Disclaimer: I don't own Degrassi, The Piano Man, or Billy Joel.
Craig is singing up on the stage; Ellie's watching him from the audience.
"And that's the way things go," Craig sings finishing the song. The crowd roars in applause as the band starts putting their things away. Craig walks down to Ellie.
"You were so amazing!" Ellie exclaims, kissing him.
"Thank you," he says.
"I agree," a man says. "Craig Manning?"
"Yes?" Craig responds.
"My name's Paul Stan," the man says. "I'm head of a record company and I'd like to sign you."
"No way!" Craig exclaims. "Really? If this is a joke man, it's not funny."
"It's not a joke," Paul replies. "Here's my card."
Craig takes the card and examines it. "You're from LA?"
"Yes," Paul says. "If you do decide to sign with us, then you'll have to come to LA."
Spike is holding Jack who looks sick.
"Honey," Spike calls, "I think Jack is sick."
"Why?" Snake asks.
"He doesn't look like he's feeling well," Spike explains. "Em, can you take him for a minute."
"Sure," Emma says, taking Jack. Spike and Snake talk, Jack sneezes suddenly and Emma screams.
"What is it?" Spike asks.
"He's bleeding!" Emma exclaims. "From his nose! He sneezed and blood came out!"
"No," Snake says, eyes widening. "No, it can't be."
"What is it?" Spike asks, worried.
"He- he can't have cancer, can he?" Snake asks.
"Cancer?" Spike says. "No! He's only two!"
"He can still get cancer, though," Emma says.
Spike looks like she'll cry, "No, not my baby!"
"Honey, honey, calm down," Snake says. "I'll schedule an appointment."
"Okay," Spike says. "He's not going to die, is he? He can't die!"
"He won't die, Mom," Emma assures her.
Spike takes Jack from Emma, "Oh honey." She starts to sob a little. "I love you. Snake, schedule that appointment for today, I'll take him in. I'm not going to work if there's the slightest chance that he has cancer."
"I can take him in if you want, Mom, there's no school today," Emma offers.
"No," Spike says, "he needs his mother."
Ellie and Craig are at his house in the living room.
"So, what movie shall we watch next," he asks.
"None," Ellie says. "Craig, we need to talk about this sooner or later."
"Talk about what?" Craig questions.
"You know what I'm talking about," Ellie says. "The record deal."
"Oh, that," Craig says. "Why do we have to talk about that?"
"Because Craig, we need to, and you know it," Ellie replies.
"I know, I know," Craig sighs.
"So," Ellie begins.
"So what?" Craig asks.
"Are you going to take it?" Ellie inquires.
"I don't know," Craig answers. "I mean, it's always been my dream to be signed to big label. To move to L.A. and live in this big house. To go to celebrity parties in my limo. To have people rush out to get my autograph. To have groupies." He noticed Ellie's grimace at the word "groupies" and went on. "Okay, maybe not groupies, but tens of thousand of adoring fans. This record could be the step to my dream."
"But?" Ellie sensed.
"But," Craig continued, "I have another dream. A dream that involves you. It's kind of blurry right now, but I'm sure it will clear up sooner or later. Ellie, when you had that miscarriage, I felt the worst feeling. Worse even than when Manny had the abortion. Ellie, I love you."
Ellie breathed in sharply, "I love you, too, Craig." Then they kissed a deep, passionate kiss, knowing that they loved each other.
Spike walks through the door, holding Jack's hand.
"We're back," Spike calls.
"Back!" Jack echoes. He looks better than he did this morning, but traces of a cold are still there.
Emma comes downstairs she leaned down to Jack, "How did it go?"
"Took my blood!" Jack exclaims, showing Emma his leg.
"Ouch," Emma says.
"Ouch," Jack repeats.
Snake comes from the kitchen and kisses Spike, "What happened?"
"Emma, why don't you go play with Jack in his room for a minute?" Spike says.
"Aright," Emma says, taking Jack's hand and leading him into his room.
Spike turned to Snake, "The doctor examined him. He said that Jack has all the signs of acute lymphatic leukemia. They're doing a blood test and will get back to us later."
"So what do we do now?" Snake asks.
"Wait," Spike says, "you should know that."
Suddenly, Emma and Jack come back down the stairs, blood is coming from Jack's nose and running down to his lips. He can see the blood and is crying.
"We were just playing airplane and his nose started to bleed," Emma explains.
"I'll get him washed off," Snake offers and goes into the bathroom with Jake.
The phone rings, and Spike picks it up, "Hello?"
"Hello, may I speak with Christine Nelson-Simpson?" a man's voice said.
"Speaking," Spike said.
"Ms. Nelson-Simpson, this is Dr. Partridge," he said. "Your son Jack Simpson's blood tests came back positive. I'm sorry ma'am, but he has acute lymphatic leukemia or ALL. His chances are very good, though. Seventy percent of children with ALL go into remission within one year and fifty percent of those children never get the cancer again. You found it early and that's very good. We can start Chemotherapy immediately. Can he come in at four on Monday."
Spikes eyes begin to water, "Yes. Thank you, sir." She sounds like she's going to cry and hangs up the phone."
"Mom?" Emma says.
Spike breaks down, "He has it, Emma! Jack has cancer!" Emma holds onto her mom as they both cry.
Ellie and Craig are on the steps of Degrassi. Ellie's head is on his shoulder.
"We still don't know what you're going to do," Ellie says, lifting her head and looking at him.
"I can't decide," Craig groans.
"Well, you'll have to soon," Ellie says. "That man has only given you a certain amount of time to respond."
"I know, I know," Craig begins, "I just—wait, how about you choose?"
"Oh, no, I can't choose!" Ellie exclaims.
"Come on," Craig persuades, "you love me don't you? Why can't you choose?"
"Because I don't know what's best for you," Ellie explains.
"Just go with your instinct," Craig says.
"My instinct always fails me," Ellie says.
"Just say what you want at this very moment," Craig tells her.
Ellie sighs, "I want you to stay, but—"
"Then I'll stay," Craig decides.
Ellie's face breaks into a wide grin, "Really?"
"Really," Craig replies, leaning in to kiss her.
"Craig," Ashley calls, interrupting them.
"Hi Ash," Craig says.
"I saw you playing last weekend, you were really good," she compliments.
"Thanks," he responds.
"I also saw that man with the record company," she says. "I asked him to watch me play afterwards and he did. He offered to sign me, also. And he said we'd play well together, but didn't have to if we didn't want to."
"That's… great," Craig says.
"So when are you leaving, I'm going in three weeks," Ashely says.
"I'm not," Craig replies.
"Not what?" Ashley asks.
"Not leaving," Craig replies.
"Why?" Ashley inquires. "This has been your dream forever."
"Yeah," Craig says, more to himself.
"He's staying for me," Ellie states.
"Oh, does he love you now?" Ashley asks.
"Yes," Ellie says.
"Well, good luck," Ashley wishes. "I'll send you a postcard from L.A. Send me an invite to the wedding?"
"Sure," Craig says quietly as Ashley walks away.
Emma, Spike, and Snake are in a hospital waiting room. Emma's flipping through a magazine. Spike is resting her eyes, leaning on Snake who is staring into space.
"I'm going to take a walk," Emma says.
"He'll be through with his first treatment of chemo soon, Em, just stay," Snake tells her.
Emma sees a young girl with no hair and blotches on her face being led down the hall by a nurse. She's wrapped up in a blanket and looks very pale and malnourished. "Sorry, I can't stand to be around here anymore." Emma leaves the waiting room.
She rushes out the door and begins to walk down the street. Her thoughts are consuming her as she walks and looks on the verge of tears. Suddenly, she hears loud music blaring behind her. Emma turns to see a familiar orange civic.
The car idles and Jay rolls down the window and takes off his sunglasses. "Well, if it isn't cause girl."
"Please, Jay, I'm not in the mood," Emma says.
"What, accidentally eat a bit of meat?" Jay asks.
"How did you know I'm a vegetarian?" Emma questions.
Jay shrugs, "I have my sources."
"Right, Sean," Emma mutters.
"So, what's up?" Jay asks. "Wanna go down to the Ravine?"
Emma turns and gives him a look of disgust. "You're such a pig."
"I was kidding," Jay says. "I don't go down there anymore, what's up?"
"Nothing of your concern," Emma says, her voice is failing and she looks like she's going to cry.
"What's wrong?" Jay asks.
A tear rolls down Emma's face, "Why do you care?"
"Well, you aren't the only one with problems," Jay explains. "I've found I'm a pretty good person to talk to."
"You? A good person to talk to? Please," Emma says.
"Whatever," Jay puts his shades back down and faces the road again.
"Wait," Emma says, putting her hand on his window before he can roll it up. "I could, you know, talk, maybe."
Jay opens the passenger door, "Get in." Emma follows his directions. After she's in, he drives to a field and parks. "So, what's wrong?"
Emma tells him the entire story with tears streaming down her face. When she's done, she notices that Jay's eyes are watery. "What?"
"My mom died of cancer when I was nine," Jay explains. "My dad blamed it on my little sister who was only five at the time and me, saying we put too much stress on her and cost too much money for her to get treatment. He really loved her, but began getting drunk and beating us. One night when he was wasted, my sister and I were looking at an old photo album. He came home and saw the pictures of my mom and went crazy. My sister was only eight and he killed her. Our phone wasn't working so I couldn't call the cops. When he realized what he'd done, he shot himself. I ran away. You see, I used to live in Ontario."
"Wow," Emma says, "I'm sorry."
"Don't be, it's over and done with," Jay says. "The point is, that probably won't happen to you. My mom didn't catch it soon enough, and couldn't have treatment. She was also stressed. Jack will be just fine."
"Thanks," Emma says. "Why can't you be like this all time?"
"I'd lose my reputation," Jay replies. "You ready to go back now?"
"Yeah," Emma says, "thanks again."
Ellie is at home, reading a book in her room. The phone begins to ring.
"Hello?" she answers.
"Hey, El, it's Craig," he says.
Ellie smiles, "Hey."
"I need to talk to you about something," his voice sounds serious.
Ellies smile slowly deteriorates, "What?"
"Do you remember what we talked about a couple of days ago?" he asks.
"About you going to L.A. for a record deal?" she says.
"Yeah," he responds.
"Of course," she answers.
"Then you remember how we decided I wouldn't go?" he questions.
Ellie looks a little worried, "Yes."
"Do you remember how happy we were with our decision?" he inquires.
"Yeah," Ellie answers apprehensively.
"Well," Craig hesitates, "I wasn't completely happy."
"Oh," Ellie replies, with a loss for other words.
"Today I told Joey about it," Craig says. "He thought it was a great idea."
"Did he?" Ellie asks.
"Yeah, so I've been thinking," Craig says.
"Great," Ellie mumbles sarcastically.
"Hmm?" asks Craig.
"Nothing," Ellie lies.
"Okay, well, I've been thinking that maybe L.A. is right for me," he explains. "I'm leaving for L.A. in a couple of weeks. I'd like for you to see me off at the airport."
"Okay," Ellie chokes out, holding back tears. "Um, I've got to go."
"Aright," Craig replies, "love you."
"Right," Ellie responds before hanging up.
…sing me a song, you're the piano man, sing me a song tonight…
A/N Wow, it's been awhile. Sorry I didn't update sooner. This was probably my favorite episode to write. Please review. Oh, and I got the stats about ALL from a story in Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul 2, which I don't own.