Heaven Can't Wait HEAVEN CAN'T WAIT: FINALE

EXT. HEAVEN - GATES

OPEN with GOD still standing outside the gates with NICOLE.

GOD
It's not as complicated as it looks, Nicole.

NICOLE
How could you say that? How could
you stand there and lie to me like that?

GOD
Be careful what you say, Nicole --

NICOLE
Or what? Or I'll end up in Hell? Good,
because that's where I plan on going.

God sighs.

GOD
I knew you'd make this difficult for me.
(pauses)
That's why I have someone for you to
meet.

She opens the gate and CLARENCE walks out.

CLARENCE
Hey there.

GOD
(to Clarence)
I know you can do this.

CLARENCE
I'll do my best.

God enters the gates and Nicole tries to follow.

NICOLE
Outta my way, Loki --

CLARENCE
Ho, ho, hold on there --

NICOLE
Where did she go?

CLARENCE
She'll be back before you know it and
besides, she didn't really go anywhere.
(pauses)
She's right here.

NICOLE
Yeah, hi, that's very spiritually affirming of you,
but I'm looking at this from more of a practical
Hellbound perspective, and she's my only
way down --

He holds her back gently with a smile.

CLARENCE
O.k., first off, hello. How do you do? My name
is Clarence.

He offers his hand. She takes it and shakes.

NICOLE
Nicole.

CLARENCE
I know.
(pauses)
You're the one that saved my buddy Harrison.

NICOLE
Wait...you know Harrison?

CLARENCE
Yes...I was his roommate at the hospital when
he was sick.

NICOLE
Oh...you're that Clarence.

CLARENCE
Yep. And you're the Nicole who also gave my
buddy the time of his life.

NICOLE
Do you guys see everything up here?

Clarence picks up a remote from St. Peter's podium.

CLARENCE
Pretty much...the satellite hook-up here is like
nothing DirecTV could ever offer.
(pauses)
Besides, when someone calls out "Oh God" as much
as you guys did down there that night, you should know
that someone's up here listening.

He fiddles with the remote and aims it into the air. Out of the whiteness, a giant screen flickers on and Nicole stares in awe. Clarence sits down in a comfortable white chair which has mysteriously materialized along with another and a small white coffeetable with a bowl of popcorn.

CLARENCE (cont'd)
Wanna check out the repeats?

Nicole stares at him in question. Clarence flips the channel and MATCH CUT TO:

INT. BROOKE & SAM'S HOUSE - SAME

A TV screen flickers as SAM sits alone in the dark, channel surfing. She finally settles the old black n' white Bette Davis classic, "Dark Victory".

CARMEN
Any room on that couch for us?

Sam turns to see CARMEN and LILY approaching.

SAM
W..what're you doing here, Lily -- I thought
you had to work.

LILY
I called in. There's no way I can look at mangled
roasted chicken flesh after changing my dressing this
morning.

SAM
Ugh.

BROOKE
I...I called them.

Brooke hobbles in on her crutches.

BROOKE (cont'd)
I know it's late, but...I thought you might
want some company.

CARMEN
I brought you some Crunch N' Munch.
(pauses)
It's all they had at 7-11 besides the Act 2
and I know you hate Act 2 because it's so
hard to pop --

SAM
(smiles)
You guys...you didn't have to do this.

LILY
Maybe not, but we realized that aside from
the wakes, funerals, and hospital visits...we've
hardly gotten together to just hang out.

SAM
Yeah...I guess any kind of return to normalcy
would help at this point.

CARMEN
It's going to be a long time before any of us
can utter the word "normal", but I thought that
maybe...maybe if I -- we banded together we
could start on that long...long path through
these woods and onto recovery.

SAM
Yeah, but even friends can still get lost in
Burkettsville.
(pauses)
I've never considered her a friend, but...
I'm really pulling for Nicole to get through this.

Lily, Carmen and Brooke lok at eachother.

BROOKE
Um...that's part of the reason why I
thought we should talk...tonight.

CARMEN
Yeah, 'cuz if you didn't find out now you'd
find out somewhere else and it could just
get really ugly and --

SAM
Wait, find out what?

BROOKE
Carmen and I...and Lily...talked it over and
we thought it'd be best if you found out from
us first.

SAM
Wait, is there something I should know? Are
you trying to tell me that she's dead?

Brooke nods to Lily.

LILY
She didn't die...but...her baby did.

Sam's eyes widen as she tilts her head to Lily.

SAM
Nicole was pregnant?

CARMEN
Well, she wasn't that far along, not
at all --

SAM (cont'd)
And you guys knew?
(pauses)
Wh...why didn't you tell me about this?

Brooke braces herself.

BROOKE
Because...given the circumstances --

SAM
What circumstances --

BROOKE
That Harrison...has been holding vigil over
her beside for the past week --

SAM
What does Harrison have to do with --

The look of revelation washes over her face as the girls look away.

SAM(cont'd)
(huffs)
Never mind. You don't have to say it.

CARMEN
We didn't intend to hurt you --

SAM
What's that supposed to mean? I mean,
did you think I'd finally lose it and take a
butter knife to my wrists if I'd known that
Harrison had fathered the spawn of Satan
even though we all know how it could've
happened?

LILY
Sam, that's a little harsh --

Sam calms down.

SAM
Okay, I'm sorry, but...seriously, did you
guys think that I was just gonna come
undone if I'd known about this?
(pauses)
No way, I'm fine. I'm o.k. with it.

She gets up, wobbling on her crutches.

LILY
You don't look o.k.

CARMEN
We thought it'd lessen the blow if we were
here to support you --

SAM
I don't need your support -- and I don't need
you teaming up on me to tell me something
that you guys think is a big deal when it's not.

LILY
Apparently it is a big deal for you, Sam --

SAM
It isn't.

BROOKE
I'm sorry, Sam, I was just trying to help --

SAM
Always the Handy Helper, huh. Well Bounty, I
doubt that even your soft quilted personality
can be the quicker picker upper on this spill.
(mutters)
I'm going upstairs.

She pushes by Brooke with her crutches.

BROOKE
Sam, wai --

CARMEN
Just let her go.

They listen to her crutches clunk on the steps.

LILY
She'll be o.k.

CARMEN
Yeah, she'll be o.k.

Brooke looks at them as they sit in silence, staring off into the TV screen.

EXT. HEAVEN - GATES

Clarence flicks the remote and video clips that happened with Nicole flicker across the screen. One from "Fall on your Knees" (as Nicole replaces the cash in Principal Hall's Unicef Bucket, and as Nicole hugs a crying Carmen), one from "Booty Camp" (as she sits with Freddy Gong), and one from "Queen B" (where she votes for Poppy Fresh instead of Brooke).

CLARENCE
That last one kinda surprised me.

NICOLE
Yeah, well...I knew Popita was gonna
vote for Brooke, thus cancelling our
votes altogether. Brookie was a shoe-in
anyway.

CLARENCE
Maybe. But that's not the reason you
voted for her...is it?

He rewinds to the confrontation between Nicole and Poppy in the hall when Poppy commits to running in the race -- a quick clip of Nicole's onscreen expression and then Nicole turns back to Clarence.

NICOLE
Well what does any of this have to do
with the here and now?

CLARENCE
Plenty. All of these little things...it all adds
up.

He fast forwards through to the near past -- a scene where Harrison and Nicole are about to kiss (one that we haven't seen before). They sit and watch the beginning of the scene in silence -- onscreen, Nicole's eyes sparkle.

NICOLE
(turns away)
I've seen enough.

CLARENCE
But we haven't even gotten to the good part
yet!

NICOLE
O.k....the last thing that I thought I'd be doing
is watching porno in Heaven. Touched by
an Angel I am not.

CLARENCE
You call this porno? Look -- look at yourself.
(pauses)
That's a duty-free look, Nicole.

NICOLE
OKAY, but what does this have to do with
why I'm here and why you're subjecting me
to this?

CLARENCE
It has everything to do with why you're here.
(pauses)
Here, lemme show you something.

He flicks the remote again and it brings onscreen a scene in Nicole's hospital room. Harrison sits, holding her hand as she lies there.

CLARENCE (cont'd)
The current time in the hospital is 9:30...way
past visiting hour.

NICOLE
W...why is Harrison there?

CLARENCE
He's been there every day...sometimes all day
long.
(pauses)
The school was shut down for a week...so that
everyone could recover from the aftermath of
the junior prom. It's now the weekend.

NICOLE
A week? I've been out for a week?

CLARENCE
Yup. And it's not just Harrison...everyone's been
to see you. April Tuna even sent you a "Get Well"
card from the correctional facility.

NICOLE
But...but I'm hated.

CLARENCE
No, you're not. I have too little time to show you
everything you'd need to see for me to convince
you, but I can assure you that you're not hated.
(pauses)
Yeah, you belong here, Nicole -- just not yet.

NICOLE
But...what exactly do I have to go back to?

CLARENCE
I can't tell you --

NICOLE
Tell me --

CLARENCE
No, seriously, I can't tell you because I don't
know. I haven't seen the books. I've just
been told that you need to go back.

NICOLE
But what if I don't want to go back? What if
I just want to go back to Hell and freeze in the
icy Hellhole of my damnation --

CLARENCE
But you won't. You will eventually end up
here, no matter what happens.

He zooms in on Harrison's face -- Harrison breaks down and cries as he looks at Nicole's face.

CLARENCE (cont'd)
Look at his face, Nicole -- do you see someone
who wishes you'd just go to Hell?
(pauses)
Those are tears of someone who loves you.

NICOLE
He doesn't love me --

ONSCREEN:

HARRISON
I...I...I love you, Nicole.

Nicole's eyes avert from the screen.

NICOLE
Turn it off.

CLARENCE
But wait --

NICOLE
Turn it off, or at least turn down the volume!

CLARENCE
I can't.
(pauses)
Even if I tried, it's something that she wants
you to see and hear...in stereo.

NICOLE
Whatever. So he said three little words that
don't mean a thing out of context.

CLARENCE
What context would that be, Nicole? Do
you think that he thinks that those "three
little words" are going to bring you out of
that coma?

NICOLE
No, but he also said them when we were --
well, when I was doing him that favor.

CLARENCE
Caught you.

NICOLE
What?

CLARENCE
I know what you were going to say.
You can't hide from anything up here,
Nicole.

He puts the remote down and comes to over to her, hovering around her chair.

CLARENCE (cont'd)
There are many things that only God knows,
but we angels...we're not totally clueless.
(pauses)
Look...I know you're afraid. You're afraid to
go back and see this whole mess through
because of how you feel about everything,
including Harrison.
(pauses)
But just take a good look at the screen and at
your life...you are being given a second chance.
Sure, there will be some sacrifices you have to
make, but I promise...everything happens for
a reason.

Clarence and Nicole are blinked back into HEAVEN, where the grass is green and the light is warm and yellow.

CLARENCE (cont'd)
Don't get me wrong, Nicole. Heaven can't
wait to have you here. Just not now.

All of a sudden, SID VICIOUS plops up from the misty cloud covering on the ground near them and gets up.

SID
KRIKEY! I'm home! I'm home!!!

He does a little punk rocker jig and takes off.

GOD'S VOICE
Thank you.

SATAN'S VOICE
No problem, baby.

CLARENCE
So what do you say? You ready to go back
to planet earth?

FOCUS on Nicole's face as a BRIGHT WHITE LIGHT flashes and takes us to

INT. L.A. GENERAL HOSPITAL - NICOLE'S ROOM - A LITTLE LATER

Harrison has fallen asleep with his head on Nicole's side, his cheeks tear-stained, his hand loosely holding Nicole's.

The miracle begins: Nicole's fingers move slightly. Her eyes flutter open slightly, groggily...and she looks down at the back of Harrison's head, his back rising as he breathes, napping. She carefully moves her hand away from his and places it on his head.

FOCUS on Harrison, groggily turning his head towards hers as he shifts in his sleep. She plays with his hair gently.

NICOLE
(quiet)
Harrison.

Harrison mutters in his sleep.

NICOLE
Ugh...stop drooling on me, spaz.

HARRISON
Huh...whuh....

Harrison's eyes flutter open to see Nicole looking at him. He turns away in his state of wake. Nicole twists a lock of his hair.

HARRISON
OW!

He turns back, his eyes wide.

HARRISON
Nicole???

NICOLE
You know what they say...you can't
keep a hard bitch down.

Harrison's eyes light up as he jumps up, not knowing what to do as a big smile crosses his face.

HARRISON
You're alive! You're alive --

NICOLE
Yeah, hi, keep it down, hun -- the last
thing I want is a bunch of haggard night nurses
swarming over me during my first five
minutes back.

She reaches for the controls and presses a button to bend her bed up.

HARRISON
I'm -- I'm sorry, it's just that it...it's a --

NICOLE
Miracle? Don't break out the Culture Club
just yet...if I'm here it's because of my own
free will.
(pauses)
I've still got lives to destroy and I can't very
well do that if I'm pushing up daisies, right?

She looks at him as he stands.

NICOLE (cont'd)
Are you staying?

HARRISON
W...well, if you'll have me --

NICOLE
I could use a friendly face...even if it
is as oily as yours.

Harrison smiles and sits.

HARRISON
You don't know how...how happy I am
to hear that.

His eyes are brimming with tears of happiness.

HARRISON (cont'd)
How...God...how I thank God for this and --

NICOLE
She can hear you.

Harrison, wide-eyed, looks at her face. Nicole averts her eyes.

NICOLE (cont'd)
Yeah, I get it now.
(pauses)
They hear and see everything up there.

She reverts her eyes to his and he shares her stare.

HARRISON
Do they?

NICOLE
In THX.

Harrison chuckles through his emotions. He becomes semi-serious.

HARRISON
Is...is that where you were...all this time?

Nicole hesitates.

NICOLE
No. I was here.

She sees his back pack in the chair across the room, clothes and toiletries bursting out of the zipper.

NICOLE (cont'd)
As were you, I see.

Harrison looks away.

HARRISON
It wasn't just me...your mom came -- well,
both Judy and the lunch lady came...by...and Miss
Glass...

His eyebrows go up in question.

HARRISON (cont'd)
...and I don't think she knew that she was
related to you until her little reunion with
Aunt Terri. Why the secrecy?

NICOLE
Would you ever admit to being related to
her?
(pauses)
Besides, there's a conflict of interest and
I didn't think she could handle the knowledge
of being related to me.

HARRISON
Why not? I could.

NICOLE
Yeah, about that --

HARRISON
I already know.

He dips his head.

HARRISON (cont'd)
I...I already know about your other secret, too.

NICOLE
I...I can understand if you're angry --

HARRISON
Hey -- I'm not angry. I know you were...
you felt like you were alone.
(pauses)
I...I just feel like a failure, you know?

NICOLE
Why?

HARRISON
Because, I...I failed to make you feel comfortable
enough...with me...for you to have come to me
about it.

NICOLE
Don't...don't put this all on yourself.

HARRISON
There's no where else to put it.

NICOLE
Yes, there is. Me...I...in an effort to not repeat
what my own birth mother did...I made the
same mistake.
(tearful)
And...and I'm sorry --

HARRISON
Hey, no, shh...it's not your fault.
(pauses)
What's done is done. That's all there is
to it.
(pauses)
But...even if we accept what's passed...and I
get this feeling that no matter what we do,
we're stuck with...with living in a vacuum.
Like...like it's all pre-written somewhere
that we make these choices...the good
and the bad.

NICOLE
Everything happens for a reason.

HARRISON
Exactly.
(pauses)
I...I wish I could say that I don't want to
do it, but I kinda do, you know? Especially
after my own near-death experience.
(pauses)
Eh, I'm just babbling now --

NICOLE
No, I know what you mean.

They sit in silence.

NICOLE (cont'd)
I don't want to talk about this anymore.
Not right now.

HARRISON
(getting up)
Of course...you need your rest --

NICOLE
(grabbing his hand)
No. I want you to stay.

HARRISON
Okay.
(pauses)
Well, can I get you anything? Water? The new
issue of Vanity Fair? I can go out and --

NICOLE
Thanks, I think I just need another pillow for
my head --

HARRISON
Right...and it's kinda cold in here, lemme...
lemme get you an extra blanket, too.

He swings around the curtain quickly to fetch a pillow from the empty bed next to her...

HARRISON (cont'd)
These beds aren't exactly posturepedic --

...as Harrison fetches the pillow, Nicole attempts to scoot herself up on the bed, but she faces some difficulty...

HARRISON (cont'd)
-- and I know that my back was
yearning for my Sealy back home when
I was stuck in here..with any luck, you won't
have to wait as long as I did for the
comforts of...home.

...Nicole's expression turns as she places her hand on her legs -- FOCUS ON HER LEGS: There is no movement in them...

HARRISON (cont'd)
Wow, and I'd forgotten...how tight...
they make these stupid hospital corners --

...Nicole attempts to move them again, but again, no movement. She looks away, shocked. She brings her IV-hooked hand up to her lips.

HARRISON (cont'd)
-- damn it...there. Okay.

He scrambles back from behind the curtain, a bunched up blanket and pillow in his arms.

HARRISON (cont'd)
(smiling)
At your service, m'lady.
(pauses)
Hey, what...are you o.k.?

Nicole nods, but starts to sob. Harrison sets the stuff down on the bed and leans to her, trying to get her to look him in the eye.

HARRISON (cont'd)
Hey...hey, do you feel sick? Should I
get a doctor?

Nicole shakes her head and continues to cry.

HARRISON (cont'd)
What's wrong?

Nicole wraps her arms around his shoulders and continues to cry, holding him. Harrison swallows, holding her as she tightly holds him.

HARRISON (cont'd)
(quiet)
It's o.k....everything's going to be o.k.
(pauses)
I promise.

PAN OUT from the two as Nicole continues to hold Harrison to her, crying into his shoulder as she comes to terms with what she fears....

FADE TO BLACK

"HEAVEN CAN'T WAIT" (A Popular Fan Fic)
(No alternative title)

written/scripted by John Andrew

SUGGESTED MUSIC (Edited Versions of):
"The Reflex" by Duran Duran (Calvin Krupps's Funeral)
"Sweet Dream (Are Made of This)" by The Eurhythmics (Nicole's Heaven in Hell)
"Divine Thing" by The Soup Dragons (Nicole's Ascent into Heaven)
"MmmBop" by Hanson (Poppy's Stay in Heaven)
"Rio" by Duran Duran (short clip of May Tuna in Heaven)

© APRIL 2001

On the next Popular by John Andrew:

"REARVIEW WINDOW" (tentative title)
(a.k.a. "HELP! (I Need Somebody)")

Whirlwind emotions clash as the students return to school after the shooting. Sam gets an unexpected surprise, but is she in for another letdown? Josh's frustrations get the better of him.

A SPECIAL CROSSOVER by John Andrew:
(Due in June/July 2001)

" Queer as Popular "

The kids of Kennedy High inadvertantly get sidetracked on a field trip to the nation's original capital and end up growing up REAL fast as they meet a diverse clique of guys and gals from the gay & lesbian community of Pittsburgh, PA.

* SORRY KIDS -- since this is a crossover between Popular and an NC-17 rated primetime program on SHOWTIME, the story (however long it is) will be rated NC-17. *
On the up side, this story will be a stand alone and won't have anything to do with my current storyline. It's just one of those pleasant diversions.