Different Paths

Chapter Seven

An: thank you so much for the wonderful reviews, they make me smile every time. Keeping letting me know what you think. But there is one thing you need to understand, I do not like Katherine, I do not like her character as nice or turning good. She is evil in this, she is not a good character and in this fanfiction she will not be. If you do not like this do not bother to read the fanfictions. I always appreciate reviews and comments but on that topic I would prefer not to hear about if you like Katherine and feel I am being unfair. It's a fanfiction, thus my opinion. Sorry if it upsets people who like hr but you have been warned. Thanks. 3

Finally able to attend to school, Kimberly smiled softly as she walked through the halls of the Angel Grove high school. Her head aches had dulled and she didn't need to take medication anymore unless they got really bad, which had yet to happen as of yet. As she made her way to her locker she felt a presence behind her and grinned softly as she turned to see Tommy standing there, his arm stretch over her as he leaned against the hall and loomed over her small form. "Good morning handsome." She cooed, moving to his give him a gentle kiss.

"Where did you vanish this morning? I woke up and you were gone." He was talking through a clenched jaw at the moment as he tried to keep his cool. He had panicked this morning when his bed was empty save himself and nearly called an emergency meeting with the rangers. Luckily his mother had come up to let him know she left early with Trini.

"I haven't spent time with Trini in awhile and she wanted to walk to school together for once. Besides, you needed your rest." She pointed out, standing her ground against him. She knew he was over protective but it wasn't as if she was hurt anymore and she hadn't been alone. "I'm sorry I didn't wake you up handsome but if I had you would not have gone back to bed and gotten the rest you needed." By the look on his face she knew he understood.

"I'm sorry, it's just that Zedd hasn't sent anything down all week and we still can't figure out how to get back into the dimension. Billy can't get the portal configured right again and until he does I can't risk it, on top of that I don't know where he's keeping your coin..."

"Tommy?"

"Yeah?"

"Come here..." she whispered, pulling him close and turning so he leaned against her closed locker as she laid her head on his chest. "Calm down. Let's just try and have a normal day at school, at least until they decide to send some putty or something at us ok?" she suggested, taking his hand to lead him down the hall to their first class.

As they rounded the corner Tommy saw Katherine leaned against the wall next to the stairs and flipping through a magazine. She was dressed in a hot pink tube dress and brown ankle boots with a denim jacket, her hair pulled back away from her face in a half pony tail. As she stood there Kimberly couldn't help but think how much the other was dressing like her, it was unnerving to the pink ranger as she looked down at herself. Katherine was beautiful and at the moment Kim hadn't put much thought into her outfit like she normally did. She was wearing hot white short shorts that were higher waist and a hot pink t-shirt, her pale pink ankle high, laced boots loosely tied. Tommy looked down at Kim and knew she was slightly uncomfortable until he put his arm around her waist. She needed an ego boost, knowing she felt like a burden to him but in his mind she was in no means such, he leaned over to his ear and whispered, "You know how much I love those shorts..." he smirked and watched her blush before they walked away and he gave a stern glare to Katherine. Even with the danger she put Kimberly in they could not comfort her at school, they all needed to keep their ranger business out of the halls of the school as much as possible.

As they came around the corner Jason waved to the pair and they walked into class together, taking their seats as the morning announcements sounded off and English class began. The class went by rather slowly, as did many others and soon enough they were seated in the youth center as Kimberly was finally able to work on some gymnastics. She may not have been joining pan globals or anything like that but it was still a wonderful stress reliever for her. Dressed in her pale pink leotard she eyed the beam carefully. She kept seeing the fire that only happened weeks ago, she saw herself fall in her mind and Katherine throwing the matches in and onto the mats to watch her burn alive. Her breathing picked up as she backed away and closed her eyes, hands over her face as her knees began to buckle.

Watching from the sparring mats Tommy saw her starting to crumble and raced to her side, leaving Zack, who was currently in mid step, to fall flat on his ass as Tommy raced to Kimberly's aid and caught the trembling girl in his arms as she shook and tried to catch her breath. "Tommy, I can't do it..."

"Hush Beautiful, yes you can." He knew she had to do this or she never would, "I'll help you.."

Trini came over and smiled, "we all will. Come on, let's do it." She offered her best friend support as she was calmed and helped to stand.

Taking a deep breath Kimberly held Tommy's hand as she stood up on the beam and walked across it. Her friends had gathered at the far end of the beam smiling at her they offered their support. She needed to get over her fear right away or she may give it up all together, and if her fears got to her in a battle it could be fatal to her ad the team. She worked her way across and Tommy slowly let her hand go as she reached the far end. He walked back and stood at the beginning. "I want you to do your routine, I'm right here, we're all right here." He encouraged as he watched her take her beginning position.

Jason stood on the right side and Billy on the left as the pink ranger smiled gently and went through her beam routine. Her illusions were proper, and as she went through her twists her movements were flawless. Slowly she got back into the groove and finished off with her flip, but didn't manage to stick the landing as he tipped to the side and landed in Tommy's arms. "Good job princess." He cooed, kissing her forehead.

"But I didn't stick it."

"You're too much of a perfectionist. You suffered a head injury and this is your first time back in the gym. That was amazing." Jason said as he gave her a brotherly hug.

"It wasn't the greatest." a young woman said in a snarky way as she walked through the gym in her white leggings and hot pink sleeveless leotard. Katherine's job was to get Kimberly's focused off so that the team would be weakened and easier to defeat in battle. It was a job that not only helped Rita and Zedd but Katherine found an amazing amusement in it. "But I suppose after that kind of accident who could expect you to do well?" she walked by the group laughing with a few other girls she had made friends with in her time away from the rangers. Spiteful women who didn't like Kimberly for dating Tommy, or were jealous of her looks and talent, she was quickly able to come to the head of their group, using some mind control skills Rita had lent her, sadly they didn't work on the rangers.

Kimberly tried her hardest to ignore the way she looked at her and the way the other girls seemed to sneer as Tommy put an arm around her. She didn't blame them though; Tommy was an attractive guy and well known in the school as a sweet heart and a great boyfriend. They knew he was brave and strong, always working out and what not. In turn she did have a few guys who liked her and tried to get her attention but one look at Tommy near her and they usually backed off. Sighing heavily she retired to the change room, saying she'd meet up with them at the tables. Trini and Aisha were quick to follow her into the change room, knowing she was upset.

Zack patted the white ranger on the back, his friends smiling to him while they showered up, changed sat at the juice bar as Ernie smiled and got their usual orders ready. But before the orders were done the dreaded six notes from the communicators went off and Tommy looked to them with a sharp nod as they exited the youth center. "Come in Zordon."

"Rangers, warp the command center at once."

"Right, we're on our way." The group found a discrete place behind the youth center out of sight where they could hide and warp to the command center. Upon their arrival Jason stepped forward and asked the simple question of, "what have they got planned this time?"

"It appears as if Rita and Zedd have sent down a freeze monster to ice the city. Rangers, be careful!"

"No problem Zordon, ain't nothing we can't handle, right guy?" Zack jested as he spun on his heels and gave Rocky a high five, the group excited with their first time fighting together as one team. "Let get this party rolling." As the group left the command center Tommy flashed a quick smile to Kim before taking her hand.

"It's morphing time!"

X x x

The battle waged on as any other fight occurred. It started out small, then they made him as big as Godzillam as they used their zords to defeat him and sent him crying home to Rita and Zedd. By the end of the misson the rangers stood together in victory, cheering as they watched the people who had been frozen turn back to normal with no recollection of the battle that had been going on around them. "Come on guy, let's..." Tommy stopped speaking, his vision going blurring. "Let..what's..happen..ing..." he passed out in a heap with Kim struggling to hold him out.

"Tommy! Tommy!" she cried as Adam and Billy came to her aid to hold their leader up.

"It's ok Kim, he's just passed out, let's get him back to the command center, maybe Alpha can run a scan on him." She nodded in agreement and felt Trini pat her back as they hurried back to Zordon.

A long hour passed as Tommy lay on the examination table asleep, covered with a blanket and a soft pillow to comfort his head. At his side Kimberly held his hand and stroked his face. "Zordon, what's wrong with him?"

"It would seem that the strain on Tommy is becoming too great for him to handle."

"What strain?"

The group went silent before Trini softly spoke up, "Tommy didn't want any of weakened by providing you with power so he's been the one giving you the strength to morph and heal your wounds. It's just taken alot out of him.."

Kimberly's eyes widened in shock. "Tommy you stupid...stupid stupid.." she couldn't come up with a proper insult so instead she laid her head down on his chest and sniffled. "Why do you always do that, think of me before yourself you jerk. How are you supposed to take care of me if you can't even take care of yourself huh? Answer me that ya big loser.." she didn't mean anything she was saying, but she just hated being a burden to him and now she truly was. Turning to the group. "Tommy can't keep doing this, I need to get my power coin back." She explained, remembering the location as to where she was held captive before. Marching over to the still damaged portal and looked to Billy. "I need you to send me to Zedd's dimension."

"No way! It's not safe for anyone there, especially not you! What if they capture you again?"

"I'm the only one they can't take anything from. Think about it, they already have my power coin and I'm not connected to it at the moment. If I go I can still fight them and maybe steal it back." She looked to Jason sternly, "I have to do this, if I don't...it will only hurt him more, all of you more. Please..." she looked up at Zordon, "Please..."

"Only on the condition that you take this device with you." Zordon handed her an emergence locator. "hit the center key and you will be sent right back here with hesitation. It will last longer than the portal gate incase you run into trouble."

"Thanks Zordon." Kimberly looked at the group, "Take care of him until I get back.." with that she plugged in her last captive site into the portal and stepped through to Zedd's world.

TBC