SCENE ONE: JACK AND JENNIFER ARE STILL AT THE HOSPITAL WAITING AND HOPING. CARLY COMES OUT TO TALK TO THEM AGAIN.
JENNIFER: Hi, what's going on? Is there any change?
CARLY: No, we're still trying to get her temperature down Jen.
JACK: So she's still getting the ice bath treatment?
CARLY: Hmmm, yes.
JENNIFER: How long is this going to take?
CARLY: Oh Jen I wish I could tell you. You're just going to have to wait.
JENNIFER: How do you do that when that's your child? How do you just wait?
CARLY: I'm going to stay here with you. I'm going to be here as long as you need me, okay.
JENNIFER: You can't. You're supposed to be packing the boat right now. You're not even supposed to be here Carly.
CARLY: Look Bo would want me to stay here.
JACK: No! I don't think that's really necessary Carly. I think it will be alright if you go. I'm sure that Dr. Raines will have everything under control.
CARLY: Actually I feel more comfortable staying Jack.
JACK: Well I think it will be just fine. I can take care of my wife and child just fine.... really. I think it will be better this way.CARLY: Of course. Yes. Look I'll give you a call later okay. I love you guys.
CARLY LEAVES AND JENNIFER WALKS PAST JACK AND OFF ON HER OWN LEAVING HIM ALONE WHEN HE NEEDS HER AS MUCH AS SHE NEEDS HIM.
SCENE TWO: A SHORT WHILE LATER, AUSTIN ARRIVES TO SEE IF THERE IS ANYTHING HE CAN DO.
AUSTIN: Hi, I heard about Abby and I thought I'd come over and see if there's anything I can do.
JENNIFER: Thank you, that's very sweet of you. Thanks.JACK: You know I see Vern out there. I'm going to check and make sure that everything's set up for tomorrow morning's edition. Although.... I'm sure I'll be at work tomorrow and I'll be able to handle everything myself because everything's going to be fine, right here.
HE PUTS HIS ARMS ON HER SHOULDERS FOR COMFORT BEFORE HE LEAVES THE ROOM.
JENNIFER: Oh god, why does he do that?
AUSTIN: Do what?JENNIFER: He acts like Abby's has a cold or flu or something and I'm not allowed to be upset. I'm not allowed to ask any questions. I'm not allowed to cry. God why does he do that?
SHE STARTS TO CRY.
AUSTIN: Jen, everybody has different ways of dealing with things like this. Some people can't handle their feelings so they deny them. They make it like there's no problem but that's completely natural Jen.
SCENE THREE: OUTSIDE JACK IS WITH VERN AND JO.
VERN: I don't want you to worry about anything to do with the paper Jack. Just take care of your wife and baby.
JACK: The only think I'm worrying about is leaving you alone with that paper, that's all.
VERN GOES TO THE PHONE AND JACK TALKS TO JO.
JACK: I don't think you need to stay here any longer either. I think everything's going to be just fine.JO: Well I'm sure it will be but I.... I just want to be with you, okay.
JACK THINKS THAT IF EVERYBODY RETURNS TO NORMAL THEN ABBY WILL TOO. IT'S HIS WAY OF PROTECTING HIMSELF FROM THE POSSIBILITIES.
JACK: Just.... you don't have to be with me. Everything is going to be fine. I just don't want you to keep making a big case out of this. It's a.... all she has is the flu. Nobody seems to understand that. But the flu will pass. She'll be fine.... she'll be fine.
HIS BODY SLUMPS AS HE SAYS THOSE WORDS AND HE SIGHS HEAVILY. HE THEN SEES CARLY HEADING INTO SEE JENNIFER.
JACK: Oh she's back. Carly, you're back. Obviously you know something. Can I see my child yet?CARLY: Oh, no you can't. Look I just saw her. I need to talk to you and Jennifer.
CARLY: Dr. Raines is hopeful that you're going to see some change before too long.
JACK IS SCARED EVEN MORE. HE FOLLOWS CARLY INTO SEE JENNIFER.
JENNIFER: Alright but you said if the fever doesn't come down that she could get.... some kind of.... brain damage or....
CARLY: With high fevers that's always a possibility but we're not concerned with Abby right now.
CARLY: I wanted to tell you about the blood results. Her white cell count is low. We're not really sure what that means yet. Dr. Raines is trying to pull it all together so that we can treat Abby appropriately.
JENNIFER: I don't know if this means anything but last year I did a show on childhood illnesses and could the cause of the white cell count being low, could that be viral?
CARLY: That's a possibility.
JENNIFER: Viral meningitis. I mean you said they detected some sort of stiffness in her neck. I mean are they going to do a spinal tap? Are they....
JACK: Jennifer. Excuse us for a moment.
JACK CAN'T BEAR TO EVEN HEAR THIS KIND OF TALK ABOUT ABBY.
JACK: (To Jennifer) Please would you just stop it! Just stop this whole thing. She's going to be fine. No one's going to have to do anything for her. If she gets better she's going to do it on her own. No one's going to....
JENNIFER: Why, Jack, why? Because you say so?
JACK: Yes because I say so.
JENNIFER: Because you're not willing to believe there's something really wrong. Well maybe you're willing to treat this like it's nothing but I'm not and I won't. Okay, look I need to know exactly what's going on. Okay if you don't, then that's fine but maybe you can just stand outside.CARLY: Guys, look, look. Jen there really is no point in speculating what might happen or what might have to be done. No decisions have been made yet. What I wanted to tell you is that Abby is getting some more blood tests run so if you want to see her you can.
JENNIFER TURNS TO JACK.
JENNIFER: We can see her.JACK: Let's do it.
THEY HALF SMILE AT EACH OTHER AND HOLDING HANDS THEY LEAVE TO SEE ABBY.
SCENE FOUR: THEY BOTH ENTER THE INFANT ICU WHERE ABBY IS IN HER CRIB. JENNIFER LEANS OVER TO STROKE HER AND TALK TO HER WHILE JACK WATCHES FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CRIB.
JENNIFER: It's okay honey. It's okay, your mommy's here. Can you feel me holding your hand? I really wish that I could pick you up. I really wish that I could hold you and kiss you and make it all better but I can't. All I can do is pray, pray so hard that you get well so fast. And that your daddy and I can take you home. Cause I am not going to be able to breathe until I know that you're okay.
JENNIFER: My sweet baby. All I want to do in my life is to take care of you and make you happy. That's all I want. That's all I want.
JACK IS SITTING STILL, WATCHING, LISTENING AND FEELING MORE PAIN THAN HE HAS EVER FELT BEFORE BECAUSE HE CANNOT MAKE HIS DAUGHTER WELL.
SHE STARTS TO CRY AND JACK KNOWS THAT NOTHING HE DOES WILL MAKE IT BETTER. HE LEANS OVER TO TALK TO ABBY.
JACK: I know it's hot. You know something, there haven't been many rules. No do's or don'ts. No rules of the house. You've basically had your run of everything whenever you want it. But I think that has to change now. I think that there are some things that you have to do.
ABBY IS WATCHING HIM WITH BIG WIDE EYES.
JACK: Like.... do get better.... and.... and don't get worse. And.... don't have a fever.
HIS EYES ARE FULL OF TEARS.
JACK: I.... do this for your mother if you can't do it for me.... please.
JENNIFER BEGINS TO CRY AS SHE WATCHES JACK WITH ABBY.
JENNIFER: It's okay.
JACK: Please, just get better. Because.... I love you. I do.
HE HOLDS HER TINY HAND AS SHE LOOKS AT HIM.
JACK: She's all wet.
JENNIFER: Oh my gosh. Jack, she feels cool. She feels a lot cooler. Honey you feel cool.
JACK: Did it break?JENNIFER: Hold on, hold on.
JENNIFER RUNS OUT TO GET THE DOCTOR.
JACK: Did it break?
JENNIFER: Someone.... someone. ABBY'S FEVER IS DOWN. ABBY'S BETTER! CARLY.... SOMEBODY.
CARLY RUNS IN WITH JO.
JO: Her fever broke. Oh Jennifer.
JACK: It did.
CARLY: Her fever's down.JACK: It did. Of course it is. Of course it is. I knew it all along.... see. I knew it all along. I knew everything would be alright.
JENNIFER LEANS IN NEXT TO HIM AND PUTS HER ARM AROUND HIM. CARLY NEEDS TO EXAMINE ABBY FURTHER AND BEFORE LEAVING JACK LEANS OVER TO SPEAK TO HER AGAIN.
JACK: Thank you.... thank you.
JACK GOES OUTSIDE AND JENNIFER SAYS GOODBYE THEN FOLLOWS HIM.
SCENE ONE: JACK AND JENNIFER ARE STILL AT THE HOSPITAL BUT CARLY HAS LEFT TO SPEND SOME TIME WITH BO. SHE CALLS JENNIFER TO SEE HOW THEY ARE AND ASKS HOW JACK IS HOLDING UP.
JENNIFER: The same.
CARLY: You know I think he's just kind of scared to admit that if anything's wrong with Abby it might be true.
JENNIFER: Yeah I know. Let's just hope there's no real reason to be afraid.CARLY: I'll see you soon okay.
JENNIFER HANGS UP AND GOES OVER TO STROKE JACK'S HAIR AS HE LIES BACK IN A CHAIR.
JENNIFER: You know I think that we need to talk about Abigail, Jack.
JACK: I thought that's what we were doing.
JENNIFER: No I was the one talking but you haven't heard a word I've been saying.
JACK: Oh.... I've heard every word you said.
JENNIFER: No you haven't Jack. You keep insisting that everything's going to be fine. And it isn't. I think we have to face the fact that there could be something seriously wrong with our baby.
JACK: Jennifer, if you want to follow a negative track please do so. I'm not stopping you. But please don't force me to go down the same track with you. She was sick. She had a fever. The fever broke and now she's asleep. She's...
JENNIFER: It was a very high fever. This is the second time this month that she's had to be hospitalized. That's reason to think something is wrong.JACK: You come from a family of doctors who are all trained to look for the bottom line, the most negative aspect. So they can be prepared for that. I understand that. I really do.... I really do. I don't need this coffee. I'm going to go see if she's awake.
HE WALKS OUT AND JENNIFER THINKS HE'S AVOIDING THE REAL ISSUE ONCE AGAIN.
SCENE TWO: SOME TIME LATER, CARLY HAS RETURNEDTO THE HOSPITAL AND JACK AND JENNIFER GO TO SEE HER.
CARLY: Hi, how are you guys holding up?
JACK: Good, all three of us are doing very well. I was hoping perhaps you could convince Dr. Raines to let the littlest Deveraux go home with us.
CARLY: Well I'm sure that she'll be released once the blood tests are in.
JENNIFER: How long will that take?
JACK: Huh, uh.
JENNIFER: I mean now that her fever's down I'm sure that she'd like to go home.
CARLY: I'll see if I can speed things up but you are aware that we may have to do a spinal tap, right?
JACK: Jennifer, case in point. A doctor is trained to look at the worst possible scenario. But we don't have to do that because everything's going to be just fine. It's not going to come to that.
CARLY: I'll see what I can find out, okay?JACK: Huh, uh.
SCENE THREE: A SHORT WHILE LATER, CARLY RETURNS WITH NEWS.
JENNIFER: Carly, what did you find out?
CARLY: Good news.
JENNIFER: Oh wonderful.
JACK: I told you. Good news.
CARLY: Her white cell count is within normal range which means we can rule out meningitis.
JENNIFER: Oh, thank god.
JACK: Good, that means no spinal tap.
CARLY: No spinal tap.
JENNIFER: Alright so can we take her home now?
CARLY: Yeah. Look I don't want to alarm either one of you but you aware that even though she's doing better she still may be suffering from something serious.
JENNIFER: What does that mean?
CARLY: It means you can take you home but we're going to keep a close eye and her and we're going to continue to do blood tests.
JENNIFER: So it's not completely over yet?CARLY: No, I'm afraid it's not.
THEY HEAD TO THE ELEVATOR.
JACK: Alright, I'll pick the two of you up downstairs, okay?
JENNIFER: Yeah.JACK: Look enough of the long face. It's just another chapter in the baby book, that's all. We're bringing her home.
JACK WAITS FOR THE ELEVATOR WHILE JENNIFER WALKS OVER TO TALK TO CARLY.
JENNIFER: Amazing. He refuses to believe that there could be anything seriously wrong with Abby.
CARLY: Look Jen, maybe he's right this time.JENNIFER: I hope so. I really do.
JACK GETS IN THE ELEVATOR WITH A BIG SMILE ON HIS FACE AND AS SOON AS THE DOORS CLOSE HIS SMILE DISSOLVES INTO FEAR AND PAIN WHICH HE REFUSES TO LET JENNIFER SEE.