Dedication: I hereby dedicate this fanfic to my mom. Annie Mae Collins Harrell, deceased as of December 27, 1994. This is for you, and all mothers everywhere. I love you, Momma.
It was not a current Ranger, at least not an Astro Ranger, who was walking through the graveyard that one fall morning, however. Justin Stewart, Blue Turbo Ranger, was doing everything he could to keep himself from bursting into tears. Why did everyone he cared about leave him in some way? His mom had died, Zordon had died, Dimitria had left, he'd been through two different sets of Turbo Rangers, and both had left him, though for different reasons.
"Are you feeling all right, son?" he glanced up to see his dad looking back down at him. The two of them came out here on a regular basis to visit Jenny Stewart's grave. Today was going to be different, though. Justin was going to do something he felt he should've done when he had first let the other Rangers go without him into space.
"Sort of," he said quietly. "I'm glad you came with me, Dad. I want to talk to you. There's some things I want to tell you, and it just wouldn't be right to do it without telling Mom too."
Dean Stewart frowned just for the barest moment; sometimes he really didn't understand his son. The day they had gone fishing about three months earlier, he'd been far more tired than would be usual for someone who had spent the night sleeping. And he'd heard strange sounds the previous night. ..he'd always known there was something odd about his son ever since he'd returned to Angel Grove to stay, but he'd never known what it was. A soft whisper in the back of his mind told him that he was about to find out.
Quietly, the two of them made their way through the various graves, noting how fresh some of them were. Many had died in the attack on Angel Grove, and there was still an air of sadness in the town because of it. Though they knew it would never happen again, that the forces of evil had been vanquished forever, it still hurt to remember all those who had been lost.
Justin's eyes flicked over for a moment to the small gravestone ahead of them. He could hardly stand coming here when he was smaller. Now, he wanted to visit whenever he could, and usually did at least once a month. He loved his mother, and was never going to forget her.
"We can't stay long," he said, turning back to his father. "We've got to go to the dedication ceremony in the center of town." Angel Grove was raising a statue to honor all the Rangers, past and present, and the sacrifice of the mighty Zordon.
Dean's eyebrows raised slightly. "I thought you had to be invited to that. I thought we were going to watch it on TV."
"I am invited," his lips quirked the smallest bit as he pulled a small card out of his pocket. "All Rangers and former Rangers are."
His father's eyes went more than wide. "You?" was all he could manage to say as they came to Mrs. Stewart's grave. "Which . . are you?"
"Both in a way," Justin said quietly. He glanced at the tombstone for a moment, taking a breath. "I still have my powers, but I'm not really on active duty. I've got a lot to tell you, dad."
Silence fell between the two of them for a few moments, with Justin looking almost constantly at the gravestone. He had no idea of what his mother would have thought of him, but he did hope she would be proud of him. And that his dad would be once he told him everything. He'd never thought of telling him, but once the Astro Rangers had revealed themselves to the world at large, he had come to realize that it was no longer a part of his life he needed to keep secret.
"How did it happen?" Dean asked finally, breaking the silence.
"Before you came back here," Justin replied, then told him how he'd hid under Rocky's bed in the hospital and discovered the Rangers' identities, then been given the power of the Blue Turbo Ranger. He quickly covered the transfer of powers, then the destruction of the Power Chamber and the flight of the others into space.
Dean wrapped his arms around his son as tears slid down his cheeks at the detailed description of the last hours of the Turbo Rangers. Slowly, Justin continued. "I thought I'd lost my powers forever. Then when Lightning Cruiser and Storm Blaster came back, I found out Storm Blaster had a spare Turbo Morpher. I've been more or less on inactive duty ever since."
"I noticed you weren't anywhere around during the attack," Dean said quietly. "Were you fighting?"
Justin nodded. "I knew I couldn't let the Rangers . ..or myself. ..down. I'm a Power Ranger. I fight evil."
"And you've done a great job of it," his dad said quietly, holding him close to his heart. "I'm very proud of you, Justin. You're a hero."
Justin smiled, hugging his dad. "Thanks, dad," he whispered. "That means a lot to me."
He glanced back down to the gravestone, reaching to touch it gently. "I wish you could've been here, too, Mom," he whispered, a single tear falling down one cheek. "I love you both so much."
A soft breeze blew up as he spoke, and Dean's arm tightened about him. Both of them went just the tiniest bit stiff. Carried on the breeze was a familiar perfume: the scent that Jenny Stewart had always worn. Dean looked down at him. "I think she's saying she loves you too, Justin. And I know she's just as proud of you as I am."
The breeze faded, and Justin felt a glowing warmth in his heart. "I think so, too, Dad," he said quietly. "Come on, we've got a dedication ceremony to go to."
As they left the cemetery, Justin glanced behind him once. For a moment, he thought he saw a glimpse of a tall woman with loving eyes looking back at him. Then she was gone, and he smiled. "I love you, Mom."