Author's Note: Me and my little fics. XD This one is just something to do between chapters of "A Second Chance" since I'm stuck on them 3 :3 A small AU where Zigs is a good bit different, both because of events in his life that I'm changing for this story and because of...other things ^~. Also, some chapters might be shorter than my usual 2-3k per. Just sort of going with the flow here.
Disclaimer: I do not own Power Rangers or any related media or characters. The story idea is partly own but the rest isn't. Everything is copyrighted to its respective owners.
WARNING!: This fic will contain slash, femslash and possibly even some het. Please keep this in mind. Fic rating is also in place for a reason – I might be writing some heavier scenes at points, though I will warn before any of them.
Extra Note: Contains some spoilers for certain plot points in the series, and follows the plot of several episodes, though altered a bit. AU as per usual.
Morphing had given Ziggy the power and will to get up and fight Tenaya. When she charged forward to grapple with him, he was able to toss her back and rush over to help Dillon up. "Hey, doing okay?" he asked, trying to sound cheery as possible, lifting the older man up carefully and moving into a fighting stance to guard him if necessary.
Dillon's grin was practically audible in his answer, "Yeah. Though I gotta say, I never would have pegged you as the spandex wearing type." the older man rolled his shoulder a bit before the pair turned to look at Tenaya. Ziggy shook his head a little, a smile forming under his helmet as well, "Don't you know? Self-assembling nano-fiber is all the rage these days."
She scoffed a bit, not really thinking she could handle these two Rangers at full power just yet. But half of her job was done anyway – distraction. "You're too late – the gopherbot is already under the city!" The female dashed off then, deciding to not come against the full team unless she'd had grinders to wear them down first.
It was Dr. K's turn to butt in, informing the team of a shield breach pretty close to their current location. With a quick nod between the pair, they hopped back into Dillon's car, driving to an area of Corinth that was a bit green and wooded for being in a city. It was weird NOT having a bad feeling about standing over the obviously shaking ground that a monster was about to burst through. Seriously, was this just Series Green affecting his powers funny or what?
The bot burst forth as the pair summoned their weapons to wail on it. Ziggy was going to have to have a long discussion with K later about the meaning of the word 'turbo' it would seem – you cannot have a weapon of this type powered by a turbine. Things just did not work that way. Right now, however, the youth had more problems – like the fact that it was horribly top heavy and super hard to control, particularly for a scrappy little male used to lightweight weapons.
When the rest of the team showed up, managing to drive the beast off but only for so long. Scott immediately radioed in to Dr. K to inform her they'd temporarily found the Attackbot but had no idea where it had gone. Ziggy glanced at Dillon, hear the man's thoughts, 'Let's go. It'll be down the hole this way.' He nodded quickly at the older man and they were soon gone.
The Red, Blue and Yellow rangers turned around from their call and were shocked to see their two new teammates gone. "Where the hell are Black and Green?" Scott demanded, looking exasperated. Seriously, could no one just handle that he was leader and wait for instructions. Flynn turned to look at his friend incredulously through his helmet, "Forget where – WHO is Green?" But there were bigger fish to fry than that as the trio headed towards the direction K said the Bot had gone.
Before the main team could reach the area, the monster was already growing, the combined power and weapons of Series Green and Black managing to take out it's smaller form. Well, now they could find it at least. One megazord battle later and that was one dead monster. But who the hell was this Ranger Green? And just what was going on – they hadn't exactly been able to find out what happened to Tenaya Sevenson after she left to be scanned by the guards though K had implied she had turned out to be a spy, but they'd been called to fight the Attackbot before getting any clarification.
"Okay Doc, who is this?" Scott asked, gesturing to the still morphed Ranger Green as they went inside. Truly, Ziggy felt like a moron still morphed, but Dillon had suggested just letting everyone know and see at first. The screen seemed almost blank before the girl answered, "I'm not entirely sure though I do have a small idea. Ranger Green, please de-morph and identify yourself."
Shrugging, the young man stepped into the middle of the room so they could properly see as he pressed the button to de-morph and was suddenly just Ziggy Grover instead of Ranger Operator Series Green, "If you insist, Doc. Though, you'd think everyone would have learned who I am by now." he offered, giving a sheepish smile at the dumbstruck looks on everyone's faces. Might as well put on a brave face now before people exploded.
It didn't take too long before Scott was bursting out in rage, "You can't just BE a Power Ranger, Ziggy!", closely being followed by a more subdued K saying something about tests in a tone that sounded half-hearted even through her vocoder, the young genius having already started to get the feeling that really, Ziggy joining them was inevitable. Summer, it seemed was too confused to speak.
That was about when Flynn spoke up, "Hang on, back up a pace. Didn't you say this morning that you didn't even WANT to be a Power Ranger?" the man asked, remembering pretty clearly the discussion that morning. There HAD to be a good reason Ziggy would be on the team if he hadn't wanted to be.
Dillon decided it was his job to stand up for his friend, voice loud over the others, "That's exactly it – he didn't want to be a Power Ranger at all. Zigs only took on the Series Green powers because he had to. You said to protect it with his life, and he did what he had to do to accomplish that."
This just started up another wave of shouting, mostly between Scott and Dillon now since one didn't like the other trying to just force change. Summer and Flynn were worriedly talking to Dr. K about what this meant and all of the noise was starting to bother the youngest male again. His ears were still sensitive after that damn shrill whistling, and without the power of Series Green fully coating him, he was starting to get tired and uncomfortable again.
It was like something snapped. One moment, Scott and Dillon had been trying to out shout each other, and the other three had been trying to make themselves heard over their quarrel. The next, Ziggy was shouting, "ENOUGH!" his voice powerful, penetrating both their ears and their minds. His angry snap of control sent everything in the room that wasn't tied down into the air – including the rangers, "I am tired, I am uncomfortable, and I am just as upset and confused about this damn arrangement as you all are. Now please, SHUT UP. My head hurts." he snapped and it became increasingly obvious from the swell of power around him that there was no arguing with him right now.
A few moments of their silence and quite a lot of deep breaths later and Ziggy was able to fan out his hand and slowly lower everything back into position. Everyone, including Dillon, was staring at him in shock and something that was a mixture of admiration and horror. Stumbling back a bit, the youth put a hand to his head, vision spinning. Dammit, he usually didn't have to use his powers so much in one day. "Yeah...I think I need a nap." he mumbled quietly before his knees gave out, his best friend luckily able to move fast enough to catch him.
Dr. K coughed awkwardly through her headset, trying not to reveal that she too had been one of the objects lifted into the air along with the team, seeing as her control room counted as part of the space his powers had been affecting. "Well. That settles that then. We shall discuss the matter of Ranger Operator Series Green and what he can and can't do, as well as any training after...after he's had a nap. I suggest you all go and attempt to relax while you can. We will reconvene later." Her hands were shaking and the genius was trying hard to keep the stutter from her voice.
Soon as the team was fully out of the room, the girl collapsed quietly against her desk. That had been one of the most terrifying and exhilarating things she had ever been exposed to. The Rangers had at least felt the powers of the suits but K herself had never been in them, never actually felt that kind of power in her life. A tiny young woman with more experience in robotics than she had in humans, it was strange being exposed to what was essentially a form of magic, the polar opposite of her field. Technology and science were concrete, strong subjects – they could be controlled easily for the most part, understood when studied enough. Magic was as wild, doubtful, and required skill to tame, to wield and to keep it from dominating a person's very being. The rush of emotion that had caused them all to fly up was her new ranger's magic taking hold of the situation because he was vulnerable. The gentle force she felt that had pushed her back down, however, had been stronger – his will dominating the powers in his body to make it do as he commanded.
K found herself wondering what other kinds of powers Ziggy might have – wondering about whether or not his wild appearance was caused by them, what sort of strains they put on him. She couldn't harness magic by studying it, generally, but the new concept was still intriguing.
'Actually, you kind of can study some forms of magic. They're just a lot weaker and less reliable than the wilder types.' Ziggy's soft and very tired voice flitted into her mind, causing the young woman to look around in fear before realizing what was going on. 'What ARE you DOING in my HEAD?' she half shouted aloud, the thought showing her fear and confusion.
'I can't keep my power fully contained right now so I'm hearing everyone's thoughts. I just picked up on yours since they were the most excited and pertained most to me.' came the almost lazy reply. She could almost picture Ziggy lying in his bed, gazing at her through those soft brown eyes, a tired expression on his face. The scene felt so much in detail that she was almost positive it was really before her – the dull looking spare sheets from the upstairs closet, one of Ranger Black's pillows mingled with Ziggy's own plain ones, forming the little nest he was leaning in. She was about to start taking in the details of the rest of his appearance and how real the room looked when K promptly realized something – she'd never been up to the room Ranger Black and the new Ranger Green shared. She didn't know what his sheets looked like or where he got them, or that one of those pillows was any different from the others.
Ziggy in the image blinked a bit before shaking his head some, 'Sorry, I'm pulling aren't I? Didn't mean to do that.' he thought to her, lips not moving much as he waved a hand rolling over a bit before the image vanished from K's mind, leaving the girl wide awake at her desk still, eyes wide and a warmth she hadn't realized was against her cheek vanishing. Thankfully, his voice was still there, not that she understood totally why that was something she was thankful for.
Trying to wrap her mind around this whole mental communication and magic think, K tentatively thought towards him, 'So you can hear what everyone here is thinking and communicate with them?' what a strange and fascinating concept.
Ziggy's mental voice seemed to sigh a bit, 'If I let it, I can hear the thoughts of everyone ANYWHERE, I just won't. That's enough to drive a person over the edge completely. The more people's minds I'm listening to, the worse it is on me. Right now we're just in a sort of bubble of power so I'm not going to get flooded for hearing them thinking. It just means I have a lot of thoughts to sift through.' She blinked at that. Hearing everyone in the world? That was a horrifying concept – particularly since she couldn't imagine how it felt to have that many voices in your head, like too many people talking at once times infinity. 'Yeah, it's something like that. Only it makes me physically sick instead of just confused or annoyed or deaf. You can and will have a breakdown when you stop being able to literally hear yourself think, or even worse, lose your own identity in the muddle.'
The raven haired doctor considered this a moment, removing her headseat and leaning back in her chair to process what he was saying. To lose yourself, your own identity and understanding in the midst of everyone else in the world's minds crowding your own. It was like the reverse of Ranger Black's problem almost – he didn't know who he was because there was an emptiness in his mind where his memories had been. This was almost a fullness of the head that had similar, if not worse effects.
'You catch on quick for a girl who doesn't realize an ax can't be turbo without being powered by a turbine,' well, his sense of humor seemed to be returning, though K thought hotly that it hadn't been her who named the weapons but her assistants in creating the technology – a memory that brought a sad, sick feeling to her chest. The young man's response was softer, more apologetic then, 'Hey, didn't mean to bring up bad memories, Doc. I was just trying to give you a backhanded compliment and lighten up the topic. S'all.'
She nodded a bit, trying desperately at quelling the memories threatening to overwhelm her and bring about a wave of tears. A soft feeling entered her mind right then, like a hand gently pushing the thoughts back to where they'd been buried and covering them back up for the time being. Ziggy's soft voice was still there and somehow the girl knew he was trying to help, even as a tear slipped down her cheek. 'Just go back to your questions, K.' he suggested, nudging things back towards safer territory.
Carefully, the girl sifted through questions and ideas, noticing one pushing to the forefront. 'How can you pick out my thoughts from the mess of everyone else's?' it was a harmless question, really, but still one worth knowing. How was it he'd identified her so easily? His response came soon enough, calm and nonchalant 'The more you know a person and about that person, the easier they are to identify. The closer they are to you in vicinity, the easier it is to hone in on them and concentrate.' The doctor blinked, asking for him to elaborate. What did he mean?
'It's like being able to pick your friends out from a room full of people. Sure, there are tons of people talking, but the speech patterns, inflections, volume levels, they become more recognizable the more familiar you are with that person, particularly if you've heard them speak before. For example, if I'd never heard your actual voice before, you'd be just another stream of thoughts in the waters of mind rather than an individual person – hearing the modified version of your voice would make it a teeny bit clearer but not by much. Knowing how a person's mind works, what they think about, how they think, what processes their thoughts go through, it all makes their stream easier to pick out. And the more people you know out of the group of thoughts you can hear, the safer you are. Provided the group is small enough, anyway.'
K's eyes widened, confusion forming on her features, but she didn't even have to ask before he explained this time, 'Thoughts and minds are like an ocean of information. It can overwhelm you when it's all unclear and being thrown at you. Knowing people allows you to anchor yourself to certain parts of that ocean and keep from drifting away or propel you along a path. However, if there's too many anchors you'll drown or too many pulls, you'll be swept up in the storm.'
She considered this for a time, 'So being able to identify each of us keeps you from getting lost in our thoughts?' his affirmation was felt throughout her, rather than heard in her mind this time. 'I can pick out exactly what each of the team is thinking about and doing. Certain members are easier to identify than others – Flynn's thoughts are of course accented and tend to be very simple and forward; your thoughts, meanwhile, are complicated and formal, but not blank masses of information. Summer's, on the other hand, are a tad quieter and harder to pin down in large groups, but it can be done, particularly when you've known her as long as I have. Dillon's mind tends to be very fragmented and unless we're having a direct conversation or he's concentrating on a certain topic, it's actually really uncomfortable being in his head. And Scott's got a lot going on that I don't want to mess with because frankly, he scares me a bit.' K let out a little laugh at that last part.
The pair chatted quietly about the ins and outs of Ziggy's magic. A few times, she wondered if this was draining him, and eventually decided to ask. 'Actually, this is all that's allowing me to sleep.' The response confused her – usually with that much new information or while working through an explanation, it was almost impossible for her to relax and rest. 'Yes but you don't have magic powers that are frequently ruled only by your emotions. Bonding with Series Green has mixed a new feeling of power into me, so that's buzzing a bit. Plus this is really emotionally straining, especially with how the team's taking it. And with so much of my power and control expended today, I have to not be in my own mind and only think of one solid subject or it's going to overwhelm me and I won't be able to sleep at all.'
Conscience soothed by the knowledge that she wasn't interrupting her newest ranger with the questions and curiosity, the young woman allowed herself to return to enjoying the chat. It was the first time in forever she'd been able to have a serious discussion of this caliber – the first time she'd had to have something explained to her because she didn't know about or understand it, the first time in forever she'd let herself become almost close and familiar with a person. But that made her wonder, 'Why did you pick me to try to be social with? First the pancakes and the chatting this morning, and now you're explaining magic to me. Any of the others might have been more likely to reciprocate your desire to convene – you seem to get along well enough with Ranger Blue, and you're quite a bit more than getting along with Ranger Black at times, and you seem to have a familial relationship with Ranger Yellow already – why not one of them?'
At this, Ziggy laughed. 'Because I wanted to talk to you. It isn't abnormal for someone to want to hold a conversation with you, K. You're a fascinating and intelligent person. The rest of their team have their merits and I like them all, but that doesn't mean I can't like you or want to talk with you.' K blushed a bit and gave him an internal dirty look – something she really was a bit amazed was possible. 'I want a serious answer, thank you, Ranger Green.'
Another chuckle was heard from him about then, 'Fine – you're the only one in the team who'd be able to concentrate on a single subject for as long as I needed to nap, how about that? They'd be weirded out by me in their head, and the ones who wouldn't be can only hold a conversation with me for so long before getting annoyed.' That she knew was utter crap. While yes, the team would be confused at first, after a time they'd get more comfortable with the idea and understand why he was talking to him this way. Certain members would be angry and maybe demand answers, but the rest would accept it and just try to keep up conversation as long as they could to help out. Her team was made of good people after all, despite all of their barriers. Like she was, really, but didn't want to say. 'Of course it's crap. You wanted a "serious" answer and I gave you one – the real explanation was the first. You just aren't ready to accept that so you will have to buy the bullshit for now.'
By this point, Ziggy had rested enough – and K had too, apparently – that explaining just what the hell was going on would be a good bit easier. The youth headed down to the Ranger Room once more, taking a seat in front of the monitor the team usually addressed to speak with their mentor. He'd have to explain his powers to them, but at least the doc would help as best she could – they'd agreed implying she already had an understanding of magic would help the team deal with the idea better. The young man would demonstrate where he had to or could, and soon enough he was going through tests to see what kind of training was needed to make up for the traits he lacked. Well, this power ranger thing could be much worse at least.