Jackie immediately snaps to when a little girl brings her mother in, wheezing, barely breathing, and sends Zoey for a wheelchair, talking to the girl like a grownup already. Her name is Stephanie, her mom has lupus. She's ten. They get the mom ready to head inside, and Jackie knows Stephanie's entire situation, so she brings her along.
The second they cross the yellow line, Gloria Akalitus appears and yells that she can't go in. Fifteen and under have to stay out of the ICU. "Blatant lie," Jackie says again: "That Nelson kid is only four, and he's in the ICU." Gloria points out that he's on a ventilator, but Jackie claims victory and tries to get the hell out of there. Gloria snags the kid, who lies and says her grandmother's on her way, so she snatches her up and says they can wait in her office. Jackie assures Stephanie she'll come get her, and walks off, muttering, "Grinchy fucker..." But there's something else there, a worry in Stephanie's eyes that's way too old for her face, and she knows she's seen it before.
"It's killing me, Kevin! She's ten, but she's still my baby. She's way too young to be so miserable!"
Kevin folds the laundry and tells her to calm down: "Can't have all my girls stressed out at once," he says, and then they both laugh about the essential unbreakableness of crazy Fiona. "Take a lot to rattle that kid's cage," Kevin laughs. "She asked for a blowtorch for her birthday." Jackie hopes aloud that it's a joke, but they both know it's not. "Funny maybe, joke no," he says, and tells her to chill out and stop worrying. It's going to be a long night. And just as he's saying he loves her, Eddie comes around the corner and Jackie hangs up with a "me, too."
Eddie hands her a fortune cookie and asks her to come visit later; she cracks it open as he grins smoothly to himself: You're pretty when you're tired. -- Eddie. Well, he's learning. That's miles above Me still so horny. She grins, and her back loosens up, but you know what Derrida said about pharmacists.
Whenever you see flashcards or crossword puzzles, start paying attention. That shit is like catnip for writers, because you can do whatever you want. Tell the whole story, in fifth-grade vocabulary: Inherit, says one card. Disguise, says another.
Gloria tells Jackie they're going to bring in social services if the grandmother doesn't show, and disappears. Jackie joins Stephanie at the desk, where she's poring over her flashcards. Confide, says the card.