Author’s notes: Just a quick few things – yes, everyone’s all interested in how Trent is going to be included here – just for the record, Jason is the white ranger. That’s the end of it. Any other role Trent my play won’t be as it was before… and 2, in case anyone was wondering (I know you probably weren’t) every chapter title is a song title. While I may not have heard the song in some cases, I’m trying to match ones with the chapters… sort of a ‘story soundtrack’.
Hi all. Going on to the next ep…We all remember this one – Trent’s dad gets all elitist and tries to buy the Cyberspace. But how does this play into things with the team as it stands? Things will be different, yet the same. It’s time for things to start heating up some more, in a lot of arenas. That being said, I hope you enjoy, and now, to the story. . .
Legends and Heroes
By Jeannine Trevizo
Chapter 5: Who’s Your Daddy?
“Thanks for the ride home,” said Trent as he and Tommy walked out of the cybercafé. “Dad would have freaked if I got home late again.”
It had been a particularly long day for the young man, between the massive influx of customers, to his dad’s arrival and obvious distain at his son’s chosen profession. The offer of a ride home by his science teacher was a welcome break from everything.
“No problem. Hey, speaking of your dad, there’s been something that I’ve been wondering. All those years, working for your father and he never mentioned he had a son.”
“Oh. He didn’t. You know, have one, that is. Him and my real parents worked on a dig a few years ago. There was a cave-in. My parents never got out.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” replied Tommy, his sorrow for the young man genuine in a way the teen would probably never know.
“He’s been great though,” Trent remarked as he walked around the back side of Tommy’s jeep. “He’s taken me in, given me everything. You know, a home, a life. Not a lot of people would have done that.”
They both climbed into the vehicle, putting on seat belts as they did.
“Yeah,” Tommy finally acknowledged, thinking of his own adoptive parents before turning over the engine.
Quickly they were on the road, the silence between them comfortable enough as Trent thought of his father, his parents and his life, unaware that his teacher was sitting behind the wheel, doing much the same thing. Turning a bend in the road, the green trees stretching along one side, Tommy glanced up into the rear-view mirror and was taken aback.
Behind them, speeding along like an old episode of the Bionic Man, a golden figure was chasing them… and catching up.
“Trent, look. Do you see a…”
Trent turned around, his eyes bulging.
“A big gold guy running 50 miles an hour right behind us?”
Knowing that he wasn’t seeing things, Tommy slammed on his brakes, the jeep skidding to a hard stop. The gold pursuer didn’t stop as quickly, and slammed into the rear of the jeep, flinging Trent and Tommy forward against their seat belts.
“Whoa,” exclaimed Trent and the two hurriedly unbuckled their seat belts to jump from the car.
Walking back, they found the golden man shaped figure sprawled out on the pavement.
“What is that thing?”
“Oh man, my insurance company’s never gonna buy this,” complained Tommy, knowing full well that this was probably more serious than a dented fender.
Suddenly the golden figure rose up, his body almost levitating into a standing position, startling both of them.
“Which one of you is Dr. Oliver?” the now obviously armored menace spoke.
“That’d be me,” said Tommy, moving forward quickly as Trent watched in shock.
“Then prepare for your demise. You’re mine.”
As the creature rushed forward, Tommy pushed Trent back and raced to meet the golden being. Arms flew as strikes were blocked and fists were thrown. Tommy was pushed back, and he quickly raced around to start a new attack, feet flying this time. Those moves were blocked, and Tommy went back on the defensive, his body moving like a willow in the wind as he dodged blow after blow before being caught by the gold attacker’s arm and thrown in the air to land heavily on the side of the road.
Behind the back of the jeep, Trent watched in horror, completely ignored by the armored being attacking his teacher. Tommy hurriedly slid himself to the front of the jeep, propping his back up against the front bumper as he shoved his jacket cuff up.
“Better call for backup,” he murmured as he brushed his hand along the gauntlet on his left arm and pressed on either side of the stone, sending out the distress call.
“You must be destroyed!” cried the metal monster as it raised its arm above its head in preparation of a strike.
“No! Ah!” screamed a male voice from the other side of the car, as Trent launched himself over the end of the jeep and struck the monster from his blind spot, sending it flying before he ran to take a makeshift fighting stance before his teacher.
“No Trent. Stay back,” Tommy insisted, trying to push the young man back behind him once again.
“I can help!”
With that the young man raced off to engage the monster, his untrained style being easily repelled by the being until the armored figure lifted him off the ground.
The golden figure spun Trent’s body over his head and flung him like a sack of potatoes to crash into the pavement feet from the end of Tommy’s jeep. Shaking himself off, Trent somehow launched himself up again, his feet kicking in a near parody of Tommy’s earlier, but the creature dodged them easily, and caught him with a fist to the throat before throwing him again to the pavement. Unable to watch any longer, Tommy raced to confront the gold plated monster again, but slid to the ground near the front wheel, his shoulder and side radiating pain that made his eyes water.
Just as it looked like the golden being was about to come and finish them, a laser blast appeared from behind them, sending the monster flying. Four bikes and an ATV sailed through the air, skidding to a halt in front of the jeep. Astride them sat the reinforcements that Tommy had been waiting for, and he let himself grin slightly.
“Are you okay?” asked Conner and he sped up to Tommy first.
“Yeah,” said Tommy, and watched as Conner, Ethan and Kira moved past him in a hurry to confront the bad guy.
Of course, he knew he wouldn’t be able to fool Kim or Jase.
“You’re still a bad liar bro,” said Jason as he knelt by Tommy, Kim right beside him.
“What’s broken?” Kim asked apprehensively, her hand brushing carefully along his side where Tommy clutched it.
“I don’t think anything’s broken, but my ribs are probably badly bruised.”
“Good thing Kim’s gonna take care of you while the others and I take care of this guy,” snapped Jason, as he got up and hurried over to Conner and Ethan.
Kira had slowed and stopped at the back bumper of the car where she found Trent braced against the spare tire.
“Trent? Are you all right?”
“Yeah,” he said, and then looked up to see the helmet and visor of the yellow ranger. “Hey, how do you know my name?”
“Uhh…” stammered Kira from behind her helmet.
As Kira and Kim checked on the injured Tommy and Trent, Jason, Ethan and Conner battled with the golden armored monster. Just when it looked like they finally had the upper hand, a portal opened and Zeltrax appeared before them, blocking them from the golden being.
“I was wondering when you’d show up,” said Conner, drawing himself up to his full height as he prepared to stand down both Zeltrax and his ‘assistant’.
“Ha!” Zeltrax said, and then turned to the golden figure behind him. “You, return with me at once.”
“But father, my mission is not complete.”
“Now. Do as you’re told.”
With a wave of Zeltrax’s arm, he and their golden adversary disappeared. Leaving Jason, Conner and Ethan confused at what they’d just seen.
“Did he just call him ‘father’?” asked Conner.
“I think so,” Ethan replied.
“Don’t be so surprised,” stated Jason, looking back to where the others still sat. “In this business, you should always expect the unexpected. It will save your life…”
They shrugged and moved to join the others. Conner and Ethan came and helped Kira get Trent up and moved to the passenger seat. Jason hefted Tommy up and he and Kim walked him to the driver’s side.
“You did this just to get out of our date,” Kim said with a quiet, joking voice.
“No way. Give me a day and I’ll be good as new. You remember ranger healing.”
“Yeah bro, but that was when we were sixteen,” interjected Jason.
“So, will you two be okay now?” asked Conner in his red ranger leader role.
“Yeah. Thanks rangers,” said Tommy with a straight face that he was fighting to keep in place.
“Very well. Take care,” stated Jason, waving to Trent and Tommy before they turned to their bikes and drove off.
“Wow… that was…” started Trent as Tommy turned the engine over.
“Strange. Well, I guess that’s what happens when you live in a city with monster attacks. How about we get you home, huh?”
Nodding, Trent put on his seat belt as Tommy hit the gas and continued down the road to Mercer’s home to drop off this way too caring young man who had put himself between him and an unknown enemy.
“I don’t believe it,” complained Hayley as she threw the offending document onto the counter of the café.
At the counter, Tommy and Conner looked up with equally confused looks.
“Junk mail?” asked Tommy.
“I wish. Check this out.”
“What’s it say?” questioned Ethan.
“It’s a letter from the city. It seems as of tomorrow, I have a new landlord.”
“Not just any landlord. Anton Mercer,” said Tommy with a grimace.
“He’s gonna rebuild the whole café. He’s going to replace me,” Hayley said with an anxious voice.
“With who?” Ethan wondered.
At that moment, Trent walked in and Hayley and Ethan zeroed in on his shrugged shoulders and downcast look. Tommy turned around as well to see Mercer’s adopted son standing there, his expression not pleased at all.
“So you’ve heard,” Trent said, is voice obviously upset.
“So, what’s the deal man? One rough day at the office, so your rich daddy buys it for you?” Ethan verbally sniped.
“It’s not like that. I had nothing to do with this.”
“Look, I’ve got a friend at City Hall. Maybe we can check out the deal and see if Mercer missed something,” offered Tommy.
“I’ve known my dad long enough to know that he doesn’t make mistakes.”
“I’ve known your dad long enough to know he does,” fired back Tommy. “Come on Ethan.”
“Wait. I’m going with you. This is because of me. I’ll do whatever it takes to fix this.”
“City Hall, here we come,” said Ethan, getting up off his stool.
As they started out the door, in walked Jason, looking over the group and noting the sour expressions.
“Tommy, what’s going on?”
“Hey Jase, we’re on our way out… why don’t you ask Hayley?”
“Okay…” Jason replied, slightly confused.
“Come on Jason, I’ll tell you the whole sad story over some coffee. Maybe if I lose this place you can have your construction company build me a new one somewhere else,” she said with a mock laugh.
“You lost your lease?”
“Something like that.”
“Well, if Tommy’s on the case, you should rest easy… he usually gets his way,” said Jason, turning back to watch his best friend leave with Ethan and Mercer’s son before swiveling back to be greeted with a cup of coffee and Hayley’s smiling face.
“Okay, let’s get these walls torn out. We can save the computers,” said Mercer as he strode into the Cyberspace, his lackeys behind him.
“Hold on,” interjected Hayley, moving out in to the main area of the café to block his progress. “You don’t own it yet.”
“Hayley, you know, as much as I hat to say this, you really can’t fight City Hall.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure of that Dr. Mercer,” Councilwoman Sanchez said from where she stood at the café’s counter, and Mercer looked very uncomfortable at seeing her. “My name is Eleanor Sanchez, councilwoman for the 33rd District. It is with great pleasure I inform you the City Council has voted to put your purchase of this land on hold.”
Councilwoman Sanchez had walked to stand beside Hayley, and behind them, Tommy and Jason took up positions of support.
“You’re a part of this?” Mercer asked Tommy with distain.
“Actually, we had your son to thank,” Councilwoman Sanchez stated with a grin. “He made me realize that a place like this, a safe haven for learning and interaction for the youth in our community is something that shouldn’t be disturbed or changed in any way.”
Around them, the teens that populated the place gathered around Hayley and Councilwoman Sanchez as well, creating a human barrier, a force that had defeated Anton Mercer, through his son’s concern for them.
“I was only trying to do what’s best for my son,” Mercer complained. “Well, I’ll just be going then.”
As Mercer and his employees left, the group broke out into cheers. Tommy hugged Hayley and then shook Councilwoman Sanchez’s hand. Next to them, Conner and Kira hugged, then broke quickly as she moved to quickly hug Hayley.
Jason shook Tommy’s hand in congratulations, and then moved to shake Hayley’s hand when she surprised him, catching him in a bear hug. Arms around one another, Hayley and Jason quickly backed up, their eyes glancing away as they moved off to other greet other people, both of them unaware they were both having the same strange feeling about the moment.
“Hey bro, don’t you have somewhere to be?” Jason said after a little bit, as he looked at his watch and noted the time.
Tommy and Kim had planned their date for seven, and it was a quarter till. The main reason she hadn’t come with everyone to the cybercafé was she was heading home to get cleaned up and ready for their date.
“Crap! I have to go pick up Kim. She’ll kill me if I’m late.”
“Have fun! Remember, she’s like a sister to me,” called out Jason, his face stretched with a grin as his best friend raced off to his first date with Kim in nearly a decade.
Tommy pulled his jeep up to the small furnished studio apartment that Kim had rented and parked in front just as his watch read seven. Turning off the engine, he ran a hand through his hair and took a deep breath. Climbing out, he reached into the back seat to grab something and then headed to her door. Knocking, he waited until the door finally swung open.
Kim stood there in casual attire, a violet spaghetti strap top and a pair of dark jeans. It was probably the least provocative thing she could have worn, but it still was making parts of his anatomy throb.
“Hey yourself. You’re on time,” Kim stated with a smirk.
“Things have changed you know. I sort of have to be to school every day before classes begin, so I’ve had to learn to be on time.”
“Understandable,” Kim replied, looking at the side table by the door for her purse. “Where are we going?”
“I found this Mexican place a few weeks after I got here. You still like Mexican, right?”
She smiled at him with a hint of surprise.
“Yes, I still love Mexican. So, you’re on time and you remembered my favorite food. Are you sure you’re Tommy Oliver?”
“Ha, ha… very funny. I’ll have you know that I may forget a lot of things, but things about you…” he trailed off, unsure if he should even think what he was about to say, yet alone think it.
“Same here,” she offered up quietly with a smoky, knowing gaze.
Tommy swallowed hard. Every old emotion he’d ever had for Kimberly was back with a vengeance and some new ones were coming on fast. Still, they’d been apart for nearly a decade, they needed to get reacquainted with one another before they could take any steps forward.
As Tommy watched her, Kim felt herself starting to blush. Just a few weeks in proximity to this man had gotten her hormones in a frenzy and her heart into a whirlwind of desire. When she’d seen him after so long, she’d known that the love she’d had for him had never truly died, it had just been buried. And now, with their understanding, their ‘dating’, she finally felt she could resurrect those emotions and let them thrive.
“Come on… we have reservations in fifteen minutes,” Tommy said suddenly, shaking them both out of their reverie.
Locking up, Kim followed him to the jeep.
“I forgot to mention this… another jeep?”
“I had a sports car for a while, leased, but it just didn’t feel like me, you know?”
“As long as you promise to remember to put the top up when it starts to rain.”
Tommy looked her direction with a slightly amused glance. It wasn’t due to start raining for a month or two, being Southern California and all, but she was talking like this was what she was expecting… to be in his car come winter. It made his heart thud harder in his chest.
“I mean… you need to keep dry,” Kim stammered, realizing just what she’d said and how she’d meant it. She didn’t want to scare him off…
“I understand. Not to worry. ‘We’ll’ stay dry, I promise.”
Starting the engine, they headed off. In the jeep, they sat in a comfortable silence. There was plenty of time to talk now… and they had to have something to talk about over dinner, they both thought independently. In what seemed entirely too short a time, they were at the restaurant. Tommy jumped out and went to her side, opening her door. She smiled and let him help her out and close it again.
Going inside, Tommy went to the podium and gave the hostess his name. She picked up a couple of menus and escorted them to a corner table away from most of the dinner crowd.
“Trying not to be seen with me?” Kim asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Just looking for some privacy,” Tommy tossed back, and Kim blushed lightly.
“So, what’s good?”
Kim pursed her lips and fought back the saucy remark that wanted to fly off her tongue. Before she could ask anything else, the waiter came by, dropping off some water and chips, and asked if they were ready. Tommy looked to Kim and she nodded, and they quickly ordered.
Once their order was in, they settled in to chat, finding that some things had certainly changed, from Kim’s decision to cancel her lease and sell her furniture in Florida to Tommy’s doctorate having been accomplished in a great part because of Mercer’s previous influence with the university and Hayley’s overall help. They talked about their families, and Kim expressed her interest in meeting David when he came out to see Tommy next, and Tommy asked about Kim’s brother and sister-in-law who had been planning on having kids before he and Kim had broken up.
All in all, they were getting to know one another again, as they were now, but colored with the relationship of the past… a good basis for trying things again, they both thought separately. If the other realized that their thoughts were shared, they didn’t question it.
When the waiter returned with two steaming plates, Kim’s eyes lit up. After he set them down, Kim took up her fork and dug in quickly, both hungry from the day’s early fight and the smell of the food itself.
“Oh, that’s good,” she said, taking a bite of her enchilada.
“Exactly why I brought you here.”
“You’re going to have to keep me away from here, or I’m gonna need to hit the gym for four hours every day to work off all the food I’d want to eat from here.”
“I promise I will only let you come if I’m with you.”
“Is that a subtle hint that you want to go out again?”
“I didn’t think it was that subtle. And yeah… I got the impression that this was going… well,” Tommy nearly stammered.
“Very well. And yes, we can do this again. We can do this tomorrow if you want.”
“I… I mean…” she stammered now, and Tommy reached across the table quickly to cover her hand with his.
Where his hand touched hers, they both would have sworn they felt sparks.
“I’d love nothing more than to see you 24/7, but I think we both should take this slow.”
Kim nodded. “My heart getting ahead of my head.”
“Just keep it headed that direction, okay? We’ll be there soon enough,” he said with a tremor in his voice.
With that, he withdrew his hand and they settled into eating. Between bites they talked some more, sliding into Tommy’s work at the school and the kids. Once that subject came up, Conner, Ethan and Kira became the topic, and they gave their impressions of the new rangers.
Finally their meal finished and Tommy paid the check, despite Kim’s objections. He escorted her out and drove them back to her new place. Getting out, he found Kim had gotten out before he could come and help her, and gave her a slight grin. Not much has changed… she was as independent one minute as she was girly the next.
Something that he still loved about her.
He unconsciously licked his lips at the thought, and walked over to guide her to her front door.
“I guess this is it,” Tommy said, but with a loving tone that she remembered from so long ago, and it made her shiver.
“I guess so. It looks like some things aren’t going to repeat themselves… we just got through a date without being interrupted.”
“I guess Mesogog was nice enough to lick his wounds tonight after our general ass kicking of Zeltrax and his son.”
“Hopefully we can keep this streak going,” Kim suggested with a smile.
“How about we tempt fate next Saturday?”
“You got it handsome.”
Tommy’s face went pale for a moment at her old term of endearment. He watched he face take on a fearful look, and knew he needed to say something quick.
“Sound good Beautiful.”
He watched as her eyes watered slightly and she graced him with a shining smile that he remembered in his fondest dreams.
“Yeah… but, do I get a first date good night kiss?” he asked, pushing his luck.
Nodding, she leaned up and met his rapidly descending face and they brushed their lips together for the first time in what now felt like eons. That first touch sparked to life a hunger that they’d long suppressed, and Tommy brought a hand to cup Kim’s cheek, the other wrapping around her waist as her mouth opened under his and they intensified the sensation. Kim’s hands fisted in Tommy’s shirt as she held on, letting their combined emotions take them over the edge.
Seconds became minutes, and finally Tommy eased back, breaking the seal they’d made between their lips, and watching Kim take in a deep breath as he did too.
He had to go now, or things were going to get out of hand…
“I think I should go.”
“Night Tommy. Drive safe.”
With that, she opened her door and closed it behind her, leaving Tommy standing outside, a brilliant grin on his face and he turned back to his car with a skip in his step that he’d never thought to have again.
A kiss! Yay! And you know it won’t be long until some serious making out is on the agenda… wonder what will happen after that?