Here To Stay
Last Revised: April 27, 2010
Summary: After having faced the possibility of Kimberly having to move to France, the Pink and White Rangers share a tender moment in Angel Grove Park.
Disclaimer: I don't own PR, wish I did.
Author's Note – this takes place after A Brush With Destiny, Season 3 of MMPR
Dedication: For Liz the Sweetest, hope this is shippy enough for ya sis! Shawn, thanks for the title and the ear!
Angel Grove Park
Walking along the familiar pathways of the park had eased Kimberly's troubled mind in so many ways. It reminded her especially how lucky she was to have such wonderful friends and teammates. The weekend to follow was going to be hectic – the gang would be helping her pack her things up, and taking them either to storage or to the Campbells' house. Aisha's parents had given her one of the greatest gifts she could have ever received – an invitation to live out the school year with them when her mother moved to France. During the entire last week, she had never once dreamed that she'd get to remain in Angel Grove after her mother announced the move. Not only were the Campbells sparing their daughter the heartbreak of losing another friend to a move, they were doing an unknown service to the world; as long as Kimberly remained in Angel Grove, she had the honor and pleasure of remaining on the Ranger team as the Pink Ranger. It was a role she took most seriously, and really, she couldn't imagine NOT being a Ranger anymore.
The only thing bothering her now was Tommy's unnatural silence. He'd been really sweet, picking her up after school and taking her out for a private celebration dinner. She knew he'd raided his savings to take her to her favorite restaurant, even when neither wanted to be reminded of anything French at the moment. They'd had a good time at dinner, but she'd noticed the tension in his shoulders, as if he was waiting for something to interrupt them. The way his long fingers seemed to hold her shorter ones a little longer than normal and the public displays of affection – kissing her softly across the table or when they were in his truck – all his actions were telling her something was wrong. Even now her hand was tucked tightly in his, their fingers laced together.
It wasn't that her boyfriend wasn't affectionate normally, because he was. She'd never wanted for affection from him. All she had to do was look at him just so and she'd find herself wrapped in his strong arms, her head tucked under his chin. The thing was, he just didn't do it so much with other people around. But tonight, he didn't seem to care who was around. And it was starting to worry her.
In all her self-pitying the last few days, she realized she hadn't stopped to ask him how he was dealing with everything. He'd always been her rock, her support, her Knight in shining armor, be it Green or White. It made her feel incredibly guilty to realize she hadn't thought how this was affecting him. She knew she helped balance him, both in and out of uniform. The thought of losing her… he was probably as scared she was, if not more, at the prospect. Tommy had a hard time making friends, let alone losing them. His private reaction to losing Jason, Zack and Trini to the Peace Conference was evidence of that. From the corner of her eyes, Kim watched him looking down at their joined hands, his thumb caressing the top of hers.
"Tommy, what's wrong?" she softly asked, tugging on his hand to stop his progress down the path.
"Huh? What do you mean?" he questioned, pausing to look down into her face.
Kim gave him a bland look, which had him looking slightly sheepish. "You know exactly what I mean. Why are you so quiet?"
The White Ranger had the grace to blush. He knew he should have talked to her about it before she had to call him out on it. Kim wasn't one to miss things for too long. "I…" he started, obviously torn on what to say to her. She watched him stare at their hands, his jaw muscles clenching and unclenching and saw his eyes become clouded with emotion she hadn't seen in him since he came back to the team.
"You know you can tell me anything, right?"
"I'm having a hard time dealing," he finally muttered.
Kim didn't need to ask what he meant, she already knew. "I'm so sorry," she apologized. "I've been so busy being whiney about going, I completely forgot to ask how you were feeling about all of it."
The Pink Ranger gave a startled yelp when her boyfriend tugged her into his arms. She stiffened in shock when his hands slid around her waist, drawing her to his chest. Her heart broke when she felt him tremble as his lips feathered the skin of her neck. "Tommy?"
"Just let me hold you, Beautiful," he murmured. Kim slid her arms up around his neck and held on. This incredibly sweet, intelligent young man, who also happened to be the veteran leader of a group of teenage super heroes, who rarely showed what he was feeling unless they were in private, was actually scared shitless, and she knew it. It was both humbling and a little frightening to know it, to see it, to feel it.
"I almost lost you," he uttered softly against her ear.
"Almost, but you didn't," she reassured him, knowing only she could reassure him. They'd come way too close this time to losing each other, and not by one of Zedd's stupid plans, but by the real world. "I'm still here."
He held her tighter, reveling in the beat of their hearts against each other. "I owe the Campbells a debt I'll never be able to pay."
Tears began to prick her eyes. Perhaps for the first time ever, Kim found she was starting to understand the true depth of Tommy's feelings. They'd already said the big L word to each other the night he returned as White Ranger, but she was starting to realize this was much deeper than a teenage romance. "That makes two of us," she responded.
Tommy pulled back, brought his hands up and cupped her face. "I'm not good with words," he whispered. "But I'm going to try. I love you, and I not only don't want to lose you, I can't."
She smiled up at him despite the tears coursing their way down her cheeks and over his fingers. "I love you."
"You balance me, Kim. I'm a semi-normal teenage male if you look past the spandex, but I'm old enough and wise enough to realize you're my other half. In battle, or in life, you're my compliment in every way."
Turning her head, Kim pressed her lips to one palm then the other. "Tommy, I'm not going anywhere. It'd take an act of God or Zedd to make me leave you."
Her comment had the desired effect – he laughed out loud, drawing her back to his chest. "Thank you Beautiful."
She winked at him before he leaned down to kiss her. She'd often wondered where she stood with him after all they'd been through with his powers and his time away from the team, couldn't help but wonder given all of it. She was a teenage girl in her first serious relationship, it was only normal. Now she didn't have to wonder – she knew the depths of Tommy's feelings. Right there in the park, they tenderly kissed in the moonlight and reveled in being with one another.