Disclaimer: Saban, Toei, and Disney don't want me to own the Power Rangers. It would either loose some of the corniness and continuity problems (Mostly to shut up my friends), or turn into something unsuitable for children under at least thirteen. So it's probably best for all that I don't. -Disappointed sigh-

There's an old poem somewhere. For want of a nail, the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe, the horse was lost. For want of a horse, the rider was lost. And all for want of a nail.

Or something like that. Anyway, that's the reason for the title. The story? I bought the new Mystic Force volume one DVD. My response to Mystic Force is this: there's PURPLE! He's purple, he's purple, he's purple, he's PURPLE! -Cheers and dances around like a loon- Okay, so I also like Nic, 'cause his eyes are gorgeous and I like his attitude, I like Chip 'cause he's the new resident weirdo, I like Vida 'cause she's got a bold personality and hates pink, and I like Xander 'cause he's...well, Xander. Not so attached to Maddison, but Toby's cool. Even if he'll never be a cooler boss than Kelly. But most importantly of all, THERE'S PURPLE! And a horse! He even rides a beautiful (when not armored) blood bay!

Ahem. Anyway, I was watching History, the 'bonus' episode on the disk, when I saw the moment in the great battlescene where Blue Dino Thunder pushes off of Green and Blue SPD's shoulders to attack. Bridge's shoulder drops under the weight, and Sky doesn't even flinch. That's what got me started writing this. After that, I really don't know what happened. But I like it. It's Bridge and Sky and that makes me happy. Yes, horror of horrors, there are two couples I like in SPD, and they involve the same person! -Sniffles- I don't know what's wrong with me... What's worse is that my favorite character for that season was Bridge!

The 'emotional aura colors' I use here are based off my own interpretation and a psychic dictionary I got from The only deviations from their explainations are blue and orange; they never mention sadness as part of blue, and orange is actually cheerfulness. I adjusted them for my own evil purposes.

On a side note, I think I'm supposed to blame the imprint idea on Weesta, because she wrote it first. I'm not trying to steal it, it just works as a wonderful way to explain 'The Bridge Factor' of Bridge. So kudos to her for figuring it out. Go Weesta! -Waves a flag, then pauses- On which note... WHERE'S CROSSING PATHS! Woman! How dare you keep me hanging!

Warning: Utter fluffiness ahead. This story is entirely self-indulgent, and I don't care. Enjoy!

For Want of a Shoulder

He'd tried to be discreet; he'd even waited until he was able to retreat to his bedroom before showing so much as a hint of it. But the moment he was safely inside, door shut and locked, he couldn't help but let out a pitiful whine as he reached up to rub his aching left shoulder. "Owie..."

"I swear, you are the only person...besides Sid...that still says 'owie'." came an amused voice behind him.

He turned, flashing a guilty look up at his roommate. He hadn't wanted Sky to know about his shoulder. The older boy tended to get a bit...overprotective at times. "How'd you know?"

"I saw your shoulder drop when Ethan pushed off of it." Sky replied calmly. His eyes narrowed slightly. "You should have had Kat at least look at it."

He shook his head instantly, automatically taking a step back. "N-no. It's fine. It's nothing, really."

Sky's eyes darked for only a split second, but Bridge could still sense the shift in his aura. "I won't make you go Bridge, you know that." he said softly, slowly reaching out a hand to the other boy. "I wish you would let Kat help, but I'd never make you."

Bridge nodded hesitantly, trying to push down the fear that had still surged at the very thought of a doctor, even if it was Kat. When he was younger and his parents hadn't understood what was wrong with him, he'd been to countless doctors and hospitals. All of them testing, poking, proding, trying to figure out what caused his strange fits, why he could sense things about others that he shouldn't have known, why he was...Bridge.


His head snapped up, blinking as he tried to focus on the present. "Sorry?"

Sky's arms were suddenly around him, squeezing gently as a hand came up to touch the top of his head. A feeling of peace and acceptance surrounded him, along with protection. Bridge reveled in it, hands coming up to grab fistfuls of Sky's uniform shirt as he buried his face against his chest. He took several deep breaths, listening to Sky's voice whispering soothingly into his ear. After a moment he was calm and centered again, but he still didn't move right away. It wasn't often that he was able to touch people, and now that he had someone who not only let him, but encouraged it, he craved every brush of contact he could get.

And lately... Lately there was another reason why he craved Sky's touch. Something he wanted to call him on, but he wasn't sure if he really should. He knew what he sensed from Sky was true; his senses were rarely wrong, and Sky's aura wasn't exactly subtle even if his face was. The question was, the question he feared, was if his response was really his own, or a reflection of what he sensed from Sky?

The thought sent him trembling without even realizing it. It was the curse of his...ability. Technically, he was a psychic. He could read auras from people, plants, buildings...the world was full of them. Unfortunately in learning to interpret the emotional 'colors' of auras, he also learned to sense emotions. That was what had started him down the path of 'Bridge'. People thought he was just naturally weird; whether it was on purpose or not really wasn't their problem. But what really made him 'Bridge' was that sense of the emotions around him. Emotions led to understanding thoughts of others, their interests and desires, in a form of visual telepathy. His gloves had been made to stop the constant visions of color, but they couldn't completely stop him from absorbing all the emotional imprints. Ever person he'd ever touched, every item that had ever been brushed by someone before him absorbed into his psyche, leaving a permanent effect. He could never really say what parts of him were Bridge, and what was imprint anymore.

Maybe Bridge didn't even exist any longer. Maybe he'd been covered in imprints a long time ago. Maybe...maybe he wasn't anything more than a memory.

Sky's lips were on his forehead.

His eyes shot wide and he stumbled back, away from the safety and warmth of those arms. The peace and acceptance was gone; replaced with anxiety and fear. And Sky... Sky was blue...sad. Red, angry. A soft, unsteady gray-fear creating hurt. And worst of all, that bold, steady pink. The color of love.


He shook his head slowly, wincing in pain when the hurt radiating from Sky grew stronger. "I can't...I don't...No!" It was nearly a sob as he dodged Sky's outstretched hand and ran from the room.

It never helped when he could read his own aura. The tendrils creeping around him now were an ugly, mutated shade of yellow-cowardice. A nearly blinding gray, with streaks of blue. He tried to bury his face in his knees to avoid it, only to be instantly reminded that his shoulder still hurt. "Owie..."


The hesitant voice shouldn't have been unexpected. He may have been the one with a limited form of empathy, but Syd always somehow seemed to know when something was wrong with her friends. He could feel her hand on his shoulder, but he refused to look up. "Yeah, Syd?"

"What's wrong?"

He shrugged slightly, then hissed as his shoulder protested. "Not much." he choked out, trying to discreetly rub his shoulder.

She sighed. "Do I need to call Sky?"

He flinched. "N-no. It's fine. I mean, I'm fine. Just...thinking."

"Rightside up?" she asked skeptically.

"I'm trying something new. It's...good to think rightside up once in awhile. Or wrongside up, depending on how you look at it. Which in my case I guess would be wrongside up, since I do my best thinking upside down-"


He struggled to hide his relief. Confusing people was the fastest way to drive them away or make them stop asking questions. And thankfully, Syd had no patience when it came to him talking in circles. That was what she tended to leave up to Sky...

He jumped when he realized she had grabbed his chin and was forcing him to look up, instantly starting to struggle. But Syd was stronger than she looked, and he wasn't exactly at his best right now. Their eyes met, hers softening instantly. "Oh, Bridge..."

She tried to wrap him in a hug, but hesitated at the last minute. He used that moment to his advantage and dodged to the side. Looking up again didn't help anything; her aura was nearly blinding with indigo and soft pink, concern and love. "I'm fine, Syd." he managed at last, trying to force himself to sound cheerful.

"You are not." she huffed, tossing her hair out of her eyes in annoyance. She eyed him for a long moment, that suspicious stare making him nervous. At last she sat beside him on the cold cement wall, leaning back on her hands with a sigh. "So what happened between you and Sky?"

He flinched again. "What are you-"

"Don't lie to me." Her voice was like steel, even as she continued to gaze up at the cloudless sky. "The only person who's close enough to you to make you this upset is Sky. You two have been friends since before I knew you. Whenever something's wrong between you guys, it's so obvious it's annoying."

"Sorry?" he offered meekly, not quite sure what she really wanted.

She sighed again. "Bridge, I know you and Sky are close. It's just the way things are. And I don't like when my friends are hurting. So I want to know why."

He stared at the ground. "Would you accept an 'I don't know'?"

There was a long silence. "Did Sky tell you?"

This time the flinch was so bad he nearly fell over. "T-tell me?" he squeaked.

She smiled slightly, looking amused. "How many times do I have to remind you that I've known you guys for years? Besides, Sky may like giving off that tough-guy, nothing-can-touch-me attitude, but he's too easy to read when he hovers over you every time you get in trouble. It's obvious; he loves you." She frowned suddenly, leaning over to poke her finger in his face. "And don't try and tell me it's just like a brother. I know you two better than that."

"What do you mean?"

"Sky treats me like his little sister, and the way he acts around me, is nothing like he acts around you." Her pointed stare became thoughtful, and her tone was suddenly soft. "Did you panic?"

He hesitated. He didn't really want to talk about this, but Syd would never leave him alone if she didn't think she'd done something to help. "I...I don't know. About me, I mean." he whispered.

"How you feel?" she encouraged, resting her hand on his shoulder again.

He resisted the urge to lean into it, thankful for the uniform that separated him from touching her directly. "I can read auras, Syd. I know what people feel by the color of their aura. How do I know what I feel isn't because I sense it from Sky?"

She considered this for a moment. "Is there a limit to how close you have to be to sense them?"

He blinked. "Uh...within sight, to read it. To absorb it...about five feet away."

She smiled warmly at him. "Then if you only love Sky because of what he feels, why did run all the way out of S.P.D. before you started crying?"

He started, one hand coming up to touch his cheek. Sure enough, his face was wet. When did that happen?

Her hand squeezed his arm gently. "Maybe you should try to talk to Sky and see what happens." she suggested.

The fear surged. "I-I don't know..."

She huffed, patience apparently shot. He was mild impressed it had lasted this long; she must have been truly determined to help him. "Fine. You sit here and be all upset and depressed." She tossed her hair again as she stood, marching off angrily.

He felt slightly guilty as he watched her walk away. She really was only trying to help... It wasn't her fault he was...'Bridge'.

He sighed, turning to lay down. He bit his lip, closed his eyes, and tried to ignore everything around him. Tried to find whoever Bridge was again.

A burst of bold pink, bright yellow, and hints of gray, blue, and red flared to life in front of his eyes. He snapped them open, blinking hard as he tried to scrub the offending colors away. After a moment the spots began to fade, and he sighed with relief. That was when he realized three things; first, that though not as blinding as before, the colors were still there; second, that his left hand was trapped somewhere at his side; and third, that he was pressed against a familiar large, strong chest.


There was a long silence. "I didn't mean to, you know." Sky's voice was quiet, almost introspective. "I never wanted to startle you like that. I didn't even realize what I was doing until you pushed me away. But you didn't give me a chance to say something before you ran off. Syd had to tell me where you were."

Something didn't feel right. That comfort and peace were still there, protectiveness now mixed with the new emotions swirling thought Sky. But they were stronger, bolder. And that love...it was so overpowering it made him want to cry.

He dropped his gaze in hopes Sky wouldn't notice how upset he really was and froze at the sight that greeted him. Fear surged, along with a streak of excitement. Sky was holding his hand.

But it wasn't just his hand. It was his hand. The glove was sitting on the ground beside them, and Sky's fingers had intertwined with his own, bare flesh to bare flesh.

It was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen.

"Sky..." The word was choked now, so many emotions he couldn't voice swelling within him.

Their hands were lifting, moving up in front of his face as his was squeezed slowly, steadily. They went higher, until he was looking Sky in the face. He watched them as Sky leaned forward, placing a simple, pointed kiss on the back of his hand.

He was shaking again, he realized. It felt like he was going to cry. Of all people, he knew that Sky knew exactly what he was doing. To deliberately touch his hand when he was never allowed to touch other people... He sniffled suddenly, and abruptly knew that he was crying.

"There's nothing wrong with being psychic, Bridge." Sky informed him. His eyes were fill of warmth. "And there's nothing wrong with being you. I..." He hesitated, that fear flaring again before being overcome by bold yellow. "I care about you. A lot."

Bridge smiled through his tears, suddenly feeling a giggle about to break free. It did, and he turned his eyes up to Sky as he laughed, suddenly overwhelmed by the bright orange in his own aura. "I love you too, Sky." he said sweetly.

Sky's smile was as warm as his eyes as he leaned down.

Bridge had never seen such brilliant shades of pink and white mixed with orange. Love, purity, and happiness. Colors he had never seen, never known, before he met Sky. Colors he never wanted to be without again.

He sighed happily when they broke apart, and found himself leaning into the touch when a hand came up to brush his tears away. In a sudden surge of bravery, he turned his head to place a quick kiss on Sky's hand. There was a chuckle, and he smiled as he leaned forward to bury himself back into that circle of comfort, acceptance, protectiveness, and most of all, pure love.

Then a hand came up to touch his shoulder, and he scrambled back with a cry. "Owie!"

Sky rolled his eyes as he clutched his shoulder protectively. "You still haven't gotten that taken care of? Honestly, Bridge. I can't even trust you to take care of yourself."

"I didn't get the chance!" he protested, giving Sky the biggest puppy eyes he could possible manage.

Sky sighed. "Let me see it." he commanded.

"No! It hurts!"

"I'm just going to make sure it's okay."

"You'll make it worse!"

"I will not."

"Will too!"

"Will-I am not doing this. Just let me see your shoulder."

"I don't want to! Hey-"

He was suddenly toppled into Sky's lap, pinned in place as gentle fingers carefully examined his shoulder. He whined and protested, but Sky would always be bigger than he was. And being in Sky's lap wasn't that bad of a compensation...

Their eyes caught suddenly, and Bridge smiled again. "Meanie." he pouted.

Sky rolled his eyes. "Baby."

Then fingers were digging into his sides, and all Bridge knew was laughter and light.