Author's Note: Well, this is kind of an emotional story. It took remembering when my dog died and lots of Kenny G music to get it finished. :) Hope you like it! :)
She saw small flashes of light coming out of Zhane's room. She smiled, then walked into his room.
He was lying on the floor; his head propped up with a pillow, watching a movie on his private viewing screen.
"Zhane," Karone started with a smile, and his head turned around to see her, "What are you doing?"
Zhane sighed, "I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about with this, Brad Pitt guy. I've never seen any of his movies."
Karone crossed her arms, watching the screen.
"I want you to hit me as hard as you can." One guy in the movie said to the other calmly.
Karone rolled her eyes, "Fight Club? There are better Brad Pitt movies, ya know."
"DECA, cut of interception transmission from the Angel Grove Cinema." Zhane ordered as he stood up.
"Transmission cut." DECA bleeped.
"Well so far I'm not too impressed with this Pitt guy." He told her.
"As long as I've known you, you have never watched a movie at 7 in the morning." Karone changed the subject abruptly, "What's wrong?"
Zhane laughed a little; "There's nothing wrong. There's just some things that I want to do before I die."
"And watching Fight Club was one of them?" She laughed.
"I told you why I was watching it." He snapped.
The once light mood was now very heavy and Karone sensed that some thing was not quite right.
Karone, a little hurt, just said quietly, "Ok . . ." She turned around and walked out of the door back towards her room.
She kept walking until she felt a hand on her shoulder. She turned around, knowing it was him.
It was too dark, and there was no light in the hallway, so she couldn't see his face, but the tone of his voice told her he felt bad.
"I'm sorry. I-I didn't mean to snap at you like that. I've just-got a lot of things on my mind." He wanted to tell her what was going on, but just couldn't bring himself to do it.
Karone sighed, "It's okay, I mean--- we've all got a lot on our minds lately. With Jason and all..."
Zhane sighed too, without meaning too, "I'm gonna take a walk on Earth. You go get some more sleep."
She nodded her head and watched him teleport away with a flash of white light.
She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms, "Sleep? Yeah right. I'm finding out what's wrong."
She started walking towards the bridge to see Zordon, and find out what was up with Zhane.
He closed his eyes and breathed deeply. But all he could see in the darkness of his mind were Karone's shining blue eyes. So innocent and caring. He quickly opened his eyes, he couldn't take much more of this. He was going to have to tell them soon, tell her soon.
"There's no time like the present." He whispered to himself then thought ruefully, *What am I going to say to them? 'Hey guys what's up? Oh by the way, I'm dying. It's no biggie, I'll be gone in a few hours.'*
He started walking back, away from the ocean and towards Angel Grove. He would get some pink roses for Karone, because her life would never be the same after he told her about him.
He saw a blackish red teleportation light flare before him and he covered his eyes with his arm, until the light faded. He put his arm down, expecting to see Carlos and Andros, but instead he was face to face with the flaring red eyes . . . of Jason.
Zhane jumped back and looked at him angrily, "What are you doing here?"
"I have strict orders to destroy you, White Ranger." Jason growled, stepping towards him.
"Well I have strict orders to make sure you don't do that." Zhane retorted, taking a step backwards, with his fists up.
"I'm more than you can handle Zhane. Why don't you call one of your puny little friends to help you?" Jason sneered, "What about you're seriously deranged friend Andros and his lunatic girl-friend?"
"You're the only deranged lunatic around here." He replied coldly, still backing away from him.
"Ah, maybe you're right. You should probably call on your trusty idiotic buddies TJ and Carlos. We both know they can't fight." Jason smiled.
Zhane clenched his fists tightly. If it was one thing in the world that would drive him mad, it was people putting down his friends. His best friends in the whole world, his teammates. There was only one person Jason had left out, and if he mentioned her, that would push his limit over the top.
"Then again. No one fights better than a woman can for her man." Jason laughed and Zhane tried with all his might not to lunge forward and rip Jason's head off his shoulders.
Jason smiled, amused at how mad Zhane was getting, "What? You don't like me talking about your precious little girl-friend?"
"Shut up." Was all Zhane said.
Jason shot him a mock 'oh I'm so hurt' look, "Believe you me, I don't have anything against that delicious treat."
That did it. He had had enough of Jason. After all this time, he hated his constant bragging and always being right and always pointing out Zhane was wrong and always, always putting the moves on Karone. He didn't care if Jason was under a spell of Dark Specter.
He was going down.
Zhane reached behind his back, "It's Morphin' Time!"
"White Ranger Power!"
"Yes, Karone." Zordon said, as his face appeared.
Karone realized what she just asked and she blushed a little, then rolled her eyes, "Of course you are, what am I saying? You're a morphological being."
Zordon laughed lightly, "It's quite alright Karone. Now, I have a feeling you want to ask me something."
Karone cleared her throat, then rolled a chair over and sat down on it, "Um, yeah, see there's . . . there's this um . . . You see I have this uh . . . problem."
Karone sighed, and Zordon said calmly, "It's okay Karone. Take your time."
Karone closed her eyes and asked, "Is something wrong with Zhane?"
She opened her eyes, expecting Zordon to reassure her and tell her Zhane was just fine and just a little more tired than usual or something. But instead, he remained solemn, as if he were trying to find the right words to say.
She didn't move, and barely breathed. Karone's eyes widened and Zordon finally spoke.
"There is in fact, something wrong with Zhane." Zordon stated and Karone looked away for a second.
She hadn't expected to have this kind of intense conversation at 7 in the morning.
She knew she would later regret asking this question, but she had to. She had to know, "What is it-what's wrong?"
"What makes you so sure that you're the one that is going to live after this fight is over?" Zhane asked indignantly and drew out Saba.
Jason smiled, and Zhane whispered to Saba, "Time to get to work, pal."
"Certainly, Master Zhane." Saba replied.
Jason picked that exact moment to lunge towards him and knock them both to the ground.
Jason however, under estimated Zhane's strength and Zhane shoved him away, then stood back up.
"Is that all you got?" Zhane smiled and made a 'tisk' noise, "I would've expected better from someone who's under a spell of evil."
Jason glared at him and his eyes flashed a blood red.
Zhane raised his sword towards him, but hesitated, remembering that underneath that spell was a loyal person who used to be a ranger also.
Jason saw this, and smiled wickedly.
This could not be happening. Zhane . . . dying? The two words just didn't belong together. Zhane was such a person of life, and to have death in the same sentence as his name sounded awkward . . . and horrifying.
What would she do without him? What did her future hold now that the one person she wanted to be with more than anything else in the world . . . was leaving her?
She sniffed her nose and realized that she had been sitting there for minutes, crying. She was in total shock, unaware that Zordon had been trying to talk to her this whole time.
"Karone? Are you going to be okay?" Zordon ask her.
She shook her head and simply replied, "No."
Alpha then ran into the room waving his arms, "Ay yi yi yi yi! Surveillance scanners indicate Jason is at the beach attacking Zhane!"
Karone jumped up; "I'm on my way."
"You'll never win, Jason." Zhane said through his gritted teeth, desperately trying to force the sword upwards, "Not as long as I'm living."
Jason smirked, "Well that won't be very long now will it?"
"I'd take that back if I were you." A woman's voice said fiercely from behind them.
Jason turned around, stunned, and Zhane dropped to the ground weakly. Jason smiled as he realized the voice came from Karone, who was unmorphed, but had her Power Bow pointed right at him.
"You don't have the guts." Jason growled and walked towards her. He stretched his arms out and dared, "Come on. You have the perfect shot. Let's see how tough the White Ranger's girl-friend is."
She saw a white light surround Zhane and within seconds he demorphed and she could see the pain in his eyes as he laid on the ground moaning.
*I don't have any time left. * Her thoughts told her and she turned to face Jason fiercely, still pointing her bow at him.
"I knew you didn't have it in you Pink Ranger. The only person you care about is yourself." Jason told her and Karone fired her bow and shot him in the leg.
He fell to the ground, grabbing his wound and Karone raced over towards Zhane and helped him up.
"Are you okay?" She whispered as she struggled to hold him up.
He didn't respond, just moaned in pain.
Jason stood up and pointed at the two, "You two alone can't stop me!"
"How about the 6 of us then?" They heard Andro's voice challenge and across the beach the others stood there morphed and ready for action.
Jason jerked his head back and forth at the team that had him surrounded. He shook his head violently; "This isn't over. This isn't over!" He screamed, then disappeared in a flash of black and red sparkles.
The others looked on, at the place their evil friend used to be, each of them wondering how things got so out of control so quickly.
Karone's thoughts were interrupted by Zhane clutching onto her shoulder, as he needed help standing up again.
"There is . . . one way. But this theory has never been proved true. Sometimes it is only done to 'prevent' death. But it is one of his options and I'm afraid he only has two." Zordon told the group.
"What exactly . . . um . . . are his options?" Ashley asked quietly, not really wanting to hear the answer to that question.
"Zhane can let the psychosis run its course and eventually . . . die." Zordon told them bluntly, and the others watched him, knowing that his second option had to be better than the first, "Or he can be cryogenically frozen again and put back into hyper sleep. But he must not be awakened until his body, both physically and emotionally, is completely healed. No rituals, spells, or sudden energy loses in his healing chamber can aid in his recovery. It must be completely on his own."
Everyone remained silent, not quite knowing what the right thing to say was. Either way they were going to lose a teammate, a friend, and a family member. Someone who had been with them through thick and thin, never giving up, and always having something witty to say when times got rough. Even if he did choose to be put back in hyper sleep, he wouldn't be there, fighting with them, for quite a while.
Zhane finally cleared his throat and stepped forward, "Zordon, there's a chance that I might recover if I'm cryogenically frozen, right?"
"Yes, but a very small chance." He replied.
Zhane sighed, "Then that's what I have to do. What can I say? I'm not ready to die yet and if there is a chance I could survive, I have to take it."
They all smiled a little and Andros patted his best friend on the back as everyone came over and hugged him.
TJ and Carlos first stepped up to him and all of them were trying to act like 'guys' and not cry, they all however, did succeed in that.
They both gave Zhane a huge hug and shook hands.
"I never had many friends . . . " Zhane started, "Other than Andros. But . . . when I woke up from hypersleep and you guys were here . . . it felt like I had known you forever. And I knew I could trust you. You guys are the best buddies anyone could ask for. And I mean that."
TJ and Carlos exchanged glances, and gave Zhane another great big hug, then stepped back and Ashley stepped forward.
She had tears in her eyes and her drew her into a great big bear hug.
"Watch out for Andros for me, okay?" He whispered into her ear as they hugged, "Don't let him close up, he's going to try but don't let him okay?"
She nodded her head and started crying as Zhane drew back and gave her a smile. She joined TJ and Carlos in the back and Andros walked over to Zhane now.
"I can't believe this is happening." Andros shook his head in disbelief.
Zhane bit his lip, and stuck out his hand.
Andros smiled a little and they did their 'secret handshake', which is what they did in 'sentimental' moments.
"I'll see you later." Andros said confidently.
"Count on it." Zhane replied with a smile.
He looked over to the last person he would have to say good-bye to, then his smile faded. He looked over at Andros and they all got the hint that he wanted to be alone with her.
With one last teary half wave from Ashley, they all walked out of the healing chamber and the door slid shut behind them.
He slowly walked over to Karone and took her hands into his. They stood there for a few minutes, just looking into each other eyes. Neither really wanting to believe they were actually saying good-bye.
Zhane spoke up first, "Take care of them for me."
She nodded her head mutely and looked away from his gaze.
He let go of one of her hands and gently turned her head back to face him, "Hey I'm leaving in a few minutes, you wouldn't want to deprive me of this beautiful face now would you?"
She smiled and blushed a little and he smiled.
"Now that's what I'm talkin' about." He said, then added, "Of course I thought it was pretty cute when you were out there on the beach pointing your Power Bow at Jason in your pajamas."
Karone giggled, "That probably looked pretty funny."
Zhane laughed a little, then tucked a lose strand of her hair behind her ear. "You're really going to need some hair ties or something. I'm not gonna be here to do that."
Her smile faded and it was replaced with a sad expression, "I hate good-byes . . . I guess, the one thing that I really want to say to you is just how much you mean to me. And no matter what you've always managed to make me feel really special," She sniffed, and a few tears dropped from her eyes, "And . . . no one has ever cared for me as much as you have."
Zhane brushed away her tears and he cupped her head in his hands. He swallowed, holding back his tears; "I have loved you from the beginning . . ."
"And I'll love you till the end." She promised, and within seconds she felt his warm lips on hers. She was always amazed at how his kisses made her forget about everything in the world, and this time it was no different.
He broke the kiss of a few minutes later and when he was catching his breath he smiled, "I might have to be cryogenically frozen more often."
She laughed and hit him playfully on the arm. Surprisingly, as she hit his arm, he took hold of it and drew her into a huge hug. She held on tight, wishing that things would change and he didn't have to go. But she knew he did, and she slowly let go of him.
Zhane sighed and glance toward the cryo-tube, "Guess it's time for me to go."
She nodded her head and as he back away a step, he kissed the top of her hand, "Don't forget me."
She smiled and tears fell down her cheeks again, "Like that's even possible."
Zhane turned all the way around and walked towards the cryo-tube, which Alpha had now engineered to stand up right. He stepped inside and gave her a thumbs up signal, before he put his arms down to his sides and the machine activated. Metal bands branched out and clasped around his wrists, ankles, and necks. Then, the clear door clasped shut.
Karone's crying was now in full swing and she ran over to the cryo-tube as it filled up with intensely cold white air. She saw him staring at her, then his eyes slid closed and the tube became covered in wet condensations.
She stifled back a few sobs and slid to the ground and covered her face
with her hands. Before long, she felt a warm hand on her shoulder. When
she looked up she saw Andros and the others staring down at her
sympathetically. Andros helped her up and drew her into a hug and the
others joined in.