Until You
By:
Pink-Green-White-4ever
Last Revised: January 20, 2010

Summary: I've never known what it could feel like, to care for someone so much that you physically hurt when they do, that your heart constricts when they aren't at their best. It's never been that way until you.
Rating: T for violence and language
Ship: S/S

Author's Note: This story was inspired by the Boys Like Girls song "Two Is Better Than One" featuring Taylor Swift. It doesn't particularly follow the song, but it was inspired by it.
Author's Note 2: The text in Italics is Sky's memories
Disclaimer: I don't own Power Rangers, am not affiliated with anyone who owns them, nor do I own the song that inspired this fic. The title was given to me by Enigmaforum.

Dedication: Enigmaforum, for being such a supportive little sister and always being a positive influence on my life. Shawn, for helping me edit this, write it, get it sounding just right and being the best big brother ever. Ang, Rapunzl and Liz, thanks for being such bright lights in my life and three of the best sisters EVER. LOVE YA!

--

I remember what you wore on the first day
You came into my life and I thought
"Hey, you know, this could be something"
'Cause everything you do and words you say
You know that it all takes my breath away
And now I'm left with nothing

So maybe it's true
That I can't live without you
And maybe two is better than one
But there's so much time
To figure out the best of my life
And you've already got me coming undone
And I'm thinking two is better than one

I remember every look upon your face
The way you roll your eyes
The way you taste
You make it hard for breathing
'Cause when I close my eyes and drift away
I think of you and everything's okay
I'm finally now believing

That maybe it's true
That I can't live without you
And maybe two is better than one
But there's so much time
To figure out the best of my life
And you've already got me coming undone
And I'm thinking two is better than one

I remember what you wore on the first day
You came into my life and I thought, "Hey,"
Maybe it's true
That I can't live without you
Maybe two is better than one
But there's so much time
To figure out the best of my life
And you've already got me coming undone
And I'm thinking
I can't live without you
'Cause, baby, two is better than one

But there's so much time
To figure out the best of my life
But I'll figure it out
When all is said and done
Two is better than one
Two is better than one

Two is Better Than One - Boys Like Girls ft. Taylor Swift

--

If his mind hadn't been so full of the events of the last couple of days, he might actually have enjoyed his surroundings a bit more. It wasn't every day he got more than five minutes to himself with silence so complete he could hear the beat of his own heart in his ears. His shoes were sitting on the floorboard of his car, so the wet sand was squishy between his toes as he walked along the deserted beach. Black slacks were rolled up in an attempt to keep them from getting wet, his hands were shoved in his pockets, and the red sweater he was wearing was barely keeping away the chill. His eyes were trained on the setting sun on the horizon, but he wasn't acknowledging the beautiful plays of blue, pink, red, purple orange, or yellow in the sky. His mind was elsewhere.

She'd enjoy standing here with him, watching the sun's dying rays play a sweet, colorful symphony in the sky, sparkling off the water and dancing around the clouds. He was sure she'd enjoy it, if she wasn't currently lying in the infirmary, sedated so she didn't make her injuries worse. His hands clenched into fists in his pockets while he squeezed his eyes shut, trying to block the onslaught of images from that morning, ones that made him physically ill. He'd almost lost her, almost lost the one person he cared most for in this incredibly screwed up world. Just the thought of life without his blonde-haired teammate made him want to die. He wasn't one to give into such emotions, but damn it, losing Sydney would have been like cutting off his right arm, or carving out a hole in his heart again, like the one that had been there since his father's death, only this time much bigger than before.

He swallowed the bitter taste in his throat and took several long, calming breaths. She was safe; he had to keep reminding himself of that. She was safe and sound, and resting. Bridge and Z were with her, Dr. Felix was monitoring her. She was going to be okay. The bastard who hurt her was lucky he was dead now, instead of sitting in one of the containment cards; Sky knew he'd have devised the worst possible torture for the guy if he hadn't already been reduced to dust. Blowing out the breath he hadn't been aware he was holding Sky shook his head to clear it of the anger currently rising. He had killed someone without a thought to his career or the consequences, all because Sydney had been hurt. It was something he had to learn to accept – he had taken a life in revenge for what had been done and what had been almost done to her.

And to think, the whole thing had started out as a routine morning patrol for the Red and Pink Rangers.

--

2 Days Earlier

"Sydney, would you hurry up!" Sky shouted in frustration as he entered the girls' quarters. Z was in the Command Center with Bridge and Boom going over modifications to the Delta Fliers, leaving the Red and Pink Rangers to patrol the city on their own. He'd waited for her for ten minutes before finally having had enough. Now he was standing in the doorway to her room, staring in fascination as she was bent over on her knees searching for something under her bed. Even in her uniform, Sky swallowed, her backside looked gorgeous.

"Sorry!" she squeaked, popping out from under her bed, holding the matching earring to the one already in her left ear in her hand. "I dropped the back to my earring."

"You should have just taken the other one off and come on. We're going to be late, and I don't know about you, but it's getting cold out, I don't want to run the mud course in 40 degree weather because Cruger found out we were late."

The Pink Ranger sent a withering glare in his direction. "Excuse me, contrary to what you seem to believe, I actually like to look good despite these god-awful uniforms we wear. Unlike you, I have a public image I do have to try and maintain," she grumbled as she shoved the post of her earring through her earlobe, letting out a screech when it didn't go in the hole.

"Syd!" he let out in surprise, rushing over to see how much damage she'd done to herself. "Let me look," he muttered. He gently tilted her head to the side, carefully brushed her hair out of the way, all the while trying NOT to think of the soft, sweetly scented skin of her face and neck. "Doesn't look like you're bleeding," he quietly determined, his thumb gently caressing the offended ear. He swallowed hard when Syd shivered and turned her eyes to his.

"Will you put it in for me?" she quietly asked, offering up the back and the post.

"Sure," he gulped, biting his lip as he took the jewelry. Carefully, he slid the post into the hole in her ear before gently pressing the back onto it from behind. Satisfied that it was secured, he gave her ear one last caress to make sure it would stay put, but also to touch her while he could, before stepping back. The shiver that worked its way up her spine, producing goose-bumps on her skin didn't go unnoticed. "Ready?"

"Aye-aye Captain."

--

Staring out at the water's horizon, his eyes latched onto one of the many freighters leaving New Tech's harbor, bound for the other side of the world, and the luxury cruise ship closer to shore. It was amazing how much he and Syd were like the two ships – they were from completely different worlds but still related somehow. God did he wish he could finally just work up the courage to tell her how he felt, but every time he did, he was reminded that their lives outside of SPD were so far apart, and she was so far above him, that he felt he couldn't risk his heart.

Sydney was a different person when she was at SPD then she was when her parents were around, and it left him wondering sometimes which side of her was really her. But of course, that was just stupid, he knew which part of her was the real her. Hadn't he made it a point this last year to get to know all three of his teammates better? He'd spent countless hours just talking to her. Sydney wasn't, deep down, the spoiled princess everyone made her out to be, or even that she showed everyone. She had hopes and dreams that were very down to Earth, and most of them didn't involve herself. She wanted to start her own charity to help orphaned children from war ravaged countries and planets. She wanted to adopt kids as well as have her own. She wanted to make the universe a much safer place, not just as a member of SPD, but as a diplomat. Surprisingly enough, Sydney was damn good when it came to discussing peace and diplomacy.

It had surprised him greatly over the course of the last year the kind of people she actually hung out with – other than Z, Bridge and himself, she spent a lot of time with a select group of friends she'd had since grade school. Rarely when she went out did she go and do the starlet thing – most outings were to the park, the beach, or a friend's house where she could be just Syd and not Sydney Drew Pop Star and Model. Maybe that's what attracted him to her. During the course of their first year as Rangers, Syd had always been the one to try and involve him in the plans the team made, activities they were doing, anything. She was the one who had taken a deeper look at him when he'd been grouchy, cranky, and surly. Hadn't she been the one to talk to him about why Cruger chose Jack over him to be Red Ranger? She'd been the first one of the team to stand up for him and his father against Mirloc. She was the only one he'd ever been comfortable physically touching and getting close to during that first year.

It still amazed him to remember that he had been head over heels in love with her before he'd realized he was even falling. Z and Kat had unknowingly pointed it out to him about three months ago. Syd had gone out on a date with a guy that he remembered not liking for some odd reason. He hadn't been able to say what bothered him, but something about the vibes he got just didn't sit well with him. Z had teased him after Syd had left, asking him why he'd suddenly cared about Sydney's choice in dates. At the time, he hadn't thought anything of it. It wasn't until later that evening when he'd been helping Kat with the upgrades to their SWAT gear that he'd realized what was going on. The conversation he and Kat had been having had gone from business to personal rather innocuously. When he'd mentioned Z's teasing and his own feelings about Syd's date, the feline scientist had just stared at him, grinning, before she shook her head. He'd all but demanded to know what was obviously amusing her, and had been shocked as hell when she's said – "What you're feeling is called love."

He was in love with Sydney. It had knocked him for a loop, and taken him most of the night to come to grips with Kat's assessment, but at just before midnight, as Sydney had quietly walked into the common room, Sky realized she'd been right. It had been a long, confusing three months as his common sense and his heart battled back and forth over whether or not to tell her. After what had happened that morning two days ago, though, he knew as soon as Syd was back on her feet, he had to tell her. He couldn't risk losing her again and not having her know how he felt.

--

Sky motioned with his right hand for Syd to pull over to the curb with him when he felt the vibration of his communicator going off at his belt. Pulling up at the corner of Main and Hightower, the pair quickly got off their patrol bikes to answer Kat's call. Shortly after Jack had left the team, and Cruger had decided that they wouldn't find a replacement Green Ranger, Kat had taken it upon herself to upgrade the girls to patrol cycles. Both Syd and Z had taken to them like fish to water. "This is Sky, go ahead," the Red Ranger answered.

"Sky, we're getting a massive amount of reports of an alien on a rampage at the harbor. You and Syd are the closest to the vicinity; Doggie wants you to check it out."

"You got it," Sky responded, moving to clip his morpher back on his belt. "Ready?"

"After you, fearless leader," she teased, popping her white and pink helmet back onto her head before peeling out seconds behind him.

At the main gate leading to the harbor, they quickly parked their bikes, and then carefully began heading in the direction of the disturbance. "Sky, we're not going to find anything if we stick together," Syd suggested, cocking her head to stare at him while he turned around to face her.

"I don't like the idea of splitting up, especially since we're walking blindly into this," he retorted.

"I'm aware of that, but it's quiet here. The disturbance probably got blown out of proportion. Look, let's split up, meet back here in ten minutes. If we don't find something, we can head back."

The Red Ranger looked lost in thought as he struggled to decide what to do. He knew she was probably right; if they hadn't found their quarry yet, it was unlikely the alien was even still in the vicinity. "Alright, let's go. Ten minutes, and keep your morpher handy just in case."

"What am I, stupid? Trust me, if I run into something you'll be the first to know," she joked before turning and heading to the right, leaving Sky to shake his head after her and head left.

Ten minutes later, the Red Ranger found himself alone at their meeting place, having heard no word from his Pink teammate, nor having found anything in his search. He checked his watch several times over the next couple of minutes before he grabbed his morpher. "Sky to Syd, come in," he spoke into the device, his voice sounding as irritated as he felt. She said ten minutes, and damn it, he expected her to be on time. "Sydney, this isn't funny, come in!" he growled a second time, but only found himself met with silence. Gritting his teeth, he changed tactics. "Sky to Dr. Manx, come in."

"Go ahead Sky."

"Syd and I split up twenty minutes ago, she's ten minutes late meeting me back at our rendezvous point. Can you please track her?"

"I'm showing her morpher signal coming from approximately a mile from your location."

Sky's eyes narrowed and his expression turned grim. "A mile? How the hell did that happen, it's only been twenty minutes, she'd have to have been running full on to get that far from here."

"Sky, Z's tried contacting her; she's not answering us either."

It was then that worry started seeping in. "Dispatch Bridge and Z to Syd's last known location; I'm heading that way now."

"Be careful."

The Red Ranger didn't answer; his heart was already up in his throat as he jumped on his bike and sped the mile to Syd's location. He was hopping off his bike before the engine had even come to a complete stop. Tossing his helmet aside, he quickly pulled his gloves off and began searching for his partner. "SYD?" he hollered her name, his head whipping back and forth, eyes trained to catch any movement at all that would lead him to her. "SYDNEY!" he called again, hoping against hope she'd answer him.

"Looking for the little girl in Pink?" a sinisterly dark voice taunted from the shadows of a nearby alley. Sky couldn't make out the figure, except that he was HUGE.

"Where is she? What have you done to her?"

"Oh her and I have been getting acquainted. The question, Red, is what I will do to her if you don't throw your morpher on the ground."

Anger and helplessness exploded across Sky's face as fear filled him. "Let me see her!" he demanded, calculating how he'd get Syd to safety. The second the hulking figure stepped from the shadows, Sky's heart stopped. Massive didn't begin to describe this guy – he was well over seven feet tall, a brick wall with legs if his body was anything to go on, he had this sickly gray, scaly skin, his face loosely resembled a cross between a snake and an iguana and one look into his eyes and all Sky saw was evil. Black, bottomless pools of evil. He held Sydney like a rag doll against him, her face bloodied with bruises already forming.

"Like I said, we was getting acquainted. Now, Red, if you don't want to stand there and watch me while I slit her pretty little throat, you'll throw your morpher over near that bench," the alien gestured.

It burned like no other, but as Sky quickly realized, he had no choice but to throw his morpher away. "Sky! Don't!" Syd cried out, her voice cutting off in a tortured shriek as the being holding her wrenched her arm back and slid his sword under her chin.

"Now now Pinkie-girl, do you really want to die?" he hissed in her ear.

"You're already going to go to jail for what you've done to me, kill me and you'll get locked in one of those nifty containment cards SPD is so fond of," she argued back, biting her lip through the pain. She could see the anger rising to the surface in Sky – his body language was always far easier to read than his face. Only now, she could see those electric blue eyes of his snapping with visible sparks of energy – something she'd never seen happen before. Sky had been angry before – over Cruger initially giving him the blue morpher, over Jack's careless attitude toward the team in the beginning, over Mirloc's role in his father's death and his own subsequent releasing of the mirror alien, but never, NEVER before in her acquaintance with him had she seen him this angry.

She watched him shake his head, looking down at the morpher in his hand. He couldn't seriously be considering tossing his morpher…could he? He knew better – the fate of the many versus the fate of one; his job was to protect the people of Earth, not her. "Officer Tate, don't you dare!" she yelled at him, but found her voice suddenly cut off as her captor squeezed a beefy hand around her wind pipe. She made a gasping sound and watched as Sky flinched and flung his morpher away.

"I did what you demanded, now let her go!" Sky yelled back, his hands clenched at his sides, his whole body vibrating.

"I never said I'd let her go, I said I'd let her live….maybe," the alien grinned. Sky's eyes widened when the perp produced a long, curved blade from inside his jacket sleeve. "Since it took you so long to follow orders, and because she's got a big mouth, I think Pinkie here deserves a lesson. What do you think Tate?"

Sky flinched and lurched forward even as he watched the knife slide into Syd's side. The scream that tore from her throat shredded Sky's heart. "Uh uh, take another step and I slit her throat."

"LET HER GO!" Sky yelled, his face as red as the uniform that signaled his ranger status. "Take me instead!"

"Oh no, boyo, watching her suffer is going to hurt you more," the alien laughed. "Haven't you stopped to wonder why I'm doing this? I'd think a strapping young officer like yourself would want to know why I'm so intent on hurting the cute little Pink Ranger."

Sky's thoughts couldn't get clear of the fact that Sydney was on her knees, her uniform soaked through with her precious, life sustaining blood. He didn't care why this crazy person was doing this; all he wanted was to make it stop so he could get Syd help. "I'm sure you're going to tell me."

"I want Gruumm released."

Blue eyes lifted to the gray face of Syd's attacker. "Are you nuts? SPD isn't going to release him, not after the devastation he caused."

"Not even for the beloved B Squad Pink Ranger?" Sky's eyes narrowed, this guy knew way too much about them for this to be random. So why hadn't he realized that to begin with? "That's right, Tate, I know who you are. I knew who she was the minute she revealed herself to me. Gruumm will pay me handsomely when he finds out I killed the infamous B Squad."

It pained him, even as Syd's terror filled eyes met his, her head nodding. "Not even for her. Not for me, not for any of the other Rangers. SPD doesn't make deals with terrorists and planet invaders."

"Then I guess I get to make an example out of you, until your friends arrive," he quipped, jerking Sydney to her feet. Sky could see her gasp in pain, but because of the injury to her throat, her scream was a silent one. "You're going to be the first to go, Pink Ranger. And Red there's going to watch me take your life, going to watch the lovely light in your eyes go out, and know that there was nothing he could do. He's too chicken hearted, just like his father."

Whatever color was left in Sky's face faded as he heard the perp's words. He could only watch on helplessly as the guy slammed his fist into Syd's chest, dropping the Pink Ranger to her knees again. The Red Ranger could see the tremor of pain radiating through her body as her head fell backwards, tears trailing down her face. Finally having had enough, Sky lunged forward just as another fist slammed into his teammate, sending her sailing limply through the air, crashing into a nearby wall.

Sky snatched the blaster from his leg on the fly, praying his aim was true as he fired on Syd's attacker. An inhuman snarl let loose from the Red Ranger's throat, drawing his opponent's attention to him. Sky couldn't move fast enough, his legs and arms snapping out with lethal force as he attempted to take down the man who'd hurt his best friend. The blows did more damage to his own body then it did to the alien's. The big guy just laughed and dodged. "Ooooh, that tickles!" he laughed when Sky nailed him dead center of his chest with his blaster.

A blast of unseen power sent Sky tumbling backwards, his instincts and skills kicking in just in time for him to right himself and dive out of the way of a laser blast. Rolling, Sky finally came to a stop, just feet from the bench where he'd thrown his morpher. His eyes flicked to the device, then back to where his opponent was striding forward. He watched him reach for Sydney again, and felt an anger and hatred so hot flash through him. He reached out, his fingers clutching the device, and began a sprint forward. Luckily for him, Syd had just enough presence of mind to reach for her belt. He watched with satisfaction as her fist of iron slammed into the jaw of her attacker, sending him stumbling back while Syd fell to the pavement. With one arm, Sky flung a large, red shield out around Syd and with the other hand, he accessed his morpher. "SPD EMERGENCY!"

"You can't hurt me!" the alien roared, even while he wiped the blood from his face.

"Try me," Sky's voice was low, the tone deadly.

"Mind if we join the party?" a familiar voice rang out, announcing the arrival of the Blue and Yellow Rangers.

The alien sneered. "Ooooh, the gang's all here," he taunted. "I'll deal with you two once Pinkie and Red here are out of the way."

Bridge and Z raced to Sky's side, each of them gasping when they finally got a good look at Sydney's crumpled form. "We have to get her out of here," Bridge moaned, feeling Syd's pain across the space between them.

"Then I guess Sky better put to use the present we brought him," Z ground out, her own anger rising to a crescendo. Even from the distance she was away from her teammate, she could see Syd had lost a lot of blood.

Violent barking accompanied Z's words, making Sky almost smile under his helmet. "BATTELIZER! SONIC MODE!" the Red Ranger called out, beginning to sprint forward as the robotic canine charged. In a matter of seconds, Sky had gone from normal Red Ranger mode to Battelizer Mode. "Battelizer Mode 2 Complete!"

Behind him, Bridge and Z lifted their morphers as well. "SWAT MODE!" they called out, exchanging their normal uniforms for the enhanced versions.

"You think a power up is going to help you?"

Sky motioned for the others to head for Syd, while he charged their opponent, his sword drawn and quickly powering up as he moved. The Red Ranger said nothing – could say nothing. He'd let this monstrous being damn near kill his best friend, his teammate, the woman he loved – Sky'd be damned if he gave this lackey of Gruumm's the satisfaction of knowing how much he had hurt him by doing what he had to his partner.

"NO!" the alien yelled as Sky repeatedly slashed out with his sword, his angry grunts accompanying each strike. When he found he could no longer lift his sword, Sky stood back, chest heaving, and watched his opponent explode in an array of power. As the dust settled, and realization sunk in, the Red Ranger fell to his knees, a tormented sound tearing from his throat.

--

She'd lost so much blood. Bridge and Z hadn't let him near her when they'd loaded her into the ambulance, because both of them knew the frame of mind he'd been in afterwards. It was hard enough having seen her at the med-bay after she'd been cleaned up, stitched up, and put in a private room. Every last shred of his sanity would have fled if he'd seen her close up after the battle.

Even now, he still clung to the thin line between reason and madness. She hadn't woken up, and Dr. Felix wasn't sure when, or God forbid IF, she would. She was alive, but her body had suffered major trauma.

Kat had finally forced him from her room, telling him if he didn't get sleep and something to eat, she was going to go straight to the commander about it. He knew she was trying to take care of him, but Sky's one thought was to be by Syd's side when she woke up. But, here he was, nearly two days later, standing on the beach, trying to bide his time and clear his head before he headed back to her room.

The sudden beeping jolted him from his thoughts, instinct had him reaching for his morpher. "Go for Tate."

"You need to get back to the base, she's awake and asking for you," Z's tired voice piped through the device. Sky felt his heart soar.

"On my way."

--

Even under the bandages, bruises, and tubes that had kept her alive the last two days, she was still the most beautiful woman in the world to him. He leaned against the doorframe, arms crossed over his chest, watching Kat as she wrote down her notes in Syd's file. The Pink Ranger was apparently fast asleep again, her bruised eyes dark against pale skin. He found he couldn't break the quiet; she looked so peaceful and his heart was still thumping painfully against his chest, knowing she was conscious. When their feline advisor looked up, she caught his eyes, smiled and nodded before walking toward him. A second later she patted his left arm and whispered, "She's been asking for you, but Dr. Felix gave her some more meds, so she may slip in and out when they kick in."

"How's she doing?"

"Better. The Ranger powers are what kept her from dying; her civilian powers and her immune system kicked in and have done the rest. She's lucky, because she's strong. It'll be a few more days here in the quiet before Dr. Felix will let her move to another room."

Sky just nodded his head, his eyes on Syd's sleeping form. "I won't stay long," he told her, watching her smile from the corner of his eyes.

"You're fine. Right now, Dr. Felix thinks your presence will help more than hinder. But don't forget, you got banged around too and you need rest. I've already sent Bridge and Z to their rooms." With that, Kat slipped out of the room, carefully closing the door behind her. Sky stayed where he was, simply watching her. He felt if he moved he'd break the peace and quiet that had settled.

The silence was broken when Syd moaned softly, scrunching her face up. Sky looked alarmed until he realized her eyes were open and the setting sun was streaming right into them through the blinds of the window. Quietly, he moved over and closed the blinds, before turning and moving to sit next to her bed. Her stuffed elephant, Peanuts, was tucked under one arm, Z having obviously brought the beloved stuffed animal from their room. Pulling the chair up, he sat as close as he could. Reaching out gently so as not to scare her, Sky took her bruised and battered hand into his. "Sky…" her voice came out a tiny sigh. Even just that simple word left her looking like she was in pain.

"I'm right here," he whispered back, unconsciously stroking the back of her hand with his thumb.

He watched her struggle to open swollen eyes again. "Where were you?" she asked her voice breathy and strained.

"Beach," he responded, squeezing her hand lightly. "I'm okay. How are you feeling?"

"I feel like I got…." she struggled to tell him, swallowing to sooth her sore throat. "…run over by a truck."

"I'll bet," he tried to chuckle, but it came out a strangled sound, one that had her squeezing his fingers. He bit his top lip, as he was known to do when he was upset or nervous.

"Sky…"

"Shhhh, it's okay," he reassured her. "Just rest."

Sydney watched him settle back in the chair, his fingers still twined with her own. She frowned, noticing all the small details only someone who really knew Sky would notice, and she was confused by what they were saying – the Red Ranger was nervous and hurting. He was staring down at her hand, his thumb still absently rubbing across it. He was still biting his lips, which meant he was deep in thought about what to say. And then there was the lines between his eyebrows, which Syd knew very well only ended up there when he was upset about something. "Talk to me, Sky," she murmured, squeezing his fingers to get his attention.

He said nothing, simply staring at her hand before his eyes rose to meet hers. "You scared the hell out of me," he finally managed, pain radiating from his navy eyes, arrowing straight to Sydney's heart. "I thought I'd lost you."

The Pink Ranger couldn't help but feel guilty. Sky's worst fear, she knew, was losing the ones he loved most. It was something she was sure he'd carry for the rest of his life. The scar of losing his father would impact all of his relationships, it was unavoidable. "Oh Sky," she breathed, her eyes filling with tears.

He closed his eyes and shook his head, hoping to dispel the images Sydney knew were haunting his thoughts. Sky felt things so much deeper than he ever let on. His detachment from situations didn't always mean what it seemed. "I'm sorry I didn't get there sooner, that I didn't stop him from hurting you," he let out in a rush.

"You saved me," she reminded him.

"I let him nearly kill you!" he almost screamed, his tone telling Sydney that perhaps for the first time she was about to see Sky's emotions closer to the surface than she ever had before. "I panicked Syd. I did everything I knew I shouldn't because I couldn't stand there and watch him hurting you!"

Gritting her teeth to keep from snapping at him, Sydney once again squeezed his fingers, only this time as hard as she could. She watched him flinch and pull out of the nearly panic-stricken train of thought he was traveling on. "Yes," she told him, watching his face start to close off. "But you kept your head and you got him. I'm still alive, because you did everything you could to make sure I stayed that way."

Sky wanted to argue that fact, but the simple act of looking into Sydney's face stopped him. She was doing everything in her power not to fall back asleep despite how exhausted she was from the meds and the repairs her system was making on her body. Without thinking, he blurted out, "If I lost you…."

Understanding settled into the deep crystal blue orbs that Sky had fallen in love with. Why she'd never seen it before was beyond her, but she saw it now. If a member of the team had gotten hurt on his watch and because of his actions, he'd be upset and feel guilty; Sydney saw now that if he'd lost her, he'd simply have shattered beyond repair. She knew that he cared about her, that he respected her, enjoyed her company; she'd never known that all those feelings had deepened as they had. It was a new sensation for her, to feel the love radiating out of him in waves. "Amazing isn't it?"

"What?"

"That we don't know what we've got till we nearly lose it."

For a second, she thought maybe his mouth was going to drop open, but Sky only cocked an eyebrow and pursed his lips as he started at her, as if he was trying to understand what she was talking about. It was the look in his eyes though that told her he knew exactly what she was saying. "What do you mean?"

"My grandmother used to tell me that life is too short to not tell the people close to you how you feel," she whispered before her body was wracked by a coughing fit. She'd have rolled her eyes at him jumping up to help her if she hadn't hurt so much. Once the water from the cup he held to her lips slid down her throat, the coughing went away. Before he could go back to his chair, she took his hands in hers, forcing him to sit on the side of her bed. "You are important to me. That you are safe, happy, and healthy means the world to me, do you understand?"

"The feelings are mutual," he whispered, holding her hands a little tighter.

"You know you can tell me anything, right?" She watched him nod and stare down at their hands. "I want you to tell me. No skirting around it, just tell me."

She held her breath, wondering at the tension that built in her body as she waited to see if he'd get past his hang up and simply tell her how he felt about her. She hadn't known how much it would hurt to think he didn't feel anything beyond friendship for her. "Syd…."

"Coward."

Sky's eyes snapped to hers, a look of terror there as she looked up at him intently. "I…" closing his eyes, he swallowed and wet his lips. "I have feelings for you. Ones that don't have anything to do with being friends or teammates."

"How long?" For the first time since she'd met Sky, the Pink Ranger watched him blush heavily. She giggled softly at the flustered look on his face. "Sky?"

"A while."

Shutting her eyes, she held the image before her to her heart before she opened them again and looked up at him. "Why didn't you ever tell me?"

Blowing out a breath, he brought her hands up and kissed the tops softly before setting them back in his lap. "Probably cause until a few weeks ago, I didn't even realize it myself."

"Will you do something for me?"

"Anything."

Waiting until he was looking at her, Syd bit her bottom lip. She almost started laughing when he let out a low groan when he caught sight of what she was doing. "When I get out of the hospital, will you go out with me?"

"On a date?" he let out the words, his voice strangled by shock.

"Yes, a date. A real one."

"Why…."

With a smile on her face, Syd gently told him. "Because I have all these new feelings fluttering around inside me too, and I want to see where they're going to go."

His smile was worth more than every dollar her father could ever spend on her. When he nodded, she felt giddiness bubble up before the medicine finally kicked in, causing her to feel exhausted. "You need to rest," he whispered, leaning down to peck a soft kiss to her forehead. "We have plenty of time to talk about where we're going later."

"Stay with me," she yawned.

"Of course." Sky did as asked, sitting on her bed with her until she dropped off into a deep, dream-filled sleep.