"When you do what you want, need and have to do, you are an all-around better person on the inside and out."
-- Some wise words I actually wrote in one of my English essays!
For thousands and thousands of years I have strived to fight against the evil that has plagued our universe and to live peacefully. Yet in all my attempts, they always felt to be so vain because we never succeeded in our goal.
It still feels like I've been fighting vainly.
Looking back thousands of years and looking into the apparent future, I seem to see nothing but trouble and misery. And that worries more than anything. I never knew that Artemis would break the vow. Then again, perhaps I did. I always knew that the love between Artemis and Syryn was strong, much stronger than many Ranger relationships that I have ever seen, and probably will ever see. But the calm and ever so wise Artemis made a pact. And the same blinded and headstrong Artemis broke it.
The Power Rangers don't know what is about to happen, for I myself have made a vow not to tell them. If I did, history could be changed for all eternity. And even though it destroys me that I cannot tell them what will happen, they cannot know. And yet I still feel guilty. I have seen many noble and worthy Power Rangers die in the past, and now many will die in the future because of my silence.
So many Power Rangers have fallen to the villains that they are facing today. And now I have a team that is unstoppable. Invincible. I should be happy that our fight is going so well in the present, because in the future, it just may all go downhill.
As I emerge from the white light that had surrounded me, I can feel the powdery sand of Angel Cove beneath my feet and the cold ocean breezes whipping past me in frenzy.
I pull my thin white robe around my body tightly, watching as the deep blue waves of water ride upon the wind and crash against the rocky shore. I can feel my shoulder length brunette hair blowing against my cheeks as I stare at the ocean's mighty glory.
I continue to stare out at the scene until it just finally gets to me. I slowly begin to let tears tumble from my saddened blue eyes and down my cheeks. It's much too hard to keep all the pain bottled up inside. It's easier to just succumb to the pain and let it kill you softly.
"You couldn't sleep either?" a new voice enters my world, his strong and loving voice carrying over the howls of the wind and the crashes of the waves.
I turn around and face him. His familiar saddened features are a welcoming sight. He also feels my pain. "No. It's a little bit too much to deal with all at once." My voice betrays my emotions and lets a small amount of laughter escape.
He returns a soft smile at my response and movers closer to where I stand. "I know how that feels," he murmurs to me, his short auburn hair getting tousled by the strong gust of air. "You look like you've been crying."
"So do you," I quickly snap in a sort of defense, but then realize it futile as a frown forms on my companion's face. "I'm sorry, Jason. I still having a hard time believing she's...Gone."
Jason Lee Scott comes up from my behind and wraps his muscular protective arms around me. At first, I stiffen at the touch of his skin against mine. "Relax, Shannon," he whispers in my ear gently, his breath caressing my neck. "Nothing will happen between us. I won't let anything happen," his voice pauses for a moment as I slowly relax my tense muscles, "I love you like a sister; nothing more and nothing less."
I lay my arm on top of his and give a gentle smile at his sincerity. I love him in the exact same way. "Is Nautica really dead?" The words suddenly pop out of my mouth blatenly, but for a good reason. I have doubted Jason's story about how our child died ever since he told everyone earlier today.
This time, I feel his muscles stiffen around my body and his head cautiously lay upon my own head. His nose buries into my thick hair and through that, I notice that his breath has sped up ever so slightly. "Jason?" I ask again, worried that my question was a little too blunt.
"She's not dead, Shannon," he mutters, barely loud enough to be heard over the waves and the wind. "I just made all that up to cover for the truth."
Shannon Oliver swivels around in my arms, so now she's facing me. "What is the truth?" she sputters in a painful tone, tears falling from her beautiful eyes once again.
"The truth?" I repeat, moving my thumbs to her eyes and wiping the salt water away. "The truth is that Nautica is still alive...And hopefully well." I feel a grin rise on my lips as I watch her eyes brighten at my assuring words.
"Where is she?" Shannon's voice is filled with a new-found dedication; a strength. "Can we go get her?" A smile starts to take over her other once dreary features.
And that's when a gigantic lump begins to rise in my throat. One of guilt. One of sadness. One of betrayal. "No." I'd rather soon deflate her hopes with the truth than fuel them with lies. "We can't get Nautica; she's with Scorpio."
Very slowly I watch as many different emotions flash across Shannon's face. First there was surprise. Then utter, unbelievable shock. That led up to her frightened expression, which eventually brought her to the strongest of the four expressions. Pure, unadulterated hatred. "HOW COULD YOU?!?!" she screams at me, pushing my arms away from her body. "How could you give our baby to that devil?!"
"You and I both know she's not a devil," I protest, backing away from her as her eyes blaze with madness. "She has good inside her! I saw that good!"
"Yeah, so have I," she snarls, tears no longer falling from her eyes. "It's all bullshit, Jason! That goodness you saw...She uses it as deceit!"
I shake my head, not believing Shannon's words. I saw it in her eyes. It was clean and pure; it was light. "No," I said the negative word for about the tenth time that night. "I refuse to believe that. I saw what I saw."
She simply nods her head towards me and then she does the strangest thing I have ever seen her do.
Shannon attacks me.
Pouncing on me like some kind of cat, she tackles me to the sand and begins to try to strangle me. Rolling around on the cove like two savage animals, I eventually am able to get the advantage on her and with my strength, her speed takes her nowhere. "LET ME GO!" she yells at me, her voice cracking with excruciating force.
I pin her to ground with a little bit more force to compensate for her wriggling. I kneel silently over her body while she continues to fight against my hold over her.
We stay like this for a few minutes until Shannon slowly calms down, the rough breeze cooling her red cheeks. "I'm sorry," she breaks down in front of my eyes, the pain so raw within her teary blue eyes. "I'm sorry, Jason."
I lift my hands off her shoulders and gather her quivering body into my arms once again. "Shh," I hush her, hugging her tightly. "It's alright."
"I just want my baby back, Jason," she whimpers, crying into my shoulder. "I want Nautica back."
Stroking her hair in a comforting manner, I console my best friend's wife in the best way I can. "I know, Shannon. I know what you feel..."
I slowly find myself awakening to the sound of my daughter's hungry wailing from across the hallway in the nursery and the first thing I do is roll over to alert my wife. "Shannon..." I moan, reaching out next to me to touch her body.
Instead, my hand reaches the bare sheets of where my wife SHOULD be laying, but isn't. "Shannon?" My voice is more aware as I quickly rub the sleep from my eyes.
I look to my right and see no one lying beside me. Arching my eyebrow, I climb out of the bed and grab my red robe off the nearest chair. Putting my robe on, I head out of the room in a slight daze. I walk into the nursery's doorway and that's when I see her.
She's quietly rocking back and forth in the nursery's rocking chair, with her back to me, Makala held tenderly in her arms; her wails pacified with the nipple of the bottle she was now slurping away on.
Silently watching, I can feel a warm smile take over my mouth. It's been so long since I've seen her like that. So calm, so gentle, so...Her. "Sweetcheeks," I call to her softly, my voice barely above a whisper.
"Huh?" Slightly startled, she stops rocking in the chair and turns to face me, her sky blue eyes surprisingly red. "Oh, it's just you, Oliver."
"Who were you expecting?" I tease, finding my way over to her side as she begins to rock again. "Camellia?"
Shannon nods her head, a sad smile touching her beautiful face. "No," she mumbles shamefully. "I was just off in my thoughts for a little bit."
"With tears in your eyes?" I question, my hand touching her moist cheek. "Sweetcheeks, does this have anything to do with Nautica?"
At the mention of her dead daughter's name, my wife jerks away from me. She stares at me strangely, still holding our daughter closely to her body. "Of course it has to do with Nautica!" she yaps at me gently, tears suddenly forming in her eyes again. "She was my flesh and blood, Oliver...And now she's gone. It hurts too much to bare."
Removing Makala from Shannon's trembling grip, I cradle her as she continues to grab her bottle. "Sweetcheeks, I know this," I tell her, the pain of watching her hurt so badly sinking into me. "I just wish you'd share your pain with me. Let me feel what you're feeling," I plead slightly with her, hoping she'll give in.
She shakes her head. "No, I can't," she murmurs, turning her away from me and facing the wall, "As many times as I have shared my feelings with you, this time I can't do it. It's different this time around; it's complicated."
"I don't have to understand," I explain, shifting the five-month old baby in my arms. "I can just listen."
For a second, there is silence. Then my wife faces me once again, fresh new tears streaking her cheeks. "I'm sorry, Tommy," she barely whispers, leaning over the side of the rocking chair, "I can't do it. This is my own problem and I've got to deal with it."
I look out the window from my second-floor apartment and all I can see it the darkness that is shrouding the streets and buildings below. Off in the distance I can faintly see the street light posts lit, lining the streets.
Then I turn around and gaze over to my bed...No, our bed. It's already been three months since Kat moved in with me, but I still find it so fascinating when I wake up in the middle of the night and she's right there; her beautiful form lying directly beside my own.
Right now, she's angelic. Lying beneath the bed covers, her long golden tresses of hair strewn across the pillow, her hands resting on her ever-growing stomach that is carrying our child...Katherine Hillard is a god send to me. She is my equal, she is my half; she is my everything.
And she's my stability. Maybe that's how I made it through everything that's happened lately with Shannon, Tommy, and everyone else involved. So many times I've just wanted to throw my zeonizers down on the floor and forget it all. Forget I was ever a Power Ranger and go back to my normal life. Without all the complications, all the life and death struggles and the weight on the world on my conscience.
I sit down on the windowsill and continue to stare at my sleeping girlfriend. "No, that would never happen," I whisper to myself. "Jason and others have proved that time and time again."
Yeah, most definitely. All the Element Rangers at one time were all 'retired' from the Power Ranger business...Yet, they all were pulled right back into it. I chuckle quietly. Never has the saying, "Once a ranger, always a ranger," made more sense than now.
Then I remember a conversation I had with Jason awhile back and something that he had told me.
"Being a ranger is the greatest high in the world you could get, Rocky," he had said to me, quite frank, "Nothing else can replace what you feel when you defeat the monster and know you've kept Earth safe for another day...Nothing."
Jason is right though. There is nothing like those feelings after you've done your job right and saved the world from evil's hands another day.
Fondly, I return my gaze to look out at the hushed neighborhood below. Maybe that's why I keep those zeonizers on...
"The time is 0530 hours," I can hear D.E.C.A.'s voice announce, cutting through my deep sleep, "It is time to wake up, Zhane and Calypso."
"Mmmmmm," I moan as I shift my body in Zhane's warm arms. "We'll get up later, D.E.C.A. We had a rough day yesterday," I tell the Astro MegaShip's onboard computer.
"We are leaving for KO-35 at 0900 hours," D.E.C.A. restates, startling me. "It would be wise to wake up now."
"I thought we were leaving tomorrow!" I reply skeptically, now fully awake and sitting up on my elbows in the bunk.
"Andros changed his mind," D.E.C.A. simply responds me, her red "eye" staring down on Zhane and I in our temporary quarters. "He received an encoded message from Monarch Cyane last night and we are also running low on dilithium crystals."
I stare up camera and shrug. "I guess you're right. Thanks D.E.C.A.," I acknowledge, thinking back to how many times I was, and still am, at the beck and call of Monarch Cyane.
Not that I don't like Monarch Cyane, you see. It's just that we have very DIFFERENT points of view. Where she may see chaos, I see order; where she sees love, I may see hate and so on. And it doesn't help that she thinks that I flirt with her youngest son, Leo. I would love to go up to her and say, "Uhh, I'm sorry but I don't like Leo; I'm having sex with Zhane and it's a lot better."
But then I would be in a whole lot of bullshit, wouldn't I? It's bad enough my big brother likes to keep tabs on me wherever I am and scolds me at every mistake I make. Sometimes he reminds me too much of Andros and I'd rather not have that!
"Kai reminds you of Andros?" Zhane's voice cuts deeply into my thoughts.
Immediately, I smack him. "You were reading my thoughts when you were sleeping again, weren't you?" This time, I'M scolding Zhane.
"I could not help it!" he pleads in his defense, his arms wrapping even more firmly around my body. "When I heard my name, I had to find out what the hell you were thinking!"
I smack him on the chest again, while crawling on top of his body. "Yeah, Kai DOES remind me of Andros," I admit to him, a frown falling upon my lips. "And that's not supposed to be a GOOD thing!"
"I figured that part," he smiles sweetly up at me. "Well, there is one thing that they do not have in common."
My frown morphs into a sly smirk as I run a free hand through Zhane's beautiful blonde hair. "What's that?" I ask innocently, staring into his bright eyes.
For a moment, I watch as a flicker of hesitation passes across Zhane's features; but that quickly disappears. "Kai lets Kendrix wear whatever she wants!" he sputters out laughing, referring to my brother's Eltarien girlfriend, Kendrix Morgan.
I take his words into consideration and afterwards, a grin begins to coat my face as I begin to laugh. "You're right!"
Our laughter coalesces into one sound and only one immediate thought pops into my head: The best thing about being a Power Ranger is having that special someone to share it all with.
I slowly dip my left foot into the cold icy waters of Angel Grove Lake and instantly, I let out a sigh of relaxation.
"Ooh," I moan to myself in the early morning darkness, placing my other foot into the waters. "This is definitely what the doctor ordered."
Slipping deeper in to the waters, I think about what's happened lately and my thoughts instantly fall to Justin Stewart. "He cares," I remind myself, as I begin to swim backwards on my back.
Yeah, he cares. He just doesn't care as much anymore...And it's my entire fault. If I hadn't been stupid and blind, then Justin's feelings wouldn't have changed. Heck, maybe my feelings wouldn't have changed; they wouldn't have become stronger.
I stop swimming and I simply float in the middle of the lake for a moment, admiring my surroundings. "I wish I had someone to share this with," I whisper quietly, the chill in the air nipping at my nose.
There's really no one to share this moment with though. Justin used to be the person that I shared times like this with; I just can't do this kinda thing with my best friend, Kerry Taylor.
And the more I think about it...I don't want to do these kinda things with Justin anymore either. Just listening to my own thoughts and how I talk about him like the world would end if he wasn't on this Earth makes me realize how damn dependant I've become!
I guess it's because he's always been there for me. Through best of the times and the worst, I've always had that strong and caring shoulder to lean on. Now, I don't have it...And ya know what? I've never felt more free in the nearly fifteen years I've lived on this planet.
Mum and Dad were there when I was little, Dad and Katherine were there when after Mum's death and Katherine was there when I became a Power Ranger. But no one is here to help me right now, through the deepest shit of all. That's completely fine by me.
It's like I've gotten a new lease on life, one that's gonna let me do WHAT I want, WHEN I want.
I smile to myself at the thought and I begin to head back towards the shore; there's no use in getting all wrinkled and prune-skinned for nothing.
Once I do get to shore, I edge out of the rejuvenating waters slowly and surely. I grab my red and blue towel off a nearby rock and start to dry my body off, when I stop and suddenly examine the towel in my hands.
"Red and blue," I mumble, staring at the woven fabric containing the dominant colors of red and blue. The colors were a most definite match; they blend and mix together SO well, but...
Without another moment of thinking, I pick out a sharp wooden stick lying discarded on the sand. I throw the towel to the ground and I jab it with the point of the stick. I continue to do this, until I have finally made a hole in the material.
Tossing the stick aside, I lift the damaged cloth from the sand and place my fingers through the hole. Then, with all the strength that I could possibly possess, I rip the towel straight in half.
By now, I know what I'm doing is a bit crazy but I still do it. With a solemn face, I take the two rags and throw them into the lake waters' current. Reassuringly, I watch as they float farther and farther away from the shore and away from me.
I probably just broke some rule about littering or something, but I really don't care. I don't care because by doing that I feel a lot better.
By doing that, I just officially set my soul free.
Sitting in the dark of my quarters, I absently scroll through a data board containing the report that Monarch Cyane sent me last night of the progress of the Galaxy Rangers' prototype powers.
"...It is fairing well. We have chosen two of our five Galaxy Rangers. I have yet to screen the applicants from Kelyi, Triforia, Horat, Eltare and Miranoi. I have also spoken with Eltare's Head Council and they are strongly recommending a woman from one of their prestigious science teams. I believe you may know her. She is an acquaintance of Calypso's older brother..." Suddenly, my attention begins to wander from the report and I find myself looking towards the chronometer standing on the desk before me.
0547 hours. Everyone would be waking up about now; all moaning and groaning about how D.E.C.A. should be waking them up later, but then finding out that they would be leaving for KO-35 in less than five hours. "My surprise to them," I chuckle, thinking about all the yelling that would happen as the morning progressed.
"Your surprise to who?" My wife's voice creeps up on me as her hands rest on my shoulders. "Ooh! You are extremely tense," Jenna comments while beginning to massage all my knots out of my shoulders. "You did not sleep tonight, did you?"
I nod my head guiltily at her scolding voice. "No," my voice turns into a slight moan just as Jenna hits one of my really tight kinks. "I could not sleep. Your mother sent me an encoded sub-space message late last night."
"How late?" Her voice manages to be curious and suspecting at the same time; damn, sometimes I think that is her specialty for being an Astro Ranger: she can suck information out of ANYONE.
I roll my head around once and instantly my neck cracks in stiffness. I feel Jenna's hands tighten slightly around my shoulders at the startling sound. "Late," I do not elaborate, hoping she will be satisfied with a short answer; she is not.
She moves her hands from my shoulders up to my hair and undoes the tie that was holding my hair up in a simple ponytail. Throwing the band onto the desk, Jenna starts to run her hands through my hair; an affectionate gesture on her part, but then there is also that fact that I love it when she does that too...
"Now," her voice is even and I know she has gotten to me to the point of no return, "how late did the message come in?"
I try to resist answering her question with all my strength, but I have NO strength; staying up all night just sapped it all out of me. "2200 hours last night," I admit in shame, turning my gaze to the data board sitting in my lap.
Instantly, I feel a mental slap come directly from Jenna's thoughts. "Do I have to keep on lecturing you?" she scolds me badly, squeezing my shoulders tight enough that she was nearly pinching my nerves.
"Jenna," I squeak meekly in slight pain, moving my hands up to where hers were torturing my shoulders. "You are hurting me."
She nods, leaning towards me and kissing me gently on the cheek. "I know that, Andros," she acknowledges, letting go of my shoulders and allowing me roll them out quickly. Her arms circle possessively around my neck. "It is just that you never listen to reason; you never rest, and you worry me to no end."
I take her hand and kiss the back of it gently. I know exactly what she means. She tells me this over and over again, yet I never listen even though I should. "I am sorry, Jenna." All I can think to do is apologize. "It is a habit I cannot stop."
"You had better learn to stop it then!" Her arms move away from my body following her mocking tone. My wife's hands linger in my long hair for a small moment before retreating away. "I am going to take a shower. Care to join me?"
A grin forms on my face at Jenna's ploy of seduction to get me to relax. It is a tempting offer, but I really am not in the mood for it. "No, thank you," I neutrally decline her suggestion. "I want to finish reading this report from your mother."
"Alright." I can hear her bare feet shuffle against the throw rug on the floor as she reluctantly accepts my words. As soon as I turn my attention back to the data board, she is turning on the showerhead in the bathroom.
Once the constant noise of the running water fills our chambers, I find that I can no longer concentrate on the EXTREMELY boring report. Placing it aside, I remove my gray uniform jacket and hang on the back of the chair. I next unclasp my heavy black boots and stand them next to the desk.
Standing up from the chair, I let out a hearty yawn as I stretch my arms above my head. I walk over to the unmade bed on the opposite side on the room and I immediately plop myself onto the mattress, my fatigue finally getting the best of me.
And as I slowly drift into the pleasant abyss called sleep, I think of Jenna and why we are married; she always somehow manages to bring out the best in me.
My mouth widens as I let a large forbidding yawn escape from my lips.
Sitting on my bed in the darkness of the room, I can barely see my younger brother dreaming in a tortured sleep. His blankets are strewn all over his bed and I distinctly remember getting hit in the head with a pillow in the middle of the night.
I glance over to the digital alarm clock standing on my desk and notice it reads 5:54 AM. "Uhhh," I moan, realizing I got up way too early for my own good.
I lay back down onto my bed, but I find that I now can't go back to sleep. So instead, I end up staring up at the ceiling.
Staring up at the ceiling, the first thing that comes to my mind is everything. The whole evil rangers incident, Tommy's suicide, Scorpina's death...Actually that's been on my mind for awhile.
I mean, I never LOVED Scorpina or anything, but as I recall, Zhane did love her and felt for her the way I never did. And yet, he killed her. I don't know why, but it's really bothering me.
But then, the fact that Tommy actually DIED and came back to life is bothering me too. Shannon did tell us how she did it, ya know, but still...It's creepy. It's not like I wanted Tommy to stay dead or anything, but...
I blink my eyes momentarily as I realize what the hell I'm doing. "Dammit!" I curse quietly. "I'm mumbling again!"
Deciding I needed to get my mind off of everything, I silently climb out of my bed and grab my robe off of my desk chair. Pulling the green coat on, I wrap it tightly around me and reach for my green communicator lying absently on my desk.
Quickly and silently, I place the device back onto my wrist and pressing the sides of it, I watch as my view on the world goes completely green.
"Leave me alone," I groan as someone continues to shake me out of my blissful sleep; something I haven't been able to attain for a while.
"Tanya," a voice pleads me as I roll onto my side in the bed. "Please get up. I've gotta talk to you about something."
For a moment I ignore the voice until I realize who actually owns the voice. "Adam?!" I cry, snapping up into a sitting position from underneath my covers.
I look to immediate left and I see my boyfriend, Adam Park, kneeling next to my bed with a tired and saddened look on his face. "What are you doing here?" I ask in surprise, brushing his messy black hair away from his face with my hand.
"I just wanted to make sure you were alright," he tells me; but I take one good deep look into his sorrowful brown eyes and I know something isn't right.
I glance at my analog alarm clock sitting on my dresser in my dorm room and it reads 7:00 AM. "Adam," I sigh as turn my eyes back to him, "it's 6:00 AM back in Angel Grove. You couldn't possibly be checking up on me."
Adam nods his head shamefully as if he was a child who had done something terribly wrong. "I just didn't know who to come to. You were the only person I could think of," he admitted, moving his body so that he was now sitting next to me on the bed. "Everything that's been happening...It's so hard to swallow."
He stares at me with his innocent eyes, full of fear and pain. I reach out and gather him into my arms as I begin to realize that tears have started to fall from his eyes. "Adam." My voice is barely a whisper as I try to console my boyfriend. "What is it? What is wrong?"
"Zhane," he began to speak, "Zhane loved Scorpina once...And yet, he KILLED her. He killed someone he loved. How did he do that?"
I bite my lip as I listen to Adam. I know exactly why he has been berating himself now. He told me about the whole Sabrina/Scorpina incident, but I never thought it would come this far. "You had wanted to kill her, didn't you?" I question, even though it's more of a statement than a question.
He nods his head yet again. "I couldn't do it," he says with a trembling voice. "I wanted to do it so bad...Yet I couldn't. And I know I could have done it, but I was just too chicken; too scared."
"No," I insistently snap. "You were never too chicken or too scared. You just weren't built for it," I whisper into his hair as I bring his body closer to my own. "And that's a good thing."
"I wanted it so bad though, Tanya," he whimpers to me more. "I wanted to watch her suffer in front of me and..."
"Shh," I cut off Adam, making sure he didn't speak about the subject any longer. "We all do what we have do to, Adam. You did what you had to do by NOT killing Scorpina."
"Andros?" I call out to my husband as I emerge from the bathroom, fully dressed in my maternity uniform. Ugh...I really hate wearing this ugly thing!
"Andros?" I call once more, but I quickly hush myself when I find him sleeping in our bed.
Smiling, I move over towards the bed and sit down next to his tired body. Laying a hand on his face, I brush his beautiful long hair away from his eyes. He always looks like an innocent child when he sleeps. Slowly and sweetly, I gently kiss him on the cheek and stand up from the bed.
Glancing over at the chronometer as I walk past it, I notice it reads 0610 hours. Everyone is probably getting breakfast right about now. I might as well join them; there is no use staying here just because Andros is sleeping.
I pad my way across the chambers, slip on some sandals onto my feet and proceed to leave the room. As soon as I step into the hallway though, I nearly come to blows with two other bodies that happen to just be walking by at the same moment. "Sorry!" I quickly apologize, regaining my partial balance. "I was not paying any attention..."
"No! It was our fault!" Calypso quickly injects with my own words, bestowing a gentle smile upon me. She looks to Zhane, who is standing with her. "We were about to knock; we wanted to let Andros how much we liked the morning wake up call from D.E.C.A."
As the chamber's doors close behind me, I take the younger woman by the arm and persuade her down the corridor, away from our room. "It would probably better if you did not," I slowly divert their attention as we head towards the Glider bay.
Calypso frowns, but Zhane simply chuckles. He has heard this excuse from me more than once. "Did Andros go on one of his non-stop nights again?" he queries playfully, arching a peculiar eyebrow at me. "He just went to bed, did he not?"
I gnaw on my bottom lip momentarily as I meet my husband's best friends' gaze. "You know, Andros," I respond casually knowing full well Zhane has figured me out. "He is a relentless worker," I find myself sighing as I say this, then guiltily, I answer the blond man. "Yes, he did work all night."
We continue to head towards our awaiting breakfasts as Calypso gives me a sympathetic glance. "How do you put up with him, Jenna?" she pauses, a sly smile on her mouth. "Besides the fact that he's gorgeous..." She trails off while I watch Zhane glare playful daggers at her from behind.
Almost instantly, the raven-haired woman nudges her boyfriend hard in the gut, as if it was instinctive. "I mean," she continues to speak, "he is so conservative and he always insists HE is right..." she trails off yet again, pointing out that she could go on with her list.
"Oh," I laugh, watching the couple create a mock battle as Zhane pinched Calypso on the arm. "You just do not know him the way I do; I learned a lot about him when we were in training for the Astro powers."
"How much?" the Grid Guardian's curiosity is suddenly piqued while her eyes slightly widen.
I just shoot a playful grin back at her. "That is MY secret," I tease the fellow female ranger just as we enter the Glider Bay. "Besides, there are just times when I do what I have to do. I love him and that is the bottom line."
I snap up in my bed, quite surprised at the noise coming from my doorbell.
Edging out of my bed hastily, the doorbell rings once again. "I'm coming!" I shout, hoping to keep the person from pushing the button a third time.
I glance over at my wall clock as I pull on my purple robe. 6:30 AM. Who would be at the door right now? Stumbling out of my bedroom, I move across the small living room and approach the front door. "Who is it?" I holler with a sleepy voice, looking through the peephole.
"It's me," I hear a distinctly familiar voice from the other side of the door. My vision finally clears and I squint through the peephole to see Jason outside.
Jason? Strangely enough, I'm surprised to see him. I mean, we talked yesterday night after all the 'drama', but it seemed like he needed his time alone...And I gave him that time. What he did with it is foreign to me.
So vainly I try to look like I am already awake and then I unlock the door. "Hi, Jason," I greet sort of neutrally, not knowing what kind of mood he's in.
"Kim," he stares me down as he walks through the doorway, "we need to talk. Seriously and now." His voice is commanding and strained, causing me to worry more than the average bear.
As I shut the door, I look my boyfriend up and down and I finally notice bruises and cuts that hadn't been on him last night. "What do you want to talk about?" I don't push the subject of where his injuries came from; I can ask about that later on.
"The past two weeks," Jason tells me ever so bluntly, taking a seat on a stool at my kitchen counter. "How have you been?"
For an instant, I'm slightly disoriented. He's asking ME how I'VE been? I thought I'd be asking HIM how HE'S been! I quickly suck up my stunned expression and reply, "I've held my own. It hasn't been the best two weeks of my life, but lest to say I kept myself together for the sake of Tommy and the kids."
"The kids?" This time I see confusion on Jason's face.
I nod my head as I pull another stool up from the counter and sit down. "Yeah, I was staying with Tommy ever since the day after you guys...Well, 'revealed' yourselves to us on your birthday."
He nods his head understandingly. "Oh," he replies me softly. For some reason, he seems so shy to me; as if he had never met me before almost.
"Jason," I place my hand gently onto his shoulder. "What did you really come here for and why are you all scratched up?"
Almost instinctively, I watch as he reaches up to touch a bruise hanging right below his right eye. "These things?" he dismisses them as if it was just a stain on his shirt or something just as common. "Oh...I had a small run in with Shannon last night."
"Shannon?" I suddenly feel a tiny queasy sensation in my stomach. He was with Shannon last night...There's no need to worry, they're just friends!
"Yeah, Shannon," his voice suddenly morphs into a growl, as if he recognizes my slight paranoia. "Is there something wrong with that?"
Quickly and frightfully, I nod my head, trying to avoid Jason's rage. "No!" I insist forcefully, waving my hands at him while he climbs slowly off of his perch. "You know, I'm okay with you and Shannon!"
I can see his cheeks as they start to flush red. "Are you?" he queries me hotly. "You said her name like it was a nasty little foreign object!"
"Shannon's my BEST friend!" I retort; I'm now mad too, even though I don't want to be. "Why would I mention her in a bad way? We're close!"
"I had a CHILD with her, Kim," Jason's now standing near the kitchen door, looking as if he'd rip the door off its hinges if he could. "There's no need to lie to me about how you feel about US!"
"How DO I feel, Jason?" He's gone and ticked me off now; he doesn't even know the HELL I went through when was gone and he's insinuating that I have some kind of EVNY towards Shannon! "You couldn't know how I feel because you're YELLING at me! Dammit, I love you Jason! There's nothing that can change that..." my voice trails off in my throat as I slowly notice that tears are beginning to blur my vision.
Quickly, Jason stomps towards the front door of the apartment. "Never mind," he spits angrily. "I shouldn't have even come here; I knew you wouldn't be any help."
As he walks out the door and slams it behind himself, I can feel my hot tears running down my face. "Fine then," I whisper in a hushed tone, still staring at the slammed door.
Inserting the key to my dorm room into the doorknob, I gently twist the silver knob and creep into the room with the utmost silence. Yet, I still manage to wake up my light-sleeper roommate, Kassidy Darton. "Umm..." I quickly throw the white jacket I was clutching in my arms once I hear her stir from underneath her bed covers. While I take a precocious seat on my own bed, she sits up from her sleep and stares at me strangely. "Trini?"
I shoot her a guilty grin cautiously. "It's me," I softly reply, raising my own hand a little bit. "Did you get my message?"
"Yeah," she nods her head, locks of strawberry-blonde hair falling into her still sleepy eyes. "You mean the note about why you were gone for the last three weeks, right?"
I nod my head in relief and to answer Kassidy's question. Thank goodness I thought to write a note to cover my tracks when I was evil! "So did everything go okay at the family reunion?" she asks me as she climbs out of her bed and opens the window drapes.
Leaning back onto my bed, I let out a gigantic sigh; yesterday was a long day and last night...Well, let's just say Billy and I spent a lot of time talking about what happened when we were evil. "It was the worst!" I truthfully tell, running a hand through my long black hair. "Disastrous more like it."
I hear Kassidy let out a small snort of laughter. "If it was THAT bad it must have been much better than spending three little ole' weeks here on campus," she chuckles, staring me down with a teasing look.
"I would have rather been here than back in Angel Grove for that thing," I groan, falling backwards onto the bed so that I'm gazing up at the white ceiling.
"What about that cutie?" Kassidy moves over to touch a framed picture of Billy and myself that was sitting on my desk. "I do believe you got to see him too, didn't ya?"
I blush at my roommate's query; after all, I did come in here with his jacket on my arm. I nod my head. "Yeah, I guess that was the highlight of the trip," I respond, picking Billy's jacket off of the bed and into my arms again. I smell it, inhaling the scent of my boyfriend. "I wish I could see more of him, more often." And without being evil or on ranger business!
Kassidy smirks and agrees with me. "Isn't that the truth with all faraway romances?"
I let out a laugh. "Yeah."
I quickly wake up as I feel something soft crashing down onto my head every few seconds. Placing my hands above my head and ripping my eyelids open, I saw a pillow sitting on top of my hands and my sister gripping onto the object tightly. "Good morning to you too, Sher," I drowsily snap at her, pushing the pillow and her aside.
Hearing an "Oof!" follow her down, I assume she's hit the floor and I quickly pull my covers over my head and go back into my deep peaceful, forgetful sleep.
Sheryl's voice arouses from my slumber once again and I find myself sitting up in my bed, glaring at my twin. "What are you doing?!?!"
"What else?" she gives me this weird-looking cocky gaze. "Waking you up!"
I nod my head in slight irritation; I was having a pretty decent night of sleep for once and she has to ruin it! "Why?" My voice wavers with a small growl as look towards my alarm clock. "It's only 7:00 AM!"
Watching as she winces at my yelling, Sheryl just gives me a frown after I finish. "Fine then," she picks up her communicator off our dresser. "I'll just leave."
"WAIT!" I cry out to her, but she disappears into her white light before she hears. "I didn't mean it that way..." I trail off sadly, realizing my mistake.
Climbing out from underneath my covers, I walk over and pick up my communicator and a ragged-looking, spiral bound, blue notebook from the dresser placed against the opposite wall of the room. Standing there, I stare down at the blue notebook and angrily throw it at the wall behind the dresser, letting the item slide to the floor. "DAMMIT!" I curse outwardly, balling up my fists at my side. "Why am I like this? Why am I so MAD?"
Looking back on everything that had happened in the past two weeks, I tried to make sense of it all. It was so hard though. Most of my thoughts and memories were blurs of colors and images. Spending time with Tamara in the Power Chamber, arguing with Liyah in that underground basement, fighting with Zack, Trini, and Aisha, installing the final chip in the new Power Chamber...It was there, but it didn't help.
Arguing with Liyah had been spawned BY my anger, not the other way around. And spending time with Tamara...Well, I don't know WHERE that came from! The other memories...They were all caused by Scorpio, but I don't know. I never really MET Scorpio in person, so I couldn't feel anger towards her.
What is causing this?
For a moment, I find myself looking down on my communicator in my palm and quickly realize what I have to do. Placing my blue and silver communicator onto my wrist, I press against its sides and see my world go blue around me.
"Mmmm...Leave me alone..." I croak as I feel someone pushing against my body.
"Ryan," a voice whispers with a slight edge, "please get up! We need to talk."
"About what?" I bury my face deeper into my pillow, trying to drown out the voice.
"Do you know who this is?" the voice scoffs at me.
I think about it for a moment, processing the voice through my memory but I realize it's far too muffled to recognize. So, pulling my face out of my bed I look up to see Justin standing beside my bed. "WHAT THE...!?!?!" I trail off, deciding it's too early in the morning to start cussing. I calm down momentarily and speak again. "What are you doing here?!" I hiss harshly at my best friend and teammate.
Staring at me with a pathetic gaze, he shrugs solemnly causing me to worry slightly. It just isn't like Justin to be sad; either he'll be mad and cuss-worthy or he'll be all perky and happy. "I was kinda hoping you could tell me that," Justin Stewart frowns at me, plopping down onto my messed-up bed.
Finally, I realize why he looks so down. It's been getting all of us down...All of us Turbo Rangers at least. I've been having nightmares and Kerry's been having them too. I know Cam has been pretty scared that Shannon almost left her and Tam's pretty much in the same condition, except for her brother. Liyah's been secluding herself from the rest of us and Sher's been really upset about everyone's glum moods herself. And now Justin's sad, of all things.
"It's been gettin' to ya finally?" I query, sitting up in the bed and glancing over to my friend. "No more glory anymore," I chuckle, trying lighten Justin's mood a little.
"Funny, how that is," Justin murmurs, his eyes diverted to his hands and away from my gaze. "I don't remember anything like this happening when I was Pthye."
"Neither do I," I agree with him, climbing out from underneath the covers and seating myself next to the Blue Turbo Ranger. "I remember all the glory our won battles brought us when we came home...How we all shared long nights in the taverns, exchanging life stories, joking around and having a good time."
I eye him and watch in a startled fashion as my best friend since we met that fateful day four years ago starts to cry. I have NEVER seen him cry before. I mean, I've seen sobs out of him but this was the full-blown Mississippi River that was pouring out of Justin's eyes! "By the gods, it AIN'T fair anymore! Dammit everything's just too much...Fighting evil, fighting with Liyah and even fighting off TAM! What the hell is wrong with me?!?!"
For a long moment, we both sit in silence as his sobs begin to slow down. "Life is different now, Justin," I lay a hand on his shoulder, in hopes of comforting him. "Sex doesn't mean lovers for life anymore, kisses aren't always true actions anymore," I pause as he looks at me with his red eyes, "Honor just isn't the same as it was back then.
Biting his lip, Justin nods his head slowly in agreement. "We can't live in the luxuries and glories of the past. We've gotta conform; we've gotta adjust."
A gentle smile dances upon my best friend's face. "We've gotta do what we have to do..."
His touch caresses my body.
His fingers retrace the contours of my skin.
His hot breath lingers against my own and I can feel his throbbing passion grow. "No!" I cry, but I know I really do want to have it. I want everything to happen all over again; the unending heat of our love-making.
His lips fall onto my own slowly and I let out another cry. "NO!"
"Ugh..." I snap out of my sleep and suddenly realize my forbidden dream.
In shock, I rub my blue eyes into awareness and notice that I have a blanket draped over my body as well as an arm. Tommy's arm. Also as my vision opens up to my surroundings, I see that we're lying in the middle of the twins' nursery. I stifle a laugh at that surprise.
Slowly, I nuzzle closer into my husband's chest; something I haven't done in a long time and it feels absolutely good. His beautiful tan skin against my own as he warms me with his undying love.
By the gods, I have sinned so greatly. Now, I finally, FINALLY, know the misery Tommy felt when he betrayed me. But it's me who has betrayed him and carried the child of another man; his best FRIEND nonetheless!
In a sudden surge of sadness through me, a tear falls from my tired and worn eyes. My body aches and my stomach churns.
I am hungry.
I laugh inward gently at the thought. After all the crying and remorse I've been doing and going through tonight, I didn't expect the first NORMAL thing to come to my mind would be food.
Slowly maneuvering myself out of Tommy's arms, I kiss him on the cheek and stand up from the floor. On my tiptoes, I make it out of the room and into the hallway.
Almost soundless, I stealthily push the kitchen door open and move inside. Personally, the kitchen is one of my favorite places in the house. I mean, that's where all the food is stored right? Who'd be crazy enough to NOT like the kitchen?!?!
Anyway, the next thing I know I'm reaching into our huge cookie jar for my favorite midnight, now morning, snack: oatmeal cookies. I fish around for three big cookies and I come out fully rewarded.
Now with my beloved pieces, I sit down and begin the process of slowly devouring the yummy delights. As I polish off the first cookie though, I hear the small creak of the room's door and my sister's voice call out to me, "Shannon?"
Swallowing the chewed food in my mouth, I turn towards the door and see Camellia standing there in her yellow pajama sweats staring at me as I am holding a cookie up to my mouth. "Cam?" I put the two remaining cookies down onto the tabletop. "What are you doing up?"
She slowly walks over to the other side of the table, pulls out a chair and sits down across from me, rubbing her red eyes. "I couldn't sleep; besides it's almost seven o'clock," she yawns, pushing her short brown hair away from her droopy face. "What's up with the cookie?" Camellia sends another yawn in my direction.
"Oh," I pick up one of the oatmeal cookies on the table and nibble at it slightly. "I just woke up and realized I hadn't eaten dinner last night; got a little hungry."
"Oh yeah," she remembers, her voice sounding a little curious, "Where'd Tommy take you anyway? You guys weren't back when I went into my room at midnight."
I nod my head acknowledging her statement. "We were out somewhere talking about everything..." I trail off, my vision becoming blurry for a moment. "We came in around one and went straight to sleep," I pause, looking at my worn tired sister, "Thanks for watching 'Kala, Sean and Caroline by the way; Tommy and I really needed that time alone."
Even as I see her so bruised from this gigantic conspiracy, my little sister just smiles. "I figured that," she shrugs, her short auburn hair rolling off of her shoulders. "Given a little time, you guys always sort everything out."
I return her smile at the declaration. "You're right," I agree with a sigh. "But this time it's not as easy; making amends with my husband isn't the only thing I have to deal with." Suddenly, I feel my shoulders slowly slouching and tears welling up in my eyes.
I guess Camellia sees this because the next thing I see is my sister sitting beside me, her arms slung over my back. "Shhhh," she calms me as I start to sob over my cookies. "It's okay, Shannon, it's okay."
Quickly, I look up at my sister and finally realize that she's also crying. I touch her cheek gently with my hand. "No," I insist, staring into her blue eyes. "You're crying because of what happened; it's not alright."
The sobs slowing, I remove Camellia's arm from around me and make her sit down properly. "Tell me," I murmur, holding onto my sibling's hands with my own tightly. "Tell me what has got you so worked up."
"I thought," Camellia's now crying a little harder, her eyes becoming even more red, "I thought you weren't coming back..."
I feel tears sliding down my cheeks as I arrive in the Power Chamber. I haven't been on Earth in so long and during that long period I missed it dearly. Now, that I am here it's time for me to leave once again.
"Are you going to be okay?" Zhane's voice whispers gently in my ear while his arm around my shoulders hug me tightly.
"I'll be alright," I reply quickly, brushing back my tears with the my hand. "I haven't seen him in so long though...It's so good to that he's still alive and well."
My boyfriend just nods his head in agreement. He knows the person I'm talking about: Father.
Words and sentences finally coming to me, giving me my nerve back, I quickly close my telepathic link to Zhane and begin to speak. *Father?*
I look up directly at his warp and he casts a glance down on me before looking away, assuring me he has heard my mental call; it is impolite to stare at the person you are speaking to telepathically. *Yes?* his voice rings in my head for the first time in a long time. *You called me, Calypso?*
Gulping hard, I begin to 'talk'. *I am sorry about yesterday afternoon and my course of actions. I have sinned greatly in so many different ways...I have disappointed you.*
Obviously surprised at my words, I feel my father's mental shock. *How can you say that Calypso?* his warm fatherly tone in my thoughts is a comfort *You have NEVER disappointed me; never in the slightest.* He pauses as I can feel him searching for the words to express himself.
I see his momentary gaze fall upon me again in acknowledgement of my call to him. *I love you, Calypso. I have always loved you as my only daughter and will continue to forever. Nothing can change that; whether you are good or evil, ranger or not...You will always be my flesh and blood. Nothing can break my link to you; I won't allow it.*
Listening to his words, I feel like a large burden has been lifted off my soul. *Thank you* I mentally spoke softly, relieved slightly *Those were the words I had needed to hear...*
As my sobs begin to rack my body, Shannon gathers me up into her arms and hugs me tightly as if I was her last hope. "Shhhh," she rubs my back gently, like she sometimes does with the twins when they cry. "I would never leave you, Cam. I can't leave you; you're my sister. We'll always be together." Her voice sounds strained to my ears as she continues to calm me down.
After many moments of silence between us both, my sobs lessen and I remove myself from my big sister's arms. "I'm sorry," I apologize to her, staring into her watery blue eyes as I wipe my own tears away. "I shouldn't have broke down like that."
I watch as Shannon bites her lip quickly and gives me a genuine smile that literally reaches her eyes. "Stop apologizing," my sister's voice is tense, as if she's holding something back from me; as long as I've known, we've never kept secrets from one another. "That was more than alright; you needed to let it out and well, I feel better knowing about it."
Just as I nod my head, a knock comes to the kitchen door and Tommy walks through it, joining the two of us in the room. "What are you two doing here?" he queries lightly, as he moves to stand next to Shannon. "Having a 'girl-talk'?"
My sister gives a laughing smile and slaps her husband on the hand gently. "And why do you want to know?" she retaliates, teasing him. "You want to become a girl too?"
He shakes his head at her and rolls his eyes. "It's 7:15," he replies seriously this time, walking over to the refrigerator and taking out two bottles of milk. "If my intuition is right as it always is, the twins are gonna be waking up any minute now; crying and hungry."
Both of us brunettes glancing up at the clock, we both see that he's right. "Ummm," I murmur as I stifle a yawn. "I think I'd better barricade myself into my room and get some sleep before the twins beat me to the punch."
Shannon nods her head with me and pats me on the back. "You might as well," she utters to me as she stands up from her chair. "I'm certainly not gonna get any more sleep today."
"I'll be in my room then," I acknowledge, also standing up and heading out of the kitchen. "Alright?"
"Alright," both of them chorus as they begin their early day and I go back to end mine for a few hours.
Walking out of the room to hear Shannon and Tommy's laughter, I smile in content to myself. I think that's what I like about being a part of this family: I will always be understood and accepted. Always welcome to do what is needed of me.
"You know, yelling wasn't the best way to go with Kim," I lecture Jason as he paces continually up and down my dorm room. "You should have just kept your cool with her."
He stops his pacing in front of me, where I'm sitting on my bunk, and gives me a mocking glare. "Billy," he sighs, "you know me better than anyone. Do I seem like the type that's going to be able to be calm in a moment like that?"
My lips quirk with a smile for a moment. He must be really mad...Because he usually CAN keep calm in a situation like that! "Actually, usually you CAN keep your cool," I point out gently, then look back up at him to see his frustration etched deeply into his featured face. "Are you alright, Jase? You look...Frustrated," I finally end up using the only word I can come up with to describe him at that instant.
Jason hastily grabs a chair from underneath my desk and sits on it, directly in front of me. Resting his elbows on his thighs, he places his head into his hands and began shaking his head. "DAMMIT!" he shouted after a few minutes of silence, lifting his head upwards. "I am Billy! So frustrated...I don't know HOW to deal with Kim...And Shannon, well, she's in my thoughts far too often to count!"
Listening to his frustrated tone, I surprisingly know what is going through his mind in this position. Yesterday night, talking to Trini about everything...Ooh, it was so crazy! I mean, I couldn't explain half of what we did, but Trini was so understanding about it that it nearly drove me insane!! "Then you've gotta figure out HOW to deal with Kim and TRY to keep Shannon of your mind," I reply fast and forcefully. "For the sake of your relationship with Kim and your friendship with Shannon!"
"What you're proposing is impossible, you know?"
"Nothing's impossible," I retort, quoting Dulcea for the thousandth time in my ranger career; her words come in handy, but they do get more and more tiring to say!
Jason was quiet for a long moment as he stared down at his communicator. "Who knew life could be so hard?" he mutters softly, running his fingers along the device's silver-toned lines.
I simply continue to watch the Flame Ranger as he sulks. "This isn't a NORMAL life, Jason, and I mean that in the best way possible. We live a POWER RANGER'S life; one filled with spells, battles, trauma, bruises and scars added on top of everything else," I pause, thinking back on what I just said. "Not to say normal lives don't have their everyday troubles too. It's just we happen have more than the average Angel Grove citizen. And Zordon chose us because he KNEW we'd be able to stick it out and that we'd be able to get THROUGH the rough spots and deal with our past misgivings.
"All in all, Zordon's BELIEVED in us for five years now, Jase." He looks up at me with sober and understanding eyes. "I think it is high time we tried to return the favor and LIVE up to his beliefs..."
Taking in another breath, I grab a tissue from the coffee table and blow my nose again for the millionth time that day. "I should just get over him," I mutter to myself, my voice cracking. "I don't need him. I don't." It's useless trying to convince myself. Because I know that I DO need him. I DO feel all warm inside when he touches me...
Wadding up the tissue, I toss it onto the coffee table. It misses and slides to the floor, which is pathetic. The tears well up inside my eyes again, and I blink rapidly, trying to stop them from spilling over. I sniffle, and take a tissue and dab at my eyes. "He could at least call me," I murmur, biting my lip so hard I can taste blood in my mouth.
The doorbell rings.
And for a slight moment, I'm hopeful. Then again, I remember our brief conversation that turned into a hell of a fight that morning, and a scowl forms on my lips. But then, if I'm so angry, why am I bawling my eyes out at the same time? Frowning, I go to the door, and then realize the state I'm in.
Eyes red. Breath shuddering. Cracking up at every sentence. "Geez," I sigh. "Was Kat this bad when Tommy broke up with her?" Turning my attention back the door, my heart rate picks up quickly. I know I shouldn't be so hopeful, but yet, I am. There's just something about Jason Lee Scott that you can't resist... I always feel special in his presence... "C - coming," I shout, stalling for a brief moment. Running to the kitchen sink, I splash my face with water quickly, and hope that I look okay. I can't look at the mirror, for fear that I don't.
Walking to the door as calmly as I can, I swing it open. It's Jason. With flowers. I don't think I ever felt so happy in my entire life. "Um, come on in," I sniffle, moving aside. I can feel his eyes locked on me as he stands there, uncertain for a moment, before he comes inside. *Stop acting childish, Kim* I lecture myself. *Now is the worst time for Jase to see you cry...Wait a sec. Am I actually expecting a make up? With this morning...* I didn't even try anymore. It was worthless, just like before. I knew I wanted him. I bet HE even knew that I wanted him still.
"Hey." Jason looks at me gently, and I'm happy that I don't have to slap myself to remind myself to breathe.
"Hi," I reply him, my voice soft and shy; it's almost as if we've switched positions from this morning! "Um, what are you doing here?" I didn't mean to sound so blunt, but it just comes out that way.
"I want to talk." Jase seats himself on the couch and stares at me with those melting brown eyes of his.
*Breath, Kim* I told myself. *Remember to breath.* Did I ever act this...In love with a man before in my entire nineteen years? I don't think so. "Um...Yeah?"
"I was thinking about our...Our fight this morning."
The tears were threatening to spill, and I had to blink rapidly. He just still stares me straight in the eye, like he just HAS to say what he has to say. He has to do what he has to do.
"I just wanted to say, that I'm sorry," he pauses, as if he was almost waiting for a reaction from me. "It's just with everything that's happened, I've been kinda been on-edge. I was talking with Shannon last night, and just everything came pouring out about all our time together; it was so surreal and scary too..." he trails off, looking at me carefully as if examining me.
So it was true. A smile tugged on my lips. He apologized. He actually apologized! "I'm sorry too," was what I said out loud. "I mean, I should have known you would react the way you did; knowing you and your temper..." I trail off, a small grin on my face.
Returning my grin, he then stood up, places the flowers down on the table, and comes up to me; we're practically in each other's faces! Slowly, his head bends down towards mine and the next thing I know, his soft lips are pressed against mine. It was the sweetest touch I had felt in years.
Wrapping my arms around his neck, all I can feel is his love. Breaking away from each other after a long moment, I inhale a deep gulp of air. "Jase?" I finally manage. "I love you."
A smile forms on his lips. "I love you too, Kim."
So, I was right. He had to do what he had to do. And I had to do what I had to do. And in the end, I'm glad that we both did it.
There is a struggle within me.
Yes, me, of all people. The eldest daughter of the Grand Monarch has a battle waging within her. The words do not easily roll off the tongue; they leave a more bitter taste.
But yet, I cannot help myself. It is the honorable truth.
I am a woman, a villainess, split between sides. Once innocent, now guilty. I will always be guilty now; even if I do return to my innocence, there will be the lingering remembrance of what I have done. There is no way to wash away all the blood that I have spilled.
Soon enough, I will return to the full-state of my evil ways; but right now, I am in control. The odd one out: not the evil Scorpio, not the good Kalikahina, but me; the silent one, the third person that occupies this exotic body.
The dreamer, the watcher, the one who sees all perfectly, soundly and clearly.
I see through the eyes of the body as it looks down on the sleeping form of the child created out of the White Zeo Ranger and the Flame's Ranger's dangerous, burning passionate, love. One that I have noticed will lead to the doubt and mental fall of one of them; the one with the many memories to confuse.
Nautica, they named her. Obviously after the beautiful mermaid named in their Greek mythologies as the warmer of the oceans. This beautiful child most definitely brings warmth to their hearts. Her innocence also brings much warmth to my heart.
Scorpio will exploit that innocence to the extreme.
Kalikahina will try to stop her.
I will simply watch the tug-of-war take place.
And I have the sense to recognize
That I don't know how to let you go
Every moment marked with apparitions of your soul
I'm ever swiftly moving, trying to escape this desire
The yearning to be near you
I do what I have to do
The yearning to be near you
I do what I have to do
But I have the sense to recognize
That I don't know how to let you go
I don't know how to let you go
A glowing ember, burning hot and burning slow
Deep within I'm shaken by the violence of existing for only you
I know I can't be with you
I do what I have to do
I know I can't be with you
I do what I have to do
And I have the sense to recognize
That I don't know how to let you go
I don't know how to let you go
--Do What You Have To Do
On another faraway planet, two young in-training Power Rangers sparred underneath the pale moonlight of the glittering night. "Do you think we will be chosen?" the blonde female queried as she threw a simple roundhouse at her opponent.
Her male companion gave a short laugh, dodging the kick. "I could care less; my sister is already the Grid Guardian, I think that's enough ranger blood in one family."
Stopping their sparring, the girl looked at him through her silver-rimmed glasses. "Do not tell me you do not even have a little thought in the back of your mind hoping you are chosen as one of the Galaxy Rangers?" she folded her arms across her chest, staring the man down playfully.
"I think after all this time of working on the Galaxy Ranger project, you want a chance to actually play with the toys you've made for the powers," he grinned, touching her cheek with the back of his hand ever so gently. She gave him a glare back and he quickly answered her question. "Yes, I do have a little hope that I'll get chosen, but as I said, one Power Ranger in the family is enough..."
She gave out a chuckle and batted his hand away from her cheek. "Oh, come off it Kai! You know you want to be a ranger as much as I do!"
Kai Chan joined in on her laughter. "Of course I do, Kendrix; being chosen as a Power Ranger is an honor. But it also is so much work," he paused, locking a gaze with Kendrix Morgan. "The United Universe Council will chose who they see fit to live the life of a Power Ranger...They will do what they have to do..."
Will Shannon and Jason be able to keep their secret? What is going with Scorpio? Will the peace last? Find out in "Purple Portals"!
* I think I'm gonna be saying thanks to Suzy left and right! :) She was a big help in helping me finish up this fic and has been a great friend. Thank you again, girl! ;) Also, I'm sorry this took so long, but writer's block has been hitting down on me bad for awhile now. :( But now it's out so I hope you liked it! :)