Notice: This is a standalone fanfic, not related to 'Angel of Shadows', which is undergoing a severe rewrite.
She was full of something else as well. Not just hope and laughter, but love and peace. Love for someone she had once considered only a convenience. She had married him only to further her own schemes, and it had shocked her to the core to find out that even in their old days, he had loved her.
(Maybe it was that love which changed us enough.) She knew that those who had died in Zordon's wave had never known what it was to feel love. All the survivors had. She was amazed, actually, by how many had made it through. She herself, Zedd, Rito, Goldar, Scorpina, Master Vile, Finster, Squatt, Baboo, Divatox, Astro--Karone, it was going to take some getting used to thinking of her like that. But those who had been in love at any point in their lives, with anything other than power, who had been willing to give up a little something for someone else, they had lived and been free.
Footsteps sounded gently, and she glanced up to see Zedd coming into the room. He looked so different than he had back when they were first married; so. . .human. That might have repulsed her once, but with the darkness wiped from her soul, then she felt only love for him, no matter how he looked. Even if he were restored to his monstrous shape, she would love him, she knew. She never wanted to live without him.
She wondered what would have happened if she had never used that love potion on him. If she had just tried to beg his forgiveness and let whatever happened between them happen naturally. If they would be anywhere nearly as happy now as they were. (I don't know. But I don't think I want to find out, really. Everything worked out just fine.)
"Good morning, beautiful," Zedd wrapped his arms around her and hugged his wife. "I love you."
Zedd slowly picked up the brush and began to run it through Rita's hair. He had always loved brushing out her hair, no matter what. His fingers stroked gently across her neck, and a soft whisper of a moan echoed from her lips.
(Thank you so much, Zordon.) He would never have dreamed a few short months ago that he would be thanking someone he had considered his worst enemy for turning him into a human. For purifying the darkness and corruption from his soul and transforming him into a mortal. But now, it seemed as if that were the greatest gift he could have ever had.
The others felt much the same way about it. The groups of villains had stayed together, more out of a deep and unexpected friendship and the bond of their past than from the old emotions of fear and domination. Goldar, Squatt, Baboo, Master Vile, and Scorpina all lived in their house with Rita and Zedd. Each had a job and Goldar had even begun to date the most unlikely of people: Kimberly Hart. Things were truly looking up now.
"Zedd." Rita turned to look at him, a light of love in her eyes he had never seen before their transformation. "I heard something on the radio this morning that I think you ought to hear."
He tilted his head slightly. "What is that?"
"This." She reached over. "I found a tape of it at the music store."
With a flick of a finger she started the music. She'd been waiting for him to come home to hear this, and had it all ready for him. Sweet sounds filled the room.