Pairings: Andros/Jason, Past Andros/OMC (Lori), Zhane/Karone, Billy/Rocky, Kim/Kat, hint at Tommy/Hayley…
Disclaimer: I own nothing to do with Power Rangers. It's not my toy box, I'm merely playing.
Warning: There is slash, femslash and het in this story. Don't like any of that, don't read it. Also Mpreg (Andros) and Trip being from the past.
A/N: Thanks to pockythoughts for letting me spaz at her when this was being difficult. Also thanks to everyone else who contributed when Karone was giving me issues about what morpher she was going to get.
An Unexpected Family:
Zhane watched as Karone wrapped her hands around the steaming mug before settling down into a chair that allowed her to look worriedly out into space. He rested his hand on her shoulder, gave it a squeeze as he also contemplated the stars.
"He'll be back," he reassured, breaking the silence that had settled between them.
"You don't know that," she challenged before she took a sip of her tea.
He spun a nearby chair around, straddled it as he faced her. As he rested his chin on the back of it he pointed out, "He's only been gone two days and at least he left a note this time."
"It didn't say where he was going or why," she stressed, "We don't even know if he's on a mission or if he just felt the need to get away from all of us."
Zhane shrugged, "Well that's Andros for you."
Karone took another sip of her tea before she said quietly, "Sometimes I'm not even sure he wants me around."
As Zhane opened his mouth to protest a throat clearing in the doorway caused them both to turn. Zhane frowned. Karone started to blush.
"Look, I'm sorry to interrupt," T.J. told them, "but there's an incoming transmission from someone who says he has to talk to Andros and he won't believe us that he's not here. Actually he's doing his best to barely acknowledge our existence."
"Did he say who he is? Or who he's with?" Zhane questioned as Karone stood.
"He won't tell us who he's with, just demanded to talk to Andros more than once. He said his name's Fren," T.J. continued.
"I take it you know him?" T.J. questioned as Karone turned to look at him, concern wrinkling her brow.
"He survived? How did that...when we couldn't even save…he survived?" Zhane exclaimed as he stood, "I bet he's after Andros' morpher again. He can't have it. He knows it's not his."
"He wants what?" Karone asked, voice dangerous and low.
Both he and T.J. snapped around to look at her. Then Zhane wrapped a calming arm around her, both siblings had a tendency to get overprotective of the other when they perceived a threat. He pressed a kiss to her cheek before he promised his fiancé that he'd take care of Fren. The look she gave him in response let him know that she was only letting him deal with Fren because it was obvious that he knew the threat better than she did.
When they got to the bridge the rest of his friends were obviously trying to appear busy, though each stood in a stiff uncomfortable position at different work stations. Zhane greeted Fren with false enthusiasm.
Fren glared a less-than-impressed look at him, "I asked to speak with Andros, not with you. Can't they get a simple request right?"
"And as the other's told you, he's unavailable," Zhane reasoned, "I guess you'll just have to talk to me."
Fren raised an eyebrow, "I doubt, even someone as obviously unqualified as Andros, would take off on their own, on a day when they knew The Counsel was intervening to discuss their fate."
"What?" Cassie asked turning from her station. Carlos gave the screen a concerned glance as Ashley seemed to stare more resolutely at the screen in front of her. Zhane felt more than saw Karone step up beside him. He silently prayed to every God he'd ever heard of that she'd let him handle this, let him dig out the information that Andros had kept from them.
"So you got The Counsel to actually hold a meeting? How'd you manage that?" Zhane questioned.
"That was simple," Fren told him.
He had to be bluffing, Zhane concluded as he struggled to keep the frown off his face when Fren didn't elaborate. Hoping to get more information Zhane goaded, "Come on, you know you want to brag."
"I've no need to brag," Fren sneered, "He's made it overly clear throughout his years of service that he's unqualified and doesn't deserve his morpher."
"He saved the world. He saved Earth," Cassie told him, "He saved your planet."
"When?" Fren asked, "He didn't save KO-35. I seem to remember having to flee for my life."
"There was nothing we could've done," Zhane managed, "Many lost their lives that day; family, friends, teammates. I almost lost my own life."
Fren sat back in his chair, a smirk slowly spreading his face, "And Andros reacts by what? Going gallivanting around space, that hardly seems the action of a proper leader."
"What do you want?" Karone demanded.
"The morpher that was denied me. It belonged to my family long before it belonged to yours," Fren told her.
"It was already decided that the morpher belongs to Andros," Zhane argued back.
Fren leaned back in his chair with a smirk, "And all he's done since is prove how unqualified and undeserving he is of such an honor."
"What?" Ashley questioned turning from her station.
Fren glared, "His complete disrespect for our traditions. His attempts to change those traditions simply needed to be remedied and on those grounds it wasn't hard to get The Counsel to review my case against him."
"What traditions?" Cassie asked obviously confused.
Zhane's gaze snapped over to Cassie, he took her in with a sinking feeling that he knew exactly what Fren was going to say next.
"You're wearing a morpher," Fren told her, "That in itself…"
"I thought it was agreed," Zhane interrupted, "by the families that had claim to their morphers that these four could continue to use them until they decided not to."
"What are you guys talking about?" TJ demanded with a frown.
"Those morphers that you're wearing belong to certain families, to be passed down among their decedents. You've no claim to them, especially not the yellow and pink. Only males wear morphers on KO-35," Fren explained, the disdain evident in his voice.
Knowing he was repeating himself, but knowing he had to calm them before they started arguing with Fren Zhane glared and said, "The few remaining members of the families who could lay claim to those morphers decided that these four should have them until such time as they decided to retire."
"That was before Andros made appeals to have the laws changed so females could become rangers."
"Good for him," Ashley muttered. Cassie nodded her agreement. Carlos sent a smirk Ashley's way and TJ frowned at Fren.
Fren's glared shifted from Zhane to Ashley, "I suppose the pathetic female he attempted a relationship with would support him."
"Pathetic what?" Ashley grated as her knuckles went white against the consol in front of her.
"Andros is a Lifer," Zhane ground out, "You can't just take his morpher away."
"Has that been proven?" Fren asked smirking, "I don't recall seeing tests to prove such."
"Sudden abrupt personality change," Zhane grated, "You knew Andros before he touched his morpher for the first time. Who he is morphed is completely different from who he is when he isn't morphed."
"That could be an act. Have any tests been done to prove he's a Lifer?"
Zhane was nearly shaking in frustration and anger, "You'll kill him."
"He's not a Lifer. He has no heir for his morpher. It's time I inherited what should have been mine to begin with."
"Zordon decided that the morpher went to Andros! Not to you," Zhane reminded, "There was a formal meeting."
Fren shrugged, "Zordon's gone, killed at the hand of the ranger he chose. The Counsel has decided to review my case. Andros' actions have proven he's reckless and I have no doubt that…"
"You are incorrect," DECA interrupted.
Fren's face turned red in anger, "Did your operating system just interrupt me?"
Zhane smirked a smile at DECA's nearest eye, "What's he wrong about?"
"Andros will have an heir for his morpher. He is undergoing Parryth."
Karone's eyes widened as she turned to him. Zhane tried to keep his eyes off his teammates, knowing they'd be confused, but also knowing he couldn't say anything until Fren was no longer speaking at them.
Fren frowned, understanding dawning on his face for only a moment before he squashed it.
Zhane smirked, pretending for a moment that he'd known all along, "That's why you want to talk to Andros. You got The Counsel to review your claims, but then today when they were to meet they simply told you that you had nothing. You wanted to grill Andros."
Fren's face quickly changed to furious as he growled, "This isn't over!"
With those words the screen went black. Karone reached over and gripped Zhane's arm, giving it a squeeze. She leaned into him, "I want my brother back now."
"What's Parryth?" TJ asked.
Zhane wet his lips.
"Is Andros pregnant?" Carlos asked.
"Carlos, he can't be pregnant," Cassie laughed.
Ashley tapped her on the shoulder with a frown. Cassie turned. Ashley pointed out, "He wouldn't have gotten some mysterious women we've all never met pregnant and DECA said he'd have an heir…he can't, but…Zhane?"
"So it's more likely that some guy we've never met got Andros pregnant?" Cassie pointed out.
Ashley frowned, obviously not sure what to think.
"I've heard of Parryth before," Karone said quietly, "but I thought it was just a myth."
"It happens," Zhane commented, "It is a rare honor."
"Zhane?" Carlos prompted.
"We should to down to the medbay," Zhane suggested.