(We open back at the hospital. Slip lays in his bed. He awakens just as Josie the Nurse comes in. Bobby follows her.)

Josie: Hi, Slip. You have more visitors.

Slip: *Rubs one eye with the palm of his good hand* Never knew I was this popular.

Josie: (She pulls Slip's blanket over him) The others were here, but you were sleeping. They said they'd be back later.

Bobby: Hi there, Slip. How's the arm?

Slip: *Shifts, then winces as he moves wrong* It's still attached.

Josie: Do you need anything else, Slip?

Slip: *Shakes his head* Nah, I'm good, Josie, thanks.

Josie: Ok, Slip. (She nods at Bobby) You two have a nice night. Slip, you know what button to push if you need me.

Slip: Yeah, Jos.

(Josie heads out as Bobby awkwardly pulls up a chair next to the bed.)

Bobby: Just how well-attached is that arm, Slip? I know you had to be hurting last night.

Slip: *Sighs* Better now than last night.

Bobby: Slip...you do know that what happened last night wasn't your fault. It could have happened to anyone.

Slip: *Shrugs his good shoulder* Yeah. It just seems to happen to me a lot.

Bobby: Don't go there, Slip. At the very least, the cops are gonna make Zelda and Sheila give the money to the Milk Fund..or else.

Slip: Well, that's good.

Bobby: Alabama O'Malley has spent most of the time bad-mouthing just about everyone involved with the show as being stupid and not worthy of his wonderful script. He said in his interview for Gabe that he hopes to never work with us again...and I hope likewise. That guy was a grade-A drip.

Slip: I'd like to give that guy my own review. *shakes his fist*

Bobby: I don't think it's worth wasting time on that jerk. He has too good of an opinion of his own lousy writing.

Slip: It'd give me a little satisfaction to at least scare him a little.

Bobby: I'd like to scare those bitches for what they did to you and to Butch. I heard about it from Chuck later.

Slip: You don't wanna know what I'd like to do to them for what they did to Butch.

Bobby: How could they do that? Just to get to you? That's inhuman!

Slip: I've been askin' myself that all along.

Bobby: I know Butch was still pretty upset last night. Have you talked to him since then?

Slip: Talked to him earlier. I told him I wasn't blamin' him, but I could tell it's still botherin' him.

Bobby: I hope this isn't permanent damage. He doesn't need that.

Slip: He sure as hell doesn't.

Bobby: Slip...Chuck told me what you told him and Butch about them havin' careers. Do you still...I know you weren't happy when I left....

Slip: I still don't like change, Bobby...but they made me realize how unhappy they are just gettin' by on our IOUs. Just cuz I dunno what I want, don't mean I should hold them back. I'm actually glad Chuck argued with me about that.

Bobby: I am, too. You're my friend, Slip. We've been friends for a long, long time. We've been friends since I literally looked UP at you... (smiles) and I still look up to you.

Slip: Yeah, how the hell did that happen? (Shakes his head) I'm glad to hear I'm still your friend. I was sorta wonderin' what ya thought of me lately.

Bobby: (Shrugs) I just had to go my own way. (Shifts on his bad leg) And of course, there's this. (Pats his knee)

Slip: Yeah. *nods at him* How's that doin', anyway?

Bobby: Better. It's never going to be a hundred percent perfect, but I'm walking on it all right.

Slip: That's good, at least.

Bobby: You know...my leg isn't your fault, Slip. You can quit blaming yourself for my accident right now. I know you do. We all do.

Slip: I know, Bob, I just... *sighs*

Bobby: You just feel like you have to be the one who takes all the bad stuff away.

Slip: Yes.

Bobby: (He smiles) Well, don't forget that you have help. If you ever need to fly somewhere, look me up. I mostly haul cargo, but I think I can fit you in my plane somewhere. Maybe Sach too, if he's good and promised not to eat or blow up the cargo.

Slip: Or try to fly the plane himself.

Bobby: That's right, he did say he got his pilot's license. (Raises an eyebrow) Did he? Sach says a lot of things that turn out to only be sort-of-true. Should I be scared?

Slip: He did... but correspondence. *shakes his head* The one time he flew, the plane was bein' controlled by remote so he weren't really flyin'. An' that's when I realized I can't handle small planes.

Bobby: He took a correspondence course for flying?

Slip: We are talkin' Sach, here.

Bobby: Ok, he can't ever fly my plane. I'll make a note of that.

Slip: Yer welcome.

Bobby: (Grins) You must really be hurt. I haven't heard one malaprop outta you since I stepped into this room.

Slip: *Smirks* I've been hearin' that outta everyone in here tonight.

Bobby: I ain't used to you droppin' the facade.

Slip: It's partly cuz I ain't in the mood to do it.

Bobby: You're a lot smarter than people give you credit for.

Slip: An' what good has it done me?

Bobby: You've solved a lot of criminal cases. You've got a better reputation than most Bowery cops. You have a real knack for that, Slip.

Slip: Yeah...

Bobby: You should either go back to bein' a private eye or join Chuck on the newspaper. I think you could really get your license. I'm not the best at tests either, but I did get my pilot's licence.

Slip: *sighs* An' if I don't pass, then I'm stuck with the newspaper as my only option. I ain't the best writer, ya know. Chuck's better at that than me.

Bobby: You can learn. Or do something else. It might not kill you to learn somethin' new.

Slip: I've tried most everything else. Besides, me an' bosses don't get along.

Bobby: So I've noticed. Your other option is to open a business you can stick to.

Slip: Yeah, I heard that from Sally.

Bobby: I know you want to do somethin' glamorous...but every job's gonna have its problems.

Slip: I just don't know what I wanna do, aní that scares me.

Bobby: 'Cause you're used to being in control and knowing everything.

Slip: *Nods* Yeah.

Bobby: You'll figure it out. And you have all of us and Louie to help.

Slip: So, yer gonna hang around?

Bobby: If you mean "am I part of the group again," we'll see. I do have my plane and my cargo, but (puts out his hand) if you ever need a pilot to take you guys somewhere in a hurry and cheaply, you know whom to call.

Slip: I'd just plain like to see ya around every so often.

Bobby: I'll definitely be coming around to Louie's as often as I can. I'm not a part of the group anymore, not really, but I do miss you guys. You're my family.

Slip: That's exactly what I was hopin' to hear.

Bobby: (He stands stiffly) Speaking of my plane, I'd better be gettin' back to work. I really hope you feel better, Slip. (Squeezes his shoulder) And don't worry. You'll come up with somethin'. You always do.

Slip: Thanks, Bobby. *grins* I depreciate that.

Bobby: (Grins) I know you do. (As he heads out, we see Gabe and Duke stick their heads in.)

Duke: Is this where the line to see the great Slip Mahoney starts?

Bobby: (Points to Slip's bed) Right over there. I kept the chair warm for ya.

Gabe: So we'll have to fight over who gets the warm chair, then?

*Slip rolls his eyes, still grinning.*

Gabe: *Smiles* It was good to see you again, Bobby.

Duke: Likewise, kid.

Bobby: (He grins) It's nice to see you guys again, too. I've gotta go to work. I'll see ya later.

Gabe: See ya.

Slip: Take it easy, Bobby.

Bobby: You too, Slip. (He smiles at his friend and heads out as Gabe and Duke head in. Gabe takes the chair; Duke sits on the end of the bed.)

Duke: How ya feelin', kid?

Slip: *Shrugs his good shoulder* Okay. Better if I wasn't stuck in here.

Duke: I know how ya feel. I ain't a fan of hospitals myself. Just talkin' to you in here is givin' me the heebie jeebies.

Gabe: He isn't contagious.

Duke: (Rolls his eyes) I know, but hospitals are still creepy.

Gabe: Agreed. Had more than my fair share of time in them.

Duke: (Makes a face) That's right. I heard that story about you gettin' shot at durin' some raid.

Gabe: Not fun...but at least I didn't get shot in the ass. *turns a smirk toward Slip*

Slip: Not funny, Gabe.

Gabe: Wish I'd been there for that.

Duke: (He nearly doubles over laughing) Who shot you in the ass, Slippy-boy?

Slip: *Kicks Duke with his foot* Sach did it.

Duke: Ow! (And then he just laughs harder) Sach? He could actually aim straight?

Slip: He inherited this run-down shack with a bunch of gun-happy neighbors who didn't like the Jones family. We spent the whole time keepin' his name outta it, then I went an' opened my big mouth an' they started shootin'. Apparently, Sach didn't think they was doin' too well an' decided to take a shot himself...an' he got me first try. Right in the ass. I wanted to strangle him, but I was in too much pain to even think straight.

Duke: (Just keeps laughing) Oh geez. Only you guys would do somethin' like that. What happened to the cabin, anyway? I'm assumin' you didn't keep it.

Slip: Nah. We didn't, an' I'm glad.

Duke: I don't blame you. Sach gets weird ideas sometimes. You guys are about as far from farmers as you can get.

Gabe: I remember hearing something about moonshine & a still in the basement.

Slip: Yeah, there was that, too.

Duke: And you didn't bring any to the city with you to try and sell it?

Slip: That was potent stuff! Woulda burned a hole through anythin' but the still.

Duke: You didn't try to sell it to the government as a chemical weapon?

Slip: We might've if I hadn't been shot. :

Duke: You guys have been busy.I need to come around more often.

Slip: Ya oughta. *Shifts and winces*

Duke: Yeah. What's this I heard about Sach bein' able to sing?

Slip: *As Gabe grins* Sach had his tonsils removed and was left with this tickle in his throat that somehow gave him this great singin' voice. Then he had the tickle removed and went back to bein' his usual bullfrog self.

Gabe: Don't leave out that you tried filling in for him.

Slip: That ain't a pertinent part of the story.

Duke: Slip, you can't sing.

Slip: I know that.

Duke: And I didn't know you graduated college, too. Louie told me about that one...then proudly showed me his diploma.

Slip: Some rich guys made a bet about whether or not some regular guys could make it at an Ivy League college. We showed them a thing or three.

Gabe: Including how horrible you guys look as girls.

Slip: *Glares at Gabe* Who's been tellin' you these things you wasn't around for?

Gabe: *Shrugs* Sach.

Slip: I'm gonna slug him!

Duke: (Now he's really laughing) You guys...girls...who got you to do that?

Slip: It was our hazin' for the fraternity.

*Gabe raises an eyebrow. Now he's noticing Slip's lack of malaprops, too.*

Duke: You guys joined a fraternity? You really got into the whole college thing, didn't ya?

Slip: Yeah, we did. *shrugs* It earned us enough cabbage to bring Louie's brother and his family over here.

Duke: Well, that works. I can understand why Junior won't rejoin you guys now, though. I don't think he'd make much of a woman.

Slip: Neither did Louie.

Duke: You got Louie in drag? Any pictures?

Slip: No. He slugged me but good after puttin' him in that get-up.

Duke: Louie has no sense of humor sometimes.

Slip: Not a lick.

Gabe: I wish I could've seen that.

Duke: Me too. I would love to have movie footage.

Slip: *Pushes himself to sit up better; winces and groans* I dunno what's drivin' me more crazy, the lack of mobility in my shoulder or my ass fallin' asleep sittin' in this damn bed.

Duke: Why don't you stand, then? There ain't nothin' wrong with your legs.

Slip: Yer the first one to make that suggestion.

Gabe: And we won't tell on you, either.

Slip: Better not. Josie'll kick my ass.

Duke: Is she here?

Slip: She's my nurse.

Gabe: Ain't that a kick.

Slip: *sits up* We been friends for years.

Duke: You're a lucky man. And Bernie Punsley is your doctor. I always wondered what happened to him.

Slip: I'd be luckier if I wasn't in here. *swings his legs over the side, near Gabe* Now move it, so I can get up.

Gabe: I'm moving! I don't wanna get walloped.

Duke: Hey Slip, did they let you keep your shorts on?

Slip: Yer treadin' thin ice, pal.

Duke: Ok, Slip. Down. Didn't mean anythin' by it.

Gabe: *Leans over Duke* Don't look if he turns around.

Slip: *Stands and shakes a fist* I still got a good one-a these.

Duke: Ok, ok Slip. (Grins) You have nice legs. Has Sally seen you out of bed yet?

Slip: *Makes a face* No, she hasn't. *sighs* I can't wait ta get outta here.

Duke: Don't worry, Slip. You'll be back to dancin' with Sally in no time.

Slip: I ain't so worried about that. *sighs* Bernie didn't exactly gimme a time frame on when I'll be out of this stupid sling.

Duke: (Shrugs) So it takes a few weeks. Your arm will be workin' again in time to carve the Thanksgiving turkey. (Thinks for a moment; then) Does Sach need a turkey all to himself?

Slip: I give him one willingly. *grins* With all the tryptophan in the turkey, it knocks him out for a good twenty four hours.

Duke: That's one way to get him to calm down. (Grins) And where did you learn the word "tryptophan?"

Gabe: *Grins* Yeah, you haven't exactly sounded like yourself since we came in.

Slip: I've heard that from everyone. I really use the malaprops a lot, huh?

Duke: Yeah. You do.

Gabe: "A lot" doesn't even cover it. You just like the attention it gets.

Slip: Maybe a little.

Duke: I'm just glad you sound a lot better. That play got really crazy, even without chasin' after the money.

Slip: I think I slept it off. I don't even remember now most of what happened after my arm.

Duke: Do you remember the three endings?

Slip: Vaguely, though I do remember doin' them cuz we was stallin' for time.

Duke: (Nods) Yeah. You done good, Slip. Guess where we finally found the money?

Slip: Where?

Duke: In the front box office. The ticket taker's box!

Slip: Shit. Yer kiddin'!

Duke: (Shakes his head) According to Sheila, it was there the whole night.

Slip: Figures it'd be in the most obvious place.

Duke: She was gonna take it away right before everyone came out for the night, from what the cops said.

Gabe: We found it just in time.

Slip: *Makes a fist* Those two really piss me off.

Duke: We'll see if they actually go to jail for this. Personally, I doubt it. They're just too damn important.

Slip: Knowin' my luck, they won't even get a slap on the wrist.

Josie: (She comes in with a tray) Hello, Slip. Sorry, boys, but it's dinner time.

Duke: That's all right. I wanna get some grub myself. (Looks at Gabe) Wanna join me, or do you have (winces) work?

Slip: *Makes a face* Josie, please tell me ya snuck som'en in.

Josie: I'll show you as soon as they leave.

Gabe: I'll go with ya, Duke. I'm not going back in to work until tomorrow. *Nods at the other two* We'll see you later, Slip. Be good for Josie, huh?

Slip: Yeah, yeah.

Josie: Oh, I'm sure he will.

Duke: Later, kid. Josie, you keep an eye on him. Make sure he doesn't cause too much trouble.

Josie: (Grins) I will. Don't worry. (They head out; she turns to Slip) Now, why don't you get back into bed, and I'll show you your dinner?

Slip: *Sighs* All right. *gets back into the bed, wincing* This is a lot easier with two workin' arms.

Josie: (She helps him) There you go. (Tucks him in.) All cozy?

Slip: About as much as I can be.

Josie: Good. (She pulls the cover off the tray...to reveal a meal of steak, green beans, mashed potatoes, and a slice of pumpkin pie.) Dr. Punsley ordered this from a steak house around the corner.

Slip: *Eyes widen* Shit...

Josie: Some of it was for him, me, and a friend of mine, but you're welcome to the rest.

Slip: I think I'm in shock. Yer a real life saver, Jos!

Josie: Anything for a good friend.

Slip: *Gives her a kiss on the cheek* Yer wonderful! *plows into the food*

(We fade out as Slip enjoys his dinner and Josie blushes next to him.)