Author's Notes: FINALLY, the end of a mini-saga for me. There are many unanswered questions though, which will all be revealed in a planned sequel! This is the first Power Rangers fic that I've ever completed, and it has given me a lot of room to play with from MMPR canon details. That said, if you're still interested in my writings, please check out my other PR fic, Forever Rangers, which is a re-write of Forever Red, but with more fire power, more characters and hopefully, a lot of awesomeness as well.
Disclaimer: I don't own Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
Pairing/Character: Kimberly, Tommy
WORLD SPINS MADLY ON
Chapter Four: Set Yourself On Fire
"How – what in the world – " You manage to sputter as your mind races three hundred miles an hour, train-thoughts colliding with each other as you find yourself pulled into the room by Kimberly.
"I don't really have time to explain – we don't have much time," she tells you, looking at you in the eye as she pauses from gathering up her equipment. You start to protest, but then you stop to gawk at the impressive sight of the room. Billy will be so jealous! When you turn back to look at her, a questioning gaze on your face, she sighs.
"I'll explain everything afterwards," she says, turning her back to you and mumbles something that distinctively sounds like, If we get out of there alive and you frown. You've never liked being kept in the dark and this time it's no exception. Not when the balance of the world lies with what you may or may not be able to achieve, or when the two of you have settled on some kind of truce on a (what you know now as a) non-existent feud.
"Okay," you finally say after a half-minute lapse, eyeing her curiously. "Then we'd better go. Before it's too late."
"Affirmative, I just need to – " you watch as she closes her eyes and concentrates in the space between her and the equipment, and with a flash of light pink the items are zapped to god knows where. "There you go." It might actually be a better plan for you if you can stop being shocked at the things she does now. The mouth open look is not a good look on you.
"Tommy." She's walking towards you as you wipe that surprised look on your face. Fixing your steely gaze at her, you wait for her to continue saying what's on her mind. "I need you to trust me."
You feel like laughing despite the situation. That's a tall order and the both of you know it. As far as you're concerned, the past few years have broken that bond that the both of you had even though neither of you are at fault. I want to, you think desperately, taking in a deep breath and pursing your lips together, giving her an uncertain nod.
You don't quite know how to decode that look that glazes over her eyes, and by the looks of it, neither does she as those warm, brown eyes gets set with a newfound cold edge, and you breathe in with a sharp intake.
"Come on. Let's go." At her words, the two of you lock eyes again and in bursts of morphing calls and lighted energies, you're morphed into your White Ranger powers while her Ninjetti suit appears in place of her clothes.
She curls her fist into a ball and shakes it down, hard, once; in the space between the both of you. Her voice is void of emotions now, and you know this is it. One last key, get the Great Power, and get back to your team before Rita and Zedd destroy everything. "Follow my energy signatures, and when you get there, be careful. We don't know if there're going to be traps."
"Won't trick me a second time," you say confidently, and you think you spy a hidden smile, but before you can ponder on that any further, she's gone in a pink flash and you focus your energy to finding her.
You can't see her when you land, but you can sense her trailing signature to know that she's nearby, and immediately you breathe a little easier. The thing is, you have absolutely no idea where you are. Rows and rows of trees obstruct your view, the leaves shielding the afternoon sun's rays from your vision as you squint ahead, hoping to figure out where she is. It isn't easy letting go of your inhibitions as a leader, but for the sake of everything you know you must learn to let go and listen to someone else.
It gets just that bit harder when that someone else is Kimberly.
There's a rustle on the left and you heighten your senses, drawing Saba out in front of you as you get into a battle-ready stance, turning on your heel. You don't see anything though, but you keep your guards up.
"Over here," you hear someone hiss, and you know that it's Kimberly because you'd know her voice anywhere, and you assume that the strange rustling you heard was caused by her. From the corner of your eye you see the flash of pink, so you head over to her when something stops you in your track.
Or rather, someone stops you; someone invisible and you struggle against the hold. You land a solid punch in the space between the invisible entity and you, falling backwards from the force as the invisibility cloak is lifted.
"Tortus." You hear her snarl, her eyes flashing with anger. You have no idea who this Tortus person is, but he has the marks of the Ninjetti on his uniform, although where the gold banding is, his uniform doesn't, and it's black with dashes of red that reminds you of blood, and you shudder.
"So nice to see you here, Kimberly."
She moves to your side, a few feet away, fighting stance ready as she glares at him. "Get out of our way."
"Or else what?" He's haughty, cocky, as if he has an upperhand. Holding his arm out, a weapon materializes, and you recognize it as an energy depleting blaster.
"I should've killed you a long time ago, Alex," she spits out. You take the moment to absorb whatever you're hearing now, all the while observing Tortus. He's well-built, the pseudo-Ninjetti uniform not masking the muscular frame of his body. You can't really see beyond his eyes in the mask, but half of his face has been marked by something that you don't really recognize.
"Please. It's Tortus now. This forest is my home. You won't find the Timekeeper that easily." Timekeeper? you think. That's new to you. You don't know much about the Timekeeper, but whatever little you have read in the Command Center and its archives, you know that the Timekeeper has not been seen in thousands of years.
She shoots back, her voice dripping with venom. "Like I said. I should have killed you a long time ago."
In a swift motion, Tortus aims the blaster at you, and it's almost like the scene is playing out slow-motion for you, yet you can't move; staying rooted to the same spot. Her eyes widened as she runs towards you and pushes you away from the beam.
You see her fall.
You don't nearly have enough time to react when Tortus aims his blaster at you again, and you roll out of the way in the nick of time, missing the beam by only a few inches. Hurling Saba at him, you manage to knock the weapon out of his hand, but that is enough for you to gain an advantage as you aim a flying kick towards him, sending him sprawling.
You have to finish this fight, and you need to do it fast so that you can see how Kimberly's doing…
He manages to hit you in the ribs, hard, and you're forced to retreat and change your attack strategy. Brute force isn't going to help you here, and you know what you have to do to swing this fight your way.
Trust Kimberly, trust her skills, trust her gracefulness and agility…
Timing your execution perfectly, you call upon the power of your own Ninjetti animal spirit, hearing the familiar cry in the skies. Tortus looks up, confused at the sound and that's when you go in; your body flipping over from your hands to your feet and ending the routine with a powerful corkscrew kick, much like you had done at the monolith on Phaedos. With a grunt, he falls to the ground and you continue to attack, punches flying around. You're about to finish him off when he teleports out before you manage to deliver the killing blow, but now that he's gone he's at the very back of your head. You only have one thought that is important to you at this moment.
Oh god, oh god, you think to yourself as you run faster than you ever have before, racing against your buckling knees and adrenaline. She's not moving, not even the heave and fall of the rhythmic breathing and you feel the sheer panic coursing through you.
You fall on your knees as you finally reach her side, pulling her limp body towards your chest, trying to access the situation. Searching frantically for a sign of life, you breathed a huge sigh of relief when you detect a pulse. A faint pulse, barely there, but a pulse nonetheless.
"Kimberly. Kim, Beautiful, please," you whisper fiercely into her ear, the old nickname bringing a lump to your throat as you say it. It's something you've known since she reappeared in your life; something you've been fighting but the truth is, you know you've never stopped loving her. It's the way the story goes, your destinies always intertwined with each other and you're only beginning to realize that now. "I can't lose you now, you've got so much to tell me, so much for me to learn…"
Slowly, almost painfully, her eyes flutter open and you cling to her, afraid that if you let go, she'll be lost forever.
"You need to… go on, leave… find the Timekeeper…" she gasps out, her breath harried and you can see her fighting the fatigue and the urge to just close her eyes. You shake your head vehemently.
"No, I'm not leaving you here. We're in this together, and we'll get out of this, together." Growling out, you carefully pry her mask from her uniform off so that you can see into those soulful brown eyes of hers. "I'm not leaving you alone."
She chokes her next words out. "Don't be… stupid." She punctuates it with a small laugh that seems to take up too much from her, and you sigh with frustration. You need her to take this seriously too.
Before you can get in another word, however, you see her emitting pink energy swirls and demorphing in your arms. No no no no! You scream in your head, hating to think that it might be the end for her. She's so light, so fragile and you hold her closer, focusing your mind on transferring your energy to her, hoping that it's going to work.
"Kim, come on! Don't do this," you plead, as her eyes start to flutter shut, even though you can see her trying to fight it, you also sense that she's not able to do it much longer.
"Love… you – never stopped…"
You can't help the tears that spring up in your eyes, and your curl your fist into a ball and try desperately to shake her up.
"Me too, Kim, me too, I love you. I love you." Your words come out in a tumble and your vision is misty, but you don't care because she needs to know. A long time ago you promised that you wouldn't let harm pass her way, and now it feels like a lifetime ago when you did that.
There's a bright flash of light and you hold your hand up to shield your eyes from it. Opening your palm to find a sparkling white gem, you see energy fizzling around it. You can feel the sheer power of the rock, and when look at Kimberly, you can see a similar pink one is in her hand and she looks like she's equally fascinated as you are with it.
"Only together will the able Falcon and the agile Crane soar to greater heights than any has ever been."
A voice speaks from behind your back, and you whip your head around to see who it is. It's an ethereal sight to behold, light white-washing the forest as a woman stands – no, hovers – before the both of you. She holds a staff in her left hand that looks just about like the grandest thing you've ever seen, pure energy emitting from it. From her right wrist hangs a clock, the tick tick tick making you feel peaceful and calm just watching her, even though you have been feeling anything but that since getting here.
To her side stands a monkey-like animal, who looks at the both of you with trained eyes, and you shift a little, uncomfortable at the stare. It's all a little too much to take in, frankly, but you keep your stray eye on Kimberly. The energy from the pink gem seems to have given her her life force back, and you don't think you've ever felt more relieved, except maybe for when you'd rescued her from Zedd that time she was kidnapped and drained of her life source, too.
"You're the mighty and graceful protectors of time and the heirs to the Timekeeper."
"Wait." Kimberly pries herself from your arms and sits up on her own, though on her own accord she still looks groggy and out of it. "Heirs? What do you mean?"
"For when your time as Earthlings is up, you will be able to continue your destiny together in the quest to keep the eternal balance," is the reply. Wow. You don't know what to make of this new information coming at you in waves.
"I don't understand," you finally chip in. "If you're the Timekeeper, then aren't you here a little too prematuredly? We haven't found the last key to unlock the Great Power."
The Timekeeper smiles, and you stand up as well, holding your hand out to Kimberly for her to do the same. "Patience, mighty Falcon. Your questions will be answered in due time. You know in your heart what the last key is."
You furrow your brows in confusion, shaking your head slowly.
"Very well. There is a tale of an age-old prophecy, a telling of the story of two kindred spirits together, torn apart and then finding their ways to each other again. The story of the re-awakening of the Great Power. When the Order pinpointed the Guardians, your great masters Zordon and Dulcea knew immediately that the two of you are indeed what the prophecy is talking about.
"You needed to discover your destinies apart. The Falcon as the mighty leader of the force that protects the planet Earth, the Crane as the willing student and warrior of the planet Phaedos.
"The Great Power has bestowed upon you the joy of trust and the gift of love. Neither can operate with the other. You're not separate; instead you're united as a single unit. The last key is love, my young ones. It's in your heart all along."
"This is incredible," you hear her say, and you're inclined to agree. Soon after you learned about the prophecy, you discover that your gem also gives you the power to morph. Both of you have been experimenting with what you can do, and while it is still preliminary to know for certain, you know that these powers from the Timekeeper are stronger than anything you've ever wielded.
You're still trying to form energy balls in your hands after seeing Kimberly do it when the monkey-like animal walks towards you, holding in its hands a set of crystals. It offers them to you, and you accept them, not knowing what to do with them. Mystifyingly, it disappears into the woods again, but moments later reappears to give Kimberly five different sets of what you can only think are morphers.
"Those are very powerful crystals, called the Zeo crystals," it speaks, and you look over at Kimberly, a little amused and she knows why. It can speak? "Those are called Zeonizers. I have been told that this power will be very useful to your friends."
Kimberly looks at you excitedly, which you are sure mirrors your own enthusiasm. Powering down, you know you have to teleport back to the Command Center. Rita and Zedd are not going to win this fight.
It feels like an eternity before your feet touch the ground again, but they finally do and you lay the crystals and their Zeonizers on the top of the panel, looking at the viewing globe as you do so.
To your utmost dismay, your friends are still looking like they're fighting a losing battle. Trees are on fire, the entire Angel Grove landscape looks like a hurricane and a tornado has passed by it multiple times, and the Zords are languishing, each block a lot more lethargic than the previous.
"Zordon, I know I'm not one of your Rangers anymore, but you need to call them back and get them to use the Zeo crystals," Kim speaks up, a worried edge to her voice and you're glad that she did because you can't tear your eyes away from the viewing globe. You feel the bile rising from your stomach; you're worried sick about the safety of your friends, your city, your world.
"I'll always welcome you into the Command Center, Kimberly. Alpha, please bring the Rangers back here and teleport the Shogunzords back to their resting place," his voice booms out and you watch as the Zords retreat and the Rangers teleport in one by one, each one looking worse for wear. You spring into action quickly, stepping in front of them as they compose themselves, catching their breaths and powering down.
"These are Zeo crystals, they're much more powerful than the power coins." You hold up a Zeonizer, and hand it to Billy. "Take this. I choose you to be the new leader of the Power Rangers."
There is a commotion as everybody else try to speak all at once, most of them variants of the same question. What about you, Tommy? From the corner of your eye, you see Kimberly nod, and with a flourish of coordinated hand movements, you feel the new, unfamiliar energy take control of your body.
"Time for White, power up!"
"Time for Pink, power up!"
There's a stunned moment of silence before another burst of voices invade the Command Center again, and you unlatch your helmet and place it on top of the panel too; Kimberly doing the same.
"Our powers are interlinked but not from the same source, as with the Zords, but you guys need to morph so that we can take Rita and her goons down," you declare, a little angrily at the evil that is wreaking havoc in your home world.
"These five Zeo crystals will power you up to become stronger, better Rangers," you start to explain to them, feeling the air filled with confusion and more questions. "The subdivisions are separated by their colours: Purple, yellow, blue, green and red. Everyone but Aisha will have a colour change, unless, of course," you shrug and deliver your idea of a punchline as you look at the girls, "You want to switch so that everybody get different colours." That earns a smile from everyone, Zordon included, and even Alpha is emitting strange "heh heh" sounds.
The moment over, however, your friends look tentatively at the Zeonizers, and finally swipe them up at the same time, in one synchronized move and strap them on their wrists, looking over at Billy who gives everyone a firm nod as he fingers the Zeonizer. He takes a deep breath.
"It's morphin' time!"
"Zeo Ranger I, purple!"
"Zeo Ranger II, yellow!"
"Zeo Ranger III, blue!"
"Zeo Ranger IV, green!"
"Zeo Ranger V, red!"
As each sequence lock into place and they absorb the power of the crystal, you feel a surge of pride in all of your friends. It's something you've known all along, but true Rangers of the heart never give up and battles may be lost, but this war is far from over.
You clear your throat quietly, your tongue licking your charred lips. It's going to be an interesting fight to behold. "Back to action!"
It is just as you expected it to be. With the assistance of the Great Power, the new zords and Kimberly's re-addition to the team, it took little effort to bring Rita and Zedd down, even sizeably reducing their army of Tengas and seriously wounding their warriors. Everything feels so new yet so familiar.
You have to admit though, your favourite part of the battle was when you got to join up with Kimberly's zord and the two of you shared a cockpit for the Megazord.
Thoughts still running through your mind, you leave the others quietly while they were in the midst of exclaiming about how awesome the new powers are, and how the zords are powerful beyond their beliefs. It isn't that you don't want to mingle with them. Rather, you know you have other important business to take care off, and so you set off from the group and out of Surf Spot.
She's standing there, back against the wall and staring off at some distant spot on the horizon. It's just right before sunset, but the sun is still bright enough for the boardwalk to white-washed by the light. A brisk wind whips across, ruffling the awning of the barely-there shelter overhead.
You walk over to her, not really knowing what to say or do. All you know is that you need to have her close, for some inexplicable reason. Can it only be a mere few months that she's been back in your life and turning it upside down? A mere few months that you thought she was the enemy? That's unfathomable, but it is still the truth and it is going to take some time to adjust to it, knowing that the both of you had suffered the same losses all those years before.
She sees you coming, and quirks her mouth into a small, knowing smile.
"Hey." You stop an arm's length away from her.
"I don't have germs, Tommy," she laughs at the distance between, and you smile sheepishly at her. You're mostly just glad to see her well and on her feet, after what had happened in the forest. Barring that though, what you want to do is making your heart beat just that bit faster.
"So, uh, how about – how about I take you out for dinner," you stammer, feeling like you're 16 and faint memories of that fateful day when you asked her out comes to your mind. But you're no longer that boy, no longer trapped in the confusions of the teenage mind…
"I know that I agreed that we should be friends, but now that I think about it, I don't think that's such a great idea."
You stare at her in shock, and your jaw might even be hanging a little open. Didn't you hear her say that she loves you? So why is she –
Why is she inching towards you with that smile on her face? And –
She's gently biting on your lower lip before using her tongue to tease and –
You have no idea what hit you, but one thing's for sure: you're not fighting it or her off as your body goes into autopilot; your hand lifting her chin as you allow her tongue access into your mouth, a low guttural growl that sounds from your throat that you don't recognize as yours until a few moments later.
"You're so cute when you're confused," she sniggers as you break off the kiss for some much-needed oxygen, placing your hand on your forehead as you roll your eyes at yourself.
"You don't think we're jumping back in too fast?" Yeah, Oliver, say it like you really care about that. But you think that you're a gentleman through and through, and that's one of the concerns this gentleman has.
She replies without a beat. "Just picking up where we left off." The smile grows on her face, setting the playful twinkle back in her eyes that you miss so much. "We've got a lot of lost time to make up for."
And boy, don't you agree with it whole-heartedly! The look on your face must be a tell-all as she starts chuckling.
"But first, we have to say goodbye."
You feel your heart dropping a few inches nearer to your stomach –
"While I pack up in Florida and move back here. Seriously, too cute," she giggles and when the light dawns you feel like you want to hit your head on the wall. It's too bad that you've missed everything about her, and that doesn't exclude her ability to drive you absolutely batshit crazy.
"You're moving back here?" You hope your tone hovers right around 'hopeful' and not 'desperate for the answer' even though you know that you're certainly feeling the latter.
"Looks like I don't really have a choice, do I?" She shrugs, glancing at the gem that is now hanging from a necklace around your neck; a similar one on hers too. If she's going to move back only because of duty… You frown before you can stop yourself, then in a valiant attempt you decide to switch the topic of discussion so as not to dwell too much on it.
"Zordon asked if we'd like to step down," you start, a little quietly, then you correct yourself immediately. "The Rangers, I mean." During your quick trip back to the Command Center and after the mandatory congratulations of a job excellently done, the old wizard had given the five of them a choice. It doesn't apply to you though and you know that, because the powers of the gems that you share with Kimberly are separate from the powers your friends draw from the Zeo crystals, so no matter what your decision is, you know you'd still be fiercely protecting this Earth and its galaxy until you're physically no longer able to do so.
One thing for sure though: Kimberly and you will be fighting alongside each other again.
"I think Billy makes a fine leader. And he does look damn good in red," she smirks.
You shudder at both yourself and her entertaining the mental images of your friend in spandex outside of battles. "You don't think we're all a little too old for this?"
You hear her chuckle. "We still have years to go! Worst-case scenario, we'll find ourselves an uninhibited planet in the system that slows ageing down. We'll be the hottest Rangers, ever." Jocularity has always been something Kimberly hits on the bullseye, and even you have to laugh at her mock suggestion.
"I hear KO-35's great for that," you join in with a teasing lilt in your voice, after the laughter subsides. At the mention of the other planet she looks at you quizzically. "I'm not as dense as you think I am, Kim. Come on."
She smiles, maybe a little mystifyingly. "I'm not moving back just because of the gem and our duties, you know."
"Then what is it?" You swallow nervously.
The smile on her face grows and she lifts your hand up and treads her fingers in between yours, as she tiptoes and gives you a quick kiss on the side of your lips. Nothing has ever felt more right than this moment in your life, and you tighten the grip on her hand, almost like you're afraid she's going to slip through your fingers again, if you're not careful.
Time can never kill the true heart.
- FIN -
A/N: And that's the end... For now. :) Reviews are deeply appreciated, as usual, and thank you all so much for sticking around and dropping comments about it, it makes me feel very loved, ahah. Stay tuned for more from me!