Always a Ranger - Part 38

With This Ring Part 1: Going to the Chapel

By Jeannine Trevizo

 

 

 

Kimberly Ann Hart stood before the mirror at the back of the simple country church that she and Tommy had picked out and stared at her reflection. If anyone would have asked her at sixteen if this day would have come, she would have said yes. Just three years ago, she wasn’t sure if it ever could.

 

But now, as she smoothed the front panel of her wedding dress, she knew that after nearly nine years, her dreams were about to come true.

 

She was marrying Thomas James Oliver.

 

Kim turned again to look at the gown in the mirror, still unbelieving. The ice pink color of the off the shoulder, corseted gown looked like it was made for her, and she smiled happily; it actually made her look like she had cleavage. She’d found this dress on a shopping trip on her own after feeling less than sold on the ones she, Hayley and Kira had looked at and had fallen in love with it. She could only hope that Tommy liked it as much.

 

“You look too damn good in that dress,” Aisha said, walking over to her friend with the elbow length veil attached to the simple rhinestone tiara in her hand, her strapless floor length yellow satin dress swaying as she moved.

 

While both of Kim’s attendants wore the same color, it wasn’t because she’d asked them too. No, this wasn’t a traditional wedding; it was a ranger wedding. That alone meant that everyone, except for a few family members knew who everyone was, or would be able to tell who or what they had been by the color they wore. And even after years of being without their powers, the habits of wearing one’s color wasn’t one that had gone away easily. So now, the two women walking up the aisle before her would wear the same color, as sisters of the yellow ranger legacy.

 

“You look great Kim,” gushed Kira as she came to stand by them. The young yellow ranger was wearing a gown similar to Aisha’s except for the spaghetti style straps that were more fitting for the teenager.

 

Kim smiled as she caught Kira’s hand and the two shared a look. With Aisha as the maid of honor, Kim had wanted Kira to be a bridesmaid. Kira had told Kim that she’d be honored too, both of them knowing that if it was possible, Kim would have wanted another yellow ranger there too…

 

Aisha carefully slid the tiara with the veil over the up-do that Kim had chosen, the caramel colored curls spilling over the sides as Aisha made sure it was pinned in place. With a swipe of her hand, she made sure that the veil was sitting flat before moving back to admire her friend.

 

“You’re all set.”

 

While Kira and Aisha stepped away to take care of making sure that they had Tommy’s ring, the bouquets and everything they’d brought in all packed up to go back into the cars, Kim found herself getting more anxious, and her mom moved across the room to take her hand.

 

“Nervous?” Caroline asked, smiling at her daughter.

 

“Yeah… but happy, you know?”

 

Caroline nodded. When her daughter had first brought home Tommy Oliver, she’d wondered if the relationship was just first love/high school romance. And now, nearly ten years later, she was getting ready to send her daughter off down a church aisle to marry him.

 

Kim was glad that her mom was happy for her. It made things easier. As it was, she’d seen her father briefly before getting dressed, and he’d wished her well and gone out to sit with her brother in the church. Her decision to walk down the aisle on her own was still sitting poorly with him, but she refused to worry about it. This was her day, and at this point in her life, she felt that the only person responsible for giving her away to Tommy was herself.

 

There was a knock at the door and everyone turned, making noises of frantic movement, Kira and Aisha standing in front of Kim, just in case while Caroline Dumas hurried across the room. She opened the door far enough to verify that it wasn’t Tommy, and then she opened it far enough to admit Jason into the bride’s dressing room. Kira and Aisha sighed, and stepped away from Kim, allowing the two long time friends to see one another.

 

“Hey there Jase,” Kim said as she carefully lifted her dress at the hips as she moved towards her fiancé’s best man, the original leader of the first ranger team, and one of her dearest and oldest friends.

 

“Wow Kim, you look great,” Jason said as he walked to her side, taking her hand and kissed her cheek, looking her over with a grin. “He’s gonna faint.”

 

“Well, that would be a first, since it’s usually me doing the fainting around him.”

 

Aisha and Jason laughed, knowing about the effect Tommy had on her.

 

“I just wanted to wish you the best, and I’ll make sure he doesn’t run on you.”

 

“Like he would,” Aisha said sarcastically.

 

“No, he’s been waiting a long time for this,” Jason remarked seriously.

 

“Me too,” Kim said, her emotions threatening to ruin her carefully applied mascara.

 

“Okay, I’d better get out of here and make sure that the bundle of nerves that’s your fiancé doesn’t hyperventilate. We’ll see you soon…”

 

Aisha escorted Jason out, closing the door behind him. As she turned, she looked at the clock and realized that they had probably another ten minutes to go. Across the room, Kim was slightly pacing, her hands wringing. She had seemed nervous before Jason had arrived, and now she looked even more so. Maybe she needed a few minutes alone, without everyone running around, Aisha thought, and as the maid of honor, it was her job to take care of Kim’s sanity…

 

“Okay, I think it’s time to give the bride some breathing room. We all have things to do, or places to be, so let’s get to them,” Aisha called out.

 

Kira and Caroline came and gave Kim a light hug or kiss, and then started out, leaving Kim and Aisha alone. The two held hands and Aisha couldn’t help but smile at the nervous bride.

 

“You good Kim?” Aisha asked, noting Kim’s pallor.

 

“Yeah, just need a minute to myself.”

 

“How about I go check on Tommy for you and come right back.”

 

The moment Aisha mentioned Tommy’s name, she saw the color streak into Kim’s cheeks, and her eyes start to well again. Yeah, they had it bad… nothing, not even nine years had dulled it.

 

“Tell him I love him, okay?” Kim asked, smiling brightly at the thought of seeing Tommy at the end of the aisle in minutes and finally starting their *married* life together.

 

“I will. Hang tough girlfriend, I’ll be back soon, and then we’ll get you two married,” Aisha said as she smiled and nodded, and then turned to leave.

 

She closed the door softly, leaving Kim to some silence, solitude and her own thoughts.

 

-x-

 

Ethan, Kira, Conner and Trent all stood at the back of the church, watching the different former rangers at their seats or wandering around before the service started. It was like a bigger version of the ranger reunion Kim and Tommy had thrown days earlier. Already they’d identified rangers that had served as space rangers and turbo, and there were a few others in attendance that they hadn’t been able to identify yet.

 

“You look good all cleaned up Kira,” Conner remarked with a big smile, as he regarded her figure in the bridesmaid dress, slightly longer than was polite.

 

“So do you guys,” she fired back, having noted the men in their suits, their ties blue, red and white striped with black and as befit their ranger status, but she stared at Conner as he looked her way, and then he finally averted his gaze.

 

“Do you think they can pull this off without Mesogog sending a monster and disrupting things?” Ethan asked idly, and both Conner and Kira glared at him, Trent looking off uneasily away from the others at the suggestion.

 

“Be quiet! Do you want to jinx it?” Conner asked, wondering what his friend was thinking tempting fate like that.

 

But the words were out, and with them, Kira felt a deep dread fill her stomach.

 

-x-

 

Tommy nervously paced in the back of the vestibule, waiting for Jason to get back. His dad had given up trying to calm down his son, and had simply wished him luck and went out to sit with his wife. David sat in a chair across the way from his brother, having done what he could to keep him calm, but once he realized it was futile, he’d all but given up. At one point he’d thought of having Sam come in, but he was sure that Tommy wasn’t about to listen to anything or anyone right at the moment and he didn’t want to ask Sam to get up from his seat.

 

Suddenly the door opened and Tommy’s best man strode in, his face plastered with a grin. David watched as his brother’s eyes lightened at the sight of his long-time friend. While David had been honored when Tommy asked him to be a groomsman, he hadn’t begrudged his brother’s wish to have Jason stand up for him. The two had been through more than he and Tommy had, and were as close as brothers could be. As well, Jason had known Tommy and Kim for years, while he’d only met his brother’s very kind and attractive fiancé in the last few days. Overall, it was Tommy’s day, and David was simply to have the chance to see his brother happy.

 

“Jason!” Tommy said with a grin edged with fear.

 

“Hey bro,” Jason replied happily, reaching out to catch his friend in a hug before standing back to double check his attire.

 

Tommy’s tux was immaculate. Since it was black, there was no issue with his status. He’d decided though to try and represent all his ‘career’, and with the white tux shirt, green bow tie and cummerbund and a red rose in his lapel, he’d found a way to represent all his colors. Beside him, his best man stood at his side with a red tie/cummerbund combination while David was wearing straight black, since he hadn’t served and been identified with a color.

 

“She’s still there…” Jason stated seriously, leaving his hand on Tommy’s shoulder as a way to ground his friend, “and she’s just as nervous as you.”

 

“I don’t know how that could be,” Tommy replied, running a hand through his hair, messing it up even more.

 

“Because she’s in love with you, and can’t believe you’re finally getting hitched is how,” Jason retorted, and glanced over at Tommy’s brother. “You’d think that he would have figured this out by now.”

 

“He’s thick that way, you and I both know it,” David offered up, smirking at Jason as they discussed his brother in a way that they both understood from their time with him.

 

“Hey! I’m in the room, you know,” Tommy complained as his brother and his near-brother verbally berated him, and then moved away from Jason’s hand to pace the small space again. “It’s just… I’m scared to death she’s gonna change her mind, or that I’ll forget my vows or I’ll drop the ring…”

 

“Calm down, it’s gonna be fine. David and I will be right here, and we’ll get you though it… you’ll be married in no time. And if my watch isn’t running fast, we’ve got less than ten minutes until show time.”

 

A knock at the door brought them all up short, and David moved to open it up, opening it to reveal the maid of honor, and he pulled the door open, letting Aisha in.

 

“And here’s the nervous groom,” Aisha said as she moved into the room, smiling at Jase and David as she moved to her former fearless leader, and crushed him in a hug which he happily returned.

 

“Wow Aisha… you look great,” stated Tommy, holding her out at arms length to take in the sexy yellow dress she was wearing.

 

“You charmer,” Aisha admonished, swiping at his hands with a smirk, “but Kim looks *way* better. I just wanted to check in on you before everything starts, and tell you we’ll see you in a few minutes, okay? And Kim sends her love.”

 

“Send mine back.”

 

“All right guys, gotta go or we won’t get this show on the road.” Aisha stated and then hurried back out the door, leaving the three men alone again. Jason looked at his watch and realized it was time to go out and await the bride.

 

“You ready to do this?” Jason asked.

 

“I think I’ve been ready since we were seventeen,” Tommy replied seriously, and Jason could see in his friend’s face that he meant it.

 

“Then this is *way* overdue.”

 

With a clasp of his hand to Tommy’s shoulder, Jason led the three of them out to await Kim’s arrival at the altar.

 

-x-

 

Kim glanced at the clock, noting that the ceremony was supposed to start in two minutes, and Aisha and Kira hadn’t come back yet. Worried, she was just about ready to go and find out what the holdup was when she heard a knock at the door.

 

“Hold on Aisha, I’ll be right there,” she called out with a sigh of relief, and she reached out for her bouquet of pink and white roses to get ready to head down the aisle.

 

She moved to the door and opened it, her mouth dropping open as her flowers fell from her hand to crash to the floor.

 

-x-

 

Aisha had stopped to make sure that everything was in place, and now she and Kira were heading back to get Kim and head down the aisle. The music had started, and the parents had been seated. As she made her way towards the back of the church, she looked and saw the door to the bridal room open.

 

“Kim?” Aisha called as she got closer.

 

The two of them saw the room empty and no sign of Kim. They hurriedly checked the garden, the restroom, anywhere where she might have taken a quick break, but found nothing. Once they realized that she wasn’t anywhere, they rushed into the main part of the church, and still shocked and dismayed at Kim’s disappearance didn’t even consider trying to be subtle about the fact that Kim was gone.

 

“Tommy, Kim’s missing!” screamed Aisha from the back of the church, bringing everything to a sudden halt.

 

-End-

 

To be continued…

 

A/N: Okay… you all hate me. But you can’t say I didn’t warn you; as it is you should have all seen this coming… Does anyone remember way back in chapter 20 of the series there was some suggestion about Tommy’s greatest weakness… well, it’s about to be tested. Hehehehe… The next chapter will be up Saturday, I promise.

 

 

GO TO CHAPTER 39

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