Hand Over Skin
It was two dragging weeks, since the funeral and the whole world seemed to drain away in slow motion and haze for them all. Everything around just stated that nothing would ever be the same. For Jason, each day weighed harder down than the very breath he breathed. Each sunrise, illuminated the fact that what happened wasn't some nightmare he could run from, and each sunset, opened the door to a new day, where life had no choice, but to carry on. Jason felt so sure that each day Tommy was alive, it was too hard to think that he wasn't, but pain like this could never be forgettable, nonetheless forgivable, as each thought of his friend no longer existing, jolted him that much harder.

It was amazing how the light touched on the little things you took for grated after a lost. Whenever the slightest thought produced in his mind, no matter what he was doing, he always picked up the phone to make a phone call to one of his friends or relatives just to hear their voice and tell them how much they meant to him. It was funny to think how he never made such a simple gesture before, since he used to risk his life on a daily basis as a ranger, or how the habit had wavered after the lost of Trini... Jason froze. The sweet delicacy of the name tightening his chest all over, again. Its had been so agonizing, he never allowed himself to settle on the thought of her for too long. The way her lips curved into perfection when she smiled, the way the sunlight fondly stroked through her long hair, and moonlight lingering in her eyes- There wasn't one thing about that woman that wasn't intoxicating, celestial, nor divine. Everything about her had the power to bring him down to his knees and pray in thankfulness for this godsend.

Now, he begged for mercy for never having to tell her.

Jason felt the strain in his throat clamp harder as his eyes burned and brimmed with tears that wrecked his body with tremors.

"Forgive me," He whispered, softly. Guilt pounded through his heart in cold tides for ever letting her memory go.

The thin wail of the door bell bounced off the walls and shook him from his fugue state. Time somehow ran away along with the world once he had found himself glued to the side of his bed, waiting. He rubbed his large, sand paper feeling hands over his face, washing away the rest of his daze and struggle with memories from his mind. Other than his enclosed bathroom, the kitchen at the end of the single hallway, and the waist height railing that separated his bedroom from the lower level of his living room, his studio apartment was hardly held any privacy from guests. Jason skipped down the three steps from his bedroom and hustled to get the door as the third ring drowned the silence of his studio flat.

" Sorry about the wait, I got a little preoccupied. Come on in," He said, opening the door to the collective guests standing on the other side, looking just as worn down as himself.

" Sorry we're late," Adam begun, as Tanya stretched up to hug Jason tightly.

" I had to finish up a recording with the studio that took a bit longer than I had expected." Tanya informed, as Adam led her by the hand to Jason's black leather sofa set.

"Don't worry about it." Jason said, as he gave Katherine a kiss on the cheek, while Billy and Zack entered not too far behind. "I got a little...preoccupied and didn't notice the time, either."

" How are you holding up, Jase?" Zack clapped Jason on the back as they embraced.

"As well as can be expected, I guess." Jason signed as he took one final look out into the street to see if anymore guests had arrived. He shut the door, turning to his friends as he dug his fingers through his messy hair.

" How is Kimberly?" Kat inquired. " I tried calling her a few times, but only got the machine."

" Thats actually why I called everyone here today." Jason checked his watched as the other sat eager to know what the news was he was withholding. " Rocky, Aisha, and Hayley should be here any minute now. I want to make sure everyone is here before I say anything."

They nodded, some exchanging anxious glances at what that would mean. Jason took a seat in his sofa chair across from the other four, blinking away the burn in his eyes and the haze in his head.

" How have you guys been holding up?"

" Its hard, you know?" Kat exhaled a shaky breath as Tanya reached over to grasp her hand, while Billy rubbed across her shoulders. " I keep expecting the little things in my life to happen. The stuff I took for granted."

" His messages on the answer machine." Adam nodded with a small nod of his head.

" Or him emailing me every other day to bug me to put his favorite song on the radio." Tanya injected with a soft smile on her lips. " It was Kim's idea, so he wouldn't run late to work."

" Or him asking for more dance lessons." Zack chuckled as he recalled how Tommy spent countless weeks before his wedding to learn how to dance. " That boy always thought he could move to the fast beats, but ask him to slow dance, and he would trip over his own two feet."

" I think he borrowed his moves from Frankenstein." Kat giggled as she remember the one too many bruises along her toes.

" I remember, how he would phone me in late nights for technical advice on his surveillance terminals in his basement. " Billy spoke softly. He leaned forward, his elbows resting on his knees as he shook his head in remembrance. " It always amazed me how much he never ceased to stop looking out for the world, even after he retired his services as a ranger."

" I think, he had no choice, but to call you. Hayley threatened to shave his head, if she got one more phone call from him after midnight when there was no emergency." Adam said, as the group shared a laugh at Tommy's sensitivity over his hair. It took more than a little effort to get him to cut his long locks off when the look had gone out of style. If it wasn't for the fudge filled balloon incident that Rocky experimented with on that hot summer ranger gathering, Tommy would have never complied to cutting his hair. Fortunately enough for the group, fudge was not easy to wash out of his hair.

Adam couldn't help, but snicker under his breath at the many occasions that Tommy swore Rocky had done that on purpose.

" That was Tommy for you." Jason chuckled. " The man never backed down from anything he felt strongly about. Even the most risible stuff, such as his hair. He never could admit how obsessed he could be with his hair."

" I think Kimberly was the one to thank for that." Tanya chimed in, remembering how Kimberly found the way a man kept his hairstyle to be an attractive aspect in whom she dated.

" I'm really going to miss him." Kat admitted quietly. Her voice blew so lightly in the air, but the simple words of naked reality hit like a hot blast of thunder in their hearts. The conversation developed so delicately, memories always had a habit of surfacing when they gathered together, but not since the funeral had any of them collected to see for their own eyes that they were now two less from a whole. First Trini, and now, Tommy was gone. Not even power rangers could escape dying, life had to come to an end, and both former rangers had been handed it in the worst of ways.

The thin wail of the door bell now screamed as it crashed through the silence of the room and shook everyone out of their daydreams. Jason looked at his friends, giving them a mollified and gentle smile, though his heart and soul quivered. He opened the door, embracing his three friends as they entered to be greeted by the others, and took seats around the room. Jason offered his seat to Hayley as Rocky sat beside Aisha on the couch. For awhile, they all spoke amongst themselves softly, trading embraces and soft coos that brought out tearful smiles and others silent tears. Jason slipped his hands deep into his pockets, swallowing deeply as he clenched his eyes shut at their voices.

" Jason?" Rocky called gently, his voice slightly shaky as it wondered across his lips. Aisha gripped her husband's hand, sliding her fingers over his knuckles and over his wrist to the bicep of his arm as she huddled in close to his warmth. Jason raised his sore eyes, meeting the gaze of everyone else. Rocky, Aisha, and Hayley looked no better than the rest of them, each weary and dazed with one to many nightmares that had haunted them throughout the night. Jason understood how they felt, yet still, held one advantage over them that they would all soon inherit.

It was now or never.

"Kimberly's pregnant." The silence that slapped his words made him wonder if he had ever conceded the secret he held in for so long. He slowly raised his eyes, his friends speechlessness echoing his own reaction to the numbing confession Kimberly made.

" Oh my god..." Aisha pulled away from Rocky, gripping the edge of the couch as she slid forward in her seat. Her eyes widen into saucers, glazed and stricken. " Oh my god..."

Rocky was too frozen to comfort her, his face pale and limbs heavy as the confession smacked him in the heart. Katherine's hands covered her mouth as a gasp slid from her lips, gravity weighing a ton in her mind at the idea of Tommy having a child, he would never meet, and Kimberly raising it on her own.

It was all too much.

Adam's fingers raked through his short locks, gripping the ends in his fists, before pressing the curve of his palms into his eyes. Tanya looked lost, her head making slow motions to either side as if to wash away a nightmare within her mind. Billy's jaw clenched tightly, teeth running over each other as his fingers collected into fist so tight, his flesh bursted with white blotches over his knuckles and down his fingers. Zack took it a step further than everyone, jumping to his feet and immediately pacing, till he came face to face with a far wall. His fists shook as the solid barrier taunted him to place craters through its surface. Hayley felt her stomach twist and turn inside out as her chest tugged and twitched for breath. Her throat clenched and she doubled over in her seat, ready to crumble to the floor. Quickly, she stood, hurrying for the kitchen as Jason, worriedly followed her trail.

Hayley fumbled with the faucet, nearly ripping the nubs off as her fingers ineptly slid over the stainless steel. Jason grabbed her a glass from the cabinet, but Hayley had already pulled the cool drink up to her lips with the bowl of her hands. She gagged, nearly choking on the drink as more tears and a gasping cry left her shivering over the sink. Jason rubbed her back, providing as much comfort as he could as he found himself sucking his teeth in order to strengthen his will for him to not break down. Hayley turned and fell against his chest, her hands crumbling his shirt tightly within her fingers. Jason hugged her tightly, making circles along her back in attempt to calm her.

Hayley couldn't stop her body from trembling, the cold fingers of memory clashing with the intensity of pain they brought. She never wore his wedding ring nor grew up with him in high school, but she loved him just the same. Tommy was the type of friend you felt you spent a life time knowing in an instant. He was the perfect example of a gentleman, above the perfect example of a selfless and gracious man. How could she not love him and honor the countless things he taught her in the few years she had known him. Hayley made a lot of sacrifices when she dedicated her first years out of MIT schooling to help him. She would have been lying, if she said there weren't countless opportunities waiting for her once she graduated. Till this day, it stomped her parents how their daughter, who graduated with honors, ended up running a juice bar for the local teenage crowd. If she were them, she would think she was crazy, herself, but ever since, Tommy showed up on her doorstep five years ago, soak and wet and chilled to the bone, she knew there was no better decision than to help him. Her old lab partner wasn't one to lie to her, especially when he told her about how he narrowly escaped an island swamped with Tyrannodrones, and had the dino gems to prove it. Not to mention, the story of his ranger history that not even an escapee from a mental institution could work up.

Tommy Oliver was one of a kind. Her best friend...whom she would never see, again.

" You okay?" Jason's voice rumbled up from the hard muscle of his broad chest.

" I'm trying to be," She sniffled as she pulled back gently from his arms. A light blush crept over her pale skin, making her nose and cheeks a rosy hue. " I really am."

Jason reached over the counter and teared a sheet of a paper towel for her to whip away her tears. Hayley took the towel, her whispered 'thanks' barely audible to his ears. Hayley leaned back against the counter as Jason stood by silently to give her time to collect herself. For a moment, the drip, drip sound that padded down from faucet to the stainless steel surface of the sink below, echoed louder then the very murmurs, whispers, and soft tears from the living room they left behind.

Hayley inhaled, her chest inflating and eyes burning as she finally gave into temptation to let them slip close.

" Its hard, sometimes." Hayley said, softly. " A lot of times, actually. Just sitting in that living room, listening to you all share stories about Tommy, being reminded that I'll always be the odd man out when it comes to knowing super heroes. Even when it comes to knowing my best friend." She chuckled, lightly. " And the funny thing is I thought I was over this whole jealousy none sense, after he got back together with Kim. I guess, I never knew how deeply the hurt ran for me to know I was jealous of all of you, too."

" Hales," Jason came to stand in front of her, forcing her eyes to meet his own. " No one here was more important than the other in Tommy's heart, so don't you think for a second, you don't belong here with us." The raw emotion in Jason's voice washed through Hayley's heart as his eyes bored into her to show his sincerity. "Rather Tommy is with us or not, you belong."

Hayley blushed, biting her biting lip suddenly embarrassed and guilty for such shameful emotions. Hayley massaged her temple, a tight knot of frustration, anger, and pain welling up within her.

Kimberly was pregnant.

And Tommy was supposed to be a father.

" What are we going to do?" Hayley inquired, bringing the tips of her fingers to her lips.

" With Kim and the baby?" Jason sighed, scrubbing his rough hands over his face yet again. The frustration and turmoil he had been holding in was a relief to share, but he knew he had to be the head of the group, once again. No one asked him to be, but with Tommy not here, he knew it was up to him to take his place as the man that kept the team together. The colors of a ranger may have fled from them over time, but the heart of one stayed with them forever.

Tommy taught him that.

Jason placed an arm around Hayley's shoulder leading her back into the living room where the others sat amongst themselves, preoccupied by their thoughts and hushed conversations. All eyes fell accordingly to Jason as the two entered.

" There's nothing that can be said that would make this any easier on any of us, I know." Jason began, meeting each in turn by the eyes. He swallowed. " This is the second time we've lost one of our own." Billy and Zack both stiffed at those words as Jason's voice slightly trembled saying them. " But we cannot fall apart from this, we cannot...break apart from each other when we need each other. Now more than ever."

Jason's voice seemed to echo across the room, hitting the brick walls and wooded floors, rising above all else. The others looked at him as their leader, no one asked him to it just was and as their leader, what he said strengthen them all, pulled them closer as a new mission dawned.

" We're going to be there for Kimberly." Jason gave them the simplest answer to Hayley's earlier inquiry. " We're going to be there for both her and the baby."

Same Day...
Kimberly sat there, the empty hollowness of the room echoing off one another, as the one shrill of sound pulsed through in timely seconds. She couldn't tear her eyes off the source, the way it pulled out of the dark cavern from where it peaked from and dove down to the ocean below.




She wanted to scream, to pull her hair out by the scalp, just as much as she wanted to hide away to a confined place, where she could be clenched and wrapped, so tightly her limps wouldn't move. Her body and senses were just trapped in anesthetization, utter and complete numbness that just paralyzed her from the inside out. The amount of time she had sat there, still and unblinking, possibly not breathing, was unknown to even her. Ever since, she laid eyes on that leaking faucet, she just pulled more deeper within herself than she thought was possible. It was a small detail to notice, but the tiny drops hit the surface of the water in the sink and created ripples in Kim's memories.



Damn faucet, Kimberly thought in sudden flare of temper. I told Tommy to fix it, time and time again, and he never did!

Kimberly pushed off her seat, the chair screeching long the wood floor as the mahogany table lightly creaked as she pushed off it. She stomped to the sink, hands reaching to tweak the knobs and faucet head to try and stop the penetrating droplets. Very quickly her patience thinned, stripping away threads at a time, before her anger and frustration caused her to slam her fist into the counter and sink. She jerked on the faucets neck, wanting to tear it up from its mount as the water continued to fall and bursting, like explosions in her head and heart as the memories continued to conjure.

Kim leaned against the sink, the round edge pushing against her abdominal as her chest heaved and breathing labored. Her hands came to her face, covering her eyes and sliding her fingers down to her lips as her body trembled, and her throat clenched as if she would heave. Kimberly choked back the lump swelling in her throat as she closed her swollen and burning eyes to the drippings of tears shivering out the faucet in a calming murmur of trance and seduction. The transitions between her emotions were her evidence that she was rapidly slipping into insane. Her mind barely functioned, her heart missing large and significant pieces to live.

She touched her belly, her abs still flat and securing what life there was that laid inside.

Tommy laid his hand over hers, not able to keep his distance from her any longer, her skin unable to feel his touch just as much as she wasn't able to feel his presence. He pressed up against her from behind, part of him seeping through her as he 'breathed' along with her, inhaling as deeply as she did; exhaling with a breath that was just as shaky. His lips touched her hair in agony to smell the perfumes that laced each mahogany strain and the fleeting memory of how each strain tickled his nose and smoothen against his cheek. He remember all the times he used to sneak up behind her and hold her against him just like this. The way he would tickle her sides and brush his lips along her neck...lay his hands over her belly.

" Oh god, Kim..." He whispered against her, wishing he could feel an ounce of what heat her body radiated. " Why didn't you tell me we were going to have a baby?" He squeezed his eyes shut trapping tears. " That I was going to be a father..."

The bubbling of water within the kettle grew agitated by the second, hot steam curving out of the tiny opening in long, twisting streamers. From afar, the side of the pot caught ahold of Kimberly's reflection in the shining side of its body, casting Tommy out into a place where shadows couldn't even go. A whistle shivered out through the air, slowly thickening into a long piercing call of urgency. For a long moment, Kim didn't move, she didn't breathe nor flinched to acknowledge the shrill, she turned in Tommy's arms, her eyes closed and lips slightly peaked open directly before Tommy's own.

Tommy's breath caught in his chest, the memory of her lips clawing through his chest and into his soul as he trembled. He closed his eyes, tilting down just enough to touch her lips and nearly mend against it.

A lone tear fell along his cheek as Kimberly walked through him, like a gentle breeze. Tommy's face twisted and bunched together as various pain and agony drenched his features, and tore through him. His cry choked out of his lips as he stood before the counter and struggled to swallow hard and painful lumps of air. He sank to his knees, dragging his fingers through his spiked hair, his nails grazing along his scalp wanting to tear through it and into his skull.

Kimberly slowly turned the stove knob counter clock wise, the circle of fire taming with just a gentle motion of her wrist as the shrill dimmed into nothing. The hot steam coaxed into trance, the long twine of mist tickling her nose and teasing her skin with warmth, her eyes felt heavy as her body resumed it numb state and fell out of kilter with the world around her. She breathed, the steam clearing through her chest as she inhaled, and exhaled a soft murmur Tommy couldn't hear.

"...I'm s-sorry..." Her voice trembled in a suppressed apology to no one.

Tommy sank deeper on to the floor, turning his back to lean against the cabinets, bring his legs up to his chest. He tilted his head back against the wood cupboard door below the sink as he sighed.

" You didn't do anything wrong, Kim." He whispered back, knowing she couldn't hear him.

" I'm so sorry I sent you out for me that night." Kimberly's indirect reply made Tommy gaze up at her. " I should have never sent you out there."

" Please, don't blame yourself for this," He begged. His eyes misted as he held her in his gaze. " Don't take the blame for something so far out of your control. Neither of us could have known what would happen that night."

Tommy's eyes fell to his shaking hands, noting how solid they looked, how his skin looked, like actual skin and nothing translucence. To him there was still warm blood and skin tighten around his soul.

" I just wish I could remember what did happen that night. Everything is just so hazy, Kim." He clenched his fist, tightening his jaw in frustration. " So many pieces and nothing whole."

Kimberly had somehow found the strength to lift the hot pot, pouring the hot water into a Tommy's favorite navy mug with dinosaur bones drawn across its body. She watched the water attack the small sack of herbs in furious swallows, soaking through every dry fiber, till it infected the water with a yellowish green hue. She wrapped her hands around the glass, the heat pouring through and searing her hands just enough to tinge them a bright pink with bursts of intense white. Slowly, she gravitated to the kitchen table, lowering her mug to the tables surface without a tentative sip of the liquid substance.

" Tell me what you're thinking." Tommy watched her from his low perch on the floor, knowing her too well to not catch the way her face reflected the chaos of thoughts, the jarring emotions shocking her still. Whenever something really troubled her, Kimberly always took it to herself to hold the burden of her problems, and so they ate away at her, until Tommy would confront her and she would shatter.

Tommy stood, crossing the way to the kitchen table as he kneeled beside her. Her elbows rested on top the table as she leaned her forehead against the knitted fingers and shadowed her eyes over with more darkness in the dim lit room. He raised the tips of his fingers and brushed them over her arms low enough to create the illusion that he was touching her for real and not running through her. Kimberly sniffled, her shoulders shaking and hands trembling as tears dotted the table and rippled the surface of her tea.

" I can't do this on my own." Kimberly's voice swelled between her tightening chest and swollen lips as her body continued to quake. " I can't be without you, again. Its too much! Too hard!"

" I'm still here..." But the assurance sounded timid and unassertive as he watched her sit irresponsive to his words. " I'm sitting right here."

Kimberly just sat there and cried, till her tea went cold.

That Following Weekend
Conner Mcknight couldn't take the silence a lot of times. The way it sticked to his skin and ate at his mind drove him insane, making his emotions rise and fall in transitions as rapid as raging vital signs. Thats what made him take soccer, so seriously, it was therapy, his level ground. It was the one thing in his life that never made life complicated and kept him alive.

Until the day, he became a power ranger, of course.

He supposed being a ranger held a lot of similarities to soccer. You had to defend your home, which was the net, from the enemies, whom were the opposite team. If you did one move to win the game, it made you a hero amongst your peers. Being a ranger made you a hero to the world. The only difference was that playing soccer had its selfish motives compared to saving the world. How could it not in contrast? He nearly gave up his ranger duties, once upon a time for a sport- How could it not be selfish, when you valued your life of playing more than helping to save others?

His eyes flickered over to the knobs of his radio, no one had dared to touch it. It had been a forty five minute drive, and no one had gone to say more than two words, since they all piled into his red 1970 Ford Mustang. The dino rangers just choose to remain in their pensive silence and each picked a window to gaze out of as the world zipped pass.

Conner glanced at Kira, sitting beside him with her body slumped against her seat belt and the only barricade keeping her from tumbling out of the car. Part of him wanted to reach over brush his fingers along the back of her hand or pull back the hair hanging over her eyes, but the fact that Trent sat in the seat directly behind him caused him to pause. The white and yellow former rangers were only friends, but the way they hung onto the others gaze and stood close beside one another wasn't missed by Conner. He didn't know what to make of the two, even if Trent now resided in New York, and Kira in LA. It really didn't take long before the attraction between the two was seen. At least, thats what Ethan said. The blue ranger sat along the opposite side of Trent in the back seat with his laptop closed on top his lap. Ethan, being the one to never have time time to pull his attention away from his computer, actually acknowledged something that didn't have circuit boards and keys attached- It was truly the end of the world.

Not far from the truth, Conner bemused as his eyes fell back onto the road ahead of them. He turned into a pathway leading away from the main road into a nook within the woods where a lone house grew into view with a collection of cars parked before it.

Kira swallowed, sitting higher up in her seat as the Trent and Conner turned their gazes from the small side windows in the back seat to the front wind shield. Conner parked and turned the engine off right in front of the Oliver Residence.

Jason eyed the door for the longest time, tentatively listening for any movement on the other end. The hallway was shadowed and other than the slightest muffles coming from down stairs, even the house itself seemed swallowed away in grief. He didn't know how long he had been standing here, seconds felt like an aching life times chewing at his anxieties when no one had come to the front door, before he allowed himself in with the spare key. It was odd, walking in without Tommy reaching to clap him on his shoulder in a brotherly embrace or not seeing Kimberly skip over to greet him; both these people he once knew were gone now.

He didn't exactly have a plan, a date was just set, and the group had gathered into their cars, each determined to do what they could to help their friend. Hayley and the former rangers were all downstairs, and soon, Conner would arrive with the other Dino rangers. It was only right to include them. Hayley had pointed out that they were just as protective of Kimberly as they had been of Tommy. Sometime along the years they all knew each other, the former dino rangers had grown to look at Tommy more as favorite uncle along as a mentor, maybe even more as a father. Jason alway known that Tommy still checked in with the young adults, occasionally. He even remembered how Tommy strived to keep his dating life private when he started dating Kimberly, again. That didn't stop the dino rangers from riling together to figure out who Kim was, and then, interrogating her afterwards. Jason couldn't help the small smile from lightening his features when Kimberly told him what had happened.

But that was another story for another time.

Jason laid his hand upon the closed door, the woods touch smooth and cold against his hand. He placed another hand on the door knob, slowly twisting it clock wise as he stepped through the doorway into shadows much thicker than the rest of the home. He blinked, taking a moment for his eyes to adjust, and crept inside a bit further. He could hear Kimberly's soft breathing on top the bed.

" I thought I told you to go away." The faint voice came from nowhere Jason could make out, but it was Kimberly. Her voice slurred, thick with grogginess and irritation.

" You never answered any of my calls." Jason replied as he marched his way through the room careful to not trip over any discarded items, if there were any to block his path.

" That should have been enough of an answer, Jase." Kimberly muffled back, burying her face deeper into her pillow. Jason drew back the curtains, bright sunlight flooding in and chasing away the darkness; Kimberly groaned. Jason looked around the guest room, before his eyes fell upon Kimberly as she hugged her legs to her chest on top the covers. Kimberly revived in an instant, her face red and her eyes darken and sullen around her redden eyes. Her hair was thrown in a messy bun on top her hair and her clothing was red sweats and a baggy gray sweat shirt with bold letters that read 'Florida'.

Kimberly's glare was enough to create boils along Jason's skin and through to the marrow of his bones. Jason tried not to let the way her eyes bored into him hurt, tried to ignore the sickness in his stomach as he noticed how she was pale and shaky.

" When was the last time you ate something?" He inquired, sternly. Kimberly turned to her side her back facing him as she hugged her legs. " Have you slept at all?"

"Get out of my house, Jason." Kimberly snapped in a weak whisper of a threat. " My husband is dead..."

Jason snapped, reaching over and physically dragging her across the bed to a sit up position. Kimberly thrashed, hitting whatever was exposed, screaming and groaning in every childlike manner. Jason blocked her wild advances with ease, taking her arms down against her sides with his large hands.

" Let me go! Let me go!" Kimberly was hysterical, tears spilling down her face, unruly. " Jason, please-!"

" No. No! I will never let go, Kim. Okay?" Jason took her face in his hands forcing her to meet his eyes. " I'm not leaving you, like I did before. I will not leave this house and leave you alone! Not again!"

Kimberly's face twisted and tighten as her mouth fumbled on unsaid words. She shook in his grasp as her eyes glazed over with tears that glittered from the sunlight. Jason's hands ran up and down her arms kneeling down on the floor before her. It killed him to see Kim this way, so weak and delicate with pain, slowly dying with grief.

" My husband is dead, Jase." Her voice was high pitched with sobs as her eyes widen from the words she made as if hearing them for the first time. " The love of my life is dead. And my baby... Oh god! My baby will never know its father."

" I'm not going to let that happen." Jason whipped away her tears, before collecting both her hands in his as she looked down brokenly at him. " I will never let that happen, because I'm going to make damn sure this baby knows everything about him. I'm going to make sure, he or she will never forget him. And that baby will grow up knowing it was loved and wanted by both its parents, because I know you are going to be a wonderful mother, Kim."

Kimberly's body swayed, mouth hanging open in a wordless sob at such beautiful cruelty of words that flowed from Jason's lips and filled her heart, drowning her, in something she wasn't ready to handle. She was broken, shattered with her soul hanging off her weakening limbs in blood red and endless tears. Jason's words would mean everything to her later, perhaps, but right now, Kimberly couldn't run away from the void her husband filled, so effortlessly in a place he always belonged.

Kimberly's eyes fell closed as they did so many times without any sleep to take her away from this reality that seared all around her. Both her hands fell away from Jason's laying over her stomach, praying for a sign, some movement that would tell her Tommy was still apart of her. That this baby was alive within her. Jason placed both his hands over hers, her eyes slowly alining with his in a teary gaze that embraced her.

Tommy stood close, sharing the silence that paused time within the walls of the room.

Author's Note: Finally, a new chapter for this story! Its been way, way too long! I'm terribly sorry for the wait- I ran out of ideas for awhile, and my mom got emitting into the hospital in January, and life had to get in the way, lol. The good news is I got the second chapter up and already started on the third.

Thanks to my best friend, Chanelle Summer for hitting me with pillows and shoving me around, lol. Love you so much, Chick!

Please, Review! And let me know what you think!