Billy quietly slipped Shaya into bed. Aura's parents were staying the night at their place, to take care of the kids while Aura and Billy recovered from the trip. "Now, to unpack," he said softly as he entered their bedroom.
Aura sighed from where she was starting to unpack. "I miss her already."
"I know," Mrs. Robinson nodded as she entered the room, Alaina on her arm. The younger twin was a living bundle of energy at times, it seemed! "But she'll be back," she glanced at her granddaughter. "Why don't I take you outside, and you can tell grandma all about your trip?"
Alaina nodded eagerly. "Mommy, when we can we go see the nice ghost lady again?"
"Sometime this weekend," Aura told her. _Ghost lady? I wonder if the Spirit of Earth knows that's what Alaina calls her?_
"They met her already?" Mrs. Robinson chuckled a little. "I thought you were waiting until they turned five," she knew Aura would know she was joking. "Come on, catch me up on everything," she told Alaina as they headed out the door.
Aura started to pull thing out of her suitcase. "Man, I wish I'd known about the Spirit growing up like those three are going to."
"It would've made life interesting," Billy admitted. Aura nodded.
"And a lot less complicated in some areas," she admitted. Something fell out of her bag as she unpacked. "Hey, what's this?"
Billy glanced down. "I don't know. . .it looks like. . .," his eyes widened. "Azure's communicator?"
Aura picked it up. "It is. And she left a note," she read the note quickly, then handed it to Billy, barely able to control herself. He groaned as he read.
"Man," he sighed. "We need to show this to Adam."
Aura nodded as she looked at the last line of the note again. "I
hope to see you again," she whispered it to herself as they started
to the Youth Center; Adam had said he was going there once he unpacked.
_You will see us again, Azure. I know it. But when?_
It hadn't taken Adam long to unpack, objectively, but it seemed as if it had already been an eternity since Hawaii. He walked into the Juice Bar and took a seat at the counter, not even noticing the other Rangers at their usual table. It took Rocky sitting next to him before he realized he wasn't alone there.
"So, how are you doing?" Rocky wondered. He hadn't known any of them were back from their trip yet!
"She's gone," Adam shook his head. _How am I doing? I'm dying inside, that's how I'm doing!_
"What?" Rocky didn't know what his oldest friend was talking about!
"She's gone, they're both gone!" Adam moaned. Rocky took a deep breath.
"Use names, please, Adam," it had always been hard to get Adam to focus on something when he was upset, and this was the most upset he obviously ever been.
"Azure and Katia."
The earth fell away from under Rocky. What in the world was going on? "Oh, man. .. why? Where'd they go?"
"Azure left," Adam whispered. "And took Katia. I don't know where they went, I don't know when they'll be back, all I know is that until they do, I'm going to be depressed!"
Rocky shook his head sharply. "No you're not! I know Azure, and she wouldn't want you to be depressed!"
"How am I supposed to be, then? My wife left me, took my kid, and I don't even know where they are!"
Rocky retorted, "And how is she going to feel when she comes back, and you're in a drunken stupor of depression?"
Adam sighed. "You've got a point."
"She'll be back," Rocky reassured him as Aura and Billy entered the Juice Bar. Aura headed straight over to Adam, worry in her gray eyes.
"Adam?" she said softly. "I found Azure's communicator in my luggage, and this." she handed him a note. As Adam read it, tears poured forth once again.
"This isn't happening," he whispered. "This isn't happening. Aura, please tell me this is just a cruel joke!"
Aura shook her head. "Adam, you know me better than that!"
Adam stared, sliding off his stool and landing on the floor. "She's gone then. . ."
"Adam, she'll be back!" Aura jerked him to his feet and almost hissed it. The one thing she had never been able to stand was people giving up.
"Will she?" Adam moaned. "You read that last line!"
Tommy and the others had joined them by now. "What's going on?" the White Ranger wondered.
"Look, if it'll make you feel better, I know a way to keep track of her, or at least make sure she's all right!" Aura insisted. Adam stared at her for a moment, then stormed out, eyes full of tears. Aura stared after him, then muttered a few nasty words under her breath.
"What's his problem?" Kim wondered. "What's going on?"
Aura sighed. "Azure took Katia and left for a while. She stuck her communicator in my luggage, and left this note."
"Man," Zack murmured. "Want me to talk to him?"
"Someone needs to!"
Aisha nodded. "I'll do it, I've known Adam the longest," before
anyone could say anything, she was out the door on Adam's heels. _I hope
she can do something,_ Aura thought. _I hate not being able to help, but
Adam just won't listen to me!_
Adam stormed through the park, sad and angry all at the same time. Sad for Azure had left him, angry that Aura wouldn't admit she might not come back. A soft voice called him back to reality. "Adam?"
He turned to see Aisha there. "What?"
"I refuse to let you go off into being depressed, Adam! She loves you, and she'll be back!"
"Like there's a whole lot you can do," Adam grumped. "How can you be so certain about her coming back? I love her, and I know she loves me, but with Rita and Vile out there, I'm not so sure I'll ever see my wife again."
Aisha sighed. "I know."
"Aisha," Adam stared up at the cloudless sky. "What am I going to do without her? Without them both?"
"You'll find something," Aisha urged him as they started walking.
Adam sighed. "There are times when I wish I could just walk away from being a Ranger. No second guessing myself if it was the right thing or not, if saving my marriage is more important than saving the world."
"I know," Aisha sighed. "I mean, I'm not married, but I know what you mean."
Adam was about to say something else, when they heard murmuring voices coming from behind a thicket of trees ahead of them. Adam frowned. "What's that?"
He peered briefly through the trees, and his eyes widened in shock. "Man," he whispered as Aisha joined him.
"What is it?" she wondered. He mouthed softly, "Rita
Rita glared at her father, this plan was definitely different! But she still had her doubts. "You think it'll work?"
"You kept saying it was her love that broke her free all those times. If she doesn't love them, then she won't break free!" Vile had considered this, and it seemed the most logical course of action to him. Rita shrugged.
"Then we do it while she still lived in Angel Grove. Before that stupid stepson of mine did that to her brat sister, that just made them closer!" she declared. Vile nodded.
"Then let's do it!" her father laughed. "And this time, no Power Rangers to stop us, because they'll all be children too!"
He raised his staff and swung it around his head in a full circle. Silvery
light burst from the tip to surround a twenty square yard area. With no
more than that, the two beings of evil headed for the past.
Aisha looked around as she and Adam were swept up in some force they couldn't define. "Oh, man, what happened?" she asked. Before Adam had the chance to answer, a childish voice spoke up, one he knew as well as he knew his own name.
"Hey!" he peered through the trees to see Azure: at a mere five years old, sticking her tongue out at an equally young Zack. Aisha looked, her eyes widening in shock.
"T. .they're kids!"
"Oh, man, what happened?" Adam wondered. Aisha shook her head.
"I don't know," she stared at Zack, biting her lip delicately. _Even at this age, he's cute!_ Adam's voice pulled her back to reality.
"We'd better see if we can teleport, maybe Zordon can help us,"
he suggested. She nodded and hit her communicator. They had to find out
what was going on.
As they appeared in the Command Center, the first thing they noticed was Zordon's booming voice. WHO ARE YOU? WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?
Adam was quick to speak up. "We're from the future. I am Adam, the Black Ranger, and this is Aisha, the Yellow Ranger."
FROM THE FUTURE? WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THIS TIME, THEN?
Adam shrugged. "We don't know. But we have a feeling that we're needed here, to save a future Ranger."
I WILL NOT ASK WHICH; IT COULD CAUSE DAMAGE TO THE TIMESTREAM, Zordon mused. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT SORT OF DANGER THIS FUTURE RANGER IS IN?
"Something to make them stop caring. If they do, it could spell trouble," Aisha told him. Zordon looked them over.
WHO IS DOING THIS?
"Rita Repulsa and Master Vile," Aisha reported. Zordon frowned.
THIS IS NOT GOOD. ANY SPELL THAT THEY ARE SUCCESSFUL IN CASTING WILL NTO BE EASY TO BREAK. WE MUST TRY AND MAKE SURE THEY DO NOT SUCCEED.
Adam nodded. "That's why we came here."
"We'll have to keep an eye on our friend," Aisha turned to
the Viewing Globe. This wasn't going to be a fun trip to the past, she
Rita and Vile stared at the little group of kids playing. Their target, Aura, was playing with Billy. Rita whispered, "We need to get her away from him!"
Vile was focusing on Billy and Aura still. "It's sickening, to think those two are going to breed!"
Rita shivered, then an idea hit her out of the blue. "What if we disguised ourselves as her parents?"
"Excellent!" Vile laughed. "She's so trusting, she'll come right along with us!"
Rita nodded. "Especially when we tell her that her sister is sick!" with a wave of her wand, Mr. and Mrs. Robinson stood there. They walked out towards the playground.
"Four-eyes!" Aura teased Billy; they both knew she didn't mean anything by it at all. She was the only person who didn't mean it when she teased him, except for her sister Azure.
"Aura!" she looked up to see her parents coming towards her.
"Mommy! Daddy!" she ran over to them happily.
"Time to go home," her 'mother' told her. "Your sister isn't feeling well."
Aura frowned. "What's wrong with Azure?"
"We're going to find out," she was told, as she took the extended hand.
"All right," Aura glanced back at Billy. "I'll see you later?"
"Okay!" Billy waved. "Hope Azure feels better!"
Aura nodded. "Me too! I don't' want her to be sick!"
"None of us do," Mr. Robinson said. _OH, I can't believe this, she's actually falling for it!_ "Come on."
"Is Azure at home?" Aura asked as she bounced along between her parents. "She didn't have to go to the doctor, did she?"
"She's at her friend's house," Mrs. Robinson replied. "Her mother called and told us."
"Oh, she's at Trini's house?" Aura asked. They were out of sight of the others now, and Rita and Vile no longer needed their disguise, which melted away like snow.
Aura screamed in fright at the two horrors now holding tightly by the arms. "Who are you? You're not my mommy and daddy!"
Rita growled, "You will be quiet!" _I hate noisy brats! Especially ones that are going to grow up to be Power Rangers!_
Aura started screaming for help at the top of her lungs, until with a wave of her wand, Rita silenced her. Wide-eyed and afraid, the six year old Amber Ranger-to-be stared as the sorceress began to cast her spell.
Long moments passed, and Aura went very still, the light of friendliness fading from her eyes. Vile laughed. "It's working!" almost as soon as he said, that, Aura went limp. All the warmth had vanished from face entirely.
"Oh, this is perfect!" Rita laughed as she dropped the tiny girl to the ground. "Let's go! Our work here is done!"
Vile rubbed his hands together wickedly. "I wonder what the world will be like when we get back? Better, at least. . for us!"
"Much better!" Rita agreed. With one wave of her staff, they
were back to the future.
As they appeared in the future they had made, or perhaps remade, Vile glanced around to see they had arrived in the Lunar Palace: which was standing! "A definite improvement since the last time I was here!"
Rita had never been so happy to see this place! "I wonder. ..," she mused, then headed into the main throne room. There on his throne was Zedd! "Zeddy!"
"Rita!" he turned to look at her. "Where have you been?"
"With father," she told him, coming over. She was actually glad to see the skinless creature she'd married! "He's come for a visit!"
Vile followed her in. "Hello, Lord Zedd! So how goes the domination of Earth?" _I certainly hope we succeeded in altering history!_
"Only a few places left to conquer, and it's all ours!" Zedd laughed heartlessly. Vile smiled.
"What of the Rangers?"
Zedd shrugged. "Oh, they try to stop me, but they're no match for my Ranger!" there was actual pride in his voice!
"Your Ranger?" Vile wondered. A cold, icy voice spoke up from behind them.
"Me, of course."
Rita and Vile both turned to see Aura coming up behind them. She bowed to Zedd, then went to stand in front of his throne. "I engaged the Rangers in battle again today, my lord," she reported, smiling nastily. "The White Ranger is dead now."
Rita laughed, the future they had made was wonderful! "This is perfect!"
"My Amber Ranger is the perfect warrior!" Zedd laughed. Goldar, who had been standing on the other side of Zedd, nodded.
"That she is, and then some!" Rita had never seen him look at Aura quite like that before! She bit her lip, surely that couldn't be. . ..
"Thank you, Goldar," Aura bowed a little to him, it was evident he was her superior officer. He nodded and came towards her.
"Come, we have plans to make!"
Aura laughed wickedly. "Yes, plans to finish off the Rangers!"
Zedd watched them go, almost smiling. "Those two," he muttered.
"Those two what?" Vile wanted to know. Zedd laughed.
"Once we've destroyed the Rangers, they're going to be getting married!"
Vile couldn't believe his ears, but he did like what he'd heard! "They're a perfect match!"
Oh, yes, he loved this new future!
Adam slammed his fist into the console at the Command Center as the scans came back in. "They got her!" _Aura doesn't care anymore! That means in the future, her love for Azure and Billy wont' help to break Zedd's spell over her! I don't even want to think over what THAT could do to history!_
"We're too late!" Aisha growled.
"Not unless there's a way to break it!" Adam looked up suddenly. Aisha shrugged.
"Vile's spells aren't easy to break," she said. "But there must be a way!"
Adam nodded. "We have to, but not reveal who we are," _we can't risk any of them recognizing us!_ "What if we disguised ourselves as someone they could trust? Get her confidence, and try to break it that way?"
Aisha thought for a moment. "A couple of police offers. Kids trust cops!"
"You wouldn't be able to disguise us, now would you?" Adam glanced to Alpha and Zordon. The little robot whirled around the Command Center in a style that it looked like would never change.
"I think I can find something, ay-yi-yi!"
Adam nodded. "Thanks," Alpha came up a few minutes later with two perfectly fitted Angel Grove PD uniforms.
"Thanks, Alpha, Zordon," Aisha told them. "I wish we could tell you more, but we just don't dare!"
I UNDERSTAND, Zordon nodded. AND YOU COMING HERE TO THIS TIME SHOWS ME THAT I DID MAKE A WISE CHOICE IN RANGERS.
As soon as Aisha had her disguise on, she glanced to Adam. "Okay, Adam, we've got a friend to save!"
Adam settled his hat on his head. "Let's do it, Officer Campbell!"
"Let's go, Officer Park!"
Azure Robinson was happily doing flips in the park, just a little ways away from her friends. She hadn't noticed her 'parents' leaving with Aura, and Billy was looking at her rather oddly when her sister joined them suddenly.
"Hey there!" Billy smiled at his friend, who glared at him icily.
"Go away!" she snapped harshly. Billy stared at her for a moment, then shrugged.
"Okay," He started to walk away, only to land flat on his face when Aura tripped him.
"Four-eyed geek!" she laughed meanly at him and Azure stared at her. She'd never seen Aura like this!
"Aura?" she asked. "Why'd you trip Billy?"
Aura snarled, "Keep out of this, brat!" all she wanted to do was hurt people, and it felt so good to be so bad!
"What?" Aura had never spoken harshly to her, not one single word! Billy got back to his feet and looked at his friend.
"What is with you, Aura?" he asked. "What have I done to perturb you?"
Aura knocked him back down. "I didn't say you could get up!" she told him. Azure looked around, then ran to the two cops she saw coming towards them.
"Sir," she said to the male cop. "Can you help me?"
"A. . .," Adam just barely prevented himself from calling her by her name. "What's wrong?"
"My sister and our friend, they're fighting!" she pointed over to where Aura had just pushed Billy down into the dirt again. Adam frowned a little, he'd seen Aura evil, but he'd never seen her just being a bully!
"We'll go talk to her," Adam said, heading over there. Azure thanked him and went with them, wanting to be sure Billy was all right. Aura was laughing and teasing her friend as they reached him, and her teasing was not the usual way she'd done it. It was almost as if those two bullies Bulk and Skull had been giving her lessons!
"Excuse me," Adam said. Aura was having too much fun pushing Billy down over and over again.
"What is it?" she asked.
"I think we need a little talk!" Aura looked up to see someone in a uniform there. She sighed; what did this adult want???
"Oh, all right," she groaned as she was ushered a few feet away from them. He looked harshly at her.
"Why are you picking on your friend?"
Aura snorted. "Cause he's a wimp!"
The officer shook his head. "Why is he a wimp? Cause he's a little different than you?" _Well, actually, a lot different! But you can't know what you are just yet. We're supposed to be fixing history, not changing it!_
"No!" Aura shook her head. "He. .he just is!"
"You know," Adam said thoughtfully. "People used to call me a wimp."
Aura looked up at him; how could anyone have though he was a wimp? "You?"
Adam nodded. "Yeah, me!"
Aura shook her head. "But. .. you're a police officer! They're not wimps!"
"And neither is your friend," Adam told her. Aura smiled, nodding a little. The spell that had frozen her heart faded with the strength of sense and love.
"I. ..I guess not," she murmured. She trembled a little, remembering the monsters that had made her so mean.
"What is it?" the officer asked quickly. Aura described the monster she'd seen quickly, and he nodded slowly. _Rita and Vile. Hope she's not scarred for life with this!_ "Yeah, those are monsters. I don't think they'll be bothering you for some time."
Aura shuddered. "I hope not. They scared me."
"If they do," Adam promised, "They've got two officers to contend with, remember that!"
"I hope they don't bother Azure or Billy," Aura sighed. "I don't want either of them hurt.
_The old Aura is back!_ "Want me to walk you and your friends home?"
"Please, Officer. ..what is your name, sir?"
"Officer Park," Adam told her. "My partner is Officer Campbell."
"Thank you, Officer Park," Aura gave him a quick hug, which he returned. It was strange looking at her, and seeing in the childish features the face of his future friend. They went back to the others.
"We got everything settled," Adam told them. "Something you want to say to your friend?" he glanced to Aura.
"I'm sorry, Billy," she said softly. He nodded and smiled.
"It's all right."
She hugged him quickly and smiled. "You're my best friend, Billy! I don't know why I said all those things!"
Aisha whispered to Adam, "Kind of funny knowing what they're going to be to each other."
"I wonder if they'll even remember this?" he wondered in return. Azure glanced over at Azure as she thanked him. "You're welcome. Come on, let's get you home!"
The walk was quick, and it was all Adam could do not to talk to Azure the whole time. His eyes never left her, though. Once they were there, Adam told them, "We've got to get going now. We'll see you around!"
The kids waved and went into their respective houses, as Adam and Aisha
went out of sight and teleported back to the Command Center. They'd set
"Thanks for the use of the disguises," Adam told them. "It worked wonders! That Ranger is back to their old self!"
WELL DONE, MY FUTURE FRIENDS, Zordon told them approvingly.
Adam nodded. "It's time for us to return."
WE WILL SEE YOU IN THE FUTURE THEN, Zordon smiled a little. It was nice to know they were going to make such fine Rangers.
Adam smiled a little bit. "I look forward to it, Zordon. Let's
go, Aisha." Alpha punched a few buttons, and shifted them forward
in time. Whatever Rita and Vile had hoped for, was going to be gone now
that Aura was back to normal.
In the lunar palace, Rita's eyes went with shock as Zedd vanished, Aura vanished, and the entire palace turned to rubble around them. "What's going on?" she wailed.
"What is this?" Vile was no more pleased than she was!
"Those Rangers!" Rita screeched. "They must have somehow returned Aura to her normal caring self!"
Vile turned his attention to Earth and growled. "How sick!" Aura and Billy were kissing!"
Rita looked, and she saw something that made her much happier: Adam was moping in a corner. "At least one Ranger isn't happy! Now if we can just keep Azure away!"
Vile laughed. "Let's just kill Adam! If we do that, even if she comes back, there's one less Ranger, period!"
"Yes!" Rita howled, as she and her father laughed hideously
together. Such an evil pair they made!
Billy held his wife lovingly, staring into her eyes as she stared back. It was a glorious day in the park, just the two of them. "I love you so much, Billy," she whispered.
"You know. ..I was thinking about something," Billy murmured. "Actually, more like two people."
"Who?" Aura's thoughts were not on the past at the moment.
"Remember a time when you and I got into a fight, and Azure brought these two officers over?" he remembered.
Aura nodded. "That was a long time. .. ," she went pale as the memory she'd suppressed for years returned in full force.
"What is it?" Billy asking, holding her tightly.
"R. .Rita and Vile. . .I remember," she whispered, shaking badly.
"What about Rita and Vile?" Billy couldn't remember seeing her this shaken up in a while. "What's going on?"
Adam and Aisha joined them as Billy tried to get some answers out of her. Aura looked at them, eyes widening in shock. "It was you two!"
"What?" Adam tried to be confused.
"Aura, you're making no sense right now!" Billy protested. Aura took a deep breath.
"Billy, what you said. The two cops who stopped us from fighting. It was Adam and Aisha, or someone who looked just like them! And the reason I was fighting you, was Rita and Vile!"
Adam managed to hide a smile. "She's right, it was us."
Aura closed her eyes, shaking in memory. "They did something to me. I didn't care about anyone or anything!"
"Somehow, we got caught in their little timetravel thingie," Aisha explained. "And we broke. . .well, Adam broke, the spell they placed on Aura."
Aura smiled and gave Adam a hug. He was almost amazed at how much her strength had increased over the intervening years. "Thanks, Officer Park."
Adam sighed. "No problem. It was weird seeing Azure again. Even if it was when she was five years old."
He glanced towards the lake, glittering in the golden sunlight. Without even noticing it, his feet took him there, while his mind remembered the countless times he and Azure had been there together. Behind him, Aura sighed.
"He'll be okay. I hope."