Chapter 6: Reunion

by juniperphoenix

Trini was sitting alone in the clinic, watching over Billy. Aisha and the guys had gone outside to wait for the others, but Trini wouldn't leave. Although there had been no change in Billy's condition, she wanted to be there, just in case.

We can't let him wake up all alone, she had thought. He's going to be scared and confused… someone has to be here.

Trini had been sitting next to Billy for several minutes when she heard a low sigh. "Billy?" she asked quickly, leaning over him with an anxious expression. "Billy, are you awake?"

A muscle twitched in Billy's face and he sighed again, but didn't awaken. He was shivering, and Trini pulled the blanket up closer around him, as if she were tucking in a child.

"I know you're in there, Billy," she told him, "and I believe you can hear me." She caressed his face tenderly with a soft hand. "Please come back to us. You can do it, I know you can. Please don't take too long."

The faintest shadow of a smile drifted across Billy's sleeping face. Trini wondered what, if anything, was going on in his mind. Was he dreaming? Had he heard her?

Suddenly, a familiar sound caught Trini's attention. Glancing outside, she saw six columns of light appear next to the campfire and resolve themselves into the figures of Tommy, Kimberly, Rocky, Adam, and two others whom she didn't recognize.

"The others are here," she said, turning back to Billy. She kissed her first two fingers and touched them gently to his lips. "I'll be right back," she whispered.

Trini stood quietly and headed out to join her friends. A blush colored her face when she saw Jason standing at the clinic entrance, and she wondered how much he had seen. The former Red Ranger smiled faintly at her embarrassment, but didn't bring up the subject. "They're here," he said simply.

An emotional reunion was in progress when Trini and Jason stepped into the circle of firelight. There were so many hugs and back-slaps and tearful greetings happening at once that it was hard to tell who was who.

"Trini!" someone exclaimed excitedly, drawing her attention. The familiar voice came from a petite brown-haired girl in a short flower-print dress, who had been hugging Aisha a moment before.

"Kimberly!" Trini dashed forward to embrace her best friend. "Aisha said you were in Florida!"

"I was," Kimberly replied. "I came back when they told me that Billy was…" She shook her head, as if to negate the thought. "It's great to see you," she finished simply.

Trini grinned as they hugged again. Over Kim's shoulder, she saw Aisha hugging another girl in yellow, then one dressed in pink. Jason and Zack were talking with Tommy, while Rocky went over to Aisha and dragged Adam along with him.

"I guess I need to introduce everybody," said Tommy as the greetings tapered off. "This is Katherine…" He gestured toward a tall blonde girl who was wearing a fuchsia sweater and black skirt.

"Call me Kat," she said in a warm Australian accent.

"…and this is Tanya," Tommy continued, indicating the other girl, who wore yellow. Tanya smiled, a bit shyly, and said 'hi.'

Jason stepped forward. "I'm Jason," he told the two girls. Then he introduced Zack and Trini, and more greetings followed.

"Where's Billy?" Kim asked. She was obviously worried, despite the group's cheerfulness.

"In the clinic," Jason replied, nodding in the direction of a large green tent. "He's not awake yet."

"Can we go see him?" asked Tanya hopefully.

"Sure, go ahead," Aisha replied, forcing her attention back to the matter at hand. Seeing Tanya as a teenager was a bit unnerving… when the two girls had met, they'd been only ten years old.

"We should probably take turns going in," Kimberly suggested. "You know, so there's not, like, a whole mob in there."

"You're probably right, Kim," responded Tommy. He turned toward Adam, who was hanging back a bit from the others and had hardly spoken. "Hey, man, why don't you go ahead?"

Adam nodded, his face a strange mixture of anticipation and dread, as he silently began walking toward the clinic. The others watched sympathetically as the melancholy teen trudged away.

"He's been really torn up over this," Tommy explained softly. "Even when we found out Billy was alive, I don't think Adam really believed it."

"He's barely even talked since it happened," added Kat.

"Well, I hope he doesn't freak out in there," Aisha said with concern. "I mean, when he sees Billy like that. He's not looking so good, and it might make Adam even more upset."

Trini was staring off in the direction of the clinic. "I think he'll be okay," she murmured distantly.

"Yeah," Kimberly agreed. "Adam'll snap out of it."

Trini smiled to herself. I wasn't talking about Adam.

Adam walked hesitantly toward the large green tent. Jason had called it "the clinic." He said Billy was inside. Adam didn't understand. A clinic was a place where sick people went to get better. Billy wasn't sick. Billy was dead. So why was he in the clinic?

The others had all seemed happy and excited when they found out Billy was here. They were anxious to go see him. Why? Adam didn't know. For some reason, though, he now found himself entering the tent and looking around.

The interior of the clinic was illuminated by a Coleman gas lantern that sat atop a filing cabinet. Soft light fell on the figure of Billy, who was lying on a makeshift bed that seemed to have originally been a table or workbench. He was covered nearly up to his chin with a navy blue blanket that made him seem very small and pale.

Hesitantly, Adam approached his friend. He wondered why his face hadn't been covered up. Isn't that what they're supposed to do when somebody dies?

When Adam finally reached Billy's bedside, he had to force himself to look down. Billy's eyes were closed, and there were dark circles under them. He looked completely peaceful, and there was even the faintest suggestion of a smile on his face. He looked so… so normal. He could have been asleep, even. Why, why did he have to look like that, just the way he had looked when he was alive?

Adam felt tears building up inside him, but they refused to come. An iron fist was clamped around his heart, holding everything in just as it had been doing ever since the previous afternoon. Dry-eyed, he stared at Billy and sobbed silently inside himself.

Gradually, Adam became aware of a soft, rhythmic sound. He watched his friend closely, noticing for the first time the nearly imperceptible rising and falling of his chest. Breathing… Billy was breathing

"Billy?!" Adam gasped, and took a few faltering steps backwards. "You're… you're…"

The dam finally broke, and hot tears spilled down Adam's face. "Oh, God…" he choked. "Billy… you're alive? You're… I mean, I thought… I thought that you were… Oh, Billy!"

Adam sank to his knees and sobbed in relief.

There was a light nearby, quite close. Not the yellow flame of earlier — it had gone away to join the larger group of lights — but a strange, darker flame that seemed to be both green and black at the same time. There was a reason why it was two different colors, but Billy couldn't remember it.

He was just now, gradually, becoming Billy again, aware of himself as more than just the blue flame. The cold, black void of cryogenic freeze was slowly dissipating, and he was slipping gently into the softer, lighter grey of normal sleep. He sighed contentedly, and the blue flame grew inside him to fill his entire being with a soft, comforting glow.

Faintly, as if from a million miles away, a voice crept into the fringes of Billy's awareness.

"I thought that you were… Oh, Billy!" The voice itself was familiar, but the words were blurred and meaningless. Only the light made sense… the light of the black/green flame that the voice came from. It was warm and alive, glowing softly with the same Power as all the other flames… the same Power that burned blue within Billy himself.

He watched for a long time until the flame went away and another came to take its place. It was even stranger than the green and black flame, for it seemed to be made up of three colors: a thin red halo encircling an inferno of pure, blazing white, with a hint of emerald lying deep down at the center. Other flames came and went after that: pink, yellow… even a blue flame like Billy's own, though it was blended with a tinge of red. They were all familiar and cherished, and with every one, the blue flame glowed a little brighter.

If he could have, Billy would have watched the lights forever. Eventually, though, his awareness of them faded and he slipped into dreams. He dreamed of vast oceans in turmoil; of strange, gentle beings and a tunnel in the stars. He saw a young man, green-eyed and sandy-haired, working side by side with one of the mysterious creatures. The young man was very, very familiar, but Billy didn't have a chance to think about it as the dreams went on, deep into the African night.

<< Previous | Contents | Next >>

Send feedback

Return to Fanfiction