Title: Seeing Red
Notes: This is my first Power Rangers fic ever. I recently just rewatched the entire series thanks to Netflix. This fic is finished so I hope you'll stick it out. Please let me know what you think! :)
Disclaimer: MMPR are property of Saban and TOEI Company.
Jason didn't know when it happened but he was in love. Listening to her laugh, flipping on the balance beam, watching her fight. Everything about Kimberly Hart was graceful, she was beautiful inside and out. Kimberly wasn't just any girl, though. She was his best friend and they had known each other since they were little. They were always there for one another through her parent's divorce, through the rough patch he went through learning martial arts when he didn't think he was good enough.
She always knew what to say to boost his confidence and he was always there to cheer her up when she cried about her father leaving. Jason was very grateful for that friendship and he didn't want anything to happen to it if it turned out that Kimberly didn't love him more than that. He couldn't believe that he had faced all the monsters Rita could dish out but he couldn't tell Kimberly how he truly felt about her.
Jason was pulled from his thoughts by the sound of Kimberly's laughter. He looked up to see her enter the Youth Center with Tommy and Trini. This was the reason Jason was starting to doubt the fact that Kimberly was interested in him more than friends and the way she acted around Tommy. Jason had nothing against the guy. They'd been through a lot and Tommy was a good friend and a fellow martial artist. It's just that seeing them together made it painfully clear how much he really liked her.
Rita watched Jason's expressions through her telescope and laughed wickedly. "It seems as though the Red Ranger is a bit jealous! Let's compound that shall we?"
Goldar nodded. "Yes my Queen! We should make him think that they want to replace him with the Green Ranger."
Rita looked at him in surprise. "Excellent idea, Goldar! I'm impressed!" she exclaimed heading to Finster's lab. "Make me the Green-Eyed Monster!"
Jason headed through the park to meet the others at the lake. He was almost there when about ten putties appeared surrounding him. "Aw man!" he said, getting into a fighting stance.
With ease he fought the creatures. Soon only two remained and one looked a bit different than the others. It shot some sort of smoky substance at Jason and he inhaled it because he hadn't been prepared for it. Jason dropped to the ground shaking his head. Whatever the hell that was it was making him extremely dizzy and his eyes were stinging. He felt the familiar tingle of being transported and suddenly he was at the Command Center, his friends surrounding him.
"Jason, are you all right?" Zordon asked.
It took a minute before he could respond. "Yeah, yeah. What the hell was that?"
"Alpha will scan you to make sure it wasn't toxic."
Jason just sat on the floor while Alpha did his scans. He glanced up at Kimberly who sat beside him. She smiled reassuringly. "You're going to be fine."
"She's right, Jason," Alpha said. "There is no indication that the substance did anything to you although your eyes are bit red."
He nodded. "Yeah, it stung a bit. I'm feeling better now though."
"Alpha will keep an eye on your vital signs throughout the day just in case," Zordon told him.
"Got it. Thanks."
When the teenagers were back in the park the other five kept staring at Jason as if he were going to collapse any minute. "Relax guys, I'm fine."
Zack shook his head. "Only you would say that after you were attacked by Rita's crazy putties."
"Zack is correct, Jason," Billy added. "Rita is famous for dosing us with mind altering substances."
Tommy nodded. "Whatever happens I'm sure they'll replace you with me. I'm the natural leader around here."
Jason was shocked by what Tommy said. Looking around none of his friends were disagreeing with him. "I... what?" Jason said, clearly shocked.
Kimberly sighed. "You seem to have a problem listening to anyone Jason lately."
Jason didn't even know how to respond to her. Something was wrong and he was wondering if it had to do with what the putties did to him. He could tell his friends were upset about something. They were all giving him looks that weren't very friendly.
Jason watched as Tommy took Kimberly's hand. "Let's go get something to eat. He doesn't need our help and we certainly don't need his."
"You're right about that!" Kimberly exclaimed as the couple walked away.
Jason turned to face the others. Trini had her arms crossed, Billy was shaking his head, and Zack look ready to hit him. "Guys?"
"You shouldn't be our leader anymore, Jason," Trini told him. "You're just not good enough."
Zack nodded. "Yeah, you couldn't even keep that Putty from attacking you. You're pathetic."
"I have to say I'm in agreement, Jason. You are not a logical choice for leader of the Power Rangers. From what I've seen you shouldn't be one at all."
With that the last of his friends walked off leaving Jason to stare after them in confusion. He sat there for a good five minutes before his communicator went off. "Zordon!" Jason was immediately in the Command Center. "What's going on?"
"Jason, it seems as though Rita has placed a spell over you. Whenever the other Rangers are in proximity to you they will say the opposite of what they believe is true about you."
He took a deep breath. "Okay so that makes sense."
Alpha placed a hand on his shoulder. "I will find a way to counteract this spell," the robot told him. "But for now…"
"For now I have to endure whatever they say to me, got it." Jason just had to remember that this was all Rita's doing.
Jason was sitting in the far corner of the Youth Center drinking a smoothie when his friends came in. They looked like they were having a good time without him. It was weird. Everyone else at school, teachers and classmates, they were treating him the same. Rita must have made sure the spell only affected the Rangers.
"You look like you lost your best friend little Jason," Bulk said with a laugh. "Oh wait, you did!"
Skull chuckled. "Yep, you did!"
"I'm really not in the mood right now, guys."
As usual, the two bullies attracted attention and soon his friends were coming over. He was saved by the bell so to speak when his communicator went off. He followed the others into the hall glaring at Bulk and Skull as he passed.
Jason was about to respond when Tommy answered for him. "Go ahead, Zordon," Tommy said.
"Rangers, Rita has sent the Green Eyed Monster to the park!"
"We're on it!" Tommy replied. "It's Morpin' Time!"
When they arrived at the park the Green Eyed Monster was zapping trees and tearing everything up. "Jason, go fight it!" Tommy exclaimed as putties surrounded them.
Jason was surprised Tommy sent him after the creature. Shaking his head he replied, "Okay!"
"Well, if it isn't the little Red Ranger. How have you been?"
"I think you know the answer to that question! You're the reason for this mess and I'm gonna destroy you for that!"
The monster laughed maniacally. "Let's see how fast these friends of yours come to your aid now that they hate you."
Jason jumped and flipped out the way of the attacks. Luckily he was able to get in a few good jabs, but he was tiring out after ten minutes of dodges. It was a bit unusual for him but he had to admit he'd been a bit distracted by the affect this spell had on his friends. He miscalculated the next barrage and suddenly he was being slammed every which way he turned. Jason cried out as one shot hit him in the lower back and it suddenly stopped. He took several deep breaths before opening his eyes.
He was surprised to find himself in the Command Center.
"Ay yi yi yi yi!"
Jason shook his head as he slowly got up, wincing in pain. "Alpha? Zordon?"
"Jason, are you all right?"
"I've been better. What happened? Did that stuff wear off?"
Zordon frowned. "Not yet. The others were still fighting off Putties but they were dwindling and I thought they would have been there to help you."
Jason nodded He was happy to have his helmet on because he didn't want Zordon to see him wincing in pain. "Let me scan you, Jason," Alpha said.
"No, I need to get back down there. How much longer will they be like that?"
"I cannot say," Zordon told him. "This chemical was mixed with a spell and it's something I have never seen before. Alpha and I have found no reference to it in our databanks."
Of course not, Jason thought to himself. Aloud he said, "Okay, I need to get back down there and help them though."
"Go," Zordon said. "And may the power protect you."
When Jason returned to the fight the other Rangers berated him for living in the first place. "You guys can yell at me all you want later. Let's just get rid of this thing first!"
The others had no choice but to agree. Luckily Jason had worn out the monster for the most part and it looked like the Power Blaster would be able to destroy it. Right now he didn't care that they didn't want him as the leader he just wanted this fight to be over. "Bring them together, Rangers!"
Jason jumped in the air exclaiming, "Power Sword!"
The blast slammed the Green Eyed Monster in the chest and the explosion was loud. Jason turned to see his friends congratulating each other. He did a double take when he saw Goldar behind them and they hadn't noticed. He knew he wouldn't make it to Goldar in time as he got ready to release his bow. Ignoring his own safety Jason jumped in front of Kimberly and Tommy, shouting a warning, just as the arrow reached them.
He dropped to the ground nearly passing out by the pain that emanated through his left shoulder. This seemed to snap everyone back to reality. "Jason!" Kimberly cried as he lost consciousness.
When Jason woke up he saw he was in the Medical Bay in the Command Center. To his left he saw Kimberly and Tommy speaking quietly with one another. He slowly sat up ignoring the soreness in his body. He was surprised his suit didn't absorb the pain like it should have. "You're awake!" Kimberly exclaimed, rushing to his side. She gently pushed him back, forcing him to lie down. "You really shouldn't get up just yet. I can tell you're still in pain."
"Yeah, what about that?" he asked.
"Alpha said the substance that was combined with that spell weakened your suit so when Goldar's arrow hit you it went straight through it and did more damage than it normally would have. You're powers will slowly heal you now that it's out of your system."
Jason nodded. "Well that's good to hear."
"Why did you do that, Jason?"
He looked up at Kimberly. "Do what?"
"Jump in front of that arrow? Jason, you could have been killed!"
"You might have been too," he added. "It's my job to keep you all safe."
She crossed her arms. "Even if it means your death?"
"Kim, he couldn't have known his Ranger suit was compromised. He was right to suspect that he'd only be bruised. Besides, I would have done the same if I had been in his position. I know you would have too. Any of us would have!"
The others were talking with Zordon when Kimberly and Tommy appeared with Jason. He favored his left shoulder as he gave Trini a hug. "It's good to see you walking around," she said with a smile.
Zack nodded in agreement, giving him a high five. "Definitely. Listen, sorry about what we said. It couldn't have been farther from the truth."
"Don't worry about it, guys," Jason said. "Rita's to blame for this. Besides I'm fine."
Jason could see the look exchanged between Billy and Zordon. "Jason..."
Billy took a deep breath before replying. "We just finished the analysis of your injury."
"Jason, you have been poisoned," Zordon told him.
"Oh my God!" Kimberly gasped out.
Zack growled. "I can't believe this! I bet she's gonna hold the antidote for ransom too!"
The two were quiet and Trini picked up on it immediately. Jason did too but he didn't want to voice it. "There is no antidote, is there?" Trini asked.
"I'm afraid not, Trini," Zordon replied.
Jason finally spoke up. "What's gonna happen?"
Billy handed his friend a print out and Jason nearly paled at what he read. "Are you serious? I think I... I gotta go for a minute," he said.
Before anyone could reply Jason teleported from the Command Center.
Kimberly bent down to pick up the print out Jason had dropped. "Zordon," she gasped out. "Is this... really going to happen to him? This sounds horrible."
"I know, Kimberly. The compound Rita used is one reserved for torture. I have seen the affects it has on a person."
Tommy was beyond pissed, Kimberly could tell. "There has to be something we can do! We can't just sit here and let him die!"
"Whoa, whoa!" Zack said. "We're not gonna let it come to that, are we?"
Zordon's expression was grim. "Alpha and I will be working on finding a way to help Jason. In the millennia since this poison was first discovered no one has been able to counteract it. Billy, we could use your help."
"How long does Jason have?" Trini asked, voice shaking.
"Five days at the most," Zordon answered.
Suddenly Kimberly began to cry. "This is my fault!"
"We already established that it was no one's fault," Billy told her.
"But it is! Goldar was aiming at me, Billy! If Jason hadn't pushed me out of the way..."
Tommy turned her to face him. "Kim, I hate that this happened to Jason, you know I do. But don't diminish his sacrifice by blaming yourself for something you couldn't control. Right now we just have to be there for him!"
"Tommy's right," Zordon said. "I know this is hard. I do not relish watching another good friend succumb to this poison, but we will do everything in our power to save Jason."
Alpha finally spoke up. "And he will need all his friends to get him through this."
Tommy nodded. "Jason's strong, but he can't be strong all the time. We'll be there for him."
Kimberly didn't reply. She felt absolutely sick to her stomach. She couldn't believe her best friend could be gone by the end of the week. She was going to make sure to spend as much time with him as she could.