choosing you is what i'd always do
Zack found out before Trini was ready for it.
"Yo, crazy girl!"
The sudden pain in her back brought a hiss from Trini's mouth. Her fists clenched by her side and eyes squeezed shut, she pressed herself against the hard stone wall she had crashed into and stayed there for a moment longer in hopes that it was just a momentary feeling that would subside as quickly as it came. "Sorry, I thought you'd dodge!"
One last strong sting shot up her spine before she felt only a dull throb, which finally made it okay enough to crack her eyes open. Zack was towering in front of her with his hands braced on his knees, deep concern on his face as his eyes flicked all over Trini's. "You okay?"
Blowing out a breath, she nodded. "Fine."
Her back was screaming as Zack helped her up and for a moment she felt his arms tighten around her. "You don't really seem fine."
But before she could argue, the others were already huddling around them, with worry on their faces and a waterfall of concerned babbling flowing out of Billy's mouth. "I'm fine," Trini insisted when Jason started to join in as well with concerned questions about her well-being. Pushing herself out of Zack's supporting embrace, she winced as she stretched. "I dodged one of Zack's kicks a little too late but I'm totally fine. No big deal."
"You should take it easy though," Jason advised, the worried creases on his forehead not yet disappearing. "We'll call it a day for today."
No one complained and slowly gathered their things so they could leave. Once they were back on top, Billy hesitantly hooked his arm through Trini's, mumbling something to himself about "supporting injured friends" and shooting her a small grin when she smiled at him in surprise. She remembered days where she would push everyone who would have even attempted something like this so hard away from her with just a simple glance, but this is Billy, and she adored Billy, and Billy could do whatever he wanted and she'd accept it with no questions asked.
Her attempt at thanking him got stuck in her throat however when she felt another arm snaking around her left one, without hesitance and much tighter than Billy's. Kim's dark eyes glittered at her, as did the smile she sent her. "Next time you'll train with me again," she said, before glancing back and grinning teasingly. Her voice grew a bit louder. "She never gets hurt with me."
Zack scoffed from behind them. "Because you're not as strong as me."
When Trini craned her neck to look at him, he flexed his arms in a dramatic fashion… before tripping, and almost falling flat on his face if Jason hadn't grabbed him at the last second. He pouted at the loud laughter he received from his friends, brushed the dirt from his knee that had touched the ground in his graceful fall, and playfully glared at Kimberly.
"Don't try to steal my crazy girl from me, Hart."
"I doubt she has to be stolen away," she quipped back but looked at Trini instead, the dazzling grin on her face reminding Trini of the ever so present infatuation she had with this girl. And it was only getting worse, day by day and with every stupid smile on the ex-cheerleader's face that was shot in her direction, she realized as she stared at Kimberly with a small smile of her own. Kim raised her eyebrows. "Who do you choose, Trini?"
She could feel Kim's arm tightening around hers for a few seconds, the look on her face making her heart dizzy, this stupid, stupid chick! "Choosing between a princess and a doofus, tough decision." She sure hoped her voice didn't give away that the choice had already been made, even before she had ever asked. Kim just laughed and shook her head, and a sense of relief washed over Trini when the subject seemed to be dropped.
But then she saw the puzzled look on Zack's face when she caught his gaze, swallowed harshly when his eyebrow and one corner of his mouth lifted the second her face heated up.
Watching Kim had become hard when the other Rangers were around. Not that she actually ever watched Kim, that would be crazy. But in case she did ever want to… suddenly Zack always seemed to catch her, intensely staring at her with curiosity shining in his eyes, and Trini hated that it always made her blush.
It felt like she had been caught.
It was just Trini and Kim and Zack sitting at a table in the cafeteria, with Billy having to finish a project – hopefully without blowing anything up this time – and Jason being around somewhere else. Kimberly, who had been immersed in the book laid out open in front of her for the past ten minutes, looked up and raised her eyebrows at Zack to let him know she was listening. "What do you think about the color yellow?"
The soda seemed to trickle down Trini's throat so painfully slow and she resisted the urge to cough and choke, but maybe it wouldn't have been a bad idea to actually choke to death right now, because what the hell, Zack? Trini's eyes glared at the side of the boy's head, but he wouldn't turn and was instead focused completely on Kimberly. Who didn't get it and was more than confused.
Kill me. Zack nodded, braced his elbows on the table and rested his chin on his hands. He tilted his head curiously. "Do you like yellow?"
"Uh…" She hoped she wasn't blushing but even if she was, Kim was still staring at Zack with the most confused expression Trini had ever seen her wear. She sat up straight, blinked. "I guess I-" But then she stopped and her eyes snapped towards Trini and oh my God, don't. blush. A slow smile started to spread over Kimberly's mouth but Trini pretended not to notice by avoiding eye contact and shifting her lunch from one spot to the other. Out of her peripheral vision, Trini saw her motion towards her with one hand, while her other ran through her short hair. "How could I not?"
Now she was most definitely blushing.
Zack skillfully dodged the punch Trini aimed at him, fended off the following kick, before swiftly reaching for Trini's shoulder to swivel her around and pull her back into his front to hold her captive. "Calm down there, crazy girl!"
"Why did you do that?!"
Her elbow collided with Zack's stomach, hard enough to force a grunt out of him. "Kim!"
He laughed loudly and tightened his grip on the squirming girl. "I didn't do Kim, I'm pretty sure someone here would be pretty pissed if I had." Trini went completely still, only pushing out a heavy breath through her nose. "I'm right, aren't- whoa!"
Zack was suddenly flat on his back, Trini above him with her knee resting on his chest with the slightest pressure. He stared at the girl glowering down at him in amazement, before beginning to laugh. "That was… awesome! Best move ever!"
But Trini was less than impressed and let out a huff while removing her knee from Zack's chest and started to poke at it with her index finger instead. "Stop. meddling. in. my. business."
"Hey, I'm not meddling," he defended himself, holding his palms up next to his head, "I'm simply trying to help you get the girl."
Trini rolled her eyes and got up. "The girl doesn't want me." She brushed off the dust from her pants and quickly spun around again to look down at Zack with annoyance shaping her face into a deep frown. "Besides, who even says I want the girl?"
The boy on the floor chuckled, pushing himself into a sitting position. "Everything about you screams it."
"Crazy girl is crazy in looove."
"I am not-" She stopped herself, closed her eyes to calm down at least a little bit. Hearing shuffling and shoes scraping against the floor, Trini figured Zack was getting up from the floor, but she kept her eyes closed. He knew. He knew she liked Kim. No one was supposed to find out that she liked Kim! Was she really that obvious?
"Look, it's totally cool that you have the hots for our pink friend. I would have personally preferred you having them for the black one but-" Opening her eyes, Trini watched him stop for a second with a frown on his face, while holding his finger up. "I'm… talking about myself, not Billy."
"Of course you are," she mumbled with a roll of her eyes. She turned around then, to walk away from the abandoned railroad cart and from Zack, who was just making everything so much worse.
"Who says Kim doesn't want you?"
Trini stopped. Ridiculous. But something inside of her, maybe curiosity, maybe hope, maybe both, made her turn around. Zack stared at her, expecting an answer. "A million reasons say so," she told him with a set jaw and hard eyes.
At first, Zack said nothing. He twisted his lips, rubbed them together, and then twisted them again. Then he shrugged his shoulders. "Or maybe that's just what you tell yourself. Maybe Kim likes you. Maybe you just need to believe that there's always a chance."
"Is that from a fortune cookie you carry around in your pocket?"
"Was that an Asian joke?"
Trini rolled her eyes. "If you tell anyone, I'll send you into space to join Rita."
"I mean it."
"Oh, I know, crazy girl. I know."