Disclaimer: I don not own the rangers. Just Nikki. I would like to tell you now that this story gave me extreme difficulties. It has some how gotten deleted three times so far. My brain is fried for writing it over and over again. I still managed to finish it though. A special thanks to my friends Emily, Dannee`, and Kristen for letting me put them in my stories even when they’ve told me a thousand times to shut up about Power Rangers and that they wanted nothing to do with it. And also to my bestest Sister Bethany for letting me use her in my story as the Oceanography teacher at Angel Grove High when she too just laughed hysterically when she sees me wasting my Saturday morning watching Power Rangers. She’s embarrassed to tell everyone at college that she has a 14-year-old sister that still watches teens in spandex suits. *Hehe*
I love embarrass my siblings. Anyway. Please give me feedback concerning this story. Thanks so much! On with the story.
"Karone?" I repeated letting the name sink in.
Didn’t Andros say that’s what his sister’s name was? I thought silently.
Karone went on with the bandages saying little. I said nothing more and she left with a little something nagging at the back of my mind.
Astronema left us totally alone that day. We spent the day staring out the window that was at the far side of the room. With our minds already given up on getting home our bodies did the same. I remember thinking that just maybe we would get out of it and we would be home soon but those thoughts passed with the weeks gone by. Justin and I hardly even spoke anymore. We didn’t know what to say. I guess there as nothing to say. We were both scared of the day we wouldn’t live through the next beating and we’d be gone forever. Those thoughts were definitely not pleasant, but what else was there to think about? After a while the food stopped coming and we grew sicker and sicker form mal-nourishment.
One day everything totally changed. I woke up determined to get the heck out of here and never return. I shook Justin awake, sorry immediately after I had. Astronema had given him a bad beating last night after he talked back.
He groaned and sat up rubbing his eyes. "Nik what is it?"
"Justin we’ve got to get out of here. Today."
"Come on Nik. I’m tired and hungry I don’t want to spend time dreaming anymore. It worthless."
He rolled over and pulled a blanket over his head.
My temper flared. "Justin Stewart get up! We are leaving this dump and we’re leaving it today!"
I pulled him out of the bed. He stood up and shoved me. I fell back wards hitting my head on the bunk.
"Knock it off Nicole. We’re not leaving. You know that. Just face what’s going on, ok?! I’m sick of hearing it. Just let me spend my last days in a warm bed ok!"
My eyes sprouted with tears and Justin leaned down beside me.
He still looked doubtful but asked, "Ok. What do you have in mind?"
I quickly told him what I’d been thinking about the night before. His eyes sparkled with mischief for the first time since the Wedding.
"Ok. Let’s do it."
We made our beds, like we were supposed to unless we wanted a beating, and sat down on the window ledge waiting for a Quantron to come in and tell us Astronema wanted to see us. About an hour later we heard the keys in the door and a Quantron came in.
"Whsdfk, dkjfor nkhiu." He said.
With all our experience we knew it meant come on. We stood up and grabbed each other’s hands.
The Quantron pushed us forward down the corridor and we ran into Karone who was working in the little cafeteria. She mouthed good luck and I winked at her. Her eyes went wide and I smiled.
Once in the throne room the Quantron pulled our hands apart reached for the chains on the wall. I looked over at Justin. He nodded.
"Hiya! I cried kicking the Quantron over. Justin went and grabbed our communicators off the table across the room and he tossed me my morpher. I caught it and prayed that my morphing powers would work here.
"Let’s Rocket!" I yelled. The White Spandex was there giving me the power had longed been dreaming of. Justin and I ran out of the throne room and grabbed Karone form the kitchen.
"What are you doing?" She asked as we reached for our communicators.
We pushed the button and held hold of Karone just as Astronema came running around the corner. We teleported away.
The Bridge. I’d never seen anything more beautiful. We let go of Karone who was glancing around at all the computers. I heard feet running down the hall and I met them at the door and jumped into Andros’ arms.
He held me and I could feel him shaking with tears. I let my tears flow down my cheeks freely. They were tears of happiness. For the first time since before the Wedding I was happy!
Andros seemed to hold onto me forever. He finally let go and Ashley took over crying and squeezing the living daylights out of me. It was like that with the other three and It must have been an hour before my feet were back on the ground.
"How did you get here?" Andros asked kneeling down in front of me.
"Justin and I just told ourselves that we were getting out and we were getting out today. Of course Justin needed a little coaxing along. But here we are. I swear I never want to see that witch again!" I finished beginning to cry again. I had been so close to death.
No one noticed Karone for about two hours. She stood by a computer watching us talking.
Andros finally looked up and saw her. Something seemed to light up in his eyes. He walked over to her slowly and carefully as if afraid she’d disappear. I watched in awe as the words came from his mouth, "Karone?"
She nodded slowly and Andros let out an intelligible squeak and threw his arms around her. Karone looked shocked. She didn’t hug him back and Andros let go.
"You don’t know who I am, do you?" He said pain clear in his voice.
She shook her head.
The spark left his eyes. "Karone, it’s me Andros. I’m your brother."
She shook her head once more and stepped back. "No. I don’t have any family. Astronema said they were dead. I don’t believe you."
"How could you believe anything Astronema said?"
"I’ve known her since I can remember. She’d never lie to me."
I stepped in then. "Why wouldn’t she lie to you? She’s beat you since you can remember, right? Then why not lie?"
The doubt began to leave her eyes. She closed them and sat down in a chair as if thinking real hard.
"I’m sorry Andros. I don’t remember anything." Karone said regretfully.
Andros wasn’t about to give up. "I’ll help. I’ll help you remember you past and help you build your future."
Karone smiled shyly.
Andros stood there just staring at her as if he couldn’t believe that she was actually there. We were all silent until Ashley spoke up, "Justin. We better get you home. We know your dad will be absolutely thrilled to see you."
"Guys. What did you tell my dad?" Justin asked.
"The truth." Andros answered.
"We had to. If we had told him you’d been kidnapped he would have had a search crew out in a half hour." Ashley explained.
"Wow. What did he say?"
"He just stood there. He finally broke down crying when it hit him that the Princess of darkness had him and wanted to kill him." T.J. said remembering.
"How long were we up there?" I finally asked not wanting to know the truth.
"Two months. We were starting to give up. We didn’t think that we’d ever see you again." Cassie said truthfully.
"Cassie and I will take Justin home. Make sure Nik eats something and goes to bed." Ashley said putting arm hand around Justin.
I watched as they teleported out of the bridge. Andros was still staring at Karone as if he would never be able to believe that she was back. Carlos took my arm and led me down to Alpha. He found countless bruises, cuts, and scars. But beside that I was all good. Everything was a complete blur to me.
Being back, not having to fear for my life, it seemed to good to be true. I waited patiently as Alpha gave me a bottle of medicine to get rid of the scars and sent me off to the cafeteria. I wasn’t hungry. I sat staring at the salad until it made me sick and ran to the bathroom and threw up. I wiped my mouth on the back of my hand and staggered down to my room. I felt dizzy and just, just sick. I climbed under the blankets and fell asleep having horrible nightmares. I guess that’s what happens when you spend two months with a horrible witch.
I woke up a while later my muscles stiff, but feeling much better. I sat down at my desk and turned my laptop.
I had a ton of e-mail. I guess they were worried I’d disappeared again. I went to my site and updated it. I checked the message board and wrote a message to everybody that I had been gone on vacation and that I’d just gotten back. I updated stuff and went back to my e-mail to check for any important messages besides, ‘Where are you’ for a message subject. Way down at the bottom I found an e-mail from Justin. I opened it.
You won’t believe the look on my dad’s face when he saw me there. I thought for sure he would squeeze me until there was nothing left of me. Well how are you feeling? You won’t believe what happened. The minute I looked at my dinner I threw up! What’s up with that? I thought I’d be so happy to see all that good food. But it just made me feel sick. Ok. Ok. Point of E-mail. Do you want to the mall tomorrow? School starts in three weeks and we have to get school clothes. Can you believe that we spent almost our entire summer in a flying shuttle being abused? Now there’s a thought. What are we going to tell the kids at school? Yeah we spent our summer vacation on a flying ship with a purple haired freak? I mean come on. It’s bad enough that we’re in high school. I don’t need to be stuffed in my locker for more that just being over smart and short. Oh my dad’s telling me to get to bed. E-mail me after you get this. I’ll check in it the morning. Just meet me at the mall at ten ok?
I smiled. I guess he wasn’t worried about recuperating. I clicked on ‘Compose Message’ and wrote Justin a note.
Aren’t you worried about Astronema? I think she’ll be a little ticked off that we escaped after two months and that we took her slave with us? Who’s is she going to beat up now? A quantron? I don’t think she would find that as satisfying as hitting us. Oh and I got sick too. I think we better keep it to our selves because Andros and Ashley will never let me go anywhere if they find out I’m sick. I’ll beg though. I can’t stay on this hunk of metal much longer. Oh my gosh! What does your dad think of you being a Power Ranger? I would think it’s kind of weird to find out your son used to be a Power Ranger and his friends are super heroes? I gotta go I think some ones coming down the hall. I’ll be there at ten. Bye.
I turned my computer off and jumped back into my bed. The door opened and Andros and Ashley walked in.
"We know you’re not asleep, Nik. Get up so we can talk." Andros said sitting down on the edge of my bunk.
I opened eyes.
"How are you feeling?" Ashley questioned.
"Great. I’m so glad to be home. How are things going with your sister Andros?"
"Ok. I just can’t believe she’s back. Alpha gave her some pills that are supposed to help you remember your past. Right now she’d lying down in her new quarters."
The sparkle in Andros eyes was just something that wouldn’t be taken away. I knew he was very happy.
"Um guys? Can I go to the mall with Justin tomorrow? We want to shop for school clothes."
They looked at each other the way my parents used to when they we’re deciding on something.
"Don’t you think you’d rather stay her get some sleep?" Andros asked gently.
I shook my head stubbornly. "No. I’m not staying on this ship any longer. I need to get some sun. I’m as pale as a sheet."
"Ok fine. Did Alpha look at your arm?" Andros replied and changed the subject.
"Yes. I now have to have another cast put on it because it couldn’t heal properly with being beaten up day night." I said sadly.
"For how long?" Ashley asked getting my brush and running it through my golden hair.
"A month. After that he said it should be as good as new."
"Good. Do you want something to eat?" Andros asked standing up.
"No!" I answered quickly. Too quickly.
He looked surprised. "Ok fine. We won’t make you eat. Go see Alpha tonight to get a cast if you’re going to be gone tomorrow."
I nodded. Ashley stood and left with him looking at me strangely.
I pulled the blankets off and padded down the hall in my bare feet. Alpha was already down at the medical bay on the computer.
"Hello Nikki. Want that cast now or tomorrow?"
"Now. I’m going shopping tomorrow with Justin."
"Do Ashley and Andros know?"
"Just making sure."
Alpha went on with putting the plaster on my arm. I was getting sick and tired of having it there, but I couldn’t do much about it.
I sat patiently while it dried and went back to the bridge.
They were all working on the computers.
"What are you guys doing?" I asked startling them.
"Oh. Hey Nik. We think we might know where Zordon is." Carlos explained.
"Really? Where?" I asked curiously.
"Very far away. It’ll take a month just to get to that galaxy." Andros said turning around to face me.
"You’re leaving me here aren’t you?" I said flatly.
He sighed. "Yes. We want you to start school in a couple of weeks. If we are successful, we should be back in six weeks."
"Six weeks? I’ve been gone for two months and now your leaving me for a month and a half?"
"Longer if we don’t find Zordon." Cassie mumbled.
"Longer?" I asked not liking the way this was going.
"Well…If we are successful in getting Zordon we’ll be able to get back to earth’s orbit in only half the time with Zordon’s powers." Andros explained.
"You mean you’re going to miss the first six weeks of your senior year?"
"Yes. But having Zordon back is more important."
I nodded. "Ok. Who are you leaving me with?"
My eyes lit up. "Really?"
"But what about Karone?"
"We’ll take her with us of course."
"When are you leaving?" I asked sitting down at a computer.
Ashley and Cassie helped me pack all of my stuff. I put my bags my the door of our room.
"I’m really going to miss you guys." I admitted quietly.
Ashley brought me into a hug. "Don’t worry about it. Before you know we’ll be back with Zordon. You probably won’t even notice we’re gone with you staying with Justin and his dad."
I grinned. She was probably right.
"It’s just all happening so fast. I get back from a dungeon, Andros’ sister is discovered after 11 years and now you’re leaving and you’ll be gone for almost two months. I only met you three months ago. Two of those months I didn’t even see you. I don’t want you to go. You guys are like a family to me."
"You too. But you know we love Zordon and that we want him here." Ashley explained.
"Why can’t I go with you?"
"We’ve already been over this Nik. You need to start school. You have a broken arm, and we don’t want you to get hurt. We all decided that leaving you on earth would be the safest thing for you."
"But I’m a power ranger! In three months the only thing I’ve battled is a couple monsters and here you guys are going to another galaxy to get Zordon back and I’m left on earth like a small child."
I felt bad. I didn’t want to make this harder for them. "Ok. I understand. Just promise me one thing."
"Come back in one piece so I can get to know you better."
Ashley kissed me on the for head and T.J. ruffled my hair. "Seeya later short stuff." He said as they teleported out.
And like that they were gone. With a hug from each and then gone. I sighed and watched the rainbow pattern slip up into space.
Mike was still staring at that the spot where the rangers had teleported. He as still trying to get used to this ‘Power Ranger, are my sons friends’ thing. Justin picked up one of my bags and carried them upstairs to the guestroom. Mike got the other two. They set the bags on the floor.
"Nik this will be your room until the others return. Make yourself at home."
He left then leaving me with Justin.
"Hurry up. Unpack your stuff and let’s go shop."
I opened the first bag and stuffed the stuff in one of the drawers. It didn’t take me very long and walked down the hall to Justin’s room. He was sprawled on the his bed reading a book.
"Don’t be sad Nik. We can e-mail them every day. They promised to keep in touch remember?"
"I know. It’s all so weird to me. Karone and Zordon and being back on earth for the first time in two months. Don't you just feel weird inside?"
"Yeah. But ignore it. It’s not going to bring them back any faster. Come on let’s go."
He took my hand and led me down stairs.
When my parents died we found a will in which they gave everything to me. That meant all their money. With all the money in the bank, both my parents’ accounts, it made about 3 quarters of a million dollars. I planned it so that I had enough money for college and then for savings. I could use about 500 dollars each year for back to school.
We split up and planned to come back at lunchtime. I wandered around the junior’s section of JC Penny’s.
I should have been in the kid’s section since I was too short for all the clothes for teens and there was no one to shorten them for me. My thoughts wandered.
Life gets stranger and stranger. I don’t how I’ll live through the next days of my life. First my parents die leaving me with no one. I move to Angel Grove Home for children. Then this floating head asks me to accept the responsibilities of being a superhero! Well of course I accept and with in a day some purple haired freak kidnaps me. I’m in another dimension for a night with a broken arm and a hole in my head.
Then Astronema takes Zordon telling us we’ll never see him again. When I think my life would never get better I meet Justin. Man he’s great! We become great friends and start spending time together. We go to Tommy and Kat’s wedding and Astronema decides she wants to kill us so she kidnaps us in front of the church and Justin and I spend our summer vacation in a dingy bunkroom acted upon as punching bags.
I finally tell myself to knock it off and get the heck out of there along with a slave of Astronema’s. The slave turns out to be Andros’ long lost sister who spent 11 years of her life on the Dark Fortress.
No later than when I return the others find Zordon and decide to go get him leaving me on earth. They’ll be gone for two months. And now I’m puking at the site of food. Life can definitely not get worse.
To disprove my last thought, I came into reality by smacking my head on a metal clothes rack.
I groaned and brought my hand to my head to feel the growing goose bump. I shook my head angrily and glanced down at my clock. 12:30. I had to go meet Justin. I walked out of the store and headed down to the food court. I found Justin at an empty table with his head in his hands.
I sat down across from him and nudged him with my cast. He moaned and sat up.
Hey Nik. Find all the clothes you wanted?" He asked rubbing his eyes and yawning.
I nodded. "You tired?"
"Extremely. And the site of food is really making me sick. Let’s just buy or clothes and go home."
I nodded once more and stood. I agreed with him about the food thing. We back-tracked through the mall and yet it was still an hour before we got outside into the sunshine. We were silent on the way home except for the occasional yawn from one of us.
We dropped our bags in the front hallway and made our way into the family room. I climbed onto the couch followed by Justin who turned the TV on, which put me to sleep in two minutes.
I woke with a blanket covering me and the setting sun blinding me through the open window. Justin was asleep at the opposite and of the couch. I pushed the blanket off and stood up stretching. I heard Mike down the hall and headed down to the kitchen to find him making something at the counter.
"Hey Mike. What’ya making?" I greeted startling him.
"Oh hi Nik. I’m making spaghetti and Italian bread. Sound good?"
My stomach lurched. No it did not sound good. I dove for the bathroom barely making it and throwing up who knows what. I hadn’t eaten anything in three days. I leaned back against the wall willing my stomach to calm down. Mike walked in then.
"Hey Nik. Are you ok?"
I saw the bread in his hand and shook my head quickly before leaning over the toilet and throwing up again.
My head was spinning and I was afraid I was going to pass out.
Mike looked at me for a moment longer before picking me up and carrying me outside grabbing a blanket from the couch. He laid me in the back seat and laid the blanket over me. He ran back inside and returned with Justin. Mike barely waited for Justin to get in the car before he peeled out of the driveway. I was just puking; I didn’t see what the big fuss was.
Justin looked back at me concern in his eyes.
I mouthed, ‘Tell your dad.’
He nodded and turned back to his dad quietly explaining what we thought it might be and that it been going on ever since they were on the Dark Fortress.
Mike started looking more worried and ran a red light barely missing a car. We parked at the ER and Mike carried me inside up to the receptionist.
"What the problem?" She questioned glancing at me.
"I think it might be something to do with mal nourishment." Mike suggested.
The nurse looked at Mike accusingly.
"Oh no. It wasn’t me. My son and his girlfriend were trapped in abandoned barn for three weeks."
Abandoned barn? Well I guess it was better than saying. My kids spent two months on the Dark Fortress with the ‘Princess of Darkness’.
The nurse led us down the hall to a small examining room. Mike set me on the table and sat down in one of the plastic chairs across the room.
I sat quietly realizing that I didn’t want to be here. I wanted to be home. I hated Doctors. I fidgeted while waiting for the doctor. Justin stood next to the table trying to be brave. But I already knew his fear of Doctors. Just like me. The doctor walked in a few moments later glancing at the clipboard that appeared to be upside down and then looked at the three of us and grinned like a retarded clown.
My eyes went wide. Great I get the only doctor in the whole hospital that’s full of himself. How lucky of me.
"Alrighty then. Says something about a food def..defic…deffif." The doctor stumbled over the word turning the clipboard all around trying to read it.
"Deficiency?" I finished for him.
He clapped me on the back. "That’s it! Now lets see what’s going on."
He fumbled with the stethoscope ending up with the hearing end in my ears and the heart monitor on his chest.
Now it was getting scary. He finally realized what he did and switched it around.
"Well the ‘ol ticker sounds good to me." He slurred over his words.
"Ok wittle Nikki. Let’s go get some test taken and see what’s happening ok?"
My eyes were full of disgust. What the heck was wrong with this guy?
He picked me up and slung me over his shoulder.
"Put me down! Put me down you freak!" I screamed beating on his back.
"Ok dokie!" He dropped me and I landed back on the table headfirst.
At that moment two guys with a straitjacket opened the door and seeing the man there, wrestled him to the ground. I watched in interest as the straitjacket was fastened around the man. As the one man dragged the doctor out, the doctor glanced back at me and winked. I shivered. The other man was still there.
He stuck his hand out to Mike. "My sincerest apologies sir. That was an escaped patient from physiological ward. I hope he didn’t do any permanent damage to your children."
"No they’re fine."
"Good. Now let’s go take those tests." The doctor said looking at the clipboard that had dropped to the floor.
He led us down the hall into a large room with a bunch of machinery.
The test took about an hour. He gave us some pills that would help us get over this in about a week. Then he suggested that we stayed at the hospital on an IV so we wouldn’t be come more sick. We refused.
He looked at us and knew we were dead serious. He sighed and prescribed another set of pills that would provide the nutrients we needed while getting better.
We left the hospital and drove home silently. That put me to sleep and Mike carried me up to my room.
Nothing of importance happened over the next three weeks. The pills we took made us drowsy and we spent most of our time sleeping. The rest of my time was spent at night sitting on the deck stairs outback staring off into space praying that wherever they were they were safe.
Before I knew it, it was time for our first day of tenth grade. I dressed in a pair of jean overalls and a white T-shirt. I slipped on my tan hiking boots and carried my bag downstairs. Justin was already there in the kitchen eating breakfast.
"Hey Nik. Ready to be a sophomore?" Justin asked while reading the comics.
"Umm..Yeah. I’m ready. I guess." I answered stumbling over my words.
Mike snickered across the room. I walked over to him and took the pancake off his plate.
"Hey! I was just making you one. That’s mine!" He protested.
"No thanks. I’ll eat now."
I carried it back to the table and set it on my plate. I poured syrup over it and picked at it awhile not wanting to eat it. I finally forced my self to eat it. I couldn’t start tenth grade with an empty stomach.
Justin finished up and went upstairs to grab his bag and sneakers.
We walked out the door into the warm September sun. The school was three blocks away.
About a block away Justin reached for my hand and grasped it tightly.
"I haven’t held your hand in a long time." He said simply still walking.
I felt a calmness sweep over me and wasn’t as worried as I had been.
We entered the High School and walked to our homeroom to get our schedules. We met back our lockers, so conveniently only a few lockers apart, to compare schedules. We had math, Spanish 2, Biology, and the new course, Oceanography together.
We walked down the hall to first period, which was math. I don’t know how sophomores were supposed to act but they seemed pretty immature to me. We entered the room quietly and sat down in the middle of the room. We of course got strange looks as other kids entered the classroom, but we were used to it and ignored it completely. A short stocky woman entered the room just as the bell rang.
"Good morning class. I’m Mrs. Daniel and I will be your Algebra teacher this year."
The others students sat down in their seats and Mrs. Daniel reached for her math book. She went over the lesson and assigned problems to do in class and then the homework.
I found it quite easy and got through the lesson quickly. Mrs. Daniel walked around the room checking our work.
She stopped in between Justin and mine desk. "Do you need any help?"
We shook our heads.
She nodded happily and went on looking over student’s shoulders and correcting them.
The forty-five minutes went but fast and we hurried to our next classes. Old World History for me and English and literature for Justin.
I sat nervously waiting for the class to start. Two girls sat down next to me and smiled.
"Hi I’m Emily and this is my friend Danee`."
I smiled. "Hi. I’m Nikki."
"I don’t want to be nosy but aren’t you a little young for this class?" Danee` asked.
"Actually I was thinking the same thing about you. You aren’t tenth grade are you?"
"No this is one class that is combined with ninth and tenth. They just started doing it this year. You don’t even look you’re in ninth. How old are you?"
"I’ll be 14 in February."
"Wow. So you skipped?" Danee` commented.
"Yup. Two grades."
"That’s awesome. I wish I was smart enough to skip two grades."
I nodded not knowing what else to say.
"Where you from?" Emily asked taking a brush out of her backpack.
"Well moved here from Stone Canyon this past winter."
"I’ve lived here all my life. A really boring place. Except for the Power Rangers that is. Did you hear Emily that some people think this new White Ranger is a lot younger than the rest of them." Danee` gossiped.
"Yeah I heard that. It’s weird she doesn’t show very much does she?" Emily answered still running the brush through her thick black hair.
"What do you think about the Power Rangers, Nikki?" Emily said finally putting her brush away.
"Well…I haven’t lived here very long. They’re pretty cool I guess."
"It always make you wonder who they really are. That red one is so cute." Emily said dreamily.
I started snickering and then covered it up with a cough.
"Emily please. How can you tell what he even looks like? He wears a helmet." Danee` said waving her hand in front of her friend’s face.
"He’s still cute."
The teacher came in then and we all quieted down. Well at least I did. No one else did until the teacher, A tall gangly man, smacked a ruler on his desk.
"My classroom will not act as a zoo. This is Old World History and that’s what I plan to teach. Any smart alecs can spend their lunchtime in Detention hall. Are we clear?"
We nodded our heads.
He wrote his name, Mr. Tousel, on the board.
I guess all teacher can’t be like Mrs. Daniel. He scribbled stuff on the board and wouldn’t answer any of our questions.
I leaned over and poked Danee` asking her to pick up my pencil. Like a flash of light Mr. Tousel was at my desk.
"Was there something about my instructions you didn’t understand Ms. Thompson?" He asked rapping his ruler in the palm of his hand.
"No Sir." I answered staring at his callused hands.
"I know mockery when I hear young lady."
He grabbed hold of me and pulled out of my chair. He dragged me out of the room and closed the door behind him.
I looked at him blinking. He was about 6’4".
"Hold out your hand Nicole."
"Put your hand out now or I’ll make sure you suspended."
I swallowed hard and brought my hand up.
He brought his ruler and laid it hard across the palm of my hand.
I flinched. He did it once more and then took my ear once more dragging me down the hall to the detention classroom. He pushed me and explained to the teacher that I was to not leave the room for the entire day for disobeying and talking back.
I looked at him wildly and sat down in the front row across from the teacher.
Mr. Tousel glared at me on his way out.
The detention teacher looked me over.
"You must be brave if you talked back to Mr. Tousel." She said and went back to her work.
I felt my upper lip quiver and laid my head in my arms trying not to cry. How could I have gotten in school detention for asking for my pencil? And he hit me. I knew that wasn’t allowed in the public school.
I wondered if I should tell. But for some reason I was scared.
I must have fallen asleep because when I woke up the bell was ringing. The teacher glanced at me.
"You must have been really tired to sleep through the whole school day. You can leave now."
I stood up and left the room quickly. I grimaced at the site of my hand. It had a nice welt across the middle and hurt horribly even to move it. Now I had a broken arm and useless hand. I was completely with out hands.
I walked down to my locker to find Justin there a look of relief when he saw me.
"Nikki where were you? I went to Spanish and you weren’t there. When they were calling role some girl named Emily said that you had left during History." He looked at my face and frowned, "Are you ok?"
I held the tears back for a moment later before they seeped through my barrier and ran down my cheeks uncontrollably. "He hit me Justin. He hit me for asking for my pencil. Then he gave me ISD for talking back."
Justin eyes went big and then he pulled me into his arms and let me cry for a second.
Mr. Tousel came down the hall then.
He pulled me away from Justin and spun me around to face him. "We don’t have physical contact in this school. You’re just full of it aren’t you?"
I stood there the tears coming down my cheeks terrified as he shook me hardly and swore at me.
"Answer me you little brat. You’re full of it say it!"
I choked on my tears and tried to pull away from him.
A string of profanity escaped from his mouth and he threw me on the floor my head hit the edge of the lockers and I barely had time to cry out before the darkness swept over me.
I came to with a horrible headache. I looked around at my surroundings and found my self in the nurse’s office. I tried to sit up but the nurse saw me and came over gently pushing me back down.
"Lay down sweetie. Your dad will be here shortly." She said pulling a blanket over my small frame.
Dad? My head was continuing to spin and I didn’t think about it.
A few minutes later before I could fall asleep the door opened and Mike ran in.
He made an unintelligible sound and ran over to me scooping me up into his arms.
"When I heard what happened I was so scared. I rushed here from work." Mike said through his tears.
I felt so good to know that he cared about me so much.
"Is he going to be fired?" I asked.
That was the main thing on my mind.
"As soon as they find him Nik."
"He ran off after he saw you were unconscious. The police will find them though. Don’t you worry. He won’t be aloud anywhere near this school again. And if it was up to me he would spend the next twenty years of his life in Jail."
"In the office talking to the principal. He didn’t want to involve himself in the assault so he ran off to get the principal."
The door opened and Justin walked in.
"You’re awake. How do you feel?"
"Well ok. I’m just scared that that physcopath is still out there. How could any one hire that jerk?"
"According to the principal he was just hired this year. He called the police department and found out that Mr. Tousel has a record of many assaults in public school all over the U.S. he was in jail for awhile but got out in good behavior. Well he’ll be in jail for a long time now."
Justin’s words didn’t release the fear I felt inside. I was scared. Who knew what that would do? Would he take revenge?
We walked out of the nurse’s office and out to Mike’s car outside. According to the nurse I would have a heck of a headache and a nice scar across my hand but it should fade. I glanced down at my hand. The nurse had put medicine on it and bandaged it.
I climbed in the car and sat silently as we drove away. I knew for a fact that my fears wouldn’t go away until I knew that guy was in jail.
I walked into the house and made my way upstairs.
"You want to watch a movie with me Nik?" Justin asked hopefully.
"Not now Justin. I just want to sit and think. Maybe after dinner." I answered.
I flung my bag on the bed and climbed into the window seat that looked out over the street.
I finally pulled my laptop out and decided to e-mail the guys.
Well school started today. It didn’t go exactly as planned. It hard for me to say. I guess I’m just scared.
A new teacher hit me for asking for my pencil off the floor and then sent me to ISD for the whole day!
I have a nice welt across the palm of my hand from where he hit me with his ruler. Than after school ended I told Justin and he hugged me. The teacher pulled me away from him and started swearing at me.
He ended up throwing me across the floor and I hit my head on the lockers and was unconscious for about an hour. The scariest thing about this is, is that the teacher ran away after he hit me and no one can find him.
It turns out the guy has a record of assault in public schools all over the U.S. I want to be brave but I can’t!
Eclipter and Astronema are the only ones that ever hit me just to hurt me. This is way different! This is guy is human and completely dangerous. I guess our enemies don’t always come form outer space, huh?
I don’t want you to worry about me. I have enough of that from Mike and Justin.
So how is the search going? Is Karone fitting in alright? I really wish I was there. Can’t I just teleport there? Please? I know Justin won’t mind. He understands how I feel. I’m sick of being left behind! Please come home guys! I miss you so much. It been almost been a month! Well I better go. Get back to me when you can.
I sent the message and climbed off the bench. I told myself that I better stop it. Mike and Justin were being so nice to me. I knew they would keep me safe.
I slipped on sweatshirt and headed down stairs. Justin was sitting on the couch reading and Mike had gone back to work and wouldn’t be back until 10 or 11.
I flopped down on the couch beside Justin.
"What’ya reading?" I asked trying to see the cover of his book.
"The Client by John Gresham. It’s an awesome book."
"I know I read it. While you were sleeping last night."
"The whole thing?"
"About two hundred pages worth. I didn’t want to be grumpy for first day of school."
"It probably would have been better if you had stayed home today, huh?"
"I’d have loved. But Mr. Tousel would have ended up doing that to some one else probably. I’m glad in a way it was me and not some one else. I know I can handle it after all the crap with Astronema this summer."
Justin shuddered. "I don’t want to think about this summer. It’s bad enough I have scars to remind me every day."
"Sorry. It was just a reference."
He nodded and put his book down. "So what are we going to make for dinner?"
"Pizza! I want Pizza!"
"Well let’s go make it then. I hope we have all the stuff we need."
We raced each other to the kitchen and ran around the kitchen looking for all the ingredients. We luckily did.
I let Justin do most of the stuff. It was bad enough trying to type an e-mail with two injured limbs.
We watched TV while we waiting for the Pizza in the oven. After awhile we started smelling smoke and the smoke detector went off. We raced into the kitchen to find our pizza on fire. Justin ran for the fire extinguisher in the hall closet. He got the flames out. And we stood there choking and trying to wave the smoke out the windows we’d opened.
After the smoke cleared enough we looked down at the pizza. It was charred black. Now that we were ok it struck me funny.
I started laughing and soon Justin and I were rolling around on the floor laughing with stupidity. We finally got back up. We looked at each other and said in sync, "Pizza Palace."
After that night with Justin everything in my life changed again. I felt more open to life and what would happen since I had taken hold of the responsibilities of being a Power Ranger. Justin and I spent a lot more time talking and doing stuff together. Walking, shopping, playing basketball, sparring, and going to the movies.
Mike had decided that since we didn’t mind and since he loved his job he would start working more hours. He worked from 8:30 in the morning until 11:00 at night.
So Justin and I had a lot of time alone. We learned so much about each other. We constantly gossiped about what was going on at school and who was going out with who. Justin and I fit in more than we had expected we would. We had lunch with ninth graders and a lot of them talked to us. Justin was planning on joining the basketball team. And I was going to try out for cheerleading. I really hated looking like a moron screaming and jumping around, but Emily and Danee` had begged me to try out. They said I was perfect since I was short and light and could do flips and all sorts of things that I learned from Karate`. I ended up the co-captain of the team. Justin made it on the team even though the coach had said he wouldn’t get much playing time. He didn’t care. He just wanted to be part of the team.
Emily and Danee` were the perfect friends. They were so nice. They were always there for me. Justin didn’t care much for two extra giggling girls during the afternoon. He said he had enough of that with me.
I barely remembered that the others were gone until one night I got an e-mail from them.
Guess what? Were coming home! We found Zordon. It was one heck of a battle to free him and defeat about twenty monsters of Astronema in the mean time. We miss you lots. I’m sorry we didn’t keep in touch very well. You can blame Astronema for that. Zordon is so happy to be coming home. He said that he missed you a lot. Frankly I think he’s just worried you’ll burn down Angel Grove while we’re gone.
Just kidding! So what have you bean up to? They did they find that jerk yet? If I ever see him I’ll make sure every bone in his body will be broken. How dare he touch you! Well I really gotta go. Oh yeah!
You won’t believe what Karone decided to do. We found out that the rebels from KO-35 were on the other side of the planet where Zordon was being held! We went to visit them and Karone decided she wanted to stay with them! Andros didn’t want her to, but he finally gave into the idea. It was a pretty teary goodbye. You know your sister for 5 weeks after be gone for 11 years and she decides to leave again!
Well cutie we’ll be home in two weeks hopefully. We love and miss you. Take care of yourself and make sure to tell Mike and Justin that we said hi. Bye!
Ashley * And the rest of the crew *
I smiled and ran out of my room to find Justin.
He was sitting in the den reading. I snuck up behind the chair and screamed loudly in his ear.
He jumped a mile.
"Holy crap! Don’t…do…that!" He yelled trying to slow his heart rate.
"Oh gosh that look was priceless! Completely priceless!" I fell onto his chair giggling.
He reached over and tickled my side.
I squealed and hopped off the chair running form the room. He followed me in hot pursuit threw the house and out into the back yard. I tripped over our basketball and fell. I tried quickly to get up but Justin was too quick. He tumbled on top of me tickling me unmercifully until I had tears running down my cheeks from laughing so hard.
He stopped and laid back on the ground glancing up at the stars that had just come out. The October air was cool. We laid there for awhile not talking. He finally got up and helped me up.
"Come on. Let’s go for a walk. It’s only 7:30."
I agreed and ran into the house to get a jacket and some shoes. I had ran out barefoot and now my feet were freezing.
I exited the house to find Justin standing on the walk leading to the road. He held out his hand and I took it and let him lead me down the sidewalk.
We stopped at the café on the corner a couple blocks down and walked in to get some hot chocolate.
I saw Emily and Danee` in a booth across the restaurant. I pointed to them and Justin shook his head fiercely. I laughed and pulled him toward them.
"Oh hi Nikki. Hi Justin. You want to sit with us?"
Justin opened his mouth and I said quickly, "We’d love too. Wouldn’t we Justin."
"Oh sure!" He with mockery.
We eased into the smooth bench and I started talking about some stuff I had found on the bathroom wall.
Justin sighed and put his head in his arms.
I ignored him and went on talking.
We had cheerleading tomorrow and we went over each step in the aisle between the booths much to Justin’s embarrassment.
After we had finished the cheer every one in the café clapped and a few younger whistled at us. We bowed and sat down. I pulled Justin out form under the table and asked how we did.
"Oh just great."
I’m sure he was sick of it. I made him judge me on it each day after school.
"Hey, hey! If you didn’t have us you would never win a game!" I said shoving Justin.
"Actually I thinks you guys are the reason we’ve only won one game this season."
"You’ve only had three. Give it time." Emily said sucking the straw out of her soda.
We left shortly after and walked home. Just before we were about to go inside Justin turned toward me.
"Nikki would you hate me if I kissed you?" He asked.
I blinked a few times then answered. "No I could never hate you for anything. We’ve been through to much together."
I guess he took that as an invitation cause he leaned forward and kissed my lips gently. He pulled back and smiled.
"You’re perfect Nikki. Just perfect."
The weeks passed quickly after that and I counted down the days till the others would be home.
One night when Mike had come home early to make us dinner, he always bought us TV dinners after we almost burned down the house, We were sitting eating our dinner and talking about the basketball game we had played that afternoon. We had won and Justin had made the winning point. The doorbell rang and Justin and I jumped up determined to beat each other to answer the door. It was a game of ours. The doorbell and the phone.
I made it this time after shoving Justin through the open bathroom door in the hall.
I opened the door to find the most beautiful thing on earth. Ashley, Andros, Cassie, Carlos, and T.J.!
I screamed and jumped into Ashley’s open arms.
"I’m so glad to see you!" I squealed.
They laughed and walked in with me suspended from Ashley’s neck.
Mike and Justin walked down the hall.
Justin smiled happily and ran to T.J. the older boy wrapped the younger boy in his arms and ruffled his hair thoughtfully.
We walked into the family room to talk.
They talked a mile a minute about what had happened. I listened intently. After they had finished Justin and I fought for attention by talking as loud as we could. We both stood up pushing each other away and tried to explain everything that had happened in the past two months. We ended up in a sparring match in the middle of the room until Ashley and Andros pulled us apart. I took one more playful punch at Justin and he blocked it and stuck out his tongue.
How immature were we acting?
We finally managed to tell them everything that had happened from the crazy doctor until our winning game that afternoon.
By the time we looked at the clock it was 12:30. Mike said he’d help me pack tomorrow and I go back to live at the Mega Ship. I knew that was going to be a defiant change for me after living with Mike and Justin for two months but I’d get used to it.
I got into my bed that night feeling my life was complete.
My last thought before I fell asleep was ‘Oh gosh, what’s going to happen next?’
Author’s note: Well readers what did you think. I actually enjoyed typing this story even though I lost it twenty times. The next story in my series will be actually I don’t know yet! I’m contemplating over a few things but what’s really on my mind is writing my new series, ‘The Beginning of the End’. Anyway. Give me some feedback if ya get a chance! Thanks so much for just taking the time to read this.