, but I wrote this first. Have I mentioned how much I hate thinking of titles?
( Sky stepped off the elevator and almost got right back on. )
Although he had been living with Jack practically since the other man’s resignation Sky maintained quarters on base. They came in handy when he pulled a night shift and needed to crash for a few hours. Secretly, Sky was also pleased to have a place to sleep on the rare occasions when Jack was out of town. He’d rather face death and dismemberment than admit it, but he hated sleeping in their bed alone. It always felt…wrong. And there was something to be said for having a place to sleep besides a couch when you were pissed off at your boyfriend.
Sky’s mouth curved slightly in a private smile. Boyfriend. Maybe I should start calling him my fiancé. It sounded ridiculous but thrilling. The change was very new, and he hadn’t adjusted to it yet. Just the idea of a wedding…
Wait a minute. Sky stopped to reassess the decorations above him. White bells and now that he looked more carefully he could see that each bell had a tiny dangling gold ring hanging from it.
“Oh crap,” he muttered at the crepe paper decorations. He really should have been expecting this. He hadn’t told anyone the news yet, but there were literally NO secrets in B-Squad. Jack would pay for this. Assuming Sky wasn’t busy being court-martialed for whatever it was he decided to do to his team first.
Sky tried to convince himself that a five mile run through the mud swamp wouldn’t be an abuse of power and searched the area for signs of the guilty parties. The situation was getting worse. As he made his way from the B-Squad lounge to the larger cadet common area the bells were joined by white streamers and tiny pink and red doves. He went out on a limb and guessed the Syd was the aspiring interior decorator.
Suddenly the base hallways were filled with the sounds of Richard Wagner’s Bridal Chorus. Sky swore out loud, startling a passing E-level cadet. The young man looked at Sky with concern, and received a growl for his kindness. The cadet let out a very un-SPD-like squeal and ran off.
Sky wished his own team were that easily intimidated. As he reached the common area he heard whispers and muffled giggles. The music changed to The Wedding March, and he briefly considered going to hide out in his quarters. But he was Red Ranger, and Red Ranger’s did not hide from their teammates. Even if they were annoying brats.
Sky took a deep breath, stepped into the lounge, and immediately wished he hadn’t. Not only did the bell, streamer and dove motif continue but the walls were literally papered with pictures from bridal magazines. And every single bride had his head.
They hadn’t attempted anything fancy or hi-tech. They had just covered each bride’s head with a photograph of his. It must have taken hours. If they’d put this much effort into their training Grumm would have been taken out before they’d even faced Praxis.
And right in the middle of his nightmare stood B-Squad, looking entirely too pleased with themselves. Sky closed his eyes and counted to ten.
“Wouldn’t it be more fun to torture Jack?” he asked pleadingly. Both girls exploded in gales of laughter.
“I don’t have the legs for it,” Bridge answered seriously.
Sky just stared at him for a moment before turning to Z for clarification.
“It wouldn’t be any fun to mess with Jack. He doesn’t have the gene for embarrassment. He’d just go along with us,” she began.
“Then he’d retaliate by making us all bridesmaids and picking out truly hideous dresses,” Syd continued.
“And I don’t think I have the legs to pull it off,” Bridge finished.
“Oh yes you do!” Z purred at him. Syd was solemnly nodding her agreement.
“Stop sexually harassing my blue ranger,” Sky ordered.
“Why? I thought it was in the blue ranger job description,” Z said with a smirk. “I’m sure Jack showed me that passage in the handbook.”
Sky groaned and dropped his head into his hands. “I hate you all so, so much.”
Syd approached her squad leader and linked her arm with his. “Come on boss! We wouldn’t throw a party without presents. Doesn’t that make it better?”
Sky glared at her but allowed himself to be moved deeper into the room. Now that she mentioned it, Sky noticed a table heaped with presents wrapped in a variety of shades of yellow, pink, and blue. One day Sky was determined to find out what they put in the water that made them obsess over color. Jack seemed to have gotten over it when he left SPD, but Bridge and Sky just changed their color loyalties. This was a little suspicious if you thought about it.
He soon found himself enthroned on a couch with a piece of cake in one hand and a cup of spiked punch in the other. Before he could taste either, Syd started shoving brightly wrapped packages at him. The first thing he opened was a red silk thong, and things went downhill from there.
By the time Cruger and Kat showed up he was surrounded by gifts. Sky stood up quickly to salute. He looked every inch the Red Ranger, even standing in the middle of fur-lined handcuffs and how-to pole dancing vids. He saw Syd surreptitiously hide a box (an entire box) of flavored lube under matching red t-shirts that read ‘Property of Sky Tate’ and ‘Property of Jack Landors.’ If the Commander noticed at least he didn’t comment.
“Cadet, it has come to my attention that congratulations are in order,” Cruger bared his teeth in a Sirian smile.
“Yes sir!” Sky barked out at attention. “Thank you, sir!”
“At ease cadet. We just came to ask that you please return control of the comm. system to Command.”
Bridge immediately took out his morpher and whispered a few words into it. Almost immediately Unchained Melody cut off mid-note. Sky silently blessed Cruger. Someone must have consulted a list of the most overused wedding songs once they’d exhausted the traditional music.
Cruger nodded to the blue ranger. “Where is Cad...Mr. Landors?”
“He’s not here. Bridge doesn’t have the legs for it,” Sky explained.
Cruger looked at Kat, who only shrugged. Far too used to B-Squad to be curious, Cruger nodded and left. Sky took the opportunity to escape as well. He almost made it to his quarters without being seen carrying the inventory of a small porn store. But when he reached his door he dropped his loot and let out a curse so loud that everyone on the floor came running to see what the problem was.
Taped to his door was a life-sized poster of him in an elaborate wedding gown. Sky grabbed a nearby C-level cadet.
“Go buy every bridal magazine you can find,” he barked. The cadet blinked at him. He smiled predatorily and the cadet gave an involuntary shiver. “Don’t worry cadet. I just need a little help picking out some bride’s maids dresses.”
The cadet rushed off, fervently hoping that Cadet Tate got promoted before she made B-Squad. Behind her, she could hear the red ranger happily humming Pachelbel’s Canon.