Disclaimers: Power Rangers are not my creation. These characters belong to Saban and are used here without permission for non-profit purposes. All copying, etc, of this story is illegal without my permission.
Michael and Melanie Oliver are characters belonging to April Richards and are used only with her permission.
All other alternate characters belong to me, are my creation and are not to be used other than with my permission.
* HOMECOMING *
*Chicago, 17th precinct
by Naomi Tilley
Jason Lee Scott sat in silence at his desk, staring at the single sheet of paper in front of him. It had only two words on it, each cut out of the newspaper and stuck crudely on the clean note paper.
It was all the message said, but it was enough. He sighed inwardly. It wasn't the first time he'd been threatened, but each time worried him more. He feared that at some point, the threats would be directed at his family.
Jason pushed the paper away from him. He hadn't had it checked for fingerprints; he knew the responsible party would not have left any clues.
"Hey, Scott, you coming for happy hour, or what?"
Jason looked up, and offered a weary smile in the direction of the man who had spoken.
"No, not tonight. I think I'll go straight home.... Spend the night with Trini and William."
The young man, Sid Ellis, hesitated, then stepped into the room. "Look, Jase, don't let those threats bother you. We all get them at some point."
Jason grimaced. "As often as I do? I can cope with it, Sid. It's Trini that's getting the high blood pressure. She hates knowing that each morning might be the last morning she sees me."
"Hey, she knew what she was getting into when she married you. You were already a detective by then...."
"I know. She's always supported me, even after that case with Bernard Stravinsky. But it isn't just Trini anymore, either. I have to think about William."
"Yeah, I guess you do. What are you thinking?"
Jason slid open a drawer and pulled out a number of papers, showing them to his closest friend.
"Transfer papers?" Sid stared at Jason in shock. "You're gonna ask for a transfer?"
"I already have," Jason confirmed softly. "It was approved this afternoon. I'm transferring to the Angel Grove PD at the end of the month."
Sid came all the way into the office, and sank into the nearest chair.
"Why didn't you tell me?"
Jason sighed heavily. "Because I was worried you might try talking me out of it. The truth is, I don't really want to go, but it's for my peace of mind as much as Trini's."
Sid looked crestfallen. "You're gonna break up our partnership?"
"I'm sorry, Sid," Jason apologized. For a long while, silence reigned, and then Sid offered Jason a lopsided smirk.
"End of the month, huh?"
"Well, at least I found out in time to organize the biggest party ever."
Jason's smile fell from his face. "Hang on, Sid...."
"Aw, don't say it, Jason. Everyone's gonna want to see you off. Don't deny them that. You can't just slip out the back door, brother."
Jason finally conceded, if somewhat reluctantly.
"Okay.... Okay. Just nothing to rowdy, all right?"
"Of course not," Sid assured him, but Jason didn't miss the gleam in his friend's eyes.
*Two weeks later
Jason stood frozen on the outside of an aging wooden door, gun drawn and ready to act at the smallest disturbance. Three days to his transfer home, and here he was, tracking down a serial killer on the killer's own turf. He shut his eyes for a bare second, wondering why he was taking such a foolish risk, and then he remembered all the children the man had murdered.
One of those kids could've been William.... Gritting his teeth, Jason spun around and, using his karate skills, kicked the door wide open.
Nothing. Jason looked around, his heart beating hard as the adrenaline pumped through his system. The room was empty but it was only the first room. Many more to search, many places to hide.
"Jason, are you clear?"
Jason lifted his radio, never taking his eyes off all possible entrances to the room.
"So far. Where are you?"
"At the north end. I'm moving in."
"Okay, keep in contact."
Leaving the radio on standby, Jason moved slowly into the building.
Trini was praying for him right then, he could almost feel it. She had known he would be going after the Angel of Death that day, and though she' d said nothing, her expression had said it all.
Of course, he could have left the case to someone else, and simply forgotten it but it was impossible for him to do. If another officer had been wounded or killed in his place while trying to bring the killer in, he would never have forgiven himself. He had the experience and the instinct that some of the other officers in the precinct would never have, and he knew it. It had to be him that went after the murderer, and no one else.
He froze in mid-stride, his sharp hearing picking up the sound of soft laughter behind him. He turned fast, only to face nothing. Then, the lights went out.
"Christ..." Jason fumbled with his radio, caught momentarily off-guard.
"Sid? Sid!" Silence. "Damn it, Ellis, answer me!"
"Och, I'm right here, Cap'n," came the reply in an unmistakably bad Scottish accent. Jason groaned softly.
"You moron! Are the lights out where you are?"
"Uh huh. Any suggestions from the brilliant Jason Scott?"
"Yes. Did you bring in a flashlight?"
"Of course. I take it you didn't."
Jason felt his face heat up in the darkness. "Slipped my mind."
"Oh, won't the boys love that at the party!"
Jason clenched his jaw, refusing to grace the statement with a reply. It was then that he heard it. A soft scraping sound, coming slowly towards him. Jason froze, his heart pounding.
"Captain? Come in, Jason...."
"Shut up, Ellis," Jason said through clenched teeth, trying desper- ately to determine which direction the scraping was coming from. There came a sudden hiss, and a snarl, and something shot through the middle of Jason's legs. Taken by surprise, Jason cried out sharply and fell heavily to the floor. He lay there for a long moment, winded, when he felt soft fur brush lightly against his cheek. Looking around, he groaned as he just made out the silhouette of a cat in the dark.
"Jason? Jason, what's wrong?"
"It's okay," Jason replied as he sat up and scooped the cat into his arms.
"It was just a stupid cat. Look, go back to the car. If that son of a bitch was here, he's probably been warned off by now. We'll never get him like this. Fumbling around in the dark like goddamn idiots...."
"Sure, whatever you say, boss. You're the one who gets to make the excuses to the Chief."
Jason sighed again. "Yeah, right." He looked the cat over, and was just able to make out the blood that encased one paw. The scraping sound he'd heard must have been the cat dragging its paw on the wooden floor boards. Shaking his head, he started to get up.... and froze at the gun barrel that was suddenly pressing in between his shoulder blades.
"You found my cat. Thankyou."
Jason didn't dare move, didn't dare speak. The gun prodded him harshly.
He got up slowly, letting the cat go. A moment later, he felt a hand at his side, searching down the length of his body, removing the gun from his hand, and the smaller pistol from the ankle holster he wore.
"That's all, isn't it?" a grating voice asked right in his ear. "You don't carry anything else. I know, I've been watching you. Don't you try any of that Kung Fu shit, though. I'll blow your head off."
Jason hesitated, then started to glance around. He was rewarded with a blow to his jaw from the barrel of the sawed-off shotgun.
"Don't look at me, pig. You don't look until I'm ready for you to look. Just walk, that way to the stairs." Jason walked, knowing he had little choice. He might have been able to knock the gun away, but he doubted he could avoid any serious injury, and a blast from a sawed-off at close range would be fatal. He had to bide his time, and wait.
"Don't you have anything to say?" his captor asked, and Jason detected a note of curiosity to his voice. "Don't you want to know who I am?"
"I already know," Jason ventured. "Your name is Kyle Bennett. Alias the Angel of Death."
"Very good," Bennett purred. "You're smart, pig. Smarter than a lot of pigs that I've killed."
Anger flushed Jason's face. The one thing he hated, above all else, was being called a pig. Behind him, Bennett snickered to himself.
"Son of a bitch," Jason hissed under his breath. The gun slammed into his shoulders, and Jason went down with a crash, landing at the topmost step of a steep stairwell.
"Get up, you clumsy little boy," Bennett said in a chiding tone. Jason got slowly to his feet. He had jarred his right wrist in that fall, and it was starting to throb already. Bennett prodded him again.
"Down the stairs. Right to the bottom. I've got a little surprise for you, piggypig."
_This guy has lost it totally_ Jason thought numbly as he made his way carefully down the stairs. _Totally fruit loops_
They reached the bottom of the stairs, and Jason found himself being ushered across to a far wall.
"This is where I teach the boys and girls their lessons," Bennett announced. He pushed Jason roughly up against the wall, then stepped back.
"Now, turn around."
Jason turned slowly, and finally found himself face to face with the serial killer that he'd been working so hard to catch. Kyle Bennett was a pasty-faced man, less than six foot tall, with flat, greasy, brown hair, and dull eyes. The man was a few sandwiches short of a picnic, that was certain, but he was also the one with all the firepower. Jason dared not move against him. Bennett giggled.
"You're useless without your guns, aren't you? Oh, you gotta see this. I did it especially for you. Look!"
Bennett flicked a switch, and the lights all came on, leaving Jason momentarily blinded. For a moment he couldn't see anything, but then, he looked around, and started in shock. The wall he was now standing in front of was plastered with photos and news articles, all of and about himself. Bennett looked thoroughly pleased with himself.
"I've been watching you for a long time. A very long time. Even before I realised my true calling. By the way, you have a pretty wife. And a beautiful son. I'll have to pay him a visit." Bennett smiled, showing teeth that were too white. "I'll bet they miss you plenty."
Jason waited no longer, but charged Bennett, slamming his full body weight into the other man. The shotgun went off, but if it found its target, Jason never felt it. He brought Bennett to the ground in a full tackle, and tried to pin the murderer to the cement floor, but he'd underestimated Bennett's strength. The Angel of Death snarled in anger and managed to turn the tables, nearly pinning Jason down instead.
Fighting hard, Jason eventually squirmed free and, snatching up his small pistol, fled for the stairs, pausing only to switch off the lights and shoot out the switch.
"Bastard..." Bennett hissed. Scrambling to his feet, he collected his shotgun and went after the young officer.
Sid Ellis looked around with deepening worry. It had been a good five or so minutes since Jason had ordered him to go back to the car. Although five minutes wasn't really that long, Ellis knew from experience that it took less than that for one police officer to lose his life. Jason should have been out of the building by then, and his failure to appear meant only one thing as far as Ellis was concerned.
Turning, he leaned into the car and activated the CB radio.
"Car 32 to Base."
"Base to car 32, what's the problem, Sid?"
"I need backup at the warehouse located at 146 Franklin Avenue. There's a possibility that...."
Sid faltered, looking back over his shoulder at the sharp crack of a gunshot from somewhere inside the building. Several long seconds passed, and then a second gunshot followed. Sid turned back to the radio, fighting the urge to panic.
"There's been gunfire inside the building. I repeat, shots have been fired! Captain Scott is inside there now, and I'm going in after him. We need backup, now!"
Leaving the radio, Sid drew his firearm and bolted back to the ware- house.
Jason reached the top of the stairs and ran around and through into a new room, only to find himself in the middle of a maze of heavy wooden crates. Glancing back over his shoulder, he knew Bennett wasn't far behind, and he hurried into the maze.
Bennett was halfway to the top when Jason disappeared off to the left.
He smiled coldly to himself. The cop had just gone into a room from which there was no other exit. That, plus the trail of blood he was leaving behind clearly let him know where the cop was. Chuckling softly to himself, he pulled back the hammer on the shotgun and continued his pursuit of the fleeing officer.
It didn't take Jason long to realise he'd cornered himself in the room.
There was no other way out, and he'd just started to make his way back to the door when he heard it being shut and locked.
He did the only thing he could, and dropped to the ground in a dead-end alley of crates on the far side of the room, hoping he would see Bennett before Bennett found him. It was only then that he saw it, the thin trail of blood that he had left behind him. Panic and fear caused Jason's stomach muscles to contract painfully, and he glanced downwards to finally see the bullet wound in his hip. He'd left a trail of blood that even a child could follow....
Wiping the sweat from his eyes, he waited for the confrontation.
Bennett giggled to himself as he followed the blood around the boxes, and finally halted at the point where the trail of blood disappeared around a final corner. He paused there, knowing the police captain was on the other side, wounded and exhausted, but probably ready to fire with the gun he'd stolen back. Bennett was willing to die for his twisted beliefs, but not just then. After a moment of indecision, he walked slowly down the length of the crates on the opposite side to Jason.
"I spy with my little eye," Bennett chanted softly, "something beginning with 'P'. You there, pig? I know you are."
Jason shut his eyes. Bennett' s voice floated to him from the other side of the crates. The man was out of sight, but definitely within shooting range.
Bennett giggled again, his grip on sanity starting to falter. He lifted the shotgun and, aiming indifferently, he fired into the crates.
Jason bit back a cry of fear as one crate exploded in a lethal shower of wooden splinters. The other crates, piled on top of the one which had been shot through, teetered dangerously, ready to come crashing down at any second. He could hear Bennett on the other side, giggling like the madman he was, and he wondered desperately where Ellis was.
Sid Ellis stopped inside the first room of the warehouse, listening anxiously for anything that would tell him where his commanding officer was. His heart was going a mile to the minute, and he was starting to find it difficult to breathe.
_Please God don't let him be dead_
A third gunshot resounded through the empty building, and Ellis took off in the direction the sound had come from.
Knowing he had no other chance, Jason lifted his own gun in an ever- steady grip and fired off all but one of his bullets, hoping to God that one got through the crates to their intended target. Silence fell, and Jason's hopes rose. Maybe, just maybe....
Faint giggling met his ears, and his confidence died.
"You really think you can just shoot me?" Bennett asked gleefully. "Maybe you're not as smart as I thought."
Bennett's gloating was interrupted by a sudden, heavy thump against the door, which Bennett had locked.
Jason could have almost cried with relief at the sound of Ellis voice.
"In here!" he yelled back. "We're in here!"
Outside the room, Ellis heard Jason call back, and responded by slamming hard into the door, sending it almost flying off its hinges. Stumbling, but not falling, Ellis aimed his gun directly at Bennett.
"Drop your weapon now! This is the police!"
Bennett stood frozen, neither obeying, nor making any further aggressive move. Ellis was frustrated; he could not legitimately open fire on Bennett unless Bennett made some hostile action. He tried taking a step forward.
"Drop your weapon," he repeated forcefully. "More police will be here any minute. Now put it down!"
Again, Bennett didn't respond. Then, finally, a small, cold smile flickered across his face, and he swung the shotgun around, firing it once more into the now dangerously unstable crates. There was a loud crack as the bullets ripped through the wood, and a moment later all the crates fell inward and came crashing down on top of Jason. The young man gave a sharp cry of fear and pain that was cut off as abruptly as it had begun, only to be taken up Ellis, who screamed in rage as he opened fire on Bennett.
The killer crumpled to the ground, rendered unconscious by a single bullet. Then, not bothering to check on the man, Ellis ran over and tried uselessly to drag the heavy boxes away that covered his senior officer.
"Oh god..." Ellis moaned as he just managed to uncover one foot. "Hang on, Jason, I'll get you out...."
Sirens echoed in the distance, but Ellis hardly heard. He continued to struggle with the heavy boxes until a hand on his shoulder caused him to spin around.
Harrison regarded Ellis somberly. "Stand down, Sergeant."
Shock flooded Ellis' face. "But sir... Captain Scott..."
"If he's alive, we'll get him out and do all we can to help him. If he isn't then you're wasting precious energy on a useless exercise. Now, stand down."
It was said with an authority that Ellis could not ignore, and he backed off silently, watching in numb shock as a team of men moved in to free the captain from the prison the massive boxes had created.
*Some hours later, Chicago Public Hospital
Trini Scott ran into the waiting room of the hospital to find Sergeant Sid Ellis sitting in a chair, his hands buried in his face. Her heart in her throat, Trini approached him with a fear that she could not keep hidden.
He looked up sharply at her voice, then managed a weak smile.
"How is he?" she asked softly, sitting down beside her husband's best friend. "Have you heard?"
"Not yet, but I know he's alive. I can at least tell you that. Jason's too stubborn to let a psycho like Bennett win."
Trini looked away, fighting the tears. This was the last straw. She had thought she could cope with Jason's career in the police force, but gradually it had become too much to take. This was all she could handle. She had nearly lost her husband today, and William had nearly lost his father.
She looked back at him tearfully.
"I'm sorry, Sid I just can't cope with this anymore. When Jason gets better, I'll be taking William and going to stay with my parents back home in Angel Grove."
Sid frowned, then his jaw dropped as he realised with shock that Jason had not told Trini of his transfer.
"Oh, Hon, don't do that."
"I think I have to, Sid. This time Jason was lucky. Next time.... Next time he may not be."
Sid sighed. "Trini, there won't be a next time. He applied for a transfer out of Chicago nearly a month ago."
Trini gaped in shock. "A transfer? To where?"
"To Angel Grove. It was granted, and he was supposed to go at the end of the month."
Trini fell back in the seat in shock. Jason had put in a for a transfer She could have cried with relief as his words sank into her tired mind. A transfer meant leaving Chicago, and all the crazies who wanted to take potshots at her husband, simply because of his reputation.
"He wants out as much as you do," Sid told her softly. "He's worried about you and William. He told me that you two come ahead of his career as far as he's concerned."
"You didn't try to talk him out of it?" she asked incredulously. Sid had been the first person to befriend Jason when he had been transferred to the 17th precinct as a newly-ranked sergeant, and the two had become best friends almost instantly. It had been Sid that had gradually brought the other officers round to see Jason's true, kind nature, and it had been Sid who had rallied all the support just ahead of Jason's speedy promotion to lieutenant, and then captain. That Sid would not have opposed Jason's application for transfer was inconceivable.
Sid snorted loudly in response. "Of course I tried to talk him out of it. I don't want to lose the best partner I've ever had. Couldn't change his mind, though. He's one stubborn son of a bitch, Mrs Scott."
Trini had to laugh. "He is, isn't he?"
Sid hesitated, then reached across to lightly grasp Trini's hand.
"Listen, Trini. I know it's hard for you to take, but I don't think you'll change Jason from the way he is. You've gotta accept that"
"I do, Sid. It's just" _Years ago when he was pulling dangerous stunts like this, I was right there with him_ She shook her head. "I can't explain it. All I can say is that I accepted Jason for what he is a long time ago.
I know I'll never change him from that, and I don't want to. I just want to be somewhere that I don't have to be scared everyday that the next time I see him, it'll be to identify him in the morgue!"
Sid nodded his understanding. "I know. I'm gonna miss you both when you go."
Trini smiled wearily. "Same. Thanks, Sid."
He hugged her lightly. "You're welcome."
Jason was awake when Trini was finally allowed in to see him some hours later, and it was all she could do not to cry. Wincing with pain, Jason sat up a little, only to be pushed back down by the nurse on duty.
"No movement, young man," she warned him. Jason sighed, then offered Trini a sheepish smile.
With one hand over her mouth, Trini slapped Jason lightly on his arm.
"Damn it, Jason, you scared me to death!"
"I'm sorry," he apologized seriously. "Honestly.... It got out of hand this time. I'll be fine, though."
"This time, yes! But what about the next time? God, Jason, I don't want to be a widow before I turn thirty!"
Jason reached up to grasp her hand. "You won't be. Trini, I asked for a transfer. I didn't tell you because I wanted to surprise you." Jason frowned, realising she didn't seem surprised by the news. A moment of thought told him what had happened. "Aw, Sid told you...."
Trini smiled tearfully. "Yes. Don't be annoyed with him, baby. He just wanted to reassure me that this wasn't going to happen again."
"He told you where we're going?"
"Angel Grove." Trini leaned over and hugged Jason as tightly as she dared. "I am so relieved. And I am so grateful that you stopped to think about me and William."
"Hey," Jason murmured, "you guys come first. You always have. I knew we couldn't go on like this. It was putting too much strain on our marriage and I want to be able to spend more time with you and William."
Trini kissed him lightly on the mouth. "I love you, Jason Scott."
"I love you too, Trini."
She pulled back, eyeing her husband critically. "So what happened this time? Harrison wouldn't give me many details."
Jason grimaced. "You really want to know?"
"Jason....?" she growled threateningly.
"Okay. We got to the warehouse, and I guess Bennett was waiting for us.
He switched off the lights, let us make royal fools of ourselves before he made his move. By then, I'd sent Sid back out to the car. Stupid mistake, I should have known better."
"You're not perfect, hon."
"I know, but it was such a simple thing. Anyway, he came up behind me with a sawed-off shotgun, and took my guns off me. With a shotgun aimed at me at point blank, I couldn't do a damned thing without getting myself killed.
He took me downstairs to.... I'm not sure where it was. Another level of the warehouse, anyway. He said it was where he taught the children their lessons. Psychotic bastard." Jason faltered then, remembering the wall.
Trini leaned forward a little.
"What is it?"
"There was one wall," Jason answered softly. "One wall that was totally covered in photos and new articles, Trini. You couldn't even see the wall itself for all that stuff he'd collected."
"What were the photos of? Children?"
Jason swallowed hard, not sure he should tell her. Trini frowned.
"Jason, what's wrong? Why won't you tell me?"
He sighed softly, finally giving in. "They weren't photos of children.
Trini, they were all of me. The photos were pictures of me and the articles were all about me. God, it was frightening."
Trini sat frozen, her throat tightening painfully. "You?"
"Yeah. He.... He said he'd been watching me for a long time, even before he started killing the kids. Like he was obsessed, or something."
Trini squeezed his hand tightly. "What happened then?"
"I charged him. Figured he was going to kill me anyway, so I didn't have anything more to lose by making a break for it. We fought for a second, then I got free and went back up the stairs. That was when I got shot though, and I left a trail of blood that he just followed. Anyway, when Sid showed up, he shot the boxes apart and the whole lot came down on top of me. That's the last thing I remember."
Trini shuddered. "Thank God we're getting away from here."
"Yeah," Jason murmured. "Where's William?"
"Beth is looking after him. I didn't tell him you'd been shot."
"Good. He'll probably find out anyway, though. Some kid at his school will let it slip. Man, I can't wait to get back to Angel Grove."
"What about rehab? The doctor said the hip bone was shattered."
"It's not as bad as it sounds," Jason reassured her. "A few weeks of physio, and I should be back on my feet."
Trini looked thoughtful. "I think that we should arrange to stay with your parents until we find a place. We don't want Daddy harassing you like he did the last time they visited us."
Jason rolled his eyes, and slipped into a reasonable impersonation of Edward Kwan.
"Now, you've got to find a more stable career, son. The police force is no life for a young man like yourself witha family to consider. Why don't you come into business with me, at the car yard?"
Trini giggled, hitting him again. "Oh, Jason, stop it."
"If I wanted to go into business with anyone," Jason grumbled, "it would have been my own father. I don't care to spend the rest of my life as a used car salesman."
"Well, there was always the dojo," Trini mused. "The number of times I heard you talking about it with Tommy...."
"Some things just aren't meant to happen," Jason replied quietly. "I'm happy where I am..." Trini shot him a warning look, and he returned it with a sheepish one. "Sorry. With what I am. I am quite happy as a police captain."
"Not a bad achievement," Trini said with a warm smile, "considering you're only twenty-seven."
Jason sighed softly. "Twenty-seven...." He glanced around furtively, but the room was clear. "Nearly ten years since we fought the forces of evil as Power Rangers. I can't believe it's that far gone."
"I can't believe the Power Rangers have been obsolete since the Turbo Rangers destroyed Diva Tox," Trini murmured. "I wonder what happened to Zedd and Rita...."
"Oh, don't even think about them," Jason moaned. "It'd be just our luck for them to show up as soon as we get back to Angel Grove."
"Don't you ever think about it, though?" Trini wanted to know. "I mean, morphing was always such a rush...."
"Yeah, it was a rush that Tommy got hooked on. Fine while it lasted, but look at what happened afterwards."
Trini winced, recalling the horrible day when they'd learned that Tommy had become addicted to cocaine and heroine. He'd become a thrill junkie, and in the end, drugs had been the closest thing he could get to a morphing rush.
It had taken two long, painful years to get Tommy off the habit, and as recently as a year ago, Jason and Trini occasionally heard from Billy or Adam about how Tommy had been caught with small sachets of drugs.
"He's doing all right now," Trini said softly. "He and Rocky and Adam started the Dragon Dojo together nearly a year ago. According to Adam, the place is doing well."
"Tommy's lucky," Jason conceded. "People are more willing to forgive and forget in Angel Grove. Oh, Trini, I'll be glad to get back there."
"Even if it is dull and boring compared to Chicago?" she teased. Jason smiled wearily.
"Yes, even if. Especially if. This Angel of Death case was one too much. There, I admit it. I've had enough, I want some peace and quiet."
Trini hugged him gently. "Chicago is going to miss her hero cop."
"Let her. I'm taking permanent leave of absence. Start packing, honey.
As soon as I'm well enough, we are gone."
A broad smile lit up Trini's delicate features. "That is the best thing I've heard in a long while. I love you so much, Jason."
Jason smiled back, his eyes bright with love for his beautiful bride.
"I love you, too."
*Two weeks later
Tommy Oliver had just finished teaching a small group of advanced karate students and was packing up the equipment when Adam Park walked in. He offered the younger man a weary grin.
"Hey, Adam. How'd your class go?"
"Good," Adam replied with a nod. "Toby is getting better and the other kids stopped hassling him since I talked Ryan into giving him a hand."
"That's good to hear," Tommy agreed. "Man, I'm wasted.... I could go home and sleep for a month..."
"Yeah, well wait till you hear this before you pass out."
Tommy glanced back at Adam curiously. "What's the big news, then?"
"Billy just heard yesterday, Jason and Trini are coming home!"
Tommy's face lit up like a beacon. "Really?"
"Yeah. Jason successfully applied for a transfer from Chicago. They'll be arriving at the end of the week. Apparently the transfer was approved two months ago."
A frown creased Tommy's face as he locked the equipment cupboard, then picked up his towel to wipe his face. "How come they took so long, then? Oh...
Let me guess. Unfinished case?"
"Uh huh. Check this out."
Adam held out a newspaper clipping, which Tommy took. He looked at the headline, and the accompanying picture, and groaned.
"Man, Trini is gonna kill him herself if he doesn't stop pulling that hero shit."
Adam smiled grimly. "Billy said he thought she was ready to. Apparently that's the closest Jason's ever come to actually being killed. He was shot at close range with a sawed-off shotgun, and then buried alive beneath dozens of those really heavy moving crates. You know, those ones that weigh a ton each?
He nearly got totally crushed."
"But he still got his man," Tommy sighed. Adam nodded.
"Yeah. Him and his partner. Billy said Trini told him that Jason tried to give the credit to his partner, but you know what the press is like. All they cared about was that he'd caught the Angel of Death."
Tommy laughed softly as he followed Adam from the room. "Well, at any rate, it'll be good to see them again."
Adam snickered a little. "Better hope that Trini can keep her dad away from Jase, though. He still thinks that selling used cars is a more solid career than the police force. He still wants Jason to join him at the car yard."
"Sure, I can really see that," Tommy retorted. "Jason Scott, Chicago's hero cop, now selling used cars in Angel Grove." He paused, looking down at the newspaper photo of his injured friend. "But on the other hand..."
Both men laughed as they headed back to their office.
* * * *
Author's Note: What d'you think? I'll even try to have a happy (er, happier...) ending for it. In my own mind, Jason ends up getting killed, but I want to avoid that, if I can.