- Claire tried to help Tim by digging for info as to Ryan's whereabouts on the day Lola was killed. Ryan realized what she was up to and angrily suggested that they end their relationship if they cannot trust each other.
- Tired of being caught in the middle, Claire wished Tim luck with the trial but told him that she could no longer help with his investigation.
- After the humiliation of having his adult video shown on Christmas, Trevor was relieved to make inroads with his parents, but he had yet to face Alex.
Trevor Brooks has spent the entire day moving around the house, starting activities but not finishing any of them: laundry, reorganizing his bookshelves, watching television. The whole time, he has carted his cell phone around with him as he waits for a call from his agent. He is in the midst of plugging it into its charger--he doesn't even think the battery is low, but he knows that he needs to keep it charged up or he will regret it--when the phone finally rings.
He stares at Wes's name on the screen for a moment before answering.
"Did you get my message? You saw the website?" Trevor asks immediately. He forced himself to watch--well, mostly fast-forward--the DVD that Cliff sent, this time in private, and at the end, there was an address for a website where Trevor found that his videos are now being sold.
"Yeah." Wes sounds as though he hasn't slept in days, and Trevor suspects it is all because of his situation. "Look, Trev, don't get crazy yet."
"You don't exactly sound optimistic."
Wes's pause only confirms that.
Trevor jumps in, needing to vocalize the thoughts that have been dominating his head ever since the fiasco on Christmas. "But maybe it's a good thing. Now that Cliff sent that DVD to my family, and they know everything, I have nothing else to hide. We can get an injunction against that site or whatever, and then it's done. Right?"
"That's the thing," Wes says with uncharacteristic hesitation.
He can hear Wes's voice respond, but the sounds are garbled, hidden under a layer of fuzz.
"Hold up, I think you're cutting out," Trevor interrupts. He dashes to a spot near the open living room window. "Wes?"
"Yeah. I was saying--"
"Wes, don't you think we can sweep this under the rug now? Cliff really has no leverage."
"Let me finish. I didn't find out about the website from you."
Trevor isn't sure what Wes is saying. "You look at gay porn in your spare time?"
"No! Well, apparently I do now, but it's work-related." Wes lets out a big sigh that hisses over the phone line. "I got an e-mail with the address. And that e-mail was also sent to Camille Lemieux."
If not for the fact that he is still standing up, conscious of his surroundings, Trevor could swear that he just had a heart attack.
"Did she see it?" he asks in a panic. "Did you talk to them yet? We can do damage control--"
"I'm trying. I haven't heard back from her office yet."
Trevor tries to control his breathing, but it comes in short bursts, like he is grappling for the last air he might ever inhale.
"Wait to hear back from me before you do anything. Anything at all," Wes says.
Trevor agrees, and they end the call. The empty house buzzes around him as he contemplates what this could mean: the end of his Objection deal, the end of his young career. All because he was so desperate to get it off the ground in the first place.
His arm fills with the urge to hurl his phone at the wall, but he thinks better of it. His sanity cannot afford to miss Wes's next call. But, in the meantime, he cannot keep waiting around. There is something else that he has to do.
JASON FISHER & ALEX MARSHALL'S APARTMENT
Jason Fisher leans forward on the sofa, his elbows planted on his knees. "Are we talking real porn or, like, bad Cinemax movie porn?"
"Real. Very real," Alex Marshall says, his eyes wide.
"And his parents saw it? That's... horrifying. At least you'd seen everything before. I mean, I assume."
Alex shrugs. He keeps trying to rationalize the situation. What he saw Trevor doing in that video should not be as traumatizing as it has been. He has seen it all before. And yet...
"It's different," he says, letting the thoughts flow right from his brain to his lips. "It's not so much what I saw as how I saw it. If he'd just told me--"
"That's probably not an easy conversation to start. And I bet he never thought you'd see it."
"Yeah." Alex pulls himself up from the floor, where he has been lying lazily for much of his conversation with Jason. "But that's the thing. He was running off to New York, trying to cover it up, and he never thought he could tell me about it?"
He looks over just in time to catch Jason's expression. Alex knows it well: Jason's patented "Are you serious?" look, complete with wide eyes and curled upper lip.
"Did you tell him that you went to Portland for Seth's wedding?" Jason counters.
"I told you--nothing happened. He freaked out, we went to the hotel, and we talked 'til we fell asleep. I haven't even talked to him since then."
"So you didn't tell Trevor because... what? You didn't want to make an issue out of something that you swear is totally in the past?"
As much as he would like to be able to justify his behavior, Alex knows that Jason has a point. Maybe his reaction to finding out about Trevor's video has more to do with his own guilt than with the shock of the discovery or with feeling that Trevor lied to him.
"I'm just saying, don't make more of this than you need to," Jason says. "I think we all did things when we were younger that we'd like to forget about."
Alex is about to agree when his cell phone bursts to life, flashing and ringing. He grabs it and glances at the caller ID. Can he really deal with this now?
DIANE BISHOP'S CONDOMINIUM
Paintbrush in hand, Samantha Fisher sits at the kitchen table and works dutifully on the papier-mache creation that her parents helped her construct last night. Streaks of reds and browns now cover its surface, making it--almost, kind of--look like the volcano that it is supposed to be.
Tim Fisher stands by, observing the process. Much of the actual construction was his doing, since Diane did not want to ruin her new manicure with the papier-mache goop, so she has taken primary responsibility of this second phase.
"You missed a spot," Diane points out to her daughter.
Samantha pauses to examine her work. "Where?"
"There. To the left, to the left." Diane takes an extra brush and fills in the gap.
Tim never thought that he would see Diane Bishop, of all people, laboring over an elementary-school science project, but here it is. Another example that you can never predict how things will turn out, he thinks. He cracks a smile at the sight, but it feels like an inappropriate fit for his face, what with the other thoughts competing for attention in his head.
"I'm rooting for you. You know that. I hope you find what you need to get the charges thrown out."
"We'll always be connected, because of Travis and Samantha, and because of everything we've shared. But we're divorced."
Claire's words play on a loop inside his head, refusing to let go. After the life that they had together, all the hopes and plans that they once had for the future--that's it. The end.
Samantha's voice yanks Tim from his thoughts. He tries his best to appear casual.
"Did you hear me?" Samantha asks. "I'm done painting. Can we test it out?"
Tim moves toward the table and the volcano. "I think we should let the paint dry first."
"Yeah. I am not staying up 'til 4 in the morning redoing this," Diane says.
"But I want to see if it works!" Samantha insists.
"Here." Tim opens the refrigerator and finds a half-empty water bottle. He dumps its contents in the sink. "We'll do a test bottle."
They gather around the sink. Diane measures out a cup of vinegar and hands it to Samantha.
"That stinks," the little girl says as she very carefully pours it into the bottle.
Diane hands her a vial of food coloring. "Just a few drops."
Samantha follows orders and watches, already engrossed, as the vinegar turns a sharp red color.
"Now how much of this do we need?" Diane asks as she grabs the baking soda. Apparently remembering, she starts measuring out the amount in a cup.
Tim can see Samantha's excitement growing with each tablespoon of baking soda that Diane dumps into the cup. By the time Diane hands it to her, Samantha looks like she might explode from anticipation.
"Can I pour it in now?" she asks, as if unable to believe that this is about to happen.
Tim has to chuckle at her excitement. "Go right ahead."
She meticulously adds the baking soda to the mixture in the bottle. As soon as the first bits hit, the reaction begins.
"Whoa!" Samantha cries out as she hurries to add the rest.
By the time she finishes, the bottle is foaming. Out the top and onto the counter. Off the counter and onto the floor.
"How much baking soda did you put in?" Tim asks Diane as they grab paper towels and try to contain the overflow.
"Eight tablespoons?" Diane's response makes it clear that she was only guessing.
Samantha laughs as she joins in the clean-up effort. Tim grabs the list that they printed off the internet.
"It says four tablespoons!"
"This was cooler!" Samantha insists, and she falls into a fit of giggles as she and Diane try to keep the mess from spreading further.
They seem to have it under control, so Tim stands back. Seeing his daughter laughing like a nut, so oblivious to any other concerns--with Diane by her side, playing the role of mother better than she realizes she does--he realizes that what he has here is a family.
Or should be.
What Claire said when she turned him away from Ryan's loft keeps running through Tim's head. It's all over. After all that.
He feels the stinging of tears in his eyes. He mumbles an excuse and ducks from the room, though he doubts Diane and Samantha even notice from the depths of their laughter.
Only once he is inside the bathroom, with the door locked behind him, does he allow a tear to fall. A few more follow. It is not a gushing fountain, just a few tears, but they roll down his face and linger in stains.
He has to let go of the past. He has to let go of the family that he created and embrace this new one.
He doesn't know if he can.
RYAN MORIANI'S LOFT
Claire Fisher enters the loft, expecting to be greeted by the all-encompassing silence that has now become familiar. Instead she hears the unmistakable sounds of activity coming from the bedroom. She follows the noise and finds Ryan Moriani standing over an open cardboard box, removing things from the closet.
When he sees her, Ryan pauses, stares her down, and then drops a handful of clothing into the box.
"It's time we took care of this," he says.
Claire examines the items in the box. They are all hers. "Took care of what?"
Only now does he turn away from the closet and focus on her.
"Who are we kidding, Claire? If this isn't going anywhere--"
"Why can't it?"
Ryan takes a step backward, like he isn't sure whether to believe her, like he isn't willing to put himself on the line only to be hurt all over again. All because of her.
"I haven't stopped wearing it," she says, holding up her hand to show him the ring. "And I told Tim--"
"Here we go again! Tim! Why does everything always have to come back to goddamn Tim?"
The sheer force of Ryan's outburst startles Claire into complete silence, complete stillness.
Seeing her reaction, Ryan softens immediately. He moves closer to her. "I'm sorry," he says. "But I can't keep doing this. I can't keep being a part of a relationship with three people in it."
"That's what I'm trying to say. I told him that I can't help him anymore--I can't make his problems my problems. That's not how it works when you're divorced."
Ryan looks her over. "How do I know that this is for real? We've done this before, and it always comes back to--"
"I'll marry you."
She didn't even plan to say it. Of course it was supposed to be the implication of continuing to wear the ring, of staying with him, but she had not thought of it in such concrete terms.
"I'll marry you," she repeats, "as soon as you want. I want to be with you."
In spite of his anger and resentment of a moment ago, Ryan lights up.
"Do you mean that?" he asks.
"Yes. I want to marry you. I want this to be real."
Ryan's arms fly around, pulling her to him, and relief floods Claire's system. At least, this is going to be real, and all the unpleasantness of the last few years will be behind them.
322 BAR & GRILL
All around Trevor, the restaurant buzzes with afternoon activity. Even in this lively place, however, he feels alone, as though he is somehow sealed off from the rest of the world. He fiddles with his menu and sips at his drink, and when Alex walks through the door, he suddenly wishes that he really were inside some kind of bubble that would render him invisible and immune.
"Thanks for meeting me," he forces himself to say as Alex slides into the booth across him.
"No problem." Quiet falls over them. Alex picks up the familiar menu and scans it, though if history is any indication, he already knows exactly what he wants.
"How are you?" Alex asks.
"On pins and needles, basically. I'm waiting to hear back from my agent. Apparently Cliff put the videos online, and he e-mailed the site to Wes and to Camille Lemieux."
Alex's face falls. "Oh, crap. I'm sorry."
There is another silent moment, but this one is much more comfortable to Trevor. He senses that Alex is genuinely concerned about him--not that he necessarily doubted that, but experiencing it now makes everything feel a little better.
"So I guess I just have to wait," Trevor continues. "But my parents were cool--maybe not cool, but they were really nice about everything."
"Good." Alex is poised to say something else when Courtney Chase appears at their table.
"I didn't expect to see you working here," Alex says to her.
She shrugs and pulls out her pad and pen. "I'm still picking up some shifts here until Jason gets the arena thing off the ground." She leans in closer and lowers her voice. "But believe me, I cannot wait to quit for real. Are you guys ready to order?"
Trevor motions for Alex to go first.
"Iced tea and the chicken fingers," Alex says. Just as Trevor expected.
Trevor orders a chicken Caesar salad and hands his menu to Courtney. Once she is gone, he returns his attention to Alex.
"I know it was retarded of me not to tell you why I was going to New York," he says. "And I get why you're mad about that. But I swear, I was just trying to keep it as quiet as I could, and--I didn't want you to look down on me. I'm not proud of those videos."
"I can tell."
"But everything's out in the open now. I swear." Trevor covers one of Alex's hands with one of his own. "I love you."
"I know. And I love you, too."
Hearing it comes as an enormous relief to Trevor. If Alex is willing to acknowledge that, then they really do have a fighting chance.
Nevertheless, Alex still looks troubled.
"I just want the chance to build this back up again," Trevor says. "I know it's gonna be a lot of work, but I'm willing to do it."
Alex nods, but he still looks as though he has something to say, something that isn't quite ready to make itself known.
"Trevor, I need to--"
Trevor's ringtone bursts into the air. Alex laughs.
"Fergalicious?" he asks, suddenly much lighter, as the song's chorus plays.
"I needed a change," Trevor says, trying his best to be playful even though his heart feels ready to explode. He sees Wes's name on the screen. "Sorry, I have to take this."
Trevor slips out of the booth to take the call. As cautiously optimistic as he now feels about his relationship with Alex, he has a feeling that this phone call could shoot that all to hell.
END OF EPISODE #441
Alex come clean to Trevor about Seth?
How will Camille react to the shocking discovery about Trevor?
Is Claire making the right decision?
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