A/N: Remember that time when I posted this story? It was actually 2 years ago from…well, yesterday, now. (I had hoped to get this up before midnight, but apparently not.) Well, here's the last chapter. It is finished. It wasn't until I was watching MMPR reruns on ABC last Saturday that I even realized this wasn't complete. I hope the last chapter does the story justice. If nothing else, I am really proud to have completed something – even if it did take me 2 years. My goal is to go through all the stories I have posted right now and finish them off. I hope the writing isn't too far off from the rest of the story – a lot has changed in 2 years, and I doubt I'm the same person I was when I started this story, but…I'm happy it's done.
Disclaimer: Everything belongs to Disney/Saban, except for the song 'Anytime,' which is Kelly Clarkson's.
"It's been days," Tommy repeated. "Why isn't she awake yet? You said you stopped the chemical thing. You stopped it, right? Why isn't she awake?"
The doctor sighed as Thomas Oliver began to get irate again, pacing around the patient's room. He felt for the young man, he really did. He was clearly very much in love and yet he had to see his girlfriend look the way she did.
"I told you, Mr. Oliver. Her injuries are probably more severe than we thought-"
"That's bad then, right? Should you do another surgery? Is she okay?"
"She's fine. I just meant that her body is healing as fast as it can, and it just needs more time. Her scans are coming back normal, she has typical brain activity and aside from the obvious injuries, she really is healing nicely. She just needs more time, Mr. Oliver. I feel very confident that she will wake up in her own time."
Tommy wanted to punch something as the doctor left the room. It just doesn't seem fair. Nothing was fair. Kimberly was still in the hospital. The fact that Kimberly was in the hospital at all was ludicrous. But this…she shouldn't still be there. To top it off, if she would at least wake up then Tommy could check her out and they could go to the Command Center and Zordon could use some of the Power to enhance her healing. But until she woke up, it was like life was at a standstill.
"Come on, Beautiful." Tommy took Kimberly's hand like he always did when he was with her.
It wasn't easy, being there with her. He was constantly reminded of all of his shortcomings and all of his flaws. But at the same time, he couldn't bring himself to leave. He was taking full advantage of Kim's full bathroom in the room, and had the others running him random food errands and even clothing runs. Aside from the occasional stop in with Zordon, he hadn't left Kim's side.
"I know if you can hear me, you'll be rolling your eyes," he whispered softly to their clasped hands, not able to bring his eyes to her face. "But I feel like this is all my fault, Beautiful. I told you to not be on your guard. I told you to relax, that he wasn't going to get you. I let you feel safe, only for this to happen."
Two days prior and Tommy couldn't get his eyes to stop watering. Now, he prayed they would, just because he couldn't feel anything anymore.
"Knock, knock." A familiar head popped around the corner to the room. "You guys up for visitors?"
"She's still not awake, Billy." He ran a frustrated hand over his face. "You guys are more than welcome to come though, you know that. This isn't my room."
"It's starting to smell like it, though," Jason commented as he made his way into the room, followed by Billy, Trini and Aisha.
"Trini, you made it." Tommy knew that Kim would appreciate having her here if…when…she woke up.
"I left as soon as I could," she murmured as she got closer to Kimberly lying prone in the bed. Her hand instantly went to cover the gasp she let out. "Oh my God…she looks…is she okay?"
"No permanent damage, or so the doctors say. Nothing to do but wait for her to come out of this herself."
Trini felt tears start to flood down her cheeks and she welcomed Jason's embrace as he turned her into him. She let herself cry unabashedly into his chest, for once not caring about the façade she usually put out. She wasn't trying to be the tough, fearless, brave Trini who could kick your butt. Now she was just weak, worried, scared Trini whose best friend was lying there unconscious in the hospital.
"It is really not uncommon," Billy told Tommy as they both looked over Kimberly.
"To take a prolonged period of time to come out of a chemically induced coma. It could also be suggested that she is dealing with the mental aspects of the trauma."
"What do you mean?" He didn't feel like even trying to decipher whatever it was that Billy was trying to explain to him.
"While her body does need adequate time to heal the physical injuries she sustained during her ordeal, it might be that she needs to the…alone time, so to speak, inside of her own head to sort through the mental aspect of what she went through. It couldn't have been easy to deal with, having someone that she used to trust treat her in such a despicable way. I do believe the doctors are right when they say that she just needs more time."
Tommy mulled that over for a few minutes. Billy was right – it couldn't have been easy on her. Any part of it. Maybe she did just need a little bit more time. One thing he did know was that no matter what, whenever she did wake up, he was going to be right there. Waiting.
Anytime you feel like you jut can't hold on
Just hold on to my love and I'll help you be strong
But you're so afraid to lose, and baby I can't reach your heart
I can't face this world that's keeping us apart
When I can be the one to show you
Everything you missed before
Just hold on now, 'cause I could be the one to give you more
Let you know
Before he could even verbally respond to Billy, the familiar tones went off through Tommy, Aisha and Billy's communicators. This was unique – Tommy's communicator hadn't gone off since Kimberly had been in the hospital. He had only gone to see Zordon through his own volition, as the others told him he wanted to see him. The urgent beeping confirmed his worst fears: there was an attack. And he was going to have to leave.
"We read you, Zordon," Tommy spoke, resigned.
"Tommy, Billy," the booming voice seemed to echo around the quiet room. "There has been an attack on the Angel Grove Community Theater in the park. The others have already been fighting, but they need their teammates."
He felt his heart warm a little bit at the realization that Zordon hadn't wanted to take him away from Kimberly, but he was the last resort. He knew what he had to do.
"We're on our way." He looked back at the pair standing next to Kimberly. "You guys gonna be okay?"
"We'll be fine, dude. We'll look after her. Zack should be here soon. Go kick some butt." Jason gave him a glare that told him not to argue with him.
"Alright. Just…thanks." He looked to Billy and Aisha, who nodded. "It's Morphin' Time!"
"It's strange being the ones left behind," Trini commented after a while of her and Jason sitting beside Kim's bed. "I'm not sure I'll ever get used to it."
"Me neither. It's still second nature to reach for my Power Coin." Jason looked down at Kimberly from his perch in the chair beside her. "Do you ever wonder what it would've been like if we never left?"
"Everyday," a voice came from the doorway. A solemn Zack stood there, his eyes trained on Kim. "Do you think this would've happened?"
"I…I don't know." Trini felt tears welling up in her eyes again. "I like to think we'd still all be together. Me, you, Jason, Tommy, Kim, Billy…we'd all stay together. It wasn't supposed to happen like this."
"Where's everyone else?"
"Battle," Trini and Jason replied simultaneously.
"Wow." Zack sat down and put his head in his hands. "Life goes on, I guess."
"We're lucky…I mean, they're lucky," Trini corrected herself, "That no one up there realized there was anything up down here for the past few days. Everyone's been so preoccupied, Rita and Zedd could've set up shop in downtown and I'm not sure anyone would've noticed."
"Well, thank God for small favors." Zack nudged Jason with his knee. "How you doing, man?"
"Keeping it together, I guess. I think Tommy's getting pissed with my lame jokes. But if I don't keep it light, then…I've just got to keep it light, you know? There isn't another option right now, especially when he is on edge like he is."
"Is he keeping it together?"
"Barely. I mean, he wants everyone to think he is, but…everyday that passes and she doesn't wake up, he gets a little more torn up. I can see it. He rarely leaves her side, and if he does he's having these secret conversations with Zordon. It's weird, but I don't know what I can do for him."
"I don't think anything's going to help him until she wakes up, Jase." Trini rested her head on his shoulder. "I mean, what if the doctors are wrong? What if-"
"You can't think like that, Trini. You just can't."
"Guys," Zack tried to get their attention but it was futile.
"I'm trying to be realistic, Jason. We've got to prepare for every situation."
"No, we don't. She's going to wake up."
"I'm not saying I don't want her to, she's my best friend too, Jason."
"She's my little sister, Trini, I just don't think I can handle you talking that way-"
Trini and Jason finally turned to Zack, who wasn't even looking at them.
"Look!" Zack pointed to Kimberly, who, sure enough, was moving slightly. Her right hand looked like she was struggling to lift it, although her eyes were still shut, but flickering weakly.
"Call Zordon. See if the others are back yet," Zack instructed Jason, who was still looking at Kim in awe. "Jason!"
"What? Huh? Call him? How? I don't have the number…"
"You are wearing a communicator."
"Oh! Oh." He looked at his wrist and the communicator that pretty much did just that: communicate. He didn't have access to the other Rangers, just the Command Center, but Alpha and Billy had worked hard on this for him. He wanted to slap his forehead.
He urgently tried to connect with Zordon or Alpha, keeping his eyes locked on the still sluggishly moving Kimberly, who still had not opened her eyes.
"Yes, Jason?" Zordon's voice finally came from the small electronic device.
"Zordon! Um, is everyone there yet? Is the battle still going on?"
"No, the battle continues, although I believe it is drawing to a successful end shortly. Why?"
"Kimberly is waking up."
Silence. Jason realized, belatedly, that Zordon was just as, if not more, invested in Kim's welfare than any of the other Rangers.
"Are you positive?"
"She is, Zordon, I can tell," Zack piped in from next to Jason.
"It is good to hear your voice, Zack. As for the others, I will alert them to the change in Kimberly's condition. I'm assured that the battle will not continue long after that."
Anytime you need love baby, I'm on your side
Let me be the one; I can make it alright
Anytime you need love baby, you're in my heart
I can make it alright
Not five minutes later, just after Kim had fallen back into a light sleep – she had never fully come to – did the other Rangers appear in the room from beams of light.
"I thought you said she woke up?" Tommy questioned instantly, his voice demanding.
"She never fully woke up, but I think she's just sleeping now, and…well, there you go, that's what you get for yelling when you first get to a room." Jason gestured to Kim's form, which was now looking a little restless.
Tommy rushed to her side and took her hand as everyone else tried not to watch the private moment and instead distracted themselves by greeting Zack and Trini.
"You gotta wake up, Beautiful. You got to," Tommy whispered softly into her ear.
"So loud," Kim murmured, making his face break into the biggest grin possible.
"Hey, hey!" He whisper-shouted to the room at large, causing everyone to stare. "It's too loud for Kim."
"Should we call a doctor?" Aisha wondered aloud.
"It would probably be for the best," Billy agreed. "I shall go find one."
As Billy left, everyone turned their attention to Kimberly.
"Feels like I got hit with a mack truck," she moaned. A titter of laughter spread through the room before Tommy had to ask…
"Do you remember what happened, Kim?"
"Duncan fucking McKessie happened, that's what." The laughter returned, although it was a little more light-hearted; everyone was finally realizing that Kim was going to be okay.
"You gonna open your eyes for us, Beautiful?"
Before she could respond, a doctor burst in the room with Billy on his heels.
"How on Earth did you all get in here?" He exclaimed upon seeing the room filled with kids. "We haven't been allowing more than three or four back here at one time! Who let you all be back here at one?"
The kids all shared a wide-eyed look with each other before Jason thought quickly.
"Look, she's awake!"
The doctor gave an I-told-you-so look to Tommy, whose cheeks flushed.
"How are you feeling, Kimberly?" He asked kindly as he approached her, grabbing her chart from the end of the bed.
"Been better, I guess."
"You gave your friends quite the scare. It was about time for you to wake up."
"What…what do you mean? How long have I been out of it?"
"It'll be six days tomorrow." The doctor responded genially. "Now if you could follow this light without moving your head…"
Kim did as she was told as the doctor did some basic tests – blood pressure, pupils, etc. She tried to focus as the doctor told her of her injuries, but she was so tired and everyone was staring at her and she had been there six days…
"…repaired a torn artery as well as reset some ribs. You're going to have to wear a brace on your wrist for the next few weeks, and not a lot of physical exertion. Your friends tell me that you do gymnastics, but I'm going to ask that you refrain from anything to strenuous on you or your wrist." He seemed to notice that she was fading. "Your bound to be very tired; your body has had a lot of repairing to do. You have some excellent friends here though. This gentleman hasn't left your side since you were brought in." He nodded to Tommy, who looked down, disappointing Kim. However, he quickly lifted his head and gave her a swift wink, making a smile appear on her face.
"A nurse will be by in a little while to make sure your pain medication is sufficient, okay Ms. Hart?"
As he bowed out of the room, the other gathered around her bed, looking positively delighted that she was awake.
"Doing okay, girl?" Aisha asked worriedly, although she was still smiling broadly.
"Hanging in there. What happened?"
"I thought you remembered…" Rocky didn't want to upset her with talk of what happened, to be honest. He wanted to put the whole ordeal behind them.
"I remember most of it. I wish I didn't. I remember waking up in the same factory that Ivan was in…it was terrible. Duncan was…" Kimberly gulped as memories flooded her mind. "He was crazy," she whispered finally. "Like, legitimately crazy. He had this look in his eyes…it was so scary."
"He's pleading insanity, Kimmy," Jason told her quietly. "He was supposed to be taking medicine for schizophrenia. He didn't realize how long he'd be in Angel Grove and didn't take any with him and…"
"And he's going to pay," Tommy insisted. "I promise you, Kim. He will."
"It's okay. Everything's okay. You guys saved me." Her hands were starting to feel heavy with tiredness, but she was determined to find out what happened.
"We're truly sorry it took so long for us to find you, Kimberly." Billy took off his glasses and wiped them self-consciously. "Being in Ivan Ooze's former factory, it didn't show up on the grid originally. There was an influx of evil energy and it overshadowed your faint power signature on Zordon's screenings. Once we discovered this, we were over there very quickly."
"And then what?"
"And then we kicked butt, that's what!" Rocky held his hand up to be highfived, but no one took the bait.
"We didn't really, Kim," Kat assured her. "Tommy punched him hard enough to knock him out and he might've…fallen a couple of times on the way out. But that's it. The rest is up to the justice system."
"I'm probably going to have to talk to the cops, huh?"
"We all had to, girl. Not as scary as you'd think," Aisha reassured.
"Mmmm. I'm so tired, I'm sorry guys…" Kim spoke softly as she felt her eyes start to droop. "Hi Trini. Hi Zack. I'm glad you're here."
"Wish it wasn't under these circumstances but it's good to see you too," Zack said softly.
"Hey, one more thing…"
"What is it, Beautiful?"
"Has my mom come to see me?"
"I'm sorry, Kim…" Tommy was hoping she wasn't going to ask that.
"S'okay. I'm glad I have my family with me at least." And with that, her eyes shut and she felt herself drift to sleep.
I look into your eyes, and I feel it coming through
And I can't help but want you more than I want to
So baby take all of your fears, and cast them all on me
'Cause all I ever wanted was just to make you see
That I could be the one to give you
All that you've been searching for
Just hol on to my love, and baby let me give you more
You know, anytime.
"Almost time, Beautiful."
It was the day after, 9 a.m., and she was going to finally be released at noon. She had tried convincing Tommy to go home since she had woken up, but she had yet to win that battle.
"You look worried," Kim commented as she ran a brush through her hair. She had to swallow her pride earlier and asked a nurse for assistance in showering. She was just so sore, she knew she wouldn't be able to catch herself if she slipped, and her equilibrium was a little off due to being off her feet for a week.
"I'm not worried."
"Good," she smiled brightly at him.
"Not good." She dropped the brush into her lap as Tommy paced before her. "Why are you sorry?"
"I feel like…it was my fault."
"Tommy, this was Duncan's fault." She had repeated that so many times in her head, it just rolled of her tongue. It was the truth. It was no one else's fault but Duncan's. Not even hers.
"I told you to relax. I told you to stop worrying so much about what could happen. I pretty much let Duncan take you."
"Tommy, he got me with a chloroform rag. I'm not even sure what I could've done even if I had been on guard. I'm not a Power Ranger anymore," she told him quietly. "He's a lot bigger than me; it's pretty clear that I would've lost that fight."
"I know, but-"
"But what? You found me. You found me. I know you said it took longer than it should've, but you have to know that in my mind, you guys wouldn't have even started looking until the next morning when I wasn't around. You're a blessing, you know that, Tommy Oliver? You're everything."
"Anytime you need me, Kim. Anytime. I'm not going anywhere. I want to be here for you."
"You are there for me, Tommy. You have been."
He finally stopped pacing in front of her and sat on the edge of her bed.
"You know, I was thinking. And this is pretty much the worst time to bring it up, but you know, maybe you could rent out your house?"
"Rent it? Why?" Kim resumed brushing her hair yet tried to keep eye contact with Tommy.
"Well, I don't think you should see it. I think when we're ready – in a few years or whenever, we can move in and start that whole family thing. I just know how much that place means to you and I don't want to see you get rid of it permanently. Renting it out now and getting a place nearby could be a good solution to that." She stared at him, open-mouthed, brush halfway through her hair. "It's just a suggestion. An idea, really. You don't have to do it."
"You said we. Like, me and you. Moving in."
"Well, yeah… I mean, don't you think about stuff like that? I know it hasn't been long, but I didn't think things had changed that much between us. I still love you and I know you love me and…I don't know."
"Tommy." Kim took his face in between her hands and looked at him deeply. "That's the best thing you've ever said to me."
"Yeah?" A slow smile started to spread across his face. She nodded back eagerly, trying to keep the tears at bay.
"I'm just so glad to have you be-"
"Where is she?" The commotion outside of the room suddenly grew louder and interrupted their conversation. Familiar voices overlapped and it was hard to make out what was being said, but one thing was clear: someone was not happy.
Suddenly, the door was flung open. Standing there, looking as enraged as a bull, was Caroline Dumas. Behind her was a surly looking Jason as well as an apologetic nurse.
"What on Earth did you get yourself into, Kimberly?"
"Umm…" She honestly had no idea how to respond to her mother. What in the actual fuck?
"I'm sorry, Kim, she was denied the first time she tried to see you since this is a private room," Jason said while glaring at her mom. "She must've waited 'til I came and then she saw me headed this way and decided that the mature way to handle this situation was to throw a temper tantrum."
"Your mother would be very disappointed if she knew how you were talking to me, Jason. Never in my life did I imagine you could be so rude."
"Your lawyer is probably pretty disappointed that you're here. Are you sure it's a good idea to talk to Kim with all these witnesses around?" Jason shot back, not backing down.
"Leave. Now." Caroline glared all around the room. The scared looking nurse was the only one to actually vacate the scene.
"Never going to happen."
Tommy and Kim looked on in confusion. What was going on?
"Why are you here now?" Kim asked slowly. "You didn't come before. Why are you showing up now?"
"Kimberly, please. Tell your friends to leave and then we can talk."
Tommy actually made to get up, but Kim clenched his hand tightly, urging him silently to stay.
"Why are you here?" She repeated, trying to force the tremble out of her voice.
When her mother avoided her eyes instead of responding, Jason decided to speak up. It would be easier for her to hear it now anyway.
"It's all over the news, Kimmy. I mean, Angel Grove doesn't usually have a lot of crime, at least not with the Power Rangers around, so this is a big deal. Duncan was arrested but I guess after going through his phone records, there was a lot of suspicious calls from your mom to him and vice versa. Your mom is the one who paid him to come get you and bring you back to Florida."
Silence. It screamed in Kimberly's ears as she tried to process what Jason had said. It explained why Duncan came in the first place – she knew his feelings never ran that deep.
Caroline held her hands out in front of her, trying to placate her daughter.
"You needed to come home, honey."
"Oh my God," Kim whispered.
"You needed to come back. You were giving up your dreams."
"You paid him? You paid him?" She wanted to scream at her, but Kimberly couldn't manage to get her voice above a whisper.
"He was never supposed to hurt you." Caroline stepped closer to her. "He was just supposed to do whatever it took to get you back home."
Kim practically leapt away as her mother got closer.
"Whatever it took?? This is his idea of 'whatever it took.' He kidnapped me! He beat me! He…" She choked back a sob as she tried to put her experience into words. "He made me tell him how great he was. How perfect. And I did! You know why? Because it meant maybe the next punch wouldn't go to my stomach." She lifted up her loose t-shirt and showed her mother her stomach, which was an array of bruises in varying shades of dark purple and blue to a lighter green.
"Sweertheart…" Another step forward. Kim held out her hand.
"Stop it. Get out." She didn't want to cry in front of her mother. She didn't want to appear that weak.
"What?" Caroline looked truly affronted that her daughter would make such a demand.
"Get out," she repeated. She put her head in her hands, rocking slowly. "Get out, get out, get out!"
As her footsteps faded away and Tommy's arms came around her, she was left with the conflicting feelings of everything being wrong and everything being right at the same exact time.
Anytime you need love baby, I'm on your side
Just let me be the one, I can make it alright
Anytime you need love baby, you're in my heart
I can make it alright.
And now there's no way out
And I can't help the way I feel
'Cause baby you're the fire
And I'll be waiting right here
You know my love is real, baby.
3 Months Later…
She didn't know where the time went. At all. But as she straightened her shirt out for the fifth time in front of the mirror, she tried not to focus on all the singular events that brought her to this moment. Instead, she just took in the moment. It was good. It was right. Things were finally going to be okay after today.
Arms encased her from behind and she leaned back in them gratefully.
"Are you sure you want to go today?" Tommy whispered in her ear. "You don't have to, you know."
"People expect me to be there, Tommy."
"That's not a reason to go, Kim. That's an excuse."
She turned in his arms to look in his eyes, and instead of seeing judgment or accusation, she just saw love. As always.
"I have to do this." He just nodded in response.
"Then let's do this."
He led the way out of her small apartment and into his white Jeep. She had really lucked out with her apartment – it wasn't located downtown, which was much too busy for Kim's liking, but instead it was just a few blocks away from the Juice Bar. So close, in fact, that her upstairs neighbor was none other than Ernie himself.
They made it downtown quickly enough, actually finding parking not too far from the courthouse. She took a deep breath while still sitting in the car as Tommy keyed off the engine.
"You sure you want to do this?"
"We're here, aren't we?"
He realized this was just about all he was going to get out of her and he got out of the car, coming to her side to open the door. As she hopped out and nervously smoothed out her clothes, he gave her a once over.
"You look really beautiful today."
Her answering grin was thanks enough as they began walking.
"I bet you say that to all the girls you take to court to see the judgment ruling on the man that beat them."
"Nope." He squeezed her shoulder as he slung his arm around her. "Just you."
"Lucky me," she laughed.
They laughed and chatted about inconsequential things until suddenly, they were there. Standing in front of the door to the courtroom where Duncan McKessie's fate was to be decided.
"Just think," Tommy broke the silence. "After this, no matter what happens, it's over. You can get back to your classes at UC Angel Grove. Your wrist is almost completely healed. You can move on, for the better, after this."
"I know. I know."
She moved to open the door to the courtroom when suddenly her phone beeped.
"You're going to need to turn that off before going into the courtroom, miss," a polite security officer told her.
"That's weird," she mumbled as she pulled her phone out of her pocket. "It was off."
She opened it curiously, only to have that curiosity be replaced by warmth. A text message was on the screen.
Your friends love you, little Crane.
Telling herself the couldn't cry, she flipped her phone shut, double-checking to make sure it was off for good, and slipped it back into her pocket.
"Here goes nothing," she said softly as she took Tommy's hand and led him into the last place she wanted to be.
She told herself repeatedly that she wasn't going to cry. That she couldn't. That she had to be strong for not only herself, but for others.
But when the jury foreman stood up and announced that not only was Duncan McKessie found guilty of aggravated assault and battery, but the recommended sentence was life in a high-security mental health institution, no matter what Kim told herself, the tears were coming steady and strong.
"It's over, it's over, it's over," Tommy repeated in her ear as he hugged her tightly. She shook her head eagerly and pulled back to look at him.
"Everything's just about to begin," she told him with a smile. And she couldn't wait.
Anytime you need love baby, I'm on your side
Let me be the one, I can make it alright
Anytime you need love baby, you're in my heart
I can make it alright.