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Taiga to Taiga

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Nozomu Taiga had come to accept that maybe Ultraman wasn’t to blame for his childhood trauma of losing his parents. He still didn’t particularly like Ultras, but he was willing to slowly start working on overcoming his bias. Slow and steady, right?

It didn’t help that the last thing he remembered was Zero telling him he’d take him back to his home if he used the Zero Eye.

Wherever Zero had left him, it was certainly not back where he belonged. He found himself waking in a back alley on Earth, tucked behind a dumpster with a wicked headache. The weird brace that had been on his arm while Zero was in his body was gone, leaving an uneasy feeling in Taiga’s stomach. Had he just been dumped by that no good Ultra? He grimaced, mentally berating himself for trusting him.

Well, no time like the present to figure out where he was. Taiga stood up, dusting the garbage off his Super GUTS jacket. A small, glowing Ultraman toy of some sort was sprawled on his shoulder, left abandoned just like him. He brushed it off and walked out into the main street.

The first thing he noticed was the strange looks he was getting. Or more specifically, his uniform. The number of people who didn’t seem to recognize the Super GUTS logo gave him a sinking feeling in his chest. Where the hell had Zero left him?

Hey! You there!

Taiga looked around, attempting to find who had called to him. The number of people looking at the gun on his waist, and steering a wide circle around him was roughly all of them. Yeah, nobody was going to talk to him like this. “I’m going to need to find a change of clothes,” he muttered under his breath.

There’s a clothes store over there, what are you looking for?

Taiga found his eyes were drawn to a store on the other side of the street, spotting a clothing store immediately. Tucking his gun holster into his jacket and balling it up to hide it, he crossed the street.

Less than ten minutes later, Taiga exited the store with a pair of jeans, a lightweight tee shirt, and some cheap shoes. His uniform was tucked into a plastic bag and slung over his shoulder. He wandered aimlessly down the shopping district. “Jeez, where do I even start looking for a way home…” His eyes drifted around lazily, hoping to find answers.

If you’ll listen to me, I might be able to help!”

Taiga turned his head. That voice again? He took his bag off his shoulder, attempting to find the source.

W-Woah, wait! I was resting on that-!” The same small Ultraman toy fell off of his bag, landing on the ground in front of him. Taiga blinked. How had it gotten out of the alley and into his shopping bag? “Ow... Seriously, what the heck?”Actually, on second thought, was it talking?

Taiga bent down, poking it with a finger. The toy reacted by rolling out of the way, standing up and bouncing onto his hand. Taiga yelled, stumbling into another alley to fight his tiny attacker. He waved his arms around wildly, attempting to get rid of the toy.

Hey wait, I’m just trying to help--!” The doll was flung off into the wall nearby, sliding down a short distance before falling off. It caught itself mid-air, floating in place unnaturally. Taiga’s day was getting weirder by the minute.

“W-What are you?” He caught a few passers-by looking at him strangely, but it wasn’t really the time to worry about that. He was in the middle of being haunted by a possessed Ultraman Doll.

I finally got your attention, took long enough.” It crossed its arms, a small huff of annoyance coming from it. “I was hoping you’d help me find my host, Hiroyuki. I seem to have gotten lost.”

Taiga looked at the floating doll. “Your… host. So then you’re an... Ultraman.”

Yup! It’s weird you can see me right now though. Do you have …?” The toy-sized ultra floated around him, looking for something. “My spark must still be with Hiroyuki.” He muttered to himself.

Taiga held his breath. Firstly, Zero had left him somewhere random on what he could only assume was an alternate version of Earth that didn’t have Super GUTS. Secondly, he now had a brand new Ultra to deal with. Taiga didn’t even know who this Ultra was, or if he could trust him. He poked the small, glowing alien in front of him. “Listen, I’m sure finding this Hiroyoki is important to you and all, but I really just want to go home.”

It’s HiroYUKI, and I’d love to be back with him just as much.” The Ultra floated inches from his face, clearly growing annoyed with the pilot’s sass.

“Then just… go fly back to him then!” Taiga made a shoo-ing motion with his hands. “You don’t need to stay near me, buddy.”

I’d love to, but I don’t know where he is. Besides, I’m in your body right now.”

Taiga froze. “Get. Out.” He’d had enough of being an Ultra host with Zero to last a month. He may trust Ultras more than he had before, but maybe he could take this a bit slower? Two in such a short time was two more than he’d like at the moment.

I’d love to! But like I said, I need to find Hiroyuki.”

Taiga took a deep breath. “If I help you find this Hiroyuki, will you leave me alone?”

I can do one better, I’ll help you get back home!” Taiga’s head perked up at that. Having a lead was better than his plan of wandering aimlessly. The ultra held out his tiny hand. “Sound like a deal?”

“It’s a deal.” Taiga shook the little Ultra’s hand. Maybe they’d gotten off on the wrong foot. “Where should we look first?”

He works for EGIS, so we could start there.” The ultra floated towards the main street. “If we are where I think we are, I can get us there in about ten.” Taiga nodded and followed his new partner through the crowd.

 

About an hour later, Taiga was sitting on a couch in some sort of small-scale security organization headquarters. Across a table, a lady in a casual suit - he remembered she’d introduced herself as Kana - was pouring him tea. He was wary of the man in the blue uniform who was staring bullets at him from across the room.

“So you’re here to see Hiroyuki? May I ask who you are and how you know him?” Kana passed him a cup, taking a sip out of her own.

Taiga knew immediately that he’d have to tell a fib to get them to trust him. Who on Earth would believe whatever had happened to him, especially with so many gaps on how he’d arrived here?

Tell her you need to give him back something important.” Taiga had since learnt that only he could see the Ultra’s glowing form as he walked around on the table, poking his head into Taiga’s teacup. “Just don’t tell them about me, I’m trying to play it low right now.”

Taiga cleared his throat as a subtle attempt to agree. He grabbed his tea and took a sip, trying to form a believable cover story in his head. He decided to keep it vague, setting down his cup before talking. “My name is Taiga, and I’ve got something I need to return to him.”

Clearly, what he’d said was the wrong thing, as everyone else seemed taken aback by his words, Ultra included.

I said don’t mention me!”

Before Taiga could respond, Kana was already asking follow-up questions. “So... you’re Taiga?”

Without thinking, he affirmed it. “That’s me.” He wasn’t sure what the big deal was, Taiga was a fairly common name.

“Just a moment.” Kana stood up and walked over to the man in the blue uniform. They had a heated conversation in whispers.

--Are you listening to me?”

“What? I just told them my name. I don’t see the problem.” he whispered, hoping the others wouldn’t hear him talking to himself. “It’s strange they reacted that way though. I’m not from here. Have my amazing skills been heard of this far and wide?”

Taiga’s- Wait, your name’s Taiga?”

What’s wrong with that?” Taiga leant back into his seat. Now that he thought about it, they had forgotten to introduce themselves earlier. He noted to do that later, so he could have a name to refer to his current partner. Before he could continue the thought further, Kana sat back down. The stern man joined her, keeping a wary eye on him.

“So then, Mr. Taiga.” She had a very respectful tone in her voice, sounding like she was very excited to meet him. It was off-putting to her earlier dialogue, but Taiga kinda liked it. He wished the other Super GUTS members looked up to his hot-shot skills like this. “You’ve come to us to see Hiroyuki?”

“Pretty much, yeah.” the human ignored the Ultra’s attempts to catch his attention. At least Zero had been mostly quiet when he was talking to others. This was annoying, and making it hard to focus on the conversation. “Would I be able to see him quickly?”

Kana did her best to keep her face masked, but her small frown betrayed her. “Hiroyuki is currently missing in action, actually.”

Hiroyuki’s missing?” the ultra sprang up from his sitting spot on Taiga’s teacup. “We gotta find him! Ask Kana where he was last spotted.”

“He probably ran off somewhere, like he always does.” The man grumbled. There was a throat clear from Kana, and he looked away quickly. “Although we should probably look for him, it has been a few hours…”

“Do you know where he was last spotted?” Taiga inquired after more pestering from his partner. “It’s… urgent I return his uh, thing to him quickly.”

“Normally I’d say internal affairs should be handled by our members only, however…” Kana looked over to a girl who was sitting at an array of computers hopefully. She shook her head slowly in response. “Given that he’s been out of contact for nearly six hours now, It may be related to you. Homare, what do you think?” She seemed a lot more worried than she let on.

Six hours ago? I think we were fighting King Joe around that time.” the Ultra paced around, deep in thought. “We defeated it, but then there was this weird portal and things get kinda blurry for me there.”

“He went missing just before Ultraman Titas showed up, there could be a possibility he was injured in the fight.” Homare crossed his arms in thought. “Did you see him from where you were?”

The Super GUTS member was taken a bit off guard by the question. He didn’t even really know what this Hiroyuki guy looked like, how would he know? And the way he was wording it, Homare sounded like he thought Taiga had been the one fighting King Joe with whoever this Titas guy was. He mentally shrugged, assuming Zero had fought the kaiju while he was passed out, however that’d happened. Realizing Homare was still waiting for an answer, he quickly blurted out “I didn’t see anything, no.”

Homare gave him an untrustworthy glance before he and Kana got up and walked over to the lady at the desk, motioning for Taiga to follow. “Any luck finding him, Pirika?” Kana asked hopefully.

“Still can’t find any trace of him.” she pulled up a blurry video. “All we have to go on is this security camera footage of him from a nearby business.” The group crowded around to watch as a young male in a blue uniform ran across the screen. He stopped in a position where a store’s sign covered all but his feet before a bright flash of light made him disappear.

That was a close one, jeez.” Taiga looked over to see his ultra partner sitting on his shoulder. “Didn’t realize there were cameras recording, We’ll have to be more careful from now on.”

“Our best bet is to start looking for him here then. Pirika, keep looking for him. Homare, Taiga, let’s head out.” Kana grabbed a bag off her desk and headed out the door. Taiga was about to join her when Homare pulled him aside roughly by the collar.

“Listen, just because the Boss trusts you doesn’t mean I trust you. If you’re not who you claim you are, you’re in for a world of hurt.” He held him uncomfortably high for a moment before dropping him back down. “I’ve got my eye on you.”

 

The group was halfway to where Hiroyuki had last been seen when the ground rumbled beneath them. Homare immediately moved to protect Kana, stun rod already crackling and ready. Taiga spun around, trying to figure out where the tremor had come from.

It’s King Joe again! Dammit, I wish I had my Taiga Spark!”

Taiga was pretty sure Zero’s item had been named after Zero, so he had no clue why the Taiga Spark would be named after him. Maybe that was just how this ultra rolled? Regardless, he didn’t really have time to ponder it as a laser hit a nearby building, sending debris raining down. The three humans scrambled down the street, attempting to find cover.

“Quick, in here!” Taiga led the others into a parking garage, hoping to figure out a better plan while they had some decent shelter from the explosions. He pulled out his gun holster from the bag, preparing to fight King Joe on foot.

“Why do you have a gun?” Homare questioned, his stun rod a lot closer than Taiga would have liked to be.

“Why do you have a stun rod?” Taiga shot back, hoping to get him off his back. Why was this guy on his case so much?

I can sense my friends, I think Hiroyuki’s nearby!”

Homare didn’t seem satisfied by his non-answer but relaxed his grip on his weapon. He pulled out his phone and dialled in a call. “Pirika, where’s King Joe? We need to evac Boss to a safer place.” He turned his back, looking out the open sides in an attempt to find the giant robot.

“Taiga, aren’t you going to...?” Kana left the question unfinished instead making vaguely fighting-esque hand motions that gave Taiga some small confusion.

Can’t do anything without my Spark, we’ll have to wait for Hiroyuki to make a move.”

“Can’t right now,” Taiga repeated quickly, before pacing up the parking lot to look out the other side. He had no clue what they were expecting of him, but he figured if he just passed on his partner’s message, that’d answer their questions. He pulled up to a large pillar, using it as cover while he looked outside.

It caught the human off guard as a man in a blue uniform pulled him behind the pillar, out of sight from the other two. “Taiga, where have you been?” A sharp whisper came. He immediately recognized the voice as Zero and confirmed it with the familiar silver bracelet on his wrist. “Where’s your… usual getup?”

“Zero! Where have you been?” Taiga growled, annoyed that he’d only now found Zero. He was in a bit too deep to just leave, with a giant robot attacking and all.

Hiroyuki!” the tiny ultra floated over quickly, cutting off the conversation. Two more small ultras flew out from behind Zero, quickly tackling Taiga’s ultra in a hug.

Taiga broski! You’re ok!”

It’s good to see you’re safe, Taiga!”

Zero looked from Taiga to his new ultra, doing a quick double-take. “Wait, Taiga, did you get hosted… by Taiga?”

“Taiga, where’d you go?” Kana’s voice echoed through the parking lot, with footsteps slowly coming closer to their position.

“Actually, nevermind. We have more important issues right now.” Zero pulled a strange bracelet from his jacket, handing it to Taiga. “Here’s the Taiga Spark, I’ll rise with Hiroyuki, you go with the Tri Squad.”

The Super GUTS member blinked a few times, trying to process what Zero’d just said. “I’m sorry, what?” It made sense in a way everything else about this day had so far: very confusingly and making his headache return.

My name’s Taiga: the Hero of Light! I’m the leader of the Tri-Squad.”

Champion of Wind, Fuma! Not our usual brouto, but let’s rock and roll!”

“Name’s Titas, the Sage of Strength. A pleasure to meet you.”

“Wait, sorry, let me get this right.” Taiga stumbled backwards. “There’s three of you guys in me? And I share a name with one of you?” For someone who despised Ultraman less than a day ago, he was moving a lot faster than he’d like.

Yeah.”

“Pretty much, yo.”

“We’re normally with Hiroyuki, but it appears there’s been a mix-up.”

Taiga steadied himself against the railing. Today just kept getting wilder, and it wasn’t going to stop soon. He looked down at the bracelet Zero’d handed him. “Fine, but you better take me home right after this, got that?”

Just then, Homare and Kana passed by, joining the two hosts. “Hiroyuki, there you are!” Kana smiled, happy to have found her subordinate.

“You better have a good reason for running off for well over six hours.” Homare reprimanded.

Zero looked between the two, slight confusion on his face. There was a pause as he looked down at his own coat, recognizing it as the same one Homare was wearing. “Wait, do you guys know this person?” He half-heartedly pointed at himself.

“Hiroyuki..?” Kana’s eyebrow raised, looking at the alien device clamped to his wrist. “Is everything ok?”

Zero was about to respond when the ground rumbled beneath them, King Joe’s destruction distracting everyone from the conversation at hand. “Taiga, I’m going with Hiroyuki. We’ll sort this out after, alright?” He pulled up his brace, a pair of alien glasses materializing out of it. He held them up to his face, and with a loud ‘shuwah!’, disappeared in a blinding flash.

“What the... “ Homare took a step forward, hand waving through the air Hiroyuki had just occupied. “Where’d he go? Taiga?” The gruff security guard looked to him for answers.

There were the noises of something landing, and Zero’s head was barely visible over the buildings. “Oh jeez, they’re way too close.” Taiga fretted, looking between Zero attempting to fight King Joe and the humans still trying to figure out what was going on next to him.

We gotta help Zero, let’s go Taiga!” The alien Taiga floated in front of him, winding up his arm in excitement. “We’ve got my spark, just put it on, hold my key, shout ‘buddy go!’ and we can help Zero!

Why’s he gotta use your key? YOU’RE the one who got their butt handed to them back in round one buddy.” The blue ultra crossed his arms, looking over at the human Taiga. “Use my key, we can outspeed him!”

May I suggest using my ultra muscles to break through his armour?” Titas nodded wisely. “Break down his defences, then have Zero follow up with a blow to the core.”

Dude, my plan to sever King Joe’s head with my shurikens will work WAY better.”

Let’s just use Photon Earth!”

“Do you have a plan for Photon Earth, Taiga?”

“Bash it till it stops moving.”

“That’s not a plan, idiot!”

“It is too! I’ve beat plenty of bad guys with Photon Earth. Right, Titas?”

“I think we should-”

“Could you guys SHUT UP for just one moment?” The human Taiga yelled, waving his arms through their light manifestations. He growled at the annoying trio, shoving the Taiga spark on his wrist.

“We… weren’t saying anything?” Kana stepped forward, Taiga realizing they were still there.

“Not… not you, sorry.” He grumbled, rubbing his head. The headache had returned, the three bickering Ultras were not helping it. “Listen, I’ll be right back. You guys just get to safety, ok?” He grabbed a random key off his belt (when had that appeared there..?), ignoring the three Ultramen arguing over his choice of key. He pulled back the ignition lever, the device glowing to life with a loud ‘come on!’

“Where are you-” Homare stopped himself, seeming to remember something. “Right. I’ll get Kana to safety. You do your thing.”

“What was it I say, buddy go?” he mumbled at his partners, hoping they’d behave for long enough to get into the fight. He was beginning to miss Zero, if only because there was only one of him, and he actually stopped talking when other humans were trying to talk with him. They all nodded, energy floating over their bond as excitement to fight was building. “Alright, let’s go help Zero out, I guess. Buddy…. Go!”

Red gloves reached out in front of his vision, a giant robot attacking Zero just beyond that. There was an urgency to help from the other Taiga, and they ran over and gave a running dropkick straight to King Joe’s head.

“Nice, Taiga!” Zero flashed a quick peace sign, before using King Joe’s distraction to deliver a punch to the head.

Before the Taigas could respond, King Joe blasted them in the face with some sort of ray. They stumbled backwards, falling onto a building in support. Human Taiga ducked out of the way, rolling behind a building to escape whatever that ray was. He glanced over, taking note of where the parking garage Kana and Homare were in. He may be the kind of guy to showboat a lot, but first and foremost importance was keeping civilians safe.

“What’s the plan of attack?” Taiga asked his ultra companion, the two of them shuffling around to push the fight away from the danger zone. Zero noted their movements, his sluggers currently dancing around King Joe in a deadly attack.

“Smash it to bits with Photon Eart--” the ultra paused. “Wait, Where’s the Photon Earth key?” There was desperate searching from Ultraman Taiga as he attempted to find the missing item. After a few seconds, Taiga felt the other Taiga’s hopes sink. “Hiroyuki still has it.”

Taiga meant to ask what that was but was slapped out of the thought by a literal slap from King Joe. While they’d been distracted, Zero had been knocked away by the laser, and the robot had rampaged over to punch the distracted ultra. They fell back, the group clearly realizing the current ‘strategy’ wasn’t really working well.

Taiga, Let’s swap out!”

Swap swap swap bro!”

“Fine, fine.” human Taiga grumbled, grabbing the key with a star mark in the middle and scanning it as he’d done with Taiga’s earlier. There was a complaint from his same-named ultra about not wanting to, the other two shutting him down as they swapped out who was currently closest to the human. These three never stopped squabbling, did they? How did that Hiroyuki guy put up with it?

“Excellent choice, Taiga!” The gruff-sounding ultra beamed. He was the one that looked like he’d been wearing a helmet, right? Taiga hadn’t really been paying attention when the other two entered the fray, he was a bit more distracted by the whole ‘you have three Ultramen in you now’ part. Regardless, there was a bright flash and suddenly his hands changed from red to silver.

The first thing that stood out to Nozomu Taiga was how suddenly muscular he felt. They flexed together, deflecting another laser beam off into the aether. Another blast, deflected by changing to a new pose. Taiga marvelled at the fleeting glances at the ultra’s muscles, impressed by how well built he was. Titas chuckled, taking note of the human’s remarkable looks.

“Titas Bomber!” Their elbow connected straight to the glass dome on King Joe’s stomach, shattering it. Sparks flew out, shards of glass raining down. The robot short-circuited as Zero joined the attack from behind, the antennas on the side falling off from his sharp sluggers.

“ERROR. CONNECTION LOST.” A voice mechanically said from within the machine. “DEVICE WILL SELF DESTRUCT IN T-60 SECONDS.”

Zero ran up, stowing his sluggers back on his head. “We need to get this thing away from here, and quick.” He hopped back and forth, energetic as always. “I’m thinking you throw it, Titas, and Fuma and I’ll use our speed to make a cyclone so it hits orbit?”

“T-45. T-44. T-43.”

“A wise plan.” Titas nodded, winding up for a strong uppercut. Taiga looked at the remaining key on his belt, double-checking to make sure it was the right one for the plan.

“Yeah, that’s my key broski. Get ready to switch after brouto knocks this thing sky-high, alright?” the blue ultra crowded over him, getting ready to tag in. He could feel the other Taiga in the back, sulking his plan hadn’t worked, but still happy they’d managed something in the end.

The two ultras nodded at each other, Titas bending down in preparation for his attack. “Wiseman’s uppercut!” he yelled, punching upward with a force that made human Taiga feel the dent they left on King Joe’s chassis before it rocketed straight up.

“T-32. T-31. T-30.”

“Fuma, you’re up!”

“Right right right, let me just-” Taiga grabbed the key, scanning it quickly. He guessed the bright side of having three aliens living in his body was even if one was having an off day, at least the other two could still hold up well enough.

Not that he wanted them to stay after this fight. He was just glad it was going smoother than his first ‘fight’ with zero.

“T-19. T-18. T-17. T-16.”

Beside him, Zero’s body changed from its usual red-and-blue colour to a full blue pattern in a bright glow. His own hands shifted to blue, silver gauntlets around his wrists. The two sprung up into the air, ground cratering underneath them as they launched well above 200 meters into the air.

“Zero Fuma Hurricane!”

“Fuma Zero Hurricane!”

The two spun around King Joe, a tornado forming from the rapid rotations. The resulting force propelled the robot further into the stratosphere. “T-5. T-4. T-3. T-2.” An explosion burst out of the tornado, both Zero and Fuma escaping just before it went off. The two practically materialized back on the ground, watching the ball of flame slowly fizzle out.

“Fuma Zero Hurricane?” Zero turned to them, cocking his head confidently. “Since when has the younger Ultra taken the lead in a combi attack?”

“Hate to break it to you, Ze-bro, but I’m faster by at LEAST twenty three percent,” Fuma smirked back. “There’s no way we could have gone fast enough without me. It’s Fuma Zero Hurricane.”

“You’ve got guts, I’ll give you that.” Zero chuckled.

Fuma rubbed his nose with a noise that sounded like a cheeky grin. “You’re not half bad yourself-”

“Are we done here?” Taiga deadpanned. The high of fighting a giant monster was over, and his headache was starting to flare up again. He didn’t hate this as much as his first fight alongside Zero, but the pounding in his head and wanting to just go home was making him feel grumpier by the minute.

“Oh right, Taiga.” Zero realized. Had he really forgotten whose body he’d snatched? There was a rush from the three Ultras shoved within him as they collectively remembered he was, in fact, not Hiroyuki.

“Is Hiroyuki ok?”

“Hiroyuki! Buddy!”

“Excellent fighting as Zero, Hiroyuki.”

“Hiroyuki’s fine, he’s still just out cold.” Zero replied, flashing a peace sign. “We can swap back hosts when we turn back.” Fuma nodded, and the two soared off into the sky.

 

Taiga ended up back where they’d transformed, looking down at the zero brace on his arm again. Down on the ground, Hiroyuki was currently passed out, the Taiga spark vanishing on his wrist. “Why’s he on the ground?”

That’s how I found him.” Zero replied. “He wasn’t responding, so I took over to look for you.

Taiga frowned, slightly perturbed by the fact that Zero could just take over someone’s body like that. “Wait, you can do that--?”

“Taiga! Hiroyuki!”

“Hiroyuki!?”

Kana and Homare jogged up, both quickly noticing their friend on the floor. Homare quickly bent down next to him, checking up on the human. “He’s ok, just unconscious.” He looked up at Taiga. “What the hell did you… who the hell was-”

Taiga looked down at the three glowing forms near Hiroyuki’s head, the Ultras he’d just been fighting with waving at him. “Don’t tell them about us!” Taiga whisper-shouted, despite Homare being unable to hear them.

He flashed his brace at them, hoping he could just wing it and it’d work out. Kana noticed it, eyes lighting up with realization. “I’ve already given him his uh, thing back, so I’ll be heading out now.” Taiga flashed his award-winning smile that came with being the top pilot at Super GUTS. ‘Aced it.’ he thought to himself.

“Oh.” Kana looked from the passed out Hiroyuki to Taiga. “We’ll see you around then, I guess?” Taiga had no clue what she was talking about but nodded anyway.

Homare had propped Hiroyuki up against himself and was lightly tapping his face in an attempt to wake him. “Hey uh, not to ask anything silly or anything but uh.” Homare looked away, blushing slightly. “Can you pass on to Fuma that he looked cool with that Zero guy?”

“Oh, Pirika’s asking to compliment Titas, she’s a big fan.” Kana pointed to her ear radio, tapping it lightly.

“Uh, sure thing?” Said Ultra was currently squatting on Hiroyuki’s shoulder and gave a small nod. Titas was sitting on his other shoulder, doing some form of squats while his namesake sat on his head, cheerfully waving. “I’ll pass it on to them.”

Alright then, let’s get you back to your universe,” Zero said, tugging Taiga’s attention away from the conversation. "Unless you want to stay here, and fight with the Tri Squad more...?"

“I’m off then, good luck with your buddy Hiroyuki.” he waved goodbye, and walked down the garage, turning off into the setting sun’s light. This probably looked really cool to the EGIS crew. However, the moment Taiga stepped outside, the sun nearly blinded him because it was bright. He squinted, trying to grab the zero eye that had materialized directly in line with the sun. was Zero messing with him, or was the ultra unaware of the bright blinding orb directly in front of them?

Regardless, he managed to pull the glasses to his face and activate them. The two soared into the sky, a portal opening up as Zero’s Aegis materialized on his body. Hopefully, this time he would be dropped off back on his home planet, in the correct dimension. Hopefully.

 

“So you’re telling us you don’t remember anything? Not even the whole ‘Ultraman borrowed my body’ part?”

Hiroyuki groaned. They’d told him everything that had happened in the eight-or-so hours he’d been out. None of it rang a bell, and based on the small interjections the Tri-Squad were butting in with, none of their side of the story made sense either. Who was this Nozomu guy they kept bringing up? Did Taiga have a last name now? “Sorry, it just feels like I took a long nap for some reason.”

At least they bought this Zero guy stealing his body as a reason for ‘Taiga’ wanting to find him.

“It’s a shame, I’d love to know what it’s like to be Ultraman.” Kana hummed sadly. “That Zero guy was pretty cool, I almost hope he comes back sometime.”

“It was pretty cool Taiga himself approached us.” Pirika was typing away at her keyboard, likely working on filing reports from the day’s events.

“Yeah, for a while we thought you were Taiga.” Homare chuckled, slurping up his takeout from the couch. “ Pretty silly in hindsight.”

Hiroyuki laughed nervously. “Yeah, there’s no way I’m a giant of light.” he picked up his takeout box, breaking the chopsticks set on top. Being body jacked by a completely different Ultra from his usual three had left him both tired and hungry. The tired part could wait a bit longer - it was already dark after all - but he wanted to shove food in his mouth first before heading home for the night.