[PLAYGROUND COURT. A boat passes by]
MOUTH: Be Nice, be nice, put it in there. There you go.
[Cut to LUCAS]
SKILLS: Luke, Luke, what up dawg? Check this out. You shoot this one. See what you got.
[LUCAS shoots and the ball goes in]
MOUTH: Come on, lets move!
SKILLS: Time to go, baby.
JIMMY: Six-thirty, Luke!
LUCAS: Oh, come on guys, you don’t gotta come. It’s just a game.
SKILLS: Right. Whitey asked you to play on the team.
JUNK: And Nathan threatens you.
MOUTH: You beat him right here one on one, you join the team.
SKILLS: And now it’s the first game and we aint gotta come? Um-um. We goin’. This game is for all of us.
[SKILLS tosses LUCAS the ball. LUCAS catches it and looks at his friends]
JIMMY: Go Luke!
[A truck goes by KAREN’S CAFÉ. Everyone in it is chanting ‘Ravens.’ KAREN’S behind the counter and KEITH walks over]
KEITH: Karen! You ready to go?
KAREN: Oh. I’m not going. I decided to stay open. I could use the business.
KEITH: You talk to Luke about this?
KAREN: No. But he’ll understand.
HALEY: [Interrupting, at the door] She doesn’t want to go. She doesn’t want to see her high school sweetheart slash your brother Dan slash the jerk who abandoned Lucas slash the father of Nathan, the team's star player slash my wrists if I hear this story again. Lets go.
[KEITH looks at Karen as he steps backward toward HALEY]
KEITH: I think you’re making a mistake.
[KEITH and HALEY leave, leaving KAREN to look after them, upset]
[THE SCOTT HOUSE. DAN and NATHAN are walking as DAN talks]
DAN: Whitey can put this kid on the team, he can put him in the game, but he can’t put him in your game. So shut him out. And shut down the opposition. You’ve got Broner tonight. They’re good so be ready.
[LOCKER ROOM. NATHAN walks in, smashing fists with a friend. He reaches his locker and glares at LUCAS. WHITEY walks in]
[NATHAN looks up. WHITEY holds up a hand in a ‘stop’ gesture to NATHAN, the crooks his finger toward LUCAS. LUCAS follows WHITEY into his office]
TIM: I can’t believe the @#%$ spawn’s on our team.
NATHAN: For now…
WHITEY: You nervous?
LUCAS: A little bit.
WHITEY: Good. You ought to be.
[WHITEY hands LUCAS a white and blue jersey]
WHITEY: Just do what you’ve been doing all week in practice. You’ll be fine.
[HALLWAY OUTSIDE WHITEY’S OFFICE. As LUCAS exits, JIMMY and MOUTH walk toward him. JIMMY’S wearing a ravenshoops.com shirt]
MOUTH: Luke! You mind if we get a few words before your first game?
JIMMY: Yeah. We’re going to put it on the internet. Ravenshoops.com.
MOUTH: Yeah. We’re going to have a web cast and everything.
[WHITEY walks out]
WHITEY: What the hell is this?
MOUTH: Well, we have this website.
JIMMY: Yeah, we’re sports announcers.
WHITEY: Not in here, you’re not. The locker room’s closed. No… media.
MOUTH: Dude, did you hear that? We’re media.
JIMMY: Not just media. Banned media.
[MOUTH and JIMMY laugh happily and walk away. LUCAS looks after them, mildly entertained]
[LOCKER ROOM. The team’s lined up, about to exit. They’re chanting]
TEAM: They don’t wanna what! Or we’re gonna what! Or what! Or what!
WHITEY: Alright. Lets take the court.
TEAM: Ravens! Ravens! Ravens! Ravens! Ravens!
[LUCAS is toward the end of the line. He’s not chanting. Neither is, NATHAN, who’s behind him]
NATHAN: Want my world? You’ve got it.
[LUCAS and NATHAN walk out, almost side by side, and from a back view, the ‘Scott’ on each of their jerseys is emphasized]
[THE GYM. The players are warming up. DAN walks onto the bleachers behind KEITH and HALEY. He pats KEITH on the shoulder]
DAN: Keith! Hey. Finally came to see your nephew play, huh, big brother?
KEITH: Yeah. I guess you can say that.
[KEITH and HALEY share a look]
[ON THE COURT. NATHAN shoots a basket and gets it in. The camera cuts to the audience, where MOUTH and JIMMY are sitting]
MOUTH: Tonight, Lucas Scott plays his first game for the Tree Hill Ravens.
JIMMY: That’s right, Mouth. Now, the Ravens are 5 and O. But this is their first game following the suspension of six varsity players.
[LUCAS shoots a basket. DAN is in the bleachers behind him]
[LUCAS turns around. DAN and LUCAS stare at each other uncomfortably until NATHAN runs over and throws a basketball at LUCAS]
NATHAN: Wake up.
[A whistle blows]
WHITEY: All right, come on in. Hustle, hustle!
[PEYTON and another cheerleader are standing on the edge of the gym]
CHEERLEADER: So that’s the boy that beat Nathan?
CHEERLEADER: Well, he’s good from behind.
TIM: Ravens on three. One! Two! Three!
WHITEY: Luke, relax. Destiny has a way of finding you.
[ON THE COURT. A black circle with overlapping blue letters T and H outlined in white. NATHAN and another guy battle for control of the ball during the toss off. The ball goes flying. Cut to the audience]
DAN: Come on, Nathan.
KEITH: Lets go.
HALEY: Come on.
[LUCAS goes to catch the ball and narrowly misses hitting PEYTON with it]
PEYTON: Nice hands.
LUCAS: Nice legs.
[LUCAS runs back to the game, leaving PEYTON surprised. As LUCAS runs by him, DAN watches]
KEITH: Lets see some game!
[An opponent has the ball and LUCAS is unable to stop the opposing team from scoring a basket. WHITEY and DAN shake their heads]
NATHAN: Hey, which side you on?
[PEYTON and the other CHEERLEADER to continue to cheer]
PEYTON: Go Ravens!
[LUCAS is thrown the ball. He goes to shoot and misses. KEITH and HALEY wince. He tries again and misses again. DAN grins. After the third time, NATHAN grabs the ball and shoots it in]
DAN: [Clapping] Go Nathan.
[A whistle blows]
WHITEY: Out! [Pause] Good.
[LUCAS walks over]
WHITEY: It’s not your night, son.
[LUCAS sits down on the bench and NATHAN runs by]
NATHAN: Start taking notes, punk.
[A CAR. PEYTON and NATHAN are making out. NATHAN starts laughing]
NATHAN: What? I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Hey, I’m sorry.
[They start kissing again, but NATHAN laughs again. PEYTON moves away]
NATHAN: What? Peyton, did you see how bad he sucked?
NATHAN: He was horrible. I’ve never seen a guy play so bad.
PEYTON: And you enjoyed that?
NATHAN: Well, hell yeah. Didn’t you?
[PEYTON looks away]
NATHAN: What is this, Peyton? Do you like this guy or something?
[PEYTON laughs, moving toward NATHAN]
PEYTON: You mean more than my boyfriend who I’m trying to make out with with right now?
NATHAN: Well go put some ice on it. You ever think I might want to talk?
[PEYTON moves back]
PEYTON: No, you don’t. You want to celebrate a public humiliation and I’m sorry, that’s a little played out.
NATHAN: Oh and being with you isn’t?
[PEYTON glares at him and gets out of the car]
NATHAN: Oh, Peyton, come on, I was joking.
[PEYTON walks away and NATHAN rolls down the window]
NATHAN: Are you getting in the car? [Pause] Please?
[She still doesn’t budge]
[NATHAN throws her pompoms out the window]
NATHAN: Take your lame music too.
[He throws her CDs out as well.]
NATHAN: And have a nice walk home.
[NATHAN drives away]
PEYTON: [Screaming after him] Damnit, Nathan! That CD was hard to find. It’s an import.
[KAREN’S CAFÉ. Someone knocks]
KAREN: It’s open.
[KEITH walks in]
KAREN: Is he okay?
KEITH: I don’t know. I didn’t see him afterward. [Pause] You should’ve been there.
KAREN: Well, you shouldn’t have gone to Whitey.
KEITH: I thought you supported this.
KAREN: I support Lucas. I didn’t have much of a choice after you went and got him on the team, did I?
KEITH: What’s going on?
KAREN: I should’ve been there. I thought I was over it, Keith, I really did. Maybe I’ve just been hiding. Just, I can’t go back there. The place knows too much.
[KAREN looks up]
[PLAYGROUND COURT. LUCAS is trying to shoot some hoops, but failing to do so.]
PEYTON: I guess misery really does love company.
[LUCAS turns around to see PEYTON]
LUCAS: What are you doing here?
PEYTON: Actually, I’m not here. I was never here.
[PEYTON starts to walk away]
LUCAS: You know, I shoot the ball and it goes in. I don’t ask questions, I don’t think about it. It’s just the way it is.
PEYTON: Or the way it was.
PEYTON: Lucas, it’s just a game. Who cares if the entire school, most of your friends and half the town saw you suck.
LUCAS: So… you’ve clearly come to cheer me up.
LUCAS: Want a ride?
[THE SCOTT’S HOUSE. DAN’S watching a tape of the game when NATHAN walks in]
[NATHAN comes over to DAN]
DAN: Look at this. What did you do there?
NATHAN: I was double teamed, so I found the open man.
DAN: Wrong. You gave up a scoring opportunity in the post.
NATHAN: What? Dad, I was double teamed. I scored 28 points.
DAN: 30 points would’ve looked better to the scouts, don’t you think? [Pause] Go to sleep. You look winded in the fourth quarter. We’ll go for a run together in the morning.
[NATHAN starts to walk away]
NATHAN: You wonder why Mom extends those business trips.
[OUTSIDE OF PEYTON’S HOUSE. The truck pulls to a stop]
PEYTON: Look, you mind if I ask you a question?
PEYTON: Why’d you decide to do it? Join the team? ‘Cause you don’t exactly fit in here, do you?
LUCAS: The game, I guess. I love the game.
PEYTON: Right. The same reason I cheer. It’s all a big game. Why not just stay on the playground? Why join the varsity?
LUCAS: Because I want to know if I’m good.
PEYTON: Well, if you ask my opinion, we all just wasted a perfectly good evening. You, me, and everybody else in there.
LUCAS: Then why do you do it? I mean, do you really like it or not?
PEYTON: If I say that I liked it, then I’m just another cheerleader. But if I say that I hate it, then I’m either a liar or a fraud. Either way I lose.
[PEYTON goes to get out]
PEYTON: Do you want to come in?
LUCAS: What about Nathan?
PEYTON: What about him?
[PEYTON gets out and LUCAS thinks about it, then gets out and follows her to the door]
PEYTON: What are you doing?
LUCAS: Um, you just said-
PEYTON: I didn’t invite you to come in. I asked if you wanted to. [Pause] Thanks for the ride.
[PEYTON walks inside and shuts the door in LUCAS’ face]
[LUCAS’ HOUSE. KAREN is sitting up waiting for him. He walks in]
KAREN: Hi honey.
LUCAS: I looked for you.
KAREN: Yeah, we were, uh, busy at the café. Which is a good thing, right?
[LUCAS starts to walk away]
[LUCAS turns around]
KAREN: I’m sorry I missed it.
LUCAS: Yeah, me too.
[LUCAS goes into his room and KAREN watches him, upset]
[A COMPUTER. PEYTON’S web cam is up. Then the real PEYTON is shown. The phone rings and she picks it up and hangs it up. NATHAN frowns. PEYTON’S making a drawing. It’s of a car pulling away from a girl. The phone rings again. She picks it up again]
NATHAN: I’m sorry.
PEYTON: Peyton’s not here right now. Just her lame music.
NATHAN: Look, I’m really sorry. It’s just… this guy’s on the team now, and my dad’s been hammering me about it. [Pause] But I shouldn’t take it out on you. I know that.
[PEYTON covers her web cam]
PEYTON: Nathan, I’m tired of this.
NATHAN: I know. I just… look, I haven’t been very good to you lately and I just wanted to say… that I’m sorry, okay? [Pause] Just say it’s okay so that when I see you tomorrow we can start being us again. Okay, Peyton?
[PEYTON’S drawing. The words “It’s not ok” are written across the top]
[PLAYGROUND COURT. LUCAS is attempting to shoot hoops again. Due to the changing hues of the sky, we know he’s there for a while]
[TREE HILL HIGH. All the teens are in a class]
TEACHER: Early in his career, Hemingway was frustrated. He was a good writer who wanted to be great. And eventually, he discovered that less is more. [Pause] Peyton. Describe Lucas using just one word.
[Everyone looks at PEYTON]
TEACHER: Okay, be quiet please. Thank you. Lucas, care to respond and describe Peyton?
[LUCAS looks at PEYTON]
[The class “Oohs”]
TEACHER: Okay, be quiet please.
[NATHAN raises his hand]
TEACHER: Yes? Nathan?
NATHAN: I can describe Lucas in one word.
[LUCAS looks at him]
[Class “Oohs” again]
TEACHER: Alright, alright, alright, alright.
[PEYTON looks shocked. LUCAS jumps out of his chair and attacks NATHAN. The two proceed to fight]
TEACHER: Knock it off. [Pause] Knock it off!
WHITEY: I’d stand up and every time I do, somebody kicks me in the @#%$ for putting you on the team. Sit down!
WHITEY: Boy, I must be getting senile. Because I thought just maybe you were different. I stuck my neck out for you. Damnit! I trusted you.
LUCAS: I shouldn’t have hit him. You’re right.
WHITEY: Damn right, I’m right.
LUCAS: [Pause] I don’t think I can do this.
WHITEY: Right. One bad game and you just run away.
LUCAS: [Leaning forward] I didn’t run away. [Sincere] That’s why I’m in your office.
TIM: So what happened after you tackled him?
NATHAN: Kelly broke it up. Any longer I might’ve destroyed him.
GUY: Or he might’ve beaten your @#%$.
NATHAN: What do you know about it, Jygalski?
JYGALSKI: What do any of us know about anything? But if I had do take a guess, I’d say that he tackled you first. And I’m pretty sure that you were at the bottom of it when Mr. Kelly broke it up.
NATHAN: Well, you’re wrong. Why don’t you grab a rebound every now and then, huh?
[WHITEY enters the locker room]
WHITEY: What, are you putting on makeup? Get out in the gym and start warming up.
[NATHAN and TIM start to leave]
WHITEY: Jygalski, when you find the pumps to match your skirt, you might meet us in the gym.
[WHITEY and JYGALSKI both smile. They have a different relationship than WHITEY has with the rest of the players, you can tell. LUCAS opens his locker]
NATHAN: Hey. This is just the start of it for you.
[NATHAN leaves and LUCAS gets ready]
[ROOFTOP MINI-GOLF COURSE. HALEY’S playing when LUCAS comes up]
HALEY: Any side effects?
LUCAS: From what?
HALEY: Your amnesia.
LUCAS: What are you talking about?
HALEY: I’m talking about how you must’ve gotten amnesia because I know that you would’ve mentioned that you got into a fight today. [Pause] Are you okay, Luke?
LUCAS: Yeah. [Pause] You ever wake up from a really good dream and try to get back to sleep? Or you got the flu and you promise yourself that you’d appreciate normal so much more if you could just get back to it.
LUCAS: That’s the way I feel. I just want things to go back to the way they were.
HALEY: With basketball?
LUCAS: With everything.
[PEYTON’S ROOM. PEYTON and the CHEERLEADER are hanging out]
CHEERLEADER: You know, it’s really too bad Lucas is poor and he can’t play because he is fine. [Pause] Hey, I think it’s really good that you’re fighting with Nathan again.
PEYTON: You do?
CHEERLEADER: Yeah. Every time you guys fight I get to hear new music.
[PEYTON kicks her playfully and the CHEERLEADER laughs]
CHEERLEADER: Hey, did you buy the new Beyonce?
CHEERLEADER: You know, Peyton, I know you’re all Gwen Stefani, plaid skirt, I’m a badass, but we love you anyway, and you know why? Because Friday night, when it is game time, there you are. One of us.
PEYTON: P.S. Gwen Stefani is not a badass. [Pause] You ever look past it, Brooke?
BROOKE: Past what?
PEYTON: All of it. High school, basketball, and just… the whole popularity drama.
BROOKE: Yeah. I mean, I think about the future sometimes and it scares me. But then I think I’ll go to college… I’ll join the right sorority… I’ll marry a rich guy. [Pause] Unless I get fat.
[PEYTON nods, seemingly shocked by the shallowness]
[THE BODY SHOP]
KEITH: Look, it’s only one game, Luke. Even Jordan played lousy in his first pro game.
LUCAS: Michael Jordan scored 16 points in his first pro game.
KEITH: Yeah. I know that. I just didn’t think you did. All I’m saying is, you know, you’ve got to shake it off.
LUCAS: What if I can’t do it, Keith? I mean, maybe I can’t play at this level.
KEITH: You can.
LUCAS: Well maybe not. And plus, it’s all of them. I don’t fit into their world. I never will. It’s stupid.
KEITH: Even Jordan got cut from his high school varsity team. And he did okay. What’s your mom say about it?
LUCAS: I haven’t talked to her yet.
KEITH: Well, you should.
KEITH: Because she deserves it. I mean, she’s going through this thing, too. You’re not the only one.
[KEITH looks inside PEYTON’S car and whistles]
KEITH: It’s a rule of life. The prettier the girl, the messier the car. It’s a real turnoff, huh?
[KEITH’S not exaggerating. The car is disgusting. LUCAS reaches in and pulls out a sketchbook. Opening it, he finds a letter to Thud Magazine and a few sketches]
PEYTON: Those are my sketches!
[PEYTON walks up behind LUCAS and grabs the sketchbook]
LUCAS: Um… I wasn’t looking.
PEYTON: This is personal. Alright, I don’t read your diary!
LUCAS: I don’t have a diary.
PEYTON: No? Dear Diary, my daddy doesn’t love me. P.S. Stay out of my stuff!
[PEYTON storms off]
[OUTSIDE THE SCOTT’S HOUSE. NATHAN’S lifting weights when DAN walks up to him]
DAN: What’s this I hear about a fight?
DAN: Did you win?
NATHAN: Dad, it was nothing.
DAN: No, son, it was something. Because if it was nothing, the principal wouldn’t have called me at the dealership. Do you realize how fast a suspension or bad reputation can ruin your prospects?
NATHAN: Dad, he was hitting on my girlfriend! What do you want me to do?
DAN: Your girlfriend? Nathan, if you’re going to get in a fight, get in a fight over something important. Did you get hurt?
DAN: Okay, good.
[DAN starts to walk away]
NATHAN: Did you?
DAN: Me? Why?
NATHAN: He wasn’t swinging at me, Dad… he was swinging at you.
[LUCAS’ HOUSE. KAREN, HALEY, and LUCAS are sitting at the table]
KAREN: So, you gonna tell me about the fight or you wanna just assume I know about it while I yell at you?
[LUCAS glares at HALEY]
HALEY: Is that the phone? I’ll get it.
[The phone’s clearly not ringing but HALEY gets up anyway]
KAREN: Still here.
LUCAS: Mom, he had it coming. You know he said-
KAREN: No. When they called me today, I was certain they had the wrong Scott. And then they told me they had two Scotts and I could take my pick. Honestly, Lucas, fighting in class? Fighting at all?
LUCAS: The guy was being a jerk.
KAREN: And this is suddenly a surprise to you? He hasn’t been a jerk before?
LUCAS: No. He’s always a jerk.
KAREN: So why go down to his level? [Pause] This wouldn’t have anything to do with playing poorly, would it?
LUCAS: [Angrily] How would you know? You weren’t even there.
[KAREN’S shocked and saddened. She gets up and leaves]
LUCAS: I’m sorry. Mom… Mom! I’m so-
[LUCAS looks out the window to see PEYTON at Thud Magazine (the building). She doesn’t enter and drops her sketchbook in the trash]
[THE TRASH CAN. LUCAS reaches in and pulls the sketchbook out, then looks at Thud Magazine]
[THE PORCH IN FRONT OF LUCAS’ HOUSE. LUCAS walks outside and sits down with KAREN on the bench]
KAREN: How’d you sleep?
LUCAS: Not so good. I had this really bad dream where I as a jackass to my mom.
[LUCAS playfully punches KAREN’S shoulder]
[KAREN punches him back and he laughs]
KAREN: No. I’m sorry. I should’ve told you the truth about why I couldn’t be there. I- I really wanted to Luke, but the idea of walking into that gym…[Pause] That’s where he told me he was going away to college without me. That’s where everything changed.
[They’re both quiet]
KAREN: I don’t regret one second of one day with you, okay? I don’t. But that day was a hard day in that gym. And it was basketball that he chose. And I’m sorry that you have to hear things like that, but I don’t want to lie to you either.
LUCAS: I’m sorry you had to live it.
KAREN: Thank you.
[OUTSIDE. NATHAN and DAN are walking]
DAN: Look, I want to talk about what’s happening with the team. I know you think I’ve been hard on you, but that’s because I see the big picture here. Whitey’s not going to bench this kid just because of one bad game.
NATHAN: So what? Let him embarrass himself.
DAN: No. It’s more than that. Back when I played for Whitey, his word was law. He was always right. Even when he was wrong. So eventually I called him on it.
NATHAN: And he benched you in the state championship.
DAN: Yeah, so he claimed. He covered and acted like he benched me. But you should know the truth. I refused to go back in that game. We were ahead in the fourth quarter, and Whitey wanted to stall. What did I tell you about playing with the lead?
NATHAN: Be aggressive.
DAN: Exactly. Be aggressive. Plus, there were scouts who were there to see me. This guy was checking me. He was going to some big college back in Tinkham, so I did. I disobeyed Whitey and I scored on him.
[DAN and NATHAN come to a stop in front of their house and DAN helps NATHAN stretch his arms]
DAN: Yeah, so Whitey called a time out and starts screaming about how it’s his system that got us there and no one player was bigger than the team. So I sat down and I called his bluff.
NATHAN: And they lost.
DAN: Yeah, I felt bad for the guys. But he needed to know I’m the one who got us there. Not him and not his system. Listen, Nathan, I don’t want you to back off this kid. No matter how poorly he plays, Whitey’s just using him to get back at me. Eventually I’ll deal with Whitey but for now, it’s just you and me, okay?
[NATHAN walks away]
[THE LIBRARY. LUCAS is walking and JYGALSKI is behind him]
JYGALSKI: Hey Lucas.
[JYGALSKI falls into step beside LUCAS]
JYGALSKI: Tough game the other night.
[He’s looking at JAKE weird]
JAKE: It happens. So you read a lot, huh?
JAKE: Yeah, I got something for you. Listen, I know we haven’t had really had a chance to talk much since you joined the team but I just kinda wanted to stay out of your way, give you a chance to chill, you know. [Pause] Oh, I’m Jake.
[LUCAS shakes his hand]
LUCAS: Yeah, I know.
JAKE: A lot of talk about your one on one with Nathan. Man, I wish I could’ve been there.
LUCAS: Ah. It was no big deal.
JAKE: You know Nathan, he’s… he’s a hell of player he really is. But he buys into all of this nonsense. You’ve got him scared. Fear changes everything.
[JAKE hands Lucas a copy of the book Atlas Shrugged.]
LUCAS: Atlas Shrugged?
JAKE: Yeah, you read it?
JAKE: It’s good. Anyway, you’re gonna be fine. Just remember… don’t let him take it.
LUCAS: I don’t know what that means.
JAKE: Yeah, I know. But you will.
[CLASSROOM. It’s the same classroom as earlier and MR. KELLY is teaching]
MR. KELLY: Okay, we’re going to try our little Hemingway project again. But in order to avoid a bar fight, we’re going to do it on paper. Now you don’t have to put your names on these. Simply write one word, one single word, to describe what you want most in your life right now.
[THE PLAYGROUND COURT. LUCAS is attempting to shoot the ball into the hoop when NATHAN walks over and grabs the ball]
NATHAN: It’s like this.
[NATHAN shoots the ball in]
NATHAN: You can’t do it, can you? [Pause] That’s beautiful. I always wondered about it? We all do, right? [Pause] What happens when it’s gone? But see, I’ve never seen anybody lose it. Like really lose it... until now.
[NATHAN shoots again then gives the ball to LUCAS]
NATHAN: Go ahead, man. Prove me wrong.
LUCAS: I don’t have to prove anything to you.
NATHAN: That’s pathetic. And it’s too bad, really. I mean, I was looking forward to taking you down slowly, but now? Hell, what’s the point? You already know it’s over.
[NATHAN starts to walk away]
NATHAN: I’d say see you at practice, but we both know you’re not going to be there. [Pause] Why humiliate yourself, right?
[As NATHAN walks away, LUCAS throws the ball and it hits NATHAN’S car]
NATHAN: You missed again.
[THE GYM. The team is practicing as WHITEY takes attendance]
WHITEY: Scott! Lucas Scott! [Pause] One more time! Lucas Scott!
[WHITEY shakes his head, disappointed]
[THE BODY SHOP. PEYTON’S picking up her car and LUCAS is behind the counter as PEYTON fills out the forms]
PEYTON: No practice today?
[LUCAS doesn’t answer. Instead, he throws her sketchbook on the counter]
PEYTON: What, are you stalking me?
LUCAS: I thought someone should see them.
PEYTON: Well, it’s none of your business.
LUCAS: You know what? You’re right. It’s none of my business. I wouldn’t know anything about it.
PEYTON: I know you don’t.
[PEYTON starts to leave]
LUCAS: Look, just tell me why you didn’t submit them. Your stuff is good.
PEYTON: It’s not good enough.
[LUCAS follows her outside]
LUCAS: Look, Peyton, why not?
[PEYTON turns around]
PEYTON: I want to draw something that means something to someone. You know, I want to draw blind faith or a fading summer or… just a moment of clarity. It’s like when you go and you see a really great band live for the first time, you know, and nobody’s saying it but everybody’s thinking it-- "We have something to believe in again." I want to draw that feeling. But, I can’t. And if I can’t be great at it then I don’t want to ruin it. It’s too important to me.
[She starts to leave]
LUCAS: Yep. Me too.
[PEYTON turns around and looks at him before getting in her car and starting it]
LUCAS: Hey, about your sketchbook?
PEYTON: What about them? They don’t mean anything to anybody, do they?
[PEYTON pulls out and LUCAS looks after her]
[WHITEY’S OFFICE. DAN walks in]
WHITEY: People who value their lives usually knock first. [Looks up and sees DAN] Oh. That explains it.
DAN: It’s like a time capsule in here.
WHITEY: What can I do for you, Danny.
DAN: Well… you can let it go.
WHITEY: [Laughing] That’s definitely the pot calling the kettle black, isn’t it?
DAN: If you’ve got a problem with me, Whitey, don’t take it out on Nathan.
WHITEY: What problem would that be, Danny?
DAN: Oh. I think you know. State championship. Now you’ve gone and humiliated Karen’s son in some feeble attempt to get even.
WHITEY: Karen’s son. That’s a very convenient way of putting it. It might interest you to know that Karen’s son has taken himself off the team. Does that make you happy, Danny? Seeing the demise of the kid you fathered and then abandoned?
DAN: Hey, move Nathan back to shooting guard and you might finally win that state championship.
[DAN starts to leave]
WHITEY: You’re just destroying kids’ lives left and right, aren’t you?
DAN: Well, you’ve made a career out of it.
[MR. KELLY’S CLASSROOM. There aren’t any students in there, and MR. KELLY is sitting at his desk, going through a stack small papers the kids wrote their one word on. We see the word “truth.” Cut to PEYTON looking at her artwork on her walls. She tears it all down. Then we see the word “Revenge.” NATHAN gets up from lifting weights. We see the word “answers.” LUCAS is sitting on a picnic table at the playground court]
[PLAYGROUND COURT. LUCAS is sitting on the picnic table as WHITEY pulls up, gets out of his car, and walks over to LUCAS]
WHITEY: Missed you at practice.
LUCAS: I can’t do it.
WHITEY: You want to know something? I have had 35 winning seasons. Do you know what keeps me up at night? College jobs I never took. Could’ve beens have a way of doing that.
WHITEY: We got a game tomorrow night. You’re on my team until tip-off. The rest is up to you.
WHITEY: Look, son. There’s no shame in being afraid. Hell, we’re all afraid. What you’ve got to do is figure out what you’re afraid of. Because when you put a face on it, you can beat it. Or better yet, you can use it. [Pause] Think about it.
[WHITEY leaves and LUCAS clearly is thinking about it]
[PEYTON’S ROOM. PEYTON’S lying on her bed reading a magazine as NATHAN paints her toenails]
NATHAN: You’ve got some ugly toes, girl.
PEYTON: No I don’t.
NATHAN: Yeah, you do. They’re like practically fingers.
PEYTON: Well, then just focus on the middle one.
NATHAN: Aw, come on. I was just joking. I love your toes. [Pause] So I’m thinking about quitting the team.
NATHAN: No, I’m serious. I don’t even like it anymore. Whitey can’t stand me. It’s never good enough for my dad.
[PEYTON’S getting excited. She likes this. She’s actually smiling]
PEYTON: I think you should. Why not, right? I mean, you can quit the team and I’ll quit cheerleading and then… we can just walk away from it. Nathan, lets do it!
NATHAN: Yeah, right. That’s what I’m gonna do. I gotta go. I’ll see you at the game.
[A STREET. HALEY and LUCAS are walking]
HALEY: Did you ever figure out your p0rn name?
LUCAS: What are you talking about?
HALEY: Your p0rn name. Um, you know, you take the name of your first pet and your mother’s maiden name and you put them together. What was the name of your first pet?
LUCAS: You know that. I had a dog named Rocket.
HALEY: Oh, Rocket! Ah! I loved Rocket. [Pause] So your mother’s maiden name is Roe. Rocket Roe! [Laughs] Nice.
LUCAS: What’s yours?
HALEY: Uh, oh, I had a bunny, named Bunny.
LUCAS: You had a Bunny named Bunny?
HALEY: Yes I did. And my mother’s maiden name is Beaugard. So… Nice.
LUCAS: Bunny Beaugard.
HALEY: Bunny Beaugard.
HALEY: Dawson’s Freak. Starring Rocket Roe and Bunny Beaugard.
HALEY: Shut up!
[LUCAS starts to walk away]
HALEY: Hey, um, this game tonight. You’re not playing anymore...
LUCAS: No. [Pause] You know I’ve never walked away from anything before, Haley?
LUCAS: But I can’t do it. And even worse, I don’t know why I can’t do it. You know, it’s like, no matter how confusing or screwed up life got, the game always made sense. It was mine, you know. And in a lot of ways it’s who I am. But I can’t be that person in their gym, or in their uniforms, or… in their world.
HALEY: I hear you, Luke. But I know you. And I know that no matter what happens you’re still going to be the same guy you always were. No uniform, no… whatever is gonna ruin that, you know? [Pause] Call me later. We’ll go get some pizza.
[PEYTON’S SKETCHBOOK. LUCAS flips through it. He stops on a sketch with a bunch of similarly dressed people with one exception. Over it, it says, “They are not you.” KAREN walks in with a lot of laundry]
[LUCAS looks up]
KAREN: I took the night off. Thought I’d take in a basketball game.
LUCAS: Sorry, Mom.
KAREN: No, Luke. I’m sorry. I’ve always loved the game. Even in the junior leagues. [Laughs] I remember when they issued you your first jersey. And I couldn’t get you out of that. You wore that thing for weeks. And then you decided to quit playing. Do you remember why?
[LUCAS looks upset but doesn’t answer]
LUCAS: I didn’t want to see his face.
LUCAS: I didn’t want to be like him. And… I was afraid that I’d become him if I played. [Pause] In the gym, I felt like he had a piece of me. I never felt like that on the playground.
KAREN: Well, I’d say he’s taken enough from us. I took the night off to watch my son play again. The way that he used to when he loved the game more than anything.
[KAREN sets Lucas’ laundry down and starts to leave]
[KAREN pokes her head back in]
LUCAS: Thank you.
KAREN: It’s hard to fight the things that we’re afraid of. Sometimes we just need a little help.
[KAREN leaves and LUCAS looks back down at the sketches]
[THUD MAGAZINE. A MAN is closing up when LUCAS runs over]
LUCAS: Hey! Hold on!
[LUCAS reaches the man and taps him on the shoulder]
LUCAS: Here Could you take a look at these? You won’t be disappointed.
[MAN takes the sketches]
MAN: Sure. Okay.
[LUCAS runs away and MAN looks after him]
[KAREN’S CAFÉ. HALEY’S working behind the counter when she sees LUCAS run past. HALEY smiles]
[THE SCOTT’S HOUSE. NATHAN’S about to leave and DAN’S following behind him]
DAN: It’s time to focus now, Nathan. Put everything out of your mind that bothers you. [His voice gets echo-y] I don’t want you thinking about Whitey. I don’t want you thinking about your teammates. Let them think about you, son. The other team's thinking about you. And they’re scared. I’ll see you at the game.
[NATHAN, looking upset, starts to leave]
[THE GYM. The cheerleaders are already warming up when PEYTON walks in. She sits down next to BROOKE]
BROOKE: I was beginning to think you weren’t going to show.
PEYTON: It’s game night. Where else would I be?
[HALLWAY BY LOCKER ROOM. DAN walks quickly, trying to stop LUCAS]
DAN: Uh, son!
[LUCAS turns around surprised. DAN’S surprised too. He didn’t know it was LUCAS]
DAN: Give this to my boy, would you?
[DAN hands LUCAS NATHAN’S gym bag and leaves]
JAKE: Don’t let him take it.
[LUCAS looks to see JAKE]
JAKE: Your talent. [Pause] It’s all yours.
[JAKE takes the bag from LUCAS, saving LUCAS the embarrassment. LUCAS looks back in DAN’S direction, upset.]
[LOCKER ROOM. LUCAS has started to put his jersey on, but now he’s looking at the word “Scott” on the back of it]
LUCAS [V.O.]: Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swaps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all.
[KAREN and KEITH walk into the gym]
LUCAS [V.O.]: Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach.
[KAREN sees DAN in the audience]
[PEYTON and BROOKE cheering]
LUCAS [V.O.]: The world you desire can be won.
[PEYTON’S ARTWORK being looked at by the Thud Magazine guy]
LUCAS [V.O.] It exists.
[LOCKER ROOM. The guys are about to file out]
LUCAS [V.O.]: It is real.
NATHAN: Don’t choke.
[THE GYM as the team runs out. PEYTON’S cheering nearby]
LUCAS [V.O.]: It is possible.
[PEYTON looks at him]
LUCAS [V.O.] It is yours.
LUCAS: Your art matters. It’s what got me here.
[HUDDLE. All the team’s hands are placed on top of each other as WHITEY looks on, smiling]
TIM: Lets go, lets go! Ravens on three! One, two, three!
[TEAM runs out except for LUCAS]
WHITEY: You’re gonna be okay.
LUCAS: Yeah, I am.
[LUCAS sees DAN in the bleachers. They look at each other, and as LUCAS turns around to join his teammates, DAN notices the word “Scott” is no longer on LUCAS’S jersey. He looks a bit upset]
[THE MATERIAL “SCOTT” falling to the floor]