Summary: A very AU world. Set in the senior year of high school.

Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: Do I really have to do this again? I own nothing!

Author's Notes: Will you believe me if I say that I've been working on this story for two years now? Honestly I have. Picture a world where the only former superheroes at Angel Grove High are Tommy, Aisha, Tanya, Adam, Billy, Kat and Kim. Then you'll begin to enter this fic. I might add explanations for where the others are, but because I didn't do it originally (read: in the hand written version before I got a computer) I may forget.
This will definitely be the longest story that I have written, and beware because I have two ones in the same series finished already, and have written about five pages of the fourth one. So put your seatbelts on, and prepare for a LONG ride with me.

Thank You's: To everyone that's stuck with my writing since the beginning. I've only been a member for about two months, but it feels like so much longer.


Kim Hart's diary- September 6

I should be starting school today. I should be returning to the classrooms of the school that I hate in Miami, desperately trying to forget about the perfect life I had, but chose to leave behind. Trying to drown my sorrows in the novelty of a new boyfriend, one who adores me but who I just can't seem to love. Attempting to block out the memories of what it was like to save the world on a daily basis. Not letting myself remember what it was like to be surrounded by people who like me for who I am.

Instead, I'm on my way back to Angel Grove, the city that I should never have left in the first place. Under different circumstances I would be delighted. But things have changed in this girl's life, and I think it's safe to say not for the better.

Let me make things slightly clearer.

My mom travelled to Miami from Paris, to see me compete in a gymnastics competition that was a very big deal for me. She brought along her husband and my stepfather, Jacques. They took a train to the arena, and my shadow (boyfriend Scott) went with them, he picked them up from the airport and was going to take them to the arena since neither of them knew their way around Miami, and I was busy practising.

They never reached the arena. Have you heard about the Miami train crash? I thought you might have. The train derailed between stations, and caught on fire. All three people died.

This was a month ago, and only now has it been decided what to do with me. I made it perfectly clear that I wasn't going to stay in Miami. There were too many memories for me, and as for gymnastics? I refuse to even think about it.

Anyway, I'm going back to Angel Grove to stay with my dad. It's never been just us before, and I know for a fact that he blames me for the fact that Mom died. He still held a candle for her, and it's in his eyes whenever he looks at me. He tries to hide it, but I know when it's there.

I'm going back to a school where my ex-boyfriend who I never really stopped loving is located, along with the girl who took everything I liked out of my life, including him. She had my powers, although I heard all my ex-teammates are off the team now to complete their senior year.

Apart from all these trials and tribulations, my life is absolutely peachy, as I'm sure you can tell.

My best friend in California, Aisha Campbell, is the only one who knows what has happened to me, she came for the funerals. She was so weird around me, we hardly ever spoke to each other, except when she told me that I had 'changed'. I didn't tell her this, but wouldn't it be a bit obvious that I would change after something like this happens to me? It's perfectly normal for people to dress in black instead of my normal favoured colours such as pink or purple. Even though I didn't know Jacques all that well, and at times barely tolerated the presence of Scott, I loved all three of them, although in different ways. If Aisha's mom or dad had been killed, then I'm sure she would have 'changed' as well. Perhaps she doesn't even like me anymore, maybe Kat's her preferred choice of friend these days. Not only has Kat got my first and only true love, but it looks as though she's got my best friend now as well.

Even though I've still got my dad, I still feel as though I'm completely alone. Now I have to put up with his new wife, Laura, and her daughter Siobhan. Hopefully that scary look in my dad's eyes wil have calmed down by now, and he'll start speaking to me as though I am actually his daughter again. No matter what they all say to try and make me feel welcome, I'm going to feel so out of place there. It's their home, and I've only ever seen Laura and Siobhan about five times before. This shouldn't be at all awkward. Kim

September 6: 8.30AM
Angel Grove High, Room 103

Ms Lawrenson was boring her homeroom students in a way which had long since ceased to be remotely funny. Her twenty-three students were all studiously not paying attention to her, preferring to look at their nails, the newly painted blackboard, or to look at the seating positions of their fellow classmates, by far the most interesting of the three.

It was hard not to notice that last year's celebrated class couple, Tommy Oliver and Katherine Hilliard, were choosing to take seats as afr away from each other as was possible inthe cramped, airless room. The rumours were already being spread by the school's celebrated gossip-spreader, Annie Daley, only a select few people had any true idea of what was really going on with those two.

After five more minutes of tedious monotony, Ms Lawrenson asked the class in general,

"Does anyone here know Kim Hart?"

Tommy Oliver's head snapped up abruptly, his brown eyes registering confusion and surprise. He definitely knew Kim Hart, very well. She was his ex-girlfriend who had left Angel Grove High at the beginning of the last school year to start a career in gymnastics. Why would Ms Lawrenson be mentioning her now?

"Yeah, I know her," Tommy said quietly. "But she left at the beginning of last year."

Ms Lawrenson consulted her homeroom attendance list once more.

"According to this, she's a returning student, who attended Miami Beach High last year. There's a note on here to say she'd be coming back a day late, but I wondered if anyone knew her in here."

Aisha Campbell, who was sitting across from Tommy, turned pale. She was the only member of their little group in school who knew why Kim was coming back, and since that was the case, she would have to spill the beans to everyone at lunchtime. They had a right to know before Kim got back, if only to stop them saying anything that unwittingly caused her pain.

And, despite the ongoing tragedies in her life, Aisha still harboured a secret wish that Kim and Tommy would eventually get back together. Despite Kim's heartless way of dumping him, in Aisha's humble opinion Kim and Tommy were a much better match than Kat could ever hope to be with Tommy.

However, the recent events in Kim's life had changed her completely, and it was understandable. She and her mom had been very close, before Mrs. Boutemy went to Paris they had shared a close relationship and had been more like friends than mother and daughter. The accident had affected Kim so much that she had decided to quit gymnastics, the sport which had been the main focus of her life for the last thirteen years. When Aisha had travelled to Florida to visit Kim, she had been unsure of how to act around her old best friend. They hadn't seen each other since Kim had come back for a Christmas visit over a year ago, and so many things had changed between them since. Whether the visit would have gone any better in different circumstances, Aisha was unsure, so great had the changes been. Now that Kim was close by again, Aisha was determined to apply damage control to their relationship, and bring her back into the group no longer governed by what evil there happened to be roaming the planet on that particular day.

* * *

The group were all present except for one noticable omission. Katherine Hilliard was not present in the group which featured Tommy, Aisha, Tanya Childs, Adam Park and Billy Cranston. Kat and Tommy had had a huge fight just a fortnight before hand, and it looked as though the relationship had been put out of its misery. Unfortunately the school's cafeteria food remained at the same low standard that it had been at the end of June, and the five of them were reluctantly eating rubbery lasagna.

"Aisha, have you got any idea of why Kim's coming back? I would have thought she'd have gotten into contact with you." Adam asked. Kim had been a Ranger, as well as a founder member of their group which had become so dispersed over the three years of high school that they had completed. Her prolonged absence had caused an irrepairable gap that Kat had only partially managed to fill. Tanya glanced at Aisha. She had never really met Kim, only once when she and another old friend Jason had returned to Angel Grove for a flying visit, but managed to get captured and sacrificed in the process. As you do.

"It does seem extremely odd," Billy said. He was the school's resident genius who had a sky high IQ and a tendency to speak in language that only Aisha could pretend to understand.

"Come on Aisha, you're her closest friend back here in Angel Grove, you must have some idea," Tommy urged. He was trying to prise some information out of Aisha without looking as though he was desperate for it. The news of Kim's imminent homecoming had affected him more than he thought it would have, after all it had been eighteen months since she had left, and she had only been back twice since then. The last time they hadn't spoken to each other. She had disappeared straight after the karate tournament that Adam, Jason and himself had won, and, being with Kat, he never gave her no-show a second thought.

Aisha toyed with her truly inedible lasagna. When she had seen Kim, she hadn't sworn her to secrecy, but there was an air of betrayal over being the one to broadcast Kim's bad news. On the other hand, they were Kim's friends too, and had been for a long time. They had as large a right to know as she did.

"Well, her mom and stepfather came from Paris to see her compete in this really prestigious event in Miami. Her boyfriend Scott picked them up at the airport, and they took the train from there to the venue."

The shocked look on Tasha's face suggested that she was the first one to put all the pieces together. "The Miami train crash?" she guessed. Aisha nodded and everyone around the table stopped pretending to eat and listened intently to what Aisha was about to say,

"I went down to Florida to her mom's funeral. It was all so quick that I never got a chance to tell you guys, and after I came back I wasn't so sure that I should. Kim really isn't taking the news well. You know how close she was to her mom, and she's even quit gymnastics because of it. It doesn't help that I think her Dad is blaming her, because her mom and stepdad wouldn't have been in Florida if it wasn't for her."

"How come she's back here? She was living in Florida on her own, so surely this doesn't make any difference." Adam said.

"Yeah, but her room was provided by the gymnastics people, and she can't stay if she's not doing the programme. She's back because she's staying with her dad, stepmom and stepsister, but that's only a guess. Nothing was decided by the time that I had left."

The table remained silent after Aisha had finished. No-one knew quite what to say.

Kim Hart's diary
September 6 2 pm PST

I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me. I don't want to walk into school tomorrow and see pity reflected back at me.

I know when I'm coming to the point where I can't control my emotions. It happened when my parents got divorced, and it's happening again. And now I'm living with my dad for the first time in what seems like forever. Surrounded by all these boxes that were shipped ahead, and I don't recognise half of what I own. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that all I can feel is a hollowness in the pit of my stomach, because I loved my mom more than anyone else in this world. I didn't admit to anyone how lonely I was when she moved to Paris and left me behind. I didn't want to go to Paris, but I didn't want her to go either. So I suppose I shouldn't be entirely surprised that the events of the last three weeks have completely paralysed my entire nervous system.

I don't feel anything.

There's only one thing in this world that makes me feel scared apart from the prospect of having to face this life without the guidance of my mom, and that's seeing everyone else tomorrow. You may say that they're my closest friends in the world, and I should be gald to have them. That's true, but you have to remember that they all probably hate me for breaking up with Tommy in the way that I did. I wouldn't be at all surprised, because I hate myself for breaking up with Tommy in the way that I did.

I'm petrified at the thought of having to walk into Angel Grove High tomorrow morning and starting my life over again. I expect that Aisha will have told Adam and the rest by now, and I don't really mind. Or do I?

This indecisiveness is really becoming a burden now. Kim

As a group, they had officially boycotted the idea of going to see Kim. Tanya had pointed out that she would probably want some time to herself to get all her things in order before seeing them again. Either way, it seemed the best idea if the five of them didn't turn up on her doorstep three hours after she arrived back in Angel Grove.

So, Kim was 'enjoying' a peaceful California afternoon in her new home. Her dad had been there to pick her up from the airport, and he had made a point of telling her that of course he didn't blame her for the accident, he had just been overcome with grief at the loss of his ex-wife. It wasn't anyone's fault, grief does strange things to people.

Of course it does.

Most of her possessions had been taken back to California with her father a couple of weeks before hand, so all she had had to do was unpack them. That didn't take her all day, and so she now had to decide what to do next with the day that was stretching out before her with no real appeal. Nothing had held Kim's interest since the accident. That was the truth.

Should I phone Aisha? she wondered. It would be nice to start to mend the bridge of friendship, especially since Aisha didn't know for sure that Kim was back in Angel Grove. Her watch also agreed that Kim should phone her best friend, it told her the time was 3.30pm. Angel Grove High would have been closed already for fortyfive minutes. There would be no after school activities on the first day of school, so Aisha should be at home already.

Whilst trying to make a decision, the musical tone of the novelty doorbell resonated from below. Kim's stepsister Siobhan wasn't home yet, and Laura and her dad had both returned to work, so she was the only person at home. Reluctantly she trudgd downstairs and opened the door. Aisha stood there with her nervous feelings clearly evident on her face.

* * *

It hadn't been an easy decision to come and see Kim by herself, after what Tanya had said about her probably needing some time alone. But Aisha still knew her friend, and believed that the best thing for them to do was to talk things over. Kim was the best friend that she had ever had, and Aisha was determined to repay that favour.

"Hey, I thought I might see you before long," Kim offered when it became obvious that Aisha wasn't going to speak. "How was your day at school?"

"Um, it was okay, I guess," Aisha replied awkwardly. "We got told in homeroom that you would be coming back come you didn't let me know?"

Aisha winced, that had sounded a lot more harsh that she had wanted it to. But Kim's eerily calm disposition had not left her, and she said

"Nothing was really decided until my dad left and took most of my stuff with him. I meant to ring you, but..." Kim said, shrugging her shoulders.

"So you got back today, then?" Aisha asked, somehow desperate to keep Kim talking, to try and get her old friend back, the one who had a permanent smile on her face. But her efforts were sounding more like inane babble than anything else.

"Yeah." Kim knew what Aisha was doing, trying to get her talking, but it wasn't going to work. All her good intentions about trying to become a normal person again had been left back in her new bedroom, and now she just wanted to sleep until Christmas, wake up and find that the last month had all been a dream. "I just finished unpacking."

Aisha was continually haunted by the look on her friend's face. The only time she had seen Kim look that way was when they were still rangers, after a particularly bad battle in which they had been unable to save children attending afterschool classes. All of them took things to their heart too much in those days, and it looked as though the effects were residual. Even though the grief was of course to be expected, the look Aisha would never forget.

"Do you want me to go? You've probably had a hard day," Aisha said quietly. Kim gave a halfsmile and said,

"I could do with about ten hours of sleep before I even think about what school's going to be like tomorrow."

"Okay then. I'll see you in the morning, you're in my homeroom, okay? Room 103."

"Room 103, okay. I'll see you then." Kim closed the door, and leant against it for a couple of moments. No matter how hard she tried, this feeling of grief, of listlessness just would not leave her. She had thought that talking to Aisha would help, but now it seemed as though it had made her outlook on life even bleaker, because now she had to face the prospect of school the next day. Of facing the people she had left behind. Of seeing Tommy again.

Aisha walked away from Kim's house, wondering how she could help her friend. The guidance counsellor at school? Kim had always hated her, but it was worth a shot. This feeling between them that they werre strangers to each other was new, and Aisha didn't like it at all. It looked as though she was going to have to confess to Tanya what she had done, and wait for her advice.

* * *

"So, Tanya. I may or may not have a confession to make."

"In every language of the world, that means you've done something bad. Tell me."

"Not bad, just I'm not sure if it was good or bad. I went to go and see Kim after school, when Billy dropped me off I walked over to her dad's house."

Tanya knew the tone in Mel's voice, although they hadn't known each other for that long they had become friends instantly. "And it didn't go well? Tell me about it."

"She's like an empty shell of herself. I know you never really got a chance to speak to her when she and Jason came down, but at least you knew that she doesn't make a habit of walking around like a zombie. I know that it's because she's lost her mom, step-dad and boyfriend, but I thought she might have regained some of her old... personality, I suppose."

"Moving into the real world, she's not going to be herself for ages," Tanya gently informed her friend. "She's lost the person who you said helped her through everything. She's not exactly going to be in the mood for smalltalk."

"So what do you suggest we do, Dr Childes?" Aisha said frustratedly. "The only thing I could think of is going to the guidance counsellor, but then I remembered that Kim delighted in calling her 'a haglike old crone' when she was here before."

"She doesn't need therapy to get through this!!" Tanya practically screamed down the phone line, looking at the receiver disgustedly. "She needs you!! She needs all the people that she left behind two years ago, so that you guys can help her through it. You need to be patient, and eventually she'll find her way through to talk about it."

"But aren't we just going to make a huge muck up of this?" Aisha asked sceptically. "I can't see one place where we can't put our foot in our mouths majorly."

"If you have an attitude like that then of course you're going to make things worse," Tanya said, restraining herself from throwing the phone against the wall. "Look Aisha. We saved the world. We can get a friend back on her feet without having to resort to outside help. Trust me."

"Kat would have been good at things like this," Aisha mused. "But judging from the whole Kim/Tommy/Kat situation I don't think it would have been a good idea, even before the whole breakup thingy last week."

"Has she spoken to you about that?" Tanya enquired, leaving alone the subject of Kim for now. "I tried to talk to her after homeroon today but she swept past me as though I wasn't there."

"I haven't spoken to her since she rang me to ask whether I'd punch Tommy for her because I was better at karate and I said no," Aisha said. "That was the day of the breakup. But I didn't know what was going on until today, and now I feel guilty."

"I wouldn't if I were you," Tanya advised. "I have calculus with her now and she didn't sit anywhere near me. I was in the room when she came in, and she sat right next to Annie Daley."

"Kat's my friend, and I don't know what went on between her and Tommy, but don't you think they should start talking again?" Aisha asked. "Even though we don't have to work as a team any more we've pretty much kept the bond there was between us apart from her."

"She only knew you and Kim when she arrived though," Tanya mused. "Maybe now that she doesn't have to stick to us 24/7 she wants to make new friends. It doesn't necessarily mean that she won't still be friends with us."

"I should come to you with my problems more often," Aisha said. "I believe there will be a lot more of them before senior year is out."

"Just not every day, okay," Tanya said jokingly. "I do need some free time you know. So, what are you going to do this afternoon?"

"Nothing much, just lounge around, make the tea and dream up new ways to attract Billy before senior year draws to a close. Nothing I have done has worked so far."

"Just give him time, Aisha," Tanya soothed. "He's not exactly telling you to go and get lost in a swamp is he!"

"Whatever you say," Aisha said disparagingly. "I'd better go and start making food. I'l see you tomorrow then."

"Sounds good to me. See you." Tanya hung up the phone, but stayed in her comfortable seat in the family den, thinking deeply.

Only the first day of senior year, and already everything was changing. She felt sure that Kim would return to her normal, cheerful self once given time, however that was the only certainty in her mind. No matter what she had told Aisha, she did not believe for a second that Katherine would return to their fold. Kat had always been something of a free spirit, and now that there were no strings left to tie her to the ex-Ranger crew, Tanya believed that she would begin to make new friends, whether it be with the gossip of the town Annie Daley, or with people who shared common interests, such as the entire dancer crew that populated Angel Grove High.

And of course, Aisha's newly grown crush on Billy. Although for a long while his allegiances seemed to have been elsewhere, Tanya had noticed a definite warming towards Aisha these days on Billy's part.

All they needed was time.

All everybody seemed to need these days was time.

I don't keep a diary or anything like that, but after what's been going on around me these days, I felt an urge to get everything down on paper. So, here it is.

Tommy and Katherine splitting last. They certainly had enough reasons to. I never really knew how they had managed to last for a year or however long. It's always been my view that Tommy and Kim belong together. No matter what Tanya thinks (she never saw them together looking like love's young dream) that Katherine was the better girl for him. And now they've split up.

Starting senior scary. All out teachers have been pointing out the fact that this is themost important year of our lives. If I don't do well in my PSAT's then I suppose I will go to Angel Grove university but I'm aiming for something a little higher than that. I've been told that I have Harvard potential - let's hope that it rears itself soon, because I haven't seen any signs of it yet.

The whole Kim should have to go through what she's been through in the last month. Ever. I still can't help myself from wishing that she'd go back to the way that she was before, thoughtful and happy. It's not the way that she should be, the Kim I knew was always happy and smiling, and now she's devastated and I have no idea what to do, how to act around her.

And Billy...where do I start? I've liked him since the middle of junior year, and if Mel is to be believed, he's thinking I'm above average too. There's something in me stopping myself from telling him how I feel. I think this could very well be the fact that my one attempt at a relationship ended in a complete disaster, and I want to save him.Or do I want to save myself?

Wow. Maybe I should try this more often.