shape my heart

Dear Adam,

I know I'm a little early for our usual exchange. But, I still haven't gotten a hold on how long it takes to send things to America. I kind of figured it'd be better sooner than later. Maybe this'll get you in The Valentine Mood sooner. Make sure you check the whole envelope! There's more than one thing in there unless you opened your Valentine first. Oh well! There's something in there for Tanya, since you guys seem so close according to you and Rocky's letters ☺.

I hope you and Rocky get yours on the same day! Still confused about why his letter got there sooner and yours took another two weeks. If yours got there sooner, tell him Happy Valentine's Day. If his did, he probably told you already!

I miss you guys. I know things are different now. Everyone is probably wondering what these letters are about. Technically, we haven't actually celebrated V-Day in years. Or ever. It's so weird, I didn't feel right not being there to trade stuff with you two. Whatever. don't let Rocky eat so much chocolate that he pukes like in 9th grade. If he ignores you, don't let him eat anymore after that! Sorry that I can't be there to back you up like before, but I believe in you!

Tell everyone I said hi!


P.S. Seriously, give Tanya the damn card. Don't open it either, it's not for you! Show her a good time on Valentine's, I'll know if you don't! I got eyes everywhere!

Adam smiled as he folded up the letter and put it aside, far away from the bowl of cereal and his mom's coffee. It was hard to hide his excitement when she came in with the mail and slid him a large bubble mailer across the table. Normally, it was one letter every few weeks—if he was lucky—from Aisha, in a regular envelope. When the world had gone to normal, as normal as it could be anyway, and everyone had gotten their Zeo Powers, Adam wasn't sure if he was ever going to hear from Aisha again. It was a fear that Rocky had shared too, even if he didn't want to share it. So, the letters they got in the mail a few weeks afterwards was a shock.

They weren't sure if she'd remember 'the past' if you could call it that. Obviously, that wasn't the case. She had even remembered their addresses after all that time nonsense. It threw Billy for a loop as well.

The Power of Friendship can overcome anything, Rangers.

Adam snorted at the memory of Zordon saying that. Their mentor had said a lot of cheesy things, he was almost used to it, but it still got to him at times. It sure got to Rocky when as soon as they'd leave the Command Center.

He opened up the bubble mailer again, looking for the cards.

“Your pen-pal really went all out today, Adam,” said his mom.

“Yeah, it's Valentine's Day stuff.”

“They celebrate it in Africa?” His dad joined in.

“Uhh... I think she said that it's not a huge thing there like here. I dunno. I guess me talking about it before gave her the idea,” Adam lied. He pulled out two envelopes, one with his name and the other with Tanya's.

“That makes sense. I guess you couldn't hide your excitement even through letters,” his dad laughed.

Adam couldn't help but blush a little at that. He looked down at his bowl, only to steal a couple of glances at the envelopes. The words 'Don't Open Until Valentine's Day!' on his caught his eye. He wondered what they'd look like, and what was inside Tanya's that Aisha had to specify to not open it. “You know me...”

It was kind of embarrassing. Valentine's Day was one of Adam's favourite holidays. It was like Halloween, without the monster movies and costumes. Junk food was everywhere. The school day was shorter as well, with classes stopping so everyone could give each other cards (sometimes cards with candy) and play games. Admittedly, it was more fun as a kid because of that. The day kind of lost its appeal when his teachers stopped teaching after ten o'clock to have an all-day party. It was still hard to not get excited whenever February rolled around. Things seemed a little peachier, pinker, if you will. A whole day dedicated to love seemed nice as well. Even when he didn't have a girlfriend or anything like that on the actual day, just crushes were enough. The years where he didn't have a crush around Valentine's Day were just as good too. He had his friends to thank for that.

The day after, they would all buy each other candy and cards to exchange. Everything was cheaper the next day and it was what they could afford with their allowances. It kinda stuck even after they got raises. It was something they all did and it never changed. Up until this year, anyway.

There were times that Adam wondered why Aisha suggested it in third grade. The year he was in a different class than them. He wondered why Rocky had gone along with it.

It's your favourite,” Rocky said when he finally asked in sixth grade. “We knew it was because you always seem so happy this time of year.”

I like Halloween too, though... And the idea of Christmas.”

Yeah, but, you're a sap, man.”

No, I'm not!”

Are you gonna eat those?” Rocky asked, pointing at the bag of candy hearts by Adam's knee and lamely changing the subject.

Gross, no. Go ahead,” Adam said, throwing him the bag. “I don't know how you can eat those. I still have the jar of them from third grade in my closet.”

I'll eat those too if you want.”

Oh my god, don't.”

“It's 8:30, Adam.”

“Shoot, I gotta pick up Tanya,” Adam said before drinking the leftover milk in his bowl. He grabbed the two envelopes and his backpack that hung from the back of his chair. “I'll see you later!”

The moment Tanya stepped out of Kat's house, a jolt struck Adam in his chest, reminding him that he was indeed alive. Maybe it was the way the sunlight hit her as she walked down the steps, her skin glowing like the smile she wore. Or, maybe it was just that time of year. A very likely possibility.

It was hard to focus on anything that wasn't her as of late. Well, that wasn't fair.

Adam liked Tanya since he first saw her if he had to be honest. Around that time, anyway. When they first really saw each other, they were both kids. He was too focused on what was going on to pay attention to that. But, the moment when all the dust settled—aka right before the Power Chamber was destroyed—she turned around. It was like the world had stopped all over again. If he was in a movie, he was sure that 'Dream Weaver' would've played at that moment.

He honestly hoped it wouldn't have. If only because she deserved something better than something from Wayne's World... and because he wasn't into that sort of thing.

Rocky picked up on his crush on Tanya pretty fast, which probably meant everyone but Tommy did as well. He constantly tried to goad him into asking her out. It never seemed right. She was new to basically... everything. Their powers, America and suddenly turning into a teenager in current day out of the blue. Luckily, she managed to pick up everything with little effort. She was that amazing.

It was no wonder that Shawn, the baseball captain, had swooped in so fast. As fast as things had begun, they seemed to end pretty fast between them.

Adam wasn't sure if he was allowed to feel relieved. He did. He really did. It was unsure if it was purely Tanya being free from an insecure jerk that tried to shut her down. Or if it was that she wasn't dating anyone anymore. Rocky seemed more happy about it than he did.

Dude! She's single! You're single! You like her! She probably likes you too! Go for it!”

He did not go for it.

It never seemed like the right time, what with the Machine Empire attacking every other day.


That's good for today. You did great, Tanya!” said Adam as he handed her a water bottle. 

Tanya rolled her eyes as she took the bottle from him. His breath hitched as their fingers brushed for that moment. She gave him a smile as she cracked open the lid. “You can say that all you want, Adam, but I still don't believe it.”

She brought the bottle to her lips and his mouth grew dry. His eyes fell on her neck. The sight of her swallowing becoming one of the most beautiful things he had ever seen.

I, uh, I mean it,” he said once she handed the bottle back to him. Without thinking, he took a swig as well. It wasn't until the moment the water first splashed into his mouth that he realized what he did. His mouth was even where hers touched. The waxy texture from her chapstick giving it away. “E-every word.”

He dropped onto the ground, his arm resting on his knee as he stared out into the horizon. It was earlier in the day, the park was still pretty empty. Save for a few joggers in the distance. If they weren't on a hill overlooking everything, he wouldn't have seen them. The morning chill was still in the air, their warm breath causing clouds to float into the pale blue sky.

She plopped down next to him, pressing flush against his side. Warmth radiated from her. Adam knew it was because of their work out. The 'sappy' part of him that Rocky liked to tease, liked to think her heart was enough to warm him up. Her hand was next to his in the grass, her pinky tapping on the ground and brushing against his.

It's beautiful out,” Tanya whispered.

Yeah. As beautiful as 32 degrees can be, anyway,” said Adam, fighting back a smile and failing.

She snorted, leaning into him for a moment that had felt like an eternity and all-too-short. Her pinky curled around his.

Adam never wanted that moment to end.

The rare times that his own ineptitude didn't bite him on the ass, the universe seemed intent on ruining the moment. They were both called into action five minutes later. Thanks to The Machine Empire deciding to make a children's show host their newest lackey.

“Hey, Adam,” Tanya said once she reached the car. Her eyes sparkling as he opened the car door for her. “Thank you.~”

He dashed to the other side of the car and slid inside. “No problem. Oh, before I forget... I got something for you.” Her eyes widened as he reached for his bag to grab the card from Aisha. He gave her a lop-sided smile as he handed it to her. “It's from Aisha, I dunno when she sent it but. It's for Valentine's Day.”

“Oh, right, that's next week,” she said as she looked at both sides. “Should I open it now or?”

“I mean, I was told to not open it until the actual day in her letter,” he said before starting the car. “Mine says 'Don't Open Until Valentine's Day'. Does yours?”

She flipped the envelope over again. And one more time for good measure. “Nope.”

“Then you should!”

“I'll... wait a little longer.”

Adam's smile widened while he backed the vehicle out of the driveway and towards the school. “Good idea. She apparently has eyes everywhere.”

“And those eyes being... Rocky?” He didn't even have to look at her to see the wide grin on her lips and the roll of her eyes. Her voice was enough.


“She does have him wrapped around her finger still.”

“She always has, if I'm gonna be honest,” he said, stealing a glance at her. “...Don't tell either of them that. They still think they were being slick during Jurassic Park.”

“What happened at Jurassic Park?”

“...A whole lot of tension.”

“You can tell? Well, I guess you'd know.” She asked before Adam looked at her with a smirk. It faded when he saw her opening the card, despite what they were talking about. She shrugged. “Couldn't help it.”

He laughed as he pulled into the parking lot of the school. “What's it say?”

“Mmm... Something about to not make plans with you on the fifteenth,” Tanya said. He blinked and nodded as he parked in a spot by the handicap space. He was kinda glad for that, he would've been torn between her and Rocky. There was no way that he could say no to her but that day was their day. She continued, “and that you are madly in love with me so I should just kiss you right now.”

If he hadn't already parked the car, Adam would've slammed on the breaks and gotten whiplash from how fast he looked over at her. His eyes went wide as blood rushed to his face and buzzed in his ears.

Tanya shrugged, avoiding his gaze, before flipping the card open towards him.

Happy Valentine's Day, Tanya! Unless you didn't wait, which is okay.

I hope that your first one in the States is a good one ☺. Let me know how it goes, especially with Adam. It's his favourite holiday, even if he won't admit it. He'll probably go out of his way to make sure the day is special, because you deserve it, girl!


Adam's eyes darted across the red page at least five times. Searching desperately for the line that mentioned his feelings for her and finding nothing. He swallowed as she lowered her hand and lent in towards him.

They were so close.

Her breath ghosted over his lips, which suddenly felt dry and chapped.

Could she hear how hard his heart was pounding?

Finally, he closed the distance.

The kiss was soft and shy. He was too nervous to do anything besides close his eyes. His hands slipped from the wheel and onto his lap. His fingers gripping onto his pants. Warmth blossomed in his chest as butterflies fluttered inside him.

All-too-soon, Tanya pulled away, pushing a lock of hair behind her ear.

“Um. I hope that was okay.”

“N-no—I mean, it. It was more than okay.”

“Sorry that I lied about what Aisha said.”

“It's okay. This, uh, this probably sounds bad but... I'm kinda glad. Like, she knew... how much I liked you. And that I wanted to tell you, but, I couldn't work up the nerve. If she told you that and to make the first move, I think, I'd be pretty bummed out... I'm not making sense. I-I'm still...”

“Are you upset that—“

“No! Not at all!” A sheepish grin spread across his face. “L-like I said... I couldn't work up the nerve. I always... kinda hoped that you would. If you liked me back anyway. It's just different if a friend kinda... pushes it. Without asking you first. Like if you told Tommy that Kat liked him and to ask her out... I guess, I can't blame you though. With all the... tension.”

She grinned. “I gotcha.”



“...Are we...?”

“I dunno... Do you want to be?”


“Then... I guess we are.”

Adam ran a hand through his hair before leaning towards her. Hesitantly, he pressed a kiss to her cheek, making her giggle. “Thank you.”

“I never actually spent the day with... someone before,” Adam said, squeezing Tanya's hand as they walked through the parking lot “Is that lame?”

“If you're lame then I don't want to know what I am,” Tanya replied with a soft laugh. She squeezed his hand back, suddenly making him aware of how warm her hand was. And how clammy and gross his were. If she noticed, she thankfully didn't seem to care all too much. “It's my first time doing this kind of thing too—the holiday, I mean. I'm not all too sure what you're supposed to do.”

“Can I be honest?”

“Of course you can!”

“Well, I don't really know either. I sort of... hoped I'd have an idea when it finally came around. Kinda lame—”

“You keep saying that,” she frowned, nudging him in the side. “Be nice to yourself. You're not lame!”

He sighed, fighting a smile. His head lilted from side to side, making his hair fall in front of his eyes. Suddenly, Tanya stopped beside him and reached out to touch his face. He swallowed. Her touch was feather soft, her fingertips brushing against his skin before she pushed his hair out of his face. “It's getting long...”

“Should I get it cut?”

“No, I think you could pull off long hair, actually.”

“Maybe. I can laugh at how bad it looks in a few years, I guess,” he snorted, which made her laugh. The sound was angelic; the butterflies inside him making his heart soar into the horizon. “I'm not really sure what to do. But, I don't want it to end.”

“Let's just... go with the flow, see where the night takes us,” Tanya smiled as she opened the door. She motioned for Adam to go first.

“That sounds good,” he said as he tugged on the end of his hair, suddenly aware of how long it was getting. Maybe, he really should grow it out?

The center was busy, and surprisingly loud. Music boomed throughout the room and down the halls. A crowd filled the gym's floor when they got to the main room, when Adam had gotten a closer look, he noticed it was full of mostly couples.

“Was there a dance today?” He asked, leaning over and talking over the powerful soprano that was Mariah Carey. Right after he said that, Mariah belted the high note of Emotion.

“I don't think so?!” Tanya shouted, which he barely heard.

With a shrug, Adam led Tanya to the bar while still looking out onto the floor. It wasn't like an official dance, the equipment was mostly put away for one and there weren't any food tables.

“Hey, you two!” Ernie half-shouted. “What can I get you?”

“Oh, um, just a strawberry-banana for me. What do you want, Tanya?”

“The tropical one, if that's okay!” Tanya said before leaning in. “Hey, uh,  what's going on?”

“Oh, it was a spur of the moment thing. I had a special for Valentine's Day going on and figured playing some music for ambiance would set the mood... And well, this happened. Wish I thought of it sooner but it's not the first time we had to host a last minute party,” Ernie said, laughing as he went to prepare their orders.

Adam smiled nervously, knowing he and the fellow Rangers had a ton of parties here. Even before he had joined them. He motioned towards a small table near the back. Tanya gave him a nod and his hand a squeeze before they both headed there. “Do you wanna dance?” He asked, looking out on the floor once again. Were their friends here too?

“Sure, in a bit. If that's okay—“

He whipped his head towards her and nodded.

“I'll take that as a... yes?” She laughed, making him snort.

Soon, Ernie arrived, placing their smoothies on the table and a small vase of flowers. White daisies, green roses and pale green-white lilies. Adam blinked, looking at Ernie then at the bouquet again. “Wh-what's—“

The older man only gave him a smile before going back behind the counter. Confused, Adam kept looking at the flowers.

“I hope that it was okay, I wasn't really sure what to get you. I see guys giving flowers and stuff all the time and girls giving... I dunno,” Tanya said sheepishly, twirling the end of her hair. “Yesterday, I asked Ernie if I could have them delivered here and surprise you with them today. And... well. You know.”

“Oh, it was you?” He said, reaching out to touch one of the roses. Glancing up at her, he watched her rub the back of her neck and her head dipping forward a bit. He grinned. “I didn't know there were green flowers. This is so cool.”

“Do you really mean that?”

“I mean it, every word.

She chuckled, reaching for one of the daisies. “Can I do something?”


She reached over the table, daisy in hand and tucked it behind Adam's ear. She sank back into her chair and grabbed her smoothie, sinking further down as she took a long drink from the straw.

Adam laughed. Feeling his cheeks warm up, he tilted his head to the side to show off the flower. “Do I look cute?”

“You always do.”

His blush deepened as he chuckled nervously. “Th-thank you...” He murmured before drinking his smoothie.

A few minutes had passed before he got out of his seat, taking care that the flower didn't slip from his ear. “Do you, um, wanna dance for a bit, now?”

She smiled and nodded, reaching for his hand and squeezing it tight. Slowly, they made their way to the floor, barely avoiding knocking into people or getting their feet stomped on. Mariah continued to play over the speakers before fading into nothing. All Adam could hear was the sound of his heart and Tanya's laughter for the rest of the night.

Eventually, the Youth Center cleared out until it was just Tanya, Adam and Ernie who beginning to clean. The couple placed the chairs on the tables, figuring it was the least they could do for him.

“Hey, before I take you home... I-I got something for you too. I meant to give it to you earlier but it slipped my mind,” He said on their way out, digging through his pocket and pulling out a small box. Her eyebrows shot up before taking it from his hands. He shifted in his spot, adjusting the way he held the vase of flowers. “It's not much but.. Y'know.”

Rolling her eyes, Tanya opened it and inside was a cassette tape.

“It's... It's songs that made me think of you. I hope you like the stuff I picked, I, uh...” He blew out his cheeks, touching the back of his neck with his free hand. 'Hope you like Deee-lite.'

She beamed at him, “I love it! Can we listen to it on the way home?”

“S-sure! I... Do you really mean that?”

Tanya linked her arm around Adam's. “Every word.”


You take my pain away
You make my world okay
You shape my heart so I can feel what love is
You take my hate away

“Shape My Heart” - Eyeshine