Disclaimer: I do not own Power Rangers, and this was just something I dredged up from my laptop that's about 2 years old I think.
It's pre RPM, let's put it that way. So yeah; there are issues with the PR canon and just plain early fanfic issues. In other words, feel free to mock me. Such as an overambitious title for starters…
A rewrite is not happening. Nuh-uh. This is just being posted mostly because... well, I haven't gotten that much time to write up new stuff so why not release some of the old?
Chapter One: Homecoming
It was late evening in the city of Angel Grove; the sky was violet dotted with white and shadows had stretched out languidly. Near the old-fashioned Angel Grove High School was a large building labeled Ernie's Juice Bar. A well-built man with graying light brown hair in a dull green uniform paused before it.
"It's good to be home," he sighed, adjusting his stuffed black backpack, before nearing the door. Although the sign said 'closed' the man got out a key from his pocket and unlocked the door. Quietly he opened it and entered.
The tile floor was clean, as were the booths. The bar was still glistening from a washing, though the bar seats wouldn't mind a reholstering. The walls were a cheery teal, and fluorescent lights glowed down upon the rest of the building. A wiry man with dark brown hair in a colorful Hawaiian shirt came out from the back room, saying, "Sorry, but the bar's closed until- Ernie!"
"Hey, Jerome. She looks good."
"Thanks," the other man replied awkwardly, wringing the dish towel in his hands. "Business has been pretty good, especially after the villains of the universe got wiped out by some green energy wave. Nobody's real sure what it was, and the Rangers haven't been seen since in Angel Grove, or anywhere else for that matter."
"At least not as Rangers."
The two men understood one another.
"Tommy comes in, 'bout once a week or whenever his college workload lets him. Hair nearly down to his butt; I keep telling if he wants to be a scientist he can't look like a hippie. Jason's a little more infrequent; usually with Tommy. But he's busy constructing that community center in Ocean Bluff as well as earning his college degree so it's understandable. Trini's here nearly every day since her flower shop is just down the street. Zack brings Angela here about once a month. The two of them are still going steady. Kim comes in about once, twice, a month. She's doing well in gymnastics competitions, but lately she's been coming in less often. I don't know why. Adam's busy setting up his own dojo in Stone Canyon, but he still comes by a couple times a month with Rocky. Aisha's in Africa, so it's kind of hard for her to visit. Same for Kat in London. Tanya comes by occasionally; busy trying to become a music superstar. Little Justin works here part-time now. He graduates next spring- a year early."
"But isn't he only fourteen this summer?" Ernie smiled curiously. Jerome shrugged in amusement. "What can I say, the kid's got brains."
"Speaking of brains, you didn't mention Billy back when you were talking about the first six."
"No one has seen hair or hide of him since near the end of Zeo, and whenever I ask any of them they get shifty-eyed and change the subject. Don't think he's dead though- probably just living a blissful life in a lab on another planet."
"Hm. And Ashley, T.J., Cassie, and Andros?"
"They come by sometimes, as do Andros and Zhane, although they prefer hanging out at the Surfing Spot."
"Who are Andros and Zhane?"
"The Red Space Ranger and the Silver Space Ranger. You never met them, Ernie, but they're okay. Andros's hair isn't quite as long as Tommy's and doesn't say much, while Zhane is a bit of a chatterbox sometimes. Although sometimes I think they're aliens."
"Aren't all teenagers sometimes?" Ernie laughed, walking towards the bar. Seriously Jerome replied, "I mean aliens from another planet, but that could be the hyper-sensitive radar of a former police man."
"So. The time of the Power Rangers had ended," Ernie commented wistfully, although why he did so was beyond him. The Power Rangers in their bright, form-fitting uniforms and awe-inspiring, massive Zords had protected the city from great and terrible evils, so it was a good thing that they were no longer needed.
"Not so fast with the funeral march, Ernie. I heard from one of my old buddies that there's a spaceship out there seeking out a habitable planet, and since evil's after it there's a team of Power Rangers on board."
"But that's not really on Earth," Ernie sighed. "Strange as it sounds, I wish the Rangers were still active."
"It was like being in the middle of an adventure novel," agreed Jerome. "But enough about what's been happening here. How was your tenure with your foreign relations unit in the Amazon?"
"Great. I saw so much wildlife, caught up with my old buddies and made some new ones, helped out people, and the weight loss didn't hurt."
"Erm…" Jerome hadn't wanted to comment; before leaving Ernie had had a decided potbelly which was now nonexistent. Ernie let out a resounding laugh.
"It's all right, Jerome. I'm easy-going. Hey, I had to be that way with teenagers that had secret identities as superheroes popping in and out all the time."
"Tell me about it."
"I kept all your letters, you know. The one where you're panicking out over the fact that you've figured out that they're the Power Rangers- I reread it every day. Reminds me of those early days."
An embarrassed Jerome changed the subject. "When did you first figure out that they were the Rangers?"
"Well… I first got suspicious when Tommy started hanging out with them just after the Green Ranger stopped fighting against the Rangers and started fighting with them. That opened my eyes; Tommy always wore green, Jason red, Trini yellow, and so on. Plus whenever they left, the Power Rangers showed up! I may not be a former police officer like you, but I have eyes. Then Tommy left about the same time the Green Ranger did. When Tommy reappeared wearing white the same time the White Ranger came around, that's when I knew for sure."
"Why didn't you tell me you were coming?"
"I didn't know myself until a week ago. I'd arrive before a letter would, so I figured I might as well surprise you."
"And see how well I've been taking care of your baby."
"Just a bit, even though the Juice Bar is yours now."
"Well…" Jerome came to a decision, seeing how attached Ernie still was to the Juice Bar. "How about we become co-owners?"
"Really?" he beamed. "Thanks, Jerome."
"No problem. We both love the Juice Bar… but could it be Ernie and Jerome's Juice Bar now?"
"Sure," Ernie laughed. "I don't see why not."