The Rules of Acquaintance

 

(fade in) to the Rawley Lake, late at night.

Music: Lay your body down by alana davis

(cut to): the Jetta parked by the lake.  The windows are fogged up.

(cut to): inside the car.  Nicholas and Bella are in the front making out.

Will (voice over): Getting acquainted. 

Bella pulls back slightly, readjusting in her seat and tucking her hair behind her ears.  Nicholas can’t help smiling as Bella starts kissing him again.

Will (v.o.) cont’d: Talking and learning things about one another.

She leans over further into his seat, intensifying the kiss.  Nicholas starts to pull her closer, but then pulls back.  He takes a deep breath.

Bella: What’s wrong?

Nicholas: I don’t know.  I’m nervous.  I haven’t made out in a car since high school.

Bella sits back against her seat, folding her arms.

Bella: Yeah…me either.

Will (v.o.) cont’d: If done properly, it can be scary. 

She looks out the window.  Nicholas closes his eyes, embarrassed.  After a moment, he reaches over and takes her hand.

Will (v.o.) cont’d: It requires that you let someone know you.

Nicholas: I wasn’t complaining.

Bella looks over at him.

Nicholas cont’d: I guess I just wish I could do something more romantic for you.

Bella (sarcastic): Are you kidding…what could be more romantic than this?

Nicholas: I don’t even know if you like romance.

Bella: I do if it’s for real.

Nicholas looks at her seriously.

Nicholas: And who faked it? 

She shrugs.

Will (v.o.) cont’d: And letting someone know you means offering them your past…your opinions…

Nicholas cont’d: Will, right?  He seems like the type.

Bella: You know…

Bella leans over to him again.

Will (v.o.) cont’d: …your fears…your concerns…

Bella cont’d: I don’t think it’s fair that you have working knowledge of my ex-boyfriends.

Nicholas: I wouldn’t call it a working knowledge…more of a basic outline.

Bella: Remind me to thank Jake for that one day.

Bella and Nicholas kiss again, softly.

Bella cont’d: So how about giving me a basic outline?

Nicholas: What…of my ex-girlfriends?

Bella nods.

Bella: I mean, I know you were lusting over…what’s her name?  Linda?

Nicholas: Oh, God…I did tell you about that, didn’t I? 

Bella smiles.  Nicholas leans in a little more, his lips touching hers.

Nicholas cont’d: Yeah…I’d forgotten about her…

Bella smiles.  They kiss again. 

Will (v.o.) cont’d: It can’t be forced.  Getting to know someone cannot be planned out.

Nicholas cont’d: Seriously, though, I guess we’ve been neglecting critical “getting to know you” protocol. 

Bella: Well, if you can find a more romantic place than a Jetta…

Nicholas: Two people can’t get to know each other in a Jetta?

Bella leans toward him with a knowing smirk.

Bella: Only on a basic level…

Nicholas half laughs as Bella kisses him one more time.  Neither of them pull away to talk this time.

Will (v.o.) cont’d: It comes from being near someone that you want to be near.  If you can manage to do that, the rest will eventually follow.  Ultimately you will know each other…you will be acquainted.

(cut to): a shot of the Jetta by the lake.  The camera pulls back.

(fade out)

 

Opening Credits

 

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(fade in): to an establishing shot of the boys’ dorms, noon.

(cut to): Nicholas’ apartment, the dining room.  Jake, dressed as a girl, and Nicholas sit at his dining room table where they have just finished a meal. Jake sets her fork down on her empty plate.

Music: You Never New by Pete Yorn (coming from stereo somewhere in the room)

Jake: That was a really good lunch. You’re a good cook.

Nicholas: Thanks.

Jake: You could exploit this.

Nicholas: My cooking?

Jake: Yeah.

Nicholas: And…how could I do that?

Jake: A romantic dinner that doesn’t involve a restaurant…girls die for stuff like that.

Nicholas: I take it Hamilton is a good cook?

Jake laughs.

Jake: Yeah…if you count pizza-ordering ability as a culinary skill.

Nicholas laughs.

Jake cont’d: Of course, he does have a knack for making pizza into…a really romantic dinner…

Nicholas cont’d: …that doesn’t involve a restaurant.

Jake smiles.

Jake: Exactly.

Nicholas: He also seems to have a knack for turning you into a total girly girl…buying into “romance” and everything.

Jake: Shut up…

She smiles and looks down.  A slight beat.

Jake cont’d: So, anyway…tell me something about you that I don’t know yet.

Nicholas laughs to himself.  Jake gives him a suspicious look.  He thinks for a moment.

Nicholas: When I was ten, I ran away.  I took three hundred dollars from my dad’s wallet and went to the train station.  But, I was too afraid to get on a train so…

He pauses to be dramatic.

Nicholas cont’d: …I gave the money to some homeless people and went back to my house.

Jake laughs.

Nicholas cont’d: No one even noticed I was gone…or that the money was missing.

Jake: Yeah, I know how that goes.

Nicholas: Okay, you’re turn…something I don’t know about you…

Jake: Hmm….

Music: Six different ways by The Cure

(cut to): Sean’s house.

(cut to): his bedroom.  Jill is lying on his bed, using a book to press on as she writes on a sheet of paper.  Sean sits on the floor, leaning against the bed.  He’s also writing in a notebook.  Jill finishes what she is doing and looks over Sean’s shoulder.  He looks back at her, covering his paper.

Sean: Stop…I’m almost done.

Jill rolls her eyes and goes back to her own paper, doodling in the margins.  After another few seconds, she looks back at him.  She leans over, looking down at his paper.

Jill: Tell me that you’re joking…Kid Rock?

Sean looks back at her again.  He covers the paper.

Sean: Could you be more impatient?

Jill grins then reaches over and snatches the notebook from him.

Sean cont’d: Hey, come on…

Jill: This is good enough…I asked way more questions than you did anyway.

Sean: Why are we doing this again?

Jill: I told you.  We’re dating.  People are going to expect us to know quirky little things about each other…things that you’re supposed to know when you’re dating someone.  So…go on…read.

She hands him her piece of paper.  He looks at it and starts reading to himself.

Jill: Out loud.

He gives her an exasperated look.  She gets off the bed and sits next to him on the floor.  He looks over at her with an amused smile that he’s trying to make look like an annoyed scowl.

Sean: Okay, my first question for you was “what is your favorite song?”  You said “Here With Me by Dido.”  Shocking.  “Favorite thing to do (other than watch Roswell)?”  You said…”Paint.  It’s a total emotional release.”

He smiles, considering the answer for a moment then goes on to the next response.

Sean cont’d: “Ideal Date?”  Your response was “Jason Behr.”  Funny.

Jill: There’s more.

Jill grabs the paper from him and points to the answer, reading aloud:

Jill cont’d:seriously, my ideal date can be anything as long as it ends with going on a long walk.  Outside, walking around, holding hands, talking about everything, completely losing track of time, forgetting everything except the person that I’m with…” 

Sean: Walking is cheap…that’s good.

Jill laughs.  He takes the paper back from her.

Sean cont’d: Okay, next was my personal favorite…”Are you a virgin?”  Hey, you left it blank.

Jill: Yeah, well…I figure you’ll have to earn that answer.

Sean laughs.

Sean: Okay, moving on…”how do you like to be kissed?”  You wrote…

He pauses, having read the answer.  He blushes slightly. 

Jill: I wrote…?

Sean: You wrote…“your way wasn’t too bad.”

Jill: Yes; I did.

Sean looks down at the paper, with a slight smile.

Sean (embarrassed): Thanks…

A slightly awkward beat passes as Sean seems to forget the task at hand.

Jill: Okay…enough of my answers for now…let’s read some of yours.

Sean nods.

Sean: Yeah…okay.

Jill reaches back and grabs the notebook

Jill cont’d: My first question was: “If you were a tree, what kind would you be and why?”  Uh, Sean, you left it blank.

Sean: I don’t want to be a tree.

Jill: That was not the question—do you want to be a tree?  It’s if you were, then—

Sean: Pine.

Jill tilts her head.

Sean cont’d: They make baseball bats out of Pine trees.  It’d be a noble way to go.

Jill smiles.

Jill: Was that so hard? 

Sean: No, but…that’s not why I didn’t answer it…you took my paper before I got to it.

Jill: It was the first question.

Sean: I know; I work backwards…take care of the hard stuff first.

Jill tilts her head, but smiles.

Jill: Okay, next was…oh, favorite musicians…yeah, we can skip that one…

She shakes off the thought that he likes Kid Rock one more time.

Jill cont’d: Next, “how old do you want to be when you get married?”  “Depends.”  Way to be vague.

Sean: It does depend.

Jill: Give me a range.

Sean: Somewhere between…eighteen and fifty.

Jill laughs.

Jill: Fine.  Next…oh, this should be good…”what’s your greatest asset as a boyfriend?”  You wrote, “you tell me.”  Ha ha.  Then…”other than that: patience.”  You are pretty patient.

Sean: Yep…

Jill cont’d: Okay, question six was “If we were actually dating, how would you have asked me out?”  You said, “I wouldn’t have.  You intimidate me.”

She looks up at him.

Jill cont’d: No, I don’t.

Sean shrugs and nods.  Jill smiles and looks back at the paper.

Jill cont’d: Anyway…next is “who do you wish you were more like and why?”  You put…”Scout.  He’ll always get what he wants.”

Jill looks up at him again.  He looks back down at her paper.  Jill continues to look at him thoughtfully.

(cut to): a doctor’s office waiting room later that afternoon.  Finn and Johanna sit together.  Finn is reading a magazine.  Johanna is grading papers.  Finn looks over at her.

Music: Where you lead by Carole King

Finn: You’re sure this is what you want?

Johanna looks up at him.

Johanna: While I would love to bring our child into a world without a preconceived set of expectations waiting for him or her, we need to know…or we’re not going to get good shower gifts.

Finn laughs.  She smiles then looks back at her paperwork.  A beat.

Finn: Do you have an idea?

She looks back at him thoughtfully.

Johanna: Do you?

Finn: I don’t know.

He laughs.

Johanna: Do you have a hope?

Finn: I guess I always pictured myself with a son.

Johanna smiles.

Finn cont’d: But, I’ve learned from being with Meagan that daughters are pretty nice too.

Johanna: So, in other words…

Finn: …no preference.

She looks off for a moment as a beat passes.

Johanna: You’re going to be a really good dad, Finn.

Finn: Do you really think so? 

She looks at him curiously.

Finn cont’d: I have this fear that I’m going to screw this kid up because…I’m going to have no idea what I’m doing.

Johanna: Just be yourself and you’ll be a good dad.

Finn smiles, reassured.

Johanna cont’d: Besides, it’s not like you’ll be all by yourself.

He smiles.

Finn: Thank God because…that is not something I could handle.

He looks back at his magazine.  She watches him for a moment, but goes back to her papers.

(cut to): Gwen and Jill’s room.  Will and Gwen sit on the floor, leaning on her bed.

Gwen: I don’t know, Will…I’m not sure everyone around here could handle getting to know “the real dean.”

Will: Just a thought.  Finn said we should do a profile on someone.

Gwen: Maybe it should be a student.

Will: Yeah, but who wants to be the freak of the week?

Gwen: Why would he or she have to be a freak?

Will:  Because no one wants to know more about anyone if “he or she” is not unique…unless it’s a faculty member.

Gwen: Who wants to know more about a faculty member, unique or not?

Will: Faculty members are different by default.  Kids get curious.  There’s an angle there.

Gwen nods.

Gwen: Okay.

Will smiles.

Will: You’re so easy to convince.

Gwen: Uh huh.  So, who are you writing the story on?

Will smirks.

Will: I think you mean, “About whom are you going to write the story,” Sweetheart.

Gwen: I think, Sweetheart, correcting my grammar is about as far from charming as you could get.

Will (sincere): Sorry.

She smiles.

Gwen: Much better…

She leans over as they kiss.

(fade out)

 

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(fade in): to the garage, the next day.

(cut to): the front of the station.  Hamilton and Bella sit on the bench.  Hamilton’s wearing his coveralls so this is clearly work time.  Bella holds Hamilton’s acoustic guitar.

Hamilton: Just play it.

Bella: No, this is embarrassing.

Hamilton: Play me the chords, at least.

Bella sighs and carefully, slowly strums three chords.  She stops.

Hamilton cont’d: Well, go on.

Bella: No.

Hamilton: Just the chorus…or one verse…something.

Bella: Swear you won’t laugh?

Hamilton: I swear.

Bella slowly strums the chords again then starts a verse, playing a rhythm using various chords as she sings: actually I’m with you by Avril Lavigne

Bella:  I’m looking for a place…I’m searching for a face…Is anybody here I know?…’Cause nothing’s going right…And everything’s a mess…and no one likes to be alone…Isn’t anyone trying to find me?  Won’t somebody come take me home…

She stops suddenly and looks up at Hamilton.  He’s wowed.

Bella cont’d: Crap, right?

Hamilton: Incredibly wrong.  That was like…wow…you don’t even need me anymore.  You’ve been holding out on me.  I had no idea you were, like…I mean…wow.

She looks down, fidgeting with the guitar.  Hamilton looks down at it too.

Hamilton cont’d: You should keep that for a while.

Bella: But—

Hamilton: You’ve already had it for, like, a month…and I haven’t needed it once so…just hang onto it.

Bella: Okay.

Hamilton smiles.

(cut to): the office.  The phone rings.  Grace walks in to get it.

Grace: Hello?…Hi there…oh, Bella?…hang on; I’ll go get her.

Grace sets the phone down.

(cut to): outside.  Hamilton has the guitar now…Bella is teaching him the song.

Grace: Bella…there’s some guy on the phone for you.

Hamilton looks at Bella suspiciously. 

Grace cont’d: He says you worked his car a few weeks ago and he needs to ask you something about it.

(cut to): the office.  Grace stays outside.  Bella picks up the phone.

Music: Wondering by Good Charlotte

Bella: Hello?

Nicholas (on phone): Hi.

Bella smiles.

Bella: Hi…

Nicholas (on phone): You sound like you’re smiling…

She looks outside.

(cut to): a shot from her point of view.  Grace and Hamilton are talking.  She’s safe.

Bella: Really?  You think you have that affect on me?

(cut to): Nicholas.  He paces in his apartment.

Nicholas: If I did…I’d be honored.

(cut to): Bella.  She smiles even more.

Bella (teasing): What do you want anyway?

Nicholas: I think you know the answer to that.

Bella’s smile doesn’t falter, but she does look nervous.

(cut to): Nicholas.  A beat as he lets her sweat.

Nicholas: I want you…to come over for dinner.

(cut to): Bella.  She hasn’t dropped the smile.  She doesn’t say anything.

Nicholas cont’d (on phone): Will you?

Bella: I’d love to.

Nicholas: Say…tomorrow at six?

Bella: Make it six-thirty?

Nicholas: Super. 

Bella: Okay.

Nicholas: Bye, Bella.

Bella: Hey?

Nicholas: Yep?

Bella: Purpose?

Nicholas: What?  Of dinner?

Bella: Yeah.

Nicholas: To feed you?

Nicholas smiles, pausing before giving her the real answer.

Nicholas cont’d: It seems like whenever we’re together, one or both of us is in a rush and I just thought dinner would be a way to spend a few uninterrupted, slow-paced hours together. 

A slight beat.

Nicholas cont’d: And, I really do want to get to know you better...in a setting more romantic than a Jetta. 

Bella doesn’t say anything, but she does smile.

Nicholas cont’d: Did that sound like some dirty old man come on?

She drops the smile.

Bella (ignoring him): I want to get to know you too.

He senses the tension, but doesn’t really get what it’s about.

Nicholas: Good.  So, it’s settled.  Tomorrow at six thirty?

Grace and Hamilton walk back in the office.

Bella: That’s right, Mr. Smith, if you just make sure to keep that battery clean and corrosion-free, you won’t have any problems again.

Nicholas: I love it when you talk car.

Bella blushes, but Grace and Ham don’t notice. 

Bella: Okay…bye.

She hangs up the phone.

Grace: I don’t remember any cute guys coming here.

Bella: Who said he was cute?

Grace: He sounded cute.

Hamilton looks at Bella suspiciously.  She’s saved by the sound of a motorcycle approaching.

Hamilton: My ride…

He turns around as Jake pulls up on the motorcycle.  She pulls off the helmet.

Jake: Hey guys.

Bella: Hi, how are you doing?

Jake smiles.

Jake: Really great.

Bella smiles.

Jake cont’d: And, what about you?

Bella: Really great.

Hamilton: Well, this is all just…great, but…can we go?

Jake: Yeah, sure, hop on.

Hamilton: I thought you said I could drive…

Jake just looks at him smugly.

Hamilton cont’d: Fine…

Jake hands him a helmet and he straps it on then climbs on behind her.  Jake tosses Bella an amused smile then nods to Grace.

Jake: Ladies…

They drive off.

Grace: That is so weird.

Bella: What?

Grace: Jake.

Bella: Jake’s really cool.

Grace: That’s nice, but…that’s not what I mean.  It’s like, if you get to know Hamilton, it makes no sense that he would be with another guy.  He exudes straightness. 

Bella: Oh God, Grace…what does that even mean?

Grace: It means, Bella, that he’s pretty responsive to flirting.

Bella rolls her eyes.

Grace cont’d: And, he checks you out on a regular basis.

Bella: Oh, he does not.

Grace nods.

Grace: However…the second Jake comes around…all bets are off.  I just don’t understand.

Bella: It’s not complicated; they’re in love.

Grace (as if it were an epiphany): Maybe he’s bi.

Bella: Please don’t tell me this little revelation is going to lead to further flirt sessions…

Grace: Well, I am looking for something new and interesting…

Bella: Yeah, well, you can keep looking.  Hamilton is a lost cause.

Grace laughs.

Grace: Yeah, you’re right.  Besides, he’s too perfect and problem free.

Bella: And…you need a guy with issues?

Grace: I need a guy who’s real.

(cut to): the motorcycle parked in the woods.  Jake and Hamilton still sit on it.  Hamilton is still on the back, but Jake has turned around to face him.  Hamilton has one hand on her thigh.  She holds on to his other hand with both of hers, running her fingers in and out of his.  After a moment of silence:

Music: American Girls by Weezer and Soul Coughing

Hamilton: Grace is unreal, you know?

Jake raises her eyebrows.

Hamilton cont’d: Well, before, it was like she just accepted that I’m gay.

Jake stifles a laugh.  He narrows his eyes as he considers his phrasing, but goes on.

Hamilton cont’d: But, lately, it’s like she’s been…pressing for more information

Jake raises her eyebrows.

Hamilton cont’d: Like, asking me about my taste in guys and stuff.

Jake: Maybe she’s just trying to get to know you a little better.

Hamilton’s considers this.

Jake cont’d: Oh, or…maybe she wants a gay best friend.

She pauses as he looks down.

Jake cont’d: I mean…I like mine.

He looks back up at her, meeting her smile with a mildly irritated look.

Hamilton: Funny.

He looks off and pulls his hand from hers.  She tries hard not to laugh at him.  A slight beat.

Jake: I’m sorry…

He looks back over at her.

Jake cont’d: I’ll make it up to you…

She leans over to him to kiss him.  He leans back.

Hamilton: You want to make it up to me?  You can let me drive.

He tosses her a sexy, pleading look.  She laughs.  She pulls the keys out of her pocket and hands them over.  He grins.

Hamilton cont’d: That was easier than I thought it’d be.

Jake: What can I say?  You’re cute when you pout.

Hamilton smiles.  Another slight beat.

Jake: So…are we going to go?

Jake starts to get up.

Hamilton: Not so fast…

He leans in, kissing her.  After a second, Jake pulls back slightly.

Hamilton cont’d: What?

Jake: We’re going to miss dinner.

Hamilton: Who cares?  We can order a pizza or something.

Jake laughs.

Hamilton cont’d: What?

Jake: Nothing…I just…I knew you were going to say that.

Hamilton smiles and leans in.

Hamilton: I guess you know me all to well.

Jake smiles and slowly kisses him.  Forget dinner.

(fade out)

 

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(fade in): to an establishing shot of Friendly’s later that evening.

(cut to): inside.  Almost “everyone” is there.  Sean, Jill, Gwen, in her uniform, and Will sit at the big booth while Nicholas has a chair pulled up.  Scout is at the counter with some customers who are paying their bill.  The customers leave as we join the conversation at the table.

Music: Heroes by the Wallflowers (playing from the jukebox)

Sean (to Nicholas): So, were you ever in any shows on Broadway?

As he gets his question out, Jake and Hamilton walk in. Nicholas looks up and nods hello to them.

Nicholas: Um, no…not exactly.

Gwen: More like off-Broadway?

Nicholas: More like …way the hell off Broadway.

Some of the kids laugh as Jake takes a seat in the booth and Ham pulls up another chair.  Scout walks up.

Scout (light): This is the guy the dean hires to teach us about acting?  Pathetic.

Nicholas smiles good-naturedly.

Jill: Scout?

Scout: Hm?

Jill: Could you get me some more Coke?

He gives her a sarcastic look then looks at Gwen.

Scout: You know, I could use some help…

Gwen: Sorry.  I’m on my break.

Scout: You’ve been on your break for like—

Gwen: I covered you for an extra half an hour the other day while you were doing God knows what in the—

Scout: Okay…okay. 

Scout smiles at Jill then takes her glass.  He walks off to get her refill.  Will watches him suspiciously until he is out of earshot then turns to Jill.

Will: Is he really okay?

Jill: I think so.

Will looks at Sean who nods in agreement.

Sean: He’s been surprisingly cool.

Hamilton: That’s weird.  Doesn’t sound like Scout at all.

Jake looks at Jill disapprovingly.  Jill avoids eye contact.  Scout walks back up to the table with Jill’s Coke and everyone falls silent.

Scout: Were you guys talking about me?

Everyone looks around, doing a poor job of denying it.

Nicholas: I think that’s my cue.

He stands up.

Nicholas cont’d: Which is something I’ll teach you all about this Fall, Scout.

He pats him on the back then hands him some cash and picks up a to-go box on the table.

Nicholas cont’d: I’ll see you kids later.

He gives Jake one last look that no one but she and Hamilton notice then he turns to go, but just as he gets to the door:

Scout: Hey, Mr. Mann?

Nicholas turns back around.

Scout cont’d: She’s too afraid to ask, but Jill wants to know if you have a girlfriend.

Jill: You are so dead.

She starts to stand up, but Sean gently pulls her back down.  Nicholas smiles, and looks down…he’s blushing.

Nicholas: Um…

He runs a hand through his hair.  The bell on the door rings, but we stay on Nick.

Nicholas cont’d: I’ll, uh…see you kids later…

He turns to leave and runs right into the entering customer: Bella.  He drops the to go box and his fries and sandwich fall to the floor.  They quickly step back from the scene of the collision.

Music: My Girl by the Temptations (the next song on the jukebox playlist)

Bella: Sorry.

Nicholas can’t help laugh slightly.

Nicholas: No, uh…I’m sorry.  My fault.  Um…it’s Bella, right?

She looks at him, cheeks red under the scrutiny of…”everyone.”

Bella: It sure is.

Nicholas nods.  He can’t help smile and stare at her.  Bella looks down, uncomfortable.  Nicholas gets the hint.

Nicholas: Well…I, uh…I hope I don’t run into you again.

He looks over at everyone else who is watching intently.  Bella looks at him, confused.  He looks back at her.

Nicholas cont’d: Literally, of course.

Bella: Right, right…because…if we never saw each other again then…who would pump your gas?

Nicholas: Well, I could pump it myself.

The kids crack up.  Nicholas becomes painfully aware of their presence.  He looks over at them with a mock-reprimanding smile.

Nicholas cont’d: God, I’d forgotten how teenaged minds live in the gutter.

He shakes his head, but still smiles.  Scout walks over to him with a new to go box.

Nicholas looks down at the mess.

Scout: Don’t worry about it; I got it.  Just get out of here before Mrs. Owen comes in and sees me giving her order away.

Nicholas takes the box and smiles gratefully at Scout.

Nicholas cont’d: Later…

He nods goodbye to Bella then everyone else.  He turns around and exits.  Everyone is momentarily silent as Scout starts to pick up the spilled food.

Sean: Okay…why do you guys get all the cool teachers?

Hamilton: Who are you counting as cool?  Him and Finn?

Sean: Well…yeah.

Bella sits in the chair Nick was sitting in, joining the table and conversation.

Hamilton: Neither of them is all that cool.

Jake gives him a dirty look.

Jake: Mr. Mann seems—

Jill: Hot.  He seems hot.

Sean: Hey.

Jill: Not as hot as you, Baby.

She runs her hand up his neck and through his hair then kisses his neck.  She puts her head on his shoulder as she drapes the other arm around his back.  They smile at each other.  We know Sean’s not the greatest actor so we know his enjoyment of this is genuine.  Scout looks thoroughly disgusted, but when Will, Gwen, Jake, Ham and Bella toss concerned glances at him, he merely smiles and gets back to work, taking the box of spilled food back to the kitchen to throw away.  When he’s gone:

Jill cont’d: Seriously, though, don’t you guys think he’s cute? 

She looks around.

Will (sarcastic): Oh, yeah…he’s a major hottie.

Jill: Shut up.  Gwen, back me up?

She glances at Will, but concurs:

Gwen: Yes…he’s attractive.

Hamilton: Yeah, for a thirty year old.

Will: Exactly.

Sean: Who cares about age?  He seems like a nice guy.

Bella smiles slightly.

Bella: Yeah, he does.

She looks down, thinking about her own private experiences with Nick.

Hamilton: Nice…for an old guy.

Jake: He’s only, like, twenty-three and…you know that.

She gives Hamilton a displeased look, but he just rolls his eyes and takes a sip of his Coke.

Jill: Okay, Bella…what do you think?

Bella: What?

She looks up; she hasn’t been following the conversation.

Jill: Nicholas Mann…hot or not?

Bella: Um…I think…I mean…he’s…cute.

Scout comes back within hearing distance.

Scout: Mr. Mann?  I guess you would think so.

She looks panicked.

Bella: What?

Scout pulls up a seat next to Bella again and grabs her shoulders.

Scout: Uh…um…it was my fault for bumping into you…oh, I’m sorry…did I cop a pedophilic feel in the process?  Bella, isn’t it?

Bella can’t help laugh.  If he only knew.

Bella: Whatever.

Will: He was totally checking you out.

Bella: No, he wasn’t.

Jake: You guys…come on…that’s…that’s gross and probably so not who he is.

Will: You’re awfully defensive.

Scout: Better keep an eye on her, Ham.

Hamilton: Shut up, Scout.

Gwen: Maybe this entire conversation is in vain.  Maybe he’s gay.

Everyone looks around: it’s possible.

Scout: Maybe we should ask Hamilton…throw up any blips on the old gaydar?

Hamilton glances at Jake…low blow, but he keeps it light:

Hamilton: Ha. Ha.  The old “Hamilton’s gay” joke…never get tired of that one.

Everyone laughs.

Jake: Anyway, Mr. Mann’s not gay.

Bella: I agree.

Scout gets up, again clearing some of the dishes.  When he’s gone:

Will: He really is in an amazingly good mood.

Bella nods, mystified too.

Bella: Yeah…

They look at each other.

Jill: He’s over me…how shocking…now, can we all please move on?

She snuggles closer to Sean when she catches Bella looking their way.  Jake shakes her head.  She doesn’t approve of this situation.

Hamilton: Okay, Jill…we haven’t heard the official story yet.  How’d you guys hook up?

Jill: Well…

She glances at Sean.  He gives her the “you tell it” look.

Jill cont’d: A few weeks ago…

Music: On a high by Duncan Sheik

(cut to): outside the diner.  Dexter is in the middle of the street on his bike, looking into Friendly’s’.  A car pulls into the garage with a screech.  Dexter glances back at it, then back at Friendly’s.  The car pulls off leaving Grace.

Grace: Longing to be part of the group?

Dexter turns quickly, startled.  Somehow his feet get caught up in the bike and both he and the bike go crashing to the ground.

(dissolve to): several minutes later.  Dexter sits miserably on the bench with a very large scrape on his chin and a busted lip.  He pulls a hand up, touching his lip and winces.  He looks down at his hands…they’re scraped up too.  He sighs and leans his head back.  The door opens. 

Grace: Just come on in, okay?

He looks up at her, swallowing.

Grace cont’d: Unless you wanted to leave any more of your face on the street.

He quickly gets up.

(cut to): the bathroom upstairs.  Dexter stands at the sink washing his hands.  Grace stands right next to him, close.  He quickly finishes and dries his hands off.

Grace: Sit down.

He glances around then opts for the edge of the tub.  Grace pulls out a washcloth from under the sink.  She gets it wet then puts some soap on it and dabs at the scrape on his chin.  He tries not to wince.  She smiles to herself…guys.  She turns away to rinse off the washcloth.  She turns back to him.

Grace cont’d: So…do you talk?

Dexter swallows then nods. Grace laughs.

Grace cont’d: You’re that Dexter guy, aren’t you…Hamilton’s roommate?

Dexter nods again then looks up at her timidly. 

Dexter: And…you’re Grace.

Grace looks down at him, slightly surprised, but she doesn’t say anything.  She wipes the dried blood from his lip then gently dries off his lip and chin.  She takes out some Neosporin from the medicine cabinet.

Grace: I’ve never actually done this before.

She puts some on his chin before he can react.  He watches her unwrap a band-aid.  A beat.

Grace cont’d: I have this philosophy.

She covers most of his scrape on his chin with the band-aid.

Grace cont’d: Never stress yourself out over people because…they hardly ever end up being worth it.  And, if they are...you don't find out by worrying about what they think.  You get what I’m saying?

Dexter: No.

Grace smiles.  He smiles back, causing his lip to start bleeding again.  She presses the washcloth against it.

Grace: Don’t try so hard.

She grabs his hand and makes him hold the washcloth.

Grace cont’d: Once you stop trying to impress them…that’s when they notice you.

Dexter scowls. 

Dexter: I’m not trying to impress anyone.  I just want to have friends like everyone else.  I want girls to like me.  And, besides, all you know about me is what Hamilton may have mentioned and…Hamilton doesn’t know anything. 

Grace smiles.

Grace: See.

Dexter raises his eyebrows.

Grace: You were just totally honest and totally yourself and…I already want to spend more time with you.

She smiles and walks out the bathroom.  He looks at the still open door with a slightly dropped jaw.

(fade out)

 

Commercial Break: Have you ever wanted to go to a film festival?  Well, you can check out the Media That Matters film festival at mediarights.org without ever having to leave your computer.  Be sure to check out the films on any of the topics that interest you and check out the whole site for exposure to cool stuff that you may not get to see otherwise.

 

(fade in): Johanna and Finn’s house, the same evening.

(cut to): the dining room.  Meagan, Finn and Johanna sit around the dining room table.

Finn: So, Meagan, we found out some news at yesterday’s doctor’s appointment.

Meagan looks up at him.  She glances at her mom.

Meagan: What?

Finn checks with Johanna.  She nods for him to tell.

Finn: We found out that the newest addition to our family is going to be a baby—

Meagan: …wait!  Don’t tell me.

Finn shuts up.  He and Johanna are confused.

Meagan cont’d: I want it to be a surprise.

Finn smiles, confused.

Finn: Oh…okay.

He looks at Johanna.  She gives him an amused shrug.

Meagan: I mean, I want to know and everything, but…then…

She sighs.

Meagan cont’d: I thought you guys weren’t finding out.

Johanna: We weren’t, but we want to start buying things and…it seemed like a practical idea.

Meagan: I have to think about this.  Because, I was ready to not know until the baby was born and now…I don’t know.  This is big.

Finn smiles at Johanna, thinking this reaction is a little strange.  Meagan notices.

Meagan cont’d: I’m not weird.

Johanna: No one’s saying you are.  We all like surprises.

Meagan: It’s because…I wanted to meet my new sibling for the first time without any ideas about what he or she would be like.  No…preconceived notions.

Finn and Johanna smile at each other.

Johanna: Okay…so, we won’t tell you.

Meagan: But, I guess I’ll be able to figure it out when you buy a blue blanket or paint the walls pink, huh?

Johanna: I guess so…

Meagan sighs.

Meagan: Tell me tomorrow.

Johanna: Okay.

A beat.

Meagan: Don’t you guys start Lamaze tomorrow?

Finn: Yes; we do.

Meagan: Are you nervous?

Johanna: Maybe a little.

Meagan: Remember to breathe.

She laughs.  Johanna and Finn take a moment to get it then they laugh too.

Meagan cont’d: I thought of that one earlier.

Music: Whatever by Splender

(cut to): Jill and Sean walking down the street from Friendly’s.  When they are sufficiently far away, Sean stops, grabbing Jill’s arm to stop her too.

Sean: (angry) Hey, listen…what were you thinking in there?

Jill: What are you talking about?

Sean: That story you told…about “us.”  It was…kind of stupid.

Jill: Stupid?  I was just trying to keep it simple, okay?

Sean: There is nothing simple about flowers and music and…dinner.  I mean, I can’t even cook.  And…I already told you…I would never ask you out…I specifically said that.

Jill gives him a hurt look.

Sean cont’d: Why didn’t you just say that you planned a picnic for us and…we talked and…we…suddenly…connected…or something?

Jill: Because that’s “stupid.”

Sean: Yeah, well…it’s closer to the truth.  You did plan the picnic for us.  Technically, it was you asking me out.  I mean, this is your plan.

Jill: God.  You don’t want to date me.  I freaking get it, Sean…

She turns away and starts to walk off.

Sean: Jill…

She doesn’t respond.  He follows after her.

Sean cont’d: Jill…hang on...

He catches up with her.

Sean cont’d: I’m sorry.

She stops and turns to him, arms folded.

Sean cont’d (calmly): Look…I’m sorry for over-reacting.

She looks down.

Sean cont’d: I’m upset that you told them I did exactly what I told you I would never do. 

Jill: I caught that.

Sean: And…I wouldn’t ask you out.

Jill: Caught that too.

Sean: But…you wouldn’t ask me out either.

Jill narrows her eyes, not understanding.

Sean cont’d: You don’t want to be with me.  That’s why we’re just pretending to date.  If we wanted to be with each other…we’d be dating for real instead.

She looks down.

Sean cont’d: So don’t act all hurt as if I don’t know how amazing you are.
She looks up at him.

Sean cont’d: I definitely know, okay?  You’re smart and you’re strong.  You’re an artist…a great one.  And…I can talk to you like I’ve never been able to talk to anyone.  Your personality is indescribably wonderful.  You’re funny and you’re crazy…in all the right ways.  And, as an added bonus, you’re incredibly beautiful.

Jill’s surprised by the flattery.  She smiles slightly.

Jill (flattered): Sean…

Sean: I know these things about you.  I appreciate them.  So just stop acting all mad at me because I said I wouldn’t ask you out.

She half laughs and nods.

Sean cont’d: You already intimidate me enough without being mad too.

She laughs and rolls her eyes.  She’s still impressed by his speech.  She turns and starts walking again.  He does the same.  She leans over, elbowing him playfully.

Jill: God, you’re good at making up.

Sean smiles mischievously, elbowing her back.

Sean: And making out…according to some.

Jill laughs, but blushes slightly.  A beat.  Sean puts his hands in his pockets.

Sean cont’d: Why don’t I walk you home?

Jill: Why don’t I walk you home?

She pauses.

Jill cont’d: Then we can get in your parents car and you can drive me home.

Sean laughs.

Sean: I thought you liked walking.

Jill: I like walks. Walks are romantic. Walking is just something you do if you don’t have a fake boyfriend who has a car.

Sean laughs again.

Sean: Okay.

They start to leave when Scout shouts from down the street.

Scout (shouting): Hey, you guys?  Wait up…

They stop and turn as Scout jogs up to them.

Sean: Hey Scout…how’s it going?

Scout: I just got off work so…it’s going well.  What are you two up to?

Sean: We were just…

Jill: …talking.

Sean nods in agreement.

Jill cont’d: And, now we’re going over to Sean’s so he can give me a ride home.

Scout: My car’s down the street…

He nods back toward Friendly’s.

Scout cont’d: I could give you a ride.

Jill: Oh…um…

Sean: I think we were going to…

He takes Jill’s hand.

Sean cont’d: …hang out over at my house for a while first.

Scout: Oh…

He gives Jill a faintly questioning glance, but not so much that Sean sees it.

Scout cont’d: …sounds fun.  Going to watch a movie or something?

Sean: Yep…something.

Scout nods.  He gives Jill another curious look.  She gives him a slight shake of her head and a  look that indicates it’s nothing. Scout smiles.

Scout: All right, well, you two kids have fun then…

Before he can back away:

Sean: Hey, um, I don’t mean to be the one to point out the elephant, but…Scout…are you…are you really okay with this?

Scout: What?  You and Jill “hanging out” at your place?

Scout chuckles.

Sean: Me and Jill…dating.

Scout: Oh…

He tilts his head at Jill.  She doesn’t make eye contact.  Scout half laughs.

Scout: Of course I’m okay with it.  I am totally okay with it.  Actually, I think it’s great.

Sean gives him an uncertain look.  Scout smiles and holds up three fingers.

Scout cont’d: Scout’s honor.

He laughs at himself.

Scout cont’d: Anyway…have fun.  I’ll see you later.

He looks at Jill to emphasize it as a request.  As he walks away, we follow him a moment.  We see the garage in the background.  Dexter and Grace stand with Dexter’s bike. 

Music: God must hate me by Simple Plan

(cut to): Dexter and Grace.  He’s holding up the bike and she’s inspecting it.  The handle bars are crooked.

Grace: Okay, I think we got your spokes all straightened out.  Now…we just need to do something about the handlebars.  She climbs onto the bike.

Grace: Hold the front wheel steady.

He reaches down and steadies the tire with his hands.  She turns the handlebars and they smack him in the side of the head, knocking his glasses off.  But…the handlebars do end up straight.

Grace: Oh my God…are you okay?

He stands up straight, rubbing his temple.

Dexter: Yeah, fine.

She gets off the bike, kicks down the kickstand and abandons it for Dexter.  She puts a hand up to the side of his face.  He winces.  She laughs. 

Grace: Maybe I should just go ahead and kill you know.

He closes his eyes, clearly in pain.

Dexter: You have been the number one cause of injury tonight.

She picks up his glasses.

Grace: To you and your accessories apparently. 

He opens his eyes and looks at his glasses; the arm of the glasses has come off.

Dexter: Damn.

He starts to take them from her, but she pulls them back, looking at where they’ve come apart.

Grace: Hang on…

She walks toward the house.  Dexter looks confused.

Dexter: Um—

Grace: Come on…

(cut to): her room a few moments later.  She enters with Dexter following timidly behind her.  She walks over to her desk and opens the top drawer.  He stands hesitantly at the door.

Grace: Just…sit over there or something.  You’re making me nervous.

She waves over at the bed.  He almost laughs at the comment.  She’s nervous?  Still, he takes a seat on her bed.  She finds what she needs in her desk, a glasses case and a small toolkit, and joins him on the bed. 

Grace: The screw just popped out.  I have another one.

He assesses the glasses case and kit then looks up at her and continues to watch her intensely.  She opens the kit and carefully takes out a tiny screw and a small screwdriver.  She lines up the arm with the front of the frames and puts the screw in carefully.  As she’s screwing it in, she glances over and notices Dexter staring at her.  He looks down quickly.  She smiles and attempts to go back to the glasses, but the screw falls out.  She and Dexter both lean forward to pick it up and, in romantic comedic fashion, bump heads…hard. 

Grace cont’d: God…ow…

She holds the side of her head, blinking.  Dexter sighs putting his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands.

Dexter: I think…I should—

Grace: Dammit…

Dexter looks up at her.

Grace cont’d: I lost my contact….

Dexter can’t help smile.  Could this night get any worse?

(fade out)

 

Commercial Break:  Speaking of media that matters, have you see Bowling for Columbine yet?  If not, check your local theaters and see if it’s playing near you.  Actually, if it’s in a theater 150 miles away, it’s still worth seeing if you can.  You can watch clips from the film on the site and read all about it and it’s maker, Michael Moore.

 

(fade in): to Grace’s room.  She and Dexter are both on hands and knees on the floor.  Dexter has his glasses on again and…Grace also has on a pair.

Grace: Well, at least we found the screw to fix your glasses.

He looks up for a second, smiling at her glasses.  She notices.

Music: For You by Duncan Sheik

Grace cont’d: God, don’t even look at me in these things.  Geek chic was never my thing.

He smiles and pretends to keep looking for the contact.  She runs her hand over the floor once more then stands up.

Grace cont’d: Forget it; I give up.

Dexter quickly stands too.  Grace re-adjusts her glasses, glancing in the mirror on her vanity.

Grace: I can’t believe I used to wear these on a regular basis.

Dexter: I…um…I think you look…really pretty…either way.

This takes Grace way off guard.  She tilts her head.

Grace: Do you think they make me look smarter?

Dexter: I think I already thought you were pretty smart.

He looks up at her now. 

Grace: You think I’m smart.  Yeah, right.

Dexter: You fixed my glasses, my bike and my face.  And…you gave me some really great advice about being myself.  So, yes…I really do think you’re smart.

She gives him an unintentionally flirtatious smile.  He looks down again, smiling himself.

Grace: I totally don’t get you.

Dexter sighs.

Dexter: That’s okay.  I don’t get myself half the time.

She smiles.

Grace: It’s like you’re shy and quiet and…then…you say the most amazing things.

Dexter: Why is what I said so amazing?  You are smart.  You are pretty. 

Grace: See.

He smiles looking off for a second.  Then, he looks back at her.

Dexter: I do have trouble…talking to girls sometimes…because…

It doesn’t appear he intends on finishing.

Grace: Because?

Dexter: I…

He pauses looking at her, suddenly amused with the situation.

Dexter: …I just do.  Clearly.

Grace: Clearly.

Dexter: I start…thinking…about…all the things she’s probably…thinking…about me.  And then…I have trouble being…myself because…I think…she’s thinking…I’m…a total…dork…or completely…uninteresting…or…something.

He’s looking down now.  Grace watches him eager to hear the rest.

Dexter cont’d: But…sometimes, you know…you just…

He looks up at her.

Dexter cont’d: …forget to think.

They share a look that lasts several seconds.  Eventually, Grace looks down tucking her hair behind her ear.  She doesn’t get flattery like this often.

Dexter cont’d: Um…I…I need to…I have…homework.

Grace: Yeah…me too probably.

He swallows.

Dexter cont’d: I’m going to…

He looks at the door.

Grace: …go?

He nods, glancing back at her.

Dexter: Yes.

He turns and walks toward the door.  Grace watches him, amused, but disappointed.  He turns back to her just before he gets all the way out.

Dexter cont’d: It was…nice to meet you, Grace.

She smiles.

Grace: You too.

Dexter: And…thank you…

She nods a you’re welcome.  He nods once, closing his eyes.  Then, he quickly escapes.

Music: When I’m with you by Simple Plan

(cut to): the common room.  Scout sits at a table with headphones on and homework on the desk

in front of him. 

(cut to): the door.  Jill walks in and watches him a moment.  She smiles then walks over.  He looks up as she stands next to his chair.

Scout: Hey.

Jill: Hey.

Jill sits down next to him in the chair, forcing him over and almost off.  He’s amused despite the inconvenience.  It puts them extremely close to one another.  He looks over at her.  She knows she’s in trouble and isn’t saying much.

Scout: So…he doesn’t know that I know.

Jill: No…

Scout nods.  He leans a little closer.

Scout: Any…reason why?

Jill: He still doesn’t know we were trying to set him up with Bella that day at the lake and…I thought if he knew you knew…he’d want to know why I told you and…I just didn’t want him to find out you’d been there that day.

Scout laughs.

Jill: What?

Scout: I just thought maybe you were…trying to make me jealous.

Jill smiles and looks down for a second then back up at him as they close the small gap that exists between them.  They kiss.  Scout brings his hand to her cheek continuing the kiss.  When they finish, both look pretty happy with this situation and they don’t lean away too much.

Scout: I take it he doesn’t know about this either?

Jill: No; he doesn’t.  I mean…I’m still trying to figure it out myself.

Scout nods slightly, swallowing.

Scout: Yeah, me too.

She smiles and kisses him again, softly and briefly.

Scout cont’d: You know…Sean’s awfully good at faking that jealous/possessive thing.  Makes me really glad I do know what’s going on there.

Jill: I’m glad you know too.

He smiles.  A slight beat.

Scout: Do you think you’ll tell him about us?  I mean, maybe you could just say that…you started liking me again and…that’s why you told me.

Jill: Why are you pushing this Scout?

He looks a little hesitant.

Scout: It’s just that…I don’t know…I feel like I actually am with…someone else’s girlfriend.

Jill: That’s just pretend, Sean and me.  It’s not real.  It’s not…us.

She raises her eyebrows, hoping for an agreement.  He smiles.

Scout: Us.  Right.

He leans in to kiss her again.

(cut to): a little later, Jake’s dorm room.  Jake, Hamilton and Jill are hanging out.  They all sit on the bed.  Jake leans against the headboard toward one side.  Hamilton lies diagonally with his head in Jake’s lap.  Jill sits Indian style on the free corner.

Music: Get Over it by OK Go

Hamilton: I’ve been thinking about it and…I think I approve of this thing with Sean.

Jill laughs.

Jill: Well, thanks, Ham.

Hamilton: Like someone once said to me…

He turns his head to smile at Jake for a second then looks back at Jill.

Hamilton cont’d: …some people just click; it’s a chemistry thing. 

Jill glances at Jake, but offers Hamilton a smile.

Hamilton cont’d: You and Sean click.  And you definitely have—

Jake: Hey, Hamilton, didn’t you have some reading to do?

He turns his head to look at her.  She gives him a “get lost” look. 

Hamilton: Oh, yeah.

He, with only slight reluctance, sits up.  He gives Jake a quick peck and Jill a nod then exists.

Jill: You told him, didn’t you?

Jake: Nope.

Jill: Come on.  Why would he say that if—

Jake: He doesn’t know anything about…anything that’s going on in your…um…love life…

She clearly doesn’t approve of Jill’s “love life.”

Jake cont’d: …if you can even call it that.

Jill (good-natured): Yeah, whatever…those who live in glass houses…Jake.

Jake tries not to smile, but can’t help it.  She keeps the light-hearted tone:

Jake: Yeah, I always assumed my relationship with Hamilton pretty much topped out the dysfunctional scale…

Jill rolls her eyes and collapses forward.

Jill: God, it’s not that bad.

Jake: You’re dating Sean and making out with Scout.  It’s pretty bad.

Jill considers this.  She gets serious.

Jill: Do you think I should tell Sean?

Jake: That you’re seeing Scout again?

Jill nods.

Jake cont’d: I don’t know.

Jill: Well, then…what am I supposed to do?

Jake: Skip town?

Jill: Very funny.

Jake: Why couldn’t you have just told Sean to begin with?

Jill: Because…he has a hard enough time pretending to be my boyfriend…

Jake stares at her for a second, incredulous.

Jill cont’d: Look…everything is just so…

Jake: …complicated?

Jill shakes her head in disagreement.

Jill: Perfect.

Not what Jake was expecting to hear.

Jill cont’d: I love Scout.  I want to be with Scout.

She pauses.

Jill cont’d: And…I don’t want Sean hating me for it.

Jake: Why does the expression “have your cake and eat it too” come to mind?

Jill: It’s not like that.

Jake: Then what is it like?

Jill: It’s like…something I’m not prepared to deal with until…I have to…

Jake considers this.

Jake: I’ve gone that route.

Jill: What route?

Jake: Not dealing with it until… you’re standing there kissing some guy who so doesn’t have a clue about what’s going on.

Jill: Yeah, well…that all turned out just fine, didn’t it?

Jake raises an eyebrow, looks around her room then down at her boy outfit then back at Jill.

Jake: Yeah…it’s great.

Jill: Look, just…give me some time and…I’ll try to figure out what to do.

Jake: Okay.

Jill: Okay?

Jake: Yeah, okay because…Jill…I think…it’s a no win.  Someone is going to end up angry and hurt so…okay…enjoy it while it lasts.

Jill sighs, frustrated by the whole situation.

(cut to): Hamilton and Dexter’s room.  Hamilton sits on the edge of his bed, holding his electric guitar and playing the song Bella showed him earlier.  He pauses and picks up a notepad and pencil next to him, writing down the notes he was just playing.  He sticks the pencil behind his ear and goes back to the guitar.  Before he can play another note, Dexter enters from the bathroom, fresh from a shower, wearing only a towel around his waist.

Hamilton: Hey.  Didn’t know you were here.

Dexter: I was just…uh…taking a shower.

Hamilton gives him a puzzled, but amused look.

Hamilton: Yeah…I can see that.

He laughs to himself, shaking his head, as he starts to go back to the guitar.  He looks up again at Dexter who’s pulling some clothes out of a drawer.

Hamilton cont’d: Not that your personal hygiene schedule is any of my business, but…don’t you usually do the shower thing in the morning?

Dexter: I guess so, yeah.

Dexter picks up his glasses off his dresser and looks at them, smiling to himself. Hamilton notices this then the scrape on Dexter’s chin.

Hamilton: So…what happened to your face?

Dexter: Bike accident.  Don’t ask.

He looks once more at his glasses and puts them on.  Hamilton’s tilts his head.

Hamilton: Where were you tonight?

Dexter: I don’t know.  Around.  Riding my bike.

Dexter edges his way to the bathroom.

Hamilton: And you had to swerve to avoid a family of squirrels.

Dexter: Huh?

Hamilton: The accident.

Dexter: Oh…uh…

Hamilton gets up to check his wounds out in depth, blocking the path to the bathroom.

Hamilton: My mom can probably fix that up for you.

Dexter: It’s okay, someone—I…I already took care of it.  Thanks.

He walks around Hamilton and into the bathroom to change.  Hamilton watches the door suspiciously. 

(fade out)

 

Commercial Break: Sometimes life is just better expressed through quizzes.  That’s why you should check out Quizilla.  You can take and make fun quizzes to share with your friends…and people you don’t even know.  For example, are you Ian Somerhalder’s biggest fan?  Find out then make a quiz of your own J.

 

Music: Hands Down by Dashboard Confessional

(fade in): to an establishing shot of Friendly’s, a little later.

(cut to): inside.  Will, the only remaining customer, sits at the counter.  Gwen comes out from the kitchen, taking off her apron.

Will: Are you about ready to lock up?

Gwen: I think so.

Will: You’re doing a great job here.

Gwen smiles and leans across the counter to kiss him softly on the lips.

Gwen: Thank you.

Will: Oh, so I have an idea for our faculty feature for the next issue.

Gwen: I agree.

Will: There’s a first time for everything.

She smiles.

Will cont’d: But…you agree with what?

Gwen: That we should do the story on Mr. Mann.

Will smiles.

Will: You’re not supposed to know me so well that you seem psychic.

Gwen smiles.

Gwen: It’s a pretty obvious conclusion.  Look at the way we were all grilling him tonight.  He’s interesting.  We want to know more.  Everyone else probably will too.  We can put it in the center of the paper and do a full page spread.

Will: Lots of pictures?

Gwen: Definitely.

Will: Uh…huh.

Gwen: What?

Will (playful): You think he’s…hot.

Gwen smiles.

Gwen: No I don’t.

Will: You said you did earlier.

Gwen: No I didn’t. 

Will narrows his eyes.

Gwen cont’d: I said he’s attractive.

Will’s tone is still teasing and playful.

Will: I think I should do the interview.

Gwen laughs.

Gwen: He who does the interview writes the story.

Will: I think you should do the interview …but I’ll go with you.

Gwen: Why don’t we both interview him and…work on the story together?

Will: Together?  I like the sound of together.

Gwen (slightly more serious): Me too…

A slight beat.

Will: You know…I could spend every second with you and somehow…it still wouldn’t be enough.

Gwen (flattered): Will…

Will: What?  It’s so true. 

He takes her hands as she leans on the counter.

Will cont’d: I love being with you.

He pauses to look down at their hands now intertwined.

Will cont’d: You’re like…the single greatest thing that’s ever happened to me.  You complete this part of me that…I didn’t even know existed.

He looks up at her.

Will cont’d: I don’t say this as much as I think it, but…I love you, Gwen.

Gwen smiles, taking her hands gently from his and touching his face.

Gwen: I love you too, Will.

She tilts her head.

Gwen cont’d: Where is all this coming from anyway?

Will shrugs, taking her hands from his face and pulling them down to his chest, covering his heart.  Gwen smiles again, shaking her head.

Gwen cont’d: I always knew you were a hopeless romantic.

Will: Oh, you’ve been wrong because…I’m not so hopeless.

Gwen: Well, it seems that I don’t know you at all, Mr. Krudski.

Will: Why don’t we get this place closed up then you can, uh…know me a little better.

Gwen laughs, walking away from him.

Music: Simple Song Simple Plan by the Petit Project

(cut to): the boys’ dorms.

(cut to): Hamilton and Dexter’s room.  Hamilton is back at transcribing the song.  Dexter is at his laptop, but is actually looking out the window, lost in thought.

Hamilton: Did something happen to you tonight?

Dexter snaps out of his daze and focuses on his computer.

Dexter: Um…I fell off my bike.

Hamilton: And after that?

Dexter sighs, defeated.  He wants to talk about it anyway.

Dexter: I met…this girl.

Hamilton smiles.

Hamilton: I knew it.  I totally knew it.  Fill me in.

Dexter smiles, turning his chair around to face his roommate.  Dexter looks around, a little nervously.

Dexter: Hamilton…can I ask you something…about girls and stuff?

Hamilton raises his eyebrows, curious about this situation.

Hamilton: Shoot.

Dexter: If a girl tells you to stop trying so hard…what does that mean?  What should you do?

Hamilton: Try harder?

Hamilton laughs, but Dexter’s serious.

Hamilton cont’d: I guess it means that she wants to get to know you and…you should just be yourself.

Dexter: But…what if yourself…is me?

Hamilton stifles a laugh.

Hamilton: Well, normally I’d say pretend to be anyone other than you, but if she specifically requested it….

Dexter looks down.

Dexter: Do you think someone intelligent and beautiful and funny and basically completely amazing…could ever…fall for someone like me?

Hamilton: Stranger things have happened. 

Dexter nods, still looking down.  Hamilton sighs, feeling bad.

Hamilton: What I meant was…of course I do.

Dexter looks up, feeling a little more secure.

Hamilton: Who is this chick anyway?  Someone I know?

Dexter: Um…actually…I don’t think you know her at all.

Hamilton: A Rawley girl?

Dexter turns his chair back around.

Hamilton cont’d: You know I’ll figure it out.

Dexter: Yeah, I know your reputation for being perceptive…

Hamilton narrows his eyes, wondering if that was sarcasm.

(cut to): the garage.

(cut to): Bella’s bedroom.  She’s lying on her bed, reading a book.  There’s a knock.  Bella looks at the door skeptically.

Bella: Come in?

Grace walks in, wearing pajamas and her glasses.  Bella’s look gets even more skeptical.

Bella: Is something wrong?  Do you want something?

Grace: What?

Bella: You never knock.  Unless you want something…or unless something’s wrong.

Grace: Nothing’s wrong.  I guess…I guess I want something.

Bella closes her book, sitting up.

Bella: You’ve already got all my good clothes and, you can’t borrow any more of my CDs…last time I checked you were still using my Fionna Apple CD as a coaster.

Grace smiles.

Grace: Oh, wonderful, caring sister…I just want…to talk.

Bella: Oh…okay.

Grace, now inside the room, closes the door behind her.  Bella watches her as she walks over and sits down next to her on the bed, looking nervous about the pending discussion.

Bella cont’d (worried): Are you sure everything’s okay?

Grace smiles.

Grace: You know how sometimes—most of the time, actually—guys just tell you what you want to hear so that they can get what they want?

Bella tilts her head.

Grace cont’d: Like, “you’re hot” or “you’re smart” or whatever?  But, they haven’t even really considered it.  They just know that’s what they’re supposed to say?

Bella nods.

Bella: But, Grace—

Grace looks down.

Grace: I just want to know…what does it feel like when they actually mean it?

Bella begins to look suspicious.  Grace glances over at her and rolls her eyes.

Grace cont’d: It’s hypothetical.  Just tell me.  I know you know what I’m talking about.

Bella: Okay…um…

She thinks then nods her head ready to convey this.

Bella: At first, it feels like maybe he’s not entirely certain either, you know?  Not arrogant or over-confident.  Like, you can’t believe he’s saying this stuff to you…and neither can he.  And, eventually he sounds more secure.  You really start to get it…get him…and…you just know he means it because you feel exactly the same way.  It feels like…God, I don’t even know how to describe this.  You can just feel it…that’s how it feels.

Grace: What if you can feel it from the beginning…mixed up with all that confusion?

Bella smiles interestedly.

Bella: Who are we talking about, Gracie?

Grace: Like I said…someone hypothetical.

Bella: Someone at Joe’s?

Grace: No…

Bella: Isn’t that where you were tonight?

Grace: For awhile…

Bella: Come on…tell me. 

Grace: No.

Bella: I don’t want you falling for some loser at Joe’s.

Grace sighs and gets up, heading for the door, but pausing to turn back and say:

Grace: Those guys aren’t really my type.

Bella raises her eyebrows.

Grace cont’d: Recent revelation.

Bella: Oh…my God.

Grace: What?

Bella: You really like this guy?

Grace: What guy?

Bella: Do I know him?

Grace sighs.

Grace: God.  No.  You don’t know him, okay?  You, like, couldn’t ever.

Bella smiles almost too pleased with the situation.  Grace rolls her eyes.

Grace cont’d: He just…interests me.  That’s all.

Bella: Okay.

Grace smiles.

Grace: He interests me a lot.

Bella: I can tell.

Grace: Night Bella…thanks.

Bella: I didn’t even answer your last question.

Grace: It’s okay…I think I have it covered.

Bella smiles.  Grace starts to leave again.  Bella gets up.

Bella: Hey…if Dad asks, I went over to Sean’s.

Grace: Isn’t he with that Jill girl now?

Bella: Yeah, and this conversation reminded me of something I need to say to him.

Grace: You and your friends are so weird…

Bella smiles, grabbing a coat.

Music: If I Fall by Tara McClean

(cut to): Sean’s house, a little while later.

(cut to): Sean’s room.  He’s shooting a little Nerf basketball into a plastic basket on the back of his door.  He does a fake dribble then takes a shot, but the door opens moving the basket.

Sean: Hey, you’re screwing up my free throw average…

Much to Sean’s surprise, Bella walks in through the opening door.

Sean cont’d: Oh…hey…what are you doing here?

Bella shrugs.

Bella: Your mom let me in?

Sean smiles.  He grabs the ball of off the floor and takes another shot.  He misses.

Sean: She constantly tells me that I can’t have girls in my room…then she just…sends them on up.

He grabs the ball again as he glances at Bella.
Sean cont’d: Not that…I’m complaining.

He tosses the ball to Bella.

Bella: So…your parents…they…like Jill and everything?

Bella takes the shot and makes it.

Sean: Look, I know you probably don’t think I’m supposed to be dating her, but—

Bella: I know I’ve been really critical of your relationship with her…even when you were just friends and…I think maybe I should apologize for that.

Sean: Why?  Because Scout’s okay with it now?

Bella: No…because you obviously…like her….a lot.  And, I was talking to Grace tonight about what it feels like to…I don’t know…I guess just to meet someone and feel that instant connection and…it must be really hard when you feel that and everyone around you is…totally negative about it. 

Sean looks at her curiously for a second then grabs the ball off the floor again.

Bella cont’d: So, I guess I just wanted to say that from now on I’m totally supportive because I can see that you really care about her.

Sean (defensive): What makes you say that?

Bella raises her eyebrows.

Sean cont’d: I mean, of course I do really care about her.  She is my girlfriend, but...what…what gave it away?

Bella: What gave it away?  I didn’t know you were trying to hide it.

Sean: No, I’m not…I just…I mean…is it really…is it really that obvious?

Bella cont’d: I’ve known you forever Sean…so, yes…it’s really that obvious.

Bella smiles.

Bella: You’re being really weird. 

Sean: Yeah, well…so are you. 

Sean laughs.

Sean: What the hell does that mean anyway?

Bella: I don’t know.

A beat as Sean takes another shot and misses.  Bella recovers the ball this time and tosses it to him.

Sean: You and Grace were talking about relationships?

Bella: Huh?  Oh…yeah, kind of.

Sean: Hers or yours?

Bella: Well, considering neither of us are—

Sean: Don’t give me that. 

Bella looks at him curiously.

Sean cont’d: You have a crush on that new Rawely teacher, don’t you?

Bella: What?

Sean: Come on…give me some credit.  I’ve known you forever, too.  I saw the way you were looking at him today.

Bella: Oh, and how was that?

Sean: Like he was the greatest thing since peanut butter.

Bella laughs.

Bella: He’s a teacher, Sean.

Sean: He’s not your teacher.

Bella rolls her eyes.

Bella (sarcastic): You’re right…I’m actually already having a secret love affair with him.  I’m having dinner at his place tomorrow night.

Sean laughs.

Sean: Hey, more power to you.  Want to play horse?

He tosses her the ball.  She smiles and walks across the room to setup a more difficult shot.  Sean laughs at her.  He’s happy to be hanging with her.  We pan out through the window as the game of horse continues.

(fade out)

 

Commercial Break: At some point in your life (like as you’re reading this episode), you might be curious about what certain flowers “mean” or have come to symbolize.  Well, thank heavens for the internet because you can get that information here.

 

 (fade in): to an establishing shot of Carson.

Music: I’m Just a Kid by Simple Plan

(cut to) a shot of Finn and Johanna’s car driving down a street in Carson.

(cut to): inside the car.  Finn drives, Johanna sits in the passenger seat.  Meagan and Mark sit in the back seat.

Mark: So you guys know if it’s a boy or a girl?

Meagan: Shut up, Mark.

Mark: You shut up.

He looks over at her.

Mark cont’d: Why?

Meagan: They’re going to tell us after their Lamaze class.

Mark: Why can’t they just tell us now?

Meagan: Because…just shut up.

Mark looks at her like “what?”  Finn pulls the car into a hospital parking lot.

(cut to): a hall in the hospital.  Finn carries several pillows.  Johanna walks with her arm around Meagan.  Mark trails behind.

Johanna: Okay, so the rule is you aren’t allowed—

Meagan: …off this hall.  I know.

Finn, looking at the room numbers, spots the room for the class.

Finn: Okay, this is it.

He gives Mark and Meagan a stern, “be good” look. 

Johanna: We’ll see you two in an hour.

Meagan: We’ll be counting the minutes. 

They smile sarcastically and start to go into the room.

Meagan cont’d: Good luck.

Once they’re gone:

Meagan: Come on.

Mark: Why are we here anyway?  They were going to let us stay at your house.

Meagan: Let’s go find the nursery.

Mark: Is it on this hall?

Meagan rolls her eyes and pulls him off by his sleeve.

(cut to): outside nursery window.  Several babies are in the nursery.  Meagan and Mark walk up.

Meagan: Oh, here they are. 

Mark: Adorable.  We better—

Meagan: Isn’t this amazing.

Mark looks skeptically through the window.  One of the babies is crying. 

Meagan cont’d: Think I’ll be a good sister?

Mark glances at her as she looks in at the babies.

Mark: Definitely.

Meagan: I didn’t want to know if it’s a boy or girl because…I didn’t want to start making a plan in advance.  Like, if it’s a girl, I have to start being a really, really good example because she’ll probably look up to me a lot and stuff.  And, if it’s a boy…it’ll just make everything so different.  Like, maybe Finn will like him more and my mom’s never had a son before or anything. 

Mark: If it’s a boy, he would still look up to you.  And, if it’s a girl, everything will still be totally different because she’ll be a completely seperate person from you.

Meagan looks at him like he’s made a good point.

Meagan: Oh my gosh…I am so not prepared to do this. 

Mark: Finn and your Mom are taking care of the hard part.

Meagan: I just don’t want to start off on the wrong foot because I’m not ready to—

Mark: It’s a baby…it’s not going to remember the first time it sees you.  You’ve got years to get it right.  And by then it’s already going to love you and look up to you…as long as you’re not mean or anything.

Meagan: I’m not going to be mean.

Mark: I know.  You’re going to be great. 

Meagan smiles.

Meagan: Thanks.

(cut to): an establishing shot of Friendly’s.

(cut to): inside.  Scout is working behind the counter.  Jill and Sean sit next to each other in a booth.  Scout watches them carefully.  They’re sitting fairly close and talking quietly.  Bella walks in quickly.  She smiles at Jill and Sean.  Jill, of course, scoots closer to Sean.

(cut to): the counter.

Music: Rooftop by Pete Yorn

Bella: Got my order ready, Calhoun?

Scout: Two burgers to go…right there.

He points to a to-go bag on the counter.

Scout: So…who’s not eating?

Bella: Me, actually.  I’m going to the library in Carson tonight.

Scout: For dinner?

Bella: To do some research.  I’ll just…grab something on the way.

Scout nods as Bella walks out looking for a quick escape.

Bella cont’d: Anyway, I’m in a hurry so I’ll see you later, Scout.

She glances over at Jill and Sean as she walks past.  She smiles genuinely and waves.

Bella cont’d: See you guys later.

Sean smiles.  Jill looks at her suspiciously, but Bella’s already gone. 

(cut to): Jill and Sean’s table.

Jill: That was weird.

Sean looks over at her.

Jill cont’d: She was way too nice.

Now that she’s gone, Jill scoots away from Sean, glancing back at Scout.

(cut to): Scout who has been watching, but tries to look like he hasn’t been.  He reaches under the counter pulling out a tray of bused dishes.  He exits, taking the dishes into the kitchen.

(cut to): Sean and Jill.  Sean hasn’t skipped a beat in the conversation.

Sean: Oh, no…actually she stopped by last night and we had a really great talk.

Jill looks surprised that this hasn’t been relayed.  She pauses for Sean to continue, but he doesn’t.

Jill: And?

Sean: And…we played a game of horse.

Jill: Don’t give me that.  Spill.  Details.  What’d she say?  What’d you say?

Sean: She said she was sorry for being so negative about us—you and me—and that she was going to be supportive from now on.  I said…great.

Jill: Oh my God, that’s great.

Sean raises an eyebrow.

Jill cont’d: She’s in denial.

Sean awaits further explanation.

Jill cont’d: It’s the classic “I want you, but can’t have you so I’m going to lie to you—and myself—and pretend I’m happy for you” routine.

Sean smiles.

Sean: If you say so.

A beat.

Jill: Did she say why she had the change of heart?

Sean: Um…

He acts confused.

Sean cont’d: …she really didn’t.  I don’t know.

Jill: Good.  She definitely wants you then.  This is so perfect.

Sean tries to muster a smile, but this is so NOT perfect.

(cut to): the garage.  Hamilton washes the windshield of a customer’s car.  Bella exits with a backpack.

Hamilton: I didn’t even know they had a library in Carson that stays open late.

Bella: Everything in Carson stays open late.

She walks over to the truck.  Hamilton finishes the windshield, gets paid and jogs over to the truck as he notices Bella climbing in.

Hamilton: Why are you in such a rush?

Bella: Because…they don’t stay open that late.

Hamilton: What time do they close…

Bella searches for a good answer.

Hamilton cont’d: …’cause it’s only, like, six-fifteen.

Bella doesn’t have to come up with a time because Grace walks out of the office and over to Bella and Hamilton while asking:

Grace: Hey, Bella…Charlie asked if you could maybe go tomorrow bec—

Bella: No; I cannot.

Grace narrows her eyes.

Grace: What do you have to research anyway?

Hamilton: Seriously.  What’s wrong with the library here…over at Rawley Academy?

Bella: Can I just be allowed to do one thing on my own without everyone needing to know every.  Single.  Solitary.  Detail?

Grace: God…chill out.  I’ll tell Charlie you left already. 

She walks away and back into the office.  Bella is about to start the car, but she glances over at Hamilton who’s looking at her smugly.

Hamilton: You’re not going to the library…are you?

Bella looks caught just long enough to confirm Hamilton’s suspicions.  He smiles, steps away from the car, and waves.

Hamilton: Have fun.

Bella looks relieved.

Bella: Thank you, Hamilton.

She smiles gratefully.  She puts the car into gear.

Hamilton: Hey, Bella…

She looks over.

Hamilton cont’d: It’s not…it’s not Dexter, is it?

Bella looks genuinely confused.

Hamilton cont’d: Okay…just making sure.

Bella looks at him curiously, but makes her escape, pulling out of the driveway.

(cut to): the hospital in Carson.

(cut to): the classroom where Finn and Johanna’s Lamaze class is being held.  Everyone has gone except Finn, Johanna and another woman who we quickly find out is the instructor, Beth.

Music: I knew I loved you before I met you by savage garden

Beth: You guys did great.  You work very well together.

Finn: We like to think so.

They smile at each other.  Mark and Meagan walk in.

Meagan: Oh my Gosh…Mom, Finn…we saw the babies in the nursery.

Johanna: The nursery isn’t on this hall.

Meagan: But, Mom…they were so cute.

Johanna smiles, shaking her head.

Beth: You must be Meagan.

Meagan nods and goes to her mother’s side.

Beth: My name is Beth.

Meagan: Nice to meet you.

Beth smiles.

Beth: How do you feel about becoming a big sister, Meagan?

Meagan: Oh…pretty good.

Mark: I thought you were scared.

Meagan gives him a dirty look.

Meagan: That’s not even what I said…big mouth.

Johanna and Finn exchange a moderately worried look, but Beth isn’t fazed.  She looks at Finn and nods subtly over to Mark. 

Finn: Hey, Mark…think you could show me those oh-so-cute babies in the nursery?

Mark: Okay…

Finn gives Meagan a gentle squeeze on the shoulder and Johanna a smile before exiting with Mark.

Beth: Why don’t we all sit down?

(cut to): a groups of chairs in the corner of the room as they all sit down.

Meagan: Look, all I really said to Mark was that…I feel…unprepared.

Beth: That’s a completely normal way for a new big sister to feel.  And, I bet your parents are going to need your help a lot.

Meagan: What kind of help?

Beth: Maybe eventually helping to feed the baby or changing diapers, but at first just simple things like being extra quiet when the baby is sleeping or…being okay about not getting all of the attention anymore.

Meagan: Oh, I can do all that.  But, like, I’m nervous about…being a good role model.  I mean, do you think…

She glances at her mom then back at Beth.

Meagan cont’d: …do you think I’ll be a good big sister?

Beth smiles.  Johanna reaches out and puts her arm around Meagan, pulling her over a little bit.

Beth: Meagan, do you know why families are so special?

Meagan: I guess because they love you.

Beth  nods.

Beth: And a family is really the only group of people who can love you unconditionally…before they ever even meet you.

Meagan smiles.

Meagan: Like before you’re even born. 

Beth: That’s right.  And not only do they love you, but they worry about you and they worry about how they’re going to affect you.

Meagan: And they don’t even know you at all.

Beth: But they want to know you and…when your big sister worries about, say, being a good role model…she’s just proving that she loves you a whole lot already…before she ever meets you.

Meagan smiles.

Meagan: That’s such a neat way to think about things.

Meagan glances up at her mom again then down at her mom’s stomach.

Meagan cont’d: We don’t have to know anything about each other to love each other.

Beth: But, it’s okay to know things about each other too.  The baby can hear us right now. 

Meagan: That’s not fair.  It probably knows everything about me…and I don’t know a single thing about it.

Beth: Maybe we could start by finding out if “it” is a boy or a girl?  Would that be good?

Meagan nods.

Meagan: Totally.

Meagan looks up to Johanna for an answer.

(fade out)

 

Commercial Break: Need a Harry Potter icon?  For all your HP icon need, click here.  Although, we don’t endorse anything other than the icons themselves on that site J.

 

(fade in): to an establishing shot of the garage.  It’s about 7:30 now.  There is a Toyota Celica with the hood popped.

(cut to): under the hood.  Hamilton is flipping through the manual.  Grace walks up behind him, looking at him skeptically.

Grace: What are you doing under a hood?

Hamilton: Trying to be productive between customers…unlike some employees.

Grace: Well, some employees don’t get a paycheck so…shut up.

Hamilton rolls his eyes as Grace walks up even closer behind him and looks into the manual.

Grace: What seems to be the trouble?

Hamilton: It needs a new battery…that much I figured out.  I disconnected the old one, but when I tried to take it out…nothing.

He gestures toward the battery.

Hamilton cont’d: It won’t budge.

Grace: Okay, this is a Celica, right?

Hamilton: Yeah…

Grace: Well, you can’t just take the battery out of a Celica.

Hamilton tilts his head.

Grace: You have to take out the windshield washer fluid reservoir.

She reaches out and unscrews some washers and, fairly easily, pulls the tank out.  She hands it to Hamilton.

Grace cont’d: Now, you can take out the battery.

She pulls the battery out and hands that to him as well.

Hamilton: You never cease to amaze me, Grace.

He sets the battery and tank down on a work stand nearby.

Grace: I’ll take that as a compliment.  Although, I don’t know why you’re so amazed.  I learned how to change a battery before I learned how to walk.

Hamilton: Maybe, but I’ve never seen you utilize that skill.

Grace: Bella always beats me to it.  She’s the responsible one after all.

Hamilton half-laughs.  Grace gives him the once over.

Grace cont’d: She keeps telling me to stop asking you about the whole “gay” thing.

Hamilton looks annoyed.  Not THIS again.

Grace: Don’t worry.  I’ve got a new line of interrogation. 

Hamilton: And what’s that?

Grace: You know that guy you live with?

Hamilton: Dexter?  Yes…I know him.

He looks at her suspiciously.

Grace: Does he have any major issues?

Hamilton smiles…could it be?

Grace cont’d: I mean, besides the obvious things—mild social anxiety (especially when talking to girls), general computer geek stuff, complete lack of coordination…

Hamilton: He might have some parent issues, but that pretty much covers it.

Hamilton is onto her now.

Hamilton cont’d: Why do you ask?

Grace: No reason.

She shrugs and walks off leaving a confused, but curious looking Hamilton.

(cut to): an establishing shot of the Rawely Boys’ dorm, about 7:3 p.m..

(cut to): outside Nicholas Mann’s door.  Several groups of guys walk by being noisy.

(cut to): inside Nicholas’ apartment.  No one is in the living room.

(cut to): the kitchen.  The remnants of a prepared meal are scattered about the counter and there are two mostly empty plates on the kitchen table along with candles and two cans of…Coke.

(cut to): an eye-level shot the bedroom.  The lights are off and it looks empty.

(cut to): a low shot of the foot of the bed.  Nicholas and Bella sit right next to each other, but aren’t touching beyond that nor are they talking.  She’s wearing a casual dress and has obviously spent time on hair and make-up.  Nicholas has on khakis and a sweater.  He looks at her.

Music: Damn I wish I was your lover by Sophie B. Hawkins

Nicholas: Did I tell you how nice you look?

She looks over at him and smiles.

Nicholas cont’d: Like, at least nineteen.

Bella: Well, nice to know I appear legal.

Nicholas looks off, smiling.  A beat.

Nicholas: I’m really glad you’re here.

Bella: Aren’t we supposed to be getting to know each other?

Nicholas: Okay…

He rubs his hands together.

Nicholas cont’d: …ask me anything.

Bella: All right…um…first love?

Nicholas tosses her a sexy smile.

Nicholas: Can I say you?

Bella: Not if you want me to believe you.

Nicholas: In that case…Vanna White.

Bella laughs.

Bella: You’re not serious?

Nicholas:  I was four and there was something about that southern accent…your turn.

Bella: What?  My first love?

He nods.  She thinks just a moment then says:

Bella cont’d: Working with my dad at the garage. 

Nicholas smiles.

Bella cont’d: I think I learned the parts of a car before the letters of the alphabet.

Nicholas leans in.

Nicholas: I love the way you think about things.

She looks down, smiling.

Nicholas cont’d: Okay…guilty pleasure?

Bella looks back up at him and smiles slyly.

Bella: Can I say you?

He laughs.

Bella cont’d: Actually, I’ll probably have to add you to a long list…

Nicholas: …which is topped by?

Bella: Cinnamon candy.

Nicholas chuckles.

Nicholas: Red hots?  Big red?  Hot Tamales?

Bella: Exactly.

Nicholas: So, what else is on the list?

Bella thinks.

Bella: Oh, you know what I love?  Doris Day movies.  Like the silly romantic comedies with Rock Hudson and Cary Grant.

Nicholas smiles.

Nicholas: Well, that definitely qualifies as a guilty pleasure.

She gives him a look of mock disbelief and shoves him.  He laughs.  A beat passes.

Nicholas cont’d: Having you here.

Bella: Huh?

Nicholas: Guilty pleasure.  You know, I like it, but…I’m so afraid of getting caught.

Bella nods.

Nicholas cont’d: I still can’t believe I’m allowing myself to do this…to fall for you like this.

He looks over at her as if he’s complimenting her then looks off again.

Nicholas cont’d: You’re so young…this is so illegal.  God, I mean, I bet your dad would kill me.  Not to mention my job…the dean…could you imagine how fast he’d fire me?  And Jacqueline…somehow I can’t see her approving right away.

Nicholas laughs and looks up at Bella again.  She’s not smiling.

Bella: I should get going.

She stands up and walks out, leaving Nicholas confused.  He gets up and follows after her.

(cut to): his living room.  She’s retrieved a coat from his closet and starts to walk out the door.

Nicholas: Where are you going?

Bella: I’m going home.  I can’t take this.  It’s too hard.

Nicholas: No, it’s not.

Bella: Do you know how many lies I had to tell to get here tonight?  And, it’s clear that neither of us is ever going to be comfortable with this.  It’s like we keep joking about how inappropriate it is.  I don’t want the stigma of falling in love…and feeling guilty about it.

Nicholas: Bella, I—

Bella: I really like you, Nick.  I wanted to know you and I wanted you to know me, but…I just…I don’t think we’re going to let it happen.  We’re too preoccupied with getting caught.  I want out now.

He wants to say something—to protest.  He freezes.  She lingers a moment at the door, hoping he’s got something, but when he says nothing, she reaches for the door handle.  Just before she can turn the handle, someone knocks on the door from the outside.  Despite the fight, they exchange a concerned look.  She can’t be here.

Nicholas (whispered): I’m…I’m sorry.

Bella (whispered): Forget it…

She walks off to hide out in the bedroom.  Whoever is at the door better watch out.  Nicholas walks over and throws the door open.

Nicholas: Yes?

(cut to): a shot from his point of view.  Will and Gwen stand in the hall.  They’re both a little taken aback by his temperamental behavior so neither speaks.  Nicholas looks back and forth between them.

Nicholas (annoyed): You guys need something or…

Gwen: And interview actually…for the Row?

Nicholas: What the hell is the Row?

Will: School paper.

Will and Gwen exchange a look.

Nicholas: Why do you need to interview me?

Will: Uh…I don’t know…the purpose is slipping further away as each second passes.

Nicholas gets it.

Nicholas: I’m sorry guys…you just caught me in the middle of…something.  I’d be glad to do your interview…tonight even.  Just…a little later?  Maybe in a few hours?

Gwen: Sure.

Nicholas looks to Will for additional approval.  He nods.

Will: Sounds good.

Nicholas: Great.  Thank you both.  See you later.

They turn to leave as Nicholas closes the door.

(cut to): inside Nicholas’ apartment.  Bella walks out the bedroom.  It was the perfect illustration of the point and they both know it.  He seems to silently plead with her, but still can’t figure out quite what to say.  She walks past him to the door.  She carefully opens the door and checks the hall then…she leaves.

(cut to): the boys’ common room.  Jake is sitting in a chair with her laptop in her lap, working on a paper.  Gwen and Will walk in, mid-discussion.

Will: Regardless, he didn’t have to be such a jerk.

Jake looks up curiously.

Gwen: I know. 

Will: You really think he had someone in there?

Gwen: I don’t know…that’s my guess.

Will and Gwen sit down on the couch.

Gwen cont’d: Maybe he’s got a girlfriend from the city?

Will: Why wouldn’t he just introduce her?

Gwen: Privacy?

A beat as Gwen looks over at Jake who’s trying to listen inconspicuously.

Gwen: Jake…you know Mr. Mann, right? 

Jake: Our families kind of know each other.  Why?  What’s going on?

Gwen: We were going to interview him.

Will: And he comes to the door all annoyed and tells us to come back in an hour.

Gwen: So…I was saying maybe he had someone over.  Do you know if he has a girlfriend?

Jake: I don’t think so, but…I don’t really know.

She seems to realize that there is a lot she doesn’t really know.  Will shrugs.

Will: I don’t care what he was doing.  I’m not an investigative reporter out to write some exposé on the sexual exploits of our new drama teacher.  I just expect him to be decent to me when I knock on his door, that’s all.  He is supposed to be an advisor.

Gwen: Let’s just go back in an hour and see what happens.

Will: Fine.

A Beat.

Will cont’d: Where’s Hamilton tonight?  We’ll need some pictures eventually.

Jake: He’s working at the garage.

(cut to): the garage. 

(cut to): Hamilton under the still open hood.  He’s putting the washer fluid tank back in.  He looks up as Bella pulls up into the corner of the garage lot and quickly slams stopped.  He waits, but Bella doesn’t pull any further into the driveway nor does she get out.  He glances into the office to make sure no one else is coming then he jogs over to the truck.

(cut to): the truck.  Bella leans back against the seat with her eyes closed, clearly trying to calm down.  Hamilton knocks on the window, startling her.  When she looks over at him, her make up is streaked so it’s clear she’s been crying.  Since she doesn’t make an effort, Hamilton opens the door.  He takes notice of her outfit—still the dress.

Hamilton: What’s wrong?

Bella (ignoring the question): I kind of want to be alone right now.

Hamilton nods and lets a beat pass before climbing up into the truck.  He nods for her to scoot over to the passenger seat.  She does it without much of a fight.

Bella cont’d: It’s really no big deal, Hamilton.

He looks at like “you can’t be serious.”  He puts the car into gear and backs out.

(fade out)

 

Commercial Break: And by the way, have you been to see Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets?  If not, go see it because it’s quite precious…well, Estee thinks so anyway.  She also thinks the books are awesome and suggests reading them as well.  You can check out the official Harry Potter site or do some searching of your own to find more info.

 

(fade in): to the road that leads to Rawley Academy.  The truck comes down the road and is then pulled off and stopped.

Music: Girl Next Door by Howie Day

(cut to): inside the car: Hamilton’s still driving, Bella’s still in the passenger seat.  Hamilton looks over at her, but she looks out the window.

Hamilton: If you’re supposed to be at the library in another city…you can’t blow your cover by coming home early.

Bella: I don’t suppose there’s any way that we could pretend I was at the library and never talk about this again?

Hamilton (ignoring her): Okay, first question.  Who is this guy?

Bella doesn’t answer.

Hamilton: It’s not some Rawley guy is it? 

She looks up at him.

Hamilton cont’d: Because I can’t think of a single guy at Rawley that I could picture you crying over.

Bella: I’m not crying over anyone…

Though she isn’t crying anymore, she’s still upset and Hamilton knows it.

Hamilton: Why don’t you just tell me what happened?  Again, who is this guy?  How long have you been seeing him?  Why are you sneaking around to—

Bella: I don’t want to talk about it.

A beat as Hamilton thinks of something he considers serious.

Hamilton: This is totally an emotional thing, right?  Because if some guy tried to—

Bella: Hamilton…I appreciate the big brother routine, I really do, but…

Hamilton: You want me to beat the hell out of him?  Because, you know, I will.  Just say the word and—

Bella (smiling): Thanks for the offer, but that won’t be necessary. 

He smiles.

Bella cont’d: And…yes, this is totally an emotional thing.  He wouldn’t ever…it would never be like that.

She looks away.

Hamilton: So…what would it be like?  What is it like?  What the hell happened?

She looks back at him.

Bella: Let’s just say that seeing someone secretly is…really stressful.

Hamilton: Yeah…tell me about it.

She laughs.

Bella: How do you guys keep that going?

Hamilton shrugs.

Hamilton: We just…don’t get caught.

Suddenly, a car horn sounds.  We pan over from Bella and Hamilton and out the window as we, along with Hamilton and Bella, realize another car has pulled up.

Hamilton: Oh, no…

(cut to): inside the other car, Hamilton’s parents car.  It is driven by the Dean himself.  He pushes a button and rolls down the window.  Hamilton is forced to do the same.

Steven: Everything okay?

He leans over to look up into the truck and realizes for the first time that Hamilton and Bella are in the other car.

Hamilton (busted): Yes…we’re fine.

Steven: Hamilton? 

He glances at Bella.

Steven cont’d: I thought you were working late.

Hamilton (unconvincingly): I am…sort of.

Steven again glances at Bella who smiles politely and tries not too look too embarrassed.

Steven: Good evening, Bella.

Bella: Good evening, Dean Fleming.

Hamilton: We’re just about to head back to the garage…

Steven: Okay, well, I’ll see you at home later.

Hamilton: Oh, I’m just going straight to the dorms.

Steven (sternly): I’ll see you at home later.

Hamilton nods.

Hamilton: Yes, sir. 

The dean nods again to Bella, rolls his window up and pulls off.

Hamilton cont’d: Okay, that would not be an example of how not to get caught.

Bella laughs.

Hamilton cont’d: It’s a good thing you hadn’t gotten undressed yet.

Bella gives him a confused, skeptical look.

Hamilton cont’d (matter of fact): The dress. 

He indicates her outfit.

Hamilton cont’d: Unless it’s typical in your family to get all…prettied up…to go to the library.

Bella smiles.  Hamilton shakes his head.

Hamilton: You know, who ever this guy is, he’s a total jerk.  You look absolutely beautiful and…you’re you.  It would take, like, special effort to lose sight of that and to say something stupid enough to hurt you.

Bella: It’s just complicated, Hamilton.

Hamilton: Being with someone isn’t supposed to be complicated, not from the inside. You have to learn to just do whatever it takes to make it work.  That’s a simple concept.  So, yeah, on the outside you have some complicated mess like Jake and me, but…from the inside—to us—it’s totally simple. 

Bella: You and Jake are the exception, not the rule.

Hamilton shrugs.

Hamilton: That’s really unfortunate.

Bella: Yeah…I guess it is.

He smiles.

Hamilton: So, anyway, get changed and we can go back to the garage and you can say you forgot your folder and…you’ll go next week.

Bella laughs.

Bella: Good plan.

Hamilton smiles.

(cut to): Jill’s room.  She’s all alone working on a painting.  There’s a quick knock then the door opens.  Scout walks in.

Music: The Places You Have Come to Fear The Most by Dashboard Confessional

Jill: Oh…hi.

Scout: Hi.

He notices the painting.

Scout cont’d: That’s looking really great.

Jill: Thank you.

Her hair is in a ponytail, but a piece has fallen forward.  She blows at it to get it out of her face.

Scout: I was a little worried Sean might be here.

Jill: What?  Why would Sean be here?

Scout shrugs.

Scout: I don’t know.  You guys seemed awfully close earlier.

Scout takes a step toward.

Jill: For Bella’s benefit.  And Bella, by the way, is so into Sean.

He takes another step forward.

Scout: Really?

Jill: Okay listen to this…

She puts her arm around Scout.

Jill cont’d: …she went over there claiming to be totally cool with the fact that he’s dating me.

She blows at the hair again.  Scout tucks it behind her ear, turning her face to him at the same time.

Scout: What if…what if she was being honest, Jill?

Jill: No way.  It’s denial.

Scout looks at her, leaning in to kiss her softly.  He pulls away slightly.

Scout: When you were sitting there with him today…I didn’t know whether to feel like a jealous boyfriend or…like the other guy…the one who’s got a thing for someone else’s girlfriend.

Jill: And how do you feel right now?

Jill leans toward him, her lips almost touching his.

Scout: This isn’t fair…

He doesn’t clarify what he means as he completes the kiss.

(fade to): the Fleming residence, several hours later.

(cut to): the living room.  The dean sits in an armchair reading a novel.  Hamilton walks in looking around.

Music: Can’t Take It by Phantom Planet

Hamilton: Mom go to bed already?

Steven: Yes, she did.  Sit down, Son.

Hamilton: Look, Dad…nothing was happening earlier. 

Steven: Sit down, Hamilton.

Hamilton sighs and takes a seat on the couch.

Hamilton: We were seriously just talking.  I know that sounds like—

Steven: You’re not a child anymore Hamilton. 

Hamilton tilts his head slightly.

Hamilton (surprised): No…I’m not.

Steven looks at Hamilton carefully.

Steven: Are you…are you seeing Bella?  I mean, is she your girlfriend?

Hamilton: Bella?

Hamilton laughs.

Hamilton cont’d: No, Dad.  Bella’s not my girlfriend. 

Steven: Are you seeing…anyone?

Hamilton fidgets now, looking around.  He doesn’t know how to answer.

Hamilton: Um…I…

Steven notices how uncomfortable Hamilton is.

Steven: I feel frustrated when it comes to our relationship, Hamilton.

Hamilton: What?  But—

Steven: I don’t want you to feel like you can’t talk to me. 

Hamilton: I…no…I…I know I can talk to you.

Steven: Clearly.

Steven studies him.  Hamilton sighs, frustrated and uncomfortable.

Steven: I just wanted to make sure that you know I’m here if you have any questions about anything relationship-related…about anything at all. 

Hamilton nods.

Hamilton: Okay…

A slight beat.

Steven: So…are you interested in Bella?

Hamilton leans his head back against the couch.

Hamilton: Could we just drop Bella…please?

The dean smiles. 

Steven: So, there isn’t anything you want to ask?

Hamilton shrugs.

Steven cont’d: You won’t even humor me?

Hamilton looks up at his dad, realizing making a connection here would be pretty nice.  He thinks for a moment.

Hamilton: Okay, I have a question…do you think ordering pizza in is an okay date?

Steven laughs.

Steven: I think that could be…somewhat romantic.

Hamilton: Think it could get boring?

Steven: I think ordering food could get boring.

Hamilton: You think girls like guys who can cook?

Steven smiles.

Steven: That’s how I got your mom to fall for me.

Hamilton laughs.

Hamilton: Wait…really?

Steven: It was our first date…

Hamilton: I thought you took her out to that restaurant.

Steven: It was a coffeehouse.  We had coffee. 

Hamilton: Oh…

Steven cont’d: And then we went back to my place.

Hamilton smiles…he’s never heard this version.

Steven cont’d: And…

Hamilton: …you cooked for her.

Steven nods.

Steven: This pasta dish I threw together.  You know that one I make.

Hamilton: The one that mom calls your specialty.

Steven: She says it always tastes just like it did that first night.

Hamilton’s pretty touched by a wistfulness he doesn’t typically see in father.

Hamilton cont’d: How come I’ve never heard this story?

Steven: Probably because there is an element of metaphor in the story your mother might not want you picking up on.

Hamilton doesn’t get it…at first.  He blushes slightly when he does, looking off then looks back at his dad doubtfully.

Steven: I promise…no more details.

Hamilton laughs.

Hamilton: Actually…one more detail?

Steven: Okay.

Hamilton: The recipe?

Steven laughs. 

(cut to): a shot of Hamilton and his dad through the living room window.  We pull out as their father/son talk continues.

(fade out)

 

Commercial Break: Want to read a great book?  Try The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.  At amazon.com you can order a used copy and save some money.  Also, be sure to look inside and read a few pages.

 

(fade in):  Finn and Johanna’s house.  Their car pulls into the driveway.

(cut to): the living room as Johanna, Finn and Meagan enter through the front door.

Meagan: I’ll be up in my room.  I’m going to call Mark then go to bed.  Night.

Before they can say anything, she heads up the stairs.

Finn: Is she okay?  She’s been awfully quiet.

Johanna: I think she’s just been thinking.  Beth had the most thoughtful things to say about family and love and…Meagan seemed to comprehend it all really well.

Finn smiles.

Finn: What’d she say?

Johanna: That your family loves you unconditionally before they ever meet you.  Meagan really liked that.

Finn smiles.

Finn: So she felt okay finding out about the baby because of that conversation?

Johanna: I think she was afraid to find out because she’d have to start planning how to be the best big sister ever and…Beth just helped her understand that…she’s going to be a really great sister and everything she was thinking just proved that.

Finn: That is very complex.

Johanna: That would be Meagan.

Finn: Think this one will turn out the same?

He gently puts two hands on her stomach.  Johanna smiles.

Johanna: I hope so.

Finn: You know, we haven’t pondered the future of our baby recently.

Johanna: You mean, now that we know.

Finn nods.  A beat.

Johanna: I know you said you didn’t have a preference, but…are you happy?

Finn smiles, taking his hands away from her stomach.  He caresses her face.

Finn: It doesn’t matter what or who this kid is.  What make me happy is knowing I’m having a child with you.  That is something about that makes me happier than I’ve ever been about anything.

Johanna smiles, flattered.

Finn cont’d: I guess that goes along with what Beth said.  I guess we all love the baby so much because we already love each other.

A slight beat.

Johanna: Do you know what Danny and I talked about before Meagan was born?

Finn shakes his head.

Johanna cont’d:  Who she would be more like.  That’s all we ever talked about.  We weren’t…we weren’t a family.  We were just two selfish people having a kid together.

Finn: And look at how great Meagan turned out…

Johanna: Well, that was all because of me.

Finn laughs.

Finn: Yeah, you are pretty great.

Johanna laughs as Finn takes her hand to help her upstairs.

Music: One by One by Simple Plan

(cut to): Nicholas’ apartment.  He’s pacing around the living room, fairly deep in thought.  A knock at the door startles him.  He glances down at his watch then walks over to the door.

(cut to): a few minutes later.  He sits in a chair.  Gwen and Will sit on a couch.  They are both armed with a notebook and pen.  Will has a tape recorder.  Nicholas runs his hand through his hair nervously.

Nicholas: Two on one.

He laughs.  Will isn’t amused, but Gwen smiles.

Gwen: Just think of it as doubling your chances of being quoted accurately.

Nicholas laughs.

Nicholas: Good point.

Will: Okay, first question…do you have a girlfriend?

Gwen looks over at him.

Gwen: Will…

Nicholas: It’s fine.  I don’t.

He smiles, almost sadly.  Will feels a little bad and seems okay with him now.  He moves on with the interview.

Will: All right, I think our next questions is…what made you come to Rawley?

Nicholas: Um…I was just passing through.  I left New York to do something a little more meaningful…although I didn’t really know what at the time.  I stopped in New Rawley for some gas and Hamilton, the dean’s son, he thought I was applying for the teaching job.

Gwen: Did he give you some tips?

Nicholas: A few.  Yeah.

Gwen: So, do you believe in things like fate?

Nicholas ponders this.

Nicholas: Considering some of the things that have happened to me in the past six months, it would be hard to say no.  If it’s not fate, it’s certainly luck.

Will: Good luck or bad luck?

Nicholas: Mostly good…not all…but mostly.

Gwen: What was your life like before you came here?

Nicholas: Empty as hell. 

Gwen and Will look at each other.

Nicholas: Not in depressed kind of way.  I just felt as though I were searching to know myself.  And, basically…I wasn’t finding myself in New York.

They look at each other again.

Gwen: And are you…”finding” yourself in New Rawley?

Nicholas raises his eyebrows.

Nicholas: Yeah…I guess I am.

He seems a little surprised by this revelation.

Will: I think we can move into the boring and basic portion of the interview.

Nicholas: Biography?  Role model?  Favorite flavor of ice cream?

Will nods.  He and Gwen get poised to write as Nicholas begins the story of his life.

Music: She Says by Howie Day

(dissolve to): Jill’s room.  The lights are off.  We pan around the room to find a small TV/VCR playing an episode of Roswell (End of the World with future Max).  We pan further around the room to find Jill and Scout on the floor.  Jill leans against the bed and Scout lies on the floor with his head in her lap.

Jill: Scout?

Scout: Uh huh?

Jill: If you’re in the future and you’re put into a situation where you have to go back in time and tell me something really really important…

Scout: Uh huh…

Jill: Could you please get a haircut first?

Scout laughs. 

Scout: Beatnik Max doesn’t do it for you?

Jill: Long-hair-half-pony-tail Max doesn’t do it for me.

Scout smiles and looks up at her.  She smiles back and pushes the hair off his forehead.

Scout: Tonight’s been nice…

Jill leans over, kissing him.  When they part:

Scout cont’d: …more than nice.

Jill smiles.  He pulls himself up so that he’s sitting next to her.

Scout: When we weren’t together…I missed you so much.

Jill (matter-of-fact): I missed you too.

Scout: I don’t want to screw it up again.

Jill looks down.

Jill: Neither do I.

Scout speaks softly and doesn’t look at Jill.

Scout: I just get the feeling that any minute, something’s going to happen and…we’re going to lose it again.  Like everything between us is fragile and uncertain.

He glances up at her, looking genuinely concerned about what he’s said.  Jill leans over to him, kissing him as if it would prove that things are more solid than he thinks.  Things get a little heavier as Scout wraps an arm around Jill pulling her closer.  A knock at the door pulls them apart.  Jill gets up quickly.

Jill: Gwen?  Is that you?  I…didn’t know I locked the door…

Sean (from outside): Not Gwen…

Jill: Oh, hey…hang on…

She waves Scout to go into the bathroom.  He sighs and gets up and goes into the bathroom.  Jill waits until the bathroom door closes and opens the other door as she also flips on the room  lights.  Sean stands patiently in the hall with his hands in his pockets.

Jill cont’d: Hey…what are you doing here?

Sean walks into the room even though he hasn’t actually been invited.

Sean: Nice to see you too.

Sean notices that Roswell is on as he takes a seat on the bed.  Jill flips off the TV.

Jill: You can’t watch that episode until you’ve seen a few other key episodes.

Sean smiles.

Sean: When am I going to get to watch this show?

Jill glances at the bathroom door and takes a seat next to Sean.

Jill: I don’t know…

He notices her distraction.

Sean: Everything okay?

Jill: Uh huh.

Sean: Sorry for stopping by without calling first…

Jill turns her attention back to Sean.

Jill: Oh…it’s cool…

Sean: I was just hanging out at home…totally bored…and I thought maybe…

Jill waits.

Sean cont’d: What I mean is…

Jill: Yeah?

Sean cont’d: Do you want to go for a walk with me?

Jill briefly glances toward the bathroom again.

Jill: Yes.  Absolutely.

Sean smiles.

Sean: Because I was thinking it’d be good if people saw us out doing random stuff together.

Jill: Right…random stuff.  Good plan.  Let me just…wash my hands first.

Sean gives her a strange look, but can’t say much before she’s up and in the bathroom.

(cut to): the bathroom were Scout leans against the wall.  Jill turns the water in the sink on and walks over to Scout to talk to him.

Jill (whispered): We’re just going to go for a walk.  You can slip out after we leave.

Scout nods.

Jill cont’d (whispered): I’m really sorry.

He nods again.  She turns to go, but he grabs her hand, stopping her and pulling her gently back to him.

Scout (whispered): Jill…

He cups her face.

Scout cont’d (whispered): I love you.

Before she can respond, he kisses her.  It’s brief, but it’s passionate and honest.  He means it.

Jill (whispered): Scout…

Scout (whispered): Go…before he gets suspicious.

Scout reaches over to the sink and turns the water off so Jill can’t say anything back.  She gives him an apologetic look before slipping out the bathroom door.  Scout looks at the closed door sadly.

(dissolve to): Sean and Jill leaving the dorm for their walk.

(dissolve to): Scout walking back to his own dorm, alone and sad.

(dissolve to): Sean and Jill walking by the lake.  They are laughing about something.

(dissolve to): Scout lying in his bed with headphones on as Will and Gwen work on their story on the other side of the room.  Scout pulls his headphones off and look through his CD case for a new CD as Gwen and Will carry on their conversation:

Gwen: He was different than I expected.

Will: Yeah…he was actually pretty cool.

Gwen laughs.

Gwen: I meant…he was passionate.  Like, everything he said…just meant it so much.

Will furrows his brow.

Gwen cont’d: It’s a good quality in a teacher.

Will laughs, lightening up a little.

Will: You want him bad.

Gwen smiles.

Will cont’d: I bet you won’t be the only one when he starts teaching co-ed classes…

Gwen: Tell me about it.  Jill can’t stop talking about how “hot” he is.

Will: Wonder what Sean has to say about that?

Scout looks over now. 

Gwen: He didn’t have too much to say yesterday.

Will: He’s so crazy about her.  That’s why. 

Scout loudly shuts his CD case.  Gwen and Will look over.

Scout: Do you think you could work on this in the newspaper room?

They look over, noticing for the first time that he was paying attention.

Will: Yeah, sure.  Sorry, man…

Scout shakes his head like it really isn’t that big of a deal to him.  Will and Gwen quickly collect their stuff and leave.  Scout looks back down at his CD case and puts his headphones back on.  After a few seconds, he pulls his headphones off again and angrily rips them out of his CD player then throws them across the room.  We zoom in on him and get close enough to realize he’s started to cry angry and frustrated tears.  He turns over and buries his head in his pillow.

(fade out)

 

Commercial Break: Did you know that Roger Avary likes Macs?  Even though Harmony and Estee are avid PC users, we still like Avary and think this is a pretty decent article about Roger and his use of his Mac.  And, if you can’t remember…he’s the guy that directed The Rules of Attraction.

 

(fade in): the boys’ dorm, to the next afternoon, just after school.

Music: Fall in Two by Guster

(cut to): Nicholas’ apartment.  He and Jake are sitting on the couch having coffee.

Nicholas: It’s good to see you today.

Jake: Better than seeing Gwen and Will last night?

Nicholas looks busted.

Nicholas: They told you about that, huh?

Jake nods.

Nicholas cont’d: I didn’t mean to be a dick.  They just caught me at a bad time.

Jake: They asked me if you had a girlfriend…they know we kind of know each other from the whole Broadway/New York scene.

Nicholas nods.

Jake cont’d: And, I realized…I don’t even know if you do.

Nicholas: What?  Have a girlfriend?

Jake nods.

Nicholas cont’d: I don’t.

Jake: Any reason why not?

Nicholas: Do you remember Linda?  You met her, right?

Jake: Uh…I think so.  She was Frank’s assistant…total bitch.

Nicholas: Yeah, that’s her.  I was in love with her for awhile, but she wouldn’t date me.

Jake: Hm…that’s…interesting.

Nicholas laughs.

Nicholas: I had a girlfriend before slash during that.  And, most recently, I wanted to be with this amazing girl, but I made the mistake of letting her know how scared I was.

Jake: How come you were scared?

Nicholas: A lot of reasons.

Jake: And…she won’t be with you because you’re scared?

Nicholas: She won’t be with me because my…scared-ness…was getting in the way of us getting to know each other.

Jake: Hamilton and I always said that getting to know each other wasn’t in the details.  It was more about just recognizing that you wanted to be with each other, you know?  Just feeling it…and knowing it…and…feeling it back.

Nicholas can’t help smile. 

Nicholas: I like your way of thinking.

Jake: It was Hamilton’s before it was mine, I think.  I was worried about the details…and that we didn’t know them about each other.  But, I guess we do now.  I mean, I haven’t even thought about it in those terms in forever…

She takes a sip of her coffee.

Jake cont’d: I used to think it would be easier if you could just put everything that explained what you like and what you don’t like and what makes you happy or sad or excited or nervous…if you could just put it all in a box and hand it over to whomever you needed or wanted to know you.  And they would just “get it” and “get” who you are.

Nicholas smiles.

Nicholas: Yeah…

He thinks about this seriously…he’s got an idea.  There’s a knock.  Jake looks a little nervous.

Nicholas cont’d: Should be Hamilton.

Jake: Hamilton?

Nicholas: Pictures.  For that story.

Jake nods.

(dissolve to): a little while later.  Hamilton and Nicholas walk by the lake.  Hamilton has his camera.  Hamilton still doesn’t trust Nicholas completely.

Hamilton: How’s everything going with Jake?

Nicholas: We’re getting to know each other.  It’s nice.

Hamilton: Could I…ask your opinion on something?

Nicholas: Sure.

Hamilton: I…I was thinking of putting together this romantic dinner for her tonight and I was wondering if you thought…she’d be into it?

Nicholas smiles.

Nicholas: Yes, I think she would appreciate that very much.  Although…she thinks that pizza is romantic if you’re involved so…

Hamilton looks at him curiously.

Hamilton: She told you that?
Nicholas: Yep.

Hamilton: Did she…say anything else about me?

Nicholas laughs.

Nicholas: Are you going to take my picture or what, kid?

Kid?  Hamilton could do without this guy.  He forces a smile and pulls the camera up to take a picture.

(dissolve to): Dexter and Hamilton’s room, later.  Dexter is in front of the mirror, examining the with glasses and without glasses look.  Hamilton, wearing shorts and a tank top, has collected clothes and a towel.

Dexter: How’d the photo shoot go?

Hamilton: I didn’t have to take that many.  He gave me some old pictures to use too.  They’re in the newspaper room.

Dexter: Cool, it’ll only take me like five minutes to finish the layout and we can send the paper to the presses today. 

Hamilton: New paper tomorrow afternoon?  The school won’t be able to contain itself…

Hamilton laughs at himself then heads for the bathroom.  Before he enters, he turns to Dexter.

Hamilton: Hey, what are you doing tonight?

Dexter turns away from the mirror.

Dexter: Nothing.  Homework?

Hamilton: Why don’t you stop acting like a twelve year old and go talk to Grace tonight.

Dexter’s jaw drops.

Hamilton cont’d: Look, it’s cool.  I won’t tell anyone…if you go away for a few hours tonight.  Say from eight until midnight?

Dexter puts his glasses on and sits down on his bed.

Dexter: All you have to do is ask me to go…you don’t have to blackmail me.  Geez.

Hamilton feels bad.

Hamilton (sincerely): Sorry.

Dexter looks up at him.

Dexter: How’d you know anyway?

Hamilton smiles.

Hamilton: She was asking me about you.

Dexter (surprised): What?

Hamilton’s smile widens.

Hamilton: Don’t act so shocked.

Dexter lies back on his bed.

Dexter: She was so…

Hamilton: …yeah?

Dexter: I don’t know…

Hamilton laughs.

Hamilton: So, why don’t you go find out tonight?  She was definitely interested, Dex.

Dexter looks over at him, uncertain.  Hamilton gives him a reassuring smile.

Hamilton cont’d: Otherwise, I’ll pay you to stay away.  I’m cooking dinner for Jake.

Dexter laughs and shakes his head.

Dexter: Okay, whatever…

Hamilton: Don’t mock me.  I can cook.  And, by the way, before you go…I need you to help me set some stuff up.

Before Dexter has a chance to react, Hamilton walks into the bathroom for his shower.

(cut to): the garage.  It’s just getting dark.

(cut to): the office.  Bella sits at the desk playing Hamilton’s acoustic guitar.  She’s strumming chords, but not finding anything that she likes.  She starts to set the guitar down, but hesitates and keeps going.  The phone rings.  She picks it up and before she can say anything, Nicholas speaks from the other end.

Nicholas (on phone):  Bella, it’s me.

Bella is confused.

Bella: How’d you know—

Nicholas (on phone): I’m across the street.

Bella: How perfectly stalker-esque.

Nicholas sighs, relieved at humor...or at least sarcasm.  She doesn’t completely hate him.  She looks out the window curiously.

(cut to): Nicholas.  He’s standing across the street, a few doors down from Friendly’s.  He’s talking into his cell phone and carrying a medium sized cardboard box.

Nicholas: Can you come and talk to me for a second?

Bella (on phone): Can’t we just…talk on the phone?

Nicholas: I have something to say to you and…I need to do it in person.  And…I have something to give you.

Bella (on phone): Okay…which dark alley should I meet you in?

(cut to): Bella.  She’s standing by the desk now, looking out the window.

Nicholas (on phone): How about behind Friendly’s?

Bella hesitates.  She looks around the office.

Bella: Okay, um…I’ll try to be there in a few minutes.

Nicholas (on phone): Excellent.

(cut to): Nicholas.  He looks even more relieved.

Bella (on phone): Okay, bye.

Nicholas: Wait…um…

(cut to): Bella.  She waits.

Nicholas (on phone): ...thank you.

She nods.

Bella: I’ll see you in a minute.

She hangs up.  She takes a deep breath and looks around then walks out of the office and into the house.

Music: Falling for the First Time by Barenaked Ladies

(cut to): the kitchen.  Grace is making a sandwich.  Bella walks in.

Grace: Hey, Dad called.  He’s going to stay in Boston a few more days.

Bella: Why?

Grace: I don’t know.  Maybe his great aunt left him a lot of money.

Bella: She didn’t have a lot of money and…she didn’t even like him.  He’s probably just helping out.

Grace: Yeah, that’s what he said.

A beat.

Grace cont’d: So, want to throw a party or what?

Bella looks pretty horrified by the prospect.

Grace cont’d: Okay, calm down…I was just joking.

Bella gives her a relieved look.

Bella: I’m going over to Friendly’s.  Do you want something?

Grace holds up her sandwich.

Grace: I’m a little sick of Friendly’s.

Bella: That’s what I figured.  See you later.

Bella turns around and walks out the back door, closing only the screen door behind her.  Grace gives her a fairly suspicious look, but shrugs it off and goes over to a drawer to get a knife.  She is carefully cutting her sandwich when there is a knock at the back door.  Startled, she lets the knife slip and she cut her finger.  She glances over at the door.

(cut to): the door where an already nervous Dexter looks even more freaked out now.

(cut to): Grace.  She pulls up her hand to inspect it.  The cut isn’t too bad, but it’s definitely bleeding. 

Grace: Well, you might as well come in already. 

Dexter does and walks over to her.  He’s carrying a bouquet of orchids and carnations, but sets them down to grab a paper towel.  Grace glances at the flowers, but doesn’t say anything as she takes the paper towel from Dexter.

Dexter: Are you okay?

Grace: I think so. 

Dexter: I’m sorry about that.

Grace: I’ll consider it a returned favor.

Dexter looks down, feeling bad.  Grace shakes her head.

Grace: Seriously, it’s no big deal.

Dexter: Should we go upstairs and put some Neosporin on that?  I think it helped my chin a lot.

Grace looks at his chin.  It certainly does look better than it did the other night.

Grace: Come on then.

She turns and walks away.  Dexter takes a deep breath, trying to keep his cool.  He picks up the flowers again as he follows behind her.

Music: Genius by Duncan Sheik

(cut to): behind Friendly’s.  A light illuminates the alley.  Nicholas stands there holding the box, looking around.  Bella walks out from inside Friendly’s, startling Nicholas.

Bella: You know, when I said “dark alley,” I wasn’t serious…

Nicholas: Do you want to go somewhere else?

Bella: I guess that’s the problem, Nick…there isn’t anywhere else, is there?

He looks down.  She’s right.  She looks at the box then back at him, wondering what he had her come here for anyway.

Bella cont’d: Look, maybe you should just say whatever it is you need to say so that we can get some closure and move on.

Nicholas looks up at her, that’s the last thing he wants.  He sets the box down and he walks over to her, taking her hands.  He closes his eyes a moment to collect his thought then opens them and begins talking to her.

Nicholas: Okay.  I know that being together wouldn’t be some simple thing for either of us.  And I know I’ve been very vocal about my concerns…I’ve made jokes…because…I don’t know how else to handle this.  It truly is so completely out of the realm of anything I ever expected to be involved in.

Bella pulls her hands from his and runs them through her hair.  She’s tired of this.

Bella: Yeah, you’ve essentially already said all this.  I don’t—

Nicholas: What I didn’t say—and what I’ve afraid you might be assuming—is that it wouldn’t be worth it.  And maybe for you, it isn’t worth it.  You can tell me that and I’ll deal with it because I’ll have to.  But for me, Bella…for me…you are worth anything and everything I have.  And, I just wanted you to know that. 

She just looks at him.  She’s speechless.

Nicholas cont’d: You inspired something in me.  You’re the reason I left New York and, quite frankly, you’re the reason I can see myself never going back.  I want to spend every second with you.  I want to know everything there is to know about you.  I want to be with you.  And…if I haven’t made this clear enough before, I apologize.

No one has ever spoken to Bella like this and meant it so much.  She looks down, torn between frustration over this situation and…completely loving this guy.

Nicholas cont’d: Look, and I don’t mean this in a reverse psychology kind of way, if you’re not comfortable with keeping this a secret then we could just tell everyone and—

Bella: No…no, that’s not an option.

Nicholas: Okay, so…does that mean—

Bella: I…I don’t know what it means.  I have to go, Nick…

She turns to walk off down the alley.

Nicholas: Wait.  Wait, hang on.

She pauses, but doesn’t turn around.  He quickly retrieves the box and jogs over to her.  She looks down at it.

Bella: What’s this?

Nicholas: Jake said…wouldn’t it be great if we could just put everything that we are into a box and hand it over to the person we wanted to know us?  And, in a way, I can do that…and…that’s what this is.  It’s for you.  It’s…my whole life.

She doesn’t want to take it.

Nicholas cont’d: Please?  Take it?

She reluctantly takes the box from him.  They’re closer now than they were before and Bella suddenly becomes aware of this and how drawing he is.

Bella: I have to go…

He nods and steps out of her way.  She walks away.  He stands there, disappointed and dejected.

(fade out)

 

Commercial Break: If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times: Debi rocks.  Check out Ian Then Some for all the latest on Mr. Somerhalder.  Be sure to drop her a line in her guest book and let her know you visited.

 

(fade in): to an establishing shot of the boys’ dorm. 

Music: I’m not coming down by P.J. Olsson

(cut to): Will and Scout’s room.  Hamilton sits on the bed with his eyes closed.  He’s wearing a loose tie with a white, un-tucked short-sleeved Oxford shirt and a pair of black slacks.

Hamilton: Done yet?

We pan across the room to Jake standing in front of the mirror on the back of the boys’ bathroom door.  She’s checking out her outfit: a blouse and a long skirt and working to get her hair a little more girly.

Jake: Yeah, yeah…you can open your eyes.

Hamilton smiles and gets up from the bed to join her in front of the mirror, standing behind her. They look at each other via the mirror reflection.  They are the perfect couple and they both know it…and they both love it.  Hamilton takes both of her hands then kisses her neck.  Hamilton glances up at her outfit then at her.  He speaks between kisses.

Hamilton: You look beautiful…very hip.

Jake: You look like a Green Day fan.

Hamilton laughs, a little insulted.  He drops her hands and takes a look at himself in the mirror.

Hamilton: Thanks…it took me like an hour to pick out this outfit.

Jake turns around to face him, wrapping her arms around his neck.

Jake: I didn’t say I didn’t like it.

Hamilton wraps his arms around her waist.

Hamilton: I didn’t say you did.

They kiss and Hamilton seems to forget the purpose of all this.  Jake pulls back a little.  Hamilton starts to lean in more to kiss her again, but she speaks:

Jake: Anyway…

He stops, looking at her curiously.

Jake cont’d: You didn’t make me “change into Jacqueline” so we could make out in Scout and Will’s room.  At least, I’m assuming you didn’t…

Hamilton smiles mischievously.

(cut to): Hamilton and Dexter’s room.  The overhead lights are off, but Dexter’s desk lamp is turned on to provide an initial source of light.  As we pan around, we see two chairs at a round table that’s been stolen from somewhere.  It’s covered in a tablecloth, two place settings, several lit candles and centerpiece of red and white Chrysanthemums.  To the side is a covered serving cart and a chiller with a bottle of champagne in it.  It’s like this classy haven in the middle of a high school boy’s dorm room.

(cut to): the bathroom door.  It opens and Hamilton enters, leading Jake by one hand and covering her eyes with the other.  Once they are inside and he closes the bathroom door, he drops his hand.  She smiles and looks over at him.

Jake: What is all this?

Hamilton shrugs.

Hamilton: Dinner?

Jake: This is insane, Hamilton.

Hamilton (teasing): Well, if you want to go to the dining hall instead…

Jake: Shut up…

She walks over to the table to check it all out.

Hamilton: Notice that I already pulled the chairs out…to avoid any disputes.

Jake gives him a lightly reprimanding look and sits down.  Hamilton quickly makes his way to the table and takes a seat across from her.  She looks over at the champagne.

Jake: Is that…

Hamilton: …champagne?  Yes, it is, but you can’t have too much.  I wouldn’t want you getting drunk and taking advantage of me.

Jake laughs.

Jake: Right…

She looks at the serving cart.  Hamilton watches her, knowing what she’s thinking.

Hamilton: So…you like pepperoni, right?

She laughs again and looks over at him.  He smiles.

Hamilton cont’d: You know that I’m just kidding?

Jake raises her eyebrows as if she doesn’t know what he means.

Hamilton cont’d: The other night when you said that thing about pizza…and knowing that I was going to suggest ordering it…I realized that I never do anything really romantic for you.

Jake: You know what?  I was just telling Nicholas the other day that eating pizza with you is still pretty romantic.

Hamilton: I’m glad to hear that because…I really like pizza.

Jake laughs.

Jake: I know.

Hamilton:  That being said, I was talking to my dad last night and I asked him if he thought that girls liked guys who could cook and he told me that he cooked for my mom on their first date, which no one ever told me because…I think they also slept together on their first date…which is…

He’s shifted his glance across the room, but now looks back at Jake.

Hamilton cont’d: …beside the point.

She smiles.

Hamilton cont’d: Anyway, my dad and I went into the kitchen and he taught me how to make this pasta thing so…I wanted to make it for you.

Jake (teasingly): So you could get laid?

Hamilton (matter-of-fact): Yeah, basically.  Is it going to happen?

He breaks into a grin to let her know he was just kidding.

Hamilton cont’d: I just wanted to surprise you and do something a little out of character.

Jake: You know, that’s kind of an oxymoron, Hamilton.  You always surprise me.  And this…this is not out of character at all.

He smiles.

Hamilton: In that case, I just wanted to prove that I could be a potentially good cook.  One of us should be.  You know, for the future and all.  I wouldn’t want our kids growing up on McDonald’s, Chinese food and…pizza.

She ignores the insults and insinuations that she can’t cook.

Jake: Our kids, huh?

Hamilton: Mm hmm.  Ready to eat now?

His smile doesn’t falter as he removes the cover to reveal a salad, some bread and a pretty tasty looking pasta dish.  Jake watches him amused…and amazed.

(cut to): the Banks’ house.

(cut to): the bathroom upstairs.  Grace sits on the edge of the tub, holding a wet washcloth on her finger.  Dexter leans in the doorframe watching her nervously, clutching the bouquet of flowers.

Dexter: Did it stop bleeding yet?

Grace looks up at him.

Grace: So, what are you doing here anyway?

Dexter: Hamilton thought I should stop by.

Grace nods.

Grace: Did Hamilton suggest those flowers too?

Dexter shakes his head, looking down at them and feeling pretty stupid.

Grace: They were your idea?

Dexter nods.

Dexter: Well…

He pauses nervously, looking down at the flowers.

Dexter cont’d: Um…Hamilton asked me to help him set up this dinner for Jake in our room and…I thought maybe some flowers would be nice.  So I looked up what different flowers meant and I picked out red and white Chrysanthemums for them because the red ones mean love and the white ones mean truth. 

Grace smiles.  He looks up at her, realizing she’s watching him.  He blushes.

Grace: Okay, so what do those flowers mean?

Dexter: Um…well…

He takes a deep breath and walks over to the tub, sitting down next to her.

Dexter: These are…orchids and—

Grace: …carnations, I know.  What do they mean?

Dexter: Orchids…mean…

He looks at her timidly.

Dexter cont’d: …beauty. 

Grace smiles and touches one of the orchids in the bouquet.  He continues to watch her as she looks at the flowers.

Dexter cont’d: And carnations…they’re not as good.  They just mean…

She looks up at him.

Dexter cont’d: Um…

She raises her eyebrows.  He smiles.  He hesitates another second, but hold his gaze on her.

Dexter cont’d: …fascination.

Grace blushes this time.  Dexter offers the flowers to her and she takes them with her “good” hand.

Grace: No one’s ever given me flowers before.

She pauses looking down at the flowers.

Grace: And no one’s ever called me smart.  And no one’s ever thought I looked pretty…with my glasses on. 

Dexter: It seems like no one’s done a lot of things that should have been done.

She looks up at him.  He swallows hard.  Her look is intent. 

Dexter cont’d: Did…did it…stop bleeding?

Grace smiles and leans over, with the intention of kissing him.  He’s nervous, but he’d definitely like to kiss her too.  Just before their lips touch:

Bella: What the hell is this?

Grace and Dexter end the potential kiss and look up at the door.  Dexter looks like he could die of embarrassment.

(cut to): the door where Bella stands, still holding Nicholas’ box.

Bella: Dexter?

She looks at Grace.

Bella cont’d: Dexter?

(cut to): Grace and Dexter.  Grace smiles and shrugs.

Dexter: I…I was just…she cut her finger and…

(cut to): Bella.  She smiles.

Bella: I’ll…see you guys later.

She walks off, shaking her head.

(cut to): Dexter and Grace.  Dexter is still looking at the door.  Grace has removed the washcloth and inspects her finger.

Grace: I think it stopped bleeding.

Dexter looks over at her.

Dexter (calmly): I’ll get the Neosporin.

He smiles and gets up.  Grace watches him carefully.  She likes this boy.

(cut to): Finn and Johanna’s house.

Music: All The Small Things by Blink 182

(cut to): their spare bedroom.  Everything has been cleared out of it.  Finn enters with a tarp and starts to spread it out.  Meagan walks in.

Meagan: I can still help paint, right?

Finn: Of course.

He smiles as Meagan walks on into the room and looks around and the walls.  They’re currently covered in wallpaper.

Meagan: What color did you guys buy?

Finn: White.  Your mom thought it was a good idea to start it out like that…tabula rosa.

Meagan: Clean slate.  Cool.   Good idea.

Finn smiles again, impressed with her knowledge.

(dissolve to): a half an hour later as more stuff is set up.  Meagan is wearing older clothes.  Finn is using a machine to steam the wall paper off and Meagan is pulling it off.

Meagan: Do you ever think about what you’re going to do with the baby?  Like, what songs you want to play or books you want to read…that kind of stuff?

Finn: I guess in the back of my mind I do, yes.

Meagan: I’m thinking about making some lists so that I won’t forget all the stuff I think of that I want to share with the baby.

Finn: Sounds like a good idea.

Meagan: Is everything around here going to be totally different?  Because, from what I’ve heard so far, everything is going to be different and I’ll have a lot more responsibility and all that.  And, I just can’t even think about what that’s going to be like.  I mean, I’m not nervous about it anymore, but it just seems like…I just can’t imagine it.

Finn stops the steaming for a second.  He sets the machine down.

Finn: Do you want to know something?

Meagan: Okay.

Finn: I can’t imagine it either. 

Meagan: You can’t?

He shakes his head.

Finn: It just seems like everything is going to change so much that…I can’t even comprehend it.

Meagan: Yeah, exactly.

Finn: And unlike you, I am nervous. 

Meagan: About what?

Finn: Some selfish stuff.  Like, your mom and I won’t ever get to be alone...really alone.  And that I might not be able to hang out with you as much because I’ll be busy doing things for the baby.  But, mostly, I’m just worried that I won’t even know what to do…that I won’t be a good dad.

Meagan: Oh my gosh, you sound just like I did. 

Finn smiles.

Meagan cont’d: But then I talked to Beth.  And, I really thought about what she said, and I think she was right.  See, she said basically that since we care so much about how we’re going to affect the baby then…we’re just proving that we’re going to be a good family.

Johanna: If I’d know you needed this talk too…

Finn and Meagan look up as Johanna enters the doorway.

Finn: It just sounds so convincing when Meagan says it.

He gives Meagan a smile then gets up.  Meagan does the same.

Johanna: I think we could all use a night of talking about how we’re feeling.

Finn: But there’s wallpaper to remove and painting to be done…

He gestures around.

Johanna: You two can work.  I’ll watch.  And we can all talk.

Meagan: I was telling Finn that I’m going to start making lists of all the stuff that I want to share with the baby…

Finn goes back to steaming as Meagan goes back to peeling.  Johanna watches as Meagan starts to list off some of the books she wants to read to the baby.  We pull back through the window as this family meeting/paint session ensues.

(fade out)

 

Commercial Break: Like Matt Czuchry?  Seriously, though, how could you not?  Therefore you should check out Dedicated With Love because it’s got lots of great Matt goodies…and more pictures than you could ever imagine.  He’s such a cutie.  Also, for those of you in the U.S., Matt will be on 7th Heaven on November 25th.  Check it out.

 

(fade in): to a road in New Rawley, the same night.  Jill and Sean walk together.

Music: Two Points for Honesty by Guster

Jill: Two walks in two nights…

Sean: Yeah…

A beat.

Sean cont’d: Well, you said you like walks, right?

Jill: Yeah, as part of a date…not as some random Sean-hang-out activity.

Sean: Right…

He’s really hurt by that.

Sean cont’d: Why don’t we stop by my place and I’ll give you a ride back to Rawley?

She looks over at him.  She knows she hurt him.  She stops walking and grabs his arm to stop him too.

Jill: I’m sorry.

Sean: For what?  I’m the one who should be apologizing for bugging you so much lately.  I didn’t mean to force you into spending time with me.  I love hanging out with you, but…I don’t want to make you miserable in the process.

Jill: You’re not making me miserable.  And, you know what?  If you were, you should not be apologizing for it, okay? 

Sean: What should I do?

Jill: Right before you tell me to go to hell, you should point out that you’ve been my best friend these past few months and that you’ve been there to listen to stuff that I wouldn’t say to anyone else...not anyone.  And then you could go into what an amazing person you are and what a dummy I am for treating you like crap.  You could tell me how you’re kind and caring and how you always come through even if you’re scared…or nervous…or completely freaked out.  And that you make me feel good…sometimes because you mean to…because I beg you to, but…sometimes just because of how you look at me…like you’re pretending to humor me, but deep down, you really are enjoying whatever we’re doing. 

He looks up at her.  He’s not humoring right now. 

Jill cont’d: Unlike the look of intense hate you’re giving me right now.

Sean: I don’t think I could hate you if I tried, Jill.  It’s the farthest thing from my mind.

Jill looks at him curiously.

Jill: Sean, I have to tell you something.

Sean: So…tell me.

She looks at him as he awaits.  She takes a deep breath.  She wants to do it.  After a second, she seems to chicken out.  She really was going to do it, but…she just can’t.  She comes up with an alternative:

Jill: Look, I don’t even know why I said I don’t like walking with you because…I do.  I’m just stressed out over…some stuff and…preoccupied with something else right now and…

She looks off a moment, thinking of Scout.

Jill cont’d: …I’m sorry.  That’s what I wanted to say…that I’m sorry.

Sean shrugs.  He was certainly hoping for something else.

Sean: No big deal.  You want to head back or what?

Jill looks at him.  She’s trying desperately to move on from what just happened.

Jill: Not a chance. 

She loops her arm in his.

Jill cont’d: You know what we should do?  Go make out in front of the garage.

He tries not to, but it’s no use…he smiles.

Sean: You’re insane.

Jill: I’m just good.  So, are you in?

Sean (teasingly): I don’t know…I only like making out as part of a date…not as some random-Jill-hang-out activity.

She laughs.

Jill: Fine, but…you don’t know what you’re missing.

Sean: Don’t pull that reverse psychology on me.  You’re the one that likes my kissing…remember?

Jill shrugs.

Jill: Fine, so how about we go to your place for a game of horse and some Kid Rock.

Sean laughs.

Sean: Fine by me.

Jill rolls her eyes and continues to walk with her arm through Sean’s.

(cut to): Scout and Will’s room.  Scout is sitting on his bed, working on his homework and wearing headphones.  Gwen and Will are sitting at Will’s desk.  She glances over at Scout.  She whispers to be sure he can’t hear..

Gwen (whispered): Is this Jill-related?

Will (whispered): He won’t say.  He says it’s not exactly what I think, though.  I think he’s been talking to Jill a lot or something.  I mean, you said he’s been coming over, right?

Gwen (whispered): He has a few times.  She says they’re just talking through the Sean stuff…

Will (whispered): Maybe it’s just getting to him all of a sudden.

Gwen looks over at Scout, worried.

Gwen (whispered): I’ll talk to Jill tomorrow.

A beat as Will takes Gwen’s hand, distracting her.  She smiles.

Gwen: I can’t believe we got everything wrapped up with the paper today.

Will: All we were missing was that feature.  Dexter’s layout looked great, didn’t it?

Gwen: The old pictures were a nice touch.  It made it seem really personal. 

Will: You know, our Second Opinion this issue was pretty good. 

Gwen: And that story on building a new field. 

Will: Hopefully Nicholas Mann will get people reading and they’ll realize what a great school paper they have.

Gwen: He is a pretty interesting guy…

(dissolve to): an establishing shot of the garage, quite a bit later.  Grace and Dexter are sitting on the bench talking.  Grace still holds onto the flowers.  The camera pans up to Bella’s window.  We see Bella with the guitar in silhouette.

Music: Everything by Stereo Fuse

(cut to): Bella’s bed room.  Bella is sitting on her bed with the guitar.  She’s watching TV, but not just any TV.  We pan around to reveal that she’s opened the box.  Insides are at least forty tapes, of different sizes, and Nick’s video camera.  She has a TV on her dresser and has an older video camera hooked up to it.  On the screen is a boy of about twelve who, it doesn’t take long to figure out, is a young Nicholas Mann.  He’s talking to the camera, not unlike he does now.

Nicholas (on camera): Today was the best.  I got to leave school early to go with my dad to his play.  And, I got to hang out backstage all night and no one yelled at me for being in the way or anything.  And the lead actress, Monica Pratt, she was nice to me and she asked me to run lines with her.  And she said that I have a future in acting, which is cool because that’s what I want to do.  I didn’t tell my dad yet, but I got a part in this play at school.  I didn’t tell him because it’s not really a big part or anything.  Oh, but the lead is this girl Melissa and she’s so cool.  She’s an eighth grader, though so…I have no shot, but it’s nice just to be around her.  You know what I mean?  When you like someone you don’t even always have to talk to them?  It’s just enough to be near them?  It’s even like that with my dad.  Today was fun just because he was around.  Even though we didn’t talk that much, I think we still…bonded, or whatever it is you say.  Anyway, see ya.

He gets up and cuts off the camera; it’s the end of the tape.  Bella smiles and sets the guitar down.  She’s impressed.  She walks over and pulls another tape—a newer once—out of the box then picks up Nicholas’ other video camera from the box.  She puts the tape in as she sits down on her bed.  She hits play.  This tape is more recent, probably from Nicholas’ college days.  He looks upset.

Nicholas (on camera):  I hate my father.  I really do.  I was playing Edmond in King Lear and that bastard wouldn’t even take one evening to drive over and watch me.  Like it would kill him to support me in something I’m doing.  And what I hate even more is that his opinion actually matters to me.  I genuinely want to know what he thinks of me as an actor.  And he just…won’t watch.  My mother came for opening night and I was really happy to see her and I appreciated it very much.  I still wanted my dad there, though. 

He leaves the camera on a moment more as he considers the whole thing.  Then he gets up and turns it off.  Bella hits stop and ejects the tape.  She switches it out for another one.  A blue screen  comes on so she hits fast forward.  After a second, an even more recent video of Nicholas begins.  Bella hits play.

Nicholas (on camera): I am very drunk right now.  I know I’m not going to remember doing this, but I need to so that one day I can be looking through my old tapes and come across this and remember this and feel happy like I feel right now.

He smiles.  He’s toasted.

Nicholas (on camera) cont’d: I just met this girl.  I don’t really believe in love at first site or anything like that, but I fell in love with this girl in about two seconds.  It’s got to be some kind of record.  I don’t even know what we said to each other.  I just remember that every time she looked at me, I got this feeling.  It was like…soothing and stressful all at once.  She calmed me down, but she made me excited.  I…I have no idea how to describe it.  Maybe the look on my face will say it.  I need to go because I have no idea what I’m saying.  All I know is that I love Bella Banks.

Bella realizes for the first time when this video was taken.

Nicholas (on camera) cont’d: I mean, I love her…everything about her…everything I know about her…everything I don’t even know about her…I love it all.  Unconditionally.  Without bounds.  I would move mountains…I would climb mountains…I would…

He pauses, not being able to think of what else you could do with a mountain.

Nicholas (on camera) cont’d: I better go before I pass out.  But, just…note to self, Nick: you love Bella Banks.  You always will so when you see her again, don’t screw up because she’s everything you want.

On Camera, Nicholas smiles again just sitting there, looking at the camera for a second.  He gets up and walks off without shutting it off.  Bella closes the video camera, setting it down next to her.  She looks around at all the tapes then picks up the guitar.  She looks genuinely happy as she begins work on a new song.  We pull back through her window to get the shot of the garage we started with.  Dexter and Grace are still talking outside.  Grace pulls off one of the carnations and hands it to him.  He smiles, getting it.

(cut to): Hamilton and Dexter’s room.  The table and everything that went with it have been cleared away, save the candles, which are considerably shorter and sitting on Hamilton’s bedside table.  Music plays softly.  Jake and Hamilton sit on the floor by Hamilton’s bed.  Jake is between his legs and wrapped in his arm.  He has his eyes closed and his chin on her shoulder.  He’s taken his tie off and she has it in her hands.

Jake: I love you, Hamilton.

He opens his eyes.

Hamilton: Something you just realized?

She smiles.

Jake: Something I just appreciated.

Hamilton: Well, I love you too.

He kisses her neck then picks up her wrist, looking at her watch.

Hamilton cont’d: Is it really one?

Jake: Yeah, I should probably go...

Hamilton (whiny): No…

He holds onto her a little tighter.  She laughs.

Hamilton cont’d: All I meant was that I wonder where the hell Dexter is.  I only told him he had to stay away until midnight.

Jake: Where’d he go?

Hamilton: He met a girl.  He took her flowers.

Jake: What?  Who?

Hamilton: You wouldn’t believe me if I told you…

Jake looks momentarily perplexed, but doesn’t worry about it too much as she settles against Hamilton again.

(cut to): the garage.  Dexter is sitting on his bike.  Grace stands in front of the bike, still holding the flowers.  Neither of them says anything.  Grace finally breaks the silence.

Grace: I’m glad you came over…even if I did almost lose a digit in the process.

Dexter laughs.  He’s much more at ease with her now.

Dexter: Speaking of…um…digits…

She laughs. 

Grace: Hang on.

She goes into the office and sets the flowers on the desk.  She picks up a marker off the desk and goes back outside.  She grabs his hand and writes on the back of it her seven-digit phone number then draws a flower.  He smiles.

Dexter: Do you…um…do you want mine?

Grace shakes her head.

Grace: The ball’s in your court.  See ya, Dexter…

She turns around and walks away.  He sits there on his bike, watching her walk back into the office. 

(cut to): the office where she picks up the flowers and looks at them then takes them into the house.

(cut to): Dexter.  He sighs, relieved.  He looks down at the phone number on his hand then at the flower.  He smiles.  Then grabs his handle bars and rides away.

(fade out)

 

Commercial Break: Need another great YA-related site?  The Kate Bosworth Fan site is a great resource.  It’s got the basics like interviews and pictures and other fun stuff like buddy icons and wallpapers.

 

(fade in): the girls’ dorm, the next morning.  Gwen walks out of the bathroom in a robe and with a towel on her head.  Jill is just getting up.

Music: On her mind by Duncan Sheik

Gwen: Late night, huh?

Jill: Yeah. 

Gwen: Were you at Sean’s?

Jill: Please, Gwen…no interrogations before I at least brush my teeth…

She walks off into the bathroom.

Gwen: I just need to talk to you about Scout.

Jill re-emerges from the bathroom with toothbrush and toothpaste in hand.

Jill: Scout?

Gwen cont’d: I’m not really the type of person that likes to meddle.

Jill: No…you’re not.

Gwen: So, if I’m saying this to you, understand that I think it’s a big deal.

Jill nods.

Gwen cont’d: I know you and Scout have been hanging and he really did seem fine with everything…

Jill: Did?

Gwen: These past few days he’s been really quiet and introverted.  He won’t even talk to Will except to say that it’s not what Will thinks.  Maybe it doesn’t have anything to do with you, but I just thought…if you have been talking to him…maybe you know what’s wrong?  Maybe you could talk to him about it?

Jill: Yeah…I will.  I definitely will.  Thanks Gwen.

Gwen: Any time.

Jill goes back into the bathroom.  Gwen shakes her head in confusion then goes on with her routine.

(dissolve to): Scout and Will’s room, a little later.  Scout and Will are getting ready for class.  Will puts his stuff into his backpack.

Will: Hey, I’m going to the dining hall.  Want to come?

Scout: No, thanks.

Will: Want me to bring some O.J. to first period?

Scout smiles.

Scout: Thanks, Will, but…I don’t want anything.

Will nods.

Will: See you in class then.

Scout nods.  Will exits.

(cut to): the hall as Will shuts the door.  Jill walks up.  She doesn’t like the stare of death Will gives her, but tries to be polite.

Jill: Morning, Will.

Will: Hi, Jill.

Jill: Is…Scout here?

Will: Yeah, he is.

Jill approaches the door, but Will doesn’t move over.

Will: Look…I don’t know what’s going on here, but…I know it has something to do with you.  Nothing else can make him as happy as he has been lately…or as upset as he is right now.  

She looks down. 

Will cont’d: So just…go in there and use your powers for good, okay?

She looks up at him.  She doesn’t know what to say.  He looks at her, shaking his head.  He doesn’t know what else to say either so he walks off.

(cut to): inside the room.  Scout is putting his books into his backpack.  The door opens slowly and hesitantly.  Scout looks up.  When he sees it’s Jill, he smiles.  It’s not forced.  He doesn’t seem angry.  This perplexes Jill, but she comes in and closes the door.

Scout: I was wondering if I’d ever see you again.

Jill: Yeah…I’m sorry.  Sean’s just been…I mean…

Scout: He wants to spend time with you.

Jill: Just, you know…for the sake of the whole charade, I think.

Scout nods.

Jill cont’d: Are you…are you okay?  Because Gwen said—

Scout: I don’t want to know what Gwen said.  I’m fine.  I was really angry the other night. 

Jill: I just thought it would be better if I went with Sean instead of—

Scout: I know.  And, I’m not mad anymore.  And, I wasn’t mad at you anyway.  This situation is what frustrates me and…I’ve been trying to figure out what we need to do.  I want to tell Sean about us, but…

Jill: I really don’t want to do that.

Scout: Exactly.  Which is why, for now, this has to end.  You and me.

She frowns.

Scout cont’d: The last thing I want to do is screw this up…or give it up, but…I think maybe we should wait until all this is over with.  When Sean wins Bella over then…we could pick it up again.  It’s really our option right now.  I’ve been searching for an alternative for the last twenty-four hours, but I haven’t had much luck.

Jill walks over to him now.

Jill: I don’t want to lose you again.  I mean…is this really what you want?

Scout: What I want and what I think we should do would lead me down two very different roads, but…for now…I don’t think we should be together. 

She looks down.

Scout cont’d: I mean, I was hiding out in your bathroom so Sean wouldn’t know I was there.  And…I felt guilty as hell about it.

Jill: If anyone should feel guilty, it’s me.

Scout: Well, I don’t want you feeling like that either.

Jill looks down.

Scout cont’d: I…I still want to see you.  I just…don’t want to sneak around.

Jill: So…you want to be friends…

Scout: Yeah…that could work.  Couldn’t it?

Jill looks up at him.

Scout cont’d: We could tell Sean that, right?  That we’re friends?

Jill: Yeah…of course.

She hasn’t looked up.

Scout: When I said I loved you, I meant it.

She looks up.

Jill: I know you did.  And, I love you too, Scout.

Scout: I just think that we’ve been on hold for over six months now…we can hold out a little longer.

Jill: Okay.

Scout: If I’m messing up here—

Jill: No…you’re right…it’ll be better this way.

Scout takes her hands for a moment.

Scout: So…from now on…just friends.

Jill: Just friends.

She nods.  He drops her hands.  She stands there looking at him, not wanting to walk away.

Scout: Well, I have got to get to class.

Jill nods.

Jill: Me too.

She turns to leave.

Jill cont’d: Bye, Scout.

Scout: Bye.

Music: Boys Don’t Cry by The Cure

She exits, looking a little freaked out.  Scout sits down on his bed, putting his head in his hands for a moment.  He looks up at the door.  It was hard, but he feels relieved.

(dissolve to): Finn’s classroom, later in the day.  Everyone sits around waiting for class to start.  Scout and Will talk.  Scout looks perfectly calm and…happy.

Will: Scout…how’d everything go with Jill this morning?

Scout: What?

Will: Did you guys work everything out?

Scout: I didn’t have anything to work out with Jill.

Scout turns to face the board.  Will doesn’t believe him.

Will: But…you’re cool?

Scout smiles.

Scout: Uh huh…

He continues to look at the board.  Will still isn’t convinced that this had nothing to do with Jill, but he believes Scout is okay so he stops pressing.  We pan across the room to Dexter.  He’s sitting toward the back, looking at his hand.  The number and the flower are mostly washed away.  Hamilton sneaks up behind him.

Hamilton: You got her number.  Impressive.

Dexter looks back at him, turning his hand over.  Hamilton smiles.

Hamilton cont’d: I hope that works out. 

Dexter smiles, more to himself.  Hamilton pats him on the back and heads up to his seat as Finn walks in.

Finn: Gentlemen…how are we today?

Various boys reply as everyone settles into their seats.

Finn cont’d: We’re almost at the end of the semester and thus the end of our projects.  We should all be extremely familiar with our authors even if we haven’t finished our final drafts yet.

Everyone looks around, wondering where he’s going with this.

Finn cont’d: And, since I just stayed up all night painting a nursery and talking to my family instead of coming up with a lesson plan…I want all of you to stand up and talk a few minutes about who your author is and why he or she is significant. 

Everyone expresses their displeasure.

Finn cont’d: If you can remember your author’s name, you’ll get an A on the assignment.  Who wants to go first?

Several people volunteer.

(dissolve to): Jake, Hamilton, Dexter, Will and Scout walking from one class to another.  They pass the art room.  Hamilton’s mom is at work organizing paint.  She sees them pass.  Hamilton looks in and waves.

Music: One Day by Simple Plan

Kate: Oh, Hamilton…

She comes to the door.  He nods to the group who walk on without him.

Hamilton: Hey, Mom.  What’s up?

He walks into her classroom with her.

Kate: Your father told me he had a very nice chat with you.

Hamilton: Yeah…he taught me how to cook.  Well, a little.

Kate: He thinks you’re trying to impress…Bella.

Hamilton: Yeah…

Hamilton looks around, he knows where this is going and he wants out.

Kate: He said he saw you two fooling around in Bella’s truck.

Hamilton: Fooling around?  We were just talking, Mom.  Bella’s my friend, that’s all.

Kate: So, you and Jake are still…

Hamilton: Yes, we are.

Kate: Because I would assume that I would get updates on these things.

Hamilton rolls his eyes, embarrassed and frustrated.

Hamilton: There’s nothing to update, okay?  I’m with Jake.  I always will be.

Kate smiles, looking at Hamilton and considering the ease with which he makes such declarations.  Hamilton looks back at her again.

Hamilton: What?

Kate: One of these days, he needs to know the truth too, okay?

Hamilton: Dad?

Kate nods.

Kate: Because he’s missing out on a huge part of who you’ve become.

Hamilton smiles.

Hamilton: I’m late for class, Mom.

Kate: You’re going to be even later because I need you to run an errand for me.

Hamilton sighs: the life of the dean’s son. Kate walks over to her desk and retrieves a manila envelope.

Kate cont’d: This needs to go to Mr. Mann.  If he’s not in his apartment, just slip it under his door, okay?

Hamilton: Sure.

He takes the envelope.  His mom kisses him on the cheek before letting him walk out.

(cut to): the quad.  Hamilton exits the classroom building and looks around the quad.  Everyone is in class and it’s extremely quiet and empty.  Something across the quad catches Hamilton’s eye.

(cut to): a shot from his point of view of Bella walking along the edge of the quad toward the boys’ dormitory.  She carries the cardboard box that contains the cameras and tapes.

(cut to): Hamilton.  He smiles.

Hamilton: Sneaky.

He shakes his head and waits a moment, letting her get inside before he continues on his mission.

(cut to): the steps in front of the boys’ dorm.  Hamilton approaches them when the door of the dorm opens.  Instead of letting her see him, Hamilton ducks behind a tree.  Bella hurries off across the quad, looking around.  Hamilton waits until she hits the woods then heads up the steps of the dorm, laughing at her “sneakiness.” 

(cut to): the hall in front of Nicholas’ door.  Hamilton walks up and knocks.  After a second, Nicholas opens the door quickly and looks surprised to see Hamilton.

Hamilton: Hey, sorry to bother you.  My mom sent this.

He hands over the envelope.  Nicholas lets go of the door as he takes it.

Nicholas: Thanks.  I guess being the dean’s son makes you the resident errand boy, huh?

Hamilton laughs.

Hamilton: Tell me about it.  It’s such a pain.  Then again, I am missing class right now.

Nicholas laughs.  A beat.

Nicholas: So, how’d your romantic dinner go?

Hamilton smiles.

Hamilton: So good.

Nicholas smiles.

Nicholas: Glad to hear it.

Nicholas’ shoulder hits the door, causing it to swing open a little more.  Hamilton glances inside.

(cut to): a shot from his point of view of the box that he just saw Bella carrying.

(cut to): Hamilton.  He puts two and two together, but…he can’t quite believe it.  He tries to keep a light tone.

Hamilton: What’s that?  Package from mom?

Nicholas looks back, suddenly nervous when he sees what Hamilton means.

Nicholas: Uh…yeah, actually.  How’d you know?

Hamilton’s suspicions have been confirmed.

Hamilton: I’m a regular detective.

He tries to hide his disgust and disapproval.

Hamilton cont’d: I’ll see you later, man.

He turns around and walks off, shaking his head.  Nicholas doesn’t notice anything is too off.  He shuts his door.

(fade out)

 

Commercial Break: Jake and Hamilton and Screencaps, oh my!    Okay, that was a lame introduction, but what we’re trying to say is what a great combination.  And that’s really just the beginning at Vertigo’s Jake and Hamilton Screen Capture’s site.  You can also find the latest caps of the recent work of Kate Moennig and Ian Somerhalder.  Oh, did we mention video?  So, yeah…go explore.

 

(fade in): to an establishing shot of the boys’ dorm.  Not much time has passed and everything is still quiet since everyone is still in class.

(cut to): Nicholas’ apartment.  He sits in a chair with the box in front of him.  He’s holding a pair of scissors because the box has been sealed with tape.  He looks almost afraid to open it.  He leans forward, though, and cuts the tape, opening the box.  On top of it all is a piece of paper that says “just hit play.”  He picks up his video camera and looks at it curiously.  He opens the viewing screen and hits play.  After a second of blue, we see Bella’s room.  A second later, she walks into frame and sits down on a chair she’s set up. 

Bella: Hi, Nick.  I don’t have that much to say to you, but…I want to say it in person.  I know that Rawley isn’t the best venue for you and the garage really isn’t that great for me so…I thought about it and I came up with somewhere for us to meet.  Somewhere that’s not a dark alley or a car by the lake.  Somewhere where we can talk.  There’s a map at the bottom of the box.  If you can, come tonight at eight. 

She gets up and cuts the camera off.  Nicholas looks very baffled by the whole thing.

(dissolve to): the Jetta as it drives down the road from New Rawley to Carson.

Music: Everything by Stereo Fuse (again)

(cut to): inside the car.  Nicholas is driving, and glancing over at the map, which is accompanied by detailed written instructions.

Nicholas: Mile marker forty-five…

(cut to): his point of view of the mile marker numbered forty-five.

(cut to): a shot of the car as it pulls off the road and down a long, dirt driveway.  We follow the car as it gets further down the driveway.  Eventually, it reaches…the cabin in the woods.  It doesn’t take us long to figure out that this is the same cabin from Will Bella Scout Her Mom?

(cut to): inside the car.  Nicholas glances at the clock in his car: 7:57.  We follow Nicholas out of the car as he carefully approaches the house, not certain if this is the right place or not.  The cabin door opens and Bella walks out.

Bella: You found it.

Nicholas: I guess I did.

He smiles and goes to join her inside.

(cut to): inside the cabin as Bella and Nicholas enter.  Bella has managed to get the lights working.  It looks basically the same other than that. 

Nicholas: What is this place?

Bella: It’s a cabin…in the woods.

Nicholas laughs.

Nicholas: I can see that…how’d you find it?

Bella: My car broke down here once. 

Nicholas gives her a curious look.

Bella cont’d: So listen…about those tapes and what they meant and everything.

Nicholas: I’m assuming since you gave them back—

Bella: Giving me those tapes was an amazing gesture, Nick.  I can’t think of a better way of getting to know you. 

Nicholas: You mean…you liked them?

She nods.

Nicholas cont’d: Then why’d you give them back?  I mean, you couldn’t have watched them all…

Bella: I was trying to psyche you out.  I didn’t want to reveal my plan until…I got you here.

Nicholas smiles.

Nicholas: You know, this is starting to sound like the plot of a bad horror movie.

He looks around.

Nicholas cont’d: I mean…you don’t have an axe around here or anything, do you?

Bella laughs.

Bella: You’re the one with the creepy tapes.

Nicholas: Fair enough.

A beat.

Nicholas cont’d: So, Bella Banks, why have you lured me to into the woods?

Bella: Well…after dinner the other night, I had a conversation with someone who is far wiser than I when it comes to all things relationship-related.  But, what he said didn’t really hit home until…you said what you said last night…and then when I watched the tapes…I don’t know…it just all made sense.

Nicholas: What did this mystery guru say?

Bella pauses for a moment and looks at Nicholas.

Bella: That if you want to be with someone…you’ve got to do what it takes to make it work.  And, it didn’t take a whole lot of thought to realize that there’s no way I’m not going to be with you so…I decided that I want to—I’m prepared to—do what it takes…

He raises his eyebrows.  He needs clarification.

Bella cont’d: …you know…to make it work.

Nicholas (disbelieving): Wait…did you say there’s no way you’re not going to be with me?

Bella nods.  Nicholas smiles.  He quickly moves in to kiss her.  She’s a little taken aback at first, but she kisses him back.  When they pull apart, Nicholas smiles again.

Nicholas: I’m sorry…was there more?

Bella laughs.

Bella: Uh huh…

Nicholas: Okay, go on…

He takes a forced step away from her.

Bella: I was thinking that it might be a little less stressful if we had a place that was kind of away from…everything and everyone.  Where we didn’t have to even think about getting caught…much less worry about it. 

Nicholas: Like…a cabin…in the woods.

Bella: You think it’s dumb…

Nicholas: No…no…I think it’s perfect.  Absolutely perfect….Bella…

He takes a step forward now.

Nicholas cont’d: …I think you are perfect.

She smiles.

Bella: Well, you’re not so bad yourself.

Nicholas: I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have a secret cabin in the woods with.

She rolls her eyes at what she assumes is sarcasm or at least exaggeration.

Nicholas cont’d: I’m extremely serious.

And he is.  Their playful banter is put on hold as they look at each other a moment then share a kiss.  When they slowly pull back, Nicholas looks around and spots something that interests him.

(cut to): Bella’s guitar sitting next to the fireplace.

Nicholas: What’s the guitar for?

Bella: It was my backup plan.

Nicholas: You thought you were going to need a backup plan?

Bella smiles.

Nicholas cont’d: What’d this back up plan entail anyway?

Bella: I guess I was thinking that your tapes are a journal of your life…your history…your emotions…your thoughts.  And, I don’t really have anything that extensive, but I do have something that I think is just as…revealing…about who I am and how I feel.

Nicholas: Your music?

Bella nods.

Bella: I’ve been working on this one song for a while and…I’ve been wanting you to hear it.  I kind of tested it out on Hamilton the other day.  And then, last night…that song suddenly didn’t apply and so wrote this whole other song that…I don’t know…it just says everything that I feel about you…about us.

Nicholas: Even though I’m a sucker and you didn’t need a backup plan…think I could hear that song anyway?

She gives him a smile like she might not do it, but…she will.

(dissolve to): a few minutes later as Nicholas and Bella sit on the bricks in front of the fireplace.  Bella hold the guitar as she begins to play the song…

Music: Truthfully by Lisa Loeb: lyrics | song

(cut to): Dexter in Hamilton and Dexter’s room.  He’s talking on a cell phone as he paces around.  He seems at ease and is talking away.

Will (voice over.): Getting acquainted.  The more I think about it, the more it sounds like something you do in the fifties.

(cut to): Grace’s house.  She sits in the kitchen table on the phone, listening to Dexter.  She smiles at something he says. 

Will (v.o.) cont’d: But, I suppose that’s because it’s something sweet and innocent.

The camera pans over slightly to reveal the bouquet of flowers now in a vase on the kitchen table.  Graces glances at them as she continues to listen to Dexter.

(cut to): the newspaper room.  Will and Gwen are there opening two UPS boxes which contain their newspapers.  They are putting them in stands that will go up in various parts of the school.  They pause to look up at each other and smile.  Will opens up one of the papers to check it out and Gwen walks over to join him and get a look.

Will (v.o.) cont’d: It’s something that happens on the surface.  It doesn’t take a whole lot to learn someone’s middle name or favorite color.

(cut to): Jake’s room.  She and Hamilton are their working on homework in opposite corners of the room (actually Jake is at her computer and Hamilton has another chair from somewhere pulled up to her bed where he has several book and notebooks spread out).  He’s clearly having trouble concentrating, though.

Will (v.o.) cont’d: To really know someone, though, is something entirely different.

(cut to): Nicholas and Bella as she continues to play the song.  Nicholas is amazed and can’t take his eyes off of her while she looks down at the guitar, still very self-conscious about the whole thing.

(cut to): Finn, Johanna and Meagan sitting around their dining room table.  There is a bowl filled with several slips of paper in the middle of the table.  Finn nods to Meagan and she reaches in and draws out a slip.

Will (v.o.) cont’d: To know someone means that you know all the basics…and you genuinely care about what those things mean…how they affect that person…how they will come to affect you.

We get a close shot the slip of paper: “Dalton Jacey.”  Finally, we know…it’s a boy.

(cut to): Jill’s room.  Jill, Sean and Scout are all there.  Sean and Jill sit on her bed, pretty close. Scout sits on the floor.  They all have their attention turned to the TV where the first episode of Roswell is playing.  Scout glances up at Jill and Sean.  He tries to avert his attention back to the television, but can’t help but notice Sean reaching out and taking Jill’s hand.  Sean knows Scout is watching.  Scout turns back to the television, trying not to let it get to him.  He watches for another second then looks back at them only to be caught by Sean.  Sean simply smiles, not in a mean way…just in a happy way.  As if this is how things are supposed to be.  Scout plasters on his most genuine, accepting smile then quickly looks back at the television.  Jill glances first at Sean then at Scout then back at Roswell, looking increasingly guilty.

(cut to): the common room at the boys school as Will walks in and hands out anyone who will take one a school newspaper.  Most guys start reading them right away.

(cut to): the common room at the girls’ school where Gwen has obviously just been.  There are several girls and all of them have it opened to the center spread on Nicholas Mann.

Will (v.o.) cont’d: It’s not something you can read about in an article somewhere.

(cut to): Nicholas and Bella again.  She continues to play and he looks more and more smitten as each word leaves her mouth. 

Will (v.o.) cont’d: The only way to really know someone is to just open yourself up that person…

(cut to): Jake’s room, where Hamilton continues to look troubled.  Jake looks back at him and gives him a questioning look.  He looks up at her and forces a smile that doesn’t come to hard considering it’s for her.  He then looks back down at his notebook as if whatever is in there is what’s bugging him.  Jake seems to find that logical and doesn’t think anything more of it as she goes back to her own homework.

Will (v.o.) cont’d: …to let that person see beyond the surface that everyone gets a glimpse of.

 (cut to): the girls in the common room as they continue to read about Nicholas.  We stay with two girls who sit on the couch as they look at the article.  Over their shoulder we can see the story, several fact boxes and a variety of pictures: old and new.  The girls giggle over something they read in the article and seem to thoroughly enjoy it.

Will (v.o.) cont’d: And hope that he or she returns the favor…

(cut to): Nicholas and Bella. She looks up at him every now and then as she continues the song.  He looks like he feels like the luckiest guy in the world.  We pull out through the cabin window and get a shot of the Jetta and the cabin in the woods: the perfect hide-a-way as we…

(fade out)

 

THE END

 

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