Hey! This is my newest That '70s Show fan-fic. I've had this idea floating in my head for a while, and I just needed to get it out. It's set in season six. I'm not really familiar with that particular season, so please take pity on me. Hyde and Jackie are together, but a secret of Jackie's emerges and changes everything. What will happen to everyone's favorite midget? You'll have to read to find out. Reviews are always appreciated! Disclaimer: I don't own That '70s Show nor do I claim to. Mostly cuz no one would believe me.
The children of the Point Place Hospital cancer ward were buzzing with excitement. It was Friday, and that meant a visit from their favorite volunteer. These patients were particularly obedient on Fridays. All a doctor had to do to get them to behave was to tell them that the beloved volunteer wouldn't visit them if they were bad. The children loved the visits too much to continue misbehaving. Nurses and doctors marveled at this. It amazed them how one person's presence could have such a huge effect on so many patients. Nevertheless, they were grateful for the former patient's visits. It was hard for a lot of former patients to come back, but this girl did it with pleasure. She had become a familiar face in the cancer ward, and everyone loved her.
Jackie Burkhart walked into Point Place Hospital with a bag full of surprises. She waved to familiar nurses as she passed them. Jackie spent so much time in the hospital as a child, so she knew the majority of the staff's names. Her favorite nurse, Tammy, stopped her for a moment. Tammy had been there for Jackie more than her own parents. She and another woman had given Jackie the will to keep going. "Any pain?" she asked quietly. Jackie shook her head no. "Well, I have to ask. I'm a natural worrier." She just smiled and kept going.
The tiny brunette made her way towards the cancer ward. She took a deep breath as she entered. Coming back always made her nervous, but she kept doing it anyways. Jackie loved seeing the looks on the kids' faces when she gave them gifts or told them stories. And really, she loved those kids. They were having their childhoods, and maybe even their lives, taken away from them, and yet they weren't bitter or angry. The kids in the hospital ward had the same priorities regular kids did. They loved to play with their friends and goof around. And being in a hospital certainly didn't stop must of them from doing that.
She entered her first room. Jackie visited a total of fifteen rooms every Friday. These kids were aged from 4-12, and they had all different kinds of cancer. The loud midget knew each one of their favorite colors, foods, and animals. She listened to them when they talked, and she made them feel special.
"Jaxie!" the little girl in the bed squealed in delight. Jackie smiled. Wendy was only four years old, the youngest kid in the ward. She had brain cancer, pretty severe from what Jackie was told. That didn't stop the girl from being the little princess of the ward. She loved playing dress-up and listening to fairytales. The doctors gave her a 40% survive rate, but Jackie disagreed. The little girl was tough; she didn't even cry when they had had to shave her golden blonde hair off. She had simply shrugged her small shoulders and stated, "I wook like a martin", with a lopsided grin.
Jackie gave Wendy a big smile. "Hey, Wendy-Woo. How are you today?" She always made sure she didn't ask how are you feeling today because that question had always pissed her off as a kid. How do you think someone with cancer feels?
"Good. Mommy and Daddy came to see me today. Mommy bought Erin. He's weally tiny." The little girl used her hands to show how small her little brother was. "Then I went to teatment."
"And how was that?" Jackie prodded gently. The little girl shook her head.
"It was okay. It didn't hurt as much this time." Wendy paused before adding something else. "After tat, I wached Rany and Tim pank the nurses."
Jackie raised an eyebrow. "And what did they do?" Randy and Tim were the two major pranksters in the hospital. Being sick certainly didn't slow them down. They reminded Jackie of younger versions of Fez and Michael.
The little girl shook her head. "I'm not awowed to tell. Rany theatned to tear off Mr. Wabbit's head if I do." She clutched her beloved stuffed rabbit tightly.
"We wouldn't want that to happen." Jackie changed the subject. "So, what do you feel like doing today?"
"Can you wead a story?" Wendy asked with a pout. Jackie laughed and shook her head out. She pulled out a beautifully made story book and opened it up. The "spoiled" princess began reading about a real princess, Sleeping Beauty. The little girl listened, captivated by the story. At the end of the story, Jackie rummaged through her bag and pulled out a glittery tiara. Wendy squealed in delight.
"Now you can be a princess too," Jackie told the little girl sweetly, who immediately put it on her head. She said goodbye to a very happy Wendy and proceeded to the next room. She did the same thing for each child she visited. Jackie would ask how they were. If they wanted to talk, she listened. If they wanted to play, she had a game. If they wanted to read, she had a story. Jackie knew all the patients, and she had started to bring them things she knew they would love. A little over three hours later, Jackie had visited every room. She was tired but satisfied. The small cheerleader had checked up on all the kids and made sure they had fun. She didn't spend equal time with all of them, but she did make sure they all got equal attention.
Most people would probably wonder why Jackie Burkhart, popular cheerleader, would spend her Friday nights visiting sick children in the hospital. It was something surprisingly compassionate of the former rich girl to do. What would surprise people even more is the fact she never says anything about it. The shallow side of Jackie would be bragging about her volunteer work to anyone who would listen. No one knew the deeper side of her, the side that felt a deep connection to the kids she visited. To Jackie, those kids were what she had once been: sick, scared, and alone. The bossy beauty would do anything to prevent them from feeling the pain she had felt from parents who left her alone in a unfamiliar hospital. Jackie would never forgive her parents for that, and she suspected they couldn't forgive themselves either. Her childhood had been hell, and it wasn't just because of her parents. It was because of the leukemia she had been diagnosed with at age five. After a year of treatment, she had beat it, only to have it come back stronger at the age of ten. The pain was unbearable, and her parents were never there. The nurses and volunteers gave her the strength to keep fighting. Now, seven years later, the leukemia had yet to reappear, but a part of Jackie knew that it was only a matter of time. She also knew that she had to make use of that time.
Snapping out of her thoughts, Jackie made her way out of the cancer ward. Unfortunately, she ran into Mrs. Forman on the way out. "Jackie!" the mother hen shouted cheerfully. "What brings you to this neck of the woods?"
"Just visiting a friend," she lied smoothly. Jackie didn't want people to know she volunteered. She didn't want anyone to find out about the cancer, especially Hyde and the basement gang.
"Oh, well I hope they're alright," Kitty said worriedly.
"Yeah, she's fine. Just a broken bone, nothing major." The mismatched-eyed beauty looked down at her shoes. She hated lying to Mrs. Forman.
"Need a ride?" the kind older lady offered.
"Sure," Jackie responded with a grateful smile. They headed outside and got into the car. They drove, Kitty chatting away and Jackie listening. For some reason, she was really tired today. She ignored the bad possibility and just pinned it down to the strenuous day. They arrived at the Formans', and Jackie got out of the car. "Thanks for the ride, Mrs. Forman."
"No problem, sweetheart," Kitty responded with a smile. Jackie headed down into the basement. Sure enough, the whole gang was sitting in the basement watching Gilligan's Island. They looked at her as she walked in. The greetings were varied.
"Jackie, thank God!"
She looked over to Hyde, who just smiled. The tiny brunette walked over and sat down in her boyfriend's lap. "Hey Puddin' Pop," she whispered softly.
"Hey Doll," he greeted. He kissed her, and she snuggled into his lap. Jackie loved sitting in the basement in Hyde's lap. It made her feel complete. She loved hearing Kelso and Fez concoct crazy schemes, and she loved hearing Donna and Eric squabble over stupid stuff. When the loud midget though of the future, she thought of more moments like that. Jackie didn't want to look any further into the future because she didn't want to make plans that might not happen. Truthfully, Jackie was scared of the future. She felt safe in the basement, and she prayed that the safety would last.