Disclaimer: I don't own the Time Force Power Rangers. This story refers to scenes shown in A Force From the Future and Trust and Triumph

Author's Note: Hope you guys like Jen/Wes situations.........




All Through The Night

By: Jennifer Collins


Jen's heart pounded furiously, pumping adrenaline into her system as she ran up the stairs. She could hear Alex muttering something to Ransik, trying to buy some time until her team arrived. "Come on, guys, hurry!" she urged them breathlessly. She looked up to see Ransik pulling a bone sword from his spine, and fear hit her like a cold slap in the gut. She forced herself to move as she watched him strike Alex in the chest. Alex cried out in pain and Ransik pulled the younger man firmly against him, taking hold of his throat. Alex shook with fear as he stared at the sharp blade that stuck out from Ransik's wrist. "You may defeat me," he said bravely, looking into Ransik's evil face, "but you'll never escape the Time Force."

Ransik chuckled wickedly. "Where I'm going, there is no Time Force!"

Jen, Trip, Katie, and Lucas hurried the rest of the way up to where Ransik was holding Alex. "Alex," she called.

"Jen!" he answered, with so much faith that everything would be okay now that she and her team had arrived. He managed to slip free from Ransik's grasp when the mutant was momentarily stunned at the sight of the other officers, but Ransik quickly recovered. He raised his sword above his head and Jen felt the tears stream down her face even before he struck Alex, hard, in the back. The Red Ranger slumped to his knees, and the power flickered and died with one final explosion that he couldn't escape from.

"Nnnoooooooooo!" Jen cried as his body hit the ground. Ransik laughed.

"Jennifer," Alex whispered hoarsely, reaching out to her with the last of his strength. He gave a low moan and squeezed his eyes shut against the pain.

"Alex?" she said, running to him. She turned him around and cradled his helpless body in her lap. With one final scream of laughter, Ransik was gone.

Jen looked down at Alex's shaking form. He coughed a few times, then opened his eyes. Her tears fell on his face, and he reached a gentle hand up to brush them away. He opened his mouth, struggling to talk. "You and me," he slowly managed, speaking their promise to each other.

"Forever," she whispered for him as his eyes closed. She sobbed as she felt his lifeless hand slip from her cheek. She leaned down to hug him close to her, placing a soft kiss on his forehead, but he didn't respond.............

~*~

Jen's eyes shot open. Her breathing was coming out in fast, desperate gasps and her body was drenched in cold sweat.

"Jen," someone whispered. That voice. She propped herself up, slightly disoriented, and took the hand that was offered to her. She raised her head to see a younger version of the face that had found it's way into many of her nights since that day.

"Wes," she sighed with relief.

Wes squeezed her hand. "It was only a dream," he said, regarding her with obvious concern.

Jen shook her head. "No, no, it wasn't a dream. It was a memory," she explained. She looked around to see that Katie, Lucas, and Trip were all still asleep. "Good, I didn't wake them up." She took a few deep breaths to try to calm herself, focusing on not falling apart in front of the young man who was still watching her with a worried expression on his face. "I'm sorry," she said between breaths. "Did I wake you?"

"No," he said, searching her eyes. After a second, he looked down at their entwined fingers. "No, I was already up," he said quietly.

Jen slipped her hand away from his. "I need some air," she explained as she crossed the room. She clumsily climbed through the one window of the clock tower and made her way to the balcony.

"Jen," he called. Of course he'd followed her. She opened her mouth, ready to brush him off, but she stopped when she turned around to see his pained expression.

"Wes, what is it?" she asked, gently, but softer than she'd intended.

He walked over to her and leaned on the railing. "I know."

Jen gave an exasperated sigh. Not again. "Wes-"

"I know how hard it must be for you," he continued, ignoring the hint.

She turned away from him. "No you don't."

"Well," he paused, "I would if you tell me."

"We're not talking about this," she said sternly.

Wes put his hands on her shoulders. "Why not?"

She was momentarily distracted by his touch, but he mistook it for another attempt to avoid talking to him.

"I want to be your friend," he said quietly.

She turned to face him. "We are friends."

"Then why can't you tell me about him? The others know," he pointed out.

"The other Rangers knew him. You didn't," she said, her tone carrying less of an edge than before.

"But I'd like to." It was almost a whisper. Jen looked into Wes's eyes. They seemed to be pleading with her. "Am I anything like him?"

For the first time since her nightmare, Jen gave a wistful smile. "Yeah. He likes to play tennis too. And he also fights strongly for what he believes in. He has this amazing smile," Jen said. A small smile tugged at Wes's lips. "It's like, the whole world can melt away and even the most depressed person can forget their bad day, just by looking at his smile." She turned to face Wes again. His smile grew until his dimples showed, and his shining blue eyes were wide and attentive.

"Kind of like yours," she added quietly.

Wes didn't say anything for a long moment.

"But you're also different from him."

Wes rested his chin on his folded arms. "How so?"

"Well...you're more playful than he is.....not that he's boring or anything," she said quickly.

"You once said he trained you for Time Force," Wes prompted.

Jen nodded. "Yeah. There were so many times when I just wanted to give up, you know? But he wouldn't let me. I can truly say, in more ways than one, that I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for Alex."

Wes closed his eyes. Jen was so wrapped up in her memories that she barely noticed. "I mean, it was a long, hard road to follow. He gave up so much of his own time, just so he could help me. And after I was accepted into the Time Force Police, we became partners. It was so much fun fighting by his side. We were inseparable.....and then......"

"I know that part already," Wes whispered. Jen stopped. She reached out and smoothed back his hair. "I'm sorry," she said. "I guess I just got carried away."

He opened his eyes. "That's okay. I want us to be able to talk about it."

Jen smiled. "You know, I haven't really talked about Alex much since....that day. Not even to Katie. Thanks."

"For what?"

"For making me see that I shouldn't be stuck on the bad memories, especially since there are so many good times that I can keep with me."

"Well, opening up to people doesn't mean you only have to talk about bad feelings," Wes pointed out.

"I know." She absently ran her fingers through his hair. Wes closed his eyes again. He couldn't help realizing the intimacy of her action, and he knew that this was the closest he'd ever gotten to her. Wes was silent for awhile. He couldn't help wondering how many times she'd played with Alex's hair while they stayed up talking all through the night.

"Can I ask you something?" he said, not sure if he really wanted to know the answer.

"Of course," she said quietly, moving next to him and leaning against the railing just as he was. "You can ask me anything."

"Um.....how long ago did you......get engaged?"

Jen looked down at the fairly large diamond on her ring finger. "It was about four months ago. He'd just captured Ransik, and we were at the courthouse, waiting for the verdict. We'd been trying to lock him up for quite some time, so all the Time Force officers were excited that day." She paused. When she spoke again, her voice sounded small. "He was sentenced to cryogenic containment, um, it's sort of like prison," she explained. Wes nodded, eyes still closed. She continued, "My team was in charge of taking him to the jail, but he escaped, and...." she broke off , sniffling.

"He went after Alex," Wes finished quietly. He opened his eyes. "Jen, it's not your fault."

Jen placed both hands over her mouth to cover her sob. "If I had been just a little more careful, he wouldn't have gotten away."

Wes's eyes held as much hurt as her own when he looked at her. He reached out a hand, but dropped it before he could touch her. Her shoulders shook, and he tentatively raised his hand again. To his surprise, she threw herself against him, and suddenly his arms were around her. Hot tears streamed down her face as she sobbed into him.

"Ssh, don't do this to yourself." He soothingly rubbed her back.

"I promised him," she whispered. "I promised Alex that I would capture Ransik."

"So that's why you're here."

"I'll find him and I'll make him pay! God, he'll pay for what he did."

Wes rested his chin against her head, tears starting to sting at his own eyes. "Jen, you know that's not the way," he started, but she wasn't listening to him.

"I should have gotten there two seconds sooner," she sobbed.

Wes held her tighter. "It wouldn't have changed anything," he said, though he knew that wouldn't help her now.

She put her hands on his chest, clutching tightly at the front of his shirt. "What if I'd called a doctor right away? Then the medical team would have gotten there sooner. They could have saved him." A strangled cry escaped her lips. "I should have called for help right away, but I just stood there! God, I was trained for situations like that! You're supposed to do what you can until the professionals arrive, but I didn't do anything. I just......Wes, I just ss-stood there," she cried.

Wes squeezed his eyes shut. He had no idea what to say to her. He felt helpless with her crying in his arms, and him not knowing how to soothe her.

"Jen," he managed. "I'm so sorry....I'm so sorry for your loss. I know I don't know Alex...."

"He was such a great guy," she whispered.

"I'm sure he was," Wes murmured. "Especially since you picked him. I know you only choose the best."

"Yeah," she sniffled. "That's why I chose you for a friend."

Wes's heart pounded and he felt a million emotions surge through him. "Thanks," was all he could say. They were both silent for the next few moments. Wes was the one to break the silence. "You know, there's nothing you could have done. I know it doesn't help, but...."

"Things happen for a reason," Jen mumbled into his shirt. "I know. Alex believed that too."

A single tear landed in Jen's hair. "I'm sorry I can't be Alex," Wes sobbed.

Startled, Jen pulled away just enough so she could look at him. "What? No! No, Wes, I'm sorry!" I didn't mean to make you feel that way."

Wes shook his head. "You didn't. It's me. I'm the one who does this to myself."

"Why? Wes, why do you do this to yourself?"

"Because," he said quietly, and she could hear the tremor in his voice. "I want to be the one you need," he said shakily.

"But I do need you."

"You do?"

"Yeah. No one's ever done for me what you did today. I've never been able to open up to anyone other than Alex before."

"You can trust me," he said.

"I know," she replied. She paused, then said, "You'll never be Alex. But that's okay, because you can't be him. You have to be Wesley Collins."

Wes bit his lip as more tears fell. "I'm sorry I look so much like him. I know it must be hard for you," he whispered.

Jen brushed away his tears with her thumb, then she wrapped her arms tightly around him and held him close. "It was at first," she admitted. "But it's getting better."

Wes embraced her in his own arms and closed his eyes. Jen closed hers too. "I'm so lucky to have you," she told him.

"I'm the lucky one. I thought you'd never talk to me."

Jen smiled. "Sorry about that. I guess I can be a little hard to get along with sometimes."

He laughed. "And I guess I ......maybe give the appearance of being a spoiled rich kid. So what made you change your mind about me?"

"Well......," she thought for a moment. "Things change."

"Yeah," Wes agreed. "They do."

Neither of them spoke for awhile as they stood there, holding each other, lost in their own thoughts.

"Wes?" Jen said after a few long moments.

"Yeah?" he murmured.

"You don't look like Alex," she said slowly.

"I don't?"

"No. You look like Wes."


All through the night
I'll be your friend
You won't have to look far
When you can't be alone

All through the night
I'll stay with you
Just like a friend
I'll always be near

When you need someone to hold you tight
Let me be the one you reach for
Cause I'll always stay here
When you need a friend
All through the night