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    Written by: Ian Coughlan   Executive Producer: Don Battye   Directed by: Alister Smart

Todd hangs up the the 'phone in the reception area at the gym as Charlie walks in. He asks gently, "You OK?" Charlie shakes her head, sadly. Todd asks, "You see Alison?" Charlie nods at him. She then cries, "It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life." Todd tells her, "It had to happen sooner or later. You've been a much better friend than she deserves - and for far too long." Charlie cries, "But it always hasn't been this way. You should've known her in the old days: she was a good person then; she really was. And maybe the change isn't all her fault?" Todd just murmurs, "Maybe. But it isn't your fault either, and you can't go on feeling responsible for her." Charlie replies quietly, "I know. In a way, I'm glad - it brought things to a head with us - and now she's gone, we can get on with our own lives." Todd gives her a gentle kiss and tells her, "From now on, there's only one thing in this world that's important to me: making you happy. No Alison Carr or anyone else is going to keep me from doing just that." The two of them start kissing passionately...

Wayne is sitting with his arm around Sarah on the couch in the lounge room at Dural. She sighs, "I knew it was too good to last. That's the story of my life: whenever things start going well, something always happens to ruin it." Wayne, looking surprised, asks, "What are you talking about?" Sarah replies, "Alison. Things aren't going to be the same now she's found out." Wayne shrugs, "I don't see why. There's nothing she can do to keep us apart." Sarah points out, "She can make all kinds of trouble." Wayne, however, says, "How? She's not your mother. Even if she was, you're old enough to do what you want." Sarah sighs, "It's how Greg will feel that worries me. You can bet she'll try all that stupid stuff she tried before about you just using me. The difference is Greg will believe it." Wayne muses, "I'm not so sure." Sarah, however, insists, "He will. It's not fair. I love you - and I love Greg too. Why should I have to fight one of you to be with the other?" Wayne assures her, "It won't come to that. The only reason Greg dislikes me is because of the lies Alison's told him. If we can talk to him together - let him hear our side - he'll come round." Sarah smiles, "I'm glad you care enough to make the effort; a lot of men wouldn't." Wayne tells her, "You obviously care a lot about your brother. The least we can do is tell him the truth about Alison - and hopefully get him out of her clutches." Sarah smiles warmly, "You're a very caring and unselfish man, Wayne Hamilton. Thankyou." With that, she leans in and gives him a hug. She doesn't see the smug expression on Wayne's face as he murmurs, "My pleasure..."

There's a photo of Charlie and Alison smiling happily sitting on the coffee table in the lounge room at Charlie's. Alison appears in the doorway of the open french windows and calls, "Charlie?" She steps inside as Greg walks in from the hallway and smiles, "I thought I heard someone! Guess what: I got the job - at the card company, remember? Writing all those birthday verses." Alison just replies in a distracted voice, "Oh. Right. That's good. I hope it all works out for you." She makes her way towards the hallway. Greg calls after her, "Anything wrong?" Alison looks back at him and retorts, "Yes. Quite a lot."

In the lounge room at Dural, Wayne raises a glass of champagne and smiles, "A toast - to Charlie and Todd. Happy reunion." Charlie and Todd are sitting on the couch. Wayne is sitting with his arm around Sarah. Charlie beams, "Thankyou, darlings." Sarah tells her, "Honestly, I couldn't be happier for you both; it's wonderful news." Todd looks at Wayne and tells him, "I'm moving back down the road with Charlie. I've just finished work so I'll come and collect my things." Wayne comments, "I assume Fiona got that girl to tell the truth?" Charlie nods coolly, "Yes, thank heavens. I could hardly believe it at first, but when she produced those drug ampoules..." Sarah chips in, "What's everyone talking about?" There's an embarrassed silence. Todd then explains warily, "That whole thing with the girl and me was a set-up. Alison drugged me and hired the girl, then arranged for Charlie to walk in on us." Sarah exclaims in shock, "Alison did?" Charlie retorts bitterly, "So much for people you think are your friends." Wayne asks, "Have you seen her since you found out the truth?" Charlie growls, "Yes - and I've made it perfectly clear that I never want to see her again." Wayne comments, "It's probably worked out for the best, then." Looking at Sarah, he adds, "It seems you won't have to worry about her giving you a hard time anymore - but the invitation to move in here still stands if you want it to." Sarah hesitates before replying, "I would. I've love to. I'll stay at Charlie's for the time being, to help out with the wedding, but as soon as she and Todd are married--" Charlie stares at her. She interrupts and asks, "What are you talking about, darling?" Wayne tells her, "Sarah and Alison had a bit of a run-in. I thought it was best if Sarah moved out of your place to be away from her." Charlie gasps, "That woman is incredible." Wayne says, "I'm glad you told her to go - not just for Sarah; she's obviously had a bad influence on Greg, as well." Charlie muses, "I doubt if Greg'll see it like that; he's always rather liked Alison." Wayne just tells her, "There's enough of us now who know the truth. Hopefully we can convince him. We have to do our best, anyway..."

Alison is standing with Greg in the hallway at Charlie's, saying, "The worst thing about it all is I know Wayne's responsible - but I can't prove it; no one will believe me. Anyway, that's what's happened. I guess one day you and everyone else will realise I've been telling the truth." She then turns towards the lounge room, adding, "I'll go and call a cab before Charlie gets back." She goes to the 'phone and starts dialling. Greg follows her into the room and tells her, "I believe you." Alison turns to look at him. Greg gives her a hug as he adds, "We'll find some way to prove it; don't worry."

A short time later, Greg puts a suitcase down in the hallway, next to two others. Alison joins him with a further two cases. Greg asks her, "Any more?" Alison, however, replies, "No, that's it. I think we're about ready to go." Greg asks, "Um... where is it we're going, exactly?" Alison tells her, "Well, a hotel to start - somewhere nice and luxurious. I don't know about you, but I don't mind being waited on hand-and-foot for a while!" Greg asks, "Can you afford it?" Alison laughs, "I'm not quite broke yet. Anyway, it's only a temporary measure until I can find somewhere permanent - or at least I can convince Charlie I've been set up." Greg tells her, "I'll help you all I can, but any ideas on how to start?" Alison replies, "In theory it's simple: we just find the girl and offer her more to tell the truth than Wayne paid her to lie. I don't care how much it costs - Charlie's far more important to me than any amount of money." She then indicates the cases and adds, "Let's get this gear outside - the cab'll be here in a minute." The 'phone starts ringing suddenly and Alison muses, "My last official act as resident guest!" She heads into the lounge room and picks up the 'phone, saying, "Hello. Alison Carr." She listens and then says, "Oh yes, hello." She listens again before asking warily, "What bad news?" A look of horror begins to cross her face as she listens further. After a few seconds, she whispers, "I don't believe it... There must have been some..." She then hangs up. Greg asks, "What's the matter?" Alison just stands there, looking shocked. Greg presses, "Alison, what's wrong?" Alison turns to him and replies shakily, "What I said before about not being broke... it seems I was wrong. That was my solicitor: my creditors have applied to declare me bankrupt." She sits down slowly on the couch as she goes on distantly, "All those loans I went guarantor for have been called-in. There's no way I can meet them. All my personal assets... everything... they've been frozen. There'll be a notice in tomorrow's paper. I've lost everything except what's in those suitcases and a few dollars in my purse." Greg crouches down to her level and murmurs, "Right. Well, we'll sort something out just the same. We'll find a place the two of us can share 'til you get back on your feet." Alison points out, "It still has to be paid for." Greg insists, "I've got some money; I'll pay. After all, you've spent plenty helping me. It's time I repaid the debt."

Sometime later, the door opens to a room in a dingy-looking motel. The room is painted orange. It has two single beds in it, together with a couple of armchairs, a dressing table, a wardrobe and a small window. Greg and Alison step inside and put down their suitcases. Alison then looks around and gasps in horror, "Oh my God - this is awful. How can anyone stay in a place like this?" Greg points out, "It won't be for long. It's comfortable enough. It's quiet." A clock suddenly starts chiming loudly outside! A wry smile crosses Alison's face and she muses, "You were saying?!" Greg points out, "We'll always know what time it is!" Alison, sitting down on one of the chairs, sighs, "I know what time it is: time to admit defeat. Wayne's beaten me - and that's all there is to it." Greg, however, sits down next to her and insists, "No he hasn't. The only way he'll beat you is if you let him - and you're not going to do that; not as long as Greg Hudson's around. Now, let's get unpacked and see if we can't make this place a bit more homely." Alison looks at him. A smile of relief crosses her face.

Janice is talking on the 'phone in Fiona's room at the mansion, saying sadly, "Yes. Thanks anyway. Bye." She hangs up and says to Fiona, who's standing behind her, "That's it - we've tried every refuge in the 'phone book. No one's seen either of them." Fiona sighs, "Where could they have got to? You know, if anything's happened to them, I'll just never forgive myself." Janice assures her, "Nothing's happened. Andy hasn't had much experience with babies, but he's not completely silly. If he needs advice, he'll find someone to give it to him."

Andy is walking across a caravan site, carrying Madonna and fussing over her. He approaches a van and says, "Here we are: home sweet home. What do you reckon? I know it's not the Ritz, but at least it's ours; there's no one here who can take you away from me. What do you feel about something to eat, eh? You don't look too interested, but we'll see what we can do!" He goes and unlocks the door to the van.

Sarah and Wayne are sitting with Charlie and Todd in the lounge room at Charlie's. Sarah is commenting, "Three days isn't very long to organise a wedding! Maybe you should postpone it for a bit?" Todd, however, tells her, "No way. I'm not giving anything else a chance to go wrong! Anyway, most of the arrangements are already made. You see, when Charlie and I had that 'slight misunderstanding', I didn't cancel anything. I knew we'd sort it out; well, I hoped we would, anyway!" Charlie says, "What I have to do now is find a bridesmaid. Um... Sarah... I wondered if you might like to do it." A smile crosses Sarah's face and she exclaims, "I'd love to!" Charlie beams, "Good. That's all settled then!" Todd comments, "Which leaves me to dig-up a best man." He looks at Wayne and says, "Don't suppose you'd like the job...?" A look of surprise crosses Wayne's face. He then replies, "I'd be honoured. The only thing is: how would Charlie feel about it?" Charlie smiles broadly as she assures him, "Darling, I think it's a lovely idea. After all, if it hadn't been for your help in tracking down that awful girl, there wouldn't be any wedding, would there?" Wayne shrugs, "Any friend would've done the same. But sure - it sounds great! Me as best man, Sarah as bridesmaid... it gives us a chance to spend a lot of time together!" He turns to Sarah and gives her a warm kiss. Charlie beams, "Oh, you know - in spite of all the hitches, everything's turning out beautifully!" Wayne looks at her and nods knowingly, "I'll second that..."

Janice is talking on the 'phone again in Fiona's room at the mansion. She's saying, "Yes, of course I understand, but--" She breaks off and turns to Fiona, hissing at her, "He's been there, but they won't give me the address." Fiona hisses back, "Then get heavy." Janice cries, "I can't. I'm not on official business." Fiona points out, "They don't know that. Now come on." Janice returns to the 'phone and says in a terse voice, "Hello? I appreciate your problem, but I really haven't got time to waste. This is an emergency. If I don't locate that young man, it'll be a black mark on my Department - and yours as well." She then says to the person on the 'phone, "Would you mind telling me your name?... Well, the Director's going to want to know what the hold-up is." She listens. A grin then crosses her face and she says, "Thankyou. Thankyou, you've been most helpful. Bye-bye!" She hangs up and tells Fiona, "He's staying in a caravan park. Let's go!" She turns to dash out. Fiona, however, says quickly, "Wait a minute, Janice. Me only, if you don't mind, love. I'm responsible for this mess; it's up to me to straighten it out."

Andy is sitting on the steps of his caravan, feeding Madonna from a bottle. Fiona approaches them, but stops in her tracks and watches Andy as he says to Madonna gently, "Look at the mess you're making! You know, we're going to have to have a serious talk about table manners, young lady!" He spots Fiona standing there, suddenly. She starts walking towards him. He stands up and warns, "If you try and take Madonna away, you'll be sorry." Fiona, however, explains gently, "I've come here to apologise, Andy, not to take her away from you. The fact that you ran off and didn't give her up shows how much you care for her. And if I wanted any more proof, the way you were looking at her a moment ago when you were feeding her... Andy, I was wrong and I am sorry." Andy murmurs, "It's Madonna you should be sorry to - she's the one that's been dragged around from one place to another." Fiona nods, "I know, and I want to make it up. I want you to come back to the house." Andy growls, "What - so you can keep an eye on me?" Fiona tells him sincerely, "Because it's your home. I won't bother you if you don't want me to, but if you do need any help or advice, I'll always be there. Janice too. I'm sure you can't enjoy living in a place like this." Andy looks around at the caravan park and shrugs, "It's alright." Fiona pleads, "Andy... please?" Andy looks at Madonna and then muses, "I will say she's a bit of a handful sometimes." Fiona insists, "Andy, I really am sorry." A smile crosses Andy's face and he nods, "Yeah, alright." He looks at Madonna and smiles, "What do you reckon, bubs? You want to go home?"

It's evening-time. Janice and Andy are standing in Fiona's room at the mansion. Fiona is sitting on the couch. Andy is saying, "Madonna's down. She fell asleep as soon as she hit the pillow. I reckon she must be glad to be home too." Fiona says, "I'm so happy you're home, Andy. Maybe we can be friends again?" Andy looks at her and nods, "I don't see why not. I guess everyone needs friends." Janice chips in, "They certainly do." Andy goes on, "That's one thing I noticed about the caravan park: Madonna and I had each other and no one else. I thought about staying in a refuge - just for the company - but I knew that would be the first place you'd look!" Fiona chuckles, "You were probably better off where you were! Refuges do their best, but a lot of them are very over-crowded and they're desperately short of funds." Janice adds, "And there aren't enough of them. What they really need are big houses with lots of rooms and decent-sized grounds, so people have some breathing space. Places like here." She sits down next to Fiona - who is sitting there with a very thoughtful expression on her face. She exclaims, "Hey! Hey! That's worth thinking about!" Janice asks blankly, "What is?" Fiona replies, "Turning this place into a refuge. The rent's low enough and we wouldn't need much in the way of facilities." Andy asks, "Are you serious?" Fiona smiles, "Yeah! I think so! I've been looking for something to occupy my mind ever since I came back from the old-people's home! This could be just the thing!" Janice beams, "Fiona, it's a great idea! I love it!" Andy adds, "So do I!" His face then drops as he adds, "The question is: will Wayne?" Fiona suggests, "There's only one way to find out. I'll put it to him as soon as I see him." Andy tells her, "There's no way he'll be in it." Fiona just chuckles, "I can be pretty persuasive! We'll just wait and see."

Alison is sitting on one of the beds in the motel room, staring at the photo of her and Charlie that was on the coffee table at Charlie's. Greg comes in from outside, holding a large box-shaped object wrapped in a blue blanket. He smiles, "Hi! How's it going?" Alison muses, "I've been worse." Greg tells her, "I've been doing some thinking and I reckon you should get yourself a few new friends - so I got you someone to practice on." Alison asks, "What is it?" Greg pulls away the blanket to reveal a cage containing a budgie! He says, "Howard, meet Alison. Alison, this is Howard!" Alison exclaims in astonishment, "A budgerigar?!" Greg nods, "He's cute, isn't he?!" Alison just asks, "Who's going to look after him?" Greg replies, "A packet of bird seed will last him six months. What could be cheaper than that?" He then prompts Alison, "Say hello! Go on!" Alison crouches down to Howard's level and remarks, "He does have rather a sweet face!" She then takes the cage and says, "Come on, Howard. I'll put you over here, near the window, where you'll have a wonderful view of the brick wall next door!"

It's the next morning. The clock outside is striking the hour. Alison stirs from where she's lying asleep in bed. Greg is already dressed, and Alison looks at him and comments, "You're up early." Greg explains, "New job. I have to make a good impression." Alison muses, "By getting there before sunrise? Who are you trying to impress - the cleaner?!" Greg tells her, "Better to allow for traffic." He then asks, "You sleep well?" Alison retorts, "Oh yes - apart from the chimes going every 15 minutes and the stupid parrot screeching its head off at 3am." Greg corrects, "It's a budgerigar." He then adds quickly, "No, I'm serious: you alright?" Alison smiles, "I'm fine. I feel much better today - so don't worry."

Sometime later, Charlie and Sarah are sitting on the couch in the lounge room at Charlie's, listening as Greg stands in front of them and tells them curtly, "Alison says she was set-up - and I believe her. You've got no idea how much all this has upset her." Charlie, however, retorts, "Darling, I've got every idea. If you'd known Alison as long as I have, you'd know what an actress she is." Greg insists, "She's not acting, Charlie. I'm sharing a room with her; I know what she's going through." There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Wayne calls, "Anyone home?" Charlie calls back, "Come through, darling." She then turns back to Greg and tells him, "She's using you - the same as she used me all those years." Wayne wanders in and smiles, "Hello! Everyone's on the move early this morning!" Charlie tells him stiffly, "Greg's come over to, er, plead Alison's case." Wayne muses, "Uh huh?" He then says, "I think it's time you told the truth to Greg and Sarah about their mother." Looking wary, Charlie murmurs, "Yes, I think you're probably right." She looks at the twins and goes on gently, "Oh darlings, there's been an awful thing done to you that you don't even know about. I was part of it because Alison persuaded me. Your mother didn't abandon you. She loved you very much." Greg mutters, "That's hard to believe." Charlie insists, "If she'd known you were in Sydney, there's no way she'd have gone without seeing you. Alison manipulated the whole thing." Sarah stares at her as she goes on, "It was out of jealousy that she brought you both up to Sydney in the first place." Sarah queries, "Jealousy?" Charlie explains, "Your mother was going out with the man that Alison wanted. She thought she could use the two of you to split them up - but when she met you, she changed her plans. She decided what she really wanted was the two of you to take the place of her own children. She let your mother leave Sydney without even telling her you were here." Greg stares at her and growls, "I don't believe it." Wayne chips in, "It's true. At one stage, you were out by the pool while you mother was leaving by the front door. Alison didn't say a word to anyone. That's the sort of person your 'friend' is." Greg just retorts, "It sounds pretty far-fetched to me. I think I want to hear her side." Wayne shrugs, "By all means - but she'll only lie. Why don't I show you something first?"

At the motel, Alison is crouching down in front of Howard's cage, which she's placed on a sheet of newspaper on her bed. She hears the door to the room open behind her, but she doesn't look round. It's Wayne who walks in. Alison continues looking at Howard as she comments, "Now I know where he gets the energy to squawk all night. It's the way he eats!" She stands up and looks round at the door. Finding Wayne standing there, she cries in shock, "How did you find me?" Wayne replies gleefully, "Greg. I just called over to let you know he won't be coming back." He takes a couple of steps towards Alison as he holds out an envelope and adds, "I showed him - and Sarah - this. It's a letter Pamela wrote to me after she went off with Nick - mainly by ways of an apology for running out on me, but it mentions how much she regrets never having the chance to see her kids. She makes it quite clear how much she loves them." Alison growls, "You could've paid someone to write a forgery." Wayne tells her, "Charlie vouched that it was genuine. I don't think either of them will ever want to see you again." Alison starts to snarl, "You s--" Wayne interrupts and retorts gleefully, "Just keeping my promise. I told you I would take away everything and everyone you ever cared about. Here you are: no money, no friends, nothing." Alison looks down at the floor. A look then crosses her face. She looks back up at Wayne and murmurs, "The 'plane... It was you, wasn't it? You sabotaged it." Wayne just repeats slowly, "Everyone, everything - and there's nothing you can do to get any of it back. You... are... finished."


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