I loved "Forever Red" and this is my way of showing it: a vignette to the episode. It will not cover up all the plotholes created, that's for sure, but it's my own little tribute. It's a bit heavy on couples, so if you don't dig that, you might wanna turn around now. Some couples' pasts are based in other fics I've written also, so it's to your benefit if you've read them. If you haven't, don't worry, you won't get lost. :)
Laughter rang once more through the spacious living room of a household. The main window - framed by towering potted plants - was wide open, allowing the last lingering rays of sunlight to stream onto the maroon leather sofas that had been shoved aside. Seated upon the plush tan carpet in a circle in the middle of the room were seven women who had been the source of laughter.
"I can just imagine him making them do roll call!"
"Are you kidding? Tommy has become THAT anal?"
"Oh yeah," Katherine Oliver replied her best friend. "Ever since he's been working for the GSA..."
Kimberly Scott laughed once again at the outrageous idea. "I can't see it. He was just so forgetful and scrambled when we dated in high school!" She turned to the two women sitting beside her while grabbing one of the many cartons of Ben and Jerry's that had been positioned in the middle of their group. "So, you two must have horror stories from working with him, huh?"
Ashley Hammond and Cassie Chan nodded quite sincerely. "Most definitely," Ashley answered with a grin. "'Course, you can't argue with his methods; we tend to get more done when he's in charge of a mission or project."
Leaning over to get the bag of Doritos sitting beside Jen, Cassie immediately stopped and playfully glared at the lone Yellow Ranger. "What's that supposed to mean?" She stuck her tongue out at Ashley. "I get my projects done!"
"Cassie does a good job," Karone Corbett defended her friend. "But then, I've only worked with Cassie on GSA-related projects, so I really have no room for comparison..."
The raven-haired woman looked over at Karone and pelted her with a Dorito. "Thanks, Karone."
"You're welcome," Karone replied ever sweetly, causing everyone else to laugh.
"If you want anal and by the book, Eric could've given Tommy a run for his money," Jen piped up, adding her voice into the conversation.
"He's the Quantum Ranger, isn't he?" Kimberly questioned. "I always get him confused with the Phantom Ranger."
"Yeah, but he's been a lot more laid back since he met Taylor," the brunette mused, then elaborated on her thoughts. "Taylor's the Yellow Wild Force Ranger."
"Ahhh," Dana Grayson voiced with a wink. "Nothing like a little romance to soften a guy."
"Especially a ranger romance," Kat emphasized, reaching over her large belly to get at the carton of Chunky Monkey beside her. "It's easier to explain things because they understand what you've been through. You don't have to hide things."
"Those can get sticky though," Ashley noted with a slight sigh.
Kimberly, Jen, Cassie, Karone, and Kat all nodded their heads.
The seven of them were quiet for a moment before they all heard a key turn in the main door - which was a mere few feet from them - and turned to watch the knob turn, allowing Tommy Oliver to enter his house.
Tommy shut the door behind him and turned around to find seven Power Rangers staring at him - female as well. With that surprise, he did the only sane thing a man would do in his place: he jumped backwards and ran into the door.
Laughter rose from the women and Tommy soon joined them, laughing at himself.
He walked around their group to kneel beside his very pregnant wife. "I didn't expect you to be having a party without me," he chuckled, taking a spoon of ice cream from Katherine's carton.
"We do a lot of thins without you, Tommy; don't be so surprised," Ashley teased, a smirk widening across her lips.
Tommy feigned a hurt expression and moved to leave the group when a chorus of "no!" went up. "Please stay," Jen requested, introducing herself to the infamous Technicolor Tommy. "I'm Jen, the Pink Time Force Ranger."
"And I'm Dana, the Pink Lightspeed Ranger," Dana added, following Jen's lead.
As Tommy took a seat, Cassie chimed in as well. "You don't need introductions for rest of us; you know us."
"Unfortunately, when you all are stalking me constantly, I have no choice but to know who you are," Tommy jokingly muttered, receiving a light slap on the shoulder from Kimberly. "So, what are you all doing here? Is this some kind of Pink Ranger reunion/retreat thing?"
"I'll pretend to not be wounded by that remark and chalk it up to your faulty memory." Ashley excused Tommy, pelting him with a Dorito that he caught and ate.
"Actually," Katherine began, "since you were having your little Red Ranger pow-wow-"
"We saved the universe, Kat."
"-I decided to have my own little pow-wow of the Red Rangers' significant others. I called Kim-"
"And I called Cass-"
"And Ashley and I called Jen and Dana."
Just then, the doorbell rang and Tommy rose to answer it. He opened the door to reveal Wes Collins dressed head to toe in Silver Guardian gear. "Tommy?" he voiced in confusion at seeing the Red Zeo Ranger.
Tommy grinned and shook his head. "You're looking for your girlfriend, right?" Wes nodded. "Come in."
Wes entered the house, confused by the group of women and even more confused to find Jen sitting among them. "What are you doing here? I called home to get a message from you telling me your were here and I came."
Jen motioned for him to sit beside her and he did. "Female ranger pow-wow; we're plotting the demise of all the red rangers."
The Red Time Force Ranger arched his eyebrow at his girlfriend's joking, but before he could get the truth out of her, the doorbell rang again and Cassie opened the door. Almost instantly, she shrieked happily and jumped onto the porch out of the sight of the others in the living room. A moment later, TJ Johnson emerged out of the doorway and waved at the group.
"Cassie and Andros are getting reacquainted out there," he explained, answering everyone's question eyes. He bent down to kiss Ashley and then took a seat next to her.
"How long has it been since they last saw each other?" Dana asked with a knowing grin.
"A month," Karone responded, looking straight at Tommy. "It was Tommy's wedding gift that separated them."
"You KNOW I couldn't help it, Karone," Tommy retorted, explaining his reasons. "The recon needed to get done or we would've never known about the uncovering of Serpenterra until it was too late."
The front door still wide open, the group suddenly heard a voice berating the couple out on the porch. "Hey! And you complain about Karone and me being too public, Andros! You're one to talk!"
Everyone was laughing as an embarrassed Cassie and Andros were ushered into the house by an amused Leo Corbett. Karone eagerly jumped up and hugged her husband. "Hey," he greeted, kissing her, then returning them to the rest of the group. "I think I got the same note that Andros and TJ got."
"Pow-wow. Tommy and Kat's. Love, Cassie, Karone, and Ashley?" Andros repeated the simplistic note from memory, after having rubbed most of Cassie's lipstick from his lips.
"That would be the one," Leo replied in confirmation, then added for Karone's benefit, "I left the kids with Maya back on Mirinoi."
"Wait. You guys have kids?!" Wes asked, a bit surprised.
"Well, only some of us," Kimberly answered, taking the carton of Cherry Garcia from the middle and digging into it. "I have a four year-old, Karone and Leo have three-year old triplets, and Kat is pregnant obviously."
"I can't imagine having a family and being a ranger at the same time; it seems daunting," Wes confessed, looking to his "elders".
"It's not like we're all full-time rangers right now." Karone motioned to Tommy to pass the carton of Phish Food sitting near him, which he did rather reluctantly. "I mean, the only time I'm away from Mirinoi now is for two weeks out of the year because of my position with the GSA, thus my being here on Earth now."
"If you really want a family as a ranger, you make the time for it." A new voice pointed out, joining the conversation.
All the former full-time rangers faced the door to see Jason just shutting it behind him. "Why does he have a key to this house, Tommy?" Kat questioned in a playfully mean voice. "He always scares me."
"Love you too, Kat." Jason took up residence with Kimberly, stealing away her Cherry Garcia from her momentarily.
"Speaking of you, Bro, why were you late today?"
"He was late?" Jason's wife gawked at him, a teasing glint in her eye.
"We almost left without him," Andros chimed, adding fuel to Kimberly's fire.
"Late to save the world, hmm?" Kimberly nudged her husband in the side.
Jason threw up his hands, surrendering to the attacks of both Kimberly and Andros, whom he sat between. "Mercy!" he laughed. "I got caught in traffic, okay?"
Everyone stared at him unbelievingly. "You're kidding, right?"
"I wish I was, TJ, but I'm not."
Dana giggled softly. "That sounds like something Carter would do Sometimes, he lacks complete direction; he was almost late to our wedding because he couldn't even find the church!"
Jen glanced at the blonde beside her. "You think that's why he hasn't arrived yet?"
"I KNOW it is."
Of course, when the bell rang right on cue, that simply got everyone laughing.
Dana answered the door and Carter sheepishly entered the house. "You realize, by the time I got your note it took me two hours to get back to Angel Grove, right?"
"I thought it only took an hour to get here from Mariner Bay?" Leo voiced aloud, as Carter and Dana moved to take their place among the large group of fourteen.
"It does," Dana replied, causing everyone to laugh and Carter to be momentarily left in the dark.
"So," Kat started from where she was leaning against Tommy in his embrace, "now that you all are here - even though we didn't invite you to our little party because you excluded us from yours - how was the newest Red Ranger?"
"Don't tell me you ever never like that, Teej!"
"Better than you, Jason?"
"Everyone's talkative in your eyes, Andros!"
"He has no potential as a brooding leader."
"That's a good thing, Tommy."
"He's a good leader," Wes piped up. "But he's pretty blind to the girl on his team that's attracted to him - the White Ranger."
"Alyssa, right?" Tommy asked, receiving a nod from both Wes and Jen. "She's got a really good file; she'd be a great addition to the GSA Ranger staff once she's through with school."
All the women groaned. "Don't you ever leave business behind at the GSA compound?" Ashley scolded him, pelting him with a Dorito again.
"Sometimes." Tommy flashed a grin, this time, causing everyone to groan.
"ANYWAYS," Jen spoke loudly, effectively steering everyone away from the old subject to a new one, "how did the mission go?"
As she finished asking the question, Jen realized that she had opened a can of worms as all the guys began to talk at once.
"It was a whole different experience fighting on the moon..."
"The new Astro MegaShip flew gorgeously..."
"It was just like old times..."
"Fighting the cogs unmorphed brought back memories..."
"It was weird being the Red Ranger again..."
Cassie leaned over to Dana and whispered in her ear over the raving Red Rangers, "One day, we are going to have to have a female Power Rangers mission and show these guys how saving the universe is REALLY done."
Dana chuckled and grinned. "Count me in."