Written by: Shawn
Summary: Managing a stressful corporate career while attempting a return to her music and sharing a apartment with her ex-high school honey proves equally challenging and rewarding for Kimberly Ann Hart in 2008.
Rating: M. Adult language, adult situations, and sexual encounters. Chapters containing sex scenes will be marked accordingly.
Disclaimer: I own nothing related to the PR universe. If I did I'd be living in a mansion.
Timeline: Everything up to the end of Dino Thunder is canon. Kim's background post "Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie" is all my creation. The story is set in January 2008.
Notes: This is being written in Kim's P.O.V, so it is Kim-centric with a heavy emphasis on other characters and relationships as well.
Authors Notes 1. Sit back, relax, and pretend you're about to watch a new television show airing its series premier. Oh yeah, its on cable. It's featuring characters you grew up with and some new ones I hope you grow to love. None of them are perfect, so don't expect cookie cutter characters who always say, act, think, and react in a Brady Bunch sort of way. They're human and that's why we love them. Imperfect as the day is old.
Authors Notes 2: All details as to the how and why things are the way they are will be expiated in the story. Trust me, answers are coming.
Authors Notes 3: No chapter in this series will feature more than two scenes in order to make it easier to update more frequently. Also you might see other PR authors dip into this little universe from time to time writing their own chapters. I know certain things that will happen, how and when, but there is no definitive end to this series. Its ongoing until... well, until.
Authors Notes 4: TK fans... its gonna be a slow burn. But you know me 'wink'
Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive Elbert Hubbard
Don't let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was.
Richard L. Evans
If you don't hurry up and let life know what you want, life will damned soon show you what you'll get. Robertson Davies
Episode 1 "How Kim got her groove back"
An unseen announcer speaks over the end of the credits for the last program aired. "And now the series premier of 'The Glory Days'.
(Voice over begins with the show's theme song, Bon Jovi's "It's My Life" playing in the background)
"Once upon a time there was a little girl growing up in sunny California who wanted a typical life." footage of a little girl with curly brown hair chasing an older brother away running with her Barbie dolls and then kicking him hard in the balls when she caught him "She entertained dreams of being the worlds greatest gymnast." footage of the young girl, about ten years old now racing around her house in her leotard, and then doing jumps and flips under her father's instruction in the backyard of a nice house "She was blessed with the best friends ever." footage of the young girl, a boy with sandy blond hair, another with dark hair, another boy with warm brown eyes, and a girl with long dark hair - all smiling bright for the camera "Like I said, she wanted what she got, a typical life. That was until high school hit and with that monumental occasion came a brave new world. Her first gymnastics competition." footage of the now teenage girl preparing for a first meeting, looking nervous but determined "Her first true love." standing with her best friend, the girl catches sight of a boy preparing for a martial arts tournament that takes her breath away "And the absolute most shocking experience of her entire life." footage tinged in black and white with the words "top secret" scrolling across the bottom of the screen, a Pink Ranger battling alongside her teammates, flying Zords, fighting against and then with a Green Ranger, gazing at the White Ranger
"Then her typical life turned upside down when her parents divorced." shots of the girl seated on a couch being talked too by her parents about their breakup, then a tearful goodbye at an airport with her mother and another man "An opportunity of a lifetime that would separate her from from her friends and boyfriend." images of Coach Schmidt, the girl addressing her team, walking with Tommy along the shore, and giving her powers to Katherine "As one door closed, another opened to a new adventure that seemed to send her places she never expected to go." fast moving images of a girl getting off a plane in Florida, training hard, sitting in classes, talking on the phone to her boyfriend, preparing for the international competition and dealing with the press, meeting a new male friend, a deeply powerful kiss with the new guy under moonlight, writing a painful letter while crying her eyes out, more training, the Pan Global games, breaking up with the new guy, getting her first apartment, a tense meeting with her ex-boyfriend after an encounter with the Rangers, them finally making peace at a funeral for a dear friend, her finishing college with honors "With an amazing life already behind her,the next phase came in the form of a job opportunity in New York City, New York." shots of her leaving departing another plane, of gazing out of a taxi at the Big Apple, her face smiling brightly "As it often does when you least expect it, her life began to take turns she hadn't expected." meeting her new band mates who were fixing computers at her office, guys who worked for the Best Buy Geek Squad, them practicing, her getting on stage again for the first time in years. "And most crazy, or wonderful of all, a chance encounter, one in a million, with the man of her... with someone very special." shocked expressions on an older Tommy and Kim's face at a apartment showing, both worrying over not being able to pay the rent individually, an idea struck over coffee, arguing over moving in and who's stuff goes where, accidental moments in the shower, an almost kiss in the rain "She wanted a typical life and yet lived anything but. Angel Grove was chapter one." footage of Angel Grove High and the Command Center "Florida was chapter 2." "footage of Coach Schmidt's training compound, the girl's dorm room, and the beach "New York is the newest chapter." Daytime skyline flyover of New York followed by the grown woman walking the streets of NY, looking sharp, her shoulder length brown hair blowing in the wind, determined and focused on the life ahead of her on screen credits read 'Created and written by Shawn - co-produced with Pink-Green-White-Forever' "That young girl who wanted a typical life grew up to be me. My name is Kimberly Ann Hart and this is my story. The Glory Days of my life."
A bar/club where alternative bands perform
152 Ludlow Street
Friday, January 21, 10:00 PM 2008
New York City, New York
Okay, seriously, I think I'm turning into a man.
As if sitting at a table with my date, my ex-boyfriend from high school and his fakely well-endowed date wasn't strange enough, my date seems to be in the middle of telling the most boring story ever about a car accident he got into in college with some of his frat brothers. And when I say boring, I'm talking about watching paint dry kind of boring. Like watching every episode of Full House back-to-back nonstop kind of boring that might give you a brain aneurysm.
So I'm sitting here nursing my drink while going over this eternally mystifying question. How can someone so damn hot have so little personality or charisma? He hasn't even made one funny joke all night long. He hasn't said one thing I thought was remotely interesting. Was I so overwhelmed by his tight six pack, strong muscled arms, brandy-colored eyes and sexy walk at the Bally's health club that I simply ignored his inability to mentally hold my interest for longer than ten seconds?
Now say that ten times fast?
Oh crap, I'm silently babbling to myself. It's time for another drink before I lose what's left of my mind. Then again, as Aisha put it, I'm currently in Armageddon date-mode. Meaning I haven't gotten any loving of any kind for so long I'm gonna start adopting cats and forsake men altogether. I corrected my Ranger-sister that Armageddon date-mode only begins when you get up out of bed at 3:00 AM to go buy batteries for that little friend of yours you keep hidden under the mattress.
Now that's Armageddon date-mode.
"... the two guys were wearing these crazy dresses when they jumped out of the car and started doing cartwheels," Paul recalled with alcohol-aided exuberance, trying his best to interject energy into his awfully long tale of college rebellion.
"What color were the dresses?" Tommy questioned as if he cared, darting a smirk my way before looking at Paul again.
Paul gave a full body laugh for some reason. "Man, they were matching polka dot dresses. I kid you not."
Tommy gave a slow nod, rubbing his chin. "Were they short or long dresses?"
"They were ankle length like they wore in the seventies, man."
"Cotton or polyester?"
"Hmmmm... let me think. I was so hammered that night."
Tommy, my former honey and now King of the Jerks is making fun of my date's lack of storytelling ability and Paul doesn't even know it. I'd almost laugh if the urge to kick the former White Ranger where the sun don't shine wasn't so powerful. Still, he can't laugh at my date all that much. Diane's lazy eye and high pitched, bird-attracting laughter aren't exactly high points in her favor either. Then again, when you have boobs that could get a second job as flotation devices men didn't seem to care if you were any more intelligent than a brick. And I swear her nipples are pointing East and West. I guess you get what you pay for.
Another long work week's at an end and here I was looking forward to tonight. I bought this sexy new outfit for my date, found time to get my hair done, and even bought some new lingerie just in case my sex life revved up sometime soon. Of course that engine's been cold for well over a year now. But hope springs eternal and I was hoping that maybe this guy would get my motor running again.
Enter Paul Richards, age 28. I met him at the Bally's Health Club I attend. He's a trainer and would always come over when I arrived and work out with me. To say he was hot would be a understatement, so of course I enjoyed the attention. When he finally asked me out I figured drinks after my bands performance wouldn't hurt.
Unfortunately for me, on the outside Paul was Jude Law in all his smoky glory. But on the inside he was Larry the Cable Guy in all his hillbilliness. I only found out the latter tonight.
Uh oh, slow down boy. Paul just casually rested his open palm over my thigh and gave it a firm squeeze. Nope, sorry, you are not getting anywhere near laid tonight pal. At least not by me. I think you're a nice guy, but I was blinded by your hotness and now with you fully clothed and my focus on what you're saying and not the sweat glistening off your rock hard abs... I swear I am such a guy sometimes. But I cannot push aside needing a man to have intelligence, wit, charm, a hint of danger and a mind for romance simply because he makes my tummy flutter.
Lifting a curious brow I gently place his hand back between us while ignoring Diane's attempt to publicly gnaw Tommy's ear off. If I wasn't so cautious about dating new people I would never have asked to double up after my concert tonight. But this was his first date with the Human Flotation Device, so we thought it would be fun. He's walking in the same desert of dating desperation I am, so I wasn't the only one hopeful.
And if it didn't work I'd give him the sign and then we'd be out of here.
"Kim, I loved the song you sang tonight. It... it just moved me, you know," Diane complimented, her hand over her heart, which made me smile. She was pretty and exuded confidence easily. Boobs like that often make a girl walk up straighter. Later on in life though she'll struggle to walk at all. "I loved how it inspired me to want to be the best person that I can be and fight for womens rights."
My expression remains light to keep from laughing out loud. My song was about dancing with loved ones and how each of them mean something different to you. Heck, the title was called "Dancing with Loved Ones." Still, a compliment is a compliment and I'm not selling CD's at Target or Sams Club just yet. "Thanks, Diane."
The Mammary Queen barely spared me any notice, seemingly engrossed in whatever she was "gripping" under the table. Tommy's jaw tensed and he seemed to be unable to make eye contact with me at this point. I swear I'm gonna drop his toothbrush in the toilet... accidentally, of course. He's supposed to be mentally hating his date too, but oh no, a man could care less if a woman's head was as empty as something really empty just so long as she thought he was God's gift to womankind.
Men suck. Copyright Kimberly Ann Hart, 2008.
"Tommy, even though this is only our first date, I feel such a connection with you already," Diana noted, her high pitched voice somehow not shattering our glasses. Speaking of drinks, she's had sex to the rest of us on our second. Grinning wildly at my ex-leader/former snuggle-partner, she had the nerve to giggle, "I wanna have your baby."
Her slurred speech did the trick. Tommy smiled that awkward smile of his when he felt boxed in and I almost felt sorry for him. So what's a friend to do? I decide to help him out. "I bet those would be some handsome children." Yeah, I'm evil. Tommy's glare bores through me. Whatever. This is the most fun I've had all evening. Suck on that Boob-Lover! "Paul, wouldn't they have some gorgeous children?"
Paul gave Tommy and Diane the careful once over, nodding slowly. Damn, I gotta admit this man exudes hotness. He is so freaking pretty. Dim and dull as a stone tablet, but pretty as the day is old. "I bet our kids would be just as pretty," he said to my utter shock. Then his hand squeezed my thigh again. I smiled politely, removed his hand once more, and then finished off my drink before I choose an escape route and excuse myself to the bathroom and just keep going.
Tommy, still miffed at me over my little dig, pulls the trigger on an even bigger no-no. Leaning closer to Diana, he had the sheer nerve to ask her, "Are you having a good time, Beautiful?"
Two words for you.
When Tommy goes to bed tonight I'm gonna sharpen my steak knife, cut his dick off in his sleep, and toss it a whole lot farther than the front lawn. While we have been broken up almost long enough ago to see the second Bush era come to a close, there are some things that are still special to me, and that little nickname is one of them. That belongs to me. I FAINTED FOR IT! Okay, not gonna shout to myself in my mind anymore. Anyway, Tommy did it on purpose and is now out of my Five, on my shit list, and might possibly have to find a new place to live.
Yeah, he still gets to me... sometimes. If I didn't love him so much I swear I'd hate him. Maybe. Probably. It depends on my mood. I need ice cream.
Our little group attempts conversation about the other bands that played tonight, critiquing them and discussing what we enjoyed. Just trying to find something to talk about. Sadly though, Diane and Paul just don't have the mental capacity to fill a Smurfs coffee mug. There's just no synergy or appeal outside the physical with them. Tommy looks as put off as I feel. And while I won't act like I've never hooked up with someone on looks alone before, I'd like to think I've grown out of that.
Okay, not enough to say no to this date obviously, but surely enough to say no to anymore. When its not working it's just not working.
At that very moment Paul bends to my ear and whisperers, "I want to give every square inch of your sexy body a tongue bath." Okay, first off you need a mint. Second, ewww. Third, I don't give up my home phone number on a first date, much less anything else. You're gonna be dating the five Palm sisters tonight. And judging by the size of your right hand in relation to your left I get the feeling you're well acquainted.
Finally accepting that this date was over, I gave Tommy the signal. I gently tug my left ear while looking away. He smiles, then kisses Diane across from me. You know what, bucco. You're not even my brother anymore. I'm so gonna kick your...
And then my cell phone receives a text message. It becomes clear from the message he pre-wrote that he used the kiss to send it without Diane noticing. Clever, Oliver. Real clever.
The message read "5 minutes." Good. It's time to call it a night. "Paul, excuse me for a moment. I have to make a quick phone call." I blaze from the table after pressing a goodnight kiss to his cheek, wait five minutes and then return with a story about my cousin's car breaking down and me needing to give her a ride home. That's going to be one heck of a long drive seeing as how Kelly lives in San Diego, but whatever. I make my apologies and he's cool.
I watched Tommy exit the table not long ago before I returned. Now he's whispering some sort of goodbye to Diane, and that he was going to call her a cab. Good boy. Now get me the hell out of here.
Oh, and Diane... he's not yours. Not now and not ever! I don't ponder that statement. It's just a fact.
Tommy and I exit out of separate doors, but I cast a last gaze over my shoulder and find Paul leaning dangerously close to Diane. Whatever he said made her giggle. Somehow I think the real love connection has been made. Go for it you two. I bet you'll have kids that'll make Bradgelina jealous.
Alls well that ends well. My performance was well received tonight and I will be ending the evening with a handsome guy on my arm. One that I'm definitely taking home. But first, we're gonna stop for some ice cream.
Ben and Jerry.
The only two men a girl can always count on to make her smile, never lie to her, never cheat on her, and won't ever disappoint her.
Yep, I am so in Armageddon date-mode.
West 46th Street between Broadway and 9th Avenue
Friday, January 21, 11:30 PM 2008
New York City, New York
"Kim, I said I was sorry, alright? The silent treatment isn't becoming."
With my hands warming in my black three-quarters length leather jacket, I kept walking just a bit ahead of Tommy, offering no absolution for his malicious crime. I purposely criss-crossed through the late night crowds, losing myself in the brisk night air. I can still feel his presence. He's close, just over my shoulder, shadowing me as if he has a right too. He's trying his best to gauge if I'm really mad or just annoyed. My Poker-face provides him no evidence either way, the jerk. Let my silence teach you a valuable lesson, Mr. Oliver.
Other women are not Beautiful!
However I mean that, of which I don't ponder to deeply, is law!
"Kim?" he called out again, half laughing as we carefully navigate the snow-shoveled sidewalk of Times Square amidst its dazzling lights and bustling energy. Restaurants Row was up ahead, calling out to me as clearly as my "brother" was. "Come on. The only reason I called Diane that was to mess with you. Mission accomplished, obviously."
I spin around to face him, nearly colliding with his chest as he was right on my heel. Sometimes I truly hate my lack of height and how much taller he is than me, standing there with his arms crossed. The cool mists of our breathing mingled like lovers between us. "Don't get cocky."
"Do you forgive me?"
"Are you sorry?"
His expression was flirtatious. "Maybe." I turn away from him before his hand reaches out for mine, stalling me. "Yes, I am sorry."
"Convince me." Swiping his tongue over his lips, Tommy gave a slow nod, backed away with a bow, and then disappeared into the crowd ahead. I waited patiently, thinking briefly of leaving him behind, but not liking the idea of that to much. Its late and his company wasn't unwelcome. Minutes later he returned carrying a large cup of Rocky Road ice cream with nuts sprinkled on top. He made a big deal of presenting it to me as if he were a humble servant. Good. Charming too. I still wanted to kick him though.
"Am I forgiven?"
I spoon a thick piece of the ice cream, humming from just how good it tastes. Okay, so he knows my favorite ice cream. I guess that's a point in his favor. But only one point. I dig in for more ice cream. "We'll see." Giving you a little smile doesn't mean you're forgiven. I just have to stop looking at you so that your sleepy brown eyes don't pull me in. I resist. No forgiveness for you just yet. "That was my nickname."
His laughter rings out in the night, giving me his undivided attention while I devoured my ice cream. "I know, I know," he conceded as we began walking again. "But you said Diane and I would have handsome children. That required retaliation."
"You're not supposed to point out my faults, only acknowledge your own."
"And that makes sense to you?"
"Shall I repeat myself?" He rolled his eyes, which amused me to no end. I really can't get too mad at him for messing with me when I do it to him all the time. With a gentle elbow nudge he tells me to go ahead and let him off the hook. Then he rushes off to a cart vendor by the street, buys something and then returns to my side.
He bought me a rose.
Okay, so that was sweet and despite how trivial our little spat was its nice to see a guy try and make up for things. Finishing off my ice cream, I dumped the cup in a nearby trash bin. I take the rose and then loop my arm around his. "That was inspired."
Tommy seemed pleased with my response. "I do my best."
Silence traveled with us, touring the city and its vast differences in comparison to California and Florida. Here it's almost midnight, cold enough for us to see our breath on the wind, and I was just eating ice cream. That's a world away from my sunny background. My how the times have changed. Northing's the way I thought it would be.
My ex-boyfriend slash current roommate never opened the martial arts school I always envisioned for him. Instead, he broke the mold by racing cars for a couple of years and then went college to study Paleontology of all subjects. Now he's teaching full-time at NYU, with his beloved martial arts relegated to his private practice.
Then again, he isn't the only one whose life turned out differently than expected. For the longest time most people who knew me thought that my love of gymnastics and twin Silver Medal winning performances at the Pan Globals would lead to a life dedicated to the sport. But after being a Ranger, nothing quite held my interest the way I thought it would. Like most of the Rangers, very few of us stuck with what we originally thought we'd be doing with our lives. My decision to go back to school for business finance had as much to do with a need to distance myself from gymnastics for a while as the challenge of stepping out of my natural element intrigued me.
The future pay kicked ass too. And not having to back flip and cartwheel for my paycheck in a skin tight outfit appealed to me greatly. Also, I was sick and tired of dodging fudge brownies like the plague.
I guess I needed the change. Just like in Angel Grove when I wanted to go after my dreams, I had to see if I could do it. That choice took me away from everything that was comfortable and familiar to me. And everyone that I loved, but I had to do it and while I regret some choices I made, I will never regret leaving for Florida.
Its funny how life brought Tommy, albeit in a very different place in my life now, back into it. God just wasn't done with us yet, I guess.
"You're quiet," Tommy noted warm against my ear, leading me through a small group of people.
"Just thinking over how I got here."
"Uhm, a cab brought us here." I'm about to swat him one when I catch sight of his teasing grin. Yeah, you got me.
"Its been a long road to get to where my life is right now," I hear myself say out loud, wondering where this moment of reflection is coming from. "I'm not where I thought I'd be, but I'm very happy where I ended up."
"That's all that matters," Tommy added, seemingly wistful himself now while staring at the stars. "I never saw college in my future, much less going after it so aggressively that I'm now teaching it." He shook his head and I'm suddenly taken back to yesteryear when I hung on his every word. "I never doubted that I could do well in college, but I was so caught up in needing that rush back. When my days as a Ranger ended racing gave me a jolt of that rush, but it was fleeting. And when you wake up one morning in your twenties with no real career that's a huge wakeup call."
"Yeah, but as soon as the chance to become a Ranger again came, you jumped at it."
"I had too."
"No, you wanted to," I politely correct him, to which he doesn't immediately refute. I know him... even after only three months of getting to know this new and improved Tommy Oliver, I know him. "There's a part of you that can't let go of that life and move on."
"Some of us can't just shut out where we came from and act like it never happened."
Spoken with a minor note of venom, I'm not entirely certain if he's only referring to the Ranger-life or something more personal. Something involving us. Old wounds, I'm afraid. "At least that part of your life is over with. Time for the boring thirties just around the corner." We share a laugh and a bit more if I'm honest. Sighing, he squeezed my arm as we let it go while checking out those giant electronic signs and billboards Times Square is so famous for. "So are you going out with Diane again?"
He actually bristled. "No, that ship has sailed and sank. It was definitely not the Love Boat," he confessed as I watched the way his mouth wrapped around the words. He has such a lovely mouth. "She's not a bad person, but she drinks a little to much for me and the chemistry just isn't there. I mean the attraction is, but not much more than that."
"I know the feeling. When I look at Paul my knees get weak. But when he talks I just can't wait until he shuts up."
Tommy laughs at that one. So do I. "Maybe it's time I just give up on dating." My glare hit him dead on, but he seemed unconcerned. Maybe even somber on some level. "I'm starting to believe the phrase that nice guys finish last."
"You're just waiting to meet the right person, same as me."
Tommy stops at the corner facing the MTV building. "Consider this. Despite my best efforts I have not only been dumped five times in a row, but lets analyze how each of them did it." Oh boy, here we go. I see him hold his hand up and begin counting down his greatest hits. And I wonder who'll be number one?
"Number one, you dumped me with a letter in the mail not even sent to my house."
Things I shall not ever live down? That's numero uno. "And I have apologized for that for years."
The second finger. "Kat dumped me over the phone."
"She was very hurt too. Remember that. And you're weren't ready to be engaged."
The third finger. "Gina dumped me by leaving a Post-It on the front windshield of my car."
Ouch. "You should sue her for unusual cruelty."
Fourth finger. "Melissa dumbed me with a fax. And she sent it twice just to make sure it went through."
"Make it a double lawsuit."
"Mali had her best friend tell me in person in the form of a poem."
I blinked hard. "... damn."
"Yeah," he couldn't help but to laugh with me, which was what I was hoping for. "Okay, I was just joking about that last one."
"Thank goodness," I smile, tugging him closer... for body warmth only!
"I'm just in a mood. Don't mind me."
I sought to reassure him. "Trust me, I understand. I haven't had much luck in the dating pool either. In fact, I've pretty much drowned in it. I'm at the bottom of the dating pool with the Titanic." He's laughing harder now, and somehow we're hugging. "We're rusting at the bottom of the sea."
"The sharks are circling."
"And there's no where to go but up." No matter the picture we might make to those who don't know us, being in his arms feels right in a way that eclipses what I felt for him as a teenager. Back then everything I felt for him was so intense and life altering. Nowadays, I'm truly blessed to have such a good friend who I know is in my corner no matter what. "You're wonderful."
"And you're Beautiful."
I hug him tight beneath the bright lights of the Big City, enjoying the newness of my life. New home, new job, new career, new challenges, and my new band.
But some things remain the same. Some people still touch you in a way you can't quite make sense of, but feels so good. I don't need Tommy to be in love with me anymore, but I do need him. My vulnerable, warm, and fearless best friend.
Okay, no need to mentally shout at myself again.
Gently pulling from his embrace, we walk towards the corner, in sync that it's time to call it a night. When once hitting a club might of been fun, after working a forty plus hour work week on Friday night we just want to get some sleep. Jeez, when did real life creep in?
Tommy hails us a cab and when one stops we make our way towards it. "So Tommy, what did you think of my performance tonight?"
"Well, you're no Britney Spears, but you were alright."
When he climbs in the cab I kick him in the butt. The cab driver laughs. Tommy swears something at me that's none to polite. "Love you too, Handsome."
All in all its been a fun night.
(Closing credits roll while voice over previewing the next episode begins)
"Next on 'The Glory Days'. Work and the single woman. How not to kill people during your eight hour shift. And who's visiting Tommy during one of his classes?"
Suggested listening music for Episode 1
1. Its My Life : Bon Jovi
2. At The Beginning : Richard Marx f. Donna Lewis
3. Lessons Learned √ Carrie Underwood
4. Home : Daughtry