KEEPING UP WITH THE DEVERAUXES
By Jennifer-Lynn D'Anna
SCENE 1: INT. JACK'S CAR
JENNIFER: So, Jack, just who were you speaking to last night?
JACK: (PLAYING DUMB) Speaking to?
JENNIFER: Yes. Talking, you do do enough of it, you know.
JACK: (PRETENDING TO BE OFFENDED) Are you saying I'm superfluous?
JENNIFER: (SMILING BACK) You said it, I didn't.
JACK: (TRYING TO GET OUT OF THIS) Well...I'm sorry, what was the question again?
JENNIFER: (SLOWLY SO HE UNDERSTANDS HER) Who, Jack, who were you talking to last night?
OUT on JACK, nervously smiling.
SCENE 2: INT. JACK'S CAR
JACK: I was...I was...arranging a little surprise for you.
JENNIFER: (NOT BUYING IT) Oh, a little surprise?
JACK: Yes...yes...why do you look so...so (PULLING A FACE) surprised? You're supposed to do that after you get what I have in store for you.
JENNIFER: (PULLING A FACE) Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot the rules. (BEAT) What kind of surprise?
JACK: What? What kind of surprise? Well, the...the best kind.
JENNIFER: Oh. Okay. (NODDING TO THE STEERING WHEEL) We can go now, Jack.
JACK: (NOT MOVING) Not until you tell me what you and the Chief are up to.
JENNIFER: The Chief? (FAKE LAUGHING) Oh, you mean Vern. Oh, it's nothing. (PULLING A FACE) Just a little "surprise" for you.
OUT on JACK, pulling her face at her usage of words.
SCENE 3: INT. UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL HALLWAY
IN on JENNIFER and JACK, stepping out of the elevator and walking swiftly down the hall.
JENNIFER: I told you to take Kennedy.
JACK: (POINTING TO HIS WATCH) And I told you there was too much traffic.
JENNIFER: Jack, there was barely anyone on the road.
JACK: Except for those teenage drivers. You know Kennedy is the main drag for them-shopping outlets, music stores, Dotcom. No way am I getting on that street in the summer. It's like signing your own death certificate.
JENNIFER: (STOPPING TO LOOK AT HIM) Are you going to be this way when Abby gets her license?
JACK: No, we'll have the chauffeur take her everywhere.
JENNIFER: Chauffeur? Jack, we don't even have jobs.
JACK: Ah, but we will by then and hopefully we will be wealthy. I figure she'll be dating by then, so she'll be what, thirty? Forty?
JENNIFER: (EXASPERATED) You're too much, Jack Deveraux. (WALKING OFF AHEAD OF HIM) Too much.
JACK: (STANDING THERE IN DISBELIEF) Too much of what? Was it something I said?
OUT on the nurses at the nurses' station snickering at him and JACK nervously laughing with them before hurrying off behind JENNIFER.
SCENE 4: INT. MARLENA'S OFFICE
IN on MARLENA, sitting at her desk and writing. JENNIFER peeks in the open door and knocks slightly.
MARLENA: (LOOKING UP AND SMILING) Jennifer, I'm glad you and--
JENNIFER steps in tentatively.
MARLENA: You and Jack? Where's Jack? (SHE STANDS UP)
JENNIFER: (SMILING WEAKLY) Oh, he's coming. Just a little behind, you know. Um, Marlena, can I ask you a question?
MARLENA: Sure. I'd be happy to answer anything you ask.
JENNIFER: (CHECKING TO MAKE SURE JACK IS NOT BEHIND HER) Do you think there is hope for us, for Jack and me?
MARLENA: There's always hope as long as two people are honest with each other.
JENNIFER cringes. MARLENA detects JENNIFER'S discomfort.
MARLENA: You are being honest with each other, aren't you?
JACK: (WALKING IN BEHIND JENNIFER) Are we now?
OUT on JENNIFER, shocked to see that JACK heard her question.
SCENE 5: INT. MARLENA'S OFFICE
IN on JACK, interested to see what JENNIFER'S answer will be.
JACK: So are we being honest with each other, Miss H.? Is there "hope" for us yet?
JENNIFER: (ADJUSTING HER PURSE STRAP AND LOOKING HIM STRAIGHT IN THE EYE) I don't know. You tell me.
JACK: (MEETING HER GAZE) You were asked the question.
MARLENA: (UNCOMFORTABLE) Stop it. You came here to work out your problems, not to create new ones.
JENNIFER: (GIVING JACK A LAST LOOK AND TURNING TO MARLENA) I'm-we're-sorry, Marlena. There's just so much...so much going on now.
MARLENA: I understand that. Why don't you two have a seat and we'll talk about what's going on now?
JENNIFER nods and JACK throws her a look before sitting down.
MARLENA: (READING THEIR NERVOUSNESS) So, Jack, I understand that Jennifer is getting the feeling that your not being completely honest with her.
JACK: That's because I'm not.
JENNIFER turns to him, shocked at what's going on.
MARLENA: You're not?
JACK: No, I'm not. (THROWING JENNIFER A LOOK) I told her I had a surprise for her. You can see that it's clearly driving her crazy. Really, she's worse than Abigail at Christmas.
JENNIFER'S mouth drops open in shock.
JENNIFER: Nobody arranges surprises the way you did. (TO MARLENA) He's lying.
MARLENA: Jack, are you lying?
JACK: Why would I lie? I'm here to work on my marriage or rather what was my marriage. (TO JENNIFER) Now if you're patient and a good little girl-
JENNIFER: (MAKING A FIST AT JACK) I'll give you "good little girl."
JACK: (TO MARLENA. ENJOYING HIMSELF) You see how violent she gets?
JENNIFER: (INDICATING WRINGING HIS NECK) Oooh, I could just-(TURNING TO MARLENA TO CALM DOWN) Marlena, I can assure you that he is not telling the truth. I have been completely honest in this relationship-
JENNIFER throws him a look of disbelief.
MARLENA: Jack, are you saying that Jennifer is lying?
JACK: (SMILING) I'd say.
JENNIFER: About what? What have I ever lied about?
JACK: Oh, I don't know, Katerina Von Leuschner being Carly Manning, not loving me, Jack, I don't want anything to do with you, but most recently whatever you and Vern were discussing so heavily in our kitchen this morning.
JENNIFER: I told you, that is a surprise. You do believe me, don't you, Marlena?
OUT on MARLENA not knowing what to think.
SCENE 6: INT. MARLENA'S OFFICE
MARLENA: To be (EMPHASIZING THE WORD) honest, I don't know who to believe. Do you do this often?
JACK: (LOST) This?
MARLENA: This "surprising" each other?
JENNIFER: (UNDER HER BREATH) Too many times to count.
MARLENA: Have you ever thought about just telling the truth? Avoiding the games?
JACK and JENNIFER look shocked over "avoiding the games."
JENNIFER: (SMILING SWEETLY) Marlena, I think you have it all wrong, we don't play games.
JACK: Yes we do.
JENNIFER: (TRYING NOT TO LOOK AT HIM) No (BEAT) we (BEAT) don't.
JACK: Yes (BEAT) we (BEAT) do.
JENNIFER: (TO JACK) Why are you saying that?
JACK: Because, and this is going to shock you, it is the truth.
JACK: It is. The whole debate. I've said it before-you and I get a perverse pleasure out of one-upping each other, out of taking opposing sides. It's like "Crossfire" the home version. I say potato, you say potato (SINGING A LITTLE) Tomato, tomato, potato, potato. It's been that way our whole life together.
JACK: (TO MARLENA) And she gets a perverse pleasure out of saying my name over and over.
JENNIFER'S mouth drops open again in shock. MARLENA wants to smile but doesn't.
MARLENA: You two do realize this is not healthy, don't you? This game playing.
JENNIFER: (SHOOTING JACK A LOOK AND THEN SPEAKING) Of course we do. It's just how, how we've always been.
MARLENA: (CURIOUSLY) Is that so?
JACK nods nervously.
MARLENA: Have you ever been honest with each other?
JACK: Plenty of times.
JENNIFER looks oddly at him.
JACK: (TO JENNIFER) Well, we have. Given it has taken a detrimental occurrence to push us to do it-ship sinking, you marrying another, but we have.
MARLENA: When was the last time you were honest with each other? Totally honest.
JENNIFER: (SHEEPISHLY) When I told Jack that I love him, I guess.
MARLENA: (NODDING UNDERSTANDINGLY) And you Jack?
JACK: Uh...what she said.
MARLENA: (LOST) You'll have to be more specific than that, Jack? What Jennifer said?
JACK: Yes...that she...that she...
JENNIFER: (LEANING FORWARD) Another one of our problems, Jack's inability to say he loves me.
MARLENA LOOKS OVER AT JACK. OUT on JACK throwing up his arms in defeat.
SCENE 7: INT. MARLENA'S OFFICE
MARLENA: Jack, why do you have such a hard time saying that you love Jennifer?
JACK: (NERVOUS) Really, is this necessary? She knows how I feel.
MARLENA: Does she? It's natural for a human being to want to hear those words. It gives them a sense of peace.
JACK: It's not that I can't say those words. I mean, I love many things-Shakespeare, the color blue, my daughter-
MARLENA: But not your wife? (CORRECTING HERSELF) Not Jennifer?
JACK: (GETTING UP) No....I...(NERVOUS. VERY ANIMATEDLY) I lo...I lo...I do. It just seems that if I say it, it will wake me...wake me from this dream...this dream I call Jennifer. Remember the fleeting thing from the other day? Classify this under that heading---Reasons Why Jack Deveraux Is So, For Lack of Better Terminology, Screwed Up (TURNING AWAY) It sounds stupid I know, but it's true.
JENNIFER: (MOVED) It doesn't sound stupid, Jack.
JACK: (TURNING TOWARDS HER AND FINALLY MEETING HER EYES) It doesn't?
JENNIFER: (QUIETLY) No. It's beautiful.
JACK looks from JENNIFER to MARLENA in disbelief.
MARLENA: (SMILING WARMLY) It is. (BEAT) Jack, do you think your inability to say that you love Jennifer stems from your childhood? We all know that Harper-
JACK: Wasn't exactly father of the year? Yes. You see with Harper Deveraux, you did things only one way, his way. And he did say he loved me...Unfortunately it was for the benefit of the cameras and reporters on hand, but he did say it.
MARLENA: Did you believe him?
JACK: I....(BEAT) I wanted to. I thought that if I just made an A on a paper, if I just won an award, if I just won the political race, he'd finally...he'd finally mean it.
MARLENA: When was the first time you felt loved, truly loved?
JACK: (RELUCTANTLY) I thought it was with Kayla, but it wasn't. She was warm and caring and I wanted her to love me, but she couldn't-not the way she loved Steve. I kept thinking, if I can show her how successful I could be...
MARLENA: Love and success to you do go hand in hand, don't they?
JACK: (LYING) No, no, that's preposterous. They're two separate entities. One has nothing to do with the other.
MARLENA: (MAKING A NOTE) Okay, when else did you feel loved?
JACK: I thought Angelica loved me. Really I did. In a way, I guess she did. My mother, Jo, loved, loves, me. Steve loved me, but I'm not sure if I knew how much then.
MARLENA: What about with Jennifer? Do you feel loved with her?
JACK: Well, yes. How could I not? Here was this beautiful young girl who didn't, who didn't (LOOKING JENNIFER IN THE EYE) flinch when she was around me, who was my friend. Of course I felt loved.
MARLENA smiles at him.
MARLENA: Do you still feel that way?
JACK: Well, well...no.
OUT on JENNIFER'S shock at his answer.
SCENE 8 : INT. MARLENA'S OFFICE
MARLENA: Pardon my shock, Jack, but you don't feel that way when you're with Jennifer?
JACK: I don't. It's not the same. (SMILING A LITTLE AT JENNIFER) It's, well, it's better.
MARLENA: Go on.
JACK: (NERVOUS. THIS IS TAKING A LOT OUT OF HIM, SO HE TURNS AWAY AND PACES) You see when Jennifer and I met, it was different. She was this little optimistic blonde who believed in sunshine and daisies and front page stories about babies and animals. Not that there's anything wrong with that. She worked for me and I was the supposed teacher, mentor. But, of course, the best-laid plans, well, you know. The point is, I learned from her. Where I taught her about writing, she taught me about living. So we endured our non-courtship and married and that, that learning, would seemingly go away, we would become mundane. (BEAT) Only that didn't happen. Everyday I wake up and am reminded of where I came from and every day with Jennifer, with you (LOOKING TO JENNIFER) is a challenge, but a good one. You make me proud to be me and sometimes, especially now, I get an idea of how much I do deserve you and that frightens me, the acceptance. (TO MARLENA) Does that make any sense?
MARLENA: It makes perfect sense. You're afraid of jinxing it.
JACK: (CATCHING HIS BREATH) More or less.
MARLENA: (TO JENNIFER) Jennifer, how do you fell about this?
JENNIFER: I don't...I don't know. (TO JACK) Jack, I'm not going anywhere.
JACK: (SITTING DOWN) I know. It's like if I start to believe in it, say it aloud, then everyone will be in on our little world. If I believe in us, it'll end.
MARLENA: You spend all the time striving to be a better person in hopes that you will finally believe you do deserve all this, don't you? Only Jennifer thinks you already do. You are trying to become what you think Jennifer deserves, not what she wants and has already. Is that why you are always trying to make money?
JACK: Well, well....I guess so. When Jennifer and I first met, I was young, I was successful, I was wealthy.
MARLENA: So, you do think successful equals wealthy?
JACK: Doesn't everybody?
MARLENA: (CHUCKLING A LITTLE WITH JENNIFER) No, not everybody does, Jack. Jack, all the money in the world can't make someone successful. It's what you have right there in your heart that does. And that, to Jennifer, is enough.
JENNIFER: I don't care about the money, Jack. I never did.
JACK: But you loved the Spectator, Jennifer. It made you happy.
JENNIFER: No, you being there made me happy. Jack, I don't care what you do, as long as you do it and you love it. Would I love to get the Spectator back someday? Yes, I would. I'm not denying that But do I want it back because it is lucrative? No. It's because it's us and I'm sure deep down you realize that, that despite the money involved and the prestige, you wanted to be successful because your heart, not your wallet, is missing the paper.
MARLENA: Jack, it's not common for somebody raised in the public's eye like you were to mistake success or money for love. Harper never really loved you the way you wanted to, you needed to be loved. And while you vowed to not be like that, in slight ways you are.
JACK: Sins of the father....
JENNIFER: Jack, you're a wonderful father. (TO MARLENA) He is.
MARLENA: (SMILING) I know. Abby loves him very much.
JENNIFER: (TO JACK) She does, you know. You don't have to be anything but Daddy to her. In fact, I wrote some stuff about that down....Our homework, you know. (TO MARLENA) Can I?
MARLENA: Go ahead.
JENNIFER: (PULLING HER PIECE OF PAPER OUT OF HER PURSE AND TURNING TO JACK AND READING IT) My happiest times with Jack. (HER HANDS START TO SHAKE AND SHE GETS EMOTIONAL READING THE SHEET) One. When he held my hand at my trial against Lawrence. It wasn't exactly conventionally happy, but it made me realize that Jack would do anything for me, no matter how much (VOICE CRACKING) it hurt him. Two. When Jack delivered Abby. He was calm and focused and was absolutely amazing. From the moment he held her, she loved him. (SMILING THROUGH TEARS) You could see it in her eyes even then. (SHE LOOKS TO JACK, WHO IS VISIBLY MOVED) Three. When Abby was sick and Jack took me to the airport to scream at the planes. It seems very silly now but it moved me because for one split second he let me in further than he'd ever let me in. Four. When Jack came back to me and Abby and the first few years in Africa. Although I tell him now that I could kill him for the way he is, how silly he could be, I loved it, even when he was (GIGGLING A LITTLE) as silly as ever. Five. When we decided to come here, to get back all of these feelings that I just remembered. I missed him and them and have never been so happy in my life. We have a chance and that's something that Jack and I tend to take better together-the chances. When we work on the same team (VOICE CRACKING) towards the same goal, I am the happiest ever.
MARLENA smiles, seeing how much they were moved.
JACK: (CLEARING HIS THROAT TO NOT CRY) You always were an excellent writer.
JENNIFER smiles at him and wipes away a tear.
MARLENA: And what about you, Jack, do you have your list?
JACK: (NERVOUS) Actually, actually, I forgot it in the car. (GETTING UP) I'll be right back.
JENNIFER: (CONFUSED) You don't remember it?
JACK: Um, not verbatim. I'll be right back...I will...you won't even miss me. (HE MAKES HIS WAY TO THE DOOR AND LEAVES NERVOUSLY).
JENNIFER and MARLENA exchange confused looks.
Outside the door, JACK walks into the restroom and goes inside and locks the door. He throws some water on his face and looks at himself in the mirror. He is nervous and moved by Jennifer's list. He takes a moment to finally recover himself and then pulls out his pen and his checkbook out of his pocket. He pulls off a check and looks at it quickly and then turns it over and begins writing. "My Happiest Times with Jennifer" and then bites his pen in deep thought.
JACK: (TO HIMSELF) Dammit, how could I forget to do this? Think, man, think...
OUT on JACK beginning to write his list down.
END OF EPISODE 44
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