1. He misses the fighting.
Well, not the fighting itself so much as being there to watch his team's back. He didn't know what was worse – seeing the injuries Sky came home with, not seeing the injuries Syd, Z, and Bridge went home with, or wondering if him being there would have made the difference.
2. He misses the food.
Being part of SPD had guaranteed Jack three squares a day – a luxury he'd rarely enjoyed before unexpectedly becoming Red Ranger. He wasn't hurting for food now, of course. He and Ally got by just fine with their charity-slash-business venture and with Sky around to pay half the bills Jack never had to skip a meal to make ends met.
But there was still comfort in being sure there would be food when you needed it. Jack solved this problem by stocking up – way, way up - whenever it was his turn to shop. Syd had gotten a bit of a surprise on her first visit to Jack and Sky's new place when she'd gone into the kitchen in search of more popcorn. Opening the cabinets on Jack's shopping weeks could be hazardous to your health, as Syd discovered when five different boxes of cereal fell out when she looked inside the first one.
"Are you running a soup kitchen out of this place?" Syd asked as she eyed Jack's stash with wide eyes.
Sky snorted into his cup and Jack smacked him across the chest before answering. "No, Syd. We just like to be prepared."
"For what?" Syd asked, finally locating the popcorn behind three kinds of chips and four boxes of cookies. She poured some kernels into a bowl so that Bridge could use his Portable Pop Magic Popper (patent pending) on it. "Are you afraid the store is going to run out of food?"
Jack's face suddenly felt warm. No, it wasn't the store he was worried about, but he didn't want to say it aloud and sound like that street rat they'd arrested more than a year ago. But it turned out words weren't necessary. Syd looked stricken even before Bridge nudged her in the side, and Z put a hand on Jack's leg, not looking at him, but squeezing gently as she changed the subject back to their early debate over which movie to watch.
Jack felt himself relax as his friends' chatter and laughter washed over him, and he glanced over at Sky cautiously. Sky was staring at him, expressionless, but when Jack caught his eye, he leaned over to plant a firm, chaste kiss on Jack's lips.
And that was the only response he had to Jack's 'embarrassing' secret. But the next time Sky went to the store he bought four kinds of chips and six boxes of cookies, and Jack grinned for the entire half hour it took to put their groceries away.
3. He really misses his healing powers.
Sky told him he was being ridiculous when he whined about missing his enhanced Ranger healing. Helping the needy didn't exactly come with the same type of occupational hazards as his previous job. But hauling around boxes of donated goods (all donated, despite his morning ritual of teasing Sky with the possibility that today would be the day he played Robin Hood, just looking to get caught by the tall handsome sheriff) was no picnic.
The first time he'd woken up stiff and sore he'd tried to 'borrow' Sky's morpher. He just wanted to morph for a few minutes, get those healing juices flowing again. But Sky had caught him, frowned in disapproval and launched into the world's most boring lecture about responsibility and the proper use of SPD equipment and blah, blah, blah… Eventually Jack had been forced to kiss him just to earn some peace and quiet before he developed a headache to go with his sore back.
Later, as Sky's large, warm hands kneaded at a tender spot on Jack's lower back, he had to admit that there were certain perks to the old fashioned methods of healing.
4. He never gets the cool toys anymore.
Civilian life did not come with nearly the same amount of cool stuff as being a Ranger. He missed his SWAT gear, his bike (the civilian model Sky'd given him last Christmas just wasn't the same, even with Bridge's special enhancements.), but mostly? He missed his communicator.
Sometimes Jack got bored when Sky was at work, and Ally didn't seem to think it was her job to keep Jack entertained. Which was fair enough, Jack didn't think it was her job either – it was clearly Sky's.
Except while Sky had always answered his communicator, he didn't always answer his cell phone. (Sorry, Jack. Occasionally I'm too busy saving the city to answer your requests for phone sex or for me to bring home strawberry milk.)
Jack was working on breaking into B-Squads comm channel, but so far Kat had emphatically refused to help, Bridge had reluctantly agreed with her, and he wasn't yet desperate enough to ask Boom.
5. He misses space.
He missed all kinds of spaces at the SPD. He missed spaces to hang out with his team that neither he nor Sky had to clean up afterward. He missed spaces where his comic books could be strewn haphazardly in corners instead of neatly organized on bookshelves next to the SPD handbook. He missed spaces where he could leave his boxers on the floor without invoking Sky's pissy face. He missed that brief window in his life where he had spaces that were his and his alone.
Of course there were advantages to sharing a tiny one bedroom apartment. Like finding new and interesting ways to get out of clean up duty. Like moving one comic book out of place and timing how long it took for the vein in Sky's forehead to start throbbing.
Like getting to have Sky wrapped around him every night when the others went back to their own spaces.
And One Thing He Doesn't Miss – His Team.
Sky wasn't kidding when he said they weren't leaving each other's lives. It was a rare night when at least one person didn't follow Sky home for dinner. More often than not Bridge and Syd would show up wherever he and Ally had set up for the day for lunch or just to say hi. And Z hauled him out for a little 'sibling' time at least every other week.
And Sky was of course the other half of him, the peanut butter to his jelly, the shine on his shoes, the song in his heart, and every single one of those sappy clichés that were 100% true, even if you only believed in them when you were in love yourself.
So Jack didn't miss his team like he'd thought he would. Things weren't the same as when they'd all lived under one roof, but it was still good. He imagined it was a bit like when you left your family to strike out on your own. In fact, he knew it was exactly like that, because sometime when he wasn't looking, they had become his family.