gonewiththereap: (take the damn advice: by boywithscarves)
[personal profile] gonewiththereap


Have A Little Faith. Episode 1x03. Andrew’s bargain with Kerry Isis has come back to haunt Will, Rick’s in trouble with the tabloids once more, and Crystal is finally making connections – even romantic ones.

HOLLYWOOD EMBASSY: EPISODE 1.03

INT. KEITH’S OFFICE – DAY

A newspaper is tossed and lands on KEITH’S desk haphazardly and someone opens it to page three to show a story on RICK. KEITH looks up, proud to talk to his BOSS, DOUG SATCHES. DOUG is brisk, all-business, and savvy in the field. He knows what he’s doing and he’s good at it.

KEITH
My latest Mona Lisa. She’s gorgeous, isn’t she?

DOUG
She’s two weeks old. You need to write a follow-up.

KEITH
I gave you enough material to run for three issues, what do you mean follow-up? Look, they won’t give me anything. I’ve knocked on that Christian kid’s door for the last week. He isn’t talking.

DOUG
You know what to do when they don’t talk.

KEITH & DOUG
You find a new angle.

KEITH
[sighs]
So what, still with Rick Campbell?

DOUG
I don’t know, readers liked the Aneya thing, but her people denied it pretty quickly. Didn’t you pitch that idea about Jake Boyd and Rick Campbell?

KEITH
Yeah, but there’s barely any proof. They live in the same place and sometimes they talk. Occasionally, they’re friends. [He thinks for a moment] Hold on. Wait. Maybe we take a different angle.

DOUG
You’re thinking about linking him to the kid. The lawyer.

KEITH
The blossoming romance of two best friends who become something more before their relationship gets trampled by the Hollywood limelight as star Rick Campbell forsakes love for his career. [He grins] Well?

DOUG
You got yourself a Rembrandt. By Friday.

KEITH
[sarcastically]
I can’t thank you enough for the forty-eight hour timeline.

DOUG
If you like your job, you’ll work hard. Don’t you love your job?

KEITH
We print lies that are barely legal. We’re a tabloid.

DOUG
And we’re proud of it. Never forget that.

INT. EMBASSY LOBBY – DAY

SARAH, MATT, and JAKE all hang around the lobby counter, flipping through a glossy leaflet with pictures of cakes.

SARAH
Didn’t he swear off cakes?

MATT
No, he said he was swearing off dates. Right after he got dumped by that…god, what was her name?

JAKE
Theresa. And she didn’t dump him, she fled the country because her Visa expired. There’s a difference.

SARAH
She threw water in his face, cursed at him in Spanish, and ran off.

MATT
Ah, the pitfalls of not sham-marrying your illegal alien girlfriend of two weeks. It’s okay. I won forty bucks off her leaving him. It’s the last bet I actually won. Christian’s been pulling in all the cash. It’s not fair.

SARAH
Look, this one’s got a pretty balloon!

JAKE
Why can’t we just bake him something?

MATT
When did you learn how to bake?

SARAH
We usually have to bribe Andrea to do it for us and she’s busy with her thriving career. Besides, you can afford a cake, can’t you, Mr. Actor Big Star Man?

JAKE
Bad flattery gets you nowhere.

MATT
C’mon Sar, pucker up. You got to give a little to get a little.

SARAH
And you haven’t been arrested for pimping yet, how?

MATT
A little luck, a lot of bribes.

JAKE
No one is baking him anything and everyone is contributing to the birthday…

WILL enters the lobby with an umbrella in a huff. He barely even looks at the others as he passes, snapping at them.

WILL
If one of you so much as thinks the b-word, I’m selling you out to the tabloids.

He gets in the elevator, glaring at anyone who dares look at him twice.

SARAH
Not balloons, then.

MATT
I think we’ll go with the, ‘So you’re 29 again!’ cake.

JAKE
It’ll be the happiest birthday ever.

CREDITS

INT. EMBASSY THIRD FLOOR HALLWAY – DAY

WILL storms past LINDSAY and into his room as LINDSAY knocks on ANDREA’S door. WILL slams the door to his room as ANDREA opens hers, on the phone.

ANDREA
…and I don’t think that should be a problem. I’ll tell her. Great. Thank you!

She hangs up.

LINDSAY
Tell which her what?

ANDREA
Tell you that the people want me. They loved my callback! And we did a screen test and I booked it, and I booked a job, Lindsay! [She pulls LINDSAY into a hug] I’m as happy as I’ve ever been without alcohol to help the way!

LINDSAY
Well, then, prepare to break out the alcohol!

ANDREA
It’s ten in the morning.

LINDSAY
Later, of course. Of course, later. I’ve got you an audition for a role. It’s a one-episode stint, but it’s only on one of the highest rated shows and you’d be a family-relation to the main cast. Pretty good, huh? Bella actually got me the lead, so methinks you owe her a whole heap of thank yous and muffin baskets.

ANDREA
I think I’m going to thank her! Wow. This is…is this what success feels like? I think I could get used to it!

LINDSAY
Honey, I wouldn’t get used to it. Just ride the wave.

ANDREA
I thought you were the optimist.

LINDSAY
I’m hedging my bets. [She tucks away a piece of paper] Bella’s not in, by the by, but tell her hello when you do see her. The audition is today at five. Good luck.

She presses a kiss to ANDREA’S cheek before leaving. ANDREA beams in the doorway, commenting to a RANDOM PASSER-BY.

ANDREA
I got the audition! And the part! Hi. How you doing? Enjoying Hollywood?

The MAN gets in an elevator and ANDREA squeals slightly as she closes the door behind her.

CHRISTIAN
(V.O.)
You’re making a big deal over nothing.

INT. CHRISTIAN’S OFFICE – DAY

BELLA sits in a chair with her purse as CHRISTIAN looks over the contract.

BELLA
Nothing?

CHRISTIAN
Nothing.

BELLA
Should I get that in writing?

CHRISTIAN
Because he hasn’t offered you an actual notice of leave for the appropriate time, he can’t leave. And if he does give you a notice of leave, you can stretch it out to…let’s see, he’s worked with you for two years? You can stretch that out to at least two weeks. Then again, two weeks notice. I mean, not that great.

BELLA
Thanks, hon. Expect a check in the mail.

CHRISTIAN
You really don’t need to pay me for this.

BELLA
Don’t deny my money. It leads to bad things. Ask Will.

CHRISTIAN
It’s okay. I was there to witness that.

CHRISTIAN’S ASSISTANT knocks on his door, poking her head into the office.

ASSISTANT
Mr. Fellowes, I’ve got the people from the Iowa law firm on Line 2.

CHRISTIAN
Thanks, Lucy.

He picks up the phone, but BELLA’S gaze stops him.

BELLA
Iowa?

CHRISTIAN holds up one finger and picks up the phone.

CHRISTIAN
Hey, Daniel, thanks for taking my call. [Pause] Of course. I was going to say, next Thursday isn’t soon enough! You’ve got my number, right? [Listens] Oh, come on, not necessary. I will even take you to lunch!

LUCY comes in with papers for CHRISTIAN to sign, which he does. She leaves a bundle and something sticks out of one of the piles that BELLA notes. It’s a plane ticket.

CHRISTIAN (cont’d)
Looking forward to it. I’ll see you soon, Dan.

He hangs up.

BELLA
[raising an eyebrow, making sure the door is closed]
She’s cute.

CHRISTIAN
What?

BELLA
Your assistant. She’s a cutie. You sleeping with her?

CHRISTIAN
Am I…[incredulously] what? Where did this conversation go while I was on the phone?

BELLA
I’m only sayin’.

CHRISTIAN
Please stop.

BELLA
I just mean, she seems to be awfully dedicated to doing your will.

CHRISTIAN
She’s doing her job, for which I hired her. Oh my god, Bella. I am…I am not sleeping with her. Because that’s just…that’s wrong! She’s my assistant.

BELLA
There are worse people to date.

Silence.

BELLA (cont’d)
How about you tell me why there’s a plane ticket to Iowa on your desk?

CHRISTIAN
[softly]
Bella.

BELLA
Christian, just be honest with me.

CHRISTIAN
I’m flying out to take a look at the place.

BELLA
When?

CHRISTIAN
In a few months. Rick doesn’t know. No one knows. Except for you.

BELLA
Why are you doing this?

CHRISTIAN
Why not? What have I got to stay for?

BELLA remains silent.

CHRISTIAN (cont’d)
I know it goes without saying, but don’t tell anyone, all right?

BELLA
You’re making a mistake.

CHRISTIAN
Wouldn’t be my first.

INT. NONDESCRIPT HALLWAY – DAY

ANDREA walks in, pleased and heads straight for the audition room as CRYSTAL comes out, rubbing her hands over her upper arms.

CRYSTAL
Oh, god…oh god…

ANDREA walks right into the room as CRYSTAL paces away. A man in a seat, STEVE TREVISEAU, takes notice of her and begins to follow her. STEVE is in his 20’s, suave and smooth-looking with a talent of being very charming.

STEVE
[concerned]
Uh, are you just praying or are you going to be looking for a rooftop anytime soon?

CRYSTAL stops, turns around and gazes at STEVE, bewildered.

CRYSTAL
Pardon?

STEVE
See, it’s just that the last person who stormed out of an audition muttering like that wound up on a roof threatening to turn themselves into a human pancake.

CRYSTAL
Oh my god! Did they jump?

STEVE
Huh? Oh, god, no. It was just a cry for attention.

CRYSTAL
Didn’t get the part?

STEVE
Actually, got the part after that. The director thought the move was exactly what the part was looking for. Personally, I thought it was an idiot’s move, but I’m just the director’s assistant. They don’t pay me to think. [Holds out his hand] Steve Treviseau.

CRYSTAL
[bemused]
I’m Crystal Richter.

STEVE
Wait, let me guess, you’re about to say…’and you’re not even worth a second of my time.’

CRYSTAL
Actually, I was going to ask why you’re bothering to talk to me. I obviously ruined my chances at getting the part, and I’m not exactly a hot commodity.

STEVE
Well, let’s not get into semantics about the hot part. I mean, not to come off entirely creepy, but uh…compliment? I mean it in the non-lecherous way? Charming, even!

CRYSTAL
That’s a bit debatable, but I think you’ll come off clean.

STEVE
So, what’s the probability of me getting slapped if I ask you out for coffee?

CRYSTAL
Depends.

STEVE
On?

CRYSTAL
How you ask me.

STEVE takes CRYSTAL’S hand into his own and presses a light kiss to her knuckles, gazing up at her from there. She flushes pink and clears her throat.

STEVE
Fair lass, would you do me the honor of having a cup of incredibly overpriced, mediocre coffee with me with crumbly, dry biscotti that should have been thrown away last Tuesday?

CRYSTAL
Now how am I supposed to say no when you ask like that!

STEVE
I just hope you don’t. Apparently, rejection’s bad for my complex.

CRYSTAL
I’d never hurt your ego!

STEVE
No, I meant my skin. Rejection makes me break out.

CRYSTAL laughs, delighted.

CRYSTAL
That was a terrible joke.

STEVE
And you still laughed. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful ego-stroking friendship.

CRYSTAL
My uh…I live at the Embassy. My name’s Crystal Richter. [She hands him a card] Will you call?

STEVE
I think I’d be stupid not to.

CRYSTAL
Well then, let’s hope you’re not stupid.

She grins and folds the card into his palm, pausing a moment before turning and walking away, smiling more than she has since she first arrived in Hollywood.

INT. ARTISAN’S – EVENING

MATT and SARAH sit at the bar, drinking. JAKE and WILL are at a table nearby. RICK sits in a booth, reading a script and drinking. ANDREW and DANIELLE are at a table by JAKE and WILL with a script between them. KEITH enters and spots RICK, immediately heading to sit by him. The four conversations are continually happening and we keep seeing glimpses of each.

RICK
[upon seeing KEITH]
Oh. Good. I was just wondering when my daily nausea factor would be fulfilled.

KEITH
You and sarcasm don’t belong together.

RICK
Gee. Guess we’ll break up. [bitter] Do you want the exclusive interview now or after I file a restraining order?

KEITH
[smirks]
I’m not here for you today.

WE SEE: MATT and SARAH flipping cards, playing War as they sit there with drinks apiece.

MATT
You’re terrible at this game.

SARAH
It’s a game of chance, nitwit. Did you hear the rumor about the new digs in town? People are saying it could be a rival for the Embassy.

MATT
[dryly]
The Motel 6 is a rival for the Embassy. We’re not worried.

SARAH
[drawn out]
Diiiid you hear that Christian’s contemplating a new case?

MATT
Prosecuting visual-erotica on the web. Heard it, he denied it, I moved on.

SARAH
[hushed]
What about the one where Danielle’s filming her sex scene with Jake in, like, two days and is freaking out.

MATT
Do go on.

WE SEE: DANIELLE and ANDREW are playing tug of war with a script.

DANIELLE
No! No, no, no, this isn’t the way. I don’t want more sex…

ANDREW
[sing-song]
Not what I heard.

DANIELLE
Oh my god, shut up. The movie doesn’t need more sex scenes; it needs sense, logic. It needs a plot.

ANDREW
[blankly]
Definition of plot, please.

DANIELLE
You said you were going to help.

ANDREW
Help is such a subjective word, isn’t it?

DANIELLE
No sex scenes. Maybe…[flips a few pages] that. There. Can you please fix that? The dialogue, the point of the scene, something?

ANDREW
[reading] ‘I told you not to mess with me. I’m the law. You don’t mess with the law.’ Oh god, can I fire the writer?

DANIELLE
You already did.

ANDREW
I feel the urge to call him up and fire him again.

WE SEE: JAKE keeps trying to push drinks to WILL, who sits with his head buried in his arms.

WILL
Stop it.

JAKE
Happy birthday.

WILL
Stop it.

JAKE
Birthday drinks! On me! Come on, drink one.

WILL
If you don’t stop it, I’m calling immigration.

JAKE
And you’ll say what?

WILL
[looking up, scowling]
That you molested me, I don’t know. Leave me alone!

JAKE
Not until you have one drink.

WILL takes the beer and has one sip, slamming it down onto the counter and burrowing his face back into his arms.

JAKE (cont’d)
You’re the only living man I know who gets more immature with every birthday.

WE SEE: KEITH slides into RICK’S booth.

KEITH
How’s Christian?

RICK
[pointedly]
Swamped with restraining orders. Back off. You got your stupid story. Didn’t even work because I’m still getting jobs.

KEITH
It’s just the business. So listen, I’ve got a new story. Be a good boy and help me out?

RICK
With. What?

KEITH
Got a new idea on my plate that’s dicey. I could really use some legal rep on this one. How long has Christian been practicing out here?

RICK
Two years. Wow. New story. I’m sure the devil’s pleased with how much your soul’s enjoying it. You sold that when? Dawn of time?

KEITH
You know, you’re a very unpleasant man.

RICK
[smiling tightly]
Well, you keep bothering me.

WE SEE: MATT and SARAH packing up the cards.

MATT
So she’s got performance anxiety.

SARAH
Don’t you get it? She’s nervous.

MATT
Once again, so she’s got performance anxiety. Wow, have you noticed the echo in this place.

SARAH
Danielle’s never nervous! She doesn’t get performance anxiety.

MATT
[snorts]
What, you think it’s because of Jake?

SARAH raises one eyebrow slowly.

MATT (cont’d)
[mocking]
You think she looooves Jake. God, put down the Harlequins and get into the real world, Sarah. It’s platonic between them.

WE SEE: DANIELLE snatching the script from ANDREW.

DANIELLE
I am not going to do that!

ANDREW
Surely the awards would reward you.

DANIELLE
No nudity! [emotional] You said you were going to help me, Andrew! So, please, for once in your life, would you actually try and help!

ANDREW
[tiredly]
Sit down, moppet, and we’ll go through it in a serious manner befitting your mood.

DANIELLE
Andrew, I mean it, I…

ANDREW
And I mean it too. Sit.

WE SEE: WILL on his second drink.

WILL
And I don’t understand why I can’t just sit down and write. It’s what I do, it’s my job, it’s my lifeblood, my profession, what I live, breathe, eat, sleep, and I can’t do it. [bitterly] Then again, I don’t know why the hell I’m telling you this. After all, you of so little faith couldn’t care less.

JAKE
William…

WILL
[sharply]
Don’t call me that. Stop. Don’t ever call me that.

JAKE
Will…

WILL
Oh, shut up and let me moan. You’re not the one who’s turning another year older and has to put up with the annual birthday call.

JAKE
He hasn’t called yet?

WILL
It’s only a matter of time. And then it’ll be questions upon questions. ‘How’s the work, William?’ ‘How’s your money situation?’ ‘How’s living as a constant disappointment to me and your mother, William?’

JAKE
Your imitation leaves something to the imagination.

WILL
I’m contemplating letting the machine get it this year.

JAKE
You really think you’ll have the strength to do that?

WILL
[miserably]
Probably not. Where’s my next round.

WE SEE: KEITH slides a drink to RICK.

KEITH
You and Christian aren’t talking lately.

RICK
And how exactly are you in a position to know that?

KEITH
Riiick. I know everything. You’re on the outs, huh?

RICK
Every friendship has rough patches. It’ll get better.

KEITH
You’ll work at it?

RICK
Just as much as I work to drive you away.

KEITH
Rick. [puts his hand over his heart] Rick, you hurt me.

RICK
Good. We should do this again sometime.

RICK gets up and joins WILL and JAKE as KEITH slowly leaves the bar.

JAKE
You made it just in time for the breakdown.

RICK
[muttering]
Whose? Mine’s right on track, Danielle’s losing it pretty bad, and I hear Christian’s been down and out lately.

JAKE
The more urgent one.

RICK
Oh, the birthday boy?

WILL
Shut up.

JAKE
He’s reacting quite viscerally to the word [whispers] birthday.

WILL
I may have no physical strength, but I can still make you regret your very existence.

JAKE
[amused]
Who’s buying your drinks?

WILL
I can pay for my own drinks, thank you very much.

RICK
Of course you can’t.

WILL
And why not?

JAKE
It’s your birthday!

WE SEE: MATT and SARAH approach DANIELLE and ANDREW.

MATT
Well, she’s not punching Andrew. I guess there’s progress?

ANDREW
What measure of progress is that?

SARAH
It’s the special Andrew-level. You know, if they’re not physically assaulting you, someone must be doing something right!

DANIELLE
I think we can say there’s progress. Right?

ANDREW
I have a feeling if there isn’t, my life may be in danger from size six heels and the feistiest creature I’ve seen since Bella last threatened me.

DANIELLE
Flattery too? You really must be afraid of me!

MATT
Yeah, you haven’t fit into size sixes in…[SARAH clamps a hand over his mouth]

SARAH
Forgive him. He’s deeply stupid.

MATT
[mumbles incomprehensibly]

SARAH
He’s right.

ANDREW
[confused]
What did he even say?

SARAH
We need to pick up the ake-cay, for att-May so he can ill-kay us for aring-cay.

DANIELLE, MATT, and ANDREW stare at SARAH.

SARAH
No? No secret names? No code phrases?

MATT
The hawk flies at midnight.

DANIELLE
Throw caution to the wind when the stroke of the hand is two.

ANDREW
Oh, for god’s sake, get the bloody cake so we can get this travesty over with.

DANIELLE
That’s far too simple.

MATT
We enjoy complications.

ANDREW
And if you don’t move this discussion elsewhere, you’ll enjoy my wrath.

SARAH
[evenly]
Cocktail parties until dawn? Or dry wit?

ANDREW
Move, children.

They laugh and smirk at him. JAKE makes his way over, draping his arms around SARAH and DANIELLE’S shoulders.

JAKE
Guys and dolls, we’ve got a cake to pick up. Will’s about to go wait for Daddy Dearest to call and we’ll have to pick up the pieces after his father is done ruining him.

DANIELLE
That’s our cue.

They leave ANDREW with the script and a pen.

INT. WILL’S SUITE – NIGHT

WILL wanders around the desk, pacing and crossing his arms, staring at the phone. This continues for a while and the phone doesn’t ring, not once. WILL knows this can’t be good. He sits down at the desk and preoccupies himself with a pencil.

WILL
And in my memoirs, it’s just another lonely night.

He glances once more at the phone.

WILL
Call already, you bastard.

He stares down the phone as though he can force it to ring. Still, there is nothing by silence. He sighs and begins to balance a pencil on his nose. Always with one eye on the phone, he slumps in his chair.

WILL
You’re going to call when I’m at my lowest, aren’t you?

ANDREW
Williiiiaaam.

WILL growls at the sound of them calling him in a sing-song.

WILL
You are not…

SARAH & MATT
Wiiiiiiiiilliam!

WILL
[closing his eyes]
I hate you all, I hate you so much. I’m thinking of a dozen ways to remove your guts without even spilling a drop of blood.

JAKE
Gory.

DANIELLE
[dryly]
The life of a writer.

DANIELLE flicks the lights off and they shuffle into the room carrying a large cake with thirty-four candles on it. DANIELLE begins to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ badly, dying off after one verse.

DANIELLE
Maybe not.

WILL
I get to keep my eardrums? Gosh, Dan, best gift ever.

DANIELLE
Shove it, Penn.

WILL turns and smirks

WILL
Where would you like the shoving to aim for? [He glances at the cake] Seriously, guys, you really shouldn’t have. [He takes a closer look at the candles and looks up, glaring] Okay, now, the candles. That one, you really, really shouldn’t have.

ANDREW
I delight in making you suffer.

WILL
And the sky is blue. All right, put that thing down before we burn this place down.

MATT and SARAH bicker and laugh with each other as they place the cake down in front of WILL. ANDREW presses both hands on WILL’S shoulder and begins to massage very slowly, almost seductively, WILL growing uneasier by the second.

WILL
Andrew…

ANDREW
Yes, yes, I know, stop it.

He eases off.

ANDREW (cont’d)
Well, go on, William. [He winks at Jake] Blow.

WILL just stares at the cake in front of him.

JAKE
No, really, Will, the sooner you blow out the candles, the sooner we go to the party at Artisan’s. You are going to have a drink of every colour, m’boy! Forget about that damn script for Kerry and party that pale behind of yours off!

WILL just grins.

WILL
Why not?

He blows out the candles, surrounding the room in darkness.

INT. HOLLYWOOD EMBASSY; MR. CRAITH’S OFFICE – NIGHT

CHRISTIAN sits there in the chair, RICK paces outside the office while MR. CRAITH studiously takes notes.

MR. CRAITH
I don’t see much of a bright side.

CHRISTIAN
That’s because there isn’t one.

MR. CRAITH
You know, Chris, a lie here and there doesn’t hurt. Especially when it comes to my lifeblood.

CHRISTIAN
I prefer to be honest, Arthur.

MR. CRAITH
Well, honestly, I like lies.

They share a rueful smirk.

CHRISTIAN
I’ll do what I can and I won’t stop working for you…

MR. CRAITH
And I’ll make sure the paychecks keep going your way. I simply can’t lose the Embassy to a frivolous suit like this.

CHRISTIAN
Thanks.

He steps out of the office to exchange an awkward look with RICK.

CHRISTIAN (cont’d)
Were you waiting for Mr. Craith?

RICK
No. Uh, no. You, actually.

CHRISTIAN
There’s a first.

RICK
I’ve wanted to speak to you and only you a lot of times before!

CHRISTIAN
Yeah, for legal advice. What’s your trouble this time, Rick?

RICK
Look, uh…

CHRISTIAN
Libel? Slander? Misdemeanor?

RICK
[blurting it out]
Keith is writing a story about us being lovers and you using me to get somewhere in Hollywood.

CHRISTIAN pauses a beat and stares at RICK.

CHRISTIAN
Excuse me?

RICK
Yeah.

CHRISTIAN
[calmly]
And you told him that if he tried that, I’d sue him to hell and back and that there isn’t any truth in that to begin with?

RICK
Not…quite.

CHRISTIAN
Oh, this is priceless. You’re too scared to even say one good word about my character?

RICK
You had nothing to lose by defending me! I do! I’ve got my career.

CHRISTIAN
[cruelly]
But not your relationship. You know, I have…[he trails off]

RICK
You have what?

CHRISTIAN
Nothing. Never mind.

RICK
This isn’t just some petty game, Christian, I have a career on the line!

CHRISTIAN
[shouting]
And I don’t? Ever since I came here to practice, my life has been going down the drain and I thought, I thought that just maybe my best friend would back me up, that I would have someone in my corner when I lost everything else!

RICK
You do have me.

CHRISTIAN
No, Rick. I never did.

They stand there silently.

RICK
We’re late for Will’s party.

CHRISTIAN
I suppose we are.

RICK
[visibly stung]
So you’ll get the lawsuit going tomorrow against Keith?

CHRISTIAN
Would have been nice to have a little bit of notice, maybe you actually trying to do something other than save your own ass so that…

MR. CRAITH
[sharply]
Boys!

They turn.

MR. CRAITH (cont’d)
I’m on the phone. If you really have to argue, do it elsewhere before I evict the both of you.

RICK frowns as MR. CRAITH steps back inside.

RICK
[laughing]
He’s not…

CHRISTIAN is already walking away.

CHRISTIAN
Happened twice before, I helped him through the legalities. [He glances over his shoulder] I’m not going to the party. Tell Will happy birthday for me.

RICK
Christian! [He jogs to catch up with him] Look. Go to the party. Give me the silent treatment, but go. You deserve a night of fun.

CHRISTIAN
I deserve a lot more than that, Rick. A lot more.

RICK
[sounding almost sick]
I’m sorry.

CHRISTIAN
I hope so.

They make their way to the lobby and part ways.

INT. KEITH’S OFFICE – NIGHT

KEITH presses his tongue to his lower lip as he finishes printing off the story, yawning and grinning as he reads the print.

DOUG
Now that looks like a victory face.

KEITH
Look at this, Doug. It’s beautiful. It almost deserves to be in a legitimate paper.

DOUG
Yeah, don’t stretch it, Lenk.

KEITH rubs at his eyes.

KEITH
I even dug up some old picture from a birthday or something. I don’t know, the guys must have been drunk, check this out.

He holds up a picture of CHRISTIAN in RICK’S arms, the both of them grinning and half-tipsy from the picture. CHRISTIAN appears off-balance, as though he has tripped and RICK has caught him, the angle of the picture making it appear as though he is leaning in for a kiss. DOUG whistles.

DOUG
Photoshopped?

KEITH
Hell, no! [He grins with glee] I just had some paparazzi photos from around holidays and Rick’s birthday pulled up. I know the man likes a good time. Turns out, there was this.

DOUG
We’re lucky to have you.

KEITH
Lucky enough to give me a raise?

DOUG
We’ll see.

He takes the story.

DOUG (cont’d)
We’ll run it front page, that’s a Doug Satches guarantee.

KEITH just sits back in his chair and twirls as DOUG makes his way with the story.

KEITH
Not bad for a day’s work.

INT. BELLA’S SUITE – NIGHT

BELLA sits, chewing a pen and going over paperwork as there is a knock at the door.

BELLA
Abandon hope, all ye who enter.

ANDREA
What happened to, ‘come in’?

BELLA
Mm, like this one better. What’s going on, honey?

ANDREA
I just wanted to come by before I went to Will’s party. Are you going?

BELLA
Work beckons.

ANDREA
Oh. Sure. Of course. Anyway, Lindsay told me that you got me a recurring role. Or, rather the audition.

BELLA
I heard you got it.

ANDREA grins, casting her gaze downwards.

BELLA (cont’d)
C’mon now, darling, don’t you dare be modest. I hate modest people and you know that I think it’s all an act. Just get your perky lil ass out there and strut your stuff when it comes time. Don’t let the curtain go down without going out in a blaze.

ANDREA laughs with delight.

ANDREA
You are so odd.

BELLA
And you are so lucky to know me.

ANDREA
Yeah, I know.

BELLA
Don’t blow this.

ANDREA
Trust me, I won’t. I’m going to hold onto this one as long as I can.

She gives a giddy wave as she nearly skips off and BELLA sighs, going through contracts again and showing one that has ‘ANDREA ROBERTS’ written clearly on it. ‘FIXED APPEARANCE, THREE EPISODES’

BELLA
Oh, I’m in deep this time.

INT. ARTISAN’S – NIGHT

The party goes on and everyone is chatting happily, laughing, half-drunk. Even CHRISTIAN and RICK are half talking to each other and the scene is loud and happy. Frou Frou ‘Hear Me Out’ plays over the montage.

WE SEE: the scene fades into WILL’S LIVING ROOM where the phone is ringing in the dark, paper plates with cake and beer bottles littered around the table. The phone continues to ring again and again until the machine finally picks it up.

WILL’S MACHINE
Hey. It’s Will. Talk.

The BEEP is heard and there is a long pause, then a sigh. The following message is slow and hesitant.

WILL’S FATHER
Happy birthday, Will. I suppose I’m proud of you, son. Your Mother sends her love. She wants you to come home. I told her you’re too big for us now. There’s a check in the mail. Try not to spend it on too many pens. [pause] A joke. [Sigh] Don’t ruin my name out there, William. Happy birthday.

END EPISODE

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February 2010

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