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Dancing on the Edge of the World

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The first time Ziggy met Doctor K, he'd been just released from prison. He didn't mind moving in with Dillon and the other Rangers, not at all. It gave him protection from the Cartels and he had to admit, he didn't mind hanging about there. Heck, if he could be useful, he could. It would be so nice to be around people who were good and who liked him.

Doctor K didn't, but it was hard to tell with the computer screen and all. Dillon had sarcastically asked him if he was intending to leave Ziggy homeless. It hadn't make Doctor K any happier, but what did? He wanted to know, but it was hard. It would take time.

But then again, Ziggy, the only non-Ranger there on base, had plenty of time.

* * *

He had to admit that taking on the morpher was one of the worst ideas ever. But Doctor K had told him to guard it with his life, and he wanted to impress Doctor K. The others were starting to accept him as Dillon's wacky friend and kind of the live-in staff of the Garage, but Doctor K remained hard to impress. And he wanted to impress the disembodied voice, because staying in Doctor K's good graces meant staying in a safe place.

As it was, he could have really done without being near-drowned, swung around in circles, having to dodge tons of balls, and every single little sadistic test that Doctor K was running him through to get his baselines. He'd thought he was good at getting out of the way of things, but Doctor K was proving to him how bad he really was.

Unless it involved throwing up, because he'd done that after the spinning-around-in-circles thing.

He'd wanted to scream that he could have let Tenaya 7 have the morpher and be done with it, and that he'd been responsible and kept it from her. But as a Ranger with a bonded morpher, he and Doctor K were stuck with each other, and he kind of liked getting along with his boss. So, he couldn't scream, as much as he'd like to have, just put up with insane tests and disapproving comments, and tried to smile as much as he could.

* * *

Finding out that Doctor K was a girl - a girl younger than him, for that matter - didn't make things a whole lot better. He had to admit, it was nice to look at a face than a screen, but now he got to see her frown instead when she was talking to him, instead of just hearing the frown in her voice.

She never smiled, really, either, and he wanted her to smile. She was too young to not smile, like there was a huge burden on her shoulders.

Sure, she didn't like him. She'd said it flat out, even after he pointed out his strong points. He had to admit they were a little bit thin, especially since he couldn't fight or even use his suit's teleportation properly, but he had heart! Wasn't that what counted?

She didn't seem to think so, but he always liked to see smiles on the faces of the people he knew and loved. Even those who didn't like him.

So, he worked hard on his teleportation ability, tried to learn to fight better. Tried to become more of the Ranger Green she'd wanted instead of the one she'd gotten. Tried to make things a bit better for her - and incidentally, for himself too.

Someday, she would approve of him, he swore.

* * *

He'd tried to pry stuff about Doctor K out of Gem and Gemma after they'd arrived. After all, they'd been friends long before even Scott, Summer, and Flynn had bonded with their morphers. He had a sense that the two of them were trying to be helpful, but it was a little bit difficult to understand what they were talking about a lot of the time. One moment they were talking advanced technology with Doctor K and coming up with Zord designs, and the next moment, they were cheerfully coloring rainbows on sheets of construction paper while talking to each other about blowing things up.

It was like they'd never had childhoods, or something like that.

But they were nice even as they were weird, and easy to forgive, even when Gemma had accidentally locked him and Doctor K in the Garage's tiny laundry room for half an hour. She'd told him and Doctor K that she and Gem had gotten involved in their own projects and hadn't heard them yelling. Hey, it gave him a chance to practice his suit's teleportation anyway, and she'd looked so upset that he'd waved off her apologies.

Doctor K hadn't been so forgiving, but then again, he supposed that being stuck in a laundry room with her least-favorite Ranger was not her idea of fun. Probably being stuck with, say, Scott or Summer wouldn't have been fun either, but at least they weren't him. Of course, Scott, Summer, Flynn, and Dillon had been out at Flynn's dad's place at the time, because none of them needed remedial training sessions.

The one good thing about it was that Gem and Gemma had said that maybe Doctor K should socialize with Ziggy more and call him by his name, and maybe being stuck together wasn't quite so bad?

Of course, Doctor K walked off in a huff at that point, so he never really knew the answer.

* * *

Tripping over a rock and suffering a bit of oxygen deprivation were hardly the worst things that had ever happened to Ziggy in his time as a Ranger. However, he had to admit, having Doctor K check him over "just in case" was something he didn't mind, even if he would have normally because he didn't want to seem weak.

Yeah, still trying to impress Doctor K, even as he couldn't impress her or get her to call him by his name.

But he had to admit that he'd gotten her to smile, which was the important thing. He'd always loved fun, and parties, and it sucked that she'd never really had any of that. Especially on her birthday, her special day. He wished he'd known so he could focus the day around her and make it the best day in the world. But doing the best he could on short notice wasn't bad either.

She might not ever like him, she might never think he was a great person, but making someone's life better was always a good thing, and especially someone who was as important as Doctor K.

Ziggy knew while she would never like him, he could like her, because she didn't seem to mind that at all. Gem and Gemma had told him of the times before, when it was just them and Doctor K, when they were there for her even when she couldn't be there for them. When she'd said she didn't like them, and yet he had seen their teary reunion.

Someday, he'd like that, but he wouldn't push. She didn't like being pushed. And he was getting better at being the kind of person she would like to be around. The kind of person who could make her smile.

And he could wait forever for that.

* * *

She didn't dance, she'd told him, when they were talking about weddings and marriages, and things that were traditional. So much of it flew over Doctor K's head, because she didn't see the point, except academically. She knew how, but she didn't dance.

When they were planning their wedding, he tried his best to make it a good wedding for her, nothing too traumatizing for her sake. She was not very good at the social thing, not yet.

Of course, being two of the people who saved the world meant that they couldn't just go down to city hall and get a marriage certificate signed. No, the wedding of Corinth's retired Ranger Green and the woman responsible for Project Ranger meant that there had to be ceremony.

And he knew from long experience that she hated ceremony.

He'd talked and talked and talked and finally it came down to a quiet ceremony on the lawn in front of City Hall, where everyone and anyone could see the two of them getting married and saying their vows. And then they'd escape to a conference hall so that family and friends could get together and Doctor K could be comfortable with.

The Rangers were there, in dresses and kilts and suits. Dillon, Summer, and Tenaya had come home too, to report on the recovery and to see their friends again. He'd been careful to invite only one person she didn't know, Benny, his best friend before he'd met Dillon. Sure, Summer's parents, Flynn's father, and of course Colonel Truman had come along, but she'd met all of them before.

Together, they celebrated. They toasted. They tried not to make the bride feel overwhelmed.

And at the end of the evening, after the speeches, the toasts, the stories, and everything, the music had played. He'd held out his hand to his wife, hoping that she'd be convinced as he'd convinced her to smile.

Miracle of miracles, she smiled. She took his hand. And they danced.