Author's Notes: This is set during "Impact," before the scene where Jack and Sky are training again at the very end but after Jack's return and the Megazord fight with the Dragoul. Just a little… chat… between Jack, Z and Sky. Review if you think I should continue, please.
The Full Impact
"That's that, then," Sky said as they wandered back towards the common room. "World's safe again."
"Can't believe you scared us like that, Jack," Sydney complained, but playfully, obviously too glad to have him back to care much about his actions.
"Look, for the six thousandth time, I'm sorry. I got back as fast as I could. Besides, I told you, getting that close to the meteor damaged the communications system. I couldn't seem to get through long-range. For all I knew, you were the dead ones, fighting that Dragoul," Jack replied in exasperation. Since they'd climbed out of the Runners, all he'd heard were variations on the phrases "Thank god you're okay" and "You scared the crap out of us!"
"Doesn't matter now, does it?" Sky said. "It's over. We won, we're still here. Who's up for lightball?"
"Actually, I need to see if Boom's around," Bridge said apologetically. "I'm having problems with my new toast program. I'll catch up, guys." Bridge headed off towards the lab.
"I'm going to go ask Commander Cruger about having a few hours off tomorrow," Sydney said. "Wes and Jen are in town, visiting my folks. I'm hoping they've brought their totally hot son with them. Shouldn't take long. Z, if you're playing, could you get my glove out of my room?"
"Sure," Z said, nodding at her as Sydney headed towards the command post.
"Sam, you in?" Sky asked.
"Can't. Kat wanted to do some scans, make sure there's no lasting damage from the crystallization process," Sam replied. "Maybe later. See you."
"Guess it's just the three of us, then," Jack said with a shrug. "Let's go. I can't wait to kick Sky's butt again."
"Oh, please, that was one time," Sky insisted, rolling his eyes. "I beat you all the time. You might be the better shot, but you throw like a girl."
"Well, until they invent lasers that you just throw at the bad guys, I guess I—Z, something wrong?" Jack interrupted himself, looking concerned.
Z blinked. "Oh. Sorry. I just remembered something." With that, she rammed her fist into Jack's stomach as hard as she could.
"OOF!" Jack gasped, doubling over.
"Z!" Sky yelled, shocked.
"Don't you ever scare me like that again! How dare you make me think even for a second that you're not going to be there for the rest of my life?" Z roared at Jack as he sank to his knees, clutching his stomach, his eyes watering. "You're going to live to be old and decrepit and wrinkly and senile and I get to die first, understand? You don't get to die on me! Ever!"
"Z, get a grip!" Sky hissed, glaring at a cadet down the hall, who was staring. The cadet withered under Sky's gaze and ran for it. "What's got into you all of a—ugh!"
Sky wasn't sure how it happened. One minute he was chastising Z, and the next he was looking over his shoulder in confusion. He didn't even notice he was staggering until the world started to tilt at a dangerous angle, and he caught himself just in time, lifting his hand to his cheek. It felt like a few thousand honeybees had just committed suicide on his face. What had happened?
He was startled to realize he'd just been slapped. This had never happened to him before; monsters were more for punching, kicking and shooting, not slapping. Judging by this experience, a slap was not a fun thing to receive, and it was a lot more confusing than the average battle. Dazed, he wondered if he'd have a permanent handprint from the slap, if indeed it had been a slap and not a two-by-four falling from the ceiling.
He decided to look to Z for confirmation that it was in fact a slap and not a breach in the structural integrity of the building. Yep, it was Z. She was glaring, her hand still raised. As if she'd been waiting for him to look at her, she turned the full force of her rant on him.
"And you! Don't you ever sign up for a one-way mission again! Are you insane? Next time you want to get yourself killed, just let me know, because if I ever have to spend another day wondering when I'm going to find out that you're dead, I'll kill you myself to save us both the trouble! Never again, Sky!"
"Okay," Sky said stupidly.
Z stormed away.
Coughing, Jack hauled himself up via the wall. He shot Sky an annoyed look. "How come you only got slapped?" he complained. "I got punched!"
"Hey! What did I do to deserve getting hit at all?" Sky demanded. "You're the one who matters to her and scared us all to death."
"Right, like you don't matter to Z," Jack said, rolling his eyes.
"What is that supposed to mean?" Sky asked.
"Whatever, man," Jack said, rubbing his side gingerly. Sky glared at him, about to order Jack to explain when Jack looked at him with the blank, cheerful expression that Bridge usually wore when he popped back into a conversation without having any idea what the normal people were talking about. "So," Jack said. "Lightball?"
Sky stared at him for a moment. Part of him wanted an explanation. Part of him wanted to march off after Z and give her a mouthful. And part of him wanted an icepack.
"Lightball," Sky agreed, and the two headed calmly for the common room.
End Notes: Just a weird little one-shot that popped into my head. Might write more someday if people like it. For those of you who don't know, honeybees die immediately after stinging, hence the analogy.