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KEEPING UP WITH THE DEVERAUX
By Jennifer-Lynn D'Anna
EPISODE 71

SCENE ONE: INT. DEVERAUX LIVING ROOM

It is a few hours later. JENNIFER and ABBY are sitting on the sofa reading a book. JENNIFER is not concentrating very well and keeps glancing over to the door, for JACK has been gone for several hours.

ABBY and JENNIFER: (flipping the last page) And they lived happily ever after.

ABBY: Kind of like you and Daddy, huh?

JENNIFER: (smiling) Well, that depends.

ABBY: (leaning back into the sofa) Are you going to wear white?

JENNIFER: White? (laughing) Baby, what are you talking about?

ABBY: When you and Daddy get married again...are you doing to wear white? My friend Jessica said you can't because you've been married before but she said you might be able to because you were married to Daddy before.

JENNIFER: You know what I think? I think that Jessica and (touching ABBY'S nose) Abigail think about this way too much. What ever happened to worrying about math homework?

ABBY: Oh, we worry about that too.

JENNIFER playfully musses her hair and then gets up to gather up their glasses left over from cookies and milk. Her back is turned when JACK walks in the front door and she doesn't hear him.

ABBY: Mommy?

JENNIFER: Yes, baby?

ABBY: You do want to marry him, don't you? You want to marry Daddy again, right?

JENNIFER turns to her, clearly rattled by the question. In the foyer, JACK is intrigued by her reluctance to answer. He hides behind the corner to hear more.


SCENE TWO: INT. DEVERAUX LIVING ROOM

IN PROGRESS

ABBY: You do love him, don't you?

JENNIFER: (sitting down and putting her arm around her) Of course I love him, but...

ABBY: Then why don't you get married? Why can't we have a wedding and a baby brother?

JENNIFER: Well...we can...it's just it takes time, honey. Daddy and I just got back to the point where...wait a second, I thought I said to quit worrying about this.

ABBY: I know, but...

JACK doesn't like the turn of events so he decides to step back and pretend like he just came in.

JACK: (loudly) Whew, it's really coming down out there! (taking off his coat and looking in the living room where JENNIFER and ABBY are looking at him) Hello ladies. Having a little tete-a-tete, are we?

ABBY: We are.

JENNIFER: Hi Jack. (tentative because he may have heard them) Did you get what you needed to done?

JACK: As well as it could be. (sitting down on the chair) So, what's the word of the day-are we talking hair or makeup or both? Ah, what are we reading (picking up the book)...Gone With the Wind? War and Peace? Oh, Beauty and the Beast. You do know this was written about your mother and me, don't you?

ABBY: (laughing) No, it wasn't.

JENNIFER: (not liking the way he's trying to avoid eye contact with her) You know what, baby, we've got a long night ahead of us, ringing in the New Year and all. Why don't you run upstairs and get Theodore ready for the festivities?

ABBY: Good idea. (hopping off the couch) Maybe I can put him in the new outfit Cousin Julie got me.

JENNIFER: (laughing) How 'bout we stick to bear clothes?

ABBY: (sighing and climbing up the stairs) If I must.

After she leaves, JACK picks up the book again from the table.

JACK: I don't suppose I could talk you into climbing in my lap and reading a story with me, could I?

JENNIFER: Right now I wouldn't touch you with a ten foot pole.

JACK: Hey, what did I do?

JENNIFER: (storming into the kitchen) You know exactly what you did!

JACK: (getting up. To himself) You're right, I do. I just hope you don't. (sighing and loosening his tie, he walks into the kitchen)


SCENE THREE: INT. DEVERAUX KITCHEN

JENNIFER is storming around the kitchen, pulling together their New Year's food. JACK walks in and assesses the situation while leaning on a kitchen chair. Finally, he speaks.

JACK: So?

JENNIFER: (turning to face him) So?

JACK: So are you going to tell me what I've done or am I going to have to stand here and guess?

JENNIFER: (laughing sarcastically) You really don't know, do you?

JACK: Hence the look of confusion.

JENNIFER: When am I going to learn? I start to believe that things are looking up and-

JACK: They are looking up.

JENNIFER: (throwing the dishtowel at him) Correction, they were looking up.

JACK: (grabbing the dishtowel at the last moment) Now she resorts to violence. (beat) I take it your not very happy.

JENNIFER: Unhappy is an understatement.

JACK: Will you...will you PLEASE tell me what's going on? I'm not a mind reader, you know. I leave that to Desiree.

JENNIFER: Desire. (realizing what he just said, she tries to stifle her laughter) How do you do that?

JACK: How do I do what?

JENNIFER: Get me to stop and remember why I fell in love with you in the first place.

JACK: (stepping forward and wrapping his arm around her waist as he breaks into a relieved smile) Well, I guess I do have a knack for it (nuzzling her neck)

JENNIFER: No, Jack, stop...it feels so good, but-(pushing him away) I really am mad at you.

JACK: (upset but moving on) Why?

JENNIFER: Why?

JACK: Why as in the reason you are mad at me, not the letter after X and before Z.

JENNIFER: It's starting again-you're running around keeping secrets, I know it. My father suddenly shows up, you're speaking in hushed tones-

JACK: I have never spoken in hushed tones.

JENNIFER: (throwing him a look), the phone calls from Oliver.

JACK: (alarmed) W...wait...the phone calls from Oliver? You didn't tell me about any phone calls from Oliver.

JENNIFER: Um...I was waiting until-

JACK: You were trying to get to the bottom of it, weren't you? By God, there is some investigative reporter left in you yet.

JENNIFER: This is not the time for jokes, Jack.

JACK: No, no, it's not. It's far from it. What did Oliver say?

JENNIFER: He was just asking about you, wanting to know if I'd heard from my father.

JACK: (grabbing her arms in alarm) What did you tell him?

JENNIFER: I...I told him no, of course. I didn't know my dad was showing up for Christmas. (noticing his nervousness) It's really bad, isn't it?

JACK: (breaking and pacing nervously) It...listen...I

JENNIFER: Will you just tell me?

JACK: (thick with emotion) I can't. (stopping and meeting her eyes) I can't.

JENNIFER: Yes, you can. I know you can.

JACK: It's too dangerous.

JENNIFER: Like I'm not in danger now. Jack, I already know that you're helping my father and that he's in some kind of trouble. Tell me...(quietly) for us.

There is a brief silence as he thinks hard about what she just said.

JACK: For us?

JENNIFER: For us, Jack. I can't go on like this...we can't go on like this. If we have any hope for our future, we have to be able to tell one another the truth.

JACK: (mulling it over) What if, after I tell you, we won't have a future?

JENNIFER: But we will, Jack (taking his hand). We will.

JACK: How can you be so sure?

JENNIFER: How could I not? And if you ever get enough courage to pull that ring out of your pocket and ask me, you'd know that the answer would be yes.

JACK: (embarrassed) You know about that, huh?

JENNIFER: You're not the only sleuth around here, remember?

JACK: (fighting back tears of joy) I remember.

JENNIFER: So, Jack, what's it going to be? Are we facing this, whatever it is, together?

JACK: (thinking about it for a minute and then smiling as if a huge weight is taken off his shoulder) I wouldn't want it any other way.

JENNIFER stands on her tiptoes and kisses him.

JACK: (while kissing) Any other way...


SCENE FOUR: INT. DEVERAUX KITCHEN

JACK: (getting lost in the kissing) You know, I could get used to this. Is this what happens when you tell the truth?

JENNIFER: (breaking away and smiling) No, it's much, much more-(sighing) Okay, Jack, what's going on?

JACK: Well, you were kissing me and I was clearly enjoying it....(face dropping). Oh, you mean the aforementioned danger, don't you?

JENNIFER nods.

JACK: (clearing his throat and pulling a chair out for her) Do...do sit.

JENNIFER: I'd rather stand.

JACK: I'd rather you sit....(weakly) please.

JENNIFER sinks into the chair as JACK begins to pace.

JACK: You're not going to like what I have to say.

JENNIFER: I don't care. It's the fact that you're saying it that matters.

JACK: (leaning on the counter) Is it really, though? I know you said it is but I...I can't help wondering if what I say will do more harm than good.

JENNIFER: Try me.

JACK: (pausing for what seems like an eternity and only speaking after looking at her lovingly) You're right. This has to be for us.

JENNIFER: For us.

JACK: I just hope there is an "us" after all is said and done. (growing serious) Jennifer, your father...your father has a problem.

JENNIFER: He has several, Jack.

JACK: (kneeling in front of her and giving her a look to not be so flip) I'm serious, he has a real problem, one that is more far-reaching than you'd ever guess. One that will change your view of him forever.

JENNIFER: (shaken by his seriousness but wanting him to go on, she takes his hands in her lap) And this, Jack, will change my view on you forever.

They stare deeply into each other's eyes for a moment and Jack, knowing she's right, sighs and gets up and begins to tell the story. He is pacing and talking very animatedly, and stopping every once in awhile to lean on the counter or chair. We don't hear the actual words, instead the action and reaction shots are done to a song and the different stages of the talk fade into one another. The song is from Jack's point of view and his hope that when he is finished, Jennifer will understand exactly why he did what he had to do and that all of this, as warped as it was, was for her and Abigail.

As the music starts, Jack has just delivered the news to Jennifer after going around it. She tries to hide back tears and mouths "what" and his heart breaks for her. He didn't want to be the one to tell her this...ever.

When the road gets dark
And you can no longer see
Just let my love throw a spark
And have a little faith in me

He walks over to her and tries to hold her, but she will not uncross her arms and is insisting he go on with the story. Shrugging in frustration, he fingers the side of the counter, trying to avoid looking at her and making it harder and recounts the events in Africa.

The scene fades into a little while later and Jennifer is standing now, raising her voice and waving her arm. She is upset. Jack flinches as she rants and shoves his hands into his pockets but doesn't try to stop her.

And when the tears you cry
Are all you can believe
Just give these loving arms a try
And have a little faith in me
And

She turns her back to him and crosses her arms again. He pauses and walks over to touch her shoulder. It hurts her not to respond but she doesn't know how to right now. When he realizes she's not going to melt, he drops his hand sadly to his side.

The scene fades into a little while later. She is now sitting again and he is kneeling in front of her as she cries. Abby walks in and they compose themselves as best as possible as the chorus plays. She excitedly pulls Jack's arm out and shows him the time on his watch and he and Jennifer share a momentary look at each other, wondering if they really can "celebrate".

CHORUS:
Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me

Abby is insistent and pulls the both of them by the hand into the living room. Reluctantly, they give in.

When your secret heart
Cannot speak so easily
Come here darlin'

Abby puts a New Year's hat on Jack, who switches it for a tiara and tries to get Jennifer to smile. It's not working.

From a whisper start
To have a little faith in me

As they watch the countdown and try to act excited, Jack's face is focused on Jennifer's, which is full of pain over knowing what her father and he did. As the clock strikes midnight, Abby jumps up and down and Jack and Jennifer both kiss her. She pushes the two of them together for a kiss.

And when your back's against the wall
Just turn around and you will see

Both nervously smiling, they tentatively kiss and Jack, knowing that she needs someone to hold her, takes her hand in his and squeezes it. We see a lone tear fall down Jennifer's cheek.

Just have a little faith in me

As the chorus plays, Jennifer pulls away and scoots Abby off to bed. Following her up the stairs, she takes a long emotionally charged look at Jack, signaling that they are not through with their talk. She walks up the stairs as he sighs deeply, hoping they can really get through this.

Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me

Fade into a little while later, Jack is cleaning up in the kitchen and Jennifer walks in. He slowly turns and looks her in the eye. They remain this way throughout the fade, waiting to see who will break first.

Well, I've been loving you for such a long time girl
Expecting nothing in return
Just for you to have a little faith in me
You see time, time is our friend
'Cause for us there is no end
And all you gotta do is have a little faith in me

Waiting with baited breath, Jack goes to speak but Jennifer walks over and places her finger on his lip and shakes her head no. As she leans her head against his chest and lets him envelop her, he looks relieved and is crying tears of joy. He can't believe he actually told the truth and that she is still willing to work with him. He can't believe she placed all her faith in him after all was on the table.

I said I will hold you up, I will hold you up
Your love gives me strength enough
So have a little faith in me

END OF EPISODE 71

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