Episode #406

Previously ...
- While Jason tried to save his relationship with Lauren, he continued training for his skating test with Courtney.
- Claire and Tim decided to proceed with their divorce.
- Tim cemented his burgeoning relationship with Diane by sleeping with her.


The arena is its usual chilly temperature, but to Jason Fisher, it seems much colder than usual. On normal days, he barely even notices the cold. Today, however, it threatens to render his muscles stiff and useless.

He paces back and forth in his black skating costume, and his blades click and clack against the rubber flooring. His eyes follow the skater currently on the ice for a few seconds, but he is too preoccupied with his and Courtney's upcoming test to pay much attention to someone else's.

Instead he diverts his attention across the ice, to the bleachers where his parents are seated with Courtney's parents and Alex. Seeing his mother and Helen seated over there was a hallmark of his youth, and now he finds it so strange to look across the arena and have them right there, waiting once again to watch him and Courtney skate -- only this time, he and Court are adults, and if all goes according to plan, this could be their last performance ever.

Of course, that was also the plan when he attempted this test with Kelsey last year... Only, that time, Lauren was here to watch him. It pains him to think that she will miss out on this monumental moment in his skating career and his life, and he finds himself wishing that she would walk right through the doors.

Jason forces himself to shake the unpleasant memories and looks around for something to distract him. He finds Sandy James approaching him, a sheet of paper in hand.

"How do you feel?" she asks "Are you keeping loose?"

"Yeah," he says, grateful that she asked about his body and not his mental state. "Is Courtney ready yet?"

"She's putting on her dress right now." Sandy holds up the paper. "I have to go have the test chair fix this. She entered my name as 'Snadra.'"

Jason snickers and is about to make a crack when a scream pierces the air. He and Sandy exchange a knowing, panicked look:

That was Courtney's scream.


Tim Fisher closes the door of the conference room behind him. He savors the peace and quiet of this isolated space, closed off from the hubbub and nervous tension of the rest of the office. He longs for the days when he had an office of his own, rather than a cubicle.

He clutches the cell phone in his palm, building himself up for what he must do. In truth, he has been building up to this all day, and all week, and even longer than that. He still does not think that his nerves are properly fortified for this, but he doubts that they ever will be.

Strolling over to the window, Tim locates the appropriate number in his phone. As it rings in his ear, he looks out at the gray day. The mild Northwest winter appears to be on its last legs, bored with itself and waiting for the first hints of spring.

"Jim Thompson's office," the female voice chirps in his ear. "How may I help you?"

"Hi, this is Tim Fisher. I need to speak to Jim--"

"Actually, he's in his office right now. I'll put you through!"

A moment later, the attorney picks up the call.

"Hi, Jim. It's Tim Fisher. I, uh... I'm involved in something that I hope you'll be able to handle--"

"Tim, I'm sorry."


"I'm afraid I can't speak with you. Claire has already retained me to represent her in the divorce."


Even the skater on the ice and the panel of judges react to the scream. Jason and Sandy scramble toward the dressing rooms, and images of the worst possible scenarios flash through Jason's head: Courtney on the ground with a broken leg, or lying in a pool of blood, or being dragged off by some masked psycho.

But when they reach the dressing room, they find her perfectly intact, albeit half-dressed.

"What's the matter?" Sandy demands, her tone halfway between worried and scolding.

Courtney clutches a garment bag in front of her scantily clad torso. "I was getting dressed, and--he..." She points down the corridor, at a man beating a hasty retreat away from them. "He opened the door and just stared at me."

Sandy looks after the man. "I think that's Deborah Ockle's husband!"

"The judge?" Courtney moans with widened eyes. "I got Peeping Tom-ed by a judge's husband?"

"Hey, maybe it'll help our scores," Jason says, reminding himself to avert his eyes.

"Very funny."

"Why don't you finish getting ready?" Sandy suggests, now shifting to a calmer tone of voice. "No harm done, right?"

Courtney peeks nervously down the corridor. "Right."

"Okay, then. You get ready, and Jason, you keep moving around to keep loose. I'm going to go get this form fixed." Holding the paper with her misspelled name, Sandy makes her way out of the dressing room area.

"Ew. I feel all... violated," Courtney says to Jason.

Jason smirks, trying not to look as she covers herself up. "It took you this long for this sport to make you feel violated?"

"Shut up," she says through a laugh, as she closes the door in his face.


Diane Bishop looks up from her work before Tim Fisher even knocks on her open door. She sets aside the manuscript in front of her and breathes a sigh of relief.

"Good read?" Tim asks.

"What a piece of horseshit." Diane regards the thick stack of papers with a grimace. "How this made it all the way to me, I have no idea."

"Why are you still reading it if it's so bad?"

"Trainwreck value, I guess. So far we've got a nun who witnesses a murder and then wins the lottery." She shudders, then asks, "What's up with you?"

"I just called my attorney to ask him to represent me in this divorce," he says, "but it turns out he's already representing Claire."

"You didn't think that might happen?"

"No--I don't know. It didn't really occur to me. I have a legal problem, I call Jim. That's how it goes."

"And thus, the division of assets begins."

Every day, Tim does a little better with comprehending that his marriage to Claire is over and soon will be in the eyes of the law, too. But the whole thing suddenly seems so exhausting that he cannot even think about it.

As he sighs and drops his face into his hands, Brian Hamilton steps into the office.

"Not to interrupt today's episode of Divorce Court," Brian says, "but Lars is waiting for your write-up of that nun thing, Diane."

"Tell him that I'm resisting the urge to wipe my ass with it," she snaps, "although that would be a pretty accurate read on how I'm feeling about it." She looks to Tim. "Hand me my phone."

Brian doesn't budge from the doorway. "Diane--"

"Tell him he'll have it by the end of the day," she tells him. Then, to Tim: "Don't worry about this lawyer thing. I'll deal with it."

"How romantic," Brian mutters as he wanders out. "The mistress even gets to help out with the divorce."

"What's his problem?" Tim asks as Brian exits.

"If he liked this piece of crap, I can't even begin to guess what his problems might be," she says, motioning with disgust toward the manuscript. She dials a number and pauses for a moment before saying, "Hi, Eric. It's Diane Bishop. I need your help."


The cold air stings Jason's cheeks and hands even harder now that he is out on the ice. He circles back around, sets up for his triple toe loop, and vaults in the air. A second later, he is sliding across the ice on his backside.

"One minute remaining in the warmup," the test chair calls from the side of the ice.

Jason skates over to Sandy and Courtney at the boards. "I can't land this damn thing," he says.

"Don't even think that," Sandy says. "It's a triple toe. You've been doing it for years. You land it every day."

He nods glumly, trying to accept her encouragement.

"Don't even worry about it," she says. "Let me see the pair spin, and then you guys can rest until they call for you."

Jason skates out to the same spot as always for the spin, keeping an eye on Courtney as usual, but it all feels supremely weird now. Can they really be here, doing this, after all that they've been through?

They link up for the spin, but something feels off. Before they even make it to the position change, Jason feels their momentum dying, and he backs out of the spin rather than risk hurting himself or Courtney.

He looks to Sandy, who makes a "Don't worry about it" gesture.

"This concludes your warmup!" comes the announcement, and the handful of other skaters trickle off the ice as Jason and Courtney rejoin their coach by the door. Jason has just enough time for a drink of water before the voice calls:

"Courtney Chase and Jason Fisher, Senior pairs!"

"You guys can do this," Sandy assures them, but as they skate off, Jason is sure that he sees a flicker of worry in her eyes.

They skate to their starting position, and as they maneuver themselves into the intricate pose, Courtney says, "Thank you."

"Don't thank me yet. Judging by that warmup--"

"Just for doing this. Taking this test together is the perfect ending, isn't it? If I have to give this up, this is the only way I want to go."

"Same here," Jason says before extending fully into the position. He holds one of Courtney's hands in both of his as she balances on the toe pick of one skate.

An instant later, their music stars. It fills the arena and, as soon as they start moving, something seems different to Jason. The whole thing feels alive, exciting, in a way that it didn't during the warmup.

They set up for the triple toe, and this time, Jason feels his foot firmly under him as he lands. He glances to his side and finds Courtney in a similarly victorious pose.

They lock together for the pair spin, and this time, it couldn't feel more right.


Will Jason and Courtney finally achieve their goal?
What will come next for them?
Will Brian be able to stay away from Diane for long?
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