Elliot hasn't had this much fun since....
his back injury ended his acrobatic career.
Happily Claire is on hand to help Elliot forget the pain and have fun in other ways.
"It's not a perfect sphere," Farrell complains.
"It's good enough for something that will melt come spring," Aouregan laughs.
The kids are all in school, but the adults are taking a snow day.
The last project of the day is building and igloo in the front yard.
"Why are you taking the fall for this?" Jesse demands.
"As soon as they figured out the tests were stolen, they immediately blamed me," Jack answers, "Who else were they going to finger?"
"But it wasn't you, Jack! And that was your last chance, you've been expelled! Delaney doesn't have your history, and she has her father's weight behind her. If you told the truth, you'd still be in school and all Delaney would get is a slap on the wrist."
"I'm not ratting out Delaney," Jack says firmly.
Jesse sits wearily on the pile of old mattresses. "You're throwing away your whole future," he sighs.
"And what future is that?"
"The one where you graduate high school, and make something of yourself."
"Whatever I make of myself, high school won't be part of it," Jack says, joining his brother on the mattress pile, "My future is with Laney, and I'll take the fall for her every time."
"That's crazy, Jack."
"Well, I'm the crazy one, right? And you're the smart one. You're the one with the future."
"If you won't tell the truth about who stole the tests, maybe you could talk to Delaney, get her father to pull some strings for you, get you another chance with the school."
"I don't think she's told her father about me, Jess. If she did, I highly doubt he'd be very supportive. And anyway, if I got another chance, I'd just blow it, right? My grades are shit, so even if I did graduate, I'm not suddenly going to be doctor material."
"You could be, you know. You aren't stupid. You just don't try."
"Jesse, stop trying to save me."
"You're my brother, Jack.
"I looked for you at school all day, only to find out you'd been expelled for something I'd done," Delaney exclaims, rushing over to the old warehouse where she knew she'd find Jack as soon as she learned what happened. "How could you let them blame you, when it was my crime?"
"Because I couldn't rat you out, Laney," Jack says, "Because I love you and would do anything to protect you."
"But this," Delaney groans, "This, getting expelled, is too much. You know they wouldn't do more than suspend me. And my father would probably step in so they wouldn't even do that, and I'd just have detention for a week. If that. I can't let you do this. I'm going to the principal first thing tomorrow..."
"You can't, Laney. There's no point. Even if you tell them you did it, I was there with you, and that makes me guilty, too. Everyone, including your father, will blame me for corrupting you. Either way, I'm going down. This way, you don't go down with me. Please, just let this go, Laney, let me take the fall."
"Jack, this just doesn't feel right..."
"It feels right to me, Laney," Jack answers, pulling her close.
"But, what will you do?" Delaney asks softly.
"My dad kicked me out, so I'm going to squat here until I get my shit together."
"Jack, I can't let you do this," Delaney protests, "How can you even live like this?"
"Don't worry about me," Jack says, "I know a guy, I've done a few jobs for him already. He'd be willing to take me into the organization."
"Sssh, Laney. I've got it covered. I'll take care of myself. I'll take care of you. Now, c'mon, I got us some beer, so we can celebrate my liberation from the tyranny of high school.""
"You're the only part of my life that I'm excited about, Laney."
Shadow hesitates just a second before ringing the doorbell to the Hawksquill house. He and Iola had had their moment of irresponsibility, and now it was time to face the consequences.
Iola lets him in. "My father is waiting for you in the parlor," she says quietly, "I'm sorry, I had to tell them."
"You're all right?" Shadow asks.
"It's good news, I'm not pregnant," she says with a slight smile. Shadow sighs in relief, "And Dad got me on the pill, so, in the future...we'll be okay."
"Iola has told you, I assume," Ariel starts off, "You both were very lucky. But I have to ask, what would you have done if you weren't so lucky, if Iola did become pregnant?"
"We jumped into things without thinking," Shadow admits, leaving out the part about how he was literally out of his right mind when it happened, "We certainly weren't planning on having a child this young. But, honestly, Dr. Hawksquill, we are planning on getting married right after graduation, and we do want children, so if it had happened now, it would have just accelerated our plans by a few months."
"If you're going to marry my daughter, you can call me Ariel," Ariel says, "And I'll be honest with you, I'm in no position to lecture you on the dire consequences of early pregnancy. Noelle and I were seventeen when we married. Seventeen and pregnant. It's not what we had planned, but it's been seventeen years and we have no regrets. Still, I'm glad you two are smart enough to have come to us, and to be smarter about your behavior going forward."
"Thank you Dr....Ariel," Shadow says, trying to not make his relief so obvious.
"Noelle and I are both very happy with Iola's choice in a partner," Ariel continues, "We can't imagine anyone else we'd rather have as our son-in-law."