Done in response to RevolutionChick's "Once Evil" Challenge on PRUnitedFront.

Characters: Tommy, Trent
Timeline: After Copy That
Plot: Tommy and Trent have a evil ranger-to-evil ranger conversation after/during Trent cleans the Zords.

Disclaimer: I don't own Power Rangers. It's owned by Disney, so I am making no profit off of this story...even though I wish I was, because I'm current broke.


Balance

Walking into the Zord Bay, Dr. Tommy Oliver couldn't help but notice that all the lights were turned off except the one giant beam over the Tyrannosaurus Megazord. He held a plate of small sandwiches and a glass of water, as Trent had been down here for hours and he figured the boy would need to eat before passing out while cleaning the top of a zord and falling to his death. That would be both difficult to explain to Mercer, as well as messy to clean up, so brining a snack seemed like a good idea.

Coming closer, Tommy could see that Trent wasn't even cleaning, but was instead staring up at the enormous fighting machine. Next to him stood a bucket of dirty water, in which a rag floated, and next to that was a discarded mop which had been used to clean some of the harder to reach areas. Tommy expected Trent to hear him and turn around, apologizing on not working on the zords, but instead, the boy in white didn't move a muscle and continued staring.

He came to a halt next to his student, who had yet to acknowledge his presence, so Tommy spoke up first. "I know it's huge," he started, and his voice made Trent visibly jump, as he had just now noticed his teacher was even in the room, "but they still need to be cleaned." Dr. O finished.

Trent took a calming breath to steady his heart rate, which had sky rocketed at the sudden and unexpected voice of Dr. O next to him. He mentally kicked himself for not hearing him coming earlier. Nodding, he turned back to the megazord. "I finished Kira's and Ethan's. Wasn't sure if you wanted yours cleaned too though."

Tommy shook his head. "Don't worry about it. It doesn't get any action anyway."

"What about the auxiliary zords?"

"Nah. They're relatively new, so it's ok."

Trent nodded without taking his eyes off the red zord, and Tommy seemed to have joined him in the action. They stood silently for a few minutes, both lost in their own thoughts.

"They don't trust me." Trent suddenly spoke up, voice barely above a whisper as his eyes lowering to the ground.

Without even batting an eyelash, Dr. O responded as if talking about the latest weather forecast. "Did you really expect them to?"

Trent turned to face his teacher, utterly bewildered and slightly angry at this unexpected response. "Well, yeah…no…but…" Trent stuttered, trying to find the right words in his mind; words that seemed to elude him before finally settling for, "They're my friends."

Tommy's gaze had yet to waver from the T-Rex zord. "You tried to kill them."

Eyes now flashing with rage, Trent turned on his heals with a loud, "What do you know about it anyway??" Anger flooding through his system as he took a few steps away from Dr. O, Trent crossed his arms, eyes returning to the floor.

"A lot more than I'd like to." Replied Tommy, his own eyes moving to rest on Trent, who slowly turned around at this.

"How?" Asked Trent, hesitant to accept this turn of events.

Pausing for a moment, Tommy waved Trent over to sit next to the wall with him, only a few feet away from where the mop and bucket rested. Obeying, Trent made his way over and the two sat down side by side, the forgotten plate filled with sandwiches and the glass of water resting in between them.

"Before you joined the team, the other rangers saw a history file I'd made of all the previous Rangers…Including me." Surprised, Trent stared wide eyed at his teacher.

"You? You were a ranger before all of this?"

Nodding, Tommy continued. "Not only was I a ranger, I was the first Green Ranger."

"Wow." Trent whispered in aw. "That's awesome."

"It would have been had it not been under those certain circumstances." At receiving a confused look from Trent, Tommy continued. "Rita, the villain at the time, decided to make me her evil green ranger. She captured me and put a spell over me, making me her servant." Tommy paused, the memories threatening to overwhelm him. "I almost killed them."

The two sat in silence for a moment, both of them fixated on the giant red zord, but their thoughts miles away. Mustering up his courage, which was made easier with his curiosity, Trent spoke up.

"So…you've experienced the power…both good, and bad." It might have come out as a statement, but it was meant as a question, which Tommy fully understood.

"Yes. I've lived with and fought with good and evil fueling me."

Eyes cast down once more as Trent played with his hands, not quit sure what to do with them, he continued. "Which is more powerful?" He asked quietly, almost as if he were afraid of the response.

Taking a deep breath, Tommy recalled asking Zordon the same thing one night after he couldn't sleep, that exact question burning in his mind. He'd hated himself, and it felt entirely wrong to even THINK about the possibility that evil was more powerful, while at the same time, his body argued against him.

"Evil." He replied solemnly.

Trent was stuck between expecting that answer and it being the news of the century for him. He didn't know how to react, as he had been hoping that he was wrong. He'd hoped that, once the matter was addressed, his fears would simply be swept away with assurances that he was being silly, and that he only needed a little more time to adjust to this new type of power.

When the evil coating his Dino Gem had been destroyed, a wave of emptiness had swept over him. At first he'd thought it was simply the absence of the evil within him, but the moment he morphed, something felt wrong. Trent had suddenly become weaker than he'd been since he'd become a ranger. A short simple fight, which had only a short while ago hardly counted as a minor adrenaline rush was suddenly enough to make him break into a heavy sweat. Where he could once stand alone, he now felt the need for back up for fear of losing with only his powers to save him.

Even though he knew the answer to be true, Trent couldn't help but wonder. "Why though?"

Thinking this over, Tommy responded with his own question. "Have you ever wondered why it takes all the rangers to take down just one monster?"

"Well, kinda, but… not really." Trent stammered, groping yet again, this time for the right answer.

Nodding, Tommy continued. "Most rangers don't. It's a hard thing to think about." He turned a little so that he was looking Trent right in the eyes. "What I am about to tell you, and have told you so far, is to stay between us. The other rangers are not to know." He was completely serious, his face strict and tone broking no argument.

"Ok, but why?"

"It's a hard thing to handle. You knowing could already be a bad thing. It's hard going into a battle where you know the universe has tilted the chances against you."

"The universe?" Trent's eyes widened at this. Well there was a lovely thought he hadn't expected.

Tommy nodded. "You've heard about balance in the universe? Ying and Yang and such?" At Trent's own nod, he continued. "Well, difficult as it may be to believe, the world really does have more good than evil. There are more good people and worthy causes then there are murderers and thieves. So, to balance this out, the bad things in the world, at times, end up more powerful. Because of this, it takes more of you to defeat one monster."

Trent scrunched up his face in disappointment. "That doesn't seem fair." He muttered, and Tommy had to chuckle.

"It's not, but at the same time, it is."

Trent sat thinking for a moment before speaking up again. "What about the Tiranodrones? We can take on groups of them at a time. Shouldn't they be more powerful?"

Tommy shook his head, "No, because they're not evil."

Now Trent was confused. The conversation had been followed a pretty logical, straight line up until that point. "What do you mean? They fight for Mesagog, and they're fighting us."

"That's because, to put it simply, that's what they're programmed to do. They have no thought or will power, and so, they're not really given much power from good or evil."

Groaning, Trent dropped his head into his hands. "This is so complicated. The universe needs to simplify itself."

Tommy grinned sympathetically at his student before sobering up. "Trent?"

At hearing his name, Trent tilted his head to the right and faced Dr. O, but kept his head resting in his hands. "Yeah?"

Taking a deep breath, Tommy asked the one thing that he dreaded. "Knowing all of this, do you want to quite?"

Trent was obviously shocked by this, his head shooting up and staring wide-eyed at his teacher. "No, never. I started this, and I'm going to finish it. Why would you even ask that?" Hints of anger got mixed in with the confusion and bewilderment.

Tommy sighed. "Because it's something I considered after finding out."

"Well," Trent started, standing up, "I'm here to stay." His voice was confident, and the doubt and worry that had filled him earlier had disappeared, now replaced by determination and will power.

Grinning with relief, Tommy stood, clapping a hand on Trent's shoulder. "Good, I'll hold you to that." Now that their conversation had ended, Tommy could feel the need for sleeping creeping up on him as he tried and failed to suppress a yawn. "It's late. You should call your dad for a ride home."

Trent fidgeted a little. "Um, well." He grinned nervously, "I sort of told him I was spending the night at Conner's."

Shaking his head, Tommy chuckled, remembering when he'd done the same thing, telling his parents he was going to Jason's ended up falling asleep at the Power Chamber. "All right, you can sleep in the guest bedroom. I'll drop you off at Conner's tomorrow morning." Letting out another yawn, he started walking towards the exit, Trent right behind him.

"Finally…sleep." Trent could hear Dr. O mutter as the older man ran a hand through his hair. Trent could feel himself breaking into a yawn as he followed his teacher before a sudden thought hit him, making him stop dead in his tracks.

Noticing Trent was no longer following him, Tommy turned around to see Trent standing stock still, his eyes wide with horror. "Trent? Trent what is it?" Tommy walked back to his student's side, his worry growing.

"The Zords." Trent chocked out, suddenly close to tears. "I didn't finish cleaning the Zords."


So, hopefully you all liked it. This was originally written differently, until I read RC's challenge, and the story just worked so much better like that..so...here it is. Reviews are much appreciated!