Thanks to all those who reviewed, alerted and fav'd this story. You have no idea how much I appreciate that small simple act of telling me you enjoy the story. I apologise it has been a while since my last update but life is life! I hope you enjoy.
Reggie woke up in a start, sweat beads across her brow, strands of hair sticking to her skin. She felt an overwhelming bout of nausea, her dreams had been full of nightmares and she wasn't sure if that was the only reason she felt the way she did. She felt excruciating pain in her back and it felt like her lungs were stuffed with cotton balls. She stumbled over the dogs and reached for her bedroom door, crashing into it as it swung open; she fell onto her hands and knees and threw up almost violently. She couldn't stop herself as she emptied her stomach onto the floor.
"Reg? You okay?" The light in the hallway came on the same time as the voice spoke to her. Looking up towards her brother she lent up against the door frame, she felt dizzy and breathless. Otto frowned at how pale she looked sitting there. "Hey Reg?" He walked towards her, bending down to get to her level.
Reggie looked at him with a frown, she wanted to say something but she couldn't find the words, a wave of nausea hit her and she fell forward while throwing up. Otto ran his hand along her back hearing footsteps walk up the stairs. "Otto? Reg?" It was Sam's voice, Twister beside him in a sleepy daze.
"Reg isn't looking too good."
"I'm… okay…" Reggie groaned out in pain, wiping the corner of her mouth with the back of her hand.
Sam walked towards her and placed the back of his hand against her forehead. "Reg, you're burning up."
Reggie's eyes were closed as she breathed. "Explains the nightmares…"
"What nightmares?" Sam asked pulling back while Otto moved to get her up off the floor.
Reggie kept her eyes shut tightly for a moment longer, she had been dreading this moment for a long time, the pain in her back rippled through her and she let out a squeak of pain. "Otto… call an ambulance." She breathed, trying her hardest to keep calm and just breathe.
Otto stared at his sister, not comprehending what she had just asked him to do, she started to breath at a rapid rate, the sounds coming from her sounding similar to that of a strangled cat. Twister seemed to be the first one to snap out of his confusion, he turned and ran down the stairs, nearly falling over his own feet as he did so. He grabbed his phone and quickly dialled for an ambulance, scaling back up the stairs once he had done so.
"They'll be here in ten." Twister spoke as he reached the top of the stairs.
"Reggie, what's wrong?" Sam was asking as he gave her arm a shake to get her attention.
Reggie looked at him but couldn't speak, her breathing became more strained, the pain she felt rippling through her was the last thing she remembered before she lost consciousness.
She felt uncomfortable the moment her eyes fluttered opened, she knew she was moving, she just didn't know where or how. Her head lolled to the side and she saw a somewhat familiar pair of eyes staring back at her. "Been awhile, Regina. Now I know how you feel about morphine but we had to get your pain under control, it was already too bad."
"Jeremy… long…" She licked at her dry lips in an attempt to relieve the dryness, the movement sending shooting pain down her back causing her to bite back a scream.
"Five minutes out from the children's hospital." Jeremy said connecting up a bag of fluids to the cannula in her arm.
"How do you know my sister?" Otto finally spoke up, he had been in shock seeing Reggie the way she was.
Jeremy turned to look towards Otto with a confused look on his face, like he couldn't understand what he was asking, Otto found himself annoyed with this. "Your sister is what we call a frequent flyer, kid. Where have you been the last sixteen years?"
Reggie reached out and grabbed a hold of Jeremy's arm, her breathing harsh and eyes wide, she shook her head at him using all the energy she had left. "He doesn't know."
"Know what?" Otto's voice elevated, in panic or frustration, he wasn't sure.
Jeremy looked between Reggie and Otto then at Twister and Sam who had been silent the whole time but both with confused looks upon their face. He returned his site back upon Reggie who was already staring at him. "That's pretty impressive blue."
The ambulance came to an abrupt halt and within seconds the back doors were opened and they were wheeling Reggie out on the stretcher and heading in through the emergency doors; the boys following quickly behind. The noise of the emergency room even during the early hours of the morning was almost deafening. One of the nurses came up to them to find out what was happening but upon seeing Reggie she frowned. "Man blue, you're in so much trouble when doctor Lam knows you're here. You missed your last two blood transfusions!"
"What the hell is going on, Regina? Who the hell is Blue?" Otto was beyond frustrated. "Why are all these people acting like they know you?"
"I'm…s… sorry." She wheezed before her head fell back.
The three boy's eyes went wide as they were pushed out of the way, a 'code blue' alarm ringing throughout the emergency unit. 'Doctor Lam to resus bay one immediately.' A voice sounded through a PA system.
The boys' ears were assaulted with loud noises while staff came running to assist in the code, it seemed like nearly a lifetime before the commotion came to an end and within seconds they were taking the bed Reggie had been transferred onto out of the bay. A tall slender lady with dark brown hair and green eyes walked towards them. "My name is doctor Lam, your sister is stable now, Otto, she will be admitted and taken down to intensive care for the night." Doctor Lam spoke. "I understand this must be a shock to you. Please, all of you, follow me."
Otto stood on shaky legs, unsure if they'd be strong enough to hold him up but he managed to follow after the doctor. Twister and Sam walked either side of him, both having the same confused look across their faces, just like him. She took them down an elevator before leading them into the intensive care unit, taking them into a small room, Reggie already there on a bed, hooked up to monitors.
"Is she okay?" Twister was the first to speak up, walking up to the bed side.
The doctor nodded. "She will be awake soon, she has an infection; I cannot tell you anymore until she is awake."
The boys sat around Reggie's bed waiting to make sure she was okay while doctor Lam and a nurse checked her over, doing tests and discussing results on the monitors. She let out a groan and slowly opened her eyes, feeling as if she had been hit by a truck, her mouth dry and her body giving off dull pain. "Shit."
"Ah Regina, so good of you to join us again." Doctor Lam said, folding her arms across her chest. "It's been a while."
"Can I feel a little better before you start on me… Please." Reggie groaned, using whatever energy she could muster to push herself up into a sitting position.
"Reggie, are you okay?" Otto asked rushing to her side to help her up upon seeing her struggle. "What's happening?"
Reggie looked at Otto then at Sam and Twister, all three standing up around her bed, and concern across their faces; doctor Lam let lose a sigh. "Regina, I think it's time."
Reggie mirrored the sigh looking from doctor Lam back to her brother. "I've been sick… all my life, Otto…"
"What do you mean all your life? I've never seen you sick, Regina."
"I have a rare blood condition, sometimes my blood counts get really low and I get a lot of infections that end up worse because of how low certain bloods are. I normally get blood transfusions monthly or second weekly depending. I've been in and out of Hospital since I was two. I also get checked for cancer regularly as I'm a high risk of blood cancer."
Otto stared at her, a range of emotions flickering across his face like an open book. "For sixteen years you've been in and out of hospital? That's some massive amounts of bullshit Regina."
"Mum didn't want you to know." Reggie spoke softly, all three boys faced her instantly; Regina Rocket never spoke about her mother. "This blood disorder I have is hereditary, mum knew she was a carrier and got us both tested when we were young, only I had it. She didn't want you or dad to have to go through all the stress that came with what I had, she'd always make excuses when we had to stay in the hospital because I'd gotten an infection or my blood counts were so low it was life-threatening. Before she died she requested doctor Lam to control all my medical decisions until I reached the age of sixteen, she didn't want to put that stress on dad and I guess… I don't know, I kind of felt the same way once she was gone, you remember how much he struggled with her death. When I got into modelling the hospital came up with a kind of code name so that my identity could be kept secret, hence why they're all calling me blue."
"So what you're telling me is... you've been in and out of hospital your whole life with our mother...then by yourself and I had no idea? Raymundo had no idea? What the hell, Regina." Otto was beyond mad and she could tell, he paced alongside the bed unable to stand still.
"I'm sorry, Otto. I never knew when a good time was so I just kept putting it off. I just kept making up excuses as to where I was when I was here getting blood transfusions or fighting off an infection."
"You would have rather gone through all this alone then let me know?" His voice betrayed his hurt and he frowned, turning away from her.
"I'm getting some air." And with that he took his exit without glancing back.
Reggie sighed feeling a wide range of emotions and pain all at once, looking to her side she saw Sam staring right back at her. "So all those times you told me you were off here and there you were in hospital? Lying?" She simply nodded, there were no words that would make them feel better right now. "I'll talk later." And with that Sam left the room.
Doctor Lam felt for Reggie, gently giving her hand a pat as if to reassure her it would eventually be okay. "I'll go order your bloods."
Twister watched as the doctor left the room, taking a seat just beside Reggie's bed. "So those last few emails where you kept saying you were in hospital for tests and things…?"
Reggie nodded. "I didn't think you were ever coming back and I needed to get it off my chest… it's been hard without my mother."
"And when you said you quit surfing it was because of this?"
Reggie nodded slowly. "I had to quit most sports where I was at risk of hurting myself."
"You didn't make it sound as serious as it is." Twister rubbed the back of his neck.
"You going to get mad at me and leave too?"
"Even if you wanted me to leave, Reg, I wouldn't."
She turned to face him, the quick movement making her head spin, giving off a sharp stab in her temple; she let out a grunt of pain grabbing onto her head with her hands, Twister was up and at her side in an instant; a hand gently holding her arm. Reggie flinched and her eyes flew open with such a fear held within but upon connecting with Twisters eyes the fear vanished, the two stared at each other and for a moment, nothing else mattered. Twister wanted nothing more than to kiss her, he had never wanted anything more in his life than to be able to call this girl his and show her how wonderful she was for the rest of his life. He was losing the last of his restraint when he moved forward and gently kissed her forehead.
"Don't always seem so surprised." And with that he pulled back and carefully released her arm.
Reggie felt light headed, a blush running hot across her cheeks. "Habit." She muttered leaning her head back against the pillow. "I'm… so tired."
"Sleep." Twister said gently, unlocking his phone to see the time read 0645 am, they had been here for four hours already.
"… Will you leave…?" Her voice was thick with sleep, eyes fighting to stay open.
Reggie gave a small nod and it wasn't long before she had fallen asleep, the sounds of soft breathing was only just heard over the monitors she was hooked up too. Twister sighed, leaning back into the chair, a hand reaching up to rub at his eyes; he was so tired.
"You really care about her, don't you?" Sam spoke softly, yet it was loud enough to make him jump in surprise.
"Dude! Don't just creep up on people like that! It's scary!"
Sam smirked. "Sorry Twist."
"And of course I care, we've all been best friends for like, ever." Twister relaxed back into the seat, watching as Sammy took the chair beside him.
"Not what I meant." Sam muttered. "Think Otto will come back any time soon?"
"Any minute now." Twister replied. "He might be mad but he'd be too concerned about Reg to leave."
Sammy smiled, Twister knew them like that back of his head, even if he had been gone for so long. As if on cue Otto walked back into the room and took a seat, sliding down into it with his arms crossed. "I'm still mad at her." He muttered. Sam nodded in agreement and Twister simply shrugged, it wasn't long before they had drifted off to sleep.
Reggie woke up in a start, for a moment she had forgotten where she was and what had happened; her eyes landed on doctor Lam who was standing at the end of her bed with and unamused look on her face. "Regina, I need to ask a question. Your red blood and platelets are dangerously low, on inspection during your code there was massive bruising noted on your whole back. We believe this episode that's brought you in is the trauma to your kidneys along with there not being enough red blood in your body for your kidneys to cope. You missed two infusions as well, what's going on?"
"You... fell?" Doctor Lam folded her arms across her chest.
"Yeah... I didn't think much of the bruising as I always bruise easily..." Reggie avoided eye contact instead staring down at her lap.
"I've been busy with jobs and school I forgot about the transfusions. I'm sorry. It won't happen again."
Doctor Lam sighed knowing very well she wasn't going to get any more information from her but also knowing very well she didn't just fall. "I thought when I handed over the rights for you to decide your own medical treatment you understood the seriousness of your condition."
"I'm seriously doubting that."
Doctor Lam gave a curt nod, not in approval, but acceptance. "You'll need a blood and a platelet transfusion, not to mention start on antibiotics, you'll be in for a couple of days this time."
"Otto's big surf competition is Sunday. I'm not missing it."
"I'm not missing it."
"You're just like your mother."
Reggie looked away not wanting to respond to the statement, she hardly remembered anything about her mother; she could no longer remember the colour of her eyes or the sound of her voice. Raymundo and Otto certainly didn't bring her up in every day conversation, she couldn't even remember the last time Otto had spoken of her. She looked over and saw her friends asleep on the chairs that were within the room, she gave a small smile; they all cared about her. "I'll do whatever you want, just please… I need to be at his surfing comp, it's so important to him."
"I'll see what we can do, Regina, but you need to promise me you won't pull a stunt like this again. Have your transfusions when they're due, stick to our treatment plan."
"I promise." Doctor Lam nodded and took her leave to get back to work. Reggie felt like someone was staring and turned to her left to see Sam awake and looking at her. "Sammy I just wanted to apo-"
"It's okay, Reg. I can't imagine how hard this all was for you, I mean you grew up with your mother telling you to keep it a secret… Just let me know stuff like this from now on."
Reggie gave a small smile, he was and always would be one of her best friends. "Deal."
Sam glanced at his watch. "Eleven thirty." He rubbed at the pain in the back of his neck. "Otto, Twist, we should at least go for the last few periods." He threw a pillow at Otto who grunted in reply.
"You shouldn't be missing school, Rocket boy." Reggie added. "I'm sorry for causing so much drama, I'll be okay, I promise. Go to school."
"Ergh, school." Twister muttered, pulling the blanket off his lap and stretching.
"You sure you'll be okay, Reg?" Otto asked as he stood.
"I'll be fine, promise."
"Alright, let's go then." Otto agreed with a yawn, heading for the door, stopping beside Reggie and pulling her in for a hug. "I'm always here for you."
"Thanks bro." Reggie whispered returning his hug before letting him go and waving the boys goodbye.
Reggie spent the rest of Friday in the intensive care unit before being stable enough to be transferred to the ward, receiving all the transfusions she needed and doing exactly what she was told to do so that she would be well enough to be released for Otto's surfing competition. There wasn't a moment that went by where Twister hadn't been texting her and she couldn't help the butterflies it made in her stomach every time she opened a message from him, there were never any threatening messages or abusive ones from Twister. Saturday the boys spent most of the day with Reg in the hospital keeping her company before Otto went off to get some last minute training in before the competition. Twister assured her he was taking good care of the dogs while she was in hospital and confirmed that they missed her as much as she missed them. It wasn't long until Sunday rolled round and Reggie was released from hospital to attend the surfing competition. She stood and waited for Otto, Sam and Twister to come set up their spot, they fussed too much over her to let her help so she simply minded the spot. It felt nice to feel the sand between her toes, shadow by her feet constantly sniffing the sand and pawing at it while Zodiac stayed in her arms, head ever moving to where there was movement.
"What the hell are you doing over here and where the hell have you been lately?" Trent growled reaching out and taking a firm hold of her left wrist, yanking her to his side, causing her to nearly drop Zodiac. "You're supposed to be cheering me on." Shadow let out a low growl at Reggie's feet, ears slanted. "What are these disgusting rats?"
"It's okay shadow. I'm cheering my brother on, let go." Reggie felt his grasp tighten on her wrist while he yanked on her arm again.
"Your brother? Over me?" She felt disjointed as he gave her arm a shake.
"I want to cheer him on, please let me go." She had hoped her legs wouldn't give in, tugging against his hold to free herself.
"You do not embarrass me here now, Regina." His voice was low with a harshness to it, he was noticing all the eyes fall on them. "Stop causing a scene and come cheer me on."
"Trent, I'm going to cheer my brother on, now let go." Reggie tried to hide the shakiness in her voice trying to free her arm from his grasp, feeling him only tighten causing a shooting pain to go up her arm.
"Who the hell do you think you are?" His voice was so low and harsh it made the tiny hairs on the back of her neck stand up.
Otto appeared at Reggie's side, grabbing a hold of Trent's arm. "She said let go, Trent." His voice was hard, grip just as tight as what he was holding on his sister.
Trent's jaw clenched but he let go all the same, pulling his arm free and shoving her back as he did so. He noticed Sam and Twister come up either side of her and stabilise her on her feet. Reggie picked up on the look he gave her before he turned and walked away and she felt fear. She heard a whimper and looked down to see Shadow staring up at her, with her wounded hand she gently pat the top of the older dogs head to reassure her she was fine. "You okay?" Sam was the first to ask.
Reggie nodded placing Zodiac onto the sand before rubbing at her now throbbing wrist, she plastered a smile on her face and turned to Otto. "Good luck out there, rocket boy, win for me yeah?
Otto gave her his cocky over confident smile that she had grown up with. "You got it, Rocket Girl."
Otto picked up his board and grinned before heading down to the sign in table leaving Sam and Twister to set up. Reggie took a seat on the blanket once it had been laid out over the sand, Shadow plunking herself on Reggies lap receiving a grunt and a giggle mixed into one noise. "That dogs pretty protective of you already." Sam said giving her a pat, she gave a lick of his hand before settling down to sleep across Reggie's lap.
Once the boys had set up Sam joined Reggie while Twister ran off to film Otto signing in and preparing for the comp. Sam played tug of war with Zodiac while he and Reggie waited for the competition to start. "He'll win right?" Reggie asked staring out over the water.
"Of course." Sam replied. "Do you have doubts?"
She shook her head. "I'm just worried that the drama over the last three days have thrown him off his game… I don't want Trent to win."
"Otto's got this, Reg, just believe in that. We've been on this beach for practically the last five months watching him train. He's ready."
Twister walked up with a cam in his hand, filming everything just like he used too and they both felt so happy to see it. "Got anything to say to Otto-man, Reg?"
"By the time he watches this he'll be the champ." Reggie grinned. "So nice surfing, lil' bro!"
"Good to have you filming again, Twist. Otto missed being able to look at himself all the time." Sam winked while Reggie giggled.
Otto felt some nerves, it had been awhile that he had some actual competition and as much as he hated to admit it, Trent was competition. As if summoning him Trent walked up to Otto with a smirk on his face, Otto frowned, he hated this guy.
"No hard feelings when I win, yeah?" He said stopping just in front of him.
"Might miss the waves with your head so far up your ass, man." Otto replied.
Trent frowned. "Well, when I do win, I can't wait to take Regina out forcing her to celebrate me crushing her baby brother."
Otto knew he was trying to rattle him, to get under his skin right before they were due to go out, he knew this yet his hands still balled into fists. He hated this needed to stay focused, he needed to win for Reggie's sake. "Try not to take it too hard when you lose." And with that Otto took his exit.
It had been a great competition, the surfing had been top quality from all competitors but there was no doubt Otto had been multiple steps ahead of all the other competitors, coming out on top by the end of the rounds. He had won first prize and taken out the title, dedicating the win to his sister; the four had taken the celebrations to the shore shack.
"You got all of it right? Every move?" Otto asked as he took a hot chip from the basket that sat in the middle of the table.
"Yeah bro! Your moves were wicked!" Twister answered pushing the cam into Otto's face. "Like look at this sick landing!"
Reggie took two chips, feeding them to the dogs under the table. "Proud of you, lil' bro."
"Little cuz, champ of the ocean!" Tito grinned placing the milkshakes down on the table, three chocolate one strawberry. "Raymundo will be so proud, as am I."
"Thanks Tito." Otto grinned. "It was always in the bag!"
"Careful, Rocket boy, your egos starting to come out your ears." Reggie said taking a sip of the strawberry milkshake. She felt her phone vibrating in her pocket, she glanced down as she pulled it out, dreading the name that flashed on the screen while it shook in her head. "One sec." She excused herself from the table and headed towards the exit, taking a deep breath before answering the phone. "Hello?"
"How dare you embarrass me the way you did today."
"Trent… I was supporting my brother…"
"I've put up with so much of your shit lately, Regina, looks like I'll have to teach you another lesson, when will you learn? You're so stupid."
"You will be."
The beep signalling the end of the call sounded and Reggie's hand dropped from her ear. She couldn't stop her hands from trembling, feeling the tears slip from her eyes no matter how hard she tried to will herself to stop. She couldn't go back in there with bloodshot eyes, she had been selfish enough lately bothering them with all her problems. She leant up against the wall with her eyes closed but that didn't stop the tears from escaping and sliding down her cheeks, she slid down the wall until she was sitting, head buried into her knees. She was so pathetic, she was letting a boy control her and she was too weak to stop him; she didn't even love him she was in love with someone else. Suddenly a tongue was licking her cheek, Reggie lifted her head to see Shadow in her face, licking at her cheeks.
"Reg, you okay?" Sam asked softly, walking towards her to take a seat next to her.
Reggie had her arms around Shadow's neck, hugging the dog unable to stop the tears. "I hate him, Sam. I hate him with every fibre of my being."
Sam took a deep breath and put an arm around her waist, gently bringing her in closer to him. "Me too."
"He's so mad at me cheering for Otto he said he's going to teach me another lesson." She was fully crying now, rubbing at her cheeks almost violently, unable to really stop herself. "Part of the reason I landed in hospital is because he beat me so hard last time I got a god dam kidney injury and I just took it because he has me believing I don't deserve anything better." She felt Sam's grip around her tighten but she couldn't stop herself, she had held it in for so long. "He hits me so hard sometimes I'm scared he's going to go too far, I'm scared of him."
"I'm going to kill him." The voice made her freeze and she turned to the voice to see Otto standing there, hands in tight fists with Twister beside him.
Her chest tightened and she felt a panic come over her, he had just overheard everything she had said. "Otto… please don't."
"He hits you?"
Her heart hurt it was beating so fast. "… I…"
"I'm going to kill him."
When she saw him turn to walk away she was up in an instant, clinging onto his arm desperately, crying. "Please… please don't…"
Otto looked down at his sister, she had never looked smaller. He found himself remembering all the times she had kept him safe while growing up, how she took on the 'mother' role when theirs died and how she always tried her hardest to shelter him. "You end it with him, Regina."
Reggie nodded at such a rapid pace it gave her a headache. "I will."
"I'll be there when you do it. You aren't ever allowed to be alone with him again." He took a hold of her shoulders to force her back from him so she could look in his eyes. "I mean it. You are not allowed to be alone with him."
"I promise… just please… no one else can know…"
Otto frowned, releasing her shoulders and standing up straight, he needed to go for a run or something. "I need to go for a run." He sighed. "Thanks for telling me, Sam." And with that he turned to leave before he punched something.
Reggie spun around to face Sam. "What?"
"He man-handled you at the beach, Regina, and I heard the conversation between you and doctor Lam. Enough was enough."
She was so mad and frustrated and scared and hurt that she didn't know which emotion to follow through with. Now Otto and Twister both knew that Trent hurt her, her secret was out in the open between all four of them; how pathetic must they think she was to let it happen. She walked over and picked up Shadow's leash before going to the shack to grab Zodiac, using all her energy not to cry. She ignored Tito's question of if she was okay and exited the shack.
"Reggie…" Sam started but upon seeing the look she gave him he stopped speaking, he knew he did the right thing but she didn't see it that way.
"Leave me alone, Sam." She said sharply, turning back around to head home.
Sam sighed heavily, Twister put a hand on his shoulder. "It's okay, Squid, she'll know soon enough you did the right thing, I'll make sure she gets home okay."
Twister gave a nod and ran off after Reggie before she got too far away. He was mad that someone would be lucky enough to have Regina Rocket as theirs and then treat her like crap, she deserved nothing but the best. He saw her just up ahead and ran up to her side; she turned to look at him through tears and frowned. "Feeling sorry for me are you?"
"Not sorry." Twister answered. "I'm concerned for your safety, not feeling sorry for you."
"I don't need your pity, Maurice."
That's when Twister stopped walking and gently pulled on her arm to stop her as well. "Regina, I don't pity you. I'm mad that he treated someone like you the way he did. I'm upset you can't see how much better you deserve. But I do not pity you."
"Can we just go home?" Reggie whispered wiping away the tears. "Please."
Twister nodded, taking Zodiac's leash from her hand and carefully replacing the leash with his hand, entangling his fingers with hers. She didn't have the energy to say or do anything so she simply allowed him to lead her home, silently crying. When they reached their street she seemed resistant to go into her own house so Twister lead her into his house, giving her one of his shirts to wear before tucking her into his bed, the dogs basically on top of her; she was so tired and emotionally drained with all her dirty laundry being aired out to all of them. She watched as Twister stood in front of his desk on his phone. "Twister… can you come lay in bed with me?" Twister looked back at her and gave a small nod, he sent Otto and Sam a message to let them know where she was before heading into bed, letting her cuddle into him, it was the least he could do. He gently stroked her hair until she fell asleep with her head against his chest however sleep didn't come to him, he found himself too concerned with her safety and too angry about the situation that he spent most of the night frowning up at the ceiling. He loved this girl.