Power Rangers don’t belong to me. They
used to belong to Saban; now I don’t know who they belong to. This takes place after “Return of an Old
Friend.” CR July 2002
A Matter of Life
By: Cheryl Roberts
“Kim, can I talk to you?” Tommy
asking, wringing his hands anxiously as he and his still relatively new
girlfriend wound their way down the path by the pond.
Kim had known something was
bothering the recently-restored Green Ranger even before he’d asked for this
walk in the park. Ever since his close
call with Goldar the other day –a much too close a call for her liking—he’d
been withdrawn, preoccupied, almost distancing himself (yet again!) from the
rest of his teammates and friends.
“Sure, Tommy,” she agreed with
a gentle, encouraging smile. “You know
you can always talk to me about anything.
What is it? I figure it has to be
pretty important because you seem more nervous now than when you first tried to
ask me to the dance.”
Her companion gave her a weak smile.
“That’s because this is even more important than that,” Tommy
went on, running his hands through the thick hair at the nape of his neck. “It’s more personal, and… and I don’t want to
seem too forward or like I’m pressuring you or anything.”
Kim raised her eyebrows in
surprise but said nothing. She waited
for Tommy to continue. However, he didn’t respond right away. The occasional sideways glance told her he
was still gathering his thoughts. She
also noticed that they’d come a ways past the pond and were approaching a
stretch of Angel Grove
Lake beyond the public beach. It was a fairly quiet spot, and there was a
small dock used by fishermen just up ahead.
She had no trouble guiding Tommy towards
it. If she didn’t get the poor man to
stop and sit, they would probably wind up circling the lake without ever
getting the conversation off the ground.
Tommy was caught short as
they reached the end of the small wooden pier.
He’d never been out this far before and wasn’t quite sure where he
was. Without a word, Kim
took a seat on the edge of the platform and patted the plank next to her in
invitation. He returned her smile and
accepted. By the time he lowered his
lanky frame next her, she had slipped off her sandals and was dipping her feet
into the water.
He observed her casual pose for a few moments, a lump
forming in his throat. The perky Pink
Ranger reclined back a bit on her elbows, her face tilted skyward as she drank
in the afternoon sun. Her hair fell back
from her shoulders, and a light breeze ruffled the silken, caramel colored
strands about playfully. The pose pulled
her clingy tee even tighter across her nicely rounded curves, her chest rising
and falling a bit rapidly. He watched as
her breathing returned to normal after the exertion of their walk and found
that he couldn’t put this off any longer.
“After having a really close brush with death in a battle,
do you ever want to… touch life more fully?” he blurted out, the phrasing
sounding impossibly lame to his ears.
The query startled Kim, and
yet, it didn’t. She’d had the oddest
feeling that this was going to come up, but she wanted to make sure that it was
what Tommy truly meant.
“How do you mean ‘touch life?’” she asked.
The Green Ranger’s throat went bone dry as he tried to
“Just… do something to make you feel more alive,” he gulped
“Such as….” she prompted with all due sincerity.
He croaked out at last, “Have sex.”
She’d already guessed that; she just wanted to make sure
she’d been right.
“But is sex really something that makes you more alive?” she
She smiled at his dumbfounded response, laughing lightly.
“Have I ever wanted to have sex after having a brush with
death?” she reiterated. “Yes. But then I have to wonder why we think sex
will make us feel more alive. Pretty
much, everyone thinks that sex is the best thing since sliced bread, but we’re
forbidden to have a slice. Religion
teaches us that sex is wrong unless we’re married. School teaches us it can be dangerous because
of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
Parents teach us that it’s irresponsible –at least my mom does. ‘You’re not
having sex as a teenager because I am not
raising another kid….
“Everyone always tells us no, which makes us want to do it
even more. We want to find out if it’s
everything it’s cracked up to be. Some
say it is. Some say it isn’t.”
“I guess a lot of it depends on what else you attach to your
idea of sex,” Tommy ventured, a little taken
aback by the depths of Kim’s answer. “I guess it depends on what it means to you
personally. Is it just a physical
need? Is it an act of love?”
“So what does it mean to you?” Kim
“I don’t really know yet,” Tommy
confessed, “so I guess I’m not really ready to go there yet. Maybe I see it as a way of getting in touch
with life because it can ultimately result in new life.”
Kim patted Tommy’s
hand in understanding.
“I can remember thinking much the same thing as you –that
sex was the ultimate form of living—but when I tried to do something about
“You tried….” Tommy
Kim blushed profusely and
ducked her head.
“I sort of promised I’d never mention this to anyone else,”
“I won’t ask you to break a promise,” Tommy
hastened to assure her, extreme curiosity notwithstanding.
“I know, but somehow I don’t think he’d mind in this
instance. Do you know that Billy
and I switched bodies once? That I spent
a day in his body and he in mine?”
“Yeah,” Tommy admitted with a
lopsided grin. “When Jase first realized
I had a crush on you, he made sure to tell me.
I think he got a kick out of it, though he’d deny it if you asked him.
“Then, when we started dating, Billy
came to me and explained.” Tommy
shook his head in disbelief. “Maybe he
thought I’d be angry about it or something.
It was the strangest conversation I’ve ever had with him. It really mattered to him that I understand
about what happened. There’s a lot more
to him than anyone would ever guess.”
“I know,” Kim agreed
quietly. “There’s more under those
glasses, overalls and nerdy exterior than most folks imagine.
“Just as there’s more behind your cheerleader, shop-a-holic
exterior,” Tommy added just as kindly.
Kim almost started to protest
his description of her, but then she knew what some people who didn’t know her
very well thought of her.
“He also really cares about you. I thought maybe he was in love with you, too;
he told he was, but it wasn’t quite the same as it was for me,” Tommy
Kim could tell that Tommy
was very perplexed by that.
“I feel the same way for him,” she explained. “Somehow, our switch made us closer… too
close for us to be lovers in the loose sense of the word. We got too much into each other’s
heads…. It was just too weird, but at
the same time, when I thought I wanted to try having sex with someone, Billy
was the one I turned to.”
“That makes sense, I guess,” Tommy
said. Inwardly, though, he was
squirming. Not at the thought of Kim
and Billy in particular, he just wasn’t sure he
really wanted to hear about Kim and anyone else.
“Just like with you, it was after a really nasty battle,” Kim
continued. “It was the closest I’d come
to dying in a while. And it wasn’t long
after the switch –but before you came to the team. I remember thinking, ‘God, I can’t die; I
don’t know what it means to live yet.’
Afterwards, I went to talk to Billy about
it. Normally, I would have gone to
Trini, but for some reason, I just felt I had to go to him.
“We talked… and he told me that at some point all of the
rest of us had felt the same way. As
Zack put it, ‘I don’t want to die a virgin!’”
“Zack would,” Tommy
“Billy said that if that was
what I truly wished, he’d be honored to help me.” Kim suddenly
quirked an impish grin. “He also
confessed that he wasn’t just being noble, either.”
Privately, Tommy couldn’t
imagine any guy turning Kim down.
“So… um… what happened?” he asked aloud.
“Nothing,” Kim sighed. “There we were in his room, undressed and
everything –well, it wasn’t like we hadn’t seen each other naked before!—but we
couldn’t do anything.” She paused,
frowning. “The need was there, but it
just wasn’t enough. There wasn’t an
emotional attraction –desire or what have you.
For whatever reason, it just wasn’t right, so we stopped.
“I guess I’d pretty much made up my mind that I wanted to
wait –if not for marriage, then at least for someone I felt strongly enough
about. So for me, I’d have to say that
sex is more than just a physical need. There
has to be emotional need as well.”
“But you still check out cute guys,” Tommy
She scowled even as she flushed. “That’s just lust and it’s totally
“I know; I just couldn’t resist,” he replied. Then he gazed thoughtfully out across the
“Do you still feel like sex is the answer to your need to
reconnect with life?” Kim asked softly.
“Not really,” he said.
“Like you, I don’t think I’d be satisfied unless there was more than
easing a physical craving. But I think I
still need something physical… something solid… real… to cling to. Like an anchor. Right now, words just aren’t enough. I know I’m alive, but I need to feel it… to
hold onto it… if only for a little while….”
Words failed Tommy and he
cast Kim a pleading glance –pleading for her to
understand what he was trying to say.
“I understand,” she murmured, turning to face him. “After seeing Goldar almost succeed in
killing you yesterday… I’ve never need to touch life and reassure myself as I
With that, she threw her arms around Tommy
and enveloped him in a fierce hug. He
held her just as close, and yet it still wasn’t quite enough –that is, until
their lips met in a kiss that was far more than the innocent exchange of two
teens sharing a first love. It was a
kiss that spoke of a greater need and promised a time when that need would be
answered. But for now, it was enough.