You Owe Me an IOU
Disclaimer: Power Rangers belong to either Saban or Disney or my grandfather, you choose.
:: Everything until the end of Turbo is canon though Forever Red and Dino Thunder never happened. This takes place in 2008 and both Tommy and Kim is in their late twenties.
:: Some things had been changed to fit the plot and storyline and this story has not been beta-ed; the edited version might come up in a few days.
The lights changed to red and Kim sat back with a sigh, hands smoothing down her sundress to prevent herself from fidgeting and ruining her freshly manicured nails. It was the first time in a long time that she had on something pink. Her wardrobe when she was seventeen had never wavered much from pink, baby pink, or dark pink with a little bit of white and denim thrown in. Back then it seemed to be one of the rangers' unspoken rules; you're the Pink ranger, subtly tell the world that you are who you are! To exaggerate, her pink collection would have last until the world ended.
Ten years later and she simply had downgraded that color from her favorite to the least one. Tommy might have forgiven her for the juvenile way she had chosen to break things off, but it still served as a painful reminder, as silly as it would sound. At this point, everything's water under the bridge, but it's just one of those things that she couldn't help with. Like having an annoying sixty five year old landlady blessed with Superman ears who's living above her, who would stomp her feet really hard every time Kim watched a movie above ten o'clock with moderate volume. She could cope… at least for now. She had fallen in love with the small but cozy two bedroom apartment. The pricing was acceptable and it was only fifteen minutes away from her workplace; twenty five when the traffic was manic. Little old Angel Grove had slowly started to grow to be as crowded as every other city in the States.
Of course, Kim reckoned after she switched the gear, the place was only fifteen minutes away from the Oliver's and that's an added bonus. Still, how she hoped that he lived much further so that she would have more Kim-time to think and rethink and probably regret her decision to come over. After Mr. Oliver lost the battle with pancreatic cancer three years ago, Mrs. Oliver moved to San Diego to be with her sister, prompting Tommy to leave his studio downtown and move in. He had once told her the house was too big for him alone and the thought of selling it and moving somewhere near the coast; Florida maybe, had crossed his mind in more than a few occasions. Besides, being what he was, he's remotely flying from one place to another dig site every three months or so. Coming home to a huge house covered with debris and dust was not attractive. Except that a week ago the atmosphere suddenly shifted and he talked about keeping the house for future investment; how it was a suitable place to build a family. Being an adopted son, she understood it was such a paramount aspect he was looking forward to.
All the time he was speaking, the heated, affectionate look never left his face and she was helpless but returning his heady stares with one of her own. One way or another she found herself laying on her back, his lips pressing hotly against hers and her brain just sort of short circuited altogether. The thin, vulnerable line between Tommy Oliver and Kimberly Hart's friendship had been broken. They had moved pass best-friend state shortly after she moved back and they were quote friends with benefit unquote, without the real benefits, that was. She would show up every Wednesday and Friday morning with McGriddle and baked apple pies while Tommy was right on the other line whenever her roof was leaking or simply when she needed a shoulder to lean on after a long, tiring working day. They flirted, they made sexual jokes every now and then, but they just didn't sleep together. Until last week.
As magical as it had felt waking up in his arms, it had scared the hell out of her that she just bolted out of the house as soon as the realization of what they had done downed in. She left without so much of a note, a recurring reminder of what she had done eleven years prior.
He wouldn't be Tommy if he didn't graciously comply and give her all the space she needed. But seven restless nights were enough, and now her 2003 burgundy Mini Cooper S, a precious birthday gift shipped by her stepfather for her birthday yesteryear was heading smoothly into Tommy's neighborhood which was still as familiar as the back of her hand. While Angel Grove had its 'Upper East Side' per October 2004, Tommy's small neighborhood was still affectionately known as Angel Hill. It was like something out of 1972's The Stepford Wives, Kim mused while she drove passed an out of order phone booth, barely glancing at the bright pink pamphlet taped to its side; most likely a missing pet ad or announcement for a garage sale.
The scrumptious smell of the still warm Krispy Kreme doughnuts filled the petite car and she could feel her stomach screaming for some bite. What did she expect? That Tommy would gladly take her into his arms in exchange of breakfast?
When she stopped at the second red light—honoring the rules and ignoring the fact that other than the bakers, the town was probably still asleep--, she finally got to get a good look at yet another pink paper pasted to a light pole this time. If there was so much as little sleepiness in her, it was gone in under a second. With the speed of her old Ninja skill, Kim swiftly unbuckled her seatbelt, climbed off the car and ripped the flyer off the pole. The paper was practically burning in her hand. She looked up and the strong urge to laugh was only dampened by the awe when she saw nearly every other telephone booth and lamp pole erected in Angel Hill flashing pink at her.
On the first chime, Tommy rolled to his side. The second one rang and he simply scratched his bare stomach, chalking the whining bell to be a part of his dream. A minute and a half passed and the consistent door bell still hadn't ceased, and he kicked the covers away, growling in exasperation. He sat up groggily and his reflection in the mirror greeted him. Hello you. Tommy Oliver was not a poster image of a morning person. "Kiss my ass,"
You go out there looking like that, Tommy, and you would scare the hell out of whoever out there. Probably some poor girl scout trying to sell cookies. Wiping the sleepiness out of his eyes, Tommy stood up, fingers making quick, methodical gestures to tame his stubborn hair as his dream began to decompose into hazy memories. The digital clock on the nightstand was flashing six-two-oh. What kind of Girl Scout selling cookies at six effing a.m.?
Tommy Oliver was content with his life. As printed on page 25-27 of the January issue of 2008's Avocational Paleontology, Thomas Oliver was one of paleontologists extraordinaire under fifty. They had a nice portrait of him that for once, made him look like someone with high dedication in his field and less like a fisherman, and two spread article about several crucial expeditions he had led in Africa, Australia and even South East Asia. He made good money, drove a nice car, had a best friend who lived twenty minutes away and a potential girlfriend. Now if his guest would politely choose better hour to visit, he would have nothing else to ask.
His eyes were barely open more than twin thin slits as he padded through the hallway to get the door and in the still dreamlike state, missed to see the coffee table and hit his shin against the tough and solid mahogany corner. The stinging radiating from his leg to his head was enough to jolt him awake and with a series of curses and swears loud enough to wake the dead, he's limping to the front door. The person on the other side was persistently banging the door now, opting to go tribal and barbaric after receiving no respond the first time around. It only elevated his anger more. His fingers deftly unlocked the door and swung it open. "Do you have any idea that this is six freaking a.m. in a Saturday morning?"
"Do you always open your door in your boxer shorts?" Kimberly looked surprise at his less than amiable greetings though there's something more swarming in those doe brown eyes. Just the fact that she was there at all threw him. "Too bad it's not the pink ranger ones Rocky got you for Christmas,"
"Kimberly! Hey, I'm sorry, I didn't-,"
She waved him off, totally understood how it was like to be awakened when the Mockingbird hadn't even started chirping. Dragging her gaze from his chiseled chest to his disoriented eyes, she simply handed him the pink pamphlet, not knowing what to say exactly. Showing was better than telling sometimes. "Can I come in?"
"Of course," Tommy stepped aside and she walked in. Kimberly busied herself by studying ten years worth of pictures decorating the living room Tommy had maintained neat and clean. After living there for almost two years, the lack of female touches had showed and the stack of men's magazines (even Maxim!) on the table and a pair of jeans hanging on the couch was definitely a sign that a bachelor was indeed currently occupying the household. Tommy had hung up this year's calendar she gave him; it consisted twelve black and white landmark shots she had taken in Europe before moving back to the US. She ain't Ansel Adams, but those photographs were her best takes and she was mightily proud of them. Unfortunately, not even the July's monochromatic shot of the Stonehenge standing on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire could provide a temporary relief.
Shifting her weight back and forth from her left foot to the other, she was anxiously waiting for Tommy's reaction. All Tomberly--who else would have come up with silly yet cute shipper name beside Rocky?--, issues aside, Tommy had something to be taken care of first thing first.
"WHAT THE HELL!"
"Seriously! Is this some kind of a sick joke or something?" Tommy barked and when she turned around, she was half hoping to see Tommy post the Green Ranger era, with green glowing eyes and all. Much on the contrary, the corner of his lips lifted to a bitter smirk. He was upset alright, it was written all over his face. His jaw was set, the shirtless body went taut until his hand finally crumpled the paper, smashing it to a ball no larger than a jawbreaker candy, but he oddly looked amused.
"I bring doughnuts," Was Kim's lame attend to cheer him up then remembered she had left them in the car.
"Can you believe this?" Tommy plopped down into one of the lumpy couches, still floored. "Where did you find it anyway?"
"Actually that, and more, is on every corner around the neighborhood,"
With that Tommy craned his neck, opened the curtain with a strong yank and peered furtively outside the window. The immediate sunlight hit him on the face, enlightening tiny worry lines creased on his forehead. He grimaced, mimicking someone who opened his fridge only to find a ten day old Kung Pao chicken. "This is ridiculous,"
Kim could relate. She had stared hole at the paper all way long to Tommy's house that she nearly ran into a water pump. "I really think you should call the police, or perhaps-,"
"Do you have to be somewhere soon?" Tommy queried suddenly, completely awake and sober now.
Kim blinked. "Um... no. I have a meeting with a client but it won't be till later at three,"
"Give me a moment," With that Tommy stood up, playfully tossed the paper ball at her and left her all alone with the crumpled TOMMY OLIVER IS A CHEATING BASTARD in her hand.
"I thought you said she was only a friend," Kim's comment came out a bit harsh from walking around the neighborhood for the past one hour and a half. Her glorious gymnastics days had long time ago come to an end and with her gym membership card expired three months before; this had been the real work-out she had after almost six months. "'She's just a co-worker, Kim. For all I know her fiancée is waiting for her back in Australia,' that's what you said,"
"She is," Tommy insisted. He had mentally played over the last couple of days' events and failed to see what could have triggered Cassandra's irrational behavior other than finding several things Kim had left upon making her quick exit last week. Cassandra was dropping off some paperwork and discovered Kim's undergarment which somehow had stuck in the sofa. He had blushed to the root of his hair and simply stuffed them into his pocket. She had looked disappointed and hurt that time, but he thought he was only imagining it. Who would have thought that in her own little world, they were dating and would live happily ever after?
He deliberately left out the specific details from Kim because she looked distraught and troubled enough without the additional info that she might be responsible for the weekend catastrophe.
"You sure it was her though?" Kim asked, fully realized that this man towering over her had had his own fan club ever since he was a teenager with mullet.
"Pretty much, yeah," Tommy nodded absently. He recognized the handwriting on these sheets; it was round and somewhat boyish. He gave her one brownie point for creativity. "Tired already?" Tommy asked, the glimmer in his eyes was the only evident that he was making fun of her. In his late twenties, her high school sweetheart was still as strikingly handsome as an Adonis who deserved to be posing half naked for the cover of GQ or Men's Health. Now wearing nothing more than a black tank and karate pants, exposing those tight muscles flexing underneath the morning sun every time he moved, he was driving her to the next level of insanity. "I seem to always forget that your legs weren't as long as mine, or Katherine's. Do you need me to carry you?"
Kim ripped off a flyer from yet another electric pole and crushed it inside her fist, feeling a mild satisfactory upon seeing Tommy's face tilting slightly down like he had gone ten rounds with Lord Zedd without a morpher. The cheap and low quality print smudged and left a dark grey stain around his left eye. She discarded it into the plastic bag Tommy had brought from home, joining the other sixty seven flyers they had taken down so far. "Say another word about my height, Tommy, and I promise you will have more then a thousand flyers you'd have to peel down not just from your neighborhood but through out California,"
"Please, it can't be worse than," He took one from the plastic bag and rumpled it open with one hand. Funny, he thought he would have memorized the content after collecting so many papers, but he hadn't. "Tommy William Oliver: The Winner of 2009 World's Worst Cheating Boyfriend. See him? Get him before this bastard runs off with your car and money and children and flies to the Bahamas! Congratulation to the winner, you ace-hole!, can it? She even got my middle name wrong, and Tommy William Oliver didn't sound right. It should have been Thomas,"
Kim looked up at him in disbelief. "How could you crack a joke about this? You should have filed charges, Tommy. This is so very bad, like stuff I would probably see in reality TV shows so fucked up you'd start doubting whether they were scripted or not," The road almost ended but she could see bright flashes of pink papers pasted on the lamp streets until the very last of them. Tommy had his whole future on a pole, literally, "It's a very good thing that I decided to stop by at your place this early or you would surely have a very, very long day today," Kim added smugly.
"Yeah, thank you for the Krispy Creme, honey," Tommy leaned down to drop a chaste kiss on top of her pony-tailed head. The friendly yet loving gesture reminded her of what she was there for and her shoulders slumped down in a defeated pose. Crazy girlfriend or not, she still had stuff to discuss with him. While Tommy had gently turned down her offer taking her car, ridiculously pointed out that the car wouldn't fit him, she knew he wanted to take his time to talk to her. "You know that my sweet tooth is almost as chronic as yours, as much as I hate to admit. Consider this as a down-payment. After all, you should be returning my IOU,"
"For letting you live in peace without even once of a 'Hi Kim, wanna talk' or 'what the hell does that letter mean?',"
"Well, I'm sorry for being a woman," Kim retorted with a mock huff.
"I'm sorry," He apologized after a moment of awkward silence. From the corner of his eyes he caught an old lady sitting on her front porch giving him the evil you're-a-pedophilia-get-out-of-here glare. "It's just, I don't really understand why you seem to be so bumped up," After their first time, he didn't think he it was possible to contain the fullness and happiness in his heart. Nestling between her slender thighs, those nimble gymnast legs squeezing deliciously around him… He would have probably spent the rest of his life grinning like the purplish Cheshire cat and he wouldn't even have cared. Turned out the feeling wasn't mutual.
"Men truly are dense, aren't they?" Kim mumbled. "They have to have black written on white to know what's going on,"
"Well then tell me," He grabbed her arms, swinging her to look at him in the eyes while his voice had taken the old leader tone. The emotion pooling in his dark brown eyes made it impossible for her to look away. For a short while they were seventeen year old Tommy and Kimberly standing in the airport waiting for the final boarding call to Florida.
"Look, Tommy, eighteen months ago when I received an invitation to Adam and Tanya's wedding, I did expect to see you, talk to you, probably even discuss the so called Dear John letter and laugh about it. But I didn't think I would move back from Paris to Angel Grove, or even have you, being a famous paleontologist that you were, still staying in this little boring town," A neatly plucked eyebrow arched when he looked at her incredulously. "What? You gotta admit that without the daily monster attack, Angel Grove is pretty boring,"
"Yeah, I still missed seeing a certain chick wearing spandex sometimes," Tommy teased, moving to lean against a street lamp. He slung the plastic trash bag over his shoulder, striking a classic Armani photoshoot pose, only he was wearing a street wear instead of a three piece silk monkey suit.
She nudged him with her elbow to let him know that she wasn't finished. "Then suddenly we were friends again and you knew almost everything about me. We've been trading water and then it happened... I guess the whole friendship with a little sex thrown in just didn't sit right with me," She ended, conveniently leaving the insecurities about her developing feelings towards Tommy.
"I remember being fifteen, meeting you and while all we do were holding hands, talking, sometimes kissing and simply being together… it was the best time of my life,"
Kim snorted. "Please, don't tell me you never ever thought about having sex, not even once?"
His laugh was music to her ears. "I was a healthy heterosexual sixteen year old with a beautiful girlfriend by my side. It's only fair to say that my raging hormones were through the roof, but I wouldn't have forced you to do anything you weren't comfortable doing. I respected and loved you too much to do that," His voice took a gentler tone and at the first caress of his hand on her cheek, Kim's eyes involuntarily fluttered close.
She let the wonderful feeling engulfed her for a moment too brief, allowing his touch to soothe down her deepest weary soul and it was with relief and delight that when she opened her eyes, those brown orbs were still fixing upon her intently. She squeezed his hand gently and pulled him along. "Come on, we'll talk while working,"
"I won't lie to you, I need some intimacy in my life," Kim's remark brought him out of his daydreaming. "But I won't let that ruin our friendship. You mean a lot to me, and much more than that,"
"Was that all it meant for you? Just sex?"
"Are you trying to tell me that it's not?" Kim challenged. "Face it Tommy. We're attracted to each other, even I won't deny that. The tension was there, right from high school and they reappeared when we saw each other again. Perhaps we just needed one opportunity to fuck each other's brain out to get rid of it from our systems,"
"I'm not the one who's running away, Kim,"
"I'm not running away!" Stopping abruptly, she whipped her head so fast that her pony tail was nearly an inch away from batting his face.
"You still left," The words came out more softly and when she looked at him, the ghost from the past was staring back at her. In an instant, the Tommy-less years she had to endure flashed in front of her eyes. Countless nights she had cried herself to sleep, hoping when she woke up everything had been a really bad dream. It never was.
"And of course, you were seeing someone," The grin she flashed him was bittersweet. "Though I'm not sure if you still want to see her again after today,"
At the mention of her psychotic co-worker, Tommy rolled his eyes. He didn't date around. In truth, he could scarcely remember the last time he had had a serious girlfriend. It was a common knowledge that he'd rather spend time with dinosaur bones than seeking out female companion. He was no prude. He enjoyed the pleasure of sex as much as the next guy, but after being dump twice by someone he'd thought would have been his wife, somehow fossils and bones appeared more appealing. The last serious relationship he had was when he met a pretty blonde named Patricia, or Trixie, as all her friends called her, in his senior year in college. It had been so dead serious that they would spend a 3 day holiday watching tapes of documentary concerning the exceptional identification of the long found Egyptian queen. Trixie had been very eager. I had something you would be dieing to see, she had emphasized over the phone. As a normal and healthy twenty six year old guy with an equally normal and healthy sex drive, he had assumed that she planned to surprise him with anything but the DVD she had illegally burnt from the university library's restricted section. What could have been more serious than that?
Then there's Cassandra. The Cassandra who apparently had a cousin running a photocopy center with endless paper supplies. In spite of Kim's skepticism, she really was just a co-worker. They had shared several lunches, but never kissed or did anything suggestive. True, Cass had been the second in line to be his girlfriend, just in case Kim met a wealthy lawyer with fifty room mansion in upstate New York before he got the balls to tell her about how he would love to tempt fate once again and give them another go, but they're just meant to be working partners. He was just grateful that Cass didn't decide to go all the way and burn down the house while he's sleeping or made an artwork out of his new prized possession, a black Dodge Viper SRT 10 with 600 horse power in addition to his old jeep, by adding a little additional bodypaint and graffiti on the windshield.
"I was just… I was confused. Waking up next to you, feeling safer and more content that I had ever been in so long… I don't want things to become awkward between us after the thrill of the chase was over. I don't want to share you with another woman because I want you to share your intimacy with nobody but me. I don't want to scare you off," Consequences be damned, she decided to bare it all.
As her voice grew smaller and smaller near the end, Tommy finally realized what had been bothering his Beautiful. Their lovemaking had been as unexpected as it had been out of the world. They had gone to a different realm called lovers now. Being friends did not involve sex. The last time he checked, Kim and Jason were not having sex… okay, bad, BAD mental image, Oliver.
Most female tend to think that while it was all about mental issues for them, sex for men was just a physical thing. It seemed like the thinking part of the brain was just shut down when matters had come down to sex. Why couldn't Kim understand that last week's experience meant a whole of a lot more to him than that? It was not something he shared with everyone and while he agreed to some extend that woman did have the tendency to complicate *everything* (though he wouldn't dream of telling Kim to avoid getting his ass handed to him), it was about commitment for him too. It's not just something he did. He was sharing not just his body but also his mind and soul. After their first time, he had never felt deeper emotional connection with Kimberly.
"Last week could bring us either to a better or worse situation," Tommy began. "I, for one, have no intention of looking back and starting the series of regrets, what ifs and what could've been. I've waited ten years for you, what do you want me to do? Wait for another ten years for the right girl to come along?"
Above anything, all Kim wanted to do was haul his face close to her and kiss him until they're delirious with air deprivation. "I fooled myself by telling myself over and over again that I was perfectly happy with our platonic friendship, but then suddenly I would think about you before going to bed and you'd usually make a cameo in some of my dreams," She confessed softly, smiling a little and feeling a touch of something wet in her eyes. "I stumbled and fell into a hill and I just kept falling and falling and I was afraid I would hit the bottom without anyone to catch me. It had to be pretty painful,"
"I'll always save you, Beautiful," Tommy replied, slinking his arms snugly around her waist. "You never have to worry. There're still lots of things to be considered, but they don't necessarily have to be complicated. We tend to make them so," He looked thoughtful for a second before breaking into a grin. "Unless you're pregnant, I guess it could be, but you're not, are you?"
Tommy didn't seem to mind about having her in his future and it sent tingles all over her body. Kim poked his chest to hide her embarrassment. His shirt was slightly damp with perspiration now and she found it to be extremely alluring. "If you wanted to say I made things complicated, just say so!"
"I guess it comes with the DNA, huh?"
"Yeah, said someone with a penis," Kim muttered, extricated herself from him and resumed walking; snatching a Tommy Oliver is a Cheating Bastard flyer on her way. She felt as though a huge burden had been lifted off her chest. The world suddenly seemed to be better. The sky had become deeper blue in color, the grass looked peculiarly greener and even her aching muscles was a sweet reminder of hours of gymnastic practice she used to have when she was younger.
"I resent that! I remember your enthusiasm when I-,"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, no R-rated scenes allowed here!" Kim protested, playfully jabbing his stomach while fighting down the flush creeping up her face. Oh yes, she was fully conscious of what he was hinting at. "You have to deal with your psychotic ex-girlfriend first,"
"She needs to see a specialist, and I told you Cassandra was not my girlfriend,"
"She seems not to think so,"
"You wish," Kim peeled another paper with a tired smile and ditched it with the rest of the trash. They had arrived back to where they'd started; Tommy's lawn. He didn't share Kim's interest in gardening and the barely-there grass made her weep inside. "What if we didn't get them all? You sure you don't want to call the police and file for defamation?"
"She and I need to talk, that's for sure, but she had made an excellent picture selection. It's even better than my year book picture. I couldn't send her to jail," He slurred sarcastically and waved the last flyer in front of Kim's face. It was definitely a candid, but it was like a copy of his driver license ID picture. The DMV had pressed the shutter button when Tommy was on the verge of sneezing and he refused for a reshoot. In three words, it was hideous.
"But what if she somehow embarked on a new Eliminate-Tommy scheme? What if she managed to get her scrawny fingers around your neck, strangle you and arrange the scenes so skillfully that you'd appear that you're dying from autoerotic asphyxiation?" She didn't give up, though her eyes were twinkling with mischief now. "Now that wouldn't look cute,"
"I'm not into self-bondage, thank you very much," Tommy pinched her nose, chuckling despite himself. "Or maybe it's a good reason to start considering Reefside," He told her after the mirth subsided, replaced with more serious matters. There had been a real estate advertisement that had caught his attention. It was far from civilization, true, but it was the address that he'd first noticed. 1993 Valencia Drive. He first became a ranger in 1993. He met his best friends and the love of her life in 1993. It was, he hoped, a good omen.
"Kinda like a modern version of The Hundred Acre Wood,"
"No neighbors?" She asked uncertainly.
"Unless you count lots of insects and midnight animals, I don't think so,"
"No malls?" She looked genuinely disappointed now. Having left her old shopping habit behind in Paris after she nearly went broke twice, she still had soft spots for the shopping centers.
"Why do you think Winnie the Pooh never changed his oh-not-sexy red midriff baring top?"
"You're too cute," Tommy laughed and pulled a pouting Kimberly close. She was still upset that he didn't take her seriously, but there's no other place she would rather be but in his arms. It's where she belonged. "At least Cass wasn't as bad as Trixie," Tommy continued in a sing-a-song voice, enjoying Kim's satisfied expression changing to one of those perplexed looks. "Just an old girlfriend. She's too hot for me to handle," A little white lie never hurt. A sassy Kim was always sexy.
"Whatever, you can save that for later when you're in the kitchen making me pancakes and bacon and eggs, scrambled because you always break the yolks," Her stomach growled at the mention of the delectable breakfast, having not eaten anything but a bite of Tommy's glazed doughnut this morning. Her feet hurt and she was sweaty. "Or probably you could drive to 7eleven and get me a New York Super Fudge Chunk and Triple Caramel Chunk," His mouth was already opened half-way and she immediately lifted a hand to shut him up. "I happen to have a symbiosis mutualism with Ben and Jerry, so unless you want me to kick your sorry cheating boyfriend ass to the moon, I suggest you keep whatever you want to say to yourself,"
Folding his arms across his chest, he watched Kim's wondrous change from the mellow Kim to his old Kimberly. "You're accusing me to be the only cheating party here while I still have your letter framed. It's in my study room, just in case you missed it. Exhibit A,"
"Oh you…," Kim scowled. "You know, you have to do something with this Cassandra person because she's so impossible. You're famous now… well, as famous as a paleontologist could be anyway," Kim amended with a guilty grin. "Can you imagine how it would be if somehow you made a headline? It would totally give you a bad name," The fierce look on Kim's face reminded Tommy of what she's capable of. He was ready to make a cute comment when she went on testily, still glowered, "You have every right in the world to ruin her life. You want to know what I would do if I were you? I'd visit every doctor office and library in town and fill every, and I mean, every magazine subscription. One hundred until three hundred would be enough, I think,"
"It's a dirty job but someone's got to do it?"
"Just fill in her name and address and even her mother wouldn't be able to save her," Kim finished fiercely, leaving no room for arguments. She then tousled Tommy's hair lightly. "That and too much Discovery Channel for you, Handsome,"
They were looking at each other for a while, a comfortable silence hanging between the two until Tommy snorted and burst out laughing, breaking the ice. He pulled her into the circle of his arms once again and tilted her chin to drop a soft kiss on her lips. "God, I love you, Beautiful,"
"Yeah, about that, we are biologically constructed to become fonder of people we're having sexual intercourse with," Kim whispered, unable to resist and steal another longer kiss from his lips. Now she could do it every day anytime she wanted and life had never felt so sweet. "Try Google Oxytocin"
"I think we should date," Tommy suggested after lowering her feet to the ground. "But we're going to take this slow, see where the direction taking us, so you don't have to worry your pretty head about it,"
"The only directions I see right now are go to your front porch, then walk straight to the bathroom because I'm in a serious need of a nice, long, hot bath," What she wasn't prepared was for Tommy to lean down and scoop her into his arms. She gasped as he practically trotted briskly towards his house. "Hey, I thought we're going to take it slow? What happened with taking it one step at a time?"
"Oh I am," Tommy answered with a glimmering mischievousness in his eyes. "Just in case you didn't notice, I take longer steps,"