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.
The Venjix virus had struck the world harder than any natural disaster could. It had destroyed the climate, ruined the lives of people, and left the world in anguish. The virus had shrunk the population of just about everything, and was still attempting to conquer the last bastions of humanity. And yet, Ziggy Grover couldn't help but occasionally think the virus might've been one of the best things to happen to the world, whether they liked it or not.
Ziggy was an optimistic by necessity. He was the cowardly, panicky sort, but had grown up in a place where if he didn't smile, the world would fall apart. It was necessary to the boy's survival that he be able to pick the good out in anything, the silver lining to every storm cloud. With the Venjix attacks, he found many more than most people.
For starters, it had gotten him out of the Scorpion Cartel. Ziggy was a TERRIBLE criminal – or rather, he was an amazing thief and conman, but he was not a drug running mafioso. He was the good-hearted rogue, some would say, and he had fallen in with the very wrong crowd. While most boys his age might've gotten beaten up and sent on their way if they accidentally pick-pocketed the wrong person – or people – Ziggy sadly had a very overactive mouth that could weasel him out of a lot of trouble and get him both friends and enemies. He may have wormed out of a beating, but the boy had somehow found his way into a very deadly business he only barely understood. Initially, Ziggy had at least wanted to be in the cartel – gangs and mafias were able to protect you and held a sort of familial atmosphere, something he desperately wanted – but it had taken only one major job after they had moved to Corinth to both seal in the youth's mind that he didn't belong and that he was no longer a member.
On leaving the city, the boy had felt pretty lost, alone and confused. Sure, he'd done right and had had to leave because of it, but it was still scary out in the Wastelands. Luckily, Ziggy was a scrappy youth who could survive on his own when desperate, and this was pretty desperate. But it seemed the Venjix virus had left another small nugget of good for the youth, as he stumbled on the one person who was more lost and alone than Ziggy himself was, all courtesy of Venjix and a whole lot of machinery.
Dillon was strong, quiet, and troubled – not the sort of person most cowards should be hanging around when they know the man doesn't like them. After all, Zigs had just tried to rob him and take the only mode of transportation the man had – plus the boy wasn't very smart or useful either. Yet, somehow, the boy took an immediate liking to the nameless man who would later become his best friend – maybe it was because the older male was so lonely looking, or seemed to be looking for the same sort of things Ziggy needed in life (a family, a home, where he belonged). Or maybe it was just because the older man was just that devilishly handsome that he drew people to him despite his best efforts.
Smooth arms wrapped around the young man's shoulders, jarring him from musings. Ziggy glanced up, smiling at Dillon as the older male stretched out by his side in the bed. "What's on your mind?" the former Black Ranger asked, leaning over to kiss at his friend's throat. Most who saw Dillon would never peg him as the warm and fuzzy romantic type that could be satisfied just curling up and snuggling his husband for hours on end – but anyone who knew the man very well knew outward appearances can be very deceiving.
"Just...remembering." the small brunette laughed, turning to catch his spouse in a tender kiss that lasted a few moments and left them both with half-lidded eyes and warm smiles. Gently, Ziggy rested his head against Dillon's shoulder and smiled, "It's scary to think, but it's because of Venjix that my life is the way it is now." the young man explained, kissing the small wince away from his beloved's features before it even began.
The older ranger smirked, pulling his lover close against his chest, "Mhm. And what makes you think something crazy like that?" he asked, no real malice to his voice. It'd been too many years since they'd completely and truly destroyed the virus – for the second time – and put their lives back on track for it to really matter. Still, it was strange for his husband to be thinking that of all things.
Ziggy smiled a bit, fingertips teasingly dancing along Dillon's arm as they snuggled in close, "Well, if there had been no venjix, the world wouldn't have gone to hell, and a load of orphans wouldn't have ended up with Gamma sickness that one very very foolish boy would have had to give them the contents of a mafia truck to cure. And said foolish boy would never have wandered into the Wastes..." here he paused, fingers slowly running down his lover's jaw with the next words, "and found the most handsome and amazing man in existence wandering around lost and looking for the city the boy had just come from."
This drew a small chuckle from the older male and Dillon leaned forward to kiss his best friend's nose, "A very adorable and innocent boy and a very lonely man." he agreed, pressing another teasing kiss to Ziggy's lips, "though honestly, we could have done without the fighting the damn thing, or me having to hunt down and fight my own sister."
The curly haired youth nodded, resting his head against his spouse once more. Truly, Ziggy wasn't that much of a 'youth' or 'young man' anymore, but he was still the youngest male on the team and still treated as the baby, so to speak. Well, besides the actual children. "I dunno, I think it toughened us all up a bit and brought us closer." he joked, resting his head against Dillon's shoulder.
"So what you're both saying is you owe everything to me and a horrible government agency that snatched children." came Dr. K's saucy voice from the door. Dillon threw a pillow at his sister-in-law and Ziggy stuck his tongue out at her, "As I remember, we left the door closed for a reason, K." the former pointed out.
The short woman huffed a little, pushing the door in question open a bit more to reveal the little girl peaking into the room. Kitty was Dr. K and Tenaya's daughter, a cute little brunette with curious brown eyes and a mop of black curls from her father. An exceptionally curious tot, she tended to like poking around when the grownups were talking and being cuddly, tending to wonder about all the interesting things her uncles had gotten up to.
"Unca Ziggy 'n' Unca Dillon were talkin about the VIRUS." she hissed up at her mother like it weren't the most obvious thing in the world that K already knew from her previous comments. "I know that, child, now go downstairs before Summer gets worried. I have to go back to my lab." K rolled her eyes at the two men before pulling their door shut and shooing her daughter once more.
Ziggy smiled a bit and ran his fingers through his own messy mop of hair, "Every day she gets a bit bigger, and I feel older." he teased, looking over at his lover, who was watching him with an amused expression.
"You're not allowed to feel old just yet – otherwise I have to. And if I start, Summer is going to give us dirty looks and take to wearing an extra pound of makeup for a week." Dillon joked, pulling the younger male back against his chest and kissing him.
They'd fallen in love by accident – or maybe it was by fate, or Ziggy's freak luck. Whatever it was, the pair wouldn't change it for the world. Neither could completely pinpoint the moment they realized what it was they felt for the other, but each had moments they held most fondly when it came to their budding romance. Hell, the rest of the team could even list off moments where the two had just been too ridiculously cute together for them all not to notice.
"Mmmm, remember our first day in prison?" he asked softly, smiling as Dillon nodded, "You beat up an entire gang just to get some strawberry jello."
The older male laughed, trailing an index finger down one of Ziggy's cheekbones, "I like pissing off gangsters, what can I say?" he commented, said finger now running across his spouse's lower lip, "especially gangsters who have my very adorable partner in crime spreadeagled on a cafeteria table with the intent of doing unspeakable things to him."
With a roll of his eyes, the younger male tried to draw attention away from the way his cheeks lit up with a blush, both at the compliment and the affectionate touches. "I think the jello won you over more – you'd already seen Summer by that point, so my looks were probably pretty far from your mind." it had been many years since Ziggy had seriously doubted his friend's feelings for or attraction to him, but it was still a habit of theirs to tease about it.
"Ah, but I had also already seen the almighty shadow puppets by then, so I was a little more inclined towards you." Dillon was half purring by now, his voice deeper as his husband's words and soft touches brought back pleasant memories of their earliest interactions. By now, the other man's amazing shadow puppetry skills were used only for the entertaining of local children, but on special occasions the old running joke about them would be brought up once more.
The reference still brought a smile to the younger man's lips as he leaned down to kiss Dillon, eye-rolling once more at his husband's ability to tease about anything, "What was it you said to Ronan when he told you to back off of his dessert again?" he asked, still amused remembering that scene. Despite all of the older male's protests to the contrary, Ziggy had found his future husband to be quite nice looking in an orange jumpsuit kicking the shit out of gangsters while swinging around a tray of strawberry jello.
"Now who's the one with the memory trouble?" the ex-Ranger Black laughed, thinking back, "He told me the lime was just as good so I said he wouldn't mind eating it. Now why don't you tell me why you're so fixed on us being in prison, hm?"
Chuckling a tad, his spouse nodded, "That was the first time you came to save me." he pointed out, "And I remember just fine, I just like to hear you say it."
Dillon's eyes drooped a little as a soft look he reserved only for his husband slid onto his features, "Yeah, it was wasn't it? Though which was the first time you saved me? When the Satbot sent me off the building or..." now his lips were once again close to the younger male's, "...or when I was lost in the Wastes with nothing but my own fragmented mind, and no idea where I was going?"
A tender expression came to rest on the younger man's face, his breath ghosting over the older man's lips, "Happy Anniversary, love." Dillon's response was murmured tenderly against Ziggy's mouth as the pair rolled over a little, leaving the smaller male pinned under the much stronger, a soft kiss and tender touches being all that was needed now.
They'd met on this day, so many years ago. Just a dorky boy and a lost man in the Wastes, both lost in different ways and needing each other more than they thought. It'd taken a while to fall into each other, and slowly realize there was more than friendship and familial bonds, but this was the day it had all begun. And if it hadn't been for an awful virus that destroyed most of the world's population and sent all of it's people clustering to one place, a pair of soulmates would never have been able to meet and find the other half they'd been missing amidst the wreckage.