The Sun, the Moon and the Star
Disclaimer: You know it's not mine.
:: Thanks for the reviews! I'm in the middle of my mid-semester exam right now, but today's my day off so I figured I'd write an update. It's not too long but I hope you like it. Now on to the story.
Chapter Eighteen: I don't wanna be me
"I really don't want to go back home," Viola nearly whined as the Oliver's minus Mr. Oliver who by chance had to spend more hours at work, stood by the security gates. Her hand was clinging to Tommy's arm and it took all of her strength not to break down and cry. Near her, Erick was looking up at her with a wide grin on his face.
"But I remember you saying something about Japan had become your home and you couldn't wait to return," The small boy quipped, inviting the others to smile and Tommy to grin from ear to ear. Sure, Vi would always harbor a crush towards her cousin, but it didn't stop her to keep looking and searching for any possibilities. She had told the household about her Japanese friend, Morikawa-san, and his whole-hearted attempt to teach her speaking Japanese more fluently.
The tall blonde blushed a deep scarlet and stuck out her tongue at Erick, clutching Tommy tighter. It was obvious that the long haired martial arts had feelings for Kimberly, and from the look of it, it seemed not to matter to him whether she approved the girl or not. It was not an easy task to change his mind; he was stubborn that way. She still couldn't see what he did in Kim, and not to mention she was the reason her grandma lay almost paralyzed in bed. That's another reason why she wasn't willing to leave yet, she wanted to see how everything turned out later. It was one huge soap drama in Angel Grove at the moment. What's so good about Kim that two guys were practically fighting over her anyway? Boys will always be boys…
"And you miss your parents, aren't you? It'll be alright," Tommy assured her and patted her back. "It's not like we're going to see each other for a very long time. You'll come to visit in Christmas, right? December's not that long,"
"That's true, but still…," Vi replied, her lips curving into a pout. The thought of Kim staying at home right now fueled her anger even more. The gymnast had volunteered to accompany Nana Jane after Mrs. Oliver told her about her niece's return home flight that evening. Tommy's mother thought it was a very great idea since she didn't feel all too comfortable leaving Nana alone under the nurse's care only. She eyed Tommy carefully. He hadn't been feeling well since last week and it didn't take a genius to know that he had got whatever that Kim girl had. See? She was nothing but a bad influence. "Are you okay?"
"Sorry?" Tommy asked and looked down at the clear blue eyes staring up at him.
"You are sick," Vi pointed out with pursed lips, not even trying to mask her resentment. "Thanks to your friend,"
Tommy's mouth opened but no words came out. The incident that he sadly hadn't succeeded to forget quickly invaded his mind and despite how hard it would be to explain it to his folks, he blushed to the root of his hair. All the R-rated scene aside, he also hadn't forgot about the little visit to Kim's room that he shouldn't have done. Of all two days Kim stayed at his house, that was pretty much the only time they were in a room together, so it was reasonable to assume that he probably had caught her cold. Of course, the fact that he also kissed her that night had clinched his assumption. But he couldn't say that out loud, could he?
"I'm not sick," Tommy disagreed and shook his head. A little dizziness and nausea…he'd live. He had been a bit hesitant to leave the house, knowing that Kim wouldn't be alone in his house. Aaron had come at the last minute and since Nana also had a good relationship with him, there's nothing that he could have done. He believed they wouldn't do anything inappropriate, but it was difficult to shake millions nasty thoughts away. "Anyway, I'll miss you,"
Vi's eyes softened and tears refilled her eyes. She wiped her eyes with the back of her hand and sobbed to Tommy's shoulder. He released a deep breath of air. It wasn't nice of him, but at least he'd managed to distract her from any silly, but true, ideas.
She had known that Tommy wasn't being himself since he opened the door for her and their eyes locked. His cheeks flushed pink and instead of giving him the cute, boyish effect, it worried her. His eyes clouded over and his movement was slow.
A soft sigh escaped her when she looked down at his sleeping form. Propping her head on her hands, Kim slowly and carefully touched his arm, feeling the skin warm. He wasn't burning up, but came close. Zack had teased her for being a babysitter for a day when Trini told him that due to Mrs. Oliver's invitation, Kim was staying in Tommy's house tonight, again.
Viola's flight was at eight in the evening and Tommy's mother simply wouldn't allow her to go home to an empty house at night when she had two unoccupied guest rooms in her house. And you can drive to school together with Tommy tomorrow, Mrs. Oliver had said. However, it seemed like he wasn't in any shape to go anywhere anytime soon.
She should be sleeping next door, but there she was, kneeling on the side of his bed and watching him like an eagle preying a deer. Being there and looking at his face, Kim couldn't help but remembered the earlier event.
Kim closed the door behind her carefully. After about forty five minutes of her talking with Aaron's company, Jane finally fell asleep. She turned off the light and followed Aaron to the living room. It was a surprise, even for her, that she'd offered to take care of Jane tonight. After everything that had happened between Tommy and her, staying in his house for more than ten minutes was something that she would NOT choose to do. However, she embarrassedly realized that she had been a bother last week with her fever and all, so it was only natural if she returned the favor. The Oliver's had been very kind to her, asked her to stay and simply taken care of her like a daughter for a couple of days since her mother was out of town. Then again, it was nice to be able to speak with Jane. So it was a one-sided conversation, but still felt good nonetheless.
"Penny for your thoughts?" Aaron's gentle prompting broke her daydreaming and she looked at him with a small smile. He was sitting next to her in the couch, that charming bad-boy smile tugging at the corner of his lips. "Come on, share with the class,"
Aaron was one problem that refused to leave her mind at ease. It wasn't supposed to be a big deal, if only Tommy wasn't in the picture… Kim sighed heavily. She had begun to hate that word: if. But Tommy's presence was more than a pain in the ass. She thought it was a gift to find that someone important in such a young age. This could be puppy love, but she didn't think so.
"Nothing," Kim shrugged her shoulders and leaned her head back, letting her eyelids close. It wasn't registered in her mind that he had scooted closer to her until her eyes fluttered open and Aaron's dark eyes looked down at her. Her heart jumped. They never talked about the kiss they once shared and she honestly didn't have the urge to bring that up first. She didn't know what had gotten into her that night, so she was pleased that she didn't have to explain.
But judging from the now and then, it looked like there's going to be an encore. And boy, it was… She knew that Aaron was sincerely cared for her, so for a split second she didn't hesitate when he pulled her closer as the kiss grew more passionate. It surely had been too long since anybody kissed her like that. The blissful feeling lingered for another few seconds and stopped abruptly when his hand landed on her thigh and his kisses moved south to her cheek and neck. Her body pulled taut like a string and she instinctively pushed him away.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to get carried away like that," Aaron apologized, a faint blush tinted his cheeks. They're both still breathing hard.
"No, I'm sorry, I was just-,"
"I like you, Kim, I really do,"
No words were said for approximately ten minutes after he bluntly professing his feelings. Kim was too bashful and confused to think, let alone to reply. Fortunately, he must have sensed her discomfort and put the topic off the table for the time being.
Kim's fingers grazed her lips as the memory faded. Aaron had looked so guilty afterwards that she felt bad for doing what she'd done. But still, that was totally out of the line. She didn't even know where they stood right now, yet she let him kiss her, not once but twice. The last thing she wanted was for Aaron to think she was playing hard to get. Something must be done because she also didn't want to mislead him. Gosh, she felt like a slut sometimes…
She wasn't stupid, she knew that back then when she had been in a 'relationship' with Tommy, there're a few times they'd done similar things like that (though Tommy hadn't been bold enough to kiss her and more). They weren't seriously involved or anything like that, yet it felt right to simply be around him or have his arms around her.
After the awkward situation ebbed, they fell to another heartrending subject that involved around his family. His foster parents had a little kid, a boy named Lucas. Luke was a bright eight year old. 'Reminded me of Erick sometimes. I'm sure they will get along great together.' It was no news to her that his relationship with his 'mom' and 'dad' wasn't wonderful, but it certainly shocked her when he told her, albeit reluctantly, that they had begun to treat their own son and his younger brother like they had treated him for the past few years. Aaron could handle them being brutal towards him, but if they had started messing with Lucas, he couldn't stay still and watch.
And he didn't. That's why he had earned more bruises in his body lately. Aaron half-heartedly told her that he was afraid if someone from the social department would come over and take Lucas away. That was a good thing, but there's also a big chance he wouldn't be able to see him again.
Sighing, Kimberly pushed herself up and acted pretty much on impulse, leaned down and touched Tommy's forehead with hers. It was something that her mother usually did to check her temperature. Her stomach coiled into knots and only when Tommy's hot skin touched her head did she realized what she had done. As if touching a hot pot, Kim pulled back and gasped when Tommy suddenly spoke. His deep, soothing voice rumbled from his chest. Of course, the fact that he had wrapped his hand swiftly around her wrist didn't help matters much.
"For a while I thought you're going to kiss me," He said, dark eyes looking into softer brown ones. "Guess my imagination was too high,"
Startled, Kim silently thanked the lack of lights in his room so that he couldn't see her face go crimson. Tommy spoke casually and at that instant she finally realized how she'd missed this; a silly banter over… anything. She had made a promise to forget him, but it turned out it was easier said than done. Wasn't it always like that?
Getting no respond, Tommy loosened his hold a little though still kept her hand in his. "I was joking," Before she could utter one word, he spoke again and this time Kim realized that his voice was unexpectedly clear for someone who had been sleeping. "What are you doing here?"
It was a simple, short question, but tried as hard as she could, not a single answer was available right now. Her eyes purposely avoided his and she pulled her hand away, half relieved and half disappointed that he let her go. "Not trying to kiss you, that's for sure," Kim wiped her slightly sweaty palm over her jeans and stood up. "Apparently you're feeling well enough to crack a joke like that, so I'll leave you be. My concerns are for nothing,"
She had tried to sound harsh and mean, but from the amused twinkle in his eyes and seeing how Tommy cocked his left eyebrow… she had hoped too much.
"You were worried?"
"Don't get any ideas," Kim quickly covered and sent him a glare, watching Tommy roll into his side to face her. She had started to walk backwards, not wanting to embarrass herself even more. "Your cousin has planted the ideas about you getting my cold from last week, so I just wanted to make sure that you're okay," Accusing her was more like it, but she wouldn't tell Tommy that. Especially now that the younger girl was no longer in the country… she wasn't threatened at the least.
"Well, I did get soaked that day," Tommy blurted out and Kim wanted to kick him for reminding him of that bathroom scene. If he said another word… thankfully, he didn't. "Anyway, don't let Vi get to you. This has nothing to do with you. Then again, I'm alright. Mom's being too paranoid. She had been that way since Nana got sick,"
At the mention of Nana Jane, Kim's face fell and her shoulders slumped down. Her heart that had been soaring crashed down almost immediately. She was so happy to see Jane slowly getting better, but the old guilt was still there inside her heart, hiding. Was it really her fault that Jane was in her condition right now? If she hadn't talked with Trini that day, maybe everything would have been different.
She hadn't told Tommy yet about that and she deeply hated herself for being such a coward. A part of her was afraid that he was going to get furious at her, not that she blamed him because he had every right to be so. Another part was terrified that with her telling him the whole story, Tommy would find out about her true feelings towards him and she wasn't ready for that yet. She was being a selfish bitch…
"Kimberly? Is there anything wrong?"
…but that could be changed.
"Tommy, I need to tell you something," She began, surprised to hear her voice steady.
"What is it?"
"I…," Kim walked around in small circles near his desk and she could feel his eyes following her. She didn't know how to say it except just by saying it. "That day, when Nana got her first attack, I was talking with Trini. We're…," Biting her lips hard to prevent the tears from spilling from her doe brown eyes, Kim took a few seconds to collect herself. "We're talking about our relationship, the fake relationship," She added with pressure, flinching inwardly. "Then Jane collapsed. I don't know if she'd heard me, because I'm sure that the door was not opened that night. I…-," However, if the door was indeed not opened, how Vi could have known about Tommy and her? It just didn't fit. "I'm sorry," Her voice grew smaller and smaller and by the time she finished, Tommy had sat up in his bed, his hands clenching and unclenching. His expression was hard to read and he appeared as anxious as she was. But why?
Forcing himself up from bed, Tommy advanced towards her and startled his petite former girlfriend by placing his hands on her shoulders. She had expected him to blow up at her, yell, scream or maybe, hit her… but he remained still. And it scared her. "Tommy?"
"What the hell are you doing, mister?" Tommy's mother's stern voice boomed across the room. When the two turned their heads, they saw the mid forty year old woman standing in the doorway, hands on the hips. "You're supposed to be in bed, resting, and you, young lady," Her gaze moved to Kimberly who seemed to shrink even more in Tommy's grasp. "What are you doing here? The last thing you want is to catch Tommy's flu,"
"I'm not contagious," Tommy remarked dryly. "And I don't have flu, I guess I'm just overworked,"
Shaking her head no, his mother walked into the room and grabbed Kim's arm in a gentle but tight grip. "You two can continue your conversation tomorrow. Waiting a day won't do any harm, right? Let's go, sweetie," Even Kim knew from the determination laced Mrs. Oliver's voice that there's no room for arguments, so she complied.
Her eyes glued to Tommy's, finding those eyes mirroring the uncertainty that she had as Mrs. Oliver dragged her further from him. They still had to talk; they needed to have that conversation. Still, she wouldn't lie that it didn't feel good to finally get the secret off her chest.
"Now, now, good night, Kim. Have a nice dream,"
Kim watched Mrs. Oliver retreating figure in dismay. Could she possibly have a good dream after the confession she just made?
As Tommy continued reading the fifth chapter of Black Beauty, he found himself unable to concentrate. Kim had taken off first thing in the morning and although he was feeling well enough to go to school, he couldn't find her. He understood if Kim thought he was angry with her, but there's more that he needed to say for her to start thinking that way.
Black Beauty was a classic tale that his grandmother always enjoyed and thus he chose to read it to her today. The warm sun light crept in to the room through the partially opened window and the gentle breeze blew in every once in a while. Tommy was ready to read the first line of the sixth chapter when a light knock on the door stopped him.
"I'll be right back," Tommy informed Nana and sat the novel down after slipping a bookmark between the pages. He opened the door and found Gladys. "What is it?"
"I'm sorry to bother you, but there's someone downstairs to see you,"
"Alright," He nodded and after talking for a while to Jane, Tommy left the room, descended the stairs and walked straight to the living room. The person standing by the fireplace certainly wasn't the one that he had thought it would be.
:: Honestly, with life being so busy lately, sometimes I felt a bit lazy to write, so that's why I thank you for your reviews; they kept me going. I know that it takes forever to complete this story since I recall it didn't take nearly as long for me to finish You and I Both last year and that had more chapters than this one. I surely hope you haven't lost interest in reading. Anyway, thanks for reading and please let me know what you think. Oh, and the next chappie will be the last. I know what you're going to say… FINALLY!
Either TSTM&TS and Chrysalis, the next chapter coming out will be the chapter finale, but I don't know which one I'll update first and I'm not sure when it's going to come out, so please be patient with me. Thanks:)
- Yuuri ;)