Oh, this is what happens, you see, when a fanfic writer's fanfics start getting too deep in her ongoing stories. She goes off and does a silly little bit of mind-fluff. Huh, oh well. This is not as descriptive or as meaningful as most of my other stories. It's mind-candy. That's it.
This has nothing to do with any of my series. I'm running out of kinds of Hell to put the characters through, so I decided to go back and just do a little blurb.
All characters are Saban's (yes, I did not make any new ones for this!) and we praise you all... My thanks to the manufacturers of Koosh for allowing me to use their product.
And I am completely shameless in my use of a Koosh. Don't you love those things?
I'm screwing up the Ranger-verse again. I'm sorry. I have no idea when this happens: Tommy's the White Ranger, Adam, Aisha and Rocky aren't Rangers, yet, but Tommy and Kim are completely ignorant about human emotions, as of yet... oh, well. ^_~
Please e-mail me at email@example.com for any comments and criticisms. No flames, please... as I've said, this is sheer mind-fluff...
Kimberly slowly opened her eyes to a violent shrieking that undoubtably came from the tiny clock by her bedside. How could something so small make such a big sound? She groaned at the flush of light coming in through her window, and desperately tried to throw a pillow over her head.
Unfortunately, the fluffy, cottony pillow knocked off some other things as well, and her alarm clock went crashing to the floor with the resounding screech of metal against wood.
Much to her annoyance, Kimberly Hart was awake.
She groaned again. Her silken brown hair had mussed itself up with the struggle with the pillow, her alarm clock was sprawled out on the floor in many minuscule pieces. Now _what_ had possessed her to set her alarm clock for 6:30 in the morning? It's not as if it was a school day, after all...
Well, too late to think of that, now.
She tossed the soft, cool, cotton blankets off her body and stretched, testing all her muscles for bruises. Nope... no bruises on the soft skin she worked so hard to keep an even tan on. Ouch. Well, maybe just one.
She rubbed the offending area, grumbling to herself about "monkeys in tin-cans" and something about "clay-head soup" as well. Springing lazily out of bed, she ran her slim, pink-nailed fingers through her soft waves of hair and headed for the bathroom, muttering angrily about the cold, the humidity, the tiles against her feet...
Mornings were generally _not_ good times.
Slipping into the bathroom with natural lissome grace, Kimberly proceeded to beautify herself up to her own standards. She turned on the faucet, and watched dispassionately for a few seconds as the water whooshed out and ran through the sink.
Then she dipped her cupped hands under the flow, bent down and threw the water onto her sleepy face.
Yes, mornings were not good times. But at least she was awake, now. Normally, that was a _good_ thing. Then what _was_ it that was wrong?
She looked around with a general feeling of loss. No, everything _there_ was the same. Maybe there was something she was supposed to do today. Party? Nope. Picnic? Yeah, but that wasn't it. What could it be?
She pondered that as she squeezed triple-striped toothpaste onto a carnation-pink toothbrush and proceeded to scrub the enamel off her teeth.
She stretched once more, muscles and overused joints creaking with strain, as she re-entered her bedroom.
As she headed for her closet to pink-- I mean, pick-- something out of her closet of clothes, she noticed something glittering, immaculate and white, on her rosy pillow. Not the offending one that had knocked her alarm clock to the floor, but rather the one that her head had been lying on a few minutes earlier, in blissful sleep. How puzzling.
"Now what's this?" she asked herself, plucking the shimmering piece of paper off the plump pillow.
She opened it, the paper crackling with the crispness of expensive stationary. Her face lit up, and she came close to laughing aloud.
Well, as you know, it's February 14 again. I suppose this would be your favourite day of the year: all pink and hearts! Much to my surprise, out of all the girls I know, I picked you. Well, maybe not such a surprise... please be my Valentine this Valentine's Day.
Your Secret Admirer
It was written in a crisp, clear handwriting, about as no-nonsense as they came. She liked that, rather.
"Oh!" she exclaimed. "That's it! That's what I forgot! It's Valentine's Day!"
She whacked herself gently across the forehead, dressed as quickly as she possibly could in a newly-ironed pair of crisp, white denim shorts and a faded pink denim tie-top, and proceeded to break the speed barrier getting to Trini's house.
"Oh! You are so lucky, Kim!" Trini giggled, reading the letter and watching her pink-clad friend blush. "That is _so_ sweet."
Kim smiled through the red flush that heated her cheeks. "I know. Isn't it? But I _still_ don't know who sent it."
"You say it arrived on your pillow, right?"
"Uh-huh. As soon as I came back from the bathroom, I found it there. I don't think anyone could have gotten into my room..."
Trini tossed her slick, ebony black hair over her shoulder and rubbed the crusted sleep from her eyes. Kim had practically shaken her out of bed. But it was worth it.
"That really cuts it down, though, to who it came from."
"Why d'you say that?" Kim asked with some curiosity. She knew that Trini was right--well, Trini was never _wrong_-- but often, it took vast leaps of the imagination to figure out _why_ she was right.
"Well, if it appeared on your pillow without anyone bringing it, then it's someone who can use the facilities in the Command Center to send it through teleportation."
"Hey, yeah! So it's either Jason, Zach, Billy, or Tommy, right?"
"Let's ask Zordon, what do you think? He'd probably know: I mean, he keeps track of all these things, doesn't he?" Kim asked perkily, bouncing on the soft bedsprings of Trini's yellow-sheeted mattress.
Trini's Asian features wrinkled slightly as she frowned pensively. "I don't think he'd want to be bothered so early in the morning, Kim."
Her tone of voice hinted that _no-one_ wanted to be bothered so early in the morning. Herself included.
"Oh, c'mon! He doesn't sleep, does he? Besides, I _really_ want to know!" Kim shouted playfully, eliciting a wince from Trini.
"If you say so, Kim..."
Trini sighed as the pair teleported out of the room in bolts of yellow and pink. When Kim was in this mood...
They rematerialized in the command center. The metallic panels flashed with varicoloured lights, bright and glaring to tender eyes.
Kim whirled, horror showing on her expressive features. "He's not in his tube!"
"He's not?" Trini asked. She sauntered over to a panel and started tapping on the flashing buttons. "Oh. Yes, he is. Call him, would you?"
"Zordon!" Kim shouted hesitantly.
No reply. The only sound in the command center was the gentle whirring of the machines.
"ZORDON!" Kim and Trini yelled in unison.
"Not this early in the morning, girls." Zordon grumbled. His face appeared hazily in the dominating column of blue light.
"Um, maybe later?" Kim didn't want to find out the repercussions that came about when one angered a being like Zordon.
His craggy face disappeared, and the Command Center was silent once more.
Kim and Trini sighed with exasperation, teleporting out of the room in glowing lights.
Trini and Kim sat across a dark-skinned girl with fetchingly braided hair, munching contentedly on Sausage McMuffins and pancakes.
The three girls sat in silent communication-- or was that simply hunger?-- for a few seconds before Trini silently pushed the letter across the table to the third girl.
"Kim found this on her pillow this morning, Aisha."
Aisha Campbell studied the note, her dark-lashed, dark-irised eyes flying over the letters with obvious interest. "Who's it from, d'you know?"
Kim shook her head, tendrils of glowing brown hair trailing over her face. "We're trying to find out."
Aisha held up five slim brown fingers with perfectly-shaped crescent fingernails. "Well, there're only a few people it can be. Billy, Jason, Tommy, or Zach. Don't even bother asking Rocky who it is."
"Why not Rocky?"
"He can't keep a secret to save his life. He'd have told someone."
Aisha's grin bared a mouthful of perfect white teeth. "Me."
"So do you think you know who did it?"
"Weeellll.... maybe." Aisha declared with a little hesitation. "But I'll wait until I'm sure. Let's wait until the picnic, what do you think? We'll know for sure, then!"
Kimberly shrieked as Tommy hurled the Koosh ball towards her stomach. The little ball, consisting of dangling rubber tendrils in various colours bright enough to outshine the sun, sped towards her.
She dropped to the ground in a side-split, flattening her body to the grassy ground. The Koosh whizzed over her head.
Various other male visitors to the park groaned and crossed their legs.
"Hey, you guys, get over here!" Trini cried, cupping long-fingered hands around her mouth. Her long black hair was bound up in a shining ponytail, just as Kim's mass of brown hair was tamed by two pigtails on the top of her head.
"She doesn't play fair!" Zach groaned, pointing at Kimberly. The dark dancer moved with nonchalant fluidity to Trini's side. "She uses gymnastics so we can't hit her in dodgeball!"
"What's wrong with that?" Aisha asked, spreading out a red-and-white checkered picnic mat.
"It's not _fair_!" Rocky wailed. He grimaced, remembering. "Besides, it hurts each time she does a split."
Tommy, dressed in a white muscle shirt and loose white pants with a black belt and silver buckle, chuckled. "No, it doesn't!"
"Oh, yeah, easy for _you_ to say!" Zach riposted smoothly. "_You_ do splits on a daily basis!"
"And you _don't_? You think _that's_ annoying, man," Tommy shot back, "Try having the person in the middle _dance_ out of the way of the Koosh!"
"Hey, I groove to the beat, man!" Zach grinned and executed a neat little turn on the grass. He promptly tripped over his feet as he saw who was approaching. "Whoa, there's Angela!"
The beautiful cocoa-skinned girl strolled over to them casually and offered Zach a hand up. He stared up at her, eyes the size of teacups, before he took the proffered hand and bounced to his feet.
"Uh... so, Angela." he smiled suavely, executing a little spin-and-bow. "What can I do for you?"
Angela chuckled throatily, and pulled a folded piece of peach stationary out of her purse. She tucked it in his collar as he stood, dumbfounded (for once), and sauntered away.
Zach stared after her, sighing, for a few seconds, before he tugged the letter out of his shirt.
It's Feb. the 14th again! Could I meet you in the Youth Center at three o' clock today? Would you be my Valentine?
Zach's yell of "YAHOO!" was heard echoing off the buildings of the business district, six kilometers away.
After the expression of joy had stopped ringing in their ears, Trini turned to Kim. "One down, four to go."
"Oh, um, speaking of Valentine's Day," Tommy spoke up, looking a little pensive. "Kim, this is for you."
From behind his back, he pulled out an absolutely perfect long-stemmed red rose with no thorns. The fist-sized rosebud had just begun to unfurl, promises of beauty still to come held in that closed bud.
"Oh, Tommy, it's beautiful." Kim whispered, taking it from him gently. His fingers brushed across hers with soft silkiness, trembling just the slightest bit. "Thank you."
"So _you're_ the one that sent the letter!" Aisha exclaimed triumphantly.
Tommy looked bewildered. "What letter?"
"Never mind." Aisha sighed. _Two_ down, three to go.
"Would someone inform me of the proceedings?" Billy, who had stayed quiet all through the conversation, whispered to Trini.
"I'll tell you later." she replied in an undertone to the bespectacled blonde boy with the most marvellous green eyes. A single blond-brunette, wavy lock of hair fell into his eyes, and with a flick of her wrist, she brushed it away. Her fingertips brushed the tanned skin of his forehead, smooth and unlined, and tickled through his thin eyebrows.
Trini smiled and shook her head. [Wow, Kim really pulled one over _him_, now didn't she...]
"... and so that's why we're trying to look for Kim's secret admirer." Trini finished.
Billy bobbed his head in a nod, another blonde lock falling into his eyes. He brushed it away impatiently. "Without a doubt, Zach is out of the question. I believe that he is truly smitten with Angela."
"And Tommy said he didn't send it." Aisha added. She regarded Billy with an eloquently raised eyebrow, speaking volumes about what she thought with a twitch of a muscle.
Billy blushed a violent crimson, staining his skin all the way to his hairline, but protested. "I must decline the credit, Aisha. I believe that I have formed an attachment of a somewhat more than congenial nature to another individual."
Trini blinked. And here she'd been so sure he had a crush on Kim. "Have you told her?"
"Because... because... because I am under the suspicion that she is already involved with a person of the opposite gender.
"Would someone translate, PLEASE?!" Kim and Aisha exclaimed in unison. Billy and Trini exchanged a look that proclaimed, "They'll never understand."
"He said that he didn't do it, because he's got a crush on someone else. I asked if he'd told her, and he said no because he believes that she's got a boyfriend."
Trini didn't see the oblique, unmistakable glance-and-grin that Kim and Aisha swapped behind her back.
Kim bounced over to him, her pigtails swinging in the air. "And what if I could tell you that she's not?"
Billy cocked his head at her, brows wrinkling with a puzzled expression. It was not one seen on Billy's face very often, and Kim relished the moment. "I would be extremely curious as to how you gained information on who I have, to use slang, 'a crush' on."
"He said he'd wonder how you knew who he's got a crush on." Trini translated.
"Just out of the blue. No pun intended, really. What if? B'cause I know that she's not. Besides, it's Valentine's Day. What harm could it do?" Kim queried, impaling Billy with mild, doe-brown eyes.
She could almost imagine the beads of sweat trickling down his face with nervousness.
"Hey, yeah, c'mon, Billy. I mean, it's just for today, right?" Aisha encouraged. She winked at Kim, one eyelid dropping over a twinkling eye with mischief.
"Oh... if you insist. Trini, would you agree to do me a favor?"
"Oh, sure, Billy, anything."
"Anything?" he asked archly. It was a sign of his nervousness that he was using monosyllabic-- well, trisyllabic, anyway-- words, and only one per sentence.
"We're friends, right? Of course, anything."
"Would you, Trini Kwan, consent to being my Valentine?"
Trini stared, a hint of red flush creeping up to rouge her cheeks with the slightest suggestion of pink. "My goodness, Billy! I never knew!"
While Trini's blush was just a slight touch of rose to her cheeks, and her eyes were straight at Billy, the object of her scrutiny was vainly trying to count the cracks in the wood floor. His blush threatened to overwhelm his blood vessels and capillaries.
Kim giggled joyfully. _She'd_ seen this coming! "Trini, then you're the only one who didn't... c'mon, we all know how you two watch out for each other. Billy, it's nothing to be ashamed of, you know." she reached out, a smile taking the sting from her words, and gripped his shoulder. "You should at least look at her."
Billy tried to raise his eyes from the floor, but evidently gravity was having a rather immobilizing effect on his eyeballs.
"Of course I'll be your Valentine, Billy!" Trini exclaimed happily.
Suddenly, Billy's eyes gained motion once more. His head lifted, and an expression of joyful incredulity lit up his face. "Really?"
In response, Trini reached out and hugged him.
Aisha turned to Kimberly. "Three down..."
Billy read the letter swiftly, his brows wrinkling in consternation. "Hmm. I do not believe I know who sent this, Kimberly. If it _is_ one of the members of the Power Rangers, they have not confided in me. Under what circumstances did it arrive?"
"Billy, please, speak English."
"If it _is_ one of the 'guys', then they didn't tell me. How did it get to you?" Billy spoke again before Trini had a chance to translate.
He grinned at the looks of astonishment the three girls threw at him. "What?"
"Y'mean you _can_ talk English?"
"Of course. It just takes a little more effort, that's all."
"And you never told us?"
"Why, is it important?"
There were three resounding *thwap*s as three girls clapped hands to their foreheads.
"Kim, seriously, how did you receive it?"
"I found it on my pillow."
"Hmm. Is there any chance that someone might have snuck in?"
"Through where? I haven't got any sisters, my Mom wouldn't do something like that, and my window's bolted shut!"
"Hm. Something else, then." He took the letter from her and scrutinized it. "Well, whoever this is writes in red ink. And there's a watermark on the paper."
"Affirmative. I believe that is the Korean character 'Lee'."
Aisha, Trini and Kim exchanged a triple-sided glance. "Jason _Lee_ Scott, _Red_ Ranger? That's too much of a coincidence..." Trini mused thoughtfully.
"I think we need to pay a visit to the Lee Scott household, what do you think, Kim?"
"Sounds good to me!"
"Wait, girls. Perhaps this is not the best of opportunities to confront Jason..."
"And why not, Billy?"
"He would find it very amusing if Kim came up to him and accused him of something he didn't do." Aisha mused. "Yeah, Billy's right."
"Why don't we check if he has red ink on his fingers? See?" Billy pointed at a red smear. "The only ink that takes on this kind of paper is that of a fountain pen, and red fountain pen ink leaves stains for several days."
"Sounds good to me!"
"Kim, _why_ are you checking out my hands?" Jason sounded rather amused. "I _know_ that there's nothing wrong with them--"
"Um, just a... yeah, an experiment for Billy!" Kim blurted, eyes snapping up to Jason's face guiltily.
"Really? He didn't tell me about an experiment. What kind?"
"Uh..." Trini covered for Kim, "he's designing a new kind of glove for the Rangers, and he needs to find out the various genotypes of hands among 'em."
Jason nodded, taking it at face value. "Yeah. Hey, what do they do?"
"Um, we gotta go check out Tommy's hands, next, and Billy's gonna be awfully mad if we're late--"
With that, Kim and Trini bolted out the door.
"Nope, it's not him. He's clean."
"Then who's left?!" Kim threw her hands up in the air.
"Kim, stop pacing." Trini commanded. "You're wearing a rut in the floor!"
"Well..." Aisha tapped her lip thoughtfully. She was lying flat on her back on Kim's bed, staring at the glow-in-the-dark-star-decorated ceiling. "There's one more boy... but he's not a Power Ranger. I don't know if Zordon would let him send a message..."
Kim stopped suddenly in front of the bed. "You're right!" she cried, astonished. "What about Adam? And Rocky?"
Aisha shrugged. "It's not Rocky."
Three sets of eyes, one green, one caramel and one raven-black, set on her. "And how do you know that?"
"Like I said, he's got a big mouth. He'd have told someone."
"But we can't be _sure_!" Kim wailed. "We'll never find out at the rate we're going."
"Trust me, I _know_ it's not Rocky. Take it from me, girlfr'en'. It must be Adam. It fits, doesn't it?"
"What do you mean?"
"Adam's full name is Adam Lee Park, Kim! He's shy, so he wouldn't have said anything... besides, it even _sounds_ like him!"
"Hmm. What about the red pen?"
"It's Valentine's day, Billy! C'mon, _everyone_ writes in red pen!"
"Let's go check it out, then, what do you think?"
"Oh, hi, Kim, Trini. What brings you here?" Adam greeted them at the door.
Kim smiled seductively at him. "Hi, Adam."
His look of shy welcome turned to one of confusion. "Um... hi?"
"You sent the letter, didn't you?" she took one step closer to him, and the look of confusion increased. Adam held his ground, but the look on his face was the one that was found on the visages of trapped rabbits.
"The Valentine letter. Didn't you ask me to be your Valentine?" Kim asked.
Adam blushed, looking away. He had a small, inscrutable smile on his lips. "Sorry, Kim... I think you've got the wrong guy. I sent a letter to another girl. You know her, she's in Mr. Gamboa's class. Judy Lin?"
"Did she say yes?" Kim squealed, bouncing. She liked matchmaking almost as much as having her own match made...
He sighed. "She hasn't replied, yet."
Suddenly, the phone rang, and Adam strolled inside to pick up the phone. "Hello, Park residence? Oh, Kim, Trini, come on in, make yourself comfortable. Hmm? Who's here? My classmates Kim and Trini. What?! No, of course I don't have two Valentines. No, I'm not planning to have three. We're just friends. Oh, you will? Um.. Great! Uh, see you tonight? Eight o' clock O.K. with you? Fantastic! OK, bye!"
Adam lowered the receiver like it was a holy object.
Then he faced the roof and yelled,"YES!"
Kim peered out at him from the overstuffed couch. "I bet it was Judy," she wagered.
A big, genuine grin spread over Adam's handsome Asian features. "You're good at making bets." he acceded. "Yes, it was Judy. We're meeting at L'Opera later..."
Kim bounced. "Yes!"
"But what about you, Kim?"
"Well, it's not Billy--"
"He kinda asked me to be his Valentine." Trini smiled candidly at him.
"Hm. And Tommy claims he didn't do it-- I don't think he was lying-- Zach is still with Angela... what about Jason?"
"We checked up with him. I don't think he did it."
"And it wasn't Rocky."
"How do you know?"
"I _know_. It wasn't Rocky." Adam repeated with conviction.
"If you say so..." Kim answered doubtfully. "Oh, well. I guess I'll never know who it was."
The normally perky girl sighed, drooping. Then she brightened. "Do you think Tommy might want to go to a movie, tonight?"
Trini and Adam fixed identical one-eyebrow-up looks at her.
Kim blushed. "I think he's cute. And sweet. And smart--"
"Just admit that you like him, Kim." Trini shook her head.
Rocky's jaw dropped as he saw Kim coming down the stairs. "Whoa, a Dios rogando y con el mazo dando! Veo un muchacha hermosa!" *Tweet, tweet!* he topped off the comments with a very enthusiastic whistle.
Kim blushed, but thanked him as she slowly traversed the narrow steps. "Thanks, Rocky. Whatever that meant."
Her hair was not smoothed and combed as it normally was, but rather had been attractively feathered and curled to give her a beautiful set of waves which flowed across her shoulders in golden-brown curls. Some adept makeup artist had taken a hand to her face: though there was barely any sign she was wearing any, there were added years of wisdom and mature beauty to her prettiness, without subtracting from her natural bright innocence.
But the _dress_...
The dress was not one of Kim's innocent little "baby-doll" sweetheart dresses. It did not even come _close_. It was the kind of thing that people wondered where it was bought: France, or a designer lingerie shop...
It hung to mid-thigh, though perhaps _hung_ was not quite the right word. It was made of a stretchy velvet-like material, hugging her slim, gymnastics-enhanced body all the way, and for once was not pink. It was a black so deep it rivalled the night outside, and a silver zipper crossed the entire length from the low scoop neckline to the barely-past-fingertips hemline.
And for all that it hugged her body like a coating of paint-- or, for that matter, her pink Power Ranger bodysuit-- it was completely decent, demure and beautiful. A set of matching chased-silver earrings set off the deep night of the outfit, with a pair of soft black leather boots which came to a palm's breadth above her ankle.
"'A Dios rogando y con el mazo dando' means 'Praise God and pass the ammunition,' as I recall from my Spanish lessons." Aisha mused. "And 'veo un muchacha hermosa' is 'I see a beautiful lady'. Hey, Kim, lookin' good!"
"Thanks to you. I'd _never_ have gotten this all done in time without you!"
"Isn't it a little fancy for a movie, though?" Rocky informed her doubtfully. He was dressed in dark maroon slacks, with a black t-shirt and a plaid vest over his shirt. He was looking none too shabby himself. Aisha was dressed plainly, in yellow jeans, but she wore a black bodysuit and a yellow vest over it.
"Um... I'm not going to a movie."
"Oh? Didn't you ask Tommy if he wanted to come to a movie?" Aisha queried.
"Well, when I came home, I found a message on the answering machine. He wanted to know if I wanted to have dinner with him in 'La Papillon'."
"Hey, isn't that the new French restaurant?" Rocky mused.
Aisha nodded. "Yeah, it's a really classy place. Expensive, too... I guess we know now who sent the letter, huh?"
"That's the funny thing. I called him, and asked him about it, and he said that he was too shy to send me a letter. He didn't do it. Oh, well." Kim smiled. "I'm happy, anyway, it's not important."
"I _still_ think he did it. Rocky, ready to go?"
"When you are, Isha. Enjoy your date, Kim!"
One more piece of a puzzle fell into place. "So _that's_ how you knew it wasn't Rocky!"
Aisha looked back at her friend, and pulled Rocky's arm around her waist. "Well, of course. He sent me a Valentine, yesterday."
"And you didn't tell me?"
"You were too busy trying to find who your Secret Admirer was." Aisha pointed out good-naturedly. "Oh, well. Bye, Kim!"
"Bye!" Kim waved the couple out the door, shaking her head. "Ooh, Aisha, I'm going to get you for not telling me..."
A bell-like chuckle echoed through the door. "Now wouldn't it be funny if I heard that?"
Kim sighed and sat down to wait.
She hadn't been waiting for very long, though, when the doorbell rang. She took one last look at herself in the mirror along the hallway, then went to greet her date.
"Hi, Tommy--" she began as she started to open the door. Then when she saw him, "Hi, Tommy," suddenly sounded oh-so-hollow...
He was wearing all white-- _that_ wasn't anything new, though Kim couldn't imagine for the life of her how he managed to keep looking so immaculate despite everything-- but it wasn't his normal loose pants and muscle shirt. Even though he normally looked good, no matter what, this time he looked stunning. Someone had evidently convinced him to leave his hair down, and that same someone had feathered and combed it, too. He was _not_ wearing a suit, for that she was thankful, but his white slacks and white embroidered dress shirt were plenty formal enough for anything.
He looked great.
"Hey, Kim." he greeted her shyly. "You look... beautiful."
"Oh, Tommy... thanks. You, too. Wait a minute, that didn't sound right."
They both laughed, dissipating some of the first-date tension between them.
From behind his back, he took out something: well, if truth be told, twelve things. A beautiful bouquet of damask roses was held in one hand. "Happy Valentine's day!" he greeted.
Her hand crept to her mouth. "Oh, Tommy, you didn't."
"But I did." he winked. "
She took the roses from him, ushering him inside. "I'll go put these in some water... Mmm, they smell good... come on in, I'll just be a second."
Tommy nodded and stepped over the threshold into her house. After Kim's command to 'stay put', he settled himself in the couch and waited for his date.
She came out a few minutes later with an ornate crystal vase, filled to overflowing with the dozen roses. Settling this on the table, she smiled at him happily.
Tommy suddenly found he was having difficulty swallowing.
He stood up and took her hand, gingerly, as if he was afraid she would break if he held her too hard. "Ready to go?"
"As ready as I'll ever be..." she moved closer to him, and gently wrapped an arm around his waist. He blinked at her, and when she smiled up at him, his arm encircled her shoulders with touching hesitancy.
As they were leaving the doorway, Tommy snapped his fingers. "Oh, right, I almost forgot."
Gently, he disentangled her arm from his waist, patted his pockets, and finally found what he was looking for. He pulled out a semi-flat rectangular box, covered with black velvet. "A little gift. I saw this... and I thought that it would look great on you."
Tommy handed it to her, smiling shyly at the hesitancy on her face. "Go on, open it... I'd like to see whether I was right or not."
She opened it, undoing the small golden lock with a fingernail. A sigh escaped her lips as she saw what was inside the box. "Oh, Tommy, I can't accept this..."
Inside the slim jewelry container was a silver necklace, coiled and with the chain hidden. The smooth lines of the locket attached to the chain, though, spoke of Tiffany make. It was a shining, narrow heart, perfect for holding two pictures, with a single, tiny silver rose attached to the top of one of the heart's lobes.
"Of course you can," his serious tone belied the flippant nature of his words. "It's perfect for you. Here, let me put it on you."
His large fingers pulled out the necklace smoothly, holding the spiderweb-fine chain delicately. He undid the clasp easily, and reached around her neck to fasten it, inadvertently drawing her closer.
Tommy's fingers stroked the nape of her neck as he drew her hair upward so as not to tangle with the necklace. Kim shivered. His sweet, distinctive smell, unmasked by sweat or cologne, drifted towards her, along with his deep, exhilarating warmth.
"There." he whispered. "I was right. It's just beautiful on you."
Before he even had the chance to draw his hands away after getting the clasp closed, she was kissing him.
"I guess," he murmured after they parted, "that you've got no problems with kissing on a first date, huh?"
Kim giggled. Sometimes, spur-of-the-moment things really _did_ pay off...
She saw a flash of white on the inside lid of the jewelry case. "What's that?"
Tommy drew it out and handed it to her. "A little note, it's not important."
She unfolded it. The handwriting was just as no-nonsense and neat as the famed letter, but where that had been delicate and mysterious, Tommy's was bold and strong.
Another heart for one just as beautiful, in the hope of many more dates to come.
"Aww..." Kim crooned, turning her eyes up to look at his. He was flushing furiously. "That's so sweet. But what do you mean by _another_ heart?"
The blush faded away gradually, and Tommy winked. "Well, you already have _mine_..."
Kim laughed and took his elbow. "At the rate we're going, we'll _never_ get there!" She poked him in the side. "C'mon, handsome, let's go."
Zordon watched as they headed towards Tommy's white-- of course-- Mazda Miata, Kim's hand on Tommy's elbow. They were laughing together, happily, as only carefree teenagers can.
"Ay-ya-yay-ya-yay!" Alpha chirruped, blinking at the viewing globe with mechanical tears in his blinking, red eyes. "I love a happy ending."
"Me, too, Alpha." Zordon agreed. "And what happier ending could there be?"
A blur started to appear over one of the control panels.
It resolved into an inkwell filled with red ink, a Speedball fountain pen, and a sheaf of stationary. Alpha picked up the pen, and started writing on the stationary.
I really enjoyed our date today…"
"Do you think Kim will ever find out who sent her that note? I mean, she worked very hard to catch the culprit..." he chirruped, still writing on the hard paper.
"I doubt it." Zordon replied as Tommy and Kim drove away. "I really doubt it."