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    Written by: Maureen Ann Moran   Executive Producer: Don Battye   Directed by: Russell Webb

A tow truck is reversing towards the parking area outside. Wayne walks over to Susan's car, accompanied by a middle-aged man, and says, "This is the car." The man looks at it and asks, "What's wrong with it: the motor seize up?" Wayne retorts, "No. I just want it destroyed." Looking surprised, the man asks, "Why?" Wayne growls, "Because I do." The tow-truck driver brings his vehicle to a halt and starts hooking up Susan's car. In the boot, Tick whispers to Sparky, "I wish they'd speak up; I can't hear what they're saying." Wayne hands the first man a cheque and walks off. The man gives a thumbs-up to the tow-truck driver, who flicks a button on the truck and starts winching-up Susan's car. In the boot, Tick cries to Sparky, "What's that sound? What are they doing? I think we'd better get out." He starts banging on the boot and yelling, "Hey, Wayne! It's me - Tick." Sparky starts barking. The noise of the cranking machinery means no one can hear him, though. A few moments later, the tow-truck moves off, pulling Susan's car along behind it...

Wayne is back at Charlie's. He's standing in the lounge room with Sarah, sighing, "Are you sure Tick didn't say anything about running away?" Sarah replies, "Not a word. He's been gone all night?" Wayne murmurs, "Yeah." Alison joins them, suddenly, and snaps at Wayne, "What are you doing here?" Sarah explains, "He's looking for Tick." She then asks Wayne, "Have you called the police?" Wayne murmurs, "Not yet." Alison comments, "He'd be scared that if Tick's foster parents find out the boy's missing, he'd be held responsible." Wayne insists, "It's not my fault." Alison, however, muses, "It never is, is it?" Sarah chips in, "It's my fault Tick's gone. I tried to let him down gently about this crush he has on me, but he was so hurt. I should've realised something like this would happen." Charlie - holding Isabella - and Todd walk in suddenly through the french windows and Charlie asks, "The prodigal returned?" Wayne murmurs, "Not yet." Charlie sighs, "Oh dear..." Sarah tells Wayne, "I'll help you look for him." Alison, however, says quickly, "Why don't we all join in the search?" Charlie adds, "Isabella: she'll help too. She's got the instincts of a Bloodhound!" Alison suggests, "We could split into groups. Sarah could come with me." Sarah says, "I'll get Greg: he can help too." Charlie says, "Before you go, have you got that marble Tick gave you?" Sarah reaches into her trouser pocket and takes it out. She hands it to Charlie, who says, "It'll give Isabella Tick's scent." She then holds the marble to Isabella's nose and smiles, "Inhale, darling!" Wayne mutters, "I'll get going."

Sometime later, Wayne and Alison are standing on the driveway outside Dural. Alison comments, "If we don't find him soon, we'll have to call the police." Wayne, however, retorts coldly, "We don't need the police; Tick wants to be found." Sarah joins them as Alison asks Wayne, "Since when have you been a clairvoyant?!" Wayne glares at her and retorts, "The last time he ran away, he didn't leave a note." Alison says, "So?" Sarah chips in, "You think he ran away just to draw attention to himself?" Wayne says, "It figures, doesn't it? You hurt him. He knew if he disappeared you'd end up feeling guilty about it sooner or later. He wants to be found alright; it's just a matter of figuring out where he'd hide."

The tow-truck arrives at a dusty yard. In the boot of Susan's car, Tick asks Sparky, "Where do you think we are?" The yard is the home of a large, noisy car-crusher. The tow-truck reverses and pushes Susan's car so that it's resting in front of a pile of already-crushed cars. In the boot, Tick yells, "Help! Help!" He then says to Sparky, "Don't worry - someone will hear us once the noise stops." He starts yelling, "Help!" again.

Wayne, Alison and Sarah head into Dural, Wayne saying as they do so, "It's a waste of time looking in here: Janice searched the place from top to bottom." They head into the lounge room, where Alison asks, "Have you looked in the wine cellar?" Wayne stops in his tracks. Alison sighs, "Where's the key?" Wayne goes to the bar and opens the drawer. As he does so, he tells Sarah, "Should've thought of there first-up. It's where I hid when I was a kid." Sarah asks, "How long did you stay hidden?" Alison tells her, "Long enough to drink his father's pride-and-joy: a $500 bottle of 1961 Chateau La Tour - and he hasn't stopped drinking since!" Wayne just glares at her.

Greg is outside, in the parking area. Isabella is sniffing around in one of the corners and Greg asks her, "What have you found, eh?" He reaches down and picks up Tick's bag of marbles. He then muses, "Well I'll be damned. No offence, girl, but I never thought you had it in you!" He stands up and calls, "Charlie! Isabella's found Tick's marbles. Come and look." There's no response, though, and Greg murmurs to himself, "Looks like she's done a disappearing act, too."

Charlie is standing in the hallway at Dural, calling, "Todd, darling..." There's no response. She goes and sits down on the couch in the lounge room and takes off her shoe. Alison comes in suddenly and Charlie asks, "Any luck?" Alison sighs, "No. We had a look in the wine cellar, but no go. We've split up to search the house again." Charlie tells her, "Don't worry: if he's still in the area, Isabella will find him!" Alison, however, sighs, "Charlie, if you can confuse a Maltese Terrier with a Bloodhound, it's no wonder you can't identify Todd as a gold-digger." Charlie glares at her and cries, "He isn't! You said you wouldn't call him that again. He is a wonderful human being." Wayne walks in at that moment and smiles, "Talking about me again?!" Charlie snaps at Alison, "I will not hear another word against him. I am going to marry him, and if you don't like it, that is that." With that, she marches out. Wayne smiles at Alison smugly, "Sounds like the worm's turning..." Alison just glares at him and runs out after Charlie.

Outside, Greg closes the boot of Wayne's car. He's holding Isabella. Alison joins him and asks, "Find anything?" Greg replies, "Not me; Isabella has, though." He shows Alison the bag of marbles. Alison asks, "Where were they?" Greg points out the corner of the parking area and says, "Right here." Alison remarks, "This is Susan's car space. I wonder--" She breaks off as Wayne joins them. She then remarks to him, "Not your lucky day: someone's just pinched Susan's car." Wayne growls, "I got rid of it." Alison says, "Today?" Wayne retorts, "Yes. Look, can we concentrate on finding Tick?" Alison muses, "Sure. Why don't you tag along with Greg? You can play Dr. Watson to Isabella's Sherlock!" Wayne mutters, "Very funny." Alison then says, "I've just had a thought: Tick could be hiding in that old greenhouse down the back." Greg nods, "We're on our way." He walks off. Wayne goes to follow him. Alison, however, grabs his arm and sighs, "Don't you recognise a red herring when you see one?!" Wayne demands, "What are you talking about?" Alison smiles, "There's no way Tick would be in that greenhouse." Wayne snaps, "How do you know?" Alison smiles, "Because I know exactly where he is." Wayne glares at her and demands, "Why the hell didn't you say so?" Alison just muses, "You don't get anything for nothing in this world, Wayne." She walks off.

A short time later, Alison walks into Dural through the front door. Wayne follow her and snarls, "If you don't tell me where that kid is, I'll strangle it out of you." Alison just goes to the telephone and says, "You can listen in while I call the police." Wayne growls, "I don't want the police involved." He grabs the 'phone from her. Alison turns to him and shrugs, "Alright. I'll keep them out of it - for a price." Wayne mutters, "Oh, for God's sake." Alison smiles, "It appeals to my better nature - and you're always telling everyone I don't have one!" Wayne mutters, "What's the deal?" Alison tells him, "I want you to destroy your credibility with Sarah." Wayne mutters, "And build-up yours?" Alison smiles, "You catch on fast!"

A crushed car is dropped onto a pile at the wrecker's yard. A huge great hulking clamp, which is dangling from a crane, is manoeuvred on to the top of a vehicle parked close to Susan's car. In the boot of Susan's car, Tick yells, "Let me out! Please! Help me!"

Wayne is sitting on the couch in the lounge room at Dural, staring into space. Sarah walks in and says gently, "Wayne? Come on - let's look outside." Wayne, however, shrugs, "What's the point? He's taken off for good." Sarah points out, "You said he wanted to be found." Wayne mutters, "I know what I said, and it was just wishful thinking. Tick doesn't want me to find him. He's fed-up, and I can't say I blame him. Sooner or later I drive everyone away: dad... my wife... now Tick." Sarah puts a hand on his shoulder and says softly, "Don't." Wayne, however, pushes it away and mutters, "Just get lost." Sarah tells him, "I don't want to. I like you." Wayne retorts dismissively, "Sure you do. I can charm the birds out of the trees, when I want. Wanted you eating out of my hands, too." Sarah asks in surprise, "Why?" Wayne tells her, "Once I'd softened you up, I was going to poison you against Alison." He stands up as he goes on, "I had the whole story worked out. Want me to run through it for you? It goes something like this: 'I really hate to have to be the one to tell you this, Sarah, but Alison's lied her head off about your mum. Pamela never knew anything about her getting in touch with you.'" He then adds, "I think a little mood music might--" Sarah snaps suddenly, "Stop it! If you wanted to turn me off Alison, you've just blown it. You'll never turn me against her now." Wayne shrugs, "Who cares?" Sarah mutters, "I don't understand you." Wayne retorts, "That makes two of us. Every time something good has happened in my life, I couldn't wait to destroy it. That's the story of my marriage - only I couldn't admit that it was my fault; so, I convinced myself that Alison was to blame and, being me, I had to make her pay. When Tick told me you and Greg had turned up, I knew exactly how to do it - except now I couldn't care less." Sarah asks softly, "Because of Tick?" Wayne murmurs, "If anything happens to that kid..." He pauses before then asserting, "Right. Now you've heard it all. I've done my penance. Would you mind disappearing?" Sarah, however, says, "I want to ask one question." Wayne asks, "What?" Sarah says, "Do you know where my mother is?" Wayne tells her, "Your mother didn't let anyone know where she was going; didn't want you two catching up with her. She was furious with Alison for ever getting in touch with you." Sarah, looking upset, asks, "Why?" Wayne retorts, "She didn't want her young stud finding out she had two teenage kids." Sarah stares at him and then turns to walk away. She snarls as she does so, "You're sick. It's no wonder Tick ran away. I just hope he's got enough sense not to come back." With that, she marches out. As soon as the front door slams, Wayne calls, "You can come out now." Alison emerges from the kitchen. Wayne demands, "Satisfied?" Alison smiles, "Mmm. You almost had me convinced." Wayne growls, "Now it's your turn. Where's Tick?" Alison tells him, "In the boot of Susan's car." A look of horror crosses Wayne's face.

A few moments later, Wayne is marching along outside. Alison is following him, crying, "How the hell was I supposed to know you'd sent it to a wrecker's? I assumed you'd sold it to a used-car yard." Wayne goes and climbs into his own car as Alison carries on, "I should've guessed: only you'd be childish enough to wreck a perfectly good car simply because it belongs to a woman who walked out on you." Wayne just glares at her and snarls, "If anything happens to that kid, it's on your head." With that, he starts his car and roars off.

At the wrecker's yard, the pick-up machinery dangling from the crane lands on top of the car parked right next to Susan's. It lifts it up and moves it across to the wrecking machine. In the boot of Susan's car, Tick yells, "Help! I'm in the boot! Let me out!" Wayne's car pulls into the yard, suddenly. He hoots his horn several times - just as the crane turns to Susan's car and begins to lift it up. He brings his car to a halt and yells to the equipment operator, "Stop! There's a kid in there!" He runs over to the operator and repeats himself. The operator brings the equipment to a stop. He puts Susan's car back down and Wayne runs over and opens the boot. Tick and Sparky peer out at him. Wayne lifts Tick out, a loving expression on his face. Tick tells him weakly, "I wasn't really scared..." Wayne hugs him as he replies, "That's OK - you're safe now."

Craig is stacking some boxes in the office at Sanders Air Charter as Gordon writes on a clipboard. Beryl walks in suddenly and Craig smiles, "Hi! You been roped into looking after the office again, huh?!" Beryl nods, "Yes! Why else would this slavedriver--" she indicates Gordon "--get me to get myself over her quick-smart?!" Gordon tells her, "I thought you might like to come up for a joyride with me." Beryl remarks, "I didn't know you could fly 'planes!" Gordon clarifies, "With me and a pilot!" Craig chips in, "Want me to break out the goggles and the oxygen mask?!" Beryl muses, "He gets cheekier every day!" Gordon suggests, "Maybe we should take him up with us: get the pilot to do a few loop-the-loops, eh?" Craig, however, says, "Oh, I'll wait 'til Debbie gets back: she's always saying how she wants excitement in her life." Beryl comments, "She's not short of excitement these days: she said that Bill's going to take her to Disneyland when they're in LA." Gordon murmurs, "Half her luck." Craig, looking suddenly downcast, mumbles, "Yeah. I wish I was there with her. Maybe I should rob a bank and surprise her?" With that, he heads out of the room, pulling a trolley behind him. When he's gone, Beryl remarks to Gordon, "He really is missing her, isn't he?" Gordon nods, "Yes he is. It's a pity he couldn't be there with her." Beryl sighs, "And leave me to do the odd jobs round here!" Gordon says, "That reminds me: I told the mechanic you'd help him with a grease and oil change when one of the 'planes gets in." Beryl stares at him for several seconds. She then grins, "You devil! You really had me going there for a minute! Sometimes I wonder what I see in you!"

Doug's printer is churning out more sheets of paper. It comes to a halt, suddenly, however, as a page is about to emerge. Doug calls wearily, "Caroline..." Caroline retorts from the kitchen, "What?" She joins Doug as he demands, "Have you switched me off again?" Caroline muses, "I wish I could, sometimes!" Doug says, "I'm talking about the printer: have you unplugged it again?" Caroline replies, "No. Only because I didn't think of it before it conked out!" Doug growls, "It didn't conk-out; it's a brand new one." Caroline sighs, "Trust you to buy a lemon!" Doug retorts indignantly, "I'll have it working like a charm in a tick. It's bound to be a loose wire." Caroline walks over to the TV set and says, "Television's not working." Doug asks, "Are you sure it's plugged in?" Caroline growls, "Are you insinuating I'm stupid?" Doug sighs, "No - I'm asking you to check." Caroline says curtly, "It is plugged in, switched-on and everything. So is the radio, the stereo and the lights." Doug mutters, "OK, OK, I'll fix the fuse." Caroline, however, asks, "What's the point? It'll only blow again when you switch it on." Doug retorts, "Not if you leave the stove off." Caroline glares at him and growls, "The Bolognese sauce for these pancakes--" she indicates a bowl of batter that she's holding "--needs to simmer for at least two hours." Doug shrugs, "OK. We'll eat later." Caroline growls, "I see. I can only cook when that thing--" she indicates the printer "--is off..." Doug insists, "It's only until I finish the job. Now come on." Caroline snaps, "Finish it at the office." Doug cries, "I can't - there's not enough space at the office." Caroline snaps, "I will not have it here. This is my home. I won't have you turning it into a factory." Doug insists, "I'm not going to. Honest. Now please - be a sport." He shuffles towards Caroline. Caroline, however, warns, "Take one more step and you will be wearing this." She indicates the bowl of batter. Doug lets out a chuckle. Caroline glares at him. She then lifts the bowl up over his head and tips the contents over him!

Gordon is talking on the 'phone in the office at Sanders Air Charter, saying, "Yes, that's right... Oh, say around nine tonight?" A middle-aged woman walks in suddenly. Beryl, who's sitting at the desk, says to her, "Hello. Can I be of some help?" The woman tells her, "It's OK - I'll wait 'til Mr. Hamilton's off the 'phone." Beryl says, "If you've called in to pick up some freight, I think I can help you." The woman, however, tells her, "I think we've got our wires crossed. I'm your pilot - Terrie Morrissy?" Beryl grins, "I'm sorry!" Gordon hangs up and Terrie asks him, "All set?" Gordon replies, "I'll be with you in a minute." Terrie nods, "Fine." She heads back out. When she's gone, Beryl asks Gordon in concern, "Are you sure she's properly qualified?" Gordon tells her, "Terrie's been a commercial pilot for the last ten years; she's one of the best in the business." Beryl comments, "I should've known, shouldn't I: I've always said that women can do anything!"

Alison is standing in the lounge room at Dural, waiting. The front door bangs suddenly and Wayne - who's holding Sparky - and Tick walk in. Tick is saying, "Do you know what I think was the most scariest bit?" Before Wayne can respond, though, Tick spots Alison standing there and he says excitedly, "Guess what happened to us? We almost got crushed." Alison comments, "Goodness - that sounds pretty scary." Wayne growls at her, coldly, "We got there just in time." Tick goes on, "We were lifted up by a crane - and if we would've been dropped, we would've been squashed." Alison remarks, "I suppose after all that excitement you're ready for some food, are you?" Tick, however, says, "No thanks. Wayne showed me a steak this big--" he opens his arms wide "--and Sparky had the bone." Wayne tells him, "I think it's time for your bath now, mate, don't you?" Tick sighs, "Do I have to?" Wayne nods, "Yep." With that, Tick takes Sparky and heads off upstairs. When he's gone, Alison comments to Wayne, "Seems none the worse for his experience." Wayne growls, "No thanks to you." Alison starts to say, "Now don't try and pin the blame--" Wayne interrupts and snarls, "If you hadn't been so interested in blackmailing me, I would've been at that car yard long before Tick was in any danger." Alison snaps, "The only reason he was in danger is because you're not fit to have a child in your care." Wayne growls, "I do everything for that kid." Alison demands, "Then why did he run away?" Wayne retorts, "That was Sarah's fault." Alison, however, snaps, "It was your fault for not seeing he had a problem and handling it. God, you're even more pathetic as a father figure than you were as a husband." Wayne snarls, "Shut your face." Alison just goes on, "Being around you is positively lethal: first you drive Susan to her death... then you almost manage to kill a ten-year-old boy." Wayne grabs Alison's arm, suddenly, and he snarls, "Get out - and don't come back or you could be next on the list." He shoves her towards the door.

Sometime later, there's a knock on the front door. Wayne, who's standing in the lounge room, holding Sparky, goes and answers it. Sarah is standing on the step and she says, "Alison told me Tick's OK." She steps inside as Wayne says, "And you want to see him?" Sarah nods, "If you think it won't upset him." Wayne replies, "I reckon he'd be more upset if you didn't show up. He's upstairs having a bath; he won't be long." He then adds, "You might as well come through and make yourself comfortable while you're waiting." He heads into the lounge room. Sarah remains in the hallway, though, and says coolly, "It's alright." Wayne looks over at her and says, "Afraid I'll go off the deep end again?" Sarah mutters, "Nothing would surprise me." Wayne tells her, "You don't have to worry: I'm on my best behaviour with kids and dogs." Sarah, heading into the lounge room, asks, "Why only kids and dogs? What's wrong with the rest of the human race?" Wayne says in response, "Sure you're ready for another rave? I wouldn't want you going off convinced I was the devil himself." Sarah shrugs, "You're such a mass of contradictions, I can't help being curious." Wayne puts Sparky down as Sarah goes on, "So why do you have such a lousy attitude towards people?" Wayne smiles, "Let's see: it could be that my stepmother - your sainted aunt - treated me like dirt." He heads round behind the bar as Sarah mutters, "I might've realised you wouldn't give me a serious answer." Wayne asks, "Would you believe anything I said anymore?" He pours himself a beer as Sarah retorts, "I'd think about it." Wayne nods, "OK. Let's take my childhood. Alison brought me up to believe it was a dog-eat-dog world." Sarah mutters, "I don't want to hear about Alison." Wayne shrugs, "Then I'll shut up." Sarah says quickly, "Sorry. Go on." Wayne tells her, "Alison taught me to do unto others before they do you. On the other hand, my father expected me to do the right thing all the time - so there was a bit of the old conflict there: torn between two sets of values. When I was good, that was my father; but when I was bad, well, that was mummy dearest coming out - and unfortunately, the lessons I learnt from her didn't equip me for a happy family life. You had enough yet? Or would you like me to talk on the subject of cheating wives?" Sarah growls, "I've heard enough." With that, she goes and sits down. Wayne picks up Sparky and asks him, "Didn't you want to tear up flower beds today, huh?!" Sarah looks at him, an intrigued expression on her face.

A while later, Wayne and Sarah are standing in the lounge room when Tick comes downstairs and joins them. Sarah smiles at him, "Hi! Wayne's been telling me about your adventures. He said you were very brave." Tick just murmurs, "It was nothing." He looks at Wayne. Wayne says quickly, "This isn't getting my work done. I'll leave you two to have a little chat." He heads out of the room. Sarah then asks Tick, "You still mad at me?" Tick sighs, "No." The two of them sit down as Sarah asks, "Are we friends again?" Tick doesn't respond. Sarah starts to say, "Look, I know how you're feeling--" Tick, however, interrupts and retorts, "No you don't." Sarah insists, "I do - really. When I was your age, I was madly in love with this boy in my class. He didn't even know I existed." Tick murmurs, "You must've felt pretty stupid." Sarah tells him, "You can't force people to be in love with you - and if it doesn't happen, it's not the end of the world. I can't even remember that boy's name today - and in a month from now, you'll be the same: it'll be 'Sarah who?'." Tick sighs heavily. Sarah then says gently, "Well, take care." She reaches into her pocket, suddenly, and removes the marble, adding, "I guess you'll be wanting this back." Tick, however, tells her, "No, you can keep it. I still want us to be friends." Sarah smiles, "I'm glad." At that moment, there's a sudden sharp knocking on the door. Wayne calls, "I'll get it!" He opens the door to find Alison standing on the step. He immediately goes to close the door again, but Alison smiles, "Don't be inhospitable!" Tick and Sarah emerge from the lounge room and Tick tells Wayne, "We're going next door to see Charlie." Wayne warns, "I want you home by five." Tick nods, "OK." With that, he and Sarah head out. When they've gone, Wayne says to Alison coolly, "I won't tell you to stay away again." Alison, however, smiles, "I just came to tell you to start packing. The Carters will be here to collect Tick in about an hour - and once they spread the news of what's happened, I'll say you can kiss goodbye to any chance of seeing him again." Wayne glares at her. Alison muses, "You're giving a wonderful impression of a stunned mullet!" Wayne snarls, "What about our deal?" Alison just shrugs, "I simply said I wouldn't call in the police." Wayne snarls, "I should've choked you when I had the chance." Alison muses, "You always were a slow thinker!" She goes to walk off. Wayne grabs her arm, though, and growls, "Just a minute." Alison sighs, "Oh dear, you're not going to issue another one of your empty threats, are you?" Wayne retorts, "No. I'm going to make you a promise. I give you my word that, from now on, I won't rest until you're destroyed..."


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