"OK, not that you're not lovely and all but... he's not dead, right?"
|From: Leave, or The Surface of the World|
Seth is a young Marine serving during wartime. Nicholas is his civilian longtime companion who waits back home. In addition to the strain on their relationship caused by distance and absence, they must hide their love for one another behind code words and secret identities because of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy barring gays and lesbians from serving openly in the United States military.
Seth's mother Anne assists them by providing the cover of a woman's handwriting for Nicholas' daily letters, but Nicholas and Seth's resolve is starting to weaken.
Jonas, another young gay Marine in Seth's unit just coming to terms with his identity, forms an intense bond with Seth overseas.
Tyson, a former Army soldier who got fed up with "don't ask, don't tell" and didn't reenlist, now works alongside Nicholas, providing temptation as well as a reality check.
When Seth returns home for an unexpected leave, with Jonas at his side, and post-traumatic stress following him from the battlefield, old relationships are tested, and new ones bloom.
For examples of Jonas and Seth's connection, check the other scenes available here online under the pull quotes...
"Because I'm willing to talk. To help. Just not here. In the middle of a gay porn scenario."
"Be kind to animals. Kiss a Marine."
For examples of Nicholas and Tyson's connection, check the other scenes available here online under the pull quotes...
"If I used what they taught me in the Army, I'd just demand the letter from you at gunpoint."
"I'm not martyring myself. I'm not dying, for crying out loud. It's just sex."
The scene just prior to this between Seth and Nicholas which sets up the concepts underneath this scene is available here online under the pull quote:
"If I'm killed in the line of duty, three Marines will come to my parents house."
The full script is available at
part of Matthew's online script store
Copyright 2011 by Matthew A. Everett
Emphasis shifts and
TYSON walks out of another part of the dark, in the present.
SETH recedes into the dark of Nicholas' memory as NICHOLAS continues walking by Tyson's side.
TYSONI thought you'd be running full out by now, or at the very least skipping.
NICHOLASThere's no point in rushing home. Seth told me when he'd get in. He's never early. Half the time, every time he's coming home on leave, there's some delay or other.
TYSONYou really could concentrate that last hour or so at work?
NICHOLASI've gotten remarkably good at distracting myself. Waiting at home, fidgeting, with nothing to do, that I'm still not good at.
JONAS appears, dressed in either a USMC T-shirt of some kind, or the C-Class uniform that Marines wear when visiting home - something other than his haircut that will clue other people in immediately to the fact that he's military. He is preoccupied, distracted by his surroundings, doesn't see the other two at first.
TYSONDid you order up a spare Marine?
TYSONSo I take it you don't know this guy?
TYSONYou know you shouldn't be freaking out right now, right?
TYSONHe's not in full dress. There's only one of him.
NICHOLASThere isn't a van parked with the engine running.
NICHOLASCould you ask him?
JONAS sees them.
(recognizes NICHOLAS immediately)You must be Nicholas.
JONASI've seen your picture. Seth told me all about you.
TYSONOK, not that you're not lovely and all but... he's not dead, right?
JONASWhat? Oh God, no. Nothing like that. He's just inside.
NICHOLASGood, 'cause now I'm gonna kill him.
NICHOLASThe one time I actually say out loud, "Oh, he never gets in early..."
(to JONAS)You do realize that a Marine waiting on someone's doorstep is never a good thing. Except in a porn film.
JONASI felt weird hanging out inside someone else's house. Sorry.
NICHOLASBefore I pass out, someone should probably...
JONASI think you'd better -- (get out here.)
SETH, transformation not completed, not quite military, not quite civilian, enters at a run, barefoot.
SETHGod, sorry. I really thought I beat you home for once and I could -- (get out of this uniform.)
SETH tries to approach NICHOLAS.
NICHOLAS evades him a moment, wired.
NICHOLASGive me a heart attack, why don't you.
SETHI'm sorry. Really, truly. I didn't mean to -- (frighten you).
NICHOLAS takes SETH's face in his hands and kisses him.
The two of them show very little sign of coming up for air.
TYSON and JONAS figure this would be a good time to introduce themselves.
TYSONNice to meet you.
NICHOLAS and SETH surface for air.
SETHDamn, I'm sorry. This is Jonas. He's in my unit.
NICHOLASThis is Tyson. He's in my - library.
NICHOLAS and SETH start kissing again.
TYSONAnd I think that's my cue to --
JONASYeah, Seth, your Mom's setting up that room for me so I'm just gonna --
SETHYou guys don't have to leave.
TYSONYeah, we do.
JONASYeah. I know the way back. No worries.
TYSONI'll go with you.
JONASSee you --
TYSONLater. Much later.
TYSON and JONAS are gone.
NICHOLASHow did you get in?
SETH holds up a key.
SETHYou still haven't changed the locks on me.
NICHOLASYou kept the house key with you.
SETHAll around the world with me. It's the one little piece of you I don't have to explain to anyone.
NICHOLASWhy didn't you tell me you were bringing someone with you?
SETHI didn't bring him. He just... came along.
NICHOLASWell there's still plenty of time between there and here to pick up a phone, isn't there?
SETHI didn't know how to bring it up.
NICHOLASWhy? Any friend of yours --
SETHI know. See, then you would have insisted he stay with us.
NICHOLASSo? There's plenty of room.
SETHI don't want to share you, or our home. Call me selfish.
NICHOLASSo you told your mother.
NICHOLASCause you knew she'd insist on having him stay with her.
NICHOLASSeeing that guy --
NICHOLASJonas. It threw me. I thought for a second I'd lost you.
SETHYou don't have to worry about other Marines.
NICHOLASYou never brought home strays before.
SETHHe has no family.
NICHOLASHe's an orphan?
SETHThey don't accept him. Won't accept him.
NICHOLASNot like you do.
SETHLike we do.
OK, I can see the wheels turning up there. What's that look all about?
NICHOLASAre you OK?
SETHOf course, I'm OK. I'm here. You're here. How else would I be?
NICHOLASYou just seem...
SETHWell it takes some time to adjust.
NICHOLASNothing. You're here. You're safe. That's all that matters.
SETHAll in one piece.
NICHOLASI plan to conduct my own full, personal inspection.
SETHSo we should probably get on that.
NICHOLASYeah. We probably should.
You're not going to critique the way I make the bed, are you?
SETHIf I have time to notice how you make the bed, you're not welcoming me home properly.
NICHOLASYou trying to give me a case of performance anxiety or something?
SETHShut up and kiss me.
SETH and NICHOLAS walk off together, hand in hand.
Copyright 2011 by Matthew A. Everett