As Long As You're Mine
By Sailor Miaka
Author's note: I just wanted to say I am so sorry that it has taken me this long to give you all this update. I apologize profusely. However I am intensely grateful to all of you that have stuck around for this. It means more to me than words can say. Again my deepest thanks. Especially to oneredneckgoddess, my lovely beta.
Warnings: You should all know by now.
Disclaimer: Don't own them, wish I did. Fan base would be happier.
As Long As You're Mine
Guin and Preston raced down the halls of the ship, their plan in motion, making their way down to the cargo hold within minutes. With practiced ease they wedged themselves between ancient cargo covered in dist, completely covered and hidden from their kidnappers. As soon as they had seen their parents on the Sisters' screen the Oliver's knew it was time to start Operation Escape. So far so good. Guin hugged her brother tightly but said nothing, merely meeting his eye and nodding.
The games were about to begin.
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The ship was marking its descent.
"What do we do?"
The question echoed even as the roar of the engines drowned out all sound. The girl in orange who had challenged Neesha quickly stepped forward.
"My name is Ree. Time for introductions later. I have a plan. It is risky, but it just might work," she said. "We just have to trust each other."
Telepathically the plan was transferred between colors and couples. Within mere seconds eyes were connecting and heads were nodding in agreement.
"Do we have a plan?" Ree asked.
"I don't think it's a question of trusting the team but a question of trusting her," Jason said pointing to Neesha.
"My sister knows her place now," Mason said. "I trust her."
Tommy stepped forward.
"This will only work if we all trust one another. Right now we don't have another option. What would Zordon do?"
They were silent a minute and seconds later they were assembling. Neesha was preparing when a strong hand grabbed her arm, twisting it behind her back and forcing her towards the ground.
"Betray us again," Kim hissed in her ear, "and Tommy will be the least of your worries."
She released a wide eyed Neesha and sauntered to her place.
This had better work…they thought in unison
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Phi and Rho watched as the screen flickered back to life. Someone was trying to magically interfere with the projected image and Phi was certain she knew just which green clad Ninjetti Priestess it was.
Time enough for Dulcea, she thought as she surveyed the scene.
Just as she'd expected, she liked what she saw.
Neesha had fulfilled her promise to bring Earth's Power Rangers and the White pretender to her. She saw how skillfully Neesha held Tommy pinned to the ground, her team restraining the members of his. She chuckled as the chakram glinted at her hip, the whip strapped to Mason's back.
"Bring the Brats," she called to Rho.
"Need them not for this," Rho replied. "Take what is ours and destroy the Pretenders."
Phi considered this and seemed to agree with her sister.
"Agreed. Take and Give."
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The Rangers watched as the ship roared through the Phaedesian atmosphere, the clouds around them burning. For a split second Rocky was reminded of the alien entrance in that Independence Day movie and was half expecting to see Will Smith to show up, throw out a smart ass remark and save the day. The boy, Rocky thought his name was Marco, holding him down was making a good show, but as he increased pressure on Rocky's bindings, Rocky threw him a glare.
"Quit squirming, they'll smell a rat," Marco said under his breath. Rocky settled down.
Anytime now, Will.
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Rho cringed as Phi cursed yet again. Though normally the more patient of the Sisters, Phi was certainly not taking kindly to the latest escape attempt by the Oliver twins. Rho chuckled to herself, trying to find the children quickly. Not that they really needed them anymore. They had been more like insurance than actual captives. Rho had grown rather attached to the young Guinevere and upon successful completion of their mission; she had every intention of asking Phi if she could keep the little girl as a pet. Well, and the boy too, because Guin would not take kindly to being away from her brother. Maybe, Rho reasoned with herself, Guin would learn not to ask questions that annoyed her so. Phi would have to say yes. After all, it just wasn't right, sending them back to Earth.
Especially after Phi and Rho killed their parents.
No child deserved that, as they well knew.
No one knew better than they what that was like.
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Hayley whooped for joy as her sensor beams finally locked on the ship carrying Phi and Rho and began analyzing. If they were lucky, they could track it and find out its base within a few minutes. She turned to tell her companions of this new development only to become as glued to the screen as they were.
Oh, no…. she thought as she saw the set-up before her. This is going to go badly….
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The ship descended, blowing sand and grass around it, whipping through the rangers' hair. For their part the Neo-Ninjetti did not flinch or even move a muscle. The bridge opened. Smoke rolled out of it and they heard the thud of a lone pair of boots make its approach.
Shit… All rangers thought together, regardless of age, color gender or team.
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Dulcea was praying, as fervently as she could, to the Ninjetti Spirits. Praying for guidance and help. The image that came to her was vicious. It laid bare the knowledge that had always been just there, beneath the surface. Suddenly it all made since to her.
"They're back," she whispered to Ninjor.
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Phi strutted proudly towards them, alone, heading straight to Neesha. Rho was nowhere in sight. Tommy stared at her without fear, his mind trying to salvage the plan. Unbidden Ree's words filled his head:
We have to be careful, they're smart but they're insanely arrogant. They follow the old Ninjetti ways but seem to have disdain for them. Master Warriors, it is important that you do not give any evidence away. If you must pretend to be unconscious, do so, but give absolutely no sign that you are preparing for them. Especially you, Tommy.
"Told you, useless the fight against us was," Phi said staring straight at him. "But you," she said to Neesha, "promise fulfilled you have. Rewarded are you to be."
Neesha inclined her head slightly, bowing before the woman
"Mistress Phi, I bring you the pretender you demanded as well as the mythic chakram of the first Purple Ranger."
"Wait for Phi to take possession of the chakram. She should hand it directly to Rho. If she doesn't, then wait for her to secure it on her. She's a prideful person; she'll want to rub in her victory."
Neesha extended her hand, the chakram extended in it. The plan was in the shit and she knew it. She remained calm. They were with the Power Rangers after all. She had studied them in school. She knew they would come up with something.
"Accept I do. The white pretender not a struggle was?"
"No, mistress. Nor his team. False Ninjetti always fall to those who practice the true ways," Mason replied; digging his foot a little harder on Kimberly's back.
"So see I."
"I present to you mistress, the thunder whip of the first Orange ranger."
Phi did not immediately reach for the whip. Instead she stared at it as if she was afraid of it. She snatched it from his hand so violently Mason wondered if he still had a hand left.
After she has the whip, tread carefully. Bait her. Get her mad. Wait for her to use her magicks. That's when she'll be at her most vulnerable. Rho will follow in her example.
"You have done well my acolytes," Phi said with real sincerity.
"We ask for nothing but that which you promised us, milady," Michael called out, "the return of our Mims and Deet."
"All that is? Nothing else wish you?" Phi said with a malicious smile
"Where are my kids, you bitch?!" Kimberly bellowed out only to have Mason shush her.
"Children?" Phi said slowly, staring down Kimberly. "Children not part of this."
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Rho was surveying the scene, waiting for her signal from Phi to attack. Her hand was just inches from the button…
Rho found herself suddenly tied to her chair, the Oliver Twins encircling her with a rope they had found in the hold.
"Let me go…" she glared at the children.
"We think not," The twins said in unison, clearly mocking their former captor.
Hand in hand, the twins made a break for the entrance and their parents.
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"We care not for these children, Mistress Phi," Neesha said. "We just want our parents back. We made a bond you and I: Tommy Oliver and the mystic weapons for our parents."
"True, we did make this deal." Phi said "But I think now it becomes hypocritical."
When she thinks she has you in check mate, we'll strike. Just give the signal.
There were two options as Neesha saw them, the original plan was not going to work for Rho had yet to show her face. Neesha knew that she must still be on the ship, waiting for the ambush. Surprise was their only element. This was their chance. Somehow, she knew Tommy agreed.
"REE!" Neesha yelled, hitting the deck.
"Ree?" Phi said, thoroughly confused until she felt the blow to the back of her skull.
She hit the ground hard, taking a mouthful of dirt. She tried to raise her head only to make eye contact with the toes of vibrant orange boots as they connected with her stomach.
"You?" Phi spat out.
"You dishonor the legacy," Ree said, pointing her large scythe at her.
"I AM the legacy you stupid brat," Phi spat out, completely unaware as Jason, Kimberly and Aisha boarded the ship. "RHO!"
Clearly Phi had been expecting her sister to reign down hell on Phaedos. When that didn't happen, Phi knew instinctively that she had grossly underestimated the Earthlings. The Rangers had been prepared by someone who knew exactly how to handle them, by someone who had studied them, someone who did not underestimate them. She turned her eyes to the girl in front of her.
"How is it we knew not of you?" Phi asked plainly as Ree continued to circle her, scythe drawn.
"Because I do not exist here yet," she replied.
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This way," Kim said making her way deeper into the ship. "I know they're this way!"
"Kim, we gotta be careful, we don't know what kind of traps this place has." Jason said.
"I don't care Jason. I need to get to my kids!"
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The Oliver twins were near the finish line, they could see the light pouring in from the open ramp. Guin stopped her brother in his tracks.
"I hear Mommy!"
"She's right outside, Guinnie! C'mon." Preston said, again starting for the door.
"No, I think she's back in there!" Guin exclaimed, pointing back the way they came.
Preston listened hard. He didn't hear anything
"Guinnie, Mom is just outside we need to go now!"
"I HEARD HER PRES!" Guin hissed at him quietly. "She's here!"
Preston again listened. Just as he was about to drag his sister out the door he heard it faintly, but still close:
"Jase- they've got to be here."
"Mom!" he cried out
The twins made a dash for the connecting hallway between the bridge of the ship and the entrance ramp.
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Kim stopped dead in her tracks when the faint echo reached her. She turned from Jason and Aisha and ran in the opposite direction they had been going, completely trusting her instincts, knowing where she would end up. Suddenly she turned the corner and crashed into the running bodies of her twins. She burst into tears and held them close for a brief second before her resolution kicked in.
"Come on babies, Mommy's gonna get us out of this."
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Rho fought with all her might against the bindings that held her fast, not paying attention to the screen behind her. Children should not have been able to ambush her. Her emotions had made her soft, left her vulnerable. She saw that now and knew that once she was free, Guinevere Oliver would be made to pay a hefty price. Discipline would make her hard and a grand pet for Rho. She just needed to get out of this before Phi could make it back into the ship.
The younger twin reached for the chakram that was restrained on her hip. Her fingers touched air. She craned her head to look down her side and was rewarded with the sight of her clothing, no chakram. Rho's eyes grew hard, her mouth a set line.
Guinevere Trini Aisha Oliver was definitely going to be punished within an inch of her life.
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Phi had managed to gain a slightly more dignified position flat on her back facing Ree as the sharp blade of Ree's Scythe stood mere inches from her nose.
"How could you?" Ree seethed. "Taking children! Against the Code goes it! Dishonor you bring to all those Ninjetti called!"
"We took no children," Phi said, a light forming behind her eyes. "They are right here."
Ree's eyes narrowed as she studied Phi's face. Clearly the witch was up to something.
"Bring them hence," she spat into Phi's face. "Present me with Preston and Guinevere Oliver!"
Phi smiled and Ree knew then the battle had only just begun.
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Kimberly ran, Guinnie securely on her back, for the entrance. She knew Aisha was behind her as well as Jason who held on to Preston as tightly as Kim did Guinnie. Hope had filled her heart as she felt the despair melt from her heart. The fear however, remained and kept her running faster and faster. The light grew brighter as Kimberly recognized the entrance. She slowed only slightly approaching the entrance almost cautiously, expecting something. She found herself in the opening, locking onto Tommy's eyes almost immediately.
"Daddy!" Guinnie breathed in Kim's ear as they began their descent on the ramp.
"Yes baby," Kim replied. "Daddy."
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Rho shook free of her bindings and glanced to her sister's image.
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Hayley's furious clacking had not stopped since the images had resurfaced. She was digging through files that Zordon had created, looking for something anything on these Twins. She refused to believe that Zordon, all knowing Zordon, did not have any information what so ever on the existence of two such powerful beings. She knew she was in awkward territory already. Tommy had gone to great lengths to protect her from the vast majority of all things Power Ranger in case something should happen. However even he knew that the day would come when they would need information that perhaps the very oldest of the files could give them and only Hayley or perhaps Billy could access this information.
Hayley had managed to wade through the garble of audio she had managed to record and had picked up on a phrase that sent her searching in a new direction. She began to probe through the files of the Ninjetti. Images, schematics and page upon page of written material began to fly at her. Her eyes widened as her screen darkened and a man's image spoke to her from the screen.
"Who trespasses here?" He demanded. "You are not a holder of a Power Coin."
"My friend holds one!" Hayley said, more annoyed than scared at the image. "Tommy Oliver."
"My husband, Zach Taylor, holds one!" Angela cried out from behind her.
"My twin brother, Conner McKnight holds one!" Eric followed Angela's lead.
"I'm with him!" Cassidy said pointing to Eric.
The image seemed to regard them a minute. A fatherly concern passing over his features as the names were spoken.
"I am Zordon of Eltar. What can I do to help my Rangers?"
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The sound of footsteps at the edge of the ramp pulled everyone's focus.
Everyone except Ree.
She knew she could not waver even for a second. For her part, Phi's eyes never wavered either. Ree felt like she was searching her soul, looking for the key to defeat them all. Ree knew she would find it, knew there was nothing she could do about it. The question at hand was what Phi would do with the information once she had it.
A cheer broke out as Kimberly, Jason and Aisha came flying down the ramp, Pres and Guin in tow. Ree's determined eyes flickered away for the barest fraction of a second.
"Her?" Phi asked a little incredulously.
As Ree's eyes met Phi again, Ree knew the woman had finally made the connection, finally could see everything. In that instant Phi was gone.
"Watch out!" Ree shrieked, knowing it was too late.
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Tommy could only process Kimberly, as she barreled down the ramp, twins in tow. Guin practically jumped into his arms as Preston tried to climb into Kimberly's. They nodded as everyone began to retreat, just as planned.
Ree's scream rocked him to his core. Wildly he looked up to Kimberly.
"Go no farther," a cold as steel voice commanded them.
Tommy could not move. Rho had Kimberly and Preston at sword point, an energy barrier around them, preventing anyone from getting near. Tommy recognized the voice as Phi's.
"Give me the child," she ordered. "Or I kill her mother."
Guin trembled, truly scared for the first time.
"And her brother."
Guin looked at Tommy and whispered so softly he almost didn't hear it.
"It's ok Daddy. I'm not scared of them."
Guin kissed him on the cheek, softly like a butterfly landing. She turned to look at Phi, seemed to stiffen and then giggled.
"Time is going swiftly, White Ranger."
Tommy noticed the sarcasm placed on his color.
"Tommy no!" Kim cried out from the bubble
"Foolish man." Phi chuckled as Tommy let Guin shimmy down his tall frame and walk of her own accord to Phi. "Sacrificing all for love. As if Love could protect you."
Phi placed her hands on Guin's shoulders and was gone instantly. Rho surveyed the scene.
"Humans," she said almost wistfully. "You're all a bunch of fools."
The energy barrier released and Tommy sank to the ground as not only did Rho, Phi and their ship disappear, but so did Kimberly and the twins.
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Tommy was silent. Still on the ground. Jason was issuing orders, trying to make sense of the commotion.
Her voice was so innocent, so pure sounding that Tommy turned to it without a thought. As soon as he saw her face, Tommy forgot the meaning of the word self control.
"You!" he bellowed, stopping everyone in their tracks. Neesha had the good sense to begin backing up.
"It didn't go the way it was supposed to. I never intended for this to happen. I—"
Tommy didn't wait to hear. He stayed on his knees exactly where he had lost Guin, where he had watched Rho disappear with Kim and his son. He reacted without thinking. His brutal punch caught Neesha in the stomach, sending her flying. Jason and Rocky, were at his side in a second, restraining him as best they could. Marco and Michael were providing the same to Neesha. Mason stepped between them. Staring down Tommy with a glare that caught him off guard.
"I know she deserved that one, but if you ever attack my sister again I will kill you where you stand."
The threat was enough for Tommy to begin thinking rationally again. He surveyed the group around him, realizing that he now possessed a small army of Power Rangers.
The static voice seemed to come from no where and everywhere at the same time.
"Thank God. I've seen everything and I've sent a message to Andros. He should be there momentarily to pick you all up."
"Where are they going Hayley?" Tommy said, desperation creeping into his voice.
"I think that it would be best to wait for Andros Tommy—"
"They have KIMBERLY AND MY CHILDREN!" Tommy bellowed out making everyone flinch. "Where are they going Hayley?"
"I don't know," Hayley said in a small voice. "I can't find them. But Andros can."
"Good," Tommy said in a hollow voice.
Hayley tried to reply but the transmission was too weak. All they could make out was the word "Twins".
Tommy put his hands on the ground to boost himself up and felt something slice his hand. He bent down, holding his bleeding palm close and picked up what was in the sand.
The Ninjetti spirit chakram.
His mind whirled. He was vaguely aware of the others speaking got him but he paid no attention.
How did the chakram get here?
He replayed the events of the last few moments in his mind. He saw Neesha give the chakram to Phi, he saw Phi disappear, her hands on Guin…
A story Kim had shared with him during a down moment came to mind. Guin was quite the little thief when she wanted to be. Kim had said. Finding the candy hidden in Kim's house or getting the gum out of Kim's purse without Kim knowing.
He knew without a doubt that Guinnie had stolen the chakram from Phi and left it here.
"By the spirits!"
Jin's exclamation finally brought Tommy back to earth where he saw he held no one but two chakrams in his hands.
"Where did you find the other one?" Jin asked him in a soft serene voice.
"They were both right there. Guin left them."
The Neo Ninjetti were chattering amongst themselves so fast that none of the rangers could catch on.
"She left them for Neesha." Ree said, quieting the chatter. "Neesha's the only one who can use them."
"How would Guin know that?" Aisha said as Jin took the two chakrams from Tommy and handed them to Neesha.
They watched as the two chakrams glowed purple in her hands before fusing together as one. Neesha could not answer.
"She and Neesha have a--, well they're--" Jin started.
"They are of a bond." Ree replied. "Neesha can not exist without Guin and Guin cannot exist with out Neesha."
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On board the ship, Kim held her twins close to her, watching the silent exchange between the sisters. Kim tried with all her might to hear the conversation between the sisters, hoping her telepathy would work.
"Soon enough we will be rid of you." Phi said suddenly, turning to Kimberly.
"You're screwed now, lady," Kim growled out. "If you thought we were relentless before, you haven't seen anything yet. You'll pay for taking my children from me."
Phi rolled her eyes. "Stupid human. If your eyes and mind were not so weak you would have seen the truth a long time ago. Your children were with you the entire time."
Kim stopped for a second; feeling like her breath had been sucked out of her. Unbidden, something Mason told her floated to the forefront of her memory.
"Maybe question is wrong, and answer you already know."
Kim's eyes widened as she searched the massive screen to her left, whispering to herself.
"Sweet Jesus, how could I have been so blind?"
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"We have to go, we have to go NOW!"
The sudden outburst drew their attention. Neesha was in hysterics, Tommy saw but did not understand. Not even Michael could calm her screaming.
"We have to get to them. Before she does it!"
"Neesha! Stop it! You're wearing out Daphne! She can't control the glamour much longer!"
Suddenly it was quiet. Far too quiet. Too much had been said and everyone realized it.
Jason stared at Tommy with deep and probing eyes. Tommy's voice hadn't sounded that calm, that confident, that…calculating since his Evil Green Ranger Days.
"No, this time they're going to talk. No sob stories, no threats. Just simple plain truth."
There was a quality about his voice that didn't even allow for the possibility of lying.
"It's done. It's over," Neesha said suddenly strangely calm. "We never should have started it to begin with."
"Neesha!" Mason said staring at her.
"I said it's done. Daphne, don't make me force you to quit."
"Are you sure that's wise?"
Neesha didn't bother acknowledging Ree's question. She just continued to stare at Daphne. With a deep sigh, that clearly noted the aqua-eyed girls apprehension, Daphne solemnly nodded and amongst the incredulous gazes of her team mates whispered one word.
The Rangers felt as if a monstrous wind blew threw them, rising dust and making them cover their eyes. It was gone as quickly as it came. Jason quickly opened his eyes, wondering just what the hell was going on. His mouth dropped.
The Rangers had long ago concluded that the Neo Ninjetti were somehow cloaking their appearance. Why they could not say. Now Jason knew exactly the reason why.
Neesha stood with her brother clad entirely in purple, her Ninjetti medallions glinting in the sun. Her proud face trembled, her long hair brown with glints of red in the light swayed in the slight breeze, looking to Mason whose identical coloring took on the exact look. Their duplicate chocolate brown eyes met their makers.
"Didn't you ever wonder why, that in spite of everything that was happening, you were never worried about your children's safety? Even though you were worried about their absence, you never worried that they would be harmed?" she said, a smile creeping on her lips. A smile Jason knew very, very well.
Mason looked to Aisha who could not take her eyes off of him.
"God almighty," she whispered as tears began to creep down her cheeks.
Mason and Neesha spoke together:
"We've been here the entire time."