Freak You Out (Tara/Kira Ford)
Freak You OutAuthor:
Tara Maclay/Kira FordDisclaimer:
Someone not me (but probably Joss Whedon) owns the Buffyverse and all related characters. The Power Rangers franchise (especially with the raping of the Japanese sentai series) is a copyright nightmare. Let's just go with 'not mine' and leave it as that.Summary:
Kira finds out something she never knew about her girlfriend Tara.Joe's Note:
There's a one-shot version of this posted in my FFA collection 'story', but a friend got me some of the Dino Thunder DVDs and so I decided to expand the story a little bit.
'Trying hard to figure out,
Tell me what it's all about?
Cuz I don't want to freak you out,
Freak you out,
Freak you out…'
Tara Maclay winced as she kneeled behind a garbage can, watching as the Power Rangers fought. Most intelligent people ran from the battles, but Tara couldn't help it. Any time her girlfriend went out to battle the monsters that plagued Reefside, she did her best to stay nearby and watch. Sometimes, she even managed to help a little without being seen. And after all, it wasn't like she was as helpless as a normal human…
This was, without a doubt, the oddest battle she'd seen yet though. Tara was used to four or five Rangers, depending on whether or not Dr. Oliver came out to join Kira, Cordelia, Conner, and Ethan, versus one monster. Sometimes a sixth Ranger, the mysterious white one. Never before had she seen two entire teams of Rangers, much less on opposite sides of the battle. And Kira had a worthy opponent in the light blue girl Ranger from the… well, it almost looked like a ninja-themed team.
The two female Rangers battled back and forth as the Kelzaks looked on, fairly evenly matched. Kira managed to flip her opponent onto the ground, but the other girl bounced back to her feet almost immediately. The two circled each other, looking for openings to exploit. "I don't want to hurt you!"
"Your mistake!" The Blue Ninja Ranger lashed out with her sword, catching Kira twice across the chest. The first strike sent the girl stumbling back; the second lifted her off her feet and she went flying over a nearby car. She landed in the middle of a group of Kelzaks, who immediately went to work on her.
Tara twitched, but stayed hidden. They were Rangers, they'd dealt with worse. Her composure cracked as Kira struggled to her feet, only to be sent sprawling again as her teammate Ethan went flying into her and the Kelzaks swarmed again. "KIRA!"
Some secrets were worth keeping, but not this one. It'd taken her months after leaving her family to come to terms with what she was and learn to harness it for times like this, and what good was having the power if she refused to use it? Even if it meant Kira might reject her after, Tara didn't think she'd be able to live with herself if she didn't do everything in her power to save her girlfriend. After all, Kira might break up with her… or they might be able to work through it. But neither option was going to be available if Kira got killed by these evil Rangers.
Decision made, Tara emerged from her hiding spot behind the dumpster. Reaching deep down inside herself, Tara found where the roiling center of dark, oily power lived and tore away the chains she normally used to keep it bound within her. "Hey! Hands off my girlfriend!"
Pressing her hand against her burning chest, Kira struggled to get air back into her lungs. Whoever these Rangers were, they were good. Too good. Conner came flying through the air to land next to her and Ethan, and they helped him to his feet. "They're too strong! We need to retreat for now!"
Kira's eyes widened as her girlfriend stepped out from behind a dumpster. Tara was here. Her girlfriend knew her secret? They'd never discussed why Kira constantly was late and disappeared at odd times, but Tara had never commented on it and so Kira had assumed that… hmm. Now that she thought about it, she'd always found it strange that Tara was so accepting of her bizarre behavior but had always been too nervous to broach the subject of her own weird behavior, in case Tara really was oblivious. Clearly, though, she wasn't. Which raised the question… how long had Tara known?
That became a less issue as Tara began to change. Her clothes disappeared as thick, scaly purple armor formed all over her body and her pupils stretched outward to consume her irises and whites, leaving her with solid black eyes. Blonde hair became darker purple tendrils and white boney spines began to shoot out of her arms and legs. "Hands off my girlfriend!"
"Kira… is there something you want to tell us?" Conner leaned back against the car they were near, attention fixed firmly on the creature stomping down the alley. "Because I was pretty sure that last time I checked, you weren't dating a monster."
Kira let out a disbelieving chuckle as she watched Tara power her way through the Kelzaks. "Believe me, this is news to me too, guys." The fake Dustin moved in and tried to go on the attack, but Tara was ready for him. Seizing his wrist with one hand, Tara wrapped her other hand around his neck and yanked hard. There was a disgusting pop as she dislocated his shoulder and then she was moving on, kicking her defeated foe into a nearby wall. He hit the ground and lay there whimpering. "Wow."
The fake versions of Shane and Tori looked at each other before simultaneously drawing their swords and launching themselves at Tara in a pincer attack. Ducking deftly under Shane's high strike and then hopping over Tori's swipe at her legs, Tara twisted in midair. A tendril emerged from the inside of each wrist and she lashed at the enemy Rangers, using one strike each to drive her opponents back before landing neatly. A lightning fast kick to the crotch reducing Shane to a whimpering puddle of red on the pavement and then Tara growled loudly, throwing herself at Tori. Ethan whistled lowly. "I'll see your 'wow', and raise you a 'holy cow'."
From there on out, the battle was almost as one-sided as the first half had been. Anything the fake Wind Ninja Rangers tried, Tara was ready for them. Especially with one of their Rangers effectively out of the fight and another moving rather slowly, it was a losing battle as Tara's brute strength overwhelmed them in close quarters and her tendrils kept them from being safe even when they were out of arm's reach. And they weren't just whips, as Tori found out after Tara wrapped one around her throat and electrocuted her.
The three Ninja Rangers regrouped with the Kelzaks and the monsters they'd shown up with and faux-Shane sheathed his sword again. "Isn't this interesting. A monster who fights for Rangers. Very well. We will return to destroy you, and then Lothor will rule the world!" And like that they were gone, leaving the three Dino Thunder Rangers with the monstrous form of Tara.
"How long?" Tara turned and Kira pulled her helmet off to stare her girlfriend in the eye. "How long have you been a monster? Since we met?"
Tara nodded sadly. "Since I was born."
That brought Kira up short. Did Tara age at the same speed as humans? Because then, if Tara was sixteen now… even Dr. O's first team of Power Rangers was only twelve years or so ago. Who could have created her? And if she was a monster, why had she lived among humans for so long without doing anything disruptive or revealing herself? Too many questions, most of which had answers that should wait until the entire team was together, she decided. "Why don't we get out of here and you can explain this whole 'my girlfriend is a monster' thing to me from the top?"
"…so to sum things up, you're a DEMON and not a MONSTER in the way we're used to thinking of them. It's a genetic thing that runs in the family and your mother was one too. You're not working for Lothor or Mesogog or anyone else trying to take over the world. You have the powers we saw while transformed, and also some 'magic' while in your human shape. Huh." Hayley shrugged and looked around at the others clustered around the Command Center. "With all the stuff Tommy has exposed me to, I've heard weirder. What do you guys think?"
"Okay, yeah, see… that's not a word I like. I thought I was done with demons after I moved away from Sunnydale." Kira looked over at the late arrival, grimacing at the sight of Cordelia Chase. While they were teammates, they were about as different as two people could get and so relations to this day remained strained off the battlefield. This surely wasn't going to help. And… wait, Cordelia knew about demons? "Sorry I'm late, folks, but I couldn't exactly tell my aunt that I had to bail on the daytrip to LA I'd been begging to go on for weeks so I could come fight monsters. Now, who wants to bring me up to speed? Who's a demon and do we know what kind? Because some of them are hard to kill, and if I have to call and get the 411 on how to slaughter one, I need details to pass on."
Everyone looked pointedly at where Kira and Tara were sitting side-by-side and Kira took a deep breath. "Tara's a demon. She saw us getting attacked by evil Rangers today and jumped into the fight."
Cordelia's eyes widened as she finally noticed the stranger in their midst. "Oh. Hi there. So, you're like Angel then? I mean, you have a soul and all? Not going to eat my liver or anything for fun?" Tara shook her head, a bemused little smile on her lips. "Oh. Okay then. So, no slaying required. Good, because I just got a manicure today and I'm not really in the mood." She dropped into a seat beside her boyfriend and then paused. "Evil Rangers? Isn't that what we had Trent for?"
"…that's my girlfriend, folks. Tactful as always." Conner wrapped one arm around Cordelia's shoulders and gave Trent an apologetic smile before turning his attention back to the brunette beauty. "We were attacked by the Wind Ninja Rangers today. Or people who looked like them. They kicked our butts pretty bad, and if Tara hadn't been there to help…"
Shuddering, Ethan patted Tara's shoulder as he rose from his seat beside her. "Yeah. We were getting thrashed. Anyways, I don't see a problem with the whole demon thing, especially since it brought me home in one piece today. You guys can do whatever, but I'm going to go work with Hayley to see if we can narrow the tracking on the energy from the Abyss of Evil. It left a taint on those fake Rangers, and this way we might be able to find them before they find us again. Thanks again, Tara."
Ethan was gone and Conner and Cordelia had pulled away into their own little world, Cordelia halfway onto her boyfriend's lap as they whispered lowly to each other. All avenues of stalling expended, Kira turned to see what Trent thought of things. He was glaring at the two of them, holding her gaze for a moment before turning and stalking out of the room. Kira sighed and leaned into Tara's warmth when her girlfriend wrapped an arm around her. As much as she'd tried to avoid encouraging his interest, evidently Trent still carried a torch for her. This could only bode poorly for their future interactions. "I've met a few vampires and demons over the years." Dr. O eyed the again human Tara for a moment before his gaze moved on to Kira. "Kira, your life is your decision. I'm your mentor, not your father. Do what you think is right."
That was his cue to leave as well, Hayley following him off towards where Ethan was waiting at the computers. That left them relatively alone, since nothing short of a monster attack could pry Cordelia and Connor out of one of their moments. After an awkward moment of dead silence, Kira broke it to apologize. "So… demon. Not monster. I'm sorry for calling you one."
"T-that's okay with m-m-me." Tara removed her arm from around Kira as pulled her legs up to her chest, wrapping both arms around them. "It d-doesn't really m-matter. I know I'm hideous l-l-like that." Kira opened her mouth to protest but Tara abruptly uncurled and hopped to her feet. "I'll be going. You probably don't want to be around m-me anymore."
Kira raced after her. "Hey now. Hasty much? Who said I didn't want to see you anymore?" Tara froze and Kira caught up with her girlfriend, hugging her from behind and pressing herself against the taller girl's back. "We were both keeping a secret; you were just lucky enough to know mine. It'll be an adjustment, but I think we'll get through this. I mean, you only look different when you're kicking ass to save mine. That's not really something I can hold against you."
Snorting, Tara wiggled a bit as she turned in Kira's arms to face her. "Your secret involves p-putting on spandex to go save the world. Mine involves b-being a hideous purple monster. They're not really the same."
"You're not hideous. I just said monster because I didn't even know demons existed until half an hour ago!" Tara didn't look convinced and Kira let her hands drift up and down the brunette's sides slowly. "Turn for me then. I'll prove I don't think you're ugly."
Tara looked a bit uncertain before her body warped again, and she went from blonde girl to purple demon. With an up close view that wasn't disrupted by Kelzaks or evil Rangers, Kira took the opportunity to study her girlfriend's real form. The faint scent she always associated with Tara, lavender, clung to purple scales that were warm to the touch and were remarkably soft and supple. The black eyes weren't any more eerie than staring into her teammates' visors, either. They still managed to be expressive, conveying Tara's nervousness over being seen like this. "So?"
Smiling, Kira reached up to run her fingers over Tara's purple cheek. "You know, I think you actually gain another inch or two like this. It's going to make getting up there to kiss you even more annoying."
Kira silenced her with a kiss.
It wasn't happily ever after, but Kira didn't believe in that anyways.
"Woah!" Both girls' eyes popped open, and then Tara's sparkled with mirth even as Kira's narrowed. Neither had the willpower necessary to break the kiss, though, and so rather than react to the outburst, their eyes fluttered closed again as they lost themselves in it. Although Kira did file the moment away for future usage: they had finally found something capable of tearing Conner's attention away from Cordelia if needed.