lilyleia78: Jack and Sky laughing at fountain (SPD: J/S fountain)
[personal profile] lilyleia78
Title: Kith and Kin
Fandom: PR SPD
Pairing: Jack/Sky
Genre: family, friendship, established relationship
Warnings: None
Word Count: 1291
Summary: Jack meets Sky's mom
Note: Finished ages ago, no idea why I haven't posted it yet. Written for the [livejournal.com profile] prsw22 prompt Family.

Kith and Kin

The quiet dignity of SPD was shattered as the leaders of B-Squad made their appearance, sweeping into the building through the front doors, arguing good-naturedly and walking closer together than was strictly necessary, Jack deliberately brushing against Sky with every other step just for the thrill of contact.

“No, a kilt is funnier because…,” Jack trailed off as he discovered that he was talking to the empty air next to him. Looking quickly over his shoulder, he spotted Sky a few steps behind him, a strange expression on his face. It took Jack a few seconds to place the emotion on Sky’s face because he'd rarely seen it on the other man’s face before, guilt.

Jack paced three long strides backwards until he was even with Sky. He laid a reassuring hand on the taller man’s shoulder and surveyed the room. It was relatively peaceful here in the lobby; the public face of SPD carefully hiding the flurry of panicked activity taking place just past the smiling guards at the back of the room. There were a pair of stern looking E-level instructors walking briskly up the escalator, apparently their business was too urgent to allow time for silly things like moving staircases. Across the room two very young, excitable not-quite-human boys were telling the receptionist a highly unlikely story involving their homework and a three-headed singing panda bear. A C-level cadet Jack vaguely recognized from their last training session was failing miserably at both ignoring the boys and covering her snigger of amusement. But Sky’s eyes were trained on the lone woman carefully studying the pictures on the north wall.

Jack recognized her from a photo in Sky’s room. But he would have known who she was even if he’d never laid eyes on her before. Schuyler Tate was the very image of his mother. Perhaps sensing their attention, she turned her head and caught sight of the rangers. It didn’t take a psychic like Bridge to figure out that the tall blond woman staring at them with a hesitant smile was the source of Sky’s distress.

Before Jack could do anything but drop his hand back to his side, the woman turned away from the photos, Jack noted that she’d been looking at a recent team shot of B-Squad unmorphed, and advanced toward them. She ignored the quiet bustle around her in favor of searching her son’s face. She glanced at Jack, took in the red on his uniform and subtlety flinched. Jack felt unreasonably guilty (and vaguely irritated) for being a reminder of her dead husband.

“Sky,” the woman said. Her voice was soft and warm, as if she was talking to an animal that might dart away if startled. Jack knew the feeling.

Her voice seemed to release something in Sky. He stood up straight, and Jack could see his jaw working in a way that he knew meant Sky was covering his vulnerability with an air of suppressed annoyance.

“Mother,” Sky answered tightly, and Jack was suddenly concerned beyond the normal ‘meet-the-parents’ nervousness he’d already had going on; this was Sky as he’d first met him – arrogant and pissed off at the world. “Is everything okay?”

His mother smiled, a little sadly Jack thought, and her eyes cut briefly to him.

Jack wondered if he should stay, or if this is one of those times when he should pretend to know the meaning of privacy. Sky shifted his stance so that the back of his hand brushed Jack's gently. It was enough to convince him that Sky needed him to stay, even though Jack was sure that the other man wasn’t doing it consciously. Jack shifted too, so that he was leaning ever so slightly against Sky's shoulder. Sky automatically adjusted to act as a counterbalance to the additional weight. Sky’s mom wasn't oblivious to their body language, and she looked Jack over more appraisingly than before.

The blue ranger noticed the direction of her gaze and remembered that he had manners. “Mom, this is Jack Landors, my team leader.” Sky turned his head slightly toward Jack before continuing. “Jack, my mom.”

Jack put on his most charming smile and held out his hand. “It’s nice to meet you Mrs. Tate.”

“Sandra, please,” she answered, apparently no more immune to the Landors charm than any other Tate of his acquaintance.

“Sandra then,” Jack agreed. “Would you like a tour of B-wing? We have snacks and stuff in the common area. I can offer you some jello. We’ve got cherry.”

“The blue’s better,” Sky answered automatically. Jack smirked at him but kept his usual retort about the unnaturalness of blue jello to himself. Sky’s mouth twitched and Jack knew that his friend heard the unspoken argument anyway.

“Get out of my head,” Jack scowled with no real heat behind the expression. Sky’s mouth twitched again, and this time he let the smile blossom.

“I wouldn’t dream of it, too much empty space in there.”

Sandra’s eyes were flicking between the two men knowingly. She hid a smile behind her hand and interrupted the mock argument by declining Jack’s offer. “Actually I only have a moment. I just wanted to know if Sky had received the invitation to his cousin’s wedding.”

Two set of eyes now turned to Sky. He shifted uncomfortably and shrugged. “Yeah, I got it.”

“And?” Sandra prompted when it was clear that was all Sky had to say on the subject.

“And nothing. I don’t think we’ll be able to attend. It’s not like I can ask Grumm for a night off so Jack and I can watch a cousin I barely remember marry somebody we’ve never met.”

Jack could feel himself grinning stupidly. It was a good thing he didn’t care too much about the dignity of his position, because he knew that right now he had to look like the lovesick fool he was. Sky wanted him to come with him to a family wedding. Well, actually he didn’t want to attend the wedding at all. But if he were going, his plans would have included Jack. He didn’t even ask. It was assumed that if Sky went so would Jack.

Sandra seemed to be reflecting some of Jack’s joy. Or maybe the joy was all her own when she gently teased. “Maybe Jack would like to meet the family. He should see what he’s getting into.”

Sky must not have seen the light in his mother’s expression. His hands became fists, and Jack could practically see him vibrating with suppressed irritation.

“Oh, I’d love to come," Jack said before Sky could say something he'd only pretend not to regret later. “Everyone loves a wedding.”

“No they don’t,” the Tates said in earnest unison. Sky smiled warmly at his mother before he could stop himself.

Sandra smiled back and conceded, “Well, maybe we should all skip the wedding for something less like torture. Dinner?”

Sky looked over at Jack uncertainly, but Jack was already nodding. “I could eat."

Sky rolled his eyes. "Are you sure? There are less stressful ways to find food."

Sandra smacked her son's arm lightly. "I'll expect you both on your next day off - no arranging intergalactic invasions to get out of it either."

"Yes, ma'am." Sky and Jack said together.

"Jack," Sandra said shaking Jack's hand again. "I'm so happy to meet you."

Jack was pretty sure she meant that. "Me too."

"We'll call you, Mom," Sky promised as he stiffly embraced his mother.

"You'd better. Family's important, Sky." She said in gentle reprimand.

Sky laced his fingers with Jack's, and Jack saw his gaze slip briefly to the picture of B-squad behind his mother before he squeezed Jack's hand and answered, "Yes, it is."

***
The complete list of my Power Rangers fic can be found here.

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lilyleia78

February 2015

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