Disclaimer: Everything Power Rangers belongeth to Saban. The characters of Trevor Monroe and Renee Ryan were created by the awesome Rachel Dawson and are borrowed with her permission. If I mess up with them, that shouldn't be too much trouble since "Lie to Me" takes place in an entirely different (albeit similar) timeline from any of her fics and will not taint their splendor. ;-)
Author's Note: The song "Lie to Me" was written by Bruce McCabe and David Z, and is taken from the Jonny Lang album of the same name. This fic was inspired by Rachel's fic "Hart of Darkness," but the scenario is slightly different. A note to Spice Girls haters: the song is mentioned only because this fanfic takes place back in May 1997, when they were still popular.
And of course, thanks to Selma McCrory for giving me the song concept in the first place. This is all your fault, you know that? :)
Lie to me
and tell me everything is all right
It was a particularly warm evening in May, at the hour that marked the transition between late night and painfully early morning. For most people, it was a time of quiet. Peace and quiet, however, had ceased to exist for the American Pan-Global gymnastics team.
Not that anyone was complaining about the noise in the convention center's lounge. More than anyone raising a ruckus at that hour, the team had a right to party. Not only had the women's team scored the gold medal, and the men's team the silver in the team competition, but the end of the individual events found them with five gold medals, three silver medals, and a bronze. In short, they had knocked everyone else out of the water. The surprise party that Coach Schmidt was throwing for them, with a DJ and free food, was just the icing on the cake.
And everyone was taking advantage of it. For the first time in months, they were done, and they had done well. It was the first real chance to cast stress to the winds (or sanity, judging by two members of the men's team who were trying to use a table as a balance beam). Relief and happiness flowed over the room like a cool river.
Only one person escaped its current. Sitting in a corner of the room, Trevor Monroe watched his friends and teammates celebrate. He didn't feel like joining in, for the same reason that they were dancing and eating and making general fools of themselves.
It was all over. Which meant that at the end of the night, she was leaving. Kimberly Hart was leaving Florida and the Pan-Globals behind, and taking his heart with her.
He sipped his soda, wallowing briefly in denial.
The DJ switched tracks to "Say You'll Be There," and the dance floor was almost immediately crowded. Sighing, Trevor watched her on the dance floor with several other girls on the women's team, who were trying to sing along with the music. Kim and Renee Ryan, her roommate, were happily drowning the others out and hamming it up for Coach Schmidt, who had managed to rent a video camera and was busily recording future blackmail.
Trevor couldn't help but smile as he watched Kim bounce around and toss her caramel-colored hair about wildly. No matter what she was doing, there was always grace in her movements, even when she wasn't trying. Watching her glide across the polished wooden floor, laughing and flickering through the crowd like a candle flame, he almost forgot to be unhappy.
Lie to me
and tell me that you'll stay here tonight
Maybe she'd accept his offer; his first-class plane ticket home could easily be exchanged for two coach seats on the flight. If she did, it would put all his fears and miseries to rest. She would be with him. That was all that mattered, more than any medal or judge's score. From the day he'd met her, he had fallen hopelessly in love with Kim. Everything about her brightened up his life. He didn't want to disrupt hers, but at the same time.....he couldn't stand them being apart.
But he wasn't sure he could convince her to switch around her plans and blow off a flight to Paris that left in only six hours. She had been packed and ready hours ago, and soon she would be taking the bus to Miami International Airport.
God, he couldn't believe she was leaving. It didn't seem real.
Tell me that you'll never leave
Oh I'll just try to make believe
That everything, everything you're telling me is true
It wasn't that the training and the Games had gone by swiftly; they had, and he had enjoyed every minute of it, but other competitions would come up later. But something told him that for Kim, it might be the last for a while. She'd seemed distant whenever he brought up the subject of other competitions and being on the same team again, even the possibility of making it to the Olympics.
Ever since that friend of hers from high school had shown up, Kimberly hadn't seemed as bent on making the Olympic trials as before. At first, Trevor thought that Jason Scott was the old flame that had been plaguing her, and it was lucky for both of them that Renee had caught him and straightened him out. But whatever he told her had sapped her enthusiasm for the Olympics. Whenever anyone broached the subject, she didn't just become evasive, but almost seemed guilty as well. Why, Trevor didn't know.
Not that she was any less dedicated to the Games; she had scored a perfect 10 on the balance beam, in the team and individual events. But she hadn't been as focused on anything after the Pan-Globals. In fact, when he had asked her about going to live with her mother in Paris, her reaction was less than thrilled. Part of him wanted to think it was because of him. It was plain to see that Kim's dreams were nowhere near France anymore.
But then where were they? Why was she going?
Come on baby won't you just
Lie to me
Go ahead, lie to me
Lie to me
Go ahead, lie to me
Trevor had asked himself those questions a hundred times, but never got up the courage to ask Kim. He was almost afraid of the answer. Afraid that it wasn't what he wanted to hear. As selfish as it was, he wanted to be the reason. Ignoring the insidious nagging of common sense at the back of his mind, he gulped a mouthful of Coke. He desperately wanted to hear her say that she cared for him as deeply as he did for her.
Even if it wasn't entirely true.
Lie to me
It don't matter anymore
But it could never be
The way it was before
"Since when were you the wallflower in this group?"
Startled, he nearly dropped his glass as he turned to see Renee kneeling beside him. She had moved so quickly and silently he hadn't picked up on it. As he pulled his wits together, Renee grinned at his discomfort. Trevor shook his glass at her. "Maybe it has something to do with my teammates trying to pull sneak attacks on me."
There was little remorse in her tone. "Sorry, Trevor. I didn't mean to scare you." Renee grinned wider, but her smile faded as she caught his eye. "What's wrong?"
He finished off the Coke, glancing back at the dance floor. Renee followed his gaze, her eyes widening. "Oh. I see."
"Can you answer a question?" She turned back to him expectantly as he spoke. "What did I do wrong? How did I lose her?"
"It wasn't you, Trevor," Renee said sadly.
He looked at her for a moment, expecting her to continue, but all he received instead was silence. "Look, I don't care if there's someone else. I just--I don't know what I'd do if she left for good."
At that, Renee snorted. "Come on. What are you going to do, follow her around? You're the one who always teases me about my lack of common sense."
"Screw common sense. It doesn't matter so much now." He stood up and grabbed a nearby chair, pulling it beside his own. "You might as well sit down."
"Thanks." She accepted the seat, looking at him with concern. "Did you ask her?" He shook his head. "It's not going to work." He did not respond, and they sat in silence for a moment. "Look, a lot of this is my fault. I was the one who pushed you together too fast."
Trevor reached over and squeezed his friend's hand. "'Ne, it's not your fault," he insisted.
"It's not yours either." She frowned as he pulled the ticket out of his pocket. "Even if you get her to come with you, it won't be the same."
She still wouldn't tell him what had happened. "What if she did accept and come with me? It would be just like when we started out. We'd be together, no pressure, no worries. What could be missing?"
"How about the truth?" Renee offered.
If I could hold on to you
Leave me something I can hold on to
He turned and looked at her suspiciously. "Speaking of the truth..."
"It's not my business." Trevor continued to stare at her. "Oh, all right already. You know that guy she had in California?"
The shadow that crossed Trevor's face made it plain that he did. "What did he do now?"
"He didn't do anything in the first place. Somebody sent him a break-up letter." She leaned back in her seat, watching the antics on the dance floor. "Somebody who did a pretty good job at forging Kim's handwriting."
Trevor sat back as well, letting that sink in. "You're kidding."
"Jason brought the note. I saw it." Renee tore her gaze from the dance floor to fix him with a laser stare.
He closed his eyes. "What do you want me to do? Give up? I'm probably never going to see her again."
"You know what you should do. This is supposed to be a party, so I'm going to dance." She stood up. "It's up to you." With that, she slipped away as quietly as she had come.
Trevor sighed and turned back to watching Kimberly. _How does she do it?_ he wondered. With all that to worry about, she remained the life of the party. But once the party was over, she would be gone. Probably she would forget him in a month. Everything between them had been so fleeting that it might as well have been a fantasy.
Suddenly, he knew what to do. Standing up, he left the lounge and went to make a phone call.
For just a little while longer
Won't you let me dream...
An hour later, Kim and Renee were sitting almost in the same spot that Trevor had been. The party was still going strong, but Kim was starting to get worn out. The euphoria from their success was wearing off, and she was starting to get depressed.
"Girl, snap out of it," Renee insisted. "You can always change your mind." _Between Kim and Trevor, I think I'm turning into the team's resident shrink!_
Kim shook her head sadly. "It's not that easy, 'Ne. I can't exchange my ticket to Paris now; it's got something to do with it being an international flight. Besides, I already made plans with Mom to come to stay with her months ago."
"Oh, come on. She'll understand."
"I don't think Tommy would, though." She bit her lip, looking on the verge of tears. "I miss him so much, but I don't think he cares anymore. Now I know why his mother was so rude to me, though."
Renee rolled her eyes. "Kim, how are you going to know if you don't ask him? Why not take a chance? What's stopping you?"
Any answer Kim could have given was cut off as Trevor came up to them, clearing his throat. "Renee? Can I talk to Kim for a second?"
"I'm out of here," Renee said, hopping up. "See you after the party, girlfriend." She then headed off, but not before shooting Trevor a "don't-blow-it" look.
There was a long, somewhat awkward silence between them, then Kim stood up and turned to leave. Trevor touched her should. "Kim, hold on a second." She turned, her wide dark eyes fastening on his, and his resolve nearly shattered. But the affection that had once shone in those eyes was absent, smothered by sadness. "I need to ask you something."
She blinked, confused. "What is it?"
"You really don't want to go to Paris tomorrow, do you?"
At that, Kim actually managed an embarrassed smile. "Is it that obvious?"
Trevor hastily grabbed a paper napkin and offered it to her. "A little. But I think everyone's sad to leave."
"I know." Dabbing at her eyes, she stole a glance at the group on the dance floor. Renee had cornered one of the male gymnasts who she had been gushing over for months. As together as Renee appeared, she hadn't been able to approach him until now. "It's been like a beautiful dream. I don't think I want to wake up."
_That makes two of us._ "It's not the Games you're afraid of leaving, is it?" Surprised, she looked up as he reached into his pocket and pulled out two plane tickets. "I know you can't get your ticket exchanged, but I made a couple of phone calls. I exchanged my first-class ticket for tomorrow for two coach seats."
Kimberly looked at the floor, then back at him. "Trevor, I know where this is going. It's sweet, but I--"
He cut her off. "One to Cleveland, and one on a flight to Angel Grove."
Oh, anyone can see
That you love him more than me
But right now, baby, let me pretend
That our love will never end
As she stood, dumbfounded, he took her hand and pressed the ticket into her palm, wrapping her fingers around it. "The flight doesn't leave until tomorrow night, but that should give you time to call your parents. That is, if you want to go."
"What??" Kim repeated, gaping at him. "How did you manage this?"
"Kirk's uncle practically owns the airline that sponsored the Games," he explained, referring to his roommate. "I blackmailed him into helping me pull some strings."
"I--I don't understand." Kimberly stared at the ticket. "Why?"
Trevor paused, uncertain whether or not to tell her what he knew. "I heard about the letter. Renee told me."
"I'm sure you had to twist her arm," Kim said sarcastically. "Honestly, she doesn't know when to quit, does she?" She brushed a strand of golden-brown hair out of her face. "Why are you doing this? I thought you wanted me to come back with you."
"I did." Trevor took her free hand. "Kimberly Anne Hart, I'm in love with you. That's why."
Kim cocked her head. "Wait a minute. That doesn't make sense."
"It makes plenty of sense. Kim, I'm not blind. It's not me you want." The words tasted bitter, but the thought that followed was more painful. _It's not me you love._
Her mouth parted in mock indignation. "How dare you!" He blinked, afraid he'd thought aloud, as she stared at him. "Trevor, I care about you, don't you know that?"
He gritted his teeth. "But you love him."
"Trevor, I--" She stopped, the words dying in her throat. Trevor nodded sadly, his suspicions confirmed as their eyes locked in silence, oblivious to the noise booming from the DJ's speakers. "I'd be lying to say I loved you any more than a friend," she finally whispered.
With a sigh, he let go of her hand, dropping his arm to his side. "So it's over, then." It was not a question, but there was no resentment in his eyes. Perhaps a flicker of regret, though.
Kim looked at the ticket again. "Trevor, I can't accept this. It's not fair to you. I wish I could pay you back or something."
The flicker of regret was replaced by a glint of mischief. "There is one thing. Go ahead and lie, just for tonight."
Lie to me
Go ahead, lie to me
You know just what I'm talking about
Lie to me
Go ahead, lie to me
You know just what I'm talking about now
"Now you're really not making sense," Kim laughed through her tears.
Fondly, he brushed her cheek with the heel of his hand, as if trying to brush her tears away. "I don't want you to lie to yourself. But if you could pretend, just for a few hours, that none of this ever happened and just have fun, that's payment enough for me."
This time she did laugh as he pulled her in for a hug. "How many times did you rehearse that?"
He looked slightly embarrassed. "About six, unless you count when Kirk walked in on me practicing in front of the mirror." Kimberly laughed again. "That's more like it."
Kim's smile died away again, and she pulled back from the embrace. "I don't know, Trevor....maybe I'd be better off in bed."
"I'm not talking about you, Kim. I'm just asking for one more night." Gently, he reached down and took her hand again. "One last dance?"
"I don't know..." she trailed off, as the DJ switched to a jazz song. "It wouldn't be right. It wouldn't be real."
Trevor frowned briefly, remembering what Renee had said about the truth. "It would be a lot better than sulking in our rooms during a victory party." At that, Kim looked up at him. "And if we both know the truth, what's the harm in pretending?"
There was a long pause before she finally spoke. "Just try not to step on my feet."
He grinned as she pulled him onto the dance floor.
I just want you to lie to me.....
The strains of music faded away as the nasal tone of the plane's PA system intruded sharply into the memory. Reluctantly, Trevor opened his eyes as the flight attendant droned on about the proper way to fasten seatbelts.
Shaking his head to clear it, he turned to the window. At least he'd managed to get a window seat; first class looked a lot more comfortable. Trevor shifted in his seat, rubbing at the thick glass to try to make out the action outside. Suddenly, a flash of pink caught his eye, and he immediately forgot about any discomfort. Trevor squinted to get a better look at the three figures standing by the terminal window. Kirk, of course, was there; his roommate had commented sourly that since he'd had to drag Trevor out of bed in the first place, he might as well come and see him off before passing out again.
Beside him stood Renee....and Kimberly. She was grinning despite the exhaustion, and was waving wildly in the general direction of the plane. He doubted she could see him exactly, but he smiled and waved back for the heck of it. Briefly, he was afraid that she was taking the morning flight to Paris, but another glance quelled his suspicions. The Kimberly Hart he knew would not go on even a sunrise flight in sweats or without carry-on luggage.
Somehow, Renee must have spotted him with her sharp eyesight, because she suddenly jerked up, nudged Kim, and started pointing and gesturing wildly. Kim finally spotted the window that her roommate indicated, and squinting, she stopped waving and started pointing up. Confused, Trevor watched their antics for a few moments, having no clue what they were trying to communicate.
Finally, Kirk rolled his eyes, grabbed his own knapsack, opened it, and started pointing inside. Trevor got the hint and snatched his pack from the overhead compartment, jostling the half-awake woman beside him. He finally wrestled it free and unzipped it, almost dropping the folded piece of pink paper inside. Curious, he unfolded it, reading the rounded, familiar handwriting:
Trevor, if you think you can push me around -- you're right.
I just wanted you to know that the extra coach ticket isn't going to waste.
I'll miss you, and Renee says she will too. (She also said to tell you
that she knows a good shrink in Columbus, but I'd ignore that if I were
you.) Thank you for understanding. Thank you for my second chance.
_I'm going to miss you, Kim,_ he thought as the jet engines started up. Closing his eyes, he shut out the plane, the attendants, and the roar of the engines, bringing back that last dance to the stage of memory.
He was still smiling as the plane left the ground.