Title: Romancing a Leopard for Dummies
Author: Melissa Someone
Story Category: Power Rangers
Generation: Jungle Fury
Summary: Casey has no idea on how to romance both a woman and her animal spirit..
Sister Fic to: Nikutai No Kizuna – The Ties That Bind and Forgotten Past
Disclaimer: Don't own PR, Saban now holds the rights!
Dedication: To Chelle - who, three years ago allowed me to use the ideas from Nikutai No Kizuna , provided I didn't write Forgotten Past as a Casey/Lily story. I still don't think she knew what she was getting into when she and I started talking on Yahoo. I mean, I can be a bit crazy.
Sigh of the Tiger
"This is ridiculous." Casey pronounced before stomping off as Jasmine came down with her lunch. Jasmine could feel Casey's frustration coming off of the Red Ranger in waves. Casey's eyes met with Jasmine's, reminding the younger girl of something Master Sha – Fu had said of the Tiger Spirit, 'The Tiger Spirit is like the sea, my young Leopard. The spirit hates to be restrained.' Well, Casey had the same hate in his eyes.
"We had a deal: Whatever I say, remember?" RJ called out. Casey retraced his steps and yanked the red washcloth out of RJ's grasp. "Besides, all is not lost, Casey. I have a secret weapon." RJ smiled at Jasmine.
"You haven't worked on anything!" The cub accused, slightly reminding Jasmine of Tora when he had been jerked away from her to move to California.
RJ acknowledged Casey's rant with a nod. "Ah well...see, my secret weapon isn't a thing, it's a person." Casey caught sight of the now familiar Solar Morpher in a new color – pink. Jumping to conclusions, Casey went hysterical.
"You can't be serious about making her a ranger RJ! Fran can barely protect herself against the Rinshi..." RJ looked amused at Casey's first choice for his pick.
"I'm not making Fran a Ranger, Casey." RJ said softly.
"Then...Oh no, not Jasmine. You're going too far, RJ." Casey retorted. "You can't send her up against Buffalord. He'd snap her like a twig snaps in two!"
"You're attracted to her." RJ pointed out, quite amused by the cub's rant.
"I am not attracted to her! Attraction has nothing to do with me keeping her out of that...animal's way."
"Uh-huh." RJ looked as if he didn't believe Casey. "Casey, you're acting like her Shitashii kogareru would."
Jasmine stared at RJ as the idea that Casey could be Tora reared it's head again.'Impossible!' she mentally chided herself. There was no way that her Tora-chan could have turned into the cub that was before her, or at least that was what she told herself as she watched the fight between Casey and RJ.
"She's too damn delicate RJ! And why would I be acting the part of her Shitashii whatsit?"
"Shitashii kogareru. Not only are they a devoted lover, but they have an overwhelming desire to protect their mate." RJ explained.
"She's just a friend, RJ!"
"Just a friend? I think not." RJ said, pinching the bridge of his nose impatiently with his thumb and forefinger.
"The fact that I want to help the team is none of your business, Casey." Jasmine cut in. "It's mine." The cub turned to her and glared at her, again reminding her of Tora when he was having one of his rare fits.
"It very well is my business. I'm Red and team leader!" Casey protested. "You know, I wonder what your precious Tora – chan would have to say if he could see you now." Casey sneered at her. Instantly Jasmine slapped Casey's face, took the solar morpher and left.
After the victorious second battle, Casey looked at Jasmine. The newest addition to their team sat in a corner alone, eating a couple slices of pepperoni pizza. Theo's eyes followed Casey's. "You owe her an apology, Case. She was instrumental in keeping Buffalord at bay until you arrived." Theo whispered.
"Yeah, I know." The red replied. "I'm afraid that Jasmine won't accept my apology."
"No time like the present, as my father says." Theo remarked ."Shoo, go kiss and make up with my sister or I may not forgive you either." Casey frowned at Theo. "Go...what are you waiting for? An engraved invitation?"
Casey walked over to Jasmine's table. The new Pink Ranger seemed dejected as she picked off her pepperoni pieces. "Hey." He murmured.
"Hi. Look, I wasn't trying to steal your spotlight but I wanted to help so badly."
"I know. I should have never used Tora like that." Jasmine looked at his face and smiled sadly.
"I'm afraid that he's dead." Casey could see tears rolling down her face as she talked. "It's time for me to move on."
"Don't give up yet. He could be alive, Jasmine." Casey put his hand on hers. The touch left his hand tingling slightly and the haunting tune he'd fallen asleep to began again in his mind, bringing with it the short glimpses of the little girl he'd convinced himself long ago, was just his imagination playing tricks on him. He blinked rapidly, trying to sort out the things rushing to the forefront of his mind as the brief contact ended.
A/N: Read and Review! A Taste of Poison is next...