Disclaimer: I don't own Power Rangers. They belong to Saban again.
AN: This story is for the To Protect and Serve Fic-a-thon. This story will focus on the MMPR/ZEO, NS, and DT teams. Part 1 takes place in fall 2004 and the rest will pick up one year later in 2005.
AN 2 Please read: Everything up through Dino Thunder is canon, with the exception that Kimberly never sent the letter to Tommy in this universe. The fiasco on Muranthias did happen. Jason and Kim were rescued and Kim returned to Florida shortly after that to compete in the Pan Globals. After winning gold, she moved back to California and went to college with Tommy. They married while Tommy was getting his PHD in Paleontology. She was present for the events of Dino Thunder but was not a ranger.
AN 3: This story is the first in this series and will likely be followed by at least two sequels. However, the first story is being submitted as my entry for the To Protect and Serve Fic-a-Thon.
AN 4: For those wondering about Crimson Rising or any of my Star Wars fics, fear not, they are only on a very temporary hold. Endangered Legacy will be finished by Tuesday, as the contest ends on that day. Then I'll be back to Crimson Rising and my Star Wars stories full time. There will likely be a sequel or two for this series, but I will not be working on it until after January or February likely.
This is the final part of this story, but rest assured, sequels will come in 2013. Many thanks to all that have reviewed
Enjoy and let me know what you think!
Established Pairings: Tommy/Kim, Jason/Trini, Rocky/Aisha, Adam/Tanya, and Billy/Kat, Dustin/Marah, T.J./Cassie, Andros/Ashley, Zhane/Karone, Leo/Kendrix, Mike/Maya, Carter/Dana, Ryan/Kelsey, Taylor/Eric, Cole/Alyssa, Conner/Kira, Hunter/Tori
The portal closed behind the last person to step through and they all let out breaths of relief, as they stood huddled together in Rita's basement. Hugs were exchanged all around and kisses between couples. It was the first time Blake was seeing his brother and Tori together. He couldn't be angry…okay, he probably could have been. But he had moved on with someone else, though it wasn't really serious yet, but he had moved on. Both he and Tori decided it was best long before either of them started dating anyone, as neither of them believed a long distance relationship was fair to either. And, he had to admit it made him happy to see both his brother and one time crush happy together, if she had to be with anyone other than him.
Hunter and Tori's lips parted and they blushed, as their friends gawked at them in surprise.
"Blake…" Hunter started. But the younger Bradley held up his hand.
"It's okay Hunter, you don't have to explain. I've moved on with someone else, so I knew eventually Tori would too," Blake stated.
"I'll admit, I'm a little surprised it's with you, bro, but at least I know she's with someone who's going to treat her right…someone I trust with my own life. You guys look good together," Blake said. Hunter and Tori hugged him from either side, while Dustin and Marah looked on. Shane and Skyla were absorbed by each other, still letting it sink in that they were actually together, while Cam's heart yearned for LeeAnn, his girlfriend and daughter of Sensei Omino. But he knew he would see her very soon.
Goodbyes were quick for now at this point, as the rangers were all eager to return home. But after what they had been through together, it was clear that a celebration and ranger reunion, the first ever, was in order. For now though, they returned to pick up their daily lives with a renewed love for life and a promise to never take anything, including each other, for granted again.
"Mommy! Daddy!" two sweet little voices called, as the blonde haired little girls squirmed away from their grandfather and toddled to their approaching parents. Billy and Kat scooped them up and held them tightly, kissing their flaxen hair.
"My baby girls," Kat said, as she soaked up everything about them. Billy kissed her hair and then hugged his father.
"Is everything all right?" Alan Cranston asked, well aware of Billy's and the others pasts as rangers.
"It is now, Dad, I'll tell you about it later," Billy promised. Alan looked pleased.
"So you'll be staying the night at least?" he asked. His son nodded.
"We'll take the "ranger express" back to Virginia in the morning," he said, as Katherine hugged her father-in-law.
"Well then, is anyone hungry?" Alan asked. Kat and Billy glanced at each other, suddenly realizing it had been a very long time since they last ate.
"Starving," they answered simultaneously. Alan chuckled.
"Well, we can't have that. I'll go fire up the grill," Alan said, as he went back inside the house that Billy had grown up in. Kat smiled at him, as Carly and Michaela clung to their parents and kissed him tenderly.
"Come on girls, let's go help grandpa in the kitchen," Kat called, as the little family went inside as well.
"Well, this is it, the Wind Ninja Academy. Dustin and Tori teach too, but choose to live off campus. I live in the staff dorms and Sensei's already given you a room too," Shane told Skyla. She nodded and kissed his cheek.
"I know all this is really new, but I'll be there every step of the way and so will my friends," Shane said, as he held her hands in his own. Skyla smiled.
"I'm sure I'll be fine, as long as I have you. I have a lot to learn about being human, I'm sure, but I think I'll manage," she mused. He smiled and kissed her gently.
"I…I still can't believe this is real," he said, choking back tears. She held his face in her hands.
"I know…I can't either. It's a new beginning for both of us," she whispered. He smiled and their lips met again.
"Hey dudes…we're grubbing. You coming?" Dustin called.
"Grubbing?" Skyla asked in confusion. Shane chuckled.
"It's slang for eating," Shane told her.
"Yeah, we're coming!" he called, as he spotted his friends. Dustin and Marah held hands, as did LeeAnn and Cam. Hunter had his arm around Tori's waist, while Kapri and Blake remained the single ones of the group, though Blake was dating a girl outside their ranger circle.
"So pizza?" Hunter asked. Shane nodded.
"Sounds good, but none of that ham and pineapple crap you eat," Shane replied.
"Yeah, it's nasty," Blake chimed in. Hunter looked offended at his friend's comments.
"Fine," he huffed. Tori smirked.
"I'll share one with you," she promised and he smiled.
"You're awesome. The rest of you suck," Hunter joked, as they laughed. Things would return to normal, well as normal as they could get in Blue Bay Harbor. For Shane, he felt complete now with Skyla by his side. For Hunter, he felt much the same, as the void inside him that he was sure would never be filled was now so with Tori in his arms and his brother's blessing. For them, their story wasn't over. It was simply a new beginning to their lives and a new story that only time would tell.
Conner McKnight sighed, as his twin brother babbled on the other end of the phone. Being a student at the Academy, he had naturally heard the whispers of their sensei's and former rangers little adventure. He was kind of surprised that such information wasn't kept from the students, but he figured with Marah and Kapri knowing about it, then keeping it a secret was moot.
"Eric…we're fine, seriously," Conner assured his twin.
"Bro, we heard the stories from Kapri. You guys, like almost died and stuff," Eric went on. Conner rolled his eyes and pulled the phone away from his ear for a second.
"Was I really that big of an airhead before our ranger days?" he asked his girlfriend. Kira smirked, as she sat on his couch in his apartment, strumming her guitar idly.
"Do you really want me to answer that?" she asked sarcastically. He smirked.
"Probably not," he replied, as he brought the phone back to his ear.
"Are you listening to me?" Eric asked.
"Not really dude, I don't need to hear all the gossip going on at the Academy. Tori and Hunter will tell me all the important stuff anyway," Conner replied, referring to their friends.
"That's just it bro, you gotta give me the goods! I mean my Sensei is back with this girl that no one's ever seen and they're like totally into each other. And if that wasn't weird enough, Tally's sensei is like all over the head sensei of the Thunder Academy," Eric pressed on.
"I'm not gossiping with you about my friends' love lives. Besides, ranger stuff isn't something that should be discussed over the phone. You know too much already," Conner replied.
"Fine, but next time I see you, we're going to talk," Eric replied. Conner groaned.
"Whatever dude…listen, I've got to go," Conner said.
"Kira must be there…am I right? Man, she is so hot…" Eric continued to ramble.
"Goodbye Eric," Conner said, as he hung up the phone and sat down beside his girlfriend, listening to the tune she was strumming.
"That's something new," he mentioned. She smiled. That was always one thing that surprised her about him. He always noticed and took interest in her music, something that a lot of guys would never do.
"It's amazing what kind of inspiration near death experiences can give you," she replied. He nodded.
"I know exactly what you mean," he stated, as he took her hand and looked her in the eyes.
"I know we haven't said it and I don't expect anything in return. I know we haven't been dating long and I'm probably risking screwing up what we have, but I can't help how I feel about you," Conner said. Kira squeezed his hand, urging him to continue.
"I love you Kira…I have for a while, but this whole mess made me realize just how much. You're the one…I know that in my heart," he confessed, bringing tears to her eyes. She set her guitar aside and turned to him.
"I love you too, Conner," she confessed in return. He gave her one of those smiles, the Conner grin, as she called them, and she felt her heart skip a beat.
"So…the Jock and the Rockstar, huh? Not your normal couple, I guess," he mused. She smirked and kissed him passionately, their feelings overflowing from their hearts and he pulled her into his lap. She straddled him and kissed him as deeply as ever.
"Normal is way overrated anyway," she mentioned, as she broke their kiss momentarily. He gazed at her, desire and love filling his chestnut orbs. Their lips met again and she combed her fingers through his chocolate hair, as his lips left hers and tackled her neck. The haze of pleasure consumed them, as they became lost in each other.
"Thanks for watching him on such short notice," Aisha said gratefully, as they stood on the porch belonging to the Skullovich's. If you had told Rocky back in High School that he would be a detective with Skull as his partner one day and that he would know about their pasts as rangers, he would have laughed.
"What are partner's for? I'm just glad you handled everything, if you know what I mean. Besides, Jacob and Spike love playing together," Skull replied. Rocky nodded.
"So…what exactly happened?" Skull asked.
"It's a long story, I'll tell you tomorrow. We'll need something to talk about since we have to sit on stakeout for who knows how long," Rocky replied, referring to the case Skull had informed him had dropped on them while he was gone. The former bully nodded in understanding He loved his wife, a beautiful, sweet girl he had met while in the Academy, named Nina. But they had decided that it was better she didn't know about her friends' ranger pasts.
"Here he is," a brown haired, petite woman said, as she brought their son out. Jacob ran to his parents and Rocky scooped him up.
"There's my little man," he said, as he ruffled his son's hair and Aisha kissed his cheek. Jacob saw his Uncle Adam and Aunt Tanya approaching as well and Rocky let him down. The little boy ran to them and Adam scooped his nephew up, as the other couple waved to the Skullovich's.
"We should be going, I'll see you tomorrow Eugene," Rocky said, teasing his partner about his first name.
"Don't call me that Rocko," Skull teased back. He, Nina, and Spike watched the two couples and the little boy leave in a car.
"I don't know about you guys, but I'm starving," Rocky said, as he drove.
"That's nothing new, but I think we're all hungry," Adam replied.
"Well, before we were so rudely interrupted, we planned on grilling so we can head to our house for dinner," Tanya mentioned.
"Sounds good to me," Aisha agreed.
The next day…
Tommy was as nervous as he had ever been, as they waited for the doctor to come in. They had gone home the night before and had a good night's sleep, but now they wanted reassurance that the baby was okay after the fiasco they had been through. Even though Rita had healed all their wounds, he was still eager for the Doctor to examine Kim.
"Hello Kimberly, how are you feeling?" the doctor asked, as she entered with Kimberly chart.
"I'm fine, the car accident wasn't bad and as far as I know, I just have a few bruises," Kim replied. They had decided that fibbing about a car accident as a reason for an impromptu checkup would keep the doctor's suspicion down.
"Well, you're very lucky, because your tests show that you and the baby are absolutely fine," the doctor assured. Tommy and Kim let out a sigh of relief.
"However, I believe that we could do an ultrasound while you're here. It's still a little early, but we might get a decent look at the baby, if you're interested," the doctor stated. The couple nodded eagerly.
"We'd really like that," Tommy replied, as the doctor proceeded to spread a clear gel on Kimberly's slightly distended belly. The machine hummed to life and Tommy squinted trying to make sense of the blurry image on the screen. Once his eyes made out the head, he instantly saw everything. Very tiny features, tiny little fingers and toes, curled up in her womb.
"Kim…" he said in awe, nearly speechless.
"Our baby…" she replied, as tears came to her eyes.
"It's a little early to tell what the sex is yet, but that should change on your next ultrasound in three months," the doctor promised.
"I don't care if it's a boy or girl, because he or she is ours," Tommy whispered to her, as the doctor handed them pictures of the ultrasound and then left them alone to gaze at their tiny creation.
"I love you…" Kimberly whispered tearfully. He smiled down at her and stroked her hair.
"I love you too beautiful," he replied, as he kissed her lips tenderly.
Two days later…
Jason kissed her wife tenderly, as they prepared to part once again. It had only been two days since they had gotten back and already his team was being called in with a new case.
"Sorry our time off was cut short…again," he apologized. She smiled and kissed him again.
"We made good use of our time the last couple days, I think," she said playfully. He grinned wolfishly.
"Yes we did," he replied, as he kissed her again and they gazed at each other for a few tender moments.
"I know that I shouldn't need to tell you to be careful after what we went through a few days ago…but I will anyway. I can't lose you," she said. He smirked.
"You won't, I'll be fine and I'll call you when I can. Hopefully we can crack this one quickly," Jason replied.
"With you and Billy on it, I'm sure you will. I love you and I'll see you soon," she said. He kissed her quickly again, before getting out.
"Love you too," he replied, as she drove off. Jason started in the building and saw Billy jogging to catch up to him. He held the elevator and the genius slipped in with him.
"Running late?" Jason mused playfully.
"Yeah, you could say that," Billy replied, as he straightened his tie.
"You have lipstick on your lips," Jason mentioned. Billy smirked.
"So do you," he replied. They looked at each other and shared a stupid grin, as they went about wiping it off, before the elevator dinged and they walked off onto the floor where they would rejoin their other team and work to eliminate the prevalent human evil in their world.
Three months later…
A couple people walked up to the coffee shop and were about to go in, but noticed the sign on the door that indicated that it was closed for a private event.
Inside, Kimberly, her belly now quite distended, set out another plate of cookies. It was Christmas Eve and through e-mail and phone calls the last few months, all former rangers agreed that it was the perfect time for the first ever ranger reunion slash holiday celebration. Kira and Conner were trimming the tree, while Ethan and Tommy made sure there was enough seating for all their guests that would soon be arriving.
"Brrr…it's so cold…" Tori shivered, as she hurried into the building with Hunter and the others right behind her.
"Yeah, I thought we lived in California," Dustin complained.
"Oh come on, at least it actually feels like Christmas for once," Shane said, as Skyla shivered against him.
"I think it just feels cold," she said. He chuckled and kissed her forehead.
"Fear not, I have hot coffee and cocoa ready for everyone!" Hayley called from behind the bar.
"You're a lifesaver Hayley," Tori said, as she exchanged hugs with the redhead and Kimberly.
"So…do you have them?" Tori asked anxiously. Kimberly nodded in excitement and took out her new ultrasound pictures. Tori gasped and studied the picture.
"It's a girl," Kimberly added in excitement.
"Congratulations," Tori said.
"This is awesome Hayley, why haven't we had a ranger reunion before now?" Dustin asked in excitement. The Cyberspace owner shrugged.
"It's hard to get everyone together I guess, but I'm glad we pulled it off," Hayley mentioned.
"Whoa…I left New York to get away from the cold weather. Since when is it thirty degrees in California?" Trent complained, as he arrived with Anton and Elsa.
"I don't know, but they said on the radio that it hasn't been this cold on Christmas in California in like thirty years," Conner called, as he and Kira hung ornaments on the tree. The rangers from Blue Bay Harbor shed their coats and joined those that lived in Reefside on the couches near the tree.
"I think we'll manage to keep warm though," Hunter mentioned, as he and Tori cuddled together on the sofa and shared a soft kiss.
"Merry Christmas!" Rocky called, as the door to the coffee house opened again and more former rangers and family members arrived. The door was busy for the next ten minutes, as all ranger teams arrived, even the Galaxy rangers, and they were soon all gathered together, exchanging stories of their times as rangers and experiences. Jacob, Carly, and Michaela opened presents and played with their new toys, as their parents watched on. And couples cuddled together, grateful that they could be together after what they had gone through just three short months ago.
"They're beautiful Kat…" Kim mentioned, as she watched the twin girls' eyes light up as they opened their presents and sat in their father's lap.
"Thanks…but I hear you'll be having your own little girl soon," Kat replied. Kim lit up with a smile.
"Yeah, Tommy and I tried for so long. I was worried that it was never going to happen. It almost didn't," Kim mentioned, referring to their little adventure three months earlier.
"But all that's over now. We made it, just like we always do," Trini said, as she put her arm around her best friend.
"Trini's right girl, I mean look around. Would you have imagined back in our ranger days that we would someday be sitting here together, with families of our own, most of us married to other rangers, with ten generations of rangers all in one place?" Aisha asked. Kim smiled.
"Definitely not, but I'm glad we're here, but I want us to make a pact that we won't let so much time pass again before we all get together again," Kim stated. The other girls nodded, as Tanya sat down beside them, and they watched Rocky and Adam goof around with the kids.
"It's a pact then, especially since this ranger family is going to grow even more soon," Tanya mentioned. The other women got her meaning and gathered around her.
"When did you find out?" Aisha asked.
"A few days ago. Adam is over the moon. He can't wait to be a dad," Tanya announced with excitement.
"Congratulations!" Kim cried, as she hugged her. As she said that, they saw the guys all gathered around Adam, congratulating him as well.
"Hey…look who is finally joining us!" Ethan called, as Blake arrived.
"About time you showed up, bro," Hunter called, as he greeted his little brother with a hug.
"Yeah, bag on me later," Blake responded, as he and his brother shared a hug.
"I thought you were bringing your girlfriend?" Dustin asked.
"Not this time. We're not that serious yet and she wanted to go home to her family…and I wanted to be with mine. We're thinking next year we'll be ready for the whole meeting each other's family's thing," Blake explained, as Tori's cell phone rang. She took it out and answered it, before walking to the counter.
"Hey mom, have you and dad landed yet?" Tori asked anxiously. Hunter watched her carefully and felt sad for her when he saw her face fall in disappointment.
"Your flight is delayed?" she asked in disbelief.
"Well…when do you think you'll get home?" she questioned and the frown on her face slowly deepened.
"Three days…" Tori said, trying to keep the quivering out of her voice.
"No mom…I know you and daddy can't help that there's a snow storm in Chicago. I guess I'll see you in a few days," Tori said, as she hung up her phone, before putting on her coat and going outside. Hunter followed her out into the cold and saw her sitting on a bench, shivering and trying not to cry. Hunter sat down beside her and put his arm around her. She rested her head on his shoulder and he dropped a kiss on her head.
"I'm sorry they're not going to make it home for Christmas," he told her.
"Are you surprised?" she asked. He winced.
"Maybe not…but you still have family all around you," he reminded. She smiled and nodded.
"I know…you guys have been more of a family to me than my own parents. It's been like three years since we spent Christmas together, so I guess I shouldn't get my hopes up anymore," Tori said, as she took his hands in her own.
"It still hurts sometimes, but this year will be special, because I have you. You're my family now," she told him, as he leaned down and captured her lips in a passionate kiss.
"Wow…I think it's warming up out here," she joked and he laughed.
"Yeah, but we should probably go back inside," he mentioned.
"What's inside that's not out here?" she asked coyly.
"Mistletoe," he replied coyly, wriggling his eyebrows at her. She grinned.
"Well, when you put it that way, what are we waiting for?" she asked, as they joined hands and went back inside with their ranger family.
A private airstrip in Washington D.C.
Alana Hanson snapped her cell phone shut and shoved in her pocket with a huff, as her husband drove them and parked their car. Jack Hanson glanced over at her and recognized her sour mood.
"Tori is fine," he assured her.
"Physically, but how much longer are we going to lie to our daughter? We've been so absent from her life that we don't even know her anymore. She doesn't even know us…she never has!" Alana exclaimed.
"You know that we would walk away if it was that easy…but we can't. We're in this too deep and if we back out now, they'll come after us and Tori," Jack argued heatedly.
"I know…I know…" Alana snapped and then sighed.
"It's just that…we've missed the last three years of our little girl's life. God Jack, three Christmas', three birthdays, we even missed her high school graduation last year," Alana complained.
"We have to hope that one day she'll understand and forgive us," he replied. Alana rolled her eyes, knowing that it would never be that simple. There was a chance they could never give their daughter a true explanation of why they were gone all the time.
"Whatever…let's just get this over with," she huffed, as they grabbed their luggage and boarded the private jet…
"Come on Dr. O…it's Christmas!" Conner pleaded.
"No," Tommy refuted.
"But…it's almost midnight and you can't have a proper toast without champagne," the red Dino ranger argued.
"Yes you can. It's called sparkling cider," Tommy refuted, as he handed a glass of sparkling cider to Tori and a glass of champagne to Hunter.
"Hey…how come Hunter gets the good stuff?" Ethan whined.
"Hunter is twenty-one, you guys aren't," Tommy said, rolling his eyes, as he heard Adam and Rocky cracking up at his predicament.
"Tommy, it's not like they're going far after this. It's just one glass," Rocky said.
"You're a cop Rocky. Of all the people in this room, you should agree with me," Tommy replied.
"I should, but it's too much fun watching you be lame now," Rocky retorted.
"Yeah, back in the day, we used to sneak my dad's beer all the time. Rocko's right, you're lame now, teach," Jason joked. Tommy huffed.
"Kim…" he whined and she rolled her eyes.
"He's trying to be responsible, stop trying to corrupt him. He starts to get whiny when it's past his bedtime" Kim teased, earning an offended look from her husband.
"I'm just teasing handsome," she promised sweetly, as Jason cracked up.
"I forgot…Dr. O has a bedtime now," Jason teased.
"And you've had too much of Rocky's eggnog. You're getting giggly," Trini teased.
"I don't giggle…that's not something a red does," Jason argued.
"Oh hey yeah, the eggnog is spiked too. Let me try it," Conner said, as Rocky poured him a glass.
"No Rocky," Tommy warned.
"Sorry kid, Dr. Oliver says no. Too bad the cool Tommy we knew in high school isn't here," Rocky teased. Tommy rolled his eyes. He wasn't annoyed really. He actually had really missed all the crap they tended to give each other when they were together. It was like old times again.
"Hurry up…it's almost midnight!" Dustin called in excitement, as he grabbed two glasses of sparkling cider for him and Marah.
"So…Dr. O was actually cool back in the day? What happened?" Conner asked Rocky.
"Conner…" Tommy said, in his teacher voice.
"Come on Dino boy, let's go over here before you get killed," Kira said, tugging him away.
"But I want to hear more stories from Rocky and Adam," Conner whined. Tommy shot a look at the former red and black rangers.
"What stories?" Tommy asked. Rocky tried not to spit out his eggnog laughing and Adam practically choked on the cookie he was eating. Tommy rolled his eyes and held up his hand.
"Never mind, it's probably best I don't know," he said, as he poured some sparkling cider from Kim and Tanya, since they were both expecting and then finished off the rest of the glasses with champagne.
"Okay everyone…it's almost midnight, which means Christmas is here. Let's toast to family, friends, and the New Year that will be upon us in just one week," Trini called.
"Yeah, this is only the first of many ranger reunions, we hope," Kimberly added.
"Here's to us…" Jason said, raising his glass.
"To friends and family," Aisha added.
"To the power," Tommy said.
"And to Zordon, without whom none of us would be here," Rocky finished the toast. The clock on the wall over the bar chimed midnight, as everyone drank and those who were with someone exchanged a kiss with their significant other. Hugs and laughter filled the coffeehouse well into the night, promising that a bond had been formed and solidified into something that truly would stand the test of time.
"Merry Christmas…handsome…" Kimberly said, as she kissed him.
"Merry Christmas beautiful," Tommy replied, as he rested his hand on her pregnant belly.
"Just think, next Christmas will be our baby's first," she reminded. He grinned.
"I can't wait," he said, as their lips met again.
"What are you thinking?" Hunter asked, as he wrapped his arms around her from behind, noticing the pensive look on her face. She shrugged.
"About everything I guess," she replied.
"Your parents?" he asked. She nodded.
"Something has been bothering me lately about their behavior, but I don't want to talk about that right now, because I was also thinking about how happy I am," she replied, as she put her arms around him.
"Even though your parents are missing another Christmas with you?" he asked. She shook her head.
"I thought I would be thinking that, but I guess I didn't expect them to be home anyway. I know that sounds terrible, but I think I'm just starting to accept it and that I can be okay with it, because I have you. I know that you're always going to be here," she replied. He gave her a lazy smile.
"You're right…I will be, no matter what," he promised. She smiled.
"Merry Christmas thunder boy,"
"Merry Christmas gorgeous,"
Their lips met passionately again, beneath the mistletoe, with their ranger family around them.
That's it for this story, though this was simply a precursor to other stories I have planned to follow in this series. They will move more slowly than this one did and I won't begin working on any sequels to this one until sometime after the New Year. But look for the sequel in 2013. I hope you enjoyed this story and please let me know what you think.