Happy Birthday, White Ranger
Last Revised: December 23, 2010
Summary: The new White Ranger is about to find out what happens when his friends decide to kidnap him on his birthday
Ship: TK (who else would I write for Shawn?)
Disclaimer: I don't own PR, Saban does (YAY!)
Author's Note: This is about 3 days late, so I apologize….work has sucked up all my time lately. Thanks go to Enigmaforum for being my idea bouncing partner on this.
Dedication: To my big brother, Shawn30 – HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Enjoy your TK FLUFF!
In a teenager's life, there are always milestones. For girls, turning Sweet 16 is a big one, for boys, not so much. For one Tommy Oliver, turning sixteen brought about several huge milestones in his very young but extremely full life. First, he was brought back by Zordon, wise sage that he was, to become the White Morphin Ranger and leader of the Power Rangers. Second was the fact that he and Kimberly had finally made their relationship official, not that their friends hadn't known it was official a while ago. It was just that the inquiring public now knew that both of them were off the market for the foreseeable future. As pumped has he'd been to become the White Ranger, finally announcing to the world at large that Kimberly was his and vice versa actually made him a hell of a lot more giddy.
Stretching, he noticed a bit more of a chill in his room than normal. Since it was Friday, his mom had told him that he didn't need to go to school today, so his plan was to laze about in bed for a while before heading to the park to relax until the others got out of class. When he opened his eyes and found himself not in his bedroom but the familiar surroundings of his uncle's cabin, he panicked and jerked straight up. Eyebrow cocked, his mind started trying to figure out what the hell was going on and how he had gotten to his uncle's cabin in the woods when the night before, he'd fallen asleep in his own bed with the cordless phone and Kimberly's sweet voice. His first instinct was that it was one of Zedd's generally unsuccessful plots to separate and destroy the Rangers.
"Well well, look who's finally awake."
It was a plot all right, but by the sound of the voice, it wasn't an evil one. Rolling to his right, he spied the shadowy figure near the door. The black pants and yellow tank top gave it away as she stepped into a bean of sunlight. "Trini, what the hell?"
"Morning Birthday Boy," she grinned before she moved aside, allowing someone else to pass into the room. His confusion turned to excitement when his girlfriend entered, carrying a tray laden with food.
"Hungry?" the petite brunette quipped, setting the tray on his lap as he sat up before she crawled up on the bed with him, facing him.
"I'll leave you two alone, enjoy." With that, the Yellow Ranger turned and left the room, leaving the Pink and White Rangers grinning at each other.
Slowly, eyes the color of chocolate turned and met the amused set of those so beloved. "What's going on?"
"Eat your breakfast before it gets cold," she smirked, nodding toward the plate on the tray. He looked down and gave a gasp – a stack of thick, fluffy pancakes spread with peanut butter and maple syrup, four crispy bacon strips, scrambled cheese eggs and four neat triangles of whole wheat toast spread with grape jelly - sat before him. There were also two glasses – one full of cold milk and the other with what looked like fresh squeezed orange juice. "Go on, it's not poisoned, I promise. I didn't cook anything but the toast. Jason and Zack made the rest and Billy's new invention made the juice."
He tried to hide the smirk that crept onto his face by taking a bite of the toast and earned an eye roll for his trouble. His girlfriend was not known for her cooking skills at all. In fact, she was legendary amongst the group for being best at making reservations for dinner or ordering out; hence why Jason must have stuck her with the toast. She shook her head and smoothed the blankets over his legs in silence while he ate, though every so often her eyes would dart to him before she focused on something else. "Have you eaten?" he softly asked, reaching out to trail his fingers down her arm.
"Earlier, when we got up, Jason and Zack made us all eat before we made yours. Billy said you'd sleep for a while longer so we figured it was safe to eat."
"How did I get here? Better yet, how did you guys? And what did you tell my parents?" he asked as he dug into the pancakes.
"Ummmm, well…" she grinned at him, watching him narrow his eyes at her. Her face was a healthy pink with embarrassment. "You see, we talked your parents into letting us kidnap you for the weekend. Your mom told me to tell you that they'd do your birthday Sunday night when we get back."
He stared at her for all of two seconds before the words tumbled out. "They LET you kidnap me? Why? Not that I'm complaining and all, but…"
"Do you remember the night you came back, when we were talking about surprise parties and you mentioned you'd never had one for your birthday?"
He remembered the night all right, but not the mention of surprise parties. His clearest memory of the night he came back was him and Kimberly sitting in the back of his truck out at the lake, just the two of them. There'd been a lot of kissing going on that night, so his memory of anything else was hazy at best. The look on Kimberly's face was amused because he knew she understood what he was thinking. "Vaguely."
"I mentioned it to Jason the next day. We've been plotting and planning for a while. Since none of us have missed school, our parents gave us the go ahead. Your parents were a little leery, but Jason and I promised to return you in one piece. Your parents were still sound asleep this morning when we came to get you, so Billy gave you something to keep you from waking up and we had Alpha teleport all of us and Zack's truck up here. This way we can drive back Sunday and not make our parents suspicious."
"You little sneak," he grinned, taking a bite of his bacon. "So what's the plan for the weekend?"
"To relax. Zordon said unless the world was coming to an end, we're off duty until Monday."
They walked hand in hand around the small lake not far from the cabin. The air was brisk but comfortable. Both of them wore frayed jeans, boots, and were wrapped in a couple of Tommy's sweatshirts. Jason and Zack had given Kim a hard time a week before when she'd come to sit at their table after practice in nothing but her leotard and Tommy's green and white checked sweatshirt. He could still remember the blush that graced her face and the fact that she'd just snuggled further into the garment and let Jason and Zack laugh themselves silly over it. He had the feeling he wasn't going to be getting that particular sweatshirt back for a very, very long time. And when he did, it was more than likely going to smell like his girlfriend. Shaking his head, he squeezed her hand lovingly and continued to walk with her.
It had been a long time coming for them, having danced around each other for so long and then having to deal with him losing his powers over and over again on top of their growing relationship. It was a miracle that they'd managed to stay together and remain friends, let alone deal with everything else that had been going on. It wasn't exactly fairytale relationship standards, but as Jason had once pointed out, they had a remarkably stable relationship. And Jason would know, he thought, because as the Red Ranger was fond of reminding them, the other four members of the team had all tried having outside the group relationships, and it just didn't work. They were lucky to have found each other, and to both share the burden and secret of being a Ranger, because Trini had been just as right as Jason when she told them that their secret was a relationship killer.
"You look so serious, is something wrong?" Kim softly questioned, tugging his hand to stop his progress. Blinking, he looked down at her and saw the worry all over her face. With a shy smile, he tugged her toward him and into his arms, which wrapped tightly around her. He couldn't think of a better birthday present than having his girlfriend curled against him, her tiny body fit perfectly to his. He knew she could kick major ass when she needed to, but he found it increasingly hard to fight off the caveman instinct to be protective of her.
"Nope," he smiled, before leaning down to kiss her. It still amazed him every time he touched her, kissed her, or felt her against him, that she was his. And it was harder still to think there had been a time when he'd felt he'd do or say the wrong thing and scare her away. Their dance had lasted a long time, probably longer than it should have, but it was over now, and they were together. He brought his hands up and cupped her face before leaning in and letting his lips caress her warm, smooth ones again. He smiled against her lips when she purred softly from the back of her throat and strained against him, causing his own body to tighten. They were nowhere near ready for the sex talk, but he had to admit it felt good to know she wanted him just as badly as he wanted her.
"Tommy…" she moaned softly when he retreated, rubbing their noses together. "That was so unfair."
He chuckled and kissed her again, just a light peck to the lips, before he pulled her to him for another hug. "Sorry, but I figured you didn't want to deal with Jason and Zack making gagging noises if they caught us, and since they're coming down the path…" he told her.
"Can't I just kick both their asses?" she softly teased, making him laugh out loud.
"Beautiful, of that, I have no doubt. You may be height challenged, petite, and girly, but you can kick major ass when pushed. I for one wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of that."
"Stop all mush!" Zack called out. "We come in peace!"
"Zack, if you don't want to deal with me sticking my power bow up your butt the next time we morph, I suggest you stop with the mush comments," Kim threatened. "Or better yet, I can always borrow Saba from Tommy and use it on you."
Jason flinched back a step, Zack stopped mid-step and Tommy took a giant step away from Kimberly when they realized exactly what she was talking about. "Guys, what do you need?"
"Your woman is violent!" Zack hissed. "She was never this bad til she started dating you, oh former wearer of green and evil."
The Red Ranger shook his head while Tommy rolled his eyes and reached out to wrap his arms around Kim's waist, preventing his girlfriend from murdering the Black Ranger. "Honey, we need him…"
"No we don't, Billy can remote control his zord and I wouldn't mind getting a new weapon," she growled.
"Okay, enough!" Jason whined. "We came to see if you two were ready to play some birthday party games."
Tommy looked intrigued. "What kind of games?"
Jason and Zack grinned before responding in unison. "Paintball."
"We're in!" Kim and Tommy responded.
"You're almost out of paintballs," Tommy reminded his girlfriend as he, Kim and Billy took a rest behind a large boulder. He had very few left himself. The six of them had broken into two teams – Billy, Kim and Tommy on one, Jason, Zack and Trini on another. They'd taken a predetermined amount of paintballs and agreed that they'd go until all the paintballs were gone. The trio's strategy had been simple – Billy had split his paintballs between Tommy and Kim, giving them extra ammo, while he scouted the area and determined the best places for them to hide and strike.
So far, their plan had been working perfectly. Jason and Zack bore the brunt of the pink, white and blue colored projectiles, while Trini had gotten only a few. Tommy bore the most of their team, with Billy a close second, and Kimberly, agile as she was, had the fewest. From what intel Billy had managed to capture on his quiet scouting missions, Jason and Zack had hit more landscaping then their intended targets and had used quite a bit of their ammo. Trini on the other hand had quite a bit of ammo left and had hit very few things that weren't her intended targets. The game was supposed to end when one team ran out of ammo.
"We've got five left a piece, let's make them count," Kim grinned, causing both him and Billy to chuckle. Very few people saw this side of the former cheerleader. She could be extremely ruthless when it came to competitions, and paintball happened to be one of her favorites.
Silently, Tommy laid out their game plan, receiving eye contact and nods as confirmation before he gave the signal to scatter. In a matter of seconds, a spray of paintballs split the air before Tommy finally called out. "We're out of ammo! Game over!"
The six gathered in the small clearing they'd been playing in and around. "Billy, if you will," Trini grinned, knowing that her team had lost already. The three of them were covered in way more blue, white and pink splotches then the others were in red, black or yellow ones. Though the Yellow Ranger did get to smirk at the fact that they were definitely covered in more yellow than red or black. Billy quickly did the count of splotches and ammo. "We win," he grinned, high fiving Tommy and Kimberly at the same time while Zack and Jason protested and Trini laughed.
"Guys, you need to learn to aim better," the Yellow Ranger saucily told them. "You hit the scenery more than you hit them."
"So not fair," Zack muttered.
"Face it bro," Tommy teased. "Your aim sucks."
"He needs to start using the blaster on his axe during target practice and weapons training; then maybe he'd fire the paintball gun better," Kim smirked as she cuddled close to Tommy.
Jason had to hold Zack back from making any smart ass comments, because the Red Ranger knew the Pink Ranger was right – he and Zack really did need more target practice. "Let it go Bro, there is no winning against her royal pink-ness."
The group laughed while Kimberly smirked. "I don't know about you guys, but all that running around worked up my appetite. Can we go get something to eat?"
"Sure, but you and Trini are on food detail," Jason reminded her, watching her wince.
"Don't blame me if you get food poisoning," she said in a sing song voice as the team moved back toward the cabin.
Contentment. Peace. Both had been foreign concepts to him the last couple of years. He'd always preferred being a loner rather than a follower, but it wasn't until the loss of his Green Ranger powers that he realized how much he'd craved being part of a group. He still needed his solitude, but he'd also found joy in being surrounded by people he could count on to have his back in any situation. Because he'd moved around so much as a kid, he'd never made permanent friends, but in the members of the Ranger team, he'd found those lifelong friends.
While he stroked a hand up and down Kim's bare back beneath her shirt, he thought about the life he now led. Trini was the sister he'd never had and had always wanted. She was calm, thoughtful, intelligent, and surprisingly, just a little mischievous. The pretty Yellow Ranger was one of the few people Tommy felt comfortable just sitting with, without saying a word. And when he needed advice regarding Kimberly, he found he generally went to her for it. Zack, Billy and Jason were closer than friends; they were his brothers in every way that counted. Zack was constantly up for a good joke or something exciting to do, and lord knew he'd been a well of knowledge when it came to girls, even if half the time that advice didn't seem to help with Kimberly at all (hence why he continue to seek Trini out for that).
Billy was the quiet, shy wall flower. In that respect, he and Tommy were pretty similar, but where Tommy knew he himself enjoyed physical activity, Billy preferred to flex a different kind of muscle in the form of his mind. The Blue Ranger was quite possibly the smartest person Tommy had ever heard of, and yet, he wasn't cocky with it. Billy was an odd mix of intelligence and an unassuming humbleness. Tommy knew that with the right incentive and a little bit of urging, the Blue Ranger would round out to be a force to be reckoned with both on and off the field of battle.
And then there was Jason, which brought a smile to Tommy's face. He and Jason were close as he'd ever been to anyone else, except Kim, and it had happened despite everything that had happened between them. In Jason, he'd found the brother of his soul. With the Red Ranger, Tommy felt understood more than he had by any other person outside of his family and his girlfriend. When he'd needed to vent about being hounded by Rita and later by Zedd during the disintegration of his Green Ranger powers, it had been Jason who'd listened, who had counseled him, who had helped him get his mind off things, and who had felt just as guilty for letting Tommy down as Tommy had for letting the team down.
A quiet murmur drew him from his thoughts. Looking down, Kimberly's face was contorted in a pout as she rubbed it gently back and forth against his bare chest in her sleep. Her right arm was tucked between them and her left arm was around his waist, fingers digging in near the waistband of his sweats. Her legs shifted and twined with his, and he could tell she wasn't sleeping peacefully. Leaning his head down a little, he pecked a kiss to her forehead and murmured softly in her ear. The second she heard his voice, her pout left and she seemed to settle down again. It still totally amazed him how much she'd changed his life. When he'd met her for the first time by her locker while Bulk and Skull were messing with her, he'd never ever imagined he'd be lying in bed with her like this, her comfortable enough around him to lay in his arms and sleep. And to think, if she hadn't invited him to the youth center after school, he wouldn't have been alone in an alley, Rita wouldn't have taken him, and he'd have never become a Ranger. Instead of seeing the bad in that series of events, he took the good and cherished it. Kimberly had taken a chance on him, and for that, he'd be forever grateful. His girlfriend's kindness had shifted the course of his future and given him everything he'd been missing. As clichéd as it sounded, he felt that she'd made him a better man.
A part of him regretted the fact that they'd danced around each other for so long, but in the grand scheme of things, it made their coming together all that much sweeter. They were building something lasting, something not like a lot of high school romances. What they had together had substance and weight to it, and he knew a lot of that was because they were more than just boyfriend and girlfriend. They were teammates, Rangers together, and their romantic relationship was strengthened by their battles against Zedd. As Jason had commented not long ago, their bond had been forged in the heat of battle, tempered by friendship, deepened by love, and strengthened by time. God willing, they wouldn't be one of those ill fated teenage romances, but a forever kind of love. Either way, he knew, he would always cherish the memories he and Kimberly were making and the love they shared. It had shaped the lost boy into the prideful man. He knew what it was like now, to have someone mean everything to him, to be the complete and total center of his world. For the first time, he let himself think about the future, and not just the present or the past.
She'd given him the strength to face the questions of his past, to live in the now, and to plan for the future. Because she'd changed his life so much, he could only hope that he managed to give her back just as much. The divorce of her parents and her dad getting remarried had more than shaken her world; it had destroyed her ability to trust. While she'd never publicly doubted him or his intentions, he knew there were moments where she'd wondered. Tommy had done his level best to give her no reason to ever doubt that he loved her, but more importantly that he wanted her always. She was his everything, and each day since he'd come home, he'd done everything he could to prove it to her. She was his safe harbor, his shelter, and he hoped he could give that back to her. He wanted her to remember, in the world that so often seemed to turn on her, that he was there, that he wasn't going anywhere, and that she was important to him above all else.
Her sudden cry split the air, jolting him into action. Carefully, he gathered her close and curled her against his chest, his arms holding her tightly. He kissed her cheek, her forehead, and whispered in her ear. "I'm right here Beautiful," he murmured reassuringly. "I'm right here, and I'm not going anywhere. You're safe, I promise."
"Miss you," she softly sighed, tears leaking out from under her closed eyelids. "Wish I could of stopped it."
His heart utterly broke at her words. Despite all the things going on at home and at school, the one thing she worried about in sleep was the fact that she hadn't been able to stop him losing his powers. "It's okay, Kim," he kissed her lips softly, feeling her eyelashes flutter against his skin. "I got new ones, I'm back. And I'm not going anywhere else, ever again."
"Tommy?" she plaintively cried, confusion swirling in her eyes. He smiled down at her, bringing his left hand up to brush her hair out of her face. He watched her leave sleep behind and come back to the present. Her face turned a bright red when she realized he had her plastered to his bare chest and that his body had hardened in response to her being so close. He refused to feel embarrassed over the very obvious fact that he was attracted to her, that he desired the woman who held his heart. "I was dreaming."
"I know," he grinned, touching his forehead to hers. While neither of them was willing to bring it up, Tommy knew they couldn't avoid "the talk" for forever. "Kim…"
She looked up at him, awareness in her eyes. "I know," she whispered, her tongue peaking out to wet her suddenly dry lips. She didn't mean to, but she couldn't help but squirm against him. It wasn't the first time Tommy had been hard against her, but it was the first time out of uniform and where they had the bare minimum of clothing on. Both of them were wearing well worn sweats and Kim was wearing a pajama shirt. And that was all. "Tommy?"
His eyes had darkened when she started wiggling her petite form against him, her feminine softness against the hard planes of his body. "I want you, so much." Honesty as true and sweet as she'd ever had before, and he knew it by the slow, pleased smile that spread across her lips. "But I also know we're not anywhere near being ready for it or the consequences that come with."
"I want you, like I've never wanted before," she gave back, making him smile before he gently thrust his hips against her. She gave a gasp and ground her own body against his. "I'm scared of this, even though I really want it. And I agree, we're not ready for it, not yet."
He nodded and pulled her closer, the two of them settling down and into a steady, comfortable quiet. "I love you," he finally said the words he'd been longing for forever to say to her.
Kim's eyes were drenched in tears as she sat up and looked down at him. He could see the fear in her eyes, but it was quickly drowned by the stunned and joyful expression that crossed her features. "Tommy?"
"It's true," he whispered, reaching up to thumb away her tears, and looked for all the world embarrassed by sharing his feelings. He wasn't a deep guy, probably never would be, but he loved his girl, deeply, and with her, he knew he could be as he'd never been before – open about his feelings. Kimberly would cherish them, not think him weak for feeling them. "I've loved you since day one; I just didn't realize that was what I was feeling until recently. I figured it was a healthy dose of 'I really, really liked you and wanted you', but it's more than that."
He gave a gasp when Kimberly lay down on top of him, their bodies flat against each other. With her elbows on either side of his head, she looked down at him. The expression on her face made him think of a princess who'd just been crowned a queen. Leaning down, she gently nipped at his lips, making him gasp. "I love you," she declared, making him smile so brightly he thought he was glowing. "I've never said those words to anyone who I wasn't related to; I'm glad you were the first. Happy Birthday."
Leaning up while cupping the back of her head, he kissed her deeply, passionately, and felt like he'd finally found his home.
The End, No Sequel
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHAWN! (Sorry It's so late!)