Only the clatter of the sword and a pained cry was heard on the beach battlefield as the monster’s blow was struck. Silence and shock filled the air for a few seconds before a devastated cry rang out.
The shouting figure, quickly dealing with his opponents, rushed over to the now-struck Cam lying on the ground, demorphed.
All Cam could feel was a mixture of pain and numbness throughout his body. He had open, bloody wounds all over his arms and legs, and on his face. Thankfully, they weren’t too deep from what he could tell. But, he was losing consciousness fast.
The tall, blurred figure stepped between him and the monster, holding out a staff in defense.
“Don’t you dare take a step closer to him.”
The monster, which resembled a butcher with an enraged turkey face turned its attention towards the figure. “Or what, Ranger? I could so easily deal with your friend here. What do you have that stands a chance against my power?”
“Love!” the figure passionately shouted at the butcher monster. “Something Lothor and the rest of you goons don’t have from what I’ve ever seen!”
The figure started to run towards the monster while Cam slipped further from reality. He heard familiar voices getting closer to him and he felt a strong arm around his head, cradling it and leaning him up.
“Don’t worry, Cam. We’ll get you back to Ninja Ops in no time.” the voice said in a concerned tone.
He could feel 2 pairs of hands, one pair was soft and the other was a little more firm, holding his hands inside theirs, reassuringly. Another shorter figure also stood in front of him, looking at him and the battle going on.
Cam suddenly heard a high-pitched gobble and felt the heat of an explosion. The monster seems to have been defeated just as he felt himself start to be lifted off the ground.
The tall figure demorphed with a flash of light and ran over to him. It got down on the ground next to him and looked him in the eye. He could barely make out the face. “Hunter?” he said while short-of-breath.
“Don’t worry, Cam. The rest of the team and I are right here. We’re not going to let anything bad happen to you. We’ll take you to Ninja Ops and we’ll get you back on your feet in no time.” Hunter said to him reassuringly. He then turned towards Shane, who was the one cradling Cam’s head and now trying to lift him off the ground. “Shane.” The called ranger looked up towards Hunter. “I’ve got him. Let me carry him.”
Shane looked surprised at Hunter’s open sincerity after dealing with his aloof nature for so long even after they earned each other’s respect. Still, he gave a nod of approval to Hunter as the crimson ranger leaned down toward Cam’s body. Hunter gently slipped his arm around Cam’s already lifted back and grabbed Cam’s left arm with his other arm and placed it behind his neck. Then, he slipped the same arm under the bent of Cam’s knees and lifted him up, pulling him as close to his body as he could. Cam responded by nuzzling himself into Hunter’s arms and body. Hunter’s face softened, even more, showing a very concerned look on his face as Cam kept making pained noises while in his arms. “Ssshh. It’s okay. I promise.” Hunter kindly said. He then leaned his face down to Cam’s and pressed his lips to his slowly. As he felt his head being lifted back up, “Love you, Cam” was the last thing Cam heard before blacking out completely. Hunter proceeded to walk back towards Ninja Ops with Cam in his arms
As Cam-carrying Hunter walked, the rest of the team was left in shock and they were completely surprised by the new revelation. They couldn’t believe they missed the signs of two of their teammates dating and were surprised at the love the two possessed towards each other. The overwhelming feeling of being lied to by the concerned lovers set upon the group next, especially Blake who was used to having no secrets between him and his brother, and how the two worried that they would be judged by them on both their relationship and who they are by their teammates and friends.
“Wow, dude. I did not see that coming. Blake, did you?” Dustin asked.
“Not at all,” Blake answered
“Do you think Sensei knows?” Shane questioned.
“Maybe he does. But guys, do you think Hunter and Cam were scared of telling us?” Tori inquired.
“Why would my brother be scared of telling that to me?” Blake responded.
“Blake, did Hunter ever tell you about his attraction? Tori then asked.
“No. But..” Blake said.
“So, Hunter might have been scared that his own brother might have judged him and hated him based on who he loves.” Tori cautiously said knowing that her boyfriend’s reaction could be unpredictable to the words she said.
“What!! Would Hunter think that of me? I would never ever hate him for that ever. He's too important to me for that to get to me." Blake panically responded.
I know you wouldn’t. But what do you expect with when we’re living? Though California is better than most places, we still have homophobia underlying everywhere. Some people who can be really nice find out about a person’s orientation and turn into a real asshole. Hunter and Cam were just scared that they might have lost their teammates.” Tori responded.
Well. What are we doing standing around and talking? Let’s get back to Ninja Ops.” Dustin stated impatiently.
The 4 remaining rangers ninja-streaked away back to Ninja Ops where Hunter and Cam were.
Cam was lying down on a cot while his father was trying his best to heal the wounds with his limited ninja magic, because of being stuck as a guinea pig. Hunter was standing and looking at him with concern while contemplating what he did earlier. I let the other rangers see! Now, what’s going to happen? Thankfully, Cam’s dad seems pretty supportive of our relationship. Hunter heard voices coming down the stairs. Well. Here we go. Hope Blake doesn’t kill me for this secret along with the relationship.
The 4 rangers come running down the stairs with Tori and Dustin immediately rushing over to the cot where Cam was. He could hear them share their concerns and worries to Sensei about Cam. However, both Shane and Blake approached him.
“Hunter. We need to talk.” Shane said.
All of a sudden, Hunter froze up. He knew that this was setting up his fall with the team going to be mad at him and Cam for lying and now hating him because he was gay, and his own brother would now hate him with no spells to be able to break to fix it. Hunter mentally and emotionally prepared himself for the worst and was glad that Cam was still unconscious, so he didn’t have to hear this.
“Hunter.” Shane continued. “We wanted to tell how sorry we all are.”
Hunter was confused for a minute. Did he hear that right? Was Shane apologizing and implying that the rest of the team was as well?
“We didn’t realize about you and Cam until today and we feel like terrible friends for not being able to notice something so important to you two,” Shane confessed.
“We wanted to also apologize for you and Cam ever worrying about being able to come out to us and not accepting who you two are. We didn’t want you to feel that way and think that we would hurt you or Cam in any way or form possible.” Tori affirmed.
“I forgive you, Hunter for keeping your secret even though we tell each other mostly everything, I didn’t mean to make you think you would lose me as a brother if you came out of the closet. We’ve been way too much for one another and I’m not losing you for this reason at all.” Blake revealed.
Hunter felt tears of joy forming in his eyes. His teammates and brother forgave him and accepted him and Cam as both people and a couple. It was more than he thought possible during this conversation.
“You know. You’re not the only one who’s got a secret to confess!” Dustin exclaimed.
“Like what?” Hunter questioned.
“You know, I’m bisexual, right?” Dustin declared.
“What?” Hunter and another voice rang out in shock.
Dustin turned towards the source. “Cam!” he yelled and leaned over to hug the recovering samurai ranger.
“Don’t make me pass out again, Dustin.” Cam gasped.
“Sorry, Cam. Just excited to see that you’re awake again.” Dustin shouted.
“So, wait? Dustin, you’re bisexual? Dude, why in all of the years you have known me and Tori did you not tell us this?” Shane wondered.
“Didn’t find it necessary. If that what makes or breaks a friendship, the friendship and the subsequent bond wasn’t very strong.” Dustin explained.
“Ahh. Thanks, bro.” Shane exclaimed,
“No problem,” Dustin replied.
“The bonds with one another that are the truest are the ones that look past the differences that might seem scary and unknown to embrace who you truly are.” Sensei Watanabe remarked.
“Thanks, Dad,” Cam grunted.
“No problem, my son. You and Hunter’s relationship doesn’t bother me in the slightest and it seems your friends agree.”
“Yeah. You should be free to be who you want to be and who you want to love.” Tori wisely remarked.
“And anyone who says otherwise or tries to hurt you in any way will have to go through all of us.” Shane promised.
Hunter walked over to Cam’s cot and sat down next to it. He placed Cam’s hand in his and lean down to kiss him one more time. Blake walked over and came and sat down to the side of his brother where Hunter used his free arm to draw his brother into a loving side hug. Tori went to the other side of him and placed her head on her boyfriend’s shoulder while he embraced her. Shane and Dustin joined Tori as Dustin laid down and rested his hand in Tori’s lap while Shane sat over him. The 6 sat in silence feeling the loving connections between all of them, whether platonically or romantically, with no shame or fear at all.