The next morning, Tommy went through with his promise. He got up early, made them breakfast, and served it to both Kim and Ann in bed. Ann was, once again, snuggled up with her mother when Kim woke that morning.
“You truly are spoiling us rotten,” Kim said, “But you are a real sweetheart, Tommy.”
“We’ve still got an hour or two before we have to be there,” Tommy said, “Take all of the time you want eating.”
Both Kim and Ann tried taking their time, but they were both too used to having to eat in a hurry and run. Afterwards, Kim called Coach Schmit to tell him that she was going to move back to Angel Grove, and that she had to quit. He understood, and wished her luck with her daughter. She bid him goodbye, and hung up.
“That was a hard thing to do,” she said, “But the hardest thing was sending you that letter, Tommy.”
“I know that it had to be,” Tommy said, “You know, all you had to do was tell me about what was really happening.”
“I know,” Kim said quietly.
“Come on,” Tommy said, “Let’s get going. We have to get to the doctor’s office in a little while.”
“Right,” Kim said. They all got dressed quickly. They went downstairs, climbed into Kim’s little car, and took off. When they passed the mall, Tommy asked Kim to stop off there.
“I’ve got to go get something,” Tommy said. Kim pulled in, and Tommy jumped out. “I’ll be right back.” Kim nodded. Tommy ran inside and went in search of a jewelers. Once there, he picked out a good engagement ring. ‘I’m going to ask her,’ he thought. His heart raced at the thought. He had asked his mother about it when he had called her the other day, and she said that he could get it. He gave the clerk the credit card number. When he got the ring, he put it into one of his coat pockets and raced back outside and got into Kim’s car.
“Sorry I took a little too long,” he said.
“You didn’t,” Kim said, “What’d you get?”
“Oh, they didn’t have it,” Tommy said. Kim left the subject at that, and went to the doctor’s office where they were going to have the tests done. Tommy signed himself and Ann in, and put the credit card number to show payment.
“Come on, Tommy,” Ann said, “Come play with me.” She leads a reluctant Tommy over to some of the toys littering the floor in one corner of the room.
“All right,” Tommy said, “Just don’t tell anyone. I’ve got an image to protect.” He was grinning at Ann to show it was just a joke. The two started working together on a simple puzzle.
Kim was watching the pair when a woman came over to her. “Your daughter is just beautiful,” the woman said, “And your husband is so good with her.”
“Oh, he’s not my husband,” Kim replied. ‘Yet anyway,’ she thought. “We’re not even sure he’s her father. And thanks.”
“Looking at the two of them, I’d say he is,” the woman said, “Not that its any of my business.”
With that, the woman walked away, and Kim took a long look at Tommy and her daughter. She knew what the real reason was that Tommy was the likeliest candidate for being the father is, even though she would never admit it to anyone. It was Ann’s eyes. They looked exactly like Tommy’s, right down to the eyelashes. Also, Tommy’s parents were always telling her how remarkably smart Tommy was when he was young, and Ann’s unusually high IQ (unusual for her age, that is) proved that Tommy could very well be her father.
“This piece goes there,” Ann said, “No, there.” She giggled. “You’re getting good at putting puzzles together.”
“I have a great teacher,” Tommy said. In truth, Tommy usually hated doing puzzles, but was doing whatever made Ann happy.
“Mister Oliver. Miss Hart.” Tommy looked up, to find an nurse standing in a doorway.
“Come on, sweetie,” Kim said, taking Ann’s hand. “We’ve got to go see some doctors.” Ann was reluctant, but once she slipped her other hand into Tommy’s she quietly followed them into a room down the hall.
“A doctor will be in shortly.” The nurse left in a hurry.
“I wish they would hurry,” Tommy said, “Man, I really don’t like doctors, especially when I know they’re going to take blood.”
“Mommy.” Ann sounded a little frightened at the concept of them drawing some blood from her.
“I’m sorry, sweetie,” Kim said, “I should have warned you beforehand. They need to draw some of your blood, to run against some DNA they have of just about everybody in town. They want to make sure who your father is.”
“What about the blood on that band aid from yesterday?”
“They need fresh blood, I’m afraid,” Tommy said, “Don’t worry. Your mom and I will both be right there with you. I have to have some drawn, too. Just in case.”
“Okay,” Ann said, “I’ll try not to be too scared. They really think that you might be my daddy?”
“Yes,” Tommy said, “There is a good possibility. A real good possibility.”
“I hope you are,” Ann said, “I would love to have you as my father, my real father.”
“And I would love having you as my daughter,” Tommy said. The doctors came a few minutes later. Tommy pretended to be scared of them drawing his blood, to put Ann a little more at ease. It worked, and Ann only flinched a little, both when the needle was placed into her arm, and when it was taken out. Tommy wasn’t going to do that, but did it anyway, just to entertain Ann.
A few minutes later, Tommy was talking to the receptionist at the desk. “Just send the results to the address I put down,” he said.
“Okay,” she said, “It’ll take a few days, maybe a week, for the samples to be tested. A full week to get it out to you, since you live in California.”
“I understand,” Tommy said, “Take as long as you like, as long as the results are completely accurate. Well, have a nice day.”
“You too, mister Oliver.” He walked over to the entrance, where Kim and Ann were waiting for him.
“It’ll take about a week to get the results and send them to us,” Tommy said, “Now, how would the two of you like to go grab something to eat. My treat, as always.” He pulled out his wallet, to make sure he had some money there, to find it was empty. He remembered that he gave his last twenty for a up front payment at the front desk.
“I’ll get it this time,” Kim said, “I still have all of the money from my last paycheck, since you’ve been getting everything here. It’s my treat today.”
“There went my spoiling streak,” Tommy said with a sigh. Ann held out her arms. He picked her up into a hug and carried her to the car. She was still acting a little shy sometimes around him, even though she had been spending most of the last thirty six hours with him. She buried her face in his neck shyly, and a few minutes later, she was sound asleep.
“The poor little darling,” Tommy said, “She’s had a rough day.” He ever so gently put Ann in the back seat and softly shut the door.
“Don’t worry about too much noise,” Kim whispered, “A freight train couldn’t wake that girl up. Quite literally. Before we were in the apartment when you first got here, we stayed in a place where trains went by every few hours. That girl could sleep through a hundred of them. Just more proof that you are more than likely her father.”
“I was never that bad,” Tommy protested.
“You still are,” Kim said, “But I still love you, handsome.”
“And I you, beautiful.” Surprise registered on both faces when they realized that he had called her by his old pet name for her.
“It’s so good to hear you call me that again,” Kim said, “I really am sorry for sending that letter, you know.”
“I know,” Tommy said, “I think calling you beautiful was my subconscious way of telling both you and me that I’ve totally forgiven you.” He gave her a kiss to prove his point.
When they pulled into Burger King, Kim reluctantly woke Ann up. “Come on, sweetie,” she said, “We’re going to eat.” She led a still slightly sleepy Ann in. They all ordered, got their food, and sat down.
Ann was sitting in Kim’s lap, eating happily. “Can I go outside?” she asked after she was done.
“Sure, sweetheart,” Kim said, “But be careful.”
“I will, mommy.” Ann ran outside and started goofing off in the playground area.
“She seems really happy,” Tommy said.
“She is,” Kim said, “And so am I, for the first time in a while. Ever since Ann said her first word, I’ve been miserable, especially after sending you that letter.”
Tommy sits there, staring at Kim for a moment. He reaches up and gently caresses her face.
Kim sat there for a moment, savoring his touch. And then, Tommy gave her a passionate kiss. They broke off a few minutes later.
“Wow.” That was all Kim could think to say, and only partially because she was breathless from the kiss. She wasn’t just breathless, she was almost totally speechless.
“Mommy!” Tommy and Kim looked out toward the playground, to find a couple of girls hovering around Ann. Kim ran as fast as she could, but Tommy somehow beat her outside, morphed.
“Stand back,” Tommy said. The girls were surprised to be seeing a real life Power Ranger before them.
“You’ve got it,” the older girl said, “Can I have an autograph?”
“Sure.” While he was doing that, Kim checked on Ann.
“Are you all right, sweetheart?”
“I fell and hit my head on the ground,” Ann said, “It hurts.”
“I know it probably does,” Kim said, “I think you’re all right, though. No concussion or anything. Don’t scare me like that, sweetie.”
“I’m sorry mom.” Ann sounded near tears. Kim hugged her close.
“Don’t cry, sweetheart,” she said, “Mommy didn’t mean to sound cross with you. I was just overly worried.”
“All right, mommy,” Ann said. Kim helps Ann up. Tommy gets done with the girls, and follows them inside. He goes to the restroom and demorphs. He comes back outside quickly, and the three leave. They take the car to Coach Schmit, who had been letting Kim borrow it.
“We’re ready, Zordon,” Tommy said. They disappeared in one flash of red and two of pink. They found themselves at the airport. “I had Zordon teleport my car here, so it would look like we just got off the plane.” They walked out and to Tommy’s car.
“We’ll go and ask your parents if its okay if I stay with you for a while,” Kim said, “And then, we can find the old gang.”
“Sounds like a plan to me,” Tommy said. They pulled into his house a few minutes later, and had an easy time talking his parents into letting her live there for a while.
Kim put hers and Ann’s suitcases in their room, but didn’t start to unpack. “We have everything we own in there,” she said, “It’d take too long to get it all unpacked, and I want to go see everybody.”
“You got it beautiful,” Tommy said. They went outside, saying bye to Tommy’s parents, and jumped in Tommy’s car.
“I can’t believe it,” miss Oliver said, “I’m a grandmother.”
“We can’t jump to conclusions now,” mister Oliver said, “The results haven’t come back yet. We don’t know if she’s Tommy’s.”
“Oh, get real,” she said, “I just have to look in that little girl’s eyes, and I know she’s Tommy’s.”
“I guess you’re right,” he said.
“SURPRISE!!!” Kim jumps back at the shock. Everyone is at the Juice Bar, and the place is made up like for a party.
“Welcome back, Kim,” Kat said, hugging Kim.
“Thanks Kat,” Kim said. She turned to Tanya. “This must be Tanya. Aisha has told me a bit about you, and so has Kat and Tommy.”
“I’ve heard a lot about you too,” Tanya said, smiling warmly.
“And who is this cute little rascal?” Kim was ruffling Justin’s hair a little.
“My name’s Justin.” Justin held out his hand and Kim shook it. Justin was looking at Tommy, when he noticed Ann behind Tommy. “Who’s that?”
“That’s my daughter Ann,” Kim said. Kat looked at her, with her mouth wide open.
Justin stepped closer to Ann. The two regarded each other carefully. “Hi, I’m Justin,” he said. He extended his hand.
“I’m Ann,” Ann said quietly, as she shook his hand shyly. While she seemed reluctant to shake it in the first place, she kept a hold of Justin’s hand a little longer than necessary. Sparks seemed to be flying between the two, even though they were both young.
Justin smiled. “Want to go play some video games?”
“Sure,” Ann said. Her face lit up. She looked at Kim. “Can I, mommy?”
“Go on ahead, sweetheart,” Kim replied. She started to reach in her purse to get some money.
“Tell you what,” Ernie said, “Games for you two are on the house.” He gave them each a sack of quarters, which were small, but had plenty of quarters apiece. Justin and Ann took off for the arcade area.
Kim gave Ernie a hug. “Thanks Ernie,” she said. They went over to their usual table and sat down.
“I can’t believe that you have a daughter,” Kat said. She turned to Tommy. “Is Ann yours?”
“We don’t know,” Kim said, answering for Tommy. “They’re running some tests as we speak, and it’ll take a while to get the results.”
“Oh.” They all started getting into the party. Afterwards, they went home. Tommy had to carry Ann, since Kim was tired. He tucked them both in.
“Good night, beautiful,” he said.
“Good night, handsome,” Kim said. They kissed, and Tommy went to his room. They both fell asleep quickly.