A Meeting Years In The Making


A/N: Written for QueenRiley as a part of Alpha's Magical Fic Exchange on LJ/DW

Disclaimer: I don't own them; they belong to Saban.


"Alright… just one more wire…" Billy chewed on his lip as he made the final adjustment, wincing when it sparked.

When he heard the machine above him whirr to life, he wanted to shout with excitement. 'Finally!'

"That should do it, Corcus!"

His Aquitian friend tugged him out from under the console and forced a smile, though sadness remained in his eyes. "You are certain you wish to do this?"

"Positive," Billy confirmed with a nod. "It's something I have to do… residing with you has been exceedingly educational and highly pleasurable, but I must return home expeditiously."

With that, he turned to the vid-comm. "I should arrive on Earth in a few hours' time, provided the teleportation grid remains stable. You are positive that my arrival at her domicile will not cause unnecessary theatrics?"

Jason had been watching from his end bemusedly, without a clue as to what was going on, but pleased that his childhood friend was finally returning. He blinked at the question, apparently mulling the words over before responding, and Billy blushed. He had reverted back to his primary manner of speaking throughout his time on Aquitar and Eltar; the translators used were notoriously unreliable with colloquialisms.

"Uh… no. It shouldn't be a problem, man. It's-" Jason looked to the side for a moment, "about 11 o'clock right now. Trini gets out of class at noon, and her roommate has class at 2."

Then he grinned. "Just get your butt home, Billy! We'll worry about all the other stuff later. Trini's been moping ever since she learned you were gone, and we all really miss you."

Billy nodded. "I'll see you shortly, then. Keep your communicator on you, please; if there are any issues, I will attempt to reach you first."

With acknowledgment from Jason, an emotional good-bye and promises to keep in contact with the Rangers of Aquitar and Cestria, he was finally on his way home.

-xxx-

Billy arrived in a well-kept apartment to the static of his teleportation ray… and to a yelp. Spinning defensively, he came face-to-face with a red-headed woman he'd never met before. She stared, wide-eyed, clearly taking in his strange clothes and rather unexpected manner of arrival.

He mentally cursed, knowing the teleportation system wouldn't be functional again for at least another hour. There would be no quick escape. "Um… h-hello."

The woman had to be the roommate Jason mentioned, but wasn't she in class? He peeked at the clock behind her, noticing that it was 5 p.m. 'It must have taken longer to break through the interference from the solar storm than I anticipated.'

"I- uh, I greatly apologize for my unexpected materialization in your place of residence… it would appear my calculations did not properly take into account complications from a coronal ejection that-"

"How did you do that?"

Billy was shocked when she interrupted, appearing more intrigued by how he appeared than the fact that he had. "I- er, I've been experimenting with hypotheses regarding transducing as a form of transportation… is Trini home?"

"She's in class right now." The roommate waved off his question, "How did you provide the proper power source to allow not only materialization but re-materialization without carrying what would have to be a bulky piece of equipment with you? I've wanted to tinker around with the possibilities forever, but…"

-xxx-

Several hours later, Billy had learned that Trini did, in fact, live at the apartment and shared it with Hayley Ziktor. The two were both attending UCLA with hopes of being accepted into MIT for graduate school. She peppered him with questions; he was simply thankful she appeared to be more interested in what he knew rather than how.

She was in the middle of questioning his "theories" on solar-powered machinery when the door behind Billy opened and closed.

"Oh my God! Billy!" With a shriek and a laugh, he was tackled from behind. He turned to give Trini a proper hug and was absolutely blown away when she pressed her lips against his, holding him tight.

Trini pulled away moments later, cheeks red. "Sorry… but I promised myself I'd do that the next time I saw you."

Billy straightened out his shirt, sure his ears were burning red. Behind him, he could hear Hayley snicker.

"What are you doing here? You look so great. How did you get here? Are you here to stay?" The questions began coming quickly, only pausing when Hayley interrupted to explain that Trini's brilliant but strange friend had 'practically teleported' into their living room.

Trini stared at him, laughter in her eyes, and smiled. "That's Billy. He's always up to something. Want to take a walk?"

"Some exercise would be pleasurable," Billy admitted. "There is much I'd like to speak to you about…"

-xxx-

"I was beginning to think you might never come back," Trini admitted softly, breaking through the comfortable silence they'd enjoyed since leaving her apartment.

Billy smiled, pleased to find himself much less awkward than he used to be in her presence. "My studies were complete; I had unfinished business here, and things I'd like to pursue."

"Studies?" Trini looked up at him, confused. "Tommy said you stayed on Aquitar to… get married…"

He flushed. "Cestria is a good friend, and she offered to be an excuse for me to stay. I didn't want to disappoint the team, but..." He trailed off.

"But what?" Trini tugged him over to a nearby bench. "If you weren't going to get married, why would you stay away?"

Her eyes were open, accepting – not judgmental, as he had feared. It was just what he needed to open up. "Things were strange after Kimberly left for Florida. I admittedly felt isolated, once you, Jason and Zack left for Switzerland. After Kim left, I was the last of the original team, and was only a tech advisor for the Zeo Rangers."

"It must have been lonely," she murmured, placing a hand on his.

"Everything had changed, and then the Gold Ranger powers…"

Trini's eyes lit up with understanding. "It hurt that you couldn't take them, didn't it?"

"I wanted to know why. I needed to know – the reasoning I gave the Rangers was an excuse; they always looked to me for answers and it was unthinkable to tell them I did not have them. When I went to Aquitar, they suggested I visit Eltar." His face shone. "Trini, I wish you could have attended the Ranger Collegiate there at my side. There was so much to learn – so much information to take in. I remember thinking you would have loved to meet the variety of people from around the universe."

She was shocked, to say the least. "You studied on Eltar?"

"I did. It was absolutely fascinating." He smiled at her. "But I've finished my research there; while studying the various planets, it came to my attention that Earth is a veritable treasure trove of resources – that is why Zordon came here to protect it so long ago, and why the Alliance of Evil has worked so hard to take it over. I returned here to continue personal studies, and…"

Trini squeezed his hand. "Would you like help?" She smiled happily. "It'd be so much fun to work with you again on projects."

"I would appreciate your assistance… and to re-establish our friendship," Billy admitted. "I truly missed you."

Trini leaned closer to him. "I've missed you too, Billy."

As they stood, she grabbed her hand in his. "Now, are you hungry? If I know Hayley, she probably interrogated you and didn't think to offer you food."

"I haven't had a hamburger in years."

"I know just the place – my treat."

He was shocked when she gently pressed her lips to his again. "But one thing… I told myself that if you ever came back, single, I was going to wrap my arms around you and never let you go." Her smile turned into a wicked smirk that made his heart skip a beat. "I just figure it's only fair to warn you."

Billy chuckled. "I've been reliably informed that Rangers, even former ones, tend to ignore warnings – and take things as they come."

"As Kim would say, morphinominal."