The next day Darlene and David both got off work and began the hour and a half drive to Lanford. The plan was that they were going to spend the night at 714 Delaware street and then go visit Dan in the morning.
When they pulled into the driveway they were shocked to find all the lights on, and Dan sitting on the couch with Jerry watching TV.
Darlene and David's jaws dropped as Dan stood up in surprise.
"When did you get home?" Darlene asked, in much the same way as Becky.
Dan looked at his feet as he took Darlene by the shoulder gently guided her to his room. Dan couldn't think of a way to tell Darlene he was sorry so he used the same exact words he said to Becky. "Darlene, I'm sorry I didn't tell you. It's just I have a million things going on in my head right now and I'm scared to death of jumping into my life at home because I'm afraid that something will happen and I'll run to the booze again."
He watched his middle child look him up and down like a detective would a suspect.
Dan would never admit it but Darlene was his favorite so when she responded it shocked and also hurt Dan just a little.
"So you were afraid to tell us you were home because you thought talking to us make you want to drink?"
Dan waved his hands trying to sum up the right words. "No, no. That's not what I'm saying Darlene. I'm saying that I just wanted to be home a little so I could figure out in my head how to handle things. I was going to tell you this weekend I swear." Darlene stood there shaking her head and Dan tried to not think about how much Darlene was like her mother right now.
Darlene was furious at her dad. She felt somehow betrayed by her father; she didn't exactly know why all she knew was that she was mad.
"Save it for AA." Darlene snarled and stomped out of the room leaving Dan alone. Dan sighed and fell on his back on his bed. He felt hurt by her words, but chalked it up to her pregnancy hormones (as a father with four kids. He knew what it was like to be around a pregnant lady and it wasn't always pretty.)
"Roseanne if you saw that can you give me some answer as to how I'm supposed to handle that?" Dan looked around the room and listened closely. He got zero response and so he stood up and went to the living room.
Darlene and DJ were absent from the room so Dan sat down on the chair in front of the fake fireplace. He watched David's body language and could tell that the father to be had something on his mind.
"David? Something on your mind, you look more nervous than usual." Dan said his arms resting on the arm rests.
David's eyes shifted. Dan understood and stood up motioning for David to follow him. They went to Dan's room, and once again Dan sat on the bed.
"What is it David?"
David sat on the chair in the room and Dan turned to face him. "Mr. Conner, can you tell me how uh…it was for you when Mrs. Conner was pregnant for the first time?"
Dan laughed a little. "Emotional roller coaster. Trench warfare. Jury Duty. Prison Time. Any or all of these could describe those extraordinary nine months."
David leaned in with his hands on his knees, he laughed a little because he found Dan's words a funny. "So it's normal to not know whats going on in their head?"
Dan quit smiling and tried to make himself serious. "David, when you're girl is pregnant, there's all these chemical reactions going on inside them that I don't think they know whats going on in their head. When Mrs. Conner was pregnant with Darlene she constantly smelled me. When she was pregnant with Becky I caught her trying to taste dirt." Dan talked but also watched David shift uncomfortably. "What's the real problem David?"
"I don't know how to respond to her. She wakes up at night practically crying and then laughs when people lose on The Price is Right. I just want to know if there's a secret or something…"
Dan smiled again. "Well David, Darlene always laughs when people lose on The Price is Right, you should know that. And I'm sorry to say there really isn't a secret. All I can tell you is whatever she wants you do what will make her happy, and stay away as much as you can when she throws things because I can tell you from experience the doctors in the ER won't always believe you slipped and cracked your head open and suffered no other injuries when you have a cut on your head that needs 10 stitches."
David looked at Dan curiously, as he imagined a young and pregnant Roseanne launching some odd object at Dan's head. "What if I don't know what will make her happy?"
Dan smiled again. "You guess, and if you're wrong well remember the knife aint in that deep." Dan reached over and patted David on the leg. Dan stood up and left the room.
Up in DJ's room, DJ paced the room and Darlene sat on the bed. "Darlene, there's this great film festival in St. Louis next week and I want your help."
Darlene stared at her brother and then smiled as she figured out what her brother was saying. "Yeah? What'd you tell dad?"
DJ sat at the chair at his desk. "I told him it was a Steven Spielberg tribute in Chicago and that my AV club was going and that it was free."
Darlene smiled again. "So you want me to cover for you right?"
"Please?" DJ cupped his hands together like he was praying.
"Okay, but you'll owe me big time."
The brother and sister came down stairs, and the first person Darlene looked at was her dad and it was a nasty look. Dan tried in vain to ignore it but found he couldn't. "You guys hungry?" Dan asked, as Darlene sat on the couch next to David.
Darlene looked away and David answered no. "Where's Jerry?" Darlene asked DJ specifically.
"Asleep in his room." DJ answered. DJ looked at his dad and took the window of opportunity given him. "Hey Dad? Uh have you made up your mind about Chicago?"
Dan looked at Darlene. "You can go if your sister will agree to check on you for me." DJ and Darlene looked at each other.
"I don't care." Darlene said coldly while looking straight at Dan.
David just sat back feeling uncomfortable. He could sense the tension between Dan and Darlene and wondered what happened between them. Suddenly Darlene sprang up from the couch and grabbed her coat. "I'm going to Jackie's." She said before marching out the door and slamming it.
David stood up and took a step forward but Dan put his arm on David's shoulder and stopped him. "No David. If she wanted you to go with her she would have told you. She's pissed at me, so she's just going to Jackie's to talk about me and she probably wouldn't want you to be there anyway." David listened and sat back down. Dan, DJ and David spent the rest of the night watching TV.