Ziggy looked at his clock and wondered how he'd slept through the alarm clock. Admittedly, he wasn't on active duty at the moment and had no scheduled training until the psych cleared him off of Suicide Watch, so he didn't absolutely have to be up and on a schedule.
And at least his teammates were being accommodating on the whole thing. And he was actually looking forward to the training sessions. They made him feel a lot better about his fighting ability and not being a liability on the battlefield. Sure, he wasn't a great fighter, not yet, but he wasn't feeling like he was worthless.
Now if he could only convince them and the psychiatrist that he wasn't going to kill himself. It was nice that he and the others were getting used to each other, but he could use them not looking at him like they expected him to stab himself with a steak knife. Really, the whole reason he'd come up with his original plan was that he knew that he couldn't get away with trying something like that in a base full of trained Rangers. And Dillon would put him in the hospital if he tried to get himself killed again.
Yeah, he was so not going to give his Venjix-hardware-enhanced teammate and friend a reason to land him in the hospital.
The door opened as he was yawning and stretching. That was the other sucky part about the watch he was currently under; nobody had to knock. It could be really worse, he knew, but it still sucked. He hoped that Summer never walked in on him naked.
"Morning, sunshine," Scott greeted him. His team leader was the one on watch right now, he knew. At least Scott seemed to be in a good mood.
"Morning, Scott," he said. "Guess I overslept a bit, huh?" He tried to make it airy, like oversleeping was a minor thing and nothing to be concerned about.
"Yeah, well, Doctor K said you would." Scott shrugged. "Apparently you lost your morpher twice last night and Doctor K was worried enough that he hit you with a sedative."
Ziggy lifted his wrist. "I'm wearing it!" he protested. "If I'd slipped it, you'd think that Dillon would have done something. Plus, it's still on me."
"Dillon kept putting it back on you," Scott said. "But Doctor K said something about you taking advantage of it."
"Look, if I was seriously interested in killing myself," Ziggy said, "Which I might point out I'm not, I wouldn't try the same things again. I know that if I walk out of here without my morpher, I'm going to have all of you piling on top of me." He sighed. "Same thing with stabbing myself with one of Flynn's knives. I know that someone would stop me." He wouldn't have tried it even before, because of the same problem; even in the moments where he'd seriously tried to end his life, he knew that even if they hated him, they wouldn't let him kill himself. Which was why he'd gone out, to be too far away to save.
Scott's eyes darkened at this, and Ziggy knew that he'd only made him more worried. "I'm going to get dressed now and have breakfast, okay?" He didn't need to ask permission; he just wanted Scott to focus on something besides him.
"Right," Scott said, distracted. At least he was distracted enough to leave, though Ziggy knew that he'd be heading off to talk to Doctor K.
His day's clothes were up on his desk. He slipped them on, wishing that Flynn would trust him with his clothes. He was pretty sure that it was Flynn doing the picking. Heck, today's shirt was light green, and he hadn't owned any of those, so someone had done some shopping. He'd mentioned to Flynn that he'd really like his purple outfit, and the other Ranger had said something about having to keep to green to keep him stable.
Breakfast was either chase-down-your-own that day, or he was eating too late to actually have kept breakfast for him. He put together a good, healthy breakfast and settled down to eat. Summer came past him, looking for something in the fridge. He grinned, glad not to feel like he was in the center of everybody's pity.
"Oh, morning, Ziggy," she said, coming over to eat. She had a cup of yogurt. "How are you feeling?"
"Refreshed," he said, still grinning. "Got a little extra sleep last night."
"I think Doctor K's big on 'optimum sleep cycles'," she said, rolling her eyes a bit. "Don't worry."
He grinned even wider at that. It was so nice to be normal for once, or as normal as one was when one was a Ranger.
* * *
In the meantime, Scott was standing in Doctor K's lab room. "That's what he said," he told the screen. He could have had this conversation anywhere else, but he'd rather discuss the issue with Doctor K in private.
"I have been carefully monitoring him," Doctor K said. "Fortunately, I have his physical readings from the moment he bonded with his morpher, and I've been examining the time period in which he was likely formulating his plan. He doesn't seem to be anywhere near the levels he was experiencing in the time period before he took off his morpher."
Scott had to admit he felt some relief at that. "Thanks, Doctor K."
"Your concern is not unwarranted, Ranger Operator Series Red," the screen continued. "I believe that had Ranger Operator Series Black had not realized what he had attempted, he would have continued his attempts. As it was, it took starting his training with you that his levels dropped from what they were. I believe that had he been able to find a way to commit suicide up until that point, he would have."
The good news was that Ziggy was relatively stable, in other words. And that training had been exactly what Ziggy had needed. For all that Ziggy was far from their ideal Green, he was certainly more than willing to try to live up to their expectations. And, he had to admit, it was nice to know that he'd proved to be good at convincing Ziggy to start living.
"There is an item on the table to your left," the voice said, "That will, upon being locked upon his ankle, serve as a locator beacon and a measure to insure he can be incapacitated in case he reverts to that behavior. I intend to have one of you lock it this morning. I also intend to alter his morpher so that it is more sensitive to such things."
Scott wondered how Ziggy was going to react to essentially getting an ankle bracelet. Probably not well. "Then let's put it on him."
"I agree." Then he must have changed to intercom mode, for the next words were "Ranger Operator Series Green, please report to the lab."
Ziggy came through the door a moment later. "What's up, Doctor K?"
"I have something that will permit you to remove your morpher at night, if you so choose."
"Really? What?" Ziggy seemed surprisingly amenable.
Scott picked up the device. It looked kind of like a small, black band with a rectangular, boxy area.
"Oh. You're putting me on an anklet." Ziggy nodded. "I've had those before." He pulled up his pants leg. "They usually open up opposite the box."
"That is correct," Doctor K added.
Scott opened the anklet and placed it around Ziggy's leg, feeling odd at how cooperative Ziggy was.
"In case you're wondering," Ziggy said, "If it gets you guys convinced I'm not going to kill myself, I'll happily do it."
Ziggy was really stable. Scott wouldn't be surprised if he was cleared for duty the next time he saw the psychiatrist. Not that they wouldn't have to keep an eye out for the symptoms coming back, but maybe Ziggy was right; he wasn't going to try it now.
He was smoothing out, starting to become part of the team. Sure, he still had to be trained, and Scott would have to see about putting him back on regular training, but it was a good sign.
"Is that it?" Ziggy asked. "Can I go back to having breakfast now? Summer's out there."
"Sure, just as long as she is," Scott said. Ziggy was still under watch, but he wouldn't be that long, and then maybe he could work on his car with Ziggy's assistance. Ziggy could use a day off training.
Ziggy left, and Scott turned to Doctor K. "Think he can restart his formal training? I think he should at least work on evasion."
"I agree. I will schedule him for evasion training this afternoon at two. Please let him know."
"Will do," Scott said, and he found himself smiling. For the first time since he'd found out that his newest teammate was suicidal, he was starting to feel good about his team. And he could do with more of that.