KEEPING UP WITH THE DEVERAUXES
KEEPING UP WITH THE DEVERAUXES
SCENE ONE: INT. HORTON LIVING ROOM
There is a replay of the last scene of the last episode when JACK punches BILL and then the action picks up.
ALICE: (shocked) Jack Deveraux, what are you doing?
JACK: (panting) Something I should have done a long time ago.
BILL: (getting up and rubbing his nose) Jack, I really have no idea-
JACK: Oh, quit your lying. You knew...you knew all along. (seething) You knew Jennifer was in Ireland and you kept it from me.
BILL instinctively looks over to his mother, who is clearly shocked by this revelation.
ALICE: Is that true, Bill? Did you not tell Jack Jennifer Rose was in Ireland?
JACK: That's good...try to find a lie to get out of this one.
BILL: I didn't want to tell you. I didn't think it would work between the two of you, that's all. I figured it would be best if you didn't see each other, went separate ways.
JACK: What made you come to this conclusion-the fact that we were happy or the fact that we were happy?
ALICE: Bill, did Jennifer tell you to tell Jack where she was?
BILL: (growing quiet. His silence speaks for itself) Yes. But, Mom, you have to understand-
ALICE: And you didn't tell him? Your own daughter tells you that she wants, no needs, to speak to the father of her child and you kept it from him. I could deck you right now.
BILL: There was a lot more going on that Jack's not telling you about, wasn't there, Jack (he shoots him a warning look that JACK can't believe)? Jennifer was unhappy, Jack was off taking care of things, and, Mom, she was crying all the time.
ALICE: William Thomas Horton, that was her decision to make. Hers and hers only.
BILL: I'm sorry. Hey, it all worked out for the best, didn't it? (trying to lighten the mood) You and Jennifer found your way back together, didn't you? I'm sure we'll all laugh about this in a few years.
JACK: I'm not laughing.
ALICE: Neither am I.
JACK: (chuckling sarcastically) You don't even know what you cost me, do you? What you cost us. Because of you, because of your decision, I missed an integral part of my daughter's life-I missed a year of lost teeth and bumps and bruises and silly questions, I lost a year of my wif, my Jennifer's, life too. I missed breakfast in bed, bantering, fighting over the remote. (voice cracking) We lost a bab..A baby, Bill. I lost a son or a daughter because you-YOU-decided that you would play God with my and Jennifer's lives. You decided to keep us apart...you did! He stops and realizes what he just said out loud and catching his breath sees the reactions of both
ALICE and BILL, who are both in complete and utter shock.
SCENE TWO: INT. HORTON LIVING ROOM
JACK: (shaking) So, ask me. Ask me if I care that I just hit you. Ask me if I'd do it again. I tell you, in a heartbeat because nothing-nothing-I can say or do to you can match the pain you so readily had me feel when my wife and child-children-left me.
BILL: (it all is hitting him) Jack, I had...(growing quiet)...I am so sorry. I had no idea.
JACK: Because you didn't ask. You never did. It was all about you, that's why. Not once did you think about me or Jennifer or Abigail. And you call yourself a good father-
ALICE: Now that's enough. I will not stand here and listen to this nonsense. Bill, would you please leave Jack and I alone to talk? I need to get to the bottom of this.
BILL: (uneasy about this) Are you sure?
ALICE: Yes, I am. Now go.
BILL reluctantly walks out of the room but not before shooting JACK a look, pleading with him to keep quiet.
ALICE: (to BILL who's hiding by the door) Out!
We see BILL turn and sigh and walk up the stairs despondently.
JACK: (nervous, but trying to not let on how upset he really is) I really am sorry, Mrs. Horton. I hope I didn't get blood anywhere (he makes a big deal out of looking on the floor for traces).
ALICE: I'm sure it's fine, dear. (walking over to her chair) Have a seat.
JACK: (nervous laughter) I prefer standing.
ALICE: Jack, take off your coat and sit.
JACK: (more nervous laughter) Well, when you put it that way. (tossing his coat over the back of the couch, he sits opposite her, rubbing his hands together when silence fills the room)
ALICE: (pausing to think) Is what you said about Bill keeping Jennifer's whereabouts, is all that true?
JACK: As true as-yes, it is true.
ALICE: I see. (she pauses as if to think about his answer)
JACK: Forgive me for asking, Mrs. Horton, but what is all this about? I really didn't mean to come in and deck your son.
ALICE: You most certainly did. Jack, let me tell you a little bit about Bill. He's no angel.
JACK: (his eyebrow raises at this statement) Does that Horton trait skip a generation?
ALICE: (throwing him a look) He's no devil, either. Confused, warped, and a little bit shady is more like it.
JACK: (as if shocked at her use of the word) Shady? (leaning forward, interested) You know all this?
ALICE: How could I not? For as long as I remember, he's been off somewhere chasing something or someone. I know that Bill has his demons, that's all. What those demons are I don't know. I guess I've come to accept that he does this because not once has he ever brought these demons into this family and not once has he ever hurt someone close to him. I guess it's all a little hard for me to swallow.
JACK: (hurt) You don't believe me, then?
ALICE: No, I do. That's what hurts so much-that my son could do something so inconsiderate and cause so much pain to a person, no, two people so close to him.
JACK: I wouldn't call us close.
ALICE: I wouldn't call you distant either.
JACK: Mrs. Horton, it's not that I don't like Bill-
ALICE: It's because you like him. You like him so much that you don't want to hurt him. I'm very proud of that, Jack. I'm also very proud of the way you are with Jennifer right now-holding her hand, being there for her. If only I had known about the-
JACK: I only knew a few weeks ago. (trying and failing to brush it off as nothing) Don't beat yourself up over it. Hey, that's what I'm here for-
ALICE: (annoyed) Jack, would you stop being so flip? I'm sitting here because I'm trying to say that I know you are right and that Bill should have never kept this from you.
JACK: You are?
ALICE: I am? I'm also telling you that somehow he has rationalized his reasons, whatever they may be, and that it probably killed him to do that to you.
JACK: I don't know about that.
ALICE: I do. Just before you walked in he was completely lost in some trance. (beat) It was if he was recalling some terrible event.
JACK: I can't say that I feel sorry for him. (beat, reading her face to no avail) You probably think I'm an awful person, don't you?
ALICE: (smiling) Not at all. Jack Harcourt Deveraux, you are one of the best people I have ever met.
JACK: I am? (blinking back tears of disbelief)
ALICE: Don't look so surprised. You always have been.
JACK: It's just-
ALICE: It's your past, I know. Jack, I made a decision long ago to not judge people, you included. What you did then was terrible, Jack, I will not lie, but I know that you love my granddaughter and you love dear, sweet Abigail with all your heart. I also know that you, like Bill, have to live with your demons everyday of your life.
JACK is stunned silent. He gets up and walks across the room to not allow her to look at his face. He finally rests his hands across the mantle.
JACK: You really mean that, don't you?
ALICE: Why wouldn't I?
JACK: Because...because...(choking on the words) if all that is true, then why...why am I still paying for it? Why is Jennifer paying for it?
OUT on ALICE, turning around to see his reaction.
SCENE THREE: INT. GUEST ROOM-HORTON'S
IN on BILL, anxiously pacing back in forth. He is distant, as if a million miles away, contemplating his next move. He is also juggling with the guilt he feels as a result of JACK'S words, which replay in his head.
We lost a baby, Bill. I lost a son or a daughter because you-YOU-decided that you would play God with mine and Jennifer's lives. You decided to keep us apart...you did!
BILL: (to himself) What have I done?
His cell phone rings and he picks it up quickly.
MAN'S VOICE: (threatening tone) Well, hello Dr. Horton. I see you've made it safely to Salem.
BILL: How do you know where I am?
MAN'S VOICE: I know everything. I also know that you seem to have a little problem, or shall I say big problem?
BILL: (nervous) What are you-
MAN'S VOICE: I'm talking about your son-in-law. It seems Mr. Deveraux has gotten a little lax on his keeping your secret.
BILL: Don't worry about Jack-
MAN'S VOICE: I'm not worried about him in the least. It's you who should be worried.
BILL: What are you talking about?
MAN'S VOICE: Have we forgotten so soon? I'm waiting, Bill. I have been for some time.
BILL: I know, I know. It's just...I'm waiting on Jack and-
MAN'S VOICE: You put far too much faith in that son-in-law of yours.
BILL: I need him...he's...he's the only one who can communicate with you know who.
MAN'S VOICE: He needs to start communicating then. Very fast.
BILL: Or else?
MAN'S VOICE: Or else I'll have done to you and Mr. Jack what I should've had done back in Africa. A fate I'm sure neither of you will be able to enjoy.
BILL: Look, we don't need to get-
MAN'S VOICE: We don't? Last time I checked I was the one running the show here. You need to get me what you owe me and you need to do it rather quickly. You've used up the last of my patience. You know what happens when I get impatient, Bill? I start hurting people...people particularly close to those who hurt me. Someone like that darling daughter of yours and your granddaughter...what's her name...ah, yes, Abigail.
BILL: (growing upset) Don't you dare touch Jennifer or Abby!
MAN'S VOICE: (laughing) Threatening me now? This is rich. Get me what you owe me Bill and you won't have to worry about anything...anything at all. I'll be in touch. (he hangs up, leaving a distraught BILL shaken)
SCENE FOUR: INT. HORTON LIVING ROOM
ALICE: Oh dear...you're talking about Jennifer losing the baby.
JACK: Of course I am. Mrs. Horton...I can't sleep at night knowing that I...that I left her there.
ALICE: But you didn't know, Jack.
JACK: I should've known. I should've been there, helping her...saving her.
ALICE: What could you have done, Jack? Could you have really saved her, saved the baby Jack?
JACK: I...(kicking the fireplace softly)...I don't know. Now I'll never know. (beginning to pace) I keep seeing her crumpled up crying for me and it kills me...it just kills me. If only...
ALICE: If only, what? Jack, I've never advocated your leaving at the drop of a hat but I do know that whatever you were doing had to be important for you to leave your wife and child at home. Listen to me, you did not cause this, Jennifer did not cause this. It just happened. You can't go on the rest of your life thinking that you could have prevented or stopped this. It just wasn't meant to be.
JACK: (shouting) But why...why, dammit? (flashing an apologetic look) Do you remember when we were expecting Abigail?
ALICE: (chuckling) Do I remember it? Jennifer nearly ate me out of house and home.
JACK: (smiling a little) Then you remember how nervous I was, how uneasy I was about being a father?
ALICE: I'd never seen anything like it. You were practically wetting yourself over the prospect of having a child.
JACK: I'd really prefer it if we left it at "frightened". And when she was born I never knew...(eyes misting over) I never knew the love you could have for such a tiny, beautiful thing. My heart...(swallowing hard) my heart grew at least three sizes that day and continues to grow each day that she does. I just couldn't believe that Jennifer and I created such a perfect human being.
ALICE: And the thought of losing another one like her kills you.
JACK: (nodding) I should've been there, Mrs. Horton. I should've been able to save my own child, to be with the one that I already had.
ALICE: You should've (beat)...but you weren't and you can't go on beating yourself up over this. You nor Jennifer should. Tell me, how is she?
JACK: She's dealing. She hasn't told hardly anyone but she's...I've been trying so hard to be there for her but...
ALICE: (outstretching her arms to tell him to come over for a hug) But no one is there for you. You hurt too.
JACK: (nearly crying as he kneels down and hugs her) I hurt...I hurt too. (finally breaking down)
ALICE: (holding him tight and putting his head on her lap) It's alright, Jack...it'll be alright. You just have to be there for each other. For each other.
Behind them in the hallway, BILL comes down the stairs, overwhelmed by what he sees.
SCENE FIVE: INT. HORTON LIVING ROOM
A few minutes has passed. JACK looks very embarrassed crying to Mrs. H. and begins to compose himself.
JACK: (wiping his eyes) I wonder what Dr. Freud would say about that one.
ALICE: (taking his hand) Jack, are you going to be alright?
JACK: I will..(rubbing her hand) I will now.
ALICE: Talk to Jennifer. Tell her what you told me. Tell her everything. She needs to know.
BILL'S ears perk up at this statement and he becomes a little nervous. He clears his throat in the hall.
JACK: (standing up and looking his way) It seems I've overstayed my welcome.
ALICE: Nonsense (turning to see BILL). Bill, how long have you been standing there?
BILL: I just came down. I need to talk to Jack.
ALICE: (looking to JACK and then BILL) I'll leave you two alone...(getting up and squeezing his hand) Remember what I said. (he nods lovingly as she makes her way out of the room. When she passes BILL she gives him a disappointed look).
BILL: (after making sure ALICE has left, he steps in the room) You and my mom must've had a pretty heavy talk. She hasn't looked at me that way since I snuck out of the house when I was sixteen.
JACK: If you're wondering if I told her, don't. I made you a promise and I intend to keep it. Not for your sake, but for Jennifer's.
BILL: (relieved) I appreciate that.
JACK: (waiting for more. When nothing happens) Well, I must be going (picking up his coat)...
JACK: That's my name.
BILL: Jack, don't do this. I really...I really am sorry about Jennifer and the baby and...and everything. I should've never asked you to help me.
JACK: (putting on his coat) No, you shouldn't have.
BILL: I can't believe I'd get so far lost...keeping you away from her. I should've trusted you.
JACK: You should have.
BILL: And the baby? Jack, I practically kill-
JACK: Please don't use that word.
BILL: You know what I mean.
JACK: (not happy) I most certainly do. (stepping around him) Now, if you'll excuse me.
BILL grabs JACK'S arm to stop him.
BILL: He called again.
OUT on JACK, knowing who "he" is and is not thrilled by the turn of events.
SCENE SIX: INT. HORTON LIVING ROOM
JACK: (knocking BILL'S hand off his arm) You can tell "him" that we're not interested. Or is that too hard for you?
BILL: Jack...I can't...you know why.
JACK: Just once. Can you tell him just once?
BILL: I...I owe him.
JACK: You always owe him. How would Steve put it? Oh yes, quit writing checks that your-nevermind.
BILL: Jack, I need your help.
JACK: You keep saying that.
BILL: I mean it. This will be the last time, I swear.
JACK: I swear? Do you know just how little trust I put in your words?
BILL: And you should. I haven't been the most trust-worthy.
JACK: Most? You haven't even been trust-worthy.
BILL: Please. I can't do it alone.
JACK: (pausing to think about it for a minute) You're...you're going to have to. (walking out of the room and slamming the front door).
BILL: (in shock) What am I going to do now?
ALICE: (hearing this last tidbit as she walks in) Yes, Bill, what are you going to do now?
He turns to face her sheepishly as the camera cuts to outside ALICE'S front door.
JACK: (to himself, obviously very torn on this decision) I mean it, Bill...or at least I hope I do. (he sets off down the walk)
END OF EPISODE 70