I hadn't originally planned on adding any more to this story, but after a while, I changed my mind. So, here's Cole and Carter after they each get home from "Forever Red."
*Sorry, had to reload this chapter!
When Cole returned to the Animarium, night had already fallen. As Cole walked through the jungle, his eyes saw faint glimpses of the Tiger Zord and the Lion Zord and heard the eerie howl of the Wolf Zord. As he came to the common area, the only people he saw were Princess Shayla tending the hearth, and Alyssa asleep in a lawn chair with a blanket over her.
"Cole, I take it that your mission was successful?" Shayla greeted softly. Cole nodded in response.
"Anything happened while I was gone?" Cole asked as he went to one of the many coolers where the Rangers kept their food. Pulling out a can of beer, Cole took a long sip as he eased himself on park table where the team shared their meals.
"No, however, Alyssa was awfully worried about you," Shayla whispered. "Nothing we said or did could settle her down. I know she wanted to wait up and greet you when you got home, but I think all the anxiety tuckered her out." Cole drained his beer and tossed the can into a recycling bin.
"I'll put her to bed," Cole said as he stood up. "I'll fill in everyone what happened in the morning." Shayla nodded as Cole gently picked Alyssa up to carry her to her room. The rangers slept in the ruins of Shayla's castle, though any furniture inside the rooms were stuff bought any camping store. As Cole laid Alyssa down on her air mattress, her eyes fluttered open.
"Cole?" Alyssa softly called out. "You're back." Cole gave her a tired smile.
"Yeah, I'm back. We can talk about the mission in the morning," Cole whispered as he gently tucked a lock of Alyssa's hair behind her ear.
"Did something happen? Was someone hurt?" Alyssa asked as she propped herself up on her elbow. Her eyes suddenly got wide. "Did you get hurt?!" Cole instantly wrapped his arms around Alyssa in a comforting hug.
"No, no. I'm fine," Cole assured her softly. Alyssa relaxed and snuggled herself deeper in Cole's arms. "On the way back, Carter and I talked about what am I going to do after we defeat the Orgs. I didn't have an answer for him. I mean you're studying to be a teacher, Taylor has the Air Force, Danny has the flower shop, Merrick has the bar, and even Max has bowling. The only thing I had was finding my parents, but now that I know what happened to them, I don't know what I'm going to do." Alyssa gently placed her hand on Cole's cheek.
"It's okay Cole, we can help you," Alyssa said. "I will help you." The two sat there for a minute in a comfortable silence. Cole became aware of how close they were, how Alyssa was still caressing his cheek and she was still in his arms. Get your GED, go to college, find someone and settle down, Carter's words echoed in Cole's mind.
"Alyssa," Cole whispered as he tilted her head up
"Yes, Cole?" Alyssa throatily asked, her eyes half closed. Cole and Alyssa leaned in toward each other, the lips centimeters apart.
"Good night, I'll talk to more in the morning," Cole hoarsely whispered as stood up and marched toward his room.
"Good night Cole," Alyssa said as she laid back down on her bed.
Carter quietly entered his house, kicking off his boots before making a beeline toward the liquor cabinet. Pouring himself a bourbon, Carter stared at his Lightspeed Morpher. You seriously need to think about you're future. Some of the other red rangers didn't, and had a hard time adjusting to civilian life. Carter sighed as he remembered the advice, he gave to the rookie Red Ranger. Look who's talking. Despite what he told Cole, Carter missed being a ranger. Being one felt better than being fireman or a marine, hell, he was grateful when Tommy asked to join the mission. You're getting too old to fight monsters in tights, Carter told himself as took a long swig. But by God, did it felt good to wear them again.
"You're home," Dana said in a sleepy voice. Carter turned and saw his beautiful wife walking out of the bedroom. Her purple robe was open, showing her grey nightie hugging her pregnant belly. Carter gently kissed his wife; his hand instinctively rubbed her stomach.
"Sorry, I was trying not to wake you," Carter sighed.
"I heard the garage door open up, and plus our son decided that it was time to practice his karate," Dana joked as Carter shrugged off his Lightspeed jacket. Dana stared at the morpher still on her husband's wrist. "Carter promise me something?"
"What?" Carter asked as he warily took another sip of his bourbon.
"Promise me that this was your final mission as a ranger," Dana replied as she seated herself in a recliner. "Look, I know you love saving people. That's what I love about you and I know I can't stop you from doing that. I'm aware that you're going to put your life in danger to save others. I married a firefighter, and I know the risks. But warehouse on fire is different from a monster shoot laser beams from its eyes."
"What do you mean Dana?" Carter said as he sat down on their couch across from Dana.
"What I'm saying is that we're having a son, and I want you to be there to raise him with me. Let other people wear the tights, you did your share of fighting. Now it's someone else's turn," Dana explained as she gently took her husband's hand. "Just be a fireman now, instead of being the Red Ranger." Carter gave Dana a sad and tired smile as he kissed her hand.
"I'll try," he promised. Relief flooded Dana's face. "Let's go to bed. We both have an early shift tomorrow."