Passing by the edge of the cold winter,
Until the spring days come again,
Until flowers blossom.
Stay in that place just a little bit longer.
It’s been a year and some months since the Power Rangers saved Angel Grove from Rita Repulsa. Aside from having to reconstruct half of their hometown, things have been pretty good for the team of five. Calm and as peaceful as life can be when you’re teenagers who double as super heroes.
They all graduated in June— even Zack, which was a surprise to the entire student body. Most people didn’t even recognize him when he walked across the stage for his diploma. All five of them were accepted into a community college in the next city over, a thirty minute drive from Angel Grove. While it wasn’t as close as they’d have liked, it was the closest college and their best option. Regardless, Zack decided not to enroll; it would be too expensive with the costs of his mother’s medication stacked on top. Billy was lucky enough to get a full ride despite the lunch box incidents.
Trini and Kimberly? Yeah, they’re dating. And neither can really believe it, either, that they’re dating. Each other. It’s a real thing that is happening.
Granted, it took them a very long time to get to that point. They spent months dancing around their feelings, pretending that they totally weren’t just staring and that their hearts were not beating much faster whenever they were near each other. Getting a confession out of Trini was a nearly impossible task, but Zack managed to convince her eventually. Now? They’re the happiest they’ve ever been.
As for the whole saving the universe thing, only one person came to follow Rita’s path of inevitable attack and failure. Her name was Scorpina, and she was… a real bitch. Not to mention the fact that she was angry . Whether she’d been furious over Rita’s death or the fact that Rita failed to a bunch of teenagers, none of them could really figure it out. All in all, she wasn’t too scary. Nothing could compare to Rita Repulsa.
There was a fight, though. The Rangers made sure that their run-in with Scorpina would take place far away from the town, limiting the destruction that would come. They could only lead her out so far before she lost her patience with them and tried to kill everyone. It was fine and dandy until she turned into an enormous scorpion with deadly pincers that freaked Jason out for months .
With their refined Megazord combat skills, they managed to get Scorpina down to her usual size in record time. It was so easy, too easy— the Rangers were positive that they had her completely subdued and didn’t think twice about getting out of their zords.
And then she was moving, grabbing Zack with her perfectly curved blade against his neck and holding him far from the others. A last resort, hostage attempt on Scorpina’s part that absolutely terrified everyone, because they were all pretty sure that Zack was going to die.
Right there, in front of them, with Rita’s angry ex-gal pal’s boomerang blade slicing his throat open.
That moment never came, though, with the help of Billy Cranston. God bless his EMPs and quick thinking, because with one simple blast Billy was able to knock Scorpina back and off of her feet.
Zack was fine, and they finished her off for good. The Rangers could breathe easy again with no evil aliens threatening their lives. Except for the fact that it still bothered them.
What happens when a Ranger dies? Not only physically, literally, but what does it do to the rest of them? To their team?
Jason asked Billy one day after training, while they were walking through the mines, and it took him a long time to think about the answer.
“I was in the morphing grid, I think,” he said, nodding slowly. For a man with amazing memory, the events of that night with Rita were incredibly fuzzy for him. That probably has something to do with the fact that he died, though. “Zordon was there. Oh, and I got to see my dad.”
A week later, they asked Zordon the same question.
What happens to them if one Ranger dies?
“When a Ranger dies, they enter the morphing grid,” Zordon answered. His eyes darted between all of them, thinking about the question and wondering when and why this suddenly became important enough to be asked about. Instead of speaking about such things, he continued with his explanation. “Where they go from that point is up to them. However, there may be complications if the power coin has been damaged.”
Those were definitely not comforting words for anyone.
“What happens if the coin is damaged?” Jason asked with a small step forward.
“Your power coins are permanently tied to your life force. If your coin is destroyed, you will die as well, and no future Ranger will inherit your color.” Zordon paused before continuing, “You will remain in the morphing grid for the rest of eternity.”
It’s safe to say that from that point forward, all of them took better care of their power coins.
It’s been months since the Scorpina attack, but they haven’t been the same.
Not that they’ve changed in a bad way, no— not at all.
They’re looking out for each other more. Protecting each other. Kim is practically always by Trini’s side, holding her hand, leaning against her. Jason has inherited the mom friend traits of making sure everyone wears their seat belts, or takes care of themselves when they’re sick. Trini isn’t particularly complaining about it, either. It feels nice to have people caring for you.
Zack accidentally dropped his coin down a staircase, which sent all five of them into an instant panic for a total of five seconds. Of course nothing had happened to it; they’re Power Rangers, and these damn coins can survive getting hit by a train , of course they can survive stairs. Jason walked away while lecturing him on how important it was to keep the coins safe from any kind of danger, including stairs, not even realizing that Zack stopped listening the moment he started.
Billy mistakenly dropped his own coin in a pot of boiling water. Nothing actually happened to it, and they just so happened to have the greatest meal of spaghetti ever prepared by Billy Cranston that night at dinner.
They take care of their coins, and they take care of each other. It helps that they’re always together, too, in training and at college.
Kim and Trini have been roommates since the very beginning, sharing a dorm room and simultaneously sharing everything else. (Trini doesn’t quite remember an agreement to sharing her collection of cereal, but she swears that her Reese’s Puffs box is getting lighter every day.) Their sharing rule also includes beds, of course, especially now with how protective Kim has gotten.
Waking up every morning to a girl in your arms is fantastic, even moreso when said girl is Kimberly Hart.
“Why are you awake?” Trini mumbles, her only free hand rubbing her eyes. The other is currently trapped under a half-asleep Kim along with the rest of her arm.
Kim just hums, props her head up with an arm and watches Trini stir tiredly. Okay, seriously, is it just her or is Trini getting more and more beautiful every single day? It’s almost as if her eyes get prettier every second, and her face gets softer, or her smile gets brighter—
“Stop staring, you creep.”
Trini’s eyes aren’t even open, because she’s definitely falling back asleep, but she can tell that Kim’s eyes are on her. She’s used to her girlfriend’s bi antics by now.
There’s laughter, light and happy, and Trini thinks that it comes from the both of them. And then Kim is kissing her face, leaving a trail of them across her forehead and on her cheeks, and Trini can’t be bothered to count how many she leaves.
Instead, she drifts into sleep with a smile on her face.
The five of them are training one day when Alpha 5 calls them into the ship for urgent news.
He’s detecting something, and it’s something bad .
The issue is that he can’t actually pinpoint what it is, though, and neither can Zordon. He’s getting readings of something foreign and powerful approaching Earth, fast, and it’s like nothing they’ve ever seen before.
“Ay yi yi, my scanners are giving me fluctuating results that make zero sense! One day, I’m getting powerful readings and then nothing the next,” Alpha 5 sighs, throwing his robot arms in the air with frustration. “Something is close, and it’s big. Catastrophic. It’ll bring mass destruction, and—”
“How long do we have?” Billy asks and nervously shifts in his spot next to Jason. They’re all fearing the worst, that much is obvious.
“We don’t know,” Zordon says, and it’s like a blow to the gut.
How are they supposed to prepare for something catastrophic if they have no idea what they’re preparing for? They can’t just sit around and wait for whatever is coming.
So they train just a little bit harder, swallowing down the fear that’s starting choke them. They train for as long as their schedules let them, somehow making time for classes and studying and assignments that are thrown their way in between. They only eat dinner at the dining hall, because seriously, the food may not be the best but they can eat as much as they want. So, why not? They’re Rangers and they’re hungry as hell. Their hang out sessions outside of training are tense and brief. No matter how many times they watch their favorite movies or go out shopping, it doesn’t change the fact that they’re— according to Alpha 5’s statistics and beliefs— not ready for whatever villain is lurking in the shadows.
Kim never lets go of Trini, either, and Trini wouldn’t have it any other way.
By the time Alpha 5 and Zordon figure out what— who— is coming, it’s too late.
There’s an attack on Angel Grove, destroying at least half of the town. Everything turns to dust, debris, and more importantly, a horrifying count of civilian casualties. Too many. When the Power Rangers finally arrive at the scene, there’s no one there to fight. Kim had been expecting a giant beast like Scorpina or Goldar, something standing out amongst the disaster. But there was nothing, just mass destruction and horrible aftermath.
All of their hearts broke the moment they stepped foot into town.
A few buildings are left standing, just barely being held up by cracked foundation. Bodies are in the streets and the sound of distant screams and pleads don’t fall upon deaf ears. Jason is the first one out of his zord, running down the street and trying to find the voices in need. They all get out then, and do their best at damage control. It’s harder than it looks.
Fires continue to burn left and right. People are crying, no, sobbing and all of this is like a weight on the Power Rangers’ shoulders. Protecting Angel Grove, and on top of that, the world, is their responsibility.
“We need to talk with Zordon,” Jason says through their communicators. The police and firefighters have arrived and are taking over now, but oddly enough their presence doesn’t make anything feel better. No one actually responds to Jason, they notice, even after minutes pass. Eventually his voice comes through again, sterner this time. “We have to go, now. If anyone has answers it’s him.”
He’s right. As much as they want to stay here and try to make up for their massive failure, there’s going to be nothing left next time if they don’t speak to Zordon first.
Each Ranger takes a moment to call their families before they head off, hearts lodged in their throats as they dread the thought of reaching out and finding no one. The destruction wasn’t close to any of their homes at all, but that doesn’t change the fact that their families could have been in town. Billy’s mother could have been grocery shopping at the market on 5th Street, and Jason’s dad could have been driving to work.
Thankfully, no one’s family was harmed in any way during the attack. It does nothing to ease the guilt that they feel.
When they reach the ship in record time, Zordon is busy yelling at Alpha.
“How could we have been so foolish? We should have known by the power force alone that it was him!” Zordon frowns, obviously distressed despite being a part of a wall. That’s how you know they’re in trouble. “We’ve put this planet in an immense amount of danger, Alpha.”
“Zordon,” Jason shouts, finally grabbing his attention as they stomp their way into the room. His footsteps are heavy against the metal floor. “What the hell are you talking about? Who did this?”
A beat of silence.
“His name is Lord Zedd, the Emperor of Evil,” Alpha 5 informs them, opting to break the news to them instead of Zordon. The impact is immediate, sending light chills down Billy’s spine and putting Kimberly on the brink of an anxiety attack. In no circumstance— ever— do you want to hear that your opponent is called the Emperor of Evil. It means absolutely nothing good could come from an encounter, and finally, the Rangers understand why Zordon has been so perturbed.
“When Rita left our team of Rangers to turn on us, she joined forces with Lord Zedd,” Zordon says slowly. A moment passes, as if he’s trying to recall something correctly. “He was… married to her, I believe.”
“Why did you never tell us this?” Kim questions, furious. In that moment, Trini glances over at her and sees something in her eyes that she’s never seen before. A mix of anger and fear, a flame roaring within her that also threatens to spill out in the form of tears. And all she wants— really, she’d do anything for it— is to wrap Kim in the tightest hug of her life and bring her home. To lay down on Kim’s couch and watch one of those poorly directed horror movies that make them laugh. Trini just wants to bring back the happiness to those eyes, but they have a reality to face. A harsh one.
“I didn’t think he would come so soon— not like this. Alpha and I foolishly miscalculated his plans, and now… he’s here,” Zordon sighs. His wall-generated eyes squeeze shut, and it almost looks like he’s in pain. “And I am afraid you are no match for him.”
Trini chokes back a cry. When did these tears form in her own eyes? They all shake their heads in disbelief. First their failure to save half of Angel Grove, and now they’re apparently not ready to save everyone ? It can’t be true. The Power Rangers have beaten all odds before, right? They must have a chance.
“You may not think we have a chance, but we’re still going to fight. Right, guys?” Billy says, and he almost sounds confident. There’s still something in his voice, though. A wavering sense of doubt and fear. They all agree regardless.
“He’s already trying to find the crystal,” Alpha 5 says suddenly. The seconds are ticking by, and every minute that passes is another minute wasted before the possible end of the world. “And now he knows where to look, because… well, it wasn’t on the side of Angel Grove that he destroyed.”
Trini feels a hand interlace with hers, careful but firm. She turns to see Kim staring at her with sad eyes, and Trini squeezes her hand reassuringly. None of them know what’s going to happen, but at the very least, they’re doing it together, right? They can do this. They just have to be strong.
“Lord Zedd’s power mostly lies in his staff. If you can somehow destroy it, you’ll defeat Zedd for good,” Zordon explains, and the morphing grid forms a vague picture of a staff. At the very top is a large, ominous Z. Very creative.
So with mixed feelings from Zordon and Alpha 5, the Rangers move out. The five of them suit up and hop into their zords before heading straight for Angel Grove. Splitting up is not going to be an option, not if Zedd is as serious of an enemy as Zordon claims. In town, rescue teams are roaming the streets with stretchers and S.W.A.T. teams overlook next to armored vehicles. For a long while, the Rangers stay back and watch to avoid interfering with rescue missions.
The worst part? No one even knows what caused this. The news stations are reporting it as a possible terrorist attack, but locals know better. After Rita and Scorpina, it could be anything. Another weird, violent alien with a weird fixation on Krispy Kreme.
Then, when a building collapses in on itself in the distance, the Rangers immediately spring into action.
All of the emergency respondents are scattering, panicking over another attack. Firefighters are shouting directions and the police are hopping into their police cars. The entire scene is a flurry of motion— until they all freeze at the sight of five zords running towards the blast.
For a moment Trini feels hopeful. Maybe with these people in mind (the heroes of a different kind and injured civilians) the Power Rangers can pull through with a newfound strength.
Yet they get to where the blast occurred, and what they see is nightmare fuel.
He’s a menacing man that stands tall and wide— but he has no skin. His muscles are completely visible, and so is the top of his brain, head encircled by some kind of metallic mask. His silver staff is taller, though, with a giant Z looming at the very top.
Most importantly, Zedd doesn’t seem surprised to see them.
“The Power Rangers. I’m glad that you’ve joined me. It would be impossible to kill you if you weren’t here,” he booms. Did the ground just shake?
“You must be confused, ‘cause you’re not killing any of us,” Zack counters with false confidence.
(Oh, if only he knew.)
“We’ll see about that.”
There’s a blast from Zedd’s staff as soon as he raises it, and suddenly each zord makes a clank noise that can’t mean anything good. First is Billy’s Triceratops; it buckles in on itself, collapsing to the ground as all of them scream in terror. Jason’s is next, followed by Trini’s and Zack’s, and lastly Kim’s, which dives right into the asphalt. All of their zords have completely shut down, unresponsive and unmoving.
“Jason, what do we do?!” Trini shouts, mashing all of the buttons on her control panel. Nothing.
No one hears anything from him for a long moment, and they briefly fear the worst.
“...We’re going to have to fight on foot,” Jason says solemnly. Something within the tone of voice he uses, the simple darkness in it, it’s as if they’ve been defeated already. Maybe they have. But that doesn’t mean they’re giving up, not now and not ever, so he’s the first one to hop out of his zord and hit the ground.
The other Rangers follow his lead, leaving their zords and pulling out their weapons. Zack swings his axe around, eager to attack already. Trini adjusts the dual daggers in her hands. Kim has a death grip on her bow as she straightens her posture. Billy pulls out his staff. Jason raises his sword.
They’re ready to fight, even if this will be their last.
(Trini’s power coin hums suspiciously in her suit.)
They all move together as a team, splitting up and swinging at Zedd from different angles. Kim plants herself on top of a stack of debris and inhales deeply, raising her bow, pulling on the taut string as she aims the first arrow. Jason and Zack go in for direct blows, only for Zedd to counter them both with his staff. Their weapons clash with loud, ear-piercing clangs, and Billy takes this as a distraction to sneak up on Zedd from behind.
Every move is predictable, apparently, because Zedd shoves Jason and Zack away in time to turn and block Billy’s swing without an ounce of hesitance. A daring arrow flies between them, serving as a reminder that Kimberly Hart is prepared to take deadly shots. Lord Zedd laughs, pushing Billy back with a blast from his staff, which is when Trini makes her ambush. She leaps into the air and chucks her daggers into his back, where they pierce muscle and stay.
To Trini’s dismay, Zedd seems unfazed by it. He turns to her, points his staff, and is ready to fire a blast at her now that she’s weaponless.
“Hands in the air!”
The sound of multiple guns cocking grabs everyone’s attention— and there on the corner of the street is a squad of police officers with S.W.A.T. not too far behind. When Lord Zedd faces them, silver staff in the air, an officer takes the first shot. Everyone starts firing, shot after shot after shot, missing their target and hitting him yet still making no difference.
Among the shots, Trini thinks she can hear Jason yelling something like, “No! Get out of here, quickly!”
But then Zedd is swinging his staff in the police’s direction, releasing a beam that looks a lot like a lightning strike and…
Everything in that spot explodes. Including the people.
Silence. The most unsettling, horrifying silence any of them have ever experienced. One second, gunshots ringing through the air— the next, absolutely nothing. Every individual that was just standing there is dead, destroyed at the hands of Lord Zedd.
While the Power Rangers just stood there.
Jason, enraged, starts swinging at Zedd with his sword. Never have they seen their leader this angry, especially not after a moment like that, so Trini runs as quickly as she can to Zedd and pulls out her daggers before driving them right back into flesh. The sound of laughter is the last thing Trini wanted to hear as a result. Some shouts of pain would have been nice.
With a few blows, Jason gets knocked away first. Seconds later is Trini, Zedd’s force sending them into a nearby building and straight through the walls.
As Trini struggles to push herself up from under the collapsed rubble, she can feel her power coin vibrating intensely. It heated up sometime during the battle, burning in its special slot on her suit.
Billy, Kim, and Zack continue fighting. It’s going as well as the first time, which isn’t good at all.
“I’m going to get my crystal, and kill all of you,” Zedd says, and it oddly sounds like he’s grinning evilly, even if they can’t see it. That silver mask of his just makes him more terrifying. “Just as Rita failed to do.” He aims his staff towards the infamous Krispy Kreme, and the building gets destroyed by another intense blast.
Zack charges at him with his axe, prepared to strike with a quick blow to Zedd’s arm— but Zedd is always one step ahead. He swings his staff into Zack’s chest, who stumbles backwards and falls. With the black ranger stunned, Zedd seizes the opportunity as a moment to kill , raising his staff in order to drive it down through Zack’s body.
That’s when Trini’s daggers fly through the air and take him by surprise, Lord Zedd narrowly avoiding the attack. Zack realizes that this is his chance to roll away from danger, coughing up blood.
Kim is firing her arrows, but they don’t seem to be affecting Zedd very much. One of them grazes his staff though, and she remembers that Zedd isn’t the real target here. She gets a direct hit on the weapon’s giant Z, causing it to freak out momentarily, buzzing and sparking in ways that it shouldn’t.
“My arrows aren’t doing enough damage. We need something stronger,” Kim calls out through their communicators, already aiming for another shot.
Trini feels her power coin burning hotter, the heat seeping through her suit.
“Got it,” Jason says, and swings his sword at Zedd. They clash, sword against staff, and Jason is really trying, but he doesn’t possess enough strength to destroy it. Zack and Billy jump in soon after, also using their weapons to strike the staff.
Yet all Zedd does is laugh at them. He blasts them all away with a flash of light, throwing them in different directions. One by one, the three boys hit the ground in a state of unconsciousness.
“No…” Kim whispers, low enough that Trini has to strain to hear it. They’re thinking the same thing, and Trini knows this. With three of them down, there’s no way that they can win a battle, let alone against Lord Zedd. Trini looks around to examine the situation: the boys are out, Zedd looks like he can continue fighting for hours, and god damn it , why is my power coin vibrating like that?
Regardless, they have to do something. Blinded by some kind of rage, Trini and Kim lunge at Zedd in a final effort to stop him with hand to hand combat. It’s not making much of a difference, really. It’s just a temporary solution to slow Zedd down. They land a few punches that push Zedd back a foot or two, hitting the silver staff, doing their best.
But then Zedd is hitting Kimberly, sending her into a wall. He’s raising his staff, pointing it directly at her, laughing. Kim is struggling, trapped by rubble that pins her to the concrete.
Trini’s power coin is glowing, vibrating, burning into her skin—
And now, finally, she understands what she has to do.
“Hey, Zedd!” Trini shouts hoarsely, fighting all of the pain in her body to pry the power coin off of her suit. He turns to face her, not expecting the outburst. But she’s already lunging at him by then, grabbing the staff in his moment of confusion. It slips out of his grasp in a split second, and Trini immediately knows that this battle is over. She slams her power coin against the Z shape and holds it there against the cold metal. She can feel it vibrating against her palm, growing in its strength, humming loud enough to deafen.
“Trini, what are you doing?!” Kim is screaming her name, trying to get her to stop, but there’s nothing to be done about it now. The coin glows brighter, and a crack forms over the surface.
Zedd is lunging at her, arms reaching for the staff, and everything in this moment is moving so slow .
Trini feels the sadness fill her chest, her lungs. It’s so heavy that she almost feels like she can’t speak, but she finds it in her to lower the mask of her suit and look Kimberly in the eye.
Kim’s mask is down, too ( when did that happen? ), and she’s crying.
“I love you, Kimberly Hart.”
...And, okay, those are definitely the cheesiest final words in the book. But that was her final thought, so it’s only fitting, right?
The power coin shatters in its amount of force, followed by a blast and flash of light that knocks them all backwards. Dust fills the air, drying Kim’s mouth as it hangs open in disbelief. She coughs, shoving off the broken bits of building that have been holding her down so that she can see the aftermath.
The staff has been destroyed to pieces— and so has Trini’s power coin.
It’s only a matter of seconds, really, but to Kimberly the moment feels like years.
Trini’s suit is fading away, retracting into her body, and she’s collapsing to the ground. Lord Zedd is on the ground already, motionless. The boys are stirring— or at least, Billy and Jason are.
But Trini is hitting the ground so quickly, in her regular clothes, eyes shut. In an instant Kim is at her side, holding her, screaming and crying and pleading for her to just open her eyes . There’s no reply. No comment or sarcastic remark, no teasing smirk, nothing. The yellow power coin is in hundreds of pieces on the street, cracked apart and completely dull. Lifeless.
Just like Trini.
That's right, I hate you.
Even though you left me,
Not a day passed
Where I didn't think about you
(Honestly I miss you.)
But I’ll erase you,
Because it hurts less
Than to blame you.
She almost didn’t go to the funeral.
Truthfully, Kim knew that the other Rangers were counting on her to be there. Trini’s parents had asked her to give a eulogy, since they were “so close.”
(They have no idea.)
And Zack has been a complete mess since the day it all happened. Jason and Billy have been handling it somewhat better, but even they can’t comfort Zack. They haven’t seen him in a few days, not when he’s locking himself into his room at home without a word to anyone. Even Zack’s mom is concerned for his well-being, and told them so when they tried to go visit. It’s not looking great for him.
Kim? Well, Kim’s not doing much better.
She’s really trying, but any time she thinks about or does anything it always comes back to Trini. She can’t sleep; not when Trini isn’t there with her. She can’t step foot inside of a donut shop anymore. Not without Trini ordering her favorite chocolate glazed donuts and a medium cup of hot chocolate. Everything just feels empty, like something is missing — because something is missing.
She’s trying. But it’s hard.
And to think that they want Kim to get in front of a crowd of mourning people, to talk about the greatest thing that ever happened to her— which is now gone —
And then, she thinks about what the news has been saying. It was hard to hide that Trini was the yellow ranger. When only four of the Rangers remained after their battle with Zedd, and a news copter flew by just after Trini had… done what she did, filming on live television that the pink ranger was holding the body of a deceased female… People were able to put the pieces together.
Trini’s family could hardly believe it, and the four of them had to act just as surprised. As if they could have never seen such a thing coming. No one would ever suspect four teenagers to be the Power Rangers, even with the suspicious number coincidence and how torn up they were over losing Trini. They’re just the kids that went to school with her and had no idea that she was a part-time superhero. Trini Gomez has now been hailed as a hero by everyone in not only Angel Grove, but the entire world. The girl who practically no one realized existed . She’s a hero to the entire planet, and she’s not even alive to see it.
In the end, Kimberly knew she had to go to the funeral. It was going to be broadcasted on TV, which only fueled her anxiety, but it wouldn’t be fair if she didn’t go. It wouldn’t be fair to the boys, the Gomez family, and most importantly, Trini.
So she goes to the funeral home, squeezes herself through the crowd full of people in black and makes it to the front where the family and close friends are. Zack is the first one she sees. He doesn’t look good, at all; his eyes are bloodshot and red around the rims. His hair is a disaster, untamed as if he hasn’t showered in a week. Then there’s Billy, silently standing by Jason’s side and staring at the floor. He’s been crying too, Kim thinks.
(But then again, they’ve all been.)
She walks up to them, giving a watery smile emphasized by puffy eyes, and the boys don’t hesitate to hug her. They stay like that for a while, embracing each other in a group hug that they all needed desperately. Something about being around the boys makes Kim feel a bit better, because with them around she knows that she isn’t alone. There’s still a gaping hole where Trini used to be, but she also has three loving best friends to help her through it.
The funeral eventually starts and the Rangers join hands, sharing their strength. They can do this, really. Together.
And they make it through most of the funeral service without any major breakdowns, which Kim considers a big success. Even when June Gomez stepped up to the wooden podium in front, sharing stories about Trini’s childhood and expressing her gratefulness to have such an amazing daughter— a phrase Trini probably would’ve laughed at— they were fine. Kim was pretty sure Jason’s hand was trembling, and Zack was choking back a sob, but they pulled through.
The moment they announce that it’s Kimberly’s turn to speak, it all goes out the window.
She walks up to this small podium, in front of these mourning people and news stations broadcasting with expensive camera setups, and swallows nervously.
“Trini was…” she starts, trying to organize her thoughts. The room is completely silent as everyone waits. “Trini meant the whole world to me. She still does.” There are tears welling in her eyes. Someone off to the side is sobbing, and she thinks it’s Zack. “I had no idea that Trini was the yellow ranger over the year and a half that I knew her,” she lies. It’s easier than she thought it’d be. “But I always knew that she was amazing in every way possible. The world didn’t deserve her.”
There’s a tear running down Kim’s cheek as she tries to focus her eyes on the ridiculous amount of people at this funeral. Another tear quickly follows the first, and she has to fight the urge to completely fall apart on national television.
“I didn’t deserve her. And neither did the Power Rangers. They— They failed her, and she sacrificed herself for them. They couldn’t protect her or save her, or anyone else for that matter.” Kim can feel the anger and sadness boiling up inside of her, and a pain that has overcome her heart. Jason is staring at her with his own wet eyes as Billy and Zack cry beside him. “I’m so sorry, Trini. I love you so much. As a friend — my best friend, and my girlfriend.”
There’s a slight gasp from someone else, and it’s probably one of Trini’s parents, but she just doesn’t care. (They never really came out Trini’s family, did they? Huh.)
Kim abruptly steps away from the podium and gets out of the room, and the entire building, as quickly as her feet can take her.
It’s been a month since the funeral, and Kim has made some progress. Emphasis on “some.”
She doesn’t lock herself in her room anymore, and she’s started sleeping and eating more on the regular. Jason stops by every now and then to check on her, usually at night when she has trouble falling asleep. Everything has become so foreign without Trini, as if life started over on a blank slate. As if Kim is back to that night before the Rangers found each other, on top of that mountain in the mines, standing on the edge of a cliff. Despite this, Kim is getting better. She really is.
But everything still hurts, and somewhere along the way Kim started to feel… angry.
The feeling just sort of crept up on her slowly, worming its way into her thoughts that never seemed to end. One day while cleaning her room, Kim found some of Trini’s old t-shirts in her drawer and angrily tossed them aside without a second thought. The following days she found herself thinking things like how could Trini just do that? How could she just leave us?
And Kim doesn’t realize how irrational it is until one night, she ends up saying it all to Zack.
They’re sitting in his mobile home, watching the second Avengers movie, Age of Ultron . The two of them have been doing this more often, hanging out only to watch things with little conversation in between. It’s mostly an innocent distraction for them, and neither have them have seen this particular movie before.
They just passed the scene where Quicksilver dies to save Hawkeye and a little boy. His body collapses to the ground littered with holes.
Kim can hear Zack sniffling, unsuccessfully trying to hide whatever it is that he’s feeling. (She already knows what it is.)
“Why would he do that?” Kim says, before she can even think about it. Zack immediately stares at her, confused.
“Why would he just sacrifice himself like that? Didn’t he consider what it would do to Wanda? He was all she had! And now he’s — he just — ” Kim doesn’t realize that she’s crying until she feels Zack’s arms wrap around her, pulling her in against his chest. Judging by his shallow breathing, Zack is crying too. She lets all of the emotions that have been building up inside of her out in that moment, sobbing on his couch. God, they have every right to be angry, don’t they? Not even necessarily at Trini, just at the fact that this is so unfair. Why did Trini have to be sacrificed for the sake of the universe? They couldn’t have found any other way? The Power Rangers couldn’t have been good enough? Then, of course, maybe they were never good enough in the first place.
A few minutes go by, neither of them caring about the movie anymore.
“I miss her.” Kim breathes, body shuddering as more tears fall.
“I miss her too,” Zack says, and neither of them say anything else.
A year passes.
Everyone is doing better, really. Their college grades are finally improving, and they’ve started to become more social. A few college frat parties on Jason and Zack’s part, which usually get them plastered and Zack will sometimes pass out on someone’s lawn. None of them ever want to be the one that picks him up— not after the time he threw up in the back of Jason’s truck. Zack tends to drink too much when he gets his hands on alcohol, but it’s not too bad anymore. Billy has been inventing some really cool stuff; he’s made new weapons and devices with the help of Alpha 5. During the weekends and over breaks, Billy dedicates most of his free time to creating this new tech. Now that they’re down to four Rangers, they need more options, after all.
(They all visit Trini’s grave at least twice a week, too.)
And Kim has been doing her best. She’s going out more, getting more active and signing up for intramural sports. She’d even been asked out on a date once— and she said yes, surprisingly. The unsurprising part is that it didn’t go well, and she ended up at Trini’s grave afterwards. She sat there for half an hour, crying into the cold night, until Jason found her and brought her back to his and Billy’s dorm room.
Sometimes things are difficult, but they’re improving.
No new threats have popped up for them, either, which is fortunate. They’re still not quite used to fighting as a team of four. Can they even still form the Megazord? (They asked Zordon, and he said he wasn’t sure. If anything, the answer relied completely on them. Leave it to the face on the wall to give them cryptic replies, right?)
At the very least, hopefully they’ll have more time to train and practice new strategies, no matter how much their hearts hurt to do so.
Maybe they have less time than they think.
When Rito Revolto showed up and Alpha 5 informed them of his presence, the Rangers honestly thought it was a joke. The guy’s name is Rito Revolto, for fucks sake. But it’s true, and the hideous skeleton man is apparently Rita’s brother. Somehow. Even though he legitimately looks like a walking Party City prop with a bone sword.
It would have been foolish to underestimate him solely on his name, however, when even Zordon warned them to be careful. When Rito finally struck in the outskirts of Angel Grove, they braced themselves for whatever this battle had in store for them just as they would with any other threat.
They pretended to be nervous about Rito and his powers, but really, they were mostly nervous about this being their first real battle without Trini. Who could blame them? Fighting as a team of five is much different from fighting as a team of four. Transitioning from five to four is even more difficult, especially when it happens so… suddenly.
While Rito Revolto was basically a walking Halloween costume, just slightly creepier, he was strong.
As soon as the Rangers arrive to the scene, Rito is flying through the air with a— is that a jet pack? You’ve got to be kidding.
“Is it just him?” Zack questions as they come to a halt in the streets. “No, uh... putties? No offense to the guy, but I expected more from Rita’s brother.”
“That’s a good thing. We don’t need him to do more damage to the town,” Jason says, watching as Rito lands on top of a building. Is he laughing? He’s definitely laughing. It is very distant, unmistakably maniacal laughter. With a deep inhale, Jason adds, “Get out of your zords. We’re doing this on foot.”
Everyone hesitates for a few seconds.
“But, Jason—” Billy stops himself from continuing. The last time they fought an enemy on foot, they lost Trini. No one wants to directly say it, but they’re all thinking the same thing, and they’re terrified.
“I said what I said. We’ll do less destruction to the town on foot,” Jason says, already hopping out of his cockpit. “There’s no need to cause more damage.”
It takes them all a moment, but eventually everyone leaves their zords. They line up in the street and raise their weapons defensively in a show of solidarity. Rito starts to descend from his rooftop, still laughing (and seriously, what’s so funny? Billy glances at Zack, because he’s pretty sure that he missed something, but Zack just shrugs.)
“The Power Rangers, oh man! Let’s get fighting!” Rito shouts, pulling out his sword and unclipping something that looks like a grenade from his belt. If anything is for sure, it’s that Rito Revolto is extremely different from Lord Zedd. Zedd was evil to his very core and looked like something from every child’s nightmares. They’d been told by Zordon that they stood no chance against the likes of Lord Zedd. The only thing Alpha had warned them about before leaving was Rito’s “impressive sword skills” that were up to par with Jason’s.
In fact, Rito turns out to be better than Jason, because he manages to knock Jason off of his feet as soon as the fight begins. They’re running at him trying to strike, but Rito just fights all four Rangers simultaneously, swinging his sword around.
“Jason, look out!” Billy shouts. Rito’s bone sword is already being swung by the time Jason registers it— and he has to thank football for his quick dodging reflexes. He takes a step back just in time to avoid getting injured, but that attack was way too close to—
“He was aiming for your power coin, Jason.”
Kim’s voice is shaky as she says it. The realization sets in that Rito is onto something here, and he isn’t entirely stupid. Still, they don’t think that this is going to be much of a challenge. Not really, at least. No one can compare to Lord Zedd.
“I’m going to get the crystal! Tell me where it is,” Rito demands, waving around his sword, “and I won’t destroy all of your coins!”
That really gets them listening. With the way all of them freeze up, Rito knows he said something right for once.
Then Zack says, “Wait, you don’t even know where the zeo crystal is?”
And Rito realizes that he still fucked up.
“No— I mean, yes! Don’t make me destroy you all!” Rito threatens again, and this time flies straight into action. With the help of his jetpack, he launches himself towards Zack. The Rangers are quick to react, jumping out of the way and getting ready to strategize for effective moves that can take him out. Jason is about to throw out some orders, but the skeleton has something else in mind.
Rito flies for Kim this time, sword stretched out in front of him as he screeches some kind of battle cry. Always the quickest among their team, Kimberly jumps out of the way and shoots an arrow from her bow that just barely grazes Rito’s helmet. She growls in frustration at her poor aim.
There’s only one reason for that. Her mind is stuck elsewhere, not particularly on this battle. Instead the only thing Kim can think about is Trini , Trini’s power coin, how it looked shattered to pieces in the street. She can’t let that happen again to anyone here. Hell, she shouldn’t have let it happen to Trini in the first place.
So maybe Kimberly ends up being a little reckless with how she’s fighting, getting closer to Rito than she should as an archer. It doesn’t seem like too bad of an idea in the heat of the moment. The boys are backing her up, clashing weapons with Rito and battling with all of their might. This fight seems to be leaning in their favor, if Rito’s exhausted panting is anything to go by.
Until he swings his sword low, and the blade hits Kim’s power coin in one swift and powerful movement. Even though the pink power coin isn’t technically a part of her body, Kim feels the crack form.
And then there’s nothing.
She wakes up on a beach.
The brown sand is warm against her hands, as if the sun has been beating down on it all day. Only clouds fill the sky, though, covering the sun’s rays and saving Kim the trouble of having to block it’s harsh rays. The sound of waves crashing against the shore is calming as the ocean moves mindlessly.
It’s beautiful, but still leaves Kim wondering one thing as she sits up in the sand: where the hell is she? Not Angel Grove, that’s for sure. The beaches there are filthy and smell like dead fish thanks to the numerous docks, and this beach smells familiar. Like she’s been here before, but Kim is sure that she hasn’t. Maybe it’s just a coincidence that—
“You’ve got some sand in your hair.”
Kim’s heart stops completely. She’d recognize that voice anywhere, no matter how long it’s been. Even if they’d been reincarnated in another life, in another time, she’d know that voice and always come running back to it.
She turns around with her heart in her throat, and sure enough, there it is. The sight she’d been hoping to see.
Trini is standing there, hands shoved in the pockets of her bomber jacket, smiling so fondly that Kim feels the tears well up in her eyes. This can’t be real, this can’t be real, this can’t be real —
And then she’s standing, running over to Trini and hugging her so tightly that Kim is pretty sure it would kill someone who isn’t a Ranger.
“Trini, is… is it really you?” Kim whispers, fighting back the urge to cry. God, Trini is just radiating warmth and she feels so solid and real and she is definitely here right now .
“Yeah. It’s me, princess,” Trini nods. Her voice trembles, threatening to crack open and spill out a flood of emotions. They hug for a very long time, or at least for what seems like a very long time. Kim doesn’t want to let go and neither does Trini, so they stand on this empty shore for an eternity in each other’s arms instead. “What are you doing here?” Trini asks, finally pulling back enough to look Kim in the eyes. They’re just as rich as she remembers them being (even with the unshed tears glossing them over).
“What do you mean?” Kim frowns and looks around. The environment looks so quiet and serene, a field stretching out in the distance that leads to nothing. Breathtaking, but not Angel Grove. “Where am I?”
“You’re in the morphing grid, Kim,” Trini says, shaking her head. “You’re here, with me. And as happy as I am to see you, I didn’t think I’d see you this quickly.”
It starts flooding back to Kim. The fight with Rito, and his sword slicing her power coin, leaving a long crack through its surface. But... she’s not dead. Kim can feel it— like half of her is here and half is still on Earth, alive and breathing. She can feel the panic from the boys as they carry her body to the ship, power coin on hand, handing it over to a worried Alpha. The small wave of relief as Alpha says that they can do something to fix this and save Kim’s life. She can feel Jason’s stress levels rising, and Zack’s broken heart. Billy’s optimism.
She can feel all of it.
“We were in a battle with Rito Revolto,” Kim explains, and notices the way Trini’s eyebrows raise. “Yeah. He’s as ridiculous as he sounds.”
Trini laughs a little at that, which reminds Kim of just how much she missed hearing that sound. Her favorite sound in the world.
They talk for a while, sitting there on the beach, watching the ocean and discussing everything. Kim tells her about the funeral, and how the entire world knows that she was the yellow ranger. About how she’s a hero. It doesn’t surprise Trini that her parents asked Kim to speak at the service, nor does it surprise her that they stopped talking to her after the eulogy. (Trini has to admit, though, it’s about time her parents found out about their relationship. Imagining the look on her mother’s face has her lips forming a little smirk.) And Kim tries to leave out how heartbroken she was the whole time, through every single moment of the past year, but it’s evident in how her voice cracks every so often.
Trini ends up pulling her in for a hug, and then a kiss.
God , the kiss.
It shatters the last bit of restraint Kim had left and she finally lets herself cry again, with Trini here in her arms and their lips together once more. It feels like home, and this whole time Kim has been homesick.
“I’ve missed you so much,” Kim eventually says as Trini wipes away the tears from her cheeks and cups her face gently. While her voice is still unsteady, Kim finds herself smiling.
“I missed you too, Kim.” Trini sighs and smiles sadly, lacing her fingers with Kim’s. “It’d be cool if you could stay, but you need to go back. Defeat Skeleton Guy, save the world again. You can do it, even without me, you know.”
Kim sheds another tear as she nods. “I… I know. I have to go back. Just wait for me, okay?”
As she says this, Kim’s body begins to fade away, becoming more transparent. She can hear the boys chatting distantly. Already? I couldn’t have gotten five more minutes with Trini? I still have too many things to say—
“I will. I don’t have much else to do here,” Trini says, a laugh escaping her lips amongst her own tears. Kim laughs a little too, despite herself. Everything just feels so easy again. Their faces turn serious again and Trini whispers, “I’ll wait, Kim. Always will.”
And just before Kim completely disappears, returning to her life, she says, “I love you, Trini Gomez.”
Kim jolts up into a sitting position, and is significantly less comfortable than she was sitting on the sand. This time she’s on the cold, metallic floor of the ship, surrounded by the boys and Alpha 5. For a minute the boys just stare at her in shock as Kim takes in the familiar surroundings. Then they’re pulling her into a tight group hug, mumbling things about how scared they were and how thankful they are to have her back, and… is someone crying?
After they let Kim go, Billy frowns and asks, “Why are you crying, Kimberly?”
She feels the wet tracks on her face and wipes them away, a small smile forming on her lips.
“I saw Trini,” Kim says, more to herself than anyone else. As if she might forget that it happened, or that she’ll end up convincing herself that it wasn’t real. But that moment was real, and for the first time in a year Kim could finally hold the love of her life in her very arms. Just for a moment.
Everyone nods in understanding, and Zack’s eyes get watery at the mentioning of Trini, but then the urgency occurs to them again. Rito Revolto is still out there.
“Billy used one of his new stationary weapons to stall Rito until we could get you back here,” Jason informs her, already beginning to morph into his suit again. “We don’t have much time left.”
On that note they grab the zords and take off to Angel Grove. Wielding her new fiery determination, Kim makes sure to crush Rito Revolto to pieces.
Trini would be proud.
I guess cherry blossoms are blooming.
I wonder, is this winter ending too?
If you wait just a little bit more,
If you stay awake for just a few more nights,
I’ll go to meet you (I'll go there to meet you)
I’ll come to get you (I'll come to get you)
Years have passed and the Rangers are growing tired, but things are going well.
The four of them moved into an apartment not too far from Angel Grove, sharing rent and working on a regular basis. It’s strange how they managed to become functioning adults, despite everything they’ve gone through. Their jobs are mediocre; Jason took over for his dad out at sea, Zack is a mechanic, and Kim can only work part-time with all of the time she spends back in school. Who knew training to become a nurse could be so draining? Billy has the best job out of the four, working for a big business company as IT.
Jason and Billy got married two years ago, which was the talk of the town for months. (Zack and Kim had cried in pure joy throughout the entire thing. It was absolutely beautiful, with all of the red and blue decorations and geeky goodie bags.) On the other hand, Zack and Kim haven’t done much dating. The few times they found a decent date, it was ruined by the interference of their Ranger duties and abrupt needs to leave for emergencies. They evidently never worked out.
(Not that Kim wanted them to, anyway.)
They’ve had some foes here and there, trying to steal the crystal from the ground— the usual. But one by one, they were all defeated by the world’s greatest heroes, the Power Rangers. The mysterious aliens that defend a small town in California and most likely the whole universe. Earth’s saviors.
Their powers were weakening, though, and it was obvious enough for the four of them to notice. When Zack could barely lift a car over his head, they thought he was just having a bad day. Fluctuating mood, fluctuating powers. But then they realized it wasn’t just Zack, it was all of them. So they did what they usually do when the Power Rangers need answers: they went to Zordon.
“Soon…” Zordon said simply, lips forming a tight line. The room seems oddly darker than usual. “Your power coins will move on to locate your successors. In a matter of time, you will no longer be the Power Rangers.”
What that meant for them, they weren’t quite sure. (They’re pretty sure they know.)
That night, Zack suggested that they all head back home and relax. They could put on a movie and order food. He joked that they could “pretend to be teenagers again,” but the joke went a little too deep for anyone to laugh at it. Between him, Kimberly and Jason, they managed to empty two bottles of vodka and eat three boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts with Billy. For the first time since high school, they felt like normal human beings who didn’t have the weight of the entire universe resting on their shoulders. Movies on TV and comfort found within each other.
Everyone ignores the emptiness in their hearts, and no one acknowledges the fact that these get togethers felt more invigorating during high school.
Master Vile is attacking Angel Grove, and he’s much stronger than anything they’ve ever faced before, including Lord Zedd. Who, apparently, is Master Vile’s son-in-law. Who knew? That’s one family tree Billy would like to see.
Somehow, he’s scarier than Lord Zedd. That alone says a lot , considering the amount of nightmares each one of them has had since the day they fought him. Kim hasn’t gone a night without seeing Zedd’s skinless figure hurting her friends and killing Trini. It’s almost become normal for her, having to deal with this on a daily basis, but that doesn’t mean it hurts any less. Not when she constantly has to relive the pain of that battle any time Kim shuts her eyes.
So, yes, to say that Master Vile is worse than Lord Zedd means nothing but horrible things for the Power Rangers.
Their zords are in horrible shape already from fighting off Vile’s henchmen and sidekicks, who have all proven to be surprisingly powerful. Zack and Billy managed to take out two of them for good with some strategizing and fierce attacks. Jason and Kimberly accepted the task of distracting Master Vile and keeping him away from the zeo crystal.
The clock is ticking down for them, that much is obvious.
Vile is just hatching up more henchmen from what seems like thin air. While most of them are complete idiots who start bickering with each other over minor details, the fight isn’t easy. Billy is the master of crowd control, so he jumps into the epicenter of enemies and activates an EMP that knocks everything down within his radius. A few buildings take collateral damage, but that’s not important right now.
“You may have defeated my daughter and her fool of a husband,” Master Vile shouts, raising his golden staff to the air, “but you will not defeat Master Vile!” Wind circulates around him, forming a vicious wind tunnel of energy and power. His cloak flaps around him as everything starts to change— he starts to change, growing larger and larger until it’s enough to loom over a Megazord. The laughter that he emits shakes the ground beneath them all.
This is it. This is the end for the current team of Power Rangers.
“No one dies alone,” Jason says, and it brings back memories of their first fight with Rita. The moment they all believed would be their last in a flaming pit— and it is nothing compared to this. They all whisper the words back as one final promise, a promise to stick together until the very end.
It’s only fitting that in their final moments, the four remaining Power Rangers sacrifice themselves to save the universe.
So that’s what they do, and it feels right. The power coins will be in good hands, if what Zordon said was true. A new team of superheroes will rise and they’ll be better than the last; they will save the universe, and hopefully they’ll do a better job at it.
And Jason, Billy, Zack and Kim will be able to take down this evil, fucked up family once and for all.
The soft feeling of sand beneath her body and the sound of waves crashing upon a shore immediately inform Kim of where she is. She opens her eyes and sits up, brushing sand off of her shirt. Nothing has changed, even though it’s been years. The sky is just a tad cloudy. Waves upon waves drifting in from sea. Warm, brown sand that slips through Kim’s fingers when she scoops up a small handful. The environment is exactly the same— but something feels different this time.
I’m actually here this time, Kim thinks, because she feels whole. Her entire being is inside of the morphing grid now, which means that the Power Rangers succeeded and lost their lives while destroying Master Vile. It worked. The boys must be here too, then, and…
Remembering the first time she was here, Kim shoots up from her spot on the ground and shakes off loose grains of sand. She doesn’t even realize that she’s holding her breath until she turns around, emotions running high and heart pounding. The moment Kim sees her, tears begin to fall and she chokes out a half-cry, half-laugh.
Trini is there, waiting for her, smiling.