"Reality Check" - by Cathy (Part One)


(This takes place right after the lame V-Day show)

Scene 1
Brenda and Jax's penthouse. Jax storms in, obviously in a foul temper.
Brenda looks up in surprise.

B: "Jax? What's wrong?"

J: "Damn Corinthos! What's he up to now?"

B: "Sonny? Why, what happened?" (Brenda looks concerned, not angry)

J: "I stopped by to talk to him about your latest gift, and do you know who
was there?
(doesn't wait for her to answer). Miranda!"

B: "Miranda...was at Sonny's?" (She is plainly incredulous). " What was she
doing there?"

J: "Having a cozy little dinner with him by the looks of things!" (Jax is
extremely sarcastic.)
He throws his coat down and starts pacing. "I'm not going to let him do
it, Brenda.
Miranda is very vulnerable right now and I'm NOT going to let him take
advantage of
her."

B: "Him take advantage of her?" (Now Brenda sounds sarcastic). "Oh, hardly,
Jax! Now that
she's realized she's not getting you back, she's probably just looking
for her next meal
ticket. Has that women ever had a job in her life?"

J: Stares at her, amazed. "I can't believe you could be so insensitive!
Brender, have you
forgotten that while you've been getting your picture taken and driving
your Porsche
around, she's been in a hospital, all alone, suffering through
indescribable pain? Well,
she's suffered enough. I am not going to let Sonny Corinthos cause my
wi-"
Jax stops short, realizing what he has almost said, but it's obvious from
the look on
Brenda's face that she knows what he meant to say.

B: "Your wife, Jax? Well, she is your wife. At least for another week - or
did you want to
change that?" Brenda, hurt again by his angry words, grabs her jacket
and sweeps out
the door as Jax calls after her.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Scene 2 - The Gatehouse at the Quartermaine Mansion. Brenda is outside;
she approaches the door and knocks.

The door swings open and Lois stands there, tears running down her face.
Brenda forgets her
own anger in her shock at her friend's appearance.

B: "Lois? Oh my God, what happened?"

L: (shakes her head). I'm going back to Bensonhurst, Brenda. Nedley and
I...there's nothing
I can do. I don't even know him anymore. (Her voice breaks and she
starts sobbing again).
I don't think I ever did."

B: "But what happened? I know you wanted to work things out, I know you love
him."
Brenda puts her arm around Lois and they walk to the couch and sit
down.

L: "I do love him. I will love him the rest of my life, but Bren, he lied to
me about
everything! He slept with Monica, he was trying to blackmail Justus!"

B: (Looking amazed) "Monica? Monica...Quartermaine???"

L: Lois nods. "It came out in Monica's trial. It was on T.V....Brenda I
felt so humiliated.
How could he not tell me something like that? Why didn't he warn me?"

B: "I don't know, I feel the same way about Jax not telling me about
Miranda."

L: "Yeah, you know what I'm saying. And then I found out he was blackmailing
Justus...
I can't do it, Bren. No matter how much I love him, I can't stay with
him when he
lies to me. I can't let Brooke Lynn be raised around that. She
deserves better."

B: Nods. "You're right, I just wish you weren't leaving. We both could
really
use a friend right now." Lois and Brenda hug.

L: Looks more carefully at Brenda after they pull apart, "Hey, what's wrong?
I thought
you were planning a wonderful Valentine's Day with Jax?"

B: "We were, and we did, except then I got another gift from the guy who's
been sending
them to me. Jax, as usual, blamed it on Sonny and ran off to see him."

L: "Oh, no...Did he and Sonny get in a fight again?"

B: (Gives a little laugh) "No. As a matter of fact, it seems I was the last
thing on Sonny's
mind. He was having dinner with Miranda!"

L: (shrugs). "Well, that might solve your problems with Jax, anyway..."

B: (looking outraged) "I don't want Miranda anywhere near Sonny!" Brenda
stops, shuts her
eyes and takes a deep breath. She opens her eyes and looks at Lois,
who is watching her
with an almost bemused expression on her face. "Yeah, I know...I'm
really over him,
aren't I?"

L: "Well, you said it, honey. I know you don't want Miranda to take Jax away
from you,
but I think you're more upset that she might take Sonny away from you.
You know, if
you're not with Sonny..." Lois lets her voice trail off.

B: "I know...he's going to find someone else, that only makes sense, doesn't
it? Miranda's
pretty, I suppose...but Lois, she is NOT his type! She's into
Shakespeare and poetry
and...she would just be appalled at the kind of world he lives in."

L: "Well, maybe that's for them to figure out. Unless, of course..." Lois
gives Brenda an
inquiring look, "- you want him back."

B: "No! No, Lois, I told you, I'm staying with Jax. I chose Jax. I have to
let go of Sonny."

L: "Even to let him go to Miranda?"

B: "Even if. I have to. Lois, what choice do I have?"

L: Lois looks very sad and as if she's on the verge of tears again.
"Brenda," she says quietly,
"That's the same thing I keep tellin' myself. But it doesn't change how
I feel. Nedley...
he's the love of my life. I'm going to go on, I'm going to keep
living, maybe someday
I'll find someone else, but I'm never going to feel that way again.
Bren, you and Sonny
have the same thing. I like Jax, Jax is a good guy, but you don't
look at him the way
you look at Sonny. I'm your friend, and I want you to be happy, and I
know you and
Sonny have been to Hell and back too many times to count...but you
have a chance I
don't have to try again. I know you still love him, and if you can
believe in that...
All I'm sayin' is, think about it Brenda."

B: (As Lois stops speaking, Brenda has started to cry noiselessly. Tears
roll down her cheeks
as she answers. "I will, Lois...but I want you to be happy too!"

L: "Well, I've got a secret weapon. No matter what happens to me, there is
always some-
body who can put a smile on my face again." Lois goes to pick up
Brooke Lynn, who is
ready to go in her carrier. She smiles down at her baby and Brenda
smiles at them both.
Brenda goes to Lois' side and smiles at Brooke Lynn.

B: "She's so beautiful, Lois," Brenda says. "Are you leaving now?"

L: (Nods) "I need to get outta here. Want to help me with my bags?" Brenda
and Lois pick
up luggage and head to the door.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Scene 3 - Luke's Bar. Sonny is sitting at the bar, talking to Jason, when he
sees Brenda come in. He can tell at the first sight of her that she's upset
about something.

J: "There's Brenda. She doesn't look too happy." Jason comments.

S: "No, she doesn't. Tell you what, why don't you go check the invoices that
just came in?"
(Jason leaves and Brenda comes up, not saying a word, and sits down next
to Sonny.)

S: "Hey."

B: "Hey yourself. Do you mind telling me what you and Miranda were up to
earlier?"
Brenda has a no-nonsense tone of voice; she isn't exactly accusing
Sonny...yet.

S: "No, I don't mind," Sonny grins at her. "Last time I checked, havin'
dinner with a
woman wasn't illegal...or is Jaxxy boy gonna sue me?"

B: "Leave Jax out of this. I want to know what you were up to."

S: "We were discussing Shakespeare."

B: (Bursts out laughing in spite of herself) "Oh, yeah, like you even know
who he IS, Sonny."

S: "And you do?" (Laughing along with her; the tension has been successfully
broken)

B: "I'm serious, Sonny, what's the deal, are you Miranda's latest supporter
or what? The
woman has half this town in her back pocket, I'm surprised she hasn't
qualified for
sainthood by now!"

S: "Whoo, I sense a little hostility in the air." Sonny is grinning at
Brenda's obvious
anger. "And she's not even blonde..."

B: "She may not have the hair, but she certainly has the attitude! I
should've known something
was up when she wasn't two steps behind my husband. What, are you her
latest target?"

S: "Would it bother you if I was?" Sonny is still grinning.

B: "No, it would not!" Brenda is adamant. "I just hope you know what you're
getting
yourself in for. She's the most two-faced, annoying, holier-than-thou
hypocrite I've
ever met and every man I know seems to be suckered right in by it, I
guess including
you."

S: (shrugs) "Miranda's not so bad, and her taste in men is improving. You
just come down here to lecture me about my personal life?"

B: (looking furious) "I guess I'm wasting my time here. I hope she's there
for you the
next time - oh, never mind." Brenda storms out.

Mike comes up to the bar, raising his eyebrows at Brenda's rather public
display.

M: "What's wrong with her?"

S: "Nothing I can't fix." Sonny sits at the bar, quietly laughing to
himself.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Scene 4 - Back at Jax's penthouse. Brenda comes in the door and calls out.

B: "Jax? Jax, are you home?" She doesn't get an answer. Brenda throws her
coat on a chair
and sprawls on the couch, staring at the ceiling. "This is
ridiculous," she says out loud.
"If Sonny wants to be with Miranda, so what?" Brenda stares into space
and dissolves into
a flashback of her past with Sonny.

BRENDA'S FLASHBACK: She and Sonny, talking about the upcoming marriage of
Karen and Jagger:

S: "Right and you're so hung up on Jagger and Karen and their plans. You
do
yourself a disservice."
B: "No, I'm not jealous, not the way you think."
S: "Hmm...."
B: "I'm just a little envious of what they have, that's all."
S: "What do they have?"
B: "I don't know how to put it into words."
S: "Exactly. They don't need words. They have a look, a smile, a touch,
they're connected to each other right here (points to his heart). A
connection we all dream about, right? It's on a whole other level - cosmic,
if you believe in that
stuff - soulmates. It takes your breath away and at the same time makes you
complete. It's a strange thing, this connection and it can be terrifying"
B: "So they say."
S: "Settle for nothing less, I want you to promise me that. Say it."
B: "I promise."

(Brenda sits up, shaking her head slowly. "So much for that one," she says
softly to herself. Lost in her own thoughts, she jumps when Jax walks in the
door.)

J: "Brender, I'm so glad you're here. I was worried about you." Jax comes,
in sits down next
to Brenda and pulls her close to him. "Are you okay? You look as if
you've been crying."

B: "No, Jax, I'm fine. I just went to visit Lois...and she's leaving, so I
was upset about that,"
Brenda lies. "I'm sorry I was so short-tempered earlier."

J: "No, I'm sorry. You had every reason to be upset. Why don't we go out
tonight for dinner?"

B: "Yes, sure, we should do that." Brenda looks up at Jax but as she does
so, Sonny's face
flashes before her eyes and she jerks back for a second.

J: "What? What's wrong?"

B: Brenda shakes her head slightly. "Nothing, nothing. I'm going to go get
dressed for dinner."
She gets up and heads to the back of the penthouse. Jax is left sitting
on the couch, still
looking vaguely confused.


(Part 2)

Scene 5 - The Grille. Jax and Brenda walk in and are led to a table. As
soon as they sit down, Brenda looks over Jax's shoulder and realizes that
Sonny and Miranda are seated at another table.

B: (Out loud, without realizing it.) "Oh, no."

J: "What?" He looks behind him, "Oh, great. Did you want to go somewhere
else?"

B: "No, no of course not."

J: "We're going to have a wonderful dinner and not pay any attention to them,
okay?"

B: (Nods). "Actually, I talked to Sonny today and I think it's good that
he's showing an
interest in Miranda. After all, she needs to focus on her future, not
her past with you."

J: "Yes, well Sonny is not the answer." Jax unconsciously glances behind him
again, to check
out Miranda and Sonny. Brenda notices, but she takes the opportunity
of his turned head
to take a long, hard look at Sonny herself and the scene fades into a
fantasy sequence.

BRENDA'S FANTASY: Brenda is sitting in the penthouse when the doorbell rings.
She
goes to the door and it's Miranda, who is beaming from ear to ear and
looking very
pleased with herself.
B: "Hi, Miranda." (Less than thrilled, but courteous)
M: "Brenda! It's so good to see you. We really need to catch up,
I haven't talked to
you since Sonny and I had dinner with you and Jax last
weekend".
B: "I remember." (Even less thrilled). "Come in."
They proceed to the living room and sit down. Miranda looks like
the proverbial
cat who swallowed the canary. "I have some really exciting news
to tell you!"
We hear Brenda's thoughts "What, you got a new book of poetry to
bore Sonny
to death with?" Aloud, she says, "It must be great news, you
look thrilled."
M: "I am. Last night...Sonny asked me to marry him! And I wanted
to stop by
and ask you...I don't know a lot of people in Port Charles yet,
and you and Sonny
are such good friends...Would you be one of my bridesmaids?"
(Brenda's mouth falls open and she looks totally stricken.) "NO!
No, Miranda,
I won't let you do that - I LOVE HIM!" Brenda grabs Miranda and
starts throttling
her...

Back to reality:

J: "Brender? Brender?" (Brenda comes back to reality with a start and looks
at Jax, a look
of horror still on her face). "Were you ready to order?"

B: "Oh, yeah...I'm sorry, uh...I'll have whatever you're having."

Over to Sonny and Miranda at their table.

S: "Eight."

M: "What?" She looks up from her meal at Sonny.

S: "Eight. That makes eight times Jax has swiveled around to look at us.
You think he's
a little jealous?"

M: (looking over, hopefully, then looking guilty. "I don't like to play
these kind of games,
Sonny. I don't want Jax back if he still wants Brenda."

S: "Jax doesn't know WHAT he wants, Miranda. All you and I are doing is
helping him
see things clearly."

M: "Him...and Brenda? Is she looking too?"

S: (laughing) "Yeah, she's looking at you like if she had a gun, you'd be on
the floor!"
He looks at Miranda and smiles, noticing Brenda watching him intently
from across the
room.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Scene 6 - Luke's club, early the next day. The club is not even open yet,
but Brenda comes in quietly, looking around. Mike is at the bar and she
heads toward him.

M: "Brenda! What a nice surprise. Sonny ain't around, he's at his ELQ board
meeting."

B: (nods) "I know, that's why I'm here. I wanted to talk to you, alone."
She sits down at the
bar and Mike gets her a cola. "Thanks," she says, smiling at him.
"Mike, I need your help. I need to ask you a few questions."

M: "Any way I can help you, I will. You know I owe you my son's life."

B: (looking sadder still). "Mike, what's going on with Sonny and Miranda?"

M: "Miranda? She's a nice girl. Sounds like she's had some tough breaks.
She comes in here
a lot." Mike looks hard at Brenda. "Is this a problem?"

B: "It shouldn't be, I know," Brenda admits, "But I can't lie to you. It
bothers me. Is Sonny
really happy with her?"

M: "Well, I don't know that he's ‘with her', but they have been spending a
lot of time together.
I guess he needs a friend now that you decided you can't be a part of
his life."

B: (Looks up quickly). "Mike, are you mad at me for that?"

M: (Takes her hand in his). "No, honey, I could never be mad at you.
Michael's life...I know
it's a lot to ask, to be with him. Are you happy with your husband?"

B: "I don't know!" Brenda bursts out. "I thought I was. I love Jax, it's
just every time I see
Sonny with Miranda...I just want to kill her."

M: "I know that feeling," Mike agrees, looking out into the space above
Brenda's shoulder
and seeming to get temporarily lost in his own thoughts. "Tell you
what, you have
lunch yet?" Brenda shakes her head. "Let's go back in the kitchen
and see if we can't
find something for you. It's no good thinking on an empty stomach."
Brenda comes
around the bar and she and Mike go back into the kitchen. Meanwhile,
Jax and Sonny
come through the front door, arguing.

J: "Sonny, I don't care. I told you before and I'll tell you again. Miranda
does not need you
in her life. I want you to stay the Hell away from her!"

S: (laughing) "Jaxxy boy, you need to make up your mind. Last week you were
tellin' me I'd
better keep away from Brenda or you were gonna kill me. Now you're
tellin' me to steer
clear of Miranda as well? Which wife should I avoid next week?"

J: "Shut up, Sonny. I'm not threatening you, I wouldn't waste my time. You
will stay away
from Miranda or I will guarantee you, you are a dead man."

S: "I am shaking in my shoes, Candyboy. Why don't you get the Hell out of my
club and
go figure out why every woman you're with would rather be with me."
(Jax swings at Sonny but misses as Sonny ducks. Before Sonny can
retaliate, Brenda runs
from the kitchen. She has heard the whole thing.)

B: "Stop it!" Brenda stands, staring incredulously at Jax. "You...You call
Sonny the mad
mobster and you're in here threatening to kill him if he doesn't stay
away from Miranda?
Or me? Jax, don't you dare threaten Sonny again about me, I will
decide if I see him or
not!"

J: "Brender," Jax is obviously shocked to see her, "This man is dangerous.
Look what he did
to you before, when you didn't know any better than to be with him!"

B: "What he did to me? What about what you've done to me! I will tell you
one thing, Jax,
I never caught Sonny threatening someone's life over another woman
when he was with
me." Brenda storms out.

J: "We'll finish this later, Corinthos. This isn't over." Jax storms out,
slamming the door behind
him. Sonny stands there, shaking his head, and Mike comes up to his
side.

S: "What was Brenda doing here?"

M: "She came over to talk to me. You might want to hear this."

Sonny looks up with interest, the scene fades.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Scene 7 - The Docks. Brenda is sitting on a suitcase, her head in her hands.
She is having flashbacks of her father and her sister belittling her.
"You're a loser!" her father yells,
"Aren't you ever going to do anything right?". She then flashes back to her
second wedding to Jax and her words, "Marrying you was the first perfect,
right thing I ever did in my life.".
"I was wrong...as usual I was wrong again," Brenda says aloud and buries her
head in her hands once more. Suddenly, two hands come down on her shoulders
and she screams and turns her head to see Sonny standing there in his dark
coat, his breath blowing smoke in the cold night
air. She jumps up and turns around but he puts his hands on her shoulders
again and gives her
a shake.

S: "Brenda, I am going to strangle you. What the Hell are you doing out
here? No bodyguard, no security? Do you want to die???" he asks
angrily.

B: "What are you doing here? I thought you'd be too busy with Miranda!"
Brenda retorts, but
her comeback is weak-spirited and Sonny sees that she's been crying.

S: "Hey, what's going on?" He notices the suitcase. "Why are you sitting
here at midnight on
your suitcase?" Sonny looks Brenda in the eye and asks "Did you leave
Jax?"

B: "Don't worry about it, Sonny. I'm leaving town tomorrow, I'm not going to
be your problem
or Jax's anymore. You both want Miranda, I guess you two will just
have to fight over her.
May the best man win!" she adds, sarcastically.

S: "Well, there's no question who that is," Sonny comments, but when he sees
that Brenda
is too upset to even smile at his smart remark, he changes his tone.
"Brenda, Brenda,"
he says, taking her face between his hands, "Don't you know that no
other woman could
ever compare to you? When you walked into my life, they all ceased to
exist. I could
go the rest of my life and never see you again and you'd still be the
only woman in my
heart. There isn't room left for anyone else."

B: "You and Miranda -"

S: "-are friends. Nothing more. I guess you could say we have something
important in
common...we've both been away from the people we love for far too
long."

B: (realizes he is telling the truth). "Sonny, I couldn't believe what I
heard today. He
always told me how bad you were for me, how violent you were, and he -
he's the
violent one. I couldn't believe the things he said!"

S: "People aren't always what they seem, Brenda. Jax knows how to make
himself look
good. He didn't know you were listening today."

B: Brenda sighs, "Jax...he isn't a bad person, but he isn't the person I
thought he was and...he isn't you." She wipes her tears on her
sleeve and smiles a little, "I told Lois that once."

S: "Jax is an okay guy...for somebody like Miranda," Sonny says. Brenda
flinches a little,
unconsciously. Sonny takes her chin in his hand and makes her look up
at him, "Hey,
I didn't mean she was better than you. She's just better for him.
She's what he really
wants, Brenda, he wants somebody who listens to everything he says and
looks at him
like he's God's gift. Jax was turned on by you - who wouldn't be?"
(Brenda has to
smile at the compliment, "But you're way too hot for a guy like him to
handle. Ya
know, I like that you fight dirty and you don't take any crap from
anybody."

B: "Jax always thinks I am SO unfair to darling Miranda. He just doesn't see
her at all
for what she is."

S: "He doesn't see you for who you are, either. You and Jax had a fantasy
going...and it
may have been good while it lasted, but fantasies don't last. You and
I - we're real
and the reality is better than any dream ever could be. I know you -
both the good and
the bad. I know you down to your soul, Brenda. Do you think I could
ever find that
with another woman? Do you think you'll ever find that with another
man?"

B: (Raises her eyes to his and looks him straight in the eye.) "No, I don't.
I know I
won't. Lois told me...before she left, that I shouldn't waste what
might be my last
chance. She told me to think about it...before I threw away my last
chance to be
truly happy just because I was afraid."

S: "You don't have to be afraid. Not anymore. We could dwell on every
mistake we ever
made in the past, but I don't want to do that. I'm not going to hurt
you, ever again,
and you're not going to hurt me." Sonny looks her straight in the eye
and says, very
slowly and intensely, "I cannot live without you, Brenda."

B: "I don't ever want to live without you again." Brenda looks up at Sonny
and he leans
down and kisses her...a long, slow kiss that seems to go on forever.
When they break
apart, Brenda is crying again, but this time she's smiling through her
tears. "I've got
some of my things here...I was going to go to the Quartermaines'
tonight..."

S: "You're not going anywhere but home with me," Sonny says, smiling with a
look of utter
joy on his face. "We can talk about the details tomorrow. We've talked
enough...for
tonight." Sonny looks at Brenda and his meaning is unmistakeable. He
picks up up her
suitcase and they turn to go as the scene fades.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Scene 8 - Sonny's penthouse. No dialogue in this scene...just one of those
famous Sonny & Brenda "words are immaterial" kinds of scenes. Sonny and
Brenda come through the door, but Sonny has to open it with his hand behind
his back because he and Brenda are attached at the lips. They stand there,
kissing. Sonny's hands come up and he buries them in Brenda's hair. Brenda
is running her hands over Sonny's back and then, as he moves to kiss her
neck, her hands go down lower, out of camera range . Then Sonny, in one
fluid movement, picks Brenda up as though she is weightless and they head to
the bedroom. Inside, Sonny lets Brenda down slowly and she comes to rest
kneeling on the bed, still kissing him as he is standing at the end of it.
Sonny starts to unbutton her blouse, meaning to do it slowly, but Brenda is
pulling his shirt open so quickly that she rips it slightly in her haste.
Sonny pulls back for a second, just long enough to give her the hottest look
that has ever existed in the history of the world; then they fall back to the
bed and the scene fades to black.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Scene 9 - Sonny's penthouse, morning. Brenda wakens slowly, a trace of a
smile still on her beautiful face. She sits up, then realizes she is alone.

B: "Sonny? Sonny?!" She looks both ways and realizes where she is, which
brings an even
bigger smile to her face.

(Sonny appears at the door, spatula in hand.)

S: "Good...uh, afternoon," he chuckles. "Hope you didn't have any plans for
this morning, we slept through it."

B: (laughs herself) "I think we both needed the rest...after last night!"

S: "Well, you know I had a little lost time to make up for!" He has a huge
grin on his face and
is flirting big-time with her.

B: "I know," Brenda says, flirting back, "...but all in one night?" She
slips out of bed and comes
to Sonny, wearing his robe. He pulls her to him and kisses her good
morning.

S: "I didn't exactly hear you complaining..."

B: "I didn't have the breath to," Brenda admits in a very sexy voice. "So,
what are you doing
up so "early"? Worried I'll wear you out?"

S: (Raises his eyebrows) "You...right, right Brenda," he laughs. "I just
thought you might like
a real breakfast for a change." Sonny's grin deepens as inspiration
strikes him. "Although
now that I'm armed," he slaps the spatula against his hand, "Maybe we
should have a little
talk about you running around all by yourself on the docks last night!"

B: (eyes widening). "Sonny, you wouldn't dare!" She backs off and Sonny
takes a swing at
her with the spatula. "Sonny! Sonny!" Brenda squeals as Sonny chases
her around the
bed, spatula in hand. He succeeds in cornering her, but instead of
doling out his punishment,
he pulls her to him by the lapels of the robe and they sink into another
long kiss. "Maybe
you could convince me to pardon you..." Sonny says. The camera shifts
down and we see
Sonny's robe fall in a heap at Brenda's feet.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Scene 10 - Jax's penthouse. The doorbell rings and Jax hurries to the door.

J: "I knew you'd come back, Bren-" Jax throws the door open, but it is
Miranda, not Brenda,
who greets him.

M: (Looking annoyed) "I'm sorry to disappoint you."

J: (Shakes his head). "You're not, you're not. I apologize, come in."

Jax and Miranda head to the couch and sit down. Miranda recognizes how upset
Jax is instantly.

M: "Jax? What's wrong? Did something happen with Brenda?"

J: (Nods). "She's gone, Miranda. She heard me threatening Sonny about
staying away from
you. She was totally irrational; she packed a bag and left. I think
she's at the Quartermaines,
but of course they won't tell me anything more than that she hasn't been
kidnapped. I called and Ned took the opportunity to belittle me and
suggest that I have no control over Brender. He's a fine one to
talk!"

M: (Takes Jax's hand in hers). "Oh, Jax, I am sorry. But...you were
threatening Sonny...about me? Why?"

J: "Why? That bloody mobster...he doesn't deserve to live on the same planet
as you!." Jax's outrage is evident, and it's not lost on Miranda.

M: "I hated him at first, also, but he's not a bad man, really," Miranda
muses. "I suppose I
have to go on with my life, now that I'm to be divorced."

J: (Looking appalled) "No, no Miranda! You...you are so much better than he
is. You are
so special, so gifted, so beautiful..."

M: "-Jax! Stop it. I don't want to hear you singing the praises of a woman
you knew a
lifetime ago when you have no use for the one who exists now."

J: "That's not true! First of all, you are the same wonderful person I fell
in love with, and
to say that I have no use for you...Miranda, you will always have a
piece of my heart.
You know that!" (Jax is wearing his ‘the behavior of women truly
befuddles me' look)

M: "But not as large as piece as Brenda has." Miranda drops Jax's hand and
rises to her feet.
"I won't be your second choice, Jax. I'm not going to sit around and
be your friend and
wait to see if you and Brenda solve your problems. I could never,"
her voice breaks
slightly, "be just a friend to you." Miranda heads toward the door,
but Jax is right behind
her. As she reaches the door, he pulls her back and spins her around,
then kisses her. She
puts up a token resistance, but of course that doesn't last. When
they finally break apart
Jax speaks.

J: "Miranda, I'm not going to tell you that my life's uncomplicated right
now. But I do know
that the thought of a life without you in it, now that I've discovered
you again, is more
than I can bear. Please, won't you have dinner with me tonight?
Listen to what I have
to say before you shut me out forever?"

M: (nods) "Only this once, Jax. If I have to rebuild my life without you, I
need to know now."

J: "I promise you that. I'll send my driver for you...around eight?"
Miranda nods and Jax closes
the door behind her. As he does so, the phone rings. "Hello?"

(The caller is Brenda)
B: "Jax."

J: "Brender? Oh, my God, I was worried about you."

B: "There was no need to be, I'm fine. I'm sorry that you worried."

J: "When are you coming home. Where - where are you?"

B: "Can we meet and talk? Not at home...I'd prefer someplace
more...neutral."

J: "Brender, what are you talking about? What's going on? Where ARE you?"

B: "Jax, I'm at Sonny's." Brenda's voice is matter-of-fact and
tired-sounding, but it's the
voice of someone who realizes she is done with lying...for good.

There is dead silence as Jax stares, disbelieving, at the phone. After a
second, he slams it down, grabs his coat and heads out the door, slamming it
violently behind him.

To Be Continued!!!
Love it? Hate it? Send comments and suggestions to CATKNSN@aol.com!!!



PART TWO - REALITY CHECK by Cathy

Scene 1 - Sonny's penthouse. Brenda puts down the phone as
Sonny comes into the room.

B: "That was Jax. He's - he's coming over. I'm sorry, but I
have to-"

S: "No need to explain. We'll face him together, sweetheart."

B: (shakes her head). "No. As much as I'd like the support, I
can't do that to Jax - I have to handle this alone."

S: (comes over and takes Brenda in his arms). "Okay, you're
right…I'm just sorry you have to go through this. We
should never have been apart…I never, never should have
let you go in the first place."

B: (draws away and looks up at him) "No, Sonny, I'm almost
glad it happened the way it did."

S: (looking confused) "What do you mean?"

B: "I mean that if I hadn't married Jax, I would have always
thought that my life might be better with someone like him. Someone stable,
someone predictable, the kind of guy that my father and Julia would have
approved of. I had that idea floating around in my head for so many years,
and it was all wrong," (Brenda puts her hand up to Sonny's cheek) "Don't
you see? I never realized what was really important. I was too caught up
in…in details. I kept pushing you away because you wouldn't tell me
everything about your life, and when I met Jax I thought he was great,
because he could tell me everything," (pauses to consider that), "Or, so I
thought. But there was always something missing. I did the right things, I
said all the right words to him, but it didn't make it right. It never could
be, because I could never stop loving you."

S: "Brenda - "

B: "No, wait, let me say this. The worst part of it was that Jax
knew it. He knows it now. He thinks he can always talk me into staying with
him because he's safer, and I know, I know he'd do anything to make me happy.
And I do love him, but I'll never love him the way I love you. Sonny, I
would risk anything to be as happy again as we were before."

S: (smiles) "You sure about that? Jax seems to think I
bring you nothing but misery."

B: "And that's not all his fault. I said a lot of things…first
trying to convince him I didn't love you anymore (laughs),
then trying to convince myself. And I don't know how to explain that to him
without breaking his heart - but I have to try."

S: (nods). "Okay. I'll make myself scarce. It's - it's hard for
me to watch you fight your own battles, but I know that you're capable. You
always have been."

B: (smiles up at him and they kiss). "I love you."

S: "I know." (laughs)

B: (laughs too and brushes her hair away from her face.) "I
was just remembering the first time you told me you loved
me."

S: "Took me long enough, didn't it? I guess I'll just have to
make that up to you. I love you, Brenda, and I always have."

B: (smiles) "I know." (They both laugh) "Okay, you'd better
take off…I don't think it would be good for you to see Jax
before I do."

Sonny looks at Brenda, eyebrows raised, and shrugs. She laughs again and he
takes his coat and leaves. In the hallway, he runs into Miranda, who has
come to visit Katherine. She looks great - sporting a new hairstyle and a
clingy angora sweater. Sonny raises his eyebrows yet again and smiles.

S: "Well, Miranda! You're looking spiffy today. Hot date?"

M: (scowls at him) "Sonny, don't mistake me for Brenda
because we have the same hair color. Some women do try
to look good for reasons other than trying to lure helpless
men back to their lair."

S: "Jax doesn't look too helpless to me. Beyond help…(Sonny
laughs)…that's another story. See ya around, Miranda."

M: (looks puzzled and suspicious, knocks on door and
Kat answers)

K: "Miranda! I'm so glad you came by, I have been bored out
of my mind."

M: "Hi Katherine," Miranda says distractedly, "that's…weird."

K: "What's weird?"

M: "Sonny. He is in just too good of a mood today.
Something's up. Now I need to find out what."

K: "Well, come on in and we'll discuss the possibilities."

(Miranda and Kat head into Kat's penthouse and the door shuts."

Scene 2 - Pierce Dorman's apartment. The phone rings and he picks it up.

P: "Hello. Yes. She did? That may throw a crimp in our
plans. All right. Keep me informed."

Scene 3 - Sonny's Penthouse. The doorbell rings and Brenda opens it to Jax.
He moves toward her as if to hug her but she takes a step back and he picks
up on it instantly and stops.

B: (looks down, then back up again). "Jax," (sighs) "I didn't
mean to do it this way."

J: (steps into the penthouse). "Then why did you?"

B: "You're right. I should have come clean with you a long
time ago," Brenda seems to gather herself and stand up
straighter. "But you should've come clean with me, too.
You've never stopped loving Miranda."

J: "I married you. I chose you and I wanted to spend the rest
of my life with you."

B: "You didn't choose me! Any more than I chose you.
Neither of us thought we had other options when we
married. Lily was pregnant and I thought Sonny would
be tied to her forever and you didn't know Miranda was
still alive."

J: "No," Jax is growing angrier now. "You told me you
were staying with me even after Lily was dead. You told
me that you loved me. Brenda, were you lying to me all
along? I don't think so but I don't know what the Hell
you're doing anymore."

B: "I wasn't - I thought I was telling you the truth when I said
it to you," (she lets out a big sigh) "Jax, please. Do you
think this is easy for me? You've been my best friend. I
don't regret the time I've spent with you - I never would."

J: "But this is it? You went back to Sonny, didn't you? Didn't
you?"

B: "Jax, how can I ever make you understand. I would do
anything not to be hurting you like this. And it's my fault.
What I've been doing isn't fair to you. When we got
together, I thought you were perfect…and for me, at that
point in my life, you were. And I think I was for you…then.
You know it's not the same now. It hasn't been the same
since Miranda returned."

J: "Is that what this is all about? Because if Miranda bothers
her, we can go away. We don't need to live here in Port
Charles with Sonny and Miranda and all the memories-"

B: "-But that's just it, Jax - they're not memories. They're
realities. And you and I have been hiding from them too
long," (Brenda shakes her head in frustration) "Jax, I don't
want to - I can't fight with you. And I - I can't love you the
way you love me. I love Sonny."

J: (Looks incredulous) "Brenda, have you forgotten
everything you ever told me about how frightened you were
when you were with him? How long will it be before
someone shoots at you again? Or kills you? Brenda,
think about this!"

B: (nods) "I have, Jax. And there is one thing that scares me
worse than anything…and that's the…possibility that I
might do the wrong thing for everybody, just because I'm
scared."

J: (Steps forward and puts his hands on her shoulders) "Brenda
staying with me is not a mistake!"

B: (shakes her head slowly) "Jax…it is. Most of all for you.
I'm sorry I misled you and I'm sorry I hurt you…and that's
why I'm not going to do it anymore."

(Jax takes his hands off Brenda and steps back. He looks at Brenda for a
long moment, then turns and leaves, closing the door behind him. Brenda lets
out a long sigh and buries her head in her hands.)

Scene Four - Luke's club. Sonny comes in, snapping his fingers and looking
like he's on top of the world. Luke is at the bar and smiles at his friend.

L: "Well, I was going to tear a hole in you for making me do
all the interviews myself this morning, but I don't think I
can bear to burst your bubble. What's got you dancing
on air?"

S: (grins) "Sorry. Interviews just...(gestures with his hand)
slipped right out of my mind." (laughs)

L: "And what slipped in?" Luke grins back, "Or should I say
who? What, did Jax take a slow boat back to Australia?"

S: (Sonny comes to the bar and sits down, still grinning like a
little kid). "Maybe. Maybe later today he will."

L: "Oh - ho. Sounds like a story. Why, what'd you do to scare
Jax back to chasing kangaroos down under?"

S: "Luke, my friend, that's the glory of it. I didn't do anything.
It's Brenda who's about to give Jax his walking papers."
(Sonny leans on the bar, chuckling to himself.)

Scene Five: Kat's apartment. She and Miranda are talking.

K: "So you think something's up with Sonny and Brenda again?"

M: "I don't just think - I'm sure of it. I just saw Sonny and he's about as
smug as smug gets. And Jax has no idea where Brenda is."

K: "He doesn't? Why, what happened?"

M: "Oh, they had another fight - what a shock, huh? She took off. He thinks
she's at the Quartermaines, but he doesn't really know."

K: "Hmmm," She looks intrigued. "So what does that mean for you and Jax? I
wonder if she's gone for good? And is she at the Quartermaines - or
someplace a lot closer?" Kat nods toward the door of her apartment.

M: (looks disgusted) "You know what? I don't know if I want that to be
true. Yeah, I guess if Brenda leaves him for Sonny, I might win by default
but I don't want that! When I was with Jax, I knew I was the only woman in
the world for him. And I won't ruin that - I won't destroy that by going
back to him knowing I've become his second choice."

K: "Maybe he's just confused. He thought you were dead - he's still
adjusting. You don't know that he wouldn't have chosen to be with you again
if Brenda hadn't left. Maybe you're thinking this to death."

M: "Well, I should find out tonight. We're having dinner together."

K: "Really? That sounds promising."

M: "I'm not sure if he wants me or a shoulder to cry on, though…I love Jax,
but if I have to listen to a few hours of how wonderful Brenda is…"

K: (laughs) "Well at least she isn't going to jump out of a cake in the
middle of dinner."

M: "What?"

K: "Another time. Go, you don't want to be late."

(Miranda, still looking seriously confused by Kat's last remarks, steps out
into the hallway and runs headlong into Jax, who is heading down the hall at
the speed of light.)

M: "Jax, what's wrong? What are you doing here?"

J: (Looks angrily at Miranda), "You should know. Were you and Sonny planning
this all along?"

M: "Planning what? What are you talking about?"

J: "The end of my marriage. Don't look so shocked, Mirander. And don't tell
me you're here to meet your friend Sonny, because he's otherwise occupied -
with my wife!"

M: (Looking just as shocked.) "Jax, I had no idea!"

J: "Didn't you? You and Corinthos, laughing over dinner…I should have known.
How long has he been seeing her?" Jax demanded angrily.

M: (Finally getting angry herself.) "I don't know and I'm not going to stand
here and listen to your accusations. Do you think Sonny had to plot with me
to get your…wife…back in his bed? It's a miracle it took this long, and it's
hardly my fault that you've been too blind to see that!" Miranda storms off
and Jax is left looking somewhat…dazed.

Scene Six: (Sonny comes home).

S: "Brenda? Brenda, you home?"

Brenda emerges from the back, wearing one of Sonny's silk robes. He smiles.

S: "Now that…is a sight for sore eyes. You always did look better in that
robe than I did. Come here."

Brenda comes into his arms and puts her forehead on his shoulder.

S: "How'd it go with Jax?"

B: "Wasn't easy," Brenda says softly. "And I have no one but myself to blame
because it was my own lies he was using as ammunition."

S: "Hey, nobody's to "blame". This is not your fault. A lot of crazy things
happened to us last year, and we both did things that hurt other people as a
result…people who didn't deserve it."

B: Draws away and looks at him. "Lily wasn't your fault either. You know
that."

S: (nods). "We gotta stop doing this…nothing's going to change the past. We
just have to move forward and look at the future. And speaking of that,
maybe we should do something about getting your stuff back over here?"

B: (immediately looks semi-panicked). "Whoa, hold on a minute. I don't know
if that's such a good idea."

S: "What? Why not?"

B: (laughs). "Times have changed, haven't they? I had to beg and threaten
you to move in the first time."

S: "Yeah, well, I was pretty stupid back then," Sonny admits.

B: (smiles) "Yeah, you were." (becoming serious) "I just…this is too quick,
Sonny…I love you but I don't want to jump right back in to living with you.
Do you realize I haven't lived alone in years?"

S: "And that's bad?"

B: (nods) "Yeah, actually, it is. Sonny, I'm sick of being dependent.
Today, Jax was so sure that I was going to come back because only he could
protect me. And I have nobody to blame for that except myself. I let him
believe it."

S: "Brenda, that's Jax. You know it's different with us." (Sonny is
starting to look frustrated again.)

B: "It is - but it isn't. You think the same thing, that you need to be
around to protect me every hour of the day."

S: "Maybe I do. What about all of those gifts you've been receiving? You
feel safe and secure about that?"

B: (shakes her head). "No, no I don't. But I don't think the solution is
hiding out here and having six bodyguards tail me wherever I go. Sonny, I
can't live like that."

S: "Okay, then, why don't we leave for a while? We could go…we could go
anywhere you want…Puerto Rico, lay on the beach, drink some margaritas…" (he
takes Brenda in his arms again and leans down to kiss her. They kiss for a
long moment.)

B: (smiling again) "Sounds wonderful, doesn't it…but you know that's not
going to solve anything. And I've got work to do here. Lois - Lois' life is
hell right now and I've been dumping 100% of L & B on her shoulders to add to
it. No, Sonny, I talked to Ruby today and I'm going to move back into
Kelly's for a while."

S: "Brenda, that's -" Sonny stops himself and takes a deep breath. He
sighs. "You really want to do that?"

B: (nods). "I really need to do that."

S: "I'm not gonna lie and tell you I'm happy about that."

B: "I know."

S: (gives her this sad look) "You wanna sleep there?"

B: (laughs) "I didn't say that. Hmmm, maybe I'll just surprise you. Maybe
you'll come home to an empty…penthouse," (she laughs again) "and maybe you
won't."

S: (closes his eyes and grimaces) "You're gonna torture me, aren't you?"

B: (her voice turns seductive) "Maybe I will. That could be fun."

S: "So when were you planning on making this…move?"

B: "Hmmm, I don't know…tomorrow?"

S: "Then I guess I'd better make the most of the (he checks his watch) five
hours of today we have left." Sonny picks up a laughing Brenda and heads
back to the bedroom with her in his arms.

Scene Seven:

Lois is in her apartment in Bensonhurst. She's watching Brooke Lynn sleep
and when the phone rings, she grabs it quickly so that the baby doesn't wake
up.

L: (softly) "Hello?"

B: "Hi, Lo…it's me."

L: "Brenda?" Lois heads for the other room so that she won't wake Brooke.
"Brenda, what's up?"

B: "I…wow. A lot. I can't believe it's only been two days since you left."

L: "You know, I tried to call you last night, but Jax answered and he said
you weren't there. I got a little worried - it was late."

B: "I know, I'm not living there anymore. That's why I called."

L: "What? When did this happen? And what happened? What, I leave for 48
hours and you decide to shake up your life?"

B: (laughs) "Yeah, I kind of did. I've got a lot to tell you."

Scene Eight: GH. Pierce Dorman looks down at his pager, heads for the
nearest phone and dials. "Yes? She's where?" (he laughs) "No, that'll
make it easier. I thought she'd be with Corinthos." (he pauses and listens
to the unknown voice.) "No, I'm not that stupid! I know he's probably got
security on her. Don't insult me. You have nothing here without me."
(another pause) "You're threatening me? I could take you down and don't
you forget that." Dorman slams the phone down and angrily strides away.

Scene Nine: Back to Lois and Brenda talking on the phone.

B: "So, I'm at Kelly's now. And I want to apologize to you. I haven't lifted
a finger with L&B lately, and I want to change that. I've got the contracts
here that you sent me and I'll take care of processing them, start to
finish." Brenda is holding a stack of papers in her hands.

L: "Okay with me. Wow. I can't believe you left Jax. And I can't believe
Sonny let you leave his apartment."

B: "He's not thrilled, but he understands."

L: "I'm not sure I understand."

B: "That makes two of us," Brenda admits. "I don't know…I just didn't feel
right moving back in with him…it was kind of like after everything we've been
through…I don't know, somehow it wasn't enough and I felt like I needed to be
alone for a while and sort out my head."

L: "I'll sort it our for ya. You still want him to ask you to marry him,
don't you?"

B: "Marry him? Lois, that's ridiculous. I mean, 3 days ago I was still
planning to marry Jax! I'm not - I didn't think about that at all." Brenda
is adamant in her denial.

L: "Maybe not consciously. But let's look at this realistically. Sonny's
the love of your life, right?"

B: "Right."

L: "And you're off living above a diner because you need space? Bren, Sonny
ain't exactly the clingy type. What are you really running from - or holding
out for?"

B: "No, I'm not like that! I'm not playing a game with him. I wouldn't do
that anymore."

L: "So, Sonny says to you tomorrow, let's go to Vegas and get hitched…you're
gonna turn him down because you need space?"

B: "Yes - no…oh, Lois, I don't know. And I still feel bad about Jax. You
should have seen the look in his eyes when I told him yesterday…I felt so
bad."

L: "I know."

B: "I did love him. And that's why I feel so bad about what I did. Maybe
that's part of it. I mean, how can I be honest with anybody until I'm honest
with myself?"

L: "Yeah, exactly. That's why you ought to think about what I said. If you
want something, all you can do is be honest. Brenda, stop worrying you're
gonna scare Sonny away. If marrying another man twice didn't do it, I think
you're pretty safe."

B: (laughs) "Yeah, you do have a point."

L: "If you and Sonny are going to make things work, you gotta be honest with
each other - 100%. Take it from me."

B: "I feel like such a jerk today, Lois - I haven't even asked you how you
are."

L: "I'm okay. I'll be okay. Call me if anything changes, and think about
what I said. You've never been scared to fight for what you want before.
Now'd be a bad time to start. Bye, Brenda."

B: "Bye…" Brenda puts the phone down and sighs. She speaks out loud to
herself. "Is that what I really want? Mrs. Sonny Corinthos…" Brenda
smiles despite herself.

Just then there is a knock on the door. She heads toward it with a smile,
obviously hoping it will be Sonny. When she opens it, the camera pans
downward - Brenda screams and we see the papers she was holding flutter to
the floor.

(more to come)



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