Chapter 10: Patience
During "The Puppet Blaster"
Tanya watched as Adam moved through a footwork routine, feeling both awestruck and overwhelmed by Adam's skill. Tanya thought she was being helpful when Adam asked her to help him train for his upcoming kung fu tournament. Now she realized, feeling silly, she was probably just holding him back.
Adam had gotten in about a dozen roundhouse moves by the time Tanya had managed to perform one, simple kick. She looked toward Adam dubiously. He smiled her, embarrassed for having shown off, although at the time he intended to impress her.
"Footwork is essential to martial arts," encouraged Adam.
"Ok," said Tanya, trying to focus on Adam's moves instead of his handsome face.
"Watch this," said Adam, running through footwork series.
"Ok?" asked Adam.
"Yeah," said Tanya, reminding herself to stay focused on the task at hand – improving her martial arts skills, not seducing Adam.
"Ready?" asked Adam.
"Yeah," said Tanya.
"Go!" said Adam. The two rangers performed the previous footwork sequence in perfect unison. Turning around, they both grinned at each other. They spent the rest of the afternoon working on uppercut punches, roundhouse kicks and other basic martial arts moves that Tanya would need to master to be most effective against King Mondo's armies. Adam's support and high skill level served as constant motivation for her to move faster and hit harder.
"Ahh!" cried Tanya emphatically; hitting a kick sent Adam tumbling over backwards.
"Perfect," said Adam smiling. "You got the move, Tanya. Thanks," he said as she pulled him up.
"And you've been unbelievably patient," said Tanya gratefully. "You're a pro, and I'm just like…"
"Learning," interrupted Adam supportively. "Believe it or not, teaching you the routines helps me prep for my match."
"That's really sweet Adam, but I don't believe a word of it," said Tanya doubtfully.
"Really, I'm not kidding," said Adam, reaching down into his bag to grab two bottles of water.
"How does helping me improve at martial arts help you to improve at the same time?" questioned Tanya as the pair walked toward the lake to cool off for a bit.
"Watching you calculate the exact movement helps me to think about how I should be moving my body," explained Adam. "Plus I like watching you move your body," thought Adam coyly to himself.
"Shawn used to show off his kung fu moves to me," commented Tanya absent-mindedly as they sat down near the lake.
"Really?" said Adam curiously. He didn't know their baseball teammate was a martial artist.
"He's almost as good as you are," commented Tanya. "But Shawn never had the same type of patience you did. He never took the time to teach me anything even though he knew I was interested." She paused. "Martial arts is such a huge part of my life now. It was hard being in a relationship with someone who I couldn't share who I really was with them. You know, my life as a Power Ranger."
"Tell me about it," muttered Adam, thinking of how his relationship with his last girlfriend, Sarah Diaz, ended.
"Huh?" asked Tanya, turning to him curiously. "What did you say?"
Adam's mind drifted back to his relationship with Sarah: their first date at the Sadie Hawkins dance after Aisha had set them up, walks by the beach, the tickle sessions, the nights they stayed up talking on the phone till dawn. Then he thought about the missed dates, the eventual arguments and the introduction of Angel Grove High football quarterback Brett Alderman into their lives. Adam trusted Tanya as a friend, but he still wasn't sure if he could trust her with his heart.
"At least you and Shawn could express openly how you two felt about one another," Adam chose to say instead. "I just find it hard to tell a girl how a feel about her sometimes. Come on, you know how shy I can get," Adam said blushing, not looking in the direction of his current crush.
"Adam, you're such an amazing guy!" exclaimed Tanya. "Any girl would be crazy not to want to be with you," she said trying to encourage him.
"Maybe I should just tell Tanya how I feel about her," Adam thought, trying to overcome his shyness. He turned in Tanya's direction. At that moment, both their communicators sounded the all-too-familiar and foreboding beep. As they both leapt up to answer Billy's call, Tanya realized that just like Adam had been so patient teaching her martial arts, she needed to be patient while he learned to be confident enough to express his feelings… hopefully for her.