Author's Note: Sorry for the small story break. I got roped into some odd contests and events.
Disclaimer: I do not own Power Rangers or any related media or characters. The story idea is my 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 ratings exist for a reason, but I'll warn before stuff if I can.
Extra Note: Contains some spoilers for certain plot points in the series, blah blah, AU, blah, my usual
It was weird having these people here. Dillon had decided that pretty quickly after the group had arrived and was starting to feel really justified in it. Sure, Summer seemed happy to have her old family friend back, and Scott was pleased to have his brother, and Flynn even got to have his mom back, but they were all just so strange to even be around. It wasn't just because they all acted very differently than how Ziggy and K did as deities – these three actually felt truly like powerful deciding forces in the universe, whereas the other two felt like children playing a game. But in a way, Dillon preferred the other two – they seemed at least somewhat more guilty about bad things happening or for when they had to be mysterious. The main thing the man didn't like, though, was that whenever he was in their presence, he felt stifled and annoyed.
Part of him wondered if Ziggy could explain it – after the others had showed up, the younger male had closed off a good deal of his powers and wasn't even bothering to read Dillon's mind and know his questions, let alone spending much time in the same room with him. It had almost seemed like the boy was avoiding the older male, but why would he bother with that? Eventually, all these questions brought the black ranger to his teammate's room, where he found the window open and Ziggy climbing out of it.
"Oh...hi," the teen said, raised his brow, still climbing out onto the roof and taking a seat. "Did you need something?"
Dillon looked curiously at the green ranger for a few moments before walking over and joining him outside. It was a decently flat area of roof and not very precarious, so they could both easily fit. Really, it was a decent area to sit down, if a bit of a hard to access one. The younger male had already climbed up to sit on a somewhat more inclined spot and look out at the city, a rather wistful expression on his face.
After several moments of silence, the man realized he was meant to start this conversation. If he wanted to know something, he might as well ask. "Why don't I like being around them?"
The younger ranger eyed him for a moment before leaning back and sighing. "You really do need to work on your communication skills – expecting me to know what you're talking about is a bad idea." He looked like he was considering making Dillon rephrase before he finally let up and answered, "Because their natures are opposed to yours."
"What does that even mean?" The black ranger rested lightly on the wall, trying to think of what all this 'opposed natures' business even meant. He'd heard K mention it before in regards to Summer, but now this. What nature were they talking about?
Ziggy sighed, brushing his curls out of his face. They seemed duller now, more that plain brown again and his eyes seemed so distant. "We created things and because of this, unwittingly chose our domains and how to empower them. The others picked ones that went well together and let them play off of each other. I was the weirdo who decided not to follow what they were doing. While the others were off creating light and life, making things beautiful and wonderful, I was creating darkness, giving death as a gift, letting things turn ugly. What I wanted was balance and to make the world better – what I did was make myself the deity that takes the flack for most everything." There was a note of bitterness in his voice that was rather surprising. He had seemed so confident about being a God, had been having so much fun. Or at least, it had looked that way.
"Of course I looked like I was having fun – how the fuck else was I supposed to deal with suddenly having my powers back and not terrifying the rest of you? Andalucia isn't very good with people, she wouldn't have known how to break it to you all. And then of course, you were having a fucking panic attack and being smacked with a curse by a frightened goddess. So it was either act like an all-knowing prick or act like a confused weasel and you know the rest of the team – they aren't going to take me seriously if I try to explain things acting the way I normally do – not even with evidence in front of them that I might be telling the truth, it's still completely unbelievable because it's me." He just continued, not even bothering to leave Dillon to ask. He was obviously not too pleased with any of these events.
Finally the man walked over to lean lightly on his teammate's shoulder, "So you put on a front, did your best to save face, and now that the others are here you're just going back to hiding out and being awkward?" he asked, looking up at the younger male with amusement. It made him wonder some if that playful knowledgeable self had been all an act. But he had a feeling that part, at the very least, had been real.
Ziggy laughed halfheartedly and rested his head against Dillon's. "You're sweet, for a mortal," he teased, nuzzling a little at the older male's hair. "Anyway, I'm not so much hiding as I'm just trying to get myself situated and figure out what my decision is – if Fyre, Angellus and Lalai are here, it means they want Andalucia and myself to help decide what we're doing about the present situation. I don't have to play confident or smart if they're involved, so it gives me a bit to think and just be me."
Unlike the other night, the affection wasn't a mesmerizing pull that he couldn't escape, but that didn't make it any less welcome. This felt less forced and more just comfortable. They didn't have to be affectionate right now, they just were. Dillon smiled a little and wrapped his arms lightly around the younger male's waist, grinning as he said, "So has it been long enough for your powers to stop affecting me?" He was just teasing now, trying to lighten up Ziggy's mood the way the other usually did for him. It was kind of nice, getting to be close to him and play a bit. The 'torture' the other had put on him had really only lasted for that night and not even all of it, so he was pretty sure this was safe to do.
The other ranger looked like he was considering something for a time and then leaned down to kiss him. This kiss didn't have that same overpowering magical feel of perfection like the first had, but it also didn't feel bad or unpleasant. It was a mortal touch, not one from the full deity, however, it was soft, it was sweet, and it felt right.
After the kiss, Ziggy leaned back and pet Dillon's hair some, grinning. "And here I thought you weren't the romantic type," he teased.
It took Dillon a moment to think of the proper response. What he finally decided was grabbing the other's shoulder and yanking him into another deep and passionate kiss. This seemed to have the desired effect of shutting up the younger male's teasing, and it had the added bonus of possibly leading to other things, which was also really nice.
"So you guys won't be sticking around then?" Scott found himself asking Marcus, still a bit amazed by this whole business.
This was all really strange for the team – first the rain and Dillon's dreams, then Ziggy coming back from the dead and informing them that he and Dr. K were deities, then Marcus, Flynn's mom, and Summer's old butler showing up saying that not only were all of them deities, but so was Venjix's General Crunch. Really, if it were someone other than his brother, the red ranger might've had a really hard time taking this in. As it was, he was presently just trying to get a good idea of the scope of events.
His elder brother chuckled before patting his shoulder, "Would if we could, little brother. That's one of the problems of having created this world – most of us negatively affect the balance of the world with our presence." He did genuinely seem sorry about that, and really Scott didn't blame him.
"Most?" Summer chimed in now, walking over to sit on the couch once more. Angellus had gone for a walk on his own today and the blonde was content to just stay home at the moment. He didn't need to baby her anymore, after all, and it had probably been a while since he'd been in the mortal realm.
The fiery god nodded, smiling, "Yeah. Lalai is fine so long as she stays in the wastelands – plants grow more rapidly around her which is okay for the world right now, provided she's outside of the city. Fires spontaneously show up around me, Cre causes storms, Andalucia messes with water of an area – which again, not too bad. Angellus and the Dreamer are the ones it gets the most iffy with. Angellus starts influencing things with his very nature, making them magical and that leaves them a bit uncontrollable. Ziggy tends to actually be a natural balancing force when the rest of us are around – if it's just him, though, usually it results in people having odd luck or dreams so he tends to be the safest out and about."
Scott stopped, turning to look at his brother for a moment, "But what about the weird rain storms?" he asked, remembering that stifling feeling that seemed to coat him when it rained like that.
Marcus laughed loudly at that, already having a feeling what his brother was thinking, "That doesn't actually happen that often, and usually only when he's really upset or thinking too hard. Dreamer tends to be pretty easy going but being mortal depresses him sometimes because he gets a bit sappy and guilty about what his gifts have done to the world."
Summer rested her head on the arm of the couch, watching the two for a few moments before she asked, "So why did that storm hurt so much?"
This time, the former-pilot deity took a few moments before he answered. "Because it comes from the power of a deity other than yours. We can't all flair up our full magic here at once or things would just break down. The rain came directly from Dreamer's power to remind his Champion to find him, so it overpowered the rest of you."
As his brother spoke, the red ranger paced around the room, thinking a bit. "Since we're your Champions, does this mean you're going to actually give us a better way to fight Venjix?" he asked finally, suddenly wondering just where his brother's loyalties lay. They were deities – they destroyed the world all the time. What's to say they even cared enough to help them beyond letting them live through the initial Venjix attack.
Marcus grinned now, "Good to see you're thinking things through – we are. Andalucia's been working on making an upgraded version of the ranger tech to integrate the powers we will give you. You'll also have regular powers too that will-"
"They will improve your unmorphed capabilities as well as making you all better when morphed. I've been reconfiguring your link to the biofield and attempting to make it more stable. We aren't on particularly good footing just yet, however, lacking one Ranger Operator and one deity," Dr. K cut in, entering the room and stiffly walking past to fetch something she'd left on the counter.
Scott stopped, looking at her as she spoke. "Lacking one Operator? We've got a full team of 7 though – I thought that was all of the suits you made."
The smaller girl rolled her eyes, "My brother was not meant to get the suit – Series Green was reserved initially for my Champion," she seemed a little regretful of this – but then, K had always been iffy about Ziggy being a Ranger.
"If you didn't know you were making suits for the Champions, how did you make exactly enough?" Scott pointed out.
His brother chuckled, waving a hand a bit, "That was us. We had this all set up beforehand, and just left the memory of how many champions there would ultimately be in her head. We would've only provided for 6, but we found out very early that Cre's power split itself between a pair of fraternal twins."
Summer glanced between the two before raising a brow, "How were you guys even supposed to make sure that your Champions ended up as the Rangers to begin with?"
"You guys are technically the only ones qualified. No matter what form she's in, Andalucia's always been picky and so it wasn't hard to just tweak the powers a little to make sure they only worked with someone directly aligned with a deity. That's actually the only reason Dreamer's worked – he counts as directly aligned because he is a one. You can't get more direct than that." Marcus seemed cheery and had a fun air about him as he explained all this, and it was easy for the blonde to see just why Scott had looked up to his older brother so much. For the deity of fire, the other was pretty cool.
Scott sighed and shook his head again – he seemed to be doing that a lot lately - and moved to sit on the couch, "So we have the wrong ranger, we're missing a deity, and the world's insane. How are we going to fix that?"
A new voice answered him now, "We're still debating that part." Lalai entered, letting Summer and Scott get their first chance for a good look at the Goddess. For the most part, she'd been away or spending time with her family, so they hadn't been able to take in her looks, but now they could and they were quite striking.
Lalai was average in height with a somewhat plump figure and long honey colored hair that she had braided small white flowers into. Her eyes were a warm, tender blue, and her cheeks were quite rosy. It was easy to see where the softness in Flynn's face came from, since he looked so different from his weatherbeaten father at times. But then, what do you expect from a fertility Goddess?
Flynn walked in after his mother, having been spending most of the day with both of his parents and Gemma. He looked around at the group, attempting to get a feel for what the conversation had been before speaking up, "So you all don't really know what you're going to do now?"
"I'm afraid not," Marcus answered from the kitchen area, where he seemed to be grilling hamburgers in mid-air. His brother chose to just not question that.
Lalai smiled proudly at her son, "We had no idea how you would all fare without us, or what form the destructor would truly take. We also had no idea how you would all handle the information when you found out about us, and we could not break you out till the others had awoken." Her voice had that strange accent, but the longer they listened to it, the more it became easy to hear. Summer had asked Andrews about how come a Goddess would have an accent at one point, and he had merely explained that Lalai created language and voice, so she also created accents by proxy.
"Why couldn't you lot just break in and bring them out of their penalty?" Scott grumbled, glaring up at her – she was somewhat easier to be angry with than his brother. But not by much.
The female laughed quietly, a sound like softly singing birds, "We cannot break our own rules and interfere with mortals like that, it would be too jarring. That is why we minorly influenced Deluseya's present situation enough to create a temporary solution till she and her brother were freed."
K looked up from her work and gave the group a dirty look, "You all never DID tell me in what way you influenced me. You had better not be why I ended up in the soup, because so help me, Lily-"
This just rung another laugh out of the goddess, this one more like strong church bells, "I am not so cruel, littlest, do not fret. That is your own nature doing you harm, even as mortal you are still knowledge and mortals at that time had become quite greedy of knowledge. We merely influenced a small decision to make sure you worked on a particular task at a particular point. They had already been debating giving it to you anyway. That is what was set in motion to happen with the destructor as well."
Summer looked between the two for a few moments, finally asking her question. "Why do you call K 'littlest' and refer to her as Ziggy's younger sister? You all created the concept of family at all when you gave mortals the ability to have children."
"You are correct on that, Miss Summer. Originally we were one entity, once consciousness. However, as mortals were created in our image, and mortals changed, so did we, and we split apart, and instead of the mind being ruled by a dominant choice, we chose to rule together and our differences, the differences in the very world itself, brought us to grow and change our creation in different ways." Angellus, with his wispy hair and patient face, had entered now and gone to sit by the kitchen counter. He looked younger than the others, in a way, but also so much older.
Marcus grinned, "Pretty much we just all became our own people, rather than just facets of decisions. It's a lot more complicated than that, but it's also not really important to the scheme of things right now."
"Who we are is dictated both by our powers, our personalities, and our ways of dealing with mortals, as well as the perception of us by those mortals. For some time, we still appeared to mortal beings and interacted with them, and the forms we chose and how we behaved helped skew those representations – we appeared as you would all imagine us because of our behaviors and actions, and over time, we chose features we liked as well, and the two meshed." Lalai spoke so gently and softly, it made her words really hit home.
Her voice came through natural things because she was fertility, earth, nature itself. Lalai was the one stories hailed as Mother Nature, and she looked like a plump motherly figure because that's how she addressed and treated mortals – with love and tenderness, treating them like her children, especially because she had given them the gift of being able to have children. Her nature as a goddess made her appear so far above mortals and yet so similar to them.
Scott looked between them and his brother before speaking again, "Is that why you and Angellus look and act more fancy than Marcus and K do?"
K made a little pout at that, but his brother grinned widely. "Not quite – it's very rare that Andalucia lets her power show since it's generally very upset and wild when she does. She prefers to blend in. Myself, I find this form comfortable and would rather keep with it than look stronger than I need to. Lalai's looks tend to be comforting and she enjoys them, so they are visible. If you were to meet a fully power Cre, he'd be in his natural state, and Dreamer flits between states depending on his mood. He generally only appears his full self in dreams though so as to not frighten others."
"That and should most of us enter into our true forms fully, there would be massive damage. Lalai is life and I am light, so it is easy for us to maintain these forms. Fyre would burn you all and Andalucia would drown you. From what I've been told, she did drown one of your number by mistake." Angellus seemed to be the most simplistic with his explanations, but also the most easy to understand. Marcus was still friendly and his usual self, but he knew concepts so far beyond them that it was hard to simplify them back to human standards.
About this point a disgruntled noise came from across the room. Zigs stood there in what looked like pajama bottoms and a t-shirt that was a good deal too big for him and black. "Did you all just decide this is where we're having our meeting?" he asked quietly. "Cause I gotta say, the living area of the Garage's a bit cramped for that."
The entire group took this time to look at him and the young god shifted awkwardly. He looked rather disheveled, moreso than usual, but the air around him was also a good deal more muted. His bangs fell over his bangs more heavily than usual, though with the same weight, and the shadows over and under his eyes seemed darker and more prominent. Ziggy's entire aura actually hummed with a strange power, only barely being restrained – restrained mostly, by the light exuding off of Angellus as the artificial sun of the city beat down outside.
"Mmph, dim it, you," he seemed so quiet pointing at his colleague as he said this and walking over the fridge to get out the juice and a couple of glasses. They all noticed that was decidedly Dillon's favorite juice being poured into the one. "I'm in a better mood than I was last night but I am still not up for your meetings just yet. I will tell you when I've come to my decision." And with that, he was just gone, not even bothering with the stairs.
K rolled her eyes, "Yes it's just fine and dandy for everyone to cluster around and make decisions. But no, I have to go plan how to get my Champion back! Or how to break any of this to her! She won't take it well!" The girl seemed decidedly upset about this and immediately darted back to her lab. It was like her brother's appearance had been a cue that it was okay for her to sneak away from the group, like she'd only been held there on the possibility that she was required to, but if he wasn't going to stay, she didn't have to.
"That's part of why they're always seen as siblings," Marcus commented, noticing Scott's eyes idly shifting between the pair as he realized all of this. "She's more timid and fears decisions. He's generally more carefree but took responsibility for her and others. Dreamer's always had a soft spot for children because he sees them as new and innocent and a version of our creation we couldn't foresee in the very beginning."
Scott shook his head, attempting to process this, "I guess we should learn more about your lore and abilities but right now, I just – this is getting to be a bit too much." He stood up slowly and shook his head yet again. He was doing that so much – to clear out the thoughts or just to try and express how much he was having a hard time accepting things?
"Maybe we should just all take a break from this for now. None of you lot are ready for your decisions yet, and we're not quite ready to fully be Champions, plus we don't know when Venjix will strike next. Why don't we just worry first and foremost about keeping ourselves sane and in shape till anything new is ready and workable?" Summer suggested and it seemed that was at least acceptable.
Little did they know that away in Venjix's laboratories, a procedure was beginning that was going to make their job retrieving the last champion just a bit harder. Venjix didn't like the emotional and human state his general had been bothering him too much. She was getting too close to the other humans, their natures affecting her. And this strange powered rain had been the last straw. Now it was time to make sure she didn't stray again.