Stick with You
Disclaimer: I don't own Power Rangers
:: I dedicate this story to GracefulCrane in place of the red pocket :D Oh and happy Chinese new year to everyone who celebrates!
"Oh yeah, baby! Way to go!" The table cheered for Valery Houston when she got back to the table, a flirty smile tugged on the corner of her lips. She had been told to kiss some random guy in the club and had actually agreed.
Kim smiled, for what seemed to be the twentieth times that night, asking herself what the hell she was doing there. She didn't know the girls all that well, and she normally would have spent her weekend lounging in her comfy couch with some chick flicks and steaming hot chocolate. Being antisocial was her kind of thing lately and that didn't have anything to do with the fact that she wasn't exactly a social butterfly like she had been once upon a time.
Valery, Kelly and the other 2 girls were her acquaintances from work. If Kim was in charged as the art photographer in Fusion!, they spent their days by working in front of the computers, calculating and dealing with the company expenses and stuff like that. They were separated by 2 floors and yet she was still sitting with them there. She let out an involuntary sigh. Everything was because of Pete, who by chance was one of her closest friends, had a massive crush on Kelly, and unfortunately, she, being a good friend, couldn't resist his puppy dog look to set them up together.
Sitting next to her right, Pete Sanders was laughing at something that Kelly said. Kim could understand why he was so entranced by the beautiful young woman—emphasized at the word young. The two were like another version of Tom Cruise and his new bride, minus the baby that never had been seen, that was. The former pink ranger had convinced him to go extreme and declare his love to Kelly just like Mr. Cruise had done in Oprah, but he had simply glared at her and told her to mind her own business.
"That was fun," Valery grinned and took a sip of her smoothie. She sat back on her abandoned seat and crossed her legs, causing her mini skirt ride up her thigh and giving Pete a tantalizing view. Who would have thought that the nerdy accountants in the fifth floor were actually not so innocent? "And he was cute. He gave me his number," She declared and showed them the maroon business card she had scored with a symbol of a star at the top. "And now what?"
As the others got into a slight argument about who would go next, Kim leaned back and tried to enjoy herself. After waiting in line for about fifty minutes, they were finally in to this new club in town. It's a bit old-fashioned since one couldn't find a techno DJ in Frozen. However, it provided good food, a comfortable, cozy atmosphere and some songs from Madonna. The white curtains all over the room reminded her of her bedroom at her apartment. Frozen was not a glamorous place; one could find men wearing button down shirts and jeans dancing on the dance floor and women in sweaters and cardigans enjoying their second tequilas.
"How about this pretty lady by my side?" It took exactly ten seconds for Kim to realize that Pete was talking about her.
"I don't think so," Kim shook her head and laughed. She had agreed to come with him and he had also promised her he wouldn't do anything funny tonight. It was bad enough that she was stuck there, but to be told to flash her underwear to a stranger was the last thing that she wanted to happen.
"Why, don't tell me that you're afraid!" The Miss-Flashing-Panties teased. Karen's face had turned a slight red thanked to the third vodka she'd had. "Don't spoil the fun,"
Biting her tongue to throw a petty remark, Kim purposely stepped onto Pete's foot under the table. "I'm not afraid,"
"Just go easy on her, ladies," Pete said and casually laid one arm on the back of Kim's chair before looking at her with mirth blazing in his crystal blue eyes. Pete was a good-looking guy who reminded her of Clay Aiken after the makeover. They made a great friendship but not more than that. "It's her first time,"
"Why don't you look for someone and talk to him for half an hour?" Valery offered with a smirk that told Kim that she actually had something else in mind but decided to lay low this time. "Or maybe an hour?"
Kim snorted. She couldn't be serious… but the next second her smile slowly faded. If they were outrageous enough to send their friends to do some un-lady like thing in a public place, she probably had to be relieved for being given such an easy dare. Then again, it's probably going to be better than sitting here and listening to them talking about the latest computer software and online gaming. "Alright, why not?"
With the new determination planted in mind, Kim stood up and smoothed down her dress. It was another warm night in Florida and she had decided to wear a simple lavender spaghetti straps dress. Ever since she gave up her power and moved to Miami, pink was no longer her color. It reminded her of many, many things that she had lost. Even the reconciliation with Tommy just a short year ago couldn't change her perception about that.
Pete pulled her down and whispered over her ear, "Just get yourself a rich, good-looking guy, honey. You so need to get laid so you won't be so cranky anymore," When she pulled back, he returned her almost too-sweet smile whole-heartedly. He knew she wasn't going to let this down tomorrow, but he wouldn't sweat over it now.
Cranky… was she being cranky? Kim thought absent-mindedly as she started to wander to the bar. And all this time she had been blaming the whole PMS thing. But Pete was right though, she couldn't even remember the last time she had 'fun' without flying solo.
She was snapped out of her train of thoughts when someone bumped into her and she soon felt a cold sensation sipping through her front dress. "Watch it, will you?" Kim muttered, her hands wiping the silky garment to prevent further damage.
"I'm sorry, I really didn't pay attention to where I was walking,"
When Kim lifted her head, she met the familiar brown eyes that had been haunting her dreams for the last three months. Sadly, those soulful, beautiful eyes belonged to someone whom she had been avoiding for the last three months also.
"Just like always?" Kim couldn't halt her tongue and asked. She later thanked the minimum light in the club that her blush was hidden from Tommy's trained eyes. "Hello there,"
"Kimberly," Tommy Oliver acknowledged her presence with a nod and after debating with his conscience for a while, stepped closer and gave her a brief hug. The mighty leader of the Power Rangers looked as stunned as she was and she could relate to that all too well. After finishing his last adventure with the Dino Thunder team, he sold his house and moved to Florida to accept the offer of being a doctor in the University of Florida. Damn, lucky students… The thought came across her mind once again. She truly adored the long, sexy hair, but she wouldn't mind the new look. Not even one bit. "Hey, how are you?"
"I'm good," Kim answered, nearly forgetting about her ruined dress and five pair of eyes watching her interaction with her not so official boyfriend. Living in the same building, their meeting was something inevitable. At least he wasn't occupying the apartment next to her door just like how it usually happened in typical romance novels. The letter had long been forgotten by both parties although a small part of the old guilt was still residing inside her. "And you?" She nearly laughed at the situation. There he was, the love of her life, towering high over her but they were talking like strangers.
There's no commitment between them… at least not yet. They had had several dinners and casual dates that led to a kiss or two, but nothing more. Then she asked him to give her some space. She needed to sort everything out, to know that she was falling for the new Tommy and not the old memories. Everything happened so fast that she felt smothered by it. He graciously gave her what she had asked and they hadn't met for months due to her request. Just as the old saying, absence makes the heart grow fonder… arguing with it would be futile.
She personally thought she'd better get into a small talk with Tommy than with anybody else in the room. "So… how's school? Meet any cute girls or teachers?"
Tommy raised his eyebrows since he hadn't expected her to ask the question, but he still kept himself composed. Kim tried to stand still and ignore Tommy's aftershave that was raking havoc with her mind. The bright Florida sun had done him good and he didn't look so pale anymore. A girl could use to stare at those tanned abs all night and wouldn't get bored. "Some of them are cute, even the single mothers are pretty awesome," He replied with a grin and Kim's heart beat faster. She then realized he was alone… wasn't he?
"You're here alone?"
"With some of my friends," Tommy nodded to a group of guys laughing and joking at one corner. She recognized them as his buddies from the Ju-jitsu club he joined. "And you?"
The question was out and she decided to play just a little. Wasn't that the point of her going out tonight? Having fun. "I'm with Pete," She answered with straight face, amused when seeing Tommy's face change. Tommy knew that Pete was her best friend, and that Pete used to have a crush on her years ago. Tommy had even speculated that Pete was the guy she had left him for… except that he wasn't and that there was no guy at all. "He's over there with my girlfriends,"
"Oh, yeah, I think I saw him but I wasn't sure it was really him,"
"He's being an ass so I told him I wanted to get some fresh air," Kim went on, clearly enjoying herself. She couldn't think of a better way to spend her Saturday night than tease Tommy until he reached his limit. "But, now you're here…," Kim made a move to grasp his hand and pull him along with her. "Let's hit the dance floor,"
"Are those new shoes? Because you perfectly know that I'm not a-," Tommy stopped mid-sentence when she suddenly wounded her arms around his waist and stepped in closer until their bodies pressed flushed together. "good dancer,"
"It's a slow dancing," Kim pointed out. "We can just stay here and move in circles if you want," And she did want to stay in his arms forever. Those strong arms always felt good every time they're wrapped around her.
"How about Pete?" Tommy eyed her skeptically.
"He'll live," Kim shook her head and began moving, repressing her snort all the way. "Would you be offended if I say I want to make him jealous? I would be using you,"
"Not more than if you ask me to go there and kick his ass," Tommy said and finally succumbed. "I'm serious though,"
"He forgot to make me breakfast this morning," Kim continued and felt Tommy stiffen in her embrace. She knew what her words had sexual connotation and she loved it to pieces. "What a jerk. Don't worry about stepping on my foot because I'm going to get a one hour foot massage tonight. Pete owes it to me,"
She lifted her hands and smoothed down Tommy's front shirt, as always knowing how to get to him. He shivered and she looked down so he couldn't see the smile on her face. "How about you coming to Fusion! next Tuesday?" Her hands moved up and down the length of his spine. "I'm sure you won't regret it,"
They had had some quality time in the dark room more than on one occasion and judging from the glint in his eyes, Kim was pretty sure that he hadn't forgot about that yet. "You still like Jessica Simpson? Your type, isn't she? She's blonde, has killer body and is actually smart enough now that she will know that tuna is not a chicken. And yes, before you ask, it's a bikini photo shoot so I'm sure you'll see lots of her 'live',"
"Actually I'm more into brunettes,"
Kim laughed. "They don't pay me enough to pose in a white bikini,"
"How about pink?"
"Just give Kat a call, I'm sure she will be more than happy to give your eyes an eyeful," Kim replied cheekily, her mind instantly flying to her friends in London. Katherine was happily engaged with Jason now and they had planned to tie the knot next year. She couldn't be any happier for her 'brother'. "Alright… thank you for the dance," Kim said and forced herself to extricate her body from Tommy. Her time was almost up and being so near with Tommy had started to make her feel things that she really shouldn't even be thinking right now. Feeling bold, Kim tip toed and brushed a feather light kiss against the corner of his mouth. He looked almost glowing and it nearly melted her knees to a pop of jelly. "I'll talk to you soon?"
"If Pete hasn't kicked my ass for earning that kiss, I'll call you," Tommy said meaningfully.
Feeling much better than when she had came earlier this evening, Kim walked back to her table and got cheered at like the new crowned beauty pageant that she was tempted to give a curtsy and a bow. She flopped down back to her chair and shot Pete a smug grin.
"That went well," He complimented, completely realizing that the guy Kim had danced with was her former boyfriend from Angel Grove. "And fast,"
Kim smiled and was about to say something when a waiter came with four glasses of smoothies. "These are from that guy over there," The young man said and nodded to the direction of… Tommy! Kim huffed. No alcohol… why wasn't she surprised? He sent four, not one drink. Kim blinked when the waiter passed the drinks to all the females on the table, but not her. Next to her, Pete wasn't even trying to cover his snort.
"I guess I need to go to the ladies room," Kim excused herself and nudged Pete with the side of her hips, making him spill his drink. She had a good hunch that Tommy was getting back at her. If her instinct was correct, then Tommy should be hovering near…
She swirled around just to make sure he wasn't following her and instead her eyes caught the sight of Pete lip-lock with Kelly. She seemed mildly surprised but not hesitant to return the affectionate gesture. A smile tinted Kim's face.
"Ain't that cute?"
Kim nodded eagerly and sighed dreamily. "Yeah, that was sweet. And just about time too-," She froze. Shit.
"Maybe he was just trying to make you jealous," Tommy kindly filled in when seeing she was too astounded to speak. "That wasn't so nice of you back there,"
"Talk to yourself. You skipped me," Kim retorted back.
"We could have scotch together later if you want," Tommy grinned.
Of course she would love that! And perhaps they could have dinner and go to the movies afterwards. She wouldn't mind missing the movie and spent two hours reconnecting with Tommy.
"I admit that I was jealous of Pete for a little while," Tommy said with an expression that made him look like seventeen again. "But then I realized that you're one sneaky woman… and I also knew that you're mine. That's how the nature works, Kim. Even you and I can't deny that,"
"What do you mean?" Kim asked, confused.
The man with the PhD grinned knowingly and stepped closer to wrap his arms around her petite waist, holding her snug against his chest. "You're the crane, Kim," He started, referring to her power animal. "Although you gave your coin to Katherine when you left the team, that didn't change the fact that the crane was yours,"
Kim nodded, unable to speak. There's something in his eyes that rendered her speechless. Tommy smiled at the effect he had on her and tilted her chin so their eyes locked. "Do you know that besides being an agile, graceful animal, the crane was also extremely loyal to its partner? And I'm not going to start talking about the past," He inserted quickly just to assure her that he didn't hold a grudge against her. When he knew he had gained her undivided attention, Tommy's hand slid down until his fingers entwined with hers. "The crane mates for life, you know. That's why I know that I'm stuck with you,"
Kim couldn't help the small smile that escaped her at Tommy's bravado. "What made you so sure that you're the one?" She had had a fair amount of boyfriends after they broke up. Some of them were jerks, some of them were great, but she just couldn't find the 'it' factor that she had been looking in the relationships. There was only one man who could fill the void in her ordinary, boring life and that was the man standing before her right now. Denying it was like saying the world was square.
"Because that's the truth?" Tommy answered simply and shrugged his shoulders. "The fact that you're trying to hit on me for almost 30 minutes alone was enough proof for me to say that. You told me Pete was your boyfriend just to get a rise out of me… not the best move of yours, but come close. Do you know that Kelly is my friend? She's a friend from junior high before I moved to Angel Grove. Her sister is my student now,"
Kim's jaw literally dropped to the floor at his confession. "What?"
"She has been telling me stories about Pete so yeah… I decided to play along with you because I knew you liked it when you thought you had it your way,"
"About what you said earlier… that cranes mate for life?" She raised her voice to beat the loud music and Tommy nodded, telling her to continue. "I may be the crane, but you're not. You're a falcon,"
He bit his lips, making butterflies in her stomach do a series round of bungee jumping. "You're a bird, I'm a bird…,"
Kimberly burst out laughing at his attempt while Tommy looked slightly embarrassed. He tightened his hold on her and she wrinkled her nose. "Please tell me you did not just quote The Notebook,"
"Well, you forced me to watch that movie with you for like 20 times in 3 months so it's just natural if I have the lines memorized,"
"So? Do you think we're ready to go back to the way we used to be? Because I honestly hate to have to wait 'till 9.30 to come home on Wednesday and Friday night just because we always met at the lobby or the elevator. Not to mention that I have to appear offline on messenger because I don't want you to know I'm around," He stated in a tone that made her wonder if he was being serious or not and invited her to laugh out loud once again. "and I miss my best friend,"
"I don't want to be the way we used to be, Tommy, I want to go forward. We have changed. I'm no longer the pink ranger just like you're not the green, white, red and black ranger anymore," She paused to see his reaction. She smiled when he groaned and rolled his eyes. The man she had started to fall in love with once again had had more comebacks than any actors or singers in this country altogether. "But I'm proud to say that I think I could get use to this new Tommy Oliver,"
"Now why don't we get out of here," He suggested, his voice dropping to a husky whisper. "We need to catch up and talk more about us. Asking you to go to Vegas would be too abrupt, isn't it?"
"Do I have to be afraid that you have started talking about marriage?" Kim smiled so wide her cheeks hurt.
"Oh, and I want to have two cute little girls and a big Labrador-retriever running in our backyard,"
"Promise me you're going to tell me more about that crane theory?"
"Beautiful, we can go to the nearest DVD store and buy a documentary about that if you want,"
"Jerk," Kim said and let herself be pulled forward. She was seeing stars when he leaned down and pressed a sweet kiss upon her lips. The first real kiss they shared after not seeing each other for months. It was a kiss that drugged her for more and she just knew that tonight would be different. She swore she could hear Pete whistling behind her, but she really couldn't care less.
"Let's go home,"
:: Thank you for reading and please review, no flame though. Thanks.
:: Now that the story is out, it's your turn, GC ;)