“All right, everybody,” Ernie said, “We’ve got to get everything ready for tonight. Streamers and banners?”
“Check,” Tommy said, as him and Jason were hanging up a huge banner.
“Check,” Trini said, as she and Billy worked on the helium tank, getting all of the balloons blown up.
“Cake? Zack’s going to get it, so check,” Ernie said. Just then, he caught sight of Kim coming up the walk to the entrance. “Kim’s coming. We can’t let her see this until we’re ready.”
“I’ll go distract her,” Tommy said. He looked around, and saw Bulk and Skull. They said that they wanted to help, but nobody had needed their help yet. “Hey, Skull, you look to be the taller of the two of you. How about you help Jase hang up this stuff?”
“Sure,” Skull said, as he walked over. The two were surprising Tommy by being nice, instead of their usual rudeness. Shaking the thoughts out of his head, he headed towards the entrance and stepped outside, just as Kim was about to enter.
“Hey, Kimmie,” he said, “Where are you going?”
“Into the Youth Center,” Kim said, “After gymnastics practice at school, I’m beat and I thought a nice, cold smoothie would help.”
“Maybe you should go on home, and take a shower,” he offered, “Maybe I’ll even join you, if no one else is there.”
“Mmm, you’ve got a deal,” Kim said, “My mom’s away on a business trip. Let’s go.” With that, they left.
Ernie was watching from the entrance, and sighed with relief. “Wow, that was too close,” he said. He watched them for a moment longer, then went back to work decorating the place for the party.
“Oh, so the little Pink Ranger is celebrating her birthday today,” Rita said, “We should get her a present, Goldar.”
“A present? Oh boy,” Baboo said, “What are we going to get her?”
“I’ve got an idea, my empress,” Goldar said, “How about we take the former Green Lantern Ranger, and then do some rather... nasty things to her.”
“Good idea, Goldar,” Rita said, “Do it.”
Kim and Tommy were just getting out of the shower, when Goldar showed up, with a bunch of putties. They tried fighting them off, but there were too many and they were overwhelmed.
“Do as we say, or the former Green Ranger dies,” Goldar said. He was standing before Kim, and a putty had it’s arm turned into a blade, and pointed it at Tommy’s throat.
“Kim, don’t,” Tommy said, trying to twist out of the grasp of the putties holding him down.”
“If you won’t hurt him, I’ll do as you say,” Kim said, in a low voice. She refused to meet Tommy’s eyes or Goldar’s.
“Good,” Goldar growled. He paced circles around her, inspecting every part of her body. “For a human, you’re actually very sensual. Now, for the fun to begin.”
At Ernie’s everything was set for the party. Now all they had to do was wait for Tommy to come back with Kim.
“It might be a while, knowing those two,” Zack said.
“True, but we can’t have a birthday part without the birthday girl,” Jason pointed out.
“Truer words were never spoken,” Trini replied.
At Kim’s house, Goldar had finally left. Kim wrapped herself into a ball, and that’s how Tommy found her when he came to.
“Kim,” he said, “What happened?”
“Goldar was here,” Kim said, “Along with a whole bunch of putties. We both tried to fight them off, but there were too many. They held you, and made me... made me...” With that, she started crying. Tommy rushed over and embraced her gently. He was hurt when she pulled away from him. “Don’t. I feel so dirty.”
“Goldar raped you?” Tommy asked. Kim nodded.
“When he was ‘done’, he said something about a birthday present from Rita,” she said, “Tommy, I was never so scared in all my life.” She finally quit pushing him away and he hugged her to him oh so gently.
“How bad did he hurt you?”
“Not bad, physically,” Kim replied, “But mentally...” She started sobbing. All of a sudden, Tommy pulled away. “Wait.”
“I’m just going to start the car,” Tommy said, “You need to go to the emergency room, just in case he did hurt you physically. Come on.” He gently helped Kim to her feet and out to his car. They drove in silence, except for the occasional sob from Kimberly.
When they got to the hospital, they were immediately admitted when they told the person at the front desk what happened.
Kim was lying down on the bed, and Tommy was sitting in a chair in the room when a doctor came in.
“Ms. Ferris?” Kim nodded, “I’m Doctor Green, one of the chief medical physicians here. I understand that you were raped just a little while ago.” Kim nodded again. “Do you know who did it?”
“No, whoever it was wore a mask,” Kim said.
“Well, we’re going to run some tests,” Dr. Green said.
“Do whatever you need to,” Kim replied.
Tommy reached out and took her hand. Kim tensed up, but then relaxed. “It’ll be all right, Kim,” he said, “I’ll find out who did this and make them pay.” Kim froze when she realized that he was more than likely going to kill Goldar.
She couldn’t wait for the doctor to run the tests and leave leave. “Tommy, don’t go after Goldar,” she whispered, “If you kill him, you’ll just feel guilty for killing a living thing, and who knows what you’ll end up doing after that.”
Tommy knew that she was right. “You’re right, and I won’t,” he said. After a while, Dr. Green came back.
“It will take a few days for the tests to come back,” Dr. Green said, “You’re free to go. There’s no other, lasting damage from what I can tell. Oh, and happy birthday. I understand that today is it.”
Kim nodded. “Thank you, Dr. Green,” she said. She left the exam room and went to the waiting room, where she was surprised to find her mom there. “Mom, what are you doing here?”
“I called her earlier, when I went to use the restroom,” Tommy said.
“Kimberly, are you all right?” her mom asked, “What happened?”
“I was raped by some guys in masks,” Kim said.
Kim’s mom turned on Tommy. “And just where were you when that was happening?” she demanded angrily.
“Mom, stop it,” Kim said, “He was there, but they were holding a knife to his throat. If I hadn’t let them, you know, then they would have killed him.”
“I’m so sorry, Tommy,” Kim’s mom said, “I was just upset.”
“It’s perfectly all right, Ms. Ferris,” Tommy said, “I’m upset, too. Kim, are you up to going to the Youth Center with me?”
“Sure, sweetie,” Kim said. Her mom started to protest. “Mom, I’ll be all right. It won’t happen again, I promise.”
“All right,” Ms. Ferris said, “You can go, but be careful.”
“I will, mom,” Kim said, sounding slightly annoyed. Her and Tommy headed out to his car and jumped in. It didn’t take them very long to get to the Youth Center, and when they got to the door, they found the lights off.
When they got inside, however, the lights blared on. Ernie was standing a short distance away, with a beautiful cake.
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KIMBERLY!!!” everyone shouted.
“Thanks, guys,” Kim said. She turned to Tommy. “You sneak. You knew about this, didn’t you?”
“That’s why I distracted you from coming in here earlier,” Tommy said, “They were setting up, and we didn’t want you to see all of this until party time. Forgive me, beautiful?”
“Of course I do,” Kim said, giving him a kiss, which got a response of “ooh” from everbody there. Kim blushed.
“Blow out the candles, Kim,” Ernie said. Everbody said that he was just an overgrown kid, of sorts.
Kim was about to do so, when Tommy stopped her for a minute. “Don’t forget to make a wish,” he reminded her. Kim rolled her eyes, but decided to play along. She closed her eyes.
‘My wish is that Tommy and I will be together forever,’ she thought. Then, she opened her eyes and blew out the candles. Then the party resumed.
Later, she was sitting at their usual table. “Hey, Kim,” Jason said, gently clapping her on the shoulder. He didn’t notice her cringing from his touch. “Where’s Tommy. We were all thinking that you two would be wearing a hole in the floor dancing so much.” Kim smiled at that.
“I don’t really feel dancing,” Kim said, “But I didn’t want to be a wet blanket, so I encouraged him to ask another girl to dance.”
“All right,” Jason said. With one last, gentle pat on the shoulder, he left. Trini came walking up.
“Kim, what’s wrong?” she asked. Billy was right behind her. “You’ve been distracted a lot tonight, and every time a guy pats you on the back or something, you tense up, even Tommy.”
“Yeah, and you usually wear yours and Tommy’s feet out dancing,” Billy said.
“I really don’t want to talk about it, guys,” Kim said, “Not now.” Her eyes flickered down to her communicator. Trini and Billy took the hint and resumed dancing.
“Hey, beautiful,” Tommy said, “Sure you don’t want to dance? The last dance of the night is coming up.”
Kim sighed. ‘He’s trying so hard, and he’s so sweet,’ she thought. “All right,” she said, taking his outstretched hand. He lead her out to the dance floor. She was hesitant, but let him pull her close for a slow dance.
“For such a bad day, this turned out to be kind of good,” Kim whispered.
“Don’t worry about Goldar,” Tommy whispered back, “He’ll get his due soon enough. Just relax and enjoy the last ten minutes of the party. Please?”
“All right,” Kim said. They danced until the end of the song a few minutes later. Though initially hesitant, Kim was reluctant to let go of him.
“Even with what happened, I hope you had a happy birthday, Kim,” Tommy said.
“I have,” Kim replied, “Because I spent most of it with you.” Tommy smiled, then turned serious, as he dipped his head in slowly and gave her a gentle kiss.
When they were walking home, Trini and Billy kept after her to tell them about what happened.
“All right, I’ll tell you,” Kim said, “When Tommy was... distracting me earlier, Goldar showed up with a huge squad of putties. They overwhelmed us. Goldar threatened that he would kill Tommy if I didn’t do as he said.” Tears appeared in her eyes, and Tommy pulled her into a gentle embrace. The others didn’t need any further explanation.
When they had left the others behind, Tommy walked Kim to her door. “I should have done more,” he said, “I’m sorry that space scum was able to get his hands on you.”
“Tommy, you couldn’t have done anything,” Kim insisted, “There were just too many putties. Though, now I’m afraid to sleep on my own tonight. Goldar might come back. Either that, or I know I’ll at least have nightmares.”
“I could stay, if you wanted me to,” Tommy offered, “Nothing serious, just being there for you.”
“I think I’d like that,” Kim said. Tommy followed her inside. She found her mother in the living room, waiting on her. “Sorry I’m late, mom. They had a surprise birthday party for me, and it ran over.”
“It’s all right, sweetie,” Ms. Ferris said, “Hold it right there, Thomas. If you’re spending the night with her, treat her with respect.”
“I always do, ma’am,” Tommy said, “I always do.” With a wave to her mom, Kim led Tommy up to her room. She then got into her night clothes, while Tommy slipped out of everything but a pair of boxer shorts. She slipped into bed, and Tommy got in behind her. “Good night, Kim.”
“Good night, sweetie,” Kim said, giving him a kiss. The kiss turned passionate, and Kim rolled over to be on top of him.
Later, when they had both worn each other out, neither had any problems going to sleep, and Kim didn’t have nightmares after all.
Meanwhile, in an orphanage not too far away, a young boy was about to get into bed, when he noticed a strange green glow on his night stand. He reached over and picked up a ring. “That’s odd,” he said, “Oh well.” He slipped it on his finger and then went to sleep.