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30 Kisses Fic

Title: The Truth Hurts
Author/Artist: LttleDvl
Fandom: Power Rangers SPD
Pairing: Sky Tate/Z Delgado
Theme: #13 - excessive chain
Disclaimer: The characters aren't mine, I just like to romp them through my own personal playground. ; )
Summary: The team gets some shocking news and Z decides to have a heart-to-heart with one of her teammates...
Word Count: 1684

“Our powers are no big mystery. Face the facts; everyone one of us, especially you, is a freak of nature.”

Though she had brushed it off at the time, his comment had still stung. More than she really wanted to admit. It also angered her. How was she anymore of a freak than the rest of them? Sky had acted as if he was somehow better than them all. Which wasn’t an unusual habit for him, but this time, Z felt as if he’d gone a bit too far. She’d noticed the quick flash of hurt that had crossed both Syd and Bridge’s faces. How could he so blatantly and carelessly hurt his friends? The only two real friends that he’d known for years. If anything, his attitude towards them bothered her more than his remark about her.

She’d pushed it all aside of course, focusing on the more important matters. Like freeing those innocent people from Mora’s clutches. And helping Sam. To top it all off, they’d found out that their parents had worked for SPD, even Sam’s, and a freak lab accident had resulted in their powers. By the time the day ended; Z was tired, angry and no bit of confused. Why, why if SPD had known who she was and where she was, did they leave her out there? Without thinking about it, her hand rose to idly stroke the necklace Cruger had returned to her. The one that he’d held onto for all those years.

It made no sense, dammit! She and Jack had been left out on the streets for no good reason. Just like little Sam. They’d been lied to; all of them, even Sky, Syd and Bridge. A sour taste formed in her mouth at the thought of how many other things they’d possibly been lied to about. When it was all over, once Gruumm was defeated, she was going to get answers, one way or another. But first things first. She had a bone to pick with a certain Ranger.

She’d already scoped things out, and knew that Bridge was down working with Boom in one of the labs. That meant she’d have her intended target to herself, without fear of interruption. She steeled herself as she stood just outside the dorm room then gave a quick knock.

Sky glanced up from his manual as Z stepped in. He groaned inwardly. “Come to say ‘I told you so’?” he spoke sourly.

“Maybe,” she gave him a cold stare, “but if you weren’t such a blind fool, I wouldn’t have to tell you that.”

His jaw clenched in anger as he set his book aside and sat up on the bed. “I was not a fool, nor was I blind. If you’d just...”

“If I what Sky?” she snapped. “Listened to you? Accuse an innocent little boy of crimes when he wasn’t aware of what he was doing? Treat him like some kind of criminal because he was being used and manipulated? Fine sense of justice that is.”

“That’s not what I meant!” He took a deep breath before continuing. “You were right about Sam. For that, I’m sorry. But it still doesn’t absolve you of running off on your own. We’re a team, we work together as a team and we stick together as a team. Cruger should’ve given you a write-up for that.”

“A team, huh?” Z shot him a look full of ice, ignoring the remark about Cruger. “Some teammate you are. Being part of a team doesn’t include putting down your teammates, Sky.”

He gave her a blank look. “What? What are you talking about? I didn’t do any...”

“Bullcrap!” she cut him off. “This morning in the rec room. When you said we’re all freaks. Was that really called for?”

He shrugged. “Maybe. It’s true enough, though. Especially after what Cruger told us.”

“You’re such an arrogant ass. Okay, yes. We got our powers through some freakish accident. So what. That still doesn’t give you the right to call us freaks. Besides, by your own opinion, you’re just a big a freak as the rest of us.”

“Never said I wasn’t,” he spoke quietly.

Z blinked. That wasn’t quite the reaction she was expecting. “Why Sky?” she asked just as softly. “Why would you even say that at all? Didn’t you see how it hurt Bridge and Syd when you said that? They’re supposed to be your friends, Sky. I’m supposed to be your friend. But how can we do that if you push us away?”

“I’m not pushing anyone away,” he remarked coldly. “I was just stating fact.”

A few ideas began to twirl together in Z’s mind. His attitude about being ‘freaks’. His dismissal of Sam and his powers. His reaction when Cruger had told them the truth. Perhaps he wasn’t lashing out at his teammates over their powers, but himself and his own. She began to wonder if he really resented what he was. Personally, she’d never thought about it much. Her powers, and Jack’s, had saved their butts a few times out on the street. In some ways, she’d been thankful for them. But for a little boy growing up in normal suburbia, it was probably less than welcome.

Even Sam’s reaction illustrated as much. But he at least had someone to look up to that wasn’t entirely unlike him. He had all of them. She’d had Jack. She didn’t know about Bridge and Syd, but she could guess that they’d probably grown up fairly alone. Bridge’s comment of ‘growing up different’ carried a heavy weight with it. For all of them.

“You don’t like having powers, do you?” she asked softly.

“What?” he blurted out. “What are you talking about? My powers are fine.”

Z took a chance and sat down on the edge of his bed, near his feet. “That’s just what you’d like me to believe isn’t it? Or perhaps you’re just trying to convince yourself. You really can’t stand being different, can you? Does it shake your firm belief of your own perfection? Is that why you have to push yourself to be perfect at everything else? Because there’s some little part of you that isn’t?”

“I don’t have to listen to this! You’re just making wild assumptions about things you know nothing about!” He jabbed a finger in her direction, and it didn’t escape her notice that it shook slightly. “I do what I do because I feel it’s necessary. I have standards, even if some people around here don’t!”

“The standard to be normal?” she shot back calmly.

He glared at her, daggers forming in his eyes. “Get. Out.”

“What if I say no?”

“Then I’ll report you. Say that you were present in my room, uninvited.”

“You told me to come in,” she remarked dryly.

“And now I’m telling you to get out.”

“You know, I don’t think you’re really angry at me. I think you’re angry at yourself.”

“Leave,” he growled.

“Or maybe you’re angry at SPD? Cruger? Because they’ve been hiding the truth from you.” She took a deep breath before pressing on, “Or maybe even you’re angry at your dad.”

“My dad had nothing to do with this!” he practically yelled at her. “He’d never keep anything like this secret. Not from me.”

“Sky, how old were you when he died? Seven, eight? How could a little boy understand what that information meant? Cruger was right about that much. It was only until we were old enough that we’d be able to understand why we never told.” It didn’t answer the why of a few other things, but that was neither here or there at the moment. Her focus on Sky was her current concern. “Would you have been able to handle it if he had told you? When you were so young?”

He let out a frustrated-sounding sigh. “No,” he spoke bitterly, “probably not.”

Z took a chance and lightly placed a hand on his arm. “I’m sure he would’ve told you if he were still here.”

“Maybe. But now...” he shook his head, “I just don’t know anymore.”

“Sucks to have your world crushed, doesn’t it?”

He gave her another trademark glare. “I never said that either.”

“You didn’t have to. Your reaction in the command center said plenty.”

“What are you, a psychoanalyst now?”

She shrugged, smirking slightly. “Only for tightwad, stubborn cadets.”

He rubbed a hand across his face briefly. “Can’t you ever not make sarcastic remarks?”

“That depends. Can you?”

Sky glanced back up at her, then sighed. “Okay, fine. I admit the ‘freak’ comment probably was a bit out of line. Sorry.”

“I suppose I should be used to it. I mean, back during school and all...” she gave him a curious gaze, “Sky, were you ever...you know. Picked on. Because of what you were?”

He nodded slowly, staring down at his hands which sat idly in his lap.

“I’m sorry. I think we all probably were in some form or another. But I think it’s about time that it stopped. Especially between the five of us. Sound like something you can handle?”

Still looking down, he nodded once more. “I suppose. I’ll try to keep it in mind at least.”

“Then there is hope for you yet.” She studied him for a moment as he continued to stare at his hands. Without really knowing or understanding why, she quickly leant forward and planted a quick kiss on the top of his head. Then just as quickly pulled back and bounded up off the bed.

“Remember what you said. About keeping it in mind. We’re not so different from each other, after all, Sky. And really, the rest of us are the only ones that can understand.” She turned briskly on a heel and strode out, leaving Sky to his thoughts.

After a few moments, he settled back on the bed and picked up his manual once more. But it didn’t hold the same meaning for him as it had just that very morning. He wondered if it ever would again.

Comments

( 2 notes left — Leave a note )
tktrix
Apr. 21st, 2008 08:59 am (UTC)
totally sick and dying, except not dying, but your fic made me feel better dvl. good stuff, you've got Z's voice for sure. and now back to the dying.. :)
lttledvl_writes
May. 2nd, 2008 11:20 am (UTC)
*arrives really late*

Thanks! I really like the dynamics between the two of them. Bridge and Z have cuteness, Sky and Z have antagonism (probably because they're both a bit hardheaded and stubborn) yet still can be close friends.
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