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The ShadowLands

Cassie's Angel
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Disclaimer: Power Rangers in Space and all things related belong to Saban. The song Angel Standing By is sung by Jewel.

Author's Note: This fic is one of my Standalone fics. It's Cassie/Tj, so Cassie/Phantom fans be warned. I do have Cassie/Phantom fics also. If you need to email me for any reason, you can reach me at Shadowcat@powerrangerslostgalaxy.zzn.com. Any comments, positive or negative are always welcome.

Cassie's Angel
by: Jennifer Collins

TJ Johnson sat alone in his room on the Megaship on Friday night, thinking about Cassie. His best friend Cassie, though he sometimes wished they could be more. That wish was coming to him more and more often these days, especially since he knew Cassie needed someone to care for her at this point in her life. Of course their friends; Ashley, Carlos, Andros, Zhane, and even Justin Stewart, the former Blue Turbo Ranger- cared about Cassie very much, but TJ wanted to be the one whom she came to when life turned its back on her, and he often was. He just wished he could hold her closer than TJ- the- best- friend could.

TJ put his head in his hands and tried to wait patiently until Cassie came home from her evening out with her parents.

It was no secret that Cassie didn't have a very good relationship with her parents. From what she'd told TJ, she'd always been a sort of wild child, craving attention, but never getting it the way she wanted. Her parents didn't want to deal with her, not because they couldn't handle her, just because they didn't want to. She'd been placed in the care of her aunt and uncle most of her time growing up.

No one in her family had ever supported her, not even her surrogate parents, so it was no surprise that they'd laughed at her when she'd announced that she wanted to be a singer. So Cassie had taken it upon herself to go to Stone Canyon to find some long- lost relatives who were supposedly going to help her "crash the music scene," as she had once told him.

Fate had something else in store for Cassie, as she found out when Katherine Hillard had chosen her to join the Power Rangers Turbo team as the Pink Ranger.

TJ never regretted her decision to remain in Angel Grove under the care of Ashley's parents, and he was sure she didn't either.

Now Cassie and TJ lived with Ashley, Carlos, Andros, and Zhane as the Astro Power Rangers. Both were very happy with their place as Space Rangers on the Astro Megaship.

Today, TJ was worried because Cassie's parents had asked to take her out for dinner, and she'd reluctantly agreed. TJ had no idea how the get- together had turned out, and he wanted to be here for her when she returned to the ship. He knew Ashley and Andros were on a date, and Zhane and Carlos were obviously not on the ship; it was far too quiet. So Cassie would be more than likely to come to him, and he wanted to be ready for her.

TJ's thoughts were interrupted by a small knock at his door. Cassie! he thought. He quickly got up and opened the door. "Cassie." he spoke aloud. "How are you?"

"Oh, TJ," she whispered. She slowly stepped in and closed the door behind her.

"What's wrong?" TJ asked. He reached out a comforting hand, but before he could touch her, she threw her arms around his waist and began sobbing.

TJ tightened his arms around her and stroked her hair, wishing he could do more for her, but not knowing what. His embrace must have been of some comfort, because her sobs quieted after awhile.

TJ broke away, leaving one arm wrapped firmly around her shoulders, and gently led her over to his bed to sit.

Cassie immediately cuddled up to him, begging him with innocent eyes to hold her close. TJ obeyed, trying to ignore the fact that Cassie was practically sitting in his lap.

"Tell me what happened," TJ quietly urged.

Cassie sniffled. She shifted herself so she could look at him. "Well," she said. "They just basically looked me in the eye and told me how disappointed they are in me, like I'm not good enough to be their daughter, or something." Cassie leaned on him and began crying all over again.

"Sshh, it's okay, sweetie." Suddenly, an unknown feeling took over TJ's emotions and he hated her parents so much for hurting his Cassie. In that moment, he wanted nothing more than to protect her, to hold her tight and make all her pain go away.

All through the night I'll be standing over you
All through the night I'll be watching over you

TJ rubbed her back slowly, offering her all the comfort he could possibly give. "It's going to be okay, baby. Just tell me what I can do, if there is anything I have the power to do, to make you feel even a little better."

"You're already doing it," Cassie whispered. There was silence for a moment before Cassie asked, "Can I stay in here tonight?"

TJ looked at her for a moment. "Yeah, sure." He smiled. "Of course."

"Thanks." Cassie settled back on his bed. She started to reach for the covers, but TJ stopped her. "No, let me." He gently tucked her in. Her grateful smile and innocent expression rewarded him, tugging at his heart and spreading warmth throughout his body.

TJ considered climbing to the top bunk and going to sleep himself, but when he looked down at Cassie, her eyes closed and her sweet face relaxed in slumber, he decided to stay seated beside her and watch her while she slept.

And through bad dreams I'll be right there, baby
Holding your hand, telling you everything is all right
And when you cry, I'll be right there
Telling you you were never anything less than beautiful

TJ leaned down to gently kiss Cassie's forehead. "Goodnight, my beautiful Cassie. Don't worry. I'm always here for you, and I'll always protect you. Always," he promised. He watched as a contented smile spread across her face as she slept.

So don't you worry

"Sweet dreams, my love," he whispered. And he reached up to pull the lamp cord to turn out the lights.

I'm your Angel standing by