It’s Hammerin’ Time
If the silver Space ranger hadn’t been so obviously two seconds away from choking out the next person/monster/henchman who might have had an idea of how to retrieve his teammates, Leo would have described Zhane’s body language as distinctly petulant.
“What is this?” the silver ranger asked sharply, nudging Lucas’ facedown Doompot with an irritated foot. “I thought I came down here to do battle.”
“Honestly, we thought you did too,” Leo offered with a shrug, almost as if to say ‘what can you do?’. “But it seems like most of our invaders have gotten the fight knocked out of them.”
“Both in the figurative and literal sense.”
The comment came from the peanut gallery from her perch atop a café awning; the female aqua ranger managing a serious/playful combination that was really working for her. It was worth it to note, in Leo’s opinion, that the moment things had dwindled to a halt the navy ranger had glued himself to her side, with no complaints from either his teammate or the rest of them, so, you know, it was adorable.
The two blue rangers’ Doompot had surrendered to whiplash with a few pitiful wails not too long ago, crashing to the ground with an unceremonious gargle and had yet to attempt further battle. Like the Doompot Lucas and the red guy had smashed through a wall, this one seemed content with making good acquaintance with the ground.
Good for it, Leo thought.
Made less work for the rest of them.
“I’m calling in to Angela,” Zhane announced, determined edge to his voice informing them this was not a negotiable action. “See how the others are doing.”
He walked off without waiting for a reply, in search of an alcove that would allow him more privacy, far away from the last, standing Doompot that was still engaging in battle. You know, in its own special way.
Through methods Leo and Adam had yet to be able to determine, their particular Doompot was still chatting up a storm, all broad gestures and increasingly growing threats, each one more passionate and less-coherent than the previous. When Leo had last bothered to give it attention the thing had been ranting about the distinct lack of appreciation for ultimate demises brought about by way of possessed stuffed animals or something of the like, which, to be fair, was underrated. Truly, more credit needed to be given to the potential deadliness of children’s playthings.
“Will that thing shut up?” Eric growled, arms folded across his chest in that loveably gruff way they all knew so well. “It’s making less sense than Sparky.”
“First of all, I resent that.” Leo counted the point with one finger. “Second of all, why stop him when he’s just getting to the good part, and third of all, ow.”
Leo pressed one hand against his chest, rocking back dramatically with his imaginary wound, earning a few snickers from above. He waved at the aqua ranger to show his appreciation.
“Thank you, milady.”
She dipped her head in reply, a smile in her voice. “My pleasure, good sir.”
Leo grinned beneath his helmet and, without turning his head, threw a thumbs up in the direction of the navy ranger, letting him know that the overprotective glaring was not necessary. He couldn’t even see the kid’s eyes but Leo could feel it.
“Honestly B,” the girl chided, tilting her helmet against the navy ranger’s fondly. “He has a boyfriend like, right there.”
“Excuse me?” Leo asked, doing a quick double take around his immediate vicinity to see if Kai had managed to mystically teleport himself down in the previous three seconds. “Who has a boyfriend where?”
“Busy signal!” Zhane hollered from across the street, hand cupped around the bottom of his helmet despite the non-necessity. “I’m going to try one of the other teams!”
“Sure, whatever,” Leo said waving at him absently to do just that despite the fact Zhane would…do just that. Whatever. Again. “Now, what boyfriend where?”
This was important business.
“You,” the aqua ranger replied, laughing. She should not be laughing, this was not a joke here, this was a very serious accusation- “And him,” she continued, gesturing vaguely in what Leo mistakenly interpreted as Eric’s direction.
Except he was wrong about that, because ewww.
Ew, ew, ew, ewwwww-
Okay, Leo would be a little nice so as to not completely destroy Wes’ credibility as a human being, he could get around the whole muscle-y arms business and sense of duty and whatnot but other than that ewww-
“I think you broke him,” Adam noted, and that humor? Yeah, Leo could hear that, and it was not warranted. Not at all.
“Nope,” Leo decided, firmly shaking his head. “Nope. I’m fine thanks, because this didn’t happen, it didn’t-”
“Wait,” the red Ninja Storm ranger said, temporarily halting his inspection of the two grounded Doompots. “You two aren’t dating?”
“Now that you’ve pointed it out,” the navy ranger added, sounding thoughtful. “Yeah, that makes sense.”
“You take that back.” Leo shoved a threatening finger in the kid’s direction. “That is crazy talk.”
From his position, off to the side as a quiet and unobtrusive bystander, Lucas quietly scoffed. “Not as much as you might hope.”
“Seriously?” There was a growing hint of hysteria that Leo hadn’t wanted to sneak into his voice, but there it was, because this could actually be a thing. “I mean, seriously?”
Eric, who had resolutely frozen up the moment the conversation had taken a turn for the worse, managed the effort to look offended.
“What must I do to make that nonsense,” Leo made a vague hand gesture to indicate the unpleasant him/Eric assumption. “Go away?”
“Stop flirting,” the red ranger offered with a small shrug.
“Quit being adorable?” That from the not-so-helpful fangirl up above.
“Leave the pigtail pulling to the six-year-olds,” Lucas drawled, unapologetically.
“Don’t listen to him,” the aqua ranger argued, voice warm and sweet. “Teasing builds a healthy friendship.”
“T, stop trying to set ‘em up,” the navy ranger - ‘B’ - chided quietly.
“Yes!” Leo agreed; too loud, too enthusiastic. “Listen to the wise man.”
‘B’ tilted his helmet towards Leo with an exaggerated slowness, action almost certainly accompanied by a raised eyebrow. “You said I was crazy a minute ago.”
“Changed my mind,” Leo replied, flippant; already turning his attention to ‘B’s’ partner-in-crime. “You…I already have a perfectly good boyfriend.”
“We’re not sure why he puts up with him,” Lucas explained dryly. “But we’ve learned not to question it.”
Okay, someone was making their way straight to the top of Leo’s pranking list. “Alright you, first of all-”
“Ow?” Lucas offered, smarm and all knowing (or not really because that had been second), earning a round of laughter from all the newbies. And Eric.
Possibly from Adam, but Leo wasn’t acknowledging that betrayal right now.
Before he could reply with something phenomenally witty and awe-inspiring, ‘B’ snapped his fingers and made what could be described as an ‘ah-ha’ sound. “Oh, I get it. They’re the ones who are dating.”
They- as in Lucas and- nope, nope, no, noooo, but the other two ninjas were already nodding along like this made perfect sense, and Eric was laughing, unrestrained and wickedly gleeful, taking joy in the way Leo and Lucas had suddenly frozen up.
“I wish I could see your face Sparky,” Eric drawled, sounding pleased. “I’m sure it would be priceless.”
The Quantum ranger was saved from a stunningly sarcastic retort by the entrance of Zhane, stalking in between the two red rangers, unaware of the exchange that had just occurred.
Based on his body language, hands curled into tight fists and shoulders rigid from prolonged tension, Leo was willing to bet he also didn’t care.
Leo was already talking, before he could stop himself. “So, what’s the good word?”
“There isn’t one,” Zhane spat, viciously frustrated. “I can’t get through to anyone.”
Leo jolted. “Not even-?”
“Except for Kai,” Zhane continued, giving Leo a brief nod of support before he plowed on. “He cut the call almost as soon as it started, but at least he answered.”
“But no one else did?” Adam’s voice was measured, controlled, trying to keep up a strong front in front of the new kids and not let his worry shine through. “Were they busy or-?”
“I don’t know,” Zhane muttered, giving a stray piece of rubble a vicious kick and skyrocketing it into the distance. “I don’t know if they’re busy or if their morphers are messed up or…”
He trailed off with a sharp sigh, looking away from the others as they finished the sentence for themselves, all too aware what the third option could be.
The red Ninja Storm ranger was the one to vocalize it, sterner and more serious than someone his age had rights to be.
“Or they’ve been captured.”
They could let that settle in; they could fall into that trap of despair pretty quickly because all of them had other people out there- Rocky, Adam’s boyfriend, Eric’s-Wes, Trip, Maya, Damon, Kendrix, the other Ninja Storm rangers, the other veterans, and the idea of them being held up, trapped away for what possibly could be forever-
“We’re not assuming anything until we get through to Angela,” Adam declared, cutting their depression and worries off before they spiraled out of control. “Maybe Lothor launched something to mess with communications.”
“He did before,” the navy ranger offered suddenly, with the wonder of someone who had remembered something very important. “You know,” he began, turning to his teammates. “With the…”
“The dragon!” his meddling girlfriend finished, probably the most triumphantly pleased person to have ever encountered a fire-breathing beast. “Lothor had something that knocked out our long distance radios.”
“Great.” And wasn’t it something for that to be the optimistic option, for Leo to sound cheerful about the prospect of even more screwed up communications. “Now if that’s the case…”
“We make no assumptions,” Adam cut in. “For now we’ll hold this position and keep trying to contact Angela, that way-”
“Seriously?” Leo huffed under his breath, turning a glare onto the interrupting Doompot. “We’re kind of busy-”
“Are you even paying attention to me?!” the monster yelled, flailing its arms in a spastic wave of incommunicable rage.
“Of course we are pookums!”
Good grief this guy was needy.
“No!” the Doompot argued, stomping around in a small circle to indicate his rage in a pastime they had been steadily ignoring for the past half hour. “No you’re not!”
Leo turned to Adam questionably, shrugging his shoulders. “I’m not really sure what to say here.” He turned back towards the Doompot. “Uh…yes we are?!”
“NO!” And this was accompanied by a ground shaking stomp, one of the threatening ones of forty minutes ago, back before his comrades had greatly diminished the threat behind the Doompot name. “YOU’RE NOT!!”
And there was the blood-thirsty maniac they all knew and lov-hated-despised, throwing himself wholeheartedly back into action with wild abandon, unconcerned with the change of odds, eight on one, and too pissed to bother with a simple thing like tactics.
Were Leo to be honest, he wouldn’t be either if his temper tantrums managed to mystically summon new waves of henchman as though they had been patiently waiting just around the corner for his enraged yells. There was more of them, a sea of them all over again (compensating for the two fallen Doompots, maybe?) which was fine because they had Silver Guardians but-
No, no it wasn’t, because they didn’t have Silver Guardians.
“What the hell?!” was the closest thing to a query Leo could manage when he got close to Eric.
Luckily, the Quantum ranger already knew what he meant. “I sent them on to help the others when we cleared the first wave out!” he explained. “I didn’t expect-!”
And that was it, no more time for talking. No more time for discussion.
From then on it was whirl, punch, kick, and duck; duck and weave and run like your life depended on it because the exhaustion was creeping back in and the walls were closing all around them. Walls of black, pulsing bodies, waiting to destroy, endlessly supported, and much fresher to battle than the rest of them were.
Suddenly, Leo could understand why no one had answered Zhane’s call.
He wouldn’t have either.
Wes hadn’t expected to receive company, mostly because he assumed that all available hands were occupied keeping the Doompot danger at bay. He supposed for the most part, this was still true, seeing as the guy who had showed up had technically come from a zord battle, not a Doompot-related one.
It was all in the details.
“Samurai,” the green ranger finished, curt and to the point as they scoped out their target further down the block.
“Right.” Wes nodded, keeping his eyes glued to the lone Silver Guardians SUV outside the building, the squad assigned to this job already cordoning off the area with warning tape. “Samurai. What’s your take on all of this?”
“By your description,” the young ranger began, footsteps silent as he leaned around Wes’ shoulder, trying to get a better view. “It sounds like Marah and Kapri are your home invaders. If we’re lucky, they’re probably on decoy duty, sent down as a distraction to further separate our forces.”
“They didn’t make any calls,” Wes pointed out, noting the…subtleness? of the two’s takeover.
“They didn’t need to,” the green ranger replied. “They have our teammate. Eventually, we would notice. Or, when they grew impatient, they would make us notice.” For once the new ranger turned his helmet towards Wes, giving him his attention. “They don’t want to be under the collective scrutiny of all of the rangers, just our team.”
“So they went subtle,” Wes finished with a nod.
The sound Samurai made in response almost could have been labeled as a quiet snort, but when Wes turned to look at him the kid was back to staring resolutely into the distance, body completely still.
“Yes,” he replied, the barest hint of a smile in his voice. “I suppose you could say that.”
It was the closest to camaraderie they had gotten since the green ranger had abruptly fallen out of the sky, cursing about shoddy navigating and AIs as his transport as it flew off into the distance, unrepentant. A few seconds later, when Wes was still blinking dumbly at the ranger who had quite literally rained down upon him, Angela would inform the red ranger that Sheila was sending Wes some expert back up.
And now here he was, with a kid who had accepted and moved on so quickly that Wes was almost concerned, because people who were that professional and determined were either Jen or Eric or related to Jen or Eric, and the images of Jen/Eric babies did not do anything to help Wes’ already taxed nerves.
But hell, if the Jen/Eric spawn-child could keep it together, so could he.
“Any suggestions for how we should approach this?” Wes asked with a shake of his head, clearing his mind to focus on more important tasks.
“Yes,” Samurai replied. “I don’t think you will like it.”
“I would like to try a stealth approach,” the kid continued, straight and to the point. “With you holding back as support. Catching them off guard will prevent them from summoning more Kelzaks.”
The henchmen, right.
“And if they already have some waiting for you?” Wes countered, more curious than challenging.
“They won’t.” It sounded absolute, a surety. “They don’t keep them around unless they have to. Make for poor company, I assume.”
“Elitists,” Wes couldn’t help but laugh. So they fancied themselves as snobs.
“Essentially.” The green ranger wasn’t outright about it, but he found it amusing too, in his own reserved way.
Further conversation was cut off by the sound of roaring in the distance; in itself, not out of place, but the accompanied sounds of screeching tire squeals and crashes - multiple loud and destructive - were enough to give Wes a pause.
Now what, exactly, was that all about?
“Go,” the green ranger was saying before Wes had even turned back to him, already aware of his desire. “Come back if you can, but go; I can take care of this.”
Wes almost, almost asked him if he was sure, but restrained himself at the last moment, knowing what the answer would be. The green ranger wouldn’t have offered if he wasn’t, and he wouldn’t have rushed Wes away if he didn’t think the blond wasn’t needed somewhere else more.
“I am coming back,” Wes promised. “And you give me an update as soon as you’re able.”
“Agreed.” The helmet dipped, a quick confirmation, and then the Samurai ranger was out of there, bouncing off the sides of the alley and blurring away into the distance, towards the apartment building.
Wes waited until the kid was completely out of sight for his own mind’s comfort before turning his attention back down the street, towards the sounds of unfolding chaos waiting to be contained.
He didn’t like it, handing off his task when he was so close to retrieving his wayward duckling, but if Wes knew anything it was that when ranger business could be handled in-team, it should be. Kid would probably prefer to be rescued more by a familiar face than Wes anyway.
He would be back though, to appease his conscience at the very least. So he needed to go now. The faster he left, the faster he would be back and the faster he could go; go to Eric, go to bringing everything one step closer to finality, to end the seizure of his city by the damned Doompots.
The plan changed from a “Find a good place to corner this bastard” into more of a “Stop the car, stop the car, stop the car,” kind of thing in a very abrupt manner. Justin had been keeping up his stream of constant curses while he and Storm Blaster tried to outmaneuver flying vehicles, Carter braced between the window and his seat, whatever he could got his hands on to keep from being bodily tossed at every sharp turn Justin made (and there were a lot of them), maintaining progress as horribly as before, when there was a sudden change in projectiles. One moment, it was cars, the next moment the Airplane-Hybrid himself was tumbling through the air with graceless flailings, impacting against the asphalt with enough force that the ground crumbled around him. He bounced, briefly, then settled in his crater with what was probably a few groans, but that part was irrelevant, because he just so happened to be right in Storm Blaster’s path and swerving now had taken a sudden precedence in Justin’s life.
Storm Blaster didn’t flip, which was a miracle of physics in itself; a miracle that wouldn’t get the attention it was due because now Justin had to focus on not crashing into buildings, and then not crashing into streetlamps, and really, Silver Hills had too many goddamn mailboxes because that was the fourth one Justin had almost plowed through today, but somehow in a blaze of adrenaline, engineering, and sheer luck, Storm Blaster rolled to a halt.
A safe halt, not imbedded into the sides of any buildings.
Good Storm Blaster.
“How did we-?” Carter began, the slight tone of wonderment in his voice being the closest thing to non-professional that Justin’s ever heard from him.
“Don’t question it,” Justin replied, trying not to think about it too much himself. “Just be grateful.”
“Will do.” The Lightspeed ranger already sounded more composed, now that he had two feet on the ground and an enemy in his sights.
Justin could admit he found it comforting too, but he would feel a little better if he got the how or why his latest pain-in-the-ass had suddenly been delivered to him via road-block.
Turned out, he didn’t have to wait long.
Or, at all, as the reason was already there on the scene, aiming to deal out another ground-shaking blow from a sizeable hammer.
“Sorry about that!” the yellow ranger yelled, and that was apparently all the attention they were due before the new kid got back to work. He swung, mallet up above his head, leaving him horribly exposed but before Justin could shout, could scold or critique the hammer was brought back down again in a blurred arc, the kid leaping up, swinging, smacking the monster’s far side and…
It took Justin too long to figure out what had happened, speed, he realized, was the ninja’s ally, but the ranger had flipped forward, over the monster as he swung, using the strike to uproot it from its asphalt prison and off down the road, right into the waiting hands of Justin and Carter.
A unique approach, stupid for an enemy that wasn’t already stunned, but Justin found that he appreciated the tactic. He shouldn’t be, because the brief look he got at the new guy he could see the Quantum Defender hanging off of his belt, which gave him a good feeling, just a hunch, that this guy had a good idea of what the hell was going on.
“I didn’t see you,” the kid continued, chatting brightly as the three of them traded off punching duty, dazing the Gorilla-Plane monster before it could get its feet under itself and fight back. “In the car? That thing’s wicked cool by the way. I would love to look under the hood if I got the chance, even though bikes are really more my thing-”
“Can you-?” Justin began, teeth clenched, feeling that deep seeded annoyance slowly bubble its way to the surface.
“Focus?” the kid offered, Justin moving too slow in his hectically-paced world. “Shut up? Focus?”
“You said that one twice,” Justin groused, just for the hell of it.
Despite the bickering, they were actually winning this battle, wearing down the monster and successfully keeping it from any large objects it could launch their way.
“It’s usually that one,” the kid replied, and he didn’t sound offended or upset by this, just informative, helpfully delivering his explanation. “I can uh…you know, talk a lot, when I’m nervous.”
Justin might have been willing to cut the newbie a little break if his response of, “I noticed” hadn’t been so gleefully echoed by said newbie at the exact same time.
The Turbo ranger actually paused at that, staring at the kid as he knocked the monster off his feet once more with that damn hammer of his.
The yellow ranger simply shrugged, as though inferring Justin’s predictableness was not a thing of which to be ashamed.
“Yeah,” the ninja continued. “They say that a lot too.”
“Generalize your word selection enough and they could say anything a lot,” Justin muttered. He did not deserve this, he had been traveling for like the past half hour with nary a battle in sight and now that he finally had something to punch he hadn’t earned newbie-annoyance time.
He also didn’t deserve for his masochistic subconscious to immediately take a liking to the ninja, because even from the brief two-minute introduction Justin could tell that was only going to lead to unpleasant things for him, but he went ahead and did it anyway.
It was probably- almost entirely- due to the fact that the other teen already had him fighting a smile, despite the current circumstances, or how the ninja was very much past the point of giving a damn of other people’s opinions, acting as he pleased without fear of persecution or potential ramifications.
It gave Justin the feeling that the yellow ranger had reached his limit for attempting (and failing) to conform to what he supposed normal correspondence was supposed to be, eventually giving up and deciding to go his own path because, why the hell not, if he were going to get shit for it anyway?
Justin needed a new life. A life that cut out all this unnecessary ‘social interaction’ crap. It would lead to less ulcers.
“A reasonable argument,” the yellow ranger agreed, allowing time for a thoughtful nod before he was off in a blur again. “Even if you’ve got a little too much grumpy pants going on there.”
“That doesn’t-” Justin bit the inside of his cheek, feeling the adrenaline rush from earlier transform into a new form of mega headache. “You can’t- Don’t use nouns as verbs. Especially that one.”
Why couldn’t this kid focus?
“It was appropriate,” the kid explained, completely unperturbed with the growing bite to Justin’s words. “You, sir, are rocking the grumpy pants.”
“I don’t even know what that means.” The complaint was to- well, Justin wasn’t even sure who it was meant for; just that he had to say it, on principle. At least Carter managed to humor him by interjecting a quiet hum of agreement, coaxing Justin towards an attempt at civility.
“The gun,” Carter continued, deftly changing the subject before Justin could snap at him and his (not really) condescending peace-keeping skills. “Why do you-?”
“Oh yeah,” the yellow ranger interrupted brightly, sideswiping the airplane beast as it tried to get its legs under itself. “I forgot about that.”
His hammer, the terribly oversized eyesore that it was, was exchanged, the kid switching weapons so seamlessly Justin wanted to smack him from envy. It didn’t take an expert to realize the new ranger wasn’t used to holding a gun (Justin was willing to bet anything that Carter was politely withholding all pained groans at the awkward posture), but he fired it off with the deftness of someone who had at least done it once before and lived to tell the tale. Somehow.
Though for the life of him, Justin didn’t know how.
“Good suggestion,” the kid chirped, voice all smiles as he propped the Quantum Defender against his hip, proudly looking down at his smoldering pile of monster. “Should’ve thought of that earlier.”
“It wasn’t a-” Justin’s snarl was cut off by Carter holding a warning hand up to his chest, reminding the Turbo ranger that you had to pick your fights.
Even if this one was so damn tempting.
“The gun,” Carter tried again, this time finally capturing the yellow ranger’s attention, long enough for the sleek helmet to swivel his way. “Why do you have it?”
“Huh?” Of course he had the audacity to be confused, that was just- that was what he did right-?
There was a hand on his shoulder, and Justin cut off any scathing remarks by grinding his teeth together, back tense even under Carter’s steadying palm.
“Oh,” the kid continued, oblivious to Justin’s growing anger (and affection and- holy hell did he not want to ever use that word in reference to that ranger ever again even though he knew he would, this was his life-). “Yeah, I had to borrow it.”
“We get that,” Justin snapped, grip on his shoulder tightening enough that he could feel it through his suit. He pushed through, disregarding it. “We want to know why you haven’t given it back yet.”
“I’ve been trying!” There was a wild flailing of his arms as the yellow ranger said this, as though the excessive motion would further express his sincerity. “But there have been…you know, a few hang ups.”
“Whatever.” Justin dismissed it with a shake of his head, finally taking heed of Carter’s urges for patience before his shoulder became a portrait of bruises. “If this guy’s finally been taken care of-”
Perturbed, he noted that he was interrupted as both of the other rangers sent another volley of blasts the monster’s way, just to make sure.
“He is!” the ninja reported happily when their work was done, proud.
“Great,” Justin muttered, resisting the urge to run a hand across his helmet in despair.
This was the last time he was doing Tommy any favors.
He sighed, casting a thoughtful glance in Carter’s direction, envious of his unwavering sense of calm despite all…this. “We’re heading in that direction anyway. You can catch a ride if you want.”
At least then Eric would be happy.
“Nah, I’m good man.” The rejection was a chipper one, the yellow ranger bouncing restlessly on the balls of his feet as he glanced over towards Storm Blaster. “Love the ride, but I can move faster running up above.”
“Of course,” Justin murmured. He wasn’t offended, that was would be illogically stupid, he had seen how fast the kid could go earlier, of course he would prefer his own speed to Storm Blaster.
He wasn’t bitter. He wasn’t.
He was an adult.
“And besides,” the ninja continued, swaying happily. “I can keep a lookout from above, you know?”
Carter, being…well, Carter, took over the conversation in stride, thankfully making any further input from Justin unnecessary. “Sounds like a plan,” he declared. “It shouldn’t be that much further.”
Which was optimistic, considering the impressive amount of serpentine-ing Justin had put Storm Blaster through earlier, but he decided to keep that comment to himself and instead focused on getting back to his vehicle, taking comfort in the fact that there was definitely something in the immediate vicinity that was on Justin’s side.
If he let out some pent up frustration via his Turbo Hand Blasters towards a particularly inert monster… well then, nobody really needed to comment on it. He was, after all, just doing his job.
Movement- but friendly, Justin was sure - was picked up through his helmet just as he reached Storm Blaster’s side. Had to be friendly, seeing as their current enemies had yet to start hijacking vehicles of their own. The sound of a motorcycle had to be a non-combatant, or someone on their side.
Of course, the bright red, skin-tight suit-and-helmet combo was also a bit of a giveaway, but Justin honestly didn’t care; he was still reveling in the sudden surprise of actually being glad Wes was there.
He hadn’t known he’d liked the red Time Force ranger that much. Though Justin supposed that in relation to all the other rangers he knew, it wasn’t that surprising. The bastard had Tommy to compete with of all people; it was not that hard to get into Justin’s good graces.
Wes pulled up alongside the still smoldering Gorilla-Plane monster, gazing at the whimpering mass briefly before turning his attention to the others, sights resting on the yellow Ninja Storm ranger.
“Oh good,” Wes said, sounding relieved. “That accounts for all of you I think and- Is that the Quantum Defender?”
And….No. Nope. Justin was done. He was done. Justin turned towards Storm Blaster’s side and, with a quiet apology, began smacking his helmet against it, trying to drown out the new “Who’s on first?” routine that was inevitably going to start up behind him.
Carter, in his wisdom, simply blocked the Turbo ranger from view while Wes and the new kid wasted time getting on the same page, and didn’t even bother to try and stop him.
At that point, Justin made the executive decision that Carter was the best.
The fact Justin had decided the yellow guy wasn’t so bad wasn’t something he could spare the time to comprehend right now, not if he wanted to keep himself in battle mode
Justin really needed battle mode right now.
Really and truly.