Note: * Mariah Carey owns "Fourth Of July" and it comes from her album, "Butterfly". Lots of hugs and thanks to Suzy for beta-reading this fanfic for me. This story is more of a long flashback to before Shannon arrived and you'll see what I mean when you finish the story. Also the scene that's NOT part of the flashback takes place between the two stories, "Broken Wings" and "A Child's Innocence". So please read on and enjoy.........

Fourth Of July
Written by: WhiteZeo


"You mean to tell me, you don't know what the Fourth of July is?" an eleven year old Justin Stewart questioned.

Liyah Hillard nodded her head. "I actually don't. We never celebrated it back in Australia," she sighed, as she followed her friend out to the lake.

It had almost been two months since Liyah had moved from her one true home in Sydney, Australia to her, hopefully, temporary home in the strange city of Angel Grove, California. Of course, it wasn't because she didn't like the people who lived in Angel Grove; Justin was just one of her many new friends who had befriended her on her first day in Angel Grove.

It was because of so many other things, like watching superheroes called Power Rangers fight off evil monsters or her sister, Katherine Hillard {Kat}, acting way weirder than usual. Then there was the thing about finding cat hair all over the house when they didn't even HAVE a cat.

"The Fourth of July is the best time of the year, at least in Angel Grove it is," the boy pointed out, as they stopped at the edge of the water's bank. "In the United States it's Independence Day, but in Angel Grove it's 'Fireworks Night'. The local Fireworks Company always puts on an annual show at the fairgrounds."

"Then why aren't we at the fairgrounds?" Liyah asked curiously.

He smiled softly. "Because from here you can get the best view of the sky," he gazed out towards the clear horizon. "I never really told anyone about it except Sheryl," he admitted shyly. "But since this year she wanted to go to the fairgrounds with everyone else, I thought I'd show my secret spot to the prettiest girl I know."

If it hadn't been for the darkness of the night, Justin would have been able to see Liyah's rosy red cheeks blush at his flattery. *He thinks I'm pretty, he really thinks I'm pretty!* she mentally cried with exuberance. "Thanks," she modestly spoke, keeping her true feelings bottled up.

Soon the fireworks started and the dark summer night began to light up with bright luminescent colors. Slowly, the two teens sat down in the grass. "You're right, Justin," the blond admitted. "It is beautiful. We had fireworks in Australia, but they were never this pretty or bright."

"You were just looking at them from the wrong the side of the world," Justin grinned slightly, then became somber. "My mom loved fireworks. It's probably one of the few things I remember about her."

Turning her gaze away from the light show, Liyah saw a tear trickle down Justin's cheek as her stared up at the sky. Swallowing her own feelings of remorse for her own mother's death, she quickly stood up and apologized. "I'm sorry," she bit her lip hard to prevent her tears, "I shouldn't have come with you here. My dad will be worried sick about me and I have..........."

She immediately stopped her mumbling once Justin grabbed her hand. "Please don't go," he also stood up and stared into her eyes with his own wet brown eyes. "I've always needed someone to talk to about her; someone other than Sheryl, you know. And you kinda know what I've been through, Liyah," his eyes pleaded with her for a moment, "Please don't go."

Blinking harshly, Liyah let her own tears slide down her face. "Okay," she whispered, sitting down on the grass again. "What was she like?"

"Who?" he queried, following Liyah's lead and sitting back down.

"Your mum."

"Oh." Justin replied, slightly embarrassed. "I don't really remember much of her since she died before I could speak, but I do remember one time when we were out watching fireworks. I don't know where or when or with whom, but all I do remember is hearing her voice; laughing over and over. She'd laugh at every new one that lit up the sky," he looked back up to the midnight blue sky, "So what about your mom?"

Startled by his question, she was silent for an instant before answering him. "She was the best mum you could ever have. She loved Kat and I with every inch of her heart and soul; at least that's what she told us and I still believe it," she paused, as a gentle summer breeze passed by her face, "I was seven when it happened. We were on our way to Brisbane, where my aunt lives. I remember Katherine asked her if we would be able to go to the Sydney Carnival after we returned from our visit. Of course, Mum said yes. Then everything got blurry. One thing happened after another so quickly," tears began to fall faster from her blue eyes as she kept speaking, "By the time I knew what was happening the airplane was spiraling down. Dad, Katherine and I were three of eight passengers that survived that crash; it was a flight of one hundred six. None of the crew survived and neither did Mum."

Finishing her story, she glanced over at her friend and saw his solemn face. "I'm sorry, Liyah," Justin whispered.

"It's okay," she replied calmly, betraying the feelings that were really flying around inside her. *What are you talking about! It isn't okay! Mum shouldn't have died and you know it!*


"Yeah Liyah?"

She hesitated for a minute, but then said, "Can you hold me?"

Expecting a negative response, she closed her eyes tightly and braced herself. However, when she felt his arms wrap around her and hold her tightly, she began to slowly cry. "That's it, Liyah," he comforted her as she felt her shoulders bob up and down. "Let it out. Just let it all out."

They stayed like that for twenty minutes until black clouds took the place of the clear night and began to release sweet rain on the earth. "Ohmigod! It's raining!" Liyah jumped from Justin's arms at the feel of the cold wetness.

Just as she was about to dart off running for shelter, the blond girl looked back at her friend and saw him still sitting on the ground, staring up innocently at her. "Stay here with me," he mouthed to her silently.

"But the rain......." She trailed off, watching him shake his head.

"Who cares?"

A smile crept upon her lips as she realized what Justin was implying. "I certainly don't," with that, she sat back down into his lap.

"Thank you, Liyah," he acknowledged, as the rain poured down harder of the two.

"No," she corrected, moving closer to him, "thank YOU."

The two wet and entwined souls met their lips and allowed all their pain to slowly soothe away.


Starry eyed
As you put your hand in mine... It was twilight
On the Fourth of July
Sparkling colors were
Strewn across the sky
And we sat close enough
That we just barely touched
While roman candles
Went soaring above us and baby

Then you put your hand in mine
And we wandered away
I was trembling inside
But I wanted to stay
Pressed against you there and leave the world behind
On that Fourth of July

So starry eyed
On the flowery hillside
Breathless and fervid
Amid the dandelions
As it swept over me
Like the wind through the trees
I felt you sigh with a
Sweet intensity and baby

Then you put your hand in mine
And we floated away
Delicately lay entwined
In an intimate daze
A crescent moon began to shine
And I wanted to stay
Tangled up with you among the fireflies
On that Fourth of July

Thunder clouds
Hung around
So threateningly
Ominously hovering
And the sky
Opened wide

Then you put your hand in mine
And we ran from the rain
Tentatively kissed goodnight
And went our separate ways
And I've never truly felt the way that I
Felt the Fourth of July

Truly I have never felt the same inside
Like that Fourth of July
Truly I could never feel the same as I
Felt that Fourth of July

"I would do ANYTHING to get you back, Justin," a fourteen year old Liyah Hillard gazed fondly on a picture of her and him. "I know you still love me. You HAVE to love me after all that we've been through together."

Listening to the song replay on her CD player, the older girl placed the picture down onto her desk and looked at her math homework. "You used to help me out with my homework," she sighed wistfully, staring down at the scatter of numbers all over the textbook page.

Thinking for a moment, she gazed over at her communicator sitting on her wrist. Pressing the side of the device, she spoke, "Kerry? Are you there?"

"Kerry here," her best friend's voice quickly chirped. "What's up, Liyah?"

"Do you know where Justin is?"

"Justin?" the Red Turbo Ranger could hear a hint of skepticism in Kerry Taylor's voice.

"Yeah, Justin," she repeated anxiously. "Do you know where he is?"

Kerry was silent for a second. "He's with Tam working on the Power Chamber. He said he wanted to get it up and running as soon as possible; Tam offered to help him and they left about an hour ago. Why do you ask?"

Suddenly, Liyah's hopes fell right down to the floor. "Oh, nothing too special," she lied blatenly.

"Okay. Kerry out."

"He's out with Tamara," the leader of the Turbo Rangers grumbled, slamming her geometry book closed. "What does she have that I don't?"

"She doesn't have a heavy conscience, Liyah," a voice chimed.

Snapping around, the young girl looked at her older sister standing in her doorway. "What are you doing eavesdropping Kat?" she cried at Katherine Hillard {Kat}. "You're supposed to knock!"

The Pink Zeo Ranger shrugged. "I couldn't help it," she moved over to her sister's side. "You miss Justin don't you?"

Liyah scoffed, looking up at her. "Like the moon would miss the stars! I still love him!"

"But he doesn't love you, right?"

Nodding her head, Liyah nodded sadly. "Exactly."

Kat pulled another chair up and sat down, a soft smile set upon her lips. "You have Tommy-syndrome, Liyah. I guess it runs in the family," she chuckled quietly.

"What are you talking about, Kat?" she eyed the other ranger crazily.

Leaning back in her chair to make her more comfortable, Katherine let out a heavy sigh. "Tommy-syndrome," the blond repeated herself. "At least that's what I call it. Your ex-boyfriend has got his eye on another girl and you have this major jealous streak for awhile because you still love him, but he doesn't feel the same. Then you find someone else to love," she paused, patting her slightly round stomach, "and you get over it."

Liyah arched her eyebrow at her sister. "You were JEALOUS of Shannon?"

"Yup. I was definitely jealous of Shannon for awhile; but then she and Tommy managed to get Rocky to ask me out and that was the end of that."

The two were quiet for a moment, as the Turbo Ranger comprehended what her sister was saying. "I guess you're right; except I'VE got Justin-syndrome," she laughed softly.

"That's right," she agreed, standing up from the chair and towards the door.

Watching her go, Liyah called, "Kat?"

"Yeah?" Katherine spun around just before she walked through the doorway.


"You're welcome," she replied and then added some extra advice. "If you want to feel better Liyah, you could just imagine what would have happened if Shannon hadn't come along and messed up our lives thoroughly. I know it sounds mean, but think about it and you'll realize a whole bunch of things happen for certain reasons; even though they do cause a few bad things to happen along the way."

With that, the Pink Ranger walked out of her room, leaving Liyah to contemplate on her strange advice. *What if Shannon hadn't come along?*

Author's Note: I know that this story is very different from the last five in the series because it's really a "what if..." story; but in my train of thought I believed this format would work the best. Also, sorry for the long wait on the story, but I finally came up with idea and I'm real proud of myself; I managed to find time to write another story NOT belonging to "The Guardian Saga". YaY! ^_^

The End