Disclaimer: The Power Rangers and the Phantom Ranger belong to Saban, not me.
Heartbreak Times Two
by Jennifer Collins
T.J. Johnson stood in the hallway outside his best friend's room. He peered cautiously through the open door. She was sitting
by the window again, so deep in thought she didn't even hear him come up to her door and knock softly. T.J. didn't need to
take a guess to know who she was thinking about.
T.J. closed his eyes. Why couldn't he be the one who she was dreaming of? He was right here, and he'd always stay here
if it be in her will. Unlike the Phantom Ranger, who couldn't possibly be so oblivious that he didn't realize who's heart
he was breaking every time he left without so much as a "see you soon." T.J. opened his eyes and clenched his fist. It made
him angry when he thought about how coldly the Phantom acted towards his beloved. If only Cassie could just look in her heart
and find the feelings he knew she'd kept reserved for him long before Phantom showed up. Then things would be okay.
T.J. remembered Carlos's words from last week, "Maybe there's still hope." He smiled to himself. Carlos was right. There
was still hope, and all he had to do was take a chance and tell Cassie how he felt about her. It was a perfect plan, and there
was no reason for him not to..............except the fact that you could lose her friendship forever, T.J. reminded
He suddenly felt down again. There was nothing in the world that meant more to him than his best friend. He and Cassie
had quickly become close friends when they'd first moved to Angel Grove. They shared a closeness that couldn't be shared with
their other three best friends. That closeness was the one reason why T.J. hadn't already told her his feelings for her. He
didn't want to lose her completely.
T.J. thought about holding Cassie in his arms, about stroking her soft hair, kissing her gentle lips. Was it worth giving
up their friendship if there was the slightest chance that maybe, just maybe, he could have those things? Yes. If holding
Cassie was a possibility, then it was worth anything. Besides, he knew he'd never lose her totally. They'd always be friends
and teammates, no matter what.
"Cassie," T.J. spoke softly.
Cassie looked away from the window and turned to face him. "T.J. Hi," she said quietly.
"Hi. Can I come in?"
Cassie nodded. T.J. walked into the dark room and sat down beside her. He put a gentle hand to her shoulder. "How about
going for a walk?" T.J. asked hopefully.
"A walk," Cassie repeated. "That sounds good."
"Great," T.J. said with a smile. He took her hand. "Come on. Let's go to the park."
The Phantom Ranger landed his ship in the Angel Grove woods. He stepped out, his heart pounding a mile a minute. It was
time, he knew. He had to go to Cassie, had to tell her how he felt about her. After so many years of shutting himself out
from his own emotions, one glance at her sweet, innocent face was all it took for him to fall in love. The hard-built wall
that surrounded his heart had crumbled when he'd first seen her smiling face.
Now he was going to tell her. It would take a lot, but Phantom knew he had it in him. He'd had it since the day he'd fallen
for her, it had just taken some time to realize that.
Phantom decided to take the shortcut through the Angel Grove park to get to the Surf Spot. He knew Cassie and her friends
hung out there a lot. Once he got to the Surf Spot, he'd ask around for her. But he certainly couldn't do it as the armored
warrior that hid his true identity.
Phantom took a deep breath. One more thought of Cassie was all it took, and he briefly touched the red Power Ruby at his
chest. The power flickered, then faded, leaving the Phantom Ranger as his true self.
He gave himself a few moments to adjust to his surroundings in his demorphed state, then he set out in the direction of
the park. He soon came upon a couple sitting on a bench. They were laughing and they appeared to be having a good time.
Phantom's instincts took him behind a tree and out of sight of the young couple. He watched them curiously from behind
the tree. They were kissing affectionately. Phantom couldn't help but smile. He saw Cassie and himself in these two, and he
hoped that one day, they would be as happy as the teenagers before him.
The two pulled apart long enough for the Phantom to clearly see their faces. His heart shattered and an icy pain pierced
his soul as he realized that the happy couple was Cassie and T.J.
T.J. and Cassie walked into the Megaship hand in hand. It was dark and there were no sounds. That meant everyone was asleep,
if it was that quiet in this place. T.J. walked Cassie to her room.
Before stepping in, Cassie turned around to face him. "Um.........T.J.," she slowly began. "About tonight.........."
"It was only a one time thing, I know," T.J. finished.
Cassie's eyes widened. "Huh?"
"You still love him." He could sense it in her kiss.
Cassie nodded. "I'm sorry," she whispered.
"It's alright. You can't control your heart," T.J. said quietly.
"No," Cassie agreed. "You certainly can't." She looked up at him. "I hope this doesn't change our friendship. You mean
too much to me."
T.J.'s eyes softened and his heart lightened when she spoke those words. He realized that he actually could be satisfied
"You mean the same to me," T.J. said. He sighed. "Now I guess I have to do the friendliest thing I could possibly do for
Cassie gazed curiously at him. "What's that?"
"Well, I'll have to help you find the Phantom Ranger."
Cassie's eyes sparkled excitedly. She threw her arms around him. "Really? Oh, thank you so much, Teej. You're the best."
She suddenly grew serious. "T.J.?"
"Um, what sort of happend between us awhile ago......... I felt it too."
"So.........we could have had something special," T.J. said, with a hint of sadness in his voice.
"Maybe, but......" She reached out to put her hand on his. "We do have something special."
T.J. smiled. "You're right," he said. He leaned over to hug her. The hug was cut short by DECA's rather obnoxious beeping.
Cassie turned to the monitor attached to her ceiling. "What is it, DECA?"
DECA's monotonous voice replied, "The Phantom Ranger's ship has been detected in the Angel Grove woods."
Cassie gasped. She looked at T.J. T.J. looked back at her. "I think you know what you have to do now," he said. Cassie