Adventures In Camelot
Chapter 2: Midday Conversations
Last Revised: August 1, 2007
Summary: Two teams who should have never met are thrust back into a time and place where magic prevails, evil is looming, and the King of Myth rules.
Rating: T for now.
Ships: You'll see!
Disclaimer: Don't own em, wish I did!
Dedication: To Angela, sorry this is such a late birthday present! And to Megs, thanks for backing me up!
Sydney sighed deeply as she rode beside Guinevere along the road toward the village. The scenery was gorgeous, despite the fact that she wanted nothing more than to be back in her own time, in her own place. It was amazing how peaceful she felt. 'If we were still home, Sky and I wouldn't be growing closer' she thought suddenly, and decided not to curse whatever divine power had sent them back several hundred years into the past.
"Did you sleep well?" Guinevere asked, riding a bit closer to Sydney. The Queen couldn't help but mentally make the comparisons between this young woman and her beloved daughter; both were fairly short, with long blonde hair and beautiful blue eyes. They both loved the color pink, and rode a horse exceptionally well.
The Pink Ranger couldn't help but blush as she recalled her night. "Um, yes, I did. Thank you."
"Am I to understand Sir Sky shared your room?" Guinevere started, sounding almost reprimanding.
Syd's blue eyes narrowed in on the Queen's face. "Yes, he did. I had a nightmare last night, he came and made sure I got to sleep."
"Are you betrothed?"
"No," Syd giggled. "Sky and I have been best friends for a long time now; it's only been recently that we've seen each other in a different light."
Guinevere made an almost clucking sound with her tongue. "It's not proper for a princess to…"
"I'm not your Princess!" Syd hissed in warning, causing the Queen to look startled. "And you're one to talk, sneaking off with Lancelot!"
Guinevere's eyes widened in shock. "How do you…?"
"You'd be surprised," Syd told her, her tone just shy of a snarl. "Sky and I haven't done anything wrong, not by our land's standards." That said, the Pink Ranger nudged her horse into a gallop, racing forward to ride alongside the lead rider, who was Arthur's knight, Sir Kay.
"What are we doing here?" Vida questioned her sister as the trio stopped just shy of an hour after leaving the castle. They had come out of the tree lined path to find a beautiful, sandy beach before them.
"Well, we've been growing in our powers since last year, and I had an idea," Maddy started. "Udonna and Lianbow have been working on it with me, but I've never done it without them."
"Maddy?" Vida started, her tone taking on that 'I'm the older sister, even if it's only by three minutes' quality.
Closing her eyes, the former Blue Ranger stepped out onto the water, her powers swirling around her, causing her to actually walk on the water. Xander and Vida watched in fascination as streams of water began to ripple up and around Madison's body. For a moment, Xander likened the display to watching the fountains of Las Vega's Bellagio Hotel on television.
"What the heck is she doing?" Xander asked Vida.
The former Pink Ranger looked at him and shrugged. "I haven't the slightest clue."
"I call upon the power of water!" Maddy's voice called out. "I am the mermaid who swims free! I wish to make contact with the White Witch who mentors me!" the water began to swirl faster and faster, with spouts of it shooting up in all directions around her. "I am water and she is me, as I will it, so mote it be!"
The former Pink and Green Rangers were in shock as, on the surface of the water, an image of Udonna appeared. "Madison!" Udonna's voice was faint, but it was there.
"Guys! HELP!" Maddy cried. "I'm losing her!"
"I call on the power of wind!" Vida's voice snapped out. "I am the sprite, soaring dangerously! I add my power to my sister water! I am wind, and she is me, as I will it, so mote it be!"
"I call on the power of earth!" Xander followed. "I am the minotaur, stomping proudly! I add my power to wind and water! I am earth, and he is me, as I will it, so mote it be!"
With the added power, Udonna's image cleared and steadied. "Rangers!"
"Udonna!" the three cried out happily.
"Where are you?" Udonna asked, her voice laced with worry and a dash of anger.
"We're stuck in the past!" Vida told her. "During King Arthur's rule of Camelot."
"Oh my," the White Witch muttered. "Contact Merlin, if you can. I'll have Daggeron and Lianbow help me here. Are you all together?"
"Not at the moment, but we know where the others are," Xander told her.
"Udonna, we aren't the only ones stuck here," Maddy broke in. "A team twenty years from our future got sucked back too."
"Be careful. Find Merlin!" Udonna cried before she started to disappear.
Maddy began to collapse into the water then, but Vida and Xander dashed forward and caught her before she hit the surface. "We'd better get her back," Vida murmured, stroking her sister's hair.
"Just so you know, you're explaining this to Nick," Xander told her as he took Madison from her and carried the unconscious witch back to their horses.
Once Vida was settled in her saddle, he lifted Madison up into her lap. Once that was done, Xander got his horse, grabbed the reins of Maddy's and then they headed back toward the castle as fast as they could.
"Bridge!" Z laughed as he went streaking by her on his horse. For a second, she thought he was showing off, until she heard him call out to her.
"Z! HELP!" he yelped as his horse sprinted down the path.
It took the Yellow Ranger a few seconds to realize her boyfriend was riding his horse backwards, and he wasn't doing it to be funny. "Oh no," she gasped, spurring her horse into a gallop. She should have known better than for them to stop, considering how long it took Galahad and Lancelot to get him on the horse in the first place. "HANG ON BRIDGE!"
Clare grinned, stopping at each little stand in the village market. While most of the wares were different, the atmosphere reminded her of Woodland Village back home. Every so often, she shot a glance in the direction of the couple with her, and each time she saw they were enjoying themselves as much as she was.
"Are you alright Clare?" Jack called out to her.
"Almost perfect," she grinned, thinking it would have been nicer if Chip had been with her, but she hadn't wanted to make an issue out of it. Their relationship was still very new and she didn't want to seem clingy. "Reminds me of the village not far from Rootcore."
"I'd love to visit when we get home," Ally told her with a smile. "I love these open markets, it's so much different than the mall."
"You should," Clare grinned at her. "Its growing more and more since the Master was defeated."
Jack just laughed. "I wonder how big it is in 2027?"
"Good point. I wonder if I'm still alive in 2027?" Clare pondered out loud, cocking her head to the side in thought.
"I'm sure you are," Ally assured her.
"Shall we head back? I'm sure the others are heading back by now?" Jack asked.
The two girls nodded and began the ten minute walk back to the castle with Jack walking between them.
Sydney sighed sadly as she cradled the little girl gently in her arms. Guinevere and her ladies had brewed herbs and dispensed them to the sick children, so now it was just a waiting game to see if the children started to get better. "Sydney?" Guinevere murmured, kneeling before her and reaching out to feel the child's forehead. It was the first time the queen had approached the Pink Ranger since their argument.
"She's sleeping," the blonde answered softly.
"Her fever seems to be coming down as well."
Syd nodded and shifted the little girl. "Is everything alright?"
"Sir Kay and the Knights are growing anxious," Guinevere told her. "It seems Riders are headed this way, wearing all black. One of the hunters for the village was out and saw them."
"I take it it's time to leave?"
"The children are recovering, and the women have been instructed on how to administer the brew. For our safety, and theirs, we need to go."
The Pink Ranger nodded and handed the child to her exhausted mother before she followed Guinevere out of the house. "WE ARE UNDER ATTACK!" one of the knights called just as the two emerged.
The Queen and her ladies quickly got on their horses. "Go Your Majesty!" Sir Kay ordered.
"Sydney!" Guinevere shouted.
"Go!" Syd called back even as she rushed forward to help the Knights. She spotted a sword on top of a pile of other tools and snatched it up before she began wielding it. Seeing that Sydney wasn't about to back down, Guinevere and her ladies rushed back toward the road to Camelot.
The attackers were shocked when Syd began to hold her own against a few of them and were even more startled when she began to beat them back. "Lady Sydney!" Sir Gareth called out to her.
"Keep fighting! Don't worry about me!" she ordered, her voice clipped as she moved around, trying to confuse her attackers.
As she beat them off, another man came flying at her, this one with two swords and a crossbow. Syd grinned wickedly and touched her left hand to her sword. "I SUMMON THE STONE!"
The Knights and their attackers stumbled back in shock when Syd parried one sword with the one in her own hand and the other with her bare hand. "Milady!" Sir Kay called to her.
"I'm fine! Keep fighting!" Syd told them, spinning around to swipe her sword at her attackers legs while dodging his thrusts from his swords.
After seeing what she was capable of, let alone that the knights had killed six of them already, the attackers began to flee. Once their opponents were gone, the four Knights and Sydney retrieved their horses and headed for the castle.
"Milady Ronan," King Arthur greeted as the busty red-head entered the arena, her bodyguard Reginald behind her. He had thought Galahad had said she was staying in the castle, but apparently not.
"Your Majesty," she curtsied. When she stood back up, she noticed the three newcomers. "New Knights, Sire?"
Arthur shook his head. "Guests. Lady Mora Ronan, allow me to introduce Sir Nick, Sir Chip and Sir Sky."
The three bowed to her. "Such handsome young men Sire," she grinned wickedly.
The King raised an eyebrow at the tone of her voice and the look on her face. Arthur sighed. He tolerated her, because her husband had been a knight before his death, but the women positively reeked of evil. "And all are spoken for, I am afraid."
Lady Ronan grinned. "We could remedy that," she laughed, her eyes on Nick and Sky especially.
Arthur was just about to reply when the three riders raced into the arena, alerting all who were training. "Guinevere!" Arthur called in shock at the sight of his wife.
"Arthur! We were attacked!" she told him breathlessly.
Nick and Chip's eyes flew to Sky, who was tensed. "Where's Sydney?" he asked, his voice hard.
"I tried to get her to come back with us, but she stayed to fight," Guinevere explained, watching the fear leap into his eyes.
The Red Ranger's jaw clenched. He turned to head for the stables when Nick jumped in front of him. "Sky, calm down," Nick tried to tell him.
Sky looked at him in contempt and asked, "If it was Madison, what would you do?"
"Let's go!" Nick ordered Chip. The trio was almost to the entrance to the arena when three more riders came streaking in.
"Guys!" Chip gasped upon seeing his three teammates.
"MADDY!" Nick cried out, rushing toward Vida's horse.
"She's just drained," Vida reassured him. "We contacted Udonna, and Maddy happened to channel too much of the power."
"HELP!" Bridge's voice interrupted suddenly. All eyes turned to the Blue Ranger who was backwards on his horse, galloping into the arena like a bat out of hell.
"Bridge!" Z called out, racing in after him.
Xander didn't think, he just urged his horse to go and between him and Z, they managed to stop Bridge's wayward house and get him down off the wretched animal. "Guys!" Clare called out. She caught sight of Madison a second later and rushed toward where the former Blue and Red Rangers were. "What happened?"
"Maddy got it into her head to contact Udonna, so Xander and I helped. We didn't realize she was using so much energy," Vida explained sheepishly.
The sorceress glared at the former Pink Ranger in contempt. "Not a smart idea. If all six of us had been present, maybe, but not three of you," Clare scolded.
"Syd!" Jack's voice ended on a gasp when a ragged looking Sydney and the four Knights came in at a trot, the five jumping off their horses when they were near the large group.
"Report!" Lancelot ordered as he, Tristan, Gawain, Bors, Dagonet, Galahad, and Bedivere came rushing forward.
"Attackers unknown. There were about a dozen or so, we killed probably half before the others fled," Kay told him.
Sydney squeaked when Sky pulled her into his arms and held on. At first, the petite blonde didn't know how to respond but she finally wiggled her arms free and wrapped them around his neck, drawing his cheek down to rest against hers. "I'm okay."
"Thank God, but please, don't scare me like that again," he breathed.
"I'm sorry," she told him, her breath tickling his ear before he pulled back.
"What the hell were you thinking?" he demanded, staring down at her.
As if sensing an argument about to started, Clare came toward them. "Sydney?" she softly interrupted. Sky sighed and let his teammate go so she could face their friend. "Are you hurt anywhere?"
"No, I'm fine, promise. Ranger training against the Krybots is much worse," Syd teased, a twinkle in her eye.
"Lady Ronan, please go back to the castle. I will meet with you when I have spoke with my Knights. Guinevere, please see to our guests."
"Of course, follow me," the Queen commanded even as Arthur helped her down from her horse.
"Unacceptable!" Nick roared while Chip looked on. Vida stood before him, arms folded over her chest while Xander stood next to her, leaning against the wall.
"Number one, it was Maddy's idea. Number two, you know how hard it is to tell her no. What were we supposed to do, let her kill herself?" Vida shot back.
Nick glared, his blue eyes intense. "Maddy will hear it when she's feeling better, but I'm warning you right now, don't do it again."
The pair rolled their eyes at him. "Of course," Xander tried to fake agreement. He wanted to point out that out of the five of them, Maddy was the strongest magically next to Nick, but he thought better of it as Nick strode out of the room, more than likely headed for his and Maddy's rooms.
The three Rangers left in the room chuckled a bit. "What crawled up his butt and died? Last I checked, Maddy was an adult," Vida grumbled. She was slightly upset that Nick didn't think she could take care of her own sister.
"He did a pretty good impression of Daggeron there," Xander laughed. "But he's right, we should have been more careful."
"He's just worried about her," Chip told them. "He loves her, and when you love that deeply, everything has the potential to freak you out."
Xander and Vida shared a quick look before turning their attention back to Chip. "Any word on Syd's attackers?" Vida asked.
"From what I could get out of Gawain, they've never seen these guys before," Chip told them.
"Makes you wonder," Xander muttered.
She felt overly warm as she slowly came awake. Her head was swimming, Udonna's urgent words echoing in her ears. "Welcome back," the familiar voice whispered softly.
Maddy's eyes opened slowly, her vision taking a few seconds to clear as she stared at the figure in front of her. "Clare?"
"Hi," the blonde haired sorceress grinned. "Feeling better?"
"My head hurts."
Clare gave her a look that had her wincing. "Madison, what you did was dangerous, to not only yourself, but to all of us."
"I'm sorry doesn't excuse what you did!" a new voice growled. Maddy turned her head slightly and saw Nick leaning against the bed post at the foot of their bed. The anger licked out from him like the fire that he controlled, causing Maddy to wince.
He raised an eyebrow at her, effectively silencing whatever protest she was about to give him. "Is she going to be okay?" he asked his cousin.
"She needs to rest. I don't think there will be any side effects."
"Clare?" Maddy squeaked.
"Udonna said to find Merlin."
Clare nodded. "We'll talk later, get some rest."
The former Blue Ranger smiled and snuggled back under the covers. Her smile grew when Nick crawled in with her. "Don't scare me like that again, please?"
"I'll try not to," she chuckled as Nick's arms slid around her waist. The former Red Ranger kissed the back of her neck even as the two fell asleep.
Her bath had started out warm and soothing, now it was starting too cool. "Milady?" one of the maids that had been assigned to her asked softly.
"Mary, I think we'd better wash my hair, the water's getting cold," she sighed.
"Of course, let me retrieve the pitcher," the young lady murmured. A few seconds later, Mary was carefully dumping water of Syd's head. The pair made quick work of the blonde's mass of curls. "Milady, I have to get your robe."
Just as the Pink Ranger stood from the tub, Sky happened to enter the room. The Red Ranger stood, transfixed, his eyes on his teammate. Syd's body glistened from the water still on it. As if just seeing her naked wasn't enough, the Pink Ranger had to go and stretch. The move thrust her pert, coral-tipped breasts into the air and showed off her firm, toned stomach. Sky's eyes traveled the length of her, noting how years of healthy eating and intense Ranger training had kept her body tight and firm in all the right places. He swallowed hard when she bent over and absently smoothed her hands over her legs from hip to toe.
"Milord," Mary murmured, reentering the room.
Sky winced as Mary's voice caused Syd to gasp and look in his direction. "SKY!" she cried out.
"Sorry!" he told her, spinning around so his back was to her. Even though he tried to be respectful, he'd still gotten an eye full and his heartbeat wasn't slowing down anytime in the near future.
The two women shared a conspiratorial smile, having seen what seeing Syd's naked body had done to Sky's. "That will be all, Mary. Sky can help me get dressed," Syd spoke out loud, grinning like a maniac.
"Yes Milady," Mary handed the robe to her and then curtsied before scurrying from the room.
The Red Ranger swallowed hard and slowly turned around, finding Sydney staring at him as she adjusted the rose colored cloth to cover her body. "I'm sorry."
"Do I look mad to you?" she asked him, grinning. Normally, Sky was calm and cool, and operated best under pressure; it was interesting to see him nervous for once. She wanted to laugh when she noticed the blush staining his cheeks and bulge below his belt. "Don't tell me you've never seen a girl naked before."
"Not one that matters as much as you do."
The Pink Ranger smiled shyly and moved toward him. "Sky?"
"Yeah?" he asked, gulping.
"You're cute when you're nervous."
The Sky she knew and loved peeped out when he glared at her. "Funny."
Biting her lip, Sydney looked up at him through her eyelashes. "Will you do me a favor?"
"Depends on what it is."
The Pink Ranger rolled her eyes heavenward. "Will you help me dress for dinner?"
Sky swallowed nervously but agreed. "Sure."
"Thank you," she whispered, reaching up and pecking a light kiss to his cheek. When she turned to head for their bed, Sky finally came to his senses and stopped her. Sydney squeaked in surprise when Sky pulled her close to him. The pair gasped softly, both of them feeling highly aroused and aware that the only things separating them were Syd's very thin robe and Sky's shirt and pants.
Sky leaned down, cupped her cheeks, and kissed her forehead, her eyelids, and both her cheeks before finally leaning close and lightly caressing her lips with his own.
Sydney sighed into the kiss. When Sky pulled away, she whimpered. "Don't stop," she whined softly.
The Red Ranger chuckled and leaned toward her, catching her bottom lip between his and biting it gently. Sydney moaned and strained against him. After several teasing kisses that sped up both their heart rates, Sky finally gave in to what they both wanted and kissed her full on again.
The tiny blonde's hands shifted through the hair at the nape of his neck while Sky's hands moved from her cheeks, down her shoulders, down her sides, before finally coming to rest at her impossibly small waist. Once he had a good grip on her, he pulled her in close to him, both of them aware of his arousal pressed against her stomach.
Sydney reveled in feeling his attraction to her. Over the years, she'd had scores of admirers and had never lacked in the boyfriend department. However, in the five years since she'd been teamed up with Sky, she'd come to love him. She didn't love him because he was drop dead gorgeous, though that did help, but she'd come to love the man she'd gotten to know.
He was moody, stuffy, and sarcastic, but she also saw the loyalty he prided himself on, the sense of justice that let him continue to defend Earth even after all the bad things he'd seen, and she'd been privy to the broken heart of a little boy who'd lost his father at too young of an age. He had an incredible sense of humor when he decided to let one see it, and he was also extremely intelligent.
The thing that drew her to him most was that once he accepted you as one of his own, you were there permanently; family was incredibly important to him, just as important as honor and doing the right thing.
For Sky, having his best female friend pressed tightly against him was a dream he'd never thought would come true. He'd always thought Sydney was so far out of his league that he'd never have a chance with her. Over the years he'd had girlfriends, but one of two things always happened – they left him because they couldn't handle his goal-driven attitude or he left them because they were too immature. Somehow, in five years, he'd found himself falling for his blonde haired, pink loving teammate.
Sydney wasn't, on first glance, the type of girl most people would have expected him to want. She had a tendency to be a self absorbed, shallow, typical, rich daddy's girl. Sky could remember thinking the same exact thing not even twenty four hours after they'd first been put on B Squad together. It was laughable how fast she'd proven him wrong.
Despite what a person would think upon meeting her, Syd could kick ass any day. She was one hell of a sharp shooter, a whiz at computers, and she passed with flying colors at surveillance. Not to mention how many times over the years she'd been able to beat both him and Bridge in hand to hand combat.
Sky had also learned over the years that while she didn't broadcast it, the beautiful Pink Ranger thought of much more than herself. She gave tons of money to numerous charities and donated a lot of her personal time to helping New Tech City's underprivileged children. He couldn't count how many times he'd been in the Common Room, reading a book, and she'd come home in tears from seeing kids that were so much less fortunate than herself. It had touched his heart in so many ways to know the kind of woman she was, and that he was one of the few who got to see that part of her, the part she hid from the rest of the world.
Even with his hands holding her hips, Syd managed to arch her body against him, causing him to break their kiss and groan. "Syd!" his voice came out in nearly a moan.
"Yes," she sighed, before grinning up at him.
"Tease," he told her, leaning down to kiss the spot between her shoulder and neck that the robe wasn't covering.
Sky was just about to pick her up and carry her to the bed when a loud knocking at the door startled them. Sydney quickly fixed her robe while Sky headed for the door. "Yes?" he barked, and then bit his lip when he saw Lady Ronan standing before him.
"Sir Sky, may I have an audience with you?" she asked, her voice coming off as an irritating screech instead of the flirtatiousness she was hoping for.
"I'm afraid I'm rather busy at the moment, Milady," Sky ground out, wanting nothing more than to close the door in her face and go back to Sydney, who he knew was standing behind him, listening in.
"It will only be a few moments, I promise," she pleaded.
Sydney arched an eyebrow at the seductive tone of the women's voice. She glared at Sky's back before a wicked idea crossed her mind. Before she could stop herself, she was heading for the door. "Sky, who is it?" she asked, carefully approaching the open door from behind Sky. The Pink Ranger smirked when she saw the dark look filter onto Lady Ronan's face.
"Lady Ronan, allow me to properly introduce Sydney Drew," Sky all but laughed. The look on the woman's face was not a happy one, let alone he hadn't spent as much time as he had over the years in Syd's presence, let alone Z's, without having learned a thing or two about females. Sydney had that territorial look in her eyes, and he suddenly felt very sorry for Lady Ronan; she had no clue what was headed her way.
"Hello," Syd greeted as she snuggled close to Sky's side. "When you're done, come help me with my dress, please?" she softly begged, looking up into Sky's eyes. She wanted to laugh, because she saw that he knew what she was trying to do.
Sky chuckled and leaned down to kiss her softly, wishing he could do more but knew they had an audience. "A promise is a promise." When Sky turned back to Lady Ronan, the woman was all but seething. "What can I do for you?" he asked, letting Syd go so she could head back towards their bed.
"I was going to ask if you will escort me to dinner this evening," she primly asked.
The Red Ranger tried to look disappointed. "I'm sorry, but I'm already escorting Sydney."
"Very well then," Lady Ronan all but hissed in displeasure before turning and sweeping from the room.
"That woman is a Class A Bitch!"
Sky laughed, slamming the door shut before he turned to Sydney, who was standing behind him, hands on her hips, robe slipping off her right shoulder. Shaking his head, Sky moved to her, his hands slipping around her waist. He leaned down and kissed her shoulder again, gently biting as he did. "Chill out," he told her, grinning. Sydney gave him a look that had him trying to sooth her. "I only want you, so you have nothing to worry about."
"You had better only want me, because I don't want to be forced to kill her, or you," she saucily told him, lifting her mouth to his. Sky leaned close and granted her silent request, their lips meshing again. They stood there for several long moments, trading lush, intense kisses before Sydney finally pulled back. "You really need to help me with my dress; it's going to take a good twenty minutes to get me into it, more if you're helping me."
"As you wish, Milady," he laughed, sweeping her up off her feet and carrying her to their bed where her dress was laid out.
"Jack?" Ally called, sitting up slowly on their bed, stretching as she did so.
"Right here," Jack answered, moving from the window back toward the bed.
The blonde smiled and slid her arms around his shoulders when he was close enough for her to touch. "What's wrong? You're all tense and you didn't lay down with me," she quietly asked.
"I've just got a weird feeling."
Ally gave him a look that made his heart ease. "Ranger training kicking in?" she teased.
Jack chuckled and nodded. "Two years later and its still ingrained in my body, my heart, my mind."
"I know," she smiled. "Have you talked to the others about this?"
He shook his head. "No, I don't want to worry them needlessly."
All gave him another look, only this one was a 'that's not smart' look. "At least tell Sky. As team leader, he needs to be aware of this.
"I don't want to admit it, but you're right," he cracked, faking a groan when Ally smacked the back of his head.
"Will you help me dress? Apparently Her Majesty has given me a dress that requires assistance, and no one to help me with it," she requested.
"Anything my lady wishes," Jack murmured, leaning forward to kiss her.
Chip opened the door to his and Xander's room and found Clare standing quietly before him. "Is everything okay?"
Clare nodded. "Everything's fine. I was just coming to see if you were ready for dinner."
The former Yellow Ranger grinned. "I'm ready," he told her, shutting the door behind him when he stepped into the hallway.
Chip took a moment to take her in with his eyes. Over the course of the last few months, they'd been steadily working toward something more serious, so it was a pleasure to just stare at her. She wore a pale yellow, empire-waisted dress with purple lace accents. Here long blonde hair was pulled back in a demure half-bun ponytail, leaving her face open for his perusal.
"What? Do I have something on my face?" she softly asked, bringing her hands up to touch her cheeks.
"No, I'm just admiring how beautiful you are," Chip told her. He reached out and brought her hand up to his lips.
Clare smiled serenely and allowed him to tuck her hand in his elbow, leading her down the hallway toward the dinning hall.
"Have you seen Chip?" Xander demanded, charging into Vida and Clare's room. He stopped short when he saw Vida stepping from a tub of water.
The former Pink Ranger let out a little gasp as she spun around and found Xander staring at her. "Don't you know how to knock?" she yelled, attempting to cover herself with her hands.
"I'm sorry! I didn't realize you were taking a bath!" Xander apologized.
Angrily, she reached over and snatched a robe off a chair, covering herself. "That's why I asked if you knew how to knock!" she fumed. She closed the distance between them in three strides. "What do you want?"
"Have you seen Chip?"
"I'm assuming he walked Clare downstairs. She wasn't here when I woke up from my nap."
Xander swallowed and nodded. "I'll….um….I'll go…"
Vida glared. "No, you're not going. I need help getting into my dress."
Xander's eyes widened in shock. "V, I don't think…"
"Not thinking is what got you into your current predicament," she admonished him, stalking to the bed. Xander swallowed even harder when Vida boldly dropped the robe and stepped into her dress, pulling it up to her waist. "Will you come lace this up, please?"
The former Green Ranger moved to her, carefully taking the dress in his hands before he began to lace it up. Several times his fingertips grazed the soft skin of her back, making them both shiver. He almost had the back of the dress laced up when he impulsively leaned down and kissed her shoulder. Vida let out a little gasp and leaned back against him.
"Vida, we've been friends for years," he started softly.
"Why is it in the last year, I can't seem to think about anyone but you?" he asked, his voice right against her ear. "I go on dates, flirt outrageously with women, and it all comes back to you. Why do you think that is?" His lips moved back down and pressed kisses to the skin of her shoulder and neck while his hands slid around from her back to caress her stomach. "You're the most obstinate woman I know, and for the life of me I can't figure out why I find that sexy."
Vida grinned and let her fingers trail up and down his arms. "You're the most egotistical, chauvinistic jerk I know; damn if I don't find it arousing."
Xander found the pulse at her throat and gently sucked. "V."
"As much as I hate to say this, we should probably go downstairs before I do something neither of us is ready for."
The former Pink Ranger let out a breath and nodded. She understood what he meant; they still needed to talk about this attraction between them. Pulling away, she put enough space between them so that he could finish tying her dress.
King Arthur smiled as his guests entered in pairs and were seated around the room. "Welcome. I assume all are well?"
"Yes, Your Majesty," Nick responded.
"Good. I would like to announce a meeting of Knights in the round table room," Arthur told them. "The six of you need to be in attendance."
The girls made to protest until a look from Clare silenced them. "Queen Guinevere requests the presence of the ladies, in her sitting room."
Maddy, Vida, Z and Syd crossed their arms over their chests, reluctantly giving in to his subtle command. Ally merely looked at Jack, who shrugged and Clare rolled her eyes. Nick, Xander, and Chip chuckled while Bridge and Sky reached over and took the hands of their girlfriends, or in Sky's case, his unofficial girlfriend.
Sydney shot him a look that had him squeezing her hand. It wasn't until they saw Lady Ronan enter that Syd clutched his hand. "Relax," he told her softly. "I'm not going anywhere near her, I promise," he assured his Pink Ranger.
"She gives me the creeps, Sky," Syd whispered.
Leaning over, Sky brought his free hand up to cup her cheek and brought her face close to his. Sensing his intent, Sydney's eyes fluttered shut and she turned her mouth up for his kiss.
Their teammates watched with smiles as the two finally surrendered, publicly, to what had been building for years. "He finally looks happy," Jack murmured even as he brought Ally's hand to his lips, kissing it tenderly.
Ally laughed softly. "Definitely not what Sky would have done when you first met him, huh?"
"Definitely not," Jack grinned. The former Red Ranger gave a nod to Bridge and Z's thumbs up they were giving him.
Syd and Sky pulled apart slowly, the world around them reasserting itself. "Sky?" Syd whispered.
"We'll finish that later," he grinned. The Pink Ranger nodded and before long, she shifted her attention to the roasted chicken on her plate.
Across the room, Clare sighed happily while Vida and Maddy traded knowing glances. "Heads up," Chip whispered as Lady Ronan approached the group.
Vida's eyebrow went up when the red-head sidled up and leaned over to show her cleavage to Xander. "I do not think I have had the pleasure of meeting you, Sir Knight."
The former Green Ranger gave her a look before turning his eyes to Vida for help. "His name is Xander, and you can just back your little butt up, because he's already spoken for."
Lady Ronan stared at Vida, an eyebrow rising. "How dare you speak to me like that, you little wench!"
Vida was unfazed by the shrieking. "You know, the King and Queen ought to rethink making snotty people nobles," Vida growled at her.
"V," Maddy's soft voice carried an unspoken command. The former Pink Ranger sat back in her chair and then grinned when Xander reached over and took her hand.
"Very well," Lady Ronan recovered. "Maybe Sir Xander should teach YOU some manners, peasant."
Just as Lady Ronan was walking away, Vida snapped her finger, causing the woman's dress to come untied. Guinevere and Arthur tried not to laugh when Ronan's dress slipped off, revealing the thin shift she wore underneath. "AHHHH!" she screamed, drawing attention to herself before she turned and ran from the room.
"Lady Vida," Arthur admonished, trying to hide his grin.
"Sire, my gift says I may harm none, it doesn't say I can't have a little fun," Vida grinned. "She deserved it."
Arthur nodded. "You will have to forgive Lady Ronan; she is a rather spoiled child." There were snickers around the room from Knights, Ladies, and the Rangers at Arthur's comment.