Title: Shared Misery
Characters: SPD B-Squad
Summary: The SPD rangers do a little bonding as they suffer through the flu.
It started with a headache.
Well, Bridge had a headache, but then Bridge often got headaches. Bridge got full blown migraines in nauseatingly bright technicolour. It came with his powers, the cause usually being an overly large amount of negative emotions or too much time around a large crowd of people. The rest of B-squad had quickly learned that when their usually calm and rambling friend became silent and grumpy, it was time to keep quiet and give him space until the headache was over. Even Bridge could have his bad days.
Then Jack got a headache. And Jack with a headache is extremely irritable. His constant critiques and attacks at the rangers became so irritating they almost brought about some nasty retaliation, before Z, who had been through this before, realized what was going on and explained it to the others. She, then, proceed to give Jack a lengthy telling off for making people feel miserable just because he was. He stopped snapping at people, but remained irritable as his headache only got worse.
Then Z got a sore throat. Much to her frustration and Jack’s amusement, her voice slowly faded as Jack tried to goad her into talking at every opportunity, asking questions she had to answer, telling old stories incorrectly and bringing up topics he knew she couldn’t resist giving her opinion on. The glares she gave him cut deeper than any words could. The goading might have continued longer if Jack hadn’t soon found himself in the same predicament as Z. Throats too sore to bicker any longer, they resorted to randomly throwing objects at each other.
When Syd started complaining about her sinuses, they realized something was definitely going around leaving them with little sympathy for her whining. She quickly acquired for herself a fancy humidifier, several boxes of lotion drenched Kleenex and a variety of nasal sprays and herbal tonics recommended by her personal physician. She set herself up in bed and refused to leave, somehow convincing, with a little help from RIC, Boom to deliver all her meals.
By the time Sky finally succumbed to the headache, Bridge was in bed with a fever. Sky remained stoic, acting as if he had to be the strong one letting no weakness through, but the others could tell from the little twitch in the corner of his eye that he was suffering and ready to blow. Another major argument might have broken out between Jack and Sky, but both were too tired and sick to bother.
Kat Manx shook her head at the sight of them as she gave them shots to boost their immune systems and keep their fevers down. This alleviated their misery somewhat but mostly made them dizzy and drowsy. Kat said it was inevitable. When five people worked as closely together as they did, it was easy for the disease caught by one to spread to the rest. Jack then started blaming Bridge causing Syd to bash him over the head with Peanut. After that, there was no more blaming.
Commander Cruger confined them to their dorms. A couple cadets from D squad were down as well and he didn’t want any more cadets getting sick. He, then, proceeded to temporarily give their morphers to C-squad causing much protest from the rangers though he promised they could have them back the moment they were well again. The rangers merely grumbled that there better not get any scratches on their zords.
This is why five rangers found themselves spending several days lying around miserably in bed. The world of monster fighting and police work had been replaced by orange juice, chills and phlegm.
“This sucks,” announced Syd before blowing her red nose and tossing the Kleenex into the already overflowing waste bin.
A grunt of either agreement or protest at the noise came from the yellow adorned bed beside her.
“Not only do I feel horrible, but I look horrible too.” The pink ranger reached over searching for one of her tonics but realized she had finished them all and sighed. “And I’m bored. How am I going to spend another day in bed?”
Her only answer was a moan.
“I’ve read all my magazines. I’ve listened to all my CDs. Kat and Boom are updating RIC so we can’t watch any DVDs. And my nose is much too runny to sleep.” Getting no reply from her audience, she called out. “Z. Z!” She tossed a stuffed animal at her roommate’s head. “Z. What am I going to do?”
“Syd!” came the scratchy reply from Z as she finally looked out from beneath her covers. “Will you please be quiet? My head is killing me and I’d like to die in peace.”
“You really should have taken some of the tonics my herbalist sent me. They’d have really helped with that headache.”
“They’d have made me puke. Just because you currently don’t have a sense of smell doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t.”
“They’re specially designed to help your immune system fight disease, not to taste good.”
“My immune system can fight disease just fine on its own without your witch doctor remedies causing my stomach to reel. Besides you don’t look much better than me.”
“They take time to work.”
Syd pouted and blew her nose once more. “What am I going to do?”
At that point, the door opened and in entered the leader of the rangers wrapped in a red blanket, his dreadlocks sticking out in every direction. He stumbled inside letting the door close behind him.
“Jack,” protest Syd at the sudden invasion. “What are you doing here?”
“I came to see how you guys were doing.” He collapsed on the end of Z’s bed as she groaned. “Besides it’s miserable feeling miserable on your own. Quit it, Z.”
The yellow ranger who had been kicking the new lump on her bed gave a few last half-hearted kicks before saying. “You can’t sleep here.”
“Because this is my bed and I’m still mad at you.”
Leaning back against the wall, Jack pulled his blanket around him. “Well, it’s too late. I don’t have any energy left to move.”
“Oh, yeah.” Z prepared to give him another big kick, but broke into a coughing fit instead.
Jack reached over and rubbed her back. “You okay?”
“I’m fine,” she coughed out as she caught her breath. She collapsed back on the bed. “I just want this to be over.”
“Me too,” agreed Syd letting out a sniff.
Just then, the door opened again to reveal a glassy eyed Bridge followed by a protesting Sky.
“Bridge, Cruger said we had to stay in our rooms. Bridge!” The green ranger ignored his roommate and made his way over to the corner where he ended up falling onto the already doubly occupied bed landing next to Z. “That definitely has to be against regulations.”
“Is this my bed or a hotel?” muttered Z as she moved over to give Bridge room.
“You don’t seem to be kicking him off,” Jack pointed out as he pushed the green ranger’s rather smelly feet away from his face. The semi-conscious Bridge merely snuggled into the pillow. Raising his eyebrows, Jack gave his chosen sister a pointed look as she carefully placed a blanket over the green ranger.
Z happily kicked Jack again. “He wasn’t throwing things at me earlier.”
“Sure,” agreed Jack with a knowing smile.
By the door, the blue ranger was still standing looking awkward.
“If you’re half as sick as the rest of us, I know you have to be exhausted. Now get in.”
Blushing, Sky lay down on the bed and Syd proceeded to arrange her pink quilt over the two of them.
“Pink really becomes you,” Jack called out.
The blue ranger glared.
“So. How are we going to pass the time?” Syd asked. “I know. Let’s play ‘I spy’.”
“No,” moaned Z.
“I don’t think so.”
“You have to admit, it’s a bit childish, Syd.”
The pink ranger smacked Sky on the arm. “My Mom and Dad used to always play games with me when I was sick. Well, if they had time.” She gazed at the blue ranger. “What did your parents do?”
Sky shrugged. “Oh, they’d just tuck me in with a bunch of books and DVDs. Sometimes my Dad would come in and watch some with me.”
“Toast,” Bridge mumbled from the pillow. “Mom used to make me buttery toast… with blueberry jam.”
Z rolled her eyes. “Why am I not surprised?” She yawned. “My Dad used to read me stories. And he’d sit next to me the whole time so whenever I woke up he’d always be there.” She looked over at the red ranger whose thoughts seem to have drifted. She gave him a kick. “Jack?”
Coming back to reality, he glanced up. “Hmm?”
“What did your parents do when you were sick?” asked Syd.
Jack shrugged. “I don’t really remember. Sometimes I think I remember my Mon singing to
There was a moment of silence before Syd started up again. “Sometimes I wish I still was a kid.”
“I thought you were?” remarked Z.
The pink ranger threw another stuffed animal at her roommate, but it missed her and hit Bridge. The green ranger looked up with a dazed expression on his face before closing his eyes again mumbling something about RIC and a waffle maker.
“I mean don’t you miss being a kid. The toys, the fun...”
“Everyone telling you you were too young to play with your dad’s morpher.”
They all looked at Sky.
“What?” he protested.
Z shook her head. “You’ve always been a bit obsessive about the whole ranger thing, haven’t you?”
“So, I happen to take my calling seriously.” He ignored Z’s rolled eyes. “Anyway, I hated being a kid. You had no control over your own life.”
“Yeah,” said Jack for once agreeing with Sky. “Everyone always thought they knew better. Always telling you what to do, because they’re supposed to know what’s best for you.”
“And no one understood you,” added Z. “Making fun of you because you’re some one of a kind freak.”
There was silence as everyone stared down at their blankets.
“Well,” muttered a sleepy Bridge raising his head. “It’s over now and it’s not like we’re one of a kind freaks anymore.”
Z smiled. “Yeah?”
“Now we’re five a kind freaks,” he declared and closed his eyes falling asleep once more.
The others laughed, but the moment was broken by the blaring of the SPD alarm. Syd groaned, Z put her hands over her ears, Jack covered his head with his blanket, Bridge fell out of bed, and Sky jumped up heading for the door.
“Sky, where do you think you’re going?” demanded Syd.
“C-squad will handle it. We’ve been restricted to bed rest.”
“Like that’s stopped us before. We need to be ready in case something happens. We should at least check to see if they need us.”
There was a moment of silence as everyone stared at Jack in stunned amazement. The red ranger rolled his eyes. “Well, he is… this time.” Throwing off his blanket, he stood up and proceeded to stumble over the blanket he’d just tossed on the floor. “Besides,” he continued as he righted himself and made his way to the door, “I want to make sure those bozos don’t go and do something to ruin our reputation.”
Syd groaned, but got up too. “I guess it beats lying in bed.”
“As if I’d let you idiots go off on your own. Come on, Bridge,” said Z pulling the green ranger to his feet.
“Hmm?” inquired Bridge.
“We’re going for a walk,” replied Z.
Making use of their extensive stealth training, the rangers dodged their fellow cadets as they silently made their way to the command centre and carefully positioned themselves around the door so they could listen in.
Commander Cruger and Dr Manx were bent over the main console scanning various monitors and shouting orders. The Megazord could be seen battling a monster across the main viewer and the rangers watched nervously. They winced at every blow it took. To them, the movements of the Megazord were uncoordinated and amateurish. They had to stop themselves several times from running in and trying to take over. Fortunately, the battle was finished in only a few minutes and the monster was imprisoned. The rangers breathed a sigh of relief.
Cruger turned, his canine teeth bared. “B-squad!” he yelled.
Their eyes grew wide. As one, the pyjama clad rangers turned and dashed down the hallway barrelling into people and tripping over their own feet as they tried to make it to the safety of their quarters and away from the wrath of their commander.