Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks & C. Nathaniel Richardson
John stands before the crowd, with Victor beside him, the crowd still milling about, conversing warmly and sharing memories of Brady. John turns to Victor and quietly asks him a question.
JOHN: Now...you're sure you don't want to speak?
VICTOR: Positive. As far as I'm concerned, this whole thing is a farce. I'll be mourning my grandson only if they find me proof that he's really dead. As the kids say, I wanna see the reciepts.
John shrugs, nodding his head in understanding.
JOHN: Alright. But I gotta tell ya, Vic. You're gonna regret not speaking today. And you know it.
VICTOR: I'll take my chances.
As John and Victor finish their conversation, Hope and Aiden explode into the square. Still bickering, they cause a scene in the square as they storm in, Hope storming in first, trying to ignore Aiden as he follows her, shouting at her.
AIDEN: ...And I swear, I've never see a cop be such a rotten driver in my entire life!
Hope stops and turns around, pointing at Aiden.
HOPE: And you need to learn what a turn signal does.
AIDEN: Oh, THAT again? Come on! Hope, you're being ridiculous.
HOPE: Oh, I'm being ridiculous? Right, I'm not the one who's trying to weasel his way out of a ticket by trying to cozy up to the officer issuing the ticket.
Aiden snaps in a voice loud enough to be heard in the next county.
AIDEN: YOU OFFERED ME A RIDE!
Aiden's outburst is greeted by stone silence from everyone in the square. Aiden and Hope immediately feel sheepish for having rendered the crowd silent, and Hope immediately sits down in the nearest seat.
Victor pats John gently on the back as John turns to the crowd before the collection of chairs assembled by Tom & Alice Horton's tree.
JOHN: If I can have everybody's attention, please. Please, everyone, have a seat.
The crowd hushes as everyone begins to filter into the seats. Hope looks daggers at Aiden as he sits down in front of her, an equally sheepish look on his face. She mutters angrily to him.
HOPE: I hope you're satisfied.
As she says this, Caroline shuffles in to sit beside Hope on one side, with Maggie down beside her. Daniel, naturally, by her side. Caroline speaks softly to Hope, as she puts a hand on her shoulder.
CAROLINE: I'm glad you could make it.
HOPE: Thanks. It's good to see you too.
DANIEL: I gotta admit, that was quite an entrance.
Hope blushes, making an embarrassed face as she replies to Daniel.
HOPE: Yeah, I...guess I should just stick with saying 'hello' and hugs, right?
MAGGIE: I was just surprised it took you this long.
HOPE: Well...I got kinda...tied up.
Hope looks Aiden's way as she speaks, with Maggie, Caroline, and Daniel's eyes following Hope's, before looking at each other, knowingly.
EJ files away papers in his office at DiMera Enterprises when his text tone goes off. Stopping what he's doing, he steps over to his desk and checks his phone. He sees Sami's text and immediately jumps into action.
He sits down at his desk, opening his laptop and immediately typing in www.salemspectator.com.
The main headline pops up, as do EJ's eyes.
TITAN TV TO BE SOLD TO PRIVATE INVESTOR
EJ stops a minute, soaking in the information.
EJ thinks quickly, grabbing his phone and makes a call.
EJ: Yes, I need to get ahold of Chad DiMera. Tell him it's urgent, his brother needs him.
Liam walks up behind Jennifer in the park just off to the side of Town Square, placing her hands on her shoulders firmly, but tenderly, as Jenn converses with her son, JJ. JJ scrambles to cover himself after having begun revealing what he overheard Liam say earlier in the same park.
JJ: Sorry, I didn't mean any harm, I just...
LIAM: Nonsense! You have every right to be concerned. Your sister just flew off halfway around the world. You're concerned! Thing is, I am too.
JJ nods, looking down at the ground, hoping not to make matters worse.
JJ: I'm sure. And...and I appreciate that!
Jenn smiles at JJ, while putting one hand on top of Liam's.
JENNIFER: See? It was just a misunderstanding. Honey, Liam cares about both of you. I trust him. and I know you'll learn to trust him too.
LIAM: Your mom's right, JJ. I'm really concerned for both of you. You're great kids, and I just want to make sure Abigail's safe. So I put in a call to someone I know from the hospital who knows Sami and EJ, and they'll try to keep tabs on her while she's in Italy.
Jenn smiles at Liam, turning around to face him, lovingly. She wraps her arms around Liam's neck.
JENNIFER: That's wonderful. Ohhh wow. Thank you! I mean, you didn't have to do that at all and yet...
LIAM: Anything for you guys.
Jenn smiles before turning back towards JJ.
JENNIFER: We really do appreciate it. Don't we?
JJ nods, still deep in thought and still trying not to rock the boat.
JJ: Yeah. Thanks, man.
LIAM: Anytime. Now, shall we get back? I thought I heard someone announce that the ceremony was getting underway.
JJ: Great, I'll uh...be right there in a sec.
JENNIFER: Alright. I love you, sweetie!
JJ: Love you too, Mom.
Jenn hugs JJ quickly before taking off, arm in arm, with Liam. As Liam turns the corner towards the square, he shoots JJ a very tellingly menacing look. JJ looks up in time to catch Liam's look, striking terror in his heart, but JJ tries to maintain a cool exterior with some degree of success.
JJ: I don't know what's going on, but none of it is good.
Gabi arrives at the service at Town Square and has a seat next to Eric and Nicole, near the aisle so that she can keep Ari in her carriage. As she rocks the carriage back and forth for Ari, she texts Will as discreetly as possible.
Hey! Is everything ok w/ u & sonny??
Gabi looks up at the podium where John is speaking, a worried look on her face as she mutters quietly to herself.
GABI: Come on, Will. What's going on over there?
Will stares Sonny down in the office at Club TBD. Sonny stands in front of the door, hoping to keep Will from running out as he explains himself. Will, for his part, leans almost pointedly casually against Sonny's desk, arms folded. However, he cannot contain his shock at Sonny's confession.
WILL: You what?
SONNY: I...went to talk to my Uncle Vic. I asked him not to give you the PR job with EnerNext.
WILL: What...why the Hell would you do that, Sonny?
SONNY: Because I don't want you involved in something like this. It's...it's...Uncle Vic trying to control you and by proxy me, and control control control everyone in this family and I just...I can't let him do that to you--
WILL: ...Did you ever think for a second to let ME decide that?
Sonny steps forward towards Will, trying to cool things down a bit.
SONNY: You were blinded by the flashy contract and the...glamourous job.
WILL: And what if I was? Sonny, it's my career. And you know what? I'm sorry, but in this day and age, you don't get ahead by playing by the rules. It's about taking an opportunity when it's presented to you, not by being proud and working your way up purely on your own back.
Sonny seems incredibly unimpressed by Will's attitude, but Will is undeterred by Sonny's disapproving looks.
SONNY: Are you serious?
WILL: Dead. Serious.
Sonny stands a moment, at a loss for words.
SONNY: I'm...I'm sorry.
WILL: Oh, you will be. Heh, you know, I might have been swayed if you'd just been upfront with me about all this, but going behind my back? Trying to get my job taken away from me because you don't like who it comes from or what the job entails? How dare you?
Sonny looks down at the ground, increasingly apologetic.
SONNY: I know. I just don't want you to get...manipulated.
WILL: You don't want me to change, in other words. You don't want me to have to stand up for myself because you like doing everything for me. Is that it? Well, let me tell you a little secret, Sonny. I'm not your child. I'm your fiancee. And if you want it to stay that way...you need to stay out of my professional life. Understood?
Sonny's apologetic look melts away as Sonny feels the intensity of Will's tone. Sonny's face suddenly becomes defensive and threatened by Will.
John continues to talk to the crowd gathered at the square about Brady.
JOHN: He was my son. He was our friend. He was sometimes our greatest adversary, but his heart was always in search of love.
The crowd are tearing up a bit at John's heartfelt speech. John himself starts to get a bit emotional, before breathing in and carrying on, a smile across his face, as much in tribute to Brady as anything.
JOHN: I want to keep this party light, as Nicole and Eric requested, and I'm glad that so many of you have come out to help me celebrate Brady's life. So let's remember him in the same way that he would want to be remembered: A great young man with a huge heart that wanted to share the best of everything with everyone he knew and loved.
The waiters from the restaurant in the square appear with flutes of sparkling drinks for the crowd.
JOHN: In case you couldn't tell, I'm proposing a toast.
The crowd laugh as they raise their glasses in tribute, following John's lead.
JOHN: Obviously, these are non-alcoholic. Because the one thing we need to remember...is that though this is a good day to remember Brady, it is to remind us of the importance of sobriety, and caution, and remebering the disease that is addiction...and what it can cost us. Here's to one of the finest men I've ever known.
John looks up to the sky as he raises his glass.
JOHN: I love you, son!
The crowd clink their glasses together in what is surprisingly close to unison, as they shout out.
ALL: To Brady!
The sound of clinking glasses descends suddenly into the sound of screeching tires and the loud smash of a breaking windhshield suddenly.
The flash snaps Brady out of a nightmare as he sits bolt upright in bed, sweat pouring from his face, he gasps for breath as he looks around him, terrified.