And speaking of people who shouldn't be with their current partners, the aforementioned Elizabeth "Come Thou Long-Expected Lawsuit" Corday crosses a square in a big city with honking horns and international flags -- gotta be New York, right? -- to bring Mark "The Last Noel" Greene a cup of coffee. She curtly points out that, now that he's got his coffee, they have to go. Mark doesn't move, and she whines, "I don't want to keep this man waiting; he's jammed us into his schedule." Mark continues staring straight ahead and she follows his gaze to a couple of kids, playing around a lamppost. Elizabeth must have paid a visit to the Dork Floor of Canal Jeans Co., because she's wearing what has got to be the world's only Kangol tam-o'-shanter. And, speaking of headgear, Mark points to the red hat one of the kids is wearing, and says he saw exactly the same one on a kid in Chicago, three weeks ago: "I was buying groceries for Thanksgiving dinner. Now I'm in New York, waiting for a miracle." Elizabeth looks down, fidgeting with her cup, and then hopefully suggests, "Maybe it's a sign!" "Either that, or the Grim Reaper wears a red hat," Mark replies ruefully. First, we all know that the real Grim Reaper wears a lab coat and a bear claw, and second, do not tease me like that, because, if only. Elizabeth crankily says that she didn't come with him "to hear talk like that." He says he thought that was healthy, and she declares that it's not. "I should just stick with denial?" Mark cracks, and she tells him that she prefers "guarded optimism, until Dr. Burke maps the brain and gives [them] his opinion." Mark expresses his non-excitement about "hear[ing] bad news twice" (hey, whether it's "bad" or not depends on your outlook, bub), and Elizabeth points out that if he really believed the news would be bad, he'd have called Rachel by now. Who? Oh, right -- the kid who's already born, and who's probably going through an awkward, Mindy-Cohn-ish adolescence right now. Mark basically says that he doesn't want to tell Rachel about his tumour over the phone, and Elizabeth reminds him that he could have flown to Milwaukee to tell her, but he didn't, because "deep down, [he] really do[es] believe that this surgeon and this technology can help [him]," and that he doesn't want to tell Rachel anything until he knows he'll be all right. Mark counters that he could just be desperate, and with steely resolve, she snaps, "You've seen enough patients in your time overcome illnesses they shouldn't have to understand the importance of a positive outlook. Now, you have to believe it's possible." He leans in and admits, "I think I'm a little nervous." "Well, me too," she replies, and they share a brief, fraternal peck. Mark, with that dumb-ass toque on, you already look like you've been sprung from the cancer ward.
Back in OB, Dr. Aquino is gowning up. The nurse tells Dr. Aquino the baby's heart rate; Chen asks Dr. Aquino whether it's normal, and Dr. Aquino replies that it's "good cardiac activity." Carter jokes that he thought Chen got high honours in OB, and she snorts that she did. Another nurse announces, from the door, that the adoptive parents are there, and asks whether she may show them in. "Yes," says Dr. Aquino, but Chen calls out, "No!" The nurse at the door (one of my favourite Madeleine L'Engle books) reminds Chen that the adoptive parents arranged to be present for the birth; Chen sort of swivels her head dejectedly, and, clearly not having the strength both to expel the baby and explain why she doesn't want strangers around while she does so, appeals to Carter to speak with them. Carter hops to as duty calls.