Legal Disclaimer: Music-whoever invented Jem & the Holograms. Characters-Saban. Writing-Me. Beta-Reading: Cat.

Author's Note: This is part of my Music Collection series {if you haven't figured it out by now, that's a series of songfics that are only connected to each other if I say so}. But this is also going to be connected to another story I have in the works sometime soon. Keep an eye out on my author's notes to find out which.

by: Cynthia

His heart sank every time they had to be apart. He knew that he couldn't keep this up forever. He was surprised it had lasted this long, and a little hurt. How could she not have recognized him?

Then he remembered. Zordon had told him of this. The suit, while endowing him with his various powers, also gave off a faint field that would conceal his identity from everyone, even the one who knew him the best.

It was no coincidence that Cassie was drawn to him. She always had been, from the time they had been children together in Wood Lake. As he had been drawn to her. Neither of them knew precisely why, though Zordon had told him while he was on Eltar that they were meant for each other, in every sense of the word. It was her destiny to fight along side him in the years to come, and his to aid her in all that she did.

One day. But not yet. And until that day came, then they would not be together. Until that moment of ultimate deception, he had to keep deceiving her. He could not tell her that the Phantom Ranger she was so irresistibly drawn to, who was just as drawn to her, was the boyfriend she had thought died in their hometown two years earlier.

How long must I continue this Deception, this masquerade
My life seems like it's nothing but Deception, a big charade
It had been his own fault, really. The two of them had been out walking, and had gotten into a minor argument. Nothing serious, it would have blown over in a matter of hours, if less. But he had pushed himself away from her and run across the street.

Or tried to. He had never made it. They had both been so intent on their fighting that they hadn't noticed the semi-truck swerving down the road. The driver had not been drunk; his steering system had simply went out at the wrong moment. Wrong for him...and wrong for the angry young woman heading across the street.

It had been painless. Relatively speaking. One flash of sheer hot burning agony, and then nothing. Grayness had replaced his world for days. He had felt himself be buried, but there had been nothing he could do about it. Then...he had been elsewhere.

He had been on Eltar. It had taken three months, even for their technology and magic combined, to get him into a condition where he could start asking questions. The first person he had seen had been a young blonde man with intelligent eyes, who had introduced himself as Billy Cranston. It had been Billy who had explained what was going on to him.

Zordon had had a vision centuries earlier of a bold warrior who would rise from the dead in order to fulfill a special destiny. By his side would fight a female Power Ranger who would love him without knowing who he really was until after their destiny was fulfilled. When he had been hit by the car, Zordon had at once known, and had placed a spell on him from afar to maintain his life force at such a low state that no human device could detect it.

He had almost been angry, till he realized that without that spell, he really would be dead. But now he could not tell Cassie he was alive. Not until after the task they had both been born for was over with.

I never meant to lie to you, I swear it
I never meant to play those games
At times I wanna cry to you
But I can't bear it, and I fear our love will land in flames.
He had been trained in how to fight, and had learned how in a surprisingly short amount of time. Zordon, who he had met later, told him this was because it was his destiny. It was what he was meant for. He trained day and night, and kept as close an eye as he could on Cassie. He wanted more than anything to go back to her, but knew that he couldn't leave Eltar until his training was finished.

His heart almost stopped when he found out that she was to be the Pink Ranger who would be his beloved and companion. When they had told him one would be with him who would love him, he had felt sorry for her, for he had sworn never to love another besides Cassie Chan. But when Katherine Hillard chose her to be the new Pink Ranger, Zordon and Billy informed him this was destiny as well. The Turbo powers were not the ones she would have which would be hers forever, but they would guide her to those.

The Phantom Ranger, which was how he had come to think of himself more and more, had wanted to help her, to help them all. They were young, his age, but except for the Blue Ranger, they knew almost nothing of battle. Though he was relatively untried himself, he knew his training had been far more fierce and through than theirs had. He had talked Zordon into letting him go to them, but only when he had promised if anything too dangerous happened, he would return to Eltar. They could not risk his life before it was time for him to fulfill his mission.

Just what that was, what it was he was supposed to battle, he didn't know. Zordon would not tell him, and if Billy knew, the Phantom knew nothing of it. All they said was that he would know in time. All he could do was wait and learn. And try to help.

He had wanted to tell Cassie who he was from the moment he saw her. He gave her one hint when she came after him and spied his reflection in the small mirror. He told her he was 'a friend'. What he didn't say was that he wanted to be so much more to her, that he had been more once.

She had not figured the hint out, however. He really hadn't expected her too; she had put her old life away, mentioning it only in the context of the past. He supposed it was just as well, for now. She'd know who he was later. But he didn't like the deception. It hurt to fight beside her and not hear her call his name, to hear her only utter 'Phantom Ranger'. It made him want to scream, but there was nothing he could do about it.

And what if she hates you once she finds out who you are? He wondered on a daily basis. What if she can't stand the fact you let her think you died and that you haven't told her who you really are all this time?

He took several long breaths, trying to focus. Nothing had as yet happened to make him go back. And he would not let it happen. He had helped the Rangers; he had given them the RescueZords and he would help them rescue their Turbo MegaZord. And then...perhaps....he shivered at the thought of just what could happen after that. He contacted Zordon and Billy infrequently, but they had told him that the time was coming near when their destiny would be at hand.

The Phantom touched his communicator screen briefly, displaying Cassie's new home. The home of Ashley Hammond, the Yellow Turbo Ranger, and his beloved's best friend. A moment later, and it showed Cassie's room. She was sitting on the bed, strumming her guitar. He recognized the tune; he had written it for her after all. Slowly she mouthed the words, and his heart twisted in agony at not being able to touch her, to tell her how much he loved her and always would.

Destiny be damned. I have to tell her.

He was about to go to her, to throw away everything he had promised Zordon and Billy, when he sat back down. I can't. I have to keep the secret, for now. For now....

I pray that you'll forgive all this Deception, this masquerade
It's time to put an end to this Deception, but I'm afraid
When the whole thing is at an end
And you learn that it's just pretend
You'll cry Deception....
Phantom sighed, letting his armor fade away and burying his face in his hands. "I'm sorry, Cassie. I can't tell you...yet. But I will tell you one day, and once our destiny is done, then we can be together." Tears slowly dripped to the floor of his hidden cavern. "I'm sorry, Cassie. I love you so much. And I always will. Forever and always. Forever and a day."