Always a Ranger - Part 34
The Ranger Bride
By Jeannine Trevizo
“So, you can levitate?” Hayley asked, looking at where Kimberly Hart sat beside her boyfriend and the black ranger in the command center’s basement.
“Yup. That’s how I got out of the cave I fell into.”
“Is that how you got torn up?” Tommy asked curiously as he turned Kim’s hand over in his and gently brushed at the lacerations.
They were finally getting the story from Kim about what had happened. The whole team had decided to put all their questions on hold as they waited for Hayley to join them. Tommy had immediately called her to meet them in the command center cave to help in their search for answers about the pink gem. Now the quartet of young rangers, Tommy, Kim and Haley sat in their respective places around the room. As the resident genius, Hayley sat at the computer terminal, ready to turn and type in any data she needed to; Kim and Tommy sat side by side on a bench Tommy had recently brought in, and Kira, Trent, Ethan and Conner took up their usual places around the area.
“Yeah,” remarked Kim, trying not to rub on the sore spots on her flesh where she was sure she’d be bruised come morning.
“What happened? We went back for you, and you were gone,” Conner asked, upset still at Kim wandering off and the resulting tongue lashing they’d gotten from Dr. O for it.
“I was walking through the forest the team was showing me, trying to find my way back, and well, I wasn’t paying attention and fell down a ravine. That should have been the end of it, but I crashed through a mostly obstructed opening into the cave where the gem was.”
The teens winced and Tommy reached an arm around Kim, who had cleaned up slightly before Hayley had arrived, but still looked like she’d been pretty cut up.
“How did you and Hayley miss this dino gem all this time?” Ethan asked.
“I don’t know,” Hayley said despondently.
“Could large metal deposits interfere with your sensors?” Kim queried.
“The cave was filled with some kind of metal ore in the walls. I assumed it was natural deposits of metal, and well…”
“It would screen any scans for the energy signature,” Hayley finished, seeing where Kim was coming from.
“So, what kind of ranger is she?” Kira asked suddenly, feeling a little guilty now that the first pterodactyl ranger wouldn’t be able to be that again.
“You mean what zord is hers?” Conner questioned.
“I think we’ll set her up to be more like Tom,” Hayley noted, realizing that she had some work to do, and then asked, “Kim, can I borrow your gem for a few minutes? I still have to get a morpher, uniform and zord keyed in for you.”
Hayley reached out as Kim handed her the Pink dino gem. The power gem in hand, Hayley got up and moved to a work table. There, she opened up a box with a lone silver cuff. Taking the gem Kim had given her, she placed it on a silver band. After sliding on a pair of safety goggles that reminded Kim of Billy, she melded the metal over the edges of the gem, securing it in place. With a few movements, it turned a bright pink, and then transformed into a morpher, similar to the ones the rest of the team wore, but pink.
“So, what about Kim’s uniform? If she doesn’t have a specific affiliation…” Ethan questioned, trailing off as he realized he didn’t have an answer for his question to offer as a solution.
“Why don’t you use Kira’s uniform for a template… I hate to admit it but I’d feel strange without a skirt,” Kim suggested and while Kira and Tommy smiled, the guys laughed. “The helmet should be more like Tommy’s; without a definite zord affiliation.”
“I think I can do that.”
“Please tell me that it won’t be neon pink or anything,” Conner groaned, worried about the Technicolor ranger brigade.
“I was going to use the original pink ranger color, if that’s okay with you Kim,” Hayley informed everyone, directing the question to the new pink ranger.
Kim looked at Tommy and felt herself answer the bright smile on his face with one of her own.
“That’s perfect. Only one of us is allowed to change their color more than once a year,” she joked, elbowing the subject of her humor in the ribs.
“Hey, it isn’t my fault that I kept getting new powers that were different colors.”
“Please, spare me. Zordon liked you best, and we *all* knew it.”
“Yeah, like being the *white* ranger while you’re a teenager with hormones was such a *great* thing.”
“Oh my God, too much information,” cried Kira, covering her ears and closing her eyes as she started singing a series of manta-like ‘lalalala’s’ to try and ward off the image as the guys, including the current white ranger cringed and crossed their legs.
Tommy blushed as he realized that he was getting a bit too specific. And just as he was feeling ready to dip his head to hide, Kim caught his cheek and leaned in to kiss him deeply.
“You’re always my white knight handsome. And I’m so glad I can be by your side to watch your back again.”
“It’s not like that wasn’t going to be your job before you found the dino gem,” Tommy reminded her softly.
“What do you mean by that Dr. O?” Conner asked, confused by what he’d overheard their teacher and mentor say.
“I think he was referring to me taking care of him personally,” Kim remarked, and held up her left hand to show off the diamond ring.
Conner, Trent and Ethan stared in shock, and Kira nearly squealed in joy, getting up and running to nearly tackle Kim in a hug while Hayley paused at her task to watch Kim and Tommy be congratulated by the team.
“I’m so glad for you guys!” Kira gushed as Kim hugged the blond back.
“Wow, congrats Dr. O,” said Conner.
“This is so pretty. I can’t believe Dr. O picked it out,” said Kira, staring at the ring as she turned Kim’s hand.
“Hey!” Tommy shouted indignantly. “I have good taste.”
“Hush handsome. He didn’t pick it out. It was his mother’s. His brother mailed to him just recently. He didn’t even give it to me until today.”
“Brother?” Ethan, Conner, Kira and Trent all said together, with Hayley herself turning around to watch Tommy answer this one.
“I guess they’re just as surprised as I was when I heard about David,” Kim remarked with a small smirk.
“Well, when I found out about David, you and I weren’t speaking, so I had an excuse for you finding out from Jason,” complained Tommy.
“So, he’ll be here for the wedding?” Kira asked.
“You’ll actually get to meet a lot of people around then… David, a lot of our friends who served as rangers, and some other ones too,” Tommy explained.
“Wow, that will be wild,” Ethan remarked. “A ranger wedding.”
“Yeah, well, that’s still a while off. How about we focus on the here and now,” Hayley remarked, her face focused on Kim. “It’s time to officially saddle up.”
With that, she handed Kim the silver morpher bracelet, and Kim smiled. Sliding the cuff onto her arm, she felt as if she was coming full circle – she was the pink ranger again, and she was with Tommy. It was almost as if fate had returned her to the moment when she’d made the choice to leave… letting her fix things to the way they should have been.
“Come on Kim, let’s see that old school ranger style,” called Conner boisterously.
Glancing briefly to Tommy, he quickly caught and squeezed her hand lightly before urging her up. Standing before everyone in the basement, she took a deep breath and closed her eyes. The power of the dino gem filled her, as did Tommy’s love, and she opened her eyes to watch the assembled rangers anxiously, breathlessly watching.
“Dino Thunder, Power Up!” she called, stepping into an open stance, her right hand reaching over to her left wrist, placing her fingers on the face of the morpher that had appeared at her words.
Instinct kicked in and her fingers hit the controller exactly right, her body filling with the energy of the morpher and the dino gem, and she felt the molecules of her clothes being replaced with her uniform. As the light around her glowed bright pink, she felt her helmet slide and latch into place.
It was over in seconds, and Kim looked out at the awed and happy faces through the smoky glass of her visor. Tommy was up and by her side before she had a second to pop the latches. As she eased the helmet off, she found him taking it from her and placing a hand to her cheek before he lightly kissed her lips.
“So, I don’t look silly?” she stammered once Tommy’s mouth left hers.
“I’d nearly forgotten how good you look in uniform,” he replied in an awestruck, passionate tone.
“Alright you too, wait until the children go home,” chuckled Hayley as she moved into oversee her handiwork.
Kim took that time to look over her new uniform. It did look like the general team armor – spandex-like tights and top, with a skirt like Kira’s. The boots and gloves were pink as well, and the diamonds that ran along her legs and arms were white. As Hayley looked over her helmet communications, she glanced at the morpher.
“It’s a Stegazord?”
Tommy and the teens all started at that, the rest of the rangers getting up to look at the pink stegazord morpher on Kim’s wrist.
“It seemed the best fit,” remarked Hayley as she handed Kim back the helmet and looked at the morpher on Kim’s wrist, twisting it slightly as she checked out the mechanisms.
“She’s right. I mean, I know you’d be happier with a zord like the pterodactyl, but the stegosaurus was a protective dinosaur that was fierce in defending their young and their territory,” explained Tommy, realizing the truth in Hayley’s choice.
“Well, I’m all for that. And the helmet is cool. At least I can see out of it.”
Everyone laughed, and Kim just shrugged.
“Well, I guess its official then. Welcome back Kim,” said Hayley, standing back as the rest of the team moved to embrace the old/new pink ranger.
The following day found the ranger women making their way through the downtown, driving in Hayley’s silver Corolla as they drove to look at the selection of dresses at the bridal shops that Reefside had available, which totaled two. It was the last day before school started, and Kira would be spending her days with Tommy and the others in classes at Reefside high, so Kim had asked them to go with her and try to start the shopping with the really hard decision of finding the right dress.
“Thanks for coming with me guys,” Kim said to Kira and Hayley. “I wish Aisha could help, but she can’t leave work until the week of the wedding.”
“Well I’m more than happy to help,” stated Hayley, still unsure of where she and Kim stood, but willing to try and find out.
“Me too,” remarked Kira as Hayley parked the car and they piled out, headed for the first store.
“More than anything, I’m just glad that Tom is finally going to be happy,” Hayley said as the three of them walked into the bridal shop.
“Are you sure you aren’t being nice about Kim and Dr. O getting hitched because of Billy?” Kira asked with a smirk as Kim turned into the shop, the two of them following.
“Maybe,” Hayley said hesitantly, but couldn’t force away the smile that sprung to her lips at the thought of the former blue ranger. With the wedding, he’d be back, and this time he’d promised to stay for longer than a day, so they could spend some time real time together and explore their relationship further.
“When is Billy getting back from Aquitar?”
“The Wednesday the week before the wedding.”
“Should I even ask where he’s staying?” Kim joked, having eavesdropped on part of the conversation.
Hayley blushed slightly, and Kim winked at Kira. Then they headed into the racks of dresses. After an exhaustive search, they found several dresses, mostly size two that they thought Kim could fit, even though the woman in question was surprised at the size.
“You think they’ll really fit?”
“Just try one on,” insisted Hayley. “Hurry before the sale clerk comes over and offers to help.”
With that, Kim took the first dress into the dressing room to try on. Ten minutes later, she emerged to wide eyes.
“Well?” Kim asked, holding up the length of the dress as she walked out wearing the pale pink sheath dress that they’d decided on first. It bunched around her feet at the floor, and would need to lose at least a foot of fabric before it fit her right.
“Wow, that’s so elegant looking,” Kira remarked.
“It’s very simple, but pretty too,” offered Hayley. “I’m not sure though… maybe something with a fitted bodice?”
“Anything to give me a bust line, please!” said Kim emphatically.
Kira and Hayley laughed and then turned back to the stack of dresses that they’d pulled previously, pulling out a dress with a corset style top with thin spaghetti straps and a full floor length skirt that they’d all thought was stunning.
“Try this,” Kira said, nearly thrusting the dress at Kim.
Heading back into the dressing room, Kim carefully climbed out of the first dress and into the second. It was a little harder getting into this one, but she managed. Kim came back out, and twirled carefully before her friends. The pink blush color of the satin dress was simple, and again after hacking off the excess length to accommodate Kim’s petite size, it would fit the rest of her proportions properly.
“You think Tommy will like this?” she asked as she came out of the stall.
“I think that we’ll have to have a paramedic on site to revive him after he has a heart attack,” joked Kira as she looked at Kim in the dress.
“It’s beautiful,” confirmed Hayley, nodding her head and smiling her approval.
“I’m still torn. I liked the pale pink sheath I tried on too. And maybe they might have some other choices at the other shop…”
“Well, you don’t have to decide today, right?” Kira questioned.
“No, but soon. I’ll need it the week of the 25th.”
“What about the bridesmaid dresses?” asked Hayley, curious.
Kim looked around and noticed the sales clerk had gone off to assist another customer by pulling out some veils for them to try on, and they were alone in their section of the dressing rooms.
“It’s a ranger wedding,” Kim said, “everyone will wear their own color.”
Kira smiled. Kim had asked her to be a bridesmaid before going on this dress expedition. She’d been surprised, and had asked if one of Kim’s other friends or another ranger shouldn’t have that honor. But Kim had insisted that the people that belonged at her side were Aisha, Kira and of course Trini in spirit.
That had been enough to table the conversation.
“Besides, you can’t tell the ranger without the color,” Kim joked. As it was, there’d be more rangers in one room than ever before.
As Kim turned again in front of the mirror, both her and Kira’s communicators chimed, and they looked at one another; Kira with a sense of duty but disappointment, Kim with a smile of happiness.
“Dresses can wait. Time to go kick butt.”
With that, Kim hurried back into the dressing room and shimmied out of the dress. Throwing on her own things, she ducked out and she and Kira made their way outside. As Hayley finished up in the store, the ranger women found themselves in the middle of the street. Kira pointed beside the store where there was an alley. Quickly the two made their way into it, and after check for bystanders, called forth their morphers.
“Dino Thunder, Power up!” called out Kim and Kira, with the younger ranger throwing in the “hah!” that all the team, except for Tommy used.
Once the two stood in their armor, Kim looked at the yellow ranger, her puzzled and amused look hidden by her helmet.
“Hah? What’s that all about?” she questioned.
Kira shrugged. She knew that she, Conner and Ethan were the only ones that morphed that way. Maybe it was a team thing… she didn’t even remember how it had started. Still, Kim and Dr. O were doing things old school ranger style, which was fine… she was the new generation.
Their communicators chimed again, and Kira touched her stone, opening the connection. As soon as she did, they could hear Tommy’s voice, “Anytime you’d like to join us, we could use some help at the pier.”
“Come on Kim, let’s go!” yelled Kira, leading the way out of the alley and to their destination.
The two set off on foot, quickly making their way across town to the site of the guys’ call. Surrounding them near the waterfront was a horde of tyrano-drones, and in fierce combat with Tommy and Conner was a huge penguin/spider like monster. Launching herself into the air, Kim caught the air like she was walking on solid ground. She sped over the battle to where Tommy was.
“You know, I miss being able to teleport,” Kim said as she gracefully landed beside Tommy and brought her laser pistol to bear on the beak of the monster bird in front of her, firing at it and producing a small burst of flame and explosion, but not felling it.
“Me too. Sorry to tear you away from your shopping,” he joked with her favorite leader voice as he leveled a devastating power kick to the monster, staggering it.
“Too much quipping, not enough monster mashing,” complained Conner, bringing down his power sword on the right side of the penguin/spider thing, throwing sparks and sending it flying.
“You think maybe Triassic power might help?” Kira asked, landing from her gliding powers and coming to a stop at Conner’s side.
“Sounds like an idea. How about the two of us,” Tommy said, indicating to Kim, “go help the white ranger and send back the blue to you?”
Turning towards the others holding their own with the tyrano-drones, Kim and Tommy hurried to their side. As Kim came to a stop by Trent, happily executing a snap kick to the face of the closest drone, she gave a thumbs up signal to the younger man.
Tommy stopped by Ethan, and decided to level his Bracho Staff against the four drones threatening to swarm Ethan.
“Bracho Staff, Wind Strike,” he called out, slamming the end of the staff to the ground and producing a wave of air like a hurricane at the advancing beasts. As soon as the air hit them, they flew past Ethan and across the pier into the water. “Go help the others!”
Ethan nodded, knowing that for Conner to have Triassic power, he and Kira had to work together. And he had no doubt that between Dr. O, Kim and Trent, the rest of the tyrano-drones would be history in no time.
While Trent, Kim and Tommy wiped the docks with the tyrano-drones, Conner called on the Shield of Triumph, and with the power borrowed from Kira and Ethan, quickly dispatched the monster. Before the pieces could fall, they all heard the crack of thunder, and the sky went black, dark droplets of rain falling on the destroyed monster. Suddenly the pieces reconstituted and grew, dwarfing the rangers and the buildings around them.
“I hate this part,” grumbled Kim under her breath. “Won’t these bad guys ever accept defeat the *first* time?”
“Doubtful,” replied Tommy before he turned to call for the Brachiozord.
From the South, the ground started to shake, and within moments, the huge black and gold form of Tommy’s zord appeared. Kim tried not to gape.
“Not bad, huh?” he asked with a smirk, his tone almost proud.
“Hayley does good work,” she fired back, making him tip his helmet at her, his visor low enough that she could tell that he was mock-glaring at her from the movement. “Okay, your zord is cool.”
Suddenly the compartments on the top and both sides popped open, releasing the other zords, including a stegazord that was now pink instead of purple.
“Come on guys, let’s finish this,” announced Trent, his own Dragozord flying in to join the others.
Conner lifted his hand to the sky, and he, Kira, Ethan and Trent all rose into the air and up into their zords. Once inside, they shifted, starting the process of merging, and finally a huge Dino Rage Megazord stood before Tommy and Kim.
It didn’t take Conner and the team long to finish off the overgrown monster, and once it disintegrated in a blast of sparks and lightning, the team made their way back to solid ground while the zords ‘packed up’ and headed back to their hiding place.
“Great job team,” Tommy announced, and Conner and Ethan high-fived in their uniforms.
Looking around, Kira noticed they were clear, and decided it was time to get back to normal.
“Power down?” she asked, and Tommy nodded, prompting everyone to unmorph.
“So, how was being back in the game Kim?” Conner asked after they unmorphed.
“Like I was never gone,” she answered simply, looking at Tommy warmly.
They’d really come full circle.
“Alright, anyone for dinner? I’ll call out for pizza, as a’ last chance before classes start on Monday’ treat for a job well done,” announced Tommy, feeling magnanimous, both with Kim’s presence and her bonus check filing up their checking accounts.
“Yeah!” echoed Conner, Trent and Ethan, all hurrying along the pier and in the direction of Tommy and Kim’s place. “Come on Dr. O, you gotta call the order in.”
With the boys urging, Tommy hurried up to catch up with them, leaving Kira and Kim to pull up the rear of the team.
“So,” Kim said, as she and Kira walked behind the guys as they headed back to the house, basement command center, and pizza, “what do you think: the corset dress or the sheath?”
Kira laughed, and Kim joined her, looping her arm over the younger woman’s shoulder.
Yes, it was good to finally be back where she belonged.
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