Author's note: Forget about what happened in "Dreaming of a White Ranger", I'm using my creative license and changing everything. And instead of taking place before Kim leaves for Florida, this will take place after she has gone. :) Drop me a line, and tell me what you think. :) Thanks.
For some reason, that he wasn't sure of, Billy had agreed to ride to the airport with Tommy, to pick Kim up. She had phoned a few days earlier, stating that she was coming back to Angel Grove for Christmas. Billy had been both elated, and depressed. He'd have to spend the whole visit watching as Tommy and Kim continued with their relationship. Making him feel like the odd man out.
"Billy. Are you okay?" Tommy asked.
Billy continued to stare out the window at the pouring rain. Perfect! He thought. This is exactly how I feel right now. And how my Christmas is going to be. A nudge from Tommy brought him around.
"I've been talking to you for the last ten minutes, and I don't think you've heard a thing I've said. Are you all right, man?"
"Yeah. I'm fine."
"Good. I think we can get out of the Jeep now. We're here." Billy hadn't even noticed that the Jeep had stopped, so deep in his thoughts was he. If he didn't snap out of it, Tommy would get concerned then push him for an answer. An answer that he wasn't ready to give.
Tommy was his friend. And he didn't begrudge him his happiness, even if that happiness came in the form of Kim. Billy had loved her from afar, for his whole life; continuing to do so wouldn't kill him. Or would it?
Slipping from the seat of the Jeep out into the chill afternoon air, Billy followed Tommy into the airport and through medal detectors and hallways, looking for the gate Kim would be coming in at.
Finally finding the gate, Tommy moved to the large windows overlooking the runway, while Billy took a seat behind him; fading into the memories of times gone by.
Billy and Kim had grown up together in Angel Grove. The small Cul-de-sac that they lived on, was new, and Billy's house was one of the new ones being put in. He was five at the time, and scared. He and his father had moved away from Chicago that summer, following the death of his mother. He'd always been shy, and moving to a new place, and having to make new friends terrified him, even at his age.
The final day of moving in, had arrived, and they would now be spending it in their new home, instead of at the hotel where they'd been staying, while waiting for their belongings to arrive, and the utilities to be hooked up. As they drove to the house, Billy watched out the window, looking at all the kids playing in the yards as he passed. There was a big boy, about his age, with dark hair, and wearing a lot of red; and he was tossing a ball back and forth to a young Asian girl with long black hair, dressed in yellow. Billy might have thought that the over abundance of colors would have seemed strange, if it hadn't have been for his own affection of wearing blue. They waved as Billy and his father passed, and Billy forced himself to wave back.
Down another street, he heard loud hip-hop music playing, and saw a young black boy, dressed completely in black, dancing in the driveway of his house, with a group of kids surrounding him. This caught Billy's attention, and he continued to watch, craning his head as they passed. He's good. Billy thought to himself.
"You see, William. There are a lot of kids around the neighborhood. You'll get to know them, and things will be fine." His dad stated from the front seat.
"Okay, dad." Billy agreed, though he really didn't believe it.
Finally, his father pulled into the drive of their new house, and slipping from the car; came around to Billy's door to let him out. Billy hesitated a moment, listening to the quietness around him. Things had never been this quiet in Chicago, and it unnerved him. With a bit of prompting, Billy slid from the car, and watched as his father made his way to the house, and the tons of unpacking that needed to be done.
Curious about his new neighborhood, Billy slowly walked down the sidewalk, looking at the few other houses at the end of the street. There were a couple of empty plots, waiting for homes, but his eyes were focused on the two story white house across the street. Beautiful flowers bloomed all around the tidy yard, a white picket fence lining the yard. He remembered a house just like it, back in Chicago. His mother kneeling in the yard, planting flowers. And a tear slid down his cheek.
Turning to head back to his house, he stopped at the sound of laughter. Turning, he saw a girl his age, come running around the side of the white house, her chestnut hair flowing behind her. She was dressed in pink, and he thought how beautiful she was. A little white poodle chasing her through the yard. Billy stood transfixed, as the girl ran through the gate, turned to close it before the dog could get out, and tripped, falling and skinning her knees on the sidewalk.
"Thank you." She replied, as Billy sat on the sidewalk next to her. "I'm Kimberly Hart. Everyone calls me Kim." She offered her small hand, and Billy took it.
"I'm new here. I live over there. Oh, and my name is William Cranston. But, everyone calls me Billy." He smiled at her. His first real smile since the death of his mother.
"I was wondering if there would be any kids moving into the house. I guess I'll see you around, Billy." Kim handed him back his rag, and giggling, moved into the yard of her house, and disappeared around the same corner she had appeared from.
His dad calling from across the road, pulled him away from the white house. But it wouldn't be the last time he and Kim would meet.
But, Kim had remained, until recently.
A sudden shake brought Billy from his thoughts, as Tommy flounced in the seat next to him. A sigh of frustration escaping him as he sat back.
"Is there something wrong?" Billy asked.
"No, not really. Kim's flight has been delayed. We'll be here for another hour." Tommy stated in exasperation. Feeling like he'd never get to see Kim again.
"Well, we didn't have anything better to do today." Billy added.
"Yeah, you're right."
Billy watched Tommy for a moment, before slipping once more into his memories.
He knew how Kim felt. Loosing a parent wasn't going to be easy, but she would make it. She was strong. And he'd be there for her, if she needed him.
Billy made his way to the little cove on the beach, where he and Kim had gone numerous times to talk. One of the conversations had been about her fears that her parents were going to divorce.
Slowly, Billy made his way over high rocks, and shallow pools of water, to find Kim sitting alone on the beach, legs drawn up to her chin, and crying. At first he thought of going back, and not intruding on her privacy. But, her pain was so great, that he couldn't walk away. Carefully, so as not to startle her, he made his way to her side. For the longest time, he just stood there, listening to her tears and the waves caressing the beach.
"I was right. They're leaving me." Kim sobbed out, as she looked up at Billy. Both of them had grown a great deal in the past eight years, and their friendship and grown with them. Billy remained standing, looking down at Kim's tear streaked face. Slowly, she reached out, taking his hand in hers, and pulled him to the soft, warm sand beside her. Sobbing afresh, Kim wrapped her arms around him, crying into his shoulder. Billy caressed her thin back comfortingly, as he held her. It was growing dark, and the sun set lit up the cove in a beautiful blanket of pink and orange. Kim looked up at him, her eyes red with tears. Billy wiped them away, smiling.
There were forces working that day, that neither of them could have denied, as it brought them together for their first; and unfortunately, last kiss. It happened so quickly, that when it was over, even the tingle left from Kim's kiss, didn't help to make it seem real. But, Billy held onto that memory, and Kim. They talked alone on the beach, way into the night, falling asleep in each others arms.
Then, once again, time shifted, bringing them past their initiation into the ranks of Power Rangers. They were now fifteen years old, and with the duties of being a Power Ranger, there wasn't time for the closeness of the friendship they had, alone. Now it was a time shared with their other friends, and at work as the super heroes of Angel Grove.
Billy didn't regret it, but he missed the quality time he had spent with Kim. The kiss they shared that night on the beach as crisp and clear in his mind, as it had been two years ago. He'd thought about mentioning it to Kim, but she seemed to have forgotten it, and he didn't want to bring up something that would make the friendship they had, seem awkward. So Billy kept it all to himself, including the feelings that came with it.
Then, the fateful day came, when he would loose Kim for good. Oh, they would still be friends. Good friends, but it would not be the same kind of friendship that they had shared before. For once, Kim seemed to be the happiest she had been since they were five. That was the day that Tommy stepped into all of their lives. The day that Tommy took Billy's place in Kim's life.
Sure, he and Kim would find time for picnics and the like, but he felt uncomfortable alone with her. He couldn't stop the feelings he had, but he tried to push them back, push them deep, so that Kim could be happy. Billy couldn't even hate Tommy. How could he? Tommy was a good friend, and he made Kim happy, and that's all that really mattered. Not his own happiness, but Kim's.
He had known Kim better than she knew herself, even before he discovered who he was. Before he'd found his place in life. No longer the shy nerd, but the reserved, and sometimes outspoken, genius of the group. Gone were the glasses and the overalls. Billy had come into his own now, but Kim had been and always would be the same. And he didn't want it any other way.
And, soon, Kim was leaving him. For the first time, since they were five years old, she was really leaving. She'd promised to keep in touch, to come back and visit. And she had. And every time she called, it tore him apart that he was too afraid of destroying their friendship, that he didn't even try to tell her how he felt.
And, each time Tommy came running to him, holding a letter that Kim had sent, it broke Billy's heart more and more, that he'd let her slip away from him. He missed her laughter, her tears, her courage, strength, and friendship so much, that he's fallen asleep on countless nights, with tears in his eyes.
Every night, he lay there in his bed, reliving the day that Kim left. If he could do it all over again, he would have told her how he felt. Would never have let her slip away from him.
Without thought, Billy leapt from his chair, wrapping Kim up in the tight embrace of his arms, lifting her off of the floor; laughter of pure joy filling the air around them. He never wanted to let her go. He wanted to hold her forever, and hide her away somewhere, where he'd never have to share her with anyone else. But, reality had a cruel way of invading one's happiness. Slowly, Billy lowered Kim to the floor, standing back, and taking a look at her.
"God, Billy. It's so good to see you again. I'm glad you came with Tommy. I've missed you so much." Her smile warmed his heart, and as it pleaded with him to tell her how he felt, one look at the smile on Tommy's face, was enough to know, that his love for Kim would remain where it always had been, until the time was right; if there ever was such a time.
"I never knew how much I missed my very best friend, until you weren't there anymore." Billy had to choke back the tear that filled his throat.
"Are you ready to go? There is a Youth Center full of people who are dying to see you again." Tommy interrupted, bringing them both back to the present.
"Yeah." Kim whispered, pulling away from Billy, and wiping away the stray tear from her eye. "Let's go home."
Billy smiled and nodded, placing his empty hand in his pocket, feeling the soft, worn fabric of the rag he'd kept from the first time he'd met Kim. Holding the memories of a lifetime in it's worn folds.
Together, they left the airport, headed for the place that would
always be...home; Angel Grove.