Note: Thanks to Jenee and slshadow for beta reading! You two are so awesome!
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything you recognize.
The following evening was nice and cool. The breeze was steady, and the sky was beginning to dim as the sun began to set. The ocean was calm and there were a few seagulls flying in the air.
From his spot near the beach house, Jake watched as Syd stepped out, taking in a breath of fresh air. With the light glowing from behind her, she looked like a descending angel. Jake found himself growing aroused by the thought of what was going to happen next.
after he had located them, he had pulled his car into the driveway of a home
that was plastered with realty signs. Though many homes along the beach were
still vacant this time of year, this one looked as if it had been unoccupied
for awhile. A quick check revealed an alarm system for the house but not for
the garage, and he had worked his way through the simple lock with a
screwdriver he had found in the glove compartment of the gold
He had slept on a dusty air mattress he had found on the shelves and inspected the baseball bat he had found in the corner. That baseball bat would come in handy. He spent several hours that morning trying to figure out how to turn that robotic dog off.
In the distance, Jake could see RIC crawling around in the grass. As quietly as he could, Jake made his way towards the robotic dog.
“I hate this game,” Jack grumbled, studying the game of solitaire in front of him. “It’s impossible to win.”
As Syd slipped the plates into the cupboard, she glanced toward the table. “Put the red eight on the black nine.”
The red ranger blinked, still trying to see it. “Where?”
“The sixth column.”
“Oh yeah, there it is.”
Lost in the game, Jack kept his eyes focused downward.
Sky washed the last dish and pulled the plug from the drain, then looked up at the window. With the kitchen light playing against the glass, all he could see was his own reflection.
Outside, Jake suddenly pounced on the unsuspecting RIC. Struggling for a moment, he finally found the switch and flipped it. A second later, all of RIC’s systems were shut off and the robotic dog laid still.
Placing RIC toward the side of the beach house, Jake crept toward his hiding place again and settled in to wait.
Sky and Syd were sitting on the couch in the living room, watching as Jack continued to lose one game after the next.
“You know Jack, if you haven’t won one game by now, it’s probably not in the cards,” Syd called out.
“Yeah, we’ll see about that!” Jack’s reply sounded determined.
Syd grinned and leaned further into Sky’s embrace. After a few more minutes of watching Jack lose, the pink ranger turned to Sky and met his gaze. “You know, my father always told me to do things that make me happy,” she paused, a true smile appearing on her face. “I know you love me and I love you, and you make me happy. Even with all this horrible stuff going on, you’ve still made me happy. I just wanted you to know that.”
Feeling touched at her words, Sky pulled her closer to him. “You’ve made me happy too Syd. And you’re right, I do love you.”
“I don’t know how I would’ve handled these last few weeks without you. I’m sorry for dragging you into all of this, but you don’t know how grateful I am, to have you with me.”
“There’s nothing to be sorry for…”
“Sure there is. I should’ve just ignored my mother and not gone out on that date in the first place. But I did, just to make her happy. If I had listened to my heart, there would have never been a Jake. And I want you to know that I’m thankful not only that you put up with all of that, but that you’re here for me now.”
Sky kissed the top of her head. “There’s no place I’d rather be.”
In New Tech City, Z spent most of her evening trying to learn all she could about Jordan Drover. From all the documents Kat had gathered and calling people who had known Jordan, the yellow ranger grew more horrified and frightened when she learned just what had happened in his past.
Bridge came running into the Command Centre. “We just got a call,” the green ranger announced. “His car has been located in the parking lot of New Tech City supermarket.”
Wes looked up from his position at the console. “Has anyone spotted him?”
Bridge shook his head. “No. It was also reported that a gold Toyota car was stolen.”
Z frowned. A gold Toyota?
Syd wandered to the window and put her face to the glass, scanning the beach.
“Where’s RIC?” she asked.
Sky came up beside her. “No idea. I think Jack let him out a few hours ago. I’m sure he’ll be back any minute.”
The pink ranger nodded. In the distance, she could see faint lights from a trawler off coast. Though the sun was starting to go down, there was still plenty of light left. “Maybe we should go look for him.”
Jake leaned forward when he saw her appear in the window, her face illuminated. He knew with sudden certainty that he would never love anyone as much as he loved her.
Then Sky broke into the image, ruining it. Jake clenched his hand as they both vanished from the window and scowled. Sky always ruined everything. He shook his head. He didn’t regret what would happen to the mighty blue ranger.
Jake waited, knowing what she was going to do. In a moment, he would hear her voice, echoing the salty air. She’d call for RIC, but RIC wouldn’t be coming.
RIC would stay exactly where he was.
Z Delgado squinted as the lights in the evidence room flickered on brightly. Lack of sleep in the last couple of days had taken its toll, and her eyes ached. Maybe she needed some sleep in order to get rid of this nagging feeling in the back of her mind.
Still, the yellow ranger couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. And it had something to do with that car that Bridge had announced was stolen. What kind of a car had it been? A gold Toyota? The yellow ranger frowned as she rubbed her forehead, wondering why that particular car seemed so familiar.
Jake watched as Sky and Sydney headed down the beach, calling for RIC. As they moved further into the distance, he could feel the adrenaline race into his system and he gripped the baseball bat he had found tighter. It had begun.
When they finally vanished from sight, he crept quietly toward the house. Staying low in the shadows, he walked up the porch steps and through the door. It was time to get rid of the first annoyance.
Jack was cleaning up the pile of cards when he noticed that the house had gone silent. The red ranger heard footsteps, but thought nothing of it, assuming it was Sky.
“Sky?” Jack called out, putting the cards down on the kitchen counter. Heading towards the opened front door, he barely noticed the shadow moving toward him from behind.
Jake stared at the fallen figure of Jack Landors. Gruesome business? Yes, but necessary. And in its own way, inevitable. Nothing would stand in the way of his and Sydney’s happiness.
Jake turned and headed toward the door, baseball bat in hand.
One down, only one more to go.
Z paced back and forth in the Command Centre. She couldn’t figure it out, but she knew it was there. Something in her subconscious, something obvious, and something just out of reach. And she knew it had to do with the stolen car.
‘Okay’, she thought, going through the facts again. Jake’s car had been abandoned. Check. The car was stolen around the time Jake had vanished. Check. Put those two together and she knew Jake had taken the stolen car. Check. But what had Bridge said? A gold Toyota? Z frowned, frustrated that no ideas were coming to her.
‘Maybe I had seen the car somewhere… but where?’
Z paced around some more.
‘Where have I been lately? Well... I only went to talk to Syd and Sky at the beach, when we all dropped Jack off…’
Z stopped pacing. ‘No,’ she thought, ‘it couldn’t be…’
“Shit!” The yellow ranger swore before rushing off to find the Commander and tell him she had seen the car parked near the beach house.
Jordan Drover had found out where Syd had been hiding.
Sky frowned as he heard a yell coming from the house. ‘That sounded like Jack.’
“Hey Syd,” the blue ranger called. “I think something happened to Jack at the house. I’m going to check up on him quickly okay?”
The pink ranger nodded before continuing to call out for RIC. Sky turned and headed up the porch steps and into the house.
Stepping into the doorway, the blue ranger immediately registered that something was wrong. The deck of cards that Jack had been playing with earlier, were scattered all over the place. He walked along the small hallway and saw the red ranger lying face down in the middle of the floor.
“Jack!” Sky rushed up to his leader. Quickly, he pressed two fingers to the red ranger’s neck and let out a sigh of relief as he felt a faint pulse. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a shadow. The blue ranger looked up just as the shadowy figure launched itself from the top of the stairs.
The momentum of the attack sent him tumbling backward; his head collided with the stairs as something crashed down on him, crushing his rib cage and driving the edges of the stairs into his lower back.
The pain was staggering. He could feel someone reaching for his neck and taking hold. The hands began to tighten, and Sky fought nausea as the pain rolled through him. Even opening his eyes was difficult, but when he saw the face of Jake Hemmington, his thoughts suddenly came into focus.
Syd! He wanted to scream. Jake’s here! Run!
But he made no sound. Cut off from oxygen, he began to grow dizzy, his mind a jumble. As he struggled to draw breath, he reached instinctively for Jake’s hand, trying to pry them off. Sky swung wildly, his fist connecting with Jake’s face and Jake’s grip weakened. It was all Sky needed.
The blue ranger lunged toward Jake, feeling satisfied as his fist connected with Jake’s jaw once more. But Jake took control and kicked Sky in the stomach. A moment later there was a loud Bang! And then there was pain shooting from all directions in Sky’s body, starting with his stomach. Sky blinked in shock, and he seemed to lose control of his tongue. His body weakened and Jake shoved him off.
When Jake stood, that was when Sky saw the gun.
Jake stared down at him, and Sky rolled away.
Need to get up… have to stand… gotta get to Syd…
He knew Jake would be going after Syd next, and he had to stop that from happening. He had to save Syd. He tried to override the pain, to figure out what to do next…
There was a kick to his head, and Sky felt his vision sway back and forth.
Dizzier… weaker… have to save her… have to protect her… I promised…
Another kick to his head, and then there was nothing.
The SPD vehicles sped through the roads like speeding bullets, whipping between cars, lights flashing.
Z sat in the backseat, grasping onto Bridge’s hand, praying hard. In front, Commander Cruger kept his eyes on the road, his paws gripping the steering wheel tightly. Behind them, there were half a dozen more SPD vehicles following them.
‘Ten minutes,’ the yellow ranger prayed. ‘Hang on Syd, all we need is ten more minutes.’
Jake stood over Sky’s still body with wide eyes, breathing hard, energized as never before. His hands were tingling, his legs shaking, but the adrenaline was still pumping through him.
This was nothing like Jack, or the real Jake Hemmington, or even Susan. Susan had fought, but not like this. Susan had died at his hands, but there had been no sense of a victorious conquest, just a sense of sorrow.
No, tonight he felt triumphant, unbeatable. He was on a mission and the gods were with him.
Jake gave a malicious smile as he glanced at the unconscious form in front of him. Turning, he placed the gun in the pocket of his jacket and headed out the door. ‘It was a beautiful night’, he thought. In the shadows ahead, he could make out Sydney’s form. ‘We’ll be alone’, he thought, ‘no more complications, no one to stop us.’
He began to walk more quickly, excited by the thought of seeing her. Sydney, no doubt, would be frightened when she saw him. She would probably react the way Susan had when she’d found him waiting in her car that night outside the supermarket. He’d tried to explain himself to her, to make her understand, but she’s struggled and dug her nails into his skin, and he’d put his hands around her throat until her eyes had rolled back in her head, watching and knowing that she had forced him to do it, forced him for her own selfish reasons to let their future slip away.
But he would treat Sydney with the patience she deserved. He would talk to her in hushed tones, and once she really understood the nature of his love for her, once she realized that he’d done this all for her-for them- she would accept it and come with him. She’d probably still be upset about Sky, but eventually he would comfort her and she would see why he’d had no other choice.
He would want to lead her to the bedroom afterward, but he knew there wasn’t enough time for that. Later tonight, once they were safely away, they would stop at a motel and make love, and they would have a lifetime together to make up for what they’d missed.
“RIC!” Syd called. “RIC!”
Sighing, she turned, intending to head back toward the house, when she froze. At first, she refused to believe what her eyes were seeing, and she tried to blink the image away. But when she looked again, she knew she wasn’t imagining things.
Though his hair was a different color, though his skin was darker, and though he wore glasses, she recognized him immediately.
“Hello Sydney,” Jake said.
Syd stared at Jake without breathing as everything clicked into place.
He was here. He’s done something to RIC. He’s done something to Jack. He’s done something to Sky.
And now he was here for her.
He was slowly walking toward her.
“You…” was all she could say.
A brief smile flickered across his face. Of course, he seemed to say, who were you expecting? He stopped a few feet away.
Syd suddenly felt as if she were about to vomit, but she forced the bile back, trying to maintain some control. Trying to figure out what to do, trying to understand what had happened to Sky, and Jack.
Oh, God. Sky…
“Where’s Sky?” she demanded, wanting to know but suddenly afraid to find out. It was all she could do to keep her voice steady.
Jake looked at her, an unreadable expression on his face. “That’s over now,” he said matter-of-factly.
His words carried an almost physical impact, and all at once she felt her hands begin to shake. “What did you do to him?”
“It doesn’t matter.”
“WHAT DID YOU DO?” she screamed, unable to control herself. “Where is he?”
Jake took another step toward her, his voice gentle. “I didn’t have a choice, Sydney. You know that. He was controlling you and I couldn’t let that continue. But you’re safe now. I’ll take care of you.”
He took another step, and Syd suddenly slid back.
“He didn’t love you Sydney,” he said. “Not the way I do.”
‘He’s going to kill me,’ she thought, ‘He killed Sky and Jack, and now he’s going to kill me.’ Syd moved backward, as Jake took another stepped toward her, her terror building with each step he took. She could see in his eyes exactly what he was going to do.
‘He’s going to kill me, but he’ll rape me first!’
‘Screw you, she thought, ‘and screw this!’ Syd took a few steps further back, and her hand brushed the front of her jeans. Feeling the small lump, she quickly reached into her pocket and pulled out the object. What she saw gave her a tiny ray of hope. She still had a chance to get away.
Sky drifted in and out of consciousness. Trapped somewhere between a world of reality and dreams, his mind was finally able to latch onto the fact that he was bleeding heavily.
And that Syd needed him.
Trembling, he clutched at his stomach and slowly began to rise.
Syd tried to stay calm as Jake advanced toward her. She clutched the small metal in her hands and felt it absorb. “Fist of iron!” She swung her hands and felt a large amount of satisfaction as her fist struck Jake’s nose.
Jake staggered and landed backwards into the sand at her unexpected action. His eyes narrowed and he stood up. “That wasn’t very nice,” his voice became chilled and cold. He came toward her again.
Syd ducked as he swung at her and pounded him in the stomach with her hands once more. She gulped slightly as she felt the last of the iron metal drain away. She needed more iron metals.
Back at the house, Sky was trying to stand, reaching for anything to help steady himself. Damn Jake for shooting at him. Every step he took, there was pain shooting through him, his thoughts were random and fragmented-
Getting up… need to contact Cruger and Bridge and Z… have to get to Syd… gotta get Jack help… but the pain… Jake shot me… pain… so much blood… Syd… need to get to Syd… have to help her… pain… the ocean… so painful… she’s outside… Syd… Syd… hold on Syd… I’m coming… Syd…
The blue ranger took a step, breathing heavily. Another step. And another.
Hold on Syd!
Syd grabbed a handful of sand and threw it at Jake, watching as the sand hit his eyes, distracting him for a moment.
‘I need to run,’ she thought wildly, ‘but there’s no where to hide!’
Just as she turned and started to run, Jake reached out and grabbed her by the arm and swung her around to face him, keeping a firm grip.
“You really are a prize,” Jake grinned, as he caught his breath. “I’ve known it from the moment we’ve met.”
Syd struggled to get free, wishing she had more iron metals. “Let me go!”
“Don’t be this way, Sydney,” Jake said. “Can’t you see this was always how it was going to turn out?”
Syd jerked her arm. “Let me go right now!”
Jake tightened his grip, making her wince. He broke into an amused grin, as if asking, see how pointless this is?
“We should probably be going,” he suggested calmly.
“I’m not going anywhere with you!”
Suddenly a blue shield hit Jake, throwing the man backwards. Unprepared for the unexpected help, Syd landed backwards also. The pink ranger turned her head and saw Sky standing off to the side. In a flash she leapt up and was running toward him.
“Sky!” She reached him just as he collapsed forward. “Oh my god, Sky! What did he do to you?”
Indeed, the blue ranger looked a mess. There was blood trickling down the side of his face, a large cut on his forehead. Syd was horrified to find that most of his shirt was soaked in blood as well.
Jake stood up and let out a roar. “I thought I had gotten rid of you! You’re supposed to be dead!”
“Looks like you messed up,” Sky panted, breathing heavily.
Jake let out another frustrated cry and a minute later, Syd saw the gun.
Her eyes widened in terror as the gun was pointed at them. At Sky.
What happened next was a blur. Sky somehow managed to find the strength to stand and create a large blue shield in front of them as Jake fired his gun. Sky pushed Syd out of the way, shielding her as Jake fired more shots.
Sky stood up once more, but before he could create another shield, Jake shot him.
Syd screamed and watched in horror as Sky seemed to fall backwards in slow motion, his shirt becoming more soaked with blood. Tears came to her eyes as Sky landed on the sand. “SKY!” She screamed, as she rushed toward him, half crawling and half running, placing his head gently on her lap. “Hang on Sky,” she whimpered, softly stroking his hair, “we’ll get you to a doctor and everything, you’ll be okay. You can’t leave me!”
“Syd,” Sky rasped out, “run, get out of here!”
“I’m not leaving without you!” Syd firmly told him, tears were running down her cheeks.
“Enough of this nonsense,” Jake was rapidly approaching.
Syd placed Sky’s head gently down on the sand and moved to stand in front of him. “You’re a monster!”
“Why do you keep fighting me?” Jake asked, his voice and expression was calm, as if he was trying to reason with a child. “Don’t you understand that it’s over? Sky isn’t controlling you anymore. It’s just the two of us now, there’s no reason for you to act this way.”
“You are insane,” Syd hissed. “You killed the only man I’ve ever loved. You’re a total monster; you deserve to be locked up for good!”
“You shouldn’t say things you don’t mean, Sydney,” Jake stopped in front of her, just three feet away. “Think of all we can do together.”
“We’ll do nothing together!” she screamed. “I hate you!”
“Don’t say that.”
“I hate you!” she screamed again.
“This has gone on long enough,” his voice was low, “I know you’re upset, but I don’t want to hurt you Susan.”
Syd stared at him, angry tears still flowing. “I’m not Susan!”
Jake stared back at her, his expression curious, as if he didn’t know what she meant. He blinked, and his head began tilting to the side. “What did you say?”
“I’m not Susan!” she screamed again.
Jake shook his head and raised his arm to aim the gun at Syd. Syd began to tremble uncontrollably.
In the distance came the sound of sirens.
“We have to go now,” Jake said. “We’re almost out of time.”
But all Syd could do was stare at him.
“NOW!” Jake boomed.
Z looked around the beach house in horror. It was a mess; there was blood on the carpet, chairs overthrown, and a table knocked over, playing cards scattered everywhere, the mess was endless. The yellow ranger walked along the hall and froze once she saw the still body lying in the middle of the floor.
She rushed up to the red ranger and knelt down beside him. At first she believed Jack was dead. Blood was pouring from his head, but as she bent over to check on him, he moved his arm and moaned.
“Oh thank god!” she exclaimed, “Jack don’t move! Help is on the way!”
Z raised her eyes as Bridge came in carrying RIC.
“Oh no,” Bridge looked down at Jack. “Is he-?”
“Still alive,” Z confirmed, trying to stay calm. “What happened to RIC?”
“His systems were turned off,” Bridge explained as he flipped the switch back on and a moment later RIC was active once more. “I’m going to help Commander Cruger. Stay with Jack okay?”
Z nodded. “Bridge, be careful!”
Jake and Syd spotted Commander Cruger at the same time.
Jake pointed the gun toward the big blue dog and fired wildly; a moment later, a choked sigh escaped him. There was a sharp, burning pain in his chest, a sound like a freight train to his ears. Suddenly the gun in his hand seemed unnaturally heavy. He fired again, missed, and felt another burning sensation in his throat, forcing him backward.
He gasped, trying to draw breath as he felt the blood pooling in his lungs. He couldn’t swallow, the sticky fluid making it impossible. His strength was fading quickly. The gun slipped from his hands, and he dropped to his knees, his mind slowing. He opened his eyes, taking in the scene in front of him.
The blue dog had a sword held out in front of him. Next to the dog, stood a man in a green and black uniform, pointing his blaster at him. He gaze landed on Sydney, who was frantically trying to wake Sky up. All he had wanted for Sydney was happiness, their happiness. The shapes around him were growing darker, dimming by the second. He tried to move toward Sydney, but he didn’t have the strength. He tried to speak, but his mouth couldn’t form the words.
But still, he clung to his dream, his dream of a life with Sydney, the woman he loved. ‘Sydney,’ he thought, ‘my sweet Susan…’
Jake fell forward into the sand.
Syd stared at his body, and then turned toward Sky.
“Oh baby, Sky honey, wake up!” She wept, more tears were coming. She kissed his forehead. “You were so brave… you can’t leave me yet… there’s still so much we haven’t done… I love you Sky! Wake up please…”
“RIC! Emergency Transport Mode!” Bridge commanded.
“Stay strong Sky, you can’t leave me yet,” Syd continued to whimper as RIC gently carry Sky back toward the SPD jeep.
There was no telling what would happen now.
Well, what did you all think? You know what to do ;)
KEs-2717: Thank you for all your compliments, it totally made me smile!
Anastasia Athene: I have thought about writing a Bridge/Z story. In fact, I started working on a one shot fic about Bridge not to long ago. It’ll mainly be about Bridge, but it’ll have some hints of Bridge/Z. Be sure to look out for it!
Pinkpunkemodiva86: Thank you for the compliments! Hope you finish your fic soon! I’d like to find out what happens in ‘Get Out (leave)’
Once again, thank you to everyone who reviewed! We’ve got one more chapter left after this!