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Embers of hesitation

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They are in their room, facing each other in close proximity. Bridge is sitting at the edge of his bed, his ungloved hands under his thighs, legs spread apart so Sky can fit in between. Sky is standing, his hands resting over Bridge’s knees, thumbs moving slowly to soothe the nervousness —he can’t tell if it’s meant to calm him or Bridge, but he continues to do so nonetheless—; their foreheads touch as they look into each other’s eyes.


The room is silent, but not by the uncomfortable or awkward silence that settles when two people don’t know how to deal with each other, but rather by the silence that comes with knowing the other person. A silence that speaks volumes the way words can't. Perhaps it is the late hour that makes it possible: everyone asleep by now, resting for what tomorrow will bring, taking in a night’s sleep that might be snatched at the slightest of turns, at the smallest of errors—at the Earth’s upcoming doom if they do not thread with care.


Bridge is the first to pull away from the silence that is covering them. He sighs and closes his eyes, gives the smallest of nods, a light friction of his forehead against Sky’s, a silent green light. Sky smiles softly, doesn’t move from his position until Bridge’s eyes have opened. Bridge chortles, licks his lips as they spread in a smile, mimicking the one that Sky’s lips wear, if not more lively.


Sky’s hands give a small squeeze to Bridge’s knees before they slide up his clothed thighs, stopping half-way to upturn his hands, palms up. He huffs low, his head moving so his lips can graze his roommate’s forehead—a kiss, a reassurance. He waits for a movement, eyes now closed, darkness overtaking any vision of Bridge.


But Sky can feel the slow shift in his position, how his ungloved hands slip from under his legs, a tentative touch of fingertips that linger on bare skin, before moving. They start at his elbows and glide down, down, along his forearm. It’s an electrifying sensation, and he can’t help the content sigh that leaves him.


Here, in the middle of the night when they are left alone, they can allow themselves to be them—to peel back the layers of personality that come when sun rises and teammates and friends are around. They are not liars, and they are not hiding, but is undeniable how baring each other’s essence comes easier when it’s only them. When it’s only Blue and Green Ranger. When it's only Sky Tate and Bridge Carson. It’s easier when two lovers wear their emotions on their sleeve, only for them to share.


Bridge’s fingertips rest against Sky’s wrists, a touch that hovers close enough to evoke a tingling sensation where they lay. It’s hesitation that rests in between. Not for the unknown, nor for what is to come in this moment. It pulls at his fingers, which ever so lightly twitch, unsure if to stay in place or move forward.


Bridge hesitates about the future, as a Ranger. He doesn’t hesitate about him, or Sky. He won’t go anywhere as long as Sky doesn’t. But there is something in the future, a far future which he cannot predict with his powers, looming dark and heavy, that promises regret and sorrow. And Bridge is not so sure he can walk away from it, he is not sure he wants to. Because doing so means walking away from his duties, from his friends and comrades… from his partner, Sky. And the fact is that he is not scared of what will happen tomorrow, or next week, or whenever is it that Gruumm plans to take matters into his own hands; perhaps it is that that scares him most. He is so ready to give himself to a greater cause, to surrender to a fate beyond his control if it means protecting Earth and those who he has a significant bond with.


So, he regrets it. Regrets not being able to share more moments like this with Sky, or spending more time with his friends. If he couldn’t fight anymore when the fight was still going, would he be satisfied with the time he’s spent with those he loves? It’s an uncertainty that nags at his thoughts, a loss that has yet to happen that sits heavy on his chest, a loss that might never come the way he is assuming it to be.


“Bridge…” Sky calls out, ever so tender and loving. Bridge’s light green eyes move from where their hands are to the patch of skin that’s visible from his position. “Focus on me. Focus on us.” It’s firm, understanding, not a hint of doubt or fear —of uncertainty— that calls for his attention the way they would often ask for each other’s comfort in the solace of their room.


He does as he’s been told, and fingers wander across the Blue Ranger’s wrist, dip down his palm and hold onto the curved fingers for a second, before he lets his palm lay flat against Sky’s.


The connection is instant. He revels on the warmth that envelopes him and closes his eyes, leaning forward and slotting his head under Sky’s chin, cheek pressing against the collarbone, breath fanning over the blue t-shirt that has been worn so many nights to the point the color is now faded.


There is something Bridge has always admired from Sky Tate, and that is the way he can control his emotions   in an extent no one he is met is capable of— they are not expressed loudly, in a boisterous manner for everyone to see, they are not left to work on their own as Sky follows after them, rather, the Blue Ranger keeps them in check. It’s something hard to do for most people, who will let their emotions follow whatever course they will go, logic trailing behind. Sky is the opposite— tries to be the opposite, tries to cool down his temper before coming at you. He succeeds, most of the times. Most of the times, it’s okay… other times, the Ranger simply suppresses his emotions, something that bodes ill. There’s a fine line that Sky can differentiate most of the times, that is, facing his emotions or ignoring them. Understand them or reject them. Find peace with them or let uneasiness grow inside him.


Bridge finds quiescence when Sky stands on the right side. It’s an anchor for when Bridge feels like he is drowning, like everything is too much, even his own thoughts. Whether he finds peace within Sky’s arms due to his genetic-given ability (so fitting to his, Bridge thinks) or because of his grounded, collected personality (so fitting to his, he thinks) is irrelevant. To Bridge, blue now has a soothing effect— Sky’s understanding blue eyes, the warmth of Sky’s blue t-shirt, the color of his uniform which has stood many times in front of Bridge to offer protection.


There is a hesitation between them, still, coming from the Green Ranger. Because he is just not sure what will happen when Gruumm’s attack comes. He is, admittedly, a bit afraid of the deep attachment that has been growing between them. There is a hesitation that rests between them that does not stems from the unknown. At one point, there used to be, they’d step around each other, prepare themselves for intimacy. Now, it comes as second nature.


Sky’s fingers awake goosebumps on Bridge’s skin as they move to cradle the nape of his neck.


I love you, Bridge.” Sky whispers, pressing his lips against the softness of Bridge’s hair.


And Bridge wants more than that, wants to feel the touch of pink lips against his, the love that pours through an act as simple as kissing.


The hesitation rises like a spark that threatens to turn into a flame any moment, and it flashes dangerously across their eyes, a one second consideration of this, of the perpetual show of affection when there is such intimacy; when there are no barriers like Sky’s shield or Bridge’s gloves. They have never particularly addressed it, but they both know it, and Bridge can feel it. The hesitation of whether they can commit to each other, despite their differences and hardships, and their singular ways of being, so foreign to the other and yet so familiar.


Bridge’s unoccupied hand moves to touch the Blue Ranger's jaw, and he straightens, eyes roaming his face for any signal of the embers of hesitation. Sky’s eyes, those blue eyes that Bridge finds intoxicating, are as honest as the emotions that lay bare on Bridge’s hand. He leans in to further their contact, and the kiss feels like the much needed rain after a fire.


Once, when nights like these were a rare occurrence, hesitation burned bright within them, sparks of insecurities turning into a flame. It paralyzed them, made them stop before it got too far. Slowly, the flames began to die, each night like this only smothering the flame further, giving them both confidence and an area for comfort when the day had been rough, when either one’s emotions or mindset were on a spot they didn’t like. It had become a lifeboat in a turbulent ocean.


As their lips continue in a kiss, chaste and with the intention of anchoring each other, there is no trace of the embers or sparks. Instead, there is a mutual understanding, and a mutual commitment.