Here's the new chapter for With Lips Painted Red, We Bind Ourselves. You know, I would really love to hear what you people think of this story. Or least, you know, let me know someone's reading it.
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 in italics 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.
3. Our Nightmares Stand as Ghosts of Our Blood Drenched Memories
Hunter calmly guided Cam out of NinjaOps and past the portal, where he stopped them. Cam looked up at the sky. “It looks like it’s going to rain soon.” He observed, staring at the dark sky.
Hunter sighed, wrapping his arms tightly around Cam’s shoulders. “I won’t let anything happen to you.” He whispered in Cam’s ear. “I promise. Nothing is ever going to hurt you again.”
Cam leaned back against him, his head dropping down onto Hunter’s shoulder. “You shouldn’t make promises you can’t keep, Hunter.” He replied. “We’re rangers again. We have to fight. And we’re going to get hurt.”
“Hey, no poking holes in my promises.” Hunter admonished jokingly, smirking slightly. “And maybe it is impossible. But I’m going to do my best. And hey, whatever gets past me, I’m sure you can handle.” He paused and buried his face in the nock of Cam’s neck. “Everything will be alright.”
Cam shifted suddenly in the embrace, twisting around to look at him. Cam’s arms came up and wrapped around his neck, drawing him down for a kiss. Hunter easily accepted the loving kiss, more than happy to momentarily forget the scars of their journey in the simple contact.
Before long though, the morpher on his wrist went off, along with Cam’s amulet. Sighing, he pulled back and answered it. “Go for Hunter. What’s up?”
CyberCam’s voice answered over the link. “One of Lothor’s monsters is attacking the plaza.” Hunter met Cam’s eyes and nodded. “We’re on our way.”
When they got to the plaza, people littered the ground in what looked like sleep, tossing about uneasily. “What is going on?” Tori asked, glancing around at all of the people.
“Ah, Rangers.” Zurgane called, stepping into view with a monster at his side. “Meet Nightlare. He can turn your worst memories into your worst nightmares!”
Cam scowled at the monster. “We are not happy to meet your acquaintance.” He glanced over at Shane. “Shane?”
The red ranger nodded. “Let’s do this. I don’t want to be here when it starts to rain. Ninja Storm!”
“Ranger Form! HAH!”
The rangers charged the two but before they could get near enough to hit a dark beam of energy swept through the group from the monster. They demorphed, falling to the ground.
Everyone groaned as they slowly came to. Hunter grumbled as he sat up. “You know, I’m really getting tired of being blasted by Lothor’s monsters and sent someplace I don’t know.” He snapped.
Cam stood up, looking around at the towering ruins around them. It looked like an entire city had slowly been eroded away. “You’re wrong.” He breathed.
Hunter frowned, looking up at him. “Huh?”
Cam turned towards him, his expression closed but his eyes panicked. “Acio Toko.” He whispered, spreading his arms wide. “This is Acio Toko.”
Hunter gulped and started to laugh nervously. “You’re joking.” He said. “Right?” Cam shook his head and brought a hand up to point to the large building towering over them.
Hunter glanced at it and groaned, falling back against the ground. “Not good.”
Tori looked over at them. “You two know this place?” she asked. Cam nodded. “Unfortunately.” He replied. He looked up at the sky. “We should get inside. Before it starts to rain.”
Blake frowned at him. “What happens when it rains?” he asked.
Hunter sighed, pushing himself to his feet. He looked his brother dead in the eye when he answered. “There’s a reason we call it ‘Acid Tokyo’.”
The others shivered and followed them into the building. “Acid, as in, like, acid rain?” Dustin asked.
Cam nodded and replied, “Yeah. There’s not a lot of water in this world isn’t acid anymore. All the lakes and rivers, the oceans and seas. All of it, acid. The only clean water is in the reservoirs kept safe at the bottom of the buildings.”
“That’s kind of scary.” Tori said.
Hunter stopped suddenly, staring at something. “Cam…” he called. The green ranger stepped closer to him. “What’s wrong?”
Hunter nodded his head at whatever he was looking at. “Look.”
Cam followed his line of sight before abruptly looking away, squeezing his eyes shut and turning around. “Alright, this way.” He said, changing their route.
Shane frowned. “Hey, wait. What’s wrong?” he asked before looking where they had. “Whoa, Hunter?” he asked.
The others looked as well. Blake ran closer, staring at the scene before him in shock. Hunter sat in a rickety chair against the wall, a silent sentinel over a sleeping Cam. “Hunter?” he asked.
“They can’t hear you.” The awake Cam called. “Or see you. They’re just memories.”
The others looked over at them. “Memories?” Tori asked.
Hunter nodded. “Remember what Zurgane said? Our worst memories into our worst nightmare? Well, here we are.”
“But why are we all experiencing the same memory?” Tori asked. “Shouldn’t we all be seeing our own worst memory?”
Cam shrugged. “Could just be because we were all hit by the same blast. If this memory finishes we will probably be swept into another one. Who knows?”
Hunter looked at him. “Can you get us out of here?” he asked. Cam looked up at him. “Why me?” he asked in return.
Hunter spread his arms wide. “Hey, all I let that witch teach me was how to better control my element. You’re the one who went and learned all the ins and outs of magic.”
“Wait magic?” Shane asked. “You’re joking, right? Magic’s real?”
The two looked over at him. “Shane,” Cam replied slowly. “You’re a Power Ranger who is fighting evil aliens who have destroyed your top secret ninja school and kidnapped your peers and turned your sensei into a guinea pig. Are you seriously questioning if magic is real?”
Shane nodded. “Okay, right. Forgot the first rule.”
Dustin looked over at him. “What’s the first rule?”
“Dude, never doubt Cam’s powers.” Shane said like it was obvious. Cam snorted, shaking his head. “Thanks for the vote of confidence.” He said dryly.
They turned when a groan echoed from behind them. It looked like the other Cam was waking up. “Cam,” the real Hunter urged. “Get us out of here.”
On the other side of the room, the memory version of Hunter leapt to his feet, immediately rushing to Cam’s side. “Cam? You okay?” he asked. The other rangers walked closer, watching as the other Cam pushed himself up slowly, looking at hunter from the corner of his eyes.
Finally, the memory Cam turned to fully face Hunter. He smiled calmly, coldly, cruelly. “Good morning, E.” He greeted. Hunter drew back, staring at Cam in surprise and growing horror.
“We’re leaving.” The real Cam called, causing the others to look back at him. A line of glowing green symbols surrounded him. He brought one hand up, his fingertips glowing with energy.
Just as Cam brought his arm straight down, the memory Hunter finally whispered, “So, you’re not going to forgive me, huh?”
Hunter and Cam were the first to push themselves up when the spell broke. They looked at the enemy, eyes burning with anger. “You won’t get away with that!” Cam snarled. “I won’t let you use our memories against us!”
The others watched as the two charged the group. “Okay, they’re pissed.” Dustin observed. Shane nodded. “Let’s go.”
The others nodded, running forward to help the two.
After the battle, the group stood silently, listening to Sensei. “Memories are powerful things.” He lectured. “They shape who we are. They affect everything we do. But there comes a point where we must push them aside and no longer let them control us. You all did very well today rangers. Go home and get some rest.”
They all bowed and turned to leave. “Cam, Hunter. Please wait a minute.” Sensei called.
The two stopped obediently; Hunter motioning for Blake to go on without him. Once they were alone Sensei asked, “Is there anything you would like to tell me?”
The two looked at each other and shrugged, shaking their heads. “Not really, dad.” Cam said.
Sensei watched them for a minute. “If you need to tell me anything, I’m always here. That invitation extends to the both of you.” He said. They both nodded. “We understand Sensei.” Hunter assured.
Sensei sighed. “Then at least, trust your teammates with what happened doing your journey.”
Hunter shrugged again. “We’re not hiding.”
“You’re not telling either.” Sensei rebutted.
“And they’re not asking.” Hunter snapped back. Cam sighed and laid a hand on Hunter’s shoulder. “That’s enough. The both of you.” He ordered. He turned and met his father’s eyes. “And dad. There are some things you should leave alone.”
“Leaving them alone will not help you reconnect with the team.” Sensei replied.
Cam’s stare turned warning. “Dad, please understand when I say this. Some things…should just be left alone.”
Sensei analyzed his son carefully, scanning him up and down. Finally he nodded. “Alright then. If you believe it’s for the best.”
They both nodded. Sensei sighed. “If that is what you wish.” He paused before saying. “Hunter, I believe it best for you to stay the night. It has started to rain rather harshly. It would be unsafe for you to drive home in this.”
Hunter nodded. “Okay. I’ll just call Blake.” He agreed. Cam smiled and said, “I’ll go get some extra sheets.”
Sensei watched as his son walked down the hallway and Hunter pulled out his cell phone. He waited till the crimson ranger had finished his call before asking. “Hunter, just what is the nature of your relationship with my son?”
Hunter froze, his eyes widening. “Excuse me?” he choked. Sensei smirked as much as a guinea pig could. “I want to know about your relationship with Cam.” He repeated.
Hunter gulped, looking the way Cam had gone. Finally he took a deep breath and looked back at Sensei. “I love him.” He replied honestly. “More than should be possible.”
Sensei smiled as Cam entered the room again. “All ready. Want to go to bed?” Cam asked. Hunter nodded, smiling softly. “Sure.” He agreed, his eyes gentle.
Cam blinked at the look. “What? What’s with that look?” he asked in confusion. Hunter shook his head. “Don’t worry about it Cam. Let’s get some sleep.”
Cam frowned as Hunter slipped past him and started down the hall. He looked at his father and arched an eyebrow. “Something I should know?” he asked.
Sensei grinned. “Keep that one Cam. He really cares about you.” He advised. Cam blinked then looked in the direction Hunter had gone. “Yeah, he does.” He agreed, smiling to himself. He looked back at his father. “Good night dad.”
His father nodded. “Good night Cam.” He echoed. “And Cam?” he called as Cam started to walk away. Cam paused and looked over his shoulder at him. Sensei smirked. “I hope I don’t have to worry about you two doing anything you shouldn’t, right?”
Cam rolled his eyes, grinning slightly. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He answered, turning and walking towards his room.
Once in the dark of the room he spotted Hunter spread out on his bed, his eyes closed. He grinned at the sight, knowing the dark would hide him from Hunter’s eyes while his own inhumanly sharp eyes pierced through the shadows. “Hey.” He called.
Hunter turned his head towards him, squinting his eyes in his direction. “Hey.” He called back. He shifted, scooting towards the edge of the bed and patting the space next to him. “Come on.”
Cam smiled, toeing of his shoes and shrugging of his jacket. He climbed easily in next to him, sighing appreciatively. Hunter reached forward, wrapping his arms comfortably around his waist. “I missed this.” Hunter whispered.
The green ranger nodded, tucking his head into Hunter’s neck. He breathed deep, taking comfort in the warm, rich scent of Hunter’s skin. “Me too.” He agreed. He shifted uncomfortably. “You know…I don’t sleep well. Not if you’re gone.”
Hunter smiled, tightening his hold. “Nightmares?” he asked.
Hunter nodded, “Me too.” He whispered. He leaned his head down on top of Cam’s. “Good night Cam.”
Cam’s soft sigh whispered across his neck. “Good night Hunter. Li lal il.”
Hunter grinned at the words. “Love you too Cam.”
He waited till Cam’s breathing evened out before he even thought about sleep himself. He glanced down at the green ranger’s sleeping face. It was relaxed, peaceful. It gave no hints to the horrific dreams that so often plagued him in Hunter’s absence.
He sighed, pulling Cam even closer. What he had done three months ago had put a gaping hole in their relationship that they couldn’t seem to bridge. Mostly because Cam seemed unwilling too. But if he had too…he would do it again. Because it kept Cam by his side.
Even if it made Cam hate him.
*loves.* oh this is awesome. I love the way you give little hints at what happened while they were gone. I also love the world hopping (a la tsubasa?). I look forward to the next chapter.