That was still a surprise. They had won. The war was over with at last. Those they had fought against were now either a memory or purified to the cause of good once again. Karone, Rita, Zedd, Divatox, all of them had been under spells of some kind. Zordon's Sacrifice had freed them all.
But it hadn't given her what she wanted. It hadn't given her the knowledge of whether or not her strange . ..friend...was still alive. She wasn't certain if friend was a strong enough word to explain how she felt, but no other came to mind. They certainly weren't lovers, and boyfriend/girlfriend just didn't have the right ring to it.
Glancing over her shoulder, she almost smiled at the sight she saw. T.J. and Carlos were horsing around, a lightness in their eyes that she had never seen before. Zhane and Karone were staring into each other's eyes with a love matched only by that of Andros and Ashley a few feet away.
She almost felt jealous of them all. T.J. and Carlos had formed a strong bond the last few days, and it looked to be getting stronger. Zhane and Karone were in love, as were Andros and Ashley. She was alone, however.
Alone only because I don't know where he is, she thought, returning her gaze to the stars. Where are you?
It didn't seem to make much sense on the surface really. She hadn't ever talked to him alone. They had exchanged only the barest of words, and none of them had been personal. The closest that had come to that was the secret message he had sent to her on Hercuron, that he would be all right and he thought about her.
Did he think about her as much as she thought about him, she wondered. She doubted it. Even during the last battles she had been thinking about him, wondering what was happening with him. A single tear flowed down her cheek, that she quickly wiped away. They would be on Earth soon, and she would never see him again, she felt.
"Cassie," the computerized voice of DECA came, and she almost jumped out of her skin. Everyone looked up. "There is a hail for you from an approaching ship."
"Put--put it on, DECA," she whispered softly. Her stomach felt tight suddenly as a strange symbol was on the screen, and then he was there. The Phantom Ranger.
Andros made polite noises back, and then Phantom's head turned towards Cassie. "Cassie," his voice was low and soft. "I'm sorry I didn't get in touch with you sooner."
"It's all right," she murmured, and the rest of the team might as well not have existed as far as she was concerned. "Are you all right?"
He nodded. "The injuries I acquired on Hercuron are all healed now, and I was not severely injured in the combat on my world."
An uncomfortable silence fell between them. She broke it at last when she looked as directly into his eyes as she could manage. "I missed you. I was worried about you."
"I'm sorry," she could tell he was, too. There was too much grief in his voice for him to be lying. "I wish I could have stayed."
Her own voice trembled. "C. .can you now?"
When he said nothing at first, she felt as if her heart was going to break. "Cassie. ..I know this is something I have never done. ..but. ..would you come aboard my ship? I must speak with you. . .in person."
"How do I get there?" she didn't even have to think about it. Even if the universe's evil had still existed she would have went. Though Hell itself stood in the way, she would be with him.
As he transmitted the co ordinates to DECA, she turned to look at the others. Every last one of them, even Karone who barely knew what was going on, had an approving and supportive look on their face. "Go for it, Cassie," T.J.'s voice was strong. Somehow, she had a feeling that if Phantom Ranger had never existed, in some other world, they would have perhaps eventually become a couple. But that hadn't happened. He did exist, and because he did, she would be with him.
"Thank you," she whispered just before a wash of pink light swept across her vision, and she was gone.
She didn't have to ask who he was, though she'd never before seen him like that. Her heart sang to him of who he was. She did have something to ask, though. "What's your name?"
"Orion," he replied, and she knew the voice for that of the Phantom Ranger. "This is the first time I've been. ..unmorphed. .with someone else in many years."
"I hope it won't be the last," she replied quietly. "And I'm honored to be the first to see you in years."
He smiled. "There's no one else I'd rather have see me. From the first moment I saw you, you captured my heart."
"You had mine just as fast."
Again, the silence. It was Orion who broke it this time, but not with true speech. Moving almost stiffly, more as if he were afraid than anything else, he came over to her and took her hand. She stepped closer to him, her body, mind, heart, and soul screaming that this was what she had wanted for as long as she could remember. From the moment of her birth, she had been destined for him and he for her.
Slowly, the two of them leaned their heads closer to one another, and a kiss of infinite and ultimate passion erupted between them. The war was over. They were going home.
And they were in love.