Note: * This story is named after the song, "I Can't Make You Love Me", which belongs to Bonnie Raitt. Warning: You will DEFINITELY need to read "The Guardian Saga" before reading this. This series is basically a prologue before the saga, taken from the points of ALL the different rangers on the team. And I mean ALL of them. Count to see how many there are, then you'll know what I mean! ^_^

The Cobwebs Before Her
I Can't Make You Love Me
by: WhiteZeo

Katherine Hillard {Kat} sat on her bed, in her bedroom, looking through her vinyl pink photo album which held many of her good memories.

She smiled wistfully, as her hand ran across a picture of herself and her boyfriend, Tommy Oliver. The picture had been taken by Tanya Sloan when the gang of six: Jason Lee Scott, Tanya, Adam Park, Rocky DeSantos, Tommy, and Kat had gone to the beach on their usual outings together. The group of friends had been playing hide and seek to pass the time and Tommy, who had been 'It', had grabbed Kat from behind in a sneak hug. Tanya, who happened to have her camera, took a picture of the unknowing couple and later on gave each one a copy of the picture.

A little later after the picture had been taken, Jason had lost the Gold Ranger powers he had once retained and Tommy felt horrible. Kat knew he felt responsible for the loss of his best friend's powers and she had been the one to comfort him through those times.

The two grew closer together after that time, but there was something wrong with her relationship with the Red Zeo Ranger and Kat could feel it in her bones. *What possibly could be wrong? I'm with the man I love, who is over Kimberly, and only loves me. I must be delusional.*. Kat thought to herself *Everything is absolutely perfect!*

*How do you know that he only loves you?* a little voice in the back of her mind asked her *Has he declared it?*

*Of course he hasn't* Kat snapped back at the voice, as she stood up from the bed and placed the album in her dresser drawer *He doesn't need to. I know he does. I can feel it in his kisses and the way he acts towards me.*

*But what if those feelings are meant for someone else?* the little voice queried.

*Like who?* Kat queried back.

*Maybe an old flame?* the little voice told Kat, unsure.

Kat laughed out loud and fell back on the bed. "I am doubting myself way too much. There has been no one in Tommy's life, but Kim....Right?" she asked herself.

Kat shook off the doubt. "If there had been, he would have told someone, like Jason," the Pink Zeo Ranger looked at herself in the mirror above her bed, "I'm too wound up. I guess it's because of tonight. Tommy asked me to go with him to Sweet Angels because he wanted to tell me something. I guess I'm slightly nervous."

Kat wandered over to her closet and slid the door open. "Now, what to wear?" * * *

Later that fateful Friday night, Kat was sitting across a table from the man who had swept her off her feet ever since she laid eyes on him.

That night they had a delicious dinner inside the heavenly restaurant, Sweet Angels, which was located in southern part of Angel Grove. The evening was going well for the two, and during their dessert they shared a very lively conversation about everything from the latest news to the latest monster attack. "Katherine?" Tommy questioned the blonde, as she swallowed her piece of cheese cake that she was eating.

"Yes," Kat's eyes were dancing with magic; she knew Tommy was going to tell her his 'secret'.

Tommy took Kat's hand from across the table and squeezed it gently. "I have something very important to tell you," he said, his deep brown eyes gazing into Kat's bright blue ones.

"Yes," Kat replied again, slightly anxious.

Tommy turned his head away for a moment, seeming as if his words held the news of the demise of the Earth itself. Looking back again to Kat, he slowly let the words escape his lips, "Katherine, I have known you for a little over a year and a half now and I know how you feel about me."

Kat smiled, flattered beyond belief. Even though, she was not ready for what the love of her life said next. "Katherine, you have come to my aid when I have been feeling depressed and lonely. You are the shining light that has helped me home. I should be shot in the head for saying this, Kat, but I can't love you the way you love me. I love you like a sister, but not like a lover," Tommy paused, as he saw a single tear shining in Kat's eye, "I can understand if you hate me right now, but I just didn't want to lead you on, like I did Kimberly. I am truly sorry, Kat."

Kat looked up into Tommy's eyes and saw that he was saying what he felt, even though the pain that the truth caused was eating Kat alive. As she removed her hand from Tommy's grasp, Kat held the millions of tears that had rushed to her eyes at bay. Blinking them back for a moment, she store Tommy straight in the eyes with a heartfelt look and whispered, "I'm sorry, too, Thomas Oliver. I thought we had something, that I guess we didn't."

With her words, she stood up form her chair and walked out on the Red Zeo Ranger. * * * Walking out the French doors of the restaurant and turning the corner on the dark street, she found herself crying the millions of tears she once held back. She didn't want to give Tommy the pleasure of seeing her cry, even though she knew it wouldn't have exactly been a pleasure for him either.

As she cried, she managed to hail a taxi and climb into the yellow car, leaving all her strength behind , with Tommy. * * * For two weeks, Kat managed to steer clear of Tommy, considering it was much easier because it was summer break and for some odd reason Mondo hadn't attacked Angel Grove.

For those two weeks she basically spent her time cooped up in her room or in the basement practicing her ballet. The only person that was allowed to visit her was her best friend, Tanya. She was, perhaps, the only person who could understand her; her mother died when she was eleven. Tanya comforted her friend in every which way possible, but it just wasn't enough. Kat was depressed, by all means, and was taking her rejection by the only man she had ever loved truly hard.

"Kat you gotta get outside and smell the fresh air," Tanya encouraged one day after coming over to Kat's house from the Youth Center, "You can't shut yourself off from everyone like this. It's just not healthy. Everyone's worried about you," the Yellow Ranger paused, "Tommy's worried about you."

"Why the hell would he be worried about me?" Kat growled, staring at Tanya with her red eyes, "He's the one who caused this pain!"

Tanya hugged her best friend as tears began to spill down Kat's cheeks. "He cares for you, Kat! Can't you see that? He just doesn't care for you the same way you do for him!" Tanya removed herself from the hug and stood up form the bed where she had been sitting, "What happened to the Kat I once knew who put all her friends' feelings above hers? The one who didn't care about what happened to her, as long as her friends were happy!"

"She's dead," Kat spat, "And Tommy killed her."

Tanya shook her head, as she opened the bedroom door. "No, Kat. You killed her. Once you found out you couldn't have what you most desired, you became a self-centered, selfish person. If Tommy had seen this side of you that I'm seeing, I think he would be repulsed by what saw. He doesn't care for this Katherine. He cares for the old Katherine. And right now, I don't blame him for dumping you," with that Tanya walked out the door.

Once Tanya walked out, Kat collapsed onto the bed into another fit of tears. *Stop crying! Tanya's right! You ARE being selfish and self centered!* the little voice inside her head yelled at her.

*She doesn't know what I've been through! She doesn't know anything!* Kat retorted the remark, as turned her radio on to drown out the little voice.

As she turned on the radio and began to listen to the song playing, she became entranced by the lyrics that Bonnie Raitt began to sing. Turn down the lights, turn down the bed
Turn down these voices inside my head
Lay down with me, tell me no lies
Just hold me close, don't patronize
Don't patronize

Cause I can't make you love me if you don't
You can't make your heart feel something it won't
Here in the dark, in these final hours
I will lay down my heart and I'll feel the power
But you won't, no you won't
'Cause I can't make you love me, if you don't

I'll close my eyes, then I won't see
The love you don't feel when you're holding me
Morning will come and I'll do what's right
Just give me till then to give up this fight
And I will give up this fight

Cause I can't make you love me if you don't
You can't make your heart feel something it won't
Here in the dark, in these lonely hours
I will lay down my heart and I'll feel the power
But you won't, no you won't
'Cause I can't make you love me, if you don't

"I can't make you love me, Tommy," Kat whispered to herself, sobbing quietly, "And that's what hurts more than anything.................." * * * Weeks later, everything was back to normal. The song Kat had heard over the radio was just the thing she needed to help her get over her loss. Her and Tanya had reconciled and the Pink Zeo Ranger had a long talk about what happened on that fateful Friday night with Tommy, both of them deciding to revert back to the way they were before: Friends. Kat was nearly back to her normal self. The only difference was she had a deep scar in her heart that would last unless that 'someone' she was waiting for came along and healed it. Kat didn't think it would ever happen after her heartbreak with Tommy.

As the summer days were coming to an end and school just about to start again, the five rangers went to a Martial Arts demonstration on the last weekend of the summer.

As they watched the demonstration, Kat was enthralled by the way the girl, who had introduced herself as Shannon to the audience, executed her moves to a Martial Art Katherine had never heard of before. Shannon had called it, Shacrom.

When the demonstration finished, Kat exuberantly exclaimed, "Hey! Why don't we go ask them a question or two about that kata. It was amazing!"

Her four friends agreeing with her, they began to make their way down the stairs to the bottom of the amphitheater, when Kat heard a voice directed the group's way shout, "Since when did you need to protect your eyes, Oliver!"

Assuming the call was for Tommy because of the use of his last name, Kat looked down to look for the person who had shouted at Tommy. When she saw the girl, Shannon, standing right at the bottom of the steps, she assumed she had called Tommy. "That's just like you, Kaze, spur of the moment!" Katherine heard Tommy snap back from behind her.

Kat looked up at Tommy to see him staring down at Shannon, a love like no other shining in his eyes and a smile that could melt through the thickest of ice. Kat was beyond surprised. *He's never given me that look before. And I doubt Kim's even seen it either.* the girl thought to herself.

Once they were at the bottom of the theater, Kat watched as Tommy practically threw himself at the brunette and kissed her with passion and intimacy that Kat didn't think she would be able to comprehend.

Their lips parted for a moment as Shannon mumbled something to Tommy and he kissed her again. Kat's stomach did a gigantic belly-flop. *Is this what he meant by 'leading me on'? Has he always had another woman in his life, even before Kimberly?* Kat fought off her feigned feelings of jealously *Get off it, Kat! You and Tommy both know you weren't made for each other. He was mixed up at the time, after all his best friend, Jason, was about to lose his powers. Get rid of those feelings!*

Kat turned her head away from the smothering site quickly, trying to blink back the stinging tears that were developing in her eyes. As she held her tears back, she heard Tanya clear her throat and turned to look back at Tommy and Shannon, who were now standing side by side, Shannon's face lit up with a joy and wonder that Kat had never seen before on anyone. "Um...Umm, guys, this is Shannon Kassandra Kaze, my girlfriend from Summer Springs. Shannon this is Adam, Kat, Rocky, and Tanya," Tommy introduced to the group.

"Hi," Shannon cheerfully greeted.

"Hi!" the four of them returned.

As Tommy's girlfriend began to talk animatedly with Adam, Kat gazed over at Tommy and he met her gaze. His eyes seemed to tell Katherine that he was truly sorry, but he couldn't lie and say that he didn't love Shannon more than anything. As his gaze turned away from the Pink Ranger, Kat recalled back on her thoughts. *He was so happy a few days before 'the dinner'. Could Shannon have sent him a letter about her arrival or even gave him a phone call telling him? And thus provoking him into telling me the truth about him not loving me?*

As she pondered, Katherine realized she better jump into the conversation soon or be questioned by her friends. So when Shannon queried, "By the way, I've heard some weird things about this city. Are they true?"

With a wink and a bright smile, to cover her confusion and deep thought, Kat replied, "It depends on what you heard."

And with that, Kat forgot about the intricacy of her 'jealously' and was thrown into a saga of a mess along with the other rangers and this new friend, who came to be a great ally and guardian.