Disclaimer: Hey there, everyone in web land! Here's another installment of the Superstar Series. The characters Tamara Oliver and Jealousy and all of their characteristics belong to me, so if you want to borrow them, just make sure you ask me first. If they sound like a character someone else may have, it is purely coincidental. I hope you enjoy! Lights, camera, and action! BTW, all lyrics are used without permission.

by Snowflake

"God, not today!" Stephanie Marks muttered as she frantically searched for her biology textbook in her locker. Please tell me I didn't leave it at home!"

A hand touched her shoulder gently, which caused her to scream and whirl around. "For pity's sake, Tommy Oliver, don't scare me like that!" she scolded her boyfriend, trying to catch her breath.

Tommy watched his girlfriend with amusement as she leaned against a neighboring locker. "Are you okay, sweetie?" he asked as he kissed her on the cheek.

Stephanie rolled her eyes. "Does it look like it?" she replied as Tommy retrieved his backpack from the locker they shared. "I've been late to every single class today! I forgot to print out the final copy of my research paper last night on my computer, I woke up late for school this morning, and Mom wasn't too happy about having to drive me here today on her way to work since my car picked today to break down! Oh, but let's not forget I got attacked by putties and tengas, too! I swear, I'm Zedd's new favorite target." A long, drawn-out scream punctuated her last sentence, effectively releasing some of her frustration.

Tommy covered his ears and winced in pain, his eardrums throbbing, and witnessed a few of his fellow students doing the same as they passed by. One of the downsides of dating a world-famous vocalist, as Tommy was finding out, was that his girlfriend could hit notes within Mariah Carey's five-octave range. "Steve, I kinda needed my hearing for English," he informed her.

Stephanie had the grace to blush, embarrassed. "Sorry," she whispered meekly, biting her lip.

Tommy pulled her into his arms and kissed the top of her head. "It's okay. I usually have to pinch myself to stay awake in class anyway," he reassured her.

Stephanie snuggled deeper into Tommy's embrace, and in doing so, caught the edge of her black velvet platforms on a thick book in Tommy's bag. Wrinkling her brow in thought, she disentangled herself from her boyfriend and bent down to retrieve Tommy's backpack. "Tommy," she began sweetly, smiling at him, "why is my biology book in your bag?"

Tommy grinned sheepishly. "You're not the only one who grabs the wrong book for class," he responded.

"Okay..." Stephanie shook her head in disbelief, then let out a tiny gasp as she checked her watch. "Tommy?"


"We've got two minutes to make it to sixth period! I don't know about you, but my class is on the other side of the school!"


Stephanie stuffed her books into her backpack and then gave Tommy a heartstopping kiss that they both quickly melted into. Groaning in frustration, Stephanie reluctantly pulled away. "I love you!" she called behind her as they dashed off in different directions.

Gasping for breath as she sprinted down Sophomore Hall to class, she paused for a second outside the classroom door to adjust her cropped sweater and short skirt. As she did so, the late bell rang. "This is not my day," she moaned as she opened the door a crack. "Maybe I can sneak in without Mr. Myers seeing me."

Stephanie peeked in and found that Mr. Myers had his back to the class. Taking a deep breath, she let the door shut gently behind her and tip-toed down the aisle to her seat, shooting a look at her friends Zack Taylor and Katherine Hillard for them to be quiet.

Mr. Myers turned around to see Stephanie try to slip into class unnoticed. "Miss Marks."

Stephanie froze upon hearing the teacher address her. "Damn," she muttered underneath her breath, and swiveled around to face Mr. Myers, smiling sheepishly. "Hi there."

Mr. Myers glared disapprovingly. "I believe you're late, Stephanie," he observed, crossing his arms. "Would you like to explain why?"

That's a blinding flash of the obvious, Mr. Myers. Of course I'm late! God, what am I going to say? I can't tell him the truth-'I'm sorry, Mr. Myers, but I was making out in the hall with my boyfriend and I didn't realize what time it was.' He'll give me detention for the rest of my life if I say that! Stephanie thought as she dropped her bag on the floor. Here goes...

She tucked her curly brunette mane back behind her ears. "Well, my locker was jammed. I had to find someone to open it for me," she began haltingly. She shot a sideways glance at Zack and Katherine which let them know immediately that she was lying. "I had to look for one of the security guards so they could get it open for me, and he was in the main office."

Mr. Myers nodded grudgingly. "All right, Miss Marks. I'll let it go this one time. Make sure it doesn't happen again, though," he responded.

Stephanie grinned brightly as she sat down. "Thank you. It'll never happen again, I promise." At least, not this week! She looked at Kat and Zack as the teacher turned away to begin the day's lesson. "Thank God he believed it," she whispered.

Katherine nodded. "Tell me about it. Let me guess-you and Tommy got a little tied up," she guessed.

"I don't see why you would think that!" Zack deadpanned. "Really, Kat, why would Stephanie suck face with Tommy when she knows she's got classes?"

Stephanie motioned frantically for them to shut up. "SHH! What are you trying to do, get me into trouble?" she hissed. "Besides, I would never do a thing like that!" she exclaimed mock-indignantly. "Seriously, Tommy had my book for this class in his bag. Apparently, he mixed mine up with one of his."

* * * * *

Lord Zedd groaned out loud and tuned out the sound of his wife's whining as he leaned back into his throne. Someone please shut her up!


Zedd sat up abruptly. Rita was standing with her hands on her hips, glaring at him. "Are you listening to me?"

Zedd stood up slowly. "What now, woman?" he growled.

"We need a way to get rid of those pesky Power Rangers!" she shrieked shrilly.

Zedd turned to look at her. "Do you have a plan?"

Rita smiled a truly evil smile. "You'd better believe I do."

Zedd came closer as she began to fill him in on the details.

* * * * *

"Hey, guys!"

Tommy, Kimberly Hart, Adam Park, Tanya Sloan, and Aisha Campbell looked up at the voice to see Zack, Stephanie, and Katherine sitting down next to them at their regular table in the Youth Center. Or in Stephanie's case-on Tommy's lap. "Hi, sweetie," she grinned as she kissed him, which quickly turned into a full-out lip lock.



There was no answer from the entwined couple. Zack stood up, picking up a french fry as he did so. "I don't know about the rest of you, but I say we stop this before it goes X-rated. Jason's teaching a beginner's karate class right over there!" he informed them right before he launched the fry at Stephanie's face.

That broke the spell between the two. Stephanie flinched and pulled back from fright as it bounced off her cheek. She opened her eyes to find her teammates doubled over in laughter while she angrily wiped salt and grease from the fry off with her sleeve. Then she turned her glare full-force on Zack. "Zack, who did that?"

Zack immediately jumped out of his chair and moved so that the table was between them, recognizing the look on his friend's face. "I did," he responded just before he grabbed the hand of his girlfriend, Aisha. "Girl, there's little kids over there! Come on, Ish. I feel the need to get out of here before she starts throwing things."

Stephanie rolled her eyes as she sat down in the seat that Zack had vacated. "I will never understand why Zack feels the need to do that every time we kiss," she spoke up, throwing her hands into the air.

Kimberly, Adam, Tanya, and Kat all traded looks. "Maybe it's because whenever you two kiss, you stick together like you're super-glued at the lip!" Kimberly giggled.

"Stephanie, Tommy, are you two sure you're not fish or something? I swear, you stay under forever!" Tanya added.

Katherine giggled. "Would you all like to know what happened in biology today?" she asked the Kim, Tanya, and Adam.

"Sure, why not?" Tanya answered.

Kat smiled. "Well, Zack and I were sitting in class as the bell rang, wondering where in the world Steph was. Not more than thirty seconds later, Stephanie tries to sneak in, only to get caught by Mr. Myers as soon as he turns around. You could practically tell what she was thinking as he called her name and she turned around. She gave him a story about her locker being jammed, and he let her off the hook. Of course, the real story is that-ta da!-she was making out in the hall with Tommy again before class!" she exclaimed as she, Kim, and Tanya broke into sputtering laughter.

Tommy and Stephanie looked at each other while the others giggled, her eyes pleading for him to change the subject. Tommy waited until the laughter died down, then spoke. "I hear you're going to be celebrating a birthday soon," he addressed his girlfriend.

Stephanie's grin became even brighter. "You heard right, Tommy. It'll be this Saturday, on November 12. I'll be seventeen," she replied.

Tommy caught Kim's eye and she nodded slightly, then glanced casually at the others. Surprise party for the newest Ranger. Didn't we do this with Kat? Kimberly wondered momentarily. Realizing they had, she shrugged it off and listened to Tommy and Stephanie talking.

"Doing anything special then?"

"Not as far as I can tell, unless Mom decides to take me up to Washington so that my relatives can see 'how tall I've grown' and stuff like that."

"I hope she doesn't, because I'd really like to take you out to dinner to celebrate," Tommy responded.

"Sounds fun. I'll go try to talk to Mom about it, okay?" she replied with a grin as she got up and kissed him. "See you later!"

Tommy watched Stephanie leave, admiring her legs. Then a thought crossed his mind. She looks like Tamara from the back. I wonder how Tara's doing down in L.A.? Shaking his head, he pushed the thought from his mind. Then he heard the word 'shopping' enter Kimberly, Katherine, and Tanya's conversation. "What are you talking about shopping for?" he asked warily, shooting Adam a look, who looked just as happy about it as he did.

"Stephanie's birthday, Tommy!" Kim squealed. "We've got to get decorations for the Youth Center, invite people, and get her presents. We have the perfect excuse to go shopping!"

"We've got to get her something meaningful for her birthday, too," Katherine added. "After all, it is her seventeenth!"

"Yeah, but are we going to get separate gifts or are we all going to chip in and buy her one from all of us?" Tanya questioned them.

"Well, I know what I'm getting Stephanie...besides taking her out to dinner, of course," Tommy spoke up.

"What are you getting her?" Katherine asked him gently.

Tommy glanced at all of them. "Maybe I should surprise everyone."

"Oh, come on, Tommy. You can tell us," Kimberly encouraged him.

"Well...I'm going to get her a birthstone necklace. She's already got a matching ring and earrings, but I think she should have a necklace to complete the set. Since she was born in November, her birthstone is citrine," he explained.

Tanya smiled at him and touched his arm. "Stephanie will love it. That sounds like a great present."

Tommy smiled back, then checked his watch. "Well, I'll see you girls later. I promised Trini, Rocky, and Billy that I'd meet them in the park for a little sparring." He looked at Kim. "Hey, Kim!"

She glanced up. "Hmm?"

"'Catch ya on the flip side!'" he grinned.

Kimberly grinned, recognizing the phrase she had used the day they had gone skydiving before Ivan Ooze had come to town. "See ya later," she responded good-naturedly.

* * * * *

"So Tommy finally decided to show up!"

Tommy shook his head as he recognized the voice belonging to that comment. Rocky DeSantos was waiting just ahead of him in Angel Grove Park, arms crossed and one eyebrow raised, giving him a slightly funnier version of Stephanie's patented glare that she had given Zack earlier. "Hey, Rocko. Does Steve know that you're mimicking her?" he jibed as he caught up to him.

Rocky held him hands up in front of him. "I have no clue what you're talking about!" he teased. "You ready to spar?"

Tommy fell into a fighting stance. "Let's go."

Trini Kwan and Billy Cranston entered the fight so that it was four people against each other, and the fight quickly escalated when Goldar, tengas, and putties showed up.

"So we meet again, Tommy," Goldar growled. "This time, you shall be destroyed!"

"With tengas and putties? I don't think so!" Tommy scoffed as he and the others assumed fighting stances. Let's go, guys!"

Goldar went head-to-head with Tommy as the others battled the putties and tengas. "So, Red Ranger, you shall finally die by my hand!" Goldar proclaimed as he swung his sword down.

Tommy dodged the sword's razor-sharp edge and kicked it out of his hand. "I don't think that's gonna happen, Goldar," he mocked him as he retrieved the weapon. "It's kinda hard to kill a Ranger."

"Trini, look out!" Rocky cried. Trini didn't turn and look, she simply dropped into a full split as Rocky launched a flying kick at a couple of tengas that wanted to take her out.

"Thanks, Rocky," she breathed as she got up.

"No problem."

Billy launched into a set of back handsprings as tengas and putties followed him, not knowing they were being lured into a trap. Rocky and Trini had climbed into the trees and were lying in wait as he led them underneath the two. "Hyah!" Trini and Rocky cried as they jumped onto the birds and brought them down as Billy spin-kicked a few that had come after him from behind.

Tommy smirked as Trini, Billy, and Rocky finished off their attackers and joined him. "Four against one, Goldar. I like those odds," he taunted the gold-armored monkey. He tossed Goldar his sword. "Take your sword and run. You're not worth my time."

Goldar glared at his enemy. "You will not be so lucky next time, Rangers. I will be back," he promised as he teleported back to the moon.


Tommy realized his communicator was going off and he answered, "Tommy here."

It was Stephanie. "Tommy, meet me at the Youth Center, okay? I've got some news."

"All right. Be there in five." He turned to his friends. "I'll see you later, okay? Stephanie wants to tell me something," he explained.

Rocky chuckled. "Tommy, you are so whipped!"

Tommy glared at him. "I don't have time right now, so can you two remind me to get him later?" he asked Trini and Billy, who were standing to the side.

"You got it, Tommy. Now get going! It's not polite to keep a lady waiting," Trini told him.

"I'm going, I'm going," he answered as he began to jog toward the Youth Center.

* * * * *

Tommy's mind pondered the possible different reasons that Stephanie could've had to talk to him as he jogged through the parking lot to the youth center and entered the door. He walked down the hallway and stood in the entrance for a moment, letting his eyes adjust to the difference in light. He immediately spotted Stephanie sitting at a table a few feet away, watching Jason teach his advanced class. She jumped as he sat down next to her. "Sorry I'm late. We got attacked. So, what'd you want to tell me?"

Stephanie nodded silently, then grinned. "Do you still want to take me out to dinner for my birthday?" she questioned, eyes sparkling.

Tommy looked puzzled for a second, then understanding dawned in his eyes. "Your mom's letting you stay?" he probed.

Stephanie nodded excitedly. "Yup. She said she'll just take me up a few days before my birthday to see our relatives," she answered happily.

Tommy absorbed that bit of information. That'll give us enough time to invite everyone and get the party set up. Maybe Ernie will let us use the youth center for a dance...


Stephanie and Tommy turned around to see who had called his name to find a girl their own age hovering in the doorway uncertainly, fidgeting with a lock of her straight blonde hair. Her blue eyes seemed hopeful as they lit upon Tommy's face. Tommy's face lit up with surprise and happiness, much to Stephanie's dismay. "Tara?!"

Who is that girl he's hugging over there? Stephanie wondered, her eyes wide as she watched the two embrace. An ex-girlfriend from Los Angeles?

Tara giggled, bringing Stephanie back to the present. "You look so shocked, Tommy! What, didn't you miss me?" she asked him sternly.

Tommy smiled. "Sure I missed you. It's just been so long since I last saw you! I still can't believe you're here," he admitted.

Tara caught sight of a young woman glaring at her from a table. "Tommy, why does that girl over there look like she wants to kill me?"

Tommy glanced at Stephanie, whose eyes were staring daggers at them. Great. I forgot to tell Stephanie who Tara was! Knowing the way Steve thinks, she's probably already decided that we were married in a past life! he groaned inwardly as they walked over. "Stephanie, I'd like you to meet Tamara..."

Stephanie waited miserably for the bomb to drop. Here it comes. My girlfriend that I never broke up with before I came to Angel Grove...

"...my sister."

Stephanie looked up in surprise. "Tara, this is Stephanie Marks, my girlfriend," Tommy finished.

Stephanie recovered from her shock quickly and stood up. "Hi. How are you doing?"

Tara grinned. "Pretty good. It's not every day that I get to meet a world-famous superstar, after all. And one who's dating my brother, at that," she responded. "You dance really well. I love the moves you use."

Tara's comment piqued Stephanie's interest. "You like to dance?" she asked curiously, eyebrow raised.

"Like to dance? Yes, you could say that. Besides growing up learning martial arts from Tommy, I was trained in all forms of dance: modern, jazz, ballet...you name it, I learned it."

Tommy squeezed Stephanie's shoulders. "She also likes to sing. Just for fun, of course, but she's pretty good. I'd say you've found yourself a playmate!" he whispered in her ear.

Stephanie's eyes widened in surprise. "Really? I want to hear you sing!" she encouraged Tara.

Tommy grinned in amusement. "You two sound as if you could be twins. You like the same things, you do the same things, you both love me..."

Stephanie and Tara shot him a look which quickly shut him up. "You're starting to sound like Rocky, Tommy. I'd watch it," Stephanie informed him, then turned her attention back to Tara. "He's right, though. We do sound alike."

Tara nodded. "You'd better believe it!" she agreed. "I think we're gonna be good friends."

Tommy produced a CD seemingly from nowhere for Tara's inspection. "Number four," she decided.

"Mariah Carey? Girl, you've got good taste," Stephanie murmured. "She's my idol."

"Mine too."

Suddenly, the strains of "The Roof" floated throughout the room and everyone watched as the newcomer began to sing.

It wasn't raining yet
But it was definitely a little misty on
That warm November night
And my heart was pounding
My inner voice resounding
Begging me to turn away
But I just had to see your face
To feel alive

And then you casually walked in the room
And I was twisted in the web
Of my desire for you
(And I was twisted)
My apprehension blew away
I only wanted you
To taste my sadness
As you kissed me in the dark

Every time I feel the need
I envision you caressing me
And go back in time
To relive the splendor of you and I
On the rooftop that rainy night

And so we finished the Moet and
I started feeling liberated
And I surrendered as you took me
In your arms
I was so caught up in the moment
I couldn't bear to let you go yet
So I threw caution to the wind
And started listening to my longing heart

And then you softly pressed your lips to mine
And feelings surfaced that I'd suppressed
For such a long time
(And I was lifted)
And for a while I forgot
The sorrow and the pain
And melted with you as we stood
There in the rain

Every time I feel the need
I envision you caressing me
And go back in time
To relive the splendor of you and I
On the rooftop that rainy night
Every time I feel the need
I envision you caressing me
And go back in time
To relive the splendor of you and I
On the rooftop that rainy night

Stephanie grinned as she watched Tara sing. She's good...really good. Why don't we really give people something to talk about? she thought as her voice joined Tara's.

Last night I dreamed that I
Whispered the words I love you
And touched you so very
Subtly as we were kissing goodbye
(Pretty baby-How I'm missing you)

Every time I feel the need
I envision you caressing me
(Envision you caressing me)
And go back in time
(I go back)
To relive the splendor of you and I
On the rooftop that rainy night
(On the roof that rainy night)

Every time I feel the need
(When I feel the need)
I envision you caressing me
(I envision you over and over and over again)
And go back in time
To relive the splendor of you and I
(It was oh so sweet you and I)
On the rooftop that rainy night
(On that rainy night)

Every time I feel the need
(Last night I had the strangest dream...)
I envision you caressing me
(It was actually quite symbolic)
And go back in time
(As I whispered...that I loved you)
To relive the splendor of you and I
(...very subtly)

Every time I feel the need
I envision you caressing me
And go back in time
To relive the splendor of you and I
On the rooftop that rainy night

Tara and Stephanie were pulled out of their haze as everyone began clapping. "You were great!" Stephanie told Tara.

Tara shrugged, smiling. "I'll never be as good as you, though."

"How would you like a smoothie?"


* * * * *

Zedd watched the reunion of Tommy and his sister in disgust. "Human emotions make me sick!" he spat out. "This little sister of Tommy's must be used to our advantage. Rita, can this plan of yours incorporate this little brat into it?"

Rita sat back on Zedd's throne. "Hmm...it could work," she mused quietly, much to Zedd's delight. He had no desire for her to scream again. She wasn't silent for long, however. "Goldar! Get in here!"

Goldar walked into the throne room. "How may I serve you, o evil one?" he snarled sarcastically. Rita wasn't his favorite person, and had it been under any other circumstances, he would never have taken orders from her in the first place.

"Take the tengas and storm the youth center. Capture a girl standing next to Tommy with blue eyes, blonde hair, and wearing a black crystal around her neck, and bring her back to me," Zedd ordered him. "Do not fail me this time."

As Goldar flew down to Earth with the tengas trailing him, Rita walked over to the balcony. "So Stephanie's having a birthday in a few days, is she? Well, we'll just have to send her a little present. The Rangers are planning a surprise party for her, and they'll use any excuse to keep her from finding out! We'll wait until she's all alone, and then...we strike!"

* * * * *

Tara absentmindedly fingered the black crystal shard that she wore around her neck as Stephanie and Tommy spoke to each other. I love this place already. It's almost like I was drawn to it somehow. Who knew that by the end of this day I'd be sitting here with my brother? He's not my brother by blood, but he is in all the ways that matter, and that's what counts...what the hell?!?! "What's going on?" Tara screamed, her voice echoing her thoughts.

Stephanie and Tommy turned around at her scream and found Goldar and tengas storming the place. "Oh, great," Stephanie groaned. "We'd better get everyone out of here."

Tommy nodded firmly, slipping into leader mode. "Everyone leave through the back doors!" he yelled above the din as he and Stephanie started to hold off the birds. No one noticed as Goldar crept up behind Tara and grabbed her by the shoulder, not expecting much of a fight. What came next surprised him, however.

"Hyah!" Tara cried as she flung him over her shoulder, a feat that Tommy even had a hard time doing. As Goldar crashed into the far wall, the fight paused. Stephanie, Tommy, and the tengas all turned to see him fly above their heads. Stephanie burst into sputtering laughter as Tommy looked at his sister, confounded.

"Did you do that, Tara?" At her nod, Tommy backed away. "Remind me never to get you angry."

The tengas got Goldar to his feet, who immediately rushed the teens, catching them off guard and slicing into Stephanie's side with his sword. She dropped to the ground at the sudden pain and winced as Goldar aimed a kick at her injured side. It never connected.

"Didn't your mother teach you any manners?" the Pink Ninja Ranger questioned as she knocked him to the ground.

Stephanie looked up at the voice. "Good...you're here..." she whispered, and passed out.

Jason found himself in his element. He drew his broadsword and began to fight off the birds. "Here, let me trim those wings for you!"

Zack and Aisha danced circles around the tengas, who tried valiantly to keep up with them. "Shall we dance, milady?" Zack asked his girlfriend, giving her hand a kiss.

Aisha spinned around and out of the way as a tenga tried to grab her and missed. "Why not?"

The Ninja Rangers sent the tengas and Goldar packing, then gathered around Stephanie. "Steph? Stephanie...no," Tommy whispered, his eyes filling with tears.

The Blue Ninja Ranger knelt down by Stephanie's side and turned her over, revealing her injury. There was a large pool of blood underneath her, and her lips were turning blue. "We've got to get her medical help, and fast," he reported. "We're going to take her to our base and fix her up the best we can, okay?"

Tommy nodded, his face pale. "I trust you, Power Rangers."

Tara, in shock at her new friend's condition, could only watch as the superheroes teleported out, leaving her and Tommy alone in the room. "Please bring her back soon," she whispered to the air. She placed her hand on Tommy's shoulder. "Come on, Tommy. Why don't you take me home so I can see where I'm staying and to keep your mind off of Stephanie?" she suggested.

Tommy nodded woodenly as he stared at the blood on the floor. God, please don't let Steve die on me. He glanced to Tara, who was watching him in concern. "All right. Let's go."

* * * * *

On the moon, the mood was anything but somber as Rita and Zedd celebrated the news of Stephanie being put out of commission. "You didn't bring me the girl, Goldar, but we can try again! This is ten times better than anything you have ever done!" Zedd laughed as he drank a glass of champagne.

Rita cackled along with him. "Just think-two Rangers for the price of one! With the purple brat unconscious and injured, Tommy won't be able to fight because he'll be too concerned for her!" she shrieked. "It's perfect!"

Zedd scanned Angel Grove for Tara. "How perfect, indeed," he mused thoughtfully, drawing Rita's attention. "Rita, Tommy's sister is all alone at his house. Shall we send Goldar?"

"Do it! This time, don't come back without her or that crystal necklace she wears around her neck, monkey-boy! It's a missing piece of the Zeo crystal! Too bad no one else knows...or will ever find out!"

* * * * *

Tara sat on her bed, praying for Stephanie. I know I only just met her a few hours ago, but I feel closer to her than I've ever felt to anyone before in my life...except for Tommy, of course. We can't be split up now. She's like a sister to me. She sat up and turned on her CD player. "I need something to cheer me up, don't you think?" she asked her stuffed teddy bear. "'N Sync might help. That Justin guy is pretty cute. Hey, maybe Stephanie could introduce us when she gets back."

Can this be true?
Tell me, can this be real?
How can I put into words what I feel?
My life was complete
I thought I was whole
Why do I feel like I'm losing control?

Never knew that love could feel like this
And you changed my world with just one
How can it be that right here with me
Is an angel
It's a miracle

Your love is like a river
Peaceful and deep
Your soul is like a secret
That I never could keep
When I look into your eyes
I know that it's true
God must have spent
A little more time
On you

In all of creation
All things great and small
You are the one that surpasses them all
More precious than
Any diamond or pearl
They broke the mold
When you came in this world

Your love is like a river
Peaceful and deep
Your soul is like a secret
That I never could keep
When I look into your eyes
I know that it's true
God must have spent
A little more time
On you

Never knew that love could feel like this
And you changed my world with just one
How can it be that right here with me
Is an angel
It's a miracle

Your love is like a river
Peaceful and deep
Your soul is like a secret
That I never could keep
When I look into your eyes
I know that it's true
God must have spent
A little more time
On you

God must have spent
A little more time
On you

A little more time
On you.

Tara wiped away a tear that had made its way down her cheek. The song always made her cry, and this time was no different. "Please don't let Stephanie die," she whispered. Just then, a teleportation stream touched down in her room, revealing Goldar. "Not again!"

* * * * *

Tommy landed in the Power Chamber in his customary red teleportation stream and immediately raced to Stephanie's side. "How's she doing?" he asked Billy.

"Not so good. For the moment, I've placed her in stasis since the advanced methods that Zordon and Alpha have aren't working on her," Billy answered. "It's like her body is purposely repelling it."


Tommy nodded in agreement. "Then let's do it."

Katherine, Tanya, Rocky, Adam, Tommy and Trey all formed a circle around Stephanie's body on the examining table, with Zack, Kimberly, Billy, Trini, Jason, and Aisha forming one of their own around them. "We call upon the power of all those combined," Tommy called out.


Zordon added his voice to the others as he activated the purple shard. "PURPLE RANGER POWER!"

Zack, Kimberly, Billy, Trini, Jason, and Aisha watched in awe as the crystal glowed brightly, and then let a stream of pure energy pour into Stephanie's body. After a few moments, however, it became clear that her injuries were even more serious than they had originally thought. The zeo crystal couldn't heal it all. Jason looked at the others, who nodded and pulled out their power coins.


The teens watched as the energy from the power coins joined the crystal's and combined to heal Stephanie. The long slash in her side closed up and the internal damage caused by Goldar's sword was reversed.

Tommy breathed a sigh of relief as Stephanie was taken out of stasis and began to breathe normally on her own. Then the silence in the Power Chamber was pierced with the wailing of the alarms. In unison, they all watched the viewing globe in horror as Tara tried to fight off Goldar in her bedroom.

Tommy literally growled in anger. "I'm going to kill Goldar," he spoke up as he watched his sister in concern. "No one messes with my family and gets away with it."

* * * * *

Tara scrambled to her feet as Goldar walked into her room. "God, this is just what I don't need right now," she moaned as she grabbed her necklace off of her dresser. Her gaze rested on Goldar again and her eyes lit up furiously. "You," she spoke ominously. "You're going to pay for what you did to my friend."

Goldar drew his sword. "We shall see, human. Zedd and Rita want me to bring you back to them unharmed, but I need to teach you a lesson for throwing me across the room first!" he roared as he brought the blade down at her head. "You may have a few broken bones and some bruises when you finally get to the moon!"

Tara rolled her eyes. "Please spare me the lecture," she groaned as she dive-rolled out of the way and jumped to her feet. "Missed me!" she taunted him as he rushed her again. Suddenly, she found herself with her back to her open window. "I guess there's only one way out now."

Fortunately for Tara, she had accidentally knocked out the screen in her huge window a few moments before the monster had come in. Taking a deep breath, she ran and jumped out of the window from the second floor, landing gracefully on her feet in the soft grass. "Come on, Goldar. Or are you chicken?" she teased him.

Goldar lost his temper. Following her down to the ground, he towered above her. "This is it, girl. Say your prayers," he growled.

Tara smirked and crossed her arms. "How about I not and say I did?" she replied flippantly. Reacting quickly, she spin-kicked the sword out of his hand and knocked him to the ground. "Sorry, monkey-boy, but I watch 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' every Tuesday night at 8 on the WB," she informed him.

* * * * *

Kat laughed at the look on Goldar's face in the viewing globe. "Looks like you taught your sister well, Tommy," she observed. "You don't do the sarcasm as well as she does, though."

"You guys had better get down there and help her," Billy spoke up. "She can't do that forever."

Tommy nodded. "You're right. Let's go, Zeo Rangers. It's morphin' time!"


Morphed and ready for action, the Rangers teleported to Tommy's house.

* * * * *

Five multi-colored streaks of light appeared in the yard next to Tara and revealed the Power Rangers. The Red Ranger stepped forward, his disgust for Goldar barely concealed. "Get out of here, Goldar. Leave her alone," he commanded him. "Or next time I'll send you back to Zedd and Rita in pieces."

Goldar stood up. "This isn't over."

Pink Ranger stepped up as well, her bow and arrows at the ready. "Tell Zedd and Rita I said hi," she added sarcastically.

* * * * *

Stephanie slowly came to in one of the many rooms down the hall from the Power Chamber. They were mainly used when a Ranger needed to sleep, which was what Stephanie (as well as the other Rangers) had been doing until a slight noise woke her up.

Sitting up, she put her hand to her forehead as she fought a violent urge to throw up. "God, what happened to me? The last thing I remember is fighting Goldar and tengas with Tommy and Tara..." she trailed off as she recalled what had happened in the Youth Center a few days ago.

Goldar swung at me with his sword while my guard was down and sliced my side up. All I remember is sharp, burning pain...but why don't I feel anything right now? Stephanie wondered as she lay back down. That was priceless, though. Goldar was stunned that Tara could fight him and that she actually threw him over her shoulder! "I think Tommy's scared of his own sister now."

"What makes you think that, beautiful?"

Stephanie jumped at the voice and turned to the doorway to see Tommy standing there. "Tommy!"

"You're finally awake!" he observed with relief. "You've been out for a few days."

Stephanie put her hand to her forehead again and tried to will the room to stop spinning. "What day is today, anyway?" she asked.

Tommy came over to her and smoothed her hair back. "November 11...the day before your birthday," he told her. "Do you feel alright? You don't look so good."

Stephanie shook her head, painfully aware of the room spinning faster. "No..." she moaned as she climbed unsteadily out of bed and ran for the bathroom a few short feet away. Tommy followed her and reached her just as she finished emptying the contents of her stomach into the toilet.

Tommy studied her face carefully. Stephanie's curly hair was plastered against her head, her face was pale and covered with a thin sheen of sweat, and she was shivering with cold. "Poor baby. It sucks being sick so close to your birthday, doesn't it?"

Stephanie nodded. "I'm actually feeling a little better now. It was the dizzy spell that attacked me as soon as I sat up that caused it," she explained woozily. "I'm really tired. Can you pick me up and carry me back to my bed, please? I don't think I have enough energy to make it back on my own."

Tommy smiled gently. "Sure, princess. Put your arms around my neck, okay? Here we go."

Tommy looked down at his girlfriend as they reached her bed and found that her eyes were closed, her head leaning against his shoulder. "Sweet dreams, Sleeping Beauty," he whispered as he laid her down carefully and pulled the covers back up over her. "I love you."

"I love you too, Tommy," Stephanie mumbled, hearing him as she drifted off to sleep.

* * * * *

Kimberly wiped her brow as she stepped down from the ladder that she was on and surveyed the Youth Center with a critical eye the next day. "It's looking great, but we've still got a long way to go if it's gonna be ready for the party tonight," she announced to Jason, Kat, Tanya, Rocky, and Adam.

"Don't worry, guys. You'll get it done in time," Ernie spoke up.

Jason grinned. "Speaking of time, man, it's cool that you let us have the place on such short notice for Steve's party," he responded.

Ernie shrugged modestly. "No problem. Stephanie's a sweetheart. She deserves it," he commented.

"You got that right!"

Kim, Jason, and Ernie looked up as Tara entered the conversation. "Tommy told me about the surprise party for her birthday, and I came to see if you could use a hand getting set up," she explained.

Where is Tommy, anyway? He's always late and all, but this is getting ridiculous!" Kim rolled her eyes in exasperation.

"He's with Steph. He hasn't left her side ever since the Power Rangers brought her home yesterday," Tara told her. My gosh, all of them are the Power Rangers. I don't know how I know that...I just know. I have this feeling, she mused, fingering the black crystal on a cord around her neck. Besides, Katherine's accent is a dead giveaway! I mean, really, how many Australians live here in Angel Grove? Apparently, no one is supposed to know, though. Secret identities and all that. I'll keep it a secret...for now. God, Tommy was mad when they teleported to our house when Goldar tried to get me!

"How's she doing?" Rocky asked as he and Adam, Tanya, and Kat joined the little group.

"Pretty good. Since the attack, though, she hasn't wanted to go back to her apartment, so she's at our house for the time being. I'm sure Tommy really minds!" Tara remarked, leaning against the front counter.

Kim smirked. "All right, all right. Back to the matter at hand. Zack and Aisha are the deejays for this, right?"

"Yup. They're at their houses getting their extensive CD collections right now," Jason confirmed.

"Okay...check. Tanya, you're bringing the punch?"

"Already here!"

"All right...Kat and Adam are finishing the decorations...uh-oh."

Those last words from the petite woman made everyone look at her cautiously, dreading the next words from her mouth. "Okay, who signed Rocky up to be in charge of the food?"

"Hey!" Rocky protested. "I can bring the food!"

"Yeah, but half of it will probably be gone before you get here tonight!" Adam teased his best friend.

"Very funny, Adam."

* * * * *

Tommy walked downstairs at his house and took a seat on the couch in the living room. Stephanie was still asleep upstairs in his room at eleven-thirty in the morning. Obviously, she liked to sleep in. It was all very innocent, with Tommy in a sleeping bag on the floor so she could have the bed, but the mere fact that his girlfriend had spent the night in his room made all kinds of thoughts go through his head. She's so gorgeous, even when she's sleeping. She looks so innocent and child-like... Tommy mused.

As he left the living room and wandered back upstairs, he felt the call of nature and opened the door to the bathroom at the top of the steps, assuming that Stephanie was still out like a light in his bedroom. He didn't register the running water at first.

Tommy was left speechless at the sight before him, although his body decided to betray him by showing its appreciation. And what a sight it was.

Apparently, Stephanie had woken up while he had been downstairs and had drawn a tub full of water, pouring bubble bath into it as it filled. The lights were out-the only light in the room was from a few flickering aromatic candles, soft music was playing in the background, and the small room was steamy and smelled like raspberries. To top it off, her clothes were lying at his feet. She hadn't bothered to pull the shower curtain closed, either. Then Tommy noticed that she was surrounded by bubbles. Stephanie was lying back contentedly in the warm water, her eyes closed in absolute bliss. They weren't closed for long, however. At Tommy's sharp intake of breath, her eyes snapped open. "Tommy?" she gasped, forcing herself not to sit up in surprise.

Tommy blushed. "I'm sorry. I didn't know anyone was in here," he apologized, politely looking away. "I'll leave you alone."

Stephanie shook her head. "No...don't leave," she spoke softly, her chocolate-colored eyes drawing him in. She bit her lip and looked up at her boyfriend hopefully. "Wash my hair for me?"

His eyes widened as he heard her request. "Sure," he managed to speak. In reply, Stephanie slid beneath the surface of the water to get her hair wet.

He took the bottle of raspberry-scented shampoo and poured some into his hands, then proceeded to give her head a vigorous massage. "Does this feel good?" he asked hesitantly.

Stephanie moaned in response as she relaxed into the water. "It feels wonderful. I swear you've got talented hands, Tommy," she commented lazily, punctuating her statement with a yawn that nearly split her head in two. "Tommy?"


"The last thing I remember is fighting Goldar. What happened to me?" she questioned.

"Well, Goldar cut your side up really badly, and the technology in the Power Chamber wasn't advanced enough to heal all of the internal damage that he caused. In the end, we used the Zeo crystal to heal you, but since it wasn't whole, it couldn't heal you completely. The Ninjas saved the day by pulling out their power coins and combining their energies with ours," Tommy explained.

"So that's why I didn't feel any pain when I first woke up back at the Power Chamber," Stephanie remembered, then looked at Tommy pointedly.

"What? Oh, you want me to leave, huh," Tommy observed. "And here I thought we were getting along so well!"

"You know I don't want you to leave, but I'd like to get dressed. Sometime during this century would be nice!" she mock-scolded him. She made a shooing motion with her hands, flinging bubbles every which way. "Now go!"

Tommy chuckled as he shut the bathroom door behind him. Through the wood he could hear Stephanie muttering, "What is it with men and women's bodies?" A minute later she came out, dressed in a pair of flares and a velvet tank, which had white streaks across a purple background, and went down the hall to Tommy's bedroom.

Stephanie smiled softly to herself as Tommy followed her. I knew he'd enter the bathroom at one point or another, but I didn't expect him to actually wash my hair for me! When is he going to tell me 'happy birthday'? I'm finally seventeen! she wondered as she searched in her overnight bag for a scrunchie to pull her hair back with.

Tommy watched her look in her bag for something. "Stephanie?"

Stephanie straightened up, a purple scrunchie in her right hand. "I found it!" she cried. Then she realized Tommy was still in there and had asked her a question. Blushing, she replied, "Yeah?"

"Do you happen to have a fancy dress?"

She raised an eyebrow curiously. "Sure I do...but why?"

Tommy smiled at her. "Well, I think a seventeenth birthday calls for something special. How would you like to go out to dinner with me tonight to celebrate?" he asked.

Stephanie burst into a huge smile. "I'd love to," she responded. Their gazes met for a moment. "I love you, Tommy," Stephanie whispered as he drew her into an embrace.

Tommy held her tightly and kissed the top of her head. "I love you too, Steve. Happy birthday," he replied warmly.

* * * * *

Aisha watched Rocky warily as he entered the Youth Center with an armful of food. "Is that all of it, Rocko?" she questioned him suspiciously.

Rocky threw his arms up in the air. "I don't believe this!" he cried. "First them, now you! What is this, 'Pick On Rocky Day'?"

Aisha rolled her eyes and waited until his tirade was over. "Then where's the rest of it?" she returned as soon as he was quiet.

"In my car. Don't worry, none of it was touched."

Aisha grinned. "I'll help you get the rest of it in," she offered.

Rocky nodded. "All right. That'll be a big help."

On their way out, they ran into Stephanie. "Stephanie!" Aisha gasped, eyes wide.

"Isha! Oh my gosh, it feels so good to be back in the land of the living," Stephanie said as she hugged her friend.

Aisha bit her lip as she hugged her back. How am I supposed to keep Steph away from the juice bar? she panicked. "So, Steph, what are you doing here?"

"Going to the juice bar to see if I can find Tara," she responded. "Tommy said she might be here. Why? Is something wrong?"

Aisha groaned to herself. Oh no, nothing's wrong. We're just decorating for your birthday party and if you manage to get past us, you're going to ruin the surprise. Other than that, life's a box of chocolates, so go ahead and pick one, she told Stephanie mentally.

Stephanie frowned as she examined Aisha's facial expressions closely. That's funny...it seems like Aisha's hiding something. Her gaze flitted across Rocky and assessed him critically. If I didn't know better, I'd say Rocky is in on the secret as well! But we also know that he's no good at keeping secrets either. Hmm...

Aisha sensed that Stephanie was about to ask a question of Rocky, but she beat her to the punch. "Rocky, why don't you go see if Ernie needs any help?" she hinted strongly. Get out of here before you spill everything to Steve! she mentally screamed.

Rocky understood what Aisha meant and took off like a shot. Upon reaching the juice bar he yelled frantically, "Guys, Steph's coming! Aisha's stalling her as long as she can, but the birthday girl's starting to get suspicious!"

The effect was as if he had thrown a firecracker into the room. Kim shot up out of her chair. Jason sprayed a mouthful of soda across the table. Kat's eyes went round. Adam and Tanya grabbed each other's hands. "WHAAT?!" they chorused in surprise.

Chaos ensued as the Rangers scurried around and pulled down decorations, hid the food, flipped off the lights, and hid behind the counter.

And not a moment too soon. Stephanie appeared in the doorway with Aisha close behind. She surveyed the mess and then turned to Aisha. "What's going on?" Stephanie demanded.

Aisha rolled her eyes when Stephanie wasn't watching. "I told you, Steph. Rocky and I were going to help Ernie clean today. Can you please get going? I've got to get back to work," Aisha explained.

Stephanie bit her lip and nodded. "Fine. I guess I'll see you later," she said as she left. "If you need me, I'll be at the lake."

Only when Stephanie got outside and stood in the warm California sunshine did she allow herself to cry, the tears running down her cheeks, which left behind salty trails. What did I do to make Aisha act like that to me?

Fishing the car keys to her brand-new violet Dodge Intrepid out of her pocket, she unlocked the door and slid into the driver's seat. She started the car and shifted to reverse. "They couldn't have forgotten about my birthday," she hiccupped as she pulled out onto the road and headed for the lake. "Tommy asked me about it just this morning!"

Stephanie sighed as she reached the lake. Killing the engine, she climbed out of the car and walked to the water's edge after she slipped off her sandals, allowing the water to lap at her feet. "My seventeenth birthday, and look how I'm spending it," she grumbled, a single crystalline tear sliding down her cheek. "I've had more fun than this just by taking out the trash. I had more fun when Kimberly and I were fighting!"

* * * * *

Kim, Rocky, Kat, Tanya, and Adam came out from behind the counter as soon as it became apparent that Stephanie wasn't coming back any time soon. "Is she gone?" Kat asked Aisha.

"I don't think so, Kat." Everyone turned to see Tommy watching them. He continued as soon as he was sure that they were all listening. "You hurt her feelings pretty badly. I was getting out of my truck in the parking lot and I saw Steve get into her car and leave. She looked really upset. You could tell from a mile away that she was crying," he explained.

Adam grimaced. "Not exactly the reaction we were hoping for," he spoke up.

Tommy nodded. "I know. She really thinks that we forgot her birthday. Maybe we should just tell her about the party," he suggested.

"And ruin the surprise? Thomas James Oliver, what in the world are you thinking? Are you nuts?!" Tara scolded her brother. "If you weren't the Red Zeo Ranger, I'd kick your butt six ways to next Sunday!"

The room went dead silent as seven pairs of eyes focused on Tara in shock. Tara grinned weakly as she clapped a hand over her mouth. "Oops."

"W-what are you talking about, Tara?" Tommy asked.

Tara rolled her eyes. "God, you act like it's illegal for me to know you all are the Power Rangers," she commented as she sat down in an empty chair.

Tommy groaned out loud at his sister's smart-ass comment. "Tamara Michelle Oliver, just tell me what you know!" he thundered.

Rocky widened his eyes at that. "Ooh, he used the LONG version," he observed. "You're in trouble now!"

"Tara, how do you know that we're the Power Rangers?" Tommy asked his sister. "The truth."

"The truth?" Tara repeated. "This is gonna sound strange, but...um, I just have this feeling. An instinct. Besides," she added, glancing at Kat, "Kat's accent is a dead giveaway! I mean, how many Australians live in Angel Grove?"

Adam listened to Tara explain and saw her fidgeting with her necklace. What is that necklace? It looks like a shard of crystal. Something in the recesses of Adam's mind clicked into place.

"Anything else?" Tommy managed to joke.


Nah, it couldn't be, Adam mused. Zordon never said anything about a black Zeo shard. But it could've been lost. Maybe we'd better find out... "Tara, where did you get that necklace?" Adam spoke up.

Tara looked down to where she was playing with her crystal. "I don't know. It's been in my family for as long as I can remember. There's a story that Grandma told me when she gave it to me, though. She told me that 'it will conquer all evil that touches the person who wears it.' Then she said something about it 'harnessing unbelievable power,' but she was pretty old by then and I think she imagined that part. Aside from that, all I know is that it's a real crystal," she explained.

* * * * *

Lord Zedd and Rita watched the scene unfold before them furiously. "Those meddlesome Power Rangers are going to find out what that necklace is! We've got to do something!" Rita wailed.

Lord Zedd stood up abruptly. "Shall we send Stephanie her birthday present, then?" he suggested.

Rita nodded. "We'll send down Jealousy!" she cried. "The Purple Ranger may live to see her seventeenth birthday, but she won't make it a day past it!"

Lord Zedd raised his 'Z' staff. "Jealousy, come to me! Answer my call!" he shouted.

With a flash of black, a woman clothed in a red bodysuit so tight it looked like it was painted on appeared. "You called, Zedd?" Jealousy replied lazily, buffing her nails against her clothing. "What is it this time? Tommy Oliver's turn again? No, wait. I forgot. That's more Despair's area of expertise."

"No, no. It's that damned Purple Ranger's turn. Stephanie Marks has been a thorn in my side for too long now. Go and get rid of her," Zedd explained.

Jealousy nodded slowly. "What a splendid birthday present for her. I like your taste," she cooed, leaning up against Zedd.

Rita bristled. "Get your hands off of him!" she screeched.

Jealousy shrugged and pulled away. "He's not my type anyway," she commented to Rita. "I'd get yourself a new man." She disappeared in a swirl of black flame before Rita could retaliate, heading for the lake.

"The nerve of that tramp!" Rita fumed

* * * * *

Stephanie sat on the grass underneath the shade of a large oak and closed her eyes, listening to the peaceful sound of nature. At least, it was peaceful until a woman appeared seemingly out of nowhere and called her name. "Stephanie?"

Stephanie looked up and groaned, realizing that it was one of Zedd's cronies. "What do you want? I swear I can't even get a day off on my own birthday!" she whined.

The woman stepped forward into the light. "My name is Jealousy. Prepare to meet your destruction, Purple Ranger!"

Stephanie raised her eyebrows. "You're full of yourself, aren't you?" she observed. "We'll see about that."

Jealousy attacked without warning, immediately putting Stephanie on the defensive. The blows came quickly, allowing her no time to call on her zeonizers and morph. Stephanie blocked the punches and kicks and managed to land a few of her own. She tripped Jealousy and the red-clad woman fell to the ground but retaliated quickly. She lashed out with a lightning-fast side kick and knocked Stephanie onto her back.

Jealousy stood over the fallen Ranger and laughed. "Give it up, girl. You can't beat me. After I kill you, maybe I'll go after that sexy boyfriend of yours. Of course, I'll enjoy breaking him first," she commented.

Stephanie felt anger surge through her and shot to her feet. She gave Jealousy a hard shove backwards and then advanced slowly toward her. "Don't you dare lay a hand on my boyfriend," she warned ominously. "Or I will beat your ass so hard, no one will ever find you attractive again. Not that anyone has in the first place, anyway."

Jealousy nodded and watched her opponent move out of the corner of her eye. When the timing was right, she struck. "I wouldn't bother about celebrating your birthday, Stephanie. Your friends have forgotten all about it. No one cares...but I can make this worth your while. I can end all of the pain for you," Jealousy spoke enticingly. Stephanie looked at her out of the corner of her eye, obviously listening to the woman. Encouraged, she continued weaving her web of seduction. "Surrender to the side of evil. It's always been in your blood. Don't you see? We can rule the universe after we overthrow Zedd and Rita, and you can convince Tommy to join us. He loves you. He'll follow you wherever you go."

Stephanie struggled not to give in to the spell Jealousy was slowly but surely casting over her. I can't take this any more! All of the secrecy, all of the hurt...my friends drifting away from me...wait a minute. What the hell are you thinking, Stephanie Marie Marks?! You are the Purple Power Ranger! You defend the Earth from everything evil-except Kimberly, but Tommy's ex-girlfriend doesn't count right now. You can't give in to this woman just because you feel like your friends are shutting you out. That's taking the easy way out. Who do you think is always saying that she wants a challenge?

"What do you say, Stephanie?" Jealousy asked. "Is it a deal...sister?"

That final word hit Stephanie like a slap in the face. Her eyes blazed as she faced Jealousy dead-on. "DON'T YOU DARE CALL ME YOUR SISTER!" she screamed as she began to vent her anger.

Jealousy went flying backwards as Stephanie executed a perfect roundhouse kick. Jumping to her feet, Jealousy grinned. "I was so hoping you'd do that," she purred as she drew a sword.

Stephanie did a handspring backwards and called her zeonizers into existence. "So you want to play with the big girls, huh?" she taunted her opponent. "That's fine with me! It's morphin' time!"


"Starblade!" Stephanie cried, raising one hand to the sky. It appeared in her hand almost immediately, and she pointed it at Jealousy. "Let's end this now...sister," she lingered on the word sarcastically.

Jealousy swung her sword down in a wide arc that would've taken Stephanie's head off had she not ducked. As it was, the hit connected with her recently injured side, causing her to scream in pain. She crumpled to the ground, unable to focus on anything but the burning in her side, until she heard the unmistakable sound of teleportation. Few beings were capable of teleportation, which meant that it was either one of Rita and Zedd's goons, or...

"DON'T YOU DARE TOUCH HER!" a voice yelled out furiously. Stephanie and Jealousy both turned their heads to find the Red Ranger standing a few feet away from them, anger radiating from the very core of his being.

"Tommy. Just the man I wanted to see," Jealousy cooed as she slowly stood up and walked over to him, her sword behind her back. "It's been a long time, lover."

"Not long enough, in my opinion. Go back to the hell you came from, Jealousy," Tommy responded sarcastically as he advanced slowly on her.

The pain in her side barely registered as Stephanie slowly got to her feet. Focusing on Jealousy, she realized that she was actually crazy enough to try and kill him. "TOMMY! LOOK OUT!"

Tommy ducked as Jealousy swung at him. He landed a powerful punch to her stomach and sent her staggering backwards. "Now, Steph!" he yelled.

Stephanie raised the Starblade and took aim. "STARBURST!" she cried as a bolt of energy so powerful it knocked her off of her feet shot out of the end of the blade and formed into the shape of a star as it hurtled toward Jealousy, who disappeared before she was harmed.

Tommy reached out a hand to help his girlfriend up after they powered down and looked at her sympathetically. "It helps to just come out to the lake and think, doesn't it?" he observed as he embraced her.

Stephanie nodded. "I didn't really get much of a chance to think once Jealousy showed up, though. Not until she tried to get me to switch sides and desert you guys. I realized that no matter what happens, we're always gonna be there for each other," she explained. "Nothing's gonna break us up."

Tommy grinned. "I thought you needed to go home and get ready. I'm picking you up in an hour and a half for our date," he reminded her.

"Oh my God, that's right!" Stephanie's eyes grew round and she gave Tommy a hasty kiss goodbye as she jumped into her car and left for her house.

* * * * *

True to his word, Tommy rang the doorbell an hour and a half later. The door slowly swung open to reveal Stephanie clothed in a violet-colored velvet dress which clung to her every curve and had a daring slit up the side, still putting on jewelry. When her eyes met his, she gasped. "Tommy, you're early!"

"No, I'm not. I told you I'd be here at this time."

"Yeah, but this is you we're talking about. I wasn't expecting you for another half hour."

Tommy rolled his eyes. "Let's get going." He pulled a silk scarf out of his pocket. "You left this at my house. Ah-ah-ah," he scolded her as she reached for it. "I have another use for this right now. Close your eyes."

Stephanie did as he requested and closed her eyes. She felt something cover her face and opened her eyes to complete darkness. "Tommy, I can't see a thing!" she complained.

"That's the whole point," he reasoned as he guided her to his Jeep and helped her in. "It's a surprise where we're going."

A short time later, Tommy pulled up in front of the Youth Center. "Hold my hand. I'll guide you...do you trust me?"

"I trust you."

They walked inside the building and Tommy took Stephanie's blindfold off. "Happy birthday, Steve."

Stephanie opened her eyes expectantly, then frowned in confusion. "Tommy, what's going on? I don't--"

"SURPRISE!" a chorus of voices yelled out.

Stephanie jumped in fright, then as she caught sight of her friends, tears welled up in her eyes. "You guys..." she trailed off, too moved to speak.

Aisha, Kat, Rocky, Adam, Tanya, Jason, and Kimberly gathered around her in a big circle, as well as the rest of the Rangers. "I'm sorry we hurt your feelings today, Stephanie," Aisha began, "but we really wanted this to be a surprise."

"Did it work?" Rocky questioned.

Stephanie nodded, her eyes full of tears as the female Rangers all moved in to give her a big hug. "I'd say it definitely worked."

"Come on guys, group hug!" Rocky mimicked in a high falsetto voice as the guys, including Tommy, all came in for a big hug then backed away playfully, laughing.

Stephanie raised one eyebrow. "Oh, guys!" she sang out sweetly. The men all stopped what they were doing and looked at her. She twirled around for their benefit, enjoying the effect her dress had on them. "I have no one to dance with. Who's going to dance with me?"

Tommy shot his friends all a look. "Don't even think about it," he warned them as he reached for Stephanie's hand. "Shall we dance, madam?"

Stephanie and Tommy walked out to the dance floor and began to sway to the music. The song that was playing ended, and a slow song began, Backstreet Boys' "Anywhere For You." "This song is dedicated to the birthday girl, Stephanie Marks, from Tommy Oliver. Here we go," the deejay said.

Unconsciously, Stephanie began to sing along to the familiar song that she had listened to before Tommy had asked her out. "I love you, Tommy," she whispered.

"I love you, too," Tommy returned softly.

I'd go anywhere for you
Anywhere you asked me to
I'd do anything for you
Anything you want me to

I'd walk halfway around the world
For just one kiss from you
Far beyond the call of love
The sun, the stars, the moon
As long as your love's there to lead me
I won't lose my way, believe me
Even through the darkest night you know

I'd go anywhere for you
Anywhere you asked me to
I'd do anything for you
Anything you want me to
Your love as far as I can see
Is all I'm ever gonna need
There's one thing for sure
I know it's true
Baby, I'd go anywhere for you

I used to think that dreams were just
For sentimental fools
And I'd never find someone
Who'd give their love so true
But I knew the very minute
Couldn't live my life without you in it
And now I want the whole wide world
To know

I'd go anywhere for you
Anywhere you asked me to
I'd do anything for you
Anything you want me to
Your love as far as I can see
Is all I'm ever gonna need
There's one thing for sure
I know it's true
Baby, I'd go anywhere for you

Hey baby, hey baby, hey baby, oohhh
Hey baby, hey baby, hey baby, oohhh
Hey baby, hey baby, hey baby, oohhh

I'd go anywhere for you
Anywhere you asked me to
I'd do anything for you
Anything you want me to
Your love as far as I can see
Is all I'm ever gonna need
There's one thing for sure
I know it's true
Baby, I'd go anywhere for you

I'd go anywhere for you
Anywhere you asked me to
I'd do anything for you
Anything you want me to
Your love as far as I can see
Is all I'm ever gonna need

There's one thing for sure
I know it's true
Baby, I'd go anywhere for you.

Tommy pulled away from Stephanie slightly as the song ended and smiled gently at her. "I have a present for you," he told her as he pulled a small gift-wrapped box from his suit coat. "I hope you like it."

Stephanie took the present from him cautiously and unwrapped it, revealing a small jewelry box. She opened it to find a necklace with a citrine birthstone set in delicate gold with two small diamonds on either side of the larger stone. She drew in her breath sharply, awed. "Tommy...i-it's gorgeous. It matches my ring and my earrings," she managed to say. "You shoudn't have."

Tommy grinned as she turned around and he fastened the chain around her neck. "I don't mind. You're worth it. Stephanie," he hesitated.

Stephanie looked at him curiously. "What?"

"Can 'Anywhere For You' be our song?"

She grinned and gave him a slow kiss, which left him weak-kneed. "I'd love it."

Tommy pulled her close as they began to dance again. "Happy birthday, Stephanie."

Stephanie let out a sudden squeal of delight. "God, can you believe it? I'm finally seventeen!" she yelled out over the music.

The End