Disclaimer: Jason Lee Scott and Emily Donaldson, plus anyone else in this fanfic, are the registered property of Saban Enterprises; no copyright infringement is meant by this, and I am not, nor do I desire to, making any profit at all on this.

Author's Note: This is not part of the Rangers in Romance series; since the Ars Amatoria site was expanded, I decided to keep up my writing and write fics for a few other couples. This takes place in the PRZ timeline, somewhere after "Another Song and Dance", but before Billy's aging.

Touch of Gold
by: Niobe Craft

Emily stared down at the sand squeezing between her toes as she walked on the beach. Thoughts of all kinds were tossing about in her head, thoughts about her past and thoughts about her present and thoughts about her possible futures. One face was showing itself over and over to her, a face she was truly beginning to care about.

The face of Jason Lee Scott.

She had only known him for a few weeks, but she was starting to think it was entirely possible she was falling in love with him. Then again, what do I know about love? She was just barely seventeen, and that wasn't old enough to know about love. ..was it?

Emily knew she hadn't always made the best choices in her life. She'd let herself fall in with a bad crowd when she'd come to Angel Grove, and told everyone and herself it was because no one would talk to her except Eddie and his group. The real reason was because she'd been too shy to even try to talk to anyone, and hadn't had the backbone to get out of it until recently.

Until I met Jason, her heart skipped a beat at the thought of the tall, handsome young martial artist. Because of him, she'd begun to grow courage. She'd begun to grow up. She'd gotten away from the gang and she'd gotten the first real job she'd ever had. She was really enjoying the money, as well as the experience of working.

Her fingers touched the elephant necklace at her throat for a moment, shivering, remembering the first time she'd really talked to Jason, and what had happened then. We went for a walk, and this thing popped up and made a monster out of my necklace. She shifted her thoughts away from that, she was just glad that the Rangers had managed to destroy that thing and get her necklace back.

Thinking about the Rangers automatically drew her thoughts at once to the Gold Ranger. He had called her by her name once. ..it made her insides jump almost as much as they did when Jason called her name.

"Emily?" she tilted her head to see Jason looking down at her, and smiled. "You looked kind of serious about something."

She smiled back at him. "I was just doing some thinking," her eyes flicked up and down him, wondering if the thought that entered her mind could possible be correct. Could he be the Gold Ranger?

"And what were you thinking about?" he sat down next to her and put an arm around her. They hadn't really been dating all that long, but they both felt fairly comfortable with the occasional touch.

"Nothing much," she shook her head, admiring him as she did so. He was most definitely a handsome physical specimen, tall, well-muscled, and with eyes to die for. He was also kind, gentle, smart, and fun to be with. Even if what they hadn't wasn't true and eternal love. . .it would do for right now.

* * *
Jason was happier than he had been in his entire life. He knew his current status as the Gold Ranger wouldn't be permanent; he'd have to give the power back to Trey eventually. But for now, he was back on the team, and he was with his friends. Not all of them, Zack and Trini were still in Switzerland, and Kim was in Florida. But Tommy was here, and Billy, and now he had Emily.

He still couldn't believe he'd went and fallen in love. He'd never really thought about romance for the last couple of years of his life. How could he, when every day quite literally might be his last? He'd seen how Zack's attempts to date Angela had always ended in misery, since he would have to go off to save the world, and the same with the occasional date that Trini would have with Richie. Tommy and Kim's relationship had ridden a touch of a rollercoaster, with his tendencies to leave Angel Grove whenever he lost his powers, but it had always remained strong in the end, for one simple reason: they were both Rangers.

But she wound up breaking up with him, the little voice in the back of his mind squeaked at him. Ranger-non Ranger romances simply don't work out, and she knew it. Kim's always been smarter than you about love, why aren't you learning from their example?

Jason ignored that little voice, wrapping his arm a bit tighter around her. Hopefully he'd be able to return the Gold powers soon enough so that he could try for a retired Ranger-non-Ranger relationship. That would work out better, he hoped.

"Emily," his voice was quiet and questioning. "I was wondering something."

"What's that?"

He glanced down at her, her crystal-blue eyes meeting his on the way. "Would you like to go out to a movie tonight?"

She smiled. "I'd love to, Jason. What's playing?"

"Does it matter?" Jason grinned. She chuckled a little and shook her head. The only thing that mattered to either of them was just being together. He glanced for a moment at his communicator, then shook his head just the tiniest bit. Mondo had been quiet for days; all the indications were that the entire Machine Empire was recharging, and though Rita and Zedd had returned, they were too busy driving around on the moon trying to locate their palace to cause trouble. He should have plenty of time with his. ..he smiled at the thought. ..with my girlfriend.

He glanced down at her for a moment and smiled again. He had never smiled so often as he had with her around. "Want to go for a walk?" he asked quietly, and felt a thrill as she agreed. Ever since that first walk together, the two of them had enjoyed strolling by the beach. As they headed down between the surf and the sand, Jason and Emily both felt at peace, and in love. The Gold Ranger glanced for the barest moment at his communicator one more time, and felt grateful as he never had for the power.

Without it, I might never have met Emily or been able to talk to her. I guess you could call this a relationship. . .with a touch of gold.