Colors of the Wind
Title: Colors of the Wind
Show: Power Rangers
Couples: Tommy/Kat (past), Kimberly/Steve (OC) (past), Tommy/Kimberly, Jason/Kat
Time: about five years after MMPR 3 "I'm Dreaming of a White Ranger"; also, Kim wasn't involved in that Turbo Movie thing
Summary: yet another random take on The Letter, this one without other planets
Disclaimer: I don't own these people; you should know that by now, 'cause if I did, Kimberly would never have left and there would be no Letter and Tommy woulda' married the girl. So there.
Chapter 1: What Might Have Been
A lone crane soared across the empty plain of the Australian outback, her white feathers tinted a pale rose, a color not often seen in the natural world. A pale peregrine falcon, a coastal species in winter morph, flew around her, faster but not more agile or delicate. A great golden eagle joined them, saucy and powerful, crying her joy at being free at last. The three birds slowly faded as the dawning sun finally rose, warming the ancient land, stealing the life from the night-born star birds. The falcon faded first, his scream of regret echoing across the plains, the eagle moving close to the crane, fear coloring her movements. She followed the smaller bird into non-existence, the crane hanging on for just a little longer before she released her rose to the sky and the new dawn.
A lone woman, knees pulled to her chin, her petite body that of a gymnast, her brown eyes sad, long chestnut hair waving in the wind, watched in silence. "I didn't know there were cranes in Australia."
"There is one," her companion smiled, reaching out to touch the woman's shoulder. "But she does not belong here."
"I don't belong anywhere," she whispered. "That crane once flew with the falcon, once loved that bird, but she has flown far and learned much. There is no going back."
"What about the eagle? Does she not deserve to see the country of her birth? She wasn't born here and on some level she knows it."
"I can't leave. I have family here."
"No, you don't." The visitor, his shirt a dusty red, pointed at the lone gravestone sitting under the large tree that served as the only landmark on the flat plain. "He is dead."
"Shouldn't I be more upset? I mean, I cried, but it seems like I would have grieved the same for Rob or one of my other friends. He was my husband, but it doesn't seem like it sometimes."
"Because he was not your soulmate. Your soulmate is thousands of miles away on a coast that you once called home. You should go back, you should see him."
"Then go see your friends. I'm arranging for a reunion for everyone who was once a Power Ranger. You should come and be part of the party. They all want to know what happened to you. I'm sure they'd like to know about her."
"I'll think about it." The gymnast stood up and smiled. "I think I'm dreaming, but thanks for the advice, Jason. I really miss you."
"I know. Don't let the roots you forged here keep you from flying home, okay? Fly free, little crane."
"Okay." The dream faded as the woman slowly opened her eyes. Slipping out of her empty bed, she padded to the window and stared out across the land she had once thought barren and now called home. That gravestone stared at her across the ground covered in tough grasses, its blank face mocking her. She had not loved her husband as she should. He deserved her love and not just her close friendship. She shared his bed for five years but she could never find it in herself to say 'I love you', and it bothered her. There was no question in her mind that he had loved her, but it wasn't the same as her first boyfriend.
"That was a long time ago," she whispered to the uncaring morning. "We're both very different people now, no matter what Jason says."
The woman turned and smiled as her little daughter, a girl not yet five years old, her chestnut hair the same shade as her mother's and her brown eyes thoughtful. "Yes, Shana?"
"Are we leaving soon?"
The mother smiled at her daughter's perception. Shana had a way of knowing things, a trait she had only previously attributed to former Power Rangers. "I guess we are," she whispered. "There doesn't seem to be anything left for me here . . ."
"Good, I want to see America. You told me about it and it sounds pretty."
"It is pretty," her mother agreed, reaching for the phone as she checked the time. Dialing a familiar number, she waited for an answer. "Rob? You awake? . . . Yeah, mate, whatever . . . Look I need you to find me a flight from Sydney to Angel Grove, California as soon as possible. Can you do it? . . . You remember Steve's cousin? . . . Yeah, well I have it on good authority that she will be there by the end of the week. I'd kind of like to meet her and all . . . Sure, thanks. And a hotel, if you can. I won't have a chance to call her before I leave . . . Yeah, come over later today and help us pack. Can you drive us to the airport, too? . . . Fabulous. 'K, see ya' then! Thanks, Rob." She hung up the phone and smiled at her daughter. "Looks like we're going to Angel Grove, sweetie."
"Good. They'll want to see us."
"I hope so."
She finished placing the last of her jewelry in the box, pausing when she found a small pink jewelry box that she didn't remember. Confused, she opened it and found a pale rose quartz carved into the shape of a delicate crane, hung from a silver chain with tiny diamond eyes. She slipped it over her head, wondering if the spirit in her dream left it for her. She had found strange things before.
Shana reached up and tugged on her mother's skirt, smiling. "All packed. Ready to go home now."
"Okay, dear. Where did you get that?" Ann pointed to the tiny eagle charm hanging from a golden chain around Shana's neck.
"Spirit left it for me."
"Ann? Shana? I'm here," a deep voice called from the front door. The little girl squealed and ran to meet her "Uncle Rob", Ann's late husband's best friend, Robert Sutherland, who smiled as he sauntered into the house and gathered the petite woman's child into his arms. "Hey, little Eagle. This place won't be the same without you, Ann girl. How will we contact you in the States?"
"I don't imagine you will, Rob. You and Lynn take care and I will try to call when I can. I can't promise much, though." The woman smiled as she gathered her bags, following Rob to his truck as Shana squirmed free and gathered her stuff. Rob loaded her bags as she stared at the crane on her necklace. "I will miss you guys tremendously, but I can't live here alone."
"This town won't be the same without you Hilliards."
"I'm not really a Hilliard, Rob. Steve was that. I'm just one lost California girl who can't figure out where she really belongs. Wish me luck."
"The best, girl. I hate to see you go . . . but I love to watch you leave." Robert winked, and Ann laughed.
"Enough of that, Sutherland! I'm a married woman!" She paused as she gathered the last few things, staring at the rings on her finger before slipping them off and placing them in a small black box in her small carry-on bag. "Well, not anymore. Let's go, Shana, shall we?"
"It's a reunion. Ever heard of it?"
"Ha, ha. Very funny," the only White Ranger replied sarcastically. "Why now, all of a sudden? Couldn't the Mayor wait until ten years after the first sighting to celebrate the Power Rangers? It seems silly to only wait seven years."
"Actually, it was my suggestion," Jason admitted. The first Red Ranger smiled as he thought back to those early days, that first battle, the slow warming of the town to a group of spandex-covered heroes. "He and I were talking about how the Rangers have saved us—and Ernie added his bit, too—and he pointed out that it's been almost two years since the last Power Rangers fought and defeated evil forces threatening our planet. He feels that we can't wait until evil attacks again to celebrate our heroes." Jason grinned as he glanced at Rocky, who was silently consuming the last of his food in Tommy's kitchen. "Besides, September is a slow month for tourism, and we need an economy boost."
"It was Ernie's idea. So we—Rocky and I—offered the dojo for the party, since we have more parking space here than there is at the Juice Bar or anywhere else for that matter. That way we can make sure that we are properly honored."
Rocky poked his food with his fork, eyeing it with a modicum of distaste, but nothing could stave off his infamous appetite for long. "Who do you think is coming?"
"Well, Kat's back in town, and so are Trini, Zack, Billy, Adam, and Tanya. Even Aisha came. With the three of us, that's all of the original, pre-Turbo Power Rangers." Tommy snapped his mouth shut, knowing the one person he was neglecting. Rocky glanced up, deciding not to comment, but Jason didn't hesitate.
"It's almost like she vanished off the face of the Earth. Kimberly Ann Hart simply does not exist anymore. I tried to talk to her family, I tried to talk to the coach in Florida, but no one has seen her since that April more than five years ago." Jason shook his head and looked out the window of the apartment the three ex-Red Rangers shared above their dojo and sighed. "I wish I knew what happened. Even if she died, it would be better than this."
Tommy walked over to the bookcase and opened a small wooden box, pulling out an old and very creased letter. "Maybe I should have gone to Miami. There must have been something very wrong for Kimberly to have sent me this."
"It took you five years to realize that she was hurting?" Rocky snorted and tossed the last of his meal into the trash, wandering to the balcony. "The rest of us knew it all along."
"Why didn't you say something?"
"It wasn't our place. She was your girlfriend and you let her get away. If she ever comes back, you had better figure out what you did and how you can fix it."
Tommy replaced the letter and slipped into his shoes, heading for the door. "Okay, I'll go to the reunion. Right now I'm going for a walk and I'll be back eventually."
Tommy sighed as he wandered down the street, hands shoved deep into his pockets. After he was officially released from his duties as a Power Ranger, Tommy had returned to white shirts, aching for the good times when he was the White Ranger. He missed Kimberly and he missed feeling the power of the Falcon screaming through his body, so he wore white. Rocky had returned to red, and Jason had never really given it up.
He wandered all the way to the airport, stopping and glancing across the street as a small group of people from the latest flight exited the small building and scattered to the taxis waiting patiently. His dark brown eyes were riveted on one petite brunette, a small girl in her arms, mind flying to the old days and a certain gymnast he loved so much. He smiled at the pair, wondering if he and Kimberly would have had a child one day, a little girl like that one. Suddenly curious, Tommy moved closer to the building, watching the young mother as the cab driver loaded her belongings into the back of his vehicle and the woman climbed into the back. He lost sight as the car sped away, but there was only one decent hotel down that road, and he made a mental note to wander over there soon and see who that interesting woman was. Her long chestnut hair reminded him of a girl he knew years ago, the girl he loved and never could forget.
He whirled around at the call, smiling as a familiar blonde Australian dashed to the side of the Native American who had been the leader of the Power Rangers for years, embracing him joyfully. "Kat! I was hoping to see you again. How are you doing?"
The second Pink Ranger and his former girlfriend grinned and shrugged as she and Tommy walked down the street, the only sound for a few minutes the soft murmur of their clothing. "I just got news from my aunt that my cousin Steve died last month."
"Oh, Kat, I'm so sorry."
Kat smiled, accepting her friend's sympathy. "It's okay. I didn't know him that well; only a few meetings when we were younger. He was a gymnast and medaled in the Pan-Global American Team—since Australia doesn't have one—and in the Summer and Winter Olympics for the Australian Team. Then he moved back to Queensland with his wife and daughter and lived there until he died from some sort of poisonous bite or something. My aunt didn't give me that many details. I hear that he left everything to his wife. My friend Rob Sutherland said that she took her daughter and headed for America at least until the details of the will are settled by the lawyers. You'd think I would have met my cousin-in-law and her daughter at least once."
"Did your friend say where in America she was headed?"
"Not really. I didn't speak to him for very long. I think my aunt mentioned that Steve's wife was a California girl, probably from the coast. We can't call Rob now, but he did tell me the flight she would be on. We can look it up, if you'd like. It might be a town near here and we could go meet my cousin and her daughter."
"Then let's head for the dojo and trace the flight."