It was morning yet again. I could see the sun peaking through my window through my yellow blinds. I had been awake for the past couple hours, just waiting for the sun to rise before I made my way downstairs to join the others. I could hear them from my room laughing as they ate their breakfast. The smell of Ziggy's famous blueberry pancakes was calling to me. I hadn't eaten much yesterday—being one month from the day Dillon had died, I didn't have much of an appetite. I knew it was only a matter of time before someone was sent up here to check on me, so I slid on a yellow and white striped shirt and light blue jeans, and made my way down to join them.
I was greeted with a few sympathetic 'good mornings' as I walked into the room. I just answered them with a nod and a forced smile. I headed to the fridge to get a bottle of apple juice, as I did I heard the others talking about the awards ceremony. It had completely slipped my mind that it was today. I closed my eyes and sighed, slowly closing the refrigerator door and just stood there. This was something I had been dreading. The others were aware that I knew that they had all paired off with one another, leaving an opening for Derek to ask me. Truth be told, I would rather just go back to my bed and sleep this day away—I had nothing to celebrate.
Before I knew it my juice was nearly gone, and I heard Scott calling out to me. "Summer…you okay?" he asked. I really didn't want to turn around and see him and his perfect family and the person he loved all happily sitting together. Happy as I was for them, it only made me ache that much more.
But I ignored my feelings and turned around. "Yeah. I'm fine." I said while feigning a smile.
"No you're not." He told me, standing and coming my way. "You can talk about what's bothering you. Maybe we can help." He said.
Next thing I knew, tears were filling in my eyes. "I just don't get it." I told him sadly.
He looked at me sympathetically and placed his hand on my shoulder. "Get what?" he asked.
"Why. Why did Dillon take that shot for me? Why did he give his life for mine. Why—" I began, wiping the tears from my cheeks. "Why did he chose to save me?" I asked sadly.
"Because you're worth saving." I heard a voice say. When I heard this I froze. A familiar voice that made my heart skip. And when I turned around, I saw him. Dillon--decked out in his black jeans, dark grey shirt, and his tattered black leather jacket. His hair fell it the same way it used to, and in his eyes I could see feelings for me. I didn't know if it was my mind playing tricks on me, or if it was Derek trying to make me feel better.
"What?" I asked, looking at this man hesitantly.
I watched as he inched his way closer to me. "You know," he began, "I was wrong that day in the prison. Yellow definitely is your color." He said with a smile, wiping the tears from my face.
I looked at him in awe before I finally found the words to speak. "D-Dillon?" I stammered.
He nodded and smiled at me once more. "I back, gorgeous." He told me simply.
That was all the convincing I needed. Before I knew it I was clinging to him so tight I almost went through him. He even felt the same as he used to, that same warm embraced that I had longed for this past month. He even stroked the back of my head as he did when the two of us were in Venjix's lair. I couldn't believe it—I was holding Dillon in my arms again.
"You're back!" I spoke in such excitement I was breathless. "I can't believe it!" I clung to him even tighter, fearing that if I were to let go for an instant, he would be gone again.
"Back in black." He answered with a soft chuckle.
Still hugging him, I looked in his eyes, now tears of joy filling mine. "But…how?" I asked him, smiling.
"I owe all of that to Rose Mary." He said, looking over to the doctor, still draped in her white lab coat. When we looked at her, she nodded with a smile.
"I don't understand." I said, smiling bigger than I ever remembered.
"Since the day Dillon woke up completely drained of his memories of himself, I began work in my lab seeing if there were some way to get his memories back. Then it dawned on me that all of Venjix's hybrids had a hard copy of their data in a chip form in the back of their necks. When Dillon was transported back here, before I called you guys, I removed it and decided to study it. So I thought I would try to combine Dillon's memories with Derek's by leaving the "hard drive" in the back of his neck put, but sadly…it couldn't be done. I then discovered that I could override Derek's memories completely with Dillon's. But it would have to be his choice of which being he would rather be—Dillon or Derek." She said.
I stood there for a moment, trying to process everything. Then I turned to Dillon. "So, you chose the life as Dillon instead of Derek?" I asked.
"It hit me that my life meant more to everyone as Dillon than Derek. I wanted to remember being a ranger, Corinth, the Garage, and most of all…" he said, pushing my hair from my ace, "…you." He finally said.
I smiled at his touch, but as I did a thought hit me. "But…what about…" I began, looking Terra's way. I hadn't thought that in all of this, she would be losing the only brother she really knew.
"We had a long talk about it." Dillon told me. "We decided we both wanted to start a clean slate with one another—one without Venjix." He assured me. "So don't worry." He said.
I found myself hugging him with all my might once again. "You have no idea how much I've missed you." I said, falling into him.
He rested his head on top of mine, kissing my hair softly. "I can relate." He answered softly. "I love you Summer. I felt it even when I was gone." He said.
I pulled back and looked in his eyes. "I love you too—more than you know." I told him. And our lips grew closer once more, I await for some sort of interruption—but it never came. We finally fell into our kiss. And it was better than I ever could have imagined—soft, warm, light, in a word—perfect.
Later that day was the time of the awards ceremony. All of the rangers were dressed to their best, ready to be rewarded for all they have done for the city. The ceremony took place in the Corinth City Park that was decorated in a sea of flowers. Flowers of red, blue, yellow, green, black, gold and silver—one for each color ranger. To each of their attires, a flower of their color was pinned. The park was full of people wanting to thank the rangers for all they had done for them. The rangers all stood at attention to Colonel Truman and Doctor K, awaiting their awards. The Colonel stood at a podium, prepared to make a small speech to open this event.
"Welcome, Corinth citizens. I want to take the time to thank you all for coming here today to honor the heroes that have kept this city safe. Every day they put their lives on the line for each and every one of us, so we could have to happy future we have today. Without their courage, there's no telling what kind of future we could have had. I present to you, the Power Rangers!" he announced, presenting an arm to the seven rangers. A roar of applause sounded throughout the park for the rangers. Smiles came across each of the heroes faces.
The Colonel left his podium, turning to Doctor K who held a small briefcase containing a medal for each ranger. First up was his son, Scott Truman. He walked up to him, wrapping the medal proudly around his neck.
"Son, I'm proud this day has come. Your leadership skills lead this city to safety. You've truly earned this medal and the title of Ranger Red. Thank you for all you've done for us." He said to his son with a proud smile that took over his face.
Scott shook his father's hand and returned the smile. "Thanks, dad. It was my pleasure." He answered. He looked over his father's shoulder to see Marcus applauding for him. This was his moment, and he would never again be pushed to the back burner over his brother.
Next, Truman turned back to Doctor K pulling out another medal, then turning to the Blue Ranger. "Flynn McAllistar, you're mechanical skills and intelligence helped this city in more ways than you'll ever know. I, and the entire city thank you for all you've done." He thanked him, placing the medal around Flynn's neck.
Flynn shook Truman's hand back and smiled proudly. "It was an honor to serve the city, sir." He answered. This was a happy day for him, and when he looked into the audience, he saw his father clapping proudly for his son. He had gotten something he never imagined out of this experience—his father being proud of him.
Summer was the next one to feel a medal around her neck. Truman placed his hands on her shoulders and sighed proudly. "Summer Landsdown," he began smiling at her, "the road ahead of you was a hard paved one, but you pressed on strong, never giving up. You're grace and determination are an inspiration to us all. Thank you." He smiled, getting a tight hug from Summer in the process.
"Thank you, Colonel Truman. It was all worth it to make it here." She answered. When she looked into the audience, she saw her mother and father clapping proudly for her. They knew this was the life she had chosen, and she made the right choice. To them, she had grown so much in this past year, from spoiled rich girl, to world saving hero.
As the Colonel wrapped the next medal around the Green Ranger's neck, he couldn't help but chuckle. "Ziggy Grover…" he began with a happy shake of his head. "your optimism and humor gave this team what it needed to make it through what hard times it had. You brought happiness and laughter to all of us, and we will never forget it. Thank you for helping us laugh along this difficult road." He said happily.
As he went for a handshake, Ziggy pulled him in and slapped him playfully on the back. "No prob, Colonel. I knew my shadow puppets would serve some sort of purpose. Maybe I'll open a show…" he began, but was stopped when he saw Doctor K, or who he knew as Rose Mary, applauding him. It meant more to him than the entire park clapping, and before he knew it, his cheeks were blushed.
Truman pulled out two medals for his next recipients. Gem and Gemma were locked in arms with one another, and he was right in assuming that, since they did everything else together, they would want to do this together too.
"Gem and Gemma—you two are a rare find. Your courage and eagerness pushed this team when they were down the most. You're sense to never give up helped get us where he are today, and we thank the two of you greatly." He thank them, slipping the medals around their necks one after the others. They looked at the medals happily and gave one another a high five.
"We did it, Gem!" Gemma said happily.
"We sure did, Gemma!" he answered, and the two hugged one another tightly, then became infatuated with their medals once more.
The last medal in the box was meant for none other than Dillon. Colonel Truman wrapped the medal around the Black Ranger's neck and stood there for a moment in what seemed to be in awe.
"Ranger Black—or should I say Dillon Caine, you have certainly have had your moments of strife along this road, even you and I have fought here and there, but we all got through it and you've turned out to be one of the most important members of this team. Without your infiltrating and valor, we would all be under Venjix's control today. So I, and this entire city thank you for putting your life on the line for us, not to mention a fellow ranger. You are a true Power Ranger." He told him with a proud smile and a nod, extending his hand for Dillon to shake.
Dillon stood there with a grin on his face for a moment, looking at the Colonel's hand. He just pushed it aside and hugged him with a pat on the back to finish. "Thank, Colonel Truman. I would do it all again." He said. With that, he looked down in the audience and saw Terra clapping proudly for her brother. He just winked back at her—this is what he wanted all along—a happy life.
After all the rangers were given their medals, Truman stepped aside, he pulled a large bouquet of white roses from the podium and handed them to Doctor K. She took them in surprise and a beaming smile spread across her face.
"This is for all you've done to help the rangers. I'm sure we all know we wouldn't have made it anywhere without your help and guidance. You have done so much to help the rangers and can never thank you enough for all you've done for them and us. So, thank you Rose Mary Knox, we are eternally grateful." He thanked her with a small salute.
Rose took the flowers and looked at Truman and the rangers. "It was my honor to help you. And if you don't mind I would like to thank you all for giving me something I never thought I could find." She said softly.
"Really?" Colonel Truman asked in surprise. "What's that?"
"Friends." She answered simply.
Truman just grinned and nodded at her. "No problem." He answered kindly. He then made his way back to the podium for one final say. "Ladies and gentlemen, the Power Rangers!" he said once more, he and the audience once again giving them a round of applause. This was the rangers proudest moment and they decided to enjoy it to the fullest.
After the ceremony was over, there was a party. A chance for the rangers to relax and for the citizens to thank them personally for all they had done. Music played all around which made for couples dancing here and there. Scott and Terra held one another close on the dance floor, swaying the music.
"You really look beautiful." Scott told her, commenting on her long, eggplant colored gown.
Terra blushed shyly and smile. "Thank you, Scott." She answered.
"Can I ask you something?" he said, looking at her.
"Sure." She answered, awaiting his question. She was curious as to what he had on his mind.
"What made you want Dillon to go through with getting his old memories back? I thought you would want the brother that you'd always known back in your life?" he asked.
Terra smiled at his question, much to Scott surprise. He thought this answer would be something that made her feel remorseful, he was relieved to see her so happy. "I guess…" she began, "I couldn't take away how Summer and Dillon felt for one another." She answered.
"Why?" Scott asked her next.
"Because I feel the same way about someone myself." She answered softly. And the next thing Scott knew, her lips were on his, and the two kissed softly as they danced. The two felt as if they were floating on a cloud.
"I guess that pretty much sums it up." Scott said with a chuckle, with a nod from Terra. As the two continued their dance, a thought hit Terra's mind.
"Hey, did you ever find out who Marcus came to this with?" she asked in curiosity. Scott didn't answer, he just titled his head in his brother's direction, and there she saw Marcus slow dancing with General Vasquez. She giggled happily when she saw them together. "I never would have guessed." She smiled, shaking her head. "There a cute couple."
She then felt Scott pull her playfully towards him. "Not as cute as us." He said, spinning her around and around, causing her to laugh in content. This was the most fun she had ever remembered having. She enjoyed herself as Scott twirled her around the dance floor.
Meanwhile, at the desert table, Ziggy was digging into a large slice of cake while Rose nibbled on a small piece of her own. She watched Ziggy lovingly as he devoured his treat and sighed in content. When he realized she was watching him, he stopped and looked up at her with his cake covered face.
"Want some?" he asked with a full mouth, holding his plate up to her.
She couldn't resist, she pushed the plate into his face, only covering his face more with icing and cake. She laughed loudly as she watched Ziggy wipe his face.
"I'm sorry.!" Rose said laughing breathlessly, "I had to!"
Ziggy couldn't help but find himself laughing hard as well. "Oh, really?" he asked in a sneaky tone, grabbing another slice from the table and aiming it at her. "You look rather hungry yourself." He said.
Rose covered her eyes, expecting to be blasted with cake, but instead, she felt Ziggy's cakey lips hit her cheek. She opened her eyes in surprise and began to turned beat red.
"And I just had to do that." He told her sweetly.
Deep down, Rose felt herself swoon. And next thing she knew she was kissing him on the cheek as well. And before she knew it, he was as red as she was.
Over on the swings, Gem and Gemma entertained the children by pushing them higher and higher.
"See how high you can go!" Gemma cheered them on as she pushed them.
"This is a blast!" Gem laughed while pushing a little girl on a swing.
As Gemma continued to push a little boy on a swing, she felt a hand placed on hers when she went to push him again. When she looked beside her, she saw Flynn standing there. She immediately felt a smile hit her face.
"H-hey there, Flynn." She stammered nervously.
"Thought I would see where all the fun was." He said with a smile and a wink. Gemma felt her heart skip a beat, and the three of them continued to push the children on the swings, even dressed in their best.
A little ways away, Dillon and Summer sat on the grass on a small blanket sitting next to one another. They each held a glass of champagne in their hands, just enjoying the warmth of one another's company. Summer laid against Dillon's arm which he stroked gently with his free hand. Just the faint smell coconut coming from her hair made him feel tranquil. And to Summer, just feeling the rise and fall of his body from his breathing made her feel happier than ever.
"I never thought we would be like this." She said gently.
"You certainly had every reason not to." He answered, kissing her head. "But this is nice."
"Let's make a deal." Summer said, sitting up to look at him, laying her glass next to her and taking his from him, laying it beside her as well.
"And what's that?" he asked with a grin.
"No more life risking missions. We deserve a little vacation." She said, just so content to see the kindness back in his eyes.
Dillon nodded once and smiled. "You got it." He answered. Then the two began to kiss one another passionately. They lay back on the blanket and embraced one another. They didn't care that they knocked the glasses over, they just continued to kiss one another. They ran their hands together and rolled around playfully. After a moment, Dillon paused and looked down at her.
"I love you, Summer." He said softly, getting lost in her eyes.
"I love you too, Dillon." She answered. She couldn't believe that she was actually getting to say those words again. As the two resumed their kissing, they were interrupted when a small black ball hit Dillon in the shoulder. Before they were caught, they quickly stood before the owner of the ball saw them.
Dillon picked up the ball and looked at it, it was as if he had seen it somewhere before. Seconds later, a boy that looked about eight with a brown hair bowl cut and a black and white wolf shirt ran over to them.
"Sorry guys! Guess I kicked it a little too far!" he apologized.
Dillon looked in awe at the kid for a moment, he couldn't believe who it was. "Dillon?" he asked hopefully.
The kid looked surprised that this man knew his name. "Yes, but how do you—" the kid began, but when he got a full look at the Black Ranger he exclaimed in joy.
"It's you mister! It's really, really you!" he said, hugging Dillon's leg as hard as he could. The Black Ranger knelt down beside him and smiled happily. "My friends told me that you wouldn't come back, but I knew they were wrong! I knew you were my buddy!" he yelled.
"But…" Ranger Black began. "I thought you…I thought your entire city was destroyed?"
"No! My brother used to be a Power Ranger a while back, and he used what he knew to get us all out of the city in time!" Dillon told him proudly.
"So that older brother of yours that you gave me clothes from…used to be a ranger?" Ranger Black asked with relief. He couldn't be more relieved that this kid was okay.
"Yep, just like you! His name is Casey!" he said excitedly. "But don't tell anyone—it's a secret." He said in a whisper.
"You got it. Just tell him thanks." Ranger Black said, hugging the boy.
"Wait—you never told me your name!" Dillon reminded him.
Ranger Black paused for a moment. This wasn't a question he was used to. The last time he was asked, it changed his future—and for the better. So this was easy for him to answer. "It's Dillon. Dillon Caine." He answered with a smile. Summer just looked down at the two of them and smiled as well. She knew this was all Dillon needed to make his new life complete.
"Really? Dillon just like me!?" the boy asked in excitement.
Dillon nodded. "Yeah. And I never really thanked you for all you did for me." He said, removing the medal from his neck, and wrapping it around the boy's. "This is for you. If it wasn't for all you've done for me, I never would have made it this far." He told him.
The boy looked wide eyed at the medal in euphoria. "No way!! This is for me!??" he shouted.
Dillon nodded once more. "Thank you, Dillon." He said.
"You're welcome!! I have to go and show my brother!!" he exclaimed. As he ran off to find him, he stopped about half way and ran back to hug the Black Ranger's leg. He laughed warmly, and seconds later, the boy was out of sight.
"That was really generous." Summer said, gently wrapping her arms around him.
"I'm just glad he's okay." Dillon told her with a content sigh.
"Looks like we got our happy ending." She told him softly.
"We sure did." He answered, pulling her into another kiss. Behind them, fireworks boomed throughout the sky in all the ranger's colors. They finally had gotten what they had longed for since the beginning of their journey, against all the odds—a happy ending.
A/N: Thanks so much to all who read/reviewed my story. It makes me happy to know that people enjoy my writing as much as I do publishing it. Thanks for not flaming, and I hope to have another story up sometime in the near future. :]