She spun in front of the mirror, the yellow satin lifted up into the air, and she smiled contently. The dress was body-fitting and hung to her slim figure like a second skin, almost like her spandex uniform. Her brown eyes took in the layer of lace on top of the silken skirt. Smirking, she posed with a hand on her hip, and turned to the second body in the small dressing room. "What do you think?"
The dark eyes gave her a quick look over and then nodded her approval. Pushing her strands of black hair from her face, she spoke, "Looks very pretty on you."
"Thanks, Cass," Ashley Hammond spun again as she turned back to her reflection. She sighed wistfully, "Too bad I can't buy this... But we've already graduated from AGHS, and we couldn't go back anyway..."
"You should still buy it," Cassie Chan told her, "maybe someday you'll have a reason to wear it."
Ashley's nose wrinkled. "To what would I wear this? We save the world from mutant thugs almost all the time."
"Good point." Ashley began stripping from the dress, giving the dress a sad smile as she slipped black overalls over her pale yellow T-shirt.
"That's my only regret," she said suddenly.
"That we never got to go to our Prom." Ashley quickly stuck the dress onto its hanger and they left the dressing room, entering the main room of the dress store. She hung the dress back onto the wall display and turned a frown to Cassie. "C'mon, let's go."
Andros walked onto the Bridge, a few hours later to find Cassie alone, scanning for signs of Astronema, Zordon, or his sister. She was concentrating hard, a frown on her face, oblivious of his appearance. "Cassie?"
Cassie started at the voice, then turned her head, catching the glimpse of their leader in red. "Oh, hi Andros."
"You look distracted."
"You're trailing the MegaShip's signals." Andros pointed out, coming up behind her to read the screen. "That's not like you to be distracted on something important. What's up?"
"Oh, nothing," Cassie told him. She had a faraway expression on her face, "I was just thinking about Ashley..."
At the mention of his friend, Andros frowned at her. "Is she alright? Did something happen?"
"What? Oh, no, she's fine. We were shopping at the mall earlier today, and a comment she made to me stuck out...and...well...I have an idea if you're up for an adventure."
"An adventure with you?" His hazel eyes rose suspiciously. "Does that mean the mall?"
"That's an adventure alright," he groaned.
"Oh hush. Now...here's my idea."
Report to the SimuDeck at eight. We have something to discuss with you. Check your closet.
"To the Simudeck?" Ashley mused, staring at the note taped to her door. "I wonder what she has planned now... Last time we were on the Simudeck, all hell broke loose with those craterites." She glanced at her watch, noting the time read 7:30. She was alone on the ship, which she didn't mind too much. Andros and Cassie had claimed they had to go shopping, which she had almost fell over in shock at. Andros... and Cassie at the mall? She prayed he knew what he was getting himself into. TJ and Carlos were both down on Earth too, although she didn't know the reasons why.
Taking the note off the door, she shook herself from the thoughts and reread the note again and walked into her room. Setting the note on to her desk, she timidly walked to the closet and opened. She gasped at what met her eyes. She reached an almost shaking hand inside and pulled the yellow dress back. It had been the same dress that she and Cassie had admired in the mall the day before. She glanced again in her closet and found matching shoes. Cassie had done this for her? Why?
Not thinking anymore, she smiled and slipped into the gown. The silk fell around her knees and she slipped a hand down the material, smoothing out the wrinkles. She observed her reflection as she slipped the shoes on, and lightly brushed through her hair.
At eight, Ashley left her room, wondering what exactly was planned. Who, what, and why?
"You look beautiful," a soft voice told her. Ashley started, and searched for the voice, spying Carlos standing outside the Simudeck's door. He was dressed in a black tuxedo, a pale green polo beneath the tux.
"Thanks, you look good too," she said, again taking in his tux-clad body.
Quietly, he pinned a corsage onto her gown of white orchards and baby breath. Offering his arm, they walked into the Simudeck.
One look at the simulation program, and she almost fainted. It was set up as Angel Grove's gym, decorations covering it from head to foot. The theme, white and yellow, decorated the room in simplicity.
"What?" was the only thing she could get out. She searched the room, finding no one else.
"Excuse me," Carlos smiled apologetically at her, "I have to go."
"Wait here," Carlos kissed her cheek, gave her a brief smile and left. As the doors closed, light music began to play in the background. The doors opened again a few minutes later and another silent form slipped inside.
"Ashley?" She turned, and stared. Andros stood a few steps from the door, dressed in a dark tuxedo of his own, a red shirt beneath the dark material. He frowned lightly, watching her shocked expression. "Are you OK?"
"I'm..." She nodded, not being able to utter the words she wanted to. Andros smiled and gently walked closer to her, staring at her. She blushed at the tense look.
"You look beautiful," he whispered. "And I have the perfect thing to complete this look." Taking a velvet box from his box, he tentatively handed it to her.
"You didn't have to get me anything," she whispered, finding her voice, "This whole Prom is enough..."
"Just open it." She nodded, reaching a shaking hand to take the small box. Their bare hands brushed and she shivered as she opened it. A golden heart locket sat inside.
She gasped, "Andros...You shouldn't have..."
"There's symbolism behind this," he told her, ignoring her comment. He carefully took the box back and moved her long, silky hair to the side. Unclasping it, he slipped it around her neck. "The heart is to symbolize what you caught from me, and the locket," he paused as he carefully put her hair back into place. "The locket is so you can remember the memories."
"Andros..." she whispered, tears coming to her eyes, "thank you."
With that last remark, they slowly slid into each other's arms as a new song began to play over the speakers in the room.
- End -