I've been in a depressed mood lately, and well, my writing tends to reflect how I'm feeling when I write it. So I really didn't want to contaminate my other stories with sadness, so I had to write this. It is a one shot. Its not a song fic, but it was written while listening to the same three songs over and over (Heaven – slow version by DJ Sammy; Almost Paradise – from Footloose; and If I saw you in Heaven – by Eric Clapton) So, if you want to get the same feeling I did from this fic, you should play one or more of those three while reading this. I apologize in advance if you hate this. Like I said, I needed an outlet. Hopefully though, you will enjoy.
Disclaimer: I do not, nor will I ever own anything you recognize from Power rangers. Nor do I own anything dealing with the three songs that helped me write this. Now you can't sue me.
Ordinary days have a very misleading title. They could go from ordinary to extraordinary in a matter a moments; but they also have a tendency to go in the complete opposite direction just as quickly. Just a few seconds, and on an ordinary day your entire world can be shattered; can come crashing down around your ears without any warning. Destiny plays strange games, and most of the time it seems we lose them.
It was an ordinary day when Dr. Thomas Oliver stepped into the Haley's Cyberspace. It'd been over a year since he'd last fought Mesagog; since he'd last donned the role of a power ranger. It was almost surreal. He'd never actually thought he'd get away from the life that had been following him since he was a teenager. Now, he seated himself at the counter, gazing around at Reefside's local teen hang out. He smiled a bit, recalling memories of himself and his friends at the old Angel Grove youth center.
"Hey Tommy," a familiar voice called to him, approaching from the other side of the counter. Tommy turned and smiled as his best friend, Haley came up to him, a glass in one hand, a drying towel in the other. "What's up?" she asked.
"Nothing really, just thought I'd come by; see how busy you were," he told her, taking the glass and towel from her hands, as she went and got him his usual diet soda, and getting herself a glass of water. She positioned herself on the stool on the opposite side of the counter and looked at him.
"Yeah right; I know you better than that. What's up?"
Tommy let a small smile creep onto his lips, as he shook his head. There was no fooling Haley. He should have known that by now. "You do know me too well. The guys are home from college for the summer today. I told them I'd meet them here," he responded.
"Aww… you've missed them," Haley joked.
"No I haven't!" he argued back, resisting admitting that yeah, he missed the other members of his most recent power ranger team, never mind that they were so much younger than he was. He turned his back on his friend and leaned his elbows backwards on the counter, watching the door. He was early, for once. Maybe his eagerness to see them had overcome his natural tendency to be late, for just about everything.
"I understand. You miss it; no matter how much you like not being, you know; you'll always miss it."
Tommy just nodded. "It's like a part of who I am. I don't really know what to do without it." He glanced at his bare wrist and rubbed where the bracelet communicator he'd worn the year before had once been. It was also the spot where he'd worn his first communicator, over a decade before. "I'm going to go use the bathroom. Tell the guys to wait on me if they get here before I'm back." He hopped off the stool as Haley nodded. The Cyber café was dead; it was the middle of the day on a weekday, and the kids of Reefside were still in school. Only the colleges had started letting out. She relaxed for a moment and then resumed cleaning the tables. Suddenly she felt two cold hands against her eyes.
"What the? Tommy, I don't know what you're playing at," Haley demanded, throwing down the towels and grabbing the wrists of the person behind her, and she swung him over her shoulder, throwing him into the bar.
"Owww… Haley that hurt," a tall young man told her. He was grinning down at her, despite the pain in his back and wrists. Haley just laughed, giving the young man a hug.
"Serves you right, Conner," the only girl of the group of teenagers that came in the back door, told him. He just ran his hand through his hair and shrugged.
"Kira's right, you were supposed to surprise her, not get beaten up," the African America youth put in as he and Kira hugged the owner of Cyberspace. The last member of their group just laughed, as Haley turned to hug him as well.
"TRENT! You're back!" He just nodded.
"But I don't start work for the summer until next week," he reminded her, taking a seat at the counter, as Kira helped Haley get the group drinks. "Dr. O's late again," Trent added, as Conner and Ethan (the boy who'd reprimanded Conner) took seats beside him.
"Actually, he got tired of waiting for you four. He's in the restroom," Haley informed them as she and Kira returned with the drinks. She offered Kira her stool, but the girl chose to lean against Trent's shoulder instead, as she nursed a Dr. Pepper. "How'd you four get in here anyway?"
"Back door," Trent replied, dangling the keys she'd given him in front of her face. Haley hit him, making a comment of changing the locks. She looked towards the door as the sound of the bell that accompanied costumers who didn't sneak around the back reached her ears. A tall man with black hair stood in the entrance way, looking around. He wore a pair of blue jeans, black boots, and a red body shirt, with a black leather jacket over it. A motorcycle helmet rested in one hand. His eyes were hidden behind dark sun glasses, which he pulled off as he surveyed the café. His brown eyes looked slightly swollen, his cheeks were slightly red, as if he'd been crying, and not the type of crying most men did, but really crying. Haley looked at the teens, who shrugged, and then back at the man in the door.
"Can I help you?" she asked him. He shrugged and stepped closer toward the counter.
"I- I'm looking for someone, but I don't think he's here."
"Well, my name's Haley, this is Trent, Conner, Kira, and Ethan. Between the four of us, if the person you're looking for is in Reefside, we can probably help you find him," she told him, a smile on her face. He looked so troubled, she just felt bad.
The man gave her a small smile of gratitude in return, and nodded, coming all the way to the counter. He pulled a crumpled photo from his pocket. It looked like it'd seen a lot of wear and tear. He carefully unfolded it, and smoothed out a few wrinkles. In the picture stood six teenagers, approximately Conner, Kira, Ethan, and Trent's age, or a bit younger. The group was seated or standing on or around a kids play area at a park. Haley and the teens peered down at the picture as the man pointed a finger at the kid in the center. He had shoulder length hair, which was pulled back in a horse tail, and a white muscle shirt, and black jeans on. He sat on the edge of the playground equipment, a young girl in a short, pink sun dress nestled in his arms. "Do you know him?" the man said simply. Haley frowned, and the teens blinked.
"Dr. O?"Kira asked.
"What?" came a voice from behind them as Tommy returned from the bathroom, a crumpled paper towel in his hands. He tossed it into a trash can beside the counter, as the teens turned to stare at him. The man beside them had also looked in the direction Tommy's voice had come from and now the two men were staring at one another. The man studied Tommy's clothing. From his khaki pants, to his black t-shirt, Tommy was familiar, but not completely recognizable. The man on the other hand was almost exactly as Tommy remembered him: broad shouldered, tall, dark eyes. Tommy searched his eyes for a moment, sensing something was wrong. He knew the look of sadness, although this was one worse than he'd ever seen.
"Jason?" Tommy asked, barely willing to trust his own voice, as they closed the gap between them. Tommy pulled his friend into a hug as Jason began to cry on his shoulder silently. Tommy just stood there, listening to his best friend sob, and shake against his body. He'd never seen Jason cry. Not even when they'd been informed of Zordon's sacrifice years before. He was so caught up in Jason, he didn't realize that the teens and Haley were watching. Neither did Jason, as Tommy gently guided him to a table and sat down across from him.
"What happened?" he asked quietly, looking the other man in the eyes. Jason just shook his head, tears still falling. He tried to find his voice, but couldn't. Both men looked at the door when another person entered. This man wore a pair of black pants, and a blue t-shirt. The glasses he'd once worn had been replaced by contacts. His eyes shone, just as Jason's did from a recent washing of tears.
"You found him?" the man asked, glancing around the café. He gave the confused owner and the teenagers with her a smile, before letting his eyes fall on his two friends sitting at the table. He frowned at Tommy for a moment, obviously wondering a bit why he was dressed in black. "But you didn't tell him."
"Tell me what? Billy, what's going on?" Tommy demanded. Billy sighed and sat down beside him, resting one callused hand on his friends shoulder.
"I-we- Tommy, we don't know how to tell you this. It's not something we ever dreamed we'd have to."
"Billy, will you just tell me what's going on," Tommy was getting scared. Billy had started crying like his other friend, but his blue eyes never left Tommy's. He pulled a white envelope from his pocket, and handed it to Tommy. The man looked down at the letter in his hands, and studied his name, which was written in script on the paper. The envelope was edged in pink.
"Kim- Tommy, she- Kimberly's dead, Tommy," Billy finally told him. Tommy's eyes searched his, for some sign that his friend was lying, or mistaken. Something that said the opposite of what his mouth said. "Last night," Billy continued, "she never told us about the leukemia. Not until about a month ago. We looked for you. We knew you'd want to see her."
Tommy didn't even notice the tears that were cascading down his cheeks onto his pants and the letter in his hands, smearing the cursive hand writing. His shoulders were shaking with his silent tears. He felt Jason squeeze his hand and he shuddered a bit more, but otherwise he didn't react. Life had just stopped.
"She should have told us. We could have found a way," Billy told him, breaking down in tears as well. He joined Tommy and Jason's hands on the table, as Tommy just laid his head down, shaking slightly, sobs still racking his body. "She looked peaceful in the end, when her pain was gone."
"No," Tommy whispered, but Jason and Billy nodded, putting their arms around their friend.
"She looked like she was sleeping," Jason repeated. Tommy shook his head. He had to wake up from this. It was a bad dream.
"No," he repeated, a bit louder.
"She's comfortable and happy now," Billy added, as the three of their tears mingled on the table.
"NO!" Tommy practically screamed, as he broke down into audible sobs on the table. Jason and Billy looked at one another, but said nothing, as first Jason laid his head on top of Tommy's and Billy rested on top of both of them, as they cried.
Kira looked away from the scene, and glanced at the picture, recognizing both of the two visitors as the two men on either side of her old science teacher. She focused on the face of the woman nestled in Tommy's arms, smiling happily, and felt a tear fall.
Several days later, Kira walked into the living room of a small house, wearing a solid black dress. Around her wrist was a small yellow bracelet made of a few strands of thread. She twisted it between her fingers, as she glanced over at Trent, Conner, and Ethan, who stood off to one side of the room, dressed identically in black suits, a bracelet of their own color around their wrists as well. Haley wore a black dress, with a peach bracelet, to signify how she was connected. They'd been given them by Trini Kwan, another of Tommy's old friends. Kira wasn't sure they'd belonged there, but Tommy and Trini had insisted they come, because they were so close to Tommy, and that made them more than just part of the legacy. It made them part of the family of the original rangers, something very few teams could claim.
Besides the four dino thunder teens, only one other team was present that wasn't part of the original eleven. They stood in their own group. Kira had been told they were the second Turbo rangers, hand selected by Tommy and the other first Turbo team to be their successors. TJ wore a red bracelet, Ashley wore a yellow, Carlos wore green, Cassie wore pink, and Justin who wore blue. Justin was only slightly older than Kira and the other Dino thunder teens. He'd been the youngest ranger ever, being only a kid while on the team. Kira gave a small wave as she passed them making her way to her friends.
She bypassed another group of former rangers. She knew Tommy had a stronger connection to them, having actually been on a team with them. Yeah, he'd been Justin's teammate, but the boy belonged more to the second group. These had been some of the first rangers to accept Kira and her friends into the circle, although they all had welcomed them with open arms. Aisha and Tanya both wore the same bracelets that Kira did. Kat's was pink like Cassie's. Adam and Rocky both had two colors intertwined in their bands; Black and green for Adam, and red and blue for Rocky. All five were talking in low quiet voices, glancing out to the patio of Jason and Trini's home, where Tommy was standing by himself, from time to time. Kira knew they were all in pain.
She continued past, glancing at the last group of rangers, the original four, at one point five. Trini, with a yellow bracelet, looked as if she would cry again at any moment, although she did make it a point to give Kira a small smile as the girl passed. The asian woman was nestled deep into the arms of her fiancé, Jason, who wore a red and gold bracelet. Billy and Zack sat opposite them, wearing blue and black respectively, on their wrists. None of them were talking; only sitting, trying to feel their friends presence around them.
The real wake had ended several hours before. Now was a time for those who knew one of the secrets of Kimberly Ann Hart's life. They never realized that it wasn't the only secret.
Kira, Conner, Ethan, Trent, and Haley had been filled in with Tommy about how Kimberly had been in remission when they were in high school. The doctor's thought she'd beaten the disease until shortly after the young gymnast had moved to Florida. After that, it had been down hill for her, her friends knowing nothing until a month before she died. Kimberly had apparently realized she wasn't going to be around much longer, and had called Jason and begged him to visit her. When he found out the truth, he'd called everyone he could, and they contacted whoever they knew, but no one had been able to find Tommy in time. They'd just told Kimberly they'd located him in Reefside when she murmured that she'd always loved him, and drew her last breath, dieing peacefully, with Jason and Trini at her sides, Billy at the foot of her bed, and Zack in the doorway. Trini had insisted that Jason and Billy take Jason's bike immediately and go find Tommy, because they couldn't hold the funeral without him.
Kira gave Trini a small smile in return, and finished crossing the room. She looked at her friends, and then out the window at her teacher, before finally resolving that he shouldn't be alone. She didn't care if he yelled at her to go away. It wasn't like she wasn't used to him being the adult and in charge. She stepped out onto the patio and over to railing where Tommy stood, a still unopened letter in his head.
"It was beautiful. I'm sure she would have been happy," Kira told him, quietly, coming up to stand beside him. Tommy nodded as a tear fell from his eye. He brushed it away, hoping Kira hadn't seen. "You can cry."
"I don't cry," he responded. Kira shook her head.
"You did when they told you."
"There was something in my eye," he retorted. He hadn't cried since first receiving the news. He hadn't shed a single tear at the funeral. Not when her mother spoke; not when Jason spoke; not even when Billy mentioned the love she and Tommy had once shared. His heart hurt too much. Crying would make it too real. If he cried it meant that they really had placed red, blue, yellow, green, pink, black, and white carnations into her casket. It meant that Billy really had slipped her old communicator onto her wrist when he thought no one was looking. It meant that he'd really placed a white and pink rose over her heart. It meant he'd knelt beside her body, and shut his eyes, telling her over and over again how much he loved and hated her at the same time. It meant that they'd really stood out in the cemetery and watched as her casket was lowered into the freshly dug grave. It meant he'd really watched as each of the former rangers went to the pink marble marker and traced her name, and the message they'd written below it: "Loved more than words can ever say. She was out heart and soul. Its through her that we made it so many times. It was through her that we were strong. The crane will never fly alone." He'd memorized the words, burying them in his heart, as they buried the heart of the team. But through it all, he'd never once shed a single tear.
"Dr. O, it's alri-"
"Why didn't she tell me Kira?" he cut the girl off, knowing she wouldn't have the answer. The former yellow ranger placed her hand on his shoulder and stared at him, before standing on her toes and kissing him lightly on the cheek as she would have done to her father.
"I don't know, but its probably in that letter you've been too scared to open," Kira told him, stepping away, as he stared at the sealed envelop in his hand. She turned and walked back inside, and joined Trent and the other's hugging him tightly around the middle as Tommy sat down on the bench on the patio, alone, save for the birds in the trees.
He slowly opened the letter and pulled out a sheet of neatly folded paper. He pushed back the tears again as he opened it, revealing a pink floral boarder surrounding off white paper, with Kimberly's hand writing on it.
Yeah, I know I haven't called you that in a long time; in a really long time. I also know I shouldn't ever have stopped. Its my fault you're not here for me to say this in person. I love you. I always have, and I always will. I never stopped. I know that's hard for you to believe, especially after the last letter I sent you. But it's true. Tommy, there was no other guy.
I know, I should have told you sooner. It was the leukemia, Tommy. Right after I moved to Florida it came back. I never told the other's about it. I'd been in remission since kindergarten. No one ever knew. I was scared I'd be a distraction if you all knew and still had to fight Lord Zedd. That's why I wrote the letter. Why should you have to worry about a sick girlfriend on the other side of the country? I wanted you to concentrate on the world, and if that meant being with Kat, I was willing to let you go.
I shouldn't have lied. I should have told you all I was sick so much sooner, but it took more courage than I ever knew I had just to contact Jason a month ago. If I'd told you sooner you'd have been here with me.
If you're reading this, it means I never got to see you again. I never got to call you handsome one more time with my voice, which is greatly weakened now. It's so hard to breath, but I don't want to go until I know they've found you. Jason said something about a lead in Reefside this morning.
I'm more sorry than you could ever know. I wanted to see you once more. Just once. I wanted to tell you I was sorry, and I loved you. I wanted to see you and be better. I wanted to be with you forever, Tommy. I don't know what else I can say, except I'm sorry. Please forgive me for not being stronger. And please, keep living. Tell the others to keep on living, for me. You have to be happy in my place Tommy. I need you to be happy.
I'll be waiting for the day I can soar with my falcon once again.
I love you, always and forever,
Tommy broke into to sobs on the patio even before he'd finished reading the letter. He hated her more at that moment than he had when she'd sent him the first goodbye letter. He couldn't take the pain anymore. Why did she keep hurting him? Why couldn't she stay with him, just once? Why was life so cruel to him?
He felt someone touch his shoulder, and then pull him into an embrace. Tommy pushed away and glared at Jason through his tears. Frustrated, Tommy raised his fist to punch his friend, desperate to take his anger and pain out on someone. Jason just caught his friends fist, as Tommy collapsed into his arms, sobbing harder than he ever had in his life. The first red ranger remained silent, just holding his friend, waiting for him to be alright. He didn't care if he had to sit there all year.
In the distance the sun had completely set, and the first stars were beginning to show and the moon was casting a pale light onto the land around the house. The turbo rangers had departed, and Haley escorted the teenagers to the hotel, knowing she was right to leave Tommy with the nine people who knew him the most. Trini had hugged each of the teens and Haley goodbye, saying she'd seen them soon, before looking out at her fiancé , and the man who had once been like a brother to her. She walked outside and sat down beside Jason, wrapping her arms around his waist, and laying on his back. The next thing she knew, Billy was sitting on the arm rest, his arms around her shoulders, tears in his eyes. Zack was right behind him, and he sat down on the floor at Trini's feet. She dropped on arm over his shoulder, and he grasped her hand in his, wrapping it around his neck. Kat came up to Tommy's other side, and lay against his back, as Tanya pressed herself against her pink teammates back. Adam knelt beside her, one hand on her shoulder, while Aisha came to grasp his other. Rocky wrapped both his arms around her, nestling his head into her neck. All of the girls were crying by that point, their sobs mingling with Tommy's. The guys all had either silent tears cascading down their cheeks, or were desperately holding them in. Kimberly wouldn't want them like this. They stayed like that for almost an hour: No one saying anything. Just being connected, sharing their pain while comforting one another at the same time.
Rocky was the first to pull his bracelet off. He undid the knot that made it a loop, and passed it to Aisha, who undid hers and attached it to the end of the red one, before handing it to Adam. The chain continued, to Tanya and Kat, then bypassed Jason and Tommy, and went to Trini, then Billy, Zack, then to Jason, and finally to Tommy. He sat up and pulled a small pink crane charm from his pocket. He stared at it for a moment before pulling off his four colored bracelet and separating the colors. Trini had added the black at the last minute when Jason called to tell her about their friend's latest color change. He tied the red to one end, and the black to the other, before mixing the green and white until they twined perfectly. He tied the charm to the middle of it, kissed it, and tied the white and green strand into the growing chain, forming a complete circle. He pulled himself from the group and placed the loop on the hook Jason and he had hammered into the post that supported the porch roof earlier that morning, for that very moment: the moment when Tommy was finally ready to come home and let her go, at least until they were destined to meet again. The wind blew the loop gently, but it didn't fall or break. It held the charm safely. Tommy let out a soft moan and turned back to his friends, and gave them a small smile.
"We'd better go inside. It looks like it might rain," he told them. Jason nodded, despite the fact that there wasn't a cloud in the sky. They all knew Tommy just wanted to try and fulfill Kimberly's wish that they live on. One by one they stood up and wandered back into the house. Tommy paused at the door frame when something a transparent pink caught the corner of his eye. The moment he tried to look directly at it, it was gone. One last stray tear fell down his face. He sighed.
"Beautiful, for some reason, I know you're there. I don't know how, but I can feel it," he began. "So I'll say it now, as it may be my only chance. I love you more than I want to. I love you so much it hurts, and I would do anything to be with you again, but I won't. I'll honor your wishes in the letter you wrote me. Yes, you should have told me. Maybe then saying goodbye wouldn't be so hard. But I'm not going to say goodbye." He smiled for a moment. His voice was barely audible. "I'm going to say that we all love you, and someday, we'll all be together again. Its not going to be the same without you, but I can wait until its time to fly with you again."
"Tommy?" Adam called from inside the house. Tommy turned away from the loop at the sound of his friends voice. When he looked back, he couldn't feel her anymore. He frowned, and whispered an I love you once more, then walked into the house, shutting the wooden door behind him.
On the patio, a figure brushed her transparent hand against the small crane charm hanging from a loop, tears in her eyes. She'd listened to his speech. She'd been watching from the moment they were all connected. She'd wished that she'd been able to join in their hug, to feel the warmth of their bodies against hers. She couldn't feel anything anymore. She heard a slight ringing of a bell, or the beeping of a communicator, and tilted her head up to the sky. She looked back at the doorway, only to find him gone. She drifted to the window as the communicator sounded again. She kissed her fingers and touched the glass.
"I love you, handsome," she whispered, and disappeared, listening to the sound of her communicator one last time.
11:18 at night… oh boy. Time to go do my stat homework. Please review, it always makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.