Last Revised: March 27, 2004
Re-revised: October 16, 2004
Email: pink_green_white_4ever@yahoo.com
Website: www.usagi-carter.org/mmpr/index.html

Ok, this one is my first PR one-parter and song fic, so please be kind. I just got the Jessica Simpson album, In This Skin, and the song I'm using is one of like three on there that SCREAMS Tommy and Kim. I also want to dedicate this one to T.T., may you rest in peace.

This does not go with my other story, Ranger Games, as this is set during and after Trini's funeral. A little AU cause I skewed the timeline a bit.


@~~>~~
Sometimes its hard when you're so deep inside
To see all you could loose in a blink of an eye
Dreams could be shattered, you could be gone
How would I survive, 'cuz you're where I belong
My soul believer, without you
I don't know who I would be

Underneath, I can feel you move through me
Inside out, you surround me
I breathe you like I'm taking my last breath
Oh you're everything I know
So how could I let you go?
@~~>~~

She stood facing the casket that sat over the open grave, partially numb to the goings on around her. Once flowing auburn-caramel hair was cropped to just even with her chin, doe like brown eyes that had sparkled with mischief, hope, love, life, now sparkled with the incessant tears that welled in their depths. Gone was the bright pink color of her clothes from days gone by, replaced now with a slimming black business suit that was only days old. The only acknowledgment of her former status was the pendant she wore on the lapel, but then again that also showed her loyalty to the body about to be laid in the ground, as the gems in the pendant were green, white, pink, red, blue, black and yellow.

She wondered how in the world her life had gotten so screwed up, wondered how she could stand there, with friends and family alike, and say goodbye to her first real best friend in the entire world. How could, after every danger and threat they had faced from the forces of evil, something as stupid as a drunk driver take a life that had been so bright, like the yellow that had signified her status in their circle of friends, so full of potential, was beyond her comprehension.

She hadn't said a word to any of the others, and there were plenty of them around for that to be a minor miracle. Somehow, every single member of the team, from the original all the way to the newest stood together, around their friend's family, mourning her death and paying their respects to the extraordinary way that Trini had led her life.

Somehow, she'd managed to find herself between Jason and Tommy, though only God knew how, she couldn't remember leaving the church and coming, or stepping between them, it had just happened. To Jason's right were Zack and Billy, to Tommy's left were Aisha, Adam, and Rocky. For a moment, she felt a smile start to peek through at the thought that they stood united, the original rangers and their immediate predecessors, even in this time of grief, they upheld the unspoken bond that their missing friend had shared with them.

Behind her, she could feel Katherine, Tanya and Justin's presences, as well as Kat's hand on her shoulder, the other she knew from instinct alone was on Tommy's. Just beyond that, were all of the other rangers that had come after them. 'God Trini, you touched so many lives' she thought as more tears rebelliously leaked from her eyes, her hand reaching out to grip Jason's. She looked up when she felt Jason's eyes on her face, and attempted to give him a smile that pretty much failed. Her other hand, amazingly enough, was held securely within Tommy's larger one. Needing the comfort of his presence more than ever, she tightened her grip as much as she could without hurting him.

As the minister began to speak, she thought back to two weeks before when she'd gotten a letter from Trini from out of the blue. It had started light and fun, and witty like Trini had always been. However, it had been the serious content that had startled Kim. After she had broken up with Tommy, via the infamous 'letter', and gone to Florida to pursue her gymnastics dreams, she and Trini had avoided those topics when together or when writing or calling one another, but for some reason, that last letter had been different.

Two days later, Kim had called Trini and they'd spoken for nearly four hours about what Trini's letter had said. Kim bit her lip, thinking of Trini's last words to her. "It's been nearly five years Kimberly, for either of you to have closure, you need to talk about it. Besides, I can't stand seeing two of my best friends and former teammates so lonely and depressed all the time."

'I am so sorry, Trini, that he and I have never talked about that, and after this, we may never' Kim thought as she clenched her eyes shut. Trini's mother had asked her, Jason, Zack and Billy to speak at the graveside service instead of at the church service, allowing this to be solely for the comfort of Trini's best friends. She could feel Jason step forward, her hand still grasped in his, telling her it was time, but somehow, things didn't feel right. "Kim?" Tommy whispered softly, trying to get her to let his hand go. She shook her head and then turned to stare up at him. Immediately, he knew why she was reluctant to let go. "Come on," he croaked as he went with her to stand and face those gathered.

"Life is hardly ever fair," Jason started, swallowing the lump in his throat. "But if there was one thing Trini Kwan instilled in all of us, it was that you made due with what you had, and sometimes, you could reach further that way then if everything had turned out the way you wanted."

Zack took a deep breath and then followed his friend. "Trini was a bright star, in the middle of the darkest night, a goddess among mortals, and as one of her friends, I know how blessed I was to have her in my life."

"Trini had the wonderfully innate ability to understand anyone and everyone," Billy spoke, his voice tinged with sorrow. "She befriended everyone, saw the good in everyone, and in the end, made us better people because of it."

Kimberly realized it was her turn to speak, but the thoughts and the words just wouldn't come together. She looked up at Tommy for help. "When I first met Trini, it was when I moved to Angel Grove halfway through our freshman year of high school," he started, closing his eyes and remembering the first time he'd set eyes on the Asian beauty. "She and Kim were standing by their lockers, laughing at the joke she'd just told, and despite that the two of them already being close knit friends, she helped me around school so I wouldn't get lost, befriended me at a time in my life when I felt everything was tilting. She was a wonderful, loving person, a skilled warrior who knew she had limits and trusted others to help her strengthen her weaknesses, but above all else, she was someone who loved, and was loved."

All eyes turned to Kimberly, who took a deep breath. "Trini and I have been best friends since grade school, when I moved to Angel Grove," she started, her voice weak and breathy. "Until she left for the peace conference in Geneva, we were inseparable. I can remember my mom and Mrs. Kwan telling us when we were little that we must have been Siamese twins in another lifetime, cause they always managed to find us attached at the hip in whatever we did."

Tears fell freely down Kim's cheeks. "She has saved my butt more times then I can possibly count. The last time I talked to her was a week and a half ago," Kim sobbed, remembering the perky greeting that they'd given one another on the phone, knowing that there would be no more calls, no more greetings. "To the very end, she was trying to help me figure out where my life was going, trying to help me put my past mistakes behind me. God knows, I hope I live up to the potential she said she always saw in me. Not a day is going to go by that I, or the rest of you, will not think about her and miss her. So Trini, wherever you are now, may the power protect you."

When Kim looked up at the group of people in front of her, many of their faces held a small amount of shock that she'd finish with that, but then, most of them probably understood why she'd said it. At her nod, Jason and Tommy helped her move back over to stand facing the casket again.

After some more words by the minister, the group watched as the casket was lowered into the ground. As Trini's family watched on, one by one, starting with the newest rangers, yellow carnations and lilies were dropped into her grave. When it got to Aisha, Adam and Rocky, they each dropped in a Yellow Rose and a rose of their first signature color. Once they were done, they stood by as Jason, Zack, Billy, Tommy and Kim stepped up to the casket. Each gently let a yellow rose fall before they too each placed a rose of their signature color, or colors in Tommy's case, in the grave.

**

Kim stood in the corner and watched as each group of rangers spoke with Tommy and Jason before leaving. She didn't want to stay, didn't want to face the pain of being here, but stayed because this was for her friend.

To the left of where Jason and Tommy stood, were the rest of her friends. Aisha was wrapped in Rocky's arms, Tanya mimicking the pose in Adam's, while Billy, Zack, Kat and Justin spoke with them. She felt alienated at a time when she really didn't want to. She so wanted to talk to them, be near them, but knew it was best to stay away. She'd made her own grave, so to speak, and now she had to lay in it. She was about to turn away when her gaze locked on Tommy and Jason, who were staring at her. She attempted to smile, but it never reached her eyes. She turned to look at Trini's mother, who had come to stand with her. "Kim, I found this in Trini's apartment, in her computer," the grieving mother spoke softly as she caught Kim's full attention. In her hand was a cd with Kimberly and Tommy's names on it. "I think you should listen to it, you and Tommy."

"Mrs. Kwan," Kim started to protest, but watched as Trini's mother went over to say the same thing to Tommy, before she went to the stereo that had been playing and popped the cd in. As the first words poured from the speakers, Tommy and her caught each other's gazes and she felt a fresh round of tears spill from her eyes.

As the music played, everyone quieted down to listen, and watch the events silently unfolding between Kim and Tommy.

@~~>~~
Sometimes I listen to a voice that isn't mine
I disconnect from anything inside
I have made choices, and wasted all the days
I could've been with you, when my heart had stayed
I know you've waited faithfully
Blessing our love even stronger

Underneath, I can feel you move through me
Inside out, you surround me
I breathe you like I'm taking my last breath
Oh you're everything I know
So how could I let you go?
@~~>~~

Kim bit back the tears and soft sobs that wanted to break free. She couldn't help it. Trini had always told her that someway, somehow, if she and Tommy were meant to be together, they'd find their way back to each other. It was one of the things Kim loved most about Trini - her quiet strength and unwavering faith had always brought calm and serenity to her friends. Kim stood there crying for a long time, and just as her knees started to give way, she reached for a chair but felt HIS arms wrap around her instead. She hadn't seen him, because of the tears in her eyes, when he'd approached her. They rocked back and forth as Tommy lowered into a chair, cradling her in his arms, his hold never releasing. Her face was buried against his chest so every time she sucked in a breath, she breathed in his achingly familiar scent. "I'm tired of hurting, I'm tired of losing everyone I love!" she murmured incoherently, Tommy barely catching the words that seemed to gush out with her soft cries.

"Kimberly," he whispered. He didn't know what she meant by that, but if his hunch was correct, his life had been ripped apart for no reason all those years ago.

"First my parents, then the team, then you, and now Trini. When does it ever stop?" she muttered to no one in general as Tommy pulled her closer to him. His senses immediately registered that the rest of the rangers present had gathered around them, lending their quiet support.

Billy bent down next to his friends and tentatively reach a hand out for Kimberly. When he had her attention, he started. "Kim, now may not be the best time, but what happened?" Billy noted the shocked looks on the elder rangers' faces, particularly Tommy's.

"I wish I knew," she whispered, eyes locked with Billy's. "After I came home from Christmas break, I thought things were ok, but then, my mind started chipping away at my heart. I lost myself, and in the process lost you guys too."

Kim's vague answer wasn't all that to the elder rangers. They understood exactly what she was saying. "Kim?"

"Everything finally boiled over a week before the letter," she whispered softly. "I couldn't get a hold of Trini, Jason or Zack, every time I tried calling you or Aisha or even Tommy, I got no answer, not that I hadn't expected that. Coach kept pushing me, and I kept doubting and before I know it, my entire world had titled." Billy had finally gotten the answer all of them had wanted out of her.

"Billy, how'd you do that?" Kat asked softly, wonder in her voice.

"Long story," Billy started, watching Tommy's face flush in remembrance of what he was talking about. "Let's just say I know about what goes on inside of that head of hers almost as well as Jason, Trini and Tommy."

Kim sighed as her emotions finally started to calm down. Being in Tommy's arms again was a dream come true, so she wanted to savor the memory, because reality would come crashing back down on her soon enough. "Why don't you take her back to your house," Jason told Tommy, watching Kim's eyes well with tears again as they all knew her thoughts had once again turned to Trini. "We'll say goodbye to the Kwans and meet you there."

Tommy nodded and helped Kimberly stand up, hoisting her into his arms and carrying her princess-style out to his car.

**

The house was eerily silent as Tommy carried Kimberly in and up to his room. After he gently sat her on the bed, he went to his closet and pulled out one of his shirts, before moving back to kneel before her. Hesitantly, he reached out and began undoing the snaps of her suit, watching as no emotion, not even surprise, registered on her features. Her body moved mechanically, as Tommy undressed her and then put his shirt on her, tucking her into bed when he was done.

As Kim lay drained and nearly lifeless on his bed, Tommy shrugged out of his suit and got into a pair of sweats and a tee shirt before crawling under the covers with her, pulling her close to him.

They lay there for an undeterminable amount of time, Tommy holding her and stroking a comforting hand through her hair and down her back. He knew they needed to talk, needed to clear the air, but he just couldn't bring himself to disturb the nearly comforting silence between them.

"I'm so sorry," she whispered, the broken sound of her voice causing Tommy to pull back and look down at her. He could see everything he'd ever seen in her eyes, and more that he wished he'd never had to. His grin was small, because he didn't know exactly where they stood.

"I should have done what my heart screamed at me to do for nearly a year, especially after the Divatox incident," he whispered, watching her brow furrow in confusion. "I should have come after you, asked for an explanation. I knew that I knew us better than that, Kim, and I can't seem to figure out how I didn't just demand you talk to me so we could work it out."

Kim's lip trembled. "Tommy, I knew you wouldn't, that's why I wrote the letter the way I did. I knew you'd have wanted me to be happy, whether it was with you or not. God only knows though, that you're the only one I've ever been happy with."

"So my next question is, where do we go from here?" Tommy asked as he looked her straight in the eyes, watching the way her soul seemed to be so easily read there.

"The decision is up to you," she whispered, trying to stifle a yawn. Tommy sighed. His heart was telling him one thing, his mind another.

"Right now, what I want you to do is sleep," he whispered as he shushed her protest and watched her slide into the realm of dreams.

**

"Where's Kim?" Jason asked as Tommy slowly made his way down the stairs, claiming a spot on the couch between Kat and Aisha. Both girls instantly grabbed his hands and held on.

Tommy looked around the room before answer, "In my room, sleeping." Curious glances went to Kat, who smiled lopsidedly.

"Hey, I'm over this big idiot," she crooked a thumb at Tommy who smiled roguishly at her. "I've got my eye on that big idiot." All eyes turned to where Jason stood, rolling his eyes and smiling.

"What are you gonna do Tommy?" Aisha asked softly, bringing whatever teasing had been about to ensue to a crashing halt.

Tommy looked at his friends and sighed. He still didn't know for sure what he was going to do, so he told them what came to mind. "How about reclaiming the one part of my life that I was never supposed to loose?"

He was met by wide eyes and silly grins. "Look, I'm gonna have to learn to trust her again, but dammit, I love her, have always loved her, and besides, if her reaction to Trini's song is any indication..."

"So when's the wedding?" Rocky cracked, causing the entire group to burst out laughing.

**

'Hard to believe Trini's really gone' Tommy thought as he stood in the living room, staring out the window at the night sky. The others were in the t.v. room watching movies. They'd all been too emotionally drained to leave each other, so he'd suggested a giant sleepover, in memory of their beloved friend.

He felt her presence long before she stepped up next to him. "You think she's up there?" the question caused Tommy to smile.

"Yep. Up there watching over all of us, sticking her fingers in wherever she can to cause trouble and mischeif," Tommy laughingly started, turning when he heard Kim's half giggle half sob. "She's protecting us from what we can't see, just like she did when she was here."

"Tommy.." she started, only to have his finger shush her lips.

He smiled, knowing she needed to know his decision soon. "We've got a lot to make up for, a lot of things that we're gonna have to work through. It's gonna be long and hard and difficult to face."

"Since when have we ever been scared of hard work?" she asked as she looked up a him. "Especially when it's for something important."

"That's the answer I wanted," he whispered again, leaning down and sealing his lips over her, hands cradling her face. "I love you."

"I love you too." Kim looked up at him as he pulled her into his arms. "Don't ever let go."

Tommy smiled. "I never did."

@~~>~~
I've been blessed, with the very best
For every gift you have given
I've been touched by hands that trust
My love that's risen

Underneath, I can feel you move through me
Inside out, you surround me
I breathe you like I'm taking my last breath
Oh you're everything I know
So how could I let you,
How could I let you go?
@~~>~~

She stood over the grave, with it's elegant stone decorated by multitudes of yellow flowers, her mind taking her back to the first time she'd ever stood there. The words on the stone had surprised her the first time she'd read them, because it told her Trini's parents had had some inkling of their daughter's high school activities.

"Trini Kwan, beloved daughter, best friend, bright yellow star. Rest in peace, and May The Power Protect You."

"Honey?" She turned, her eyes catching on the gold band on her left hand before they caught his eyes. She smiled and nodded, watching as he led the others back to the car.

"Trini, it's been nearly four years since I lost you," she whispered, her hand smoothing over the small bulge of her stomach. "Not a day goes by that I don't think about what might have been. I'm sorry I haven't visited as much as I should, there's so much to tell you, and I'm pretty sure you know all of it already, but just listen ok?"

She knelt down, somewhat awkwardly and sat before the beautiful marble stone that signified the life and death of her friend. "Tommy and I got married a couple months ago, we're expecting the baby by Christmas," she whispered softly. She could imagine what Trini's face would look like when she said that. "So much has happened. Tommy's studies in Dino Research, the island blowing up, us moving to Reefside. Trini, he's done it. He's turned three ordinary teenagers into rangers, just like we were."

She paused as she said that, once again shaking her head at her husband's lunacy. "I'm not sure whether I'm mad at him or disappointed that he did it. The three of them are over there with him by the car. You'd like them. Conner is Rocky, Jason and Tommy all rolled into one. Ethan has Billy's brains, Zack's cockiness, and Adam's shyness all bundled together. And they both are young enough to remind me of Justin's eagerness to do the job. And then there's Kira. God, how one girl could remind me of five is beyond me. She's got Aisha's style, Kat's determination, Tanya's talent, my witty sense of humor, and she's got your calm and serenity. Nothing seems to rattle that girl's feathers, just like next to nothing could rattle yours."

She smiled when she felt the breeze pick up. "He's gone, Trini, really gone, and it seems to hurt just as much acknowledging that as it does knowing you're gone. I admit, when things first started happening, I thought Tommy was going to him for help, but we all knew better. The Red Space Ranger, Andros, you remember he was forced to take Zordon's life to save all of us. God, Trini, do you remember what wrecks we all were? Poor Andros is still guilt ridden about it. I still don't think I could have ever done what he was forced to, what Zordon commanded him to do." Choking down the tears, she finished.

"I know he's up there with you, watching over all of us, and I know that everytime I think of him, I think of you. Everytime Tommy is placed in a position to guide the team in a new direction, I think of you both. Remeber, I love you, I miss you, and I'll see you when my time comes, I have no doubt in that. Till next time." With that, she slowly rose to her feet, blew a kiss to the memorial, and went to join Tommy and the rangers.

As the car pulled away from the curb, a figure standing next to the tree barely feet away from Trini's grave smiled. "I love and miss you too, Kim," the figure whispered, wiping tears from its eyes. "May The Power Protect You."