Episode #339

Previously ...
- Josh pushed Lauren's buttons by questioning her about dating her best friend's ex.
- Alex and Dylan had a major falling-out. Dylan realized there was something he had to do immediately.
- Jason commisserated with Alex and encouraged him to go see Trevor. Full of hope for the future, Alex headed to the Brooks'--where he found Trevor with Dylan!


When Trevor Brooks opens the door, he isn't wearing a shirt. The sight momentarily takes away Alex Marshall's breath, until he becomes aware of the unexpected annoyance emanating from Trevor.

"What are you doing here?" Trevor asks. His voice sounds harsh, sharp, not at all welcoming, as Alex was expecting it to be.

Something about this is all wrong. Alex struggles for words. "I need to--I mean, I was hoping we could--"

"Oh, hello there."

The other voice comes from someplace behind Trevor. Alex recognizes it immediately, but it takes another second for his eyes to locate its source.

He looks up and sees Dylan standing on the stairs, wearing nothing but a white towel and a cocky grin.

Alex's gaze lingers on Dylan. What is he doing here? What is he doing like that? It doesn't make sense. Dylan and Trevor hardly know each other.

He looks to Trevor again, hoping for some sort of explanation. For the first time, he recognizes the fog of drunkenness hanging over Trevor's expression like a hazy screen. But not only does he seem drunk--he is also angry, there's no mistaking that.

"Dylan told me everything," Trevor says, his focus boring into Alex. "I ... I don't know what to say to you."

"You don't have to say anything to him," Dylan calls out from the stairs.

Alex cannot keep his eyes from shifting back and forth between the two of them, as though that might somehow provide an explanation for all of this.

"Trevor," Alex says, forcing the name out of his lungs. "I can't believe this."

He sees something new, something morose, washing over Trevor, but he can't bear to stick around a moment longer. He came here expecting to connect with Trevor, but now he feels a greater distance between them than he has since the day they first spoke.

Alex turns and retreats into the dull evening light, away from this disaster.


Paula Fisher enters the dining room, carrying a tray of lasagna that is far too large for the four adults and the little boy seated around the table. She sets it down and takes her seat beside Bill.

"I'm so glad you two could make it," she says to Jason and Lauren.

Lauren brushes her blonde hair back behind both ears. "Thanks for having us. This looks great."

They start passing plates around, scooping salad onto one and lasagna onto another. Jason gets ahold of Travis's plate.

"All right, bud, what do you want?"

"Lasagna," Travis says. "And bread."

"And salad," Claire adds over her son's head. Travis flashes her the sort of angry look that children can throw around without anyone believing they are truly angry.

"Mom ..."

"You're eating salad," Claire says. "No arguing. C'mon."

Travis's shoulders sag in defeat as he takes his plate back from Jason.

"How's school going so far?" Jason asks his nephew. He doesn't see Travis, Samantha, and Victoria nearly as often as he would like, but when he does spend time with them, he's reminded of how much he enjoys children.

"It's okay," Travis says, his shoulders now buoying up. "I'm not in the same class as Cory anymore, so that kind of sucks."

He looks to Claire the instant he's finished speaking, knowing that he's used a word he shouldn't have, and she raises her eyebrows to warn him to watch his step. Jason has to keep himself from smirking--something that isn't lost on Lauren. Sometimes he's about two steps away from being a kid himself.

Travis tells them all about his first few weeks of third grade, with most of the emphasis on his soccer team. When he takes a break, too consumed by his dinner to keep talking, the adults fall into other conversation: Jason fills them in on the progress he and Kelsey have made on the ice; Lauren shares some news about her work at Willis; Bill shares an amusing story from the restaurant the other day.

"How's Samantha doing?" Jason asks, hoping that he isn't prying into too-sensitive territory.

Claire's comfortable nod tells him that he isn't. "She's doing well. We get to see her soon, actually. She's coming tomorrow to spend a couple of days with us."

"That should be nice," Jason says as diplomatically as he can. If Travis weren't here, he might make a crack about Diane Bishop, but he figures this isn't the right setting.

"Yeah, it will be," Claire says. Jason can tell how much she misses the little girl she literally raised as her own daughter. "We just have to make every minute we spend with her count."


Trevor's body feels like it weighs a thousand pounds, and it takes every bit of energy he has left to drag himself over to the couch and drop down onto it.

Dylan begins to descend the stairs. "Sorry that had to happen like that, but it's good for Alex to see that he can't screw around with people like he has been."

For a long while, Trevor doesn't respond. And when he hears Dylan draw a breath to say something else, he cuts him off.

"Shut up, Dylan."

"Hey, I'm not the one you should be mad at. I know this is hard, but--"

"You wanted that to happen, didn't you?"

"Well, I did always think you were hot," Dylan says, rubbing a hand over his bare stomach, "but I didn't come over here planning to ... you know." He runs the tip of his tongue over his bottom lip.

"Not that," Trevor snaps. "Alex coming over and finding you here."

Dylan tilts his head to one side. "Really, honey, I may be good, but do you really think I'm capable of controlling where another person decides to drive?"

"Honestly? I don't know what to believe right now." Trevor turns his head; he can't look at the half-naked man standing on the staircase of his parents' home, looking so smug, so pleased with the situation.

"Trevor, I did you a favor by telling you about all the horrible things Alex has said and done--to both of us. He would've just hurt you worse if it had gone on any longer!"

Trevor has never considered himself to be the smartest person, but he always figured he had more common sense than this. And yet, when Dylan showed up at his door, wanting to talk, wanting to open up about his fight with Alex, Trevor took the bait--hook, line, and sinker. Maybe he was just looking for a solid reason to stay away from Alex, something more solid than loyalty to his sister.

Or maybe he's just an idiot.

Slowly he rises from the couch. "Get dressed, Dylan."

Dylan does a double-take. "What?"

"You heard me."

"What, you're not even gonna return the favor?"

Trevor shoots him a stony gaze. "Get your clothes, and get out of here. Now."

Dylan starts to come the rest of the way down the stairs, but Trevor shakes his head firmly. Dylan stares at him in disbelief, but finally turns back up the staircase to retrieve his clothes.

Trevor reaches for the phone.


"I thought this was an awesome spot," Josh Taylor says. "Gotta make use of it before the weather goes all October on us."

He spreads out the blanket that he brought and moves his cooler--playing the role of makeshift picnic basket--onto the blanket. He waits for Courtney Chase to sit down before taking a seat himself.

Courtney places her hands behind her and leans back. "Jeez, it really is beautiful out here."

The beach is calm beneath the evening sky's twilight. Since Josh led her down here, they haven't seen another soul, and Courtney hopes it stays that way. She has always found the seclusion of this space, with its enormous rock walls blocking out the rest of the world, to be its most appealing characteristic.

"You're gonna have to show me more of the hot spots around town," Josh says. "I found this one out of sheer luck."

"You're off to a good start. This is seriously one of my favorite places."

Josh opens the cooler and begins removing items. "Good! I was kinda worried that this was gonna be a spot where you had, like, crappy memories."

"No, not at all. I love it down here."

And, if she's completely honest with herself, she has nothing but excellent memories of time spent here. She remembers walking along this strip of beach with her parents as a child, but moreso, she and Jason shared a lot of wonderful times here when they were together.

She smiles as Josh pulls out a bottle of wine and expertly uncorks it. He quickly pours it into two glasses and hands one to her.

She hasn't thought about those times with Jason for a long time now, and she is surprised to feel a wave of nostalgia coming over her. When their relationship went bust, so many things in her life seemed to change--but she is surprised at how well preserved those memories are, somehow undisturbed by all the things that have happened in the past few years.

"Hope you like Italian food," Josh says, "because I am friggin' starved."

"I do." She watches as he spreads out the containers of take-out. "Josh, this was really sweet of you."

One side of his mouth rises in a cocky grin. "Hey, I do what I can."

"No, I really appreciate it." She leans over and plants her lips against his cheek.

Josh opens up the containers, releasing a torrent of rich aromas that immediately swim to Courtney's stomach. She draws her knees up close to her chest and turns her face toward the ocean breeze that is coming in just a little more strongly than it was a few minutes ago.

It's time to make some new memories.


With his thumb and forefinger, Jason dangles the pint of chocolate ice cream that he and Lauren just bought. She reaches up for it, and when he pulls his arm away, she yanks him down onto the couch with her.

"Gimme that!" she commands through a laugh. Jason withholds the carton for a moment longer, but finally he hands her a spoon and the ice cream.

They lean against each other, eating the ice cream and paying partial attention to the movie that illuminates the otherwise dark apartment.

"Thanks for hanging out with my family tonight," Jason says. "I know it's not the most exciting thing to do, but ..."

"No, I had fun. And anyway, your parents are amazing cooks!"

Jason groans and rubs his stomach. "Ugh, yeah. Not that it'll stop me from eating my half of this." He digs his spoon back into the ice cream.

"I can't believe how big Travis has gotten," Lauren says.

"Jeez, I know. I don't even feel old enough to have nephews and nieces, let alone have them be that old."

"It's cute watching you with him."

"I like kids," he says with a shrug. This seems dangerously close to a serious conversation about the future of their relationship--anytime kids are mentioned, it seems that way--and for some reason of which he isn't quite sure, this territory makes Jason uncomfortable.

He doesn't have to worry about it for long, though, because their conversation is interrupted by the abrupt opening of the front door. Alex enters the apartment, looking startled to see them.

"Hey," Jason says, trying to read his friend. "What's up?"

Alex casts a wary eye at them. "Not much."

Jason can tell that something is wrong. "Everything okay?"

"Yeah," Alex answers quickly. "I mean, not really, but--it's nothing major."

"You sure?"

Alex nods. Jason is about to push further when he realizes why Alex is being so tight-lipped: Lauren.

"Did you go ... do what we talked about?" Jason asks.

"Yeah. Bad idea."


Alex shoots another guarded glance at Lauren. "Because sometimes, you can have one idea about a situation, and you talk yourself into believing that someone else sees it the same way."

Jason tries to follow the shadowy statement. "It wasn't what you thought?" he asks, wishing he could do more for Alex than speak in such vague terms, but he has a feeling that alerting Lauren to the situation would only compound Alex's troubles.

"Not even close." Alex removes his shoes and walks toward his bedroom. "I don't think I've ever been this wrong in my life."

He disappears down the hallway, and a moment later, they hear his bedroom door close. Lauren glances up at Jason.

"What was that all about?" she asks.

"You don't wanna know," Jason says, and he knows it's the truth.


What should Alex do now?
What happened with Trevor and Dylan?
How will Lauren react to what's been going on in her brother's life?
Should Courtney focus on moving forward with Josh?
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