Once and Again
Edifice Wrecked

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Niki: B | 1 USERS: B
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Edifice Wrecked

Later, at Manning Manor, Lily calls the girls to dinner. Rick comes up behind her, and she whispers to him, "I brought a copy home in case you wanted to read it." Isn't it live by now, though? Lily rustles up a hard copy of the article, just as Zoe comes bounding into the dining room. Lily mutters something at Rick, and he flattens the papers against his stomach as if Zoe were trying to steal his answers on a test. Grace joins them, flipping open a small notebook and breezily taking a seat. Lily asks her to put the notebook away, since they're about to eat. "I actually wanted to ask Rick some questions," Grace pomps. "For her article," Zoe adds. Rick looks pleasantly surprised. "What article?" Lily demands. Grace says that she's writing an article about A Better Place. "Well, of course you are. Who isn't?" Rick says, attempting light-heartedness. Lily wants to know why Grace has "this sudden interest in A Better Place." Grace challenges, "So, what, now you don't want me to care about what happens in the world?" Lily says that's not the case, but Rick pipes up that it's okay; Grace can ask him questions. Lily and Rick talk over each other, as he prattles that he has nothing to hide, and she blathers that she just doesn't understand why Grace has this sudden interest in it. Grace rolls her eyes. Rick asks her what she wants to know. She's about to answer, when Zoe spots Lily trying to hide the PagesAlive hatchet job. She asks what Lily's got, and won't accept that it's nothing, because "nothing is nothing." Lily asks her to eat, please. Grace asks her first question: "So what was your reaction? I mean, when you read in the paper the other day about A Better Place and how much it means to people?" Rick stares into his spaghetti, struggling for an answer like a kid who forgot to cram for his oral exam in poli-sci. Grace prods, "Did you feel anything? Or...or..." Rick caves under the inquisition and confesses that he didn't read the article in the newspaper. "You didn't?" Grace asks. "You didn't?" Lily echoes. Rick struggles to explain his position: "There are aspects of city building -- of building a city -- that you may not fully understand." "Like, you mean, how you can't build something without tearing something down?" Huh. Okay, so she does understand those aspects of city building. Rick is a little thrown but tries to recover. He stammers that "anything you truly admire about a city -- any city -- was the site of something else first, and something had to be torn down to accommodate the bigger better building." He cites the Empire State Building as an example, asking, "You wouldn't wanna not have the Empire State Building, would you?" Grace looks up from her notebook, where she's been scribbling furiously, and asks, "Why not?" Cue Rick's open mouth. Big sigh. Change of subject. He asks what other questions she has for him. "Nothing, that was it," she answers. Zoe is as shocked by this news as Rick is. "Gracie," Lily says. Grace snaps, "Mom, you just asked me to put my notebook away, so I'm putting it away." As she forks in a mouthful of spaghetti, Grace shoots Rick the stank-eye. What the hell did he do? He answered her question, didn't he? "Fine," Lily says coolly. "Fine," Rick echoes. "Fine," Zoe chirps. The sullen silence that follows begs to differ.

You know, I probably shouldn't be, but I'm sort of persuaded by Rick's Empire State Building argument. Admittedly, it's only because I harbor an unnatural love for the place. I have two rolls of film, shot one night on a drunken rampage through the streets of Manhattan, to prove it. There's more to that story, but for the sake of my dignity, I'll stop right there. Anyway, where the hell was I? Right. Dinner craps out and we fade to commercials.

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Once and Again

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