Author's Note: This story takes place before and after the events of Turbo: A Power Rangers Adventure. This is meant to fill in some of the gaps of why Kimberly and Jason are in Turbo. If you haven't seen Turbo yet, you might want to see one of the available reviews.
Before There was nothing innocent about the smile spread across his
face. He leaned over her shoulder and pressed his face against her left
She shook her hands as if she was trying to dry nail-polish, "I don't know... I don't think it's a good idea. I mean... I know Tommy doesn't want to see me." She turned around in her seat and stared up into his dark eyes.
He laughed, "Are you never going to return to Angel Grove? Relax, Tommy isn't angry anymore. He understands. He just wants you to be happy."
She gave him a dirty look, "Jason, I haven't even spoken to him since I sent him that stupid letter." Kimberly Harte stood up and started to pace anxiously around her hotel room. Jason continued gazing up at her from the couch. "He may not be angry at me anymore but I don't know if I can face him."
"Of course you can besides, this is really important." Jason Lee Scott told her simply.
She turned quickly on him, allowing her unbound caramel colored hair to cascade across her shoulders. "Then why do you need me to go with you? You've been living in Angel Grove for the last couple months or so I heard from Adam."
Jason stopped smiling abruptly and immediately that concerned his old friend. Kim crossed the room and put her hand on his shoulder. She cocked her head curiously but remained silent. Finally he sighed, "Adam told you I was the Gold Ranger, right?"
"Well, actually Rocky did but yeah... what's up?" She asked him quietly. She sat down beside him and squeezed his hand.
"I lost the gold powers. My body couldn't hold them." He laughed bitterly, "Once again, I'm no longer a Power Ranger."
"Oh Jase... "
"You know, I didn't think anything could be as bad as losing the powers the first time. I mean, you remember how awful that is... "
Kim paled considerably as she recalled the first few days after she had transfered the power to Katherine. They had been horrible. She'd barely been able to stand or eat and she'd spent most of the days sobbing. Only Tommy's arms around her had calmed her. Just the same, it was an experience she'd rather forget.
Jason continued, "But it's actually worse the second time." Kim pulled him into her arms, "I'm so sorry... how long ago was this?"
"A couple weeks... maybe three... when's the last time you spoke with the boys?"
"I talked to Rocky about a week ago and Adam about a week before that but neither of them mentioned it." Then she hit him in the shoulder. "But what about you, why didn't you call and tell me?"
He shrugged," I guess I figured you had other things to worry about. I mean, when it happened you were competing in the Pan Globals." Then he grinned, "We watched you on TV by the way... helluva job, Kimmie. I'm so proud of you."
Initially she brightened. "Thanks." And then she frowned as she recognized his side-step, "But why haven't I heard from you since. I've just been around her kicking about. I've got a month's vacation before I have to start training for the Olympic trials."
He replied, "Well why have you been avoiding Angel Grove? It's not like you've come back to visit us."
"Touche. Fine, you and I are avoiding things... fine but still... you and I are old friends...."
"I know and that friendship means everything to me." He stood up and gave her a hug. Then he crossed over to the small kitchen of her hotel room. He opened up the mini-fridge and pulled out a bottle of water. After drinking about half of it in one gulp, he looked back over at her. "Look, the guys, Rocky, Adam and Tommy have been practicing for awhile for this tournament for the kids' home. It'd really mean a lot to all of them to see you there."
"Jason, when did you leave Angel Grove?" Kim asked curiously, avoiding the question again.
"A couple days after I lost the gold power. I've been staying at Billy's cabin. " Jason replied tiredly. He knew exactly where her line of questioning was heading.
Her eyebrow lifted, "By yourself?"
"Mostly. I wanted to isolate myself but Emily has been visiting me every couple of days. I don't think the gang even knows I've been there. I just told them that I needed my space and I guess they chose to respect that."
"You wish they hadn't?"
"Yeah, I kinda do. It would have been nice to hear to hear some of Rocky's stupid jokes or to see the gang playing basketball or something."
"I know. My first few days here in Florida were the worst. I missed everyone so much that I thought I was gonna cry forever. But after everyone started calling me just about everyday, things got better. It's nice to have friends around. I miss that now." Then she frowned, "Who's Emily?"
"Oh," Jason blushed, "She's, uh, the girl I was kinda seeing."
"You know that you're too perceptive." Jason told her dryly, finishing off the bottled water. He tossed it into the garbage and started to look through her fridge again.
"It's a gift." Kim laughed. Then she pointed to the desk. "Candy bars are in there if you're looking for junk food. My coach is always looking through my fridge and he's such a pain in the ass when he acutually finds something."
Jason nodded his thanks and moved over to the desk. He pulled the middle drawer open and laughed. "Waoh, you've got the whole Hershey's factory in here." He looked over her slim, athletic, fit shape and shook his head. "I just don't know how you do it."
"Right... now answer my question before I start throwing those bars at you." Kim replied with a mischeivous gleam in her eyes.
"Oh... nothing to tell. Emily and I just decided to take some time of. We might go out again but for right now, I just kinda needed to be unattached, you know."
"More than you think, Jase. Remember, that's why I broke up with Tommy. I needed him so badly but there was nothing he could do for me and I just couldn't make him sit that out with me. Now he's with Kat." Kim responded, walking over to him and taking one of the Hershey's bars from the desk. "Does that bother you?"
"On some level, maybe."
"Oh now you're going to be the psychiatrist, huh?" Kim snickered.
"Turnaround is fairplay." Jason replied with a laugh. "So, why does it bother you?"
"I didn't say it did. I just said that maybe part of me is jealous and it's really stupid." Kim said, turning away.
He put his hand on his shoulder, "No, Kim, it's not but eventually, you are going to have to face Tommy and Kat. They are still your friends no matter what has happened between the three of you."
"I know and you're right, I have been avoiding going home even though it's all I think about. I've even called the airport a couple times and asked for times and prices."
"Okay then, so will you come home with me?" Jason asked her directly.
She stared up at him for a long moment and then she finally replied in a thoughtful voice, "Yeah, I will."
* * *
"Where are you?" Jason asked her.
Kimberly turned away from the window and looked at her companion, "I'm here. I'm just thinking about all the things I want to say to Tommy. Weird thing is, they all seem to start with 'I'm sorry'."
"It'll be okay, I promise." Jason offered. He glanced around at the other passengers of the red-eye flight from Florida to Los Angeles.
"I know." She clutched his hand and squeezed it. Then she laughed, "Hey, Jase...."
"Hey, what?" He asked instantly suspicious. She was using that tone she got when she was about to ask something hair-brained.
"Let's you and I go scuba-diving."
"What?" Jason exclaimed. The kid in back of him kicked his seat to show that his vocal outburst was unappreciated. Jason grunted and then looked at Kim wide-eyed.
"Yeah, yeah, first thing when we get home. I mean, it's not like the gang knows we're coming and all... so... I was thinking you and I could do a little scuba-diving by Divers' Drop."
"Lemme see if I got this straight... first thing you wanna do when we get home at like eight in the morning is jump in the water and go diving? You're nuts."
She tilted her head and stuck out her lower lip, "Aw, please." Then she chirped, "Come on, it'll be fun... .. " She let the word "fun" hang in the air for a few moments.
"I don't know, Kim. I mean, I'm seriously already exhausted. Knowing my luck I'll fall asleep."
"As if. Nothing is going to happen, puh-leeze. It'll get us going. I promise we can go back to the hotel right afterwards and I'll let you sleep all day."
"Nothing is gonna happen," Jason laughed. "You know, Kim, it's real bad luck to say that."
She stuck out her tongue and then leaned in close to him, "We're no longer Power Rangers, let's at least enjoy some of the benefits of that."
He gave her a lop-sided smile, "Fine, okay but you owe me breakfast."
She giggled, "Yes! You got a deal."
* * *
Sam Avery was the type of guy who got up every morning at five and was at work by six. He'd started doing such ever since he'd opened his surf and dive on the beach shop in Angel Grove eight years earlier. He was also the type of guy that had a photographic memory so when he saw two familar faces moving towards him at eight in the morning, he grinned. "Kimberly, Jason, guys, long time, no see." He shook hands with Jason, "Kim... great job at the Pan Globals. Everyone around here is so damn proud of you, girl." Kim grinned and thanked him.
Sam glanced at Jason, "Where you been for the last month, boy? Your buddies come by here every couple days asking if I've seen you around."
"Sorry, Sam." Jason offered apologetically. "I had some things I needed to work out. But I... well, Kim and I are back for the big tournament."
Sam shook his head, "I don't know if there is going to be one."
"What are you talking about?" Kim asked instantly worried.
"You haven't heard? Woah! Your buddy Rocky hurt his back something fierce a couple days ago."
"What?" Kim exclaimed, "Is he okay? Where is he?"
"Last I heard he was still in traction at the hospital. Adam told me that they expect him to make a full recovery but everyone is still real worried about him. He hurt his back practicing for the tournament. Now it looks like they may have to forfeit."
"Oh no...." Jason murmured.
Kim clutched Jason's arm. "We gotta go see him."
Jason turned and looked at her, "Kim, it's eight in the morning. It's not visiting hours. Sam, is he in the ICU?" Sam nodded slowly. "Okay, look, we're not going to be able to see him for a few hours yet...."
"Jase... we can't just do nothing." Kim cried.
"We won't. Look, why don't we do what we had planned. It might calm our nerves a bit. It won't help Rocky if we're a couple of basketcases. Then we'll go get some breakfast and after that we'll head over to the hospital, okay?" Kim nodded reluctantly.
"Okay. Sam, Kim and I need scuba gear and transportation." Jason said calmly. His years of being the leader of the Power Rangers had taught him how to keep his cool when all he really wanted to do was break down. Besides, it looked like Kim was about to so for her sake, he needed to be strong.
About five minutes later Sam returned with their gear. He pointed to a rubber boat by the surf. Then he reached into his pocket andpulled out a dive watch. He handed it to Jason who strapped it around his wrist. Jason thanked him and gave Sam a twenty. Sam waved it off and said simply, "Welcome home, guys." Then he disappeared back towards his shop.
Jason and Kim stripped out of their jeans and slipped into their wetsuits. Jason glanced at Kim's dark pink tank-top that hung over her black undershirt. "That gonna fit?"
"Sure," Kim grumbled. She wasn't nearly as excited about the diving trip as she had been on the plane. Now all she wanted to do was be by Rocky's side offering him comfort.
They zipped up their wetsuits and then Jason pointed to the boat. "Back to action," he quipped.
* * *
"About right here, should do it." Jason said softly. He glanced over at Kim who looked like she was off in her own little world, "Sam said he's all right, Kim."
"I know but I feel funny doing this while I know he's lying hurt in a hospital bed." Kim replied staring down at the calm blue water.
"Don't. Just let it flow over you. Let's have a good time, okay. Rocky is okay. Nothing else can go wrong."
"Hmph. Knock on wood." Kim replied dryly. Then she nodded slowly, "Okay, you're right. Let's have a good time. Last one in the water is Zedd's butt."
Jason made a face and then the two of them threw themselves into preparing for the dive.
After As the euphoria of the victory continued to mount, Kimberly spotted Rocky standing among all the others. He was standing a bit too stiffly and he still looked like he was in pain. That and she could tell he was still a bit drugged. She started to make her way towards him but moving through the crowd was proving to be quite difficult. "Rocky!"
He turned and he instantly grinned from ear to ear, "Kimmie!" And then like a puppy, he bounded over to her and swept her up in his arms. Then he stiffened. Kim pulled away quickly from him and gave him an alarmed look. He shook it off and pulled her back into the hug.
"It is so good to see you!" She cried.
"You too." Rocky replied, pulling back so that he could look at her face.
She grinned suddenly, "I'm so glad to see you up and moving about."
"Don't tell my ma. She thinks I'm sleeping in my room right now." He rolled his eyes dramatically, "The doctors told me I have to stay flat on my back for most of the next month. Plenty of bedrest and lots of fluids."
"Then what are you doing up?"
"I wouldn't have missed this for the world. I had to see them bring the check home. I'm so glad Jason could help them out." Rocky replied. She could hear a little sadness in his voice.
"I'm so sorry, Rocky." She told him, brushing her hand over his face. "It's okay, I can deal with it. It was the right thing to do. I'm sure of it. I can't serve the team with my injury as it is. It hurts even to be standing. I'm totally drugged up right now and I'm wearing one hell of a back-brace. I'd bring the team down. I can't do that." Rocky told her somberly.
"I know... I felt the same way. I'm just glad you're going to be okay." She told him.
Rocky laughed, "I will be. Now you... have you spoken with Tommy?"
Kim glanced over to where Kat and Tommy were standing, wrapped in each others's arms. "No, I haven't... no."
"That's okay because Jason and Adam and I took care of that for you." Rocky replied.
"What do you mean by that?" Kim asked suspiciously, her eyebrow rising.
"Well, Adam and I are gonna take everyone out to dinner to celebrate and we're gonna leave you and Tommy here alone for awhile."
"You know, if you weren't hurt, I'd take you out." Kim said, shaking her head. "Incredible... you guys are so...."
"Absoloutly and undeniably magnificent." A voice said from behind her.
"Well, I wouldn't go that far...." Kim said softly. "Why do I recognize that voice... Billy!" She spun and threw herself into Billys' arms sending him crashing to the ground. Billy attempted to hug her as she lay upon him. She finally lifted herself off of him and helped him to his feet. Then she hugged him again. "What are you doing here?"
"Suprising you." Billy replied with a sheepish grin.
"Ya. I see that. It looks like you had an easier time with your surprise than Jase and I did."
"So I hear. I've already gotten the full breifing from Alpha." He glanced over at Rocky, "How you holding up?"
"Better now that the whole gang is back together! Hey guys, look who's here!" Rocky cried to the other Rangers who were still huddled together.
"Billy!" Came the collective roar. Almost instantly the mob of Rangers consumed the threesome.
* * *
"This was not my idea. I didn't really think they were serious." Kim offered weakly staring over at Tommy.
He was still dripping wet from having just showered. As it was, he's stepped out of the shower-room to discover that the whole gang had ditched him and Kimberly without a vechicle. They would have to walk the three miles to the pizza shack. "I know. I kinda expected them to do this. For the last couple days all I've heard is that I've gotta go talk to you."
"Me too, so I guess we get to talk."
"Right. Let's uh, walk."
Kim nodded. Part of her wanted to reach out and take Tommy's hand but now he was off-limits to her. Tommy was with Kat. The Pink Ranger. "So whadaya want to talk about?"
He gave her a tired look, "You know... stuff."
"Right, stuff... "
Tommy turned suddenly and grabbed Kim's hands, "Why did you send the letter? Why? Why didn't you call me instead?"
Kim pulled away from him and started to pace with her head down. Tommy approached her and lifted up her chin, gazing into her dark eyes with his own. She could see the hurt and pain they reflected. Finally she said almost inaudibly, "Because I couldn't face you with a lie."
"A lie? I don't understand. You said that you fell in love with someone else...."
"I know what I said." Kim snapped. Then she softened, "It wasn't true. I just... I couldn't... it hurt so much not having you with me by my side. I couldn't deal with it. I'm afraid I took the easy way out. It was easier to think that maybe you hated me and that maybe you were happy...."
"Oh, Kim. Don't you understand that I would have done anything for you. I would have moved down to Florida to be next you. It's that simple. I'd have done anything if it'd have kept us together."
"I know but I couldn't deal with how much you were willing to give. I felt like it was all take and no give and that wasn't fair to you."
"And leaving me with a letter was?" Tommy queried. There was no anger in his voice, only hurt.
"No." Kim replied simply. "But it was the only way I knew to let you find happiness away from me. And you have. And I'm happy for you."
She smiled at him sadly, "Tommy, if you are happy with Kat, then that makes me happy. I can deal with that. It makes me leaving you easier."
Tommy remained silent, unable to reply. They walked in silence for the next half hour and then he finally turned to her. "Kim?"
She turned and looked at him and he could see water in her eyes, "What?"
Tommy reached forward and drew her close to him. He let his fingers trail across the silk of her skin. "I will always love you." Then he leaned forward and kissed her fully on the lips.
At first stunned, Kim eventually relaxed into the kiss. She'd forgoten just how soft his lips were. She moaned and then suddenly pushed him away. "I will always love you too, Tommy but we can't go back. It's not that easy. You've got Kat and I respect that." Tears streamed down her cheeks as she spoke but she maintained control. _I will not break down in front of him. I will not._ Tommy nodded, "I know. I just... I know." He reached out and pulled her into his arms. "But we can be good friends. We can go back to that, can'twe?"
She looked up at him, chewing her lip. Then she nodded, "Always."
"Good." He kissed the top of her head and pulled her closer. "And who knows what the future holds for us, Kim."
* * *
Jason handed the young man at the baggage claim a five dollar bill and then moved away. The other Rangers minus Justin walked around him. Adam, Rocky, Tanya and Kim were up in front talking about something and making excited gestures. Tommy and Kat were just a few steps behind him. Billy stood next to him. "So, uh, you're flying back with Kimberly?"
"I'm just joining her. I'll fly back after a few days. I really want to spend some time with Kim. This trip is the first time I've seen her in a very long time and Angel Grove hasn't exactly been what you'd call relaxing." Jason replied.
Billy chuckled, "I would assume not. I am pleased that you and Kimberly are not experiencing any pecuilar side-effects from your uh, submergence into the volcano."
Jason laughed, "Me too. That was some bad stuff. I'm just glad no one and no feelings were hurt."
"Hey, we're all past and present Power Rangers. It's all good."
"What about you? You heading back to Aquitar?" Jason asked.
Billy nodded, "Affirmative. I, too plan to spend a few more days here and then I'll return. Cestria had to visit her father so it allowed me a good period to come home and visit."
"Right. Angel Grove has and always will be home." Jason said, clapping him on the back.
* * *
"So your mom thinks you're at the rehab center?" Adam asked shaking his head.
"Uh huh. See she told me I wasn't allowed to 'play around' until my back healed up. She was pretty upset about me sneaking out the other night to watch the tournament." Rocky replied.
Kim laughed, "I imagine, you didn't go home until four in the morning."
"Well, yeah." Rocky said. Then he brightened, "But Tanya covered for me. Else I would have a guard at the door to my room and a personal escort."
Tanya giggled, "Oh be good, your mom is just concerned." She looked up as they reached the gate for flight 118 to Chicago. From Chicago they would catch a connector to Florida. She looked at Kim, "I'm real glad I finally got to meet you. The guys talk so much about you that it's nice to finally be able to put a face to it all."
Kim smiled, "You too. I'm so excited that you and Adam are together. You're so cute." She squeezed Tanya's hand. "You and I are going to have to get together the next time I come home. Do some shopping." Tanya high-fived her.
"And that will be a lot sooner than last time, right?" Rocky asked.
Kim nodded, "The first available time. I miss you guys too much and Angel Grove is my home. But you guys are gonna have to come up and visit me too, okay?"
Adam grinned, "You got it."
"Good. Hey Jason, get over here."
Jason looked up from where he was talking to Billy. Then he signaled for Tommy and Kat to follow him. The group formed a circle. "Flight 118 to Chicago now boarding." A voice echoed through the airport. Kim and Jason began to hug and kiss their friends.
Kim grabbed Rocky and pulled him close, "You call me, okay? I want to know exactly how you're doing." Rocky nodded. Finally after a few minutes, when it seemed like the group would never pull away from each other, Jason reached out and took Kim's hand. She waved goodbye to everyone and then allowed Jason to lead her towards the plane. She glanced back at Tommy and smiled. He waved to her.
* * *
"What are you thinking about?" Jason asked, putting down a magazine. He looked over at Kim who was once again staring out the window.
She turned to him and this time she was wearing a smile. "Something Tommy said to me while we were on that walk. By the way...." She punched him in the shoulder.
"Ow." Jason said, rubbing his shoulder. "What did he say?"
She bit her lip and he could practically see the excitement seeping out of her, "He told me he still loves me, Jase and he said that anything could happen for us."
"That's great." Jason replied softly, squeezing her hand.
"Ya. Maybe, just maybe, not now, but maybe... someday... Oh Jase...."
"I know, Kim. Remember, there is always a before and after to any relationship but the good ones manage to find the before when it seems like there is only an after. I'm willing to bet that eventually you and Tommy will do that."
"Huh? Okay, you just really sounded like Billy there for a minute."
He laughed, "I just mean that I think you and Tommy are far from over."
"Oh." Kim chirped. Then she settled back into her seat, still squeezing his hand, "I hope you're right."