Because I Care
She was going to be in so much trouble. It was way past curfew, and the woman assigned by Coach Schmidt to watch over his girls checked on them with a militant accuracy.
But when she called Adam to get the low-down on what had happened with the Power and the weird time changes and stuff (Tommy always forgot the details; Billy gave way too many details she didn't need), and he sobbed...
What else was she supposed to do?
She'd teleported to his room without even thinking. It wasn't like Zordon could revoke her powers or anything - she just had her communicator and it wasn't like she broke the rules on a daily basis. Really, she'd served for three freakin' years. Seniority should come with perks. Like unquestioned access to awesome technology.
She was going to be in so much trouble.
And it would be so worth it.
Kim lay on Adam's bed, arms wrapped around him. He lay half on her, face buried in her shoulder, tears clearly streaming down his face. She rubbed his back and shoulders slowly, softly. There was no pushing Adam. If you pushed, he'd retreat into his shell. He'd talk when he was more composed.
He lifted his head to stare at her, eyes dull even as they reflected the light from his bedside lamp. She brushed some hair from his forehead and pressed a kiss to it.
"Feeling a little better?"
Kim blinked and rapidly reviewed all the potential "she"s that could upset Adam so much. His mother? No, the others would be here. Kat? No, they weren't that close.
Adam nodded miserably, even as he searched for some Kleenex. His lower lip wiggled a bit and Kimberly tugged him back to her. "She just left! We didn't even get to say good-bye, not really." He launched into a rambling, sniffle-punctuated account of what had happened with the Ninja Powers and the search for the Zeo Crystals and how Aisha and Tanya had traded places.
"Nobody remembers her," he said softly, winding down. "I said something to my mom and she was so confused and asked if Aisha was somebody Tanya knew. Only the Rangers will remember her and that almost hurts most of all because I can't talk about it with the team because they're so excited to show Tanya around and she's really a nice girl and she's awfully pretty but Aisha's gone!"
Kim rocked him a bit, waiting for this latest emotional storm to pass.
"I'm so sorry, Adam," she murmured - there was really nothing else she could say. Adam had confided in her shortly before she left for Florida how much trouble he had making friends... how he was proud of her but thought he would probably miss her more than Tommy would... and now his oldest female friend was only a memory.
"I don't want to be mad at her," he told her with a sigh. "She did what she thought was the right thing and it probably was for her. But..."
"But you feel abandoned?" Kim finished.
Adam nodded. "Tommy's still here and he's great, don't get me wrong. But he's wearing Red now, and that's Rocky's color. And Rocky's in Blue because Billy's gone-" Kim gasped; Rocky hadn't gotten that far earlier. "-and now Tanya's in Yellow. Everything's so wrong."
"Oh, Adam." Kim searched for something to say - anything reassuring. "You know where Aisha is, right?"
"Yeah," he mumbled. "But she's on the other side of the world and there's not a lot of technology out there. We can send letters but they'll take forever. Who's supposed to tell me what to do with Rocky?"
Kim chuckled, feeling contrite when he glared at her. "I'm still here," she reminded him. "And I'm rooting for you. And maybe it'll turn out that you'll really like Tanya."
"Maybe," he said with a bit of rebellion in his voice. "But you left, too." Kim felt her smile falter and he rushed to apologize.
She waved him off. "You're right, I did. But I'll always, always be just a phone call away. I even keep my communicator, see?" She twisted her wrist so he could see. "So if it's an emergency and you're really freaking out, you can hit me up that way. I'll stop everything I'm doing to help you."
Adam squirmed. "I don't want to-"
"No, stop it," she snapped. "You are my friend. I love you. You and the rest of the team and the other Rangers who have... gone other places... mean more to me than a silly gymnastics medal. And you'd better remember that, mister."
"'kay." He gave a watery chuckle and she smiled.
"Good. Now," she said, tilting Adam's chin up, "how is Rocky taking this?"
Adam chewed on his lower lip. "He was trying really hard to be himself but I know he's upset."
"So why don't you go over there and talk about it? You and him and her were like the Three Musketeers. So now you two have to stick together." She leveled a stern look at him when he shook his head, looking slightly panicked.
"No, you said it. The Three Musketeers and now there's only two and what if everything is different?" Adam's voice was growing progressively more panicked and Kim wanted to throw her hands up in frustration.
Two steps forward, one step back was the motto with Adam. Well, at least it made for progress.
"Adam, would different really be that bad?"
Adam looked scandalized.
"Oh, I don't mean it like that. Remember, she was one of my best friends, too, and I'll miss her so much. But maybe this is a chance for you and Rocky to grow closer... without either of you hiding behind her," she said with an accusing look.
"Listen, I'm not saying you have to go tonight. It's late anyway and your mom probably wouldn't approve. In fact, if she knew I was here, she'd probably have a heart attack." Kim stood, tugging the blankets up Adam's body and tucking him in before sitting back down. "It's going to be hard. But I'll always be here for you. And you can't keep Rangers apart for long. Trust me on that, 'kay?"
Adam nodded, looking weary. It'd been a long week.
"Now, you are going to go to sleep. Tomorrow is Saturday and you will sleep in. Then you and Rocky will go for a walk before meeting back up with the others. Sweetie," she said, giving him a kiss on the cheek, "Rocky loves you. You don't want to believe it but he does. And the sooner you two reach an understanding together, the easier it'll be for you to relax around Tanya and not be mad at her or Aisha."
He looked for a moment like he wouldn't respond, until Kim turned her death-glare on him and silently dared him to ignore her orders. "Okay."
"Are you going to be okay?"
Adam's eyes followed Kim's to his alarm clock - midnight. "Oh, geez, I didn't think about the time difference-"
"It's fine," Kim stressed. "Don't worry - I only have a late practice anyway. And I told you: it doesn't matter. Any time, any place. Once a Ranger, Always a Ranger, right?"
His lips quirked upward into a small smile and he nodded, snuggling down into his bed.
"G'night," Kim whispered, kissing him on the cheek once more before studying her communicator. With a quick twist of the settings and a press of a button, she disappeared-
After all, if Adam was in tears... Rocky would probably need a hug, too.
Anything from Power Rangers (and their affiliates) belongs to Saban. I don't have permission to use and abuse them as I plan on doing. I don't get any money for this, either.