Kim took a deep breath and knocked firmly on the door of her ex-boyfriend's house. After several minutes she tried the knob and was surprised to find it unlocked. She rolled her eyes. Then again what did the supposed 'greatest ranger ever' have to fear from intruders?
"Tommy?" She called from the doorway. She could now hear music coming from a room farther in. A sad country tune was playing as a man lamented what he'd say if confronted with his ex-lover. Kim winced as she walked farther in to hear Tommy's voice singing along with the "you're looking well or go to hell" lyrics.
She walked further into the house and wondered for the millionth time if this was really a good idea. Trini had a way of arguing that made it sound as of you had absolutely no other choice than to do what she said. Granted Kim did have other options. She could not move back to California. She could never attend any Ranger get togethers. She could forget Tommy Oliver ever existed. To quote a favorite comedian, she could ignore the problem and just cut out that piece of her heart with a tumor in it in thirty years or so.
She sighed finally reaching the room where Tommy's voice was mangling another old heartbreak song. She could cut Tommy out of her heart and expect to go on living just as if she'd used a knife instead of distance.
She bit her lip, took a deep breath and turned the corner into what turned out to be the kitchen. She expected to experience a lot of emotions in the next several minutes but humor hadn't been one.
She supposed she was lucky that despite receiving 3 power upgrades she'd always been only one color and a color she looked great in at that. The pathological need Rangers inherited to always be wearing their color manifested even when you retired and new colors didn't replace the need to continue wearing old ones.
The most recent black Dino Thunder ranger wore red socks, black boxers, a white tank top, and perhaps worst of all a green headband. It appeared Tommy had been neglecting a trip to the barber shop as his short spiky hair was hanging around his ears. He nodded his head to the music as he took a large bite of fruit loops cereal and continued to delicately pick at a tiny fossil with a tinier brush. Such a dorky appearance was offsetting next to the fit muscular build and the highly detailed tattoos covering his sculpted arms.
Kim knocked on the doorframe and called his name again but he still didn't seem to notice her. Taking a fortifying breath she gave into a private desire that had been growing since she'd laid eyes on him again after almost seven years. She reached out and stroked her hand over a smooth warm shoulder resisting the urge although just barely to lean in and kiss along his shoulder blade. She didn't have that right anymore. A fact she regretted greatly but there it was.
Was this what Trini had went through all during high school? Being able to see, hear and innocently touch the hard body of the boy you longed for without being able to take that one last step towards true affection. Distance from Angel Grove and a lowered alcohol age limit along with a conniving Zack had finally thrown Trini and Jason together while Kim was breaking apart all she and Tommy were.
Tommy jerked around and stared at Kim in surprise. Kim tried but was unable to hold back a single laugh when she saw his cheeks bulging with cereal. "Kim?!" Was what it sounded like he was trying to say but with his mouth full it was hard to tell.
"Hi. I knocked and called and came in and knocked and called but you didn't hear me I guess? Sorry." The first of many apologies today she thought.
He mumbled out what sounded like a question.
She traced a finger over each cheek. "Chew and swallow."
He shook his head and cleared his mouth with a giant gulp of cereal. "What are you doing here?"
"I'm moving back to California and I thought we should talk, in private, first." She looked down at her hands twisting over her tummy and took another fortifying breath.
"Good. I missed you."
She lifted her startled brown eyes and to meet his soft darker eyes.
"I wanted to try to explain, about the letter, and the break up and to say I'm sorry I ever hurt you and..." She was stopped by a single finger on her lips.
"I understand. I probably wouldn't have even last year but after a year of teaching high schoolers just like us for the past year I think I have a better understanding of where your mind was back then."
"I was 3,000 miles away from home, alone, and scared and excited and so, so lonely. I missed you so much and there was no end in sight. The game would take a couple of years and then the Olympics. This really is the first chance I've actually had to really move back home." She looked down again. "I regretted sending that letter almost from the second it left my hands. I came this close to breaking into the mail box to get it out but my roommates tackled me before I could leave with the screwdriver so I wouldn't get arrested." She rolled her eyes. "I could have gotten away with it."
He chuckled. "Was there someone else?"
"No." She sighed, "I put that in there so you wouldn't come after me. There were guys that flirted with me, who were interested but..." She shrugged, "They weren't you. I thought if we broke up I would get over you, that some how it wouldn't hurt so bad being apart."
"But it didn't work did it?"
He reached out and stroked his hands down her bare sun kissed arms like he'd been longing to do since first feeling that tiny hand on his shoulder. "Did you miss me as a brother or...?"
"God no." She dropped her head in her hands. "I'm so sorry I was so stupid for writing that letter especially the way I did. Almost nothing in it was true except for the part about hurting you. God I didn't want to hurt you but I thought that maybe you'd move on too and you did with Kat so..."
He shook his head, "Me and Kat...we should have stayed friends."
"I'm sorry Tommy. I'm so sorry." She dropped her head and tried mightily not to cry.
"Hey, don't cry. It's in the past and right now," he lifted her chin to look into her eyes, "I'm much more interested in the present. After all we're not 3,000 miles apart anymore and after 8 years I think it's pretty damn clear that we are not going get over each other."
She looked up at him and smiled, "You mean get back together?"
"Yeah only now we don't have to leave the bedroom door open for our parents." He said with a cheeky grin.