Prologue: Cruel News
Started: February 16, 2008
Finished: September 26, 2008
Summary: What happens when one of the invincible SPD Rangers falls ill thanks to the genetic powers they'd been born with?
Ship: JA, BZ, eventual SS
AN: I was looking through my Rascal Flatts' c.d.'s, trying to find something to listen to and I came across one of my favorite songs – Skin (Sarabeth). It's a song about a young girl who finds out she has cancer, and how she deals with it. I happened to be talking to Enigmaforum and CathyD and the images started hitting me. What would happen if SPD's resident Pink Princess, the world famous model and pop star, suddenly had to deal with a very real disease? What if the SPD Rangers finally came to the conclusion that their genetic powers had the ability to turn on them in a way none of them ever wanted to deal with? This is my take on that story.
AN2: Research was done at the American Cancer Society website - .org, so the information is as accurate as I can get it. It's called – Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Acute leukemia: In acute leukemia, the bone marrow cells don't mature properly. These immature cells build up and crowd out normal cells. Without treatment, most patients with acute leukemia would live only a few months. Some types of acute leukemia respond well to treatment and many patients are cured. People with other types often do not do as well. Myeloid leukemia: Myeloid leukemia mainly develops from white blood cells such as granulocytes or monocytes, but can also form from the cells that mature into platelets or red blood cells.
AN3: I'm not trying to turn cancer into a cartoon, cause let's face it: it's a reality that millions of people deal with every day. It's serious, and this story is meant to be serious. Yes, it's based off a song, but it's a serious look at how the Rangers deal with something humanizing, something that doesn't care what race, creed, ethnicity, skin color, age or gender you are. It doesn't care how much money you have, what social circles you move in, or where and when you were born. This effects people of every background.
Dedication – Angel, Cat, Enigmaforum, Shawn and Rapunzl for helping me with the story, and for being supportive as I wrote it. And to all the Syd and Sky fans out there, for the years of support, the enthusiasm, and for loving SS as much as I do!
September 16, 2033
Commander Sky Tate's Office
New Tech City, CA
"Commander Tate to the Command Center!"
Sky sat at his desk, his eyes focused on the picture in the silver metal frame staring back at him. Today was the day he'd been dreading most this year. The anniversary of his father's passing was always hard, but today, the anniversary on today, was worse. It had been one year since the death of the woman he loved beyond life itself.
The silver picture frame had been a wedding gift, and inside of it was his favorite picture from their wedding. He was standing there in the black tuxedo, his arms around her waist, and his eyes on her face. It was one of the brightest, happiest looks he knew anyone had ever seen on him. Her head was tipped back, blond hair cascading behind her, her big blue eyes were locked on his, her teeth worrying her bottom lip. Her hands were clinging tightly to his forearms, as if she was afraid he'd disappear. The picture was his favorite, because they looked so happy, but it made him hurt. They had four wonderful years together as husband and wife, and a year of falling in love before that, before her body had finally given out on them. To say he missed her, this last year, was the biggest understatement of all time. He felt like his heart had literally been ripped from his chest. After all they'd been through together in their youth, all the years fighting monsters and training to be Power Rangers, one of Earth's most hated diseases had done what no villain had ever been able to managed; cancer had stolen the tenacious Pink Ranger in her prime.
Shaking his head, he pushed away from his desk and headed for the Command Center, knowing Kat would want to see him about their plans for tonight's memorial. The door closed behind him with a ringing finality.
Sara Beth is scared to death
To hear what the doctor will say
She hasn't been well, since the day that she fell
And the bruise just won't go away
So she sits and she waits with her mother and dad
And flips through an old magazine
Till the nurse with the smile stands in the door
And says will you please come with me
January 5, 2026
Dr. Mick Morgan's Office
New Tech City, CA
She sat worrying her bottom lip with her teeth, the magazine she'd been reading forgotten on the chair next to her. She really didn't want to be where she was, could think of a million things she could be doing on a Monday morning; chief among them would be training with her Squad. By now they had to be worrying about her, because she knew that Commander Cruger hadn't said anything to them yet. She'd asked him not to.
Her eyes fell to her left leg, hidden beneath a demure black skirt. Tears welled as she stared, knowing that something wasn't right with her. She'd taken a nasty tumble just after Thanksgiving, shortly after they'd defeated Gruumm last year, and the bruise she'd earned from it hadn't healed. In fact, it had only gotten worse. She did her best to hide it while she'd been at the academy, but when she'd gone home for her two week Christmas vacation, she hadn't been able to hide it, or the pain, from her parents.
Now she was sitting in her family's doctor's office, waiting to be seen by him. "Honey, are you alright?" her mother softly asked, moving to sit next to her. Big, watery blue eyes looked up at her mother, lip trembling as she did. "Sydney?"
"I'm scared," she whispered, looking back down at her leg. "What if something's wrong?"
She could tell her parents were hiding their own fears to sooth hers. The tremble of her mother's lips as she pressed them together was sign enough. "Think positively, Sydney. Whatever's wrong with your leg, we'll deal with it, alright? I just think you probably bruised the bone, and it's taking its own sweet time to heal. It's not like you're having a whole lot of problems walking on it."
She nodded, hoping, praying, her mother was right. She wanted to get back to the academy and her duties as soon as possible. It was strange, but after not being able to stand her teammates in the beginning of their tenure as Rangers, she'd come to love them all so much, and missed them even more. Two weeks away from the academy felt like a lifetime. She missed listening to Bridge go on and on about buttery toast, Z moaning and groaning about Sky's training schedule, but most of all, she missed Sky harassing each of them in his own way. They'd all grown up this last year, grown into adults who had survived one of the toughest challenges of their lives and still come out alive.
A nurse came through the waiting room door, a bright smile on her face. "Sydney Drew?"
Looking up, she tried to smile back at the pretty nurse, but her whole body trembled. "If you'll come with me, I'll take you back."
Sara Beth is scared to death
Cause the doctor just told her the news
Between the red cells and white, something's not right
But we're gonna take care of you
Six chances in ten, it won't come back again
With the therapy we're gonna try
It's just been approved, it's the strongest there is
And I think that we caught it in time
And Sara Beth closes her eyes.
January 12, 2026
Syd and Z's Room
New Tech City, CA
The heart wrenching sobs were what caught his attention as he walked past the girls' room. It wasn't the kind of crying a girl did unless something was seriously wrong, or at least that's what he knew thanks to his limited experience with crying females. Cautiously, he stopped by the door and just listened. He knew it wasn't Z, as the Yellow Ranger was on patrol with Bridge for another hour. That left Sydney. He debated for a whole minute what to do – give her privacy or go in and see what was wrong. The harsh sounds of her cries tore at his heart; she was his best friend, he couldn't stand to hear her cry. He quickly keyed his clearance code into the pad at the door and strode in. The sight before him stopped him dead in his tracks and damn near brought him to his knees.
Sydney was on her bed, leaning against the two walls. Her knees were drawn to her chest, her face buried in her hands. Her whole body shook with each cry issued from her throat. Biting his tongue, he quietly moved to sit down on the edge of the bed, reaching his hand out to touch her arm as he did so. When she looked up at him, startled, he watched her composure completely vanish. Without thinking, he grabbed her arms and hauled her into his lap, holding her against his chest while she cried out her heartbreak.
He held her for a long, long time, one hand on the back of her head, the other soothing a caress across her back. At one point, he felt the hot tears she cried against his skin, each one like a flame licking across his flesh. He rocked her gently, trying to calm her down. When she finally did, he felt her all but collapse against him, her strength finally gone. "Syd, tell me what's wrong. Tell me what I can do to help, who I have to beat up for making you cry," he whispered to her.
"You can't help me, no one can," she hiccupped, rubbing her face against his shoulder, enjoying the comfort he was giving without even realizing he was doing it.
"Come on Syd," he murmured, drawing away from her. He reached up and cupped her cheeks, wiping her tears away with the pads of his thumbs.
"I'm sick, Sky," she struggled to tell him.
He looked at her, frowning, wondering why she was so upset about being sick. "Then let me take you to Kat, she'll figure out what's wrong with you, give you some medicine. There's not reason to cry." Sky realized he'd said the wrong thing when her eyes filled with a fresh round of hot tears and she threw her arms around his waist, burying her face in his neck.
"Kat can't help me, Sky," she brokenly cried in his ear, her warm breath puffing against his skin. "I have to go see a specialist."
Sky stiffened at that, turning his head so he could look down into her eyes. "What do you mean?" he croaked, his voice betraying the sudden fear that had taken root in the pit of his stomach and in his heart. She couldn't be sick; she was a Power Ranger for God's sake. Power Rangers didn't get sick. The power of the Morphin Grid, whether tapped into by man-made or mystical powers, all but guaranteed they were healthy as long as they were Rangers. Or so he thought.
"Remember the bruise on my leg? The one I had checked out?" Sky just nodded. "The doctor ran blood tests, just to be safe, because of how long I'd had the bruise."
Pulling back, Sky looked down into her beloved blue eyes, his own reflecting the horror of realization that was swiftly flooding his senses. "Syd?"
"They think I have cancer."