Hi everybody, this is just a small piece that I had to get out of my system – my muse was really feeling creative. I might continue it, if I get a good response.
Please forgive me for the timing in this story, I know it's completely off, but it needed to be this way:
I've moved everything forward - Tommy and the other rangers have graduated from AGH. They are all aged 18-19. Kimberly is 18. The Pan-Globals ended a couple months ago but Kimberly stayed on in Florida for a while.
Oh, and I must confess to being heavily anti-Kat. But don't worry; it's not too bad –yet (wink wink)
Enjoy anyway!Coming Home
Tommy sighed to himself as he walked through Angel Grove Airport. His dad was heading to New York for a week, and had asked Tommy to drop him off at the airport. It was getting dark and it had been a long day. Tommy had been in an important meeting with the bank manager when his communicator went off: time to defend the city once more. The battle had left Tommy feeling drained and all he really desired now was to go home and sleep.
Tommy left the departures terminal, heading through arrivals to get to his car. Along the way, a huge Starbucks sign caught his eye and his stomach growled in response. A café mocca was precisely what he needed. Digging change out of his pockets as he walked, Tommy soon entered the cosy coffee shop. The smell in the shop made Tommy feel as if his energy levels were rising and he decided to get a table to rest and enjoy his drink. His eyes scanned the shop as weary travellers trooped in, in search of a caffeine boost while others came with small children, desperately seeking food. His gaze drifted up to the television mounted on the wall nearby.
It was tuned to ESPN- some or other gymnastics programme about the Pan-Globals. Geez, thought Tommy, they really are desperate– that ended three months ago. The writing flashing across the bottom of the screen caught Tommy's attention and his breath caught in his throat:Kimberly Hart swept the both the gold medals in the women's bar and floor events. It was her medals that helped America win the overall gold in the women's' events.
The television showed a clip of a petite girl in a red, blue and white leotard back flipping gracefully along a gymnastics bar. Her hair was plaited neatly and her body moved fluidly, not pausing, as if the movements were completely natural. Tommy recognised Kimberly Hart instantly. The camera changed to a close up of Kim and Coach Schmidt waiting for the results: most were high nines. A smile of shock and delight spread across Kimberly's face when she saw the results. The camera cut again, and showed a clip of Kimberley wearing three gold medals. A reporter held a microphone out to her.
"Congratulations Ms. Hart! Three gold medals are yours. Do you have anything to say?"
Kim paused for a second. Tommy watched her closely and felt his heart flutter. Kim looked better than ever, if that was possible. She smiled and replied happily, "I have to thank my coach, my parents and the team, who all supported me so very much. And also my best friends, all the way back in Angel Grove." She held up one of the gold medals around her neck, "This is for you guys, I love you all!"
Tommy grunted. "Not all of us." He mumbled bitterly.
It had been four months since he'd received the cold break-up letter Kimberly had sent. He and Kat had become very close friends. Lately, she had been hinting that they should go out; Tommy had planned to ask her, but every time he tried, something just didn't feel right to him.
His bitter feelings faded quickly, replaced with the empty feeling that came from knowing he could never be with Kim again – that she had met someone better than him. He pretended that it didn't bother him, especially around the others, but there wasn't a day he didn't think about Kim and wonder why – what had gone wrong?
Suddenly a thought hit him. Kimberly hadn't thanked her boyfriend in her speech. Hope rose in Tommy but faded fast – he might have been one of her team mates. Tommy hit himself inwardly – why did he always do this to himself?
Downing the rest of his coffee, he rose and turned to leave. Suddenly, his body connected with something and he stumbled backwards.
"Are you okay? I'm so sorry!" he said, turning around. He had walked into a short, petite girl wearing jeans, white sneakers and a blue tracksuit top with 'American Gymnastics Team' embroidered on the back in white. She was pushing herself up from the floor, her back to him. "No worries, I'm such a klutz sometimes!" she said.
Tommy froze, recognising her voice. His eyes fell on the caramel hair.
The girl stopped dead, then turned around. "Tommy?" she said almost hopefully.
Tommy noticed the realisation dawn in her alluring brown eyes and smiled shyly. For a brief second, Kimberly's eyes shone but she quickly cast them down. "How are you?"
"Okay," said Tommy slowly, "How are you? What are you doing here?"
" I'm good - I just got in from Florida; late flight."
"Oh, I saw you on TV by the way: well done on winning." Tommy said.
Kim smiled faintly, "Thanks. I'm just glad to be home."
"So…what have you been up to since the games ended?"
"Organising a life for myself. Coach Schmidt let me coach some of the new students to earn some money. With that and the prize money I was able to find car and an apartment for myself in Angel Grove. I'm starting my own gymnastics centre soon. I just need to find a suitable location."
"Wow, that's impressive."
An uncomfortable silence fell over them. Tommy began thinking about how much he'd loved being with her and suddenly wanted to pull her into his arms and confess how happy his was to have her back again, but he knew he couldn't. He could only look longingly at her and wonder what to say. Luckily, Kim spoke first.
"So how's Kat?" her voice was pained.
"Ok." Tommy said.
Kimberly nodded in understanding, thinking he didn't want to mention how great their relationship was in front of her. It was so wonderful to see him again. She had missed him so much. Her body screamed to throw itself into his arms, she held herself back. She wished she could do something: Tommy's letter had hurt her more than anything ever had, and now here he was, standing in front of her. But instead of being angry all she wanted to do was hug him. Coach Schmidt had asked her to stay for another season, even offered her a permanent job as a coach, but all she'd longed for was the familiarity of angel Grove and her old friends, even though she'd known her fairytale with Tommy was over.
"I missed you," she suddenly blurted out, instantly regretting it. She looked up at him, gauging his reaction. He seemed pleased and smiled warmly.
"I missed you too, Kim."
Suddenly, she felt brave. "Would you like to have some coffee with me? It's been ages since we've spoken." Oh God! Did I just ask him that?
Tommy smiled. He'd just had coffee and wondered what her new boyfriend would think but the guy was obviously not with her now, so he decided to take the chance. Perhaps he could get the truth out of her about the letter.
"I'd like that."
"Great!" she smiled and Tommy wished he could get lost in her smile, her lips… her body. As he followed her to a table, he realised that saying he had missed her was an understatement; and a mistake. I should have just told her how I feel, he thought miserably – I should confront her outright! But he didn't want to hear about her new life with some gymnast – or, worse, that she didn't love him anymore. He decided to let it go for the meantime.
Soon Tommy headed to the counter to get their order. Kim has definitely changed, he thought to himself as he ordered. In the old days, she loved strawberry smoothies and café lattes- now she's drinking decaf-cappuccino with skim milk. Typical gymnast watching her weight. Still, she looks good: she looks happy.
Kimberly watched Tommy wait in the line. Her eyes drifted down his back from his hair to his butt. Still looking good, she thought to herself but suddenly realised what she was doing. She mentally reprimanded herself and quickly turned her attention to her handbag as she searched for her wallet. She opened it and her eyes fell on the picture she kept stuffed in front of her credit card. It was a picture of the six rangers after their skydive for the observatory. She smiled as memories flooded her mind. She and Tommy had been so happy then. Kat hadn't even known them then. The memories felt so bittersweet – she longed to go back but knew it was impossible – things could never be that way again.
Suddenly, something knocked the table. Her bag fell off, spilling her things all over the floor. She looked up to see Tommy, holding their order and looking apologetic.
"Sorry! Look's like I'm having a really clumsy day," he said sheepishly. Kim knelt down to gather her things and he quickly put down the coffee and bent to help her.
A crumpled white envelope caught his eye. The corners were bent and worn. It was addressed to Kimberly, at Coach Schmidt's compound. Suddenly he noticed something strange: his own address was written across the back in black ink. He turned it around and checked the date of the postal stamp. It was the exact same day that he received the break-up letter from Kim.
Kim turned and noticed what he was holding. "Um…" she trailed off, clearly embarrassed.
"What's this?" Tommy asked, confused.
Kim frowned, "Excuse me? Are you serious?"
"What do you mean?" Tommy frowned back.
"You know exactly what that is!" Kim accused, standing up.
"No, Kim, I honestly don't!" he said back, frowning and standing up as well.
"Don't play dumb Tommy, I know you're not that forgetful!" Tears began forming in her eyes.
"Are you telling me you actually forgot all those things you said?" Kim cried.
"All the things I said?"
"Perhaps I should refresh your memory," Kimberly snatched the letter and pulled it from the worn envelope. The paper was equally shabby: it had clearly been folded and unfolded many times.
She began reading aloud, "I'm sorry, but now that you're gone, there's not really a point in keeping up a relationship – I don't know when you'll come back. Kat has opened up my eye to thats. I can't just sit around and wait while you run after your dreams – you can't expect me to always be there for you if you're never here for me." Kimberly's voice began to tremble, but she continued. "This is the end Kim, I've decided to ask Kat to be my new girlfriend. Good luck with your crusade and goodbye, Tommy."
Kimberly began to cry softly. Tommy stood flabbergasted.
"Kim, I didn't write that."
Kimberly looked up at him, her eyes red, "What?"
"I didn't write that."
"No! I never wanted to end our relationship! I want to be with you forever!"
"Then why did you never call me?"
Tommy's expression changed from sympathy and shock to anger. "Because you dumped me! Come on, Kim, don't tell me you don't remember. 'I've always loved you like a brother but now I've met someone else'?"
"What? I never broke up with you! It was the other way around!" It was Kim's turn to be shocked.
"Well, then what's this?" Tommy pulled the letter he received from his pocket. He'd been keeping it with him ever since it arrived, hoping that he would one-day be able to see why she'd written it.
Kim took the letter from him and read it. When she was done, she looked up at him with horror in her eyes. "Tommy, I didn't write this! I would never write this - I love you!"
Tommy didn't know what shocked him more. But he believed her, either way.
"I love you too Kim," he said, looking her in the eye. Before he knew it, she had thrust herself into his arms. He pulled her in towards him, happy to be holding her again. They stood for a minute, holding onto each other and spilling all the pain and longing they had felt into the embrace as Kim began to cried softly.
After a few minutes, she sniffed and looked up at Tommy. "So you didn't break up with me?"
He smiled, "Definitely not Kim, I love you too much for that!"
"But then who wrote the letters?"
Tommy released her from his embrace, but kept an arm around her shoulders as she looked over the letter Tommy had received.
"Look!" she pointed to the postal stamp. "This was sent from Angel Grove!"
"What?" Tommy took the letter and examined it closely. "I can't believe it!"
"Who would do that?"
Just then, Tommy's pager went off. He fumbled in his pocket and pulled it out.
"Kat." He grumbled, turning it off.
Kim frowned. "You sound annoyed – what's wrong?"
Tommy paused, wondering if he should tell her. "Kat's been trying to get me to ask her out ever since you and I supposedly broke up. But something just hasn't felt right. She's still trying."
Kimberly sighed, relieved, then caught his eye and put her head down, blushing. "I'm sorry. I'm just relieved. I thought you and Kat were getting pretty serious with one another."
Tommy chuckled, "She's been trying." He paused,"But I could never forget you Beautiful."
Kimberly smiled: he had used her old nickname. "Or I you Handsome!"
Before she realised it, she had her lips pressed against Tommy's. He pulled away and smiled.
"So, if I didn't break up with you and you didn't break up with me, does that mean that we are-"
"-still together?" she smiled.
"Yeah." He asked.
Kimberly raised an eyebrow. "What do you think?"
Tommy said nothing, capturing her lips once more.
"That is so insane! I can't believe you did that!" Kimberly laughed, her eyes bright.
After their discovery – and very emotional reunion-, Tommy and Kimberly settled down to catch up and drink their almost-cold coffee.
"So what are you planning on doing next?" Kim asked.
"I'll definitely be racing occasionally for my uncle, but I was thinking of opening my own martial arts centre. What do you think?"
"That's brilliant! You were always so good with the kids you taught at the Youth Centre!" Kim said enthusiastically.
"Yeah, I only wish the bank was seeing it the way you are!" Tommy sighed, "I've found the most perfect building but they're refusing to give me the loan I need."
Kim thought for a few minutes, and then smiled. "You know Tommy, I think I might have an idea for you."
"I'm opening a gymnastics centre, you want to teach martial arts. You need money, and I need a building. We could be partners?"
"Kim, are you serious - run a centre together?"
"Sure! We can be together, teaching what we love. That is, if you're up for it?" she grinned.
Tommy smiled back, "The Hart-Oliver Centre."
"It sounds so formal!" Kim giggled. "How about the Falcon-Crane Gymnastics and Martial Arts Centre?"
"Could work." Tommy gave in. "I like twist in the name!"
"How are the others? How's the war against Zed going?" Kim said softly.
"Everybody's great – they're all busy choosing careers and colleges and stuff. Zedd is Zedd – you know."
Kim smiled knowingly and nodded.
She paused. "So who do you think wrote the letters?"
Tommy paused, looking thoughtful. "I know it sounds crazy," he began, "but to be honest, I think it was-"
He sighed, "Yeah. It sounds terrible. She's my team mate, I'm supposed to trust her."
"Tommy, don't feel guilty. Let's just find out if it was her."
Tommy looked over at her and smiled, "You're right. We can confront her tomorrow."
"So why are you here?"
"My dad's going to New York for a few days, I was dropping him off."
"You don't happen to want to give me a lift home do you? I'm only picking up my car on Tuesday." Kim smiled.
"Of coarse! I wouldn't have it any other way for my Princess!" Tommy smiled.
Kim pulled him towards her. "You know, Handsome, sometimes you are so wonderful, I could melt." She leant forward and kissed him.
He smiled at her when she pulled away, "So where are you staying?"
"Well, I was just going to rent a room at a hotel until I can move into my apartment. It shouldn't be long. My dad and brother said they'd come help me move in when it's time. Before my mom moved to France, she put a lot of our old furniture into storage for me for when I got my own place so I just need to move it."
Tommy looked unsure, then smiled, "You could stay with me, if you'd like? I'm sure my folks won't mind – they always liked you."
Kim's eyes lit up, " Are you serious? I'd love that!"
Kim nodded, then leapt forward to hug Tommy. She pulled away to kiss him once more.
"Come on Beautiful, let's go home?" he suggested.
Kim only nodded, feeling happier than she ever had before.
Everything was going to be wonderful.
Tommy and Kimberly left the airport hand-in-hand, feeling happier than ever before.
A/N That's it for now – let me know if you want me to continue. And please, if you can, review!