Ranger Games: A Dino Thunder Wedding
Chapter 7: Coping
Last Revised: June 25, 2005
Summary: The Pink Dino Thunder Ranger has some things to sort out.
Disclaimer: I don't own Power Rangers
Author’s Note: Very short chapter, pretty much all about Kim. Enjoy.
"Some things are not meant to last, they just take a place in your heart and make you smarter the next time ...." ~~ from the movie Alex and Emma
September 20, 2004
Dr. Tommy Oliver’s House
Kimberly sat on the bed, back against the headboard, Tommy’s pillow tucked in her arms, held securely against her chest. Her cheek lay against the smooth material as Tommy’s scent tortured her senses.
She could faintly identify the mixture of smells – Tommy’s sweat; his aftershave; the dial soap he used in the shower; her herbal shampoo that he had to use when he ran out of his own; there was a faint scent left over from the last time they’d made love; and above all that, there was something that was uniquely Tommy that she could never put a name to, that she could smell lingering on his pillow.
Downstairs and down the hall, family, friends and teammates slept soundly, each putting off dealing with the problems of reality until the sun was up. Kimberly, however, had tried and failed miserably to escape into the world of dreams – without Tommy, her dreams had turned into nothing but nightmares.
Visions of the battle just after Tommy had been taken, and of the battle that caused her to loose her and Tommy’s child, plagued her. She remembered the Crane screaming, and the Falcon trying to soothe and assure. She remembered the disbelief and emotional impact of her friends and teammates’ feelings slamming into her over her link with them.
And above all else, Kimberly felt and still could feel, the emptiness that loosing the tiny life nestled inside her, had caused.
Over the years of Kimberly’s adult life, that word has come to describe the feeling she’s experienced during so many events and situations she’s faced - her parents’ divorce; her grandmother’s death; the giving up of her innocence and a normal life, in taking on the role as the Pink Ranger when Rita first attacked Earth; Tommy having to give up being a Ranger.
Trini, Zack, and Jason leaving for the peace conference left a whole in her so large that, although Rocky, Adam and Aisha filled it, in their own way, it could not be filled completely; her stolen power coin and powers along with her near death experience at Zedd’s hands.
Her departure from the team to train for the Pan Global Games, in which she made the ultimate leap of faith in giving Katherine her powers and her spot on the team, trusting the Australian to take care of her best friends and family, and the man she loved, which ultimately resulted in her giving up the love of her life when she thought she was dying, only to continue to linger on in a daze for years afterward.
The death of her mentor at the hands of a trusted ally in order to save the very universe; the death of the unborn child that she and Tommy had created out of love; the forces of evil taking Tommy and turning him against her.
It seemed no matter what she said or did, Kimberly found herself facing loss of some kind. Happiness, it seemed, was but a dream of childhood gone horribly wrong.
Closing her eyes, Kimberly pushed away the pain and let herself float. In the distant corners of her mind, she could feel her friends, each unconsciously trying to reassure her. She didn’t want their reassurance, or their pity, so she locked those feelings away and moved forward.
While her friends hadn’t verbally expressed their pity, she could tell just by their actions – they were constantly with her, worried about her – and by the looks they gave her that they didn’t think she noticed. What she wanted, above everything, was to be able to feel Tommy, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally.
‘Come on, Kimberly!’ she cursed herself, shaking off her depression. ‘This isn’t like you!’
The Pink Ranger pushed up from her spot, tossing Tommy’s pillow onto his side of their bed, before she grabbed her tennis shoes, put them on, and then headed downstairs.
Quietly, Kimberly crept through the living room. Katherine and Jason were sleeping on the couch, much like they had that night some months ago just before all hell broke loose for the Rangers. Rocky and Aisha were in Tommy’s recliner, Rocky on his back and Aisha curled into his side.
David, Adam, Tanya, Zack, and Justin were curled up in sleeping bags on the floor. Trini and Billy were up in the guestroom, Hayley was at her apartment or down in the lair sleeping on the cot and Anton had taken the four kids back to his house so they could stay together. As quietly as she could, Kim moved out the front door and down onto the lawn.
Taking a deep breath, she toed her shoes off and began to center herself as she stood in the grass. Closing her eyes, Kimberly allowed her breathing to even out and her body to release the tension it had been holding onto.
Memories from years passed flooded her mind, allowing the Pink Dino Thunder Ranger to hear the whispers of lessons taught to her by her friends as they taught her to perform the kata she suddenly found herself pacing her body through.
She began by incorporating moves that Jason, Zack, Trini and Tommy had taught her when the original team had learned the first katas they’d practiced together, and then she added, bit by bit, moves that Rocky, Adam and Aisha had taught her during their stint as Ninja Rangers. And finally, moves she’d learned and modified along with her gymnastics, began to filter through until her body was moving swiftly and fluidly. The ease and familiarity of the moves helped to ease the strain she felt.
If you didn’t know her, you’d think she was simply an insomniac, but for the group of four standing at the door watching her, they knew it was the stress of the situation she’d found herself in. Kimberly was always happiest in one of two places – being physically active or in Tommy’s arms. And since the latter of those wasn’t feasible, the Pink Dino Ranger had obviously opted for physical activity.
“He’d be proud of her,” Zack whispered softly, his eyes trained on his little sister.
Jason, Trini and Billy knew exactly who Zack spoke of. “I’d like to think he’d be proud of all of us, for everything we’ve gone through and all that we’ve done,” Trini responded, leaning against Billy’s shoulder, her eyes following Kimberly’s every moment.
“I concur.” Billy wrapped his arm around Trini’s waist and clasped Zack’s shoulder, while Trini held Jason’s hand.
Jason shook his head, trying to clear it. “Next to Tommy, she’s probably been through more crap than any of the rest of us. She’s been used and abused and tortured and hurt beyond the realm of what’s acceptable or manageable for a normal person and yet, she still keeps surging back to her feet and fighting on. Zack’s right, Zordon would be proud of her.”
“She’s not our little sister anymore Jason,” Billy pointed out, which caused the others to raise their eyebrows at him.
“I’ll always be your little sister, Billy, that’s one thing that’ll never change.” The four original Rangers turned their sights back to their comrade and smiled.
“We didn’t mean to disturb you.”
Kim shrugged and moved up onto the porch, seeking shelter in Jason’s arms, the five of them standing united as they watched the sun start to rise over the mountains in the distance.
“Thank you for putting your lives on hold to be with me through this.”
Jason squeezed her tightly while she reached her other hand out to Zack and took hold of his, uniting the five of them. They were a team, through and through; they were a family, and nothing was going to change that.
They were the first of Earth’s great Ranger protectors. They had faced down an evil witch, an obsessed self-proclaimed emperor of evil, they had lost their powers, and their teammates, more times than they cared to count, and their mentor had made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve what they worked so hard to protect.
They had overcome every obstacle placed in their path, and each time they stood together, unified and strong, continually moving forward through the next challenge. This new set of circumstances would not shake a foundation that had been built on years of friendship, trust, love, shared experiences, and a unique diversity that bonded them together.
“So, how about we head inside, start breakfast, and figure out how to save our Fearless Leader?” Kim joked, causing the others to crack up laughing.
The group of five had understood the moment for what it was – a reaffirmation of their bond – and that it was just that – a moment; something they couldn’t dwell on.
For once, the house was completely silent and devoid of life. Conner had talked his four teammates, and the original Rangers, into heading to the beach for a swim and a game of volleyball. Hayley had returned to the café to check on everything there and Anton had gone home to finish up some loose ends of work he’d brought home from the office.
The Pink Ranger had opted to stay at the house and enjoy the serenity and peace that came from having a few moments to herself. Picking up the cordless phone, Kim moved to sit on the couch as she dialed a number she practically knew by heart now.
“Grayson residence, Carter speaking.”
“Carter, it’s Kim. Is Dana with you? I called her house but got no answer.”
“Hey, yeah. Let me take her the phone.”
A few seconds of muffled noises and then Kim heard Dana. “Hi Kim, what’s up?”
Kimberly blew out a breath, not knowing where to start. “I miscarried, Dana.”
There was a soft gasp and short cry emitted from the other end before the former Pink Lightspeed Ranger started the rapid fire questioning. “What happened? Are you ok? Why haven’t you called me?”
“Dana, slow down. Things haven’t been very peaceful around here. It happened Thursday, Elsa’s doing. It’s a long story, needless to say, I’m very lucky to have faster healing due to my powers, but Hayley pretty much confirmed that I am no longer pregnant.”
“Oh God, Kimberly, I’m so sorry. Is there anything I can do?”
Taking a deep breath Kim thought about Dana’s question. “Wanna tell me what I’m going to be experiencing. My brother’s wife miscarried, but she never told me what to expect afterward.”
“Well, you’re gonna be overly emotional while your hormones are settling down to normal levels and your body adjusts to no longer housing the baby. You’re probably going to be tired and sore, especially if you had other injuries on top of it. Some women experience listlessness, loss of appetite, and more often than not, depression.”
Kim closed her eyes, praying to whoever was listening that she wouldn’t have luck enough to be hit with all of it. “Have you experienced any of that yet, that you know of?”
“I haven’t been able to sleep, my appetite’s better than it was before, I’m not depressed so much as feeling guilty. I think I’m still in shock that it happened at all; feels like a dream.”
“Understandable, given the circumstances. Right now, your body is still in shock, give it time. I want you to exercise if you can, eat as healthy as possible, and if you absolutely have to, take a Tylenol P.M. to get some sleep, or try some herbal tea. You need rest.”
“Dana, what am I going to do when I get Tommy back and have to tell him?” Kimberly asked, feeling helpless in how to deal with Tommy’s reaction to her losing his baby. ‘That is, if he doesn’t already know on some subconscious level.’
“Right now, all I can suggest is for you two to come to Mariner Bay. We’ll set you up with a grief counselor who worked with the Lightspeed Rangers, and go from there,” Dana told her honestly. “The best thing you two can do is simply be with each other; Tommy’s going to be carrying psychological scares from the whole situation as is, dealing with the loss of the baby is only one facet of many that he’ll have to acknowledge.”
Kim sighed tiredly. “Thanks Dana.”
“Call me if you need me, and if you need us to come, all six of us are in Mariner Bay for the unknown duration of this problem, just in case.”
“Dana, you rock, you know that?” Kim teased. “Thanks.”
“Welcome. Take care, and I’ll talk to you later.”