The Falcon and the Frog II
Disclaimer: I'm playing in someone else's sandbox.
Note: Originally began as a response to the Power Rangers Slash Write 22 Challenge on Live Journal, The Falcon and the Frog was a series of drabbles focused on a relationship between Tommy and Adam. The drabbles, with one or two exceptions, weren't necessarily connected to one another, and most stand alone. However, in spite of that two major timelines developed through the series, one in which Tommy and Adam became a couple during the MMPR era prior to the ninja powers (hence the title), and a second in which they got together in the aftermath of The Letter. Now, in the original story it was implied that things with Kim played out exactly as they did on the show . . . but what if Kim had a completely different reason for writing the letter and sent it to Tommy at home.
Adam Park was nervous. It used to be his default state of being if he didn't have Rocky and Aisha at his side, however his time as a Power Ranger had changed all that. He had gone from being one of the replacements, to learning the lessons of the Frog on the strength that could come from his quite, reserved personality, to becoming the second in command of the Rangers. Now, in that most recent role, he found himself nervously approaching the home of his leader, his friend, Tommy Oliver.
Over the last week, Tommy had become withdrawn from the other Rangers, showing up for battles and briefings, but otherwise avoiding them. Despite the fact that Adam still did not like having to be confrontational with his friends, nor did Tommy respond to it well, hence his nervousness, the Red Ranger's behavior was affecting the team. Trying to get him to talk casually had failed, so now Adam was going to have to bluntly ask Tommy what the hell was going on.
Melissa Oliver answered the door almost immediately after Adam rang the bell. Hey, Mrs. Oliver," Adam greeted his friend's mother, "Is Tommy home?"
"Yes, he is," Melissa gave a relieved smile, "I'm so glad you came over Adam, maybe you can find out what's been wrong with him this week."
Adam scratched his head nervously, "Well, that's kinda why I'm here. He's been acting weird around you guys too?"
"Yes. At the beginning of the week he got a letter from Kimberly, and ever since he won't talk to us." Melissa blushed, "I hate to admit it, but I've tried to sneak a peek at the letter, but he doesn't let it out of his sight."
Now Adam was even more confused. Why would a letter from Kim cause Tommy to act so distant from everyone?
"I hope you can get him to talk, Adam. Ever since Jason left for Europe, you seem to be the only other person he really opens up to."
Adam gave his friend's mother what he hoped was a reassuring smile, "I'll do my best. He in his room?"
Melissa gave the young man a grateful smile and nodded. Adam headed up the stairs to Tommy's room. Stopping outside the closed door, he could just make out the refrain to Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb and cursed silently. That song was not a good sign where Tommy's mental stability was concerned. Jason had told him that during the first week after being freed from Rita's control, Tommy had burned out his copy of The Wall playing that song on repeat near constantly.
He knocked on the door, "Tommy?"
No answer. Adam sighed. "Tommy, I'm coming in," the Green Ranger announced and then tried the door handle. Locked.
"Fine, that's how you want to play it," Adam said under his breath and then stretched out with his Ranger-enhanced senses. Finding Mrs. Oliver in the kitchen, well away from sight of the stairway, Adam lifted his communicator and activated the teleport function. In twin green flashes, he vanished from the hallway and reappeared in Tommy's room.
Tommy jumped up, "Adam! What the hell?! Using the tele . . ."
Adam cut him off with a raised hand, "Cleared in advance with Zordon . . . 'cause he's just as worried about you as the rest of us. I'm here to find out what the hell is wrong with you lately."
Tommy dropped back down on the bed, pulling his knees to his chest and wrapping his arms around them, "Nothing."
"Okay, that's it!" Tommy looked up in surprise at Adam's tone. The Green Ranger never raised his voice. "This has gone on long enough Tommy! You're distant from the team and you nearly got yourself beheaded yesterday because your mind wasn't on the fight. Now you're going to tell me what's been going on or I'm gonna have Alpha teleport you into med-bay and have Billy run every scan he can think of on you!"
Tommy's expression went from surprise to shock and Adam forced himself to regain some control. He didn't understand why Tommy was so capable of pissing him off in the extreme. Actually, part of Adam's mind reminded him, he was well aware of why, but Adam pushed those reasons aside, once again deciding that it wasn't the time to deal with that particular reality. So focused on his internal struggle for a moment, Adam almost missed Tommy respond in a quiet, small voice, "Kim dumped me."
Adam stared at Tommy for a moment and finally managed "What?"
"Kim dumped me."
"When? Why?" then it suddenly hit Adam, "Your mom mentioned a letter?"
Adam caught sight of several emotions crossing Tommy's face; anger, hurt, and . . . fear? The Red Ranger curled up on himself again. Adam sat down on the bed, hesitated for a moment, and then put his hand on Tommy's arm.
"Did she say why?"
Tommy nodded. Adam was quiet for a moment, and then prompted, "Well?"
Tommy finally looked at him again, "I can't tell you."
Adam sighed, "Tommy, I know you don't like to talk about what goes on in that head of yours . . . neither do I. But this is tearing you up, and if 'Sha did teach me one thing, talking does help."
Tommy just shook his head and hid it again. "Look this is tearing you up and . . ." Adam hesitated, hating to play on his friend's over-active sense of responsibility, "and it's hurting the team."
Tommy's head snapped up and his gaze was intense, searching. Adam forced himself not to blush under the scrutiny. Finally releasing a resigned sigh, Tommy reached under his pillow, pulled out a crumpled sheet of pink paper, and handed it to Adam. Adam took it, and after receiving a nod from Tommy, opened it. He immediately recognized the former Pink Ranger's flowing script:
I hate to do this in a letter, but maybe having it in writing, being forced to hold it in you hands, you'll finally listen. Every time I try to talk about this with you on the phone you change the subject, and it can't go on like this anymore.
I still love you, and I always will, but I've realized now that I'm here in Florida that what we had, as special as it was, was not meant to be forever. I think I knew what was happening even before I left, but I, like probably everyone else who's still there, had blinders on. I didn't see it because I didn't want to. But here, with the perspective offered by thousands of miles, I can finally see it.
Tommy, you need to face the fact that your heart belongs to someone else and it has for a long time. I know you don't want to accept that because of what it means. I know it scares the hell out of you. I also know that the last thing you would ever want to do is hurt me. But going on like this, pretending, is unfair to you, and it's unfair to me. So, I'm doing what I can from here to give you a good, hard kick in the butt.
I am not angry with you, don't think that for a moment. I'm disappointed that I wasn't the one for you. And I'm frustrated with you for being so thick-headed, but I'm not angry. At least, I won't be unless you don't do something about this. You deserve to be happy. You both deserve to be happy and I will be happy for you both if you manage to get your acts together. Please Tommy, if everything we had means anything to you, please go after your happiness. I think you'll find your chances are better than you think.
P.S.: Just because of how well I know you, I know at least one threat is required. So, here it is: Tell him or I will sic Trini on you!
Adam looked back at Tommy, whose eyes were still searching, "Well, um, so she thinks you're in love with somebody else. She doesn't seem angry about it, so . . ." And then it finally hit Adam and he looked at the postscript again, "Wait . . . him?"
Tommy curled back on himself like he was bracing for a coming blow. Adam, for his part, was trying to get his racing heart back under control. For a moment, just a moment, something within him flared . . . and then cooled as another realization set in. He looked back at his friend, his leader with warm, friendly eyes, keeping his other feelings in check, "It's Jason, isn't it?"
Tommy relaxed slightly, but not completely. "I love Jason, but as my bro."
"Billy?" Adam suggested.
"Same as with Jason."
"Rocky," Adam next asked, unable to keep the incredulous tone out of his voice. He loved his best friend, but if that was who Tommy was in love with, he had Adam's pity.
Tommy, for his part, rolled his eyes, "Oh god no!" He then amended, "Don't get me wrong, Rocky's great, but . . ."
"He's Rocky," Adam said with a smile. Tommy smiled back.
"Well, who's left? It can't be Bu . . ."
Tommy cut him off, "It's you."
The statement took a nearly a full minute to register in Adam's mind, during which he just started at Tommy open-mouthed, the other youth's anxiety growing with each passing second. Suddenly Adam jumped up off the bed and turned his back to Tommy, hugging himself.
Tommy now spoke, the pain clearly evident in his voice, "Adam, I'm sorry. This is why I didn't want to tell you. I didn't want to freak you out. I know you're not . . ." This time it was Tommy who nearly missed Adam's admission.
"I love you."
Tommy' last sentence died in his throat and he mimicked Adam's earlier open-mouthed expression. "You what?"
Adam turned back to Tommy, tears in his eyes, "Ever since that day Zedd kidnapped us and you took your helmet off."
"Adam, that was nearly a year and a half ago. All this time . . .?
"But, Serena, err, Scorpina?"
"Trying to get over you . . . and look how well that turned out."
Tommy's brain still hadn't quite caught up yet, "But, you and Tanya?"
Adam shook his head, "Just good friends."
Tommy stared at Adam a few moments longer, and then burst out laughing with tears in his eyes. Adam looked at his unrequited love in confusion, "Tommy?"
Tommy gasped for breath as he spoke, "I don't know . . . what's worse . . . Kim dumping me . . . hoping I'd have a shot with you . . . or what she'll be like when she finds out she was right!"
Adam started laughing as the realization hit him, and he dropped to the floor laughing, "It's worse!" When Tommy looked at him he continued, "Aisha's been on me forever about you!"
Tommy's laughter increase to epic proportions as the stress of the last week evaporated from him. He gasped out, "We'll . . . we'll have to declare a SMUG advisory!" It was a horrible pun, but both Rangers howled with laughter, rolling on the floor.
Finally, after a few minutes, their laughter was spent and Tommy and Adam found themselves on the floor, facing each other. They stared into each other eyes. After a moment, Tommy reached out and wiped a tear from Adam's cheek, the young man sighing at the touch. Tommy kept his hand on Adam's cheek and leaned in. As first kisses went, it was a bit awkward, as both young men quickly learned that there are slightly different physical mechanics to kissing another man than kissing a woman. Regardless, it sent electricity running through both Rangers.
As Tommy pulled away, he pulled Adam with him, the other young man snuggling up against him as Tommy rolled over onto his back. He was amazed at how natural, how right, how perfect it felt to have his arm around Adam as they lay together.
They stayed that way for a while, occasionally shifting as they worked out the dynamics of kissing each other, until Tommy's mother called up from downstairs, "Tommy, dinner! Is Adam staying?"
Tommy looked into Adam's eyes, love reflecting love, as he yelled back "Yes."