|Jem was tempted to go back later and check on the young man, but decided that sleep was the best medicine, and Jack had drunk a lot more in the past with no ill effects. Even that was a sign of how things had changed, for they had frequently spent evenings putting the world to rights over a few whiskies before, and Jack could usually hold his drink as well as anyone.|
The next morning a fragile looking Jack appeared just in time for breakfast, and battled his way through the food that was put in front of him, knowing it would help him beat the queasiness in the long run. It wasn't until they were back in the car that Jem started to feel his way to the subject of Jack's finances.
If his own situation had been just a little more stable, and he didn't have two new arrivals himself to support, he would have suggested that he retire, and Jack take over the more financially rewarding role of head. That wasn't going to be possible, but overnight Jem had been thinking furiously, and he thought he had a solution. Now he just had to get Jack into the idea without it seeming like he was interfering.
"You seem to be enjoying it here" he started, with as casual a tone as he could manage.
"Mmm" was all that Jack could manage, which Jack took to be a yes.
"I've been impressed with how Margot has improved, too." He continued, trying to keep his tone casual. Jack kept his eyes closed and nodded, then obviously regretted it, from the frown that crossed his brow.
"It would be a good place for a San, I was thinking..." Jem said, then left the comment hanging. Jack mumbled something to pass as a reply, then realised that he wouldn't get away with that this time. He struggled to sit more upright, and out his mind to the question.
"Yes, it would." He said, frowning in concentration. "The surroundings and facilities nearby are ideal, in fact. Do you think it's at all possible?"
"Well we would need to get funding, and approval, but we've a good track record, we should be able to, after all we've set up a new San a couple of times now..." Jem replied, getting excited about the plan, almost forgetting the idea behind it all, to find a way for Jack to make more money. He was sorely tempted to take the lead role himself, justifying by the fact that then Jack could take his own role in the UK.
It wan't until they were back to the house that he calmed back down, noticing how well and happy Margot was now; how Joey was regaining her colour for the first time and starting to breath more easily than she ever did at home. This was a good place for Jack and Joey and their family to grow. The cost of living was also less, it really did make sense all round. He put the thrill of starting something new aside for himself and decided to do all he could to make this happen for his family.
Jack ran his hand through his hair in despair, searching with the other through the piles of papers in front of him.
"Ugh! Every time I feel like I make some sense of these numbers I lose a bit of paper and start mixing up the potential plans with the previous ones, and the ways we can fund this with the security we have, and ... arghhh!" He said, as Jem entered the room with yet another bundle of documents.
"It's at times like these that I really miss having Rosalie as a secretary" Jem said, as he grabbed a piece of paper from the floor and handed it to Jack.
"Aha ! Thank you, that's ... No... That's another missing bit... That I didn't know was missing...oh help. How did that happen?" Jack said, frantically searching through the papers in front of him, scanning the tiny columns of figures and notes to find a match. "This is a copy... So is it the original, or amended one..." He looked from page to page, clearly unable to choose.
The pair of them would be the first to admit that their skills lay with the patients, not with building business plans or raising funds. In the past they had enough security and reputation to simply get approval due to being doctors with a good idea. Now, in the completely different atmosphere of post war Canada, they were discovering that it wasn't so easy. They needed to get support, agree terms, show profitability and work out the costs involved in setting up a company. They couldn't risk too many people knowing about their plans, so had to do the majority of the work themselves. Joey had taken pity on them after many crumpled sheets of typing paper and smudged pages and was typing up any corrections as they went. Unfortunately they had forgotten to mark the originals that clearly, so kept mixing up the pages.
"Did we decide that we would include the treatment cost projections for three years or two?" he said, looking frazzled.
"Four" Jem said shortly, as he shuffled together a pile of pages with graphs and diagrams on. "Did you mean to label this case study like this? I know patient confidentiality can be annoying, but I think calling them Mr Grumpy and Mrs Won't Listen isn't quite what we planned when we talked about taking their real names off?"
Jack swore and grabbed the page. "Damn Joey, she told me she would put the initials in, that was her name for those two and she kept saying she'd never remember their real names. I said she could always put Mr G and Mrs WL, but she was obviously not concentrating. ANOTHER page to redo!"
Jem kept his thoughts to himself, but he wished Joey would be a bit more helpful. She understood the benefits of the plan, but was quite upset about the idea of being so far from everyone, and Jem was beginning to think that the errors might not be all as accidental as Jack tried to believe. He made a note to talk to Madge, for there was no point in them going through all of this if Joey wouldn't cooperate and stay when Jack was suggested as Head. They had deliberately kept the decision about who might head the San as vague as possible, in case Jem's stronger reputation was required to get started out here.
Author's Chapter Notes:
Thank you for reading. It's only a short drabble. Either one more update or maybe a couple more if the bunnies bite. :-)