A/N: As promised, here's the sequel to "Summer's Plight". Hope you all like it, as always any comments are welcome.
Legal: I do not own Power Rangers or the associated names, characters, events, places etc. Anything not covered by the above rights should be considered purely the creation of the author.
Rating: T for adult content, and scenes of violence.
It was getting late when Summer came into her bed chamber at the end of a hard day. Venjix had not been kind to her, or given her any real amount of time to recover from her recent ordeal. Parts of her she had forgotten still ached as a result of her brutal incarceration in Corinth's prison system. She was glad to have received a full pardon by the Government, and she had already received many heartfelt letters of support and apology since word of the frame job Ronan had pulled became public knowledge. Of course that still didn't make her injuries heal any faster.
Tanaya 7 had somehow managed to find a small fluctuation in the shield's eastern fringe and led a huge number of grinders into the city. It had been a brutal assault, one that could have cost her dearly. Those Ranger suits only provided so much protection, and she had felt the battle taking its toll on her. She was glad that because of her helmet, none of the others could see the strain or the agony on her face as she battled through ranks of grinders that would normally cause her no significant problems.
She pulled off her t-shirt, and let out a sigh as she saw the massive collection of bruises covering her torso. If she could only get a few days to herself to recover, she was sure she would be fine, but so far Venjix hadn't been that kind. She was thankful that she was the only girl on the team, and that as a result she had a room to herself. She knew that Scott and Flynn would only worry. No doubt Ziggy would feel sorry for her, and she couldn't face that. He still hadn't really found his stride as a Ranger. She knew he was trying his best, and he had impressed her with his efforts but she still couldn't help thinking of him as the weakest member of the team. After all her efforts to prove herself throughout her career up until now, she just couldn't deal with anyone, least of all Ziggy looking down on her, regardless of how much she was hurting.
As she turned back to the bed and reached for her pyjamas, she stopped in her tracks as she found a note on her bed. She picked it up and started to smile as she realised that it was from Dillon. They had only told each other how they felt about each other a few days ago, but she still couldn't help thinking about him all the time.
She only thought about it for another couple of seconds before grabbing her t-shirt and pulling it back on. She grabbed her jacket, throwing it on to ensure her arms were covered. She didn't want Dillon to worry about her injuries. She only wanted him to think about her. She made her way out into the main Garage, finding him standing there waiting.
"It's been a rough night." He commented. Summer smiled at him and nodded in agreement.
"Psycho robot girl looked like she rung your bell pretty good with that last shot." She replied. "I was kind of worried."
"Well that's sweet, but I've got a hard head." He assured her warmly, taking her hands in his. "I had a lot of practice getting hit in the head outside the dome."
"You know most people wouldn't think that's something to brag about." She replied with a small laugh. She couldn't believe she had done that. She must have sounded like a lovesick little schoolgirl. She looked up at Dillon to gauge his reaction. He smiled at her, he seemed to like it. "You wanted to see me?"
"I always want to see you." He responded. "We have the place to ourselves."
"We do?" She asked him, raising her eyebrows a little. Her heart beat a little faster and her face flushed as she looked at the man she loved so much. She liked the thought of getting some time to herself with him. Living with two guys for so long, she had learned exactly how hard it could be to get a little privacy.
"Flynn's gone to spend a little time with Sam." He told her. "Scott went for a drive to let off some steam and I gave Ziggy a few credits and told him to go and see a movie."
"So we have the place to ourselves." She reiterated. "What did you have in mind?"
Dillon reached around behind her head gently and pulled her towards him, bringing his lips to hers in a soft kiss that made her lose herself in him completely. She closed her eyes and enjoyed the sensation as his other hand reached around behind her back and pulled her into him. She wrapped her arms around him in response. She couldn't contain how wonderful he made her feel.
Suddenly, her brows furrowed and she brought her hands around in front of him. Something was wrong, something about it had changed. The hand on the back of her head gripped her tighter and she felt him bearing her against the pool table, leaning over her and bringing her down onto it. His grip on her was no longer gentle. Now it was strong, it was controlling but most of all, it was painful.
"Dillon..." She managed to mumble out as he continued to kiss her roughly. He was no longer kissing her gently and tenderly as he always did. He was hurting her. She tried to push him away as his hands began to grasp at her in a degrading and humiliating manner. "Dillon, please stop, you're hurting me!"
She struggled against him but his grip was too strong. He pinned her down, holding her wrists and preventing her from striking him. He pulled away a little, letting her see that it was not really Dillon at all. It was Ronan.
"I told you I'd be with you forever." He taunted her, a little smoke escaping from between his lips. It was then that she saw that part of the back of his head was missing. "We were always meant to be together."
Summer snapped upright in her bed, screaming and throwing the covers off her, looking around her bedroom in alarm. She was soaked in sweat and she was fighting for breath as her heart pounded in her chest. Tears burned in her eyes as she realised that it had happened again. She was grateful that the rooms were soundproof, the last thing she needed was for the others to find out she was freaking out over a few nightmares like a frightened little girl.
She made her way through to the bathroom and ran the cold tap, splashing some water onto her face and looking at herself in the mirror as she struggled to calm herself down. It had now been several days since she had been released from prison and Ronan's deceit had been discovered. Her injuries were healing, a few cuts and bruises still plagued her, and she had a few aches that just refused to give her a break, but on the whole she was getting better.
The only thing that bothered her now was these nightmares. She'd had them ever since Ronan had killed himself in an effort to escape justice for his actions. This one was the harshest by a long way. She had never been affected this harshly by one of those nightmares before, but it was not the first time she had trouble sleeping. In truth she hadn't slept for the whole night since it had happened. Sometimes she would get a few hours sleep before she saw him. Other times she wouldn't be able to close her eyes at all.
She looked at her watch and groaned as she realised it was only 4AM. She had only managed to get around five hours sleep. She was already pale and had dark circles under her eyes from sleepless nights. She had managed to get by so far, but she was sure that pretty soon the others would be starting to notice the fact she kept zoning out, and could barely concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes at a time. She was already exhausted, but she chose to simply get dressed. She knew there was no way she would get back to sleep now.
She made her way out into the main Garage and headed over to the kitchen area, switching on the coffee pot. Given her lack of sleep, she had been subsisting largely on a combination of strong coffee and over-the-counter caffeine tablets just to keep going. She rubbed her eyes and yawned as she waited for the coffee machine to finish. She felt a hand on her shoulder and shrieked, jumping in her panic and spinning around, finding Dillon standing before her.
"Damn it Dillon, don't do that!" She yelled at him, holding her chest as if she was trying to keep her heart from jumping out of her ribcage. "You scared the life out of me!"
"Well maybe if you'd cut down on the caffeine a little you wouldn't be wound so tight." He suggested as the coffee machine clicked off. "Would you mind telling me what's wrong?"
"What makes you think anything's wrong?" She asked him. Dillon put a hand on hers as she reached for her cup.
"Summer, you look like hell." He told her.
"Thanks." She replied sarcastically. "Why don't you try slapping me for good measure?"
"Would that help?" He asked her. "Summer, I love you. If there's something bothering you then I want to help."
"Look, I just couldn't sleep very well." She told him. "I'll be fine."
"Are you sure?" He asked again, trying to look into her eyes. She could barely look at him, she was lying to him and he knew it. He was sure there was something a lot more serious going on in her mind than she was willing to admit, but he knew that if she wasn't ready to tell him there was not much he could do about it.
"I'll be fine." She repeated. "Anyway, you never told me what you're doing up at this time."
"I don't sleep remember?" He said with a little smile on his face as he moved closer to her. "I shut down some implants for a couple of minutes here and there, but other than that I'm a 24/7 kind of guy."
Summer felt warm as he drew closer to her. He leant in and kissed her warmly. For a moment she felt the horrible images leaving her and simply enjoyed the presence of the man she loved with her. As he reached his hands around her waist though, they all came rushing back. She instinctively reached down, throwing his hands off her and stepped away from him.
"Summer?" He asked her, looking at her curiously. She couldn't deny that there was a slight note of hurt in his expression. She hated to do that to him, but what could she tell him? That any time he got too close to her all she could think about was Ronan? That she was so afraid that she would find herself in that situation again she couldn't just relax and enjoy letting him hold her? She knew in her heart that she could trust him, but she just couldn't shake the images she saw in her dreams. As soon as she started to feel herself being held, she just started to feel trapped and she panicked.
"Sorry, I'm just a little tired." She lied through a weak smile. "I'm just going to take my coffee to my room and do some reading. Maybe I can get another couple of hours before the others get up."
As he watched her go, Dillon couldn't help feeling a little hurt at the way she had pulled away from him, but he didn't want to press the matter too much. He loved her too much to risk hurting her, and he knew that the business with Ronan had done a number on her. He could only hope that in time she would eventually be able to talk to him. Until then, all he could do was wait patiently for her and be there when she finally came to him.
Early the next morning, Flynn made his way to the nearby forensics lab with a spring in his step. He was always in a good mood whenever he went to see his long-term girlfriend. He signed himself in and made his way up to her lab. He found her in her office, struggling through a mountain of paperwork.
He paused for a second to straighten out his hair as he saw her there. Despite her early start and her heavy workload, she looked as beautiful to him now as she had on the night they had met during a military formal.
Samantha Jackson, or "Sam" to pretty much everyone who knew her, had been a keen science student for most of her life, and a career in forensics just seemed to fit her like a glove. She was kind of a quiet woman, though she was always cheerful and lively when she spoke to others, Flynn especially. She had shoulder-length brunette hair that she tied back out of habit when she worked in the lab. She was about 5' 5" in height with a slight build. He came over to the desk, placing the rose he had bought her under her nose to draw her attention. She looked up at him and her pronounced cheekbones seemed to lift as she gave him her usual large, bright smile.
"I wanted to surprise you." He told her, putting down a paper bag. "Can you spare a few minutes for breakfast?"
"I guess so." She replied, putting down the report she was working on and gesturing to another chair in the office. "It can only be a few minutes though. I've been swamped for days."
"There haven't been any major cases recently." He said as he sat down and took a doughnut from the bag. "What's got you so busy?"
"Well after Scott showed up the half-assed job Dr. McIntyre did of Summer's case the Justice Department canned him." She informed him. "Since I'm now the most senior staff member in this section I now have to go over every case he handled. His paperwork looks like it was written by a baboon with its hand taped together."
Flynn gave a little laugh as he heard this. That was an indication of how much Sam had hated her old boss. She almost never had a bad word to say about anyone. The fact she was willing to talk so derisively about him indicated how much she disliked him, but even at that she couldn't bring herself to say anything about him as a person. All she could do was point out the inadequacy of his work ethic.
"Look on the bright side; you are now the most senior member of the team." He reminded her. "That means you're in charge."
"Only until they find someone to replace McIntyre." She grumbled, taking a bite of a doughnut as she added some sugar to her coffee. "The board is such an old boy's club that I was amazed they got rid of him. I'll probably end up with someone just the same in time to do none of this paperwork and claim all the credit for straightening out this mess."
"I'll tell you what I'll do." Flynn interrupted her sympathetically. "How about I take you to dinner?"
"I'd love to, but I'll probably not get out of here at a decent time." She replied with a sigh. "I'd love you to come to my apartment though. Would you mind having take-out instead?"
"I think that sounds great." He told her, picking up his tea and taking a sip. "Anyway, I'll just take this and get out of your hair."
"I'm sure another couple of minutes wouldn't hurt." She responded. "Would you like me to walk you outside?"
"Nothing would give me greater pleasure." He replied as he hooked her arm with his own. She loved how attentive and thoughtful he could be. Given the nature of both their jobs, she didn't get a chance to spend as much time with him as she would like.
She looked up to him and smiled she had fallen for him in a big way. She had been going out with him for months, considerably longer than any of her previous relationships. Most guys quickly lost patience with her inability to dedicate much time to them and broke things off. Flynn was different though.
Even only spending a few minutes with her for breakfast, he would smile at her in a way that let her know that the way they felt in his time with her was more important to him than just having a lot of time with her. To her, the idea of spending a couple of hours with him tonight in her apartment was more than enough to make the relationship work.
She arrived outside with him and turned to face him, biting her lip nervously. She looked up into his eyes. This was the moment that was always both her favourite, but also the worst moment of any time they spent together.
"I'll see you later tonight pet." He told her, leaning down and kissing her deeply. Sam closed her eyes and enjoyed the feeling she got every time he did that. No matter how little time she spent with him, that moment always made her feel like the most important person in the world.
"I'll see you tonight." She replied as she turned ant made her way back into the lab. As Flynn left the building, with a huge smile on his face, he didn't notice a dark-haired girl across the street watching him.
Tenaya 7 got a little smirk on her face as she left the area. Venjix had created her with a human mind and heart as an infiltration unit. She knew how human emotions worked.
"I thought the Green Ranger was the weak one." She sneered as she slipped into the shadows. "I guess the Blue Ranger will be the first to fall."