INT HOSPITAL ROOM – AFTERNOON
Staring up at the ceiling, Reva lies on her bed. Her food tray sits untouched. In her hand, a crumpled picture: she and Jacob on one of their first dates. Her fist closes around it.
The door opens and Philip runs in, jumping up onto the bed beside his mom, his joy returned a hundredfold. Taken aback, Reva hugs him, overwhelmed.
He pulls away from her, looking her straight in the eyes
You scared me, Mom.
Reva brushes over it, ruffling his hair and plastering a smile on her face which fades as she sees her mother and father standing in the door, waiting for her attention.
Dev lifts his hand in a timid wave, which Reva returns.
Susana, having received her signal, pushes past her husband and perches on the chair near Reva’s bed. She folds her hands in her lap, all business.
There’s no need to lecture me.
I wasn’t going to lecture you, Honey.
Reva’s eyes burn into her mother’s skin, Susana shifting under their gaze.
Mom, lectures are kinda your thing. You’ve given me the same one over and over again.
But I understand what you mean.
Susana glances from Reva to Dev, unsure if she heard correctly. Dev sets a hand on Susana’s shoulder, squeezing comfort, assurance, into her.
Noticing Reva tensing, Dev squeezes Susana’s shoulder again, a warning.
–is good to hear, Sweetie.
It doesn’t mean I’m going to do it your way, Mom.
I wouldn’t expect anything different.
I’m going to do it my way in my time. I don’t want you interfering in this.
I promise I’ll hold her back if she gets antsy.
Reva nods, a little smile flitting across her face, but her tension doesn’t ease.
It’s good to see you. I hear things have been busy at work.
Audra won’t let things slow down. Never has.
Mom said that you were working on a new machine.
Dev stays silent for a moment, glancing down at the ground.
Maggie and Chase finished putting it together just before…
Reva interrupts him before he goes too far.
So progress. That’s good.
(A beat. A breath.)
How long can you stay?
Not long. I’m sorry, Reeves.
Reva’s face falls as she nods, pushing her disappoint away.
No, no, I understand. This project is important.
It could help a lot of people, Reeves.
It’s a big accomplishment, Dad. I know how much it means to you.
Dev nods, stays quiet. His heart aches with how much he wishes he could stay. He slips his hands into his pockets and his face brightens.
He pulls out his wallet, opens it, and pulls out something. A picture: a much younger version of himself with a three-year-old Reva on his lap, laughing her heart out. With a smile, he shows it to Reva.
I’ve carried this picture around with me since it was taken.
Reva takes the picture, her hands shaking as she holds it almost reverently.
It reminds me why I do what I do, Reeves. That little girl in the picture… She’s counting on me and I can’t let her down.
Reva hands the picture back to him.
Keep it. You need the reminder now more than I do.
Dev reaches out and closes his daughter’s fingers around the picture, holding her hand between his.
If I can do anything to help people who are hurting, I will, and right now, my little girl is one of them. You’re the real reason I’m so focussed, Reeves.
Reva reaches up and pulls her dad into a hug, her chin resting on his shoulder.
Listen to your mother, Reva. She loves you as much as I do. She just wants what’s best for you.
Speechless, Reva nods as her dad pulls out of her grasp. He squeezes her hand once more.
If you ever need me, I’m right there.
With a quick kiss on the top of her head, Dev leaves, not turning back for fear he will stay longer.
Silence. Susana stays for a moment longer before standing.
I don’t want to impose.
Philip grabs her hand.
Don’t go, Grandma! If you go, that means I have to go.
Susana looks to Reva. Reva glances down at the picture in her hand of her and her dad. Without lifting her head, she nods.
Susana sits back down, a smile playing at her lips.
INT. HOSPITAL LAB – A LITTLE LATER
Kumar enters the lab, spotting Fowler and the younger two gathered around the computer screen. He clears his throat before joining them.
Is this the list of potential candidates?
Doctor Kumar, is it true about your daughter?
Belrose elbows her in the stomach in an attempt to shut her up.
With a glare in Belrose’s direction, she takes the mouse from Fowler and highlights one particular name on the screen: Reva Novak.
Is she doing okay? I didn’t think things were this bad.
Kumar stares at the name on the screen.
Take her off the list.
But, Doctor Kumar, she’s the perfect–
I said, take her off the list.
Moss shrinks back from Kumar, a look of surprise on her face as she nods the tiniest of nods.
It’s too risky. And she probably wouldn’t even say yes.
Fowler presses the delete button and Reva’s name disappears from the screen.
* * *
Prompt: Another excerpt from ”The Aurora Project.” Since that’s what I’m currently working on.