Rated: PG (violence)
Disclaimer: Power Rangers and all related characters belong to people who are not me.
All Goldar wanted to do was destroy the Red Ranger. He hated how that one defeated him time and time again. He kept hoping that Lord Zedd would grant him his request to fight the teenager but as of yet his new boss was not interested in allowing him to do very much.
So he was surprised when Zedd called him to his throne room. "Goldar, I often hear of you speak of the Red Ranger with venom in your voice. I have found a weakness that we should exploit, let us prepare!"
Goldar grinned evilly. "I am ready to be of service, Lord Zedd!"
Jason and his friends were at the park playing basketball when the Putties appeared. The six teens quickly dispatched of them hoping that it wasn't a distraction for them to steal something so Zedd could turn it into a monster. At least everything they had brought with them was accounted for and there was no call from Zordon so it was probably Zedd just messing with them. He liked to do that everyone once in a while. Jason shook his head.
"Don't these evil guys have anything better to do then to keep trying to take over Earth?" he asked as he took a drink of water.
Zack chuckled. "Apparently not. I guess they just like getting their butts kicked every day."
They all high fived one another on that one. "At least Zedd didn't send one of his monsters into town after the attack," Billy said. "It's hot enough out here without having to deal with one of those too!"
They all threw their towels at him. "Don't say things like that!" Trini said, albeit with a small laugh. "He might hear you!"
It was getting pretty late so the young Rangers decided to call it a night. Jason was halfway home when he remembered he was supposed be pick up his sister from her friend's house. Jason promised he'd be there so he knew he would get an earful. When he opened the door, however, no one was home. If they were going out before he got home there was usually a note on the refrigerator. Jason was pulled from his thoughts at the sound of the phone ringing.
"Jason Lee Scott, where have you been?"
He winced. His dad rarely used his full name. "I'm sorry, dad, I lost track of time."
"You lost track of time and your sister was attacked by one of those alien putty things!"
Jason felt sick to his stomach. "What? Is she okay?"
"No thanks to you, young man. You were supposed to pick her up from Tasha's house. She thought she would be okay walking home alone but this happened. I am very disappointed in you; I thought you were more responsible than that!"
Jason didn't know what to say. He knew his dad wouldn't accept an apology right now. Jason took a deep breath. "Will she be okay?" he wanted to know.
"She has several broken ribs and a concussion and she'll be staying overnight for observation. We'll call you in the morning."
Jason couldn't believe this. His ten year old sister had been attacked by putties. Was that why Zedd had distracted them? What kind of a super hero was he? How could he have let this happen? How did anyone expect him to lead if he couldn't even protect his own sister?
"Hey, have you guys seen Jason?" Tommy asked. Their first class together wasn't until after lunch and hadn't seen him all morning.
"You didn't hear?" Trini asked.
He looked at Kimberly then a Trini. "Hear what? Is he okay?"
"Putties attacked Olivia last night," Kimberly told him. "She's in the hospital. We haven't talked to him because Jason convinced his parents to let him stay home today. We did speak with Zordon, though. He said he's very worried about him."
Trini nodded. "Yeah. We were thinking about visiting them after school."
"Damn putties," Tommy muttered. "I'm with you!"
The five teens arrived at Jason's home after school. When they called earlier Mrs. Scott answered saying they were home and Olivia was doing much better. Kimberly held tightly to the balloon in her hand as she rang the doorbell. Mr. Scott opened the doors. "Hello, kids," he said smiling. "Thanks for stopping by. Please, come in."
They saw that Olivia was propped up on the couch watching television. She smiled when she saw them. "Hi guys!"
"Hey, Olivia!" Trini said. "How are you feeling?"
She shrugged. "Really sore, but I'll be okay."
"We're glad about that," Kimberly told her handing her the balloons and a teddy bear.
Olivia looked to see if her dad was still in the room, when she saw he wasn't, she said, "Can you do me a favor?"
"Anything," Zack said.
"Tell Jason to stop blaming himself. I know my dad laid it into him pretty good because he forgot to pick me up, but it's not his fault those things attacked me. Besides even if Jason had been there he could have been hurt too because you know he would have tried to stop them!"
Billy nodded. "You'd be correct about that. We'll talk to him, Olivia."
"Well maybe we shouldn't all go at once and overwhelm him," Trini told them.
Tommy looked around at everyone. "Okay. Kim and I will go up. Hopefully he'll listen to us."
Jason was practicing katas when he heard a knock at the door. He hoped it wasn't his parents. The look of disappointment on their faces was enough to make him turn in his morpher. Taking a deep breath Jason opened the door. He wasn't surprised two of his best friends were standing there. "I thought I heard the doorbell."
"We thought you'd come down," Kimberly said.
Jason turned away from them not wanting to see their disappointment either. "I'm not exactly the favored son right now. I don't even know what happened! How could I forget about Liv?"
"Jase, no one blames you for that! We were distracted, that's what Zedd does to us. He's the one to blame, not you!"
Kimberly placed a hand on his arm. "Tommy's right," she said. "I've known you since we were five and I know you would have done everything in your power to protect Liv. We all would, but unfortunately Zedd didn't give us that option."
Tommy nodded. "Yeah. We can't be two places at once."
Jason definitely knew that. He knew how many times Rita or Zedd would send it putties then attack with one of their monsters. He knew they often had to choose between their families and the world. He just didn't know if he could do it anymore.
When Zordon first teleported them all to the Command Center Jason was excited, he realized it was a chance for them to make a difference in the world and by more than just recycling. Jason wanted to be a hero and he wanted to be a leader, but now... now he wasn't so sure.
He was about to reply when their communicators went off. Taking a deep breath, he said, "Go ahead Zordon."
"Rangers, Lord Zedd has sent more putties into town. There are no signs of any other monsters. Alpha and I will keep you informed."
"We're on it!" Jason said with determination he didn't really feel. "Guys, you need to leave the house without me. I'm sort of grounded so I have to meet you there."
Tommy nodded. "See you soon, bro!"
Once they were gone Jason got ready to teleport. He was about to hit the button when there was a knock at the door. "Jason, honey," his mom said, opening the door. "Come down and sit with your sister while your father and I run to the store."
He stood there trying to think up some excuse but nothing came to him. "Sure, mom. I'll be down in a few minutes."
Jason didn't know what to do. He knew Zordon wouldn't be mad if he didn't go, but he also knew it was part of the responsibility that he accepted. Of course, so was Olivia. He went downstairs to see that she had fallen asleep, probably from the pain medication she was taking. Jason was about to teleport to meet the others when there was a thump on the front door.
Opening it, he saw about six putties in his front yard. Jason was going to make up for not being there to protect his sister and as he fought off the putties he didn't see that Olivia was awake and watching him in awe from the window.
The last putty disappeared and there was another flash. This time Goldar was standing in front of him. "What do you want, Goldar?"
"You Red Ranger."
He shook his head as he took out his morpher. "Well that's original."
Goldar brandished his sword and swung at Jason who had to jump out of the way. Unfortunately Jason tripped and the morpher flew out of his hands. "What's the matter, Ranger? Can't fight me without your powers?"
Jason got to his feet, angry at himself for tripping in the first place. What the hell was wrong with him? Suddenly he heard a familiar voice behind him. "Jason, here!"
Ignoring the fact that his sister just found out he was Power Ranger, he exclaimed, "It's Morphin' Time! Tyrannosaurus!"
"Are you ready now, Red Ranger?"
"I've been ready."
Olivia groggily woke up to the sound of fighting outside. When she looked out the window she was shocked to see her brother fighting putties. Where had those things come from? She shook her head as the memory of the attack assailed her, jumping back when that gold monkey thing appeared.
"No!" she whispered as Jason was knocked to the side. Olivia couldn't afford to be scared, he needed her help. Still stunned that her brother was a Power Ranger, she was able to toss his… morpher… to him.
This would explain a lot. How he was always disappearing during attacks on the city, how sometimes she'd see him falling asleep in his cereal in the mornings. Her big brother was a super hero!
"You seem to be fighting a bit recklessly," Goldar taunted. "Aren't you worried about your little sister over there?"
Olivia shook her head. She was fine. The monkey just did that to distract him. She cried in horror as Jason went flying through the air. He seemed to have a hard time getting up after that hit. Olivia was too scared to move. That alien was going to kill Jason in front of her and she couldn't move!
"Until next time, Red Ranger."
She looked up to see the other Power Rangers had arrived. She ignored the pain in her ribs and moved over to Jason who was finally getting up. "Are you okay, Jason?"
The other Rangers stopped in their tracks but she didn't notice. He winced pulling off his helmet. "Yeah, I've had worse," he told her, glancing up at his friends.
An hour after Olivia was settled back on the couch, still in awe, and with the promise she wouldn't say a word, Jason went up to his room. The others had left from the front yard. He had a feeling Olivia could figure out who they were but she hadn't said anything. Now he had to face Zordon.
Jason hadn't meant for her to find out but the only way he could protect her was to morph. He knew he had to face the inevitable so Jason teleported up to the Command Center. "Ai yi yi yi, Jason!" Alpha exclaimed. "Are you okay?"
Jason nodded. "Yeah, Alpha, thanks." He then looked up at Zordon, not sure what to say.
"There is nothing you need to say, Jason," the Eltarian said.
"But I morphed in front of my sister and I'm the reason she was attacked last night."
Zordon shook his head. "As your friends have been telling you, these were circumstances beyond your control. I could just have easily been blamed for the attack on your sister as we saw it too late because we were all distracted by the first attack."
Jason nodded as he thought about what Zordon said. It helped lift the guilt a little bit. "I'd better get back down there," he said. "If my parents find me gone, I'll have more problems than Goldar."
"Very well, Jason. We'll see you later then."
He gave Zordon a small smile then teleported away in a stream of red light.
"We have to do something to cheer him up, guys," Kimberly said. "I know his dad didn't mean what he said, but it really hurt Jason."
Billy nodded. "And it seemed as though Goldar used that to his advantage."
"We should probably keep an eye on him," Zack added.
Trini frowned. "We have to do it quietly, though. The minute Jason realizes what we're doing he's going to shut down."
"She's right. He may be talking right now but if too many people hover around him he isn't gonna like it."
Alpha hit a few buttons on the console. "I will monitor him from here at all times. We will know the minute Goldar or any more putties appear around him."
"Good. We will meet again in a few days to see how he's doing."
Luckily Jason arrived home just as parents pulled into the driveway. He sat down next to Olivia. While she pretended to be asleep he pretended to be reading a comic book. He knew he would have to talk to her about what she witnessed. "Jason," his mom said. "Have you started your homework yet?"
He mentally smacked himself. He had been so busy dealing with Goldar that he completely forgot about the homework Zack brought for him. Since it was in his room and she wasn't going to see it at all, he said, "I just took a break to check on Liv and sit with her a bit. I don't have much left."
Olivia peered at him through half-lidded eyes. "Nice save," she whispered once their mom left the room.
Jason sighed. "Well, I guess I've gotten better at it."
"That sucks that you have to! I mean you have the best excuse ever!"
"I highly doubt mom would think that," he replied. "And dad would only be more pissed because I wasn't there to keep those putties from hurting you."
Olivia frowned. "Jason."
He got up, tossing his comic on the table. "It's just reality. You heard what he said. If he knew I was a Power Ranger and I didn't show up, could you imagine how he'd react then?"
"I can't believe you still think he's mad at you!" she said. "He was scared that's all. He knows you didn't do it on purpose."
Jason tried listening to her but for some reason a voice in his head was telling him otherwise. His dad was disappointed in him and he had no idea how to fix that.
"Goldar this is working better than I thought. Not only is the Red Ranger beginning to doubt himself but now his little sister knows who he is. Perhaps we should invite her for a visit."
"An excellent idea, Lord Zedd!" Goldar replied.
Zedd almost smacked him in the head as he growled. "Of course it is! I came up with it! Send some putties to capture her."
"Yes my, Lord."
The next week went by pretty normal. Well normal for the Power Rangers who were attacked by random putties here and there. Zedd sent one monster but they were able to defeat it easily. Jason almost felt like they were in the eye of the storm. Like Zedd was planning another one of his bigger attacks, the kind that usually took them two days to defeat and leave their parents wondering where their children were and if they were safe.
Jason saw his friends and headed over to them. He had to bring Olivia to dance class, which was the only reason he was at the Youth Center, after all he was still grounded for not picking her up the other day. "The bake sale is going to help raise money for the Angel Grove Orphanage," Kimberly was saying as he sat beside her. "I know there will be some delicious entries!"
Jason nodded. "And the money will be going to a good cause too."
As the group continued to talk Olivia came in. Jason was the first to see her and smiled. "Hey!" she said, bounding over to them.
"Hi, how are you feeling?" Trini asked.
"Still a little sore, but I feel much better!"
Zack glanced over at Jason. "I heard the Red Ranger came to your rescue."
She giggled. "Yeah, he's pretty awesome."
"Well don't let him know that," Kimberly replied. "I hear that he has an ego the size of the planet."
Jason shook his head as everyone laughed. "That's hilarious. Come on, Liv, we'd better get you to class."
"Bye!" she exclaimed with a wave.
He noticed that Olivia was quiet as they walked to the studio. Jason did remember one of her friends mentioning that she hadn't been herself lately. "Hey, are you okay?" he asked.
Olivia was thoughtful for a minute but finally shook her head. "Not really," she admitted. "I'm still having nightmares about the attack."
"Why didn't you say anything?"
She shrugged. "I don't know. I guess I just didn't want you to feel guilty. I know you do especially after what dad said. You know he didn't mean it, right? He was just scared that's all. I think he also knew that if you were, you would have done anything to protect me."
"Well he's right about that, Liv," Jason replied. "Wearing Red or not, I would."
They had almost arrived at the studio when they were surrounded by a group of putties. Jason immediately began fighting them off. Olivia tried, but they were too strong for her. "Jason!" she cried when one finally grabbed a hold her. They disappeared and he was so distracted that several more grabbed him and he was teleported as well.
The putties dropped Jason to his knees when they reappeared on the Angel Grove Cliffs. He looked around and while they were staring at him, they weren't attacking. He turned when Olivia call his name. She was struggling in Goldar's grasp. "Let her go!" Jason exclaimed.
Jason didn't have to wait long because Olivia threw her leg back and swung at Goldar's shin with all her might. He laughed as Goldar let go of her, bouncing on one leg. Jason quickly took care of the putties surrounding him. He had only a few left when he heard Olivia cry out again.
Looking up, he saw Goldar carrying his sister towards him and she wasn't conscious. The alien laughed and Jason was so distracted he didn't notice the putties were about to pounce on him. All Jason could think about was getting to Olivia. He sighed in relief when he saw the others teleport directly behind Goldar and snatching her from his grasp.
It was too late for him, though, because the two remaining putties grabbed his arms. One of them yanked his wrist so hard that his communicator fell off. He winced at pain that shot through his arm and suddenly he was flying through the air. Expecting a quick drop to the ground, Jason opened his eyes to see that he was falling towards the ocean, not the ground. The putties had thrown him off the cliff!
Jason's heart skipped a beat as he dropped closer and closer to the water. At least Olivia was safe, his friends would see to that. Besides there was no guarantee he was going to die. He knew how to swim. With a deep breath, he closed his eyes... "Jason!"
His eyes snapped open when he heard Trini's voice. Jason looked around in confusion. He was sitting on the floor of the Command Center. "What? How did I...?"
Billy shrugged. "It was a bit difficult attempting to triangulate your position given how fast you were falling, but Alpha and I worked it out."
Jason smiled. "Thanks, guys." The smile faded, though, when he didn't see Olivia anywhere. "Where is she?"
"Relax, Jase, she's fine," Zach told him.
He got to his feet, ignoring the pain emanating from his wrist. "Good, but where is she?"
"At the cliffs with Kimberly," Zordon told him. "She doesn't remember anything about the past week, though."
Jason immediately headed out there, teleporting where she couldn't see him. He found the two fairly quickly. "Liv!"
"Oh my God, Jason!" she cried, rushing over to him. "What happened? The last thing I remember was walking with you to dance class. When I woke up you were gone and Kimberly was here. And we're nowhere near the studio!"
Jason shook his head. "It's a long story, but we were attacked by putties."
"Again?" she asked. "That's the second time for me! Do I have a bull's-eye on my back or something? Holy crap, Jase, what happened to your wrist?"
He glanced down at it for the first time. While he felt the pain he never looked to see how bad it was. It was definitely swollen and bruised. Kimberly got up and walked over to them. "We should get you to the hospital," she told him. "That looks bad."
"Yeah and mom's gonna freak out if we're not home soon."
Jason nodded. "Lets go now. We can call them from the hospital."
Olivia sat with Kimberly as they waited for Jason. He had to have some x-rays done. She looked up when her mom called her name. "Are you okay, honey?"
She nodded. "We were attacked again. Jason got hurt helping us."
"He'll be okay, Mrs. Scott," Kimberly added. "He hurt his wrist and they're doing x-rays right now."
Olivia noticed that her dad was very quiet. She got up and took his hand. "Are you okay?"
"Let's just say I wasn't very happy with Jason when he didn't come home after dropping you off at practice. Of course I didn't know at the time that you two never even reached the studio."
Olivia sighed. "Why were you so mad at him when I was attacked, daddy? I should have called you before walking home. And Jason could have gotten hurt just as easily as I did. Those things are scary!"
Instead of replying, her dad pulled her into a hug. "You're right, Liv, I'm sorry."
"You're gonna have to apologize to Jason, not me."
"I will, I promise."
When the family arrived home Olivia and his mom went into the kitchen to get dinner ready. Jason was exhausted but knew he still had some homework to finish. Luckily the putty didn't injure his writing hand. His dad was quiet most of the ride home and Jason couldn't tell if that was a bad thing or not. As he was about to go up to his room, his dad stopped him.
"Before you go up…"
Jason turned around and waited. When his dad didn't reply, he said. "Dad, I'm sorry about not being there to get Liv the other day. Believe me when I say it won't happen again. I know I have to be more responsible than that."
"No, Jason, I'm the one who should apologize. Of course I was upset that you weren't there to pick up your sister, but I also know you wouldn't purposely put her in harm's way. Today was proof of that. And I didn't even think of the fact that you could get hurt just as easily."
"You two need to stop it!" Olivia said coming into the living room. "Seriously, I'm okay. We're all okay, isn't that what matters the most?"
The two exchanged a glance. Jason nodded, giving her a hug. "Of course!" he replied.
"But it also means that you're going to be taking one of Jason's classes in martial arts. If anything you can use it for discipline."
Jason stifled a laughed. He'd been trying for years to convince her to learn martial arts but she just wasn't interested. Now he could see his dad was very serious about her learning it. "Aw man, do I have to?"
"If you want to show us that you're old enough to walk home on your own you will," he replied, heading into the kitchen.
"You put him up to this didn't you, Jase?"
He shook his head. "No way! I know you were never interested in it."
"Well, maybe I am now."
Olivia took a deep breath. "Because dad's right. Okay so I know I probably wouldn't be able to fight off a whole bunch of putties but I could at least know how to kick one out of the way until the Power Rangers arrived."
"If you're sure," he said. "I don't want you to end up all bitter about it later."
"No, I'm serious about it. I really do want to learn it and I want to learn from the best."
Jason grinned. "Well, I think we can manage that!"
He watched as Olivia took a few steps back. "Do you think Tommy is available?" she asked then ran off with a laugh.
"Haha! You're funny, Liv!" Jason replied chasing after her.