Hey all. This fanfic takes place in February 1996, when Trini, Jason, and Zack are in Switzerland and Kim, Billy, Tommy, Aisha, Rocky, and Adam are the Power Rangers. I wanted to write a romantic story for Valentine's Day, so here it is. All the characters are Saban's, and the song "Music Box" is Mariah Carey's, off her album of the same title. Yes, I'm a Mariah Carey fan.

Music Box
by Rachel Dawson

Thursday, February 1, 1996

William James Mitchell, called Billy by both friends and family, just returns home after a harrowing day of school. He throws his bookbag down on his bed in frustration, and tightly holds a sheet of paper in his hand. He plops down on his bed and looks at the big red letter D atop the page. He sighes deeply, and rolls his sky-blue eyes.

"I can't believe I got a D!" he muttered to himself angrily, "I just can't believe it! Why did Mrs. Appleby have to give us a pop quiz on 'Portrait of the Artist' yesterday? I didn't even get to read the book, not with Zedd constantly attacking Angel Grove. Being a Power Ranger can really be a hinderance on my academic career."

Billy sighed again and put the paper on his bed. He knew that one pop quiz wouldn't hurt his phenomenal academic record to date, and surely wouldn't prevent him from getting into a good university, or even graduating early. Still, Billy hated failure. It was something he always feared-- even on so insignificant a level. It can be attributed to his low esteem, developed in his younger days, when everyone shunned him as a 'geek'. Even though he now had strong bonds of friendship with a number of students, as well as a job as the Blue Ranger, which gives his life greater meaning, he can't shake his low opinion of himself, and his fear of failure. Its why he never takes chances.

"I need a distraction," Billy decides out loud, pushing himself off his midnight blue bedspread. He took a seat at his computer, and logged onto the internet. Every time he feels low, he checks his e-mail, hoping for a letter from the one person who always was able to lift his spirits-- Trini Kwan. Trini was his closest friend for years, since she was the only one who could truly understand him. He is still friends with all the present and former Power Rangers, but Trini was so much like him, he felt he could confide anything in her. Accept one thing-- his deep, unrequited love for her.

Billy's stressed face instantly lit up when he saw that he had new mail from Trini. He excitedly clicked on the message, and read it intently.

Billy glanced at his wall calender. Sure enough, it was exactly two weeks before Valentine's Day-- his least favorite day of the year. Its the day that always reminded him, year in and year out, that Trini wasn't his Valentine.

Maybe I can change all that, he reasoned, I don't know what's holding me. She obviously doesn't have anyone else, and she seems so lonely. I haven't seen her in months! Maybe I can send her a card, just to cheer her up. I know I'm too shy to say anything to her face to face, but since she's thousands of miles away, it'll really cut down on the embarassment. And if she doesn't reciprocate my feelings, then we both have plenty of time to deal with the situation before we see each other again.

Billy sighed. He knew he couldn't do it. Every year, he contemplated giving Trini a Valentine, but always felt too intimidated. He didn't take risks.

What if she doesn't love me back? he reasoned, Its entirely possible that she has her eyes on someone else. Besides, I don't want to lose my best friend. That would just kill me...

Billy shook his head in the negative, and turned off the computer. He didn't want to take the chance. He didn't want to proclaim his love.

"But," he said, his eyes lighting up again, "maybe I can send her a gift anyway! Just to make her feel better! After all, friends exchange gifts on Valentine's Day, right?"

Satisfied with his decision, he picked up his telephone and dialed a familiar number.

^Hello?^ said a perky girl's voice.

"Hi, Kim? Its me, Billy."

^What's up?^

"Are you going shopping today?"

^I go shopping everyday,^ Kim said with a slight giggle, ^Why? Do you want me to pick you up something?^

"Actually, I'd like to accompany you," he said, slightly embarassed.

^Really? Great! Me, Aisha, and Tommy will swing by and pick you up at your door in fifteen minutes.^


* * *

At the Angel Grove Plaza, Billy and his friends Tommy Oliver, Kimberly Hart, and Aisha Campbell stroll into the mall. The two girls walked in front, chatting to each other about which stores has which sales. Tommy and Billy lingered in the background. "So," said Tommy, "I know I'm here to carry bags. Why did you decide to go shopping?"

"I... I need to buy something," Billy said uncomfortably.

"Really?" Tommy asked, raising an eyebrow, "What?"

"A... a present," Billy whispered.

"For who? Trini?"

Billy looked at the White Ranger in surprise. "How did you know?"

"Well, Valentine's Day is around the corner, and its about time you sent her a little something to tell her you love her."

Billy blushed. He found it hard to believe how transparent his feelings for Trini were to his friends.

"So, what did you decide to get her?" Tommy pressed. Billy looked perplexed.

"I... I don't know," he admitted. He then glanced up at his friend, and a small grin crossed his face. "Tommy, you seem to understand women--"

Tommy interrupted Billy with a deep laugh. Billy frowned, and Kimberly and Aisha both turned around and stared at him strangely.

"What happened?" Kim asked, "Someone tickle you?"

"Uh, no," Tommy said, catching his breath, "Listen, Kim, can Billy and I meet you at the food court in... say fifteen minutes? He needs to look at some... computer programs."

"Oh," said Aisha, "Well, see you!"

The two girls skipped off, and Tommy guided Billy to an empty bench.

"Billy," he started, "I don't know a _thing_ about women."

"But, you and Kimberly have been dating for months!"

"Well, yeah," Tommy admitted, "but if you remember, she was the one who made the first move. Trust me, if she didn't come up to the lake that day, I never would have known she cared about me."

"Oh," Billy said, somewhat disheartened.

"But... I can probably still help you out. Are you gonna get her a card?"

"Certainly," Billy said, "but I want to give her more than just a card. I want to give her something that she would appreciate and cherish, that will remind her of how close we were, and what she means to me. She sent me an e-mail message today, and she seemed rather distraught. It could be my imagination, but she seems... lonely."

"You may be right," Tommy said, standing up, "Okay then, let's take a look around this mall, and see what we can buy for Trini. I have an idea."

Tommy quickly guided Billy through the crowded mall like an expert, and they stopped at a booth selling jewelry of gold and sterling silver. Tommy grinned to himself.

"Wow. Spending so much time at this mall certainly made me quite a navigator."

Billy nodded in agreement, and gazed at the different pendants beneath the glass case.

"Women love jewelry," Tommy said, "and if you get her a locket, she'll always be able to carry your love with her wherever she goes."

Billy tapped his chin and looked at the different heart lockets. "I don't know," he said, "It seems a little presumptuous of me to assume that she'd want a photograph of me to carry around her neck."

"Okay. What about heart-shaped earrings?"

Billy glanced over to the earrings and frowned. "Trini doesn't really wear earrings. She doesn't like to ornament herself like a Christmas Tree. She told me that once."

"Oh," said Tommy, "then I guess jewelry is out of the question."

Tommy jumped when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned around, and saw Kimberly looking up at him, her eyebrows raised.

"So," she said suspiciously, "what are you two doing at the jewelry booth? I thought you were going to the computer store."

"Maybe they're Valentine's Day shopping," Aisha said, nudging Tommy with her elbow. He suddenly grinned when an idea struck him.

"Actually," he said, "Billy is the one shopping. For Trini."

Billy glared at his friend in horror as both Kimberly and Aisha smiled with surprise excitement.

"Why did you tell them?!" he asked in exhasperation.

"Who knows Trini better than Kimberly?" Tommy asked. Billy sighed, defeated.

"So," said Kimberly, "what are you getting her?"

"I... I don't know," Billy admitted, feeling the heat rising in his cheeks, "I was hoping you'd have a suggestion."

Kimberly pensively tapped her chin for a moment, and then smiled. "Sure, I have an idea! Let's go to Macy's!"

Kimberly grabbed Billy by the wrist and lead him through the crowds of shoppers. Aisha and Tommy followed the pair into the Macy's department store. Kimberly lead Billy through the store as if she had it memorized, and finally stopped at the sweater department.

"Its really cold in Switzerland," Kimberly said, scanning through racks of sweaters, "and I'm sure she could use some warm clothes."

"I don't know her size," Billy objected.

"She's a small," Kimberly told him, picking out a lemon yellow cardigan. She then frowned and put it back.

"I don't think a sweater will convey what I want it to," Billy said, "Somehow I don't think its... personal enough."

"If you want personal, why don't you buy her underwear?" Aisha asked with a playful smile. Billy instantly turned beet red.

"I doubt I'm going to find anything at this mall I care to purchase," he said, walking out of the store, "I'm about all shopped out."

Aisha watched worriedly as Billy left Macy's. "Maybe I shouldn't have made fun of him," she said, her tone laced with guilt.

"He's just having a hard time with this," Kimberly said, "Buying gifts is tough for anyone, and you know Billy. He always needs to succeed. To get a perfect grade, to buy a perfect present... he's scared she won't like what he gets her."

Suddenly, Aisha's dark eyes lit up with inspiration. "I'll be right back," she said to Tommy and Kim, before jogging out of the store after Billy. She soon found him standing at the fountain, watching the coins glitter beneath the water's surface.

"I'm sorry, Billy," she said quietly, "I should have taken this thing more seriously."

"Don't worry about it," Billy said with a weak smile, "This isn't your problem. Its mine. It was a stupid idea to purchase a Valentine's gift for Trini. I know I'd never pick the right gift."

"Billy, I've only known you for a couple of months, but I know that since I've met you, you haven't had a single 'stupid idea'. Telling the one you love how you feel is what Valentine's Day is all about."

"Perhaps," Billy said, sitting down on the side of the fountain, "but I know I won't get the right gift. I'll look foolish."

"Billy, what exactly do you want your present to convey?"

"Well, I want Trini to know how much she means to me. She is so important to me, Aisha. Since we first met, she was a light for me. She helped me through my awkward years, and showed me that someone cared for me. She was always so gentle and kind, that she managed to help me crack my shell, and make friends. Her patience and sensitivity are the stuff of legends, and I know I could tell her anything, except--"

"That you love her?" Aisha finished.

"Precisely," Billy said sadly.

"Billy, she obviously cares deeply about you. If she didn't, she surely wouldn't invest so much of her time trying to be your friend."

"I... I know she cares, but I... I don't want to ruin our friendship."

"Nothing you can ever do can break a friendship like that," Aisha said honestly, "What you just told me was absolutely beautiful, Billy. You two are kindred spirits. There is nothing that can ever change that. Perhaps, you can even bring your relationship to a higher level."

"I... I don't know how."

"Billy, giving a gift isn't about money, and it isn't about trying to impress someone. I always felt gift-giving is expressing one's love. You want to give Trini a part of yourself, to show her what she means to you."

"Exactly," Billy said, perking up a bit at Aisha's insight.

"Well, my grandmother always told me that the most precious gifts are the ones made. They demonstrate how much you care by displaying that you put time and effort into the gift. You are a very creative and gifted person, Billy. If anyone can create the perfect gift, I know its you."

Billy slowly nodded, and a smile crept onto his face. He then tightly hugged Aisha, and rose to his feet.

"Thanks, Aisha," he said, "you've given me the perfect idea!"

With that, he waved at her, and hurried out of the mall. She shook her head, and smiled in contentment.

"Glad I could help, Billy," she said as she watched him disappear into the crowd, "Glad I could help."

* * *

Wednsday, February 14, 1996

Trini walks into her apartment building after a long day of research for her term paper on the Middle Eastern situation. Just because she's attending a Peace Conference, doesn't mean she doesn't have high school work to do. She slowly makes her way down the hall, and opens her mailbox on the first floor.

Not like there's anything here... she thought as she turned the key. To her surprise, a small piece of white paper was in the small mailbox. She read the hastily scribbled message on the slip.

"I got a package?" she said in disbelief, "From who?"

She shrugged, and walked over to the mail room, and handed the ticket to the person at the desk. She took the paper and left, only to return about half a minute later with a square box about six inches by six inches. She signed for the package, and thanked the worker, anxious to get to her room. After a quick elevator ride, she hurried down the hallway, fumbled with the lock, and entered her apartment. She carefully put the box on the kitchen table, and shed her coat, gloves, and hat to make herself more comfortable. Finally, she sat down at the table and opened the package. She gasped.

Inside was a square chest, made of finished wood. It was intricately carved, and the shape almost reminded Trini of her morpher. She lifted it to her face, and gazed at it in awe. It was absolutely beautiful in its simplicity.

Trini then looked down, and saw a small blue card inside the box. She gently put down the chest, and opened the card.

Dear Trini,
You're probably surprised to receive this from me, but I feel I've waited long enough to tell you this. Trini, you are very special to me. In fact, I love you, more than anyone else alive. You are my best friend, my confidant, my equal in intelligence, my superior in courage, my pillar of strength, and my inspiration. It was very difficult for me to select a gift for you, because I wanted to express exactly what I felt for you. I finally decided (with a little help from Aisha) that the best thing to do was make something myself. I've always been one to work with my hands, so I decided to embark on the mission of creating the perfect present. I hope I succeeded.
Happy Valentine's Day.

Trini could feel the tears welling in her eyes as she placed the card back into its envelope carefully. She picked up the chest and the card, and went into her bedroom. She placed the card on her mirror, and the chest in the very center of her dresser, where Ticklesneezer formerly sat. She smiled with satisfaction at how the chest looked from a distance, and then she opened it. She was surprised to hear a soft melody, somewhat familiar, flow forth from the box as she gazed at the blue velvet that lined the interior. In the center was a small figurine with long, ebony hair, wearing all yellow. She was standing on her toes, with her head tilted towards the sky. Her hair was sculpted as blowing slightly behind her, and her eyes were closed. She smiled at the likeness, and kneeled down on the plush carpet to watch the figurine spin at eye level. The music was then accompanied by a gentle soprano, that Trini immediately recognized as Mariah Carey.

When I am lost
You shine a light for me and set me free
When I am low
You wash away my tears
And take me through
The loneliness
And emptiness
Through the darkest night
Somehow I'll survive
Through it all
When you tell me I'm the only one you need
Sweet and tenderly
And your love
Breaks away the clouds surrounding me
All I have I want to give to thee

If I should fall
Your love is strong enough to lift me up
If I'm afraid
You chase away my fears
And take me to
A brighter place
Beyond the rain
And I feel alright
Because you're by my side
Through it all
When you tell me I'm the only one you need
Sweet and tenderly
And your love
Breaks away the clouds surrounding me
All I have I want to give to thee

You take me through
The loneliness and emptiness
And I feel alright
'Cause you're by my side
Through it all
You tell me I'm the only one you need
Sweet and tenderly
And your love
Just breaks away the clouds surrounding me
And baby all I have I want to give to thee

Want to give you all of my love
Now and forever my love
All I have I want to give to thee...

The End



I just wanted to say thank you to Mandi Ohlin, who's story "Don't Speak" inspired me to write both this piece as well as all the other song-lyric fanfics I've written over the past year. Just paying homage to the original creative mind...