Title: Hymn to Fayth
Summary: AU. Ziggy awakens an ancient power within himself and ends up joining the Rangers before he could ever join the Cartels. Dillon is guided to Corinth by a mysterious voice and learns the values of trust, friendship, love, and faith.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers or anything related to the franchise. I do not own anything recognizable as from one of the Final Fantasy games.
Hymn to Fayth
In the end, Dillon didn't get out of jail to learn more about the Power Rangers till the next day. When he did, Ziggy and the Yellow Ranger Summer were waiting for him. Although he had seen them both before, something bugged him as off. He narrowed his eyes in thought as he approached them. For some reason, Ziggy looked paler than before, almost sickly even, and he seemed even smaller than normal. But his gaze was still warm and welcoming and his smile still soft and faintly excited. Despite the fact that Ziggy had said he'd guided him here to be their new Ranger, Dillon got the feeling that the young man didn't even care about the fancy suits and technology.
He stopped before them, finding his eyes riveted to the young man that had consumed his thoughts while he waited. Ziggy was a few inches shorter than him and very skinny compared to his bulk. He had a young face and innocent smile but his eyes told a different story when said smile dropped away. They were old, impossibly old, and help a frightening amount of both knowledge and power. They almost seemed to say that he had the world resting on his thin shoulders.
The lithe build of his body, the darkness of his eyes, made him seem too young and too fragile. He unconsciously seemed to put out on air that made one want to protect him.
Ziggy looked up at him, his smile growing. "Good morning Dillon." he greeted, his tone light. "Ready to go?"
"Yeah sure." He said, glancing at the woman next to them for the first time. She met his gaze and smiled encouragingly, her eyes betraying her amusement as if she knew something he didn't, and guided them out.
It took them only a few minutes to reach their base. The Red Ranger was waiting for them outside, scanning them carefully as they approached. Dillon wondered which one he didn't like him around, Ziggy or Summer. But whatever Scott saw set him at ease because when they stopped in front of him, there was a peaceful look in his eyes and he smiled briefly at his teammates before opening the large doors for them.
The area was wide and spacious, with what could pass as a living room off to his left and a kitchen in the back. The main area was filled with cars and equipment and a set of stairs lead to catwalk and a series of doors to his immediate right. As they entered the Blue Ranger rolled out from under the Hummer, a socket wrench in his hands and a cautious but welcoming smile on his face.
"Welcome Dillon," Ziggy breathed next to him. "To our home. We call it the Garage."
He glanced around, hearing Flynn say next to him, "See if you can guess why." Slowly, he approached the bright red and black sports car, examining it with his eyes.
"Nice, huh?" Scott asked him, a small smile of pride on his lips. Dillon glanced over at him, cocking an eyebrow. The car was nice and could probably take on his own car, but he wasn't going to say that. "Nice toy."
He walked away, ignoring the angry expression on Red's face. Ziggy was leaning against a counter as a screen behind him flickered with images of Ranger tech, obviously content to let him finish his examination of the Garage. Dillon approached him slowly, watching the images shifting across the screen on the wall. "Who made all of this?" he asked.
"Doctor K did." Ziggy replied. "She's a little shy. I was here for five months before she showed herself to me. The Rangers were here two months before me and they didn't know what she looked like."
"She doesn't like the attention." Scott defended. Ziggy rolled his eyes, a smile of amusement on his lips. "You thought she was a guy!" he complained, his tone fond, amused, and just slightly exasperated. The young man turned back to Dillon, his smile widening. "Come on." He whispered, picking up his hand in both of his. His hands were soft and warm but surprisingly calloused. "I'll show you."
Dillon let Ziggy guide him through the Garage to where a door slid open for them, premitting them enterance to one hell of a lab. He looked around briefly, not really interested in the darkened cases containing five brightly colored spandax suits. He turned his head away from them, intending to question Ziggy again, then stopped. A very, very young woman was standing in front of a computer desk, regarding him with cool, impassionate blue eyes framed by short cut black hair. She was wearing a black school uniform and white lab coat. She caught his gaze and nodded slightly.
"Dillon," Ziggy whispered, stepping up next to him. "Meet Doctor K." He paused and glanced at the young woman. "Say hi, Doc."
"Hi." She replied dutifully.
Dillon looked down at Ziggy. "That's... Doctor K?" he asked, just to be sure. Ziggy looked up at him and nodded, his eyes bright. "That's her." he agreed. Dillon slowly turned his head to look back at the young woman. A girl really. She couldn't be any older than 19, at best. "You have got to be kidding me."
An indignant expression slid across her face and she frowned tightly. "No, I am not kidding you. I built the suits and the equipment the Rangers use today three years ago, before Venjix." She stepped away from her computers, closer to him. Dillon listened to her next words with half an ear, most of her explanation going over his head anyway. He glanced down at Ziggy next to him and smirked slightly. His eyes had glazed over and there was a blank expression on his face.
He looked back at the Doctor then turned to look at the Ranger suits. The small movement jerked Ziggy from his daze but Dillon ignored him in favor of mentioning, "Because nothing says covert like bright Red, Blue, and Yellow spandex."
The Doc looked very suddenly angry. "That is NOT spandex." She snapped, her voice heated. Dillon resisted the urge to roll back on his heels in the face of her anger and made a mental note never to mention spandex again. But Ziggy was giggling softly off to his left so he decided it wasn't a complete loss. Yet the Doc was still glaring daggers at him. "The material is a self-assembling nano fiber formed with an inter-cellular memory alloy."
"My mistake. Now, is that machine washable or strictly dry-clean only?" He asked sarcastically, enjoying the laughter that escaped from Ziggy even though he was obviously trying to hold it back. The boy looked up and met K's stern glare. He pressed his lips together in an effort not to laugh anymore. "Sorry." he whispered sheepishly.
He turned to look at Dillon. "You've seen what the Rangers can do Dillon. You know their power." He whispered, his eyes begging, pleading with him to just say yes. Dillon stared at the younger man for a long moment. It was obvious Ziggy trusted him to do this and Dillon wasn't sure what he'd done to get that trust but he knew he didn't deserve it. He didn't want to make the hope in those wide brown eyes disappear but he couldn't let them trust him. Someone had trusted him once and now he didn't even know who that person was.
"It's all very impressive." He said, forcing himself to look into Ziggy's eyes. "But I don't belong here. I'm not cut out to be your black power dude."
He ignored K's correction, watching as Ziggy's eyes darkened at his answer. His shoulders slumped and he bowed his head, sighing heavily. Dillon resisted the urge to wince at the sudden, desolate image he created.
"Hey, don't worry about it." Scott said, walking forward to clap his hand down on Ziggy's shoulder. "This guy probably won't even make it through basic testing anyways."
Dillon arched an eyebrow and turned to look at the team as they slowly walked out of the room. "What testing?"
Ziggy watched as the Rangers reviewed the information taken from Dillon's tests, resting cross-legged on top of the counter, a white jacket thrown over his shoulders and a cup of water in his hands. Dillon's scores flew across the screen at a rapid past, almost too fast for his tired eyes to track. At top form he knew he'd have no trouble reading all of it but he could feel a cloud of wariness slowly descending over his head, making his head feel heavy. But he couldn't sleep, not just yet.
"I don't care!" Scott shouted suddenly, nearly cutting off the end of the Doctor's sentence. "I just don't care." He turned towards his team. "I don't trust this guy."
Ziggy looked up at him, his eyes determined. "But I do." He whispered, getting their attention. "He's not a bad person Scott."
From anyone else, the comment would be written off. But not from Ziggy. Ziggy had been around all of them long enough for them to know and understand that he could see a person's heart. When Ziggy said things like that, even Doctor K listened.
There was an unmentioned, and sometimes extremely complicated, dynamic to both the team and Scott and Ziggy's commands. Scott was in charge. But Ziggy was their wild card. The one person whose powers were still unknown, even after the many months and all the training he'd gone through since their awakening. And when Ziggy said he knew something, they had to trust him.
Scott was in charge but Ziggy had the power and if they ever choose to fight, neither Flynn or Summer was sure which one they'd side with.
A slow, 'pleased with myself' smile slowly wormed across Ziggy's face, setting Scott on edge. "Besides." Ziggy said, a note of smugness in his tone as he unwound his legs and dropped smoothly to the ground in one elegant move. "It's not like you have a lot of other candidates."
With that said, Ziggy turned and entered the lab to see Dillon staring at the Ranger Series Black suit with a thoughtful look. He paused, tilting his head to the side as he examined him. Dillon was tall and muscular, with a sharp jaw and strong features. His dark brown hair was down in a fly-away style and his brown eyes had a steely determination to them, although Ziggy wasn't sure that determination was actually aimed at something. His clothes were were slightly baggy and a little torn and dusty from his time in the Wasteland but other than that, Ziggy decided he was very handsome.
When he had first... seen Dillon, for lack of a better word, he hadn't known what to think. It was obvious his powers were trying to tell him something but, like usual, he had no idea what. Dillon was a little... rough around the edges at first glance, a bit crass and unrefined. But something in him made Ziggy believe that Dillon was a good person.
The more he had seen of Dillon, the more he had needed to have him here, in Corinth. He hadn't actually believed Dillon would listen to him when he tried to guide him here but he had and that fact had made him so happy. He was really surprised by just how immensely glad he was that Dillon had. And when he'd really seen him for the first time, with his own two eyes, he hadn't wanted to let the man go. The urge had appeared so suddenly that he hadn't had the time to say anything and before he actually knew what he was doing, he had extended an invitation to the man to be Ranger Operator Series Black. And he hadn't cared, just as long as Dillon was there, right in front of him.
Scott had once told him that he made people want to protect him. Never before he had so hoped he was right. Because Dillon put out the air of a protector and he had never felt safer than standing beside him.
"Would it really be that bad?" he asked Dillon, watching as the man turned to look at him. "Joining us, I mean."
Dillon gazed at him for a long moment then sighed, shrugging one shoulder. "I don't know."
Ziggy pressed his lips together, tilting his head to the side in thought, then smiled brightly. "Come on." he whispered. "Lets go for a walk."
Dillon glanced over at him again, arching an eyebrow. Finally he decided the younger man was being serious and slowly followed him out of the lab and through the Garage. They were almost out when Scott appeared, calling them to a stop before the Garage's massive front doors. "Where are you two going?" The Red Ranger demanded, holding his hands out to the sides in question as the other two Rangers appeared behind them.
Ziggy smiled softly as he answered, "We're going for a walk." The other Rangers looked for a moment like they were going to join them but Ziggy waved them back. "No, stay here." he said, almost an order as he pointed at the ground. "Train, defend the city." He spread his arms wide as if to indicate the rest of the dome then gave the three two thumbs up, turning to walk out. "Save the world." He added as an afterthought barely a second later, a wide, pleased smile on his face.
Dillon let Ziggy guide him to the far edges of the dome to where the city's giant lake rested. "Everything here is recycled." Ziggy told him. "Nothing goes to waste. Everything's timed and scheduled, even the weather." He paused and gave the fake sky a strange look Dillon couldn't identify. "They meant for it to last forever, you know." he whispered wistfully. There was a strange note of sadness in his voice. "A permanent, perfect, self-reliant...bird cage."
He looked away form Ziggy, gazing at the families resting on the grass in contentment. "I know what you're trying to do." He interrupted, trying to ignore the look on Ziggy's face. And failing. "You're trying to make me care."
Ziggy stopped walking and looked up at him with open, sincere eyes. "I don't need to do that Dillon." He said. "You already care. You're not a cold-hearted person. You're just... a little lost, just a little confused. But you're a good person."
Dillon looked down at him, surprised by the faith written plainly across his face for all the world to see. He really believed what he was saying. He actually trusted him. "Don't." he told him. "Don't trust me. Someone trusted me once and..." He trailed off, unable to complete the sentence. He didn't know what had happened to that person.
"And you're still looking for them." Ziggy breathed. "Even after all this time, you're still looking. You don't know for what or for who but you're looking. Maybe we need someone like that here."
He didn't answer immediately and Ziggy's hand fell from his arm. "In the end Dillon, it doesn't matter what you choose." He told him, turning away to look out across the water. "You can stay or you can go. We won't stop you. But we don't have the option. You can take off right now and we will still have to protect this city. We will still have to fight in the morning, rather you are with us or not. But it would be easier if you were there."
Dillon stared at the young man in surprise. "Are you trying to guilt trip me?" he asked, not expecting the tactic. Ziggy turned his head to look at him with a wide, unabashed grin. "Is it working?" he asked, answering his question with another question. Dillon gazed at Ziggy for a long moment. It would be so easy to bruise him, so easy to break him. Too easy, he decided, the thought sending a jolt of pain through his heart.
"Maybe." He answered. He looked away. "But I can't. I have..."
"Someone waiting for you." Ziggy finished for him. "But do you even know who that person is?" he asked quietly. He didn't let Dillon answer before he started again. "No one knows the extent of my powers Dillon, not even me. Everything I know, I know instinctively. And I know a lot of things Dillon. More than I should." His eyes dropped down and regained that too old, too sad look. "More than I want to." he added sadly. He shook off whatever he was thinking and looked back at Dillon. "But stay Dillon, and I swear to you I will do everything in my power to help you remember your past. I will help you find who you're looking for."
Ziggy quieted after that, leaving his offer out in the silence between them for Dillon to war with. The older man didn't know what to decide. To stay, to help the Rangers, to help Ziggy, or to leave and keep searching for a past he didn't even remember and a person who could very well be dead by now.
It started to rain.
Both of them ignored the cold water as it pounded down on them, sinking through their clothes and hair, creating a dull roar around them. The silence continued to stretch between them but neither seemed obliged to break it. Ziggy even seemed content to let him war it out with himself.
Finally Dillon broke their staring, turning his head to gaze at the families scrambling for cover. Two little kids, no older than seven were fighting for an umbrella. What about them? A little voice inside of him asked. Who's going to protect them?
Was this why Ziggy was fighting? To protect this? This innocence, this childish beauty? Was it worth protecting?
He looked back at the young man. Rain was dripping down the smooth, pale planes of his face and catching on his eyelashes but the boy didn't seem to notice at all. He simply stared at Dillon, patiently waiting. His brown hair was soaked through, even darker as it plastered itself to his cheeks and necks and his clothes were drenched, the white coat he was wearing almost seeming to glow due to the water. He created a stunning but desolate picture, one beautiful person standing by himself during a storm.
"Is it worth it?" he asked as the rain died away. Ziggy looked over at the children he'd been watching earlier and nodded. "It is." He whispered. He looked back at him, his eyes open and honest. Dillon thought that if he tried hard enough he could read all the secrets hidden in the dark brown depths, all the inner pains and fears, all the knowledge that weighed Ziggy down.
Then Ziggy faltered suddenly, a pained glimpse taking over his features as he wavered. His eyes slid closed and he tilted forward, his knees buckling under the sudden dead weight of his body. Dillon's eyes widened and he didn't even register he had moved till he was kneeling on the ground, his arms wrapped securely around Ziggy's waist, holding him steady as the younger man came back to himself, breathing heavily. "I'm sorry." Ziggy whispered. "I've over-worked myself again."
"Are you okay?" he asked, looking down at Ziggy as he pushed himself up and away from him. Ziggy nodded slowly, water dripping from his bangs. "Yes I'm fine. I'm just... tired." he whispered. Dillon noticed for the first time the dark circles forming under Ziggy's eyes and the sudden deathly paleness of his skin. And Ziggy was shaking.
Gently gripping Ziggy's upper arms, he pulled the younger man to his feet. "Let's get you back to the Garage."
Ziggy was practically asleep on his feet when they got back. Summer immediately appeared at the young man's side, worry in her eyes as she slowly guided the boy away from him towards the stairs, urging him to sleep. Ziggy's protests were half-hearted and his reassuring smile was waning as he slowly staggered up the stairs. The only reason he didn't fall was because of Summer's arm around his shoulder, supporting him.
"What's wrong with him?" he asked, unable to look away from Ziggy's tired, about to collapse form.
Scott and Flynn walked over to him, Scott wary but Flynn welcoming enough. "Ziggy's limits are erratic." Scott said. "They change daily. There are days where he's perfectly fine; where it seems he can use his powers forever and never get tired. And then there are days when he can barely get out of bed. His powers are draining, both mentally and physically. As much as they are a gift, they're a curse."
He looked over at them, noticing the sad, slightly hopeless looks in their eyes. Ziggy's situation obviously wasn't new yet they still couldn't do anything to help him. "You all keep saying that. His powers. What are they?" he asked.
This time it was Flynn that answered. "No one knows for sure. It's just somethin' he can do. We don't how or why. We just barely know enough to do little things ourselves. But that's only through months of study and practice. And its still no where near the amount of power Ziggy puts out naturally." He paused in thought than continued. "His strongest abilities are shieldin' and healin'. I can't even begin to remember all the times they've saved our hides. But he also has the unique ability to 'dream-see' as the Doc likes to call it. It's probably how he found you. We don't quite get it ourselves but Ziggy can fall into this really deep trance and literally throw his consciousness to another place and see what's happenin'. Sometimes, if he's not very careful, he can see the future. But the occurrences are rare and scattered. We try not to rely on it."
Dillon slowly absorbed the information, gazing at the door to the room Ziggy had entered. He didn't know if the people in this city, if those children in the rain, were worth fighting for everyday. But Ziggy, sweet, burdened, too-powerful and too-self-sacrificing Ziggy, was.
He looked back at the two male Rangers standing beside him. "Fine." he said. "I'll be your Black power dude."