Hey all. As you probably guessed from the title (and the location), this is a Love Is fic featuring a hit from one of the greatest divas in history... Whitney Houston!! So at the time of my writing this fic, there are three Whitney songs on Love Is (this one, All At Once, and I'll Always Love You, if you're not counting). Wow, look out, Mariah! Whitney's on your heels!

One Moment In Time
by Rachel Dawson

He couldn't believe this day had come. He never expected it to, and it struck like lightning out of a clear blue sky. Completely unexpected, and thoroughly devastating. And he was convinced his life was over.

As young Tommy Oliver stood atop a rock bordering Angel Grove Lake, his arms and legs moving fluidly in the practiced rhythm of a kata, he reflected on the day that was without a doubt the worst day of his life.

It all started that afternoon, a rather typical afternoon by any other measure. Rita, furious with all her recent defeats at the hands of the expanded Power Ranger team, played her final remaining Trump Card, that she had saved in her bag of tricks for months: using a rare magical wax to create a Green Candle. As was revealed, when Tommy was under Rita's Evil Green Ranger spell, he touched that wax, which created a bond between it and the awe-inspiring Green Ranger powers. Even though he had defected to the side of justice after only a short stint as a villain, the wax remained, and the bond between it and the powers didn't fade. It couldn't be broken. And with that wax, Rita knew she had power over the ranger team. Once the wax was formed into a candle, and the candle was lit with a magical flame, destiny was irreversible: once the wax melted, his powers were to vanish. It was as if his powers could only exist as long as the candle did.

Rita offered him a choice. He could rejoin her evil ranks and once again take the mantle of the Evil Green Ranger, or the Green Ranger powers would be forever destroyed. For another person looking in, this decision doesn't seem too difficult, choosing between power and friends. However, there's more to being a Power Ranger than a stylish suit of armor. He knew then, and he knows now, that he couldn't just go back to being plain old Tommy Oliver. Perhaps that may surprise you, but then again, you've never had a Power Coin, so its difficult to see just how incredible being a ranger is. And how much it meant to Tommy.

Each day I live I want to be
A day to give the best of me
I'm only one, but not alone
My finest day is yet unknown
I broke my heart for every gain
To taste the sweet, I faced the pain
I rise and fall, yet through it all
This much remains

Its undisputed that a Power Ranger is granted the abilities needed to protect the planet. Inside the armor, you're nearly invincible. Every single motor function is increased a dozen fold: you can jump higher, run faster, fight longer, etceteras. Also, you are given access to the bottomless well of knowledge that is associated with the particular coin, including a mastery over the armory and battle machines each ranger must use to defend Earth. That's the primary objective to the rangers, to defend their planet. And one mustn't forget the adrenaline rush that comes with morphing. It could certainly be considered addictive, leaving a feeling of weakness and dizziness once the Power is taken. But even that isn't enough to make a person really depend on being a ranger. However, that's only the beginning of what being the Green Ranger meant to Tommy. Tommy forged a completely new identity for himself, and that identity had its foundation in that power coin, and what it symbolized.

When Tommy came to Angel Grove, he was alone. Before he transferred schools, he was a loner. He never had many friends, because he didn't really involve himself in scholastic activities that typically rule a teenager's afternoons. Instead, he lived his life for martial arts. Of course he spent time with his family, as well as doing schoolwork, but his free time was monopolized by practice. This made it difficult to make real friends, because the only people he shared anything in common with were the other martial artists. There weren't many in his old school, but they existed. However, there was always an air of competition. Unfortunately, they couldn't learn the distinction between being opponents in a ring and friends outside of it. So he didn't have many friends. Then he came to Angel Grove, and everything changed.

After the martial arts tournament, Jason was really nice to Tommy, despite the fact that he was the defending champion, and Tommy the opponent. True, Jason didn't lose, but he didn't win either. The two accomplished athletes tied. In a way, Jason lost his crown of being the greatest martial artist in Angel Grove. But it didn't bother him. He seemed to like the challenge, and befriended Tommy almost instantly. And the same held for everyone else. Even after Tommy first fell under the spell of the Evil Green Ranger, and acted cruelly to them all, they welcomed him into the fold nonetheless. For the first time in Tommy's young life, he had a circle of friends that were really Friends. With a capital "F". The kind you can depend on, trust in, and count on. The kind that you'd trust your very life with, and even give your life for. The kind of friendship that is truly more precious than any material riches.

Once he had lost his powers, he suddenly felt alienated from them. He didn't feel he was part of that inner circle, because he no longer had the Power, which was a membership card. Although it is difficult to believe true friends would suddenly stop being that once Tommy lost his powers, it made perfect sense to him, and he locked himself into his own little world, once again turning to martial arts in his free time. But rather than practicing for fun or exercise, he was practicing for solace. It was one thing he was always able to do alone.

He had hit rock bottom emotionally. He felt all alone in the world, stripped of his powers and self esteem. He believed he had lost the friendships that made him strong, and even the respect of his trusted allies. He felt Rita really defeated him in the truest sense. She stripped him of his identity, and separated him from his friends, his hopes, his dreams, and his goals. Without that power coin, Tommy Oliver had nothing.

I want one moment in time
When I'm more than I thought I could be
When all of my dreams are a heart beat away
And the answers are all up to me
Give me one moment in time
When I'm racing with destiny
Then in that on moment of time
I will feel, I will feel eternity

There he stood, working his muscles to sap the energy from his mind to prevent him from continuing to brood over his great loss. He was so involved in his kata that he failed to feel the gaze that drank him in visually, from a few yards away, closer to the park.

From her vantage point, Kimberly Hart watched Tommy move. To her, it felt strangely reminiscent of the first time she had laid eyes on him, months ago at the Martial Arts Expo. She spotted him from across the Juice Bar, and watched his skilled practice as if it were a hypnotizing dance. The mystery and gentleness that she perceived from him drew her to him. Not long after, they became friends, and the mystery had faded somewhat. Kimberly learned a great deal about Tommy, and she came to realize her instincts were right on target. He was indeed gentle, charming, selfless, and considerate. And undeniably handsome. None of those qualities had changed over the months of their friendship, but her feelings towards him changed a great deal. Rather than the simple, innocent curiosity that first drew her to him, she felt a far stronger pull. It wasn't the attraction of first sight anymore. It was the pull of a truer, deeper love, that reached far further than the surface. She was convinced that she'd found the Prince Charming she had dreamed about since childhood. If only he'd realize her interest.

Throughout the day, on several distinct occasions, Tommy had tried to ask her something. As usual, he stammered nervously, trying desperately to get the words out. Kimberly was convinced he was trying to ask her to the dance that weekend. As luck would have it, each time he nearly managed to complete his sentence, they were rudely interrupted, but Putty Patrollers, and Goldar, amongst other distractions. And once the threat of the day took shape, the rangers were too busy trying to save Tommy to even think about the dance. After Tommy gave up his powers, he quickly left the Command Center, and she hadn't seen him since. He never got the chance to ask her out, and he didn't even call her, or try to contact the other members of the team. It was a few hours, but Kimberly couldn't help but worry a great deal about Tommy. She could sense his love for his work, it was obvious each time he leapt into battle as the Green Ranger, Dragon Dagger held high. He even became friends with the Dragonzord. He simply loved being a ranger, it was his chance to be someone. And she was worried that, without the special status of being a ranger, he felt like he was no one. To her, that couldn't be further from the truth.

Zordon advised the teens to give Tommy a little space, so he could come to grips with the changes in his life. But Kimberly wouldn't accept that. She could sense he was hurting, and she wanted desperately to help him through his most recent challenge. So she took it upon herself to find the young man. He wasn't at the Youth Center, and to Kim, it almost looked like he was purposely trying to hide from his friends.

But Kim didn't let that stop her. She asked around, and eventually found him working out by the lake. As she saw him move, so much like the first time, that sense of mystery came again. She couldn't discern, and she probably couldn't understand either, what he was feeling. What he was thinking. His mind was a mystery to Kimberly. A mystery she was determined to solve.

I'll live to be the very best
I want it all, no time for less
I've laid the plans
Now lay the chance here in my hands

Taking a deep, cleansing breath, Kimberly stepped forward, and stopped a few feet away from the boulder. After waiting a few moments, he finally realized he was no longer alone. He turned around quickly, his face blatantly displaying his surprise to see her standing there. He grinned at her shyly, as was his custom, and waited for her to speak. He himself was caught speechless. Finally, they were alone, without any distractions. It was the perfect chance to finally be honest about his feelings for her, but he couldn't bring himself to speak. It was the golden opportunity, and he was about to let it slide away.

"They said back at the gym I'd find you here," Kim said, breaking the silence by instigating a conversation. She took matters into her own hands. She finally decided that she wouldn't wait any longer for Tommy to start anything. Whereas he was shy, she really wasn't.

"Yeah, I like to practice outside sometimes," he responded, rather ungracefully walking toward her. He almost lost my footing, walking down the boulder. Despite months of being around Kim, he still went weak in the knees at times. Fortunately he made it to her side without embarrassing himself too immensely.

Once again at a loss for any meaningful words, he beat around the bush. "You know, to smell the fresh air."

He stopped walking when they were about two feet from each other. He couldn't tell how close was too close, and at the same time, he didn't want to seem rude. For both, it was a terribly awkward situation.

"How're you doing?" Kim asked, her characteristic bright smile warming Tommy's heart. She made him feel more at ease and relaxed, and Tommy tried to carry on a simple conversation. He could tell she was worried about him, but he didn't want to give her more reason to be. She'd be horrified if he told her how deep a void the Power left in him. So instead of being candid, like her warm smile invited, he lied. Or rather, he didn't directly answer the question.

"I'm hanging. I've been working on my karate, focussing on my schoolwork. Just trying to keep busy."

Kim was still smiling at him, but he could see the displeasure in her eyes. She didn't want to know what he was doing. She wanted to know how he was doing, as in emotionally. It was quite clear that she wanted to help in any way she could. She knew he was holding back the truth from her, and she also had an inkling on exactly why he was holding the truth from her. So, after a short silence, she decided to get his feelings out in another manner.

"We miss you."

Give me one moment in time
When I'm more than I thought I could be
When all of my dreams are a heart beat away
And the answers are all up to me

Three simple words, innocent enough. She knew exactly what she was doing, and Tommy knew it too. She was trying to make him see how important to the group he was-- not just as a fighter, but as a friend. She was trying to show him how his friendship with the others still remained strong, despite his lack of power. At the same time, she was opening up to him in a way that was still impossible for Tommy. Still, he couldn't really take the hint.

"Yeah," he said, "but you were a team long before I showed up. It'll get back to normal before long."

His feelings regarding the team were laid bare. She got the truth out of Tommy, despite his attempt to keep it hidden. Tommy didn't display any anger or fear when he said it, but Kim could see he was upset, and depressed by his apparent loss. She shook her head slightly. Once again, he was making a mountain out of a relative molehill. And she also knew that, no matter how much she insisted otherwise, he'd never fully believe it. He couldn't accept that his friends really would stick by him. So, Kimberly built up her courage, and got down to the real purpose for her visit. Three more simple words, as unexpected as the rest of the day's events. She released her hands, that were clasped behind her back, and took a deep breath.

"I miss you."

Give me one moment in time
When I'm racing with destiny
Then in that on moment of time
I will feel, I will feel eternity

Tommy wouldn't have been more shocked if a meteor had fallen from the sky at that moment. His eyes widened, and for the first time since she arrived, he looked her squarely in the eye. She had a gentle, hesitant smile on her face, and a small blush was rising. Tommy could tell how hard it was for her to say it, and as he reached out and gently held her hand, he realized just how long he had waited for a moment like this. A perfect moment, the sun shining warmly, the gentle birdsong filling the air, and the complete absence of any curious onlookers.

Tommy had his moment, and he seized it. Gently, he pulled her towards him, and slowly, his face reached down towards hers. Kimberly arched her head upwards, and stood up tall to meet him halfway. Finally, after months of holding back, they displayed their feelings bare in the sweetest of kisses. Their lips touched gently, like soft rainfall on a lake, or dew on a rose petal. But they remained in that kiss, letting themselves get lost in the moment.

You're a winner for a lifetime
If you seize that one moment in time
Make it shine

After a few moments, they grudgingly separated, and returned to the real world. They gazed into each other's eyes, their faces flushed grinning widely. They were both bathed in the excitement and joy of their first kiss, and to them, the future seemed an open door. As sweet a kiss as it was, they knew it was only the first of many to come.

"I've been waiting a long time to do that," Tommy admitted quietly, still holding her hand.

"So have I," Kim acknowledged.

"Well, after that, my next question should be a piece of cake," he said with newfound courage.

"And what's that?" she asked playfully.

Tommy took a breath to calm his beating heart. "Kimberly, will you go to the dance with me this weekend?"

A playful grin on her face, Kim turned her back to him without answering. Tommy's grin fell, and his feeling of intense joy was replaced by utter panic. He couldn't understand what could be taking Kim so long to answer. Was it all just a mistake?

Give me one moment in time
When I'm more than I thought I could be
When all of my dreams are a heart beat away
And the answers are all up to me

"Well? Kimberly?!" he demanded. Kim giggled, and turned around to face him.

"I didn't want to make it too easy for ya!" she laughed, "Of course I'll be your date to the dance."

Kim kept giggling, and Tommy beamed with joy.

"Yes," he whispered, taking Kim by the waist and lifting her into the air, "Yes!!"

As he spun his girlfriend into the air enthusiastically, he felt like he was reborn. All the pain and anguish that plagued him only moments ago had evaporated, and he was convinced, without a doubt, it was the best day in his life. The timing was perfect, and he took a chance. They both took the chance. And now, they'd be able to reap the benefits. Together.

Give me one moment in time
When I'm racing with destiny
Then in that on moment of time
I will be...
I will be...
I will be...

The End