Episode #393

Previously ...
- In Seattle, Lauren made Josh visit the Space Needle with her. After she rescued him from a cluster of overexcited tourists, Josh found himself appreciating the experience after all.
- Jason and Courtney worked together to find Sarah, who had gone missing from the wedding.
- After Sarah was rescued, she walked down the aisle to marry Matt--but as the ceremony was getting underway, Molly's water broke!


The waiting room is filled with hushed conversation, the flipping of magazine pages, and the ever-present buzz of the fluorescent lights. The Fishers' party has spread throughout the room as they wait for news about Molly.

Still in her wedding dress, Sarah sits with her hands in her lap. She knows that there is nothing Molly could have done to prevent her water from breaking when it did ... but if she could have waited 10 or 15 minutes, Sarah would be married to Matt right now.

She is so consumed in thought that she doesn't even notice that Ryan has taken the seat beside her until he speaks.

"This'll make one hell of a wedding story, huh?" he asks, testing the waters with a little lightness.

"Yeah, except for the wedding part," she says.

"It doesn't really matter, in the end. You guys have the marriage license. You can always go to City Hall and do a quick ceremony. And your guests have to be enjoying the reception right now."

Sarah didn't think that the reception should go on, but Matt and her parents insisted that all the food should not go to waste. It's not as if the actual marriage got called off, they reasoned.

"I know--but I wanted all of it," Sarah says, finally looking at Ryan. "I wanted to say my vows in front of everyone and have all those people see how happy Matt and I are."

"They all know it."

The reassurance does little to boost her spirits. "We didn't have to stop the wedding. Brent could have taken her here, and we all could have come over afterward."

Ryan snickers.


"Why didn't you just tell her to hold it 'til you were done? Sarah, it's not like Molly had any control over this."

She hesitates for a moment, then says, "I know, I know." Even so, the thought of still not being married to Matt--of planning her ideal wedding and having to abandon it--of all those people who are enjoying her reception while she waits in this sterile room--it infuriates her.

"I'm going to go get some air," she says, rising from the seat.

"Want some company?"

"Not right now." She walks out to the terrace, wondering when she will wake up and realize that this disaster of a day has been a very bad dream.


The voices emanating from his wife as she rides out the contractions are like nothing Brent Taylor has ever heard before. Sarah's labor with Victoria and the Lamaze classes could not have prepared him for this. Molly's usual composure is nowhere to be found; she seems so anguished that Brent wants to find a way to help her--that is, if part of him weren't worried that she might reach out and throttle him in some sort of rage blackout.

She exhales deeply, gratefully, as the latest contraction fades.

"That was the longest one yet," Brent says, looking to Dr. Flowers, who nods.

"I can't believe how quickly this is happening," Molly says through huffs.

"I thought there were supposed to be some contractions before her water broke," Brent says, again turning to the doctor. "Or some kind of warning."

The young doctor smiles reassuringly. "Every labor is unique. You can't predict some of these things."

As Molly's breathing eases, her eyes drop to the bed. "I feel so stupid, making a scene at the wedding like that."

"It's not like you did it on purpose," Brent says.

"Try telling that to Sarah." She shakes her head. "I shouldn't have been in the wedding, knowing this could happen--"

"Mol, that's ridiculous."

He can tell that she will not be so quick to let herself off the hook for interrupting--stopping--Sarah's wedding. And even though he wouldn't dare say it to Molly, he does worry about what her sister is saying right now in the waiting room.

"Ten centimeters!" cries out one of the nurses who has been ministrating over Molly.

"All right," Dr. Flowers says, "it's time to get you into the delivery room and bring these kids into the world."


Bells jingle as Lauren Brooks pulls open the door of the small cafe.

"Our parents brought Trevor and me here when I was, like, 13," she tells Josh Taylor, "and I've come here every time I've been in Seattle since then. It's so good!"

Josh pauses just inside the doorway when he catches a glimpse of the place's decor. "Did Alice in Wonderland throw up in here?"

Lauren chuckles. The giant saucers and teacups that serve as tables and chairs are certainly unique, she'll admit that much, but they hold a definite charm.

"It's cute!" she says.

"Definitely not Starbucks. Or Cassie's." He seems to be caught on a thought for a few seconds. "Ugh, Scotty's totally going to get fired from there, and I'm not gonna be able to use his discount anymore. Do you know how much money I save that way?"

"You could always hook up with that barista with the one nasty braid," Lauren says as she leads the way to the counter. "Or the Indian guy who does the sound equipment."

"Yeah, those both sound like really worthwhile plans. Thanks for your help." Josh stares up at the menu, but there are so many words splashed across it in loopy print that he can barely focus on any of them. "I don't suppose they have any Jack Daniels-flavored tea, huh?"

"I'm thinking not. Try something new--it's good for you."

He leans closer as he mutters, "Tea is always too bitter or something."

"Then we'll find something you'll like," Lauren says as she peruses the menu. "They have, like, a million subtle teas."

Josh doesn't quite seem convinced as he goes back to reading the large board. The sudden chirp of a cell phone sends them into confusion, until Lauren realizes that it is hers. She manages to recover it from her purse by the third ring.

"Hey," she answers after checking the caller ID. "How was the wedding?"

"There wasn't exactly a wedding to speak of," Jason says, his voice crackling through the phone. "Sarah managed to get locked in the freezer at the restaurant--"

"What?!" Lauren's exclamation is enough to get Josh's attention. He looks to her for some explanation of what must be an interesting tidbit. She motions that she'll fill him in later.

"The walk-in freezer," Jason explains. "She thought she heard something, and she went to check it out, and the door closed behind her."

Josh taps Lauren on the shoulder and points. "Hey, it says that one is 'the champagne of teas.' I wonder if that means--"

"You can't get drunk off any of these, Josh. I swear."

"Who's that?" Jason asks. "Are you at some big corporate dinner?"

"No, we cut out on that stuff. We went to the Space Needle, and now we're at that tea shop I was telling you about. But back to the wedding--is Sarah okay?"

"Courtney and I found her before she froze to death or anything, yeah," Jason says. "And then--seriously, I am not making this up--as soon as the ceremony began, Molly went into labor."

"No way!" Lauren only half-suppresses a laugh.

"I know! It's not funny, but it kind of is. We're at the hospital right now, waiting. I should get going, actually--I just wanted to give you a call to check in, but I should be up there. Love you."

Lauren glances over at Josh, suddenly acutely aware that he is right beside her. "Love you, too," she says before hanging up. Then she tells Josh, "Molly's in labor."

"Oh my God. I should call Brent--"

"They're in the hospital right now. He can't use his phone."

"Good point." He sighs and slips his hands into the back pockets of his jeans. "All right, so what kind of sludge are you gonna force me to gulp down?"

With a laugh, Lauren returns her attention to the menu board.


Out on the terrace, the smoky sky of dusk stretches as far as Sarah's eye can see. The scene should be a calming one, but it does nothing to stoke the flames of emotion raging inside of her. She knows that Molly didn't deliberately stop the wedding ... but that doesn't make Sarah any less upset that, once again, Molly stole the spotlight from her. And on what was supposed to be the most amazing day of her life!

She startles at the sound of the door opening and immediately tries to wipe the anger and the disappointment off her face. The last thing that she needs right now is another lecture.

"I've been looking everywhere for you," Matt says as he joins her on the terrace.

Sarah turns around, surprised, and exhales with relief at the sight of him. She reaches out a hand, and Matt meets it with his own. She draws him close.

"I just talked to Jake," he says. "Everything's going fine at the reception."

"I'm glad our wedding guests are having fun celebrating the fact that our wedding got derailed."

"It would've been stupid to waste all that food and the DJ and everything." Matt cracks a grin. "He did say that Tori was the very first one out on the dance floor."

"Why am I not surprised?" As she rests her head against Matt's now-rumpled white dress shirt, Sarah glances down at her wedding dress--the dress that she has worn while locked in a freezer and while rushing to the hospital, but not while actually getting married. "How did this all get so screwed up?"

"Shit happens," Matt says with a matter-of-factness that alarms Sarah.

"How can you be so nonchalant about it?"

"'Cuz nothing has really changed. We're still gonna get married. That ceremony just wasn't the right time and place, that's all."

She looks up at him. "Are we going to have to get married at the courthouse?"

Matt shrugs. "Don't worry about that right now."

"Don't worry about it?!"

"Come on, I need to show you something." He leads her back inside and then to the elevator.

"Where are we going?" she asks, trying to glance back at the waiting room before the elevator doors close.

"Just relax."

They get off the elevator on the second floor. As soon as the doors close behind them, Matt tells her, "Cover your eyes."


"Cover your eyes." When she hesitates, he adds, "C'mon, let me have some fun. It's my almost-wedding day, too."

Sarah complies, and Matt steers her down the hall. She braces herself to slam into a wall at any second, but he keeps her safe until, finally, he tells her to drop her hands.

It takes her a moment to realize where they are. The first thing she takes in are the faces all around: her parents, Tim, Jason, Ryan.

In the hospital chapel.

"I know you don't want to wait any longer," Matt says, "and I don't, either. So I asked the hospital chaplain, and he said he could marry us right now."


The delivery room is swirling with activity, but Molly barely has any idea what is going on. The contractions are coming hard and fast now, and even with Brent beside her squeezing her hand and helping with her breathing, the pain is the only thing she notices.

"Come on, Molly! One more push!" Dr. Flowers calls out from the foot of the bed.

She bears down and pushes with every iota of energy that she can muster. The sensations gripping her body are almost too uncomfortable to bear.

"I should have gotten drugs!" she barks at Brent, who stares back helplessly.

"Just focus on your breathing," the doctor says, "and push."

So she does. She squeezes Brent's hand even harder and pushes--and, suddenly, a sort of calm comes over her. The pain isn't gone, that is for sure, but something is different.

"We have a head!" the doctor announces. "Keep pushing!"

She pushes again, keeping her eyes locked with Brent's. They are really doing this. They are becoming parents at this very moment.

"We've got one baby!"

Molly starts to relax, but the pause is only long enough for Dr. Flowers to add: "Another push, Molly! You're doing great!"

"You can do this," Brent says, stroking her palm.

"And another one! You're done!"

Molly breathes a larger sigh of relief than she ever thought possible. It's really over.

"You did it," Brent says, his smile threatening to overtake his face.

Through ragged breaths, Molly says, "We did it."

The next few minutes are a haze. Her body wants to sleep, but she can't, not yet. Not until she sees them.

The doctor and a nurse appear at her bedside with two bundles.

"Molly and Brent, meet your sons."

In the tiny chapel, Sarah and Matt stand before the chaplain, their hands joined together. Soft candelight surrounds them, and Sarah's parents and brothers stand a few feet away.

"Matthew, do you take this woman as your lawful, wedded partner, to live together in matrimony? Do you vow to love her, honor her, comfort her, and keep her in sickness and in health, and, forsaking all others, be true to her as long as you both shall live?"

"I do," Matt says, beaming, his stare fixed upon Sarah.

"And Sarah," the chaplain says, "do you take this man as your lawful, wedded partner, to live together in matrimony? Do you vow to love him, honor him, comfort him, and keep him in sickness and in health, and, forsaking all others, be true to him as long as you both shall live?"

Sarah takes a deep breath and looks at the tight circle of people surrounding them as she replays the chaplain's words in her head. After all the craziness, all the rushed planning, all the disappointment of today's catastrophes--this is what really matters: the words she is about to say.

"I do."

"Then by the power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife. Matthew, you may now kiss your bride."

As her family's applause engulfs them, Sarah and Matt come together. At last. For real.


Will Sarah and Matt finally be able to be happy?
Will Molly and Brent have their hands full with the twins?
What will Jason think of Lauren's adventures with Josh?
Come over to the Footprints Forum to discuss this episode!

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