Hey everyone! I know updates are fewer than before, but as usual, I’ve been really busy with school! But don’t worry; I have every intention of finishing this fic. It’s just that my school year is busier than I expected. I’m going to try and update this fic every two – three weeks at the very latest!
Thanks to everyone that is still sticking with me and reviewing every chapter. Your patience means a lot!
Disclaimer: I don’t own the Power Rangers, because if I did, Sky and Syd would’ve gotten together a long time ago (winks)
Note: Someone made an interesting comment in one of the reviews for the last chapter. I wrote that Bridge had brown eyes, but its buttery stated that Bridge’s eyes are blue. I went back and watched a couple of episodes on my dvds and indeed, Bridge’s eyes are blue! So, for the sake of this story, let’s pretend that his eyes are brown alright? (grins) Thanks its buttery for bringing that to my attention!
You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you trust too little. -Unknown
In the sweetness of friendships, let there be tears and let there be laughter. Let there be sharing of pleasures and pain. For in the dew of little things, the heart finds its morning and is refreshed. -Unknown
He stared at the moldy walls in shrouded darkness. His breathing was hard and he growled with frustration. He should’ve seen this coming. He should’ve known that this would’ve happened. Take one giant step forward, only to be pulled back two steps. He had been so intent on revenge that he hadn’t been able to see the big picture until it was too late.
Giovanni expected Larissa to make it to the
He thought that it wouldn’t have matter if he didn’t stay around to make sure she was dead before leaving. He thought that she would have definitely died shortly after he left. He had been so giddy, so filled with triumph that he had missed one very important detail.
Larissa had been still alive when he had left.
And he knew it.
He had been so arrogant to believe that she wouldn’t be able to do anything. A big mistake on his part. Somehow, that little bitch had managed to find her way to the Academy and had given the others a warning. Well, maybe not a total warning. At the moment, Larissa was still unconscious so she wasn’t able to tell anyone anything.
Giovanni slammed a fist against the wall in frustration and growled louder. His eyes were bright with fury. He had made a mistake. His mistake. How could he have been so... so stupid? And now, Caleb, Rosanna and all the others would be staying inside the Academy. With security doubled around them, no doubt. How the hell could he have over looked this fact? He should’ve made sure Larissa was dead before leaving. He hated when things didn’t go according to plan.
His eyes darkened. No matter. He would think of another plan. He had come too far and had gone to deep to stop now. He was going to get what he wanted, one way or another.
That was exactly how she felt for the last few days.
Well, maybe not completely empty. Just a deep sense of loss. And grief, extreme grief. Rosanna Thompson had been through a lot in her life, but never had she dealt with losing someone she was close too. And in this case, she had lost two people that she had extremely cared about.
She stared at
the white walls around her and then at the bed from across her. She knew she
was being protected by staying at the
Instead, she had spent her first night at SPD alone.
She wouldn’t be alone for long though. Soon, Kathleen, Ian and Keegan were going to be there. The three of them were due to arrive as soon as their work shift ended. Jack had taken extra precaution; he and Commander Cruger would wait for each of them, once their shifts were done and drive them back to the Academy.
Kathleen was going to share the room with her once she arrived. Caleb was already sharing a room with Jack. Ian and Keegan would occupy the room across from hers. Rosanna drew her knees close to her chest and wrapped her arms around them. She rested her chin on her knees and sighed fitfully. There was a knock and Rosanna stared at the doors, not sure what to expect. There was another knock.
“Come in,” she called hesitantly.
Automatically, the doors slid open and in walked a blonde girl. Rosanna stared at her, unsure of what to say. She suddenly felt intimidated, like she wasn’t good enough to be in this girl’s presence. Her mind flashed back to her time on the streets... when she would pass by the convenience stand… the blonde girl that was standing in front of her would be on all the magazine covers… beautiful, poised and glamorous. What was her name again?
The blonde smiled warmly at her and held out a breakfast tray that she was carrying. Rosanna was so overwhelmed that she hadn’t noticed the food until it was in front of her. She then shifted so that she was sitting cross-legged and gingerly reached for the tray. Her hands shook a little as she set the tray on her lap. “Thank you,” she didn’t know what else to say.
“You’re welcome,” the blonde gave her another warm smile and Rosanna felt reassured somewhat.
Carefully, Rosanna reached for the fork that was lying on the tray and stuck it into a piece of bacon and ate it.
“Is it alright?”
She nodded. Rosanna didn’t need to add that she had never tasted bacon as good as this before. The truth hung unspoken in the air.
“I’m Syd,” the girl introduced herself.
Now Rosanna remembered her name. Syd. Sydney Drew. Singer, actress, Olympian, this girl standing before had done amazing things. Things that Rosanna would never even have a chance to do. Her mind flashed back to the time she was living on the streets, a few years back… when she and Larissa had discussed a magazine that Larissa had found lying on the ground that someone had discarded…
“Hey, whatcha got there?” Rosanna asked as Larissa came into the factory, grinning.
“The latest issue of MIO,” Larissa replied, holding out the magazine she had found. “I found it on the ground. Someone must’ve dropped it.”
“Yeah!” Larissa excitedly flipped to the page she wanted and showed Rosanna the article. “Did you know Sydney Drew just joined SPD?”
“Who’s Sydney Drew?”
“She’s one of the most popular singers out there right now! And she’s done so many things,” Larissa continued to talk excitedly. “She won gold for diving in the Olympics two years ago, and last year she was named one of the best actresses under the age of eighteen. She’s like my idol!”
“Let me see that,” Rosanna reached out for the magazine and studied the article in front of her. “She’s pretty,” the redhead observed, feeling a pang of envy rush through her. This girl had everything. “She probably has the perfect life.”
“I wish I could be like her,” Larissa stared at the magazine wistfully.
Rosanna didn’t say a thing. She stared at the magazine, also wishing that she could be like Sydney Drew.
Rosanna blinked and realized that she was still staring at Syd. The redhead blushed and quickly looked down at the food in her lap. “I’m Rosanna,” she mumbled softly.
Syd smiled. “That’s a pretty name.”
There was an awkward silence now, even Syd noticed it. The pink ranger stood still, unsure of what to do. Finally, after a lot of internal debating, she decided to leave, after making one last attempt at conversation. “Umm… we’re about to eat lunch in the Common Room, would you like to join us? Or you can stay here, if you want.”
Rosanna looked up and saw the sincerity in Syd’s eyes, and bit her lip, still feeling shy.
Syd saw the internal struggle and smiled. Rosanna did want to join; she just didn’t want to feel out of place. “I think your friend Caleb is going to be there," she said gently, "Last I heard, he was hanging out with Sky. I’m sure he’ll be looking for you. And you can wait for Jack to come back with your other friends too.”
Caleb? Rosanna’s heartbeat rose. Well, if Caleb was going to be there, it wouldn’t be so bad. She wouldn’t feel so out of place. And Z would be there too. She allowed a soft smile come to her face and nodded shyly. “Okay.”
Sydney grinned. “Great, come on!”
He stared at the man in front of him, observing him quietly. He seemed like a nice guy, Caleb realized as he watched Sky prepare the food at the counter. He could tell that Sky was a hard worker and was someone that you could trust to remain loyal to you. Briefly, he wondered why Sky was doing this. Treating him as if they were equals. As if he hoped that they could become friends. Didn’t Sky understand that people like him weren’t friends with people from the streets? It was socially unacceptable. Caleb had long ago learned that he wouldn’t be accepted by anyone. That he would remain an outcast, only accepted by others who had been through what he had. But Sky, it seemed, either didn’t understand or didn’t care. There was no pity in Sky’s eyes and Caleb couldn’t understand why. When people looked at him, their eyes always showed pity.
Earlier, Jack had asked Sky to show him around the Academy and the blue ranger had immediately agreed. And thus, Caleb found himself being dragged all around the building while Sky showed him excitedly where everything was. It seemed as if Sky had made his life all about SPD, Caleb had observed. Now, he was sitting on one of the stools at the counter top, watching as Sky spread out some mayonnaise on a slice of bread.
“Would you like tuna or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?”
Sky’s question came from out of nowhere, startling Caleb out of his thoughts. He stared at the blue ranger, unsure of how to respond and feeling a bit uncomfortable.
On the other hand, Sky looked sheepish and didn’t seem to notice his reaction. Instead, the blue ranger seemed to interpret his stare in a different way and shrugged. “I know, I know. It’s original, right? I would cook something, but the stove seems to be broken at the moment. And trust me, you really don't want to eat any of the stuff the replicator makes, it's disgusting.”
“He's right about one thing, the food from the replicator is disgusting, but the stove should be working just fine. Boom fixed it this morning."
Startled, Caleb turned at the sound of the new voice.
A blonde girl walked in, wearing a uniform similar to the one Sky was wearing, only it was edged in pink and had a skirt. His eyes lit up as he saw Rosanna walking in behind her. He caught her eye and smiled when she headed straight for him. As soon as Rosanna set the tray she was holding down onto the counter, he immediately opened his arms and the two hugged. He looked down into her eyes and saw the fear that he felt. And he immediately felt more at ease than he had all day. He wasn’t alone…
Over the top of Rosanna’s head, he observed Sky as the blonde girl greeted him. He watched as she gave Sky a brief kiss on the lips and gave him a tight hug. His eyes were softer, Caleb noticed. Okay, so maybe Sky’s life wasn’t revolved around SPD as he had originally thought. It seemed like this girl had a pretty important part in his life too. Caleb felt a pang of envy rush through him.
It seemed as if Sky had everything. A happy family, a great job, and a wonderful relationship with the girl he adored.
It must be nice to be normal.
That was exactly how she felt at that moment. Content.
It was as if being with Bridge could take away every single bad thing in her life. She hadn’t felt this safe in a very long time. It was almost as if he could understand her without knowing anything. He just knew. That thought was comforting but it also scared Z more than anything.
Z shook her head, erasing all thoughts from her mind. She and Bridge were in the Command Centre, the green ranger was lying on his back and fixing one of the consoles, while she was just sitting nearby on a stool. She had no reason to be scared, it was Bridge. She knew she could trust Bridge.
Was it strange that she had suddenly noticed the color of Bridge’s eyes this morning? Was it weird that she suddenly noticed that Bridge had very nice muscular arms? Why had her heart rate gone up, when he had smiled at her? He sure had an adorable smile…
“Can you hand me that wrench?”
Bridge’s voice interrupted her thoughts and she suddenly realized that she had been thinking about him again. She blinked. “Huh?”
Bridge sat up slightly and leaned on his elbows. He gave her a puppy dog expression that just made her heart melt. Did he even know that he made that face all the time? “Can you hand me that wrench?” he repeated.
“Oh.” She quickly picked up the wrench and handed to him. "Here you go."
He flashed a smile at her before leaning back down. “Thanks.”
He went back to tinkering with the machine and Z continued to watch him. It was strange; she had seen the boys working out in the gym before, but never had she noticed their physique. For one thing, checking out Jack was just plain gross. Jack was her brother, to put it simply. She’d rather gag and throw up before she said that Jack’s form was hot. She shuddered, not in this lifetime, no thanks. Checking out Sky was also another no no. Syd would skin her alive, if she ever caught her staring at Sky. Not that she wanted to, anyway. Sky was definitely not her type. He could be just as annoying as Jack, if not more. Besides, the yellow ranger certainly did not want to be at the end of one of the pink ranger’s iron fists. That was like asking for death to come early. Though, Z grudgingly admitted to herself, Sky’s form was not at all bad. And Bridge? Well, checking the green ranger out had never even crossed her mind.
Until now, that is.
Z stared at Bridge, suddenly noticing the green ranger in a new light. Bridge definitely had a nice form, if one looked closely enough. His upper body was covered by the console that he was working on, but she could see his arms working steadily. It was funny how she had never noticed how muscular his arms were before. When he was standing next to Sky, or Jack, he looked skinny, but once you take a closer look, it was like wow.
Was it weird that she wanted nothing more than to run her fingers over his bare arm and feel his hard muscles?
Briefly, she wondered what Bridge would look like without a shirt on… then shook her head and blinked. She froze. What was wrong with her? She shouldn’t be having these thoughts about Bridge… she shouldn’t be having these thoughts period!
She continued to stare at Bridge, a bewildered look etched on her face and her heart pounding a mile a minute. Questions that she had never thought to ask before were now running through her mind.
Jack sat in the passenger seat, next to Cruger as they waited for Keegan, Ian and Kathleen to finish working. The red ranger fiddled with his morpher, internally debating with his inner self on whether or not he should confide in somebody with his secret. At first glance, it looked like Jack was perfectly fine, but a closer glance at the red ranger’s face said otherwise.
He hadn’t slept a full night since he had heard that Giovanni had broken out of prison. Sometimes he wouldn’t be able to sleep at all, and other times he woke up in the middle of the night, gasping for air. There were dark circles under his eyes, indicating the exhaustion he felt from the sleepless nights and training. He wasn’t his usual cheery self. Instead, he was withdrawn and quiet.
The others, with the exception of Z (who was too caught up in her own pain to notice anything), had noticed his dark moods, but assumed that he was grieving for Oliver and Michelle or worrying about Larissa, who was still lying in a coma in a hospital bed. Jack didn’t have the heart, or the energy, to tell them otherwise, though Bridge could’ve figured it out if the green ranger really wanted too. Fortunately, Bridge was too caught up with Z to notice.
Yes, he would miss Michelle and Oliver, but their deaths hadn’t affected him the way it affected Z. Unlike Z, Jack had never been close to them, but knew them well enough to know that they had been kind-hearted people. He was sorry that they had been brutally murdered by Giovanni. And Larissa, he was sorry for what had happened to her too.
But, his thoughts were more troublesome than that.
The red ranger knew that Giovanni was after him, and that he was probably high on the list. The others thought that Giovanni had a vendetta against him because he had helped put the jerk in prison. Well –that was part of the reason. There was also another part to it… a large part.
He knew exactly why Giovanni was coming after him. He knew what Giovanni was after and he knew that Giovanni knew that he knew where it was. For a moment, Jack debated whether or not to tell Cruger what he knew, but then decided against it. It wouldn’t do any good now and no one, except him, knew where it was. The more people that knew his secret, the bigger the chance they had of becoming Giovanni’s target. He would keep his mouth shut unless it was absolutely necessary that he had to tell someone.
“Are you alright, Jack?”
Thoughts broken, Jack glanced next to him. Cruger was staring at him with a serious, hardened expression and the red ranger involuntarily swallowed. He hated that look. It made him feel as if the commander could see right through him. He took a deep breath and nodded. “I’m fine, sir.”
The commander gave him another stern gaze, one that told him that his response was unbelieving. “Is there anything you’d like to tell me, Jack?”
Jack squirmed a bit, feeling uncomfortable and he began fiddling with his morpher even more. He shifted and avoided the commander’s expression by staring out of his window. “No, sir.” Good, his voice sounded even. He could feel Cruger’s gaze on him and he fought the urge to jump out of the vehicle and run away.
“Alright, Jack. Just remember that you can always come to me if you need any help.”
The red ranger couldn’t help but let out a tiny sigh of relief and gave Cruger a grateful look. “Thank you, sir. I’ll remember that.”
The red ranger shifted and looked out the window. There running towards him, was Kathleen, looking especially pretty for her eighteen years, and following her, was her older brother Ian, and Keegan. Jack sucked in a breath and quickly jumped out of the jeep, plastering a wide smile on his face. He opened his arms and greeted Kathleen was a warm hug, and then released her to shake both Ian and Keegan’s hands.
“You guys ready?”
“Ready more than we’ll ever be,” Keegan replied.
“Come on,” Jack gestured to the jeep where Cruger was waiting. “Let’s get you guys back to the Academy.”
Note: Well, that was the end of the chapter! Hopefully, the next chapter won’t take as long, eh? I totally blame it on school… college is evil, I tell you, EVIL! Anyway, I’ve been nominated for some awards! I just wanted to thank everyone for nominating me, I’m flattered! (grins) Make sure you vote for your favorite authors!