Danny: It's late - actually, its the middle of the night, by most people'sstandards, and for the first time in almost a month, Danny is sleepingwithout the aid of drugs. It's fitful, and he would probably beawakened by a nightmare before long, if the phone weren't ringing byhis bedside. He rolls over, pulling the blankets over his head. Thephone keeps ringing.Carol: And wakes Carol up. "You need to get that," she mutters, pushing at him a bit.Danny: Danny mutters soflty, but pulls himself into a sitting position,reaching for the phone. "Concannon?" he grunts, voice hoarse withsleep. And when the voice on the other end speaks, he's /immediately/awake and alert. "Gwen?!"Carol: And now she's awake too, sitting up and jostling Clio, who hisses anddarts out of the room, probably to go pee in Carol's shoes.Danny: "Sweetie - Angel, take a breath and slow down. No, its okay, you'rejust talking too fast." He's glancing frantically around the room,looking for a clock. And when he finds one, he starts to look evenmore frantic. And then Gwen gets to the end of her story, and Danny'sface falls. "Oh my god," he whispers. "Where's your Grandma now,Gwennie. All right... No, you were right to call, Angel."Carol: This doesn't sound good. She reaches over to grab his free hand,curious as anything but afraid to interrupt.Danny: Danny takes a deep breath, tears starting to form in his eyes. "Iknow Gwen, I know. I'll be on the first flight I can get. Well,she's going - no, its all right. I'll come get you as soon as Iarrive, all right, and we'll go home. Uh huh - "Carol: ...the hell? Carol peeks around Danny at the clock -- 2 am.Danny: Danny's voice gets very soft (in tone, not volume). "Angel? I wantyou to go to bed, sweetie. I know - Shhh, I'll be there as soon as Ican, but I need you to sleep. Are you in bed? That's my good girl. Ilove you, Angel, and so does Mommy. Shh..." He's on the phone a fewmore minutes, talking softly, tears streaming down his face.Carol: This can't be good -- Carol grabs for a tissue, silently mopping off his cheeks.Danny: He quiet for a long moment, then he hangs up the phone, lookingshocked, and upset. "Claire's dead," he whispers.Carol: Carol blinks, not sure she's heard him right. "You're -- that's --what happened?"Danny: He shakes his head, still in shock. "She was driving home, and it wasraining pretty hard - she lost control of the car..."Carol: She swallows, loudly. "Oh -- oh, god, Danny --" And she can imagineit, as clearly as she can when her mother... twisting metal and ascreech and then nothing. "God, Danny, I'm sorry." She wraps herarms around him. "What can I do?"Danny: He holds her tightly, because he's more upset by this then he thoughthe ever would be. "I have to book a flight - Gwen needs me there.The first flight I can get." But he's not letting go of Carol. notyet.Carol: "There won't be anything until dawn," she whispers. "Just -- take amomment first, love."Danny: "She's at Rose's - she wouldn't let her call me," he says softly."Claire's been dead for a day already, and I didn't even know."Carol: Carol grinds her teeth. "Wow. Yeah. Um. Just... I'll book theflight for you. Just..." And she squeezes him a bit harder.Danny: He shakes his head. "I can book, I just need - I need to make sureI'm there ... Gwen wants to be in her own bed. She needs me there."Carol: "Let me pack, then," Carol whispers. "Let me help."Danny: He nods. "All right." He just clings tighter, holding on for dearlife. "She's so upset," he whispers. "God, Carol, she just lost hermother."Carol: She swallows again -- this is all so familiar, so painful. "I know.She -- she's going to need you."Danny: "Oh /god/, Carol - what if I'm not strong enough," he saysdesperately, burying his head against her shoulder. "She's going toneed me, and I might not be strong enough."Carol: "Shhh." She rocks him, slowly. "Then you call me, and I'll help."Danny: "She was terrified, Carol. She's alone." She's not, really, butbeing with Rose is as good as being alone. "I can't believe she'sgone."Carol: Carol just nods. "Do you -- do you want me to come with you?" She'sthinking about it, and she's not sure it's the best idea,careerwise...but leaving him to fly down alone?Danny: The /YES/ is on the tip of his tongue, then he shakes his head,pulling away. "No," he says firmly. "It's not a good idea. Imean..I want you there, but its not a good idea."Carol: "I'll fly down with you, and then come back," she says, decisively."You shouldn't sit through that flight by yourself.Danny: He shakes his head. "Someone might see, Carol - anyone could. Not inDallas, but here. No. It's better if you don't..."Carol: "I don't care," she says, bluntly, and catches his face between herhands. "I'm coming with you."Danny: "Carol - " He frowns, looking at her desperately. He wants herthere, /needs/ her there, but - "It's really not -"Carol: "I won't stay in Dallas," she whispers. "Just until you get there."She might also be trying to hold onto him as long as she can...becausethe moment he gets off that plane everything changes.Danny: He's silent for a long moment. "All right," he whispers, bringing hishands up to cup hers. "We'll go together."Carol: She kisses him, looks at the clock, and sighs. "Can you sleep? You'regoing to need your rest."Danny: He shakes his head. "I don't think I can," he says quietly, voiceweak. "I could take a pill - but I have to be up. I'm too... I don'tthink I can."Carol: She sighs. "Go take a hot shower. I'll start packing for you."Danny: He nods, but he's not moving for the moment, insteady, he wraps hisarms around her. "I don't know how long I'll be gone - can you makesure...I'll have to order tickets, but I'll need my laptop."Carol: She rests her cheek against his. "And all the chargers... Andclothes. And your dark suit."Danny: "And my pills," he says darkly, tangling his hand in her hair. "And -that charcoal tie. Gwen gave it to me..."Carol: She leans in more. "OK. What else?Danny: "Pack a second suit," he says softly. "A nice pair of pants, maybe.I'll need to spend time with Rose, and her ilk."Carol: "OK," she whispers. "I know what to pack, it's OK." She still hasn'tlet go of him.Danny: "I don't know how long I'll be gone," he repeats, softly, tighteninghis arms around her. And then something he knew, deep down, hits himfull force. "I'll have to bring Gwen home..."Carol: "Mmm -- oh. Jesus." She looks around the tiny room. "You need a newapartment --"Danny: He wilts, flopping down on the bed to stare at the ceiling. "I'm notready for this," he says softly, eyes falling closed. Suddenly allthe things he has to do are overwhelming him. "I never thought -There's no question that I want her here, but - I'll need a newapartment, and I'll have to find a school - I'll have to sell theplace in Dallas... That's going to crush her even more."Carol: "Shhhh." She lies down next to him, running her hand over his chest,soothing. "We'll deal with it. You don't have to sell the houseright away, we can find a good real estate agent and let them handleit. It's almost summer -- maybe you can stay down in Dallas with heruntil she finishes up the year? You can do your columns from downthere." She doesn't even realize what that means for her until she'ssaid it.Danny: "There's only a few weeks - I can't pull her out now anyway," he saysquietly. "I'll have to stay until the end of term. I don't want touproot her yet, I'll have to talk to Vince." He opens his eyes,turning towards her. "I'll be gone at least a month."Carol: She nods, slowly. "You have to. She needs you." Taking a deepbreath, she kisses him, slowly. "I can come visit. On a weekend."Danny: He kisses back, bringing his hand up to tangle in her hair again."That might not be a good idea," he says softly. "But I'd love tohave you there - because I'm just not sure I'm strong enough for thisright now. She was so scared, Carol. So upset."Carol: "I can stay in a hotel," she whispers. "You and Gwen can show meDallas, I've never visited it, really, just been in meetings andmotorcades." She climbs practically on top of him, trying to keep himfocused. "You are and you will be and you have to be."Danny: "I have to be," he repeats, stroking her hair. "I know I have to be.My daughter needs me."Carol: "And you can run up my cellular bill every month, and email me, and wecould even send old-fashioned letters, for kicks." She leans down tokiss him again, very gently. "And I can start looking at the listingsbefore you come back -- and make some room in here in the meantime,maybe run some curtains in the corner of the living room to give Gwensome privacy..."Danny: "Send me listings," he says quietly. He starts running his hand alongher arm - touching, as though memorising. "And talk to Mrs. S. - Ithought she said something about someone leaving...It might have beena two bedroom. If we don't manage a place before we come back, I'llhave to put things in storage - she'll want to bring stuff fromDallas."Carol: "I have room at my place," she points out. "I have an entire spareroom, in fact." She's thinking how much easier it would be if theycould both just move in with her, but...Danny: "I can't do that," he says, shaking his head. "I don't want - tocause problems."Carol: "You can leave your stuff in there, for now," she clarifies. "I haveroom for the table, I could probably fit something else too. Maybeyou won't need to shell all that much out for storage?"Danny: "I don't know what's in the house. There are things of Claire's..."He trails off, because its hit him again that she's gone, and its likea hollow place. His hand stops moving along her arm, entwining theirfingers together. "I can't believe she's gone."Carol: She closes her eyes for a moment, and wraps her arms around him again."SHhh. It's OK, love, it's OK..."Danny: He wraps his arms around her, ducking his head against her shoulder -his eyes are wet with tears again. "I'm sorry," he whispers. "Ishouldn't be - its a little weird."Carol: "I know. I understand..." She trails off, not wanting to drag her ownissues into this.Danny: He holds onto her for a little while longer, then sighs. "I shouldget a shower, and check flights," he says softly. "I want to be onthe first flight out."Carol: "Go shower, I'll check the flights. And I'll drive you, so you don'tahve to worry about parking," she whispers.Danny: "Thank you," he whispers back, kissing her softly. "I don't care whatthe cost is - my credit card is in my wallet."Carol: "Ok." She smirks, briefly. "I know perfectly well where you keepyour credit card, thanks. You didn't realize all the expensiveclothing and diamonds I started wearing the other day were charged toyou?" She's trying to make him smile.Danny: And its really not working, because he's hearing Gwen's voice again,in his head. He squeezes Carol's hand tighter. "She lost her mother,Carol. Claire was her life - how do I replace that."Carol: "Just love her," Carol whispers sadly.Danny: "I already do," he whispers. He pulls her close again, holding maybea little too tightly. "All right - I've got to get moving."Carol: She lays her hand on his cheek. "Danny -- I know what I'm talkingabout. Just make sure she knows it. Tell her every other minute ifyou have to." She bites her lip, and kisses him again.Danny: He nods, slowly, kissing back. "I'm just afraid it won't be enough." But he shifts, sitting up, and moving away, running a hand throughhis hair. "That I won't be."Carol: "Just love her," she whispers again, gently. "And expect a lot ofcrying." She slips out of bed, running her hands over her hair whereit's tangled. "Go shower."Danny: "All right." He rises, moving mechanically towards the bathroom. Hepauses at the door, turning back towards Carol. "If Gwen calls again-"Carol: "I'll get you." She pulls on one of his sweatshirts and goes to start coffee.Danny: And Danny climbs into the shower, where he lets himself cry. ForGwen, and for Claire.