queenriley: (jayden and antonio 1)
[personal profile] queenriley
Fandom: Power Rangers Samurai
Rating: G
Summary: Jayden knows something is wrong with Antonio. He just has to figure out how to fix it.
Disclaimer: Not mine, alas.

Something was wrong. Jayden had known Antonio pretty much his whole life. He may not have seen him in years, but he was pretty sure he still knew Antonio well. Well enough to tell when something was bothering him, anyway. And something was definitely bothering Antonio.

“I don’t know what’s wrong.” Jayden sighed. He had figured Kevin would help him. Kevin was calm, level headed, and observant. Kevin surely must have noticed something.

“I don’t know. He seems pretty happy to me. You could just ask him.” Jayden shook his head. Something was wrong with Antonio and if he hadn’t said anything yet, he probably wasn’t going to at all.

“Thanks anyway,” he mumbled and stalked off. Maybe one of the girls would know.


“He hasn’t said anything to you?” Mia asked. She was steadfastly rubbing at a shirt that had some blood on it.

“If he had, would I be asking?” Jayden was losing his temper. He just wanted to know what was going on!

“I suppose not. If you think something is bothering him, you should ask him yourself.” She was more focused on the fabric than on Jayden and it was really starting to irritate him.

“Or you could tell me what’s wrong. Then I can go fix it.”

“That’s the problem, Jayden. Me telling you isn’t going to fix it. You have to ask yourself if you want to solve this problem.” She sighed and looked at him. He glared for a few minutes and then stomped off. She didn’t understand. He was asking. He just wasn’t asking Antonio.


“I don’t know what’s bothering him, Jayden. I’m sorry. Why don’t you just ask him what’s wrong? I bet he’d tell you, if he’d tell anybody.” Her optimism began to grate on his nerves. Jayden sighed and gripped the rail harder, his knuckles turning white as his nails dug into the wood.

“He’s upset because you rejected him,” a voice called out from behind him. Jayden turned his head briefly, surprised to see Mike leaning against the door frame.

“How do you know?” he asked. Mike smirked and chuckled, sauntering over to stand beside Jayden and Emily.

“It’s obvious, isn’t it? He idolizes you. You’re his best friend. And when he needed you the most, you sided with the person who stole his identity.” Emily was quick to speak up in defense of Ji, but Mike held up a finger and she quieted, clearly seeing his point despite her desire to protect their mentor. Mike was right. Ji took everything Antonio had spent his life trying to accomplish when he kept the morpher, and then Jayden had told him to stay behind anyway. He’d been too cowardly to be in the room when Ji told Antonio he couldn’t be a ranger, and he’d been too cowardly to stand up as his friend begged him from the floor. Of course Antonio was upset with him!

“Anybody would be hurt by that.” Mike said. Emily nodded emphatically in agreement and Jayden clenched his teeth. He really hadn’t expected the wisdom to come from Mike, but he was learning not to underestimate his teammates.

“So how do I fix it?” he asked. Mike shrugged.

“Don’t know, man. You’ll figure something out.” He clapped Jayden on the shoulder and sauntered off the way he came. Jayden looked to Emily for help. She rubbed his shoulder reassuringly and looked up at him with pity written all over her face.

“He just needs to know how important he is to you,” she said.

“And how do I show him that?” He never had been good at this interpersonal stuff. Speeches he could do. Leading he could do. Teaching he was great at. Emotions? That was not his realm of expertise.

“You’ll figure it out,” was all Emily said before she slid her hands into her pockets and walked off slowly, following the same path Mike had taken moments earlier. Jayden was left alone on the porch to sort out his own thoughts.

He had no idea what to do.


It had been three days. Three days and Jayden still didn’t have a clue what to do to fix the problem he had created. Antonio was still dancing around as if nothing was wrong, but his smile didn’t quite reach his eyes when he knew Jayden was around. He was subdued, subtly, as much as it was possible for Antonio Garcia to be subdued about anything. Jayden watched him spar with Mike for awhile, both boisterously laughing at every hit. He should be the one Antonio was laughing with. He shoved away from the door and made his way slowly towards the kitchen.

He stopped short when he came to the closed kitchen door. He could hear soft voices through it and he didn’t want to interupt. It was Emily and Mia but he couldn’t make out what they were talking about. He closed his eyes and forced his breathing to slow, turning an ear towards the source of the quiet chatter.

“He’s so mopey lately, I wish he’d smile again.” That was definitely Emily, but who was she talking about?

“If he’d just do something about the Antonio issue it would help.” Mia. They were talking about him. They had to be. Jayden forced the calm and listened more closely. He knew he shouldn’t eavesdrop on his team, but if they could help him… well he was sure they’d forgive him in the end.

“He doesn’t know what to do, Mia. We could just tell him. Them. Both of them. The love-sick moony eyes just kill my heart every time. And they both do it, too! Tell them they’re being stupid about each other and then they’d be okay, right?”

“No, Emily. I don’t think it’s our place. I think Jayden needs to figure it out himself.” He heard Emily sigh.

“We could just lock them in a closet until they kiss and make up.” Both girls giggled and Jayden nearly joined them. He could talk to Antonio now. He knew what to say, thanks to them. He’d have to buy chocolates or flowers or something for them later; whatever it was girls liked.


He found Antonio right where he expected him to be. On the wharf, right at the edge of the pier, with a fishing pole cast down into the sea. He went unnoticed and took the opportunity to just look at Antonio. It had been so long. They’d been small children when they were separated, but he’d never forgotten Antonio. Not once. Every day he’d ached to have his friend by his side. Now he was here and all Jayden had done was manage to squash his feelings.

“Hey,” he said, sitting down on the pier next to Antonio. Antonio looked at him, squinting in the sun, and smiled warmly.

“Hey, Buddy!” he exclaimed. His eyes didn’t crinkle, though, and his voice fell flat at the end. They were silent for a few minutes, surrounded by the sound of gulls and ocean waves. Jayden steeled himself to say what he knew he needed to say.

“I wish you’d smile again. Really smile, that smile that goes way down to your soul.” Jayden said. He knew he should say more, had even practiced a speech the whole way over, but a speech didn’t feel right this time, not anymore. Words failed him, sitting there beside Antonio.

“I smile all the time. I’m shiny, just ask Emily.” He was trying to smooth things over. Jayden couldn’t let him do that this time.

“Antonio, I’m sorry. For what I did when you first showed up.” Antonio picked at some lint on his jeans and shrugged, turning his gaze back to the quiet waves lapping at the pier.

“It’s okay, Jayden. You already apologized.”

“I know I did. But I don’t think it was enough.” He watched Antonio’s face. It briefly pulled tight in a grimace before settling into a sad smile. He had to fix it, to get the joy radiating out of him again.

“You were just trying to protect me. Mike and Emily explained it. You explained it. We’re good.” Antonio wouldn’t look at him. Jayden bumped his shoulder and the smile widened, but he still wouldn’t look up from the water.

“No, we’re not. I hurt you. And that’s not okay.” Jayden reached over and grasped Antonio’s hand in his own. He was mostly trying to stop him from picking a hole in his jeans, but he was pleasantly surprised when Antonio immediately turned his hand over and laced their fingers together. Jayden squeezed him tight and Antonio sighed.

“I just wanted to impress you. Did I come on too strong? Did you think I couldn’t do it?”

“No! No. I just. I mean, well… Ji said you could get hurt. I couldn’t risk that. You’re my best friend. I missed you. But I should have understood. I should have stood up for you anyway.” Antonio looked at him then.

“You missed me?” he asked. Jayden never wanted to hear that uncertainty again. He had to make Antonio sure of him, sure that he could rely on him again, trust him. Antonio had been his world from the time they were five years old. He couldn’t bear to lose that because of his own stupidity.

“Every minute. Of every day. From the moment you walked out the door.” Antonio reached with his free hand and brushed Jayden’s bangs out of his face. Jayden felt wet fire streak across his skin where Antonio’s fingers touched him. He hitched his breath as his stomach fluttered. He had no clue what was going on, but Antonio laughed at his startled expression.

“Mentor kept you pretty reined in, didn’t he? You’re hopeless, mi amour,” he whispered before leaning in. Jayden didn’t realize what Antonio was doing until he pressed his lips, ever so gently, against Jayden’s. The fire spread from his skin down into the pit of his belly and erupted into white hot flames. Jayden had never felt like this before, and while the fire consuming him scared him, he never wanted it to stop. Seconds that felt like forever passed before Antonio started to pull away, but Jayden was having none of that. He locked Antonio’s hand in a crushing grip and used his free hand to grab Antonio’s thick hair. He crashed into Antonio, letting the fire he felt direct him. Their teeth cracked together and his nose was squished, but he didn’t care. He would never let go of this feeling and Antonio was all too willing to help out, fanning his desire with every breath, every small movement.

“Missed you too.” Antonio gasped for breath when they were finally forced to separate.
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May 2012

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