Author's Note: To everyone who's been reading for a while: check out the new summary and tell me what you think. I never know what to put to make the story sound interesting.
Here it is—the final chapter—I hope it satisfies.
Oliver Family Reunion
Chapter 9: Suburban Battlezone
After much apologizing to the Ladies' Garden Club, the five men had seen that the women were gone. They tried calling them but either got busy signals or no answer at all. They quickly realized that something was up and called Cole and Carter back. The wildfire had been taken care of in under an hour and the two boys had just been hanging out in a local park. Cole was currently leading the men to their wives by asking animals if they'd seen them.
"He says they all went in here and came out with two other girls," Cole said, standing in front of a music store.
"Considering that 'he' is a badger," Jason muttered, "I'm not convinced."
"Are you sure you can't get anything from Ashley or Karone?" Leo asked Andros.
"No, they're both ignoring my telepathic calls. It's very annoying."
"Come on," Carter said, leading the way into the store.
When they walked in they were met with varying degrees of surprise. No wonder, Wes thought, since five of them were covered in cake. Though, since there were several non-humans in the room, he didn't think it was that odd.
"Who are you?" a man with long, curly hair sighed. Wes raised an eyebrow—if he'd had a woman like that massaging his back, he wouldn't have been so sad.
"We're looking for our wives," Leo said.
"They were with a large group of women," Eric supplied.
"You mean the ones that stole two of my employees?" the man accused. "I thought the days of fair-weather workers were gone!"
"You're Andros!" a boy with red hair said, coming up to them eagerly. "You mean the group that was with Ashley Hammond and Cassie Chan, right?"
The men looked at each other. "Uh, yeah," Jason said. "Do you know where they went?"
"Who wants to know?" a boy with an Australian accent stepped forward, arms crossed.
"Listen, kid," Carter began.
"Hold it!" A large man with dark hair and eyes stepped forward. "There's an easy way to settle this. Chip? You seemed to recognize this man."
"Yeah," the redhead said, "he's Andros. He was the Red Astro Ranger."
"Is that true?" the large man asked.
"Yes," Andros said firmly. He wasn't sure he liked where this was going.
"All right then." The man introduced himself as Daggeron and explained the events of the day: Abbey showing up looking for Nick, her insane brother being revealed as Tommy Oliver, them going after Nick, the female Rangers showing up, the call to Abbey about the missing Kimberly, and the kidnapping of Maddie and Vida.
"We have to help them," Cole said.
"Wait," Jason said. "The girls were all hyped up for an adventure and as much grief as they give us about jumping into things I doubt they actually had a plan, they probably figured Tommy'd have one. If Kim's missing, Tommy will not be thinking about Nick. He may be going to stop Nick, but he won't have a plan to do it. So, we have to be Reds about this, we may even make up for that Forever Red fiasco the girls are still making us pay for. We need a plan." Jason looked around the room. He took in the monsters and warriors and the two boys who were obviously Rangers. "And I know just what it is. Hey, you two!" Xander and Chip perked up. "You want to help save the world one more time?"
"It will be all right, Bowen," Udonna said, laying a comforting hand on her son's shoulder.
"I know," Nick said, "I'm just nervous."
"Come on," Leanbow said, "we're almost there."
The three took off at a slower pace down the road. Just a few more streets and Nick would see his parents again. He'd be able to tell them everything. He'd grown up in Angel Grove, so he knew his parents felt the Power Rangers were good people. But there was a big difference between seeing someone on TV every so often and having them over for holiday dinner. They drove slowly onto the street, careful to keep their engines from getting too loud.
"Well," Nick said as they came closer to the house, "here we—"
"Brains!" a voice cried and several people could be heard screaming.
"Halt monster!" an overly dramatic Red Ranger yelled. Six other Red Rangers and two more Rangers in Yellow and Green suits that Nick recognized all too well were surrounding Matoombo and Phineas, both of whom were walking around like zombies trying to feast on brains.
"What is going on?" Leanbow asked, dismounting his motorcycle. Nick and Udonna did the same.
"I have no idea," Nick said. He was about to call out to them when he and his parents were grabbed by their collars and dragged into some bushes.
Team Original and Team Young—as they wanted to be called—came at the Oliver's street from opposite sides. They had left the zords and Ranger gear at the city limits and had either run for it or squished illegally into much too small vehicles. But when they reached the street they realized two things very quickly: that grabbing Nick from his parents' porch and dragging him off would raise some awkward questions—which was exactly what they were trying to stop—and that they didn't need to do much of anything because there was a fake emergency being played out in the middle of the residential neighborhood.
Trini pulled out her communicator and called Team Young, they were on the far side of the street from Nick. She quickly told them that a couple of them should morph and go "help" the menfolk. She then turned to her own team and grabbed Jo and Josh. Nick should recognize them.
The three of them snuck up behind Nick and his parents just as Nick was about to yell something and pulled them into some bushes.
"What the—?" Nick began.
"Shut up!" Trini ordered the struggling Rangers. "We're not going to hurt you!"
"Trini?" Nick gaped. His parents stopped struggling to listen.
"Yes, Trini," she said irritably. "We're here to stop you from telling your parents you're a Ranger."
"You know I'm a Ranger?"
"You're Nick Oliver," Jo said. "The only reason we didn't know sooner was because Abbey was keeping it from us."
"Of course Abbey knew," Josh said. "She's known about Tommy for years."
"What about Tommy?" Nick's voice was rising to a very dangerous level.
"Listen, hon," Trini said, "we'll explain everything later. Right now we have to sneak out of here without your parents seeing us. Come on."
"Brains!" Phineas cried happily as the Rangers threw fake punches at him.
"Brains!" Matoombo said, dancing to a beat only he could hear.
The Rangers were having a hard time not laughing.
"Need some help?" a White Ranger called, running up with a Yellow Ranger at her side.
"Wow," Wes marveled. "I didn't know you could morph when you were pregnant."
This earned him a punch from Eric.
"Let's not start that again!" Jason bellowed, effectively stopping the schoolyard brawl before it started. "Let's just deal with the monsters." He fought the urge to use air-quotes when he said the last word.
A few minutes into the not really exciting fight Andros' communicator beeped. The Rangers led the "monsters" to where three Yellow Rangers were waiting.
A couple came to stand on their front porch and watch the Rangers deal with this crisis.
One of the Yellow Rangers—the one wearing a billowing cloth outfit instead of the signature spandex—waved at the couple. She was hit in the arm by the Yellow with a saber tooth tiger on her helmet.
The couple shook their heads as the Rangers disappeared in a flurry of sparks. And they had just been saying how nice it was to have moved out of Angel Grove.
Back at Tommy's house—because that was the only place the Rangers could think to go without being hounded by questions—everyone was talking at once.
"That was the best baby shower ever!" Kira yelled.
"Totally," Tori agreed.
"I can't wait to get back to Mirinoi and tell everyone," Maya said.
"Damon and Kai'll flip," Kendrix agreed.
"Why didn't we think of using the MegaShip's transporter?" Karone asked. The fact that the boys had thought of it was irking many of the girls.
"I don't know," Ashley said.
"But it was fun anyway," Cassie sighed. The girls—except for Vida, who was making sure Matoombo didn't hurt Tommy's CD collection—were all sitting in a large circle on the grass, braiding each other's hair.
"We got to fight alongside the original Red Ranger!" Chip said.
"It was pretty cool," Xander said.
"Aw, Jason has fans," Rocky joked, poking Jason in the shoulder.
"Quiet!" Nick roared, stopping all further conversation and grabbing everyone's attention. "What is going on?" he demanded.
"Nicky, Nicky, Nicky," Josh said, coming over to pat Nick on the back. "Here's the thing. Everyone here," he waved an arm across the lawn, "well, everyone except the troblin and Abbey, is a superhero. Jo and I are Beetleborgs and everyone else is a Power Ranger."
"Tommy's the most famous Ranger there is," Kat said.
"Even Itasis knew who he was," Chip added.
"So—what?" Nick asked, turning to Tommy.
"You can't tell Mom and Dad you're a Ranger," Tommy said. "You can tell them about your parents—nice to meet you by the way—but you cannot tell them you're a Ranger."
"We used to think we'd be able to tell our parents when it was all over," Kim said, "but when it was we just—couldn't."
"We'd spent so long keeping it from them," Tanya said, "it was just easier to keep it up."
"And then, when Terra Venture went up," Jason said thickly, "we realized we never could."
"Mike," Leo said, "my brother, was the one to pull the Red Quasar Saber from the stone, but he fell to what we thought was his death. He came back, but that didn't change the fact that for months we thought he was dead to us. And then—" Leo choked and Kendrix reached up from where she was sitting to put a hand on his knee.
"I died," she said, blinking quickly. "It obviously wasn't permanent, but up until that point no Ranger had ever died in the line of duty—at least none that anyone here has ever heard of."
"It was a big blow," Tommy said. "And then Forever Red happened and we realized that we were never really done being Rangers. It's a lifelong commitment, Nick, and Mom and Dad do not deserve that kind of fear."
"It's not better this way," Dana said, "but it's easier for them. My father knows and he's lost at least ten years of his life from worry."
Nick nodded slowly. "So," he said, "pretty much everyone we know saves the world?"
"Yup," Tommy said.
"Come on, why don't you tell me about your days as a Ranger and I'll tell you about mine?"
Nick nodded dumbly.
"Hold it!" Trini yelled. "I believe somebody asked someone a question."
"What?" Cole asked blankly. No one had filled the men in on Tommy's drunken ramblings.
"Tommy called Kim and proposed yesterday," Karone said quickly.
"I already answered," Kim said, smiling mischievously.
"That reminds me," Tommy said, walking into the house, "how do you feel about a June wedding?"
The yard erupted into squeals of joy and cries of disbelief.
"Is life always like this?" Nick asked, falling onto Tommy's couch and listening to the chaos outside. Kim had just yelled something about Rocky and a girlfriend, sending the crowd into an even greater flurry. Nick could even have sworn he heard Abbey yelling, "I knew it!"
"No," Tommy said, pulling Nick's attention back to the much calmer living room, "but in this family, it happens more than is common. Now, do you remember when we first moved to Angel Grove?"
AN: Thank you to everyone who reviewed and to everyone who just read the whole thing. I hope you enjoyed it. God bless.
AN2: The sequel (Oliver Wedding) is up.