Legal Disclaimer: I acknowledge that I am using concepts and characters from "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers" and "Power Rangers Zeo" without the knowledge or permission of Saban Entertainment, Inc. This story was written solely for entertainment value and may not be distributed for profit of any kind. When reproducing this document, all parts, including this disclaimer, must be kept together in their original, unaltered state.

By: Becky McCulley

Part 1
Tommy opened his eyes, looked around his bedroom, and stretched. It was the beginning of another day. But for Tommy, this was a special day. He was racing for the first time today. After only three months of careful training under his uncle's watchful eye, he was ready to race professionally.

Tommy knew the entire gang would be there today. He had been so excited when his uncle had registered him for the race that he had gone home and called all his friends with the news. They had all promised to come back to Angel Grove for the race-- ALL of them. Even Aisha was flying in from as far away as Africa just to be there for his big day.

Just as Tommy was headed for the kitchen to eat breakfast before going to the track, the phone rang. He picked up his extension. "Hello?"

"Tommy!" Tommy nearly jumped at the sound of Kim's voice. It had been almost a year since they'd seen each other, and he'd sort of forgotten that she would be in town for the race as well.

"Hey, Kim!" He looked at his watch to see how much time he had. "So, what's up?"

"I was just wondering if you could do me a favor."


"I forgot until I got here that I've never been to the race track in Stone County... I need directions."

"Oh, no problem." He relayed the information to her.

"Thanks. Well... see you there."

"Sure thing. Bye."



Three hours later, Tommy was standing at the side of the racetrack in his racing gear, looking anxiously up into the crowd. He wanted to see all his friends there... wanted to make sure they had all made it. His race started in about five minutes, and he had to admit, he was a little nervous. Suddenly, there they were. They had all found each other and were seated together in one section of the stands. He smiled at that. They probably couldn't see him, but that was ok. He was glad they were there. For Tommy, it was a special day.

His uncle Jeff was standing at his side now, holding Tommy's helmet. He handed it to him and Tommy eased himself inside his car, Bullet-- #63. At the starting line, he fought off the butterflies as the announcer called out the names of the racers and which cars they were in. Tommy could hear the crowd roar at certain racer's names as he awaited the sound of his own. Finally, the announcer said, "And in his first race today, a young man from right here in Angel Grove, Tommy Oliver, number 63!"

After that, things went quickly. Before he knew it, the gun was fired and he was off. Because of his experience as a Ranger and all those years driving a zord, driving a race car was a second nature to him. But there was something about it that was different, and Tommy knew what it was: the competition. He wanted to win so badly, or at least to do well. He did do well at first, all things considered. He was in the top ten, he knew that... he could count approximantly seven or eight cars in front of him. Time to put the pedal to the metal, he thought to himself as he came up on the last leg of the race. He slammed his foot on the gas as he cleared a turn... or so he thought.

It happened so quickly that Tommy didn't have time to react or even to think. He realized too late that he had not completely cleared the turn before speeding up, and now he was going much too fast. Things seemed to move in slow motion. He was heading for the wall and tried with all his might to turn the car and stay on the track, but he was going too fast to do so. Despite all his efforts, he could do nothing to save himself. He heard the sound of his car hitting the wall, and even felt it flip once before he passed out.

Part 2

The two girls looked at each other. Both of them had begun to cry. They shared a bond, although niether of them had ever realized it before. They both loved Tommy very, very much.

Finally, Kim was able to let out a sigh with relief as she saw a rescue worker pull Tommy from the driver's seat. But she tensed again as she saw what had become of him: His body was completely limp, and he wasn't responding to anything. Not the voices of the rescue squad, not the pain, not anything.

Kim and the rest of the gang fled from the stands and went to join Tommy's parents, who were already standing near the ambulance. And with a familliar reasuring voice, Jason looked down at Kim and said, "Don't worry, Kimberly. Tommy's going to be okay."

Kim didn't say a word. She was in a state of shock, paralized with fear for Tommy. She simply followed the others as they got in their cars and prepared to follow the ambulance to the nearest hospital.


"Mr. and Mrs. Oliver?" At the sight of the doctor, Tim and Jessica Oliver jumped to their feet, as did all of Tommy's friends.

"I'm Dr. Hanson. I've been assigned to Tommy's case." He shook Mr. and Mrs. Oliver's hands and gave the teens a nod.

"How is he? Can we see him?" Jessica Oliver was nearly hysterical.

"He's resting. We treated his physical wounds-- the broken bones and internal bleeding-- in the ER, but we won't know his mental state-- that is, if there was any brain damage-- until Tommy wakes up." "When will that be?" Tim put an arm around his wife. "I can't say for sure. It could be a couple of hours, a couple of days...." He let the sentence hang there, unfinished.

"Or longer." Tim knew that's what the doctor had wanted to say. His brother Jeff had been in a number of accidents in his racing days, including the one two years ago that was severe enough to end his career.

"Yes." Dr. Hanson looked at the crowd through wire-rimmed glasses, reguarding them solemnly. "The good news is, things look good for him. He was wearing a helmet and a seatbelt. Unfortunately, at the speed your son was going when he hit that wall, they didn't do him a whole lot of good, but in contrast, there is no doubt in my mind that they saved his life."

"Can we see him?" Jessica asked quietly.

"Yes, you may. But only for a few minutes and--" he turned to Tommy's friends--"I'm sorry, kids, but family only."


"Tommy? Tommy, it's me." Jessica Oliver stood at her son's bedside and took his hand. A single tear rolled down her cheek. "Tommy, don't give up. You're a fighter. You always have been...." She took a step backwards into her husband's arms. "We can't lose him," she whispered in a shaky voice. Her thoughts returned to the day Tommy had been placed in her arms as a newborn. "When we were told we would never have children, it felt like the end of the world. I wanted a child of my own so badly.... But then, we thought of adoption."

Tim Oliver smiled slightly as he, too, remembered that joyous day when Tommy had become a member of their family. "That was a great day, wasn't it?"

"They placed that little baby in my arms and I thought, this is okay. We have a child. He's ours. And I never thought for a moment that he would ever be taken away, especially not like this...."

"I know. I know." Tim turned his wife to look at her and gave her a tight hug. "He's gonna beat this, Jessi, you know he is. He's the strongest eighteen year old I know. He's a fighter. He'll make it."


There wasn't much the other Rangers (or former Rangers, as it were) could do. That was something they just couldn't deal with... Tommy was their friend, their teammate, and someone they cared about very deeply. But they had no choice. It was family only, no acceptions.

Jason sat on a window sill in the waiting room, his chin proped up on his fist. This bites, he thought to himself. There HAS to be something we can do. He looked across the room at Kim. His friend was in pieces, but she was not nearly as bad as Kat. Although he did not know Kat very well, Jason could tell that the girl was very upset, even more so than Kim.

It was only the two of them who stood apart from the others. Everyone else seemed lost in his or her own thoughts, as Jason was. And then Dr. Hanson returned.


Everyone jumped to their feet, and with the profound absence of Tommy, Jason once again stepped into the lead. "Do you know something about Tommy?" he asked, his eyes darting quickly to either side of him, catching glimpses of his friends.

"Yes. This is something I think you all should hear. I just came from Tommy's room, and I've spoken with his parents, and they've agreed that you need to know." He took a long look around, as if trying to meet each of their eyes individually. "I reviewed Tommy's x-rays and what I found was... well, it's not so good." Again he paused, and this time, they could all tell the doctor was stalling for time. "In addition to several bruised, cracked, and broken ribs, a fractured left leg, and a few other broken bones, Tommy has.... well, there is pressure that built up inside his brain. I don't know if that was a direct result of the accident or if maybe there was something there before that the accident made more apparent, but it's there."

"What's that mean for him?" Tommy asked. He spared a look at Billy and Justin, knowing that the two of them, with their seemingly endless world of knowledge, probably already knew and were trying to fight the tears until the doctor broke the news to the others.

"It means, in short, that Tommy is never again going to be the Tommy you once knew. When-- and if--- he wakes up, he may have memory loss, mental instability, paralyzation..."


Kim's voice caught them all by surprise. Never in all her days as a Ranger had Kim ever spoken with such force. "You're wrong, I know you are! That's Tommy in there! You don't know him! To you he's just another patient, but I know him! He's a fighter! He's going to live and he's going to be fine!" With that, Kim ran from the room, tears streaming down her face.

The truth was, Jason felt the same things himself. He wasn't going to address them the way Kim just had, but he, too, felt that Tommy could overcome any obstacle, even one this big and this difficult.

"Is it true?" Katherine asked, turning to Billy, almost as if she couldn't believe the words of the doctor, but that they would have more truth coming from Billy.

Billy nodded solomnly, fighting back the tears. "He'll never be Tommy again."

Part 3
Kim was somewhat surprised when, after darting down a randomly chosen hall, she reached Tommy's room. She knew she was not allowed in there, but the opprotunity was there, and she couldn't pass it up. Bravely, she stepped into the room.

Kim had a difficult time accepting the sight that met her eyes, but she was glad she was seeing it for herself, at least. Tommy's eyes were closed, and he was connected to so many machines and monitors that to Kim, it didn't even look like he was a person anymore... he appeared more like a robot or a humanoid than her ex-boyfriend and a recent graduate of Angel Grove High.

"Tommy, it's me." Kim's voice was barely louder than a whisper. She could feel tears stinging at her eyes as she took his hand. She ran her finger gently over his veins, up his chest, and to his face. She brushed his cheek gently, the way she had when they were dating... he used to respond and touch her face in the same, loving way, but now she knew he wouldn't.

Her hand traveled back down his body and landed on his heart. It was still beating, as strong and as healthily as ever. Next, she ran her hand over his chest... and let it come to rest on a spot just below his rib cage. She knew he had a scar right there, as did Jason. In Tommy's days as the Evil Green Ranger, the two had faced each other in a fierce battle in Rita's Dark Demension, and a touch from Tommy's Sword of Darkness had resulted in Jason's scar... Tommy's, however, had come much later, after he'd lost his Green Ranger powers and was fighting, unarmed and unprotected, against Turban Shell in The Other World. Kim had been the only Ranger who knew the significance of Tommy's scar... in fact, she suspected she was the only Ranger to know it existed, except maybe Kat.

"Kat." Kim couldn't help wondering how far she'd gone with Tommy... how serious they were. She had to admit that, deep down, she still had feelings for him. But she knew they were ancient history. Tommy belonged to Kat now, and Kat belonged to Tommy. "Oh, Tommy, I wish you could answer me..." Kim wiped a tear away. "I wish you could give me some sort of sign that you're going to be ok." Suddenly, Kim detected the voices of medical personel coming down the hall. Quickly, she ducked under Tommy's bed and prayed she wouldn't be found. "It's a shame," one woman said as she and someone else (Kim could see 2 pairs of shoes from her hiding place). She came up beside the bed and Kim cringed. "He was going places. I knew he was." She paused.

"You knew him?" the other voice, also female, replied.

"Lord, yes. His father and I go way back. That's why it's going to be so hard to break the news to him. I broke his heart once... now I have to do it again." With that, the pair left the room and Kim emerged from her hiding place. She couldn't believe what she'd just heard! They were talking about Tommy like he was already dead.

"Oh, God, Tommy!" Kim sobbed. She buried her face in his chest, feeling the steady rising and falling of his chest as he breathed. He looked so calm as he laid there, and his body felt so warm, so comforting, as it had always been.

Kim knew she had to get back to the others. Should I tell them what I heard? she wondered. No, she decided at last. I shouldn't have been in here, and besides, it won't do them any good to worry any more than they already were.

"Please, Tommy," she whispered, running her fingers through his hair. "Please, you have to fight this. You have to come back to us. Please." Not knowing what else to say, she turned and left the room.

Kim had no sooner closed the door to Tommy's room behind her than she nearly ran into Kat. Both of them stood for a moment, looking at each other in surprise, each wondering what the other was doing there. Finally, Kat spoke.

"I thought I'd find you here," she said with a tiny grin.

"How'd you know?"

Kat shrugged. "You and Tommy were-- ARE-- so close.... I don't know. It just seemed logical." There was a pause. "I don't know if I could bear to go in there... if I could stand to see him like that... How bad is he?"

Kim looked away. "It doesn't even seem like it's really him in there. He's got so many machines and stuff hooked up to him... It's not really him." Now it was Kim's turn to pause. "You should go talk to him, though," she said finally. "He loves you." It had been extremely difficult for Kim to admit that, but she knew it was true. She had broken up with Tommy, and he had moved on. In her heart, she would always care for him, but she knew he loved Kat now. She knew it was not her loving touch and gentle voice that would bring him back to them, but Kat's.

"I don't know, Kimberly," Kat replied, glancing over Kim's shoulder and into Tommy's room. "I don't know if I can do it."

Kim smiled and put a reassuring hand on Kat's shoulder. "You can," she whispered. "You have to. I know we both care for Tommy. I know he's special to both of us. But he loves you now, Katherine. He needs you." "Thank you, Kimberly," Kat replied. "Thank you for being a great friend." She gave Kim a gentle hug and stepped into Tommy's room. When the door closed behind Kat, Kim returned to the waiting room and the rest of her friends.

Billy met her first, giving her a hug in the friendly way he always had about him. "Are you gonna be ok?" he asked.

Kim nodded. "I'll be fine, Billy."

"Where's Katherine?" Jason asked.

"I convinced her to take some time alone with Tommy."

"That was brave of you, Kimberly," Aisha told her old friend, stepping forward for her turn at a hug. "I know how much you loved Tommy." Kim didn't reply as she and Aisha parted and Kim took a seat in a cushioned chair. She had done all she could. Now, like the others, all she could do was wait.

Part 4
A week passed. Nothing changed. Tommy remained unconcious and his friends remained hopeful. Kim refused to return to Florida... even though she had come to accept Tommy and Kat's relationship, she was still Tommy's friend and she couldn't leave him.

It was once again Saturday and the Rangers and former Rangers alike filled the chairs in Angel Grove Community Hospital's waiting room. Nobody said much... there wasn't much to be said. Tommy's parents spent most of their time with their son, and the other Rangers came and went from time to time. Tommy's brother David had been by a lot... sometimes he'd sit with the Rangers, sometimes he'd just go visit Tommy and then leave right away.

From what Jason had observed, Tommy had about 4 doctors... and then he had Billy and Justin. Dr. Hanson was the main guy... the rest were probably specialists or something.

A voice interrupted Jason's thoughts and he looked up. It was Dr. Hanson... with good or bad news, Jason couldn't be sure until the doctor spoke.

"Kids," the old man said, a hint of a smile appearing on his face, "Tommy's woken up."

Cheers and hugs and happy tears filled the room. "Can we see him?" Billy finally asked.

The doctor was hesitant. Finally he said, "Ok. But... I have to warn you first..." The smile that had given them so much hope faded away. "Tommy is paralyzed from the waist down. Whether temporarily or permanently, I'm not certain... but he cannot feel his legs."

The celebration ceased as the teens prepared themselves for what they might find when they walked into that room. Finally, they began speaking again... and on Dr. Hanson's word of "one person at a time", it was agreed that Jason could go first. With a look of determination, Jason walked down the hall to Tommy's room.


"I was so stupid!" Tommy exclaimed. "Man! All I cared about was winning... I knew it was dangerous, but I just wanted to proove myself... I wanted to win..."

"I know man. I know."

"And now... everything I've worked for... my martial arts, my racing..." Tommy looked down. "It's all gone."

"You don't know that for sure," Jason replied, trying to be hopeful. "Doc Hanson says it could only be temporary... that with therapy, you'll walk again. You just have to have faith in yourself... we know you can do it."

Tommy's next words had been long in coming... but Jason hadn't expected them quite the way they came. "I know I can get back on my feet again," he said. "But Jason, there is one thing that I will never do again, and that's battle monsters. My ranger days are over Jason..." With a shaking hand, Tommy reached into the top drawer in the table by his bed and took out his Turbo morpher and key. "I couldn't think of a person who was more worthy of these than you."

"Tommy I--"

"Jason. Please. I know that it will be months... maybe years... before I am ready to get back out on the battlefield again, and Divatox won't wait for me, you know that. The team needs a leader who can pick up where I left off without missing a beat, and I know that you can do just that."

"I won't let you down," Jason said in a soft monotone.

"I know you won't, Jase. Oh... and... look after Justin, will ya? Take care of him... don't let him get hurt."

"You got it."

And with that, Tommy's Ranger days came to an unexpected end... and Jason's began once again.

"Alright, you ready?" Tommy's uncle Jeff asked him. "As I'll ever be," Tommy replied. One year had passed since Tommy's accident. After months of intense physical therapy, Tommy had taken his first steps on his own just two months ago. Since then, he had been determined that on this day... exactly one year after the accident that could have cost him his life, he would get back into a stock car and race again. The track was nearly deserted. Only Tommy, his uncle Jeff, and his friends were there this time... unlike the day of the accident, when Tommy had been racing for a crowd of thousands of people. "Alright, Tommy. You can do it," Kat told him, kissing him on the lips gently. Tommy couldn't hide his slight nervousness as he pulled on his helmet. He looked over at his uncle, whom he would race around the track... and a twinge of excitement in his stomach caused him to smile. The race began and Tommy's friends watched and cheered him on. It was a shorter race than the one that had taken place the day of Tommy's accident... only because Tommy had not raced since that day. In the end, Jeff beat Tommy... but that was to be expected... he was older and more experienced, and this was all in fun. And as Tommy climbed out of his car and walked slowly over to his friends, he knew that he truly had his life back. "You were great," Kat told him, giving him a big hug and a kiss. "Thanks." Tommy looked down at Justin... the boy had been so special to him, almost like the younger brother he had never had. And Jason... Jason had become part of the team again, and Tommy knew that made him happy. Jason loved being a Ranger probably more than Tommy did. Tommy's ranger days were over... never again would he face a giant monster or call on his zord... never again would he have to worry about his communicator beeping in a public place or someone uncovering his secret identity. It was over, but even though he no longer had the power... he understood now what it meant when it was said to a departing ranger, "You will always be a Power Ranger in our eyes." He and the others would always be friends, power or no power. And that was the most comforting thought in the world.

Tommy smiled happily as he headed off the track that day. He had done what no one thought possible: he had become himself again. He was Tommy once again, and he had beaten the odds... But then again, that was just his way. He knew it would be a long hard road from the beginning, but he had taken it all in stride. And now... he came, he saw, he conquered... with a little help from his friends.