Blake smirked as Shane steered Hunter into the Haven's stage room, Dustin and Cam following. "Hey, everybody," Shane shouted, a boom of wind following his words. "This is Hunter Bradley, Crimson Thunder Ranger."
"Crimson?" Someone shouted. "Red wasn't good enough for him?"
"Quality over quantity," Hunter called back with a jerk of his chin.
"Hunter," Shane declared, waving his free hand to the other man, "says he can drink any Red under the table."
"I'll take that bet." Someone else said. The Reds began to shout their approval loudly.
A second wind burst silenced the group, "Rocky has agreed for us to host this contest tonight." Shane plowed on, undaunted by the calls, "In one hour, it will begin. We need the time to get Hunter started so everyone is on an even keel here."
Blake turned back to his drinking companion, "Cas, do you think your friend is going to compete?"
The smirking Hispanic sipped his drink, "Probably. It'll be an, interesting, evening if he does." He looked at Blake suspiciously, "Is that why you helped set this up?"
Blake shrugged, "The possibility intrigued me, but I knew Shane and Dustin would bust Hunter at some point; Ninja rivalry being what it is and all. Having it today wasn't my plan. I did choose to come up here today to meet with you, however. Cam asked me to. He said that the computers were upgraded."
"He's sure?" Cas asked.
"It's Cam, of course he's sure," Blake said. "The window opens soon, but it'll be short. Your team is ready?"
"We are," Cas nodded, he glanced to their left out of the corner of his eye. "I feel like we're planning a military operation," he added, shifting to lean back. "I mean, it's just a birthday party."
Blake shrugged, "Yes, but this a birthday party for a ninja instructor who chases asteroids on the weekend with an off world friend."
"Drinks, gentlemen?" A waitress asked with what probably was meant to be a polite smile, "The Spicy Patrone Delight is almost gone, but we've still got a few left."
"No," Blake said, trying not to stare at the waitress's blue, turquoise and purple scales and lizard like appearance, "I think I'll stick to this one, but a refill would be nice."
"Of course, and you sir?" The waitress turned to Cas with the same smile.
"I think I'll try a Tequila Fire," Cas replied after a moment, seemingly unfazed by their waitress's alien appearance.
"I'm sorry, that one will take longer," the waitress said, "they ran out of tequila and had to get some from the other vault. Don't worry, though, I can bring it for you."
"Yes, thank you," Cas said.
After the waitress left, the pair continued their quiet conversation. Finally, cheers indicated the start of the drinking game. Twelve humans were set up on the stage, with Hunter in the center. Blake scanned the group and spotted Eric Myers on stage. "There's my teammate," Cas said, pointing, "I wonder how Lynn talked him into doing it. Wait, what am I saying, Aura probably did it. She could talk anybody into doing anything, especially with Ember's help."
"I'd wish him luck," Blake said, "but I have to support Hunter." He took a pocket camcorder out of his jacket and stood on his chair, "GO HUNTER!" He bellowed as the crowd was falling silent. Thankfully, the room went dark before Hunter could find him, and the combination of stage lights with the dim house lights would keep him safe through the next part.
"Ok," Shane said, "due to the infamy of Red Rangers from Earth, we have decided that as the first Crimson Ranger, Hunter should be inducted into his 'color' in the fashion of a drinking game." Roars of approval filled the room. "The game is, Name that Villain."
Blake thought that Shane must have started drinking already, given his complete lack of modesty as the game show host. Dustin followed Shane for some weird version of Family Feud, but when Cam stepped out last part, Blake wondered if he'd need a body bag. Name that Villain had gotten them all pretty buzzed although three had bowed out, and five had dropped out when Dustin did his Family Feud game, but Cam ruled over a parody of Jeopardy and four contestants. "Is what's his face still in?" Blake asked as he panned the camera down the line to show Eric taking a shot for incorrectly identifying the name of the Earth Rangers' carrier zord Titanus.
"Oh, yes," Cas replied, smirking.
The game continued until only Eric and Hunter were left, and Shane stopped the game. Both men were still sitting, if swaying slightly. "All right," Shane said, "since neither of you will give up."
"Never give up!" Hunter agreed.
"Never surrender," Eric added.
Blake panned the camera back to Shane, hoping Tori would forgive how badly it shook as he tried not to laugh. "Yes, well," Shane gestured and two waitresses put bottles, clean shot glasses, salt shakers, and limes on the table before them. "This is sudden death. You will drink until you have to stop."
As the pair began, Blake sighed, he was a bit bored with holding the camera, "Hey, Blake, what are you doing here?" Dustin said, coming out of the crowd on his right. As Blake turned towards Dustin, he could sense Cas vanishing into the crowd, no doubt to check up on his team.
"Just a thing," Blake replied, "besides, you'd think I'd miss this? I'm recording for Tori."
"You want help with that?" Cam asked as he appeared, clearly following Dustin.
"Sure," Blake said, "my arm's getting sore." He passed the camera to Cam who turned back to the game. "What brought this on, anyways?"
"Hunter and Cam are fighting," Dustin replied softly, "Hunter was taking it out on Shane, so Shane is getting revenge."
"Nice," Blake said dryly, "this is why I'm the token straight guy."
"Hey, I'm bi!" Dustin protested.
Blake nodded, "As in not straight Dustin. Leaves me as the only one of us confirmed as happily hetero."
"Dude," Dustin said, "no one says that any more, remember? It's 'female oriented'"
Cheers, shouts and groans signaled the end of the drinking game. They craned their heads to see the stage, where Hunter had seemingly collapsed on the table and Eric was leaning over a bucket somebody had provided. "Who won?" Blake asked.
Cam looked at him, "You didn't see?"
"We were talking," Dustin replied.
"I'll tell you in a bit, let's go get Hunter peeled off that table," Cam said, shutting down the camera.
With Hunter and Eric safely stashed in a quieter room to overcome the alcohol, the other three, along with Wes Collins, gathered in the stage room. "So," Wes said, "I trust there was a point to that?"
"I don't know," Shane said, "does vengeance count?"
"What did he do?" Wes asked.
"Just tired of having him taking his relationship issues out on me," Shane said.
A drum roll sent the room into silence, and then the pounding beat of the Macarena began to play, "What the," Wes breathed, "we're the only Earth teams here tonight."
"Gentle beings and Rangers, for your viewing pleasure," a somewhat familiar voice announced, "Eric Myers and Hunter Bradley."
The group watching stared in horror for a long moment, then Wes swallowed, "Oh no," he said, "no, Eric."
"Quick where's that camera?" Shane demanded.
"I'm going to get drunk," Blake said, turning away from the stage. As he knocked back his drink, however, he realized that it was a train wreck. No matter how wrong it was, and the flying shoes said it was very wrong, he just couldn't look away.