Trini Kwan wasn't normally one for making trouble. She had friends who were all too good at it - instead, she was the peacemaker.
But things had been quiet, and Kim had been distracted with Tommy, Zack with Angela, and Billy with one of his new gadgets... and Jason was- well, being oblivious.
This was going to be fun.
"I think it's my turn to date Tommy," she announced to the group, all gathered around a table at the Youth Center.
Kimberly glared holes into Trini's head, silently daring her to even try. Tommy's wide eyes darted between Kim and Trini in confusion - poor guy, Trini reflected, probably didn't know what to do in this sort of situation.
Billy snickered a bit... maybe he knew something she didn't.
Jason, as expected, choked on his smoothie. He set it down and coughed, eyes watering, while trying to stare Trini down.
Zack laughed uproariously.
Trini managed to stay calm, as though she'd simply placed an order for lunch or wondered what they were doing for the weekend, and watched as they reacted.
Tommy was, surprisingly, the first to speak. "Wait, what?"
"What do you mean?" Trini responded innocently. "You're a cute guy. Sure, the hair is kind of a turn-off but you're very skilled in-"
"He's taken," Kim and Jason intoned simultaneously; somehow managing to convey the exact same amount of 'what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-you' in their tones.
Zack laughed again, clapping Billy on the back. Billy remained looking down at his paperwork, though his shoulders shook from time to time.
Kim's glare was growing more intense by the second... Trini was a little concerned that she might actually begin to vibrate with pent-up rage, considering she apparently didn't want to just go off on her best friend and look too jealous...
She leaned back, effectively putting Zack between them.
"Look," she said calmly. "I'm just saying that Kim always seems to have a guy. Richie is sweet but he already has a date to Marcia's party-"
"Tommy's taking Kim," Jason said slowly, as though he might get through to her that way. "You know, his girlfriend?"
Trini shrugged. "That could change between now and then."
The temperature on her side of the table dropped about 15 degrees, and Trini prepared to leap backwards if Kim attacked. Zack was laughing too hard to be an effective shield.
Of course, there was trouble to the front...
"It'd damn better well not!" Jason said, surprising Trini with his dark glower at Tommy, who quailed a bit.
"Don't look at me! I don't even know what's going on!" Tommy whined in response. He was apparently trying to soothe Kim - with little success.
For a moment, Trini felt bad for the Green Ranger and faltered...
'No!' She would not back down from this!
"Well, why not?" All heads swiveled to the right, where Billy had finally looked up, eyes sparkling with amusement. "Relationships can easily-"
"Tommy loves Kim. Kim loves Tommy. Water is wet and Rita is stupid," Jason said, causing Zack to crack up again. "And will you stop laughing?"
"What?" the Black Ranger choked out. "This is hilarious!"
"It's not!" Jason insisted, much to Trini's amusement.
She looked over to see that Kim seemed only a little soothed by Jason's commentary... Tommy had turned a shade of red rarely seen outside of their morphed fights.
Looking the other way, Billy winked. He always did catch on quickly...
"Well, what am I supposed to do?" Trini asked. "Kim has Tommy, Richie has Curtis-"
"Wait, what?" Zack asked, swiveling around.
Trini waved him off, "and that leaves me without a date. Billy's not going and Zack's somehow taking Angela."
"I meant that in the best way possible."
Jason's eyebrows narrowed as a hushed "Oh!" came from Kim's chair - Trini figured she'd be paying for her underhanded tactics for a few days, but if they worked, they'd be worth it.
Tommy might need therapy, though. Maybe with Zack.
"You do appear to be without a partner," Billy said musingly. "And you wouldn't want to miss it... or go alone..."
"Well, you could-" Jason bit his tongue, glaring at all the interested eyes suddenly staring him down.
Trini lifted an eyebrow.
And tapped her nails on the table.
"I mean... I don't have anybody to go with-"
"Great! Pick me up around 5 at Kim's place," Trini said, snagging her purse. "Want to hit the mall?" she asked Kim next. "You can pick me out something cute to wear."
Kim blinked, and then grinned as Jason's mouth flapped noiselessly. "Yeah," Kim said slowly, "I could use a new pair of shoes." She turned, "Want to come, Tommy?"
"No, no," her boyfriend said hurriedly, waving his hands. "That's fine, go ahead. Don't want to... you know... stop you from doing your... thing..."
His eyes flickered back and forth between her and Trini and she giggled. "'kay. For the record," she whispered, "I'm pretty sure you're still mine."
Jason was still silent, though whether fuming or flabbergasted, Trini wasn't sure.
"I think she just conned you, bro," she heard Tommy hiss, and bit back a laugh. Zack and Billy weren't so polite and cracked up, causing Jason to splutter.
Boys were so easy to manipulate.