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#208 : Les obsèques du Père Noël

Fisher & Sons accueille l'enterrement d'un motard au rez-de-chaussée, alors qu'un repas familial se prépare à l'étage pour Noël. Ruth a réunit Brenda, Nate, Claire et Toby, rencontré chez Sarah, sans oublier Keith et sa nièce, Tyler. Chacun pense à Nathaniel, décédé un an auparavant, et se remémore leurs derniers moments avec lui...

Titre VO
It's the Most Beautiful Time of the Year

Titre VF
Les obsèques du Père Noël

Photos promo

Les frères Fisher

Les frères Fisher

Toby, Claire, Keith et sa nièce

Toby, Claire, Keith et sa nièce

Nate et Brenda

Nate et Brenda

Plus de détails

Prelude

Scene One: Johnson House, morning.

JESSE RAY JOHNSON, an overweight biker in his late fifties, sits in his house, wearing boxers, watching sports on TV and drinking beer. He has a long white beard and long white hair. His wife, MARILYN, enters. She is also big, boisterous and full of life.

Marliyn: If you don't get your fat ass in gear, you're gonna be late for work.

Jesse: I just sat down!

Marilyn: Oh, come on! You only got this job two weeks a year!

Jesse: Alright, alright!

He gets up reluctantly, and turns off the TV.

Scene Two: Johnson House, a few minutes later.

JESSE exits the bedroom, now dressed in a Santa suit, but holding the hat in his hands.

Jesse: You know?, this goddamn suit itches like hell!

Marilyn: (rubbing his stomach) Well, you could lose a little padding here.

Jesse: (jokingly) Careful. Only good little girls get presents.

Marilyn: (also joking) No flirting with the faggoty elves!

Jesse: Can I help it if the elves think I'm a stud?

Marilyn: You are a stud. But you're my stud!

Jesse: Hey!

They hug and kiss goodbye at the front door. A Christmas tree is in the corner.

Marilyn: Be careful.

He leaves.

Scene Three: Neighborhood Street.

JESSE zooms on his motorcycle through the suburban neighborhood in which he lives. He looks just like you'd imagine Santa would look, if he were riding on a motorcycle. Meanwhile, on one street, two little girls and a boy sit on a sidewalk bench. The two girls are bouncing a ball back and forth.

Girl #1: You're a loser.

Boy: (looking up) Is that Santa?

As JESSE zooms by, all of the kids look up, expectantly.

Girl #2: It is!

All: (ad-lib) Hi, Santa!

They all excitedly wave their hands. They are just young enough to believe he actually is Santa. JESSE smiles and waves at them.

Jesse: Ho! Ho! Ho!

Unfortunately, as he's looking at the kids and waving, he doesn't notice the truck coming towards him. By the time he turns around to face the oncoming vehicle, it's too late. His bike slams into it at full speed. The kids stare in stunned silence, as they watch the crash. A single hubcap rolls over to their feet.

The screen fades to white.

"JESSE RAY JOHNSON
1944-2001"

Act One

Scene One: Fisher Kitchen, late morning.

DAVID and NATE sit at the kitchen table, looking at holiday cards. RUTH stands by the counter, making a list on a notepad. "Let It Snow" is playing in the background.

David: You told me Donald Green was Jewish.

Nate: Well, I didn't know. His shop was closed on Yom Kippur.

David: (showing NATE a card) He sent us a Christmas card with the baby Jesus on it!

Nate: So he's not Jewish...

David: We sent him one with a draidel on it!

Nate: (with a "what's the big deal?" lilt to his voice) Now he thinks we're Jewish.

Ruth: Is Brenda Jewish?

Nate: Uh, yeah, sort of... Well, her dad's Jewish. And her mom was raised Catholic, I think. But now they're atheists. I think.

Ruth: Well, how would your children be raised?

Nate: Well, we haven't gotten that far yet, Mom.

Ruth: Is she coming to Christmas dinner? I'm making my list.

Nate: That's the plan. Christmas Eve at her mother's place and then Christmas dinner here.

Ruth: So, I'll write you down for two.

Nate: Great.

Ruth: David?

David: (quickly) You can put me down for one.

Ruth: But what about Keith? Aren't the two of you, uh--?

David: (looks up) Yes, we're having healthy, affection-based sex on a regular basis. Twice a day sometimes!

NATE looks down and smiles.

Ruth: Why wouldn't you bring him here for Christmas? Are you ashamed of us?

David: Of course not. Keith has Taylor living with him now. They're having their own Christmas.

Ruth: So invite them both! I'm cooking a goose. Don't they like goose?

David: Do you really want them here or are you just being politically correct?

Ruth: Of course I want them to be here! If he's someone you care about, then he should be here!

David: Okay.

Ruth: (now yelling) I am sick and tired of this chip on your shoulder, David! How on earth am I supposed to accept you if you resent every simple attempt I make?

NATE silently laughs.

David: (defensively) Alright, fine. We're gonna have dinner tomorrow night, I'll ask him then.

Ruth: (pauses) You both have plans for Christmas Eve? Who's going to Midnight Service with me?

CLAIRE enters, groggily.

Ruth: Claire? I'd like for you to go to church with me tomorrow night.

CLAIRE looks at her as if RUTH is crazy.

Claire: Uh--

Ruth: And I need to know if you're bringing anyone to Christmas dinner.

The brothers look relieved that they're momentarily out of the line of fire.

Claire: Uh-- I was thinking about maybe asking Toby.

She starts to pour herself a cup of coffee.

Ruth: Toby? I don't know any Toby.

Claire: Uh-- I met him at Aunt Sarah's, and we've been out a couple of times.

Ruth: Doesn't Toby have a family of his own to spend Christmas with?

Claire: Well, his parents are pagans.

RUTH looks horrified.

Claire: It's not his fault!

Ruth: Well, when are you going to invite him? I need to know how many yams to buy!

Claire: Look, if he's coming, I'll tell him to bring his own yam.

Ruth: (jumping to the next dilemma) And when are we going to decorate the tree?

David: (now a little amused) Mom, you need to calm down.

Ruth: Christmas is the day after tomorrow! What about tonight?

Nate: Well, I can't. I made plans.

David: Me too.

RUTH looks at CLAIRE, expectantly.

Claire: I'm already doing the church thing!

Ruth: I wish I knew what I did to deserve such morose, surly children!

She storms out.

Claire: (to her brothers) I'll be so glad when these fucking holidays are over.

Scene Two: Rico's House.

RICO is now doing the drywalling job RAMON had been doing earlier, over the fireplace. VANESSA comes up to him.

Vanessa: Baby, you're making it worse! How come you can make someone with a squashed face look like new but you can't even fix a stupid wall?

Rico: It's the sheetrock. It's all crumbled.

Vanessa: I know. I'm still picking it out of the couch!

Rico: Okay, Vanessa! Why don't you tell me what else I've done wrong lately?!

Vanessa: Rico, I don't understand why you fired Ramon. He was doing good work. He was cheap.

Rico: (getting down from the ladder) I had my reasons.

Vanessa: I think you're jealous cause he knows how to fix things and he makes you look bad.

Rico: (angrily) I don't want him around here anymore!

Vanessa: (baiting him) Look at you, Rico, you're jealous!

Rico: (he's had it) Alright, you wanna know why I fired him? Yeah?

Vanessa: Yeah.

Rico: Uh huh? When I came home that afternoon, he was screwing someone. Yeah, A MAN! Right against this wall!

Vanessa: (disgusted) Rico, that's disgusting! Stop lying!

Rico: I'm not lying! He was screwing a frickin' man! Right here, right in my fucking house, he was screwing a man!

Vanessa: (stunned, quietly) Oh, my God.

Rico: And that's why I fired him. (gets back up on the ladder) Okay?

VANESSA stands in the same position, as if frozen in place.

Vanessa: Oh, my God!

Scene Three: Mall.

The mall is covered in Christmas decorations. CLAIRE and TOBY walk together.

Claire: Okay, if you were a gay mortician, what would you want for Christmas?

Toby: Um, a new life?

Claire: (grimaces) Ich! I hate Christmas!

Toby: I hear you.

They walk by the place where the mall Santa would usually sit to meet the kids. A sign is up that reads: "Closed Today."

Toby: It's such pressure to live up to these images.

They go up on the escalator.

Toby: The whole family sitting around the dinner table as Mom, dressed in her special Christmas apron, serves a meal that she spent three days making. I mean, who even has that?

Claire: I do.

Toby: You're kidding!

Claire: No, just add the smell of death and people crying downstairs, you've got my life exactly.

Toby: It doesn't sound half bad, actually.

Claire: Oh, it's awful!

Toby: No, awful is when you celebrate the Winter Solstice by watching your father play the recorder while your mother dances around a bonfire, chanting hims to Gaia, the Earth goddess. (CLAIRE laughs) Sure, it's funny to you.

They sit down.

Claire: Okay, so do you want to have Christmas dinner with my creepy family?

Toby: Are you kidding? I would love it! Do you really want me to?

Claire: Well, it was my mother's idea. Ever since my last boyfriend tried to kill himself, robbed a store, and shot at a guy before disapperaring off the face of the Earth, she wants to meet everyone I date!

They both smile.

Scene Four: New Intake Room.

MARILYN checks out the casket wall. She is with two other bikers, both guys. DAVID is whispering to NATE.

David: A biker funeral?

Nate: I know what you're thinking, but they seem like pretty cool people.

David: (smiles) Are you kidding? I love biker funerals! (NATE smiles) These people have big money! They all have Harley dealerships or repair shops--

Nate: And methamphetamine labs in their basements!

David: Whatever. Money is money.

NATE smiles, and they return to their new clients. MARILYN stares at the casket wall, sadly. She's wearing a leather jacket.

David: Mrs. Johnson, I'm David Fisher. I've very sorry about your loss.

Marilyn: Thank you.

Nate: (pointing out the shorter of MARILYN's friends) This is Pete, a close friend of the deceased. This is my brother, David.

PETE nods quietly. NATE now introduces DAVID to a very tall, very large guy.

Nate: (without a hint of irony) And this is Marilyn's brother, Bitsy.

Bitsy: (also, completely serious) As in "Itsy."

David: (smiles and nods to him. Then to MARILYN) So-- is there a casket that appeals to you?

Pete: It's gotta be steel.

David: Well, the Camry, here, is 20 gauge stainless steel.

Pete: (suspiciously) That sounds foreign.

David: No, I assure you, it's built right here in the United States of America.

Pete: (nods) Alright, as long as it's the best.

Marilyn: Jesse never liked to have a fuss made over him. He always said that when his time comes, just set him out by the curb on trash day. (laughs quietly) But... um, I want to do right by him. He was a good man.

Pete: (tears in his voice) He was the fucking best! Now, we want the casket airbrushed the same as his gas tank. (hands DAVID a polaroid of the bike) It's midnight purple with orange flames.

David: I'm not sure that we could--

Pete: I'll give you the number of the guy that's restoring Jesse's hog. He can do it all at once.

Nate: (looking at the pic) Wow, that is a hell of a bike!

Pete: And on the inside of the casket lid, we want a picture of Marilyn, here. You know, so she's looking down on him for all eternity.

He hands DAVID another polaroid. DAVID looks half-stunned, half-horrified, and totally speechless. DAVID hands it to NATE, who is amused.

Marilyn: That was Jesse's favorite picture of me. It was Hustler's "Beaver Hunt" April of '86.

Nate: (searching for words) It's, uh-- a very nice picture of you.

Marilyn: Isn't it? I usually hate pictures of myself.

Pete: We're gonna need a couple of kegs of Bud and a case of Jack for the service. We want this done right. It's gonna be one kick-ass Christmas day funeral!

DAVID and NATE look at each other.

Nate: I'm sorry. Christmas is the one day of the year we don't hold services.

Pete: We'd pay whatever it takes.

David: (smiling widely) A big-ass Christmas day funeral it is!

They all smile.

Scene Five: Fisher Kitchen / Fisher Front Porch, Thanksgiving, 2001

NATE and DAVID sit at the kitchen table.

Nate: (drinking egg nog) So we're gonna be working on Christmas day...

David: (alluding to last year) We've had worse Christmases.

Nate: Yeah, we have. (pause) Do you remember the last time you saw him?

David: No.

NATE nods and thinks.

He remembers Thanksgiving Day, 2000. He and CLAIRE sit outside on the front porch, sharing a joint.

Nate: I can't believe it's Thanksgiving already! What happened to this year?

Claire: I know. And you can't even go anywhere that isn't decked out with like candy canes and Santa heads and shit. It's all so phony! I think in Hell it's always Christmas!

They both laugh. They are both high. Just at that moment, NATHANIEL, SR. walks by.

Claire: (whispers) Oh, my God!

NATHANIEL SR. puts out his cigarette and walks over to his kids. NATE had quickly, as his father was still turned, put out the joint.

Nathaniel, Sr.: Hey, Buddy Boy!

Nate: Hey.

Nathaniel, Sr.: What are you doing out here?

Nate: I had to take a break. It was just too much food.

Nathaniel, Sr.: Ah, your mother's been cooking all week.

Nate: Yeah, well, (almost losing control, but holds his laughter back, as does CLAIRE) she outdid herself this year.

Nathaniel, Sr.: So, how's Seattle treating you?

Nate: It's alright, I guess. I've got no complaints.

Nathaniel, Sr.: Me neither. Not many people can say that-- you know? And mean it.

Nate: Yup. I guess we've got a lot to be thankful for.

Nathaniel, Sr.: (joking) Either that or we've lowered our expectations so much we've given up on anything better than this.

NATHANIEL, SR. laughs uproariously and NATE joins in, though a little more restrained. CLAIRE is just weirded out by the whole situation.

Nathaniel, Sr.: Boy, oh, boy. Listen, I gotta pick up a body, so I'm not gonna be able to drive you to the airport.

Claire: That's okay. I can take him.

Nathaniel, Sr.: Thank you, kitten.

CLAIRE and NATE again almost lose control, but don't. It is clear from NATHANIEL, SR.'s expression that he knows very well what they've been doing, but he doesn't let on.

Nathaniel, Sr.: You coming down for Christmas?

Nate: Yeah, I think so. I gotta see how my schedule works out.

Nathaniel, Sr.: Well, it's good to see you, son.

Nate: You too, Dad.

Nathaniel, Sr.: Take care of yourself.

He walks away.

NATE looks up. He's still sitting at the kitchen table. DAVID's now at the sink, washing his hands. He leaves the room. NATE still sits there.

Scene Six: Department Store.

BRENDA looks through some clothes hanging on the wall of the department store. A SALESWOMAN comes up to her.

Saleswoman: Anything I can help you with?

Brenda: (sarcastic) Yes, I'm looking for clothes so expensive only an idiot would buy them. (walks over to a skirt) Oh, there they are!

The SALESWOMAN walks away, incredibly ticked off. BRENDA holds to her waist the skirt she’s looking at, and watches herself in the mirror. A MAN around her age looks her way and smiles. She notices him smiling and turns away. He starts to walk closer to her, staring at her all the time. She pretends to not notice. She looks up and he gives her a coy look, then looks away. She walks right up to him, near a rack of clothes.

Brenda: Excuse me. (reaching for a skirt)

Man: Be my guest.

She examines the clothes, standing right beside him. Slowly, she puts her hand on his hand, lightly brushing it with her fingertips. He then slowly takes his hand and places it on her ass. She stops for a moment, considers the situation, takes his hand and moves it up and in front of her, then under her dress, and then... inside of her. He starts moving his hand back and forth. The SALESWOMAN walks right up to them and they break apart instantly.

Saleswoman: Excuse me. Your wife would like you to see how she looks in her Jill Sanders sweater.

He leaves.

Saleswoman: (to BRENDA) And I think you should leave. Or I'll have to call security.

Brenda: (leaving) Do you validate?

Scene Seven: Nikolai's Flower Shop.

RUTH is arranging flowers, as NIKOLAI comes up behind her, embracing her. She continues to try to concentrate on her work.

Nikolai: You smell good.

Ruth: (flustered) It's the flowers.

Nikolai: (shakes his head) You are so beautiful.

Ruth: (annoyed) I am not.

Nikolai: Did you not wear panties today like I ask-ed? (placing emphasis on the second syllable)

Ruth: I most certainly did not not wear panties today!

Nikolai: (disappointed) Why not?

Ruth: It's unhygienic.

She walks away.

Nikolai: (not letting up) What kind of panties did you wear? Something sexy?

Ruth: No, they are not sexy. They are Fruit of the Loom control top briefs, and they come 3 to a pack for 15 dollars at Target.

Nikolai: (coming up behind her again) I want you to go into the bathroom and take them off, and then hide them some place in my office.

Ruth: I will not! And I wish you'd stop talking to me that way!

Nikolai: You don't like when I talk dirty?

Ruth: I didn't say that. I don't like it here at work!

He laughs and caresses her waist. She pushes him away, and slaps his chest with both hands, before marching away. NIKOLAI only laughs more uproariously.

Scene Eight: Brenda's Porch, evening.

BRENDA and MELISSA sit outside on the porch, eating Chinese food out of the cartons, and laughing. They're also smoking pot.

Brenda: When I was shopping today, this total stranger felt me up.

Melissa: Well, that's irritating.

Brenda: No, it was really hot. (MELISSA looks very taken aback) He was giving me the eye, and so I went right over and stood right next to him, like: "What are you gonna do about it, pal?" And he puts his hand on my ass... (MELISSA laughs) very tentatively. I know, it was so polite. So, I took his hand and I just put it inside me.

Melissa: Oh-- (so surprised she has trouble swallowing her food)

Brenda: (brushing it off as if it's a normal thing to do) I mean, if you're gonna do it, do it!

Melissa: Wow!

BRENDA shrugs.

Melissa: Does this mean you have, uh, maybe some mixed feelings about marrying Nate?

Brenda: No. No, seriously, that's not it at all. I think it's just natural biological drive at work. The need to sample as diverse a selection of people as possible before settling down with one mate. It's normal. (MELISSA doesn't seem so sure.) Anyway, I got another chapter out of it.

Scene Nine: Fisher TV Room, night / early afternoon, Christmas Eve, 2001.

DAVID enters the room and looks at the undecorated tree. He sighs and gets down on his knees to open up a box of Christmas decorations. He pulls out some lights and ornaments. Suddenly, behind him, NATHANIEL, SR. appears, dressed as he did the day he died, and holding a cup. The tree is fully decorated. The room suddenly lights up. DAVID is now standing in the room, looking at NATHANIEL, SR. DAVID is wearing an apron, and has just come upstairs from the prep room. The scene is Christmas Eve, 2000, the day NATHANIEL, SR. died. It is remarkable how much DAVID has changed in a year. This DAVID is much more rigid and uncomfortable in his own skin than the DAVID of today. This is the DAVID we first met when the show began.

David: Dad, do you know where the jaundice solution is? Mrs. Doyle's looking very yellow.

Nathaniel, Sr.: It's back-ordered. Use the Colorguard, 10 ounces a gallon.

DAVID nods and is about to leave the room.

Nathaniel, Sr.: Take a little break. Here, have some eggnog.

He hands DAVID the cup. DAVID looks into it then looks at him, seriously.

David: This isn't eggnog. (sniffs it) It's whiskey.

Nathaniel, Sr.: Whiskey? It's rum, my boy. (jokes) The drink of holidays!

NATHANIEL, SR. makes a little laugh, and DAVID gets more and more uncomfortable as his father keeps talking.

Nathaniel, Sr.: You know, when you were little you always wanted to leave milk and cookies out on the tray for Santa Claus? Do you remember that?

David: Yeah, and you used to laugh and say, "What Santa really needs is a shot."

Nathaniel, Sr.: (laughs) And I was right.

David: I always thought you meant a shot, like a shot of penicillin.

NATHANIEL, SR. laughs long and loud. DAVID just stands there.

David: Well, I should--

Nathaniel, Sr.: David, it's Christmas. C'mon. (sits down) Spend a little time among the living. (pats the couch) Sit down with your Pop and tell me what you want for Christmas.

DAVID pauses for a second, then puts the cup down on the table.

David: Mrs. Doyle's viewing's at 4.

DAVID leaves the room. NATHANIEL, SR. watches him leave, disappointed. The room gets dark again.

The camera pans over to DAVID, as he is now, still looking through the box of ornaments. He thinks of his father, regretfully.

Scene Ten: Elevator / Apartment Building Hallway / Margaret's Condo.

NATE and BRENDA are the only two in the elevator. They are going up to MARGARET's condo.

Brenda: Mom said she might have a special guest for dinner.

Nate: Alright.

Brenda: (giggles) If he's anything like her past "special guests", he's a 24-year-old Venezuelan pool boy who makes up for his lack in English by being fluent in the language of power-fucking.

Nate: I'll try not to get into a conversation with him.

The elevator gets to the right floor and the two exit into the hall. BRENDA walks ahead to the door, but NATE taps her on the back before she gets to it.

Nate: Hey, Bren, hold on, just a sec.

She stops.

Nate: Do you remember what happened a year ago today?

Brenda: (very sympathetically) Oh, Nate-- Oh, God, I'm sorry, your father--

Nate: No, no, no, that's not what I'm talking about.

She looks confused. He smiles.

Nate: It's our anniversary.

Brenda: (smiles, laughs) Oh, my God! Of course!

Nate: It's kind of hard to believe that it's only a year ago that we met, isn't it?

Brenda: (laughs) Yeah, it feels like 20 years.

NATE is offended.

Nate: You know what? If you don't want to be with me, then don't, alright?

Brenda: Nate, I'm kidding, come on! Of course I want to be with you! I love you!

Nate: Then why do you treat me like shit all the time?

Brenda: Because I had a really fucked-up life and I use sarcasm to hide how ridiculously vulnerable I really am, okay? Come on, Jesus, you know that.

The explanation was enough for NATE. He looks down and takes out a jewelry box. He opens it for her.

Nate: Happy anniversary.

It's a beautiful ring. BRENDA is shocked.

Nate: I know I already got you another ring, but...

Brenda: Oh-- (gets choked up) I can't believe--

Nate: Hey, it was my grandmother's. It didn't cost me anything.

BRENDA's lip trembles. She looks up and her eyes are filled with tears. She looks down and cries.

Nate: Merry Christmas.

He kisses her on the head. She continues to cry. He looks concerned.

Nate: Hey, hey, it's okay, it's okay.

Brenda: (whispers) I love you.

They hold each other for a few moments, when suddenly, the door near them opens. MARGARET steps out, a drink in one hand, and a Santa hat on her head.

Margaret: Well, it's about time!

Brenda: Hey, Mom. Merry Christmas!

Margaret: Aw, Merry Christmas to you. (they hug and kiss)

She leads them into her condo. On their way in, she hugs NATE.

Margaret: Oh, Nate, Merry Christmas! Oh! I know there's some mistletoe around here some place, goddamnit! (laughs)

She's obviously already had a bit to drink.

Margaret: (to BRENDA) What's wrong, honey? You look like shit!

Brenda: Enjoying a scotch, Mom?

Margaret: Not nearly enough!

At a table in the corner, there are three men, who seem to be caterers.

Margaret: (calls to one of the men) Oh, sweetheart, would you freshen my drink?

One of them turns around and, lo and behold... it's BILLY! He looks different, though. Much calmer, cleanly shaven, and with short hair. BRENDA looks at him, shocked. He looks back at her for a few moments. NATE stands behind BRENDA, also very uncomfortable.

Billy: Ho-ho-ho.

Margaret: Come on! Give your sister a big kiss!

BILLY walks on over to BRENDA and hugs her.

Brenda: (uncomfortable) Hey.

Margaret: I told you we were having a special guest!

Brenda: Yes. I-- I-- just didn't expect--

Billy: To see your crazy brother? Sure. Don't worry-- they pumped so much electricity through me, I could light up the Eastern Seaboard.

BRENDA doesn't laugh. MARGARET does.

Billy: Kidding. I'm sorry, Bren. Come on, lighten up, it's Christmas!

BILLY walks over to NATE and shakes his hand.

Nate: Billy.

Billy: Nate.

Margaret: Come on, go get me another drink.

Billy: Okay.

He goes to the bar. BRENDA pulls MARGARET aside.

Brenda: (whispering) Okay, Mom, what the hell is he doing here?

Margaret: I busted him out for Christmas!

Brenda: Well, you could've warned me.

Margaret: Warned you? (laughs, innocently) You need to be warned about seeing your own brother?

Brenda: Ever since he came at me with a knife-- yeah.

Margaret: (acting as if nothing is wrong) Brenda...

Brenda: Okay, so how long is he out for?

Margaret: For good! He's living with me now.

MARGARET walks away, very pleased with herself. BRENDA stands there, flabbergasted. Meanwhile, NATE and BILLY chat in the corner. BILLY is pouring drinks.

Nate: So, I guess you're happy to be home.

Billy: Oh, "happy"’s a concept I try not to buy into. It just gets me into trouble.

NATE nods. BILLY looks down.

Billy: Listen, Nate, um-- I'm really sorry about everything that happened. I know I have to take responsibility for what I did, but I was-- sick.

Nate: (very guarded) And now you're not?

Billy: (after a long pause) I'm still sick. I'll always be sick. It was just the cards I was dealt. I can manage it through medication, for the most part, but it's something I'll have to live with for the rest of my life.

NATE nods at him, seeming to identify with these words due to his AVM.

Billy: It's not up to me.

Scene Eleven: Rico's House.

GRACIELA and RAMON (newly shaven) are at the door, holding presents. RICO opens the door.

Graciela: Merry Christmas!

Rico: Hey.

She kisses his cheek.

Vanessa: (hugging and kissing GRACIELA) Merry Christmas!

Graciela: We can't stay long, because my mother's watching the kids.

RICO and RAMON look at each other uncomfortably and just nod at each other.

Vanessa: Ramon, you shaved! You look so young!

Ramon: We brought some presents for the boys.

Vanessa: Thank you! You guys are so sweet!

Graciela: Oh, they're just little things. Where are they?

Vanessa: Augusto's asleep and Julio's in the den, watching "The Grinch" for about the thousandth time.

Graciela: Awww!

There is an awkward pause for a second which everyone notices, except for GRACIELA.

Ramon: I'll just put these under the tree.

He takes the presents and goes to the tree.

Graciela: (noticing the wall) Oh, please! You haven't gotten that wall fixed yet?! Ramon would have had it finished by now!

VANESSA and RICO shoot each other looks.

Scene Twelve: Keith's Apartment.

DAVID, KEITH and TAYLOR sit at the dining room table. There's a Christmas tree in the other room.

David: What possessed you to make fig pudding?

Keith: (shrugs) It sounded Christmassy.

Taylor: Well, it looks like throw-up! (pushes it away) None of it was very good.

Keith: Hey, be nice!

Taylor: Make better stuff!

Keith: Well, how about if we sing some Christmas carols?

TAYLOR looks at him like he's crazy.

Keith: Oh, come on, I got a CD. We can all sing along to it.

Taylor: You've gotta be kidding me!

KEITH is getting very frustrated.

David: (to TAYLOR) Come on, we'll scare the neighbors!

Taylor: Okay, you two sing songs. I'm gonna go get a Ding Dong and watch "The Simpsons."

She gets up and leaves the room.

Keith: (whispers) Motherfuck!

David: Keith, relax.

Keith: (very frustrated) I just wanted her to have a good Christmas! You know? After everything that she's been through!

David: (gets up and stands behind him, massaging his shoulders) Well, you've been through a lot yourself lately, okay? You can afford to cut yourself some slack. It doesn't mean your a doormat.

DAVID sits down beside him.

David: (gently) Are you sleeping any better?

Keith: Not really.

David: You know, I was reading an article about post-traumatic stress--

Keith: (interrupting, angrily) I'm not suffering from anything, okay, David?! What happened, happened. It's a part of my job! Let's just move on!

David: Why don't you and Taylor come over to my house for Christmas dinner tomorrow?

Keith: Why?

David: Because I'd like for you to be there.

Keith: (accusingly) Then why did you wait until the night before to ask me?

David: Because my mom didn't bring it up until yesterday.

Keith: (laughs) Oh, your mother!

David: Jesus, Keith! All I did was invite you over for Christmas dinner!

Keith: I don't think Taylor's quite ready for something like this yet.

He stands up.

David: Are you sure Taylor's the one who's not ready?

KEITH starts clearing the table.

Scene Thirteen: Nikolai's Flower Shop.

RUTH and CLAIRE enter the flower shop, all dressed for church.

Ruth: Just help me pick out a few poinsettas, and we can be on our way to church.

RUTH turns on the light and sees that the store has been ransacked. The furniture's overturned and all is in disarray.

Ruth: Dear God!

Claire: What happened?

RUTH hears some groaning and whimpering in the corner. She walks over to find NIKOLAI, sitting on the floor, leaning with his back against the wall, crying.

Ruth: Oh, my goodness! Nikolai!

Nikolai: Hello, Ruthie...

Ruth: Were you robbed?! Did they hurt you?!

Nikolai: I am hurt, yes.

Ruth: Where are you hurt?!

Nikolai: There was fight. I break my legs.

Ruth: We have to get you to the hospital! Claire, back the car up to the door!

She hands the keys to CLAIRE and she goes.

Scene Fourteen: Margaret's Condo.

Everyone is sitting down. MARGARET is now almost completely smashed. NATE looks over at the wall, where one of the huge creepy black-and-white self portrait photos of BILLY is hanging. BILLY looks over at it.

Billy: Mom?

Margaret: Hmm?

Billy: You should take that down.

Margaret: No! I love it. You look so mysterious!

She's speaking and acting very flirtateous towards him.

Billy: It's kind of ghoulish. I don't like to think of myself in that way anymore.

Margaret: Then you're just gonna have to take a new picture for me of how you feel now. I know, you should take Brenda and Nate's wedding photos!

BILLY looks up surprised. BRENDA gives her mother a look to kill.

Brenda: (to BILLY) We're engaged.

Billy: Congratulations! (smiles) That is so great!

Nate: (surprised) Thank you.

Billy: I love it when people who really should get married do. (to MARGARET) Doesn't happen that often, you know?

Margaret: (starts snorting with laughter) Now, you just hush!

Billy: (to BRENDA) It's true.

Scene Fifteen: Elevator, later that evening.

Brenda: I can't believe she got Billy out of the hospital so she would not have to spend Christmas alone! Fucking evil bitch! He's not ready.

Nate: Really? I thought he actually seemed pretty okay.

Brenda: He's not okay! He's sick! He's sick and nobody wants to deal with it! Which is just the way it's always fucking been! I'm not gonna do it anymore! I've been a fucking nursemaid more than enough for one lifetime!

The elevator door opens and BRENDA walks out first. NATE leaves behind her, again worrying about his AVM and how he will ever tell her.

The screen fades to white.

Act Two

Scene One: Fisher TV Room, next morning. Christmas.

CLAIRE comes down the stairs, in her night clothes, wearing a robe, and is surprised to see NIKOLAI lying on the couch in the TV Room, his legs propped up. CLAIRE quickly covers her nightclothes up with her robe.

Nikolai: Merry Christmas!

CLAIRE stands there, uncomfortable as hell.

Nikolai: You're bashful. Don't worry. I don't see nothing.

RUTH enters with a cup of tea for NIKOLAI.

Ruth: (to RUTH) Good morning, dear. (to NIKOLAI) Here you go.

She hands him the cup.

Nikolai: Oh, thank you, Ruthie.

Ruth: (noticing the pills on the table) You haven't taken your painkillers.

Nikolai: I hate pills. They make me crazy.

Ruth: Shut up and take them!

Claire: Shouldn't he be in the hospital?

Ruth: We were there half the night, waiting for a doctor, after you left.

NIKOLAI burns his tongue on the tea.

Nikolai: Ow! Ooh, this is so hot!

DAVID enters.

David: Merry Christmas, everybody!

He stops as he notices NIKOLAI.

Scene Two: Fisher Kitchen, a little while later.

CLAIRE and DAVE sit at the table. RUTH walks around the kitchen, preparing things.

Claire: He's gonna be here eight weeks?! You've gotta be kidding me!

Ruth: That's how long he has to stay off his legs.

David: Mom, surely there's a better arrangement.

Ruth: He has two broken legs! What was I supposed to do with him? He doesn't even have insurance!

David: Well, then who's paying for all his--

Ruth: (interrupts) I am!

NIKOLAI groans in the other room.

Ruth: David, later this afternoon I want you to lift Nikolai into his wheelchair.

She leaves. DAVID looks horrified and CLAIRE laughs.

Scene Three: Jesse's Service, Slumber Room / Hallway.

The room is packed with bikers and Allman Brothers music plays in the background. PETE is making a eulogy.

Pete: And there was that time we was coming down the big hill near Lone Pine, and I hit a patch of ice and went down. Jesse comes barrelling around that hairpin, and he seen me there in the middle of the road and instead of running me over, he laid his bike down and slid it into a bunch of trees, busted out his teeth. (gets choked up) 'Cause that's just the kind of man that he was!

He lifts the bottle of beer that he's holding in a toast. All of the other bikers, including MARILYN, lift their own beers.

Pete: A-fuckin'-men!

Out in the hallway, NATE carries a basket of flowers that just arrived. He reads the card to BITSY, who's also in the hallway.

Nate: (sounds impressed) From Jay Leno.

Bitsy: (doesn't sound impressed) Sure, he always sends flowers. Never comes.

Cut back to the service.

Pete: (in the other room, still doing the eulogy) This world's a lot worse off without him.

One of the bikers comes up to PETE and whispers in his ear.

Pete: Oh! The "In n' Out" truck's out back! Well, we're gonna put on Jesse's favorite song, and folks can help themselves to some grub!

Everyone gets up excitedly, as "Born to Be Wild" blasts in the background. The only one who doesn't seem to be happy at the moment is MARILYN, who is the last to stand up.

Scene Four: Fisher House, exterior / Fisher Kitchen, afternoon, Christmas 2001

CLAIRE walks TOBY over to her house. She points out DAVID's apartment.

Claire: My brother lives up there. Which I've always been jealous of.

Now she points out the garden hose.

Claire: Once, when I was in junior high, my dad was embalming someone in the basement and, like, the plumbing got backed up, and blood started squirting out of this hose. (TOBY laughs) It was like a scene from "The Shining."

Toby: Nasty!

Claire: Yeah, that was kind of the first time I really thought about what they did down there.

RUTH comes out from the kitchen, carrying a garbage bag.

Ruth: Oh, hello.

Claire: Mom, this is Toby.

Toby: It's very nice to meet you, Mrs. Fisher.

Ruth: (impressed by his politeness) You too, Toby. Thank you for joining us today.

Toby: Well, thank you for having me.

CLAIRE seems a little weirded out by this conversation.

Ruth: (noticing CLAIRE's jean jacket) Claire, surely that's not what you're planning to wear for Christmas dinner.

Claire: No, Mom, I've got my Laura Bush pantsuit on underneath.I just didn't want to get it dirty.

RUTH looks hurt and walks to the garbage can and puts the bag in. TOBY regards the situation, surprised by CLAIRE's treatment of her mother.

Ruth: Please, come in.

TOBY walks in ahead of CLAIRE and she can tell something's wrong. In the background, one of the bikers talks on his cell phone.

Biker: So, what did you get me for Christmas?

CLAIRE suddenly has a flashback to the last time she ever saw her father, on Christmas Eve, 2000. She is in her bathrobe, looking through the fridge and talking on the phone to GABE. NATHANIEL, SR. enters.

Claire: (into the phone) Who the fuck lives in Reseda?

She moves away from the fridge, as NATHANIEL, SR. goes up to it.

Nathaniel, Sr.: So what did you get me for Christmas?

CLAIRE looks at him and ignores him.

Claire: (into the phone) Why are you even asking me? Like, you've barely ever spoken to me. Who else is gonna be there?

Nathaniel, Sr.: (continues to talk to her, ignoring the fact that she's ignoring him) You know?, I've always wanted a silk smoking jacket.

Claire: (to her father) Dad--

Nathaniel, Sr.: (continues) You know, something really garish, with like big embroidered peacocks.

Claire: (into the phone) Look, I've gotta go. Just e-mail me directions and maybe I'll show up and maybe I won't.

She hangs up.

Claire: God, can't a person have a phone conversation around here?

Nathaniel, Sr.: Oh, somebody special, huh? What's his name?

Claire: Gabriel. And trust me, he's not that special.

Nathaniel, Sr.: Well, don't waste your time with him, kitten, 'cause you deserve somebody special.

Claire: Right.

Nathaniel, Sr.: Listen, do you want to go with me later to the airport and pick up your big brother?

Claire: Oh, I can't. I've got like last-minute shopping to do.

Nathaniel, Sr.: Okay, could you try to be home for dinner? 'Cause we hardly ever have the whole family together, and it's-- you know--

Claire: Yeah.

She starts dialing another number on the phone and he kisses her on the forehead.

CLAIRE looks up and again, she's standing outside near the kitchen door.

Scene Five: Fisher Front Hall.

NATE opens the door and lets BRENDA in. The music is blasting.

Brenda: Merry Christmas. (they kiss) What's going on in here?

Nate: Oh, biker funeral.

Brenda: Can't we stay down here?

Nate: Very funny.

PETE enters.

Nate: Hey, Pete. So, we're about to head upstairs and have our Christmas dinner.

Pete: So?

Nate: Well, you've been here all day...

Pete: And we're gonna be here all night! You go on and eat. We don't need you.

He goes into the next room. NATE takes BRENDA's hand and leads her upstairs.

Nate: Oh, it'll be fun. Nikolai's out of his mind on Percodan.

Scene Six: Fisher Dining Room, Christmas dinner.

Everybody is seated at the table-- DAVID, NIKOLAI, NATE, BRENDA, CLAIRE and TOBY-- except for RUTH, who is placing the goose on the table. She has put on some classical music in the background to drown out the noise from downstairs, and it's working. You'd never be able to tell from this scene that there's a loud, boisterous "party" going on downstairs.

Ruth: Well, I think that's everything.

NIKOLAI starts sobbing. BRENDA looks away in order to control herself and keep from laughing.

Toby: Dinner looks amazing, Mrs. Fisher.

Ruth: Well, thank you, Toby.

CLAIRE stares at him again, like, "What the hell is up with him?" Suddenly, we hear the door open and close.

Nate: (stands up) It's probably one of the bikers, looking for the bathroom.

KEITH enters with TAYLOR.

Ruth: (truly happy to see him) Look who's here!

Keith: Hello.

Claire: Hey, Keith.

David: (stands up) You made it!

Keith: Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope it's okay that we came by.

Ruth: (very tenderly) Of course it's okay. We're so happy you could join us!

DAVID runs to the hutch cabinet and gets out more plates and silverware for KEITH and TAYLOR. NATE sits back down.

Keith: Does everyone know Taylor?

Cut to a close-up of NATE and BRENDA, as everyone else talks to TAYLOR.

Brenda: (whispers in his ear) Your mother hasn't even looked at me since she saw the ring.

Nate: Have some more wine. (to KEITH) Hey, Keith.

Keith: Hey.

Nate: (to TAYLOR) Hey, Taylor.

Taylor: (noticing the goose) That's a skinny turkey!

They all laugh.

Ruth: It's a goose.

Everyone sits down.

Ruth: Well, this is lovely we're all here together.

Taylor: (to CLAIRE) Hi.

CLAIRE smiles and nods.

Ruth: Keith, would you say grace for us?

Keith: (a little surprised but happy) Um...yeah, sure. (clears his throat) Lord, for food in a world where many walk in hunger, for faith in a world where many walk in fear, and for friends in a world where many walk alone, we give you thanks, O, Lord, on this Christmas day.

DAVID looks up at KEITH and sees him as an angel, with a halo over his head and everything, glowing. A choir sings in the background.

Keith: Amen.

All: Amen.

Ruth: That was lovely, Keith.

Keith: Thank you.

They start passing around the food. DAVID helps serve NIKOLAI.

David: Here you go, Nikolai.

Scene Seven: Fisher Kitchen, after dinner.

CLAIRE wanders in, clearly not enjoying herself. She takes a wine glass, picks up a bottle of wine sitting on the counter, and pours some for herself. BRENDA enters, with the gravy dish. She puts it in the sink.

Brenda: Your mom will always hate me.

Claire: Well, that's because you're a woman trying to steal her baby.

Brenda: Whatever. (takes some wine for herself) So, Toby seems nice.

Claire: Yes, Toby's very nice.

Brenda: Not your type, huh?

Claire: A deranged psychopath? No, I guess he isn't. (laughs) Billy told me once that he got so used to living with crazy people that, when he was sharing a room with a guy who thought he was Pinocchio, the only thing that seemed weird about it was that the guy pronounced it "Pinocchio" (pronounces the "ch" as one would in the word "change" or "check").

BRENDA is clearly uncomfortable about this, but manages a small laugh.

Brenda: So you've been talking to Billy?

Claire: Yeah, mostly through e-mail. He's really funny.

Brenda: Isn't he?

They both drink their wine for a few moments, then BRENDA leaves the room.

Scene Eight: Slumber Room / Front Hall, later that night.

The room is still filled with bikers. Lynyrd Skynrd music plays in the background and most of them are holding up lighters, waving the small, lit flames back and forth. NATE stands by the doorway, watching. BRENDA walks up to him.

Brenda: I've got a huge headache. Can we go home now?

Nate: Bren, I'm working.

Brenda: Okay, well, I'm leaving. Come home when you can, okay?

Nate: I promise.

He kisses her on the head and she goes. After she leaves, NATE seems vaguely displeased about something. Just then, BITSY walks up to NATE.

Bitsy: Hey, where do you keep your toilet plunger?

NATE leads him into the next room.

Scene Nine: Rico's House / Fisher House, exterior.

RICO cleans torn up wrapping paper from off the floor and around the Christmas tree. Suddenly, he stops. He remembers Christmas Eve, 2001. NATHANIEL, SR. is sitting outside on the front porch of Fisher & Sons, smoking a cigarette. RICO pulls into the driveway. He gets out of the car.

Rico: Morning, Mr. F.

Nathaniel, Sr.: Rico, what are you doing here?, it's Christmas Eve.

Rico: Yeah, I have to do Mrs. Doyle. Her viewing is this afternoon.

Nathaniel, Sr.: No, let David take care of her.

Rico: Nah, she' s pretty simple.

Nathaniel, Sr.: That's why I want David to do her. I like to feed him the slow pitches, if you know what I mean.

They both laugh, knowingly.

Rico: Sure.

Nathaniel, Sr.: I'm serious, kiddo. Get the hell out of here. Go home! Spend the day with the little one. They grow up so fast, you gotta enjoy it while it lasts. Go on.

RICO nods and shakes his hand.

Rico: Thanks, Mr. F. You have a merry Christmas.

Nathaniel, Sr.: I intend to.

They both snap their fingers in unison, which is obviously an in-joke between them.

The doorbell rings and RICO is brought back to the present. He opens the door. RAMON stands at the door, furious, and punches RICO hard in the face. RICO yells in pain and falls back.

Ramon: She took my kids back to her mother's!

Rico: What?

Ramon: (grabs his shirt) You couldn't keep your fucking mouth shut?!

Rico: I didn't--

RAMON punches him again hard in the face, and RICO moans. VANESSA enters.

Vanessa: Ramon!

RAMON punches him again.

Vanessa: Ramon! Stop it! Stop it!

She pushes him hard. He backs off.

Ramon: Merry fucking Christmas, Rico.

He storms out, slamming the door.

VANESSA cradles RICO.

Vanessa: Baby, are you okay? Baby?

Rico: (trying to catch his breath) N-- You fucking told her?!

Vanessa: (frantic) Baby, I had to! I had to! I couldn't even look her in the eye! She was so happy yesterday! She told me she bought him a Rolex watch! She has a right to know!

Rico: (screaming) I told you not to fucking tell her!

Vanessa: Baby, I'm sorry! I had to!

The baby starts to cry in the next room.

Rico: FUCKING HOMO! FUCKING FUCK!

He throws a pillow away.

Vanessa: (trying to touch his arm) Baby--

He pushes her arm away and smashes some dishes from the nearby table. He gets up and storms off, his face covered in blood.

Scene Ten: Slumber Room / Hall, very late that night.

The celebration is still going full-blast. DAVID, KEITH and TAYLOR sit together at the top of the steps.

Taylor: They must not like that dead man too much.

David: Why do you say that?

Taylor: 'Cause they're all so happy he's dead.

KEITH and DAVID smile secretly to each other.

Keith: Hey, I think it's about time we get you home.

Taylor: No, but it's Christmas... and I want to watch the funeral!

Keith: Too bad.

David: I'm really glad you came.

Keith: Why don't you come back with us? I could make some hot chocolate... and, I, um, got a present a two that I didn't want you to open in mixed company.

They both look at each other lustfully.

Taylor: Yuck.

They both smile.

David: Let me talk to Nate. I'll see if we can wrap this up.

David goes down the stairs and talks to NATE, who's still standing in the doorway of the Slumber Room.

David: Think we should start moving them out?

Nate: Nah... it's Christmas.

David: It's just that Keith asked if I wanted to come back with him.

Nate: (smiles) Go. I've got everything under control.

DAVID impulsively hugs NATE.

David: Okay. Thanks. Merry Christmas, Nate.

Nate: You too.

They both smile and DAVID goes to tell KEITH the good news. NATE walks into the Slumber Room, grabs a chair and sits down. Cut to CLAIRE and TOBY, who are sitting together on the couch. CLAIRE's drinking a beer.

Toby: What do you say we get out of here?

Claire: You're not having fun?

Toby: No. This is like every party my parents have, only with better music.

Claire: (laughs) Well, where do you want to go?

Toby: (smiles) Well, we could drive around Hancock Park and look at all the Christmas lights.

Claire: (scoffing) Yeah, right. Not without a carton of eggs.

"Sweet Home Alabama" comes on in the background.

Toby: Why are you so hostile?

Claire: I'm not hostile.

Toby: Yes, you are. You act like you're incredibly put out by-- I don't know-- being alive. And maybe you think that's cool, but really... it's just irritating.

Claire: (sneers) Okay, thanks for the input, which is like totally irrelevant but, I mean, apparently you need to feel like all superior or something...

Toby: I mean, if you just take a look at your life, you really don't have that much to be angry about.

Claire: Uh-- you don't know anything about my life.

Toby: Yeah, and I'm not really sure I want to, considering how you like to shit all over everything.

Claire: You know what?, I fully support your little desire to have some life you'd see on Nickelodeon, but I don't support you being a judgmental dick!

Toby: Maybe I should just go.

Claire: Maybe!

Toby: Okay, merry Christmas.

He gets up and goes.

Claire: Whatever.

She looks in his direction, dumbfounded. The camera cuts to NATE, who is sitting near MARILYN. She is standing.

Marilyn: I'm glad I could spend one last Christmas with Jesse. He was a crazy son of a bitch, but I sure loved him.

Nate: (smiles) I can tell.

Marilyn: (smiles back) God, did he know how to live! It was full-throttle all the way! We met in Sturgis, back in '78. (sits next to NATE) I was sitting at The Broken Spoke with the biggest bad-ass in town, but Jesse (laughs) he had some balls on him. He walked right up to me, I'll never forget it, and he said: "If I don't ask you to take a ride with me, I'll regret it the rest of my life." And that ride lasted 23 years. He always said his 2 favorite things were riding his hog and riding me (NATE smiles), and he treated us both like queens.

Nate: You're probably wishing he treated himself as carefully.

Marilyn: Oh, honey, it just wasn't in his blood. If he were a careful man, he might have lived longer, but... would he have enjoyed his life as much? Would I have enjoyed his life as much?

NATE smiles.

Nate: I had a bike in high school. Had it for a week before I wiped out. Just fucked it up royally! (MARILYN laughs) I still have a pin in my foot. I never got back on a bike after that.

Marilyn: Oh, I could never give it up. No way! Closest thing to flying without leaving the ground.

Nate: Sometimes I fool myself into thinking I live my life to the fullest but, compared to you and Jesse, I think I've got a lot to learn.

Marilyn: (smiling broadly) Honey, if I were a few years younger, I'd be willing to teach you.

Nate: Well, I just might let you.

She laughs.

Marilyn: Jesse always said you've gotta live every day like you might die tomorrow. 'Cause you know what?...

Nate: ...you just might.

She takes a big swig from a bottle of Jack Daniels, and makes a grimace as she swallows. She hands it to NATE and he also takes a swig. He grimaces even more than she did as he swallows it down, and she laughs again. He does too.

Scene Eleven: Claire's Bedroom / Margaret's Condo.

Upstairs, CLAIRE is IMing BILLY. Claire's screenname is "ICDeadPeople"; Billy's is "BillyBatty."

ICDeadPeople: Merry Christmas

BillyBatty: How was it?

ICDeadPeople: My mother made a cake in the shape of a reindeer.

The camera cuts to MARGARET's condo, where BILLY is typing on the computer. He laughs when he reads what CLAIRE has written, and he types some more.

BillyBatty: My mother wore a Santa Clause hat all day.

CLAIRE laughs as she drinks a beer.

BillyBatty: And then she puked in the sink.

CLAIRE laughs even more and continues typing.

Scene Twelve: TV Room / Kitchen, same night / Kitchen, daytime, Christmas Eve, 2001.

NIKOLAI is lying on the couch and RUTH brings him a glass of water.

Ruth: Here's a glass of water. I couldn't find a bell, so if you need me during the night, just yell very loudly.

Nikolai: I will be fine.

Ruth: Did you call the police yet to file a report?

Nikolai: No, I will do that later.

She tucks him in and puts a bedpan beside him.

Ruth: I'll put this where you can reach it.

Nikolai: I don't like for you to do this.

Ruth: Don't be silly. You have two broken legs, and you need someone to take care of you. And I'm happy to do it, so stop making a fuss.

She fluffs his pillow and he smiles.

Ruth: What?

Nikolai: Nothing. What I told you before. That you are beautiful.

Ruth: Oh, stop it!

She looks away but can't help from smiling. He smiles too. She goes into the kitchen, and he goes to sleep. In the kitchen, RUTH starts cleaning dishes. She remembers the last time she saw NATHANIEL, SR. She has laid out a plate of food --broccolli, cheeses, carrots, dip, crackers, etc.-- and NATHANIEL, SR. takes a carrot and dips it. He eats it as RUTH enters.

Ruth: Nathaniel! I had the swirl in the dip just right!

Nathaniel, Sr.: Just one for the road. The airport traffic's gonna be murder.

Ruth: Then you should get going.

Nathaniel, Sr.: Alright.

He reaches over to kiss her, but she takes a cracker with dip, and puts it in his mouth. She smiles and he smiles back. He leaves and the room gets dark again. It is again night.

RUTH is still standing by the dishes. She starts to cry.

Scene Thirteen: Keith's Apartment Building, Hallway.

KEITH, DAVID and TAYLOR walk up to KEITH's apartment door.

Taylor: I should be able to stay up and play with what Santa Claus brought me!

Keith: Give it up, Taylor!

Taylor: I could make you guys a cupcake with my Easy Bake Oven.

David: He's a cop, he doesn't take bribes.

KEITH laughs. Suddenly, KARLA comes from the other side of the hall, carrying bags of presents.

Karla: Merry Christmas, baby!

Taylor: Mama!

TAYLOR runs to her and gives her a big hug.

Karla: I drove all day long just so I could be here! That's how much your mama loves you!

KEITH and DAVID look concerned.

Taylor: I love you too, Mama! I knew you would come!

Scene Fifteen: Brenda's Apartment, living room.

BRENDA types on her TiBook. NATE rubs her back.

Brenda: Billy didn't call or e-mail me all day.

Nate: Yeah, so?

Brenda: So, you know, it's Christmas.

Nate: You didn't exactly give him the warmest of greetings last night.

Brenda: But that's what I'm talking about. If he had written me, told me he was gonna be there, I wouldn't have been so freaked out by the whole thing!

NATE starts to kiss her neck.

Nate: Well, do you ever call or e-mail him?

He continues to kiss her, on the ears, the back of the head, etc.

Brenda: Yeah, I e-mailed him in the hospital last summer, but he never wrote back, so... (NATE continues to kiss her) He e-mails Claire all the time.

NATE stops.

Nate: What?

Brenda: Yeah. Even while we were there, she was running off to check her mail.

She closes her computer and goes to the kitchen. NATE follows her.

Nate: Wait, w-w-w-w-w-w-wait-- when did this start?

Brenda: Hey, do you bring home any of that reindeer cake?

Nate: Hey, I asked you a question.

Brenda: I don't know. She just told me tonight.

Nate: Well, I don't want Billy having anything to do with Claire, you understand me?

Brenda: Why not? You said he was okay.

Nate: Yeah, he's okay enough to walk down the street without a leash, but he's not okay enough to be anywhere near my sister who, we both know, has this fucked-up attraction to sociopaths!

Brenda: Look, don't tell me--

Nate: (yelling) No, I am telling you! He is your brother! You keep him away! And if you don't, I swear to God, I will!

Brenda: Yeah? What are you gonna do, Nate? You're gonna challenge him to a duel? You gonna--?

Nate: (yelling over her) Why don't you knock it the fuck off?

Brenda: Hey, why don't you wear a--?

Nate: Hey, would you fucking listen to me?

Brenda: (bursting into tears) Will you shut the fuck up?! FUCK!

He hugs her and she continues to bawl.

Nate: Hey, hey, hey, it's okay.

Brenda: It's not my fault.

Nate: It's okay, it's alright, it's okay.

He kisses her on the forehead. They start kissing.

Scene Sixteen: Brenda's Bedroom, a little later.

BRENDA and NATE are having sex on the floor of her bedroom. He is on top. He is thrusting and moaning, as is she. Suddenly, he starts shaking and gripping his head.

Nate: Oh, shit!

Brenda: (thinking he's talking dirty) Yeah? Yeah?

Nate: Oh, shit! I think I'm shit gonna have another shit having a shit shit shit fuck...

His eyes roll back and he falls off BRENDA in a seizure. She is terrified.

Brenda: Nate! Nate! Nate, look at me! Nate, look at me! Nate!

He pushes her away.

Nate: Get off! Get the fuck off! I'm fine!

But he's not. He continues shaking.

Brenda: Nate... it's okay, it's okay. What was that?

Nate: Fuck.

Brenda: Nate?

Scene Seventeen: Brenda's Bedroom, later.

BRENDA sits up in bed, cradling NATE's head in her lap.

Brenda: So what are you taking for it?

Nate: Dilantin. It's an antiepileptic. It's supposed to control the seizures. And I thought it did, until tonight.

Brenda: I'll talk to your doctor. Maybe we can switch you to something stronger. (strokes his hair) Don't worry. I won't let anything happen to you. (pause) Why didn't you tell me about this?

Nate: I didn't want to be a burden.

Brenda: (warmly) Oh! You'll never be a burden.

She continues to stroke his face, as the screen fades to white.

Act Three

Scene One: Fisher Kitchen, next morning.

RUTH is in the kitchen, cleaning up. NATE enters.

Ruth: Oh, good morning!

Nate: Hi.

He notices an envelope on the table.

Ruth: Marilyn Johnson left that for you.

He takes off his coat.

Ruth: She had a belt buckle with a big skull on it. I thought that was odd.

He picks up the envelope and feels it’s heavy. He opens it to find a key attached to a rabbit foot keychain. He smiles.

Scene Two: Fisher Front Lawn.

NATE goes outside to find JESSE's newly fixed motorcycle sitting outside. He walks up to it.

Scene Three: Highway.

Rock music plays in the background and the singers keep repeating, "Don't fear the reaper...", as NATE rides the motorcycle down the highway. He's wearing sunglasses but no helmet. He zooms off into the distance.

The screen fades to white.

END OF ACT THREE

END CREDITS

Kikavu ?

Au total, 17 membres ont visionné cet épisode ! Ci-dessous les derniers à l'avoir vu...

Rivotril 
18.03.2021 vers 14h

pretty31 
14.01.2021 vers 12h

stephane25 
17.02.2018 vers 17h

RonanBart 
05.10.2016 vers 15h

MrNash 
Date inconnue

moonye145 
Date inconnue

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