Chapter Ten: Explosions

The samurai rangers returned home feeling defeated. Serrator had gotten away, barely. Unfortunately he had already noticed the size difference between Serena and Emily, that meant he knew Emily wasn't with them or wasn't well. That would make her a very easy target. Lucky for them, they avoided revealing Emily's location, keeping her safe for a little while longer.

"Who was that creep?" Serena asked.

Everyone was demorphed, and Jayden just remembered that it was Serena in the suit and not Emily. Serena had no idea who Serrator was or why he already knew the rangers so well, unlike Emily who had faced him a few times before.

"That was Serrator." Jayden answered her.

"Yeah, he's one of the toughest nighlock we've faced. Unfortunately, he's also very smart. We haven't been able to beat him yet." Mia huffed as she dropped down onto the couch next to Kevin.

"Mia's right. I think he has his own agenda. He acts like he's following Xandred but there's definitely something else going on in that twisted head of his." Kevin added.

"How did he know I wasn't Emily though?" Serena asked with a puzzled expression.

"We told you, he's smart. He saw the size difference." Mike said sharply, like it was the most obvious thing in the world.

"No need to get all riled up there Mike." Antonio joked with the green ranger.

"I'm not getting riled up!" Mike said as he raised his voice.

"Whatever you say.." Kevin muttered under his breath.

"Whatever." Mike said as he walked off towards the kitchen to get a snack.

Serena looked in the direction of the kitchen, "Maybe I should go talk to him…"

"You leave this one to me amiga." Antonio said as he walked off to talk to Mike.

"Mike really doesn't like me, does he?" Serena asked the remaining rangers in the room.

"He probably just misses Emily. They were really close." Jayden assured her.

"Was there something going on between them, or…?" Serena asked nervously.

"Yes, and no." Mia answered, "We all knew they liked each other. It was obvious. But neither one ever admitted it. Nothing ever really happened."

"Mike was working on it though, up until Emily left. He told me he was going to tell her soon, guess he didn't get the chance." Kevin admitted as he sneaked a look at Mia.

***Going Home***

"What is up with you?" Antonio asked as he stepped into the kitchen.

Mike was digging in the refrigerator for an after battle snack. He angrily slammed the door when he heard Antonio. He turned around and glared at the gold ranger.

"What do you think is up?" Mike asked, or yelled.

Antonio sighed, "Look, Mike, we all know you're upset about Emily. We all are. Trust me, no one wanted to see her go. But you can't take this all out on Serena. This was originally supposed to be her anyways, Emily was always supposed to stay at the farm. Besides, how would Emily feel if she knew you were treating her beloved sister so coldly?" Antonio asked.

Mike sighed. Antonio had a point, it was supposed to be Serena. Emily was never supposed to come to the Shiba house. Plus, she would be really disappointed to see Mike's behavior.

"I guess you're right. But it's just you guys didn't seem like you really cared that Em left.." Mike admitted.

"Of course we cared!" Antonio exclaimed, loud enough for it to be heard from where the others were talking.

"Well it sure as hell doesn't seem that way. As soon as Serena came, it's like you guys totally forgot about Em! How could you guys let her leave?" Mike yelled angrily.

"For the last time Mike, we didn't want her to leave! But she had to go!" Antonio said, now even he was starting to get upset.

"Bull shit!" Mike shouted as he angrily stomped out of the room.

Mia made way for Mike to get through the door as she entered the room, "What happened?!"

***Going Home***

"Oh and Jessica is dating Travis again. They've been on and off for the past year." Haley finally concluded.

She was filling Emily in on all the drama and gossip that had happened since she had left. Emily nodded, trying to wrap her head around all the new information. According to Haley, who was surprisingly very knowledgeable when it came to the latest gossip, Jessica and Sharon still ruled the school, Travis was the most popular boy in school and was constantly followed by his football team buddies, Shelby was the school whore, and if Emily ever needed drugs, Andrew was the guy to see.

"A lot sure can happen in a year or two." Emily said as she picked up a french fry from her lunch tray.

"Most definitely." Haley agreed with a mouthful of hamburger.

Emily and Haley were the only two at that end of the lunch table, and it was fairly obvious to see all the different cliques. They had basically stayed the same since Emily had left, but a few things had changed. For one, there was a noticeable change in the amount of students. It seemed Emily's small town had grown a bit. On the plus side, that meant more students for Emily to blend in with. So far she had avoided most of the bullies, and the ones that had seen her hadn't done too much. Unfortunately, that was about to change.

"Oh look, crybaby Emy finally found a friend!" Jessica said as she laughed with Sharon at her own joke as they approached.

"Oh shut up Jessica. We all know you cried at homecoming when Travis broke up with you, again." Haley said with a smirk.

"I did not!" Jessica defended herself, "Anyways, did Emily tell you where she was while she was gone?" Jessica teased.

"Boarding school, what's the big deal?" Haley asked.

"Is that what you're calling it Emily? Well, it does sound better than being sent away because you're parents don't want you, little bitch." Jessica said.

"I thought you said she got pregnant and her parents didn't want to be seen with a whore?" Sharon asked.

"Well, it doesn't matter. Either way her parents didn't want her." Jessica laughed, quickly followed by Sharon's laughter.

Emily's eyes started tearing up. Not only was she accused of being a pregnant whore, but she was also being told her parents didn't want her. It hurt Emily like they couldn't imagine.

Haley saw Emily's face and stood up in the cafeteria so she was standing face to face with Jessica, "Listen here, you and I both know those are lies. So go and sit with your little 'posse' and leave us the hell alone."

Jessica stepped back, shocked that someone had actually stood up to her.

"I will have you know.." Jessica started.

"I don't care! Just go be a bitch somewhere else, please!" Haley yelled loud enough for the entire student body to hear.

Jessica gasped. She grabbed Sharon's arm and dragged her away towards their lunch table. Sharon still looked confused, but had enough smarts to stay quiet.

"Don't worry, I know that isn't true. Jessica is just a brat." Haley turned her head back towards Emily after making sure Jessica and Sharon had made it back to their own table.

Sometime during the fight, Emily had put her head down on the table, too ashamed to look at anyone. But now she lifted her head, and Haley saw the tears that were coming down her face. She frowned and grabbed Emily's hand in hers.

"It's okay. Everyone knows they're liars. No one will believe a word they say." Haley said as she again tried to comfort Emily.

"Thank you." was all Emily said.

Haley sighed, "You're welcome. Now come on, you said you have free period next right?"

Emily slowly nodded her head.

"Come on then, let's get out of this hell hole." Haley said as she grabbed Emily's arm and pulled her out of the building.

***Going Home***

Serrator stood before Xandred as he drank his medicine. Octeroo wasn't standing far away, and Dayu was sitting on a crate in the corner strumming her Harmonium.

"I have some news for you." Serrator told Master Xandred.

"What is it? If it isn't important I don't want to hear it, I have a headache!" Master Xandred yelled angrily.

"The yellow ranger, she has been replaced." Serrator explained.

"What?" Xandred exclaimed.

"There is a new ranger in the suit. That means the former yellow ranger is vulnerable." Serrator explained further.

"Octeroo, you know what this means. Get some moogers ready, now!" Master Xandred yelled at his servant.

"Oo-ah-oo! Will do!" Octeroo said as he scurried away.