Disclaimer: I own nothing of the Power Rangers, though I do own the back story of Kimberly and her adventures/friends since leaving Angel Grove...
There were many ways in which a former Power Ranger turned policewoman could imagine starting her day. Most of these involved a large mug of hot coffee and a couple pieces of cinnamon toast. Possibly a bagel with some strawberry cream cheese. A quick workout usually followed, if she went with the bagel – job around the block a couple times, that sort of thing. There were indeed many variations on her morning, and all would be considered more or less typical...however, this...this was quite ridiculous.
Of all the things that one could imagine being told first thing Monday morning, she never expected to be told that she was being transferred, let alone that the transfer involved her third promotion in four years. It was remarkable enough to be a captain in the police force at her young age – and now he was suggesting another move up the ladder.
She blinked, taking a long moment to process the exact information being given to her. She straightened a bit, feeling the comforting tug of her dark blue uniform over her slim shoulders. There was a mirror in the office and she unconsciously glanced at it to see how this was working for her. Gold badge, gun on hip and a tight frenchbraid keeping her chocolate-colored hair off her face. Well, she looked the part anyway – the part being a captain under the most dress-code-obsessed chief in southern California, of course.
"I don't think I understand," she said after a pause that was a few seconds too long. "Sir?"
"You've been on the list for months now Kim," Chief of Police, Jacob Greenwell looked at her carefully. "You've been trained, you've proven yourself and you're good at control. You're the type we need in charge."
"Sir, I've only been over this precinct for a year and a half. I know I'm good but promotions don't happen that fast in this world."
He sighed a little. "Look, you need to get out of this city, it's full of bad memories for you. I thought the promotion would help, but it didn't and frankly I'm tired of watching you waste away."
"I know...I just...hate having to deal with this, and with everything else..." she paused, her brow creasing as a thought occurred to her and her eyes narrowed. Her expression shifted into a suspicious glare. "Wait. You're trying to make me get all weepy and distracted so I don't question you. There's something about all this transfer business that you're trying to keep from me."
He grinned at her. "You're just sharp as a tack woman. Truth is this position is in Reefside, up the coast. It's the latest home of the Power Rangers and their last chief of police just couldn't handle the pressure of dealing with the constant threat of monster attacks, and we all know you lived in a Power Ranger town before."
That startled her, once again. "Um," she tried to say, and stopped. "I...well, yes I did, but...am I getting this position because...because I'm from Angel Grove?"
"You make it sound like a bad thing. You were recommended personally by Cassie Chan and we know you have the composure to deal with things like monsters potentially kidnapping you or destroying your offices, because you experienced it on a regular basis in your youth." He leaned forward and met her gaze squarely. "They need someone, the people in Reefside need someone they know won't lose it in a crisis – someone the Power Rangers can trust to do the job, not a hindrance that they have to keep from panicking in a crisis."
He had hit his mark and he knew it – she was a sucker for helping the helpless. Kimberly nodded, slowly and then more vigorously, as if the motion forced her into accepting the role in her own mind. If she felt there was more to his story, she ignored it. "I understand sir. When will I be needed?"
Chief Greenwell grinned again. "The old Chief is willing to sell you his house cheap, he'll be out in a week and I've already arranged to buy you out of your lease. So I'd say you better start packin'."
Saying goodbye to her apartment was hard. Packing everything she'd accumulated in the past four years was harder, but this moment – staring at the two bedroom apartment where she'd been so happy and then so horribly hurt and angry...it was hard to leave either set of memories. They had both defined her life for so long, joy and pain were intermingled in her history and to deny one would mean ignoring the other. There was only one thing left to remove, and she stared at the frame above her cheap sofa. A portrait they'd had done years ago...just the two of them. She hated it just now, and if she hadn't known how much she would regret it in later years she would have simply left it to be destroyed by her landlord. She sighed and pulled it down, placing it in the box simply labeled 'Michael'; then turning and walking out of the apartment for the last time, mind already set on the long drive to northern California and a town that needed her protection. The box sat on the floor in the center of the room, with a small note saying 'to storage' taped to the top.
The new place was huge, far bigger than anything Kimberly could have imagined needing. It was an odd house, built in a rather New England-esque Colonial style, but at the same time using the materials of the region and keeping fairly well with the other Spanish-style homes of the area. Kimberly stood in the yard and tilted her head at it, as if running through a mental dialog of whether or not now would be a good time to run for the hills and hide at Trini's until the real world left her alone.
The brown shutters were bothering her. The house looked bland and sad...the moment she realized they would have to be painted pink, she accepted the place would be her new home.
"I do not have enough furniture for this," she grumbled quietly, jingling the keyring in her hand and opening the front – brown! – door and already beginning a mental list of improvements that would be made as soon as she could find a teenager in need of some money.
There were a few pieces of furniture left from the old tenants – a note just inside declared that they held bad memories, and requested that she simply not ask and dispose of them if she didn't want them. A long cream-colored sectional sofa was in the living room, though that piece bore a note declaring it to be from 'T and J Scott' and she couldn't help but smile. Particularly when she realized that piled on the floor in front of it were multiple pink chenille pillows – and just one green and red striped one. Trini knew her entirely too well.
The movers had brought most of her things up there the day before, luckily for her. Boxes were placed in the rooms they had been labeled for, as well as the few bits of furniture she had taken from her old apartment – the few things she'd been allowed to take, a small bitter voice reminded her – and all she had to do now was unpack.
Her bedroom was upstairs, and she grabbed one of the suitcases stacked at the bottom of the stairs as she headed up. She desperately needed a shower and a change, but she'd known she would and had packed a bag with just her refreshment essentials. Her bathroom was cavernous, she stopped in the doorway and tried to picture exactly how much of her old apartment she could fit in it. Her bedroom and at least half the living room, certainly. A whirlpool tub and a separate steam shower occupied the far corner, with a long vanity and shelves closer to the door. "How did I ever live in the city?" Kimberly asked the empty room, half-expecting an echo. Clearly Mrs. Former-Chief had been a big fan of the spa experience.
She decided to go with the shower for now, given that once she got into that tub she would likely never emerge again. Even so it took her over an hour to get herself presentable, and she still felt a keen desire to burn the soft cotton outfit she'd worn for the drive. With her hair in an innocuous bun and makeup gently applied, all it took was a pair of clean, dark jeans and her favorite pink button-up to make her ready for the world.
She knew it would take days or weeks to get such a large and empty place to feel like home...but she knew it could be done.
So this would be a good time to wander around town and see what she'd gotten herself into...get a feel for the town she would be in charge of. An ironic thought...considering what her role had generally been as a Power Ranger. She considered grabbing her keys and taking her truck...but then she'd have to worry about getting lost, and it was far easier to keep her bearings when she went on foot. She stood on the long porch and gave a longing look at her silver Endeavor and sighed sadly. Well, luckily she was once again in a town small enough to walk from one end to the other.
She opened the passenger door of her car and pulled out a large black leather tote, stuffed to the brim with every accessory she could imagine. She thought for a moment and then opened up her glove compartment and pulled out her gun, placing it carefully in the heavy bag.
"Can't be too prepared," she murmured quietly to herself, gently caressing the interior pocket of her jacket, where she knew both her badge and old morpher were safely nestled. Maybe she would stop by the station and introduce herself...and see if anyone would actually listen to her. 'No!' she growled in her head, unaware of the contortions that her internal argument was leaving on her face. 'I am not going to think negative, I am a former Power Ranger and I have this authority. They will listen to me!'
She began the short walk toward downtown and couldn't quite silence her inner demons. 'If they don't eat me for breakfast...'
The walk was uneventful. She realized she had missed small town life, seeing children on bikes without worrying about gangs and crime, she could grin widely as she walked past a small play park and resisted the urge to sit on the swings and see how high she could go. She was still small enough to pass for a much younger person, but her cover was blown when she dressed like a grownup. She had to convince the people of this town that she was a reliable policewoman...then she could take a ride on the swings.
Only a few minutes later she was looking up at the sign for the small police station. She chewed on the inside of her cheek; it had been a long time since she lived in a one-station-town, so this was bound to be interesting. She threw back her shoulders and put on her best Power Ranger face – ironic considering no one had ever seen her Power Ranger face when she actually was one – and stepped inside.
She stepped toward the first occupied desk she saw and waited to be acknowledged.
"State your name and nature of issue," the officer droned blandly, not looking up from his crossword.
Kimberly, put one hand on her hip and stared at him until he looked up and met her gaze. He showed no recognition so she assumed they had not received any pictures of her to prepare them. "I'm Kimberly," she said firmly, with a polite smile. "You can call me Chief. Nature of issue is me looking for my new office."
He looked her up and down and snickered, returning to his crossword. "Whatever you say sugarpie. You wanna play cops come by my apartment tonight, otherwise this is a real police station."
She narrowed her eyes and pulled out her badge. "Maybe you missed it the first time. I am the new Chief of Police. Next time you feel like propositioning a woman, try making sure she isn't your new boss."
His eyes boggled a bit at the badge and he stood. "Sorry...I, uh...I'll get Dean."
Kimberly smiled again and wondered idly why she was feeling a sudden burning panic in her chest, and if it was too late to refuse the job. The house could be sold, she was sure...'But Pam won't have wasted a minute clearing my name from the lease of the apartment,' she thought with rancor.
"Sorry about Charlie," a man was offering his hand in front of her. She looked up at him and shook her head slightly, accepting the firm handshake.
"It's alright, I get that response a lot. The disbelief at least, not usually the sexual harassment."
He smiled. "I'm Dean Gregg, Assistant Chief. Anything you need to get settled in let me know, I was with Chief Patterson for years. If you'll follow me, your office is over here."
He demonstrated a few of the basics of the job, outlined her day-to-day duties and showed her the calendar for the next few weeks. She was blacked out until Monday – today being Thursday – which he told her with an entirely too sympathetic smile was her first official day on the job.
"I'll be acting Chief until then, but I'll be sure to keep my things out of your office."
She tried to ignore his thinly veiled resentment, but failed and settled for a thin smile and show of appreciation. She was getting the feeling that there would be little to no camaraderie at this station. A few of the people there seemed a bit less antagonistic – a kindly older woman oversaw the phones, with two younger people – one male one female – actually answering most of them. The fact that they only needed two primary operators at any given time was almost enough to make her hyperventilate.
Her secretary was nice enough, a young man of about twenty who was clearly just excited to be a part of Reefside's law enforcement. She got the odd feeling that he had been hired specifically for his ineptitude, and to annoy her, but confirmation on that would take several weeks of working with him.
There were a few others there, but by and large they fell into one of the two categories. Bitter and resentful or kind and largely disinterested. She had a feeling this would be the case for the entire staff...but she wouldn't meet the rest until Monday.
So with that she decided to head back to town, where the most important thing she learned was the location of the local YMCA, which thankfully had a full gymnastics setup. She resolved to stop by the next day and practice a few routines...as it would certainly calm her down and make a significant step toward turning Reefside into home.
She hurried into the locker room, digging about in her cavernous bag for the leotard she kept hidden in there for just such an occasion. She pulled out the pale pink piece with glee, ready for the relaxation she was sure would come from a total and complete stretching of the muscles. It would definitely be followed by a long soak with the heat jets of her new bath tub. Ooh...yeah that would be nice. She smiled beatifically.