From: J. "Writing Machine" Trevizo - firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: New story - Sometimes When We Touch
Rating: R for language and sexual situations.
Spoiler: AU right after 'the letter'. I have personally not seen the
episode this happened in, so if I get things a bit muddled, my apologies.
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters, Saban Entertainment does, or
supposedly Disney now does. Which seems to me a bit strange, as Disney was
all about non-violent kids entertainment, and every parents group on the
planet bashed PR for being too violent. Go figure. But they aren't your
morning show "fluff" here, so be warned.
Relationship: This is for T/K shippers. The "Kat relationship" didn't exist
at this point, so, you should know what T/K stands for.
Summary: Tommy realizes that he needs to take some direct action to get the
Dedication: To Cheryl and Shawn, who make PR fanfic a desirable, adult
read. And to Irina for her own work as well as her indulgence to let her
new beta hit the writing trail again. Thanks to all of you.
Hello fellow PR fans. I've been reading PR stories for a long while, and
decided to give this a try. I've been out of the fanfic game after 4 yrs
doing X-Files, and had this story come to me. So, here it is. If I've
crossed anyone else's previously posted story ideas, it was purely
unintentional. Also, please note, this is in 1st person, and not the
character I would have thought I would have written, so your indulgence is
appreciated. I hope you enjoy. Now, on with the show...
Sometimes When We Touch By J. Trevizo
Sitting in my aisle seat in the coach section of the East bound jetliner, I
glanced again at my watch and wondered if I was already too late.
It had taken me a week to get both the courage and the money to put my butt
on this plane headed for Florida to seek out the reason for the confusion
and anguish that suffused my being. As well as the continued reason for my
existence, no matter what that damn letter said. The Kimberly I knew, who I
had just seen at Christmas couldn't have sent a cold, mechanical letter
breaking off our relationship and undermining our past.
It just wasn't in her.
But then, who was I to question how she felt? Over the last seven days, I
had stubbornly tried to piece together what the hell had happened. And what
I kept coming up with disturbed me more than I would ever tell even Jason,
my closest friend.
I wasn't the victim here. I had been an active participant. Actually, to
get it right, I had been a non-active non- participant. So had the rest of
the team. I had turned to Adam, Kat, Rocky and even Tanya and asked them
point blank, admittedly after a day or so when my sulking had ended and my
mind began working again, who had talked to Kim last. The answer to that
came in blank looks and glances around the group, looking for someone with
Seems that no one had called, written or visited Kim since she headed back
to Coach Schmidt's training facility in Florida after Christmas.
And I have to admit, I was as guilty as everyone else.
My correspondence skills are shitty. I knew that, as did Kim and the rest
of the team, so I'd promised Kim I'd call. But saving Angel Grove, the
world and the universe on what seemed a daily basis always ended up making
me too exhausted to call when I would get home, or too busy when I thought
of it. Or, even God help me, I just forgot her altogether.
With a sigh at remembering my complicity at my relationship's demise, I
notice I've been staring at the blue fabric and white plastic backing the
seat in front of me. Reaching forward, I grab hold of my drink, ginger ale
with ice in one of those little plastic tumblers. I take a long swallow and
set it back down in the circular indent on the extended tray jutting from
the seat before me. Part of me really wished I was of legal drinking age.
Some hard liquor would have been more comforting, and helped steel my
conviction in seeing her in person. I could have called, but it wasn't the
same. I needed to see her.
Truth be told, I really haven't thought twice about this. Once I pulled
myself out of the nearly mind-numbing disbelief and hurt the words in her
letter had created within me, I immediately started to think like a leader
and a man who had spent three years with this woman, whom I still love.
Yes, even now I love her. Why would I be on a plane headed to Florida if I
Because I know the woman that left Angel Grove after Christmas would never
write me out of her life like that. A brother? Not unless her family
practiced incest... ugh Tommy, bad image. Let's not go there.
So, after talking with everyone, I convinced my mom and dad that I needed
to go out and see her. I had mom help me find a reasonably cheap airfare,
and somehow got them to let me raid my college fund. It wasn't easy, since
no one, even me, was sure when I could put it back. But now, sitting in my
seat, halfway to Florida with a grand in traveler's checks in my wallet, I
feel prepared to figure out what the hell is going on.
My return flight is in three days. Mom and dad thought I could be back the
following day. Dad had said straight out that if Kim had dumped me, all I
needed to do was see her, ask her what happened and turn around and come
home. It took a while to explain to them that I had no intention of just
looking into her eyes, hearing her voice and just accepting things. I was
planning on fighting for Kim. I wasn't going to come back without either
truly understanding why she had broken up with me or I had her back.
I've been through more in the last three years of my life than I ever
imagined. I've been used and hurt, first by Rita and then by Zedd. Then I
dealt with the loss of my powers. And now for nearly two years, I have had
to make the tough decisions that being the Ranger's leader requires. For me
to just blithely accept this devastating loss without putting up some kind
of resistance, some kind of persuasive argument just isn't going to happen.
And Kim should know that about me. Giving up isn't in my nature.
Sure, I sulk, and feel guilty and want to give up. But I never do.
Of course, the phone call to Jase asking his opinion was the best use of
thirty bucks I've ever spent. He was as surprised as I was, and he, Trini
and Zack all agreed that this wasn't at all like Kim. And even if I didn't
know that, for the length of time they had known her, they should.
A clatter and continuous squeak moving towards the back of the plane alert
me to the flight attendant pushing the refreshment cart down the aisle.
Quickly, I pull my feet out of the way so she can pass.
"Can I get you some more to drink?" the pleasant looking blonde stewardess
asked, staring at me a bit too long for my liking.
Sure, I know I'm considered handsome. Even traveling in this cramped metal
plane, I figure I still look okay - my long dark brown hair was still in
its ponytail, and I'm wearing what I normally do; a tight red short sleeved
t-shirt, black jeans and boots. It gets me the attention of women on the
ground, so I guess I can't be surprised that it got the attention of the
Except usually I can walk away and ignore it if some woman at the Youth
Center or at school tried to come onto me. Trapped like this, there isn't
much I can do but smile pleasantly and brush her off in some agreeable
"No, thanks, I think I'm good."
"Let me know if you change your mind."
I nod, and she moves on to my neighbor, who's trying to not noticeably
salivate as he stares at her breasts. I'd noticed too, but they're not
Kim's, so I don't even linger for more than a second.
She reaches over me and passes the businessman beside me a can of V-8 and
then moves on. I let loose a quiet sigh and reach again for the mostly
filled ginger ale. It's cold going down my throat, and I close my eyes,
willing this damn flight to be over.
As soon as the wheels of the plane had hit the tarmac, I was ready to jump
up, grab my one duffel bag and find the taxi stand. I was really hating the
fact that being under 25 and without a credit card I couldn't rent a car,
but then I had never been to Miami, so I wouldn't have known where I was
It was another long fifteen minutes as we pulled up to the gate and slowly
disembarked. I hurriedly walked along with the other people on the plane,
watching as they met friends and family at the terminal. Passing by a
couple oblivious to everyone but each other, I felt my heart ache and my
feet sped up.
The airport flew by in a blur of gray walls and multi-colored people as I
rushed to the exits. It wasn't until I was outside, breathing the Florida
air that I noticed that it was already after dark. I'd forgotten about the
time difference. I'd left Angel Grove at 11a.m., and it was a three hour
time difference on top of a five hour flight. I thought about finding a
cab, not checking into the motel that I'd booked and having him drive me
directly to Coach Schmidt's training facility.
Then I reined in my enthusiasm and realized that if I showed up at nearly 8
p.m. in the evening, someone might think I was a stalker and call the
police. That wasn't the first impression I wanted to give Kim after two
months apart, and the letter. So I walked to the curb and flagged down an
unruly looking Hispanic driver in a white and red taxi. Opening the door, I
threw my duffel across the back seat and followed it with a slam of the
"Holiday Inn," I announced.
"West Miami, South Beach or downtown?" my driver asked, and I looked at him
in the rear-view mirror with befuddlement.
Shit. I grabbed my bag and dug through the side pocket for the confirmation
my mom made me take. I handed him the page and he nodded as he handed it
"Never been to Miami?"
"First time," I replied as I tried unsuccessfully to relax into the vinyl
"Business or pleasure?" he asked, quickly making the turn out of the
airport and onto the nearby freeway onramp.
"I'm not sure."
Looking up, I saw him give me a quizzical look in the mirror, and then
shrug. We settled into silence as we drove to my motel, and a few more
miles closer to my inevitable meeting with Kim.
It was ten in the morning when I woke up in my bed at the motel. I hadn't
realized the time difference and the jet lag was going to do me in so much.
I'd thought about asking for a wake-up call when I checked in last night,
but I forgot. What else is new.
Quickly, I tossed aside the dark blue paisley patterned comforter and
headed for the shower. The hot water did its work in waking me up, and I
quickly moved through my routine. One of the white fluffy hotel towels did
its work on my body, and followed up with doing its best to dry my hair.
There were days when I really wanted to follow the crowds and buzz it down
with some gelled spikes, but it just wasn't for me at the moment. And Kim
would never forgive me for mucking with what she has always considered one
of my best features.
Still, there's times like now, standing in front of the mirror using the
travel-size hair dryer to dry my hair that I think that maybe she could
forgive me. And there's that issue of getting it under my helmet on a daily
Sighing, I finish the job, pulling the dry, straight locks into my
trademark ponytail and move onto brushing my teeth. Once I'm minty fresh, I
chuck the towel and pad into the main part of my room to dress.
I made a point to bring with me the clothes that always ended up making Kim
stare at me a bit longer than she'd like me or anyone else know. Once I
realized what made her breathe a little faster, I made sure I wore it on a
regular basis. Sure, I know it sounds childish, but then Kim seemed to
always wear what I couldn't resist as well, so we're equally guilty of
trying to deliberately drive the other insane.
Such is my intention today. Besides, if my luck still holds, maybe Kim will
be so stunned by my rugged good looks that she'll just fall in my arms, or
at least offer up a good explanation why this all happened, rather than me
having to drag it out of her.
Hey, you never know.
I don't wear most of these anymore, not since the team got our Zeo powers,
and I'm now no longer the White Ranger. But Kim wouldn't recognize me in
red, so I pull on a white tank top and then a white button-up long sleeved
shirt with the cuffs rolled up over it. I slip into some jockey shorts and
then my *only* concession to my status - red socks, then pull on the black
jeans and the heavy boots I wore in on the plane.
Once everything's in place, I head back to the mirror in the bathroom and
make sure I look presentable. I turn back to the desk near the bed and pick
up my wallet, taking note of the traveler's checks and no ready currency. I
need to get the front desk clerk to cash some of them for me, so I don't
have to hunt down a travel agency or bank. I used up my last couple of
twenties on the cab ride over last night, and I doubt that any cab driver
in Miami would want to take these over cold cash.
Of course, next to all those multi-colored checks is my last letter from
Kim. I folded it enough times to slide it into my bi-fold. I wanted it with
me, so I could set it in front of her and ask her exactly what each
sentence meant. Why she wrote these things. Ask for proof.
Along with it is the address for my destination of the day, Coach Schmidt's
training facility. With a shove, I pack away my wallet, and get up,
snatching the card key for the room on my way out.
The door shuts behind me and I start down the clean white hallway, passing
the other wood doors along the corridor. It doesn't take long before I'm
standing before the check-in desk, where a stunning Asian woman with short
cut hair and bright red lipstick looks over the counter at me. She smiles
and the only thing I can think of is that I wish Trini had told me
something more useful about her last telephone conversation with Kim right
after New Year's.
"Can I help you sir?" the clerk asks, her attention firmly situated on me.
"I need to cash some traveler's checks, and get a cab," I reply, digging
into my back pocket for my wallet and about three hundred dollars in
"Certainly. Is there anything else I can do?"
The question is simple enough, but my answer wouldn't be. Can you get my
girlfriend back for me? Can you tell me how I screwed up the most important
thing in my life so badly? Can you fix my life?
I don't say any of those things, but simply sign the check backs the hand
them to her, replying, "no, thanks."
Turning to the cash drawer, she pulls out the cash, conveniently in
twenties and hands them to me.
"There are taxis at the door on your way out. Have a nice day sir."
I nod and turn away, slowing as I pass a mostly empty table set up with the
hotel's complementary continental breakfast. I snag a glass of juice and an
apple Danish and keep moving for the front exit. As I walk into the bright
Miami day, I see maybe three yellow cabs parked outside, waiting to take
businessmen and tourists alike around the city. Quickly moving forward, I
climb into the closest one, still eating. It is helmed by a Rastafarian-
type African American man who happily smiles my way.
"Where yah be going this fine day?" he asks in what I guess is a Jamaican
Without replying, I hand him the address for the training facility as I
juggle the juice in one hand and leave the pastry in my mouth.
"Sure now, let's be off then."
And we pull away from the motel and onto the city streets headed towards
the gym and Kim.
I stood before the cement warehouse structure on the edge of the University
of Miami complex for probably ten minutes before I forced one foot in front
of the other, propelling me closer to the doors. If I hadn't known any
better, I wouldn't have realized that within this simple structure, women
were training hard to be better athletes and win gold medals.
I was really starting to wish that we'd never ever heard of Coach Schmidt
or thought of the Pan Globals. If we hadn't, things would be like they
should be and how I wanted them to be again.
I hadn't spoken to Zordon of this before I left, or anyone else for that
matter. But part of me wanted to convince Kim to come back to Angel Grove.
Perhaps we could find another power source, bring her back to the team.
We'd done it before, when I lost my Green Ranger powers, Zordon found a way
to bring me back. Why not Kim?
Since she's been gone I've felt this gaping hole in myself, and not just
personally. I never realized just how much I relied on her when I was the
White Ranger, newly appointed leader of the Power Rangers. She was there to
support me and ground me. Since she left, its as if I'm not the same leader
I used to be. Not as sure or strong.
And while I know I don't have control of the future, some small part of me
worries that I might very well make a mistake that will cost one of my
teammate's lives if I don't get back that missing part of myself. The part
that is inside this gym.
Stopping at the door, I held the metal latch tight in my grip as I shook my
head to clear my thoughts. The first order of business was to see Kim and
talk this whole thing through. Once that was done, then I can start
thinking about our future, if I can prove to Kim we really have one.
I yanked the heavy door open and strode into the facility. It looked like a
gym, just with a lot more space. I walked along the bare concrete corridor
past the locker room, and then further until I hit what I would have to say
was the guard station. To my left was an office with wire-reinforced glass.
In front of me was the ramp going down to what sounded like the main
training area. Before I could get one foot onto that ramp, I heard a sharp
voice snap from within the office.
"And where do you think you're going sir?"
Spinning towards the voice, I tentatively move in the direction of the open
door of the office. Behind an old steel desk, a heavy-set African American
woman sat, leaning forward over stacks of papers, file folders and glossy
photos. Behind her, a fairly new computer with a printer and fax sat on a
She stares at me, reaching up to adjust a pair of wire rimmed glasses,
tilting them down over her nose so she can see me over them. I feel like
I've been caught without my homework by Ms. Applebee, and force a lump out
of my throat. If there's any possibility of me not seeing Kim, this woman
will most likely be it.
"I'm here to see one of the athletes practicing at this facility," I
announce with my leader's voice, tinged with a little more apprehension
than I would have liked.
Suddenly, her entire demeanor changes, and she smiles at me with a
genuinely pleased expression. Turning back to the other desk, she yanks
open a desk drawer with a grating sound and hauls out a binder sized book.
She swivels back to me and drops the book with a thud on the paper covered
surface of her desk.
"I was starting to think I wasn't going to get to use this thing this
month," she states brightly, opening the worn blue cover, and flipping in
about halfway into the volume. "The coach has such stringent rules, and the
girls are always so focused, we rarely get visitors."
For a moment, I feel dizzy and sick to my stomach. Rules about visitors?
Families rarely seeing their daughters? I suppressed a shudder at the
thought and returned my attention to the woman who seemed more than happy
to help me see Kim.
"So, who are you here to see?"
"Kimberly Hart," I replied, her name falling from my lips with the
unconscious caress I had always said it with.
"Oh, she's such a nice girl," the woman said, turning ten or so more pages,
but in the opposite direction. "She's been here without fail since after
I leaned over the desk a bit and saw what seemed to be Kim's attendance
chart. I could see the days when she had been in Angel Grove at Christmas
marked with large red X's, while the days following up through today had
simple green checks. She turned Kim's page over and started looking at it.
"Are you Tommy Oliver?" she asked suddenly, and I straightened up again
with a little shock.
"Yes, how did..." I started to ask, then stopped as I tried to figure out
why she would ask.
"You're the one visitor listed for visits."
The woman looked at me with surprise, and then her smiling face degenerated
to a look of pity and frustration. Sighing, she shook her head and snatched
a pen out of an Olympic Team mug.
"All the girls here are only allowed to put one name on their visitor list.
Most have their mom or dad listed. Seems that you're the person Kim listed
as her visitor."
For the second time in less than ten minutes I felt the floor falling out
beneath me. They were only allowed to have one visitor. And Kim had chosen
me. Sure, Kim's mom was in Paris, and her dad always seemed remote, but to
pick me over one of them was staggering. Yet I had never been here before
today, which meant no one outside of this gym had seen Kim since Christmas.
The thought made my blood go cold.
"It'll be nice for her to have someone visiting. Maybe it will help cheer
her up. She's been sort of depressed for the last week or so. Would you
She shoved the book towards me along with the pen. I could see that the
back side of Kim's page had an empty visitor registry, where I was to fill
in my name and the date of the visit. As well as the time I arrived and
left. I was getting a very bad feeling from all this and I knew that this
kind woman had my answers, if I could only get them from her. I signed in
and decided to make some idle chit-chat before easing into the questions I
really wanted the answer to.
"No problem. I'm sorry, I didn't get your name."
"Adelle. Sorry about that, I'm not used to seeing people around here that
don't know who I am. All the coaches and the girls know me, and I forget
that the visitors have usually only met the coach."
"Adelle, that's a nice name. How long have you been working for Coach
Schmidt?" I asked politely, feigning interest as I worked to gain her
"Oh, about fifteen years. I've seen it all, I swear," she laughed robustly,
waving her hand towards the only other chair in the room on my side of the
desk in invitation. "Every four years it's a new batch of girls. Of course,
there's rarely exceptions like your Miss Hart, coming in during the middle
of a cycle of training. But the coach seemed to think she had potential,
even though at this point in training it doesn't seem like he thinks that
"Really?" I ask with growing curiosity.
"It's tough. I remember my first year with the team. I was so shocked at
the visiting policy. Then there was the yelling and punishments. I was just
about to resign when the coach sat me down and assured me that the girls
were fine, that they knew what they were getting into and that they had to
work hard if they wanted to achieve their goals. So I've been here ever
since, making sure that they get into practice and get back to their rooms
I hoped that my jaw hadn't physically dropped at Adelle's announcement. I
know that I wasn't aware of any of these rules before Kim agreed to join
Coach Schmidt's training, and I don't think she was either. Sure, we both
knew she was going to have to work hard, but this sounded absolutely boot
camp like. And with limited visitor privileges, it had to make the
experience even more grueling. I was really not liking this at all.
"But you didn't come to listen to me prattle on," Adelle acknowledged with
a smile. "Now just go down that ramp and you'll find your little girl with
the rest of the team."
For a moment, I almost wanted to reply that no matter her size, Kimberly
could never be called a 'little girl', but I simply waved my thanks and
headed out the office door and down to the workout area of the gymnasium.
At the bottom of the ramp, I looked around and saw two groups of six
gymnasts. Half were on the opposite side of the room working with a few of
Coach Schmidt's assistants on the parallel bars, but I could tell that Kim
wasn't with them. I walked along the wall to my right to where the second
group was working on the balance beam with Coach Schmidt himself. I first
scanned the group for her trademark pink, but couldn't find it. Then my
eyes settled on that caramel colored hair that I still saw in my dreams and
could remember the smell of from every time I had held her to my chest and
nestled my face into it.
She was in a folding chair with a white towel wrapped around her neck. Four
other women were with her, all watching the performance of a fifth
teammate, as the sixth walked back to a chair behind Kim in the second row
Not wanting to distract the gymnast on the beam, I took a seat in the back
row of chairs, five rows back and probably a good six feet from Kim and
watched her interact with her teammates. I couldn't see as well as I would
have liked, but I watched her head nod or shake from side to side every
once in a while. It was strange, her hair was bound in a tight French
braid, more strict than I'd ever seen it. But then, if she was working as
hard as Adelle seemed to make out, her hair was probably something she,
like the others needed to restrain as best as possible.
Unconsciously, I ran a hand over my own ponytail, and thought again of
shorter locks. I was glad Kim hadn't gone as far as her nearby neighbor,
who sported a blond bob that rivaled Mary Lou Retton's.
Before I realized it, the young woman who had just been performing had
vaulted off the beam and was now standing before Coach Schmidt, receiving
some pointers. Then a flash of brown brought my attention back to Kim, and
I saw her stand and shrug aside the towel.
My breath caught in my throat and I swear my eyes started to tear. My Kim
looked like she was starving herself. Gone was her usual cheerful pink, she
now wore a black leotard that emphasized her thinness. Sure, Kim had always
been petite, but now she was nearly rail thin. Without turning back towards
my position, she moved towards the beam and prepared to start her routine.
The first thing that struck me was how slow she seemed to be moving. As she
ran to the jump, to launch herself onto the beam, I could see how much her
legs seemed to shake from the activity. Thinking back, I had to say that
when she had been home at Christmas, I hadn't seen her in anything where I
could have noticed her thinness. With the winter weather, we all were
pretty well covered, and when we had held each other, there had always
seemed to be a jacket or sweater or two between us, so I never got a full
gauge as to her weight loss. But it was obvious that it had been going on
for quite some time for her to be so lethargic.
Once she was on the beam, I could see extended glimpses of the energy I
knew was inside the Kim I had encouraged to come to Florida to chase her
dreams. But most of the time, I saw a woman who seemed to be pushed beyond
her limits, exhausted by what she could do without fail before. As she made
one complicated turn on the four inch wide beam, I felt my heart constrict
as her toes slid from their position and the ball of her right foot
followed them, slipping off the wooden apparatus. Quickly she fought to
save herself, and was able to end up with her ass landing hard on the beam,
rather than taking a tumble to the mat below.
I tore my gaze from Kim for a brief second to check the coach's reaction.
The dark glare I saw him giving Kim began to solidify my suspicions. He'd
been working her to exhaustion, and now that she was making mistakes, he
was angry with her.
Finally, Kim vaulted off the beam and landed with a slight bobble. Then she
slowly turned towards Coach Schmidt and almost resignedly walked to stand
before him. I couldn't stay put any longer, so I stood and was just about
to make my move to get closer to the front set of seats where I hoped to
hear the coach's comments.
I shouldn't have worried about not being able to hear. As soon as Coach
Schmidt's mouth opened, a roar of sound engulfed the surrounding area and I
"Miss Hart, if you continue to consistently fail in improving this routine,
you might as well just pack your bags and go home to that nowhere where I
plucked you from! You're obviously lacking the desire to be a world class
athlete, as well as the skills."
I watched as Kim's head dropped forward to rest on her chest. She would
never have taken that kind of verbal abuse without a biting retort, or even
a joke. Yet now, she seemed defeated, and she seemed to believe Coach
"I understand. I'll do better."
The coach simply nodded his head and turned towards the next gymnast that
was warming up in preparation to starting her routine. Kim moved back to
her chair, where she draped the towel back around her neck and grabbed a
bottle of water from the floor beside it. As she stood back up, she faced
the wall I was standing in front of, and I saw her eyes shake off their
detachment as she focused on my form. When her gaze finally reached my
face, the look that resided on hers was one of shock, fear and almost
For a moment, I thought she was going to drop the water bottle in her hand
as her whole body started to tremble noticeably. The other women in her
group turned towards her, noting her paralysis, and then all eyes seemed to
be on me, including Coach Schmidt's.
This was it, I thought as I forced myself down the row of chairs and then
walked up to the front row and strode towards Kim and Coach Schmidt. As I
passed in front of the other gymnasts, who all seemed to be following my
every move, I felt like the confrontation I'd been expecting with Kim had
been shifted to Coach Schmidt.
As soon as I was within a few feet of Kim, I began slowing my pace. I
needed to look at her before I went and talked to the coach. Rather than
stop right in front of her, I paused beside her, our heads tilted slightly
towards one another. When her brown eyes met mine, I felt the spark that I
had been so afraid wouldn't be there flare between us. From the moment I
had set eyes on her inside this building, she hadn't looked alive until
right this second. I was sure I could see some of her strength seep back
into her with just my presence.
And the love... well, unless I was reading too much into the look in her
eyes, I could swear that it was there too.
Quickly, I brushed her hand with mine as I refocused on the task at hand
and approached Coach Schmidt. The kind, grandfatherly man I'd met in Angel
Grove seemed buried beneath a tough, unyielding taskmaster. But I'd taken
on evil in more forms than I could count. This altercation couldn't even
come close to any of my experiences as a Ranger. He'd never know what hit
"Coach Schmidt, it's good to see you again. You remember me, Tommy Oliver
from Angel Grove?" I started out, holding my hand out to shake his,
hopefully catching him off guard. "I came out to see Kim. You don't mind if
I borrow her for a bit, seeing as how she just finished her routine?"
Coach Schmidt took my hand and shook it firmly, his face relaxing a bit. I
guess he did remember me. I braced myself for the rejection to my plea to
get some time with Kim, but I was again surprised at what seemed a resigned
look cross his face.
"Perhaps that would be a good idea. Kimberly has been working very hard as
of late. Maybe some distraction will help her regain her focus and improve
her performance. Please, feel free to visit with her. But be sure to check
with Adelle on your way out Mr. Oliver."
Something in what he'd just said set off my internal alarm bells, but I
wasn't quite sure if I understood him right. Did he expect me to visit with
Kim here, in the building, and then sign out on my way, alone, out of here?
If he was suggesting that, then he was insane. As it was, I was fighting
the urge to just hoist Kim over my shoulder and run out of the building,
not stopping until we were on a plane headed home.
"I'll make sure I see Adelle when I finish my visit," I replied as vaguely
Without another word, Coach Schmidt turned back to the other gymnasts, who
had watched the entire proceedings, and yelled, "Alright, back to work!"
Now that I had the coach's permission, I felt both free and nervous at
once. Nothing stood between my talking with Kim, and it scared me to death.
If I had been wrong about what I'd seen, then this was going to be more
difficult than I thought.
Turning slowly, I found her standing there, watching me with a look of
surprise, nervousness and anticipation. It immediately made me want to wrap
her in my embrace and never let go, so I started to her. Within a few quick
strides, I was standing before her, looking down into those eyes that I
loved so much. I put my hand on her shoulder, and waited to see if she was
going to flinch or ask me to move it. Instead, I swear to God the
temperature of her skin through her leotard seemed to soar where my hand
Another guy my ass.
"How about we get out of here Beautiful?" I asked in my best velvet-toned
Kim didn't reply. She just tentatively nodded her head, reached her hand
across herself and placed her hand over mine. As I looked at her with a
growing smile on my face, I saw a matching one curve her sweet lips.
Even though I hated to do it, I lifted my hand from her shoulder. Her hand
fell from mine and I reached to take it and to walk her off the practice
floor, away from the numerous sets of staring eyes. When my fingers curled
around her smaller ones, I felt as if I was home again. Then I felt my own
hand being squeezed by Kim's with more strength than I would have given her
credit for having just 20 minutes earlier.
Once I'd realized that was my cue to move, we both slowly headed for the
ramp and up towards Adelle's office. I wasn't sure what was my next step -
take Kim out of the building and only sign out when we returned, sign out
now and see Kim 'off the books' or what. So I realized we'd have to ask
when we stopped in the office.
With a hand to the small of her back, I ushered Kim inside Adelle's office.
As we crossed the threshold, Kim looked around before looking to Adelle. I
thought it strange, but then assumed that unless you had a visitor, the
gymnasts never had a reason to come in here.
"Hi Adelle," Kim said, waving at the woman who turned from the computer
screen and smiled.
"Hello Kimberly. I see your young man found you alright."
At that, I wanted to blush, but it was true. At least I hoped it was still
"He did, thank you."
Kim glanced up at me now, taking the initiative for the first time since
I'd arrived to look me in the eye. What showed in her gaze was just as
powerful as it ever was. I was starting to no longer doubt that Kim was
still mine, no matter what her letter had said.
"So, what do we do now?" I asked, not breaking away from Kim's eyes, not
sure exactly whom I was asking the question of.
Barely polite laughter broke the spell that seemed to be settling in on Kim
and I, just like every time that we found time together 'alone'. We both
whipped our heads towards Adelle, who was both smiling and laughing at the
picture that we must have presented her. I knew Kim must be blushing,
because I certainly was.
"I think you two know exactly what to do," she smirked at us.
"I meant regarding my visiting privileges," I remarked dryly, feeling a bit
uncomfortable at this woman's outspoken manner.
"No offense meant there young man. I simply think you have a lot of
catchin' up to do. So how about you sign out when you and Miss Kimberly
I turned my head towards Kim and saw a flash of fear. The thought of coming
back seemed to scare her as much as leaving her behind did me.
"What if I don't bring her back?" I suggested with an off-hand flippancy
that I didn't feel, looking at Adelle to gauge her reaction to my words.
"Then make sure you two stop off at the dorms and get Kim's things," she
said with a seriousness that I wouldn't have expected from her. "Don't
think that Coach Schmidt is going to be lenient in regards to curfews just
because you've got a visitor Kimberly. If you don't come back to the dorm
by 7pm, he'll just as soon kick you out of the training program as look at
Beside me, I could feel the waves of indecision rolling of Kim. This was a
new twist to my plan to get the truth from her about what was going on, and
why she'd sent the break up letter. But I never thought my just being here
would take the decision of her staying on track with her Pan Global
training out of her hands altogether.
"We'll deal with that later," said Kim authoritatively.
Then she turned and left me behind as she walked to the Women's locker
It had taken maybe twenty minutes for Kim to shower and change into a pair
of blue jean overall shorts, a pair of white tennis shoes and socks and a
pink crop top that I think she hadn't worn in a while. As soon as she
reappeared in Adelle's office, I had her hand in mine and we were out the
door and into the fresh Miami air.
"So, how about some lunch somewhere we can talk?" I asked finally, needing
to get out that one unspoken issue of discussing what was going on.
I watched her start to open her mouth to decline the lunch part. She
probably was planning on saying something about she couldn't put on any
more weight, but I stopped her short of saying it.
"No, you need a decent meal Kim. If the coach throws a fit, we'll deal with
it. But for now, just humor me and let me take you to lunch?"
Reluctantly, Kim nodded her head, as if in acceptance that she had to eat,
as well as the fact that we had to talk about what was going on sooner or
latter. As it was, my being here seemed like it was going to cause her
problems with her training, and I had yet to find out whether she wanted me
here or at all, and it was starting to weigh on me.
"Where can I find a cab around here?"
Startled, Kim looked up at me with a puzzled expression. I don't think she
figured I wasn't going to just walk across the street to the local deli and
buy her a salad or sandwich. Once I'd asked about the taxi, she knew
something was up.
"About a block down. The University usually gets some traffic this time of
day. I'm sure it won't be that hard. If we need to, the Student Union could
call us one."
"Good, let's go then."
With that, we walked slowly hand in hand along the sidewalk, watching as
vehicles and bicycles passed us by in the ever increasing cloudiness of the
Miami day. I'd heard that the weather patterns could be a little crazy, but
this was starting to make me worry. I was just about to put Kim under an
overhang that we'd just passed and make a run for the Student Union when a
yellow cab turned the corner and headed our way.
It slowed at the curb and I released Kim's hand to usher her into the back
seat. Clambering in beside her, I look at the Middle Eastern man at the
helm of the taxi and try to make a split decision on what to do. Slamming
the door, I look to Kim and realize that this needs to be light and easy if
I want to get the truth out of her without her stalling me.
So lunch first, then tough questions.
"Hard Rock Café please," I tell the driver.
Kim turns a shocked look my way as the cab pulls out onto the road and
speeds off to its destination. I think I surprised her. The fact that we've
rarely been anywhere like a Hard Rock Café in our entire relationship is
more than likely the cause for her astonishment. I want this whole thing to
be special. And from what I can see, its been a tough couple of months
since we saw each other last, and I think she can use it.
"Tommy, you don't need to do this to impress me," she says as we pass palm
trees that are swaying with a recently kicked up breeze.
"Impress you?" I repeated dumbly. "You think I'm trying to impress you?"
"Well, I thought..."
"Kim, look, whatever you're thinking, don't. You've been training really
hard the last couple months, and you need some fun. That's all. If you're
thinking this is about the letter, don't. We'll deal with that later. For
now, let's just have a good time, ok?"
At that, I pulled her into my side and her head found its place against my
chest and all was right with my world.
We'd made simple small talk over lunch. I ordered as many things that I
could remember which were Kim's favorites, much to her delight and chagrin.
Listening to her complain how the fried cheese sticks were going to go
straight to her thighs made me laugh, and when the chocolate brownie with
ice cream and chocolate syrup appeared after her salad, she shot me a death
glare that I had missed more than I had realized.
She asked about the team, and I told her about our new Zeo powers, since no
one else had. I explained why Billy and Aisha hadn't been in touch, and our
whole childhood regression thing. Watching her silently mourn the passing
of our Ninjetti powers in favor of Zeo brought out a similar feeling in me
that I didn't realize I felt.
I asked about life in Florida in general, not her training and got a lot of
vague answers. When I asked about her mom and dad, I found that Mrs. Dumas
called on a fairly regular basis, and was always asking how she was
improving and what her chances were of making the team. It was a bit
disturbing to think that Kim didn't say that her mom asked how she was and
ask if she wanted to visit.
Still, our lunch was pleasant and light. The weight of training, her future
with the program, our relationship or even the fate of the world was put on
hold for a whole glorious hour and a half as we ate and talked.
When we'd finished, I paid the bill, but I still had no decision on what to
do about the more difficult conversation I'd been postponing. We needed to
discuss the letter and her training, but I wanted to do it somewhere quiet.
Did I dare...
I moved to her chair and pulled it out as she got up. Then we headed for
the exit where I found a nice tropical storm had arrived without my
knowledge. There went any chance of a walk in a park somewhere to make her
feel as if she could get up and leave if she needed to. Instead, it left me
with very few options.
"Kim, we need to talk," I began, trying not to stutter as the one thought I
was most afraid of tried to force its way out of my mouth.
"I know," she replied nervously.
"Would you, I mean, would it be okay if we went back to my motel? That way
we can talk privately."
I watched as she sucked in a deep breath and held it. It seemed like every
emotion flashed for a moment in her eyes before she let her breath out in a
Part of me was stunned, another terrified. I think the next twenty minutes
went by in a blur as we got a cab and drove back to the Holiday Inn where I
was staying. We were silent the whole time, even up until I opened up the
door to my room and ushered Kim in before me. As the door shut and locked
behind me, I think both of us realized that there was no going back for
either of us, in more ways than one.
Kim sat at the head of my bed, tucking her knees up and to the side as she
slipped one of the pillows from the bedspread and hugged it to her. If I
was any other man, I would have thought she was afraid of me with that
pose. Yet I caught her cease watching me for a moment as she closed her
eyes while she took a quick smell of the pillow. It probably didn't smell
like I'd been sleeping on it, but it seemed to make her shiver anyway.
I figured I'd give both of us some space, and sat at the end of the bed, my
right leg tucked almost under me so I could face her. My fingers ended up
drawing circles on he bedspread as I waited to see if she'd start. When she
didn't, I though perhaps I could break the ice with just speaking her name.
Her eyes caught mine and held my gaze, unspoken things flashing between us
that had never needed to be stated or explained before now. Unfortunately,
too many of those things were being questioned by both of us to let us
simply assume nothing has changed.
"Do you want some water?" I asked, stalling for more time as I hoped she
would offer her own sins before I had to expose mine.
Kim shook her head. "Maybe later."
Unconsciously, my hand went to my hair and my fingers raked through the
strands at my temple. After a minute or two, I sighed and realized I would
have to begin this discussion with my own faults, and I was terrified at
the prospect of it.
"I know I didn't call you like I promised," I began tentatively, hating
myself as I began to take my fair share of the blame in the failure of our
"It's not your fault," Kim suddenly burst out, her fingers tightening on
the pillow. "And it's not what you think."
"What do I think?"
"That you neglected me. And because of it that I found someone else."
"Didn't you?" I counter, my heart thudding in my chest as I await her
There's silence for a long while, and I watch Kim fight off the start of
tears. She pulls away one of her hands from the pillow and wipes angrily at
her eyes. Then she turns those soft brown pools on me and looks me dead in
I think my heart just stopped and started again in the span of three
seconds. She lied to me. The letter was a lie, and she never found someone
else. But it doesn't mean she still wants me. Today, since we've been
together, I have been sure that she still loves me, but there's no way to
truly know until she confirms it. So I have to ask.
"Do you still love me?"
The nervous look on her face melts into a bright smile that I remember from
a long time ago standing by the lake in Angel Grove Park. Without thinking,
I reach over and grab the hand that isn't holding the pillow and feel the
wave of history sweep through us both.
"Me too," I reply with a smile and yank on her arm, pulling her across the
bed until she sits before me. "I miss you."
I glance down at her and see that she's smirking at me, and that she's
tossed the pillow to the floor. Her free hand has landed on my left thigh
and I'm starting to think that maybe we should have braved the weather
outside. It would be a lot less dangerous than being alone with Kimberly in
"I miss you too."
More than anything, all I want to do is just kiss her until we're delirious
with oxygen deprivation and to hell with answers. Except this one big
question that continues to scream in my head refuses to go away so easily.
"Why did you send the letter then?"
Her head drops so her eyes don't have to meet mine. As much as I want to
give her space to reply, I need to see the answer in her eyes as much as I
need to hear it. I reach my free hand under her chin and raise her face to
mine. Tears now glitter at her lashes, and I know that the truth of what
happened is painful for her, so I'll let her take her time. After a little
while, she lifts her hand to my cheek and softly caresses my skim before
she pulls it away to wipe at the seeping liquid that is starting to escape
"I didn't have a choice."
"What?" I say, my voice sounding harsher than I meant. Kim cringes and I
jump to temper my words. "I mean, why didn't you have a choice?"
"After Christmas, things were fine. But unlike a lot of the other girls, I
still had strong ties to you, the team, Angel Grove... the coach thought it
would be better for all of the athletes to live, sleep and breathe
gymnastics. To the exclusion of our families and friends."
"I don't understand."
"Neither did I until late last month. Coach said we were now at the next
phase of training and we were expected to work harder. Our meals were cut
and the weigh-ins that had been weekly were now daily. I was probably five
pounds under my 'normal' weight, but I was still five pounds over what I
was told I had to be to continue. The stress started to get to me, and I
tried to call Aisha and Billy and you, and I couldn't reach any of you."
Kim swallowed hard, and I felt an answering knot in my own throat. Maybe if
I had called here, none of this ever would have happened. I felt Kim
shudder beneath my touch and I knew that the worst was still to come.
"I started to make mistakes in practice. I was so depressed, and with the
weight loss, I just wasn't cutting it. So Coach Schmidt took me aside and
asked what was going on. Stupidly, I said I was having problems
concentrating because I couldn't reach you. So, he convinced me that it was
probably best if I let you go, so I could better focus on the training."
I sat there in shock. Kim had broken up with me because Coach Schmidt had
suggested it? The look on my face must have conveyed my thoughts as Kim
tightened her grasp on our joined hands.
"I wasn't thinking clearly Tommy. There was no one to turn to, no one to
support my relationship with you, to make me realize what I would be
sacrificing. I was so blinded by Coach Schmidt's promises that I really
thought he was trying to help me."
"Now you think he wasn't?"
"Maybe, I'm not sure. But all my sending you that letter did was make me
feel worse. The fall you saw me take today on the balance beam... that
hasn't been the worst."
My hands flew from their previous positions to take her shoulders as panic
started to attack my senses and my protective nature towards her reasserted
itself. I'd nearly lost her before she'd come to Florida in an accident far
worse than today's had been, but the thought that this one I'd seen had
been minor compared to what she was saying she'd been through recently
chilled my blood.
"You're okay, right?" I asked with fear lacing my voice.
"Yes," she soothed, her hands coming up to frame my face as she smiled
lightly at me. "I'm okay. Nothing too serious, all the parts are working."
I tried not to smile but failed miserably. Seeing that my fear had ebbed,
she moved her hands to rest on my thighs again, much to my, ahem, physical
"So, if we're back together, and based on what you've said we are, is that
going to cause you problems with training? Hell Kim, is my visit here
putting you in jeopardy of being removed from the program?" I asked
hurriedly, afraid if I didn't get it out in one breath that I'd be
reluctant to do so at all.
Watching Kimberly frown is not a pleasant sight. I think in the last three
years I've seen her look this determined yet troubled less than a dozen
times. Whatever she was considering couldn't be good.
"I don't know."
"It almost seemed like when Adelle mentioned you missing curfew because of
my visit you were welcoming the idea that it would get you removed from the
training program," I asked gently. "Kim, do you want to quit?"
"If I don't see this through, I'm just not sure what else I have," she said
quietly after a moment of silence that was a little too long for my liking.
"What do you mean?"
"I gave up so much to come here, and if I don't make it, I'll have given up
everything for nothing. You, the team, Angel Grove..."
"Hey," I start, sliding my hands up to her face as I watch the conflicting
emotions swirl in her eyes. "You have me and you'll never lose me. And
Angel Grove and the team are still there waiting for you, no matter if
you're a World famous gymnast or not."
"You and Angel Grove, yes, but the team... There's no place for me there
Sighing, I couldn't help but shake my head. I should have expected this.
Hell, I'd been here myself when I'd lost my Green Ranger powers. Sure, I
had the team's support and Kim's love at the time, but it still didn't fill
that hole I was feeling. It wasn't until Zordon handed me the mantle of the
White Ranger that I felt like I fit in again. And her fear of being an
outsider with her friends is very understandable to me.
"Kim, what if we could bring you back?"
"Back, to the team. Like Zordon did with me, like we did with the Ninjetti
powers. We know that there's other power out there, we could find it for
you, bring you back to the team."
Kim sat there and pondered my suggestion. I know that she remembered the
many times she herself had asked why I couldn't be given other powers, even
the White Ranger powers before I revealed myself to the team. I could see
how tempting the thought was, being back in action, in uniform with the
team, with me... then a cloud of doubt fell over her, and I watched her
start to retreat from the hope I was offering her.
"There's no guarantee that we could do that Tommy. I don't know if I could
go back only to not have it work out. And if we did find a power source,
how long would it take to do so? A week, a month, longer? What would I do
while you looked for it? Tommy, I still don't even know what I would do if
I did come back, team or otherwise."
"Come back to Angel Grove high, graduate with the rest of us. Be with me,"
I stated seriously.
"How? Mom's in Paris, Aisha's not there anymore, and Billy's gone too," she
"You could stay with Kat or Tanya," I suggested, then found myself saying
what I really wanted, "or with me."
Once the words left my mouth, I felt my heart start hammering in my chest
like a drum. Oh shit, what the fuck did I just suggest? That Kim and I live
together? From Kim's wide eyes look of shock, I think she had gotten the
gist of my unspoken suggestion as well.
"I mean, we... I... my folks have a guestroom. You could stay there until
"You think your parents would be okay with that? Or that my mom would be?"
Kim remarked with a slightly seductive but skeptical tone to her voice.
"We won't know until we ask," answered honestly. "The truth is I would move
heaven and earth to bring you home to me Beautiful. If that means braving
my parents and yours to get you a place to live, I'll do that. If it means
searching the universe for a new power for you, I will. I'll do whatever I
need to if you want to come home to Angel Grove. But it has to be your
decision. I don't want to be responsible for making you walk away from this
Before I knew what had hit me, Kim had leapt foreword and wrapped her arms
around my neck. Automatically, I pulled her closer to me, my arms going
around her waist as I reveled in the feel of her this close to me again.
"Who's parents do we call first?" she asked, her voice muffled against my
The next thing I knew we were both laughing and hugging so hard I was
afraid I'd break Kim's ribs. My mind was just dazed by this revelation. She
was coming home!
"I love you so much Beautiful. It hurt me so badly when I thought you'd
found someone else," I mumbled as the laughter began to be replaced with an
overwhelming hyper-sense of the serious path that we were undertaking.
"Only you Tommy. It's only ever been you," she replied as she pulled back
to look me in the eyes, all the love for me showing there as plain as day.
With that I leaned down and kissed her like I'd been dying to since I'd
laid eyes on her in the gym. Her lips were as sweet as I remembered them,
and I couldn't help but slant my mouth against hers and drink deeper of
her. I'd been starved for her for months and hadn't even known it. Kim
answered in kind, twining her fingers in my hair and swiping her tongue at
the tip of mine.
I moaned and focused on bringing as much of her body her in contact with
mine. Without any effort, I slid my hands under her ass and lifted her onto
my lap. Her breasts strained against my chest and I felt the twin hard
points scrape through my shirts as if they weren't there.
This was quickly getting out of hand, and I was loathe to stop it as much
as Kimberly seemed to be, judging from the way she wiggled her pelvis to
adjust her position on my lap and my straining erection.
Luckily before I could be a gentleman and pull away, my communicator went
off. The sound was like a bucket of ice, shocking us back to reality.
"I'M SORRY TO INTERUPT YOUR TRIP TOMMY, BUT THE TEAM NEEDS YOU URGENTLY IN
ANGEL GROVE. YOU NEED TO TELEPORT BACK IMMEDIATELY."
My eyes caught Kim's, and I was surprised at the glowing smile and
sparkling eyes that greeted me. I was going to have to leave her for the
moment, and she seemed almost pleased. That threw me.
"You're okay with this Beautiful?"
"Go. While you're gone, I'll catch a cab back to the dorm and pack up. But
by the time you get back Mr. Oliver, you better be prepared to take me back
I gave her such a goofy, happy grin, I was worried she was going to think
I'd lost my mind.
"I'll be right there Zordon."
With that, I pulled my hand from the communicator and wrapped both of them
around Kim's tiny waist. Lowering my head, I kissed her soundly, a promise
being made that I intended to keep. Kim answered it in every way.
"I'll be back soon," I said when I finally pulled back from the kiss. "So
go take care of settling things here and calling your mom while I'm gone.
When I get back, we're outta here."
"I'm counting on it."
With that, I pulled away, and pressed my communicator, teleporting myself
back to Angel Grove as my heart or more precisely Hart waited for my return
To find the NC-17 sequel, please go to my ff.net profile, and click the
link to my homepage. On my homepage there's a link to Paved With Good