From the corner of her eye, Syd surreptitiously glanced at two of her teammates who, as usual, were busily ignoring each other. Z and Sky were only a chair apart but they might as well be in different worlds. Whenever Z started a conversation, Sky refrained from making any comments. In turn, Z studiously gave attention to her juice whenever Sky talked.
It was all very, very interesting.
"Tomorrow we should use our day off responsibly and try to do something productive," Sky was currently telling them after he polished off his food.
Syd brightened. "Like shopping?"
"Assembling mechanical devices?" Bridge said.
Even Z managed to smile a bit. "Throwing frisbees?"
"No," the Red Ranger informed them in clipped tones. "I was thinking of heading to the park and training there."
Three sets of eyes regarded him blankly.
"The park?" Syd repeated.
"Training?" Bridge said.
"Training in the park?" Z muttered, her brows almost disappearing into her hairline. "Are you even aware of what you just said?"
Sky leaned on his chair and looked at her. "What's wrong with that idea?"
"What's wrong with our gym?" she shot back. "Sky Tate, the park is for relax and recreation. You can't relax by doing five hundred crunch-ups in front of dozens of people!" Then she cocked her head to one side and added, "Scratch that, I forgot you can do that. We, on the other hand, can't. Won't."
"Since when were you elected spokesperson for Bridge and Syd?" he asked, gesturing with his hand. "Guys?"
Two sets of eyes regarded him blankly.
"Training?" Syd said.
"The park?" Bridge muttered.
Z looked at him with a satisfied expression on her face. "There's your answer."
Sky glared at her. "Fine." He stood and collected his food tray. "If you're going to do something else tomorrow, let me know." And he walked away.
"What nerve," Z murmured. "His being the Red Ranger doesn't make him emperor of SPD." And without even looking at anyone, she left.
Syd and Bridge were left pondering on their food.
"Hey, Bridgey," Syd said, turning to him, "I want to do an experiment. Will you help me?"
"Sure," Bridge said, smiling at her. "What's it about?"
Syd's answer was a brilliant grin in return.
"But Sky," Syd was saying the next day, "the movie's scheduled today. I want to watch it but I don't want to watch it alone."
"Then ask Bridge to go with you," Sky told her, flipping to another page of the handbook.
Syd deposited herself beside him and sulked. "But I can't!"
Sky turned another page, missing his chance of asking why.
Syd pursed her lips, then jumped into her chance. "Because he's taking Z somewhere!"
She had to bite her lip from laughing at Sky's expression. He sat straighter and gaped at her for about three seconds, the handbook forgotten as it fell to the floor. Then Sky cleared his throat. "I'm sure they'll be back soon," Sky said, in his usual clipped tones. Gracefully he picked up the fallen handbook. "Wherever they went," he added through gritted teeth.
Syd silently thanked three years of acting school before launching into her practiced tirade. "They haven't left yet. Oh, Sky, don't you see what's happening? I think Bridgey is falling for Z. Really! Don't you see it? He follows her everywhere, watches her every move when he thinks no one is seeing him do it, gets angry whenever a breathing male gets within ten feet of her... and they always fight, which is of course a sign of sexual tension!"
Sky raised a brow. "They fight? Bridge and Z?"
Oops! Syd backtracked a bit. "Well - sometimes. But, you know, if they do get together I think... I think they'll make a great couple," she gushed. "What do you think?"
Sky was busy staring holes through his handbook - which he was obviously not reading, since he hadn't noticed yet that it was upside-down. "Interoffice relationships are prohibited in SPD," he said sternly.
"But they look so... so cute together," Syd said. And watched with barely contained glee as Sky turned a darker shade of red.
Just in time, Bridge and Z walked in.
Syd raised a brow at the heated glare she received from Z. Bridge, meanwhile, fidgeted at the look Sky was giving him.
"Can I talk to you for a second?" they both asked at the same time, to different persons.
Syd winked at Bridge before turning to Z. "All right." And she yelped when the Yellow Ranger practically clawed her away to a semi-private corner in the room.
"Rule number 4041 states that no interoffice relationships are allowed in SPD," Z told her, the girl's ears practically bright red. "You've been in here longer than I have, Syd. You should know that!"
Syd flipped her curls, and glanced at the other corner where Sky was undoubtedly interrogating Bridge. Poor Bridgey, she thought, guilty for one second. Then she turned to Z. "Yes, I know that."
Z crossed her arms. "So you know that whatever the thing is between you and... and him should stop right now. Right?"
Syd sighed. "Yes."
Now, Z moved from angry to agitated. "Do you swear that you won't–"
"Oh for Pete's sakes, Z! Sky and I are not a couple, nor we would ever be!" Syd finally yelled. Then she covered her mouth when all eyes turned towards her, including Sky's and Bridge's.
"What?" Sky asked.
Bridge was looking confused. "Wait a second," he said, looking at Sky then at Syd. "Are you–"
"All right, non B-Squad cadets, move out, now!" Syd ordered, and the other unwanted eyes got out of the room until the four of them were alone.
"Again I ask, what?" Sky asked, looking at Syd. "Of course we're not a couple!"
She became quite indignant when he seemed quite repulsed by the idea. "Your loss, not mine," she snapped.
Z drew her brows together. "But... but Bridge said–"
Bridge laughed nervously. "I didn't actually 'say' that–"
Sky turned to Z. "You were asking her if she and I are together?"
She drew her chin up. "Of course not! As if I care," Z scoffed.
"But you do," Syd said slyly.
"No," Z snapped. "I was just reminding you that interoffice relationships are not allowed in the workplace, remember?"
"Which is, you know, what Sky is telling me," Bridge said. Then he stopped when Sky glared at him. "What? You were."
"Rule 4041 states–"
"Rule 4045-dash-b states–"
Sky and Z paused and looked at each other. Both crossed their arms.
"Mixing rules again, Delgado?"
"Ha! You wish, Tate."
Syd grabbed Bridge and drew him away before an explosion occurred.
"What was that all about?" he asked her, when they were at a safe distance from the feuding cadets.
Syd patted him on the back. "That, my dear Bridge, is sexual tension at its best." She gripped his arm tighter. "Next time, we'll lock them up in the same room together. What do you say?"