Disclaimer: I don't own Power Rangers...if I did, we'd have season box sets already.
Relationship: T/K, mentions of B/K and A/R
Spoilers: Zeo, Turbo movie, DT
AN: I know there are already a gazillion Tommy/Kim fics out there, but I couldn't resist. While I actually wrote the entire first draft of this July 4th, turning into something I actually felt brave enough to post has taken me a little longer. At any rate, I'm finally getting around to finishing and posting some of the PR fics I've been developing. So, I hope y'all enjoy.
Special thanks go to Princess Kimberly for beta-reading this for me. Thanks, girl!
In the days following the reception of their Turbo Powers, Tommy's mind was more or less on autopilot. Not in battles, of course, but the rest of the time, he was thinking and his body was doing whatever it was supposed to do without any real input.
He knew it was pathetic, knew he should be moving on, but his thoughts kept circling back to Kimberly—and Kat. Divatox's attacks came too frequently these days for him to hole himself up in his uncle's cabin for a few days, so racing was his only outlet. The dark-haired teen stomped on the gas pedal, sending the bright red car he was driving hurtling down the track even faster.
Unwillingly, yet with strange fascination, his thoughts turned back to the most painful part of the whole experience—seeing Kim again. It had been wholly unexpected—especially given the circumstances—and it had brought a slew of emotions he hadn't been ready to deal with yet.
His fingers tightened on the steering wheel as he remembered again how his heart had nearly stopped when he realized Kim and Jason were trapped in the belly of Divatox's lair. And then his mind flashed to when Lerigot traded himself in and the horror he'd felt when two seemingly lifeless bodies were dumped off the side of that boat. He'd fought to get to them despite everything, fought to make sure it wasn't Kim drowning there.
Tommy knew what had happened to him.
Despite everything—the Letter, trying to put Kim behind him, trying to ask Kat out—his feelings for her still ran very deep. They weren't brotherly, either, whatever she might have convinced herself. A scowl flitted across Tommy's face. While part of him had been relieved he and Kim hadn't been forced to talk, the rest of him ached with dissatisfaction. "Why?" was still a burning question in his mind. "Who?" followed fast on its heels, not without a fair amount of trepidation. He wanted to know who Kim had found to replace him, and then again, he didn't.
Not good enough reared its ugly head once again in his mind and he tamped it down viciously. He'd agonized for months over what he'd done wrong—what he could have done differently. Looking back, Tommy realized he had allowed ranger duties and the pile-up of regular life to distract him from Kim. His phone calls had grown farther and farther apart, finally dwindling off to nothing.
Her letter had arrived on Valentine's Day. How ironic.
Valentine's Day, a day for lovers—and also Kim's birthday. His mouth twisted into a frown. He had forgotten that fact in the shock of getting a 'Dear John' from the love of his life. His frown deepened. If he was honest with himself, he'd forgotten about her birthday before he ever set foot in the Youth Center that day.
Tommy turned the steering wheel, careening around the curve at the end of the track at breakneck speed. In hindsight, he knew he should have called her, should have demanded an explanation, should have tried to work things out. Kim had loved him once, of that he was sure, and there might still have been a chance for them. Heck, he should have talked Zordon into letting him pop down to Florida for a visit, or checked up on her via the Viewing Globe.
He'd done none of those things.
Tommy's fingers tightened on the wheel, his knuckles turning white. A muscle in his jaw twitched as he forced himself to face the facts—the facts he had been trying to escape ever since that day. He'd been too afraid to try to contact her. He, Tommy Oliver, the great Power Ranger and Bane of Zedd's existence, had been too chicken to get a straight answer from the girl he loved.
That was also ironic.
Tommy forced himself to breathe and relax, concentrating on keeping himself from becoming a grease spot on the concrete wall encircling the race track. As hard as it was to admit, the bitter truth was that he hadn't wanted to hear her say she didn't love him anymore, or see the rejection in her brown eyes. He didn't think he could have controlled himself. Reading the letter had been difficult enough.
His thoughts wandered back to the Divatox mess and the shock of seeing Kim and Jason trapped together. He'd suspected, for a few horrible hours, that Jason was the man she'd fallen for. That feeling had been on of the worst he'd ever experienced and it made him feel guilty now that he had even entertained the notion. Jason would never go out with Kim behind his back. Kim would never go out with Jason behind his back, though she could and did fall for somebody else.
When he got a chance to talk to his old friend—to find out the truth, however much it might hurt—Jason very bluntly informed him why the two had been together. He'd talked Kim into coming back to Angel Grove for the competition and they had gone scuba diving because they hadn't done it in years. Jason also subtly (for him) mentioned that Kim thought he'd fallen for Kat and the letter was her way of letting him go. The former Gold Ranger had apparently pried the information out of her.
Tommy was thunderstruck for a few seconds, but he had enough presence of mind to ask Jason if he'd met Kim's beau, if only to verify that she actually had one.
Jason had shrugged. "He's ok. He's not you."
The words still resonated inside him. Not you. What had Kim been looking for? What had she thought she was looking for? Had she found what she wanted?
In retrospect once again, Tommy knew he should have gone after her when it was all over. Whatever she claimed, it was quite clear she still felt something for him. He wouldn't have been able to get through to her under that spell otherwise and he knew it.
The whole thing was really just a giant mess.
Tommy slowed as he reached the pit. It wasn't likely that he'd see her again any time soon. The old familiar ache threatened to overwhelm him. He still missed her a lot. More than he ever thought he would.
Kat was a sweet girl. She was. He knew it, everybody knew it. He'd realized over the past few months that she had a crush on him. But he knew that a lot of his attraction to her stemmed from the simple fact that in many ways she reminded him of Kimberly. They didn't look anything alike, and their personalities were somewhat different, but sometimes little things she did triggered memories of the former pink ranger. It was especially bad during battles—there were times when he almost forgot it wasn't Kim fighting beside him.
It wasn't fair to the lovely blonde and he was well aware of it.
Still, he'd tried to put together a relationship with her, tried to convince himself that Kim had been a phase of his life he would eventually outgrow. Puppy love, that's all it had been. That's all it would ever be.
Kim was in the past.
Kat was the future…or at least the closest thing he had to a future right now.
It was time to move on.
Well...what did y'all think? Next chapter should be out soon.