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    Written by: Bevan Lee   Produced by: Posie Jacobs   Directed by: Mark Piper

A while later, Wayne is sitting with Ginny and Tick at the dinner table. Wayne looks at Ginny and indicates with a nod of his head towards the kitchen to leave him and Tick alone. Ginny takes the hint and starts clearing away the plates. When she's gone, Wayne looks at Tick and says gently, "I know I did the wrong thing when I yelled at you, but I was cross and I didn't think. OK, I did the wrong thing - but we all make mistakes; even you, sometimes, I bet." He goes on, "It meant a hell of a lot to me when you turned up at the funeral. Maybe I haven't said it, but it means a hell of a lot to me having you around. I know it doesn't feel like that sometimes - because I'm busy and I ignore you - but it is important. Everyone deserves a second chance. Do I get one?" Tick doesn't respond. Wayne then says, "I tell you what: how about if we spend the whole day together tomorrow? Just the two of us. We'll do anything you want. What do you say?" Tick gasps, "Anything?" Wayne smiles, "I could be letting myself in for a hell of a time, but yes, anything!" Tick asks, "Promise you won't yell at me again unless I've done something wrong?" Wayne nods, "OK. Deal." He shakes Tick's hand, adding as he does so, "I'll ask first, I'll yell later. I really am sorry." At that moment, Ginny emerges from the kitchen again, saying as she does so, "Just coming through for another load. Don't stop on my account." Wayne, however, tells her, "It's OK - it's all sorted out: we're spending the day together tomorrow." Ginny asks, "Haven't you got any work on?" Wayne replies, "Just a meeting with a guy who's interested in buying the mansion. That shouldn't take long." Ginny remarks, "You've got someone interested, eh?" Wayne nods, "I hope so. It'll be a big help financially if we can unload that monstrosity." Ginny stands there looking thoughtful...

Sometime later, in the lounge room at Charlie's, Alison says to Ginny curtly, "You should have tried to get the name of the buyer out of him." Ginny retorts, "I did. I couldn't push too hard without being obvious, though; I don't want to blow my cover." Alison asks, "You sure there was nothing else?" Ginny replies, "Only the name 'Bob'. Wayne said 'Bob put me on to him'." Looking thoughtful, Alison muses, "Bob... Bob... any ideas who it could be?" She looks at Charlie, who's sitting on the couch, grooming Isabella. Charlie suggests, "Perhaps Bob Drummond? Gordon used to do a lot of business dealings through him." Alison nods, "I'll follow that up. If I can manage to stop Wayne selling the mansion, it'll keep the financial pressure on him." She then hands Ginny a cheque and smiles, "You've done very well." Ginny takes the cheque, but sighs, "Wayne's so nice with Tick it makes me feel guilty sometimes." Alison, however, retorts, "Nice with him? I had to chip him earlier on about neglecting the child." Ginny tells her, "You must have done some good, then, because they're getting on great together now." She then adds, "I'd better go - he thinks I'm in the kitchen, doing the dishes." With that, she heads off.

Fiona is sitting at the desk in her room at the mansion, a glass of champagne in one hand, the telephone handset in the other. She's saying on the 'phone, "We need as many people as we can get all out in front of the mansion and all protesting. There's no way they'll be able to evict us if we make enough fuss." There's a knock on her door and Beryl and Gordon walk in as Fiona declares on the 'phone, "No one will want to buy the place when we've finished kicking up a stink." She then looks round at Beryl and Gordon and says warily on the 'phone, "I'll call you back, Maisie. Visitors." She hangs up. Beryl tells her, "We thought we'd drop by and see how you're bearing up to it all." Gordon adds, "I'm sorry that Wayne has to sell the place, Fiona. Believe me, if there was any other choice..." Fiona just tells them, "I've just opened a bottle of bubbly. Sit down!" Beryl and Gordon do so and Beryl asks, "What are you celebrating?" Fiona replies, "Nothing. I'm thoroughly miserable. But I can't think of a better way to cheer myself up!" Beryl comments, "If it'll help, we'll join you!" As Fiona pours two fresh glasses, she then says, "There's no way to act innocent, I guess, Gordon. You heard exactly what I said when you came in." Gordon nods, "Yes - you're lining up support against being thrown out." Fiona tells him, "You can't blame a girl for trying to protect hearth and home." Gordon says, "I'm sorry to tell you, but it's a waste of time." Fiona hands him and Beryl their drinks and then sits down again, saying as she does so, "Why? We got results when we protested the last time." Gordon, however, replies, "Yes, but there have been some changes to the council zoning laws. Whoever buys the place can do whatever they like with it, and the people showing interest are all land developers who couldn't care less about you or your tenants." Fiona tuts, "Damn Wayne. And damn you too, Gordon: you could have stopped it if you'd've wanted to." She then adds quickly and more calmly, "I'm sorry. I really am upset." Gordon tells her gently, "We're broke. We've got no choice but to sell." Beryl chips in, "You must know that Gordon would never want to hurt you, Fiona." Fiona sighs, "I know that. Looks like I might be losing my home; I don't want to lose a friend as well." She then indicates the champagne and says, "I've got three bottles of this in the 'fridge. I doubt very much that there'll be any of it left by the morning..."

It's the next morning, and Wayne is standing in the hallway at Dural, snapping down the 'phone, "I don't see why I have to be there... I know I'm the one with the money worries, but surely you can deal with it? I can ring in every hour, just in case you need my say-so on something..." He listens and then mutters reluctantly, "Yeah, alright, I'll be there. I'll see you in about an hour." He slams down the 'phone. He then wanders over to the bottom of the stairs and calls up, "Tick. Can I see you downstairs for a minute, please?" Tick comes running down, carrying a bucket and a fishing rod. Wayne says hesitantly, "Look, mate... my accountant just called. I have to see him." Tick's face drops and he says, "We'll go later, won't we?" Wayne, however, admits, "No. I'm afraid we're going to have to cancel today." Tick stares at him in disappointment. Wayne goes on, "I know you start school tomorrow, so we can't go then, but the first free day you get, I'll make it up to you." He adds, "I don't want to do this, Tick, but I've got no choice." Tick just walks down the stairs, past him, and out through the front door. Wayne stands there, looking annoyed.

Alison is standing in the lounge room at Charlie's, looking at a file of papers, when Tick steps in through the open french windows. Alison looks at the expression on his face and asks, "What's the matter with you?" Tick retorts, "I hate him." Alison asks, "Who: Wayne? What's he done now?" Tick murmurs, "He wouldn't take me fishing." Alison says sympathetically, "I'm sorry." Tick cries, "He promised." Alison muses, "Yes, well, I'm afraid promises have never meant very much to Wayne." Tick then asks, "Can I play in the pool?" Alison queries, "You'd like to spend the day here, would you?" Tick nods at her. Alison agrees, "OK. You know where Charlie keeps the towels." With that, Tick turns to head back out through the french windows. As he goes, Alison says quickly, "Tick... you mentioned some people to me: Mr. and Mrs. Carter... remember, you saw them at the home? You don't happen to remember what his first name was, do you?" Tick replies, "Mr. Carter? Harry. Why?" Alison just tells him, "No particular reason." With that, Tick heads outside, leaving Alison sitting on the couch, looking thoughtful.

Fiona is sitting in the reception area at the gym, her head buried in her hands! Glen is standing next to her, preparing a drink made of fresh oranges and eggs! Charlie is standing with them, exclaiming loudly, "I think it's a wonderful idea, darling! We'll have suppleness competitions and arm wrestling and weight-lifting competitions and prizes can be free classes at the gym! It's going to be sensationally superb and such good publicity!" Fiona just groans quietly, "Charlie, would you please keep the volume down?!" Charlie whispers, "Sorry, darling, I forgot!" She then adds, "You drank all three bottles on your own?" Fiona nods at her. Glen hands her the drink and smiles, "There you go: get that in to you. Guaranteed to stop a hangover dead in its tracks!" Fiona lifts up her head and groans, "When I've had this, I'm going to hit the sauna." Glen smiles at her. He then turns to Charlie and tells her, "Heat's the answer to your problem, too." Charlie asks in surprise, "What do you mean, darling?" Glen goes on, "Forget all those competitions to make sure people have a good time at the promotion. Gyms are the singles bars of the '80s. Just invite a spunky crowd, turn up the heating and you'll have the best draw-card there is: sex appeal." Fiona says quietly, "Sounds like a good idea to me." Charlie cries to Glen in excitement, "Oh, darling! You're not just a pretty face, are you? I love it!" Fiona winces at the noise! Charlie goes on, "I must ring Ginny; see how she's going with my outfit for the night. It's going to be fabulous!"

At Charlie's, Alison escorts Mrs. Carter into the lounge room, saying, "I've made some coffee. Would you like some?" Mrs. Carter replies, "Thankyou. Milk. No sugar." She sits down and Alison starts pouring the coffee. As she does so, she goes on, "I don't want you to feel nervous; I'm not trying to force some form of commitment out of you. I just wanted to tell you the whole story about what's been happening to Tick, and thought you could make up your mind from there." Mrs. Carter points out, "I'd have to talk to my husband." Alison nods, "Of course." Mrs. Carter adds, "We did think about Tick, but he said he was with his father now: Mr. Hamilton? They seemed very happy." Alison tells her, "'Seemed' is the right word. You see, Tick's totally miserable. The fact is Wayne's been neglecting him. I really think he needs a proper home." Mrs. Carter says uncertainly, "If Mr. Hamilton is his father, I don't see--" Alison interrupts and explains, "That's just it: at the home, they believe Wayne is Tick's real father. He's not. I'm afraid it's a very long and complicated story..." Mrs. Carter stares at her.

The front door opens at Dural and Ginny heads inside, just as Wayne emerges from the study. He says to Ginny, "There you are. Where's Tick?" Ginny turns to look at him and comments, "I thought you were supposed to be with your accountant all day." Wayne explains, "There were some papers I forgot. I was going to call you to get them sent over by cab, but you weren't here." Ginny tells him quickly, "Something came up. I felt like getting out for a while." Wayne goes on, "Tick's nowhere around. I thought he might be with you." Ginny replies, "Oh, I saw him over at Charlie's pool on the way back from the shops. He didn't look too happy." Wayne frowns, "He's over there with Alison...?" Ginny shrugs, "I don't know if she's there or not." Wayne just growls, "No way I'm going to let her make it worse." With that, he opens the front door and heads out.

In the lounge room at Charlie's, Alison is saying to Mrs. Carter, "That's about it. To give Wayne his due, I really do think he loves the boy - but in his own way. You see, he's a rather selfish and bitter man. He's clinging on to Tick as if he's some sort of emotional lifeline - when it suits him. At other times, he tosses the boy aside like an old dish-mop; not a healthy situation for any child." Mrs. Carter asks in surprise, "Why don't you tell all this to the people at the home?" Alison replies, "I'd rather not get involved personally. That's why I contacted you: I thought that if you were interested in Tick, you could explain the situation, they could investigate and hopefully award custody to you. All I want is to see Tick part of a happy family." Looking wary, Mrs. Carter murmurs, "I'm not sure... I'd like to help the little chap, but it does seem such a complicated situation to get involved in." There's a sudden loud hammering on the front door. It stops and is then repeated. Alison comments to Mrs. Carter, "Whoever it is isn't taking 'no' for an answer. Excuse me." She heads out to open the door. Mrs. Carter sits in the lounge room and listens as Alison opens the door and Wayne snarls at her, "I suppose you've been making the most of it." Alison sighs, "What are you talking about?" Wayne snaps, "Tick: you've been stirring him up against me." Alison mutters, "Don't be so paranoid; I just let him play in the pool." Wayne snaps, "I'm taking him home." He marches into the house. As he heads into the lounge room, he threatens Alison, "And don't interfere in our lives again." He then notices Mrs. Carter sitting there. He looks back at Alison and adds quietly, "You do, I'll make you so sorry you were ever born." He then storms over to the french windows and yells, "Tick, get out of there. There's a pool at home you can use." Alison looks at Mrs. Carter.

A short time later, back at Dural, Wayne drags Tick into the lounge room, telling him curtly as he does so, "I don't want you running across to Charlie's every time something goes wrong for you here." Tick retorts, "I was just swimming." Wayne, however, snaps, "No you weren't: you were sulking." Tick cries, "You can't make me stay here. I hate you." Wayne just sets him down on the couch and snaps, "Sit there and listen." He sits down with the boy and goes on, "I know you don't hate me. You're just upset because I let you down - and I don't blame you. Anything I can to make it up for you, I will - but a family sticks together... and that's what we are, now, Tick: a family. Maybe I'm not your real father, but I feel like it. You get angry with me, you have it out with me. Don't go running across the road, because that doesn't solve anything - because whether you know it or not, Alison is not your friend, and she's certainly not mine. There was nothing I could do about cancelling the accountant today. If I could have, I would." He adds, "I reckon we've both got a lot of growing-up to do. Reckon we could help each other?" Tick shrugs at him. Wayne assures him, "I'll get home as soon as I can. I might even be home as early as two; that would still give us a bit of time to get some fishing in." Tick asks eagerly, "Promise?" Wayne nods, "Cross my heart." He then holds out his hand. Tick shakes it. Wayne smiles in relief, "The sooner I get going, the sooner I'll be back. Have your rod ready." With that, he heads out.

Beryl is sitting on the couch, staring into space, in Fiona's room at the mansion. Fiona is waltzing around, vacuuming and exclaiming, "It was the best hangover cure that I've ever tried! Glen was quite sure that it was his fruit concoction, but uh-uh, it was the steam. Next time I over-imbibe, it's down to the steam room at Charlie's: lay back, drift off and let the vapours do their work!" She goes on, "It's even made my thinking on the mansion a little clearer; I'll be very upset if it was sold, of course, but it's not the end of the world! Who knows? I might even be at the beginning of a whole new adventure!" She turns off the vacuum cleaner and looks at Beryl still staring into space. She then comments to her, "You haven't heard a word I've said." Beryl turns to look at her and Fiona adds, "You're miles away!" Beryl murmurs distantly, "Oh... sorry..." Fiona sits down with her and asks, "You alright?" Beryl explains, "I'm worried about being a burden to Gordon." Looking surprised, Fiona smiles, "Don't be so ridiculous! As if you could ever be a burden to anyone!" Beryl, however, clarifies, "I mean now - in the flat. Robert and I have the bedroom and poor Gordon's stuck out there on the couch." Fiona gives her a look and Beryl adds quickly, "That is the way we prefer it at the moment, until after we are married." Fiona points out, "I didn't say anything!" Beryl tells her, "You raised your eyebrows!" Fiona asks innocently, "Did I?!" Beryl smiles at her! She then goes on, "I was thinking of suggesting we move down to Melbourne... move into my house. There's plenty of room. But... you know how Gordon is: he's so proud, and it's hard enough for him walking away from his own home, without him thinking he's relying on me for a roof over his head." Fiona comments, "You know: I think you underestimate him. Why don't you bring him back to lunch? I'll give you moral support if you like." Beryl, looking thoughtful, murmurs, "I'll see. But don't you push it: unless I bring the subject up, leave it alone, alright?" Fiona just says innocently, "What? Me interfere?!" She and Beryl burst out laughing!

Wayne opens the front door at Dural from outside. He steps into the hallway accompanied by Mr. Simms. He tells Simms, "You're lucky to catch me... I've been out most of the day." Simms replies, "I rang. Tick said you'd be back by two." They head into the lounge room and Wayne asks, "What can I do for you?" He adds quickly, "If it's about another donation, I've got a few financial worries--" Simms interrupts and retorts, "It's something much more serious than that, I'm afraid. You've been misleading us, Mr. Hamilton. From what I've been told, Tick isn't your son at all - and if that is the case, I'm afraid he won't be able to stay with you." Wayne stares at him in horror.

A few moments later, Wayne is snapping at Simms, "I don't see what harm I've done. I've given him a proper home." Simms retorts, "Tick is an abandoned child. It's up to the state to decide what is and isn't a fit home for him." Wayne indicates Dural and mutters, "This isn't a fit home?" Simms tells him curtly, "It takes a lot more than possessions to keep a child happy. A good family environment is most important." Wayne snaps, "I'm as good a father as anyone else could be." Simms says quickly, "Getting upset isn't going to help. We'll find a good family for Tick - and you can be sure that wherever we do place him, he'll be just as well off as he would be here... if not better. In fact, we've received a report that you've been mistreating the boy." Wayne stares at him in shock and growls, "What are you talking about?" Simms says, "If you could just get Tick for me." Wayne, ignoring this, snaps, "Who told you I was mistreating him? For that matter, who told you I wasn't Tick's real father?" Simms insists, "It's not important." Wayne, however, demands, "Alison Carr?" Simms retorts tersely, "Mr. Hamilton, I can understand your being upset. But I obviously can't divulge my source." Wayne threatens, "I'll take it to court." Simms tells him, "You wouldn't have a leg to stand on. Let's face it: there's nothing you can do by being aggressive except make the parting harder for Tick." He goes on, "I'm not a monster. If you want time with the boy to say your goodbyes, I'll wait." Looking downcast, Wayne murmurs, "So that's it, then: no hope." Simms tells him, "I'm sorry." Wayne, looking beaten, says quietly, "I'll have to pack his things." Simms assures him, "Take all the time you want." He adds, "I really am sorry, Mr. Hamilton. You may be a bit hot-headed, but you seem a decent enough sort of chap to me." Wayne just mutters, "A lot of good it did me." With that, he heads out of the lounge room and off upstairs.

Fiona and Beryl emerge from the kitchen at Fiona's, holding trays of food. Beryl tells Fiona, "I'm sorry he's so late - I have no idea what's keeping him." Fiona insists, "That's alright. Nothing will spoil." As they put the trays down on the dining table, Beryl sighs, "I can't stop worrying about where we're going to live." Fiona suggests, "Why don't you leave it to Gordon? Trust him." There's suddenly a knock on the door. Fiona tells Beryl, "That'll be him now. Now, you bring it up right away so you don't ruin your appetite by worrying." Beryl smiles at her, weakly. Fiona then opens the door. Gordon is indeed standing there and Fiona says to him quickly, "I won't be a minute: I'm just running to get some milk!" She heads out of the room. Gordon steps inside and, giving Beryl a kiss, says, "Sorry I'm late; I got roped into thrashing things out with Wayne and the accountant." Beryl asks, "What happened?" Gordon replies, "A lot of unpleasantness. It's much worse than I thought: Wayne has really sent us down the drain." Beryl asks, "Can you do anything about it?" Gordon shrugs, "Start again - from scratch. But I don't know if I've got the energy..." Beryl assures him, "I'll be around. Anything I can do to help..." Gordon smiles, "You help just being around. We'll see it through; don't worry." Beryl insists, "I really do mean it: I would like to help." Gordon nods, "I know that - but it's important for me to do the right thing by you and Robert. Makes me feel I'm still worthwhile." With that, he gives Beryl a warm hug.

A while later, Gordon and Beryl are wandering down the front path outside, Gordon commenting as they do so, "You were very quiet over lunch." Beryl explains, "Lots to think about." Gordon queries, "Oh? Anything worth telling?" Beryl replies, "I'm not sure." They stop walking and Beryl turns to face her fiancé. She then says, "I don't want you to misunderstand what I'm about to say, because I know how important it is to you to feel that you're accepting the role of provider - but there are practicalities. I think we should move to Melbourne." Gordon raises his eyebrows. Beryl goes on quickly, "Before you say anything: the house is there; it's not as big as Dural, but it's comfortable. I know it's my environment and not yours, but I'm sure we'd be happy there. And besides, I'm homesick; I miss having my own things around me. And I'd like to feel that you're as much a part of my life as I am of yours - but I don't want you to feel that I'm taking your pride away by suggesting it. I'd never do that." Gordon continues to stare at her. Beryl then tells him, "That's it." Gordon looks at her fondly and says, "Wherever you want to be is fine by me." A smile crosses Beryl's face and she says happily, "I really do love you." Gordon gives her a hug and replies fondly, "And I love you."

Wayne and Tick walk downstairs slowly at Dural. Mr. Simms is standing in the hallway, waiting for them. At the bottom of the stairs, Wayne crouches down to Tick and says softly, "Maybe I can't be your dad, but you always know where to find a friend if you need one." Tears welling in his eyes, Tick murmurs, "I don't want to go." Tears in his eyes as well, Wayne tells him gently, "You have to. Do it like a man, huh?" Tick stares at him. He then shakes Wayne's hand and gives him a hug. Wayne puts the boy down, sadly, and Mr. Simms leads him out through the front door. Wayne calls after him, "Make sure he gets the best." Simms assures him, "We will." Wayne stands there, looking emotional.

Alison is standing in the lounge room at Charlie's, about to head outside to do some sunbathing. There's a sudden loud hammering on the front door and she muses to herself, "I'd know that knock anywhere!" She then calls, "Come in, Wayne!" The front door bangs and Wayne storms in, a look of fury on his face. Alison tells him quickly, "Before you say anything, I did it for Tick's sake." Wayne snarls, "I should throttle you. I never thought you'd use a child against me." Alison starts to protest, "I didn't. I had--" Wayne interrupts and goes on angrily, "You ruined a kid's life just to have a cheap shot at me." Alison snaps, "He'll be a hell of a lot better away from you." Wayne growls, "What would you know about it?" Alison retorts, "I know what I saw. Tick wasn't happy; that's all that matters." She then adds lightly, "Now, you can see yourself out." She turns to head out through the french windows. Wayne, however, grabs her arm and spins her back to face him. He then snarls, "There's not much I can do when I'm broke, but I'm telling you: you've taken everything from me: my money... dad... Richard. Well, I'm not going to stop until I've done the same to you. I don't care how long it takes: one of these days I'm going to be back on top of the heap again - and you'll be in the gutter where you belong. When I see you there, I'll step on your face and push you down even further. That's a promise, not a threat..."


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