Azure Robinson Park opened the door to her apartment and looked around. "Adam?" she called out. When no answer came in return, she shoved her suitcase in the closet, and headed for the phone.
"Hello?" Aura's voice was very welcome in Azure's ear at that moment. She chuckled a bit.
"Guess who's back!"
"Azure!" Aura had never sounded happier, to Azure's knowledge.
"Right on the first guess!" Azure laughed merrily. "I've missed you, Aura!"
Aura replied, "And I've missed you. But not as much as Adam has!"
Azure smiled, several things had come clear to her while she was gone. "And I've missed him the most of all. Especially this past week! Aunt Kate sends her love, by the way."
"Glad to hear it," Aura smiled. She loved her sister so much. "How's Katia?"
"Oh, she's fine," Azure told her. "I dropped her off at Mom and Dad's before I came home; I've got some plans for me and Adam tonight," she chuckled a little. "You know, I think we may need a bigger apartment soon," Azure mentioned as she wandered around the house, phone in hand.
"Nothing," Azure said innocently, hoping Aura took the hint. "Just commenting."
Aura chuckled. "Azure, you're pregnant?"
"Three months to the date!" Azure had known her sister for years, and she had known Aura would be able to figure out what she was saying. "I'm glad you talked me into spending that last night with Adam!"
Aura giggled. "I know he'll be glad too!"
"Speaking of that husband of mine, where is he?" Azure wondered. She was a little surprised to see he wasn't moping around the house, surprised and glad both.
"Helping out Rocky with the kids," Aura told her. They would probably be back later in the day, she continued.
Azure grinned, some things never changed. "Ah, Rocky's baby-sitting again?"
"Yeah, it's good practice for him," Aura nodded half to herself, half to the voice on the other end of the phone.
"If and when he had a kid of his own," Azure replied. _Wonder if he and Kat have stayed together. They're really in love._ She almost didn't hear the next sentence Aura said.
"Yeah, the next three months are going to go by awfully fast for him and Kat," the Amber Ranger spoke almost absently.
"Aura?" Azure snapped. "Is there something I should know?"
Aura laughed at herself. "Oh, that's right, you don't know! Kat's pregnant!"
"Oh, man!" Azure smiled, this was great news! "I'm going to head over there, not just to see my husband, but to offer congratulations. If any of the Rangers call, don't tell them I'm back, I want it to be a surprise."
"It's a deal," Aura giggled a little. Azure almost frowned, Aura seemed just a little too happy over something.
"I'll see you tonight? Unless there is something else you want to tell me?"
Aura laughed. "See you tonight!"
"Aura? What aren't you telling me?" Azure was starting to wonder a few things now!
"Nothing, nothing at all!" Aura said sweetly. Azure chuckled, she knew that tone in her sister's voice.
"I bet. I'll see you later! Bye!" as they hung up, Azure smiled
happily. She'd made her choice, she was staying here with Adam, where she
belonged. Where she loved, and was loved. "This is perfect,"
she sighed. "Nothing can ruin this day."
"She's back?" Rita raged, not wanting to believe her eyes. How could this be happening?'
"Oh, great!" Vile muttered. Couldn't these girls ever be kept down? What would it take to destroy them? "And she's pregnant!"
Rita stiffened suddenly. "This could be better than imagined," she smiled. Vile nodded, if Rita had a plan, he wanted to hear about it!
"She'll be easy prey!" he declared. Rita agreed.
"We kidnap her, Adam will coming willingly! And we kill him!" she cackled evilly. _And that is just the beginning! Just the tip of the iceberg!_
"Yes!" Vile crowed. The Rangers would be defeated at last, there was no way the Rangers could stop them!
"Rito!" Rita screeched. "Get in here, now!" a moment later, the camouflaged skeleton slouched in.
"Yeah, sis?" he asked. Rita glared at him for a moment, it was hard for her to believe they were related!!
"I want you to get the Black Ranger's wife, and bring her here to me!" she ordered. Rito nodded and started off. "Go! Take some Tengas with you! Do not fail me this time!"
"Awww, come on, when have I ever failed?" Rito asked. Rita stared balefully at him.
"You don't really want me to answer that, do you?"
Azure walked through the park, humming to herself. She looked up to see Tommy and Aisha walking towards her and smiled.
"Aisha!" Tommy looked ahead and was surprised at who he saw. "You see who I see?"
Aisha nodded happily. "Yeah, it's Azure! She's back!"
They were about to head over to her, when Rito and a batch of Tengas appeared all around her. Azure screamed in outrage. "Not again!"
As they grabbed her, Rito laughed, "Yup, again!"
Azure rolled her eyes, fighting with all her strength. "Tommy, Aisha! Help!" as the two Rangers ran towards her, Rito laughed.
"Sorry, Rangers!" he, Azure, and the Tengas vanished just as Aisha and Tommy ran up. The White Ranger growled under his breath.
"Damn. . .let's get to the Command Center."
Vile laughed with foul and twisted glee as Rito and the Tengas dragged Azure into the throne room. Azure glared at them both. "Great, my first day back, and already I have to see the universe's biggest idiots!"
"Now, now, now," Vile chuckled. "That's no way to speak if you want to see your husband. . .in one piece."
Azure stopped. "What? What did you do to Adam?" _If they've hurt him. . .if they've done anything to him. ..I'll destroy them!_
"Nothing, yet," Rita told her. "Burt you're going to be the bait to bring him here!"
Vile laughed at Azure's disbelief. "He'll do anything to keep you safe: even die!"
"Leave him alone!" Azure lashed out with a kick aimed directly where Aura had always preferred to kick male villains. It worked just as well on him, and Azure managed a small smile.
"Rito!" Rita bellowed, "chain her up! And if she tries anything. . .kill her unborn child!"
As Rito chained Azure to the wall, Vile managed to recover himself enough to hiss, "We should just go on and do that!" he did not like where she had kicked him!
Azure's eyes went wide. "No! Not that!" _My child must live!_
"Then behave yourself, girl!" Vile growled. Azure quieted
down and leaned against the wall, tears sparkling in her eyes.
In the Command Center, Tommy looked at Adam, who wasn't sure quite why they'd all been called here. "You want the good news or bad news first?" he asked.
"Good news," Adam said, glancing to where Aura was pacing back and forth. Tommy took a deep breath.
"Azure's back in Angel Grove."
Adam practically exploded with happiness. "Yes!" he declared, eyes dancing with glee. Tommy continued reluctantly.
"The bad news is that Rita and Vile have her."
Adam stopped in his tracks. "I'm going to kill them," he said flatly. Tommy sighed a little.
"I was waiting for that. We'll get her back, Adam, I promise!"
Aura looked over at them and growled, "Take a number, Adam!" she looked far more worried than she ever had before when Azure was in danger. Adam looked at her, and could tell in a moment something was up.
"What's wrong? What aren't you telling me, Aura?"
Aura sighed. "Azure called me. She's pregnant again, Adam."
Adam's eyes went round. "What?" _I'm gonna be a dad again!!!!_ "If they hurt, either of them. . ..they're toast!"
"This probably isn't' the right time to say it," Aura glanced at Billy. "But. . .so am I."
"What?" Billy didn't believe his ears.
Aura said it again. "I said, so am I. I'm pregnant again, Billy."
Before Billy could respond, a hissing voice came from the Viewing Globe behind them. "Hear me, Black Ranger!"
They all turned to see Vile glaring at them. Adam snarled, "Vile, if you hurt Azure. . . "
Their enemy laughed. "Surrender," he stepped aside to show a very ticked-off Azure chained against a wall. "And she lives!"
"Don't do it, Adam!" Azure screamed. Adam was shaking in fear.
"Azure, I can't let them hurt you, or the baby!"
She shook her head. "I'm not important!" she protested. "Katia needs you, the Rangers need you!"
Adam was having none of that. "And I need you!"
"How touching!" Vile mocked. "It's enough to make me sick! You have one hour to decide!" the Globe went black a moment later. Adam growled an insult so vile they all paled for a moment.
"This time they've gone too far!" Tommy slammed a fist into the console. Billy was already scanning for Azure, in a rhythm he knew in his bones by now.
"Man, where do they have her?" he murmured.
Aura suggested, "Try where they had me. That's where they took the kids that time, but no guarantees they'll do it again."
Billy shook his head. "Already did, not there!" Aura started to pace again, fighting the strangest urge she had to go grab a piece of kelp and nibble on it.
Adam sighed deeply, staring at the Viewing Globe and Billy alternately. "I want my wife back!"
Aisha laid a hand on his shoulder. "We'll get her back, Adam."
Azure couldn't believe what she'd heard Aura saying. _Again? We're both pregnant at the same time? Again?_
Rita growled in outrage, she didn't like this one bit! "I don't believe this! How many is she going to have?"
"I don't know," Vile shook his heads. "But I can use this to our advantage. The Rangers are no doubt planning a rescue of our young prisoner," he leered at Azure. "We distract them."
"Ohhhhh. . ..what sort of evil plan do you have in mind, Father?"
Vile explained, "Kidnap the eldest, take him to a cave, and lure her there. While she is trying to save him, create a cave-in, and while the Rangers are scrambling to get them out of there, she and her son will both be here!"
Rita laughed evilly. "They'll be wasting their time while we have her, her brat, her sister, and the Black Ranger, who will no doubt be rushing here as soon as the others' backs are turned!"
"No doubt!" Vile chuckled, then turned to gaze at Azure. "Rita? What do you say we kill her anyway?"
"Excellent!" Rita approved of this sort of thinking. "But we shall wait until her husband gets here, so he can see us do it!"
"First the unborn child, then it's mother, then it's father!" Vile ticked off in the order they would commit their nefarious acts. Azure screamed.
"No! Leave my child alone!"
"Yes!" Rita retorted. Azure closed her eyes, thinking about the two people she loved most in the world: Aura and Adam. Rita laughed, then screamed, "Rito! Another mission for you, dear brother!"
"What is it?" Rito wondered. He'd done enough, hadn't he? He'd gotten them the Black Ranger's wife. Now he had to do more work?
"Go snatch the Amber Ranger's oldest kid, and take him there,"
Rita pointed out a cave she wanted to use. Rito nodded and bounced off
in a blast of black light. This would be an even easier job!
Mrs. Robinson turned back to Alex and handed him his dinner. "Your mom will be home soon," she reassured her grandchildren. Aura had called her up not long before and told her to come over and watch the kids for a while, she had to go to 'work'. Knowing Aura, that meant Vile and Rita were up to something. Jessica sighed a little.
_I wish those monsters would just leave my girls alone. They've been through so much. They need time to rest, time to heal from the damage inflicted on them. Something really needs to be done._
"Grandma!" Alaina shrieked, and Jessica whirled to see the bone-monster she'd seen a few other times grabbing Alex by one arm.
"Let him go, you monster!" she shrieked, grabbing a broom. Rito backed away, Alex in tow.
"We're outta here!" was all he said as he and the heir to
the Amber Ranger powers vanished. Mrs. Robinson's language turned her granddaughter's
cheeks cherry red in pure shock.
"Any luck on finding a way to get her out of there?" Adam asked for the fifth time in as many minutes. Billy shook his head.
"Nothing yet," he paused for a moment as someone teleported into the Command Center.
"Mom?" Aura looked at Mrs. Robinson. "What is it?" Alaina and Shaya were wrapped in her arms, and looking scared. "What's happened?"
Mrs. Robinson looked angry! "That skeleton, Rito, he took Alex!" she told them. Aura's eyes flashed with anger
"He did what?" she murmured softly. Everyone took a step back; when Aura spoke that calmly, she was closest to exploding with anger. She turned to the scanners that weren't involved in the search for Azure, and quickly located her son. "I'm going to go get him."
"Aura, no!" Billy told her. "That's a trap, plain and simple!"
"I don't care," she replied, looking at him. "Alex is my son. I couldn't rescue him the last time they had him, but I will this time. They'll regret threatening any member of my family."
Billy opened his mouth to keep up, but Aura laid a finger on his lips. "I'm going." she was gone before he could say or do anything else about it. He looked at the others.
"I wish her luck," was all Aisha said.
Aura appeared just outside the cave and listened carefully for a few moments. She heard Alex screaming at the top of his lungs. No frightened wails this, he was insulting Rito with a skill she hadn't known a two year old could possess! "Your mommy dresses you funny!" was the very least of what he was saying.
"My son," she chuckled softly. "I really have to teach him some better insults than that."
She quietly crept into the cave, unmorphed, but with every sense extended for anything that could go wrong. She saw Alex and Rito up ahead of her, and paused, checking for traps all around. Rito had her son in a small cage, and she growled lightly at that. _I just might shove HIM into that thing! How dare they do this!_ She was fully aware she wasn't thinking at her clearest, but hoped by being aware of it she'd be able to compensate. There was something missing here, something she wasn't getting, and she didn't like that one bit!
"Well, well, well, if it isn't the Amber Ranger!" she looked behind her to see Goldar standing there. "Long time, no see, my enemy!" he growled as he grabbed her firmly. "Don't you even try to struggle!" he warned her as he dragged her over to her son and Rito. "Or your little brat will pay the price!"
"Mommy!" Alex screamed when he saw her being forced over to him. "Mommy, I wanna go home!"
Aura broke from Goldar and ran over to him, reaching through the bars. "We'll go home, Alex. We're going to go home soon."
"Oh, I don't think so!" Goldar told them. "Rita and Vile have plans for the both of you, as well as that brat sister of yours and her husband!!"
"If you harm either of them, or my son," Aura said quietly, "I will personally see to it that you are all dismembered."
Goldar laughed as he took a grip on her arms again, while Rito opened the cage to grab Alex. "I don't think so!"
As they teleported out, Aura noticed a cave-in beginning. Their plan
was crystal-clear to her now: first Azure to lure Adam, then Alex to lure
her. The Rangers would be too busy trying to find the two of them in the
cave-in to pay full attention to Adam, who would be sneaking off to get
to Azure at his first opportunity. For a brief moment, she appreciated
their cunning. Then she smiled. _Cunning as they are, they're in for one
major shock! The Guardian of the Earth is no one to trifle with!_
"NO!" Billy cried out in shock. "This isn't happening!"
"What is it?" Tommy jerked his head over to the young genius. "What's going on?"
"It's Aura," he told him. "Aura and Alex. The cave they were in has started to collapse!"
Aisha's eyes widened. "Teleport them out, Billy!" she cried. "Now!"
He shook his head. "I can't! I can't get a lock on them!"
Rocky bit his lip, and Kat held his hand tightly. "We've got to get them out of there, somehow!" she murmured. She turned to see how Adam was dealing with this, and frowned. She knew he'd been next to her just a few moments earlier. Now where was he? "Has anyone seen Adam?"
Tommy glanced around, and paled. "He's gone!"
Billy growled. "This is Rita and Vile's work, I know it!"
it was the last thing he said as he got to work finding his wife, son,
best friend, and sister-in-law. _If they're hurt, any of them, I'll LEVEL
the palace, I swear it by all that's holy, I will!_
Aura managed to get Alex away from Rito and held him tightly to her as they appeared in the Lunar Palace. The first two things she saw were Azure, chained to a wall, and Adam next to her, glaring at Rita and Vile. "Well, well, well, so glad you could join us, Amber Ranger!" Rita gloated. Aura growled at her, holding her son close.
"Mommy, I want to go home!" he cried. Aura nodded, glancing over to Azure and Adam. She smiled a little at her sister.
"Hey, sis, I hear we're both expecting again," Azure grinned at her a little in response. "Ready to get out of here?"
"I've been ready since I got here!" Azure told her. "And having no-brain here show up made me even more ready!" she glanced tenderly at Adam to take the sting out of her words.
"Hey, I couldn't just let you die!" he protested. How could she have even though that he wouldn't come? Didn't she know him at all?
"Oh, that's more than enough of a reunion!" Vile had more than had enough of this! "Time to die, all of you!"
Rita nodded, waving her staff threateningly at Azure. "And I think we should start with this brat!"
"No!" Adam put himself in front of his wife, protecting her. "You're not going to hurt her!"
"Monkey-boy!" Vile roared. "Get that Ranger out of the way!" Goldar was about to grab Adam when Aura knocked him away and took her place in front of her sister.
"No one. .but no one. . .touches my family," she whispered, eyes blazing with rage. "You have kidnapped my son, my sister, lured my brother-in-law here, and that's just what you've done today. I'm not even going to mention what you've done in the past. It's time for this to stop."
Rita laughed. "Oh, really? And just what do you think you're going to do about it?"
Aura smiled a little. "Oh, I've got something I can do. It works a little like this," she closed her eyes, starting to concentrate, calling on the Spirit of Earth. Vile growled savagely; he'd seen this before.
"I don't think so!" a bolt lashed out from his staff to knock Aura off her feet and into unconsciousness. Azure screamed in outrage, then stiffened suddenly, paying no attention to the laughter of Vile and Rita. Instead, she heard within her mind, a very familiar voice.
_Rita and Vile must be stopped,_ the Spirit of Earth whispered to her and Alex. She knew it spoke to Alex, without knowing how she knew. She smiled as the manacles that had held her to the wall melted away, along with the icy fear inside of her. She ran over to Aura and glared to Vile. "If you've hurt her or her unborn child, you will pay!"
Alex ran to her, obviously excited. "Aunt Azure! I heard the ghost lady in my head!"
Azure nodded. "So did I. I think I know what we must do, too."
Aura's eyes flickered, and opened. "Uhhhh. . .that hurt. . .," she whispered. Alex smiled.
"What do we do?"
Azure took a deep breath. She had hoped this would never happen again, but now it was. It was time to end this war, once and for all. "Open yourself to her. Invite her into you."
Alex nodded, and did it. A moment later, so had Azure. Aura glanced at the two Guardians next to her, and smiled as her gaze turned to their enemies. "You're in trouble now, Vile!" was all she said as she too joined with the Spirit, to become the third and final Guardian.
"Uh-oh," was all Vile said, as Rita stared, and Rito showed one of the few marks of intelligence he ever had, and ran as fast as he possibly could out of there.
Guardian-Aura observed the two left. "This has gone on long enough," she spoke dispassionately. Guardian-Alex agreed, sounding far older than his years. Guardian-Azure nodded.
"Much too long!"
"This will end, now!" Guardian-Aura declared.
"Once and for all!" Guardian-Alex nodded, as did Guardian-Azure. "Let's do it!" Guardian-Aura raised her hand, as did the others. Three blasts of energy poured forth from them, enveloping Rita and Vile, and reducing them to nothing but dust.
Adam stared at what had been their enemies, then looked over at the Guardians. He took a deep breath. "You mean we're retired again?"
As the Spirit left them all, Aura nodded. "I think so. And this time, it's for good," Azure sank to her knees as Aura spoke, and Adam ran to her, taking her in his arms.
"Azure," he whispered. "It's finally over."
She smiled at him. "I take it you know my little surprise."
Adam nodded, smiling. "Yeah, I do. We're going to be parents again."
Aura came over, Alex in her arms. "Come on, guys, let's go home!"
"It's going to be good to be where I belong again!" Azure smiled as she leaned against Adam, and whispered to him, "Mom and Dad said they'd watch Katia until tomorrow afternoon! She's there now!"
Adam smiled a little. "It'll be so good to have you home!"
The little group reappeared in the Command Center, Azure held tightly in Adam's arms, as Alex was held in Aura's. "Hey, guys!" Azure smiled at them as they materialized.
Billy came over to them, eyes wide with relief, and hugged his wife and son. "Hi, Billy!" Aura smiled. "Guess what!"
"What?" he wondered what was going on now!
"We're retired!" Aura sighed happily. "Permanently this time!"
"About time!" Billy sighed as he kissed her with all the love and passion in the world; a kiss equaled only by Azure and Adam sharing one a few feet away. Adam leaned back and looked at Azure, drinking in the sight of her glittering eyes.
"Finally. At least. Peace."
Azure glanced over to the Rangers. "I've missed you all, but I really want to get home right now! I'll see you all tomorrow!"
"We understand!" Tommy giggled. "Have fun, you two!"
Azure gave him a serious look, then turned to Adam. "We are going to have to talk first."
"Okay," Adam looked somewhat nervous at that. "Talks" with Azure weren't always wonderful!
Azure smiled at him. "It's nothing bad," she touched her stomach. "It's about this little fellow. Among other things."
"Okay," he sounded, and was, very relieved! "Let's go!"
Azure reached into one of her bags and pulled out a box. Turning to Adam, who sat on the edge of the bed watching her, she said, "I got you something!"
"Really?" he loved to buy her things, and was rather surprised she'd turned the tables on him!
"It's not much," she smiled. "Just an old martial arts book. But I saw it, and thought of you."
"I couldn't stop thinking about you!" Adam smiled at her. _Especially not when I went into the past, and saw you. You were beautiful even then._
"Neither could I," Azure admitted. "I missed you so much."
"And I missed you," Adam couldn't believe how much he'd missed you! His heart had died when he had read the note she'd written. "Oh, while you were gone. . .," he filled her in on Rita and Vile's attempt to change the past. When he was done, she smiled, laughing.
"That officer was you!"
"You remember," he grinned, glad he had stuck in her mind all those years.
"I always wondered why he almost said my name," Azure told him. It had always intrigued her, and she remembered now why he had looked so familiar that first day in the Angel Grove cafeteria.
Adam found himself blushing, something he hadn't done much recently. "I'm just glad I could help." Azure sat next to him on the bed.
"There is so much I need to tell you," Azure sighed, leaning against him. Adam put an arm around her and kissed her gently on the forehead.
"We've got forever."
Azure snuggled close to him. "We do, don't we?"
Adam nodded. "Thanks to you, to Aura, and to Alex."
Azure smiled and kissed him again; she had missed being with him! "You know what? I could go for some butter pecan ice cream right about now!"
Adam thought for a moment, then smiled. "There's none in the house; I could go buy some." _Cravings. If I didn't already know, I'd swear she was pregnant!_
"Thanks!" Azure smiled at him. "I'll finish unpacking while you're gone!" Adam smiled, and was down to the store and back within five minutes. He found Azure curled up on the bed, paging through a photo album.
"Hey!" she smiled up at him as he sat down, holding out the bag with the ice cream. "OH, thanks! You know, I never used to eat this stuff!
"I know," Adam smiled as they kissed again. He glanced at the photo album. "What are you looking at?"
She chuckled a little. "Some old photos my Aunt dug up for me. This one is Aura," she pointed to a picture of Aura, at thirteen, hanging out of a tree!"
"Billy would love to see that one!"
Azure shook her head. "If I showed it to him, Aura would kill me!"
"Now why is that?" Adam wondered. "I don't think you two have ever had a series fight since I've known you."
Azure finished up a dish of her ice cream, then closed the book. "It's not about a fight. It's the story behind that picture," she kissed him again, leaving a whitish smear on his lips. "But that's enough talk about the past. Let's just work on the future. Our future!"
Adam nodded smiling. _Now that we have a future. Together._ "We're going to be parents again."
Azure smiled. "Again," she kissed him once more, passionately and deeply. "I love you, Adam Park."
Adam returned the kiss. "I love you, Azure Park."
Aura slipped Alex into his bed and pulled the covers up over him tightly. She smiled a little sadly, then glanced up as Billy came in. "You okay?"
She nodded. "Saving the world's a habit by now."
"One we're going to have to break. Hopefully, never to pick up again."
Aura sighed, looking down at Alex as he slept. "But he'll still have to be trained, just in case." _I won't fail my duty to my world, or my family._
"Come on," Billy gestured towards the door. "Let's let him sleep in peace," once she was out the door, he placed a hand on her stomach. "How far along are you?"
She smiled; she'd never really shown her pregnancies that much. "About six months. I'm surprised you haven't noticed!"
"So am I," Billy smiled. "But then again, we've both been a little busy."
Aura nodded, seeming a bit distracted over something. "You know, I think we're going to have to get a much bigger house."
"Yeah," Billy grinned. "If you keep getting pregnant, we are definitely going to have to!"
Aura smiled weakly. "And I am going to keep having kids! It literally runs in my family, on my father's side, anyway. I get a lot more from him than just the inherited ability to kick major bad guy butt it seems."
"I'm glad the Spirit was able to heal that in both you and Azure," Billy smiled; just after the defeat of Zedd and Eric, the Spirit had healed both Aura and Azure so they could have children again, despite what the two scum had done to them.
"So am I," Aura smiled, then grew serious. "Ummmm. . .Billy. . .I talked to the Spirit after I found out I was pregnant again."
"What did she say?"
"That's what I meant by a bigger house," Aura sighed, a smile teasing her lips. "It seems every female Amber Ranger in existence, since the first time one was an Amber Ranger, has had at least ten kids."
"Ten?" Billy stared at her in pure shock and wonderment. Aura nodded. "A much bigger house, it seems!"
"Yeah," Aura smiled, then frowned a little. "I also found out something else."
"What?" Billy frowned himself; he didn't like it when Aura was upset over something.
It took her a few moments to speak the words. "I. . .I'm not human, Billy. We've known that for years. ..," she paused for a moment, but he could plainly tell she had more to say.
"I know," Billy nodded. "You're Kalakan, we've al known that for years."
She couldn't look at him when she said the next part. "K. .Kalakan lifespans are nearly twice that of humans, Billy."
Billy smiled, and held her hand. "Then we spend what time we have together, and enjoy it. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the universe."
"Neither would I," Aura said, finally looking at him, and smiling. "I Love you, Billy. Do you know. .once I thought to change history so I grew up on Kalakan, and never knew you."
"I'm glad you didn't."
Aura smiled. "So am I. I wasn't thinking clearly then." Billy kissed her passionately and lovingly, enfolding her in arms so full of love it didn't matter if she lived a minute or a century beyond him, so long as she was with him now. "I love you."
Neither one ever knew which of them said that at that moment. They also
never cared. It was enough that it had been said.
Six months passed, with nothing but peace enveloping their world. Once again, Zordon had decided they would keep their powers for a year after the threat was gone. Should no one else threaten their world, then the Power Rangers would be retired. They would also be on the lookout for successors, since they were all truly going on with their lives.
Aura had given birth to her second son, whom they named William Adam Cranston. Two weeks later, Kat had given birth to her daughter: Kimberly DeSantos. She and Rocky had been married a week later. The two of them were visiting with Azure and Adam, showing off the offspring, one fine spring morning.
"Hello, little William," Azure smiled at her nephew, then glanced over to Kat. "How is little Kimberly?"
"Just fine," Kat smiled. "She's already eating like her father!"
"I can just imagine!" Azure giggled, then stiffened a little. "Adam?"
"Is it time?" Adam looked at her, jumping up. Azure nodded. "I think so!"
They were on their way to the hospital less then five minutes later. In the delivery room, Azure screamed in agony, holding on to Adam's hand with all her strength. "Come on, Azure, it's almost over," he reassured her.
"You are going to pay for this, Adam!" she hissed. Adam smiled and nodded.
A few long moments passed, with Azure pushing when necessary. She relaxed when she heard the baby's cry, and smiled at Adam's quick asking of, "What is it, what is it?"
"It's a lovely girl!" the doctor reported, and Adam took a long look at his second daughter's face.
"As beautiful as her mother," Adam sighed happily, then carried her over to Azure. The new mother smiled beatifically.
"Hello there, Jennifer Aura Park," she whispered. Adam kissed them both gently.
"Welcome to a peaceful world," he told her. Azure's smile lit the room up as she leaned against Adam. "I love you, Azure."
"I love you, Adam," Azure never tired of hearing that, or saying it. "Think Aura wants to see her niece?"
"And namesake," Adam giggled a little. "You haven't told her that part yet, have you?"
"No," Azure shook her head. Adam smiled and returned a few moments later with Aura in tow. "Hey there! Aura, I'd like you to meet your newest niece: Jennifer Aura Park."
"Azure!" the elder woman's eyes were wide. "You didn't have to name her that!"
Azure nodded. "I did. A thank you for saving my life all the times you did. Besides, you gave Alaina my name as a middle name!:
"That was a thank you for saving my sanity!"
Azure smiled and held her daughter out. "Want to hold her?" Aura smiled and took the babe. "Here you go, Jeni. . Say hello to your Aunt Aura!"
As Jeni cooed at her aunt, Aura smiled. "Hey there, kiddo. You don't know it yet, but your parents are heroes!"
Azure smiled and drifted off to sleep. Aura gently slid the baby back over to Adam, and whispered. "Come on. There's a couple of people outside you should meet."
Once they were out in the waiting room, Adam saw two unfamiliar people, a man and woman, seated and talking with the Rangers. The woman held a baby in her arms, and they both seemed very happy.
"Who are they?" Adam wondered. Aura smiled.
"A more accurate question would be, who were they!" she corrected him. Adam smiled and asked it again. "Scorpina and Rito. Or as they're known now, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Smith."
"Woah," Adam's eyes were wide; he'd never imagined this! As they joined them, Scorpina and Rito looked up. He had never believed Rito could actually be handsome, but he was! He even looked intelligent!
"Hey!" Aura smiled. "Meet Jennifer Aura Park, everyone!" as everyone oohed and ahhed over the baby, Scorpina glanced to Adam.
"Hello, Adam," she said in a perfectly normal, sweet voice. "How is your wife?"
"Ummm. ..fine, she's asleep now," Adam really wasn't used to this! They were human, they were normal, they were. .. .were they??
Rito smiled. "No hard feelings for anything we did?"
Adam shook his head. "Nope."
"Thanks," Rito grinned even wider. "If it weren't for your wife, sister-in-law, and nephew, I wouldn't have become human, or been sent back in time. I met Scorpina a couple of years ago, and we fell in love. This is Alan, our son."
"You mean. .you two. .are uh. . .."
Scorpina nodded, raising her left hand, on which blazed a wedding ring. "Married? Yes, we are."
There was only one thing Adam could say to that. "Congratulations!" he smiled at them, feeling a strange sense of something rising in him. He examined it for a moment, then realized what it was.
Contentment. It was all over. The wars were ended. His wife loved him, he loved her, and they were together.
Or did it?