The fluffy white snowflakes gently fall from the overcast sky, forming a chilly blanket over the city of Philadelphia. Although this usually means traffic hazards, black ice, and slippery sidewalks, once high school girl is excited to see snow fall. And its not because of school being cancelled. She just loves the sight of snow on a January morning. And although it snows rather frequently in Pennsylvania, snow is an extremely rare sight in Southern California. And that is where she is moving to.
I can't believe its snowing! she thinks in amazement, And it couldn't have been a better time! Next week, Jonny, Denise and I are getting in an airplane, and heading back for sunny Angel Grove! After over a year, I'm finally going to see the gang again! Man, its been so long...
Alexis is lying on her stomach, spread across the length of her full size bed, with her head propped up on her palms. She has a serene smile on her face as she watches the snow fall from her apartment window. All around her room are cardboard boxes, half-filled with various odds and ends, and a few suitcases. She also has one special purple dufflebag, that contains all the essentials that she will most likely need before all the unpacking is finished. Among them is a small silver rectangular box, with a bright golden coin attached to it. That is Alexis' morpher, which transforms her into the mighty Purple Power Ranger, who draws power from the noble Eagle.
I can't wait to be back in action. Not that I haven't been doing anything this past year. I fought crime as best I could, even though the only time I had a chance was at night. And I did have that way cool adventure with Spiderman. But other than that, I just fly around. I absolutely love flying about aimlessly, but a little adventure every now and then sure spices up life. And I know that once I rejoin the Power Rangers, I'm gonna be in for some major battles with intergalactic goons. Last time I spoke to Kimberly on Billy's Ranger Com system, she told me all about the new Terra team, and about Zack and Jason coming back. Its a shame that the Ranger-Com system shut down several weeks ago. Kim called me on the regular phone about a week after, explaining that the satellite Billy launched vanished, so the signals couldn't be sent across country. So, it was time to resort to the good-ole paper and pen...
Just then, a knock at the door snapped Alexis out of her reverie.
"Uh, come in," she called, sitting up on her bed. Her older sister Denise walked into the room, and shook her head.
"Lex, don't you think you should stop daydreaming, and finish studying?" she asked, eyeing Alexis' scattered belongings, "Why did you pack so much? We're not leaving for a week!"
"I know," Alexis said, "but I can't focus on anything else!"
"Look Lex, I know you're excited about seeing your friends and all, but you have midterms to study for! Monday is the first day of exams, and we won't be leaving here until next Saturday. We specifically stayed the extra week so you can take all your exams and finish this semester before transferring schools again."
"Actually, you wanted to stay to get your law degree," Alexis said with a grin. Denise chuckled.
"You're right," she admitted, sitting beside her sister, "Although the school can mail it to me, I'd rather get it in person. After all this work, I've finally graduated from Law School!"
"I still can't believe it," said Alexis, "You managed to double up on your classes the past two semesters, as well as take summer courses, in order to get all the required credits a full semester ahead of time. After breezing through your last set, you passed the standard exam, and passed with flying colors!"
"Believe me, Sis, there was no 'breezing' about it! Law school is hard work to begin with, and to juggle that with raising a baby, work, and finishing early, I didn't have time to breathe. Thank God I've been feeling well. The doctors have been pestering me to try not to over-exert myself, since I could easily contract any number of diseases. But I haven't... yet."
Alexis' smile fell slightly as she saw a shadow cross over her sister's face. A year ago this past November, Denise Johnson was diagnosed with AIDS, which she contracted from her ex-husband Martin before their break-up. Although she was ill with a serious, and terminal disease, Denise was determined not to let that stop her from achieving. She blatantly refused to go live in Angel Grove, where her mother recently moved, until after she had finished Law School at the University of Pennsylvania. More than anything, Denise wanted to prove to everyone-- including herself-- that she could live a full life. So Alexis decided to move in with Denise, leaving behind her life in Angel Grove to help her sister take care of Johnathan, enabling her to focus more on her studies. Despite all her difficulties, Denise succeeded in finishing her curriculum, and she is now officially graduated from law school.
"Too bad you don't get a graduation," said Alexis.
"I had a big graduation party from high school, and that's enough. Besides, I'm not much of a party person. So, changing the subject, have you told your friends you're moving back to Angel Grove?"
"I mailed my friends Kimberly and Jason letters as soon as I found out when we were leaving."
"Just the two of them?" asked Denise, a glint of surprise in her emerald eyes, "I thought you had a big group of friends."
"Yeah, well I am part of a close-knit group, but I'm closest to Kimberly and Jason. Kimberly, along with Aisha and Trini, were the girls I hung out with. But Trini and Aisha moved away, so they aren't in Angel Grove anymore. And Jason is... well..."
"He's that guy you fell in love with the moment you met," Denise narrated with a grin. Alexis rolled her eyes, and playfully punched her older sister on the arm.
"I guess," Alexis admitted, "Anyway, we were keeping in touch pretty well, him being in Geneva and all, but as time passed, we kinda fell out of touch. When he moved back to Angel Grove, I haven't heard from him more than three times since. I guess we're both just busy people."
"But you still talk to Kimberly alot."
"Kim likes to talk. Jason really doesn't. Still, they'll both be surprised when they get those letters! They should be arriving any day now."
The following day is Saturday, and in Angel Grove the populace enjoy the mild weather. In the park, Jason Lee and Katherine Hillard play two-on-two basketball against Rocky DeSantos and Zack Taylor.
"Ladies and gentlemen," said Rocky, dribbling the basketball at the foul line, "the score's nineteen to eighteen in a game going up to twenty, and the amazing athlete Rocky DeSantos is at the line, after drawing a foul during a fastbreak. Can he end the game with a three-point play? The crowd quiets down as the incredible NBA player from Stone Canyon holds the ball, his eyes filled with determination--"
"Rocky," sighed Kat, tightening the band that tied her curly blonde hair in a ponytail, "could you _please_ cut down the narration and shoot the ball?"
"Yeah," said Jason, "while we're young."
"Everyone's a critic," Zack chuckled.
"Rocky goes up," Rocky continues, aiming the ball, "he shoots, and he scores!"
Rocky threw up the ball in perfect form. The ball spun gently in the air, right on target. Almost. It bounced around the rim, but rolled the wrong direction. Rocky frowned in indignation, and Katherine giggled as she caught the rebound.
"Looks like you've spoken too soon, 'amazing athlete'," she said with a playful smile, passing the ball to Jason. Jason caught the ball and jogged down the length of the court, with Zack hot on his trail. Katherine and Rocky soon joined him, and Rocky left Kat so he and Zack could double-team Jason. Katherine knowingly positioned herself at the foul line, in clear sight of Jason. Jason saw her, and expertly bounce-passed the basketball to Kat. Kat caught the ball, and before Rocky could reach her to block, she bounced it once and turned to shoot. The ball rolled off her fingers just before Rocky got close enough to intercept, and it sailed cleanly through the rim and hoop. Katherine jumped up in excitement, and Jason quickly ran over and hugged her fiercely.
"Fabulous shot, Kat!" he said, "We won!"
"I can't believe we lost," muttered Zack, "I mean this morning, Kat had no idea how basketball was played!"
"I guess I'm just a natural athlete," she said with a smile, extending her hand, "Great game, guys."
"So what do we do now?" asked Rocky. Jason wiped his face with a towel, and glanced at his watch.
"Well, we're meeting the others at Ernie's for lunch. Knowing Kimberly and Aisha, they won't be done shopping 'til at least one."
"And since they dragged Tommy along with them, they have someone to carry all their stuff," said Rocky, starting to laugh, "When will he learn to say _no_ to Kimberly?"
"Probably never," said Katherine with a smile, "I just hope he can stand shopping for so long. It must be dreadful."
"I thought you liked to shop, Kat," said Jason.
"Everything in moderation," she responded, dribbling the basketball, "I don't see the need to shop three times a week. So I opted to learn basketball today instead."
"Billy and Adam will probably be awhile too," commented Rocky, "Billy wanted to run some checks on Adam, to see how his heart is healing. Adam didn't even wake up until ten o'clock!"
"So, we have about an hour before the gang shows up," said Zack, "I'm heading home to take a shower."
"Good idea," said Rocky, as the four friends collected their belongings and headed towards the parking lot. Zack climbed into Rocky's car and after waving, the red Honda pulled away. Katherine unlocked the door to her 1991 blue Volvo, and then noticed that Jason was walking towards the sidewalk.
"Jase," she called, "where are you going?"
"Home," he replied, "Its only a couple miles."
"Where's your truck?"
"It needed a tune-up," Jason answered, "I'll pick it up Monday."
"Well, why don't I give you lift?"
"That's okay," Jason said, shaking his head, "You live in the opposite direction."
"Oh nonsense. Get in the car."
Jason shrugged, and made himself comfortable in the passenger seat of Katherine's car. Katherine then pulled out of the parking lot, and onto the street.
"You really played well today," Jason said, "I still can't believe you've never played basketball before."
"Well, I did alright," Kat said modestly, "It was your slam dunks that ensured our win. You make it look so easy!"
"A lifetime of practice, I guess."
Both were silent for awhile, as Jason stole a glance at Kat. He couldn't help but notice that even though she was sweating, and her hair was a mess, she was still gorgeous. He cracked a small smile.
"What's so funny?" Kat asked, looking at him from the corner of her eye. Jason nearly panicked.
"What do you mean?" he asked.
"Why were you smiling?"
"No reason," he said quickly.
"Jason, what are you laughing at?"
Jason looked out the side window, and saw his house up the street.
"Uh, my house is the third one on the right," Jason said, effectively ending the conversation. Katherine shook her head, and pulled into the driveway. Jason unbuckled his seatbelt, and opened the door.
"Say," he said, "you wanna come in for something to drink?"
"Why not?" she said, turning off the car. Jason led Katherine to the front door, and unlocked it. He then escorted her to the kitchen.
"Wow," she said, looking around the expensive decor of the livingroom, "Impressive."
"You've never been in my house before?" Jason asked in surprise.
"Oh," said Jason, pulling a seat at the kitchen table out for Katherine, "well, both my parent's have high-paying jobs, so I guess we're pretty well off."
"That's one way to put it," she commented, looking at the elaborate furnishings surrounding her.
Jason opened the refrigerador door, and pulled out two glass bottles.
"Is apple juice okay?" he asked, holding up the bottles.
"Perfect," she answered. Jason sat down at the table across from her, and handed her the bottle. After a few moments of silence, Katherine decided to start a conversation.
"I received a postcard from Tanya the other day," she said, "She's still in Kenya."
"How is she?"
"She's having a wonderful time. She's getting to know her parents, as well as the place of her birth. She said they'd be in Africa for at least another month. It takes time for her parents to get the appropriate visas and immigration papers, considering they were missing for ten years. She already misses us, but she is having fun."
"You and Tanya are pretty close, huh?"
"She's my best friend," Kat admitted, "We get along fabulously. I guess its because we have so much in common. I mean, we're both spirited women, who try to realize our potential academically as well as athletically. Tanya is marvelous at baseball and is really a quick learner of karate, and I'm a diver and dancer."
"You know, I really think you'd like Trini," Jason said, "She and I were friends for years, and we still are. I always loved her indominable spirit. She never fell back on a challenge. You two would really hit it off. If she ever decides to come back to Angel Grove."
"We probably would," Kat said, nodding, "Another thing Tanya and I have in common is our association with the Power Rangers. Both of us came from totally different continents in order to replace former rangers. Of course in Tanya's case, she didn't get the chance to replace Aisha, because the Zeo Crystal couldn't be used by a non-Ranger."
Jason could tell that Katherine was speaking a little quietly.
"Kat, you're not a replacement," Jason said sternly, "I mean, you were picked to be a Terran Ranger by Zordon, so you know you must've done something right! I thought you got over your doubts when you faced the Nightmare Queen on the Dreamscape."
Katherine visibly shuddered when Jason brought up that incident. Not long after the inception of the Terran Power Rangers, Katherine was plagued by terrible dreams, in which she was constantly shunned by her fellow Rangers, to the point where her self esteem plummeted so low, she couldn't even morph. Rita invaded her mind with Finster's Dream Machine to break Katherine's confidence, and on the Dreamscape, Katherine faced the magical creature Envy, who embodied all the envy Katherine felt toward her fellow Rangers. Especially Kimberly, who was everything Kat wasn't. It was the most difficult fight the Blue Terran Ranger had ever faced, but she managed to assert herself, and defeat Envy.
"You know, Jason," Kat said, "I don't think I ever thanked you for your help against Envy."
"Oh, I didn't do anything..." Jason said modestly.
"Yes you did," she argued, taking his hand and squeezing it gently, "If you hadn't come into the Dreamscape to encourage me, I surely wouldn't have mustered the self-confidence I needed to win the fight and break out of that fever. I could've died. I owe you one."
"Hey, what're friends for?" he asked with a lopsided grin, squeezing her hand back. Just then, Jason heard a key turn in the door. He looked up and saw his mother entering the house, a shopping bag in one hand and a stack of letters in the other. She looked up and smiled warmly at her only son.
"Hello, Jason," she said, walking into the kitchen and setting the groceries on the sink, "Who's your friend?"
"Mom, this is Kat Hillard. We go to school together."
"And now, we play basketball too," Kat added, standing up and smiling at Mrs. Lee, "It's nice to meet you."
"Same here," she responded, shaking Katherine's hand. She then returned her attention to the envelopes she was fishing through.
"Bill... bill... bill... I may have won a million dollars... oh, here's a letter for you, Jason."
Jason accepted the letter, and noticed the purple ink in which the address was written in. The return address was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Jason's eyes widened slightly, and he suddenly felt uncomfortable.
"Is something wrong, Jase?" Kat asked, peeking over his shoulder at the letter. She saw the return address. "Who do you know from Philadelphia?"
"Uh, listen Kat, its getting late," Jason said abruptly, "and I have to shower and stuff before lunch."
"Oh," said Kat, her voice laced with confusion, "okay. Do you need me to pick you up?"
"Nah, I can walk. See you at the Youth Center?"
"Right," she said, picking up her car keys and walking towards the door, "See you. Oh, and it was a pleasure meeting you, Mrs. Lee."
"Likewise," said Jason's mother, waving. She then turned, and saw her son slowly opening up the letter.
"What was that all about?" she asked, "Why did you chase her out?"
"Because... I have stuff to do, and I'll see her later," Jason responded, scanning the lavender stationary with elegant black writing on it.
"Well, what does it say?"
"Mom...!" Jason whined, glancing up at his mother.
"Okay, fine. I'll mind my own business," she said finally, returning to the grocery bag. She began to put the food away, and Jason jogged up to his bedroom, reading the letter while he went.
"Dear Jason, How are you doing? I haven't heard from you for a few months. I guess you're pretty busy, but that's fine. How's it feel to be a 'you-know-what' again? I'm sure you're having the time of your life! And I'm sure you love being back in Angel Grove. Home Sweet Home...
"Anyway, I have some terrific news for you! Denise finished Law School a whole semester early, which means we're coming back to Angel Grove in January! I can't wait to see you again! As soon as I finish midterms here in Philly, we're on a flight over. Our plane arrives at two o'clock on Saturday, January 25, at Angel Grove International. Its flight 545, direct from Philly to California. I'm really excited to see you again. Its been awhile. All my love, Lex."
Jason sighed deeply when he finished reading the letter, and he folded it neatly and placed it on his dresser. He then went into the bathroom, undressed, and turned on the shower. As his tan body was immersed in the steaming water, his mind was immersed in thought.
I don't believe it... Alexis is coming back! Its been... over a year since she first left Angel Grove. Man, has it really been so long? When she first moved back to Pennsylvania, I moved to Geneva, and we spent hours on the phone. If Billy hadn't constructed that Ranger-Com system the following spring, those long-distance bills would've killed me. We were friends before we both left Angel Grove to pursue other things, but I guess we both felt the same lonliness in our new homes. We got really close. We talked almost daily, when time would allow, and we talked about everything under the sun. As time passed, we got busier and busier, so the conversations got fewer. Then, I moved back to Angel Grove, and I don't think I called her since. I don't even think about her much lately. Is it just because I'm a ranger again? I mean, before I didn't really have that much to occupy my time, other than classes and meetings with the other delegates at the Peace Conference. In Angel Grove, I have to juggle school, hanging out at Ernie's, extra-curricular activities, and of course fighting off Zedd and Rita. I just haven't had the time...
Jason frowned to himself as a wave of guilt hit him.
That's not good enough, he decided, No matter how busy I was, it wouldn't take all that long to drop Lex a message, asking how she's been doing. I could've if I really wanted to. But, why didn't I want to?
As if in answer, his mind conjured an image from only minutes ago, when he and Katherine were holding hands over an apple juice and a heart-felt conversation. Jason's guilt increased exponentially, and he shampooed his hair harshly, as if to relieve some of the tension building.
That was nothing, he reasoned, Kat and I are just friends. Nothing more. Besides, its pretty plain to see she'd never go for me. I'm so... rough around the edges. She's so sophisticated and proper. And she's in love with Tommy. She'd never admit it, and Tommy doesn't have the faintest idea, but I can see it in her eyes. She's in love with Tommy, and I love Alex. Sort of... Jason shut off the water and wrapped his body in a towel. He wiped the condensation off the medicine cabinet mirror, and gazed deeply into his own eyes, as if trying to see into his mind from outside rather than from within.
Of course, Tommy is in love with Kimberly, and I doubt that'll ever change. They've bonded in such a way that every couple aspires to. I don't think they're breaking up anytime soon, so I really can't see Tommy getting together with Kat. And Alexis probably hates me after I've all but ignored her the past few months.
Jason knew he wasn't fooling anyone. If Alexis hated him, she wouldn't have sent him such a warm letter. It was obvious Alexis still had strong feelings for Jason. But he, on the other hand, didn't know what his feelings were for Alexis.
"Ah, I should stop thinking about all this," he decided, "Alexis and I just have to get re-aquainted is all. Spend some time together. I mean, it didn't take me long to fall for her in the first place. We've just been separated for so long, that I just kinda... forgot about her. No, I didn't forget her! I just... put her out of my mind. Its probably some kind of psychological defense, so I don't end up dwelling on thoughts of her and getting all depressed, like Tommy always did when Kim left..."
Jason cracked a smile, and rolled his eyes. This new arguement was even more ludicrous that the previous one. He decided to drop the subject, and hurried to his bedroom to get changed. After throwing on a T-shirt and some black sweat pants, he combed through his curly wet hair, and gazed at the letter. He sighed again, and slipped the folded lavender paper into his front pocket before hurrying out the door.
Katherine parked behind the Gym and Juice Bar, and got out of her car. She saw Aisha walk into the Juice bar with Kimberly and Tommy following behind her, strolling hand in hand. She smiled wistfully when she saw the serene expressions on both of their faces. Obviously, a few hours of shopping didn't disagree too much with Tommy. So long as he could spend time with the love of his life.
Katherine cast her eyes down to the pavement as she locked the car door. Every time she saw Kimberly and Tommy together, a wave of mild depression struck. At first, it was jealousy towards Kimberly. No matter how much she tried to fight it, Katherine couldn't help but fall for Tommy. Rita's spell, that made her evil when they first met, fed off that initial attraction, turning Katherine into an obsessed maniac, willing to do anything in order to have Tommy. Including kill Kimberly. Fortunately, Katherine broke the spell before she could harm Kimberly too much. And Kimberly forgave Kat for all she did while evil, and even offered her a place on the Power Ranger team. Kimberly obviously harbored no ill will. And Katherine learned Kimberly was one of the sweetest, nicest people on the planet. That just made Kat feel guilty about being attracted to Tommy.
But lately, her feelings toward Kim and Tommy have changed. Of course, she is still attracted to Tommy, but the type of jealousy changed. At first, Katherine wished that she could be in Kimberly's place, and be the only woman Tommy loved. But now, she's happy for them. They make a fabulous couple, and Tommy is so happy, Katherine would never wish them to break up. It would break Tommy's heart, and he'd probably never recover completely. Rather, Katherine finds herself wishing for a relationship like the one Kimberly and Tommy have.
Kimberly found her Prince Charming, Kat thought, walking towards the building, That's what I'm envious of. Their love is so true and pure, and so all-encompassing, they would do anything for each other. Kim always supports Tommy's athletic pursuits, even though she doesn't much like being a spectator. And Tommy always goes with Kimberly shopping, even though he loathes shopping in its own right. Slowly, they've reached a point where just being together is joyful, no matter the activity. Just seeing Kimberly makes Tommy's eyes shine, and the same goes for her. I so wish I could find a love like that. A love so strong and true, nothing could break it. Not distance, not time, not responsibilities... nothing. When will I fall in love, I wonder? Its true, I'm attracted to Tommy, and I'll even venture to say that, to some extent, I love him. Of course, I don't think I could ever love him as much as Kimberly does. But that's not what I want. I want a love that is reciprocated, so it can grow and flourish. When will I find _my_ Prince Charming?
As Katherine walked into the Juice Bar, her mind turned to earlier that morning, when she and Jason were together. Although they rarely spent time together, and they didn't know each other all that well, Katherine found herself so comfortable with him that she could divulge her deepest feelings. Her feelings of alienation, of inadequacy, and of vulnerability. And she knew she could trust him. He wouldn't share her secrets with anyone, and he would always try to make her feel better. However, he wouldn't lie to her to lift her spirits. He is truthful and caring, and he always knows what to say. He is much more sensitive than his husky exterior would have one believe.
Kimberly did refer to him as a "big teddy bear", Katherine thought with a smile, as she looked across the room. Kimberly and Aisha were seated at the group's usual table, and they were both sitting with their backs to Katherine. It was simple to see they were looking at something on the table, because Aisha was sitting extremely close to Kim, and both had their heads nodded downwards. Katherine moved over to them and sat down.
"Hello," she greeted, sitting beside Kimberly. She saw a lavender piece of paper, with flowing black lettering on it. Kimberly and Aisha looked up, and smiled at Katherine.
"Hey, Kat," said Aisha, "What've you been up to?"
"Rocky, Zack, Jason and I played some basketball," Katherine related.
"Well that's nice," said Kim, grinning widely, "but you would've had a ball at the mall."
"Yeah!" chimed Aisha, "There was a huge sale at The Gap, and I found the cutest little dress at Nordstrom's--"
"I can imagine," said Kat, smiling with amusement, "So where's Tommy?"
"Bathroom," said Kim. Kim then turned back to the letter for a few moments, reading over the last paragraph. She then turned back to Katherine, practically bubbling with excitement.
"What's going on?" Katherine asked.
"You're not going to believe this! Lex is coming back!!"
"Who?" Kat asked. Aisha and Kimberly looked shocked.
"Alexis Darling?" Aisha said quietly, "You know, the Purple Ranger?"
Katherine rubbed her chin, as if trying to recollect. She then shook her head. "I've never met a Purple Ranger."
"Well, of course you didn't!" said Kimberly, "She moved to Philadelphia before you moved to the US. But I'm sure I told you about her at some time."
"I'm sorry, I don't recall," said Kat, shrugging, "What's she like?"
"Well," said Aisha, "she's tall with red hair, and green eyes. She's lots of fun, and a great fighter. Hmm, I didn't know her all that well... only for a few weeks. You should ask Jason. He can tell you the whole story."
"Why would I ask Jason?" Kat asked curiously.
"Because she's Jason's girlfriend."
Kat's eyebrow rose slightly, and her small grin fell into a straight, tight line. Kimberly noted Katherine's expression with interest. It seemed like Kat was trying to control her reaction, without doing too good of a job.
"Hey girls!" called a voice across the room. Everyone turned around to see Rocky, Zack, Billy, and Adam. The four guys sat down at the table.
"How're you feeling, Adam?" Aisha asked with concern. He smiled warmly.
"My heart's fully healed," he announced, "but I still shouldn't strain it."
"Right," said Billy, "He shouldn't re-absorb a Zeo shard for at least three more months, although he can go about his other activities unhindered. He may tire more easily than usual, but other than that he's fine."
"That's fantastic!" said Rocky, giving his best friend a high-five.
"Yeah," said Adam, "and I got a postcard from Tanya today, too."
"Really?" asked Zack, "I'm sure you're excited."
Adam blushed slightly, causing all the others to grin.
"Well, yeah I am. She's having a blast in Kenya."
"Wow," said Tommy, walking over to the table from the bathroom, "the gang's all here!"
"Not quite," said Katherine, moving over so Tommy could sit next to Kimberly, "Jason's not here yet."
"Guys," said Kimberly, "I have some terrific news! Alexis is coming back next week!" "That's great!" said Rocky excitedly, "Man, that girl can sure help Zack and I lighten up this crowd!"
"We could use a hand," said Billy thoughtfully, "I doubt the Eaglezord can morph with the Terra Megazord, but its still an efficient vehicle."
"I thought she wasn't coming back until May or June," said Zack, "Doesn't her sister have to finish Law School?"
"She finished early," said Aisha, "They're arriving on Saturday--"
"Hey everyone," called Jason, running across the Youth Center, "Wow, am I late?"
"No," said Katherine, watching him as he sat down across from her, "you're just on time. Did you know that Alexis Darling was coming back to Angel Grove?"
Jason nodded. "Yeah, I did. Actually, I got a letter from her this morning. She said she's coming back Saturday afternoon."
"That's great!" Rocky repeated, "That gives us plenty of time to plan a Welcome Back party for her!"
"Good idea, Rocko," said Tommy, "Any ideas?"
Everyone turned to Jason, who looked at everyone curiously.
"Why are you looking at me?" he asked.
"Well, she's your girlfriend," said Adam, "Who knows her better than you do?"
"Yeah," chimed Aisha, "what would she like to do?"
Jason thought silently for a minute. What _does_ she like to do for fun?
"I've got an idea," Rocky said, "how about we throw her a party at the indoor ice rink in Stone Canyon? She likes to rollerskate, but she loves to ice-skate! And she'll be surprised, because she probably isn't expecting to be able to ice-skate in California!"
"That's a terrific idea!" said Zack.
"Yeah," said Adam, "Good thinking!"
"Right," said Jason quietly. Why didn't I think of that? I can' believe I didn't remember how much Alexis loves to skate!
"She said in her letter that her mother's picking her up at the airport," Kimberly continued, "so I figured we could meet her there and say hello. We should have the party on Sunday because she'll probably be really busy Saturday, what with all that unpacking and all. I think I'm gonna help her."
"Me too," said Aisha with a grin, "It'll be fun!"
"I'll help," Jason offered. Kat locked her eyes with his.
"That's a good idea," she said, a hint of coldness in her voice, "I'm sure you and Alexis have some catching up to do."
Jason looked away from Katherine uncomfortably. All the rangers could feel the tension in the air, but only Kimberly understood why, recalling Katherine's reaction to hearing about Alexis.
Uh oh, the Pink Ranger thought, chewing her fingernails, this is gonna be trouble!
Meanwhile, upon the Moon, Rita Repulsa, the notorious Empress of Evil, watches the scene in the Juice Bar through her Repulsascope. She steps back from the telescope, and taps her chin.
"There's a Purple Ranger?" she thought aloud, "I don't recall there being a Purple Ranger! GOLDAR!!"
The golden plated creature marched into the throne room and bowed.
"Yes?" he asked, impatience in his voice. Even though Goldar used to serve Rita Repulsa exclusively, he can no longer fathom being faithful to her. Now, he only serves her because his master, Lord Zedd, is her husband.
"Have you ever heard of the Purple Power Ranger?" she asked. Goldar rose his head, with surprise on his face.
"Yes," he said, "Not long after Zordon created the White Ranger, Lord Zedd retaliated by re-creating the Purple Ranger. A young woman who moved to Angel Grove was in possession of the Eagle coin--"
"I have a feeling I know where this story is leading," Rita sighed, rolling her eyes, "Zeddie kidnaps this girl, planning on restoring the Purple Power to the coin and creating an evil Purple Ranger. However, the Power Rangers break the girl out of the spell, and she joins their ranks, increasing the number of rangers to seven."
"You're almost right," Goldar said, "The Power Rangers saved the girl before she ever became evil."
Rita snarled, and tapped her foot impatiently. "And Zeddie has the nerve to chide me about trying to make Tommy an evil Green Ranger. At least he _was_ evil for awhile! But, where has this Purple Ranger been? The Terran Rangers have mentioned that she is returning to Angel Grove."
"I... I do not know exactly what happened to her, but she disappeared. She left the team for some reason, and took her Power Coin with her."
"And now she's coming back," Rita sighed, "making the Terra team even _more_ powerful! We can't even beat six rangers, for Evil's sake! How will we destroy seven?!"
Goldar remained silent, knowing that any answer on his part would surely bring Rita to hit him over the head with her magic wand. Rita paced around the throne room, with her hands clenched behind her back. "Goldar," she said finally, "where's Zeddie?"
"Good," she said quietly, "Do you know where he put all those wedding presents we received from villains throughout the universe?"
"Um... I think he asked Finster to find a place for them. Many of them were left un-opened."
"Right," she said, walking out of the throne room, "FINSTER!! WHERE ARE YOU?!"