Keeping Up With the Deverauxes
By Jennifer-Lynn D'Anna
Jennifer has agreed to move in with Jack for Abby's sake and it is now moving day
(THE SCENE OPENS TO THE FAIRLY EMPTY LIVING ROOM OF THE NEW DEVERAUX HOUSE. MOVERS CAN BE SEEN COMING IN AND OUT CARRYING BOXES CLEARLY MARKED JACK, JENNIFER, AND ABBY. JENNIFER ENTERS BEHIND ONE OF THE MOVERS AND QUICKLY ASSESSES THE MASS OF BOXES IN THE LIVING ROOM, SHE THEN WALKS OVER TO A PICTURE IN THE DINING ROOM AND TAKES IT DOWN ONLY TO REPLACE IT WITH ONE OF HER OWN. SHE IS SECRETLY MAD BECAUSE SHE AND HOPE THINK THAT JACK AND GRETA ARE MORE THAN FRIENDS AND DID NOT APPRECIATE JACK LETTING GRETA DECORATE)
MOVER: (PUTTING DOWN THREE RATHER LARGE JENNIFER BOXES FOR A MOMENT) Okay, Mrs. Deveraux, where would you like these?
JENNIFER: That's Miss Horton. Since myself and Mr. Deveraux are no longer married, I prefer to be addressed by my maiden name.
MOVER: Horton Schmorton. Look, lady, I don't care if you wanna be called the queen of Sheba, I just want to know where to put the last of these boxes. I got another job in a half-hour and me and the boys would like some lunch today.
JENNIFER: Yeah, I'm sorry. Um, could you just place those last three in the master bedroom upstairs.
MOVER: Whatever (HE WALKS UPSTAIRS WITH THE LAST THREE BOXES)
JACK (WHO HAD WITNESSED THE WHOLE EXCHANGE FROM THE DOORWAY, UNBEKNOWNST TO JENNIFER): Well, Mrs. Horton, I can see that you are your usual charming self today (he comes in and looks down at the boxes on the floor). And once again, as usual, you packed ever so lightly.
JENNIFER: You know what, Jack, you're lucky I didn't pack lightly this time. Now I'll have to search for a place to put your body when I finally do kill y--
MOVER: (DESCENDING THE STAIRS AND HEARING THEIR FIGHT) Ah, there's the happy couple now.
JACK: Hehehehe (SMILING HIS BEST FAKE SMILE WHILE JENNIFER GLARES AT HIM)
MOVER: Well, that just about does it for us. If it is alright with you, we'll be on our way.
JACK: Here (TAKING OUT A BILL AND HANDING IT TO THE MOVER), a little something for your trouble. Maybe you and the boys could get that lunch that you so deserve.
MOVER: Thanks, Mr. D (TAKES THE BILL AND THEN LEANS TO JACK AND SPEAKS RATHER LOUDLY) You know I can see why you divorced her. She may be pretty, but her attitude could use some work.
JACK: Hehehe (NERVOUSLY LAUGHS AS THE MOVER EXITS THEN TURNS TO JENNIFER, WHO IS STANDING THERE WITH HER ARMS CROSSED, LOOKING VERY TICKED OFF).
It is some time later. Jack is upstairs in the master bedroom going through some boxes and pulls out some women's panties, a camisole, and a teddy. Jennifer walks in as he is staring at the teddy in disbelief.
JENNIFER: WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING? (SHE GRABS THE TEDDY AND THE OTHER LINGERIE)
JACK: What do you think I'm doing? I'm looking for my stuff. Funny thing is, I keep running across women's apparel. And while I do think that I do look smashing in a dress, I really don't think that people will take me seriously.
JENNIFER: Very funny, Jack, very funny (SHE SETS THE BOXES SHE WAS CARRYING ON THE BED). Perhaps you should try down the hall in the guest room. I hear that they have plenty of things in your size.
JACK: (MOUTH AGAPE) If you think for one moment that I am staying in that guest room, you have another thing coming. My God, my office at THE SPECTATOR was larger than that.
JENNIFER: If you think that I'm staying in there, you are the one that is wrong, Jack Deveraux. Now just step aside and let me in the closet (SHE GOES TO MOVE AROUND HIM, BUT HE IS NOT BUDGING).
JACK: I FOUND THE HOUSE.
JENNIFER: I HAVE MORE CLOTHES.
JACK: I PAY THE RENT.
(JACK AND JENNIFER ARE UNAWARE BUT GRETA IS AT THE DOORWAY AND SHE IS ENJOYING THEIR BANTER. IT IS EVIDENT TO HER THAT THEY STILL SHARE A DEEP LOVE).
GRETA: Um, um (SHE CLEARS HER THROAT TO TELL THEM SHE IS THERE).
(BOTH JACK AND JENNIFER STOP THEIR ARGUING AND STARE AT HER).
JACK: Why, Fair Princess, how long have you been standing there? You must forgive us--we did not hear the trumpets.
JENNIFER: (LOOKING UP AT JACK) Um, hi Greta.
GRETA: I was actually on my way over here to bring you two a housewarming present when I ran into Mrs. Horton at Salem Place. I told her I'd walk Abby from school so that she could sit with Lucas this afternoon. I hope you don't mind.
JENNIFER: No, not at all (FEELING VERY UNCOMFORTABLE AROUND GRETA). Abby's downstairs, then? I'm going to see how her day was. (TURNS TO JACK) I'll deal with you later (SHE LEAVES THE ROOM).
GRETA: (WALKING IN THE ROOM) She hates me.
JACK: (BRUSHING HIS HAND TO THE SIDE) Who? Miss Horton? Nah. Despite her recent state of frigidness, she could never hate anyone. My charming self included (HE HOLDS A FINGER UP TO HIS DIMPLE AND SMILES).
GRETA: Well, that was a huge argument that I interrupted. Maybe I should go.
JACK: No, no, come in, make yourself comfortable. I know it's not a castle, but it's the least a commoner could do for you, your heiness. (POINTS TO THE BED)
GRETA: You really are something else, Jack Deveraux.
JACK: Did you expect anything less?
Greta is seated on the bed and Jack is still looking through the boxes, trying, in vain, to find his stuff. He has just finished telling her what his and Jennifer's latest fight was about.
GRETA: So, this is all over the master bedroom. Wow, you two looked like you were really going at it.
JACK: It was this time. Princess, you've got to understand something about the fair Miss Horton and I. This, as unbelievable as it may sound, is how we communicate.
GRETA: By slinging insults at each other?
JACK: Well, we'd like to think of it as having a difference of opinion.
GRETA: (LOOKING CONFUSED) And you two think that living together is GOOD for Abby's sake?
JACK: Yes, yes, we do. That little girl needs us as much as we need her. Jennifer and I may not love each other anymore but--
(GRETA SCOFFS AT THIS IDEA)
GRETA: You and Jennifer. Not loving each other anymore? Even I, and I barely know either of you, have a hard time believing that one
JACK: Not be I that argues with a princess, but I think, no, I know that you are wrong on that count.
GRETA: Are you honestly going to stand there and deny how you felt about Jennifer Horton? About how you still feel about Jennifer Horton?
JACK: Yes, I am. Things between Jennifer and I have changed (TURNING AWAY FROM GRETA, LOOKING FORLORN, AND ALMOST WHISPERING). They've changed (BEAT) for good.
Jack and Greta come walking down the stairs and see Jennifer and Abby sitting at the dining room table doing Abby's homework.
ABBY: (DELIGHTED TO SEE JACK, SHE RUNS OVER AND JUMPS IN HIS ARMS) Daddy! I love the house. I'm so glad you and Mommy and me--
JACK: (CORRECTING HER) And I...
ABBY: And I are going to be living here together. Forever.
(THE CAMERA PANS OUT TO THE FOUR OF THEM. JENNIFER IS STANDING BY THE DINING ROOM TABLE, ARMS CROSSED, LOOKING VERY NOSTALGIC, ALMOST AS IF SHE WISHES THEY COULD BE A REAL FAMILY AGAIN AND GRETA IS LOOKING AT JACK, WHO IS LOOKING VERY UNCOMFORTABLE AND SMILING AT HER AND JENNIFER)
The scene picks up where it left off. Jack has just set Abby on the floor and Jennifer is trying to gather Abby's homework and not look at Jack, Abby, and Greta, even though she can't help it. She doesn't like how close Jack and Greta have become and hates the fact that Abby likes her so much.
GRETA: (FEELING VERY UNCOMFORTABLE) Well, it is getting kind of late and I bet you can't wait to get forever started, can you, Abby? (SHE KNEELS DOWN IN FRONT OF ABBY). How 'bout later on this week, you and I and your Daddy and Mommy (LOOKS AT JENNIFER) have dinner over at my house and I'll let you try on those tiaras that will look so pretty on you?
ABBY: I'd love to. Daddy (LOOKS AT JACK), can we go to Princess Greta's for dinner this week? Please.
(JACK LOOKS OVER AT JENNIFER FOR AN ANSWER)
JENNIFER: (WALKING OVER TO ABBY AND PUTTING HER ARM AROUND HER) Sure, baby, we'll go. (SHE STANDS UP AND LOOKS AT GRETA) We'd love to (THIS ALMOST KILLS HER BECAUSE SHE IS SURE THAT JACK AND GRETA ARE INVOLVED).
GRETA: Well, that's great. I can't wait to see you there. (TURNING TO JACK) I'll call you later this week. (TURNS TO JENNIFER AND NODS) Jennifer.
ABBY: Goodbye, milady (SHE CURTSYS AND GRETA SMILES).
GRETA (AS SHE'S WALKING OUT THE DOOR) Oh, by the way, I put your housewarming gift on the coffee table. I hope you like it. (SHE EXITS)
JENNIFER (SWALLOWING HER TEARS AND TRYING TO ACT COMPOSED) I'm sure we will.
It is now later that night. Jack is sitting in the living room in his pajamas and robe and has his slippered feet on the coffee table. He is reading THE SPECTATOR.
JACK (TO HIMSELF): This is awful (COMMENTING ON THE SPECTATOR'S CONTENT).
(JENNIFER WALKS INTO THE ROOM AND SITS DOWN ON A CHAIR AND SIGHS)
JACK (PUTTING THE PAPER DOWN ON HIS LAP): Did you finally get her to sleep?
JENNIFER: (QUIETLY) Yes. She just had so much to say. She's so excited about us being together (BEAT) I really just hope we're doing the right thing.
JACK (NOTICING JUST HOW WORRIED AND HOW BEAUTIFUL JENNIFER LOOKS): We only want what's best for Abigail. (BEAT) Listen, I was thinking about the bedroom sit
JENNIFER (PAYING NO ATTENTION TO JACK BECAUSE SHE HAS JUST NOTICED THE PRESENT FROM GRETA ON THE COFFEE TABLE): I can't believe we forgot to open this. (SPITEFULLY) It was really nice of Greta, after all.
JACK (PUSHING THE GIFT TO JENNIFER): It was, wasn't it? Here, you do the honors.
JENNIFER (LEANING FORWARD AND TEARING OFF THE CARD AND READING) "To Jack and Jennifer, may" (SHE FLINGS IT BEHIND HER WHILE JACK JUST LOOKS AT HER) Oh, I wonder what it could (SHE STOPS, LOOKING INTO THE BOX WITH HER MOUTH OPEN) be (SHE IS COMPLETELY SHOCKED AT THE GIFT)
Jennifer has just opened Greta's housewarming gift to them and is shocked and at a loss for words at what it is. Jack is growing impatient with her and wants to know what the princess got them.
JACK (TRYING TO PEEK INTO THE BOX): Well, what is it? It's not a dog, is it? I don't think the real estate people would be too happy about that. Well, don't just sit there, Miss Horton, are you going to tell me what it is or am I--
JENNIFER (LIFTING OUT A PLANT OUT OF THE BOX): It's a plant, Jack (BEAT)...a jade plant (SHE SETS IT ON THE COFFEE TABLE AND HER EYES WELL UP WITH TEARS)
JACK (STARING AT THE PLANT WITH PAIN IN HIS EYES) No, it can't be (FEELING VERY UNCOMFORTABLE ABOUT SEEING THIS PLANT AND NOTICING JENNIFER'S GROWING PAIN AND ANGER). Maybe a cousin of the jade, but not exactly a jade plant (TAKES A CLOSER LOOK AT THE PLANT TO TRY TO EASE THE SITUATION).
JENNIFER (THINKING JACK TOLD GRETA TO GET THEM A JADE PLANT): You did this on purpose, didn't you, Jack? Hope was right--you conned me. You got me to move in here, you got me thinking that this might actually work. (BEAT) YOU CONNED ME. Well, let me tell you something, Jack Deveraux, it isn't going to work-not if you were the last man on earth. And NO amount of CONTRAMUNDUMS, or SHELL RINGS, or JADE PLANTS will ever make me fall in love with you again (SHE STORMS UP THE STAIRS).
JACK (STARING AT THE PLANT, NOT KNOWING WHAT TO DO AND COMPLETELY FLABBERGASTED THAT GRETA WOULD PICK THE WORST POSSIBLE GIFT WITHOUT ANY PRIOR KNOWLEDGE OF THEIR PLANT). (TO HIMSELF) Well, it's not like I knew about it. (TO JENNIFER) ARE YOU SURE IT'S NOT A COUSIN OF THE JADE PLANT? (TO HIMSELF) Well, at least it's not delphiniums.
Feeling guilty about the jade plant, even if it wasn't his fault, Jack goes to the master bedroom to talk to Jennifer.
JACK (KNOCKING ON THE DOOR TO THE MASTER BEDROOM): Jennifer? Jennifer, will you at least open the door and talk to me? I didn't kn--
(SUDDENLY JENNIFER SWINGS OPEN THE DOOR SO THAT HE FALLS INSIDE)
JENNIFER (WHISPERING RATHER LOUDLY): Will you be quiet? Abby will hear you. I don't want her first night back with both her parents to be her last, you know.
JACK (STRAIGHTENING OUT HIMSELF AND STANDING UP): About the plant (BEAT) You've got to believe me, I didn't te--
(SUDDENLY ABBY IS HEARD OUTSIDE THE DOOR)
ABBY: Mommy? Daddy? Is everything okay?
JENNIFER (OPENING THE DOOR AND KNEELING DOWN TO ABBY): Baby, everything's okay. What's the matter with you? You can't sleep?
ABBY: No, I was sleeping just fine until I heard you and Daddy. You two aren't fighting, are you?
JACK (KNEELING DOWN NEXT TO ABBY TOO): No, Abigail. We weren't fighting. Jennifer, um, Mommy and I were just shouting because we are so happy to be here with you in one house.
JENNIFER (LOOKING AT JACK AS IF HE WERE CRAZY): Yeah, baby, it's been so long that we forgot it was like. We will try and keep our voices down, baby. Now run along back to bed and Daddy will come tuck you in in a minute.
ABBY: But I want to sleep with you.
JENNIFER (LOOKING SURPRISED) With me, baby?
ABBY: No, with both of you.
(JACK AND JENNIFER JUST LOOK AT EACH OTHER)
The scene picks up with Jack and Jennifer staring at each other warily because Abby wants to sleep with both of them. Jack gets up and lifts her into his arms.
JACK: (IN HIS TRADEMARK JACK TO ABBY VOICE) Now, now Miss Abigail. It has come to my attention that this is your first night in your new house. Is that correct?
Now it is to your knowledge that in order to change your address with the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny, one must spend the first night in her new house in her own bed. If you do that, your change of address form will get there faster than the pony express. So what do you say? Are you willing to give up direct access to yourself or would you rather Santa have to send out a search party for one Miss Abigail Deveraux come Christmas time? (HE SMILES AND HOPES SHE BUYS IT)
ABBY: Daddy, you're so silly.
JACK: Then we're in agreement, eh?
(HE SETS ABBY DOWN)
Now, if you'll be on your way. Daddy will be in to tuck you in your very own bed in just a few minutes.
ABBY: Okay. Goodnight Mommy.
(ABBY KISSES JENNIFER AND SHE LEAVES THE ROOM, SHUTTING THE DOOR BEHIND HER)
JENNIFER (relieved): Thank you, Jack.
JACK (PUTTING HIS HANDS IN HIS POCKETS AND LOOKS DOWN): You're welcome.
(A FEW SECONDS OF UNCOMFORTABLE SILENCE ENSUES)
JACK (STILL LOOKING DOWN AND SPEAKING VERY QUIETLY): You know that's not going to be able to work, for long.
JENNIFER (LOOKING DOWN AND ALSO QUIETLY): I know.
(THEY BOTH START TO SPEAK AT ONCE)
JACK: You know...
JENNIFER: I think...
(THEY STOP, LAUGH UNCOMFORTABLY, AND STARE RIGHT AT EACH OTHER, STILL VERY MUCH IN LOVE)
JACK: I was about to suggest that I set my alarm clock for an hour before Abigail gets up, and then, if it is alright with you, come in here. Of course, we'll have to retreat to bed together at night to keep up the ruse.
JENNIFER: And you can keep your clothes in here and other stuff so that she won't get suspicious.
JACK: No, we wouldn't want that, would we?
JENNIFER: So you're saying I can keep the room?
JACK: Yes, I guess I am.
JENNIFER: Why, Jack? Is there something you're not telling me?
JACK: (LOOKING AT HIS SHOES AND PLAYING WITH HIS SLIPPERS) No, I mean, the good princess and I were talking and (COUGHS) well, she told me a few things about land treaties and I figured that she knew what she was talking about. And--
JENNIFER (ANNOYED AT THE MENTION OF GRETA): Forget it. I don't care why or how, Jack. Thank you for that at least.
JACK (LOOKING STRAIGHT AT HER): You're welcome. Then we're in agreement? (HE HOLDS OUT HIS HAND TO SHAKE) I'll see you around six a.m.?
JENNIFER (PLACES HER HAND IN HIS TO SHAKE): Six a.m. it is, then.
(THEY HOLD HANDS FOR A FEW SECONDS AFTER THE SHAKE UNTIL THEY BOTH GROW UNCOMFORTABLE)
JACK (SCRATCHING HIS NECK) Well, I best be going....Abigail awaits. (STARTS TO HEAD TO THE DOOR) And Jennifer, just for the record, the jade pl
JENNIFER (CUTS HIM OFF) GOODNIGHT JACK.
(HE SHUTS THE DOOR AND STANDS OUTSIDE IT)
JACK (TO HIMSELF, SADLY)): Goodnight Jennifer.
(THEY ARE BOTH THINKING ABOUT ONE ANOTHER ON OPPOSITE SIDES OF THE DOOR. JENNIFER'S FACE IS CONFUSED AND SAD, AS IS JACK'S)
MEANWHILE, ABBY IS IN HER ROOM PRAYING.
ABBY (LOOKING AT THE CEILING): And thank you, God, for bringing my parents together (BEAT) even if it took a little help. Thank you also to Princess Greta for the jade tree and to Great Grandma for telling me about it. This is the only thing I want more than anything in the world (BEAT) for daddy and mommy and me (BEAT, CORRECTING HERSELF)) and I to be a family again.
(JACK WALKS IN ON THE LAST WORDS AND SMILES AT THE FACT THAT SHE CORRECTED HERSELF AND PROCEEDS TO TUCK HER IN, BILLY JOEL'S "LULLABY" PLAYS AS HE WATCHES ABBY SLEEP. THE SONG CONTINUES TO PLAY AS HE LEAVES HER ROOM AND PEEKS IN ON JENNIFER, WHO IS ASLEEP AS WELL. HE SHUTS THE DOOR QUIETLY AND GOES TO THE GUEST ROOM).
Goodnight, my angel
Time to close your eyes
And save these questions for another day
I think I know what you've been asking me
I think you know what I've been trying to say
I promised I would never leave you
And you should always know
Wherever you may go
No matter where you are
I never will be far away
Goodnight, my angel
Now it's time to sleep
And still so many things I want to say
Remember all the songs you sang for me
When we went sailing on an emerald bay
And like a boat out on the ocean
I'm rocking you to sleep
The water's dark
And deep inside this ancient heart
You'll always be a part of me
Goodnight, my angel
Now it's time to dream
And dream how wonderful your life will be
Someday your child may cry
And if you sing this lullabye
Then in your heart
There will always be a part of me
Someday we'll all be gone
But lullabyes go on and on...
They never die
That's how you
END OF EPISODE 1
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