Grabbing a LifeLine
Written by: Juana
Story Summary: Ben and Sean have a dinner at the loft that is attended by all…including Bliss and Felicity. Ben becomes upset when Julie mentions to Felicity that she has a guy she wants her to meet. Ben and Bliss do some bonding at a late night at the club.
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters in my story. They belong to the brilliant writers and creators of the hit WB show.
EXT. CENTRAL PARK-DAY
FELICITY IS WALKING THROUGH THE PARK…CONTEMPLATING THE TWISTS AND TURNS HER LIFE HAS MADE.
FELICITY: (VO) Dear Sally…I can’t even begin to tell you what a complete mess, I believe, I have made of my life. It seems like everything that I worked last year to build has come crashing down around me. I love Ben so much and letting him go is the hardest thing I have ever…or will ever want to do. I thought I could handle it…I thought I could be strong…I thought wrong. It’s like you said knowing Ben was moving on…it definitely stung…but watching it happen…literally right before my eyes…totally different thing. I have tried really hard to keep my feelings in check about this…but now…I think Ben is interested in someone…Bliss. So now I’m having to watch some other girl…not even a girl…a woman…making Ben happy…I feel so dead inside. I feel so cheated…ironic I know.
INT: LUCKY LADY-NIGHT
BEN WALKS INTO HIS WORK AND PREPARES TO HEAD FOR THE BACK HIS IS STOPPED BY HIS NEW BOSS BLISS.
BLISS: So I’m guessing you don’t recognize me?
BEN: Excuse me?
BLISS: We’ve met before you know.
BEN: We have?
BLISS: Yes…not formally…just in passing…but I remember those eyes.
BEN: Really? I…I don’t remember…I’m sorry.
BLISS: It was at the “Boombox”. You offered to buy me a drink…but I declined.
BEN SEARCHES HIS MEMORY…FOR THIS INCIDENT.
BEN: I’m sorry…I’m sort of drawing a blank here.
BLISS: I figured as much…which was why I said no to the drink.
BEN: I don’t understand.
BLISS: :You were nursing some fairly serious heartache…with a rum and coke chaser.
SUDDENLY BEN REMEMBERS THE NIGHT. IT WAS THE NIGHT HE HAD TRIED TO TALK FELICITY INTO LEAVING ELI…AND SHE HAD SAID NO.
BLISS: What? Is that a light of recognition I see in those eyes?
BEN: Yeah…it’s all coming back to me now.
BLISS: So did that ever get itself resolved?
BLISS: The girl you we’re drowning your sorrows over.
BEN: Oh…well…hmm…that’s kind of a hard question to answer.
BLISS: Take you’re time…this is not a test.
BEN: (laughs) Thanks…for right now I’m gonna go with…it worked out the best it could.
BLISS: I see. So does that put you amongst the ranks of the single…or the…not so single.
BEN REALIZES BLISS IS SHOWING AN INTEREST.
BEN: What would you like to hear?
BLISS: Well…I would like to hear that you’re unattached…but only if it’s the truth.
BEN: Well okay…I wish I could say that I’m unattached…but here’s the truth…I am single.
BLISS: And the unattached part?
BEN: I’m working on that.
BLISS: So…friends it is.
BEN: Yeah…that sounds okay.
FELICITY: (VO) Ben swears it’s nothing but a friendship with him and Bliss…but isn’t that how we started out…isn’t that how the majority of people do…as just friends? And to make matters worse Sally she is this 24 year old…striking brunette….great body…and so sweet. Under any other circumstance…she and I would probably have been great friends. But knowing she is *taking over* my place in Ben’s life…well I just… I hate her.
INT: BEN’S LOFT-NIGHT
SEAN AND BEN ARE THROWING A SMALL GET TOGETHER. THE PEOPLE IN ATTENDANCE ARE BEN, SEAN, BLISS, FELICITY, JULIE, LYN, ELENA AND NOEL.
LYN: So what’s the occasion for this soiree?
BEN: No occasion. Sean and I just thought it would be fun to get everyone together…so I did.
JULIE: Since when is Bliss part of everyone?
BEN: I can’t believe you just said that.
JULIE: Well it’s just…don’t you think having her here might make Felicity uncomfortable?
BEN: I talked to Felicity before I invited her.
JULIE: And I’m sure she said she was fine with it…but honestly do you really think she is? What if the shoe we’re on the other foot? What if Felicity had brought someone tonight?
BEN: Honestly…I don’t know…But Bliss is just a friend.
JULIE: And you are in no way attracted to her?
BEN: (Ben looks over at Bliss talking to Noel and Sean) It doesn’t matter.
JULIE WALKS OVER TO JOIN ELENA AND FELICITY IN THEIR CONVERSATION.
JULIE: What’s up?
FELICITY: Elena was just venting.
JULIE: What about?
ELENA: Little miss perfect…who is monopolizing my man’s attention.
JULIE: You mean Bliss?
ELENA: Yes…and what the hell kind of name is that ?…Bliss…please. How could that possibly be her real name.
FELICITY: It was actually the name of her mom’s favorite perfume.
ELENA: And you know this because?
FELICITY: We’ve talked.
ELENA: You and the Ben stealer?
FELICITY: She didn’t *steal* Ben…he walked out all on his own. Besides…you should talk to her…she’s really sweet…(contemplates this) God I hate her.
CUT TO: BEN AND BLISS TALKING IN A CORNER.
BLISS: So…I really like your friends.
BEN: Really? They don’t seem too young?
BLISS: There you go again…talking like I’m old enough to be your mother.
BEN: Sorry…it came out…all wrong.
BLISS: No harm done…You know…I really like Felicity.
BEN: Yeah…she’s the best.
BLISS: I can see why she *gets* to you.
BEN: What do you mean? We’re friends…that’s all.
BLISS: I’m not an idiot Ben…I see the way you look at her… when you think she’s not looking.
BEN: I don’t.
BLISS: (smiling) Yes…you do. It’s okay…love’s a hard thing to beat…it just keeps hanging on.
BEN: So I guess you’ve got it all figured out?
BLISS: I know that Felicity is the girl you were ditching sober for that night…and that she’s why you consider yourself single…but not unattached.
BEN: That’s pretty good…missing a few details…but for the most part…accurate. I guess that means it’s time to come clean.
BLISS: I would love to hear the story…but this is a party…lets just have some fun and we’ll deal with the storytelling later.
BEN: Sounds good.
SEAN CLANGS A SPOON ON A PAN IN THE KITCHEN AREA.
SEAN: Attention everyone…dinner is about to be served…so if you want to take your seats…well that would be great.
EVERYONE SITS DOWN AT THE TABLE. EXCEPT FOR FELICITY WHO WAS IN THE RESTROOM. WHEN SHE COMES OUT THE ONLY SEAT LEFT IS ONE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF BEN. SHE RELUCTANTLY SITS DOWN.
FELICITY: (VO) So as luck would have it…I ended up sitting next to Ben…it was so seriously awkward. I felt that as Ben became closer to Bliss…Ben and I became…the strangers.
BEN IS LAUGHING AT SOMETHING BLISS HAS SAID. FELICITY IS GETTING MORE AND MORE UNCOMFORTABLE. JULIE NOTICES THIS AND TRIES TO HELP HER FRIEND OUT.
JULIE: So…Felicity…I was wondering if you could…you know…do me sort of a favor.
FELICITY: What’s that?
JULIE: I have this friend…he’s in my English class…he’s sort of seen you around…and well he would like to meet you. Do you think you’d be willing to meet him?
EVERYONE AT THE TABLE FALLS SILENT. WAITING FOR FELICITY’S RESPONSE. YOU CAN ALMOST SEE BEN HOLDING HIS BREATH.
FELICITY: Um…yeah…sure. I’d like that.
BEN’S TRIES TO HIDE HIS FEELINGS. BUT PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE CAN SEE THAT THIS IS NOT WHAT HE WANTED TO HEAR.
JULIE: Okay good. I’ll set it up. His name is Kyle Preston…he’s a real honey.
LYN: Hey now…none of that.
JULIE: I mean for Felicity silly…I only have eyes for you.
LYN: And that’s the way I like it.
ELENA: I think I’m going to be seriously ill. (to Lyn and Julie) Are you two always like this?
JULIE: Pretty much…yeah.
ELENA: Somebody needs to seriously kick your sappy butts.
EVERYONE AT THE TABLE LAUGHS…EXCEPT LYN.
LYN: What? I am not afraid to show my emotions to my Jewel. (hugs Julie)
ELENA: People are eating here…do you mind?
FELICITY: (VO) So that’s pretty much how the night was going Sally…back and forth banter…people opening up…except for Ben. Ever since Julie’s announcement…he had closed up…at least to me. Every time I tried to start a conversation with him…he shut me down. It was really starting to get on my nerves. As people started to get up from the table…I tried one last time to have a simple conversation with him.
FELICITY: (to Ben) So…how are your classes going?
BEN: (short) Fine.
FELICITY: Any problems with any of your classes?
BEN: (still short) Nope.
FELICITY: Any chance you can give me more than a one word answer?
BEN: Classes are fine…I’m fine…Life is fine…are we done here?
FELICITY: God…what is your problem?
BEN: My problem? I don’t have a problem.
FELICITY: Well then this extension of your personality you’ve developed…it’s gotta go.
BEN: What’s that suppose to mean?
FELICITY: I’m assuming if you have no problem…that this new you is simply a untried character development and my suggestion to you is…lose it…it doesn’t work.
BEN: Look…just because I don’t feel like having a conversation …doesn’t mean I have a problem.
FELICITY: (getting miffed) Fine. Sorry I tried.
FELICITY GETS UP FROM THE TABLE ABRUPTLY. LEAVING BEN SITTING THERE. SHE GOES TO SEAN’S ROOM TO GET HER COAT SO SHE CAN LEAVE AND IS SURPRISED WHEN SHE TURNS AROUND AND BEN IS RIGHT THERE.
BEN: Look I’m sorry.
FELICITY: For what? According to you (a beat) nothing’s wrong.
BEN: I shouldn’t have treated you like that.
FELICITY: So why did you then?
BEN: It’s stupid.
FELICITY: I’d still like to know.
BEN: Okay…even though I know I had no right to…I got jealous.
FELICITY: Jealous of who?
BEN: When you said you wanted to meet that guy…it just sort of *stung.* I mean I knew this wasn’t going to be a picnic…but we’ll that’s the first time I actually sort of pictured you with someone else…and I didn’t like it.
FELICITY: Yeah well try actually *seeing* me with someone else…3D. It sucks a lot more…believe me.
BEN: Are you talking about Bliss?
BEN: I told you…we’re just friends.
FELICITY: I know. But you also told me you wanted to move on with your life…so eventually I know that will change. I see how she looks at you. She likes you. She wants to be more than friends…and I’m starting to think…maybe you do too.
BEN: If that happens…and I’m not saying it’s going to…but if it did. I would be surprised. Because honestly…it’s still *you* I dream of at night…and *you* I wake up missing in the mornings.
FELICITY: But where is that getting either one of us? What are we doing Ben? Cause we certainly aren’t moving on.
BEN: Are you saying you want me to date Bliss?
FELICITY: God no…but maybe…since that’s what we said we we’re apart for…maybe dating other people is something we should actually do…not just talk about.
BLISS COMES WALKING INTO THE ROOM.
BLISS: Hi…sorry to interrupt…(to Ben) I just wanted to let you know I was taking off…I need to get down to the club.
BEN IS STILL LOOKING AT FELICITY. FELICITY LOOKS BACK AT BEN UNTIL SHE CAN NO LONGER STAND IT.
FELICITY: Yeah…I should probably be going too…I just came in here…to get my coat. (picks up coat and leaves)
BLISS: Sorry…I didn’t mean to run her off.
BEN: No…that’s okay…I’ve actually gotten pretty good at doing that myself.
BLISS: (concerned) Is everything okay?
BEN: I could use a friend. Do you want some company at the club?
INT: FOLEY HALL-NIGHT
NOEL, ELENA, JULIE AND LYN ARE ESCORTING FELICITY TO HER ROOM.
JULIE: So did you want to talk about what you and Ben talked about.
FELICITY: It’s the same stuff…different day.
ELENA: Did you need some company?
FELICITY: Yeah…do you mind?
ELENA: Not at all. (to Noel) You should head back…I’ll meet you later.
NOEL: Okay. (kisses Elena) But if you need a male perspective…I’ll just be a floor away.
ELENA: (smiles) Yeah…we’ll call.
JULIE: Did you want me to stay too?
FELICITY: That would be great…If Lyn doesn’t mind.
LYN: Nah…I’ll just go warm up the bed. (kisses Julie) Try not to be too late.
JULIE: (giggles) Okay.
LYN AND NOEL WALK AWAY. JULIE, ELENA AND FELICITY ENTER HER ROOM.
ELENA SITS DOWN IN A CHAIR. JULIE SITS ON THE BED WITH FELICITY.
ELENA: So…what happened? You two we’re in there a long time.
FELICITY: Nothing really…well he did tell me he was jealous.
FELICITY: Yeah…about me agreeing to meet your friend.
JULIE: Good. He deserves to feel some of the anguish you’re going through.
FELICITY: Maybe…the thing is…it just doesn’t change anything…I know he will eventually be sleeping with Bliss. And that is going to kill me.
JULIE: Maybe not…I mean I talked to her a lot tonight. She knows Ben is hung up on you.
ELENA: And that matters to her because?
JULIE: She really likes Felicity. And Felicity was right…she is very nice. I don’t think she wants to cause trouble. So as long as Ben still has feelings for Felicity. I think…she considers him off limits.
ELENA: Yeah that’s a nice fairy tale…but that girl code only works with friends…and sometimes not even then. I’m not trying to drag you down here…but Ben’s pretty…hot. So off limits or not…with the right amount of persuasion…things can change.
FELICITY: (sullen) You’re right. I should just prepare myself for the worst now…because it’s sure to happen.
ELENA WALKS OVER AND SITS ON OTHER SIDE OF FELICITY. HER AND JULIE BOTH DRAPE THEIR ARMS OVER HER SHOULDER AS A GESTURE OF SUPPORT.
INT: LUCKY LADY-NIGHT
BEN AND BLISS ARE SITTING AT A BACK TABLE.
BLISS: So…I guess this is story time.
BEN: You really want to hear this?
BEN: Okay…well as became apparent tonight…it is Felicity. It’s this whole complicated story…so I’ll just give you the shortened version. It started when she followed me here to New York…never having actually met me.
BLISS: (surprised) Really?
BEN: Yeah…so needless to say the first impressions were awkward…but I guess maybe she knew something…I had yet to figure out…because we became friends…and I started liking her. It was a huge surprise to both of us.
BLISS: I’ll bet.
BEN: We both had other people when that realization hit. So we did the deceit thing for a while…but it wasn’t really what either of us wanted…we didn’t like hurting people. And then my girlfriend at the time…she got pregnant. So that pretty much ended me and Felicity…for the moment.
BLISS: (shocked) You’re a father?
BEN: No…she lost it…or so she said…There’s still some question as to whether she was really ever pregnant at all.
BLISS: So after that what happened?
BEN: Well by then Fel had already hooked up with Eli…my roommate.
BLISS: She hooked up with your roommate?
BEN: It’s not as bad as it sounds…she didn’t know he was my *new* roommate.
BLISS: Oh…so where is he now?
BEN: He left…he’s the reason we’re apart now.
BLISS: And why is that?
BEN: She slept with him…after she and I had a fight.
BLISS: That must have been some fight.
BEN: She walked in on me kissing an ex girlfriend.
BLISS: And it was all downhill from there?
BEN: Pretty much. I know this is probably hard for someone who hasn’t been through it to understand…but despite all the trauma…I still love her.
BLISS: That’s not hard to understand at all…It’s kind of a curse…but the people we truly connect with…they have a certain power. They alone can continue to hurt us…and we just keep hanging in there.
BEN: It sounds like you’ve been there before.
BLISS: I’m still there. I have a Felicity too.
BLISS: Not a girl Felicity…you know the equivalent of a Felicity…but in male form.
BEN: You do?
BLISS: Yeah…his name is Dean.
BEN: So where’s Dean now?
BLISS: He lives here…but unlike you and Felicity…we aren’t talking…I hurt him pretty bad.
BLISS: Well since we’re being so honest here…I turned down his marriage proposal.
BEN: Why? I mean if he means as much to you as Felicity does to me…why would you turn him down?
BLISS: Purely selfish reasons…I wasn’t ready. I love him completely…but there is just this part of me that feels like settling down right now…it would be a mistake.
BEN: But if you love him…aren’t you afraid that you’ll lose him?
BLISS: Oh…I already have. He is living with my ex-best friend Meredith. They are planning on getting married next summer.
BEN: And you’re just going to let them?
BLISS: Obviously that’s what he wanted…otherwise why would he propose to her?
BEN: Speaking from a male view point…to forget you. Guys don’t always do the brightest thing when our hearts are involved. We tend to make small mistakes…into monumental ones.
BLISS: Really? I don’t know. I mean…I’ve been trying to convince myself that maybe he was just one of those for the moment guys.
BEN: For the moment guys?
BLISS: Yeah…a guy you need to meet to help you through that particular moment in your life. I met him right after my dad died…and he really helped me through it…so maybe his job was done.
BEN: Do you really believe that?
BLISS: No…not at all. Dean is the only guy that I’ve ever regretting letting go. He is so much a part of me that not having him around…well it’s painful. We could finish each other’s sentences…he was so romantic…and I never had any reason to doubt his love for me…ever. He was everything I always thought I wanted…but I let him go…my mistake. So what about Felicity?
BEN: What do you mean?
BLISS: Is she one of those for the moment girls?
BEN: (hesitates) Sure would be easier to believe that…but no. She’s the *one.*
BLISS: So why are you here then?
BEN: I already told you…because she slept with Eli. I just think if she felt the same way about me…well that never would of happened.
BLISS: So where does that leave the two of you?
BEN: Separated…looking for other options.
A DANCER NAMED RAVEN WALKS OVER TO THE TABLE.
RAVEN: Bliss…Kiki just called in sick…and Paula called in earlier this morning…that leaves just me and Chantel…can you get someone to help us?
BLISS: I’ll do it.
BLISS: Yeah…I use to dance…before I bought the club…I’m sure I can remember a few moves.
RAVEN: Great…thanks. Chantel is almost done with her set. Do you mind if I take a break?
BLISS: No. Go ahead…I’ll just go get dressed.
BLISS STARTS TO WALK AWAY. BEN IS LEFT SITTING AT THE TABLE. SHE HESITATES AND COMES BACK.
BLISS: Are you going to watch my set?
BEN: Oh…I don’t know…probably not. It would seem kind of weird.
BLISS: I don’t have a problem with it.
BEN: You don’t?
BLISS: (laughs) No…in fact I’d like it if you stayed.
INT. FELICITY’S ROOM-NIGHT
FELICITY IS SITTING IN BED LOOKING AT SOME PICTURES OF HER AND BEN IN PALO ALTO. A FEW TEARS ARE SLIPPING DOWN HER FACE.
SALLY: Dear Felicity…the pain you are feeling right now…it will begin to deaden…I promise. I don’t know what decisions Ben has made about seeing Bliss…but I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that they really are just good friends. After John died…I felt like I had no where I could turn and no one to talk to. So when my friend Pat reached out to me…I grabbed a hold of the lifeline. I think Ben was just searching for that lifeline…and it came…in the form of Bliss. I’m sure the irony is not lost on you there. You wanted Ben to be happy and now he has found Bliss. The antonym of unhappiness…exactly what Ben was feeling.
INT. LUCKY LADY-NIGHT
BEN IS WATCHING BLISS DANCE….MESMERIZED BY HER.
INTERCUT: FELICITY’S ROOM
FELICITY IS TURNING OUT HER LIGHT AND LYING DOWN. STILL WIPING TEARS AWAY.