"Man, that was the best party I've been to all year!" Zack enthused. He was carrying a portable stereo. Earlier that day, it had been used as part of the dance classes he taught, but it had also proved serviceable at the party.
"Totally morphenomenal," Kimberly agreed.
"You said it," added Jason. "Too bad we might have to wait until next year to do it again!"
A few of the other teens laughed. Trini said, "You know, he's right. What makes this party really special is that it's the end of the year and classes are all over. A lot of our friends are leaving for the summer. This is going to be the last time everyone is together like this for a while."
"Yeah, that's true," Tommy said. "But it was great while it lasted. Too bad the party can't really go on all night."
"Well, we don't have to stop celebrating just because everyone else has," said Kim. "I've got popcorn and movies at my place, and Zack's still got his music. We can have our own party!"
"Prodigious!" said Billy enthusiastically. "A most inspired idea, Kimberly."
"Do you think your parents will mind?" asked Tommy. "They might not like you having a bunch of guys at your house late at night."
"It's okay, really," Trini assured him. "All our parents are used to us, by now. Now that you're part of the team, you're parents will probably get the treatment, too."
"Oh," he said. "Well, as long as it's okay with them..."
"Hey, man, enough with the worrying," said Zack with a grin. "We've got it all under control."
"Yeah, you just remember to keep the decibel level on your noise machine down," Jason joked. "We don't want the neighbors calling the police again."
"Say WHAT?" asked Tommy in alarm. Jason and Zack both laughed at his dumbstruck expression.
"Don't mind those two," said Kimberly with disdain. "They're just fooling around."
"If we plan to continue our celebrations at Kimberly's place of residence, I propose we take a detour through the local recreation area," said Billy. "By my calculations, we'll arrive at our destination approximately 10.6 minutes faster than if we proceed along our current trajectory."
"Huh?" said Kim.
"Loosen up, Billy!" said Jason. "We're relaxing tonight, remember?"
"Oh, okay," said Billy with a shrug. "Anyway, what I was saying was that we'll get to Kim's house faster if we take a shortcut through the park."
The other teens exchanged looks and started laughing again. Billy looked puzzled.
"What? What did I say?" he asked in bewilderment.
Though they began their journey as a group, they gradually seemed to drift apart into a ragged line, with Billy marching along in front, Trini following close behind, acting as always the part of his shadow, Jason and Zack walking together and exchanging friendly jibes. Kim came next, while Tommy wandered along at the very end, looking thoughtful. Finally, he got so lost in his thoughts that he stopped walking altogether. Kimberly noticed that he'd been left behind and paused to look for him. He was standing in the middle of a moonlit clearing, the light of the silvery orb giving his skin and hair and clothing a ghostly sheen. It was strange, Kim, thought. She knew his clothes were green, but in the moon's glow, they looked almost white. Only his eyes didn't lose their color. They were still deep, dark, and mysterious, saddened by experiences that only his closest friends would ever know. It was strange to see him looking so melancholy on a night that was supposed to be given up for festivities.
"What are you thinking about?" she asked quietly.
"Not much," he answered. "Just looking at the moon. I haven't looked at it much lately. I used to do it all the time, but recently..."
"I did the same thing, for a while," said Kimberly. "When I was little, I used to talk to the man in the moon out my window at night. Even when I got older, I liked looking at it. There's just something romantic about it." She was looking at Tommy wistfully as she spoke, but he didn't quite notice.
"But when Rita came?" he prompted.
"I stopped," said Kim, shoving her disappointment away. "I just couldn't stand looking at it when I knew there was so much evil there."
"Yeah, I know what you mean," Tommy replied. There was a pause before he spoke again. "It sounds kinda weird, but sometimes I feel like the moon would be a symbol for me. I used to think I was a good person, until I became the Green Ranger. I never would have believed I was capable of that kind of destruction. I don't know how I can ever feel good about myself again after going through all that."
"Tommy," said Kim gently. "Take a look at the moon. Can you see Rita up there? Can you see the palace?"
"Well, no..." Tommy admitted.
"Right. I figured that out after a while. The moon is so bright and so beautiful, the evil doesn't even show up. Rita's not powerful enough to make the moon bad, and she's not powerful enough to make you bad, either. You're just so good, the evil doesn't show up. When I look at the moon, I know we're going to win our fight somehow."
Tommy turned that over in his mind for a while, and a smile slowly spread across his face.
"You could be right," he said. "Thanks, Kim. I really needed to hear that."
"No problem," Kimberly replied. "That's what friends are for."
Tommy glanced around the glen. "Do you see the others around anywhere?"
"No," Kim replied, also taking a look around. "I guess they don't know we stopped."
"That's okay. You know the way back to your house. And in the meantime-" Tommy gave a courtly bow and took Kimberly's hand. "-may I have this dance?"
Kimberly laughed and said royally, "Why, sir, it would be my pleasure!"
The others could wait for a while. For now, she was happy to be here surrounded by moonlight, letting Tommy hold her close...
A short distance up ahead, the other Rangers paused to check their bearings. Glancing around, Trini noticed that their party seemed to be missing some members.
"Hey, guys, where did Kim and Tommy go?" she asked.
"Does anybody need to ask?" Zack replied. "The way those two have been looking at each other all night, I'm surprised they didn't take off sooner."
Jason laughed a little. "Well, they can't leave now. How are we supposed to get into Kim's house if Kim's not with us? We'll have to go back and get them."
Backtracking, the teens came upon the moonlit clearing and found their two friends happily lost in their dance, stepping in graceful patterns like the prince and his princess from a fairy tale movie. The onlookers, hidden in the shadows of the trees, grinned at each other.
"Aw, aren't they cute?" said Zack.
"It looks like they started the celebration without us," Billy commented.
"You know," said Trini, "this wouldn't be such a bad place for a party, either. Maybe Kim and Tommy have the right idea."
"Well, if we're going to have a dance, we need music," Zack answered. Suiting action to word, he turned on his stereo and began searching through the radio stations until he picked up a good song.
We get it almost every night
when that old moon gets big and bright.
It's a supernatural delight!
Everybody was dancin' in the moonlight...
The sound attracted the attention of the dancers, and they turned and looked embarrassed as they noticed their friends's presence. Tommy blushed and tried to stammer something, but Jason cut him off.
"Looks like you two are having fun," he said. "Mind if we join the party?"
"Uh... sure, go ahead," said Tommy.
Zack gladly took the invitation - dancing was what he did best, after all. Like a black cat turned human, he glided noiselessly out into the clearing, hop-stepping and gyrating to the music. It wasn't exactly his usual choice of music, but there was still something about it that stirred up good feelings and made him feel like moving to the music. However, he couldn't help but notice that Jason looked a bit hesitant to step out on the "dance floor". Zack decided to encourage him. With a few casually tossed off steps, he made his way to where his friend was lurking in fringes of the glen.
"Are you waiting for a partner?" he asked, grinning.
"If you're the only one offering, I might sit this one out," Jason replied, but he smiled back to soften the insult.
"Aw, c'mon. Don't be a wallflower," Zack urged. He grabbed his friend's hands and started tugging his friend out into the light.
"Hey, cut that out!" said Jason, laughing. "You're nuts, you know that?"
"Yeah," Zack replied, grinning. "But I'm also having fun."
Jason shook his head, grinning. "Okay, I give up, I give up! Just let go already!"
Zack gave a victorious smile as he released his friend. Jason shrugged and began to dance - hesitantly at first, a bit self-conscious, but as the music played on, he began to loosen up. It was easy to relax here with his friends in this moonlit dream world...
We like our fun and we never fight.
Well you can't dance and stay uptight!
It's supernatural delight.
Everybody was dancin' in the moonlight...
Trini was also hesitant. She would have liked to go and join the others, but at the same time, she was well aware that Billy was also standing here in the shadows. She hadn't had the chance to dance with him at the party earlier, and she was wondering if this might be her chance.
Meanwhile, Billy was watching Trini. He'd meant to ask her to dance earlier, but it had always seemed like there was someone else who wanted to dance with him that he didn't have the heart to turn down, or someone else was dancing with her and he didn't want to be rude by cutting in... and, he had to admit, he was a little shy. After all, Trini had been his best friend for years, and showing anything that might be construed as romantic interest felt a little strange... even if it was real. Well, this was his chance now. The moonlight made the perfect romantic atmospher, and he could say something suave and intelligent and make a good impression on her
"Um... wanna dance?" he blurted. The moment the words were out of his mouth, he blushed. That hadn't quite come out the way he'd hoped.
Trini beamed. "I was hoping you'd ask," she said shyly.
With a delighted smile of his own, Billy led her into the steps of a dance, into the moonlight.
Everybody here is outta sight!
Well, they don't bark and they don't bite!
They keep things loose, they keep things light.
Everybody's dancin' in the moonlight...
The music played on, and the dancing continued. At first, they
danced in singles and pairs,
but as the night wore on, they seemed to come together until they were
just dancing with each
other, one with the song and the light. They danced for friendship and
They danced for
freedom and light and beauty and happiness. They danced in the face of
and all her monsters.
They danced in defiance of all the hate and ignorance and evil in the
universe. They danced just
for the joy of dancing. They danced until the moon dropped below the
horizon, and the first rays
of light pierced the sky...