LABOR OF LOVE
The camera pans over a snowy landscape, recognizable from such Rankin-Bass classics as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. A small red sign stuck in the snow reads “North Pole”; it points to the right, and the camera follows it to a charming little cottage with a tiny door and a bay window. In front of the cottage, in a little clearing amongst the pine trees, sits a long table. Dressed snugly in blue and pink jackets and pointed caps, two rows of elves hammer, paint, and assemble toys. One elf, dressed in green, stands at the head of the table, his bushy black hair poking out from beneath his cap. He holds a clipboard with officious pride, checking off items on a list.
Head Elf: OK, people, we’re going to need another 35 train engines; 42 drums; 13 baby dolls with the open-and-close eyes, and...what’s this? Fifty Charlie-in-the-Boxes?
Worker Elf #1: He was a huge hit last year when we brought him over from the Island of Misfit Toys.
Head Elf: (shaking his head) Kids these days...anyway, we need to move, move, move on this! Efficiency is key...and you can expect to be working some overtime—
Worker Elf #2: Overtime! But it’s only the end of November! We don’t usually do overtime until mid-December!
The Head Elf looks sternly down his nose at blond, bubbly Worker Elf #2.
Head Elf: Remember our motto?
Elves: (all together, in a monotone)
We are Santa’s Elves
We don’t clock out at twelve
For the good little girls and boys
We don’t stop until they all have toys
Head Elf: That’s better.
The camera pans over to the bay window of the little cottage. A youthful Mrs. Claus stands in the window, her blue eyes soft, her blond hair pulled back in a neat little bun. She smiles at the self-important demeanor of the Head Elf. As we watch, a twinkling, green-eyed Santa appears behind her, putting his arms around her bulging tummy and kissing her cheek.
Snowflakes begin to fall in front of the scene, and we dissolve until we are tight-in on a desk calendar, open to November 27. The page is almost entirely taken up with the words DUE DATE!!!, underlined and in red pen. As we watch, the page slowly turns, to November 28...then turns again...November 29...a little faster...November 30...December 1...December 2.
The calendar stops there. We cut to another close shot, this time, a waterfall of red cloth. Tiny pleats at the top of the frame give way to a rush of fabric, spreading in all directions. It’s not clear what we’re looking at until the camera pulls back...and back...we see the arms of a desk chair...pantyhose-clad legs...an elbow...and finally, an elegant arm, with a gold bangle bracelet dangling at the wrist, whose hand rests for a moment on the massive red-draped abdomen of the woman in the chair.
Then, quick as a wink, the long, cool fingers reach out, ripping the “December 2” page off the calendar stand with unexpected violence. The fingers angrily crumple the page into a ball, hurling it in the direction of the camera.
The little wad of paper seems to shoot through the camera lens, becoming a snowball that SPLATS! against the bay window of Santa’s cottage. The camera pans over the elves’ workbench, where mallets, paintbrushes, and screwdrivers lie quiet and still.
But shrieks and giggles fill the little clearing.
A brown-haired elf with an improbable mustache limbos under a pine bough, while a trio of little workers cooks s’mores over a tiny campfire. A tall, slender elfette lobs a perfectly-aimed snowball right at the Head Elf. The Elf’s brown eyes widen, and he gets his clipboard up just in time—WHOOSH!—for the snowball to explode against it.
Head Elf: (screeching) Break over! Break over! Back to work! We have a quota, people!
Another snowball ambushes the Head Elf from the side, sending his green felt cap flying. He whips around, and sees a blond elf pumping his fist in the air, to the accompaniment of his compatriots’ laughter...which dies quickly as a rhythmic THUMP! THUMP! shakes the clearing.
A moment...and then the bulky figure of Mrs. Claus hoves into view. Her beatific expression has been replaced by an angry scowl; the soft blue eyes darkened to stormy midnight; blond tresses escape from the smooth bun to flutter wildly on the slight breeze.
Mrs. Claus: WHAT is going on here?!
Elves scream and scatter, racing for the woods, while the Head Elf stammers apologies and excuses—
Head Elf: It was just a cocoa break, Mrs. Claus—all under control—GET BACK HERE, O’NEILL! AND YOU, JERGENSON!
Mrs. Claus seethes silently, gives the Head Elf a glare icier than the Abominable Snow Monster’s cave, then turns on her booted heel and stomps back into the cottage.
The little door SLAMS with a reverberation far too loud for its tiny stature...the scene dissolves to a familiar, full-size, cherrywood door, still rattling on its hinges.
Moonlighting Theme music...
Some born by night
Some born by day
Oh, we hope...on the way
Is it a boy or girl?
Brown hair, or blond of curl?
On time or way past due?
Green eyes or blue?
We’ll wait through the night,
We’ll wait through the day
‘Cause baby we love you
No matter what comes our way.
December 2, 1993
Maddie sits—or rather slumps—at her desk, leaning her chin on her hand. She is already exhausted; for the last hour, she’s been merely moving piles of paper around, rather than truly working. At the moment, she is just waiting for David to come back from a Pink’s run...not so she can eat—just the thought of a chili-cheese dog starts the now-familiar acid burn in her chest—but so they can go home.
There is a timid knock on the door.
Maddie: Come in.
Magillicuddy pokes his head in, the rest of him still safely behind the door.
Maddie: (sighing) It’s OK, Mr. Magillicuddy. The rampage is over—I’m too tired to yell or throw things.
Magillicuddy, still wary, scuttles over to her desk.
Magillicuddy: Here are the receipts you needed.
Maddie: Thank you. (Making an effort) How’s Mary doing?
Magillicuddy’s face breaks into a huge grin. His eyes, unfocused, stray somewhere over Maddie’s left shoulder.
Magillicuddy: Oh, she’s...wonderful. She’s been researching this new theory of multiple intelligences—fascinating...it’s amazing how much they’re learning about the human brain—
Maddie: (interrupting) I’m so happy for you both.
Magillicuddy: Well, Ms. Hayes, I can’t thank you and Mr. Addison enough. You know, when I first took this job, I had no idea it would give me the best things in my life: work that I enjoy, good friends, and now...Mary.
Maddie is totally softened...to the point where tears threaten to spill over her cheeks. Damn hormones! She sniffs, and pinches the bridge of her nose.
Magillicuddy: Are you all right, Ms. Hayes?
She waves him off.
Maddie: Oh, fine, fine...or I will be, once this baby decides to make an appearance.
Magillicuddy: (knowledgeably) My mother swore by raspberry tea.
Maddie: Raspberry tea?
Magillicuddy: Yep, I was two weeks late—
Maddie: TWO WEEKS?!?
Magillicuddy: —but one cup of that tea, and out I came!
Maddie: (faintly) Well...thanks for the suggestion, Mr. Magillicuddy.
Magillicuddy exits, and Maddie looks down at her midsection.
Maddie: Two weeks! Don’t even think about it, Bunny.
Another knock, and this time it’s Jamie, with a pile of file folders.
Jamie: Here’s the background on the Harper case, Ms. Hayes...though I think you should know, Mr. Addison said not to give you any more work.
Maddie: Mr. Addison doesn’t have a ticking time bomb in his belly...at least it takes my mind off it a little.
Jamie: How late are you?
Maddie: Five days...not that I’m counting.
Jamie: Have you tried Mexican?
Jamie: Mexican food—or, really, any spicy food would probably work. My sister has four kids, and whenever one was late, she ate a plateful of tacos with habanero salsa. Worked every time.
Maddie: (getting heartburn by proxy again) That’s...good advice, Jamie. Thanks!
Jamie: You bet! And by the way, if Mr. Addison asks, you didn’t get those files from me.
Jamie exits, and the phone buzzes.
Agnes: (offscreen) Ms. Hayes, it’s Mrs. Hayes on line two.
Maddie: Thanks. (Picks up phone) Hi, Mom. How’s the weather there? Are you guys OK?
SPLIT SCREEN: Maddie on the right, and Virginia on the left. Virginia sits at her breakfast table, winding the phone cord around her manicured finger.
Virginia: Well, it’s stopped snowing for the moment. Your father was finally able to dig his car out this morning, and went right off to work. I still can’t believe we missed Thanksgiving with you…but traveling out of O’Hare in November is always a gamble!
Maddie: We missed you too—I’m just glad you’re all right. To tell you the truth, though, I was too tired for much of a celebration...and David is spending most of his time fixing up the garage apartment.
Virginia: They reopened the airport last night. I was able to get a flight out tomorrow, and your father will come on the 6th.
Maddie: You don’t want to wait and fly out with him?
Virginia: I can’t wait another day to see you...and your precious tummy.
Virginia: I was surprised you were at work, dear—I thought you finished last week. No sudden crises, I hope?
Maddie: No...nothing out of the ordinary. I was just losing my mind at home...everything is done—all the baby’s clothes are washed and put away, the crib is ready, there are clean bottles in the cabinet...when I started counting the diapers on the changing table, I knew it was time to get out of there!
Virginia: How’s my grandchild?
Maddie: Stubborn. He—or she—is still refusing to come out.
Virginia: Maybe he...or she...is just waiting for Nana to get there.
Maddie: In that case, can you come in the next five minutes?
They share a chuckle.
Virginia: And how are you, dear?
Maddie: Huge. Massive. Gargan—
Virginia: Oh, now, Maddie, when we saw you on Father’s Day, you looked gorgeous—absolutely glowing.
Maddie: That was almost six months ago! I’ve moved way past glowing...we’re in to full-scale conflagration now.
Virginia: I’m sure it’s not that bad.
Maddie: Mom—none of my shoes fit—not even the Keds David bought me. I almost had to wear slippers to work today.
Virginia: (concerned) Are you very swollen? That can be a dangerous sign—
Maddie: (quickly) No, no...I just saw Dr. Weed yesterday, and she said it’s just run-of-the-mill edema. But I no longer have ankles—not that I could see them anyway—and I think I’m going to have to stop wearing my ring, before I have to cut it off.
Virginia sits up very straight at the word “ring.” She pauses, weighing her words, then fishes—carefully, so carefully...
Virginia: Ring? You mean the one Grandma Hayes left you?
Maddie is still contemplating her mood ring, which shows dark red between two puffy strips of skin.
Maddie: What? No—the ring David gave me. Didn’t I tell you?
Virginia looks like she might faint...at the same time, she looks happier than we’ve ever seen her. But she manages to rein it in, for the moment.
Virginia: No...no, I’m sure I’d remember.
Maddie: It was so sweet—David and I were out on our balcony one night, looking at the moon...
Virginia: Oh, Maddie—
Maddie: And he gave me the most beautiful little mood ring.
Virginia: New ring?
Maddie: No—well, yes, it’s new...but it’s a mood ring. You remember, like I had when I was a teenager?
Virginia: (quietly) Oh...oh, of course. (Then brighter) David is always so thoughtful.
The penny finally drops for Maddie (must be the pregnancy brain).
Maddie: Wait—did you think I was talking about—oh, Mom. (A beat) Are you disappointed?
Virginia: (recovered) Of course not! You two are in a loving, committed relationship, and you’re having my grandchild. What’s there to be disappointed about?
Maddie: That’s what we think, too, Mom. We have enough going on right now, with little Bunny arriving—or not arriving, as the case may be.
Virginia: (chuckling) Like mother, like baby.
Maddie: What do you mean?
Virginia: I mean, my dear, that you were in no hurry to greet the world. I waited eleven long days past my due date for you to pick a birth day.
Maddie: Really? I never knew. Another week—I don’t think I can take it. They’ll need a crane to get me out of this chair.
Virginia: And I tried everything, too! I vacuumed, I carried the laundry up and down the stairs, drank quarts of raspberry tea—
Maddie’s smile falters.
Virginia: —I was on the point of taking castor oil when my contractions finally started.
Maddie: (revolted) Castor oil?
Virginia: Don’t ask. In fact, now I think it’s considered dangerous...but, of course, they didn’t know nearly as much about labor then as they do now. Why, in those days, it wasn’t uncommon for women to miss their labor altogether—doctors used so much more anesthesia back then...you didn’t have any of the “natural childbirth” you have now.
Maddie: Anesthesia isn’t sounding so bad right now.
Virginia: Believe me, darling, that precious bundle will be here before you know it...though if he or she can wait until tomorrow around noon, I’d appreciate it. Now, you call me if anything starts to happen...
Maddie: (under her breath) Don’t wait by the phone. (Louder) OK, Mom. I love you.
Virginia: Love you too, dear. And love to David.
Maddie: I’ll tell him. ‘Bye.
CLOSE SPLIT SCREEN
Just as Maddie hangs up, Agnes enters.
Agnes: Mr. Addison is back. He said he’s ready whenever you are.
She looks sympathetically at Maddie’s feet.
Agnes: Do you want me to help you get those shoes back on?
Maddie nods gratefully.
Agnes: I remember just how this feels, Ms. Hayes. I thought Mickey was never going to get here.
Maddie: That’s right—I had forgotten you were overdue, too. Doesn’t anybody have babies on time anymore?
Agnes: Technically, only four to five percent of babies are born on their due date.
Maddie: (bitter) Then why do they bother giving you one? They should just tell you what week you’re due...or maybe, what month.
Agnes: The Native Americans predicted due dates by the moon.
Maddie: Sounds just as accurate as anything else...
Agnes: They also used something called “papoose root” to induce labor. (She giggles)
Maddie: Oh, not you too, Agnes. I’ve been hearing crazy ways to jump-start labor all morning: raspberry tea, tacos, castor oil...(she shudders) Did you try any of those?
Agnes: (cheerfully) Oh, I tried them all—except the castor oil. Yuck! But the tea, and the spicy food, massage, even acupressure. Only one thing worked, though.
Maddie: What was that?
Agnes: (whispers) Sex.
Maddie: Sex?....(gets thoughtful look on her face)....Of course.
Agnes: Yep...a little morning delight...and before you know it, we’re off to the hospital!
She looks up at Maddie, whose expression is unreadable.
Agnes: Did I say too much?
Maddie: No, Agnes...I think you said just enough.
David pulls up into the driveway and parks.
David: All right, Slim…here we go…
He comes around to Maddie’s side; together, they maneuver her out of the car and up the front steps.
David: (opening the door) What’s your pleasure—couch or bed?
Maddie’s answer is drowned in a sea of yaps, as Miss Me jumps ecstatically all over David.
Maddie: I think I’ll just head upstairs...looks like you’d better take her for a little exercise.
David eyes the staircase dubiously.
David: You gonna be OK?
Maddie: I’ll be fine.
David goes to the kitchen to get Miss Me’s leash, while Maddie waddles over to the stairs.
Twenty minutes later...
David comes through the back door and hangs Miss Me’s leash on its peg.
David: All right, you little scamp. Now go sit quietly in your basket while I take care of your mama.
Grabbing a tray, he sets out a spread for Maddie: a glass of iced tea, some grapes, a few of the delicate wafer cookies she loves.
Backing through the swing door, he crosses the foyer and heads up the stairs to their bedroom, whistling “She’s Having My Baby.” The door is ajar, and he shoulders it open.
David: A little something—
He stops short, nearly upending Maddie’s repast all over the carpet when he sees in the vision in his bed:
Maddie reclines on several pillows, her hair waving around her face, her freshly-washed cheeks glowing, her bare shoulders rising creamily from the sheet she’s wrapped around her.
Maddie: (pats the bed) Care to join me?
David: (deadpan) Depends on the dress code.
Maddie: (indicates sheet) Well, I’m wearing your favorite…
He sets the tray down on the nightstand with exaggerated care...then starts stripping off his clothes, as fast as he can.
David: (frantically loosening tie) So...are we still on hiatus?
Maddie shakes her head. David yanks his tie so hard the knot tears off.
David: It won’t bother Bunny?
Maddie: Bunny could use some bothering. Now get over here.
Clad only in his shirt, boxers, and socks, he clambers over the bed to give Maddie a long, passionate kiss.
The camera discreetly pans away, but their voices can still be heard...
David: (OS) Sure hope I remember how to do this...
Maddie: (OS) Maybe this will jog your memory—
Silence...a muffled groan...and then—
David: (OS)You are an amazing woman.
Some time later...
Maddie’s head rests on David’s chest; he strokes her hair. They share a look of toe-tingling, deep-seated satisfaction.
Maddie: Well, that was worth it, even if it doesn’t work.
David: Work? Whaddaya mean, “work?”
Maddie: You know...to help get the proceedings started.
David: I’m still not sure why that is.
Maddie: Apparently, your...essence...has hormones that help with dilation.
David: (mock-upset) Are you telling me you just wanted my...stuff? (Melodramatic hand to forehead) I feel so used...
She starts kissing his jawline...
David: Exploited, even...
She kisses his neck...
David: Mmmm...but I’ll get over it...
Turning to her, he kisses her deeply...and the camera, once again, sweeps away...
Maddie: (OS) Are you sure you can do this again?
David: (OS) I’ve been saving up.
Focus on the bed—extremely rumpled. David lies on his back, one arm hanging over the edge of the bed, in an attitude of total depletion.
Maddie comes out of the bathroom, her hair in a towel, robe cinched high over her baby bump. She looks down at her prostrate partner.
Maddie: (amused) You all right?
David: (eyes closed) Fine...except I have an itch on my nose.
David: And I can’t seem to put the ol’ synapses together to scratch it.
Maddie chuckles, leans over, and rubs lightly on the proboscis in question.
David: Ahhh...that’s better. Now how about peeling me some of those grapes?
Maddie: Hey! I thought I was the one getting five-star service here.
David: (cracks one eye open) You just did.
Maddie can’t argue with that. She sits down at her vanity table, unwinds her towel, and begins combing out her hair.
Maddie: So, how’s the apartment coming along?
David: Oh, fine. A little drywall patching, a little wiring, some new fixtures...it’ll be ready in no time.
Maddie looks at him skeptically. She is pretty sure the only “wiring” he has ever done was of the “hot” variety.
Maddie: (convincing herself) I’m sure it’ll turn out great. But if you run into anything...you know...bigger...just let me know and I’ll call Milo’s guys.
David: Nah—I’ve got this one, Hayes. After this, Bob Vila will be calling me.
The Hayes-Addison Bedroom
The room is bathed in comforting middle-of-the-night darkness. Maddie and David sleep, apparently soundly, David’s arm thrown over Maddie’s waist (or what used to be Maddie’s waist).
Close-up on Maddie...her eyes open...she puts a tentative hand on her belly. A slow smile spreads across her face; she looks down.
Maddie: (whispers) Are you ready, little one?
Then, tight shot on the clock...we see the numbers change...2:30...2:45. The camera pulls back, and we see Maddie nod, as though she’s making a decision. She rolls over and pokes David.
Maddie: David! Wake up!
David: (mumbling) Oh, baby...I love you, but you gotta let a man recharge...
Maddie: Not that! It’s time!
David: (still sleepy) Time...? Time for...
Suddenly, Maddie’s meaning breaks through, and he sits up so quickly that she gasps.
David: Time? It’s time?!? OK, let’s not panic. (Feeling around the nightstand) The keys—where did I put the damn keys—
He leaps out of bed, stumbling over the pants and shoes he has purposely left there, just in case.
Maddie: (dryly) It’s a good thing we’re not panicking. Calm down, David.
David: But I thought you said this was it! This isn’t going to be like last time, is it—when you woke me up at 5:00am for nothing?
Maddie: (insulted) It wasn’t nothing! We had a very important decision to make about our child’s—
She sucks in a breath, holds up a hand as if to say, “Wait”—and then checks the clock.
Maddie: Yep, seven minutes exactly. That’s amazing.
David stares at her, openmouthed.
David: You’re not kidding.
Maddie shakes her head no.
David: Not just having insomnia.
Another head shake.
David: You don’t need Ben & Jerry’s, a grilled cheese with extra onion, or an ice-cold strawberry smoothie?
Another head shake...accompanied by a slightly nauseated expression.
David: (slowly) You’re...actually having the baby. Right now.
Maddie: Not right this minute...but yes. I think so.
David’s face breaks into the biggest grin we’ve ever seen…Maddie answers him with a magical smile of her own.
David: Well, what are you waiting for? Get a move on, woman! Let’s get you to the hospital!
Maddie lumbers out of bed, and we
The Hayes-Addison Front Door
We hear the key scrape in the lock, and David pushes the door open for an exhausted and disgruntled-looking Maddie.
Maddie: Forty-two years old...you’d think I’d know how to tell false labor from the real thing.
David: (yawning) Don’t worry about it, Blondie—Dr. Weed says it happens all the time.
Maddie: (not really listening) Braxton-Hicks contractions my foot—those suckers hurt!
David: I know...listen, honey, let’s just get you back into bed—
Maddie: No, I’m too irritated to sleep...I’ll just make myself a snack. You go on...you have to get up in the morning.
David: (checks his watch) If I go now, I’ll get a whole two hours of shuteye...you sure you’re OK?
Maddie: I’m still pregnant...but, yeah, basically OK.
David starts to haul himself up the stairs, then stops.
David: Hey—just remember, the best things in life are worth waiting for…and I should know. (Blows her a kiss)
Maddie: (mustering up a smile) They sure are.
December 3, 1993
David is reclined in his desk chair, talking with Bert. From the looks of it, they are involved in a complex negotiation. As we watch, David leans forward, elbows on his desk.
David: I need you, Bert. Blue Moon needs you.
Bert: I appreciate that.
David: So, you’re in?
Bert: Mr. Addison, I don’t think I’ve ever shirked my responsibilities here at Blue Moon.
David: Nope, you’re no shirker—it’s safe to say that you, Herbert Quentin Viola, are shirk-less.
Bert: What I just don’t understand is why you need me. Why can’t you take Kris, or Inez, or Jamie?
David: Because they don’t have your finely-honed instincts...your experience in the field.
David: And they don’t know how to use the camera.
Bert: Investigatory photography is a delicate art...but honestly, Mr. Addison, I’m not sure I’ll be convincing.
David: Not convincing? Not convincing? Walter still has guys calling and asking for your number!
Bert: (warming to the theme) It was a triumph of spontaneous character creation...and I do still have the wig.
David: See? It’s kismet! I’ll pick you up at 4:00.
Bert: I’ll be ready.
David: I thank you...and Mrs. Harper thanks you, too.
Bert rises and salutes.
David has picked Virginia up from the airport; they are now on their way back to the Hayes-Addison abode.
Virginia: So, how is she, really?
David: Well, she’s going to be a heck of a lot better now that you’re here.
Virginia: Is she very tired?
David: Tired of being pregnant, that’s for sure.
Virginia: Every woman feels that way. Even if you love every minute of the first nine months, by the time you get to the end, you’d be willing to walk over hot coals barefoot if it meant you didn’t have to haul around a 35-pound basketball anymore! I think it’s God’s way of preparing us for the ordeal of labor.
David: Maybe so.
She can hear the hesitation in his voice.
Virginia: And what about the daddy? How are you?
David: Me? I’m fine...‘course I’m fine. I’m not the one carrying the load, so to speak...
Virginia: That doesn’t mean you’re not anxious.
David takes a deep breath, and decides to come clean—
David: It’s just...the thought of watching Maddie in pain, and not being able to do anything, you know? The last time...it was so horrible...the one thing she needed, I couldn’t give her...I couldn’t make it—any of it—OK.
Virginia puts a comforting hand on David’s arm.
Virginia: It was a tragedy, what the two of you went through last time. There was no rhyme or reason, no silver lining. But now...you’re in a very different place now, individually and as a couple, and this is a different situation. A new start, for all of you.
David: I know...you gotta have faith, right?
Virginia: Right. And if it helps...I have faith, too. Faith that you’re going to be a wonderful partner and father, faith that you’re going to take care of my little girl, and my grandchild.
Both of them are getting a little choked up...David makes a sudden left turn.
David: Nothing gets rid of a case of the maudlins like a bacon cheeseburger. Welcome to the world-famous Tommy’s!
The Hayes-Addison Home
Maddie and her mother are in the nursery. Maddie sits in the glider, smudges of fatigue under her eyes, her stockinged feet up on the footstool, as Virginia looks around.
Virginia: Oh, this is just darling...and look at these cunning shelves. Plenty of room for all his...or her...treasures.
Maddie: (tiredly) Milo did a great job, didn’t he?
A sound is heard on the stairs: squelch...squelch...squelch. Maddie heaves herself out of the glider, and she and Virginia go out to the landing, where they see David, the source of the noise.
He is a sight (and sound) to behold. His lower half looks as though he’s been swimming—jeans plastered to his legs, his old Reeboks squirting water at every squelch. From the waist up, however, he is covered in a fine white dust. It coats his eyelashes and hair, giving him the effect of a green-eyed snowman.
The effect is comical in the extreme, and Virginia covers her mouth with one hand to prevent a giggle escaping. Maddie, on the other hand, is not amused. Virginia sees the signs of Hurricane Hayes building, and decides to get out of the way.
Virginia: I’m just going to run down to the den and call your father...make sure he’s not eating ice cream for dinner.
David tromps into the bedroom without a word, leaving a trail of wet footprints on the carpet. Maddie follows him.
Maddie: What happened?
David sits on the edge of the soaking tub, pouring water out of one shoe.
David: Oh, not much. Just a little mishap—
He starts stripping off his clothes.
Maddie: A little mishap? David, you look like a Dunkin’ Donut...or rather, a Dunked Donut.
David: That’s me...rich cakey goodness.
Maddie growls and stalks out to the dressing area. Off screen, we hear the shower turning on.
David: (OS) I was putting in the new faucet and there was a little hitch in the connections. Who knew water could spray out of a hole with that much force? It knocked me back against the new patch of drywall....I tell you, we’d better make sure the nanny doesn’t plan on doing any barroom-style brawling up there—the walls can’t take it!
Maddie: (raising her voice above the water) I’m pretty sure I can’t take this...not right now.
David: (OS) It was no big deal...I was able to turn the water off.
Maddie: You didn’t think to do that before you took the pipes apart?
David: (OS) Live and learn, right?
Maddie: I knew I should’ve called Milo.
The water stops. David comes out, wrapped in a towel.
David: What did you say?
He looks at her. She’s thrown the gauntlet down, and he knows he should let it lie there—it’s hormones and fatigue and anxiety talking. But, dammit...he’s tired too...tired and worried and impatient, just as much as she is...and on top of it, he’s been working so hard to show her he can be everything she needs...
David: One little mistake and we gotta call in the Cartier Crew, huh?
And the fuse flickers into life...
Maddie: Little mistake? Little mistake? You call flooding the apartment and causing God knows how much damage a little mistake?
With studied nonchalance, David gets dressed while Maddie rants on. He tucks, zips, and buckles while she paces the room.
Maddie: Who am I kidding? Of course you call it “little”—it’s all just a joke to you anyway, a chance to play with power tools...God help me when this baby gets older. I can just see the two of you creating chaos all over the place in the name of “fun,” while I run around behind you with a vacuum and a garbage bag!
David starts to respond…then realizes he doesn’t want Virginia hearing them have a knock-down drag-out on her first day. He takes a deep breath.
David: Look—I have to go meet Bert. Don’t worry about the apartment. I’ll get it cleaned up when I come back.
Maddie: (still angry) Fine.
He walks out the door, and we follow him down the staircase. By the time he reaches the bottom, he’s having second thoughts about leaving while they are both upset...he turns, half-ready to go back and make it up, when he hears the resounding SLAM of the bedroom door.
David: (under his breath) Have it your way, Goldilocks.
Virginia comes out of the den, having heard the door. He shrugs and shakes his head, and she smiles sympathetically.
David: I’m just—
Virginia: You go on...she’ll be fine.
David takes one last look up the staircase, then heads out through the kitchen. In a moment, we hear the rev of the Corvette’s engine and the squeal of tires as he zooms down the driveway.
Outside the Garage
Maddie is still steaming as she stomps up the steep wooden stairs—it’s the fastest we’ve seen her move in a long time. She throws open the door, fully prepared for a disaster of the greatest magnitude.
There is dust everywhere, to be sure, and heaped piles of junk covered with drop cloths. The carpet in the living area has been pulled up along one edge. The cabinet doors in the kitchenette have been taken off, and the old refrigerator—Maddie had forgotten there even was a refrigerator—is pulled out from the wall.
There is a David-sized hole in one wall; the upper part of the drywall droops drunkenly over it...and then there’s the “flood.”
It’s more of a puddle, actually...surrounded by blue rags that have soaked up most of the moisture and prevented further damage to the floor.
Maddie stands there, feeling remorseful. Perhaps David was in over his head here; still, at least he was trying. And what had she done? Made him feel worthless...run roughshod over his hope, his sense of possibility...just as she had so many times in the past.
The tears come easily, as they do now...and she lets them.
Maddie: Oh, David...
She bends down to throw a few more rags onto the puddle, and hears—feels?—a little pop! Her legs are wet—did she kneel in the water? No, her feet are dry...there’s only one thing this could be.
Maddie: David? Oh my God—David—
But of course, there’s no one there.
Late-afternoon sun slants in the window of Bert’s Honda as he and David drive across town. From the chin up, we can see Bert is reprising his role of “The Lady is a Tramp” from The Night of the Yellow Napkin Heads. Below the neck, however, he conjures a stubbier eight-months-pregnant Agnes, decked out in one of her blue maternity smocks, his arms around a capacious false belly.
David: Nice of you to donate your car to the cause, Bertie. The ‘Vette would’ve been too conspicuous.
Bert: Not sure I could’ve fit into the Corvette, anyway. (He squirms in his seat) This pillow is really uncomfortable...remind me why we’re doing this again?
David: It’s a Lamaze class, Bert. We’d look pretty damn suspicious, two guys casing the joint.
Bert: We couldn’t take these photos anywhere else?
David: Mrs. Harper wants proof that both Mr. Harper and his sperm have been stepping out on her. We take pictures of Harper and his side dish anywhere else and he can make excuses, say she’s just a friend. Pretty hard to explain away his presence at a birthing class with her.
Bert: Do we actually have to go inside?
David: Nah, don’t worry—no breathing exercises for you tonight. We just have to get close enough to get our snaps, and then we can take off. (Thinking of Maddie) I need to get home, anyway. I’ve got some…fences to fix.
Bert: Really? At this hour?
David rolls his eyes, and keeps on driving.
The Hayes-Addison Home
Quick shot of Maddie, sitting on the living room couch. Her eyes are closed; her hands rest on either side of her baby bump; she is breathing out, very slowly. At the end of her breath, a little moan escapes.
Virginia stands at the counter, a sheet of paper in front of her. She checks the list, lifts the handset, and dials.
The Master Bedroom
Close-in on David’s dresser…where his pager sits, buzzing merrily.
Virginia places another call…
Through the gloom of the garage, we see the car phone light up, displaying Maddie’s home number. It rings on…and on…
The Living Room
Maddie: Mom…did you get a hold of him?
Virginia: (OS) Not yet, dear.
Maddie: (face twisted in pain) Ooohhhh….
Virginia appears in the doorway.
Virginia: Maddie, I’m going to call Agnes—she can track him down. Then it’s time to go.
Maddie: But I don’t want to go without—
Virginia puts a hand on Maddie’s arm.
Virginia: I know, honey—but it’s time to go.
Maddie looks miserable, but nods in acquiescence.
Blue Moon Investigations
The phone rings. Agnes answers it.
It’s always tough
When your boss cuts up rough—
Oh, my goodness! Yes, Mrs. Hayes. Oh, you did? And the car phone? I understand—I’ll find them. Tell Ms. Hayes not to worry…we won’t let this baby be born without his daddy!
Agnes dials a number, pauses, then punches several buttons in a row. She waits, listening for something, shakes her head, and hangs up. She stands there for a moment, one finger on her lip, deep in thought.
The clock strikes 5:00….the Wobblies, as one, get up and rush the door. Agnes puts two fingers between her lips and gives a piercing whistle.
Agnes: Not so fast, everybody! We have a special assignment! We have to find Mr. Addison!
O’Neill: Does he know he’s lost?
Grumbles and groans from the staff. Agnes comes around her desk and starts pacing in front of it, like the general she is.
Agnes: We are way past “no work and pay,” people! Where is your sense of pride? Where is your loyalty to Mr. Addison? To Ms. Hayes? To Blue Moon?
She comes nose to nose with O’Neill, who quickly backs down. The other Wobblies hang their heads.
Agnes: Ms. Hayes is having the baby…are we going to let her do it without Mr. Addison?
Agnes: Are we going to get out there and find him—fast?
Agnes: That’s better!
She pulls a map out from a desk drawer, and spreads it out on the counter of the reception desk.
Agnes: They were on their way to Golden Bridge Community Center to do some surveillance, here at the corner of De Longpre and Highland. Then they were going back to our house, (she points on map) here. So they have to be somewhere in this area. Magillicuddy and Inez, you take this section. O’Neill and Jamie, you take this one. And Kris and Jergenson, you guys have this area. I’ll page Bert again, then head to the hospital. Meet back at our house at oh-six-hundred, unless you find them first.
She reaches into another desk drawer, and pulls out four walkie-talkies.
Agnes: Bert and his toys…guess they finally came in handy.
The guys see the radios and start ooh-ing and ahh-ing.
Jergenson: The HH-35! These are top of the line…got a range of 20 miles or something!
Magillicuddy: (slightly sour) Yeah, well…only the best for Bert Viola, right?
Agnes silences him with a look, and the employees line up in pairs. Agnes gives each pair a walkie-talkie as she dismisses them.
Agnes: (to Magillicuddy and Inez) Heads back! (To O’Neill and Jamie) Chins up! (To Kris and Jergenson) Chests out!
They march toward the elevator.
Agnes: (calling after them) That’s right! It’s a great day to be a Wobbly! We march to victory!
The staff raise their fists in solidarity with her, and disappear around the corner.
Bert leans back against the seat, exhaling in relief. David is totally focused on the road, clearly in a hurry to get back to Maddie.
Bert: That was a close one, Mr. Addison. I thought for sure Mr. Harper saw you in the window!
David: Yeah...good thing I had you there to create a distraction. That was a pretty convincing show you made—even I thought you were having contractions.
Bert: (modestly) Oh, that was just Acting 101 stuff—y’know, getting into character...
David: (cocking his head) Wait—shhhh!
A muted buzzing can be heard from somewhere in the car.
Bert: What is that? It’s not the engine light, is it? Or we might be overheating—you’re driving pretty—
David: Viola, will you can it?! The car is fine...that sounds like...shhhh...let me listen...my pager!
He starts patting his pockets, realizing they are empty—
Quick shot of Inez and Magillicuddy in Inez’ silver Mazda.
Magillicuddy: OK, it’s a left here…no, wait…a right! A RIGHT!
Inez slams on the brakes, and makes a wild turn right…
O’Neill and Jamie in a beat-up red Datsun 280Z. They are trundling along when something starts rattling…
Jamie: When was the last time you had this hunk of junk inspected?
O’Neill: (insulted) It’s not a hunk of junk—this is a finely-tuned machine…
The rattle gets louder…
Kris and Jergenson in a blue Oldsmobile.
Kris: It smells like lilacs in here.
Kris reaches into the glove compartment and pulls out a flowery Kleenex box and a crocheted glasses case.
Kris: (teasing) You got some mighty purty stuff in here, Jergie…
Jergenson: This is my mom’s car, OK? What’s it to you?
As he is distracted, trying to grab the glasses case, we focus in on Bert’s car, passing them on the left.
David: Where’s your pager?
Bert: In my purse—
David rolls his eyes while Bert starts to rummage through a black handbag.
Bert: Not here...must’ve fallen out...
He scrabbles around on the floor of the car, and finally locates the pager under the seat.
Bert: One missed page…uh-oh…
Pressing the button on top, he reads it—
Bert: It’s Agnes’ number...911...and our special code—
David: Code for what?
Bert: (speaking quickly) We had two: one for Ms. Hayes going into labor, and one in case something happened to Mickey—
David: (through gritted teeth) Which. one. is. it?
David: Is that the labor code or the Mickey code?
Bert: Let me think...
David: Jesus, Bert! How can you not remember?
Bert: (defensive) Well, I had them down, and then Agnes changed them—I had to memorize two new ones—
David pulls into a gas station.
David: Give me a quarter—no, two!
Bert complies, and David runs over to the phone booth.
Kris: I’m sorry—I’ve got to go.
Kris just looks at him, arms folded.
Jergenson: Fine…gotta be a gas station around here somewhere…OK, here we go.
He pulls into a station, behind the “Pit Stop Shop.” Kris runs for the bathroom. Jergenson gets out and ambles into the store.
David stands in the phone booth, listening to his home answering machine. He hangs up with a CLANG! and hurries back to Bert’s car.
The camera pans back to the door of the “Pit Stop Shop.” Jergenson is just exiting…he catches sight of Bert’s car, peeling out of gas station’s driveway.
Jergenson: Bert! MR. ADDISON!
Running around the building to the bathroom, he hammers on the door.
Jergenson: Kris! Let’s go! I saw them!
Kris: (from Jergenson’s car) I’m right here, doofus.
Jergenson: (ignoring her insult) Radio the others! Mr. Addison was going…(he peers off into the darkening street)…west on Melrose!
He starts the engine, and we
Magillicuddy struggles with a huge map.
Magillicuddy: OK, we need to go right at the next light.
Inez bats the map out of her way as a crackling sound is heard.
Inez: The walkie talkie!
Magillicuddy picks it up, fiddling with the dial.
Kris: (OS) They’re headed west (crackle)…on Melrose, somewhere near (crackle) Gower.
Magillicuddy: We read you. On our way. Over.
He looks back at the map.
Inez: So is it left or right?
Magillicuddy: Well…um…let me see…
The car approaches a traffic light. Magillicuddy shakes out the map again, right in from of Inez.
A screech of brakes and the car swerves crazily…
The Datsun crawls along the street at about twenty miles per hour.
Jamie: I thought this was supposed to be a sportscar.
O’Neill: (defensive) It’s just a little delicate!
Suddenly, the walkie-talkie in Jamie’s hand buzzes.
Kris: (OS) Repeat—we spotted them. We’re following them west on Melrose just passing Gower.
Jamie: Got it, Kris. We’re headed that way. (To O’Neill) All right, step on it, granny.
O’Neill steps on it. Jamie plugs her ears as the rattling reaches deafening proportions…
Tight shot on the speedometer, which is pushing forty-five.
The camera pulls back and we see David, both hands clenched on the steering wheel. Bert clutches the passenger-side door, braced in his seat for a seemingly-inevitable collision.
In the distance, a traffic light gleams yellow. David guns it, flying through the intersection a few seconds after the light has turned red.
Bert: (trembling) Mr. Addison--
The wail of a police siren can be heard behind them.
David: Christ on a cracker!
He and the squad car pull to the curb at the same time. David bangs on the steering wheel with one fist. Bert tries to shrink into his seat.
David: Damn damn damn damn damn!
The policeman, a solid, stone-faced man in his 40s, raps smartly on the driver’s-side window. David rolls it down.
David: Evening, officer...
Officer: D’you know how fast you were going?
David: Yes...well, no...you see, I’m trying to get to the hospital. My partner is having a baby.
The officer peers in at Bert, who quickly slips into his persona as the Woman in Labor, clutching his pillow-belly and panting.
Bert: Hee hee haw...oh, honey, this is a big one!
The cop watches for a moment, then shakes his head.
Officer: Nice try, lady. I’ve got three kids—I know a real contraction when I see it!
Bert is, at first, unwilling to give in...he pants and moans a little more, until the officer crosses his arms and declares--
Officer: You don’t want to do this, ma’am. Lying to the LAPD? Not a good idea.
Bert subsides into silence. David jumps in.
David: Not this partner, officer. My other partner—my real one (with look of censure at Bert)—is in labor. I’ve got to get to the hospital!
Officer: If your wife is really in labor, then what are you doing with this one? You keeping two women on a string, son?
David: She’s not my wife...and neither is she (points to Bert). Look, can you just write me the ticket and let me go? It’s the bottom of the ninth, here, and I’m gonna miss the walk-off, y’know what I mean?
Officer: Not your wife? What—d’you have one of those weird commune-things going on?
David’s frustration is quickly rising to the boiling point.
David: No—no commune-things. Just ONE partner, the woman I love, who is RIGHT NOW in the hospital, probably cursing me to HELL and back because I’m not with her!
Officer: (Sternly) You watch your mouth, son. (Holds his hand out) License and registration.
David slaps his license into the cop’s palm, and looks to Bert, who fumbles with the glove box and eventually produces the car’s registration. David is getting more and more agitated with every second that goes by.
Officer: Wait—whose car is this?
Bert: It’s mine, sir. He was just driving it.
Officer: It’s registered to a Herbert Quentin Viola.
Bert: Yes, sir, that’s me.
Officer: Now don’t mess with me, lady—
Bert holds up a hand to interrupt him, and pulls off his wig. The officer shakes his head and looks disgustedly at David as he finishes writing the ticket.
Officer: I’ll be damned. You got a lotta nerve, playing around with this...this...whatever...if you’ve really got a pregnant wife at home.
David: (nearly yelling) She’s not my WIFE!
Officer: Won’t even make an honest woman out of her. You make me sick.
Suddenly, there is movement behind them. A blue Oldsmobile and a silver Mazda pull over virtually simultaneously. A few seconds later, a Datsun 280Z limps to the curb, backfiring noisily when it stops. Six doors open, as if choreographed, and six voices call out—
Wobblies: Mr. Addison! Mr. Addison!
Officer: What the hell?
Jergenson is in the lead. He rushes up to the car, but the officer takes out his gun and points it at him.
Officer: Hold it right there! Don’t come any closer!
Jergenson practically screeches to a halt. The other Wobblies stumble, piling up behind him. He bravely calls around the policeman.
Jergenson: Mr. Addison! It’s Ms. Hayes! She’s having the baby!
David: OK, kids, it’s go time! Hey, Officer Krupke—can we go now?
The cop looks from David, to Bert, to the Blue Moon rescue crew. He holsters the gun and hands David the ticket.
Officer: Fine—go on. But stay out of my jurisdiction, willya? (Walking away) Freakin’ crazies...
David and the Wobblies pull out, and we
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
David bolts through the automatic doors, racing to the reception desk. He faces down the broad African-American woman sitting there, her black glossy curls pulled back and a pair of gold pince-nez on a chain resting on her substantial bosom.
David: (panting) Maddie Hayes’ room.
The woman puts her glasses on, looking him up and down.
Receptionist: And just who are you?
David: I’m the father!
Receptionist: How nice for you, honey. You got a name?
David: David Addison.
The woman checks a list, taking her time about it. He shifts from foot to foot edgily. After his experience with the policeman, David is prepared to fight anyone and everyone who stands in the way of getting to Maddie in the next sixty seconds. He opens his mouth, ready to argue his case—
Receptionist: OK, here we go. She’s in 213, right down the hall to the—
But he’s already running.
Receptionist: (yelling) Left!
207…209…211…David slows purposefully, so as not to startle Maddie by bursting through the door, when Agnes comes out of Room 213.
Agnes: Mr. Addison!
She rushes to him, wrapping him in a hug.
David: How is she? What’s going on?
Agnes: She’s doing just great, Mr. Addison—she’s a real trooper…but she’ll be so happy to see you!
David nods, makes his way to 213, and opens the door.
Maddie’s back is to him. She is clearly in the middle of a contraction, curled up on her side and clutching the bed rail. Virginia stands next to the bed, watching a hissing, beeping monitor. Neither woman realizes he’s there.
Virginia: OK, sweetheart, that’s good…this one’s almost over…keep breathing…on the way down…aaaaand…that’s it.
Maddie collapses, her head hitting the pillow. Virginia bends over, stroking the hair out of Maddie’s eyes.
Virginia: You’re doing great. Not too long now…
She straightens up, sees David, and looks thrilled and relieved at the same time.
Virginia: (whispering) You’ve got a visitor.
He’s at the bedside in two steps, while Virginia pats him on the arm and melts discreetly away. Maddie opens her eyes.
Maddie: You’re here…
David: You didn’t think I was gonna miss all the fun, did you?
Maddie: You haven’t missed much fun yet...it’s been mostly waiting. And groaning.
David: Yeah, well, you groan good. I’d rather watch you groan than anybody else sing.
David laces his fingers with hers.
Maddie: About earlier...I’m so sorry—
He stops her apology with a kiss.
David: I know—me too. But we’ve got something important to focus on here, and it sure ain’t the garage apartment.
Maddie winces as another contraction starts.
Maddie: (between breaths) OK—you—win...
David: I’ve been waiting years to hear you say that!
He moves around behind her and starts massaging her lower back, speaking to her in low, measured tones, and we
Hospital Waiting Room
Camera pans over the waiting Wobblies: O’Neill is draped over a chair, trying to get comfortable; Kris is filing her nails, looking up occasionally at the lurid soap opera scene unspooling on the TV; Jergenson and Magillicuddy launch paper balls into a styrofoam coffee cup; Jamie and Inez argue over a tattered copy of the National Enquirer.
Bert is pacing the room, looking at his watch every few seconds, when Agnes enters.
Bert: Well? Do we have a baby?
Agnes: Not yet...(looks around at employees)...well, at least they don’t have any trouble filling their time.
Bert: (dryly) They get plenty of practice.
Agnes: We have to get Mickey—the daycare center closes at 8:00. Can you go?
Bert: Oh...but I feel like I should be here...in case Mr. Addison needs me.
Agnes: For what?
Bert: For moral support!
Agnes: (rolling her eyes) I think he’ll survive the next half hour. (Thinks) Why don’t you pick up some cigars on your way? I’m sure we’ll need them...eventually.
Bert: Of course! Good idea, sweetums.
He kisses her cheek and bustles out the door.
Maddie is just finishing breathing through a contraction…
David: (looking at monitor) …and it’s over.
She flops back on the bed.
Maddie: I’m ready.
David: I know you are…and I’m sure it’ll be soon.
Maddie: No…I mean, I’m ready for an epidural…that was a bad one.
Dr. Weed enters.
David: OK, Doc, we’re ready for the good stuff.
Dr. Weed: You want an epidural?
Another contraction is starting…Maddie grits her teeth…
David: You can’t imagine how I longed to hear those words, once upon a time…
If looks could kill, David would be wiped out instantly.
Dr. Weed checks the printout from the monitor.
Dr. Weed: Well, you’re certainly having some significant—
Dr. Weed: Yep, I think it’s time. I’ll be right back with the anesthesiologist.
She exits, and we watch the clock…10 minutes…15 minutes…30 minutes…
Pan back to Maddie, who is now practically standing in the bed. She grabs David’s arm so hard he winces.
David: (again watching monitor) This is the peak…keep breathing—
Maddie: Will you SHUT UP! I don’t want to keep breathing—I want DRUGS!!
Virginia enters the room. David pries Maddie’s gripping fingers off his arm.
David: (to Virginia) You stay here. I’m gonna find the drug guy!
Virginia nods, and David races out into the hall. He sees a nurse, and grabs her.
David: Hey, we need the epidural man down here. My partner is about to murder someone…and it might be me.
The nurse smiles sympathetically, and checks the chart outside Maddie’s door.
Nurse: She’s a patient of Dr. Weed’s?
Nurse: Let me just check.
She walks down the hall to the nurses’ station, and checks a large whiteboard.
Nurse: Oh…that’s too bad…
David: Too bad? I don’t wanna hear that…
Nurse: Dr. Weed and the anesthesiologist got called into an emergency delivery…
David: What? How long will they be?
Nurse: (brightly; checking her watch) Oh, not longer than thirty minutes or so—
David: THIRTY MINUTES? Listen, I’ve got a woman down there who’s ready to chew my face off—I need to get her some contraction-killer ASAP—
Just then, Dr. Weed and another woman, dressed in blue scrubs, exit the operating suite.
Dr. Weed: David! I’m sorry—we had an emergency…
David: It’s OK, Doc, but she’s pretty desperate…
Dr. Weed: (smiling) Believe it or not, that’s a good sign.
David: Easy for you to say. She didn’t try to break every bone in your hand.
Dr. Weed: (turning to other doctor) How fast can you do an epidural?
Doctor: My record is two minutes, flat.
Dr. Weed: Let’s see if we can beat that, shall we?
The two doctors head down the hall, while David heaves a sigh of relief.
Hospital Waiting Room
Bert struggles through the door, pushing Mickey’s stroller. Jamie, Inez, and Kris jump up and surround him, making cooing noises at the baby.
Magillicuddy: No news.
He makes funny face at Mickey, and is rewarded with a gummy grin.
Inez: (bending down to the baby’s level) Who’s the cutest little guy?
Jamie: (tickling his toes) Hey there, sweetie!
Jergenson: (to O’Neill, pointing to Mickey’s fans) Look at those girls fawning over that baby. Now, see, this is what we need to get a little action. Maybe Bert will let us borrow him.
O’Neill: Fat chance, buster. You wouldn’t know one end of a kid from the other.
Jergenson: As long as he stays in that wheelie-thingy, how hard can it be?
O’Neill: I think you should stick to dogsitting.
Inez: (points at the TV) Oh...I love this show!
The Wobblies all drift to their chairs as the opening credits of Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town fill the screen. They watch, enrapt, and we
Hallway Outside Maddie’s Room
David walks toward 213, a fresh cup of ice chips in his hand. Dr. Weed is just coming out of the room, closing the door behind her.
David: How is she?
Dr. Weed: She’s still having regular contractions, but they’re not really going anywhere. On average, you can expect a woman to dilate about a centimeter per hour...and it should get a lot quicker toward the end. Maddie’s been stuck at seven centimeters for the last two and a half hours. She’s getting very tired, and the baby’s heart rate is slowing a little.
David: (trying not to panic) So what do we do?
Dr. Weed: I’m going to give her a little Pitocin, which will hopefully strengthen her contractions and speed up dilation.
David: And if it doesn’t?
Dr. Weed: If it doesn’t, and if it looks like either she or the baby are not tolerating labor well, I’m going to do a C-section.
David: Maddie really didn’t want—
Dr. Weed: I know she didn’t. (Puts hand on his arm) Listen, David, I’ve been on this journey with you, and I know exactly what’s at stake here. I promise, I’ll do my best to give her the birth experience she wants, but my priority is keeping them both safe
David: I know, Janet. (Squeezes her hand) Thanks.
Dr. Weed: I’ll be back to set up the Pitocin in a few minutes. (She walks a few steps down the hall, then stops and turns around.) Don’t worry, OK?
David: Me, worry? Nah.
He lifts his cup in a little salute, and opens the door...
Maddie is lying on her side, eyes closed. Beside her, the monitor beeps and displays and prints, but she doesn’t respond. Maybe she is asleep...David sits carefully down in the chair next to the bed, resting his head back against the wall. Without thinking, he tips one of the ice chips into his mouth.
Maddie: Don’t be eating my chips.
David: (tipping cup back) Wouldn’t dream of it.
He hands the cup to Maddie, who takes one and sucks on it.
Maddie: (with expression of distaste) Ugh...these taste like styrofoam, but I can’t seem to stop eating them...after this, I’m pretty sure I’m never gonna want to see another piece of ice.
David: What—no more iced tea?
Maddie shakes her head.
David: Frozen margaritas?
David: OK, guess I’ll cancel that cruise to Alaska...
Maddie smiles, faintly, then frowns as a contraction takes hold. She closes her eyes and breathes through it.
David: (tentatively) That one didn’t seem so bad...
Maddie: No...the epidural’s taken the edge off...or maybe they’re not as strong as they were before. But they’re also not getting me anywhere.
David: Sounds like Dr. Weed has a solution for that.
Maddie: And I really hope it works. I don’t want to have surgery, David.
David: Hey—let’s not worry about that right now. Let’s just rev up that engine and see how far we can get.
Maddie: Really? What is it with men and car metaphors?
David: Can’t help it, baby...it’s in our DNA. (At Maddie’s look) Hey, roll your eyes all you want, but if Bunny is a he, you can look forward to tripping over Hot Wheels cars for the next ten years or so.
Maddie: I liked cars when I was little, too! I had a whole collection—I carried them around in my purse.
David: Way to strike a blow in the battle of the sexes, Hayes.
Dr. Weed enters, rolling an IV stand.
Hospital Waiting Room
December 4, 1993
Cups and candy wrappers fight for table space with takeout containers. On one side of the room, Magillicuddy and Jergenson are each stretched out over several chairs, asleep; on the opposite wall, Kris and Inez have done the same. Bert dozes in one corner, Mickey resting on his chest..
Jamie and O’Neill are playing poker, flipping cards to the rhythm of Jergenson’s snores. Agnes has gone to check on Maddie.
Jamie: Look at that little Mickey…he’s so sweet when he sleeps!
O’Neill: Yeah…but y’know…babies…Blue Moon is never gonna be the same.
Jamie: What do you mean by that?
O’Neill: C’mon, Jamie, don’t be naïve. Bert and Agnes have a baby, now Mr. Addison and Ms. Hayes will have a baby…do you think they’ll be any more limbo-ing? Any more poker parties? Any FUN?
Jamie: Well, I think it’s wonderful. And I think you’re very selfish to begrudge them something they’ve wanted for a long time.
O’Neill: I don’t begrudge them anything…but I gotta be realistic. We won’t be hanging out, talking about the Dodger’s latest stupid free agency move, or ogling that one girl in the mailroom across the way. No, it’ll be all “How’s the baby sleeping” and “Another tooth—amazing!”
Jamie: Oh, grow up, O’Neill. People can’t just stay the same…they have to change…adapt…move with the times.
O’Neill: Yeah, but why does “moving with the times” have to mean reproducing yourself? Why can’t it mean racing in the Indy 500…or climbing Mt. Everest…or—
Jamie: Or actually doing some work for a change?
O'Neill: (looks scared) Yep...kids...cute little suckers, aren't they?
Outside Maddie’s Room
David is just exiting the room when Dr. Weed comes down the hall.
Dr. Weed: How is she doing?
David: Frustrated...tired...tired and frustrated...and I think the epidural is wearing off.
Dr. Weed: (smiling sympathetically) Let me go take a look. But, David...if she hasn’t progressed, it’s time for Plan B.
David: (wearily) OK, Doc, whatever we’ve gotta do.
Just then, a strident voice can be heard—
Maddie: (OS) DA-VID! Get in here!
He and the doctor bolt into the room. Maddie is sitting up, hunched over her belly, her face red. David rushes to her side.
David: Oh, my God—Maddie—
She grabs his shirt collar and pulls his face very close to hers.
Maddie: If you EVER put me in this position again, I WILL kill you!
David has no idea what to make of Maddie’s transformation from limp exhaustion to energized fury. He steps back.
David: Whatever you say, honey. You’re the boss!
Maddie: Damn right! Ooooohhhhhh....
Dr. Weed: Maddie, we’re going to help you lie down. I’m guessing we’re getting very close!
Camera focuses tight-in on David and Maddie. He takes her hand, smoothes her hair, whispers in her ear. Her snarl straightens into the beginning of a smile...but only for a moment, until the pain starts again...
Dr. Weed: OK, guys, this is it! Maddie, when I say “Go,” I want you to start pushing—don’t stop—don’t take a breath...now, GO!
Maddie takes a deep breath, puts her chin to her chest, and squeezes David’s hand for all she’s worth...
Camera focuses on the clock...we see fifteen minutes pass...
Then Maddie, lying back, her gown crumpled, hair wild...
Dr. Weed: Here comes another one...
Maddie: I don’t think I can...
David: You can, honey...I know you can...
Maddie looks up at him and shakes her head.
David: Blondie, you’re the strongest, bravest person I know. Who climbed a clock—in high heels? Who went all the way to Argentina to get revenge on a scum-sucking accountant? (A beat; his voice gets a little hoarse) And who never gave up on me?
He slides an arm under her, propping her up.
David: C’mon, Goldilocks, we’ll do it together.
Maddie: Together? (She starts pushing) That’s—the most—ridiculous—thing—I’ve ever—AAAAAAAARRRGH!!!
A moment...and then an urgent cry fills the room.
Dr. Weed: You have a beautiful...daughter!
David: A girl? It’s a girl!
Maddie: Is she all right?
Dr. Weed: (holding her up) She’s perfect.
And, indeed, she is: round-faced and rosy-cheeked...the slightest bit of light blonde hair dusting her tiny head...her little fists flailing and legs kicking, as she announces her arrival in the world.
Dr. Weed: We’ll just get her cleaned up.
David turns to Maddie...his heart is too full...waves of gratitude, pride, amazement, and love threaten to swamp him altogether...all he can manage is to say, in a strangled voice—
David: You did it.
Maddie: (eyes glistening) We did it.
David: (full of wonder) It’s done.
Maddie: Well-done, I might add.
She gives him an impish smile, just as Dr. Weed returns with a swaddled bundle.
Dr. Weed: Here you go, Mommy.
The baby’s eyes, a clear blue, look up at them solemnly from under her little pink cap. The soft weight of her fills Maddie’s arms...so absolutely right, as though somehow she’s been there all along.
David: She’s...she’s so much more than I ever imagined.
He sits down, carefully, next to them on the bed. Maddie leans down and kisses the tip of the baby’s nose.
Maddie: I know. Oh, David…she’s just…
The baby wiggles, working a tiny hand free. She reaches up to Maddie’s face.
David: Look at that. She knows you—already!
Maddie: Well, we did live together for nine months.
David: So…now that she’s here, are you still happy with the name?
Maddie: (looking at him) Are you?
David: Ellie Hayes Addison.
Maddie: Happy Birthday, Ellie.
She snuggles Ellie a little closer to her. David puts his arm around the two of them, and Maddie lifts her face to his. They share a long, sweet kiss…
Music plays over a series of vignettes:
If you leap awake in the mirror of a bad dream
And for a fraction of a second you can't remember where you are
Just open your window and follow your memory upstream
To the meadow in the mountain where we counted every falling star
Virginia stands by Maddie’s bed, her new grandchild in her arms. The love that shines from her smile lights up the room, as she kisses little Ellie on the cheek and hands her back to Maddie. David watches the three of them, three generations of Hayes women, and brushes away a tear.
I believe a light that shines on you will shine on you forever
And though I can't guarantee there's nothing scary hiding under your bed
I'm gonna stand guard like a postcard of a Golden Retriever
And never leave 'til I leave you with a sweet dream in your head
The Wobblies cluster around the large-paned nursery window. David wheels the baby’s bassinet in, edging as close to the window as possible. All the employees wave at the baby; Inez dries her eyes, while Kris slips Magillicuddy $20.
Bert, holding a still-sleeping Mickey, gives David a thumbs-up, and Agnes blows him a kiss.
Trust your intuition
It's just like goin' fishin'
You cast your line and hope you get a bite
But you don't need to waste your time
Worryin' about the market place
Try to help the human race
Struggling to survive its harshest night
David wheels Ellie back into the darkened hospital room. As he opens the door, the light from the hallway illuminates Maddie’s sleeping face. He picks up Ellie, tiptoeing past the bed to the window, where an ivory moon shines full and bright in the midnight sky.
Softly, just above a whisper, he sings:
I'm gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So you'll always know
As long as one and one is two
There could never be a father
Who loved his daughter more than I love you
The Hayes-Addison Home
December 6, 1993
The Lexus pulls up in the driveway…slower than we’ve ever seen it. David parks—carefully!—and comes around to open Maddie’s door. She gets out, opens the car’s back door, and lifts Ellie out while David juggles several flower arrangements, a few helium balloons, and Maddie’s suitcase.
David stumbles to the front door, where Maddie stands waiting.
David: They’re here somewhere…
He sets down a few arrangements, until he has a free hand, then gropes in his pockets. Finally, he comes up with the key. He slides it into the lock and then stops.
Maddie: (a little impatient) What is it, David?
David rushes back to the car and retrieves his camera. He takes a quick shot of Maddie and Ellie on the front step.
Maddie: You’re not going to turn into one of those camera-crazy dads who documents every breath of his child’s life, are you?
David: (rolls eyes) This from a woman who made her fortune in photographs.
They go inside. David piles the flowers, balloons, and suitcase in the foyer.
David: OK…time to take Little Bunny to meet the other little bunnies!
Maddie: David, she has a name. A perfectly good name. A name we spent a long time choosing…
David: So she does…but you can’t call a baby by her name all the time. It’s just not natural…you have to have a few pet names for her, like Twinkles, or Sneakyfritz, or—
Maddie: Sneakyfritz? I think I’ll stick with Bunny.
David: (smugly) I knew you’d say that.
They turn to go upstairs, but there’s a knock at the door. David opens it to reveal Maddie’s parents.
Maddie flies to the door, right into Alex’s embrace.
Alex: How’s my girl? (He pulls back to look at her) You look terrific! There’s no way you just had a baby!
Maddie: (grinning) Don’t overdo it, Dad.
Virginia has taken the baby from David, and holds her up for Alex to see.
Virginia: Here’s the proof, right here...
She places the baby carefully into Alex’s arms.
Alex: Oh my word...she’s so beautiful—she looks...(his voice breaks)...she looks just like you, Maddie.
Ellie wriggles a bit in his arms and lets out a little gurgle.
Alex: You’re going to be an active one, aren’t you? Gonna give your parents a run for your money, I’ll bet! I’ll tell you a secret—your mommy did too.
Maddie: Don’t give her any ideas!
He hands Ellie back to Maddie, then wipes his misty eyes with his handkerchief. He turns to David.
Alex: Thank you, son.
David: Believe me, Alex, the thanks are all on my side.
David extends his hand, and Alex covers it with both of his.
Virginia: All right—that’s enough for now, or you’ll have me crying all over this nice suit! (She takes Alex’s arm) We’ll go settle your father in...then I’ll fix us a nice lunch.
They exit and David turns to Maddie.
David: I think you’ve made his decade.
Maddie: (smiling) You had a hand in it too, y’know.
David: Well, not a hand, exactly... (He kisses her) Oops...better not start that…we’ve got a long six weeks ahead of us...
We follow them up the stairs. David pauses at the closed door to the nursery.
Maddie: Are we waiting for something specific? Because I think this little one needs a diaper change.
David: Nope—just want to inject this moment with the proper ceremony.
Maddie: Yes, because she’s sure to remember it ten years from now.
David: C’mon, Mama Bear, don’t be a spoilsport. (In his best game-show voice) Ellie, take a look at what you’ve won!!
He opens the door with a flourish. In spite of her comments, Maddie finds herself a little choked up. The room is so welcoming, so exactly what she wanted for their daughter: the walls so cheerful, the furniture bright and comfortable…even the Beatrix Potter characters look like they’re waving hello.
They take Ellie on a little tour, making sure to point out the bookcase—
David: Now here is where you’re gonna want to hide all the goodies you steal from the kitchen…Mommy and I promise to look the other way, at least until the ant caravan comes marching in…
Maddie: (whispers to Ellie) I happen to know Daddy still has a few cans of Yoo-Hoo in his nightstand. (To David) Time to give the changing table a test drive.
David: (with grand gesture) By all means…don’t let me stand in your way.
Maddie: Oh, no, mister—I got plenty of practice in the hospital. Now it’s your turn.
David: Fine, fine. Guess I’d better get a few in if I’m going to do well in the Great Diaper-Off.
Maddie: I might have known you’d turn the baby chores into a sport.
David: Afraid of a little friendly competition?
Maddie reaches down and re-orients the diaper, which David had been putting on backwards.
Maddie: Not really.
Glancing out the window, she catches sight of the garage stairs…which reminds her of something.
Maddie: David…about the apartment…
David: Not to worry. It’s taken care of.
Maddie: Oh…well, that’s fine, but—the things I said that day…I didn’t mean them.
David: You don’t think I’d hold the words of a nine-and-a-half months pregnant woman against her, do you? I’m pretty sure any court in the land would let you off, scot-free.
Maddie: But I want you to know—I believe in you.
David: Didn’t we just have this conversation, at the end of the last episode? (Grinning) Not to worry—I called Milo. His crew is on the case.
Maddie: You don’t have to do that—
David: Eh…turns out DIY isn’t really my bag. (Looks down at Ellie, kicking her legs) Besides, I got way better ways to spend my time than fighting with drainpipes.
Maddie: (smiling) You sure do.
She picks up Ellie, breathing in that indefinable, wonderful baby scent. Sitting down in the glider, she savors this moment—just the three of them, here in this little world they’ve made.
David watches Maddie with his little girl…his daughter…and he wonders, for a minute, how he ever came to deserve such a gift…Maddie looks up at meets his eyes with a smile.
Maddie: What is it, David?
David: I don’t think I’ve ever seen you like this.
Maddie: (wryly) Twenty pounds down with only twenty to go?
David: Stop fishing, gorgeous. No, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you this…happy.
David: Blissful. Blithe. Jolly, even.
Maddie: Jolly? And you were doing so well, there for a minute.
David: How about content?
Maddie: I’m all those things, David…and more. I feel—I feel complete. I have this little girl…and you…and there’s nothing else I need.
David leans in and kisses her.
David: God, I love you, Madolyn Hayes.
Putting one hand on David’s cheek, she kisses him again.
Maddie: I love you, David Addison. (to Ellie) And we love you, precious baby.
Ellie’s eyes flutter closed. Maddie rocks her for a few more seconds, then rises and puts her in her crib. She and David stand looking down at her, arms around each other, and we
The best gift
That I ever got
Didn't really weigh a lot
It didn't have a ribbon 'round
And it sometimes made a terrible sound
The best of all it seems to me
It wasn't ‘neath the Christmas tree
And yet, I guess I'd have to say
That it made all the other presents twice as gay
The best gift that I've ever known
I'd always wanted most to own
Yet in my dreams of sugar and spice
I never thought it could be so nice
The best gift that I ever got
Was sometimes dry and sometimes wet
Was usually pink but oftentimes red
As it lay so innocently in its bed
The best gift of the year to me
The one I hold most dear to me
A gift that simply drove me wild
Was a tiny new born child...
“Father and Daughter”…….Paul Simon
“The Best Gift” …………….Rosemary Clooney
First and always, thanks go to Glenn, who inspired the title of this episode, and without whom there would be no Virtual world for us to enjoy. I feel like Moonlighting must have been his own personal labor of love, brought forth with creativity, passion, conviction…and, no doubt, some birthing pains, too!
Then there’s the Virtual Team: I am incredibly honored to be have my name on this episode, but it was a true collaborative effort. As a writer, it doesn’t get more FUN or FINE than this, ladies…can’t wait ‘til we can finally get together and raise a glass to VM.
To our readers…you make the hours I’ve spent doing this worthwhile. Your responses help me be a better writer, and touch my heart, too…because they show how much you care.
To my husband, who puts up with the tap-tap-tapping of my keyboard at ten o’clock at night, and my occasional failure to make dinner because I’m lost in the world of VM… and of course, to my four boys, who taught me what it means to be a mom in the first place.
Finally, I’ll be forever grateful to Bruce and Cybill for bringing these characters to life in their own inimitable style—but this episode is really for David and Maddie. Hope you’ve enjoyed the journey of the last five seasons…glad I could be a small part of it.