Cursing the fact that he still hadn't replaced the dead bulb in their garage, Adam grew more and more frustrated as he failed to connect his key with the lock - trying all the while to be as quiet as possible.
'Oh come on! I just wanna get inside!' He cursed under his breath as the key slipped again.
After about fifteen more tries, Adam finally managed to get the door open, nearly toppling to the floor as it suddenly swung inward. The only thing that kept him on his feet was the thought that there was a nice soft bed with a gorgeous bed warmer waiting for him.
He padded down the dark hallway, halfway to the bedroom when a light clicked on in the kitchen as he passed it.
"Ah, man!" Adam grumbled, blinking several times to adjust his vision after so much time in the dark. When the spots finally cleared, he sighed.
There sat Rocky - and with a glint of gold, Adam realized his lover was flipping a gold band up and down.
Flip - glint! - catch
Flip - glint! - catch
Flip - glint! - catch
It was oddly captivating to a very, very tired Adam, who slumped against the arched opening.
"Are you just going to stand there all night?"
Adam groaned as Rocky's question jolted him out of his stupor. "I really hope not."
Dammit but he didn't feel like an argument right now. He was sore. He was exhausted - he had forgotten just how much energy morphing gave a ranger... and just how tiring it was to have that feeling ripped away when one powered down. Ever since Zordon-
Well, the Power hadn't been the same since.
'Probably should have used my zeonizer,' Adam thought to himself ruefully. The crystal's power would have him feeling fine in no time. At this rate, he'd be useless at the dojo tomorrow.
Adam jerked his head up, biting his lip against the whimper as the movement tugged at muscles he hadn't used since the Turbo days. "S'ry."
"So how's the new team?"
He tuned out the snide tone Rocky used. Maybe if he ignored it, it would go away. 'Now I know I've been spending too much time with him.'
Adam sighed and rubbed the back of his neck, trying to relieve some of the tension. "Fine, now. Back up and running; Alpha fixed the Morphing Grid. Rita and Zedd's kid is all good and dead."
For all his ire, Rocky spared a moment to be disgusted at the very idea of Rita and Zedd reproducing. "How would that even work? He had that metal... thing-" With a choking noise in his throat, he waved away the question. "Never mind. I don't want to know."
"You really, really don't," Adam confirmed. "It was sick and wrong."
And just like that, Rocky was back into his mood. "And you went to lay the smack-down on him. Alone."
"Yes, I was called to help. But I wasn't even close to alone-," Adam began.
"But you didn't bring me! You didn't even tell me!" Rocky stood, incensed into pacing. "Noooo, you just take off to God only knows where and I had no idea where you were and you didn't even bring your zeonizers so it wasn't until I noticed your power coin was missing - which was stupid of you because at least you know our zeonizers are still active and your power coin wasn't even working until now - that I figured even half of it out and then Tommy of all people calls me to ask where you took his yellow. That's right, his yellow - not anybody from a team you've actually worked with... like me!"
Adam took a deep breath, formulating his response beyond the heavy sigh just begging to escape, but was cut off the moment he opened his mouth.
"This is the second time, Adam!" Rocky waved an arm angrily, motioning to some thought Adam could only guess at. "The second time! Okay so we were on a plane to Africa when all the Reds got together and even if I think it was pretty crappy of them to not keep trying I understand and I really do get that this was an emergency but you clearly had enough time to go pick up Kerry-"
"Kira," Adam corrected wearily.
"Whatever! The point is that you took off without any back-up that you knew with a morpher that could have killed you to take on some disgusting child of some of our enemies and didn't take me and even left your ring at home!" He brandished the gold band like a bullfighter with a red cape.
Adam blinked at the sudden change of topic. After more than half his life with Rocky he was awfully fluent in his lover's ramblings, but he was so very tired, and sore, and his bedroom was just down the hall and right now he was contemplating throwing any remaining shreds of dignity out the window and just begging Rocky to let him go to bed.
Or preferably take him there. Because the bed seemed farther and farther away by the second.
"I didn't want to-"
"To what? Let the world know you're married?"
Adam gaped. "Who in the world doesn't know? We may not have had a formal ceremony but just about every Ranger known to Ranger-kind showed up to our party."
"And yet you left your ring here," Rocky sulked.
"I didn't want it to get caught in the crossfire," Adam explained wearily, rubbing a hand up and down his face. "Scratched or lost or anything if I was fighting unmorphed." He motioned with a finger for Rocky to hand the band over; with a much put-upon sigh, Rocky flipped it toward his lover.
The ring spun through the air but fell short - Adam hissed as his muscles protested him reaching for it and he stumbled forward, arms weakly flailing in what he knew would be a futile attempt from landing on his face.
"Geez!" Rocky moved faster than Adam expected, grabbing him by a bruised shoulder. He blanched as Adam let out a pained yelp. Adam was beyond caring if he looked weak; he was sore, tired, drained and desperately needed to get off his feet.
Anger replaced by worry, Rocky tugged at the buttons holding Adam's flannel shirt closed. He gasped as he pulled the shoulder free to display a rather vivid bruise. "Dios mio, what did you do?"
"I think I'm getting a little old for this sort of thing," Adam admitted reluctantly, and Rocky knew how much it cost Adam to even think it. "The Power's not what it used to be."
Eyes softening, Rocky leaned forward and gently pressed his lips to the injury. "And here I've been shouting at you while you're in pain. I'm so sorry... I'm surprised you didn't knock me on my ass."
"Too tired," Adam admitted with a small grin. It just wasn't in him to stay mad at Rocky... especially when the taller man was all but supporting all his weight.
Rocky shifted his arms, allowing Adam to lean on him more comfortably. He trailed his hands up and down the black ranger's spine lightly, feeling the tense muscles twitch and tremble. "You need a hot shower."
"Too much standing," Adam muttered into Rocky's shoulder.
"A hot bath?"
"I'd never get back up."
Rocky chuckled, pressing a kiss to Adam's forehead. "How about a massage?"
"I knew I married you for a reason."
With a smile, Rocky smoothly shifted himself around, snagging Adam's elbow to help him down the hall to their bedroom. He winced when Adam let himself fall forward onto the mattress with a groan - one of pain or relief, Rocky wasn't sure.
"Wait just a minute, 'kay?"
"Mmm-hmm," Adam hummed, face buried in a pillow.
Rocky returned a few moments later - minutes or hours, Adam wasn't very sure. Time had pretty much ceased to exist once he lay down. The bed dipped to his side; Adam felt himself melt just a little bit as Rocky's fingers played across his scalp.
"Roll over a little so you can sit up," Rocky ordered.
"No, I don't want you choking when you take these."
Peering out of the corner of his eye, Adam realized Rocky held a glass of water and a couple painkillers. Though not usually one for medication, the idea of even just turning the throbbing pain into a dull ache was tempting...
Giving in rather quickly, Adam allowed Rocky to maneuver him into a sitting position, just long enough to swallow a couple pills. Really, all he wanted to do was sleep... but the guilt shining in Rocky's eyes kept him awake. Until Rocky felt like he'd earned some forgiveness, there'd be no living with him.
Plus, it was nice to be coddled a bit.
"Okay, lay back down," Rocky said, fluffing the pillow Adam had face-planted into earlier. "On your stomach. But let's get you undressed first."
With a bit of fancy fingerwork on Rocky's part, they managed to strip Adam without jostling him too much. Of course, Adam reflected, Rocky had always had a knack for getting his clothes off.
He'd just started to shiver when Rocky tucked their heated blanket - one of their better indulgences - around him, and then straddled his lower back.
"This might hurt a bit," Rocky warned, laying his hands on Adam's shoulders.
Adam all but screamed into the pillow when Rocky pressed down roughly. The joint popped and the pain reverberated down his arm, down his back, up his neck... he silently vowed to kill Rocky as painfully as possible once he regained full control over his body.
Seconds later, though...
The most amazing, blissful feeling swept over his shoulder, easing away the pain. Rocky's thumbs worked minty-smelling oil into the shoulder, grazing lightly over the bruised area and kneading the kinks out more firmly around the edges.
"Feel a bit better?"
He moaned a muffled assent.
He had no idea how long Rocky worked on him - Adam slipped in and out of sleep, waking up with shouts when Rocky would tweak something wrong, and lulled back to sleep by his nimble fingers. Where Rocky wasn't working, the heated blanket helped his muscles relax further, until he was all but jelly.
Adam never realized when Rocky finished - when he got up, put out the lights. He only came to when Rocky gently slipped underneath him, now shirtless, and wrapped his arms around him happily. Adam nuzzled his head into the crook of Rocky's neck.
Rocky pressed a kiss to Adam's temple. "I really am sorry."
"Me too," Adam mumbled. "Won't do 't 'gain."
"Good." Rocky sighed happily as Adam fell back asleep. He hadn't been forgotten... he hadn't been left behind.
And Adam would always come back to him.