Rainbow of Friendship
September 4, 2006
3rd Person POV
Tommy, Kim, Billy, Trini, Jason, Zack, Angela, Adam, Kendrix, Jen, Wes, Katie, Lucas, and Trip headed to their terminal and sat down. The Rangers had gotten to the airport two hours ago, in time to drop Kat off for her flight to London, then see Rocky and Aisha off to Chicago, Carter, Chad, and Dana to Mariner Bay, and Tanya to Seattle. Jason, Zack, and Angela would be heading to New York later that day, by train, from Baltimore.
Tommy noticed Kim's white face and grabbed her hand, squeezing gently. Startled, she looked up and, noticing his encouraging gaze, smiled wanly. "It's gonna be OK," he murmured, leaning over and kissing her gently.
Sighing, she looked down at their entwined hands. "You say that now," she answered, "but how do you know it will? What if it's not OK? What if there isn't anything Dr. Rocca can do for me? What if…"
"Since when do we think about 'what ifs'?" Billy asked his sister. "Kim, I've known you longer than anybody, and as far back as I can remember, you've always done what needed to be done, and damn the consequences. You've never let 'what ifs' bother you before, why start now?"
"Billy's right, Kim," Jason put in. "You wouldn't be a Ranger – or as good a Ranger as you are, for that matter – if you thought about what might happen tomorrow. You've always done what was expected of you, did whatever was necessary to win, regardless of whether or not it was what you personally wanted. You need to do that now, too."
"Yeah, Kim," Zack piped in. "Remember way back when we were first called to action?" He lowered his voice so only his friends could hear what he was saying. "You did not want to be a Ranger. You scoffed at the idea that we could save the world, and didn't believe Zordon when he said that we had become as elite a fighting team as he'd ever seen. Remember?" Kim nodded slowly. "But when push came to shove, you joked about it, but in the end, you joined the Rangers. I know you didn't want to, but you did it because it was expected of you, and because you knew that people would die if we didn't help them."
"If you had let yourself stop using the mindset that you would lick Rita and Zedd, no matter what," Trini added, "then they'd already beat you. You knew that then, and cancer is no different than evil space aliens." She smiled wryly. "You have an entire family behind you, Kim; a support network, and we're here to help you, to encourage you. But that won't mean squat if you don't tell yourself that you'll beat this."
"They've got a point, Beautiful," Tommy finished. "We love you, we're here for you. But where's that fire inside you that won't give up? Where's the passion, the drive to succeed, the go-get-'em mindset that I fell in love with thirteen years ago?"
Kim didn't answer, just squeezed back Tommy's hand and reached for Billy's. She heard their flight announcement and stood up, grabbing her carry-ons and her purse.
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The Rangers approached the hospital slowly, savoring the last few minutes before Kimberly had to check herself in. They had all dropped their luggage off at the Collins mansion on the way to the hospital, but Tommy would go back later and retrieve his and Kimberly's.
Billy lowered his arm from around Trini's shoulders as he noticed a familiar-looking man pacing in front of the entrance. "Dad!" he called to gain the man's attention.
John Cranston flipped around at the sound of his son's voice, and sagged in relief when he saw Kimberly with him. Running up to his kids, he embraced first Kimberly, then Billy. "I was afraid you'd already gone into your appointment and I had missed you," he murmured softly.
Kim smiled encouragingly. "Nope, not until four, but I should be getting in so I can fill out their paperwork before my appointment."
John nodded as he shook Tommy's hand, clapped Jason on the shoulder, and turned to Trini. "I was so glad when Kimberly told me you were safe," he smiled to her.
"Thanks, Dr. Cranston," Trini laughed. "It's kind of nice to have been missed so much."
"Yes, and you're never going to be missed again, Trinity Alexis Kwan. Understood?" Kim growled fiercely, until her facial expressions caused Trini and Billy, then everyone else, to collapse in peals of laughter.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"Good afternoon, may I help you?" a plump, middle-aged woman asked pleasantly.
Despite her worries, Kim smiled back. "JoAnne?" she asked. At the woman's nod, she continued. "Hi, we spoke on the phone the other day. I have an appointment with Dr. Rocca at 4. I'm Kimberly Cranston."
"Of course, Dr. Cranston! If you would just fill out these forms for an in-patient stay, Dr. Rocca will be with you momentarily." She handed Kim a clipboard with a series of forms and questionnaires.
Kimberly plopped into the seat between Tommy and Billy, took out her pen, and had the forms completed within five minutes. She returned the forms to JoAnne, and just as she sat back down, a door opened and a dark-skinned man in his late 30's emerged. "Kimberly Cranston?" he called.
Kim took a deep breath and stood up shakily. "That's me," she answered. Tommy grabbed her hand and gave it a squeeze to reassure her. She squeezed back, but kept her attention on the man in front of her.
"I'm Donovan Rocca. It's nice to meet you." He shook her hand and engaged her in a smile.
"You too," she answered.
"If you would just come this way," he gestured. "Oh, and a blood relative – preferably a sibling, if you have one – so we can take a comparison bone marrow sample."
Billy stood up and joined them. Dr. Rocca glanced at him and nodded, satisfied. He gestured again, and the twins preceded him through the door, holding hands.
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"I understand from my secretary that you are a doctor, is that correct?" Dr. Rocca had Kimberly and Billy on identical exam tables in a large, sterile room. They were propped on their sides, facing each other, and there were giant machines with long needles directly above them. They had already had their blood taken by a young lab technician, but Dr. Rocca wanted to oversea the marrow draws himself.
Kim forced herself not to look at the equipment and to concentrate on the questions he was asking her. She looked into Billy's eyes, grinned, and nodded. "Yes. It actually seems to be a family occupation."
"Really? What fields?"
She gave a small laugh. "We actually have quite different tastes. My father is an Orthodontist, I am a Paleobotanist, and Billy over there is a Nuclear Physicist. Then there's my boyfriend, who's a Paleontologist, and his father, who's an OB/GYN. Doctorates just seem to sort of follow me around," she joked.
"So, is Billy here your older brother, or your younger brother?"
Billy snorted and Kimberly laughed outright. "We don't know." At the doctor's confused look, she explained. "It's kind of complicated. We grew up together, but next door to each other. We were best friends, but didn't know we were related until just a few days ago, when we found out that not only are we related, but we are twins. As to who was actually born first, well, we just don't know. Yet. We'll ask our father and get back to you on that question."
Dr. Rocca chatted with them for a few more minutes, asking them questions about their upbringing and their friends and their jobs, and before they knew it, he was done pulling out their bone marrow samples. "So, just so Billy and I understand, why did you have to get a sample of his blood and bone marrow?"
"Part of the reason is so we can eliminate him as a patient. Another reason is to type and cross-match his blood work with yours, in the event that we need a transfusion. We find that family members make excellent donors, and siblings even better ones. The fact that you're twins just enhances the probability that you'll be a match." Kimberly and Billy nodded, understanding. "Go ahead and get dressed, then bring your family into my office. I'll be there with the preliminary results of your blood analysis shortly."
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"Kimberly, when did you find out about the possibility of your condition?" Dr. Rocca looked disturbed by something in Kimberly's file.
"Uh, four days ago. I think. It's been a very long week," she laughed nervously.
"Hmm…I see. Well, you definitely have Leukemia; that was painfully obvious to our lab techs." Kim groaned inwardly, but kept her eyes trained on Dr. Rocca. "I'd like to discuss your treatment options with you now. Under normal circumstances, I would recommend a cancer patient begin radiation or chemo – or a combination of both – immediately. Unfortunately, in your condition, I can't recommend that this time."
Kim sagged in relief, then sat up straight. Tommy, Billy, John, Trini, Jason, and Zack all looked at the doctor, confusion etched in their faces. "Um, my condition?" Kimberly stammered. "Isn't that Leukemia?"
Dr. Rocca shook his head, his turn to be confused. "You mean you don't know?" he asked.
"All we knew was there was a likelihood of my sister having Leukemia. Is there something else in her blood work showing up?" Billy asked, gripping Kim's hand. Tommy had the other one, and John and Jason were each holding one of her shoulders. Zack had his hand on one of Tommy's shoulders, gripping encouragingly, and Trini clasped Billy's free hand.
"As a matter of fact, there is. And I'm afraid it will interfere with your treatment options. Since radiation will certainly bring harm to your child, Kimberly, I'm recommending you for Biological Treatment."
Kim blinked twice, then shook her head. "Child? What child?" she asked stupidly.
"The child that you're carrying," the doctor replied simply. "You really didn't know?"
Kim shook her head. "I had a pregnancy test the day I found out about the Leukemia, but it came out negative. I had another one the next day, and it still came out negative."
"Well, this one came out very definitely positive. Have you been…active…in the last few days?"
The news finally sunk in enough for Kim to smile and nod. "Actually, yes. Tommy and I were trying for a baby, but didn't think it would happen so soon. We were going to ask you about optional treatment. What is Biological Treatment?"
"It's a lot of herbs, teas, and pills. It's a lot safer for fetal development than radiation or chemo. The drawback to it is that it isn't likely to cure your cancer; only to hold it at bay, so to speak."
Kim nodded. "OK. Let's do that, then. How long do you think it will keep the Leukemia at bay?"
"It's hard to say. I've seen some cases where the Leukemia was much more aggressive than the herbs, and it had no affect at all. The majority of what I've seen, and what will probably happen in your case, is the herbs will stunt the spread of the cancer for the length of a pregnancy, but as soon as the baby is born, we'd have to put you on radiation."
"You say it's not likely to cure Kim's Leukemia," John began. "Have you ever seen an instance where these herbs actually did cure the cancer?"
"Not myself personally, but one of my colleagues had a patient whose particular strain of cancer was just not strong enough to fight even these mild herbs, and the herbs did in fact, cure this patient. As I say, it's not likely, but there is a record of it happening."
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Jason, Zack, and Angela left for the train station a little after they left the doctor's office. Billy and Adam headed out to a local restaurant to bring dinner back to Kim's hospital room so they could celebrate her pregnancy. The Rangers – and John – talked and ate and laughed for hours, until John noticed his daughter's drooping eyes. He mentioned to the others that they should be leaving. Tommy would be the only one to stay with Kim tonight, since he'd be leaving in the morning. Billy would be by to say goodbye before he and Tommy teleported back.
"Hey there, Tiger, what are you doing way over there?" Kim asked petulantly. Tommy wasn't all that far away; he was sitting in a chair next to her bed, but she wanted him actually in the bed with her.
He smiled. "Kim, there is no way we would both fit in that bed. Besides, you have an IV going into your arm."
"You can sleep over here," she patted the bed on her right side, "and I can snuggle up against your side, with my arm safely on your chest. Please, Tommy. I want you with me tonight; remember, I have to sleep without you for the next five days."
"Three days," he corrected. "Remember, this is Monday night, you'll see me Friday afternoon." She looked so cute, sitting there, big brown eyes pleading, that Tommy didn't have the heart to say no. He began tugging his tie loose. "At least let me change out of my suit," he stipulated, taking his pajama pants out of his satchel and heading to the bathroom.
He finished up in the bathroom and came out, shutting the lights off as he went. Once he reached the bed, she got up so he could sit, then she climbed into the bed beside him, molding herself against his side and wedging a leg in between his. He wrapped his left arm around her waist and grabbed her left hand in his right, careful not to disturb the IV lodged there.
"Everything happened so fast today, I've barely had the chance to register that we're gonna be parents," Kim mumbled sleepily. "I'm glad I'm pregnant already; in case this is it for me, then I want as much time as possible with you and our child." At his look, she hastened to reassure him. "I'm not saying that I'm giving up the fight, relax, Handsome. I'm just being prepared in case it does happen."
Tommy tightened his hold on Kim. "I love you," he finally whispered, but Kim's steady breathing told him that she had already fallen asleep.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"We'll do a conference call with everyone every day, and Billy and I will each call you privately, as well," Tommy promised, programming the last number into his phone.
Kim nodded and leaned in for a kiss. "Relax, Handsome. I have my father and Trini here, Jen, Wes, Lucas, Katie, and Trip at the Collins house, and Adam and Kendrix at Adam's apartment down the street. They've all agreed to take very good care of me and to report to you if I don't do exactly as I'm told. I'm in good hands for now, but hurry back so I can be back in your hands before too long," she finished seductively.
Tommy wrapped his arms around her and kissed her once more. "I love you," he whispered huskily.
"I love you, too. Hurry back." She gave him another quick kiss before leaving his embrace and turning to Billy.
"I love you, Kim," he choked, hugging her tight and kissing her hair.
She wrapped her arms around him and held him tight. "I love you, too." The twins stepped apart and smiled at each other. Trini gave Billy one more kiss, then went to check the hall to make sure their father wasn't heading back to the room and gave them a thumbs-up when the coast was clear.
The men left in a flurry of color, and Trini and Kim finished packing Kim's remaining clothes to be moved to the bungalow after her morning tea. It's gonna be a long road, Kim thought to herself as she dropped the herbs into the teapot the nurse had brought earlier.
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A/N: Well, that's it, people; the end of Rainbow of Friendship. But don't worry, I'll be continuing this story in the next installment: Follow the Pink Road. That one will follow Kim on her journey through her Leukemia and pregnancy, but you will see the other Rangers, too, of course. Thanks for reading, and don't forget to tell me what you think!