It had been nearly a month since Billy and Aura had gotten married. Billy was going to college at Angel Grove University, while Aura had started to make a career out of the one thing she truly was gifted at, other than being a professional world-saver. She was an artist, and her portraits were already starting to bring in some money.
As she worked one afternoon on a still life, the phone rang. Aura bit her lip as she went to answer it; she hoped it was who she thought it was going to be. "Hello?"
"Is Mrs. Cranston there?" Aura smiled as she heard the voice on the other end.
"This is me," she said.
"This is Doctor Davidson," he told her. "I just got your test results in."
Aura's heartrate skyrocketed. Could it be? She turned to notice Billy standing near her; he'd obviously gotten home early today. She smiled and stepped a bit away, wanting this to be just her little secret, if she were right. "And?" she barely managed to keep her excitement in check.
"It's official. You're pregnant!"
"Wow!" Aura smiled; this was incredible! Looks like I've got something to thank my evil half for after all! "You're serious?"
"I am," Dr. Davidson told her. "We need to make your first appointment. I want to get an ultrasound done, and I've got an opening in an hour. Do you think you can make it?"
"Sure, I'll be there!" Aura laughed; this was one of the happiest days of her life! Even learning about her heritage didn't compare to this day!
"I'll see you then. Bye," the doctor hung up, as did Aura, but he most certainly did not do what her next move was. Her ringing cry of triumph filled their small apartment.
"What is it?" Billy asked as he came in. Aura turned, giggling to him. He'd never seen her this happy, not really.
"Whatever it is, it must be good news," he eyed her a touch suspiciously; it wasn't like her to hide something from him, even for a moment. "Did Adam propose to Azure?"
Aura shook her head, a smile teasing her lips. "You remember how my Amber Ranger powers are passed down from firstborn to firstborn?"
Billy frowned for a moment. "Yeah," suddenly just what she meant by that clicked in his mind. "You're pregnant?!"
Aura nodded, her smile coming full out now. Billy picked her up and spun her around in a wild hug, laughing with joy. "This is great!" Aura felt her stomach revolting against the sudden movement.
"Careful, Billy, I don't wanna. . . ohhhh. .. ," Billy quickly regretted swinging her around like that, as Aura cleaned up the mess resulting. She glanced up at him. "I'm going in for an ultrasound in about an hour. I wonder if it's a boy or a girl."
Billy smiled. "I don't care which we have, just as long as it's healthy and it has your eyes!"
Aura giggled, then suddenly went serious. "Billy, I'm not human. You are. I just hope this child can exist in the first place."
Billy nodded, suddenly remembering just what his wife was, other than the Amber Ranger. "I hope so too. Maybe we should talk to Zordon about this after your appointment."
Aura nodded, her fingers protectively spread over her stomach. I can't believe I'm pregnant. But I just hope this child can live. I love you, Billy, and I want you and I to have a long life together, with many children. * * *
Billy and Aura watched a little nervously as the doctor performed the ultrasound. "You want a picture of your child?" the doctor asked. "Wait a second."
"What is it?" Aura asked, clutching at Billy's hand nervously. She knew she wouldn't be able to explain any of the differences that could show up on a genetic test of her; she and her mother were the only two Kalakans left in the universe. From what Shaya had told her, humans and Kalakans were almost perfectly genetically identical, but there were differences.
Dr. Davidson moved the device a little, and smiled. "Or should I say, a picture of your twins?
"What?" Aura stared at him; she couldn't have heard that right!
The doctor smiled. "There are two of them in there!" Billy smiled and touched her hand gently.
"Twins," they chorused. "We're going to have twins."
The doctor checked a couple of other things. "We really need to move on making sure everything is in order. You're about three months along, but they seem to be developing fairly quickly. That's a bit unusual, but nothing to worry about, some children are just faster than others in everything."
Aura's mind flashed back to what was happening three months earlier, and she blushed a deep cherry red. "Ummm. . .Billy, do you remember what was happening three months ago?"
"You were. .. ," Billy almost said what had happened, til he remembered the doctor was there. "Yeah, I remember. I wonder what your parents will say to this."
Aura shook her head. "I don't know," she smiled a little. "Let's go find out."
The doctor quickly printed out a picture of the ultrasound results. "Show them this; it might make them react a little better to the news." * * *
"I don't believe this!" Zedd stared down at Earth, watching as Aura and Billy learned of the coming of their twins. He knew precisely what had happened three months earlier: the time when Aura had been split into her good and evil halves, and had entertained herself with Billy. It looked as if that little episode was having quite unforeseen and most definitely unwanted repercussions.
"What is it, Zedd?" Rita asked; he almost glared at her, the split had been the result of one of her botched spells; these twins wouldn't even exist if it weren't for her incompetence!
"Those blasted Rangers, the Blue and Amber ones, are going to be having twins!"
Rita screeched in outrage, "No! How dare they even have children!"
Zedd calmed her quickly. "No need to fear. You'll never believe what I just found, Rita."
"What is it?" his wife looked at him eagerly. "Some way to get rid of those brats before they're even born?"
Zedd nodded, chuckling under his breath. "And the Rangers. You've heard of the legendary Fountain of Youth?"
"Of course!" Rita looked at him curiously. "But that's just some old Earth legend, isn't it?"
Zedd laughed wickedly. "I just found it." * * *
Aura and Billy glanced at each other as they caught Azure and Adam kissing on the front porch of the Robinsons' house. Aura smiled, then cleared her throat noisily. Her sister's eyes flicked up at her, then she broke off the kiss.
"Not again!" she complained. Aura chuckled.
"Sorry, but if you don't want to hear our news, we can go away again, can't we, Billy?"
Adam glanced up. "What news?" Azure perked up at the thought of what that could be. "Is this something mom and dad are going to want to hear?"
Aura nodded. "Definitely!" Azure was in the house and back out with them in moments. Everyone looked at her expectantly, and Aura looked back at them.
"How to say this?" she mused, then grinned. "OK. Amber Ranger is taking maternity leave for a while."
Azure's eyes went wide. "You're. . . I'm going to be an aunt?"
Aura chuckled. "No, you're going to be an uncle," she said dryly, eliciting a laugh from Adam. Aura's humor was something else.
"When are you due?" the Black Ranger asked as he rubbed his shoulder from where Azure hit him. Aura smiled.
"In about six months," Aura told them, bracing herself for the look her parents gave her. Jessica gave her daughter and son-in-law a serious look.
"That means the child was conceived out of wedlock."
Billy nodded, trying to avoid the look Adam was giving him. Aura explained quickly what had happened during the time she had been split into her good and evil halves. Her parents exchanged glances; they knew about her Power Ranger life, and about her being an alien, but this was still somewhat of a shock to them.
"Uh-huh," her dad said softly. Aura chuckled a little.
"Dad, I'm an alien, I'm a Power Ranger, and I'm married, even though Billy and I are less than two months out of high school. You can't tell me you expected my life to be anything even vaguely resembling normal!
Azure chuckled as she looked first at Adam, then Billy. "Why didn't you tell me that part of it?" she hugged her sister then, whispering softly, "So that's why you threw up on your wedding day?"
Aura nodded, then produced a touch of evidence that this wasn't all some horrible joke. "Oh, we're going to have twins, by the way."
"Twins? You had your first ultrasound?" Azure grabbed for the picture Aura pulled out of her purse. "Oh, they're cute!"
Aura chuckled. "I wonder which one will be first out," it was a trifle disconcerting for her to look at the picture, and realize what was shown there was growing within her. Whichever of you is firstborn will inherit all my powers and my bond with the Earth. That's either the greatest gift or the greatest curse I could give you. I guess that's for you to decide on your own.
Adam shrugged as he patted Billy on the back. "Congratulations. Do you think we should tell the others about there being one less Ranger for a while?"
Billy nodded. "We need to talk to Zordon, anyway." * * *
The Power Rangers teleported into the Command Center; wondering just what was up. Zordon had told them only to come there, after reassuring them that it was no monster that brought them there that time. Aura, Azure, Adam, and Billy were already there, and Aura had a tender smile on her lips.
"Billy and I have an announcement, everyone," she said as soon as everyone was there. They all looked at each other; this was most unusual.
"What?" Tommy asked. Aura grinned.
"I'm going to have twins. I'm pregnant," she told them. Every last person there, Zordon and Alpha included, took a deep breath, then started in on rounds of congratulations. Once those were through, Aura looked up at Zordon. "Zordon, is there any chance of any danger to the twins because I'm not human and Billy is?"
Zordon gave the matter some thought before answering, I DO NOT BELIEVE THERE TO BE ANY, BUT TO BE SAFE, ALPHA WILL RUN A SCAN ON YOU.
Alpha ran his scans, and a few moments later, reported, "Everything is normal. Well, as normal as expected for someone three months pregnant!"
Aura blushed. "Oh, yeah. It sort of happened when I was split in two."
Tommy chuckled. "We really did interrupt something there!"
"Which also means, we are going to be short one Ranger for a while," Billy reminded them all. "Rita and Zedd are probably going to flip over this: and not in a good way. We'll need to keep an eye on Aura for a while."
"Until they're born, and probably after," Aura mused. "I don't want anything to happen to these two."
Billy put an arm around her. "Nothing's going to happen, Aura. We won't let anything happen."
Kat nodded and smiled as she hugged her friend. "Guess this means we're going to be holding you a baby-shower soon!"
Aura giggled. "What do you give the offspring of two Power Rangers, one of which is a space alien?"
Billy kissed her as he whispered into her ear, "All the love I give you, and even more." * * *
The next few months passed by as they usually had for the Power Rangers. Rita and Zedd attacked with monsters or spells, the Power Rangers defeated the monster; broke the spell, doing whatever they had to in order to keep the world safe and free. When Aura was six months along, Zordon declared it was too risky for her to fight with the team until after the delivery, and she reluctantly confined herself to keeping an eye on the others from the Command Center. During every fight, she teleported there, just in case Rita and Zedd tried to attack her while she was on her own. They were doing nothing that might risk the twins' within her.
Shaya returned to Earth to instruct Aura in just what was going to have to be done during the birth itself. On Kalakan, there were certain herbs and elixirs ingested during pregnancy to ensure the child or children were in perfect health, and Shaya had brought a large supply of them with her. She had spent the fifty thousand years she'd waited for Aura to return to Kalakan saving each and every species possible in her spacecraft, and now she was transplanting them all onto a barren world she and her family had come to inhabit. With all the science and skills of Kalakan, one of the most technologically advanced civilizations in the world at the time of it's destruction, to help them, they were slowly transforming it into a lush land of life.
"You're going to have to go to the Heart of Earth for the birth," Shaya told her. "I had to go to the Heart of Kalakan when you were born. Every Amber Ranger is born in the Heart of the world they are born to protect, and your firstborn will become Earth's second Amber Ranger."
Aura nodded, refraining from mentioning she'd already known that. "What about the secondborn? I'm going to have twins here, mother. Will being born there have any effect on them?"
"I don't know about that," Shaya shrugged. "As far back as I researched, I never came across anything about twins being born to the Amber Rangers: at least not during the first birth. I guess we'll just have to find out."
"You will have to do more than simply be at the Heart of Earth," the Spirit of Earth appeared suddenly. "You will have to be the Guardian of the Earth during the birth of your firstborn, Aura."
"Spirit!" Aura smiled and welcomed the being that was half her soul. "You knew, didn't you? You've known all along!"
The spirit nodded. "I knew from the moment of conception. I will always know, Aura. But during your labor I will join with you, for only during the birth of the next generation of defenders does the Guardian of Earth exist not to do battle: but to give life."
Aura looked at the Spirit of Earth, Shaya, and Jessica, all sitting around a table, and all helping her plan the most magnificent experience of her life. All her mothers were here, the mother of her heart, Jessica Robinson. The mother of her soul, the Spirit of Earth. And the mother of her body, Shaya Shaldar. A greater trio of mothers couldn't be found in all the universe. How did I get so lucky? * * *
It was January 1, the dawn of the new year. Aura's twins were due anyday now, and Zedd's plans had at last reached their final stages. "This is too perfect!" he gloated as he put the finishing touches on the scheme.
"Is it time for your plan yet, Zeddy?" Rita asked. She'd had to put up with his gloating over 'my plan is almost done' for six months now, and she was tired of it.
"Yes!" he nodded. "I finally found a way to enter the portal to the Fountain of Youth!" the Fountain was protected by a forcefield, generated by who knew what, that blocked non-Earthlings from approaching it. Zedd had finally worked past the main forcefield, even though the fountain water itself could only be touched by something that was human or part human still.
"Excellent!" Rita approved. "But how are you going to lure the Rangers to it? It's not like they're just going to show up where you want them to!"
Zedd scanned the Earth quickly, and found what he was looking for: Aura, sitting under a tree in the park, doing some knitting. It was the first time he'd seen her alone since the announcement of her pregnancy; the other Rangers were so very protective of her.
"With the pregnant Amber Ranger! Rito, Eric, come here!" his brother-in-law and son were right next to him a moment later; they were punctual, if not always effective. Even Eric hadn't been able to succeed in any of his schemes to get Azure for his wife.
"Yeah, what is it, Ed?" Rito asked. Zedd rolled his eyes, then told them, "Go down with some Tengas and kidnap Aura! Take her to the Fountain of Youth, and wait there for the Rangers to show up. Then push them all in."
"You got it, Ed!" Rito agreed. Eric smiled evilly.
"Can we push her into it, too?" he asked. Eric would do anything to get rid of Aura; she'd stopped his plans a hundred times and more. One thing that was deliciously evil about Eric, he never forgot a grudge.
"Anything to stop her from having those two!" Zedd told him. There was no way he'd let those twins be born; he had a dark feeling if they were, the forces of evil would be dealt the most serious blow possible. * * *
Aura put down the bootie she'd been knitting and leaned against the tree, closing her eyes. This was her favorite place in the park to be; it was under this tree that Billy had first proposed to her, and where they'd later been married. This is the first time in six months they've left me alone. Of course, if they REALIZED I'm alone, they'd either all join me here, or send me to the Command Center. I need this time to myself, the twins could be born any day now.
"Hello, Aura!" Aura's eyes flew open to see Eric, Rito, and a squad of Tengas surrounding her. Oh, great! I should have KNOWN better! The first moment I'm alone, they try something, and I can't fight while I'm pregnant! I've got to call the others!
"What do you want?" she asked, reaching for her communicator as she did so.
"Just to congratulate you, and to take you somewhere," Eric smiled nastily. "Grab her!"
Before Aura could hit her communicator's signal button, Rito and Tenga grabbed her arms and held them tightly. Aura struggled to the best of her ability, but to no avail. Eric crushed her communicator under his bootheel, then smiled nastily at her.
"Sorry, Aura, but I'm afraid we can't allow you to have those kids!" he glanced at Rito. "Let's go."
They teleported away, appearing near a beautiful fountain that sprung straight from the ground. Zedd was a few feet away from it, glaring evilly at her as they appeared. As Rito and Eric chained her wrists together, then shackled her to a stake in the ground near the fountain, Zedd marched over to her. "Welcome, Amber Ranger!"
Aura snarled, "Can you ever leave me in peace, Zedd?"
He laughed coldly. "You will not hear from me after this one, for soon, you and all the other Rangers will be history!"
"Never!" Aura growled. Zedd laughed and gestured towards the water pouring forth from the ground.
"You see this fountain?"
"Yes," she was a bit puzzled; being brought here instead of to the lunar palace; their usual place of imprisonment, had been enough of a shock. Now he was gloating over a fountain?
"This is the Fountain of Youth. It'll revert you and the other Rangers back to infancy!" Zedd laughed evilly and Aura glanced down to the twins hiding in her womb.
"No," she whispered. If he wins, that's no chance of a life for you two. I won't let that happen, no matter what it takes. You will be born, you will live, and grow. No matter what!
"Oh, yes!" Zedd roared in triumph. Just let the Rangers come; he had the perfect bait, and there was nothing they could do to stop him!!! * * *
"Hey, has anyone seen Aura?" Azure glanced around the Youth Center as she asked the question. She headed over to where the Rangers were seated around their usual table and repeated what she'd asked. Billy glanced around.
"She was here just a second ago," he murmured as he hit his communicator. "Aura, come in. Aura, where are you?"
Static was the only thing that answered him. Billy went pale as a thousand different and hideous scenarios went through his head. He knew one place she'd probably go, and wanted to check that out before panicking. "Come on, let's go to the park. Aura likes to sit under our special tree there and think. She might just have forgotten to put her communicator on."
None of the Rangers said what was on their mind: that Aura forgetting her communicator ranked slightly below Aura forgetting about the Spirit of Earth as likely to happen. Of course, when they saw Eric leaning against a tree and leering at them halfway to the tree, even worse scenes began to spring into every head.
"Eric!" Azure spat out his name. Eric chuckled.
"And hello to you, too, my dear Azure!"
"Don't call me that," she growled. Eric laughed again.
"My, my, my, but you are all off somewhere in a great rush. Looking for something. .. or someone?"
"Get out of the way, Eric, we don't have time to play games with you!" Aisha snapped. Zedd's son smiled a cold, cruel smile, and casually pulled something from behind his back. Billy went absolutely pale as Azure asked, "What do you want, Eric?"
"I know it's rather old-fashioned to say, but it's not who I want, but rather, who my father and I have!" Eric was toying with the knitting Aura had been doing.
"Aura. . .," Billy whispered his wife's name. "No. . ."
"So easy to capture, too. I guess being pregnant cuts down on her fighting ability!" Eric laughed; he was enjoying teasing the Rangers like this! It was almost as much fun as tormenting Azure!
"What do you want with her this time?" Azure just barely managed to keep the fear out of her voice. Oh, my God, they have my sister, and she's pregnant. She can't fight them like that; what are they going to do to her? Why can't they just leave her alone?
Eric smiled. "Just to make sure those twins of hers are never born!"
Billy would have lunged at Eric, intent on smashing that self-satisfied look right off his face, if Tommy and Adam hadn't held him back. "You slime!" he snarled, still wanting to tear Eric to shreds.
"This isn't going to help Aura, Billy!" Adam told him. Eric's evil laughter brought their attention back to him.
"Well, it's been nice visiting with you, Rangers, but I've got business elsewhere. See you around, Azure," with a parting leer, he vanished.
"Not if I scratch your eyes out," Azure snarled, her fingers curling into claws. Kat put a hand on her shoulder.
"Calm down, Azure. I feel the same as you, but we need to find Aura."
Azure smiled. "I'll try, but it's not going to be easy. And if they hurt my niece and or nephews, I won't be responsible for my actions!"
Adam nodded; he felt quite the same way as she did, and Billy almost literally had steam coming out of his ears. "Let's get back to the Command Center; we'll have better luck finding them there." * * *
Adam swore viscously and slammed his fist into the console. A second later, he put it in his mouth; that had hurt. Azure glanced over at him from some printouts she was looking over. "No luck?"
Adam shook his head. "Nothing!" Billy agreed from over at his station. "Not a single sign of her. Where is she?"
Adam was about to say something, when one of the computers began to beep urgently. He glanced over at it, and a broad grin spread across his face. "I think I found her!"
"Where?" Billy was beside him a moment later. "Where is she?"
"It's coming up on the viewing globe," Adam said. The Rangers and Azure gathered around it, looking intently for any sign of Aura. Azure's eyes widened briefly.
"It looks like a small fountain," Aura was tied to a stake near it, while Zedd and Eric stood near-by, talking to each other.
"At a fountain," Billy mused. "Why there?"
I AM NOT SURE, BUT I FEAR THAT IS THE LEGENDARY FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH, Zordon told them.
"That's just a myth, isn't it, Zordon?" Billy asked, his eyes pleading with Zordon to be wrong. The Fountain of Youth. And my children not even born yet. This isn't going to happen; no matter what!
UNFORTUNATELY IT IS NOT. AND IT APPEARS THAT ZEDD HAS FOUND IT.
"Is there anyway we can teleport her out of there?" Azure asked. She wanted her sister home and safe; she was far too near to her due date for Rita and Zedd to be bothering with her!
Billy checked some figures on the computer, then shook his head. "It's blocked. We can teleport in, but we can't teleport her out."
Adam shook his head. "I don't like this. Zedd must want us to come in. He probably wants to try and get us into the Fountain."
Aisha shivered. "We go, he pushes us in. We don't, Aura loses not only the twins, but maybe her life as well. I say we go. We have to at least try to get her out of there!"
Billy nodded. "You're right, we're going! Now!"
"Let's do it then!" Tommy decided. "Azure, keep a lock on us, don't take your eyes off that lock!"
Azure nodded. "You got it!" she gave Adam a quick hug. "Come home safely, and with my sister!" * * *
"How long until the Rangers get here, Father?" Eric asked. "I can't wait to shove them all in!"
"They will be here soon," Zedd promised his son. He glanced over at Aura, who was alternately staring at the fountain, then at them. "So, how do you like the fountain, Amber Ranger? Looks good enough for a dip?"
"Why don't you go first?" Aura suggested. These chains are cutting into me. Ohhh. . .oh, that . . . oh, God, no! That was a labor pain! Not here, not now! I can't let Zedd know; if they suspect, they'll shove me into the Fountain right away! "The Rangers will stop your schemes, Zedd. Even after all this time, you haven't figured that out yet!"
Zedd laughed. "When the Rangers find you, they will learn they can't teleport you out. They have to come here to save you, and when they do. .. splish, splash!"
Aura spat at Zedd. "You can't and won't win, Zedd!"
"Hello, Zeddy, mind if I join in the fun?!" Rita appeared next to Zedd suddenly. She'd been bored on the moon, and decided to come down for some entertainment.
"By all means," Zedd smiled at his wife, as she glanced at Aura. Her eyes went wide as she did so; she saw what Aura was trying so hard to hide.
"Zeddy!" she breathed. Zedd looked over at her, raising what might have been an eyebrow in question. "It seems we're just in time! She's going to have those brats in only a few hours, or even less than that!"
"What!" Zedd stared at Aura, who couldn't hide the wince as another labor pain shot through her.
This is not happening to me, not now! Billy, where are you? I can't, I won't have these kids here! I have to be at the Heart!
"Get away from my wife!" Billy and the other Rangers were in a group not too far from Rita, Zedd, and Eric. Aura glanced over at them, and her protective instincts kicked in, even over the motherly instincts fighting to give birth to her children.
"Guys, it's a trap, get out of here now! Don't worry about me!"
Adam shook his head. "Sorry, can't do that, Aura!"
Rita laughed at Aura's attempt to help her friends. "Such nobility! It'll be the end of you, Amber Ranger, and your brats!"
Aura simply couldn't hold back the grunt of another labor pain. Billy yelled, "That's what you think!" but as he noticed the expression on Aura's face, he paled under his helmet. "Not now. .."
Aura chuckled. "Hey, it's not my idea, Billy! These kids want to fight Zedd and Rita, too, I think!'
"You mean she's having them, now?" Adam breathed. Aura nodded as she started trying to control the contractions. Rita nodded fiercely.
"Yes, she is, and if you even go near her, Eric will push her in!" the evil sorceress promised them. Billy winced, staring at his wife, already in the throes of childbirth.
"There are times I wish Azure had killed him," he muttered, watching as the three villains gloated over their victory. Adam stepped over to him.
"Any ideas?" the Black Ranger murmured. Suddenly their attention was all taken by Eric, as he started towards Aura, an evil grin on his face.
"Why wait?" he laughed, reaching out to push Aura into the fountain. Billy screamed denial, Adam yelled out, "You slime!" every Ranger wanted to move, but knew they were all too far away.
All but one. As Eric drew nearer her, rushing to get a good momentum going so he could knock her straight into the Fountain, Aura moved to one side, pulling the stake out of the ground and tripping Zedd's son. He lost his balance badly, and fell into the Fountain!
"Nooooooooo," Eric's cry faded away as he was youthened from a young adult, into a little boy, then back into a baby. Aura chuckled through a labor pain.
"Don't mess with a mother to be," she whispered. Adam smiled; Azure's wish had come true at last.
"And justice be done," he nodded to himself.
"This isn't happening!" Zedd roared. Aura couldn't help but laugh.
"I told you the Rangers would win, Zedd!" she reminded him. Zedd roared as he tried to pull Eric out of the water, only to have it shock him. "Only those who are of Earth, or who have human blood in them: like the children within me, can touch the Fountain of Youth! I can still call the Spirit of Earth, Zedd, even pregnant and near to birth. Do you want to face the Guardian of the Earth?"
Zedd glared at them as he staggered back from the fountain. "I will return, for you and for my son!" he and Rita both vanished. The Rangers headed over to Aura, slicing the chains off her and helping her to her feet. Aura grasped at Billy's arm suddenly.
"Billy, the Heart of Earth," she whispered. Billy looked at her a bit stupidly. "What?"
"Get me to the Heart of Earth now!"
"Azure, teleport us to the Heart of Earth now," Billy yelled into the communicator. A moment later, they were all standing in the heart of the world itself. The Spirit of Earth, Shaya, and the Robinsons, including Azure, were already there. As Aura arrived, the Spirit moved over to her without a single word, and joined with her, creating the Guardian of Earth, while Shaya and Jessica got started coaching Aura through the birthing of her children.
Billy and the other Rangers paced a little ways away, waiting through what seemed like forever. Almost half an hour later, the entire Heart seemed to glitter a little more brightly, and the air seemed just a bit clearer. A thin thread of music sparkled through the air, a song of welcome and life. Billy stared at the small group a few dozen feet away, and as he heard a tiny cry, his eyes went wide. "I'm a father," he whispered. Kat was heading towards them already, a small bundle in her arms.
"Billy, I'd like you to meet your son," she said, showing him the beautiful baby boy Aura had given birth to only minutes before. Billy looked at him, smiling.
"A son. Oh, he's beautiful!" Billy took the baby gently and looked at him. "He looks just like his mother!" Adam peeked over his shoulder.
"How cute! What's his name?"
Aura and Billy had discussed this over the past few months, especially once they'd learned the genders of the twins. "Everyone, I'd like you to meet Alexander Neras Cranston: the next Amber Ranger!" just as Billy said that, an amber pendent quite literally appeared out of thin air around Alexander's neck. "It. . .it looks just like Aura's!" Of course it does, Billy. Aura is the Amber Ranger, and so is your son. One day, he will defend the Earth as Aura does now.
Billy glanced over to see the Spirit standing next to him. She smiled at him, then turned her attention back to where Aura had just completed the birth of the second child. Azure handed the little baby girl up to her mother.
"Here's your daughter," she smiled. Aura took a deep breath and looked into the face of her child.
"Little Alaina," she whispered. "I cannot go by the name my parents gave me, so I give it to you, my daughter."
Billy came over, Alexander in his arms, and sat next to her. "She has her mother's eyes," he said softly, and indeed twin gray orbs shown from Alaina's small face. Aura smiled.
"Let me see Alexander, and you take Alaina over to the others."
"Okay," he smiled as they exchanged offspring, then kissed her on the forehead. "I love you, Aura."
"I love you, too, Billy," she sighed as she looked at Alexander. She touched his pendent lightly. "You are your mother's son, little one. You will have the training of the Amber Ranger from birth, as I never did. I love you, Alexander Neras Cranston."
She glanced up, and saw Shaya's eyes fill up with happy tears. "Thank you, Aura," Shaya told her. "There is no greater gift you could have given me than to name your son after the man I loved so much."
"You've never told me much about my father," Aura said. "And I've asked."
"You will know why I can't say much one day," Shaya promised her. There is so much I know that I can't tell you, Aura. But one day, you will know it all. I only wish you didn't have to go through what you must to learn it. But fate is fate. What will be, will be.
Shaya glanced over to where Billy was showing off his daughter to the other Rangers. She could hear him clearly saying, "Guys, I'd like you to meet Alaina Azure Cranston!"
Azure's eyes went wide as she heard that. "What is her middle name?" she breathed. Billy chuckled.
"Azure, it's Azure!"
Azure smiled and looked at her niece and namesake, who gurgled happily at her. Adam had told her of what had happened to Eric, and a shadow that had been in her eyes from the moment of his return had lifted at last. Shaya had told them, when she had a free moment, she was going to take Eric with her back to New Kalakan, where he would grow up a second time, preferably with a much better attitude this time around.
Adam curled his arms around his girlfriend, and tilted her head up to look at him. "Maybe one day," he smiled as he kissed her on the forehead. She knew what he was suggesting, and smiled. For the first time in many years, she truly felt free.
Aura cleared her throat. "Guys, the twins and I are very tired. Let's go home."
Billy nodded. "Let's go," after quickly cleaning up the few things they needed to, they all returned to Aura and Billy's apartment. It was January 1, and things really were starting over for everyone. * * *
"I can't believe this happened!" Zedd roared as he watched the happy birth of the Cranston twins. Rita was no less thrilled than he was over the way things had fallen out.
"It just all fell apart! It was a perfect plan, and things just fell apart!"
The entire throne room was glowing red as Zedd watched Shaya leave Earth the next day with Eric safely strapped into a cradle next to her. "My son," he whispered. "I will have my revenge for what they did to you, Eric, and I will bring you back to me one day!"
Rita muttered under her breath, "At least we're rid of one brat around here!" she returned her attention to the Cranston apartment, where Aura and Billy were falling asleep, each holding one twin in their arms. "Oh, they're so sickening!"
Zedd turned his gaze to the happy household. Hatred filled his heart and soul as he saw the peace that had wrapped each of them. "Not for much longer," he promised. I will have my revenge.