Always a Ranger - Part 37
By Jeannine Trevizo
“Are you sure you don’t want to change your mind and run off to Las Vegas?” Kim asked as she sat nervously on the couch as Tommy paced the living room of their house.
They’d been lucky the last few days; there had been very little activity with regards to Mesogog, and when Tommy had woken up that morning… nearly afternoon, his hangover had been pretty much like a bad headache more than anything else. He credited it to the fact that he hadn’t mixed his liquor… much. The three Sex with a Goat’s that the guys had bought him had done a number on him, resulting in his singing performance the night before.
But now the real reason for them to be tense was to appear any moment; they were waiting for their families to arrive.
As Tommy looked at his watch once again, he was struck by another stab of doubt, and wondered if maybe Kim had a point. Then he shook his head, dispelling the thought.
“No. I promised myself that if I ever got you back that we’d get married properly. And it’s just our families Kim. You’d think you were expecting axe wielding maniacs or Mesogog’s flunkies to knock at that door any minute.”
“Maybe that’s because it’s been eight years since my parents have been in the same room together, and neither of them have always been happy about my choices,” she reminded him, remembering Tommy’s first meeting with her dad at the parent’s day in Angel Grove.
Plus there was the other decision that they’d made that she was pretty sure was going to cause problems…
Before he could say anything else to counter her comment, the door bell rang. He hurried to the door and opened it to see a pair of very familiar people.
“Mom, dad!” Tommy said brightly, as he was caught up quickly in his parents’ arms.
“You look good son,” James Oliver said, looking over his son.
“So, is Kim here?” Jan asked, backing up as she tried to glance over her too tall son’s shoulder.
Once her name had been mentioned, Kimberly got up from the couch and moved over to stand at Tommy’s elbow. She knew that what she’d done in breaking up with their son had hurt the Oliver’s almost as much as it had hurt Tommy, and she could only hope that they would be understanding now…
“Kimberly dear, it’s so good to see you,” said Tommy’s father, reaching past his son and holding his arms out to her.
Without hesitation, Kim hugged the older man, finding herself feeling re-accepted again. Right behind him, Jan was waiting her turn.
“We were so glad to hear that you and Tommy were talking again,” Jan stated as she hugged her, smiling at the woman who stood where the young girl who had first dated her son had been. “And when he called to say you were back together and getting married, well we were surprised, to say the least.”
“Sorry about that,” Tommy said with a wince as he guided everyone to the sofa, sitting on the arm hovering over Kim’s shoulder. “I kept reminding myself to call and tell you that things had changed and that I was thinking about it…”
“Not to worry. The point is that we’re happy for the both of you,” James Oliver expressed with a smile in the direction of their future daughter in law. “By the way, your Uncle John was sorry he couldn’t come, but he’s in Daytona this week for a race that’s on the same day as the wedding. He sent his best though.”
“That’s good. I know Kim’s Uncle Steve wasn’t able to come either, but we’ll make do.”
“So, are we waiting on Kim’s family before we leave for dinner?” Jan asked, looking from Tommy to Kim.
“My mom and step dad are on the way, supposedly. As to my dad and brother… they may not get here until the day of the wedding,” Kim commented reluctantly.
Before the subject could be addressed, there was a knock at the door with a specific beat that made Tommy smile. Quickly he got up from where he was perched on the arm of the sofa and hurried to the door. Yanking it open, he found his brother staring at him and behind him the elderly Native American man, Sam Trueheart that had raised him.
“David, Sam!” Tommy cried out, pausing briefly to hug his brother whom he’d seen the night before at his bachelor party.
As Tommy and David had hugged, obviously happy to see one another, Jan and James Oliver watched their son with his only real living blood relative and couldn’t help the sad smiles that crossed their faces.
“Hey Tommy,” said David, as he hugged his brother, and then moved so Sam could get by.
Tommy moved to embrace Sam as the elderly gray haired man opened his arms him. He’d been the one who’d helped him find his heritage as well as his brother, and if he wanted to be honest, the ring that his future wife now wore as well.
“Sam, David, come in, meet everyone,” stated Tommy, ushering the men inside and then moving to Kim’s side. “Kim, this is my brother David, and his guardian Sam Trueheart.”
“If I didn’t already know he was your brother, the resemblance would have made me wonder,” Kim said with a smile as she offered her hand to the man who was her love’s only living blood relative.
David smiled at her, and took her hand to shake it. He looked to his brother and winked, letting him know of his silent approval.
“Kimberly,” spoke up Sam as he moved forward to taker her hand in both of his. His eyes glanced from her to Tommy and back again. “You make one another happy. This is a good thing. You must always remember that together you are more than you are apart. It is truly a pleasure to meet you.”
“Likewise,” Kim replied, smiling at the older man.
“You both know my parents,” Tommy reminded them, re-introducing the four.
There were polite smiles and handshakes, but the fact remained that while Jan and James Oliver were happy their son knew something of his birth parents, it was hard to realize that this part of Tommy’s life wasn’t part of theirs.
“When do you expect your family Kimberly?” David asked, enjoying the opportunity to get to know finally the woman he knew his brother had always loved.
Kim turned to Tommy, her discomfort written on her face. There was a reason she wasn’t looking forward to her families’ arrival, and it seemed that their delay was going to cause more friction than she wanted to deal with. Looking at his watch, Tommy tapped his foot nervously.
“We have reservations in fifteen minutes. Do we wait?” Tommy asked Kim apprehensively.
“Maybe a few more minutes. Mom and Pierre probably had to find their way from the airport…” Kim started when the doorbell rang.
Tommy moved to see who it was, and when the door swung open, he found his future mother in law on the other side.
“Mom!” exclaimed Kim, hurrying to the door and catching her mother in a hug.
“Sorry about being so late, the plane was delayed,” Caroline told everyone, smiling at the assembled people until her eyes fell on Tommy. “Hey there stranger.”
Moving away from Kim, Caroline went to Tommy and smiled at him fondly before reaching out and hugging him. When she released him, Tommy gave Kim a sideways look of surprise. He hadn’t been expecting such an enthusiastic reception.
“Kim, some introductions perhaps?” Caroline suddenly said, noticing several of the people in the room staring at her and her husband with blank looks.
“I’m sorry, everyone, this is my mother Caroline and Pierre Dumas, her husband. Mom, you know Tommy’s parents Jan and James, and this is his brother David and David’s guardian, Sam Trueheart,” Kim said, introducing her mom and step father around.
As Kim made the introductions and everyone shook hands, the doorbell rang again, and Kim turned with wide eyes. Tommy opened the door to reveal Kim’s father Richard, and her brother Kenny.
“Dad, Kenny… I thought you weren’t getting in until Saturday,” stated Kim in surprise, hurrying over to hug them both.
“Ken was able to get away earlier and I made some last minute adjustments to my schedule. Besides, I figured it would be bad manners to show up the day of my daughter’s wedding,” Rich Hart said, smiling at his little girl.
“Mr. Hart, Kenny,” Tommy said, coming up to Kim’s side and putting an arm around her shoulders as she backed up from her father’s embrace.
“Tommy, hey good to see you,” Ken said, reaching over to shake Tommy’s hand. He’d liked Kim’s boyfriend from Angel Grove, and when he’d heard the news about the engagement, he figured that the guy really had been alright after all.
Kim’s father also took Tommy’s hand, and then turned to his ex-wife and politely kissed her cheek. Caroline took over the hostess duties, re-introducing him and her son to Jan and James, as well as Tommy’s other family, David and Sam. They all briefly shook hands, making pleasant small talk before Kim looked to Tommy and silently let him know that leaving now would be a good idea.
“So, now that everyone’s here, let’s go,” Tommy stated, and watched Kim breathe out a sigh of relief and he opened the door up again.
Quickly Tommy waved everyone out the door, and then ushered Kim out before locking up. Things seemed to be okay, but he had an idea or two about what Kim was worried about with her dad, some wedding details that they’d discussed but hadn’t mentioned to anyone yet. Informing them all of those choices was going to be sticky, more than likely. He sighed as they walked along the path and hoped that Kim wasn’t right, and that they wouldn’t regret not going to Vegas after all.
They’d survived dinner, with the only really disturbing incident being the near argument that Kim’s father and Kim had gotten into over her decision to not have him walk her down the aisle. She had feared he wouldn’t understand, and the fact that he wanted to argue about it had thrown a chill over the festivities, and Tommy and Kim had ended up saying goodbye to everyone at the restaurant, needing to go home on their own and decompress.
When the next day came, it was with more wedding details to attend to, plans with their families and their friends, and it was starting to drive them both crazy.
First on their agenda for the day was breakfast with Jason and Aisha that morning before they split up to do more of the final wedding chores. Tommy and Jason had picked David up at the hotel and then gone to get fitted for their tuxedoes while Kim went to pick up her dress from the shop and help Aisha find one. Kira and Caroline met them there to help out, Kira making sure to point out the dress that she’d bought for herself by using some of the money she’d gotten from that awful record producer who’d made that horrible video of her song. At least she’d gotten paid for it…
Once the dresses had been put in the trunk of Aisha’s rental car, the four of them had gone to meet with the party rental company, caterer, florist and bakery one last time to make sure everything was on track. From there, they stopped by a party supply store to pick up some extra things to decorate the reception with, and the materials for the favors that Kim had ended up waiting for everyone to get into town and help with.
So when Tommy arrived home after dropping Jason and David off at their hotels, he found Kim, Kira, Aisha, and Caroline Hart in their kitchen, making favors. He walked in smiling at Aisha and Kira before coming around to lay his hands on Kim’s shoulders, kissing her on the top of her head.
“What did you decide on, because these don’t look like pre-made chocolate boxes,” he asked with an amused tone.
“We’re making favor bags, with chocolates in them, thank you very much,” Kim replied with a glance.
“It’s actually very sweet,” Caroline said, handing one of the finished bags to Tommy.
He took it, seeing the red foil hearts in the clear plastic, the top tied with pink and black ribbons and a small white card attached. It had their names and the date hand printed on it, a task he noticed Kim was taking on. He flipped the card over to see clearly the images of a falcon and crane in flight in black ink. Taken aback, he nearly dropped the package.
“Where… how…” Tommy rambled before Aisha and Kira started laughing.
“Stamps,” Aisha announced, holding up one of the rubber stamps that they’d found at the craft store.
“I thought that was a bit strange, but Kim said they were good luck,” said Caroline, filling another bag with the heart chocolates as Kim gave Tommy a knowing smile.
“They definitely are Mrs. Dumas,” he remarked, his voice thick with emotion.
“We have more to do, so why don’t you scoot and go do something useful,” Kim stated.
He nodded and kissed her briefly before heading out.
It was later that evening when the favors had been finished and everyone had headed out for their own plans that Tommy and Kim finally were able to eat a quiet dinner together before making a final check of the wedding preparations. After they’d cleaned the kitchen, putting the dishes in the dishwasher and made out slightly at the sink counter, Kim had made her way to sit at the computer desk. While she reviewed and checked off tasks on the list, Tommy watched her intently, laid out on the couch, sighing as he put his feet up on the coffee table.
“So, we have everything in place, right?” Kim asked, using the computer program that Ethan had given them to manage the wedding. “You got your tux while you were out with Jason and David, and my dress is at the hotel with Aisha… wow, I think that we’ve done everything.”
“Oh, we stopped by and saw Hayley earlier at the Cyberspace and said she had everything under control over there. She conned Billy, Trent, Conner and Ethan into getting everything set up and is making sure that the caterer and musicians are in and ready by the time we get there,” he told her.
“I don’t know what we would have done without her, Ethan, or the rest of the team… or our friends for that matter.”
“I would have woken up without a headache a couple of days ago,” Tommy reminded her, and she laughed.
“Still… hey, you didn’t tell me… are we taking a honeymoon?” Kim said in a shocked voice, realizing they’d never talked about it.
“I do have a plan Beautiful… since I can’t really be gone too long with school already in session and you needing to start your new job, I just thought that we could maybe,” he started, and then got up from the couch and walked to stand beside her at his desk and pulled out the side drawer, digging under the papers and bills Kim was used to seeing there and pulled out a pair of tickets. “Go to Hawaii for five days?”
“Tommy, that’s… oh, you,” she said, her eyes misting as she got up and jumped into his embrace.
“I take it that’s a yes?”
“Always,” she answered, and they both understood that it was for more than just the honeymoon plans.
The atmosphere at the rehearsal dinner was more like a small version of what they hoped the reception would be like. People talking, laughing and having a good time.
Tommy had chosen the Deep Dive, where he and Jason had met for dinner not long after he’d gotten the black ranger powers. It was there that Jason had told him not to let Kim slip through his fingers, and he thought it was the perfect place to celebrate his accomplishment of that goal.
Kira and Aisha had sat together, the two getting to know one another better, while David and Kim had talked over the chaos that was the fourteen people in the semi-private back room that the restaurant used for parties. The subject of Kim’s walking down the aisle alone came up again, this time brought up accidentally by Aisha.
Richard Hart watched his daughter brush off the question and shook his head. He had brought this on himself. He and Ken had talked the night before about it, and he’d had to face some hard truths. In the last six years, he really hadn’t been there for his daughter. She had done everything on her own, her Pan Global experience, college, coaching… and he was now upset about her choosing to walk herself down the aisle? He had no right to ask her for that honor, and as it was, he knew he ought to be happy that their relationship had survived enough that she’d wanted them there.
Conversation continued, everyone asking about honeymoon plans, and Kim was able to tell them about Tommy’s surprise of the Hawaii tickets. There were lots of happy congratulations and Aisha informed Kim that the water was just so blue that they had to find time to actually leave the hotel and go swimming. Both Kim and Tommy blushed at the implied suggestion that they wouldn’t leave the hotel, but they both knew that their friends knew them well enough that they *should* think that.
Once they wrapped up the meal, the families and friends involved with the wedding piled into the cars and drove to the church.
The site that Tommy had presented to Kim as his suggestion on where to hold the wedding was a simple little white wooden chapel, big enough for maybe one hundred people, and more than large enough for the thirty friends and family that would be attending. As they walked through the double doors, the charm of the small church hit everyone. They passed the room near the front door Kim and the bridal party would use to get her ready to walk down the aisle, and then entered the church itself.
“Good evening Tommy, Kim,” called out an older man, his hair receding and gray, with a full mustache and beard over a large smile, dressed in a suit with his obvious clerical collar. “These must be the rest of the wedding party. I’m Reverend Miller. How about we get started, so you fine folks can go back to your lives?”
The reverend started talking over who needed to do what, who followed who and the general ‘how to get married’ instructions. Kim and Tommy went through the motions as directed, not really fully aware of their actions. All they could think of was that in two days they’d be doing this for real. The minister glossed over the vows and such, remarking that they’d be able to screw them up without any problem the day of the wedding even with rehearsing, making everyone laugh.
When they came to the kissing part of the ceremony, Tommy and Kim broke from their trance, and kissed one another, somewhat less than politely, resulting in another round of laughter.
“Well, I guess they have *that* part down pat,” remarked the reverend, which only made everyone laugh louder and Kim and Tommy blush and hold one another tighter.
After having seen their families and friends back to their hotels from the church, and dropping Kira off at home, Tommy and Kim lounged on their couch, Tommy idly flipping channels with the remote with one hand while the other held Kim tucked into his side, her head on his chest as they settled in for the night.
“You know, it’s been quiet the last few days,” Kim asked with a hint of worry in her voice, and Tommy knew what she meant immediately. “Do you think they’re planning something? They wouldn’t attack the downtown or anything while we’re having the wedding, and make us have to run out…”
“I don’t think so Kim. I mean, if something does comes up during the wedding, Conner, Trent and Ethan can sneak out, and we’ll join them after the fact. Besides, with you and me being sort of secondary, we have that luxury now of not having to be the first rangers into battle.”
“But you’d want to be there first anyway, if you could,” she remarked with a grin, and he sighed.
“Yeah, but so would you,” he tossed back, knowing that since she’d gotten her dino powers she’d been energized to go into battle just as much as he always was.
She rolled her eyes but didn’t correct him, because she couldn’t.
“Are you going to stay at a hotel tomorrow night?” Tommy blurted out as he flipped past a romantic scene on the television.
“I hadn’t given it much thought,” Kim said, looking to Tommy with a frown. “I think we’ve spent enough time apart, wouldn’t you say?”
The thought of years alone, going through the motions and not even speaking to Kim flashed through Tommy’s mind. Then the year after Trini’s funeral when all he wanted to do was tell her he still loved her, and the following year when they’d been in love but almost trapped by obligations to their own lives… No, they’d spent *way* too much time apart to add any more right now.
“Definitely. So what are you going to do then? ”
“I’ll just figure to leave early Saturday morning for the hotel and meet up with Aisha, Kira and my mom and meet you at the altar.”
“Sounds like a plan Beautiful.”
“Besides, you can handle me being gone for a little while Saturday… I mean you’ve got me for the next 48 hours straight,” she reminded him with a gentle nudge of her elbow and a smile.
“I thought I had you forever?”
He leaned over and kissed her softly at first, and then more deeply, reassuring them both that they really did have forever.
A/N: Alright everyone… we’re heading to the home stretch…
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