Disclaimer: I own nothing to do with the Power Rangers. It’s not my toy box, I’m merely playing.
A/N: Written for challenge #42 Blind for the prau_100 community on lj.
A/N 2: Since I saw the bat ranger toy I wanted to write that char as one of the former rangers. I ended up going with Dustin. Hope you enjoy.
A Temporary Side Effect:
When Dustin woke up he realized that he’d gone blind.
He blinked, then rubbed at his eyes. He frowned, he still wasn’t able to see. Out of habit he reached over to turn off the alarm before it went off. He swung his legs out of the bed and was actually surprised when he could visualize the room in his head, enough to make it to the bathroom. His pre-wake up Shane routine finished he crawled back into bed beside his boyfriend. He waved his hand in front of his face and wondered why he wasn’t panicking, after all it wasn’t exactly normal to wake up and be completely blind.
He closed his eyes and concentrated on the feelings of calm edging toward an unnamed need that was welling inside of him. He found himself absently rubbing his wrist where his morpher, when it was active, used to be. He opened his eyes and took a deep breath. He knew without a doubt that his blindness was ranger related, but how?
He shook Shane, “Dude, wake up!”
“Five more minutes, Dustin,” Shane groused and Dustin could just imagine him as he clutched his pillow.
“Sorry Dude, I need you to like get Cam for me.”
“Shane, I can’t see.”
“What?” Shane asked. Dustin felt hands touch his checks and he flinched away at the sudden unexpected contact.
“Sorry, dude like warn me next time.”
“Hang on,” Shane told him. The bed shifted and he could hear Shane get up and move across the room, “There is that…I’ll get Cam.”
“Shane?” he asked worry coloring his tone.
“Your eyes are all black,” Shane told him.
“Dude, that’s like the least of my issues here,” Dustin complained, before he reminded “not able to see.”
“Yeah, don’t move. I’ll get Cam.”
He heard Shane cross the room again, that wasn’t getting Cam. What was he doing?
“I’m going to kiss you first,” Shane told him before he felt himself pulled into a comforting embrace and a reassuring kiss was placed on his lips.
It helped to calm him, but as he sat on the bed waiting for Shane to come back with Cam he found he couldn’t ignore the need to leave the Wind Ninja Academy and get to his new teammates. There was also an animal in the back of his mind, one he couldn’t quite access yet, and a need to be within the earth.
The door opened again with Cam and Shane in mid-conversation.
“You can’t tell me you didn’t notice,” Cam stated.
“Notice what, Dude?” Dustin asked, curious about the conversation that was obviously about him.
“That you’ve been integrating black into your wardrobe for the last week and a half. I’m surprised you weren’t called sooner.”
“Black?” Dustin questioned before he remembered that he’d been wearing his black jeans from the back of his closet a lot in the last few days and that he’d gone and bought a black pack of t-shirts without thinking much of it.
With a groan he flopped onto his back, “Dude, black? That’s like so not fair. I like yellow.”
“You’ll learn to like black,” Cam told him.
“That I’m not sure of,” Shane commented.
“I don’t understand this whole blind thing though,” Cam said as he sat down on the bed.
Dustin sat up beside him, “I think I like need to be in the earth.”
“We can take you outside,” Shane offered.
“Not in the ninja way, this is different and I’m not in the right place,” Dustin tried to explain.
“The morphers Hayley and I made for RJ have been activated, so the best course of action would seem to be to head for Ocean Bluff and go from there.”
“Aren’t those students from the one of the Pai Zhuq Academies?” Shane ground out.
“That makes a difference how?”
Dustin sighed and wrapped his arms around his legs. He could already tell by the annoyance in both Cam’s and Shane’s tone this was going to take awhile.
“Their fighting style is going to be totally different from his!”
Dustin rested his head against his legs, determined to wait. He had questions too, but if got lucky maybe Shane would ask them.
“They connect with animals, we connect with elements…he can’t, there’s…”
“Apparently he has,” Cam told him with a note of finality to his tone.
“Who’s going to teach his classes?”
Dustin perked up, lifting his head, he wanted to know that answer.
“We’ll work something out.”
“Dude, what am I going to tell Kelly?” he groaned, knowing that Shane wouldn’t think of that one.
He felt Shane sit down on the other side of him, a comforting arm went around his shoulders, “We’ll figure something out.”
“Suddenly you’re not against this?” Cam pointed out.
“I’m a Power Ranger, if I’m active then I’m active,” Dustin pointed out.
“I may not like it, but he’s right, that’s the way it is,” Shane added.
The two of them carefully led him outside after a brief debate over whether they should simply carry him. Dustin had quickly put an end to that line of thinking, he had two good legs, he might not be able to really see, but with their help and his connection to the earth he was able to make do. Finally they reached Cam’s car and started out for Ocean Bluff. The closer they got, the calmer he felt.
Until he felt them pass the place he needed to be. It took a bit of whining and explaining on his part to get Cam to turn around and then pull over.
“This isn’t Ocean Bluff,” Cam’s told him dryly.
“Yeah. Dustin this is the middle of nowhere,” Shane pointed out.
“No, but…it’s like,” Dustin sighed as he tried to figure out how to explain that right now, this was where he needed to be. He took several steps from the car, he knew where to go, he could envision it in his mind, the Earth itself would tell him what to do.
He felt Shane come up behind him, and turned to face him.
“Dustin, you can’t see.”
“No, but I can use the Earth to see for me,” he pointed out.
“That’s a very advanced technique,” Cam said cautiously as he joined them.
“It is?” Dustin wavered. With a sigh he sat down.
“Yes, and apparently you’re doing it, so don’t stop now,” Cam told him.
He nodded and held a hand up, Shane took hold of it and helped him to his feet. They began to walk through the woods at the side of the road, Dustin easily finding them a path that wasn’t too difficult. Eventually they stopped in front of a cave.
“You need to go in there?” Shane guessed.
“Well that would be inside the earth wouldn’t it?” Cam mused, “And not in the ninja way.”
Dustin threw him a smile as he headed in. They stumbled after him, he turned, “You two can wait if you want. I don’t think I’ll be long.”
“We don’t know what’s in there,” Shane told him firmly.
“Look Dustin, you’re not doing this alone,” Cam reiterated.
“Suit yourselves Dudes,” Dustin told them with a shrug as he turned back and made his way down a corridor.
They followed him, Shane keeping a few fingers in his belt loop and he suspected Cam was doing the same to Shane.
“We should have brought a flashlight,” Shane complained.
Dustin could feel them moving, on the ceiling of the cave, the animal that he needed to find. He shushed Shane and reached out with his connection to the Earth. Why had he been searching for bats? His eyes widened as he remembered what Shane had said about the Pai Zhuq students connecting with animals. He let his head rest on Shane’s shoulder and told him, “I’m a bat, dude.”
“What?” Shane whispered back confused.
He turned them around. They needed to leave before they disturbed the bats. Once back outside he started for the car.
“I’m a bat,” he explained again, “At least the black makes more sense now. Being like a yellow bat wouldn’t work.”
“Bat’s aren’t blind,” Cam told him, “They do have poor visual development, but they’re not blind.”
“Well Dude, if I wasn’t then I like wouldn’t have learned how to use my connection to the earth.”
“Do you think you’ll get your sight back when you get your morpher?” Shane asked as they settled themselves back into Cam’s car.
Dustin shrugged. He hoped so, even with his new ability it’d be harder to fight if he couldn’t see.
“And why did we have to go find the bats?” Shane continued.
“Dustin’s an Earth, if he suddenly realized he was a bat don’t you think we’d have all focused on its ability to fly instead of the fact that it lives in the Earth?” Cam asked.
“Yeah, what he said, dude,” Dustin nodded surprised at how calm he felt.
By the time they arrived at Jungle Karma Pizza his calm was slightly frayed around the edges. He really hoped that having his morpher would help him see again.
“I’m sorry, we’re not opened yet,” a female voice finally called through the door.
“Dude, maybe we should have called first,” Shane pointed out.
Dustin smiled, “You’re like rolling your eyes, aren’t you Cam?”
“He so is,” Shane laughed.
“No, we’re here to see RJ,” Cam tried to explain.
“Huh? What? I can’t hear you through the door. Look we don’t open for another hour, you’ll have to come back.”
“Dude,” Dustin complained as he flopped himself down on the pavement. He heard Cam opened his cell and start to dial. Suddenly the door flew open and he heard several people run out.
“Hey,” the same female that had come to the door was calling after them, her voice changed to concern, “Hey, you can’t come in here, we’re not opened yet!”
“We’re here to see RJ,” Cam explained.
“It’s very important,” Shane reassured as he latched onto Dustin and pulled him inside. Dustin kept his head down, not wanting her to see his eyes. Maybe he should’ve worn sunglasses or something. He didn’t really own a pair, but he was sure Shane did. Would she freak if she saw his eyes?
“I can go get him?” she offered.
“We’re friends,” Cam told her, “we’ll just go find him ourselves.”
“But…but…” she started to protest.
“Sorry,” Dustin called out after them as they headed for the stairs. They trooped up.
“Cam! Shane! Whoa Dustin, man, what happened to you?”
“Your morphers,” Shane told him.
“Hey, deep calming breaths. Now slow down, I’m not sure I follow you?”
“I’ve been called back into active status,” Dustin explained as he tried to give RJ a smile.
“He needs the black morpher,” Cam said.
“Ah, yeah right over here. Good timing. Dai Shi just sent another attack and I’m sure we can use all the help we can get.”
“Why?” Shane asked sounding on edge, “What wrong with your team?”
“Hey, let’s not get negative here,” RJ attempted to sooth.
“Shane,” Cam said warningly.
“Dude like calm down,” Dustin tried as he felt Cam slip something onto his face. He started to back away and then frowned as he felt the morpher. Well he had been wanting sunglasses earlier. He closed his eyes and felt what it was telling him. He slipped into the morph, the movements second nature, “Jungle Beasts! Spirits Unleashed!”
The familiar feeling of morphing washed over him.
“Oh wow,” Shane said as he stepped closer.
Cam looked slightly impressed as well. RJ had a grin on his face. He could see he realized. Would it last? And wait…
“Dude,” he shook his head, “the like zord is like in my morpher! Is that like what gave you and Hayley all that trouble?”
“Don’t ask,” Cam encouraged.
“Right,” he nodded, “Power down.”
He pulled the glasses off. He whooped happily as he threw his arms around RJ, then Cam before he planted a kiss on Shane. He could see, finally he could see again!