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:: L ' E N N U I ::

By NancyAmazon

Rome Italy, present day

We're in a dressmaker's studio. The tools of the trade are all around; ribbons, dummies, sketches of costumes. The camera pans past a gorgeous woman. She's being fitted for a costume. The voice we hear explains that the dressmaker doesn't usually do costumes for live performance, but she did the movie version for Baz (Luhrmann?) so she relented and agreed to do the ballet.

The prima ballerina says she didn't see the movie. The dressmaker, a gorgeous blonde woman - probably in her mid-thirties - exclaims, how could she have not heard the story of the Gift of the Magi? The dressmaker is unhappy with the dress, it's cut wrong. She sends her assistant out to do something (in Italian) and says she'll see what she can do with the dress.

The blonde's hands are all over the prima's body. She starts telling the story of the Gift of the Magi. It is about the foolish sacrifices we make for love. As she's telling the story she starts running her hands up and down the prima's leg, obviously in a way no costumier needs to do. The prima is intrigued at first and then as the story unfolds and the blonde's hands get further and further up her leg her breathing gets heavier.

Finally the prima gasps in pleasure. The blonde asks if she should go on. With what, the story? Yes please, comes the breathy answer... the seduction is complete.


Marina's house. She's watching herself in the mirror and running her hands through her hair, singing along to a love song in Italian, moving her body in a subtle dance. She's putting a comb in her hair to keep it done up.

Tim drags a garbage bag full of stuff through the house. He picks up one of Jenny's shirts from the couch and throws it in. Jenny walks in the door, looking dirty and horrible, still wearing the same clothes she's been wearing since they went to Tahoe. Tim looks at her. He's unshaven and not looking too hot himself.

He asks where's she's been. Jenny explains that she met these two kids and they gave her a ride. She mumbles something about visiting their home town and climbing a beautiful mountain there. Huh? All we saw was them in the car eating shrooms. Maybe this is just what she remembers. Tim says he got her letter. He never wanted her to eviscerate her heart. He just wanted her to be honest.

She says she found a gift for him in a little town on the way. It's a new chain for his stopwatch, so he can stop forgetting it all the time. Tim says he broke the watch and doesn't take the gift. He says he broke it on that day. Again Tim asks if that was the first time it happened. Jenny lies again and says yes which Tim knows isn’t true. He’s over the bullshit now and throws her stuff in the front yard, telling her to get out. Finally he closes the door on her.

Marina is at the Planet, drinking tea. She walks over to the table where Alice, Dana and Shane are talking about Shane's night at Harry Samchuck's. She met Madonna, who is short but “tidy” according to Shane. Dana asks if she's going to do her. Alice asks if she already did her. Shane says no, but she is doing her hair next week. Harry also loaned Shane his yacht so she's having a party on it Friday night.

Bette and Tina walk in. Shane asks Tina how she feels. Immediately Dana and Alice give her desperate glances. We realise what the glances were for when instead of a simple “I’m fine” Tina and Bette start a diatribe about the pregnancy and antacids, heartburn, varicose veins and all the things the female body goes through. They go on so long we get time lapses that show Alice, Dana and Shane in various stages of boredom. Bette and Tina finally finish and ask if the guys remembered they have their spirit flow ceremony that day. Dana is almost afraid to ask. It's apparently a ceremony to welcome the spirit of the foetus into the body at thirteen weeks. Tina was really hoping the gang would be there for the chanting. Alice and Shane say yeah, of course, they wouldn't miss it. Dana, speechless and having no way out, just gives them the double thumbs up.

Jenny is sitting on the front lawn of Tim's house looking at her stuff and basically wondering what to do next. She sits for a long time, unmoving.

At the spirit flow ceremony Tina and Bette are in the centre of the circle with the gang sitting off towards the windows as part of the outer circle. The girls display various levels of flexibility sitting in yoga position. Dana is flexible, the others aren’t. They all chant along, looking and feeling stupid. Kit looks like she's really getting into it.

After the spirit is invoked the group joins hands and starts to sing. Dana looks like she wants to die. All the group send their blessings to Tina and Bette and the new being they're creating. It's hilarious. A pregnant woman in the group sees Dana and Alice not singing, thinks they're just feeling lost and comes to hold Dana's hand and help with the words and the spirit of the song. Dana looks even more like she wants to die.

Marina is working late as usual. She looks over and spots Jenny looking filthy and stinky in the corner. She has warring emotions but eventually goes over to her. Jenny is pitiful, begging. Marina simply asks what she needs. She replies that a bath would be good. Marina looks unsure and reminds Jenny that she said she never wanted to see her again. Jenny tries to explain, she and Tim were together for four years, she had to do what he said to try and make things work. Marina nods and admits Tim really loves her. She shows Jenny the bruises on her arms that are proof of Tim’s love, but she isn't going to press charges.

Jenny is shocked. It's all her fault and it's starting to sink in. She says she's a liar, a coward and a cheater. She gently kisses the bruises on Marina's arm. Hesitantly, Marina gives in and strokes Jenny’s hair.

The gang are walking down the street saying goodbye after the yoga ceremony. Kit rides off on her pushbike. Tina asks Shane about the details of the yacht party. Harry apparently booked the party and has to go out of town so it's all set up; a full bar, cocktail waitresses, everything. Shane says it could be tit. (Tit?) Bette says she’s sure they'll understand why she and Tina won't be there. They're nesting now, they just want to stay home like brooding hens. Alice asks if what she's hearing is they want to pass up the biggest private girl party of the year to go home and sit on an egg? Bette laughs and says that's exactly what they're saying. They say goodbye and walk off with their arms around each other (awwwww).

Shane, Alice and Dana decide that it's desperate. It has to be done. 6 o'clock.

Jenny is in the bath at Marina's house looking depressed.

Bette comes home from work to find Shane, Alice and Dana sitting on the couch. Tina's already there, looking perplexed. Bette walks in and asks what's going on. Tina shrugs, she hasn't been informed yet either.

It's an intervention. Shane, Dana and Alice sit on the couch and confront their friends over their recent self-destructive behaviour. They've witnessed so many other couples who've decided to have babies go down this road. They're isolated, they talk about bodily fluids and pregnancy hormonal cycles in public and are just plain... boring.

Boring? Tina and Bette ask.

Yes. And Alice has a self-help quiz that will prove it. They can all fill it out together and tally the results. Bette is both shocked and amused that the quiz has results that can be tallied. Alice hands them a list of incidents, including one that has Tina talking about maternity wear and gooey brown discharge from her vagina at breakfast? Shane, Alice and Dana run through the intervention like a three stooges routine, going back and forth describing Bette and Tina's recent behaviour, including wearing fuzzy wuzzy slippers.

Finally they decide they've intervened enough and leave Bette and Tina to ponder the list and their rapidly encroaching state of boringness. Bette and Tina look somewhat disturbed. Bette puts her head in Tina's lap, looking suddenly very tired. She's asks their baby-to-be if he is bored by their mummies. I'm sure he'd respond if he could.

The phone rings in Kit's apartment while she's mixing up a cocktail and swaying to some loud music. It's her son David on the phone. She quickly douses the music. He explains that he is coming to town on a whistle-stop tour to do job interviews for internships. He'll be busy most of the day and then he's flying out but there's a couple of hours in the evening where they could meet up if Kit was interested. She's ecstatic. He says he realises as part of the program she's not supposed to put herself in stressful situations, but Kit assures him she can handle it.

Dana is at her agent's office while he runs through the details of the Subaru contract. In his own slimy way he tells Dana that she looks hot, which she puts down to the fact that she's going to a party later on. Conrad tells Dana about how usually in big contracts like the one she's signing the company pretty much owns her ass, which means a lifestyle clause that she'll have to follow. He doesn't strictly mention her sexuality but she catches on quick. Dana asks about Martina. Subaru did a whole campaign around her being gay. Conrad explains that kind of freedom is only available to superstars. Her Anna Kournikova days are numbered. This is her last chance to cash in on being a hot, young player on the rise but she has to do it closeted. Dana looks scared shitless and totally disgusted at the same time.

Bette and Tina arrive for the party on the boat. To their horror they find that they are the first to arrive. That's a sign of being really boring. They look out over the water an comment how nice and peaceful it all is.

Cut to the party in full swing. Music is blaring, girls are drinking and dancing, sucking down shots and throwing the glasses overboard. There is quite possibly not an ugly woman in sight, but since they've all been hand-picked by Shane for this party, that's hardly surprising. We follow a woman as she walks around the boat, ending up at the hot tub where she strips off her clothes and joins a bunch of other naked women. She immediately starts making out with one of them.

Alice spots Tina and Bette just standing around off to the side of the boat. She signals that they're being boring, so Bette wraps her arms around Tina and starts to dance. This mollifies Alice, barely.

At a swank city restaurant Dana and Lara are waiting in line for a table. Lara's feeling playful, which is really bad timing because Dana's just come from seeing Conrad and is scared out of her wits. Lara starts moving in closer, talking dirty and having fun making Dana blush. Dana looks over at a straight couple in the restaurant, feeling embarrassed at the public display. She moves away from Lara, still checking over to see if this straight woman is watching. She looks like she wants to be anywhere but where she is. Lara is confused and wonders if she offended Dana in some way.

Dana has been totally screwed up by Conrad. But it isn't just that. Lara's so out and proud and that makes Dana feel like she's not good enough somehow, that everything she does is being judged by Lara to see if she's being out enough. Conrad's words were just the final straw. She can't stand being there in the restaurant with the people looking at her, judging her. She cares too much what everyone thinks; Lara, the strangers in the street, Conrad, Subaru, her friends, her parents... there's just so much pressure and she can't take it any more. Dana tells Lara she doesn't want to be with her and leaves a stunned Lara staring after her as she races from the restaurant.

Alice is talking to Lisa on the boat. Trust Alice to find the only man at an all-girl party. He asks what she was doing around 9.15 the previous night. He was sending her Reiki, he hopes she felt something. Bette and Tina snicker from behind that Reiki is really boring, strike against Alice and Lisa. They should write that down. Lisa and Alice continue to flirt shamelessly with one another with Lisa offering some hands-on Reiki later in the evening. Alice does her best to ignore Bette and Tina chuckling in the background.

Dana arrives at the party looking totally screwed up. Shane disentangles herself from the babe she's with to ask Dana where Lara is. Dana says Lara couldn't make it, which Shane rightfully interprets as them having broken up, considering how upset Dana looks. Dana takes the first glass of champagne that is offered and downs it in one gulp.

Lisa the LIM is inside the cabin with Alice trying out the hands on Reiki. It looks totally bogus but as with everything he's incredibly earnest about it. He asks Alice to take off her shirt to facilitate the process. She's perfectly willing to do that. He points out all of her stress points. It's pretty obvious Alice only has one stress point on her mind.

Outside a round of body shots has started in couples. Dana has found some random babe willing to donate her body to a good cause. Shane sucks off the babe she is with while Bette sucks the salt from Tina's neck. Bette looks like she's at her limit. Shane says one more and Bette wisely throws the last shot over her shoulder (too bad for the chick behind her!). Dana looks like the drinking has only just begun.

Marina arrives with a freshened up Jenny trailing behind her. They are glowing in each other's company. Jenny's eyes pop open at the scene - so many women. But she's holding the hand of one of the hottest women there and Marina wants to dance. Hot hot HOT.

Alice and Lisa have now removed much more than their shirts and are going at it in the cabin. She reaches down to his underwear and tries to go underneath, but Lisa stops her explaining he's brought a dildo for the occasion. Alice is confused, why use a dildo when you have the real thing? He might be pretending to be a lesbian, but he really is a man and that's what Alice wants. It isn't what Lisa wants but he folds under pressure. When Alice drops and heads for his penis he doesn’t have any more convincing words to stop her.

Tina is resting in a deckchair out the back watching something intently. Bette arrives with tea. Then we see what Tina is looking at. Dana, absolutely trashed, has climbed up on top of the boat and is dancing wildly, or “getting down with her bad self”. Bette quips that Dana’s bad self is going to feel it in the morning. She asks how Tina is holding up. They both decide it's time they took their boring selves home and let the rest of the women party on without them. Bette invites Tina in under her cloak of boringness and they leave the party.

Dana is still wiggling her gorgeous butt. She’s actually a really good dancer. (What kind of director doesn't take close-ups of that kind of thing?)

Lisa and Alice emerge from the cabin. Alice looks contented but Lisa just looks upset. She tries to kiss him but he backs off. He looks frightened. Alice tries to talk to him but he runs away leaving her frustrated and confused.

The music has changed to something Spanish and sensual. Marina and Jenny slow dance with lots of other couples on the deck. Jenny takes a long, drunken look at Marina's breasts, almost as if she could tear Marina's top off with just her eyes. Their bodies are swaying tightly together. It's intense. Marina's hands start to work their way under Jenny's skirt. Finally they kiss.

Shane sniffs blow off the stomach of the babe she's been with all night. They kiss passionately. Shane sits back and scratches her nose, the drugs kicking in.

Downstairs Alice is holding Dana's head over the side of the boat as she pukes up everything she's drunk. Dana looks utterly miserable. Shane comes down the stairs and commiserates, telling her to let it all go. Alice holds her hand over her mouth to keep from gagging. Dana's having a serious, smelly puke-fest. Shane and Alice can't help chuckling.

At home in the nest of domesticity Bette brings Tina some hot milk and honey in bed. Tina looks so contented. She snuggles the pillows and tells Bette she loves her and that she thinks Bette is the most exciting woman in all of LA and can she turn the light out? Bette gets one of those looks that means she not entirely comfortable with the situation, no matter how good an actress she's been until now.

In the early hours before dawn Shane is smoking a cigarette while Alice and Dana huddle underneath a blanket on one the deckchairs. Alice wonders where Bette and Tina went. They’re just irretrievably boring. Shane wonders about that. What's more boring, she asks. Making endless lists? Puking over the side of the boat? Or going home to fall asleep next to the same person you've been in love with for seven years? It's all a matter of perspective. Then to Alice's horror she starts trying to walk and balance on the side of the boat. She doesn't fall in.

Jenny wakes up next to Marina looking happier than we've ever seen her. She kisses Marina's half sleeping form. Disturbingly enough she's still wearing Tim's wedding ring around her neck on a long chain and the ring dangles and drags on Marina's skin as she works her way down Marina's back. It's an odd image. Marina doesn't seem to mind. They start to make love.

Someone is knocking persistently on Dana's front door. She stumbles out of her bedroom in way-cute pyjamas and slams into the wall. Ouch. It's Conrad. He blanches at her alcohol-sodden breath. (Food poisoning? Yeah, right Dana.) He mumbles something about Dana having Lara do her sober before a photo shoot. It's totally offensive but Dana is too hung over to have a hope of retaliating. He settles himself in while she's goes to make herself presentable. Oh, for a gun. Conrad desperately needs to be put down.

Bette is working out by the pool with Harrison who is apparently not only Dana's doubles partner and faux lover but masquerades as a personal trainer in his free time. (What, casting got lazy?) Kit arrives as Bette finishes the end of her workout and tells Bette that David called. When Bette doesn't seem surprised Kit realises she must have known in advance about the phone call. The whole family seems to be making decisions about what is or isn't in Kit's best interests. Kit shrugs off her annoyance and asks Bette if she’ll come along to her meeting with David. She's not sure she can handle the pressure of it alone. After a brief hesitation Bette says yes.

Marina and Jenny are still in bed. If it's possible, Jenny just keeps looking happier and happier each time we see her. Seems she's getting used to this woman-on-woman thing. Jenny suggests that maybe she could move a few things into Marina's place. Marina dreams a bit about how cool that would be, having Jenny there with her computer writing out on the terrace in the sunlight. But it isn't going to happen. Marina lives in the real world and that is just a wonderful fantasy. Jenny can't move anything in because Francesca is coming home soon.

Jenny does an enormous double take. Who the hell is Francesca? Marina is sure she told her. Perhaps this time Marina relied just a little too heavily on the grapevine. Heck, even WE don't know who she is except that suddenly we do. She's the costume designer who was seducing the prima ballerina in the prologue, this week's celebrity tie-in.

In a flash Jenny is up, dressed and running down the stairs. Marina chases after her wondering where the hell Jenny is going to go. Marina tries to explain that Jenny and Francesca are so different. Oh great explanation. On her way out the door bearing her garbage bag full of stuff Jenny spots the pictures of Francesca on the wall. Guess she must have missed those on the way in.

Marina explains that Francesca travels and works around the world for months at a time. Jenny just stares at Marina in amazement, wondering how she could be so utterly fooled. She thought she knew Marina and really she knows nothing at all. Marina rather condescendingly says that she's opened up Jenny's world - it will be full of possibilities now that it never was before. Jenny says fuck you and leaves, disappointed and furious.

Dana is on the tennis court being followed around by a guy with a camera. She looks surprisingly robust all things considered. The photographer is yelling encouragement from the sideline. Suddenly she sees Lara walking up the hill beside the court. Lara is keeping her eyes firmly forward, not looking over. Dana stops running and stares wistfully, a tennis ball flies unseen past her face. After a few seconds she manages to pull herself together and keep going.

Bette and Tina arrive in the bar of David's hotel. Bette thinks they should probably not sit at the bar, it sends the wrong message. Kit scoffs that it'll be fine, Bette and David have been convinced by Melvin that she's some kind of falling down drunk and it simply isn't true. She orders something non-alcoholic and they sit down to wait for David. Kit says she was having a drink the night David called but she hasn't touched anything since. Bette is proud that Kit is trying to stay sober.

Kit asks Bette how she keeps it all together all the time. She admires the way Bette juggles career, love and impending motherhood without ever losing control. Kit’s words make Bette uncomfortable and Kit asks what's wrong. Bette admits she has a few things on her mind. Kit’s theory is that Bette has the daddy blues; a worry that she won't be able to handle all the responsibility of being the provider for a new family. Bette's far more willing to accept that as the cause of her worries than anything else she might secretly be feeling - like not being as much in love with Tina as everyone thinks she is.

Bette excuses herself to go to the bathroom. While she's gone the bartender mixes Kit a spritzer, which looks a lot like mixing a martini from a distance. David comes up behind her and sees the drink, gets scared that Kit is drinking again and runs off. She never even sees that he was there.

The Subaru rep is excited. Dana looks great, the photos are going to look great and the campaign is going to look great. He asks if Dana and Conrad want to see the preliminary art for the campaign, he has mock-ups there to show them. Dana's face says it all when she sees the slogan, "Get out and stay out". Conrad is flabbergasted. The rep explains that they want to position Dana as the gay Anna Kournikova.

Conrad backtracks - he can't believe what he's hearing. Dana is still just staring. The rep seems confused, surely they must have known why they wanted to use Dana in the first place? Conrad is saying that isn't what they discussed when Dana finally finds her voice. She loves it. She would love to be the gay Anna Kournikova. It's like this enormous weight has just lifted from her shoulders. This is it, she's coming out.

Conrad tries to recover. Suddenly this idea is brilliant, even if it wasn’t his, and he has loads of ideas. Dana is really happy with the way things have turned out, so happy that she fires Conrad on the spot. It takes a couple of seconds for it to sink in, but Dana repeats it, just to make sure he heard. (There’s that gun! BLAM! Bye bye Conrad.) Dana says a delirious thank you to the Subaru people, they have no idea how good this feels for her. Of course, it’s a bit late considering she’s already dumped Lara for what seems to be no reason.

Bette and Kit are still at the bar. David is an hour late. He's obviously stood them up. Of course, neither of them know he was there and that he ran away. Kit sees a black man across the lobby but Bette says that isn't him. They check with reception. David checked out 45 minutes before. Bette tries to console Kit.

Jenny walks up the front steps of Tim's house. She has nowhere else to go. She begs him to let her stay in the studio out the back, saying again that she wishes none of this had ever happened. Tim just replies that her words have no meaning for him any more. But he's not a cruel guy, despite how much he's hurting. He says she can stay for one night. He won't let her through the house, he makes her walk around the back. Still Jenny is grateful. She picks up her stuff and heads out back. The studio is dark and lonely and she's going to have a lot of time to think, but at least she has a roof over her head.

<fade to black>

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