10/17/04

Spoiler: PRDT: In Your Dreams (AU); PRZ: No Business Like Snow Business (AU)

Disclaimer: Power Rangers belongs to Disney, which considering Disney's non-violence stance seems hypocritical, but who am I to judge?

Relationship: T/K

Summary: Elsa's plan takes a different turn.

A/N: Kim & Lizzie - this is for you. Hopefully this will not set a precedence, but maybe it will hold you over for a little while. Plus, please note that this moves Duty & Honor's first posting back at least a week.

Acknowledgements: Alan Moore's great story "For the Man Who Has Everything" in Superman Annual 11 (back in 1985). If you haven't read, you won't know what I've done – if you have, you'll know I've borrowed part of the plot. It is done with great affection & love.

Hi all. Yeah, I know... sigh I was all planning on a good DT episode, and what do I get... crappy Japanese episode footage shoehorned into what could have been an interesting episode. Why do I torture myself? Oh yeah, I remember. The chance to fix things on a regular basis. So, here's another fix – In Your Dreams Revisited. I hope you enjoy, and now, to the story. . .

In Your Dreams Revised

-x-

"Many cultures believe that if you die in your dreams, you will never wake up," remarked Elsa as she smiled with an evil glint at her master.

"Very well then," Mesogog said, his tongue lashing as his teeth gnashed. "What do you plan to do? The rangers seem to never die, even in dreams."

"Perhaps we just need to adjust that concept my lord. I think we need to trap them there, asleep and helpless. And as they slumber on, we may destroy them."

"Ah... a truly sinister plan. But how to keep them asleep..."

"That is easy master... we simply give them what they want," she replied as she pressed a button on her computer console.

-x-

Kira slept, her mind envisioning her walking on stage, moving to the microphone in a full stadium, preparing to sing. It was a sold out show, just like all the shows on her concert tour. He album was double platinum and she was hailed a success. And she'd done it the way she wanted, with no compromises.

And as she slept, she slipped deeper into the dream's embrace.

-x-

Conner turned in his sleep, curling around the pillow as he fell deeper into his dream.

He'd been chosen as the MVP of the MLS league, and he was entertaining an offer to take a prime contract with England's premier soccer team.

It was his fondest wish come reality.

He never wanted it to end.

-x-

Ethan stood before the mass media, turning to his right to look at his new boss. The smaller Caucasian man walked to the podium and smiled from behind his glasses.

"Thank you all for coming. I'm pleased to announce that Microsoft's gaming division has been lucky enough to hire as its new president Ethan James!"

With that, Ethan moved over to shake Bill's hand, turning and smiling as the media took the photo of the man who literally started the computer revolution, Bill Gates and the new blood that was going to take them into the 22nd century, Ethan James of Reefside.

Smiling, Ethan fell farther into his dream, uncaring of the fact that he was being pulled deeper and deeper into his own mind and farther away from reality.

-x-

Yawning, Tommy headed towards the bedroom from the bathroom, his bare feet shuffling on the floor as he rubbed his hands across his bare chest and stomach, stopping at the waistband of his pajama bottoms. God, he was tired. All he wanted was a good night's sleep. Climbing under the covers, his head hit the pillow, and before he realized that his sleep was being aided by an outside force, he was asleep.

-x-

Elsa watched happily as se saw all the rangers sliding deeper into her induced dreams. There was no way to escape... even their vaunted leader Doctor Oliver would succumb.

For who would want to leave these dreams, when you could live out your heart's desire?

-x-

Tommy turned in his bed, reaching automatically for his wife. He kissed the back of her neck and snuggled in close to her, caressing the flesh that he could find.

"You're insatiable, you know that?" came the voice beside him that he'd loved since he was sixteen.

"I'm just in love with you, can you blame me Beautiful?" he remarked back, as she turned in his arms, her caramel colored hair brushing his face until her doe brown eyes met his. "Do we have to get up Kim?"

She smiled, leaning forward to kiss him lightly.

"You know you do. The dojo isn't going to open itself. Besides, Jason is expecting you to show up this morning. You promised to take his class this morning so he can take care of meeting with the investors."

"Can't we here stay a little longer?" he suggested, brushing his lips along her jaw.

Then the door flew open and a dark haired little girl bounded in, followed by a younger boy with lighter brunette hair. The two headed straight for the bed and jumped on it, crawling quickly up to the two adults. While Tommy stared, Kim laughed and reached out to the two children.

"Daddy, you have to get up! Mommy said you'd take me to school today!"

"Sarah honey, I thought I told you and Jamie that you needed to know before you came in mommy and daddy's room?" Kim admonished the older child, hugging her as she did so.

"I know, but I was anxious. This is my second day at school and you said daddy would take me."

Kim swung her eyes to Tommy, and he looked from her to the little girl in his love's arms, recognizing his daughter as his son came up to snuggle against his chest. He was a lucky man...

"I did Sarah. But you need to get dressed and have breakfast. Take Jamie with you. Mommy or I will be in to help him dress, okay?" Tommy told her, leaning over to kiss her forehead before giving a matching kiss to her younger brother and placing him on the floor.

Once his feet hit the floor, Jamie giggled and hurried back to their room, Sarah racing after him.

"That, handsome is the other reason that we can't sleep in," Kim remarked with a grin as she kissed him quickly and got up to get a shower, leaving Tommy to lay in the bed, crossing his arms under his head as he smiled at the thought of his life.

-x-

After dropping Jamie off at day care and Sarah at school, Tommy had gone directly to work, finding Jason waiting for him as he parked the car in front. As he climbed out of the black sedan, he locked it, and tried to remember when he'd owned a black jeep...

"I was starting to think you had decided to work on another baby Oliver this morning with how late you're running,' joked Jason with a grin.

"You just want another niece or nephew to spoil 'Uncle' Jason," tossed back Tommy as he came and hugged his long time friend. "How's Emily?"

"Good. You know how pregnant women are. At eight months, there's no comfortable position to sleep in."

"God yes. That's probably the only thing I could do without if Kim and I have another..."

Jason laughed and pushed Tommy inside the dojo. As they entered, Tommy saw the beginner's class starting their warm ups. Across the room, he saw the other class, setting up for a sparring session. Observing it were the instructors that were there part time – Adam and Trini. As he watched Trini walk forward to referee the first bout, he felt an ache in his chest that he couldn't describe.

"Tommy?" asked Jason, waving a hand in front of his friend's face. "You okay?"

"Sorry... just blanked there."

"The kids keeping you up, or is it Kim?" he said with a wink, and Tommy fought a blush.

"Don't start bro."

"Alright, alright. But the beginners are getting ansy. You'd better get in there."

With that, Tommy hurried to the locker room and changed into his gi. Belting it as he ran out onto the mats, he nearly stopped in his tracks. Four of the new students looked familiar, even though he knew they had never been in the dojo before: a brunette guy, a Hispanic boy, an African American boy and a blond girl.

"Sensei Oliver," they all said in a respectful tone that sparked memories of another title they had called him before.

"Students... let's get started, shall we?"

Shaking his head, Tommy headed to the front of the class, and did his best to focus on the class, starting the first kata, and tried not to think about the young people that he swore he knew.

-x-

Coming home, Tommy heard laughing in the living room where he found Sarah playing with Jamie, the two making a mess with a couple of cans of playdough set out on the plastic mat that protected the rug.

"Hey there you," remarked Kim from the kitchen. "How was your day?"

"Good. The classes were pretty easy."

"That's what you get for switching your schedule with Jason. He got all the brown and black belt classes that you usually have."

"Yeah, I guess. How was the gym?"

"Fine. You know how it is... same as the dojo."

"Yeah... you know, there was one strange thing."

"Oh," Kim remarked, turning from the stove.

"There were these kids in the newbie class. They seemed familiar..."

"I... there's something not quite right."

"Tommy?"

"Kim, when did we get married?"

"The year we both graduated college. You proposed right after we graduated high school, but we needed to finish college first."

"When we graduated high school... we graduated together?"

"Of course. Tommy, what's wrong? Did you let Jase toss you on the mats too hard in class today?"

"No... I just, I can't remember. Wait, the letter, what about the letter?"

Kim stared at him, as if he was insane.

"What letter?"

"The one you sent me breaking up with me from Florida."

"I... Tommy, I never broke up with you. Yes, I did send a letter, but it was to tell you I'd changed my mind and that I was coming back to Angel Grove. Adam was there and read it for you, so everyone could find out at once that I was coming home. You were waiting for me at the airport when I got of the plane, and I promised you I'd never leave you again as you crushed me in your arms right there at the gate."

Tommy raked a hand through his hair, feeling the strands slide through his fingers.

Wasn't his hair shorter?

He looked up once again, and frowned.

"What about the rangers? Who are the current ranger team?" he asked suddenly.

Kimberly looked around, setting the spoon down as she went to check and make sure that the kids were still playing before she turned back to her husband.

"Tommy, you know that there hasn't been a ranger team on Earth since before we got married. We've all been out of it for a long time. Why are you asking all these questions? Are you sure you're okay?"

Tommy stepped back, watching the woman he loved with tears starting to fill his eyes. This... it was perfect, it was his dream come true. But there was something missing that he couldn't pinpoint... something that was making him question his sanity...

"Kim, you know I love you, and the kids, but... but I don't think this is where I'm supposed to be," he said softly, choking down the lump growing in his throat. "God help me Kim, but I don't think this is real."

Immediately Kim's face fell. Her hand flew up to cover her mouth and her eyes closed tightly.

"I so desperately want this to be real, it feels like it should be, but... I know there's something wrong, something missing. I can feel it..."

"Are you unhappy?" Kim asked quietly, her voice catching on the last word.

"No! I just... Kim, if you've ever trusted me, can you trust me now?"

Slowly she opened her eyes to look at him, and in his chest he felt the pain that somewhere in his soul he remembered he had lived with for a long time appear. She wasn't in his life... there were rangers... he was a ranger... the kids... his team...

Taking a deep breath, Tommy forced himself to accept the fact that this, no matter how much he felt that it was his life, the life he'd always wanted, it wasn't the truth. But he couldn't let it go... or at least he couldn't without one last validation that he was right; he had to kiss her. Reaching out, he caught Kim's arm and pulled her to him, capturing her lips and kissing her deeply.

Yet even as he did it, his heart and mind finally accepted what his soul knew, that this wasn't right, wasn't real. He'd never kissed her like this, and the way she responded to him... it was as if he was politely kissing her cheek. And he knew that if this was real, her reaction would be different. He couldn't say what it would be, but it would be more than this.

Pulling away, he watched as she frowned at him, her eyes filling with tears.

"I'm sorry, but I don't think you're real. That any of this is real."

As he spoke those words, he watched as she began to fade before his eyes, the room shimmering as Jamie and Sarah came in to huddle around Kim, everything blurring to white before he slowly opened his eyes.

To find himself staring up at Kira, Ethan, Conner and Trent, standing around him and watching him where he lay in his bed. In Reefside. Without Kim...

He closed his eyes tightly and swallowed hard.

Damn Mesogog...

"You okay Dr. O?" asked Conner, the worry in his voice obvious, even though their teacher had woken up finally.

"I..." Tommy couldn't form the words to explain just what he'd been through. What he'd lost...

"That must have been a pretty good dream. I know it finally took me noticing that I didn't think Bill Gates was evil before I was able to shake things off," remarked Ethan.

"And I hadn't fallen asleep, so we started making the rounds. Kira and Conner were hard to wake, but not nearly as hard as you. You had us worried," stated Trent.

"What was it about?" asked Kira, curious at what different life Dr. O would have been dreaming about that had held him so tightly.

Tommy looked up suddenly, his eyes the only thing showing the pain he was feeling.

"Doesn't matter," he dismissed quickly, his voice thick. "So, everyone's alright?"

"Yeah, we're all okay. How about you Dr. O?" asked Conner again, now more than just slightly concerned about the black ranger's state of mind.

"I'm okay. Look, why don't you all go home and get some rest. I don't think Mesogog will try this again."

They all stood there for a few moments before the hard stare of their teacher and mentor started to make them decide to clear out.

"Okay Dr. O. Goodnight," said the team in near unison, heading out of his bedroom and down into the basement and out the way they came.

Alone again, Tommy sighed and lay back in the bed for a split second before throwing the covers aside. Walking towards the kitchen, he picked up the phone and dialed a number. It rang four times before he heard someone pick up.

"Who the hell..." answered a sleepy yet familiar voice, less friendly than usual due to being woken in the middle of the night.

"Jason, I'm sorry to wake you," Tommy apologized, even if he was more anxious than sorry.

"Tommy? Why are you calling at... three in the morning?"

"Just... Jason, I need her number. I need to talk to her."

"Okay, okay," his friend remarked, searching his cell phone address list for the number. "It's 202-555-1676. Does that mean you're going to try and fix things after all this time?"

"Yeah."

"Good. But I suggest you wait until morning to talk to Kim. And tell her I said hi."

With that, Jason hung up, and Tommy stared at the phone.

Yeah, he could wait a few more hours. He'd waited this long... but after that, he was going to see if he could try and make some of his dreams reality.

-End-

Okay... that's it. Hopefully the next post will be something from Duty & Honor!