Blood of the Tiger (BuffyxPower RangerJF)
Glee is owned by Fox, Power Rangers by Haim Saban. I write for fun, not for profit.Summary:
Unfinished works for stories I lost inspiration on or got really bad writers block early on. Will contain Non-crosses in addition to the regular Buffy crosses.Fandoms:
Power Rangers Jungle Fury/Buffy the Vampire Slayer.One Shot Summary:
Casey's not exactly new to the saving the world gig...Warning:
MAJOR altering of the timelines here. A/N 1:
I'm a Power Rangers fan. I'm honestly surprised there hasn't been more of these. :)
Casey Rhodes had not been having a good week. Besides having lost his new master, getting thrown into a new fight he had not expected to have
to fight, and becoming a ranger, his mother was looking forward to his next phone call assuring her he was alright.
And if he knew his mother, she'd hear him speak and know something had gone screwy.
“Why the brood, Tiger?” RJ asked, coming into the Loft and plopping down beside him. Casey was supposed to be working downstairs but instead, he was sitting at their private kitchen, holding the phone, and internally procrastinating.
“I just...did you ever have something you knew you needed to do but really didn't want to?” he asked hesitantly. RJ got a thoughtful look.
“Yes,” he answered and Casey was so surprised at the utterly seriousness on his master's face, he couldn't reply for a few seconds. “What's going on, Case?”
“I have to call my mother,” he explained reluctantly. “It's the agreement Master Mao made with her—she always knows where I am cause otherwise, she hunts me down. She's slightly crazy.”
Casey snuck a glance at his teacher and then had to stifle a laugh. RJ looked stunned. “Master Mao agreed to that?”
“He wasn't given much choice,” Casey shrugged with a small smile. “Mom wasn't about to let me come and train unless she knew I'd be safe...and Master Mao really wanted me to come.”
“I can understand why,” RJ murmured and Casey smiled slightly. RJ must have sensed what Mao had told Mom—that Casey was a lot more powerful than most new cubs.
He was still blaming his parents for that.
“So you need to call your mother,” he said and Casey nodded. “And you're hesitating. Why?”
“I was always the normal one,” he said, leaning back. He glanced sideways at the wolf master. “I can't go into it exactly, but I was the one without the big destiny—my two sisters, my mom, even my dad, they all had some big plan laid out for them. I was the, well, everyone called me the Mundane.”
“And now you have a destiny,” RJ noted in that “ah, Eureka” tone. Casey nodded. “And that's a bad thing?”
“When my mom was so happy I would get what she thought was a normal life?” he asked rhetorically. “Yeah, it is.”
He didn't mention that he'd seen what having a destiny had done to his sisters and mother. He'd wanted that when he was younger but the older he got, the more he realized what having a destiny actually meant, and the more he'd dreaded having one himself. It wasn't all puppies and rainbows—it was hard, dangerous, and emotionally taxing.
And for their family, it came with a serious expiration date.
“Hey, Casey, what are you doing up here?” Theo asked, coming inside. “The rush is about to start!”
“Casey has the day off for a family thing,” RJ said swiftly, before Casey could even try and use the rush hour to procrastinate even further. The wolf turned to him. “If you're so worried about your mother, what about your father?”
Casey blinked, startled. He hadn't considered that. “That's not a bad idea,” he murmured, looking down at his phone. He was aware of Theo's look of veiled concern and made a mental note to let the Jaguar know his mother wasn't sick, just worried. And Lily and Fran were added to that list when Theo disappeared back downstairs. No doubt he'd be the topic of conversation during the rush.
“Would you like me to stay?” RJ asked, glancing at the clock. Casey shook his head.
“You have to work, we can't both stay up here,” he said. He started dialing and then paused. “Uh, just so you know, this is gonna be a long distance call.”
RJ waved it away and said not to worry about it before disappearing downstairs. Casey finished dialing and waited for the lines to connect.
“Sineya Council, this is Anya, how may I direct your call?”
“Hey Ahn, its Casey,” he said, smiling at the familiar accent. He waited a moment as Anya squealed. One of the bad parts of being the baby of his particular family? He had WAY too many older sister types.
“Its so good to hear you, Auntie was about to call in the cavalry and go check out that temple you've been training at!” Anya babbled.
“NO!” Casey shouted. From what RJ had been able to tell, Dai Shi had taken over the Temple, twisting it to his own needs. They still didn't know what had happened to the other Masters there, or the other students. It probably wasn't good. “Tell them NO! I'll explain to Dad, but Anya, you make sure NO ONE goes there. It's not safe.”
The phone was silent for a few minutes. “What happened?” Anya asked, voice more serious. “What's going on?”
“It got...new management,” he told her, struggling not to just blurt it all out. “Transfer me to Dad and I'll explain it to him.”
“You're forbidden from telling me, I know,” Anya grumbled. She hated being out of the loop. “Seriously, tho, Case, you're okay?”
“Yes, I'm okay,” he said, slumping in his chair in relief. Anya was annoying sometimes, but he knew she wouldn't let anyone go, not if it might be seriously dangerous. “Transfer me to Dad.”
“Alright, but the moment you need help, you call, got it?” Anya demanded and before Casey could respond, he was transferred.
“Miller,” a familiar voice answered after the second ring and Casey smiled.
“Hey, Dad,” he greeted and waited.
“Casey!” he called out, obviously relieved. “Son, what the hell happened, you're mother's been worried sick!”
“I know, it's a long story, and I needed you to tell her cause if she goes running into this half-cocked, she's gonna get herself killed,” Casey said hurriedly, aware of RJ coming back upstairs. He didn't mention he was only three days late on calling; his mother had a reason to be paranoid, unfortunately.
“What happened?” And there was the Commander's voice. Damnit.
“Mom was right, there was more to the Temple than we thought,” he said and then covered the phone to look at RJ. “I have to tell them, they already know all about the temple cause of the agreement Mao had with Mom, and if I don't, they're gonna go to the temple to get answers.”
“That won't end well,” RJ noted and nodded after a moment. “Be careful.”
“Dad, shut up, okay?” he asked, because his dad had started yelling the moment he'd covered the phone. Unsurprisingly, his old man did. Casey hardly ever told people to shut up. He took a deep breath. “The Temple was charged with training students, just like they told us, but they also had another purpose—to keep an evil spirit named Dai Shi from escaping containment and, baring that, battling him when he got out.”
Dad was silent for a few minutes. “He got out, didn't he?” His voice entirely too resigned.
“Yeah and killed Master Mao,” Casey said. “As far as we can tell, he's possessed the student who accidentally let him out, Jarrod, and, well...he's taken over the Temple. He's bad news, Dad.”
“This is your destiny.”
It was said without inflection, flat, no emotions whatsoever. Casey winced. He knew this wasn't going to go over well.
“Yeah, I was chosen to fight him,” he agreed softly. Dad was silent and Casey could just imagine him, sitting at his desk, his jaw flexing in anger.
“Where are you now?”
“Oceans Bluff, Jungle Karma Pizza,” he answered promptly. “Before he passed, Mao told us to find RJ, he owns this place, and he's our new mentor.”
RJ, who was still sitting across from him, motioned for the phone, an unusually serious expression on his face. “Uh, Dad, RJ, my new teacher, wants to talk to you. Don't yell at him, okay, he wasn't even at the Temple when this went down.”
“Alright,” Dad agreed and Casey handed over the phone, silently thanking the cosmos that he'd decided to call his father instead of his mother. Dad was a lot more level-headed where his kids were concerned. Mom most likely would have already been calling one of his aunts to get them prepped for battle.
“This RJ James, to whom am I speaking?”
Casey did a double take at the utter business-like tone of his teacher's voice. RJ smirked at him and Casey rolled his eyes.
His dad and RJ spoke for close to twenty minutes, about seeming everything, and by the time RJ handed the phone over, his teacher seemed to have come to a conclusion. Casey wasn't sure what that conclusion was, but it seemed favorable.
“I'll talk to your mother,” he said. “I'll call Giles and we'll make sure she doesn't do something stupid.”
“What about Ken and Joy?” he asked because as bad as his mother was, his sisters could sometimes be worse. Dad laughed.
“I'll talk to their watchers, let them know you've gotten involved in something and the girls need to be kept an eye on,” he said. “Don't worry, we're not going to interfere.”
“I wish you could,” he admitted quietly, grateful RJ had left.
“I know, Son,” he said. “But there are some things even we shouldn't get involved in and from what RJ told me...this is one of those things. Though I'm going to call Willow to find out if there's anything we can do for that boy, Jarrod, the spirit's possessing. RJ didn't seem to think so but...”
“Yeah,” he agreed. He smiled weakly. “Hey, at least I'm not the mundane anymore.”
“You were never mundane, Casey,” Dad told him with a chuckle. “You were just waiting for your destiny. We all knew it.”
“Thanks,” Casey said, smiling. Then he thought about it and frowned. “I think.” ~~*~~
It was shortly after Dom joined the team that it happened. Casey had been working in the back, making pizza's for the rush, when a group came in. Casey had felt it, known immediately who it was due to the Tiger's sudden perking up at the family being there. Dropping the pizza dough on the table, he slid over to the door, peeking out as his parents and sisters were approached by Theo.
“Hi, welcome to Jungle Karma Pizza, how many?”
“Five,” his parents answered at the same time. Casey smirked slightly when Kenna and Joycie both snickered and his mother glared up at his dad. “Five,” she repeated and then turned to Theo. “My son will be joining us once he can be spared work.”
“Yes ma'am,” the blue ranger responded immediately in a tone Casey recognized. He thought his family were going to be difficult patrons. He might not be wrong.
Seeing Theo showing them to a table in Lily's section, Casey snickered and turned back to where the dough was, only to find RJ standing there, working it himself.
“You gonna go say hi?” he asked knowingly and Casey rolled his eyes. He'd shown RJ a picture of him with his mom, so of course RJ recognized the blonde.
“Can I take my lunch break now?” he asked as he felt Theo come inside.
“Take the afternoon off,” RJ offered.
“What, why?” Theo asked, frowning. Casey jerked his head back towards the front.
“You just sat my parents and sisters in Lily's section,” he told him and Theo stared at him. “Yeah,” he agreed with a smile. He turned back to the wolf master. “Thanks RJ.”
RJ waved it off and Casey quickly took off the apron he'd been wearing before taking a deep breath and heading out the door. He saw Lily picking up a tray of four drinks and headed over, aware his family had seen him.
“Those for the four in the corner?” he asked and she nodded, wiping a stray hair out of her face.
“Yeah, Theo didn't want to take the chance they'd be difficult so he sat them in my section,” she agreed with a minor frown and he laughed, quickly filling a fifth cup with water.
“I'll take them over,” he said, placing the cup on the tray and then reached for it. She looked confused at his sudden gallantry.
“It's my family,” he explained. Lily's face brightened considerably at the information. She glanced over, inspecting the four of them more closely. Casey looked down, a slight smirk on his face. “Lils, give me the tray.”
“What?” she asked, looking back at him confused, and then realized she hadn't let go. “Oh, sorry.”
“No problem,” he laughed as he balanced it. He gave her a look. “Give us a bit then come for orders. RJ gave me the afternoon off to see them.”
“Of course,” Lily agreed and he headed over to where his family was waiting not-so-patiently.
“Pepsi for Dad, lemonade for Mom, Mountain Dew for Kenna, and apple juice for Joycie,” he guessed, setting the cups down in front of everyone. He passed the empty tray to a confused looking Fran as she passed by.
Then he braced himself.
Just in time too, as he suddenly found himself with his older sisters attached on either side of him, legs wrapped around his waist as they tried squeezing him to death. Thank God he was stronger than he used to be. Through Joycie's now brown hair (when had she dyed it?) he saw Lily and Fran grinning as Theo and Dom shook their heads next to them.
“Alright, you two, let him go,” Dad said and the girls grumbled but obligingly dropped to the floor. He turned to his dad, who engulfed him in a hug. “Good to see you, Case.”
“You too, Dad,” he said, hugging him back. He'd really missed him. Given they'd been the non-slayers in the family, they'd always been incredibly close. Dad and Uncle Xander were the ones who'd really gotten him growing up. He had a deep respect for them both, as neither had superpowers yet still fought. It was why he'd argued with Lily and Theo about Fran when she'd found out. They'd wanted to push her away to keep her safe but Casey had disagreed. He knew just how important the “mundanes” actually could be.
They let go, Dad stepping back as his mother finally dashed forward and wrapped him in a hug. He could feel the Tiger purring in the back of his mind as he held on tightly to his mother, tears pricking his eyes as he finally acknowledged how much he'd missed her. They didn't always see eye to eye on a lot of things, and getting her to allow him to train at the Temple had been like pulling teeth, but she was his mother. He loved her.
She sniffled and he leaned back, looking down in amusement. “Hi, Mom.”
Buffy Miller nee Summers looked up at him, tears shining in her eyes. “Hi baby,” she murmured, smiling.
He ducked his head, embarrassed, and Dad, coughing to cover a laugh, gently pulled them to the table. Sitting in between his parents, with his sisters across them, he felt happier than he'd been since Dai Shi had escaped the cursed box. He glanced over at the cash register and smirked.
“Five, four, three, two,” he began counting down as Lily obviously fought with herself on coming over. “One.”
“Hi!” she said, bouncing over as his parents and sisters laughed. “I'm Lily Chillman. It's so nice to meet you!”
“You as well,” Mom said, eyes still slightly sheeny as she smiled at his teammate. “I'm Buffy. I'm Casey's mother.”
“Graham Miller, his father.”
“Joyce Summers-Miller, the dweebs sister.”
“Kendra Summers-Miller,” Kendra said.
Lily looked confused and Casey winced. Oh yeah, he knew he forgot something. “I thought Casey's last name was Rhodes,” she said, glaring at him, order pad forgotten.
“Rhodes was my mother's maiden name,” Mom said. “He uses it for...various reasons.”
“Mom's got enemies,” Kendra said, her British accent startling Lily again. “So's Dad. Casey doesn't got the protection the rest of us have, so he goes by Rhodes.”
“Casey doesn't have
the protection,” Dad corrected his sister. “You don't have to follow after your mother in every
Casey ducked as his mother leaned across the back of his chair to smack his father's head. “There's nothing wrong with how I speak, Graham Miller,” she scolded lightly, eyes shining with warmth. Casey just shook his head, grinning at Lily. She couldn't help but smile back.
“So, can I get your orders or would you like some more time?” the yellow ranger asked, obviously deciding to ask later. Casey felt his hackles rise as all four of his family looked at him.
“We decided to let you choose, since you work here an' all,” Joyce said, smirking. Casey stuck his tongue out at his sister. She rolled her eyes. “Oh, real mature.”
“Saving the world obviously hasn't managed to instill manners,” Kendra snarked. “You're still a slobbering animal.”
“In more ways than one,” he heard Dom mumble as he passed by. Fran, who must have heard him to, smacked him as he passed her. Casey suddenly realized all the rangers kept taking the long way around the small parlor, so they were steadily getting closer and closer to the table he was at. He rolled his eyes.
“Wait, they know?!” Lily asked, gaping, and Casey winced again.
“RJ said okay,” he confirmed. “Go ask him.”
“I will,” she said. She shook it off. “So, Casey, what are you getting?”
Casye thought about it a moment and then smirked. “A large Gorilla Gorilla, a large Animal Kingdom, and a large Tiger's Run.”
Joycie loved bananas, she put them on everything, so he knew she'd love the Gorilla Gorilla. Tigers Run was a heavy meat lovers but styled to look like a tiger face, which worked for his parents, and Animal Kingdom was basically a pizza with everything on it, which he knew Kendra would like.
Lily looked at the five of them skeptically, no doubt trying to figure out why he'd ordered three large pizza's when his sisters and Mom didn't look like they'd eat more than two pieces each. Nevertheless, she obligingly wrote down the order before saying goodbye and heading back to the counter.
“Do I want to know?” Kendra asked skeptically, eying the menu on another table.
“Nope,” he grinned. “Trust me.”
“Riiiiight,” Joyce drawled. “Says the guy in zebra pants.”
He refused to react to the obvious bait. “So's how everyone back home?” he asked instead. Not needing any more prompting, his mother launched into how they'd had a minor battle when she'd announced the four of them were coming to California. Apparently, half the Council had wanted to join them.
Casey smiled, leaning into his chair as he just listened to the his mother talk.
It was nice to have his family there.