Chapter 32: Eye of the Storm
A/N: Nightmares and fears, totally fun, right? So what'll happen when a monster traps people in their worst nightmare? Who will get trapped in the collars? What'll happen when Maggie finally gets to meet Shane's brother? With Skyla and Leanne in the picture, what'll happen now? I'm gonna stop rambling now and get on with this chapter. Only six more to go!
For this chapter, I'm going to cut out the first battle scene and the second half of the last one because of what I'm going to add to the end (more family secrets I decided to add in for fun, and I figured it couldn't hurt since Porter discovers his brother is a ranger).
This story's rating may also change to M because of this chapter.
I have also decided to add a couple of crossovers to this series, one with Glee and one with House of Anubis. Both will be later on stories in the series, and if you want to know more about what I plan to do check out my profile.
Italics is fears.
Disclaimer: I only own things not originally in the show.
Dustin, Maggie, Hunter, and Blake found themselves at Storm Chargers. Maggie was still working, helping Kelly with the shop. Sure she would miss out on training, but she had made this promise to Kelly a couple weeks back, and she never backed out on promises. Leanne had been staying with her for the past week and would be until Lothor was gone and the academies were restored. Skyla and Leanne were standing behind the boys at the counter.
"See you tomorrow guys," Kelly spoke to the group of six. "Maggie, you'll lock up, right?" Maggie nodded. Kelly left the shop to go do some errands.
"See ya Kel," the guys echoed.
"Where's Shane?" Dustin demanded. "Tsunami cycle training is, like, the one class I never want to be late for."
"He said he was on his way," Skyla stated from behind them.
Hunter spotted the red ranger at the door. "There he is."
"Hey man," Dustin greeted. They noticed Shane's depressed look. "What's up? You don't look so good."
Shane ignored him and turned to his sister and girlfriend. "Do you think you two could come over tonight?"
"Yeah," Skyla nodded.
"Why?" Maggie wondered, wanting to know what was going on before agreeing to anything.
"I just found out my big brother's coming to town," he sighed. "And mom thinks this is the perfect time to meet you two and explain things to him."
"That'd bum me out too," Blake agreed, referring to the brother part. "No, man, for real, what's…what's the matter?"
Shane shrugged. "It's just…you know, he's like, the perfect son. He's successful, he's got a great job, nice house. He's not much into skateboarding."
"In other words, what I'm hearing," Leanne summarized. "Is he an uptight jackass?"
"Not exactly a jackass," Shane chuckled at the use of the term. "I mean, he did help my mom take care of me after my dad left, so I can't blame him for that. But in a word, he is uptight."
"So why doesn't he try motocross?"Dustin suggested as the six moved to leave the shop.
"Not the point dude," Shane rolled his eyes. "Trust me; it would take more than some big air to mellow out my brother."
Upon reaching the quarry, the rangers morphed and opened their visors and stood in a circle, Skyla and Leanne listening in. The only one not in the circle was Cam, who was managing things and repairing something in the mobile command center. "Cam says our bikes won't be ready for a week," Dustin sighed.
"Well…" Shane stepped forward, heading for the thunder cycles with Tori. "I guess we'll just have to practice with these two."
"My guess is that this will either go horribly wrong, or they'll somehow pull this off," Skyla mused.
"My bet's on the first option," Leanne smirked.
Tori ignored them as she agreed with Shane. "I'm game."
"You sure?" Blake questioned nervously.
"Careful," Hunter warned.
"I can't watch," Dustin turned away. "This is going to be ugly."
Maggie giggled. "Don't worry Dustin. I'm getting this all on camera. It'll make some great blackmail."
"Dude, don't you have enough of that?" the yellow ranger asked. They could hear Tori and Shane starting the engines on the bikes.
"Dustin, I thought you knew me better than that," Maggie pouted. "I never have enough blackmail material."
"That had to hurt," Skyla winced as she watched Shane and Tori spin in circles before falling off the bikes and the bikes falling on top of them. Maggie and Leanne were laughing as they watched this. It was funny to see the blue and red rangers – especially Shane, considering his and Maggie's relationship – seem to have no clue how to ride the thunder cycles, despite the element differences.
Shane and Tori got to their feet. "Sorry guys."
"Yep," Skyla observed as Dustin, Blake, Shane, and Hunter loaded the thunder cycles into the mobile command center. The girls were standing in a loose circle nearby. "It seems like you tweaked them real good."
"That certainly was productive," Leanne chuckled.
"Shut up Leah," Hunter and Blake joined the circle. Shane joined the group, slinging an arm around Skyla.
Tori looked to the air ninja. "Come on Shane. We can't let these guys show us up."
"Huh?" he blinked. "Oh, sorry Tor. I can't really focus right now."
"Your brother's visit is really messing with you, huh?" Tori realized.
"Hey, if this visit should be messing with anyone, it should be me," Maggie piped up. "After all, I'm the freakin half sister he never knew about."
"She brings up a good point," Leanne agreed.
Shane sighed. "Hey, look, I gotta go. I got to meet him at the skate park, and he would totally freak if I'm late." He gave Skyla a quick kiss on the cheek before running off.
Maggie looked around. "Anyone else get the impression that his brother is a perfectionist?"
They all raised their hands, including Tori and Dustin who had met him a few times before.
After meeting his brother at the skate park, Shane and Porter walked around the city, talking. Porter was doing what he always was, telling Shane how he needed to grow up. Shane was putting up with it, knowing better otherwise. He couldn't exactly reveal just how much he has grown up because then he would have to blow the ranger secret, but he was starting to get fed up and was deeply considering just blurting it out.
"Listen, Shane," Porter continued on. "Mom is getting a little worried about you."
"Well, what do you mean?" Shane frowned.
"Well Shane," Porter stated. "You're not a kid anymore, okay? You're growing up, and we're kind of wondering what's next."
"Next?" Shane blinked. How could he think of what he wanted to do with his life when he had more important things to worry about, like saving the world?
Porter carried on the conversation. "Well, you know, it's a big world out there. Have you made any plans at all for what you're going to do for the rest of your life?"
"Yeah well," he sighed. "I've been kind of busy lately, and it's been a hectic year so far."
"That's what I was afraid of," Porter nodded, as if he knew Shane was going to say that.
"Look," Shane paused in his step. "It's a lot more than what you think, okay?"
"I think you should spend a little less time…"
Shane interrupted his brother, finally having enough. "A little less time skateboarding? Figures you'd say that. You don't even know how hectic it's been lately. Skateboarding is my escape from the real world when things seem too crazy to be dealt with. Besides, has mom even told you about our half sister yet?"
"She would've told me if she had another child," Porter frowned, confused.
"We share the same father with our half sister," Shane corrected.
Porter glared at his brother. "You know nothing about our father. You've never met him. All you've seen were pictures and heard stories."
"Then why did mom make me go to his court hearing?" Shane retorted. "Why did she make me stand up when he was asked if any of his kids were in the courtroom? How come he abused our younger sister and got her pregnant? How come he kept half of his family tree hidden that would've been really helpful to know?"
"What are you talking about?" Porter scoffed.
Shane took a deep breath. "I've only met our father once, and that was at the court hearing. He was being charged with child abuse and rape. He abused and raped our half sister. And whatever name he told you was his name before mom gave birth to me was a lie. Look, if you don't believe me about this, talk to mom." He stopped himself before he said too much.
Deciding to push this matter aside for the moment, Porter excused himself. "I have a business appointment. We will talk about this later."
Shane watched as his brother left. Now he hoped Maggie wouldn't kill him for revealing too much about her to him without her permission.
Everyone aside from Shane was in Ninja Ops, going over the fight they just had against Kelzaks, Motodrone, and the alien Eyezak. People had been running around screaming about different things and appearing trapped by some collar thing, which Cam and Leanne were now analyzing. Skyla was there with them, deciding to come too. Since she knew about the rangers and had helped them, she was allowed access to Ninja Ops. Shane was currently explaining things to his brother, who had saw him morph. From what he had told Maggie on the phone call, he was telling him everything, including their family relationships.
"I've analyzed the brain waves of the people Eyezak attacked," Cam began. "It seems his collar can harness their deepest fears."
"Fears?" Maggie bit her lip, suddenly feeling uncomfortable.
"That's low," Tori commented. "Even for Lothor."
"We better make the repairs to the tsunami cycles just in case we need them," Hunter stated.
Blake looked to Tori. "Someone had a little accident." Tori bit her lip and looked down yet smiled. Skyla, Leanne, and Maggie, upon seeing this, giggled.
"We'll go with you," Dustin added as they began to leave. "Some of us could use the practice."
"One little spill and suddenly you're a road hazard?" Tori snorted.
"The only ones who need practice are you guys," Maggie smirked, unable to keep away from the banter. "We all know I can kick any of your asses on any bike, any day, anywhere."
"You ready to put your money where your mouth is, then?" Hunter challenged.
Maggie huffed. "Name the bike, place, and time." Their banter continued as they passed Shane on their way out.
"We might be too late," Maggie breathed as the morphed rangers aside from Cam made their way onto the battle scene. Maggie had ninja streaked as Hunter and Blake took Tori and Dustin on the tsunami cycles. Shane was already morphed and down when they got there, holding his head in pain and a collar wrapped around his neck. "Shane?" she ran to help her brother. Tori and Dustin knelt down next to him with her.
"Are you okay?" Dustin asked right before the tentacles on Eyezak grabbed the three and held them still as he shot collars onto them as well. He flung them onto the steps of a nearby building and they landed with a thud, all of them clutching at their necks.
Blake and Hunter charged Eyezak as the other rangers became trapped in their fears.
"This isn't good," Leanne sighed as she watched Maggie get hit with a collar. "She's already been through enough hell. She doesn't need to relive it." She, Cam, and Skyla were all watching the fight on the mainframe with Sensei. Cam was still figuring out a few things on the collar before he went out to help. "This could end up killing her."
"How so?" Cam wondered.
Leanne bit her lip. "A fire ninja's mind works differently than any other ninja's mind in situations like this. Where the others will only see their worst fears, she'll not only live hers, in a sense, but she'll have trouble processing what's real from unreal afterward."
"Similar to what happened to her on the Island of Illusions," Cam recalled.
"She went there?" Leanne snapped her head toward him. "What did she see there?"
"From what I managed to gather, she saw everyone she cared about murdered on that island," Cam remembered. "By the time the others got there, she couldn't tell if they were really there and alive or not."
Leanne groaned. "Which means this time, she'll probably end up seeing something else."
"Why is she unconscious?" Skyla pointed out on the screen. Both ninjas turned their heads to the screen to see the others struggling, but Maggie lying completely still, aside from breathing.
"She's living her fear," Leanne stated. "The only thing that can help her now is herself. If something like this happens to a fire ninja, it usually makes them relieve the worst moment in their life so far and changes its ending."
Sensei looked at the monitor, noting what they had said. He had a feeling he knew what her fear was, if anything Leanne had said about fire ninja's minds was true.
Maggie had no idea what was going on. She felt strange, but she felt like she had done this before. She found herself in her fifteen year old body walking home, having no control over her own actions. Her mind was telling her to go one way, but she was being moved in the opposite direction. Suddenly, she knew exactly what night this was, and she knew what was going to happen.
The fire ninja remembered something her sensei had said, about fire ninjas when they faced their fears. She had said that if they faced their fears in their mind, they would relive it, and have no choice but to relieve it, and it would have a different outcome. Maggie already knew what was going to happen and she couldn't control it. She could only watch the worst night of her life happen again.
Just as she passed the first alleyway on her way home, she felt someone strong grab her from behind and pull her into the alley. She felt herself be dragged to the darker end of it and then felt herself being slammed against the dumpster. Maggie tried to stand as she clutched her ribs in pain. She saw her father, drunk and angry, facing her. Before she could fully stand or defend herself, she was slammed into the dumpster again, this time sinking against it.
Her father pummeled his fists into her entire upper body before she could get back up. She had tried to kick him off, but her father was stronger and a bit heavier than the average man. One blow that sent her head into the dumpster was enough to knock her out.
Maggie suddenly found herself no longer in her body, but watching what her father did to her that night after she passed out. She wanted to run away from it, but she couldn't. She felt like she couldn't move, but she was no longer feeling the exact injuries of what her father was doing. It was like she was already dead, yet not.
Her father kicked her in the stomach, hard. Then to her surprise, he took out a switchblade and began to shred her clothes with it, occasionally creating cuts along her skin, some which ran over bruises that were already forming. Following that, her father did what she knew he did that caused her to conceive Bentley. It made her stomach turn just watching this.
As she saw him finish with that, she noticed him pick up the switchblade again. He lifted it high above his head and slammed it into her chest. Maggie felt that a bit, and wondered where the hell her sister was. Then again, this was a different ending from what she remembered, making it her worst fear. Her father lifted the blade, gathered himself together, and ran down the opposite end of the alley from where he grabbed her.
Slowly, Maggie approached her body. There was nothing she could've done to stop this, and this was the result. She bent over and checked for a pulse, only to find none.
Her eyes filled with tears.
Then, she heard sounds of fighting, like lasers being fired and people shouting. Those voices sounded familiar, almost like she knew who they belonged to. Her world spun before she blacked out.
Maggie gasped for breath as she came to. She wasn't sure what had happened, and she wasn't even sure of what was going on now. The only thing she could currently see was blurry, and she could feel tears running down her cheeks. Clutching her throat, she lurched forward and sat on her knees. Opening her visor to give her a clear passage way, she promptly threw up.
"Maggie!" Tori cried, rushing over to her friend. They had just defeated Eyezak without her, and Tori knew Maggie would need a lot of help after this. She darted ahead of the guys, who were walking over toward their fallen friend. Tori enveloped the girl in a hug at knee level.
Maggie felt Tori hug her, and she turned into it. She was shaking and crying and Tori was trying to comfort her. "He killed me," she whispered so only Tori could hear. "He did exactly what he said he planned to do to me."
"It's okay, Maggie," Tori soothed. The guys stood around them, confused. "You're alive and he's not going to hurt you." At that, Cam, Dustin, and Shane understood that her fear had somehow involved her father. Hunter and Blake were clueless.
After an hour of calming down and help from the three girls, Maggie was ready to talk and live again. Her fear had really shaken her up, and it was just one thing she hated about being a fire ninja. Now, she was relaxing in Storm Chargers, holding her son close. Shane had pushed her and Skyla meeting his mother and brother until the next day, giving his sister enough time to recover from the day's events.
"Leanne and Skyla told me what happened," Kelly took a seat next to the brunette. "Are you okay?"
"I'll be fine," Maggie nodded. "I know it wasn't real."
"Most of it was, and you faced it," Kelly pointed out. "I'm proud that you did that. It's a step closer to fully recovering."
Maggie gave her an odd look. "Since when did you become a therapist?"
"Maggie," Kelly looked her straight in the eye. "I've wanted you to get help since it happened. You never went to see a therapist, and I figured that if you wouldn't go talk to someone about it, then I could at least help you through it. You can deny me sending you to a professional, but you can't deny me helping family."
"Thanks Kel," Maggie smiled small. "I appreciate it."
"Anytime, Maggie, anytime."
A/N: Okay, so by the time I got done writing Maggie's fear, I decided not to add in the part where she met Porter and whatnot. I just thought it wouldn't go over too well. I have no idea where the scene at the end with Kelly came from, but it just seemed to kind of find its way in there. Anyway, I hope you liked it. Up next, camping!