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In This Life

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EPISODE 24

SCENE 1

INT. THE SPECTATOR - DAY (TWO DAYS AFTER EPISODE 23)

JACK has come by to visit VERN. As he walks through the office, he is overwhelmed with memories of his time here. It is still painful for him to remember how he lost the paper, and he is distracted thinking about it when KATE spots him.

KATE: (coming up behind him) Jack?

JACK recognizes the voice instantly and slowly turns around to face her.

JACK: (dryly) Kate.

KATE: Jack, I thought it was you! It's so good to see you again--it's been years!

JACK: Yes, it has been quite a while.

It is still difficult for him to see her, remembering how she had once betrayed him.

KATE: (noting his less-than-thrilled reaction towards her) I must admit I'm a little surprised to see you here, of all places.

JACK: That's funny, Kate--you see, I was about to say the same thing to you. My sources have told me that you normally can't be bothered with what goes on around here.

KATE: (stung, but tries to play it off) Well, I see you still don't pull any punches, do you?

JACK: No, I guess you could say that was never my forte. (beat) Speaking of which, back-stabbing sure is yours, isn't it?

KATE: (gives him a cool smile) My, my, I see that memory of yours is fairly selective. And here I thought we were on good terms after Titan acquired The Spectator. I even helped you out when your daughter was sick, don't you remember? And as I recall, you were quite grateful at the time.

JACK visibly tenses when she mentions ABBY.

KATE: As a matter of fact, it was my own son that saved her life.

JACK: Yes, I remember that. I also remember you promising to keep Victor from getting his hands on this newspaper and hurting my family. We all know what happened with those promises, don't we?

KATE: (shaking her head) Oh, Jack... Has anyone ever told you that it isn't healthy to hold a grudge for the rest of your life?

Her choice of words unexpectedly strike a nerve in JACK, and he gets a bit flustered.

JACK: (clears throat) Well, it has been very... interesting shooting the breeze with you, Kate. (sees VERN coming towards them and nods towards him) But if you'll excuse me, I came here to see Vern.

KATE: (enjoying seeing him off his game a little) Far be it from me to keep you, then. (begins to walk away, then turns around) I certainly hope this isn't the last we'll be seeing each other, Jack. (to VERN, who has just arrived) You have a visitor, Mr. Scofield. (looks at JACK as she talks to VERN) Try not to take too much valuable company time entertaining him, would you?

VERN gives her a puzzled look and looks at JACK.

VERN: (after KATE is out of earshot) What was that all about, Jack?

OUT on JACK still fuming.


SCENE 2

EXT. A CEMETERY - SAME

JENNIFER stands in front of STEVE'S headstone. She is carrying a bouquet of white lilies, and lays them down on his grave. She has not been to STEVE'S grave in years, but she has felt the need to come today and visit him so she can tell him about her and JACK.

JENNIFER: (softly, sadly) Hi, Steve...

The wind is blowing hard and it is snowing lightly, so she hugs herself to keep warm as she looks down on his grave.

JENNIFER: I haven't been here in a long time... Not since the last time I came here with Jack right before we left for Africa. (smiles) I used to just stand back, whenever I would come here with him. I would never really say anything, because I knew Jack just needed to be alone with you and feel your presence. (beat) But today I just... I just really needed to come here and talk to you myself. I really needed to tell you something, Steve...


SCENE 3

CUT TO: JACK AND VERN

JACK is visiting VERN but is still reeling from his not-so-pleasant encounter with KATE.

VERN: You know, if you stare down the hallway long enough, I think daggers are going to start shooting out of your eyes.

JACK: (realizing VERN was talking to him) Hmm?

VERN: (amused) I said the steam coming out of your ears is going to set off the fire alarm soon.

JACK smirks.

VERN: Well, I'm sorry, Jack, but if I had had advanced notice that you were coming today, I would have given you plenty of warning that today is usually the day Kate comes in to-

JACK: Crack the whip?

VERN: (laughs) Uh, yeah, something like that. I mean, I know how much you love to... chat with her.

JACK: Yes, I can't think of a better way to spend my morning. In fact, I think the only thing better would be to pal around with my favorite person in the world, Victor Kiriakis.

VERN: (choking) Oh, I think I can guarantee you that you'll have no chance of running into him here.

JACK: Oh good, so there is still a chance salvaging what's left of my already tarnished morning.

VERN: (observing JACK, sees he's a little run down again and is worried) So... how are you feeling?

JACK: Under the circumstances, fine.

VERN: Oh.

JACK: Oh?

VERN: Well, I just, you know... I thought you looked a little wiped out, that's all.

JACK: Going ten rounds with Kate will do that to a person.

VERN: No, I meant-

JACK: (cutting him off) I knew what you meant. I'm fine, really, thank you for asking. I'm just fighting off a cold, no big deal.

VERN: Oh, good, so it's just a cold. I thought that it was... well, you know, something else.

JACK: No, it's not something else, Vern.

Both men stand there, looking at each other in awkward silence, while people are buzzing all around them, working.

VERN and JACK: (simultaneously) So...

VERN: (before JACK can say something else) All right, I'll bite--what are you doing here, Jack?

JACK gives him a sheepish smile.


SCENE 4

CUT TO: JENNIFER

JENNIFER has come to visit STEVE and is about to tell him about her and JACK.

JENNIFER: (laughing softly) Don't worry, I didn't come here to give you bad news. In fact, I haven't been this happy about something in a long time...

She slowly crouches down in front of his headstone. All around her, it continues to snow. She brushes the snow away from the lilies she brought him.

JENNIFER: I know you and I never got the chance to really get to know each other, before... (she is overcome with sadness thinking of STEVE'S death) But I have a feeling we would have been very close if we had. I think loving Jack would have brought us together...

She straightens.

JENNIFER: I know I owe you a great deal for your part in getting me and Jack together. (smiles) You didn't think I knew, did you? But I did. I did, Steve. I knew how much Jack looked up to you, and how he wanted to make you proud of him. And because of that, he was finally able to believe he really was a good person. He was able to open himself up to me and let me love him.

She begins to cry, and wipes the tears from her eyes.

JENNIFER: You would have been proud of him, Steve. I know you've been watching him, and you've seen everything he's been able to do with his life. And I know you've been watching over him, too, just like you promised you would. I know you have, because you brought him back to me and Abby. You made sure he would have the people who love him in his life, didn't you?

She looks up at the sky.

JENNIFER: I know you'll keep on looking after him, Steve. Especially now. I feel so hopeful about the future... I don't really know how to explain it or where all of these feelings are even coming from, but I just know Jack's going to be all right. (smiles) You'll make sure of that. I know you won't let anything happen to your baby brother.

She takes a deep breath and closes her eyes.

JENNIFER: (to herself) I know you'll be all right, Jack. You will.


SCENE 5

CUT TO: JACK AND VERN

JACK and VERN have moved into VERN'S office. VERN is curious to know why JACK has come to visit him.

VERN: Do you plan to keep me in suspense much longer? You know, the longer you keep me guessing, the more nervous I get.

JACK: Oh come on, Vern. What possible reason could you have to get nervous around me?

VERN: (giving him a look) Do the words "Deveraux" and "scheming" mean anything to you?

JACK: (feigning innocence) I'm sure I haven't the foggiest.

VERN: (rolling his eyes) Whatever you say, Jack.

JACK: All right, you've got me. I suppose you wouldn't believe me if I told you I was just in the neighborhood and decided to drop by?

VERN shakes his head.

JACK: (laughing nervously) I'll take that as a no... (begins to fiddle with the tape dispenser on VERN'S desk; he is very nervous about what he is about to say to VERN) Well, um... you guessed correctly, Vern. I did come here for a specific purpose.

VERN: (a little worried) And that is? (before JACK can answer) And please, before you say anything, tell me it won't involve anything illegal, immoral, or anything else that might get me ostracized here in town.

JACK: (smirks) I am utterly overwhelmed by your faith in me, Vern.

VERN shrugs.

JACK: All right, here it is. I wanted to let you know that, uh... well, Miss Horton and I are getting married. Again.

VERN: (smiles) Oh, that's what you came here to tell me?

JACK: Yes... (furrows his brow) You don't seem all that surprised.

VERN: Well, I already knew.

JACK: What do you mean you already knew?

VERN: Oh, I found out from Jo--ennifer... Jennifer called me the other day to give me the fantastic news!

JACK: (hearing VERN'S slip) You've always been a terrible liar.

VERN: Excuse me?

JACK: Oh please, was I not supposed to hear that obvious change of vowels in mid-stream?

VERN: I have no idea what you're talking about, Jack.

JACK: My mother told you, didn't she?

VERN: I told you, Jenny-girl told me-

JACK: I happen to know Jennifer did no such thing.

VERN: (smiles sheepishly) All right, J-Jo told me...

JACK: She did... Well, I should have known. She's never been mistaken for being discreet.

VERN laughs, thinking he's off the hook, but JACK suddenly realizes something.

JACK: Wait a minute, why would she have told you?

VERN: What do you mean why would she have told me? We're friends, Jack.

JACK: (arching an eyebrow) Friends? You and my mother?

VERN: Yes, Jack, hard as it is to believe, your mother and I have... kept in touch since she moved to Texas.

JACK: (sarcastic smile) How nice.

VERN: Congratulations.

JACK: What?

VERN: I didn't get a chance to tell you that earlier before your third degree about me and your mother--congratulations on you and Jennifer.

JACK: Thank you... Thank you, Vern...

He needs to tell VERN something else, and is really nervous now.

VERN: What?

JACK: I, um... Well, there's something else I needed to tell you. (beat) Actually, it's something I need to ask.

VERN: (curious) What is it, Jack?

JACK: Uh... I suppose I should preface this by saying that you are entirely free to turn me down on this. I mean, I don't want you to feel obligated in any way-

VERN: Would you just spit it out?

JACK: (takes a deep breath) I would... be very honored, if you would...

VERN listens intently, and urges him to continue.

JACK: If you would... be my best man.

VERN is stunned. He was not expecting this at all, and is incredibly touched and overwhelmed that JACK would ask him.

VERN: Jack, you... you mean it? You really want me to be your best man?

JACK is embarrassed and is hoping VERN says yes.

JACK: Well... yes. (sincerely) You've been there since the beginning of our, uh... courtship. Non-traditional though it may have been. I would really love to have you stand there by my side on that day.

VERN: (emotional) I... Jack, I can't believe you just asked me to do this. (smiles) Of course I'll do it!

JACK: (smiles back) Splendid. (exhales in relief) Splendid.


SCENE 6

EXT. THE SALEM PIER - LATER

JENNIFER has left the cemetery and has come to the pier to walk around and gather her thoughts. JACK is coming down the steps and sees her.

JACK: (circling his arms around her from behind) Fancy meeting you here...

JENNIFER: (startled, gasps) Jack! (turns around to face him) You scared me!

JACK: (mock frown) Well, that was not quite the reaction I was expecting from my lovely fiancée.

JENNIFER: (grins) Oh, I see. And what were you expecting?

JACK places his index finger on his chin and pretends to think.

JACK: I had something more like... this... (kisses her tenderly) in mind...

JENNIFER: Mmm... Oh, that.

JACK: Yes, that.

JENNIFER: Next time, don't scare me half to death, and I will be more than happy to give my once and future husband a proper hello. (kisses him again) So what are you doing here?

JACK: I just came from The Spectator.

JENNIFER: You talked to Vern?

JACK: Yes, and did you know he and Jo correspond with each other-

JENNIFER: Forget about that, Jack, what did he say?

JACK: What do you mean, forget about it--wait a minute, did you know that they had kept in touch?

JENNIFER: Jack, what did he say? Is he going to be your best man?

JACK: (smiles) Yes. Yes, he said he would do it.

JENNIFER: (throwing her arms around him in excitement) Oh, that's so wonderful, Jack!! Everything's coming together, this is great... I was worried that we might not be able to get everything done in time, but so far we're right on schedule-

She notices JACK is staring at something in the far distance.

JENNIFER: What is it, Jack?

JACK: Hmm? Oh, I was just looking at the island over there.

JENNIFER: (looking in the direction he was looking) The island... (smiles) Gosh, it's been so long since we were there, hasn't it?

JACK: As a matter of fact, I remember the very last time we went there, which also happened to be the only time we had ever gone there.

They think back on the day they went to the island on the lake.

FLASHBACK - SEVEN YEARS EARLIER

EXT. AN ISLAND ON THE LAKE - NIGHT

JACK has taken JENNIFER fishing by moonlight to get her mind off ABBY who has been very sick lately. They have managed to fall overboard while in the boat, but are now on an island on the lake, where JACK has built a fire and they are cooking the fish they caught.

JACK: Well I think we've finally cured his appetite for worms. I tell you, if I was ever going to be washed up, I want to be washed up with you, Jennifer. And I'd like to washed up on this island.

JENNIFER: You know, I've been here once before actually.

JACK: (disappointed) This wasn't your first time? (beat) When?

JENNIFER: Well, it was a summer night a lot like tonight.

JACK: (trying not to let his disappointment show) I see. (beat) Well, I take it you weren't washed up alone either?

JENNIFER: No I wasn't. And if you take a look at that tree over there, (points to the tree) you'll see a lot of initials carved in it.

JACK goes to look at the tree.

JACK: Yes, looks like a good time.

JENNIFER: Let's go take a look. Look there, there's Steve Johnson and Kayla Brady... Mike Horton and April Ramirez.

JACK: Uh huh...

JENNIFER: And then there's that JH and.... FB.

JACK: (putting two and two together) FB. JH obviously is Jennifer Horton and FB....

JENNIFER: (smiling) Frankie Brady.

JACK: Francoise! So the worm turns yet again.

JENNIFER: (enjoying his reaction) Well, I love it when you're jealous.

JACK arches his eyebrows.

JENNIFER: Actually we were very innocent in those days, Jack.

JACK: You're still innocent.... Thank goodness.

JENNIFER: Yes, thank goodness. You know there is one more thing that can make tonight very special.

JACK: What's that?

JENNIFER: Hold on.

She goes to get a knife from the campsite. JACK sees what she's doing.

JACK: (deadpans) You're going to kill me. You're going to split me like the fish. No, I know what you want me to do--you want me to deface that tree.

JENNIFER: (smiling) Please?

JACK hesitates.

JENNIFER: Jack, it's a lover's tree. There's a lot of initials on it.

JACK: Yeah, a lot of initials. They may not just have all been lovers. Could have been a pirate or two.

JENNIFER: A pirate on an island in a lake?

JACK: Well, you never know. I mean who knows? Maybe they even have a little buried treasure around here. Maybe even.... ah.... where you're standing.

JENNIFER: Oh yes, I'm sure there's a big buried treasure under my feet.

JACK: Maybe even exactly where you're standing. (she does not get the hint, so he repeats himself) Right where you're standing!

JENNIFER: What do you mean? (bends down to look)

JACK: I mean right where you're standing.

JENNIFER: (digging through the sand) Oh my gosh, I think I found something!

JACK: (pleased) Well, fancy that.

JENNIFER opens the box and sees a set of pearl earrings.

JENNIFER: Oh, Jack! They are so beautiful...

JACK: Yes they are. It'll teach you not to doubt an old pirate.... Gawd blimey!

JENNIFER: I will never doubt you. I will never ever doubt you ever again.

They hug, then go to sit by the fire.

JENNIFER: Thank you.

JACK: Huh?

JENNIFER: Thank you for this night, because I will remember it as long as I live.

JACK: I tell you something, we're going to come back here someday, the three of us.

JENNIFER: Mmm...

JACK: And we're going to show our child that tree and all those carvings on it. We're going to show her where her mother found first love... and we both found true love. Carved in the tree.

JENNIFER: (smiles) One crazy night in June 1993. You know I think this is a date that's going to go down in history...

BACK TO PRESENT DAY

JACK is standing behind JENNIFER, with his arms around her waist. He laughs softly at the memory.

JACK: Quite a night we had there, didn't we?

JENNIFER: Yeah...

Suddenly, something occurs to her, and she turns around to face him.

JENNIFER: Jack, that's it!

JACK: (confused) What's it?

JENNIFER: That's where we should get married. On the island! I can't think of any place more perfect, can you?

JACK: (thinks about it for a bit, then breaks into a smile) No, I guess I can't. (looks down at her lovingly, then kisses her) So, one island wedding coming up?

JENNIFER: (smiles) Absolutely. (turns back around and leans back against his chest) It's going to be the perfect wedding, Jack.

OUT on JACK and JENNIFER as they stare out into the distance at the island.

END EPISODE 24

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