Legal Disclaimer: The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (with the exception of Alexis Darling, the Purple Ranger) are the property of Saban Entertainment. I am using these characters without he permission or the knowledge of Saban. Since I'm not using these characters for profit, I don't think there'll be any problems, but just in case...

This is part three of the PURPLE RANGER TRILOGY. As I think I said before, the previous two, "Grace of an Eagle" and "Collision", took place after the "White Light" saga, but before the "Ninja Encounter". This fanfic takes place after the "Ninja Encounter" but before and during the "Power Transfer". This tale is less action and more soul-searching than my other two fanfics, but I hope you enjoy it just the same.

Fond Farewells
Part One
by Rachel D Dawson

In her bed, Alexis Darling sleeps peacefully, as the bright California sunbeams pour into the room via the two windows on opposite sides of the bed. Her room is rather messy, with dozens of boxes littering the lavender carpet, some open, some still taped shut. Her dresser is covered with photographs, jewelry, various berets, and a shimmering golden coin with the design of an eagle engraved on its face sitting inside a silver and red morpher. On the night table beside the bed sits a purple and silver watch (which apparently doesn't tell time), a cellular phone, and a white alarm clock. At six-thirty that Friday morning, the alarm sounds loudly, causing Alexis' head to leap off the pillow.

"Ugh," she moans, leaning over to turn off her alarm, "I can't believe its morning! I've been beat all week, since I had to use that double bomb attack to destroy that Dracola monster."

She slowly climbs off her bed, heading towards her dresser. She trips over her backpack, which was lying in the center of the room.

"Why don't I ever clean up my room?" she mumbles out loud, picking herself up off the carpet and continuing to the dresser. She selects a pink tank-top with purple flowers and black thigh-highs, and from her closet she takes out a black miniskirt. Wow, thought Alexis, examining her choice of clothing, hanging out with Kimberly has really affected me. I haven't even unpacked half of my clothes from Philly. I just keep buying these tight shirts and short skirts at the mall. I haven't had a use for my baggy jeans and oversized t-shirts. I've gone from city girl to valley girl in three weeks!

Alexis giggled slightly and went to the bathroom. She took a quick shower and dressed. She returned to her room and brushed her short red hair. On the edges of the mirror were numerous photos tucked into the sides, most of them of her six new friends--the Power Rangers. Alexis, who has always loved photography, took the time to look at the photos and reflect. The first photo was of her two best friends, Kimberly Hart and Trini Kwan, at the food court of the mall. The two girls were as different as night and day: Kim was outgoing and energetic, while Trini was quiet and reserved. Still, they had enough in common to be the greatest of friends, and they welcomed Alexis into their fold. The next photo was of Zack Taylor and Jason Lee on the basketball court. Zack was so active and fun-loving that his spirit was positivly infectious. Jason, on the other hand, was rather intimidating, but his friends all know he has a heart of gold. Kimberly has referred to him many a time as a "great big teddy bear". He's also a real hunk, thought Alexis with a mischievous smile. The next photo was of Billy Mitchell and Trini, hard at work at Billy's garage/lab. They were both extremely intelligent, peaceful, caring, and considerate. They would also make an adorable couple, if only one of them would do something about it.

Below the photo of Trini and Billy was one of Kim and Tommy Oliver, sipping shakes at the Youth Center. Alexis always saw them as the perfect couple--they were always considerate, they're sensitive to each other's feelings, and would quite literally die for one another. Tommy's quiet charm balances Kim's exuberance perfectly. Alexis felt a pang of jealousy. She had never been in a real relationship before, and since her father left her mother only a little while before they moved to Angel Grove, the hurt lingered. I wonder if falling in love is worth risking my heart, she thought bitterly, I mean, how many relationships end up in heartbreak? But maybe, just maybe, Jason is worth the risk. I just wonder if he feels the same about me...

The next photo was of all seven of the teens in the park. Alexis remembered asking Skull to take the picture. Jason stood tall and proud, with his arms crossed and a serious expression on his face. Zack stood next to him, sporting his winning broad smile and giving Jason "bunny ears" with his left hand. On his right stood Alexis, smiling widely, with her arm around Billy, who looked slightly embarassed. Trini kneeled in the foreground with a charming grin. Tommy stood beside Billy, with a gentle smile etched on his handsome face. He had his arm around Kimberly, who was wearing her trademark heartwarming smile. This was Alexis' favorite photo, because it showed so well the strong bond the teenagers share.

Alexis had one more photo, one of three other teenagers--Rocky DeSantos, Adam Park, and Aisha Campbell. These three transfered to Angel Grove High on Monday, and they already knew the Power Rangers identities. Alexis had been spending a lot of time with them during the past week, especially when the other Rangers went on missions. Zordon refused to let her participate, since her body was still experiencing an energy shortage. Yesterday, when the other Rangers were entranced by Zedd Waves, Alexis tried to morph, against Zordon's advice, and had fainted with the surge of power. Calling upon the power of the coin is very taxing, and Alexis doesn't have that kind of energy to spare. Alpha and Billy have run various tests, and they concluded that Alexis' power drain is temporary, but they couldn't calculate how long it would take her to heal completely.

"I'd better get going," she said out loud, grabbing her wrist communicator, morpher, and cellular phone. She strapped on her pink backpack and hurried down the stairs. She opened the front door when a firm voice stopped her.

"Alexis, you're not planning on walking out that door without having breakfast, are you?"

"Sorry Ma," said Alexis sheepishly, "but I'm late!"

Amanda Darling walked out of the kitchen. She was dressed in a black pants suit, high heel pumps and a purple blouse. Her long, curly strawberry blonde hair was clipped back by a gold beret, and a knowing smile lit up her face. She handed her daughter a can of ready-to-drink Carnation Instant Breakfast.

"You've been overly tired for the past week, and I think its because you haven't been eating properly. Therefore, you are going to have three full meals a day, whether you like it or not!"

"Okay, Ma," said Alexis, accepting the can. Amanda kissed her daughter on her forehead and held the door open for her.

"Well, you'd better get going. Have a nice day, Honey."

"You too. Bye!"

Alexis smiled at her mother and hurried out the door. She rushed down the street towards Angel Grove High.

"I am going to be SO late!" she panted, stopping at a main street. She waited to cross when a red Jeep pulled over by the curb. Alexis watched curiously as the window rolled down, revealing Rocky in the driver's seat and Aisha in the passenger's seat.

"Need a lift, Red?" asked Aisha with her cheery smile.

"Do I ever!" answered Alexis, sitting in the back beside Adam, "Thanks for pulling over."

"No problemo," said Rocky, getting back on the road.

"So, how are you?" asked Aisha, turning around on her seat and looking back.

"Not bad, but I'm majorly tired. I doubt I'll be able to stay awake for Ms. Applebee's literature class first period!"

"Well, you'd better!" laughed Adam, "Especially since you fell asleep yesterday!"

"Maybe you shouldn't go to school," said Rocky, "If you spend a few days in bed, you may recover sooner."

"Nah, I don't wanna fall behind," said Alexis, staring out the window uncomfortably. She tries to change the subject. "So, what d'ya think about the Peace Conference coming up?"

"Its definitely an honor for the three students chosen to go from Angel Grove," said Adam, "but I don't think I'd wanna go. I'd miss my friends and family too much."

"Yeah," said Aisha, "Mr. Caplan substituted for my chemistry class yesterday, and he told us that he and a board of other teachers were to choose three students of excellent academic record, community service, and that demonstrate leadership abilities to represent Angel Grove High. The three selected will be notified by telephone tonight, and the announcement should be broadcast on the local news tomorrow. Their names will also be announced in school on Monday. They're supposed to leave next Friday to Switzerland."

"How long are those talks supposed to be?" asked Rocky.

"I heard it should take over a year," said Adam, "That's why they'd prefer to send juniors. That way they'll finish up their high school education during the talks."

"Wow," said Alexis, "a year and a half!" Suddenly, her eyes widened, and she turned to Adam. "What would happen if the Power Rangers were chosen to go? Each of the others fit that description to a T!"

"I'm sure Zordon had prepared for that possibility," said Adam reassuringly, "but maybe we should ask him next time we see him."

Rocky parked the car and the four teenagers piled out. Rocky looked at his watch.

"We have just over ten minutes 'till the homeroom bell," he announced, "So let's hustle!"

The four teens ran into the building and went their separate ways. Alexis made her way to her locker and started working on her combination. She searched for her copy of Romeo and Juliet when she felt a hand on her shoulder. She turned around to see Tommy's smiling face. However Alexis, being very perceptive, noticed that the smile looked forced.

"Hey, Lex. How're ya feeling?" he asked politely, purposely not looking directly at her.

"Drained, but otherwise I'm okay," answered Alexis dryly, returning to her search. He's worried about me, she thought, He doesn't think I'll be able to pull through this!

"Look, uh, I know what it's like to have your powers weaken. It happened to me several times," said Tommy, staring at his feet uncomfortably, "I just want you to know that, well, the six of us are here for ya, and we understand what you're going through."

"Tommy, you're talking as if someone just died! You really need to stop worrying so much about me. Look, Alpha and Billy said this power loss is temporary, so I'll be back in my shimmering spandex before you know it! So in the meantime, make sure to whip those baddies without depending on me to save your hide!!"

Tommy couldn't help but smile at Alexis' brash comment. Wow, she really has spirit. I wish I could have had that kinda faith when I was losing my Green Ranger powers. Still, there's something she's not telling me. She's hiding something...

Alexis finally found her book and slammed her locker shut. She turned around and smiled up at Tommy.

"Catch ya later," she called, rushing to homeroom. Tommy made his way up the stairs, where the other five Power Rangers waited for him.

"So, how is she?" asked Jason.

"She's taking this power loss much better than I did," said Tommy with a sigh, "but I know she's not being totally open with us. She's holding back--I can see it in her eyes."

"What can we do?" asked Kimberly, her voice filled with sympathy.

"We can't do anything," said Tommy quietly, "Trust me, I know. She's got to sort this out for herself. We can't impose. Besides, she probably feels uncomfortable around us. When I lost my powers, I avoided you guys like the plague. I guess I just didn't feel like I belonged anymore. I wasn't a member of the team anymore."

"You should know better than that, Tommy!" said Trini, surprised, "We're bonded by friendship, not power!"

"That's easy for you to say, Trini," said Tommy, "After all, the five of you were all best friends way before the Power Rangers existed. Now Alexis and I became friends with you after we had received the power, as if this circle of friends was mutually exclusive. It seems to us like a Power Coin was the only thing that brought us into this little club."

"Well, if that's how Alexis thinks, then we haveta change her mind!" said Kimberly authoritatively, "Let's say we all have a picnic in the park after school?"

"Great idea!" said Zack, starting to get excited, "We can just sit out in the sun and chill!"

"Perhaps we can invite Aisha, Adam, and Rocky," added Billy.

"Good idea," said Jason, "They're nice people, and expert martial artists. I'd like to get to know them better."

"So its agreed then?" asked Kimberly, "By the lake at about five? That should give us enough time to get things ready."

"Affirmative," said Billy.

"Awesome!" said Zack.

"Sounds great!" said Trini.

"Absolutely," said Jason.

"Why not?" said Tommy with a smile, "So, who's gonna coordinate this little party?"

"Did you have to ask?" asked Kimberly with a superior smile, "I'll call each of you and tell you what you need to bring."

Just then, the first bell rang.

"Uh oh, we're late," said Jason, starting up the stairs, "We'll talk at lunch!"

With that, the six friends hurried to their homerooms.

After school, the ten teenagers meet by the lake to enjoy good food and good fellowship. Adam shows Zack a few moves by the lake while Billy and Trini unloaded a few blankets and laid them out on the freshly cut green grass. Aisha and Alexis help Kimberly unload a few coolers from her car. Jason and Tommy carry a cooler each, loaded with soda cans and water bottles. Rocky walks over from his car with a huge white pastry box.

"What's in the box, Rocko?" asked Zack, walking over to the blankets when he saw Rocky.

"Chocolate cake," said Rocky with a smile. He sat the large box on the blanket and openned it, revealing a two-layer square chocolate cake with vanilla frosting and rainbow sprinkles. Zack began rubbing his hands together.

"Now I'm getting hungry!" he said. The others all started laughing and made themselves comfortable on the blankets. They sat in a circle around the picnic spread, which consisted of macaroni salad, potato chips, tortilla chips, salsa, a variety of cold cuts, stacks of bread, condiments, chicken salad, and Rocky's cake. Alexis sat in the shade of the oak tree, and beside her sat Aisha to the left. To her left sat Kimberly, then Tommy, Jason, Billy, Trini, Rocky, Zack, and Adam, who sat to Alexis' right, completing the circle. Aisha started passing out the paper plates while Kim passed out the plastic utensils.

"Dig in, guys!" said Kim, and that's just what they did.

"This is an extremely impressive selection," said Billy, fixing a chicken salad sandwich, "How did you manage to prepare so much food in so little time?"

"Well," said Kimberly, "I made the chicken salad, Aisha and Adam went to the deli to get the cold cuts and mac salad, Jason, Zack, and Tommy bought the sodas, chips, condiments, plates, and utensils, you and Trini brought the blankets, and Rocky went to the bakery to get bread and dessert."

"Wow," said Alexis, "You really made a group effort. Why didn't you tell me sooner about this picnic, Kim? I could have brought something..."

"Don't worry about it, Lex," said Kim with a smile, handing her friend a can of ginger ale, "Just relax and enjoy yourself, 'kay?"

After the meal was eaten, Rocky cut up the cake and served it. Jason got a couple gallons of milk from the cooler and some paper cups. Once dessert was finished, Billy, Trini and Kim started to pack up the leftovers while Jason, Tommy, Rocky, Adam, Zack, and Aisha practice different fighting styles. Alexis, who was already worn out from a long day of school, was sleeping peacefully under the oak tree.

"Wow, she's out like a light," said Kim with a smile, "I sure hope its not because of our company!"

"Her body is still suffering from her use of the Supreme Bomb Attack last week," said Billy, loading the used paper plates in a big black garbage bag, "The Purple Ranger was never meant to harness so much raw power. She is lucky--I expected her to fall into a perpetual coma from the extreme exertion. At least she can still function. She just can't morph or exert herself too much."

"But, will she ever completely recover?" whispered Kimberly as she watched her friend sleep soundly.

"Her power is in the process of regenerating her," said Billy, "but it is a slow process. Since Alexis is bonded to the Eagle coin, the coin itself will assist her healing. But she still isn't strong enough to call on the full power of the coin, so she can't morph."

Just then, a ringing could be heard from Alexis' backpack. The sound stirs her awake, and she pulls out her cellular telephone.

"Hello?" she answers, sitting up, "Oh, hi, Ma. I'm at the park with Kim and the others. Huh? What's wrong? Okay, I'll be right there."

Alexis quickly stands up and collects her belongings. She puts on her backpack and makes her way to Kim, Billy, and Trini.

"My mother just called me," she explained quickly, "I have to go home now. It's been a real blast!"

"Wait!" called Kimberly, "is something wrong?"

"I'm not sure, but she said it was important. I'd better not keep her waiting."

Alexis waves to her three friends and makes her way to the lake, where the others watch Adam perform an impressive kata.

"Wow," commented Zack, "his feet barely even touched the ground."

Adam completes the exhibition and bows. His audience clapped excitedly.

"Way to go, Bud!" said Rocky, slapping Adam on the back. Alexis walked over with a smile.

"Yeah, great show," she said, "Look guys, it's been a blast, but I gotta go home. See ya tomorrow at the Youth Center."

"Need a lift, Lex?" offered Jason.

"Uh, yeah. Thanks, Jay!"

Jason and Alexis walked over to Jason's Honda, and in a few minutes, they pulled into Alexis' driveway. Alexis unstrapped her seatbelt and climbed out.

"Thanks for the lift, Jay," she said with a charming smile.

"No problem," said Jason, smiling back.

Alexis slammed the door and made her way to the front door of her house. He turned back to wave as Jason drove away.

"Definitely a hunk," she whispered to herself as she turned the knob of the door. To her surprise, the door was unlocked.

"Ma?" she called, walking into the family room, "Are you here?"

Alexis went to her mother's bedroom and knocked on the door. She could hear muffled sobs.

"What's wrong?" she asked as she opened the door. She saw her mother sitting on the corner of her bed, with her face in her hands, shaking with sobs. Alexis also noticed a bottle of scotch beside an empty glass on the night table. Alexis' concern triples as she remembered the last time her mother drank liquor-- about two months ago, when her father left for good. Alexis sat beside her mother and embraced her.

"Oh, Honey," sobbed Amanda, crying on her youngest daughter's shoulder, "I got a call from the Ben Franklin General Hospital in Philadelphia--"

"Did something happen to Johnathan or Denise?" asked Alexis in a voice barely above a whisper. Tears began streaming down her face as she thought of what horrible fate could have befallen her big sister or baby nephew.

"Johnathan is fine, but Denise--," Amanda cut off and looked into her daughter's green eyes, "Uh, she's extremely sick."

"Like, how sick?"

"Alexis, Denise has been diagnosed with full blown AIDS. She's so weak, what with the pregnancy and Martin leaving, the doctors don't think she'll... last long."

Alexis felt a lump rise in her throat. Her eyes filled with tears as she sat on her mother's bed, utterly motionless.

" dying?" she whispered in disbelief, "But she's so young. She has such a brilliant future. She's almost done with law school at the University of Pennsylvania...I don't believe it..."

The strain of the news, added to her already weakened condition, made Alexis dizzy.

"Denise is very weak," said Amanda, sitting up and trying to compose herself, "and now that the two of us moved out here, there's no one nearby to watch Johnathan or help her out. She needs our support, Lex, and so does the baby."

Alexis stared at her mother, not fully understanding what was happening. Amanda rose to her feet and picked up the telephone receiver.

"I'm going to make arrangements for the two of us to fly to Philadelphia tonight," said Amanda, dialing the phone, "And then, I'll call my boss to get next week off. Lex, go and pack your things."

Alexis silently rose to her feet and slowly walked to her bedroom. She packed her suitcase in a daze, doing her best not to break down and cry.