It had been a long time since she had been where she was now. She had searched for him for years. Long after the Pan-Globals. Long after she'd won the gold and left Florida for her new life. A long time since they had seen each other. She hoped that it wasn't too late, that with their last meeting, it hadn't been their last.
I hope he hasn't found someone else. Her fingers shook a little as she tuned her guitar and practicing the song she had penned just the night before. Tonight would be it's first performance, and she hoped it would have the desired results. She hadn't seen him, or any of her other friends, in so long. But tonight they would be there. She knew they would be.
She had sent out the invitations herself, and almost everyone had responded. Everyone but him. She hadn't been sure he would, anyway. He was so unpredictable at times...not that she minded.
Kim hoped that he would come. She wanted him to be there, to be able to tell him that she loved him. That she had always loved him, no matter how many other males had been in her life, and that she wanted him more than anything or anyone. The one hope she had held on to all the time she had been gone was that he would still be there when she got back. Even after sending the letter she had hoped that. They all have to hate me for that one, though. And I never have explained it fully....not that I could.
She took a long breath, then put her instrument down and turned her attention to her mirror. She never bothered with fancy make up or a stage name or any of those trappings. Her own face, her own name, those were good enough for her. She hoped one day to change her last name, though. That would be such a nice-sounding name...her mind turned the married form over in her head again and again. So nice...I hope it comes true.
As she brushed out her hair, and glanced through the make-up collection sitting on the table, she found herself wondering what she would do if he didn't show up. Don't think that. Don't ever think that. It's not going to happen. He'll be there.
The doubt was there, though. And it wouldn't go away. Resolutely she forced the brush through her hair and thought about other things. About marriages. Kat had been beautiful at her wedding, and she and her husband were deliriously happy together. Kim was glad for them, and had been even more honored to be the maid of honor then.
"Kim?" she turned to see her manager looking in the doorway. "We're going to be ready to start in ten minutes. Are you ready?"
Kim nodded. "Ready now. What's the crowd look like?"
"They're all there." The manager smiled briefly, white teeth flashing against his dark skin as they had since childhood. "He's there, too, Kim. He came."
Her eyes lit up with joy. "Thanks, Zack. Let's do this."
She watched as various performers, some musical, some comedy, some just..other..passed. Then it was her turn. She took a long breath, not looking out at the crowd, not wanting to see his face there. She knew that she would not be able to sing if she did. She instead focused on a point behind them all: to a table that she knew all too well. Seated around it now were young people she'd not known long, but had been glad to meet after the wars were over. Andros, Zhane, Karone, T.J., Cassie, Carlos, Ashley, and someone in black she vaguely recognized as having been introduced to her as the Phantom Ranger. Yes, that's right, he and Cassie are a couple. Quite an unusual pairing, there.
"And now we have the world-famous gymnast, the becoming world famous vocalist....Kimberly Hart!" Ernie, acting as emcee as he always did, declared. Kim stepped up and picked up the microphone. Against her will, her eyes fell from the table in the back to the row of seats before her. There he was. In real, solid, three dimensional life. The words clarified at once in her mind. She knew what she had to sing. What she had to say. The music began. And she sang.
"I thought you wouldn't come. I wasn't sure if you got the invitation." her voice held no quaver, no hint.
"I thought about not coming." His voice was just as firm as hers. The last time they had talked had been around the time of the switch to Turbo. She had never thought they would see each again...not like this. The way he had looked then....but it had been then she had told him how there had been no guy in Florida...but how she was in love with someone else. With him.
Kim slowly reached out a hand and he caught it in his. "I've been wanting to tell you this for a long time, Kim." He sounded so mature...so grown-up. She wasn't used to that from him, but she thought she could get used to it. "I love you, Kimberly Hart. I always have and I always will."
She found herself being pulled closer to him, and he bent down to gently place his lips on hers. As they kissed, she felt the deepest and most pervasive sense of warmth rising up in her that she ever had. No one had ever felt like this before. She smiled softly as they parted. "I love you, too, Rocky DeSantos. I love you too."