Author's Note: Okay I saw the idea of this story posted on the Fic Challenge message board, and as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to write it. :) This story takes place about . . . a week after the famous PRLG episode when Karone becomes the Pink Galaxy Ranger. Hope you enjoy it!
Just the thought of Karone made him smile. But a deep worry crept into his soul when he thought about her, too. He knew she was in trouble. He could feel it. But soon, he would be there with her, and he would make sure she was all right, and stayed that way.
She had insisted on going to search for the Pink Quasar Saber as soon as Andros and the others had told them what had happened to Kendrix. She said she had to do something that would erase at least one of the many bad things she had done as Astronema. And getting the Pink Quasar Saber out of Scorpius's grasp seemed like the most important and helpful thing she could do.
He had asked her not to go, of course. But he had been in no condition to make her stay, or go with her for that matter. His stumble from a ladder had caused him to break his leg and unfortunately, the power had not protected him at that time. He had to get a cast, which was on six weeks. Six weeks he had limped his way where ever he went. He would much have rather been in hypersleep for six weeks.
But the past didn't matter. He was almost there. Almost to the space colony, Terra Venture. Almost to Karone.
Trakeena picks up a worm from a bowl sitting on the table and puts it into her mouth. She smiles and swallows it. "Delicious."
"Does anyone have any ideas on how we destroy the Rangers?" Deviot asks the group.
"Well, I don't have an idea, but I do have something to say." Villimax spoke up; "We can't keep doing what we have been. The rangers are too smart and we just keep using the same plan over and over. They're expecting it now. Our next plan must surprise them."
Trakeena picked up another worm and eyed it thoughtfully, "Very true, Villimax. But, any idea on how exactly we do that?"
"We all know that the new Pink Ranger they have . . . what's her name . . ." Deviot's voice trails off as he looks a sheet of paper, "Karone. We know this Karone girl used to be Astronema. This means she has great knowledge of what goes on in the evil empire. We must do something even she wouldn't expect."
Trakeena rolls her eyes and flings the worm she was holding at him, "I'm astounded by the intelligence in this room. You two have such brilliant thoughts but no idea how to carry them out." With that, she gets up and saunters out of the room.
She walks to her private quarters and looks out of the window of the Scorpion Stinger and sees Terra Venture off in the distance.
"I just need to get the rangers mind off of being a ranger for once, then I could catch them off guard." She told herself, then sighed and walked away from the window, "Who am I kidding? What I really need is a vacation."
She suddenly smiled at a memory of making herself human to trick the rangers and stealing the pink and yellow rangers' beauty. She snapped her fingers. That gave her an idea.
She walked back towards the window and looked at Terra Venture again and smiled, "There's got to be something for me to do on Terra Venture."
He walked over to the white walled apartment building and looked at the list of names. He ran his hand down it until he came upon a familiar name.
"Kai Chen." He stated and referred back to his paper. The blue ranger. Zhane smiled and shoved the piece of paper into his jean pocket as he pushed through the doors headed towards Kai's apartment.
He was amazed out how futuristic and advanced the apartment building was. "I bet they have a killer command center if the apartments look this good," He whispered to himself as he walked off the elevator.
He walked over to apartment 53-K and pushed the doorbell once. A moment later he heard a man's voice reply, "Come on in."
To Zhane's surprise, the door slid open. He smiled as he looked at the door, then walked in and saw a guy with a chef's hat cooking over a stove.
"Are you Kai Chen?" Zhane asked him and the guy startled and looked up.
"Yes, I am." Kai replied, then his eyes widened, "Are you-"
"I'm Zhane, the Silver Ranger." He smiled as Kai threw off his chef's hat and flung his cooking apron over a chair.
"It's great to meet you!" Kai grinned and shook his hand vigorously, "What are you doing here? The others left a few weeks ago because they had a mission to do."
Zhane nodded his head and sighed, "Yeah . . . yeah they did but uh, that's not the reason I'm here."
Kai listened and offered him a seat at the counter and they both sat down on stools.
"Actually, I'm here to see Karone. Is she around?" Zhane asked.
"I'm cooking dinner for everyone tonight and Karone said she'd be here so she's probably on her way here right-" Kai explained but at that moment Maya, Karone, Leo, Damon, and Mike all walk into the apartment talking and laughing, "Now."
"You never told me that before Leo!" Maya giggled.
Leo shot an annoyed look at Mike, who was smiling at him trying to hold back a laugh, "That's because it's not exactly something I tell everyone."
Karone started laughing, and as she walked towards the kitchen she saw who was sitting with Kai. She stopped laughing and her smile faded.
The others quickly noticed the extra person in the room and Damon, Mike, and Leo were quick to realize who he was.
"Zhane?!" Leo asked incredulously.
"Hey." Was Zhane's reply and he smiled at the people, and glanced at Karone who was still standing there quietly.
"It's great to meet you! What are you doing here?" Mike said, then his expression turned serious, "Wait, is there something wrong? Do you need our help?"
Kai cleared his throat; "Um . . . actually he's here to see . . ." He finished by motioning his hand towards Karone.
Karone cleared her throat too and looked at Zhane, "Let's go for a walk, hmm?"
Zhane nodded his head in agreement and the two walked out of the room.
Maya's face, looking confused, suddenly lit up as she realized who Zhane was, "Is that the person who fought in the battle on Earth?"
They all nodded their head yes, and then Maya asked curiously, "Well, what do you think he wants to talk to Karone about?"
The guy's exchange glances and shrug their shoulders.
"Who knows." Leo replied.
Karone sighed and broke the silence, "I know that you must be a little mad-"
"No, I'm not mad." Zhane interrupted, "I was just worried Karone. You said you were only going to be gone for a few days. A few days has turned out to be a few weeks . . ." He heard her sigh and look away and he asked, "What are you still doing here?"
"Zhane, things just got . . . complicating." Karone said, then met his gaze, "After I got the Pink Quasar Saber, Kendrix . . . she just . . . appeared out of nowhere, like an angel or something. She said that I was to become the new Pink Galaxy Ranger."
She saw his jaw drop and his eyes widened.
"Your what?" Zhane asked, not believing it.
"I'm the Pink Ranger." She told him. She knew this news would shock him. He had only expected her to just be here, looking around the colony. Not be their new Pink Ranger.
Zhane ran his hand through his silver hair and sat down on a park bench. This was unbelievable. Karone . . . the Pink Ranger? It was impossible! He had only expected her to be Karone, Terra Venture visitor. She was going to be in danger. She already was in danger from Scorpius, Trakeena, and the other doofs that were evil.
"Karone, you're going to be in constant danger. You have no idea what it takes to be a Power Ranger! You could get yourself seriously injured!" Zhane told her and she stepped back with a hurt look on her face.
He closed his eyes briefly and realized he had just said something he shouldn't have. "I didn't mean it that-"
"No!" She said waving her right arm in the air passively, "You know what, Zhane? I don't care what you have to say. You may be more experienced in being a ranger than I am, but that does not give you the right to tell me what I can and cannot do. I have been the Pink Ranger for over a week now and you know what? I'm not to bad at it. Probably not as good as Kendrix was but I'm doing my best, the best that I possibly can because Kendrix chose me. Got that? She chose me! And you may not be okay with that, but you're going to have to deal with it! And by the way Zhane, what the heck are you doing here, hmm?"
Zhane shook his head and smirked, "I came here to make sure that you were alright. But you know what? I guess that you're doing just fine on this space colony, with your new friends, and your new powers, and your new enemies, about a trillion light years away from me!"
Karone's blood boiled and she shouted at him, "Who asked you to come here in the first place? I sure didn't! And you're right I'm doing just fine without any help from YOU!" Karone ran off towards a building and Zhane shook his head.
He was angry. Very angry. He clenched his fists and looked down at the ground. He suddenly realized that he wasn't mad at Karone. He was mad at himself. And he was jealous. Jealous because Karone had chosen to stay, instead of coming back to him on Earth.
God, he was doing it again. Feeling sorry for himself. He had felt so sorry for himself that he had taken it out on Karone. He had seen her eyes get red just before she ran off, he knew she was crying. She was crying right now, because of him, and that almost tore his heart. He should be happy for her, and proud. She was defending the universe against evil with the Galaxy Rangers.
Little did Zhane know that the human form of Trakeena lurked behind a tree in the park nearby. The tall dark haired woman smiled wickedly to herself and whispered, "This is going to be too much fun."
She sashayed her way over to Zhane and sat down beside him, crossing her legs seductively. She sat for a few minutes staring at him with a secretive smile on her face, and when he still didn't look up she sighed, crossed her arms, and cleared her throat. *He is obviously not very observant. *
Zhane finally lifted his head, a little startled, and noticed the woman sitting next to him.
He gave her a fake smile, then turned his head to face the ground again. Trakeena rolled her eyes then put her seductive smile back on her face, "What's got you looking so glum, hot shot?"
Zhane sighed, now sitting up and looking at her, "I just got into a fight with someone I really care about."
Trakeena smirked, "I figured that much."
Zhane smiled a little, "You heard?"
"Honey, the whole space colony probably heard you two." Trakeena told him and Zhane smiled a little more now, "Wow, so you do have another face other than your sad one."
Zhane had a full-blown smile by this time and she asked, "So tell me. What did you and your little significant other bicker about?"
Zhane's smile faded, "She left me a few weeks ago to do this new . . . job. And I reacted to it badly and it got all out of control."
Trakeena sat closer to him and smiled to herself. This guy was vulnerable, weakened, and could to do so many things for the side of evil. If he were persuaded enough . . .
"So what was her new job?" She asked curiously.
"Something incredibly dangerous. Something where she could have a lot of enemies if she's not careful." Zhane told her and Trakeena nearly gasped.
So that was it. She knew from the moment she heard the girl's shouting voice that it was familiar. Her mind flashed back to when she was trying to kill the Red Ranger with the Pink Quasar Saber, but a young girl with blonde hair had interfered . . .
It was her. His girlfriend was the Pink Ranger. Her fists clenched and she gritted her teeth.
Zhane shot her an odd look, "Are you okay? You look like you're about to pop."
Trakeena straightened up and shot him a smile, "I'm fine. So, what you're saying is that she is doing something that could put herself into danger and you, being the nice and sensitive guy that you are, tried to tell her that and she just . . . blew it out of proportion."
"Well, not it's not exactly like that I mean . . . yeah I tried to tell her but-" Zhane stuttered.
Trakeena shook her head, "No, no. I don't want to hear it." When she said that Zhane shook his head to clear it out. He had been told that twice today.
She continued by putting an arm around his shoulders, "Listen honey. I heard the whole argument. She was the one who started yelling, right?"
"Well . . . yeah." Zhane admitted.
"Well then she was the one who started the argument." Trakeena said simply, "You know, a piece of advice that my dad used to give me comes to mind in this situation."
Zhane raises his eyebrow, "Oh yeah? What is it?"
"Destroy those who cast the first stone." Trakeena said and Zhane looked at her like she was crazy, she smiled and laughed a little, "Well, it's something like that."
"I c-ca-can't b-believe I was s-so m-mean to him!" Karone choked in between sobs.
Maya hugged her harder, "I'm sure he's not mad Karone."
"B-But I was so mean! You sh-should have h-heard me!" Karone protested, "He was o-only trying to be sup-supportive!"
Maya kept hugging her, then looked to the guys for help. Leo shrugged his shoulders and Mike walked over to Karone and put a comforting hand on her shoulder.
"Look, we all know how much Zhane loves you. I'm sure he was just trying to protect you. Sometimes people feel that you can be in danger without them." Mike explained, and Leo looked at his brother and smiled.
What Mike had just said reminded him of when he had ran after his brother and Kendrix through the time portal to Mirinoi. He thought he could keep his brother out of danger, and help him, if he was right by his side.
Leo walked over to stand by Mike, "Mike's right, Karone."
"What if he doesn't forgive me for all the cruel things I said?" Karone asked them, as she wiped the tears off of her eyes.
Damon shook his head, "I bet he's somewhere feeling just as bad as you are for all the mean things he said."
"You think so?"
Kai smiled and joined the group to stand around Karone, "We know so."
Karone smiled a little and stood up, "I'm gonna go find Zhane."
They all nodded their heads and Mike followed her, "I'll walk you out. I'm going by the Cosmo Cafe."
They headed out of the building and onto the street across from the park.
"So, you really think he's not mad at me?" Karone asked him, just to make sure.
Mike smiled at her persistence, "I'm positive he's not-" He stopped mid sentence when he saw Zhane sitting by 'Tracy', Trakeena's human form.
Karone saw his horror stricken face and followed his gaze.
"Well it sure looks like he's been busy!" Karone said sarcastically and started walking over to them.
Mike grabbed her arm and pulled her back. "That's not just an ordinary woman."
Karone throws up her hands, "Well obviously not! Look at her, she looks like a female Brad Pitt!"
"No I mean she's not even a woman!" Mike corrects himself.
"You mean that's a man in women's clothing? That's disgusting!" Karone says.
Mike rolls his eyes, "No! That's Trakeena's human form!"
Karone gasps and her gaze trails back to Zhane and Trakeena. "We've got to help him!"
Mike agrees and they look around for a safe place to morph. They run back inside the building and make sure the area is secured.
"Go Galactic!" They both yell and a black and pink light bursts and they're both fully morphed.
"Let's take out that bug." Karone tells him and that run back out of the building.
"Ya!" Karone yells as she flips over the bench where Zhane and Trakeena are sitting. She lands facing them and turns to Trakeena.
"Your covers been blown Trakeena!" Karone shouts at the villianess.
The Magna Defender walks up beside Karone and Zhane's eyes widen as he realizes he's sitting by an extremely dangerous person. He jumps up and stands in between the two rangers.
Fuming, Trakeena stands up and clenches her fists, "I'm not done with him yet, Rangers!"
"It sure looks like you are to us!" Mike tells her.
Trakeena glared at them, then looked to Zhane, then everything clicked, "You're one of them too!"
Zhane smirked at her, "It takes a lot more than a woman to trick me."
Trakeena looked at him, surprised, "You knew?!"
Zhane rolls his eyes, "Please. Just because I was in hyper sleep two years doesn't mean I forget when people are playing me from the start."
"How? How did you know?" She demanded to know.
"Okay let's just start with the fact that I'm not a complete idiot . . . and you said you heard the entire argument me and Karone had, which was obviously untrue or you would have known that she was the Pink Ranger and would have been badgering me about that like a normal human being." Zhane revealed to her and she bit her lip.
She had messed up. Big time. She had blown her cover even before she had one. With a glare to them she said, "We'll be seeing each other soon." And disappeared.
"Power Down!" Karone yells and she and Mike demorph. Karone and Zhane share a gaze and Mike starts to back away from the couple.
I'm just going to . . . uh . . ." Mike says then notices the two are off in another world, "Right."
"You wanna go for a walk?" Zhane asked her and she nodded mutely.
Karone finally broke the silence, "Look Zhane, I'm really s-"
A loud crash interrupted her and they both looked at the monster that stood ahead of them. And standing right by it was Trakeena in her insect form.
Trakeena smiled and pointed her staff at them, "I told you that I wasn't finished with you! And now Arachnidia is going to finish you two parasites! Have fun kiddies!"
She disappeared and the bug like monster started walking towards them slowly.
"I hate bugs." Zhane said as they both started walking backwards.
"We can take her." Karone said strongly.
"I hate bugs." Zhane said again.
"She won't be a problem!" Karone told him.
"Did I mention I hate bugs?" Zhane asked.
The monster fired a laser that was headed straight for Zhane. Karone saw this and shoved Zhane out of the way, making both of them land on the ground.
"Whoa, I didn't even see that coming!" Zhane exclaimed, and Karone got up and faced the monster fiercely.
"Go Galactic!" Karone yelled and within seconds she was morphed and had her Quasar Saber in hand.
Zhane stood up and got his Digimorpher out of his pocket, "Let's Rocket!"
The Pink Ranger turned to him, a little surprised. *How did he get his morpher back? * She asked herself, then turned back towards the monster.
"Looks like your life expectancy just dropped, Arachnidia!" Karone told the monster valiantly.
Arachnidia just laughed and covered her arms over her stomach, "You're not match for me!"
As she removed her arms, thousands of small spiders emitted from her stomach and shot out towards the two Rangers.
The spiders clung to them causing electrical sparks to fly everywhere.
Karone screamed in pain, and tried to knock the insects off of her. They kept clinging to her and she finally fell to the ground.
She could hear Zhane was having about as much luck as she was and finally she was able to knock the last spider off of her. Before Arachnidia could fire any more, Karone put away her Quasar Saber.
"Beta Bow!" She yelled and it appeared in her hand. She stretched it as far as it would go.
Arachnidia opened her arms again and Karone finally saw a white and silver sack in the middle of the monsters stomach.
As soon as she got a clear shot, she released the bow and it sped towards the target, hitting it dead center and causing Arachnidia to explode.
She looked to the ground and the spiders began to disappear and Zhane got up and looked around amazed.
"Looks like I need to take some lessons from you!" Zhane smiled, then they heard a loud roar, and looked up to the sky to find Arachnidia towering over them.
"I think I'll let you take it from here!" Zhane gave her a thumbs up and she smiled.
"Galactabeast, arise!" She called out and the ground began to move as the Wild Cat Galactabeast pounded it's way to her.
"Let's do it!" She told the beast and jumped up onto its head, "Wild Cat Galactabeast attack!"
She raised her Pink Quasar Saber up into the air, "Quasar Saber, energized!"
A pink fire surrounded her and the Galactabeast and suddenly it shot straight towards Arachnidia, causing her to explode, and be destroyed.
Karone smiled to herself, then looked down at the face of her Galactabeast, "Thanks, pal."
She smiled and walked up beside him, "What are you thinking about?" she asked softly.
Zhane turned to her, and she saw a guilty and ashamed look on his face, "I'm sorry, Karone. For - For trying to make you feel guilty about staying here, for yelling at you . . . for everything. It's just not easy for me to give you up . . ." His voice trailed off.
Karone shook her head, "Zhane why do you think you have to give me up? Is it because I'm living on Terra Venture?"
"I don't know I just . . . I think about you and you being a power ranger and it just scares me. I don't know why." Zhane tells her as he looks away, still unable to make eye contact with her.
Karone moved a little closer to him, "I think I know why."
Zhane looked over at her and met her gaze, "You do?"
She smiled a little, "Yeah, I do. And you know what? I feel the exact same way."
Zhane's eyes widened. Did she mean what he thought she meant? He knew what he was talking about, but was she talking about the same thing?
"What exactly are you saying?" He asked.
"You first." She said and he gave her a smile. She wasn't about to let him take the easy way out.
Zhane turned to face her, and he took her hands into his. His eyes sparkled a glittery silver and Karone nearly fell over when he looked at her sincerely, "Karone . . . I love you. I have ever since we were kids and I don't think I'll ever stop. I'm sorry for all the things I said this afternoon. About you not knowing how to be a ranger. When I saw you fighting, just a few minutes ago . . . I don't think I've ever been more proud of you than I was right then. I realized that it wasn't you that wasn't ready for you being a ranger, it as me. And I hope you'll forgive me for being a complete and total jerk today when I arrived."
Karone smiled at him, "First of all, you weren't a total jerk today. It takes two people to fight and I was definitely doing my half of it. Secondly, I don't blame you for being upset and startled when you came. You were probably pretty shocked that I was a new Power Ranger and I didn't even give you a chance to adjust to it. And last but definitely not least, I love you too. And I always will."
Zhane smiled and put his hand on the back of her neck as he moved in to place a gentle, sweet kiss on her lips.
"I think living here is going to have its rewards." He said as she drew away. She gave him a surprised look and he laughed, "You didn't think I was leaving did you?"
Karone started laughing and threw her arms around him in a huge hug, "Zhane I don't think I've ever been this happy in my entire life!" she squealed in excitement as he put his arms around her waist and lifted her up.
Zhane set her down and looked into her bright eyes. His heart was
could feel hers doing the same. They were so in love they could burst.
only place I'll ever be happy is here with you."