Rainbow of Friendship
A/N: I haven't seen any version of Power Rangers in about eleven years, since just after Kimberly left the show, so I really don't know what really happened in the remaining incarnations. I have done a little studying on it, but if I make a mistake with an event or a battle or something, don't chew me out, just let me know and I will work to correct it. Other than that, feel free to r&r. Thanks!
Disclaimer: I do not own any incarnation, episode, or character from the Power Rangers. That right belongs to Saban, I think. Anyway, not me. I do, however, own a few characters of my own making from this story.
3rd Person POV
June 28, 2006
The tall, dark-haired man earned many approving glances from appreciative females around the room as he came through the door of the popular hangout. Unfortunately for them, Dr. Tommy Oliver, PhD, is completely unaware of how he looks. Making his way across the room, he caught the attention of the cheerful, friendly man wiping down the bar.
"Tommy! Is that you?"
"Ernie? Great to see you, man! What are you doing here?"
"What am I doing here? I own this place, remember? That memory of yours still giving you problems or something?" the older man joked.
"No, I knew you owned the Juice Bar. I just thought you had sold it to volunteer in South America."
"I did, and caught malaria while I was at it. When I got out of the hospital, I decided I missed this place too much to stay away. Luckily, Lt. Stone isn't as into the food business as he thought he might be, and sold the Juice Bar back to me for the same amount he bought it for." Ernie explained.
Tommy chuckled. "Well, that's great, Ernie! I'm glad to see you back here; the Juice Bar just wouldn't be the same without you."
"I'm glad you think so. So, what have you been up to? Still racing cars?" Ernie asked.
"No, actually," Tommy shook his head, "actually, I teach high school science."
"Science! When…how…Where did that come from?" Ernie stuttered.
"OK, let me explain…" For the next half hour, Tommy sketched in as much as he could about his Master's and Doctorate programs, his time with Anton Mercer, the island exploding, finishing his degree in Paleontology, and finally getting the job at Reefside High School.
When he had finished, Tommy looked up at Ernie, who had gone white. "Wow, Tommy. I never would have thought…I mean, you were a great kid and all, but…and now you're a…a teacher. Wow."
"Yeah, wow. Sometimes I still don't believe it, and I've been doing it for two years." Tommy laughed. "Funny how things turn out, isn't it?"
"Yes, it is." Ernie glanced sideways at Tommy. "So I guess your closet must be quite the rainbow, huh?"
Tommy regarded Ernie, choosing his words carefully. "What do you mean, Ernie?"
Looking around to be sure they weren't overheard, Ernie replied, "Well, look at you, first green, then white, then red, and now – if your clothing is any indication – black. Going right through the ranger rainbow."
Now it was Tommy's turn to be white. "How...when…who…?"
"Who told me?" Tommy nodded. "Nobody. I figured with the way you guys wore the same colors everyday, and how your clothing colors changed whenever there was a new guy or team around, and that you were constantly running off at the drop of a hat…it was just easy to put together, that's all."
Oh, great, Tommy thought. If Ernie figured it out so easily, I wonder if anyone else knows, too.
Ernie saw Tommy's white face and surmised correctly what Tommy was thinking. "Hey, Tommy. It wasn't that easy to figure out, really. I didn't even begin to suspect until after you had left, when it corresponded with the Green Ranger leaving, and when you came back right when the White Ranger joined the team. No one else even suspects, I swear."
Tommy looked visibly relieved. "Thanks, Ernie. You worried me for a minute there."
Ernie laughed. "Hey, no problem. Tommy, not that it isn't great to see you, but what exactly are you doing in Angel Grove, anyway? Reefside must be a couple hours away from here."
Tommy finally decided to take a seat on the barstool in front of him. "Well, initially, I came here for my parents' anniversary, but the party isn't until tonight, and Mom and Dad are out to lunch, so I figured I'd come here, kind of a blast-from-the-past type thing, I guess."
"Do you ever see any of your friends anymore?" Ernie asked.
"Well, sometimes I see Jason or Zack. We kept in touch more when they got back from Switzerland. Billy and I call each other or email, and it's the same with Rocky, Adam, and Aisha. Kat emails once a week with updates about her dancing, and calls on holidays and birthdays. And Kimberly…" he trailed off. Kimberly. His best friend. His teammate. The source of all his happiness and all his anguish. "Kimberly and I don't keep in touch that often. The last time we spoke to each other was at Trini's funeral." Tommy clipped out.
The funeral was another sore spot with him. Killed by a drunk driver. It shouldn't have been that way. After all she had done to promote peace and help save the planet, Trini had been killed because she was returning home late from college one night and some asshole had had too many beers to watch where he was driving. It still hurt, even after so many years.
"Yeah, I heard about that. I'm sorry. Trini was a great person." Ernie said, remembering the even-tempered Asian beauty.
"Yes, she was. Anyhow, this place reminds me so much of times way back when. Brings back a lot of memories." Tommy brushed off the feeling that something was not quite right, not as it seemed.
"I'm sure it does. Hey, I just got a great idea. Why don't you arrange a reunion with your friends? I'm sure you'd all love a chance to get caught up on what's going on with one another." Ernie suggested. "You could even invite all the other teams, if you wanted."
"Ernie, that's like 70 people!" Tommy exclaimed. "Do you have any idea how long it would take to plan a party for that many people? And where we would we hold it, anyhow?"
"Well, I don't know if you'll accept this, but I'd be more than willing to close down the Juice Bar for a day or two if you decided you wanted to have your party. I'll provide the food, too. No charge. For anything." He added, seeing the look on Tommy's face.
"Ernie, that's just not right. If we do this party, and you host it, I want to reimburse you for at least the cost of closing your business for us." Tommy argued.
"Nothing doing, Tommy. For everything you, Jason, Zack, Trini, Billy, Kimberly, and all your friends have done for this town and for this planet over the years, the least I can do is give you free food and a party location. It's my honor." Ernie replied. "Besides, I want to see everyone again, too. I haven't seen any of you in over ten years," he laughed.
"That still doesn't say when to have it. People have to make plans, have to get time off work. That takes time, too."
Ernie thought about it for a moment, then came up with an idea. "Hey, Tommy! Didn't you say you were going to your parents' anniversary party tonight?" he asked.
"Well, yeah, but it's not for another couple hours, though. Why? Where are you going with this, Ernie?"
"I was just thinking. How long has it been since the very first ranger team was created?"
"Um...thirteen years the end of Aug—Ernie, you're a genius! We can have a ranger anniversary party! August is still two months away…long enough for people to get the time off work and to get here from their other planets, too!"
"Hey there! Can we get some service, please?" Two kids in black leather and heavy chains sat down at the end of the bar.
As Ernie went to help the two teenagers, Tommy planned some things out in his head. He had addresses at home for his teams, and the second Turbo and Space teams, but that was it. He could get more though, from the different rangers. He was sure that Billy would have a way to reach those rangers living on KO-35 and Mirinoi, and information could be gotten on all the others. Except for the Time Force and SPD teams. Being from the future, they might be a little harder to get a hold of. But he would figure it out. He had to.
"Those two. Don't they remind you of Bulk and Skull?" Ernie asked as he came back over.
"Yeah. I guess some things never change." Tommy replied. "Listen, Ernie, I should be getting back to my parents' house to get ready for the party, but let me think about this and plan a few things and get in touch with a few people before I call you with some firm plans and dates, OK?" Tommy asked.
"Sure. Just let me know when, and I'll clear my schedule."
"Great. Thanks, Ernie. I'll come in to talk some more tomorrow before I head home, and we can discuss this some more."
"Alright, see you then. And tell your parents I said 'Happy Anniversary'!" Ernie called as Tommy ran out the door.