[PRiS] "A Fitting Relationship" (Tommy, Cassie) [G]. Well, it's vignette time again. And again I own none of this stuff. It's Saban's. Who else thinks the world will one day be ruled by Microsoft, Disney, and Fox/Saban? Oh well, this fic breaks an unwritten law of the PR universe in that it involves a working Ranger and a retired Ranger keeping in touch. That doesn't seem to happen much, seing as how Justin didn't know what the Rangers were up to when "True Blue to the Rescue" aired. Ya catch me drift? Right right. Time for story...

"A Fitting Relationship"
By Nancy E. Shaw

* * *

Sometime during one calm October night in Oregon, a wind began to blow. It was born far out to sea, and began to rush towards the coastline, gaining strength and speed as it went. It hit the waking metropolis of Portland at dawn. Citizens leaving their homes in the wee hours were chilled viciously as they hit their doorsteps. But slowly, sluggishly, the city managed to awaken as the sun bounded icily up the sky. At 10am, the frost still hadn't melted, and as he looked out on the sparkling lawn outside his dorm room, Tommy Oliver realized there would be no weekend frolicking that day.

With a sigh and a shiver, Tommy left his window and walked to the thermostat on the far wall. It had taken superhuman effort to leave his warm bed that morning. Now he shook his head in distaste at the thermometer which read 46 degrees in his room. Cranking the furnace high, he turned again and headed for the bathroom, hoping a hot shower would warm himself and his dorm up a few degrees.

The water scorched his freezing toes and made goosebumps lift break out on his arms and legs, but he lingered as long as long as possible under the drenching warmth. He dreaded the moment he'd have to return to the frigid world outside. Finally though, he turned off the water. He groped for a towel and was just pushing aside the steaming shower curtain, when the telephone rang.

"Hello?" he answered impatiently, after making a mad, dripping dash from the bathroom. He held the phone in the crook of his neck while he tightened a towel around him.

"Hullo, Tiger.." said a female voice he didn't know. "What have you got on?"

All at once, he recognized the voice and snorted with laughter. "Not enough! Mind if I come down there and let you warm me up a little?"

There was hysterical laughter on the line for a moment or two. Then finally, Tommy calmed down. "How's it going, Cassie?"

* * *

The first time he met Cassie Chan, she was charging in to rescue him from a vortex of evil over which he dangled by a rat-gnawed thread. At her side was her new friend TJ, but Tommy was a complete stranger to her at the time. Nevertheless, she put aside her apprehension and saved his butt from one of the worst evils he had yet encountered. She had definitely made an impression on him.

After that, she didn't see his face for a while, but he kept an eye on her. All the Rangers were on the lookout for replacements. Time was running out for the new Turbo Rangers to be chosen, and at the top of the list were Cassie, TJ, and a pair of Angel Grovites named Carlos and Ashley.

Tommy was seriously considering passing on his Powers to the lithe, exotic Asian. To him, she was like Trini with a firecracker burning inside. She intrigued him like no woman ever had. It was not a romantic attraction, but her personality was magnetic-- she had an inner drive that gleamed in her eyes and in her smile. She was strong-- took no bull from anybody, and dared to be outspoken and expressive as she pleased. It occurred to him that she and Tanya would either have been the worst of rivals, or the best of friends.

Maybe it was something about the Morphin Grid-- something about the meshing of powers and the personalities-- but Tommy was once again taken with a Pink Ranger. He was beyond thrilled when Katherine chose Cassie as her successor. His only regret was that he and Chan would not get the chance to work together-- to become friends.

Her phonecall a week after the Power Transfer had surprised him. She had a reason for calling-- she wanted to know if he had given away his mostly-crimson wardrobe yet. She said she was helping TJ get settled in Angel Grove, and he needed some threads to tide him over until he was supporting himself again. Could Tommy send some of the less-used garments for the new Red Ranger to use? Tommy eagerly complied.

Now they had a running joke together. Each time one of them called, the first thing they asked was what the other was wearing. Today was no exception to that rule.

* * *

"It's going great," Cassie laughed, in answer to his question. "Sorry I haven't called in such a long time, we've been busy."

"Oh yeah? How busy?"

"Busy busy! God, it's been months, hasn't it? Have you got a minute so I can fill you in?"

"Yeah, it's friggin' freezing here today. I'm not going anywhere. Lemme put you on speaker so I can get dressed."

So while Tommy dried off and found clean (warm) clothes for the day (nothing Red), Cassie launched into the story of how she became lost in space. She gave him all the gritty battle details, describing their new enemies and their new powers, as well as telling him all about their new Red Ranger...the off worlder named Andros. Cassie told him all of her impressions of Andros, since she knew Tommy would want to know. Strangely, Tommy was curious, but unthreatened by the newcomer; although he was a little unimpressed by Andros's lack of trust in them. Cassie said it was fading though. He was starting to warm up to having friends again. As well, Tommy's hand-me-downs had gone on to the new-new Red Ranger so he could blend in with Earth society better.

After the entire story had been told (including Andros and Ashley's budding romance, which surprised Tommy, because he had expected her to hook up with Carlos if anyone) Cassie then began to describe their latest adventure. They had just taken on a sixth Ranger, an old friend of Andros's named Zhane. This guy had a story as well, but he was the reason Cassie was calling. Zhane needed to pass unnoticed among Earthers like Andros, so did Tommy, by any chance, have any of his White Ranger wardrobe left to spare? Tommy assured her that he had, and he would send whatever he could scrounge up for the Silver Ranger.

"Thanks Tommy, Zhane really appreciates this," Cassie said. "No problem," Tommy replied. "But if you score yourselves a Green Ranger too, you're outta luck cause that stuff if long gone!"

Cassie guffawed. "Don't worry, that's what we keep Carlos around for." She then made a noise that sounded like she'd been punched in the arm. Tommy also noticed some traffic noise in the background.

"Hey, where are you?" he asked.

"Downtown, we're showing Zhane the city. He's wearing hand-me-downs from everybody right now, including my socks, but I just thought he should have some stuff of his own to wear. He says thanks again, by the way."

"He's welcome. Have fun downtown."

"We will." She turned away from the phone. "Hey guys, say bye to Tommy ok?"

Through the earpiece, Tommy heard a chorus of goodbyes and well-wishes from the Astro Rangers. Buried in the din were two new voices, no doubt those of Andros and Zhane. Tommy grinned.

"Catch you later Chan," Tommy said.

"Later Oliver," she replied, a smile in her voice. Then she hung up. Tommy laughed once more and went to the bathroom to finish combing his hair. Maybe he would go out today after all-- take a drive down the coast a ways. Hell, he could make a weekend of it-- pack an overnight bag and head down to Angel Grove to see the old hangouts again. Maybe meet some new people...