A/N: Zhane's taking a bath in a lake. Haven't we all wanted that to happen? These two characters had one amazing episode together, and that was it. Well, I don't accept that. No sir. Time for some Zhane/Karone stuff methinks.
I do not own Power Rangers. Saban et al does. I in no way intend to profit off this, this is just my imagination runneth over.
She watches him, smiling in the sun. Submerged from his waist, he stands in the lake and lets the cool water take him over. He splashes handfuls of it across his arms, his chest, his neck. Scrubs himself down, rubbing one arm then the other. Stretches his fingertips until they reach his back from over his shoulder. He swipes at the skin there, blindly as he tries to crane his neck far enough to see.
Karone has to laugh. She calls out to him from the crest of the hill she's nestled against. "You know we have working showers in the apartment, right? With hot water." He's scrubbing his arms again. "And soap."
Zhane grins over at her. "Where's the fun in that? You can have a shower anywhere, but when do you ever think to bathe in a lake?"
"It's not really bathing when you're just splashing about like that."
As if to prove her right, Zhane holds out his arms and falls back, lets the lake swallow him whole. He breaks through the surface and shakes his head, water like raindrops flying around him. He laughs heartily and rakes a hand through his hair.
"You're such an idiot," Karone says dismissively and turns her head away, her eyes laughing.
"You're all doom and gloom," Zhane responds, amused.
He starts walking towards the bank, pulls himself from the water. Finds his clothes by a tree and shuffles on his pants, regardless of how wet he is. He's dripping water, most of it from his hair.
Karone, lounging in the grass and staring up at the sun, arms folded behind her head, smiles distantly. "You have to give me some provision. Not so long ago I was the Queen of doom and gloom."
Zhane comes to sit beside her, stretching himself out. He's without a shirt. No boots. "Yet you still went out with me."
"We never went out," Karone responds quickly, glancing over at him. He grins back. "You couldn't show up on time."
Propping himself up on his elbow, Zhane looks seriously into Karone's eyes for a brief moment, then smiles again. "I'm here now."
"Right." She feels drops of cool water splash on her arm. His hair is dripping.
Their eyes find the sun again, beating down on them from a cloudless sky. Their home planet, once so ravished by war, now flourishes with renewed warmth. Times passes between them, minutes for each to ponder their own thoughts. Far-away birds call to each other, burst through trees and fly up.
"What are you thinking?"
Zhane's quiet words echo through the space around them. Karone takes her time to answer.
"I used to be up there, out there," she says softly, eyes still up at the sky, as if she could look right through it into space. "That's where I lived. For so long. Outside, looking in."
Zhane stays silent, looking at her now.
"It was cold. There was never any sun, just the stars." Karone's voice sounds far-away, like the memory of a past life is leading her somewhere. "Now I'm here, and this is my home. I have the sun. I'm on the inside, looking out."
Taking in her words, Zhane drifts his eyes from Karone to the sky she intently watches, the sun high and full. A perfect day.
"What were you thinking?" Karone asks, now looking at Zhane as he gazes up at the sun.
With a wry smile, Zhane relaxes further into the soft grass and folds one arm behind his head. "That here, in the sun," he trails his eyes from the sky to Karone, "I'm all thawed out."
Their eyes lock, and some kind of magic sparks through them under the warmth of the sun.