Relationships: T/Kim, J/Kat, T/Hayley
AN: Well, here it is. The epilogue. A bit later than promised-I was going to post this Tuesday, but I had computer trouble. Not fun.
Anyway, thank you all so much for the reviews and encouragement. They really helped. :smiles:
For those of you who were devastated that I killed Kim off...don't lose hope yet. Your reviews inspired me and I may very well have a credible idea for a sequel.
Special thanks go to Princess Kimberly for beta-reading this for me.
Fighting Spirit AU
"Cleanup operations after this latest monster attack are going well." The anchor for the local news station shuffled the papers that lay before her. "Four people were killed this morning during the attack, including former Pan Global gold medalist Kimberly Hart. The former gymnast, who was from Angel Grove and won the gold medal in gymnastics in 1995, died in Reefside General Hospital late this morning after being hit by debris from a building damaged by the monster. According to bystanders, Ms. Hart pushed an elderly woman to safety when part of a downtown building collapsed but was caught by the debris. No official press release has yet been given by the family. Sources close to her say Ms. Hart was in Reefside visiting friends."
Tommy flicked the TV off and stared up at the ceiling. He still couldn't believe it. Kimberly was gone. Tears welled in his eyes, but he made no move to wipe them away. She deserved that at least.
He knew the others had wondered how he could be so calm at the news Kimberly had been killed. They wondered why he didn't immediately seem upset by the death of someone he'd once cared for so deeply. The truth was it did hurt. The hole she'd left in his heart would be permanently empty. And now that the shock was wearing off, he was mourning the loss of an old friend.
But it wasn't as painful as the others apparently thought it was. After all, he'd had years to recover and move on. Years to slowly leave the memories of her behind. A small corner of his mind had always known that some of his friends—Jason in particular—had always hoped the two of them would get back together, but it hadn't been meant to be.
So now, he mourned Kim as he'd known her. That one, fleeting glimpse of her from his hospital bed hadn't been enough to imprint itself over all the memories he had of her as she'd been at sixteen. She'd been his first love and he would always remember her, but the truth, as awful as it sounded, was that Tommy wasn't in love with her anymore. Hadn't been in love with her for years. He'd moved on with his life, though he had to admit that the first couple years had been hard—very hard.
On one hand, his heart had screamed to know the Reason, and on the other, he didn't want to jeopardize his relationship with Kat. With one thing after another, Kimberly had pretty much avoided talking to him, and now it was too late. Unless she'd included an explanation in her will, she'd taken the Reason to the grave.
The very thought sent chills down his spine. Tommy ran a weary hand over his face, feeling traces of stubble, and closed his eyes. Maybe this was all a bad dream. Maybe he was just imagining things and he'd wake up tomorrow to find it had all been a horrible nightmare. Just like Trini.
Tommy's dark eyes snapped open. No. This wasn't a dream. Just like Trini…Kim was simply gone.
That was when the pain hit him.
Dry sobs racked his body as the Black Ranger finally allowed himself to grieve. He allowed himself to mourn the passing of someone who had once been very dear to him. Through the hazy mist that he would later come to remember as the early hours of the next morning, one thought surfaced to the top of all the other storming emotions and thoughts in his mind.
An illusion of invulnerability had shattered when Trini was killed in that car crash a few years before. Her death had touched all of them and destroyed the faith they'd had that they would always make it. A tenuous healing had taken place in all her former teammates since then, but he could already see that losing Kim had created fractures in that fragile rebuilding of faith.
Tommy's hands clenched into fists as he stared out the window at the streaks of pink on the eastern horizon. He might not love or need her anymore, and he might have moved on, but he'd never, ever, wished Kimberly anything but the best. The world would be an emptier place without her.
For causing Kim's death and all the other atrocities he had committed, Mesogog would pay. There was no doubt about it. He would pay.
Tommy would personally make sure of it.
Well, I hope y'all enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Once again, thank you very much for reviewing.
And, like I said, I have an idea for a sequel, if anybody is interested.
Catch ya on the flip side!