Just Wasting Time
Written by: Juana
Story summary: Ben gets advice from a surprising source and Bliss finally makes a decision regarding her relationship with Ben. Palo Alto may just hold the key to fixing the hurt between Felicity and Ben.
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters in my story. They belong to the wonderful writers and creators of the hit WB show.
INT: BEN’S HOUSE IN PALO ALTO: NIGHT
BEN WALKS INTO THE HOUSE FRUSTRATED. BEN LETS FRONT DOOR SLAM SHUT.
MRS. COVINGTON: (OC) Benjamin is that you?
BEN RUNS HIS HANDS THROUGH HIS HAIR AND THEN TAKES OFF HIS JACKET, LAYING IT ACROSS THE RAILING OF THE STAIRS. HE THEN ENTERS THE LIVINGROOM TO FIND HIS MOTHER SITTING ON THE COUCH WATCHING TELEVISION.
BEN: Yeah…it’s me. Sorry about the front door…it…uh…was an accident.
MRS. COVINGTION: Is everything okay?
BEN: Fine…I was just heading upstairs. Is Bliss up there?
MRS. COVINGTON: Actually…no. About a half-hour after you left Tiffany came by and she left with her… She told me to tell you not to wait up for her. Did you two have a fight?
BEN: That’s pretty much a given these days.
MRS: Is it something you want to talk about?
BEN: (can’t help sounding shocked) With you?
MRS: COVINGTON: Don’t sound so horrified. I used to be a teenager once too. I thought maybe…I might just be able to offer some advice.
BEN: I’m sorry…it’s just…well you’re my mom. I would feel *weird* talking about this to you.
MRS: COVINGTON: I’m not asking for details…just the general sum of the problem. As ironic as this sounds given mine and your fathers current situation…I am a Marriage and Family counselor…and I do know a few things about relationships.
BEN: I appreciate the offer mom…I do. But really you’ve got enough on your plate. I don’t want to burden you with my problems.
MRS: COVINGTON: Please Ben…just for once. Stop being the strong one…and let me. Let me be your mom.
BEN: (considering this) Okay.
BEN GOES OVER ON THE COUCH AND SITS DOWN NEXT TO HIS MOM. SHE LEANS OVER AND GIVES HIM A HUG.
MRS. COVINGTON: That’s better. What can mom do to help?
BEN: Okay…I’m not ten mom.
MRS: COVINGTION: Sorry…proceed. What’s the problem?
BEN: Okay…and I don’t want to be treated like one of your patients. (starts to get off couch) This is nuts. I’ll work this out on my own. Don’t worry.
BEN STARTS TO WALK OUT OF ROOM. BUT THE NEXT WORDS HIS MOM SAYS STOP HIM IN HIS TRACKS COMPLETELY.
MRS: COVINGTON: It’s Felicity isn’t it?
BEN: (turning back around) How did you know that?
MRS: COVINGTON: Give me some credit Ben…I’m not oblivious to your life. I remember how the two of you were over the summer.
BEN GOES BACK AND SITS DOWN ON THE COUCH.
BEN: Bliss talked to you…didn’t she?
MRS: COVINGTON: Okay…busted. She did mention a few things.
BEN: Like what?
MRS: COVINGTON: She just said that she feels second best.
BEN: And what did you say?
MRS: COVINGTON: I told her that generally if a person feels second best…they need to re-examine their situation.
BEN: (perturbed) Mom!
MRS: COVINGTON: What? Benjamin I’m sorry but it’s true. It’s classic textbook. If Bliss is feeling like second priority over Felicity, it’s probably because she is.
BEN: I can’t believe you told her that. I’m having enough problems dealing with her feelings of insecurity as is. Thanks. Thanks a lot.
MRS: COVINGTON: I’m sorry Benjamin. But she cares about you a great deal. I wasn’t going to lie to her…she asked my advice and I gave it.
BEN: But you passed judgement on me…without even knowing what I’m thinking. You have no proof that Bliss is my second choice. And to tell her that…well that’s just…wrong.
MRS: COVINGTON: I never told her she was your second choice…those are your words. I simply told her to take a better look at the way she feels about the relationship. To make sure she wasn’t settling for less than would make her happy. It’s the same advice I would give to you.
BEN: (taken back) What?
MRS: COVINGTON: I would tell you to figure out what it is that is making you so unhappy in the relationship…what’s causing the fights.
BEN: I know what’s causing the fights.
MRS: COVINGTON: And am I correct in saying that…it’s your relationship with Felicity?
BEN: (pausing) Um…yeah I guess.
MRS: COVINGTON: That should raise some red flags for you Ben.
BEN: What do you mean?
MRS: COVINGTON: I’m not trying to tell you what is the right thing to do here…but if Felicity is still so much a part of your life that it’s causing Bliss to be unhappy…you need to figure out what’s more important to you.
BEN: Are you saying…are you telling me I have to make a…a choice? One or the other?
MRS: COVINGTON: I’m saying…in all fairness to everyone involved…if it is not 100% over with you and Felicity…well then it’s unfair to drag other people in to it.
BEN: And that’s what you think I’ve done. God you must really think you raised a jerk.
MRS: COVINGTON: Stop being defensive Benjamin. It’s not going to solve anything. I’m not implying that you have in any way consciously set out to hurt any one. What I am saying however is that…someone is being hurt…Bliss.
BEN: I know…I just…I don’t know where to go from here. I can’t let go of the past…and I can’t move forward…I’m stuck.
MRS: COVINGTON: Can I ask a question?
BEN: I guess.
MRS: COVINGTON: Do you love Felicity?
BEN: (a beat) Yes…but it’s not as easy as knowing that. Certain things have happened with Felicity and me that make being together…a pipe dream.
MRS: COVINGTON: Did you cheat on her?
MRS: COVINGTON: Then she must have cheated on you.
BEN: (bewildered) How do you do that?
MRS: COVINGTON: Benjamin…sweetie…you’re not going to like what I have to say next but…Get over it.
BEN: Okay…this is the kind of advice you get paid for?
MRS: COVINGTON: I have an insight in to you that no one else has…I have been privileged to be there to watch you grow up. You haven’t exactly had the easiest life…and you grew up so strong and stubborn because of that. Having to deal with your father has given you a tough skin. But sometimes…those things hinder you instead of help you. I think this is one of those times.
BEN: You think I’m being stubborn?
MRS: COVINGTON: Yes…I do. If you love Felicity even half as much as I suspect you do…then being with Bliss is self-defeating.
BEN: It’s not like I don’t have feelings for Bliss…I do.
MRS: COVINGTON: I’m glad to hear that…I would hate to think you were just using her…but regardless of that…denying yourself what is truly in your heart…that’s just wasting time. And it’s taking a chance…you don’t know what you might lose if you continue to speculate on wether or not you can work things out with Bliss.
BEN: But don’t I owe it to Bliss to at least try?
MRS: COVINGTON: I can’t make that choice for you Ben. But I believe if you weigh both sides. See where your heart really lies…you’ll understand that going with the one who truly affects you…and makes you feel…it may seem selfish in the short term…but in the long run it’s best for everyone. Nobody wants to wake up one day and realize that real love passed them by…and what they’ve done is *settled.*
BLISS AND TIFFANY ARE SITTING AT A TABLE DRINKING SHOOTERS.
BLISS: I am so glad you are here. I have never felt so out of my element before.
TIFFANY: Yeah…I was surprised to see you. I didn’t know things were that serious with you and Ben.
BLISS: They…are sort of up and down. I’m beginning to believe he invited me on this little trip just to make Felicity jealous.
TIFFANY: Felicity? God is he still pining away for that pathetic preppy?
BLISS: (laughing) God it feels so good to laugh. I feel like I haven’t done that in months.
TIFFANY: So what’s the deal? Why are you still hanging around if he’s still mooning over curly top?
BLISS: (considers this) I don’t know. I keep telling myself that things are going to change. That he’s going to wake up and realize that I have so much to offer him…but so far…nothing. And being here…I have begun to lose all hope.
TIFFANY: What do you mean?
BLISS: This place is all about Felicity. I mean it’s their hometown…their friends. The place where they began their relationship.
TIFFANY: I see what you’re saying, but maybe that’s why this is the perfect place to break the cycle. Help shattered the illusions he has about her.
BLISS: And how do you propose I do that?
TIFFANY: Make him realize what he’s giving up with you.
BLISS: I don’t follow.
TIFFANY: Well I talked to Craig Hart the other day. Ben and he are sort of high school rivals. I think if Ben thought you and Craig were hitting it off…well he’d be jealous.
BLISS: Would that be the same Craig he is crazy jealous of right now?
TIFFANY: What do you mean?
BLISS: Nice try Tiffany but Craig has already expressed an interest in Felicity…and it’s driving Ben nuts.
BLISS: Yes. He doesn’t know that I know this…but he went over to Felicity’s house tonight…and Craig showed up to take her out. I saw him leave her house…I have never seen him so upset.
TIFFANY: Man what is it about that girl? I don’t get the incredible urge guys have to get to know her. She’s just so ordinary. Especially next to you.
BLISS: Thanks. But wether we understand it or not…it’s fact. And wether I like to admit it or not…Ben is her biggest fan. I can’t get him to *forget* about her.
TIFFANY: Yeah…I know that first hand. I stupidly thought I could remove her from his life with just one kiss. I ended up being the one that got erased from his life.
BLISS: What I don’t understand is why he won’t forgive her and just get on with things.
TIFFANY: Because of what happened with his mom and dad.
TIFFANY: You didn’t know?
BLISS: No…what happened?
TIFFANY: His dad is an alcoholic and he used to beat up both Ben and his mom when Ben was growing up. And then he started cheating on Ben’s mom. It’s instilled some pretty deeply buried trust issues in Ben. So when Felicity cheated on him…and shattered the trust…she screwed things pretty major.
BLISS: I never knew any of that…Ben never told me.
TIFFANY: Ben is not one to confide in someone very often. A lot of what I know…I know because I was there…first hand. I saw a lot of the shitty things his dad did to him and his mom. He used to always come over to my house after he had a fight with his dad…and he would have these horrible black eyes. I would beg him to stay…but he would always go home…to be with his mom.
BLISS: God that’s awful.
TIFFANY: Yeah. But it pretty much set the mold for who he is. It made him stronger. It made him very considerate of people’s feelings…but it also made him virtually unable to trust anyone. It’s what eventually drove me away. I couldn’t take all the jealousy and all the mistrust.
BLISS: But he trusted Felicity?
TIFFANY: He seemed to. He was definitely a different person with her. I think he really opened up to her over the summer. They definitely had a shared bond of some sort. He was a really good boyfriend to her.
BLISS: So why did she cheat on him then?
TIFFANY: That was my fault. I wanted him back…and I pretty much went after him…no concerns for the consequences. I was confident that our shared past would bring him back to me. I convinced her that he wasn’t over me…and I kissed him when I knew she was watching.
BLISS: Yeah but kissing someone else…and sleeping with someone else…big difference.
TIFFANY: All I know is she was pretty hurt…one thing led to another and the relationship ended.
BLISS DOWNS ANOTHER SHOT.
BLISS: What the hell am I doing here?
TIFFANY: I brought you here. Okay…maybe you should slow down on the shots.
BLISS: No…I mean here…in Palo Alto. Or what am I even doing with Ben? I’ve been struggling to figure out why I am so unhappy in this relationship…trying to figure a way to fix things. When in reality I should have been trying to figure out how to end things.
TIFFANY: What are you saying?
BLISS: I’m leaving. I’m going back to Ben’s house…break up with him…and then I’m catching the next plane back to New York.
BLISS: Because. I need my sanity and my life back. I have been fooling myself into believing that Ben felt the same way that I did. But he doesn’t. Hell…I can’t even get the guy to sleep with me.
BLISS: That’s right. Ben and I haven’t ever actually had sex with each other.
TIFFANY: But I thought…everyone thought….
BLISS: That’s because that’s what he wanted Felicity to think. For whatever reasons. I should have known right then…he said it was easier if she was mad at him…and that’s why he lied about sleeping with me.
TIFFANY: So you and Ben…haven’t…
BLISS: Nope. I guess it’s better this way. I mean…it’s already going to be hard enough to let go of what I feel for him…if we had slept together…it would have just been that much harder.
INT: CRAIG’S CAR-NIGHT
FELICITY AND CRAIG ARE SITTING IN HIS CAR IN FRONT OF HER HOUSE. HE IS DROPPING HER OFF.
FELICITY LEANS OVER TO GIVE HIM A GOODBYE HUG AND HE HUGS HER BUT AS SHE STARTS TO PULL AWAY HE PLANTS A KISS ON HER. SHE GIVES HIM A PERFUNCTORY KISS BACK AND THEN STARTS TO PULL AWAY. CRAIG CONTINUES TO HOLD HER IN HIS ARMS. FELICITY CONTINUES TO TRY AND BACK UP UNTIL SHE IS PRESSED UP AGAINST THE DOOR.
FELICITY: (sticks out her hand) Thanks…I had a good time. But I should probably be getting in now.
CRAIG: (disappointed) That’s it? Just that chaste goodnight kiss?
FELICITY: (irritated) What exactly were you expecting?
CRAIG: Well I did spend over $70 bucks on dinner.
CRAIG: I think a little more passionate appreciation is in order.
FELICITY: Really? Gosh I hate to break it to you Craig…but this is the 90’s. I don’t have to reimburse your monetary output with physical affection. God…you disgust me.
FELICITY REACHES BEHIND HER FOR THE DOORHANDLE.
CRAIG: Still the same Felicity Porter I see.
FELICITY: What’s that suppose to mean?
CRAIG: When I told my friend Charlie I was going out with you…he warned me about you…said you we’re a cold fish.
FELICITY: I’m sorry…Charlie who exactly?
CRAIG: Charlie Phillips. He said he went out with you when he was a senior and that you were the ice queen. I should have believed him.
FELICITY HAS GONE COMPLETELY ASHEN AT THE MENTION OF CHARLIE PHILLIPS. THE SENIOR SHE HAD WENT OUT WITH WHO HAD TRIED TO FORCE HIM SELF ON HER.
FELICITY: I have to go.
FELICITY REACHES FOR THE HANDLE AND OPENS THE DOOR.
CRAIG: Yeah…whatever. You may have gotten beautiful…but you’re still a complete geek.
FELICITY HAS STEPPED OUT OF THE CAR. BUT IS STILL HOLDING ON TO THE DOOR. SHE TURNS AROUND AT THIS COMMENT.
FELICITY: I may be a geek…but you are a player. You have no right to expect a girl to put out because you spend money on her.
CRAIG: Says who?
FELICITY: Says me and a little something called the woman's movement. You're as pathetic as Charlie. Who by the way can just go to hell.
CRAIG: What the hell is your problem? Just because you have no sense of passion or sexuality doesn’t give you the right to malign my morals…or ethics.
FELICITY: What ethics? You practically spelled it out that you expected more from me in return for paying for dinner…that notion is nauseating to say the least.
CRAIG GETS OUT OF THE CAR AND COMES AROUND TO FELICITY SIDE. HE TOWERS A GOOD 5 INCHES ABOVE HER.
CRAIG: Okay…so now you’re saying I make you sick? You’re crossing into some dangerous territory…I suggest you let go of the car and leave.
FELICITY SLAMS CAR DOOR.
CRAIG: Might want to remember that an acid tongue bitch is a turn off…just for future dating reference.
CRAIG WALKS BACK AROUND AND GETS INTO HIS CAR STARTING THE ENGINE. HE GUNS THE CAR AND PEELS OUT AS HE DRIVES AWAY.
FELICITY TURNS AROUND TO GO INTO HER HOUSE AND RUNS SMACK INTO BEN.
BEN: I thought you handled him pretty well.
FELICITY: (complete surprise) Ben?
BEN: I would have stepped in…but you seemed to be holding your own.
FELICITY JUST LOOKS AT BEN…ASTOUNDED THAT HE’S THERE.
FELICITY: I can’t believe you’re here.
BEN: I wasn’t spying on you or anything like that.
FELICITY: I didn’t think that.
BEN: I was going to go up and wait for you in your room…but then I thought…maybe that wouldn’t be such a good idea.
FELICITY: Why are you here?
BEN: Because I didn’t want to leave things the way I did earlier. I wanted to finish our conversation.
FELICITY: We can do that.
BEN: We will…but not tonight. I have some things I need to take care of first. So now that I know your home in one piece…I’m gonna go.
FELICITY WALKS INTO BEN’S ARMS. BEN HUGS HER AND PLANTS A KISS ON THE TOP OF HER HEAD.
BEN: (cont.) I have to go.
FELICITY: I know…but could you please just hold me for a few seconds longer…I like feeling so…secure.
EXT: BENS HOUSE-NIGHT
TIFFANY IS SITTING OUTSIDE BEN’S HOUSE IN HER CAR. BLISS COMES OUTSIDE HOLDING ON TO A SUITCASE AS BEN DRIVES INTO THE DRIVEWAY. BLISS PUTS THE SUITCASE IN THE BACK OF TIFFANY’S CAR AS BEN COMES WALKING OVER TO HER.
BEN: What are you doing?
BLISS: What I should have done a long time ago. I’m leaving.
BEN: Where are you going?
BLISS: I’m staying at Tiffany’s tonight…tomorrow I’m catching a plane back to New York.
BEN: (upset) Can we at least talk about this?
BLISS: Fine. Where were you tonight Ben?
BLISS: Maybe I should rephrase the question…Were you with Felicity tonight?
BEN STANDS SILENT NOT ANSWERING.
BLISS: (cont.) It doesn’t matter…I know the answer.
BEN: I’m sorry.
BLISS: For what? Lying to me…cheating on me…breaking my heart…all of the above?
BEN: If we could just go some where and talk about this…I want you to understand.
BLISS: Oh…but I do understand…finally. Which is why I’m leaving. I understand that I’ve been fighting a losing battle. I can’t make you forget about Felicity.
BEN: I’m... sorry.
BLISS: So you’re not even going to bother denying it. Terrific. There’s just one more thing I want you to understand before I go Ben.
BLISS: I want you to understand that you can’t keep doing this to people…it’s not fair. Both you and Felicity are leaving a trail of broken hearts in your wake, because of your refusal to see the truth. If I have to be a casualty of this disease you two suffer from…I at least want to say my piece.
BLISS: (interrupting) No…I mean it. Whatever Felicity has done…you need to…get over it. You have to move past the hurt and deal with it. Give her a chance. You are never going to be happy unless you do that. I tried for months to become even half as important to you as she is and I failed. I have come to terms with the fact that nobody is going to affect or get to you the way that Felicity does…you need to realize that too.
BEN: I appreciate your concern…but you don’t understand everything.
BLISS: This is not concern for you Ben…this is concern for the next unfortunate soul who happens to fall for you. If you don’t want to work things out with Felicity…that’s your choice…but I am telling you now…you’re being selfish if you drag another unsuspecting woman into this drama between you and Felicity.
BEN: I don’t know what to say.
BLISS: There’s nothing left to say except…Goodbye.
BEN: I didn’t want it to end like this. I wanted to make you happy.
BLISS: You’re intentions are honorable Ben…but you need to remember…nothing is worth staying with if it doesn’t make you happy. I wish you would have been honest with me…before I fell in love with you.
BEN: I wish I had too…can you ever forgive me?
BLISS: That’s hard to say at this moment. Right now…I just need to leave while I still can.
BEN HUGS BLISS GOODBYE AND GIVES HER A TENDER GOODBYE KISS. BLISS COMPLETELY BREAKS DOWN.
BEN: (concerned) Bliss?
BLISS BREAKS AWAY FROM BEN’S ARMS.
BLISS: No…don’t. Just let me have a good cry. I deserve it.
BLISS GOES TO THE PASSENGER SIDE OF TIFFANY’S CAR AND GETS IN. TIFFANY STARTS UP THE CAR AND DRIVES AWAY…WHILE BEN STANDS AND WATCHES.
INT: FELICITY’S HOUSE-NIGHT
BEN IS STANDING IN FELICITY’S ROOM WATCHING HER SLEEP. HE WALKS UP TO THE SIDE OF HER BED AND SITS DOWN STROKING HER HAIR. FELICITY IS SLEEPING FITFULLY. BEN LEANS DOWN KISSING HER IN HER SLEEP. HER LIPS ARE SOFT AND INVITING AND HE SIGHS AS HE SITS UP.
BEN: (to himself as he looks at her) I wish…I had never let you go.
FELICITY: (murmurs in her sleep) Ben…please don’t go.
BEN IS STARTLED AT FIRST BUT THEN REALIZES SHE IS STILL SLEEPING…DREAMING OF HIM.
SALLY: (VO) Dear Felicity…sorry to hear about the wash out with Craig. Not that I personally want you to be with anyone but Ben…but still…your misery is my misery. Don’t let the Craig’s of the world get you down. They are a dime a dozen and they always end up old and lonely. I must say as much as I suspected Bliss would be unhappy in Palo Alto…I never dreamed she would be as unhappy as she sounds. I am eagerly awaiting the details of Christy and Steve’s wedding tomorrow. And don’t forget I want a picture of you and Ben walking down the aisle together. And please remember tomorrow that through all of lives heartaches and trials…Love will prevail. It’s not always obvious how…which is why it never hurts to keep hope alive…and wait for it to surprise you. Love Sally.