Who would have ever thought I'd be ten times happier to be dating Billy than I ever was to be with Tommy? She smiled and glanced down at herself. She wore one of her favored pairs of jeans, a purple blouse, and boots. Just perfect for the very first date she was ever going to have with the former Blue Ranger.
"You look fantastic," the soft Australian-accented voice came from the doorway. She didn't have to look up to know her friend was there.
"Thanks, Kat," Kim did look up though, and recognized the look of calm contentment in the Pink Turbo Ranger's eyes. It was the look of someone who had found true love, and knew it, and their significant other knew it as well. It was the same look she had seen in her own eyes in the mirror, though for someone else altogether.
The blonde nodded, coming over to her friend. Since Kim's return to Angel Grove, the ex-Pink Ranger had moved in with the Hillards. With her mother living in France and her father having left Angel Grove sometime after that, she hadn't had anywhere else to go. A spare room had been turned into her room, and it was almost the same as being back home.
"When are you going out on your date with Tommy?" Kim wondered, sorting through her purse quickly. It was the same one that had once been made into Pursehead so long ago, the one which her mother had taken on her first date with her father even earlier than that. Mom's relationship with Dad wasn't forever. My relationship with Tommy wasn't forever. Her second marriage is going well. And my second true relationship---her thoughts stumbled to a halt at that. Though she knew without a shadow of a doubt that she loved Billy, she wasn't quite certain if it would be forever. Then she shook her head just the most trifling of bits.
Forever is for later. I love him now and that's what's important. And I'm going to be late if I don't hurry. She quickly snapped the purse shut and glanced at Kat, who had still not yet answered her. "Kat?"
"Hmmmm?" the Pink Turbo Ranger looked up, and for a moment, Kim saw something flash in the back of her eyes. She wasn't quite certain what it was she was seeing. . .or if she'd really seen anything there at all. "Oh, sorry. I was --thinking about something."
Kim wasn't too sure if she wanted to believe her friend, but she wasn't going to say anything just yet. She probably just got lost in a daydream about Tommy. I know I was the same way. Still am. Only it's about Billy these days. "It's okay. I was asking when you're going on your date with Tommy?"
"In about thirty minutes," Kat glanced back towards her own room across the hall. "I need to go and get ready for it. You and Billy have a good time!" she smiled and waved briefly as her predecessor moved towards the door. Kat went on to her room and sat down before her mirror, her eyes dark and shadowed suddenly with the things she had seen. Things she would have never hesitated to talk to Zordon about, but this Dimitria. . .the Pink Ranger wasn't quite certain just what to do. Finally she simply began to get herself ready for her date. And in her heart, she wished Kimberly all the luck with Billy that she wished for herself with Tommy.
"Hi, Billy." Kim smiled at him, noting he looked particularly magnificent garbed in black from head to toe. In some that would've morbid or depressing. On Billy, it looked smooth, suave, and fantastic. It was with an effort that she prevented herself from drooling. My God, but being off the team has done wonders for him! I wonder why the black. ..oh, yes, that's right. Her old friend, while deeply in love with her, was also in mourning for his last girlfriend, the ill-fated Cestria. He had mourned her ever since her death months earlier, and Kim respected that. She grieved for the death of the Aquitian she'd never known, but in a small part of her mind, she was glad Billy had come home, and come to her. It was that part of her mind that she kept as neatly locked away as much as she possibly could.
Billy gulped. "Hi, Kim." He uttered the words calmly, while a good portion of his mind was performing thoughts that could easily have been rated X or beyond. "I'm ready."
Side by side the two of them headed out into the wilds of Angel Grove, both of them intent on forgetting the pain of their pasts and concentrating on the dawning light of their future.
"This is incredible, Billy," Kim said quietly. "I don't remember ever being this happy."
The ex-Blue Ranger smiled softly as he looked over at his date. His date. More than his date. He knew he could call her his girlfriend. He wouldn't mind. But. . .Cestria. . .the stumbling block that had been in his mind since the moment he'd watched his former alien fiancÚ breathe her last in front of him reared it's ugly head again. I. . .I don't know. I love Kim, but Cestria has only been gone a couple of months. Is this a rebound relationship? Is it going to fizzle out? Is it. . .too soon?
He didn't know the answers to any of those questions. But none of those questions, or their answers, seemed important when stacked up against the creatures that suddenly appeared in front of them. He didn't recognize them as Putties, Tengas, Cogs, or those unpleasant Piranatrons that had accompanied Divatox. They were all a uniform six feet in height, humanoid in the sense of having two arms, two legs, a head, and a torso. All of them were the same uniform silver-gray color all over, and there was nothing resembling gender differences among any of them.
"Billy!" Kim's voice wasn't anything like he had ever heard it when they'd been attacked before. It sounded more annoyed than anything else, as if she were too upset over their date being interrupted than the fact they were being attacked by some unknown force. "What are these things?"
"I don't know!" her boyfriend half-growled back as the creatures began to run towards them smoothly, noiselessly. "But I do know we are in serious trouble."
It couldn't really be called a fight. A fight gave connotations that both sides had equal chances of winning. This was somewhat more on the order of a massacre, with the single exception being that no one was killed. But as Billy and Kim found themselves forced to their knees and held there by their attackers, they wondered if that could possibly be any worse than what was coming up next.
Someone stepped out of the shadows, and a soft laugh echoed all around them. "How good to see you again, Rangers." Billy and Kim both went pale at the sight before them. "I see you recognize me. I'm surprised. It has been quite a while."
"How could we not?" Kim hissed the words out. "And what do you mean, Rangers?" She wasn't going to reveal her secret to this monster, even if it was one already known to them.
The person smiled, displaying unnaturally white teeth. "I know quite a bit about the two of you, Pink Ranger. Or should I say, ex-Pink Ranger. I've been waiting for the two of you to be in the right place at the right time for months, and you finally are. It took me quite a while to get things ready, and now it's time for revenge."
Billy opened his mouth to say something, only to have his head rocked back by a powerful slap. "You will keep your mouth shut unless commanded otherwise." He was told. Their enemy looked at the creatures holding them firmly. "Come. I have a great deal more to do with these two, and others who need to be gathered before my revenge is complete."
Kim and Billy went pale as the realization of who this must be sank into them. "No!" Kim shouted, struggling as hard as she could. "Leave them alone! They don't know anything about this, they don't even remember!"
"So much the better," she was told, just before she was slapped just as hard as Billy had been. "I will enjoy restoring their memories of me. And of the living essence of pain."
Dragged by the creatures, Billy and Kim could only exchange one horrified glance before they vanished from Earth, heading to a fate that they knew only too well.