Disclaimer: I do not own, nor am I in any way associated with, Power Rangers.
AN: Thanks for angellwings for telling me this didn't suck. Also, this story contains my three favorite RPM ships: Scott/K, Dillon/Summer, and Ziggy/Tenaya. Just so you're prepared going in.
"Well," Scott said, coming out of the lab, "that's it. They can't manually reset the weather system without shutting down the whole grid so they're just waiting until midnight when the whole thing resets automatically."
"I told you," Dr. K said. "You may have stopped Venjix from gaining enough control to boil the city under its own dome, but Ranger Green's little field trip allowed Tenaya plenty of time to ruin today's weather."
"So we're stuck?" Dillon asked, fanning Summer with his shirt and ignoring Ziggy's innocent shrug.
"It's not so bad," Flynn said, taking a sip of his smoothie. "The rain forest was much warmer."
"Well we're not in the rain forest," Summer snapped, then winced at her tone. "Sorry. Ironic as it is, summer was always my least favorite season."
"You'll all just have to find some way to keep cool," Dr. K said. "Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to work."
Ziggy hopped off his seat as the lab doors whooshed closed. "So that means we're free for the afternoon? Perfect. I have some business to take care of."
"Ziggy," Summer called. When he paused to look back at her she sighed, "Don't get into trouble."
"When have I ever gotten into trouble?"
Summer raised an eyebrow at him and he quailed.
"Will do," he said, throwing her a quick salute before disappearing out the door.
Summer shook her head and trudged up the stairs. "I'm going to go to bed and try to sleep away the rest of this miserable day."
Flynn finished off his smoothie and grabbed his toolbox. "Well, the jeep needs some work and now's as good a time as any. You boys going to help?"
"No," Dillon said and followed Summer.
Flynn turned to Scott.
"No, I've got my own project in mind."
Flynn shrugged and popped the hood.
Scott busied himself in the kitchen, waiting until he was sure Flynn was fully engrossed in his work before sneaking into the lab.
Without even looking up from her work Dr. K asked, "What is it, Ranger Operator Series Red?"
"Are you helping fix the weather?" Scott asked.
K paused in her work, pulling just far enough back in her chair that he could see her "I'm talking to an idiot" expression. "No," she said, resuming her typing. "You made it perfectly clear earlier that the scientists in charge of the weather center plan to wait until the system corrects itself. Why would I bother trying to fix something that is well under control?"
Scott picked a gear from among the odds and ends on the work table and began tossing it from hand to hand. "Because you can't leave well enough alone," he said simply. "Are you working on anything time sensitive?"
"Anything that might explode if you leave it alone?" he asked, setting the gear down beside the computer.
"No," Dr. K said, a hint of real annoyance entering her voice.
"Good." And with that Scott pulled her chair away from the computer and threw her over his shoulder.
Dr. K stayed silent for several seconds before saying, in an especially calm tone of voice, "Operator Series Red?"
"Yeah?" he asked, crossing to the doors.
"Have you gone mad?"
"No," he said and she almost could hear him smiling cheekily.
"Then what logical reason can you give me for your current behavior?"
Scott laughed as he carefully navigated through the garage. Flynn didn't even flinch, let alone look up from his work.
"I'll tell you when we get there."
"Get where?" Dr. K demanded.
"That would spoil the surprise," he said and set her down beside his car.
"I do not go outside."
He smiled down at her. "Ziggy told me what you said to him and you were right. It's a dome, it doesn't count."
"I am not --"
He reached around her to open the door and pushed her back into the passenger seat before she could finish the sentence. "Legs," he said and she quickly lifted hers into the car before he slammed the door.
A scream echoed through the garage and Scott whirled to look up the stairs.
"Flynn?" he asked. The Blue Ranger hadn't moved. "That was Summer."
"I know," Flynn said. "I'm not getting involved with Summer screaming or Ziggy calling for help or you kidnapping Dr. K."
"Sounds good," Scott said with a shrug before turning back to Dr. K. "Don't make me restrain you," he said, "because I will."
As he circled around the front of the car she yelled, "Ranger Blue! You must stop --"
"See ya, Flynn!" Scott called as he slid into his own seat.
Flynn lifted one greasy arm to wave them off.
"You rangers have all gone mad," Dr. K muttered.
"Ziggy's been a bad influence," Scott said with a smile before pealing out of the garage.
"I demand you tell me where we are going this instant."
"We'll be there in a few minutes," Scott said. "Just sit back and relax."
"Relaxation is not the usual course of action for someone who is being kidnapped."
Scott rolled his eyes as he turned towards City Hall.
"Are we going to see your father? If the colonel asked to see me you should have informed me sooner."
"My dad doesn't know anything about this."
"Then why are we -- ?"
"Surprise, Doctor. You should know the definition of the word."
Dr. K sat back in her seat with a small huff of irritation. She muttered something that sounded like, "Never should have let them see my face," but Scott couldn't quite make it out over the hum of traffic. He passed City Hall, ignored K's accusatory glance, and less than a mile later pulled into the parking structure beside the city's one and only university.
"If you expect me to teach," she said the word as if it were a curse, "then you will be disappointed, Ranger Red. It's hard enough teaching you Rangers, I doubt I could dumb down my language enough to --"
"You're not here to teach. Just come on." He got out of the car and began walking towards the elevator.
Dr. K sighed. Ranger Red was nothing if not determined and he was more likely to let her bake in the hot car than return and drive her back to the Garage. She quietly got out and followed after him. He was patiently waiting for her at the elevators, holding the door open with his foot. Once she was inside he let the door close and hit the button for the basement. When the door opened once more K was hit by a wave of cool air and couldn't help but smile momentarily.
"Come on," Scott said, leading the way.
They stepped out into a small room with grey walls, blue carpet and absolutely no decorations. On either side of the elevator door were two other doors, one that had the classic image of a man climbing stairs and another with B1 written on it. Before Scott could open the second door a tall, balding man emerged.
"Scott!" the man said, smiling when he saw him.
"We're not too late, are we?" Scott asked. "We had a little trouble getting going."
"No, you're just in time. I'm heading up to start things now." He held the door open and smiled warmly at K as she passed.
"Professor Pierrot," Scott whispered as he took her hand and began guiding her into the pitch black room. "He's been teaching here for twenty years."
K allowed him to guide her into a cushioned seat several paces into the room. When he shuffled past her and took the seat beside her she asked, "What is going on?"
"Shhh!" someone hissed several yards ahead of them.
Scott leaned over until his mouth was beside her ear. "We're watching a movie. Now be quiet."
K stared at him as the projector came to life. Sound filled the room for a moment and she raised her eyebrow at him. He sighed and leaned back in.
"I promise," he whispered, "it'll be fun."
As the credits started to roll he settled back into his seat and propped his feet up on the seat in front of him.
"Hey!" a voice at K's shoulder hissed and she turned with a start to see Professor Pierrot. "Feet off the seats," he said, though he smiled as he did.
Scott had the good sense to look sheepish as he lowered his feet.
"I thought you two might like this," Pierrot said and set a large cardboard bucket in her lap. It was very warm and whatever was inside threatened to spill over the top.
"Thanks!" Scott whispered and pulled a handful of the … whatever they were from the bucket. "Try some," he said around a mouthful and turned his attention back to the screen.
K lifted the bucket slightly off her lap so that she couldn't feel its heat anymore and watched the film. She couldn't remember the last time she'd watched anything that wasn't one of the public service announcements put out to help people deal with Venjix attacks.
Based on the few minutes of the film that had already passed K assumed it was made after 1930, when "talkies" became the norm, but before the end of World War II when color did. She was just about to lean over to tell Ranger Red that she hardly found the life of a dissatisfied farm girl to be mentally stimulating, when the tornado started.
"That is not possible," she said when the house lifted up. "Winds high enough to lift a house from the ground would, in all probability --"
Scott patted her hand. "It's a movie, Doc. It's not always supposed to be real."
She pulled her hand away quickly and he caught the bucket as it tipped over, grabbing a handful of the food before nodding to the screen.
K sighed and watched as the house landed and the film changed completely. Color filled the screen and K forgot about her earlier arguments against the movie.
Scott watched her out of the corner of his eye and smiled.
After taking a quick, cold shower Summer stripped the blankets off her bed, closed her shutters, dressed in a pair of shorts and a tank top, and fell face first onto her pillow. With any luck, when she woke up it would be tomorrow and the world would be cool and comfortable once more.
Summer jumped and looked cautiously around, waiting for the sound to repeat itself. She was far too annoyed by the heat to care if any of her things had fallen and no alarms had gone off so she slowly repositioned herself on the bed.
She lunged across the room and pulled open the door. There was no one around, no sign of trouble. After a moment she gave a small huff of annoyance and went back to bed.
This time she was ready and she realized now where it was coming from. She threw her legs angrily over the side of the bed, grabbed her robe off her chair, and pulled it on while she marched angrily to the door beside hers. She took a deep breath before knocking three very quick times. Several moments later the door opened slowly.
"Hello," Dillon said.
"I'm trying to sleep," Summer said.
"You knew I was going to sleep. You were right next to me when I said it."
Summer took a deep, steadying breath and reminded herself that she couldn't kill Dillon. They needed him -- at least until Venjix was defeated. "Just … stop. Whatever it is you're doing in there, stop."
"Whatever," Dillon said.
Summer stared at him, waiting for him to close his door, before giving up and heading back to her room. A moment after she closed her own door, she heard his click shut.
"Finally," she sighed, and fell onto the bed.
Falling asleep when hot is difficult and Summer knew that she would just have to wait it out. There was no trick to it, she just had to do nothing until she was so hot and miserable and bored that her body could think of nothing to do except sleep. She breathed steadily, not even allowing herself to smile when she realized her mind was reaching that foggy place between consciousness and unconsciousness.
Summer let out an angry scream and could have sworn as it echoed away that she heard Dillon laughing. She ran down the hall and pounded on the door. When it opened she pushed her way into his darkened room.
"What is wrong with you?" she asked, starting to pace. "I told you, I hate the heat. Why can't you just let me sleep? What's the big problem? You were out in the Wastelands when Ziggy found you. How much different can this be?" She turned to look at him. "Are you even listening to me?"
"Not really, no."
She let out a strangled cry and sat heavily on his bed, only to leap up a moment later.
"It's wet!" she cried. Slowly, she turned to him. "It's wet," she said again.
Dillon sighed and threw open his shutters. A moment later a water balloon flew in the window to land with a bang between them on the floor.
"Whoa!" Summer gasped, dodging the explosion. "What was that?"
"They're these kids," he said, pulling a basket of already filled water balloons from a corner. "They came looking for Ziggy -- I guess he entertains them or something. Anyway, I yelled down that he wasn't here and they were so depressed that I ... "
Summer smiled. "You decided to entertain the kids."
"No! I decided that I didn't want their crying to wake you up."
Another balloon flew through the window and hit Dillon's door.
"Well," Summer said, rolling up the sleeves of her robe, "we can't let a bunch of kids beat the Power Rangers, now can we?"
Dillon didn't smile, but she could see the telltale crinkling around the corners of his eyes and that was enough.
"Let's get 'em," he said. They each grabbed a handful of balloons and the war began in earnest.
Ziggy parked his moped outside the race tracks and hurried inside. He climbed the steps up to the owner's box two at a time. He'd been lucky at the store, to get the last gallon of Neapolitan ice cream and now hoped he wasn't too late.
"Hold it." A very large body positioned itself between Ziggy and the door. Ziggy looked up to see Southpaw Pete smiling down at him. "Ziggy. You got a lot of nerve coming back here." He cracked his knuckles. "I'm gonna enjoy this."
"Ziggy?" Fresno Bob's voice called from within. "Is that Ziggy?"
"Yeah, boss," Southpaw sneered, "you want I should kill him?"
The door flew open and Bob pushed Southpaw over the railing to get a good look at Ziggy. As Southpaw slowly rolled to a stop on the steps below Bob sighed.
"Ziggy," he said, seeing the bag at Ziggy's side, "you remembered." He opened his arms. "Welcome home. All is forgiven!"
Ziggy shook his head. "No, I- I just wanted to make sure you had this." He lifted the bag out to Bob. "Try not to get a brain freeze."
Bob took the bag and gave Ziggy a quick hug. "You always were a good kid, Ziggy. Now get out of here before someone sees you."
Ziggy nodded and hurried out of the track, turning up his collar as he went. As he emerged into the bright sunshine though, he realized that he had made a major mistake. Standing around his moped were the Yo-Yo Brothers. Ziggy winced.
"Hey, guys," he called, "how's it going?"
As the brothers advanced on him Ziggy held up his hands. "Come on now, no hard feelings about the truck thing?" When they didn't stop he nodded. "Okay, I get it, but you'll have to catch me first."
He turned and ran, only to find Tenaya 7 standing a few feet away.
"Oh come on," he said, skidding to a stop. "You can't be serious. You know what, you guys will just have to duke it out and whoever wins gets to kill me." He stepped aside, allowing the gangsters and Tenaya to get a good look at each other, then paused, his eyes going wide. "Did I just say that?"
"My thoughts exactly," Tenaya said, stalking past him. "No one gets to destroy the Green Ranger except me!"
"Then why do you always send the Grinders after me?"
Tenaya turned slowly to look at him. "You are the most incompetent of all the rangers, yet you have no more trouble than the others do defeating Grinders. Why do you think that is?"
Ziggy paled and lifted his morpher as Tenaya started attacking the brothers. "Um, guys?" he said, backing away slowly. "I could really use some help down here."
Tenaya turned back to him as the Yo-Yo Brothers fled.
"Guys?" Ziggy asked. "Help!" He ran.
Across the parking lot, over the fence, down the street, between buildings, and still he could hear her behind him. Every so often he'd glance backward, only to regret it and run even faster when he saw her still following close behind. He went into the warehouse district in hopes of losing her in the part of town he knew best. But still she followed. Soon he found himself down by the wharf and he followed the water until he hit an unoccupied stretch of beach. Here he fell to his knees in the sand.
"Okay," he said just before he tipped over, "you can kill me now."
Tenaya stopped next to him and though his face was buried in the wet sand he could hear her breathing heavily.
"Who says I want to kill you? And where did you learn to run like that?"
He rolled over just far enough to say, "Bullies. Before I joined the mob there were quite a few bullies who enjoyed picking on me."
After a few moments of listening to the surf he asked, "Aren't you going to kill me or capture me or something?"
"The shields are up. I can't get out."
"Ah." He reached out and grabbed her ankle. "There. Now I've caught you."
She raised an eyebrow. "And what do you plan on doing now that you've done that?"
He slowly wriggled his free hand out from under him and counted off on his fingers. "First! I plan to wait until my heart slows down and my lungs stop burning. Second! I'm going to demand you tell me what you've done to the others. And third! I will save the others and turn you over to Colonel Truman."
"I haven't done anything to your pathetic friends. They're probably just ignoring you."
Ziggy craned his neck to look up at her and pressed a button on his morpher. "Is anyone there? If you are, could you just tell me if you're alive or not?"
There was a moment of silence, then, "I'm alive, Ziggy," Flynn said. "Now would you quit calling? I'm trying to make a soufflé."
"Ooooh, can I have some?"
"Not if I have to kill you for ruining it. There is no excuse for ruining perfectly good cooking."
Ziggy shook himself. "Wait! Are the others alive? And K, she should have answered my distress call!"
"Well, every so often I hear Summer or Dillon upstairs, so I know they're alive. As for K, Scott kidnapped her a while ago. Though I expect they'll be back soon. Now can I please go back to work?"
Ziggy looked up at Tenaya. "Sure. I'm fine now." He let go of her ankle and sat up, brushing the sand from his clothes. "Why aren't you going to kill me again? And why did you save me?"
"Out of all the rangers you are the most humorous. Your death should be humorous as well and I haven't had time to plan it yet. As for saving you, I meant it when I said I was the only one allowed to destroy you."
Ziggy scooted a few inches away from her before asking, "And what do you plan on doing now?"
She shrugged. "I'm not certain. The shield generator is too well guarded within the city for me to attack alone, so I will have to wait for Venjix to break in from the outside."
"Okay," he said and pulled his knees up to his chest, looking out at the waves.
"What do you plan to do?" she asked.
"Watch the sunset. I haven't taken the time to watch one since I escaped from the city."
"Humans watch the sun fall beyond the horizon? Why?"
"It's pretty. It's there. Not everything has to have a reason, you know." He watched the steady movements of the waves and debated taking off his shoes and wading in. The sun wouldn't set for at least another hour. Thinking she had gone he reached for his laces.
"Why would you try to leave the city?" she asked.
He looked up at her. "That's a long story."
She glanced at the sky. "By my estimation we have seventy-two minutes until the sun reaches the horizon."
"You're going to watch the sunset? Like a silly human?"
"I have never taken time to watch such a mundane event, but understanding it will help me understand my enemy."
Ziggy frowned. He didn't think she'd appreciate it if he said how sad that sounded, so instead he asked, "Are you going to sit down?"
She looked at him and at the sand. "No."
He shook his head and stood. "So, it all started a few months back…," he began and seventy-two minutes later they stood on the beach, watching the sunset together.
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