Once a Ranger… (Faith/Kira Ford)
Title: Once a Ranger…Author:
Right, I actually went and checked to be sure this time… Buffy the Vampire Slayer
and all associated characters belong to Fran and Kaz Kuzui. Even though this story sticks purely to the American programming, I still need to disclaim Toei Company for the Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger
, Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger
, Bakuryū Sentai Abaranger
, Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger
, Mahou Sentai Magiranger
, and GoGo Sentai Boukenger
source material along with Saban Entertainment for Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers
and BVS Entertainment for Power Rangers Ninja Storm
, Power Rangers Dino Thunder
, Power Rangers SPD
, Power Rangers Mystic Force
, and Power Rangers Operation Overdrive
. Not mine, don't sue, et cetera.Summary:
…actually, Faith's not a former Ranger. She's just tagging along to keep her girlfriend Kira out of trouble.Joe's Note:
When I was doing a bit of research for A Fiery New Flavor
and Seaick Soul
, I ran into information about Once a Ranger
, also known as Disney's extraordinarily half-assed way to acknowledge that Boukenger
was the thirtieth anniversary of super sentai in Japan and therefore included a large number of references to past seasons. Then I had an idea on how to combine it with elements of MountainKing's Power Rangers Demon Wars:- The Dragon's Green Fire
and calikocat's You Look Pretty in Pink
, and this fell out…
"Rangers or not, they're still a nuisance."
"Right. Let's finish this, here and now!"
Mack Hartford groaned as he tried and failed to rise from the ground, collapsing back onto the grass that surrounded Stonehenge. Inwardly, he cursed his father for talking him - and the other rangers, for that matter - into pursuing the monster attacks. Even with his super-strength and the others' enhanced abilities, they were no match for creatures that usually challenged their morphed selves. And now… now they were going to pay for their hubris.
"Huh? Ah!" Kamdor's exclamation made Mack look up, his eyes widening in surprise as a cyclone of pink energy rose up around Mig, spinning the black cyborg around in circles before hurling him upward. The Fearcat tumbled end over end as he rose and then fell through the air, inevitably slamming into the ground hard. "Mig!" Turning, he stared off at something to Mack's right. "Who are you?"
Following the monster's line of sight, Mack's eyes widened as he realized who had saved them. Nobody had seen the Mystic Rangers of Briarwood in several months, leading to speculation that they'd sacrificed their powers in the final battle against 'the Master'. Well, that was the most common rumor; others ranged from the team being from a separate dimension and returning to their home after the battle to… surely if a Hogwarts existed for them to go teach at, someone would have told him, right? Wherever they'd gotten to, though, at least the Pink Mystic Ranger was back and she still had her powers. "Someone here to rock you like a hurricane."
Kamdor growled and brought his sword up as he slipped into a ready stance, only to let out a loud cry as twin bolts of energy struck the ground in front of him, the combined explosion sending him sprawling onto his back. When he traced the shots back to their source, though, Mack found himself staring at the source in confusion. It was definitely a Power Ranger and a woman at that, based on how she filled out the suit, but the design was completely unfamiliar to him: red and black with a white '1' serving to divide the two on the left side of the ranger's chest. "Hello!"
Movement in the corner of Mack's eye caught his attention and he wrenched his eyes away from the red-clad stranger just in time to see Mig climb back to his feet. The Fearcat only had enough time to turn to his left, though, before a yellow figure flew past and slashed at him, eliciting a spray of sparks and knocking Mig back to the ground. Gaining altitude, the newcomer flipped and landed neatly atop one of trilithons. Turning to face them, she - and like the strange Red Ranger, this was definitely a she - brought one of her yellow daggers up to her helmet in a salute. Rather than speak, though, her greeting came in the form of a song. "A new day, a new way, I'm coming out this time. A new name, let's play the game, and march on down the line…"
Before Mack could think too deeply on the meaning of her words - or why the Yellow Dino Thunder Ranger's voice sounded so familiar - Kamdor decided it was his turn to try and get back into the fight… only to come under attack by a bright blue streak of light. "Hey! Watch out!" It bounced back and forth, slamming into the blue-armored monster until it forced him to his knees. Satisfied, the blue streak bounced one last time and landed a short distance away, revealing itself to be the Blue Wind Ranger. "Let the games begin!"
As Mig and Kamdor forced themselves upright once more and staggered toward each other, one last visitor decided to make her presence known. Calmly approaching the pair from behind, a figure straight out of Power Rangers history let out a snort before tapping Mig on the shoulder. When the Fearcat turned to face her, the original Pink Ranger drove her fist into his face, causing the cyborg to collapse like a puppet with its strings cut. "Starting shit when I'm trying to spend the day with my girlfriend? Wicked stupid."
"…Thrax never said anything about other rangers." Crouching next to Mig, Kamdor glared up at the newly arrived Pink Ranger and then over at where Mack and his teammates were lying on the ground. "No matter. He destroyed the powers of the first six rangers he faced; I'm sure he can handle you too." Pressing a hand against Mig's chest, Kamdor flickered and disappeared, taking his companion with him.
Mack forced himself to his feet, the other Overdrive Rangers falling in behind him. Together, they watched as the four other newcomers made their way over to the Pink Ranger, and then the same command came from five separate voices. "Power down!" Five bright bursts of light later, he was looking at a quintet of young women who didn't look much older than him and his teammates… which didn't make a lot of sense if one of them really was the original Pink Rangers of a decade and a half ago, Mack realized.
Two of them, Mack could identify right off the bat. At some point after when the most recently publicized pictures of the Mystic Rangers' civilian selves were taken, Vida Rocca had dyed all of her hair the same shade of pink as her morphed identity, but that didn't make her any less recognizable. And the Yellow Dino Thunder Ranger… was Kira Ford. Personally, he wasn't an altogether huge fan of hers but Kelsey owned both her albums. The other three - a blonde in a leather outfit trimmed in blue, a shorter blonde in an almost militant-looking grey and red outfit, and a brunette wearing a black tank top and black leather pants - were a complete mystery to him. Knowing, though, that it was a mystery that would go unsolved unless he took some initiative, Mack led his rangers forward as the all-female team began walking toward them. "Thanks… whoever you are."
The Pink Ranger merely nodded, leaving the Blue Wind Ranger to speak for the group. "We're glad to help." Smiling, she offered Mack her hand. "I'm Tori Hanson, and this is-"
"Is anyone else really confused here?" Dax Lo took a step forward, gesturing from his own blue-trimmed fatigues to the motley assortment of young women who'd rescued the Overdrive Rangers and back. "I mean, not that I mind not being killed and all… but since when are there more rangers out there?"
Opening her mouth to speak, Tori was interrupted by a flash of gold light off to the left. Raising one hand to shield his eyes, Mack eyed the Sentinel Knight's wavering form. While the mysterious being had been instrumental in both convincing his father to form the team and the others to join it, his tendency to disappear for long periods of time made him an uncertain ally at best. "I will answer all of your questions."
Tori nodded and looked around at the torn up and burn grass that now surrounded the ancient monument. "This probably isn't the best place, though, especially if Kamdor is serious about going to find reinforcements."
"I second that idea." Kira scowled up at the taller, still unnamed brunette that had worn the pink and white of the first team of Power Rangers. "Because I've got some questions of my own I want answered."
Groaning, the brunette shot a longing look back over her shoulder. "Why do the monsters never attack when it's actually convenient?"
"Wow. This is way better than a hollow tree."
Considering this was her first experience with being a ranger and accordingly she'd never had a base of her own, Faith couldn't contribute on that subject… but she had to admit that the Overdrive Rangers' command center was pretty cool. Computer monitors and high-tech stuff all over the place. Definitely beat the shit out of a high school's library, she thought with a snort.
As she made a slow circuit of the room, Faith noticed lines being drawn and made her way over to join Kira at the end of the row of veteran Rangers as the Overdrive Rangers formed an opposing line, staring at them suspiciously. Finally, the Black Ranger spoke up… and wasn't assigning an African-American to that job a bit weird and racist? "So… you've all been rangers before?"
The girls exchanged looks and then Tori volunteered a rather eloquent response. "Yup."
"Except for me." Syd raised her hand, drawing everyone's attention to her. "Technically, I'm not a ranger yet because I'm still in pre-K right now. But I will be a ranger, in the future. I started out as my team's Pink Ranger, and then got promoted to the Green Ranger after Jack quit and Sky got promoted because Dawn has something against green and Z really didn't want to give up being the Yellow Ranger."
That earned her a lot of confused looks from the Overdrive Rangers, although Faith managed to keep a straight face. She'd learned young that seeming like you knew something was just as good as actually knowing in most situations. Thankfully, the Pink Overdrive Ranger decided to ask the obvious question so Faith didn't have to. "But when you rescued us, weren't you the Red Ranger?"
Syd nodded before peering down at her uniform. "Yeah, that's my most recent promotion. Sky just became the overall commander of Earth SPD and the Shadow Ranger, so I replaced him as the Red Ranger. I was hoping that being team leader meant I could have my pink back, but no luck. 'Certain proud traditions must be observed', according to Sky. So I try not to think of myself as the Red Ranger so much as the Very Dark and Saturated Pink Ranger."
As his rangers tried to process that, a man that even Faith recognized as Andrew Hartford - billionaire, adventurer, and presumably this team's mentor - stepped forward and clapped his hands together. "In any case… welcome. We're so glad to have you here."
Given the looks his rangers were giving them… not really, Faith thought with a snort, but it was nice of him to try and play nice. Before she could voice her thoughts, a familiar flash of golden light heralded the return of the Sentinel Knight. "I have asked these previous Power Rangers to help in this time of crisis. I was able to channel some of my remaining energy to restore their powers."
"And we're happy to help." Kira flashed the Overdrive Rangers a smile before turning back to the Sentinel Knight. "But what I really want to know is how you managed to turn my girlfriend into a Power Ranger."
…and now things got wicked fucking awkward. Faith shuffled from foot to foot awkwardly as the others stared at her. The Sentinel Knight's puzzled-sounding reply didn't help matters any, either. "…I do not understand, Kira. I did nothing more than restore the powers that she already had access to."
Kira shook her head before reaching over to tug at the exposed shoulder strap of Faith's pink bra. "Trust me, my team's mentor was one of the original Power Rangers and Faith wasn't on his team." Glancing at Faith, she raised an eyebrow. "You were something like… what, seven back then?"
"Something like that."
While she hadn't been her team's 'official' brain, Kira was no idiot. "But… how could the Sentinel Knight 'restore' your Pink Ranger powers when you didn't actually have Pink Ranger powers to restore?"
Faith shot a desperate look over her girlfriend's shoulder at Vida, but the pink puffball just smirked at her in response. Traitor. Sighing, she reached behind her back and pulled out the fist-sized silver morpher that she had… acquired… from her ex-girlfriend's apartment on the way out the door. "Because I wasn't the original Pink Ranger… but I had her morpher on me when the Sentinel Knight showed up." Kira's other eyebrow rose as well. "You know how I always call you my favorite pterodactyl ranger?"
Nodding, Kira jerked a thumb back over her shoulder. "And I always pout and say I should be your favorite ranger period, but then you tell me that Vida's got cooler hair and I smack you and then we laugh and kiss." Kira paused, obviously trying to piece things together in her mind, before eventually giving up. "Okay, so what does that have to do with-"
"Doesn't that kinda mean I have to know more than one pterodactyl ranger? You know, for you to be my favorite?"
Considering there had been only one other pterodactyl-themed ranger in the history of ever, it wasn't exactly hard for Kira to put two and two together and get four. "But… wait. After Tori's team showed up, I went back and read every single entry in the database of rangers to see what else was out there. Katherine Hillard didn't take over as the Pink Ranger until they got their ninja powers. Which would mean… you know Doctor O's ex-girlfriend?"
Faith grimaced, reaching up to rub at the back of her neck. "Yeah. I, uh, know her. Let's go with that." She'd been in a bad place after waking up from her coma and hauling ass out of Sunnydale before B could find out, Kimmy had turned to the bottle to help cope with the end of her gymnastics career, bad decisions had been made by both parties involved… everyone made mistakes, though, right? Part of being human and all that?
Because she evidently had horrific taste in friends, Vida decided that was the perfect time to put her two cents in. "Oh yeah. Faith knows Kim real well."
Based on the expression on her girlfriend's face, Faith could tell that Kira had caught on… and was not at all happy. "Not helping, Pinky."
Eyes wide, Kira looked back and forth between Faith and Vida. "You dated Doctor O's ex?"
"I don't know, what would you call a twenty-night stand?" Vida tilted her head to the side, tapping her finger against her chin. "Are you dating at that point, or is it just a whole bunch of casual sex?"
"You had sex with Doctor O's ex?!"
Groaning, Faith buried her face in her hands. "Jesus fuck, where are the rampaging monsters when you actually need them?"