Disclaimer: I don't own Power Rangers...if I did, we'd have season box sets already.
Relationships: T/Kim, J/Kat, T/Hayley
AN: I had an odd "what-if?" idea after watching "Fighting Spirit" back in September of 2004 and it mutated. I'm finally getting around to cleaning up the rough draft and this is the result.
Special thanks go to Princess Kimberly for beta-reading this for me.
Fighting Spirit AU
Paris, France, September 2004
Kimberly Hart, former Pink Ranger and Pan Global medalist, closed the door to her Parisian apartment and dropped her purse and other paraphernalia on the floor in the hall. Then she gratefully kicked off her shoes and collapsed on the couch in the living room. She loved the extra height high heels afforded her, but her feet ached horribly at the end of the day.
She'd spent all day running around the office making the last-minutes decisions on which sketches to put out for the rest of the fall collection and which to save for the winter and her brain was fried. She loved being a part of the Paris fashion world, but it was hard work all the same. She was contemplating taking a little nap before going out to meet her mother and stepfather for dinner when the phone jangled.
Heaving a weary sigh, she grabbed it. "Bonjour?" She tucked a lock of caramel-streaked brown hair behind her ear, fully prepared to tell whoever it was on the end of the line to call back later.
"Kimberly?" a male voice on the other end asked.
Her mood lifted instantly. She'd recognize that voice anywhere. "Jason!" she squealed excitedly. "How are you?"
The former red ranger chuckled shortly at her enthusiasm. "I'm fine. How are you?"
"Tired," she admitted frankly. "I've been running around like a chicken with my head chopped off all day. How's Kat?"
"She's fine." Jason's voice trailed off, and there was an uncomfortable silence.
Kim frowned and rolled over on the couch to lie on her stomach. Her eyes focused on the pictures scattered on her end table without really seeing them. "Jase, I can tell something's bugging you. What's wrong?"
He hesitated a moment, then said softly, "I don't know how to tell you this, Kim."
"Tell me what?" She was confused. "Is Kat expecting?" You sound awfully grim for a father-to-be if she is.
"I wish." He laughed abruptly "It's not that."
"Then what is it?"
"It's Tommy," he said reluctantly. "He's in a coma right now."
Brown eyes wide with shock, she shot up to a sitting position. "What?" she exclaimed sharply. "He's in a coma? Since when?"
"As of three days ago."
Kim processed that, then demanded anxiously, "What happened?"
Any other time, Jason Scott might have taken pleasure in the fact that she was still so concerned about her ex-boyfriend, but now it was merely another set of problems they didn't need. He bypassed her question with one of his own. "Can you be on the next flight to the U.S.?"
She wasn't deterred. "Jason—"
He cut her off. "Kim, I can't tell you what happened over the phone, and you know I wouldn't ask if it weren't important. I know you two have unresolved issues, but he's in a coma, for Pete's sake. The doctors don't have a clue as to when he's gonna wake up." Jason ran a hand through his short, dark hair and said tiredly, "Anyone who can make it is supposed to come to Reefside. Can you come?"
She thought for a moment, and almost without realizing it, words flew out of her mouth. "I'll be there. But I better get an explanation."
"You'll get it," he promised.
Kim brushed her bangs out of her eyes—she'd never bothered to grow them out and they were due for a trim. "You do realize that even if I get a flight leaving in the next two hours, it's going to be at least 16 hours before I get there, don't you? And that's not even counting waiting time and however long it takes to get through security."
He nodded, even though she couldn't see him. "Just let me know which flight to California you'll be on, and I'll be there to pick you up. I'll explain everything."
"Ok. Tell Kat I say hi, will ya?"
"Sure thing, Kim." Jason started to hang up, then said abruptly, "Oh, wait a minute. Have you got my cell phone number?"
She racked her brain. "I don't think so."
"Let me give it to you." He rattled off a string of numbers and she jotted them down.
"See ya, Kim."
"Catch ya on the flip side," she tossed off absently before hanging up.
"Bye." Jason replaced the phone in the receiver and stuffed his calling card back into his pocket. Then he sat for a moment, staring at nothing. It'd been three years since he'd last seen her, but Kim didn't sound like she'd changed very much.
Jason's eyes slid shut for a moment, remembering the circumstances surrounding her last visit. Losing Trini had been hard on all of them, but especially for Kim and himself. They'd known her the longest, and after everything they'd been through, a car accident was one of the last things they ever thought would separate them. Kim had flown in for the funeral from France, but she hadn't stuck around long enough to really chat with anyone. Jason didn't blame her, not really.
Kat, his beautiful blonde wife, came in from the kitchen, drying her hands on a dishtowel. "Is she coming?" She'd also been a pink ranger, once upon a time, but those days were over for everyone except Tommy.
"Yeah." Jason rubbed a hand over his face, feeling his five o'clock shadow. "She said hi."
Her blue eyes were sympathetic. "How'd she take it?" She knew Tommy and Kimberly at least still had friendly concern for each other, despite everything that had happened between them.
He stood and headed for the bathroom to clean up, saying over his shoulder, "Better than she would have a few years ago, but she was pretty upset. Let me shave and we'll head over to Reefside." He wished Hayley had called them earlier. She'd waited three days to see if Tommy would wake up on his own, and when he didn't, she called in the cavalry. Although, aside from providing emotional support, he had no clue what they were supposed to do.
"Ok." Kat's voice was soft, and she shook her head slowly, causing her blond ponytail to sway back and forth. She thought about Tommy lying there in the hospital and it just seemed so incongruous. He isn't the hospital type at all.
As she finished cleaning up the kitchen, Kat reflected on the events of the past eight years. She regretted breaking Tommy's heart, but things just hadn't worked out for them. They'd tried, they really had, but eventually they both had to face the facts. Her burgeoning career as a dancer was taking her a different direction than his racing. Granted, the whole racing thing hadn't lasted—he'd moved on to paleontology—but they'd never found a way to get back into each other's orbits.
Instead, she'd found herself in Jason's orbit.
She'd been in love with Tommy for a time, and she was pretty sure he had loved her too in his way. However, their romance paled in comparison to what she shared with Jason now. Still, she couldn't help but feel what a huge chunk of their lives would be missing if Tommy didn't pull through.
Kat shook her head, banishing doubt from her mind. He would pull through. He had to.
Well, hope y'all enjoyed. Next chapter is in the cleanup process. Cheers!