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Alpha Operations: Story Board

Chapter Text

CEO: Kimberly Hart
AEO: Camille Hyde

Emergency Response - Director Carter Grayson
* Assistant Director - Leo Corbett
* Search & Rescue Coordinator - Eric Myers
* Security Coordinator - Will Aston
* Disaster Relief Coordinator - Merrick Baliton

Medical Services - Director Dr. Dana Mitchell
* Assistant Director - Dr. Trini Tsukino nee Kwan
* Psychological Support Coordinator - D.r John Tsukino
* Nurse Support Coordinator - Ashley Dante nee Hammond
* Laboratory Coordinator - Dr. Kendrix Morgan

Research & Development - Director Dr. Angela Rawlings-Fairweather
* Assistant Director - Dr. Rose Ortiz
* Central Command Coordinator - Dr. Justin Stewart
* Tech Maintenance Coordinator - Damon Henderson
* Aeronautical Engineering Coordinator - Dr. Billy Cranston
* Mechanical Engineering Coordinator - Dr. Andrew Hartford
* Computer Mechanics Coordinator - Dr. Hayley Oliver nee Viktor
* Computer Engineering Coordinator Dr. Cameron Watanabe
* Antonio Garcia
* Alpha 5
* Alpha 6
* DECA
* Cyber Cam
* James Navarro
* Rusty

Ranger Response - Director Jason Scott
* Assistant Director - Zhane Thoel
* Guardian Ranger Blue - Fran Thomson
* Guardian Ranger Green - Simon Jones
* Guardian Ranger Yellow - Alice Carmichael
* Guardian Ranger Black - LeeLee Primvare
* Guardian Ranger White - Heather Williams
* Guardian Ranger Red - Jarrod Skeen
* City Ranger Red - Troy Burrows
* City Ranger Blue - Noah Carver
* City Ranger Black - Jake Holling
* City Ranger Yellow - Gia Moran
* City Ranger Pink - Emma Goodall
* City Ranger Silver - Orion
* Lone Aqua Ranger - James Navarro
* City Ranger Black - Chase Randall
* City Ranger Blue - Koda
* City Ranger Mentor - Kendall Morgan

Liaison Office - Director Mike Corbett
* Legal Services Coordinator - Adam Park
* Military Liaison - General Mitchell
* Galactic Liaison - Karone Thoel

Mystic Support - Director Claire Emrys
* Daggeron Solaris
* Leanbow

Transportation - Director Taylor Earhardt
* Air Support Coordinator - Joel Rawlings
* Ground Support Coordinator - Dustin Brooks
* Sea Support Coordinator - Chad Lee

Ranger Council - Director Dr. Tommy Oliver
* Galactic Representative - Andros Dante
* Morphin Representative - Rocky DeSantos
* Zeo Representative - Katherine Cranston nee Hillard
* Turbo/Space Representative - TJ Johnson
* Galaxy Representative - Karone Thoel nee Dante
* Lightspeed Rescue Representative - Kelsey Winslow
* Time Force Representative - Wes Collins
* Wild Force Representative - Cole Evans
* Ninja Storm Representative - Hunter Bradley
* Dino Thunder Representative - Ethan James
* Mystic Force Representative - Chip Thorn
* Operation Overdrive Representative - Mack Hartford
* Sentinel Team Representative - Tori Bradley nee Hanson
* Jungle Fury Representative - Lily Chillman
* Samurai Representative - Jayden Shiba
* Mega Force Representative - Gia Moran
* Dino Charge Representative - James Navarro

Public Relations - Director Dominic Hargan
* Madison Rocca

Chapter Text

Darcy Lewis had always had a soft spot for people who couldn’t quite take care of themselves. She’d grown up with a scatterbrained mother and an equally scatterbrained brother. More than once she’d found a shoe or glove in the freezer. Instead of finding the pots in the kitchen, where they were supposed to be, they’d been on the living room floor. Normal people might have thought the roof had been leaking. Darcy knew before even asking one of her family members had simply been doing something with them, got an idea, and ta-da, pots in the living room. Growing up like that meant working with Jane had been a piece of cake. Substitute “getting inspired for a new painting” with “getting inspired for astrophysics” and it was just like at home.

When Sitwell had explained the position to her and what she was meant to be doing, she figured she’d just been shuffled from one scatterbrained woman to another.

Oh, how wrong she was.

~~*~~

Stark Tower was 100 stories, just slightly shorter than the Empire State building. The first five were the base of the building, a big square thing with some serious old school architecture. Inside, however, it was nothing but sleek modern designs. The base held all the Tower administration offices, such as security, accounting, cleaning crew, etc. The first time Darcy had ever gone up the elevator, those five were labeled with letters, not numbers, to separate them from the rented floors, the SI floors, and the Avenger floors. After E floor came the first floor, then the second, all the way up to 70. The Avengers base started on the 71st floor and to get there you had to go through JARVIS, which was why there were no buttons. Stark Industries took over floors 30-70, with everything below that used by anyone who could afford the ridiculous rent.

When one entered the building they were immediately directed to either an elevator or a massive staircase spiraling up through the center of the first five floors. After that harrowing climb (or ride), you were in the main lobby. It was almost twenty stories high, with large glass plans along one entire wall. The offices and business spaces were nestled against the other side, with windows and even a few balconies facing out into the lobby. When Darcy went to work as liaison to AO for the first time, she’d counted the floors and found her new bosses were the ones who’d apparently put plants in every single balcony. At the time she’d thought they had also had the rails painted in the rainbow but later found out that had been Stark’s “office-warming” gift to them.

Given who lived in the building, the security was exceptionally tight. Anyone there on business had to be escorted by a staff member of whatever company they were visiting. Darcy had had to wait for a muscular man in a red and black uniform to come down and collect her. The only thing he’d said the entire ride up was his name and to request the 80th floor when they’d got on the elevator. He’d then spent most of the ride sizing her up. She found out later from Director Hart that his name was Eric Myers, he took the security of the company and Director Hart way too seriously, and the fact he didn’t take her right back down to the lobby, SHIELD be damned, was because he’d deemed her a non-threat to them.

She still, several months later, didn’t know whether to be insulted or pleased by the assessment.

The 80th floor was in the Avengers section and was all apartments, most of them apparently empty. Eric had led her to a rainbow painted door near the elevator.

She’d followed Eric into the apartment to find her boss bedridden and cursing a blue streak as a familiar SHIELD agent sent a blue shell at her Princess Daisy avatar.

“Dude, that was a dick move!”

Of all things for her to say the first time she’d met Kimberly Hart, that was easily one of the last things she’d wanted to come out of her mouth. The director had grinned at her, taking her eyes off the screen for a split second.

Agent Barton took the opportunity to do it again.

Director Hart cursed and threw her controller at his head.

That was her first clue that she may have overestimated how similar this job was going to be to working for Jane.

~~*~~

“So what do you need before I leave?”

Darcy blinked at the other woman, caught off guard. “What?”

“What do you need before I leave?” Director Hart repeated. “I know you’re supposed to be our liaison but I think you and I both know that’s not…well, you. You’re not SHIELD, Miss Lewis, and you know it.”

It wasn’t lost on Darcy that she had yet to actually call her Agent Lewis. “No, I’m really, really not,” she agreed because even if she wanted to be offended, she couldn’t when she knew it was the truth. She winced. “But I wasn’t kidding when I said they wanted to keep an eye on me. I think the consensus was this was the least damaging job they could find for me to do that wasn’t taking care of Jane.”

“They couldn’t have put you in as an analyst or something?”

“They tried,” she winced again. “It didn’t work out so well.”

Director Hart raised an eyebrow, obviously waiting for further information. While Darcy appreciated that, she really didn’t want to admit that the other analysts had hated her with a fiery passion because, well, she wasn’t them. She was loud, brash, opinionated, and just not SHIELD. She hadn’t fit in and she’d apparently drove everyone in the department nuts. Finally, she told the Director this. The other brunette simply snorted and shook her head.

“SHIELD sounds more and more like they’re full of idiots,” she muttered and Darcy wasn’t sure if she was meant to have heard that. It made her grin though. The Director shook her head again, as if shaking off her thoughts. “So, back to the original question: What do you need before I go see what sort of mess I’m walking back into?”

“You really think it’s a mess?” she couldn’t help but ask and then winced; that was one of the many (many!) complaints against her at SHIELD—not knowing when to stop asking questions.

Director Hart snorted. “Tommy was put in charge. I’ll be surprised if anything is still left standing—he may deny it, but I’m not entirely convinced half the explosions he caused during our ranger fights wasn’t on purpose.”

Darcy blinked at her a moment, thinking back to what she’d been reading about the organization and all the past ranger teams. Nothing she’d read, besides the whole turning his students into rangers thing, seemed to indicate anything but a great leader. She decided to table that for now—she hadn’t met the man herself yet. There was another side to all this the media wasn’t privy to.

“I need something to do,” she finally said. “I will go nuts if I’m just sitting around twiddling my thumbs.”

“I know the feeling,” the original pink sighed. She tilted her head and studied Darcy a moment before nodding to herself. “Could you organize the office and get everyone situated?”

Darcy squeaked. “What?”

“None of us have really had the time to organize the office,” she admitted. “I’m not even sure what’s in it right now. I haven’t been in it since I signed the rental agreement. We need it up and running ASAP.”

“You want me to…”

“I will email you a list of people who will need offices, as well as the round table notes on what the council suggested,” she said. “If you could organize it, that would keep you moderately busy and not twiddling your thumbs. Also, it’d be one less headache for me to worry about right now.”

Darcy thought about everything the woman was handling at the moment. Identities being made public, getting the AO itself off the ground, the investigation into her Olympic medal win and whether they should be rescinded, getting shot…She nodded sharply. “I can do that,” she finally agreed.

They haggled for a good half hour before she left, running into Dr. Mitchell on the way out. Getting on the elevator, asking JARVIS to take her down to the fourth floor, she had one last thought.

At least she knew how to set up a lab. How different could an office be?

~~*~~

There was nothing there.

Literally nothing, no furniture, no people, not even a sign telling people they’d stepped into the main (and only public) office for Alpha Operations. If JARVIS hadn’t assured her she was on the right floor, she’d have thought she was in a space yet to be rented, few though they were.

She was standing in the middle of the main lobby of the floor when an unfamiliar sound made her whirl around. A man was standing there that hadn’t been there a minute ago. He blinked at her a moment before he gave a soothing smile.

“I’m Casey,” he introduced, stepping forward and holding out a hand.

“Where’d you come from?” she blurted out, looking around widely. He dropped his hand but didn't seem all that concerned by it.

“Billy teleported me,” he said, grimacing a bit. “I’m still not sold on the idea but I can’t say it doesn’t have its uses. I’d hate to think how long it would take to get to New York without it.”

Darcy’s brow furrowed as she thought that through. Billy was probably William Cranston, Original Blue. She’d met him very briefly when she’d tried helping Director Hart go out for coffee. His lecture about it had been beyond impressive.

“Are you a ranger?” she finally asked, still eyeing him warily.

“Jungle Fury Red,” he agreed with a wry smile. “Kim asked me to come and help you.”

“She did?”

His wry expression turned slightly sheepish. “I think she was just sick of me making coves in the island without telling her. Also, I help co-run a pizza shop with my boyfriend when I’m not teaching martial arts. I think she thought that might help.”

There was so much of that she didn’t understand so she latched on the two things she did. “You run a pizza shop with your boyfriend?”

“RJ,” he agreed. “You’ll meet him eventually. He was our purple.”

“Oh, I read about him!” she said, suddenly recalling the lengthy article detailing the surge in sales for all the rangers in businesses—“Jungle Karma Pizza, right?”

“Yeah, that’s us,” he agreed. He paused. “I’m not yet on the paperwork, which is why you probably didn’t hear about me. I haven’t been mentioned much in the media, thank god.”

She nodded. She’d seen the media storm from the reveal and she could understand not wanting to deal with it. She’d heard even Pepper Potts had been stunned by the utter magnitude of the response. It had outstripped even Tony Stark’s reveal of being Iron Man. She mostly suspected that was because of just how long their identities had been kept quiet…and just how many rangers there had actually been. Most fan theories prior to the reveal had held that it was mostly the same people fighting, just taking new powers and suits to fit with whatever threat they’d been facing in each city. To find there was almost a hundred different people who’d had the power…

“So you’re here to help, huh?” she finally asked and he nodded, stuffing his hands in his pockets and rocking back on his heels. She crossed her arms and stared at him. “Think you know how to get furniture?”

He stopped moving and finally looked around, taking in utter lack of anything but walls, carpet, and windows. He blinked several times before he sighed heavily. He lifted his wrist to his mouth and she suddenly saw he had the same odd watch she’d noticed most of the rangers she’d met had had. His had a red stripe, like Mr. Myers and Mr. Scott. For his ranger color, she realized; Director Hart and Dr. Mitchell had both had pink while Mr. Cranston had had blue.

“Ranger Command, this is Casey, please come in,” he said, pressing a button.

“Yeah, Case?” a voice came out of the tiny watch. She inched closer. His eyes flickered at her but he didn’t move or argue so she moved even closer.

“Justin, can you do me a favor?”

“Sure, I owe you one for getting Theo to stop trying to organize my command.”

“He meant well,” Casey offered with a brief grin and a wink at her. She felt her own lips curling up in response.

“He was driving me nuts,” the man—hadn’t there been a Justin on the Turbo team?—said. “What do you need?”

Casey paused and then grinned slightly. “Can you inform Kimberly we have literally nothing in the office in New York?”

“When you say nothing…”

“I am standing in the completely empty lobby of the fourth floor of Stark Tower,” Casey said patiently. “The only thing here is me and Miss Lewis.”

Nothing else?”

“Nope, not even a pin,” he agreed. “I’m gonna have to sit on the floor if I get tired of standing.”

“Kim’s gonna blow a gasket,” Justin groaned. There was a deep sigh from the other end of the line. “I’ll do it on one condition.”

“What?”

“Go and get some whipped cream and pie pans. I need them to be teleported to the island.”

Casey and Darcy both frowned. Equally bewildered, they stared at each other a moment before, as one, they looked back down at the watch.

“Why…you know what, no, I don’t want to know why you need whipped cream and pie pans teleported to the island,” the former red said and she just barely held in a sound of disagreement—she wanted to know!

“Jason threatened a pie to the face if anyone was late to the meeting he just called,” Justin offered anyway. Darcy snickered before she could think better of it. Justin chuckled back. Casey simply shook his head, though he was smiling.

“So you’ll tell her if I get the stuff to you?”

“I need it in half an hour,” Justin agreed.

Casey sighed. “Okay, deal. Have one of the Alpha’s teleport the locks and I’ll…see if I can find a place that sells whipped cream and pie pans near the Tower.”

“There’s a grocery store about three blocks north,” she offered instantly. Casey shot her a grin.

“Thank you kindly, Miss Lewis,” Justin said and she smiled. “Half an hour Case. I’m not telling her till I get the goods.”

“Got it. Casey out.”

He lowered his wrist and looked at her with an amused smile. “So…want to show me this grocery store?”

She grinned.

Yeah. She was definitely not with Jane or SHIELD anymore.

This was going to be awesome.

Chapter Text

“Everyone, Oval Office, now!”

Sam startled in his seat, almost falling out of his chair at CJ’s furious declaration. He blinked at the open door of his office until Toby appeared in it, looking as confused and alarmed as he himself felt.

“Let’s go,” he said and Sam shot to his feet, grabbing his coat jacket on the way out of the room.

“Do you know what this is about?” Josh asked when they met him in the anteroom to the Oval Office. Sam could already see CJ inside with President Bartlett, Leo, and (to his surprise), Danny Concannon. CJ and Danny were talking and the more they said, the grimmer both men became.

“What it is, it doesn’t look good,” Sam said in an undertone as they went inside. Charlie followed, closing the door behind him and ratcheting up Sam’s anxiety in the process.

“Danny cam to give us a heads up about something that is about to break,” Leo told them once they were all sitting. Sam focused on his words but his eyes kept straying to where the President was furiouosly sitting. “It’s not good news.”

“Obviously,” Toby drawled.

“What happened? Josh demanded.

President Bartlett looked at them then, his expression softening a bit at what he must have seen. “You are all aware of the various teams of superheroes that have been appearing and fighting in Southerin California, correct? The Power Rangers?” President Bartlett asked. There were nods around the room, some of the faces turning even grimmer at the mention of the teams. Sam knew he was among them; way back when the first team appeared in Angel Grove, he’d ended up going down there for a visit to a family friend with his parents. In the week he’d been there, he’s seen four different fights and two “zord” battles—a busy week for the multicolored team, he’d later discover. When his friends in college had joked and laughed at the news reports, Sam alone had remained silent—having lived through an attack, he didn’t find it funny.

“What happened?” he asked softly.

“A couple months ago the rangers formed a coalition of sorts,” Danny told them. “They operate under the name ‘Alpha Operations’ and are alligned with SHIELD and the UN.”

“They’re half technology developer and half peace-keeping force,” Bartlett broke in. Their director is Kimberly Hart, a woman who used to work at Lone Wolf Technology as the leader of their humanitarian division. She was chosen because she grew up in Angel Grove and impress the rangers there.”

“Actually, sir, according to the list I got, that’s not why she was chosen,” Danny interrupted. Sam watched, a bit confused, as Bartlett frowned.

“What color?” Leo asked.

“Pink,” Danny answered with a slight smile. “The first, if the list is to be believed.”

The room was quiet a moment as Leo, Bartlett, and CJ all seemed to process this. The press secretary was still practically vibrating in her seat, and while it was clear she was still furious, Sam could see a spark of intrigue in her eyes.

“Okay, no one has actually told us what’s going on,” Josh pointed out.

“The rangers have kept themselves pretty secretive, most of their names aren’t known to the public,” Bartlett reminded them. “I’ve been informed it’s mostly due to a rule they follow that’s meant to protect them and their families.”

“Tomorrow morning an article is going to appear in the Times exposing all their identities,” Danny told them when the president looked at him, expectantly.

Sam’s mind blanked at the worlds. He stared at Danny, not fully comprehending what he meant, until CJ handed over a piece of paper.

“Are we sure the list is accurate?” Toby asked after a moment of studying said paper. From Sam’s spot across from him, he could see it was a list of names with writing next to it.

“The reporter got a unanimous tip and did the research,” Danny nodded. “Every single name fits. Additionally, several of them have corresponded on social media and whatnot with other, publicly known, rangers. All of the correspondence indicates a close friendship. They know each other even though they really have no reason to even be on each other’s radar. They come from different towns, backgrounds, occupations…”

“In other words, them all being rangers and being so close would be the connecting pin,” Josh surmised and Danny nodded. “Why come to us?”

“Josh!”

“No, he has a point,” Toby interjected. He looked at Danny. “Why come and tell us?”

“Because many of these people have gone on to have very normal lives, including wives, husbands, and children,” Bartlett answered for him. “Some of them are teachers, doctors, innovators. One was even in the army for a short time. And because we’ll get the question soon anyway—they’ll want to know what the White House thinks about all this.”

Sam felt a bit sick at the thought of kids being in the crossfire just because their parents had risked everything for the world. Josh, next to him, was looking a bit green around the gills too. From the look on CJ’s face, this was what had pissed her off—not that the rangers had been outed but that it was going to put their families in danger.

“And…what does the White House think about all this?”

It was Toby who asked and Sam looked over at Bartlett. He was somewhat startled when the other man stared back and smiled.

 

~~*~~

“Uh, Kimberly?”

“Yeah?” Kim asked, distracted, as she read through a report on the massive amount of people currently on the island.

“You…might want to see this.”

She looked up, blinking, to find Justin at one of the terminals, head tilted.

“What is it?” she asked.

“Looks like the President’s having a press conference,” he answered.

“The President of what?” she asked blankly.

“The United States,” he said.

She blinked again and Justin pressed a few buttons until the picture on the holographic sphere changed from a map of the world to what looked like the White House briefing room. She’d seen it once or twice when her father had asked her to watch, usually when he was presenting something he’d worked with the White House on and wanted her to see him on TV. And, yup, there was CJ Cregg coming to the podium.

“Hold all your questions until the end,” the Press Secretary ordered when dozens of voices immediately began clamoring for her attention. “Carol is coming around with your press brief now. None of this was written by the speech-writing staff—President Bartlett insisted this needed his personal touch. And before any of you ask, yes, this is about the Power Rangers.”

“Call the Council, now, tell them to get to the Senate,” she ordered. “And get this up on the screens there!”

The Senate was already jam packed when she arrived, out of breath. She’d run the entire time, not wanting to miss anything the President said. They needed to know this man’s opinion on all this so they could figure out a plan of, well, not attack but…just a plan. Luckily, given how quickly they’d all gathered, they hadn’t seemed to miss anything except the Press Secretary going over a few finer points of how the conference would work.

“Alright, ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States,” Ms Cregg announced and Kim found a seat near Jason and Billy as the man she’d voted for, a man she’d met in person twice, appeared on screen.

“A little over a year ago, New York was attacked by aliens from the farthest reaches of space,” he began, looking at all of them. “Thousands, millions around the world questioned this, despaired over this confirmation that we are not alone in the universe. Yet there was a group of American’s who did not. Who looked at the editorials, articles, debates, and even the statistics on the cost of destruction and scoffed. They reminded us that we have known for almost twenty-three years that we are not the only intelligent life in the galaxy. They pointed at the footage of the attack in New York and then showed pictures and film of the attacks that have ravaged the coast of southern California since the early nineties.”

Kim was practically holding her breath as the President spoke. She’d remembered what he was talking about—more than one ranger and even non-rangers from ranger towns had complained about the sudden “confirmation” everyone was spouting about. They’d long known most people outside of California thought the rangers were a massive publicity stunt but it had still rankled to be faced with the proof of that opinion.

“The Power Rangers have guarded and defended this country and this world for over twenty-years,” the President continued. “Their armor and weapons have changed, they have moved cities, and many thought they were roughly the same group each time. If not the same group, than one of about five groups who interchanged as needed. Some believed they were not human and indeed, some were even confirmed not to be from Earth. Today, the world has discovered this was not the case. Today, the world has discovered that not only have there been dozens of different Earth born men and women selflessly risking themselves for this planet but many of them were quite young when they took up the mantle of hero.”

Kim heard more than one person suck in a surprised breath of air—she herself was lightheaded and she wasn’t sure it was entirely due to the lack of oxygen.

“Because whatever else they may be, these people ARE heroes,” the President told them with firm conviction. “The dictionary defines a hero as ‘a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities.’ These men and women will never know 99% of the people they protect yet protect them they do. They do it not for the glory or the attention—we have proved time and time again they have never gotten the attention they truly deserve—they do it simply because, as one of them once said, it is the right thing to do.”

Kim was crying. She knew she wasn’t the only one; almost all of them were already highly emotional and to add this on top of it... Of all the thing the President could have said, this was what she’d never quite allowed herself to hope for because she hadn’t wanted to be crushed if he had decried them.

“Now, today, there is a list in The New York Times that has given names and faces of these men and women without their permission or even, I’m told, their notification,” Bartlett finished. “I would remind the American people and truly, the world, that these heroes deserve the privacy afforded to them. I trust that with time they will open up about their experiences and their powers. Until then, allow them the ability to come to terms with what this unsanctioned and, in my mind, thoughtlessly connived revelation will mean for them. Now I will take brief questions. Yes, Danny?”

“Have you spoken to any of the Rangers about this?”

“I spoke with General Mitchell and Carter Grayson this morning on the phone,” he nodded. “I have not spoken to any of the others, though I was reminded by Mrs. Bartlett that I’ve met Kimberly Hart a few times at functions with her father.”

“A follow up question, Mr. President,” the same reporter called. “What did you think of her when you met her?”

“At the time all I knew about Director Hart was that she was a smart young woman who was doing remarkable things for Lone Wolf Technology and the world,” he said. He gave a slight laugh. “I think I also teased Senator Hart about his daughter being the better person of the two of them.”

Kim snorted, her face wet with tears, but a blinding smile gracing her lips.

“What do you have to say about the ages of some of these rangers?” another reporter asked. “Many of them were in their teens at the time of their service.”

“They were and I asked Carter Grayson about that,” the President nodded. “I’ll admit, I’m not happy about it. If I could forbid it from happening again, I would. However, I’ve been told by Mr. Grayson that the rangers themselves have little to no control over who is chosen. The force that chooses them does so because it can tell they are good and honorable people. Given what each and every one of them has gone on to do, I cannot say they have been wrong.”

“I’ll be right back,” Kim murmured as another reporter pressed on the age issue, bringing up Justin. She didn’t see him in the senate, which meant he was probably still in central command.

He was. He was watching a terminal even as the press conference continued playing out on the holographic sphere. “You going to be okay about the outcry about your age?” she asked, not willing to beat around the bush. He sighed but nodded.

“Dad’s already told me how stupid I was,” he said. He gave her a half-smile. “In between gloating and praising me for it, I mean.”

She laughed, going over and wrapping an arm around his waist. She gave a squeeze, watching as the President admitted he was furious about Justin’s age but was withholding judgment in the face of not knowing the situation they had been in at the time.

“Can we teleport something to him?” she asked and he glanced at her a moment before nodding.

“To the podium or to the Oval Office?”

“Can we do the Oval Office?” she asked, surprised. Justin had the good grace to look sheepish.

“Mitchell and Carter have been there a couple times while wearing their communicators so yeah, I can probably teleport something straight to his desk if you wanted,” he admitted. “Might be better to send it to his Chief of Staff though—don’t want to give the Secret Service and all them a heart attack, you know?”

Kim made a mental note to inquire about that later. For now, she needed to find paper and pen.

~~*~~

When Jed got back to the office after the press conference, he found Leo already there, standing by the desk with Ron Butterfield. “What is it?” he asked, not really wanting to hear the answer.

“About ten minutes ago this fluttered down on top of my head,” Leo informed him, holding up what appeared to be a piece of printer paper, folded in half. He grimaced. “It was while you were answering questions.”

“Given Mr. McGarry was alone in his office, we assumed it was sent by special means,” Ron added. “I’m calling General Mitchell in to discuss just how it was done, but we’re pretty sure it’s from the rangers. Or, rather, one specific ranger.”

The President accepted the paper and put on his glasses before opening it. He smiled at the neatly printed pink script.

“Thank you, Mr. President, for your kind words and support. It was so much more than we expected. We’ll do our very best to make you proud. K.H.”