Legal Disclaimer: Don't we all know what this is by now? I shouldn't have to tell you that I don't own anything here.

Love's Not Easy
by: Cynthia

He was gone. He had left her. She was alone. The very word sent chills down her spine. Cassie Chan hated to be alone. By herself was always where the worst things had happened. Her old home had burned down while she was alone...she had been kidnapped and held hostage by Havoc when she was alone...and the things that had happened before she had managed to escape...she still shook at the very thought of it.

I can't be alone...he can't have left's all a dream, it has to be. Bright tears stood in her eyes as she tried not to think about it. How could the Phantom have left her? Was everything, all the looks between them, all the danger, just a facade? Something not to be thought of after it was over?

She curled up on her bed, staring blindly at the far wall. Right now, she wouldn't have cared one little bit if Divatox, Havoc, Rygog, Elgar, Porto, and the entire crew of Piranatrons had appeared in front of her doing the rhumba. Her entire life had ended the moment the Phantom had faded away from the Power Chamber. She had kept up a brave front, but that was all it had been: a front. As soon as she was in her room, all the tears had come pouring out.

They had come silently, of course. She wouldn't let any of the others, especially any of Ashley's family, see her cry or hear her. They would never understand, especially T.J. In the days before Phantom's arrival, she had wondered if it might be possible for them to somehow fall in love. She had seen the way he had looked at her, and it was nice....but there had been nothing there for her but friendship. And with the advent of the Phantom, any chance she might have loved someone else just faded away like dust in the wind.

With a sigh, the Pink Ranger sat up and picked up the remote control to her TV. Despite being alone, she had friends here, and a new family. It wasn't the same as being with her beloved, but it would have to do for now. Maybe he would come back some day. Maybe it wasn't too late for them. Slowly she started to flip from channel to channel, in a vague search for something to take her mind off things.

The sound of music stopped her briefly. She saw a group of brightly clad people in medieval costume moving around on a stage, then lyrics began to play. As they echoed in her mind, the tears in her eyes slowly dripped down her cheeks as she remembered all that she and Phantom had been through together.

Love's not easy (echo)
Love's not easy (echo)
But we've gotta keep on trying
Gotta keep hangin' on
Love's not easy (echo)
Love's not easy (echo)
we can't give up fighting
Though hope seems gone

As long as there's a chance
We've got to do our best
But, babe, if we have faith
I know we'll pass the test

Love's not easy (echo)
Love's not easy (echo)
But I'll never stop lovin' you
With all my heart
Love's not easy (echo)
Love's not easy (echo)
Love's not easy (echo)
On his ship, Phantom Ranger watched Cassie through his viewscreens, and heard the song as she did. His eyes also filled with tears and he touched her beautiful face gently. "I'll never stop loving you, Cassie. Until the end of time and space I will love you. And even after. I'm sorry I had to go...but we'll meet again. And when we do....then we'll be together. Always."

In her room, Cassie turned the television off and laid down, her heart softening and easing as she closed her eyes. "I love you, Phantom. Please don't forget me."

A soft echo of words wrapped around her, and she smiled as she began to fall asleep. "I love you, Cassie. I'll always remember you."