11/20/04

Rating: PG-13

Spoiler: PRDT: Thunder Struck parts 1 & 2 (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, C/K

Warning: Not for Kat fans...

Author's note: Just an FYI – my translations of the dialog from the episode aren't exact. I didn't take the time to transcribe. Sorry.

Summary: What if Elsa's return to humanity revealed more than anyone bargained for?

Hi all. It's over... In a way I'm sad, but on the other hand, I get to fix stuff. So here's the revision, based on Ken's idea on PRIU2. And just so everyone knows, I'm still working on D&H... hopefully I'll be ready to start posting the series soon! For now, here's something to hold you over, and I hope you enjoy. Now, to the story. . .

Thunder Struck Revised

-x-

"No!" screamed Elsa from where she was strapped to the table, as Mesogog flipped the switch.

"Goodbye Elsa... I shall miss you."

The machinery hummed low, and a beam of energy shot down from the point of the extractor, striking Elsa's leather clad chest. Crying out as the equipment drained her of the powers that Mesogog had given her, she felt every evil impulse, every violent behavior drawn from her... leaving her with a sense that this was never what she was, or ever wanted to be.

And as she felt herself begin to dissolve, she realized that maybe, even if this was the death of her that she was finally going to be free.

-x-

On the rooftop of a high rise building in downtown Reefside, the woman formerly known as Elsa suddenly appeared. She looked around, staring at her surroundings in shock and confusion, and then quickly focused on herself. Gone was the leather and mesh and the skin of her hands was lighter; she felt different. She felt like she had changed, and in a way that seemed natural.

Yet she still couldn't comprehend what had happened. How she had come to be here...

How had she survived Mesogog's machine? She had felt herself fading into nothingness. Now, she was here, on the roof of a building in a city... she couldn't remember what city this was. All she could remember was that she expected to be dead. That Mesogog had finally tired of her and drained the power he'd bestowed on him.

Or was it cursed her with?

Shaking her head slowly, she let her eyes close, her hands coming to her head as images flashed before her eyes. She recalled the look of Mesogog as he motioned for the TyranoDrones to haul her to the chair where they strapped her down.

How was it that she remembered that from before, except in a different way?

Still, it was frightening. She had no idea where she was, or who she was for that matter. All she recalled was Mesogog... and power rangers?

"Well, look what we have here."

The sudden voice startling her, she quickly turned and saw the hard, gray armor of someone else she recognized – Zeltrax.

"Leave me alone!"

"I don't think so, 'Elsa', dear... there's going to be a lot of people looking for you," Zeltrax remarked with an evil tone in his voice.

Grabbing her arm tightly, he hauled her towards the entrance to the rooftop. She struggled, parts of her body remembering self defensive, and offensive moves that she'd learned... when? With a leaping kick, she broke his grasp, and tried to run. But he caught her around the waist, twisting her around and then hauling her up against him.

"You are so much better this way. I can see why Oliver was so besotted..."

She blinked and felt her head spin. That name... she knew that name. Images of brown hair and brown eyes and a sweet smile flashed through her mind. And in an instant, she knew who he was.

"Tommy!" she screamed before the stress and drain of her energy caused her to pass out.

As her body went limp, Zeltrax threw her over his shoulder, and carried her towards the stairs.

-x-

"Tommy, look at this," said Hayley as she enlarged the screen to maximum on the monitor before them in the basement.

"Zeltrax. Why's he kidnapping that female civilian?" he commented as he watched the slim shape of a brunette woman thrown over Zeltrax's shoulder. He couldn't get a good look, but she seemed familiar...

"Whatever his reason, it can't be good."

"No, it can't. I'll call the team, and we'll get down there and see if we can't help."

With that, he quickly communicated with the others, giving them Zeltrax's location and hurried from the basement to stop his nemesis.

-x-

Swiftly the team members gathered at the spot where Zeltrax was, taking up defensive stances in preparation for the fight they new was to come. They saw Zeltrax, standing defiant, but the woman was no where in sight.

"Looking for something Oliver?"

"Where's the woman Zeltrax?" Tommy asked with contained anger.

"You're calling her a woman now? How times have changed."

"Just let her go," said Conner, his mouth thinning to a angry line.

"I don't think so."

"It's time," called out Tommy, and the team nodded in unison.

With a series of morphing yells, the five rangers transformed into their armor.

"Alright, let's take him!" Ethan shouted, and they five of them rushed Zeltrax.

Fists and feet went flying. Zeltrax fought back, violently striking the rangers, sending them sailing across the pavement. Quickly they got up, attacking again. As they fought, a sound broke Tommy's concentration, and he felt Zeltrax blast him. He pushed himself up from the ground as he heard the sound again.

"Tommy!"

The realization of his name being called cut Tommy to the quick, his heart raced as a closed off part of his soul woke up... it couldn't be...

"Can you guys handle him?" Tommy asked quickly as he turned away. He had to know...

"We've got him," replied Conner, even as Dr. O ran away, heading for the sound of the kidnapped woman's voice.

Racing into the building, he tried to tell himself that he was imaging things. That he was superimposing 'her' voice onto this woman. It couldn't be...

"Where are you?" he called out as he ran through the building.

Suddenly he turned a corner and stumbled upon her.

"Hold on, I'm coming," he said as he moved to her side.

"Tommy," she said, her head twisting against the post she was strapped to.

And as her face, her eyes turned towards him, he felt his knees go weak, and he nearly fell to the floor. Instead he tentatively touched her cheek, as if to see if she was real.

"Kim?"

For a moment, the brunette looked puzzled, and he wondered if she didn't know her own name, or if the uniform was what was confusing her.

"You're a ranger... I remember..." she stammered, obviously not fully aware of her surroundings or the danger they were in.

"Look, we have to get out of here."

With a violent yank on the vines holding her in place, Tommy freed her, and she nearly collapsed in front of him.

"Kimberly!"

Quickly he picked her up, and hurried back to check on the others, his mind spinning. As he ran at top speed, he fought not to look down at the pale face leaned up against his chest. How many times had he wished for, prayed for this moment... to have her back in his arms again. To make things right.

And now it looked like his wish had come true. But how?

Coming out of the building, Tommy saw that the others had made Zeltrax retreat. He sighed in relief as he slowed to a walk, moving towards the others with his burden.

"You got her!" called out Conner as he and the others rushed to Dr. O's side.

"We're going back to the basement. Now!"

"But... you're not taking her... she'll know about us..." Ethan hesitated, remembering the numerous times that Dr. O had admonished them about keeping their identities secret from everyone.

"She already does," Tommy said simply, his eyes watching Kim's unconscious form in his arms.

"How?" Trent asked in astonishment.

"Who is she?" questioned Kira, curious at Dr. O's obvious attachment to this woman.

"Her name is Kimberly Hart. And she was once a ranger... and my girlfriend."

Stunned with that news, the teens all looked at the petite woman cradled in Dr. O's arms, and realized that they weren't going to change his mind. The best they might be able to get is an explanation once they got to the basement. And the sooner they got there, the sooner they'd find out what the hell was going on.

-x-

As Kim lay on the table, wires and gadgets attached to her, Tommy's eyes couldn't leave her form, and the gaze of everyone else was glued to him.

"So... she's your ex-girlfriend?" Conner asked, lost in the sudden appearance of Dr. O's former flame.

"How did she get here?" asked Trent.

"And why did Zeltrax kidnap her?" questioned Ethan.

"I don't know..."

"He called her Elsa though..." Hayley said with a tone of confusion.

"What?!" everyone said in near unison as Tommy and the others looked at Hayley, wanting an explanation.

"When I was monitoring it, before you arrived... he called her Elsa."

"Elsa..." murmured Kim on the table, as her eyes fluttered open.

"Kim?" Tommy asked, moving quickly to here side.

"I... I remember."

"Remember what?"

"I... he made me her."

"I, we don't understand," Tommy murmured.

"I was Elsa."

The silence that filled the room was deafening.

"That can't be..."

"I remember... I remember everything I, she did. How I hurt you, played with you... he knew who I was, what we... were, and he enjoyed the idea that inside Elsa, buried so deep down was the woman who..."

She trailed off, looking away shamefully. But before she could escape, Tommy caught her chin with his hand, pulling her back to meet his eyes. Doe brown met chocolate brown, and the connection that had always been there between them seemed to magically reappear as if it had never been gone.

"Kim... when..."

Shaking her head, she closed her eyes and looked as if she was trying to suppress the memories of what she'd been through. Tommy, Hayley and the others all were in a state of shock. While Tommy desperately wanted to know how long she'd been under Mesogog's thrall, he could see the pain radiating off her. And the last thing he wanted to do was cause her more pain... but he needed to know the truth.

Slowly Kim moved to sit up, and Hayley went to her side, guiding her first to a sitting position, and then finally with Kira's help Kim stand. She moved to Tommy, her hand reaching forward and laying flat against his chest. It was a gesture of caring and love that stirred Tommy's heart, and he immediately laid his hands across her hand.

"Kim? What happened?" he asked,. "How did Mesogog capture you?"

"It was because of Anton. I... I know him. I met him about three years ago. I... I was his lawyer's secretary. I'd see him come in for his meetings, and then, well... one day he heard me mention your name, and he asked who you were. I didn't know he knew you..."

That question answered, Tommy fought with himself about worrying what to do about Mesogog and Zeltrax, or being selfish and asking Kim what had happened to them all those years ago. He looked at her and saw there in her face the answer to a question that had plagued him for years.

"Who did you leave me for Kim?" he asked, and even though she knew exactly what he meant, he pushed on. "I mean, I know it's been a long time, but I always thought things were fine at the time. I thought you loved me..."

"It was a mistake, a huge mistake," Kim said as she closed her eyes again and tried to back away from him, but Tommy slipped his hands around her and held her fast.

"Why then?"

"Because Kat asked me to."

Hayley and Tommy stood stunned. Hayley knew who Kat was, having known the platinum blonde when she dated Tommy back in college. For Tommy the reaction was something more like being blindsided with a ten ton truck.

"Kat?"

"She, she called me in Florida, when I was training with Coach Schmidt. She did all the kind, dutiful things of asking how I was, if things were going well. And then she laid it on me... she said you were miserable, and that you were taking too many chances. That you were going to get yourself or someone on the team killed... because of me. She asked me, for the sake of the team, and for you, to let you go. To write the most painful letter I could and break things off, so you could focus on the team."

This time it was Tommy who closed his eyes, his hands shaking as he held Kim to him as a fury gripped him. Maybe Kat's reasons were as pure as Kim made them out to be, but in the end, she'd pushed herself into Kim's role, as the pink ranger and his girlfriend. And he'd let her do it.

"Damn her!" he spat, releasing Kim and stalking across the room to pick up one of the instruments on Hayley's tables and hurled it across the room.

"Tommy! What's wrong? I don't..."

"Kim, what do you know about Tommy's life after Kat asked you to write the letter?" Hayley asked quietly.

"Not much. I fell out of touch with everyone shortly after I sent the letter..."

"Did you know that Kat and Tommy dated for three years?"

Kim's face went white and she reached out to catch the edge of the bed. She had no idea... and her obvious reaction to that news told Hayley that.

"She made me care about her... I don't believe she... how could she?" Tommy growled.

"I don't know Tommy, but we can't worry about that right now," Hayley said with a determined tone in her voice.

"Why not?"

"Because we have to stop Mesogog right now."

"And I have to save my father," Trent announced.

"And how are you going to do that?"

"By giving him the dino gems."

"I'm not giving you my dino gem."

"Its our only chance. He needs the gems to power his weapon, and he'll give me back my father if I give them to him. If I go in there, I can get you into a portal, and we can destroy the weapon and him."

"I don't like it," Tommy remarked, remembering years past and other trades gone wrong.

"I don't think we have much of a choice," Hayley replied. "There aren't a lot of options here."

"Yeah, he's gonna use that weapon sooner or later."

The rangers looked from one another, the tension radiating off them in waves. Finally, they all nodded, accepting this decision.

"Okay, we need to go... Kim, you stay here. You'll be safe, and when we get back, we'll talk about this..." Tommy said simply, catching her hands in his, and felt his heart soar as she smiled at him.

"Come back safe."

"I always do, don't I?"

Hurrying out the back entrance, Kim watched Tommy and the others leave, knowing that after this was all done, maybe she and Tommy could have a second chance...

-x-

A sound turned Kim's eyes from where she'd watched Tommy and these new rangers destroy Mesogog's fortress. They couldn't be back already she thought. Suddenly the wall blew in, and she ducked, feeling pieces of rock fly past her. She looked up and felt her blood go cold.

Zeltrax had found her.

"It's all over now."

"No!"

"You're coming with me!"

With that, Zeltrax grabbed her arm and pulled her along after him, the base nearly collapsing behind them.

-x-

As the rangers returned to the base with Anton and Hayley in tow, they found the place smoldering and in ruins.

"Kim!"

"She's not here Dr. O."

"Then where?"

"He took her."

Everyone looked to Anton, Tommy sharply lunging towards him, his hands grasped Anton's collar, holding him tightly and indicating the reigned in fury of the black ranger. That move startled the team, with Trent racing to his father's aid as Conner and Ethan moved to either side of Dr. O, pulling him off Anton.

"What do you mean 'he' took her?" Tommy nearly growled as he stood before his former benefactor.

"Did Kim tell you that I knew her, from before?"

"Yeah, she told us that," Ethan remarked from his place at Dr. O's side.

"What she didn't say, what she didn't know was that Smitty had fallen in love with her... He'd met her at my offices when he was applying for the job that you ended up getting."

"But... I never saw her."

"I made sure that you didn't meet. And its one of the other reasons I owe you an apology Tommy. I knew that things had ended badly for you two, and I didn't want to complicate things further..."

"So you kept her hidden," murmured Kira, shocked at Trent's father's actions.

"I'm sorry."

"I don't care about that Anton. What I care about is getting Kim back from Zeltrax... Smitty..."

"What is going to do with her?" asked Hayley, now concerned not just for Tommy's mental state but Kim's life.

"Mesogog... when I was Mesogog, he knew that Zeltrax, that Smitty was in love with Kim, and her transformation to Elsa gave him his chance. But she never loved him, even as Elsa. And he came to realize that it was because that even underneath the evil energy that she'd been changed by, she had always wanted you, and would never want him. It was one of the reasons that he hates you. And now that Elsa's gone and your Kim is back, he's going to make sure you never have her."

"We can't let him get away with that!" Conner cried out, enraged at the idea of someone being so ruthless.

"We won't," Tommy vowed, and they all raced out to find Zeltrax and rescue Kim... at all costs.

-x-

The battle raged outside, but Tommy didn't care. The others could face down Zeltrax's monstrosity. He had to get Kim. With every ounce of will power to not just rip the thing to shreds, Tommy hurried through the labyrinth of the zord/monster that Zeltrax was manipulating, hunting for the woman who still was the love of his life.

"Kim, where are you?" he called out, battling his way through the Triptoids that seemed to appear in his path.

"Tommy!" Kim cried out, hearing the clash of battle as well as Tommy's voice.

"Kim!" he yelled, trying to pinpoint her location as well as disable the wave of foot soldiers attacking him.

"Tommy, I'm in here!"

He realized finally where her voice was coming from, and forced himself to increase his attack, sending the Triptoids aside like ten pins.

"Hang on, I'm coming!"

"Tommy!"

"Hold on!" he called out, running for all he was worth, hoping against hope that he could save her like he had so many times in the past.

-x-

As time slipped by, Kira got anxious. Dr. O should have gotten out with Kim by now, and they were taking a beating while there was still no sign of them. Zeltrax had them on the ropes now, and the only way they were going to be able to stop him was with Dr. O's help...

"I'm going in to help Dr. O," she announced suddenly, prompting Ethan and Conner to look at her as the zord took another stunning hit.

With that, Kira hurried from the bridge and made her way across the sky to enter Zeltrax's monster as Dr. O had. As she ran towards the sound of battle, she heard Kim call out for Dr. O and his answering call. It wrenched her heart.

"Kim!"

"Tommy!"

"I'll be right there," he announced, moving forward towards the wall where she was held prisoner.

Then a hand came down hard on his shoulder, and before he could react, he felt himself flying backwards across the room.

"No he won't."

Kim's face went white as she saw Zeltrax throw Tommy across the room, and her fear grew exponentially. After all this time, to finally have a second chance...

"Kim! Dr. O!" yelled Kira as she wailed on the Triptoids with her terra blades.

"Kira, get Kim!"

With that said, Tommy leapt up and engaged Zeltrax again.

"Hey guys, we've got an idea," came Conner's voice through the helmet mikes.

Suddenly a hole appeared through the chest wall of Zeltrax's zord, created by their drill. As it retreated, they all could see the city and freedom.

"Kira, take Kim and get out of here, now!"

"No! Not without you!" yelled Kim, even as Kira moved to comply.

No match for her younger ranger successor, Kim found herself being dragged through the hole, and they plummeted towards the ground. Only Kira's ranger powers kept them from becoming stains on the pavement.

"Smitty, stop!" Tommy called out as he blocked another painfully hard stroke of Zeltrax's sword.

"Smitty's gone Oliver. Haven't you gotten that through that thick skull of yours?"

"I don't want you dead."

"That's the only way this will end... once of us dead Tommy. And only one of us with Kimberly..."

Anger flared through him, and Tommy shot forth with everything the bracio staff had at Zeltrax, sending him flying across the room. AS he crashed loudly, Tommy hurried to the opening made by his team in the chest of the monster he was in.

"I'd love to stay and fight some more Zeltrax, but Kim's waiting."

With that he rushed for the hole and jumped. As he landed in a three point stance, he found himself breathing a sigh of relief. He was out, and so was Kim...

"Tommy!" Kim cried out as she raced forward to embrace him.

In that second, he held her fast to him, remembering how this felt...

"Guys, we're still in trouble here!" called Conner, as he and Ethan continued to get pummeled.

"Kim, you need to get out of here," Tommy said, pulling Kim from his arms with a superhuman effort.

"No!"

"Please Kim..."

Grasping his hands tightly, she reluctantly nodded. As she quickly fled to the somewhat safety of the closest warehouse, Tommy turned back to Zeltrax and the task at hand. All he had to do was survive it, and maybe there was a chance for a happy ending to all this...

-x-

"So, what do you plan to do now that the powers are destroyed?" asked Anton as they sat in the balcony overlooking the prom.

Tommy smiled. It had been a rough day... the final battle with Zeltrax had cost them all the zords. And then to defeat Mesogog, the dino gems had been drained. But the second the battle was over, and Kim had rushed back to his arms, he had made his decision...

"I've decided to stay and teach. Now that things are quiet again... maybe settle down."

Trent and Anton shared a look. They knew, just like the others what settling down meant for Tommy.

As he smiled at Anton and Trent, Tommy suddenly looked away, and watched the caramel haired woman in the lavender dress was walking down the steps to where he, Anton and Trent sat.

"You all caught up, because I thought you promised me the chance for us to relive our senior prom that wasn't?" Kim asked, smiling at the man she'd loved all her life.

"Yeah Beautiful. Let's go."

With that he took her arm and they walked back up the steps to the staircase leading to the dance floor. There, they bumped into Cassidy and Devin, and Ethan and his date. Suspiciously though, Conner was there as well, seemingly solo.

"Hey Dr. O, Kim," he remarked with a grin, looking to the others who all now had figured out the depths of their teacher's relationship with his former flame... or actually current flame from the looks of it.

"Conner, what are you doing alone?" Tommy asked, surprised.

"My date's a bit busy," he remarked, and looked up to the stage where Hayley was coming out.

"It's been a long and crazy year, but you all survived. Congratulations and it's my pleasure to announce... Kira Ford."

As the curtains parted, Kira walked out onto the stage, her band behind her starting the first chords of the song, and Ethan, Kim and Tommy all turned to look at Conner, who's eyes were glued to where Kira stood.

"Conner and Kira?" Tommy said with surprise and Ethan shrugged his shoulders.

"Hey, like we all saw any of this coming?" he retorted, looking to where Kim was held securely to Dr. O's side.

Following his student's gaze to Kimberly, he smiled and fought down a laugh. Yeah, it was a whole series of surprises.

"It'll never be the same again," Conner remarked with sense of melancholy.

"Well, not the way it was, but..." Ethan replied, and the two shared a look.

For everything that they'd lost in losing their powers, they'd gained so much more. And looking to their former mentor and teacher, they knew they weren't the only ones.

"So Dr. Oliver, how about that dance?" Kim said as Kira began her ballad.

"As long as you promise me this is just the first one for the night."

"I can promise you that I have no plans to dance with anyone else. Ever."

"So, you think you can handle being a teacher's wife?" he asked with a smug grin, picking up her left hand once more to kiss the skin right above the simple, round cut solitaire engagement ring that they'd run off to pick out just before the prom after they'd talked the afternoon away discussing their still smoldering feelings for one another.

"There's nothing else I'd rather be."

Taking her in his arms, Tommy leaned in and kissed her deeply before he broke away from her mouth. Smiling broadly, he held her to him as they started to dance across the floor, reveling in the fact that just like for his students, this was the beginning of much, much more.

-End-

Okay... that's it. Hopefully the next post will be the first chapter of Duty & Honor!