"I'm pretty sure you can't hear me. But if you can, when you wake up, if you can just… act like you couldn't, okay? Or I'll be really embarrassed I said this out loud. This, situation, with you in here, hooked up to these… machines… This wasn't part of the game plan.

"Reuniting with Mom, saving Dad, killing the demon, it's all important, sure. But not as important as having our family back together. Having you back in my life, protecting you. It's a job I wouldn't give up for anything.

"See, I don't care about hunting monsters. I mean, I do. I'm good at it, and it needs to be done. But that's not why I pulled you away from college. I figured, having the three of us back together, you, me and Mom, fighting on the same team for once instead of going at each other's throats… we could be a family again.

"But I messed it all up, Fiona. I let the fantasy of getting my family back interfere with reality. If I had just kept driving that night, past Stanford and onto Jericho myself, you would've made it to that interview, and it would've been all uphill from there. Married, with a job… a real, honest job.

"Instead you're here. Maybe it is part of some predetermined destiny. Or maybe I'm just a sad excuse for a big brother, for a son, who can't handle being alone."

Jack hid his face in his hands. He hadn't left Fi's room since he'd reached the hospital. Everyone kept telling him she would be fine. He couldn't eat even though his stomach panged, and he spent the first night sleeping upright in that same chair.

His reunion with his mother had been one long hug, with a few tears of joy but mostly of frustration and regret. Then they sat in silence for hours. Carey too. He hadn't left Molly's side.

He could almost hear Fi screaming at them to go! move! stop wasting precious time staring at her, and catch up with that son of a bitch that killed Dad. But he couldn't. And the hours ticked away.

Around hour 27, Molly and Carey made a run to the hospital cafeteria.

"I brought you this," Molly said when she returned, handing Jack a bag of trail mix. "They don't let you take the food out of the cafe. There's a vending machine down the hall…"

He accepted the bag and placed it immediately on the plastic bedside table.

"Baby, you need to eat. Take a break," she insisted, but Jack ignored her. He kept his eyes transfixed on the floor tile.

I'd rather starve, he thought.

The air started to get thick. Carey had known better than to say anything, and remained close to the doorway.

The room became silent again, save for the steady beep on the EKG. And just as it had happened hours before, the peace was broken by a rambling apology from Molly.

"…it was to protect us… you know I would never…"

Jack caught bits and pieces. He didn't care anymore. He didn't need an explanation. They were all here, together. Couldn't she see that was enough?

Until he thought he heard her say something about the Colt. He lifted his head.

"The Colt," she repeated. "Where is it, Jack?"

"You can't be serious," he mumbled.

"I need to get back out there, stay on top of this demon before he catches up to us."

"How can you be okay with leaving Fi here?"

Jack couldn't fathom what Molly was suggesting. She would leave her own daughter alone in a strange hospital to pursue some demon?

"Baby…" she said carefully, "people are out there, dying. People like Annie, who needed our help. Trust me when I say Fi's going to be fine."

"Everyone keeps saying she's going to be fine! How could they know that? Look at her!" he spat, balling his fist.

"Please, Jack. Everything's happening as it's supposed to, and I could really use your help."

Jack was too upset then to inquire further about what Molly meant by "as it's supposed to".

"I'm not leaving her," he'd protested. "When she wakes up, she's going to be looking for me. And I'm going to be here."

"Fine," she surrendered. "Will you give me the gun?"

"Take it. It's in the trunk. I don't care anymore."

Molly frowned and made her way to the doorway, to Carey.

"I need a few minutes," she told him, and Jack listened to her heels click their way down the hallway and out of earshot.

Carey lingered for a moment, as if deciding who needed him more. He apparently concluded it was Molly, because when Jack finally removed his hands from his temples and looked toward the door, Carey was gone.

So here he was, alone, talking to himself while Fiona slept. His eyes were getting heavy, his energy was dwindling. He glanced over at the bag of trail mix still on the table beside him, then shifted to Fi.

"If this is our destiny… I say screw destiny," he resumed in a whisper. "I'm going to save you no matter what."