Hey everybody, I’m back! The last two weeks have been so stressful and I’m super glad to have all my exams done and over with! Hope everyone likes chapter 9 :)
As usual, the biggest thanks go to Slshadowfox for being such an awesome beta:)
She laid awake, unable to sleep, her room covered in darkness. All evening long she had been in a trance. She was beginning to become paranoid from all the mysterious phone calls she had been getting, every little noise had made her jump and who could blame her? Some psycho was calling her every two minutes and hanging up once the phone was answered.
Who wouldn’t be a bit on edge?
Syd let out a sigh and rolled over, catching the blinking red lights on her nightstand. 2:01 Am. So she had been lying there for close to three hours now. Every time she closed her eyes, the sound of the shrill ringing of the telephone would go through her mind.
She didn’t have the proof, but she was certain the mysterious caller was Jake. Who else could’ve it been? No one else would prank her. At least, not on purpose. And she was pretty sure her frequent calls weren’t pranks. She let out another sigh.
A soft moan came from the left side of the room and a moment later, a light flickered on at the table next to Z’s bed. Her roommate stared at her with sleepy eyes. “Can’t sleep?” Z yawned.
The pink ranger shook her head. “Nope, sorry I didn’t mean to wake you, go back to sleep.”
Z sat up and let out another yawn. “What’s wrong?” Then she peered more closely at her friend. “I know what’s bothering you,” she paused, “it’s those phone calls isn’t it?”
Syd sat up as well, hugging Peanuts to her tightly to her chest and nodded. She glanced nervously at her phone. Even though it had been unplugged earlier in the evening, the pink ranger stared at it as if it was going to ring any moment. “It’s really creeping me out.”
“Have you told the Commander yet?”
She shook her head. “I don’t think it’s something to worry about.”
The yellow ranger stared at her in disbelief. “Yeah, right. Some person is calling you every two minutes and the minute you answer, he hangs up? I think this is something to worry about.”
“I’m going to get my number changed in the morning.”
Z stared. “But you’re still on edge aren’t you?”
After a moment’s hesitation, Syd nodded. “Yeah.”
“You think it’s Jake?”
Meeting the yellow ranger’s eyes, Syd could only nod.
“You should tell someone. Sky or the Commander, anyone! If it’s really Jake, then he’s harassing you.”
Another nodded. “Yeah,” Syd paused. “You’re right. I’ll tell Commander Crugger in the morning.”
“Good,” Z observed her teammate. “Think you can sleep now?”
The pink ranger let out a sigh. “I’m going to try.”
The yellow ranger nodded and a moment later the room was dark once again. Syd stretched out on her bed, still holding tightly onto Peanuts. She closed her eyes and rolled to her side. After a few minutes of tossing and turning, Syd sat back up once more. She was still feeling uneasy and just couldn’t sleep. A quick glance at the other side of the room told her that Z had fallen back asleep. Slowly, carefully, she pulled back her covers and got out of bed as quietly as she could. Grabbing Peanuts, she slipped out of the room.
The hallway was silent and filled with dimmed lighting. She padded silently down the hall and stopped just in front of a set of doors. With the same quietness she used to sneak out of her room, she silently slipped through the doors. In the room there were two beds, each of them occupied. Female cadets were normally not allowed into the males’ rooms without being invited but at the moment Syd didn’t care. She moved towards the bed on the right side of the room and for a moment just stood there watching at how soundly Sky slept. The pink ranger gave a soft smile. He looked so adorable.
Carefully, she crept onto Sky’s bed, trying not to wake him or Bridge in the process. However things didn’t go as she planned. Sky stirred, letting out a soft sigh as he did so. He opened his eyes slightly and noticed a silhouette from the moonlight through the curtain. “Syd?” the blue ranger mumbled sleepily.
“Shhh,” Syd whispered, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you.”
The blue ranger opened his eyes fully and observed Syd’s expression. Even in the dim darkness he could tell something was bothering her. “What’s wrong?” he asked quietly.
“I couldn’t sleep.”
Her answer was simple enough but Sky knew Syd. He knew that she wouldn’t have come to him if there wasn’t something bothering her. She was frightened about something, but wasn’t ready to reveal it yet. Well, he wasn’t going to send her back to her room. Not when she obviously needed him. Shifting slightly, the blue ranger moved so there would be some space on the bed. “C’mere,” he commanded in a soft voice, stretching out his arms slightly. The pink ranger scrambled into them, softly placing her head on Sky’s chest. His arms closed around her, one hand rubbing her shoulder. Immediately Syd felt all the tension and her worries fade away and she relaxed.
Wrapped up in Sky’s arms and feeling very safe, Syd was asleep within minutes.
Sunlight shone through the window when Bridge woke up that morning. The green ranger sat up and yawned while stretching. A glance at the right side of the room gave him the surprise of a life time. He blinked once. Twice. Three times.
Syd was in their bedroom. Curled in Sky’s arms. In Sky’s bed.
Bridge fought back a chuckle and shook his head as he headed into the bathroom. Minutes later, he came back into the room and found Sky awake but still lying on the bed. The green ranger stood at the foot of Sky’s bed. “Do I even want to know?” he asked the blue ranger with amusement.
Sky shrugged as best as he could without waking Syd. “Couldn’t tell you if I knew,” he nodded his head at Syd, “she came in here last night. Said she couldn’t sleep, something was obviously bothering her.”
Bridge grinned. “Well, it’s obviously not bothering her now.”
Sky smiled. “I guess not.”
“Going to head out to breakfast soon?”
Sky let out a contented sigh. “I should. But I’m too comfortable to move at the moment.”
“I’ll bet,” the green ranger chuckled. “I’ll save you two some food.”
“Thanks Bridge,” the blue ranger smiled with appreciation as his roommate left. He laid there for a moment just listening to the pink ranger’s rhythmic breathing. After a few minutes, when he noticed the time on his alarm clock, he hesitantly woke Syd up.
Gently, he nudged her side. “Syd,” he called softly, “hey, it’s time to wake up.”
The pink ranger stirred, but didn’t open her eyes. Instead she snuggled deeper into Sky’s embrace and buried her face into his chest. “Mmmm, I don’t want to get up,” she mumbled into his shirt.
Sky chuckled. “You’re going to have to get up. If the Commander finds out you slept in my room, we’re both toasted.”
Syd let out a groan then opened her eyes. “Fine.”
The blue ranger glanced down at his girlfriend and smiled. Nothing would ever top the feeling he felt when he had woken up next to her. He was disappointed when she sat up, and immediately missed her warmth. With a groan, he pulled her back to him.
“I thought you said we had to get up,” Syd giggled as she flopped over so that she was lying on her stomach.
“They won’t miss us if we’re a few minutes late.”
The pink ranger grinned as she leaned forward to kiss him. All traces of her uneasiness from the night before were forgotten.
“Um, Syd? I think this is hopeless.”
Sky held onto the bark of the tree, trying to maintain his balance as the pink ranger skated expertly around him.
The guys had the day off while the girls had to head into duty around mid-afternoon, so that left plenty of time to hang out after breakfast. After everyone had eaten, Jack had suggested that they all go rollerblading in the park. Everyone, except Sky, had immediately been excited at the idea. When asked why he was so objected to the suggestion, the blue ranger had simply blushed and mumbled that he had never rollerbladed in his life. After giggling and poking fun at Sky for a few minutes, Syd offered to teach him how to rollerblade successfully. After much hesitation and prodding, Sky finally agreed to go. So the five of them grabbed their gear and headed towards the park for a few hours of fun before Syd and Z had to go patrol the city.
“I can’t believe you’re twenty years old and you’ve never rollerbladed in your life,” Syd said as she came to a stop in front of him.
Sky glowered at her. “Yeah well, I’ve never had any time for things like this.” He cautiously let go of the tree trunk and rollerbladed unsteadily towards a nearby bench, stumbling but managing not to fall. Sitting down, he took off his helmet. “This is ridiculous,” he muttered.
“Aw, come on Sky,” Syd cooed, following him and taking off her own helmet. The pink ranger sat next to him and placed a hand on his arm. “You aren’t that horrible, you’re starting to get the hang of it!”
Sky just snorted.
“Look at how much you’ve improved from an hour ago!” She smiled impishly, “at least you’re not falling down as much anymore!”
“I get more injuries from trying to learn how to rollerblade than I do in battles,” Sky continued muttering.
The pink ranger let out another giggle and stood up, moving so that she faced him. She bent over and placed her hands on her knees so that they were face to face. “You’ll get the hang of it.”
Sky had a gleam in his eyes and his face took on a mischievous expression. Without warning, he reached out and grabbed her by the waist, pulling her onto his lap. Syd shrieked with surprise as his hands ran all over her stomach, tickling her. After a few minutes, Sky stopped and Syd regained her breath, both of them still laughing.
Shifting so that she was sitting in a more comfortable position on Sky’s lap, she playfully slapped his shoulder. She grinned as she felt Sky’s strong hand running through her hair then reaching to cup her face, and softly stroking her cheek. Closing her eyes, she wholeheartedly embraced the wonderful sensation of Sky’s lips on hers.
“So what do you guys want to do now?” Bridge asked.
A few minutes earlier, Syd and Z had left –heading back towards the Academy to begin patrolling the city. Sky winced as he rubbed his arm. He could see that there was a bruise beginning to form from where he had fallen a few hours before. It felt so good to be back in regular shoes!
“Let’s head to the mall,” Jack mused as they threw all their rollerblading gear into the SPD jeep. “I’ve wanted to pick up some CDs for awhile now.”
And so they headed towards the mall. After Jack had bought his CDs, the three of them walked around the building, passing various shops.
“Do you guys think I should buy something for Syd?” Sky asked as they passed a particular shop that caught his eye.
“Why not?” Jack answered, “Women love presents.”
“Can’t hurt,” Bridge added.
So a minute later, they found themselves inside the store that had caught Sky’s attention. Walking into the shop, Sky was immediately overwhelmed with all the selections. The store was huge! There was everything from shoes, to lingerie, to jeans and shirts. Feeling lost, Sky turned to his friends only to see similar expressions on their faces.
“Where in the world do I start?” Sky murmured still in awe at how large the store was.
“Is there anything I can help you gentlemen with?” A tall slim Asian woman in her early thirties walked up to them. Her name tag read “Denise.”
“Um yes,” Sky replied still looking around the store, “I want to surprise my girlfriend with something, only I don’t know where to start.”
Denise smiled. “I see. Do you know her size?”
Sky paused to think for a moment. “I’m pretty sure she’s a size small.”
Denise grinned, her eyes twinkling. “Well, we can provide gift receipts for you, so if the clothes don’t fit, your girlfriend can come back and exchange the clothes for the right size.”
The blue ranger grinned. “Alright.”
For the next hour, Denise showed Sky various tops and pants while Bridge and Jack stood around giving their opinions once in awhile. The blue ranger let out a frustrated sigh; he never knew shopping took so much energy. Why did girls find it so enjoyable? So far, he had only managed to find a pair of jeans that he was sure Sydney would like and they had been in the store for two hours already! Everything that Denise had showed him, he just couldn’t imagine Syd wearing. Sky let out another frustrated sigh as Denise left him to help another customer.
“Hey Sky! What about this one?”
The blue ranger looked across the room to see Bridge holding out a light blue sleeveless shirt. A smile stretched out on his face and he walked over to his teammate. Taking the shirt from Bridge, he held it out in front of him. Perfect.
“Do you think there’s one in pink?” he asked.
Luckily there was a similar style to the shirt he held in his hands that was in light pink. The pink shirt had long sleeves with the word ‘cute’ stitched in small letters at the hem.
Sky took both shirts and threw them over his arm, placing them on top of the jeans, all the while grinning.
“Can we go now?” Jack complained from where he sat on the couch that the store provided. A bag emblazoned with the store’s name was sitting next to him. “We’ve been here for over two hours. I’m seriously bored out of my mind.”
Sky ignored the red ranger’s complaints. “Not yet.”
“Whatcha got in the bag?” Bridge asked, pointing to the small bag.
“A shirt for Z,” Jack replied, “She’ll kill me if she finds out that we’ve been in the mall this entire time and that Syd gets all the presents and she didn’t get anything.”
“Oh,” Bridge paused, “she’ll actually kill you?”
“Well not kill me, more like hurt me,” Jack looked up at the green ranger, “she’s not as girly as Syd, but she’s still a girl. She’d definitely get mad if Syd got something and she didn’t. So I got her something small.”
Bridge looked thoughtful. “Think I should get her something too?”
The red ranger shrugged. “Go for it.”
Sky heard none of his teammates’ conversation as he headed over to the section where all the accessories were displayed. Scanning the items carefully, he finally picked out a white belt with a butterfly buckle. Looking up, he scanned the racks that held the hair pins. After a minute, he reached up and selected a large butterfly clasp. He added the belt to the collection on his arm and clutched the hair clasp in his hand, before walking over toward another section of the store. He felt the heat rise to his cheeks when he realized which section he had walked into.
The section that held all the lingerie and bathing suits.
Blushing red, Sky was about to turn and walk away when something caught his attention. Glancing at it, Sky walked over to the item and cautiously picked it up. As he looked at the bright pink bikini, Sky tried to shake all the images of Syd wearing it out of his head. As he was about to put it back, a voice rang out behind him.
The blue ranger turned to see his father looking at him with an amused expression.
“I-um, uh, dad!” Sky sputtered, blushing even redder with embarrassment at being caught holding such an item. “What are you doing here?”
“Buying something for your mother. What are you doing here?”
Sky mumbled a sentence that Wes couldn’t decipher.
Wes looked at his son, a wide smile on his face and all the while shaking his head. “No need to be embarrassed son, it’s not like I haven’t ever bought something like that for your mother.”
‘That is TOO much information dad!’ Sky thought as he tried to put the bikini back on the holder. “Um, I was just-“
Wes chuckled and clapped his son on the shoulder. “No need to explain Sky. Just make sure to use a condom okay? Your mother and I would love to have grandchildren, but we’d prefer it if you wait a few years first.”
He wanted to curl up and die from the humiliation at those implied words. “DAD! It’s not what you thin-“
Wes waved his hand, brushing off Sky’s comment. “You’re an adult now Sky, I trust that you do the responsible thing.” The blue ranger watched as his father picked out a pair of lacy black lingerie, he turned and jammed his eyes shut -he wanted to throw up at the thought of his father picking out underwear for his mother.
There was a tap on his shoulder and Sky turned to face his father once more. Wes grinned. “Invite Sydney out for dinner with us on Sunday okay?”
Sky could only nod numbly as he watched his father walk away to pay for the merchandise. Just as Wes was about to walk out of the store, he turned to face his son.
“Hey Sky,” Wes called out; “If I were you, I’d go for the light pink!” And then he turned and left.
If it was possible Sky blushed harder. He sucked in a breath of air and let it out slowly, trying to will his cheeks to go back to their normal color. He placed the bright pink bikini back on the holder and after a moment’s hesitation reached for the bikini that was the lighter shade of pink. He then turned and walked quickly out of the section.
Walking over to the couch where Bridge and Jack were sitting, Sky let out a sigh of relief, happy to be away from all the bras and underwear. “Okay I’m ready to leave now, just let me pay for all these.”
“Whoa,” Jack nudged Bridge with his elbow and then pointed to the pink bikini. “Looks like someone is having impure thoughts of our little pink ranger.”
Sky glared at the two of them. “Shut up, it’s only a bathing suit. I just had a run in with my dad and now I’m mortified to no end. Let’s get out of here before something else embarrassing happens.”
Both Jack and Bridge fought the urge to snicker as they followed the blue ranger towards the register. As Sky placed all the items on the counter, Denise smiled at him. The woman reached for an elegant black number that hung on the rack near the counter. “Do you think your girlfriend would like a dress like this?”
Sky looked at the dress and instantly knew that Syd would love it. The blue ranger smiled. “I’ll take it.”
Denise folded the dress and the clothes and placed them into boxes. A minute later, all three rangers exited the store, each one looking exhausted.
“Finally,” Jack huffed. “Man, I’m never going to the mall with you ever again. You take forever.”
“Cut him some slack,” Bridge cut into the conversation, “being the perfectionist that he is, he wants everything to fit Syd perfectly.”
The red ranger shrugged and rolled his eyes, “Whatever. Let’s head to the food court, I’m starving!”
Syd hummed happily as she brushed her curly hair. Patrolling had gone well and she had finally told Commander Crugger about her mysterious phone calls. The big blue dog had promised to keep an eye out for Jake in case he was ever found wandering around the Academy. Afterwards, using Z’s cell phone, she had called the phone company requesting a number change and they had promised to change her number by that evening. The pink ranger was in a particularly happy mood after that and had even plugged her phone back in.
She was in such a good mood that she had begun singing and dancing as she began cleaning up her room. “There’s an angel in my heart,” Syd rattled off the lyrics at the top of her head as she cleaned off the top of her dresser. She continued singing as she cleaned, putting things back into their rightful places. Once she finished, she turned and was startled to see Sky standing in her doorway, watching her.
Syd blushed as he gave a little clap and walked into the room. He placed a bag onto her bed before gathering her into his arms and kissing the top of her head. “You have a beautiful voice,” he told her.
Syd grinned at him and reached up to give him a quick peck on the lips.
They stayed in each other’s embrace for a minute. “I bought you something,” Sky spoke after the moment of silence.
Her blue eyes lit up. “Really?”
“Yeah,” Sky paused, suddenly nervous. “I don’t know if they’ll fit though. I’ve never picked out clothes for a girl before.”
Her laughter was like music to his ears. “I’m sure they’ll be fine.”
Sky was still anxious. “There are gift receipts in there if you don’t like them. You can go exchange them for something better.”
Syd placed a kiss on his lips. “I’m sure I’ll love them,” she said before reaching for the bag. Pulling out the box, she lifted the lid and pulled out the various items that he had picked out just for her. “Oh this is so cute!” she exclaimed as she held out the pink shirt in front of her. Sky smiled at seeing her delight. Those two long excruciating hours in the store was worth every minute just to see the expression on her face.
Syd’s breath caught in her throat when she pulled out the black dress and held it up in front of her. “Sky…” she trailed off, unable to form the words.
“Do you like it?”
“Oh my goodness, Sky… I love it!” Syd turned to face him, her expression showing everything she felt. “But Sky, this dress, it looks so expen-“
“It looks like it was made for you,” Sky interrupted.
She looked up at him and their gazes met. Syd gently placed the dress on the bed and reached up to pull Sky into a deep kiss. When air became a need, they reluctantly pulled apart.
“Wow,” Sky gasped, “I should buy you things more often if that’s the reaction I’m going to get.”
Syd playfully punched his shoulder and laughed. “Silly, you can get that reaction anytime.”
He wiggled his eyebrows playfully. “Is that a promise?”
She smirked. “Wouldn’t you like to know?” Syd turned once more to the pile on the bed. Pulling out the last item, she raised her eyebrows as she held up the bikini.
She turned to face Sky and watched with amusement as he turned bright red. “Had some interesting images in the store huh?”
Sky coughed and shifted his gaze. “Maybe.”
The pink ranger laughed. “Well, if you play your cards right, I might just model it for you.”
He gave her an interested look. “Really now?”
They stared at one another for a moment before Syd reached out and grabbed all the clothes. She quickly gave him a kiss on the cheek. “Thank you so much Sky!”
Smiling excitedly, Syd headed towards the bathroom. “I’m going to try these on.”
The blue ranger grinned. “Take your time.”
As the door shut behind her, Sky settled himself onto her bed and waited as she tried on the clothes. Minutes passed and out of nowhere the sudden shrill of the telephone rang. Seeing that Syd was preoccupied, Sky reached over and picked up the receiver.
“Hello, Sydney’s phone.”
There was a silence and Sky paused, “Hello?”
Shrugging to himself, the blue ranger hung up.
The phone rang again. This time Sky glanced at it with puzzlement before answering once more.
The same thing happened again. No answer.
Sky shook his head and placed the receiver down. Moments later, all thoughts were forgotten as Syd stepped out of the bathroom, dressed in the elegant gown. His breath caught. “You look stunning,” he told her sincerely.
Her hair was partly pulled back by the hair clasp and she twirled in front of him before looking at herself in the full length mirror. “I love this!”
“How about wearing it to dinner on Sunday night with my parents?”
Syd met Sky’s gaze in the mirror and smiled. “I would love too.”
Then Syd quickly turned and headed into the bathroom once more. She came back out wearing the jeans, belt, and the blue shirt. “You look good in blue,” he told her appraisingly as his eyes traveled up and down, taking in her casual appearance.
She laughed. “You know, I think this color might become a permanent part of my wardrobe.” She gave him an amused look. “You’re not that bad at picking out clothes. All of these fit me perfectly except for the jeans – they’re a little loose around the waist, but if I put them in the dryer they’ll shrink a bit so it’s not a huge deal.”
Before Sky had a chance to comment, the phone rang. All traces of happiness on Sydney’s face were gone and she stared at the phone nervously. Giving her a puzzled look, Sky reached out and picked up the receiver.
“Who is this?” a woman’s voice demanded.
“Um, this is Sky Tate,” the blue ranger answered cautiously. The woman was completely rude!
“Where is my daughter? Let me speak to Sydney right now!”
Wordlessly, Sky handed the receiver to Syd, his expression was not happy. “I think it’s your mother,” he told her crossly.
That was all she needed to hear. Her face took on an angry expression and she answered the phone. “What is it mother?” she snapped.
“Sydney, who was that boy? It’s that boy from the newspaper wasn’t it? What have I told you about associating with the middle class society?”
“Mother, I’m really busy at the moment. Did you call to annoy me or to actually discuss something important for once?”
“No mother!” Syd burst out, “If you really love me, you would be happy for me and support me. Instead, you’re trying to make me live by society standards when I don’t want too! If you can’t support me in the things I do, then I don’t think we have anything further to discuss. Goodbye mother.”
With those words, the pink ranger slammed the receiver down, letting out a sigh as she did so. Sky opened up his arms and she fell into them. I’m sorry about my mom,” she mumbled.
“Don’t worry about it.”
They sat in silence enjoying each other’s embrace, when the phone rang once more. The pink ranger rolled her eyes, “it’s probably my mom again.”
She picked up the receiver. “What do you want now mom?”
There was a silence. Chills went down her spine and she clutched the phone more tightly. “Hello?” There seemed to be a distinct sound of someone breathing at the other end of the line.
Noticing the look of fear on her face, the blue ranger frowned. “What’s wrong?”
Syd slowly set the receiver down, her body paralyzed with fear. She turned towards the blue ranger and looked at him. His eyes reflected concern for her. She felt her eyes tear up and despite the warmth in her room, she shivered. “I’m scared,” she told him honestly.