Author's Note: This has no relationship to my other fics or the regular Power Rangers timeline. In this story, the rangers in the beginning came way before Jason and company. This is just an interesting twist to the Cassie/Phantom romance and a look at what could have been. Enjoy the fic and please send me comments! I really like to hear what you guys think wether it's good or bad. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated. Send any comment on this or any other fic to: Shadowcat@powerrangerslostgalaxy.zzn.com. Thanks!
The children of Equia, a small planetoid in the orbit of Eltare, gathered around and sat on the rocks outside a cave to hear this week's stories from the Prophet. The Prophet was the eldest man of the colony, there was one for every generation. It was a common tradition for the children to listen to the Prophet. They believed he could see into the future. The young people had always enjoyed hearing his tales of what was to come.
This morning, the psychic Prophet was telling of a special baby. "The child will come to us, but from another world."
One little boy leaned in closer to hear. The Prophet closed his eyes for a moment. When he opened them, his voice continued, getting surer now. "She has powers like no one has before." He paused. "She will change the life of one of our own forever."
There was a chorus of "aaahhh"s that passed through the crowd. The Prophet stood up. "That is all that has come to me today."
The excited children also stood, and began clearing away, all talking of the possibilities of what would happen when the baby girl was born.
The Prophet waited until most of them had gone before calling out to a boy.
"Yes, sir," the boy answered.
"That one will be you."
"Excuse me, sir?"
The psychic cleared his throat. "The child. She will change your life forever. She'll bring you joy and happiness beyond everything that's possible." The wise man put his hands on the boy's shoulders and looked into his eyes. "Her beauty is beyond anything that man has ever seen, but only to you. To anyone else, she's just a normal pretty girl."
"Who is she?" the boy asked in wonder. He was of an age when he had never thought about girls in that way, but this "special girl" had his curiosity piqued.
"That shall be revealed in time." The Prophet tightened his grip on the boy's shoulders. "You must find her," he urged. "Once she is born, you must find her and never let go, do you hear me?"
The boy nodded silently. "But.......how will I know?"
"You will know her when you see her." The old man looked closely at him. "She needs you, and you need her. Once you find her, you will not be able to live without her."
He needed a guardian to advise him on how to use his powers. They had been given to him at an early age, but once he turned sixteen, he wouldn't need Milara to follow him around anymore.
Shadow twirled his Power Ruby around in his fingers, still staring out the window at the stars. He sighed.
"What are you thinking about, Shadow?"
Shadow turned around to look at Milara. "Nothing much." He looked down. Milara waited, knowing the young boy was not finished.
"Actually," he said,"I have this feeling that something big is going to happen while they are here." "They" were a team of five special people with Powers much like his own. These people were from Earth, and Shadow's job for the weekend was for him and his Ranger team to train them to manage their Powers. The good wizard and keeper of the Power, Zordon, had asked the Equian Rangers a favor, and they always obeyed the great Master.
"So tell me, why are the Earth Rangers coming here?" Milara asked.
"You mean nobody told you?"
Milara rolled her eyes. "Nobody tells me anything anymore."
Shadow smiled. "Well, Zordon just gave them their powers and he feels that since he can't train them properly, we should. He wants his Rangers to, you know, see experienced warriors in action," he explained.
"Oh. Well, they're going to be here any minute. I'll go wait outside."
"Ok. I'll find the others."
Five minutes later, Shadow's four best friends- Sora, the Pink Equian Ranger, Darien, the Red Equian Ranger, Elena, the Yellow Equian Ranger, and Raymond, the Blue Equian Ranger- all sat with him in his room.
"This is so cool!" Sora exclaimed.
"Yeah, we get to teach the Earth people everything we know," Darien said.
"Which isn't much, in your case," Shadow joked. Darien threw a pillow at him.
Milara knocked at the door. "The Rangers of Earth are here," she announced. She waited outside for them to come.
"You're so lucky to have her as your guardian," Raymond said.
"I know, she's so sweet!" Elena said.
"And pretty too," Raymond added.
"Ew, that's gross," Shadow said. "She's older than you are."
"She's only 18, two years older," Raymond defended.
"Yeah, but she knows you too well," Darien said.
"Come on, you guys. Let's go meet the Earth people," Sora said. The Equian Rangers all ran outside into the main hall, all except for one.
Milara walked into the room. "Phantom Ranger, what's bugging you?"
"I just can't shake this feeling that something big is going to happen today."
Milara offered a smile of support and wrapped an arm around him. "Let's go."
When they got outside, they were shocked to see the Earth and Equian Rangers all talking excitedly.
"Um, hi guys," Shadow said.
"Hi!" Sora walked up to him. "You guys, this is our leader, Shadow."
"HI!" The five earthlings chorused. They looked to be about late- teens, early twenties.
The one wearing a red shirt took his arm off of the girl in pink's shoulders long enough to shake his hand. "I'm Frank and this is my wife, Maureen."
"Hello!" Maureen shook his hand also.
"My name is Jerry," the green guy said.
"Hi, I'm Bruce," the one in blue said. "And this is Caitlin." He gestured to a shy looking girl wearing a yellow tank top. "She's my baby sister," he added.
"Well, it's a pleasure to meet you all. My name is Milara and I'm the Phantom Ranger's guardian," Milara said. She was met with quizzical gazes. "All the rangers on Equia have guardians to help them manage their powers until they're sixteen," she explained.
"And since he's the only one of us who isn't sixteen yet, he's the only one of us with a guardian," Elena spoke teasingly.
Shadow stuck his tongue out at her and turned back to the Earth Rangers. He noticed that the Pink Ranger looked to be very pregnant.
"What is it, Sweetie? What's wrong?" Frank asked, concerned.
"Oh, Frank! I think I'm having my baby!"
Shadow's eyes widened. "Now?"
"Yes! It's coming!"
"I'll go get help!" Sora offered. She ran out to find the village's doctor.
Later that night, Maureen and Frank cuddled close while they held their baby girl. All who lived on the small colony came to congratulate them.
"Oh, she's so adorable!" Sora squealed. She and Elena had been playing with the new baby for hours. Raymond and Darien also stayed near the child.
Frank walked over to the one boy who hadn't been close to the baby yet. "Would you like to hold her?" he asked.
"Uh, sure," Shadow said, not totally thrilled at the idea but wanting to be polite.
Frank took the baby from his wife's arms and gently placed her in Shadows'.
Shadow held her close to him. He found a spot on the floor against a door and settled down with the child in his arms. His heart felt lightened and all his problems seemed to disappear when the baby closed her eyes and snuggled up to his chest.
She was the sweetest, most beautiful thing that Shadow had ever seen. He breathed in deep and took in her scent, which smelled like peaches.
The proud parents didn't want to disturb Shadow, they could see that holding the baby in his arms made him calm and at peace, so they let him hold her for a few more hours.
The baby woke up and gurgled happily at him. Shadow laughed and held her up in front of him. He looked into her soft brown eyes and was surprised to see her staring right back into his blue ones. She seemed to be looking into his very soul, but that was not possible. She was just a child.
The baby's eyes twinkled and she smiled at him. Shadow couldn't help but smile back. Suddenly, he remembered something that was told to him a long time ago. "A baby will be born...she will change your life forever." Shadow's eyes widened. She's the one! he realized. This time, Shadow took another look at the baby and saw the woman who would one day be his wife.
Shadow tried to keep calm. "So...uh, what's her name?" He cursed his voice for sounding just a bit unsteady.
Maureen smiled. "We decided to call her......Cassie."
Ashley chattered on about everything- school, boys, clothes, friends- all the things Cassie usually loved to talk about. Cassie took part in the conversation for a little while, but she quickly grew bored. Ashley noticed the faraway look in her best friend's eyes and stopped talking. She leaned in closer. "Thinking about Phantom again, aren't you?"
Cassie sighed. "How'd you guess? Is it that obvious?"
"Cassie, I know you. Now come on. What is it this time?"
"Well, I just wish I knew where he was. I don't know- I can't stop thinking about him lately. I miss him so much."
Ashley paused for a second before saying what was on her mind. All the rangers had quickly learned to keep their mouths shut when Cassie said things like that. In the beginning, they'd all thought that Cassie's obsession with the Phantom Ranger was a little ridiculous. But soon they began to see that her infatuation wasn't going to go away, and in time, it grew stronger. She no longer seemed like a little girl with a crush, now she was like a young woman in love. And it was clear to the rangers from the way the mysterious ally had looked at her during those few encounters that these two had something they simply couldn't even begin to understand. So although they thought it sounded odd when Cassie made remarks like this, they didn't say anything because they didn't want to hurt her feelings.
Ashley looked at Cassie. "I know you miss him. He probably misses you too. He'll come back."
"But......it's been three months since we last heard from him."
"And he said he'd see you soon, didn't he?"
Cassie nodded wordlessly.
"Look, Cassie. Phantom would not lie on purpose. We don't know much about him, but one thing we do know is that the Phantom Ranger is a man true to his word. If he says he'll come back, he'll come back."
Cassie smiled. "You're right," she said. She sighed again. "I just wish it would be sooner. Oh, I can't wait to see him."
Ashley smiled as Cassie's face relaxed into the dreamy, expression that was reserved for her Phantom. "I can't wait to speak to him, to hear his voice, maybe learn more about him and see his face.........."
"I'll bet he's really cute," Ashley teased.
Cassie giggled. "Yeah, of course he is."
"He'd have to be," Ashley said in a mock serious tone.
Cassie pulled her long, dark brown hair into a scrunchie. "I hope I can see him soon. I think I'll go crazy if I don't." She pulled Ashley away from their gossip spot. "Come on," she said. "Let's go join the others."
The two girls ran to play soccer with the boys, never noticing the stranger hiding behind the trees, watching them.
She's a goddess, he thought. He couldn't believe how beautiful she was. His thoughts were interrupted when he heard Cassie call, "Look, Quantrons." Sure enough, an army of Astronema's mindless robots were teleporting to the clearing where the teens had set up a picnic.
Shadow could hear Andros call for them to morph. "Let's rocket!" he yelled. The Rangers obeyed his command, and Shadow was blinded for a moment as the power enveloped the Rangers.
He watched the Pink Ranger move for a little bit, then he remembered that he should be helping them. He touched the ruby that hung from a gold chain around his neck and in seconds, he became the Phantom Ranger.
He raced out to aid the Rangers just as a Quantron knocked Cassie to the ground.
"Cassie!" he called. Cassie looked up. "Phantom!"
Shadow pulled her up. He held on for just a second too long, but the Pink Ranger didn't seem to mind.
"Are you all right?'
"Yeah, I am now," she said breathlessly.
Shadow smiled behind his helmet. She'd said those words to him the first time he'd helped her up, during their second encounter.
A yelp from Ashley reminded the two Rangers of their responsibilities, and they quickly ran to get back to work.
Moments later, the Quantrons were sent back to the sky in defeat.
"Power down!" Andros commanded. The colored costumes disappeared and the Rangers were left in normal clothes, all except for the Phantom, who never demorphed in front of these Earth/Space Rangers.
The six teens ran over to the Phantom. "Wow, that was awesome!" Carlos exclaimed.
"Yeah, you have some pretty nice moves," Zhane said.
"Thank you. I congratulate all of you. But I'm afraid this is not over. Astronema is most definately out to get you."
"Well, whatever her plan is, we'll be ready," TJ said.
Ashley nudged Cassie, noticing that her friend was suddenly quiet. Cassie stepped up to Shadow. "Phantom Ranger," she breathed.
"Hello, Cassie," he returned.
"Uh.........so.......will you be staying awhile?"
"We could sure use your help," Ashley added, for Cassie's benefit.
"I suppose I could stay a while longer than planned," Phantom said. Cassie's face lit up when he spoke those words.
"Uh, guys," TJ started. "We have a lot of work to do on the ship."
"Oh! Right!" Ashley said. "Come on."
"We do?" Carlos asked. Andros pulled him by the arm. "Yes. We do."
"See ya later, Cassie," Ashley said before leading the others away.
When they had gone, Cassie turned to Phantom. "Hi," she said.
"Hi," he replied. "Should you help your friends?" He that there was no "work" to be done, but he didn't want Cassie to know that he knew.
"Uh, no. They can handle it. Believe me, they'll call for help if they need it."
"Okay." An awkward moment filled with silence followed. During that moment, Phantom chose to stare at Cassie while she couldn't tell he was staring. If there was any part of him at all that had any doubts that she was the one (which there wasn't), it was all cleared up when he looked at her, just now, nervously biting her lip as she tried to think of what to say to him.
Phantom finally broke the uncomfortable silence. "I've missed you," he said quietly.
Cassie looked shyly up at him. His heart pounded faster as her eyes reached his, even through his helmet. "I've missed you too," she replied. "A lot."
Phantom took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. "Cassie," he breathed. "There's something I have to tell you."
Cassie stared at him with a hint of question in her brown eyes. "What is it?"
Phantom took another breath to calm his nerves. He closed his eyes tightly. "I have to say this as I truly am," he whispered.
Cassie's heart fluttered in anticipation of what she thought was about to happen.
Phantom placed his hand on his armored chest and briefly touched the Power Ruby. His black armor receded back to the Ruby which now hung from a gold chain around his neck. There was a flicker of a bright white light, and then Phantom was left in a form that looked to be human, though Cassie was almost certain he was not.
He opened his eyes, and Cassie found herself staring into two endless pools of beauty. Cassie had never seen such brilliant, beautiful eyes. They were a crystalline blue, bluer than the oceans, or the sky on a cool, midsummer evening.
Cassie managed to look away from his eyes long enough to see the rest of him.
He was very attractive. He was tall and muscular, but not unappealingly so. His auburn colored hair was on the longish side and hung in little curls just beneath his ears. He was dressed in an all- black tunic, black slacks, and black combat boots. A little silver hoop dangled from his left ear. His sun- kissed skin was smooth, and he had a light dusting of freckles sprinkled on his nose and across his cheeks in an adorable way. In other words, he was flawless.
Cassie could only think of one word to sum up everything she had just taken in with her eyes. That word was beautiful, for there were no words in the English language that could be called worthy enough to describe the young man standing before her.
Phantom gave Cassie a moment to gather herself, he could tell what she had been thinking by the look on her face. Add that to the initial surprise of the Phantom Ranger demorphing in front of someone, and he was almost surprised himself that she could handle it.
Cassie once again looked up at him. It suddenly occured to her that "Phantom" now was an unfit title for him since he had demorphed.
Phantom smiled at her, giving her the courage she needed to ask the question that had been ever- present in her mind since the day she'd exchanged two words with him. "What's your name?"
Phantom hesitated just a second before answering softly. "I'm called Shadow. That's the name my parents chose for me."
"Shadow," Cassie said. He wanted to savor the sound of his name on her lips forever. He felt his heart floating when she pronounced it the way she did.
"It's a beautiful name," she said. She realized that "Shadow" was the word she had been looking for to describe him. It fit him perfectly.
"Thanks," he managed.
Cassie longed for him to hold her. If she had ever thought that wishing to be near him had been unbearable before, she was wrong. Right now, she wanted to be in his arms more than anything she had ever wanted.
Shadow sensed her longing, and he moved closer to her, for it matched his. Cassie also moved closer, stepping into his waiting embrace with a contented sigh.
Shadow wrapped his arms as tightly around her as he could manage without hurting her. He knew that now was the time to tell her everything, and he did just that. He told her about the Prophet from when he was a young boy, told her of the Earth team he and his friends had trained on his planet, and finally, how he had held her in his arms just as he was doing now, when she was not more than a few hours old.
At first, Cassie thought the whole story sounded absurd, but she soon found that she was beginning to understand everything he was saying. Phantom tried his best to explain the parts she couldn't quite grasp just yet.
"Wait a minute. How old are you?" Cassie asked.
"In your years, I would be eighteen."
"What about your years? How old would you be then?"
"About thirty," Shadow said slowly. "Time moves a lot quicker on Equia," he added when he saw the look on her face.
"Oh. So how old would I be on your planet?"
"Um, I don't know. I guess you would be about twenty- something."
"Okay. So........we were destined to be together, huh?"
"Yeah." Shadow worried for a second that Cassie didn't get the most important part, but then she smiled and he forgot all coherent thoughts.
"I knew it," she said. She snuggled against him.
For the first time in hours, Shadow looked around him. The others were no where to be found.
"They're probably sleeping," Cassie said, sensing what he was looking for. "Which is what we should be doing."
"Okay." Shadow let Cassie lead him to the living quarters.
"The guest room is across the hall from mine," she said. "Or........I guess you could stay with me tonight, if you want.........."
How could I refuse an offer like that? Shadow mused. "Um, would it be okay if I stay with you?"
Cassie raised her eyes to meet his gaze. "Yes."
"Then that's what I want to do."
"Okay." Cassie touched the keypad on the wall and the automatic door slid open. She took Shadow's hand and the two walked inside together. The doors slid shut and Cassie activated the privacy locks before making her way over to her bed. Shadow sat down beside her and pulled her against him.
Cassie held him tightly. "I'm so happy I've finally found you," she whispered.
Shadow stroked her hair. "I love you, Cassie."
"I love you too, Shadow."
Shadow clasped her hand in his and interlaced his fingers with hers. He closed his eyes. They fit so perfectly together. Of course, he thought. We were made for each other.
Cassie also closed her eyes when she "overheard" his thought.
Shadow reached up and pulled the lampcord. Darkness spread throughout the room. For a while, Shadow just sat there, thinking about the prophecy and how happy he was now that it had been fulfilled. He could sense Cassie's happiness, projecting right into his soul, and for that he was glad. She had been so understanding, so open with him. And now he was able to make her as happy as she was making him.
"I've been waiting for you since before you were born," Shadow said softly.
Cassie tilted her head so she could face him. "That's why I was born, for you," she replied.
Shadow's soul filled with peace when she spoke those words.
He leaned back on her bed, gently pulling her down on top of him. Cassie didn't protest. She snuggled up against him contentedly as her heavy eyelids finally gave up and closed in surrender to the calm and peaceful sleep that overtook her.
Shadow also closed his eyes. He was so lucky to have found her. His heart was whole now. His being was complete now that he held Cassie Chan in his arms.
Shadow placed a gentle kiss on Cassie's forehead. Even in the darkness, he could tell that she was smiling in her sleep.
He gave a little sigh when he felt her heart beating against his chest. The whole world could have come crashing down around him right then and it wouldn't have mattered to Shadow. He finally had the one person he'd been waiting for since before the beginning of time. He'd finally found her, just as the Prophet said he would. He'd finally found her......and now he'd never let her go.