aren't that safe in here anymore." "We were caught off guard!" Tashiko argued. "We are better prepared! We are-" "Tashiko, please," Aaron told her. "In the Shiba house you can train and be a fighter. Besides, we aren't too far from each other. You can come visit any day you'll like."
Tashiko examined Aaron's face, knowing there was no way to change his mind. She sighed and said, "Fine." She launched herself into his arms and hugged him tightly. "I'll never forget how you rescued me and saved my life. For that I'm eternally grateful! I'm going to miss you." Aaron embraced her as well. Cody crashed into them, hugging them as well. "I'm going to miss you Tashiko!" Cody told her, tears forming in his brown eyes. "Me too!" Tashiko replied. "Don't forget about us, okay?" "How could I forget my family?" Tashiko replied, tears slipping down her cheeks. "You were like a father and brother to me." "And you were like a daughter," Aaron replied, ruffling her hair. "Go pack your stuff or the rangers will leave without you."
She took off as Mentor Ji appeared beside them. Aaron glanced at him and said, "Take care of my daughter." Mentor Ji gave a nod. "I'll treat her like my own."
Tashiko walked back to her room, and looked around. This was going to be the last time she was going to see her room. Despite that this wasn't her house or real room, or real family, she was going to miss it. She would miss glancing out the window, seeing how the wind blew around the forest that led to the tall mountains or how the wolves howled at night. Now it was going to be a new stage in her life. She was going to move in with the rangers and live a different life. She grabbed a suitcase Aaron had left her and opened it, surprised to find some clothes already packed. Tashiko grabbed the suitcase off her bed and traced her fingers on the wall and the dressers. She spun around, trying to take in the memory of her room before opening the door. She viewed it once more before closing the door and never once looking back.
Tashiko walked towards a black Tahoe with the Samurai emblem on the doors, waiting for her. But before she could approach it, Cody stopped her. "Before you go, promise me something," Cody told her. "What is it?" Tashiko asked. "Tashiko, whatever you do, don't talk to Hideo," Cody pleaded. "Please, promise me that." Tashiko sighed. "I'm not making promises, but I'll try." She turned away from Cody, leaving him frustrated that she didn't provide him with an answer.
She went inside of the car, seeing Jayden and Antonio with Kevin. "Sit over here," Antonio stated, patting the seat beside him. "And the others?" Tashiko asked, wondering where the girls and Mike were. "They left in another car," Kevin answered. "Oh," Tashiko replied before sitting beside Antonio. Kevin closed the doors and Tashiko felt the car beginning to leave. She glanced outside of the car window, seeing Aaron and Cody waving goodbye at her. She waved back as they got smaller and smaller. The house, the forest, the mountains were got tinier as the car drove away from the mountainside and into the city.
Tashiko sadly watched as her life with Cody and Aaron faded away.
"Dayu and Dekker are growing impatient," Serrator stated, pacing back and forth in Master Xandred's ship. "I only have three weeks before they ask again with more...severe measures." He glanced at the Sanzu River, watching from afar Hideo glancing at his crystal ball. "I wonder what he's up t-"
"Serrator!" Master Xandred roared, storming towards the King of all Nighloks. Xandred grabbed Serrator and spun him around. "You failed in bringing Dayu back!" "Master Xandred," Serrator coolly replied, trying to avoid snapping at his Master. "I didn't fail. I found Dayu with Dekker-" "Dekker?" Xandred interrupted, narrowing his eyes. "That miserable half-nighlok is still alive?! I thought the Red ranger had finished him off!" "That what I thought," Serrator muttered. "I want Dekker and the rangers dead," Xandred spat, letting Serrator go. "Oh do not fret, Master, I know how to get rid of them," Serrator slyly replied. "Do it!" Xandred snarled, turning around and left Serrator alone.
Serrator floated out the window and towards the shore, to find the right nighlok that could destroy the rangers.
Serrator landed in front of Hideo who raised his glass ball at him. "Master. Phase II is in process. What is your next move?" "Excellent," Serrator smirked. "We wait Hideo. Now, I must find a worthy Nighlok to keep the rangers busy." With that he disappeared from sight making Hideo scoff.
Tashiko gaped as they neared a forest with a beautiful wooden house, that was surrounded by wooden tall fence. "That's the Shiba House," Antonio told her. "Welcome to the Shiba House," Jayden smiled at her. The car doors opened making Tashiko step foot into the ranger's house. She looked around in awe, seeing the huge backyard and the house. "It's beautiful," Tashiko murmured. "Easy," Ji stated, as Kevin, Mia and Emily helped Ji get Mike out of the car and into the house. Antonio followed them with Jayden behind him.
Jayden glanced at Tashiko and waved her inside.
Tashiko stepped inside of the house and immediately felt a wave of deja vu wash over her. It felt like she had been inside the house before, despite it being her first time. She noticed the Red ranger was following the others, who were taking Mike to the infirmary. She followed the Red ranger, opening the sliding doors to find Ji setting up the machines and items for Mike to be settled.
"Mentor, why hasn't Mike woken up?" Emily asked worriedly. "Emily, everyone, please, leave the room," Mia began, shooing the rangers away. "We need to work in silence." "But," Kevin began, also worried about his friend. "C'mon guys," Jayden beckoned them. "Let's leave Mentor and Mia to work." The others gave a curt nod and left the area, all with the exception of Tashiko.
Mia noticed that the girl was there and hadn't moved, instead, was staring at Mike. "Um, you should also leave the room," Mia suggested as she turned on the machine. "Oh yeah," Tashiko nodded before turning around. Mentor Ji was prepping some needles when he sighed. "He hasn't woken up, I say his condition isn't getting any better," Mentor stated as Tashiko began to leave the room. She paused midway and glanced over her shoulder. "Do you think...he's never waking up?" Mia asked worriedly.
Mentor Ji didn't answer.
Tashiko glanced at her hands and wondered. She had noticed Kevin seemed better ever since she grabbed his hand. He said his pain had gone away, regardless how his injuries still looked ugly. She wondered if she could do that to Mike. Tashiko gazed at Mike once more before noticing Mia giving her a look. She left the infirmary but stared at her hands. She wasn't going to let her doubt unfold more.
Once Mike was left alone, she would take action.
"Rangers," Mentor Ji began after Mike had been set up in the infirmary and all the rangers were gathered together. "I've called this meeting to introduce you to our newest member, Tashiko." Tashiko was blushing in embarrassment as the rangers viewed at her with small smiles in their faces. "She is going to stay here in the Shiba House to be trained." Jayden seemed the most excited out of the rangers and even shot a glare of contempt at Antonio who rolled his eyes. "I want you to introduce yourselves," Ji continued. He looked at Tashiko and gave her a warm smile, which she showed back. The rangers exchanged glances, wondering who was going to go first. Jayden got to his feet, making the others glance at him. "I'm Jayden, the Red ranger," he told Tashiko, despite meeting a day earlier. "I'm Kevin, the Blue ranger," the dark skinned man stated, extending his hand and shaking Tashiko's hand. "I'm Mia, the Pink ranger," Mia replied, giving her a warm smile. "Emily, the Yellow ranger," Emily told her, giving her a small smile. "Antonio Garcia, Gold ranger," Antonio said bowing at her and winked. "But you already knew that." Tashiko giggled while Kevin rolled his eyes.
Tashiko bowed at the four rangers and said, "I'm Tashiko, or at least that's my temporary name. I'm humbled you've accepted me into your home." "Temporary name?" Emily echoed. "What do you mean?"
Tashiko stood up, seeing their confused glances. She looked at the ground and said, "I've lost my memory. I have no idea who I am, or what I am. Tashiko is the name Cody and Aaron gave me when they found me injured in the forest." "I'm sorry," Emily asked, bowing her head down. She felt bad for asking about it know and looked away. "But that's not letting me down. I know one day, I'll find who I am, who I was, one day," Tashiko told them, with a sad smile.
Jayden approached her and gave her a hug. The others followed suit as Mia stated, "We are here to help you." "You're practically part of the family know," Emily shrugged. "We ranger's always help each other out." "Thank you," Tashiko replied, feeling so happy. Feeling the rangers warmth around her filled her heart with joy, but it also filled her with an aching loneliness. It felt, like, she had missed his warmth and dreaded it badly. She closed her eyes to enjoy the moment before noticing that Emily had backed off and was hugging herself. "But still, this group hug feels so empty," Emily murmured. "Mike's missing. It doesn't feel...complete." She covered her mouth to avoid a sob make way through her mouth before taking off in the direction of her room. "Emily!" Mia stated, running after the Yellow ranger.
The rangers moved away from Tashiko, casting each other worried glances. They were worried about Mike, who hadn't regained consciousness. Tashiko wanted to do something. She wanted to help the rangers out; she couldn't bare to see them this sad.
So she began to plan.
"This is going to be your room," Mentor Ji told Tashiko, who walked inside her new room. It was empty with just a full bed and a few dressers. "Thank you Mentor Ji," Tashiko told the Mentor. "I appreciate it." Mentor gave a nod and closed the door, leaving Tashiko alone in her room. Tashiko grabbed her suitcase and put it in her bed, quickly taking out her items and put her clothes in the closet. She worked quickly and quietly, trying to hear the rangers moving about. Tashiko glanced at the clock, seeing that it was starting to get late.
She had finished unpacking and grabbed a book, beginning to read. She waited, hearing the house get quieter. At 12 am, everything was silent making Tashiko close her book and get off the bed. She quietly opened the door, and scanned the hallway, seeing all the lights were out and everything was silent. She sneaked outside and began to make way towards the infirmary. Tashiko quietly opened the door, surprised to find no one around. She frowned before shrugging and made her way towards Mike's side. She glanced at the Green ranger who's eyes were shut with an oxygen tube sticking out his mouth. "If this works, I'll get you to get your eyes open," Tashiko told the unconscious Green ranger. She slowly reached for his hand and took it, bringing it close to her chest. "Please, please, wake up!" Tashiko whispered, squeezing her eyes shut.
"What are you doing here?" came a snarl. Tashiko spun around, dropping Mike's hand back into the bed to see the Yellow ranger standing behind the door. "Emily," Tashiko stated in surprise. She could have sworn that no one was in the room when she arrived. How did Emily get in without her noticing?
"I asked a question. What are you doing in here?" Emily growled lowly, glaring at Tashiko. "I-I wanted to see the Green ranger, I-I thought maybe I-I," Tashiko began before she was interrupted by a groan. Both women turned to the Green ranger who was shifting in the bed.
He then opened his green eyes.
Hideo narrowed his eyes as he stared into his crystal ball, noticing how Tashiko, somehow awoke the Green ranger. Damn, he thought. Now with Tashiko living with the rangers, it's going to be more complicated to contact her. He cursed out loud, not noticing another Nighlok approaching him. "So, are you spying on the rangers or making yourself useless?" spoke a voice, one Hideo quickly curled his lips upward. "Speak for yourself," Hideo answered, glaring into his crystal ball. The Nighlok walked over towards him, pacing around the half-nighlok with her arms crossed over her chest. "Stop meddling," Hideo growled making the images from his crystal ball disappear. "Oh c'mon Hideo," the Nighlok stated whirling around. "I'm just trying to see if you're obeying Serrators orders!"
"Why do you care?" Hideo snapped, glaring at the red haired nighlok. "Cause, we pupils have to stick together. I mean, look at us! We are Serrators favorite Nighloks! We're the ones that he truly trusts!" Kameyo stated with a giggle. Hideo rolled his eyes, letting out a snort. "You're not even that close to him. He doesn't even acknowledge you." "One day he will!" the red haired Nighlok snapped, stopping in front of Hideo. "One day he'll notice all the things I've done for him!"
"You only follow him blindly because you love him," Hideo snapped at her. "How, how do you know?" Kameyo stated, wide eyed. "We Nighloks don't have feelings, but that doesn't stop us from knowing that you love Serrator," Hideo stated. Hideo turned away from her and glanced at his crystal ball. "I've studied the humans for so long that I see how they love and how they express those feelings. We Nighloks can be like humans. We can show emotions but we can never feel them."
"All this talk makes me want to vomit," spat a voice. The two Nighloks turned around to glance at Dayu who was staring at them in disgust. "Dayu," Kameyo gasped surprised. "Says the one who is a half runt," Hideo pointed out. "I was once human, but the past is in the past," Dayu shot back, narrowing her eyes at the half-nighlok. "Dayu," Kameyo said in a sweet voice. "Master Xandred's been looking for ya!" "Well he can keep on looking," Dayu growled. "I'm not coming back on his miserable ship."
Hideo smirked and twirled his staff in his hand. "Still holding onto that dream that Dekker will somehow regain his memories?" "Yes, and I will never give up on that dream," Dayu coldly stated. She was getting rather annoyed by this new Nighlok. He had no place in insulting her like that. She was about to snap something back at him before a Mooger appeared.
The Mooger glanced around before looking at Kameyo, babbling in a language, neither Dayu or Hideo could understand. They watched Kameyo's face go from interested to full fledged angry. She raised her hand and blasted the Mooger into pieces, surprising the other two Nighlok. Kameyo turned to glance at them. "The Mooger has told me there's a new person in the rangers den!" Hideo clenched his jaw, knowing now that Tashiko was in grave danger. The Nighloks knew of her presence and they were beginning to think of her as a new threat. "Is she a ranger?" Dayu asked, growing interested. "The Mooger didn't have a lot of information," Kameyo replied. "He only knew that she's living with the rangers." "We need to observe the girl closely then," Hideo replied, making the two Nighloks look at him. "She could be a threat." "I agree," Kameyo nodded. "I'll have to report this to Serrator."
With that she floated over the river and towards Master Xandred's ship. Dayu glared at Hideo one more time before disappearing through a gap.
Hideo tightened the grip of his staff. Tashiko is in danger. I need to warn her. Hideo disappeared through a gap, hoping to find Tashiko and warn her about the situation.
Tashiko couldn't believe it. Her idea had worked! "How, how did you do that?" Emily asked shaking her head. "How did you get him to wake up?" "I don't know," Tashiko smiled glancing at her hands. "I just…" She gasped in worry as Emily grabbed Tashiko's shirt and pulled her towards her. "How did you do that?" Emily growled.
Tashiko glanced at Emily's brown eyes, noticing that any trace of the Yellow ranger's kindness was gone. Instead, two cold brown orbs were staring her down, staring into her soul. "I-I don't know," Tashiko replied honestly. "I noticed that once I touched Kevin, his pain was gone. I thought that maybe it could work for the Green ranger too!" Emily eyed her suspiciously before pushing her away.
Tashiko didn't understand why Emily was being so aggressive towards her. She didn't do anything wrong, did she? She walked backwards, not understanding what just happened before bolting out of the room.
Mike meanwhile had opened his eyes, seeing the white ceiling and the wooden walls of the Shiba House. "Where...where am I?" he murmured but gasped as Emily crashed into him. "Mike!" she cried into his chest, hugging him tightly. "Em," Mike smiled as Emily glanced up. Her cheeks were stained with wet tears as she hugged the Green ranger once more. "I'm glad you're okay Mike!" Mike smiled and stroked her blonde hair.
"I'm glad I'm okay too."