Key Words: Angst Romance….it ain't all hearts
Rating: R for language, sexual innuendo
Disclaimer: Saban owns all characters. I'm just keeping them alive.
Distribution: Anywhere as long as you tell me
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Time Line: Two months after the Turbo Power Rangers Movie
Authors Notes: Once again, this story is not related to any of my other stories. This is a stand alone fic.
Authors Notes 2: Kim and Jason have moved back to Angel Grove. Neither are Rangers. Trini invites everyone to spend a week with her in Colorado, where she now lives. Her mother is the administrator of a mountain resort and got all of them a great package deal on renting a set of cabins.
The Second Time Around
Colorado Providian Airport
Copper Mountain, Co. 80443
Friday, May 21 10:00 AM
<Sitting in an airport terminal is as boring and time consuming a thing to do as one could imagine,> the former Yellow Ranger thought to herself, while sipping a cup of hot chocolate at the air port terminal.
Still, Trini could not contain her excitement as she watched Flight 358 disembark. Finally she was going to see her friends again. While it pained her heart that neither Zack nor Billy could make it. <Billy's on another planet recovering from his illness and Zack is getting settled in at Auburn University. He's about to start summer classes their.> She was more than happy to spend time with the ones who could make it.
<I'm so happy all that mess with Divatox is over with. It's so dangerous every time they go into action. And this time, Jason and Kim were powerless. We really got lucky,> she thought to herself. Secretly, she missed the action, but was now glad to have a normal life. Herself, along with Zack and Jason finished their time with the Peace Conference about seven months ago. Trini's parents had relocated to Colorado when her mother was offered an administration position there. Her father is an author, so the move didn't bother him at all.
But for Trini, moving from the sunny climate of California where she grew up to the cold of Colorado was another story. Still, she would have all summer with her parents before leaving for Wisconsin University in the Fall.
"Trini," someone hollered from behind the luggage pickup area.
Upon turning around, she is met with the smile of her oldest and dearest friend, Kimberly, sporting slightly longer hair than she had ever seen her wear it.
"Kim. girlfriend, you look like new money," Trini said with joy in her voice as she embraced the friend she has not seen eye to eye in almost three full years. They pull away from each other as the others approach. Jason and Tommy each get hugs next as they introduce Katherine and Tanya. Rocky and Adam finish out the reunion.
"It's so good to finally meet you," Tanya said while adjusting her sports bag on her shoulder.
"It's nice to meet you too. Jason has told me alot about you and Katherine. I hope to get to know both of you better over the next few days. Just wait until you guys see the cabins," she said, her long hair pulled back into a neat ponytail. Anyone who saw this group of young adults would think that they have all been friends forever, even though some of them have just met.
Jason throws an arm around Trini's shoulders, "So, where can a guy get something to eat around here," he smiled at her. She returned it, elbowing him in the shoulder.
"The main lodge serves lunch in at noon, but if you guys are hungry I'm sure my mom can convince the cooks to whip something up. "
"Hook us up, Trini," Rocky said carrying two large bags. "I wouldn't give that air plane breakfast we ate to Goldar."
"I couldn't agree more," Tommy added, standing next to Kat. Trini knew they were dating from Jasons phone calls. <They look comfortable around each other, but not hopelessly in love. Not like Tommy and Kim were,> Trini noted to herself. <I wonder if Tommy and Kim have talked. Its been over two months. They must of by now.>
Trini observed how Tommy and Kim seemed to ignore each other. They didn't look at, or stand next to the other. It wasn't a harsh type of avoidance. It was more like 'what am I supposed to say. how am I supposed to act. She reminds herself to talk to Kim privately as soon as possible.
"Adam, heads up," Trini said, tossing a pair of car keys over her shoulders. "We got a Ford Expedition outside and since you're the only guy I know without a driving ticket, I trust you to bring the car back to the lodge in one piece."
"Your trust in me is dooly noted," Adam said in his most proper tone. He couldn't help but notice how beautifull the Vietnamese girl was. Wearing a black turtle neck sweater, blue jeans, and a white and black sky jacket , she was the epitome of sexy.
"Thank you," she smiled, loving the way that blue jeaned jacket hugged his shoulder. <Gonna have to ask Kim about him.>
"Alright,alright. We miss you Trini, you miss us. Thats Kat, and thats Tanya. I'm Rocky. He's Jason. Tommys the showboat, Adams the quiet guy. Kims the gymnast. Now that introductions are over with can we eat," Rocky finished to a chorus of laughs. Tommy walked right up into his face, looking serious.
"I am not a showboat."
"Gimmi a break."
"Ya gotta be kidding,."
"You are so the show boat."
"Honey, you are a dear. But you most definatly are a showboat. Even the bad guys know that," Kat said, wrapping an arm around his waist and placing a light kiss on his cheek.
Kimberly turned away, now staring at the baggage counter. She sincerely hopes her heart can take this trip.
Trini catches the somber look and pats her friend on the hand, out of the view of the others. "Ive got my car outside Kim. You're riding with me."
They all made their way to the exits, preparing for the vacation of their lives.
If they would have been delayed another ten minutes Kim would have recognized a very familiar man, being accompanied by three other guys disembark.
"So Trent, " one of the guys said while grabbing his luggage. "Is a car supposed to pick us up."
Trent Hawkins turned around to answer his friend. The six-foot two, 200 pound Tom Cruise look alike smiled, "Our sponsor said they would pick us up at exit number four. Only the best for the Gold medal winning martial arts team from the Pan-Globals."
The guys all exchanged high-fives, still celebrating their big win. Trent hopes he can meet some beautifull women while he's here. <I need a woman. No more little girls for me.> he thought arrogantly, while leading the others to their exit.
Trini's 1997 Lincoln Town Car
Friday, May 20, 10:30
Clean fresh mountain air greeted everyone as they exited the air port. "Who did you have to kill to get this car," Kim jokes as she entered the passenger side of the luxury sedan and put on her seat belt.
Trini climbed in grinning. "Murder was not involved. This is my moms car. I 'wish' this was my car," she said, so happy to be with her best friend again. Looking behind her, she waves to Adam, motioning for him to follow her. Then she pulled out of the parking lot, now getting them on the road.
Kim and Trini spoke to each other as often as they could. They had wrote back and forth as well, but nothing was like being together again.
Over the next thirty minutes they talked and laughed, reliving experiences they each had all over the world. Kim's traveling with the Pan-Global team, and Trini's travels with the Peace Conference.
They both realized they had been apart far to long.
"So, how has Colorado been so far," Kim asked as she tried to find a radio station.
"It's been great. I needed some time to just relax and not think about anything. The Peace Conference was a great experience, but emotionally it was very hard sometimes. We went to some countries that really make you appreciate how good we have it here in America," Trini explained, now turning on a major highway.
"I can believe you. We are very lucky."
"So, how are things going for you now that the Pan-Globals are over?"
Kims mood seemed to change. Not a huge shift, but a shift nonetheless. Her face was now slightly downcast. "Well, as you know, I moved back in with my father and step mother. Thats okay now that I'm older. I'm working full-time as a secretary at Transworld Mortgage. Pays alright and the hours are good. This fall, I'm going to attend Angel Grove University. Everythings fine, I guess," the last part came out softly as she tucked an errant strand of chestnut hair out of her face.
Trini nodded, but still knew something was bothering Kim. "How has it been with Tommy. I know it must be ackward right now?"
Kimberly doesn't answer right away. "We don't see each other often. And when we do it's usually hi and bye," she replied, her voice filled with regret.
Trini can't stand to see her friend so somber. <She still loves him. I think she always will.> "So, how did the big talk go?"
"What big talk?" Kimberly replied with haste.
<Who do you think you're fooling, girlfriend.> "Oh come on. You dumped Tommy, rather rudely I might say," Kimberly could only wince at that. "And he traveled across an ocean to save you."
"All the Rangers came, Trini. Plus Jason was in danger too" Kim found herself desperately wanting to change the subject.
<Well I'll be damned. They haven't talked at all.> "Kim it's been two whole months. Please don't tell me you and Tommy haven't sat down yet and discussed the break up," Trini complained, hoping she was wrong about her assumption, but pretty sure she was right.
Kim stares out of the passenger side window, taking in the beautiful snow covered mountains and streams of water. "What can talking possibly accomplish now. I dumped him for another guy. I broke his heart in the most immature way possible. He's with Katherine now. Everyone knows the story, why do we need to drudge up our failed relationship again."
"You need to discuss it because you owe him an apology. Now don't get me wrong, Kim. I love you like a sister. But sending a Dear John letter to the Youth Center, then having the nerve say he was like a brother was just plain cruel and humiliating for him, according to one of Billys last letters he sent me. You two were very much in love and your letter made it seem like a really close friendship. Can you imagine how that must have made him feel?"
Kim takes a deep breath, hating the simple knowledge that she caused Tommy so much pain. <How can I look him in the eye's and say I fell in love with another man. Then explain how he changed so much after we started sleeping together. Became controlling. Called me names. Treated me bad. Then dumped me in front of everyone.> Kimberly feels that Tommy might just stand there and say 'you got exactly what you deserved'.
She doesn't think she could take that.
She gave up the love of her young life, for a man who doesn't deserve the right to clean toilets for a living.
"I know I owe him an apology. I just don't know where to begin," Kim sighed hopelessly. She can feel the beginnings of tears in her eye's
"Just try to start over as friends," Trini offered.
"We were never just friends."
Trini can't think of anything to say about that. Tommy and Kims attraction to each other was immediate and everyone saw it. <I refuse to believe they fell in love at first sight, but it could not have been long after that.> "You have to be the one to extend the olive branch, Kim. You need to make things right with him."
Kimberly knows her friend is telling her the truth. But finding the courage to face the man you still love more than life itself, explain to him that an older guy swept you off your feet, ask for his forgiveness of the way she broke up with him, then hear him tell you how happy he is with another woman seems like to much pain for her young heart to bare.
Still, she knows she has to try.
"I'll talk to him tomorrow," Kim decides. "I'll make things right, even if it kills me."
"Do you think he loves Kat?"
"I,……I guess. They are very affectionate with each other. She's always touching him." The venomous edge in her voice brings a smile to Trini's face.
"What do you think of Katherine."
"I wish she was an evil bitch, but she's not. She's actually a wonderfull person. If I can't be with Tommy, I would wish for someone like her to be," Kim finished in a pained tone.
"Just talk to Tommy. Things will work themselves out. But you have to make the first mood. His pride is hurt enough and you know how men are."
Trini turns to her friend as she pulls into the parking lot of the Galena Street Mountain Cabins. "Are you still in love with Tommy."
"Forever," was her answer as she quickly exited the car.
<Then maybe there is hope after all,> Trini smiled to herself.
Galena Street Mountain Cabins
Friday, May 20 11:01 AM
The package deal given to the Rangers afforded them with two four bedrooms cabins, complete with everything one might want on a vacation. With Trini's discount, they truly got the deal of a lifetime.
"We're gonna live like kings," Tommy said, his voice filled with excitement. This was his first vacation without his parents.
His first adult vacation.
Tommy barely noticed the key chain Trini dropped in his hand as he stared at the two story cabin. It had a green window trim and a big front porch. Just beyond it, he could see a frozen snow covered lake.
Jason comes up to him from behind and lays a hand on his shoulder. "Bro, we are going to have the time of our lives."
"This is exactly what we needed. Schools out, and we can all unwind." Tommy replied as he unloaded his bags from the trunk of the car.
"Lets get unpacked. I'm sure some there is some beautifull sexy snow bunny that needs to be rescued, and I'm just the man for the job," Rocky joked as he made his way up the front steps. "Come on Tommy, open the door."
"Quit your whining. Here I come," Tommy answered. Adam walked behind him now and whispered in his ear.
"Tommy, is Trini seeing anyone?" he asked, trying to sound like he was just wondering and not really interested himself.
Unlocking the door and stepping in Tommy replied,"As of two days ago she was single. So unless she met someone recently, she's available….." he didn't finish the sentence as Rocky hit the lights.
Jason,Tommy,Adam, and Rocky could only gasp in awe at the large living room. There were log walls, high beamed ceilings, and picture windows overlooking the lake behind the cabin.
The floor is a light, glossy maple and the fireplace is made up of large stones. A dark green sectional couch is flanked by two love seats of a lighter green.
"This is so good. On the level of good, where one is Rosie O'Donnel and ten is Pamela Anderson, then
call me Mr. Baywatch," Rocky smiled as he walked around. He had never been anyplace this nice before in his entire life. None of them had. Trini told the guys all the cabins were the same, with different colored furniture.
Adam skimmed the side wall, which was entirely covered with a large bookcase. The living room opened onto a spacious kitchen with a long wood table, dark grey countertops and glass cabinets trimmed with light wood.
Like little kids they ran through the cabin, exploring the rest of the place. Going upstairs now, they find four bedrooms, each with a wooden four pollster bed covered with a patch work quilt.
Now back downstairs, they venture into the basement, finding the laundry facilities and a sauna big enough for two.
"This place is unbelievable," Adam spoke as he made his way back up stairs. "Guys, lets get unpacked and over to the lodge. I'm pretty hungry to now."
Jason nodded as he followed the Green Turbo Ranger. Grabbing his luggage, they follow Tommy and Rocky upstairs.
"Lets try to be out of here in the next fifth-teen minutes. I have kept the lovely women of Colorado waiting long enough,"Rocky teased.
Jason couldn't help but shake his head at Rockys confidence with the opposite sex. "Well Rocky, all Ill say is this. I bet I'll have company for that hot tub before you do."
"You're on pal. Just don't let this ruin our friendship when the women get a load of all this Desantos charm, and fall at my feet."
"Don't you mean Desantos bullshit," Adam tossed out of his bedroom as Tommy and Jason started cracking up.
"Hardy, har har. He who laughs last, laughs….laughs…well if you laugh last, that has to be pretty good."
"Shut up Rock. You're giving me a headache," Tommy offered with playfulness.
"Well I know someone who will have a certain Pink Turbo Ranger in that tub before this trip is over with."
Tommy remains silent. He would definatly love to share a sauna with the Pink Ranger.
Just not the one Rocky thinks.
Galena Street Mountain Lodge
Friday, May 20 7:30 PM
Trini, Jason and Kim sat near the large fireplace after dinner. The others all left to explore Copper Mountain, Co hot spots. Trini told them about a club called 'TwentyFourSeven' about three miles west of the lodge. Tommy asked them to come to, but they declined. The original Rangers, minus Billy and Zack, wanted to catch up and relax with each other
Jason sat back in his easy chair with a mug of hot chocolate with his eyes closed. Kimberly and Trini sat on a couch next to him, chatting away.
"Okay, so we all meet hear tomorrow mourning at 8:00 AM. Then we'll take the lift up to Big Bear Mountain. Kim, you are going to love there. You can see for miles and miles. We will be able to ski all day," Trini said while sipping her tea. She was so happy to be around her childhood friends again, and vowed this time she would make a better effort to keep in touch.
Kim yawned, still suffering a little jetlag from the morning flight. "That sounds like a plan to me, Trini. I can't wait to hit those slopes."
"Me to," Jason said.
"We thought you were asleep," Kim smiled.
Jason leans up a bit and stretches. "Naw, just resting my eye's. Trini, once again thanks for inviting us. This trip is just we needed. And that cabin," a big grin ran across his face as he shakes his head in wonder. "That cabin is magnificent. I'll be sure to thank your mother tomorrow as well."
"You can say that again," Kimberly adds.
"Naw, just resting my eye's. Trini, once ag….aww," the flying throw pillow hit the former Gold Ranger dead in his face, causing him to almost spill his drink. "You should have played major league baseball Kim. You've got a hell of an arm," Jason joked.
Kim was about to reply when Trini nudged her arm. "Look at that guy. Jesus H Christ he's fine," Trini admired, pointing toward the door where two guys just walked in.
Arching her head, Kim watches the man Trini pointed out as he turned to face them.
<Oh God no!,> Kim cried out silently as she recognized the face. It was her ex-boyfriend Trent. There eye's met suddenly and he started to approach them as his friend used the pay phone.
Trini watched the exchange of looks between Kim and this mystery man. <Do they know
each other?> she thought to herself as he now came to stand before him. Jason gave him a weary glance as well.
"Kimberly Harte. Fancy meeting you here," Trent spoke with a hint of sarcasm.
"Hello, Trent," she replied with no emotion whatsoever. "Trini, Jason, this is Trent Hawkins, my
ex-boyfriend from Florida. Trent this is Trini and Jason, two of my oldest friends."
Trini instantly disliked his arrogant posture. <So this is the jerk that broke Kims heart and humiliated her. He might be handsome, but he better leave her alone.>
"Trent nodded to Jason and then Trini, before going back to Kim. "So, how long are you going to be here?" he asked while perusing her tight fitting white sweater.
His leering eye's did nothing but repulse the former Pink Ranger. "About a week. And you?"
"The same. Our sponsor wanted to reward our martial arts team for winning the gold medal in the all around competition. Sales for his sports drink went through the roof." <I wonder if I can get her in bed again.> Kim looked away slightly hoping he would take the hint and leave.
He didn't get the hint.
"Kim, is this your friend Jason that was into martial arts back in Angel Grove?"
"Yeah. He's one of the best martial artist in the state," Kim said.
"Thats nice." Trent gave a soft huff, as to say that being one of the best in the state was minor compared to his accomplishments. For not the first time Kim wonders what the hell drove her into his arms.
Meanwhile Jason could feel anger rise up into him. He decided to let it go. Knowing that any altercation would ruin Kims vacation. <Still, if he gets in my face with that smug attitude…>
"So Kim. Could I entice you for dinner tomorrow night?"
<He has some nerve. Doesn't he remember dumping me in front of all my teammates. Doesn't he remember treating me like some kind of trophy to be paraded around on his arm. How could I have given him my virginity. I must have been on crack at the time.> "No Trent, but thank you," she answered, straining to be polite."
"Oh come on. Don't tell me you already have plans."
"No plans Trent. I just don't want to have dinner with you." <Now if he doesn't understands that he's crazy.>
Trent looks upon her with contempt. "Alright then. How about your beautifull friend," he asked. <Trini is hot.>
"I'm washing my hair. After that I'm sweeping the floor," Trini says with a straight face, giving him no room for misunderstanding.
<Who do these bitches think they are.> "Okay, then I'…….."
"Hey, I'm free for dinner," Jason offered, while attempting to bat his eye lashes. Trini and Kim both had to cover their mouths or laugh right in Trents face.
Shaking his head with an arrogant glare, Trent mutters "Right," under his voice. He turns and leaves as all three former Rangers share a laugh at his expense.
"Kim…uh, he's the one right. The 'letter' guy," Jason asks in a way he hopes she won't find intrusive or offensive.
"Unfortunately yes. He's the 'letter' guy. When we first met, he was so sweet and easy to talk to. He spent time with me and never pushed. I was lonely, missing Tommy and all you guys. He respected and listened to me. We clicked. I thought I was in love with him. When in reality, he was just a bad choice. A teenager made a bad choice in men. Happens all over the world. When he started to get a lot of press for his martial arts, his attitude changed. He had less time for me, but I understood since I was working just as hard on my gymnastics. Somewhere along the way I slept with him. A lot of older and prettier girls were hanging around him and I thought I had to, too keep him interested in me." Kim shakes her head in disbelief. "Using sex to keep a man. That right up there with 'Zordon, do you need to borrow a pair of pants', when he doesn't even have legs. It just makes no sense. But at that time, I was closed off from all of you. I was training my ass off, lonely, and scared I was going to lose the one person who was with me at the time."
Jason and Trini listen intently, sympathizing with her as she finishes her story. "So we continued to have sex, and the complete opposite of what I thought would happen, happened. He disappeared for hours at a time. When we were together, he would get pages and just look at me. I knew it must have been someone he didn't want me to know about. Then, finally the nail in the coffin. A local newspaper snapped a photo of him coming out of a restaurant with another women. He gave a short interview outside and told the reporter she was his girlfriend. The next day everyone at the compound saw the paper and it was 'poor Kimberly' and Kimberly can't keep her man' everywhere I went. When I confronted him at a photo shoot for all the teams going to the Pan-Globals, he dumped me in front of everyone. He said I was just another girl and he needed a woman. I was horrified, but I didnt run and cry in front of everyone. I knew thats what he wanted to see. I mustered up all the courage I had, told him to fuck off, turned and walked out. Of course later that night I cried my eye's out."
Jason now had the urge to go and find this Trent. He sure all the guys, especially Tommy, would jump at the chance to re-arrange his face. <If he only knew the huge gap in his training and our Ranger training. We could kick his ass all over the room.> "Kim, if he gives you any trouble, let me know," Jason said.
Kimberly smiled at his 'big brother protects little sister' attitude."Thank you Jase, but don't go and get into any trouble. He's not worth it."
"Kim, what about if he runs into Tommy. You did tell Trent you had a boyfriend at the time, right?" Trini asked.
Sighing, Kimberly hadn't thought about that potentially volatile confrontation. "He knew. I told him. Maybe thats why he tried so hard at the beginning. As for him and Tommy meeting, lets just hope they don't."
Deep down, Kim knows thats probably to much to hope for.
Galena Street Mountain Cabins
Saturday, May 21 12:35 AM
As he stared into the roaring fire, Tommy relaxed in an easy chair with a cup of hot chocolate. He was the designated driver tonight, and without the benefit of the two drinks Rocky and Adam had, he couldn't fall asleep right away.
He also had other things on his mind.
He would have to be in her vicinity for at least the next six days.
<Six long days,> he imagined.
Tonight had been fun. The club TwentyFourSeven was cool. They had three live bands and good food. Katherine kept him company, as usual. <Man she looked hot tonight. Those jeans she wore looked spray painted on,> he remembered from earlier.
His relationship with her was going well. They never called each other boyfriend or girlfriend because they both knew that this wasn't serious. He had caught her eyeing a few guys tonight. Nothing disrespectful mind you, but a glance here or there, a smile.
<And for some reason, I didn't feel the hurt that I should at that. Its like we're really good friends who kiss and go out some times.>
Dating Kat has always been fun. She is a very beautifull person inside and out. She's intelligent and has her own life. Kat doesn't crowd him or hound him on his cell phone. They don't grill each other when one can't find the other.
Tommy loves Katherine.
But Tommy is not in love with Katherine.
<And truth be told, I don't think she's in love with me either.>
He doesn't risk anything by spending time with Kat. They both understand they enjoy each others company. Katherine told him they will take what they have and let it progress on its own. With her attending a dance academy in Angel Grove and Tommy racing all throughout the West Coast this fall, they won't have a lot of time for really heavy relationships.
Thats what Tommy tells himself. But deep down, he knows for the right woman he would make the time.
For Kim, he would have made the time.
No ghost has ever haunted a home the way she haunts his heart. Scaring away anyone he might consider letting in. Preventing him from truly moving on.
<Why does she have to still be so beautiful,> he thinks to himself. While on the flight, Kimberly fell asleep and Kat went to the bathroom. Tommy, for the first time since she returned to Angel Grove looked at her. Her face was as lovely as he remembered, now tempered with age and maturity.
His heart ached from just looking at her.
The chestnut colored tresses of her hair were longer now, but still as luminous as she wore it in her high school days.
<Maybe that new guy liked it longer,> Tommy agonized.
She always had a nice figure to him. Petite and curvy are the words he would use to describe her. Kimberly would never be considered beautifull by magazine or fashion standards, but to him, she was the moon and the sun.
And she hurt him worst than any of his enemies ever had.
'In some ways you're like a brother'
That line alone has tortured him many a night. No brother and sister should do what he and Kim almost did on a few occasions. For her to compare him to a member of her family sickened him and hardened his heart. Only Kats patience has allowed him to start opening up again.
Recently Tommy has wondered if he wants to curse Kim out or kiss her until she faints.
Anger and desire walk a similar thread.
<Did she truly love the other guy more than she ever loved me?> That is a question that has tortured him the most, twisted up the darkest parts of his soul. He used to tell her things he hasn't told another living soul. He poured his desperate heart out to her and she took it all in, absorbing his pain and guilt, making it her own, just as she always did.
Tommy won't let her back in.
He will stay away from her. He will not be impolite if she asks him a question, but he will keep his distance. <I hope she enjoys her vacation and I'll enjoy mine. Then when we go back to Angel Grove, things will be the way they've been for the last two months. We will go on with our separate lives. Its better that way. Safer.>
<Kimberly Harte will not get the chance to hurt me again,> he silently vowed to himself.
Big Bear Mountain Ski Lift
Saturday, May 21 8:55 AM
"So, when was the last time you went skiing Tommy?" Trini asked as the lift took them both up to the mountain. The weather was just right, with clear skies and just enough snow fall to make for a great day of skiing.
Tommy seems to reflect for a moment before answering. "About a year and some change ago."
"How was it when you went?" the former Yellow Ranger asked.
"Uhm…it was eventful," Tommy replied while looking down at the ground below them.
"The Machine King, right? Through a few wrinkles into your good time"
< I wish..> "It was right after Kimberly sent the letter. Billy and Kat took me to get my mind off of things. The Machine King did get involved though. No biggie. Everything turned out alright in the end," Tommy offered with no further comment.
<I'm sorry. I wouldn't of have brought it up if I knew,> she seemed to say with her eye's. Tommy quickly re-assures her. "It 's alright, Trini. Don't worry about it. I'm a big boy. It happened and it's over. I'm dating Kat now and I'm happy."
Trini listens intently, wondering if he is truly as happy as he could be. "So, how are you and Kat? If you don't mind me asking."
"Not at all. Me and Kat have an understanding. We date and enjoy each others company. If anything more comes of it, we won't fight it. But right now, we have a very casual relationship. We have both talked about it and she doesn't have any mixed signals."
"So, you're available if the right woman came along."
Tommy gives her a devious grin."I know I'm irresistible Trini, but we can only be friends. I don't date women with hair as long as mine," Tommy joked with a leer.
"I could get a haircut," Trini fired back with a slight smirk.
"Your hair is fantastic. Don't you dare."
"Are we flirting," Trini asked.
"No we're playing around, there's a difference."
"Explain oh great leader," Trini teased, enjoying the banter between them.
"If I were flirting, we would be kissing by now."
"My, my, aren't we confident."
"Trini, lets say we ditch this ski day and go back to the cabin. You can show me around that hot tub."
Trini leans closer to him as their lips almost meet.
"I never knew this side of you existed. I like it."
"But you're not really interested in me, are you," Tommy smiled into her face, feeling her breath on his cheek.
"Hey, could you say that louder."
"HELL NOOOO!!" Trini screamed, drawing some unwanted attention.
Tommy just stares at his once demure friend. "Thank you Trini." he said sarcastically.
"I'm just kidding," she said as she sat back in her seat. "Do you realize this has been the longest conversation we have ever had by ourselves."
"Yeah, usually Kim would be with us," Tommy spoke softly.
"Are you two ever going to sit down and talk?"
"Eventually. But when, I don't know. What is there really to say. Two high school sweethearts broke up because the girl fell in love with another guy. Happens all the time. We are no different."
<Your eye's tell me you still care, Tommy. No matter the words that come out of your mouth.> Trini can only take in the regretful look on his face and wonder how often he's given himself that company line. "Okay. Lets change the subject. Tell me about Adam," she asked with a shy grin, pretending to keep the sun out of her eye's.
"Ohhh Trini. Trying to hook up with somebody, huh?" he said giving her an exaggerated look of surprise
She quickly swatted his arm. "Stop teasing me. I'm just asking a general question. Tell me about Adam Park. Now Mr. Oliver," Trini grinned using her old Ms Applebee impression.
"Well, let me see. He's turned eighteen this past March. He's single. Very much into the martial arts, but not as single minded as I am. He plays baseball too. Adam's pretty smart, too. He graduated 8th in our class. Uhm, he dated Tanya briefly, but now they're just friends. He's kinda shy and reserved until he gets to know you. If you're interested, you'll have to approach him."
<Sounds good to me.> "See, now was that so tough?" she joked with him. "I'll ask him to dinner at lunch."
"He'll say yeah. He never turns down a beautiful women."
Trini clutches her hands to her chest in a mock heart attack motion. "My,my. When did you become a silver tongued devil?"
"If being called beautiful is that good a line, then you haven't dated much,." Tommy fired back.
"Oh, I've dated. Just not the Mr. Right," she said. "Now let me see. I've dated Mr. Wrong, Mr. Already Involved, Mr. Confused-about-his-sexuality, Mr. I'm-so-great-and-you're-so lucky-I'm-even-talking-to-you, Mr. Try-To-Fuck-Me-On-the-First-Date, and last but not least, Mr. Could-You-Please-Lend-Me-A Few-Bucks-Until-Payday." Trini and Tommy both start laughing loudly, causing the couple in front of them to look backwards.
"Well, you've had a very eventful dating history."
"Do you remeber an old Cyndie Lauper song called ' Time after Time'?"
"My version would be called 'Jerk after Jerk'." More laughter follows as they finally get to the top where Jason and Tanya await them.
"Ohh look at me. I'm on top of a big scary mountain. I'm afraid of heights," Jason says in his ten year old voice.
"When was the last time any of us were afraid of heights.?" Tommy asked as he moved alongside Jason, Trini, and Tanya.
"Beats me. We fall from and jump to these heights on a daily basis," Tanya chipped in.
"Okay guys. Lets hit the snow for the first time today. Last one down has to buy Rockys lunch."
"All of us couldn't pay for Rockys lunch," Tanya joked as she made her way down the mountain.
Kim doesn't know what to say to Katherine as they ascent to the top of the mountain. <We used to be pretty good friends. But we haven't really stayed in touch. We're both to blame
"Why do things have to be so ackward, Kim," Kat asked as she looked toward the mountains.
"I don't know, Kat. I guess. I should start wit….."
"I'm not in love with Tommy," Kat said out of the blue. Her tone was direct and without sadness. She simply stated fact.
Kimberly however was not prepared for that admission, or any admission for that matter. "What?"
"Me and Tommy have a good time together. I am very attracted to him. We get along well. He's a perfect gentlemen. We enjoy the same movies, similar music He's a great kisser. But we are not in love with each other."
Kim had to cringe a little at another womans knowledge of Tommys kissing skills. <What right do I have to get jealous. I left him. But why does it hurt so bad.>
Katherine turned to the original Pink Ranger and smiled. "We are both adults now Kim. We are not going to get off this lift and scratch each others eye's out screaming 'he's my man…no he's mine'."
They both started laughing and that broke the tension. "I know. I guess me and Tommy have a lot of unresolved issues, and I haven't found the courage to sit down with him and talk."
"You hurt him very badly, Kim. I was there when he got your letter. Tommy asked Adam to read the letter outloud since he was weightlifting. Adam didn't know what you had written so he just kept reading. Tommy was devastated," Kat said that with no emotion, hoping to convey a small part of the pain Kimberly caused him.
Kim leans back and shuts her eye's. <Hurting him is the last thing I wanted to do.> "I know I have to make things right with him. I just don't know how."
"Well, lets start off with the big question I have always wondered about. Who was the other guy."
Kimberly tells her tale, explaining those lonely first months at the compound. Meeting Trent for the first time, and everything after that.
"So, thats my story. You can scream at me now. I know I deserve it," Kim said. She knew Kat of all people would be angry at how she screwed up. <If I can't forgive myself, how can I expect others to forgive. And I know Tommy will never forgive me.>
"I'm not going to scream at you. Thats not my right. You chose another man. You didn't break up with Tommy right, but you fell in love with someone else. It happens." Kim was very surprised at Katherines understanding response. <Maybe I did expect some eye scratching.>
"Don't mention it."
"So, why are you not in love with Tommy?" Kim wondered out loud.
Katherine contemplates that question. She's asked herself that before as well. "I just don't feel it 'yet'. I do love him as a friend. But I'm not head-over-heel-slap-me-up-side-the-head in love with him. And he's not in love with me either. Though we have both said that if it happens, so be it."
Kimberly almost feels guilty at the rise of hope in her heart at Katherine words. Kat watches a series of emotion play on Kims face. She decides to relate to her a story.
"Kim, when Divatox kidnapped you and Jason, she contacted Zordon and showed us footage of you and Jason in that underwater cell. Tommy looked stricken with fear when he saw you were in danger. And when we went to the beach to with Lerigo, he saw the two bodies dumped into the water by Divatox's men. He ran out into the water like a madman. Adam had to stop him before the current to him under."
"I didnt know," Kim said softly.
"Tommy loves Jason like a brother and he would risk his life for any of us. But I won't fool myself into believing he went that ballistic over Jason. He still has unresolved feeling for you Kim. I think this trip will give you the opportunity to talk with him."
"Trini said the same thing. I'll approach him at lunch today and see if we can meet after dinner."
Katherine nods her approval. "Are you still in love with Tommy?"
<The million dollar question.> "I think I might be. I'm sorry Katherine. And I promise I won't try anything with him. I'm not that type of person."
"I know. And if he tells me he wants to start over with you I'll let him go. But you have your work cut out for you. He is a very proud man and you hurt that pride worse than anyone else in his life. He doesnt trust you anymore," Katherine says honestly. <I had a feeling she still loved him. But does he still love her?>
"Well, the least I can do is tell him everything and apologize. What ever else happens I'll just have to deal with."
"Well now that thats settled. Kim, girlfriend. I say we enjoy the rest of the day and not talk about that man."
"I agree whole heartily. That 'man' can be dealt with later."
Both girls lean over into a hug, silently pledging that no matter how things turn out, they will remain friends.
Galena Street Mountain Lodge
The Dining Room
Saturday, May 21 6:50 PM
Even as nervous as Kimberly was, she could not help but to notice the romantic atmosphere surrounding the room tonight. The dining area was elegant, quiet, and over flowing with candles and large sprays of flowers. Soft instrumental music played form a small band in the center of the room. She was seated in a private corner near a fireplace. <No doubt Trini put in a call to her mother for this seat. It had to be the best in the house,> Kim thought to herself while feeling slightly out of place with all the couples around her who were obviously not here to have dinner with there ex.
Kimberly kept looking toward the door, anticipating the arrival of her ex-boyfriend. Ever since she was able to briefly corner him a lunch earlier in the day and ask him to dinner so they could talk, she has been both looking forward to and dreading this moment.
<I have to try and at the very least, walk out of here as his friend. Avoiding each other without even speaking is ridiculous. We're to old for that,> she tells herself.
But her heart can't help but to wish for more.
She also doesn't want to ponder why she spent an hour in front of the mirror, trying to pick out the right dress for this 'reaffirming our friendship' dinner. <This is just dinner between two old friends.>
Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.
It seemed that she looked away for but a moment and there he was. Tommy Oliver, dressed in a black turtle neck sweater and jeans.
<How can my ex still look that good. He could have at least gained some weight or something.>
Their eye's meet from across a crowded room as Kim waves him over. Tommy greets her with a chaste kiss on the cheek, then takes his seat. A waitress asks them are they ready to order. Tommy asks for another ten minutes.
"You look great, Kim." It was so soft, it was practically a whisper. She could feel the heat rise in her face from the low tones in his voice.
"Thanks, so do you, I mean you look handsome," she said nervously. He looked just as uncomfortable as she did.
"I guess we've put this conversation off as long as possible," Tommy said while tapping his fingers on the table.
Kim gave a small nod before replying. "Tommy, I just want us to be friends again. I miss that so much."
"We were never just friends Kim. You know that. You're trying to re-build something that was never there. We met. We fell in love. You broke up with me. We fell out of touch. The 'friends' thing is something new we are going to have to get used too."
"I understand, Tommy," she answered. <I fell in love with you so quickly I'm still embarrassed by it.> "Do you want us to be friends?"
<I want m…> "Yes. But we can't go on the way we have. It's been two whole months since you returned to Angel Grove and we have said maybe five words to each other. It's like we're afraid to talk to each other."
"Alright then. Tell me what you think of this proposal. We can ask each other anything and must tell the whole truth. We leave here tonight with everything on the table. Nothing hidden," Kim said pointedly. As the waitress returned, took there orders and left.
"I have no problem with that."
"Okay, you go first." Kim has been preparing all day for the inevitable questions about the letter. She had rehearsed what she would say. Now she feels scared that she will alienate him even more with her answers.
Tommy contemplates what to ask first. <I have so many questions. And I don't want to turn this into a huge fight.> "How long did you wait to send me the letter after you realized you loved the other guy."
Kim takes a deep breath to steady herself. "About three weeks," she admitted. She caught the pained look that crossed his face.
"Why did you wait so long?"
"I didn't want to hurt you. Thats the last thing in the world that I would want to do. I was afraid of what all my friends would say. You were my very first love. When I finaly wrote the letter, it was still a week before I sent it. By the time I dropped off in the mailbox I was an emotional wreck."
Tommy tried to search her eye's for what she was feeling at the moment. <How could I think that this would be easy for her. Was I that hurt, to think she left me on a whim. That it didnt effect her at all.> "Okay. Youre next."
"Why didn't you call or write to me for a better explanation after you recieved the letter? Werent you curious?"
"My pride was hurt. All the rangers heard you compare our relationships to that of siblings. You actually said that I would like the guy. I didn't want to know anymore about any of it. I was so in love with you and it hurt so bad to lose you. It's one thing for a guy to have his girlfriend fall out of love with him. Thats painfull, but the guy can try to put it behind him. But to have her taken by another man is brutal. By not calling or writing you, I was trying to remove every trace of you from my life"
Those words hurt Kimberly so bad she would later find herself proud that she didn't burst out into tears right then and there. "Thank you for being honest." Kim can feel the pain ebb and flow off his body. "I need you to know that my leaving you had nothing to do with anything you could have done differently. You were the very best boyfriend a girl could wish for. It wasn't about you. It was me."
"Forgive me if that doesn't help," he answered looking down at the table with a small note of sarcasm.
"It's the truth, Tommy. That is what we agreed to tell each other tonight. Anyway its your turn," she spoke softly while taking a sip of her apple cider.
"Tell me about the guy."
And there it was.
The greatest mystery Tommy Oliver has ever known in his entire life. He never asked Billy, Trini, or Jason anything about the other guy, even though he knew Kim had to have confided something at some point and time.
She begins slowly, measuring every word with care. "His name was Trent. I met him on a short promotional tour everyone was forced to go on in South Florida. At the time I wrote you that letter, everything in it about him was true. He kissed me for the first time about a month later. I admit I didn't push him away. Tommy you have to understand that I had already been in Florida for four months. My mother was overseas and my father was still in Angel Grove. None of the people I grew up with were around me. I was lonely and a little scared. I don't think I was prepared for the mental and physical stress that professional athletics cause. Trent was on the Martial Arts team. He was all alone in Florida too. We connected because we were all each other had. I won't lie to you. At first our relationship was great and I didn't regret my decision to leave you."
Kimberly could not raise her eye's to meet his when she said that.
Tommy clenched his fist under the table, willing the jealousy to recede, but he found himself incapable of calming down entirely.
"And you were sure that you were in love with him?"
"At that time, yes."
"And you fell out of love with me?"
"……….it's my turn now," Kimberly changed the subject, hoping to hide her still very strong feelings for him. <I never fell out of love with. We just weren't together anymore. God, it doesn't even make sense to me.>
Tommy shrugs his shoulders in annoyance. <Why wouldn't she answer the question?>
"How long after the letter did you wait before you started dating Kat?"
"About three months. Saving the world eats away at your social life."
Kim felt a pang of guilt at his words. While she was enjoying a new romance, he had to protect the world and deal with a broken heart privately. "Why three months?"
"Did you expect me to get over you in one night like you did me." Tommy answered with a venomous tone she is not used to hearing him address her with.
The tension rose 70% immediately.
"I didn't get over you that soon. I agonized over my decision. And I loved you very much when we were together," Kim stated with conviction.
"Not enough obviously."
"I'm sorry for the sending the letter to the Youth Center. That was very immature of me. I'm also sorry that I spoke of our relationship in those terms. At the time….. at that time I tried to reconcile in my mind that everything associated with Angel Grove be cut out of my life. Since I couldn't be there, I choose to ignore it and separate my self from it. I missed you and everyone else so much. I guess I wanted a fresh start. I couldn't do that knowing my heart was still there with you. So I pretended to not have given it to you at all. I know it doesnt make any since."
"I'm glad we agree on something."
<I suppose I deserve that>" Kim surmised. "You're up next."
Tommy has tortured himself with this next question for over a year and a half. He knows he shouldn't ask it. Not just because he has no right to know. But because the answer could be another candy-coated dagger to his heart.
"Did you sleep with him?" the words were asked without eye to eye contact.
"Yes," they were answered the same.
Aching pain shot throughout his entire body. He thought it was bad enough that the other guy had ever even kissed her. But to hear from her own lips that they had sex, and Tommy knew for a fact that she left Angel Grove a virgin, ate him up inside. "I shouldn't have asked you that. I know it's personal and I don't have any right to know," he stammered out, fighting his own emotions
"No, it's alright. I made up the rules for tonight. So I should be prepared for the consequences." <That confession really rocked him. He was not expecting that.>
Tommy didn't speak right away. Kim wished she knew what he was thinking. She hopes his opinion of her in not tarnished forever.
"Food should be here soon. You're up next."
"Have you and Kat made love?"
Now Kimberly feels even worse. And she doesn't know why.
"Did you and Trent break up?"
"Yes. He started treating me like a possession. Not the way you treated me. It seemed like he changed over night after we slept together. Then he hurt me."
Anger that he usually reserves for the Machine Empire rises up in him. Tommy cannot stand the very thought of anyone harming Kimberly. "Did he lay a hand on you? Tell me the truth, Kim."
"No. It was nothing like that. He pretty much denied we had a relationship to a local newspaper that caught him coming out of a resturaunt with another woman."
"So he cheated on you?"
"Yep," she replied while taking another sip of her drink. "And then he dumped me the next day. Right in front of all my teammate."
"That must have been awful."
"Mom always told me what goes around comes around."
They stared into each others eye's as the waiter arrived with there food.
Dinner had come and gone. They ate in silence, each processing the previous conversation. Neither Kimberly nor Tommy felt they were any closer to a resolution of their issues. True, they had some answers. But there was still some ways to go.
Tommy decided to start off the second round questions.
"If you had turned down the Pan-Global Games, do you think we would still have broken up?"
<Never.> "I…I don't know. If I had to wager a bet, I'd say no."
Tommy had to resist falling into her sweet brown eye's again. Things might be tense between them but he was still incredibly attracted to her. "You're up."
"Are you in love with Katherine?"
<No.> "Maybe someday, but not today."
"Are you still in love with Trent?" Tommy asked, silently hoping the answer is….
"No. He was and is the worst mistake of my life. I made the worlds dumbest mistake in believing sex would strengthen my relationship. I thought this was the guy for me. They say hindsight is twenty-twenty. I regret getting involved with him. I regret letting you go."
Tommys heart stooped as there eye's met and locked. This resembled the strong connection they felt not more than two years ago.
"I regret you letting me go," he said rewarding her with the first smile they shared tonight. It was a small one, but at this point, Kim would take anything she could get.
"Do you still love me," Kim asked. hoping her emotionless game face doesnt betray the stopping of her heart until he answers.
"Yes. But I don't trust you."
<Katherine was right.> "Why?"
"I don't want to risk getting hurt like that again."
"Love is about taking risks," Kim replied, holding his gaze.
"Then maybe I'm a coward. I have enough to deal with in my life. I can't have emotions clouding my thoughts when I'm at my 'after school job'."
"You are forgetful, but you are not a coward. Thats not even remotely possible."
Tommys face grew even warmer when Kimberlys hand snaked across the table to cover his. He felt there fingers intertwining of there own accord, as if they had a mind of there own and had decided they should be together.
"Do you still love me?" Tommy asked even though the answer was right there in her eye's.
"Only you Tommy. Only you."
Poets have said that true love is where you take away the feelings, the passion, and the romance and still find that you care.
Neither Tommy nor Kimberly could imagine what is between them being anything less than true love.
A wide smile covered Tommys face. Soon after Kimberlys joined his.
"Hey, no butts. We were just getting somewhere," Tommy said quickly.
Her laugh awakened a part of him he thought dead as she reach for his other hand. "There is a but, Tommy. Trent is here."
<What.> "Are you sure?"
"Yeah. His team was given a trip by one of their sponsors. Me, Trini, and Jason saw him last night at the lodge."
"Should that matter to me?" Tommy asked. <I have to see this guy in person.>
"No. But if you do meet up with him, don't let him get you riled up. He like to push peoples buttons."
"I'll be a good boy, beautiful."
Kimberly had too look away as her soul sang. She had not heard him call her that in long time. "Don't be to good," she teased. <I don't ever want to be apart from you again.>
"Would you like to dance, Beautifull?"
"I'd love to." Tommy pulled their entwined hands off of the table and led her to the dance floor. There were about five other couples already their.
Tommy didn't think twice about pulling Kim into a tight embrace rather than a regular dancing position. He wrapped both arms around her, his cheek against her temple. "I'll try my best not to step on your toes."
"My feet would have to be on the ground for that to happen," she said against his chest. It felt wonderful to dance with Tommy, their bodies creating a pleasant friction as they swayed in time to the music. Tremors ran up and down her spine as his fingers traced lazy circles on her back.
"I'll take that as a compliment," he whispered in her ear, his senses filled with the lovely smell of her perfume.
"It most certainly is," Kim sighed happily, her fingers sliding up the back of his neck to sift through his hair.
"You look so beautiful tonight." His eye's were locked on her pouty ruby-red lips.
"I love you, Tommy." It was the first time in almost two full years she had said those words to his face. It just felt right, at this magical moment, to verbalize what she had felt for years.
Tommys response was to bend down and capture her lips in a passionate kiss. She moaned softly, parting her lips as he ran his tongue across them. As they deepened the kiss, Kim was vaguely conscious of an excited murmur running through the crowd, even a whistle or two.
The laughed into each others mouths, just as Tommy felt a hand on his shoulder.
"Can I cut in?"
"Not a chance pal," Tommy said without looking back.
"But your girls an old friend. I'm sure she wouldn't mind."
Tommy turned sideways with Kim still in his arms as they both wanted to see who this rude guy was.
"Trent," Kim said. Tommy looked down at her as she took a step back from his embrace.
Men are men.
They size each other up, checking out height and weight.
When women look at each other, they wonder if she's prettier.
When men look at each other, they wonder 'could I take him if I had too'.
You know what I mean.
"Tommy Oliver," he said extending his hand to Trent.
"Trent Hawkins," he replied grasping Tommys hand roughly. Each man squeezed with a strong handshake. Trent was caught off guard at the sheer strength of Kims ex. "It's nice to meet you. Ive heard a lot about you from Kimberly."
Tommy just gave him a courteous nod, hoping he will soon be on his way.
"So, are you two back together," Trent asked with a grin Tommy wanted to knock off with a roundhouse kick.
"It's really none of your business," Kimberly said, hoping to stop the male posturing that was taking place. <I need to get Tommy out of her NOW!>
"Oh don't mind me. I was just hoping for one more dance. For old times sake," he said with a wink.
"The answer is no," Kimberly then reached for Tommys arm and led him to the coat rack, so they could get their jackets and leave.
Unfortunately, Trent followed them.
"Kim,….Kim. Can't we talk for a minute."