Deep Into The Thick of Things 1/29/03

Monday morning, Matt's office. A photo of Matt standing at the helm of a boat is prominently displayed on the wall). Matt is consulting with a couple whom he knows (Charles and Angeline Richards); their sleepy two year old Nathan is in the mother's lap.   

The couple is very desperate and what Matt has been asked to do will become clearer later on.  

M: (shocked) "Um, that would consitute a conflict of interest."  

C: (earnestly) "Matt, please. I'm asking you as a friend."   

M: "I can't help you."  

C: "But you and that pediatrician..."  

M: (interrupting) "Jules."  

C: "But you and Jules have embryos stored!"  

M: "It's also a breach of ethics not to mention that Jules has a say in things."  

C: "Nathan won't get better without a marrow transplant. And we're not matches."  

M: "I had myself tested as well. I'm not a match."  

A: "Will you at least ask Jules? Please? Matt, we've known you for a long time, since you came stateside. You've got to help us. We've nowhere else to turn."  

M: (Matt is torn between ethics and his friends and the strain shows on his face. An idea comes to him.) "Tell you what. I'll ask around and see if the staff will get tested."  

C: "Including Jules?"  

M: "Including Jules."  

A: "And the embryos?"  

M: "I'll ask Jules to get tested for a match but it may not even be possible to test the embryos."  

A: "Embryos are tested for genetic compatibility. That case with the little girl last year."  

M: (looks awkward) "Ah, now I remember that case."  

C: (anguished) "Matt, please. Please ask Jules to test one of the embryos. It may be our only chance."  

M: (clearly divided in his feelings) "I'll do what I can."  

C: (resigned; he sighs) "Thank you."  

A: "When will you get back to us?"  

M: "I'll ask around today and see if we can have the results back at the end of the week. Say, Friday?"  

C: "Friday."   

Charles and Angeline stand up, Angeline balancing a sleeping Nathan in her arms.  

M: "I'll see you then." Matt stands up as well and follows Charles and Angeline to his office door.   

A: "I know you'll do the right thing for Nathan. He's just a baby!"  

Charles and Angeline exit Matt's office and leave Matt standing in the doorway, frowning. He spies Nick down the hall, then rushes towards Nick.  

M: "Nick! Nick! Wait up!"  

Nicholas turns around, his expression grave; a large streak of blood is on his surgeon's gown. He waits for Matt to catch up.  

N: "Yes? Something on your mind? You look like someone told you your 401K plan has gone missing."  

M: "Not that. I wanted to ask you something personal."  

N: "I'm all ears."  

M: "Would you get tested for a bone marrow match?"  

N: "Nathan Richards? Rae told me about him last night. Showed me a picture of him. Cute kid."  

M: "I'm not a match."  

N: "I'll be glad to get tested. In fact, that's where I was headed."  

M: "In a bloody surgeon's gown?"  

Nicholas looks down at his gown.  

N: "Patient died. Suppose I should take the gown off."  

M: "I know it's a long shot with a match, with you being Greek."  

N: "Nathan's maternal line is from Greece. I'd be a good candidate."  

The two men start walking down the hall.  

M: "Why?"  

N: "Beta thalassemia's more frequent in my part of the world."  

M: "Ah. Um, I also wanted to ask you another personal question."  

N: "Such as?"  

M: "The Richards asked me to ask Jules to get our embryos tested."  

N: (whistles long and low) "Whoa. Sticky situation."  

M: "They're desperate."  

N: "Beta thalessemia is not curable except by bone marrow transplant."  

M: "But what if one of our embryos matched?"  

N: "That's a long shot. But if one of the embryos matched, the two of you would need to consider implantation."  

M: "I think I would, but I don't know about Jules. Should I bring up the question?"  

N: "That would be up to you."  

M: "Not an answer, Kokoris."  

N: "If the Richards cornered Jules and asked her, she'd get on your case for not telling her earlier."  

M: "I suppose you're right."  

The two men reach the locker room.  

N: "I'll see you later. Let me know how it goes with Jules."  

M: "Okay. See you tomorrow morning at seven? Racquetball or basketball?"  

N: "Racquetball."  

M: "See you then."  

N: "Good luck." Nick enters the locker room. The door swings shut.   

M: (muttering). "I'll need it."  

Matt goes off down the hallway. He finds Harriet.   

H: "Good morning Matt!"  

M: "Good morning. How was the opera last night?"  

H: "You know opera: pearls and fancy dresses."  

M: (smiling but without the corners of his eyes crinkling) "I bet you looked stunning."  

H: "Matt! You're right you know...(her brow furrows) "Is something bothering you?"  

M: "I'd like to ask if you would consider getting a bone marrow test."  

H: "Looking for a match?"  

M: "On behalf of one of Rae's patients."  

H: "I'd be glad to get tested."  

M: "Thank you."  

H: "You look a bit strained. Something else wrong?"  

M: "It's just that, oh, nothing. Nothing at all."  

H: "Matt, I've known you for a long time. Something else is bothering you."  

M: "Jules."  

H: "The legal agreement?"  

M: "Not exactly."  

H: "You still have a crush on her?"  

M: (surprised) "What?"  

H: "Matt, everyone knows about your crush. You weren't exactly secret. And I've been around for quite a while. I know when a man has a crush on a woman."  

M: "It's not about the crush."  

H: "Oh?"  

M: "It's about the embryos."  

H: "You want to terminate?"  

M: "No. Some friends want me to ask Jules to get the embryos tested for a match."  

H: "That's quite a complication."  

M: "I know."  

H: "You going to ask her?"  

M: "What choice do I have?"  

H: "Good luck." Harriet's beeper goes off. "Baby again."  

M: "They're coming rather fast these days."  

Harriet laughs.   

H: "That they do. See you later."  

M: "Thanks. See you later."  

Harriet goes off towards the elevators while Matt goes off to find the rest of the PM staff. He comes across Letty and Tom.   

T: "Hey, Matt. No need to ask. Nick already ran into us."  

L: "Don't think it will be much help for Nathan, but this is something I should have done earlier."  

T: "As I too should have done."  

M: "Can't tell you how much this means to me."  

L: "It's not a problem."   

The three walk down the hallway.  

T: "Nick said Rae told him you've known the Richards since you came stateside."  

M: "Met them on a Florida break when I was a freshman in college."  

L: "Lots of nice spring breaks down there. But I was particular to Cancun."  

T: (laughing) "That concrete jungle?"  

L: "It's a nice jungle...nice beaches, warm weather, sand on my feet."  

T: "Tourist trap."  

Letty laughs.   

M: (cutting in on their jovial argument) "Harriet helped the Richards conceive Nathan through IVF. They'd been told they were infertile."  

L: (sadly) "And now the little guy's got cancer."  

M: "Beta thalessemia."  

T: "Rare, and deadly."  

L: "Even if I don't match for Nathan, I hope I match for someone else. African-Americans are not well represented on the marrow list."  

T: "I think you'll match someone."  

L: "I hope so."  

T: "I know so." He smiles at Letty, and she stops walking, then hugs him. Matt looks awkward, not knowing how to handle a situation like this, so he just smiles broadly.   

M: "There's Jules. I need to go ask her."  

T: "She'll agree."  

L: "She will."  

M: "Thanks again."  

Matt walks down the hallway, leaving Tom telling Letty:   

T: "If you want sand on your feet, I know the most special island hideaway."   

L: "And when were you planning on taking me there?"  

T: "For our second honeymoon."  

Their voices fade as Matt walks further down the hallway where Jules is waiting for the elevator.  

M: "Hello."  

J: (briskly) "Matt."  

M: "This isn't about the embryos. Well, it is, but not in that manner."  

J: "You have too many beers last night?"  

M: "I came to ask if you'd get tested for a bone marrow match. One of Rae's patients."  

J: "Doing some advertising for her?"  

M: "If you want to look at it that way, yes. I've known the Richards since I was 18. It's for their son Nathan."  

J: "A bit personal for you."  

M: "Yeah. And, there's something else."  

He pulls Jules aside as the elevator doors open.   

J: "Yes?"  

M: (takes a deep breath) "They want our embryos to be tested."  

J: "Oh. That is, well, quite an unusual request."  

M: "I thought so as well. I told them I'd ask you to get tested but I drew the line at our embryos."  

J: "Of course I'll get tested, but I'm not so sure if I want the embryos to get tested."  

M: "Thanks. I wasn't asking you to agree but I thought I'd bring up the Richards' request before they brought it up to you."  

J: "How would they bring it up with me?"  

M: "They come around here a lot to see Rae. They know what you look like."  

J: "I'd have to think about this. But yes, I'll get tested. I'll go over after my next patient."  

M: (hugging Jules) "Thank you. This means a lot."  

J: "That's what friends are for." The elevator doors open and Jules turns around, running smack into Jackie. Jackie and Jules bypass each other as Jules enters the elevator.   

M: (smiles; he's making some headway with Jules) "Jackie!"  

Jackie: "Jules! Matt."  

Jules: "See the two of you later. NICU beckons."  

Jackie: "Getting tested for Nathan, Jules?"  

Jules: "Yes. And you?"  

Jackie: "Just came back."  

The elevator doors close on Jules, leaving Matt with Jackie.   

M: "Thanks for getting tested. How did you know?"  

J: "Rae ran into me early this morning. She had a rather hot night, if you know what I mean."  

M: "She made her choice."  

J: "But to choose him!"   

M: (eyes narrowing a bit) "And what is wrong with him? His name is Nicholas, by the way."   

J: "I know that. He's so, well, he's so young."  

M: "The age thing. Again."  

J: "Yeah. I think she's looking for some fast love."  

M: "Someone once told me an older woman makes a younger man wise."  

J: "You support their involvement?"  

M: "Yes. I do. I've got to run. Thank you for getting tested."  

J: (awkwardly) "Anything for the little guy."  

Matt goes off in one direction, Jules stares after him, then mutters:   

J: "An older woman makes a younger man wise. What does that mean?"  

Jackie shrugs her shoulders, then goes jauntily off, swinging her purse and humming under her breath.  

On Friday of that week...Rae is talking with Charles and Angeline in her office.  

R: "What even made you think of that?"  

A: (pulling a piece of newspaper out of her purse. She hands it to Rae.) "This."  

R: (unfolding the paper. She looks at it) "Oh. Harriet's legal problems. I should have known."  

C: "So will she help us again? We've not been able to get an appointment with her."  

R: "This would be highly unorthodox."  

A: "And what she did wasn't unorthodox? It was against the law! Doctor Brennan, Nathan's only two. He'll die in a few years if he doesn't receive a bone marrow transplant."  

R: "I know. I diagnosed him."  

C: "The Greek doctor, Doctor Kokoris, got tested. Is he a match?"  

R: "Results haven't come in yet."  

A: "If Doctor Kokoris is a match, we won't ask Doctor Lanning to do this."  

R: "I hope he is a match, because this can open up all sorts of problems."  

C: "When will the results be in?"  

R: "Later today or tomorrow."  

A: "We'll stop by tomorrow." The Richards stand up in tandem. "Until tomorrow."   

The Richards leave Rae's office. She is reading the article about Harriet. She finishes the article, then puts it on her desk. She leaves her office and runs smack into Nick. She's startled.   

R: "Nick!"  

N: "You need to schedule with surgery."  

R: "Why?"  

N: "You're a match for a little girl in Olathe but not with Nathan."  

Rae is surprised.  

R: "Wow. Uh, yeah. When?"  

N: "This afternoon at 4 for pre-op?"  

R: "You're going to do the marrow extraction?"  

N: "No."  

R: "Tom?"  

N: "Yes."  

R: "Uh, sure. I'll be there at 4."  

N: "Thanks."  

Nicholas goes off, leaving Rae standing there. First a frown is on her face, then a smile spreads across her face as she realizes that for once, she is winning the battle she's chosen to fight, except not the current battle for Nathan. Rae smiles broadly, then goes off to lunch.. She meets up with Matt in the cafeteria.  

R: "Hey, Matt."  

M: "Rae. Heard you didn't match for Nathan."  

R: "Yeah. But I matched for someone else."  

M: "One small battle won."  

R: "It's one at a time, bit by bit. Did Nick match?"  

Matt looks sad; Rae knows the answer before he gives it.   

M: "No. But there's still hope."  

R: "They were just in my office."  

M: "Did you tell them?"  

R: "I just heard a few minutes ago. I should call them."  

M: "Good idea."  

R: "There is something you should know."  

M: "That is?"  

R: (taking a deep breath) "If Nick didn't match, they want Harriet to test embryos."  

M: "Jules and my embryos."  

R: "Genetic selection on their own embryos."  

M: (understanding dawns on his face) "Another round of IVF, then genetic selection to see if any embryos match?"  

R: "Yes. That would be it."  

M: "Almost as unorthodox as asking me to ask Jules to get our embryos tested."  

R: "There was that little girl who was cured by a transplant from a genetically selected embryo."  

M: "I remember that."   

Matt's pager beeps.   

M: "Duty calls."  

R: "As always."  

M: "Rest well this weekend. Tom's doing the marrow extraction."  

R: "So I heard. Things will work out."  

M: "I hope so."   

Matt walks out of the cafeteria, leaving Rae eating her lunch. At 4, Rae reports to Surgery. She's surprised to see Letty being wheeled out of OR 4, with Nick right behind her, fussing with the tubes.  

N: "Make sure she's comfortable. And tell me when she begins to wake up!"  

A nurse nods then Nick spies Rae. He comes over.  

R: "What happened?"  

N: "Match for a boy up in Portland."   

R: "You did the marrow extraction?"  

N: (grinning) "Yes."  

R: "Heard you weren't a match for Nathan."  

Nick's grin fades.   

N: "I know. But you and Letty are matches for other people. Hey, better get ready. Tom's waiting."  

A nurse shows up to lead Rae away. She looks back at Nick.  

N: "Tom does these things all the time. Don't worry."  

R: "It's a bit scary when it's me."  

N: "Don't worry."  

R: (over her shoulder) "You keep saying that."  

Nicholas smiles wanly as he watches Rae disappear into Pre-Op. Tom comes out of Recovery.   

T: "She'll be waking up soon."  

N: "She came through fine."  

T: "Thank's for doing the op. Wouldn't want her in any other hands."  

N: "My pleasure."   

T: "Did Rae get here?"  

N: "Just went into pre-op."  

T: "I'll get something to eat, then scrub in."  

N: "Sounds good. I'll keep an eye on Letty while you're in surgery."  

T: "Thanks. Hey, dinner later on? Letty will be in here overnight."  

N: "Sure. Wharf food all right?"  

T: "My favorite!"  

Tom goes off whistling, leaving Nick standing in Surgery.   

Meanwhile, in Harriet's office...Charles and Angeline Richards are chatting with Harriet.  

H: (shocked) "What? You want me to do what?"  

A: "Genetic selection. It's been done before."  

H: "I know. That little girl last year."  

C: "So? Will you do it? Doctor Kokoris didn't match."  

Harriet looks away, out the window. She takes a deep breath, then sighs.   

H: "I'm already in deep with the University about another legal case."  

C: "We read the newspaper. That's why we thought of you."  

A: "It can't hurt you any more than your other case."  

H: "Another breach of rules could get me fired."  

C: "Could you at least take the weekend to think about it? Please?"  

A: "It's for Nathan. We worked so hard and for so long to conceive him."  

H: (smiling gently) "I remember. Five years of IVF before any success. You two made this department's history files."  

A: "But will you think about it over the weekend?"  

H: "All right. I won't give any guarantees."  

C: "Thank you!" The couple stand up simultaneously.  

H: (smiling) "You two do everything in tandem, don't you?"  

C: "People have told us that many times before."  

A: "It's weird. We just felt this connection at that freshman mixer."  

C: "Ahh, carefree college days."  

H: "Would you want to turn back the clock?"  

A: "No. Not with Nathan in our lives."  

Harriet nods, then shows the Richards out of her office. She stands in the doorway watching their retreating backs.    

(to herself) H: "Hell of a way to start my weekend."  

Late that night, in Nick's apartment, the phone rings, waking Nick up from a sound sleep. He's alone in his bed. He reaches over and taps the button on his speakerphone..  

N: "Nick here."   

Older Female voice: "Nicholas! Hope your mother didn't wake you up!"  

N: "Mom! Well, the time difference means I just got to sleep."  

Mom: "It's early morning here. I just wanted to tell you we'll be leaving for Frisco today. Do you have a wonderful time planned for us?"  

N: "That I do. All the sights."  

Mom: "Your father and I also want you to know that we want to help that little boy you were telling us about last night. Can we get tested?"  

Nick sits up in bed, a smile spreading on his face. He hasn't thought to ask his parents for testing.  

N: "You sure? I didn't think to ask you."   

Mom: "We know what you're thinking, even if you don't know that you're thinking it."  

N: "Sounds like a mom explanation. I'll take you for testing on Monday. Is that all right?"  

Mom: "Monday would be fine. We'll find our way to your apartment. You said it was near the Trans-America building."   

N: "That's right. I'll leave the key with the management. I'm on call tomorrow--double shift."  

Mom: "You work a lot."  

N: "It's my job."  

Mom: "And you're my son. Now get some sleep and we'll see you late tomorrow night. Anything you want for dinner?"  

N: "Spanikopita?"  

Mom: (laughing). "Just like when you were a kid. See you tomorrow night. Good night."  

N: "Night, mother."  

Nick's mom hangs up and Nick clicks off the speakerphone. He leans back into the pillows, then smiles. He closes his eyes and falls asleep.  

Monday morning comes along, and Harriet is facing the Richards in her office once again.   

H: "I thought about this all weekend."  

C: "I know it's a difficult thing to ask."  

H: "I thought about many possiblities. Saying no, then watching Nathan die. Saying yes, then getting fired. Then, saying perhaps."  

A: "Perhaps?"  

H: "What would you say if I recommended you to the physician who did the genetic selection for the Colorado girl?"  

C: "They would do it?"  

H: "It's a possiblity. There's still plenty of time."  

A: (dejectedly) "Not if it takes five years for me to get pregnant again."  

H: "And therein lies my problem..."  

She is interrupted by a knock. The door opens to reveal...  

H: "Come in, Nick! Charles, Angeline, this is Doctor Kokoris."  

N: "Pleased to meet you."  

C: "Don't feel bad about not being a match."  

N: "I came to tell you some potentially good news. My parents have come for a visit and they wanted to be tested."  

A: (hopeful) "They did?"  

N: "Yes. They're in the Center now."  

Charles and Angeline look at each other, relief on their faces.   

C: "Thank you. Thank you so much."   

A: "We've asked Harriet to do genetic selection, just in case."  

N: "That's, uh, her department, so you've came to the right doctor. My parents' test results will come back in a few days."  

A: "Can we say thank you to them?"  

N: "Sure. If you want. Stop by the cafeteria in about a half hour. I'm meeting them there."  

A: "Thanks."  

Nicholas leaves Harriet's office.   

H: "That was sweet of his parents."  

C: "Do you think they'll be a match? He wasn't."  

H: "That doesn't mean that neither of his parents won't be matches."  

A: "I hope so." (she looks at Charles with a knowing glance) "I think we'll hold off on our earlier request until the results from Doctor Kokoris's parents come in."  

H: "That would let me off the hook. I'll phone you the minute I get the results."  

The Richards stand up in tandem--again.   

H: "Don't you two do anything that isn't in tandem?"  

C & A: "No."  

Harriet laughs as the young couple walk out of her office. Harriet remembers something, then follows them out the door. She calls down the hallway.  

H: "Cafeteria's outside, to the left, then in the first door."  

Charles and Angeline don't appear to have heard Harriet.  

A bit later, Matt passes by Charles and Angeline in the hallway outside the cafeteria.  

A: "Matt! Did you know Doctor Kokoris's parents were tested?"  

M: "I didn't know they were here in the states."  

C: "They flew in last night for a week's visit."  

A: "And they're also registered in Greece."  

C: "They just stepped off the plane last night and here they are, getting tested."  

M: "I hope things work out."  

C: "So do we. I don't think we can thank you enough for all your help."  

M: "It's part of who I am."  

Angeline gets all teary; she hugs Matt.   

A: "Thank you. This means a lot to us and Nathan. Oh! He asked "where was Uncle Matt" last night. We were watching some old home movies and he recognized you."  

M: "Bring him around for a visit."  

C: "He'd like that. Hate to break this off, but Nathan does need to be picked up from the sitter's. We don't like to leave him alone for very long these days."  

A: "Our Emperor calls."  

M: "On second thought, I'll stop by this evening and Nathan can see his Uncle Matt."  

C: "We'd like that. See you around 6?"  

M: "Sure thing!"  

The Richards walk off. Matt smiles, then does a double take as Nick and his parents coming out of the cafeteria. He goes over to them.   

M: "This is a surprise. Mother and Father Kokoris, I presume?"  

MK: "Yes."  

N: "Mom, dad. Doctor Matt Slingerland."  

MK: "Pleased to meet you, Doctor Slingerland."  

FK: "Yes, pleased to meet you."  

M: "I take it you've been tested?"  

FK: "The test didn't hurt."  

N: "Dad's afraid of needles."  

MK: "I held his hand."  

M: "Blood scares a lot of people. I can't thank you enough."  

MK: "You know Nathan?"  

M: "His parents have been friends of mine for more than a decade."  

FK: "Personal quest, then?"  

M: "Very."  

Two beepers go off and Matt and Nick both look at theirs.  

N: "Mine!"  

M: "Mine, too. Nice to meet you, Mister and Missus Kokoris. Have fun around Frisco."  

MK: "We will. The weather's so...different here than in Athens."  

Matt nods, then walks off in the direction of the exit.   

N: "Mom, dad. I'll meet you for dinner this evening."  

FK: "You can eat right after surgery?"  

N: "That I do. I need to go." He hugs his parents and his mother ruffles his hair.  

N: "Mom!"   

MK: "A mother's perogative."  

N: "But not here. Please. 

Nick's parents smile at him at he goes off.   

MK: "He's adapted well."  

FK: "Always a bold one, he was, flying off around the world."  

Nick's mother nods, then his parents go off in Matt's direction.   

Meanwhile, Jackie is talking with Letty in the kitchen.  

J: "So you matched?"  

L: "Sure did! An almost perfect match."  

J: "He's got a good chance for survival?"  

L: "Much better chance than last week. Say, that teenage heart transplant I did a few months ago wants an appointment with you."  

J: "Have her call and make an appointment. What does she want done?"  

L: "Scar reduction."  

J: "Ah, she's up and about and wants to wear a low cut dress?"  

L: "More like a bathing suit and she doesn't want the scar to show....owwwwww! I'm still sore from Friday."  

J: "Did Tom do the marrow extraction?"  

L: "No. Too personal."  

J: (looking surprised as she understands) "Nick? Nick did the marrow extraction?"  

L: "Yes, he did."  

J: "He's boffing Rae."  

L: "That's nothing new. Older women can make younger men wiser."  

J: "That's the second time I've heard that phrase!"  

L: "It's true. Unless you get the wrong older woman, then she can also make you poorer while she makes you wiser!"  

Jackie laughs, as does Letty. Jules walks in.  

Jules: "Letty, Jackie! How you feeling, Letty?"  

L: "A bit sore, but I am in a fine mood! A fine mood indeed!"  

Jules: "I'll bet. I didn't match anyone."  

Jackie: "Neither did I."  

L: "The boy underwent the marrow transplant on Saturday. Doing well, from what I hear up in Portland."  

Jackie: "Docs there keeping you posted?"  

L: (grinning hugely) "Wouldn't have it any other way. I'll have Melissa phone you for an appointment. Ah, yes. Bring up laser hair removal from the underarm area. She was complaining about not being able to shave there when she was recuperating."  

Jackie: "Will do. See you two later." Jackie leaves the office. Jules has been getting a cup of coffee.   

J: "Letty?"  

L: "Hmm?"  

J: "What would you do if you were asked to have one of your embryos tested?"  

L: "For a bone marrow match?"  

J: "Yes."  

L: "I would say that you and Matt need to sit down and figure out what you want. Other than that, I don't really have any experience in this type of matter."  

J: "Would it be ethical?"  

L: "It's always ethical to help save a life."  

Letty leaves the kitchen, leaving Jules standing there, confusion on her face.  

A few days later, Nick is hovering nervously in the observation room to OR 4. Matt comes in.  

M: "Do you really want to be here?"  

N: "I do but then I don't. I don't know what to do."  

M: "Want some companionship?"  

N: "I'd like that."  

Nick rubs his hands together, glances down into the OR suite, then glances away when Tom looks up at him.  

N: "It's the same op I did on Letty on Friday."  

M: "It's hard when it's a parent."  

N: "It's my mom."  

M: "She'd understand if you wanted to wait with your father in the cafeteria."  

N: "You're right. Would you join me and my father?"  

M: "Sure."  

The two men try to exit OR 4's observation suite but the door opens and Rae comes in.  

R: "Nick! I heard your mom matched."  

N: "She did. She was quite pleased."  

R: "Decided not to stay?"  

N: "Yeah. Going to sit with my father."  

R: "Tom will let you know when she wakes up. You might want to stop by Nathan's room in PICU."  

N: "I'll do that. Thanks."  

Matt and Nick leave the observation room to OR 4. Unseen to the two men, Harriet enters OR 4.   

H: "First Letty matches, then you match. Now Nick's mother matches. We've become quite popular with the Center."  

R: "One battle at a time."  

The two women fall silent as they watch Tom progress with the marrow extraction on Nick's mother.   

Some time later, Matt and Nick, in surgical scrubs and masks, are standing around Nathan's bed. Nathan is drowsing; Matt is holding Nathan's hand.   

M: "Your mother resting well?"  

N: "That she is. I left my dad with her."  

M: "They'll come down later?"   

Nick nods as Charles and Angeline come into Nathan's room, dressed in scrubs and masked as well.  

C: "Doctor Kokoris. We simply don't know how to thank your mom."  

N: "No thanks are necessary, really. My mom had what was needed, so she gave it. She's always been like that, giving what she had if someone needed it."   

A: "She raised you well."  

Nick smiles underneath his mask.  

A: "I think Harriet's relieved we didn't cause any more legal difficulty for her."  

M: "She would have weathered the storm."  

C: "Is that painful?" (he indicates the IV needle going into Nathan's small arm)  

N: "No."  

A: "And that's all there is to it? Just an IV drip?"  

M: "If you're receiving the marrow. Taking it out is another thing entirely."  

A: "Will your mom have scars, Doctor Kokoris?"  

N: "None at all. The marrow is extracted by a large needle. She was unconscious during the marrow extraction."  

M: "Missus Kokoris will be a bit sore in her hip area when she wakes up but she'll be fine."  

N: "Up and about shortly."  

C: "When will Nathan be up and about?"  

M: "A few days. Rae can tell you more."  

A: "Speaking of Doctor Brennan, where is she?"  

N: "Across the hall." Nick indicates with his hand. Through the glass partition, Rae can be seen sitting next to a red-headed girl of about ten who's crying quite hard.  

A: "Guess her news wasn't so good." She takes hold of Nathan's hand and squeezes it. "How's mommy's boy doing?"  

C: "You're daddy's boy, too you know, little guy."  

Nathan smiles a bit at the sound of his parents'  voices. Matt nudges Nick and the two of them leave Nathan's parents holding the child's hands. They leave the room. Nicholas catches Rae's eye, and she shakes her head as the girl sobs into her pillow. Her parents are not around; but that's not unusual, for the parents have a set of triplet toddlers and two slightly older kids to take care of.   

Matt and Nick know that the red-headed girl won't live to see her teenage years, something this particular patient has been hoping for since she was seven.   

Rae looks stricken and holds Nick's glance for a moment longer, then the young girl throws her arms around Rae and sobs into Rae's neck.   

Nick and Matt leave PICU silently, each thinking his own thoughts. Once outside PICU, the two PM docs take their leave of each other.  

N: "I'm off to see my mother. Care for dinner with me and my father tonight? Dad wants to try the Axum Cafe."  

M: "Sure. What time?"  

N: "5:30. Dad wants to eat early, then come back here to sit with mom."  

M: "Meet you there?"  

N: "Why not ride with us?"  

M: "Meet you in the parking lot at 5:30. Until then."  

The two men go off in opposite directions. Jules catches up with Matt.   

J: "I just heard. I'm really glad."  

M: "Yeah. She came out of surgery a few hours ago. Transplant's taking place now."  

J: "Both of them are doing okay?"  

M: "All of them are fine, except Nick's still a little nervous."  

J: "I would be nervous too, if my mother were donating marrow and I was a surgeon who had to watch."  

M: "We're hoping Nathan will be fine."  

J: "As do I. You know, I really couldn't make up my mind about having our embryos tested."  

M: "I've thought about that. I was leaning on saying yes."  

J: "I don't know how I would have voted."  

M: "Glad the matter was taken out of your hands?"  

J: "For now. Yes. I am glad."  

M: "We'll have to think about this more than we do now."  

J: "You're telling me!"  

A pager goes off. Matt and Jules look at their pagers.  

J: "It's me! From the PICU to the NICU, here I go!"  

Matt smiles as Jules leaves Matt standing just outside the PICU.

Meanwhile, Nick is in his mother's hospital room; his father is dozing on the big easy chair and Nick is talking quietly to his mother, who is smiling. She closes her eyes, and Nick checks the IV lines, then sits down in the room's other chair and gazes out the window.