Unavoidable Secrets 10

Summary: The aftermath.

Rating: Same as the one before, and before that, and before...

Disclaimer: See above. Such a shame.

Author's Notes: Well, is this the end?? I'm undecided about whether to carry on with this series, but I do know I will carry on writing in some shape or form. Any help/feedback is always greatly appreciated. This chapter will therefore be tying up loose ends, but maybe creating some as well :-) !!

Kim got up shakily, realising that her vision was not clearing, and vaguely aware that blood was somehow making its merry way out of her elbow and onto the floor. Her head felt fuzzy, but she managed to stand without falling, although that could have had something to do with the fact that Tommy was supporting her. From far away she heard police struggling to restrain Dave, and finally reading him his rights, it seemed as though he had been arrested, and not before time either. He was being charged with GBH and something else that Kim's ears couldn't focus on.

Finally her eyes completely cleared, and they focused on Zack, who was watching her carefully. She tried to smile, but it came out as more of a grimace, and said,

"I should have said flying frisbees, shouldn't I?" Zack nodded ruefully, and Tommy just looked puzzled. "Can somebody get me a towel or something? I think we need to save your floor before we have to change the colour scheme to red."

Zack went back into the bathroom to retrieve a towel. Tommy looked into Kim's eyes, slowly turning her around to face him while making sure she was supported and didn't fall down, before saying,

"It's okay to cry, beautiful."

The use of his old pet name for her, and the entirity of what had gone on over the last three years of her life finally caught up with her, and the floodgates opened. She held on to her ex-boyfriend with her one good arm, sobbing until she thought that her heart would literally break. Zack came back into the room and carefully encased her arm in soft towelling, and Kim finally got her emotions under control, although the pain of the bullet in her arm was enough to make her want to cry for the rest of her life.

"We've radioed for an ambulance, Ms Hart," a uniformed police officer that she didn't recognise told her. "We'll obviously need to question all of you, but that can be done at the hospital."

A nearby plain clothed officer wasn't quite so understanding. "Are you sure that it was Dave Curtis that shot you, Kim?"

Kim and Tommy looked at each other, absolutely horrified.

"No need to answer now, we need to get you in an ambulance and on your way to hospital," he backtracked. "I'm sure your fresh minds will keep for a little longer."

Kim wiped her tearstreaked face, and desperately tried to cast her confused mind back to just five minutes ago. She was sure that she hadn't shot herself, but as for who had actually pulled the trigger.. Kim was pretty sure that it had been Dave, but even if it hadn't been him, she would place the blame in his direction with no qualms whatsoever. It looked as though, finally, this particular chapter of her life was coming to a close.

Tommy and Zack helped a shaky Kim down the stairs of the building, ignoring the curious galnces of neighbours who had heard the gunshot and were eagerly waiting for gossip to reach their ears. They waited until they saw the police car with Dave in drive safely away until they led her to the waiting ambulance. Kim took one look at the towel which was now a sickly shade of red, and said quickly to Zack, "Ring everyone for me?" He nodded, and she turned her attention to Tommy, saying quietly before she lost all of her strength, "Will you please stay with me?"

He nodded in agreement. Tommy knew that he hadn't fired that gun, he had seen Dave's fingers close around the trigger but had been powerless to stop him. But he also knew that the police would question him to see how he dealt with pressure, until they wanted him to break. It all rested on whether Dave admitted to what he ahd done, or decided to place the blame on someone else, namely himself. It was weighing heavily on his mind, even as they left Zack and the apartment building behind and the paramedic began to unwind the improvised bandage from Kim's seemingly shattered elbow.

"You're probably going to have surgery on this, I should think," the woman told Kim as she started to clean out the open wound. Kim winced, but managed to nod through the pain. "They'll keep you in for a couple of days and if it heals well, you'll be out within three days."

The rest of the journey was a silent one, Kim not looking at anyone and Tommy lost in his own thoughts. They both knew that life would never be the same after this had happened.

* * *

Jason knocked impatiently at Trini's door. He needed to see her, but why he simply couldn't say. Finally, after what seemed like the passing of a historical age, the door was opened. Trini stood there with tears streaming down her face. Immediately Jason moved to put his arms around her. "What's the matter? What happened?"

Trini sniffed and struggled to regain her composure. "I just got a call from Zack...Kim's been shot in the arm."

Jason held Trini tighter, not letting the threatening wave of emotions overcome him. Kim had always been able to take care of herself, but now it looked as though her built in self-protective devices had truly broken down. "When did he call?"

Trini disentangled herself, and wiped her eyes. "Um..maybe five minutes ago. He said Tommy went with her to the hospital, and he was just on his way there. They arrested Dave, but he said the police were trying to pin it on Tommy."

"What?" Jason said disbelievingly, then said, "Tell me in the car. We'll go to the hospital and wait until we can see her."

"Okay, let me just get my jacket." Trini grabed the nearest coat, not caring that it mismatched the outfit she was wearing completely, and they went out to Jason's car. She waited until they were out on the road that led to the hospital before beginning. "Zack said that Dave turned up, Tommy spoke to him first then realised that he had a gun, so Kim came out but she said something and Dave got her in a stranglehold. She kicked the gun out of his hand, and all three of them were trying to get it and she got shot."

"Shit," Jason muttered. "Did Zack say how she was?"

"She was conscious, but her elbow looked as though it was shattered apparently. He said she'll probably have to stay in the hospital for a while, or at least get surgery, but he wasn't sure. He sounded pretty shook up as well, but I guess you would be."

"Yeah," Jason said. "Did he call everyone else?"

"Yeah. He left me till last, but Billy and the rest can't make it till later on, and she probably won't be allowed that many visitors anyway."

"Okay, well we'll try our luck, if anything we'll get to see Zack," Jason said, as they found a parking space in the Angel Grove Memorial Hospital.

"Kim's in surgery Zack said, he'd wait for us in the reception and we'll find the ward she's going to be in." Trini announced, getting out of the car and walking with Jason toward the main entrance. Suddenly somethign occured to her and she stopped dead, luckily not in the middle of the road. "Jase, why did you come to my place anyway? You kind of never got a chance to explain."

Jason looked at her. He had decided to break up with Emily and ask Trini if she'd be prepared to give the issue of them a try. But how could he tell her that now, when their friend since childhood was hospitalized and they were in such an alien situation? He'd have to make up some excuse.

"I was on my way home and was thinking how I was bored, so I decided to pop in before I went back." Not such a lie after all, although maybe one of omission.

Trini looked dubious, but let it go for the moment, because they had just walked into the reception area and seen Zack pacing up and down by the snack machines. Spotting them, he walked over quickly, saying,

"Thank god you guys are here."

"What's going on?" Jason asked his friend quickly. Zack rubbed his temple and said despondently,

"Not much. Tommy's off being questioned by the police, I've already had the pleasure of that experience. Kim's out of surgery and stable, but she's still unconscious so we can't go ond see her yet. I made friends with one of the nurses who said she'll come and tell us when she's awake and ready."

"What did the police say to you?" Trini asked, her true caring nature coming into force.

"They weren't suggesting me as having done anything wrong, they just wanted to know what happened. They said they had the gun for fingerprinting, but were pretty sure it was Dave from what I described." The three friends went to sit in some of the reception's chairs.

"And are you sure that it was Dave?" Jason asked. "I don't like to say it or anything, but if there were three of them fighting over it, it could have been Tommy, or even Kim herself for that matter."

"I know, but I think it was Dave," Zack maintained. "I would have thought he would be the only one holding the trigger, and I told the police that."

Their discussion was interrupted by the sight of Tommy coming into view. He looked exhausted and more than a little worried, yet still angry at the same time.

"Dude, what'd they say to you?" Zack asked. Tommy nodded at Trini and Jason and fell into a chair.

"Thank god Dave's pleading guilty," was all he said for a moment, before adding, "How's Kim? Is she out of surgery yet?"

It would have been funny to see Tommy's lingering affection for his ex-girlfriend in any other circumstance, but today was not that day. "She's out of surgery, but not awake yet," Zack told him.

"All we can do is wait," Trini said. "Does anyone want a coffee from the machine over there?"

All three guys nodded, and Jason went over to help her carry the four cups of coffee back to the chairs. They sipped in silence for a few minutes, before Zack got up from his seat, saying "That's the nurse over there." He waved his arm, and the woman came over to where they were seated.

"Is she awake yet?" Zack and Tommy asked simultaneously. The nurse, whose name tag read 'Carol' smiled and said,

"Yes she is, but the police have asked to speak to her first. They assured me that they'd only be ten minutes at the most, so I came to find you guys and bring you up to the ward. Do you want to come and follow me?" The four got up and followed the tall nurse through a maze of corridors and stairs.

"How is she?" Jason asked anxiously. Carol looked at him and said,

"Well they got the bullet out okay, but upon entering her arm it basically shattered the joint. That's why she was so long in surgery, the doctors did some basic pinning together so she can still have full use of that arm. She's a bit groggy at the moment, but a quick chat with the men in uniform should liven her up a bit." They reached the ward which was their destination, and Carol pointed to a tiny side room. "That's where she is. Wait outside until the police leave and then two of you go in at the same time, no more than two though, and not more that ten minutes a time."

"I'll go in with you, Tommy," Zack said. Tommy nodded, and Jason was secretly relieved to have some more time with Trini, even if it was only ten minutes at the most. They made idle chitchat for a few minutes before the conversation suddenly turned to Billy's engagement to Cara.

"I just don't understand it," Zack said. "Billy is one of the nicest guys that I have ever met, and he ends up with an ice queen who is stopping him from keeping in contact with us."

"Really?" Trini asked, shocked. "Billy's never been the most assertive of men, but I thought he'd have stood up for us. After all," her voice dropped volume "We've shared things more deeply than anyone else can possibly understand."

"Someone's going to have to talk to him," Jason said. "Even if it does worsen relations even more, it has to be said."

They all nodded, and Tommy said, "Not now though. We have to get past this... whole thing before we can even think about anything else." If anyone else noticed that he had laid his feelings for Kim on the table, they didn't outwardly show it, preferring instead to lose themselves in their own thoughts for as long as it took for the police to emerge from Kim's side room. The two men swept past the group of friends without casting a glance at who they were, and Zack took that as their clue to go into the room from which they had just exited.

Kim looked better than both men had thought she would. Propped up by pillows, and with a slightly overbearing flush on her cheeks, the only sign that she was unwell was the gigantic cast that covered most of her right arm. On seeing the two friends who had shared her ordeal her expression becams slightly sombre, but still generally upbeat.

"Hey, how are you?" Tommy asked, sitting by her side, and Zack taking the chair on the other side of the bed. Kim sighed, and said,

"As well as can be expected I guess. My head feels as though it's been shot from the inside out, but I should be out within a couple days, or so I've been told."

"Did the police have anything to say to you?" Zack asked worriedly.

"He's pleading guilty, but apart from that, not really. He's being refused bail, and we can get on with our lives once I'm out of here." Kim started playing with the sheet on her bed with her intact arm, obviously uncomfortable with the way the conversation was going. "I have to get a phone somehow, something tells me my mom's gonna want to hear about this one."

"Kim, there are about ten other people waiting to see you," Carol siad as she walked into the room, "but this party's going to have to be cut short I'm afraid. You need some proper sleep and a good night's rest so that when all your friends comeback you can talk to them for more than two minutes beofre you get tired. So, you two, scoot."

"We'll be back tomorrow, Kim," Tommy assured her, not wanting her to think that they were just going to abandon her. Kim nodded and suppressed a yawn, saying,

"Just don't make it before ten in the morning." Tommy and Zack followed the nurse out of the room, and saw Jason, Trini, Billy, Adam, Rocky and Aisha all waiting to see Kim. One look at their friends faces told them that their intended purpose would not be fulfilled today.

"No dice?" Adam said. Zack shook his head, and said,

"The nurse says Kim's too tired and needs to sleep. Sorry for dragging you guys all the way out here for nothing."

"It's not for nothing if one of our friends needs us," Billy pointed out. "Shall we come in smaller groups tomorrow then, so as not to tire her out even more than she already is?"

The group generally agreed, and dispersed along the corridors. No-one even made a suggestion about getting together that night, it wasn't the time for socialising. Once they had all found the way back to the car park, they said their goodbyes and made their way to their respective homes.

Jason drove Trini back to her apartment in silence, but when he reached her building he made his snap decision. Although he had changed his mind so many times before, when Trini went to say goodbye to him, he kissed her deeply on the lips, and not in a sibling relationship manner either. Trini pulled away after several moments of thoroughly enjoying herself, and said breathlessly,

"What was that for?"

Jason blushed to the roots of his hair, and said, "Well, I thought you might need someone there for you." Stupid Jason! You don't say that when you've just kissed someone you've wanted for as long as you remember. What exactly you do say he had no idea, but not that.

"Come inside?" Trini asked.

"Of course."

* * *

As directed, Tommy arrived at the hospital well after ten am, twelve o'clock to be precise. When he knocked uncertainly at Kim's door and she said "Come in," she was listlessly flicking through a magazine.

"Hey, humanity," she said gratefully, tossing the magazine aside. "I was beginning to think no-one was coming."

"I had to work, this is my lunch break," he told her.

"So do you want to walk down to the cafeteria and get something to eat?" Kim asked, levering herself out of the uncomfortable bed. "And this isn't just being nice either, if breakfast was anything to go by then I don't want to stick around here for lunch."

They walked down to the hospital canteen in silence, and once there Kim grabbed an apple and Tommy a sandwich, eating right was not on either of their main priorities list at the moment. After finding a table, Kim suddenly blurted out,

"You're feeling guilty, aren't you?" At the blush that spread over his face, she said "Don't for god's sake. I already feel bad about getting you dragged into the whole thing in the first place, it was nothing to do with you anyway."

"Anything that goes wrong with you has something to do with you," Tommy admitted softly. "Don't you get it, that I still want you to be mine?"

Kim laughed softly, and said, "I think I knew all along, but what can I do? I can't get into a relationship with you when everyday I'd be remindd of when I gave you up, of the hell I had to go through to get you again.I know everyone's looking on me as strong, but I really don't think that I could go through that again."

"You wouldn't be going through hell again. We wouldn't be going backwards, we would be going forward," Tommy said. "Do you love me?"

Kim paused for a moment, then looked at him and said, "You know I tried to stop loving you so badly when I wrote that note?" Tommy waited, and finally she sighed, and said "But everyday the only thing that stopped me coming back to you was the thought of what you would think of me... and now that you know I suppose we could go forward...together?" Her eyes were tear-filled, but there was hope behind the sheet of tears there. Tommy smiled and said,

"I guess we could."

Author's Notes: Wow, longest chapter ever! And probably the end, because I really have no idea where a sequel would go. If you want one, then suggestions would make this girl's day.
Thanks to everyone who has reviewed, it means a lot to me. Keep waiting, I'll be coming out with new stuff soon, hopefully.