A/N: This was originally longer and follwed Karone's journey to Onyx, then onto her eventual meeting with the Galaxy Rangers but I found that it lost the intimate feeling that I wanted between Zhane and Karone.
Disclaimer: Saban owns Power Rangers. I don't. I make no money off this either, this is just me being voyeuristic.
A quick shout-out to KLR, who has been reviewing my PR stories. Your wish for more Zhane/Karone fics will be granted. They are my OTP for this fandom and I have so much to say about them, so I won't be going away any time soon. Hope you enjoy this one!
The bed was a presence between them, unmade with its white sheets loose around the wooden frame. The pillows were angled in, misshapen and indented with impressions of the night's passions. The doors to a verandah were open and the laced, white curtains breezed into the room with the wind.
They didn't speak as they dressed.
"You're sure about this?"
Zhane had spoken and it was if as his voice ripped through the sanctity of the bonds they shared.
Karone answered him indignantly. "Of course." She gave a pause before adding softly, "This is what I have to do."
He stood opposite her, on the other side of the bed, and found her eyes with his. He held her there, the words unspoken but not unheard as they shared a reverent silence. His satin shirt, silver and catching the barest of glimpses from the full moon, hung open across his chest. He couldn't bring himself to fix the buttons.
"You don't know where it is," he said after a long while. He went about making the bed.
Karone smiled despite herself. "I know where it'll end up."
Zhane looked up then and saw the happy irony in her eyes, the amusement of knowing too much about an old life. "It's a blackout zone. You'll need to cover up. Your brother always wore a cloak."
"I'm not my brother," Karone returned with greater emphasis on the negative than needed. She checked herself, sighed and tucked her blonde hair behind her ear. "I won't need a cloak. I have the best disguise there is."
Zhane knew what that meant, and thought of the dangers that particular disguise could bring.
The minutes he left her alone he counted on his watch. Ten, twenty. It was around fifty when he decided to walk in. He gave a final look to the moon before crossing the wooden planks of the verandah. He knocked on the glass doors and gently pulled the handle of one.
There she was, in front of the full mirror. A ghost from their past, a figment of a life that once was.
Zhane stood by the doors with his arms folded. Her image reflected made him shudder. "That's a good likeness."
"Not too shabby," Karone's reflection quipped back at him. Her eyes sought him through heavy shadow and thick black lines.
She was all black, save for the silver armour across her chest and arms. Her skin was swallowed whole by leather, the dark locks of her hair long around her shoulders. She turned on the heel of her black boot to face him, and she twisted her hips so the suit hugged her tightly. She was Astronema again.
"What do you think?"
The sultry voice propelled him back a year. Zhane swallowed the rising lump in his throat. "I think if you can fool me, you can fool them."
Zhane looked at her seriously but Karone smirked over at him. "Good. That's what I was going for."
Her lowered voice, the seductive inflections of her words made Zhane realise that there were in fact two distinct sides to this woman. One might be an act, but the other could play it well.
"Your brother's going to kill me," he said offhandedly, a bit like a joke but he wasn't laughing.
Karone walked to close the gap between them, looking closely into his eyes. Her painted lips were turned up but her eyes cast a familiar glow of longing into his.
"You can handle yourself."
She kissed him then, softly. After a brief moment she pulled away and turned from him without another word.
As he watched her walk towards the door, Zhane called to her. "You realise you just fulfilled one of my fantasies, right?"
Karone didn't stop walking but waved her hand back casually. "I'll be in touch."