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Lessons In Listening To Your Heart, Not Your Head

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Reasons Not To Kiss Her

1. This sort of love is not allowed. You are both too soft, and the world around you is all knives and chipped teeth.

It's inevitable the way Kim's eyes fall upon Trini, searching her face for any sort of discomfort or fear.

It's been mere days since the Power Rangers had defeated Rita, since Trini had controlled her arm of the Megazord to slap the rogue ranger into space, since Trini was attacked in the safety of her own room and Billy was killed but brought back.

Kim would be lying to herself if she said she was okay, if she said they were okay.

But despite knowing that she herself is struggling, struggling with the weight of her truths that were only spilled to Jason the night before the attack, the night Trini was attacked, her eyes stay fixated on the yellow ranger.

"You don't have to look at me like I'm made of glass, you know," Trini says stiffly, her eyes never leaving the biology homework she's working on at Kim's desk. The pink ranger coughs awkwardly before nodding, sitting in the seat beside Trini's and working on their homework together.

But Kim can't concentrate, can't focus when the faint white scars that mar her neck are staring her in the face. She can't help the anger and guilt that rise in her chest simultaneously, can't help the hand that raises from the desk to the healing skin on Trini's neck.

"Wh-what are you doing?" Trini asks, her voice shaky but her body unmoving, only her eyes watching as Kim leans closer to look at the scars. Kim sighs quietly, her index finger gently tracing each white line on Trini's neck until the shorter girl shivers, the pink ranger pulling her hand back like she had been burned.

"I.. I'm sorry I just-"

"You're worried, I know," Trini nods once, and Kim thinks that the shorter ranger knows what she's feeling because she can feel it too between their bond.

"I know you aren't helpless and I know that you're probably fine," Kim says quietly, her eyes still trained on the scars, shivering when she thinks about what Rita did to her. "I just.. You mean a lot to me.. you know that, right?"

Trini seems taken aback by the confession, most likely assuming that Kim would lecture her on how it's okay to not be okay. But Kim can't take back the words she said, doesn't want to even if she could. And time seems to slow as Trini turns her head, locks eyes with the pink ranger, and in that very moment Kim realizes just how close they are.

Kim's thought about it, and by thought about it she means the thought hasn't left her mind since she first met the shorter girl. Thought about what those lips would feel like pressed against her own. What it would feel like to be able to hold Trini, to care for her, to call her her own. But in this very moment, Kim realizes that she can't. Not now at least.

Because days ago they all almost died. Trini was violated in her own room and they all almost died. For Kim to be so selfish as to try anything with Trini without her permission, without knowing what it is she truly wants with the other girl, would make her the same mean girl that sent that photo of her best friend to Ty Flemming.

"You mean a lot to me too, Princess," Trini says quietly, eyes anxiously darting between Kim's, and the pink ranger knows she needs to be sure before she makes another mistake that costs her her best friend.

2. She belongs in a museum and you are merely here to observe. Look around you, all the signs say 'do not touch'.

Kim watches from a distance as Trini stands atop her self-proclaimed cliff, her body moving slowly from pose to pose as she goes through her Tai Chi meditations.

Trini had offered Kim to come with her, to let go of the negative energies surrounding her mind, but Kim can't bring herself to stop staring. It's almost unreal, how controlled Trini's movements are, how precise every portion of her body is arranged so that she can properly meditate. If asked, Kim would pretend she were watching to better learn the positions, but in reality she's watching to better learn the girl beside her.

"I can feel you staring, Princess," Trini says quietly, and Kim is honestly surprised she's not screaming with how loud her music is blaring in her ears. Kim's face still turns red, coughing awkwardly as she looks away, towards the horizon, towards Angel Grove.

Normally at times like this, with the sun dipping below the horizon while the sky is littered with reds and pinks and yellows and purples, Kim finds herself unable to look away from the beauty of nature. How the dark green of the trees surrounding Angel Grove contrast against the bright pastel colors of the sky, how quiet and at peace the town seems, how it doesn't fill her with dread for once in her seventeen years of living here.

But tonight, Kim merely observes it for a moment before her eyes are ultimately drawn back to Trini.

To the curve of the yellow ranger's nose, how it somehow contrasts and compliments the sharp edges of her jawline simultaneously. To her full, plump lips, usually always set in some sort of scowl, are relaxed, barely parted as she breathes in through her nose and out through her mouth. To her eyes, the light of the sun dancing amongst the deep mocha browns and chocolate cremes to create the most beautiful melted gold color that Kimberly has ever had the pleasure of seeing in her entire life.

The girl is living art, and Kim cannot seem to fathom that this girl, this absolutely beautiful girl who hides behind beanies and baggy jeans, is her best friend.

"I should start charging you to look at me at this point," Trini says quietly, but Kim can see the smallest quirk of the corner of her lips, can hear the amusement in her voice, can see the sparkle in her eyes.

"I'd give everything to look at you if you did," Kim answers softly without looking away, knowing that the music in Trini's ears will drown out the words she spills into the air before they reach her.

3. Her gaze is too gentle. You will not be the one to tell her that not everything can be fixed with a smile.

Kim can feel in her gut that something is wrong with Trini.

Call it the Ranger Bond, call it best friend intuition, whatever. But when Kimberly shoots up in bed at two in the morning with fear clawing up her chest, she knows Trini isn't okay.

It takes her all of five minutes to put on a decent pair of clothes before grabbing her phone and launching out of her window, using her newfound speed to make her way across town as quickly as possible. Thankfully, Trini left her window unlocked tonight, and Kim takes great care to slip in quietly before announcing her presence to the yellow ranger.

"Trini? It's me," Kim says softly as she notices the small mound buried under the covers on Trini's bed, and how it shakes with what Kim can only assume is fear. Carefully, Kim makes her way towards Trini's bed, sitting down softly and placing a gentle hand on where she assumes is Trini's shoulder.

"I'm here, it's okay," Kim whispers quietly when she feels Trini shiver under her touch, rubbing her back in small circles to calm down the yellow ranger.

It takes several minutes of Kim whispering quiet words into the air for Trini to come out from under the blankets, and Kim's heart nearly breaks in two when she notices the wetness on Trini's face, the redness of her eyes, the swelling of her cheeks.

"Oh, Trini," Kim whispers softly, leaning down to pull Trini closer to her. The shorter ranger latches onto her body like a lifeline, her arms wrapping around Kim's waist and pulling her own body flush against Kim's, her body shaking with quiet sobs while Kim continues to comfort her, running her hand softly through Trini's unbraided hair.

Kim feels completely useless as Trini continues to cry against her shoulder, her left hand balling up Kim's shirt in her fist as she holds on like her life depends on the taller ranger beside her. She only continues to whisper 'it's okay, you're okay, I'm here' like a mantra, hoping it will bring Trini back from whatever dark part of her mind she's in, hoping it will bring Trini back to her.

It takes almost twenty minutes, but Trini's tears finally subside, the shorter girl sniffling loudly as she leans up to examine the damage she did to Kim's shirt. She looks guilty for the huge wet spot on her shirt's shoulder and the tear in the waist of her shirt, but Kim shakes her head quickly, pulling Trini back down against her.

"I'm sorry I just.. cried all over you," Trini says quietly, her voice hoarse from crying for so long.

"I'd let you ruin all of my shirts if it helped you feel better," Kim replies honestly, and Trini is leaning back from Kim's embrace once again to look into the taller ranger's eyes. Kim swallows nervously, afraid that she said the wrong thing, but Trini shakes her head, a small smile on her face as she thanks Kim with those soft brown eyes of hers, ones that look absolutely stunning even after crying her heart out on Kim's shirt.

"Will it ever get easier?" Trini asks, her voice nearly a whisper and shaking as she continues to look to Kim for an answer. An answer that Kim doesn't have, because no matter how much she wants to tell Trini that it will, that they'll all be okay some day, she has no idea if that's the truth or not. And she could never bring herself to lie to Trini.

"I'm not sure," Kim answers honestly, watching how Trini's eyes fall nervously to the sheets. Kim, against her better judgement, places her index finger under Trini's chin and brings her eyes back up to look into her own. On the inside, she's panicking because at this distance she can see the natural flecks of gold in Trini's eyes and she wants to kiss her so badly but Trini doesn't need that right now. She needs something to give her hope.

"I can't tell you it will get easier, but I can tell you that I'll be here to help you every step of the way," is what Kim settles on, praying it helps ease the pain in Trini's heart.

The way Trini's eyes soften as she flashes Kim the smallest, most honest smile the taller ranger has ever seen, tells Kim that it was the answer she needed to hear.

4. She is so good. She is so good, and you cannot ruin another good thing.

The panic settles in in the morning.

Kim wakes up to a mass of brown and ombre hair in her face, to a weight on her chest that fills her with warmth and anxiety at the same time.

She doesn't remember falling asleep, doesn't remember cuddling with Trini throughout the night.

But god it feels so good, so right, that it's hard for Kim to remember that she can't have this.

Because Trini is everything good in this world. Trini is the one that the Rangers look to for a bright light in their day. Because despite her cold exterior, the shortest ranger is willing to do anything and everything to make sure that her other best friends smile at least once a day, to make sure that they know they are safe and supported and loved by her, to make sure they know just how much they mean to her.

She is the light in the darkness, the one leading them home.

And Kim..

Kim is a plague on that light. Kim is the house built on top of the hill that is blocking everyone else from receiving that light. Kim is selfish, Kim is cruel, Kim is the darkness.

She is quick to tear others down to build herself up, just like she had done with Amanda. She acts on impulse, on how her emotion make her feel to the absolute extreme. She ruined her friendship with Amanda, ruined her relationship with Ty, with her parents, nearly ruined her own future, all over her impulsivity.

Kim is good at ruining things.

But Trini.

God, Trini is so good. Too good for this world.

Even in the light of the morning, with her mouth opened just barely as she breathes in and out of it, her face pressed against Kim's chest and her arms loosely draped around Kim's waist, she is the light. She is everything good and she is too good.

Kim cannot bring herself to ruin another good thing in her life, especially not something as good as Trini.

5. She touches you like you're fragile, and if you break you won't be able to put yourself back together again.

Kim knows what's happening to her as her legs give out from beneath her, her body not understanding how to function as she crumbles to the ground beside the quarry. Her hand is clawing at her chest, begging it to breathe, to retain oxygen and to function, but all she can manage is strangled gasps, her other hand gripping at the dirt beneath her fingers for some kind of anchor.

They were training, the Rangers and her, and everything was going great. They were all learning new combat moves and they were all succeeding in learning them quickly, and everything was perfect.

And then Trini pulled off the most complicated move of the day, and as soon as she landed back on her feet, her head whipped around to meet Kimberly's eyes and she smiled.

She smiled that smile that could light up Kim's whole world.

And suddenly Kimberly Hart realized what she wants. Realized that she's sure of her feelings for Trini. Realized just how deep those feelings run.

And she began to panic.

Kim may be comfortable with herself and her sexuality, but actually falling in love with someone, with her best friend, makes Kim absolutely terrified.

So she ran, ran through the pit and leaped through the water and landed here, where she gasps for breath because her brain and her lungs aren't cooperating and she can't seem to comprehend that she's in love with her best friend without apparently dying and-

"Kim?"

Kim forces her eyes shut, squeezing them tightly and praying that she isn't actually hearing Trini, that Trini isn't standing there watching her have a panic attack because she realized she's in love with the yellow ranger. A scuffling of dirt beside her moves to in front of her, and Kim knows it's real, feels her lungs burning as they gasp for air.

"Kim I need you to breathe with me," Trini says quietly. Kim can hear her breathing but can't get her body to understand and listen to her brain screaming at her to breathe and-

"Kim please," Trini says almost desperately, and her hands come up to cup the taller ranger's cheeks and it's like Kim's entire body has been touched by an open flame because of Trini's hands.

Her eyes shoot open, landing on Trini who's staring at her with eyes filled with worry and fear and such genuine care that Kim finds her entire focus on the beautiful girl in front of her.

The girl that she's in love with.

"Come on, breathe with me," Trini prompts her, over-exaggerating her inhales and exhales so that Kim can see them as well as hear them and Kim is so focused on that look in Trini's eyes that she finds herself breathing with her, feels her body calming down and her lungs nearly melting with thank you's as they fill with oxygen.

"There we go, you're doing great, Princess," Trini smiles at her softly, and Kim realizes the shorter ranger's hands are still on her and her brain short circuits because god Trini's touch is like heaven and hell at once, and she can't tell if Trini is destroying her or putting her back together with the feeling of her fingertips pressed against Kim's cheeks.

6. No one has ever loved you this full, surely you would drown in it all.

A knock on Kim's window pulls her out of her head, turning to see the topic of her late night thoughts perched on her bedroom window, waving slightly and motioning for Kim to unlock it so she can enter the house.

Kim moves quickly despite herself, because as terrified as she is to be alone with Trini now that she's realized the true nature of her feelings for her best friend, it's Trini, and Kim could never say no to Trini.

"Hey Princess," Trini smiles a small smile as she vaults into the room, dropping her backpack on the ground as Kim stands awkwardly in her own bedroom. Trini turns to Kim, and the pink ranger finds herself lost in the beauty of the shorter ranger as her features are bathed in the soft moonlight.

"Can we uh.. can we talk for a second?" Trini asks quietly, and despite the fear and anxiety running through Kim's veins she nods, the two of them sitting on the edge of Kim's mattress as Trini plays with her fingers for a few moments.

"Okay so um.." Trini trails off, running a frustrated hand through her windblown hair as she tries to collect her thoughts. Before she speaks again she releases one long, shaky breath, before bringing her hand back down to rest on top of Kim's.

And god the effect is near instantaneous, how her body lights up on fire from just one simple touch. How her body feels safe, feels whole in the presence of the shorter girl, and Kim can't help but just feel for a moment.

"I can't.. I can't stop thinking about you, Kim," Trini says quietly, her voice nearly a whisper as she confesses her thoughts into the air. "I know that.. that this feeling I have isn't one-sided. Well, I really hope it isn't or I'm probably gonna lose my best friend but.. I have feelings for you, Kim. I just.. figured you deserved to know that."

Kim can't stop staring. Can't stop staring at the beautiful girl bathed in moonlight in front of her, the beautiful girl that is her best friend, the beautiful girl that she's in love with.

The beautiful girl that has feelings for her.

She doesn't mean for the silence to stretch, her mind has never been prepared for a moment where Trini would have the same feelings for her that she harbored for the shortest ranger. But in her lack of haste to give Trini a response of any kind, the yellow ranger has receded into a realm of insecurity once again.

"I uh.. I gotta go," Trini nearly chokes out, desperately trying to stand from the pink ranger's bed and leave the pink ranger's room and Kim's eyes widen because her only chance with Trini is about to literally fly out the window.

Kim quickly stands behind Trini, her hand grabbing onto the yellow ranger's wrist before she can make it two steps away from her. Trini shuts her eyes in fear of what's to come and Kimberly just stares once more.

Reasons To Kiss Her

1. She loves you, and her eyes are closed, and didn't your mother ever tell you not to leave a good thing waiting?

In one swift yet gentle motion, Kim pulls Trini closer with the hand on her wrist, pulls her so that Trini is standing in front of her, her eyes still closed and her head towards the ground and Kimberly Hart knows exactly what she wants.

Her index finger tucks under Trini's chin, lifting her face so that it is level with Kim's own. Trini's eyes flutter open briefly, flickering between Kim's own as she stares anxiously at the girl in front of her. Kim flashes her the softest of smiles, one that she knows will quell the nerves in the yellow ranger's chest, before leaning down and finally capturing Trini's lips with her own.