Leave, or The Surface of the World - Synopsis
Seth is a young Marine serving during wartime. Nicholas is his civilian husband 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. In the end, the realities of war call on one man to make the ultimate sacrifice.
The full script is available at
part of Matthew's online script store