Scene 151 The foyer of the Quartermaine mansion. Monica, surrounded by packed suitcases, is waiting for Reggie to bring her car up. AJ approaches her; they hug. AJ: So where are you going? Monica: Well, obviously not to the Port Charles Hotel. AJ: Mom, I’m so sorry. Monica: I’m sorry too. So you’re going to stay here? AJ shrugs. AJ: I’m moving out. I don’t know when, but soon. Monica: You can always come with me. AJ: I might do that. I’ll stop by the hospital tomorrow; you can tell me where you ended up. Monica: AJ ... I haven’t told anyone what happened. AJ: Neither have I. Monica: If you want to keep that secret to yourself for the rest of your life, I won’t try to talk you out of it. You have a lot to lose by denouncing the Quartermaine name. I won’t deny that. AJ: But I’m not a Quartermaine. I don’t know who I am. AJ pauses for a beat, looking Monica straight in the eye. AJ: So who is my father? Monica looks away. Monica: I’m not ready to talk about that. AJ: Why not? Monica: Because, my son, that would open up a whole new can of worms that, quite frankly, I’m just not ready to deal with yet. AJ: Okay. Then I won’t push you. Monica: Thank you. Reginald comes through the front door. Reggie: The car is ready, Dr. Quartermaine. Monica: Okay. Reginald starts taking Monica’s bags to the car. Monica and AJ hug again. AJ: Take care of yourself, Mom. Monica: I always do. AJ: I’ll see you later. As Reginald gathers the rest of her bags, Monica walks out. Reggie follows her and shuts the door behind him. AJ stares at the shut door, then turns around and starts to walk into the living room, but his eye is caught by the sight of Alan, standing at the top of the stairs and looking upset. AJ glares at him. Fade to black. Scene 152 The Quartermaine mansion, a direct continuation of the previous scene. AJ and Alan are glaring at each other, Alan at the top of the stairs. AJ: You can come down now. She’s gone. Alan: I wasn’t hiding from her. AJ: Sure you were. You’re a coward, and you can’t face up to what you’ve done. Alan: How *dare* you call me a coward! He rushes down the stairs to confront AJ. AJ: What are you going to do, hit me? Alan: I’d love to knock some sense into you for once. AJ: Go ahead and try, *Alan.* There’s nothing holding me back. Alan sizes up AJ, realizes he’s in much better shape and has that boxer-history to boot, and backs down. AJ: I didn’t think so. AJ turns to go into the living room, but Alan grabs his shoulder. Alan: Don’t walk out on me. I’m not done with you yet. AJ violently shrugs off Alan’s hand. AJ: You’re not done with me? That’s a joke. You were finished with me the day you found out I wasn’t your son after all. For the past 25 years, all you’ve done is go through the motions. Alan: That’s not true. If I didn’t care about you, I would have let you rot alongside your bottle of scotch. AJ: Isn’t that exactly what you did do? Alan: I tried with you, AJ. I tried as hard as I knew how. AJ: Obviously it wasn’t good enough. Not then, and certainly not now. Alan: Okay, so I wasn’t the perfect father. I’m sorry! You grew up in this house; you saw the kind of role model I had. And you weren’t the perfect son either. And please don’t tell me how well you would have turned out if I hadn’t switched the blood tests. Your mother’s already given me that particular lecture. AJ: You’re not my father and I’m not your son, so don’t blame Grand -- Edward for the way you treated me. You must have hated me from the day I was born. Every time you looked at me, it reminded you that I wasn’t your son. Alan: That’s not true, AJ. I pushed it out of my mind, all out of my mind. I never let myself think about it! AJ: Then maybe you *should have* thought about it! Instead of subconsciously trying to sabotage me. Alan: Alright, that’s it, I’ve had it. I’ve had it with trying to reason with you, with trying to explain what I did, how I felt. You’re obviously intent on using this situation to your advantage. Poor, little fatherless AJ, he only turned out the way he did because of big bad Alan. Well, grow up! I can’t change what I did anymore than I could change who you are! Forgive me for giving you the most powerful name in the state; forgive me for your multi-million dollar trust fund! Forgive me for loving you and wanting you to be everything that I know you’re capable of! AJ: Don’t tell me you love me. Not now. AJ starts walking to the door. AJ: I can’t take this anymore. I’ve got to get out of here. Alan: Where are you going? AJ: What do you care? Alan: Please don’t go somewhere to drink, AJ. It’s not worth it. I’m not worth it. AJ: Now that’s the most intelligent thing you’ve said all night. AJ storms out, Alan looks after him helplessly. Finally he collapses on the stairs like a man with all the life drained out of him. Fade to black. Scene 153 Kelly’s the next morning. Emily is having breakfast at one of the back tables. Mark comes up behind her and puts his hands over her eyes. Emily: Lucky? Mark: Guess again. Emily: I don’t know ..... Jason? Mark: One more try. Emily: Oh, wait, I know! Mark. Mark takes his hands off her face, grins broadly, and sits down next to her. Mark: You remember me. I’m surprised. Emily: You’re not exactly forgetable. Mark: I know hundreds of people who would disagree with you. Atleast they would if they could remember who I was. Emily giggles. Mark: You have a charming laugh. She giggles again. Mark: So why are you here so early? Alan told me that Cook makes everyone a special breakfast, every day. Emily: I had to get out of there. Last night was just awful. Mark: What happened? Emily: Monica moved out. I think she and Alan are getting divorced. Mark is genuinely shocked. Mark: You’re kidding! Why? Emily: I don’t know. Monica said Alan had been lying to her about something. I don’t know what. She did say it wasn’t about you, though. She wouldn’t tell me. I told her she was lucky that she could leave. People lie to me all the time, and I have to stick around. Mark: I’ll never lie to you, Emily. I promise. He reaches for her hand and squeezes it. Emily: It’s going to be awful around there, I know it. Alan’s going to be all upset. AJ’s started drinking again. I’m not supposed to know that, but I do. And Jason gave up on all of us a year ago. Edward’s just plain mean. Ned hasn’t cared about anyone since Lois left. The only decent person in that whole house is Lila. So I’m just going to spend a lot of time in my room, with my dog, with the door shut. Mark: That sounds really lonely. Emily: I’ve been lonely since my mom died. That was almost two years ago .... Monica and Alan tried for awhile. But they always have something going on. They don’t have a lot of time for me. Besides, I’m not their real daughter. How much could they really love me, anyway? Mark: I’m sure they love you a lot. In their own way. No one could be around you for a long time, and not love you. Emily: You are the nicest person I have ever met. Mark: That goes both ways. Listen, I have an idea. Alan’s my father and I want to get to know him better. But I want to get to know you, too. Since Monica’s not going to be around anymore, why don’t I start stopping by the house regularly? I can hang out with Alan and make sure you’re not too lonely. Emily: I’d really like that a lot! Mark squeezes her hand again. Mark: So would I. Mark gives her a meaningful smile. Emily looks down and blushes; on some level, she realizes his interest in her isn’t purely brotherly, but she doesn’t know what to do with it. Fade to black. Scene 154 Later that same morning, Rick’s office at the hospital. Rick is doing paperwork when AJ knocks and walks in. Rick gives him a questioning look. AJ: You got a second? Rick: Certainly. Come sit down. AJ walks closer to Rick’s desk, but doesn’t sit down, preferring to pace instead. AJ: I just wanted to thank you for keeping your mouth shut to my mom. With you two working together, I know that must have been hard. Rick: It was. But I made you a promise. Atleast that was one promise I was able to keep. AJ: Well, it’s all out there now. I told her everything. Did she tell you? Rick (grimacing): She mentioned it. She didn’t give me any of the details, though. AJ: I confronted her. And you were right, it wasn’t what I thought at all. My mother didn’t give me that birthmark. It was Alan. I should have known, you know? He’s been such a jerk to me my entire life. Rick: I’m sorry. I wish -- oh, nevermind. AJ: My mother never had any idea. I’ve never seen her so upset in my life. Not even when she was fighting breast cancer. It was like someone had pulled a plug somewhere and just drained everything right out of her. Rick: I know how she feels. AJ looks at Rick in surprise, finally catching onto some of the comments he’s making. He thinks about it for a moment, but then decides not to pursue it. AJ: She moved out last night. I think she’s going to divorce him. Atleast that’s what she says now. But she might change her mind. She has before. Rick: AJ -- AJ: Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for letting me handle this my way. I could have done a better job, but I needed to do it myself. Rick: I understand. AJ, did your mother tell you anything else? AJ: Like what? Rick: Did she tell you anything about your real father? AJ: She said that losing him was one of the most painful losses of her life. But she didn’t say anything else. Rick: And you told her that you had confided in me. AJ: Yes; it was no big deal. Rick shakes his head in exasperation. Rick: She chewed me out yesterday. Told me she was sick of all the lies and the deceit. Well, so am I. AJ: What do you mean? Rick: If she’s not willing to tell you the truth, then I will. I’m damned tired of all the lies as well. AJ: What truth? About my father? Do you know who he is? Rick: You could say I know him better than anyone. AJ and Rick lock eyes as the truth dawns on AJ. AJ looks shocked, pale as a ghost. AJ: Are you my father? Fade to black. Scene 155 The clinic, about the same time as the previous scene. Lesley walks in and is surprised to see Alan there. Lesley: Gee, I thought ER was where all the action is. Are you slumming it with me today? Alan: Not slumming. More like hiding. Lesley: I can’t say I blame you. You probably have all sorts of people out for your blood. Alan: You heard. Lesley: Rick didn’t spare one detail, unfortunately. Alan: I never thought it would come out after all this time. Frankly, I had put the whole episode out of my mind so completely, I’d almost forgotten he wasn’t my son. Lesley: Well, Alan, if you’re looking for someone else to blame you, it’s not me. For some reason, it seems like just yesterday that we were back in the middle of that mess. I wanted to kill the both of them. Alan: I tried to. Lesley: I remember. You were very good to me during that time. Even with all the anger you were carrying around, you never put me in the middle of it. Alan: Oh, but I did, Lesley. If I had just given up, let Rick and Monica go live happily ever after .... Well, who knows. Rick must really hate me. I’ve had the feeling, for the past few weeks, that he knew, but I didn’t have the nerve to confront him. Lesley: I’m sure you can understand why I really don’t care what Rick feels anymore. Unfortunately he still has that need to explain everything to me. You know, you’d think he would realize that this whole thing was painful enough the first time around. I don’t need to hear the same justifications all over again. Alan: You sound very bitter towards him. Shouldn’t you be directing that bitterness towards me? Lesley: Why? *You* haven’t made a career out of cheating on me. Alan: You can hardly call what happened 25 years ago a career. Lesley: I’m not talking about 25 years ago. I’m talking about right now! And he has the nerve -- the unmitigated gall -- to feed me the exact same lines he did when this whole thing first blew up. “We tried to fight it .... we were meant to be together ... “ blah, blah, blah. You know, he even had the nerve to tell me that after he found out about AJ, he couldn’t help himself anymore. You’d think after all this time, he could have thought up something original. Alan: Lesley, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Lesley: Rick and Monica. You know, Alan, I really wish you had just left well enough alone. I didn’t come back from the dead just to relive the worst period of my life all over again. Alan: I think you’re going to have to spell this one out for me. Lesley: Oh, my god, you don’t know. Monica didn’t tell you? Gosh, you know, why doesn’t that surprise me? That woman would never tell the truth if she could think up a decent lie instead. Alan: Monica learned the truth about AJ a few days ago. She left me. She didn’t tell me anything else. What else is there to tell? Lesley: Oh, how about the fact that she was having an affair with my husband? Alan: What!! Lesley: Rick confessed the whole mess to me. Once I caught him in a lie about where he was, he couldn’t get the words out fast enough. How much he loves her. How hard they tried to fight it. You know, Alan, I understand completely why you tried to kill them. Because lord knows I had to stop myself from strangling him. Alan: I can’t believe this. Lesley: Why not? Because Monica’s been such a devoted wife to you all these years? Alan: She swore to me that nothing was going on between them. And I believed her. Like a fool, I believed her. I suppose they’re together right now, laughing at the two of us. At how stupid we were. Lesley: I don’t think so. Alan: I wouldn’t put it past them. I wouldn’t put anything past them. Lesley: Neither would I. But Rick told me that Monica walked out on him. She couldn’t forgive him for not telling her the truth about AJ. Alan: She walked out on him? That’s hard to believe. Well, perhaps that gives me some breathing room ... Lesley: Alan, what are you saying? Alan: If I can forgive her for this affair, she might forgive me for what I did 25 years ago. Lesley: You’ve got to be kidding. You want her back? Alan: She’s my whole life, Lesley. I thought you understood that. Lesley: I understand that you’re the world’s biggest masochist. Get over it, Alan! She’s not worth it. Alan: What are you going to do? Lesley: I’m getting on with my life. You should do the same. Alan: I just have to give it one last chance. After everything we’ve had together, she owes me that much. Lesley: Come on, Alan! Even if you talked her into coming back home, a few months later, she’d have someone else on the side. Give up on her! Before she makes you do something you’ll regret for the rest of your life. Alan: You mean, trying to kill her again. Lesley: That’s exactly what I mean. Alan: I assure you, it will never come to that again. Never again. Lesley shrugs. Lesley: Just be careful. Will you promise me that? Alan: I’ll be careful. I promise. Alan walks out the door, Lesley gives him a concerned look. Fade to black. Scene 156 The 7th floor Nurses Station, a few minutes after the previous scene. Alan approaches Amy. Alan: Has my wife checked in yet today? Amy: No, she hasn’t. But your son’s here, looking for her, too. Alan looks confused. Amy: AJ. Alan: Oh, yes, of course. Amy: Sounds like you’re having a hard time keeping track of everyone. Alan: You don’t know the half of it. He turns around; Victoria is standing behind him. Seeing her, Alan tenses up, still feeling badly for what transpired between them a few nights previously. Alan: Victoria, I didn’t expect to see you here today. What can I do for you? Victoria: Actually, I came to see Monica. Alan: I don’t think that’s such a good idea. Victoria: Oh, it’s nothing personal! I was doing research on a cardiology conference, and the organizers listed her as a reference. So I just wanted to ask her a few questions. Alan: She’s not here. Victoria: Oh. Hmmmm. On second thought, maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. She probably wouldn’t be civilized enough to talk to me. Alan: Civility has never been Monica’s strong suit. Victoria: So much for settling differences for the sake of the children. Oh, well, there’s another doctor here who’s attended the conference every year for the past ten years as well. Maybe I’ll ask him. Alan: Really, who’s that? Victoria: Dr. Webber? Rick Webber? Do you know him? Oh, wait, he was the one who refused to hire me, right? Because of Monica? They must be pretty good friends. Alan’s jaw drops in shock. Victoria: Do you think he’d talk to me? Alan takes the papers out of her hands. Alan: Let me handle this one for you, okay, Victoria? Victoria: Sure, Alan, whatever you say. Look, I hope you don’t have any hard feelings about the other night. Alan: The other n -- Oh, no, I don’t. Not at all. I hope you don’t. Victoria: Alright ... you’ll get my references for me? Alan: I’ll be in touch. Victoria gives him a dubious look; he kisses her on the cheek and squeezes her hand. She walks off with a smug grin on her face. When she’s out of eyeshot, Alan slams her papers down on the Nurses Station’s desk in a fit of anger. Alan (seething under his breath): That little tramp. That lying little tramp. Fade to black. Scene 157 Rick and AJ in Rick’s office. A direct continuation of their previous scene. AJ: Are you my father? Rick: Yes. I am your father. AJ: I can’t deal with this. He turns to go, but Rick puts his hand on AJ’s shoulder and turns him around. Rick: I know how much you want to run away from all this. Believe me, I’d want to run, too. But please, hear me out. AJ: Why didn’t you tell me before? Rick: You said the only father you wanted was Alan Quartermaine. I didn’t want to risk your rejection. AJ shakes his head. AJ: I must have been drunk the day I said that. Rick: So I kept my mouth shut, hoping we could have some kind of relationship, and someday I’d be able to tell you the truth. AJ looks surprised and touched. AJ: That means a lot to me, you know? That you knew what a screw-up I was, and you wanted me in your life anyway. Rick: You’re not a screw-up, AJ. You grew up with some of the most hateful people I’ve ever met. People who thrived on causing other people’s pain. And you drank to make your own pain go away. AJ: That’s exactly it. No one ever understood that before. Not even Mom. Rick: Your mother deals with pain by lashing out at those who’ve hurt her. AJ: You’ve noticed that. Rick: I’ve been on the receiving end more times than I care to admit. AJ: She’s probably mad at you for not telling her what was going on. Rick: That’s an understatement. AJ: Why didn’t you tell her? Rick: My son made me promise that I wouldn’t. I wasn’t about to break that promise. AJ: Do you love my mother? Rick: That doesn’t really matter now. AJ: Yes, it does. You know it does. Rick: I love her. I’ve loved her since she was 20 years old. But we always brought out the worst in each other. She was too insecure to trust me; I was too impatient to deal with her insecurities. We hurt each other again and again, and a lot of people who got caught in the middle as well. AJ: Like Alan. Rick: Alan, and Lesley. AJ: So what about now? Rick: She doesn’t understand why I didn’t tell her the truth about you. I don’t know if she can forgive me. AJ: You were afraid that I’d be mad at you for telling her. Rick: I was afraid that you’d reject me as your father. And then she would reject me because of your anger. AJ: I’m sorry I forced you to make that promise. Rick: You have nothing to apologize for. I would like to know, though, where this leaves us. AJ: I haven’t told anyone the truth. Rick: Well. I can’t say I blame you. AJ: I’m not ready to say, okay, you’re my father, let’s play it out. Rick: I understand. AJ: I just need time to get used to everything. Rick: I’ll be here if you need me. Whenever you need me. AJ: Thanks. They shake hands awkwardly. AJ: I’m going to go talk to my mom. Rick: Good luck. AJ nods, then backs out the door. Rick sighs, shakes his head, collapses in his seat. Fade to black. Scene 158 The 7th floor Nurses Station, same time as the previous scene. Mark approaches Amy. Mark: Have you seen Dr. Alan Quartermaine? Amy: I know he’s around here somewhere. Would you like me to page him for you? Mark: No, that’s alright. It’s not that important. I’ll leave him a note instead. Mark walks to the other side of the station, so he doesn’t see Alan in the lounge. A few moments later, Monica gets off the elevator and approaches the Nurses Station. Alan quickly accosts her and grabs her by the arm. Alan: I need a word with you. Monica: I’ve heard all the words you have to say. Alan: Not this one. You haven’t heard this one in awhile. He drags her over to the lounge, and then turns on her with a vengeance. Alan: You’re a tramp, Monica. You always have been, and you always will be. How dare you turn me into the villain when you’ve been cheating on me for years. Monica stiffens. Monica: I don’t know what you’re talking about. Alan: Then I’ll refresh your memory. The American College of Cardiology. Every September in Florida. Does that ring a bell? God, what a fool I was. Thinking you went down every year just to discuss angioplasties and bypasses. I should have known it would take more than that to put such a smile on your face when you returned. No wonder you never wanted me to accompany you. You make me sick. Monica: Oh, gee, Alan, what do you want me to do? Apologize and beg for mercy? Grovel at your feet for forgiveness? Well, guess what, Alan? I’m not going to apologize and I don’t want your forgiveness. In fact, I’m *glad* you found out about Rick and me. Obviously I never would have had to resort to such backhandedness if you hadn’t been lying to me about my son for the past 25 years. Camera pans wide to reveal Amy, Tony, Mark, Bobbie and Audrey at the Nurses Station, listening to the fight with various expressions of shock and horror on their faces. Alan: How did I know you would try to use AJ to justify your disgusting behavior? Now you’re going tell me how you and Rick were fated to be together. Well, spare me the argument, Monica. I’ve heard it so many times before. Monica: Apparently, you weren’t listening. Alan: Tell me this, Monica -- if you and Rick were destined to be together, then why aren’t you together now? And don’t you dare try to tell me that you stayed apart for my and Lesley’s sake. I know everything you’ve been doing behind my back. Monica: Then why are we having this conversation? Alan: Because I want to hear you say it! Monica: Too bad! I’m not going to give you the satisfaction. I don’t owe you anything. Alan: You’re my wife! Monica: Only because of a cruel trick you played 25 years ago. You should have been nothing more than a distant memory by now. Alan: Please excuse me for continuing to exist. Monica: I’ll excuse you for nothing. This conversation is over. There is nothing you could say that I would want to hear. Especially any attempt to convince me to return to you. Alan: I assure you, Monica, that’s a plea you’ll never hear me make. My only regret right now is that you left before I had a chance to throw you out. AJ comes down the hall and stops a few feet away from them; neither Alan nor Monica see him. Monica: My only regret is that I returned to you every year, when I could have stayed with Rick. AJ approaches them. AJ: Stop it, both of you. You’re making a scene. Monica: I’m sorry, AJ. Alan: Oh, now you’re sorry! Well, I’m not. You want to throw this in my face, Monica, then you’d better get used to the whole town knowing the truth. Monica: Alan, don’t. For AJ -- AJ: Hey, don’t do anything on my account. Alan marches over to the crowd at the Nurses Station; Monica and AJ follow. Alan: You want to know the truth? I’ll tell you the truth. Monica: Alan ... Alan grabs AJ by the back of his shirt collar. Alan: You see this screw-up here? This disappointment that I’ve been bailing out half his life? Well, guess what, folks! He’s not even my son! No, he’s not, and what’s more, I knew it all along. I knew it and I bailed him out anyway. So I guess that means the joke’s on me, doesn’t it? Audrey: Alan, please, you don’t want to do this. Alan: Yes, I do. Mark surreptitiously slips away. Camera pans to Rick walking down the hall. He sees what’s going on and trots quickly over to the action. Alan: Well, no more, I tell you, no more! Alan lets go of AJ, nearly shoving him at Rick. Alan: You want my leftovers, Rick, well, they’re all yours. Please forgive me for doing such a lousy job raising *your* son. But I guess bad blood’ll tell every time. Alan stalks off. Amy gasps, Bobbie runs after Alan. AJ sighs and shakes his head. Monica stares fearfully at AJ, scared of his reaction to the news about Rick. Rick pats AJ on the forearm, AJ turns around to face him. AJ: So much for dealing with this at my own pace. Rick: I’m sorry Alan handled it like that. AJ: I’m not surprised. I should have expected a public disowning. Rick: You’ve done nothing wrong. He had no right to treat you that way. AJ: This is going to take some getting used to, having a father in my corner. Monica gives Rick a dirty look. Monica: You told him. You had no right to tell him. Rick: I was tired of the lies and deceptions, Monica. As you said you were. Monica glares at him and stalks off. Rick looks at AJ, then starts to follow Monica, but AJ pulls him back. AJ: Let me talk to her. Rick gives him a dubious look. AJ: I’ll plead your case. Rick: I guess I’ve already done enough damage as it is. Rick squeezes AJ’s forearm, then walks away. AJ walks down the hall to Monica’s office. Fade to black. Scene 159 A few minutes after the end of the previous scene. Monica is in her office brooding when AJ walks in. They lock eyes for a moment, then Monica looks away. AJ sits down in the chair in front of her desk. Monica: So, do you hate me for not telling you right away? AJ: No. Do you hate him for telling me? Monica: I don’t know how I feel. AJ: Just tell me there aren’t any more secrets, Mom. Monica hesitates. Monica: When Alan and I were fighting a few minutes ago ... how much did you hear? AJ: Enough to know that you weren’t just fighting about me. Monica: AJ ... AJ: It’s okay, Mom. I got the impression talking to Rick that it hasn’t exactly been 25 years since the two of you were close. Monica: Sounds like you two had quite a talk. AJ: He loves you, Mom. Monica gets up and starts to pace. Monica: You know, I really don’t want to hear this. AJ: Listen, you have to understand -- Monica: And I can’t *believe* he sent you in here to act as his spokesman. AJ: He didn’t. I wouldn’t let him follow you. I didn’t want you to say anything else to him you might regret. Monica: I don’t regret a damned thing. AJ: Mom, come on. I know how upset you were, that he didn’t tell you what was going on. Monica: He should be explaining this to me, not you. AJ: But you won’t let him, now, will you? So listen to me. I made him swear that he would never tell you that I’d found out that Alan wasn’t my father. Monica: He should have told me, anyway. Obviously he knew more about the situation than you did. AJ: I told him that I didn’t want to know my real father, that I’d never accept him. He didn’t tell you because he didn’t want to risk losing us both. He thought if I hated him, you wouldn’t have anything to do with him either. Shocked at her son’s words, Monica sits back down. AJ: He never wanted to hurt you, Mom. Monica leans her head into her hands, runs her fingers through her hair, and sighs. Monica: It doesn’t matter. It’s too late. AJ: Are you so scared to be happy, you’ll make up any excuse not to be? Monica: That’s the craziest thing I ever heard. AJ: You’re the one who’s being crazy, Mom! I heard you say it to Alan 15 minutes ago -- you could have been with Rick. You had a choice. Why didn’t you take it? Do you think you don’t deserve to be happy? You preferred to spend your life with a man who did everything he could to make you miserable? Monica: You have no right to talk to me this way. AJ: Yes, I do. Because now I have something on you I’ve never had before. Some perspective. Rick told me things never worked between you because you were too insecure, and he was too impatient to deal with your insecurities. Monica: Isn’t that just like Rick, to boil everything down to a pithy phrase. AJ: I never thought you were insecure, Mom. But I only saw you with Alan. I guess it was easier for you to hide with the man you settled for instead of risking everything to be with the man you really loved. Monica: Stop it! AJ: Isn’t that what you’re doing right now? You’re not really that angry at Rick for not telling you about me. You’re scared to risk it all and be with him. So you’re using this one little mistake to hide from him again. Monica: AJ, you have said enough. Who I choose to be with, and why, is, quite frankly, none of your concern. AJ stands up. AJ: Fine. I’ll shut up. You want to run away for the rest of your life, go ahead. But don’t expect me to come with you this time. He slams out. Monica leans back in her chair and has a flashback about Rick: >>>Monica: So what happens now? Rick: I believe that that is entirely up to you. Monica: Oh, really? So if I said, let’s run away together tonight, you’d go with me? Rick: Only to the ends of the earth. Monica: When you say it like that, I can almost believe you. Rick: Why just “almost”? Monica: Because I have been down this road before, my friend. And this is the part where you usually say, yes, we will be together eventually, but right now, Lesley’s pet goldfish is sick, and I just can’t leave her in this condition. Rick: This time, I’ll just recommend a really good veterinarian. Monica: You’re serious. Rick: Monica, do you have any idea what I was about to do tonight before you paged me? Monica: If this concerns Lesley, I don’t think I want to know. Rick: I was going to tell her that I’m in love with you. Monica: Just like that? Rick: Just like that. Monica: Without any guarantee that we would be together. Rick: I’m tired of living a lie. Monica: Oh, so am I! They kiss passionately, then hug each other tightly.<<< Monica comes out of it, a determined look on her face. She picks up the phone and dials. Monica: Oh, Lisa. I was trying to reach Dr. Webber. <pause> Oh, he is? Do you know what time he’s scheduled to be out of surgery? <pause> Not until tonight. Okay, I’ll catch up with him then. Monica hangs up the phone, then grabs some charts and strides out of her office. Fade to black. Scene 160 Later that afternoon, the same day. Edward is at his office at ELQ when Mark barges in. Edward regards him cooly. Edward: Most people make an appointment. Mark: Most people aren’t the only chance this company has of being kept in the family after you meet your final reward. Edward: You’re not one to mince words, are you? (He chuckles) Normally, I like that. (Gets serious) But not with me. State your case. Mark: You told me to stop by the office this week to discuss my future. Edward: You must have caught me at a vulnerable time. Mark: You about as vulnerable as Attila the Hun. Edward: You want to climb aboard, you’re going to have to start at the bottom, Mark. Work your way up. You were a schoolteacher before, is that right? Mark: What does that have to do with anything? I didn’t become a teacher because that was my only choice. Edward: Then why did you? Mark: Teaching has its own rewards that go beyond money. But now I’ve realized I can get those rewards elsewhere. And money’s important. I don’t want to be a secretary, Edward. Or answer phones. You’re looking at the future president of ELQ. I don’t think I should be sweeping floors. Edward: That’s quite an ego you have there, not to mention attitude. I don’t think AJ would be very happy to hear about your plans. Mark: Frankly, AJ’s happiness is of no concern to me. And it shouldn’t be to you, either. Edward: He may have made some mistakes, but AJ is a Quartermaine, and ELQ is his birthright. Mark: Oh, but that’s where you’re wrong, Gramps. Edward: What are you talking about? Mark: I just witnessed the most fascinating marital argument at General Hospital. Edward: You must be talking about Alan and Monica. Yes, she moved out a few days ago. I’m not sure what their fight was over this time. It’ll will blow over soon enough. It always does. Mark: Don’t count on it. They were arguing about AJ. Edward: Oh, no, what’s AJ done this time? Mark: This time, it’s not what AJ’s done. It’s who he is. Or, more to the point, who he isn’t. Edward: You know what I just said about mincing words? Well, forget it. Spit it out, I haven’t got all day. Mark: Alan told the whole world that AJ’s not his son. Edward: You’re joking. Mark: Hey, it would be a good joke, but it’s not. I was there, and so was half the hospital. Alan said that AJ was a screw-up, he’s been bailing him out AJ’s entire life, and all along, he knew that AJ wasn’t even his son. Edward: I don’t believe this. Edward shakes his head, then smiles and chuckles. Mark scowls. Mark: What’s so funny? Edward: Alan got one over on Tracy. A big one. He finally got one over on her. And no one even knew about it. Mark: I don’t care about Tracy. I want to know what you’re going to do about AJ. Edward: There’s nothing I can do. Legally, the boy’s a Quartermaine. Mark: But morally, he isn’t. And do you want an imposter running your company? Edward: Perhaps AJ doesn’t have Quartermaine blood, but I’ve known him since he was an infant. You could be just as much an imposter as you say he is. Mark: But I’m not. And you know it. I may not have grown up in the bosom of the family, but I think like a Quartermaine. I act like one. And you know it. And that’s what you want running your company. Isn’t it? Isn’t it? Edward regards Mark thoughtfully. Fade to black. Scene 161 An OR at the hospital, later that same evening. Rick is finishing up his operation when Monica walks in. He gives her a quick glance in surprise. Rick: You missed the show, doctor. This is just the closing credits. Monica: All went well? Rick: Couldn’t have asked for a smoother transplant. He motions to the resident standing next to him. Rick: Brad, you want to finish the close? Brad: I’d be happy to. Brad takes a few minutes to close as Rick and Monica exchange looks. Brad: Alright, this one’s ready for recovery. The surgical team moves the patient back onto a stretcher and prepare to move out. Brad: Doctors, are you coming? Rick: We’ll be right there. You move along. The team moves out; Rick and Monica look at each other. Rick unhooks his surgical mask; Monica takes off her mask and cap. Rick: I take it you’re not here to observe the transplant. Monica: I’ve observed several already. I’m rather familiar with your technique. Rick smiles at her double entrendre, but he’s too wary of her anger to call her on it. Monica: AJ told me your reasons for keeping quiet about him. I apologize for thinking the worst. Rick: Are you angry that I told him that I am his father? Monica: No. It had to come out sometime. It was probably easier for everyone that you were the one to tell him. It sounded like you and AJ had quite a productive discussion. Rick: I tried to be as honest with him as I could. Monica: What I should have done all along, you mean. Rick: No, I don’t mean that at all. I just had some more time to think things through. Monica: So have I. I’ve been thinking all night long. Rick raises his eyebrows questioningly at her. Monica: AJ called me on a couple of things. Honestly, I had no idea that he was so perceptive. He painted a picture of me that I found very uncomfortable. Rick: Why is that? Monica: Because I have always prided myself on being rather fearless. And AJ pointed out that I really am a coward. Rick: You’re no coward, Monica. Monica: Oh, yes, I am. With you, I am. My son -- our son -- informed me that the real reason I was angry at you was not because you weren’t immediately truthful with me. It was because I was too scared to really be with you, and I was looking for an excuse to run away. Rick: Are you? Monica: Rick, I’ve been using those excuses for the past ten years. Rick (whispering): Why are you so scared? Monica (tearing up): Because it hurt so badly when you left me, Rick. I wanted to die. If it hadn’t been for the baby, I might have done something to end it all. And when I came out of it, I told myself I’d never feel that way about another man again. I’d never give another man the opportunity to hurt me that way. Even if that other man was you. Rick closes his eyes and sighs. Rick: All this time I’ve felt that you were holding something back from me emotionally. And now I know why. Monica (sobbing softly): I just don’t want to hurt like that again! Rick grabs her to him in an embrace; she buries her face in his shoulder. Rick: I’m sorry .... I’m so sorry .... He strokes her hair and kisses her on the forehead, then moves her head back so he can look her in the eye. Rick: I promise you, Monica Quartermaine, that I will never do anything to hurt you again. Monica shakes her head. Monica: You can’t make those kinds of promises. Rick: Yes, I can. Monica: How? Rick: Because I love you. And you love me. And nothing is going to keep us apart this time, Monica, nothing! He kisses her passionately, they cling together. Monica: I want to believe that. I want so much to believe that. Rick: You can count on it. We are together. And this time, it’s till death do us part. Monica kisses him, he pushes her over to the operating table. They fall together onto the table. Fade to black. Scene 162 Victoria’s place, about the same time that evening as the previous scene. She’s sitting on the couch, drink in hand, when there’s a loud knock at the door. She opens the door to Alan. Alan: Can I come in? I hope I can come in. Victoria: Of course. You’re always welcome here, you know that. He stumbles inside. Victoria: Alan, have you been drinking? Alan: Yes. Yes, I have, and I intend to drink some more. What have you got there? Victoria: Just some brandy ... Alan: Brand sounds perfect. A brandy would really hit the spot right now. Victoria: Can you still find the spot? Alan: If not, I’ve got you here to help me! Laughs hysterically at his joke. Victoria: You seem to be in better spirits than you were this afternoon. Alan: Better spirits? That’s a good one!! (Laughs some more) Spirits, drinking, you know. He picks up the bottle of brandy from the table and pours some right down his throat. Victoria: Yes, I got the joke. So, did you talk to Monica for me? Did you get those references? Alan: Ummm ...... no. Victoria: Oh. Alan: As a matter of fact, I don’t think I’ll be getting anything from Monica, anymore. Victoria: That sounds ominous. Alan: It wasn’t supposed to! Victoria sits back down on the couch; Alan collapses next to her. Victoria: What happened? Alan: Monica and I are through for good. Victoria: Alan, I’m so sorry. Alan: Oh, don’t be, I’m not! Victoria: But you told me last week you wanted to work things out with her. Alan: That was when I still thought there was something to work out. Victoria: What’s changed? Alan: What’s changed is that I finally realized how stupid it is to waste your time trying to win over a woman who doesn’t want you, when you could be with a woman who does. Alan and Victoria stare at each other. Victoria (whispering): And do you have a particular woman in mind? Alan (matching her tone): I don’t know. I don’t know if she’ll still have me. Victoria: Oh, I think she might. Alan: You think so? Victoria: Yeah. Alan leans over and kisses her. Victoria: Oh, yes, she definitely will. They kiss passionately, lying down on the couch. Fade to black. Scene 163 Rick and Monica on the OR table, about an hour after their previous scene. Rick: Why can’t we ever find a comfortable place to make love? Monica (chuckles throatily): I didn’t realize it was comfort you were after. Rick: Neither did I. But now my back is as stiff as this table. Monica: Hmmm. You know, that could be an asset. Rick: Not if I end up paralyzed. Monica: Definitely not what I want. Rick: Me neither. He sits up and grabs his side in pain. Monica: Oh, you really did hurt yourself! Rick: Just some sort of charley horse, I think. Give me a second. He takes a deep breath. Rick: Alright, I’m ready for round 2. He kisses her; she breaks away gently. Monica: That was a fast recovery. Rick: I’m a fast guy. Monica: Not with everything, thank God. He laughs, she smiles impishly. Monica: I don’t think we should continue this here. You hurt your back, and besides, an entire surgical team could burst in on us at any moment. Rick: That might make the next staff meeting rather awkward. Monica: Not to mention that the patient might lose confidence in this institution after seeing GH’s chief of staff and head of cardiology sprawling around naked on an OR table. Rick: I can see how that might be disconcerting to someone about to go under the knife. He hops off the table, grabs his clothes and hands Monica hers. They dress quickly. Rick puts his arm around her. Rick: Let’s get out of here. Where to? Monica: Well, I was going to go back to my hotel suite ... I suppose *you* have to get home. Rick: My home is with you. Wherever you want it to be. Monica looks surprised. Rick: I told you that we are together, Monica. Starting right now, nothing is going to keep us apart. Not even for one night. Monica: Shouldn’t you explain that to Lesley first? Rick: I already have. Monica: What?? When? Rick: After the last time we were together. I told her everything. It was terrible, hurting her like that. But on some level, she already knew. She moved out a few days ago. Monica: You never told me! Rick: You never gave me a chance! Monica puts her hands on his face and looks him in the eye. Monica: So then you’re really mine. Truly and completely mine. Rick: Looks like you’re stuck with me. She moves her hands to his shoulders, then hugs him tightly, her face an expression of total, unmitigated joy. Monica: Oh, I can’t believe this! I can’t believe this is really happening. Rick: You’ll believe it soon enough. The first time you trip over my dirty socks on the floor. Monica: I can’t wait. Rick: You won’t have to. Let’s go home. He puts his arm around her shoulders, they walk out together. Fade to black. Scene 164 Alan and Victoria, the next morning. They’re in her bed. Alan wakes up first; Victoria is still sleeping. He looks over at her with a look on his face that says, “dear God, what have I done.” Then Victoria begins to stir and Alan tries to look happy. Victoria rolls over and smiles at him. Victoria: Good morning. Alan: Hi. She kisses him. Victoria: I can’t think of anything nicer to wake up to. Alan: How about pancakes? And sausage. And bacon. Victoria: My, you have quite an appetite this morning. Can I take credit for that? Alan: You can take credit for anything you want. Victoria: Would you like me to order room service? I can get you your pancakes or anything else. Alan: No, that’s alright. Actually, I have to get to the hospital. I have an early meeting with some of the ER staff. Alan gets out of bed; Victoria looks at him with a pouty expression. He gets dressed quickly. Victoria: I can’t believe you’re leaving so soon. Alan: Don’t take it personally. I just have a lot of work to do. Don’t you? Victoria: It can wait so I can spend ten minutes talking to you. Alan: What do you want to talk about? Victoria: Last night. Alan: Last night was wonderful. Beyond words, in fact. Victoria: Did it mean anything to you? Alan: Did it ..... Of course it meant something to me, Victoria! Victoria: You seem in such a hurry to get away from me. I just want to make sure you weren’t using me to get back at Monica. Alan: Nothing of the sort. Victoria looks at him doubtfully, then turns away. Alan looks guilty, then an expression of sympathy crosses his face. He gets back in bed and puts his arms around her. Alan: Last night was about us. And no one else. Victoria: Then what is this morning about? Alan: New beginnings. Victoria: That sounds very promising. I mean, not that you made me any promises, or anything, but I’d like to have a new beginning. With you in there somewhere. Alan: I’d like that, too. He kisses her on the cheek and climbs out of bed. Alan: How about dinner tonight? Victoria: Oh, I love it! Would you like to come by here? We could have room service. Alan: Actually, I’d like to take you out in public. Are you up for that? Victoria: Oh, yes! Alan: Then I’ll meet you here at 8. We’ll go downstairs to the Grille. Victoria: Sounds perfect. Alan: I’ll see you then. He blows her a kiss, Victoria beams. As Alan walks out of the bedroom, his face sags and his bravuro performance fades -- his heart really isn’t in this. Then he shakes his head and continues to walk away. Fade to black. Scene 165 The Quartermaine living room, about a half hour since the end of the last scene. Edward is reading the newspaper and eating a croissant when Alan walks in. Edward: Well, look what the cat dragged in. Alan: Good morning to you, too, Father. Edward: I assume you spent the night at the hospital because you were too ashamed to show your face around here. Alan: Wrong on both counts. I wasn’t at the hospital, and I have nothing to be ashamed of. Edward: Why is it that the more you mess up, the more self-righteous you become? Alan: Must have been something I learned from you. Edward: You didn’t learn a damn thing from me, that’s obvious. For if you had, you would have known better than to air your dirty laundry in public. Alan: Father, I’m too old for a lecture from you. Edward: I will stop lecturing you when you stop screwing up! It’s ironic, isn’t it. The son who turned out the most like you, isn’t even your son after all. Alan: I don’t want to talk about this. I have to get to the hospital. Edward: I’m not even going to bother asking where you spent the night. Knowing you, as soon as Monica walked out, you went running over to your old girlfriend, Victoria. In the hallway, Emily hears the argument and cocks her head to listen. Edward: Oh, Alan, when will you learn? Alan: I know I’m going to regret asking this, but, learn what? Edward: How to stop yourself from acting on your impulses! If you would just stop for a moment and think before you act on the most fool-hardy ideas ... Alan: And how long did you think before you offered Victoria’s parents a bribe to take her and my son away from me? Edward gives him a serious look. Edward: I thought about it for a long, long time, Alan. Alan: Perhaps if you’d thought about it a little bit longer, you would have realized how wrong you were. Edward: Alan, I refuse to accept any more criticism from you about that particular episode. After all, you are guilty of the same crime. I don’t see you offering Rick Webber any apologies for bringing up his son as Alan Quartermaine, Jr. Camera pans to Emily, who gasps and puts her hand over her mouth. Alan: I owe nothing to a man who’s been sleeping with my wife for the past ten years. Emily looks disgusted and walks away. Edward: Hm. That’s a twist I did not anticipate. Although I suppose I should have. Alan: Well, neither did I. Edward: So now you’re even, is that what you’re saying? You have your firstborn son and first love, and Rick has his. Alan: I’m not going to discuss this with you any more. Alan turns to leave, but Edward calls him back. Edward: We still have another issue to discuss, Alan. Alan: Who’s still eligible to come to our family reunions? I’ll let Mother worry about that one. Edward: Then you can worry about this: getting back the shares of ELQ I signed over to AJ. He’s not your son and I don’t want -- Furious, Alan turns on his father, eyes blazing. Alan: That boy’s last name is Quartermaine. It always has been, and, God help me, it always will be! If you even think about trying to take away his shares of ELQ or anything else he has been given as a member of this family, I will see you in court, Father! Alan storms out of the room. Edward shakes his head at his son’s foolishness and goes back to his newspaper. Fade to black. Scene 166 The Quartermaine living room, a little later on that same morning. AJ is going through the paper when Mark strolls in. AJ: Don’t you know how to knock? Mark: I didn’t think I had to. AJ: Didn’t take you long to start walking around here like you own the place. Mark: Sounds like I’m closer to owning it than you are. AJ: You know, I think that’s the most honest statement you’ve ever made to me. That’s what you’re really after, isn’t it? Mark: What I am or am not after is no longer your concern, though, is it? AJ: Well, if you plan on inheriting this house, I should warn you -- it belongs to my mother. So that’s one thing you’re out of. Mark: And you’re out of everything else. AJ: You know, I really don’t care. Mark: Now who’s lying? AJ: I have news for you. I grew up in this house, with the money and all the trappings that go along with it. It didn’t make me happy. It didn’t make anyone happy. Mark: So what? You know, I didn’t come over here for a lecture. AJ: Then why are you here? Mark: I wanted to see my father. That’s *my* father, by the way. AJ: You know, that has to be the best part of this whole mess. Knowing that you and I aren’t related after all. Mark: Don’t tell me we actually agree on something. AJ: I’m sure it will never happen again. And Alan’s not here. He’s at work. Ever heard of that, Marky? Mark: I know a lot more about it than you think. Is your sister here? AJ: What do you want with Emily? Mark: The last time I saw her, she was upset about the mess over here, and I wanted to see how she was doing. AJ: How compassionate of you. She’s at school. But I’ll be sure to tell them both that you stopped by. Mark: I think I’ll just wait here, then, if you don’t mind. And if you *do* mind, well, guess what? I don’t care anyway. AJ gives Mark a look of digust and walks out. Mark chuckles to himself and heads to the bar. Fade to black. Scene 167 Monica is drinking coffee in the hospital cafeteria when Gail walks up and sits down across from her. Monica: Hello there! Gail: Now that’s something I haven’t seen in a long, long time. Monica: What’s that? Gail: Your smile. I can’t remember the last time I saw you smile that broadly. So what’s going on? Monica: Oh, Gail, for the first time, it feels like things are finally working out for me. Gail: For you and Rick. Is that what you mean? Monica nods. Gail: Well, I’m glad you’re happy, my darling. Monica: But ..... Gail: No “buts.” Monica: Come on, Gail, I know you better than that. I know that tone. Gail: If you two are together, it must mean Lesley and Alan are hurting. Monica: I know. And I am sorry about Lesley. But aren’t I entitled to a little bit of happiness? Gail: Yes, it just seems to so often come at the expense of others. Monica: Gail .... Gail: I’m sorry, Monica, but that’s how I feel. Monica: Well, no one’s ever accused you of only telling people what they want to hear. Gail: What do you want to hear, Monica? Monica: What do I want to hear? I’ll tell you what I want to hear, Gail! For once, just for once, I’d like to hear from you a genuine expression of congratulations. Is that too much to ask? Alright, I know I hurt other people, and I’m sorry! But it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been hurt, too. Things are finally starting to come together for me. Couldn’t you just be happy and leave it at that? Gail: I don’t understand why you are so defensive. Monica: Because you’re asking me to defend myself. Gail: I never asked you to do that. Monica: Yes, you did. When you say I take my happiness at the expense of others, you’re asking me to defend myself. Gail: Maybe if you could just, for once, put someone else’s needs above your own, we would not be having this conversation. I’m sorry, but I can’t stop thinking about Lesley. After everything she suffered through, losing 13 years of her life. Only to come back and find her husband still in the same state of arrested adolescence that she’d left him. Monica: Well, if it makes you feel any better, I’m sure everyone in Port Charles agrees with you. In fact, maybe Rick and I should set ourselves up in a dunking booth in the park, so everyone in town can have a crack at us. Gail: Now you’re being ridiculous. Listen to me, Monica. If your best friend can’t tell you these things, no one else will. Monica: I don’t have a problem with that. Gail: Well, you might. Just be careful, Monica, alright? And don’t be upset if no one seems particularly enthusiastic about this relationship. Monica: I can handle it. It’s been awhile, but I can remember a time where I was very accustomed to being on the receiving end of dirty looks by everyone in town. Gail: Alright. That’s all I’m going to say on the subject. Except for this: Monica: What? Gail: It is very nice to see that smile on your face. Monica: Okay. Thank you. Can I get you some more coffee? Gail: You certainly can. Monica picks up her and Gail’s coffee cups and heads to the coffee, as Gail watches her and shakes her head. Fade to black. Scene 168 The Spencer’s house. Rick is on the porch, pacing, reluctant to do what he has to do. Finally he rings the bell. Laura answers and glares at him. Rick: I need to talk to your mother. Laura: She’s not here. And even if she were, I wouldn’t let you see her. Rick: Then let me leave her a note. Laura: No. Rick: Laura, please. Don’t you think you’re behaving rather childishly? Laura: *You’re* calling *me* childish? Oh, that’s funny. If anyone is being childish, it’s you. Childish, and selfish, and cruel, and -- Rick: I get the picture. Laura: No, I’m not sure you do, *Rick!* My mother went through a terrible trauma. I trusted you to take care of her. And instead, you betrayed her horribly! Rick: I’m sorry you feel that way. Laura: Is that all you’re sorry about? Rick: No, of course not. Laura, please, if you’d just give me a moment to explain .... Laura: Don’t waste your breath. Mom already told me every word you said. Unless you have an original excuse just for me? Rick: What I told Lesley was the truth. Laura: It’s a shame you couldn’t have been truthful three months ago. Rick: I didn’t lie only to you and your mother. I was lying to myself. Laura: Is that supposed to make it okay? Rick: No. Laura: At least you’re not so far gone, you don’t realize what you did was wrong. Rick: Please don’t judge me. You’ve made mistakes as well, and I never judged you. Laura: I have made mistakes, that’s true. But the difference between you and me is, I made those mistakes because I love my spouse. You made yours because you didn’t. Rick: I love Lesley. It’s just not the kind of love you build a marriage on. Not anymore. Too much time had gone by. Laura: You couldn’t keep your pants on! Rick takes a deep breath, trying to keep himself from losing his temper. Rick: I understand why you’re so angry with me. But I’m not going to stand here and let you use me as a punching bag. I suppose I’ll talk to her at the hospital. I was hoping to avoid such a public place, but you leave me no choice. Laura: Just give me the time and place for the divorce lawyer. I’ll make sure she’s there. Rick: That won’t be necessary. There won’t be a divorce. Laura looks surprised. Rick turns around and leaves. Laura angrily shuts the door. Fade to black. Scene 169 Evening, Mark’s hotel suite. He answers the door to a subdued-looking Emily. Mark: This is the most pleasant surprise I’ve had in a long time. Emily: May I come in? Mark: You don’t ever have to ask, Emily. She walks in, looks around with wide eyes, then sits tentatively on the couch. Mark: May I get you something to eat or drink? We could order room service. Emily: I’m not that hungry. Actually I just feel really cold. Mark: I think I have something to fix that. He walks into the kitchen and returns a few moments later with two mugs. He hands one to Emily, she sips. Emily: This is good. What is it? Mark: It’s an Irish coffee. It’ll warm you up inside and out. Emily: This has alcohol in it, doesn’t it? Mark: Just a little bit. Emily: But I’m too young to drink. Mark: No, you’re too young to buy it. I think you can handle a little bit. Besides, you look like you need it. Emily: Well, if you say so, I believe you. Mark: Good. He sits down on the couch, very closely to her. Mark: So what’s on your mind, babe? Emily: It’s just horrible, over at the Quartermaines. Every day something new happens. I don’t know how much more I can stand. He puts his arm around her shoulders and gently nudges her head so she’s leaning on his chest. Mark: What happened this time? Emily: I heard this terrible fight between Alan and Edward. Apparently Monica has been having an affair with another man for years. And Alan isn’t even AJ’s natural father. And he’s known it all along! Mark: That’s unbelieveable. Poor Alan. He must have been so desperate to have a son, if he was willing to pretend AJ was his for all these years. Emily: Now he doesn’t have to pretend anymore. He has you. Mark: Yes, he does. You know, I have to think that things might have been a lot better for everyone, if my parents could have just been together to begin with. I hope they can work things out between them now. Emily: That would be nice for you. But what about me? Monica’s moved out. You want Alan with your mother. Where does that leave me? No place, that’s where. Mark: Emily, I will never let that happen to you, I promise. Even if your parents are too pre-occupied with their own lives, I will always be here for you. Always. I promise. Emily: Then maybe I should just move in here. Mark: I’d love it. But it’s a lot smaller than you’re used to. Emily: As long as you don’t care how loudly I play my stereo. Mark: Hey, I can get kind of loud myself. Emily: It would be nice. I hope it doesn’t come to that. Emily gulps down the rest of her coffee. Emily: I should go. I have homework. Thanks for listening to me. Mark: Anytime. Do you need a ride home? Emily: No, Reggie’s waiting for me downstairs. I told him I had to pick up a homework assignment. Mark: I’m glad you came over. You’re welcome anytime, you know. In fact, I’ll give you a key. Emily: That’s okay. Mark: Alright, then. Take care. Mark kisses her briefly on the lips. Emily looks shocked, Mark pretends not to notice. Mark: Call me if you need me. Emily: Oh-- oh -- okay. Emily backs out the door, Mark smiling at her. When she’s gone, he closes the door and leans against it, continuing to smile. Fade to black. Scene 170 Morning, the Quartermaine living room. AJ is drinking coffee and munching on a croissant when Alan walks in. AJ glares at him. Alan: I owe you an apology for the other day at the hospital. AJ: Why? You didn’t say anything that wasn’t true. That’s how you feel. I’m a screw-up, and you’re well-rid of me. Alan: That’s not true at all. AJ: You can’t take it back. Alan: No, but I can explain why I said it. AJ: You thought it would be easier for me if the whole town knew at once? Instead of having to explain one person at a time. Well, thank you so much for your consideration. Alan: It wasn’t about you at all. I was very, very angry at your mother. AJ: So you decided to blow me out of the water to get back at her. Very smooth, Alan. Alan: I’m sorry, AJ. I didn’t want to hurt you. AJ: You should have thought of that 25 years ago. Alan: I had no idea things would turn out as badly as they did. AJ: Hey, who’da thunk it? After all, all you did was force a woman back into a marriage that felt like a prison. Why wouldn’t a child thrive in that kind of environment. Alan: We did our best to keep our problems away from you and Jason. Monica and I both did. AJ: Well, you did a lousy job. Alan: I know I did. Alan’s contrite attitude finally softens AJ. AJ: And I know you tried. Well, we should both be able to put this behind us soon. I’ll be moving out as soon as I find the right place. Alan: You don’t *have* to move out, you know. You’ll always have a place with me. AJ: That’s a nice sentiment. But I don’t think it would last too long in the real world. Alan: Hey, I’ve put up with you for this long ...... AJ: Yeah, I guess so. Alan: AJ, I have always considered you my son. Always. And I always will. If you ever need anything, ever, anything, you can always come to me. You may not be my biological son, but you are my son in my heart. AJ: That means a lot to me. I hope you understand why I need to get to know Rick. Alan: Just as I hope you understand why Mark needs to be a part of my life. But that doesn’t mean I’m shutting you out. Not at all. And if there is anything I can do for you, please let me know. AJ: Actually, there is. Don’t be too tough on Mom. Don’t try to make a fool out of her in public again. Even if she gets you angry. Alan: Alright, I’ll try to keep my temper in check. AJ: And that goes for Rick, too. Alan: Whatever you want, AJ. Believe me, I know why your mother might feel drawn to him again. I must confess I have the same feelings about Victoria. You haven’t even met Victoria yet, have you? AJ: There’s really no reason for me to. Alan: Please, AJ. I want you to continue to be part of my life. With Mark and Victoria as well. If you and Mark could make an effort to get along, that would really mean a lot to me. AJ: I can’t make any promises. Alan: I understand. Well, I have to get to the hospital. But I hope you don’t feel the need to move out anytime soon. AJ: I won’t do anything without letting you know. Alan: I appreciate that. Alan turns to go, then turns back around and solemnly shakes hands with AJ. Then he walks out. AJ’s face turns dark. AJ: You may not be my father, Alan Quartermaine, but I’ll be damned if I let vultures like Mark and Victoria pick you clean. It’s time to pull out the big guns. AJ strides purposefully out of the room. Fade to black. Scene 171 The hospital, later that same morning. Rick is in his office when Lesley walks in. Rick: Good morning. Lesley: Hi. They stare at each other awkwardly. Lesley: Laura told me you came by to see me. I don’t think she would have, but she was rather disturbed when you said there wasn’t going to be a divorce. Rick: Do you want a divorce? Lesley: No, I prefer to let you string me along for the rest of my life! Of course I want a divorce. I thought you did, too. Or since Monica dumped you, are you crawling back to me with your tail between your legs? Rick: No. Lesley: Good. Because I want to get on with my life. Without you. You can do whatever you want. I don’t care anymore. Rick: I want you to. I want you to get on with your life. Lesley: Then for god’s sake, why don’t you want a divorce? Don’t tell me you’re afraid I’ll take you for all that you’re worth. I don’t want any money, Rick. Rick: I never thought you did. But I won’t let you leave empty-handed, anyway. Lesley: I’ve had enough of your pity. Don’t hand me your charity on top of it. Rick: Don’t think of it as charity. Think of it as restitution. Lesley: Believe me, Rick, there is no amount of money that will cleanse your conscience. Rick: I just want to be able to sleep at night. Lesley: I don’t think anyone will be keeping you up anymore. So then it’s settled? We’ll get a quickie divorce. I could go to Mexico this weekend. Rick: That won’t be necessary. Lesley: Alright, then, you go to Mexico. I don’t care. Rick: Lesley, we don’t need to get divorced. Lesley: Richard, aren’t you listening to me!! I don’t want to stay married to you anymore! Rick: You weren’t married to me to begin with. Lesley: What? I don’t understand. Rick: I spoke to a lawyer about what we needed to do to re-establish you among the living. He told me that the death certificate nullified everything, including our marriage. So I’d been dealing with Social Security, the MVA .... Lesley: You never told me this. Rick: I didn’t want you to worry. Lesley: You never told me we weren’t married. Rick: No, I didn’t. Lesley: Well, I guess there’s no point in asking why. It’s pretty obvious. You never wanted to be married to begin with. You always wanted to make sure you could take the easy way out. Rick: That’s not true. I thought we could make it into a celebration. Lesley: But you didn’t have anything to celebrate with me, though, did you? Rick: I’m very sorry. Lesley: If I hear you say that one more time, I’m going to scream. So, this is it, huh? No lawyers, no fees, no papers to sign .... boy did you get off easy. Rick: I want to give you something to help you get settled. Lesley (shouting): I don’t want your charity! Rick: Alright. But the offer stands if you change your mind. Lesley: Don’t hold your breath. Furious, Lesley slams out into the hallway ... and right into Monica. The women stare at each other. Fade to black. Scene 172 A direct continuation of the previous scene. Lesley and Monica are in the hallway outside of Rick’s office. Lesley is staring daggers at Monica; Monica looks like she wants to fall through a trapdoor in the floor. Lesley: Boy, this day just keeps getting better and better! Monica: Lesley, please. Not here. Not now. Lesley: Why not, Monica? Too early in the morning for you? Would you like to get a cup of coffee first? Monica: There is nothing you can say to me that I haven’t already said to myself. Lesley: Alright, then, I’ll just shut up and go away. Ha! Fat chance, Monica. You’re not going to deny me the satisfaction of hearing what I have to say. Monica: I don’t have to stand here and take this. Monica starts to leave, but Lesley grabs her by the arm and whirls her back around. Lesley: You’re not getting away so easily. Monica (in a low, tight voice): Fine. Just say it. Let’s get this over with. Lesley: Oh, you’d like that, wouldn’t you? One nasty scene and you can sweep the whole mess under the rug, and go back to playing victim for the rest of the world. Well, that’s not going to wash with me. Monica: I never wanted you to get hurt. Lesley: You never gave a damn about me, one way or the other, did you, Monica? At best I was a nuisance. At most an obstacle to be overcome. Monica: That’s not true. I always admired you. There was a time where I wanted to be just like you. Lesley: Is that supposed to make it all better? Monica: No. I’m sure that nothing I say or do will make it better for you, Lesley. Lesley: You’re right about that. Monica: Then don’t force me into making defenses that won’t do either of us any good. Lesley: Monica, I doubt anyone could force you to do something you don’t want to do. Now shut up and listen to me! You are still the same selfish, self-centered person you were twenty years ago. Now you can go on and on about how Alan switched the blood tests around, and how things might have been different for you. I don’t care! That doesn’t change the fact that you went behind my back and lied to my face. And you don’t even have the decency to feel guilty about it. Monica: I do, Lesley. I feel terribly guilty. And I never lied to you! Neither did Rick. Lesley: If you’re going to start blabbering about how hard you tried to fight it, don’t waste your breath. Rick has already tried to sell me that bill of goods. Monica: It’s the truth. Lesley: You wouldn’t know the truth if you stepped in it. The truth is that you pretended we were friends, you pretended to be content with Alan, while you really wanted Rick the entire time. Monica: It wasn’t pretending. It was dealing with reality. Lesley: You can give it another name, but that doesn’t change what you did. Monica: Alright, listen. I have had about enough of this. I’m sorry you got caught in the middle of this, Lesley, but I’ll be damned if I let you use me as a punching bag. You’ve moved out, you’re getting on with your life. Rick and I are getting on with ours. So deal with it! Lesley: Rick told me you left him. Monica: That was a temporary misunderstanding. Lesley: Gee, I’m so relieved! I wouldn’t want to think that Rick ruined his marriage for nothing. Monica: You never *had* a marriage, Lesley. Get it? You accuse me of pretending? Well, wake up. You did you fair share of pretending. We all did. You knew exactly what was going on the entire time, and you chose to ignore it. So if you’re looking for someone to blame, don’t forget to look in the mirror. Lesley slaps her. Lesley: How dare you! Monica: The truth hurts. I know. I’ve been there. But you’ll get over it. After all, you did before. Monica marches down the hall and into Rick’s office. Lesley stands there looking stunned. Fade to black. Scene 173 The ER, about the same time the previous scene. Alan is going over some charts with a nurse, when a sick-looking Emily walks in. Alan: Emily? Sweetheart, what are you doing here? He rushes over to her. Emily: I threw up at school ... but they wouldn’t let me go home because no one was there. So I came here instead. I hope that’s okay. Alan: Of course that’s alright. He puts a hand on her forehead. Alan: You’re not feverish. What did you have for breakfast this morning? Emily: I didn’t feel well, so I didn’t eat. Alan: What about dinner last night? Emily shakes her head, Alan looks at her sadly. Alan: This has been really rough on you, hasn’t it. I don’t know what to say, except that I’m sorry and things will get better. Things will calm down once the dust settles. Emily: Where will that leave me? Alan: Wherever you want to be. Emily: Or with whomever will have me? Alan: No, it’s not like that at all. You’re my child no matter what. Emily: That’s not what you said to AJ. Alan: Actually, that’s exactly what I said to AJ. And I meant it to him, and I mean it to you. So you have nothing to worry about. Believe me. Emily: I think I’m going to be sick again .... Alan: Let me get you settled in a cubicle. I’m going to have a nurse give you an IV; you’re pretty dehydrated. Emily: How long will that take? Alan: About a half-hour. Then you can go home and get some rest. I’ll call Reginald and ask him to pick you up and stay with you. Emily: He took Grandmother to Wyndham’s. Alan: Oh, that’s right. Well, I’ll find someone to cover for me here .... Emily: Maybe you could call Mark? I know he’d take care of me. Alan: Mark? I didn’t know the two of you were friends. Emily: I think he’s the only friend I have. Alan: Then I’ll call Mark. I’m sure you’ll be fine with him. Emily trots after the nurse, Alan picks up the phone. Fade to black. Scene 174 Lesley in the hallway near Rick’s office. She’s still standing there, stunned after Monica’s tongue-lashing, when Mike walks up, handing her a single, long-stemmed red rose. She’s surprised to see him. Lesley: Thank you. This is very sweet. Mike: Amy told me I could find you here. Lesley: Amy does know everything. Mike: Everything? Lesley blushes. Lesley: I mean, everything that’s going on in the hospital. Mike: Well, we wouldn’t want to give her anything else to talk about, now, would we? Lesley: I don’t know. What did you have in mind? Mike: You could give me a check-up. I need one, you know. Lesley: No, you don’t. Take my word for it. You don’t. Mike: I hope you don’t mind my dropping by like this. Lesley: No, not at all. Why would I? Mike: You’ve been pretty scarce lately. Lesley: I know. Mike: I hope it wasn’t something I said. Or did. Or didn’t say. Lesley: Not at all. I’ve just been a little .... preoccupied. But you’re a very nice distraction. Mike: A distraction? I don’t know if I like the sound of that. Lesley: Trust me, it’s a good thing. I really need something to take me away from all this. Mike: I can do that. How does Las Vegas grab you? Lesley: Vegas? Mike: If we leave now, we can be there by 8 pm Las Vegas time. Lesley: Wow ...... I can’t. Mike: Aren’t you the one who told me you were thirsting for excitement? Lesley gives him a contemplative look; Mike watches her with sparkling eyes. Fade to black. Scene 175 A direct continuation from the scene between Monica and Lesley; Monica walks into Rick’s office. He looks up at her. Rick: The left side of your face is red. Monica: Your ex-wife just slapped me. Rick: Sorry about that. Monica: Don’t worry; I’ll live. He gets up and walks over to her; she puts her arms around his neck and kisses him. Rick: So does everyone in Port Charles hate us? Monica: Not everyone. Our son still likes us. I think. Rick: Then we don’t have to worry about inviting a lot of people over for dinner. Monica: Boy, you’ve mellowed out. I remember a time when you were mortified at the thought of alienating anyone. Rick: The older I’ve become, the less I care about what other people think. Of course, you *never* did. Monica: That’s not true! Rick: Oh, yes, it most certainly is true! As long as I’ve known you, you have always gone after everything you wanted, and the hell with anyone who stood in your way. Monica: That may be so, but I always felt very sorry afterwards for anyone I hurt. Rick: Not sorry enough to stop yourself the next time ..... Monica: Well, no. Rick laughs and kisses her. Monica: I guess I have been rather singleminded at times. Rick: Monica, you wouldn’t have gotten as far as you have without that determination. It got you the cardiology chair. Monica: Not to mention, you. Rick: That was something different. That was fate. She kisses him. Monica: Oh, really? So what do you suppose fate has in store for us next? Rick: A whole lot of sleepless nights. Monica: I could have predicted that! Anything else? Rick: Anything you want. Anything. Just tell me, and I’ll give it to you. Monica: That’s ironic. Because the thing I want most right now, you can’t give me. Rick: What’s that? Monica: I want to get on with my life. With you. And in order to do that, I need a divorce. Rick looks at her pensively. There’s a quick rap at the door, then Amy opens it. Amy: Oh, excuse me, I’m sorry. Monica, I thought you might want to know, Emily’s downstairs in the ER. Her school sent her home sick. Monica: Oh! Thank you, Amy. Amy walks out. Monica turns back to Rick. Monica: I have to do something about Emily. Rick: Amy would have told you if it had been something serious. Monica: I don’t mean her illness. I mean, her distance from me. I have to get my daughter back. She kisses him on the cheek. Monica: I’m going down to check on her. Rick: Will you be back later? Monica: You betcha. She walks out, fade to black. Scene 176 In the hallway near Rick’s office; a direct continuation of the scene between Mike and Lesley. Lesley: I think running off to Vegas tonight might be a little too much excitement for me. Mike: Okay, then what about dinner? Lesley: It sounds lovely. Mike: Wonderful. Why don’t you come by my place around 8; I’ll cook for you. Lesley: Gee, I can’t remember the last time someone cooked for me. Besides Ruby, I mean. Mike: Then I’ll be certain to make it a memorable occasion. Lesley: I’m sure it will be. They smile at each other, just as Monica comes down the hall and sees them together. Monica immediately realizes that something’s going on. She swallows a smile and approaches them. Monica: Mr. Corbin. Mike: Dr. Quartermaine. Monica: It’s been awhile. Mike: I know. Monica: A rather long time, actually. Lesley watches their exchange with concern. Mike: I’ve been really busy. Monica: I’ve heard that excuse before. If you’re going to risk another heart attack, at least have a good reason for doing so. Lesley: When did you have a heart attack? Mike: It was nothing. I’ll tell you about it later. Monica raises her eyebrows; her suspicions confirmed. Monica: When am I going to see you again? Mike: I don’t know ... I need to check my schedule. Monica: Alright, while you check your schedule, perhaps you should take another look at your EKG while you’re at it. Mike: Okay, I get the message! I’ll be by next week. Monica: I’m counting on it. Monica walks away, Lesley turns and glares at Mike. Mike: I haven’t seen *that* look before. It’s not good. Lesley: I don’t know whether I’m angry that you never told me about your heart attack, or if I’m angry that you’re neglecting your health, or if I’m angry that you never told me that Monica is your doctor. Mike: Sounds like you’re just plain angry. Lesley: I’m not joking! Mike: Alright, alright! I’ll make the appointment. I’ll do it right now! Lesley: No, you won’t. First you’re going to tell me why you never mentioned that Monica was your doctor. Mike: This is a big deal? Lesley: This is a very big deal. Mike: Well, this is how I saw it. I was attracted to you the first time I saw you. And one of the first things you confided in me was how much you disliked Monica. Lesley: So? Mike: So I was hardly going to tell you how grateful I am to the woman who saved my life. Lesley: It was that bad then? Mike: It was that bad. They weren’t sure I was going to make it. Monica came in and pulled me through. Lesley: Isn’t that ironic. She saved Rick’s life as well. Mike: Truthfully, I think she’s a talented lady. I was very lucky she came back to work to operate on me. Lesley: Came back from where? Mike: I was her first patient when she returned from medical leave. Lesley: Why did she go on medical leave? Mike: Lesley, she had cancer. Didn’t you know? Lesley shakes her head violently. Lesley: No, I didn’t. I didn’t. No one told me. Mike: Well, it was a few years ago. She had breast cancer, with one recurrance. Lesley: I didn’t know. Mike: I don’t expect it to change anything for you .... Lesley: Of course not! Mike: But I appreciated her willingness to cut her own recovery period short for my sake. Lesley: Well, then the least you can do is make a follow-up appointment with her. Mike: I guess it is. I guess you’re right. So why is this bothering you? Lesley: It’s not bothering me, exactly. I guess I have a hard time picturing Monica as vulnerable. Mike: Well, believe me, she was. Lesley: I’ll have to take your word for it. Because until the day I see it for myself, she’ll always be the iron lady in my eyes. They walk down the hall together, fade to black. Scene 177 Emily and Mark in the Quartermaine living room. They’re on the couch, she’s lying down with her head in his lap as he strokes her hair. Emily: I’m so glad you were able to pick me up. I don’t think I could have standed staying at that hospital another minute. Mark: I was happy to help. And I was very happy you thought of me. Emily: I really feel like you’re the only person in my life that I can count on right now. Mark: You can count on me. Completely. So how are you feeling? Is your stomach any better? Emily: A little. Mark: You should eat something. Shall I ask Cook to bring in some soup and crackers? Emily: In a little while. Right now I’m just so tired .... I could fall asleep right here. Mark: Let me help. Why don’t you roll over and close your eyes? Emily does, Mark starts rubbing her shoulders and her back. Mark: I can feel how tense you are. Your neck muscles are incredibly tight. Emily: What does that mean? Mark: It means you worry too much! Emily: I can’t help it. Mark: Let me get up for a second. I can’t reach your lower back from here. She sits up; he stands up and leans over her as she lies back down. He starts massaging her lower back, then moves his hands up to her shoulders and kisses her on the neck a few times. Emily squirms. Emily: I think I’m too old for you to kiss it and make it better. Mark: You’ve never too old for that. Emily: Maybe you shouldn’t do that. You’re giving me goosebumps. Mark: It’s supposed to give you goosebumps. Emily rolls over and looks at him. Emily: You’re my best friend. But I think you want to be more than friends. Mark: You’re right. I do. Emily: I don’t understand. You’re a grown-up! Don’t you want to date other grown-ups? Mark: Emily, you’re one of the most mature people I know. What does being a grown-up mean to you? Does it mean acting like Alan or Monica? Doing whatever they want, and not caring that you’re caught in the middle? Does it mean acting like AJ, and trying to drink away your problems? You’re the only real grown-up in this family. Emily: You’re the only person who sees me that way. Mark: I’m the only one who’s looking. Emily: I know. But .... I don’t know if I should be your girlfriend. I mean, I think I’m mature enough for it. But I think Alan would freak. Mark: You’re right. He would freak. He still sees you as a little girl, not as a woman, the way I do. So we wouldn’t tell him. We wouldn’t tell anyone, just to be safe. Emily: If we weren’t boyfriend and girlfriend, would you still be my friend? Mark: I would want to be. But I don’t know if I could hang out with you, feeling the way I feel, and not being able to express it. Emily looks panicked. Emily: I need you. Please don’t leave me. Mark: Then don’t push me away. They lock eyes. Just as Mark starts to move in to kiss her, Sally walks in. Sally: Cook wanted to know if she could make you anything, Miss Emily. Emily: I think -- I think some soup and crackers would be good right now. Sally nods and walks out. Emily sits up. Emily: Um, I don’t think you want to kiss me right now. I have a really bad taste in my mouth. Mark: I won’t push you. He gives her a lingering kiss on the cheek and sits down next to her on the couch. Reggie wheels Lila in. Lila: Emily, my dear, you’re home early. Emily: I’m sick. Mark was taking care of me. Lila: My dear boy, how wonderful. Emily, it’s nice to have another big brother, isn’t it? Emily: Um, yeah. Mark stands up. Mark: I’ve got to run. Emily, give me a call later. Lila, take care. He strides out hurriedly, Emily watches him go, an anxious look on her face. Fade to black. Scene 178 Rick’s office, about an hour after the previous scene there. Monica walks in. Rick: That was fast. Monica: Not fast enough, apparently. By the time I got down there, Emily had already gone home. I’m going to head over there tonight, try to straighten a few things out. Rick: Good luck. Monica: The reason I was late in getting down to ER is because I had the most interesting exchange with Mike Corbin in the hallway. Rick: Do I know him? Monica: I believe so. He’s Sonny Corinthos’ father ... Tends bar at Luke’s Place? Rick: Broad guy, mustache? Monica: That’s him. Rick: What was so interesting? Don’t tell me he hit on you. Do I need to knock some sense into him? Monica starts laughing hysterically. Rick: Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve been forced to physically defend your honor, but if need be, he won’t know what hit him. Monica continues to laugh, then finally regains her composure. Monica: No, my darling, it was not me whom Mike was hitting on. He was with Lesley ... and I got the very distinct impression that it’s not just a casual acquaintenceship. Rick: You’re joking. Monica: No, I’m not. Rick gets a very disturbed look on his face. Rick: Well, if you’re right, she certainly didn’t waste any time, did she? Monica: Presumably, she waited until she was actually out of your house. Rick: I can’t believe this. Monica: Neither can I. Why are you upset about this? Rick: How did you expect me to react? Monica: With amusement and relief, the way I did. Rick: If I told you that I saw Alan acting cozy with another woman, how would you feel? Monica: As I said, amused and relieved! Amused at his choice of companions -- they have *always* amused me, you know -- and relieved that he’s getting on with his life. Rick: What do you know about this *Mike Corbin* guy? How do I know that he’s good enough for her? Monica: Frankly, Rick, I’m sure Lesley feels that any man who doesn’t lie and cheat on her is an improvement over her last mate. Rick closes his eyes in guilt. Rick: You’re right. I have no right to judge anyone else. And I can hardly worry about her getting hurt, when the person who hurt her the most was me. Monica: That’s a very realistic appraisal, my friend. Rick: You said he’s a bartender? Monica: He can mix a mean gin and tonic. Rick: Maybe we should drop by tonight and ... Monica shakes her head. Rick: It’s been a long time since I had a good gin and tonic. Monica kisses him. Monica: Then I’ll make you one tonight. At home. After I talk to Emily. Rick: Alright, I’ll see you then. Monica walks out, Rick sighs grumpily. Fade to black. Scene 179 The Quartermaine living room that evening. Alan is sitting alone on the couch, brooding, when Monica appears at the door. He doesn’t see her right away. She stands there watching him for a few moments, a look of extreme sadness on her face. Then she straightens up and walks in. Monica: Is Emily here? I heard she was at GH today. Alan: She’s upstairs resting. It wasn’t anything serious, just a stomach upset. Monica: Oh. Alan: I believe she’s having a hard time dealing with everything that’s going on. Monica: So you’re saying it’s my fault. Alan: Not at all. We’re equally to blame. Monica: No, we’re not, Alan. You started this whole chain of events 25 years ago when you tampered with AJ’s blood tests. Alan: Don’t play the wounded wife with me. You were carrying on with Rick Webber well before you learned the truth about AJ. Monica: I only turned to Rick because you were so preoccupied with Victoria. Alan: That may have been true for the past few months. But that certainly doesn’t explain the past ten years. Monica: You don’t want to hear an explanation for that. Alan: That’s the first rational thing you’ve said since this whole mess started. Monica: Then let me see if I can achieve two for two. It’s time to close the book on us, Alan. Let’s end it before we hurt anyone else. Alan: You’re asking me for a divorce. Monica: Yes, I am. Alan: Well, I hardly have grounds on which to refuse. Monica: I want to get on with my life, Alan. I think you should, too. They stare at each other for a beat. Alan finally lets go of his facade of indifference -- his shoulders slump and his eyes fill with pain. Alan (almost whispering): I can’t imagine my life without you. Monica turns away abruptly, tearing up. Monica: Please don’t do this. Seeing he’s got a foothold, Alan moves toward Monica and puts his hand on her shoulder; she still won’t look at him. Alan: It doesn’t have to be like this, Monica. We can put this behind us. Look at everything else we’ve managed to overcome. Monica: It’s not the same. Alan: Monica, you forgave me for trying to kill you! Monica (turning to face him): You were not in your right mind at that time. Alan: That was the same time as the blood tests. Why is one behavior excuseable and not the other? Monica: Because you haven’t spent the past 25 years pretending you *didn’t* try to kill me. Alan: Okay. Okay. I lied. I was wrong. But you’ve been lying to me for the past 10 years. Monica: I don’t deny that! Listen to yourself, listen to us! These are the reasons why we should end this sadistic game of oneupmanship once and for all. Alan: What about the reasons to stay together? Monica (harshly): There are none. Alan: Now who’s lying? I’ll give you one very good reason: we love each other. Monica looks away from him. Monica: If this is what love looks like to you, I’d be afraid to see your version of hate. Alan: You can’t look me in the eye and say you don’t love me. Monica looks at him. Monica: I don’t want to be married to you anymore, Alan. I want to get on with my life! Alan: That’s not the same thing! Monica: No, it’s not. You’re right. It’s not. And I’m not going to stand here and insult your intelligence by saying that I don’t love you. As much as I might like to, I can’t pretend that everything we shared over the past 25 years means nothing to me. Alan: Then let’s -- Monica: No, no, you have to let me finish. Yes, most of those years were good. Some were quite frankly wonderful. But I can’t ignore the fact that I could have -- I should have -- spent those years with Rick. I do love you, Alan. But not the way I love him. I never have. I never could. I’m so sorry, Alan. But I have the chance to be with him now, to make up for all that lost time. And god help me, I’m going to take it. Alan looks like he’s been shot. Alan: So I guess that’s it. We get a divorce. Monica nods, too emotional to speak. Alan: I’ll have my lawyer call you in the morning. He hurries out of the room, slamming the living room doors hard behind him. Monica walks over to the bar and tries to pour herself a drink of water, but she’s shaking so hard she can’t hold onto the pitcher. Finally she collapses back down on the couch, her face in her hands. Camera pans back to Alan, walking up the foyer stairs at a fast pace. About halfway up, the dam breaks -- he sits down on the stairs and begins to weep. As the Celine Dion song “Because You Loved Me”* begins to play, snatches of scenes from their marriage fill Alan’s mind: * their very first meeting at the hospital; * the day he proposed; * their first wedding; * holding infant AJ before he was taken in for surgery; * a violent, emotional fight in their bedroom; * the fight for the deposition that ended in passion; * the “red dress” scene; * Monica testifying at Alan’s palimony trial that they will always love each other; * hitting each other with red rubber bats; * Monica fainting after discovering “Simon”; * Alan trying to talk Monica out of divorcing him over Lucy; * comforting Monica after Dawn’s death; * giving her a ring after their second wedding; * confiding that he killed Ray Conway; * holding her before her first cancer surgery; * telling her that he was her secret admirer; * flirting at GH; * her confession about Dorman; * hugging at the jail after being cleared for Dorman’s murder. The song ends, Alan’s reverie ends. He wipes the tears from his face and marches upstairs. Fade to black. *Lyrics to “Because You Loved Me” For all those times you stood by me For all the truth that you made me see For all the joy you brought to my life For all the wrong that you made right For every dream you made come true For all the love I found in you I'll be forever thankful baby You're the one who held me up Never let me fall You're the one who saw me through through it all You were my strength when I was weak You were my voice when I couldn't speak You were my eyes when I couldn't see You saw the best there was in me Lifted me up when I couldn't reach You gave me faith 'coz you believed I'm everything I am Because you loved me You gave me wings and made me fly You touched my hand I could touch the sky I lost my faith, you gave it back to me You said no star was out of reach You stood by me and I stood tall I had your love I had it all I'm grateful for each day you gave me Maybe I don't know that much But I know this much is true I was blessed because I was loved by you You were my strength when I was weak You were my voice when I couldn't speak You were my eyes when I couldn't see You saw the best there was in me Lifted me up when I couldn't reach You gave me faith 'coz you believed I'm everything I am Because you loved me You were always there for me The tender wind that carried me A light in the dark shining your love into my life You've been my inspiration Through the lies you were the truth My world is a better place because of you You were my strength when I was weak You were my voice when I couldn't speak You were my eyes when I couldn't see You saw the best there was in me Lifted me up when I couldn't reach You gave me faith 'coz you believed I'm everything I am Because you loved me (bis) I'm everything I am Because you loved me Scene 180 The Quartermaine living room, about a half hour after the previous scene. Monica is still on the couch, having pretty much pulled herself together, when Emily walks in. Emily: I didn’t know *you* were here. Monica: I came to see you. I thought you were sleeping. Emily: I woke up. I left my algebra book down here. She grabs it off the sofa. Emily: I have to finish my homework. She starts to walk out. Monica: Emily, wait! Emily turns around. Monica (weakly): How -- how are you feeling? Emily: Better. Mark came over and made me eat something. I guess I just needed someone to take care of me. Monica sighs, feeling overwhelmed with guilt. Monica: Everyone needs that at one time or another. Emily: Well, I’d better get started. Monica: Please, can’t we talk for a minute? Emily: What’s there to talk about? Monica: I don’t know! School, work, your friends, Raoul .... whatever it is that mothers and daughters talk about. Emily (matter-of-factly): You’re not my mother. Monica: That’s right. I’m not. But I love you like one. Emily: Well, you are like my mother in one respect. She left me and so did you. Monica: I haven’t left you. And she had no choice. Emily: You’re not here. Monica: I asked you to go with me! Emily: What for? I’d just be in the way of you and your boyfriend. Monica: No, sweetheart, never. You’d never be in the way. Emily: I was never in your way here because this house is big enough to get lost in. If I moved into your hotel suite, I would just get on your nerves. Monica: No, you wouldn’t. Emily: Well, you’d get on mine! Monica: I can understand that. But I’m not going to be living in that hotel forever, you know. Emily: Don’t worry about sending me your forward address. Monica: Emily, could you please just give me a break! Tell me, what did I do to hurt you? Specifically, you? Are you upset because I didn’t put your well-being first in everything I did? Well, I’m sorry. I never promised to do that. Emily: How can you say that you love me, and not care about my feelings? Monica: I do love you and I do care about your feelings. But I have feelings, too. And sometimes I have to do what’s best for me, or I won’t be any good for anyone else. Because you know what, Emily? As nice as it is to have someone take care of you, in the end, if you don’t take care of yourself, no one else will do it for you. Emily: Then I’d better do that right now. She jumps off the couch and slams out of the room. Monica shakes her head at her own forthrightness. Monica: Well, there goes that `Mother of the Year’ award. Fade to black. Scene 181 Victoria’s place, about an hour after the last scene. The doorbell rings insistently; Victoria comes running out, putting her robe on in the process. She opens the door to a weary-looking Alan. Alan: I’m sorry. You were sleeping. I didn’t realize it was late. Victoria: It’s not that late. Come in. You look beat. Alan: I am. He walks in and collapses on the couch. Victoria sits down with him. Alan: I went out for a walk, and I found myself here. Victoria: From the mansion? Alan nods. Victoria: My god, Alan, that’s atleast five miles away. How long have you been out? Alan: I don’t know. I lost track of time. Victoria: You could have been hurt. Alan: Nothing else can hurt me now. Victoria: That’s not true. You could have been mugged, or jumped, or ... Alan: I’m familar with the various crimes that befall pedestrians, Victoria, thank you. Victoria: Forgive me for worrying about you. Alan: Please, don’t mind me. I’m not -- I shouldn’t have come here, I shouldn’t be burdening you with this. I’m not very good company tonight. Victoria: I want you to burden me. I want you to lean on me, and let me make it all better. Alan: That sounds so nice. I wish you could. Victoria: Try me. Alan: Monica asked me for a divorce tonight. Victoria: I thought that was what you wanted. Alan: That was bravado speaking. I can honestly tell you, I have never had a more painful experience than being told by my wife that she never loved me in the way she loves an old boyfriend. That she never could. Those words will haunt me for the rest of my life. Victoria: Don’t let it get to you. I’m sure that’s just what she wanted to do. Alan: No. I know Monica very well. If she had wanted to get to me, to get revenge, she would have tried a completely different tactic. You know, there’s an old saying I remember from college ... it goes, a truth that’s told in bad intent, beats all the lies you can invent. Now I know exactly what that means. Victoria: You’ve lost me totally. Alan: I’m not surprised. I don’t think anyone could understand what I feel right now. Hell, I don’t understand it myself. This is not the first time Monica has divorced me. But I don’t remember feeling this hollow, empty feeling inside. Perhaps it’s because we went through so much together the second time around. Her cancer. Losing Jason. The murder charges. The first time we divorced, I lost my wife. Now I’m not only losing my wife, I’m losing my best friend as well. Victoria: You know, just a couple of weeks ago, you sure weren’t calling her your best friend. Now that she’s hooked up with some other guy, suddenly she’s all that? I don’t get it. Alan: I’m sorry you don’t. I really wish that you did. Victoria: I hate to see you so unhappy. Could we talk about something cheerier? I understand you and Mark are getting along famously. Alan: Mark is one very bright spot in my life that I’m terribly grateful for. Just today, Emily asked for him when she needed an escort home. It’s amazing how close they have become. She’s leaning on him very hard right now. With everything that’s going on, I’m very glad she has him. And I’m glad he wants to be there for her. Victoria: Mark always wanted a little sister. Alan: Well, he has one now, and he’s doing a great job. Victoria: Maybe .... the four of us could do something together sometime. Alan: You know, that sounds really nice. Victoria: Oh, I’m so glad you think so. Alan: Why wouldn’t I? Victoria: I don’t know. I guess I’m just feeling a little insecure, that’s all. Alan: You have no reason to. Victoria: Okay, then I won’t. And the four of us will do something soon. But right now, I think we should concentrate on activities just for two. She starts kissing his neck. Alan sighs and closes his eyes. He gently pushes her away. Alan: You know, what I really need right now is just to feel your arms around me, and nothing more. I can’t handle anything more tonight. Do you understand? Victoria (in a voice that makes it clear that she doesn’t understand): Sure! Just close your eyes. Let me hold you. Alan leans into her, she puts her arms around him and leans her head on his shoulder. But she’s clearly discontented. Fade to black. Scene 182 Monica’s hotel suite, around the same time as the previous scene. Monica is sitting on the couch, brooding and upset, when noise from the door signals that Rick is home. She straightens up and tries to look cool. Rick: Hi! Monica: Hello there! I thought you’d be home hours ago. Rick: I was on my way out when one of Tony’s patients complained of angina. So I ran an EKG and went over the results with Tony. Monica: Rick, that’s not your responsibility. You should have paged me. Rick: Ordinarily, I would have, but I know how important it was for you to talk to Emily tonight. Monica smiles. Monica: Any other evening, I would be furious at your presumptiveness. But tonight I’m grateful. I don’t think I would have left a good impression on Tony’s patient. Rick: I’m glad I could help you out. Monica: Don’t ever do it again. Rick: Not on your life. He kisses her, then gently rubs her face under her eyes, as if to wipe away tear streaks. Rick: I’d ask how it went with Emily, but I don’t think I have to. It must have been pretty upsetting. Monica: I don’t know why I was expecting just to march in there and have my daughter follow me out. And I call you presumptive. Rick: I’m very sorry, Monica. But I honestly believe she’ll come around. Show her that you’re getting on with your life, but make it clear you’ll always have room for her. That will give her the opening she needs without feeling pressured. Monica: You are so very wise. She kisses him. Rick: Speaking of getting on with your life ..... did you have a chance to talk to Alan? Monica tears up at the memory of her exchange with Alan. She nods. Rick: What happened? Is he going to contest the divorce? Monica shakes her head no. Rick: Then what went wrong? Monica (taking a deep breath): Nothing went wrong. He said he’d have his lawyer call me tomorrow. I just wasn’t expecting ...... He tried to talk me out of it. He tried to convince me to give the marriage another chance. Rick: And you had mixed feelings when he did that? Monica: No, not mixed feelings. He put me in a place where I had to say some very hurtful things to him. That I wasn’t just choosing to divorce him, I was choosing to be with you over him. Rick: That must have really hurt him to hear that. Monica: It did! And I felt horrible to be the cause of that kind of pain. Rick: I know. I know. Monica: But it’s more than just that ..... I don’t understand it. I love you. I want to be with you. So why do I feel like someone died, or I just lost my best friend? Monica hides her face in her hands and begins to cry. Rick puts an arm around her. Rick: Monica, I would be worried if you *didn’t* feel that way. Hey, I know more than anyone how attached you are to Alan Quartermaine. You can’t turn your back on a 25 year marriage just like that. Of course you’re in mourning. It is like a death. And not just of the marriage. Part of you, part of your identity -- a rather large part, I must say -- has died with it. You’re losing the marriage. You’re losing Alan. You’re severing your legal ties to Edward and Lila, the only parents you’ve ever known. You’ve even given up that house, which I never thought I’d see you do. And you’re saying goodbye to Monica Quartermaine. Of course you’re upset. And you’ll be upset tomorrow, and the next day, too! It’s okay, Monica. Give yourself permission to mourn. It’s okay. Monica looks up at him in wonder. Monica: You always know exactly how I feel. Even when I don’t know myself. How is that? Rick starts stroking her hair. Rick: Because you’re in my soul. You’re part of me. I feel what you feel. I hurt when you hurt. Monica: You really are amazing, you know. You sit here and watch me cry over another man, and you don’t even bat an eyelash. Rick: No, I don’t. I don’t have to. Because, you know, Monica, there are some days when I don’t know whether the sun will rise in the morning. But one thing I will never doubt, is your love for me. It’s a part of me, just as you are. I can feel it. Monica: I do love you. I love you so much! Rick: I know. She kisses him passionately. Monica: Please, Rick. Make love to me. Make love to me right now. He grabs her, kissing her passionately, pushing her down on the couch. Fade to black. Scene 183 The hospital, early afternoon. Lesley is sitting in the cafeteria drinking coffee when Rick walks in and sits down at her table. She glares at him. Lesley: You know, there are other tables open. Rick: I know. Lesley: So why don’t you go sit at one? Rick: I think being chief-of-staff gives me the right to sit wherever I want. Lesley: Don’t hold that over my head. Rick: I’m not holding anything. So, how’s life at Luke and Laura’s? Crazy? Lesley: I’ll be moving out in a few weeks. Rick: And in with Mike Corbin? Lesley: I don’t think that’s any of your concern. Rick: Well, you’re wrong. Lesley: Me, wrong about you? Gee, isn’t that unusual. Rick: Lesley, you have no right to judge me for behavior that you yourself engaged in. Lesley: I have every right to judge you, mister. And we have no behavior in common! Rick: Then what’s going on between you and Mike? Lesley: We’re dating. Not that it’s any of your business. Rick: Isn’t he a bartender? Lesley: Yes. So? Rick: That’s a little below your station, don’t you think? Lesley: When did you become such a snob? Rick: When did you become so accomodating? Lesley: Oh, shut up! Rick, just go away. You’re getting on my nerves. Rick: I’m just worried about you. I don’t want to see anyone take advantage of you. Lesley: You want to keep that title for yourself? Rick: I’m not proud of what I did. Lesley: Could have fooled me. Rick: I’ve apologized to you more times than I can count. Lesley: And you can keep apologizing till the day you die, and it won’t make a damn bit of difference. Rick: I’m sorry you feel that way. Lesley: I don’t care! Rick, give it up. You and I are not going to be friends! Rick: Since we have to work together, it would be easier if we were. Lesley: I don’t care about making your life any easier. Rick: You’ve made that pretty clear. But I do care about what I can do for you. Lesley: Well, the answer to that is “nothing.” Rick: I want you to be comfortable. I want you to let me help you get settled. Lesley: Where? On the moon? Rick: Wherever you want. Listen. I have a cashier’s check for you; enough to let you buy a house of your own. He pulls the check out of his pocket and tries to hand it to her; she angrily shoves him away. Lesley: You know where you can put your charity. Rick: This isn’t charity. This is the helping hand I should have offered you from the start. Lesley: I know exactly what this is. This is a payoff so that you won’t have to feel guilty anymore. Well, get lost, Rick Webber! I can’t be bought off so easily. Rick: I’m not trying to buy you off. Lesley: Yes, you are. You want to be able to walk off into the sunset with Monica without a care in the world. Well, I’ve got news for you. That’s not going to happen. You’re going to live with your guilt for the rest of your life. Lesley gets up with a flourish. Lesley: I hope you enjoy it. She marches off, full of righteous indignitation. Rick shakes his head in exasperation. Fade to black. Scene 184 The exterior of Emily’s school as classes dismiss for the day. Emily is chatting with some friends when she notices Mark waiting for her. Mark waves; Emily giggles. She bids her friends goodbye and walks over to him. Emily: What are you doing here? Mark: I was thinking about you. I wanted to see you. You’re not mad, are you? Emily: Mad? You’re kidding. Mark: Good. Let’s get out of here, then. Emily: Where are we going? Mark: I was thinking about a movie. Then perhaps dinner. Emily: That sounds like a date. Mark: That’s what I was aiming for. Emily: I don’t know .... I have homework .... and Alan doesn’t let me go out on school nights. Mark: Forget Alan. I’ll call him at the hospital and tell him that you’re with me tonight. Believe me, he’ll be glad to get you off his hands. Emily looks crestfallen. Mark: I didn’t mean anything bad, babe! Alan’s got a lot on his mind these days. If he knows you’re with me, that’ll be one less thing he has to worry about. Emily: Alright. Mark: Then let’s go. I’ll make sure you have a good time. In fact, you’ll have such a good time, you won’t ever want to go home again. Emily: That won’t be too hard. Mark: I’m counting on it. He takes her hand and leads her away. Fade to black. Scene 185 The hospital ER, later on that same day. Lesley approaches Alan. Lesley: Remind me never to go back to the hospital cafeteria. Alan: Don’t tell me we’ve had another samonella outbreak. Lesley: Worse. Guilt-ridden ex-husbands. There’s no escaping them. Alan: You may have to enter a witness protection program. Lesley: You look sad. What’s going on? Alan: My son just called. Mark has taken Emily off my hands for the evening, as he put it. I was hoping to spend some time with her. Lesley: You’re welcome to join Mike and me for dinner. Alan: In your case, I do believe that three is a crowd. No, I think I’ll throw myself on Victoria’s mercy. Again. Lesley: She’s becoming a regular habit for you. Alan: Well, I don’t see any other women lining up for the honor. Lesley: Why do you need any other women? Alan: Isn’t it obvious? Lesley: No. Alan: Monica asked me for a divorce a few nights ago. Lesley: That didn’t really surprise you, did it? Alan: The obvious answer is no. The truth is that, somewhere in my heart, I always thought we would find our way back to each other. I guess that’s not going to happen now. Lesley: So instead you’re throwing yourself at the closest available woman. Alan: Victoria and I have a long history together. Lesley: You’re with her because you have nothing better to do. Alan: That’s a dreadful accusation. Lesley: Have you ever known me to pull my punches? Alan: No. That’s one of the things I always appreciated about you. Lesley: Don’t get involved with this woman just because she’s the only thing you’ve got going. It’s not fair to her or you. Alan: I loved her once. I loved her very much. It could easily happen again. Lesley: But why are you trying to force it? Alan: What other choice do I have? Lesley: You could try being alone, for once. Alan: No. Lesley: You never have, have you? When was the last time you were truly alone, Alan? Before you met Monica? Alan: I believe so. What’s your point? Lesley: I think it would do you a lot of good not to have a woman in your life right now. It would give you a chance to get in touch with yourself, think about what you really want from a relationship. Alan: And just how long did you wait after ending things with Rick, before you took up with Mike? Lesley: That’s hardly the same thing. Alan: Why not? Lesley: Because I spent 13 years on that godforsaken Cassadine island, that’s why not! I’ve had enough alone time to last for the rest of my life and then some. Alan: How are you doing now, Lesley? With everything? Lesley: I’m alright, actually. Mike and I are enjoying each other’s company. I’m still mad as hell at Rick and Monica. But I let them know it every chance I get. It feels good. Alan: Nothing like catharsis. Lesley: And there’s nothing like being accountable to no one but yourself. You should try it, Alan. At least for a little while. If nothing else, so that Victoria doesn’t feel she’s just a substitute for Monica. On the other hand, if she does feel that way, send her to me. I’m very familar with the feeling. Alan: I appreciate the words of advice, Lesley. And I wish I could take them. But I can’t. Alan strides down the hall, Lesley looks after him, then grabs a chart and leaves. Fade to black. Scene 186 Monica’s hotel suite, early evening. Rick and Monica are in bed; Monica is asleep. Rick nudges her awake. Monica (mumbling): It can’t be morning already .... Rick: It isn’t. But I’m starving. Monica: You woke me up to tell me that? Rick: No.... I woke you up for this. He starts kissing her neck. She rolls over and gives him a suspicious look. Monica: You’re lying. Rick: Alright, you caught me. As much as I enjoy nibbling on you, I’d rather be nibbling on a cheeseburger right now. Monica: A cheeseburger? Spoken like a heart surgeon who hasn’t performed bypass surgery lately. Rick: I thought you might be hungry, too. Monica: I wasn’t hungry. I was sleeping. Rick: Go back to sleep. I’m going to order room service. Monica: You may as well take advantage of it while we’re still living here. Rick: Are we moving out soon? Monica: I’m not spending the rest of my life in a hotel. No matter how good the food is. Rick: Just take the cook with you when you go. Monica: Now that’s a possibility. Rick: I knew there had to be benefits to falling in love with a wealthy woman. Monica: You don’t love me for my cooking. You love me for my cook. He laughs and kisses her. Rick: Go back to sleep. I’ll be back. Monica: Well, I can’t sleep now. Rick: Why not? Monica: I’m hungry! They laugh. Rick: I’ll order something pasta-like. In the meantime, could you look over something for me? Monica: Didn’t I just spend the past few hours doing that? He grins. Rick: I’m giving a lecture to some medical students tomorrow. Would you review it for me? Monica: Certainly. What time are you speaking? Rick: Noon. It’s a brown-bag deal. If you’re not in surgery, I’d love to have some moral support. Monica: That sounds doable. I haven’t been over to the med school in years. Rick: Well, it hasn’t changed since we were there. They may even be using some of the same cadavers. Monica: Remind me not to donate my body to science. Rick: How about donating it to me? He starts kissing her shoulder. Monica: I thought you wanted dinner! Rick: I did. But I changed my mind. Monica (grinning evilly): Are you sure you have the stamina on an empty stomach? Rick: You want stamina? I’ll show you stamina. He kisses her, then rolls over so she’s on top of him. They kiss, but then he grimaces in pain. Monica: What’s wrong? Rick: Just a twinge in my shoulder. It’ll pass .... Monica: I knew it ... Rick: Then I guess I’d better get up and order dinner. He starts to manuever her off of him, but she won’t let him. Monica: Don’t you dare! She kisses him on the neck; he smiles and closes his eyes. Fade to black. Scene 187 The Quartermaine mansion, living room, around 11 pm that night. AJ is doing paperwork when Emily and Mark walk in. Emily looks surprised to see him; Mark disappointed. Emily: Hi AJ. AJ: Isn’t it a little late for you to be out on a school night? Emily: Alan said it was okay. Mark: I’m touched by my little brother’s concern. AJ: Emily, maybe you’d better go upstairs and get to bed. I need to talk to Mark alone. Emily: I’m not a child! Anything you have to say, you can say in front of me. Mark: Emily, it’s alright. Emily: Okay, then. Well, thanks for the movie and all. I really ... you helped me take my mind off of things. She glares at AJ and walks out. AJ shuts the doors behind her. Mark: What’s all this about? AJ: You tell me. Why are you hanging out with a kid? Mark: What’s it to ya? AJ: She’s my sister, that’s what! Mark: She’s my sister, too. AJ: Then you should know better than to keep her out this late. Mark: She’s not 6 years old, AJ. Are you still going by AJ, by the way? Or are you changing your name to something more accurate? AJ: Don’t even try goading me into something tonight. I’m not in the mood for it. Mark: Oh, dear, then let me just keep my mouth shut! AJ: I don’t think you know how. Mark: I don’t think you should talk. AJ: Why are you still here? Mark: Oh, so now you’re throwing me out? What gives you the right to do that? AJ: I live here. You don’t. Mark: This is my father’s house. AJ: No, actually, this is my mother’s house, and she just hasn’t gotten around to reclaiming it yet. Mark: Who cares? AJ: You know, this whole sibling rivalry thing has gotten a little old. We’re not related. Let’s just try to stay out of each other’s way from now on. Mark: That won’t be a problem, if you’re planning on moving out of here. AJ: Why, are you moving in? Mark: I’d like to see as much of my father and sister as possible. AJ: Don’t give me that bull. You want something. What is it, money? Power? Or something else? Alan can give you money, but that’s about it. And how does Emily fit into all this? What could she possibly give you? Mark gives AJ a cold look. Mark: I’ll show myself out. Mark throws open the doors and marches out. AJ looks after him, shaking his head, wondering what Mark could be up to. Fade to black. Scene 188 Mark’s suite, about noon the next day. Victoria opens the door to Emily. They both seem surprised to see each other. Emily: Um .... I’m looking for Mark Winter? Victoria: Well, he’s not here. Shouldn’t you be in school? Emily: It’s lunchtime. Do you know when he’ll be back? Victoria: No ....... Emily: Well, do you know where he went? Victoria: My, aren’t you an inquisitive little girl. Emily: I just want to talk to Mark. Victoria: I’m sure you do. Maybe there’s something I can help you with. Emily: I don’t think you could help me with anything. Victoria: I could help you out the door, hon. I could help you find a boy your own age to talk to. Emily: Thanks but no thanks. Could you just tell Mark I stopped by? Victoria: That depends. Who are you? Emily: Emily Quartermaine. Victoria gasps in surprise. Victoria: Emily, darling, I’m so sorry! I thought -- well, that doesn’t matter. I’m Victoria, Mark’s mother. Emily: Oh. Victoria: You’re welcome to come in and wait for him. I don’t know where he is, myself. I just came by to leave him a note. Emily: That’s okay. I’m going to get something to eat and go back to school. Victoria: Let me order you something. Emily: No, really, that’s okay. Victoria: Please, I’d like to. Emily: No..... Victoria: Mark may have some food around here somewhere. Emily: That’s okay, really! Victoria: Emily, I’d just really like to get to know you better, alright, honey? Emily: I don’t think so. When you didn’t know who I was, you treated me like dirt. Victoria: I’m sorry. When Mark was teaching, he had a lot of -- fans. I thought you were one of them. Emily: You shouldn’t treat people that way. No matter who they are. Emily flounces off, Victoria looks after her in distress. Fade to black. Scene 189 About an hour after the previous scene, Port Charles Medical School. Rick and Monica are walking down a hall together. Rick: So I wasn’t too terrible? Monica: Not at all. Only about half the audience fell asleep. Rick: Only half? That’s good, that’s good! Monica: You’re definitely improving. They laugh. Monica: Oh, god, I remember that classroom. I had my pathology class there. Rick: That’s a killer class! Monica: Your sense of humor can leave much to be desired. Rick: Personally, I believe you should laugh anyway, to avoid damaging my delicate ego. Monica: There’s nothing delicate about your ego, or any other part of you. Rick: All these compliments .... just too much to handle .... Monica: Oh, I had a class in that room, too! Pharmocology. Rick: Any classes in this room? He opens a door and leads her in; they’re in a supply closet. Monica: Mimeographing 101. I’ll never forget it. Why are we here? Rick: You did forget. Monica looks around, looks at him, then suddenly blushes. Monica: Okay, you got me. Rick: Why are you embarrassed? I thought you might enjoy the memory. Monica: Enjoy it? It was one of the most embarrassing days of my life! It was my first day at GH .... I felt completely overwhelmed and certain that I was going to kill every patient unlucky enough to get me as their doctor .... I came back for a class and ended up hiding in here to cry .... and then you show up. Rick: You were a damsel in distress. I wanted to help. Monica: And I was grateful for your help. I thought you were a gallant stranger, coming to the aid of needy medical students everywhere. Rick: I was! Monica: You were also my supervising resident. Rick: You didn’t find that out until the next day. Monica: I was still mortified. I was certain you’d blow the whistle on me and have me booted out of General for good. Rick: Not a chance. The first time I looked into those big hazel eyes, I was a goner. Monica smiles and blushes. Monica: I can’t believe you remembered this closet. Rick: Yes, I did, and I thought this would be the perfect place. Monica: For what? Rick: For this. He kneels in front of her and takes her hand in his. Monica realizes what he’s doing and starts shaking with nervousness and joy. Monica: Oh my god .... Rick: I wanted to bring you back to the place we started, to get you to think about where we’re going. Monica nods, tearing up. Rick: Monica ... will you marry me? Monica: Yes! Oh, yes! She sits down in front of him, they kiss passionately. Monica: I love you so much ..... Rick: I love you too ... and this time, I promise you, it’s forever. Nothing is going to keep us apart. They kiss again, then hug each other tightly. Fade to black. Scene 190 Emily’s school, classes are letting out for the day. Mark is waiting for Emily. Mark: I hear you had a little run-in with my mother today. Emily: She’s not very nice. Mark: She feels really bad about it. Emily: Then she should try to be nice to people. Mark: She’s very nice to people she knows. It’s everyone else who gets the cold shoulder. Emily: Why? Mark: A lot of people were very mean to her when she was younger. So she’s very defensive. Emily: She’s mean first, you’re saying. Mark: That’s what I’m saying. But she feels really bad, Emily. She wants to make it up to you. Emily: Whatever. Mark: No, really. Emily: Tell her to get in line. I have so many people in my life right now who want to “make things up to me,” I should have everything I want by now. Mark: But you don’t. Emily: It’s a joke. Alan, Monica .... your mom ..... they just say that so they can get away with doing whatever they want. And then they’re like, “Oh, I’ll make it up to you,” like that’ll make it all okay. And then they do it again! Well, I’m sick of it. Oh, and you know what? They never do try to make it up to me, either. Mark: Well, then, atleast you’ve got a pretty big stack of emotional IOUs from them. One of these days, you can call them in for something big. A car, or a horse, or something. Emily: It doesn’t matter. I can already have anything I want. What’s the point? Mark: I don’t know. I just hope I never have to make anything up to you. Emily: I hope so, too. Mark: Listen, what do you say, we just get out of town for a few hours? Get in the car and just go? Emily: Go where? Mark: I don’t know, anywhere. We’ll decide when we get there. Emily: There’s no point in getting in a car if you don’t know where you’re going. Mark: Wise words. Alright, how about the beach? It’s only about an hour from here .... I could sure use the sight of sand and waves right now. Emily: Well, as long as we don’t get home too late. Mark: We can leave whenever you’d like. Emily: I don’t know why I care. No one at home seems to care about what I do, anymore. You’re the only one. Mark: Let’s go. Maybe we can build a sandcastle or something. Emily smiles bravely and timidly puts her hand in his. They walk off together. Fade to black. Scene 191 The Versailles Room, later on that evening. Alan and Victoria are dining. Victoria: I’m afraid I insulted your daughter today. Alan: Emily? How? Victoria: She dropped by to visit Mark. I didn’t know who she was, and I must confess I was less than accomodating. Alan: You? Why? Victoria: Well, you know Mark used to teach .... he always had little girls following him home, calling him at all hours ... it was a real mess. Alan: I had no idea young women were so forward. Victoria: Oh, Alan, you’re so old-fashioned. Alan: Yes, that’s me, just a Victorian gentleman. Victoria: Naturally, when Emily told me who she was, I was mortified. Alan: Naturally. Victoria: But she was impervious to my apologies. I suppose she’ll never forgive me now. Alan: Probably not. Unless you offer her tickets to the Oasis concert. Victoria: Who? Alan snorts. Alan: I don’t know. I buy her the CDs she wants as long as she promises not to play them in my presence. Victoria: I remember when Edward used to say the same thing about you. Alan: Please don’t compare me to my father. Victoria: Alright, I won’t. Well, I suppose then the four of us will have to go to the Oasis concert if I want that little outing you promised me to go smoothly. Alan: Maybe we’d better postpone that. Perhaps we’re rushing things. Victoria: What are you saying? Alan: Victoria, please, you don’t need that nervous tone. I just don’t want Emily to think I’m pushing this ready-made family on her. Victoria: Isn’t that what Monica is doing? Alan: You’re not Monica. Victoria: Obviously!! Alan sighs and drums his fingers on the table. Alan: You’re taking this far too seriously. Victoria: No, *you’re* taking this far too seriously! I’m talking about dinner at a hamburger place. You seem to believe I’m ready to elope. Alan: This isn’t about you. This is about Emily, and not pushing anything more at her. She’s got enough to handle already, with her mother more interested in her love life than anything else. I just don’t think she should have to deal with more people right now. Victoria: She isn’t having any problems dealing with Mark. In fact she seems quite possessive of him. Alan: Because she doesn’t want to deal with the rest of us. Victoria: Alan, if you don’t want to see me anymore, why don’t you just say it? Alan: This isn’t about you!! Exasperated, Alan shakes his head, looking around the restaurant. His eye is caught by the sight of Rick and Monica, standing together in the lobby, laughing and talking to Gail and Lee. Rick has his hand on Monica’s shoulder; she’s glowing like a new bride. Victoria turns around and sees them too; she smiles smugly. Alan sighs and turns calmly back to Victoria. Alan: I’m sorry. I’ve over-reacted. I do want to see you. You’re very important to me. And Emily needs to know that. He reaches for her hand and kisses her fingertips. Victoria smiles. Victoria: I’m relieved you see it that way. Alan: Of course. Of course I do. Alan forces another smile at her, but he can’t keep his eyes off of Rick and Monica. Victoria doesn’t notice his preoccupation. Fade to black. Scene 192 The hospital, mid-morning. Rick is in his office working when Bobbie walks in. Bobbie: I hope I’m not interrupting. Rick: I always have a few minutes for an old friend. Bobbie: I’m happy to hear that. Especially since I’m not here on old friend business. Rick: That sounds ominous. Bobbie: It could be. Rick: What’s going on, Bobbie? Bobbie: We’ve got a situation here that may be reaching the crisis point, Rick. Rick: In what way? Bobbie: Patient care being jeopardized. Hospital operations going awry. Rick: I don’t like the sound of that at all. Bobbie: I didn’t think you would. Now, I don’t mean to talk out of school, but when Alan was in this office, he made a few decisions that didn’t sit well with some of the nurses. We had several nurses -- experienced women -- leave the staff after the latest financial crisis, and Alan decided not to replace them directly. He hired aides instead. Rick: That’s becoming increasingly common, Bobbie. Bobbie: I know that. And in the beginning, we thought we could handle it, Rick. But these aides aren’t as qualified as we’d hoped. Frankly, I’ve known candy stripers who could do a better job. The nurses are completely overburdened, and there’s no end in sight. We almost had a real tragedy on the fifth floor. A patient complained of heartburn and the aide simply gave him over-the-counter medication. It turned out to be a heart attack, and the patient went into cardiac arrest. We barely pulled him through. A nurse wouldn’t have made that mistake. Rick: What’s your recommendation? Bobbie: We need to hire about twenty more nurses, Rick. Ten experienced staff, ten out of school. Otherwise, things will just get worse. Rick: Let me take a close look at the numbers. I can’t promise you twenty, but I’ll do my best to help you out. Bobbie: Thanks, Rick. Bobbie leaves. Rick grimaces in pain, puts his hand over his chest. He opens a desk drawer and takes out a bottle of Mylanta. He stares at it, then shakes the bottle vigorously. He unscrews the cap, begins to drink directly from the bottle, then puts the bottle back down and picks up his stethescope. He puts the stethescope down and gulps from the Mylanta bottle. Fade to black. Scene 193 A cubicle in the ER. Monica is leading a medical team; they’ve just pulled a man back from cardiac arrest. Monica: Let’s get him upstairs and get him stabilized. Hoffman, run the standard tests, let me know the extent of the damage, and your treatment plan. Hoffman: Yes, Dr. Quartermaine. The team rolls the patient out; Monica wearily follows. She walks over to the main ER desk and scribbles some notes on a chart, then hands it to Amy behind the desk. Monica: File this for me, Amy. Amy: No problem. Alan approaches from behind, Amy smiles at him. Alan: Amy, do you have last night’s log handy? Amy: No, Rick asked for it about an hour ago, so we sent it upstairs. Monica turns around; she and Alan lock eyes. Amy: Do you want me to call him and see if he’s finished with it? Alan doesn’t answer; too involved in his visual show-down with Monica. Amy: Alan? Alan? Alan: What? Oh, no, nevermind. It’s not that important. Monica: I heard from your lawyer a few days ago. Amy settles in to listen to them; she leans on her elbows, puts her face in her hand, and smiles. Alan and Monica turn around and glare at her. Alan: Do you mind? Amy: No, not at all. You’re not disturbing me. Monica groans. Alan takes her by the elbow and steers her away, out of earshot. Amy: What did I do? Alan: Have you found representation? Monica: No, not yet. Alan: Really? That surprises me. I was under the impression you were in quite a hurry to get rid of me. Monica: Alan, please don’t start. Alan: Don’t start what? I’m merely trying to discern the reasons behind your hesitation. Monica: It’s not that important, Alan. I don’t plan to contest you for anything. Frankly, I’d prefer to fly down to Mexico and get the whole thing over with quickly. Alan: Just like last time? It’s a shame you didn’t receive a warranty, or a money-back guarantee .... this divorce good for -- Monica: Alan! Alan: Let’s see, Monica, just how long did our divorce last? Two years? Less than that? Monica: It’s a little late to be throwing my mistakes back in my face. Alan: Not if it prevents you from repeating them. Monica: I wasn’t talking about the divorce, Alan. I was talking about our remarriage. Alan: Oh, so now you’re saying that it was all meaningless to you. Monica: No, I’m saying that we had fundamental problems that could not be overcome. Alan: Now that’s original. Certainly more cerebral than pointing out your own chronic infidelities. Monica: We’re both physicians, Alan. It should be easy for us to see the parallels of mistaking a symptom for the underlying disease. Alan: Are you saying you’re a nymphomanic, Monica? Monica: No!!! Alan: Because I must give you credit for taking responsibility for your own behavior, rather than blaming me for your own shortcomings. Monica: No, Alan, assigning blame was always your department. Alan: But you made it so easy. Monica: I hope your arrogant self-righteousness keeps you warm at night, Alan. Alan: Actually, I have someone taking care of that for me, but thanks for your concern. Monica presses her lips together; this news throws her for a loop. Monica: Well, I hope you’re being discreet, for Emily’s sake. Alan: For Emily’s sake, I suggest you keep your hypocrisy as far away from her as possible. She’s not a little girl anymore, Monica. She knows exactly what you’re doing. And she hates you for it. Monica: You’ll use any weapon you can to hurt me, won’t you, Alan? Alan: Frankly, Monica, I’m not interested in how you feel about anything. Monica: Then lay off! Alan gives her a cool look; they size each other up for a beat. Alan: So I should expect another divorce decree slipped under my door in the next few weeks? Monica: Actually, no. This delightful conversation has given me second thoughts about going the uncontested divorce route. She glares at him and sets her mouth firmly. Monica: I’ll hire a lawyer this afternoon; you’ll have my demands before the close of business today. She spins around on her heel and stomps off. Alan watches her go and smiles in satisfaction; he’s looking forward to a fight. Fade to black. Scene 194 Emily’s room at the Quartermaine mansion. Mark is lying on Emily’s bed; Emily is on the floor, fiddling with the stereo. Emily: This is a really cool one. The group is called “Sublime.” Mark: I’ve heard of Sublime. Don’t you have anything a little more mellow? Emily: Mellow how? You mean like Pink Floyd? Mark chuckles. Mark: No, like Barry White. Emily: I’ve never heard of him. Mark: I’ll have to introduce you to him someday. Emily: You know him personally? Mark: No, I meant I’ll play you the CD. Emily: Do you like Alanis? Mark: I try to stay away from shrieking, insane women. Emily giggles. Mark: Come here. Emily: I thought you wanted to listen to music. Mark: I want to get close to you. Emily looks away nervously. Mark: Come on, Emily. You trust me. You know I’m the only one who’s really here for you, the only one who really cares. Emily: I know. Mark: Come here. Emily sits nervously on the side of the bed. Mark smiles at her and strokes her arm. Fade to black. Scene 195 The Quartermaines, later that same night. Mark is walking down the stairs as Alan walks in. He looks surprised to see his son; Mark looks like he’s been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Alan: I didn’t expect to see you here. Mark: Well, surprise. Alan: Checking up on Emily? Mark: She’s still not feeling real well. Alan: I’m so glad she has you. I’m afraid Monica and I have turned the poor child into a nervous wreck. Mark: I’m doing what I can. They walk into the living room together. Alan: Listen, while I’ve got you here, I wanted to talk to you about Edward. Mark: Don’t tell me he needs a kidney or something. Alan: No, believe me, Edward would rather die than accept an organ from any of his worthless offspring. Mark: I’m glad to hear he’s equally contemptuous of all of us. Alan: Well, I think he wants to get to know your abilities a little better before writing you off completely. Mark: How so? Alan: He asked for my input about bringing you into ELQ. Mark: You’re kidding. Alan: No, he’s very concerned about the tight labor market for young, high-tech professionals. He wants to market ELQ as a hip place to work, and thought that might be right up your alley. Mark: Hip and ELQ. You’re right, the two just don’t go together. Alan: Do you think you could make them fit? Mark: I don’t know. How would Edward feel about being replaced by Brad Pitt? Alan: That’s a start. Why don’t you drop by the ELQ offices tomorrow? He’ll be in, and if you come in with some proposals, he’d probably make you an offer right on the spot. Mark: That sounds really promising, Alan, thank you. Alan: Let me know how it goes. Perhaps the four of us can go celebrate afterwards. Mark: Four of us? Alan: You, me, your mother and Emily. Mark: Oh, of course. He shakes Alan’s hand; Alan clasps him firmly on the shoulder. Mark: I’ll be in touch. Mark walks out, with a sneaky smile on his face. Alan heads to the bar. Fade to black. Scene 196 Monica’s hotel suite. Rick and AJ are watching basketball. AJ: Come on, come on! Aw, no, you can’t miss those! You’ll never get a sneaker contract playing like that! Rick: This is over, AJ. Give it up. AJ: But there’s still two minutes .... Rick: Maybe next year. AJ clicks off the set. AJ: I hate March Madness. Rick: I wanted to be a ball player once. I was pretty good. My brother Jeff was pretty good, too. AJ: What happened? Rick: I stopped growing. Jeff discovered girls. AJ: Jeff was actually your half-brother, right? You told me about him in the park. Rick: That’s right. You know, your mother was married to him once. Briefly. AJ’s mouth drops open in shock. AJ: No, I most definitely did not know that! Rick: She never told you? AJ: No, I think I would have remembered that one. Rick: Well, do me a favor, okay? AJ: What’s that? Rick: Don’t let her know I told you! AJ: Okay, it’s our secret. But how did it happen? Rick: Oh, long story. I went to Africa as part of my residency .... Got sidetracked by a civil war and the program administrators told my family I was dead. So naturally my girlfriend married my brother. AJ: Oh, god, this is starting to hit a little close to home. Rick (laughing): I never thought of it that way. You and Jeff need to get together. I wonder what else you have in common. AJ: I didn’t realize you and my mother went so far back. Rick: She was in medical school when we met. AJ: I’m not even going to ask how long ago that was. Rick: Smart man. No wonder you’re so successful in politics. AJ pauses, thinking about that remark. AJ: I think you’re the first person who’s ever called me successful. Rick: I find that hard to believe. AJ: The Quartermaines aren’t known for their supportive demeanor. Monica walks in, having heard AJ’s last remark. Monica: In fact, they have been known to eat their young. AJ: Hi, Mom. Monica (hugging him): Hello, my sweetheart. It’s wonderful to see you. Monica scrutinizes him. Monica: Is it my imagination, or have you grown taller? Rick: Too much basketball? AJ: Maybe I’m just standing a little taller these days. Monica: Good for you. AJ: Well, I’m going to get out of your hair. Monica: Absolutely not! You just got here! AJ: You don’t exactly have a lot of space here, Mom. When are you going to get a real house? Rick: I think we should wait until after the wedding, don’t you? Monica smiles, AJ looks surprised. Fade to black. Scene 197 AJ, Rick and Monica in Monica’s hotel suite. A direct continuation of the previous scene. AJ: I really hope that wasn’t your proposal, because if it was, that was pretty tacky. Rick: No, it wasn’t. I hired a skywriter. Monica laughs. AJ: Congratulations. He shakes Rick’s hand and kisses Monica on the cheek. AJ: Have you set a date? Rick: As soon as possible. AJ: If you want me to, I could -- Monica: No. Thank you. AJ and Monica lock eyes; they’re both thinking about how he intervened to expedite Alan and Monica’s remarriage. AJ: I guess it doesn’t matter how quickly you two make it legal. I’ll still be illegitimate anyway. Monica: That’s right. You can blame your father for that. Rick: Why me? Monica: If you’d just married me to begin with .... Rick: If, if, if .... AJ: Better late than never? Monica: I’ll agree to that. Better late than never. So, tell me. How are things back at the illustrious Quartermaine mansion? AJ: A lot quieter since you left. Monica: I’m not surprised. How is Emily? AJ: Not so good, Mom. I’m worried about her. Monica: I’ve tried to talk to her. She won’t have anything to do with me. AJ: She only goes through the motions with me, too. The only person she seems to trust these days is Mark. Monica: Mark? AJ: You know, Alan’s evil spawn? Monica: Yes, I know who he is! Why would Emily trust *him*? AJ: Beats me. I’ve tried to get to the bottom of it. Monica: Keep trying. I don’t like the sound of that at all. I didn’t even know they knew each other! AJ: You’d be surprised, Mom. They spend a lot of time together. Monica: Wonderful. Is there anything else I should know? Has she dropped out of school, perhaps? AJ: It’s not that bad. Monica: Yes, it is, AJ. I may have only met Mark a few times, but believe me, I know decay when I see it. And that man is completely rotten. AJ: I’ll keep an eye on things, Mom. AJ kisses her on the cheek. AJ: I’ll see you later. Congratulations again. AJ walks out. Monica watches him go, a worried expression on her face. Rick hugs her from behind; she leans into him. Monica: This is my -- Rick: Don’t say it’s your fault, Monica. It isn’t. Monica: My daughter hates me. She’s confiding in a slimebag. I have to do something. Rick: What, Monica? Charge over there and demand she end the friendship? Monica turns around and gives him a desperate look. Monica: I don’t know. Something! Rick: Let AJ handle it. He’ll find out what’s going on. All you can do, is be here when she comes to you. Monica sighs and leans her head on his chest. He strokes her hair and kisses her forehead. Fade to black. Scene 198 Later that same evening, the Quartermaine mansion living room. Emily is sitting alone on the couch. Her eyes are red from crying, face is scrutched up in deep concentration, she’s biting her lips together. AJ walks in and sees she’s upset. AJ: Hey, kiddo, what’s going on? Emily: Nothing. AJ: You look sad. Emily: I was ... I was just thinking about my mom. AJ: I’m sorry. I guess that’s something you’re never really going to get over. Emily: I just miss her so much sometimes. AJ: Is there something in particular that you miss about her? Her laugh? Things you used to do? Emily: I just miss having her around, mostly. Being able to depend on her. She never said things like, I won’t love you if you don’t do this. AJ: Unconditional love, that’s important. But Emily, everyone in this family loves you no matter what. Emily: It’s not just love. It’s being there. It’s easy to say you love someone when you never see them. I miss having someone to talk to, someone who has the time to listen to me. AJ: I’ll listen to you. I’ll always make the time to listen to you. Emily: You’re a guy. AJ: Mom would love to listen to you, too. You know, she really misses you a lot. Emily: Oh, yeah, I can tell by the way she stayed here when I asked her to. AJ: Unconditional love should go both ways, Emily. Emily: So you’re saying that I can’t be mad at her, even though she left me. AJ: She didn’t leave you, Emily. She left Alan. With damn good reason, I might add. Emily: Because she’s in love with someone else. AJ: She is. But that isn’t why she left. She left because Alan lied to her for years. Emily: Why couldn’t she just forgive him? AJ: Some things just aren’t forgiveable. Emily: What happened to loving someone no matter what? AJ: That’s not how it works between a man and a woman. Unconditional love is for family. Emily: What if you’re both? AJ: Both? Oh, like you and me. The family tie is the most important there. Emily: Oh. Do you think Monica will ever forgive Alan? AJ: She might forgive him. But they’re not going to get back together, Emily. She and my father are getting married. Emily: Oh. I guess she’s pretty happy. AJ: You know something, Emily? I don’t think I’ve ever seen her so happy. It must be a big relief not to be fighting all the time. Emily: I feel bad for Alan. AJ: Yeah, I do, too. He did some lousy things to Mom, but I always knew he really loved her. Emily: But he lied, so that was it. AJ: It wasn’t so much a lie as not telling a very important truth. Emily: So she just doesn’t love Alan anymore because of that. AJ: Emily, try not to think about it too much. They both love you, and that’s what’s most important. He pats her on the shoulder; Emily recoils from his touch as if he’d punched her. AJ: Sorry, did I scare you? Emily: Um, yeah, for a second I thought you were a spider. AJ: Too many horror flicks, kiddo. Listen, I’ve got some work to finish up. You take care. He gets up and leaves Emily sitting on the couch, squeezing a pillow as if to strangle it. Fade to black. Scene 199 The Quartermaine living room, a few minutes later. Emily is still on the couch, Alan walks in. Alan: Emily, I thought you weren’t feeling well. Emily: Huh? Alan: I ran into Mark on the stairs a few hours ago and he said he’d helped you to bed. Emily: He *said* that? Alan: Why, was it supposed to be a secret? Emily: I thought so. Alan: Emily, you have nothing to be ashamed of. I’m a doctor. If you have cramps, tell me about it. I’ll get you something. Emily hides her face in her hands in embarrassment. Alan: Would you like a heating pad? Emily shakes her head “no.” Alan: How about some chocolate? Emily looks interested. Alan: I know Cook was working on some brownies earlier ..... Maybe I’ll just steal in and see what she did with them. Emily: It’s not worth it. Remember what happened last time? Alan: She quit. But she came back. She always comes back. Emily: Monica talks her into coming back. But Monica’s not here anymore. Alan: No, she’s not. Emily: Well, I don’t care. I could probably talk Cook into staying myself, if I needed to. Or Lila could. Alan: You miss Monica. Emily: No, I don’t. I don’t miss her at all. Alan: It’s okay, Emily. You don’t have to pretend to hate her on my account. Emily: I’m not pretending. Alan: I miss her, too, you know. Emily: Maybe you should tell her that before she marries Rick. Alan: What are you talking about? Emily: AJ just told me they’re getting married. Alan sighs deeply. Alan: You know, Emily ..... even if I did tell Monica I miss her, I don’t think it would make a bit of difference. Emily: I’m sorry. Alan: I’m okay. Really. Actually, I’m happy for Monica. I am. I was .... I was never enough for Monica. Maybe Rick is. Emily: You’re enough for anyone, Alan. Alan: You’re very sweet. Listen, I heard you had a little run-in with Mark’s mother the other day. Emily: She didn’t like me till she found out who I was. Alan: She’s really a very nice person. And she’s your best friend’s mother! So how bad could she be? Emily looks dark. Alan: We were talking about the four of us going out together. You, me, Mark and Victoria. So where would you like to go? Emily looks dumbfounded. Alan: Can’t decide? Emily: Anywhere. I really don’t care. Alan: Then I’ll ask Victoria to decide. Emily: Whatever. Alan: Don’t get so enthusiastic. You could strain a muscle. He musses her hair, then walks out. Emily groans loudly and collapses into the couch. Fade to black. Scene 200 Victoria’s office at Mercy. She’s typing away on her computer when Alan walks in, carrying a picnic basket. Victoria whirls around. Victoria: My goodness, this is a surprise! Alan: My first real lunch break since taking over the ER. I thought I’d celebrate with you. Victoria: Alan, I’m touched. Alan spreads a blanket on the floor and motions for Victoria to join him, sitting on it. She smiles and sits down next to him. Victoria: You didn’t buy this from the GH cafeteria, did you? Alan: Not a chance. Cook’s evening specials. Victoria: Left-overs. Alan: Exactly! He hands her a sandwich; she bites in and smiles. Victoria: Well, I don’t care how old it is; it’s delicious anyway. That’s one of the most pleasant memories I have, from growing up Chez Quartermaine. The food was always superb. You haven’t had the same cook the entire time, have you? Alan: Oh, yes, of course. You’re familiar with the story of the picture of Dorian Gray? Our Cook has a similar story. Instead of a portrait, though, it’s a box of canned goods that’s doing the aging for her. Victoria snorts. Victoria: Alan, that was really bad. Alan: I know, it was, wasn’t it. Victoria: That’s okay, I love you anyway. Alan looks a little surprised. Realizing what she said, Victoria looks away a little nervously. Alan: We did have some wonderful times, didn’t we. Victoria: The best. Alan: And you always laughed at my jokes! You have no idea how unusual that is. Victoria: No, I think I do. Alan: So ....... want to make it legal? Victoria (slowly): Alan, if that was a joke, I don’t get the punchline. Alan: If you found that amusing, I would be greatly distressed. Victoria: You’re serious. Alan: Very. Victoria: You want to get married. Alan: Give me one good reason why not. Victoria: Aren’t you already married? Alan: Not for much longer. Victoria: So you’re in the market for a replacement? Alan: Hardly. I want to do what we should have done when we were kids. Victoria, if you’d come to me and said you were pregnant, I would have married you in a heartbeat. So now we’ve got the chance. What do you say? Victoria smiles and nods. Victoria: Yes! Alan: Then let’s do it. Let’s do it. She throws her arms around his neck; he smiles .... but as the camera goes in for an extreme close-up, it’s obvious his smile is forced. Fade to black.
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