Hey! Sorry this hasn't been updated in a while. Frankly, I'm sick of writing That '70s Show stuff so I'm trying to finish up all my T70S stuff. So, in this chapter, Jackie gets sicker and more desperate. Will she live? Will she want to? Disclaimer: I don't own That '70s Show. In fact, I'm getting a little sick of writing disclaimers to this effect.
The drive to the hospital was long and tense. Red was so concerned he actually let Eric drive the Vista Cruiser, and for once Eric didn't turn on the radio or make any kind of dumbass comment. He simply drove about five miles per hour above the speed limit. The whole car was quiet. Even Kitty had nothing to say. She simply wrung the scarf in her hands. Even Fez and Kelso were unusually serious. Fez seemed to be deep in some kind of prayer to his own god for Jackie, and Kelso was just looking out the window thoughtfully. Donna was scribbling something down in a journal. Hyde suspected it was different ways to drag Pam Burkhart's ass back to Point Place. He didn't blame her. Hyde himself was simply seconds away from hopping on a plane to Mexico and tracking down the bitch himself. The only thing stopping him was Jackie.
Fuck, Jackie. Why did this have to happen? Why did his doll have to get sick? Why couldn't it have been someone else? There were millions of people in the world, and yet Jackie was the one condemned to die. Jackie, who acted like a snob but had a heart of gold. Jackie, who was a good friend even when none of them wanted her friendship. Jackie, who was still fighting so hard to live even when it hurt. He wished he could make her feel better, make her pain go down, but he couldn't.
Meanwhile, in Fiona's car, the radio was on. It was some disco crap, probably Jackie's doing. Pete felt a bang in his chest that the tiny brunette never may get to hear her favorite music again. She may never get to dance or smile or kiss her boyfriend again. Sky was thinking similar thoughts. Jackie couldn't die, she just couldn't. It wasn't fair. Jackie had fought so hard and long, and once she had gotten her life back together, she lost everything again. Jackie didn't deserve this. She didn't deserve this.
Pete squeezed Sky's hand in comfort. She smiled faintly at him. She needed to be strong. They needed to be strong. Jackie wouldn't want to see them looking like messes. She would want to see them strong, strong and smiling, like she had been with James. Oh, James…
Finally, both cars arrived at the hospital. Sky and Fiona practically flew out of their car, Pete close behind. The basement gang rushed to keep up with them. They made their way to the cancer ward. Fiona was greeted by a worried-looking nurse.
"What's going on?" Fiona asked urgently. Tammy started to explain.
"Jackie's platelets dropped way too much. She needed a bone marrow transplant."
"Needed?" Donna repeated. "So she got one?"
The nurse looked at her sadly. "Yes," she replied. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief except for Fiona, Sky, and Pete. They knew something else had to be coming. "But there were complications."
"Complications?" Hyde asked worriedly. "What kind of complications?"
Tammy felt a tear flow down her face, but she wiped it away. "She needs a new kidney," the nurse explained. "We have her on dialysis, but it won't last forever."
Sky felt her heart drop. She wanted to slump down to the floor and cry, but Pete held onto her. "Can we go see her?" he asked, his voice steady despite the situation.
Tammy nodded. "Two at a time," she commanded. Everyone nodded.
Fiona asked one more question. "Pain level?"
At this question, Tammy looked proud. "She said nine, but I would've given it a ten."
To everyone's surprise, Sky started laughing. Even Pete looked a little unnerved until he caught on. The couple just stood there laughing hysterically, laughing like they never would laugh again.
"Care to explain what's so funny?" Hyde fumed.
Sky smiled at him. "Jackie's still saving her ten," the beautiful blonde stated. The rest of the room minus Fiona and Pete looked confused. "It means she hasn't given up yet," she clarified.
"Never count Supergirl out," Pete added. "She likes to throw curveballs.
Sky groaned. "I hate sports metaphors," she complained. Her boyfriend simply shrugged. The two then made their way to Jackie's room, leaving everyone else in shock. How could they still laugh? How could they still smile?
Sky and Pete made it to Jackie's room and opened the door tentatively. What they saw saddened them greatly. Jackie had needles placed all over her. Her normally glossy black hair seemed flat, and her normally olive skin was extremely pale. She looked so small in the hospital bed, so much more vulnerable than Sky knew she was.
Jackie opened her mismatched eyes only to see Sky and Pete looking at her worriedly. "Hey," she croaked. "Just in time for the party." She managed a weak smile despite the pain.
Sky and Pete looked at her in surprise. It took them a moment to respond to the joke. "Well, we couldn't let you have all the fun, could we?" Sky teased lightly, her eyes still full of worry. The fact that Jackie was still making jokes, however, was reassuring. She stroked her best friend's cheek.
There was silence for a moment before Jackie spoke again. "You know what would be good dying now?" she asked quietly.
Sky felt dread in the bottom of her stomach. "What?" she asked fearfully.
Jackie's eyes sparkled mischievously, like they always had, and Pete immediately caught on. "I won't die a virgin," she joked. He burst out laughing while Sky remained silent. "Jeez, harsh crowd."
Sky looked into her best friend's eyes. "How are you?" she asked forcefully. It was a question few people liked to ask or answer.
Jackie sighed, suddenly looking so much older. "I wish my ten would come already," she whispered.
"Don't say that," Sky pleaded. "Please don't say that."
Jackie tried to sit up but winced. She just leaned back in her bed and looked at her friends. "I'm tired, Sky," she admitted. "I'm so tired. It would be nice to rest for a while."
"Have them adjust your meds," Pete suggested hopefully. Maybe there was something they could do to make her more comfortable.
Jackie shook her head. "That's not what I'm talking about," the tiny brunette said. "I'm sick of the pain. I want to stop my body to stop hurting. I want my heart to stop hurting."
Neither Sky or Pete could say anything. They knew what Jackie meant. She wanted to go to Heaven and see James and be whole again. Neither wanted to deny her that, but they didn't want to let her go either.
"Just hang on a bit longer," Sky begged. "Just a little bit longer."
Jackie smiled faintly at her friend. "I will," the small girl promised, "but you have to do something for me too."
"What?" Sky asked anxiously.
"Take care of them when I died," Jackie replied. Sky winced at the wording of that request but nodded.
"Okay," she said. "I promise." And with that, Jackie knew her friends would be okay when she died. She knew Steven would be okay when she died. Jackie knew she was going to die. It was only a matter of when.