Episode #493

- Courtney and Jason realized that Jason might have to forfeit his inheritance from Shannon if they were to get married.
- Trevor told Alex that he accepted an open-ended modeling job in Europe and would be leaving soon.
- The Fishers learned of Ryan’s plans to write a book about his recent troubles. Tim and Paula were irritated to discover that Sarah already knew about the book.
- Sarah and Diane ran into Ryan and Danielle dining together.


As much as she might hate to admit it, Sarah Gray has always been a bit jealous of her sister’s fashion-design skills. Molly always had a knack for doctoring and altering clothes that Sarah never would have gone near in the first place, and in the process, she turned them into items that Sarah wished she had.

Every now and then, when she is downtown with time to kill, Sarah allows herself to wander into the Objection boutique and browse through her sister’s work. Sometimes she buys things for Tori; on occasion, she purchases an item or two for herself, though she never wears any of them on days where there might be a chance of seeing Molly. She has dropped into the store plenty of times without running into her sister. After all, Molly spends her days at the Objection offices, not prowling the floors of the shop. Today, however, Sarah’s luck ends.

She is browsing through a rack of annoyingly cute, surprisingly sexy sundresses, thinking of trying one on, when she spots Molly across the store, chatting with an employee. Sarah thinks of bolting for the door, but before she can, Molly glances up and sees her. Freezing in place, Sarah lifts one hand in a meek wave and waits for the inevitable awkward conversation.

“Hey,” Molly says when she approaches a few seconds later.

Sarah takes a step back from the rack of dresses. “Hey. I was just passing by and thought I… might pick up something for Tori.”

“Isn’t that a little… mature for her?” Molly asks, indicating the low-cut, flirty dress that Sarah was looking at.

“She’s growing up fast,” Sarah says. “Might as well help her have good taste, right?”

“…Right.” Molly folds her arms and studies her sister uncertainly. “Well, if you see anything you like, let me know. It’ll be on the house.”

Of course she has to go and be nice, Sarah thinks, miffed.

On the exterior, she smiles at Molly. “Really? Thank you. But you don’t have to do that.”

“Don’t be silly. I’m glad to do it.”

Awkward silence lands on them with all the subtlety of a car crashing through the front windows. Sarah decides that she has to do her part.

“Mom said she told you and Jason about Ryan’s book,” she says.

“And Dad. He took it well. Surprisingly well. He was probably the most level-headed one about it.”

“I guess there’s nothing we can do but try to ignore it,” Sarah says. “I just hate that it’s out there while we’re all trying to…”

“Heal. Yeah.” Molly’s eyes reveal a deeper understanding than Sarah expected, and Sarah wonders what kind of toll Brent’s struggle to accept the loss of his leg has had upon Molly and the boys.

“Did you find out from Tim?” Molly asks. “Mom said you knew before she did.”

Sarah’s heartbeat quickens. “Uh, no. I just, uh, I just happened to find out--right before Tim did, really.”

“And you didn’t say anything?”

“Tim was out of town, and I didn’t know…” She doesn’t know what she didn’t know, or why she hesitated to share the news with her family. Maybe she wanted to believe that, if she kept it to herself, the whole thing might go away.

“Did you find out from Diane?” Molly asks, though it might as well be a flat-out accusation.

Sarah knows there is no point denying it, so she nods her head and waits for what is to come.


In the bedroom that has been his since he was a teenager, Trevor Brooks holds down the top of an overstuffed suitcase with one hand while tugging on its zipper with the other. Despite a fair amount of grunting and groaning, he cannot get the zipper past a particular bulge in the suitcase.

“Need help?” his sister asks from the doorway.


Lauren swiftly moves to his side. She presses down on the suitcase with both hands, and Trevor uses all his might to yank the zipper. Finally, thankfully, it closes.

“Okay, now I just can’t open this until I get to my hotel in London,” he says.

“Are you bringing enough stuff?” Lauren asks with a smirk.

“Not my fault! Everyone expects you to look perfect all the time, but you get to bring, like, three days’ worth of stuff.”

“You’ll be getting plenty of free clothing soon enough,” Lauren says.

“I hope so.” Trevor slips into the jacket and scarf that he plans to wear on the plane. “I think this is it for now, though.”

Lauren plops down on the bed. “Are you sure you have to go?”

“If I want a career, I do. Wanna give me a hand with this stuff?”

“If I didn’t help, would that mean you couldn’t go?”

“I think I can get two suitcases downstairs by myself,” he says, trying his hardest to keep things light. It is hard enough to leave for this indefinite stay in Europe without one of the people he loves most begging him not to go.

He lifts his oversized and packed-to-the-brim duffel bag, and Lauren takes the rolling suitcase. As they maneuver down the stairs, Trevor adds, “I’m lucky to have gotten this job. It’s an amazing opportunity.”

“Yeah.” Lauren sighs, and they make it to the bottom of the stairs before she speaks again. “Are you sure you really, really want to do this?”

“What I want and what I have to do are two different things.”

“There’ll be other modeling opportunities,” she says, “ones that don’t involve going to another continent for months on end. So what do you say? Can I talk you out of this?”


“Until mankind is peaceful enough not to have violence on the news, there’s no point in taking it out of shows that need it for entertainment value!”

Courtney Chase lets out a guffaw, even though she has heard the line hundreds of times before. With Clueless playing on the television and a bounty of junk food spread out before them, all should be well for her and Alex Marshall.

“It’s not working,” Alex says.

Courtney turns to him with alarm. “What do you mean?”

“I still feel like crap.”

“I didn’t say it would be immediate. Just try and relax.”

Alex tilts his head to one side. His look says it all: Really? Relax?

“Here, try this,” she says, handing him a cookie.

Alex accepts and devours it. “Nope, still not better.”

Courtney grunts in frustration, as if Alex has violated some immutable law of physics. Movies from high school plus junk food equals better mood, or something. He appreciates the effort, and it’s definitely better than moping around by himself, but he isn’t going to get past Trevor leaving so easily.

“How did I screw this up so badly?” he wonders aloud. It is the same question he has been asking himself since Trevor revealed that he accepted a job in Europe, and days later, Alex is no closer to an answer.

“You both made mistakes,” Courtney says. “It’s life. It sucks, but it’s not abnormal.”

“Ugh. You mean there’s more of this coming in the future?” He toys with a spoonful of ice cream that he doesn’t need to eat and then eats it anyway. “This is probably really naïve, but when I was with Trevor, I guess I thought I was… done.”


“With dating. Trying to find someone. He was it, you know? And then Seth came back into the picture, and I got distracted…”

“Maybe he is it. Look at how things wound up for Jason and me, after all that time,” she says. “Though maybe that’s a bad example…”

“You guys have it pretty good right now.”

“Yeah--except for the fact that Shannon is still ruining our lives from beyond the grave.”

“Still nothing from the lawyers?”

Courtney shakes her head. “I guess they’re checking and re-checking her will so they can give us a definitive answer. This is just so… typical, isn’t it?”

“Seriously.” Alex watches a few more seconds of the movie; he has seen it enough times that he can zone in on it at any given point, even if he has missed huge parts. “But what’s the worst case? You guys can’t actually get married? You can still have everything else together--kids, a home, your business.”

“I know. And it’s stupid to be upset about it. I mean, it puts me in your shoes a little bit, too. To love someone this much, to want nothing more than to be with them officially, and you’re not allowed to get married? Stupid.”

“Okay, then, take some advice from me.” Alex feels good being the advice-giver for the moment, rather than the one desperately needing consolation. “One of the hardest things about accepting I was gay was knowing that I might never be able to get married--that no matter how serious I got with someone, there’d always be that one unbreakable barrier. Now, maybe that’ll change someday, God willing, but… I’ve accepted it, you know? At least I think I have. Legal stuff aside--and yeah, that all sucks--being married is about your relationship reaching a certain level, not some piece of paper.”

“You’re right,” she says, though he can tell that she is still greatly upset about the situation. “It just sucks, starting a life with someone and having to accept limitations on that. Like, how unfair is that?”

“Very. Which is why we watch goofy movies and eat enough sugar to give ourselves diabetes.”

Finally she smiles, albeit uneasily, and they settle back in to watch the rest of the movie.


“You knew what Diane was up to and you didn’t tell any of us?”

Molly plants her hands on her hips, like a mother scolding a wayward child. It’s the way she has always been in disagreements between herself and Sarah. Like Molly herself is some paragon of virtue. Self-righteous, husband-stealing virtue, Sarah thinks.

“There wasn’t time,” Sarah says. “I was trying to figure out how and what to tell Mom and Dad, and before I could, Tim got back from his business trip…”

“You could have at least given him a heads-up!”

“Would it have made a difference? It’s not like any of us are going to be able to stop Ryan from writing this book,” Sarah counters.

One of the few midday customers circulating through the store turns to look at the sisters. Molly offers a polite smile and pauses long enough for the young woman to move away from them.

“It doesn’t matter,” Molly continues, keeping her voice hushed. “What Diane and Ryan are doing could hurt this whole family. You owed it to us to tell us as soon as you found out.”

“I’m sorry, okay?” Sarah knows that she screwed up. She didn’t mean to condone what Ryan and Diane are doing. But it’s not like she is the only one who hasn’t drawn a clear line in the sand, either.

“What about Danielle?” she blurts out.

Molly crinkles her face. “What about her?”

“Did you know she’s been hanging out with Ryan?” Sarah feels bad selling out Danielle this way, but she is sick of being branded as the bad apple. Danielle’s brother lost his leg because of Ryan’s father. It’s even more inappropriate for her to be spending time with him than it is for Sarah to continue to be friends with Diane.

“She helped him out a few months ago,” Molly says. “She found him passed out in the park and brought him home to sober up.”

“Does ‘helping him sober up’ include having dinner with him at Windmills? I saw them there the other night.”

Molly seems flustered by this news, and it takes her several seconds to conjure up a response. “Danielle’s sensitive to what Ryan is going through because of her own drinking. I think she feels like she needs to help him.”

“Well, good for her. And I’m glad you can see the good in what she’s doing but can’t be bothered to see my side of things.”

Sarah turns to walk away. She’s had enough of this.

“Do you want the dress for Tori?” Molly calls out after her.

“My daughter will be fine without your slutty dress,” Sarah says before storming out of the shop.


Lauren’s proposition is more tempting to Trevor than she probably realizes. But he knows what he has to do.

“I’m sorry,” he says, embracing her, “but I’ve got to go.”

She nods immediately, as if she knew this would be his answer. “I don’t mean to whine,” she says. “This is going to be great for you. I’m just all emotional and stupid because of…”

“Yeah.” If Lauren’s tests had not come back negative, there is no way that Trevor would have accepted this job. He tries to see this as an upside of the whole thing: if he is able to leave, then it means his sister is well and will be here when he comes back.

Their parents join them in the foyer. “All ready to go?” Patrick asks.

Before Trevor can so much as nod, Roz throws her arms around him. “A few months will go by like it’s nothing!”

“I hope so,” Trevor says. “Mom, you guys have gone on plenty of cruises. This is the same thing.”

Roz scowls at him, unconvinced.

Trevor peeks out the window beside the front door and sees a taxi waiting at the curb. “My cab is here,” he says.

Patrick helps him out to the car with his bags, and Lauren and Roz follow behind them. Another round of goodbye hugs and well-wishes follows before Trevor is finally able to get into the cab.

“Good luck, sweetie!” Roz calls out before the door shuts.

Trevor offers a final wave and then forces himself not to look at them anymore. This is too hard. He has plenty of reasons to want to leave King’s Bay, but he has even more reasons to stay.

The taxi pulls away from the house and turns off the Brooks’ block. Trevor allows himself to zone out and think about the chapter of his life that is now coming to a close.

When he came home a few years, he was scared of telling his family that he had dropped out of college to model, and of coming out to them, and of finding a way to make it in the world as an adult. He never expected that he would want to stay in King’s Bay or that he would become so close with his sister again--or that he would fall in love. He never imagined that he would be so comfortable with someone as he became with Alex.

He would like to believe that, if Seth had not tumbled back into Alex’s life, their relationship never would have gone off-track. Except he knows that is not true. Alex finding out about the films Trevor made for Cliff had nothing to do with Seth. Sure, the circumstances worked together to create an even bigger wedge between them, but they had problems that had nothing to do with Seth’s reappearance.

As much as he wants things to go back to the way they were, when he and Alex were happy together and his career was proceeding like a fairy tale, he knows that it cannot be that simple. If the past few years have shown him anything, it’s that he will never know what the future holds for him. All he can do is go along for the ride and make the best choices for himself in the present. And right now, deep inside, he knows that what is best for him is to go to Europe and work.

When the taxi arrives at the airport, he removes his bags from the trunk. He starts to head inside but pauses. He turns around and takes one last look at King’s Bay. It might not be the most scenic view of the place that he regards as his home, but it is enough to convince him that he will be back someday.


What will Trevor’s absence mean for Alex? For Lauren?
Should Courtney and Jason forget about getting married?
Was Sarah wrong to rat out Danielle?
Discuss this episode in the Footprints Forum!

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