The day before the summer solstice, the day before Aura Robinson and Billy Cranston were to be married, dawned as bright and beautiful as everyone hoped the next day would. Jessica Robinson and Aura were putting the finishing touches on Aura's wedding gown.
"It's so beautiful!" Jessica smiled as she looked at her daughter. She'd always hoped Aura would be happy on her wedding day, but she couldn't believe the joy that pulsed with her alien daughter.
"I'm so happy!" Aura smiled. "I can't believe this is actually happening!"
Azure entered the room just then, the day's mail in her hand. "I'm glad you found happiness!" she told her sister.
"What have you got there, Azure?"
"Bills, junk mail, letter from Grandma, not much."
"What does Grandma have to say?" Aura wondered. Azure skimmed through the letter quickly, then replied, "She's fine, she'll be down with Uncle Harold tomorrow morning...can't wait to see everyone."
Aura nodded. "That's good," Azure was about to head upstairs, when Mrs. Robinson stopped her.
"You need to get fitted for your maid of honor gown, Azure," she told her. "This is the last chance we have for any changes; why did you two want to get married so fast anyway? Anything you want to tell us, Aura?"
At the look her mother turned on her, Aura blushed a bright red and shook her head. She'd never told her parents, or anyone else, what her evil half and Billy had done in that minor dimension, and she was fairly certain he'd never told anyone else either. That was between the two of them!
"I'm glad Mother can make it," Aura smiled, avoiding her mom's question. Her half-brother was going to be the ring-bearer, while Shaya and David would be among the witnesses. Azure smiled and nodded.
"So am I," she told her sister. Absolutely nothing was going to interfere in this wedding. * * *
"This is disgusting!" Rita glared through her RepulsaScope at the wedding preparations going on. Zedd looked over; he'd been in a foul mood ever since Aura had not only recovered her memory, but had escaped the Dark Dimension afterward.
"What is it?"
"Those two Rangers are getting married! And she's got a prettier dress than I did when I married you!"
Zedd was on his feet and standing by Rita a moment later. "We need to stop their happiness!"
"Definitely!" Rita agreed. "What sort of monster shall we send this time? It must be our deadliest monster ever!"
Zedd was deep in thought on just how to do that when Goldar entered. "What is happening on Earth, sires?"
"That pesky Amber Ranger is getting married to the Blue Ranger!" Rita growled. Goldar slammed his fist into the balcony rim; this was the ultimate outrage!
"I want to kill that blasted Amber Ranger!"
Zedd glared down at Earth again. "Their emotions will be their end!"
"Do you have anything in mind, Zedd?" Rita seriously doubted it; Zedd never had anything that actually worked in mind.
"Oh, indeed I do!!" Zedd laughed. This was truly going to be a world-class evil plan! * * *
Aura shivered a bit as she watched everyone rushing around the Robinson house like the proverbial beheaded chicken. Things were just too noisy around here, too many people.
"What's wrong?" Azure was looking at her. "Cold feet?"
Aura shook her head. "Never! Just, well, too many people around here! I need some air!"
Azure smiled. "I'll cover for you, I'll tell anyone who asks that you're having another headache."
"Those headaches have come in handy more than once," she chuckled; it had been over a year since she'd had one. "I'll be back soon."
"You'd better be. I don't know how long I can keep Billy from hunting you down!" Azure chuckled as Aura changed into a pair of jeans and a T-shirt, then slipped out the backdoor. She'd known Aura wouldn't be able to stand the confusion much longer; she'd always preferred peace and quiet. I can't believe she and Billy are finally getting married. Rita and Zedd better not do anything to stop this, either! * * *
Aura headed down a back street, wanting to stay away from crowds and people. She took several deep breaths, relaxing herself. The wedding wasn't until the next day, but she was as nervous as if it were about to happen in thirty seconds.
Hope Billy isn't as jumpy as I am. I can't believe this is happening; it's almost time for us to get married! I've loved him so long, I can't even remember what it's like not to love him.
"Hello, Amber Ranger!" Goldar, with a whole patrol of Tengas, suddenly stood in front of her. Aura stopped in her tracks; this was the very last thing she needed on the day before her wedding!
"Goldar, not even you can spoil my mood today, but I'll spoil that ugly face of yours if you don't leave me alone!" Aura growled, her hand sliding into the back pocket she usually kept her morpher in. This isn't happening! I left it at the house; I must be losing my mind!
Goldar did something that could have been mistaken for a smile. "You don't want me to do that!" something appeared in his hand and before Aura could move back, something cool and moist was sprayed in her face.
"Oh, ugh, what is this stuff?" she tried to wipe it off and glared at Goldar. The glare softened as she took in his face, that. . .suddenly handsome face. "Oh, Goldar, I just realized. . .you are a lot better looking than Billy. In fact. . .I think I love you!"
Goldar held out his hand to her. "Come with me!" Aura took his hand gladly, this was her true love after all. How could she have ever thought otherwise?
"Whatever you say, dearest!" * * *
Azure stared out the window, then glanced at her watch. Aura should be back soon; where was she? The wedding rehearsal was in just a few minutes, and she hadn't come back yet.
"What is it, Azure?" it was Adam, coming up next to her. He sat next to her on the window seat and glanced outside.
"Nothing," she sighed. She didn't want to let anyone know unless she had to that Aura had went out. Billy poked his head into the room.
"Hey, where's Aura? We're just about ready for rehearsal," he wanted to know.
"She said she had a headache; she should be here in a little bit," Azure told them. Billy frowned.
"Headache?" Even after a year; after knowing the truth, still hearing that word applied to Aura made him nervous. Azure nodded.
"She's been complaining about her sinuses recently; it's probably just a sinus headache. She headed over to the drugstore for some medicine, she can't find any here," Azure glanced at her parents as they joined the little group.
"I thought we had some," her mother mused, when her husband shook his head. "We hid it, remember?" a glance at Azure followed; they'd hid all the medicines and pills after her suicide attempt.
"Sheesh, they still don't trust me!" Azure muttered. It had been months since her attempt, and she'd determined since then nothing, not even Eric, would keep her from living the life she loved with the man she loved.
"She'd better be back soon," Kat grinned. "I don't think she wants to be late to her own wedding. ..even if it is just a rehearsal!"
The sound of their communicators going off broke into the conversation. They all cast worried glances at each other. "Man," Adam muttered. Billy tapped his communicator.
"Great. What is it, Zordon?"
RANGERS, REPORT TO THE COMMAND CENTER. AURA IS IN GRAVE DANGER. Zordon told them. Billy muttered a few vile things that ended with, "Can't they ever leave us alone?"
"It's the law of the bad guys, the good guys can never have any uninterrupted fun," Adam said dryly. Billy almost glared at his best friend.
"Not even for a wedding?" the Rangers, Azure in tow, teleported to the Command Center. As they became solid, the only thing Billy wanted to know was, "What happened?"
"Look at the viewing globe, Rangers!" Alpha urged them. The little robot gestured towards the crystal, which reflected the events that occurred on Aura's walk. As the Rangers saw Aura's eyes fill with love as she looked at Goldar, each and every one of them said the exact same thing.
"I think I'm going to be sick!"
Azure stared, this nauseated her almost as much as when she'd been under the spell that forced her to love Eric. "I don't believe this!" she whispered. Billy looked as if he were about to be violently sick, and no one there blamed him. Adam put a comforting arm on Azure's shoulder.
"We'll get her back. We'd better, because that is too gross for words!" the Black Ranger looked at the viewing globe, and it was all he could do not to be sick himself.
"I know there's an antidote to that love potion," Tommy remembered how not too long before the Robinsons' had returned, Rita and Zedd's Cupid Monster had made a mess of the romantic lives at Angel Grove. "But they've got it and we don't!"
Azure turned away from the globe, she couldn't look any longer. "Do you think we can get her back before the wedding tomorrow?"
"They're doing this just to ruin the wedding," Kat declared. This showed every sign of becoming a major disaster if they couldn't get Aura back and out of that love potion's control in time. * * *
Aura stared adoringly at Goldar, not even noticing she was once more in the Lunar Palace. Only her love mattered. She didn't even hear Zedd's gloating. "This is perfect! We now have the Amber Ranger under our control: under the control of love!"
Zedd stared for several long minutes, watching as Aura completely ignored the fact she was quite literally a prisoner of love, staring only at Goldar. He'd never seen someone in love up this close before, and it intrigued. . .and repulsed him at the same time. Something about the way Aura looked at Goldar was attempting to bring back a long-buried memory. What is it about her like this that seems so familiar? Like I've seen her staring at. .. someone. . .like this before. .. ah, bah, what does it matter, she's so caught up in this love spell, she'd destroy the Rangers in a moment if Goldar wanted her to. And Goldar does want her to: because I want her to!
He glanced at Rita; now there was a true beauty! "What do you say we make the Rangers really sick. We send down Goldar and Aura, to show them exactly how much in love they really are!"
"Wonderful, Zeddy! Let them know there is nothing they can do to prevent the wedding of Goldar and Aura!" Rita laughed. Goldar looked over at her, shocked, he'd only agreed to this because Lord Zedd had commanded it; but he had no intentions of actually marrying the Amber Ranger! He hated her with a passion so intense it was almost holy, and instead of mindlessly mooning over her, as she was over him, he was thinking of ways to smash her skull into several different pieces.
Goldar was about to protest, when Zedd rose and gave his orders. "Goldar, Aura, it is time to announce your engagement! Let the Rangers know how much you two love each other!"
Goldar's protests stopped on his lips. If Zedd commanded it, he obeyed, that was all there was to it. He didn't like it, though. Aura's reaction was somewhat different.
"Engagement? Oh, yes! This is going to be wonderful, Goldar!" * * *
The alarms went off in the Command Center not long after the Rangers began their search for an antidote. Billy glanced at the viewing globe, and it nearly turned his stomach to see Aura standing so close to Goldar, with that look on her face she'd only ever turned to him before. All he could say was, "They're on Earth."
"Maybe it's worn off, or can be overridden somehow," Adam suggested. "Let's go find out."
When they arrived at the park, Billy stepped involuntarily towards Aura. She glared at him so viscously that he actually backed away. "I'm sorry. . .well. . .actually, I'm not sorry. The engagement's off, Blue Ranger. At least mine to you is."
Billy's eyes went absolutely wide, as all the color drained out of his face. "What?" he stammered. Aura took Goldar's hand, then did something that made everyone there stare at her as if she'd lost her mind.
She kissed Goldar on the lips.
"I'm going to marry Goldar," she told him. Azure, who had come with the Rangers since this wasn't a fight, turned four shades of green. Adam looked as if he were about to faint, anyone looking at Rocky would have sworn he was about to throw up, and Kat did throw up: on Goldar!
When that happened, Kat found herself flying back several feet, courtesy of a powerful punch from Aura. "Don't you treat my fiancée like that! That was rude!"
"Aura, what's gotten into you!" Tommy stared at the Amber Ranger; in all the time since he'd known her, he'd never seen Aura look at Goldar with anything but unabashed hatred. "A couple of hours ago, you hated this guy, and he hated you!"
Aura smiled a little. "I just learned better, that's all!"
What happened next startled and sickened them all. Goldar dropped to one knee and took Aura's hand in his. "Aura. . ." it was the first time he'd ever called her by her unadorned name; usually he insulted her!
Aura smiled and laughed. "Yes, Goldar, yes!" The 'romance' of the moment was somewhat spoiled when Kat, Tommy, Rocky, Adam, and Aisha threw up, Billy fainted, and Azure was staring helplessly at her sister.
"Aura, no, please!" she whispered. This was beyond her worst nightmare!
"I'm sorry, Azure, but I found the monster of my dreams!" Aura told her sister. Azure stared for a moment, then turned and ran, tears streaming down her cheeks. Adam, recovering from his bout of nausea, glared at Aura.
"I can't believe you just did that!" he ran after his retreating girlfriend. Aura shrugged and glanced at Goldar.
"Let's leave them here, dear. We have our wedding to plan!"
"Yes, my love!" Goldar took them back up to the moon, thinking as he did so, I hope Lord Zedd lets me kill her soon; I can't take much more of this! * * *
"I can't believe this is happening!" that was the absolute understatement of the eon, as far as the Rangers were concerned. Billy was sitting on the floor, muttering the single syllable of 'no' over and over again. Kat was trying to get him to snap out of it, but so far had been unsuccessful.
"It's just a spell," she told him. "We'll get her back in time for the wedding."
"And if we can't?" Billy whispered dully. All the life seemed to have gone out of him since seeing Aura kiss Goldar.
Tommy put a hand on Billy's shoulder. "We will," he promised. Aisha nodded.
"We have to. I don't want to think about what will happen if we don't!" the Yellow Ranger looked a bit sick as the memory of what had just happened flickered through her mind.
Just then, Azure and Adam returned to the Command Center; he'd been trying to calm her down ever since she'd ran away from the park, in tears over what Aura was doing. Adam glanced at the others. "We've got to get that antidote!"
Billy stared at the other Rangers. "They won't let me go in and get it! I found a way past their forcefield, and they won't let me go alone!"
"I don't blame them!" Adam told him. "You're in no condition to go there by yourself. I'm going with you."
Billy was on his feet in a moment. "Then let's go. I am not letting Aura marry Goldar, no matter what!"
"I'm not sure about this!" Tommy tried to be the voice of reason here, for a change. Billy glared at him viscously.
"What if it were Kim, Tommy? How fast would you be getting to the moon!?
Tommy's lips tightened; he knew exactly how fast he'd be going up there. "You're right. Be careful, and you'd better come back!"
Billy nodded. "We will. We all will, because I'm not coming back without Aura."
He and Adam morphed and teleported at once, wanting to waste no further time. Billy had programmed the teleport to land them straight in Finster's lab; everyone was gathered in the throne room for the upcoming ceremony and it was empty. Adam glanced around. "It's got to be here somewhere."
Billy examined several bottles unsuccessfully. "We've got to find it, I'm not leaving here without her!"
Adam pushed around a few things, then smiled. "Talk about easy!" he chuckled as he picked up a bottle labeled clearly 'love potion antidote'. Billy smiled when he saw it. "Come on, Adam, we've got a wedding to interrupt!" * * *
Things were proceeding more or less according to plan in the throne room. It was almost a repeat of the wedding of Rita and Zedd, except this time, Zedd was going to be performing the ceremony, while Rito would be the worst man, Scorpina would be maid of dishonor, and Rita escorted Aura.
"I never thought I'd be happy to see the Amber Ranger get married!" Zedd's evil queen gloated. The way the love potion worked, once Aura and Goldar were officially married, it would be sealed for all time.
Scorpina was glaring at Aura, who was happily preparing for the wedding. "I can't believe Goldar is marrying a Ranger!"
Rita nodded. "And it's all due to the love potion!" Scorpina glanced a trifle worriedly at Rita.
"This isn't the same one you used on that brat sister of hers, is it?"
Rita shook her head. "No, that was a love spell. This love potion is much stronger, and almost permanent. Why?"
"Just curious. The one you used on the brat didn't hold very long. I just hope this one doesn't fail," Scorpina kept her real feelings hidden. She'd cared about Goldar almost from the moment she'd seen him, and couldn't bear the thought of someone else, especially a Power Ranger, marrying him.
The ceremony began a few minutes later, as Goldar and Aura took their places before Zedd. The lord of evil looked around, something that might have been a smile on his lips. "If there is anyone present who thinks this union should not take place, speak now or forever hold your peace."
"That's our cue," Adam, standing just out of sight with Billy, whispered. Billy nodded and jumped out into full view.
"We object!" he ran straight for Aura, who turned angrily around.
"How dare you!" she snarled. Adam tossed Billy the antidote, then told his friend, "Easy, we don't think it should take place, and we think you'll agree with us!"
Billy nodded, then sprayed the antidote to the love potion full into Aura's face. "Aura?" he said, hope filling his heart as she closed her eyes and shook her head, trying to clear the spray from her face.
The bouquet dropped from Aura's hands and she stammered, "Billy?" she looked around, and when she saw Goldar, her first and most instinctive reaction was one Billy boasted of seeing for the rest of his life.
She knocked him flat with one punch.
Billy chuckled. "Let's get out of here," he told her. "We've only got an hour left until our wedding!"
Aura smiled; having the love potion lifted from her had restored her entirely back to her true self. "And that's a wedding I want to attend!" * * *
"You got her back!" Azure was smiling as Aura, Adam, and Billy appeared in the Command Center. She grinned at Billy. "Billy, close your eyes! Don't you know it's bad luck to see your bride on your wedding day?"
Aura chuckled. "There's no greater luck I could have had than to have seen him today!" Aura suddenly realized everything that had happened over the past day, and her stomach revolted. She'd kissed Goldar, she'd been in love with Goldar, she'd almost married him! Before anything or anyone could stop her, everything she'd eaten for the past few days came out to splatter all over the Command Center floor.
Alpha rushed at once with a mop. "Ay-yi-yi, time to clean this place! You guys better go get ready for the wedding!"
Aura leaned back, a bit weak from the regurgitation. "Sorry about that, Alpha, Zordon. It just hit me exactly what went on with Goldar," she shivered visibly. "I'm glad you guys got that antidote to me. I heard Rita say something about how once I married Goldar, the love potion would be permanent."
"It didn't happen," Billy enfolded her in his arms. "And it won't."
"We're going to be together, forever," Aura smiled at him. "I love you, Billy. And will forever." * * *
"I hate dresses, I really do!" Azure complained a few minutes later as she and Aura got into their gowns. She glanced at her sister. "You okay?"
Aura nodded. "I'm feeling a lot better now that I'm marrying the right guy!"
"I think we all are!" Kat nodded. Aura shivered a little.
"I can't believe they even tried that, that was the most sickening thing they've ever done!" the door opened just then and Samuel walked in, smiling.
"Looks like the ring-bearer is here," Azure grinned. Aura waved at her brother.
"Hey, there, little brother," she told him. Sam gave her a quick hug, making sure not to mess up her hair or gown or make-up, then smiled at her in his own turn.
"Glad you guys asked me to do this!" he said.
"I'm glad that you, Mother, and David could make it!"
Azure nodded. "I'm glad that everything is back to normal," she said. "You're not going to get sick again, are you?"
Aura shook her head. "No, that was just a reaction what happened earlier." I'm not going to tell her I've been getting sick every morning for about a week now. It's probably just nerves from the wedding being so close. I'll calm down after everything's over with.
"Everyone's ready!" Sam told them. "Is it time yet?"
"Almost," Aura sighed. "Come on, Azure. We've got to get into place, the guys should be ready soon." * * *
"You look nervous, really nervous!" Adam looked at Billy's shaking hands. Billy nodded.
"I am incredibly nervous!" Billy told him. Adam tried to reassure him.
"You'll be fine."
"I hope so," Billy glanced at a picture of Aura he'd brought with him. "Today's kind of like a dream. A dream come true."
Adam smiled. "I'm happy for you, Billy."
"I'm glad," Billy chuckled. "Do you know, I wanted to marry Aura from the first moment I laid eyes on her? When I was three?"
"A romantic back then, huh?"
Billy blushed. "Well, a little!"
"Unless you guys want to have the service performed from here, I'd suggest you come on," Tommy came in and told them. The ceremony was going to be held in the park, site of so much romance and so many battles for them. In fact, it would be held under the very tree where just a month earlier, Billy had proposed to Aura.
"OK, let's go," Billy got up. "Time to get married." * * *
As Aura came up the aisle, her gaze flickered off Billy for a moment to notice who was getting ready to perform the ceremony. She smiled; only she would really recognize who stood there. Everyone else saw the justice of the peace that had agreed to do it.
"Thank you," she whispered to the Spirit of Earth. "I'm glad you could do this."
"It is my pleasure, Aura. Now, it is time," Aura smiled as she turned to Billy. The ceremony was going to be a simple one, no long drawn out declarations of love, both of them knew how much they loved each other, and saw no need to flaunt it to the world beyond their union.
"Today we celebrate a momentous occasion," the Spirit began. "May you both be blessed from this day forward with all the joy and love that marriage brings. William Cranston, do you take Aura to be your lawfully wedded wife?"
"I do," Billy said softly, his love filling his eyes and heart for her. Aura smiled at him; there was no one in all the universe she'd rather be with for her life than him.
"Do you, Aura Robinson, take William to be your lawfully wedded husband?"
"I definitely do!" Aura nodded. She was fully intent on morphing, no matter who saw her, if any of Rita or Zedd's minions tried to interrupt this moment.
"If there is anyone here who does not believe their marriage should take place, speak now or forever hold your peace."
Every Power Ranger there looked around, just to be sure. Everyone of them expected Tengas and monsters. Instead, silence met their gaze. The Spirit smiled.
"Then by the powers invested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife! You may kiss the bride!"
As they kissed for the first time as a married couple, everyone broke into spontaneous cheers. The Spirit chuckled; she had known this day would come since she'd first accepted Aura's oath. "Ladies and gentlemen, may I be the first to introduce Mr. and Mrs. William Cranston."
The cheers just grew louder. * * *
"I can't believe this is happening!" Zedd roared as he watched the wedding proceed on schedule below. Zordon had managed to generate a jamming signal that prevented him from teleporting any of his troops down to disrupt the festivities, the only consolation was, he couldn't keep it up forever. "I just hope they don't have any kids!"
"Why not, dad?" Eric wondered. He'd rather enjoyed the wedding, fantasizing it was Azure and himself getting married. One day, she'll be mine, forever.
"Because their firstborn will also hold the Amber Ranger powers; they're passed down from generation to generation!" Zedd roared.
"Oh," Eric shrugged. "Maybe since Aura's not a human, they can't have kids?" That would be good; last thing we need is another Amber Ranger around causing trouble.
"I hope you're right!" Zedd agreed. "But then again, look at me and your mother!"
I'd rather not, dad, you're a great and evil guy, but frankly, looking at you makes me glad I take after mom! "True," Eric admitted. He returned his gaze to the wedding, which had now swung into the reception phase. He kept an eye on Azure, watching her dance with Adam, and his hands curled into fists. Someday soon, Azure, that'll be me and you. * * *
Billy came over to where Aura and Azure were talking. "It's time to throw the bouquet and the garter, Aura!" Aura smiled, as all the single women began to gather together.
"Is everyone ready?" she asked, receiving lots of nods in agreement. She chuckled, turned around, closed her eyes, and threw it in one easy motion. The bouquet almost seemed to head straight for Azure's whose hands closed around it automatically. Aura turned to see who had caught it, and smiled.
"Congratulations, Azure!" she told her sister as she flashed a grin at Adam. "You're the next to get married!" Adam blushed as red as possible as Billy prepared to throw the garter, and it got even worse when Jason whispered in his ear, "Hey, that's Rocky's color, Adam!"
A few moments later, they all had something to laugh over, as the garter landed directly in Adam's hand! Everyone cracked up; there was simply no other way to respond to the look on the Black Ranger's face. He and Azure looked at each other; then both of them turned cherry red.
Aura was smiling at them, when she suddenly ran straight for the nearest bathroom. Azure followed, in time to hear Aura vomiting.
"Aura? You okay?"
Aura managed to spare the time to say, "Yeah, I'm fine."
"I don't believe you," Azure shook her head as Aura came out of the bathroom. "If you were okay, why are you vomiting like that?"
"I don't know," Aura sighed. "But I think I had better find out!" This could be serious, I'm making a doctor's appointment in the morning. Good thing Billy and I are going to spend our honeymoon at the Heart of the Earth, nothing can happen there with us and the Spirit on guard. But I intend to enjoy my honeymoon, no matter what!
"Not the best of times to get sick," Azure smiled as she handed her sister a towel. Aura wiped herself clean, then sighed.
"Thanks," they headed back to the festivities, each of them gravitating towards their respective guy. Things were more than at peace in this moment. Everything was perfect. Everything was calm.
It wouldn't stay that way.