A/N: A "what-if" fic set during the scene after Kimberly and Thomas attempt to warn Tim and Nora about the pigeons. Just watching that scene looked as though it had been cut short (though I doubt it was) and that something could have happened between Kimberly and Thomas. So, this is a short fic about what might have happened, if Clear had shown up minutes later. Please review and enjoy.
Also, I'm not too good at the romantic stuff, so if it gets too mushy or whatever, forgive me; plus, I think Kimberly and Thomas make a cute couple and despite what my friend says, he isn't that much older then she is.
Kimberly Corman sighed as she stared down at the yellow lines on the black asphalt, staring without blinking until everything became blurred together. She knew that blinking would only bring back the sight of fifteen-year-old Tim Carpenter being killed by a sheet of glass. Even when she didn't blink, Kimberly could hear the sound of her own voice, screaming as she watched the inventible, knowing that she had arrived too late to save the teenager.
She was so lost in her thoughts that she didn't even realize that Officer Thomas Burke had pulled his black SUV into her driveway and had turned the engine off. He sat silently, staring at her as he listened to the engine tick as it cooled. He appeared as though he wanted to say something, something comforting that he hoped would make everything all right but, as though he knew there was nothing, kept silent.
Finally Kimberly sighed again, frowning and staring blankly at her garage door. "It's really happening again, isn't it?" She questioned, voice low, referring to the events a year ago of Flight 180. Thomas remained silent, unwilling to think that history was repeating itself, to afraid to believe. "I thought we'd get there, and they'd be fine and Clear Rivers was just full of shit." She continued, the words coming easily
Thomas exhaled slowly, leaning back against the seat and gazing up at the roof of the car, before turning his attention to the college student beside him. "I'm so scared." Kimberly confessed, looking at him.
The state patrol officer gazed at her, seeing what she was said was true, seeing the fear and confusion in her soft eyes, the worry upon her delicate features. She looked much younger then he knew her to be, looking too innocent to be dealing with Death and pain; he wished he could do something to keep her from ever seeing anything like Tim Carpenter again and it pained him to know the damage was done. "I know you didn't ask for any of this," he began slowly, reaching forward to take her hand in his, "but I don't think you have it in you to quit either."
Kimberly looked at him, blinking, registering his words; as she gazed it him, she could tell that he appeared to almost understand, though he never could fully comprehend the pain and guilt that she was feeling. Guilt over her friends dying in the accident, of not being able to save Tim, or even Evan Lewis...guilt at not being able to save her mother. As she thought these things, she realized that Thomas knew more then she had believed, for he surely saw pain and death during his days as a police officer. She hadn't asked for any of this, but neither had he; Thomas was an innocent, drawn into the tangled mess of Death by her confusion, but he would be dead if not for her. But, if she didn't figure out how to stop Death, he would be dead anyway, they both would be.
"How do you know?" Kimberly asked, thinking back to his earlier words Thomas believed in her, believed that she would be able to stop Death but she didn't believe those things about herself. She was exhausted, too tired to continue to think about fighting, and wondered if it would be easier to close her eyes and let Death finish what she had stopped it from starting. "I don't know if I can do this anymore, Thomas, if I can see anymore people die..." She trailed off, looking away from him, sliding her hand away from his.
"Don't say that, you're a fighter Kimberly." He assured her, getting her attention once again. He looked into her soft blue eyes, hoping to see a flicker of hope, saddened when there was none. "And for what it's worth, I won't let anything happen to you." He rested his fingers on her cheek, a gentle caress. "We'll beat this together."
Kimberly remained silent, breath catching in her throat; she hadn't felt this way since she was thirteen, about to receive her first kiss. It seemed slightly insane to her that this was happening between her and Thomas, while people were dying, when things were so dangerous and unsure. But she desperately wanted to believe what he said, wanted his words to be true. "Together." She murmured, eyes fluttering as she leaned forward, pushing against her seatbelt, until she was close to Thomas, lips meeting his in a soft kiss.
At first, Thomas appeared surprised by the kiss, but he had been secretly wishing it would happen ever since they had arrived in the driveway; he returned the kiss, brushing her hair away from her cheeks, running his fingers across her jaw line. Kimberly put her arms around his shoulders, the kiss deepening, feeling safe for the first time since she had pulled onto the onramp.
For a split second, she wondered if that was why she had kissed him in the first place, if she had simply wanted to feel safe, if she had wanted something to take her mind off the danger and Death. But, as Thomas cupped her neck with his hand, she knew that it was simply more then the false feeling of safety; she had felt a connection with him ever since the previous day, when she had predicted the pileup.
The kiss was broken and Thomas pulled away slightly, gazing at her with a slight smile upon his face; Kimberly returned his gaze, breathing heavy, cheeks flushed. Her heart thudded in her chest, though this time it was not from fear but from something else entirely.
Kimberly began to lean forward again but the over-head visor dropped suddenly, the mirror flipping down. She turned her attention to the reflection, frowning slightly, understanding when she saw Clear Rivers slip into view. Thomas leaned toward her again, brushing her hair behind her ear and kissing her cheek, squeezing her arm.
Clear appeared beside the car, a grim look upon her face; she noted the brunette's expression, flushed cheeks but remained silent. The two women locked eyes and an unspoken words passed between them. With a last lingering, caring glance at Thomas, Kimberly said, "The second one just died, fifteen-year-old kid."
The blonde's gaze jumped from Thomas to Kimberly and she finally said, "I hope you're ready for this."
Kimberly felt Thomas's fingers intertwine with hers, giving her hand a gentle squeeze and she realized that she was ready for anything, as long as they faced it together.