Title: The Merriest of Christmases

Summary: Every year, during the week before Christmas the Rangers all get together to celebrate the holidays with each other. For seven years this has been their tradition, and for just as long Tommy and Kimberly have had a little tradition of their own. Unfortunately, this year brings confliction to their tradition, making them both wonder if the path they're going on is the right one.

A/N 1: Just to let you know, the talented Cathy from the Perfect Chemistry is going to be doing some companion art for this piece. As soon as it has been completed I will let you all know and post a link to where you can find it on my profile page.

A/N 2: Also, this story is going to be posted in two versions, one that is Teen and one that is Mature. Obviously, the Mature version will contain elements of a more explicit, adult nature (I.e., sex for those who can't read between the lines LOL).

Timeline: Takes place the year after Dino Thunder

Rating: M (a teen version to this story will be posted as well)

Chapter: 1/5

Original Posting Date: December 1, 2008


Friday, December 16, 2005

4:30 pm, Pacific Standard Time

Reno, NV

Layer after layer of beautiful, fresh, white powder covered the ground on this chilly mid-December afternoon. The internal thermometer of a black Jeep Grand Cherokee currently announced the temperature as twenty-six degrees, causing the driver to shiver slightly even as he sat wearing multiple garments with the vehicle's heater at near full power.

Parked just outside the main entrance to the Reno/Tahoe Airport in Nevada, twenty-eight year-old Tommy Oliver tapped his thumb against the steering wheel impatiently as he waited for his guest to arrive. The plane was running late, of that he'd already been informed. How late, though, was another issue entirely.

Unfortunately, it wasn't like he could have just stayed at home and left later to compensate for the plane's delayed arrival. As it stood, he was well over five-hundred miles from home himself. And since he'd chosen to drive on this trip, his own departure from home had been planned to coincide with the exact time the plane had originally been scheduled to land. Basically, until his companion showed up he was stuck.

Letting out a sigh, he reclined in his seat and closed his eyes as music from his iPod played through the car's speaker system. A few minutes later, literally just seconds away from dozing off, he was jolted back to life when he heard a rapping noise on the passenger side window.

Even with his agitation at their current tardiness, Tommy was all smiles when he saw the bundled up form of Kimberly Hart standing outside his car wearing a heavy black parka, a soft pink stocking cap atop her head, and a matching scarf around her neck. She looked so darn cute that the former leader of the Power Rangers couldn't help but stare at his friend/ex-girlfriend for a few moments.

Then she rolled her eyes at him. "You gonna help me or what?" she asked, loudly enough to penetrate the glass and space between them. Shaking his head clear, Tommy flashed a quick and apologetic smile before turning to get out of the car. Racing around the vehicle he found her standing there with an impish grin on her face as she held up a cardboard tray from Starbuck's for him to see. "Gotcha your favorite; triple shot, soy, vanilla latte."

"You're the best," Tommy breathed, pecking a kiss to her cheek as he moved to take the duffel bag and backpack from around her shoulders.

"You tell me that every Christmas," Kimberly retorted with a laugh, giving Tommy a sly wink.

Despite the playful nature of her statement, it was one that had Tommy swallowing the lump in his throat even after seven years of Christmas's with Kimberly. "And every Christmas I mean it more than the year before," he countered, his voice a near whisper as he started towards the trunk of his SUV.

Less than five minutes together and they were already starting down a path he wasn't sure that he wanted to follow this year, even though he knew he probably would end up doing so regardless of how hard he tried not to. It was as inevitable as waking up every morning and wishing for more than the week he got to spend with her each year.

"How was the drive?" asked Kimberly, slowly walking towards him.

"Long," Tommy answered, sharing a laugh with her as he opened the trunk door. "How was your flight?" he continued, carefully setting her bags down in between his own and a pair of wrapped packages.

"About the same; would've been a lot better if we hadn't gotten get delayed in Dallas for an hour," Kimberly replied, shrugging as Tommy nodded. Removing his cup from the tray, she waited until he had closed the trunk door before offering it to him.

Tommy took the cup with an appreciative smile and then indulged in a long drink that immediately began to warm his chilled body. "Thanks," he murmured, Kimberly nodding. "You ready to go?"

"Yep," Kimberly answered simply, turning for her side of the car as Tommy started towards the driver's side.

Shortly thereafter they were off, driving down the wet Reno roads that had only this morning been cleared of the prior evening's snowfall. With her eyes staring out the passenger side window, it didn't take long for the former Pink Ranger's thoughts to drift to the man sitting next to her.

Less than ten minutes together and they were already starting down a path she wasn't sure that she wanted to follow this year, even though she knew she probably would end up doing so regardless of how hard she tried not to. It was as inevitable as waking up every morning and wishing for more than the week she got to spend with him each year. And what was worse, the looming future only had her heart racing even more due to the fact that they had spent the last Christmas apart from each other for the first time in nearly a decade.

"I missed you last year," she whispered, turning her gaze to Tommy as she reached out for his free hand.

Removing his eyes from the road for just a moment, Tommy looked at Kimberly and smiled. "I missed you too, Beautiful," he replied softly, earning a pleasantly surprised smile for his use of her old nickname. Raising her hand to his lips, he pressed a single kiss to the top of it. "Fortunately, there aren't any more crazy lunatics running around Reefside, Hell bent on restoring the planet to prehistoric times that I have to worry about anymore. At least not this year, anyway."

Kimberly chuckled at the way his last sentence had been spoken with the slightest, underlying inflection of hope in his voice. Though they all regarded their time served with nothing but the most pleasant of memories, no one cared about the Rangers more than Tommy did.

"You hoping for pink next?" asked Kimberly, laughing.

Tommy rolled his eyes. "The way I see it, I've still got blue to fall back on before I have to start tapping into the girl colors. Plus, I figure I could always get lucky and pull a Jason with gold or silver or something like that."

"Aww, come on, Tommy," Kimberly cooed, smiling the whole time. "I happen to think that you would look pretty damn hot in a pink spandex miniskirt."

Laughing, Tommy shook his head. "Kim, I don't think anyone could ever look as hot in a pink spandex miniskirt as you used to"

"Is that your way of telling me you want to try White Ranger/Pink Ranger role play this year?" asked Kimberly, expecting the bluntness of her question to make Tommy falter.

"It's only role playing if you aren't really the people behind the costumes, Kim, and we lived that role for almost three years," Tommy replied, giving her hand a slight squeeze. "On the other hand, I've still got all the old suits in my basement if you want to try something new next time. How about Blue Morphin' Ranger and Yellow Zeo Ranger?"

Kimberly burst into a fit of laughter at that. "Okay, first off, that would never work. Tanya's a good four inches taller than me. That skirt would probably go down to my ankles!" she replied, Tommy joining in her laughter as he envisioned Kimberly in Tanya's old uniform. "Second off, thinking about Billy and Tanya together is just…eww. I love them both to death, but they would not be a good match for each other."

Tommy just shook his head, the quirkiness that was so much a part of the woman seated beside him leaving him at a loss for words. They drove in silence for quite some time after that, simply enjoying being in each other's presence while a quiet assortment of music from Tommy's iPod played in the background. It was nearly fifteen minutes later, when Kimberly heard the intro line to a song that made her eyes go wide, that the silence was finally broken.

It's tearin' up my heart, when I'm with you…

"Oh my God, Tommy; you really have NSYNC on your iPod, don't you?" she asked, giggling while Tommy shrugged and nodded as if it wasn't a big deal.

"What's so funny? It's a good song," Tommy countered.

"Oh, I agree with you completely on that one," Kimberly replied, smiling brightly. "I just wasn't really expecting you of all people to have it on your iPod. I think it's kind of cute, actually."

Tommy grinned subtly in Kimberly's direction. "I think you're kind of cute."

Kimberly's hands immediately flew up to her chest, clutching at her heart in mock offense. "Cute? Just cute?" she sputtered, Tommy shrugging his shoulders noncommittally. "But-but…I thought I was beautiful?"

"Eh, amongst other things," said Tommy casually, flashing her a quick smile as he reached out for her hand once again. It was a simple force of habit more than anything else; so rare were their get-togethers that he wanted nothing more than to be as close to her as was possible for the next seven and a half days.

"Oh yeah? Like what?" asked Kimberly, her interest peaking with every word escaping from lips of the man she desired more than the very air she breathed.

"Fishing for compliments will get you nowhere, Kimberly," Tommy chided teasingly. Folding her arms across her chest, Kimberly frowned in playful defeat. "All you need to know is that there isn't anyone else I'd rather spend the next week with besides you."

Smiling, Kimberly adjusted herself in her seat, wrapping her arms around Tommy's as she laid the side of her head against it. "The feeling is mutual," she whispered, nuzzling his black thermal covered arm. "I hated not getting to see you last year."

"Me too," Tommy admitted through a sigh. "I can't believe it's almost been two years already."

"Crazy how time flies, huh?" Kimberly supplied.

Gripping the steering wheel a bit tighter, Tommy nodded. "One minute you think you've got it all figured out, then you wake up one morning and realize that life is about to pass you by whether you're ready for it or not."

"Wow," Kimberly breathed, a bit taken back. "Cynical much?"

Chuckling, Tommy shrugged. "Sorry, it's just," he started, pausing briefly to think about how he really wanted to finish that sentence. "At close to thirty years-old, it's easy to look back on life and realize where you made your mistakes; wish you'd done certain things differently and all that, you know?"

Not really knowing what to say, Kimberly just nodded and quietly snuggled up closer to Tommy. The wondrous scent of Black by Kenneth Cole that clung to Tommy's shirt tickled her senses, making her sigh as she realized just how much she truly enjoyed being in his presence. It was like, when they were together all the many stresses of her day-to-day life just seemed to disappear into a cloud of blissful unimportance.

"How far out are we from the house?" she asked softly, her eyes focused on the road in front of them.

Tommy did a quick look at where they were currently located on the freeway before answering. "About ten or fifteen minutes," he replied, Kimberly nodding slowly as he gazed down on her peaceful form with a fond smile. "I talked to Jason earlier and everyone but Billy and Trini is already there getting settled in. Rocky and Kat are cooking dinner for the group, and then we're going to some club or something like that."

"Sounds good," Kimberly murmured.

Seconds later her eyes drifted shut as the effects of her cross-country flight from Florida finally started to catch up to her. She was asleep shortly thereafter, the side of her head still resting against Tommy's arm as he navigated the streets of Tahoe City, a small mountain town on the California side of beautiful Lake Tahoe.

The driveway was soaked a dark shade of gray as Tommy pulled up to the house a little while later, parking behind Jason's Chevy Suburban painted a deep crimson with two thin gold stripes around the vehicle. He was hesitant to wake his sleeping companion; she just looked so damn peaceful that stirring her was something he did with slight regret.

"We're here," he murmured, pressing her shoulder lightly. "Time to wake up, Kim."

"Hmm?" Kimberly groaned, her eyes slowly fluttering open.

"We're here," Tommy repeated, already moving to get out of the car.

Kimberly let out a yawn, none too hurried as she stepped out onto the driveway and shivered. Even though they came here every year, spending fifty-one weeks in Florida made it damn near impossible for her to get used to this brand of cold. Unbeknownst to her as she looked around at the three-story home they'd all be sharing for the next week, Tommy's eyes were firmly trained on her while he went about unloading the back of his SUV.

He just couldn't seem to shake the word cute when describing how she looked. She was like the perfect little snow bunny; his perfect little snow bunny, at least for the next seven and a half days, anyway.

"Hey, Kim, I'm not gonna be able to carry all this stuff by myself, you know," Tommy called out. Turning back to face him, Kimberly smiled and nodded before walking over to the rear of the car. "Here," he continued, handing off both of their backpacks to her. "I'll get the two bigger bags."

"What about the presents?" she asked, throwing a backpack around each shoulder.

Tommy shrugged. "We don't usually do presents until the last night. I'll come back for them later."

Kimberly nodded, motioning for him to go in front of her. "Age before beauty," she teased.

Furrowing his brow in confusion, Tommy chuckled. "Kim, that saying only applies if the person you're saying it to is older than you. Seeing as how you're February of '78 and I'm April '78, it just doesn't really work here."

Kimberly stared back at Tommy incredulously for a few moments before rolling her eyes. "Wow, way to kill my joke, Joke Sniper. Just hush and walk in front of me so I can stare at that ass of yours," she shot back, swatting his behind playfully.

"The white knight happily obliges his pink princess," Tommy retorted, bowing humbly.

The former Pink Ranger just laughed as Tommy started towards the house, a duffel bag draped over each of his shoulders. Wearing a mischievous grin she dropped to one knee, waiting until there was a little more than ten feet between them before standing back up.

"Hey, Tommy!" she called out.

By the time he'd turned around a sphere of pure white was heading straight for his face. With no time to react, he merely did his best to brace himself as he waited for the snowball to explode which it did on impact. Spitting out bits of snow and wiping the wet debris away, Tommy looked through wet eyes at Kimberly's smiling face. With the snow surrounding her and the bright sun shining down on her from above she was simply…glowing.

"You're gonna pay for that," Tommy growled, dropping the bags on the walkway and immediately giving chase. Kimberly let out a playful scream as she let go of the backpacks and started to run around the other side of the car. "You're only making it harder on yourself by running away, Kim!"

Kimberly found this out after a few minutes of Tommy chasing her when he finally caught up. Lunging at her, he wrapped his arms around her waist and took them both down, landing in a soft patch of snow to the side of the driveway. Before she could defend herself Tommy was straddling her stomach with his fingers attacking her ribs.

Her body squirmed and writhed as Tommy tickled her relentlessly, causing her to cry out with howl after howl of laughter. "Tommy…please," she gasped, struggling to catch her breath. "Please…no more."

"Say you're sorry," Tommy demanded. Biting down on her bottom lip, Kimberly closed her eyes and shook her head defiantly. As a result, Tommy continued to needle her sides. "I can do this all day, Kim. Just apologize for hitting me with the snowball and I'm done."

"Fine…fine…just stop and I'll do it," Kimberly pleaded, Tommy smirking triumphantly as he finally relented his attack. Breathing heavily, she looked up into his eyes and swallowed hard. "I'm sorry, Tommy."

"For what?"

Kimberly smiled. "For not doing this an hour ago."

And with that she wrapped her arms around Tommy's neck and pulled him down to her, their lips meeting in a kiss that was two years overdue and showed in the way their mouths so hungrily attacked each other's. When the kiss broke moments later Tommy fell down next to Kimberly, laying beside her in the snow.

"That was nice," Kimberly purred, staring up at the sky through the sea of snowcapped fir trees that surrounded the house."

"Yeah, it was," Tommy agreed in a whisper, slowly pushing himself onto his side so that he faced her. "Hey, Kim?"

"Hmm?" she replied, turning her head.

Her answer came in the form of a handful of snow smashed right into her face by Tommy. And then he was gone, leaving Kimberly laying there in the snow as he sprinted towards the house with his victorious laughter playing tauntingly in her head. Wiping the snow from her face, Kimberly slowly pushed herself onto her feet and smirked at Tommy's form as it disappeared into the house.

Oh, he was definitely going to pay for that one.


A half an hour or so later, after everyone had been greeted and catch-up had been played, Tommy stood alone inside the second-story bedroom that had been his for six of the last seven years. And though he'd never told Kimberly of this knowledge, he knew that she'd slept in that room instead of her own when he'd been absent the year before.

With a basketball game on ESPN playing in the background he quietly unpacked his duffel bag, putting some things in the oak dresser while he hung others in the closet. It was a spacious master-sized bedroom, tastefully decorated by the owner of the house in various shades of white and red.

The house itself was massive in every sense of the word; three stories with three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and three common rooms on each floor. Aside from the kitchens—one on each floor—the entire layout of the house was done in groups of threes. It cost a pretty penny to rent the house for a week each year, but between the eleven who shared it, it was more than worth the price to be able to spend the holidays together.

Regardless of what they were doing, where they were living, or what directions their lives were going, getting together for this one week was something they always did. It was the one week a year where the only thing that mattered was enjoying the company of the few in their lives who shared that special bond.

A small part of Tommy was hurting as he went about putting his clothes away, knowing now how disappointed Kimberly had actually been when he'd missed last year's gathering. Though they weren't together in the traditional sense, far from it in fact, he cared far more deeply for Kimberly than he'd ever cared for any of his other girlfriends, of which he'd had his fair share. They spent one week together each year, but that one week, those short seven days, was just enough to keep his heart content until the next year.

After being forced to miss the get-together the previous year due to circumstances beyond his control, namely another tour of duty and a city that needed defending, Tommy had spent the last year missing more and more that intimate contact with Kimberly he so greatly desired. He wanted her more than words could say and, if he was truthful, needed her just as badly.

Tommy was in the midst of hanging a white dress shirt in his closet when he heard a knock at his closed door. "Come in," he called out, not missing a beat as he turned back to his bed to retrieve another shirt.

The door opened to reveal a now showered and changed Kimberly, her hair still slightly wet as she moved to enter the room. Even in a pink tank top and a pair of grey, loose-fitting sweat pants he found her very presence nothing short of intoxicating. Just being close to her made his heart beat a tad faster than normal, and where he would typically get distracted rather easily in casual conversations, he clung to every word that escaped her lips regardless of the topic that was being discussed.

Whether she knew it or not Kimberly had a profound effect on the man standing just feet away from her, barefoot in a pair of faded blue jeans and a white tee shirt as he turned and smiled at her unexpected but welcomed presence.

"What's going on in here?" asked Kimberly, closing most of the distance between them fairly quickly.

Tommy shrugged. "I'm putting away laundry; nothing too exciting," he answered with a laugh, turning to put another shirt in his closet. "What are you up to?"

"Nothing much," said Kimberly, looking between Tommy and the clothes on his bed. "Need some help with that stuff?"

"If you don't mind touching my boxers then sure," Tommy replied, smirking at her.

"Wouldn't be the first time and I doubt it'd be the last," Kimberly fired back, winking as she picked up a pile of clothes and held them up to Tommy. "Top drawer, right?"

Caught off guard a bit, Tommy stared back at Kimberly in surprise for a few moments until he realized he was staring and then nodded. "Uh, yeah," he answered, shaking his head as he watched Kimberly walk over to the dresser across the room. "I, uh, I can't believe you actually remember what drawer I keep my underwear in."

Kimberly laughed as she opened the drawer and started putting the folded garments inside. "Oh, please; like you don't know what drawer I keep my panties in."

"Third from the bottom," Tommy replied without hesitation, chuckling.

"It's so weird that we know that," Kimberly laughed, Tommy nodding his agreement. Looking to her left, she saw the sliding glass door leading to the balcony and smiled. "Oh, I forgot you had one of the deck rooms."

Before Tommy could reply she was heading for the door and the gorgeous view of Lake Tahoe. The White Ranger just watched from afar, laughing when Kimberly took two steps outside, looked around for a few seconds, and then immediately ran back into his room.

"Okay, bad idea in bare feet and a tank top," she continued, shivering as Tommy looked up from his clothes and smiled fondly at her. "What?"

"Nothing," Tommy shrugged. "It's just…something as small as what you just did reminded me of why you're so special. You didn't even think about the fact that it's twenty-something degrees outside, you just went."

Kimberly furrowed her brow. "I can understand why that might make me an idiot, but how exactly does it make me special?" she questioned.

Tommy laughed. "Well, obviously it wasn't your head that told you to go outside. Your head would have told you that it was extremely cold, that you were wearing a tank top, and that you had no shoes on. Your heart was what told you to go outside and you listened to it. Most people are too afraid to listen to their hearts, but you do it enough for all of us. It's something I've always admired about you."

"Yeah, well, thanks. But for as sweet as that was, it has a tendency to not always lead to the best of decisions," Kimberly replied with a sigh, sharing a look with Tommy that said he knew exactly what she was talking about. She'd long ago admitted to Tommy that breaking up with him, an act where the heart had overpowered the head, was one of the worst decisions she'd ever made.

Sparing them from having to deal with any potential awkwardness, Tommy quickly and intentionally deflected the attention away from Kimberly. "So what are Rocky and Kat cooking us for dinner?"

"Rocky's making spaghetti and meatballs; Kat's handling the salad and I think she's making some garlic bread, too," Kimberly answered. Knowing that Tommy had changed the subject for her she smiled appreciatively, but he didn't seem to notice.

Tommy was too busy smiling dreamily as he remembered that he was going to be treated to the cooking skills of their resident professional chef for the next week. Rocky had discovered his love for cooking while in college, more out of necessity than anything else, and had taken it straight to one of the top culinary schools in California and eventually his own restaurantin Las Vegas, Rocky's.

"Eww, that look on your face is totally weird," Kimberly continued, Tommy sneering as he stuck his tongue out at her, earning himself an eye roll in the process. "Oh how mature my little Tommy is."

"I know you are but what am I?" said Tommy with a dead serious expression. Laughing, Kimberly opened her mouth to reply only to have Tommy cut her off. "Remember, I am rubber you are glue; whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you."

"Ugh, you are so lame," Kimberly grumbled teasingly, grabbing Tommy by his shirt collar and yanking his face to hers. "Just shut up and kiss me already."

Tommy obliged her happily and without question, his lips meeting hers as soon as the request had been made. From the moment their lips made contact Kimberly found herself unable to resist his touch. She'd come in with a plan, one to make Tommy pay for the snowball earlier, but now the only thing on her mind was indulging in the striking figure of masculinity whose hands were currently in the process of exploring her petite frame.

She moaned against his mouth as he kissed her, raising her arms in a silent gesture that Tommy understood immediately. In between kisses his hands moved to the hem of Kimberly's tank top, tearing his lips away for only the briefest of moments to pull the garment over her head before they were firmly reattached to hers.

While Tommy was working on her shirt, Kimberly tore at his belt and the button to his jeans, the latter of which she'd just popped open. With his pants undone her hands moved to his shirt as Tommy stepped through his pant legs and then kicked the garment across the floor, all the while his lips never leaving Kimberly's.

Another moan escaped Kimberly's lips a few moments later, this time caused by the movement of Tommy's tongue to the nape of her neck. "You taste…mmm," he murmured between kisses, "so sweet."

"Fuck, that feels so good," Kimberly purred, her arms wrapped tightly behind Tommy, holding the back of his head in place. "I want you so bad right now," she continued, pulling Tommy warm mouth back to hers for another hard, passionate kiss. "Two years is way too long."

Tommy did not give an immediate verbal reply. Instead he let his actions speak for him, his hands slipping around Kimberly as he hoisted her onto his waist, pinning her in between himself and the wall. Kimberly's legs instinctively slipped around Tommy's waist, her arms encircling his neck as he started to slowly drag his lips down to her chest.

Cupping her breast in his hand, he drew her left nipple into his mouth, suckling gently as Kimberly breathed heavily against his neck. The tender bud ripened and swelled against his tongue. After a pleasurable time, he kissed across to her chest to nipple, dragging
his tongue around it slowly before encircling the tip with his mouth.

"I love how it feels when you touch me," Kimberly admitted, whispering her confession in Tommy's ear.

"Then it's a good thing I love touching you so much," Tommy replied, kissing her lips again as he lifted her higher up his hips. "I've been waiting two years to do this, Beautiful."

Biting down hard on her bottom lip, Kimberly gazed into Tommy's eyes with a bright smile and nodded. "I'm ready," she murmured, holding onto him tightly as she felt his hard cock pressing against her, seeking entry into her moistening depths with intent-filled precision.

"You're still on…" he started, not getting the opportunity to finish his question.

"We're good," Kimberly interjected, staring at Tommy as he nodded his understanding. "Now do it, Tommy," she continued pleadingly, kissing him.

"Say it," Tommy demanded, kissing his way down and around her neck. "Say what you want me to do."

"Oh God, Tommy, I want you to fuck me," Kimberly whispered, unable to fight the desire to keep her pride and not succumb to his wishes. "I want you to fuck me so bad."

Tommy had to cover her mouth with his to prevent the pleasured moan that escaped her lips from being heard by the entire house when he lowered her down to him, inch by inch until his whole length was buried deeply inside her. She felt so soft and snug around him that the
sensation crippled his sanity.

His strokes were slow at first, giving them both time to get re-acclimated to each other after the two years they'd spend apart. Soon enough, though, he was giving Kimberly exactly what she was desiring.

"Ahh…so good," Kimberly breathed, her back sliding up and down the smooth wall with each and every one of Tommy's powerful thrusts. Her arms and legs clutched tightly to him, allowing him to take her aggressively. This intense passion that was currently driving them to explore their most cardinal of desires had both of them soaring. Their lips attacked each other's hungrily, Kimberly adjusting herself slightly in Tommy's arms as he continued to fuck her in ways she'd
only dreamed about for the last seven-hundred and twenty-four days. "I've never wanted anyone as bad as I want you."

"You are…so beautiful," Tommy murmured, grimacing as Kimberly cried out and buried her face in the crook between his neck and shoulder, whimpering against him. Her sex flexed and coiled around him so tightly, her body gliding up and down the wall. "No one makes me feel
the way you do."

Rather quickly they found their rhythm, Kimberly slamming her hips down to meet Tommy's cock each time it slipped inside her. Her eyes rolled and her head snapped back, the pleasure written all over her face in the form of one very large smile. There was nothing she could say…no words to describe how she felt except for one.

"Perfect," she moaned, her fingernails clawing at Tommy's back as he slammed her high up the wall. "So perfect…fuck m-oh God! Just like that! I'm so close, Tommy."

Hovering over her, firm in the power position, Tommy looked down at Kimberly with eyes that could best be described as demanding. He wanted her…in every sense of the word. And when Tommy wanted something as badly as he did right now, he did whatever was necessary to ensure that he got it.

"Cum for me, Kim," Tommy commanded, Kimberly wanting nothing more than to fulfill his deepest desire.

When she felt the first wave of orgasm sweep over her, her body shuddering in Tommy's arms, he started to slow down for her but she looked up at him and shook her head. "Keep going," she pleaded, her eyes locked on Tommy's. "I want you to fuck me until you can't move."

Tommy nodded and did as he'd been told. "So close, Beautiful," he panted, dipping his head to kiss her hard even as she continued to tremble in his embrace, more ferociously with each passing moment he spent inside her.

She could feel how close he was when Tommy's cock started to swell inside her. The first burst hit hard, Tommy biting her neck as he continued his frantic thrusting. He maintained his firm hold on her, keeping Kimberly pressed against the wall until he felt every ounce of strength leave his body entirely.

Sated beyond words the pair breathed heavily, all smiles as Tommy gazed fondly on Kimberly still shaking slightly from her orgasm. On the verge of speaking, Tommy silenced anything she would have said with a kiss.

"That was incredible," Kimberly murmured when Tommy finally pulled his lips away.

"The sex or the kiss?" asked Tommy, winking.

Smiling, Kimberly decided to indulge what little vanity Tommy might have had. As it stood, he was truly the most selfless, caring person she'd ever met, completely oblivious to any complex his career as a Ranger and dashing good looks could have brought about.

"Both," was her whispered answer which she sealed with one last, tender kiss. Smiling up at him, she patted his chest gently. "Come on," she continued, taking his hand as she pulled him towards the bathroom. "Let's get cleaned up for dinner."


Saturday, December, 17, 2005

Tahoe City, CA

7:40 am

She ached.

Oh God, how her muscles ached so deliciously as she quietly slipped out of Tommy's bedroom dressed haphazardly in the little black cocktail dress she'd worn to the club the night before. With each passing step she was reminded of how long it had been since she'd had a man absolutely ravish her the way Tommy had done: pinned against his bedroom wall, and then again in the shower before dinner, and twice in his bed after they had all returned from the club.

He touched her in ways no words could ever describe, did things to her both physically and emotionally that no man had ever been able to. More so than anything else throughout the year she looked the most forward to the one week a year she got to spend with Tommy. So then why was she already running away so early in the morning?

Truthfully, though it might have seemed like she was running away, she wasn't at all. As it stood, this early morning abandonment was common place for the complex relationship she and Tommy shared; depending on whose room they'd stayed in the night before, the other would exit long before the rest of the house woke up to ensure that they were not discovered by one of the other former Rangers.

"It's not a relationship, Kim," the former Pink Ranger reminded herself silently as she made her way across the second floor to her own room, "Neither of you have a clue what you're doing, but a relationship? Get real, girl. Tommy doesn't want that, and it wouldn't work even if he did."

Her head throbbing from an alcohol-filled evening that had lasted well into the wee hours of morning, a somewhat disappointed expression crossed Kimberly's lips as she crept into her own bedroom. She was certain as she headed for the bathroom in search of some aspirin that whatever she and Tommy had together would never be more than a very complicated, one-week-a-year affair.

Deep down, though part of her longed for something more, she was okay with what they had. It wasn't perfect, but it was theirs, something she and Tommy shared that no one else could, and that made her love it all the more. For one week each year, she was the happiest woman on the face of God's green Earth.

Retrieving an empty glass from her sink, Kimberly ran the faucet and stuck the glass beneath its' stream as she opened her medicine cabinet. Moments later she had two aspirin in her system along with a silent prayer that her headache would disappear before too long. The last thing that she wanted was to be holed up inside half the day because it felt like a bomb had gone off inside her head.

"No more Jaeger Bombs with Rocky," she muttered, turning around to open the sliding door that fronted a shower with a tub large enough to sit three people comfortably. As soon as she turned the water on her hands flew to her head, the heavy noise from the water hitting the tub sounding more like thunderclaps in her current state. "And no more shots of Jack with Jason; or triple margaritas with Aisha; or body shots off of Tommy's abs. Wait…scratch that last part and keep the body shots. Oh God, am I really talking to myself right now?"

Gripping the sink counter tightly as she looked herself in the mirror, Kimberly shook her head with a half-hearted chuckle. "You really are losing it, Kim," she continued. Sighing, she reached up slowly to the thin straps of her dress, pulling them away from her shoulders until the garment rested at her feet.

Her fingertips subconsciously started to graze her naked body, just floating across her skin as her eyes remained locked on the mirror. She looked at herself and couldn't help but wonder what it was that made Tommy long for her the way he so readily admitted to doing.

Why her? Why the tiny brunette with a bust that was pretty much non-existent, legs as long as toothpicks, and an ass one could balance a glass on? Why her when he could have had Kat, or any of the other women that she was so sure threw themselves at Tommy on a regular basis.

"Does it matter?" she asked herself quietly, staring hard at her reflection.

The truth was that it didn't matter at all; not even a little bit. She might not have been the stereotypical image of beauty, yet Tommy seized every possible opportunity to call her Beautiful. She didn't have the physical proportions of other women, yet Tommy had said multiple times that he wanted her more than anyone. He could have had anyone he wanted, but all he wanted was her, and that was a fact that had Kimberly smiling from ear to ear as she finally turned away from the mirror in exchange for the hot shower behind her.

She reveled in the shower's soothing mist, droplets of water cascading down her body as she hung her head under the hot spray. Almost immediately, albeit very slowly, she could feel the pulsing against her forehead start to dissipate as her thoughts drifted to Tommy once more, remembering vividly how she had so regretfully pried herself from his sleepy embrace just fifteen minutes earlier.

"The days are the hardest," she reminded herself silently. "Credit for the understatement of the century is the sole, copyrighted property of Kimberly Hart and cannot be reused, rebroadcast, or otherwise redistributed without the express written consent of its owner."

A small part of her laughed out loud at that, the self-admitted quirkiness that was so much a part of who she was as a person. Still, she knew how true her thoughts really were. The days were the worst part of the week; she and Tommy were never together in a group smaller than four, making it impossible to express any sort of affection beyond that of a friend if they hoped to keep their late night encounters a secret.

It was some thirty minutes later when she finally emerged from her bedroom wearing a pair of jeans and a white hooded sweatshirt with the word MIAMI emblazoned in big pink letters across the chest. As she headed for the stairs she passed by Tommy's room, the door hanging wide open to reveal a perfectly clean and orderly room with no signs from the previous night.

Smiling at his thoroughness, she headed downstairs to the first floor kitchen where breakfast and dinner usually took place, mostly because it had the most space and Rocky's room was on the same level. Her head still throbbed as she entered the spacious kitchen, looking from Rocky who was standing over the stove to the dining table where everyone else sat. There were two empty chairs, one next to Tommy at the end of the table and another on the opposite end in between Aisha and Adam.

"Morning, Rocko," Kimberly murmured, patting him on the back as she headed for the table. "What's for breakfast this morning?"

"Orders are already up on omelettes. What do you want in yours? I've pretty much got everything you can think of," Rocky answered, turning to watch Kimberly take the seat in between Aisha and Adam. "Already hogging my wife and bro, I see," he added with a laugh.

Looking over at Rocky, Kimberly sneered and stuck her tongue out at him. "You have them all year and I only get them for a week so deal with it," she fired back, pretending like she hadn't seen the expression of barely visible disappointment on Tommy's face when she'd chosen not to sit by him. "And I want ham, bacon, cheese, tomatoes, and a few peppers please."

"Sure thing," said Rocky, Kimberly watching Tommy from the corner of her eye as she turned to speak with Aisha.

It wasn't that she didn't want to be near him. More than anything in the world she wanted to be in that seat, his arm around her shoulder and her head against his chest. But they had talked ad nauseum about telling the others and they'd always agreed that it was best to keep their closed door interactions kept behind said door even though they both secretly hated having to do so.

She felt her neck start to grow hot when she realized that Tommy's eyes were still fully trained on her presence. It was like he wasn't even trying to hide anything; the look in his eyes was the same he wore when they were alone, when they didn't have to act like they weren't the only thing they cared about.

"Yo, can I get some help with these?" Rocky called out a few minutes later. Kimberly was out of her seat in a flash, anything to escape the way Tommy's eyes made her feel like taking him right then and there in front of all their friends. Smiling gratefully, Rocky pointed to a tray with five plates on it, each of them loaded with an omelette, toast, and a heaping spoonful of fried potatoes. "That's you, Billy, Adam, 'Sha, and Tanya," he continued, Kimberly nodding her understanding after he'd pointed to each plate. "Thanks, Kim."

"No problem," she murmured, carrying the tray of plates back to the table with her as Rocky followed behind with the rest.

Standing at the table, she watched their interaction as they took their plates from her. Adam handed Tanya's plate to her, accepting with a smile her whispered thank you and the kiss on the cheek she gave to her husband. She watched Billy and Trini sitting side-by-side, Trini stealing bites from Billy's plate even though their omelettes had been prepared the exact same way. She watched the way Jason and Kat held hands under the table; the way Rocky and Aisha's eyes remained locked from where they sat, apart; and the way Zack and Angela, the only outsider who'd ever been allowed into their circle, couldn't keep their hands away from one another.

Seeing all of this and then looking to Tommy who seemed so alone in between Jason and Zack…it only made her desire to be near him even stronger. But as she'd learned to do so well over the last seven years she suppressed those desires, forcing herself to focus on the plate in front of her instead of the piercing brown eyes burning a hole in her from afar.

"So what's on the agenda for today?" asked Adam, rubbing his forehead gingerly in between bites of potatoes.

In the midst of taking a sip from his coffee mug, Jason cleared his throat. "I don't know about you guys, but I can't remember the last time we were here this close to a snowfall. That fresh powder out there on the slopes has been calling my name since we got here. Who's down to go boarding with me?" he asked, immediately looking to Tommy in silent expectation of his best friend's confirmation.

"If this headache goes away in the next hour or so, then yeah," Tommy answered, chuckling.

Jason nodded and then started to look around at the rest of the group. "Anyone else?"

Tommy's eyes again returned to Kimberly, waiting to see what her answer would be. She caught his gaze and gave him the subtlest of winks, but did not immediately answer Jason's question. She was playing it cool, not wanting to give her agreement right after Tommy's to ensure it didn't seem like she was eager to spend time with the former White Ranger.

Sitting next to her, Adam looked to his wife who simply smiled and nodded. "Tanya and I are in," he announced to the group.

"Flyboy over there and I, as well," added Aisha, pointing her thumb in Rocky's direction.

"Alright then, I'm in, too," Kimberly interjected, Tommy fighting the urge to smile.

Less than two minutes later everyone but Billy and Trini had agreed to hit the slopes with Jason. On the first day of the trip for the last seven years in a row they'd gone skiing and snowboarding together, and though the ex-Blue and Yellow Rangers desperately wanted to go with their friends, the swollen belly hanging over the waistline of Trini's jeans as she entered the third trimester of her pregnancy would have made it damn hard for her to get on a snowboard. Billy, on the other hand, could have easily gone with them but he simply had no desire to leave his fiancée's side.

Conversation remained casual for the remainder of the meal, the eleven Rangers and Angela—who was experiencing the holidays Ranger style for just the second year—catching up on everything in each other's lives that they had missed out on over the last year. Eventually the restlessness of some of the group's members started to show and shortly thereafter it was decided to end their gathering within a gathering.

"Who's on dish duty this morning?" asked Zack, rising from his seat to carry his and Angela's plates to the kitchen.

Following behind him, Kimberly set her plate down next to Zack's and then moved to the refrigerator to check the chart on the door that denoted who did the dishes, for what meal, and on which days. "Looks like Jason and Tommy got this one," she answered, smiling at the two males in her life that she was the closest to. "I'm gonna go change. Have fun, boys," she added, promptly exiting the kitchen.

Sighing, Tommy shook his head and stood up with his plate in hand, looking down at Jason. "You wanna rinse or load, bro?"

Jason shrugged. "I guess I'll load 'em up."

Tommy nodded and then turned for the kitchen sink, immediately going to work on cleaning the dishes as one by one the group brought their plates, glasses, and silverware to him. Minutes later Tommy and Jason were alone, the latter standing on the opposite side of the dishwasher that separated them as he methodically loaded the dishes into the appliance.

"So how's it going, man?" asked Jason, picking up a handful of wet silverware from the counter. "It's been awhile."

"Yeah, it has," Tommy agreed, nodding with a sponge in hand and a dishtowel draped over his shoulder. "But I've been pretty good. Last year made me forget how boring regular life is when there aren't monsters trying to destroy the city you live in on a daily basis."

Jason laughed knowingly. "Yeah, it's always tough to hang it up," he replied, silently recalling the two occasions where he had given up his Ranger powers.

"Yup," said Tommy, setting some plates down on the counter next to him. "How about you? How goes it in the land of Jason?"

The former Red and Gold Ranger smiled brightly. "It's good, bro; really good. Kat and I have been talking about it more and more recently. I think once all the stress from the holidays is over we're going to try and start a family."

"Really?" asked Tommy, Jason nodding through his ear-to-ear grin. "Aww, man, that's awesome. Seriously, bro, congratulations."

"Thanks, man," said Jason, a glass in each hand that he then loaded into the dishwasher's upper rack. "What about you? You and Kim still playing the same game you've been playing for the last seven years?"

Furrowing his brow in confusion, Tommy shook Jason's question off with an awkward chuckle. "What are you talking about, Jase? Kim and I are just friends. You know that."

Shaking his head, Jason stared hard at his friend. "You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time, Tommy. If you don't want to talk about it that's fine, but don't keep playing the rest of us like a bunch of idiots. We're not all as ignorant as you might think."

And with that Jason pushed the dishwasher door closed and turned to leave the kitchen. He was on the verge of disappearing around the corner when Tommy called out for him to stop which he did, slowly turning around to face his friend. Looking Jason right in the eyes, Tommy took a deep breath and swallowed hard.

"Does Kim know that you know?" asked Tommy, a clear hint of nervousness in his voice.

Jason shook his head. "I don't think so," he answered, Tommy letting out a sigh of relief as he nodded his understanding. "Anything else?"

"Nope," said Tommy, wearing a half-hearted smile. Nodding, Jason turned to leave once more. "Hey, bro?"

"Yeah?" asked Jason, laughing as he turned back to face his friend.

Tommy smiled. "Thanks," he replied. "For not pushing me to talk and all that."

"No problem, bro," said Jason with a half-cocked grin. "After almost fifteen years I know well enough that you'll talk when you're ready," he continued, Tommy nodding. "Anyway, I'm gonna go get ready to hit the slopes. You should probably do the same."

"Thanks, mom," said Tommy.

He and Jason shared a laugh, the latter of the two shaking his head as he exited the kitchen for good. Alone, Tommy let out a deep and exasperated sigh as he removed the dishtowel from his shoulder and tossed it haphazardly onto the kitchen counter, walking out of the kitchen en route to his bedroom with a sense of confused uncertainty the likes of which he had not experienced in many, many years.