By Jennifer-Lynn D'Anna
The scene opens to an empty living room, lights off. A key turns in the lock and then a light switch flicks on as JACK and JENNIFER walk in. JACK is limping and JENNIFER is helping him along. He is sporting one hell of a shiner and a busted lip.
JACK: (tentatively stepping forward) Ow..ow...ow.
JENNIFER: (propping him up against the staircase) Hold on, Jack. (walks over quickly to throw her purse and keys down on the desk then returns to him, smiling) I'm back.
JACK: (dryly) I see that.
JENNIFER: I'm surprised you can see anything (touching his eye as he winces), that's one heck of a shiner, Jack.
JACK: (sighing) It feels like it. (looking around frantic) Abigail? Where's Abigail? Dear God, Jennifer, we forgot the child.
JENNIFER: (laughing and pulling him over to the couch) No, we didn't forget her. She's with your mom and Vern. (checking to see if this jogs his memory) After you came to, I thought it would be a good idea if she went over to the Pub for your victory party. (smiling) One of us had to go. (sitting him down and instinctively brushing his hair out of his eyes) You don't remember any of that, do you?
JACK: (dreamily) We won?
JENNIFER: (grinning widely) You won, Jack. You caught the winning ball.
JACK: (grinning) I did?
JENNIFER: (nodding) You did. (moving to get the phone) Maybe I should call Dr. Wesley and see if we should bring you down. I think you may have a concussion.
JACK grabs her hand and gently pulls her back to the couch. He continues to hold her hand and stroke it while speaking.
JACK: No, I'm...I'm fine. In fact, it's all coming back to me now. I remember the ball coming to me and reaching up and then a...freight train...
JENNIFER: (concerned) A freight train named Colin Murphy.
JACK: (all coming back to him) Yes...the Colin Murphy Express plowing right into me. It was birds and stars from then on.
JENNIFER: (nodding in understanding) I'm glad you're okay, Jack.
JACK: (touched) I am too...glad that I'm okay and that you're okay now that I'm okay.
JENNIFER: (meeting his eyes and nodding, then chuckling) I know what you mean. (getting up and walking towards the kitchen)
JACK: Hey, where are you going?
JENNIFER: To get something to put on that war injury you have there. I'll be right back. (pausing) Oh Jack, you should have seen Abby's face after you got up. She was so proud of her father.
JACK: (smiling) I'm sure she was.
JENNIFER meets his look and then exits to the kitchen.
JACK: (dreamily) Proud of her father. She was proud of her father...(face dropping, realizing that someone else was once proud of her father as well)
Segue into flashback:
AFRICA-ALMOST 2 YEARS EARLIER
It is the middle of the night and JACK is walking through the brush to a campfire where someone is waiting. He is wearing khakis and a leather jacket and he has stubble on his face. When he reaches the campfire, the man turns around. It is BILL, JENNIFER'S father.
BILL: (nervously smiling) Jack, I'm glad you could make it.
JACK is wary of his motives and doesn't return the smile or the sentiment. BILL could see that he isn't getting anywhere, so he continues.
BILL: Where are Jenn and Abby?
JACK: (sitting down on a log by the fire and warming his hands) Where do you think they are? They are where all good people should be at this hour-in bed, where I should be right now.
BILL: (proceeding with caution) Right. (pacing in his apprehension) Jack, about the-they don't know right?
JACK: (flashing him an incredulous look) Of course they don't. Jennifer would never-Look, you called me here for a reason.
BILL: I just wanted to make sure that...that no one knows. I couldn't bear the thought of my little girl knowing--
JACK: (getting up, raising his voice inadvertently) And what about my little girl, huh? What about the fact that I have to keep lying to Jennifer every single time this happens, that my track record with her isn't good as it is, that I can tell that...that she's losing faith? I don't need that. (lowering his voice) I don't need this, Bill.
BILL: Jack, you have to understand that Jennifer...Jennifer's always been proud of her daddy. I can't..I can't bear the thought of disappointing her and the rest of the family.
JACK: So I can disappoint her all I want because she's used to it?
BILL: I'm not saying that...I'm saying...
JACK: (waving to stop him) I don't care what you're saying. Now, would you kindly tell me what you called me out here for?
BILL: (pausing for awhile, making JACK very nervous) I...(scratching the back of his neck) I have a problem...(JACK scoffs loudly)...He wants one more...I told him this would be it.
JACK: You told him that months ago.
BILL: I know. I know this is it though, Jack. I can feel it. He'll let me go and that will be the end.
JACK: You can understand why I have a hard time believing you, can't you?
BILL: Jack, I...I can't do this without you. I need your help.
JACK: Frankly, Bill, I don't know if I can.
BILL: You mean, you don't know if I want to.
JACK: Can you blame me? After all I just said...
BILL: I know, I know. Just one more, Jack. One more.
JACK: (shaking his head in disbelief) One more? You promise?
BILL: (tapping his chest) With all my heart. (extending his hand) And if we could keep it to ourselves again...for Jennifer?
JACK: (reluctantly agreeing and taking his hand) For Jennifer.
BILL nods and then walks away, promising this will be "it". JACK is left standing in the cold.
JACK: (to himself) For Jennifer.
Back to present day:
JACK: (dreamily recalling why he did the things he did) For Jennifer...
JENNIFER: (walking in with a bag of frozen vegetables in her hand) What's for Jennifer?
OUT on JACK, trying to come up an excuse.
SCENE TWO: INT. DEVERAUX LIVING ROOM
JACK: (playing dumb) For Jennifer?
JENNIFER: (giggling and sitting down beside him) Yeah, you said "for Jennifer".
JACK: I did?
JENNIFER: You did? Just how hard did Colin hit you anyway?
JACK: (lying) Oh, you're talking about "for Jennifer" I was..why, I was (spotting the desk calendar and reading December) just thinking about what I should get you for Christmas.
JENNIFER: I don't need anything, Jack, I have everything I could ever want right here.
JACK: (noticing what's in her hand) Including vegetables. Jennifer, don't you think those are a tad undercooked?
JENNIFER: We're not going to eat them, Jack. We're going to put them on your eye.
JACK: On my eye? Oh yes, the aforementioned shiner. Pity I miss my own victory party, though.
JENNIFER: (gently brushing the hair out of his eye again and putting the vegetables on it) There...how does that feel?
JACK: It feels...it feels cold.
JENNIFER: (laughing) That's what it's supposed to feel like. (touching his cut on his lip) I should go get some alcohol for that, too. I'll be right back (getting up). You just hold that right there. (she runs up the stairs)
JACK: (holding the veggies to his eye) Well, this is fun. (getting up and walking to the mirror by the wall entering the foyer) Let me take a look at this anyway. (taking off the veggies and looking at the eye and wincing) Real attractive there, Jack...real attractive. This should help you on the job circuit. Hey...(trying something. Putting his hand over his one eye) Now I feel like...(doing his best STEVE voice) Hey, baby. Come here sweetness. Billy Jack, we've got to boogie.
JENNIFER has witnessed this whole "exchange" from the staircase where she is standing with the first aid kit.
JENNIFER: Jack, what are you doing?
JACK: I'm...(embarrassed)...I'm...nevermind (putting the veggies back on his eye). You have the alcohol?
JENNIFER: (joining him in the living room) Right here (waving the first aid kit).
JACK: Good. (sitting down)
JENNIFER: Now let nurse Jennifer take care of you (dabbing some alcohol on a cotton ball).
JACK: Well, when you put it like that...
They both giggle as JENNIFER nurses his lip. OUT on the two of them trying to be serious.
SCENE THREE: INT. DEVERAUX LIVING ROOM
JENNIFER has just finished nursing JACK'S cut lip. She is admiring her handiwork.
JENNIFER: All done. That wasn't so bad, was it?
JACK: No, it wasn't. Your nursing skills have gotten better with age.
JENNIFER: (mock shock) I don't know whether I should be offended by that or not.
JACK: (caressing her hand) Don't be.
JENNIFER: (briefly looking at her hand and then at him) I really am glad you are okay, Jack.
JACK: (meeting her eyes) I know. I'm sorry for giving you such a scare back there, too.
JENNIFER: (sighing) It was the most violent game of touch football I've ever seen, I'll tell you that. I wonder whatever possessed him to act that way.
JACK: (recalling COLIN'S warnings about telling JENNIFER about the tomb raiding, etc.) I don't know. I'm just glad that it's over.
JENNIFER: I am too.
JACK: (sighing) Jennifer, I know I don't tell you this often, but...
JENNIFER: I know, Jack.
JACK: No, you don't. I love you. (moving his hand to brush her hair and touch her face) I've loved you from the second you walked into my office. You have to know that.
JENNIFER: (laying her hand over his and caressing it) I love you, too, Jack.
JACK: Just promise me that no matter what happens, you'll never forget that. Everything I do is for you and for Abigail. You are my life.
JENNIFER: (knowing he means something, but beyond moved) You're my life, too, Jack. You always have been. (she leans in to kiss him)
They begin to kiss but their lips are not exactly meeting up all the way because of the vegetables he still is holding to his eye. She laughs and mutters that "He is right. They are cold." He removes them and they melt into the couch, kissing.
SCENE FIVE: INT. DEVERAUX LIVING ROOM
IN on JACK and JENNIFER, kissing heavily. The front door swings open and they hear GINGER, BRIAN, and ABBY come in. They both shoot up and try to arrange themselves presentably.
BRIAN: Jack? Jennifer? (they enter the living room) Oh, there you are.
JENNIFER: (smiling to JACK slyly) Hi Brian.
BRIAN: (doing a double take) Oh, I hope you don't mind, but Dad and Jo were having such a great time, we left them there and brought Abby home. We've got to get up early to hit the road anyway.
JENNIFER: That's great. (looking around for ABBY) Where is she?
BRIAN: Well, she's...oh, what the heck...hit it girls.
ABBY and GINGER begin singing and walk in. ABBY is holding a big trophy with a football on the top of it. BRIAN joins in.
GROUP: For he's a jolly good daddy, for he's a jolly good daddy, for he's a jolly good daddy, which nobody can deny.
ABBY: (handing an embarrassed JACK the trophy) It's for you, Daddy. Uncle Bo said it went to the most valu...valu...
ABBY: Valuable player.
JACK: (reading his name) Look at that.
ABBY: And they spelled it right, too.
JACK: They sure did.
GINGER: I didn't think you had it in, you, Jack, but you kicked some major a-(seeing ABBY)-butt.
BRIAN: We're all proud of you, Jack.
JENNIFER: (noticing the mud all over ABBY'S outfit) We're so proud that we're gonna go right upstairs and take a bath right away so that we can hug you properly.
BRIAN: Sorry, Jennifer, she and Sami Brady's little boy...
JENNIFER: (scooting ABBY to the stairs and laughing) I know-mudpies. They're an Abby and Will favorite.
GINGER: I'm going to go up with you too, Jennifer. I have a ton of packing to do.
JENNIFER: (to Jack) We'll be right back, MVP.
The three women exit, leaving JACK and BRIAN alone. After a few moments of silence spent watching JACK admire his name, BRIAN speaks.
BRIAN: She really was proud of you, Jack. She was running around telling everyone her daddy won the game.
JACK: A child's pride for her father. It seems to be a recurring theme today.
BRIAN: (lost) What?
JACK: Nothing. Nothing.
BRIAN: (sitting down on the sofa chair) I sure do miss Salem.
JACK: I missed it much myself when we were gone.
BRIAN: There's nothing like home.
JACK: Nope, nothing like it.
BRIAN: (beat) Jack, can I ask you a question?
JACK: I don't see why not. Usually I'm the one asking the questions, but a role reversal is nice.
BRIAN: Okay. What was up with that Colin guy? Why does he have it so bad for you?
JACK: Long story. Briefly, he loves Jennifer.
JACK: No worry, though. We're going to try and.... It doesn't help that he now calls our stomping grounds home, though.
BRIAN: No, it doesn't. Have you talked to my dad about this?
JACK: Now, that's more than one question.
BRIAN: Sorry, but I think you should.
JACK: Why should I, Detective Scofield?
BRIAN: Oh, nevermind (going to get up).
JACK: Pray tell. Why should I talk to your father about these matters and who is to say that I haven't already?
BRIAN: (sitting back down) Alright. Jack remember how you said something earlier...the blurb about a child being proud of his father?
JACK: I said her, but go on.
BRIAN: Well, it works both ways. I've seen Dad look at Tanner with great pride, I've felt it with him ever since I was a little kid...whether it be the first time I learned how to spell my name or when I made the police force. Dads are immensely proud of their children, Jack, you know that.
JACK: Through Abigail, not through my two father figures, I assure you.
BRIAN: That's what I'm getting at, Jack. I see Dad look at you with the same pride...when you married Jennifer, whenever he'd get word from you or a picture of Abby. You're like a son to him, Jack.
JACK: I wouldn't go that far.
BRIAN: I would. He loves you like his own and he'll tell you like it is like his own. That's why I think you should keep him informed. Keep him in the know, okay? (getting up and stretching) I should really be heading up to take a nap. Football and then partying did a number on me. Think about what I said, huh?
JACK: (touched) I...I shall.
BRIAN goes to head up the stairs and JACK gets up and picks up the veggies, now melting on the couch. BRIAN watches him from the stairs.
BRIAN: Oh Jack?
BRIAN: For what it's worth, I like having you as a brother. You keep things interesting.
JACK: (finding it odd but moving) Thank you. I like having you as a figurative brother as well.
BRIAN: You know what brothers do, don't you, Jack? They look out for each other. If you ever need anything...just know I'll be there.
JACK nods and BRIAN nods as well, heading up the stairs. Smiling to himself, he picks up the veggies and places them over his eye, imitating STEVE again and looking in the mirror.
JACK: (somberly, as if remembering) I know what brothers do, Brian, I know all too well. (he smiles painfully into the mirror and then quietly turns around and heads to the kitchen).
END OF EPISODE 63