Disclaimer: I don’t own PR, that honor goes to Disney.
AN: And here is the second installment of the ‘Aftermath’ series. Thanks so much for the reviews and reads everyone.
Peace. It was a word that Dillon never thought he’d be able to use in the same sentence when thinking about his life. But for the first time in god knew how long he was at peace. Then again, Dillon supposed the he didn’t have any reason not to be. After all, Venjix had finally been defeated, he didn’t have to worry about the virus overrunning his system, and he had his sister back. All of those things were truly great reasons to be at peace but if Dillon was being really honest with himself, they weren’t his main reason.
Yes he was thrilled that the world was safe from evil, he was ecstatic that he wasn’t going to die, and he was even happier about the fact that he had managed to rescue his sister. But in this very moment in time, in his opinion, Dillon had a much better reason to be so at peace. That reason being that he was currently getting some much needed alone time in his room and had a very warm and sleepy Summer curled up against him, fast asleep.
Summer. The very thought of her sent a warm sensation shooting straight through his heart and for once Dillon let it stay there without any hesitation behind it. When it came to the woman in his arms, Dillon knew that he was a goner and in the absolute right way. Summer was his rock. His bright light when the world was completely shrouded in darkness. She took him as he was, called him on his attitude when it got to be too much, and she just got him in ways no one else ever has. Dillon knew that his memory was still fuzzy in a lot of areas but he had a feeling that when it came to his heart, no one else could or would compare to Summer.
He still had trouble figuring out how he was now the lucky one that got to call her his. Granted that development was a very recent one but it wasn’t exactly a surprise. If he really thought about it, Dillon knew that he and Summer would have ended up together somehow. They’d started dancing around each other from that very first talk in Corinth city jail. Of course at first it had been nothing more than a light flirtation, a smile here, a brush of hands there, nothing too serious. Then Summer had almost had to get married and he’d felt a jealousy he hadn’t known he’d possessed swell within him at the prospect of even thinking about her with someone else. From that almost wedding on, their dance had gotten a little slower, the flirtation a little more heated, but again nothing to make him consider calling it serious.
And then his memories had started to return and with them had come a host of flashbacks that had not only made him question his own sanity but the world around him. He’d remembered his sister and having lost her and then he’d just gone on a full on quest to get her back. Through it all the one person he’d been able to count on had been Summer. Sure the others had been supportive and ready to help him at a moment’s notice but he hadn’t been able to talk to them like he had her. She let him vent without trying to quell his anger, had let him damn near breakdown on her without a passing comment, and had been there by his side with every new development he made. Summer had just been there and that had meant everything to Dillon.
It was through those developments that Dillon found his heart cracking open for Summer and their flirtation changing into something that he still couldn’t quite put a label on. Part of him wanted to call it a pseudo-relationship because there had been talking and going out together alone but at the same time there had been nothing physical and most certainly no declarations of any emotion save friendship. But that was beside the point. The point was that somehow during all of the chaos Dillon had developed real feelings for his yellow teammate. And thought it might sound rather arrogant to anyone else, he’d known that she felt the same things for him. It was always in her eyes whenever she looked at him, or in the smiles that he only got out of her. Dillon had known about her feelings, he’d known about his own, and he was quite sure that she’d known about his but they hadn’t exactly gone and done anything about them.
Dillon now chalked their entire not talking about it phase up to the fact that there had been a lot going on in both of their lives at the time. They’d been trying to defeat Venjix, find his sister, and prevent his own self from becoming a Venjix drone all at once. All of that combined really didn’t leave a lot of room at the end of the day for romance of any kind. So they’d put it on the backburners of their minds until life was calmer, like right now.
Right now in this moment, well actually for the past few days it seemed that peace was once again present in the world. Venjix was officially defeated, his sister wasn’t under his power anymore, and he wasn’t going to die of the virus. All of these things had led him to Summer on the night of Venjix’s defeat. While the others were celebrating with a party down in the still kind of destroyed Garage, he’d convinced her to go for a drive out into the Wastelands.
He’d stopped just outside the city and it was there, under a blanket of completely natural dark sky that they’d had a very long conversation about what they meant to each other. In the end, they had both admitted their deep feelings for the other and the desire to become something more and had sealed said declaration with what Dillon could only describe as the best kiss of his entire life. But that kiss, however enjoyable it had been wasn’t the important part of that night. The important part was that Dillon had somehow managed to leave said night in a relationship with the woman of his dreams. A relationship that was still very new to the both of them but had so far been progressing brilliantly; case in point, Summer in his bed using him as a human pillow.
Yep, in Dillon’s mind life was peaceful right now. His mind was peaceful and felt absolutely right for the first time in months. The only thing that was bothering him now was what was going to happen now. He technically wasn’t a Power Ranger anymore. Sure he and the rest of the team had been keeping their morphers handy just in case a Venjix groupie decided to attack and they’d been using their Zords to help with mass clean up but it was over. In a few days Dr. K was going to collect their morphers and their reign as Power Rangers would be over. He knew that despite this fact, he’d always be a Ranger, always be willing to strap the thing on again if the need arose, but for now this was it.
And honestly Dillon wasn’t sure about how he should feel about it all. Being a Ranger had occupied a major part of his life and had given him so much that he couldn’t help but think about ways to give back. He knew that Corinth was going to need help in rebuilding from all the damage that had been inflicted during the final battles but he wasn’t sure that this was where he wanted to help. He loved this city, he really did, it would always be like a home to him but now that the world was starting to correct itself he had to think about the other places out there.
He knew from conversations with his sister that the people in Corinth weren’t the only ones to survive the Venjix attack. There had been others in cities that had been occupied with former Ranger teams. Those teams had helped people get underground and by some miracle Venjix hadn’t gone after them because he hadn’t wanted to deal with more Power Ranger teams. Now that Venjix was gone, those people could come out of hiding and rebuild. It was a rebuild that was going to take a hell of a lot more effort on everyone’s part than here in Corinth city. Yes the people here would help in any way possible but Dillon didn’t just want to watch things happen; he wanted to make them happen.
He and Tenaya had spent a good amount of time in the last few days talking and he knew that his sister felt the same way. She kept saying she wanted to atone for what she’d done under Venjix and she wanted to help rebuild the world. This mutual desire to do some good in other places meant that Dillon and Tenaya were both seriously considering leaving Corinth for awhile. Not for forever but for a while, so they could help and possibly re-establish who they were in the process. It was something that Tenaya was all for but Dillon wasn’t so sure about it. He wanted to go out and help but he didn’t want to leave Summer after finally getting the chance to be with her.
“Dillon?” his name, mumbled sleepily, caused the Black Ranger to break free of his train of thought and glance down to find Summer staring up at him, a sleepy smile gracing her features. Grinning Dillon found himself leaning down in order to brush a kiss across her temple before returning to his previous position on the pillow, his gaze now trained on Summer’s beautiful face.
“Why are you sleeping? You promised to nap with me,” she said with a pout that had him chuckling and bringing a hand up to run across her back.
“I tried and failed on the sleeping part. I just got to thinking.”
“The last few days, us, the future.”
“Well I’m hoping that the us and future parts of your thoughts are together in some way.” When she smiled Dillon felt his heart swell and once again his mind was racing. He knew what he wanted to do with the immediate future. He wanted to set out with his sister and help but he wanted the woman beside him to be there with them. It was a topic he’d been waiting to broach ever since he and Tenaya had started to semi-finalize their plans together and now seemed like a perfect opportunity to talk to her about it. They were alone and he knew that no one was going to interrupt them for at least another hour. It was perfect.
“Oh they are, I promise,” he replied, watching as her brow furrowed ever so slightly at his words.
“But? I’m sensing a but here Dillon,” Summer responded, propping her head up on his chest as she did so. “What’s going on in that head of yours? You know you can tell me anything right?”
“I know I can. I’ve just been thinking well…you know Tenaya and I have been talking a lot these past few days right?”
“Of course and you two should be talking. It’s the only way you’re going to bond.”
“Right. Well as we’ve talked, she’s been telling me that Corinth isn’t the only place that people have survived in. There are other cities out there that managed to set up underground places for people to go to.”
At his words he felt Summer shift against him, and he glanced down to find that she was looking at him with rapt attention, and he could already see her mind already going into overdrive mode.
“How does she know for certain?”
“Venjix knew about them but he didn’t go after them.”
“Wait, why wouldn’t he do that? It seems that he would want to go after the people with the least amount of protection available,” Summer responded and he nodded.
“That’s what I thought about at first but thing is; those places weren’t unprotected. The cities that set up undergrounds were all cities of former Ranger teams. I mean I know that everyone thought that they were killed with the initial onslaught but they were busy helping others go into hiding. Protecting those that we couldn’t get to while we handled the main threat.”
There was silence between the two of them for a few moments as Dillon allowed her to process all of the information he was giving her. He knew it was a lot and he was still reeling from it himself but he needed to have this conversation with Summer and to do that she needed all of the information that he had. He watched her for a time and finally her face broke out into a soft smile.
“It makes sense. Once a Ranger Always a Ranger,” she said softly. “Those people, our legacy wouldn’t just lay down and take it. They’d help as much as possible. And Venjix wouldn’t have gone after them because that would mean a whole host of other problems.”
“Exactly. And now that Venjix is gone all of those people that have been hiding, the other teams...”
“Can come out of hiding,” Summer finished softly.
He nodded at her assessment and tightened his hold on her. Now came the difficult part, talking about what he wanted to do for those people out there.
“But it’s not going to be easy for them when they do,” Dillon said and he felt Summer nod against him. “They’re going to have almost nothing to start a rebuild with and Tenaya and I have been talking about going to help them. Corinth has a lot of resources; they probably won’t have as much. They’ll need manpower.”
He felt her tense against his body when he stopped and for a few moments there was a truly awkward and tense silence between them. Dillon didn’t like the feeling it was leaving in his gut but he had to gage how she felt about him going in the first place and then put the rest of his idea into words.
“So you’re going to leave?” she asked quietly. “With Tenaya?”
“We were thinking about it.”
“Oh,” Summer said softly, a crack to her voice. “You s-should go. The world needs help and you and your sister need to-”
It was in that exact moment that Dillon knew he was making the right decision, knew that when he did this next part, he was asking the right person. He didn’t think any other girl would ever say that kind of thing to him and mean it the way Summer did. But he hated the way her voice sounded, the sadness, the quietly held in emotion, he hated that he was putting it there. He would fix that, he had too.
“Summer,” he murmured, bringing his free hand up to cup her cheek, forcing her gaze to meet his as he spoke his next piece. “I won’t be going unless you come with us. I just got you and I can’t imagine being without you. I want you to come with us on this journey. I want you with me.”
He heard her suck in a breath at that and watched as her eyes widened and the sadness that was there slowly gave way to a happiness that he only hoped could mean a yes answer to his question.
“You really want me to go with you two?”
“Of course,” he replied quickly. “You’re supposed to be in my life. I want you there as it starts over again. Together. If you want that.”
“I do,” Summer answered with a grin on her face. “I say yes. I want to rebuild. I want to help. And I want to be with you and Tenaya. I say yes.”
“Really?” he asked a hint of surprise in his tone. Dillon had hoped she would agree but he’d never really imagined that Summer actually would say yes to this crazy plan he and his sister had cooked up. But here she was saying yes to starting out on a new chapter of her life, with him. She was saying yes.
“Yes,” she said with a giggle and a light slap to his chest. “How can you think that I’d want to be anywhere else? My home is where my heart is and you have my heart. So wherever we end up..it’s home. This is me saying yes to being with you and to a life we know we want. Are you ready for that?”
“Bring it on,” he said seriously before quickly ducking down to seal his lips to her own. They still had a lot to talk about regarding when they would leave and what direction they’d be heading in but for right now Dillon intended on enjoying the moment. He and Summer had earned that much before starting off in a new direction.
There’s just one more part after this!
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