Andy and Kelly are sitting in Andy's van outside the Reid house.
Andy sighs that he wishes someone would turn up. A prim-looking
young woman suddenly walks up towards the house, and takes some
mail out of the mailbox. Andy comments that it must be Janice.
He and Kelly climb out of the van and approach the woman. Andy
says, "Excuse me." The woman, though, suddenly lunges
at him with her bag and snaps, "You step one foot on this
property and you'll get more than you bargained for." Andy
bursts out laughing and the woman asks indignantly what's so funny.
Andy explains, "I just didn't think they made them like you
anymore!" He then adds, "I just want to talk to you,
that's all." The woman retorts, "I don't talk to long
hairs." Kelly joins them and Janice asks her if she's alright.
Kelly replies that she wouldn't mind sitting down for a minute.
Janice takes her arm. Andy goes to follow the two of them up to
the house, but the woman snaps, "You stay here." Andy
asks indignantly, "What do you think I'm going to do: rape
you or something?" Kelly sighs, "You're doing a great
job of getting her on-side." Janice asks suspiciously, "On-side
about what?" Kelly explains, "We're here because
we're friends of Fiona Thompson." Janice, looking surprised,
exclaims, "My aunty?" Kelly tells her, "Unless
someone from your family helps us, she'll die."
Beryl is talking on the 'phone in Fiona's flat, telling Gordon
that Wayne went out of his way to be nasty. She adds that she
just couldn't let him get away with it. Gordon thanks her for
letting him know. The two of them hang up. Fiona then says to
Beryl that she might be able to get Irene to pull a few strings
and get her back on the operating list for Doctor Robertson. Looking
taken aback, Beryl comments, "You've lost me." Fiona
tells her, "I've decided to have the operation and the sooner
the better." Beryl stares at her, open-mouthed, so she quickly
goes on, "Don't gawk! It's a woman's privilege to change
her mind. Everything Wayne said was spot-on. I have been a coward
and he snapped me out of that with a vengeance. I am going to
put up the fight of my life!" She then asks Beryl to call
Irene for her, as she wants to make out a guest-list; she's going
to throw a pre-op bash tonight. Beryl warns her to keep the numbers
down. Fiona, though, exclaims, "Hang the expense! I'm going
to spend the last few dollars the way I like and show all my friends
I'm not going to cash in my chips without a fight!"
Standing on the front porch outside the Reid house, Andy is telling
Janice, "Unless Fiona has this operation, she could be dead
in a matter of weeks." Kelly adds, "We've all tried
to talk her into it, but she won't listen. That's why we came
over here: we thought if her family showed an interest..."
Janice snaps, "My father wouldn't go near her. Neither
would I; she's a terrible woman." Kelly
exclaims, "Janice, how can you say that when you've never
even met her?" Janice retorts, "I've heard
all about her - and my father never tells lies." Andy snaps
that that's ancient history, and he suggests Janice come over
and meet her. Janice, though, mutters,"I've got better things
to do with my time." Kelly growls, "Your father's down
a great job of brainwashing you." Janice, though, snaps,
"My father's a wonderful man." Kelly retorts, "And
Fiona's a wonderful woman. She's helped me enormously, and when
I hear you having a go at her..." Janice asks, "How
has she helped you?" Kelly explains, "My mother died
not long ago. I couldn't handle it: not just the grief - I was
scared stiff. I put on this act about being totally independent.
I wasn't. It's scary being blind; it's even scarier when you're
alone. Fiona let me know I wasn't alone. I don't want
to lose her..." Andy takes out a piece of paper and writes
down Fiona's address for if Janice changes her mind. Janice mutters,
"I don't suppose it'll make any difference." Looking
at Kelly, she adds, "But I'm glad my aunt did one
decent thing in her life." With that, she heads inside. Andy
sighs to Kelly, "Oh well - at least we tried."
Wayne arrives back at Dural, and Barbara waylays him in the hallway
and tells him that Gordon would like to see him. She escorts him
into the lounge room where Gordon stands up and snaps, "I
heard about your disgraceful behaviour this afternoon--"
He doesn't get any further, though, as Wayne interrupts him and
says curtly, "Before you get to the bit about kicking me
out, tell me one thing: have you also heard if Fiona's having
the operation?" Gordon replies uncertainly, "Yes she
is, as a matter of fact - no thanks to you." Wayne,
though, laughs bitterly, "It's all thanks to me:
that was the object of the exercise. You didn't think I'd abuse
her for the hell of it, did you?" Barbara murmurs
that it had crossed their minds. Wayne sighs, "Look, Fiona
and I are never going to be best mates - but she went out of her
way to help Mary. When I heard what was going on, I figured I
owed her one. I figured if she got mad enough, she'd want to show
me I couldn't write her off." Barbara mutters, "I bet
you enjoyed every minute of it." Wayne retorts,
"Only because I knew it was working." Gordon,
looking surprised, comments, "It's easy enough to help a
friend - but to help an enemy is something else again. I'm proud
Sometime later, Fiona is talking on the 'phone to Gordon, asking
if he'll take an IOU for the money for the op. Gordon laughs,
"If you insist!" Fiona then tells him that Wayne is
invited to the party, too. Gordon asks her if she's sure. Fiona
replies, "Don't worry, too much - I'm sure he won't come,
more's the pity. I would have loved to have seen his
face when he realises I'd be around for a while!"
Andy and Kelly arrive back at the boarding house. Andy knocks
on Fiona's door and she opens it and smiles that she wondered
where they'd got to! She then tells Andy that she wants to hire
his disco for tonight. Andy looks at her in surprise. Beryl explains,
"We are having a pre-op party!" Andy gasps at Fiona,
"You've changed your mind?!" Kelly adds, "That's
great!" Fiona laughs, "You just make quite sure you've
got some dance music tonight, because believe me, I'm going to
dance up a storm!"
That night, Irene and Beryl are standing in Fiona's flat, Irene
laughing that there's all that food and Fiona can't even eat before
her operation! She joins Andy and Kelly who are setting up the
disco; Kelly comments that she wishes she could see the lights.
Andy hands her the microphone and tells her to have a go. Kelly
bursts out laughing as she says into it, "Testing 1 - 2 -
3!" Andy then comments that he wishes he had it this afternoon.
Beryl asks what for and Kelly explains that he needed it to shout
down Fiona's niece. Beryl reminds them that she did warn
them about the Reids. Kelly remarks, "It's a good thing she
sent us packing, the way things turned out." There's suddenly
a knock on the front door and Irene opens it to let Barbara and
Gordon in. Irene suggests to Andy that he page Fiona. Andy says
into the microphone, "Paging Fiona Thompson - your party's
waiting!" The door to Fiona's room opens and she emerges
in a bright, sparkly purple dress! Gordon laughs that it's noticeable!
Fiona, though, tells him, "Darling, it is an outrage
- and those are my brother's exact words!" She goes on, "You
know, when I wouldn't take it back to the shop, he threw it in
the rubbish tin. Of course, I went and rescued it. I kept it under
lock and key and I wore it to death. I'm sure that has a lot to
do with 'Dear George's' high blood pressure!" Barbara comments
that it sounds as if the two of them aren't very compatible. Fiona
sighs, "'Dear George' has to be the original party-pooper!"
At the Morrell town house, Caroline is standing in the lounge
room as Samantha calls to her to ask her if she's wearing her
pearl earrings. Caroline just stands there, though, and doesn't
respond. Samantha eventually joins her and asks her if she shouldn't
be ready. Caroline, though, says quietly that she's too tired
after their day out. Samantha sighs that sitting around there
isn't going to bring Amanda back. Caroline, however, tells her
that she couldn't face a party - not yet. Samantha assures
her, "I'm not too thrilled about it, either - but
this is one we shouldn't miss. It's Fiona's way of saying she
wants to live; now isn't that worth celebrating?"
Caroline says quietly, "Alright - I'll get dressed."
The party is in full-swing when Irene opens the door of Fiona's
flat to let in Charlie, Alison and Adam. Charlie is wearing an
Egyptian headdress! She glances at Fiona and exclaims to Alison
and Adam, "I'd kill for that dress! I must ask her
where she got it!" She wanders over to Fiona and comments
to her that she's looking very Joan Crawford this evening! Alison
joins Fiona and tells her, "I'm not gatecrashing - I just
came to wish you God speed for tomorrow." Fiona mutters,
"Thankyou," and walks away. A few yards away, Irene
stares at Alison and comments to Beryl, "Look at her: butter
wouldn't melt in her mouth." Beryl murmurs, "I just
hope she doesn't spoil Fiona's night." She puts down her
drink and heads off to the kitchen, where Alison is getting herself
a drink. She immediately warns Alison, "If you've come here
to cause trouble, you can leave right now." Alison asks why
she'd want to cause trouble. Beryl retorts, "Because you
always do - Patricia." Alison looks at her, sharply,
before saying, "I think you've had one too many." Beryl,
though, explains tersely, "David's told me everything. I'm
not going to say anything because for some strange reason I don't
believe you did kill Luke Carlyle - but you put one foot
wrong and I'll go straight to the police." With that, she
leaves the kitchen again. Alison stands there, looking worried.
Sometime later, Samantha and Adam are standing chatting. Fiona,
however, joins them and tells them to drink or dance and not just
stand there! Samantha laughs that the pace is a bit too fast for
them! Wayne joins them and asks what's going on. Everyone
ignores him, though. Fiona comments instead to Adam that she hears
he's going off to a movie later. Adam nods that he is and Fiona
tells him that she wants him straight back here when it finishes.
She leaves them and Samantha asks Adam what he's seeing. Adam
explains that they're a couple of docos about the Gobi Desert
and Inner Mongolia; he's trying to decide where to go for a holiday.
Samantha laughs that she didn't know there was an Inner
Mongolia. Caroline joins them and mutters, "I can't imagine
anything worse: you'll end up frost-bitten and half-starved."
She walks off again. Samantha comments to Wayne and Adam that
her mother has been like that since the service. She adds that
she took her up to the mountains this afternoon; she thought it
would do her good to get away. Wayne suggests to her that maybe
it's time she got away, and he asks why she doesn't go
and see the films with Adam; he'll take this shift with Caroline.
Adam asks her if she wants to, and Samantha murmurs that she wouldn't
mind. With that, she and Adam head off. Fiona wanders over to
Wayne and comments that she didn't think he'd have the guts to
show. Wayne, though, smiles, "Wouldn't have missed it for
the world." He then looks at her dress and adds, "Reduced
to rags from the op shop, are we?" Fiona, though, retorts
lightly, "Oh, you can try all night, Wayne: you won't get
a rise out of me. I'm back to my old self again." Wayne smiles
at her and wanders over to where Caroline is standing by the bar.
She asks where Samantha is and Wayne explains that Adam talked
her into going to see the films. He asks her what she wants to
drink and she asks for a tonic water. Elsewhere in the room, Alison
comments to Charlie that Caroline didn't stay grief-stricken for
long. Back at the bar, Caroline suddenly decides, "With some
gin." Wayne suggests to her that she stay off the
hard stuff tonight. Caroline, though, retorts, "I want a
drink, not a lecture."
Outside in the corridor, Janice is standing with a smart-looking
man. The piece of paper that Andy gave her is in her hand. Noise
is emanating from inside, and Janice comments, "There's no
mistake: this is her flat." The man exclaims, "It can't
be. Even my sister wouldn't throw a party if she's as
sick as that boy claims. Let's try the next one down first."
Janice mutters, "The neighbours don't have much consideration
for others, do they?" George retorts, "You have to be
worthy of respect to get it." Janice comments that her Aunty
Fiona must have changed a bit, as that girl that came
over was a nice type. George, though, mutters, "If
my poor sister has finally realised that I was right and she was
wrong, I'll be the first to forgive her." Janice growls,
"They've got terrible neighbours. If I lived here,
they'd be the first to know it."
Inside Fiona's flat, everyone is standing around Fiona, encouraging
her to do the charleston! Fiona laughs that she's got to have
a practice first! By the bar, Barbara asks Caroline if she hasn't
had enough. Caroline, indicating her drink, slurs drunkenly, "Enough
what?!" Fiona starts dancing! There's suddenly a
knock on the door and Charlie goes to answer it. George and Janice
are standing there, looking very straight-laced. Charlie smiles,
"Come in, darlings. The party's just warming up!" Caroline
suddenly staggers over to George and slurs, "What a cute
little bow tie for a cute little man!" George, though, snaps,
"Get away from me, woman. You're a disgrace to your sex."
Caroline slurs at Janice, "Does he always talk like
that?" Janice growls, "You need a cold shower."
Caroline, though, slurs, "No I don't - I need another drink!"
She staggers off again. Janice then tells Charlie, "We're
looking for Fiona Thompson's flat. We tried the others but nobody
was home." Charlie explains, "This is her flat.
There she is." She indicates Fiona still dancing in the middle
of the room. George and Janice step inside and look at her, clearly
aghast. Andy - his arm around Kelly - suddenly notices them standing
there. He looks worried.
A few moments later, Janice and George storm out. Andy and Kelly
follow them and Janice snaps, "You told me my Aunty was at
death's door." Kelly cries, "She is - but since
we talked to you last, she's decided to have the operation.
The party's her way of coping; she knows she mightn't come out
of hospital." Janice snaps, "It's no wonder
she's afraid to die after the life she's led." Kelly
sighs, "Oh, I give up. Go home and forget the whole thing."
Andy adds, "Yeah, we won't tell Fiona you and your dad turned
up; we wouldn't want to spoil her night." Janice snaps, "If
you were real friends, you'd get her to repent before
it's too late." Andy and Kelly ignore her, though, and head
back inside. Janice yells at the closing door, "I'm talking
to you." Adam and Samantha suddenly come along the
corridor and Janice snaps at them, "Don't go in - it's immoral."
Back inside the flat, Andy murmurs to Kelly that that was a close
shave. Adam and Samantha come in and Charlie asks what holiday
it's to be. Adam tells her that he's still keen on the Mongolian
trip. By the bar, Barbara takes a glass from Caroline's hand and
warns her that she's had enough. Wayne joins Samantha and Adam
and asks if they had a nice time. Samantha, though, cries, "What
happened? Mum's been drinking." Wayne insists, "I
tried to keep her dry, but short of locking the stuff
away, there wasn't much I could do." Fiona is still
dancing as Beryl comments to Irene that it's about time they wound
up the party. They look over to where Gordon is talking to Alison,
and Irene murmurs that she's got him wrapped around her little
finger. Alison takes a piece of paper out of her handbag and tells
Gordon that it's the number of the principal. Beryl suddenly interrupts
them and tells Gordon that it's time. She then asks him if she
can have a word with him after the speeches. Gordon wanders off,
leaving Beryl to say quietly to Alison, "I think it's time
Gordon knew who he was dealing with." She walks off, leaving
Alison looking worried. Andy turns down the music and announces
that Gordon's about to make a speech. Alison glares at Beryl as
Gordon says, "Fiona, you throw a great party. We all want
you to know that our thoughts and our prayers are with you tomorrow,
and soon we'll be having another party - to celebrate your recovery."
There are cheers of, "Hear hear!" Fiona then says, "Thankyou
all very much. Thankyou, Gordon - but thankyou all very, very
much for making it such a perfect night for me. God bless."
There's a round of applause. The party begins to break up. Beryl
tells Gordon that she'll be in the kitchen when he's got a minute.
She heads in there and Alison quickly follows. She says to Beryl
curtly, "Before you talk to Gordon, there's something you
should consider: if I go to prison, I'll take David with
me." Beryl asks sharply, "How?" Alison retorts,
"He knew I was wanted on a murder charge. He could have told
the police where to find me, but he didn't. Isn't that withholding
information? Come to think of it, you're in the same boat. You
could be inside for anything up to five years; that's an awfully
long time to be separated from your baby." Gordon comes in
at that moment and asks Beryl what the problem is. Beryl, looking
annoyed, quickly tells him that she was wondering if he'd like
some recipes for the kids' weekend at Woombai. Gordon smiles that
that's very nice of her. Fiona joins them and tells Gordon that
Barbara is looking for him. He heads off. Fiona then smiles to
Alison and Beryl , "Hasn't it been a wonderful night?"
Alison agrees slyly, "Perfect!" Beryl glares at her...