Author's Note: This chapter is a following on from the last. Thanks to Pixiescale1185 and Jessfairy88 for helping plan and flesh out some of the ideas that are soon to appear in the rest of the series.
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended in the making of this series. I simply own my OCs and anything that is not recognizable from the show. Power Rangers belongs to Saban.
Shout Outs: Big shout out too: Metai12, Sweetredranger, Eclispex-x, Scificash, Delphigirl689 Dorito of Doom and Yurrie for adding this story or me to any of their alerts. Appreciate it mates.
Warning: Be nice. Constructive Criticism is welcome. Flamers are not. To me haters are nothing more than jealous little people that wish they were as good as others; jealousy is not a good trait for anyone. If you hate, do remember that you are only adding to my reviews, your words will not hurt me.
Title: The Little Samurai
Summary: A Samurai's life was dangerous; he knew that better than anyone. But with his best friend thrown into the mix, Jayden will do everything he can to protect her.
Emily watched as Ji checked, double checked, and even triple checked the map for any signs of Ava. It had been almost twenty four hours since she had gone missing, and to say the Shiba house was as lively as it was when she was around would have been an understatement.
It wasn't difficult to prove that Ava was the heart and soul of the entire house, to see that she was missing was bringing a gloom down on everyone.
Stepping out of the living room, Emily turned into the kitchen and spotted the others already at the breakfast table. "Did Mentor sleep at all last night?" she asked, taking her stool beside Mike.
"No," Kevin answered. "He's done nothing but stare at the map, as if Ava's going to walk around town fully morphed."
"He's worried about her, Kev," Mia said. "We all are. It's not like Ava to run away... at least, I don't think it is. Has she ever done anything like this before, Jayden?" she added, turning to the Red ranger.
Jayden, who had been pretty much silent since yesterday, jumped at the sound of his name.
"What?" he asked startled.
"Are you OK, dude?" Mike asked.
"I'm fine," Jayden nodded. "And no, Mia, this is the first time Ava has ever gone missing!"
"I could have told you that," Mike nodded. "Ava hasn't stepped foot outside of this house since her mother died. Why do you think she doesn't leave unless one of us or Mentor is with her?" he asked.
Mia sighed and looked down at her breakfast.
"Then why has she run off now?" she frowned. "There has to be a reason, doesn't there?"
"Of course there's a reason," Emily nodded, scooping up Cheetah as she brushed against the Yellow ranger's legs. "Ava has everything here, why would she want to give that up?"
Jayden swallowed the lump in his throat. He had a pretty good idea why Ava had run off, he just couldn't tell the others.
"Look, guys, i'm sure Ava's fine," he said, trying to calm them down.
"How can you say that, Jayden?" Mia asked. "She's your best friend! She's probably scared out of her mind!"
Emily nodded. "If she's fine, why hasn't she called yet?" she questioned. "What if something bad has happened to her? Or a Nighlok has found her..."
"The Gap Sensor would have gone off had a Nighlok crossed into our world," Jayden interrupted quickly, it seemed, at least to the others, that he wasn't at all that bothered about Ava being missing. If only they knew the truth; if only they knew that it was *his* fault for Ava's disappearance, and that while he felt incredibly guilty for what he had done, he too was suffering, he was just very good at hiding his true emotions.
In all honesty, he wanted Ava found as much as any of them did, he just wasn't losing his cool in the face of trouble. Last night, while everyone slept, despite the night being restless, he had awoken to the silent echoes of Ava's laugh, thinking that she had returned he had jumped from his bed and hurried through the house, reaching the living room where Ji was stationed, and it was then he realized that the laughter was in his own mind, he had imagined Ava, just as he had always known her - carefree, bubbly and energetic - three of the main reasons that he loved her.
"Jayden!" Kevin shouted, shaking the Red ranger from his thoughts.
Shaking his head, Jayden looked up at the Blue Ranger, slowly becoming aware of the blaring noise that cut through their breakfast like a knife through butter. It was the Gap sensor. Just as Emily had feared, a Nighlok had crossed over into their world.
Ava looked down at her stomach as it rumbled loudly.
It had been a whole twenty four hours since she had actually eaten anything, and probably longer since she had seen anything or anyone that she recognized. Silently she was cursing herself for running off from the others yesterday, granted she and Jayden had argued - if you could call it that - but she should have known better than to just go off by herself.
Looking up at the ominous buildings, the little Samurai rubbed her hands over her arms. It wasn't exactly a brilliantly warm day, but it wasn't exactly freezing either, and the clothes that she wore were the same as the ones she had worn yesterday and slept in the previous night. They were worn, dirty and ripped in several places, possibly from where she had been running through the trees, hoping to come out onto a familiar path.
Her stomach churned wildly. She felt sick.
I wanna go home... she whined thoughtfully, hugging herself and wandering away from another building that she did not recognize. Her father was probably out of his mind with worry, not to mention the other rangers. This had been the first time, in all of her entire life, that she had ever pulled a stupid silly stunt like this. Daddy is going to kill me! She thought. And Jayden...
Ava's thoughts broke off at the mere mention of his name.
No, she was not going to worry about him; it was his fault that she was out here in the first place. Why did he have to be so... so... so stubborn? Why couldn't he just have accepted the consequences of his actions? Did he have to hurt her?
Having wandered over to a bench, Ava plopped herself down on the sturdy wooden poles, hugged her knees to her chest and buried her face in them. If Jayden had made the effort of wanting to kiss her for a long time, why couldn't he have made the effort of making the relationship work?
Why had he broken it off long before the relationship had even started? And what did this mean for their friendship?
"Samurai together, friends forever,"
"It's Rangers together, Samurai forever!" Jayden corrected.
"But we'll always be best friends, right?" Ava asked. "No matter what happens?"
Jayden smiled and nodded. "Of course. Friends forever!"
Ava heaved a heavy sigh at the familiar memory that surfaced. She felt tears prick her eyes as she remembered that it wasn't so long ago this this memory had occurred. It had been the day that her father had assembled the other Rangers to fight alongside she and Jayden against Master Xandred and his Nighlok army.
"Friends forever..." she muttered under her breath. "Yeah, right!"
How am I gonna get home? She thought miserably. She was hungry, cold and just wanted to refuge in her father's arms, where he would hold her and tell her that everything was going to be alright.
Ava wasn't sure how long she had sat in total silence, with her thoughts as her only company. But after what felt like hours, another presence entered her area, causing the Little Samurai to look up, sharply. A guy, no older than eighteen with soft black hair and sea green eyes, stood in front of her.
Consciously aware of his gaze, Ava bit her lip and looked down; he was pretty cute, but her father had always warned her about talking to strangers.
"Excuse me," the boy said, as he squatted down in front of her. "But are you alright?"
Ava shook her head, refusing to meet his gaze, but also refusing to answer his questions directly. She couldn't break anymore of her father's rules if she didn't speak to him.
"Hey, wait a minute," the boy gasped. "I know you!"
"You do?" Ava asked, looking up and tilting her head to the side.
"Yeah, you live up at the Shiba house," the boy nodded with a smile, happy that he had gotten her to speak. "I deliver pizza there about three times a week. Deluxe Veggie Pizza, Extreme Pepperoni and three meat with turkey." he grimaced a bit.
Ava giggled. "Apparently turkey is awesome on a pizza," she answered.
"You don't agree?"
"I'm vegetarian," Ava smiled. "So the Deluxe veggie pizza is mine."
"Ah," the boy nodded, before standing and holding out his hand. "I'm Luke."
Ava smiled, took his hand and allowed him to help her back to her feet. "Ava!"
"Is everything OK, Ava?" Luke asked.
"No," Ava murmured. "I want to go home, but I don't know the way."
"You're lost?" Luke blinked.
Ava nodded. "Since last night," she whispered. "I had a miss-understanding with one of my friends, and stupidly run off without them. I tried to make it home but got lost in the forest. I managed to find my way back to the trail this morning and followed it, hoping it would lead me home, but it didn't, it brought me here."
"Oh, well, as you know, I'm a delivery boy," Luke smiled. "I've been all over town. If you want, I can take you home?"
Ava's eyes shone brightly at the prospect of going back to her father. "I would be so grateful," she nodded, happily.
"M'lady," Luke joked, offering her his arm.
Ava giggled and slid her's through it.
"Thank you kind sir," she said playing along.
Ava blushed, and smiled shyly as Luke turned to face her at the exact same time as her stomach growled. "Sorry," she apologized.
"I'm gonna go out on a wild guess and say you're hungry?" Luke chuckled.
"That obvious, huh?" she asked timidly.
Luke smiled. "You're cute when you're shy," he teased. "C'mon, I know a cool place that serves a half-decent meal."
"You don't have to do that," Ava said, shaking her head rapidly. "If you just take me home, I'll have breakfast with my te - I mean, with my friends."
"I know I don't have too," Luke nodded. "But I want too. I couldn't very well let someone like you starve."
"What do you mean 'someone like me'?" Ava frowned.
Luke smiled again. It was seemingly hypnotic and contagious, because every time he did smile, Ava couldn't help but smile back or stare at him. "Put it this way," he said. "I couldn't very well leave someone as cute as you to starve; it wouldn't be very charming of me!"
"How very prince charming of you," Ava giggled.
"I've always wanted to be someone's prince charming," Luke flirted.
Ava bit her lower lip trying to hide her grin. She'd always been a sucker for Cinderella. Her stomach growled again, leaving an even darker blush to rise in her cheeks. Luke chuckled, patted her hand, and led her further into town.
"C'mon," he said. "Before your stomach decides it wants to eat itself."
"She's playing hard to get," the Nighlok hissed at a young couple, both of whom had just wandered into his path. "And you're looking desperate!"
The young boy, who was no older than eighteen, gasped as he was blasted backwards away from his even younger companion.
"Luke!" Ava shouted, running over to where he landed. He seemed to be unconscious for he didn't answer her or move when she touched him. "What did you do?!" she shouted, looking up at the Nighlok.
"Why don't you find out?" the Nighlok laughed. "You're just a -"
Ava gasped and looked up as Jayden jumped over her, landed between her and the Nighlok, and pushed him away from her.
"Jayden!" the White ranger whispered, somewhat relieved to see him.
Jayden caught wind of her whisper, but didn't dare turn to face her. He wasn't sure if he could face her after what he had done to her, granted he was mad that she had run off alone, but he couldn't help but feel relieved that she was at least alive and safe.
"Samurai Rangers!" the Nighlok gasped as the rest of the team turned up. Each of them surprised to see Ava standing behind Jayden. "Why are you here? I've only been saying all the wrong things right!" the Nighlok said, before any of the others could call out to their friend.
"Talking smack about people is not cool!" Mike said, drawing the Nighlok's attention onto him.
"I know something about you!" the Nighlok said, zooming up to Mike and knocking him back a few steps. "You're bike had training wheels until you were ten!"
"What?" Mike frowned, as electrical energy pulsed through his suit and blasted him backwards.
"Mike!" Emily yelled. "Are you OK?"
Angrily, Mia and Kevin turned back to the Nighlok.
"What did you say to him?" the Pink ranger demanded.
"And you, Blue Ranger," the Nighlok added, running at Kevin next. "You're just booooring!"
Kevin grunted as his suit sparked and he was blasted backwards, just like Mike.
"Kevin!" Mia yelled.
"Your turn!" the Nighlok said to her.
Spinning around, Mia slashed down with her sword, but the Nighlok deflected the attack. "Lousy cook!" he said, causing Mia to stumble before she, just like Mike and Kevin, was blasted backwards.
"Mia!" Emily yelled after her friend. "I don't get how he's sending everyone flying. All he is doing is saying mean things!"
Taking a stand in front of Emily, Jayden activated his spin sword with his fire disk. "Keep your guard up," he instructed. "This one's tricky."
"C'mon, what tricks?" the Nighlok asked. "I'm just telling the truth! My motto is 'if the truth hurts. Excellent!'"
He rushed forward, until he was standing face to face with Jayden, knocking the Spin sword out of his hand before he even had a chance to use it. "You're a red faced liar, liar, pants on fire," he chanted. "You've got a secret!"
Jayden gasped, and next second, he was blasted backwards into a cement wall.
"Jayden!" Emily cried, as she turned back to Nighlok, only to realize that it was only her left standing. The others were down, and she still hadn't figured out how the Nighlok was hurting his victims.
Laughing at his victims, the Nighlok turned onto Emily. "Looks like we're down to you!" he said, ready for another attack.
"Your words won't hurt me," Emily snapped. "Jayden's got nothing to hide! You're just a mean-mouthed monster, spouting nothing but nonsense!"
She slashed at him with her sword.
The Nighlok ducked around and away from her.
"Nonsense?" he repeated. "If my words weren't true they wouldn't hurt like they do! Here's a word that'll send you flying: Airhead..."
Nothing happened to Emily, except for the fact that she continued to hammer at him with her spin sword.
"Maybe I didn't say it loud enough," the Nighlok shouted, jumping over her next attack. "You're a clumsy fool!" Again, Emily was unaffected. "What? Impossible!"
Again, Emily attacked with her sword, causing sparks to fly and forcing the Nighlok backwards.
Mike frowned as he watched Emily battle alone.
"Why can't he hurt her?" he asked, curiously.
"Ah, here's one that'll do the trick," the Nighlok growled, desperate now. "Everyone likes to tease you!"
But, once again, Emily was unaffected.
"Earth slicer!" she commanded. "Take that!" she yelled, throwing the boomerang-like weapon at him, and tossing him through the air.
"I cut people down, not you!" the Nighlok complained as he hit the ground. "What is her deal? I better go vent somewhere else!" he sighed, disappearing back to the Netherworld through a gap.
Emily slid to a stop as he disappeared. "Yeah, go and run you loud mouth!" she shouted. "I have a feeling that we haven't seen the last of that creep."
Ava sighed as the monster disappeared, and her friends, after regrouping, turned to face her.
"Av!" Emily cried, demorphing and rushing to the White ranger, hugging her tightly, tears streaming down her cheeks.
"It's OK, Em," Ava said, patting her friends back, but happy to in the arms of someone she knew.
"Ava, where've you been?" Mia asked. "Your dad is frantic..."
Ava nodded; she had figured he would be. "I'm sorry," she apologized. "I didn't mean to worry you guys. I got lost trying to find my way home."
"Why did you leave?" Mike asked.
Jayden tensed, but Ava didn't even pass him a glance.
"I didn't feel well," Ava answered. "I must have had too much sugar."
"You had one ball of cotton candy!"
Ava smiled and shrugged. "Whatever the case," she said. "I felt sick to my stomach! I just wanted to go home, I understand now that it was foolish of me to leave without tell you. Please don't be mad at me!" she offered him her most irresistible look, causing him to sigh and cave.
"Fine," Mike sighed. "Just don't do it again!"
"I won't," Ava nodded. "I promise. In fact, you owe Luke a thank you,"
"Who?" Mia asked.
Ava looked down at the boy beside her. "Luke, are you OK? Can you hear me?" she asked, the words running off of her tongue as she frantically shook the delivery boy.
Luke mumbled something unprounceable, and opened his eyes. "When did we reverse roles?" he asked. "I thought I was Prince Charming?"
Ava smiled and shook her head. "You're still Prince Charming," she nodded. "You just saved me from that Nigh - that monster," she said, quickly catching and saving herself.
"Yeah," Ava nodded. "You were incredibly brave, and I thank you for the save!"
Luke grinned. "Pleasure is all mine, M'lady."
Ava giggled as Mia and Emily exchanged looks and smirks, as Ava and Luke flirted playfully back and forth.
Irritated with the whole situation, Jayden cleared his throat and stepped forward, just as Ava helped Luke back to his feet.
"Oh," Luke said, noticing that he and Ava were not alone. "Uh..." he murmured, recognizing each of them as the people Ava lived with. "I see you found your friends?" he asked, turning back to her.
"More like they found me," Ava nodded. "Anyway, as I was saying, you guys owe Luke a thank you. If he hadn't found me this morning, I don't know where I'd be right now."
"Thanks mate," Mike said, clapping Luke on the shoulder. "You have no idea how worried we've all been."
"Hey, no problem," Luke said with a smile at Ava. "The least I could do, like I've said before, I've always wanted to be a damsel's Prince charming!"
Ava giggled as her face warmed. "I'm glad I could help you fulfill your fantasy,"
Luke smiled and winked at her.
Biting back a growl, Jayden reached forward and took Ava by the wrist. "Thanks for your help," he said to Luke. "But we can take it from here."
"Oh, I'd be happy to drop her off," Luke said, hoping to spend a little more time with Ava. "I mean, if you're OK with it?" He added to her.
Ava smiled and nodded. But before she could say anything, Jayden did.
"She's coming with us!"
"Jayden!" Ava snapped, ripping her hand away from his. "I'll see you guys later," she added to the others. "I'd be happy for you to take me home, Luke."
Still seething that Ava had refused to come home with them, Jayden all but stormed back into the Shiba house, the others, while bruised and battered, following, cautiously, after him.
"Did something happen?" Ji asked, also seeing the change in his young charge's attitude.
"Yeah," Kevin nodded. "We found the Nighlok..."
"But that's not all we found," Mia added, quickly.
"Oh?" Ji questioned.
"We found Ava," Emily answered.
Ji turned quickly to his rangers. "You did?" he asked. They nodded. "Where is she?"
"With Luke," Jayden spat the name.
"The pizza delivery boy," Mike supplied a more understandable answer, whilst Emily and Mia frowned in Jayden's direction. "He found her this morning," he added in explanation. "They were on their way to get some breakfast when the Nighlok attacked. Luke offered to bring Ava home; she agreed and left with him."
Swallowing his rage, Jayden turned to his Mentor. "When she comes home, maybe you could explain the whole 'no-contact' rule to her," he said. "She seems to have forgotten it!"
"Dude, what's your deal?" Mike asked.
"Just trying to keep our secret safe," Jayden said. "Ava can't afford to be dating, especially outside of the team; she doesn't exactly have the most expendable lifestyle."
Mia exchanged a look with Emily and smirked.
"I think they made a cute couple," she said.
"Yeah," Emily agreed. "And besides, they're not dating," she reassured her Red ranger. "He's just buying her breakfast and bringing her home."
"Isn't that a date?" Kevin asked.
Mia pursed her lips and shook her head. "Lunch is a date," she said. "Dinner is a date. Breakfast? No! Breakfast is just breakfast!"
Kevin frowned and shook his head, before turning back to Mentor.
"Anyway, about this Nighlok," he said.
Jayden nodded, thankful for the change in conversation, he didn't want to think about Ava and her new found friend - boyfriend was more like it - "He was able to target us verbally. Like some truths that hit a little too close to home," he looked around at his team-mates.
However, before Ji could explain the nature of the new Nighlok, the front door opened, causing each of the rangers to turn and see Ava hurrying inside. She was grinning from ear-to-ear, and glancing over her shoulder as the sound of an engine disappeared from the yard. Closing the door, the White ranger turned to find herself the centre of everyone's attention.
"Um... hi?" she said, smiling sheepishly.
After a stern talking to from her father about running off alone, Ava sat, cross-legged on her stool, listening as her father explained about the new Nighlok's nature.
"This Nighlok is a bully," he said. "He likes to hurt people's feelings. He channels mental pain, and turns it into physical pain."
"He caught me off guard," Mia said immediately. "It won't work again."
"Listen," Mike said. "I may have had training wheels, but I didn't need them!"
"And i'm a good cook, right?" Mia asked.
"Yeah," the others agreed, quickly, almost a little too quickly, but Mia didn't notice.
"At least you don't blow up the kitchen," Ava giggled. "Like someone I know..." she turned, teasingly, towards Jayden, almost forgetting the incident that was the reason for her running away. However, the moment he caught her gaze, the scene at the amusement park came flooding back to her, and she turned away, as it felt like someone had, once again, taken a knife to her heart.
Kevin paused. "Am I boring to you guys?" he asked.
"Your extremely disciplined and orderly, Kevin," Jayden reassured him, as Ava and Mike exchanged looks, both biting back the urge to laugh at the monotone voice. "It's a great quality for a Samurai!"
"Yeah," Kevin grinned and nodded. "You're right. It is."
"That Nighlok hurt a lot of people," Ava pointed out, remembering back to the fight. "But the only person that didn't seem affected by his words was you, Em," she said, turning to her new best friend. "How?"
Mike nodded. "That's a good question," he agreed. "That Nighlok knew exactly how to hurt us... why couldn't he hurt her?"
"Perhaps Emily has some special power," Ji suggested.
"Oooh!" Ava giggled. "Emily, you just became my new favourite superhero. A true Samurai with super powers!"
Mia smiled at the White ranger, as Emily brushed her off, bashfully.
"It's nothing great like that," she said. "I was teased and called names a lot as a kid, it made me sad, but my sister always told me to pretend that the person teasing me didn't say anything at all, and it really worked. So when the Nighlok said those things to me, it was like, he hadn't even said them."
"Then why are you always putting yourself down?" Mike frowned.
Ava looked lost. "Huh? What did I miss?" she asked.
"She keeps saying that she is hopeless,"
"Emily," Mike said, slightly frustrated. "It makes no sense! Unless, of course, that is really what you think of yourself!"
Emily stared, broken-hearted at the Green ranger. "Well, no," she whispered. "But -"
"Mike," Kevin sighed.
"I'm sorry," Emily whimpered, before getting to her feet and racing out.
Ava sighed and turned to glare at Mike. "And here I thought this team only had room for one insensitive jerk!" she snapped, before jumping to her feet and running out after her friend, leaving not just one guilty ranger behind, but two.
Ava smiled as she poured a decent amount of cat treats into Cheetah's bowl and placed it on the floor for the feline. The cat purred, weaved herself between Ava's legs and dipped her head towards the treats, as Ava scratched her behind the ears.
"I missed you too," the White ranger said. "I won't do it again. I promise. One good thing did come from it, mind," she added.
Cheetah purred and looked at her human, her oval green eyes seemed to widen, a notion that made Ava giggle.
"I met someone new," Ava said. "I don't know what'll come of us, but I have to admit he is really sweet and kinda cute."
The girl in question stiffed at the voice that had always made her heart race.
Jayden had arrived in the kitchen, well; he stood in the doorway, leaning against the frame watching her interact with the ginger feline they had adopted. He had come to talk, not about why she had run away, but because of the reason she had gone.
Again she didn't answer him.
Frustrated with her lack of response, Jayden stormed towards her, grabbed her arm and turned her to face him. "Ava Brooks, I'm talking to you!"
"Just because you're talking to me," said Ava, pulling her arm from his grip. "Doesn't mean I want to talk to you!"
"Ava, we have to talk,"
Ava shook her head. "No, we don't," she said. "There's nothing to say."
"I think there is,"
"Like what?" Ava asked. "You made yourself pretty clear, Jayden. Obviously being a Power Ranger means more to you than anything..."
"That's not true,"
Ava shook her head. "What else means more to you than the survival and protection of the human world?"
"You do, Ava!" Jayden said. "Look, I may have said we don't have time for a relationship or anything like that, but that doesn't condemn how I feel about you! I do care about you, and I really do lov -"
"Don't," Ava whispered, turning away from him.
"What?" he frowned.
"Don't say something you don't mean," Ava warned him. "I wouldn't want you to make a second mistake!" she added, brushing past him and leaving the kitchen.
Jayden groaned and looked down at Cheetah, she had been sitting between him and Ava, watching them curiously, now she was just staring at him with a sort of judgmental look.
"Don't look at me like that," he snapped. "I'm just doing what I think is best!"
Cheetah hissed at him and disappeared after Ava.
"This is great, Mol," a brunette said as she hurried back to the car, adding more and more shopping bags into the boot. "We got so many good deals! Tomorrow we're shop for shoes, and save more money!"
The blonde, named Molly, nodded and turned away, collecting the rest of the bags. She was cut off, nevertheless, by the Nighlok monster that had returned.
"Save more money?" the monster said. "You shopaholics could empty a mall and still not be happy!"
There was a blast of wind and the two friends were thrown backwards into the trunk of their car.
"Oh yeah," the Nighlok laughed as he walked away. "Still got it!"
"Stop right there!" Jayden shouted as he and the others arrived.
"Anyone ever tell you you're a bully," Mia said.
"Yup," the Nighlok nodded. "Nicest thing anyone has ever said about me!"
"Well, we're about to give you the nicest thing someone ever could!" Ava retorted. "Samuraizer! Go, Go, Samurai!"
She drew her family symbol in front of her, and swiped it through with her morpher to activate it.
"Samurai ranger, ready!" the six chanted once they had morphed into their respective colours. "Rangers together, Samurai forever!"
"More like heartbroken forever," the Nighlok hissed. "I know the truth about you, and I'm really gonna let you have it!"
"You should never underestimate a Samurai," Mia said. "Your sneaky tricks won't work this time!"
"Yeah," Kevin agreed. "We're onto you. We can handle anything you throw at us!"
The Nighlok raced up the steps towards Kevin. "Mentor's little pet!" he snarled, blasted the Blue ranger backwards.
"Kevin!" Ava squealed, as the Blue ranger landed behind her. "Leave him alone!" she snapped at the Nighlok.
"Red ranger doesn't love you anymore!"
Ava gasped as she was blasted backwards, eliciting a groan from Kevin as she landed on top of him. "Sorry," she apologized, rolling off of him and getting back to her feet. "That was not fun!" she complained, shaking her head.
"Guys," Mike gasped. "Don't let him get to you!"
"That's easier said than done," Ava retorted, getting back to her feet and helping Kevin up too.
Jayden, who had heard what the Nighlok had said to Ava, shook his head. "This isn't good," he said, turning away as Ava and Kevin rejoined the others.
"Let's find the mute button on this guy!" Mia said, pointing her sword at the monster.
"Go away, weaklings," the Nighlok shouted. "My business is with the Yellow ranger!"
Ava frowned and turned to her best friend.
"I think you've rubbed him the wrong way, Em," she said.
"Sticks and stones may break my bones," Emily shrugged. "But words will never hurt me!"
"Yeah, you tell him, Emy!" Ava grinned.
Emily nodded and set off after the Nighlok, as the others dealt with the Moogers that had been called in to help.
"Watch out, Emily," Mike shouted as he run at the Nighlok. "I've got a point that needs to be made!" he swung his Forest spear around his head, "Leaf storm!" he shouted as several thousand leaves whipped around him.
Emily dived aside as the leaves hit the monster, and Mike jumped over him, holding his spear across his chest.
"Those leaves were a bush league move, you split pea punk!"
"Snow storm!" Ava shouted, activating her spin sword and attacking with a whirl of white energy. Mike, who had seen the attack coming, kicked the monster in the back and sent him stumbling straight into the blast.
The three friends regrouped as the monster shook off the snow that covered most of his body.
"Now that was cold," the Nighlok sneered.
"You haven't seen anything yet!" Emily said, nodding at Ava. The White ranger grinned and pulled out her Samuraizer, just as the Yellow ranger did.
"Symbol power!" the two girls commanded. "Element of Earth! Element of Snow! Combine - Hailstone!"
Both Ava and Emily activated the symbol they had created, and blasted it at the monster, embedding the rock solid pieces of ice in his mouth. He mumbled indescribable and unpronounceable words.
"Haha, now we're rocking!" Mike said, high fiving both girls.
"Yep!" Emily agreed.
"Get him, Em," Ava nodded.
Emily smiled and approached the Nighlok, as Mike and Ava stood, shoulder-to-shoulder, behind her.
"I've got nothing nice to say to you," Emily said, walking forwards. "So let's call it a day..." she activated her spin sword with her earth disk. "Spin sword! Earth symbol strike!" she yelled, drawing her family symbol in the air, before slicing through the Nighlok with deliberate force.
The Nighlok screamed a muffled yell as he was blasted backwards whilst yellow energy rippled through him; he momentarily made it back to his feet, before keeling over once more and exploding.
"Yeah!" Mike cheered. "We did it!"
"No," Ava said, as she jumped up to hug the Yellow ranger. "Emily did it! Your sister'd be proud of you, Emy, I know she would!"
Emily smiled and hugged Ava back. "Thanks, Av," she replied as the others rejoined them.
Ava smiled as she walked arm-in-arm with Emily, passed the lake and towards the main road leading to the outskirts of town. It was the road that led from the city out into the woods and crossed paths with the trail that led to the Shiba house, the only reason she knew this was because it was the same route Luke had taken earlier that morning when he dropped her off.
"What are you smiling about?" Mike teased, cropping up beside the White ranger.
"Nothing," Ava answered.
"Yeah, right," Mike laughed, wrapping his arm around her shoulder. "You're thinking about what's his name? Luke!"
"No, i'm not!" Ava defended, despite the fact that she was blushing crimson.
"Then why is your face the colour of Jayden's ranger suit?"
Ava chewed her lower lip. "Fine," she caved. "I was thinking about Luke... but only in reference!"
"We passed this place this morning," Ava explained. "We came here after he brought me breakfast, and then he took me home!"
"And what did you talk about?" Mia asked with a slight smile.
"Nothing important," Ava shrugged.
"Are you going to see him again?" Emily probed, missing the look that crossed Jayden's face. The entire team had stopped walking now and was facing Ava, who was becoming increasingly embarrassed as she was put further on the spot.
"If Mike continues to order pizza, then yes," Ava nodded.
Emily rolled her eyes. "You know what I mean, Av," she sighed. "Did you get his number? Did you give him yours?"
Ava nodded faintly.
Emily and Mia squealed.
"Are you going to call him?" Mia asked.
"I dunno," Ava said. "Should I?"
Mia shrugged. "That depends..."
"Do you like him?"
"He's kinda cute," Ava smiled, bashfully.
"Well, he definitely found you cute," Mia nodded. "If the flirting was anything to go by!"
Ava gasped. "We weren't flirting!" she defended.
"'You were incredibly brave, Luke,'" Mike teased, mimicking Ava's voice from that morning. "'You just saved me from that monster. You're still my Prince Charming!'"
Ava covered her face as it grew warmer, while Mia, Emily and Kevin chuckled at Mike, and Jayden was left to glower at the rippling surface of the lake behind him.
A/N: It has taken me the majority of three days to write this chapter. I hope it was worth it. Leave a review and let me know.
Chapter written by xXxKaraBeckerCutterxXx
Chapter updated Saturday, October 07, 2012 at 01:30am