This one is for Justine for being worth her weight in gold
for Trish, who still believes that Jack does not know...
(and she does have a point as this little story proves !)
The Real Reason
This is a work of fiction.
Any resemblance between real people and real events
is purely coincidental and completely unintentional.
(holding her fingers crossed behind her back)
It has been a long and emotionally draining day on the set of 'Without a Trace'.
First Jack made everyone cry, for refusing to leave his dead friend Max alone in the storage building.
A little later Anthony LaPaglia did a Gil Grissom impersonation. It took a while before the last laugh died away and everyone could get back to work.
Anthony is sitting in his trailer in front of the mirror.
A large tarantula is crawling over his hand. He is stroking its back.
A knock on the door.
Enter Poppy Montgomery.
Poppy: Jesus Christ!
Anthony: You used to call me Tony, Poppy.
Poppy: I was not talking to you, I was talking about the spider.
Anthony:(looking mildly surprised) But Poppy, that's not a spider, that's a tarantula. Don't you watch CSI?
Poppy: Don't you think you're taking that Gil Grissom thing a bit too far?
Anthony: (continues to stroke the tarantula's back)
Poppy: (sits down) Anthony, we need to talk.
Poppy: It's serious.
Anthony: Okay, let's talk. Is this about Grissom and Sara again?
Poppy: I know you've been talking to Billy. You two were seen at the local bar last night. I'm afraid you're a bad influence on him.
Anthony: Oh, how come?
Poppy: I have it first hand from the writers on CSI that Grissom would have kissed Sara long ago if you hadn't told him to wait.
Anthony: That's not true.
Poppy: Don't lie to me!
Anthony: I've never talked to Grissom.
Poppy: Don't try to confuse me. We're talking about Billy and you know exactly what I mean.
Anthony: I'm not influencing Billy.
Poppy: So what're you saying? He's influencing you?
Anthony: Not at all. We agree on everything.
Poppy: So, this is a conspiracy?
Anthony: Poppy, what are you talking about?
Poppy: I'm talking about Jack and Sam.
Anthony: Oh, I thought we were talking about Grissom and Sara.
Poppy: We are.
Anthony: (confused silence)
Poppy: Why are Grissom and Sara not together?
Anthony: Because Grissom is hiding a dark secret.
The tarantula starts to crawl up his arm. Anthony ignores it.
Poppy: (gaze fixed on the tarantula) What kind of secret?
Anthony: I can't tell you. Only that it's dark.
Poppy: Oh, you mean like his mother killed herself while he was sitting in the living room watching TV?
Anthony: (sighs) Something like that. Very sad. You'll have to ask Billy for the details.
Poppy: But why are Grissom and Sara not together?
Anthony: (confused) I just told you!
Poppy: No, I mean the real reason.
Anthony:(reluctantly) Billy and I have a bet going.
Poppy: What bet?
Anthony: If Jack kisses Sam first I have to pay Billy $2000.
Poppy: (shocked silence)
Anthony: I figure I have a good chance. CSI has been running for six seasons. Billy won't be able to hold out much longer. I think he'll have to give in sometime next year.
Poppy: All this is happening because of a bet…
Anthony: Oh no, of course not. It's because Grissom has a dark secret.
(Anthony puts the tarantula back in its tank.)
Poppy: What about Sam and Jack?
Anthony: What about them?
Poppy: When is Jack going to kiss her?
Anthony:(evasive) Grissom has to kiss Sara first.
Poppy: So when Grissom has kissed Sara, Jack will kiss Sam?
Anthony: We'll see…
Poppy: Anthony, that's not good enough.
Anthony: It's not my decision.
Poppy: Don't lie to me.
Anthony: I don't know what you're talking about.
Poppy: I'm talking about the monthly bribes you've been paying the writers to make sure Sam and Jack don't get together.
Anthony: How did you know?
Poppy: I'm a Federal Agent. I have my sources.
Anthony: Don't you think you're taking that Sam thing a bit too far?
Poppy: (stubborn silence)
Anthony: Okay, I admit it, I've been bribing them. But only a little.
Poppy: You mean you're not responsible for all of them being able to afford new cars?
Anthony: (very guilty silence)
Poppy: So why aren't Jack and Sam together?
Anthony: Jack doesn't think she loves him anymore.
Anthony: I mean, she's with Martin and…
Poppy: She's not.
Anthony: She's not what?
Poppy: With Martin. She broke up with him a long time ago.
Poppy: Haven't you been watching the show? Jack knows!
Anthony: He does not!
Poppy: Oh yes, he knows!
Anthony: Don't tell me what Jack knows or doesn't know!
Poppy: He must be blind!
Anthony: (smiles cryptically)
Poppy: Now tell me the real reason.
Anthony: Jack doesn't think-
Poppy: No, the real reason.
Anthony: I'm bribing-
Anthony: Okay, you want to know the truth, here's the truth...
Anthony: Jack is miserable.
Poppy: That's exactly my point. Let's put him out of his misery. Let him kiss Sam. Anne can't make him happy.
Anthony: (sounding very satisfied) No, she'll make him miserable.
Poppy: But he has been miserable for three years…
Anthony: (nodding happily) Yes.
Poppy: (stunned silence)
Anthony: (taps on the tarantula's tank and makes cooing noises)
Poppy: (more stunned silence)
Anthony: Was there more?
Poppy: You mean you want Jack to be miserable?
Anthony: Of course.
Poppy: But why?
Anthony: It's such a great challenge, acting-wise.
Poppy: So there's no hope for Sam and Jack?
Anthony: Of course there is. Now let's see, this show could run for another 15 years, so if he kisses her the first time in year 13…
Poppy: (buries her head in her hands)
Anthony: (brightly) Didn't you read that interview I did? I love being miserable!
The tarantula climbs out of its tank and crawls away to find William Petersen. It figures there is more chance for a little happiness on the set of CSI.