Hope and Memory



Warnings: Angst, Hurt/Comfort, AU with possible OOC connections

Rating: PG-13

Author's Note: The underlying story is based off of the Cloud Ten film The Miracle of the Cards

Disclaimer: I don't own the show The Partridge Family and am in no way affiliated with said tv show. I also do not own The Miracle of the Cards. This fic is purely for fun.

Summary: The Partridge's world is shattered when Keith develops a brain tumor. Will Keith survive or will the tumor kill him?

Chapter One: Shades of Grey

Keith sat in his bedroom, his guitar on his lap and his guitar pick in his hand. He had gotten back from the doctor an hour ago because of an ear ache that he had been having for several days. Keith recalled the shocked expression on the doctor's face; remembered the disbelief in the other man's voice when Keith told him about the pain. Apparently the doctor thought the infection was so slight that Keith shouldn't have been able to feel it! Shows you how much the doctor knew!

Despite his disbelief the doctor had prescribed an antibiotic before sending Keith and his mother on their way. A short time later, with the filled prescription in hand, Keith and his mother arrived back home; Shirley sending Keith straight up to bed to rest...after he had taken his medication of course.

Even with the medication down him, Keith couldn't get comfortable so he had grabbed his guitar and guitar pick and began to aimlessly play the melody to one song after another. First was I Think I Love You, followed by Rainmaker, Singing My Song, Listen to the Sound and Twenty Four Hours a Day.

Now Keith was unsure of what to play. Almost as if his fingers chose a song of their own accord, he began to play a song that he had heard on the radio and records for the past several years.

"I wanna be free!" he began to sing, "Like the bluebirds flying by me. Like the waves down on the blue sea. If your love has to tie me, don't try me, Say good-bye."

A sudden knock on his door caused Keith to stop mid strum. He looked up just as the door opened to admit Danny who was still in his blue and red bathrobe.

"How are you feeling?"

Keith blinked. Had he heard right? Danny just asked him how he was feeling? Okay what was the catch to this question? Normally Danny didn't open his mouth unless there was some money to be earned.

"What'd the doctor say?"

Again another question. Why was Danny so interested in what the doctor had told him? "He told me I have a slight ear infection. He gave me some medication and sent me home." Keith said. The answer was short, sweet and to the point...and hopefully enough to quell Danny's curiosity.

"Which brings me back to my first question. How are you feeling?" Danny replied.

Keith sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose. Sometimes Danny could be so annoying with his feigned worry.

"If it's tomorrow's concert you are worried about, don't worry. I won't cause us to miss it." Keith said.

Concerts...especially paying concerts meant the world to Danny; that was quite obvious to everyone. He just always had to make a buck, so perhaps that was why Danny was so concerned with Keith's health. If Keith was sick then they might miss the concert. If they missed the concert then they wouldn't get paid and that was something that Danny hated.

"What makes you think I'm worried about the concert?" Danny asked, shrugging his shoulders, but the look that Keith gave him let Danny know he wasn't fooling anyone.

"Well...as long as you are alright." Danny said, backing towards the door even as Keith shot back, "I'll be even better if you leave!"

Taking the hint, Danny left his older brother's room, closing the door behind him. Now alone in his room again, Keith started to try to play another song but he couldn't settle on what to play so he gave up after ten minutes. Leaning his acoustic guitar against the wall, Keith placed the pick on his desk and moved back to his bed, gently flopping down on to it.

Truth be told his ear ache hadn't abated yet. It still hurt...well...mostly it felt as if he had water in his ears, which was more of an annoyance than a pain; it only really became a pain when he stuck Q-tips in his ears to clean them.

Keith shut his eyes, hoping to catch a little bit of shut eye before dinner.

He must have dozed off without realizing it because when he woke up the sun had set and the smell of cooking food had reached him through his closed bedroom door. Sitting up he scratched his head before a realization hit. His ear ache was completely gone! For the first time in days he felt one hundred percent!

"See...what'd I tell you Danny." He murmured as he got to his feet and left his bedroom. He took the short trek down the stairs and in to the dining room where the rest of the family was.

Seeing her son, Shirley smiled. "I was just going to let you sleep; didn't want to wake you. How are you feeling?" she asked as Keith took his seat at the table beside Danny.

"It's alright mom. To be honest with you I feel better; actually starving." he replied, eying the wonderful looking plate of spaghetti in front of him.

Shirley was glad to hear that her son was hungry. The past few days he had hardly eaten anything. That coupled with the fact that he was almost always lazying about on the couch or in his room...and the ear aches had really started to worry her, but now hearing that he felt better and was hungry caused Shirley to smile once more.

"Well eat up, there's more if you are still hungry." she said. With that, everyone started to eat their food. For once there was actually comfortable silence, with nothing heard except the occasional scrape of a fork sliding across a plate.

Even with Keith being as hungry as he was, he was still the last one to finish eating. Chris, Tracy, Laurie and Danny had all finished and had gone in to the living room to watch tv while Shirley had begun to take the dishes to the kitchen.

On her third trip back to the dining room, she saw that Keith had finally finished eating.

"That was really good mom." he said, a smile on his face. Shirley smiled again; getting compliments was always nice from her children.

"Well thank you." She replied, collecting some glasses and silverware from the table. She had just turned her back and had taken two steps to the kitchen door when she heard something that terrified her. Whirling around she saw her eldest son, hands on the table, hunched over his dinner plate as he began to throw up everything he had eaten.

While seeing any of her kids so sick that they threw up was frightening to Shirley, seeing this was even more so because Keith was vomiting like an explosion, which was not normal.

Rushing back to the table, Shirley put the dirty dishes back on the table before gently guiding Keith back in to his chair. Keith's face was covered in a fine sheen of sweat and his eyes were glazed over as if he wasn't entirely there anymore.

"Keith...Keith?" Shirley asked, trying to get some kind of response from her son, but no response was forthcoming. Shirley glanced at her children who were standing there in the doorway watching the spectacle; worry on all of their faces. All of them had heard Keith get sick and now seeing how he looked everyone knew that something was very wrong.

"Okay that's it. Danny get him a blanket, Laurie stay here and watch the kids!" Shirley quickly said. She rose up and grabbed her purse and car keys even as Danny ran to the hall closet and picked out a blanket. Unfolding the blanket he handed it to his mother who helped Keith to stand and wrapped the blanket around his shoulders.

With help from Danny and Laurie, Shirley got Keith out to the car. When the cool night air hit his skin, Keith snapped out of his daze. "Mom..." he whispered, "I don't feel good."

"I know, I know. That's why I'm taking you to the hospital." Shirley said in a soothing, yet worried voice.

She got Keith to the car yet let Danny and Laurie actually get him in to the passenger seat. Rounding the car she slid in to the driver's seat and fired up the engine. When Keith was secure and the doors shut, Shirley backed the car up on to the streets. She had to get Keith to the hospital pronto, there was nothing else for it. He was sick; a lot sicker than the doctors realized. Shirley just hoped that it was nothing serious.