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KEEPING UP WITH THE DEVERAUXES
By Jennifer-Lynn D'Anna
EPISODE 76

It is about two weeks later. JACK has been working side by side with BILL for NIGEL, who's pressuring them to hurry. JENNIFER, meanwhile, unbeknownst to JACK has been doing a little sidework of her own. Her non-interest in the mystery worries him greatly.

SCENE ONE: EXT. SALEM PLACE-EARLY AFTERNOON

JACK and JENNIFER are walking, drinking coffee as they go along. The mood is light and both are in fairly good moods.

JENNIFER: (stopping. JACK walks ahead of her, deep in thought) Jack? Woo-hoo, Jack!? (making silly hand gestures to him when he finally turns around)

JACK: (walking back over to her) I'm sorry. I guess I was just lost in thought.

JENNIFER: (overlapping)--thought. I know. You've been lost in thought several times these past couple of weeks.

JACK: (thinking she's upset) I...I'm sorry. It's just...

JENNIFER: It's okay. You don't have to talk about it.

JACK: Jennifer, it's not like I don't want to talk about it, it's just I can't. (beat) You know that. I don't want you any more involved than you have to be.

JENNIFER: (overlapping) -than I have to be. (sighing) Jack, I said it was okay. I know you can't. (they resume walking) This getting lost in your thoughts has been rather good for us. It gives us a break from, you know, (searching for the right word and smiling slyly) things.

JACK: (stopping and raising an eyebrow at her suggestion) Things? I'll have you know I'd rather be doing those things you so cleverly speak of right now. I like those things. You like those things. I'm no expert, but I think we do those things we do rather well. When this is all through, I promise, we'll do those things all the time. In fact, you won't even remember a time without those things.

JENNIFER: (giggling) I know. (spotting HOPE at the Java Cafe) Oh, look, there's Hope. (waving and turning towards him. With a certain sadness in her voice, like she doesn't want to leave his side) I should go.

JACK: (matching her tone) You should.

JENNIFER: (lingering on for a second later) I'll see you later.

JACK: Yes...later. (gives him a quick peck on the cheek and scoots away) Oh Jennifer? (she turns towards him) I...I...(clearing throat, as remembering he's in public) Maybe later we could do some of those...(coughing) things you were talk-(as she breaks into a wide, embarrassed smile, he waves, watching her walk away before turning the corner).

JENNIFER: (sitting down across from an amused HOPE at the Java Café) Brrr...it's cold out.

HOPE: (playful) Not if you were looking at Jack. You'd think the man was about to combust.

JENNIFER: (laughing; embarrassed) What?

HOPE: You heard me. The two of you were making quite a spectacle of yourself.

JENNIFER: You saw that?

HOPE: Who didn't? No, it wasn't that bad. I really am happy for you two. You've weathered so much and now you've come to your, what was it you said in your poem? Oh, yes, your "hour of happiness". You deserve it.

JENNIFER: (looking down, avoiding HOPE'S eyes) Well, you do too. I mean, after all you and Bo went through with JT and Isaac and...Hope, I'm an awful cousin, how are you?

HOPE: No, let's back up for a second, how are you-really?

JENNIFER: What do you mean? You just said yourself that I looked happy.

HOPE: Jenn, looking and being happy are too different things. I saw the way you looked down when I mentioned that you and Jack were finally happy. Not a good sign. Now, (leaning in and resting her chin on her hand) are you going to tell your favorite cousin about it or are am I going to have to weasel it out of you?


SCENE TWO: EXT. SALEM PLACE

About five minutes after JACK leaves JENNIFER, he runs into COLIN coming out of the coffee shop.

JACK: Hey, watch where you're-(seeing who it is)-oh, it's you.

COLIN: Don't look so surprised, Jack, we do live in the same town after all. We're bound to run into each other.

JACK: (cocking his head to the side, folding his arms and rubbing his chin as if in deep thought) You know, now that I think about it, moving would be good. Perhaps a little chalet on the Seine, a little cottage-

COLIN: Jack, you don't have to move. I'm sure we can coexist without killing one another.

JACK: Not if you keep giving me black eyes like you did at Thanksgiving. I wouldn't exactly call them love taps. (when COLIN doesn't get it) It's a gesture of lo-nevermind, you wouldn't get it. (beat) What are you doing here anyway? Don't you ever work?

COLIN: I could ask you the same question myself.

JACK: (folding his newspaper under his arm and shoving his hands in his pockets) Touché.

COLIN: Look, Jack, how many times do I have to tell you that I'd like to be friends?

JACK: Friends as in the kind that braid each others' hair or friends as in the kind that stab another in the back? Well, color you Brutus.

COLIN: (to himself) Why do I even try?

JACK: That's a question I've been asking myself for a long time. Why do you try, Colin, when it's so painfully clear that nobody is reciprocating? You have a fiancée, why don't you just marry her and go back to England or Ireland or wherever you came from?

COLIN: Why don't you tell Jennifer about your exploits with her father in Africa? Then maybe you could go back alone to wherever you came from.

JACK: Ah, but you forget, I come from Salem. This is my home. I have friends and insiders everywhere who owe Harper or me in one way or another (noting COLIN'S scared look). This is my turf, Dr. Murphy. I have the home team advantage. (folding his arms) Besides, who's to say I haven't told Jennifer anyway?

COLIN: (laughing) You'd be a fool to do that.

JACK: I'd be a fool not to. Surely you know that Jennifer and I have miscommunication issues. I mean, that had to come across during all your little fireside chats.

COLIN: (not knowing whether to believe him or not) You'd never tell her unless you were forced into it.

JACK: Would I now? I think Bill Horton's mysterious Christmas appearance can be seen as an enforcer. By the way, good work on the note, chum. I almost believed it was me who wrote that little note.

COLIN: (playing dumb) Bill's back in town?

JACK: Oh, come on, you knew that. Somewhere in between writing your prescriptions and memoirs, you found the time to pen a note from moi, inviting the good doctor to come home for the holidays. You did a good job, too, except you need to work on your j's. (rubbing his chin) Funny, I remember when I kidnapped Jennifer from her almost-wedding with that wretched barrio boy Emilio and working on her j's...oh, well, you get my point.

COLIN: You honestly think that I forged a letter from you?

JACK: Well, let's see, I know I'm fresh out of mortal enemies right now, so I think it's safe to assume it was you. You're not a mortal enemy of mine but you come fairly close.

COLIN: You are a piece of work, you know that?

JACK: I am, aren't I? (waving him along) Now skee-daddle, I'm sure you have patients to see, charts to read-

COLIN: (shaking his head in disbelief and walking off) G'day, Jack.

JACK: (calling after him) Oh and Colin? The J's have a bit more of a loop to them (making gestures with his hand). Like this.

COLIN doesn't say a word, just walks off angrily. JACK smiles confidently to himself and begins to walk along, whistling.


SCENE THREE: EXT. SALEM PLACE- JAVA CAFÉ

IN PROGRESS

JENNIFER: (immersing herself in the menu) Hope, don't be silly, nothing's going on.

HOPE: Jenn, Gram said that you were not happy with Uncle Bill right now.

JENNIFER: No, I'm not.

HOPE: She also said that he was a lot of the reason that you and Jack split up back in Africa.

JENNIFER: He was. (sighing) Look, can we not talk about this right now?

HOPE: (disturbed by her reluctance) Yeah, sure. I just thought you wanted to share.

JENNIFER: I do, Hope, it's just...there's a lot going on right now. Jack and I are-

HOPE: You're not having problems, are you?

JENNIFER: No...no.

HOPE: Then Jack told you what he was hiding?

JENNIFER: Yes. (laughing) You're doing it again. Hope, can you not play detective for at least five minutes?

HOPE: You're right. I'm sorry. (buttering her toast) What do you want to talk about?

JENNIFER: You. Julie called the other day and said that Glen was considering bringing J.T. back to you and Bo.

HOPE: He is.

JENNIFER: (not seeing a smile) C'mon, aren't you happy about that? You might get both your babies.

HOPE: I don't want to get my hopes up. Jenn, you don't know what it's like to lose a child. (tearfully placing her hand on the table)

JENNIFER: (placing her hand over hers) I do, Hope. I know what it's like to lose a child.

OUT on HOPE'S look of confusion.


SCENE FOUR: EXT. SALEM PLACE-JAVA CAFÉ

The waitress brings their food and walks away. After making sure she's gone, HOPE speaks.

HOPE: Jenn, what are you-

JENNIFER: I'm talking about losing a child. Jack and I lost one back in Africa.

HOPE: I'm sorry. I never knew. I feel so awful.

JENNIFER: Don't. Jack didn't even know until my birthday. I should have told him sooner.

HOPE: How are you?

JENNIFER: Dealing. (smiling) Jack's been wonderful, actually. Very attentive. When he found out, he wanted to make sure I was okay. I am....now. I'm seeing Marlena about it.

HOPE: Good. Is that helping?

JENNIFER: (smiling a little) A bit. There's just so much going on nowadays that I really haven't had time to take everything in.

HOPE: (nodding) The stuff with your father, huh?

JENNIFER: (laughing) There you go, again, with the detective stuff.

HOPE: (laughing and putting her soda down) I can't help it, I'm half-Horton, you know.

JENNIFER: (sharing her laughter) I know. (looking at her watch) Oh, shoot, I didn't realize it was this late. (getting up) Hope, can you have this wrapped up for me?

HOPE: But you just got here-

JENNIFER: (hurrying away from the table and calling back) I know. There's something I have to do, though. Give Isaac a kiss from me-

OUT on HOPE, wondering what she's up to.


SCENE FIVE: INT. SALEM SPECTATOR

Workers are hustling and bustling around their desks. JACK and ABBY turn the corner, holding hands.

JACK: Ah, the smell of the presses, the sound of fingers tapping away at their keyboards-(noting ABBY'S unamused look) What?

ABBY: Daddy, what are we doing here?

JACK: We are...we are doing a little research for something Daddy's working on. I thought you liked helping Daddy out.

ABBY: I do...(looking around confused) but why here?

JACK: Why not? This is where it all began, Abigail.

ABBY: Huh?

JACK: Your Mommy and I. This is our paper.

ABBY: (eyes lighting up) It is?

JACK: It most certainly is. (kneeling down beside her and pointing towards his old office door) I fell in love with your Mommy the second she walked through that door.

ABBY: You did?

JACK: Well, maybe not that very second but soon after. This was all to be yours, too...until Hawk and his stupid scam came along.

ABBY: Who's Hawk?

JACK: Long, drawn-out, better if forgotten story. Now, will you be a good girl and help me out today? Will you be my cub reporter?

ABBY: (jokingly) If I must.

JACK: Yes. (mocking her) If you must.

WOMAN: (walking over) May I help you?

JACK: (nervous laughter as he gets up) You most certainly can. (extending his hand) Jack Deveraux, I'm sure you've heard all about me...(when she doesn't answer)...son of Harper Deveraux? Senator? I used to work here.

WOMAN: A former reporter?

JACK: Yes. And editor-in-chief and owner.

WOMAN: Oh, that Jack Deveraux. (bending over and pinching a clearly annoyed ABBY'S face) And who's this little angel?

ABBY: (sarcastically with JACK looking on proudly) Abigail Johanna Deveraux, resident child angel.

WOMAN: Well, aren't you precious? (to JACK) How can I help you, Mr. Deveraux?

JACK: (stepping behind ABBY and prompting her forward) Well, you see, I'm in town on business and was hoping to show the child what I used to do and some of her mother's and my, well, our old articles. I was wondering if we could use your research library.

WOMAN: (mulling this over) Well, I need to see your press badges.

JACK: That's the thing. I'm...I...we don't have any with us being as we're on vacation and all.

WOMAN: I'm really not supposed to let anyone in.

ABBY: (catching her cue and putting on her sweetest voice ever) Please, Miss, I want to read their stories. My Mommy was a great reporter and she'd be happy to know that Daddy brought me here.

WOMAN: Oh well...how can I deny a face like that? Let me get the key and I'll be right back.

As she walks off, JACK smiles down to her. She smiles back, knowing she did her job well.

WOMAN: (walking back over with the key) Alright, let's go. And don't tell anyone about this.

JACK: (looking to ABBY) Oh, we won't.

Taking her hand and proud of her, they follow the WOMAN down the hall.


SCENE SIX: INT. HOSPITAL

JENNIFER is waiting in the Nurses' Lounge and is nervously pouring a cup of coffee when COLIN comes in.

COLIN: Jennifer? I was surprised when the nurses said you needed to see me. (looking around the room) You and Jack are fond of using this room, aren't you?

JENNIFER: Huh?

COLIN: Nevermind. I...I'm glad to see you.

JENNIFER: Yeah...me too. Listen, Colin, I didn't come here to chit-chat. I...I need your help.

COLIN: Anything, Jennifer.

JENNIFER: I know you know what went on in Africa between my father and Jack.

COLIN: Look, Jennifer-

JENNIFER: No, Colin, I already know. And I know what they were up to.

COLIN: (shocked that JACK told her) So you know about the tomb raiding?

JENNIFER: Yeah. (beat) I need to know what you know.

COLIN: No more than you do.

JENNIFER: Don't lie to me, Colin. Jack said you were making threats.

COLIN: I was, but using the information that you know already. Nothing more.

JENNIFER: And the other day at the printing place?

COLIN: I was honestly trying to make conversation. How is the jewelry endeavor coming along?

JENNIFER: Can it, Colin. You know there's no jewelry anything.

COLIN: But the girls said-

JENNIFER: (pleading with him) You honestly don't know anything more? Nothing?

COLIN: (lying convincingly) I don't, Jennifer.

JENNIFER: Would you tell me if you did?

COLIN: In a heartbeat.

JENNIFER: Okay, I've got to go. (sighing) I have my work cut out for me. (when she's at the door)

COLIN: I can help.

JENNIFER: What?

COLIN: I can help you if you'd like. I already know what Bill was up to and nobody knows the land better than I do.

JENNIFER: I...I don't think that would be a good idea.

COLIN: (laying it on thick) Jennifer, I'm a good man. Let me prove that to you. You let me once.

JENNIFER: And I paid for it later.

COLIN: Please, Jennifer.

JENNIFER: I'll...I'll...I'll think about it, okay? (confused) I've got to go.

She leaves, wondering if she should take him up on his help. Outside the door, she sighs heavily and then walks away.


SCENE SEVEN: INT. RESEARCH LIBRARY-THE SPECTATOR

About 20 minutes into their research. In the dark room, JACK is sitting at a microfiche machine. ABBY is sitting across the table from him, kicking under the table, bored.

JACK: I don't know, Abigail, I get the sense that you're bored.

ABBY: (stops kicking immediately) Sorry.

JACK: There's nothing here you want to look at? No more articles by your mother?

ABBY: Not really. I'm hungry.

JACK: Tell you what, when we leave here, we'll go to Buddy's for dinner, okay? Will that suffice, my equally cunning and conniving progeny?

ABBY: It'll do. (beat, looking around) Do they have anything in here on you?

JACK: (trying to get back to work but annoyed at being interrupted) Like what?

ABBY: Like articles? Did you do anything newsworthy?

JACK: Everything I do is newsworthy, but no, you won't find anything much on me (lying because he doesn't want her to see the articles on the rape).

ABBY: Maybe I can. (going to punch in his name on the computer) D-e-v-e-r

JACK: (grabbing her fingers) How about Johnson? Why don't we look up something about your cousin Stephanie? Maybe her birth announcement. (typing in "Johnson births" on the computer). There you go.

JACK settles in to work and ABBY begins reading aloud.

ABBY: Mr. and Mrs. Steven Earl Johnson would like to announce the birth of their daughter Stephanie-hey, Daddy, is this a picture of Uncle Steve?

JACK half-looks at the screen.

JACK: Yeah, it's him. You've seen pictures of him before.

ABBY: He just looks different here.

JACK: Younger, maybe?

ABBY: Maybe. He just looks like that guy.

JACK: (half listening and working) What guy?

ABBY: That guy that visited Colin that once.

JACK: (turning towards her, interested) What are you talking about?

ABBY: There was this guy who visited Colin once at his house. I was playing outside and I saw them through the window. He looks just like him.

JACK: Do you remember hearing anything? Did they say anything?

ABBY: No, I was too far away. I just remember the patch and the way he looked at me.

JACK: The way who looked at you?

ABBY: The man. When he left, he stared at me for a little while. That's when Colin told me to go home and to keep quiet.

JACK: He threatened you?

ABBY: No, he said that he was working on a surprise for you and Mommy and that I'd ruin it. I ruined it, didn't I?

JACK: No, Abigail, you didn't ruin anything.

ABBY: (pausing and then trying to read his face, which is very interested) Daddy, can I go to the bathroom?

JACK: Yeah. It's down on your left. Come right back, okay?

ABBY: I will. (at the door) Daddy?

JACK: Yes, Abigail?

ABBY: Gideon. I think his name was Mr. Gideon. I'm sorry I don't know more.

JACK: (thick with emotion) That's okay. Run to the bathroom and we'll get to Buddy's, alright?

ABBY nods and runs out. JACK, pondering what she said, leans forward and touches her computer screen where a picture of STEVE, KAYLA and BABY STEPHANIE is frozen in time.

JACK: (to himself, unconvincingly) It couldn't be. It just couldn't be.


SCENE EIGHT: INT. HOSPITAL

COLIN is walking down a flight of stairs into the parking garage and is carrying a few parcels of mail in his hand, absentmindedly flipping through them. He comes across a handwritten envelope and opens it, reading aloud:

COLIN: Gideon is getting restless. Do what you must. He needs to know. (folding the letter and shoving it in his pocket) (to himself) Jennifer, you've got to let me help you. My life and yours depends on it.

END OF EPISODE 76

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