Things had went from bad to worse, as far as Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa were concerned. Not even Eric Matthews' arrival and revelation as Zedd's illegitimate son could make things any better in Rita's opinion. As far as she was concerned, that made things even worse!
She stood by her Repulsascope, staring incessently down at Earth, where Aura and Billy were being disgustingly sweet towards each other. Rita sighed, remembering how evil Aura had once been. Oh, well, nothing lasts forever. And we'll outlive the Rangers, if nothing else. . .wait. . .that's it!
Rita turned to Zedd, cackling evilly. "I've got it, Zeddy! Why don't I cast a spell on that Amber twit so that she will slowly die!"
Zedd laughed as the beauty of it hit him. "Excellent plan! Make sure you get it right; those death-spells are tricky!"
Rita snorted as she headed for her spellcasting chamber. "What kind of amateur do you think I am?"
"I don't know, how many kinds are there, sis?" Rito asked her retreating back. * * *
Rita arranged everything in her spellroom and prepared to destroy the Amber Ranger. It had been far too long at any rate. Maybe I'll even get rid of Eric once I've done in Aura. Zedd won't mind, once we've defeated the Power Rangers.
She began the spellcasting, concentrating on the task at hand. The spell she'd chosen would slowly freeze Aura's heart, giving her less than an hour to live once it was fully cast. The Rangers would have only sixty short minutes to watch their precious friend wither and die. She smiled lightly, imagining the look of horror and pain in Billy's eyes as Aura died in front of him.
"Hey, stepmom!" Eric's voice interrupted her casting. She glared at him visciously; who knew what effect a botched spellcasting could have? "What're you doing?"
Eric chuckled nastily. "Hey, I'm just tryiing to get to know my new family!"
Rita roared, "Well, you almost ruined a spell I'm working on to destroy the Amber Ranger!"
Eric backed away. "Why didn't you say so? It wouldn't have been any trouble to put up a sign on the door 'I'm destroying the Amber Ranger, come back later!'"
Rita rolled her eyes at the imbecile, then screeched at the top of her lungs, "Out!"
Chuckling under his breath, Eric left, and Rita returned to her spell. * * *
Aura lay on her bed, staring at her photo of Billy. It had been a week since Azure's attempt, and she would be getting out of the hospital later that day. Except for Eric's return, and Zedd's acknowledgment of him as his son, things were going great for both girls.
I haven't been this happy. . .well. ..well, I've never been this happy. I love Billy, he loves me, Azure has Adam, and we'll take care of Zedd, Rita, and Eric one day very soon!
Aura rolled over and reached for the phone; she couldn't wait another second to hear Billy's voice. A few swift motions, and a moment later, "Hello?"
"Hey, Billy, it's me," Aura drank in the sound of his voice. Six months was just far too long to go without it.
There was a smile and love in Billy's voice. "How're you doing? It's been a while."
"Yeah, how long? About an hour since we were practicing at the Youth Center, right?" Aura chuckled. "I was just sitting here thinking about you. You know how much I think about you, right?" Probably not much more often than I breathe.
"Yeah, I know," Billy told her. "I think about you the same amount."
I don't think that's possible. "Really?" Aura wondered. Suddenly, a pain that dwarfed what she'd felt during Kalakan's explosion racked her body. A strangled scream burst from her lips as she bent over, unable to even think. There was a terrible internal hemmoraging that seemed to go on forever.
Then, mercifully, it ended. Aura straightened up and stared across the room: straight into Aura's eyes. If anyone had been in the room, they would have been shocked to see two Aura's, identical in every physical respect, in the room. One remained on the phone with Billy, the other leaned against the wall, a cold glint in her eyes.
"Aura?" Good Aura, the essence of sweetness, love, and light, heard Billy's voice calling worriedly through the phone. "Aura, what's wrong? I heard you screaming!"
"I'm fine, Billy," she replied. "I'm sorry if I worried you."
"What happened?" Billy had heard the raw pain in her voice; if anything was wrong, he wanted to know about it.
"Just a small pain," a sweet giggle sounded. "It's nothing at all," Billy was far too busy to be worried over such a small thing as her being split into her good and evil selves.
"If you're sure," Billy wanted to see her, though. "Hey, why don't you meet me in the park later? We can go for a walk together."
"Oh, I'd love to, dearest," the pure essence of Aura's good laughed a merry laugh. "When would you like to meet?"
"How about in an hour?"
"I'll be counting the seconds until we're together again," oh, how she loved him!
"Okay, see you then," Billy hung up, glancing out the window to Aura's room. He hoped nothing really was wrong with her. * * *
"Hello," Good Aura stared into eyes as gleaming gray as her own. But where hers were full of light and joy and blissful hope, these were ice-hard and dripping with malice.
Evil Aura, the distilled essence of all that twisted and foul about Aura Robinson, leered at her twin. "So what's up, loser?"
"I must say you are quite beautiful," Good Aura smiled at the mirror image of herself across the room. Evil Aura snorted.
"I should be. So, where you meeting him?"
"In the park in an hour," Good Aura replied. "Please, I must request you not to interfere," her evil half must not be permitted to harm Billy.
Evil Aura pouted. "And why not?"
"It isn't right," Good Aura explained. "It isn't polite to attempt to take away another's beloved."
"Sometimes wrong is a lot more fun!" Evil Aura rolled her eyes. "Look, kid, we're the same person, we can share him."
Good Aura shook her head. "How would Billy feel about that?'
"He doesn't even need to know!"
"It would be wrong for him not to know. I will tell him as soon as I see him what has happened to us. We need to be reunited."
Evil Aura sighed. "You're no fun, twin," she smiled briefly. "Look, why don't you go change for your date?"
Good Aura glanced down at the jeans and T-shirt she'd been wearing, then headed for the closet. "Yes, I must find something more ladylike for the date."
As she began to rummage through the closet, she felt a hard push in the middle of her back, forcing her into the closet. She turned to see her evil half closing the door, then heard something being pushed in front of it.
"Please, let me out!" she called, hoping no one was disturbed by her necessarily loud voice.
"I don't think so!" Evil Aura laughed wickedly as she began to search around for some appropriate for what she had in mind.
"Why are you doing this, my other half?" Good Aura wanted to know.
"I have my own plans for Billy!" Evil Aura locked the door as she headed out. Things were already coming together nicely. * * *
"Rita!" Zedd bellowed. "Your spell split that Ranger into two people!"
Rita was quick to shift the blame. "It's all that twit son of your's fault! He interrupted me while I was spellcasting!"
"I didn't know!" Eric protested. He stared down at Earth. "You know, this could work to our advantage. Confuse the Rangers," he grinned lightly and glanced back at the two Auras. "I can sneak in and get Azure," he whispered.
"That one Aura is so sweet I think I'm going to be sick!" Rita felt sick just watching Good Aura. Zedd and Eric both agreed.
"May I talk to the Evil Aura, Dad? Get her to join our side perhaps?"
Zedd nodded. "That might not be so bad of an idea. You may try."
"Thanks, Dad!" Eric chuckled. "I'll need something to offer her, though."
"I have an idea," as Zedd explained it, Rita groaned to herself.
All that work, and all I did was give Eric a chance to show off!! Oh, this is giving me such a headache!! * * *
Evil Aura headed towards the park, a small grin curving her lips as she examined her outfit. It was just the perfect thing to meet Billy in: an extremely short and tight black leather skirt, a black silk shirt and high heels.
Oh, I am going to have such fun with Billy. He doesn't know what he's getting himself into by meeting me today: but I do. Fun just doesn't describe what I'm going to do to him: and with him.
"Hello, Aura," a familiar voice broke into her thoughts. She looked up to see Eric standing near her. "My, don't you look delicious."
Evil Aura smiled thinly. "Eric, what do you want? I'm on the way to meet a much better looking guy than you," she looked him up and down appraisingly. "But you're not too bad yourself."
Eric chuckled. "I've got a proposition for you. I want Azure, you know that. I need your help to get her."
"What's in it for me?"
He smiled. "You help me, and I provide you a location where Billy will be kept to do your bidding and desires."
Evil Aura grinned with delight. "Just where might this location be?"
"A little dimension I know of. It's private, cozy, no one goes there, unless given permission. And I have permission to give it to you for whatever purposes you see fit, once I have Azure."
"It's a deal!" Evil Aura nodded her head; this was perfect! Her own little place to keep the Blue Ranger in forever, to do anything and everything her perverted mind could come up with!
"Good. Here's what I had in mind," Eric handed her a small device. "You get Azure alone with you, then press the button on this. I'll come and collect her."
She nodded and slid it into a pocket. "No problem. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a blue boyfriend to go grab. Then I'll snatch that sis of mine for you."
Eric nodded. "Till we meet again!" he teleported back to the moon, well pleased with how the plan was progressing so far. * * *
Billy sat on a bench in the park; waiting for Aura to show up. He was worried about her; that scream hadn't sounded like 'nothing' was wrong. Something told him he was right to be worried; that something was going on, but he wasn't sure what it was. Aura had sounded a bit different afterwards. . .but he'd had Zordon and Alpha scan for any traces of Zedd, Rita, Eric, Goldar, and Tengas, just in case. The scan had turned up nothing; only Aura had been in her room at the time of her scream.
A low, inviting voice came from behind him. "Hey, Billy," he turned around to see. . .
"Aura?" his eyes widened in shock as he took in the tight clothing and alluring look in her eyes.
"Yeah, it's me," she smiled, not her usual smile at all. She leaned over the bench, very close to him, her lips curving lightly.
"What happened to you?"
"Don't you like the new me?" Aura turned in place, showing off an outfit that fit as closely as a second skin to her. Billy took a deep breath; this was a side of Aura he'd never seen before.
"I'd like to know what happened to the old you first!" Billy exclaimed, automatically moving back as she moved closer to him. Aura chuckled, obviously enjoying some private joke. Before he could get out of reach, she pulled him into a passionate embrace that made every other time they'd kissed seem like mere children's fooling around. After a shocked moment, Billy found himself returning the kiss.
The kiss ended abruptly when Billy pulled away from Aura's questing hands. "Aura!" he stared at her in startled shock.
"What?" she licked her lips and headed for him again, obviously intent on continuing what she'd begun.
"I'm not sure we should be moving that fast!" Billy had no idea what had started Aura on this, and he also had no idea if he really wanted her to stop!
"Fast?" Aura's grin quite literally frightened him. "Billy dear, we've been dating for about a month, and known each other most of our lives. That's not fast at all."
"Aura!" Billy stared. "We are in the middle of the park!" Maybe that would cool her enthusiasm somewhat! He was out of luck, however, as Aura moved even closer to him, almost pinning him against the back of the bench.
"So?" she purred, wrapping an arm around his neck and pulling him closer for another of those heart-stopping kisses. She stopped after almost a minute and looked at him with smoldering eyes. "Of course, we could always go to your house. Much more comfortable and private there."
Billy leaped gratefully to his feet; maybe the walk would cool her down some. "Okay!" As they headed for his house, Aura kept an arm wrapped around him every step of the way. Every now and then she kissed him, and he was convinced only the fact they were in public stopped her from doing far more than kissing. She quite literally pulled him into his room when they reached his house.
"Whoa, Aura, I can only move so fast!" she had him backed up against a wall almost as soon as they got into the room. "Aura, what happened to you earlier?" Maybe he could get some answers, and get her mind of what was plainly on it.
"Oh, when I was screaming on the phone?" she continued to back him further and further into the room. He nodded. "That was just me realizing how much of a wimp I've been all these years."
He shook his head. "I never thought of you as a wimp."
Aura smiled, and he most definitly did not like that smile. "You were wrong. But I'm not a wimp anymore. I take what I want now. I don't just sit around waiting for it to come to me," as she spoke, she backed him further towards her goal: the open closet at the end of the room. "What's the matter, Billy? Don't you like me now?"
"I've always liked you. .. I've always loved you. . . I'm just not ready for this!"
"I think you are," Aura's lips curved into a cruel smile; she was almost at the closet. "I know I am. I want you, Billy" He was just in front of the closet now, and with one powerful shove, she pushed him into it. Another smooth movement, and she had the dresser in front of it. "But I'm willing to wait, til I have you all to myself."
"Aura!" Billy screamed, taken totally by surprise. "What are you doing?"
"I locked you in a closet," she said dryly. "Can't you tell?" a cold laugh sounded, chilling his soul. "Now I've got a deal to keep with Eric."
"Aura! You can't seriously be thinking what I think you are! Don't hand Azure over to that psycho!" * * *
Azure turned her eyes up to the warm sun shining down and laughed. "Oh, it feels so good to be out of the hospital!"
"It's good to see you out of there!" Adam told her as they walked down to the Robinsons' house. "Hey, do you want to go camping this weekend?"
Azure nodded. "It'll be good to get out of the city, and a perfect ending to a perfect week: a week without Eric showing his face even once!"
"I love you, Azure," Adam took her hand and gazed into her eyes. Azure looked back at him, love filling those twin orbs.
"I've never been happier in my life. Thank you for everything," she told him. As they kissed, they heard a throat being cleared.
"Hey, guys," it was Aura. Azure pulled away and smiled a little.
"Why does this happen every time?" she chuckled. "Hi, Aura!"
Aura grinned at what she'd interrupted. "Hey, Adam, Alpha needs to see you about something at the Command Center. He would've called you on the communicators, but apparently they're messing up or something."
Adam shrugged. "Wonder what he wants. Okay, I'm on it," he tapped his communicator and teleported away. Aura came over to Azure, smiling.
"So, sis, what have you two been up to since you got out of the hospital?"
"Just talking," Azure told here. Aura slipped her hand into a pocket and casually pulled out the device Eric had given her and pressed the button. "What was that?" She found out a moment later when Eric appeared out of thin air next to her. "No!"
She tried to run, only to find Aura there, a cold smile on her face as her sister grabbed her. Eric smiled. "Thanks for the call, Aura."
"Not a problem," Evil Aura gripped her sister tightly. "Nope you're not leaving, except with him!"
"Why?" Azure asked, betrayal in her eyes and on her face. Evil Aura ignored her to ask Eric, "How do I get to that little dimension you promised me?"
"This will lead you there," Eric threw her another device which she caught as she tossed Azure back to him.
"Have fun with her," she said coldly. "I'm going to go have fun with my guy!"
"Aura! NO!" Azure screamed as she and Eric vanished. Aura chuckled and headed back to Billy's house. Time for some fun and games with the guy of my dreams: who will be with the woman of his nightmares! * * *
Adam arrived at the Command Center, and the first words out of his mouth were, "What did you want, Alpha?"
Alpha stared at him. "I didn't want anything. What do you mean?"
Adam frowned. "Aura told me you wanted to see me, and that communications were down."
Alpha shook his head. "Aura hasn't been here all day, and communications are just fine!"
Adam felt a thin thread of fear running up his spine. "Alpha," he said slowly. "Locate Azure."
The robot got to work; a moment later, he stared at Adam. "Ay-yi-yi, look at the Viewing Globe!"
Adam didn't want to look, but did anyway. As he saw Azure struggling in Eric's grip in the Lunar Palace, his whole body tensed up. Quietly, he spoke. "Alpha, teleport Aura here. I've got a few choice words to say to her."
Alpha at once ran scans to locate the Amber Ranger, and what he found startled him to the best of a robot's ability to be startled. "Ay-yi-yi, I'm getting two life readings from her!"
"Two?" Adam stared at the results; but they were unmistakeable. Indeed, there seemed to be two Auras! One was in her own house, the other seemed to be in another dimension! "Get that one and the other Rangers here now. The one in her house some explaining to do about what's going on here!"
As everyone arrived, minus Billy, Aura smiled sweetly at them. "Hello, everyone!"
"What's going on, Aura?" Adam growled at her. He hadn't looked or sounded this angry in months.
"What do you mean, Adam?" she looked concenred. "And where is Billy?"
Rocky also noticed the change in the Black Ranger. "What's wrong with you, Adam?"
"Eric got Azure, right after Aura told me Alpha wanted to see me about something."
Aura frowned. "Oh, that must have been my twin. She isn't nice at all." She quickly explained that she was only half of the real Aura, and that her other half was almost literally evil incarnate.
Alpha jerked up suddenly. "I've located Billy. He's in the dimension with Aura's other lifesign!" * * *
"Adam will save me!" Azure pulled at her chains as she stared at the face of the man she hated most in all the world. "I will never love you, Eric, never!"
"Oh, but you will," Eric chuckled. " And you'll make me such a lovely bride."
"I will not make any kind of bride to you!" Azure swore. Eric grabbed her head and held it still, forcing her into a kiss.
"Why not?" he asked before she bit his tongue. "I'm going to have to train you better than that. Stepmother!"
Rita rustled over, eyes flashing with anger. I can't believe Zedd wants me to help out his asinine son with his idiotic plans!!!!! "What is it?"
"Do you have a spell of some type? I'm not good enough at this magic stuff yet to make it stick. Something to make her love me and be my bride?"
"A love spell?" Rita snapped her fingers and a bottle appeared in her hand. "Just spray this on her."
Eric did so and then looked at Azure, grinning. "Now what do you say, my dear?"
Azure closed her eyes, then opened them again. How could she ever have loved anyone else but Eric? "Whatever you want, my love." * * *
Tommy paced up and down the Command Center, casting occasinal glances at the sickly-sweet Aura, who almost glowed with purity and goodness. She's enough to give someone diabetes! For a change, he glanced at the viewing globe, and what he saw there turned his stomach even more.
"Um, Adam, you might not want to look at the viewing globe," that probably wasn't the smartest thing to say, as Adam at once turned to see. Reflected in it were Azure and Eric, wrapped in a deep kiss.
"Oh, man!" Adam stared, his heart pounding with rage. "I can't watch this! We've got to get her away from him!"
Aisha glanced at the globe. "Doesn't look like she wants to. That's sick!"
"We've got to break the spell," Adam started searching for a way to get past the shields on the lunar palace. Without Billy, things weren't as easy as they seemed.
"It must be a spell of some sort," Kat agreed. "No one would be desperate enough to try and kill themselves one week and french kiss the guy who drove them to it the next week!"
Good Aura spoke up. "Perhaps if you could reunite me with my other side, I can rescue her."
Adam looked at her. "How do we get you two back together?"
She shrugged. "I don't know. Perhaps if my twin were here, Zordon in his infinte wisdom could figure out some way."
RANGERS, RETRIEVE BILLY AND THE OTHER AURA. ALPHA AND I WILL START BUILDING A DEVICE TO REUNITE THEM.
"Let us go," Good Aura suggested. Tommy stopped them quickly.
"Let's not take any chances. It's morphin' time!" * * *
Evil Aura looked around as she and Billy arrived in the alternate dimension. She smiled evilly. "Here we are. A nice little place just for us."
"Aura, please. . .," Billy protested; he didn't know where they were, this place didn't seem to have any furniture in it besides an endless amount of downy pillows.
"All right," she grinned as she leaped on him, bearing him to the 'ground'. "I will!"
"No, please, don't!"
Aura laughed. "Oh, come on, Billy. You can't say you don't want to do this!"
Billy's eyes widened in shock as Evil Aura began to show him just why she'd brought him to that little semi-romantic place. "What do you think, Billy?" she asked, posing in a pile of clothing. She pulled him into another deep and passionate kiss, one that left all the others so far behind it wasn't even funny. She murmured, "I told you you wanted it. . .and me. . .."
As Aura ran her fingers through Billy's mussed hair, the Blue Ranger realized things were never quite going to be the same between him and Aura. He also realized. . .he liked that. . . * * *
Neither of them knew, or cared, how much later, they were recovering from their exertions. Aura murmured. "Oh, this is more than worth handing Azure over to Eric!"
Billy, who had had an arm around her, pushed her away suddenly, staring in horror and disbelief. "You did what?"
She smiled as she reached for him. "How do you think I got this cozy little place for us? What does it matter, anyway? She doesn't count."
Billy grabbed her hands tightly. "She's your sister! Remember, she tried to take her life because of that bozo Eric!"
Aura chuckled nastily. "So? Eric's not that bad. I'm a lot worse than he is. . .or could hope to be. . .when I put my mind to it."
"I'll take my chances," Billy grabbed for his clothes. "But I wouldn't touch you with a ten foot pole now!" He couldn't believe what had just happened: not just what he'd done with Aura, but what she'd admitted to afterwards! With a gutteral growl, she leaped at him.
"That's what you think, boy!"
At that moment, the other Rangers teleported into the dimension. Billy struggled under Aura until someone lifted her off him. "Got your hands full, I see."
"Please, Tommy, be gentle with her," Billy jerked his head around to see. . .Aura? He looked from one to the other. Yes, there were two of them! "She is a part of the true Aura, as am I."
Evil Aura growled and kicked Tommy hard in a sensitive region of his body, and as the White Ranger doubled over in pain, she laughed. "You men just keep falling for that!"
"If she's part of the real Aura, I'm gonna stay on her good side," Adam muttered. Good Aura shook her head.
"I only do that when I have to, and I prefer not to do it."
Her evil twin snarled, "Now that you've interrupted our fun, what do you all want here?"
Without even looking at her, Rocky said, "Let's get then back together, and get Azure out of there."
Evil Aura protested, "Hey! I went to a lot of trouble to give Azure to Eric!"
Adam couldn't hold himself back, he knocked her halfway across the chamber with one good hit. "Shut up!" As he did so, Good Aura staggered back as well.
"That wasn't nice!" she observed; but also didn't seem as angry by it as she was upset. That wasn't the case with her opposite, however, as Evil Aura jumped at the Black Ranger, swearing visciously. Adam pushed her off him, hardly able to contain his disgust at having to touch something so despicable.
"Look, all I want to do is get my girlfriend back! Now we can do this democratically, or I can punch your lights out! It's up to you!"
Evil Aura chuckled. "You hurt me, you hurt her too!" Good Aura shook her head.
"Go ahead, Adam, I understand."
She nodded. "When I'm whole again, I will forgive you."
"What a wimp!" Evil Aura rushed towards Adam, fist ready to strike.
"You'd better!" Adam knocked Evil Aura back nearly a full ten feet with his return punch. "Or Azure might get upset at me!"
Evil Aura glared at him. "My good half wouldn't do this. But I'm not her!" A moment later, the Amber Ranger stood before them. Adam groaned.
"Great! Anyone got any rope?"
Good Aura shook her head. "She . . .is only half as strong as the true Aura is. You can take her, Adam."
"Thanks!" Adam smiled as he slugged Evil Aura in the stomach, causing both to stagger back. "Now, you coming quietly, or do I have to do that again!?"
"Please, we must be reunited!" Good Aura pleaded with her other half. Evil Aura shook her head, spitting out, "Never!"
That was what broke Adam's temper, however. He grabbed Evil Aura and twisted one arm harshly behind her back. "We're going!"
All of them, Billy now properly dressed, teleported out of the dimensionette. Once they were back in the Command Center, Adam actually sat on Evil Aura, who was swearing fit to make the most hard-bitten of soldiers blush. Adam glanced at Alpha. "Ready?"
"Ready!" Alpha held in his hands the device they hoped would rejoin the two Auras. Evil Aura tried to force her way up, but with six Rangers holding her down, it wasn't possible. When Alpha activated the device, a blinding light filled the room, so bright none of them could see.
"Ohhh," after a few moments, they heard a groan. "Oh, that was a nightmare!"
"Aura!" Adam moved off her and helped her to her feet as their sight slowly returned. "That was no dream!"
Aura closed her eyes, then opened them again. "Oh, man, Azure's going to hate me forever for that! And I don't blame her!"
Adam shrugged. "Time to get her out of there!" Once again, the Amber and Black Rangers teleported off together to rescue one they cared for. * * *
Azure wrapped an arm around Eric and kissed him with unbridled passion. They were in his luxurious private quarters in Zedd's palace, and Azure was enjoying herself as she had never dreamed possible. "Funny how I never thought of you as such a wonderful man before."
"Now you know best," Eric told her as he ran his fingers through her wealth of auburn hair. Azure purred in reply,
"Yes, now I do."
As their lips met once again, two flashes of light signaled the arrival of Aura and Adam. Azure sneered at them, "Well, if it isn't my sister and my ex-boyfriend!"
"Azure, you're under a spell!" Aura pleaded with her, her mind jerking back suddenly to times past, when those same words had been asid to her. It looked as it Azure didn't believe them anymore than she herself had at the time.
"Azure, please, get away from that filth!" Adam could hardly stand to see her with Eric, even if it did look willingly!
Azure shook her head. "I don't think so, my dear sister. I finally realized who my true love is!"
As she kissed Eric yet again, Adam and Aura exchanged pain-filled glances. "This doesn't look good," Aura took a deep breath. Can we break this spell?
Aura and Adam stared in shock as Azure, her sister and his girlfriend, kissed Eric with a passion usually reserved only for true love: not the spell-induced romance between them. Eric laughed coldly at them. "See, she loves me, not you, frog-boy!"
"So sorry!" Azure's laughter was as cold as his. Adam tried once more to reason with her. He couldn't believe that there wasn't still some spark of love for him within her.
"Azure, this is not you! You're under a spell, remember?"
Azure rolled her eyes in contempt. "Did I not prove to you that I am not? What do I have to do to convince you? Kiss you?"
"Yes!" Adam knew it was a cliche, that love conquered all, it simply wouldn't work, but at the very least, he would have one last kiss from her. She got off Eric's lap and came over as Adam removed his helmet.
"I love you, Azure," he said as he swept her up into a kiss more passionate than words can describe. The love he had for her, and that she had for him, swept through Azure like a hurricane, volcano, and earthquake all combined into one.
"A. . .Adam?" Azure blinked as the spell binding her to love Eric was swept away by the true love she had for Adam. She stared up at Adam, then swept her gaze back to Eric, who glared, realizing what was going on.
Aura stood by, smiling, glad that it was over. All they had to do was go home now. She blushed badly as she remembered what else her evil half had done: with Billy.
We're definitly going to have to have a talk when we get back. I. . .almost have to thank whatever it was that split me like that; my evil half had the courage I never did, to really show how much I love him. Even if it wasn't quite the way I'd ever planned that to be.
Suddenly, without warning, a pain that was hatefully reminiscent of what had happened when she'd been split in two tore into her chest. Aura stumbled and fell, unable to stand. Azure turned and stared as Aura collapsed onto the floor, writhing in agony.
"Aura! No!" she stepped towards her sister, only to be grabbed by Eric.
"It's too late for your sister!" he smiled evilly.
"Azure. . .," Aura whispered through her pain. "Adam. . .get out."
"Let me go!" Azure elbowed Eric in the ribs and ran over to Aura. "No, Aura. We're not leaving without you!"
She turned to glare at Eric, undisguised hatred in her eyes. "If you have any way to save her, you'd better do it now!"
He smiled evilly. "Stay with me, Azure, and I might reverse it."
Azure glanced down at Aura's pain-filled features, then to Adam, who stared as Aura died almost before his eyes. "If you save my sister, I will," she lowered her head in defeat as she spoke the words she'd sworn for years never to.
Eric's lips curved into a thin smile. "Come over here and give me a kiss then. A real one."
"No," Aura whispered as the pain doubled. "Don't trust him. . ."
Azure shook her head. "I said I'd stay, but I'm not going to do that!"
"A pity. Aura's going to die then."
Adam watched, his heart breaking, as Azure looked at him again, mouthing, I'm sorry. She went over to Eric and kissed him. As she did so, Eric chanted briefly and wiggled a hand at Aura. "Okay, the spell's reversed now. Take her and get out of here, Black Ranger!"
Adam picked Aura up and looked at the young woman he loved with all his heart. "Azure, I'll be back for you!"
"Adam," Aura whispred, weakly plucking at his sleeve. "Still. . .hurts. . ."
"I'll get you help," Adam promised. "Zordon will know how to reverse this: I hope."
As they teleported out, Eric smiled triumphantly at Azure and pulled her closer to him. Azure pushed herself away from him. "You didn't reverse it, did you?"
"Of course not!" What kind of idiot did she think he was? Azure slugged him hard, then collapsed to the floor, crying.
"Oh, I'm sorry, Adam, please, forgive me!" What had she done? Not saved her sister: and condemned herself to being with this creep! * * *
Adam and Aura arrived back at the Command Center, and when Billy took in Aura's pain-twisted face he rushed to take her from Adam. "Zordon, we need help, Aura's dying!" Adam cried as he did so.
"What?" Billy stared in shock.
"I think that's what they were trying to do to her originaly, kill her, but something went wrong. How can we help her?" Adam paced, staring alternately at Aura and at the Viewing Globe, which was showing Azure crying in the Lunar Palace. Alpha ran several quick scans on Aura, and as the results came in, things didn't look good.
"The Spirit of Earth is the only being capable of healing her," the little robot reported. "And there are few who are permited to go to the Heart of Earth. Aura is one of them. The only other I know is. . ."
"Me!" Ninjor appeared suddenly. "I can take her there!"
"Ninjor," Adam stared. "Can you go there?"
The armored Ninja Master nodded. "The Spirit of Earth and I are old friends. That is how I was able to guide Aura, who is of another world, to her Spirit Animal, and how I knew of the Spirit in the first place. I will take care of Aura, you return to the moon and get Azure!"
Billy handed Aura carefully to Ninjor. "Please, bring her back to me safely, Ninjor. I love her." * * *
"Leave me alone!" Azure pushed Eric away from her again. She had to get away, had to get home, had to help Aura!
"No way!" Eric laughed as he reached for her yet again. He was having a wonderful time tormenting her.
"I swear I'll scream if you don't!"
"Go ahead," Eric encouraged her. "I like that!"
However, he didn't like it when Azure delivered the 'patented Aura manuver' as the Rangers were taking to calling it. He staggered back, clutching himself, as Azure screamed at the top of her lungs, "Adam, don't leave me here!"
"Wouldn't dream of it!" Adam chuckled as he and the other Rangers appeared. Azure ran straight into his open and welcoming arms. "Ninjor's taken Aura to the Spirit of Earth. She'll be healed there."
Azure shivered a little. "I can't believe I fell for what he did."
"It's okay," Adam stroked her hair lovingly. "Everything's going to be all right now."
The younger Robinson girl shook her head. "Not yet. Not til Aura is back safe and sound," she glanced up at Adam. "Let's go home. We can wait for her at the Command Center."
With Eric still distracted by Azure's kick, the Rangers were able to escape without anyone even noticing they'd been there. Once again, it seemed the Rangers had won the day. * * *
As Ninjor appeared in the Heart of Earth, the dying Aura in his arms, the Spirit of Earth took shape. "Ninjor?" she asked gently. "Why do you visit me? I am honored!"
"It is the Amber Ranger, Spirit," Ninjor told her. "She is dying!"
The Spirit's eyes widened; she had sensed a strange division in Aura, but had not been able to determine what it was. "How is this possible?"
"A spell of death was cast that seems to have backfired, it split Aura into two, her good and evil halves. When they were reunited, the spell took effect," Ninjor explained. "You must help her!"
"The magic of evil is powerful, but love is more powerful still. Aura is well loved by her fellow Rangers, so she can be saved. Place her on the ground," as Ninjor did so, leaves from literally nowhere began to swirl around Aura's stilled body. Strange music seemed to come from everywhere and nowhere all at the same time, describable only as the music of life itself. The leaves became transparent and entered Aura's body, cleansing it of the evil magic that threatened to steal her life away from her.
"Arise, Amber Ranger, and defend the Earth once more!" the Spirit bade her. Aura's eyes flickered, then opened firmly. She made her way to her feet and looked around.
"Ninjor. .. Spirit. . .I. . what happened?"
"Welcome back, Aura," the Spirit smiled, laying a gentle hand on her shoulder. "You are lucky to have so many who care for you."
"You scared us there, young lady!" Ninjor patted her on the back. Aura smiled at him, then turned to the Spirit.
"Thank you for saving my life," she smiled. The Spirit caressed Aura's forehead with gentle fingers.
"You are more than welcome. It is time for you to return home; there are many people anxious to see you there!"
"Thank you," Aura said it again; she felt she had to. "I owe you my life now. Both of you."
"You protect my life and my world, and I will do the same for you," the Spirit told her. "It is part of our bond."
Aura smiled. "You gave me the power to protect you. It's only right that I do so. Now, I've got to get back. I need to see if they need my help in getting Azure back."
As Aura and Ninjor teleported out of the Heart, the Spirit smiled softly to herself. Oh, Aura. You have such a surprise coming to you. But you must learn this, of all things, by yourself. * * *
"Aura!" Azure rushed over to her sister as she and Ninjor arrived in the Command Center. They hugged each other tightly, each glad to see the other was all right and free. "I am so glad you're okay!"
"Not nearly as glad as I am to see that you are!" Aura told her. "Azure, I am so sorry for what that evil half of me did to you!"
"Hey, it's ok," Azure smiled a little. "I'm only half-mad. . .at half of you!"
"Oh, please don't tell me we're in for a bunch of half-jokes!" Rocky groaned, a smile teasing the corners of his mouth even as he did so.
Adam chuckled. "We explained everything to Azurre. As you can tell, she's not really mad. Hey, am I forgiven for punching you earlier?"
Aura laughed merrily; she couldn't resist this. "Half of me says yes, half of me says no!"
As the whole team groaned at Aura's half-joke, half-pun, someone put a hand on her shoulder. She turned to see Billy standing there, a curious look in his eyes. "Glad you're back."
Aura went beet-red as the memories of what her evil half had done with Billy in the minor dimensionette flooded back to her. Billy was quick to attempt to reassure her. "It's all right, no one saw anything. . . well. . .not much, anyway!"
"Is this something I should know about?" Azure wondered. It was rather evident from the way both Aura and Billy were acting that something more than just a kiss had happened in that dimension. Billy smiled a bit.
"What is it, Aura?" the Amber Ranger shook her head violently.
"N-nothing," she stuttered. Oh, man, how am I ever going to live with myself after this? Much less be around Billy!
He leaned a bit closer to her and whispered, "We'll talk about this later, okay?"
Aura could only nod; she was far too embarassed to say anything. This had just taken their relationship to a level both of them had never really expected for a long time to come. * * *
"How did it fail?" Zedd raged. "Aura was dying! We had Azure here, the Blue Ranger was going insane with worry, the Black Ranger wasn't even supposed to be able to think straight! What happened?"
"I don't know!" Eric lashed back at his father. "It's not my fault! If Rita hadn't made such a lousy spell, it would've worked!"
"You were the one who interrupted me!" Rita shot back. Zedd waved them both quickly into silence.
"I want Aura out of commission!" he declared. "Maybe. . .just maybe. . if we destroy the Spirit of Earth's home. . ."