Episode #455

- Brent came home from the hospital but complained of pain in his leg. After seeing that his leg was swollen and discolored, Molly and Danielle rushed him back to the hospital.
- Following the hostage situation and explosion, Travis blamed Claire for endangering their family by being involved with the Morianis. Tim tried to reassure her of her worth as a parent, but Claire was not so sure that Travis was wrong.


She thought they were done with this place.

Arms folded in front of her, Molly Taylor paces back and forth over the well worn carpeting. She dropped the boys off at her parents' and raced here, but she didn't really believe that this was happening until she made it back into the waiting area, where they have already spent so many agonizing hours. Now she and Danielle are back to waiting for news about Brent, just as they did immediately following the explosion.

She and Danielle have already run out of things to say; their fears about Brent are too overpowering and their conversation is too transparent for any of it to be worth the energy. Molly keeps her gaze fixed on the pattern in the carpet as she retraces the same path over and over.

When she glances up, she sees Sarah standing there in her hospital gown, waiting in the doorway for Molly to spot her.

"Rasha--that nurse who's friends with Claire--she told me you were here," Sarah says. "What's going on?"

Danielle looks up from her magazine. She and Molly exchange a look.

"We're not sure. Something with Brent's leg," Molly explains. "Sarah, I'm so sorry about the baby…"

"Thanks." Sarah brushes a loose strand of dark blonde hair out of her face, though another immediately falls down to replace it. "What's wrong with Brent's leg? They released him, didn't they?"

"Yeah, but it was looking really strange. It looked like a bad infection," Danielle says.

"How about you?" Molly asks. "How are you holding up?"

Sarah shrugs one shoulder. "I'm ready to go home. I've had enough of this place."

"No kidding."

Molly thought that they were done with this. Brent was released. He was supposed to be okay. They were at their new house, ready to get back to their lives. This isn't supposed to be happening.

As concerned as she is about her husband, though, Molly feels petty fretting about it in Sarah's presence. At least Molly knows that Brent is alive. Sarah and Matt just lost a baby that they never had the chance to know.

"Sarah, if there's anything I can do," Molly says, "just let me know."

Sarah waves a hand. "Not now. I'm okay. Matt and Tori are okay. We'll get through this."

Molly nods, trying to agree, but her sister's loss still seems so big and so devastating that it feels wrong for her to be sitting here, worrying about someone else.

"Let's just wait for news about Brent," Sarah says as she takes a seat beside Danielle. "One thing at a time."


When the car finally pulls into the Fishers' driveway, Claire leaps backward from the window where she has been sitting for at least half an hour. Tim called shortly before that to say that he was on his way over with Travis, and ever since, Claire has been unable to do anything but peek out the window and await their arrival.

She hurries back into the living room, where she left the television on, and attempts to look casual. A moment later, she hears the front door being unlocked and opened.

"Claire? There's someone here to see you!" Tim calls out.

Claire returns to the entryway and finds Travis, Diane, and Samantha all hanging behind Tim.

"Thanks for dropping him off," Claire says. "How was the movie?"

"The special effects were awesome!" Samantha says.

Claire notices that Travis is silent and avoids looking at her.

"Sounds cool," she says.

"You would've hated it," Travis says.

"I can appreciate a good action movie."

"Yeah. Whatever." There is something harsh about Travis's dismissal--not the usual parental embarrassment, but something more biting.

Claire glances at Tim, where she finds a sympathetic face. Tim hands Travis his duffel bag.

"Why don't you go put your stuff upstairs?" Tim suggests.

Claire nods in agreement. "Your grandma's up there with Caleb and Christian. I'm sure she'd love to see you."

Travis ignores her and turns to Tim. "Why can't I spend the night at Landon's? Everyone else is gonna be there."

"Because you're staying with your mom for the next few days," Tim says, forcing Travis to take the bag.

"I'm taking the rest of the week off work," Claire says. "I'm up for doing anything. What do you want to do?"

For the first time since they arrived, Travis looks directly at her.

"What I wanna do," he says, "is not have to stay with you."


"Still nothing?" Molly asks as she returns to the waiting area and finds Sarah and Danielle sitting just as they were went she stepped out a few minutes ago.

They shake their heads. Molly tucks her cell phone back into her oversized purse.

"Mom said Caleb and Christian are passed out cold," she tells them, "so that's one less thing to worry about." Not that it makes this situation with Brent even a fraction less disturbing.

Molly returns to her seat, and a moment later, Josh and Lauren come rushing into the waiting room.

"What the hell's going on?" Josh asks as soon as he sees them. "I thought they released him."

Danielle rises to greet her youngest brother. "They did. We were getting settled in at the house, and Brent was complaining that his leg hurt, and when we looked at it…"

"It was all swollen and discolored," Molly finishes.

Josh makes a face. "What is it, like some flesh-eating bacteria thing?"

"God, I hope not!" Molly says.

"We're waiting to find out," Danielle says. "Hi, Lauren."

"Hey." Lauren stands behind Josh and casts cautious glances at Molly and Sarah.

It is a little awkward for Molly to see Lauren here with Josh after all that happened between her and Jason--especially how Josh was such an instrumental factor in their break-up. Still, she is sure that Jason has moved on, and Lauren deserves to do the same.

"Can I get you guys anything?" Lauren asks.

Molly offers a smile, hoping that it tells Lauren not to feel awkward around them. "No, but thank you."

"Why didn't they notice anything was wrong before they released him?" Josh asks, but it sounds more like an accusation.

"Because your brother is stubborn and didn't think it was worth mentioning," Molly says.

They are interrupted by the arrival of Brent's doctor, the same older woman who was in charge of his case during his initial stay.

Molly shoots out of her seat all over again.

"How is he?" she asks. "It's nothing too weird, like a… flesh-eating bacteria or anything, is it?"

"No," the doctor says. "Your husband has an infection in his lower leg. He had a number of open wounds when he was first admitted."

Josh steps up beside Molly. "But you cleaned those out, right?"

Her lips pursed, the doctor nods. "Of course. But there was no way of knowing there might be an infection developing if there weren't any external signs."

"Can you give him some antibiotics and discharge him?" Molly asks.

"I'm afraid it might not be that simple. The infection has become rather deep."

She leaves them hanging for a moment before continuing:

"We're doing everything we can to treat it, but if we aren't able to get it under control soon… then we'll have no choice but to amputate."


Claire has no idea how to respond to her son. On one hand, she wants to tell him to shut his mouth and deal with it; she is his mother and he has to spend time with her, no matter how upset he might be. On the other hand, however, she understands exactly why he is so angry at her. She might not have been the one who held them all in that basement and set off those bombs, but she kept Nick involved in their lives by continuing her relationship with Ryan, even when she should have put her family first.

"You're staying with your mother," Tim says firmly, "and that's the end of the discussion."

But Travis isn't phased at all. Instead, he ratchets up the attitude another few notches. "Why? So I can get blown up for real this time?"

"Stop being ridiculous."

"No, Tim, maybe he's right," Claire says. As much as she doesn't want to do this, maybe Travis has a point, however ill-expressed it might be. "Maybe it's too soon."

Travis seems utterly surprised but manages to agree. "Yeah."

Tim is at a loss for words. Claire feels like complete garbage, but a part of her is relieved to have lessened Travis's hatred of her for the moment--or, at least, not to have made it any worse.

"Fine. You can stay with us," Tim says. "But you're staying in. No going to Landon's, no movies, nothing. Does that really sound better than hanging out with your mom?"

Travis's response comes without hesitation: "A lot better."

With a resigned sigh, Tim sticks his hands in his pockets. "All right. Diane, could you take the kids out to the car? I'll be there in a second."

Diane takes the car keys and leaves with Travis and Samantha. Claire can only imagine how much Diane is loving this, but right now, she has much more important things to worry about.

Claire waits until the door closes to say anything else.

"Maybe you shouldn't ground him," she says. "He's only going to resent me more."

"Let him get it out of his system, then. I'm not going to pretend it isn't an issue and let him grow up blaming you for all these things," Tim says.

Claire remains silent on the issue of whether she deserves that blame. Instead she says, "Maybe we should have him see a doctor. A psychologist, I mean. Someone who can help him deal with all this."

"That's probably a good idea."

That sounds so simple. Set Travis up with a doctor, help him work through his issues, and that's it? She knows there is much more to it, and that much more is what terrifies her.

"We'll talk about this some more later. Let me talk to some people at the hospital, figure out who'd be best for him to see," Claire says. "Get the kids home and relax."

"All right. Claire, this is just a phase. It will pass."

She wants to believe that, but she knows that this rift between her and Travis is much deeper than any of them would like to think.

Tim leaves, and Claire returns to her post at the window. She watches him join Diane and the kids in the car, a complete family with no room and no need for her.


Molly enters Brent's room with careful steps, uncertain of what she will find. She told Danielle and Josh to come with her, feeling that it would be selfish to leave them out of this. However, they insisted that she go in to see Brent by herself, and now she is grateful for that. This will be hard enough with just the two of them.

Brent is wide awake, and he spots her the instant that she walks through the door. There is a permanent grimace fixed on his face, and she can tell simply by looking at him that he knows exactly what is going on.

"There's still a chance they're going to get this under control," she says.

"Doesn't sound too likely, does it?" Brent counters. He seems resigned to his fate--something that Molly has never, ever known Brent to be.

"Hey," she says, moving to his bedside. "Don't do that. The second your mind stops fighting, your body stops, and then…"

"And then I lose a leg."

His nonchalance, in light of both the circumstances and his pain, stuns Molly.

"I'm just being realistic," he says. "Better than false hope."

"It's not false. The doctor said they're trying everything they can, and until they've done all those things twice--"

"It's still a long shot. They wouldn't bring up amputation unless they thought it was a real possibility."

He is treating this so matter-of-factly that it seems callous. Molly takes a step backward.

"Why are you doing this?" she says. "This is not the Brent I know. The man I married, he never goes down without a fight."

"He's also learned some things." Brent reaches for her hand, and she lets him take it. "Mol, if this is what they have to do, it's what they have to do."

"They don't have to do it. They can find a way."

"And so can we."

He holds her hand between both of his. The act comforts her, as always, but she still cannot figure out why he is acting this way.

"I'd rather have a life with you, the boys, and one leg than be buried with two legs," he says. "We already got lucky. Let's not push it."

She doesn't want to see it that way--wants to believe that the doctors will solve this and they can get back to their lives--but Brent has already accepted the possibility that he will lose a leg, and she sees no option but to support him in that. If it means having him in her life, in the twins' lives, then they can make it work. They'll have to.

They sit in appreciative silence and wait for the doctor to return.


Will Brent need the amputation?
How would Brent and Molly cope with such a change?
Will Claire be able to get through to Travis?
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