Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson
Percy finishes apply bandages from the First Aid kit in the Titan lab to Nick, as Nick sits on the island counter of the lab, he winces slightly as his tender wounds are touched.
PERCY: There you are, that should cover it.
NICK: Ugh, thanks, Percy.
Nick looks over his wounds before jumping down off the counter, walking over toward his laptop, as Percy puts the contents of the First-Aid kit back together.
PERCY: You know, you gave me quite a scare, Nicholas.
NICK: Yeah, I...I dunno, Percy. These headaches I've been getting--
Percy turns around, surprised to hear about headaches.
PERCY: Headaches? Nicholas, you've been...rather hazy for weeks...are these headaches connected?
Nick looks down at the table, closing his laptop and putting it into his case, he speaks nonchalantly to Percy.
NICK: (sigh) Yeah. Just didn't want to alarm you...or anyone else. People seeing me in pain is seen as a showing of weakness in the business world. Always best to struggle through your pain.
PERCY: You're far beyond struggling through, Nicholas. You're in great pain, Nicholas. I mean, you've been moody and irritable for weeks. And now I find you...sprawled out on the floor of the lab. Is someone trying to harm you, Nicholas or...is something else going on?
Nick keeps looking down, a serious look on his face as he packs the last of his things away.
JJ sits in the Horton living room, alone, contemplating the cheque that Liam's given him, when Laura opens the front door and steps in.
JJ turns around, and, upon seeing his grandmother, gets up from the sofa. Laura beams as she walks toward her grandson, giving him a warm hug.
LAURA: JJ, darling. How are you?
JJ: I'm good. I'm good. Uh...how are you?
Pulling out of their hug, Laura smiles warmly at her grandson.
LAURA: I'm alright, sweetheart. A bit tired, though, I'm going to head up to bed if you--
As Laura turns to head up the stairs to her room, JJ stops her, a serious tone in his voice that catches Laura's attention.
JJ: Ah, Grandma! Please. I need to talk to you about something, it's really important.
Laura looks at JJ, concerned by JJ's tone and troubled expression. She nods slowly before redirecting toward the Horton living room.
LAURA: Okay...so...what seems to be the trouble, JJ?
JJ stops before Laura. He sighs as he looks down at Liam's cheque, before unfolding it, and presenting it to her. Laura hesitates before taking the cheque, studying it intensely before breathing in deeply. A look of grave concern on her face as she slowly begins to look up toward JJ.
Noelle sits with Nicole at Club TBD, now rather sloshed, as they continue to laugh and drink. As they continue to laugh at a joke, the door to the bar opens, and Alex steps in. Noelle takes notice of her husband's presence and straightens herself up, donning a serious expression that makes Nicole take notice.
Nicole turns around to face Alex, unsure who it is approaching.
NICOLE: Well, who is this handsome devil?
Alex, smelling the martini on Nicole's breath, makes sure not to get to close, instead rests casually on the bar next to her, trying to maintain a sense of humour despite being rather unimpressed by his wife's public drunkedness.
ALEX: Ohh nobody, just the tired husband here to collect his wife.
Noelle leans against the bar, sloppily pointing a finger Alex's way.
NOELLE: You got my text. But I am not some meat piece you pick up. I am a woman.
NICOLE: That she is. A woman who's clearly been drank under the table by an experienced professional.
Nicole takes on a mocking haughty tone as she sips the last of her martini. Noelle shakes her head at Nicole, her eyes squinted partly in irritation, partly in exhaustion.
NOELLE: I don't have to take this. But I do have to take this ride because taxis are eps...expensive.
As Noelle stumbles to get out of her seat, she nearly tumbles, but Alex manages to break her fall.
ALEX: I think you're right.
Noelle, still not paying enough attention to try to regain her balance, objects loudly.
NOELLE: Hey! Don't take her side on this!
ALEX: I'm not, honey. I promise. Look, we need to go. I hope you two had a good evening.
Alex pulls Noelle back upright, and she struggles to keep balance as she holds onto Alex's arm for dear life, attempting to no avail to maintain a sense of dignity on her way out. Nicole waves goodnight to them, quite amused.
NICOLE: Oh, absolutely, had a blast, get home safe, you two!
NOELLE: Goodnight, Nikki!
Noelle turns back to talk to Alex as they head out of the bar.
NOELLE: You know, that Nicole is so much nicer when you're not near a man, it's like day and night...
As Noelle and Alex head out the door, Nicole sighs, shaking her head with amusement. T walks over and points toward Nicole.
T: You wanna settle up?
NICOLE: Are you kidding? The other fake blonde's the lightweight here. Hit me up!
T laughs as he steps away to make Nicole another martini. In curiosity, Nicole checks her phone. Seeing Nick's name in her contacts, she looks down and sighs.
After a moment, she shakes her head, and says something to herself.
NICOLE: You know what, Nick? You're not controlling me anymore.
Nicole hits a button on her phone, blocking calls from him Nick's number. She looks up with a sense of satisfaction.
NICOLE: Because tomorrow morning, I will be Mrs. Eric Brady, and even if Eric sees those files, I'm gonna know he chose me. You can't hurt us anymore, kiddo.
As she turns back to the bar, putting her phone down on it, T presents her new martini, which Nicole takes a congratulatory sip of.
Alex drives through the night with a stern expression on his face. Next to him, a decidedly uncomfortable Noelle sits, uneasy with the tense silence between them. She finally breaks the silence, trying to maintain her composure despite her obvious intoxication.
NOELLE: How was your eveni--
ALEX: It was good.
Noelle senses the terse tone in her husband's voice, and immediately knows something is indeed very wrong between them.
NOELLE: Look, Alex, I don't wanna fight abo--
ALEX: Then don't, okay, Noelle? I'm really not in the mood right now.
Noelle sighs, before folding her arms and slouching down in her seat. As the pair hit a red light, Noelle looks back over at her husband and tries talking again.
NOELLE: I had a really good talk with Nicole tonight. That was...Eric's...fiancé...back at TBD...
Alex's stone silence as he presses down heavily on the gas from the stoplight makes Noelle lean back slightly in her seat, only adding to her discomfort as she looks out at the road ahead.
NOELLE: She helped me relax a bit...and I'm sorry about earlier at the hospital...
Alex still doesn't react. Noelle persists, trying to provoke some kind of response from Alex.
NOELLE: Alex? Did you hear me? I said I was sorry about earli--
Alex finally reacts, still keeping his eyes on the road as he snaps back at Noelle.
ALEX: I heard you.
Alex finally looks over momentarily at Noelle. Catching her eyes, his eyes snap back to hers, causing him to relent a little.
ALEX: Look, I just....Noelle, I heard you but...
Noelle leans back in her seat, trying to retain her composure, gurgling out a response.
NOELLE: But what?
ALEX: But I don't know if I believe you or not. You....you had such anger toward Victor, it just...I don't kn...I...Noelle?
Noelle puts her hand over Alex's, as she begins to sweat.
NOELLE: Alex pull over.
Alex looks over, confused.
Noelle begins to look panicked, as she raises her voice to Alex.
NOELLE: Pull over.
ALEX: Noelle, I'm not gonna let you walk home from here, it's still about three miles from the ho--
NOELLE: Now! Please!
Noelle puts her hand over her mouth, sweating more and more profusely as Alex realizes what's wrong. His expression changes and he immediately checks behind him before pulling over by a park. Noelle immediately gets out and runs from the car, sick from the excess martini.
Alex sits in the car, rolling his eyes momentarily before stepping out of the car to check on his wife and hold her hair back like a dutiful husband.
Jennifer and Liam sit at a table at Chez Rouge, as the waiter pours them glasses of white wine. As the waiter, walks away, Jennifer looks up and smiles.
JENNIFER: Thank you.
Jennifer looks over to Liam, raising her glass to toast him.
JENNIFER: Well, I would like to make a toast to you, tonight.
LIAM: To me?
JENNIFER: Yes! To you!
Liam and Jennifer laugh as Liam also raises his glass.
LIAM: What for?
JENNIFER: For reaching out to my son. For trying to build bridges even though you've had problems in the past. It means a lot to me, and I know that, despite his reservations, JJ appreciates it too.
Liam smiles as he moves his glass toward Jenn's and they toast.
After taking a sip from their glasses, Liam sets his glass down and smiles at Jenn.
LIAM: I just hope that I can keep making you happy, and you know what? I'm gonna make sure JJ comes around, even if it kills me.
Jennifer laughs as she leans across the table to peck Liam on the lips.
Laura stands in the living room of the Horton house with JJ. She turns suddenly to face JJ, horrified by Liam's latest 'gesture'.
LAURA: JJ, you cannot accept this money.
JJ: I know. I don't want to but--
LAURA: No buts. JJ, this is dirty money.
JJ looks at Laura, puzzled.
JJ: Grandma, Liam offered me this to go to Stanford. He said this would cover my tuition and my living expenses for awhile, and--
Laura holds up her hands, stopping JJ midsentence.
LAURA: JJ, Liam works for Stefano, he's been supplying people with pharmaceuticals on the sly, this is dangerous to get involved with him. Besides that, isn't it obvious he's trying to buy you off and get you out of town so he can manipulate your mother further?
JJ looks down, sighing. He nods solemnly.
JJ: Yeah, it looked that way to me too.
Laura walks closer to JJ and cups his hands in hers. She stares deeply into her grandson's eyes as she instructs him.
LAURA: That's why you cannot accept this money. Your mother needs you. Your sister needs you. I need you. We've got to stay together to protect this family.
JJ looks down, soaking in what his grandmother's telling him.
LAURA: Please, JJ.
JJ: Look, Grandma, I understand what you're saying. And I agree, my family needs me...but what if there's another way? What if this money is our ticket to stopping this guy from destroying this family?
Laura looks at JJ, unsure what he has in his mind.
Nick zips up his bag and nods, turning toward Percy to respond to him.
NICK: Listen, Percy. I don't know what's going to happen from here on out. All I know is, I have a target on my back. And so will you.
Percy looks at Nick, confused.
PERCY: Nicholas, I don't understand--
NICK: Listen, Percy. Tonight I stopped Sheryl and Jordan from planting that virus in the Titan server.
Percy looks stunned at Nick, shocked that he would back away from their plan.
PERCY: Wha--why? I mean, that was our plan all along was to allow them access to Titan's computer system to stop this blasted deal--
NICK: I know...I know, that was what we planned, but...
PERCY: But Nich--
NICK: Percy, just...just hear me out.
Nick looks at Percy, emphatically explaining his change of plan, as Percy looks back, incredulous.
NICK: See...Sheryl was setting me up to take the fall for the virus...and if we were going to see this thing through...I can't let that happen. I can't go back to prison. Ever. So, I decided the best way to stop the oil sands project, is to control it from the inside.
Percy's eyes grow wide, as he realizes the change in Nick emerging.
PERCY: Good lord, Nicholas. You're not saying...
Nick smiles, as he interrupts Percy. A devilish smile on his face.
NICK: Yes, Percy. We're not gonna take down Titan. We're gonna take OVER Titan.