Chapter Three: Little Earthquakes
Luke's Club. A week later.
It's Hannah's opening night, and there is a moderate crowd. Mostly regulars. After all, no one's heard of this girl, and they have no reason to make a special occasion of going to hear her sing. Hannah is seated at the bar, her eyes, closed. She's dressed in a black dress, very classic, hair swept up. She breathes very purposely. Lucky is on the phone at the end of the bar, a grim look on his face. He watches Hannah breathe, considering how freaked she looks. He's heard her rehearse all week, and knows she has nothing to worry about, though. He hangs up and walks over to her.
Lucky: I don't suppose a drink would make things any better.
Hannah: I like to keep a clear head.
Lucky: Good advice. From what I hear.
Hannah: (opening one eye) What does that mean?
Lucky: I wouldn't know. I'm under age. (He pours her a glass of water)
Hannah: Hmmm. I've noticed. (she opens both eyes, and picks up the glass) Exactly why are you here so much then?
Lucky: I live upstairs.
Hannah: With your Dad?
Lucky: No... He lives at home with my Mom and sister. I'm just here because it's closer to the university. And after a certain amount of time, living at home gets old.
Hannah: But your Dad is here all the time.
Lucky: I know. It's purgatory. Story of my life, these days.
Hannah: (examining the glass and it's contents) I can never remember the rules. Is cold water good or bad for vocal chords?
Lucky: (Popping open a can of Coke for himself) Well, you're the professional. (Hannah looks up sharply, then returns to studying her beverage. She's going to have to be more careful about that, she thinks to herself. She wonders what she's more nervous about -- the performance on stage, or the one here at the bar. She puts down the water, and picks up a napkin, which she smoothes and folds absently as they talk)
Hannah: Better not risk it. I can barely remember my name before show time.
Lucky: Ah, you'll do fine. You've got a good crowd.
Hannah: (surveying the room) Your girlfriend still coming? (Lucky shakes his head)
Lucky: No, she had to bail. She has a big test tomorrow that covers more chapters than she thought it did. Something like that.
Hannah: (picking up on the weariness in his voice) She takes school pretty seriously?
Lucky: She didn't used to.... (looks back up and smiles, effectively closing her off) She just wants to get into this school.
Hannah: God, I remember that -- (she stops herself quickly, and clears her throat) Senior year stress. I take it you didn't get yourself into a knot about this stuff?
Lucky: Me? I don't focus on the future too much. It always takes care of itself.
Hannah: (distantly) I wish I could believe that. (coming back into the moment) So she's younger than you, then.
Lucky: (beginning to get wary of the questions) Uh, yeah. Is that a problem?
Hannah (picking up on his sudden defensiveness) Just making conversation. (she decides to back off the whole thing. She's beginning to like this kid, and she's pretty certain that isn't part of the plan. Observe and keep out of the way. She twists the napkin between her hands).
Lucky: Sorry. (Softening a bit -- after all, what could she possible need this information for?) People in this town tend to be a bit overprotective. You'll notice that.
Hannah: (thinking of the uptight guy on the dock) I already have. I feel like I'm trespassing everywhere I go.
Lucky: (a twinge of guilt) Emily's a year younger than me. We've known each other for a really long time.
Hannah: Really? (She surveys him. He doesn't seem like the kind of kid who'd gather a lot of attachments. She wonders idly about this girl). Well, I hope she makes it some time.
Lucky: (mostly to himself) That makes two of us. (He noticed the napkin in her hands.) A little tense?
Hannah: (Looking down at the now-torn napkin) Just a bit. It's a hard thing to get used to. (she tries to laugh this off, like she's performed in front of crowds this large hundreds of times). Every time I'm in a new place, I get uptight. It'll pass.
Lucky: You're going to be fine. It's a good set, and these people are suckers for a pretty girl with a great voice.
Hannah: Even if she's falls flat on her face in a dead faint?
Lucky: (smiling) Oh, especially then.
Hannah: You're... not normal.
Lucky: I don't pretend to be. But I am sincere. You're going to do fine, Ok? And frankly, I don't know what difference the temperature of the water is going to make. (he holds up his pop can in a toast) To tension.
Hannah: I'll take what I can get. (she clinks her glass against his can, and they both take a swig of liquid). What time is it?
Lucky: Almost eight.
Hannah: (swallowing down her nausea) Oh Good Lord. (she turns to get off the stool, and looks back over her shoulder) Pray for me.
Lucky: How 'bout this. I'll clap. Loudly.
Hannah: Good enough. (She stands up and walks unsteadily towards the stage. Lucky resumes his work behind the bar).
The Quartermaine Mansion.
Monica, having just gotten off shift, is sitting in the living room alone, decompressing. She hears a clinking of glass in the hall and looks up in time to see Emily reaching the bottom of the stairs with a mug.
Monica: Emily. I thought you were going out tonight.
Emily: (without turning around) I have a test to study for.
Monica: My, you have gotten diligent.
Emily: Uh huh. (she starts up the stairs)
Monica: Emily! (Emily sighs heavily and turns around) Can I talk to you for a minute. (Emily looks up the stairs and considers her options. She decides to risk a conversation with Monica. After all, her parents are barely speaking to each other these days. She turns and comes down the stairs.)
Monica: (patting the couch beside her) Sit down.
Emily: (slowly) Alright... (she walks over and sits down, cupping her mug of coffee in her hands. She takes a sip)
Monica: What are you drinking?
Emily: Mom, I'm seventeen, I have a long night's work ahead of me, I need this. What are you worried about? That it's going to stunt my growth?
Monica: I'm worried about you using coffee to study until the wee hours of the morning instead of getting some sleep!
Emily: I'm fine, really. (she takes another sip). See?
Monica: You've become so driven... PCU is already going to accept you in a heartbeat.
Emily: Well, it's never a bad idea to be over-prepared.
Monica: I noticed you're also applying to Berkeley, Smith and Stanford.
Emily: (knowing this was coming eventually) They're good schools. I want to see if I can get in.
Monica: You know, I don't think going away to school is a bad idea.
Emily: You don't.
Monica: No. Jason and AJ both went to boarding school, so they got some time away, a chance to become their own people.
Emily: (cautiously) Uh huh.
Monica: Well, since you went to school right here, university is probably a very good time for you to get out on your own. There is something very freeing about going some place far away, where you don't know anyone. Like when we went to Italy. You were so happy there. (looking at Emily with both love and sadness in her eyes) That was a wonderful time. I got to watch you blossom. I really think going away to school would be the best thing for you.
Emily (a lump in her throat): I want... I don't want to go to PCU. (she sighs and lets the weight of that secret off her shoulders). I want to go to Berkeley.
Monica (nodding) I suspected as much. (eyes getting a little teary) It's a wonderful school, and I know you'll take advantage of it. It will be so good for you.
Emily: (getting suspicious) I guess.
Monica: It's really important to have time on your own when you're growing up.
Emily: (coldly) I know what you're doing.
Monica (taken aback) What?
Emily: This is about Lucky, isn't it?
Monica: (taking a deep breath) This is about your education. But--
Emily: (getting up) Ok...
Monica: BUT, yes... I do think it might be a good idea for you to spend some time away from Lucky.
Emily: I don't believe this. (She walks out of the room, Monica on her heels)
Monica: Emily, ever since you two got back together, you've been moody, distant, I can't talk to you about anything!
Emily: What makes you think that's Lucky's fault?
Monica: I'm not trying to assess blame here, Emily. (Emily starts up the stairs and Monica yells after her, desperately) Emily! Please. (Emily stops on the stairs and turns around to face her, a scowl on her face).
Emily: I don't want to listen to this.
Monica: Emily, I'm not trying to tell you what to do with your life. But you and Lucky have been together a long time. Two years -- you've never even dated anyone else!
Emily: Why would I?
Monica (frustrated): There are other boys in the world besides Lucky Spencer.
Emily: I know that. I've met them. And I want Lucky. That's all I ever wanted. I love him, Mom, and he loves me. I don't see why I'm supposed to see other people when all I want is him.
Monica: Emily, do you know how old I was when I finally realized what love was?
Emily: I'm not you. (she sits down on the stairs heavily). I know you guys were happy when Lucky and I broke up, but I wasn't. That was the worst summer of my life. I'm not doing that again.
Monica: I don't worry about Lucky being a nice boy, I don't worry about him hurting you. I worry about you throwing your life away --
Emily: How is going to Berkeley throwing my life away?
Monica: Listen to me! I worry about you making decisions that will effect your whole life when you ARE only 17. How can you grow into the person you're about to become if you don't let yourself experience life? If you don't try new things, and be by yourself for awhile?
Emily: I don't NEED to be by myself. I know who I am, better than almost anyone else I know. I lived a lifetime before I even came here. And Lucky isn't trying to stifle me or change who I am. He accepts me, no matter what. Why wouldn't you want me to have that?
Monica: (slowly) If you go to Berkeley....
Emily (muttering): That's a big "if".
Monica: Is Lucky going to go with you? (Emily stares at the floor. She doesn't want to give up everything -- after all, the Q influence is far-flung and she wants to keep them out of this as long as possible. She knew, however, that Monica would sniff her out first).
Emily: It's almost a year away. That's a long time.
Monica: But he might.
Emily: Are you going to tell Alan? (Monica leans against the bannister, as she absorbs what Emily is telling her. She feels, every day, like Emily is farther and farther away from her. She wishes she could make herself embrace the choices her daughter is making, but every part of her screams out that Emily's going to get herself in trouble. Monica looks up at her sadly)
Monica: I don't think there's any reason for your father to know right now. Just promise me you're going to get some sleep tonight.
Emily: I'll try. (she looks at Monica, her eyes filling with tears. She wants to rush down the stairs and hug her, but she doesn't know how to do it. Instead she turns and walks upstairs with her coffee).
Luke's Club. Later that night.
The club's empty, having just closed. There is a considerable amount of debris around, indicating a good time has been had. Lucky sits at the table, counting receipts, as Luke has long since left to go home. Hannah comes out from the back room. She's changed into jeans and a flannel shirt. She can't help but smile, a spring in her step, still on the high of a successful opening night.
Hannah: Ok. I'm off.
Lucky: Have a good one.
Hannah: (noticing the receipts) Looks like you've got a full night's work ahead of you.
Lucky: Yeah. (he looks up at her) Good show tonight.
Hannah: I know. It was so strange. I mean, once things got going, it was like I was feeding off of them. I've never experienced anything like it!
Lucky: (looking at her oddly) Not in the other places you've played?
Hannah: (feeling dense, she begins to dig into her bag for nothing in particular) This place has a different energy. It's unique.
Lucky: (somewhat proud of his father's legacy) Yeah, it does.
Hannah: I'll see you tomorrow. Don't work to hard.
Lucky (muttering) Not much danger of that. (Hannah turns and walks out of the club. Lucky hears the door close behind her, and keeps counting, trying to concentrate on the task at hand, while being fully aware he should get up and lock the door. He hears the door open again, and he feels a momentary flash of panic until he sees who it is) What are you doing here?
Emily: I had a fight with Monica. I tried to study, but.... I really wanted to see you.
Lucky: (getting up) Was it bad?
Emily: On a scale of one to ten? A solid three. No biggie. I'm just tired of it. (She reaches him and wraps her arms around his waist, hugging him tightly. She leans against him and he puts his arms around her, resting his chin on the top of her head. ) She figured out the whole Berkeley thing. But I knew that was coming. Monica's pretty quick.
Lucky: How'd she take it?
Emily: Ok (sighs deeply, and pulls away from him, walking across the room, examining the mess) Mind if we talk about something else?
Lucky: (leaning against the bar, watching her) Fine with me.
Emily: How was the show tonight?
Lucky: Amazing. Really. She's going to be a gold mine as soon as word gets out.
Emily: I wish I could have seen it.
Lucky: There's always next time.
Emily: (ruefully) Until something else comes up. (turning back to face him) This is getting ridiculous, Lucky. I mean, not only do we never see each other anymore, but we lost all that time this summer
Lucky: Can we not --
Emily: No, really. We haven't even talked about this. If we hadn't broken up this summer, we'd be in a completely different place right now.
Lucky: (knowing exactly what she means) Yeah...
Emily: (boldly) I'm still on the pill.
Lucky: (Unsure of what to say to that) That's... only half the issue.
Emily: I... I just don't know what's going on here, Lucky. We've been back together for almost three months, and we've never even talked about what happened. Or what didn't.
Lucky: Well, it wasn't my finest moment.
Emily: If I hadn't found out that you'd help Carly set AJ up, I would have made love to you that night.
Lucky: (really hating this topic of conversation) Do we have to go over this again?
Emily: Why don't you WANT to go over it? You used to want to make love to me. It used to be a focus of yours. Now you don't even want to talk about it.
Lucky: Making love to you is not the part I don't want to talk about.
Emily: Lucky, what happened with Carly is over. Ok? I know you were just trying to help out your cousin. I probably would have done the same thing for AJ if I'd had a chance. What I really hate is this feeling like we're never going to get back to where we were before all of that happened.
Lucky: Come here. (he holds his hand out to her. She walks towards him, an anxious expression on her face. He reaches out and takes her hand, pulling her into his arms.) Dance with me.
Emily: (laughing) there's no music.
Lucky: Since when have I let something like that get in my way? (he takes her hand formally, and "dances" with her spinning in place. She laughs) You're a little off the beat.
Emily: You're insane.
Lucky: But you love me anyway.
Emily: That's because I'm insane too. That's also why I'm letting you drop this topic.
Lucky: Letting me?
Emily: You're really cute when you're embarrassed.
Lucky: (stopping the dance) I'm not embarrassed. I messed up that night. I really really messed things up. (He takes her face in his hands) I want to make love to you, Emily. But I don't want to pressure you. This one is your call. Fair enough? (she makes a face at him, crossing her eyes. He laughs and kisses her lightly)
Emily: I miss you so much...
Lucky (wrapping his arms around her) Boy, I needed to hear that.
Emily: I'm sorry (She slides her arms around his neck) I've been a lousy girlfriend.
Lucky: (on cue) No, you haven't.
Emily: (Looking up at him) Don't patronize me. (she lifts her face to his and kisses him deeply. Lucky responds immediately. It's been a long time since they've been together like this, without talking about school, and Berkeley. She pulls back and touches his lips lightly with her finger tip) I'm sorry.
Lucky: Ok... (She pulls him into another, deeper, more passionate kiss. Lucky moves his hands up to her face, cradling it in his hands). I love you...
Emily (between kisses, she laughs slightly) I know. (Lucky pulls back, breathless, and rests his head against hers)
Lucky: Ok.. Accessing rational thought. Your parents don't know you're here, right?
Emily: Not exactly. On the other hand, they're not stupid.
Lucky: Figures. I'll give you a ride home.
Emily: That's probably best.