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Not Quite the Tunnel of Love

Chapter Text

It starts at the Angel Grove vs Midvale football game. The Rangers are only there because they know Lord Zedd is planning something, and the football game would be a great place to cause a lot of chaos.

They’re right, of course. He sends Tengu down to the field and they grab a couple of kids from the Midvale side of the field. To be fair, Midvale isn’t used to alien attacks.

Fortunately, Zedd keeps the two other teenagers on Earth, and just up in an old coal mine in the mountains. The cave is guarded, but Maggie and Zack are quick to notice the Tengu are focusing inward, not just on the attacking Ranger duo. It’s not long at all before Maggie and Zack are at the back of the tunnel system.

The younger blonde teenager is holding off a massive alien snake by firing off laser beams from her eyes. The older teenager is beaning Tengu on their heads with rocks. When the alien python lunges, Maggie grabs at it to keep the kid of out its jaws.

Maggie finds herself constricted and suffocating. Zack is quick to use his Axe, but Maggie’s armor is crushing her and her helmet isn't allowing her to get enough air. She needs to de-morph. She has to risk her identity if she wants to breathe properly.

The armor fades away and she heaves in a deep breath despite the pain of cracked ribs. Zack and the laser-eye girl deal with the rest of the Tengu while the other teenager drags Maggie to the side.

“Thanks,” Maggie says.

“I should be telling you that. Kara can handle herself, but…”

“How about you don’t tell anyone what the Green Ranger looks like, and I don’t talk about the kid with killer eye beams?”

“Deal.” She helps Maggie up once the last Tengu drops. “I’m Alex. Not that it matters, because my mom will kill me for letting Kara try to fight alien birds.”

“I’m Maggie. And would your mom believe Lord Zedd came after her because he knew something was different about her?”

And, damn it, Maggie probably shouldn't find the hopeful look in Alex's eyes so cute. “Maybe? You think that would work?”

Maggie looks at Zack. “Think we can sell it?”

“Considering everything else we get away with, sure.” He sounds completely unconcerned given Maggie can hear Zordon losing his shit through Zack's comms.

Alex turns to where Kara is fixing her glasses. “Please don’t get me grounded?”

“Alien monster wanted to use me for my powers,” Kara says with a firm nod. “I won’t let her blame you for what I did.”

“Thank you.” She looks back at Maggie. “Thanks for the idea.”

Maggie shrugs as they head out of the mines. “Least I could do to keep a pretty girl from being yelled at.” Maggie slams a hand to her mouth, mortified.

Alex blushes crimson but grins. “Pretty, huh?”

Zack nudges Kara. “Race ya to the exit.”

She takes off and he yells after her as he gives chase.

Maggie tries to find the words to apologize but it’s not happening.

Alex takes pity on her and nudges her shoulder against Maggie’s. “Hey, I’m not offended.”

“Okay. Cool." Maggie takes a deep breath. "Sorry?”

“You’re fine.”

Maggie smirks. “Am I now?”

Alex babbles for a moment before glaring at Maggie. “Not fair.”

“All’s fair in love and war.”

“Still on the fence about which one this is,” Alex mutters.

Maggie grins. “Wanna hop off the fence and find out?”

“You know what?” She smiles shyly as they reach the entrance. “Yeah. Let’s find out.”

Chapter Text

War, Alex decided, was what all of this was now. All out war. “You can’t use my own sister against me!”

Maggie’s laughter echoed out of the speaker. “There’s no such thing as rules in a fight.”

Alex wanted to continue glaring at the screen, but those damned dimples made it so hard. “I know you’re bribing Kara with food.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Maggie turned her laptop to show Kara on the other side of the couch with a box of Krispy Kremes on her lap. “Yet another alien attack on the local donut shop.”

Kara glared at Maggie and swallowed her bite half chewed. “You’re not as funny as you look, Maggie.”

Maggie mocked gasped and put a hand on her heart. “Little Danvers, you’ve picked up some game.”

“Alex isn’t allowed to threaten to use her fists to keep other students from picking on me anymore.”

Maggie fluttered her eyes at Alex. “Brains, brawn, AND wit? I’m swooning.”

Alex rolled her eyes. “Swoon all you want, it'd be fun to watch you hit the ground.”

“You're very violent today,” Maggie pointed out.

Alex huffed and shook her head. “School was lame, is all.”

Kara piped up. “Eliza gave her another lecture because she got a 95% on a pop quiz.”

Alex glared at Kara through the screen. Maggie gave Alex a sympathetic look. Alex sighed. “I got too involved with one of the answers so the teacher docked points because we hadn't covered what I wrote.”

“That's bullshit,” Maggie said. “Find yourself a solid alibi and give us his address. We’ll t.p. his house.”

Alex smiled a little. “Thanks, but let's give it a few weeks.”

Maggie nodded. “Less suspicious. Think this will keep you from visiting this weekend?”

Alex snorted. “I'm eighteen, she technically can't stop me from doing anything. But, yeah, there's nothing I have to do this weekend.”

Maggie looked behind her. “You joining us, Little Danvers?”

Kara nodded. “Trini's gonna teach me more yoga and Kim thinks I'm ready for the back roads.”

Alex smirked. “It has been two weeks since you almost hit that light pole in an empty parking lot.”

Kara pouted as they laughed at her. “Kim's car goes too fast.”

Maggie's phone beeped a familiar six tone beep and she went on alert. “That's my cue.”

Kara closed the box on the donuts and grabbed her bag. “I'm ready.”

Alpha teleported her from Maggie's place to Alex's bedroom. Alex wished Maggie luck and safety before the Green Ranger was whisked away to battle.

Chapter Text

Lucy Lane understood what it meant to be an Army brat. Constant moving around, never managing to keep friends even with Facebook, and barely having enough belongings to fill a bedroom. She was used to it, but it didn't mean she had to like it. What made this particular move even worse was the fact she was two months into her final semester of high school.

She was the new kid on Valentine's day and she was grateful no one on this tiny ass town gave a damn. She handed the note to her new teachers, barely got introduced, and picked a seat in the back of the class.

Well, no one gave a damn until her biology class right before lunch.

Lucy took the one empty seat next to a girl tinier than even her. Before Lucy got her notebook out, there was a box of chocolates on her desk and hastily scribbled note.

+I hope you like chocolate cause my girlfriend went a little nuts.+

Lucy blinked, looked at the girl next to her, and raised an eyebrow. The girl in the beanie tilted her backpack so Lucy could see inside. There were two more boxes, a real rose, a leather rose, and a bright pink puppy plush holding a small box of chocolate.

The girl in front of Lucy held a note over her shoulder. Lucy took it and wondered what was in the water.

+I'm the girlfriend. It's cool.+

Lucy shrugged and popped open the box. There were others eating their goodies, and the teacher didn't seem to mind. Once the class was over, the couple invited Lucy to eat lunch with them.

“As long as you don't mind sitting with the school pariahs,” the taller one said.

“No one drops their lunches on you, do they?” Lucy asked as they headed out of the room.

“They won't dare,” the tiny one said with a smirk. “Trini. That's Kim.”

“What makes you guys the pariahs?”

“Jase is the former football qb,” Kim said, “I used to be a cheerleader, Zack is crazy, Billy blows things up, and Trini and Maggie hate everyone.”

Trini rolled her eyes. “Me and Mags just know better than to trust people given the way we’ve been treated.”

“I wasn't planning on making friends,” Lucy said. “As soon as I graduate, I'm outta here.”

“Ditto,” Trini said. “What’re your plans?”

“The General is trying to hint the Army isn't a bad idea, but if it turns out people like him? I can manage college. You?”

“I don't know. This one,” she tossed her thumb at Kim, “has been yanking me through the college application process.

“It's one college,” Kim said as they reached the cafeteria. “And it's just National City.”

They got their food before heading over to a table that looked purposely shoved into a corner. There were two guys tossing nuggets into each other's mouth and a girl was texting furiously with a smirk on her face.

“Guys,” Trini said as they sat, “Lucy’s new, we’re adopting her.”

They looked confused, but shrugged and greeted her nicely enough. Lucy identified Maggie since she was the only other girl, and Jason looked like the former football type. Zack introduced himself by passing her a leather rose from the multitudes in his bag.

“Been passing them out to whoever doesn't have anything for today. Though I see Trini managed to get rid one of the boxes.”

“Chocolate is delicious,” Lucy said with full authority.

Trini nodded. “It is, but if I come home with evidence of having a girlfriend…”

Lucy nodded. “The General would be the same if he had a clue.”

Zack perked up. “Would he be with that military group looking into the Power Rangers?”

“I can't imagine there's any other reason he's here.” She shrugged. “I just hope we stick around long enough for me to graduate.”

Lucy didn't miss the looks traded amongst the group. She filled that away for later. Honestly, if she had just landed in the middle of something…

Maggie cackled and put her phone down so everyone could see the video. On the screen, a girl with dark red hair was in shock at the pile of stuff in front of her on the cafeteria table. There was a big red bear with a balloon, a massive box of candy, and roses in a dozen colors and styles.

“She's gonna kill you,” Zack said with glee.

“She's gonna try,” Maggie said. “She said I could embarrass her at school.”

“I don't think she was expecting that much,” Trini said with a raised eyebrow.

“And you thought this was bad,” Kim said, motioning to everything that could fit in Trini’s bag.

The girl at the other school took the phone from whoever was holding it. “Thank you, Maggie.”

Maggie picked up the phone. “Welcome, Ally. And don't let Kara trick you into sharing, I gave her her own box.”

When the call was over, Lucy rolled her eyes. “That was far too adorable for me. I don't think I can hang out with you.”

Maggie rolled her eyes. “Too much of a badass?”

“Exactly.” Lucy was kinda disappointed she left her gloves in her locker. Oh, well, that could be a surprise for after school.

The last member of the group joined them with a smile and no food. “Hey, guys.”

Kim introduced Lucy to Billy. His eyes went wide when she mentioned her military father. Jason told Billy not to worry. “She took candy from a stranger, I don’t think she’s a rule follower.”

“And the strangest stranger, at that,” Zack said.

Trini glared. “I will end you.” She was trying not to smile, and none of the others seemed concerned, so Lucy figured threats were normal.

“You keep saying that, yet here I am.”

They went back and forth for a bit before Kim suggested Trini could be doing something more fulfilling with her mouth. Lucy expected them to start kissing. Instead, Trini dug into her food and half a box of chocolate.

A few tables down, high pitched squeals caught the cafeteria’s attention. A group of girls erupted from their seats as their soda cans spluttered their contents all over them. Kim cackled and traded high fives with Trini and Maggie. Jason sighed in exasperation and Zack said he was just jealous. Billy asked if that joke was ever going to get old.

“Maybe by spring break,” Kim said, shrugging.

Lucy wanted to ask, but figured she was too new and didn’t want to know. Once lunch was over, Maggie asked which class Lucy had next. Lucy didn’t even need to look at her schedule. “English.”

“Awesome,” Maggie said, “I need a new project partner.”

“What’s wrong with the old one?” Lucy asked.

“He ignores the fact I have a girlfriend. My aunt was ready to take him out back and beat some manners into him last month.”

Lucy winced. She knew the type. “Right. You’ve got yourself a new project partner.” She had no idea how she ended up with a new group of friends. Something skittered up her spine, a warning that something was definitely strange. But she wasn’t going to run away from whatever was coming. The town was too small to escape whatever it was, anyway.