Tommy was getting his things together. He was taking a weekend off of racing for a vacation up to the mountains. He was planning on renting a cabin, since his uncle had sold his own a few years ago. His uncle was treating him, for an early birthday present.
“Are you sure you don’t want us to come with you?” his aunt asked, for both her and Tommy’s uncle. She knew something was up, more than Tommy was willing to admit.
“I just need to get away by myself for a while, June,” Tommy said. He wasn’t in the best of moods. Today would have been his and Kim’s fourth anniversary, if she hadn’t...
Tommy shook his head, knowing that thoughts like those weren’t going to do him any good. Kim seemed to be happy when her and Jason had been down, and he didn’t want to ruin that for her.
“All right, but be careful,” June said, “But do me a favor, and come back in a better mood. Please?”
That got Tommy’s attention. “I’ll try,” he said softly, “My bad mood will probably start going after about midnight. It’s just what today is, or should be, that’s bothering me.” He looked at a picture on his night stand. June followed his gaze, to see that it was one of him and Kim at the Junior prom.
Then it hit her. “Oh, Tommy,” she replied sympathetically, “You really miss her a lot, don’t you?”
Tommy took several minutes before answering. “Yeah, I do,” he said softly, “I just wish she hadn’t sent that letter. We talked about many things when she came down for the tournament, but she completely avoided the subject of the letter.”
“I’ll bet she did that because she felt so horrible about it,” June said, “She probably didn’t want you to have to go through what she had to imagine, and I know, you went through.”
Tommy considered that. “You’re probably right,” he said, “But that doesn’t go anywhere near explaining the letter.”
“You’re right, it doesn’t,” June said, “And I can’t even fathom why she sent it myself, but you have to give her a chance. There has to be some logical explanation for her sending it.”
“Well, it doesn’t matter anymore, whatever the reason,” Tommy said, “I don’t love her anymore. I miss her a lot, but only because she’s probably my best friends. That’s all.”
His aunt raised an eyebrow at him, one that plainly said “I don’t believe you for a second.”
“Whatever you say, Tommy angel,” she said, “Whatever you say.” With that, she turned and went out the door. Tommy looked after her for a long second, considering his own, pretty harsh words.
What he didn’t know was that, in a plane heading towards AGA (Angel Grove Airport), Kimberly was on her way back to Angel Grove. “I can’t believe I’m doing this,” she muttered softly, “Tommy’s going to hate me, despite the fact that we came away friends after the Muranthius incident.”
She was going there to spend some time alone herself. Her uncle Steve had recommended some cabins up in the mountains near Angel Grove. He had gone there after the terrible plane wreck that had ended his flying career and left him paralyzed from the waist down. Steve had been the only survivor of a little over a hundred people on that plane. He said that he had been suicidal before going up there, and the weekend went a long way to pulling him away from that particular edge.
Kim had a lot to think about. “I wish I had never sent that damn letter,” she murmured to herself, “It’s brought about nothing but heartache.” She looked down at the ring on her finger. Tommy had proposed with it right before she had left for Florida the first time, and had never asked for it back after she sent the letter. When she had tried to give it back to him, after Muranthius, he had told her to keep it.
“To remember me by,” he had told her. Kim had burst out crying then, and started crying now, in the present. When he said those words, Kim was so sure that there was no chance in hell that they’d ever get back together.
It was only a little over an hour drive up to the cabin, and Tommy was behind the wheel of his truck. He remembered the first time he had taken this trip, back when he had lost his Green Ranger powers the second time.
He had thought that it was all over, and that he had absolutely nothing to live for. He was madly in love with his teammate and girlfriend Kimberly, but she had never seemed to reciprocate his feelings. Sure, they had gone on dates, but she never said three little words. Well, in all fairness to Kim, neither did he.
On his third night at the cabin, he tried to kill himself by overdosing on sleeping pills. It turns out that Kim had planned to surprise him, by teleporting in. When she did, Kim found him on the floor in his room. When she couldn’t wake him, and saw that he was breathing very shallowly, she ran to the phone and dialed 911. The ambulance came, and carted him off to the ER to pump his stomach.
Tommy didn’t wake for three days. When he did, Tommy found himself in the recovery ward at the Angel Grove Hospital. Kim was beside him, sleeping uneasily. He later found out that she had been at his bedside for all three days, without getting any sleep. Tommy didn’t have a tube or anything down his throat, so he decided to wake Kim up.
“Kim?” he said hoarsely. Kim’s eyes fluttered open. With an excited squeal, she threw her arms around Tommy’s neck.
“Tommy, you’re awake,” she said, “Oh, I’m so glad. You had me soooo worried.”
“Why am I here, Kim?” Tommy asked.
“You don’t remember?” Tommy shook his head. “You overdosed on sleeping pills, Tommy. You almost died.”
When she said that, the memory did hit Tommy. “Oh, man,” he said.
“Why, Tommy?” Kim demanded, “Why did you try to commit suicide?”
“Because my life’s a wreck, Kim,” he almost shouted, “I lost my powers, for good this time. I was just so vulnerable the other night. Who found me, by the way?” Kim’s tears were the only answer he needed. “Oh, Kim.”
“I was going to surprise you,” Kim said, “I teleported to the cabin to spend the last few days of spring break, just you and me. When I got there, I found you on the floor in your room. When I tried waking you, you wouldn’t wake up. When I saw that you were barely breathing, I panicked.”
“Kim, I’m so sorry,” Tommy murmured softly, as he hugged her closer. “I didn’t mean for you to find me. I had thought that the maid uncle John had hired would be the one to find me.”
“It would have hurt me just as badly to find out from someone else, than to find you,” Kim said, “Why in the hell did you think that suicide would help you through the slump? Why didn’t you come to me? We could have sorted all of this out.”
“You want the truth?” Tommy inquired. Kim glared as she nodded. “I thought that you didn’t love me. Lately, you’ve been acting aloof when we’re on dates. I’ve never even heard you say those three certain words.”
“And I’ve never heard you say those three words, either,” Kim pointed out. It was true. Neither had worked up the nerve to tell the other that they loved them.
“You want to hear those three words? All right, I love you,” Tommy blurted out, before he could think. They both froze, not knowing what to do. “I love you,” Tommy repeated softly.
Kim felt something akin to joy when she finally heard those words coming out of Tommy’s mouth. “I love you too,” she said, just as softly. She leaned down, and gave Tommy a kiss.
Kim cried as she, too, remembered that. After they had finally gotten the nerve to say those three little words, Tommy and Kim said it more often to each other. Tommy started going to a psychiatrist, the norm for teens that try to kill themselves. Kim went with him every time, and helped him through the visits. Tommy always told her that it was the knowledge that she loved him that kept him going in those trying times.
When Tommy got up to the cabins, he went in to the main lodge to officially sign in. “There’s just one more thing, sir,” the man at the counter said, as Tommy finished signing the register. “Because a shortage of space, it being a busy season and all, would you mind if we fixed you up with a roommate? I wouldn’t be asking if it wasn’t necessary for me to.”
“Nah, that’s fine with me,” Tommy said, “Just try to make it a cute girl if you could, would you?” He winked at the man, who grinned.
“I’ll see what I can do sir, and thank you,” the man said.
“You’re welcome,” Tommy said. He finished filling out the register.
“Here’s your key, Mr. Oliver,” the man behind the counter said, reading Tommy’s signature rather painstakingly. Tommy always had kind of a messy signature. “It’s cabin 7. I hope you enjoy your stay.”
“Thanks,” Tommy said, as he took the key and headed out the door. He pulled his truck around to his cabin and unloaded his few bags and took them up to a room he had staked out as his. Shivering from the cold filtering in, Tommy then went to get some firewood.
Kim finished signing the register. She had caught a cab from the airport to the cabins, and was ready to do some relaxing. “Here’s your key, madam,” the man behind the counter said, “It’s cabin 7. Oh, and one more thing. Because of a shortage of space, due to a busy season, I have to ask you if you mind having a roommate?”
“Nah, that’s just fine with me,” Kim said, as she took the key. “Just make sure it’s a cute guy.”
“I’ll see what I can do,” the man said, “I hope you enjoy your stay.”
“Thank you,” Kim said, and then went out. The cab driver was nice enough to wait for her and help her with her luggage, with no extra cost. It didn’t take them but five minutes to get her stuff into her cabin and up to a room she staked out, which was right next door to Tommy’s. She then paid him, and he left. Then, she decided to step into the shower, after the long flight had messed up her hair.
Tommy came in with an armload of firewood and dumped them down on the floor next to the fireplace. He shivered. “Boy is it cold,” he muttered. Just then, he heard the shower running. “They were sure fast in finding me a roommate. I think I’ll go meet them after they get out.”
He sat down in a chair near the fire. Beside the fireplace was a bear skinned rug. “Talk about cliché,” he murmured, “I guess they’re just trying to make it romantic, for couples.”
Upstairs, Kim just got out of the shower and headed into Tommy’s room by mistake. Once she saw that the luggage wasn’t hers, she went red. “Oops,” she said, “They sure did find me a roommate quickly enough.” She felt that it was warm now, while it had been cold before. “Whoever it is, they must have gotten a fire started downstairs. I’ll go introduce myself after I get dressed.” At that, she headed out and to her room.
Tommy was still in the chair, with a picture of him and Kim in his hands. Despite what he had said to his aunt, he still loved Kim with all of his heart. “Oh, how I wish you were here, Kimmie,” he murmured, “So I can take you in my arms and hug you and kiss you, and never let go again.”
Kim was down the steps and heading towards the living room, when she heard someone talking. When she recognized the voice, she froze. “Tommy?” she mouthed silently. She looked around the corner, into the living room. Sure enough, there was Tommy, and he looked to be near tears.
“Nothing left for me anymore,” Tommy said, “And nobody left to stop me this time.” He pulled a pistol from his pocket and was pointing it to his head, when he heard someone gasping behind him. “You must be my roommate. Please, make sure the police find the note in my bags and send it to the person it’s addressed to.” With that, Tommy started pulling the trigger.
“TOMMY, NO!!!” Kim screamed, flying across the room and knocking the gun away. It went off, and the bullet hit the wall. Tommy let the gun drop to the floor as he stared at Kim, and found himself at a complete loss for words.
“Kim?” he finally squeaked.
“Yeah, it’s me,” Kim answered softly after a few, dry mouthed moments.
Tommy was up and hugging her in a flash. “I can’t believe that you’re here,” he murmured softly, “When did you get here?”
“Only just about ten minutes ago, I think,” Kim said. Her eyes trailed down to the floor, where the gun had landed. Luckily, it hadn’t gone off a second time. “Tommy, what the hell do you think you were doing?” She hadn’t meant it to sound so harsh, but that’s the way it had come out.
“What does it look like?” Tommy snapped, “I have nothing to live for anymore, Kimberly. Absolutely nothing.”
“What about Kat? I thought you two were lovers,” Kim said.
“Lovers?” Tommy laughed. “Kim, Kat and I had never even kissed, except that little peck at the end of the tournament. And we broke up, when Kat went to England to go to ballet school.”
“And you thought you’d end it, just like that?” Kim demanded, putting her hands on her hips scoldingly.
“Like I said, I have nothing left to live for,” Tommy said, “I’m no longer a Ranger, I lost Kat, and I lost you a long time ago. Nothing’s keeping me here anymore.”
“What about your parents?” Kim yelled, “Did you stop to think about them?”
Tommy froze. He hadn’t thought of his parents. “They’ll be sad, sure,” he said, “But they’ll get over it.”
“You thick skulled son of a bitch!!!” Kim screeched. Tommy then did something that he never, ever thought he’d do to Kim. He slapped her. Kim was so surprised, that all she could do was look at him.
“Oh God, Kim,” Tommy said, “I’m sorry.” He started towards Kim, but she backed off.
“Stay away from me, Tommy,” Kim warned, “Go ahead. Commit suicide. See if I care.” Closing his eyes to ward off tears, Tommy picked up the gun, brought it to his head, and...
Felt arms circling around him, and soft lips pressed to his. Surprised, his eyes flew open. Kim was kissing him for all she was worth. Tommy returned the kiss, dropping the gun for the second and final time.
They kissed for a very long time, until the need for air finally won out. “I really am sorry, Kim,” Tommy murmured, as he hugged her close.
“I know, and I’m sorry too, Tommy,” Kim said, “The letter, my ignoring the subject after Muranthius, everything. I just...” She started to cry.
“Shhh, no tears,” Tommy whispered, as he pulled away and kissed Kim’s tears away. They then took several moment just standing there and gazing into each others eyes. Kissing again, they slowly sank to the ground.
And then, on that night, the two found love in each others arms again, and how cliché a bear skinned rug in front of a fireplace really was. For the first time for either of them, they made love. Romantically. They were on a bear skinned rug and in front of a roaring fire and everything. To finish the cliché, snow was falling outside the window in the immediate background.
The next morning, Kim woke up to find herself snuggled up to Tommy, with his arms gently wrapped around her waist. They hadn’t needed a blanket, since they were near the fire. She gently extricated herself from Tommy’s arms and felt like literally jumping for joy. Instead, she opted for taking a shower, because she was all sweaty and sticky. She looked out the window, and saw that it was snowing. She then opted for a bathrobe and her underwear, since it didn’t look like they were going anywhere.
When she came back down, Tommy was just waking up. “Good morning, beautiful,” Tommy murmured when he spotted her. “And here I was thinking that it had just been a dream.”
“Well, it wasn’t a dream, that’s for sure,” Kim said, as she sat down in his bare lap and giggled as she worked to make herself more comfortable, which was difficult thanks to a rather certain, rather prominent, part of Tommy’s anatomy. She gave him a kiss. “Have you looked outside yet?”
“No,” Tommy said, “Why?”
“It snowed during the night,” Kim said, “As if we didn’t have enough of a cliché setting to make love. It was romantic, though.”
“I wouldn’t know,” Tommy said, “Guys like me are supposed to have no sense of romantic cliché’s.” It was then that he noticed the engagement ring on Kim’s finger. “Geez, I can’t believe you kept this.”
“It was to always remind me of you,” Kim replied, “Of how much I loved you, and how much I still do. I love you, Thomas L. Oliver.”
“I love you too, Kimberly Ann Hart, and will until the day I die,” Tommy said, giving her another kiss. It was threatening to get out of hand, before Kim finally broke away.
“Oh no, you don’t,” she said, “I just got out of the shower, and don’t want to take another one right away, just because you can’t get your hormones under control.”
“Oh, that’s no fair,” Tommy said, mock pouting. “I was hoping for a bit of an encore of last night.”
“And so is your ‘little buddy’ huh?” Kim joked, as his prominent member rubbed against her panties. Tommy gave her a sheepish grin. “You better go take a shower, Tommy. I’d suggest a cold one.”
Pouting, Tommy went upstairs to do as she said. Kim then started on getting some breakfast cooked. It was a while before Tommy came running back down the steps. “Hey, sweetie,” Kim called out, “How long do you have the cabin for?”
“For the weekend,” Tommy said, “Why?”
“Oh, I was just wondering how long I’m going to have you all to myself,” Kim said, as Tommy joined her in the kitchen.
“Hmm, now that sounds like a good weekend,” Tommy said, as he wrapped his arms around Kim’s waist and gave her a kiss on the side of the neck. Kim giggled as it tickled slightly. Tommy looked down at the ring on Kim’s finger.
Kim saw him and looked at it herself. “I had been wishing that you’d take it back after Muranthius,” she said, “But now, I’m glad you didn’t. Because I’d like to pick up where we left off, as not just you being my boyfriend, and not just what you are now, my lover, but my fiancee, and near future husband.”
“We can’t exactly go back, you know,” Tommy said, “But... come here for a second.” Kim turned to face him. He slid off the ring. When she started to protest, he held his hand up. “Trust me.” Kim stayed quiet. All of a sudden, deja vu hit her, as Tommy dropped to one knee. “Kim, this seems weird since I’ve already proposed to you with this ring, but will you marry me?”
Happy beyond belief, Kim threw her arms around his neck and kissed him. “Yes, I will marry you,” she said, when they broke for air. Tommy slid the ring back on her finger, and gave her a kiss.
A few days later, they drove back to Angel Grove. “I’m going to call and cancel the return on the tickets,” Kim said,” I don’t want gymnastics to come between us again, Tommy.”
“I don’t either, Kim,” Tommy said, “But going to the Pan Globals is your dream. I don’t want to hold you back on that. Tell you what. I don’t like racing half as much as you like gymnastics. I was thinking of quitting anyway. I’ll get a one way ticket to Florida, and we can live there.”
“Tommy, you’ve got family here,” Kim said, “I’d feel horrible, making you move away from them.” They were both quiet for several minutes. “Me going to Florida is going to come between us, isn’t it?”
“No, it’s not, Kim,” Tommy said, “You can go on to Florida, and compete in the Pan Globals. I’ll wait for you here, gaining enough money for the wedding and stuff like that. We can make this work. We will make this work.”
“I know we will,” Kim said, smiling. Tommy grinned at her.
A little while later, they pulled into the house of Tommy’s uncle. “Wait here a second, Kimmie,” he said. Kim nodded, and Tommy ran into the house. “Uncle John, Aunt June.”
“Whoa there, Tommy angel,” June said, as she came walking in from the hall to the left. “Your uncle is gone. What’s up?” She then noticed that Tommy was all excited. “And what has you so worked up?”
“I’ll show you,” Tommy said. He stepped out the door, and waved for somebody to come in. June was giving him a weird look, until Kim came skipping up to the doorway.
“Wait just a minute,” June said, “You two are back together?” Tommy and Kim both nodded. “When did this happen?”
“We just happened to get the same cabin,” Kim said, “We met, talked things over, and decided to get back together.”
“The whole weekend? Now, I think you did more than just ‘talked things over’,” June said. Tommy and Kim both blushed. “Hey, not that I’m against it. You’re both adults now, and you can make your own decisions about that kind of thing. I’m happy to see you both together, and I’m happy to see you again, Kim.” She gave Kim a hug, which Kim returned.
“There’s something else,” Kim said, as she pulled away. She held up her ring finger, showing June her engagement ring. “We’re engaged. I guess I should say again, since we were before I left for Florida.”
“Maybe, but that’s still wonderful news,” June said, “Have you set the date?”
Tommy shook his head. “We can’t even think about that right now,” he said, “Not until this little lady goes back to Florida and brings back some gold.” He lovingly nudged Kim in the ribs.
Kim whacked him on the shoulder playfully. “Yeah, and you get enough to pay for the wedding,” she said.
June just sat back and watched the playful banter. ‘They remind me so much of John and I when we were first engaged,’ she mused, ‘I almost said that they were too young to be getting engaged, but John and I were about a year younger than they were when we got married.’
When Tommy’s uncle John came home, the happy young couple told him that they were engaged. He was happy for them, but had to bring up a bad point. “What about your parents?” he asked, “Both of you.”
“Mom and Dad have always stood by any of my decisions,” Tommy said, “I’m an adult now. Kim?”
“My mom will flip at first, but she’ll back me up,” Kim said, “Dad will, too. I am an adult, after all.”
“You’re probably right,” John said, “But are you sure that you want to take such a big step?”
“I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life,” Tommy said.
“Same here,” Kim said, “I made the mistake of not fully going through with the engagement once. There’s no way I’m going to do that again.”
John shook his head. “I’m happy for you,” he said.
“I feel a but coming here,” Tommy said.
“But I feel that you’re both too young,” John said, “Even if Kim goes to compete in the Pan Global games and you wait until that’s over, that’ll only be about... what, a year difference? Wouldn’t you want to go to the Olympics afterwards, Kim? Or Tommy, haven’t you always wanted to open up a karate school of your own?”
“I don’t have to go after the Olympics,” Kim said, “All I’ve ever dreamed off, since a little girl, was to be in a big competition like the Pan Globals. The only thing I’ve ever wanted more than that was a family, including a loving husband. And ever since I first saw Tommy, I knew who I wanted to be that husband.”
“And I could always open the school,” Tommy said, “Nothing’s stopping me from getting the money I need here in racing, while Kim’s away at the Pan Global games. Heck, we could make it not only a karate school, but a gymnastics and karate school at the same time.”
“Great idea, sweetie,” Kim said.
“Thank you,” Tommy said, slipping her a kiss. Then, he looked back up at his aunt and uncle. “So, what do you think?”
“Personally? I think you’re nuts,” John said, “Both of you are way too young to be thinking of something as serious as this.”
“Why not? You two were already married at our age,” Tommy pointed out.
“That’s because I was pregnant, with your cousin Ray,” June said.
“What is this? Just a few hours ago, you were encouraging us,” Tommy said, “Have you suddenly 360’d on us?”
“I’m not saying that, and you know it, Thomas,” June said, “All I’m saying is... have you thought this through? The two of you have yet to go to college.”
“We can still go to college whenever we want,” Kim interjected.
“That’s not the point,” John said, “The point is that the two of you have your whole life ahead of you. Why rush into marriage?”
Tommy was quiet for a long moment before speaking up. “We were supposed to get married when Kim first went to the Pan Globals,” he said softly, “Kim, I don’t mean to say anything to upset you here, but I need to get this out.”
“Go right on ahead, Tommy,” Kim said, “I’ve had this coming.”
Tommy nodded a silent thanks. “Like I said, we were supposed to get married about now,” he murmured, “When you sent that letter, Kim, I had absolutely nothing to look forward to. No wedding, no feeling of being loved, nothing. I proposed to Kim again this weekend, and want to make it so early because...” His voice started cracking up. Kim patted him on the back.
“It’s all right, sweetie,” she said, “Do you think something to drink will help any?” Tommy shook his head.
“No, just give me a moment,” Tommy said.
“Tommy, don’t,” John said, “If you’re going to get all worked up...”
“I need to get this out,” Tommy said, “Do you want to know the real reason I went up to that cabin?”
John nodded. “To get away and have some time to yourself and think,” he replied.
Tommy shook his head. “I went up there to die,” he said, “If you check your gun cabinet, you’ll find a small pistol missing.” Tommy took the gun he had almost shot himself with out of his pocket. “This pistol.” He tossed it over to his uncle. “By some very strange coincidence, Kim was given the same cabin. She was there to stop me, at the last minute. I was never as vulnerable as I was at that point. Not even when I tried to overdose on those sleeping pills at your cabin.”
“Tommy, honey, why didn’t you tell us?” June asked.
“Because, at that time, I wanted to die,” Tommy said, “Then, when you reentered my life like that again, Kim, it had a new meaning. I knew when I first saw you, Kim, that you would be there for me. Even after I hit you.”
June gasped. “You hit her?”
“Don’t worry, June,” Kim said, “I had been deserving that slap, ever since I sent that letter, and broke Tommy’s heart. I said some hateful things, and...”
“And I went to try to end it again,” Tommy said, “And then Kim sealed both of our fates, with a literal kiss.”
“I couldn’t just stand by and let him die,” Kim said, “I loved him too much. I did the only thing I could think of. I kissed him with more passion than I have ever kissed him, or any man.”
“And let me guess,” John said, “The kiss got deeper and deeper, until you decided to act on what you thought to be completely forgotten love. And then you made love the rest of the night.”
“Something like that, yeah,” Kim said, “It was a very romantic, though very cliché, setting to make love with. On a bear skinned rug, in front of a roaring fire, and snow falling outside of the windows.”
“Did you use a condom?” John asked.
Tommy blushed. “It was incredibly spur of the moment,” he said, “So no, we didn’t.”
“Tommy, I think I see your point now,” John said, “I may be thick skulled, but I’m not that much. But I just don’t get it. Both of you are twenty one years old. You don’t need our permission to get married. You could right now, as a matter of fact.”
“So, why does it seem like you’re asking our permission?” June finished.
“We’re not exactly asking for permission,” Kim said. She looked at Tommy, who sighed.
“You two are closer to me than any one of mom’s or dad’s brothers, brother in laws, sisters, or sister in laws,” Tommy said, “I’ve always thought of you as a second mother and second father. What we’re asking here is for blessing.”
“Tommy, you know that I give you my blessing,” John said, “You’re like a son to me. And I’ll help financially, when whatever date you decide on rolls around.”
Tommy and Kim looked at June expectantly. “Do you even have to ask?” June inquired. Tommy and Kim both let out a sigh of relief.
“Thanks,” Tommy said, “Well, we’d better get going if we’re going to make the meeting at Adelle’s.”
“What meeting?” John asked.
“A meeting of the old gang,” Kim said, “Everybody’s supposed to be meeting us there. From the original gang; Tommy Jason, Trini, Zack, Billy, and me, to the last one, Kat, Tanya, Justin, and Adam.”
“From the original team of Rangers, to the new ones,” June said. Tommy and Kim were obviously shocked.
“You knew?” Tommy asked. June nodded. “How long have you known that we were Rangers?”
John was the one who answered that. “Almost from the beginning,” he said, “You used to come home all sore after the Green Ranger became a good guy. That, and you were wearing green an awful lot. Kim was wearing a lot of pink most of the times. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that you were Rangers.”
“No, I guess not,” Kim said. They left, giving John and June hugs. They climbed into Tommy’s truck and started heading towards the Youth Center. All of a sudden, Tommy turned off onto the shoulder of the road. “What’s wrong?”
“Kim, I’ve been holding back on asking this,” Tommy said, “But I feel I need to. Why did you send the letter?”
Kim ran her fingers through her hair nervously. “I honestly don’t know exactly why,” she said, “For one, there never was anyone else. I just... don’t know. Does it really matter? I mean, we’re together now, so who really cares about that stupid mistake I made?”
“No, it doesn’t matter,” Tommy said, “My curiosity just got the better of me. As long as we’re together, I don’t care about what ever happened.” With that, he started up the truck and they started heading to the Youth Center again. Though now, it was called the Surf Spot.
When they got there and inside, they were practically mauled by all of their friends. “Where have you guys been?” Jason asked. Then he noticed something. They had come in together.
“We’ve had a lot to talk, and think, about,” Kim said.
Jason grinned. “I bet,” he replied, giving her a hug and high fiving Tommy.
Zack was next, dancing up to the two like always. “Hey, it’s slammin’ that you two finally showed up,” he said, “The party just wouldn’t have been the same without you two.”
“Not that we don’t have enough people here,” Aisha joked, as she walked up to Zack and threaded her arm through his. Kim took a double take at that, but didn’t have time to respond, as she was picked up in a big bear hug.
“That can only be Rocky,” she said.
“That’s absolutely correct,” Rocky said, as he put her back down. “It’s good to see you, Kim.”
“It’s good to see you too, Rocko,” Kim said.
“Kim!!!” This time, it was Trini. She ran up and hugged Kim so enthusiastically that Kim breath was taken away.
“Geez, sweetie. Loosen up, before she suffers from oxygen deprivation.”
Kim recognized the voice, and her eyes went wide at the loving tease Billy used in addressing Trini. “Billy,” she said, lunging for a hug from her old friend once Trini had let go. “Sweetie? Am I missing something here?”
“Billy came to visit me in Geneva a few months ago, after he had left Aquitar,” Trini said, “And we’ve been going steady ever since.”
“It’s about time, too,” Jason teased, as he walked up. “Zack and I were going to go crazy about your constant babbling about how much you loved Billy if you hadn’t spoken up.” Trini playfully swiped at Jason, who ducked.
Kat picked that time to walk up. “Hi, Kim,” she murmured softly.
“Hi, Kat,” Kim said, enthusiastically giving her a hug. That surprised Kat, but she returned the hug.
Adam picked that moment to walk up, hand in hand with Tanya, who gave Kim a hug once Kat was out of the way. “Hi, Kim,” Tanya said, “How are you doing? It’s been so long since I’ve seen you.”
“I’ve been good, Tanya,” Kim said, “How are you and Adam? And why haven’t I received a wedding invitation from you two yet?”
“Because Mr. Shy there hasn’t up the nerve to propose yet,” Rocky blurted out. That got Adam to blushing.
“Oh be quiet you,” Kim scolded Rocky, as she gave Adam a hug. “Don’t you listen to him. There’s no need to rush things.”
“Thanks, Kim,” Adam murmured softly, beaming.
All of a sudden, a small blue blur came and nearly knocked Kim over, as Justin hugged her tightly. “Geez, talk about a warm welcome,” Kim said, returning Justin’s over enthusiastic hug. “It’s good to see you again, Justin.”
“You too, Kim,” Justin said, as he pulled away and grinned at her. Kim couldn’t help but return his bright smile.
‘Geez, he reminds me so much of pictures of Tommy at that age,’ Kim thought.
“Ooh, that’s a pretty ring,” Justin said, gently grabbing her hand and inspecting the engagement ring that Tommy had given Kim so long ago. “When did you get it?”
“I’ve had it for a while now,” Kim said, “About two years, I think. Tommy proposed with it before I left for Florida the first time.” She glanced at Tommy. “Speaking of which, we’ve got an announcement to make. We’re engaged to be married yet again.”
“Oh, we can tell, girl friend,” Aisha said, “You two are too obvious to keep that a secret from us.”
“Oh, we’re not that bad,” Tommy said, “Are we?” Everybody, even Kim, cracked up laughing at that. Except Kat. Kim glanced at her replacement, both in the team and temporarily in Tommy’s heart, and saw that Kat was near tears.
“Excuse me,” Kat said, as she rushed out of the Surf Spot.
Kim sighed, realizing what was up with Kat. She still loved Tommy, and it hurt to see the two of them together. “I’m going after her,” she whispered to Tommy, who nodded.
“Be careful,” he said.
Giving Tommy a quick kiss, Kim hurried out the door of the Surf Spot. She found Kat right outside, crying. She walked over to Kat, and put an arm around the Australian woman’s shoulders.
Kat looked up in surprise. “I expected you to be back in there, with Tommy,” she murmured softly.
“Yeah, well, I saw that you were crying when you rushed off, and had to check on you,” Kim said, “I think I know what’s wrong. You still have strong feelings for Tommy, don’t you?”
Kat nodded. “I love him,” she said, “The only reason we broke up was that we really weren’t expecting to see each other again. I was going to London for ballet school, and Tommy was going to stay here and race.”
“You want to know something, Kat?” Kim asked, “I felt the same way, when I sent the letter. I knew that, after the Pan Global games, my mom would eventually talk me into going to France, and I thought I’d never see Tommy again. I think he realized the same thing at that time, because he never came after me.”
Kat sniffled. “All he ever wanted to do was make you happy,” she said, “If letting go of what the two of you have did that for you, then so be it. Even if it ripped open his heart, he would let go if you wanted that. But, even when he was dating me, he never stopped loving you, with all of his heart.”
Kim could feel tears falling from her eyes. “Thanks, Kat,” she whispered, “If it’s any consolation, he was really broken up when you two went your seperate ways. Also, just think that it wasn’t me that was here for him, after him and I broke up. It was you. No matter what I do, no matter what happens from here on out, I’ll never be able to change that. You were there for him, when he was most vulnerable, and you didn’t push anything. You waited until he was good and ready to ask you out to make a play for him.”
Kat smiled. Thanks to Kim’s pep talk, she was feeling much better. “Thanks, Kim,” she said, “So, have you and Tommy set a date yet?”
Kim shook her head. “No, not really,” she said, “We came to agreement, to wait, until I compete in the Pan Globals, and hopefully win some gold, and for Tommy to work up enough money racing to pay for the ceremony and probably a place of our own.”
“Tommy’s still racing? I’d have figured that he was bored of that by now,” Kat replied, “As far as I’ve known him, he’s never been attached to any one interest with racing and such. Well, except for martial arts, but that goes without saying.”
“Anything that makes him happy, makes me happy,” Kim said, “As long as he’s extra careful on that track, and doesn’t get himself killed before our wedding day, or make me a widow too soon.”
“If I know him, you being in his life again will make him a cautious racer,” Kat said, with a grin.
“So there you two are.” They turned at Tommy’s voice, to see him just a few inches behind them. He immediately walked over and kneeled behind the two, who turned around to meet him. “Have you two worked everything out?”
“Yeah, I think we have,” Kim said, “Right, Kat?”
“Right Kim,” Kat said.
“I think the two of you need to have a little talk,” Kim said, “I’ll head on in, and you can join us when you can.” When Tommy and Kat both nodded, Kim headed back into the Surf Spot.
“Kat, I’m really sorry it didn’t work out between us,” Tommy said, “Even though we had broken up, I still feel a little guilty getting back with Kim without saying something to you about it.”
Kat couldn’t help but smile. ‘Tommy’s a true gentlemen, and he always will be,’ she mused. “Don’t feel that way, Tommy,” she said aloud, “You and Kim were just meant to be together, and we weren’t. I’m glad that you’re happy.”
“Thanks, Kat,” Tommy said, “You deserve a lot better than me, who really didn’t give you the time of day before Kim broke up with me. You deserve someone that treats you like a real lady, which I never did.”
“You’d be surprised,” Kat said, “You have to give yourself more credit. You treated me more like a lady than any man I have ever dated. You are, and always will be, a perfect gentleman. When you asked me out, you made me feel special. And now, you have my full blessing to pass that on to Kimberly. Just one thing, though. You be extra cautious on that track. Don’t die on Kim before your wedding day, and don’t you dare make her a widow, do you understand me?”
“Yes, ma’am,” Tommy said, giving her a salute. The salute was sarcastic, but she knew that he was whole heartedly agreeing.
“We’d better get back inside, before Rocky eats all the food in the place,” Kat said. Tommy held out a hand to help her up. When she took it, she was half expecting the sparks that were once there to be there again, but she was wrong. They headed back into the Surf Spot, where they found the party going full blast.
Kat smiled at Tommy one last time, before she walked off. Sighing, Tommy looked around for his fiancee. He spotted her at the make shift refreshments table, getting some punch.
He crept up behind her and slipped an arm around her waist. She gave a surprised squeak, and was barely able to balance the cup in her hand. “Tommy, you fink,” she scolded playfully, “You almost made me spill it.”
“Sorry, Kim,” Tommy apologized, “Better be careful, though. Someone might have spiked that punch.”
Kim took a taste and then shook her head. “Nope, tastes like regular punch to me,” she said, “Well, more like soda punch, but still punch. Speaking of which, if you do that again, I’m going to punch you.”
Tommy laughed. “Anything but that,” he said, “Hell hath no fury like a woman’s scorn.” Then he decided to get serious. “I talked things over with Kat. I told her how I was feeling, that I almost like I was cheating on her with you, even though we were officially broke up, and that she deserved someone that will treat her more like a lady than I ever did.”
“Oh, Tommy,” Kim said, “That’s so sweet of you. What’d she say?”
“That I treated her more like a lady than any man she’s ever dated,” Tommy replied, “And that I made her feel special, when I asked her out. She also made me promise her something.”
“What’s that?” Kim asked.
“I promised her that I’d be a lot more careful on the track,” Tommy said, “And that I wouldn’t die before our wedding day, and that I would never make you a widow.”
Kim smiled. “Kat’s one of a kind,” she murmured.
“That she is, and so are you,” Tommy replied. Kim barely had time to put her drink down, as Tommy picked her up and swung her around. She couldn’t help but laugh at first.
“Tommy, stop that,” she scolded, “We’re not alon.... hmmph.” Tommy dropped her down into an regular embrace and interrupting her in mid sentence, with a tender, loving kiss.
Kat looked on, thinking that she should feel envious, and maybe jealous, but she didn’t. Her talk with Tommy came a long way in helping her deal with losing him to Kimberly. Smiling, she walked up to Rocky, who was, not surprisingly, sitting by himself.
Tanya had grabbed up Adam and was dancing, Jason was with Emily, Aisha and Zack were somewhere or another, and Billy and Trini were on the upper level. Even Justin seemed to have found someone, because he was talking with a cute girl that looked to be about his age.
“Hi, Kat,” Rocky said, “What’s up?”
“Well, I was wondering if you’d like to dance,” Kat said.
Rocky grinned. “Sure,” he said. He took the hand she offered, and they went out onto the floor and started dancing.
As they danced, Kat felt something she had never felt before, not even with Tommy. She felt like she had found something that she had been missing. And then, it hit her. She had found her true soul mate.