Note: I am extremely grateful to Jenee for stepping in to beta read this chapter!
And a very special thank you to Slshadowfox for beta reading for me for most of this story. Couldn't have done it without you, Thank you!
Don't forget to review!
Can you see me, here I am
Standing here where I've always been
And when words are not enough
I climb inside your heart I'd still find
You're my safest place to hide
The Command Centre was silent, the only sounds coming from the console. Wes, Jen, Adrian and Melanie were alone with Kat, the men pacing around as the woman sat by and watched.
"I can't stand not knowing anything!" Jen finally burst out. "What the hell is happening over there?"
"Only time can tell," Kat replied grimly.
"This is ridiculous!" Jen roared. Days of pent up tension and stress were finally getting to her. She turned to Wes. "We were power rangers and we can't even do anything to help them!"
Wes's eyes looked sad. Exhaustion and worry over Sky had caused the both of them to have sleepless nights. He hated being helpless.
Adrian and Melanie didn't look much better. Though he knew nothing about police business, Adrian had stubbornly stayed up with Wes, insisting that he had to do something to help, even if it wasn't much. After all, his baby girl was in danger. Melanie was in no better position. Though she had restless nights, all the blonde woman could do was sit numbly and watch as the others took charge.
"Can't we watch them through a screen or something?" Jen asked.
"We can only monitor them if the rangers are morphed," Kat explained. "The minute they morph, it'll show us footage."
Jen let out a frustrated sigh. "Great," she said sarcastically.
Two hours passed, and all four adults and Kat resumed to what they had been doing before Jen's outburst. Only this time, it was Melanie and Kat who were sitting, Jen had joined the men in pacing around.
Suddenly, sirens were heard and the squealing of tires as the cars halted to a stop. Minutes later, there was a storm of pounding feet and lots of yelling. They all rushed out of the Command Centre and into the hallway, where they were instantly flattened to the side as two stretchers passed by them, heading toward the infirmary.
Jen's eyes widened in horror once she saw her blood stained son being rushed by, "SKY!" She felt strong arms wrap around her shoulders and she gazed up into her husband's eyes. Wes's eyes showed every drop of fear that she felt.
"MOVE BACK!" The doctor hollered as they rushed Sky and Jack to the infirmary. "We need three units of blood for this man, STAT!"
They could only watch numbly as Sky and Jack disappeared behind the swinging doors.
"THEY HAVE TO SAVE HIM! PLEASE, DON'T LET HIM DIE!"
Kat, Jen, Wes, Adrian and Melanie turned to the hysterical voice that was coming down the hallway.
Seconds later, there was more chaos as Syd came rushing wildly toward them, sobbing hysterically, with Bridge and Z right on her heels. Syd ran past the adults and was nearing the infirmary doors, but before she could go inside, Bridge grabbed her by the arms, preventing her from entering the room.
"Sydney!" Melanie cried out. The blonde woman looked equally as horrified as Jen did. Her daughter looked a mess, there were bruises along her arms, and dried blood on her hands.
The pink ranger was oblivious to her mother's horrified cry as she fought against Bridge and Z, trying to break free. The bottom of the pink ranger's shirt was covered in blood, Sky's blood, but she took no note of it and didn't care. "Let me go Bridge!" Syd cried out desperately, struggling. "I have to get in there! Sky needs me! I have to make sure he's alright!"
"You can't go in there Syd," the green ranger replied, trying to reason with her, "You'll only distract them! They need to concentrate on helping Sky and Jack."
"Let me go!"
"No Syd, I know you want to go in there, but you can't!"
"LET ME GO!"
"Bridge is right, Syd," Z said gently as Syd collapsed to the ground, her energy spent. The yellow ranger knelt next to her roommate. "Sky will pull through. You guys have been through so much; he's not going to leave you now."
Tears fell down the pink ranger's cheeks as her body was racked with uncontrollable sobs and she fell against Bridge. "Jake shot him twice, he shot him twice. He lost so much blood…"
"Maybe we should get you cleaned up," Z suggested, not knowing what else to say.
Syd shook her head. "I'm not leaving!"
By now everyone had gathered in the waiting area of the infirmary. Adrian stepped toward his daughter. "Sydney honey, maybe you should see a doctor. You're covered in blood, you could be seriously hurt."
Syd glared at everyone around her, the tears were still flowing. "I said I'm not leaving! This isn't my blood! This is Sky's blood! He got shot trying to protect me, Jake was shooting at us and he couldn't put up his shield in time and… and…" the tears were flowing harder now and she couldn't stop shaking. She glared at the infirmary doors as if Sky was standing right there. "Sky, you are such an idiot! If you die on me, I'll never forgive you!"
The pink ranger tried to stand, but as she was getting up, everything around her became dizzy and she swayed. A second later, her eyes rolled to the back of her head and she fainted.
"Syd!" Bridge moved forward and caught the pink ranger just before she fell to the ground.
Kat stepped forward and felt the pink ranger's pulse. "She's okay," Kat announced. "The stress and shock was too much for her, she just fainted." The alien cat turned toward the yellow ranger. "Z, I think maybe you should take Syd and her parents back to your room and get her cleaned up a bit. We'll inform you if anything changes."
Z nodded. Adrian moved to take Syd from Bridge and together the four of them disappeared from view.
"Now, Bridge," Kat turned toward the green ranger. "Why don't you tell us what happened?"
The green ranger nodded. He began the story, telling Wes, Jen and Kat exactly what happened, starting with how Z had figured out where Jake really was. How they rushed up to the beach house, and how they found Jack unconscious and how RIC's systems were all shut off. Bridge explained how he had rushed outside to the beach and found Commander Cruger striking Jake with his sword. He explained how he also had shot Jake with his own blaster.
"Where is Doggie now?" Kat asked, giving her head a little shake. It was kind of hard to believe that 'Jake Hemmington' was dead.
"He's still at the beach, Jake's body is still there, he and the SWAT team are cleaning up," Bridge replied.
Jen clutched Wes's head. Her baby, her only child was hurt and hurt badly. She blinked back tears, forcing herself to stay strong.
Time would only tell if Sky would make it or not.
Syd awoke to sounds of a woman sniffing. The pink ranger blinked a few times before looking around with her eyes. She was back in her room, at the Academy. It had been a dream… just a really bad nightmare… there was no Jake, and Sky was…
Syd bolted upright with a cry. It hadn't been a nightmare, it had really happened. She was dressed in her SPD sweatshirt and sweatpants, but she took no noticed of her attire as she looked around the room wildly. Immediately, three faces appeared in her line of sight, each face was looking at her with concern.
"Syd!" The yellow ranger exclaimed. "You're awake!"
"Where's Sky? Is he alright?" Syd asked urgently, throwing back her covers. The pink ranger didn't wait for an answer as she leapt out of bed and rushed toward the infirmary before anyone could say anything. She ran as fast as she could, and stopped short just as she reached the waiting area.
Jen was sleeping in Wes's arms, the former red ranger sat in one of the chairs waiting anxiously. Bridge was pacing back and forth. She rushed up to Bridge. The green ranger stopped short when he saw his best friend. "Syd, you're awake!"
"Tell me he's going to be okay Bridge," she pleaded, "tell me he's already made it, and that he's just sleeping right now."
Bridge's face fell. "I'm sorry Syd," he said finally, "we haven't heard anything yet."
Tears began to well up in her eyes once more. Bridge gathered his best friend into his arms, "He'll make it Syd. He's never let us down before."
The pink ranger sniffed. "If he dies on me, I'll never forgive him!"
Adrian and Melanie stood back as they watched Z join Bridge and Syd's embrace, forming a group hug. "Our little girl is all grown up now," Adrian murmured, wrapping an arm around his wife. Melanie could only nod. "I wish there was something I could do or say to comfort her," she whispered.
"Let her be, she'll come to us when she's ready. Right now, she needs her friends."
By now Jen was awake and the former pink time force ranger approached Syd. Syd detached herself from Bridge and Z before rushing into Jen's arms. "I'm sorry," Syd whimpered, "it was my fault, he was trying to protect me."
"Shhh," Jen whispered. "No sweetie, it wasn't your fault. It wasn't anyone's fault. Sky loves you, and he would do anything to protect you."
Syd shifted, her gaze landed back on the infirmary doors. "I'm the one who's supposed to be in there," she whispered.
Jen hugged her tighter. "Don't say that honey," she whispered into Syd's blonde hair. "It's not your fault, Sky loves you. He's strong and we have to pray that he pulls through."
Syd sniffed, taking comfort in Jen's embrace.
An hour later, a man dressed in a white lab coat stepped out into the waiting area. Dr. Wood was momentarily surprised when a group of people rushed at him, but regained control as he looked at all the expectant faces.
"Mr. Landors is doing well," the doctors announced. "He has a slight concussion, but with plenty of rest he'll be up and about in no time."
Z smiled with relief and Bridge wrapped an arm around her. She let out a sigh and fell deeper into the green ranger's embrace. Jack was going to be okay!
"What about Sky?" Syd asked fearfully, her voice small. "Is he going to be okay?"
The doctor's expression fell. "I'm afraid at this point only time will tell. His injuries were very severe. He was shot in the stomach and in his right shoulder. His rib cage was cracked and he lost a lot of blood. He has a concussion and suffered a blow to his head and is in critical condition."
Z and Bridge had unreadable expressions on their faces. Syd became paler with every word that came out of the doctor's mouth. "Is he going to be okay?"
"Answer my question!"
"Is Sky going to be OKAY?"
"DAMN IT! ANSWER MY QUESTION! IS SKY GOING TO BE ALRIGHT?"
"Somebody hold her down!" Kat announced, coming into the room with a needle in hand. Within minutes, Syd was resting comfortably.
Bridge gave the doctor an apologetic look. "She's usually not like this; she's been through a lot these last few weeks."
"I can imagine," Dr. Wood shook his head. "As I was saying, Sky is in critical condition, but he is stable for now. He is currently sleeping, but you may visit him if you'd like."
Wes and Jen nodded. "Thank you, doctor."
Sky groaned and squeezed his eyes shut. The light was unusually bright and he could hear soft voices talking somewhere in the distance. He blinked rapidly against the bright light and tried to open his eyes completely. Where was he?
He turned his head slightly to the left and saw his parents standing by his bedside. He blinked again and looked around, realizing that he must be in a hospital somewhere.
"Mom? Dad?" he rasped out.
"Oh thank god," Jen cried. Wes looked relieved as well.
"What happened?" Sky asked weakly, his voice harsh and dry. As soon as he voiced his question, the events came flooding back to him. "Where's Syd? Is she okay?" He tried to sit up but was immediately plagued by the pain that seemed to rip through his body. He winced and laid flat on his back once more.
"She's fine," Wes said quickly, reassuring his son. "She was worried about you though, Kat had to sedate her because she was becoming too hysterical."
Concern flowed through him. "Where is she now?"
"She's resting on the couch in the waiting room, the sedative should be wearing off soon," Jen answered. "Don't ever do that to me again Sky, I don't think my blood pressure can take another scare like that!"
"And I can only take so much stress in one lifetime," Wes added.
Sky tried to nod. He looked up at his mother. "I'm sorry I didn't call to cancel for dinner. I know I must've worried you."
"You have nothing to be sorry for! Jeez Sky, you got shot, and all you can think about is not calling to cancel for dinner?" Jen said admonished. "We're just glad you're safe."
Sky took a deep breath. "How long was I out?"
Wes gave a wry chuckle. "Try fifteen hours."
"Yes, that long," Jen stroked his hair. "You had us so worried."
"I'm sorry mom. I love you."
"I love you too," Jen bent over to give the blue ranger a hug. "Now, I believe you have some very worried friends waiting to see you."
Wes clapped Sky's left shoulder lightly and ruffled his hair. "Try not to get into anymore trouble, alright son? I'd like you to live for another few decades."
Sky chuckled. "Don't worry dad, I won't."
"We'll check up on you later."
Wes and Jen left as Bridge and Z came into the room. The yellow ranger stared at him cautiously, as if she didn't know what to make of the situation. Bridge however, pulled up a chair next to his bed and sat down.
"How are you feeling?"
"Like shit," he answered honestly.
Bridge rolled his eyes. "I can imagine."
Z approached him now. "I'm glad you're going to be okay Sky."
"Thanks Z," Sky tried to smile, but even the slightest effort was painful. "How's Jack?"
"He's okay," she answered. "Sleeping as we speak."
The green ranger's expression turned serious. "Oh man, you should've seen her Sky. She was a wreck. She was so scared, heck, the condition you were in scared all of us."
Sky did his best to shrug. "She was in danger. I promised that I wouldn't let anything happen to her." He looked up at Z and Bridge, "she's really okay?"
"She fainted once and now she's knocked out cold, but the sedative Kat gave her should be wearing off soon," Z said. "Don't worry, she'll be in here to visit you the moment she wakes up."
Sky smiled. "I can't wait to see her."
Z rolled her eyes. "Typical."
"Wait," Sky suddenly frowned. "What happened to Jake?"
"Cruger got him with his sword, and then Bridge shot him with his blaster," Z answered.
It took a moment for things to sink in. "So, he's gone?"
"Gone and staying gone."
"Wow," the blue ranger paused. "So that's it then. It's truly over."
"Looks like," Bridge said.
There was a moment of silence and then Sky let out a yawn.
Z giggled. "I guess that's our cue to let you get some rest." The yellow ranger leaned over the bed and quickly gave Sky a hug. "Take it easy, okay?"
Bridge clapped Sky on his left shoulder. "Yeah, get plenty of rest. We'll stop by again later."
The door closed behind his fellow rangers and Sky closed his eyes. So, Jake was finally gone. Dead. After the last few weeks, it was hard to believe this entire nightmare was finally over. He and Syd would be able to return to their normal lives once again. Sky let out a sigh and prepared to get as comfortable as he could. Just as he was about to drift off, there was a soft knock at his door. He opened his eyes. "Come in," he called out, his voice was still dry.
The door opened and Arian Drew walked into the room, followed by a blonde woman, whom Sky assumed was Sydney's mother. He made the attempt to sit up.
"No, please, don't get up." Adrian held his hands in front of him, as if he was going to push Sky back into his original position. "It's not necessary."
Not having the energy to argue, Sky nodded and laid back, breathing through the pain.
Adrian and Melanie stood next to the bed. "We just wanted to thank you," Adrian wrapped an arm around his wife, "for protecting our daughter the way you did. It was very brave of you to risk your life." Adrian's eyes showed gratitude. "I am in your debt."
Sky stared up at the man. "Sir," he croaked. "I won't lie to you. I love your daughter, more than I've ever loved anyone. I would do it again."
Adrian nodded. "My daughter is lucky enough to have found such a noble young man."
"Thank you sir, that means a lot."
Melanie cleared her throat and turned to her husband. "I'd like to talk to Sky privately for a moment."
Adrian nodded and turned to leave; leaving Sky to wonder what Sydney's mother was going to say to him.
There was a brief silence before she spoke. "I need to apologize."
Surprised, Sky kept silent as she continued. "I should have never been so rude or judgmental towards you. You protected my daughter at all costs, almost losing your life in the process, and for that I will be forever grateful to you."
Sky took a deep breath. "Mrs. Dr-"
"Please," Melanie held up a hand, "let me finish. I was so caught up in my world of glamour that I refused to accept Sydney's chosen lifestyle. And believe me, her becoming involved with SPD was not what I had in mind for her future. I judged you so harshly, and you didn't deserve that. I'm truly sorry."
"Mrs. Drew, I accept your apology," Sky started again, looking up at the woman in front of him, "but I have to tell you right now, that I love Sydney. I want to be with her, and I would really like it if we had your approval of our relationship. It would mean a lot to Sydney too. Syd refuses to admit it, but she needs her mother, and it hurts her whenever the two of you fight."
Melanie smiled and patted the blue ranger's arm. "You don't need to ask for my approval, you already have it," she paused, then winked. "You know, I've always wanted a son. Maybe you and Sydney could settle down sometime soon?"
Sky blushed. "I don't think we're quite there yet, Mrs. Drew. But maybe sometime in the future? A few years from now, perhaps?"
Melanie laughed and patted his arm once more. "Fair enough. Now I suggest you rest, so you can recover faster. I expect Sydney will be up soon and then you two will be able to spend all the time you want together."
"Thank you Mrs. Drew," Sky called out as the blonde woman turned and left. He leaned back into his pillows and gave a soft chuckle. Wonders will never cease.
Syd pushed opened the door quietly, careful to not make a sound. At the sight of Sky, tears welled up in her eyes. But she blinked them back; she had done enough crying already. Sky had a bandaged wrapped around his forehead, and though his shirt concealed it, the pink ranger was sure there were more bandages around his stomach and right shoulder. There were bruises around his neck, where Jake had tried to suffocate him. She reached his bed and carefully sat down at the edge, reaching up; she softly ran her fingers through Sky's tousled hair. The blue ranger stirred, but didn't open his eyes. Instead, he leaned in further into her hand as she was stroking his cheek with her thumb, a soft smile playing at his lips.
She sat there, watching him sleep, time passed and after what felt like hours, Sky opened his eyes to find her smiling at him.
"Hey," his voice was soft, and his heart filled with joy at seeing her.
"Are you okay?"
She laughed softly, again tears coming to her eyes. "You're the one that got shot twice, and you're asking if I'm okay?"
He grinned. "Are you?"
"I'm perfectly fine," her voice fell soft. "Thanks to you."
Sky gave a relieved smile at her answer. "Everyone said you were fine, but I had to make sure."
Syd smiled, feeling touched, and then her expression turned serious. "You scared me. I thought you were going to die."
"I'm still here, aren't I?"
"You have no idea how glad I am to see you awake. You were so pale… and you wouldn't open your eyes," Syd's voice cracked, "I thought that Jake…"
"Shh," Sky soothed, reaching up to brush away her tears. "It's all over now."
She intertwined her hand with his. "I'm so glad you're alive."
"Like I would ever leave you."
Syd stared at him, and smiled softly. "You should get some more rest," she said finally.
He raised an eyebrow. "I just woke up! It seems like I'm always sleeping."
"That's because you need to rest in order to recover faster. Don't worry we'll take care of you."
Sky grinned. "I know you'll take care of me. I doubt Jack will want to do my laundry though."
She laughed then kissed his forehead. "Of course I'll take care of you. I'll even do your laundry, if you want."
"Syd, do you even know how to work the washing machine?"
There was a silence. "I could learn…"
Sky rolled his eyes. "That's okay. I'll do my own laundry. It would be bad if one of my white shirts suddenly went pink because you put a red sock in the machine."
Syd pouted, and then grinned. Leaning forward, she gently kissed him on the lips. "Get some rest now."
He yawned. "Stay with me?"
Syd stretched out along the bed, careful not to touch his injuries. She laid her head on his uninjured shoulder, his arm wrapped around her waist. "Always."
"I love you Syd," he murmured sleepily.
"I love you too," she replied before reaching up and pressing another slight kiss to his lips. Within minutes, the both of them fell asleep.
Melanie and Jen walked by the room a half an hour later, and peeked in. The sight of their children curled up together, made them both smile widely, making each woman wish they had a camera to capture the moment. After watching them for a few minutes, Jen reached out and quietly closed the door. With Syd by his side, Jen had no doubts that Sky would recover in no time.
-Four months later-
"Hey Jack, over here!"
Bridge's shout drew Syd's attention as she handed the packet of hot dogs to Z. She watched with a smile as Jack sent the bright orange Frisbee whizzing off to the green ranger, who jumped, caught it and passed the disk onto Boom. The game had been going on for almost an hour now; the men were playing enthusiastically, while the women were preparing the food and watching the barbecue.
Four months had passed since that awful night on the beach. Jack had been released after a week, the red ranger had suffered a concussion but for the most part he was okay. Within days, he was up and about and fighting battles once more. Syd had heard from Z that their red ranger had taken a liking to a red headed nurse while he had been in the infirmary and was flirting it up. Sky had been in critical condition for a week and little by little he gradually began to improve. He stayed in the infirmary for almost four weeks and for the entire time, Sydney camped out in a chair by his bed, holding his hand, whispering to him even when he slept. She had taken care of him like she had promised and she did it whole heartedly. She even did his laundry and thankfully, no shirts had turned pink.
Once Sky had been released from the hospital, the next few weeks passed in a blur. Nothing was the same anymore. For the most part, things returned to normal, though, Syd was now unable to sleep without Sky by her side and would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night to sneak into his room and climb into his bed.
SPD had more questions and also more information about Jake's past –but she found that she didn't care about any of it. Jake Hemmington was dead –in her mind, he would never be remembered as Jordan Drover- and that was all that mattered. The nightmare was truly over. All they had to worry about now was Grumm attacking at odd moments.
The game was soon interrupted when the smell of sizzling hamburgers and hot dogs filled the air. Like typical males, the men rushed toward the food like a dog chasing its tail.
"Take it easy Wes! The food isn't going anywhere, there's enough for everybody!"
Jen Collins could be heard in the background, yelling at her eager husband for taking too much food.
Sky came up behind Syd and pressed a kiss to her cheek. "Is the food ready yet?"
"Mostly," she wrinkled her nose. "You're all sweaty."
Sky merely grinned, giving her another kiss as he accepted the plate she handed him and moved to sit down next to Bridge. The pink ranger watched the scene for a moment, smiling fondly at all the people around her. Jen and Wes were eating and laughing with Taylor and Eric with her own parents listening in. Syd had to smile at that. Her relationship with her mother had improved beyond words and now they were slowly developing the close mother/daughter relationship that most people shared. Commander Cruger and Kat were chatting nearby with Boom and Jack about SPD weaponry and other things. Bridge and Z were flicking potato salad at each other, and there, watching their friends throw food at each other was Sky.
Sydney grabbed a plate and moved to join their picnic lunch. She slid in next to Sky and felt a small thrill of pleasure run through her body as his arm wrapped around her waist. The two exchanged a kiss, before Syd picked up her hamburger and took a bite. She gave a knowing smile as she saw Z flick a spoonful of salad dressing at Bridge, which had successfully landed on the tip of his nose. Though she had been pretty occupied with the events of the last few months, she had noticed that the green and yellow rangers had gotten closer. Syd shook her head at her friends and made a mental note to ask Z of her feelings for a certain green ranger when she had the chance. Their flirting was just too obvious!
The pink ranger grinned happily. What started out as a pink surprise had escalated into a nightmare, but the outcome had been everything she had ever dreamed of having. She had wonderful family, awesome friends, and the love of her life was by her side.
Syd looked around the table once more, listening to the happy chatter all around her.
This was how it was supposed to be.
Well, that's it. It's finally over!
Quick shout outs:
Victoria, Jenee, angelbaby03usa, arrowned, sydandskyfan, mappy, tinaelin27, Ruby08, funky in fishnet, christalsteele, garnetred, mid-nite2787, jean, skyblue266, sango A.R., Etcetera kit, slshadowfox, crimson mystery, emogeek1, jorgitosbabe, bluegirl90, angel mouse5, kari, preview, Toribradley, sye04, sweetgordon, jenny, mae, white time ranger, Anastasia Athene, gobball, blake-tori88, KEs-2717, sydnskyfan , vanillastar, cristina Gomez, sayinjinj7, Smallville'sAmusedRebel-Mel, grabbagirl, pikachu, thesilentshogun, chibi kitty sorceress, yellowrangersunited92, ani, gymkidz2000, magcat, Fantasy of Wonder, Beautiful-Me89, pinkstranger, pinkpunkemodiva86, Kitty, joo, and everyone else who had reviewed. Thank you!
Special Thanks: to Slshadowfox for sticking around with me for most of this story. Could've never done it without your help! And thank you to Jenee for beta reading these last two chapters. It's been so enjoyable chatting with you online!
Gymkidz2000: Thanks for all your compliments! I don't think I'll be writing a sequel, however be sure to expect more Sky/Syd fics from me!
Jill: Your review made me laugh! To answer your question, yes, Bridge did shoot Jake! Hope you're satisfied with the ending of this chapter!
Etcetera Kit: You have no idea how excited I am every time you review! I totally adore your work and I'm glad that you've enjoyed this story! I hope you update 'Kings and Vagabonds' more frequently! (And 'Bond Enforcement' –did you know I became a huge fan of Eric because of your fics?) Should I say it again? Update your fics! lol
Arrowned: Yet another reviewer that makes me excited! Thank you for your compliments, it really means a lot! I'm hoping you'll be updating 'Substitute Learner' soon?
Pinkpunkmodiva86: Glad to hear you're working on your story! I love it!
Be sure to look out for more fics! I've been working on a Bridge fic for quite sometime now, I'm not sure if it's going to be in chapters or a one shot –I haven't really decided yet. I've also been working on a Conner/Kira fic and as well as Syd's pov for 'Discovering Her'.
Bye till next time!