Legal Disclaimer: See what happens when you watch 'The Delta Discovery' too many times? This fic is mine, Cassie and Phantom and company are Saban's. I got this idea from that episode, and I read someone somewhere noticing that the device of Phantom's was beeping as if it had another message. Whoever mentioned that, you brought it to my attention, so thanks. :)

The Message
by: Cynthia

Cassie giggled a little as she turned around to look once more at the small communications device the Phantom Ranger had left behind. Her eyes widened when she saw it was beeping again, and she paused. "Just a second, guys," she said quietly. "There's another message!"

Carlos, T.J., and Ashley watched in knowing concern as she walked back to where the device was half-buried in the ground. Andros didn't quite know what was going on, but he had seen the way Cassie and the Phantom had looked at each other. Or rather, how Cassie had been looking at him, it was hard to say if Phantom Ranger was looking at anyone.

Her fingers trembled just a bit as she touched the device's glowing tip. For the third time, the minature image of the Phantom Ranger appeared, gasping for breath. Her lip trembled as she thought of what could possibly happen if he didn't get help.

"Cassie, please take this with you. I can use it to contact you if I need help, or if you need me," the image said. "Cassie. ..I know we hardly know each other, but I know you feel the same thing I do when we are together. I know this is incredibly wrong of me to ask, but. . .please wait for me? I know we'll be together one day, when all of this is over. I've been waiting for you. . .please wait for me."

Tears shone in her eyes as she heard that, and one fell down her cheek. "Yes, Phantom," she murmured. "I will always wait for you."

The image felt to her as if it were smiling. "I'll see you again." it faded away, and this time, there was no other indication of another message. Quietly she pulled it from the ground and slipped the device into a pocket. She would keep it. She would remember him.

And she would always love him.

* * *
On his ship, heading away from Hercuron and unmorphed as he had never been with anyone for as long as he could remember, the young man known to the universe as the Phantom Ranger slowly bandaged the last of his wounds and winced briefly at the pain in his ribs. Why don't I stay with them? he wondered, settling into his chair on the bridge. He knew that wasn't the real question.

The real question was why don't I stay with her?

He had never imagined what it would be to fall in love as he had with her. For twelve thousand years he had wandered the universe, helping out anywhere and everywhere he could, known by a thousand different names, but never revealing the one he had been born with to anyone. Never demorphing in front of anyone, never trusting anyone with the secrets of his heart.

Until a day when he had come to Earth, and seen the most beautiful of girls. He had seen lovely females of all types and species, but none had ever caught his heart as this one had. She was the Pink Turbo Ranger, one of the fiercest defenders of her world he had ever seen. He had watched her from afar for three months, gazing with a hunger to talk to her, to be with her, that could never be appeased.

Shortly after meeting her, he had been called by the legendary Zordon to Eltar, where he had been given the RescueZords, and told to give them to the Rangers when or if they needed them. It had been with pride he had done so, and had hoped that perhaps she would talk with him. But his own nature had betrayed him when she had tried. He had left her world, saying he was no longer needed, when he knew that was a lie. Their world would always need strong defenders, and he knew he could have been one of them.

The real reason he had left. ..he had not had the courage to speak with her and tell her how he felt. He could no longer face her, and hoped that with time away from her world, then he could forget about her. He had hoped. ..and he had been wrong.

Being away had only made the ache in his heart that was his love for her grow stronger, and he had considered going back when he had heard about the fall of Eltar and the capture of Zordon. Despite his love, he had known what he had to do: find the mentor of the ages. So his search had begun, and it had led him to her again.

The fates will us together, but my cowardice drives us apart, he thought, staring at the starfields beyond his viewscreen. He had finally said something about it to her, however. Through his messaging device, he had told her that he would wait for her, and asked that she wait for him. He had no right to, he knew, but he had asked anyway.

A small and sudden jump in his soul told him she had seen his message, and had responded with an agreement. He didn't know how he knew, he just knew he did. He smiled to himself, and whispered the words he knew she wanted to hear and that he wanted to tell her so badly. "I love you, Cassie Chan. And I will always love you."

* * *
On the Astro MegaShip. . .Cassie smiled. "I love you too, Phantom Ranger."