Author's Note: Saban, not me. There's the disclaimer. Tanis is owned by me, as are all things having to do with her. She is purely fiction
Kim fidgeted in her seat. *Omigosh, I can't believe that I'm actually doing this!* she thought in barely contained excitement. She felt a pang of loneliness when she realized that she was moving away from her family and friends, but it was squashed determinedly by the thrill of a new life, and a realized dream. The bubbly girl calmed down a little as the plane took off. After a few minutes, she quickly reached four the motion sickness bag beside her.
Tommy sat dejectedly in the youth center. Aisha sat down beside him. "Cheer up Tommy. It's what she's always dreamed of." she chided. He smiled at his only local female friend as of two days ago.
"Hey Tommy! Come spar with me!" Adam called from the mats as Rocky walked away tiredly from the offer of a second match. Tommy grinned at the ever cheerful Adam.
"Okay! But be prepared to scrape yourself off the mats when I'm finished with you!" he joked. Rocky sat down in Tommy's now empty seat.
"Ouch..." he groaned.
"Adam seems excited." Billy commented, joining them at the table.
"He ought to be. His cousin is coming to live with him." Rocky explained.
"Why?" Aisha asked curiously.
"Well.. according to Adam, her Dad died when she was about three. So her mom remarried some jerk who she hates. Then her mom died about four years ago so she was living with her jerk stepdad. Now he's getting remarried, and she just came into her inheritance, cause she's eighteen. So she got the house, the money, the car, everything." Rocky grinned.
"This is the best part. When she found out last week he was getting married to some chick two years older than her, she gave him the boot. Now he hasn't got anything, because it all belongs to Adam's cousin." Aisha laughed.
"Good for her!" She chuckled.
"When is she getting here?" Billy asked, just as Tommy burst out laughing.
"Apparently, he told Tommy." Aisha smirked.
"She gets here next week. Adam wants us to go with him to pick her up because his dad has to work." Billy shrugged. "I'm free."
Adam drummed his fingers boredly on the table.
"Ugh.. Rocko, how can you eat that?" Tommy asked as Rocky sat down with a huge fattening burger.
"Oh.. Gross." Aisha grimaced. Rocky just grinned, and bit unto it. A little grease ran down his chin, and he wiped it with a napkin.
"Adam!!" someone shouted. Everyone looked up. Across the airport stood a young woman, waving at him. Adam leaped out of his seat and ran to her.
"Tanis!!!" he shouted, and swung her into a hug. She laughed, and smiled, returning the hug.
"How are you?" she asked.
"Great! I want you to meet my friends." he said, grabbing two of her suitcases. They were very light. "Is this all the stuff you brought?" he asked. Tanis shook her head.
"I'll have most of my stuff shipped here later on. Aunt Michelle is still packing it all up. I sold her the house for cheap if she'd help me move out." Tanis was saying as the joined Adam's fellow rangers at the table.
"Hi! I'm Aisha!" said the black girl smiled. Tanis grinned.
"I'm Tanis Park." Rocky took a good look at the girl. Her hair was in two black braids that hung to her waist, implying that it was even longer. She looked a lot like Adam, but her smile was bolder, and she was less shy. Tanis was a tad shorter than Adam,but she was attractive and well muscled. Her eyes were almond shaped, and startlingly blue, for an Asian person. It was her eyes that held the Red Ranger's attention. They were so familiar.
"Uh.. I'll be back in a sec." he said, and rushed from the table. Tommy watched him flee in concern. One look at Tanis's eyes had made him feel a little strange, but he figured the horrid burger Rocky ate was not interacting well with his stomach.
"I'll go see if he's okay." he said, and followed in Rocky's wake.
Tanis frowned a little. "I hope he's okay." she said, and she and Adam sat down.
Aisha and Billy smiled. "Rocky'll be fine." Aisha assured.
"By the way, this is Billy. The guy with the long hair is Tommy, and Rocky was the one who got sick from eating that." she added, and looked pointedly at the burger.
Tanis grimaced. "He ordered that? And I thought I had an Iron clad stomach. Yeech."
Adam laughed. "I seem to remember me convincing you to eat a spoonful of horseradish when we were seven." he commented. She punched him lightly in the arm.
"Yeah, and when you did it, you got sick. I was fine." she shot back. He grimaced at that part of the memory resurfaced.
"Oh yeah... I blocked that part out I guess." Tanis giggled.
Tommy stuck his head into the bathroom.
"Yo, Rocko? You okay man?" he asked.
"Yeah." rocky said unfeelingly from the sink. He stood with his head hung, water dripping off his face.
"Was it the burger?" Tommy asked.
"No.. It was her eyes...." he said faintly.
"Who's?" Tommy asked din confusion.
"Tanis's. They were bright blue... exactly like Kathrine's were..." Rocky whispered.
"You noticed that too, huh?" the leader said quietly.
"Yeah... it was just so weird... seeing those blue eyes again. It made me feel sick to my stomach." he groaned.
"Are you okay now?" Tommy asked.
"Yeah. Let's go." rocky said gruffly, and dried his face.
Tanis smiled as the two guys sat back down.
"Feeling better?" she asked. Rocky grimaced, and stared at the burger.
"Not really, but I think I'll live." he replied. Tommy grinned at his friend.
"Well... we should get going. You prob'ly want to get unpacked and stuff soon." Aisha smiled. Tanis nodded.
"Yeah. It was great meeting you all." she smiled. Adam rose, and grabbed one of the bags as she took the other.
"We'll see you guys later." Adam said and they walked off towards his black car.
"Too bizarre..." he muttered.
"Her eyes..." Aisha whispered.
"You saw it too?" Rocky asked in surprise.
"Yeah... just like Kat's. And her laugh was just like Kim's, too." Billy said quietly. "She looks like Trini, too." Tommy added as they walked out to Rocky's van.
"Creepy..." Aisha muttered as they drove home.
Adam was barely containing his shock.
"Well cuz... aren't you a little quiet? I always knew you were shy, but this is ridiculous." Tanis blurted into the silent car. Adam blushed.
"Sorry Tanis, it's just that, well...."he trailed off.
"Just that what?" She prompted. Adam sighed.
"A few weeks ago, a friend of ours, named Kathrine... was killed. She had these eyes.. They were so blue.. So full of life." he trailed off. Tanis put a comforting hand on his arm.
"Jeez cuz... I'm so sorry..If I had known... maybe I can get some contacts or something.." she said. Adam laughed.
"Don't worry about it. We'll get over it... it just takes a little time, that's all." he smiled sadly. Tanis smiled tightly, and they continued the ride home in silence.
Adam walked into the living room and flopped onto the couch beside Tanis. She was flipping through a photo album.
"Who's this Adam?" she asked, and pointed to someone.
"Oh. That's Trini. She moved away right after I came to Angel grove. She was pretty nice. Billy really like her, or so I heard." he grinned.
"Cool. At first I thought it was me, but then I remembered that I haven't seen you since Mom died." they fell into an uncomfortable silence.
"Do you have any pictures of Kathrine?" she asked him quietly.
"Yeah.. Two. They're on the last page." he replied, and surfed through the channels on tv.
"She's pretty. You're right. We do have the same eyes. Was she nice?" Tanis asked.
"Yeah... could we stop talking about Kat now?" he asked gruffly. Tanis slammed the album shut, and set it on the coffee table.
"I'm going for a walk." she said abruptly, and grabbed her sandals as she pulled the door closed. Adam, blinked in surprise as she didn't stop to put them on, but ran down the sidewalk barefoot. Then he sighed, turned off the tv, and grabbed the phone to call Billy.
Billy looked around in concern as he jogged through the park. They had been searching for almost ten hours. Thanks to Adam's phone call, they had known Tanis wasn't going to come back for a while right after she had left. Apparently, she had run off before. She had once told Adam it was to figure out where her friends loyalties lay. All the rangers had been searching. Billy stopped, and called her name. After a moment, he continued jogging.
Rocky sat down under a tree.
"Lesse here... if I was Tanis, where would I be?" he wondered aloud. He shuddered a little, picturing Kat's blue eyes in Trini's face. According to Tommy, she had Zack's sense of humor too. Thoughts of Kat led to thoughts of the Cemetery. In a moment of brilliance, Rocky teleported to a small secure glade in the Angel Grove Angel's Rest Cemetery. Then he bolted out towards Kathrine Hillard's grave.
He could see, not far off, Tanis, her black hair falling loosely around her face, lying in pools of sadness on the green grass.
"Tanis!" Rocky called. She looked up at him, and smiled. He tried not to get caught by her baby blues, but failed. He fell to his knees beside her.
"So... this is why everyone looks at me funny, huh?" she asked gruffly.
"What do you mean?" he asked. Tanis snorted.
"Come off it Rocky. You know what I'm talking about. You haven't looked at me since I first arrived, and one look then, and you had to be sick." she growled angrily.
"Hey, that was the burger talking!" he denied. "look me in the eyes and say that." she challenged. He didn't move.
"Rocky!" she snapped, and grabbed his arm. He tugged away from her.
"Okay okay... you're right. It's just that... she risked her life to save someone very important to us, and we couldn't save her... We tried, but.." he trailed off sadly.
"Tanis!!" a chorus of voices called. She and Rocky turned. The other Rangers were standing there. She stood up, and hugged her cousin.
"Took you long enough Adam." she grinned. The other Rangers were now kneeling with Rocky. Aisha was crying.
"I haven't been back here since..." she trailed off. Adam put his arm around her. Tanis walked around to stand behind Kat's gravestone.
"Dammit! Stop it!" she snapped. Everyone looked at her in surprise.
"I'm not Kathrine!" she said sternly.
"We never said you were." Tommy said quietly, not taking his eyes off Kat's gravestone.
"Look at me." she said quietly. The rangers automatically looked up. She had used the same no nonsense tone that Tommy had picked up from Jason. They all called it the leader voice.
"I'm not Kat, or Kim, or Trini. Hell, I'm not Zack or Jason either!" she said bitterly.
"How did you..." Adam began.
"Sorry cuz.. I read your journal about a week ago. I know exactly how you feel about me. All of you." she said quietly. Aisha paled a little.
"Tanis we didn't mean to..." she began, but Tanis waved it away.
"You didn't mean to, but you did." she stated, and turned away.
"Adam... I'm going home to pack my stuff. I'll be moving into my own apartment in three days. I already found one. You won't have to see your missing friends ever again. I don't want friends who can't even look me in the eyes." she said sadly, and took off running again. Rocky sighed.
Tanis fell onto her borrowed bed, and began to cry uncontrollably. Adam watched her silently from her doorway.
*Oh God cuz... I'm so sorry.... If only I could tell you. But that would mean we're twodown for the team, and we don't have anyone to replace me.* he thought sadly. Slowly, she began to calm down. Then she looked up, straight at him and said,
"Tell me cuz... if your friends are so Important to you and each other, why can't you all make a little room for me? Or is Ninjor taking up all the leftover room?" Adam paled. He wasabout to reply when he and his cousin were teleported away.
Tanis landed on her rear with a loud thud.
"Ow!" she yelped. Then she looked around.
"Zordon what are you doing?!" Adam nearly screamed.
"MY APOLOGIES ADAM FOR NOT SAYING ANYTHING TO YOU EARLIER, BUT I NEEDED TO SEE HOW MUCH SHE HAD DISCOVERED." Zordon boomed.
Tanis stood up, and with a shaky attempt at humor, she managed, "Cuz, why are we standing in a room with a giant floating head?"
Adam laughed a little. "Tanis, meet Zordon, the leader of the power rangers." he introduced. Tanis laughed.
"You mean to tell me you guys are lead by a big blue head in a jar? I thought Tommy was your leader." Adam blushed. Then she giggled.
"I guess it pays to get ahead in the hero business." Adam could barely hold back a chuckle of his own.
"Come on Tanis, be serious." he managed to say without laughing. She nodded meekly, but her eyes were laughing.
"AHEM... TANIS, YOU HAVE DISCOVERED THE IDENTITY OF ALL OF THE RANGERS. THAT PUTS YOU AT A DEFINITE RISK, MORE SO THAN USUAL. BEING ADAM'S COUSIN IS ALSO A DANGEROUS THING IN ITSELF. FROM NOW ON, YOU WILL BE IN CONSIDERABLE AMOUNTS OF DANGER. DO YOU HAVE ANY WAY OF PROTECTING YOURSELF?" the floating head asked, a little miffed at her jokes.
"Well... I grew up in New York city, so I'm a pretty good hand to hand fighter. I did some boxing, and I'm a red belt in Karate. I'm also a crack shot with whatever gun you can dish out." she said, a little proud of her skills. Zordon bobbed in his tube, and she choked back a laugh at his 'nod'.
"I WILL HAVE BILLY MAKE YOU A GUN CAPABLE OF DESTROYING TENGAS. ADAM, I WANT YOU AND TOMMY TO GET HER UP TO A BLACK BELT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE." Zordon commanded.
Adam nodded. "Yes Sir, Mr. Big Head, Sir." Tanis said faintly.
"Uh.. We'd better go before my mom gets home." Adam said with a repressed laugh. Alpha teleported them back to Tanis's room, where they both fell into fits of laughter.