Even her clothes reflected the beauty of the day. A pink blouse and jeans, not her shipboard uniform, not her armor. Only her communicator remained, ever-present mark of vigilance in all things. But that didn't detract from the joy that was filling her soul.
She could see them up ahead of her. All of her friends were there today. Andros and Ashley were sitting side by side on the picnic blanket, their arms around each other. Zhane and Karone were there too, staring into each other's eyes with nothing but love and totally ignoring everyone else. T.J. and Carlos were setting out the food and drinks. Everyone wore brilliant smiles. Everyone looked happy.
Cassie paused just for a moment, looking at them all. Her heart was full. . .well, almost full. One small gap was in it, one piece that wasn't fitting. She knew what it was. There was nothing else it could be. It was just. . .not there. He was just not there. And as she watched her friends, a single crystalline tear began to roll down her cheek.
"Eyes as beautiful as yours should never have tears in them," a soft, warm voice spoke, and she felt a gloved hand brush the tear off before it could fall away. Her eyes widened in shock and glad surprise as the air shimmered in front of her, and _he_ stood there. Just as he always did. . .tall and mysterious in the black armor, the ruby glowing faintly in the center of it. . .her heart spasmed with the purest beats of joy.
"Phantom Ranger," she breathed quietly. It was real. He was real. Standing in front of her, with her at last. No more enemies to drive them away, no more duties that needed fulfilling. . .the only thing either of them needed to do was just be with each other. . .
"That isn't my name," he said softly as he reached a hand up to touch the ruby. His armor flickered for a moment, and then she was staring into the face of a man of utmost handsomeness. She caught her breath, stumbling over the question she had meant to ask, and then simply stared at him. "My name is Mayon, and I come from Eltar."
Cassie reached up to touch his face, and his hand caught hers halfway, not stopping it, but gently caressing it, as one in love to another. She could hardly believe this was happening. . .she was with him. . ."I love you," she whispered softly. . ."I love you. .." _I love you. . ._
"It is time to wake up, Cassie," DECA's voice dragged the Pink Ranger from the depths of her dream, and her eyes flickered briefly open. She didn't want them to stay open, she didn't want to stay awake. She wanted to stay in the beautiful dream where the man she loved, loved her. . .
But DECA's insistent voice repeated the message until she finally sighed and sat up, deftly moving to avoid hitting her head. "Great," she sighed. _It was just a dream. Just a stupid dream._ She did her level best not to cry at that, then looked over as a knocking came at the door. _Who in their right mind is up at this hour?_ With the defeat of evil, most of the Rangers had taken to sleeping in, and they _all_ slept on the Megaship, having moved there permanently. It was a lot easier than having to deal with people pounding on their doors day and night wanting their autograph.
"It's me, Ashley," the Yellow Ranger called out. "It's a gorgeous day down in Angel Grove, I was wondering if we can pull together a picnic."
Cassie responded without thinking. "Sure," she said, reaching for the nearest batch of clean clothes. A quick hop into the shower and then into her clothes later, and she was ready. She paused for a moment to check her reflection out, then went ice-white.
She was wearing the exact same outfit she had in her dream. . .and they were all going to be heading down to Earth for a picnic. She bit her lip. _It was only a dream. . ._she thought, heading out to the main room, trying not to hope too much.
After all, it was only a dream.