Picking Up The Pieces
Written by: Juana
Story summary: Ben is still struggling with his mixed feelings. On one hand he missing Felicity and hating the fact that she is back in the dating arena. On the other hand he is reluctant to give up what he has started with Bliss. Marc makes his intentions known to Felicity.
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters in my stories. They belong to the brilliant writers and creators of the hit WB show.
INT. FELICITY’S ROOM-DAY
FELICITY: (VO) Dear Sally…well I did it! I went on my first official date, since Ben and I broke up. His name is Kyle and he is finance major. He seems really nice and the evening we had was definitely a romantic one. The only element the night was missing…which would have made it a perfect romantic date for me was…Ben. How sick and twisted is that? This perfectly wonderful guy planned this perfectly wonderful evening and all I can do it think of Ben. I need some serious help Sally.
INT. CAFETERIA: DAY
JULIE AND BEN ARE SITTING AT A TABLE.
JULIE: So why the breakfast date?
BEN: I really need someone to talk to.
JULIE: Why didn’t you call Bliss?
BEN: Because it concerns Bliss.
JULIE: Oh. Things not going too well…huh?
BEN: Things are fine. It’s just…do you ever get the feeling that every day you put off doing something it just gets that much harder to do?
JULIE: I’m not following.
BEN: Can I tell you something and you’ll promise to keep it a secret?
BEN: I did something last night…something pretty embarrassing.
JULIE: What did you do?
BEN: I waited…no actually I hid in Felicity’s dorm and waited for her to come home last night…from her date.
JULIE: (shocked) Why?
BEN: I’m not sure. I think I thought that if I saw her with another guy…it’s stupid…but I thought it might somehow help me.
JULIE: With what?
BEN: Getting over her…letting her go.
JULIE: And did it?
BEN: No…I wanted to wring the guy’s neck when he kissed her.
JULIE: (giddy) He kissed her?
BEN: Yes…can we please concentrate here for a second?
JULIE: Yeah…sorry. So what did you do?
BEN: I waited till he left and then I went up to her door. I almost knocked…but I didn’t.
JULIE: Why didn’t you knock?
BEN: I don’t know. Because nothing with her and I is simple anymore. If I had knocked it would have just held this world of meaning. It would have been this huge step towards getting back together with her.
JULIE: And that’s not what you want?
BEN: There’s this part of me that would like nothing better, and then there’s this other side that tells me I would be a fool to open myself up again like that.
JULIE: I know that’s a tough place to be Ben, but I should probably warn you it’s also what they call a way station.
BEN: What do you mean?
JULIE: I mean you can’t stay there forever. Sooner or later you have to pick a destination.
BEN: Do you think she likes Kyle?
JULIE: I don’t think so. However I do think sooner or later she is going to find someone and move on.
BEN: In some ways…I wish she would. Then maybe I would be able to let go.
JULIE: You mean like last night? Yeah that was highly successful. Be honest with yourself Ben, do you really want to see Felicity with someone else? Because if you think what you’re going through right now is difficult…that is going to be so much harder. Trust me…I know this first hand.
BLISS COMES WALKING UP TO THE TABLE BEN AND JULIE ARE SITTING AT.
BLISS: (taps Ben on shoulder) Can I talk to you?
JULIE: (getting up to leave) I was just leaving. Remember what I said Ben…so far it’s been easy.
BEN: Did you want to talk here?
BLISS TAKES THE SEAT JULIE VACATED.
BLISS: This is fine.
BEN: So…what’s up?
BLISS: We need to talk about last night.
BEN: Do we really need to re-hash?
FLASHBACK TO PREVIOUS NIGHT.
INT. BLISS’S APT.
BLISS ANSWERS A KNOCK AT HER DOOR. ONLY OPENING DOOR SLIGHTLY BECAUSE OF EARLY HOUR.
BLISS: (shocked) Ben?
BEN: Yeah…let me in.
BLISS OPENS DOOR FULLY TO LET BEN IN. BEN COMES IN AND CLOSES DOOR BEHIND HIM.
BLISS: What are you doing here at this hour?
BEN: I wanted to see you.
BEN LOOKS AT BLISS WHO IS WEARING A BABY DOLL TYPE NIGHTIE. HE PULLS HER INTO HIS ARMS AND BEGINS PASSIONATELY KISSING HER. BLISS RESPONDS BACK BUT AS SHE DOES HE BECOMES MORE AND MORE AGGRESSIVE. BLISS BACKS UP SURPRISED BY THE AMOUNT OF PASSION HE IS DISPLAYING.
BEN: (Still holding on to her arm) Where are you going?
BLISS: What’s going on here Ben?
BEN: (pulls her closer…nibbling on her neck) What do you mean?
BLISS: Why this sudden urge to be here with me?
BEN: We are dating…right? (kissing side of her face and running his hands over her body)
BLISS PUSHES HIM AWAY. HE STEPS BACK AND RUNS HIS FINGERS THROUGH HIS HAIR FRUSTRATED.
BEN: (cont.) What?
BLISS: Dammit Ben…don’t do this to me.
BEN: (slightly angry) Do what? Try and have a good time with you?
BLISS: Don’t become a jerk on me. I am not some young girl you can manipulate and use when need be.
BEN: (surprised) What?
BLISS: Do you honestly think I have no idea how a *booty call* works? I thought we understood each other better than that.
BEN: (slightly ashamed) We do.
BLISS: Look. I know…contrary to what your friends believe…that it’s been a long time since you’ve had sex. And understandably…I sympathize. I’ve told you before that I am more than willing to help you break that slump…for the right reasons. But a 2am…I just saw Felicity with someone else visit…that’s not the right reason. Not for me anyway.
BEN: How did you know?
BLISS: Lynn told me that Felicity had a date…I figured the rest out on my own. So did you follow her on her date or just wait for her to get home?
BEN: I’m pathetic…aren’t I?
BLISS: No argument here.
FLASHFORWARD TO PRESENT.
INT. CAFETERIA. –DAY
BEN AND BLISS ARE SITTING AT THE TABLE.
BEN: I don’t know what else to say…except I’m sorry.
BLISS: That’s a good start Ben…but honestly…after you left last night…I did some thinking.
BEN: Please don’t tell me you’re breaking up with me…I just need…some time…I promise you.
FELICITY COMES WALKING IN TO THE CAFETERIA WITH KYLE. SHE IS LAUGHING AT SOMETHING HE SAID. BEN LOOKS OVER AT HER AND BLISS WATCHES HIM…WATCHING HER. BLISS NOTICES AND RECOGNIZES KYLE.
BEN: (reluctantly turns back to Bliss) I’m in a really awful place right now…don’t tell me you’ve decided to desert me. I don’t think I could take it.
BLISS: I want to help you Ben…but you’ve got to be willing to help yourself.
BEN: How? What can I do?
BLISS: Take some steps to move forward…invite her over here.
BEN: (shocked) What?
BLISS: I mean it…invite her to have breakfast with us.
FELICITY HAS SEEN BEN AND IS WALKING OVER TO SAY HELLO TO HIM AND BLISS.
BEN: Hi…(Bliss nudges him under the table) So would you two care to sit with us…there’s plenty of room.
FELICITY: (stunned) Um…(looks at Kyle…thinks of Elena’s plan) Sure.
FELICITY AND KYLE SIT DOWN.
BEN: I was just going to grab something for us to eat…I’ll be right back.
FELICITY: (awkward) Um…Kyle…this is Bliss…Ben’s girlfriend.
BLISS: Friend actually…nothing official. (shakes Kyle’s hand)
KYLE: Nice to meet you. Do you go to school here too?
BLISS: (slightly tense) Actually…no. I met Ben at work.
BEN COMES BACK TO THE TABLE AND SITS DOWN. HE PUTS AN ORANGE JUICE AND A CINNAMON ROLL IN FRONT OF BLISS. FELICITY WATCHES HIM TAKE CARE OF BLISS…WITH ENVY.
BEN: So…what’s going on?
BLISS: We we’re just getting to know each other.
BEN: I see. (awkward silence)
FELICITY: I haven’t seen a lot of you lately Bliss…where have you been?
BLISS: Works been keeping me pretty busy.
FELICITY: (sounding catty) I can imagine.
KYLE: So where do you work at Bliss?
A HUGE AWKWARD SILENCE.
BLISS: I manage a business. The Lucky Lady. Ever hear of it?
KYLE: (becoming uncomfortable as he recognizes Bliss.) Oh…um…no I don’t think I’ve ever heard of it.
BLISS: Really? Cause you look kind of familiar to me.
KYLE: Nope…never heard of it. So Ben what do you do there?
BEN: I’m a bouncer.
BEN BEGINS TO SENSE AN ANIMOSITY BETWEEN KYLE AND BLISS.
BEN: (to Felicity) How was your date last night?
FELICITY: (shocked by Ben’s blunt remark) It was…nice. Thanks for asking. I think I’m going to get some more juice…I’ll be right back.
FELICITY GETS UP FROM TABLE.
BLISS: I could use some more coffee…could you get some for me Ben?
BEN: Sure…anything else?
BEN GETS UP FROM THE TABLE AND AS SOON AS HE IS OUT OF EARSHOT KYLE TURNS TO BLISS.
KYLE: You’re not going to tell Felicity anything about me…are you?
BLISS: Why shouldn’t I?
KYLE: Because I really like her.
BLISS: And I’m supposed to believe that’s not just one of your lines?
KYLE: I know what happened with Raven was unfortunate…but this is different.
BLISS: Why because Felicity’s not a stripper and therefore you respect her more?
KYLE: I never meant to hurt Raven. I know I should have been honest with her and told her I didn’t feel the same way about her that she did about me.
BLISS: Yeah…you should have. Before you slept with her…But for some reason guys think the minute they enter a strip club they can leave their manners at the door. I’ll make a deal with you.
BLISS: If you publicly apologize to Raven…tell her you’re sorry for being such an ass to her…I won’t tell Felicity that your middle name is *user.*
KYLE: You want me to apologize?
BLISS: No…I want you to publicly apologize. As in you get up with the microphone before Raven’s 8:30 p.m. Show tonight and tell her and everyone else in the club…that you are a hound. That’s the deal take it or leave it.
KYLE WATCHES FELICITY AND BEN APPROACHING THE TABLE.
BLISS: (cont.) Well?
KYLE: (relents) Fine. I’ll be there.
FELICITY AND BEN SIT BACK DOWN.
INT. BEN’S LOFT-LATER THAT DAY
BEN AND BLISS ARE WALKING IN FROM BREAKFAST. BLISS SITS DOWN ON THE COUCH.
BEN: So…I get the impression you don’t really like Kyle too much.
BLISS: I don’t.
BEN: (very interested) Why?
BLISS: I promised him I wouldn’t tell, but being as you are Felicity’s number one fan…you should probably catch the 8:30 p.m. show at the club tonight…you and Felicity both.
BLISS: It promises to be an enlightening one.
BEN: Okay…but all that aside…I’ve been doing some thinking about us.
BLISS: You have?
BEN: Yes…I know I’ve got a lot to get over where Felicity is concerned…stuff that will take time. But I am serious about you.
BLISS: Really? Explain to me then why you told Felicity that you and I had slept together…if not to make her jealous.
BEN: I didn’t tell her that…I told her things had changed for us…which they had…she leapt to the conclusion that we had had sex with each other.
BLISS: A conclusion, which you didn’t steer her away from…why?
BEN: It just seemed easier if she thought we had.
BEN: Because I thought she would be angry with me…I never expected her to accept it.
BLISS: I don’t understand…Why would you want Felicity to be upset with you?
BEN: Because it’s easier then having her love me. At least when she’s upset with me…I can deal with that. When she understands things and forgives me for my mistakes…it just hurts too much to be around her. I know this makes no sense to you.
BLISS: Actually…it makes perfect sense. When Dean and I were fighting…at least I knew where I stood. That he cared. When things I did…didn’t bother him…that’s when I became hurt and confused…and felt unimportant to him.
BLISS: I should probably be going…and I believe you have a phone call to make.
BEN: I do?
BLISS: Yes…I was serious about having her at the 8:30pm show…whatever it takes.
INT. FELICITY’S ROOM-DAY
FELICITY AND KYLE ARE JUST COMING INTO HER ROOM WHEN THE PHONE RINGS.
FELICITY ANSWERS IT.
INTERCUT WITH BEN AND FELICITY
BEN: Hey Felicity…it’s Ben.
FELICITY: Hi…what’s going on?
BEN: I uh…I was hoping you would go somewhere with me tonight.
FELICITY: Tonight? Where?
BEN: I uh…I can’t tell you that part…it’s a surprise.
FELICITY: What time?
BEN: I’ll pick you up around eight o’clock.
FELICIYT: Okay…are you sure you can’t tell me where we’re going?
BEN: I’m sure.
FELICITY HANGS UP THE PHONE.
KYLE: Big plans for tonight?
FELICITY: Um…I’m not sure…exactly.
KYLE: Well I should probably be going…I have something I have to do tonight.
KYLE WALKS OVER AND KISSES FELICIYT TENDERLY. HE STARTS TO LET IT GET A LITTLE MORE PASSIONATE BUT FELICITY PULLS AWAY.
FELICITY: Thanks for taking me to breakfast and walking in the park…I had a good time.
KYLE WALKS OUT OF ROOM. FELICITY CLOSES THE DOOR.
FELICITY: (VO) Nothing Sally…zilch. When Kyle kissed me…I wasn’t exactly repulsed…but it definitely didn’t leave me wanting more. It was weird but I kind of got the feeling that Kyle had kissed many women and somehow to him...kissing was a chore he had to take care of to get to the good stuff. Whereas with Ben…kissing was the *good stuff* which he followed up with the *earth shattering* stuff. There I go again…comparing everyone and everything to Ben. I can’t help but wonder what it is that Ben wants to show me tonight. Just the thought of spending time with him tonight…it’s making me so…excited.
FELICITY IS APPLYING LIPSTICK AT HER MIRROR. THERE IS A KNOCK AT HER DOOR. FELICITY ANSWERS IT. MARC IS STANDING THERE.
MARC: Wow…you look great.
FELICITY: (blushing) Thanks. I..uh…I was expecting someone else.
MARC: (crestfallen look on his face) Oh.
FELICITY: Was there something I could help you with?
MARC: Um…yeah. (mustering up his courage) You know the freshman mixer is next week.
FELICITY: (not seeing it coming) Yes.
MARC: I assumed you were going to be there.
FELICITY: Yes…all the RA’s are.
MARC: Good…well I was hoping maybe…if it’s at all possible. I was hoping you would go with me.
FELICITY: (completely stunned) You mean…as your date?
MARC: (smiling) Yes.
FELICITY SORT OF TAKES A GOOD LOOK AT MARC FOR THE FIRST TIME. SHE NOTICES THAT HE IS INDEED A GOOD LOOKING GUY. BLOND, TALL, GREAT EYES, NICE SORT OF CROOKED SMILE AND A GOOD TONED BODY. MENTALLY SHE SLAPS HERSELF FOR DOING THIS “IS HE DATE WORTHY” ASSESSMENT.
FELICITY: Um…while that is very flattering…I um…I’m going to have to decline.
MARC: It’s because you’re my RA…isn’t it?
FELICITY: That’s partly it…but in all honesty Marc…I just don’t think of you in that *way.* I’m sorry. Not to mention that at the present time…My love life if fairly complicated already.
MARC: (slightly embarrassed) I understand. I uh…I guess I’ll just see you later.
MARC STARTS TO WALK AWAY. FELICITY STARTS TO LET HIM…BUT ON SECOND THOUGHT SHE GOES AFTER HIM.
MARC: It’s okay…I’m okay. You don’t need to chase after me. I’m not a third grader.
FELICITY: I know that…it’s just. I some times have a habit of being too honest. I didn’t want to hurt your feelings. You been nothing but decent to me since the first day we met.
MARC: I like your honesty…it’s refreshing.
FELICITY: Thanks. I’m pretty sure it’s gonna be my downfall one day though.
MARC: I doubt it. (goes off topic) So is it because I’m younger than you are?
FELICITY: Is what?
MARC: Is that the reason I’m not your type?
FELICITY: I don’t know…I guess. Actually no. You’re a great looking guy…for me it’s because there is someone else. That’s probably hard for you to understand…but it’s the truth…I promise.
MARC: No…I understand that…I do. I’ve seen him around. I think his name is Ben.
FELICITY: Yes…that’s him.
MARC: He’s a lucky guy. Can I ask a personal question?
FELICITY: You can try.
MARC: What happened with you two? I mean when I first got here…you two seemed really close…I don’t really sense that anymore…which was why I decided the time was right to ask you out.
FELICITY: (VO) What happened? It disturbed me that a virtual stranger could sense that Ben and I were no longer close. Why was something that was so obvious to a bystander so not obvious to Ben and me? How was it that Marc could so eloquently assess our situation, when for weeks Ben and I had been unable to figure out what was going on?
MARC: (cont.) I’m sorry. It’s obviously none of my business.
FELICITY IS STANDING…STILL IN THOUGHT. MARC WHO IS STANDING A FEW INCHES AWAY MOVES CLOSER AND LEANS IN AND KISSES HER. A KISS WITNESSED BY TWO VERY INTERESTED BYSTANDERS. SHERI AND BEN. SHERI RUNS OFF AND FELICITY BREAKS THE KISS VERY QUICKLY AS IT INTERRUPTS HER THOUGHTS. BEN REMAINS STANDING WHERE HE IS.
FELICITY: Why…why…why did you do that?
MARC: I…couldn’t help myself…you just looked so beautiful.
FELICITY: Okay…don’t ever do that again. Got it!
MARC: Right…got it. I’m sorry. I’m just gonna go now.
FELICITY: Marc…I think that you and I could possibly be friends here…but I need you to understand…I’m not interested in you…okay?
MARC WALKS AWAY AND BEN COMES WALKING UP. FELICITY TURNS AROUND AND PRACTICALLY BUMPS INTO HIM. ENDING UP IN HIS ARMS AS HE GRABS HER TO KEEP HER FROM RUNNING INTO HIM. BOTH FELICITY AND BEN STAND SHARING THE SAME SPACE UNTIL IT BECOMES AWKWARD FOR THEM. FELICITY RELUCTANTLY STEPS BACK.
FELICITY: I’m sorry…I didn’t see you there.
BEN: I know. You were wrapped up in one of your residents.
FELICITY: (embarrassed) You saw that?
BEN: Every liplocking minute.
FELICITY: (statement) He kissed me.
BEN: I know…I saw. We just can’t leave you alone for a minute…can we?
FELICITY: Very funny.
BEN: Are you ready to go?
FELICITY: I just need to get my sweater.
BEN AND FELICITY WALK BACK TO HER ROOM. FELICITY GOES OVER TO HER BED AND PICKS UP HER SWEATER. BEN IS WATCHING HER…LONGINGLY. FELICITY TURNS AROUND AND HE TRIES TO COVER UP ALMOST GETTING CAUGHT LOOKING AT HER.
BEN: We should probably get going or we’ll be late.
FELICITY: Okay…I’m ready.
INT. NOEL’S ROOM-NIGHT.
NOEL AND ELENA ARE MESSING AROUND. THE PHONE RINGS. NOEL STARTS TO REACH FOR IT. ELENA GRABS HIS HAND.
ELENA: Don’t you dare answer that!
NOEL: (kissing her as he talks) It could be important.
ELENA: They’ll leave a message.
NOEL: My machine isn’t working. (starts reaching for phone again)
ELENA: If you reach for that phone one more time…this is going to be a long lonely night for you.
NOEL BRINGS HIS HAND BACK OVER TO ELENA AND STARTS USING IT TO UNDRESS HER.
INTER CUT: PEGGY AND SHERI’S ROOM.
PEGGY IS ON THE PHONE TRYING TO GET A HOLD OF NOEL. SHE IS HOLDING A NOTE…IT’S FROM SHERI.
PEGGY: Come on Noel…pick up…please…pick up.
INT. LUCKY LADY-NIGHT
FELICITY WALKS IN WITH BEN.
FELICITY: What are we doing here?
BEN: I’m not exactly sure. Bliss just told me to have you here at 8:30 p.m.
FELICITY: Tonight was Bliss’s idea?
FELICITY: (VO) So it turns out the whole night was arranged by Bliss so I could hear Kyle tell everyone in the room…including me…that he was a player…a user…a jerk. Not that I’m not thankful to Bliss for saving me a lot of wasted time, but I don’t know. I think somewhere…deep down. I had kind of hoped that Ben had wanted to go out with me. Which I now knew was definitely not the case.
BEN: Are you okay?
FELICITY: Yeah…I’m fine. It’s not like I was serious about him anyway.
BEN: You weren’t?
FELICITY: No. Not all of us can be lucky like you.
BEN: What do you mean?
FELICITY: I just meant that you found Bliss fairly fast…after us. You don’t have to go through all the dating…stuff. You’re lucky.
BEN: Yeah…I guess.
FELICITY: Well I think I’m just gonna take off now. I don’t really have any interest in catching the rest of the show. If you could tell Bliss thanks for me. I would appreciate it.
BEN: I’ll take you home.
FELICITY: You don’t have to…it’s okay.
BEN: No…I want to. I mean…if that’s okay.
FELICITY: Sure…all right.
BEN: I just want to say goodbye to Bliss first…and then I’ll be right back.
BEN WALKS OVER TO BLISS WHO IS SITTING AT A BACK TABLE WITH RAVEN. RAVEN GETS UP AS BEN APPROACHES. BEN SITS DOWN.
BEN: Thanks for doing that for Felicity.
BLISS: Actually…I did it for Raven. Felicity was sort of a bonus.
BEN: Either way. It was really nice.
BLISS: Fine. Okay…you’re welcome.
BEN: I came over to tell you I was taking Felicity home. Did you want me to come back?
BLISS: No…I’ll just talk to you later.
BEN: I know you think that pretty much everything in my life revolves around Felicity.
BLISS: Doesn’t it?
BEN: No. And I think I thought of a way to prove that to you.
BLISS: This should be interesting. How?
BEN: In a couple of weeks I’m going home for a wedding…I want you to come with me.
BLISS: (stunned) You want me to come home with you?
BEN: To meet some of my friends. To see where I grew up…stuff like that.
BLISS: What will Felicity think?
BEN: I don’t know. I haven’t told her yet. But it doesn’t really matter, because I want you to come with me. Will you at least think about it?
BLISS: I don’t have to think about it…I’ll come.
BEN: (excited) Really?
BLISS: (equally excited) Really. I can’t believe you asked me. Is Felicity going to the wedding too?
BEN: Yes. Is that a problem?
BLISS: (smiling) No…no problem.
BEN KISSES BLISS WHILE FELICITY SADLY WATCHES. BEN COMES BACK OVER TO FELICITY AFTER TALKING TO BLISS.
BEN: You ready to go?
FELICITY: (under breath) About ten minutes ago.
FELICITY: I said…sure let’s go.
FELICITY AND BEN WALK OUT OF THE CLUB AND CATCH A TAXI TO TAKE HER BACK TO THE DORM.
SALLY: (VO) Dear Felicity…picking up the pieces of ones life is never easy. But it’s made even harder when we see the things we hoped for slipping away. I know you want Ben back, I want that for you too. My instinct is telling me that keeping him close is a definite must do at this time. Maybe it’s the impending wedding that is making me feel so strongly about this. Weddings have a way of bringing things into perspective for people. How could they not? They are a celebration of two people’s love. And a joining together of two souls in lifelong commitment. If anything is going to make Ben sit down and think about what he wants from his life…it’s this wedding. And the setting couldn’t be more perfect…Palo Alto. What one town has joined together…let no one tear asunder. Simply put…forget the past…the Eli’s and the Tiffany’s…and look forward to the future. Hopefully…yours and Ben’s.