The first is actually a sequence of scenes, all within a day, leading up to Todd and Blair's initial sexual encounter.

It enfolds following the juxtaposition of the "healthy" beginnings of Marty and Dylans' relationship. After seeing Marty and Dylan slow dancing to mellow music, and smiling in the warm glow of the Millhouse fireplace, we are switched to wild electric music blaring out a cheap radio in Todd's brightly lit, slightly tacky motel room. Todd is on top of Blair (at her invitation) trying to dominate her like a mad dog in heat. Blair, a little alarmed, steadies him. He realizes he indeed is out of control, and does not want to be. He is confused, hurt, and full of self doubt. Blair feels compassion for her fellow outcast. She strokes his cheek, she tells him to slow down, and she reassures him that she is not afraid of him (in other words, she does not see him as Todd, the monster.)

Blair pretends to act casual. Tells him that she used to be afraid of him, but no longer. Tells him that they are a lot alike. He calls her on why she wants to have sex w/him. He knows it's only to forget about the bad things in her life, and admits that he feels the same, "there's a lot I'd like to forget about too." They agree. No pretense. No love.

Blair's out of booze. They'll go to her place. As they leave we see Todd's face, a look of apprehension. He has not had sex since Marty's rape. He's not sure if he even knows how to make love to a woman. He has known only hate (aside from his idealized yearning for Rebecca.) But he follows Blair, and they end up at Dorian's penthouse.

The penthouse bedroom is on two levels, the lighting on top is dark and blue. Todd hovers in it, full of sadness at his inability to touch and be touched, not just by a woman, but by another human being.

Dorian's penthouse represents a world to which he no longer belongs. Based on his own upbringing, he knows this world is a sham. He stands on the edge, the outsider, he avoids even removing his raincoat, he is so afraid of being revealed.

Blair, however sprawls on the bed, and in the brilliant golden light, tells him about her fantasies and her disappointments. They share a bit of their pasts. They are very different, and yet they are the same in their sorrow.

They are both miserably lonely. Blair reaches out. She may have said she wanted sex, but it's obviously more than that. "Respect," she tells him. He agrees in a pained and broken voice, "I could use a little of that myself." She reaches out to him, but he snaps back and turns away from her. He is unsure. Of her? Of himself? The rejection has put a look of despair on Blair's face, she also looks away.

Todd removes his raincoat. He turns to her. "Let me know if you want me to stop," he says in a nervous, and cracking voice. He will take the chance. He will get close to Blair. He will respect her. He will make love to her.

She reaches out her hand to him, and he takes it. "Merry Xmas," she says in a soft voice of desperation.

The music is jazz. A soft crying saxaphone comments on the action. They kiss. It is gentle, it is real, it is full of tenderness. They are fully dressed, yet their souls are completely naked.

We never see any action. We can only guess. They say they had a fun wild time. I doubt it. They were just covering the embarassment of their own vulnerabilities. They were hurting, and they tried to heal each other. They bonded.

When it was over, Todd leaped up to dress himself, to cover his emotional nakedness. He revealed too much, and he was beginning to fall in love with her. Yet, hadn't they agreed, "no love?" He better get out of there fast before he gets used to her warm body, and her kindness. And he better get out of there, before Blair realizes the encounter they had actually meant something to him.

As for Blair? For a brief moment she forgot she had an agenda. She had to get back to being hard, and singleminded. Todd touched her too much, and not just in a physical way. She was emotionally exposed, and no matter how tightly she pulled on her robe, she could not cover herself. She became human. She and Todd were too much alike. To be with him was a mistake.

Well, I could go on, following Todd to Rodi's where he overhears Cord calling Blair. Todd sending her that ironic "merry Xmas" via an unsuspecting Cord. All these scenes were wonderful. But let us move ahead a few months.

By now Todd and Blair have become close friends. They joke, they are sarcastic. They care deeply for one another, they are very protective of each other, yet they purposely avoid sharing the intimacy that they had that night before Xmas.

Blair is high from receiving a $200,000 check from Dorian, as well as a substantial amount of booze shared w/Todd. They are listening to music in the penthouse. She tries to dance w/an introspective Todd, and pulls him on top of her in the process. It is obvious that she wants to seduce him. But things have changed. Todd now cares, and respects her too much for a one night stand. Sure he'd like to sleep w/her, he explains, who wouldn't? But he realizes that she still cares for Cord. He tells he that he does not want to be one of her morning after regrets. He realizes that they need each other as friends more than as lovers.

She thanks him, and apologizes. They once again open up. The theme in the background is quite beautiful, and the close-ups reveal the delicacy of their feelings. Todd talks about how he is starting over, and is not sure how to react to anything. How difficult, and confusing it all is. His voice has touches of sorrow, of humor, of sarcasm, and of truth. Saying these things are hard for him, but he realizes that he has a closeness to Blair that he's never shared with anyone before. Blair laughs at it all a little, but she knows he's right. She asks him to spend the night, holding her, just holding her. It is awkward for him at first, but she fits in so naturally, as if it is where she belongs. His arm around her in a protective gesture, she falls asleep, and seems to find the safety that she so strongly craves.

"TODD AND BLAIR'S FIRST TIME" appears on the Manning Building
site courtesy of its author, Eve.