Author's Note: To those of you who have been waiting for an update to the other story I have written, expect an update soon. However, after reading another fic I was inspired to start this one and could not wait. I hope you enjoy.
Kimberly Hart was good at faking it.
She smiled exuberantly at her friends and pumped a fist at the fireworks display that was currently going off before them. Heck, she even threw in a, "Whoo-hoo," since she knew it was expected from her. Stealing glances at Rocky and Adam who were laughing and slapping each other a high-five, she knew they couldn't tell. Aisha and Billy, on the other hand, she wasn't sure about. She thought she had caught Aisha throwing her a concerned look a second ago. And Tommy, well, Kim knew he was aware something was wrong.
She hoped the fireworks show in honor of the Power Rangers latest heroic victory against Ivan Ooze was going to end soon. Her face hurt from smiling so hard, and her head…that was another story.
Tommy Oliver couldn't wipe the grin he was sporting from ear to ear off of his face if he tried. His team had just defeated one of the evilest villains of all time; they had traveled to another planet and earned the most amazing new powers; and more importantly, they had saved their creator and mentor, Zordon.
He had thought he'd never experienced a greater day in his life besides the one in which he met Kimberly, until he felt his girlfriend latch onto his thigh with a vice-like grip. His arm was casually draped around her shoulders as they took in the celebration, and she was leaning into the nook of his shoulder with a grin spread across her face. But as she turned around to look into his eyes with what he thought was a satisfied smile, he saw that there was something troubled lurking behind her eyes. The smile never truly reached them. He squeezed her shoulder in reassurance, but she quickly turned away before he could look deeper. And the grip her hand had on his thigh made it certain to him that something was wrong, only he could not understand what.
As the fireworks display came to a grand finale, with explosions going off in all of the rangers colors, the group let out a celebratory shout before gathering around in a tight circle.
Rocky clapped his hands together, rubbing them up and down. "Who's up for the free shakes Ernie is offering us in the youth center," he asked, jerking a thumb over his shoulder in reference to Ernie's infamous teenage hangout, the Youth Center, which was behind them.
"I'm down," Adam replied, clapping a hand on Rocky's shoulder.
"Me too," Aisha chimed in as she nodded her head.
Billy crossed his hands over his chest, smiling at his closest friends. "It does seem very fitting."
Tommy, without thinking, had started to open his mouth but quickly shut it. Glancing down at Kim, he could see a drawn out yawn escape her lips. Whether it was real or not…
Kim glanced up into Tommy's eyes quickly, hoping he would follow her lead. "Guys, I'm pretty wiped out after everything. I think I'm just going to go home and hit the hay."
"Aw come on, Kimmie," Rocky whined. "How can you turn down a free strawberry banana smoothie?'
Kim gave a half-hearted smile. "Rocky, you know if I am turning one down I must be exhausted."
Rocky smiled back in response. "True."
Tommy reached down and took Kim's right hand in his. "I'm going to take Kim home guys."
"You're bailing on us, too," Rocky exclaimed, throwing his hands up in the air. "Sheesh."
"Ease up on him," Adam said softly, sharing a quiet exchange with Tommy. Hoping to save his friends, he asked, "How about a victory breakfast tomorrow morning on the lake at The Beachcomber?"
Aisha smiled at Adam, loving how her friend always knew what to say to say to bail someone out when he or she was feeling uncomfortable. "I think that sounds like a plan."
"Sure," Kim said softly. "Night everyone." She quickly gave her friends a hug goodbye and stepped off to the side, waiting for Tommy to do the same.
Tommy clapped hands with Rocky and then Adam, pulling each in for a hug. "Great work today, guys."
He then stepped over to Aisha, pulling her in for a now more ap pra pro bear hug. Whispering in her ear, he stated, "After witnessing that move you pulled tonight, I will never get on your bad side."
Aisha playfully slapped him on the arm, "I doubt you ever could."
Turning around to face Billy, he raised his hands into the air and then dropped them. "Another one bites the dust, right?"
Billy leaned in to give Tommy a quick hug. "Well-deserved." Casting a quick glance at Kimberly, he whispered quietly to Tommy as he pulled away, "Let me know if she's alright."
Tommy looked to Billy, giving him the comforting look all of his teammates were used to receiving when anything went wrong. "Will do, man. Thanks!"
Billy nodded quickly in response before heading over to the rest of the gang as they made their way inside the Youth Center.
Kim brushed her bangs out of her face as she nervously turned her right foot in. Biting her tongue, she looked up to meet Tommy's concerned glance. "Thanks."
Tommy felt his heart breaking. Kim looked like she was about to crack, and he felt like a dunce for not having a clue why. Making his way over to her, he took both of her hands in his. "Kim, what's wrong?"
Kimberly awkwardly gulped. Grabbing both of Tommy's forearms, a desperate expression crossed over her place. "I promise I'll tell you about it later. Can we please go up to your uncle's cabin though by Lake Arrowhead?"
Tommy shook his head, utterly confused. "I thought you said you were tired though, Beautiful." He softly brushed a piece of hair that had fallen loose from her braid back behind her ear as he tried to make sense of what was going on.
Kim sighed, shaking her head in response. "I just said that to get away from everyone else." Taking a deep breath, she asked him one more, "Can we please go?"
Tommy raised his eyebrows but then nodded his head yes as he relented. "Of course we can. But it's a two and a half hour drive. And what about our parents…"
"I'll tell my mom I'm crashing at Sha's. You can tell yours that you're at Billy's."
Tommy himself took a deep breath this time, relenting once more. He knew both of their parents trusted them completely. They both worked hard in school and in their extracurrciuar activities and always made curfew and did what was asked of them. They had no reason to be doubted. Kim would never ask him to lie to his parents if there wasn't something truly wrong that was bothering her. "OK. Let's get going if we're really going to do this." Tommy started to walk off towards his jeep when he realized Kim wasn't in step with him. "Babe?"
Kim was nervously wringing her hangs, completely frozen in place. Tommy hurried back to her once more, and with one hand gently caressed the side of her face. "What's wrong?"
With that one gentle touch, it was like the weight of the world had been lifted from Kim's shoulders. Whatever she was stressing about seemed to vanish away as Tommy watched a loving smile cross her features and her shoulders sink back down. Taking a deep breath, a huge grin overtook her face. "Absolutely nothing," she responded. She quickly grabbed Tommy's hand, dragging him towards the car. 'Come on, let's go, let's go."
"Alright, alright," Tommy answered, as he was dragged over to his car. He opened the door for Kim, who scrambled in quickly.
Walking around the car, Tommy stopped and rubbed the back of his neck as he always did when he was nervous. Though Kim appeared to be fine, something was definitely wrong, and he was determined to find out what it was.