"I don't think I ever want to sleep again," Kim shivered as she and Tommy walked into the Youth Center. "That nightmare was hideous!"
He put an arm around her. "I wish I'd been there to protect you from it!"
She pushed his arm off her, and smiled at him. "I'm perfectly capable of protecting myself, Tommy!" she grinned. "You don't have to always be the white knight, you know! Come on, I want to see little William again!"
Hugging again, they entered the Youth Center to see all their friends hovering over the little baby. When they got close, they heard Rocky saying, "He is so adorable!?
Evanthe held him closer to her. "He looks just like his father!" she whispered. She hadn't told anyone about Zedd's threats to her after William's birth, but she had never let him be alone since then, not even for a moment.
"Except for those eyes," Tommy said. William's eyes were exact replicas of his mother's, a warm violet. Tommy looked over at Adam, and frowned a little. "You okay?"
Adam looked up. "Yeah."
Rocky didn't believe it one little bit, despite Adam's continued assurances he was just fine. He gave his friend a look that said firmly, they would talk later over this! He intended to know what was going on!
Evanthe held William close to her tenderly. "I'm not going to let anyone hurt you, William," she whispered. "No one!" instincts buried for six centuries had returned to Evanthe in full force.
"You sound just like Elissa did when she brought Gwen home!" Adam smiled.
Evanthe looked over at him. "Well, these two are very special. I don't think there's any children like them in the world."
"I don't either," Adam thought for a moment. "You know, I was told that there was one other werewolf who did have a child. I wonder what happened to that kid."
Evanthe shrugged. "I don't know. I never really paid that much attention to weres until I met up with Elissa," Adam chuckled as he remembered that first meeting. "You know, I do believe Elissa was in love with you from the first moment she saw you."
As Adam blushed, Evanthe remembered something else. "I know I loved Billy. He looked good enough to eat even then!"
"And you did!"
Evanthe blushed herself, smiling. "In many ways!"
Zedd and Rita both chuckled softly. "So, Kimmie-poo had a bad dream!" Zedd laughed. Rita grasped her staff and smiled.
"We can use that!"
Zedd agreed. "Soon, the Rangers will be too scared to close their eyes! And that one, the former Rose Ranger, will regret leaving our little dimension!"
"Indeed she will!" Rita growled. "And I still can't believe that vampire had her child! We have to get rid of that baby, Zedd!"
"Once they are into their nightmares, we destroy that child!" Zedd told her. "Fist, we select three of them to torment!" he glanced over the collection of Rangers, and smiled "Ah, the Purple and Red Rangers, and the former Rose Ranger, will do for a start!"
Rita nodded. "Yes. Just what shall we give them to dream about, Zeddy?"
Zedd thought for a few moments, then chuckled. "The Red Ranger shall be easy, his meals will be trying to eat him! The former Rose Ranger will relive, in more intensity, the tests that Finster performed. And the Purple Ranger," he laughed, this was a sweet one! "She shall not be able to protect her friend or her child!"
"And they won't even be able to wake up from the dreams until morning!" Rita watched as Zedd cast the spell. She loved being evil!
That night, Rocky went to bed as he normally had. In moments, he was deep asleep.
A bacon double cheeseburger lay on a table near him. Rocky felt the familiar hunger surging through him, and grabbed for it. "Yum!" his teeth sank deeply into the delicious food.
"Hey!!!" a harsh voice spoke. "Stop that!"
"What??" he dropped the sandwich in surprise, and stared as it suddenly grew taller than he was, sprouted arms, legs, eyes, and a mouth!
The Sandwich Monster stared at him. "Just what do you think you were doing?"
"HUH!??" Rocky didn't understand what was going on, this had never happened before!
"You bit me!" the monster grabbed him in a grip that couldn't be broken.
Rocky trembled in fear already. "I'm sorry!"
"Not yet!" the monster opened a huge mouth, dripping with saliva and juices. "But you're going to be!"
Rocky screamed as the burger monster took a huge bite out of him. Was this what the meals he had eaten so frequently and so eagerly had went through?? "NOOO!!! I'll never eat again, I promise!"
"This is to pay for all the poor food you've eaten before!" he was being eaten alive!!!!
"I didn't mean to!" Rocky struggled, to no avail. "I'm sorry! I was wrong! If I live through this, I'm never eating again!"
The monster took another bite. "I heard you say YUM before you bit me!"
That was all Rocky knew before the monster devoured him completely.
And he sat up in bed, morning light streaming through the window. "NO!!!!" he screamed, almost breaking his neck at the sound of his door opening. His mom came in with a tray.
"Are you all right, Rocky?" she asked, frowning in worry.
"Just a bad dream," he whispered. "Just a bad dream."
She came all the way into the room, with his favorite breakfast on the tray. "I brought you breakfast!" she grinned. That was something Mrs. DeSantos did for all her children, just because she loved them. Breakfast in bed, once a week.
"I'm not hungry, mom," Rocky whispered, feeling sick to his stomach at the very thought of food.
"What?" she stared, not quite understanding what was going on. He was always hungry! "Are you sick?"
He shook his head. "I'm fine."
"All right," Mrs. DeSantos trusted him. "But grab a cheeseburger or something sometime today, you're a growing boy, you need to eat!"
Rocky slowly made his way to the bathroom as his mom left, and shivered. I don't think I'm EVER going to eat again!
As Rocky was falling asleep, Elissa was cuddling against Adam. He kissed her. "Sweet dreams, Elissa Park," he wished her, as he did every night. He leaned back into the pillows, and Elissa smiled at him.
"You just want to sleep tonight, don't you?"
Adam peered over at her, and smiled. "Sleep can come later!" they reached for each other, but before anything could really get started, Elissa had fallen into a deep slumber.
Elissa opened her eyes, and found herself on the same platform she'd been kept on while she was in the Dark Dimension. "Not again!" she screamed. Finster popped up next to her.
"Time to see just how you tick, werewolf!" he gloated, already beginning his poking and prodding of her.
Elissa screamed, trying to writhe away, but without any luck. "Leave me alone!"
"No way!" he kept on performing tests with a viscious, evil glee that Elissa remembered all too well.
"Help me!" she screamed. "Someone, please help me!"
"Sorry, no one's going to help you!" Finster laughed as his tests became even more invasive and disgusting. Elissa screamed as she heard not only Finster laughing, but Rita and Zedd as well. Elissa fought as hard as she could, only to have Finster tighten the straps that held her down. She begged constantly to be let go, with no results whatsoever. Slowly, Elissa's mind vanished.
And her eyes flew open, her throat sore from screaming. "Elissa?" Adam was looking at her. "What's wrong?"
When she didn't answer, he touched her hand gently. "Elissa?"
She looked over at him, relaxing some when she saw who it was. "Elissa, did you have a nightmare?" he asked. As she nodded, he held her close to him. "It was only a dream," he tried to soothe her.
"It wasn't! she cried. "It's what really happened while I was in the Dark Dimension! I remember everything now!"
"Do you want to talk about it?" he asked gently. Elissa took a deep breath, swallowing the lump in her throat.
"He . . .he did things," she couldn't bring herself to talk about it.
"Things he will pay for!" he promised her. Elissa closed her eyes, and let the full memory of what had happened flow into him. He shuddered, then held her close to him. "Oh, Elissa! I'm so sorry!"
Elissa wiped away her tears. "Now you know why I did what I did. I'll never be able to go back at this rate!"
"Yes, you will!" Adam whispered. "You can't let them beat you!"
Elissa leaned against him, crying. "They already have."
As Rocky and Elissa began the dreams that would torment them, Billy and Evanthe were thinking of much more pleasant things. "Do you know what's going on with the Parks?" Billy asked her as she put William to bed.
Evanthe looked over at him. "A little. But I don't think Elissa wants me to say anything just yet."
"I wish there was something we could do to help them," Billy sighed. Evanthe nodded.
"So do I. More than anything."
Billy wrapped his arms around her. "They'll let us know when they want our help. Till then, why don't we get some sleep?"
Evanthe nodded as she kissed him. "Yeah, I'm kind of tired!"
"We both are," Billy yawned. "Gwen always slept through the nights her parents were gone. Which reminds me, tomorrow night's a full moon."
Evanthe nodded. "Good thing Gwen and William get along so well!"
"Maybe he'll sleep better tomorrow night?" Billy suggested. Evanthe chuckled a little.
"He'd better!" she smiled as Billy pulled her into their room and started to kiss down her neck.
"Trying to get me excited?" she asked, giggling.
Billy smiled at her. "Is it working?"
"All you have to do to get me excited is breathe, Billy!" Evanthe told him. Things got rather involved after that, and when at last they fell asleep, Evanthe entered a dream she later wished had never happened.
Evanthe pounded on the forcefield with all her might, watching as Zedd toyed with her William. "He is a precious child, isn't he?"
"Leave him alone!" she screamed in frustration. She couldn't get to him, she couldn't save him!
Zedd laughed at her. "Try and make me!"
"Leave my son alone! He's just a baby!!!
"And now, he's mine!" Zedd gloated. "You couldn't protect him, you couldn't even protect your friend!"
The throne room went dark as he spoke, and screams were heard, screams Evanthe knew all too well: Elissa. The lights came on, focused in one corner, and she saw Finster doing something to her friend that defied description.
"No!" Evanthe howled. "Let me out of here! I have to help her!"
Zedd shook his head. "Even if I do, what could you do to stop him? This is history, it's already happened. You didn't protect her then, what makes you think you can protect her now?"
Evanthe sank down to the floor, sobbing. "I have to! I have to protect them, can't let anyone hurt them!" She could hear Rita and Zedd laughing as they tormented her friend, and screamed louder to be released.
And there was nothing she could do about it.
"Evanthe?" she jerked away. "Honey, wake up!"
Her eyes flew open to see Billy standing near her, worried, with William in his arms. "No!!" she screamed. "No!"
"Honey?" Billy looked at her. "What's wrong?"
Evanthe ignored him, reaching out for her son, and held him close to her heart. "You're okay," she whispered. "You're okay, you're safe! Elissa's got to be safe too!"
"Evanthe?" Billy looked. "What happened?"
Evanthe looked back at him, tears pouring down her cheeks. "A nightmare. . .the most hideous nightmare!"
"What happened to Elissa and William in it?"
Evanthe sat down on the bed, holding William in her arms still. "I. . .I couldn't protect them!"
"What do you mean by that?" he shivered and regretted his insistence when she told him what she'd seen in her dream. Billy frowned a trifle. "I think we should talk to Zordon about this." there was just something about it that he didn't like one bit.
When they arrived in the Command Center, Rocky was already there, talking with the others about a nightmare that he'd had. Elissa and Adam appeared moments later, and he was practically carrying her. Billy looked over as they arrived. "I take it Evanthe and Rocky aren't the only two who had nightmares?"
Adam shook his head. "I don't think the nightmares were natural, either."
Alpha turned to Elissa as he finished up scanning Rocky and Evanthe. "Elissa," he said as gently as he was capable of. "I need to scan you, to make sure that you're okay."
Elissa only stared at him, and Adam took her hand. "Come on, Elissa. He's not going to hurt you."
She nodded briefly, letting the robot scan her. Don't make me tell them. I'm not ready to.
Billy looked at the results of the scan a few minutes later as Alpha brought them to him. Evanthe asked, "What is it?" fear in her voice.
"Please don't tell me that I'm going to get eaten by a large hamburger for real!" Rocky almost whined.
Billy took a deep breath. "It seems Zedd has placed a spell on you three, so that you'll have nightmares, every time you sleep, and you won't wake up from them until the morning."
Evanthe shuddered badly. "Okay, that does it, I'm quitting sleeping!"
"You and me both!" Rocky echoed.
Why are they doing this to me?
To hurt you! But we'll find a way to break the spell!
Elissa closed her eyes and leaned against Adam, not sleeping, just being with him. Evanthe shivered again.
"I'm never sleeping again," she whispered. "I can't go through that again!"
Billy was already looking for the cure, and Rocky glanced at his fellow sufferers in spell-dreams. "I wonder how much a lifetime supply of caffeine pills would cost," they could all tell he was only joking by that, though.
"You'd better not even go there," Tommy warned, just to be safe. Rocky shook his head.
"I'm not. That dream didn't scare me that badly!"
Tommy looked at him. "Just what did you dream about?"
Rocky mumbled something very faintly, and Adam looked over at him. "Rocky, that sounded like you were eaten by your dinner!" When Rocky just blushed and mumbled, Adam could hardly keep from laughing. "That's what you dreamed about?"
"Okay, I dreamed that a giant bacon double cheeseburger ate me, okay?" Rocky finally told them what it was, he hadn't given any details until now. He'd been too ashamed to! The other Rangers just barely managed to suppress laugh at that, and Rocky felt just a trifle wounded at their humor. Elissa caught his eye, and gave him a gentle smile. I wonder what she dreamed about? No, I don't. If it shook her up that badly, I don't want to know!
Billy stood back suddenly, eyes wide. "I've got it!"
"How?" three voices chorused. Billy explained it quickly. They would have to once more dream, but this time, they had to face down the dreams, and conquer them. All three of them looked very reluctant!
Adam touched Elissa's hand. Elissa, you can't stay awake forever. And you don't want to keep dreaming that, do you?
No. But. . .
It's only a dream now, Elissa. One you can end. And prove to them once and for all they can't kick around a werewolf!
Elissa smiled at him, then turned to the others. "I'll do it."
Evanthe sighed. "I don't want to dream that again. Ever again," she paused for a moment. "So I'll do whatever I have to in order to stop that nightmare."
"I don't want my dinner to eat me again!" Rocky said simply. Elissa stood up, looking first at Rocky, then Evanthe, and finally Billy.
"What do we get started?"
"When do you want to start dreaming again?" Billy asked. "Your call."
Stay with me.
I'll never leave you!
Watch my dreams, then. You kind of have to in order to face this too.
Evanthe cleared her throat. "Let's do this."
Alpha teleported three cots into the Command Center, and the three of them laid down. "We'll monitor you through the Command Center computers," he told them.
"Time to face the food," Rocky muttered, laying down. Evanthe laid quietly, trembling a little. Elissa took up her place on her cot, holding Adam's hand.
Here goes nothing.
When you wake up, everything will be all right.
Most of it will be.
And sooner or later, everything will be all right again.
Good night, Adam.
Night Elissa. I love you.
The Rangers watched as their friends drifted back into slumber, and began to once more be caught by the spell of nightmares. The nightmare of the Rangers had begun.
Elissa opened her eyes to see she was once again in this parody of the Dark Dimension. "Here goes nothing," she muttered as she felt Finster starting again. "Stop that!" she ordered.
"No!" he replied again.
Elissa strained at her straps, and this time, they began to break. "You will!"
"Make me!" Finster laughed maniacally.
"For you, Adam!" Elissa whispered, then snapped the straps holding her down. "I will!"
The crazed scientist backed away in fright as Elissa came towards him. "You may have done this to me once, but you shall not do this to me in my dreams! Leave me in peace!"
She was quite gratified to see him turn and run away screaming. Tears of joy and peace flowed down her face. "I did it!"
"I'm so proud of you, Elissa!" Adam's voice echoed in her dream.
"You could see?" she asked. She felt him nodding.
"You certainly showed him!"
Elissa took a deep breath. "If only I could do that for real. Maybe then I'd have the confidence to reclaim my spot on the team. Time for me to wake up?"
"Yeah. And you do have the courage."
She opened her eyes and smiled. "Courage, but not the confidence."
"You will," Adam told her, squeezing her hand. "You will."
She nodded briefly, finally believing she would. "One day."
Rocky looked around, and saw the burger sitting on the table. He smiled to see it there. "I'm not hungry," he said simply. He almost flinched to see the burger enlarging, sprouting arms and legs and mouth.
"You tried to eat me!" it accused. Rocky shrugged.
"No, I didn't."
The monster seemed to be quite surprised by this. "Uhhhhh. . .why not?"
"I'm not hungry."
It stared at him. "YOU?!? You're not hungry!?"
Rocky shook his head. "Nope, not really!"
"I'm just not."
The burger monster stared at him for a moment, then transformed back into a normal burger, once more on the table. Rocky laughed. "Time to wake up!"
He opened his eyes and sat up, seeing Elissa was also awake. "Man, I am starving!" he declared. Adam chuckled.
"Sounds like he conquered his nightmare!"
Elissa nodded. "Two down, one to go!"
Evanthe stared through the forcefield at Zedd who held her son. She shrugged a little. "That's not my son. You aren't Zedd. This is a dream."
"Is it?!" Zedd laughed as the room darkened and Elissa's screams were being heard once more. "Is she not Elissa?"
Evanthe shook her head. "Nope, just a dream!"
"I hate to tell you, but these are her REAL memories!" Zedd told her. Evanthe shrugged again.
"This is still a dream!"
"Are you sure!?" he glared at her harshly, but Evanthe held firm in her knowledge.
"This is just a dream. I dreamed all of this last night."
"So be it," Zedd declared. Everything around them vanished, and silence fell.
"Zedd, you're not any brighter in a dream than you are in reality," Evanthe chuckled.
The first thing she saw when she woke up as Billy, smiling at her. "You did it?"
"That I did!" she declared, hugging him swiftly and strongly. They looked up as Rocky teleported back in, with a bag of fast food he was already stuffing in his mouth.
"We all did!"
Elissa glanced to her friend, a question in her eyes. Evanthe looked back at her. "I don't think I have to tell you what part of what I saw was," she said softly. Elissa shook her head, she knew Evanthe's nightmares would have involved her. "I certainly hope we all rest well tonight!"
"I don't know how well you guys are," Elissa smiled. "You've got Gwen tonight, remember?"
Evanthe nodded, and glanced at her watch. Her eyes widened to realize it was already past sunset. They'd spent all day in their nightmares and fighting them. "You two have fun now!"
Elissa grasped her head suddenly. "We'd better go now!" she declared. Adam nodded, pain ripping through his own head, and they teleported out together. Evanthe looked up at Billy.
"Dinner together, my dear? My parents can watch the kids for a couple of hours, before they go out. They eat late, anyway."
Billy nodded, and they teleported out together as well. Things were going back to normal, they all felt.
Rita's scream echoed throughout the lunar palace. "No! They conquered the dreams!"
"How dare they do this to me again!" didn't those Rangers ever just give up and let them win? Even the Rose Ranger, who'd surrendered her powers, had defeated the dreams!
Rita swore, "We'll get them for this!"
Zedd nodded, as the room glowed red about them. "And then we shall rule the world!"
"And there is nothing they can do to stop us!"
Zedd glanced at Earth, and smiled suddenly. "What do you say we stop time on them?" he chuckled. Rita laughed and added her agreement, there would be no way the Rangers could stop them if they were frozen in time. "Soon they shall be frozen, and we shall rule supreme, forever!"