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No Ordinary Love


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KEEPING UP WITH THE DEVERAUXES
By Jennifer-Lynn D'Anna
EPISODE 68

SCENE ONE: EXT. HORTON HOUSE-CHRISTMAS

IN on JENNIFER and ABBY, hurrying up the walk, carrying gifts. They pause by the door and look to the driveway and shiver. A moment later, JACK comes stumbling up the icy walk, laden down with all sorts of gifts.

JACK: I hope your grandmother has accident insurance. Really, you could kill yourself on that walk.

JENNIFER laughs and helps him balance the boxes under his chin.

JACK: Seriously, I could have been seriously hurt or even worse out there.

As if hearing him, ALICE opens the door.

ALICE: Jack Deveraux, I thought it was you.

Upon seeing her, JACK melts. She always did have a soft spot for him and although reluctant to admit it, he has one for her as well.

JACK: Mrs. Horton! (bending down to kiss her cheek) Merry Christmas!

ALICE squeezes his hand for a moment after the kiss, glad that he is there. Behind him, JENNIFER and ABBY are talking about him and shooting loving laughs and giggles his way.

ALICE: And Merry Christmas to you, too! Now would you come inside the house before you and my granddaughter and my great-granddaughter catch cold. If the walk won't kill you, surely that will. (winking to JACK to let him know she heard him)

JACK: (embarrassed) Well, I...

JENNIFER: (lovingly pushing him into the house) Nice try, Deveraux. Merry Christmas Gram (she kisses ALICE'S cheek, as does ABBY as they all head inside the house).

ALICE: (looking over her brood in the living room as JACK and JENNIFER share their hellos with the others. ABBY immediately goes over to SHAWN-D and they chat) Well, the gang's all here, as they say.

HOPE: (smiling and putting her arm around ALICE) Of course we are. Where else would we rather be?

BO: You know how we love Christmas at the Horton house, Mrs. H. It's got the best food,

ABBY: (loudly) And presents,

JACK and JENNIFER look a little embarrassed by this comment.

JACK: (nervous laughter) She means present. So many people are here...

JENNIFER laughs at his "cover-up".

SHAWN-D: No, she means gifts. We do get some pretty neat stuff, you know (he flashes a smile at his parents who are enjoying this exchange).

MICKEY: I think she means more than the gifts, Mom. I think she means what Jack said, it's about the family and friends (pausing to look at each of them as he walks over to ALICE) who gather around to celebrate such a joyous occasion (he puts his arm around ALICE, who smiles warmly). That is what you meant, isn't it, Abby? (smiling to her awaiting an answer).

ABBY: (looking to JACK and JENNIFER for an answer and after a few seconds) Um...yes.

The whole crowd explodes into laughter over her answer.

MAGGIE: (wiping the tears from her eyes) Oh...I say the family and friends start our celebration by eating some of that famous Horton turkey. I know it's not presents, Abby, but...

ABBY: (grabbing MAGGIE'S hand) It'll do. (she laughs as the lot of them head to the kitchen).


SCENE TWO: INT. HORTON LIVING ROOM

IN on JACK, practically pushing JENNIFER into the living room.

JENNIFER: (giggling) Jack, is there a reason this couldn't wait until after dessert?

JACK: Of course, there is...I...I have something for you.

JENNIFER: But, Jack, I thought you gave me all of my gifts back at the house.

JACK: All but this (pulling out the box they were wrapping the other day from his suit jacket).

JENNIFER: Oh, I knew I didn't see that anywhere.

JACK: (squinting his eyes at her) So, you were looking, huh?

JENNIFER: Would you hate me if I said yes?

JACK: (playful) Hate is such a strong word.

JENNIFER: Jack, shouldn't we wait till the others open their gifts?

JACK: No. That is precisely why I spirited you away from the crème brulee. I wanted to give this to you now...while we're alone.

JENNIFER: (beat) Okay.

JACK: (handing her the box) Go on...open it.

JENNIFER: (so happy she's tearing up) Jack, I want you to know-

JACK: No sappy stuff...not until after you see what's in the box anyway.

JENNIFER: (quickly turning her tears into an anxious smile) Alright. (she begins to unwrap the package and once its contents are revealed, her face turns puzzled) Jack, I don't get it...a key?

JACK: It's not just any key, Miss Horton...I would never just give you a random key.

JENNIFER: Then what's-

JACK: Has my investigative reporter gone weak? Obviously the key is not a gift by itself.

JENNIFER looks under the tree and begins to crawl to search under it for a present with her name. A large one in the back is addressed to her from JACK.

JENNIFER: (trying to move it) Well, it's heavy.

JACK: It ain't heavy, it's my present.

JENNIFER rolls her eyes at him and begins to tear off the wrapping paper. When she finishes, she lets out an excited sigh.

JENNIFER: A hope chest, Jack!

JACK: (touched that she is so moved) I know it's not your old one but...(sitting down Indian style beside her)...but I figure that could stand for Jack and Jennifer, Take One and this, of course, would be Part Deux....or Part Tres, if you want to be technical...

JENNIFER: (laughing) Or part four, or five...

JACK: Are you saying we do this a lot?

JENNIFER: (trying to not laugh) No, not at all. You and me? We never have any problems.

JACK: And we wouldn't ever dream about disagreeing.

JENNIFER: No...not us.

JACK: (gazing deep into her happy eyes) Well, Miss H, we haven't got all day. I know how much you love your chocolate mousse...or anything chocolate for that matter.

JENNIFER: (playfully hitting him) You mean there's more?

JACK: I don't know. Maybe Santa left you some stuff inside. You'll have to check, though.

JENNIFER smiles and opens the box. She begins to pull things out one at a time.

JENNIFER: A baby rattle?

JACK: We did leave the last one off rather abruptly, didn't we? This, my dear cub reporter, is not just any baby rattle, it's none other than the baby rattle of one Miss Abigail Johanna Deveraux.

JENNIFER fingers the rattle and smiles nostalgically.

JACK: That's not all, though...

JENNIFER reaches back in and pulls a few things out.

JENNIFER: A manicure kit?

JACK: If you recall, I do do a hell of a pedicure.

JENNIFER: I do.

JACK: Next...

JENNIFER: A map of Africa? (stopping him) No, self-explanatory.

JACK nods.

JENNIFER: Ink?

JACK: For the word processor I bought you. You never know when you want to pick your writing up again, you know.

JENNIFER pulls out two Barbie dolls-A blonde one with a red ballgown on and a Ken doll with a tux on.

JENNIFER: Coronation dolls?

JACK: But of course...He even has his own pull away mustache...just be careful, it hurts.

JENNIFER: Jack, you're wonderful.

JACK: Uh-uh, there's more.

JENNIFER: (pulling out a final thing from the box) It's a little house. Jack, this is a little model of our house.

JACK: Why, look at that, it is!

JENNIFER: Jack, you're too much...

JACK: No, wait, I have one more surprise...You said I was full of them, did you not?

JENNIFER: Another-

JACK: (mulling around his pockets for something) Wait, it's right here...hold on...where in the

At that very moment, someone walks into the living room. It is BILL, JENNIFER'S father.

BILL: (excited) Surprise!

JACK'S face falls, very unhappy to see him. JENNIFER looks to JACK to see if he was behind this.


SCENE THREE: INT. HORTON LIVING ROOM

BILL: (standing with his arms outstretched, looking at the two of them on the floor) Well, aren't you going to wish me a Merry Christmas?

JENNIFER: (clearly upset by his presence) Mer...Merry Christmas. (she looks to JACK as if she suspects him to be behind this). I...I've got to go (she gets up, quickly hugs BILL, and runs out of the room).

BILL: What was that all about?

JACK: (dryly) You know Jennifer. She can't pass up dessert for anything. (getting up unhappily) I suppose this means you've no travails over in the "Heart of Darkness" this holiday season.

BILL: Jack, are you still bitter about the way we left things?

JACK: Who me, bitter? Never.

BILL: Jack, how many times do I have to apologize-

As they speak, JACK paces back and forth, noticing some decorations throughout the room.

JACK: Oh, I don't know, until you mean it would be nice.

BILL: I do mean it, Jack...honestly, I do.

JACK: So, you're fessing up to being the reason I lost both my wife and my daughter sometime last year?

BILL: Jack, you and Jennifer haven't been husband and wife for a long time...(noticing JACK'S unamused look) Yes, yes, I do take partial responsibility for Jenn taking Abby last year.

JACK: Partial? You practically told them to go.

BILL: I had my reasons, Jack.

JACK: Selfish ones, no doubt. (beat) What are you doing here anyway?

BILL: I came here to do the same thing, you are doing, to celebrate Christmas with my family. You'd think you'd understand this, Jack, considering you wrote me the letter encouraging me to come home.

JACK: (stopping dead in his tracks) What??

BILL: The letter. It was signed by you, sent from Salem. It even had all these big words in it...

JACK: (realizing this is what COLIN meant by burying himself. He sent the letter.) That little--. (rubbing his mouth to calm down some) When...when was this letter sent?

BILL: I don't know exactly. I got it a few weeks ago.

JACK: And you honestly thought I would encourage you to come here for Christmas?

BILL: I knew it was a little fishy but...

JACK: A little fishy? It reeks of fish. It's the "catch of the day".

BILL: Jack, really I wish we could get past this. (beat) Now, I know Jennifer's mad at me for some reason. You didn't tell her, did you?

JACK: (furious about the question) You know better than that.

BILL: (voice raising) Then what the hell's her problem? For months now I've been trying to get a hold of her. She won't return my phone calls, my letters go unanswered...

JACK: (growing loud) Did you...(lowering his voice) Did you ever think that you might underestimate that daughter of yours? She's not stupid, you know.

BILL: I never said she was. Jack, listen, just promise me..

JENNIFER enters the room on that last sentence.

JENNIFER: (looking back and forth at the two of them) Promise you what?

OUT on BILL exchanging pleading glances with JACK.


SCENE FOUR: INT. HORTON LIVING ROOM

IN PROGRESS

JENNIFER: Promise you what, Daddy? You want Jack to promise you what?

JACK: (reluctantly covering) He wanted me to promise I wouldn't tell you what he got you for Christmas. (looking BILL straight in the eye and stepping towards JENNIFER). He wants it to be a surprise.

JENNIFER: (knowing something's up) I don't want any surprises. No more surprises, Daddy (turning and flashing a look to BILL that hurts him greatly).

BILL: Don't say that, Jennifer Rose-

JENNIFER: I mean it. No more surprises from you or (turning to JACK) you. Now, if you'd please, let's just celebrate this holiday peacefully.

JACK: (clearing his throat) Peacefully.

BILL: Peacefully.

JULIE walks in carrying a box of ornaments, none the wiser to the tension filling the living room.

JULIE: Alright, everyone, time to decorate the Christmas tree. (noticing their looks) Jack, Jennifer, is there something wrong?

JENNIFER: (clearly shaken) No...not at all....(looking to JACK to try and convey to him to be good)..where's everyone?

The group walks in, festive and happy.

MICKEY: Alright, who wants to go first?

ABBY: I do, I do.

ALICE: (settling into her chair) So it shall be, dear, sweet Abigail. (she rummages through the box, now on her lap, and hands ABBY her ornament)

The room becomes quiet as MICKEY and ALICE reflect on the past year. Everyone begins hanging their ornaments.

MICKEY: (putting his arm on ALICE'S chair) You know, every year, the tree gets more and more beautiful, Mom.

ALICE: And more and more full. This year we're lucky to have some of our family back for the holidays (smiling warmly to BILL and JACK) to join their families (smiling to JENNIFER and ABBY) and this year more than ever it means so much to be with the ones you love.

MICKEY: Yes, it does. After the events of this year, being with the ones you love has taken on such a new and deeper meaning. You never know what may happen but you can make the most of it while you're here. (smiling to MAGGIE as she puts hers and SARAH and MELISSA'S ornaments on the tree). So, today, we celebrate those who are with us and those who are we are without (pausing as BO and HOPE hang up ADDIE and J.T.'S ornaments and as BILL hangs up MIKE and JEREMY'S and JENNIFER hangs up LAURA'S and LUCAS' as she and JACK hang up their own). For while they were here we truly, truly were blessed. (he hangs both his and his brother TOMMY'S as ALICE hangs hers and TOM'S).

The camera zooms out to the entire family looking lovingly at the tree. ABBY smiles up to her mom and dad and JENNIFER looks BILL'S way and as if disgusted, quickly looks away. BILL is upset and sighs and looks over to JACK, who can offer no help or assistance.

After a few moments of reflection, baby ISAAC breaks the silence by mumbling "Santa!" Everyone in the room laughs.

BO: I take that as a sign.

HOPE: (hugging him close) I'd say.

SHAWN-D: Then, let's get this show on the road. (picking up a gift) This one's for you Great Gran. (handing the present to ALICE).

The scene ends with everyone in the room passing out presents and having a joyous time. JENNIFER avoids her father like the plague.


SCENE FOUR: INT. HORTON LIVING ROOM

A little while later. The presents have been open and in a corner, SHAWN-D and ABBY are playing with her and ISAAC'S new toys. As the rest of the group keeps to themselves and admires their gifts, the camera pans to JACK, who is sitting on the floor in his pile of gifts. On his head rests a cap with a propeller on it. He is not amused and is twirling the propeller. He sees JENNIFER and HOPE in the corner, laughing over their gifts and when HOPE breaks away, sneaks up on an unaware JENNIFER, who is putting a sweater back into its box.

JACK: I see you made out well.

JENNIFER: (not 100% there) Yeah, yeah, I did. (turning towards him) And I see-where did you get that thing? (smiling and thumping the propeller on his hat)

JACK: (dryly) I believe from Julie and Douglas. Something about taking a cheap flight.

JENNIFER: (trying not to laugh) Well, I must say it becomes you.

JACK: (peeking into her boxes) I don't suppose you got a matching ensemble.

JENNIFER: If you're talking about the hat, no.

JACK: Too bad. I thought we could wear them together. What did you get then? (looking at a small velvet box) Ooh, that one looks expensive.

JENNIFER: (upset) That's because it is. It's from my dad.

JACK shoots a look over to BILL who is watching them intently. JENNIFER doesn't notice.

JACK: (picking it up and opening it to find some diamond earrings) These are nice.

JENNIFER: (closing the box and putting them away) These are going back.

JACK: But why? He obviously has taste.

JENNIFER: And he obviously is hiding something. Jack, I know you know.

JACK: (lying) I most certainly do not.

JENNIFER: Fine. Don't tell me then. (she begins to gather her stuff as he tries to fix the situation)

JACK: Jennifer...look, Jennifer. I can't lie to you.

JENNIFER: Then you know my father's up to something?

JACK: Unless...(looking back to BILL'S pleading eyes while she's preoccupied)..unless that something is surprising his own daughter on Christmas, then I'm none the wiser.

JENNIFER: (looking him in the eye) Do you swear to that, Jack? Because if you're lying-

JACK: (hurting his self) I'm not...I'm not lying. I really wish I could help you.

JENNIFER: You really mean that, don't you? You really wish you could help-

JACK: (really meaning it but unbeknownst to her exactly why) I really do.

BILL: (clearing his throat, he has walked up beside them) Did you like my gift, Jennifer Rose?

JENNIFER: (uncomfortable) They were...they were beautiful. (looking to JACK for help but when he can't) I...I've got to go. (she walks over to ABBY and kneels on the floor to see what she's playing with but not before sneaking a look back to the two of them)

JACK'S eyes follow JENNIFER across the room. He then looks at BILL.

BILL: (disappointed) That's two "I've got to go's." (sighing) Jack-

JACK: (throwing his hand up to stop him and lowering his voice) Don't thank me. Don't even dare-

BILL: You didn't tell her. Jack, I owe you-

JACK: You owe me nothing. You owe her everything.

BILL: (glancing at JENNIFER who is now playing with the kids) I do. I owe her everything. (beat) Listen, Jack, I was thinking-

JACK: (knowing that tone of voice) I can't believe you.

BILL: What? You didn't let me finish.

JACK: I don't have to...I...(seeing as he doesn't want JENNIFER to hear, he nudges him towards the door. As they walk out with no coats, JENNIFER looks to the door, knowing something is up.)

ONCE OUTSIDE:

JACK: (jumping up and down to keep warm in the snow) Well, it sure beats the heat of Africa.

BILL: (rubbing his hands together) Jack, about what happened inside-

JACK: You're in trouble again, aren't you? (when he doesn't answer) Aren't you?

BILL: Let me explain-

JACK: (laughing sarcastically) You're in trouble and you need help, so you come back to town right around the holidays. Is this your gift to me, Dr. Horton? 'Cause if it is, I don't want it. I bet there wasn't a letter either.

BILL: Oh no, there was a letter. I have it right here (he pulls it out of his suit pocket).

JACK: (taking it from him and opening to read but thinking the better of it) What's the deal this time anyway (clutching the letter even tighter)? One of your contacts getting a little pushy?

BILL: Jack-I...I can't do this on my own.

JACK: You can't do this with me. Can't you see? I had to fight tooth and nail to get back here with Jennifer.

BILL: You won't lose her, Jack.

JACK: That's what you said the last time. Remember? And I foolishly believed you. I hurt and hurt her and one day, she and Abigail were gone. (growing more and more upset) At the suggestion of her father. At the suggestion of you

BILL: Jack, I truly am sorry for that.

JACK: (relenting) I...I know. I just can't afford to do it again, Bill. My heart can't take it.

BILL: I know it's hard. But I need you, Jack. I need you.

JACK: So does your daughter...so does her daughter.

BILL: Jack, please. I promise, this will be the last time-

JENNIFER opens the door and steps outside concerned. Almost instinctively, JACK shoves the letter into his suit jacket pocket.

JENNIFER: The last time for what?

JACK: (nervous laughter) The last time...the last time he buys me cologne for Christmas (catching BILL'S look of relief). Have you smelled that stuff? (waving his hand in front of his face)

JENNIFER: Oh.

BILL: I'm an awful gift giver, I know. That's why-that's why I'm going to run out right now and go get Jack something better, something more suiting. I promise, Jack, this will be the last time (meaning more, looking him dead in the eye as he steps off the porch) I get you cologne. (he walks away down the path)

JENNIFER: (following him with her eyes) And without a goodbye or coat, he was gone.

JACK: (annoyed) He'll be back.

JENNIFER: You two looked pretty heated out here.

JACK: We did? I mean, of course we did, we were discussing politics. You know how riled up I get when I discuss politics...

JENNIFER: You and my dad never talk politics, Jack.

JACK: What do we talk about then?

JENNIFER: I...I don't know but I can't recall you ever talking Democrats versus Republicans. (shivering and then sidling up to his chest to keep warm). You save that for the bedroom...

JACK: For the (laughing a little) bedroom? I really need to work on my romantic skills, don't I?

JENNIFER: Well, you were being a little romantic earlier.

JACK: Earlier?

JENNIFER: With the gifts. In fact, I think you were about to give me another one. The little box.

JACK: Yes, the little box. I vaguely recall it.

JENNIFER: Well?

JACK: Well, what?

JENNIFER: Are you going to give it to me or not?

JACK: (nervous) Ah...most certain-(reaching into his pocket, he feels the box and also the letter. As he touches the letter, Bill's words echo in his head "I need you, Jack". At the last possible second, he drops the box back into the pocket).

JENNIFER: What...what's wrong?

JACK: Nothing...I just seemed to have...to have lost it.

JENNIFER: You lost it? Where did you have it last? (she begins looking around the porch for it. He "follows" her lead)

JACK: Um, I don't know...inside I guess. Why don't you go inside to look around and I'll look out here? Kill two birds with one stone, you know?

JENNIFER: (unsure of why he's acting so strange) Okay...I hope we do find it, though, Jack. I know it meant a lot to you. (they meet eyes for another second and then she exits inside the house)

JACK: (once the coast is clear) Damn you, Bill Horton! (pulling the box out of he pocket and pulling the lid off to look at its contents-her engagement ring on a necklace with a little note saying, "Whenever you're ready for Jack and Jennifer forever.") Damn you! (he HAS to help BILL, cannot let him do this alone but at the same time cannot tell JENNIFER and ask her to marry him when he is lying to her).


SCENE FIVE: INT. DEVERAUX LIVING ROOM

It is a few hours later and dark. JENNIFER has just come down the stairs from putting ABBY to sleep.

JENNIFER: (seeing JACK take off his suit jacket and place it over the back of the desk chair) She sure had a tiring day, didn't she?

JACK: As did her parents (rolling up his sleeves). You okay?

JENNIFER: Yeah, why?

JACK: Just seeing your dad and all. I know that you two didn't leave things on the most perfect terms.

JENNIFER: We never do, Jack. Listen, I don't want to talk about it. (beat) Any luck on finding the present?

JACK: (hates lying) No. I have it insured, so replacing it shouldn't be a problem.

JENNIFER: (a little hurt by his placidness towards the whole situation) Oh.

JACK: It...it wasn't much anyway.

JENNIFER: Well, in that case...maybe we should get to bed.

JACK: Right. I'm just...I'm just going to get a glass of milk. I'll meet you upstairs.

JENNIFER: (nodding) Okay.

JACK goes to go in the kitchen and then pauses and walks over and spins her around to kiss her deeply.

JENNIFER: (knees weak) Wh...what was that for?

JACK: Nothing...because I...(lowering his voice and swallowing hard) love you, that's all.

JENNIFER: (knowing something's wrong) I...I know.

JACK: Don't forget it, okay?

JENNIFER: I...I won't.

They are lost looking at each other for a moment and then he exits to the kitchen. She stands there, numbed for a second, and then picks up a few things to bring upstairs. Picking up his suit coat, the present falls out and JENNIFER picks it up curiously. She knows he looked in his pocket earlier. Could he be lying to her? Opening it up and looking at the gift, she is both hurt and moved. Why didn't he give this to her? After a moment of admiring it, she closes it back up and puts it in the pocket as she looks hard at the kitchen door and then turns to go upstairs, upset.

Inside the kitchen, JACK pours some milk and sits down to pull out the letter BILL received out of his pocket. He begins reading it, lost and interested in its contents. END OF EPISODE 68




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