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The ShadowLands

The Eyes That Never Cried
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Disclaimer: The Power Rangers and the Phantom Ranger belong to Saban, not me.

The Eyes That Never Cried

by Jennifer Collins

Phantom ran. He ran through the park at top speed until he couldn't run any longer. He had no idea where he was, nor did he care. It was all over now. Of course. Why didn't he see it before? She'd made her choice. She wanted TJ now, not him.

It was only fair. He'd never been there for her, even though he knew she needed him. TJ was always there, while he was too scared of his own newfound heart to go to her right away. He had no one else to blame for this but himself.

Phantom fell to his knees. The pain that tore at his heart was too much to bear. He buried his face in his hands. The image of Cassie kissing TJ on the park bench still nagged at his mind. No matter what he did, the mental picture still taunted him.

Even now, he wanted nothing more than to have one more chance to correct his mistake. His head throbbed with an ache powerful enough to cause a groan of pain to escape from his throat. He felt sick. His body trembled, even in the hot, Californian summer night, but that was not the worst part of it. Hot tears stung painfully in his eyes. Phantom wrapped his arms tightly around himself to get his bearings. I will not cry, he told himself. He'd never cried in his life, he wasn't about to start now. Crying was something overly emotional humans did.

Cassie's face once again found its way into his mind. Thankfully, this time she wasn't with TJ. Now Phantom's thoughts were of what could have been. His stomach burned with whatever hurt had leaked from his broken heart as he told himself that he'd never have her now because it was too late. The stinging in his watery eyes grew sharper, and Phantom covered them with his hands to hold in the tears that threatened to fall.

He thought he might actually die here like this without her. The thought caused his lips to quiver and he squeezed his eyes shut, cursing himself for allowing himself to become so vulnerable.

Phantom cried out as a wave of painful throbbing once again consumed him. The pounding in his head continued persistantly. If he lived through this, he would surely go insane. I need her, he told himself. That went without saying. He had to get her to give him one more chance. He knew it was unfair to her, but he needed that one chance. Then he could make her happy for all eternity, and that would satisfy him just fine.

His eyes grew itchy and the stinging spread to the base of his skull. I will not cry! He tried to think of how happy he would be once he got Cassie to give him his chance. He knew he would get it, he promised himself as much. He'd either die holding Cassie in his arms or die trying to get her there.

A new image of Cassie formed in his mind, something he had not expected to see. She was crying, and her pain was so great it hit him straight to his soul. Could it be that she was feeling the same hurt as he? I knew it, he thought. Her pain in his soul ripped him apart like nothing ever had before, but this proved that she still loved him. All the pain that could have killed him plus a million times more was worth it to him if he could feel her love once more. Soon he could tell her all his feelings for her. He could heal both their hearts and love her forever.

He prayed to any god in the high heavens that was willing to listen that his precious Cassie would open her kind heart to him and accept his love. Then everything would be okay, as long as he had her to call his.

Phantom squeezed his eyes shut once more and bit down hard on his lip as the searing increased. He tasted blood on his tongue, and he spit on the ground to keep the bitter taste out of his mouth. The image of Cassie in pain because of him only intensified his own hurt, and he could not hold it in any longer.

Phantom hung his head dejectedly. His left cheek was now wet with the burning trail of one tear that had escaped from an eye that had never known tears at all in this lifetime. The last of the protective wall he'd worked so hard to build came crashing down, and he had never felt so vulnerable in his life. He trembled and cried out in the agony of his defeat.

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Cassie stopped in her tracks. She thought she'd heard someone cry out in the distance. Her instincts told her to walk in the direction the sounds were coming from. At least it was on the way to Phantom's ship.......... She would try to help whoever was in trouble first, and then she would go find the Phantom. It was a good excuse as to why she was in this part of the woods in the first place.

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Phantom's senses told him that someone was coming. He tried to get a grip of himself, but failed. As the person grew closer, he realized that it was his beloved Cassie. Oh no, he thought. Not now. I can't let her see me like this! He panicked.

"Hello," Cassie said gently. He tried not to look up, knowing she was right in front of him.

She crouched down beside him. "Are you okay?" She looked into his eyes and gasped. "It's you," she breathed.

Phantom's jaw dropped. How could she possibly know that? He quickly recovered. In desperation, he activated his invisibility shield.

"No! Please don't go," Cassie called.

He knew he should just stay and tell her everything now, but he couldn't. Not like this. Not while he wasn't thinking straight. Once again, Phantom's cowardice caused him to run away from her. He could still hear her calling to him as he ran.