Hey. So, I just posted another fic, which is depressing me since nobody is reviewing it, but...well...nothing I can do about that. Of course, if you all read this and enjoyed it, it would mean a lot if you also went over and read 'Breathe' .
Anyway, this story is a follow up to 'Defeating Destiny', but you don't have to read that one to understand this.
Summary: Sometimes sacrificing yourself is the only way to save everything else.
Disclaimer: I don't own Power Rangers, so be nice and don't sue.
And now, on to the story! ENJOY!
Alex was starting to develop the theory that coffee and discussions of time travel were synonymous, because the second he started taking the first sip of his morning coffee, he heard Jen come up behind him with the one question he'd hopped and prayed adrenaline would have whipped from her memory.
"Why did you lie to us?"
He'd nearly choked, yet again, on his life sustaining beverage. Something he found hadn't changed in the past one thousand years was that people still functioned purely off caffeine. Sighing, he put his cup down and glanced longingly at the station provided breakfast, which he would now surely never get to eat. Looking up, he could see Jen watching him impatiently, hands on her hips and foot ready to start tapping.
Alex motioned for her to sit down next to him, and after a split second of indecision, she took the offered seat. She and the other rangers had returned for good from the year 2001 a mere week ago, and this had been the first time Jen had managed to corner her former fiancé.
Calmly, Alex gave her a long hard look, as if analyzing her; seeing if she was ready to hear what he had to say. Finally deciding that there was no longer a need to hide anything, he spoke up.
"I never lied to you."
Jen was torn between being angered and bewildered as she stared at Alex, who took the moment of silence to make a grab for some eggs. He managed to chew threw a bite before the wrath of Jen was upon him.
"How can you say that? You came in, saying that the future was screwed up, and you were there to fix it, and all you did was mess up things even more! Then we get transported back here, and you want to erase our memories, saying that Wes is going to die, when I highly doubt you would even be here if that happened! And…" She was cut off from saying anymore by the soft but stern use of her name.
"Jen, I never lied to you."
Taking a deep breath, the pink ranger forced herself not to explode. "Then explain it to me Alex."
"There's a lot to explain. Give me something specific to start with." He spoke calmly; something he'd gotten used to over the past year. He hid the hurt well.
"Why would you tell us that Wes was going to die? I checked the history records, and I know that you're his descendent. If he had died, you wouldn't be alive to tell us that."
Nodding, Alex knew she was right. "That's true."
Jen look him pleadingly in the eyes. "Then how could you tell me you never lied?"
"In an alternate timeline, where you and others didn't go back, Wes died, and I never existed." Alex stated simply, taking her bewilderment at such a blunt answer as his chance to get a sip of coffee.
Jen cast her eyes downward to stare at the cafeteria table. "You could have just told us to go back." She muttered her voice barely above a whisper and laced with the betrayal she felt.
Alex shook his head, not for the first time wishing she understood what it was he had to deal with. "I've seen the history files knew you would go back anyway, and I was following procedure. Plus, too much was at stake for me to rely on your ability to follow my command. You'd already proven to me that that was not how I can get you to do what was needed."
Jen's eyes flashed in anger as her head shot up to meet his gaze once again. "Not follow your commands!? They were absurd!"
"And yet, you would have followed them without question before Wes."
She opened her mouth to argue. To point out how ridiculous a statement that was, but no words came out. Her mind drew a blank, because she knew that he was right.
"Is this what this is about? Wes?" She questioned, not being able to come up with anything else.
"No, it was never about Wes, or you, or me."
"Then what was it about?"
"Everything. Everybody that exists, every star, world, and universe. Jen, there was nothing personal in the way anything was handled. There couldn't be."
She gave him a quizzical look. How could there be nothing personal? They were engaged to be married, and would still have been had it not been for his attitude, especially towards Wes.
"How can you say that? How can you say that it wasn't personal Alex?" Her voice was soft, but her eyes were piercing his, searching for an answer.
Taking a deep breath, Alex glanced around the cafeteria, confirming his suspicion that they had an audience. "Let's go somewhere more private." He murmured, grabbing his coffee as he stood. After a moment's hesitation, Jen followed.
The two walked down the halls of Time Force in silence until they reached Alex's office. He was second in command, and as soon as Captain Logan retired, he would move up and take charge. The office, while spacious, was extremely bleak and plain, without the slightest touch of personality except a small holographic photo that Alex shut down the moment he reached his desk, but Jen managed to catch a glimpse of a grinning couple.
Turning to face her, Alex studied the women who had left him for a man she'd never have. They stood in silence for a few minutes, both trying to figure out what to say.
"You changed." Jen spoke up, her eyes meeting his, but gentler this time.
He shook his head, a soft chuckle escaping him. "No, I didn't change, just pretended to."
"If I were to explain everything, we'd be in here for hours. To put it simply, everything I did was to preserve the timeline. Everything Jen." His eyes bore into hers, a part of him pleading with her, praying she at least understood his emotions.
Her eyes started to tear up, but the flash up anger was undeniable. "I thought you were dead Alex! All that time! Why didn't you tell me before?"
This was the last straw. The dam he's built to keep his emotions in check finally broke. It had kept firm when they'd said goodbye in 2001, and then again when she broke their engagement, but cracks had developed, and now everything collapsed.
"Damn it Jen, don't you think I wanted to?!" Alex burst out, his voice suddenly booming as he grabbed a bottle off his desk and threw it across the room, anger fueling him. Jen, unsure of how to react, stayed quiet. "But I couldn't." His voice suddenly dropped, lower than it had been before and now full of pain. "When I woke up, they told me you went after Ransik. That I told you to go after him. I thought they were crazy, because I would never do that to you, but I guess I was too out of it from the pain." He sighed, running a hand down his face. "I couldn't have done anything different, because I had to preserve history."
The room was filled once more with silence before Jen mustered up the courage to ask another question. "So what? Why not change things? Wes did."
Alex visibly laughed at this, although it had an edge to it that Jen had never heard before. "Nothing changed. Everything remained and occurred exactly as it should have, including what Wes did."
Jen shook her head, refusing to believe him. "No, Wes changed his destiny, I was there."
"You saw him do exactly what history predicted he would do." His voice was harsh, but honest. "He left his father's company to become the Red Time Force Ranger, and once that mission was over, he re-joined as Co-Commander of the Silver Guardians with Eric Myers. The two then went on to co-own Bio-Labs after Wes's father retired, which then led to the merger and creation of the earth based SPD, and then to the creation of Time Force." He stopped, staring directly into her eyes to make sure she was following. "Everything, and I mean everything, played out exactly as it should have."
Jen shook her head. "So why not just tell us? Why'd you have to be such a jerk?"
"Because that's what history said happened. That I went back to make sure everything was to play out as it should, and to do that, I'd have to make you realize how much you needed Wes to complete your mission."
Baffled, she tried putting together the pieces of the puzzle. "So you didn't go back to make us leave Wes, you went to make sure we followed him?" She looked at him quizzically, not sure if what she had processed was correct.
He nodded in confirmation. "I saw a few alternate timelines. There was one where I didn't go back, and Wes made a similar decision to one that I called. The rangers disagreed, and with no leader to fall back on, they were defeated." He hung his head, memories of watching Jen die in that timeline threatening to overwhelm him. He still woke up at night, sweating and catching his breath from the blankness of her eyes.
"You sacrificed everything." She stated softly, her gaze gentle as it met his tortured one.
"No. I saved everything." His eyes lowered, and then moved to his desk where he turned the holographic picture back on. It displayed the overjoyed and seemingly happily-ever-after faces of Alex and Jen on their one year anniversary as a couple. "Everything except us."
Sooo...I hope you liked it, because it took me forever to write. I got stuck multiple times, especially after they got into Alex's office, and then, I had no idea how I was going to end the story. There were many directions it started to take, so hopefully, this was the correct one. Please review...I live off reviews, and it's depressing without them! ; Thanks for reading!