Legal Disclaimer: Welcome back!! Once again you have entered the world of the Avatars, through this, the fifth in the "Gifts of the Avatars" series. Are you enjoying yourself? I hope so. This fic comes after "To Everything There is a Season", "Dark Destiny", "Gift of the Wind", and "Legacy of Fire". In case you haven't figured it out, the system I use here to determine which of the Rangers fits each element is my own invention entirely. Hope no one minds!!

Wisdom of the Water
by: Cynthia

Kim got off the plane and looked around, not really expecting anyone to be there to greet her. She hadn't told anyone she was coming in today, and really couldn't have said why she hadn't if someone had asked her. She'd just not wanted a big fuss made.

Wonder if I should look up Billy? she mused as she hailed a cab and absently gave the driver directions to the hotel she was going to stay at. I really should talk to Tommy too. I miss him so much. But there's something else I have to do first. I just wish I knew what it was!

She tapped her fingers against the armrest in the cab as she thought. Without knowing why, she glanced up and saw they were passing by the ocean. A soft smile curved her lips at the sight of the water. For a moment, she imagined herself as part of the water, as a living, breathing extension of the element that was the source of all life.

The moment was broken when she saw two figures struggling just above the water. It didn't even occur to her to wonder that they were floating above it. "Stop the cab!" she ordered quickly. "I'll be right back!"

"Okay, lady," the cabbie had been in Angel Grove a long time, and grown used to weird things. Two people floating and fighting, and a passenger who suddenly ditched the cab were nothing once you'd seen a fifty foot tall monster bite the top off a skyscraper. * * *

"You are mine, Water Avatar!" the Dark Angel growled as he struggled with the old man. "I will not permit this to happen!"

Piron fought to concentrate long enough to summon up the power of the water against his enemy, but to no avail. He was too old, and the Dark Avatar too strong. If only I had gotten to Kimberly before he ambushed me! She would be the Avatar of Water, and would have the strength to fight him off!

"You cannot avoid the inevitable, Piron!" his foe mocked as they rose higher and higher into the air, away from the water which was his strength. "And it is inevitable that you and all the other Avatars be defeated!"

"I've heard that one before," the Avatar retorted. "What is it with those who serve evil, you have the same scriptwriter or something?"

A sudden thrill through him caused the old one to look down. His heart pounded to see Kimberly standing there, looking up at them! My successor! And so close to the power she has seen our battle! Oh, if only I could reach her, talk to her!

"Too late, old one!" the Dark One struck him a stunning blow. "But when this day's sun sets without you passing your power to that lovely little human down there, the cycle will be broken and you shall perish, the last Avatar of Water!"

As Piron slumped into darkness, his last thought was of to Kimberly. You alone. . .can save me. ..daughter. . .of the water. .. * * *

"No!" Kim didn't know why she felt the sense of loss she did as she saw one of the fighters being carried away by his opponent. She didn't know anything of their conflict, for all she knew the one who had lost had been the aggressor. No. He's not. She shivered, knowing it was true. She had to help this person, somehow.

She stared for a few moments after them, then shook her head. There was a strange, almost humming sound in her ears. It's almost like when I hit my head on the balance beam. . .only it's not like that. . .

Avatar. . .to be. . ."What the heck?" she jerked up at the sound in her head. "Who said that?"

There was nothing there. Nothing but the sky and the trees and the grass and the water. The cab was parked still on the road, too far for her to have heard anything from there. Avatar. . to be. . .Kimberly. . Harte. . .her heart almost stopped at the sounding of her name. "Who's there?" she whispered instinctively. "Who are you?"

Touch. . .the water. . .without understanding why, she reached out and brushed her fingertips across the surface of the water. As she did so, knowledge swept through her, knowledge and understanding. She staggered, not sure just what was going on, but knowing one thing.

"Piron needs me." * * *

"You will never get away with this, Dark One!" Piron declared as the Dark Avatar bound him to a chair within his home.

The evil one snorted. "And you complain about my lines? That's a classic used by your side since the dawn of time! And believe me, I know!"

"And what do you hope to accomplish by this?" the old Avatar asked. "So you kill me? Wow. You've done something. You killed a man over five thousand years old. I'm certain you'll get invited to all the best parties then. I hear those other evil villain types just love guys who can kick around someone fifty times their age."

The Dark Angel hissed, slapping his captive hard. "Do not speak to me of those morons!" he ordered. "They have great power, and use it only for foolishness! I, on the other hand, have no intentions of confining my attacks to this one little town. Once I have disposed of the Avatars, I will lead world-wide assaults! There will be no one and nothing who can stop me!"

Piron yawned. "So, read any good books lately?" he drawled. "I've got this one I just finished, called Disposing of Evil Avatars for Fun and Profit. You really should read it, I hear it's a big hit!"

His jaw was almost taken off the next moment by his enemy's fierce slap. "As big a hit as that?" the Dark One laughed. "You may mock me if you wish, Piron, but in the end, it is I who shall be the victor, not you puny forces of goodness!"

"Yeah, right, whatever," the Avatar shrugged as best he could. "Got any pretzels?" * * *

Kim raced through the woods as fast as she could go, the only thing on her mind being the rescue of Piron, the Avatar of Water. Information pulsed in her brain, not nearly enough, but she knew enough to get by on for now. She knew that she was going to have to be quick, clever, agile, and have enough luck for ten people, if she was to have only a hope of pulling this off.

Piron is the Avatar of Water. He's looking for his successor, and was ambushed by the Dark Avatar, she thought over what she'd been told. If Piron doesn't pass his power on by sundown today, then the cycle of Avatars is broken, and there will be no one to prevent the Dark One from taking over the entire world. I have to rescue him. I have to.

She knew there were already two other Avatars, young and strong and able to fight the Dark Angel as she could not. But though she could have called for their help, the knowledge of how was in her mind, she wasn't going to. She was going to do this on her own. This was her quest, her mission, and she would do it alone.

She glanced through the tangle of trees and brush ahead of her, smiling briefly at the sparkle of water that flowed through as a stream. His stronghold is somewhere around here. She was up in the high mountains over Angel Grove, not above the treeline, but still in the warm and lush woodlands that she'd spent her childhood in.

Sometime I've got to come back up here, she mused as she cast her eyes about, seeking his home. Ah!! She spotted what could only be a house ahead. If I'm lucky, that's his. If I'm not, I pray I can be in time to save Piron, and the world.

Somehow, it felt good to know that once more, she was responsible for the world's safety. She pulled her way through the flora to find herself just outside a house that practically oozed evil. Kim shivered, not liking this place at all. That only reinforced her belief that this was where the old Avatar was being held.

I get him out of here, then he can find his successor. She crept up closer to the house, hoping the Dark Angel didn't have some sort of warning system that would let him know when she was coming. She knew the only thing she could do was hope, if he attacked her, she had nothing with which to defend herself. Just her wits and her nerve and a large stick she picked up and carried with her. Just a little extra protection.

Feeling absurdly like a Peeping Tom, she peered within one window to see the Dark Avatar slapping the Water Avatar with all his might. She growled under her breath. How dare he treat that old man like that! I don't care if he's evil, that's not right!

She listened for a few moments, trying to get some idea of what was going on here, anything that would help her free Piron. Slowly, she began to hear their conversation. * * *

"You've slept all these centuries," Piron told him. "Why don't you just abandon that body and go back to sleep? The world got along fine without you all this time, it can keep on going without you!"

The Dark Angel shook his head. "I am the destined monarch of this planet, and of the universe in time," he spat out. "And there is nothing that will stop me. There is nothing that can stop me!"

"You said that already," the Avatar spoke dryly, a rare event for him. "Don't repeat yourself, it makes you look stupid," he paused, mainly for effect, but also because he saw a flicker of something by one window. "Then again, I don't think it's repeating yourself that makes you stupid."

"You're the fool, old man," the Dark Avatar gazed deeply into the fire, his fingers working through a pile of earth at his feet. "I'm going to dispatch all the other would-be Avatars, and then destroy ---"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," Piron groaned. "Destroy everything that stands in your way, and rule the universe. Been there, done that. Find a new hobby, why don't you?"

The Dark One laughed, coming to his feet and turning to his prisoner. "I believe I shall! I think. . .torture. ..will do nicely!" he waved a hand suddenly. "And that little childing outside will do for a start!"

Kim came floating into the room, bound in chains of ether, and almost screamed in fright at the look in the Dark Avatar's eyes as she was brought closer to him. "Don't be afraid, child," his voice was almost caressing. "Be petrified!"

Piron growled as the Dark One ran a hand across Kim's cheek. "I will not let this happen," he swore. "Kimberly!"

She looked up at the calling of her name, more truly to get away from the thing near her than anything else. "Piron?"

He was almost surprised to hear her call his name, then smiled. "Kimberly, we can get out of this, now that you are here."

"There is no way out!" the Dark One declared. Piron ignored him, he had something else to do.

"Kim, I am the Avatar of Water. This is the Avatar of Evil. It is your destiny to stand with the other Avatars, of Earth, Air, Fire, and Spirit, to do battle with him and prevent him from taking over the universe," he spoke quickly, knowing time was running short as the sun flew towards the horizon and the Dark One prepared to crush Kimberly's heart. "Do you take now the powers of the Avatar of Water, my successor?"

Say what? was what she thought. "Yes!" was what came out of her mouth. She didn't have much time or inclination to argue, really. As she spoke the word, Piron glowed briefly, and she felt what had only been hinted at before.

She felt the power of the Water.

"By the Waters of Life!" she snapped through the bonds holding her, and smiled. A human could be held by Avatar powers; another Avatar. .that was something else altogether. A blast of water issuing from her fingertips knocked him back several feet, into the wall of his house. She grinned. I think I'm going to like this job!

"Kimberly," Piron glanced up from his own ropes. "If you don't mind?" * * *

"I don't understand, why couldn't I just finish it here and now?" Kimberly asked as they started out of the Dark One's home. "Won't my power work on him?"

"Yes, and no," Piron told her. "No Avatar can be killed, not even the Dark One. You and the others will have to defeat him without killing him. And alone, you stood no chance against him."

She looked into his eyes. "Thank you," she said simply. "But did you give me these powers just to get out of there?"

"No," he replied just as simply. "As I said, it is your destiny to fight the Dark Avatar, along with the others. I would have sought you out if I had not been captured, to give you the powers that are yours by birthright. And as much as I would like to continue this conversation, I must go. We will meet again, dear Avatar of Water."

Before another word could be spoken, she was alone in the woods. She shook her head. And I thought coming back to Angel Grove would be boring!