"You have made a wise decision, Nikki. There are many people out there that love and care for you."
I looked down at Didrika. "I'm going to miss you." I said quietly.
"As I you. You have been a great friend and a challenge. I didn't think I'd be able to convince you to go on living." "I'd miss them too much. Especially Justin." I mumbled the last phrase and Didrika smiled. "You will be returned to your body shortly. Justin has given you back your powers, which has stabled you and they now expect you to live. They don't know how long you'll be in a coma, however. Your spirit will be returned but it's up to you to fight and wake up."
"How can I do that?" "I can't tell you that Nikki. It will come to you."
"Can we go look at the valley once more?" "Of course."
I was silent as we walked down the now familiar path and stood at the edge gazing down at the calm river.
I glanced down at my hands that were slowly fading away. "Can't I stay with you for another day?" I asked waving my transparent hand around. How interesting.
"I'm not returning you to your body. That's up to you. The more you want to be returned the faster it will go. It seems that you want to get out of here." "But I don't. I love it here. It's so peaceful and calm. How can you stand being alone?" "I'm never alone. As soon as you return to your body another person will appear that will go through the same process as you."
"Oh. Some I'm just routine." "Oh no! I've enjoyed these short days with you, Nikki. You're like no other person I've seen. But I will tell you that I don't want you to be back here anytime soon."
I smiled. "I don't plan to be in any more near death experiences soon." "I should hope not." I felt my body fade even more. "I guess I better say goodbye, Didrika." "Goodbye Nikki. Have a long prosperous life."
"I plan on it." With that I saw her no more and all was dark.
"Justin! Justin listen to me!" T.J. shook the younger boy.
Justin lay limply on the floor his head buried in his hands. "I killed her. How could I kill her?" He sobbed.
T.J. shook his head. He reached down and lifted the boy up off the floor.
"Put me down! I just want to be left alone! Put me down!" Justin screeched struggling to get away. T.J. ignored the boy's pleas and carried him into Nikki's room placing him down by the bed.
He turned around indignantly. "Why did you bring me in here? I don't want to see her!" He moved to walk around T.J. and T.J. blocked him.
"What the heck is wrong with you Teej? I don't want to see my dead best friend!" T.J. grasped the younger boy's shoulders tightly. "Look at her Justin. She's not dead. They took off all the tubes and stuff because she suddenly got better. It's because of the Power coin. You just saved her not killed her."
Justin looked up at T.J. intently. Then turned his gaze to wear Nikki. The uprising motion of the blankets showed that she was now breathing on her own. His face lit up and he stared at her for several moments before turning back to T.J.
"Sorry." He admitted truthfully. "It's ok. I now where you're coming from." T.J. nodded giving the boy a quick hug,
"Well, if she's stable now, how come she's not awake?" Justin asked looking back at Nikki. "She's in a coma. The doctors think that after this miraculous recovery that she should be awake with in a week. But they don't know for sure. There's a slight chance that she won't ever wake up."
Justin's smile left his face. "Just a small chance?" He asked hopefully.
"Come on. Let's go get something to eat. The doctors said they know for certain that she won't be waking up tonight." Justin turned slowly and followed T.J. out of the room.
(I need to wake up!)
I was inside my body fighting to wake up, but it just wasn't working for me. (What did Didrika say about 'about it's up to me to wake up'?)
I searched through the back f my memory searching for something anything to get me out of here! (It's really dark in here. I've never been awake and not been able to see. It's weird.)
I couldn't think of anything. Nothing would move it was just me laying side my body. (This is terribly boring. I need to get up!)
I fought against myself trying to move and get with it. Nothing worked. What was I going to do? Lay here while my body decides to be a bump in a log? (Move!) I screamed and struggled but nothing moved.
(I wonder if I could stop my breathing) I held my breath. I could still breathe fine but I noticed that my body was struggling to get air. I giggled and let go of the breath. My chest rose up and down.
I could kill myself! But no. I don't want to die just yet. (What I really need to do is wake up!) I couldn't figure out what to do.
I was really tired, but didn't want to sleep. I wanted my body to wake up.
(But how do I do it?) I pondered over the question for a while. I was beginning to fall asleep when I heard voices.
(They must be in my room. I wish I could somehow tell them that I was in here.) Andros had been teaching me telekinesis and telepathy but I didn't know how well it would work. I concentrated really hard on whoever was next to me and spoke.
(Guys! I'm in here. I'm trying hard to wake up. Don't give up on me)
"Did you guys here something?" Ashley asked shaking her head a little. "No I didn't hear anything." Cassie commented.
"Just us talking is all." Carlos added. "I could swear I heard Nikki talking to us." Ashley mumbled.
Andros looked at her oddly. "Maybe we should go get some sleep. We can come back early tomorrow."
Ashley nodded and followed Andros out of the room.
"Justin you going to the hotel with your dad?" Carlos asked on his way out. "No. I told him I was staying here until she woke up." Justin answered.
Carlos walked back into the room. "That might be a while. You know that right?"
Justin nodded. " I know. But I want her to know that some one is here."
(I'm here too!) I told him. Justin whirled his head back toward Nikki. "Did you hear that Carlos?" He questioned.
"Hear what?" Carlos asked coming to stand by Justin. "Nikki was talking. I know she was!"
"Justin, maybe you better go get some sleep. You looked exhausted." "No! She talked! I know it." Justin argued.
"Come on Justin. You haven't slept in 2 days. You need to rest or you'll go crazy, if you haven't already." He added quietly. " I'm not crazy! Just listen. Maybe she'll talk again."
"Justin Nikki isn't going to talk to you. She's in a coma. The doctor said to talk to her, she might be able to hear you, but she certainly isn't going to talk back." Carlos grabbed the boys arm and dragged him across the floor. "Come on at least let me get you something to eat." Carlos suggested.
"Ok. Fine. But you aren't taking me home." Justin said stubbornly. They walked out of the room and down to the cafeteria.
There they found the other at a small table drinking soda. "Hey! I thought you guys were going up to the ship." Carlos said sitting in a chair.
Justin sat down beside him. "We decided we better get something to eat before we left." Ashley explained.
"Do you want me to get you guys something?" Andros asked. "Yes. Something with a lot of caffeine." Justin said yawning.
Andros nodded and turned toward Carlos. "Actually some coffee would sound really good right about now."
Andros got up and went over to the counter to purchase the beverages. The others chatted on about Astronema quietly. Karone came up in the conversation somewhere, how she was doing, what she was up to. Justin listened silently not talking.
Andros returned with the two cups and set them in front of Justin and Carlos. Justin grabbed the cup and tilted it into his mouth drinking it quickly. Carlos however took small sips and commented on the conversation about how Astronema hadn't bugged them for a couple of weeks. They talked for a long time not noticing that Justin was slowly falling asleep.
They finally wrapped it up and stood to throw their cups away. "Justin?" Carlos asked.
"Don't bother. He'll be out for at least 12 hours." Andros commented with a smile. "You drugged his soda?" Ashley asked surprise written on her face.
"Well, we knew we would never get him to go to sleep so I just asked for sleeping pills and let them dissolve in his soda."
"Actually. That was pretty good." T.J. said snickering. "You're right. He was so busy drinking he never thought that we'd try to get him to sleep." Ashley added.
"I'll bring him to the hotel. His dad will be glad to see him." T.J.
volunteered lifting the limp boy into his arms.
The others nodded and followed each other out of the hospital. Andros, Zhane, Carlos, T.J., Ashley and Cassie teleported to the ship while T.J. walked the two blocks to the hotel.
T.J. knocked lightly at Mike's hotel door. Mike answered it and smiled down at his son.
"How did you get him to go to sleep?" Mike asked curiously. "We drugged 'em." T.J. said simply.
Mike looked a tad surprised. "Don't worry. It's only sleeping pills." T.J. added.
"It was probably the only way. I didn't think I'd ever be able to get him away from the hospital." "He should be awake in 12 hours or so. I'll be back in the morning to pick him up." Mike nodded and took his sleeping son from T.J. 's arms.
T.J. closed the door quietly and looked up and down the hallway before teleporting out.
(I've got to get out! Right now!)
I guess that did it. Light filled my eyes and glanced around the room cautiously. "Whoa. I don't know how I did it, but am I glad." I mumbled.
There was an IV dripping into my arm, I glanced at it momentarily before swiftly pulling it out and throwing the covers off. My stomach really hurt and there were numerous bandages covering my arms legs and face. I lifted up the flannel long sleeved shirt and found a white bandage wrapped around my stomach.
I touched it lightly and grimaced at the pain it held. I remembered then about throwing up blood and the internal injuries I thought I might have. I guess it was from surgery of some sort.
"I've got to get here." I muttered slipping out of the bed. My feet padded silently across the floor. I glanced down the hall and found it strangely empty.
I was in the intensive care unit wasn't I? Where were all the doctors? Actually. I could care less. I hated hospitals and I was leaving one way or the other.
The tile felt cold on my bare feet as I slinked through the shadows of the hall. I found the nurse station. I ducked behind a pile of dirty sheets as a nurse walked briskly past me.
I felt like an escaped convict. I peaked around the sheets and found a small group of nurses chatting about a liver or something. Ewww.
I ignored them and crawled quickly past them. Beyond me was a pair of swinging doors probably going into the main hallway of the hospital. I stubbed my fingers on a cart that was right in front of me, and yet I didn't see, and let out a shriek.
Nurses came running and looked down at me suspiciously. "Hi! I was just inspecting the quality of your hospital carts. I'm done now, so I'm gonna go. Ta ta!"
I gave a mocked wave and bolted for the door.
Not until I banged my head on the door did I realize that they weren't after all swinging doors. Ouch. Two nurses kneeled down to help me up.
"Did you escape from your room, Hun?" One of them asked. "Obviously, not very successful." I mumbled letting them look at the hospital band around my wrist.
"Oh my! You're the little girl they thought was going to die and then all the sudden got miraculously better aren't you!" One of them gasped in surprise. "I don't know! I just woke up!" I protested.
Playing dumb was easy with ditzy nurses.
"And you woke up out of your coma! I can't believe this." Another one said breathlessly. I looked at her oddly. "No actually I'm sleep walking!" I squealed my eyes bright with sarcasm.
Another nurse looking much smarter than the rest stepped forward and took my arm. " A little smart aleck? Why don't we just go get you settled back in your bed shall we?" She ordered.
I opened my mouth to protest as she pulled me down the hall. I closed it finally. I wasn't going to win. I flopped back under the covers and crossed my arms across my chest.
I scowled as the nurse tucked the blankets tightly under the mattress. She busied herself taking my blood pressure and temperature and then reaching for a new needle to place in my arm for the IV. I thrust my arm away and held it where I she couldn't reach it. "You have a fever of 103 and you need the proper nutrients or you'll get sick. Now just let me put the IV in your arm."
"I bet I don't have a fever. You just want me to stay in here and be bored." With that the nurse thrust the thermometer back in my mouth and waited while it registered my body temp.
She took it out and handed it to me. I glanced at it. "Hah! Only 102.9"
She glared at me. I shrunk underneath the blankets my eyes still intently staring at her.
"Ok. I'll go get you something to eat. If you can keep it down, than I won't put the IV in. Deal?" "Deal."
The nurse exited the room leaving me tugging at the blankets so I could get out of her before she came back. The quick motions triggered something in my system and a horrible wave of pain shot through my body. I groaned and lay back slowly letting the pain subside.
The nurse came back in and handed me the tray.
I smiled smugly at her before taking a bite. I swallowed it easily enough but as soon as it reached my stomach it backfired and I bolted for the bathroom.
I came back defeated and let her stick the IV in my arm. I slipped beneath the covers once more and stared blankly at the fluid dripping into my arm.
The phone rang waking up Mike. He groped around the nightstand for the phone and picked it up.
"Hello?" He mumbled. "Mr. Stewart?"
"Yes." "Sorry to disturb you Sir but the hospital called and said to call you. Nicole Thompson has woken up. They want you to come down to the hospital immediately to talk about adoption papers."
"Ok. I'll be right there." Suddenly wide-awake Mike jumped out of bed and quickly dressed. He glanced at his sleeping son in the other bed. He probably shouldn't wake him. He scribbled a note and left it on the table before making a fast exit.
"Mr. Stewart, you understand the responsibilities of adopting a child, right?" Mike nodded. It had been quick thinking on his part to adopt Nikki. He wasn't going to let her stay at that orphanage.
"You can sign these papers and she'll go home with you but an adoption takes a long time. It could take almost a year before she is legally your child. And this against procedure to let a child go home with adoptive parents before it is fully settled but it being only two weeks until Christmas, we're letting it slide."
Mike nodded once more while signing the stack of papers before him. "Can I go talk to Nikki now? I'm sure she's wandering what's going on." Mike asked standing up.
"Go right ahead Sir. We'll be checking with you to see how Nikki is doing." Mike left the office and traveled to the fifth floor where the recovery rooms were.
Nikki was sitting up in bed staring out the window into the street.
"Nikki?" I turned toward the voice.
"Hey Mike. What's going on?" I answered cheerfully. "Well the doctors are certainly baffled as to why you're still alive." Mike explained easing down onto the bed next to her.
"It was the Power coin. I found it practically stuck in my hand when I woke up. I'm surprised no one found it before me." "I'm sure Zordon had something to do with that. How are you feeling?" "Sore. I decided last night right after I woke up that I was getting out of here and kind of ran into some trouble. I'm now bed ridden for the next week. The doctor said I was not to leave this bed or he'd add another week on."
Mike chuckled. "Well I have some important business to talk about. Ready to listen for a sec?"
I nodded sincerely.
"Ok. I talked to the orphanage back in Angel Grove about adopting you, they gave me the ok on it, it's up to you know if you want to be a part of our family. Of course you being the White Ranger and all you'll be allowed by me to stay aboard the Mega Ship. You'll just have to be at the house when the social services come to check out what's going on. What do you think?"
My eyes were misting with tears. I pulled them back quickly and opened my mouth to say something. Nothing came out. Mike knew what I meant. He leaned forward and pulled me into a hug. The tears sprang forward and soaked Mike's shirt.
I finally pulled away and wiped the tears off my face. My skin was clammy and cold now, but that didn't matter.
Matter. The only thing that mattered is that some one loved me enough to want me to become part of their family.
Author's note: Ahhhhh. Perfect ending. Finally! This stupid six page story took me all week to write. My next fic will be 'White No More' you can probably figure out what it's about from the title.