Author’s note: There were so many e-mails with the same kinds of questions, I felt I should give you some answers – 1. Yes, we will see Trent, but his role in this series will be different. 2. As to the white dino gem, yes, Mesogog has the gem in “White Thunder pt 1”, but we don’t know how long he’d had it (i.e. in “Back in Black” he seemed to be clueless that the power source inside the stone was a gem – which shouldn’t have been the case if he already knew what a dino gem was, if he had the white gem), so I choose to believe that he located it AFTER “Back in Black”, allowing Hayley to find it and the purple gem first. 3. The pairings will take a bit to flesh out (other than T/K), and I am toying with some triangles. 4. I am planning this to be around 20 chapters, maybe more… I don’t figure to follow the season exactly, but will cover the ‘episodes’ that I think make sense for this story. 5. Evil rangers… well, we know it can’t be Trent, so I will just have to ask you to wait and see.
Hi all. Thank you. I was stunned to have so much mail in less than 12 hours of posting, and it just kept coming. It means a lot to me that you came back. I hope this next chapter gives you some insight into this universe’s Kim and Tommy. So here we go, hope you enjoy, and now, to the story. . .
Legends and Heroes
By Jeannine Trevizo
Chapter 2: Like We Never Loved At All
Morning turned into afternoon with no word about reconciliation or even hearing that Tommy had called to make any plans to talk. Finally Jason got tired of waiting and called Kim’s room, asking if she wanted to meet him in the hotel’s atrium for lunch. Agreeing, Kim met Jason and they sat at a table, and then made their order. As they waited, they made idle chit chat, Jason hoping to have Kim say what he knew she wouldn’t.
Sighing, he waited as their server set down their food and left them to eat.
“Did he call?” asked Jason before taking a bite of his burger.
“Who?” questioned Kim as she speared a piece of lettuce from her salad with her fork in a move much to violent to be natural.
“Tommy. He promised he’d talk to you today.”
“Why? I thought he’d just have Hayley ask for the dino gem back and kick me out of town,” she commented with a frown.
“Come on Kim. He’s not that heartless. Besides, it was a long time ago.”
“Yes, but… I mean, shouldn’t he want me gone? I mean, I go and show up in his shiny new life, a blast from the past he’d rather leave buried. I don’t blame him for wanting me to leave.”
“I don’t think he really wants you to go,” Jason said honestly, before putting a French fry in his mouth.
“Did he tell you that?” she nearly demanded, putting her fork down with a glare. When Jason didn’t answer,, she knew she had him. “No, he didn’t. You’re just guessing. And guessing wrong, no doubt.”
“Oh come on Kim. Tommy and I have been friends for a while now. I think after all these years I’ve learned to read him…”
“How long have you and I been friends Kim? Long enough for you to know I wouldn’t shit you about this.”
“Okay, so maybe he’s willing to talk. It doesn’t mean we can get past it.”
“Or maybe you guys can start over.”
She seemed to physically shy from the idea, and again Jason wondered why his two best friends had to be so stubborn. He stared at her, prompting her to finally speak her mind.
“I don’t know… it’s been so long, so much water under the bridge. Hell, I burned the bridge in spectacular style.”
“Look, just give it a chance. You two were friends too…” Jason reminded her softly, reaching across the table to take her hand in his. “Just talk things out, and if you can both put aside your pain and your egos, maybe we can be a team again.”
Kim nodded silently, taking Jason’s words to heart. Perhaps this was what they both needed to move on. With the matter settled, they resumed eating their lunch, Jason hoping that Tommy wouldn’t need him to kick his ass again to get him to follow through.
Finally, they finished and split their bill. Knowing now that Tommy was supposed to call her, Kim headed back to her room. She walked in and headed to the nightstand by the bed, finding the red light on the phone indicating a message was lit. Dialing into the voicemail system, she listened to Tommy’s stilted voice asking if he could meet her at 4pm, after his classes got out for the day.
After hanging up the phone, she stared at it for a good fifteen minutes before picking it up and dialing the cell phone number he’d left on his message. When she got his voicemail, she nearly hung up, but took a deep breath and left him a message saying she was okay with seeing him at four and gave him her room number.
Then she hung up and sat heavily on the bed, trying to recall just how the man she’d wanted to spend the rest of her life with had ended up a stranger to her.
At a quarter past four there was a knock at the door to her hotel room, and Kim jumped slightly. He was late, some things never changed. Moving like she was in molasses, she finally made it to the door, and opened it with infinite slowness. Revealed at her doorway stood the man she was dreading seeing.
And the man she had longed to see for ages.
He stood with his hands stuffed in his pants pockets, looking uncomfortable and like a nervous teen preparing to ask a girl he liked out. Familiar territory for them, except this time their relationship wasn’t in a place where he’d be asking her out.
“Hey. Sorry I’m late, student’s with homework questions. Can I come in?”
Without a word, she waved him inside, and shut the door behind him. Tommy turned around and she just stood there, so he just took a seat on the small loveseat in the little suite and tried to get a grip on his emotions before he said anything.
“So…” he started, and then trailed off. How the hell was he supposed to do this?
Silence filled the room once again. Kimberly looked at Tommy and felt her own guilt and anger envelop her, and her mouth ran away before she could get her brain to control it.
“So, I guess you’re here to demand an explanation from me so you can have your ego soothed for something that happened years ago, and then you can ask me to leave. How about we just skip to the chase, I apologize and I’ll leave first thing in the morning,” Kim said defensively, pulling the silver gauntlet from her wrist and thrusting it at the man sitting on the small loveseat in her room.
Instead of taking it, Tommy just stared at it, his stomach twisting in knots that he truly didn’t understand. But he did know that Kim was a good ranger in the old days. And that she had earned her chance to be a ranger again after everything she’d done as a ranger before.
But he just had to convince her that they could work together, and convince himself of it at the same time.
“I don’t want it,” he finally said, reaching up to push her hand holding her bracelet back towards her.
“Excuse me?” she asked, stunned.
“I mean, I don’t want you
to just quit. I want to talk to you, and if we can find some common ground, and
you want to, you could stay…”
“You… you really think we can work together again?”
Kim nearly collapsed across from him in the armchair and stared at him in awe.
“I’m not saying this will be easy, or that the past won’t cause us problems,” Tommy forced out, fighting to stay calm and rational when all his old emotions just were bursting to break free from their nearly decade long repression.
“Of course it’s going to cause problems. You can barely stand to look at me, and I… I’m ashamed of how I treated you back then…” Kim offered up, her emotions starting to weigh on her more heavily than they had for a long time, faced with the man she’d loved, lost and hurt.
Wringing his hands, Tommy knew that this was his moment. That if he was ever going to drain away the long standing pain that he’d buried following the years after their break up, it was now.
“You really hurt me Kim. You dumped me, yes, but it was more than that. Everything I went through during the years after that; discovering my brother and heritage, handing away the red turbo powers, going to college, the PhD studies that led me here… You weren’t there for any of it, and part of me desperately needed you there.”
“But you had Kat…”
“I didn’t want Kat.”
Silence descended into the room once again. Kimberly couldn’t look at him. She knew that when she broke things off that he’d be hurt, but she always thought that it wouldn’t be long before she would be forgotten. That her replacement was waiting in the wings. She’d never realized that the attraction she thought Tommy was exhibiting towards Kat before she left hadn’t been enough to make her a substitute for the girl Tommy did want.
“I… things had changed with me, with us, and I knew I had to let you go so we could move forward separately. I never thought that it would cut you so deep.”
“It did Kim. Ever since then, every woman I’ve dated… I’ve kept my distance. Emotionally. Sure, I dated women, had sex with them, but I was always holding myself back. I was preparing myself…I was waiting for them leave me, hurt me. The way I looked at relationships… you did that to me Kim. And looking at you now, I have to admit to myself that part of that pattern has to do with the fact no matter what happened between us, deep in my heart I still cared about you. Still care for you.”
Tommy’s words had cut her too the bone and she’d lowered her head in shame as tears had begun to threaten to break over her lashes. Then with his slight revelation of his true, deep seeded feelings, Kim’s head slowly came up. The idea that after everything she’d done, that he could still care about her, it made her wonder if maybe they weren’t so far apart as she’d thought.
“I’ve always cared about you Tommy… I know you don’t believe me,” she started tentatively, trying to put as much honesty into her voice as she could. “But I did and I still do.”
“I… I think you do, but I don’t know if I trust you Kim. I mean, if you cared at all for me, wouldn’t you have tried to talk to me? It’s been years since you left me and you’ve been hiding on the other side of the country all that time.”
Kim wiped her face with her hands, removing the traces of wetness starting to stream there.
“And did you ever think there was a reason I was hiding? That I had finally understood the Oliver guilt complex? I know I did something to you that hurt you, scarred you. I broke your trust and betrayed you. Never mind that I thought the same of you… I never asked you, didn’t search for an explanation. I just made a bad choice and compounded it with how I treated you.”
Kim choked back her tears and pushed forward with the one phrase she knew he deserved.
“And I’m sorry.”
“So am I.”
They stared at one another, their eyes telling the other that forgiveness was theirs. And that there was still something between them that gave them a common ground to rebuild from. And from there…
“So, can we start over? Rebuild our friendship? I’ve missed you… being able to talk to you. Having you around to get rid of creepy guys trying to hit on me at my locker,” she said with a whisper of a laugh, remembering years past and her green champion.
“You still have guys hitting on you at your locker?”
“Well, not literally, but I still seem to attract the Skulls of the world.”
He gave her a slight grin, remembering the same times with fondness.
“I think that I might be able to help out. Although my steely glare is a bit dulled with the glasses these days.”
Kim laughed and Tommy felt a bubble of happiness that he’d missed for nearly a decade rise in his chest. Maybe they really did have a chance.
“So, how about we go get Jase and head back to the house. We can call the team to meet us there and discuss the future of the Dino Thunder team together.”
“Sounds like a plan. Because if we’re staying, Jase and I have to go shopping soon. I’m seriously lacking any purple in my wardrobe.”
Tommy chuckled loudly and nodded. Kim quickly moved to get her purse from the coffee table, and they exited the room, headed down the hall. Before they knew it, they were in front of Jason’s door. Kim knocked loudly, and after a minute, Jason appeared, remote control in his hand.
“Hey. So, you guys work things out?” he asked, eyeing the pair as they stood before his door, closer together than he would have expected just a day ago.
“We came to an understanding. Think you can spare a few hours to go meet with everyone?” questioned Tommy.
“Sure, I think Maury was a repeat anyway.”
Reaching behind him, he clicked off the TV, tossing the remote onto the loveseat, and grabbing up his door key before following his friends and fellow rangers out the door and off to their destiny.
Twenty five minutes later, Jason, Kimberly and Tommy were sitting in Tommy’s living room, laughing over an old story from their Angel Grove days when the doorbell rang. Tommy moved to get it, opening it to reveal Conner and Ethan, Kira hanging back a step.
“Okay Dr. O, here we are. What’s up?” asked Conner with a shrug.
“Come in guys. I called you here to discuss what to do in regards to the team.”
Conner, Kira and Ethan walked in, seeing Kim and Jason sitting on the couch. Conner moved to sit in one of the armchairs, Kira taking the other and Ethan leaning over the back of her chair. Tommy moved to join them, but stayed on his feet, looking over the mix of old and new rangers.
“Jase and Kim have agreed to stay with the team, if you’re all okay with it.”
“And what about you Dr. O?” asked Ethan, watching their teacher and the new black ranger.
“I’d be on the field with you as well. And I’d continue in the same capacity as I was before – helping you be better rangers and understanding what you’re up against.”
“With the three of you, we’ll have a lot of knowledge to help us. I hope you can be patient with us, we’re not in your caliber yet, but I think I speak for all of us when I say we can’t think of a better ranger leader for the team…” Conner remarked, nodding his head in realization of the edge they now had.
“Conner, I think you’re getting the wrong impression. I’m not leading,” stated Tommy, watching as everyone gave him looks of either surprise or understanding. “You are.”
“Me? Lead? But I thought…”
“You’re the red ranger Conner,” spoke up Jason suddenly, feeling it was time to explain the facts of the ranger leadership hierarchy. The red ranger is always the leader. And you need to know that while Tommy, Kim and I have been doing this a lot longer than you probably ever will, this is your team.” Jason explained with a grin. They were so young. Had he and the other rangers ever been that young?
“But you, Dr. O, even Kim have more experience… one of you should be the leader.”
“Yeah, I mean it’s cool that it’s tradition, but shouldn’t we have someone who knows what they’re doing?” questioned Ethan, and then raised his hands defensively as Conner shot him a glare. “No offense man.”
“Tommy and Jason didn’t know anything about being a leader until they had to do it. We had a mentor, someone to guide us through being rangers. It’s the same thing for you. Except instead of just having us being here to show you the way, we’ll be out there with you,” explained Kim, looking fondly from Jason to Tommy before setting her gaze of Conner.
“Conner, you and Kira and Ethan were the first to be called, and you are the core of this team. You have the energy, the drive and the motivation to keep fighting,” explained Tommy simply.
“Motivation?” questioned Kira, picking up on that word, the meaning of it in terms of being a ranger confusing to her.
“You live here. I’m guessing for most of your lives. Your family, your friends, they’re all here. Jason and I don’t have any ties here, and Tommy’s just recently moved here. Keeping Reefside safe is something that’s going to be paramount to you specifically.”
“Aren’t you guys going to move here too?” Conner asked.
“That’s going to depend on how you feel about me and Kim staying on. If you want, we can get out of your way and Tommy can recruit some young people your own age. As long as he’s here, we know you’ll be okay.”
“But, we don’t want anyone else. You guys are way too cool. I mean, you’re ranger legends…”
“Exactly. As in history,” Jason remarked with a note of self-depreciation.
“Not anymore. You guys decided you were wiling to put on the uniforms again when Dr. O was in trouble. Well, he may be safe, but Mesogog is still out there, and no one is safe. Don’t you have any of that duty and honor stuff still in you?” asked Ethan, playing on the sense of nobility he knew they had to have in them.
“More than you know,” replied Kim, with a nearly invisible glance in Tommy’s direction that more than a few people caught, but only Jason recognized.
“So stay,” said Conner seriously.
“You really want that? You’re willing to possibly have Kim or I argue your decisions?”
“Hey, I can learn from the best.”
“I think that goes for all of us,” said Ethan.
“Well, I guess it’s decided,” Tommy remarked with a grin. “We’re back in uniform.”
“Cool!” said Kira, getting up from her seat and going over to hug both Jason and Kim, leaving Conner and Ethan to follow in her wake, shaking hands.
“Now that this is settled, ranger team exercise, Friday after school in the forest behind the cave. I’ll expect everyone there,” announced Tommy.
The teens looked at him with depressed faces, but Kim and Jason gave them a look that reminded them that they were the new heroes on the block. They needed to get caught up with the legends in their midst, as well as all of them learning how to work together…
“Off you go. You have homework for my class tomorrow.”
The groans began again, and the three teens headed for the door, knowing that their teacher meant it.
“Back together again,” said Jason, nodding towards Tommy with a smirk.
“Guess so. Now what’s this I hear that you and Kim have different morphing calls? The ones for the team weren’t good enough for you?” joked Tommy, elbowing Jason in the ribs.
“We went with what we knew. Besides, you always had to be different, didn’t you Mr. White Ranger?” Jason remarked, making Tommy laugh out loud.
Kim looked to Jason and caught his eyes. She tapped her watch and gestured to the door. He nodded and watched her head for it.
“We should get back. I’ll talk to you tomorrow?” said Jason.
“Sure. How about we have dinner tomorrow? All three of us?” Tommy suggested, his eyes glancing away from Jason and settling on Kim.
“Tomrrow then,” replied Kim, as she stepped out the door.
Jason shook Tommy’s hand and grasped his upper arm win their familiar greeting and nodded slightly to his friend. Then he took his leave with Kim.
Closing the door behind him, Tommy leaned up against the wood, closing his eyes and breathing out. It was going to be an interesting tour of duty.
A truce and the team is formed. But can Kim and Tommy ever really just be friends? P.S. for my long time fans… yeah, I know, another “talk” in a hotel room. One of these days I’ll have to have to figure out another place to hold it. J Lastly, I now have a LiveJournal that I’ll post updates on the series, as well as other things. If you want to check it out, please see my homepage or my ff.net profile for details.