Black as night. Like her hair. Stars that shine like her eyes. No, her eyes make them seem pale. So full of peace and compassion and love. But never for me. As one friend to another, yes. As a lover. .as a future husband. ..I don't stand a chance.
He lay on his back in the middle of a clearing, staring up at the skies. His communicator was only a short distance away, within easy reach if it became necessary. He doubted it would be, though. Zedd and Rita seldom attacked at night. He didn't know why, things would be more effective if they struck when the Rangers weren't expecting it, or were weakened by lack of sleep. But he wasn't going to object. It gave him the time he needed to think.
It was very quiet out here. Almost ten miles from town, the sounds of Angel Grove were practically nil. If he strained his ears, he could hear a train going by, but the sound was gone almost as soon as he did. Another voice replaced it: the hooting of an owl.
Billy sat up, frowning. Owls weren't unknown in California, but there had never been any of that particular species around here. Maybe they've decided to attack after all. .some sort of owl monster. .Hootanator or something like that. ..a chill went down his spine at the very thought of fighting alone, in the dark, maybe without any help. Even after all these years, he wasn't the best fighter on the team.
"There's no need to be so nervous, young man," a soft, feminine voice spoke. It was most definitely not Rita or Scorpina's, so unless they had recruited new help, he felt relatively safe in turning around to see it.
A tall, dark-haired, beautiful woman stood there, clad in a gown of purest white. Around her neck hung a strange medallion that drew the eye and seemed to shift form from moment to moment. After a few seconds of staring, he deliberately jerked his eyes up to her face. Watching that thing was giving him a headache.
"Who are you?" he sputtered out, wondering just who this person was, and considering taking a step back to his communicator.
"I am Sarah, Queen of the Goblins," she smiled quietly at him, and his eyes widened. "I'm not here for you, though. At least not in the usual fashion."
Billy frowned. Usual fashion? "What's that?"
"In a nutshell, my husband and I are the caretakers of unwanted children. If someone wishes their offspring or some young child they are taking care of away to the goblins, then we take it. Sometimes they are given a chance to win it back, if they didn't actually mean it. More times, however, they just let it go," there was a hint of sadness in her eyes as she spoke, and Billy found himself believing her.
"So why are you here, if not the 'usual reason'?"
Sarah smiled, gesturing for him to sit back down as she did the same. "You looked as if you could use someone to talk to," she said calmly. "And I'm a good listener."
Billy tilted his head for a moment, wondering if he should say anything to this strange woman. "No offense, ma'am, but I don't even know you."
"It's sometimes easier to talk to a stranger," she replied calmly. "I won't hurt you. You have my word on it."
The Blue Ranger considered saying something about how he still didn't know if he could trust that word. Then he realized, for some odd reason. ..he did trust her. He thought for a moment, organizing his thoughts.
"I'm in love, and she not only doesn't know I'm alive, in the romantic sense, she doesn't even live in this country anymore," Billy said finally.
Sarah raised one eyebrow delicately. "Sounds like you have a problem. Writing a letter, calling, or visiting is out of the question?"
"Well, we do write back and forth a lot, and they call once a month," Billy thought back to the last phone call just over a week earlier; Trini's voice had sounded somewhat strained, as if she'd been spreading herself across too many areas. She used to do that. Kung-fu practice, tai-chi, volleyball, studying, searching out new dolls. ..all the different activities the former Yellow Ranger had been involved in flowed through his mind. She'd always been busy. ..so busy that he'd never found the time or space to tell her how he felt.
"And no visits?"
"Well, I could go to her," he didn't want to specify just how he could get to Switzerland if he absolutely had to. "But she's so busy there. It would be just like it was when she was here, she wouldn't have any time for a relationship at all. And I'm sort of involved in something that takes up a lot of my time as well."
A male voice spoke lightly from behind him. "But don't Tommy and Kim always find time for each other, regardless of their duties as Power Rangers?" he jerked to see a tall man, clad in black and with a similar necklace to Sarah's, coming out of the bushes from the far side of the clearing. "Please, don't look so surprised. Zordon and I are old friends."
Billy blinked several times, trying to comprehend the sudden strange switching of events. Sarah smiled. "Billy, this is my husband Jareth. He'd been making certain no one disturbs us while we have our little chat."
"It's nice to meet one of my old teammates' new students," the Goblin King bowed briefly, and Billy nodded his head, more out of ingrained respect to his elders than anything else. "And it's nice to see that my color is being worn by someone like you."
The Blue Ranger glanced down at himself, then over at the black-clad Jareth. "Ummmm. . .," was what came out of his mouth next.
"That's a very long story, and one I don't think we really have time for at the moment," Jareth replied. "Perhaps another time. But for now. . .you really should talk to your lady-friend."
"She's got a responsibility, though!" Billy shook his head. He'd always been good at talking himself out of things he knew he should do, and this time was proving no exception. "She won't want to leave there."
Sarah reached out to touch his hand gently. "Would it surprise you to find out, she never wanted to go?"
"What?" Billy jerked back around to look at her now. "What do you mean? How do you know that?"
Jareth was the one who answered. "It's not always children who are wished away by their parents or guardians. Sometimes . . .not very often. . .older folk wish themselves out of their situation. It is from them that the next generation of Goblin King or Queen usually has come," he glanced over to Sarah and smiled. "We are working on establishing a new form of lineage. But the point is. . .less than a week ago, your friend Trini wished herself to the Underground, our home."
Billy went pale as Sarah took up the story. "I could tell at once there was more going on than she was saying when we spoke with her. She was very distraught. . .almost to the verge of suicide. Apparently her two other friends either did not notice or did not care."
"They would have noticed and they most definitely would have cared," Billy's voice was strong. Then, he remembered something. "Unless she didn't let it show. Trini could hide her feelings if she really wanted to. She always presented a serene expression, no matter what was really going on in her mind."
Jareth spoke again. "I don't think she would have truly killed herself. But she wanted to either return home to you, or escape her world altogether. Going to ours seemed a reasonable compromise. She doesn't really want to stay there, though. Not alone."
Billy didn't seem to be able to breathe suddenly. "I.." was all that he said, though. Sarah spoke more.
"Billy, answer me honestly, please. Yes or no. Do you love Trini Kwan and want to be with her for the rest of your natural life?"
The Blue Ranger didn't even think about it. He knew the answer, had known it in his bones from the day he was born. "Yes."
Sarah twitched a finger. Just the merest twitch, and there she was. Standing in front of him, dressed in clothing similar to Sarah's, only in the yellow he loved so much on her. Her hair hadn't changed, was still the same waterfall of black. Her eyes were the same, deep and full of mystery.
He loved her so much.
"Billy?" Trini stared at him only for a second before running over to him. "Billy, I love you!!!"
He caught her in his arms and held her tight, not knowing if this were dream or reality, and not caring as long as he had her there. "I love you too," he murmured. "I will always love you, Trini. Forever and a day. Forever and always."
As the two of them kissed, Sarah and Jareth moved towards one another, and smiled. "Think we should put them through the Labyrinth?" Jareth asked his wife, his mismatched eyes gleaming. Sarah smacked lightly at him, and he chuckled. "Just a thought. Come on. Let's go home."
Billy and Trini didn't even notice the two owls that floated over their heads moments later. All they were caught up in. . .were each other. And their love.