It's the next morning, and Fiona is placing some mail on the
table in Michael's room at the mansion when Janice walks in, holding
some clothes. Fiona looks at her and asks, "Have you started
a laundry service?!" Janice replies, "I'm just helping
Michael out: he hasn't got time to do silly things like ironing."
Fiona sighs, "You're being a very silly girl, Janice."
Janice, however, retorts, "Nonsense. There's nothing wrong
with looking after someone, is there?" Fiona insists, "Of
course not - except when there's something sinister in
it." Janice demands, "What, may I ask, is sinister about
helping the man I'd like to marry?" Fiona sighs, "Oh,
Janice! Can't you see how ridiculous you are sounding? I have
already told you that Michael is not interested in getting
married until he's well and truly settled in his career. What
on earth makes you think he's going to change his mind?"
Janice just retorts, "You have your opinion, I have mine."
Fiona mutters, "The worst thing is, all this nonsense has
been brought about by a stupid pregnancy test you don't even know
is accurate. And the reason you won't have a proper one
done by a doctor is because you are scared." Janice
snaps, "Rubbish." Fiona just goes on, "You are
scared you are not pregnant - because if you are not pregnant,
you can't feel guilty - and that is what this is all
about, isn't it?" Janice mutters, "Stop talking
in riddles." Fiona retorts, "And you stop trying
to make a fool of yourself. You feel guilty about what
happened and you want to be pregnant so you can feel punished."
Janice glares at her and says coldly, "How dare
you! You've talked some nonsense in your time, Aunt Fiona, but
I take that as an insult." With that, she dashes out of the
room and off upstairs.
Charlie sits down on the couch in her lounge room and sighs to
Alison, "Oh dear. Is it really as bad as all that?"
Alison tells her, "That's what Ginny says. There's
no reason for her to lie. 'A mountain of debt' was the expression."
Charlie comments, "It doesn't seem fair that Gordon
should lose all his money as well." Alison tells her, "I
agree. Still, you could do quite well out of it. I've
been giving it some thought and I think it's possible for you
to be able to get Wayne's share of the gym for yourself."
Tick steps inside suddenly through the open french windows. Alison
looks at him in surprise and says, "What are you
doing here?" Tick tells her, "I'm bored." Alison
comments, "I thought you'd be at school. Weren't you supposed
to start?" Tick replies, "Yeah, soon. Got to get better
first." Charlie asks, "What are you doing wandering
about? Thought you'd be playing with Ginny and Wayne." Tick
sighs, "He's busy, she's shopping."
Alison tells him tersely, "We're quite busy ourselves.
Why don't you go home and wait for Ginny to get back?" Tick,
however, retorts, "I don't have to wait for anyone.
I've got friends." With that, he turns and runs
off. When he's gone, Charlie points out to Alison, "The poor
lad was only after some company." Alison sighs, "I know,
but we've got more important things to talk about. Now:
my idea." Charlie recalls, "Oh yes, the gym. What did
you have in mind?" Alison tells her, "If you pretended
that you'd had an offer to buy both Wayne and your share, Wayne
would be in it like a shot. The only thing he doesn't
know is that you own the company that made the offer.
That way, you'd be in control and he'd be out
on his ear." A smile crossing her face, Charlie exclaims,
"Darling, it's brilliant!" Alison beams, "Yes,
I know it is!"
Janice escorts Wayne into Fiona's room at the mansion and offers
him a cup of tea. He declines, though, saying, "I'm not here
on a social call, Janice." Fiona closes the door behind him
and says sharply, "Come on, Wayne: out with it." Wayne
tells her, "Hamilton Industries is having a bit of a liquidity
problem. We have to start realising some of our assets; that includes
the boarding house. This place will have to be sold." Fiona
murmurs in shock, "You're going to sell this place?"
Wayne nods, "That's what I just said."
A few moments later, Fiona snaps, "One of your sick little
jokes, is it, Wayne? I haven't heard anything about Hamilton
Industries going broke." Wayne mutters, "You don't hear
everything." Fiona insists, "Gordon
would never sell this place." Wayne tells her, "He doesn't
have any choice. The company needs every cent - and neither he
nor I have a bean to help. The place will be sold vacant possession
- which means everyone has to move out. Fast." Janice growls,
"It sounds a little heartless." Wayne retorts, "It's
called survival." Janice mutters, "Not for the people
who live here." Wayne shrugs, "Business is
business." Fiona glares at him and asks, "How did you
blow it this time, Wayne? Because it has to be your
fault. What crazy fool thing did you do this time?"
Wayne just looks at her and retorts, "All you have
to worry about is moving out - as soon as you can."
Debbie is cleaning the kitchen sink in her and Craig's new flat.
As she turns on the tap, Craig yells out in horror, "Hey!
What are you doing?!" He dashes in, a towel wrapped round
him, and says, "I told you: don't turn the water
on so hard when I'm trying to have a shower." Debbie murmurs,
"Sorry - I forgot!" There's suddenly a knock on the
front door and Craig goes to answer it. He finds a man standing
there and he snaps, "Yes?" The man - their neighbour
- murmurs, "I'm sorry. I live next door." Debbie joins
Craig and says an embarrassed, "Hi, Mr. Porter!" She
then adds by way of introduction, "This is my friend, Craig
Maxwell." She goes on, "Did you want something?"
Porter explains, "I just wanted to know if I can borrow a
couple of teabags." Debbie goes to get them. She then returns
and hands them over. Porter tells her, "I'm sorry to interrupt.
I'll bring them back as soon as I can." With that, he walks
off again. Debbie closes the door and sighs at Craig, "That
was a bit embarrassing." Craig asks in surprise, "What?"
Debbie points out, "You - answering the door like
that." Craig looks down at his towel and asks, "What's
wrong with it?" Debbie retorts, "He probably got a bit
offended. He's thinking that we're... you know..." Craig
tells her, "I wouldn't want to offend him, but don't you
think we should be honest about living together?"
Debbie murmurs, "I suppose so..." Craig asks, "Does
it worry you?" Debbie insists quickly, "No!
It doesn't worry me. I was just thinking about him
- he's a nice man!" Craig, giving her a kiss, smiles, "So
am I - and I'd like to have a hot shower, thankyou!"
With that, he heads off back to the bathroom!
Fiona and Janice are walking down the front path at the mansion,
carrying gym bags. Fiona is saying curtly, "I really don't
think I'm in the mood for doing any exercises."
Janice, however, insists, "It'll do you good - work out your
aggression about Wayne. It's only for half an hour."
She then adds, sounding suddenly excited, "Look who's back!"
She takes a few steps forward and joins Michael, who's walking
towards them. She smiles, "Finished your shift at the hospital?"
Michael nods, "Yes. I thought I'd come home and do a bit
of dreaded housework." Janice, however, smiles, "All
done!" Michael queries, "Eh?" Janice explains,
"I tidied up your room for you. I hope you don't
mind." Michael sighs, "You shouldn't, Janice."
He then asks suddenly, "What's going on? The place being
sold?" He looks over to where a man is erecting
a 'For Sale' sign. Fiona tells him grimly, "Yes. We only
found out ourselves little while ago. Wayne's company
has gone broke and they have to sell off all their assets."
Janice adds, "We're all going to have to find other accommodation.
Lord knows where; I can't go back to my parents' in my
present condition." Michael smiles, "Don't
throw in the towel too quickly - there's always an answer
to everything." Fiona comments, "As yet, I fail to find
one for the present situation." Looking thoughtful,
Michael says, "I don't know if it'll do any good, but I might
go over and have a word with Wayne..." With that, he walks
off. Janice looks at Fiona and smiles, "Isn't he just wonderful?!"
Fiona grimaces, "Come on, Janice: let's go and pump iron..."
In their flat, Craig is showing Debbie how to use the CB radio.
Debbie sighs, "I do feel guilty, taking Andy's job."
Craig insists, "Don't worry about it; I've got something
else in mind." Hen then hands over the radio and
says, "Give it a try." Debbie giggles and says into
the radio, "Breaker breaker! Anyone out there want to talk?"
The radio crackles and a male voice then comes on and says with
a leer, "Hey, pussycat! Feel like purring for me?"
Debbie, looking astonished, tells him quickly, "No, not this
morning, thanks!" She turns the radio off! Craig then says,
"All you have to do is call up 'Speedy' and I'll come on
the channel." There's a knock on the front door, suddenly,
and Craig goes and answers it. Andy steps inside, smiling, "Hello,
gang!" He walks over to the radio and comments to Debbie,
"Having a play, are you?" Craig says quickly, "Actually,
Deb is going to be working the CB, mate." Andy looks at him
in surprise. Craig goes on, "It's just that the business
is starting to pick up, and it would be best if two of us were
in the bug." Andy nods, "That's not a bad idea. I'd
prefer to be outside." Looking at Debbie, he adds,
"Just as long as you don't muck up on the orders!" Craig
hands him a jacket before kissing Debbie and smiling, "Don't
get carried away with chatting to people!" He and Andy head
Michael walks with Wayne into the lounge room at Dural. Wayne
is saying, "It was the last thing we wanted, but
there was no alternative." Michael comments, "You made
a remark before about Alison..." Wayne explains,
"She's really the one who's behind it. She set out
to ruin dad and me and... I don't like admitting it:
she's done a very thorough job. See, I'm in a situation where
I have to come up with a lot of dollars every week to pay off
interest and so on. If there was any way we could save
the old place, we'd do it - but we need the cash."
Michael asks, "Has Richard got any idea of what's
going on?" Wayne replies, "In a way. We had
a bit of a dust-up last night. The poor kid's gone off somewhere,
playing by himself." He then suggests, "Why don't you
stay for lunch? He'll be home as soon as he gets hungry. He'll
be tickled pink to see you." Michael smiles, "Sure.
Tick is standing behind a tree at the children's home, watching
as his former friends muck around with a football. He looks upset.
At the flat, Debbie is saying on the 'phone, "Thanks for
calling." She then hangs up and walks over to the radio.
She picks it up - but before she can say anything, a male voice
starts speaking. It sounds cold and threatening and it says slowly,
"I hope you're there, Debbie. I'd really like to get to know
you better. I'll be in touch." Debbie stares at the radio
Craig and Andy climb into the bug, Craig commenting as they do
so, "See? It does need two of us." Debbie's
voice comes on the radio suddenly, saying in an urgent tone, "Speedy,
come in, please." Craig picks up the radio and replies, "Speedy
to Deb. Fire away." Debbie says uncertainly, "Craig...
could you come home?" Craig asks in surprise, "What's
wrong?" Debbie just repeats, "Could you just please
come home?" Craig tells her, "We should stay out until
after the lunchtime rush, Deb. What is it?" Debbie, however,
replies, "I don't want to say anything over the radio."
Craig looks at Andy in concern and then says, "We're on our
way." He hangs up and starts the car engine.
A short time later, Andy and Craig are standing with Debbie in
the flat as Debbie explains, "I didn't even have time to
say anything and there he was." Craig queries, "What
exactly did he say again?" Debbie replies, "He said
'I hope you're there, Debbie. I'd really like to get to know you
better.' And then he said that he'd be in touch." Craig comments,
"That's not much different to what a lot of people
say on the radio." Debbie sighs, "I know - but it sounded...
funny." Andy suggests, "It was probably some
idiot playing games." Debbie points out, "He knew my
name." Craig, however, reminds her, "We talk to each
other all the time. Anyone can hear us if they're on
the same channel. Look, Deb, I really don't think there's anything
to worry about." Debbie murmurs, "It's just the way
that he said it that bothers me." She sits down
at the table. Craig does likewise, telling her, "Like Andy
said, it's just probably some idiot playing around." Debbie
looks at him and then sighs, "If you reckon..." She
then smiles guiltily, "I'm starting to feel silly
now! Sorry to get you both in off the job." Craig tells her,
"It's best to make sure." He then asks, "Any more
orders come in?" Debbie nods, "Another five." She
hands over the details. Craig then says, "If that guy says
anything again, you just tell him to rack off. See you!"
With that, he and Andy head back out. Debbie sits there, still
Charlie is sitting with Wayne and Michael at the living room
table at Dural. She's saying to Wayne, "I think it's a wonderful
opportunity. It'll get us both off the hook." Wayne
muses, "It does seem like a reasonable offer."
Charlie, however, retorts, "Reasonable? I think
we're lucky it's as much as it is." Wayne pauses
and then declares, "OK. Consider me in. You say you've got
the contracts?" Charlie nods, "Yes." She adds,
"I'm so relieved - for both of us." Changing
the subject, Wayne comments, "I wonder where Richard
is. He should starving by now." Charlie asks, "Has
the lad wandered off?" Wayne explains, "We had a bit
of a disagreement. I'm not too popular." He then tells Charlie,
"I'll be over this afternoon to sign the contracts."
Charlie stands up, smiling, "Wonderful!" She then adds,
"I hope you find Richard," and she heads off. When she's
gone, Wayne looks at Michael and says earnestly, "I really
am worried about him." Michael, however, points out, "You
know what kids are like. If you had a fight with him, he's going
to make you suffer as long as he can." He then adds, "I
might skip lunch, thanks, Wayne - I've got a lot of study
to catch up on." Looking thoughtful, Wayne remarks, "He
might have gone over to the mansion." Michael nods, "Possible.
Why don't you come back with me?" Wayne replies, "I
will. I hope he is there..."
In the lounge room next door, Alison is pouring a drink as Charlie
trills, "You'd have been proud of me, darling: he
fell for it hook, line and sinker!" Alison hands her the
drink and tells her, "You've done very well." Charlie
muses, "Yes... but I'm not very happy about the way you're
using innocent people to get back at Wayne." Alison
insists, "They can take care of themselves."
Charlie, however, retorts, "Not a small child. I think it's
terrible the way Tick's been blamed for Ginny wiping
that stupid computer thing." Alison shrugs, "It's all
blown over by now." Charlie, however, tells her, "No
it hasn't: Tick's run off - and if he feels that Wayne's
against him, he'll think he hasn't got friend in the world; and
you certainly didn't help this morning by the way you
spoke to him." Alison murmurs, "I suppose I was
rather offhand... Where did he say he was going?" Charlie
shrugs, "He didn't. He just said he had friends."
Alison, looking thoughtful, muses, "That's right. That's
probably just where he is..."
Wayne walks into the reception area at the gym. Janice is standing
behind the desk and she asks tautly, "What can I do for you?"
Wayne explains, "I was looking for Richard. Michael and I
thought he might have gone back to the mansion, but there's no
sign of him." Janice asks, "Why didn't Michael come
with you?" Wayne replies, "He said he had a
lot of study to do." Janice murmurs, "Yes. He's very
busy." Wayne looks around as several people walk past. He
remarks, looking surprised, "So are you, by the
look of it..." Janice asks him, "Did you think Tick
might have come here?" Wayne nods, "Yes. I'm
worried about him. You and Fiona haven't seen
him today, have you?" Janice replies, "No. Fiona's in
doing a workout and I've been with her all day. Sorry." Wayne
looks around as more people walk past, and he comments, "Business
looks brisk." Janice replies, "Yes. Ever since
the advertising campaign, we can hardly keep up with them."
Wayne raises his eyebrows and says, "Really?" Janice
then indicates two people nearby and adds, "They're
waiting for the next aerobics class because they simply couldn't
fit any more in." Looking thoughtful, Wayne muses, "Interesting..."
Tick is walking along slowly in the grounds at the children's
home. He stares as some boys play with a football. He then sees
the Carters with another of the boys and he stares over at them.
Mr. Simms is with them, and he smiles at the boy, "Going
fishing, are you?" The boy nods, "Yeah. I really like
fishing." Tick looks on, sadly.
A short time later, Tick is still standing by the tree when Alison
walks up behind him and says gently, "Took a guess
you might be here." Tick mutters, "Leave me alone."
Alison shrugs, "Fine. If that's what you want." She
turns and starts to walk off. Tick calls after her quickly, "What
do you want?" Alison turns back to him and explains, "I
was worried about you. So's Wayne." Tick
mutters, "Wayne hates me and I hate him."
He starts walking off. Alison follows him. She asks, "Are
you sure about that?" Tick murmurs, "Course."
Alison asks, "Would you rather be here than with Wayne?"
Tick cries, "I just want a mum and dad." Alison tells
him, "That still could be possible. Anyway, I thought you
liked it at the Hamiltons'." Tick murmurs, "It's
alright. Conned them in, pretty good. Then Susan died. And grandpa
left. So Wayne doesn't want me." Alison remarks, "So
now you're feeling pretty sorry for yourself." She then suggests,
"Why don't we go for a drive? We can talk about it."
Tick mutters, "What use is that?" Alison tells
him, "The reason we're given problems is to make us think
of solutions." Tick comments, "That
sounds pretty stupid." Alison just asks, "Do you want
to come for a drive or not?" Tick shrugs at her.
Alison smiles at him and starts to walk off towards her car. A
few seconds later, Tick follows her.
Wayne is standing at the front door at Charlie's. Charlie smiles,
"Come on in." As Wayne steps inside, he asks, "How's
the gym going?" Charlie replies quickly, "Oh.
Well. You know yourself." Wayne comments, "I know what
you've been telling me for the past few weeks. Pretty
grim." They head into the lounge room, where Charlie nods,
"Very." She then picks up a file of papers from the
coffee table and adds, "Here are the contracts. It's all
straightforward." Wayne takes the file and sits down. He
starts looking through the pages. As he does so, Charlie remarks,
"It'll be nice to have some cash again, won't
it?" Wayne muses, "Yes... I'm looking forward to
it." Charlie points at one of the sheets of paper and adds,
"You only have to sign once: there." Wayne murmurs,
"I can see where my name's typed..." He then
takes out a pen. He pauses. Charlie looks at him and says, "Everything's
alright, isn't it?" Wayne replies, "Seems to be. Always
pays to read the fine print. Course, you'd know all about
that, wouldn't you...?" Charlie mutters in annoyance,
"Yes, I do." She then adds quickly, "But let's
not allow what happened to spoil this deal." Wayne
nods, "No. Doesn't worry me, of course." He
then signs the sheet of paper and smiles, "There you go:
I think we can say everything's come to a satisfactory conclusion.
Your turn." He hands over the file and his pen. Charlie takes
them and goes to sign the contract. She pauses suddenly, though,
as she stares at the contract. She then looks at Wayne and asks,
"What's the idea of writing 'sucker'?" Wayne retorts,
"Isn't that what you thought I'd be, Charlie?" Charlie
tells him, "I don't know what you're talking about."
Wayne says coldly, "Don't you? Do you seriously think I wouldn't
see through you? The gym's a financial disaster, is it? Reckoned
I wouldn't go down there, do you? Reckoned I wouldn't see how
well it's going?" Charlie cries quickly, "A lot of people
owe money. It's not what it looks like." Wayne retorts, "Isn't
it? Not according to Janice. The cash is rolling
in - and you expected me to sign that away. I'll be taking
my share of the profits, thankyou very much. Who do you think
you are, trying to put something over me?" Charlie
snaps suddenly, "It's what you deserve after the
dirty deal you played on me with the waiver." Wayne retorts,
"The only reason why I got away with that was because
of your stupidity." Charlie snaps, "I haven't
been so stupid over the gym, have I?" Wayne
nods coolly, "True. Good to see it making a profit after
all." He then adds, "You have to get up a lot earlier
to catch me out, Charlie." With that, he stands
up and says, "I'll see you for a workout sometime."
He then grabs his pen back from her and walks off, leaving Charlie
looking upset and annoyed.
Back at Dural, Wayne pours himself a drink at the bar. He hears
a noise suddenly at the front door and he dashes out to the hallway
to find Tick standing there with Alison. He looks at the boy and
cries, "Thank God you're alright." Tick just says, "I'm
going upstairs." He runs off. Wayne glares at Alison and
snarls, "What have you said to him?" Alison indicates
the lounge room and retorts, "Come in here for a minute."
She heads in there and Wayne follows her. Alison closes the doors.
Wayne repeats furiously, "I asked you what you said
to him. Have you been putting me down?" Alison, however,
retorts, "I didn't have to; you managed to achieve
that all by yourself. The boy's feeling unwanted."
Wayne growls, "I've given him everything."
Alison sighs, "I know - and I know how you feel
about him - but do you think it's fair?" Wayne retorts,
"I love him; how much fairer can I be?"
Alison says, "I think he should go back to the home, where
he can be found foster parents and have the chance to lead a normal
family life." Wayne growls, "You think that,
do you? And I know why: it's a way of getting back
at me. Is that what you've talked him into? Going back? Leaving
me? You really do sink as low as you can, don't you?"
Alison sighs, "I don't deny I'll give my eye teeth to see
you at rock-bottom, but I certainly wouldn't use a child
to do it. That's why I reneged on my original idea, if
you care to remember." Wayne comments sourly, "That's
right - and Richard chose to be with me anyway."
Alison retorts, "Because he saw an opportunity,
that's all. He's had to fend for himself most of his life. He's
only been staying with you because he feels sorry for
you." Wayne glares at her and gasps? "What? Where did
you get that idea?" Alison replies, "From him.
He wants a real mother and father. He wants stability. It wasn't
so bad when Gordon and Susan were here; at least he had some sort
of security." Wayne sits down and growls, "You've turned
into a real child psychologist, haven't you?" Alison
sighs, "I'm not trying to be smart. I happen to care
about the boy. When he ran away, I thought the most likely place
to find him would be the home - and I was right." Wayne stands
up again and snaps, "He hates the place." Alison
retorts, "Yes, but it represents something he needs
- and as much and all as he doesn't like it, at least he has friends
there. And he saw a couple today, taking another boy away with
them, and he wanted to be that boy. Don't you see what
I'm saying? You can't provide him with that." Wayne stands
there. He then snarls, "Who's fault is all this mess, anyway?
Yours. Everything would've been alright if you hadn't
set out to ruin the Hamiltons." Alison sighs, "Now you're
clutching at straws." She goes on curtly, "You're hanging
on to that boy as if he's some sort of life-raft. You're treating
him like one of your possessions and kidding yourself it's love.
You can't possess love. He doesn't need you
half as much as you need him. Can't you see
that?" Wayne glares at her as she concludes, "Whether
you like it or not, you've got a big decision to make."