|Senior Year 11: Should Auld Acquaintance
Author: Wild Pikachu PM
Brooke and Harrison's floundering relationship reaches a critical juncture on New Year's Eve, while Natalie finds herself attracted to a classmate. Meanwhile, Sam's fortunes at the paper shift.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama/Angst - Chapters: 5 - Words: 9,663 - Reviews: 8 - Published: 06-27-03 - Status: Complete - id: 1402803
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
INT. MCQUEEN LIVING ROOM - EVENING
Brooke is curled up on the couch, chin plopped on her forearms,
in the mother of all funks. She doesn't stir when Mike
gingerly sits down beside her.
Brooke, sweetie, what's wrong? You
barely touched your dinner.
Resolutely, Mike tries to cheer her up.
Honey, maybe you'll be hungry by
midnight. We'll make popcorn,
I think I'm just going to bed
Brooke, why? You've always stayed
up on New Year's Eve, even when you
were a little girl.
She briefly turns a bleak face his way.
This has been the worst year ever.
In the HISTORY of ever.
Jane has come into the room; she kneels down next to Brooke.
I know it's been rough. But
tomorrow is a whole brand new year.
It's going to get better, trust me.
(shaking her head)
It's not getting better. It's not,
it's not, IT'S NOT!
Suddenly Brooke leaps off the couch and goes running up the
stairs, with Mike and Jane looking at each other helplessly.
INT. BROOKE'S BEDROOM - LATER
Brooke is lying face down on her bed, crying, when a gentle
tapping comes at the door. She doesn't respond, but the door
opens anyway, and Jane steps through cautiously.
Brook gives no sign of acknowledgment at all. Jane carefully
makes her way over to the bed, and sits on the edge. She
reaches down and strokes Brooke's hair soothingly.
Honey...I think this is about more
than New Year's.
Brooke's heaving continues unabated.
For a while now, Mike and I have
both felt that...well, that you've
uncomfortable around us.
Still nothing from Brooke.
I think I know what it is. Mike
doesn't, but that's because it's
not about him, is it? It's not
even really about me.
It's about Sam, isn't it?
Something about Sam we don't know.
Brooke turns over, and her face is such a mask of complete
anguish that Jane recoils for a moment.
No, no, no...please...I can't...
don't make me...
Brooke instinctively curls herself around Jane's form and,
startled, Jane tries to comfort her, holding her had and ever-
so-gently sweeping the hair away from her face.
Shhh...shhh...it's all right...
whatever it is, it all right...
I said...I—I—I said...b-but I
There, there, Brooke...don't worry,
everything will work out...
away... I-I said...but...
Jane shifts just slightly, as she pieces together Brooke's
(very, very softly)
When Sam ran away, you said "no
more lies." It IS something about
Sam. Something you don't want to
tell us. I was right.
Impulsively she pulls Brooke closer.
It doesn't matter, honey...whatever
it is, it'll be all right...
Without warning, Brooke tears herself away from Jane, rolling
off the bed so that she is standing before her stepmother,
looking seriously crazed.
Stop! Stop saying that! It's NOT
going to be all right! You don't
YOU DON'T KNOW!
With that one burst of energy, Brooke seems completely spent.
Now she is just trembling and hugging herself, as though she
were trying to keep herself from physically coming apart.
Meanwhile, Jane regards her carefully, as if she were
something very fragile (which seems to be a good idea).
Finally, Jane reaches out tentatively.
Brooke...whatever it is, it's okay.
Honey, I give you my word, nothing
will happen if you tell me. You
know I wouldn't lie to you, right?
Instead of responding, Brooke seems to withdraw further within
herself. Jane puts on a brave face, and tries a lighter tack.
(trying to sound light)
Come on, Brooke. How bad can it
be, really? Sam's already moved
out, cut us off. I mean, it's not
like she's become a drug addict
But at the sound of those magic words Brooke's head snaps up
like a shot, her eyes wide as saucers. An instant later Jane
realizes what that means; she sits back down weakly, hand
clamped over her open mouth. Overcome by the trauma of having
let the truth slip out—however it happened—Brooke turns and
flees the room, while Jane, paralyzed by shock, is powerless
to stop her.
INT. SAM'S APARTMENT - LATER
Sam, Jaycee and Reyanna are having a party, more or less; so
far, only beer seems to be in evidence. Sam is sitting up on
her bed, back against the wall. Reyanna is flopped across the
bed's foot, head half hanging off the edge. Jaycee walks
over, carrying a fresh beer.
So, you got a promotion?
Yeah. I guess. Maybe. I dunno.
Well, that clears it up.
I just hope Art doesn't mind. This
guy just kinda stole me.
Hey, the only thing you oughta care
about is, is it good for me, huh?
I wouldn't mind getting stole. Not
by a guy, though.
By chance, Jaycee has ended up standing near Reyanna's head.
Reyanna reaches out, wraps a hand around Jaycee's bare leg,
and pulls her a step closer, so that she is more-or-less
looking up Jaycee's short skirt.
Sam holds up a hand.
Guys, please, don't feel weirded
out around me. I hate that. Just
act the way you normally would.
Hey, she's cool, huh?
Reyanna promptly slides her hand all the way up Jaycee's leg
and under her skirt.
(rolling her eyes at Sam)
You shouldn't have said that.
She slaps Reyanna's hand away.
I mean it. Behave—or no sex
Reyanna pouts, while Sam makes an expression of mock sympathy.
It's cool. Jay's worth it.
But...I COULD be in someone else's
bed tonight, huh?
In response, Reyanna half-turns and looks up at Sam lazily.
What d'ya say, Sam? I could show
you some things, huh?
Jaycee and Sam are both wide-eyed at this point.
(throwing her hands up)
Uh, uh, thanks, really, but—
Before Sam or Jaycee can do anything, Reyanna runs her hand
idly up Sam's leg.
Sure? Be fun with a virgin.
Somewhat recovered, Jaycee sits on the bed next to Sam,
watching Reyanna's hand with a kind of detached interest.
She means with girls.
Yeah, I just figured that out.
Sam seems just tipsy enough not to take Reyanna's advances too
seriously. Still, as Reyanna's hand makes its way up to her
calf, Sam shivers involuntarily.
At that, Jaycee rouses herself out of her reverie, slapping
her thigh, rolling off the bed and pulling Reyanna up after
Okay, that's enough out of you.
Reyanna starts to protest, but a knock at the door cuts her
off. Stretching, Sam climbs off the bed and pads to the door.
She looks shocked to find George standing there.
Sam—we need to talk.
Between George's bluntness and the alcohol in Sam's system,
the air between them quickly drops to sub-arctic temperatures.
Can we talk, please? Inside.
Behind her, Jaycee comes up to the door, with Reyanna hanging
on her shoulders.
Oh—having a party?
Yeah. So? What's it to you, huh?
Whoever you are.
Recognition lights upon Jaycee's face.
Ohhh...I know about you. You're
Dumping Boyfriend Number One.
And you are?
Sam steps into his line of sight before Jaycee can answer.
What do you think's going on here?
You don't get to chat up my
friends, George. You're not a part
of my life anymore. Don't you get
Sam, if you're in trouble—
I'm not. Do I look like I'm in
You look drunk. Or worse. And
since you're underage, I'd say,
yeah, I think you're in trouble.
Oh, and you've never been drunk.
Yeah, I've been drunk. You know
that. But I've never been high.
Sam glares at him with such unrelenting hostility that it's a
wonder he doesn't wither on the spot.
Look, I don't know what people have
been telling you, but-
I just want to say, if you ARE in
trouble, you can—
(cutting him off)
What? Come to you? Talk to you?
Tried that. You blew me off.
Sam, that's not how it—
George-just go away.
Sam ends the conversation by shutting the door in George's
EXT. A BEACH - LATE NIGHT
A dark and completely deserted stretch of beach—deserted
except for one blonde form lying asleep on the sand.
Brooke awakens fitfully, child-like, sitting up, rubbing her
eyes, brushing sand off her clothes. She looks around, a bit
disoriented, for several long moments before her attention is
drawn by faint lights and sounds further down the shoreline.
Finally, she pulls herself up and starts to walk in that
INT. MCQUEEN KITCHEN - LATER
Jane is huddled over the sink, where she's been crying her
eyes out for some time. Mike comes up from behind and slips
his arms around her, offering quiet support.
I don't understand... How did this
happen? What...what did I do...?
We. What did WE do?
She turns in his arms.
She OUR daughter. I agreed to take
on the responsibilities of a parent
to Sam. I'm not shirking those
I used to hear other parents worry
about their kids, and I always
thought, thank God for Sam, she's
so level-headed, and...
Mike chradles her as she trails off. Eventually she looks
back up at him.
Did you find Brooke?
Mike shakes his head.
Oh, Mike, I'm so sorry. I
He puts a finger to her lips.
Brooke's a big girl. She keeps
reminding me of that. So do you.
She can take care of herself.
Mike gathers her close again.
We'll get through this. I promise.
EXT. A BEACH - NEAR MIDNIGHT
This stretch of beach is populated by people gathering to
watch a fireworks show, though by no means is it really
crowded. Among the occasional knots of people, Harrison walks
alone. His bearing seems more distracted than depressed—at
least until he is spotted by a couple strolling in the
opposite direction, hand-in-hand: Sugar Daddy and Carmen.
Yo, Harrison! What's shakin', man?
Sugar Daddy pumps Harrison's hand vigorously, forcing him at
least partially out of his doldrums.
Hey! Look at...you guys!
(hanging on Sugar Daddy's
We're making New Year's
Yeah, like we resolve not to let
stupid stuff keep us from having
Well, good for you!
So, where's Brooke?
Harrison's grin falters.
He looks her square in the eye.
Now it's Carmen's turn to falter.
I know, Carmen. I know about Sam.
Carmen's face falls farther than Harrison's had been. Then
Sugar Daddy steps in.
Hey, man, don't lay this on her.
It was Brooke's call to keep you
out of the loop.
YOU knew, too?
Like I said, it was Brooke's call.
Yeah... I'm not pissed at you,
Sugar. I'm just...pissed.
Word, man. This whole scene is
whack, end line to end line.
Hey...we're gonna find a good spot
to watch the fireworks.
(gestures with her head)
You wanna come with?
Hey, it's cool, man. Serious. I
feel real bad about Sam. She's
Thanks, but... I think I need to
be alone for a while.
Sugar Daddy and Carmen head off towards an area of dunes where
people are gathering; Harrison wanders vaguely in the opposite
direction, into a more empty stretch of beach. After a long
silence, a voice comes from behind him:
You're sure you want to be alone?
Harrison turns, ready to chase her off; but even in the
darkness the sorrow on her face is sharp enough to still his
words. Instead he goes and half-sits, half-perches on a low
stone wall. A moment later, she adopts the same posture by
his side—just a couple of buds, sitting on a wall.
Brooke told you?
(shakes her head)
I heard you tell Carmen.
A long silence passes between them.
Don't blame Brooke. If you were my
boyfriend, I'd have done the same
Boy, you all really don't trust me.
It's not about trust.
Then what is it?
Brooke knew—I knew—that if you
found out what Sam was doing, you'd
rush right off to save her, no
Harrison shakes his head, clearly not getting it.
Some of us care about you too much
to watch you do that.
Struck by the force behind Natalie's words, Harrison stares at
her, astonished. Their eyes lock, and they more seem
overwhelmed by the moment. She leans towards him, tilting her
head, and they are about to kiss when Harrison's gaze strays
past her, and he sees:
Natalie whips around, wide-eyed, to see for herself Brooke
staring at them from perhaps a dozen paces away, an expression
on her slack-jawed face that can only hint at absolute
For a long moment, everything is frozen. Then Brooke breaks
the spell, turning and running back the way she came.
He tries to get up and run after her—but Natalie pushes him
forcefully. He has to grab at the wall to regain his balance;
she takes advantage of the momentary delay to take off after
EXT. A BEACH - MOMENTS LATER
Brooke is racing across an empty stretch of beach, with
Natalie on her heels.
Brooke! Brooke, wait! Please!
Suddenly, Brooke pulls up short. Natalie stops a respectful
distance behind. But Brooke doesn't turn around.
Brooke? I know what— I mean, I
know that looked—but— I just, just
want you to know— Brooke?
Her back turned, Brooke is heaving, but Natalie can't tell if
she's huffing or sobbing. Then Brooke faces her, and Natalie
is shocked to see her LAUGHING.
God...I am such a moron...I was...
SO obsessed with Sam...I never...
saw YOU coming. How funny is that?
No...Brooke... It—it wasn't— I'm
(cutting her off coldly)
You want Harrison.
(shaking her head
I—I never... I wouldn't...
You're going to deny it? To my
face? Nic wouldn't have.
Feet set, fists balled at her sides, Natalie summons every
last ounce of conviction she can muster:
Tears brimming in her eyes, lips compressed tight, Brooke nods
curtly; but ther is such a mix of rage and anguish on her face
that it's impossible to tell what the nod is supposed to
(choking out the words)
Keep trying. You'll get there.
Brooke turns and walks away, leaving Natalie to stand there,
shaking and holding herself, tears streaming down her cheeks.
FADE TO BLACK.
END OF ACT FOUR