Over the next few days, Ann and Justin became the best of friends.
“I think Ann has a crush,” Tommy said. Him and Kim were watching the two playing in the park. They were having a picnic, and since Justin and Ann seemed to be inseparable already, they had invited him along.
“I’m glad,” Kim said, “He’s only, what, 8 eight years old?” Tommy nodded. “That’s only a five year difference. I think he really likes her, too. You know, if I didn’t know any better, I’d almost swear that Justin was yours. He actually looks, and acts, a lot like you. Handsome, and shy around girls for that age. But his intelligence rivals Billy’s. That reminds me. Have you heard from Billy since he went to Aquitar?”
“Yeah, he calls every once in a while,” Tommy said, “I think he misses home, and a certain Asian girl.”
Kim grinned. “Those two have always liked each other,” she said, “A whole lot, but they never got around to telling one another.”
“He says he’ll be coming back next month,” Tommy said, “Trini should be getting back by then, shouldn’t she?”
“Yeah,” Kim said, “You know, maybe we should invite them on a double date, because neither Billy or Trini would ask the other out otherwise.”
“Oh, come on Justin,” Ann said, “You’ve never kissed a girl?”
“No,” Justin said, “Most girls in my grade think I’m too much of a braniac to kiss.” They were so close, Kim couldn’t help but overhear them talking.
Kim took a long, hard look at Justin. ‘How is it that he’s never kissed a girl?’ she thought, ‘He’s a sweet kid, he’s good looking, and he’s thoughtful.’ She even said as much to Tommy, who laughed softly.
“He is at that,” Tommy said, “But, like he said, most of the girls think he’s too smart, and you know how a lot of girls act towards people like that. I was honestly surprised when Justin just came out of the blue and told me that one day. Well, saying that he’s never been kissed by a girl isn’t exactly accurate. Just never really kissed on the lips by a woman outside of family. The closest he’s came, to my knowledge, was when Kat gave him a kiss on the forehead on our way to Muiranthius a little while back.”
“I remember you telling me about that,” Kim said, “But you never did tell me who Divatox had captured.”
“It was Jason and Trini,” Tommy said, “At first, we thought it was you. Divatox somehow knew to put a mask over Trini, making the viewing globe show you. You should have seen my face when we got to the volcano, to find Trini there, instead of you. It was a mixture of slight relief and anger. Relief over that it wasn’t you, and anger because I still thought you had been kidnapped, and that Divatox had done something awful to you.”
“You mainly went because of me?”
“Yeah,” Tommy said, “Jason was, in a way, just someone who just happened to need rescuing too. My main reason for going was to get you out of harm’s way. I scared Justin and Kat something fierce when we were at Angel Cove, and Elgar had dumped some mannequins into the water. I was just so dead set against going back to the Power Chamber without seeing that you weren’t one of them.”
“That’s so sweet,” Kim said, “If only I had stayed here that Christmas. I wouldn’t have been so miserable.”
“Well, you’re here now, beautiful,” Tommy said, “And I don’t have any plans on letting you leave me again, at least not for very long.”
“I wouldn’t leave again if my life depended on it,” Kim said, “I love you, Thomas Tyler Oliver.”
“And I love you too, Kimberly Ann Hart.” They kissed.
A little while later, they packed up and went to Tommy’s house. Tommy had to help Kim take their picnic stuff, so he asked Justin to go get the mail for him.
“Sure thing,” Justin said. He raced towards the mail box. Tommy, Kim, and Ann went inside, Tommy and Kim both with stuff in their arms.
“Mail call.” Justin came through the garage, and scared Ann, who was standing in the doorway. “Sorry Ann.”
“It’s all right,” Ann said shyly. Justin handed Tommy the mail, and he went through them.
“Bill, bill, junk mail, bill...” He stopped for a moment, and then ripped open a letter addressed to him.
“Who’s it from, Tommy?”
“That doctor’s office that did the tests,” Tommy said, “It says that...” A grin played across his face. “It says that they tested Ann’s DNA to mine, and that its a match. I’m Ann’s biological father.
“Daddy,” Ann said, rushing into his arms.
“That’s right,” Tommy said. He picked her up into a hug. “Now, let’s go somewhere. There’s someone I would like both of you to meet.” Justin knew who Tommy was talking about: Tommy’s brother David. Even though Justin had only seen him a few times, he knew that the two were a lot alike. “Would you like to tag along, Justin?”
“Sure,” Justin said, “I just have to call the shelter and tell them that I’ll be a little later getting in than I thought. Are you sure I won’t be in the way?”
“No way,” Kim said, “We’d love to have you along.” She was looking at Justin a little quizzically, but Justin didn’t notice. Justin went to the kitchen to call the shelter, Ann right behind him, and Kim mouthed “Shelter?” to Tommy.
“I’ll explain later,” Tommy said. Kim nodded. A few minutes later, Justin came back, and they piled into Tommy’s car. He drove them to the reservation nearby.
“Why are we stopping here?” Kim asked.
“There’s a friend here I would like you to meet,” Tommy said.
“Okay,” Kim said. They pulled into a driveway and went up to the house. Tommy knocked on the door, and when someone answered it, Kim thought there was a mirror set up in the doorway.
“Hey bro,” David said, “How’s it going?”
“Good David,” Tommy said, hugging David. “David, I would like you to meet Kimberly Hart.”
“Ahh, your old girlfriend,” David said.
“Yeah, and she still is,” Tommy said, “And this is Ann...”
“Your daughter,” David said, “I can tell.”
“Anyway,” Tommy said, “Kim, Ann, this is my brother David.”
“Nice to meet you David,” Kim said, giving him a hug and quick peck on the cheek. “I didn’t know you had a brother, Tommy.”
“Neither did I until not too long ago,” Tommy said.
“Hi David,” Justin said.
“I’m sorry,” David said, “You are...?”
“That’s Justin,” Tommy said, “I know you haven’t seen him in a little while, but you must recognize him.”
“I’m sorry Justin,” David said, “I guess the bad memory runs in the family.” Kim grinned. He looked at Ann. “So, you’re my niece, huh?” Ann nodded shyly.
“She’s still shy around new people,” Kim said, “Say hello to uncle David, sweetheart.”
“She doesn’t have to,” David said, “If she doesn’t want to.”
“Hi David,” Ann said softly.
“I’m such a bad host,” David said, “It’s a little messy, but come right on in.” Tommy, Kim, Ann, and Justin walked into the room. “Sam’s sleeping, but you don’t have to worry about waking him. He could sleep through a stampede. Can I get you anything? Coke? Water?”
“Coke,” Ann and Justin said in unison.
“You got it,” David said, “Kim? Tommy?”
“No thank you,” Tommy said.
“Just a glass of water,” Kim said.
“I’ll be right back,” David said, “There’s a Sega hooked up to the TV, Ann and Justin, if you want to play it. I’ve got all kinds of games.”
“Cool,” they said, diving for the Sega system. When David came back with their drinks, they were engrossed in playing Mortal Kombat.
“So,” Kim said, “How did you two find each other?”
“Sam, the man who adopted me, helped Tommy find me,” David said, “Tommy was on what’s called a vision quest, and he just happened to have to help me when I almost fell to my death. Speak of the devil.” Sam Trueheart walked in.
“Hello Thomas,” Sam said, “Who are your friends?”
“Hi, mister Trueheart,” Tommy said, “This is Kim.” He nodded to Kim next to him. “That’s Justin. And that’s Ann, mine and Kim’s daughter.” He nodded to the two kids in turn.
“Nice to meet you, mister Trueheart,” Kim said.
“Please, call me Sam,” he said, “I hope you are enjoying yourselves. And David, I just pretend to be a heavy sleeper.”
David winced. “Sorry Sam,” he said.
“I’ve got to go next door,” Sam said, “If you leave before I get back, it was nice seeing you again, Tommy. And it was nice meeting you, miss.” He nodded towards the kids to include them too, but they weren’t paying attention.
“You too, Sam.” Sam left.
“We need to be leaving too,” Tommy said, “Come on, Ann, Justin. We’ve got to be getting Justin back to the center.”
Ann and Justin reluctantly left the TV. They all went out to the car and piled in.
“I’ll try to be back sometime soon, bro,” Tommy said, “I don’t know if it will be too soon, if you know what I mean.”
David laughed. “I know what you mean, bro,” he said, “It was nice meeting you, Kim and Ann. And nice seeing you again, Justin.”
“You too, David,” Justin said enthusiastically. Kim and Ann waved.
“So,” Tommy said, “How’d you like my brother?”
“Looks a lot like you,” Kim said, “When he first answered the door, I swore that there was a mirror in the doorway. But when I started really looking at him, I noticed that there are several, subtle differences between you two. While you both have those dreamy brown eyes...” Tommy was blushing something fierce. “He doesn’t have those almost feminine eyelashes of yours.”
“I guess you’re right,” Tommy said, “You should have seen the reaction on Bulk and Skull’s faces when they saw David and me sparring. I don’t know personally, but Kat noticed.”
“I would have loved to have seen that,” Kim said, “Mostly because I’d like to see you and David sparring, especially you. I remember how good you looked in that gi.”
Tommy blushed, and the rest of the trip was spent mostly in silence. They stopped at the shelter and dropped Justin off there.
“Bye Justin,” Tommy and Kim said.
“Bye bye, Justin,” Ann called out. They went to Tommy’s house and went to sleep, it being kind of late when they got in.