Disclaimer: I do not own Power Rangers or any other recognizable media. They are the property of their respective owners.
I swear to all of you, this was only supposed to be a quick one-shot while I waited for the scenes in Remure Memorium to work themselves out. It was only supposed to help me with my stupid writers block. It was supposed to be a one-shot. However, as you can see, it decided that wasn't going to work. Around the time I hit 11000 words and was just barely half way through the planned plot I knew that I was going to have to separate the story into chapters if I ever wanted to get anything posted anytime soon. So, here you go.
Ziggy wasn't sure but he didn't think this happened a lot.
Admittedly, his life this past week had been surreal at best, if not completely insane. After taking the medicine from the cartels, he'd pretty much considered his life over. Some lingering, misplaced survival instinct had made him leave the city as quickly as possible. That same survival instinct, which he was sure was defective by now, had made him partner with the strange, hard-edged, and sharp tongued young woman he'd found out in the Wastes. He'd then, for some reason he couldn't even begin to fathom, allowed her to return him back to the city where every criminal was probably out for his blood. He'd gotten lucky with Tenaya; being friends with her had protected him in jail.
But he knew being friends with a Ranger wouldn't protect him forever. It probably wouldn't even protect him for long.
Still, he'd thought it would protect him for longer than this. Ziggy stared fearfully at Fresno Bob, a cold knot of dread tightening his stomach. He was sure, in that moment, that in a few hours he'd be dead. Not even his strange luck was going to save him this time. Then a man had come out of nowhere and beat the crap out of the men threatening him. Ziggy was starting to think some higher power was looking out for his continued existence, however pathetic it may be.
He watched as the Cartel rushed away from in shock. That cold knot in his stomach was unraveling slowly. He was going to make it. The man that had saved him turned to look at him and Ziggy felt the whole world stop. Ziggy didn't think this happened a lot.
The man was staring at him with heated brown eyes, racking in the sight of him with a slight smirk. Ziggy felt his entire body flush in interest, his pants suddenly too tight. The man was hot, with dark eyes and brown hair, and Ziggy had never seen anyone look at him like that, like he was something that needed to be touched, tasted, thrown against the wall and fucked senseless. He cleared his throat awkwardly and hoped his voice didn't crack or anything. "Um, thank you. I, uh, really appreciate the help."
The man just shrugged one shoulder, still gazing at him like he needed him right fucking now. Ziggy honestly wouldn't object to any plan the man had to get into his pants. Yet the rangers were still waiting for him to find a Ranger Green and he really didn't want to piss him off since they were the ones housing him. He probably needed to get back. He had to bite down on an annoyed groan at the thought and gazed at his savior. He really wanted to stay and see if he'd follow through with the dark promises in his eyes. "I need to go. The others will be looking for me soon." He said, unable to keep a sour note out of his voice.
"You're doing that Ranger thing, aren't you?" The man spoke for the first time, his voice pitched low and deep. A shiver of desire raced down Ziggy's spine. He had never wanted someone liked he wanted this man. There was something magnetic about him, something that drew him to him. He nodded. "Let me escort you. I was heading that way anyway."
Ziggy immediately perked up, a bit of hope sparking in him. "You're a Ranger candidate?" he asked, his tone much lighter than before. The man nodded. A warm smile slid across his face. "That's great! You'd be awesome!" He enthused, starting to bounce slightly on the balls of his feet. He liked that idea. If the man did become Ranger Green then they would have all the time in the world to explore the strange attraction they had to each other. He really liked that idea.
The man smirked at his excitement and approached him. Ziggy stopped bouncing when he did, watching him with a wide grin. "Let's go!" he said. The man nodded, still staring at him with heated eyes. He stepped very close, right into his personal space. Ziggy felt his breath catch and desire flood his veins again when the man's body heat washed over him. "Just want to try one thing first." The man whispered.
Before he could say anything in reply, the man leaned down and kissed him. The kiss was rough, bruising, and passionate. Heat coiled in his stomach, washed through him, and made him press back, tangle his hands in the man's hair. The man was running his hands over Ziggy's sides, tugging briefly at his hair to angle his head better. Their tongues tangled together, exploring each other's mouths hotly. Ziggy arched up into the taller man, moaning softly. He was pulled closer in response, the grip on his sides tight and very warm.
Ziggy pulled away slowly, breathing heavily. He felt flushed and needy, his head clouded. He wanted nothing more than to press back and continue kissing the older man. The man watched him with dark eyes, obviously thinking the same thing. "You know," Ziggy whispered. "I don't actually have any say in rather you become a Ranger or not."
The man smirked. "I know." He answered. He drew back finally and bowed slightly at the waist. "After you." He said. Ziggy smiled at the gesture and turned to go back to the theatre where the Rangers were. He started to walk then turned back to the man. "I'm Ziggy, by the way." He said, surprised he hadn't mentioned it before. He had kissed a man whose name he didn't even know. Hell, he would have slept with him if he'd been asked. Well, after all the trouble his morals had gotten him into lately, he doubted he really needed them.
"Dillon." The man replied. He smiled widely. "Pleasure to meet you Dillon." He said, walking back to where the others were waiting. He never did notice the dark red light that briefly lit up Dillon's eyes.
Ziggy thought that today was turning out to be a very good day. He all but bounced into the Garage, grinning widely. He had been right; the others thought Dillon would make a perfect Green Ranger and he had immediately been sent to retrieve the morpher from Doctor K. Before he'd left, he'd caught Dillon looking at him again, his eyes still containing all those dark promises. If all went well, they'd actually be able to do something about it later too.
When he entered the lab, Tenaya was standing there, watching the computer screens half-heartedly. Apparently Ranger Black was originally designed for a make operator so the Doc was taking today to modify the suit for a female user. She looked over at him with a raised eyebrow. "Why are you so… bouncy?" she asked, her tone implying that she wasn't sure if she wanted to know.
He shrugged. "It's a good day." He replied, his smile maybe a bit too wide. Tenaya hummed, giving him another one of those Looks. The ones where it seemed she couldn't decide if she wanted to bang her head against a wall or bang HIS head against the wall. He did often inspire that reaction in people. There was a flash of light as Doctor K sent the morpher to him. "Protect the morpher with your life. It contains the base DNA code for the Series technology. Venjix must not be allowed to get a hold of it. Do you understand?"
"Yeah, yeah, sure. Don't worry so much, Doc. I got this covered." He said, already eager to get back to the Rangers and see Dillon bond with the morpher. He was halfway out the door when Tenaya called him back. He turned towards her, trying to keep his expression form being annoyed. "Yes?" he asked. "Be careful." She told him, gazing at him carefully. He nodded and was out of the Garage before either of them could call him back.
Tenaya watched her odd new friend once again bounce out of the room, his grin perhaps too wide and excited. She turned her head to look at the computers. "You do realize that you just gave the morpher to the biggest trouble magnet on the team, right?" she asked sarcastically. All she got in reply was a knowing sigh.
Ziggy raced back to the theatre where the Rangers were waiting. If all went well, they'd have another Ranger in the fight against Venjix and Ziggy would hopefully have a new friend, one he was sure came with benefits. So, to say he was excited would be a bit of an understatement. Really, he couldn't remember the last time he'd gotten laid. All he was sure of was that it had been a long time ago.
Unfortunately, all was not going to go well. When Ziggy got into the main theatre room, the Rangers were gone and Dillon was in the process of beating the shit out of the guards. Ziggy froze, his eyes going wide in shock. That cold knot of dread was tightening in his stomach again and he could feel his skin pale several shades into an unhealthy hue. The last guard finally fell. Dillon slowly straightened, looking up at him with glowing red eyes. Attack-bot. Ziggy's mind whispered through his rising horror. He's an attack-bot. He tricked you. He used you and you fell for it.
"Ziggy." Dillon practically purred, smirking slightly. Despite the situation, a shudder of want traveled down his spine in response to the low tone. A distant, detached part of his mind decided that it was sure his survival instincts were trying to kill him; allowing him to be so attracted to a Venjix attack-bot of all things. Dillon slowly approached him, eyes flickering briefly down to the bag hanging from his shoulder before going back to him. Ziggy wanted to move, to run away, but he couldn't convince his legs do so. Every muscle in his body was slowly freezing, tensing into knots he couldn't undo.
Dillon reached out for him, carefully sliding one hand across his cheek. It was a gentle caress, barely there at all. It was enough to snap him out of his frozen daze. He jerked away, turning to run. Dillon's hand wrapped like steel around his wrist, holding him there. He didn't think when he reacted, grabbing his bag and swinging it at Dillon's head. Dillon ducked out of the way, letting go of his arm. Ziggy spun around and got out of there as fast as he could. He didn't see the older man give an annoyed sigh at his departure and go after him.
Ziggy raced down the streets quickly, his breath burning in his lungs and his legs starting to complain. Even the adrenalin and fear rushing through his veins wasn't enough to push back his body's protests of his headlong rush back to the Garage. Finally, he ducked around the corner and leaned back against the wall, breathing heavily. He dug into his bag; pulling out the communicator he'd been given. "Tenaya." He called, still panting.
There was a minute's pause before the Doc's exasperated voice called back. "What is it?"
He told the Doc his recent revelation, the terror easing enough for the first wave of betrayal and disgust to crash down on him. He felt dirty. He had allowed that man to touch him, to use him. More importantly, he'd wanted it. He still wanted it, if he was honest with himself, despite knowing what Dillon was.
"Ziggy, be careful. I'm on my way. I'll track you through the morpher." Tenaya told him, her voice dark and angry. Hopefully, not with him. He had enough to deal with without his best friend being pissed at him for being an idiot and picking an attack-bot to be Ranger Green because he was too damn eager to get laid to pay any attention to who he was choosing. He was feeling bad enough about it as it was. He agreed and put the communicator away, taking another minute to catch his breath before he started to move again. He quickly picked up his pace until he was once again flying through the streets, trying to remember all the little side routes and short cuts that would get him back to the Garage as fast as possible.
He didn't know what had happened. All he knew was that one moment he had been flying through the streets, almost believing that he might actually have once again somehow survived, and then the next he'd been slammed up against the nearest wall, the brick digging painfully into his back. Already too familiar hands were gripping his upper arms, holding him still. He looked up, right into Dillon's dark eyes. Fear wrapped around his heart. He wasn't going to survive this time after all.
"Hello again, Ziggy." Dillon whispered, a smirk still on his face. Ziggy didn't reply, just stared back up at him in terror. Dillon frowned slightly. "Where's the morpher Zig?" He asked, his voice unamused but surprisingly not harsh. "I know you have it."
He turned his head away, closing his eyes. He prayed silently that Tenaya would hurry up and get here already. "Why should I tell you?" he asked, his voice pitched higher than he would have liked, a clear sign of his fear.
"I'm not going to hurt you Zig." Dillon told him, his frown darkening. "There's no need to be afraid of me. I take no pleasure in your pain." That did nothing to ease the cold knot in his stomach.
"You're a Venjix attack-bot. Of course you're going to hurt me." He said. He continued, a bit of his fear melting away in a rush of anger. "You tricked me. You used me. It was all some game you were playing wasn't it? Uh, I feel sick. I can't believe I let-" He was cut off by Dillon's lips sealing over his own.
He tensed all over again, his brain grounding to a halt. Dillon's lips continued to move slowly against his own, his hands rubbing slowly over his arms as if he was trying to get him to relax. He tried not to respond, he really did, but eventually he found himself softening into the kiss and then kissing back. Dillon pulled away once he did. "That part," Dillon hissed, sounding annoyed. "Was part of no plan. It was because I wanted it."
Ziggy gulped and closed his eyes. He didn't want this. He really didn't. Dillon pressed closer, making him gasp. Dillon smirked slightly and leaned in to kiss him again. Ziggy let him do so, let himself give into the contact, let it become heated and passionate. Oh hell, who was he kidding? He wanted this bad.
Dillon tugged the bag off his shoulders, slipping his other hand under his shirt. Ziggy shifted onto his tiptoes, wrapping his arms around Dillon's neck. Dillon's hand slowly massaged his back beneath his shirt, licking at his lips before plunging back into his mouth. He groaned softly as Dillon pushed him back against the wall again, heat stirring pleasantly in his stomach. His head was clouding and he couldn't think of anything past just how talented Dillon was with his tongue.
Then the familiar roar of an engine broke through his thoughts, making him pull back from the kiss. At the same time, he heard the com buzz alive again and Tenaya's familiar voice echoed over. "Ziggy? Ziggy are you okay? Why have you stopped moving? Ziggy?"
He blinked in confusion for a few seconds, his brain trying to figure out what was going on. Then everything clicked back into place. His eyes widened and he looked back up at Dillon. What the hell was he DOING? His hand itched to grab the communicator and yell about how badly he needed help. He was pretty sure he needed a lot of mental help because whatever sick attraction he had for Dillon couldn't be healthy, not if it was going to get him in situations like this where he was probably helping destroy the city. But the com was next to the morpher. In his bag. That Dillon was holding.
Dillon pulled away, his hand slipping out from beneath his shirt. Oddly enough, he looked apologetic about tricking him. "Sorry about this." Dillon whispered softly. Dillon turned away from him, moving down the side street he'd found Ziggy in. Ziggy collapsed to his knees, shock and horror spreading through him. What had he done?
"Ziggy!" Tenaya appeared before him, gripping one of his shoulders. "Are you okay?" she asked.
Tenaya. Tenaya was good. And fast. Very fast. And strong too. And he really wanted the last of that fog in his head to clear. Dillon should not have such an effect on him. "He has the morpher." He told her. She blinked at him then snapped her head the way Dillon had gone. She started to stand up then looked back down at him in worry. "I'm fine. Go." He told her. When she continued to hesitate he shouted. "I SAID GO!"
She tightened her grip on his shoulder briefly before running after Dillon. Ziggy leaned his head back against the wall, breathing deeply and trying to will away the last effects of his most recent make out session with Dillon, before he stood up and ran after the two. Why he was going towards the danger instead of away from it, he had no idea. It wasn't what he normally did and it wasn't like he could help Tenaya against Dillon. He would only get in the way. So, he really had no excuse for going after Tenaya. And Dillon.
He found them fighting it out in an abandoned parking lot. Dillon had acquired a visor of some sort, hiding his face from view and Tenaya hadn't had a chance to morph yet. The two seemed evenly matched. More importantly, Dillon was still clutching Ziggy's bag, meaning he hadn't had a chance to bond with the morpher. A wave of relief washed through him at that, making him feel light-headed. There was still a chance to fix this. Determination welled up inside him. He could still fix this, somehow.
Tenaya dodged the man's attacks, gritting her teeth. Damn this guy was strong. How the hell had Ziggy managed to keep the morpher away from him for this long? The boy gained another measure of respect in her eyes, something he'd been doing a lot of lately. When they got out of this mess she was going to have a talk with the other Rangers about their attitude with him.
The man, Dillon Doc K had called him, caught her fist as she tried to hit him, dragging her closer so he could frown down at her. "You've had upgrades." He muttered. He sounded… was that amusement or frustration in his tone? "Just who the hell are you?" she demanded hotly, glaring up at the dark visor that prevented her from bashing his face in.
His frown shifted into a smirk. "Dillon, Generation 7 infiltration attack-bot." He told her. He shifted suddenly, his head rising to look at something over her shoulder. "Ziggy?" he muttered, his voice containing a dark undertone she couldn't figure out. Oh please no, she pleaded, not daring to look over her shoulder to see if Ziggy was really there. Let Ziggy not actually be there. Instead, she caught a reflection in Dillon's visor and sure enough, there Ziggy was, watching them like he was trying to figure out how to help. What the hell was he doing here?
"Ziggy, run!" She shouted, making a grab at the bag Dillon was holding. He jerked away from her, his action a few seconds slow so that she managed to grab the corner. The contents of the bag went spilling everywhere, the morpher rolling a few feet away from both of them. Tenaya was briefly surprised that she'd even managed to get that. Had Dillon been that distracted by Ziggy's presence?
Dillon tore away from her, making a move for the morpher. She stopped him, throwing him back. For the first time since she'd confronted the man, she was able to reach for her own morpher and morph. The protection of Series Black immediately encompassed her as the suit appeared. This time the suit didn't have the alien feel it had had when she had morphed previously. K had fixed the operator gender issue, slimming down the suit so it wasn't bulky on her, especially around the shoulders. A skirt had even been added and, if she remembered correctly, she had a different primary weapon, something that didn't require as much upper body strength as the blaster did.
She knocked Dillon back farther. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed Ziggy dart from his place just outside the battle to grab the morpher. Forget helping him with the other team members, she was going to strangle Ziggy for such a stupid stunt like that. She tried to keep Dillon's attention on her but she had the feeling he was watching everything Ziggy did with rapt attention. She really didn't like the idea of him being so focused on the much more vulnerable young man.
All of sudden she found herself flying through the air due to a brutal attack from Dillon. She hit the ground hard, rolling a ways away until she collided with a wall framing one side of the parking lot. She coughed, her body aching in one dull throb. She groaned, slowly rolling onto her side. Her head buzzed from her crash and she had to shake it a little to clear it. "Tenaya!"
She jerked her head up at the shout. Ziggy. Her eyes widened beneath her helmet when she saw Ziggy stumbling away from the slowly approaching Dillon. The morpher was clutched tightly in Ziggy's hands. She swore and pushed herself to her feet. As she rushed towards them, Dillon put on a quick burst of speed, grabbing the younger man by his arm and trying to get the morpher. Ziggy let out of startled yelp, twisting away from him and not succeeding very well.
What happened after that, she wasn't quite sure of. All she saw was the two men grappling for the morpher one minute, then the next there was a violent flash of light as one of them bonded with it. She had one quick moment to think 'Damn it all. Dillon's got the stupid morpher.' Then the light cleared and it was Ziggy dressed in the green spandex, not Dillon, and she wasn't quite sure if that was much better. Great, now she was going to have to do both; force the team to give Ziggy the respect he deserved now that he was a Ranger AND strangle him for doing something so idiotic.
Dillon pushed the younger man away from him, sighing in irritation and giving him a look that was hidden by his visor. Ziggy stumbled away even further, his voice muffled but panicked when he shouted at both of them, "I DON'T WANT TO BE A RANGER!"
Tenaya winced at the loud volume since it echoed over the com link in her helmet. Dillon just gave another irritated sigh. "Then you should have given me the morpher." He said, sounding annoyed and yet… amused?
"I'm not that stupid! Why would I give you the morpher?" Ziggy demanded.
"Because then you wouldn't have become a Ranger. Which you just said you didn't want to be."
Tenaya blinked when Ziggy snapped off an answer, watching the two in disbelief. They weren't. Oh they weren't, were they? Dear god they were. They were bickering! Like an old married couple! What the hell did Ziggy think he was doing? "Ziggy!" she snapped, drawing the two's attention away from each other.
Dillon glanced between the two Rangers and sighed, backing away from them. He looked a little… put out. "Alright. You win this time. Good luck with the gofer bot." He told them, pulling something from his pocket. Gofer bot? What the hell was that? Tenaya didn't have time to ask because at that moment Dillon turned his head to look straight at Ziggy. She tensed, hoping he hadn't suddenly decided that he wasn't going to let them win this round and attack Ziggy. Instead he merely inclined his head towards him. "Don't die." He told Ziggy before he threw down a small grey ball, which promptly exploded and covered the small lot with smoke. When it cleared, Dillon was gone.
Wait- what? Had Dillon, an attack-bot of Venjix's and thus mortal enemy of all the Power Rangers, just told Ziggy, now one of said mortal enemy Power Rangers, to NOT die? She turned to look at Ziggy, hoping he could detect the incredulous stare she was giving him through her helmet. "What was THAT?"
"Um…" Ziggy muttered, sounding about as confused as she felt. She wondered if Ziggy being just as confused at the strange behavior as she was was a good think or not. Before she could grill him for answers, the com buzzed to life, the Doc's mechanized voice coming through. "Series Black, the others require assistance."
She gave the young man next to her a careful look. This was not going to end well. "We're on our way."
Ziggy tried to block out the sounds of the Rangers arguing about his place on the team, burying his face in the pillow. None of them seemed to care that he hadn't had a choice in the matter at the time. Or that he was scared out of his mind about being a Ranger. Or even that he'd pretty much been sexually assaulted by a Venjix attack-bot, albeit a very hot one.
Okay, so maybe he hadn't mentioned that last part. He hadn't thought that telling Scott that he was ridiculously attracted to the man that had tried to steal the morpher for Venjix was a good idea. The Red Ranger had enough reason to hate him right now.
Finally, he couldn't take it anymore. He stood up and walked out of his room, heading towards the lab where the others were gathered, still shouting. It seemed like Tenaya was the only one on his side. He wasn't that worried about her; even against the combined forces of the three other Rangers and Doc K, Tenaya could handle herself. Ziggy wasn't sure what he had planned to do or say when he once again stood in front of his fellow Rangers but watching them arguing about what they were going to do with him, like he was just something to be herded around, like they weren't discussing someone's LIFE, was too much. He'd already gone through hell once today and this just pushed him over the edge. Whatever he had planned to do went out the window.
Instead, he punched Scott.
The Red Ranger stumbled away from him, rubbing his jaw and looking shocked. The whole group looked shocked, even Tenaya was staring at him with raised eyebrows, although there seemed to be a note of pride in her eyes. Ziggy stepped back, breathing deeply, and shaking out his hand.
"Feel better?" Tenaya asked him carefully, tensed as if waiting for him to hit her. He thought about it for a minute then found himself nodding. "Actually, yes I do." He told her.
"Well, I'm so glad you are feeling better!" Scott shouted, recovering from his shock. "Why did you hit me?"
"I just thought I should remind you all that this is my life you're arguing about!" he snapped back. Okay, maybe he didn't feel completely better. It didn't help that Summer was the only one to lower her eyes in shame, realizing that it was wrong. The others just stared at him.
Scott apparently was the complete opposite of Summer. "I'm so sorry if we can't accommodate your perfect life!" The Red Ranger snapped. Tenaya tensed at the perceived insult and he winced slightly, but Scott continued. "But we're a bit more concerned with the fact that the safety of the city is now resting with you of all people!"
"And I'm sorry I can't indulge in your team's collected self-pity!" he shouted back before Tenaya could follow his example and beat Scott's face in. "But I have had one hell of a day already without your crap! A man I trusted, a man I thought was going to be my friend, betrayed me. To Venjix. I've betrayed, beaten, played with, used, and thrown aside, and I still have to deal with your ego! I might not be the best candidate, but damn it Scott, at least I'm on your side! But if you all really hate the idea of me being Ranger Green then I'm sure I could find Dillon and give him the morpher! Because guess what Scott, that's the only other option I had!"
The whole room was silent for a long time, the only sound being Ziggy's heavy breathing. "I am about just as thrilled about being Ranger Green as you are about me being it." he whispered after a pause, his voice much softer than before. "So maybe before you start making decisions about my life, cause it's not like I'm a person or anything, I don't have opinions or feelings for you to consider, you should think about that."
That said, he turned around and ran back up to his room. He collapsed on the bed, burying his face in his pillow and trying to breathe deeply. After a few minutes, he heard his door open and light footsteps approach him. Too light to be Scott's or Flynn's. The bed caved slightly under the weight of a new body but he didn't raise his head to see which of the two females in the building it was. It wasn't until he felt the hand carding slowly through his hair that he was sure it was Summer. Tenaya wasn't the petting type.
"You're going to get through this Ziggy." Summer told him quietly. He didn't answer. "You really trusted him didn't you?" she asked. He nodded slightly, not bothering to tell her the real problem. If Dillon had been cruel about the whole thing, maybe he wouldn't be as broken up about it. But he hadn't been, he'd been almost kind. He'd been apologetic. He'd tried not to hurt him. If he'd been brutal about tricking him, Ziggy could have moved on. But Dillon had seemed to generally want him, as something more than just a tool to get what he needed. And that was screwing with his head.
He knew that sooner or later, he'd see Dillon again, more than likely on the battlefield. And he had no idea what to expect from the man, if Dillon would tear into him like he had Tenaya or try to avoid hurting him like he had earlier. It was scary and unsettling. And he wasn't sure what he wanted the man to do either. If he was only an enemy after this, Ziggy could hate him for what he'd done. And he wanted to hate him, it would make things so much easier to just despise the man. But at the same time, some part of him still hoped Dillon hadn't been playing with him.
"I wish this day had never happened." He muttered into his pillow. He wished he'd never met Dillon, that Dillon didn't have such an effect on him. Summer gave a soft sigh and just continued to stroke his hair.
Dillon calmly entered the "throne room" of the palace, gazing up at the tower that was Venjix. He knew he should be begging forgiveness for his failure to gain the Series Green morpher but he couldn't bring himself to do it. After all, today had been a good day, even if Ziggy had become the new Ranger. Ziggy would definitely make the following war much more interesting and much more… enjoyable. A thrill ran through him at the thought of the young man that had grabbed his attention. He had planned everything about how he would get the morpher, except for the effect Ziggy Grover would have on him. He had just thought that helping the younger man would insure he landed at least an audience with the Rangers. After that, he hadn't expected to get anything else from the encounter expect perhaps someone who trusted him amongst the Rangers.
And then, Ziggy had looked at him with wide eyes, something in them calling to him. He hadn't been prepared for the wave of want that had crashed through him and for the longest few moments he'd been able to think of little besides how much he wanted to be inside him. He had needed to possess the younger man, own him, press against him and taste everything the boy was. And the way Ziggy had looked at him, fuck he'd practically been begging him to do it. It hadn't been until Ziggy had mentioned returning to the Rangers that he'd remembered his mission. Even then, he had decided that taking the opportunity to find out what those lips tasted like was worth holding up the mission for a few minutes.
Now all he had to do was convince the boy he wasn't going to hurt him. It wasn't any fun if Ziggy didn't want it, or even pretended he didn't want it. That and making sure the other Rangers wouldn't interrupt them. If any of them knew of his plans for Ziggy, they wouldn't let him within ten feet of him. That simply wouldn't do. That boy would be his. He'd make sure of it. Even if it would be harder to convince Master Venjix to let him keep a Ranger instead of just a normal civilian.
"You dare return to me in failure?" Venjix demanded, the red LED light in the tower glowing ominously. The other two generals were standing in the corner, obviously awaiting his destruction. He glared at them, his lips curling in distaste. They were inferior machines and he couldn't understand why Venjix bothered to keep them around. He turned his attention back to his master. "I would not call this a complete failure, Master Venjix." He said. He had never been the begging type.
"While it is true that I failed to bond with the morpher before one of the humans, I was able to insure that the morpher did not land in the hands of someone possessing any form of competence for battle." He said. "Also, it appears as though the new Ranger Green possesses a weakness which I should be able to take advantage of easily enough if I can separate him from the other Rangers."
Venjix was silent for a moment before it spoke again. "You have managed to avoid complete disaster. I might still have some use for you. You will not be destroyed… yet. Fail again and I will not be so lineate."
Dillon nodded and bowed at the waist but didn't leave the room. "Do you have something else to say?" Venjix asked. He smirked slightly. "One human in particular has caught my attention. I wish to request that once we have beaten the Rangers, I be allowed to keep him." He said. Venjix would give him this, he was sure. Even with his recent failure, the virus needed him content and submissive. If he was angry, he could do a lot of damage before it managed to stop him.
Ziggy was beginning to think some god had chosen him to be its plaything with all the chaos in his life. Not just one either. There was no way only one had enough time to screw up his life this badly. He looked around him at the Cartel just waiting to ghost him. He had known this was going to happened sooner or later. Eventually, he was going to end up without a protector and this lethal dance he'd been waltzing with death would end. Oddly, he wasn't scared. He was resigned to his fate. Sad but resigned. No one was coming to save him this time. The other Rangers were battling an attack-bot and K, well K had never really liked him in the first place.
Above the resignation and sadness though was determination. No matter what they did to him, he was not going to tell them what he'd done with the medicine.
He told Fresno Bob just that. "No matter what you do, I won't tell you a thing." He said, a bit surprised at the steel in his voice. Well, if this was going to be the last thing he did, it might as well be one of the few things in his life he could feel good about. Fresno Bob smiled but his eyes darkened dangerously, telling him what he didn't say aloud. That had been the wrong answer. "Ziggy, Ziggy, Ziggy." Fresno Bob muttered, shaking his head as if disappointed. Ziggy wasn't fooled; the man was pissed with him. All he did was tilt his head up defiantly, clenching his jaw in a look of stony resolve. Fresno Bob reached forward to grasp his shoulder. Somehow, and Ziggy wasn't quite sure how, he managed to keep his wince from showing on his face as the tight grip dug into his shoulder, surprisingly painful.
"Don't touch him." A new voice called. It rang in his head, echoed past his ears, and sent a familiar shiver down his spine. He lost his stoic mask and spun around, jerking Fresno Bob's hand from his shoulder, to stare at the man standing just beyond the circle of Cartel.
Dillon stood there, gazing at the Cartel with murder in his eyes. The attack-bot glared at Fresno Bob. "Don't touch him." Dillon snarled, his voice promising pain if he wasn't obeyed. Fresno Bob just returned his tight grip to his shoulder, bruising the already sore skin. This time he couldn't hide his wince. A look of fury swept across Dillon's face seconds before he blurred into movement. Ziggy jerked away, pressing himself against the far wall, and watched in horrified fascination as Dillon beat the Cartel into a bloody mess. Several of them seemed to suddenly acquire a brain and fled before Dillon could get a hand on them. Fresno Bob was one of them.
In a few minutes, the room was clear of Cartel, even the wounded finding enough strength to drag themselves away from the monster attacking them. Leaving Ziggy alone with Dillon. He watched the man carefully, unsure what to do. Dillon wasn't facing him, instead glaring out the door after the Cartel members. "Um…" He whispered out.
Dillon's dark eyes immediately snapped towards him, making his mouth snap shut. Okay, attracting the attention of the angry Venjix attack-bot was not his best idea ever. Dillon approached him, making him press back against the wall behind him. In seconds, Dillon was right in front of him, placing a hand on either side of his head, trapping him. He looked up at Dillon, unsure if he should even be afraid. Even in battle, Dillon had never personally attacked him, instead focusing on the others, and this was the second time Dillon had saved him. Dillon just looked back at him, the anger gone from his eyes. "Why?" he asked. "Why help me?"
"Because," Dillon whispered, leaning forward so they were inches apart, his breath ghosting over his face. "You're mine. No one else can have you. And no one can hurt you."
Before he had a chance to think about that, Dillon's mouth crushed against his. At the same instant, one of Dillon's hands moved to grip the back of his head, dragging him closer until he was pressed flush against him. Ziggy gasped sharply, allowing Dillon to plunge his tongue in. He kissed back once the shock faded, spraying both hands across Dillon's broad chest, taking pleasure in the shifting muscles beneath his grasp. A low moan escaped him as their tongues tangled together.
Dillon's other hand started tugging off his jacket, desperately trying to get at as much skin as possible. Ziggy let it fall from his shoulders, hands moving over the curve of Dillon's shoulders to grasp at his hair and neck. Finally, Dillon decided even he needed to breath and pulled back briefly before beginning to bite and lick down his neck. He gasped, arching up in pleasure when Dillon bit down harshly on the side of his neck before soothing it with his tongue, continuing to rub the skin softly between his teeth. Oh, that was going to leave a mark. Somehow, he didn't really mind.
Dillon felt warm under his hands and very, very human. It was almost easy to forget what he really was pressed this close to him, with the Rangers and all evidence of the war far, far away. It was easy to pretend that they weren't enemies when Dillon kissed him, wrapping around him like no one else could have him. Right now, he'd take that illusion and whatever else he could get.
One of Dillon's legs pressed between his, rubbing against his hardening member, making lights explode across his eyes. He squeezed his eyes shut, throwing his head back and letting out a soft cry of pleasure. "Fuck." Dillon muttered against his skin, panting heavily. He was grinding against him, his hard on obvious as he rutted against Ziggy's hip. Within seconds, both of Dillon's hands were at his waist, one slipping under his shirt to claw desperately at the small of his back, the other tugging at his jeans.
Ziggy let him do both, knowing in some part of his mind that this was it. Dillon was going to fuck him against the wall and he wasn't going to even try to stop him. Hell, he was going to love every second of it. And when it was all over, when the pleasured haze cleared from his head, reality was going to crash down on him, the illusion was going to shatter, and remind him just who he'd let screw him.
Then Dillon stopped, pulling back with an annoyed groan. He whined, trying to tug the older man back but Dillon was stronger than him, stepping fully away. Ziggy collapsed back against the wall, breathing heavily and shaking. Dillon was staring at the door, glaring at it, and when he spoke, his voice was tight and aggravated but still held a dark, gravelly undertone that made his stomach tighten in want. "Your Doctor K is coming."
It took his muddled brain a few minutes to comprehend that. Doctor K? Who the hell was Doctor K? Surely, they couldn't be important enough to stop what they were-…oh. That's when reality crashed down on him, much more effective in dispersing his arousal than any amount of cold water. Dillon looked back at him, a strange expression on his face. "I'll see you later." He said.
It was a promise.
Doctor K rushed up the stairs of the building, hoping she wasn't too late to save her wayward, idiotic, undisciplined, selfless, perfect Green Ranger. Everything she had thought she'd known about the silly, reckless young man that had accompanied Series Black into Corinth had been tipped on its head a few minutes ago. Ziggy Grover was stupid, clumsy, and had a lot of work to do to be a competent fighter, but he was selfless, passionate, caring, and determined. He was the one thing the team had been missing, a heart. And she was not about to let her team lose that.
She hit the last stair at a dead run then immediately froze as the door opened and the last person she'd expected to see walked out. Dillon. Horror spread through her as he walked past her, images of all the horrible things he could have done to Series Green running through her head. She looked up at him, his eyes unreadable, her own pale image reflected back at her. She watched as he walked calmly down the steps, making no move to attack her even though he had to know whom she was. It wasn't until the attack-bot was on street level that she unfroze and tore into the building.
Series Green was sitting on the ground against the far wall, somehow still alive and in one piece. He was shaking, breathing heavily, flushed, and there were a few bruises appearing on his neck but other than that, he seemed to be in one piece. Her breath shuttered out of her in relief and she quickly ran up to him, dropping down to her knees. "Series Green? Are you alright?" she asked. He looked at her, his brown eyes hazy but he seemed to realize who she was. "Doc?" he asked, sounding surprised.
"Are you alright Series Green?" She asked again. "I saw Dillon leave. Did he hurt you?"
Series Green stared down at her for a minute and then turned to look at the rest of the room, obviously confused. "He saved me." He whispered, his tone… wondering and amazed. She blinked in surprise. Dillon had… what?
"He saved you?" she repeated. "Why? That doesn't make sense. You're his enemy."
He gulped slightly and raised one hand to rub at the bruises on his shoulder. "I'm alive." He said, sounding more shocked about that than anything. K sighed a little but couldn't stop a small smile from crossing her lips. She might not have gotten here soon enough to save him from the Cartel, but someone had and he was all right. "You're alive." She agreed.
"What are you doing here?" he asked her suddenly, looking at her in confusion.
"I came to save you." She stated. He merely looked at her. She pulled his morpher from her pocket and handed it to him. "I believe this belongs to you. Your friend Benny told me everything."
A small smile appeared on his lips. "Good, ol' Benny." He whispered. "Thank you."
She merely nodded and helped the young man to his feet, grabbing his jacket off the floor for him as well. "Go do your job." She ordered. His small smile developed into a familiar wide grin that she had to return with a smile of her own. She watched as her Series Green rushed out the door to help the other Rangers, the smile slipping from her face.
What had Dillon been planning to accomplish by saving Ziggy?
Doctor K let Series Green leave training early. She told him it was because he had had a rough day and obviously wasn't thinking straight enough to accomplish anything of use. It was partly true, the young man had been distracted all day since he'd returned from battle. But she did have another reason. She waited until she was sure he was otherwise occupied upstairs before she called the other Rangers in, one by one until everyone but Series Green was waiting in her lab.
"What's with all the secrecy Doc?" Series Black demanded, watching with a raised eyebrow as she closed the door. "What about Ziggy?"
"This is actually about Series Green." She answered, ordering her thoughts carefully. This was going to be a tricky situation.
And of course, Series Black cut right through her thoughts before she could. "If this is about his business with the Cartel-"
"It's not." She cut the young woman off, glaring at her. Series Black, while an excellent partner for Series Green, tended to be over protective of him at the worst of times. She glanced over at the other Rangers and found them watching her defensively. It seemed they had all become a little protective of Series Green. It was just as well. The young man seemed to attract the worst attention.
She closed her eyes and sighed before telling them why she had called them in. "I went out earlier to retrieve Series Green from the Cartels. However, by the time I got there, the Cartel had already left. Someone else had saved Series Green." She looked at all of them, took note of the confusion and then surprise and horror when she told them who it was. "It was Dillon."
There was a moment of silence before Flynn decided to speak up. "Wai' a minute. Dillon? The man who frequently tries to kill us? The evil Venjix attack-bo'? Tha' Dillon?"
"That Dillon." She agreed. "Dillon seems to have taken a keen interest in Series Green and I have no doubt that it will not end well. It is possible that by saving Series Green he was hoping to gain some measure of his trust and use it against him. Keeping an eye on both of them would be a good idea."
"Ziggy's not that stupid." Tenaya snapped but even she looked uneasy. Something was shifting in the back of her eyes, like pieces were falling into place. Doctor K resisted the urge to point out that on occasion Series Green could be just that stupid. That would get her nowhere on the matter. "Perhaps not. However, I believe we can all agree that Dillon's interest in Series Green is no small matter."
"Doctor K's right." Series Red stated. Finally, someone reasonable. "We need to keep our eye on both. If Dillon gets close or Ziggy slips up, it could end badly. Did anyone notice this before?" he asked.
She watched as the Rangers shook their heads, confusion on their faces. All except Series Black. The young woman seemed to realize something and closed her eyes with a sigh of defeat. "When we were fighting for the morpher." She called, making the other three turn towards her. "Once Ziggy arrived, Dillon got distracted. He focused completely on Ziggy. If I hadn't been attacking him, I doubt he would have even realized I was there."
Scott sighed. "Why the hell is he so interested in Ziggy?" No one answered him, making him sigh. "Alright. We'll keep an eye on Ziggy, make sure Dillon stays away from him. Tenaya, can you…"
"I'll talk to Ziggy." Tenaya said, nodding.
Tenaya slowly ascended the steps to the upper level, the meeting she'd just come from circling through her head. Dillon was taking a special interest in Ziggy. Of all people, it had to be Ziggy. When she'd told K that Ziggy was a trouble magnet, she hadn't known the younger man was this bad. Some god must hate him.
And honestly, despite what she'd told K, she didn't know if Ziggy really was smart enough to remember not to trust Dillon. He had trusted her after all, even after he'd learned she had Venjix hardware inside her body. It would take him a bit longer to trust Dillon but if the man kept protecting him like he was, eventually Ziggy would trust him. And that would end very badly.
She knocked on Ziggy's door before she entered. Ziggy was already dressed for bed but was just sitting curled up near the headboard, his knees drawn up to his chest. He was staring off into space, eyes dark and unseeing. "Ziggy." She called, watching as his head snapped towards her. He smiled slightly. "Hey Tenaya. What's going on?"
"We need to talk." She told him. He blinked at her, tilting his head to the side in confusion. She approached him, trying to figure out how to say what she needed to. "K told us Dillon saved you." She said. The slight smile he'd had slipped right off and he nodded slowly. "You know not to trust him right? Whatever he's trying to do, it's just a trick. He's not your friend, Ziggy." Saying that brought back to mind what he had told Scott when he'd become a Ranger. He'd thought Dillon was going to be his friend. Did he still hope he would be?
"I know that." Ziggy said."I'm not dumb."
She wanted to feel relieved but Ziggy's voice didn't have enough weight in it to settle her fears, had none of the steel it had had when he'd confronted Scott before. It was empty. "Ziggy are you okay?" she asked. He nodded, giving her an almost too bright smile. She watched him for another minute before sighing. If Ziggy didn't want to talk, she doubted she'd ever be able to get him to do so. "You know, you can trust me. With anything." She told him before turning to leave.
"He's not trying to befriend me." Ziggy called just as she opened the door. Tenaya paused then carefully closed the door again, turning to look at Ziggy. Ziggy stared back, brown eyes open, honest, and slightly guilty. Ziggy took a shaky breath then continued. "He's trying... to seduce me. And it's working."
Horrified realization washed through her. Those dark looks Dillon had given Ziggy she hadn't been able to read, the attention he gave Ziggy. Dillon was attracted to Ziggy, dangerously so. And according to Ziggy, the feeling was mutual. This was worse than she'd thought.
She watched as Ziggy raised a hand to rub at his neck. K had said Ziggy had gotten a little bruised up but Tenaya hadn't noticed the bruises on Ziggy's neck till now. She could see what K hadn't. Those weren't bruises. They were hickeys. She approached him again and this time sat down on the bed beside him. "I want it." Ziggy told her, looking guilty and ashamed. "I want it bad. And when I'm with him, I forget why it's wrong, why I shouldn't. Reality just disappears." He closed his eyes, a pained expression on his face. "He feels human Aya."
"Ziggy it's a trick." She told him. "He's playing with you."
"But that's just it." he said, opening his eyes again. "I don't think he is. I think he honestly wants me. He might use it for his own advantage sometimes but the attraction, that's him. It's not fake. It would be easier if it was."
Tenaya wasn't a touchy feely person but she still couldn't resist the urge to hug the younger man. She pulled him close, letting him bury his face in her shoulder. "Don't worry Zig. I'll take care of you." She whispered. Ziggy sighed softly but didn't say anything, just leaned against her tiredly.
Trick or not, she decided, that man was not going to touch Ziggy. Ziggy didn't deserve to be played with.
Tenaya kept a close eye on Ziggy the following week. They all did, but none with her determination. No one else knew the truth. Intellectually, she knew she should tell the others what Ziggy had told her. However, she couldn't bring herself to do so. It didn't seem right. The last thing Ziggy needed right now was another person breathing down his neck because of his affair with Dillon.
And yet, the more she watched, the more she began to understand just how little she knew of the situation. She was beginning to believe Ziggy was right. Whatever game Dillon was playing, it wasn't all a trick. Dillon did seem to at the least be giving the young man some form of protection. It hadn't been obvious at first, but after a while, she'd noticed that Dillon never attacked Ziggy. He never laid a harmful finger on the boy even though he tore into everyone else. And then she began to notice it wasn't just Dillon. Unless Ziggy threw himself at an attack-bot, which he did do a disturbing amount of times, they never attacked him. They stayed away from Ziggy.
She didn't doubt that if Ziggy just stood in one spot during a battle and did nothing, neither Grinder, attack-bot, or general would lay a finger on him. And she could find no other reason for it except that Dillon was protecting Ziggy somehow. She wasn't sure if she wanted to know the full reason for that and was just glad none of the others had noticed. That wouldn't be exactly easy to explain.
She wished, above everything, she could grab Dillon and force answers out of him. If she could figure out what parts of this attraction they had for each other were real, and what parts Dillon was faking to use against Ziggy, she might be able to avert disaster.
Before she could figure out how to however, another crisis appeared. Tenaya came awake all at once, staring around at K's darkened lab in confusion. She looked over her shoulder and found Scott holding her waist, the other Rangers further back, all watching her carefully. "What's going on?" she asked. She looked in front of her again and found K standing there, giving her the same look the others were. Tenaya raised an eyebrow at her. "Nice slippers." She said for lack of anything better to say. A bright blush worked its way up K's neck and onto her cheeks in response. She smirked briefly at the small doctor before turning her head to glare at Scott. "Why are you hugging me?" she asked.
He immediately threw both hands up, sheepish grin stretching across his lips. She sat up slowly and got her first good look at the lab. Several of the computers were in pieces. "What happened?" she asked in confusion. It was about then that she found herself being strapped down.
Ziggy stared at the young woman strapped to the table in sadness. Tenaya was trying to pretend to be annoyed at being trapped there but he knew her well enough to see the growing fear and unease in her eyes. The idea of losing control of the virus that had slowly been growing in her frightened more than she was willing to admit.
He listened to the others talk with half an ear, worrying the device that had caused Tenaya to lose control between his fingers. His mind was spinning in a thousand different directions, grabbing whatever ideas it could find. There had to be a way to stop the virus, or even just slow it down. If he could find that way, then maybe that fear building in the dark corners of Tenaya's eyes would go away. He resisted the urge to sigh, grinding his teeth. He was going to kill Dillon for this.
His mind ground to a halt. Oh boy. That was a stupid idea, even for him. In fact, it was probably suicidal. But, for some reason, he had the feeling it might work. He put the device down on the edge of the table, patted Tenaya's hand, not that she noticed, then carefully slid out of the room. Once he was sure none of the others had noticed, he ran out of the Garage as fast as he could.
It was stupid, it was dangerous, but a high-ranking attack-bot in Venjix's army seemed to actually like him. It was time he used that to his advantage for once.