Where Do We Go From Here?
Written by: Juana
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters in my story, they belong to the brilliant writers and creators of the hit WB show.
Story summary: Felicity and Ben are both trying desperately to move on with their lives. Neither one being very successful… both having a hard time of letting go.
INT: LUCKY LADY: NIGHT
BEN IS ON THE PAYPHONE IN THE CLUB LISTENING TO THE RINGING OF THE PHONE. TIFFANY WALKS UP BEHIND HIM.
TIFFANY: Bliss needs to see you.
BEN: (covering phone) I’ll be right there.
TIFFANY WALKS AWAY.
ON THE OTHER END OF THE PHONE A MACHINE PICKS UP.
BEN: Christ… Um… Felicity this is Ben. I’m pretty sure that this… like the thousand other messages I’ve left is going to remain unanswered… but it’s been like three weeks now and… well I’d really like to at least hear something from you… anything… even just a *screw you Ben* would work at this point. Okay… so call me… please.
INT: FELICITY’S ROOM-NIGHT
FELICITY IS SITTING IN HER ROOM WITH NOEL… LISTENING TO THE MESSAGE.
NOEL: Maybe you should call him.
NOEL: He sounds pretty upset.
FELICITY: My guess would be that he’s not upset… just a little guilty feeling.
NOEL: All I’m saying is if Elena wanted to talk to me…
FELICITY: I know… you would dash to pick up the phone. But this is hard enough on me without having to actually talk to him. Just hearing his voice on the machine makes me ache inside… if I had to actually see him or have a conversation with him… it would just make things worse… believe me.
NOEL: Fine… okay… yeah it’s your decision… I was just trying to be a friend… that’s all.
FELICITY: And you have been Noel… you’ve been a great friend. I honestly don’t think I could have made it through these last three weeks without your support.
NOEL: That goes double for me. You’ve been a great comfort.
INT: LUCKY LADY-NIGHT
BEN WALKS INTO BLISS’S OFFICE.
BEN: You wanted to see me?
BLISS: (looking up from paperwork) Yeah… have a seat.
BEN: What’s up?
BLISS: It’s just that we haven’t had much of an opportunity to talk since you started back here… I was hoping it isn’t because you feel awkward around me.
BEN: No… I mean… I guess it’s a little weird, but honestly I’m okay with everything.
BLISS: Good. I would really like to see us get back to friends again. Do you think that’s possible?
BEN: Uh… sure. I’d really like that.
BLISS: Some of the girls are going to a late night swim party at Kiki and Lynn’s… you should come.
BEN: Yeah… um… Lynn already invited me… but I think I’m just gonna head home after work.
BLISS: Okay, but the invitation remains open if you change your mind.
AS BEN WALKS OUT OF THE OFFICE HE RUNS INTO TIFFANY.
TIFFANY: It’s okay. Everything okay with you two?
BEN: Yeah… it’s fine.
TIFFANY: That’s good news.
BEN: Yeah I guess.
TIFFANY: So is everything else okay with you?
BEN: As okay as it can be I guess… considering.
TIFFANY: Considering what?
BEN: Look… I know you don’t want to hear this… so I appreciate the gesture of friendship… but I’m okay… really.
TIFFANY: Ben… you and I have been friends for a really… really long time. If you need to talk… I’ll listen. No comments… just a friendly ear.
BEN: I was just about to clock out… are you hungry?
BEN: Okay then… my treat.
INT: FELICITY’S ROOM-NIGHT
NOEL HAS LEFT FOR THE NIGHT AND FELICITY IS SITTING IN HER PAJAMAS ON TOP OF HER BED. SHE IS GETTING READY TO RECORD A TAPE TO SALLY.
FELICITY: (VO) Dear Sally… it’s been a little over three weeks since Ben and I split… and thankfully it is getting easier with time… no thanks to Ben though. I swear he is around every corner… and he has overloaded my machine with messages. I don’t understand why if he was the one who wanted to let go… well he just isn’t. I feel horrible avoiding him and ignoring his messages… but honestly… what’s changed? I know if I did talk to him it would just open up the wound and add salt to it. Or am I being callous? Maybe Noel’s right… maybe I’m avoiding Ben a little too hard. Sally I’m so confused… so bitter and hurt… and utterly confused. What if Ben did want me back… then what? Am I really prepared to submit myself to that uncertainty again?
INT: TIFFANY’S APARTMENT: NIGHT
BEN IS SAYING GOODNIGHT TO TIFFANY AT HER FRONT DOOR.
BEN: Thanks for tonight Tiff… it was good to have someone to talk to.
TIFFANY: You’re welcome.
BEN LEANS IN AND GIVES TIFFANY A HUG
TIFFANY: Did you want to come in?
BEN STEPS BACK… LOOKING AT TIFFANY.
BEN: I don’t think that’s such a good idea. But thanks.
TIFFANY: I’m not going to jump you if that’s what you’re afraid of .
BEN: (laughing) Maybe I’m more afraid I’ll jump you… did you ever think of that?
TIFFANY: More like dreamt of that. Come on Ben… just come inside for a little bit and keep me company. I’m way too wound up to sleep.
BEN: All right. But just for a little bit… it’s getting kind of late and I have class tomorrow.
IT IS ABOUT SEVEN O’CLOCK IN THE MORINGING AND NOEL AND SEAN ARE SITTING AT THE TABLE EATING BREAKFAST. THE FRONT DOOR OPENS AND BEN COMES WALKING IN.
SEAN: Well look what the cat dragged in.
BEN: Yeah… morning to you too Sean.
SEAN: Rough night?
BEN: No comment.
BEN WALKS INTO HIS ROOM SHUTTING THE DOOR.
NOEL: What do you think that was all about?
SEAN: My guess? Our boy spent the night with a woman.
NOEL: A woman? Who?
SEAN: Don’t know. Don’t think it really matters at this point… just someone to help him forget her.
NOEL: Her… meaning Felicity?
SEAN: Yeah… of course Felicity… who else?
NOEL: So you think he’s still… not over here.
SEAN: Not by a long shot.
NOEL:Then...why did he break up with her?
SEAN: Moment of insanity I suppose… I don’t really know. Ben is a complex individual at times.
SEAN GETS UP AND PUTS HIS DISH IN THE SINK AND THEN WALKS INTO HIS ROOM. NOEL CLEARS HIS DISHES ALSO AND THEN STARTS TO GET HIS THINGS TOGETHER TO LEAVE, BUT CHANGES HIS MIND AND GOES TO BEN’S ROOM AND KNOCKS ON THE DOOR.
BEN: (OC) Yeah?
NOEL: Ben… it’s Noel. Do you have a minute?
BEN: Doors open.
NOEL WALKS INTO BEN’S ROOM TO FIND HIM LAYING DOWN ON THE BED WITH HIS HEAD COVERED BY HIS PILLOW.
NOEL: I was wondering if you needed to… or even if you wanted to talk?
BEN PULLS THE PILLOW OFF HIS HEAD AND SITS UP ON THE BED.
BEN: You serious?
NOEL CLOSES THE BEDROOM DOOR.
NOEL: Yeah. You seem to have a lot on your mind.
BEN: Yeah… I do.
NOEL: I know we're not exactly best buds or anything… but well if you want to talk… like I said… I’m here.
BEN: How’s Felicity?
NOEL: Felicity… she’s good… well as good as can be expected anyway.
BEN: Does she ever ask about me?
NOEL: Um… lately…no.
NOEL: I’m sorry. I know that’s probably not what you wanted to hear.
BEN: It’s okay. It think I kind of already suspected as much. I’ve tried to get in contact with her for weeks now… she’s avoiding me.
NOEL: I thought that this was what you wanted.
BEN: For her to avoid me?
NOEL: No… to be alone.
BEN: It’s complicated. I thought I knew what I was doing… but in reality… I’ve screwed things up so bad… I’ve just made things… my life for one… a disaster.
NOEL: So you miss her then?
BEN: You’re not gonna tell her about this conversation are you?
NOEL: No this is just between you and me.
BEN: Good. And yes… I do miss her… more than I ever thought possible. It’s hard when someone is there every day of your life and then they just aren’t anymore.
NOEL: And that’s why you miss her… because you got used to her being there?
BEN: No… it’s more than that. It’s her… everything about her. The way she made every day seem just a little better just by being with her. The way she never let me get away with anything… she was never afraid to challenge me.
NOEL: Yeah… she’s pretty great.
AS NOEL SAYS THIS BEN LOOKS AT HIM WITH A GROWING SUSPICION.
BEN: Yeah… she is. Noel… is something going on with you and Felicity?
NOEL: (adamant) What? No… we’re just friends. Just good friends.
NOEL: (getting uncomfortable) I should probably get to class now.
NOEL GETS UP OFF THE BED AND HEADS OUT OF BEN’S BEDROOM WITHOUT GLANCING BACK. LEAVING BEN VERY UNEASY.
BEN WALKS OUT OF THE BEDROOM AND GETS A DRINK OUT OF THE REFRIGERATOR. SEAN COMES BACK INTO THE LIVINGROOM.
SEAN: Someone called for you last night… but she didn’t leave her name.
BEN: She? Was it Felicity?
SEAN: No… sorry. I didn’t recognize the voice.
BEN: Well then it could have been her.
SEAN: Pretty sure it wasn’t.
BEN: Maybe I should just call and check.
SEAN: Yeah… maybe subjecting yourself to just a little bit more rejection and humiliation is just what you need… It wasn’t her Ben… trust me. So where were you last night?
SEAN: Yeah I know out… out with who?
BEN: Does it really matter?
SEAN: Was she pretty?
BEN: Let it go Sean.
SEAN: I could give you the same advice.
BEN: What’s that suppose to mean?
SEAN: It means she’s moving on and you should too. Call the girl you spent the night with and make plans to see her again. Move forward.
BEN: It wasn’t like that.
SEAN: Did you sleep with her?
BEN: Jesus Sean… this is really none of your business.
SEAN: Well… did you?
FLASHBACK TO PAST NIGHT:
BEN AND TIFFANY ARE IN HER BEDROOM… IN BED. THEY ARE EMBROILED IN THE HEAT OF PASSION AND JUST ABOUT TO HAVE SEX WHEN TIFFANY SPEAKS UP.
TIFFANY: Wait… hold on. I want to do this… really I do. But I’m not taking anything.
BEN: What? You mean… like the pill?
TIFFANY: Yes. I’ve been leading kind of a celibate life so I’ve been pretty lax about taking it… I never thought this was going to happen. I’m sorry.
BEN: It’s okay… I think I have something.
BEN GETS UP OUT OF BED WRAPPING A SHEET AROUND HIM AND GOES OVER TO HIS PANTS EXTRACTING HIS WALLET. HE OPENS IT UP TO PULL OUT A PACKAGED CONDOM AND IS STOPPED COLD BY THE FIRST PICTURE IN HIS WALLET. IT IS A PICTURE OF FELICITY AND HIM. HE PUTS THE CONDOM BACK IN THE WALLET… CLOSES IT AND TURNS BACK TO TIFFANY.
BEN: (CONT) You know what… maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.
TIFFANY: Why? What’s wrong?
BEN: I just think maybe this isn’t the right thing… for either one of us.
TIFFANY GETS UP OUT OF BED AND PUTS HER ROBE ON.
TIFFANY: Ben… what’s wrong?
BEN SITS DOWN ON THE BED STILL HOLDING HIS WALLET. TIFFANY GINGERLY TAKES IT FROM HIM AND OPENS IT. AS SHE SEES THE PICTURE OF HIM AND FELICITY UNDERSTANDING DAWNS.
TIFFANY: This is about Felicity?
BEN: Yes… I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have let this progress the way I did. It was just that I felt… I don’t know… alone.
TIFFANY: It’s okay Ben… really. We both are… and alone is a really un-fun place to be.
BEN: But you deserve better than that. You deserve someone who loves you.
TIFFANY: You’re right… I do. But until he comes along… I don’t really see any harm in seeking comfort and companionship with a friend.
BEN: What are you saying?
TIFFANY: Just that I don’t want to be alone anymore and I don’t think you do either. Ben this doesn’t need to have any strings attached to it. It’s not like we haven’t been together before. We need each other right now and I don’t think that makes either one of us a bad person.
BEN: But I love Felicity.
TIFFANY: I know that… but for whatever reason… you’ve decided not to be with her right now… so be with me.
BEN: Are you sure?
TIFFANY PULLS THE CONDOM OUT OF HIS WALLET AND THROWS THE WALLET DOWN ON THE GROUND. SHE REACHES OVER AND PULLS BEN TO HER AND THEY LAY BACK DOWN ON THE BED.
FLASHFORWARD: LOFT –PRESENT DAY
BEN: It doesn’t matter.
SEAN: So you did. Good going… just keep following that path and you’ll be over Felicity in no time.
SEAN WALKS OUT OF THE ROOM AND BEN SITS DOWN ON THE COUCH PUTTING HIS HEAD IN HIS HANDS. THE PHONE RINGS AND HE REACHES OVER TO PICK IT UP.
FELICITY: Hi… it’s Felicity.
BEN: Felicity? Hi.
FELICITY: Is this a bad time?
BEN: No… no.
FELICITY: I just wanted to let you know that I got your messages… to let you know that I’m okay… and that I’m sorry it’s taken so long to call you back.
BEN: It’s okay. It’s just good to hear your voice.
AN AWKWARD SILENCE FOLLOWS WHERE BOTH DON’T SEEM TO KNOW WHAT TO SAY…
FELICITY: Well I should probably go… I just wanted to return your calls.
BEN: Okay… thanks.
FELICITY: Okay… bye.
BEN: Felicity wait… Will you call me again?
FELICITY: (pausing) Probably not.
BEN: Yeah… I guess I understand.
FELICITY: Goodbye Ben.
BEN: Take care.
FELICITY HANGS UP ON HER END AND BEN IS STILL HOLDING ON TO THE PHONE.
BEN: (to dial tone) I love you.
BEN HANGS UP THE PHONE AND GOES INTO HIS ROOM… SHUTTING THE DOOR.
FELICITY: (VO) Dear Sally… So I finally took yours and Noel’s advice and called Ben today. It was awkward to say the least… but I did it. And yes it hurt like hell. I don’t know if this means I’m moving on or not… but at least I’m no longer standing still letting life walk over me… I’ve accepted that whatever life brings me from here… I will deal with it and not avoid it. I’m taking charge of my life… and my destiny from now on.