One more sad depressing one shot. I could combine the three and make it one story, but how much fun would that be. Anyway, it is recommended that you read "Out of Reach" and "Out of Time" first, as this is the third and final story in a trilogy. I hope you all enjoy.
Bad things happen, but you have to keep going, even though at those instances time seems to stand still. Each day, living can seem like a nightmare, but you know there'll be a light at the end of the tunnel if you just keep going. She knew she just had to keep going.
An older woman sat in a cold plastic hospital chair, a bad cup of coffee in her hand. She wore a pair of white pants and a white shirt with a pink sweater over it. Her once solid black hair was doused with bits of grey, or silver, as her family, and extended family teased. It was well passed midnight, and she'd already sent her husband and children home for the night. To think, it was her younger brother's forty-sixth birthday that day.
She looked up and around the room to see what remained of the huge group of people who'd been there over the course of the day. It had all started that morning when her father, nearly eighty years old, had had a heart attack and landed himself in the hospital, in critical condition.
She bit her lip, doing her best to hold back the tears that filled her eyes as she stood up and looked into the window that led to her dad's hospital room. She felt a soft hand come and rest on her shoulder.
"Candace, why don't you go home and I get some sleep? I can watch over dad," her brother told her. The forty-eight year old shook her head defiantly. There was no way she could leave. She sighed and leaned against her brother, remembering all they'd been through, as her eyes fell six of the six men and women in the waiting room. They'd all sent their family's home but refused to leave themselves. These were her teammates, her "cousins", some of the last of the Power Rangers with direct connections to the original team. Four others stood with them, despite that they'd never had any actual power. They still knew what could happen that day.
First there was Tabitha Fernandez-Scott , the youngest of them all by eight months. She was a well known pianist in several countries, having also developed her mother's singing voice, and her father's artistic abilities. She was married now with three children of her own.
Next was Lillian Park-DeSantos, an A.D.A for the state of California. No one had seen that coming. She was married with two children, claiming that was enough for her.
Jessica Taylor-Park was the next youngest. She'd managed to become a famous choreographer for many music videos and even several Broadway productions.
Joshua Park was the oldest of the group without powers, although he knew what it meant to have them. He'd helped Abby as a second technical advisor when the group had gotten their ranger powers. Together, he and Jessica had one son.
Margaret DeSantos, unmarried, but with an attitude that said she didn't want to be. She was the youngest of the former rangers, by all of five minutes, as her two brother's liked to jest at her. She taught women's self defense at the dojo she and her siblings had taken over for her dad.
Louis DeSantos, the middle triplet, with eyes that could make any girl fall in love with him. The only girl who his charm didn't effect was his wife. She claimed it was because she'd known him her whole life. Louis just played it off.
Toby DeSantos, Husband of miss Lillian Park, and a devoted father. As the oldest son, he was the main owner of the dojo his father had left them, but he shared it equally with his brother, and two sisters.
Brandon Hillard, a bachelor until the end. Brandon was a police officer in New York with no needs to tie himself down. He was perfectly happy, even at the age of forty-six to go bar hopping and meet women.
Alexander Scott. He and Tabitha had gotten married and had the three most beautiful children in the world. At least in his opinion. He was a professional soccer player, who upon retiring, took over as his wife's manager.
Abigale Cranston-DeSantos, the only woman Louis couldn't land. No, she had landed him; tamed the wild beast as her friends had often joked. She was madly in love with him and their two children.
Alison DeSantos-Triton; she'd met her husband in college and told him all about her time as a Power Ranger. He'd been a huge fan, and the two of them had hit it off immediately, William accepting her for everything she was. Alison was a very successful brain surgeon.
And lastly, there was Candace herself, Mrs. Candace Scott-Cramer. Candace had just won an Olympic gold medal in gymnastics when she and the rest of the American team had gone out to celebrate when she'd met her Australian husband. She'd been very proud to tell him who she was, and even happier when he'd smiled and asked if she could teach him some moves.
Together they made up some of the last remaining keys of a legacy that had started nearly sixty five years before. She sighed again, still staring at her father, and wondering if this would be the night when the last of the original eleven power rangers left the earth. She could feel her heart break, even as she watched her dad breath along with the help of several machines, before burring her face in her brother's shoulder.
Jason Scott lay on a firm hospital bed, his breathing weak and irregular. He was seventy eight years old and the last living member of the first power ranger team. He'd been their leader, and yet they'd all left the world first, leaving him to linger with the pain of being alone, Trini even making him promise he'd take care of himself and watch over all of their families. He knew just how Tommy'd felt when Kimberly made him promise that he'd live on for her. It just wasn't fair.
He struggled to open his eyes for a moment as he gazed out into the waiting area. He could see his son and daughter, standing united, as both tried to hide their tears. Behind him was the rest of the groups children, save Conner and Ethan's. Their kids never really understood the bond between the older groups. He knew he'd served his time with them, way before any of them had been born.
He'd been in the hospital room when Kimberly had left them fifty years before. He'd loved her as a little sister, and even managed to forgive her for not telling any of them about the leukemia she had.
He'd tried to pull Tommy's mangled body out of his crushed jeep forty years before; not knowing that the man was already dead the moment of the collision. Tommy had been his brother, and he just couldn't bare the thought of losing him.
Thirteen years later, the year his daughter turned twenty-one, they'd buried another of their friends. Tanya had been at the bank when two armed robbers had entered and began shooting up the place. The woman had dived in front of a bullet that would have hit a four year old child, saving the boys life. He remembered helping Rocky and Aisha support Adam at the funeral. "She was our everlasting song" were the words carved into her grave stone.
Five years later, Kat was diagnosis with lung cancer. The doctors only gave her six months to live. She didn't make it three. Brandon refused to talk to anyone for nearly two months afterward. It took his entire team to break down the door and knock some sense into him. Every year after that, Brandon require his space, and the others gave it to him. "Graceful and Funloving; She was our spirit," Rocky had written that for her, since Tommy wasn't there to do it.
Two years later Adam joined his wife, Kat, Tommy, and Kim, in that place where they knew they'd all eventually be reunited. As a firefighter, Adam took risks every day; but none as great as the risk he'd taken when he walked into a four story burning building. He'd lost his life that day, but he'd saved the lives of three orphans. "Our Quiet Savior; may his love live on in all of us," Aisha had written the words through the tears that poured down her face.
Three years later, and at the age of sixty, Zack had been at the wrong place at the wrong time. He'd taken three shots to the chest fired from a man who was now serving the death penalty for killing four people, in cold blood. It'd been one of the hardest days of his life to hear that. "His humor and joy in life will never be forgotten, though greatly missed." He'd written that himself, with the support of Trini at his side.
A year later Rocky was stricken with Tuberculosis, and it wasn't diagnosed until it was two late. He and his wife spent their last few nights together sharing nose rubs since they could no longer kiss, for fear of spreading the disease to Aisha. "One of the best men to walk to earth. His bravery will be missed" Aisha had written the words.
One week later, they found the sixty one year old woman dead in her sleep. The doctors told them it was a heart attack, but the more he though about it, the more he knew she'd just missed her husband and her best friends so much that she couldn't live on without them. "She always wanted to fly free and now she will. The woman with the heart of an angel and the courage of a bear," Billy had written that for her as he was the only one left who'd fought along side her.
Nine years later, Billy had turned seventy, and with the heartache of loosing Haley only two months before, he too had died peacefully in his sleep. He remembered how much Trini had cried, being unable to stop for nearly a week. It had nearly killed him to see her in so much pain. "One of the smartest men in this world and others. May his wisdom be passed on to later generations."
Only three years later, Trini had been crossing the street on the way back from the supermarket when a car came speeding out of no where and ended her life, throwing her thirteen feet from where she was walking. It was later determined that the driver of the vehicle had been drunk. She'd died in the hospital, right after she asked Jason to take care of the family. "The kindest and most caring sole we've ever know. She was the key to our souls."
And now, five years later, at the age of seventy-eight, he found himself lingering on the edge of life and death, pondering what was right. He knew if he fought, like he once had, he could come back from this. Maybe live another ten, fifteen years in the company of his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, grand nieces and nephews. But the real question was, was that what he wanted? Did he want to continue on without the people whom he loved and cared for? Or did he want to return to their sides once more, trusting that their legacies would be fine without him?.
Jason opened his eyes one more time and looked up to see his daughter, now alone, watching him. He knew she saw him, as her eyes were fixed on his. He took a strained breath and looked at her pleading. Candace knew exactly what he was asking. He wanted her permission to give up on life and join her mother, aunts, and uncles. She raised a hand to her eyes and whipped away a stray tear, letting a small smile fall on her lips as she inclined her head in a small nod.
A second later, Jason's hospital room was full of doctors and nurses responding to the sound of his monitor flat lining. Candace broke into sobs against her brother's shirt, every piece of her already fragile heart, crumbling, as her family wrapped their arms around her as they said goodbye to the last living Original Power Ranger.
Jason could hear laughter as he walked up the pathway that led to a very familiar spot. He knew from the moment that he'd arrived that he was in heaven, although it looked suspiciously like Angel Grove Park. He glanced over at the play ground equipment where the laugher was coming from. Twelve seventeen year olds stood, smiles on their faces as they waved at him. He took a step forward off the path and through a mist. One moment he was nearly eighty, and the next he couldn't have passed for a legal adult if he tried.
He laughed as Trini ran toward him, and thrust her arms around his waist, snuggling against him. They may have been teenagers, but there was no doubt this was his wife.
"What took you so long, Bro?" Tommy asked him, his arm around Kimberly's waist. Both were smiling as if nothing had ever happened. Everyone was. He shook his head and laughed.
"Someone made me promise to watch over the kids," he replied, accusingly looking at the small woman in his arms. She pouted up at him.
"I didn't think you'd actually listen to me," she replied.
"Well, our fearless leader's with us now anyway," Billy said, clasping Haley in his arms. Sure she'd never been there when she was alive, but she and Billy were meant to be together, as were Zack and Angela who were sitting on the swings.
"I thought I was the fearless leader?" Tommy protested.
"Ok ok, our Fearless red leader?" Kimberly giggled, looking between the two of them.
"Hey? What about me?" this time it was Rocky who protested. Adam just shook his head, pulling Tanya closer to him.
"Rocko, face it, you're not leader material," his best friend told him.
"And you are?"
"Well, you did follow me here," Adam argued back.
"Ah yes, but you followed me," Tanya told him, planting a kiss on his lips. Aisha giggled and did the same to Rocky before they could further pursue the argument. Jason just laughed, and let Trini pull him into a tighter hug.
"They were all ok right? You didn't leave them alone?" she begged him. Jason shook his head and hugged her back.
"They're all fine; together. I even had Candace's permission to leave," he replied, looking at the others. Tommy placed his hand on his best friends shoulder and squeezed, knowing how hard it must have been for Jason to leave his little girl. He remember her scream the day he'd left her behind.
"They'll all be fine. They had to let us all go at some point," Tommy replied, as the sound of several communicators went off. Jason frowned at his wrist. Trini smiled up at him.
"Come on, there's someone else who's waiting to see you," she told him, smiling. Jason smiled back, knowing exactly who she was talking about and knowing he was officially home, and happier than he'd been in fifty years.
"Welcome home, Jase," Kimberly mumbled, as she and Trini took their places on either side of him, and the entire group teleported out of the park in streaks of their respective colors, leaving only the swings moving back and fourth to show they'd been there.
A week later, another grave stone found its way into the cemetery in Angel Grove. Earth's newest team of Rangers was present, all the way back to those still living. The farther back you went, the more spaces were empty where full teams should have been. But it was a fact of life. Death wasn't the end, but a new beginning. At least that's what they'd always thought.
As the funeral for her father ended, Candace knelt down in front of her father's stone, which was between her mother's and her uncle Tommy's. She felt a wave of fresh tears wash from her eyes as she traced the words they'd written: "The first; the strong; the brave; the HERO".
"Daddy," she whispered, not realizing she wasn't alone until she felt a hand on her shoulder. She looked up into the eyes of an older woman, who was flanked by three men. They had been her uncle's last team, and the last of the rangers to know her father personally. She let Kira pull her into a tight hug, as her own team of seven others cam and stood beside her, each crying just as she was. The twelve of them stood there, knowing exactly what it was that the world had lost, and honoring the memories of Zack, Kimberly, Billy, Trini, Jason, Tommy, Adam, Aisha, Rocky, Kat, and Tanya: Zordon's Rangers, and the start of an amazing, never ending legacy.
Ok, so I decided to make the "Out of" stories a trilogy. I hope you enjoyed, and please leave warm fuzzy reviews.