“Whew, that was tough,” Tommy said. Him and Jason had just gotten through a doubles martial arts tournament.
“Good job, sweetie,” Kim said, giving Tommy a big kiss. She then gave Jason a peck on the cheek.
“Thanks, beautiful,” Tommy said. He picked her up and swung her around.
“Tommy, stop that,” she squealed, “People are watching.”
“So what if they are?” Tommy asked, “It just shows how much I love you.” Kim blushed at his loud announcement. Tommy looked down at his watch. “Oh, man. I forgot. I have to meet my mom at their house. I promised her that I’d go visit my grandparents on her side with her today.”
“Mind if I tag along?” Kim asked, “I’ve been dying... I mean, I’ve been wanting to meet your grandparents.”
“No problem, Kim,” Tommy said, “See you later, bro.”
“Have fun, you two,” Jason said. Tommy and Kim went out to Tommy’s loaner car, which the garage had given him until they could fix his truck. Kim seemed a little preoccupied on the way to Tommy’s parents house.
“Kim, what’s wrong?” Tommy asked.
“Hm? Oh, I was just thinking.”
“Well, about us,” Kim said softly, “And your shortened lifespan.”
“Kim, we’ve talked about this,” Tommy said, reaching over and taking her hand. “As long as you’re here beside me, I don’t care if I die tomorrow.”
“I know,” Kim said, with a smile. “I’ve just been wondering... If Rita somehow manipulated the ring into rejecting you early, how in the world did she get a hold of it in the first place?”
“Zordon and I talked about that when I first lost my powers,” Tommy said, “We think it was when I had lost my ring for a while right before we came back from Hawaii.”
“Oh,” Kim whispered, “Now I have the guilt of not finding your ring sooner.”
“It’s not your fault, Kim,” Tommy said, “Neither of us could’ve known that Rita had my ring that morning.”
“We should have,” Kim said, “You lost your powers, you’re dying, and you haven’t even thought of proposing.” She had blurted that last part out without thinking. It caught both of them by surprise. “I mean, life’s short, especially for you.”
“Kim, the only reason that I haven’t asked you to marry me yet,” Tommy said, “Is that, even though my lifespan is short, I still feel we’re too young. I was actually planning on it after graduation.”
“You were?” Kim asked. Tommy nodded and fumbled to get something out of his pocket.
“While we’re talking about it,” Tommy said, “Here’s what is going to be the ring I’m going to give you at the ceremony. I haven’t been able to save up for an engagement ring yet.” He handed Kim the box and she opened it. The ring inside took her breath away. On one side, there was a balance beam and on the other a...
“Lantern Rangers symbol?” she inquired, with a raised eyebrow.
“I told them that we were big fans,” Tommy said, “And a little made up story of how we met in a monster shelter.”
“Tomm-ee,” Kim said scoldingly.
“Well, in a way, it is true,” Tommy said, “We met in the Youth Center, which is now a monster shelter. It just wasn’t one when we first met.”
“I’ll have you know that I’ve never even been in a monster shelter,” Kim said, “I was always too busy fighting the monsters.”
“Well, I’ve been in several, since I’m no longer a Ranger,” Tommy said.
“Have you said anything to your parents about your low lifeforce?” Kim asked.
“No,” Tommy said, “I mean, how would I bring up the subject?”
“Good point,” Kim said, “Though, you need to. Tell them the truth, if you have to, but don’t leave them in the dark about this.
“I won’t,” Tommy said, “I’ll tell them eventually, but I have to do this my way, Kim.” They rode in silence for a little while. “You know, you’re pretty persuasive when you set your mind to it.”
“I know,” Kim said with a grin. “It’s just that I love you, and I don’t want you to be hurt keeping things from your parents. I know you, Thomas Oliver, and I know that that hurts you more than anything Rita could do to you.”
“Thanks, Kim,” Tommy said. They pulled up into Tommy’s parents driveway, got out, and made their way up the walk. Once inside, they were nearly ran over by Tommy’s youngest brother, Daniel. “Whoa, where’s the fire, Danny boy?” Daniel ignored him and raced out of the house.
“Kids,” Tommy said, with a shrug. Kim knew that it was always kind of hectic around the Oliver househould, and Tommy was used to it by now.
“Hi, sweetie,” Tommy’s mom, Suzie, said, as she came into the hallway inside the front door. “Hi, Kim. I take it Tommy extended the invitation to you, too?”
“Yeah, he did,” Kim said, “You don’t mind, do you?”
“Not at all,” Suzie said, “With all of these men around here, it’s great to have a woman around to talk to.” Kim grinned. She imagined that it was hard to be the only woman in the household. David, Tommy, Daniel, and the new baby, Josh were all the kids she had. ‘Having to live with four guys must be almost unbearable,’ Kim thought, ‘Though living with one of those four would be good enough for me.’ She gazed up at Tommy.
“Well, we’d better be hitting the road,” Tommy’s dad, Ted, said, “We want to get back before nightfall after all, don’t we?” The others nodded and went out to the car, and piled in.
“Hey, Ms. Oliver,” Kim said, “Mind if I hold the baby on the way up there?”
“Sure, Kim,” Suzie said, handing little Josh to Kim. Kim looked into the inherited dreamy brown eyes of Josh’s, which Tommy had too.
“Hey there, little guy,” Kim cooed to the baby. Josh smiled. Kim sighed and looked up at Tommy. “If I ever had a son, I would want him to be just like this.” Tommy smiled at her and the young couple gazed down on the youngest Oliver.
When they got to Tommy’s grandparents house, Kim was extra careful in getting out of the car, with Josh asleep in her arms. “I don’t want to wake him,” Kim whispered to a grinning Tommy.
“I’m surprised that he let you hold him,” Suzie said, “The only person other than me that he let hold him was Tommy.”
Kim gave a sheepish grin. “I guess I just have a way with kids,” she said.
“I’ll say,” Suzie said, “You’ll make a great mother someday, Kim.”
“Thank you,” Kim replied politely. They started up the walk. When at the door, Suzie knocked on it. When she didn’t get an answer, she opened the door.
“That’s the way we always do it,” Tommy explained to Kim. Kim nodded, undestanding. She still felt a little weird just walking into Tommy’s grandparents house like this.
“Who is that visiting us old geezers?” Kim grinned when she heard the playful banter she’s come to expect in an Oliver household.
“It’s us, grandma Lou,” Tommy said.
“Oh, hello, Tommy,” Lou said, “How’s life been treating you?”
“Well,” Tommy said.
“Hi, mama,” Suzie said.
“Well, hello, Suzie,” Lou said, “Where’s David and little Danny boy?”
“Right here, grandma Lou,” David said, “Or it’s me, at least. We left Daniel with some neighbors. After the way he acted last time, we didn’t have to search for him again.”
“Always the elder brother, eh, David?” an older man, Tommy’s grandfather Archie from the looks of him, said.
“That’s right, sir,” David said. Ted stepped a little closer.
“I can see you just fine, Theodore,” Lou said, “It’s good to see you.”
“You too, ma’am,” Ted said.
“It’s Lou, not ma’am,” Lou said, “I might be supposed to be old, but I don’t want to feel it too much too soon.” Kim couldn’t help but smile. She was really beginning to like Lou.
It was then that Lou spotted Kim. “And who are you, young lady?” she asked, “And is that my youngest grandchild you’re holding?” Kim stepped closer. “Ooh, aren’t you a pretty one?” Kim couldn’t help the blush that crept up her face.
“Thank you, ma’am,” Kim said, “My name’s Kim. And, yes, I am holding Josh.”
“Ah, Tommy’s girlfriend,” Lou said, “He’s told me a lot about you. You must have a way with kids, Kim. Little Josh would never even let me hold him. And, please, call me Lou.”
“I guess I do have a way with kids,” Kim said, “Just getting in practice, I guess.”
“I can tell that you’re going to make a fine mother,” Lou said, “And do I have to guess who the father is going to be?” She looked up at Tommy, who blushed.
“Yeah, well, I’m hoping,” Kim said, “Thank you.” All of a sudden, her communicator went off. “Pager. Do you mind if I use your phone in your kitchen, if you have one there?”
“Not at all,” Lou said. Kim went into the kitchen and brought her communicator up to her lips.
“I read you, Zordon,” she said.
“Rita has sent the Quoticitor monster to Earth and has captured your parents,” Zordon said, “The others are waiting. Morph and go after them.”
“Right,” Kim said. She broke the connection and looked out to the living room, sighing.
Tommy came in a few minutes later. “I’ll cover you,” he said, “Go on and help the others.”
“Thanks, sweetie,” Kim said, giving him a kiss. She then teleported away. Tommy went back into the living room.
“Where’s Kim?” his mom asked. Tommy sighed.
“I guess it’s now or never,” he said, “Mom, dad, I’m a Lantern Ranger, or at least I was one. I was the Green Ranger. Kim’s the Pink, and she had to help the others.” Tommy had talked it through with Zordon before, and Zordon had given him permission to tell his parents.
Kim made it to the battlfield to see the other Rangers taking a real beating. “I’m coming, guys,” she called out, running towards them. Along the way, she called her power bow. She jumped the last few feet, blasting the monster.
“Good of you to join us, Pink Ranger.” Goldar appeared suddenly on the battlefield. “Now, how much are you willing to sacrifice, to get your parents back? Would you be willing to, say, hand over your power rings?”
“No way, Goldilocks,” Kim said, “We’ll never hand them over to you.”
“Be that way,” Goldar said, “Quoticitor, destroy their parents.”
“No.” The cry came from all of the Rangers.
“Zordon, what should we do?” Jason asked into his communicator.
“This decision is yours alone,” Zordon said, “I can’t make it for you.”
“Well, guys,” Billy said, “I guess this is it.” He was the first to take his power ring off. He slowly walked over to Goldar and put the ring into the monkey’s hand.
“This is too unreal,” Kim said, as she slipped hers off and gave it to Goldar.
“It was fun while it lasted,” Trini said. She added her ring to the pile.
“Goldar, I’ll get you for this,” Zack said warningly, as the pile grew by one.
“I’ll always remember being a Ranger,” Jason said. The pile was complete, since Goldar wasn’t counting the Green power ring. “Now you have want you want, Goldar. Release our parents.”
“Release them? Why would I do that? I intend to destroy the world, and with you down, there’s nothing to stop me,” Goldar said, laughing maniacally.
“NO,” they all shouted, rushing at Goldar, but it was too late. He disappeared with his usual dramatic golden fire.