Disclaimer: I do not own Power Rangers.
A/N: The CD. Anyone who watched Michael Grimm last year on AGT, the music was inspired by him. I was listening to his CD while I played this. Also, I am participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this month, so my updates will be slow and uncertain as I commit myself to 50,000 words in 31 days.
Dillon stared at the CD that Scott had given him. According to Scott, it was the favorite CD of a person who looked like him. He flipped the cover open and stared at the disk inside, wondering if his life could be that simple. He looked up at the CD player tucked behind Flynn's smoothie bar and sighed. Then he glanced at the K-screens, but Dr K hadn't said anything since he'd finished his training. Finally, he pulled the disk from its case and ducked under the bar to reach the CD player. He slipped the CD in and pressed play.
"Hello James," a warm, amused voice said, "It's Mom. I just wanted to wish you a happy tenth birthday."
"Hi Jamie," a little girl said and giggled, "It's Becca, happy birthday! Come home soon so we can have cake!"
"Hi Jamie, it's Emma; happy birthday. I hope you and Daddy are enjoying your trip." The last voice was a girl who sounded even younger, and lisped a little.
A song began, not the rock that he was expecting, but a smoother sound. He closed his eyes and let the music play over him. He pressed his palms against the counter, trying to control the emotions that filled him.
"Ranger Series Black," Dr K announced, "I believe you would like to know that Ziggy is returning to the Garage. They have located a candidate for the Series Green."
Dillon shut off the music and put it back in the case, "Thanks Doc," he said. He walked back around the bar and into the kitchen and began making a sandwich. As he reached for the bread, he found his hand shaking. He stared at it for a long moment before he clenched his hand into a fist and slammed it down. He had better emotional control than that!
"Hey Dillon," Ziggy said, popping into the kitchen, "I guess you heard I found the perfect green ranger?"
"Doc K may have mentioned something," Dillon said, pulling the bread out of the bread box. "Good job."
"Hey, thanks," Ziggy said happily.
Dillon watched Ziggy head into the Ranger Room, then turned back to his sandwich. "Hey Dillon," Ziggy said as he came back, "did you ever listen to that CD that Scott gave you?"
Dillon dropped the knife back into the mayonnaise jar, "Why?" He asked.
"Just wondering what was on it?" Ziggy replied.
"No," Dillon said, "I haven't."
"When you do," Ziggy said, "you shouldn't listen to it alone, ok?" Dillon looked at Ziggy and was surprised to see how sincere Ziggy actually was. Ziggy pressed his hand on Dillon's arm. "Memories can be a scary thing even when you remember them without trying. If that CD used to belong to you, whatever memories it will bring back, you shouldn't face them alone."
"Ziggy, don't you have a morpher to deliver?" Dr K said suddenly.
"Yes Doc, sorry Doc," Ziggy replied with a wink to Dillon.
"Don't call me Doc," Dr K snapped.
Ziggy waved his hand at the K-screens as he walked over to his scooter, "You should come meet her," Ziggy said, "I think you'll like Tenaya."
"I'll wait," Dillon replied.
"Suit yourself," Ziggy replied, snapping his helmet. Dillon watched him leave, then turned back to his sandwich. Suddenly, he wasn't hungry. Having already gotten the lecture on wasting food, Dillon got a plate from the cabinet, dumped the newly made sandwich on it and tossed it into the refrigerator. If he didn't eat it, Scott or Flynn would have a midnight snack.
Dillon sat down again at the bar and but his head down. "Ranger Series Black, we have a problem," Dr K announced.
"What?" Dillon demanded.
"Ziggy's Ranger Candidate is an attack bot," Dr K replied.
"Do you know where he is?" Dillon demanded knocking the stool over as he surged to his feet.
"I'm still in contact with him," Dr K replied.
Dillon turned to the closest terminal, "Patch me," he ordered. "Ziggy, keep that attack bot busy, buy yourself some time, I'm on my way."
"How will you find me?" Ziggy asked.
"I'll track you through the morpher," Dillon said and hurried across the Garage, he barely heard Ziggy's final admonition.
"Yeah, well, hurry."
Dillon slammed his way out of the Garage and down the road as fast as he could. "Where am I going, Doc?" He asked after triggering his morpher.
"Ziggy is on the move, heading west from the auditorium." Dr K replied. The GPS Flynn had installed into Dillon's dash lit up with two blinking lights, one was black and one was green.
Dillon glanced at the GPS for a moment before he sped up even more. It was moments after Ziggy's dot stopped moving at a race track that he arrived. "Get in," he told Ziggy. He couldn't stop the flash of amusement as Ziggy tried to buckle his belt. The passenger side belt hadn't worked properly since the car's former owner had died.
He didn't have a lot time to think about what he could remember before he was saving Ziggy from the Attack Bot. "You've got upgrades," she said.
"Who are you supposed to be?" Dillon asked and growled as his words triggered her identification protocols. "Save it," he snapped finally.
He backed off and slid the engine cell home. Before he could say the trigger words, he was morphed. He couldn't help the smile at that, so much for Dr K's vocal activation protection. Before he could voice that, he was again fighting the attack bot. Suddenly, his power levels dropped and when he hit the wall, he could feel it. He closed his eyes, wondering what had happened to him. He picked himself up enough to see the bot standing over Ziggy with the morpher in her hands. "Now I will bond with your Series Green and destroy the Power Rangers from within."
"No," Dillon whispered, trying to step forward.
"I will become the final stage of techno awareness."
Dillon closed his eyes, reaching for a power that was just out of his grasp.
"You talk too much."
Dillon snapped his eyes open and stared as Ziggy and the Bot fought over the morpher until, suddenly, Ziggy activated the green morpher.
"I don't want to be a Power Ranger!" Ziggy cried as Dillon's Power surged, filling him with the strength that had vanished moments before. As Dillon fired to drive away the Bot, he knew that nothing would ever be the same.
Dillon didn't bother to knock, shoving the door to Summer's room open with all the finesse of a hurricane, "Are you insane?" He snarled.
"What?" Scott asked, pausing with a couch cushion in his hand.
"You're just going to dump all over Ziggy like that and then have a movie night?" Dillon said.
"What are you talking about?" Flynn asked, his arms full of pillows and blankets.
"Do you know what Ziggy's first words were after he morphed?" Dillon asked, "He said, 'I don't want to be a Power Ranger.'"
"But he is," Summer said, "he put the morpher on."
"Ziggy didn't have a choice," Dillon replied. "He wasn't prepared, he didn't chose this and all you can say is 'we don't want you'."
"What are we supposed to say?" Scott asked, "It's not like we can give the morpher to someone else."
"How about, we'll train you," Dillon said, "or maybe we'll make this work? Do you think I wanted Ziggy to be a Ranger? He's just a kid. He's seventeen. I didn't save him from being killed in prison to see him be killed by Venjix."
"I don't know what you expect from me," Scott said, looking to Flynn and Summer for back up.
"Ziggy isn't anyone's first choice," Dillon snapped, "you have all made that perfectly clear. However, Ziggy is the Ranger we have. You need to accept that instead of complaining about it. Maybe he isn't the person you wanted, but he has something this team needs."
"What, shadow puppets?" Scott replied, and winced, because that was not what he needed to say right now.
Dillon roared wordlessly and moved, before Scott could even think about reacting, Dillon had yanked the cushion away and grabbed his shirt, "You don't like Ziggy," he said quietly, "and you don't like me. I get that. You three," he jerked to look at Flynn and Summer, both of whom were frozen in shock, "have had an entire year to get to know one another and build a foundation of trust. I get that. What I don't get is why you aren't giving Ziggy the chance you gave me. Ziggy is a good kid, a little scatterbrained, but in his soul, he's nothing but the best of all of us." He released Scott and headed back across the room, "And before you bleat about how untrained Ziggy is, I want you to think about this. Ziggy and that Tenaya bot went hand to hand for five minutes before Ziggy morphed, and until he had that Power surge to distract him, he was holding his own. That's why you should think before you condemn Ziggy for being weak." He slammed the door behind him.
Scott coughed and rubbed his chest, "Scott, are you ok?" Flynn asked.
"Yeah," Scott said, he tugged his shirt straight. "I'm fine."
Summer stepped in close, "Are you sure?"
"I'm sure," Scott said, smiling down at her.
"If you're fine, do you want to finish with the couch, man," Flynn said, "clearly we need to talk."
Scott sighed, but smiled, "Right," he stepped away from Summer and finished pulling the cushions from the couch. He pulled the bed out and Flynn dumped his armload onto it. "So," Scott said as they passed around pillows and settled on the bed, "Ziggy."
"What do we know about him?" Summer asked.
"Just what's happened to him since he came to Corinth," Scott replied. "I checked with my dad, remember? Before he showed up with the cartel, Ziggy has no record. According to Ziggy himself, he worked for the Cartels before he got here, and people seem to know him."
"Is he really seventeen?" Flynn asked, "I thought he was older."
The trio spun to find Ziggy standing in the door, "I'm eighteen," Ziggy said uneasily. "Dillon miscalculated the date."
"Can we help you?" Summer asked.
"I just wanted to say I'm sorry," Ziggy replied. "I'm not the Ranger you wanted."
"You're the Ranger we have," Scott replied firmly, the words coming unconsciously. "Maybe we were a little surprised by it, but what we said, what I said, was wrong. You're team now."
"You're one of us," Flynn added. "The rest of it will fall as it will."
Summer slid off the bed and walked over to Ziggy, "Like they said, you're team, Ziggy."
"It's just date night?" Ziggy asked, tilting his head a little.
"I guess you could say that," Summer said with a laugh. "Tomorrow, though, tomorrow, you and I are going to go shopping. You have a room to decorate and clothes to buy." She kissed his cheek and stepped back.
"Summer," Ziggy said, shooting nervous glances at Scott and Flynn, "I like you and all, but please, don't kiss me. Save that for your boyfriends."
Summer laughed, "Good night Ziggy."
"Good night," Ziggy replied.
Summer shut the door and returned to the bed, "So," she said looking from Scott to Flynn, "are you two my boyfriends?"
Uh oh, Scott thought, flicking a glance at Flynn. "I guess you could say that," he said carefully. "I always thought partners was a good term."
"I just thought of us as family," Flynn said, leaning back slightly.
"Good," Summer said, and threw herself into the narrow space between them, "I agree."
Dr K left the control room through the back stairs to the bunker underneath that served as her home. On the far side of the Zord Hanger was an actual house Truman had built for her, but even after learning the truth about her 'skin allergy', Dr K found a certain comfort in the windowless bunker. There were colors, which differed from Alphabet Soup, and the bed was sinfully large to her but the best part of it was the large wicker bowl chair that Dr Kendall had given her. She settled there and called up the recordings from the race track security. There hadn't been time earlier to see what had happened, but now, she would learn what led Ziggy to being Ranger Series Green. It promised to be an interesting tape if Dillon's rather audible rant was to be believed.