A/N 1: This is a complete AU for Dino Thunder. Conner, Kira, Ethan, and Trent are not going to be in this story. Instead, veteran Rangers will replace them as the newest team of Power Rangers.
A/N 2: Don't look for the Letter to be an issue. The story is T/K but, as many of you have seen in my more recent works, I've given the characters more of an adult twist. With that in mind, I highly doubt Tommy and Kim really would have gone that long without speaking to each other. I'd like to think they worked stuff out sometime after Murianthis and agreed to be friends.
Everybody would waste it all, to have a summer that they could call, memories that's full of fun, fucked up when it's all done. - Tom DeLonge.
That being said, on with the story…
Chapter 1 - "Peter Pan Syndrome"
An uninhabited island in the Indian Ocean
Two Years Ago…
Brown eyes littered with fear. Sweat pouring down the face of a man stuck in a situation of life and death. Heavy breathing escaped his lips as he tried to formulate a way to escape from his current predicament with his head still on.
A black satchel slung over his shoulder, he ran faster than he had ever ran before knowing every twist and turn in the building was potential for his escape or his demise. Circumnavigating this place had never been hard for him before but now, when his life was on the line, he felt like he was stuck in a maze.
When he turned a corner and an explosion randomly threw him fifty feet forward, he hit the floor and rolled onto his feet like it was no big deal. Inside, he ached. Outside, he had to suck it up and deal with it if he wanted to live to have his bones mended.
After what seemed like forever, a glimmer of light made itself visible at the end of the long hallway. Reaching down deep for his fourth--or maybe, fifth--wind, he willed his legs to carry him faster. The distance between himself and escape was quickly drawing lesser and lesser, each of his pounding footsteps slapping against the cold concrete floor bringing him closer and closer to freedom until he could practically taste it.
Lowering his shoulder, he plowed into the double doors, ripping them both from the hinges. He had never been more grateful than when the fresh air entered his lungs. Every breath, every heartbeat, every moment he was alive became precious to him in that instant. Right then and there he vowed to himself that, if he made it out of this in one piece, he was never going to take anything for granted again. Not his friends, not his family, not his health, nothing.
Taking a moment to check his surroundings, he immediately recognized that his exit out of the building wasn't the same as his entrance into it. The forest of trees he was surrounded by hadn't been there before when he arrived at the place three days earlier. He surmised that he must have gone out a back or side door and that the building he had just been in must have been a whole lot bigger than he had thought it was.
Seeing as how he didn't know just how big the building was, or what security measures surrounded the perimeter, he exhaled deeply and decided his best bet was to try and trek through the trees. Adjusting the satchel to his other arm, a searing pain shot through his shoulder, dropping him to his knees as he screamed out.
Breathing heavily, he turned around to see what had hit him and found himself staring at four very ugly creatures. Half-dinosaur half-robot, the Tyrannodrones he had helped create pointed their swords at him, sending more blasts of energy his way. This time, however, he was ready for them. Executing a perfect Butterfly Twist, he managed to avoid the shots, some going over him and others going under.
His feet hit the soft dirt and a defensive stance came next but the Tyrannodrones weren't creatures accustomed to the formality of battle. They were strong and ruthless but equally unintelligent of which he was already aware. For a few silent moments, he and the drones just stared at each other as if waiting for the other to make a move. Anticipating their attack, he spun around and headed into the trees at a dead sprint.
"Don't let him get away!" The hissing voice sent chills up the man's spine for he knew the Tyrannodrones were incapable of speech. Knowing he couldn't focus on that now, he shook his head clear and continued through the trees as the pitter-patter of approaching footsteps grew nearer and nearer until they suddenly stopped.
The sudden silence made him stop, too. Spinning in a slow circle, he once again tried to gather a feel for his surroundings. Nothing but trees for what seemed like miles. If he hadn't chosen that very moment to look up at the sky, he probably would have been dead. Instead, he pulled off a somersault that helped him narrowly avoid the four Tyrannodrones that came crashing down from the trees.
"Man, you guys again? Don't you ever learn when to quit?" he asked sarcastically. An unexpected spin kick connected with his stomach, sending him staggering back a few feet as the drones started to close the distance. "Guess not."
Realizing the satchel would be a nuisance in a fight, he tossed it up around a tree branch then lowered himself into a fighting position. Under normal circumstances, four-on-one were not very good odds but these weren't normal circumstances. Twenty-plus years of martial arts training had this man ready for just about anything. It didn't hurt that he knew everything about these creatures, either.
Kicks and punches flew. Some attacks were blocked, some connected. He had the upper hand in the fight until one of the drones grabbed him around the waist from behind and threw him into a tree. Groaning, he pushed himself onto his feet and charged the drones. Blocking two punches at one time, he didn't see the kick coming right at his stomach until it was too late.
Flying through the air after being kicked is not fun. It's even worse when you try to do a back flip in midair so as to end up on your feet and your body reacts in such a way that only allows it to execute half the maneuver. He smacked facedown right into the dirt, leaving traces of the brown substance all over his face and clothes. The taste of blood in his mouth soon followed.
Slow to rise, he brought his eyes up and saw that the drones were no longer paying any attention to him. They were jumping up and down, focused on the satchel that was just out of their reach. Recognizing this distraction as a potential opportunity, he willed himself back up and muttered, "Come on, Tommy. You can do it."
Mustering up every ounce of strength he had, knowing he'd need it for the move he was hoping to execute, he took off running at the drones. When he got close enough, he launched himself into a front flip right over the heads of the unsuspecting creatures. Somehow, he managed to grab hold of the satchel and ripped it right off of the branch. Without looking back, he started running again as soon as his feet hit the ground.
His little display worked better than he had expected, leaving the Tyrannodrones even more distracted and confused than they had been before. Exhausted, and with no approaching footsteps, Tommy Oliver allowed his frantic sprint to slow down to a fast jog. However, just mere moments after slowing his pace, he was reminded of a lesson he had learned a long time ago; there's no rest for the weary.
The tall, muscular man with chocolate colored eyes and equally dark hair was forced to grab onto a tree to steady himself when the ground suddenly began to shake with tremors. The sound of loud explosions could be heard off in the distance and smoke was billowing into the sky in thick clouds as Tommy realized what was happening. The building he had been working in--and in that respect, the entire island itself--was basically blowing up.
"Time to move," he muttered to himself. As he soon learned, running while trying to deal earthquake-like tremors shaking the ground around him was not an easy task. Not only did he have to worry about moving as fast as possible, now he had to worry about staying on his feet at the same time.
As he ran, a sixth-sense acquired years prior alerted him to the fact that escape was, once again, nearby. Which was a good thing too, considering the explosions seemed to be following him through the trees. The sudden disappearance of the trees, replaced by the beautiful view of a cliff overlooking the ocean sent a wave of pure nirvana through him.
Escape was near. Now all he had to do was find a way off the island that didn't involve jumping three-hundred feet into a massive body of water. His plans for escape were short lived however, when a hand fell onto his shoulder. In the places where his shirt had been ripped, he could feel the scaly extremity gripping him tighter and tighter.
"Tommy, you have something that belongs to me." The hot breath hissing against his ear made him cringe. It also made him hug the satchel just a little bit closer to his body. "The gems, please."
Spinning out of the grip, Tommy pushed himself backwards and prepared for yet another fight. Sizing up his opponent, the grotesque creature in front of him made him sick to his stomach. He was of average height, bipedal like a human but that was where the similarities stopped. Black robes covered most of his body, leaving only his hands, feet, and head exposed.
"Mesogog. I had a feeling I was going to run into you." Half-man half-dinosaur was the best way to describe the creature Tommy had just identified as Mesogog. "If you're looking for the gems, I can't help you. They're back in the lab. Or rather, were back in the lab before it blew up. Looks like you're shit out of luck."
"You defy me, human. And for that," Mesogog hissed, stepping towards Tommy, "you will pay. With your life!"
Mesogog struck first, diving at Tommy who easily sidestepped the wild attack. Tommy laughed as his attacker landed face first on the ground. "Haha, you're gonna have to do better than that if you wanna take me dow-"
Cut off by another violent tremor, Tommy was thrown backwards, losing his hold on the satchel at the same time. It couldn't have landed in a more imperfect place for either of them; right in the middle of the two-hundred feet of grass and dirt between the pair. Neither had an advantage. It was a race to the finish the moment they both stood up and started running towards it.
Tommy got there a fraction of a second sooner, grabbing it and rolling under Mesogog's outstretched arm. Mesogog was quick to recover, though and spun Tommy around, instigating a game of tug-of-war with the satchel.
"Give it up, Mesogog. The gems are mine!" Tommy growled, trying desperately to pull it away from the dinosaur-like creature. His face was red from exertion, veins popping out on his neck and forehead as he struggled to gain control of the bag.
"Never. I need the gems to complete my plan!" Mesogog shot back with equal ferocity as he too fought to win possession of the satchel.
Yet another quake hit, shaking the ground hard but neither was willing to relinquish their hold. Even as they struggled to stay on their feet, not an inch was given in either direction. The contents of the bag were too precious for both sides to not fight for.
"Just let go! The gems aren't going to help you if you aren't around to use them!"
Mesogog seemed to ponder that for a moment but quickly returned his focus to the black bag before Tommy could gain any sort of advantage. It was only when the explosions started to get really close that Tommy's own words echoed in his mind and he started to rethink his strategy. He needed the gems and he needed to get off this goddamn island before one of those explosions tore him limb from limb.
Studying the satchel, he quickly formulated a plan so very basic and obvious that it actually had the potential to work and surprise Mesogog. Years as a devout martial artist taught him never to fight dirty but desperate times called for desperate measures. Rearing back, Tommy threw his head right at Mesogog's. The impact of skull meeting skull along with Mesogog being unprepared for it left the creature reeling. His grip loosened and Tommy was able to pry the satchel free of Mesogog's grip.
"See ya!" Tommy just had to throw that in. With nowhere else to go, he understood that his only hope for escape was to jump and pray that the water was deep enough. He was twenty feet from the cliff's edge when he felt a blast of energy whiz by his head. Sparing only the most fleeting of glances, he saw Mesogog firing at him. "Shit!"
Fumbling with the satchel, Tommy was finally close enough to see what he would be jumping into. Clear blue water for miles and miles on end. It was then that he realized that, even if he got off the island alive, he might not even make it in the ocean long enough to reach civilization. But those thoughts had to be perished. He had a job to do.
He was preparing to make his jump when Mesogog fired at him again. The blast didn't connect but it landed close enough to Tommy's feet to send him rocketing over the edge. Flipping through the air, Tommy could only watch as the satchel floated down and landed right on the edge of the cliff. Then he hit the water and his world became surrounded by darkness.
On the island, Mesogog approached the bag with a glimmer in his eyes. Picking it up, he hugged it to his chest, stroking it like a newborn child as he peered out into the water. "You may have survived, Oliver, but the gems are mine!"
Raising his hand to the sky, a whirlpool of green and black energy appeared in the sky. A suction noise could be hears as his body was pulled into the portal. With a loud crack, the energy disappeared, leaving the island to implode on itself.
A few moments later, Mesogog reappeared in what appeared to be a very dark laboratory. Petri dishes full of fungi, beakers filled to the brim with liquids of all different colors, and a variety of odd gadgets and devices filled the room. Letting out a maniacal laugh, Mesogog turned the bag upside down, emptying its' contents onto a cold metal table.
Papers emblazoned with Anton Mercer Industries as letterhead fluttered out of the satchel. Binders and folders fell to the steel surface, emptying themselves on impact. Writing utensils, notebooks, a calculator, and a Palm Pilot all ended up on the table but no gems. Frantically, Mesogog began searching for side pockets or hidden compartments, any place Tommy could have hidden those precious stones but he found nothing.
"Hmm, it appears as if my prized pupil has tricked me." Mesogog stroked his chin with his scaly fingers and grotesquely long fingernails as if mulling the situation over in his head. Tightly gripping the hard surface of the table's edge, Mesogog let out a low chuckle. "Touche, Oliver. You may have won the battle but the war will be mine!"
Spinning on his heels, his robes fluttered behind him as Mesogog angrily exited his lab. Elsewhere, specifically in the middle of the Indian Ocean, Tommy Oliver was celebrating one of many minor victories for the day. Secured tightly in his hand were three vibrantly illuminated stones; one glowing red, one blue, and one yellow.
They were everything he worked for, everything he had devoted the last two years of his life to. They had cost him friendships, relationships, and they had put a strain on his relationship with his parents. But he had the gems. They were safe and, at that moment, him having the gems instead of Mesogog was all that he cared about.
Well, all that he cared about except finding people to bond with them. He already knew from trying that they weren't meant for him. Part of him was disappointed that none of the gems were destined for him but another part of him was relieved. He had been a part of this life for too long. Every moment of his life for the last seven years had been devoted to it and, while he'd stay around to see it all to fruition, he was glad that he didn't have to be an active participant again.
However, as he lazily floated through the water, far too tired to even try to swim for at least an hour, he felt a twinge of guilt resonating in his heart. Call it a sixth-sense, call it experience, call it whatever you want, but Tommy had a pretty good idea who those gems were meant for. He hated the possibility yet cherished the opportunity that it presented. An opportunity to do things differently, right a few wrongs, and maybe, just maybe, come out of the whole ordeal a better person.
Two hours later found him paddling with the current, letting it carry him towards what he hoped was salvation. He was tired, hungry, and every muscle in his body ached but salvation was slowly approaching him in the image of a small fishing boat. Tommy began yelling and waving his arms in the air, hoping to draw the attention of at least one of the three people on the vessel.
A deep sigh of relief escaped Tommy's lips when the small boat turned around and started in his direction. The sun, still high in the sky, prevented him from seeing the faces of the occupants. He only felt two strong hands grip his wrists and tug him onto the boat. Seated on a wooden bench, Tommy was bent over coughing up water as the men stood around watching him.
"Care to tell us what you were doing floating around in the middle of the ocean?"
Tommy raised his eyes and looked up at the burly man with the thick New Zealand accent. Looking at his two companions, Tommy found more of the same. Shaking his head he muttered, "You wouldn't believe me if I told you."
Chuckling to himself, Tommy thought about what he should say. The thought of telling them the truth crept into his mind. Hell, it wasn't like they'd believe him anyway. Tommy's lips curled up into a smile as he looked at them and laughed softly. "What do you guys know about the Power Rangers?"
Dressed in a maroon shirt, black tie, black slacks, and black dress shoes, Tommy Oliver looked the part of a stock broker, someone who belonged on Wall Street, not a high school science teacher. Nonetheless, he was standing there addressing his class of juniors at Reefside High School, reminding them to be safe over the summer as his last class of the school year came to a close.
Taking off his glasses--a staple in his life since the accident in 1999 that ended his racing career and nearly killed him--Tommy sat down in the chair behind his desk at the front of the classroom and rubbed the bridge of his nose. Big things were happening. Actually, big things had been happening for quite some time but this was the culmination of it all. Today…today, it happened.
Opening one of his desk drawers, he reached inside and opened a small lead lockbox. Inside, three small stones sat idly as he brushed his hand over them, wishing he could feel the power from just one of them coursing through his body. Alas, it was not meant to be. No, that would be reserved for three of the ten people who were presently on their way to Reefside and later, his house on the outskirts of the city.
Tommy's framed Doctorate of Paleontology sat proudly on his desk, a constant reminder of all the work he'd had to do these past few years and how much it had all paid off. Absentmindedly, he tapped his thumb on the edge of his desk, waiting impatiently for the bell to ring so he could get home and get everything prepared for his guests.
At 2:45 the bell finally rang and it was like music to his ears. Judging by the way the kids sprinted out of his classroom it had the same effect on them, as well. A few kids stopped by his desk to wish him a good summer but most just bolted for the door. When they were finally gone, he began packing a few basic things--he'd be back over the weekend to box up the big stuff and take it home--into his briefcase.
Tucking the small lead box into his pants pocket, he got up and started towards the door. Bidding his classroom one last look, he turned the light off and walked out, heading for the teacher's parking lot and his Jeep. Only, instead of following the row of cars onto the main road, Tommy did what he always did when he was in a hurry. He took his Jeep around to the back of the school and onto the dirt road that led into darkness of the woods.
Across town, a row of four yellow cabs were all pulling out from in front of Reefside International Airport. In the backseat of one of the taxis, three women were crammed into the backseat. The tallest of the three was a raven-haired, Vietnamese beauty with deep brown eyes. Seated next to her, in the middle, was a petite brunette with chestnut hair and eyes best described as doe brown. At the end of the row, an African-American woman with her black hair in a braided ponytail sat looking out the window with a bright smile on her face.
"Remind me why we're doing this again?" the brunette asked, turning to the woman on her right.
The Vietnamese woman sighed. She was about as happy with their current situation as her friend was. The only difference was that she was better at hiding it. "Because Tommy is our friend and he needs our help, that's why."
"Oh yeah. I forgot about that," the brunette retorted sarcastically, folding her arms over her chest in mock defiance. "Why is it us, though? There's like a hundred other people that could help him!"
Plain and simple, Kimberly Hart did not want to be where she was. Neither did Trini Kwan for that matter. Only Aisha Campbell who was still looking out the window and smiling, oblivious to what was going on around her, seemed content with the possibilities of what could potentially happen later.
"Girl, you know Tommy better than all of us and you know how hard it is for him to trust people," Aisha interjected. Knowing it was the truth, Kimberly sighed and nodded her head. "We were all on the same conference call, Kim. We heard it in his voice how much he didn't want to ask us for help."
"I know, I know. It's just…we all walked away from this a long time ago. Outside of Jason and Tommy, none of us have even done anything since we retired." Kim was careful to keep her words cryptic so as not to draw the unwanted and unnecessary attention of the driver. "How can he expect us to do it now after all this time has gone by?"
No one knew how to answer that. Secretly, they had all been asking themselves that question since Tommy called them two weeks ago. Only a few of the ten seemed optimistic about this little trip when they stepped off their various flights throughout the day. Kimberly just couldn't understand how Jason Scott, a detective in Angel Grove, and Rocky DeSantos and Adam Park, who owned a dojo together and worked there full time, could be so excited while she, an ex-Olympic gymnast with nothing but an abundance of free time on her hands, was so adverse to it.
As trees and buildings flew by them, the girls resigned themselves to just wait it out seeing as how there was nothing else they could really do. They'd be at Tommy's soon enough and all their questions would be answered then.
In two of the other three cars, much of the same story was being told. Though he understood Tommy's reasons, Zack Taylor was none too thrilled about being potentially pulled away from his life back home in Los Angeles. Neither were the two women, Tanya Sloan and Katherine Hillard, seated on either side of him.
The taxi behind them, occupied by Jason Scott and Billy Cranston was a fifty-fifty split. Billy's work at NASADA kept him busier than he liked and, for as much as he often wondered what going back to that life would be like, he just didn't have the time for it. Jason, on the other hand, was thoroughly anticipating the possibility that he could soon be returning to a world he had constantly regretted leaving every day of his life.
Only the car carrying Rocky DeSantos and Adam Park was one of complete optimism. Both Adam and Rocky had been anticipating this day since Tommy had called them two weeks prior. Staring out the window as the line of cabs pulled onto a dirt road, Rocky turned to look at Adam. "Do you think…"
"I don't know, man. I'm trying not to get my hopes up I really don't even wanna think about it," Adam interrupted before Rocky could finish. Rocky gave Adam a look which made Adam laugh. "Alright, alright. I'm hopeful. There, I said it."
"Yeah, buddy! That's what I like to hear. We'll be Ran-" Rocky started, falling silent when Adam shot him a glare. "I mean, we'll be back in the game in no time."
"Yeah," Adam muttered, closing his eyes as he rested his head against his seat. "Hopefully."
The bumps in the road increased as the dirt path became less and less vehicle-friendly. With the car shaking back and forth, the driver looked back at Adam and Rocky. "Where the hell are we going?"
The pair shared a look then shrugged their shoulders. "I have no idea. Just follow the map, I guess," Rocky answered. Rolling his eyes, the driver turned his focus back on navigating the bumpy road leaving Rocky to stare at Adam quizzically. "Why does he have to live in the middle of BFE?"
"Your guess is as good as mine, bro," Adam supplied with a shrug. "I guess Tommy likes his privacy a little more than he let onto."
The conversation in the cab came to a halt as the car turned again, this time onto a gravely driveway that led up to an old two-story house. At first look the house, secluded and off on it's own away from the rest of the world, screamed Tommy Oliver. Only a man like Tommy could be content to live this far away from civilization.
After paying the driver, the pair stepped out of the cab each with a duffel bag packed with enough clothes and toiletries to last the weekend. If more was needed, that would be addressed at the proper time. While they waited for the others to exit their taxis, Adam and Rocky simply stared at the house in admiration. They knew what was going on inside which only made it all that sweeter for them.
"So, we ready?" Jason spoke up once the cabs had all pulled away, looking to his friends. At some point or another he had fought side-by-side with all of them except Aisha. He knew what was being asked of them. He knew what they were capable of. But more than anything, he knew why Tommy had called them first.
"Yeah, man. I guess," Zack answered with a shoulder shrug. "I gotta be honest, though. I'm not too happy about this. I mean, I've still got Angela and the baby back home that I have to worry about."
Married to his high school sweetheart for three years with a one and a half year old little girl named Theresa, the one member of the group everyone thought would be an eternal bachelor had ended up being the first to settle down. Jason and Trini were named Theresa's godparents with Billy and Kimberly promised the next child if there was one. With a successful job and a family to take care of, this trip did not sit well with Zack at all.
"Me neither," Katherine added. "I've got two hundred girls back in New York that I have to have trained to compete on an international level by the end of the summer. How am I supposed to do that if I have to be here, in Reefside?"
At this point, all those with qualms about the trip chose to voice their opinions all at the same exact time leading to a chorus of complaints. Billy talking about NASADA, Tanya and her singing, Trini and all her psychiatry patients, Kim with no excuse just whining because she didn't want to be there. It was nonstop to the point that Adam was quickly developing an intense headache.
"Everyone shut up!" he bellowed. Surprised and shocked by the usually quiet one's sudden outburst, those who had just been complaining fell silent. "You guys should all be ashamed of yourselves. What would Zordon think of you standing there, bickering like a bunch of children? What's wrong with you?" With angry eyes, Adam gazed at each of them noting their embarrassed expressions. "We all made a promise when Zordon died. We promised that nothing would ever tear this group apart and we promised that we would always be there for each other. Well, right now Tommy needs us and I intend to be there for him."
Adam did not wait for a reply. He grabbed his duffel bag off the gravel driveway, slung it over his shoulder, and started towards the door. Without hesitation, Rocky picked up his bag and followed his best friend, Jason and Aisha following closely behind him.
The only ones left were those who had been bickering when Adam roared his interruption and disproval of their actions. The four women all shared embarrassed looks between themselves and the two men that completed their circle. As if on cue, five people all turned their attention to Kimberly.
"Wait," Billy started. "All of us actually have semi-decent excuses as to why we can't do this. What's stopping you?"
Nervously, Kimberly looked at her friends and blushed. How could she tell her friends that she didn't want to do it because of Tommy, because the mere thought of that one night five months ago still sent shivers crawling up and down her spine. Up until that day two weeks ago when Tommy had gotten everyone on the same conference call, she hadn't spoken to him since the morning after their one night together. Memories from that night suddenly came flooding back at her, splicing themselves together in her brain.
Everyone but Kat, who was in New York, all drunk and playing Twister at Jason's house for his New Year's get-together. The game ending when Kim teasingly used her foot to caress Tommy's exposed stomach and making him fall in the process. Tommy disappearing onto Jason's balcony a few minutes later. Kim walking outside to find him standing at the wooden guardrail, simply staring at the stars. A long conversation that led Tommy to exposing some of his deepest and darkest secrets to her.
The risk of losing a rebuilt friendship, taken. Inhibition thrown to the wind as their mouths clashed against each others. An undeniable attraction between two people, strengthened with courage fueled by alcohol, culminating in Kim rhythmically grinding herself on Tommy's lap as she rode him in one of Jason's many guest bedrooms. Falling asleep in his arms with sweet whispered confessions of love. Waking up the next morning with no regrets only to find that Tommy had his fare share of them. A one-sided compromise agreeing to put that night behind them and just be friends.
"I just don't want to do it, okay!?" Kim half-shouted.
"It's Tommy, isn't it?" Katherine asked instinctively. She could see it in Kim's eyes because she too, at one point in time, had gotten that same look when thinking about her ex-flame. It was a look that signified one caught in a very complex and complicated place with the most complex and complicated man to ever step foot on the planet Earth. When Kimberly didn't say anything, Kat pressed on. "Kim?"
Eyebrows raised at her successor to the Pink Powers, Kimberly shook her head. "No, it's not Tommy." She lied for her own sake. The others couldn't argue with her. Katherine could but she chose not to. "I don't want to talk about it. Let's just go inside and get this over with, alright?"
"Okay. Let's go see what the good doctor has up his sleeve for us."
Kimberly gave Tanya a grateful look for changing the subject. Tanya simply smiled and nodded as she pushed everyone in the direction of the house where Tommy was talking with the other guys and Aisha. As they made their way up the drive, Katherine reached out and grabbed Kimberly by the elbow, bringing them both to a stop. Kimberly turned to face the Australian beauty but before she could say anything, Katherine was already talking.
"I know what he does to you, Kim. He did the same thing to me for years. He makes your stomach do somersaults and your blood boil. He makes your heart flutter and he makes you want to pull your hair out." Katherine gave Kimberly a knowing look. If anyone understood what Kim was going through, it was Kat. "Look, I can't make you tell me anything, Kim but I want you to know that I'm your friend and I'll always be there for you if you ever need someone to talk to."
Blinking back a few unexpected tears, Kim came to a sudden realization. She hadn't really talked to anyone at all about that night. None of her friends asked and she never felt the need to share the details. Maybe talking it out with Kat would help her deal with it. Wiping her tears away, Kim looked up at Kat with an embarrassed smile, and nodded. "I think I'd like that. Maybe later we can go get a cup of coffee or something and just, I don't know, chat?"
"Deal." Kat offered her hand and Kim took it, both of them wearing smiles before pulling each other in for a warm hug. When they broke the embrace, Katherine turned towards the house to find Tommy leaning against the doorjamb by himself, just looking at them. "Come on, Kim."
Taking Kim's hand, Katherine gave it a gentle squeeze and pulled Kim along with her up the gravel driveway. Swallowing her fear of facing him, Kim freed her hand from Kat's grip with a smile, signifying that she could handle this on her own. Nodding her head knowingly, Kat fell back a few feet, and allowed Kim to do it herself. With not an ounce of fear, Kim walked right up to the door, pushing herself under Tommy's arm without so much as a word to him.
"What'd you do to her?" Katherine rolled her eyes both at Tommy's question and the dumbfounded look on his face. She simply shrugged her shoulders, ascended the two tiny steps up to Tommy's front porch, and gave him a hug. "Seriously though, Kat?"
"Are you really asking me that, Tommy? She didn't tell me anything but I could tell by looking at her what she was going through. She's head over heels for you and she hates you at the same time. All I did was tell her that I was there for her if she ever needed someone to talk to. I think instead of asking me what's wrong with Kim you should be asking yourself what you did to make her that way."
Katherine gave Tommy a wink then laughed when his mouth fell open. Shaking her head, she ducked under Tommy's arm and made her way into the living room where the others were all seated in waiting. For a few moments, he just stood there in silence looking down the path to the dirt road in front of his house.
"Bro, you alright?" Jason asked from behind him.
Caught off guard, Tommy had to shake his head to clear his thoughts before turning around to face Jason. "Yeah, man. I'm good. Just thinking about something."
"Positive. What do you say we go in there and take care of some business?"
Jason laughed, rubbing his hands together. "You know I'm always down for taking care of a little business, bro."
Nodding his head, Tommy threw his arm around Jason's shoulder and led him back into the living room, the pair joking and laughing the whole time. As they entered the living room, Tommy found everyone strung around in various places. Adam, Rocky, Aisha, and Tanya shared the couch. Kim, Kat, and Trini had taken the loveseat. Billy was in the recliner and Zack had brought in a chair from the dining room. Tommy couldn't help but smile at the way they were all interacting with each other as if they were still in high school.
"The more things change, the more they stay the same," Jason murmured to no one in particular.
"Too true, bro. Too true," Tommy supplied softly, giving Jason's shoulder a squeeze. "Come on, man. Business time." When it came time to address his friends, Tommy's demeanor grew serious. Adam fell silent the moment he felt Tommy's eyes on him even though he couldn't even see the former leader. His presence was that powerful. Everyone but Kim who seemed rather lethargic about the whole thing, sat at attention. "Let's go to the basement."
So simple a command followed without question by those who had been led by this man. For as easygoing as Tommy was, he not only commanded the respect of his peers but he had earned it as well. When Tommy looked at Kim, he saw that she was only following because she didn't want to be left alone in the living room. Resolving to get to the bottom of that situation soon, he led his friends through the hallway until he came to the place where the trap door to his basement was located.
Once the door was opened, Tommy stepped back and allowed everyone to file down the stairs. Kim was the last to go and when she started to walk down, Tommy reached out and grabbed her around the elbow. She tried to keep going but his grip was too tight. It wasn't painful but it was firm. "When this is over with can we please talk? I've got a lot of things I need to say to you."
Turning to face him, Kim shrugged nonchalantly. "I don't know. I've got plans to go get coffee with Katherine tonight but I might be able to fit you in some time in the next five or six months. I'll check my schedule on that and get back to you."
Dumbfounded, shocked, and surprised, Tommy subconsciously loosened his grip on Kim's arm enough for her to free herself. He didn't even see her turn away from him and go down the stairs. "Fuck me," Tommy muttered to himself. "Fuck me, royally." Sighing, he ran his hand through his hair and then followed Kim down the stairs and into the basement.
Much like in the living room before, the others had taken up shop in various places around the basement but this time there was no laughing or joking going on. They were all seated in silence in a circle around what could best be described as giant rock with thin wisps of smoke flowing from various cracks and crevices. Embedded in the rock sat three dormant, colored stones; one red, one blue, one yellow. Words need not be exchanged. Everyone in the room understood fully what the stones were and what they were capable of.
Still, in true Rocky fashion, he felt the need to ask, "Is that them?"
Tommy just nodded his head before moving to stand by the gems to address the group. "You all know why you're here. Once again, three of you will be asked to take up a mantle you've long since left behind."
"Why now?" Trini asked from her seat between Kimberly and Jason.
"Because Mesogog has returned. We-I mean, I…" Tommy did a quick check to see if anyone had noticed his slipup before continuing. "I've been looking for him for the better part of two years now and, up until two weeks ago when I called you all, I hadn't had any luck tracking him down. I ended up finding him on an uncharted island somewhere in the Pacific between the West Coast and Japan."
"Who is this, 'Mesogog?'" Billy inquired.
"A hundred times worse than Zedd and Rita combined." Eyes went wide at Tommy's news delivered calmly as if it wasn't a big deal. "He's smart, strong, and will stop at nothing to get what he wants."
"Let me guess, he wants to take over the world?"
"Not exactly, Kat," Tommy answered, addressing his only other real love besides Kimberly. "Yes, he wants to take over the world but not in the sense of wanting to enslave the people of Earth like everyone else we fought wanted to do. Mesogog is different. He wants to play Father Time and restore the world to the pre-historic era, when there were no people and dinosaurs ruled the planet."
"Sounds pretty serious," Kimberly murmured, a concerned look in her eyes.
"It is serious which is why you all have a choice. We're all adults. Some of us have families of our own, now. We all work in some capacity. We have lives that prevent us from jumping into this world, again." Tommy addressed his friends with a stoic, determined expression on his face. "If you touch one of those gems and it bonds with you, you're in it till the end. With that being said, I can't force any of you to do this and I'll understand if you choose not to. If you don't want to go through with this, now's your chance to step back."
His words said one thing but his eyes and demeanor said another. Everyone in the room knew that they could get up and walk out if they really wanted to. They also knew that it would be like a slap in the face and the ultimate betrayal to Tommy who had put his life on the line more than anyone else who had been a Ranger. No one wanted to have to live with that on their conscience.
"What do we do?" Zack asked, surprising both himself and his friends since they all knew he wasn't all that excited about this.
"Just walk up and touch one of the gems. You'll know right away if it's meant for you or not," Tommy replied, watching as Zack nodded and then hesitantly approached the gems.
The others all watched in anticipation as Zack first tried the blue gem. He held it for a few seconds, felt nothing, and looked to Tommy who shook his head. After trying the red gem to the same result, Zack set his eyes to the yellow one and laughed. "I'm never gonna hear the end of it if I get yellow, am I?" One or two of them chuckled but most were too engrossed with watching Zack to do anything. A chorus of disappointed groans echoed in the basement when the yellow gem had no effect on Zack who looked at Tommy apologetically. "I'm sorry, man."
"Don't worry about it, bro. Thanks for trying."
Though Zack was very much relieved, he found himself slightly disappointed that none of the gems had chosen him to bond with. Still, he was more relieved than disappointed. He would be able to go back to Angela and his baby daughter without any extra responsibilities on his shoulders.
Aisha went next with much less apprehension than Zack had gone with. She instinctively reached for the yellow gem and felt a piece of her heart break when nothing happened. She had so desperately wanted that gem to be hers.
"It's okay, 'Sha. Try the others," Kim offered reassuringly. Aisha nodded her head but again came up empty on the red and blue gems. Her face littered with disappointment, she returned to her seat next to Kim who pulled her into a hug. "It's okay, 'Sha. It just wasn't meant to be, that's all."
Rocky decided to go next, finding himself drawn to the glowing red gem and what it would feel like to wear his first color again but red was not meant to be. Instead, Rocky was destined to once again don his second color. When he picked up the blue gem a sudden rush of energy shot its way throughout his entire body. Suddenly, he felt more alive than he had in years. His body began glowing blue as the roar of a triceratops echoed in his ears.
At the realization that the blue gem had gone to Rocky, Adam and Billy shared a look. It had pretty much been an unspoken agreement that the blue gem had been up for grabs between Adam, Billy, and Zack with the red gem between Jason and Rocky. Now, knowing the red gem was likely to go to Jason, it looked like they had both just been eliminated.
Still, they put on smiles for Rocky as they all gathered around to congratulate him. Rocky had been looking forward to this the most. They were happy that he was getting the chance to do it again. When they returned to their seats, Adam offered Rocky his most heartfelt congratulations even though he knew his likelihood of being a Ranger again had just been severely diminished.
Looking to each other, Tanya and Trini posed an unspoken question of the former yellows. Who went for the yellow gem first? Conceding rank, Tanya stepped back and offered Trini the first crack at it. Nothing. Same thing with the red gem. Trini found herself back in her seat feeling much the same way as Zack; very much relieved but still slightly disappointed.
Tanya tried next but was met with the same result as Trini and a sudden realization set in on the group, but especially Kimberly and Katherine. With the track record of female Yellow Rangers it was likely one of them, a former Pink, would be inheriting the power of the yellow gem. Unless it bonded with Billy of course, who was trying the yellow gem after the red gem had no reaction to his touch. Nothing happened. At that moment it became an unspoken agreement that the yellow gem was for one of the remaining females.
"Ladies?" Jason offered, looking to Kim and Kat while pointing to the two remaining gems. "Would one of you like to try?"
Kat looked to Kim who shook her head. Sighing, Kat decided to go for it and submit herself to the fifty-percent odds that she would be the new Yellow Ranger. Having been rejected by the Power before, Jason shared an understanding look with Kat when neither of the gems bonded with her.
"Damn," she murmured, looking to her former leader. "I'm sorry, Tommy."
"Hey, Kat. Don't worry about it," Tommy offered reassuringly. "I'm just glad you tried. Thank you for that." Kat nodded her head and drifted back to her seat next to Kim who was squeezing the sides of her chair in a Vulcan Death Grip. Tommy didn't want to force the issue but he had to know, "Are you gonna try it, Kim?"
"I don't know, Tommy," she replied, shaking her head.
Sensing she was upset, Tommy found that his legs were carrying him to Kimberly and that he had no control over it. He was on one knee in front of her, gently stroking her hand before he knew what had happened. She looked down at him with tears in her eyes and he gave her his best reassuring smile. "You don't have to do it if you don't want to, Kim."
"I know. I know," she muttered, thinking over what it would mean to be a Ranger again. She had to admit that she had no valid excuses not to at least try for it. Unlike the others, she didn't have a real job. She did endorsements and public appearances from time to time but nothing major. The perks of a professional athlete. Biting back tears, Kim locked eyes with Tommy and managed a small smile. "I've never been a Yellow before."
Kim's tiny admittance made Tommy laugh lightly. "I think I've proved that a change in color doesn't change who you are on the inside. Besides, it'll give you a chance to expand your wardrobe a little bit."
Giving Kim a wink, Tommy, and everyone else in the room for that matter, knew that he had baited her perfectly with the prospect of having to shop for a whole new wardrobe. "You're right. I'll try it." Kim stood up and was immediately pulled into a tight hug. At first she didn't quite know how to react but before long she found herself seeking comfort in Tommy's embrace. Instantly, she remembered how much she loved being in his arms. When they finally broke the hug she looked up at him, oblivious to the eyes of everyone watching her, and smiled. "What was that for?"
"The start of me apologizing and hopefully making up for what I did to you," Tommy offered in a low whisper.
"We'll see. You have a lot to make up for," Kim supplied, brushing by Tommy before he could say anything. For as much as she wanted to give into the temptation of falling back into his arms, Tommy had to prove to her that he was for real. The current circumstances weren't exactly the best place for that to happen so Kim chose to end it and went right for the yellow gem without hesitation. She picked it up out of the dish and immediately felt her whole body start to tingle. She was alive again. She could hear the beautifully familiar screech of a pterodactyl crying out in her head. "Yellow," she murmured in disbelief. "I'm a Yellow."
"Welcome to the club, girl." Walking towards her seat with her head down, Kim didn't see Aisha lead the pack of Yellows over to her. When she did look up, she was greeted by Aisha, Trini, and Tanya all looking at her and smiling brightly.
"Uh, thanks." It was all Kim could manage. She was still too much in shock over what had just happened. When it began, she had been so sure those gems weren't meant for her. Red and Blue were predominantly male colors and she had never been a Yellow before. Surely, that would go to one of the three former Yellow Rangers. Alas, it was she destined to bear the power of the yellow gem.
Standing off to the side so he was out of sight, Tommy couldn't help but beam at her with pride. He wasn't hopeful that the gem would bond with Kim, not when Trini, Aisha, and Tanya were around but he was pleasantly surprised when it did. It meant Kim was going to be around a whole lot more which in turn meant he'd be able to work on fixing things with her almost immediately.
"And then there were two," Jason muttered, looking to Adam who gave him a knowing nod. They were down to the just the red gem. Everyone in the room knew who it was meant for but Jason still chose to ask, "You wanna try it?"
Adam laughed and shook his head. "Nah, we all know it's for you, bro."
"We'll see," Jason supplied, getting out of his seat. Disappointed, Adam watched him more intently than anyone else in the room. He didn't want to admit it or get his hopes up but, where everyone else was resigned to accept that the red gem was destined to be Jason's, he was still holding onto a glimmer of hope that it could indeed be for him.
And when Jason touched the gem and nothing happened, Adam's inner-spirit roared triumphantly amidst the chorus of surprise coming from his friends. For the longest time Jason just stood there looking at the gem, unable to believe that it hadn't chosen him. Then, for the second time that day, another crazy realization settled in on the group. There was going to be a new Red Ranger. There was going to be a new leader.
As defeat finally set in for Jason, he returned the gem to its place and found comfort in the eyes of his friends. If Kim could have, she would have gladly given her gem to Jason just so he wasn't so upset. Unfortunately, that wasn't in the cards. What was in the cards was Adam going for the red gem.
It was almost anti-climatic when Adam picked up the red gem and felt the expansion of power flow throughout his body. He felt the same rush of power that Kim and Rocky felt but it was still different. The roar of the tyrannosaurus didn't warm his heart the way the screech of the pterodactyl had done to Kim or the bellow of the triceratops to Rocky. Looking at his arms glowing red, Adam suddenly felt more than just a little uncomfortable with this sudden change in color. He had been black and green, background Rangers in comparison to the reds or, in Tommy's case, whites.
"Looks like your time to lead a team has finally come, bro," Jason murmured, standing face-to-face with Adam who was unsure if Jason was mad at him or happy for him. Those feelings were quickly put aside when Jason smiled at him and offered his hand which Adam took, shaking Jason's hand firmly. "I always had a feeling that you'd make a good leader. Don't prove me wrong, alright?"
Adam gave Jason a half-smirk. "I'll do my best, man."
Clapping Adam's shoulder, Jason nodded his head. "That's all we can ever ask for."
A small moment of understanding occurred between Jason and Adam with just a simple look. In even the briefest of moments, Adam understood that Jason would be there if he ever needed someone to talk to. Jason knew all about being a leader and, more often than not, was much easier to talk with than Tommy.
Then the mood suddenly became awkward with no one really knowing what to say or do. They all had booked hotel rooms for the duration of the weekend so that wasn't really a problem for most of them but Adam, Rocky, and Kim were met with the new dilemma of defending a city they didn't live in.
It was Tommy who broke the silence by clearing his throat and offering his credit card to Jason. "Why don't you take the others upstairs and order some pizza while I talk to the team for a few minutes. Don't worry about what it costs, just get enough to feed everyone, alright?"
Smirking, Jason nodded. "You know out of all of us, I never thought you'd be playing Zordon and I'd be the pizza bitch."
"Zordon." His name escaped Tommy's lips in a hushed whisper. Not once in all the years of his research and experimentation did he ever compare himself to Zordon. "Do you think…do you think he'd be proud of me?"
"Yeah, bro. I do. I know we all are," Jason supplied. "So, four-hundred bucks worth of pizza and what, two-fifty for beer? Or should we go big and go for three-hundred?"
"If you spend seven-hundred dollars on food, I will kill you," Tommy shot back, both of them laughing. A few minutes later, Jason had managed to get everyone together and out of the basement, leaving Tommy to address Adam, Rocky, and Kim. "So," he started, clapping his hands together awkwardly. "You're the new team."
"Yep. That we are," Rocky offered equally as awkward. "We're the new team. Yep, I'm Blue and Kim's Yellow and Adam's Red and we're all Power Rangers again. And did I mention Adam's Red?"
"Yeah, Rocko. You did," Adam grumbled, elbowing his friend in the side.
"Ow!" Rocky exclaimed, rubbing his ribs. "Sorry?"
Tommy looked at the trio of old Rangers and rubbed the back of his neck nervously. "Boy, this is awkward."
"But it shouldn't be. We've all been here before. We know what's expected of us and we know what we have to do," Kim interjected. "So then why doesn't this time feel like it did before?"
"Because we're all older now. Because we have lives that are a lot more complicated than when we were kids." Tommy made sure the underlying meaning in that message was conveyed clearly to Kimberly. "But I don't think things are going to be as different as you all do. Sure, Kim's a Yellow now and Adam's a Red but so what? Almost all of us have gone through at least one color change before. You'll adapt like you always do."
"Easy for you to say. You get to sit here in the safety of your house while we have to go out there and put our lives on the line."
"You think I didn't want one of those gems, Kim? I would have gladly taken any of them but they weren't meant for me. They were meant for you and for Adam and for Rocky. Look, I know this is going to interfere with all your lives. Truly, I understand that. And it kills me that I had to put you all in this position but-"
"It's okay, Tommy. We know you didn't want to put this on us," Adam offered, earning a grateful look from Tommy. "But we're here now. We're Rangers again and we need to figure out how all of this is going to work out. Rocky and I already agreed that we could leave the school with out senior teachers for awhile. We'd still have to go back to check on them periodically but nothing that would keep us out of town for any real length of time. Rocky and I are in it for the long haul."
Tommy nodded appreciatively before turning his attention to Kimberly. "That just leaves you, Kim. Are you ready to do this again?"
Sighing, Kimberly shrugged her shoulders. "I honestly don't know, Tommy. I haven't been a Ranger in over a decade. I don't have anything stopping me from doing this but I just don't know if I can be a valuable asset to this team."
"Kim, you've only been inactive like, a year longer than me and two years longer than Adam. We've all been out of the game for a long time but that's half the fun of it. We're gonna have to re-learn everything just like we did our first time around. And just like the first time around, we'll do it together, as a team."
Rocky, as Kim already knew, had his very rare moments where he reached down deep into his heart and pulled out something truly genuine. This was one of those times. "Alright, then. I guess I'm in. Let's worry about the logistics of everything later, though. Right now I just need some time to relax and let all of this stuff sink in.
"I agree. Let's go upstairs, kick back, and worry about everything else some other time," Tommy replied, garnering nods from the three newest Rangers. They started for the stairs but froze immediately when the screeching of an alarm began to wail in the basement. "Shit!"
"Bad news I assume?" Kim asked rhetorically, following Tommy to his computer setup with the other guys right behind her. As Tommy slid into the chair, she instinctively laid her hands on his shoulder so she could see over the top of him. It was a gesture not lost on either of them. "What's going on?"
"Looks like Tyrannodrones are attacking near the shopping district. I know it's short notice but I guess there's no time like the present," Tommy answered, his hands flying across the keyboard. When he found what he was looking for, he clicked on it and then walked across the room, tapping a brick on the wall. It released itself with a hissing noise, revealing three silver bracelets. Grabbing them in his hands, Tommy carried them over to the table and set them down. "Give me your gems." Without question, they turned the small stones over to Tommy who placed one inside each of the bracelets before returning them to the proper person. "Concentrate on the power, summon your Dino Morpher, and say 'Dino Thunder, Power Up!'"
"Dino Thunder, Power Up?" Rocky asked, slipping the bracelet onto his wrist. "What happened to good old 'It's Morphin' Time?'"
"That was Zordon's thing. I'm not Zordon," Tommy offered seriously. It may have seemed cold but they understood what he meant by it. "Alright, guys. This'll be the first test of your new powers. Good luck to you."
"Thanks, Tommy," Adam murmured, stepping back as Kim and Rocky flanked him on either side. Concentrating on the power within, Adam closed his eyes. "You guys ready!?"
"Ready!" Rocky and Kim both returned. Flicking their wrists, the bracelets immediately changed into wrist-mounted Morphers, each with a faceplate in their own color depicting their different dinosaurs.
"Dino Thunder," the trio started as they swung their arms around to the side of their heads, "Power Up!"
Tommy watched on proudly as they activated their Dino Morphers, completing the transformation right in front of them in a blinding flash of multi-colored light. Now, he knew how Zordon must have felt the first time he watched his Rangers successfully morph. Seeing Adam, Rocky, and Kim morph using a power source he helped create sent a wave of satisfaction through him. There was also a certain sense of pride that came with knowing he had done something very few people in history had ever done by creating his own team of Power Rangers.
"Yellow," Kim muttered softly. Looking at her spandex-clad arms, she shook her head in disbelief. "I still can't get over the fact that I'm a Yellow, now."
"I know. Crazy, huh?" Adam offered, pointing out his own change in color. "I've never really been a leader before. Looks like this whole thing is going to be just like the first time. One big learning experience all over again."
"I promise, you guys. It won't be that different," Tommy interjected, walking over to his computer setup. After sliding into his seat, he went to work, typing rapidly as his eyes scanned the multitude of monitors in front of him. "Outside of not being able to teleport anymore, it'll be just like riding a bike."
Adam, Rocky, and Kim all shared a look between each other. No teleportation? They had never dealt with that before. Rocky, being the least self-conscious of the group, chose to jokingly ask, "We can't teleport? So that means we have to walk to and from battle, now? What the hell, man?"
"Not exactly. I did say it would be like riding a bike," Tommy replied with a sly grin. Finally finding what he had been looking for on the computer, he clicked on it. A hissing sound entered the room as the southwest wall suddenly split in half like elevator doors. The new Rangers watched in awe as three different colored motorcycles began to appear on a platform that was raising itself up from under the floor. "These," Tommy continued, gesturing towards the small fleet of motorcycles, "are your Raptor Cycles. They'll get you anywhere in Reefside in a matter of minutes."
"Tommy, are these gonna be like the Shark Cycles where Zordon gave them to us but we really only used them like, twice?"
"No, Rocky. Since you can't teleport, you'll really need these," Tommy answered with an eye roll. "Now, you three have a job to do. Use your Raptor Cycles to get to the shopping district. Your cycles are already programmed with the coordinates for you. Good luck, guys." Turning to look at Kim, he shot her a wink and smiled at her. "You keep those two goofballs in line out there, okay? I don't want to see any funny business, is that understood?"
The smirk on Tommy's face when he said that was impossible for Kim to resist. While Adam and Rocky pretended to be offended, she just stared into his eyes from behind her visor until she released a breath she hadn't realized she was holding. "You got it chief," she managed in a murmur, flashing an awkward thumbs-up. Almost immediately, she started to mentally kick herself for that little exchange. Quick to cover her tracks, however, she directed her attention to her new teammates. "Come on, guys. Let's go take care of business."
Seated in his chair, Tommy saluted the trio of Rangers as they drove past him, out of the Command Center, and into the woods, all the while wishing he was going with them. He hadn't expected to feel that way. Initially, he was glad that he didn't have to be a Ranger again but seeing three of his oldest friends doing it just then made him long for his own new power source.
Maybe he'd find one. Maybe not. He didn't know, nor did he want to put too much thought into it at the moment. Either way, as he ascended the steps to join the others for dinner he gave the basement a fleeting glance knowing that, once again, the world was in good and capable hands.
The best hands.
For those of you who don't know, Peter Pan Syndrome (aka the title of this chapter if you didn't already know) is a term used to describe someone who is either socially immature or never really grew up. Since it was old Rangers becoming Rangers again, I thought it was a fitting title. Anyway, make sure to hit that review box on the way out. Talk to you soon.