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Touch And Go

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Touch And Go

Alex is conked out on the couch. Sam nudges him awake and affectionately whispers that it's time to leave, but Alex is groggy and having trouble waking. Luka spots this and gallantly offers to carry Alex to the car if Sam pulls up to the door. Gratefully, she agrees.

Outside, Kem is reveling in the snowflakes alighting on her face. Carter exits the hospital and joins her. "You should've waited in the car," he says boringly. "Come on! I haven't seen snow since I was a kid," she giggles. She wonders if he arranged it, and he jokes that he did, which I buy -- Mother Nature likes a suck-up, and Carter certainly can act like a mama's boy. He kisses Kem warmly; she puts her freezing bare hands on his back and he mock-protests. "Good thing I love you," he groans. "Want me to stop?" she teases. "Not necessarily," he husks, and they start making out. She'll be flossing beard hairs out of her teeth for weeks.

Luka carries Alex out of the hospital, the kid practically straddling him. It looks so damn comfortable. Carter and Kem split apart, and Carter flashes Luka an interested smile. "Good night," he says. Luka returns the sentiment, and Carter and Kem leave just as Sam parks her car and hops out to open the door for Luka. He loads Alex in, and then rights himself. Sam gingerly offers him a lift, but Luka quietly decides he's got some business to take care of before he can leave. She hops in her car to leave, and Luka shoots the whole scene a soft look before dashing back into the hospital.

Cut to Luka rummaging through Weaver's desk. She catches him; naturally, he was fishing out his resignation letter, and coyly refuses to tell Kerry anything other than that he's decided to postpone his return to Africa. The hell? I don't buy for a second that Sam and Alex have become so important to Luka's life that he's blowing off the one thing that seemed to make him feel connected to the world again. It's too soon for Sam or Alex to fill that role for him. Lame. I call bullshit. Weaver's curious, but can't quite hide her glee that Luka's not leaving so soon.

Pratt is drowning his sorrows at a bar -- the same one where Luka managed to pick up a hooker in his hour of need, so maybe they swapped notes earlier today. Gallant slides onto a barstool next to Pratt, who doesn't take kindly to this. "Come by to give me some more?" he snots. "I'm not in the mood." Gallant orders a beer and commiserates about the neck incident. "That's hard stuff," he says. Then he awkwardly explains that Valerie is the only girl in a big family that tends to get overprotective of her. Pratt decides to share that his mother died when he was twelve. "That's some hard-ass stuff right there," he says. Are we supposed to think he can win in the Shit-Ass Stuff Derby he's running here against Martin? Because I think Martin wins, what with having brittle bones and quadriplegia on top of having a dead mom of his own. Shut up, Pratt. He goes on about how you have to get used to being alone when you have a dead mom and a deadbeat dad, and I think we're supposed to feel sad that Pratt's love-starved, but I really don't. "Truth is, all anybody's got is themselves," he mutters. Gallant doesn't agree with that, but Pratt's in no mood to have friends right now, because he's already decided that he's alone in life and very pathetic -- completely forgetting that he has a brother that he sent away, and a loving aunt in Baltimore who took in said exiled brother. Pratt wants Gallant to hurry up and make his point, which Gallant had been trying to do before Pratt's pity party started; Gallant begins, "My sister..." and Pratt interrupts, "...played me. She played me." Gallant smirks. And I have to say, props to Valerie for playing the player. "You can't say I didn't warn you," Gallant says lightly. "You were protecting me, huh?" Pratt spits, not without amusement. They sort of make up with some half-assed utterances of "I'm sorry," and then Gallant leaves, bricking a full beer. The bartender moves to clear it, but Pratt snags it, and we leave him alone to drown his sorrows in a vat of barley and hops.

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