Title: "Ham Sandwiches, Sweet tea, with Mac and Cheese"
One-Shot Written by: Shawn

Summary: Kim's mature, wacky, silly, and mildly naughty thoughts on Tommy's return and their new relationship.

Category: Romance

Rating: PG-13'ish

Timeline/Spoilers: This takes place three weeks after MMPR Season 2 episode "While Light"

Authors Notes 1: This is just a feel good piece. I know I have a number of unfinished projects and I will finish all of them, but I can't fight inspiration and this one just came to me.

Authors Notes 2: This story is being written in Kimberly's P.O.V.

Dedicated to: Liz aka SYuuri, a amazingly wonderful, caring, and incredibly talented good friend. Happy 21st Birthday Queen of TK Art!!!!! Look for her artowrk at the Perfect Chemistry forum. A link can be found on my authors page.

"The last time I was inside a woman was when I went to the Statue of Liberty."
~~ Woody Allen

"You can't buy love on eBay."
~~ Anonymous

"Marriage has no guarantees. If that's what you're looking for, go live with a car battery."
~~ Erma Bombeck

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Angel Grove High School

Tuesday, November 3, 1994 4:15 PM

Angel Grove, Ca

I do believe that I am humming.

I mean, I can hear some kind of musical-like noise coming from me and it sounds pretty happy. Jovial and triumphant in its own way. Sounds like a song I wrote a couple of days ago. One of my better, happier ones that wasn't filled with teen-angst and true love being stomped to death. Yes, even bubbly Kimberly Hart can pen a sad love song so heart-wrenching that it would make Freddy Kruger want to give me a hug. But not today and not this one. Whatever this whimsical bit of fancy it is, I'm still doing it.

But the real question is, do people still hum? Do I?

See, as far back as I can recall... cue the wavy lines and psychedelic colors as we traipse down memory lane, I haven't hummed since I was... six? No, I think I was seven when that cute boy with the pretty eye lashes who lived across the street from me came to my rescue in my hour of need when my shoe laces got caught in the chain of my bike and I fell down in the front yard and started crying. His name was Benny and he rushed to my aid like a Knight in shining armor. Okay, so he had on dusty blue jean overalls, white Nike sneakers, and a pirate shirt with a ketchup stain. But he was my first Knight!

At age seven I just wasn't to picky.

Ahem... And seeing as how Disney movie examples of true love, my only examples at the time, told me that boys rescued girls and then they fell in love I was certain Benny and I were either already married or destined to be. DISNEY SAID SO! And outside of mothers always being dead or killed in the opening credits of most of their family films, I still believed in the wonderful world of Disney and its romantic happily ever afters.

Sweet Benny... he's gay now. And happy, I'm pleased to report. Happy and gay and has a cute boyfriend named Jeff who works at the mall downtown and helped me pick out the best pair of heels I ever bought. He's not as cute as my boyfriend, but still. So much for my very first romance. But this time... this time I think I got it right.

Oh yeah, I'm really humming now. While holding my hand as we navigate the boisterous hallway filled with numerous skateboarders, lockerhanger arounds, and jocks Tommy glances my way with a smirk of a smile and then shakes his head in that mildly exasperated boyfriend sort of way. Good boy. Just smile and let me enjoy what I have been denied for far too long. My handsome leader-boyfriend of the last two weeks went A.W.O.L. after losing his Green Ranger powers and that hurt me a great deal. But he's been very sweet in apologizing and making things up to me since he came back. Hence taking my hand in his as soon as I exited my Biology class and has proudly escorted me ever since.

So yeah, I'm humming. And grinning. And enjoying Aisha's thumbs-up while walking by. My rock of a sister who's supported me on days I probably drove her crazy talking about my wacky love life is celebrating with me now. I can't help humming and I have no intention of stopping anytime soon. Even though Becky Hardcastle and her infamously large rack is staring daggers at us because I won the grand prize in the Tommy-sweepstakes, I don't care. When she's forty with severe back-pains I'll still be back-flipping and laughing at her. I know, I know. That's kinda, sorta mean. But I'm a edgy, hormone-raging, post-period teenage girl who just aced a bad-ass Biology exam. Allow me my bitchy moment.

I finally got my guy.

FINALLY! Geez, for a while there I thought I was gonna have to hypnotize him. That or get a fluorescent shirt that said "I, Kimberly Ann Hart, of sound mind and body hereby declare my undying love for Tommy Oliver." And I was close to buying that shirt.

So I waited and waited and waited for Tommy to get a clue that we were love. That I reciprocated his obvious feelings and had plenty of my own. But my dear sweet Tommy... he's a action kinda guy. He's all about the roundhouse kick and the lightening fast punch. But talking to me about his feelings... not so much. Defending the world from evil is easy for him. Romance is still a work in progress. So I've been leading the way for the longest time and I'm cool with that. I make the first move and he responds. Repeat as needed. It works for us. But ever since he returned he's been very forward in making sure I know how he feels about me. Still, I want my pound of flesh, forty acres, a mule, and a country named after me for all the freaking tears I have shed over this boy. He made me wait so he must pay. But I'll be nice about it.

Back to the present, we're strolling down this typically crowded high school hallway after last period and I'm just humming to myself like the happiest person on Earth. I know I'm giggly today, but I just don't care. How often is a teenage girl really happy? Heck for that matter, how often is anyone? Well for two freaking years I loved this boy and I now have him all to myself. Out in the open and in front of everyone. Maybe that's why I'm grinning like the Joker from Batman: The Animated Series. I'm deeply, crazily in love with Tommy and now everyone knows he's mine! From the crown of his head to the soles of his feet and every kick that he makes the boy is mine! No more whispers about when we'll get together, or are we already together, or if we'll ever get together. Tommy's holding my hand and I'm able to give the Mean-Eye to every single girl who thought they had a chance to take what's mine.

MINE!

Yes, I scream in my head. But I hide my partial insanity quite well. On the outside I maintain a cheerful, bubbly persona that cleverly conceals my inner neurotic, tiny bit psychotic, typically teenage insecure, Bitch-Queen side. You never know what's going on in the mind of a girl. We could be smiling in your face while thinking about how best to cut you up into itty bitty pieces.

"Thank you," I offer my boyfriend as he opens the exit door for me. He's trying really, really hard to make up for our time apart and I truly appreciate the effort. It makes a girl feel special that her guy recognizes he has something to make up for and is doing something about it. Despite the morphological craziness of our lives I feel like a priority to him and that does wonders for all my many insecurities. And trust me, I have tons of them. But I matter to him and he treats me that way. I love him.

Yay!

"So do you want to come home with me?"

Walking down the pathway towards the high school parking lot, my naughty grin temporarily paralyzes Tommy's ability to speak. "Just what are you suggesting, Mr. Oliver?"

He tries to laugh it off, albeit bit nervously. Suddenly he's fumbling his words and its all to cute to watch. "I didn't mean for anything... you know." I do. Of course I do. We've had that 'talk' already. But that doesn't mean I can't tease him from time to time. I've earned that right. He explains, "My parents are gone until tomorrow night visiting my sick uncle, so we'd have the whole house to ourselves. We can make it a movie night and I'll make dinner."

What? "What?"

"I said I'll make dinner."

Huh? "Huh?"

Tommy exhales deeply, grinning with his arms cross his chest. When we reach his black jeep he tugs my hand to stop for a moment. I lean back against the drivers-side door while he talks. "Ever since I got back Lord Zedd has been sending monsters after us almost every day and we've had school and both of our heavy workouts schedules in the afternoon. So I was thinking that maybe we could spend this evening together... all alone. Minus the guys and all. Just you and me watching movies and talking." His sincere smile lights up my day. And to think I was gonna just 90210 my night away. But not now. Dylan and Brenda can take a hike. "I can't promise you a five-course chefs dinner, but I'm sure I can whip something up that won't kill you. So what do you say?"

Yes, I'll marry you and have your children. Thankfully, I don't say that. Don't want to scare him off just yet. Gotta hide Crazy-Kim for as long as I can until I get the diamond ring on my finger. And that's at least six years or longer off. "Uhm, I think its so nice Aisha just asked me over for a movie night," I winked. Yes, I am going to lie to my mom so I can spend some much needed snuggle time with my honey. And I feel no guilt over that fact. None. Zero. Nada. His nod acknowledges his understanding and then he opens the driver-side door for me. I don't need guys opening doors for me all the time cause its just not me. Independent girl and all that I am. But because its him, for this time in our lives, its really special.

Then he up and says something that flat out knocks me off my feet.

"You wanna drive?" Tommy dangles his car keys out in front of me and I'm suddenly trying to remember to breathe. If he's teasing me I'll tear his balls off. See, in teenage romance circles when a guy lets his girl drive his car that's just... thats freaking HUGE! And it looks like he means it.

So I'm just standing there, speechless and shocked. Just staring at him. I mean, really. In the grand scheme of things this is just such a tiny blip in the world. Me driving his car won't end world hunger, bring about world peace, or end the threat of nuclear war. But right here and now I'm so damn excited I can barely contain myself. I think I could morph without my power coin. I'm just smiling a big silly happy girlfriend smile that doesn't contain a trace of maturity. "Are you sure? I doubt your dad would approve."

"I'm sure he wouldn't," Tommy replied as if he didn't have a care in the world, stilling dangling his keys. His eyes were all but tempting me to take the forbidden fruit. "Its a good thing he isn't in town. Plus I know you're a great driver. I trust you." He pauses for a moment and then gazed lovingly into my eyes. I think I'm swooning. "And I love you."

I am so gonna have the best sex ever with you someday. I mean we are seriously gonna break a bed with our raucous love making one of these days when we get around to having sex. And I hope this nice long kiss I'm now giving you as I steal the keys from your hand explains that in a way I'm a little to scared to express right now. You don't seem to mind that we just got a couple of "Ohhs" and "Ahhs" from a group that just walked by. When we break I know I'm blushing and he looks happy and terrified, which I enjoy. This out-in-the-open thing is new for us, and enjoying it while actually being out and in the open will take a some adjusting too. But after the longest time we're finally here and it feels so good. "Buckle up, White Ranger. I'm gonna take you for the ride of your life." I wink, adding just a little sauciness to my voice to turn him on. There's a hint of sexual flirtation there as I intended. He's suddenly speechless, so I know I hit my mark.

"Oh boy," I hear him mutter under his breath. I couldn't help but to laugh as he quickly rounded his car and got in the passenger side.

After securing my seatbelt and starting the engine, I confidently switch Tommy's radio station to the one I usually listen too. He gives me a mock of a glare, but again, I am owed this. I give him "the look." The one that instantly reminds him of the long period of time he stayed away from me that hurt me a great deal. The one that tells him its my way or the highway for the foreseeable future until he is fully forgiven. Its not like he minds a great deal anyway. He settles in peacefully without a word spoken, but he's smiling so I know we're okay. I can tell he hopes I pull out of the lot quickly so that he doesn't have to endure any ribbing from the guys...

Oh look, Rocky and Adam are right over there. I think its time I drive by really slow and acknowledge the fact that I am driving my boyfriend's car.

Like I said, I want my pound of flesh, dammit!

As I circle the long way out of the parking lot I hear Tommy groan by my side when our friends catch sight of who is at the wheel. Oh yeah, he knows what's coming. His head dips when I pull right up to the guys and roll down his window. "Hey boys. Are you two headed to the Youth Center?" I asked as if I might offer them a ride when that was the furthest thing from my mind.

"Ohhh, Kim. Looks like you got a new car," Rocky just had to note while evilly rubbing his chin, coming to Tommy's passenger window with Adam by his side. The Red Ranger leaned in. grinning, resting his right elbow on the window frame. "Oh wait, this car looks familiar. I could swear it looks like the car of a girlfriend-whipped guy I know? I just can't seem to recall his name."

Adam, one who wasn't known to razz people near as much as Rocky even shook his head. "So whens the wedding?"

"Ha, ha," I offered while slipping on my dark shades from my purse. "So where's your final destination?"

Rocky still couldn't believe what he was seeing. "I think the better and far more gossipy question is where are you two off too?"

Having had enough, Tommy replied, "We're going to a place called none of your damn business."

"That place wouldn't by any chance require the use of a king-sized bed, would it?"

I laughed out loud so hard the people in the car next to us glanced our way like I was crazy. Tommy remained silent, offering no reply as I don't think he knew what to say. But seeing as how sweet he's been, its time I defended my man. "You know, guys. Instead of messing with Tommy, how about you go and get yourselves some girlfriends. And a car. And then maybe you'd get some..." I casually rested the back of my right hand on Tommy's chest. His eyes went wide when I softly rolled my wrist over and then slowly descended down his belly. My foot hit the gas as I said no more, leaving two very embarrassed and aroused Power Rangers staring as mutely as I drove off. "You can thank me later."

Tommy looked my way, his eyes bright with amusement. "I'm going to get a hundred phone calls tonight."

I shrugged, turning the corner, "So will I. By the time Aisha hears of this I will be on the phone until well past midnight. And if I know Rocky, she's getting a earful right about now. But oh well. At least we're gonna have fun." Its barely a ten minute ride to his house, but I can't help but to notice that instead of Tommy making fun of how far I have the seat up, or trying to explain something about the car that I already know he seems relaxed. In fact, he's not even complaining about my choice of music. He's quiet and seems at peace. We haven't said anything since leaving the parking lot and I think he's enjoying this as much as I am.

We're together and its just that simple.

Just up the street is Tommy's brown two-story brick home on the right. I pull into the driveway along side his mom's dark blue Buick Regal, careful not to scratch it. Don't want to make a bad impression on the future mother-in-law. And yes, I've already picked out China patterns. Anyway, when I kill the engine we're still sitting there with both of us staring at the gray garage door. Being all alone minus the other Rangers is something we're slowly getting accustomed too. The tension between us is different now because all the big declarations are out of the way. We're together, in love, and we both know it. There's nothing to hide behind anymore. Now what to do about it... we're still working that part out. So the first thing that comes to mind for me to say is "Thank you."

"No, thank you," Tommy repeats my words while unbuckling his seat belt. He shifts towards me and then takes my right hand in his. Not for the first time I truly admire his strong hands, and wonder why I've never noticed any other boys hands before. Maybe it's because his touch is so warm. I instantly recognize from the serious expression he wearing that what he's about to say is something very important to him. "Thank you for giving me a second chance when you didn't have too. My disappearing act... it was unforgivable considering what you deserved. Again, I'm so sorry for not communicating with you. I was just in a really bad place. But that's no excuse. He's right. He really is. His three week exile from the team was one thing I didn't approve of, though I understood how sometimes you just need to get away from a situation to gain perspective. But his exile from me hurt so bad... I thought we were closer than that and that he trusted me enough to talk to me even when he didn't want too. I cried so many nights and sometimes even hated him. But more than that, I loved him with all my heart.

Alas, guys are different than girls in how they deal with stress and even the best of them have their own unique ways we women just wont ever understand or like. Nonetheless, he seems to recognize how much he hurt me. I have to give him credit, since he's been back he's treated me like the woman he loves. So I offer him my best smile. "I just didn't believe our story was over with," I note a bit dramatically, but I am a writer so please forgive me.

"I'd like to think this is a new beginning." Tommy is no poet, but he is sincere and that's worth more to me than all the romantic poems in the world. And with that handsome smile of his my heart's soaring. Today isn't anything special at all. Really, it's just another school day. A Tuesday like any other. Then again, maybe that's the point. Instead of looking for special days maybe we should try and make every day special. Right here and now I'm enjoying this quietness while sitting parked with my boyfriend. We aren't doing one interesting thing and yet I can't tell you when I've ever been happier.

Tommy squeezed my hand. "You're quiet."

"Just thinking," I say.

"About?"

"How good it feels for us to be together without all the unanswered questions and teen angst."

"Oh, so you think I don't have any secrets left, do you?" Tommy's sly expression shades just a bit of his bad boy spirit. I know that I know him better than anyone. Better than I think he thinks I do. But no guy wants his girl to figure him out completely. Or so I've been told. "That's interesting."

"Fine, tell me all your secrets?" I dare him, loving the way his hands caress mine.

"After dinner." His snarky taunt makes me want to swat him good. Releasing my hands, he exits the car on that note and then waits for me at his front door. Jerk. I should make him wait, but I'm too excited to be spending time alone with him to care. With purse and keys in hand I walk right up to him...

... and then he grabs and deeply kisses me until I drop his keys, my purse, and any emotional guard I had left. Just like that, right out of the blue... the most bold, passionate kiss he's ever given me and I'm... I'm... Virginity, it was nice knowing you.

Okay, melodramatic much. But you gotta forgive me. For the shy boy who drove himself crazy before even asking me out on our first date, he's now sliding his tongue around mine while holding me tight in his arms and I'm light-headed because it feels so damn good. Color me shocked yet again. The Tommy that returned to Angel Grove seems focused on not being afraid of me or us this time around. I couldn't be more grateful as our lips part when breathing becomes an issue, also mindful we are on his front porch. The last thing we need is nosy neighbors telling his parents we saw your son and his girlfriend making out before ducking inside the empty house to do God knows what.

Appearing all to pleased from surprising me, Tommy retrieves his keys and my purse, and then unlocks the door while smirking like he's slayed a fire-breathing dragon or something. I just gotta tug him back down to Earth. My chin lifts defiantly, my lips pursed. "It wasn't that great a kiss."

"Your blush says otherwise," he winks.

Damn my fair complexion. I wanna stomp my foot, but that would be childish. Instead I follow in after him, my eyes drifting to his magnificent ass while shutting the door behind us. What? Girls look too. "Blah, blah, blah. Now go make my dinner." His steps come to a halt in the kitchen entry way, arms crossed his chest as if he's preparing to defy me. I suddenly want to comb my fingers through his long hair just cause. I don't have all night.

I can tell there's a mockingly venomous retort dangling from the tip of his tongue, but he reigns it in cause he knows I'm just teasing him. His arms drop back by his sides. You're lucky I love you so much.

I tell myself that every day. I'm sure I revealed to much by saying that, but his tender expression soothes my fears. He's just as head over heels as I am. And we're just trying to find our way around this crazy thing called love. Please Lord Zedd, just give it a rest today. I want my honey all to myself for the rest of the evening. Try to take over the world... uhm... Saturday. Saturday works for me. But after 1:00 PM. I have a early morning hair appointment.

Anyway, while watching Tommy peruse the refrigerator, I take one of the polished-wood chairs at the kitchen island and cross my legs. So what's on the menu?

He shifted to peek at me and then stood tall with one hand holding the refrigerator door open. "Okay, I can make us some honey-ham sandwiches, and mac and cheese. Plus, we've got a whole pitcher of ice cold sweet tea." The words kinda rush out of him almost apologetic. "I know its not a fancy dinner at a downtown restaurant, but..."

"I love it. Thank you." Boys need reassurance too. And his thankful smile does wonders for my heart. He acts as if I'm used to going out to dinner or having guys cook for me. Heck, the most a guys ever done for me is make popcorn. Thanks Jason and Zack. So while Tommy might worry that this isn't some expensive lobster or steak date night, I'm overwhelmingly happy and have never in my life looked forward to eating ham sandwiches and mac and cheese more than I do right now. Here's my sweet, imperfect boyfriend making me dinner. I think I've reached the pinnacle of high school romance. "Tommy, this is wonderful. Thank you so much. You're a sweetheart."

"Your sweetheart?"

"Absolutely," I answer his wildly pleased grin. I watch him move about the kitchen while pondering how little time I've spent in here. I'm usually with Tommy and the guys in the basement, backyard, or his bedroom with the door open cause his parents aren't trusting us with it closed just yet. And you know what... they have good reason too. We're not quite 'there' yet, but it probably won't be much longer. I'm both excited beyond words and terrified when I think of making love to him. But I know that I want to, someday.

This kitchen feels so warm and loving in its design. Beige and light-brown walls, granite counter-tops, finished cabinets, and this beautiful center island looks amazing. Not to mention Pamela Oliver is a wonderful cook, not surprising since a small rack full of recipe books adorn the right wall. She's a amazing mother as well, evidenced by her son's character and integrity. All of a sudden I wish she were here so that we could talk and... I don't know. I'm so in love with her son I just want to be a part of his world and get to know everyone in it.

A world that at the moment consist of him boiling macaroni. After putting it on, he raids the fridge of all the sandwich items he needs and then walks them over the island where I'm sitting. While he's preparing them I ask, "So tell me something I don't know about you?"

Tommy doesn't miss a beat, not even raising his head while spreading mayonnaise on slices of bread. "I like dinosaurs. Alot."

My nose crinkles. "Really? He nods. "You don't just mean movies where they rampage through city streets and eat people?"

Shaking his head, our eyes meet. "I check out books about dinosaurs and their origins from the library sometimes." My mildly shocked expression amuses him. "Did you think all I was interested in was the martial arts?"

"And me?"

"Well..." I got him with that carefully placed bit of flirt. "Of course." We might both be blushing as he finishes off four sandwiches with fresh lettuce, cheese, and tomato slices. They look delicious and I'm suddenly surprised how hungry I am. "But I am really interested in dinosaurs. I've never told anyone that before."

I wish I was mature enough to just nod and accept it as that, but I'm sorta nibbling my bottom lip. I'm just crazy about him and every little thing that bonds us and only us has me on Cloud 9. I assume that after some time passes and I get used to us the way we are now, I'll get used to this new depth of closeness we share. "Thank you for telling me," I reply. "I'm surprised, but at the same time its pretty cool."

"Same question to you. Tell me something about you that I don't know."

He steps away to stir, and then drain the macaroni while I try to come up with something he doesn't know about me. The first thing that comes to mind isn't exactly light material, but I know I can trust him with it. "I'm still very angry at my dad for the divorce even though the end of their marriage was mutual. I just blame him for some reason. Maybe its cause he left the house... I don't know."

After squeezing the cheese in the pot, Tommy begins stirring it into the macaroni. "I can understand that," he nods. "And at least you know that there is no reason to really be mad at him, but we all feel what we feel. You know he loves you and that's all that matters. Trust me, I have days where I hate my real parents because I don't know why they gave me up."

"And other times?"

"I want to thank them for giving me to such loving parents who have given me a great life."

"That's beautiful."

"No, you're beautiful."

My world slows and then fades away to nothing at all. I lift a brow aimed in his direction. "You're kinda romantic ever since you became the leader."

"I got some pointers from my Dad. He said if I didn't treat you right I was going to lose you. And I don't want to lose you." Then he laughed. "But I wouldn't start expecting romantic poems or love letters. This is probably as sweet as I get. But I am trying."

"Fair enough." Dinners done. He's laying out two plates and then pouring us big glasses of golden sweet tea. I'm suddenly famished and giggly. I just want to kiss him all day long for sharing with me and understanding me so well. I calm myself down and try to relax. I can tell he's doing the same thing.

The living-room is our next destination, with each of us carrying our own plate. We get comfortable on the couch, using the inn table as a makeshift kitchen table.

"A toast," he offers mid-laugh, lifting his glass. I lift mine as well. "To the first of hopefully many dinner nights."

"I like the sound of that." We clink glasses as if its our wedding anniversary. Sweet tea substitutes for champagne, but thats fine by me. We settle in, going over the Oliver family movie collection as he's given me the option to pick the first movie of the night to watch. I peruse the action, drama, love, funny, and historical VHS tapes they have while trying to decide if I should pick a girly movie or something we both like. I choose the later, holding out Terminator 2. His face betrays his shock as he was sure Sleepless in Seattle or the Princess Bride was in his immediate future. But when a guy kisses you in front of all his friends, lets you drive his car, makes you dinner and treats you as good as he's treated me the least you can do is watch a movie he likes. Plus, I liked it too. "What? I'm in the mood for action tonight?"

He brow raises as does the naughty smile curling that mouth of his that I love so much.

My eyes roll. "I didn't mean it like that." At least not yet. He puts in the tape and then with remote in hand fast-forwards through the previews. We talk about our day while eating as the movie begins. This feels so wonderfully relaxing to be eating with him and watching something on TV while talking about regular high school stuff. I guess what they say is true. Its the simple things in life that are the best.

Tommy spins the whimsical tale of Jeff Connors from his 3rd period Algebra class. Jeff, as immature as any seventeen year old boy has ever been engaged in a farting contest in the middle of a lecture that saw him suspended later on in the day. I finally ask my boyfriend a question I have wondered about for years. Just what is so funny to guys about a guy passing gas? He laughs and shrugs.

"I don't know. I honestly don't. We're just programmed kinda dumb, I guess."

Conversation breaks from the stupid to talking about our beloved fifth period teacher, Mr. Lancaster, and his unexpected leave of absence due to stomach cancer. He's a truly original teacher and really cares about making sure we understand what he's saying. He's also one of the head student advisors. Every one of his students respects and loves him. They all wished him the best today when he divulged his illness and that he was leaving for a time to fight it. I hugged him and wished him the best of luck.

After that we continued and laughed about the typical high school gossip of who likes who, who was just dumped, and who needs to finally get together already. Thankfully, we're off that list. Tommy catches me up with Jason as they talked for two hours Sunday night and I'm so happy to hear how well he's doing I told my boyfriend all about the last letter I got from Trini and the amazing pictures Zack sent me from London. We miss the old gang as much as we love the new one. But life goes on as our relationship is testament to that.

A bit later I use his phone to tell my mom that Aisha and I are having a last-minute movie night and I'll be home by nine. My recent grades and lack of getting in trouble smooth over this little bit of rebelliousness as Mom wishes me a good time and lets it go at that, so long as I get a ride home. Tommy's grinning evilly beside me, no doubt wondering where I learned to lie oh so well. "Keeping a secret super hero identity sharpens the skills."

"I'll remember that."

When the cordless phone suddenly rings he checks the Caller-ID. It's Sha. I quickly snatch the phone from his hand and answer in a totally breathless soft of way, panting, "Hello?"

Aisha, true to her blunt personality, assumes exactly what I intended. "I 'know' you did not just bone Tommy?!"

"There are other words to use besides boning, you know." Beside me, Tommy absorbs the silly moment, shaking his head.

"I know those words, but I don't use them... often," she laughs. "And you ain't fooling nobody. I'd know if you had sex with Tommy. You haven't."

"And how would you know?"

"Cause I'm sure a one mile wide dome of glowing pink energy would signal the loss of your virginity."

"... damn."

"Exactly," she laughs. "Look, only reason I'm calling is cause your mom just called her to ensure you get a ride home. I covered for you that you were in the bathroom."

Leaning comfortably against Tommy's shoulder, I sigh. "Thanks, Sha. You're the best."

"Yeah, well, I know that. But next time you want alone time with your honey, give me a heads up first, k?"

"Will do."

"Good. Now go enjoy the rest of your evening and as soon as you get home call me. I want every single naked, salacious detail."

Laughing, I thank her again and then we exchange goodbyes. No more interruptions, I silently pray as Tommy's arm lifts over my shoulder, snuggling me safely into his side as we drift off into this quiet realm where we're just watching TV and being coupley. This is what we've missed for what seems like forever. Just being alone with the outside world far, far away. And while Terminator 2 is far from a romantic film, you would think we were watching Robin Hood. My legs are tucked under me, with my back resting against his chest and his arms curled around me. I'm toying possessively with his wrist just cause I can.

And if I've lived a better day than this one, I just don't recall it.

"Are you happy?" he whispers in my ear, and then nuzzles my neck. I nod his answer, my eyes fluttering shut, lost in his warm embrace.

"Are you happy? I ask, turning my head into his shoulder. His deep exhale soothes me.

"Very."

"Good."

Terminator 2 comes and goes, with the ending credits rolling on screen before we even know it. Seeing that we didn't consider how long a film it is, our little movie night is over when I catch sight of the time on the VCR. I don't want to bring it up. I don't want to think about leaving him. I don't want to do anything that will break this lovely spell were under. I want too... I want to make love to him.

Wow...

Not tonight and probably not tomorrow. I'm not sure when our time will be, but I want it. I'm ready for it. And I love him that much.

Before I fully shift in his arms he's kissing me again and all bets are off as we end up in the most sexually provocative position we've ever been in before. I don't know how I end up lying on my back, or when his solid frame is pinning me to the couch, but he's kissing me right outta my mind and if we had all night and birth control... okay, slow down Kim.

Deep breath.

Many a teenage girl has ended up with the nine-month flu contemplating what you're thinking about. Time to reel those feelings in. No matter how damn good they feel.

A single gentle press of my left hand to his chest stills him long enough to release my mouth. We gaze in the dark, unable to speak as this was the first time passion almost overtook us. I mean, I can 'feel' him and I was certainly running my hands all over his body. We know what we both want. Our gazes lock as we settle down a bit and cool off. "I'm not ready yet," is all that was needed to be said as it was the truth. Not tonight, anyway. He brushes another soft kiss onto my lips and then climbs off me to sit on the floor by my side. His eyes are shut and I know he's trying to calm down more than the beat of his heart.

I turned him on.

The knowledge is thrilling to say the least.

Laughing softly to himself, Tommy rises to his feet, stretches his arms and then offers me his hand. "I better get you home." My grumble makes him smile. "I don't want you to go either."

We kiss all the way to his car.

******

Tommy pulls his jeep to a full stop at the first house on my block, mindful that my house is about eight homes down. Knowing my mom as well as I do I'm sure she's upstairs reading. Good for me as hopefully she won't be on the lookout for Aisha's dad's car. Alas, its just a bit past 9:30 as my beautiful night has drawn to an end. We both sigh... "Tonight was wonderful, Tommy. Thank you so much."

He shifted in his seat, his gaze focused on me alone. My, my, my how I love those warm brown eyes of his. "You're welcome, Beautiful."

When he calls me that I blush almost instantly, my smile making up for the lack of a full moon. Show me a seventeen year-old girl who wouldn't. Its only the fourth time he's called me that since he returned, but I can recall the exact place, time, and date of each one. My head ducks a bit shyly. He's smiling too. I just know it. Only one thing comes to mind to say to him. "That was the best macaroni and cheese I've ever eaten."

He gives a full belly laugh, which was my intent all along. When I peer his way I'm greeted with a very pleased expression written all over his face. "And the honey ham sandwiches?"

"Fabulous," I declare with flair, even going so far as to toss my hair back. "You know, if you're trying to win the boyfriend of the year award, I gotta say tonight was one heck of a nod in your direction."

"Well," he replied, pausing a brief moment. "Since I don't have much money this was the most romantic thing I could think to do on short notice. And I might of looked through one of my mom's Cosmo magazines and saw a article that said girls liked guys who cooked for them."

Ever trying to please and impress me, I knew he still struggled with the knowledge that I in fact loved him. Little things like what he just said reveal the insecure hurt of a orphan growing into manhood. He still wants to be good enough even when he's already the best. I am suddenly, venomously protective of him. "Tommy, no guy has ever treated me to a more romantic night than tonight."

"Should I be impressed or feel sorry for you," he grinned and then recoiled when I swatted him good. I thought of yanking his pony-tail, but fought back that urge. I am a lady, after all.

"I meant it. And I love you," I chuckled while leaning into the space between us.

"I love you too." And I could tell he truly did.

"Now kiss me goodnight before I get grounded for the next two months."

He bent towards me, a smile curling his mouth. "You're a very bossy girlfriend. Do you know that?"

"Shut up and kiss me." And he did... deeply... and we just kept right on kissing until my hands were in his hair and his hand cupped the back of my head and I just wanted to climb over in his lap and now I'm wondering how big is the back seat and oh God I better get the fuck out of this car before any innocence I have left goes the way of the dinosaurs. And my honey loves his dinosaurs.

"Okay," he exhaled breathlessly when our lips finally parted. "Well, uhm... see at you school tomorrow."

I can only nod. And I offer him a little wave and then quickly flee his car. We are sooooo close to crossing all sorts of naughty lines and we both know it. The fresh night air fills my lungs and frees my mind from the fog of passion. The knowledge that Tommy won't pull off from the street until he sees me go into my house offers me protection as much as it does affection. He loves me and my safety means the world to him. Sometimes it annoys me. But other times... like tonight, I'm thankful for it.

I reach my house before I know it and retrieve my house key from my purse. I take the steps of my porch two at a time, but the split-second before I insert the key the door swings opens, revealing my mom. I could not have looked more guilty. My hair was a mess, my face was flushed, and Aisha's dad was nowhere in sight. Can you say Busted? Her hands were firmly placed on her hips. I was receiving the Paternal Evil-Eye.

I have a bad feeling about this. As my dear old grandfather would say, I'm up shits creek without a paddle.

"You know," my mom began like a F.B.I interrogator. "When I called Aisha's house a second time it was to tell her that since I had to run a last minute errand, I would pick you up. Imagine my surprise when Aisha's mom answered the phone and said you hadn't been there all night and that Aisha had fallen asleep on the couch watching TV." Yeah, I'm screwed. Royally screwed. I bow my head in acceptance.

Mom keeps right on going. "So I assume that Jeep down the street is Tommy's?" I nod. She glances over my shoulder at my boyfriend's car. "And you spent the evening with him?" I nod again. Maybe I'll see Tommy again sometime 'next' year. "And you did what all evening, young lady?"

The insinuation carried by her tone of voice was clearly asking if I spent the evening having sex. Its not like I can't understand her fear of that. Horror stories of teenage pregnancies are becoming a dime a dozen. Still, I offer her the truth. "Tommy's parents are out of town until tomorrow night. He wanted to have a movie night with me. So I decided to go and he made me dinner. We sat in his living room eating ham sandwich's, macaroni with cheese and we drank some really good sweet tea. We watched Terminator 2 and then he drove me home." Her brow raised. "I, in no way, shape, or form had sex of any kind tonight in any way. My virginity is still intact."

My mom watches me closely, searching me for honesty. "You lied to me." Yet again, I nod. There's just no reason to lie again at this point and make things worse. She's pissed. "You're in major trouble. You know that, right?"

"Yeah, I know." Its a easy concession.

Mom nodded and then stepped out of the house. She led me to the swinging bench on the end of our porch. We sit together and she lifts her arm over my shoulder, drawing me closer. I lean my head on her shoulder and relax. Nothing beats my mom. She my best friend no matter what. "When we go back inside that house we will be mother and daughter and you will be held accountable for your lies. And you are not going to like everything that I am going to say. Expect some yelling. But right now I just want to hear all about your romantic evening. And kudos for getting a boy to make you dinner. I always liked Tommy."

I laughed against my mom's shoulder and when Tommy finally drives by we both wave. Its such a silly moment. He looked so terrified behind the wheel. But never mind that now. I'm all bubbly excited that I have some guy stuff to tell. "Okay mom, so get this. Tommy let me drive his car home from school in front of everyone."

Her eyes widened. "No way!"

"Way!"

We talked for the next hour non-stop and I told her everything, minus the super hot kisses of course. We had a great time. Thus was the end of my wonderful night.

The next day I was grounded for two weeks. No allowance either. Oh well.

Life goes on. Happily so.

******

The End No Sequel

Dedicated to the amazing Liz - aka SYuuri