Because of You

By Katy McCoy

Drama / Other

Chapter 1

Tommy sighed as he entered his classroom for another day of teaching. He enjoyed his job to no end, but today he was feeling a little under the weather. His doctor had diagnosed him with a sinus infection that past Saturday, and he was still feeling most of the symptoms that had made him miserable the entire weekend. It had been only by some kind of miracle he was able to grade his recent assignments and post his grades.

The students started to trickle in for his first class of the day, he knew they'd be rushing in right before the tardy bell, but that was normal for high school, he'd done it when he was in high school. While he normally would never admit it, he'd had way too much practice skating in just seconds before the tardy bell, a skill his friends never let him live down. He had now come to the conclusion that there was one in every group, having seen Conner McKnight pulling a lot of his old stunts, but as a soccer player Conner was a marginally faster runner than Tommy had ever been as a teenager; meaning he was better equipped to beat the bell.

The classes seemed to move at a snail's pace, especially since all Tommy really wanted to do was sleep. During the previous night, his congestion was enough that sleep had seemed impossible. The pressure behind his eyes had also seemed too much to handle and he really just wanted to sleep. Then his class with the rangers came around and he dreaded it as he was sure Trent or Kira would realize he was sick. He had managed to, by some miracle; avoid them for the past few days. Hayley had passed them the message that he was under the weather and needed time to rest. He would have to remember to thank her for taking on Conner and Ethan over that. She had brought him a "get well soon" card that the four teenagers insisted on him having, and it had the effect of brightening his day as well as reminding him that all four of them really cared about him. Even if some grated at his last nerve from time to time.

He sat back in his chair to wait and attempt to predict which ranger would be first.

Trent came in first; that was typical. He reminded Tommy of a younger version of himself when it came to personality, though Trent was more reliable at being in class on time, or more often than not, early. Then Tommy noticed something that instantly sent up a red flag: Kira and Trent often arrived within moments of each other. It was as if they were secretly competing to see who could get to this particular class first, and the results seemed inconclusive from Tommy's perspective. It seemed that Trent got in first just as often as Kira beat him in. He brushed it off; Kira might be running a little late. Then he braced himself. Trent was one of the two that would notice how miserable he was, but then he remembered Trent was the last one to say anything in public. He'd wait until they could speak privately to ask any personal questions out of respect.

Ethan came in moments later, and Tommy began to get a bit concerned, Ethan was never in before Kira.

Ethan took one look at Tommy and winced.

"No offence Dr. O, but you look like crap."

Tommy shot the young genius the best glare he could muster at the moment; which barely managed to not look completely pathetic.

"None taken," he drawled, "Trust me, Ethan, I feel worse than I look."

This drew a wince from both Ethan and Trent.

"I really hope you feel better soon," Trent said sincerely.

Tommy honestly hoped the same, and thanked Trent for once again voicing his well wishes. From the moment he saw the card he figure that it was initially either Trent or Kira's idea; not that Conner and Ethan lacked sympathy or anything, it just didn't seem their style to use greeting cards to get a message across to another person.

Cassidy came in a few minutes later and started to comment on his appearance, but a better-composed glare stopped her in her tracks. She, like the rest of the class, hadn't really known what was going on with him and his current appearance came as a small surprise.

He'd been absent Monday due to the fact that he really wasn't up to teaching, and after one call to H.R. and a doctor's note, he got the sick day he needed desperately. Really, he could have taken at least one more, maybe two if he had spun it right, but he really could not afford to take that many days after his stint stuck in morph.

Kira came in just moments before Conner did, and her behavior sent off alarm bells in Tommy's mind. She didn't sit with the other rangers, and was doing her best to hide her face. Tommy could feel his stomach churning, he had no idea what was going on with Kira; and after all he had heard about her mom he had a bad feeling the woman was involved. He got to the lesson for the day and the class went by agonizingly slow, even more so than any other that day. He wanted to have a private chat with Kira; to find out exactly what was going on, but he had a bad feeling that wouldn't happen until after school. He had no clue what would be dropped in his lap at the end of the day that would change his life and Kira's.

He finished class and tried his best to catch up to Kira, but she was out the door and gone before he could really make a move. He groaned knowing that he would not catch her feeling the way that he did, and he knew this would bother him the rest of the day.

What was going on with her? Why wouldn't she tell him? He knew that under normal circumstances she would tell him just about anything that was bothering her.

He took off his glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose; this day had just gone from bad to worse.

Final period rolled around and Tommy was counting the seconds until he could go home, take some meds and go back to his nice comfy bed. Then something shattered those plans.

Class ended, and Tommy was almost ready to walk out the door when his classroom phone began to ring.

"Hello?" he asked, his voice not quite normal due to the congestion. The person on the other end requested that he come to a different classroom and cited that Kira had asked for him.

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