Disclaimer: Well, you guessed it! It's another story by *sigh* Rangergirl *sigh again*. If you don't like A/A (Andros/Ashley), then this isn't the fic for you. This can be considered a break of sorts in the "Simple Wishes" series, seeing as it isn't depressing in any way, shape or form. Can't you tell I love to torture you? I'm as bad as Doctor Psycho Hose Beast in "Darkling", aka the Emergency Medical Holographic Program! If you don't know the drill by now, I own what I own (basically nothing as far as PR is concerned) and Saban and Fox can spend all their time arguing over what they own and what goes on the website for all I care. Oh yes, and I, um, "borrowed" Sandrine's from Star Trek: Voyager, hacked it up and turned it into a teen hangout place. Paramount and Viacom I'm SORRY! Enough brainless chit-chat! Let's get on with the story, shall we? Thank you for shopping at Power Ranger-Mart! Geez, I really gotta stop with the long disclaimers....

Cultural Exchange
by : Rangergirl

Ashley Rose smiled. The last few days, she hadn't really felt like smiling, but today, if ever, was a day to smile about. Andros had asked her out, on their first real date! He said that there were some Simudeck programs that he wanted to show her. Her smile grew into a grin as she remembered the surprise Simudeck program she had made. She had taken a bar in France, and, using some creativity, turned it into a teen-friendly place.

"DECA, who's in the Simudeck?"

"The Simudeck is currently unoccupied." came the computerized female voice.

"Alright, DECA, begin program Rose Delta Three, authorization Unicorn, and engage privacy lock Rose Two."

"Preparing Simudeck program..." Ashley waited a few seconds, then, "Simudeck preparation complete. Please proceed, Ashley." As soon as the door shut, DECA informed her that the privacy lock was engaged. Rose Two meant that no one besides Andros would be permitted in the Simudeck while the program was running. Still smiling, she brought out the bag of marshmallows and the two cups of instant hot chocolate. At that moment, DECA's sensors beeped.

"Ashley, Andros is approaching the Simudeck."

"Let him in, DECA,"

Andros entered the Simudeck, looking around in confusion.

"What is this place?"

"Sandrine's. It's a bar in France, but I made a few modifications." She handed Andros a menu. In the drinks section, instead of wine selections, there was a variety of fruit smoothie flavours. Andros was about to order a strawberry one from the holographic bartender, when Ashley stopped him. "Don't. I already got us some drinks," she handed him one of the steaming cups. He accepted it, and took a small, curious sip.

"It's good!" he exclaimed. "What is it?"

"It's called hot chocolate. Now, here's something else I want to show you." she brought out the marshmallows.

"What are THOSE?"

"They're called Marshmallows. You stick them here," she picked up a long, thin branch and stuck a marshmallow on the end, "and then roast them over the fire."

"I see," he said slowly. Earth customs, he thought, were very strange. At a prompting from Ashley, he stuck his marshmallow onto the stick that she handed him and held it over the fire. They sat, quietly for several minutes, each revelling in the warm firelight and comfortable background noise.

"Andros," Ashley said suddenly, breaking the silence.

"Mmhm?" he mumbled.

"You're on fire!"

"What?" he exclaimed. Then he noticed what she meant. "Oh! My marshmallow!" he pulled it out of the fire, blowing on it to stop the flame. It was burnt to a crisp.

"Oh Andros...." Ashley started laughing hysterically. He pouted, and his hurt expression made her laugh even harder.

"Maybe I LIKE them burnt, okay?" he said defensively.

"But Andros," she managed finally, "you said you've never had a marshmallow roast before,"

"Maybe I lied." he said.

"Um, Andros?"


"You don't dunk burnt marshmallows in hot chocolate,"

"Oh yeah? And may I ask why not?" he stood up, and put his hands on his hips in a mock interrogators gesture. This sent Ashley into more gales of laughter.

"Because, Andros. It just Isn't Done,"

"Oh. I see," they stood for several seconds, and suddenly Andros started laughing too. Soon, the two of them were rolling on the floor laughing, and the holocharacters had all stopped talking and instead were staring at the young couple. Andros realized this after a minute or two.

"DECA, remove all the holographic characters from the Simudeck," almost instantly, the ten or so other "people" in the room disappeared, leaving Ashley and Andros completely alone. After a few seconds of silence, Andros spoke. "Ashley, I want to show you something. It's a...tradition...where I come from when someone meets someone else and they fall in love,"

"This doesn't happen to involve exploring the, um, natural world, does it?" she asked nervously. Andros just stared at her, open mouthed.

"Oh, no. Nothing like that." he quickly assured her. She breathed a sigh of relief. "Hold on, I'll be right back," he exited the Simudeck, and came back a minute later, along with something covered in a cloth. Propping it up against a table, he unveiled it. Ashley gasped.

"Oh, Andros! It's wonderful!" it was a portrait of her.

"On KO-35, one would often use art to express love for another," he explained. "Sometimes music. DECA, replicate one Korovian flute." in his hands, a tiny golden flute appeared. He put it to his lips, and blew a single clear note. Satisfied, he began to play a beautiful, lilting melody. When he was finished, Ashley had tears in her eyes.

"Did you write that yourself?" he nodded. "You really went to all that trouble, just for me?" "It was worth it, just to see the expression on your face. I love you Ashley, with all my heart and soul,"

"I love you too, Andros, I love you too,"

Two young people, united through their losses in life, destined to be together. Forever.

The End

Stay tuned for "Le Rossignol", the next story in the series!


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