Hey guys! I am so, so, so, SO SORRY for the lack of updates! I’ve been extremely busy with school and midterms and whatnot. But that’s really no excuse, is it? I’m trying my best to update regularly, I promise. College is really a pain. I can’t wait for our next break. A big thank you to everyone who reviewed the last chapter! Thanks for sticking with me and still reviewing even when updates aren’t as frequent as before.
Anyhow, this chapter is dedicated to Anastasia Athene because she is such a huge Bridge and Z fan, and because she is always to enthusiastic in her reviews! AA, I enjoy reading your reviews for this story the most, so keep them coming!
Disclaimer: I really don’t own the Power Rangers, because if I did, Sky and Syd would’ve gotten together a long time ago (winks)
"Anytime you need someone, somebody strong to lean on, well, you can count on me". - bridgesandskys66
The room was dark when he awoke. Slowly, he sat up as his eyes adjusted to the darkness. Bridge glanced at the digital alarm clock sitting on his night stand. 4:08am. He had been sleeping for eight hours straight. Pulling back his covers, Bridge reached for his green sweatshirt that was lying on his desk chair, and pulled it over his head before standing and heading out of his room. The green ranger padded down the hallway, toward the Common Room. Entering, he immediately headed over to the replicator and punched a few buttons, then retrieved the water bottle that it had provided.
He took a few large gulps of the water and then took a deep breath. He felt a lot better than he had the day before. He quietly moved to sit down on one of the couches, and leaned back, closing his eyes as he did so. After a minute, he frowned.
Something was wrong.
He opened his eyes and for the first time, felt some psychic residue. He blinked and suddenly saw colors of olive, grey and brown –some of the more negative colors. The colors of the residue were very faint, but he was willing to bet that the residue was still around the Academy. Whoever this person was, he or she was hurting.
Ever the compassionate one, Bridge jumped up and began following the light trail of emotions. He headed out of the Common Room, and walked past the Command Centre. He lightly shuddered as he passed the spot where they had first found Larissa. The trail of emotions become stronger, and the colors flashed more brightly as he neared the stairway that led up to the rooftop. He climbed the stairs and took a deep breath as his hand reached for the doorknob. Mentally, he prepared himself to comfort whoever was on the other side of the door.
Slowly, he twisted the knob and pushed the door open. His breath caught. Z was sitting at the edge of the roof, her feet dangling over the ledge. Sadness filled him at the yellow ranger’s obvious pain. From Z’s aura, it was obvious that the yellow ranger was miserable and frightened. She was so caught up in her current pain that she was failing to see all the joys in life that was still surrounding her. More than anything, Bridge wanted to make that pain go away.
Quietly, he closed the door to the rooftop and headed toward her. Z didn’t acknowledge his presence as he sat down, but he knew that she knew he was there and she didn’t seem to mind that he had joined her. In fact, judging from her aura, she seemed almost comforted.
It was silent for a few moments before he spoke. “Couldn’t sleep?” he asked softly.
She shook her head. “Too many nightmares and bad memories,” she replied simply.
Silence fell between them again. After a minute, he glanced over at her and realized that she was shivering slightly. Quickly, he took off his sweatshirt and wordlessly handed it to her. The yellow ranger took the green sweater, giving him a brief smile as she slipped it over her head. “Thanks,” she said quietly.
“No problem.” There was another brief silence between them. “Want to talk about it?”
Z shuddered and for the first time, he noticed the puffiness of her eyes and the dried tears on her cheeks. Quickly, he scooted over and wrapped an arm around her. Their positions were a little awkward and Z shifted and was soon leaning against him, their feet dangling over the ledge of the rooftop. Bridge closed his eyes, savoring the feeling as he felt Z lean against him. He held on to her tighter, he had to make the best of this situation.
A wave of guilt washed over him as he realized he was taking advantage of the situation at hand. Now was not the time to be thinking of his feelings, he scolded himself. Z needed someone. He felt angry with himself… but she felt so good leaning against him…
“I miss them,” Z suddenly spoke, interrupting his thoughts. Bridge shifted a bit more and focused his attention on the yellow ranger. The green ranger immediately knew that Z was referring to Oliver and Michelle. “I know,” he replied softly.
“They had always protected me, you know? Michelle was like my older sister, and Oliver had been my partner in crime.”
He gave her shoulder a reassuring squeeze. “Tell me about them.”
Z twisted a little so that she could look up at him. “Do you really want to hear about them?”
“’Course,” he replied. “They were important to you and anything that is important to you, I’m interested in hearing.” Bridge blushed faintly as he said those words, but he kept a steady gaze with Z. He had meant every word. The yellow ranger gave him another smile, this time her smile was a little brighter. It made his heart soar.
Z turned back into her original position against his chest and stared at the slowly brightening sky. “Michelle was the fun older sister. She wasn’t like Rosanna. Rosanna was the strict older sister –she always wanted everyone to stay close together and not do anything that would attract attention to us. But Michelle, boy, she was tough and she did things her own way. She was the one that we went too when we wanted to do something fun. She was funny and always made us look on the bright side of things.”
“Sounds like she was a great person,” he commented.
She met his gaze once more. “You would’ve liked her.”
“I'm sure I would have. Tell me about Oliver.”
“Oliver,” the yellow ranger paused. “God, what can I say about Oliver? He’s like the male version of me.”
Bridge chuckled and nudged her, prompting her to continue.
“We drove each other crazy, we were just too alike. We played together a lot while we were growing up on the streets and we had a lot in common. Our parents died and we were sent to orphanages that we both hated –we were like kindred spirits.” They sat there for an hour or so as Z told him about her friends. Eventually, Z told him all of her fears.
“I’m afraid he’s going to take the rest of them away from me too,” Z spoke softly, staring up at the sky. “Larissa’s life is still hanging on the line, but I know she’s not going to make it. Things don’t look too good for her.”
Bridge stayed silent as Z continued to talk.
“I can’t help wondering who Giovanni will go after next. Will he go after Rosanna? Caleb? Kathleen? They’re my family, and they’re all I have left.”
Bridge sucked in a deep breath. “That’s not true!” he told her sharply.
Z twisted around, staring at him with wide eyes.
“They aren’t all you have left. What about Jack? And Syd? And Sky? And you definitely have me! Incase you didn’t realize it, we’re your family too!”
Z continued to stare at him.
“And don’t forget Commander Cruger. And Kat. And Boom. And even RIC! We’re your family too, Z! Don’t EVER forget that!”
Tears filled her eyes, and she smiled at Bridge. She had forgotten… “Thanks Bridge.”
He flashed her a grin and instead of responding, he wrapped her up in an even tighter in a hug. Z’s aura was looking a little brighter now.
They sat for another hour, enjoying each other’s company as the sun began to rise. There was a comfortable silence between them as they sat –they didn’t need any words. Z rested comfortably against Bridge, feeling content for the first time in days.
Bridge squeezed her arm. “I want to you know,” he said softly. “That you don’t have to keep on that tough exterior all the time. Or think that we would ever abandon you. We’re your teammates, we would stand behind you all the way. You just have to trust us.”
For her part, Z realized that she felt totally safe and secure in Bridge’s arms. It was as if being in Bridge’s arms protected her from all her negative feelings. There was just something about Bridge’s presence that was comforting and she realized, she did trust him. Maybe almost as much as she trusted Jack. In fact, without her ever realizing it, she trusted all of them. Bridge had certainly been there for her when they had found Larissa. And Syd too. The pink ranger had given her all the time she needed, knowing that Z would come talk to her when she was ready. And even Sky. He hadn’t expressed any emotions on the matter; instead he had shown her that he cared through his actions. He had taken on all her duties while she had been off in her own little world. She and Jack were very lucky, Z realized. They had found some of the best people in the world. She smiled fully for the first time in days. “I trust you.”
Bridge grinned. “That’s good to know.”
The yellow ranger leaned further into Bridge’s chest and sighed softly. Faintly, she could hear the steady beating of Bridge’s heart. ‘This is nice,’ she mused softly. ‘I wonder if this even comes close to what Syd feels in Sky’s arms.’
And indeed, it did feel nice. Never had Z felt so safe, so secure. Never had she let her guard down completely. Bridge had a way of making her feel safe, and she liked that a lot. She glanced up at Bridge and the green ranger smiled down at her. She was aware of her heart pounding and how she suddenly seemed to notice the color of Bridge’s eyes. They were brown, and they reminded her of chocolate, she mused. All of a sudden she had a huge craving for chocolate. Maybe she would invite Bridge out for a chocolate sundae after she visited Larissa today…
Bridge nudged her, effectively breaking her thoughts. She continued to look up at him, but now her gaze was one of confusion and a little bit of embarrassment. Had she been staring at him for too long? His smile became wider. “Don’t miss the sunrise,” he said softly.
Z shifted so that she was facing the view once more and her breath caught. The view was absolutely beautiful. The sun basked the city in a nice orange glow, as people began their activities for the day. She could hear the birds chirping and feel the breeze slightly. She took a deep breath. She hadn’t felt like this… ever.
All too soon, good things must come to an end. Nearby, a clock tower chimed six times and Bridge sighed ruefully. “Time for duty.”
“Do we have too?” Z whined. She didn’t want to move.
He chuckled. His laugh sent shivers down her spine, and she suddenly felt happy that she had made him laugh. “Well, you and Jack won’t have too. Sky and Syd have your duties covered, so that you can have time to mourn for your friends. But I sure have too.”
Z shuddered. She didn’t want to go back to a place where things were dark and where reality hit. She wanted to enjoy the sunrise a little longer and not be afraid. But most of all, she didn’t want the comfort she felt around Bridge to go away. She took a deep breath and gave him a pleading stare. “Can I follow you today?”
Bridge grinned, feeling pleased and glad that he had been able to help her in someway. Z’s aura was looking a lot brighter. There were hints of yellow and that meant she was sort of happy and calm once again. If her following him meant that it would keep her that way, then he was all for it. Plus, he wouldn’t mind at all, he enjoyed her company and he would get to spend even more time with her. “Sure,” he replied. “I’d like that.”
Well, what do you guys think? I just thought we needed some more Bridge and Z moments in this story since the last couple of chapters have been somewhat heavy. Anyway, don’t forget to review!