‘The Paper’ continued...

Written by Bob Brush and John Romano; Directed by Michael Nankin; (as "fanscribed" by Janet)

Pictures for "The Paper"

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RETURN TO PART 1

Scene: Sun-Times News room. Harry Hawks walking through the room sees Gary. Carries computer print-out in his hands.

HARRY HAWKS: YOU'RE LOOKING FOR MEREDITH, HUH?

GARY: I WAS HOPING YOU COULD HELP ME FIND HER.

HARRY HAWKS: MISTER, I DON'T KNOW WHERE ANYONE IS. I'LL PUT ON EVERY AVAILABLE MAN, CALL OUT THE NATIONAL GUARD. YOU KNOW WHAT THIS IS? TOMORROW'S HEADLINES. A SERIAL KILLER GETS THE CHAIR TONIGHT, MASSACRES IN MARNIA BUT SHOULD I CARE? NO. I'M NOT RUNNING A PAPER, I'M RUNNING A MISSING PERSONS BUREAU, OR MAYBE A LONELY HEARTS CLUB. THAT'S HER DESK. (Points at desk) SHE'S NOT AT IT, AS USUAL. TRUST ME -- YOU DON'T FIND MEREDITH. SHE FINDS YOU. HENDERSON, THIS DEATH ROW GUY GOT ANY HOBBIES? (Walks over to another reporter's desk.)

GARY: (Picks up message pad from Meredith's desk.) PRETTY SLOPPY WORK, LADY. HEY. THANK YOU. CHECK YOUR HEADLINES. YOUR EXECUTION STORY'S WRONG. GOVERNOR'S GOING TO GRANT A PARDON AT MIDNIGHT. (Leaves the Sun-Times and a confused Harry Hawks.)

HARRY HAWKS: HENDERSON?

Scene: Motel 9 parking lot. Light pedestrian and auto traffic. Man crossing the lot stoops to pick up a white rat. Meredith waits in an otherwise empty room for her contact. Stands by window nervously clicking a retractable pen.

MEREDITH: COME ON, RICHIE. WHERE ARE YOU?

[KNOCK ON DOOR] (Meredith crosses to the door. Opens it. When she sees that it's Gary she slams the door closed - on his hand.

GARY: OW! MY HAND! MEREDITH: WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? GO AWAY! (Leaning on the door.)

GARY: MY HAND MY HAND MY HAND.

MEREDITH: ALL RIGHT, COME IN! (Whips the door open and pulls Gary into the room slamming him up against the wall.) WHO SENT YOU HERE? [She pokes Gary in the shoulder.]

GARY: NOBODY SENT ME HERE.

MEREDITH: HOW DID YOU KNOW I WAS HERE? [Pokes him again.] WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH RICHIE? [Pokes him a third time.]

GARY: DON'T POKE ME. (Pokes Meredith three times in return as he speaks.) I DON'T KNOW WHO RICHIE IS, AND I DON'T CARE. I DO KNOW YOU GOT TO GET OUT OF HERE.

MEREDITH: HOW'S THAT? (Face to face argument. Gary gestures with uninjured left hand.)

GARY: SOMEONE'S COMING HERE TO GET YOU, AND IF --

MEREDITH: I DON'T TRUST YOU. I'M GOING TO CALL THE COPS. (Crosses to wall phone.)

GARY: OK. WHILE YOU'RE CALLING THE COPS, CALL THE AMBULANCE TOO. (Walks to window and pulls curtain back.)

GARY: 'CAUSE I THINK YOU BROKE MY HA-- (Sees two guys coming in to the motel)

MEREDITH: HELLO? HELLO? THE PHONE'S DEAD. (Hangs up.)

GARY: THAT'S IT. WE'RE GOING. (Walks quickly to Meredith and grabs her arm pulling her toward the door.

MEREDITH: I'M STAYING.

GARY: NO, YOU'RE GOING. OW! (Meredith hits Gary on the sore hand. Gary opens the door and they start to leave.)

MAN: NEXT FLOOR. 306. (Gary slams the door shut as the guys come up the stairs.)

MEREDITH: I'M GOING.

GARY: NO THANKS FOR TRUSTING ME. (Gary and Meredith run out the other door to the walkway on the second level. Run toward a small blue car when they reach the parking lot. Gary unlocks the door on his side. Meredith argues with him.)

MEREDITH: FOR THE RECORD, I DID NOT SAY I TRUSTED YOU.

GARY: JUST GET IN THE CAR.

MEREDITH: WHAT, IN THIS?

GARY: IT'S A RENTAL.

MEREDITH: LET'S TAKE MINE.

GARY: WOULD YOU GET IN THE CAR?

MAN: THERE THEY ARE!

(Gary and Meredith look back toward the upper level of the motel. Seeing the two men they quickly get in the car and Gary tries to start it. The camera switches back and forth between them and the two guys who are delayed by the housekeeper's cart. Meredith keeps looking back.)

GARY: PUT YOUR SEATBELT ON.

MEREDITH: DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO. LISTEN, MR. SAFETY MAN, THERE ARE TWO KILLERS --

GARY: THE CAR WON'T START WITHOUT YOUR SEATBELT ON. (Meredith starts to put seatbelt on. Gary is aggravated.) OH, UM, TAKE YOUR TIME.

MEREDITH: START THE CAR.

(Gary gets the car started. Backs out of space. Drives off as the two guys reach the parking lot.)

MEREDITH: TAKE ME HOME.

GARY: LIKE THEY DON'T KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE. THERE'S PROBABLY A BOMB IN YOUR TOASTER.

MEREDITH: GREAT. I CAN'T GO TO WORK, I CAN'T GO HOME, WHERE CAN I GO?

Scene: Gary's room at the Blackstone. Gary and Meredith enter from the bathroom. Gary's hand is half wrapped in a bandage. Meredith holds the other end.

MEREDITH: I DON'T GET IT. WHY WOULD THEY COME AFTER ME? WITHOUT RICHIE, I DON'T EVEN HAVE A STORY.

GARY: WELL, MAYBE THEY DON'T KNOW THAT, MAYBE RICHIE -- OW! (Meredith pulls Gary along by his half bandaged hand.) MAYBE RICHIE SET YOU UP.

MEREDITH: I DON'T THINK SO. I THINK YOU SCARED HIM OFF. (Gary sits on the couch still trying to get his hand bandaged. Meredith sits on the coffee table.)

GARY: OH, SO IT'S ALL MY FAULT. I SEE. YOU GOT A REAL KNACK FOR PUSHING YOUR PROBLEMS ON OTHER PEOPLE. (Wrapping Gary's injured hand.)

MEREDITH: DO YOU KNOW YOU LIVE IN A DUMP?

GARY: WHAT'S THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN?

MEREDITH: WHAT'S THIS? (Stands and pick up the Lost Chicago book off the coffee table where she's been sitting on it.)

GARY: YOU KEEP YOUR PAWS OFF MY THINGS. (Grabs his book away from Meredith and puts it on the couch next to him.)

MEREDITH: JUST BEING CURIOUS. DOING MY JOB. (Pulls at bandages then drops it and stands. Walks around the couch behind Gary.)

GARY: YOUR CURIOSITY'S GIVING ME A HEADACHE.

MEREDITH: I'M USUALLY PRETTY GOOD AT FIGURING PEOPLE OUT, BUT I'M HAVING A TOUGH TIME WITH YOU. (Points at Gary) WHAT IS IT YOU DO WITH YOUR LIFE ANYWAY? (Leans on back of couch.)

GARY: (turns to face her) IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. (Extends his half bandaged hand toward her. She starts wrapping it again.)

MEREDITH: YOU GOT A JOB, HUH? YOU GOT A WIFE? BINGO. COME ON. LET'S JUST ADD THIS UP. WHAT HAVE WE GOT? WE GOT A GUY IN A BAD HOTEL ROOM. (Walks toward window and back.)WHY? I THINK MAYBE HIS WIFE THREW HIM OUT. AND WHY IS HE STILL HERE? 'CAUSE HE'S BURNING A TORCH FOR HER.

GARY: BURNING A TORCH. OH, THAT'S A GOOD ONE.

MEREDITH: WHAT GOES HE DO FOR A LIVING? HE'S NOT A HIT MAN -- NOT DRIVING THAT CAR, HE'S NOT -- HE'S NOT A REPORTER, OTHERWISE HE WOULD HAVE STOLEN MY STORY BY NOW. HOW DO YOU THINK I'M DOING? (Gary turns toward Meredith and back again.)

GARY: HOW DO I THINK YOU'RE DOING? OH, I THINK YOU'RE PRETTY MUCH FINISHED.

MEREDITH: I THINK HE'S LOOKING FOR SOMETHING, (Climbs over the back of the couch to the seat. Right hand is on Gary's shoulder) Something That's Missing, Something That Has To Do With This. (Grabs Lost Chicago and runs.)

GARY: GIVE IT BACK! (Chases Meredith around the back of the couch.)

MEREDITH: NOPE.

(Gary catches Meredith. She holds the book up in the air with her right hand.)

GARY: LET IT GO.

MEREDITH: OR WHAT?

GARY: JUST LET IT GO. (Meredith deliberately drops the book.) YOU JUST DROPPED MY BOOK.

MEREDITH: SO?

GARY: SO PICK IT UP.

MEREDITH: DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO. IT'S YOUR BOOK. YOU PICK IT UP. (Meredith kisses Gary.)

GARY: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

MEREDITH: WHAT DO YOU MEAN?

GARY: I MEAN, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

MEREDITH: I KISSED YOU.

GARY: I KNOW YOU KISSED ME. WHY DID YOU STOP?

MEREDITH: I DIDN'T STOP. YOU STOPPED.

GARY: I DIDN'T STOP. KISS ME AGAIN. (Gary kisses Meredith)

MEREDITH: DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO. DON'T EVER TELL ME WHAT TO DO.

GARY: OKAY. (Gary & Meredith kiss again.

Scene: Gary's hotel room. Night. Thunderstorm. Gary's asleep in the bed. Meredith is asleep on the couch. Daylight comes. Meredith is awake and dressed. She sits on the window seat. Stares into space thinking. Gary wakes up and sees her. Then he pretends to be asleep. Meredith puts her hands to her mouth and looks over at Gary. Laughs and smiles. Rises and picks up her shoes. Walks over to the bed where Gary now pretends to be asleep.

MEREDITH: GOOD MORNING.

GARY: (pretends to wake up.) GOOD MORNING.

MEREDITH: FAKER. (Laugh and walks away to the bathroom.)

CHUCK: HEY, GAR! GAR, IT'S ME!

[Knock on door]

(Gary gets out of bed and puts his pants on. Hops on one foot doing so.)

CHUCK: GAR, WAKE UP! GAR? (Stands out in hallway waiting for Gary to open the door.)

GARY: CHUCK, GO AWAY.

CHUCK: WHAT? CAN'T HEAR YOU. (Leans toward door.)

GARY: I SAID GO AWAY.

CHUCK: WHAT'S WRONG ARE YOU SICK?

GARY: I'M BUSY.

CHUCK: BUSY? DOING WHAT? HEY, GAR. OHH... (Hears Meredith humming. Look of comprehension comes over his face. Raises right hand in stop gesture. Turns and leaves) OHHHH...

(Gary turns from the door. Smiles at Meredith's humming. Goes out on the roof/balcony. Smells the flowers with big smile on his face. Traffic and El noises in the background. Stands on a chair and looks down at the street.)

GARY: HEY! DOWN THERE, GOOD MORNING! [cat meows]

[thud]

(Meredith walks from the bathroom to the main room.)

MEREDITH: GARY? (Looks around. Walks to the door of the room. Cat runs in when she opens the door. Meredith picks up the paper and closes the door. Walks back toward the kitchen.

[cat meows]

GARY: HELLO DOWN THERE!

MEREDITH: HEY, DO YOU WANT COFFEE?

GARY: UH, YEAH BLACK. (Looks back toward the room.)

MEREDITH: YOU WANT CREAM? (Meredith drops the paper on the table.)

GARY: UH, NO. BLACK. (Climbing down from chair.)

MEREDITH: SUGAR? (Walking around kitchen.)

GARY: BLACK, PLEASE. (Turns toward room.)

MEREDITH: SO YOU WANT IT JUST BLACK THEN?

GARY: UH, YEAH. BLACK WOULD BE GOOD. (Nods head.)

[Cat meows]

(Gary looks down at cat. Climbs down from chair.)

MEREDITH: THAT'S WHAT I THOUGHT.

(Gary picks cat up as he sits on the chair.)

GARY: HEY, BUDDY. HOW ARE YOU DOING? HEY, HOW ARE YOU DOING TODAY? HUH? HOW ARE Y-- WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? (Rushes back into the room.) DON'T READ THAT. (Meredith is sitting at the table with the paper. Gary snatches it away so she won't realize what it is.)

MEREDITH: WE'RE NOT GOING TO PLAY THOSE GAMES AGAIN, ARE WE? (Stands up and confronts Gary thinking it's a game.)

GARY: I JUST DON'T LIKE PEOPLE READING MY PAPER. (Holds paper somewhat crumpled in both hands near his chest.

MEREDITH: WHY? I'M A REPORTER. IT'S MY JOB. YOU'RE SERIOUS ABOUT THIS, AREN'T YOU? OKAY, WHAT IS IT?

GARY: LOOK, I CAN'T EXPLAIN THIS. (Shakes his head.)

MEREDITH: I'M A BIG GIRL. I CAN TAKE IT. WHO, THE WIFE? THE SILENCE IS KILLING ME. (Camera switches back and forth between them. Gary is very nervous.)COME ON WHAT? YES? NO?

GARY: UH, LOOK, I CAN'T DO THIS. I'M SORRY. I'M SORRY. WHERE ARE YOU GOING? (Meredith walks over to get her purse and starts to leave. Turns back to face Gary as she does.

MEREDITH: I'M GOING WORK. I'M GOING TO DO MY JOB.

[The tea kettle starts whistling]

MEREDITH: YOUR COFFEE'S READY. (Opens door and leaves. Gary walks angrily toward the window. Throws paper out the window. Pages separate as it falls.)

GARY: I DON'T WANT IT ANYMORE! YOU HEAR ME?

Scene: Lobby/hallway of Blackstone. Gary pulls jacket on as he leaves his room. Boswell greets Gary as he passes him in the hall.

BOSWELL: GOOD MORNING, SIR.

GARY: GOOD MORNING.

BOSWELL: NO PAPER TODAY?

GARY: NOPE.

Scene: Street in front of the Blackstone. Gary exits the building scowling. Hands are in his pockets. Sees the paper he threw away on the sidewalk near the curb. Paper is intact again. Tries to ignore it but goes back and picks it up after having pushed it away with his right foot. Looks up toward roof then back at the paper and picks it up. Headline reads: Reporter and Man Found Slain in Sun-Times Basement.

Scene: Sun-Times newsroom. Meredith is sitting at her desk with her head down. Harry Hawks is walking through the room with another reporter. Harry approaches Meredith's desk and drops a folder on it.

HARRY HAWKS: WELL, IF IT ISN'T THE EVER-ELUSIVE MISS CARSON.

MEREDITH: NOT TODAY, HARRY.

HARRY HAWKS: YOU NEVER CALL, YOU NEVER WRITE. ESPECIALLY YOU NEVER WRITE. WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?

MEREDITH: MEETING DIDN'T HAPPEN. CONTACT DIDN'T SHOW. (Harry leans on her desk and looks at his watch. Rubs right cheek with his hand. Picks up his coffee with his left hand and takes a sip.

HARRY HAWKS: THAT WOULD BE YESTERDAY. NOW IT'S TODAY.

MEREDITH: I HAD ROUGH NIGHT, OKAY? I'M SO TIRED OF THIS, CHASING AIR. I KNOW MORE ABOUT THE PEOPLE I WRITE ABOUT THAN MYSELF. I'M GOING TO RETIRE -- SOMEPLACE PEACEFUL.

HARRY HAWKS: SOMEPLACE WHERE THERE'S NO MEN.

MEREDITH CARSON: BUTT OUT.

(Harry puts his coffee down and rubs his nose with two fingers.)

HARRY HAWKS: YOU'RE NOT GOING TO RETIRE. YOU, YOU'RE ALL NEWSPAPER. TRUST ME, IT'S IN YOUR BLOOD. YOU COULDN'T RETIRE IF YOU WANTED TO.

MEREDITH: TRY ME. (Turns to look at Harry.)

HARRY: YOUR COFFEE'S COLD. (Leaves Meredith's desk. Meredith sits up and looks at the paper on her desk. The headline reads: Budget Bill UP for Passage Tonight.)

MEREDITH: TONIGHT? (Picks up the paper and goes to another reporter's office.)HEY, JIMMY, THIS STORY YOU WROTE, WHAT HAPPENED?

JIMMY: WHAT HAPPENED TO WHAT? (Sitting at his very cluttered desk. Has piece of paper in his hand. Makes open handed gesture.)

MEREDITH: I READ IT THIS MORNING. (Standing in Jimmy's doorway. Left hand is on the doorknob.) IT SAID THE BUDGET PASSED.

JIMMY: YOU'RE JOKING, RIGHT? THEY DON'T VOTE 'TIL TONIGHT. BESIDES, THE COUNCIL'S MADE UP THEIR MIND. THE BUDGET DOESN'T STAND A CHANCE. (Leaves the room and closes the door. Walks away.) CARSON, MAYBE YOU OUGHT TO TAKE UP SMOKING AGAIN! (Heard through closed door.

MAN: MISS CARSON?

MEREDITH: YEAH. (Turns toward the speaker.)

MAN: THERE'S A MESSAGE FOR YOU. (Walks with Meredith.)

MEREDITH: NOT NOW.

MAN: HE SAID IT'S IMPORTANT.

MEREDITH: I DON'T CARE.

MAN: IT'S SOME GUY NAMED RICHIE. HE CALLED FROM DOWNSTAIRS IN THE LOBBY, (both stop. Meredith leaves him standing there.) HE SAID -- HE SAID YOU'D WANT TO KNOW. (Waits a minute then turns and walks away.)

MEREDITH: WAIT! HOLD IT! (Running for elevator. Two men are already on board. They hold the elevator for her.)

MAN 1: WHAT FLOOR?

MEREDITH: LOBBY. HEY, I SAID LOBBY.

MAN: SORRY, CUPCAKE. NO CAN DO. (Turns around. Is one of the men from the motel. His partner holds a rat.)

MEREDITH: WHERE'S RICHIE? (Camera switches back and forth between them.)

MAN 1: RICHIE AIN'T ANYWHERE. THAT MESSAGE YOU GOT WAS FROM US.

Scene: basement of Sun-Times building. Meredith is being half dragged, half pulled along toward the cage in the archives. Man 1 tries the door but can't get it open.)

MEREDITH: SO WHERE ARE YOU GUYS TAKING ME, DINNER AND DRINKS? OR HOW ABOUT THE TRUNK OF YOUR CAR?

MAN: NEITHER. THE CAR WENT DEAD THREE BLOCKS FROM HERE. CARBURETOR PROBLEMS.

MEREDITH: SORRY TO HEAR THAT, BOYS.

MAN 1: HERE'S GOING TO HAVE TO DO. (To his partner.)OPEN IT UP. CHECK IT OUT. (Pushes Meredith into a chair. Leans over her.) LET'S TALK.

MEREDITH: WHAT DO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT -- SPORTS, PHILOSOPHY?

MAN: HOW ABOUT RED COOPER? WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT RICHIE TOLD YOU.

MEREDITH: SORRY. NOT MUCH.

MAN: THAT'S WHAT RICHIE SAID, BUT WE DIDN'T BELIEVE HIM. (Straightens up and walks to one side. Sits on table.)

MEREDITH: IF YOU THINK YOU'RE GOING TO INTIMIDATE ME WITH THAT $20 JACKET YOU DON'T KNOW WHO YOU'RE DEALING WITH.

Scene: Sun-Times lobby. Gary runs toward the elevator. Delayed. Looks around the lobby and sees the door to the stairs.

Gary: THE STAIRS. (Runs to the door. Starts down the stairs. Paper is in his left hand. Right hand is on the railing. Stops at the door to the cage.) MEREDITH! MEREDITH?

(The men turn at the sound of his voice. Meredith swings at Man 1 with a long wooden handle. Knocks him out cold.)

MEREDITH: IT'S NOT YOUR COLOR OKAY?

GARY: NICE SHOT.

MEREDITH: THANKS. HOBSON, WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? (Meredith and Gary run off together toward the elevator.)

GARY: I MISSED YOU. (Stop at elevator. Too slow. The guys are coming for them as they start toward the stairs.)

MEREDITH: I'M SUPPOSED TO BELIEVE THAT?

[groans]

GARY: COME ON, COME ON MEREDITH! (Stop at a nearby door.) WHAT'S THIS?

MAN 1: THERE.

GARY: IN HERE! (Opens the door. Pulls Meredith in and closes the door. Tries to block it from the inside.)

MEREDITH: THIS IS COZY. (Looks around.) KIND OF LIKE "TALES FROM THE CRYPT."

MAN 1: ALL RIGHT, WE GOT THEM NOW.

MEREDITH: OKAY, WHAT NOW?

GARY: IN ABOUT 10 MINUTES, THE NIGHT WATCHMAN COMES AND FINDS OUR BODIES.

MEREDITH: WHAT?

GARY: IF THERE WERE A NIGHT WATCHMAN, IN ABOUT 10 MINUTES HE'D COME AND FIND OUR BODIES.

(Gary is trying to keep the door closed. The two men are on the outside trying to get it open.)

MEREDITH: YOU DO KNOW SOMETHING, DON'T YOU? WE'RE GOING TO DIE. (Gary looks at Meredith then back at the door.) IT'S IN THE PAPER, ISN'T IT? ISN'T IT?

GARY: I THOUGHT THE GUY IN THE PAPER WAS RICHIE. I WAS WRONG. FOOLED AGAIN.

MEREDITH: AND IF YOU'D KNOWN?

GARY: I WOULD'VE COME ANYWAY

MAN 1: CAN'T YOU DO ANY BETTER?

MAN 2:I'M WORKING ON IT. (Still struggling with door.)

MAN 1: I WILL DO IT MYSELF.

MEREDITH: YOU WANT TO KNOW SOMETHING IRONIC? I'M HOLDING THE SCOOP OF THE CENTURY AND I DON'T CARE. (Holds paper up. Gary walks over and kisses Meredith.)

GARY: WHAT'S THIS? (Sees lighter in Meredith's pocket. Looks at lighter, ceiling vent and paper. Uses lighter to set paper on fire.)

MEREDITH: WAIT, WAIT, THE PAPER...

GARY: I KNEW IT WAS GOOD FOR SOMETHING. (Holds burning paper up to smoke detector.) ALL RIGHT, NOW GET US OUT OF HERE. (Smoke escapes through air vent. Sun-Times employees see it and start panicking.)

(Alarm sounds)

MAN 2: WHAT'S THAT? (Men look around nervously as alarm continues to sound.)

MAN 1: LET'S TAKE THE STAIRS.

GUARD 1: HOLD IT!

GUARD 2: GRAB THOSE GUYS!

MAN 1: WHAT DID WE DO? (Inside the storeroom Gary still holds the burning paper near the vent. Drops it on the floor as Meredith watches. Headline changes to Killers of Slain Union Boss Captured at Sun-Times.)

Scene: Sidewalk in front of Sun-Times building. Gary and Meredith watch as the hit men are escorted to a police cruiser.

MEREDITH: I GUESS I GOT A STORY TO FILE.

GARY: YEAH. WHAT TIME ARE YOU GOING TO BE DONE? MEREDITH: IN TIME FOR DINNER.

(Gary smiles and leans in for a kiss.)

MEREDITH: YOU GOING TO TELL ME ABOUT IT?

GARY: ABOUT WHAT?

MEREDITH: THE PAPER.

GARY: I THOUGHT YOU DIDN'T CARE ABOUT THE PAPER.

MEREDITH: WELL I THOUGHT WE WERE GOING TO DIE.

GARY: NO COMMENT.

(Gary and Meredith stare at each other for a moment.)

MEREDITH: I GOT TO GO.

(Gary nods and Meredith leaves to file her story.)

Scene: Hospital waiting room. Morris, both hands and his head bandaged sits in a wheelchair talking to Gary.

MORRIS: SO SHE NAILED THEM, DID SHE? (Looks pleased.) THAT'S OUR GIRL MEREDITH. DON'T STOP 'TIL YOU BRING THEM DOWN. AND THIS... (indicates the folder in Gary's hand.) BELONGED TO OLD MAN SNOW, YOU SAY. (Gary nods) THAT'D BE LIKE HIM. PLAYED THINGS CLOSE, YOU KNOW?

GARY: AND HE LIVED AT BROWN'S?

MORRIS: FAR AS I KNOW. MOST OF HIS LIFE ANYWAY, EXCEPT TOWARD THE END. HE MOVED ABOUT A YEAR AGO. COULDN'T QUITE FIGURE OUT WHY. FUNNY GUY, THAT SNOW.

GARY: WHERE DID HE MOVE? UM...

Scene storage room at the Blackstone. Boswell hands Gary a key. Marissa and Chuck stand close by.

BOSWELL: HERE YOU GO. I KNEW SHE WAS BACK HERE SOMEWHERE.

CHUCK: A TRUNK. I WAS HOPING FOR AT LEAST A SACKFUL OF CASH.

MARISSA: THIS IS WHERE IT'S BEEN THE WHOLE TIME, IN YOUR HOTEL? FIGURES.

GARY: WAIT A SECOND. YOU MEAN, YOU KNEW THIS GUY? OLD MAN SNOW.

BOSWELL: OH, SURE DID. HE DIED THE DAY BEFORE YOU MOVED IN. TWELVE BUCKS.

GARY: HUH?

BOSWELL: BUSINESS IS BUSINESS.

CHUCK: TWELVE BUCKS?

(Gary pays Boswell)

BOSWELL: THANK YOU. THERE YOU GO. GOOD LUCK.

Scene: Gary's room at the Blackstone. Gary's sitting on the couch with the trunk on the floor in front of him.. Marissa sits next to him cuddling the cat. Chuck stands behind him.

GARY: YOU KNOW WHAT? I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR SOMETHING LIKE THIS EVER SINCE THE PAPER STARTED COMING...AND NOW THAT IT'S HERE, I'M NOT SO SURE I WANT TO KNOW.

MARISSA: MAYBE YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO KNOW.

(Gary unlocks and opens the trunk. Camera switches to Marissa and a contentedly purring cat.)

MARISSA: WHAT IS IT? WHAT IS IT?

(The only thing in the trunk is a scrap of paper with the words LIVE YOUR LIFE printed on it.)

Scene: Sun Times newsroom. Meredith sits on a desk. Harry Hawks stops by on his way out.

HARRY HAWKS: LIKE I SAID, KID YOU'RE ALL NEWSPAPER.

MEREDITH: SHUT, UP HARRY.

HARRY HAWKS: GOOD NIGHT.

MEREDITH: GOOD NIGHT.

(Harry leaves. Meredith turns around and sits at the desk. Picks up the phone and dials. The phone rings but no one answers. Meredith hangs up and puts her elbow on the desk, resting her chin in her hand. Container of Chinese food appears on the desk. Gary has arrived and sits on the desk.)

GARY: YOU'RE NOT HUNGRY, BY ANY CHANCE, ARE YOU? MOO GOO GAI PAN FROM WU LING'S. THE BEST FOOD IN TOWN.

MEREDITH: HI.

GARY: HI.

THE END


Many thanks to Janet for sharing her fanscription of "The Paper" – Thank you!


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