Astronema's First Christmas
Disclaimer: Zhane, Astronema, and all the Power Rangers belong to Saban and Disney, not me. I only own the plot.
A/N: This is just an idea that I had. It's an AU of PRIS and takes place not long after A Date With Danger. Zhane never left to help the rebels and Astronema never turned him away hwen he was late for their date and they are dating in secret. I hope everyone likes this and leaves a review! Now onto the story.
Zhane couldn't remember a time when he had been happier than he was right now. He had his friends, including Andros, his best friend, great health, and the most incredible girlfriend. The only regret was not being able to tell his friends about her. If they knew, all hell would break loose. That's why he'd been seeing her in secret.
And speaking of which, it was time for him to go meet her now. Grinning, he sat up on his bed and hopped off. He quickly brushed his teeth and hair, grabbed the bag off of his dresser, and headed for the launch tubes. He couldn't wait for her to see the surprise he had set up and the present he had bought her.
Five minutes later he was strolling through the woods to their meeting spot. As soon as he reached it, there was a flash of purple light, signaling her arrival. It faded and there she was, in full black body armor and silver-white hair in its usual style with its usual decorations. She carried her purple wraith staff in her right hand.
"Astronema!" He exclaimed happily. Dropping his bag, he rushed over and took her in his arms. "I've missed you."
"I missed you too, Zhane," She replied, hugging him back. They kissed tenderly and then she pulled back a little. "There's something I don't understand, though."
"What's that, love," Zhane asked, stroking her cheek lovingly.
"There are all these colorful decorations and lights everywhere and people listening to and singing songs," she told him. "What's it mean? What's going on?"
Zhane smiled. "It's people getting ready for Christmas," he told her. "It's only four days away."
"What's Christmas?" She asked.
Zhane smiled again. "Ashley explained it to Andros and he explained it to me," he replied. He went on to tell her all about the holiday, Jesus Christ's birth and the first Christmas, and everything else that Andros had told him about it.
Astronema frowned a little. "Wow, it sounds complicated," She replied, shaking her head and looking a little overwhelmed.
"That's what I first thought too," Zhane said with a laugh. "But it's actually exciting and beautiful."
She was silent for a moment, thinking. Then she spoke. "Well, since you seem to like it so much, I'll give it a chance."
"You don't know how happy that makes me," Zhane replied, his face lighting up. "Now what do you say we eat? I'm getting hungry."
Astronema gave an unladylike snort. "When are you not hungry, Zhane?" She asked wryly.
Zhane blushed a little. "When I'm sleeping for one," he replied. "And…"
"That's the only time," She broke in, grinning.
"Ha, ha, very funny," he said wryly. He walked over to his bag and pulled out a couple of Tupperware containers, paper plates, napkins, plastic cups, a jug of apple cider, and some plastic silverware. He carried it all to the log by the fire pit that they used as a bench and set it down next to it.
Astronema put some thick sticks and other pieces of wood in the pit and used her magic to light it. Within seconds, a campfire flickered cheerfully. She then sat down on the log next to Zhane who had just taken a seat on it. "So what's in the containers?" She wanted to know.
Zhane smiled at her. Lasagna, garlic bread, and salad," he replied, opening them. He took out the garlic bread, which was wrapped in foil, and unwrapped it as Astronema picked up a plate. He put the bread onto it and picked up the other plates.
"Mmm, that smells delicious," she said as he spooned a helping on each plate.
"It tastes delicious too," he replied as he spooned salad on each plate. He gave Astronema a plate and opened the jug of cider. He poured them each a glass and replaced the lid. He offered her a glass, which she took, and then they proceeded to eat.
As they ate, they chatted easily about anything and everything, enjoying the peace and quiet and each other's company.
They were just about finished when Zhane excused himself to go to the bathroom. Kissing Astronema, he hurried off into the woods. But unbeknownst to her, instead of urinating, he quickly checked to make sure everything he had set up earlier was ready. It took only a few seconds to confirm that it was. He grinned and hurried back to her. He couldn't wait until they finished eating.
When he reached the clearing, he found her still sitting where he'd left her. Zhane sat back down next to her. "That's better," he said, picking up his plate. A couple of minutes later they were done. Zhane pulled a trash bag out of his bag and they put their dirty dishes into it.
"That was delicious, Zhane," she murmured as he set the bag aside. He walked up to her and took her in his arms, reveling in the feeling of being so close to her. "Thank you."
"You're welcome, love," Zhane replied. They shared a sweet kiss. "But the night isn't over yet and I've got a couple of surprises for you."
"What are they? I hope I'll like them!" She exclaimed, looking excited and nervous at the same time.
Zhane grinned. "I think you'll love them, Astronema," he told her.
"Well, what are they?" She asked again.
"I can't tell you." He saw her face droop and quickly went on. "But if you'll follow me, I'll show you."
"Okay," she said, sounding a tiny bit shy. They shared a passionate kiss and then Zhane began to lead her to where he had set up his first surprise.
When they were almost there, Zhane stopped. "Close you eyes," he said softly and took her hand.
Astronema didn't know what he had planned, but she trusted him. Closing her eyes, she squeezed his hand and allowed him to lead her forward. No more than thirty seconds later he stopped again. "Wait here a moment and keep your eyes closed," he told her. Releasing her hand, he darted across the clearing. She could her him moving about and fiddling with something or other. Several seconds later, she heard him approaching her. He took her hand again. "Open you eyes," he told her.
She did and couldn't believe what she saw. All the trees and shrubbery surrounding the clearing were covered with twinkling multi-colored lights. Several branches had wreaths hanging from them, and the wreaths were decorated with red bows. Silvery icicles were also draped on the shrubbery, and in the middle of the clearing stood a Christmas tree strung with colored lights. Several plastic boxes and cartons were stacked beside it. She looked at Zhane who was grinning. "This is amazing," she whispered. "It's like I've stepped into some kind of magical land or something. It's beautiful!"
"A Christmas wonderland," he supplied. "And it gets better."
She couldn't see how that could be. It was already so beautiful and peaceful. "How?" She asked.
He pointed to the boxes by the tree. "See those? I thought we could decorate the tree together," he replied.
Astronema was confused. "But it's already decorated," she told him.
He shook his head. "It's got lights on it, but it's missing ornaments, tinsel, and the star at the top," he said. "They're all in those boxes and cartons by it, waiting to be put on it."
She glanced at the tree and back to him. "But I don't know how to do all that," she said uncertainly.
"Don't worry, I'll show you," Zhane reassured her. "Come on." He led her to the tree. Opening the top box, he pulled out a gold ball and a small container of hooks. "See, you just slide the hook through the top and then hook the other end over a branch. Like this." He demonstrated as he spoke. "Now you try."
She did, and managed to clumsily hang a red ball. Then she pulled out a blue one while Zhane grabbed a green one and hung those. They continued to do this with all the ornaments. With each one, Astronema grew more and more adept at it, and by the end, she was as fast and smooth as Zhane.
Zhane was pleased to see that she was enjoying herself. So far, everything was going very good. He pulled out the package of icicles. "Now these," he said, opening them.
Astronema reached out and touched the bundle. She gave a little shriek and pulled her hand back. "What are these? They feel weird!" She exclaimed.
Zhane laughed. "That's what I thought the first time I touched them too! Only instead of pulling my hand away, I put some on Andros's head!" He rolled his eyes. "And of course he didn't like it, even though I thought the look was good on him!"
Astronema burst out laughing. "That must have been a funny sight!"
"Oh, it was!" He assured her. "Anyway, here's how you put them on the tree." He showed her how to drape them over branches, a few at a time. She got the hang of it quickly and in no time, they were all on the tree.
Astronema then pulled out the star. "What's this for? Where does it go?" She asked Zhane.
"That's the topper," Zhane replied, smiling. "It goes on the very top of the tree." He showed her how to slide it down over the limb at the top that was straight up. She did it and Zhane plugged it into the other lights and when it lit up, she shrieked and jumped back.
Zhane burst out laughing. "It won't hurt you! That was just the lights on it coming on," he said.
She tried to glare at him, but couldn't hold it and ended up laughing instead. "You dork! Why didn't you tell me that it lit up?"
"Because I wanted to surprise you," he replied. "Step back and look at the whole tree."
She did so and gasped at how beautiful and wondrous it looked. "It's beautiful!" She breathed.
Zhane came to stand beside her. "It sure is," he agreed. "You just trimmed you first tree."
"Trimmed? But we didn't take off any branches!" She asked, confused.
Zhane laughed. "Trimming a Christmas tree means to decorate it," he told her. "And you just decorated your first one!"
"That was fun. Was that your surprise?" She wanted to know.
"One of them," he answered. "Wait here and I'll get the second one." He darted off behind a tree and returned a moment later with a brightly wrapped package. "Merry Christmas, Astronema," he said and handed it to her.
She stared blankly at it. "What am I supposed to do with this?"
"Open it," Zhane replied. "Tear off the paper."
"Okay." She did so uncertainly. When all the paper was off, she opened the white box that she uncovered. When she saw what was inside, all she could do was gape. It was a silver heart-shaped locket with tiny amethyst and sapphire crystals along the edges. It was on a simple silver chain. "It's gorgeous!" she finally breathed.
"Open it," Zhane told her, eyes shining happily.
She did and gasped at what she saw. It was a picture of Zhane. She gazed at it, taking in his gorgeous smile and handsome face. Tears of happiness filled her eyes. This was the most precious and beautiful gift that she had ever been given. "It's so wonderful, Zhane. Thank you so much!" She threw her arms around him.
Zhane hugged her back. "You're welcome, love," he replied, his heart full of love. "I'm glad you like it so much."
"I love it," she corrected him. They gazed into each other's eyes and then kissed deeply and passionately. This went on for several minutes and then Zhane pulled back a little.
"We're missing something here," he said.
Astronema looked at him blankly. "What could we be missing?" She asked, confused.
"Music," Zhane answered. He went over to the portable boom box he had stashed in the bushes and turned it on and set it to play CDs. He pushed play and hurried back to Astronema as soft Christmas music filled the air.
"Ooh!" She exclaimed with a giggle. "I don't know this music, but it sounds pretty!"
"It is," Zhane told her. He bowed to her. "May I have this dance?"
She giggled in delight. "Of course you can," she replied. "But I'm not a very good dancer."
Zhane shrugged. "Neither am I," he told her. "But so what?" He took her hands and they began to dance. After a while Zhane switched CDs to one with soft romantic love songs.
As Zhane took her in his arms, she sighed happily. "This has been the most wonderful night of my life," she murmured. She rested her head on his shoulder.
"Mine too," Zhane murmured back. "And we still got a little bit of it left." He kissed her as they began to sway to the music.
"And you know what else? Christmas is the most wonderful holiday that I've ever experienced." Her voice was soft and full of contentment.
"I totally agree," Zhane replied, lovingly stroking her cheek. "And the best part is sharing it and celebrating it with you."
She gazed at Zhane with eyes full of love. "Thank you for sharing it with me."
"You're welcome. And remember, we still have four more days before it's here. That means four more days to show you more holiday fun. Like ice skating, caroling, baking and eating Christmas cookies, and kissing under the mistletoe."
"Ooh, that sounds fun," she replied, her eyes sparkling with excitement. "I love you so much, Zhane."
"I love you too, Astronema, more than anything," he murmured back.
And as they continued to dance, she knew she would enjoy those other things that he mentioned when they did them; but for now, she was content right where she was; in the arms of her Silver Ranger.
"Merry Christmas, Astronema," Zhane said.
"Merry Christmas, Zhane," She replied. They shared a deep, passionate kiss, and then continued to dance late into the night, swept off into the holiday magic and in their love for each other.
A/N: So what did you think? I know Astronema's OOC, but it is AU. Please click that little button and leave a review on your way out! I'd really appreciate it!