More Than A Memory
An As Long As Your Mine companion piece
Author's note: I am so so so so sorry that I haven't updated ALAYM lately. Major writers block, new job, packing to move yet again…so in other words, Life got in the way of my creativity and isn't going to be loosening its hold anytime soon. I promise I haven't forgotten or abandoned this story and I will see it out. It just may take a while. If I have it planned right I only have about 5 or chapters left. (don't quote me on that.) Anyhoo, I wrote this as a companion piece like Tequila Sunrise. It stands alone since its kind of a prequel but not really type of deal but there are no spoilers except for the general basis of ALAYM. I hope you enjoy. I enjoyed writing it. Much love for oneredneckgoddess for taking the time to beta me, for listening when I cry and to patiently tell me when I'm being stupid.
Warnings: Sex. While nothing is graphically described, sex plays a big part of this story. Don't like it or Can't handle it then please don't read it.
Disclaimer: per usual. Don't own the charactors, wish I did but…….
More Than A Memory
"You have got to be kidding me!"
Tommy removed his glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose as he stood by the teacher mail boxes in the office of Reefside High. The missive he had was typical of Principal Randall, short and to the point as usual but it was the subject that had him, a well-adjusted teacher and former Power Ranger terrified beyond all belief.
You will be teaching the state required Sexual Education class this Friday. You may use your classroom. Your class starts promptly at 1 pm.
Tommy was literally near shaking when a voice came from behind him.
Tommy turned to greet Blake Chandler, the history teacher Tommy sometimes hung out with. At 36, he was older than Tommy but the younger man enjoyed his company and often sought him out for advice concerning his students.
"Heard the news bud, sorry."
"It's 'cause I'm the new guy right?" Tommy said with a wry grin.
"That and because you're the one whose on their level maturity wise," Blake cracked.
"Ha ha," Tommy said shaking his head. "Any pointers?"
"Give thanks you only have the boys. Randall has the girls."
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Friday rolled around a lot sooner than Tommy would have liked, but as the one o'clock bell rang and the students trudged in he felt the butterflies in his stomach begin to Tango.
"All right," he began making eye contact with each of his students, "You all know why you're here. According to the State of California we are required to have this, uh, seminar once a year to make sure every student is informed about this topic to the best of our abilities. Now before we start are there any questions? Comments? Concerns?"
There was silence before a voice sounded from the back of the room:
"Doctor O, I'm just glad you ain't Randall!"
The boys laughed; with Tommy joining in as they all inwardly shuddered at the talk to girls were probably having at this very moment. Poor Kira, Tommy thought as he cleared his throat.
"Well, thank you, James. However, don't ever tell Principal Randall that."
Chuckles echoed in the room once again, and the boys began to relax. Nodding to Conner and Ethan, Tommy once again tried to start the lesson when an idea struck him.
"Now, I'm sure you all know the basics by this point, so instead of filling this time telling you stuff you already know I'm going to open the floor for discussion."
Silence again and Tommy swore he could hear the proverbial pin drop. Just as he was getting ready to turn to the state approved lesson a movement caught his eye. He acknowledged the asker, a brown haired boy with thin wire glasses in the third row, with a nod.
"Doctor O, we hear the same crap every year. Be careful. Use condoms. Don't have sex. Protect yourself. You're too young. Why are we too young?"
Tommy groaned inwardly.
"Well let me ask you this, Matt: Are you ready at the age of 17 to give up your life for the next 18 years to take care of another human being?"
Matt, as well as the rest of the class, looked at him with wide eyes. "What do you mean?"
"When you have sex," Tommy said matter of factly, "You have a 50/50 chance of getting your partner pregnant."
"Well what about birth control and condoms?" Tyler, an African-American student asked.
"Shouldn't the chick take care of that?" replied Jeff, a beefy football player.
"Only if you want to increase your odds of pregnancy to the 75/25 percent bracket," Tommy answered. "Besides, one method doesn't always work. Pills are only about 97 effective and the condom might break. Again I ask: Do you want to be responsible for another human being for the next twenty years? I wasn't at your age and I doubt I am right now. Parenthood is a scary thing."
"But that's only if the girl gets pregnant, right?" David, a Hispanic baseball player asked.
"There are other consequences," Tommy said, amazed that he was beginning to feel more comfortable with the subject. "Are you ready to deal with the possibility of getting an STD? Something you'll have to deal with for the rest of your life? Some of them have pretty disgusting and down right painful symptoms. Not to mention that if you get one, you should tell every partner you ever have so that they don't get infected."
The boys actually seemed to be taking his words to heart. Tommy's confidence began to grow as the discussion revolved around STD's and their consequences for a good ten minutes. However as Evan, a blonde with a bright smile asked his question, Tommy felt the floor go out from underneath him.
"How do you know?" he asked quietly.
"Know what?" Tommy replied.
"If she's right? If it's the right time or whatever?"
Tommy sucked in a breath. Images he thought he'd longed buried began to whiz about his mind.
"That's something only you can answer, Ev. I can't tell you the answer to that."
"Anyone who's willing is the right one, right boys?" Jeff hollered form the far right, getting a few high fives and grins from the other jocks.
"But shouldn't it be about the experience? Not about jumping every girl you see?" a boy Tommy knew as Trent asked.
"Only if you're a girl man," Jeff replied.
"What's the word for man-whore?" Michael, a kid in the front row called out.
"Settle down now guys." Tommy said authoritatively. "Jeff it should be about the experience. One girl is NOT the same as the others. I hate to sound "girly" but the right girl should be about fireworks and that gut wrenching feeling otherwise it's pointless. It's just sex. Simple and biological. Your emotions should be engaged or frankly it gets boring."
"How old were you Doctor Oliver?" Evan asked.
Tommy felt as if all the air in the room was suddenly sucked out. His mouth was instantly dry and those butterflies flew around again.
"When, Evan?" Tommy croaked out knowing full well what the answer was going to be.
"When you lost your virginity?" Evan's ears burned as he spat out the question.
Tommy was silent and debated. The Cardinal rule he had was never discuss his personal life with anyone, let alone a group of adolescent boys in a sex ed class. However he remembered right then a girl named Steph he had known in high school who suddenly went to live with an aunt halfway through junior year and came back senior year looking much older than 17. He knew friends of friends in situations that if they had just taken a few simple precautions their situations would be so much different. He realized his class had gone completely silent as he debated.
"Alright Evan. I'll tell you all. However," Tommy said as he strolled over to the door and shut it firmly. "I'm going to ask a question and I want the complete truth from you all. Agreed?"
The boys nodded.
"How many of you have had sex already?"
Tommy counted the hands the rose. Some immediately, almost mocking; others hesitantly. He felt slightly relieved when neither Conner nor Ethan's hand rose.
"About half of you. Well I can't say I'm surprised. I lost my virginity when I was 17. I was young and I was in love."
"What was it like?"
"Was she good?"
"Did you get caught?"
Questions started flying around so fast Tommy nearly panicked. He'd opened up a can of worms with out meaning to.
"Alright fine. I'll tell you about it but not one word of this ever comes out you hear?" he said so sternly that every boy in the class felt the impact of what he was about to say.
"When I was 17, I fell in love with a girl. I won't tell you her name but needless to say I was head over heels for her. She ended up having to move away halfway through our Junior year of high school. She came back that Christmas to visit all of her friends and we ended up together."
Images began to rise again. Thunder and snowflakes and a Christmas present he'd never forgotten….
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Christmas Eve, 1994
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"Can you believe we were just at the North Pole?" Kim babbled in the seat next to him.
Tommy was barely paying attention, he was too busy soaking up the fact that Kim was back from Florida to begin with. Coach Schmidt had taken the senior team to Europe for a convention and given the three weeks they would be gone as a vacation to the other students. Kim had only been there a few months and was still under a probationary period which kept her from competing on a team. She didn't mind and he was thanking the powers that be for the visit. It was a funny coincidence to begin with. Kat's parents had taken their family to Australia for the Holiday and Kimberly had agreed to take up the pink powers once again for the short time Kat would be gone. IT was as if nothing had changed.
"Earth to Tommy, Earth to Tommy." Her sweet voice broke his thoughts. "I don't think you're paying attention to a single word I've said."
Tommy smiled, caught.
"Sorry, Beautiful. I was just thinking how great it was that you were here to begin with.
Kimberly pinked a bit and smiled as she replied.
"Me too. I just wish I had more time."
They had decided to go to Tommy's and watch a few holiday movies. Kim would have to go back to Aisha's house that night but they were planning on a group sleep over at Rocky's in a few days. The wind was colder than the normal Angel Grove winter weather and it howled as Tommy pulled into the driveway. He heard the phone ringing as he tried to unlock the door. He rushed in and grabbed it just before the answering machine picked up. The connection was staticy and he could barely make out his mother's voice.
"We're still at your father's Christmas party and from the looks of it we're not leaving. I knew it wasn't smart to have a party in the mountains in the winter. The snow has pretty much made the roads impassable. Thank God it's a hotel so there is plenty of room but Honey I'm sorry. We're not going to make it home tonight. We'll be home first thing in the morning though ok?"
"Mom, I understand. You guys just take care of yourselves alright?"
"Thank you, honey. You know I hate to leave you alone on Christmas but at least Kimberly is there with you. Promise me you'll go to Billy's or Rocky's or something honey. I know it a huge imposition on them but I can't bear the thought of you alone on Christmas!"
"I'll be fine mom."
"Ok, honey. Gosh you sound so grown-up. I'll call you in the morning, baby. I love you!"
"Love you mom."
"What was that all about?" Kim asked concernedly.
"They're stuck up in the mountains. It's snowing pretty hard up there. They won't make it home tonight." Tommy replied.
"Oh no, Tommy! You can't be alone on Christmas!"
"It's not a big deal, I'll go to one of the guys' house and-"
"Why don't I just stay over?" she said quietly. "I can sleep in the guest room and you don't have to be alone."
Now at 17, Tommy had absolutely no objections to this plan. He had a few better ideas on where Kim could sleep but, ever the gentleman; he wasn't going to press the issue. He agreed and a few minutes and phones calls later they were snuggled together on his living room sofa watching "It's Wonderful Life," and "Miracle on 34th Street." Halfway through "A Christmas Carol" Tommy nodded off and awoke a few hours later, Kim curled up against him on the narrow couch. He carefully disentangled himself and went for a glass of water. When he returned he found Kim stretching as she stood.
"Bed time?" she said smiling sleepily, taking a drink his water.
"Yeah," he said as he turned off the TV and escorted her down the hall to the guest room.
She crawled into the queen sized bed and shivered at the cold sheets as he reached around the night stand and turned on the night light.
"Good night, Beautiful," he said as he sat on the bed, tucking her in
"Night, Tommy," she said, reaching up to kiss him good night.
Now, it was never just a kiss between Tommy and Kimberly. Every kiss was deep, passionate and filled with…well they weren't really sure. Promise perhaps. Every one drove them just a little closer to the edge and their separation was pushing them harder. They eventually broke and Tommy retreated down the hall to his own room thinking how he could calm himself down for sleep without revealing his state to Kimberly. The wind howled around the house. The clock was striking Midnight as he lay down and tried to will himself to sleep. Not an easy feat in his current state. He felt the minutes tick by and soon he was sliding into sleep.
A loud crash of thunder and bright bolt of lightening ripped apart the sky. Tommy sat upright in bed. He turned to see his alarm clock and was greeted with a black screen that signaled a power outage. He grumbled as he hauled himself form bed and fumbled for the flashlight he kept in a drawer for this exact purpose. The door to his room opened right then and he could barely see Kim's outline in the dark.
"Hang on Kim," he said finding and turning on the flashlight. "I think the power's out."
"It's storming pretty hard out there," she said, shivering slightly in her pink PJ set.
"I'll take you back to bed," he said, getting out of bed.
Together they walked to her room and repeated their good nights, sharing another soul searing kiss. As Tommy began to drag himself from her side, he felt her small arms encircle his waist.
"Why don't you just stay in here with me?"
Tommy suddenly couldn't breathe. Rationally speaking, they had 'slept' together before. At the team sleepovers, they usually found themselves cuddled together. Yet somehow the appealing thought of sharing an actual bed with Kimberly seemed extremely appealing right then,
"Are you okay with that?" he asked quietly, trying not to let his eagerness show.
"I trust you Tommy," she said, scooting over. "We'll probably sleep better anyway."
"Yeah," Tommy said, pushing more interesting images away from his mind "You're right."
He clicked off the flashlight and crawled into bed, settling himself on his side. Within minutes Kim had snuggled up against him, and while his libido wasn't exactly ready to sleep, he could feel sleep beginning to creep up on him. Kim sighed into his chest and she walked her fingers up his chest idly.
"What's on your mind?"
"I don't want to leave and yet I can't wait to get back to my training."
Tommy shuddered at the thought of her leaving again but he knew it was inevitable.
"Hey, its ok." he said softly.
Kim raised her head, and he felt her looking at him. She reached over and brought her lips to his, a sweet kiss that took his breath and very nearly his soul. He hugged her tight as the kiss deepened and began to move into something more. Their hands began to roam and somehow they passed the very comfortable threshold they had been holding at for the majority of their past make-out sessions. Kim's whispered assertions lead him on and on as their hands explored the unexplored and their lips tasted the unfamiliar. Later they would look back and neither could remember how their clothes ended up off and on the floor forgotten or how quickly their frenzy came on them as they reached the point of no return; and as Kim whimpered beneath Tommy, he stammered out the one question he had to know the answer to:
"Are you sure?"
He didn't need the lights to know how her eyes looked back at him, filled with love and trust and a newly acknowledged desire.
"Always, Tommy. It's always been you. Only you. Always you."
Tommy began his descent on her then, joining their bodies together, marveling on the perfection their union created. He heard her gasp and cling to him, a cry of pain escaping her lips. He stopped, worried, but she encouraged him to continue and he in turn obliged. Their breath came in gasps and moans and the murmuring of names while the thunder subsided and the storm passed. As the moon began to shine from behind the clouds, Kimberly and Tommy would reach the stars together and experience the earth shattering climax that only true love could provide. Afterwards as they lay cuddled together, they whispered nonsense words to each other, both too tired and satiated to really make sense of what they were saying….
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"Whoa," Conner said in a low voice as Tommy finished.
Now, granted Tommy told them a shortened, intensely less detailed version, but Tommy pretty much agreed with his students' assessments.
"Whoa is right." Tommy said, glancing at the clock, relieved to find it nearly time to dismiss. "After 'Whoa' nothing else really cuts it."
Tommy leaned against his desk and removed his glasses, gazing at his students.
"If you take nothing from this today, please just remember this: Love is special. Don't spoil it with sex for the sake of reputation. People can think whatever they want of you but you will know the truth. I am quite happy with my handful of 'Whoa's' than I could ever be with a mountain of who's. Remember it's not only your life but your partner's and just make sure you can handle the consequences before you take the plunge."
The final bell rang and the boys filtered out quietly, almost as if they were pondering his last words. He was lost in thought and didn't see Conner or Ethan approach him.
"Doctor O?" Ethan said.
"Yes?" he answered, snapping back to reality.
"Were you really ready? To give it all up if you had to?"
Tommy was silent for a second.
"I wouldn't have been ready but I would have. And we might have still been together. Not a word of this you hear?" he said sternly.
Conner and Ethan both nodded.
"See you later Doc!" They called as they left, meeting Kira in the hallway door. She looked positively disgusted and for just a brief second Tommy thought he saw a hungry look in Conner's eye. He shuddered just a bit. As he dug in his desk drawer for the small picture frame no one knew was in there. It had been taken that Christmas day by Aisha. He smiled wryly as he remembered trying got get Kimberly under the mistletoe all day and finally succeeding. Aisha had managed to capture the moment and Tommy always kept the picture near. Maybe he'd get the nerve to call her up.
Then the cold feeling washed up within him.
Kimberly wasn't his anymore…
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"Goodnight Sweetheart," Kimberly said to her daughter Guinevere. "I love you."
"I love you Mommy," the eight year old said sweetly. "Mommy, can I ask you a question?"
"Where to Babies come from?"
Kim sucked in a breath and was suddenly transferred to Christmas Eve nearly a decade earlier, when her life had changed forever. Her eyes watered up as every kiss, every touch re-played itself, seared forever into her mind. She turned to her daughter and replied:
"I'll tell you when you're older sweetie."