Duty & Honor – Part 7

The Price of Power

By Jeannine Trevizo

 

 

 

Tommy and the team had survived Xondar’s most recent assault and were on their way back to his house. Their individual attempts to harness the dino gem power to solidify the wraiths had stopped working, but they’d been lucky enough to find a way to stop them. Trent and Ethan had somehow come up with the idea to focus their dino gem energy together, and had succeeded in icing a few of the wraiths. That discovery had allowed them combine their powers with each other to push Symax and his warriors back, and they’d both made a strategic retreat.

 

After brushing themselves off, the whole team had focused on getting back to the command center and analyzing the new situation regarding the wraiths. It was only as they entered the brown stone cave that Tommy felt like a boulder had suddenly landed on his body. In an instant he knew something was seriously wrong. He hurried towards the console, and stopped dead in his tracks as he saw the foot wide smudge of blood on the floor.

 

Kim…

 

“Dr. O?” questioned Kira, noting the look of fear on their mentor and teacher’s face.

 

“Where’s Kim and Hayley?” Trent asked.

 

Quickly Tommy scanned the room, and found a pad of paper on the chair at the monitor. Picking it up, he scanned it and felt his heart break into pieces. As the words seeped through his fearful mind, the pad slipped from his numb fingers, and he headed upstairs faster than any of the team had ever seen him move. Kira hurried over to where he had dropped the notepad, and gasped as she read what was printed there. Conner was immediately to her side, holding her shoulders as she turned into him, absently handing the pad to the closest person to her, which happened to be Ethan. He took the paper, read it and turned to regard his male companions as Kira cried softly, quietly into Conner’s chest.

 

“Hayley took Kim to the hospital. She thinks she miscarried the baby.”

 

The three men went silent at that, turning to look to the stairs that Dr. O had scaled with such determination. It was obvious now what had set him off.

 

“Let’s go,” stated Conner simply, moving towards the stairs before Kira stopped him with a hand on his arm.

 

“Not yet… we should wait a while. They need the time to be alone.”

 

Conner glanced around to the others, and saw similar looks on their faces. With a sad shrug he moved to find a seat, Kira following him as they both sat heavily. Ethan and Trent followed suit, their attitude as pained as the others. So the four rangers waited in silence, hoping against hope that Hayley had been wrong, and wondering what this would do to their team mates and friends.

 

-x-

 

Hayley sat beside Kimberly’s hospital bed as she waited for Tommy to get there. It had been a tricky thing getting Kim up the stairs to the kitchen. But once she’d shoved the lighter, unconscious woman up, she’d left Tommy the note and then quickly followed, running for the phone. She’d called 911 and while they were on the way, she had closed the trap door, ensuring the safety of the ranger’s secrets.

 

Since Tommy and the team had yet to arrive, she’d gone along with Kim in the ambulance, offering the slim information she had about the pregnancy and Kim’s physical condition before hand.

 

Now, as Kim slept in the starched white sheets of the hospital bed, the IV dripping into her arm, Hayley could only hope that Kim and Tommy could find a way to heal after this…

 

Because she knew that this would devastate them both.

 

A sound at the door alerted Hayley to someone coming in, and she looked up to find Tommy pushing it open. His face was a mask of pain, and she wished she had better news for him.

 

“Hayley, is she…” he murmured, his eyes glancing only briefly to the woman he was addressing as they landed and fixed on his wife laying in the bed before him.

 

“She’ll be fine. She lost a lot of blood, and they want to keep her overnight. It’s standard in…” she started, and trailed off before she could say the actual words.

 

“The baby…”

 

When silence greeted him, he turned and looked at his college friend and saw the look of sorrow etched on her face.

 

“I’m sorry,” she said softly.

 

He nodded and focused on Kim again. Walking to her side, he slid to the floor, his knees hitting the linoleum hard as he took her hand in his and let his head hit the mattress. Hayley hurriedly fled the room as she heard his barely controlled sobs against the bedclothes.

 

-x-

 

Kim woke to the feel of someone beside her, a sound of someone crying… she felt off, unfocused and everything hurt. When her eyes fell on the dark hair of her husband kneeling beside her, and noted the IV stuck in her arm, it all fell into place.

 

The miscarriage.

 

The baby.

 

Oh God… she’d lost the baby, *their* baby.

 

Her throat closed up, and her eyes welled with tears. How could he ever look at her again without seeing her losing his baby? He’d been so afraid of something happening in battle, they’d never even considered that she could lose the baby even if she stayed out of it.

 

She shut her eyes, the tears now breaking from her control, and they slid down her cheeks as she tried not to sob out loud. Still, her anguish, her pain seeped through to Tommy somehow, alerting him to her being awake and his head raised slowly. He saw the tracks of tears and Kim’s convulsively swallowing throat.

 

“Kim?” he called out softly.

 

Her eyes fluttered open, and the doe brown locked with his chocolate and the pain grew exponentially as they shared everything now.

 

“Tommy…” she sobbed, her face falling as the reality settled on her with the weight of a freighter. “I…I’m so, so sorry, I…”

 

As the words escaped her lips, he knew that she was apologizing for losing the baby, as if she could have prevented it…

 

“Stop, Kim, *Beautiful*, please!” he said quickly, moving off the floor and sitting on the edge of the bed, his hands flying to her upper arms to hold her tightly.

 

“But you were afraid of this… and it happened.”

 

“But not for the reasons I thought it could. I was afraid something could happen to you and the baby due to Xondar.”

 

“You don’t think he had something to do with this… I mean nothing happened to me…” she stammered, fearing their enemy’s reach had gone beyond the battlefield.

 

“Are you sure?” he asked thickly, his voice still filled with the tears he’d shed, the pain he felt.

 

Kim looked at him questioningly, uncomprehendingly.

 

“The only reason I ask… I got banged up pretty badly out there today. And ever since… the wedding, we’ve felt each other. Maybe my pain caused the miscarriage?”

 

Once the words left his mouth, Kim nearly started crying again and she swallowed convulsively repeatedly. She had to get this out of his head immediately. He wasn’t to blame, but in true Tommy Oliver fashion, he was looking for a way to be the person responsible. To take the guilt that he always felt he deserved… ever since his days of being the evil green ranger.

 

“No!” she swore heatedly, reaching up to catch his collar. “If anything, the pain you were feeling was mine.”

 

“Are you sure? You didn’t…”

 

“Positive… It was just bad timing. I just…” Kim started, her eyes flitting away as she felt her own guilt and fears take hold.

 

“What Kim?” questioned Tommy, seeing the anguish in his wife’s face.

 

“I’m afraid… what with this miscarriage… what if I can’t carry your child?”

 

That startled Tommy. He’d never even thought…

 

“Did the doctor say that you couldn’t?”

 

“No, I… she said she’d be back to talk with me later…, it’s just… maybe I did something. All the years of starving myself to stay in the strict shape I had to be to compete. Or the falls I’ve taken could have damaged…”

 

Before Tommy could reply to Kim’s hypothesis, there was a light knock at the door. It slowly pushed open to reveal Dr. Harriet Button, looking at her patient and her husband. Kim’s doctor was not surprised to find Kim’s husband seated next to the hospital bed, his hands tightly clutching his wife’s. While he’d been unable to make Kim’s appointment when she’d verified his wife’s pregnancy, she had the impression from speaking with Kim that he loved his wife deeply and was looking forward to the birth of their child. A child that they now would never know.

 

“Kim, Dr. Oliver,” Dr. Button greeted them, walking to the bed, the chart in her hands.

 

“Dr. Button,” Tommy spoke, nodding to acknowledge the physician caring for his wife.

 

“How are you feeling?”

 

“Tired, aching…”

 

“It’s to be expected. You should be feeling physically better in a few days. The miscarriage was early in your pregnancy, so that should make your recovery faster. Still, I’d like to have you here overnight, just to make sure there isn’t any other bleeding after the shedding of the placenta, or that there’s any other complications. But I think you should be able to go home tomorrow.”

 

“Why did she lose the baby?” asked Tommy suddenly, startling Dr. Button.

 

“It’s, well, we don’t exactly know… spontaneous miscarriage isn’t uncommon, especially before the end of the first trimester. Anywhere from four to eight percent of pregnancies in the first 12 weeks end in miscarriages.”

 

“But… was there anything wrong with the baby?”

 

“Usually there’s a cell division problem, which triggers the miscarriage. But there’s no evidence that says that it’s due to genetic defects. Women who have a miscarriage once are more than likely to have a perfectly fine pregnancy in the future.”

 

“So we can try again?” Kim asked, her voice hopeful as she clutched at Tommy’s hands.

 

“I’d recommend you wait thee months before that, and before then come in, we’ll review your tests from this pregnancy and take some new ones. There were some elevated levels in your blood work, but there’s no guarantee that they’ll be there again.”

 

There was a pause as Kim and Tommy looked to one another. So the tests that had come back had shown something… but what exactly they didn’t know. And what had caused those test result problems was unknown. It could have been Kim’s assertion that her body had been damaged over the years. But there was always the thought in the back of Tommy’s mind that perhaps the power that had changed them both, had made them heroes could have caused Kim’s miscarriage.

 

“But you should know that the probability is that there was nothing you could have done to prevent the miscarriage. Sometimes it just happens with no explanation,” Dr. Button stated quickly, seeing the concerns crossing the faces of her patient and her husband.

 

“So… it was just one of those things?” Tommy questioned, still stunned by the events that had occurred.

 

“Pretty much. All there has to be is some genetic glitch in the cellular level, and the body automatically terminates the pregnancy.”

 

“When can I take her home tomorrow?”

 

“Tomorrow afternoon, I think check out if everything looks good overnight is around noon. Should I tell the nurses to bring you in a comfortable chair?” she asked, noting the tight grip Kim and Tommy had on each other.

 

“Please?” Kim asked, and Dr. Button smiled.

 

“I’ll let them know you’ll be staying. I’ll see you both in the morning.”

 

Tommy and Kim watched Dr. Button leave, and only once the door had closed did they let out the breaths they had been holding. Turning to focus on his wife, Tommy ran a hand softly along the side of his wife’s face, bringing her eyes to his. He felt the connection between them there, but still saw the pain and guilt there that dwarfed his own. And his instincts to protect Kim, even from herself kicked in immediately.

 

“See, it wasn’t your fault,” he informed her matter of factly, cupping her face with his palm.

 

“But…” she tried to argue, but he wasn’t letting her finish.

 

“No.” he stated firmly, moving his hand to cover her soft lips. “God Kim, I was so worried about Xondar hurting you… I didn’t think about the fact that you could lose the baby even without anything causing it.”

 

“There was something wrong… Dr. Button said it was probably cellular… what if… we’re not meant to have a family?”

 

“Kim, it’s just one miscarriage. You heard Dr. Button, she said there’s nothing wrong with you. So, there’s no reason we can’t try again.”

 

Kim looked at him, her eyes welling with unshed tears. She began to open her mouth to ask him if they should try once the three months were up and she’d been back to the doctor, but he spoke before she could.

 

“But, Kim, I don’t think it’s wise to try again… not now. We were okay with it before because things were relatively safe. But now… I couldn’t bear to lose you and another baby. We… we can try again when we figure out why this guy wants us dead. After I know that we’re both going to survive and that we and Earth will be safe.”

 

“Tommy,” Kim began, her face grave, “even if… when, we defeat Xondar, there’s no way to know when the next bad guy will show up. We might be semi-retired again, but until there’s another team on Earth…”

 

She left it hanging, knowing that Tommy would understand what she was saying, and he nodded in understanding. Their duty came first. As long as there was a possibility that they had to fight, to die, they had a responsibility to be rangers. And that meant that while they could protect themselves, they had no right to bring a child, a defenseless being into that world.

 

So they would have to wait… until they set down their duties, handed off the responsibility to others.

 

Kim swallowed hard again, and Tommy felt the same ache in his heart that he knew was in Kim’s still, they had to honor their commitment; they had a responsibility to protect Earth. And both of them knew what it felt like when they turned their backs on that duty.

 

There was always the chance that one day they’d have to give up their powers, watch a new ranger team protect the planet. But until then it was up to them to take care of the team, each other and the population of the planet.

 

It was what they were.

 

Rangers.

 

Tommy leaned down to kiss her, yet before he got halfway to her lips, he watched them open in a tired yawn. Smiling tenderly, he moved to kiss her forehead instead.

 

“You need some sleep Beautiful. Why don’t you close your eyes and rest?”

 

“But I can’t sleep without you now.”

 

A small pull wrenched at his soul with her simple words, and he thought of the years that they’d been apart. He was still in shock, still hurting at the loss of their child, but he was reminded of the blessing of having Kim in his life, having her beside him as his partner, team mate and wife. Nodding, he carefully moved to the other side of the small bed and eased beside her. Kim turned into him, letting Tommy wrap his arm around her, the other hand smoothing over her hair as she settled into a light sleep, comforted by Tommy’s presence.

 

Listening to Kim’s breathing slow, Tommy closed his eyes and attempted to join her in the peace slumber could bring.

 

-x-

 

The team had waited half an hour before everyone had finally acquiesced to Conner’s concern about their team mates. Hayley hadn’t called and the anxiety factor in the command center had increased enough for everyone to climb the stairs and pack into Conner’s car, making the drive to Reefside Hospital.

 

Conner, Kira, Ethan and Trent made their way through the hospital, finding a helpful nurse that was more than happy to tell Kira where her ‘aunt’ was in the hospital. When they found the room, Kira pushed the door open carefully and found their teacher and his wife, their team mates curled together on the small bed asleep. With nervous expressions, they let the door close noiselessly behind them as they left the two alone.

 

There was time enough to deal with the repercussions of this event as well as the shadow of Xondar in the morning and the days that were to follow.

 

-End-

 

tbc…

 

We’ll see you all next chapter.  JT

 

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