Here's the new chapter for With Lips Painted Red, We Bind Ourselves. You know, I could do with smaller titles.
With Lips Painted Red, We Bind Ourselves
Copyright Disclaimer: I do not own Power Rangers or any other recognizable media. Power Rangers belongs to BVS Entertainment. Any other recognizable media belongs to its respective owners.
Any words you don’t understand are part of a language I made up for this story. It’s pretty easy to guess what their saying most of the time. Any important things will be in English.
2. We Tear Heart and Self with Our Blood Covered Choices
Hunter hummed to himself as he moved around his kitchen, refamiliarizing himself with the layout of his house. Five months of thousands of different places had almost made him forget what home looked like.
Once he had a bowl of cereal made he sat down at the table and calmly ate it, soaking up the room with his eyes. He never wanted to forget a single detail again. He grinned when he heard his brother tumble into the room, yawning. Blake so wasn’t a morning person.
It was very different from the calm, silent way Cam always moved. It had taken him a long time to get used to not hearing any big noises in the morning. He suspected he’d have to get reused to the noises now.
Thinking about Cam made him drop his eyes to the necklace lying against his plain red shirt. It was an automatic reaction by now, to glance at it whenever Cam wasn’t nearby. It was an Emotional Connection Necklace (EmoCon for short). It was an orb of clear, hollow crystal, within which was two golden rings which constantly spun in two opposing directions. Within those rings was a tiny sphere of pure energy which depicted Cam’s mood. Cam had one that was connected to him.
Frowning, he dropped his spoon and yanked the necklace off. Lifting it to his face, he stared intently at the sphere in the middle. He wasn’t seeing things; with every spin of the rings the sphere changed from its normally calm emerald green to a dark stormy myrtle green.
Blake sat down next to him and looked at the necklace as well. “What’s wrong?” he asked.
“Cam’s upset.” He responded automatically. Blake nodded slowly. “Okay.” He drawled. “What ever you say.”
Hunter set down the necklace. “Can we go over after breakfast?” he asked.
Blake nodded then studied his brother seriously. “You’re really attached to him aren’t you?”
Hunter shrugged, gazing at the necklace. “Yeah, I am.” He paused, smiling softly. “Li lal mi. I love him.” He told his brother softly.
Blake paused and looked at his brother. Hunter looked…happy. Genuinely happy. He wasn’t going to deny his brother that kind of happiness. “If he makes you happy…” he said uncomfortably. “Then, yeah. We’ll go.”
When they arrived at Ninja Ops, they realized that they were very early because none of the other rangers were there except for Cam. Cam sat at the computer, typing away with his back towards them.
Hunter groaned as he watched him. “Second day back and you’re already completely attached to that computer again!” he groused. But he was grinning.
Cam didn’t even turn as he answered, “I realized this morning that I have completely forgot nearly everything on this damn thing.” He turned to look over at them and nodded in greeting. “Good morning, Hunter, Blake.”
Hunter walked up to him. “Well, you certainly seem to be in a good mood. You were upset earlier. What’s wrong?”
Cam shrugged. “Didn’t sleep well.” He answered. Hunter grinned and said, “Yeah, I know what you mean. It’s going to take some getting used to. Being back.” He looked over at Blake. “And he makes so much noise in the morning.”
The green ranger smirked. “Like you’re any better. Sit down, make yourself comfortable. The others should be here soon. Then we’re going to have to train.” He said.
A few hours later, all the rangers stood ready for training. Sensei faced them, considering. Finally he said, “Cam, Hunter. Perhaps we should see just how far ahead you have gotten in the time you have been gone.”
The two nodded and stepped out of the line, facing each other. Hunter looked Cam over and asked, “Hey Cam. No Valimper tricks, okay?”
Cam seemed to consider it then nodded. “Alright.”
The others looked at each other. “What’s valimper?”
Hunter shrugged. “Something Cam learned while we were gone. Makes it hard to keep up with him.” He explained, mock glaring at Cam. Cam smirked.
Sensei stepped forward, “Ready?” he asked.
The two shifted. Cam settled his weight on his back foot, allowing his arms to rest by his sides. Hunter brought one arm up, his weight spread evenly on both feet. “Begin.”
Hunter immediately charged Cam. The older man dodged around the attack, bringing his knee up. Hunter twisted around and away before lashing back out. He felt the tips of his fingers brush against the ends of Cam’s hair but the man had already moved. Cam smirked at him.
On the sidelines, the other rangers watched them fight. The difference between they’re fighting styles was a lot more obvious when they fought each other. Hunter relied on speed and strength, always ready with a counter attack. Cam, on the other hand, focused on grace and precision, always spinning around Hunter’s attacks, considering all of his own attacks.
The way they seemed able to predict the other’s moves was still there, prevalent in every move they made. It was obvious they had been fighting together for a long time. If the other rangers hadn’t believed they had been gone for five months before, they certainly did now.
Dustin grinned as he watched the two trade blows. After a move where Cam practically threw Hunter over his shoulder he whooped, shouting. “Yeah! Go!”
Tori looked over at him with a grin. “Just who are you cheering for Dustin?” she asked. There was a brief pause before he shrugged, “I’ll tell you when I know.”
Hunter reeled around one of Cam’s attacks and spun, attempting to back hand him. Cam immediately brought his arm up and grabbed his wrist. A silent message passed between them.
They both pulled apart, power dancing at their fingers. The other rangers jumped in shock when Hunter thrust his hands forward, lightning bursting from his palm. Cam responded in kind, green energy arching from his fingertips to meet the attack.
The two attacks meet and exploded outward, nearly knocking the rangers from their feet. When they looked back up both fighters were kneeling on the ground. Hunter pushed himself to his feet, eyes glowing with determination. A sphere of dark crimson energy appeared in front of him before flying at Cam, lightning sparking around the edges.
Although the others couldn’t see it, Cam’s eyes widened as he watched the attack come towards him. His eyes shined gold in the light of the attack as instincts took over. A small “oh,” dropped from his lips before he moved.
To everyone else it looked like Cam disappeared. A second later he reappeared in front of Hunter, his knee jammed into the blonde’s stomach. Pulling back, Cam let Hunter sink to the ground, holding his stomach in pain.
“Cam!” Hunter whined breathlessly. “I thought we agreed not to use Valimper tricks.”
Cam huffed, placing his hands on his hips as he stared down at his friend. “Oh, so I can’t use my powers as a Valimper but you can use your powers as an E? That’s fair.” He defended sarcastically, causing Hunter to grin. After a minute, Hunter relented. “Okay, you’ve got a point. You win.”
Sensei coughed slightly, dragging their attention back to him. “Very impressive performance, the both of you. You have both certainly learned a lot in your time away. I am especially impressed by your grasp of your elements. Both of you keep up the good work. The rest of you, I expect you to be spending a lot of time digging their secrets from them, yes?”
The others nodded rigorously, causing Cam and Hunter to look at each other nervously. “We’re doomed.” They both said before smirking. “I have been hanging around you too long.” Cam said in amusement. “We’re starting to think alike.”
Hunter blanched in fake horror. “Oh god, I hope not.” He joked just seconds before the others surrounded them, all talking at once. “Doomed.” Hunter repeated, giving Cam a hopeless look.
“Hey, guys, I gotta go.” Shane said later. “Skating tournament coming up soon. See ya.” Waving, he jogged up the stairs and out of Ninja Ops. Tori and Dustin left a few moments later.
Sensei flipped and landed on Blake’s shoulder. “Blake, may I talk to you?” he asked, his eyes locked on the other two people in Ops. Cam sat at his computer while Hunter leaned against the desk, talking to him absently.
Blake nodded. “Yeah, sure. What’s this about, Sensei?” he asked, sitting down at the table. Sensei flipped down onto the table. “I wanted to talk to you about Hunter. Have you noticed any changes with him because of his journey?”
The navy ranger thought about it. He had noticed a few things. “Yeah, I have. He’s quieter, well he was quiet before but not like he is now. He seems more reflective, I guess. And he has these odd little quirks now.” He paused briefly. “Do you ever get the feeling that Cam’s comparing everything here to how it was while he was traveling? Cause I think Hunter’s doing that.”
Sensei nodded. “It is a disconcerting feeling. I asked because…I believe there is something they are not telling us. Something very important.” He explained. He looked over at his son sadly. “I think Cam has nightmares. He looked horrible this morning. I do not know what they are about but I can only imagine that something happened to cause them.”
Blake bit his lip. “I would normally say that it’s probably just a one time thing but sometimes Hunter gets this look in his eyes. He looks…haunted.” He stopped and looked over at the two he was talking about. “That’s why I’m glad Cam was with him. I don’t want to think about what could have happened to him if Cam wasn’t there.”
Sensei smiled. “I am glad for that.” He looked side-long at Blake. “What do you think about their relationship?”
“I’m not sure.” He replied. “Cam makes Hunter happy and that’s about all I know about their relationship. But when it comes down to it…” He trailed off, glancing at Sensei. “Is that what’s important?”
Sensei smiled. “It is. I just wish Cam would talk to me about what happened.” Blake nodded. “I know how you feel.” He agreed.
Hunter smirked and turned his head slightly to stare at Cam out of the corner of his eye. “You get the feeling they’re talking about us? Because I do.” He asked, inclining his head slightly towards his brother and Cam’s father.
Cam looked up at him, “You get the feeling you gotten paranoid? Because I do.” He shot back. Hunter grinned.
There was a moment of silence between them before Hunter whispered. “Sorry.” Cam stopped typing, blinked at his computer screen for a minute then frowned. “For what?” he asked.
Hunter turned to face him fully and explained. “Earlier, you said you just didn’t sleep well. And I believed you. So I’m sorry.” He leveled a dark glare on Cam. “You want to tell me what was really bothering you?”
Cam jerked his eyes away and back towards the screen. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He snapped. Hunter merely stared at him. After a minute Cam sighed and answered him in their own unique language, the words a whisper all the same. “I don’t want the others to know about my…condition.”
Hunter nodded. “Yeah, I know. We talked about before. What’s the problem?”
Cam sighed, shaking his head and answering. “It’s very easy, isn’t it? To fall into our old routines here. We did it today. Barely gave it a second thought. Things could become very dangerous if we forget. And you did forget.” Cam accused, staring right back at Hunter.
The blonde flinched, because, yeah, Cam was right. He had forgotten. Which was really bad because Cam did depend on him to make sure everything was alright. Hunter needed to make sure that no one got hurt. Because Cam would never be able to live with himself if something happened.
But he couldn’t say that. So he merely sighed and said in English, “Ever think you worry too much?” Cam glared at him, “With good reason.” He replied.
Hunter reached forward and grasped Cam’s shoulder. “Hey, don’t worry about it. I told you I’d take care of it. You shouldn’t have to worry about it.”
Cam’s stare shifted into a glare. “Yeah, well, whose fault is that?” He snapped. Hunter winced at the tone and begged. “Please Cam, let’s not have this argument.”
“When aren’t we having this argument?” Cam asked, his eyes flashing. “I couldn’t let you just die!” Hunter snapped back. “And I would do it again. No matter how much you hate me for it.”
Cam’s glare turned lethal. “You forget your place E.” he hissed.
Hunter grasped Cam’s shoulders tightly and stared him down. Finally, he leaned forward and pressed a gentle kiss to his forehead. “Just let me take care of you. Nothing will happen.”
“I hope so.” Cam whispered, staring up at Hunter with helpless eyes. “I can’t hurt them, Hunter. But it would be so easy. Even you, I could snap like a twig.”
Hunter grinned, “Please don’t. I think that might hurt.” He joked, causing Cam to give a hollow laugh. His eyes worried, Hunter gripped Cam by his shoulders and hauled him to his feet. “We’re going for a walk.” He told the two now staring at them.
Cam gave him a glance that clearing spoke of his disbelief before he huffed and shrugged of Hunter’s hands. “Yeah, sure. We’ll be right outside.”
Blake and Sensei watched as the two climbed the steps, Hunter saying, “We’ve been gone for five months and all you want to do is stay cooped up here in this mountain. Cam, I love you, but you’ve got problems.”
Blake shook his head. “That relationship might actually do them some good if they don’t kill each other first.” He said, grinning in amusement. Sensei nodded and said, “I do find it hard to believe they have lasted this long together.”
Laughing, Blake agreed. But both were very aware now that something big wasn’t being said.