I Miss You

By: Pink-Green-White-4ever

Last Revised: June 11, 2008

 

Summary: Written for the Perfect Chemistry June Fic Prompt.  Kim finds herself on memory lane, and gets more than she ever expected.

Rating: T for language

Ship: Mentions of TKat and TKim

 

Dedicated to:  All those TK romancers out there; maybe one day we’ll get our fairytale reunion!

 

--

 

Angel Grove

May 1997

 

Three very simple words defined their relationship much more than any other could.  I love you didn’t come close.  Their nicknames for each other – Beautiful and Handsome – didn’t hold a candle, not even a sickeningly green one, to the three simple words she’d uttered to him once upon a time.  I Miss You.  It summed up everything.  Three months ago, those words could have fixed everything that had gone wrong.  Now, it only served to remind them both of what they’d lost.

 

She only spoke when she was directly spoken to, choosing instead to hide between Jason and Rocky.  It hurt, seeing him wrapped around Kat, but she’d come to expect it; after all, she’d made her choice, hadn’t she?  Stress and international gymnastics had taken a front seat to being a Power Ranger and having him by her side.  For a moment, she felt sick all over again.  How far had she fallen in seeking this childhood dream?  Life would never be quite the same, and she could only wonder how it would be now that those dreams she’d dreamed when he’d first walked into her life were dead.

 

--

 

UCLA

1 Year Later

 

“I’m serious Kimber, that hot guy is in the stands again!” her teammate, Lori, giggled as they got ready for the last home meet of the year.

 

“Lori, every time you’ve ever said that, you point him out and he disappears before I can get a good look at him,” she huffed.  Her focus needed to be on the beam that she was getting ready to mount, not on some hot guy in the stands who may or may not be a figment of her roommate’s imagination.  To top it off, she felt sorta sick.  There had been reports coming in all morning from Angel Grove about Astronema and the Space Rangers.  The part of her she’d long buried was clawing its way to freedom; something was happening, something major, and she knew she should have been there to help stop it.

 

All that was forgotten, or pushed aside, as she was told to mount the balance beam.  Taking a deep breath, she mounted and began the complicated routine; her body balanced four feet in the air on a narrow piece of wood.  It wasn’t until she got ready to do her final tumbling pass that she spotted a familiar figure, wearing green and white, and sitting eye level of where she was at.  Nor was it until she saw him that she felt like her insides were ripping apart.  Shaking her head, she began tumbling, flipping off the end of the beam when she felt the familiar, mournful cry of the bird who had been her animal spirit.  And that’s when she knew.  Even as she hit the mat head first, she knew – Zordon was gone.

 

--

 

It smelled like a hospital.  She hated hospitals; hated the fact that to her, they represented the beginning of the end of her tenure as the spirited Pink Ranger, and that they represented the fact that she’d almost lost her life.  It took her a few seconds to remember why she was in the hospital, and then it all came tumbling back.  Tommy in the stands.  The tumbling pass.  Feeling sick.  Zordon.  The tears came then, burning her skin as they sliced their way from her eyes.  The sobs bubbled up, wanting to escape only to get caught in her throat.  He was gone.  Not just gone away to visit, but dead gone.  Zordon was dead.  He couldn’t be dead!  He wasn’t supposed to die!  He was the guardian of peace, justice and the power; he wasn’t supposed to lose his life!

 

She felt him then; right next to her, just like before, watching over her, taking care of her, just like he’d always done.  But this time, the healing balm of his presence couldn’t mend her shattered heart.  Enough was enough, and Kimberly Hart had finally had too much.  “Hey Beautiful, it’s time to wake up.”  The words were whispered so softly in her ear that briefly wondered if they were real.  When her eyes opened, she saw him sitting on the bed beside her, one hand extending toward her cheek, and she knew they were real.  “Welcome back.”

 

Clearly confused by the affection in his eyes and doped up from the medicines, she did all she could do – leaned into the palm of his hand.  “What happened?” she whispered.

 

“You don’t remember?” he softly asked.  “The beam?”

 

“I fell again,” she uttered, her eyes filling when she saw the emotions in his eyes.  “Zordon.”

 

Tommy bit his lip, nodded his head and squeezed her hand.  “Kim….”

 

“He can’t be….” she uttered, the tears she’d been forcing back finally breaking free.  “Tommy, he can’t be gone.  Please, tell me that isn’t what I felt, that isn’t why I heard her cry out.”

 

His eyes narrowed for a brief moment until he remembered something Ninjor had told him during one of their talks after Kimberly had left – no matter that Kim had passed her Ranger powers to Kat, or the ability for the blonde beauty to use the Ninja Powers, the Crane was Kimberly’s animal spirit; a physical representation of her soul.

 

“I got the call just as you were falling,” he told her, watching her face scrunch up.  “I felt mine cry out too, the second we lost him.”

 

“Wh-wh-what ha-ha-ppened?” she sobbed softly, squeezing his hand.

 

Andros had to take his life, to wipe out Dark Spector and his forces.  Zordon made him do it, ordered him to.  Zedd, Rita, Goldar….all of them are gone,” Tommy whispered.  She noticed the tension that had been part of him since he became a Ranger strangely gone.  Andros almost lost his sister in the process, and everyone knows who the Space Rangers are now.”

 

Tugging herself free of his grip, Kim rolled into a ball on her side and buried her face in her hands.  The last two years had felt like an incredibly horrible dream, and this latest news wasn’t helping.  She didn’t budge when Tommy leaned over to kiss her cheek.  She didn’t respond when he brushed her hair from her face.  And her heart seemed to break even more when he whispered in her ear.  “I’ll see you around.”

--

 

Angel Grove

2 Weeks Later

 

Two weeks had passed since her fall, and Kimberly couldn’t be happier to be out of the hospital (even if she only spent two days there for observation) nor could she have imagined that the coaches and her roommate would be constantly looking over her shoulder.  She’d been a Power Ranger for Pete’s sake!  She could take care of herself.  That’s what this trip was all about.  She had taken a day away from school and gymnastics, to come back to the only place she’d ever truly known and called home – Angel Grove.

 

She hadn’t seen hide nor hair of Tommy since that night in the hospital, nor did she expect to.  From what she knew from Jason, he was racing for his Uncle’s racing team.  He was probably on the road.  Driving through the familiar streets, she noted that despite the latest brush with Astronema and Dark Spector, Angel Grove didn’t look any worse for wear.

 

Lunch had been at the Youth Center, but that had hurt like hell.  Ernie was gone and now it was being run by someone she didn’t recognize and it looked nothing like it had just two years before.  New buildings were popping up everywhere, so she got a little lost, until she found her way to the one place that she knew would never change – the park.

 

It was Angel Grove’s pride and joy, a park that everyone in the community had had a hand in helping expand.  She had hours to kill before she needed to be back to UCLA and up for school, so she took her time and traveled around the familiar paths.  Everywhere she looked were places where memories so dear to her heart called out to her – the jungle gym where as Rangers they’d encountered countless putties and Tengas, the pavilion where’d they’d had so many picnics, the path leading down to the beach where again, as Rangers, they’d made some tough stands, the park bench where she’d sat when she realized she was no longer in possession of her power coin, and the spot by the Koi pond where she and Tommy had kissed for the very first time.

 

She’d made some agonizing choices the last two years, had made choices she wasn’t proud of, had hurt people she never meant to; that was the kicker there.  She understood that, in the end, you always end up hurting the ones you never wanted to.  Her letter to Tommy was childish in so many ways she couldn’t begin to count.  Some days she wondered if Zedd had invaded her body and made her write it, and then she came back to reality.  She’d been a coward, she’d written him a letter instead of coming home to visit or call.  There had been someone in Florida, though at the time nothing had happened, but she wanted, craved, the stability of having someone there with her, someone she could talk to.  Someone who understood what she’d been going through at the time.  Bryce had been that person.  And then it had all come crashing down.  However much she’d hurt Tommy had been repaid in spades – to walk into her dorm room and find Bryce making love to one of her teammates on her own bed had been the worst experience of her life, romantically speaking.  Aisha and Trini had called it Karma, and it had bitten her in the ass, royally.

“If you keep making that face, you’re going to have worry lines and wrinkles before you’re twenty-one,” a familiar voice chuckled, causing her to yelp and spin around.  The sun was setting, so the owner of the voice was cast in the dying embers of the sun.  Staring at him, she wondered if she’d ever seen him look as good as he did in the black boots, black jeans, white button up and the green bandana.  Gone was any trace of red from his clothing.

 

“How did you do that?” she asked, rubbing a hand over her chest where her heart thudded against it.

 

He just grinned and shrugged his shoulders.  Walking toward her, he tucked his hands into his pockets and stopped at the edge of the pond, his eyes on the setting sun.  “Still have the old school Ninja skills I suppose,” he murmured, looking at her from the corner of his eye.  She was standing so far away from him that his heart ached even more.  They’d always been comfortable around each other, that their last couple of meetings had sincerely hammered home the fact that they no longer were each other’s everything.  “What brings you out here?”

 

She sighed and wrapped her arms across her chest.  “Trip down memory lane, wanted to make sure, really sure, that despite everything, even Zordon’s death, that Angel Grove was still standing, that the world hadn’t changed so drastically in two years that home was still here.”

 

Nodding, he shuffled his feet and then turned to look at her.  “Listen, Kim, I…”

 

Shaking her head, the look in her eyes had him quieting.  “It feels like forever since we stood here last, not to mention that it feels like forever since those much happier times.  Why does growing up have to suck so much?” she asked, looking down at their shoes before looking up at him.

 

“I don’t know, laws of nature?” he joked.  “We could always call Billy and ask, he’s sure to know the answer.”

 

“Aquitar is really long distance.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t have enough money in my bank account for the cost of that phone call, at least not without some help,” she quipped, her smile bright as Tommy cracked up laughing.

 

“I’m sure Andros could give us a hand if we really needed it.”

 

Silence hung between them again, each lost in their own thoughts, or in Kim’s case, an inner battle for courage.  She knew it was time to bite the bullet, she had to at least apologize for what she’d done, and maybe, just maybe, they could be on the road to being friends again.  “Tommy?”

 

“Yeah?”

 

Turning, they stood facing each other again, so much left unsaid between them.  “I want to apologize to you,” she started, watching him open his mouth before she closed the gap between them, her fingers resting on his lips.  “Let me get it out before I lose what’s left of the courage I have.  I’m sorry I hurt you; sorry I broke your heart.  I never meant to, of that I want to be absolutely clear.  I’m sorry I was a coward for doing it the way I did, and if I could do it over again, I’d have handled it all differently, but I can’t travel back in time and take it back.  I know it’s too soon to forgive me, but I’m asking you, knowing the kind of man you are, if you’ll try to some day.”

 

Those pools of chocolate brown she loved so much stared into her own with an intensity that she hadn’t ever seen before.  It was the look of a man who knew what it was like to live with shattered dreams and a broken heart, what it was like to be asked to do something he wasn’t ready to do.  “Just answer me one thing,” he started, taking her hand away from his face and holding it in his own.  “Why?”

 

“I have no excuse, and no reason, not one that would justify what happened.”

 

“Did you cheat on me?” he softly asked the one question that had been burning at his heart since he’d gotten the letter.

 

Tears pooled in her eyes.  “I fell for Bryce before I sent the letter, but I never acted on it until after it was said and done.  You know me better than that, after what happened with my parents, you know better than that.  I may have been stupid in how I handled everything, but I never cheated on you.”

 

He hurt.  He still felt betrayed beyond words, but the sincere honesty in the eyes he knew so well spoke volumes.  She was staring at him, allowing him to see her answer in her eyes.  Whatever had happened between them, he could honestly say the qualities that made Zordon pick her as Ranger were still there – honesty being one of them.  He had his answers, however hurtful they were.

 

“Thank you for being honest with me.”

 

Kim swallowed hard.  “I’m sorry it took me so long to apologize.  I’m not as brave or courageous as I once thought, even I have weaknesses, and confrontations are one of them.  I’ll see you around,” she whispered before turning to flee the scene.

 

She got a good thirty feet from him before he called out to her.  “Kimberly!  Wait!”

 

Stopping, Kim turned slowly to see him coming toward her.  “What’s wrong?” she asked him, looking up into his beloved face.

 

“If we’re going to be honest, I have something to tell you,” he told her, watching her sigh.  “You hurt me, Kim.  Losing you hurt like hell, to the point that I wasn’t sure I would mend.  Kat tried to help, and for a while, she did.  She’s a sweet heart, and I’ll always love her for being there when I needed her.”

 

The emotion in her eyes made him ache to reach out and hold her, to make it go away.  “Understandable.”

 

“I never tried to replace you, you have to know that.  Kat’s her own woman, and so are you.  You may share a lot of similarities, but you’re both very different.”

 

“Why are you telling me this?” she asked, finally too emotionally tired to deal with everything.

 

He smiled at her.  “Because.  After two years of having to live without you, I’ve realized I lost me when I lost you; I miss you.”

 

Kimberly’s eyes filled with tears so fast that her vision became blurry in an instant.  She had never expected those words; hadn’t hoped for them, hadn’t wished for them at this time.  To be given them was beyond measure.  “Tommy…”

“Look, I’m not ready to jump back into anything, especially right now.  I like where my life is, I’m not looking for any ‘romantic entanglements’ as Aisha would put it,” he grinned at her, watching her laugh and blink away the tears.  “What I can use is my best friend again, the one who me better than I knew myself.  I have to believe even after all of this, that hasn’t changed; you’re still my best friend.”

 

“You’re an incredible man, Tommy Oliver,” she whispered, her voice cracking.  “It’s why Zedd and Rita never understood you – your capacity to forgive, to care, to be a good person, it’s beyond their scope of understanding.  Thank you.”

 

He looked hopeful and bashful all at once.  “So, friends?” he asked, sticking out his hand to her.

 

“Friends.”

 

His smile was the healing balm her heart desperately needed.  “So, as friends, could I interest you in coming with me to dinner?  I’m supposed to be meeting Rocky, Adam, Jason and Justin in about ten minutes.”

 

“I’d love that.”  At her words, Tommy reached out and took her hand, giving it a good squeeze before leading her away from the pond and toward his truck.  Things may have been settled between them, and Tommy may have had his answers, but it wasn’t the end.  In fact, it was the beginning, all over again; a chance to nurture the friendship that had taken a backseat to their love affair.  Who knew, maybe at some point they’d find their way back to each other.  After all, their love was summed up in three simple words – I Miss You.