KEEPING UP WITH THE DEVERAUXES
By Jennifer-Lynn D'Anna
[JO AND VERN HAVE JUST DEDUCED THAT SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH JENNIFER]
JO: (STANDING UP AND PACING. IN DEEP THOUGHT.) Hmmmm.
VERN: (WATCHING HER PACE BACK AND FORTH) Hmmm? Jo Johnson, what are you thinking?
JO: I'm thinking, Vern....I'm thinking that maybe there was something more than Jennifer's heart just breaking over this guy, whoever he is.
VERN: She probably thought that Jack didn't want her anymore.
JO: (STOPPING AND PUTTING A HAND ON HER HIP. JOKINGLY) I wonder where she'd get that idea.
VERN: (CHUCKLING) I wonder where.
JO: (RESUMING PACING) So here we have Jennifer, who thinks Jack doesn't love her anymore and Jack, who thinks that Jennifer doesn't mind him being gone all the time. (SITTING BACK ON THE SOFA) Oh son...when are you ever going to learn?
VERN: But why wouldn't Jennifer say something?
JO: Knowing her, she tried. You know how he is sometimes.
VERN: Can't get a word in edgewise.
JO: (NERVOUSLY GIGGLING) Like his mother, I suppose.
VERN: (MATCHING HER GIGGLE) Like his mother. (BEAT) But to take Abby and run away like that? Things must've gotten really bad.
JO: Or something really bad must've happened to her.
VERN: You don't think she was in any danger, do you?
JO: Danger? (WAVING THE IDEA OFF) No, no. But maybe she thought Jack was in danger.
VERN: But Jack would never put her and Abby in any danger. He would have someone watch after her.
JO: (A LIGHTBULB MOMENT) Exactly!
SCENE 2: INT. JACK AND JENNIFER'S KITCHEN
IN ON JACK LEANING DOWN AND LOOKING DEEPLY INTO JENNIFER'S GAZE, WHICH MATCHES HIS. THEIR LIPS ARE ABOUT TO BRUSH WHEN HE PULLS AWAY AND RESTS HIS LIPS ON HER FOREHEAD. JENNIFER IS VERY HURT. JACK: (PAINFULLY) I can't.
JENNIFER: (VOICE CRACKING WITH TEARS) You can't? (BEAT) It's so simple, Jack. (QUIETLY) It's so simple.
JACK: (THICK WITH EMOTION) I know. (BEAT) I know. (HE BREAKS THE EMBRACE AND LOOKS DOWN AT HIS FEET) It's simple for everyone else, but with me.
JENNIFER: (TEARS BRIMMING OVER HER EYES. REPEATING WHAT HE SAID) With you.
JACK: (NOT LOOKING AT HER, BUT AT HIS FEET STILL) Jennifer-
JENNIFER: (HER VOICE SHAKING WITH EMOTION) Look at me, Jack. Look at me. (SHE GENTLY GRABS HIS CHIN AND TURNS HIS FACE TO HER) I'm not giving up on us. I may have set my towel down for awhile, but I did not throw it in. I'm going to make you believe me, I'm going to make you listen, if it's the last thing I do.
JACK: (HE STARTS TO BRUSH HER HAND AWAY FROM HIS FACE) Jennifer-
JENNIFER: (NOT LETTING GO OF HIS FACE, DESPITE HIS BRUSH. INSTEAD, SHE STEADIES HIS FACE TO REMAIN FOCUSED ON HER) No, don't...What happened in Africa and Ireland is nothing compared to what you and I had...what we still could have.
JACK: (TRYING TO SPEAK, BUT CAN'T ENUNCIATE PROPERLY SINCE SHE IS SQUEEZING HIS LOWER CHEEKS) How can woo say dat?
JENNIFER: (CANNOT UNDERSTAND HIM) What?
JACK: (TRYING AGAIN) How can woo (HE GETS FRUSTRATED AND PULLS HER HAND OFF HIS FACE) I said, how can you say that? After everything that went on, how can you say that?
OUT ON JACK'S INQUISITIVE FACE.
SCENE 3: INT. JACK AND JENNIFER'S LIVING ROOM
VERN: You think Jennifer's potential paramour was someone Jack knew?
JO: It has to be. And twenty to nothing, Jack now knows who it is and he liked him. That would explain...
VERN: That would explain why he is acting this way. (SHAKING HIS HEAD IN DISGUST) Oh no, it's Emilio revisited.
JO: (CONFUSED) What?
VERN: (WAVING IT OFF) Nothing, nothing. Just know that it involves me, a church, and a hot-as-Hades bear suit. (BEAT) Why can't these two just talk to each other?
JO: Because Jack and Jennifer don't know how to talk. They only know how to argue.
VERN: Tell me about it. (GETTING UP AND WALKING OVER TO JO). So, now we have Jennifer (PUTTING UP QUOTATION MARKS WITH HIS FEELINGS) "falling for" whomever Jack was having keep an eye on her, Jennifer feeling that Jack was in danger or tired of her and Jack thinking everything would work out. Oh my, that's scary.
JO: What's scary?
VERN: (DISBELIEF) The fact that this is all starting to make sense to me. Maybe he has rubbed off on me.
OUT ON JO FLASHING VERN A SMUG SMILE.
SCENE 4: INT. JACK AND JENNIFER'S KITCHEN
JENNIFER: How can I say what, Jack? That what happened there has nothing on what we have?
JACK: Exactly. How can you say that, Jennifer? How can you say that knowing me as you do? Knowing us as you do?
JENNIFER: (NODDING AND CATCHING ON) I know what you're doing, Jack. You're trying to make me think that you don't want me. You're pushing me to Colin.
JACK: Pushing? Jack Deveraux may prod and Jack Deveraux may initiate, but he does not push! (BEAT) I just think you'd be a fool not to be with Colin. A looker like him won't last long. I bet right now he's beating the lasses off with a stick at the Brady Pub.
JENNIFER: I don't believe you. (BEAT. WALKING PAST HIM. SOFTLY.) You confuse me. You confuse me all the time, you know that? One moment you're telling me that you want me and that you want to try again and the next you're wanting to set me up on blind dates.
JACK: ( TURNING TO WATCH HER AND MOUTH FALLING OPEN) I would do nothing of the sort! (BEAT) Seriously, Jennifer, I don't know why you would want me when you can have him.
JENNIFER: And now I'm supposed to list your faults, Jack, right? Well, I'm not going to do it.
JACK: Fine, then I will. (COUNTING THEM OUT ON HIS FINGERS VERY ANIMATEDLY) I'm immature, I'm closed up, I'm always toeing the line between good and bad, light and dark, I don't ride in on white horses and save the day, I am anything but stable, I'm not conventional, I lack in the wooing department, I forget birthdays and anniversaries, I'm not there---
JENNIFER: Stop it! All that stuff doesn't matter to me, Jack!
JACK: Well it does to me! (BEAT. LOWERING HIS VOICE) Jennifer, I just want you to be happy.
JENNIFER: I am happy, Jack. When I'm with you.
JACK: So happy that---I...just don't know how that's possible, that's all. I don't know how you can say that knowing me how you do.
OUT ON JACK'S DISBELIEVING FACE.
SCENE 5: INT. JACK AND JENNIFER'S LIVING ROOM
VERN: (TO HIMSELF IN DISBELIEF) Its really happened. I'm becoming more and more like him with each passing day. If I start looking in payphones for change, Jo, please stop me.
JO: (SMILING) He's not that bad, you know. He is interesting though.
VERN: (DRYLY) One of a kind. Now where were we?
JO: Jennifer seeking comfort in Mr. X's arms while Jack entrusted Mr. X. to take care of her.
VERN: Right. Okay, so Jack's gone, Jennifer is worrying, and something happens to make her depend on Mr. X, something Jack doesn't know about, something that made her incredibly sad.
JO: (TOUCHING HER CHIN) If only we knew what that something was.
VERN: No, no...don't be getting any ideas on me there, Jo. (NOTICING HER SLY SMILE) What?
JO: (STOPPING AND FLASHING HIM A SMILE) Nothing.
VERN: (CHUCKLING) What? (HE WALKS OVER AND SLIPS HIS ARMS AROUND HER)
JO: (GIGGLING) I was just thinking that we could work on figuring it out, you know.
VERN: (GIVING HER A QUICK PECK ON THE LIPS) And how do you suppose we do that?
JO: By taking a cue from their (NODDING TOWARDS THE KITCHEN) book, of course.
VERN: (GIVING HER ANOTHER QUICK PECK ON THE LIPS) And you're willing to play Girl Friday to my reporter?
JO: (GIGGLING) I don't know about Friday, maybe Girl Monday, though.
OUT ON THE TWO OF THEM CANOODLING AND GIGGLING
SCENE 6: INT. JACK AND JENNIFER'S KITCHEN
JENNIFER: Jack, despite all the things you listed, you forgot the most important.
JACK: (SARCASTICALLY) What's that-inability to cry at sad moments? I don't think I'm going to change that one. It never seemed a manly thing to do.
JENNIFER: No, Jack, you forgot that you were you and that you are wonderful.
JACK: I am not wonderful. Colin, the good doctor, is wonderful. He's every girls fantasy-he rides in on a white horse, he saves the day, he's stable, he can open up. (BEAT. IT IS KILLING HIM TO DO THIS) He's what's good for you. You thought so yourself.
JENNIFER: You're right, Jack. I did think so, but I was wrong. It was a poor sense of judgement.
JACK: I think your poor sense of judgement is thinking that you can want me again after him. Jennifer, the guy is positively dreamy in a weird manly sort of way.
JENNIFER: Did you ever think that I don't want dreamy, Jack? That I want the guy who forgot birthdays and anniversaries or who clams up whenever the word love was mentioned?
JACK: I think...I think that you are demonstrating that poor sense of judgement right now.
JENNIFER: What can I do to make this right, Jack? What do you want me to do?
JACK: I don't think there is....there is anything you can do, Jennifer. I'm just glad that you came to your senses before it was too late and that we only have one progeny to worry about.
JENNIFER SHUDDERS A LITTLE AT THIS MENTION AND TURNS AWAY.
JACK: (CONCERNED) Jennifer, what's wrong? Are you okay?
OUT ON JENNIFER'S FACE RECALLING A TIME PAST IN AFRICA. SHE IS VERY SAD.
SCENE 7: INT. JACK AND JENNIFER'S KITCHEN
JACK: Jennifer, answer me. Are you all right?
JENNIFER: (NOT TURNING AROUND. SADLY.) I didn't sleep with him, Jack.
JACK: (HOPING HE HEARD WHAT HE HEARD) What?
JENNIFER: (STILL TURNED AWAY. RAISING HER VOICE A LITTLE.) I didn't sleep with him, Jack.
BEHIND HER, JACK'S FACE IS WASHED WITH BITTERSWEET RELIEF.
JENNIFER: (TURNING TO FACE HIM) I didn't sleep with him. I barely even kissed him, Jack. (BEAT) It was nothing.
JACK: (HAPPY TO HEAR THIS, BUT KNOWING THAT THE REST CAN'T BE GOOD) But you did love him, didn't you?
JENNIFER: (SMILING WEAKLY) I thought I could. (BEAT) Jack, you were gone and I didn't know what to do.
JACK: (KILLING HIMSELF BY ASKING) Did he make you happy?
JENNIFER: What kind of a question is that, Jack? You.. you made me happy.
JACK: (PAINFULLY) I asked did he make you happy?
JENNIFER: (CRYING A LITTLE, BUT ANSWERING HONESTLY AND SOFTLY) Yes. (BEAT) Do you hate me, Jack?
JACK: (FEELING THE BLOW OF HER ANSWER AND THEN WANTING TO WASH HER PAIN AWAY) Do I--? Do I hate you? No, no. (HE WALKS OVER TO HER AND RUBS HER SHOULDERS) Jennifer, I could never...I could never hate you. You were alone and scared and in a new place and I, I should've been there...
JENNIFER: (CRYING HARDER) No, you were off providing, helping my...helping. I should have known better.
JACK: (TOUCHING HER FACE AND WIPING AWAY HER TEARS WHILE BRUSHING HER HAIR WITH HIS FINGERS) No. Don't do this, okay? It was both our faults. (HE PULLS HER CLOSE TO HOLD HER) Both our faults.
JENNIFER: (WITHOUT LOOKING UP. THROUGH HER TEARS) Jack, I need you. Please say we can work this out. I need you.
OUT ON JACK'S PAINED FACE.
SCENE 8: INT. JACK AND JENNIFER'S LIVING ROOM
JO AND VERN ARE STILL CANOODLING IN THE CORNER.
JO: (GIGGLING) Vern (GIGGLE) Vern, we need to stop.
VERN: (JOKINGLY) Afraid your parents might come home?
JO: More like my son.
VERN: (STOPPING AND STRAIGHTENING HIMSELF OUT) Oh, right. Jack, I forgot. (BEAT) So whaddya say, Josephine, you want to be my Girl Monday (HE HOLDS HIS ARM OUT FOR HER TO TAKE IT).
JO: (PLACING HER HAND IN THE CROOK OF HIS ARM AND SMILING) I'd be a fool not to. First mission, to put Jack and Jennifer back where they belong-together, and of course, to find out who Mr. X. is.
SUDDENLY THE PHONE RINGS.
JO: (CALLING TO THE KITCHEN) I got it! (SHE WALKS OVER TO THE PHONE AND PICKS IT UP) Hello, Horton-Deveraux residence.
AFTER A MOMENT, JO'S EYES WIDEN AND SHE MOTIONS FOR VERN TO COME OVER.
JO: (INTO THE PHONE) Just a moment. (SHE LOOKS AT VERN SHOCKINGLY).
VERN: (WHISPERING) Who is it?
JO: (COVERING THE PHONE WITH HER HAND AND WHISPERING AS WELL) I think it's...I think it's Mr. X.
OUT ON JO AND VERN'S SHOCK.
SCENE 9: INT. JACK AND JENNIFER'S KITCHEN
JACK AND JENNIFER ARE STILL EMBRACING AND ARE BOTH LOST IN EACH OTHER'S ARMS. AFTER A MOMENT, JACK SPEAKS.
JACK: (HONESTLY, EVEN THOUGH IT KILLS HIM) I don't know, Jennifer.
JENNIFER: (LOOKING UP AT HIM) You don't?
JACK: (HE NODS SADLY) I mean, part of me does want what's best of you and part of me wants that to be me, but the other part of me--
JENNIFER: It is you, Jack. It always has been.
JACK: But, Jennifer, we've been there, we've done that. You know I can't change, I can't be...I can't be Colin or Emilio or Frankie whenever you need me to be...you know that.
JENNIFER: (NODDING SADLY) I know that. (BEAT) Jack, there is so much I want to tell you.
JACK: I know. (RUBBING HER HAIR BETWEEN HIS FINGERS AND LOOKING SADLY DOWN AT HER) I just don't want to make any promises, okay? Just let me think on it. Is that fair enough?
JENNIFER: (NOT THE ANSWER SHE WANTED TO HEAR, BUT HOPEFUL ABOUT IT) Fair enough.
JACK: And I don't want you to get it in your mind that you have to be with me to be happy, either, for my sake. I really do want you to be happy, Jennifer, even if that means you being with Colin, okay?
JENNIFER: But Jack-
JACK: Shhh. No "but Jack's". I said I'd think about it and I want you to do the same. You'll do that, won't you?
JENNIFER: (NOT WANTING TO, BUT HOPEFUL ABOUT THIS AS WELL) Okay. (SHE NODS WEAKLY)
JACK: Good. (BREAKING THE EMBRACE) Now if you'll excuse me, I'd like to take that walk I was talking about earlier, play a little-
JENNIFER: (SMILING THROUGH HER TEARS) A little croquet. (BEAT) Jack, you're not thinking about getting an apartment still are you?
JACK: (SMILING WARMLY) No, I guess not. I didn't really want to live in a little rat trap anyway. I like to be king of an entire house, you know. Maybe eventually, but not now...not until we sort some things out. (HE GOES TO THE BACK DOOR AND PUTS HIS HAND ON THE DOORKNOB) Do you need anything while I'm out?
JENNIFER: Not that I can think of.
JACK: (TAKING HER IN FOR A MOMENT LONGER AND THEN BREAKING INTO A GRIN) Good. I'll be back soon, okay?
JENNIFER: (MATCHING HIS GRIN AND SMILING) Good.
JACK TAKES ONE QUICK GLANCE AT HER AND THEN EXITS. OUTSIDE THE DOOR AND BASKING IN THE SUNLIGHT, HE SIGHS AND SMILES HOPEFULLY. INSIDE, JENNIFER SMILES HOPEFULLY TO HERSELF AND HUGS HER BODY.
JENNIFER: (TO HERSELF) I just hope you can handle what I'm going to tell you, Jack. (SADLY) I hope you can handle it.
END OF EPISODE 33
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