Second Time Around
Written by: Juana
Story summary: Felicity and Eli part ways. Ben and Noel do some bonding and confiding. And both Ben and Noel may just get a second chance to capture the hearts of the ladies they love. But will they be prepared for the change or scared of the chance?
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters in this story. They belong to the brilliant writers and creators of the hit WB show.
INT: “THE LUCKY STRIKE.” NOEL IS SITTING AT THE BAR DROWNING HIS SORROWS. BEN WALKS IN AND LIGHTS UP A CIGARETTE. HE SPOTS NOEL AND TURNS TO LEAVE BUT NOT BEFORE NOEL TURNS AROUND AND SPOTS HIM.
NOEL GETS UP OFF THE BARSTOOL AND STAGGERS DRUNKENLY OVER TO BEN AND THROWS HIS ARM AROUND HIM.
NOEL: (hugs Ben) Ben!…it’s been like….forever. Where have you been?
BEN: (blows smoke in Noel’s face) Around.
NOEL STARTS TO LOOK A LITTLE GREEN AS HE IS FORCED TO INHALE BEN’S SMOKE.
NOEL: You smoke?
NOEL: (takes cigarette from Ben) You know this is bad for you? (takes a puff and hands it back) Here you go.
BEN: You go ahead and keep that one.
NOEL: Oh no…I don’t smoke. (whispers under breath) stains the teeth.
NOEL HANDS CIGARETTE BACK TO BEN. BEN PROMPTLY PUTS IT OUT IN AN ASHTRAY ON THE TABLE NEXT TO HIM.
NOEL: Come over and have a drink with me.
BEN: That’s okay.
NOEL: Come on one little shot…I don’t want to drink myself into a stupor alone.
BEN CONTEMPLATES THIS.
BEN: All right…one drink…and you’re buying.
BEN AND NOEL WALK BACK OVER TO THE BAR. CUT TO FELICITY AND ELI IN HER ROOM. THEY ARE MAKING OUT ON THE BED. FELICITY STOPS ABRUPTLY AND STARTS SPEAKING.
FELICITY: Don’t you agree that it’s ludicrous.
ELI: (annoyed) Are we back on the subject of Ben again?
FELICITY: I know…I know. It’s just…I mean it’s obvious this is just his attempt to…to…I don’t know…stick it to me.
ELI: If you say so.
FELICITY: Are you saying it isn’t? That he could actually like Megan?
ELI: I’m not saying anything. You are doing enough talking for the both of us.
FELICITY: It’s just that it’s…well disturbing.
ELI: I understand why this is disturbing to me. But why to you?
FELICITY: Well he’s obviously in some downward spiral.
ELI: And this bothers you?
FELICITY: Yes. Eli…he’s my friend. Or at least I think he is.
ELI GETS UP OFF THE BED AND GATHERS HIS BOOKS TOGETHER AND STARTS PUTTING THEM INTO HIS BACKPACK.
FELICITY: Where are you going?
FELCITY: What? Why?
ELI: I have to get to work.
FELICITY: Not for another two hours.
ELI: Yeah…I know.
ELI OPENS DOOR AND STARTS TO LEAVE. FELICITY PUSHES DOOR CLOSED.
FELICITY: What’s going on here Eli? One minute we’re making out on the bed and the next you're walking out the door.
ELI: That you even have to ask what is wrong is just proof of how wrong things between us really are.
FELICITY: I don’t understand?
ELI: Yes you do. The problem is that even knowing…you won’t change.
FELICITY: Is this about Ben?
ELI: This is about us. We are falling apart and you just keep refusing to see it.
FELICITY: Falling apart?
ELI: I can’t do this anymore Felicity. I’m breaking up with you.
ELI: It’s over. When this started I was looking for a relationship with you…not you and Ben.
FELICITY: And that’s what you have.
ELI: No it’s not. I’ve been here like twenty minutes just listening to you babble on about Ben and his evil mission to wound you.
FELICITY: All I said was…
ELI: (interrupting) Goodbye Felicity. (opens door and walks out)
MEGAN WALKS OUT OF CLOSET.
MEGAN: That was such…torture.
FELICITY: You were in there listening?
MEGAN: Changing…I just happen to overhear.
FELICITY: This is none of your business.
MEGAN: No problem. I care just about this much (shows a small tiny space) about you and your teenage angst.
MEGAN GRABS JACKET OFF BED AND STARTS TO EXIT.
FELICITY: Megan wait.
MEGAN: Look…if your preparing to make this my business…don’t.
FELICITY: It’s not that. I want to talk to you about Ben.
FELICITY: Ben…the guy whose apartment you were at this morning.
MEGAN: Oh…Ben. Sorry can’t help you I don’t really know him very well.
FELICITY: But you slept with him.
FELICITY: Didn’t you guys talk first?
MEGAN: Not much.
FELICITY: How did it happen?
MEGAN: My you are the nosy one.
FELICITY: Please Megan…I need to know.
MEGAN: I’m pretty sure this falls under that “it’s none of your business” category we were just discussing
FELICITY: Yeah…about that earlier comment…I’m sorry.
MEGAN: Yeah…okay…whatever. We met at the “Boombox.”
FELICITY: Did he know who you were?
MEGAN: Yeah…I think so. Look I’m outta here.
FELICITY: Wait…just one more question?
MEGAN: Make it quick.
FELICITY: Did he mention me at all?
FELICITY: Please Megan…yes or no?
MEGAN: What’s it worth to you?
FELICITY: You want money for information?
MEGAN: Something much more valuable.
FELICITY: What is it?
MEGAN: I will answer that question for a month’s supply of “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter”
FELICITY: Okay…fine…it’s yours. Yes or No did Ben mention me at all?
MEGAN: I think you and I both know why Ben and I knocked boots.
FELICITY: We do?
MEGAN: He knew I was your roommate. He nailed me just praying it would get back to you.
FELICITY: I knew it.
MEGAN: So I’ll expect the first weeks supply on my bed by midnight tomorrow.
MEGAN WALKS OUT OF ROOM SHE SHARES WITH FELICITY. CUT TO “LUCKY STRIKE” BEN AND NOEL ARE NOW BOTH PLASTERED.
BEN: Bartender…another Kamikaze for me and my friend. (hugs Noel)
NOEL: You’re the best man…thanks…I really mean it.
BARTENDER SETS SHOTS DOWN IN FRONT OF NOEL AND BEN.
BARTENDER: Last one guys. I’m cutting you off so you can go home and sleep it off.
NOEL: He’s a real party pooper. (picks up shot glass and attempts to clink it with Ben’s) Cheers.
BEN AND NOEL BOTH DOWN THEIR SHOTS. THEN ATTEMPT TO GET UP OFF THE BAR STOOL. NOEL FALLS TO THE GROUND. BEN STARTS LAUGHING HYSTERICALLY.
NOEL: Help me up man…(Ben reaches over and helps pull Noel to a standing position) Thanks.
BEN: Well I guess this is where we say aloha.
NOEL: I have a bottle of tequila in my room.
BEN: Lead the way…lead the way. Did I say that already?
CUT TO ELI KNOCKING ON FELICITY’S DOOR. FELICITY ANSWERS.
FELICITY: (surprised) Eli?
ELI: Yeah…it’s me. I came by to apologize for today. I was being a real jerk.
FELICITY: Yeah…you were.
ELI: It’s just whenever I hear you talk about Ben…I see green.
FELICITY: I know.
ELI: I’m sorry.
FELICITY: You don’t have to be. I’m not mad at you.
ELI: I didn’t think you were. I meant that I was sorry things didn’t work out for us.
FELICITY: You mean you’re not here to get back together?
ELI: No. I meant what I said earlier about not being able to do it anymore. I was just sorry for the way I handled it.
FELICITY: I think you're overreacting.
ELI: I wish that was true. But Felicity wether you decide to seek out Ben or not…you need to be free to get over him.
FELICITY: But I am over him.
ELI: I know you think you are. But look at the facts Felicity. You were devastated when you found out he slept with Megan.
FELICITY: Because he did it just to hurt me.
ELI: Well then I guess you could say it was a job well done.
FELICITY: So then this is it? It’s just over.
ELI: I still care about you. I don’t want to not be friends anymore.
ELI: Okay…maybe not at first…but eventually.
FELICITY: Please…there has to be something I can do or say.
ELI: Look me in the eye and tell me you are 100% over Ben.
FELICITY LOOKS INTO ELI’S EYES AND STARTS TO SAY THE WORDS HE WANT’S TO HEAR.
FELICITY: I’m over…I’m…sorry.
BUT CAN’T. FELICITY BURIES HER FACE IN HER HANDS AND STARTS TO WEEP AS ELI SILENTLY EXITS.
NEXT DOOR IN HIS ROOM NOEL IS SEARCHING FOR HIS BOTTLE OF TEQUILA WHILE BEN PRESSES HIS EAR UP AGAINST THE WALL TO FELICITY’S ROOM.
NOEL: (throwing things aside) I know it’s here somewhere. (looks up and sees Ben listening at the wall) What are you doing?
BEN: Just listening.
NOEL: Can you hear anything?
BEN: Not a thing.
BEN COMES OVER AND SITS DOWN IN THE EASY CHAIR BY THE BED.
NOEL FINDS BOTTLE OF TEQUILA.
NOEL: Aha! I knew I still had it.
NOEL TAKES TWO SHOT GLASSES OFF OF HIS SHOT GLASS DISPLAY AND POURS ONE FOR HIM AND ONE FOR BEN.
NOEL: I use to listen you know.
BEN: You did?
NOEL: Yeah. She likes to sing really loud sometimes. And when she’s aerobicizing she shouts with the guy on the tape.
BOTH NOEL AND BEN BUST OUT LAUGHING AT THIS ONE.
BEN: What else did you hear?
NOEL: I use to hear her crying after we first broke up.
BEN: You did?
NOEL: Yeah. I used to think it was because of me but then I realized it was because of you.
NOEL: Yeah…you were with Lyssa and it was breaking her heart.
BEN: You must have hated me.
NOEL: Yep…with a passion.
BEN: Do you still want to be with her?
NOEL: Sometimes…just because of the male pride thing though. I’m kind of crushing on someone else right now.
NOEL: Yeah…it was kind of unexpected.
NOEL: Promise not to tell?
BEN: (downs shot of Tequila) Your secret is safe with me.
NOEL: It’s Elena.
BEN: (completely surprised) Elena?
NOEL: Yeah….bizarre I know.
BEN: No…no…it’s cool. Does she return the feelings?
BEN: Maybe? Dude it’s either a yes or a no…no in between.
NOEL: What about you?
NOEL: Do you still have feelings for Felicity?
BEN: Are you still sworn to secrecy?
NOEL: My lips are zipped.
BEN: Unfortunately…yes. But I’m doing every thing I can to change it.
NOEL: Did you hear that?
NOEL WALKS OVER TO THE WALL AND PUTS HIS EAR UP AGAINST IT. BEN JOINS HIM.
BEN: She’s crying?
NOEL: Sounds pretty bad.
BEN: You should go and talk to her.
NOEL: Yeah…better yet…you should.
BEN: Me? No…that’s a bad idea.
NOEL: It’s just a talk Ben…completely…harmless.
BEN: Famous last words.
CUT TO FELICITY’S ROOM. FELICITY IS CRYING AS SHE TURNS ON HER TAPE RECORDER AND STARTS RECORDING.
FELICITY: (Recording to Sally) Dear Sally…I normally wait until I’m in a settled state before I start your tape. But knowing how talking to you makes me feel I decided not to wait this time. So this is full emotion, no holding back. Eli broke up with me tonight. I was completely unprepared for it. I knew we had problems but I honestly thought we’d work them out. I sacrificed so much to be with him and one bump in the road and he gives up without a whimper. I know what you’re thinking…give it time. Or maybe not…maybe your wondering why he broke up with me…or maybe you know. Just in case I’ll settle your suspense. He thinks I’m still pining for Ben. I think…he may be right.
BEN IS KNOCKING ON FELICITY’S DOOR. FELCITY TURNS OFF TAPE RECORDER, WIPES HER EYES AND ANSWERS THE DOOR. BEN IS STANDING THERE.
FELICITY: (shocked) Ben?
CUT TO EXT. DOOR OF NOEL’S ROOM. ELENA IS STANDING OUTSIDE HOLDING A BOUQUET OF FLOWERS. RELUCTANTLY SHE LEAVES THEM ON THE FLOOR IN FRONT OF HIS DOOR AND TURNS TO LEAVE. NOEL OPENS DOOR TO EXIT AND RUNS RIGHT INTO HER STEPPING ON THE BOUQUET OF FLOWERS.
ELENA: It’s okay.
NOEL: What are you doing here?
ELENA: Have you been drinking?
NOEL: A little.
ELENA: You smell like a brewery.
NOEL: It’s just a few little drinks…no reason to freak.
ELENA: I should probably go.
NOEL: No…wait. (still standing on flowers) Did you get my flowers?
ELENA: Um…yes. I can’t accept them. But thank you.
NOEL: (confused) Can’t accept them?
ELENA: (points to flowers he is standing in) I’m returning them.
NOEL BENDS OVER AND PICKS UP THE FLOWERS.
NOEL: These were for you.
ELENA: I know…it’s just…
PHONE RINGS INTERRUPTING ELENA.
NOEL: I have to get that…please don’t go.
NOEL WALKS IN AND PICKS UP PHONE AND SITS DOWN ON BED.
NOEL: Hello? What?…Are you sure? Mom…calm down…let’s not make any assumptions…I’ll call him myself. What?…oh…okay…just stop crying…I’ll call you when I know for sure….I love you too. Bye mom.
ELENA HAS STEPPED INTO THE ROOM AS THE CONVERSATION PROGRESSED.
ELENA: Is everything okay?
NOEL: (Visibly upset) It’s my brother…he got the results of his HIV test today.
ELENA: Is he all right?
NOEL: He’s suppose to be calling me when he gets off the phone with his fiancé.
ELENA WALKS OVER AND SITS DOWN NEXT TO NOEL.
ELENA: It’s going to be all right.
NOEL: How? How is this going to be all right…what if he is dying?
ELENA: I don’t know. Lets just deal with what we know right now…okay?
NOEL: Thanks Elena…I’m glad you’re here.
ELENA: There’s no place else I’d rather be.
INTERCUT BETWEEN FELICITY AND NOEL’S ROOM. BEN IS TALKING TO FELICITY IN HER ROOM. IN NOEL’S ROOM THE PHONE IS RINGING. NOEL REACHES OVER AND PICKS IT UP.
NOEL: Hello…Mike…hi…yeah mom called… so what did they say…are they sure?
SALLY: ( Recording to Felicity) Dear Felicity…life throws many curveballs. Eli just wasn’t ready to handle the pressure that comes with liking someone who has other ties and commitments. I’m glad that you realize that the possibility exists that maybe…just maybe…Ben is still an important person to you. Ben has undergone some transformations though so tread lightly. It’s hard enough to love someone the first time around harder still to fall the second time. We remember the hurt. We remember the pain. It’s harder to remember the love.