[Title] Have A Little Faith In Me
[Author] Alexandra Oliver
[Rating] PG or PG-13
[Timeline] A week after All About Beevil
[Disclaimer] I do NOT own Power Rangers or any of the characters except for Paige Adams.
[Summary] Marah's betrayal has a lasting effect on the Yellow Wind Ranger. Will an old friend of the Bradleys be able to break through the walls Dustin built around his heart and prove herself worthy of his trust?
[Author's Note] All About Beevil is my favorite episode of Power Rangers Ninja Storm and I've seen it plenty of times. Dustin is my favorite Ranger too. Hmmm, yeah! I decided to write like a crazy madwoman so enjoy!
*****NO flames, just constructive criticism, please. I'm always open to suggestions but I ignore senseless bashing. I believe writing is an art and should be respected no matter what.
[Chapter 1] Dustin's Resistance
Marah's words kept ringing through his head and the memory of his mistake had taken over his stream of consciousness. He couldn't concentrate on his work because he found himself so distracted.
"Hey, Dustin, are you okay?" Shane's voice interrupted his thoughts.
Dustin replied in a quiet tone of voice, "Yeah, I'm fine. You know, things happen."
"Bro, you gotta move on..."
Dustin shrugged. "Don't push it, Shane," he said sharply as he walked off into the back room.
Shane went over to the lounge area and sat with Tori and Blake. "He's not okay."
"I know...I'm really worried about him," Tori commented.
Blake chimed in, "What are we going to do?"
"Chocolate usually helps the tortured soul," a female voice quipped.
The three sitting on the couch looked up at the source of the voice and found Hunter standing there with a slim redheaded girl dressed in a yellow tube top and a black skirt with long boots. Blake stood up quickly and enveloped the girl in a hug. Soon, excited giggles were heard from the girl sandwiched between the brothers.
"Guys, this is Paige Adams, our best friend," Blake explained after releasing her, "We grew up together at the Thunder Ninja Academy and she was the best female ninja in our class."
Paige smiled modestly. "It's nothing, really, guys. I wasn't that great."
Hunter chimed in, "Paige, this is Shane and Tori."
"Nice to meet you," Tori said with a light smile.
"Definitely," Shane added.
"So what brings you into town anyway?" Tori asked curiously.
Paige explained, "I was going to visit Sensei Amano and I decided to stop here...I've been driving for ages...this is actually where I lived for a little while right after I was adopted."
Hunter and Blake exchanged looks as Blake said, "Lothor kidnapped all the ninjas out of every Ninja Academy, including the Thunder Ninja Academy."
Paige's jaw dropped. "No..."
"I'm sorry," Shane said quietly then he went back to his magazine.
Paige's eyes darted from Hunter to Blake then she snapped, "Why didn't you guys tell me!?" Since her back was facing Shane and Tori, they couldn't hear.
"I'm sorry..." Hunter said quietly, "We're working on rescuing them all."
With a low voice, Blake added, "Did you ever...?"
Paige shook her head. "Not now," she replied, imitating Blake's tone, "Let's talk about it later."
"Hey, you should meet Dustin!" Shane exclaimed after his and Tori's own whispered conversation.
Paige turned to face Shane with a raised eyebrow as he stood up and left to look for Dustin.
"Yeah, our friend's a little down...he's had...girl troubles. We were hoping you could help cheer him up. You seem like you have that type of personality," Tori explained.
Paige shrugged good-naturedly. "I don't see any harm in trying. Dustin's lucky to have friends like you."
"He's not here anymore," Shane announced when he returned.
Tori shrugged. "Oh well..." She bit her lip then added, "Hunter, Shane, you guys check the motocross track and I'll check the beach with Blake."
"Well, I'm go explore Blue Bay Harbor for a bit. I've missed being here! It would be great to get reacquainted with the place," Paige told them, "Hunter and Blake know how to contact me. They'll let me know if you've found Dustin. I'll catch ya later."
They all said goodbye to her and they split up. Paige left Storm Chargers first, followed by Shane and Hunter, then Blake and Tori.
Blue Bay Point...the view from the top was nice and the air seemed fresher. Dustin didn't know why he would ever come back since it was there that Marah had managed to draw him in and make him believe that she wanted to change. It was there that he began to feel there was something good in her.
"Chocolate usually helps the tortured soul," Paige's voice came from behind him as she used one of her signature lines.
Dustin quickly turned around and took a fighting stance.
"Relax, pretty boy," Paige said playfully as she pulled out a chocolate bar from her purse, "I'm not gonna hurt you, I'm just gonna feed you. Here." She held out her favorite chocolate as an offering to him.
Lowering his defensive stance and relaxing, Dustin took the chocolate from Paige, put it in his pocket and said in a cool voice, "I haven't seen you around."
"I used to live here a few years ago."
Dustin turned around and looked out at the view. "I come here to think. Something about this place brings about clarity, an inner peace...at least for me, it does."
Feeling an unexplicable force pulling her towards him, Paige approached Dustin and stood right next to him. "I agree. It's beautiful up here. So what's going on that needs to be cleared up? Maybe a neutral third party can help you sort things out..."
"No, just drop it," Dustin snapped as he stared off into the distance.
"I'm sorry...I didn't mean to be intrusive," she appologized. "Okay, let me start over then...Hey, I'm Paige. What's your name?" she added playfully after a pause.
"I don't know what you're trying to do, but leave me alone!" With that, Dustin walked off, leaving a bewildered Paige behind.
The redhead heard her cell phone ring. She opened her purse and pulled it out. "Yo, this is Paige, talk to me."
"Hey, Munchkin, we still haven't found him," Hunter told her.
Paige sighed at the sound of her childhood nickname. "Oh well, I was just headed to the beach to meet up with Blake and Tori. Are you and Shane gonna be there?"
"We'll meet up with you in fifteen minutes. Bye."
Paige hung up and headed back to her car, her recent encounter with a dark-haired stranger still fresh in her mind.
Shane and Hunter were headed off to the beach just as Dustin was coming in on his bike.
"Yo, Dustin!" Hunter called out, "Where have you been?
Dustin stopped right by them and said, "Nowhere. What's up?"
"We're going to the beach to hang out," Shane explained, "You wanna come with?"
"Listen, bro, I've got a friend I want you to meet. We're gonna play beach volleyball so bring your A game," Hunter explained, "You don't have a choice. We need a third on our team."
"What about Cam?" Dustin suggested, hoping he could bail out on the beach thing.
Shane interjected, "He's the ref!"
Shane took off on his skateboard to go home and change while Hunter followed Dustin to the beach.
Paige, in a yellow one-piece, along with Tori in her baby blue two piece, had been playing beach volleyball against Blake in his navy blue shirt and shorts and Cam in his green shorts and white shirt. They were sitting on the sand by the net, taking a breather.
"So Paige, tell us more about yourself," Cam suggested, having just been introduced to her at the beach.
Paige eyed her new friends carefully. They didn't know she was the third Thunder Ranger, the Gold Thunder Ranger, and they didn't know of her hidden abilities. She was running out of things she could tell them not to mention that her encounter on Blue Bay Point was distracting her.
"Well, I am a dancer," she finally said after giving Blake a look, "I got into it after I got adopted. Ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop..."
Shane sat between Cam and Paige. "Well, we finally found Dustin. He and Hunter are on the way."
Paige nodded distractedly. "Wonderful."
"You okay, buddy?" Blake asked with a curious look.
"I went back to Blue Bay Point and I met a guy there..."
Tori cut in, "Oooh! Was he cute?"
Paige replied, "Yeah but he was a little cold, though. It was partly my fault 'coz I figured I was being intrusive when I tried to be friendly but he seemed upset about something else..."
Dustin's voice startled Paige and everyone around her. She recognized him from Blue Bay Point.
"Yeah," Hunter told him, "She's a childhood friend of ours, mine and Blake's..."
"Paige," Dustin finished for him.
Paige's jaw dropped. "Oh my gosh..." She could feel herself blush in total embarassment.
"I can see you guys have met," Hunter commented with a chuckle, "Don't worry, bro...Paige can have that repulsive effect on guys. You just need time to get used to her."
Paige rolled her eyes as Blake laughed, knowing exactly what Hunter was talking about.
"I'm not in the mood to play nice right now," Dustin said coldly, "I just remembered I had something to do at home." He walked off to find his bike.
Paige sighed. "I know that attitude wasn't all about me. What's the deal with his girl troubles?"
Cam glanced at Paige and said, "Uh...it's complicated and I don't think Dustin would like it if we shared his personal problems with a total stranger."
"I understand...I just wish there was something I could do..." Paige told the group, "I don't know why but I felt drawn to him, standing there all alone on Blue Bay Point...it was so strange."
"Well, since Dustin's out of the game, we get Cam!" Shane exclaimed as he grabbed the ball from under the net.
"Oh you're on, bro!" Blake exclaimed.
"How can you stand the testosterone?" Paige asked Tori.
Tori shrugged. "I'm used to it, I guess."
The teens played volleyball and had a good time...until the game was abruptly interrupted.