Diclaimer: I don't own Power Rangers, that's for sure.
:: I dedicate this fic for Angie. Thanks for listening to me go on and on and on about that loveable jerk! You know which one because there's only one XD
"Hey, man. I need you to do something for me," Jeff said in a rush, his hand reaching out to steal a french fry from Tommy's tray.
The former ranger closed his five-inch thick encyclopedia and regarded his friend closely. "Could this wait? I have to do some research for Mr. Brown's paper today. It's due in two days and I'm nowhere near the completion," It's still amazed even himself to finally give up racing and go to college to become a Paleontologyst. "You don't have class this afternoon?"
Jeff was one of the Marketing students who by chance was also a member of the university's karate club. That's where Tommy met him and they soon became buddies. The blue clad guy shook his head and smirked. "You know I never missed my classes," He answered with a sly smile, indicating that he usually did the opposite. "But back to the topic, I need help,"
"What would it be?"
"Do you remember that you promised you'd anything that I asked?" Jeff said, hinting at the bet they made two years ago in which Tommy had lost real badly. "I told you I would come to collect when the time's right, and now… it's time,"
Jeff spoke with such seriousness in his voice that made Tommy wonder if his new friend knew anything about him being a ranger. He used to say that line all the time. "Time for what?" Morphing time?
"Well… I have a dinner with that chick tonight," Jeff began, rubbing his hands with excitement. "You know the one. Kate? The girl of my dreams…," He let his memory drift back to the tall, blue-eyed blonde, before he opened his eyes and stared at Tommy's bored face. "Anyway, I need you to…," Jeff leaned over and spoke in a hushed tone.
Tommy's eyes went wide as soon as Jeff finished addressing his request. He gulped. "You want me to…what?"
"Who do you think it'll be?" Meg asked from her place by the window, her legs crossed. "I'm so excited, but where is he? Mrs. Spencer is definitely not happy. She rarely ever tolerate tardiness,"
Kimberly Hart rolled her eyes at her friend's enthusiasm. Meg had been talking about today's class since their teacher announced they would do a new thing today. Sure, she was pretty excited to see how it would happen, but it was because she never did or saw anything like that before. She had known Meg since the Games and it didn't take a genius to tell that Meg's enthusiasm was totally out of place.
"Knowing our beloved teacher, whoever it is won't be that good," Kim warned, narrowing her eyes to escape the sun's rays. "You remember what she said to us last week," The petite brunette cleared her throat, straightened her back and tried her best to recall what their teacher had said. "We're not here to ogle good looking men, mind you. The most important thing is to learn how to draw humans in all genders, ages and shapes. It will help us to study more about lines, forms and the structure of a body," She broke into giggles a second after that. "Well, you got the idea,"
"And I highly doubt Mrs. Spencer would look for someone who's deserved to be on the front cover of Playgirl," Meg sighed again, her fingers twirling a strand of her red hair. "Maybe she asked his husband… Ugh, no offense, but I don't think I could draw him without laughing myself silly,"
However, before Kim got the chance to respond, Mrs. Spencer clapped her hands to draw their attention. A deep frown marred her forty five year old face and her lips were tightly pursed. "Okay, I know that we're supposed to do figure drawing today," She averted her eyes to the clock near the door and back to the students. "But unfortunately we have to postpone it until further notice-,"
And it was when the door opened, revealing the tall figure of Tommy Oliver standing like a lost child.
Kim froze in her seat. It couldn't be…was that…? No way…
"Ohhh…. A hottie," Meg whispered, pulling at Kim's long sleeved shirt. "Please don't tell me he's just another new transferred kid who got lost on his way to one of those boring accounting classes,"
Kim, for one, was too flabbergasted seeing him there to say anything. The hair was different, but it was definitely the man that she dated back in high school. The man that she dumped through a letter, which was a really stupid, non-creative, heartless way to break someone's heart.
"You know what?" Meg hissed a moment later. "He looks kind of familiar. Don't you think so? I think I've seen him somewhere before,"
Kim stared at Tommy as he was engrossed in a deep conversation with Mrs. Spencer. A simple look at him was enough to send shivers down her spine and boil her blood. She knew that he wasn't a student in this college; Meg would've known if he was. The last time she called Jason, her big 'brother' had kindly informed her that Tommy was somewhere in California to learn more about Dinosaurs bones.
"Okay," Mrs. Spencer said after giving Tommy a curt nod. Kim was quick to hide behind the canvas. She ignored Meg's curious look and peered over the edge of the worksheet. "There's been a change of plan. This is Tommy and he will assist us this evening,"
Kim chewed her lips and saw Tommy turn to the fifteen students in the room and wave his hand, that shy, boyish smile that she still remembered tugging at the corner of his lips. "Hi everyone. My name's Tommy and… glad to meet you all,"
Tommy was not happy to be there, Kim could tell that for sure. He was standing as stiff as a stick and that smile looked forced. Did he need the money so bad until he volunteered to be a model in Mrs. Spencer's class? Anyway, seeing he just show up a few minutes ago, it seemed like he hadn't changed at all.
Then her former leader stepped into the small podium and shrugged off his jacket. Next he crossed his arms over his chest and took off his black shirt in one swift move and threw it on his bag. Mrs. Spencer was too busy looking through her bag to observe the situation, so it wasn't until Tommy undid his belt that she realized what her model was doing.
"My goodness, what are you doing?"
Meg giggled and Kim was highly tempted to do the same thing. "Oh.my.God," The redhead mouthed.
"Um…," Tommy quickly answered, looking down uncertainly at the shorter older woman. "I thought I had to discard my clothes?"
"Yes," Mrs. Spencer snapped impatiently. "But I didn't think you would perform a striptease for my students," She handed him a white robe and gestured her hand to a small room where they kept most of the paintings. "Put this on and go back here,"
Meg bit the inside of her cheeks to prevent her laugh from breaking free. Poor boy looked so miserable that Kim didn't have the heart to join her. Her face flushed and it hit her. After all this time, she would see him. All of him. The thought made her want to punch the wall with happiness and sneak out of the class before he returned.
"He's hot," Megan managed to say between breaths. "But he is so clumsy! I so can't wait to see what's going to happen next. This should be fun,"
They didn't have to wait for long because the next second Tommy walked outside the closet and stepped back to the center of the room. He rubbed the back of his neck, a gesture that was so familiar to Kim. Who she was kidding… She could feel her stomach lurch and her hands go icy cold. She didn't think she had been this nervous when they announced who was going to bring home the Gold a few years ago.
Tommy untied the knot of his robe and after taking a deep breath of air, shrugged it off his body. Kim held her breath because she's afraid she would scream anything embarrassing if she didn't. He was… gorgeous. Sure, she had always known that Tommy was a good-looking guy; he went shirtless often enough for her to see that. But this was something that she never expected she would see…until now.
He hadn't seen her and that's good. It's a relief that she refused Meg's request to sit at the front row and for once, she was happy to be 5'2''. Breathe, Kim… breathe… It's not like you haven't seen a naked man before… Then another voice quipped, Yes! But that was in your Biology textbook and this is Tommy!
As a teenager with raging hormones, she had fantasized of seeing him in his natural glory several times, but now that the time had come... she couldn't bring her eyes to drop below his waist. Her eyes lingered over his chest with its defined muscles, then moved to those strong arms and finally down to his perfect abs. Kim silently wondered if Katherine or other girls that he had dated ever had the opportunity to see this side of him. She surely hoped not.
"Tommy… Isn't that the name of your high school sweetheart?" Meg scooted closer to Kim and whispered. When her eyes met Kim's stoic expression, she gasped and clutched her chest. "Oh my God! He is him! Why didn't you say anything, you crazy, little-,"
"Ssst!" Kim covered Meg's mouth with her hand. "Shut up! He can't see me here and I'll keep it that way,"
"He is your Tommy!" Meg whispered back.
No, that's not quite right. He was her Tommy. When was the last time they spoke to each other? Two years ago? Three or a million years ago? "So what?"
Mrs. Spencer's voice boomed across the room. "Now I would ask Tommy to do a pose and hold still for a few minutes. It will be your wam-up for today's lesson. We have discussed about the importance of drawing many poses in such a short period of time last week, so I don't see the need why I should waste another five minutes to go through that again,"
She was about to direct a pose for Tommy when loud, consistent knocks on the door caught her attention. "Come in,"
Kim smiled sadly when she saw Tommy was trying really hard not to cover himself. He was there, without a stich of his clothes on. There's nothing to hide. His arms stayed limpy at his sides and his eyes wandered about the room, anywhere but numorous pairs of staring eyes. And she didn't think it would help him feel better to know that the majority of the class was female.
"Dang, he's gorgeous. He could almost make me go straight," Meg teased and whistled. She frowned at Kim who was playing with her fingernails and nudged her leg playfully. "Oh please, stop being a nun, will you? Thay guy has been standing there for ten minutes!" Receiving no verbal respond, she abruptly grabbed Kim's head, jerked her forward and turned it to him.
She saw him.
And he saw her.
As simple as that.
Kimberly wouldn't blame him when he suddenly choked on his drinks and nearly dropped the water bottle in his hands. Next to her, Meg tried to stifle her laugh until her face went red. Tommy was still coughing when Mrs. Spencer closed the door after practically shooing the messenger out of the class.
"Are you okay?"
Tommy nodded his head, his eyes locking with Kim's. Meg couldn't tell whose face was redder, Kim's or Tommy's. Kim ducked her head down, hands clutched tightly until her knuckles turned white. She would gladly smack Meg if only she wasn't too embarrassed to do anything.
"You're so dead," She hissed.
"You're welcome," Meg replied in her usual cherry tone. As Kim's bestfriend, she realized that her brunette friend had never been intimate with her boyfriend back home so this surely would be fun. She once again broke into fits of laughter, her hand playfully hitting Kim's back. "Look at his face! Oh man, you would think he just saw a ghost or something,"
"I have to leave you for a moment," Mrs. Spencer informed, clearly annoyed. "Just for a few minutes. Now why don't you and Tommy discuss about the poses he would have to do,"
"The Vitruvian Man," Someone from the right corner suggested with a laugh. He clearly thought it was a funny idea.
"And we would have to come closer to observe?" Another voice protested and Kim blushed to the root of her hair. She could barely speak and now she had to go there and look closely? How on earth she could do that?
"How about The Thinking Man?"
That's a better idea. From a right angle, she might not have to see his… Oh shit. "I can't do this," Kim prepared a picture from a few weeks prior that she had abandoned and grabbed her charcoal. "There's no way I could draw him like that," The image of a naked Tommy would forever be imprinted in her mind. Perhaps she should mark her calender. So she finally got to see his --she couldn't even say or think the word without blushing--, his unmentionable thing, then what?
"I thought you're a professional?" Meg questioned innocently, ignoring the sideways glare Kim sent her. She watched Kim outlining the drawing of a bowl of fresh fruit and a snort escaped her. "You're a pro, I guess. Seeing how you so whole-heartedly coloring that banana," The drawing tickled her to no end and she couldn't restrain her laugh any longer. All eyes moved towards their direction and Kim caught a quick glipmse of Tommy massaging the bridge of his nose in distressed.
"That's totally uncalled for,"
"There's nothing to deny,"
Fortunately for both of them, Tommy who had put his robe on as soon as the teacher's gone and Kimberly, Mrs. Spencer was back to the class with sober expression all over her face. "I have to leave now, there's a family emergency. I'm deeply sorry for this, guys, but I'm sure I will be back for the next class,"
"Kimmie doesn't want her to be back," Meg dared to whisper on her ear. "Kimmie wants Tommy to be back next Thursday,"
"Will you quit that?" Kim muttered with a pout and threw the charcoal in her hand to the still laughing redhead. "Stop it!"
"What did I do?"
"Need to ask?"
Both girls simultaneously raised their heads to see Tommy standing right next to them. Now that Kim looked around, almost half of the class had left the classroom. And Tommy was there. What the hell he was doing here anyway? How could he look at her in the eye after… that.
Because you're both adults now and he didn't do anything illegal, you silly girl!
"See you tomorrow, Kim," Meg quickly collected her stuff, smiled that evil smile of hers and caught up with some of the girls in the doorway.
For long moments there's only an awkward silence between the former teammates and bestfriends. Kim, feeling completely helpless, waited for him to make the first move. Well, he should. Wasn't he the one who approached her?
"I have to say that I'm so surprised to see you here,"
Kim forced herself to look at his face without having any dirty thoughts in her head. Tommy hadn't put on his clothes back and now stood only in the white robe, which now that she paid closer look, was slightly open at the front. Impossibly, she blushed even more.
"And I also have to say you look equally surprised to see me here," Tommy continued again and sat at Meg's chair.
"Well, the situation was a bit awkward, don't you think so?" She replied as casually as she could muster. Her heart was beating a mile a minute and from the look of it, she wasn't the only one. Her eyes met Tommy's self-unconscious grin and her muscles relaxed a bit. "What are you doing here?"
"Being a model for your Art class?" He answered half-jokingly. "A friend of mine asked me to come. He has something else to do,"
Kim's eyebrow rose at his answer. "Your friend asked you to pose nude and you agreed," The idea sounded so unTommy-like that she couldn't help but snort.
"Hey," Tommy said weakly. "He made me do this. I honestly rather have Zedd, Rita and King Mondo altogether than this. Just wait till you hear the full story,"
"So," Kim said, feeling giddy all of a sudden. In spite of the break up, Tommy was being awfully nice to her. Was this a good chance for them to become friends once again? "You know, the weather's kind of cold and Mrs. Spencer made you take off your clothes…,"
"You're being really mean, Ms. Hart," Tommy said with a puppy dog look that she didn't realize she had missed. "I didn't know you moved back to Cali,"
"Just wait until I tell Jason and Rocky. They're going to love this,"
"I won't let you tell a soul,"
Make me, she wanted to say, recalling his ways to shut her mouth up when they're still dating. Gosh, had it really been that long? She felt old. Laughing, Kim stood up and took her bag. She was feeling tremendously happy for someone who would have to explain to her former boyfriend as to why she dumped him. "Why don't you change your clothes and I would buy you a nice cup of coffee. But if you feel more comfortable in that robe, I'm sure Mrs. Spencer wouldn't mind lending it for one day. Just remember to bring it next week,"
"There's no next week," Tommy insisted.
"I know there'a a strip-club down the road, if you're interested," She was amazed at how easy they're communicating and bantering with each other after all these years.
"Ha-ha, I'm laughing so hard my stomach hurts," Tommy retorted as he walked away. "And Kimberly?" He called without turning around.
"That is a nice drawing of a banana,"
The former pink ranger nearly fell off the chair when Tommy made his remark. She finally regained her composure to return his 'compliment'. Was he being mean or honest? "Thank you,"
:: Another 3000 word oneshot. I don't know why I seem to write longer story now, but well… I enjoy every bit of it. I'm not sure if this plot has ever been done before or not, but I decided to give it a try. Thanks for reading, hope you like it. Please review, no flame though.
- Yuuri :)