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Kira reluctantly accepted the bottled water her drummer offered her before waving him back into the hotel. Her own exhaustion and need for the cool night air was no reason for him to spite his date--whose patience was already stretched since she had to wait until after the band was finished to dance with him. When he was gone Kira made herself comfortable on the stone steps that led up to the kitchen. It probably wasn't safe to sit alone in the dark alley with only the light of the small lamp that had a tendency to flicker every so often, but months as a ranger had left her with a reasonable--if high--sense of security.
She took a swig from the bottle to wet her throat after the long night of singing. Now the music was being provided by a Kylee Styles CD. Kira laughed a bit at the thought. A few months ago she would have been insulted to have Kylee's music played as a replacement for her own--she also wouldn't have sat alone in a dark alley, but that led her to thoughts of other changes that she didn't want to think on. She glared down at the water bottle. Her drummer wasn't supposed to be bringing her a water bottle out of pity. She was supposed to be out there, dancing, laughing, and sending her date off to get her some punch. In a moment of anger Kira threw the bottle against the far wall. It refused to pop open and send droplets flying but instead bounced off and rolled to her feet like an obedient dog. Kira gave a petulant huff and crossed her arms, turning her gaze to the sky so she wouldn't have to see the stupid inanimate object.
Her mother had warned her about taking the Prom gig. "No boy will want to take a girl who he won't even be able to dance with," she'd said. But she hadn't told anyone about the gig--partially as a surprise and partially as a defense mechanism. She hadn't wanted her friends to be in the middle of a battle and subconsciously think, "We should fight harder, beat the bad guys for good before Prom." Okay, maybe Prom wasn't a great reason to defeat the forces of darkness, but then, Conner and Ethan weren't the brightest bulbs.
And still, despite all her hiding, no one had asked her. Well, that wasn't entirely truthful. Quite a few boys had asked her. But none of them were--
"Hey," Trent said. He had come up the alley without her noticing and was leaning on the stair rail on the far side of the steps from where she sat.
"Hey," Kira said and, unwilling to give him a smile, turned her gaze back to the sky. The city lights had blocked out the stars, but the deep black complemented her dark mood.
"You were great tonight."
"I really enjoyed that new one--what was it called? You sang it right after 'Freak You Out.'"
"Hm. It was really good. Why didn't you let me hear it before?"
"Didn't feel like it."
"Oh. Well--it's one of your best yet. You really poured yourself into it tonight."
Kira kept her gaze on the heavens. Her face was passive, the war within her kept hidden until finally one side won and she jumped up so quickly that it sent Trent stumbling back in shock.
"You cannot possibly be that completely idiotic!" she cried.
"You were an evil genius for heaven's sake! I mean sure, you weren't lab-coats-and-test-tubes-evil genius, but you were psychological-thriller-never-know-what's-coming-next-cause-he's-twenty-steps-ahead-evil genius. How can you not know?"
"Kira," Trent said slowly, "the White Ranger who you first met, that wasn't--"
She cut him off. "Bull. I've walked in on enough of Tommy's peptalks with you to know that that was you in there, just without all that morality holding you back. What happened, Trent? Did something change? What?"
Trent ran a hand through his hair as he searched for the right words to say. "Kira," he began, then stopped, deciding on a different tactic. "I was evil," he said. "I tried to destroy the city. I beat the tar out of the zords. I encased Dr. O in amber. And I tried to kill you--a lot. And even after all of that, after I was released from the gem's evil, I still kept my father's identity from you. We probably could have saved the world a whole lot sooner if only I'd told you that. And now it's over. Now the world is safe and the gems' power is depleted and in a few months we'll all be going out into the real world…or at least college."
When he didn't say anything else Kira asked, "What does that have to do with you not asking me to Prom?"
Trent had a sudden fear that an evil villain had infected him with a disease that made him speak nonsense before slowly replying, "I was evil."
"I tried to destroy you."
"Again, what's your point?"
"I lied to you about my father."
"Trent," Kira said, laying a hand on his arm, "you have just told me three very important things: 1) You're not a being of pure goodness and light--and thank God for that because then you'd just make me feel inadequate all the time. 2) You saw me as a threat which means you recognize my skill as a fighter. 3) You have strong family loyalty. All good things--except maybe the first one but we're only human so I'm counting it as a plus."
"You have got to be the weirdest girl ever."
"Thank you." She took his hand in hers and swung it across the space between them. "Well, do you have any good reasons or was that it?"
"I had assumed the whole evil thing would be enough."
"Does that mean that something has changed?"
"No!" Trent cried quickly. "Not at all."
"Good." Kira hurried to the top of the steps, but Trent stayed at the bottom and their joined hands kept her back. "What?" she asked.
"I don't want to dance with you while I listen to someone else sing." He pulled her down and she fell against his chest. He carefully lifted her up and began to move to an unheard rhythm.
"Then how will we keep time?" As if in response to her words, they stumbled over each other's feet. Trent gave her a hopeless look and she sighed. "I'll sing."
Trent smiled and his shoulders seemed to become steadier as he waited for her to begin. They danced as she sang a song about a woman waiting on the shore for her lover to return and, when he does not, goes in search of him. They danced away thoughts of graduation and summer and college--and held onto the months of small moments they had managed to rake together over months of saving the world.
Author's Note: You should always review one-shots. Otherwise, how will I know how many people actually read the whole thing?